As drama watchers and lovers, most of us are familiar with the term “angst.” And no, not the teen angst we talk about in popular culture (though there’s plenty of that too), but the specific definition of it applied to media such as dramas, where it refers to the misery/sorrow/emotional trauma suffered by the main character(s), resulting from bad things happening. Angst is an intrinsic part of every drama (in fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that Asian dramas, particularly Korean, have the market pretty well cornered), and as you watch more and more dramas, certain patterns begin to emerge…
Here are five common signs that angst is about to hit (and the well-versed Drama Veteran’s response).
|Sign #1: Montage of Happiness – a montage occurs of the main couple being happy, cute and romantic and going on dates/blissfully enjoying each other’s company(probably for the first time in the drama).
The Drama Veteran’s Response: Hopes those two crazy kids are enjoying it, because Imminent Doom is about to follow.
(Pictured: Boys Over Flowers)
|Sign #2: Extended Bliss – Similarly, the main couple exists in uninterrupted romantic bliss for at least half an episode to an episode.
The Drama Veteran’s Response: Spends the entire episode caught between unutterable delight at the romance and feeling desperately sorry for the two because Very Bad Things are about to happen to them.
|Sign #3: A Love Token Gone Awry – some token that signifies the love between the main couple – usually a necklace, bracelet or some other item of jewelry or fragile object which the guy has given to the girl – gets broken or lost.
The Drama Veteran’s Response: winces and buckles up for the ride.
(Pictured: You’re Beautiful)
|Sign #4: A Stranger Comes to Town – this person is usually an ex of one or other of our main couple, but can also be an evil relative, an interfering friend, or a scheming stranger out to get something from the heroine or hero.
The Drama Veteran’s Response: instantly recognizes the person as a Happily-Ever-After Interferer and hates him/her on principle.
(Pictured: Boys Over Flowers)
|Sign #5: A Sudden Fainting Spell, with fainting in this case used to denote any of the many signs of potential illness which drama leads are so prone to display. Everything’s going well? Main couple is finally together with nothing but an eternity of blissful happiness ahead? Watch out for that lingering cough, that sudden fainting spell, dizziness or headache, those light flashes in front of hero/heroine’s eyes…
The Drama Veteran’s All-knowing Response to this is: groans, heart sinks, and waits either fatalistically or with desperate anxiety for the outcome — what shall it be — leukemia, cancer, or blindness?
(Pictured: Thank You)
The more dramas you watch, the more you’ll notice these little signs, and yet strangely, the more you’ll want to watch. It’s the Drama Fever! What are your favorite signs that drama angst is about to hit? What makes you wince, filled with the conviction that things can only go downhill from here?