Interview with PotUppers: Trotwood

Dear Readers / Squeeglets, here comes the next in our series of "interviews" with the main bloggers on this blog. Trotwood is our maknae :) The guy you see plastered all over this interview is Weir, her ultimate bias. Also the Thai actor I most often see on my Twitter feed, without ever having seen him act. If you have any additional questions, just ask in the comments section below!

Interview with Trotwood

Trotwood, thanks for answering a few questions about you and your drama watching life! So, when exactly did you joining "PotUp"? It's funny, it seems you've always been there, but I think it was fairly recent?

It is recent compared to everyone else. I came to the site because my younger daughter told me that someone was trying to make an American version of Boys Over Flowers and that it was embarrassingly bad. So I looked it up. I didn’t want to watch only read recaps (which I do with a lot of dramas). The recaps were so funny that I started reading all sorts of other things on the site. That was 2013. I was a silent lurker until I started posting comments on the Full House Thai recaps I think--mainly because of my hatred for MinTramp. But I really started populating the comment section with my fan worship of Moony and evil Min Jung’s clothes in the Jang Bori was Here recaps. I read recaps of the show until episode 28 to be honest. I don’t really like long shows, but the recaps got me invested, and I started watching. That’s when I really felt like part of the community. I was so thrilled when people started referring to me in the recaps!
I think my long comments about the My Beautiful Bride (Banker) recaps probably pushed people over the edge, and I was invited to be a real in text responder for the Noble My Love recaps. I was so nervous. I’m not good with tech and have been known to erase important things and mess up settings on other people’s phones and computers. I felt like I had been asked to sit with the cool kids at their table!

So far, you have recapped one drama. What do you like about recapping - what don't you like?

I enjoy rewatching and bringing attention to tidbits from the show that I found fun and why I started watching in the first place. The show I chose Thumping Spike isn’t a great show, but it provided a lot of entertainment in short increments, which I need. I liked doing a recap for a show I didn’t think anyone else would recap. I enjoyed the camaraderie of all the participants and getting to see what gifs Kakashi and Shuk would make for me (like the one below).
Recapping takes a lot of time. A Lot of time. And it is hard to keep up enthusiasm for a show where you don’t get a lot of comments and which gets bogged down at the end. I felt a responsibility to the other bloggers for the work they were putting in, too.

I also don’t think I’m that good. My recaps were as long for a 15-20 minute show as others are for full length. I don’t summarize well. Mine are rather paraphrasing instead.
I’m considering recapping Gogh’s Starry Night or maybe Love for a Thousand More ( a web drama I’m watching now, which I’m loving) during the slow winter period at work, but I don’t if anyone will care about them then.

You have a very, very full life due to your demanding, high-responsibility job. How do you manage your drama-watching time?

Who says I manage?!?!? Sometimes I feel like I’m barely hanging on :)

I really should sleep more. I don’t watch nearly as much as others or as much as I would like. I read a lot of recaps. I fast forward through subplots/characters I don’t like. I get up really early in the morning anyway. I do work, and I treat myself if I get a certain amount of work done by 4 AM and then I might watch an hour before going to gym.
I’m actually trying to complete this questionnaire, and it’s 4:30 AM!
However, looking for pics to post (like the ones above--even though he's wearing a tshirt I will never have) gives me energy. One of the things I ask of all my directors is to find something completely separate from the job that gives them joy. Drama watching gives me joy, but more importantly, the friends I've made through dramas from all over the world give me joy. I've decided that I have to make time for things that bring me joy. I didn't always think that way; blood pressure went up and I gained a lot of weight always only thinking about others. But then I started rethinking how I wanted my children to see me as a model of not just a strong female leader but of life balance which is something very hard for women.

What is your main reason for watching dramas?

Real life is busy, stressful, and reasonability laden. This past year has been especially dark, nationally, locally, and personally. I need to do something that doesn’t require a lot of energy that makes me feel good. It's very hard for to turn off work, especially when I'm technically on call all the time. Watching dramas and talking to my international drama friends helps me turn all of that off so that I can come back better focused and refreshed.

Is there someone in "real life" you get to watch dramas with?

Before my younger daughter went to off to university, I used to watch with her. Now I sometimes try to coordinate watching some shows with some of my twitter friends in different states, but that is hard.

Many people are interested in "first time" stories... care to share yours? What's your first KDrama (or Asian drama) and what happened then?

I started watching dramas because of my younger daughter. When I would wash her hair, it would take quite a bit of doing to comb it out and condition it afterward. My daughter has a lot of hair. She is biracial, so she has combo African-American and Caucasian hair. I have broken brushes in her hair. I used to have to hold her down with one of my legs to comb her hair when she was a toddler. I’ve spent four hours straightening her hair. In my house, like in a lot of African-American houses with women, hair is A THING--it's an event for which you have to schedule time.
I learned that the way to manage the post shampoo hair ordeal without fighting or tears was to watch something. We didn't watch a lot of television--for years, we didn't even have one, but we'd watch things on Hulu (in the old days when Hulu was free). We had finished all of Glee and all of that season’s Modern Family when she saw the link to Boys Over Flowers. She had read the manga, so she suggested it. We both agreed on how bad it was but we kept watching; it was like a drug based on our belief that it couldn't get any hokier. I started watching more dramas than she afterwards though.

What type of Asian dramas do you like best? I know you watch all sorts; T, C, J, K.

I really can’t say because it depends on the mood I am in. I haven’t really watched many Chinese dramas, so I can’t really say much about the type. I’ve watched several Wallace Chung dramas. And I’ve seen Boss and Me, Love Me if You Dare, Snail, A Clear Midsummer Night, and The Queen of SOP. I think that might be it.
I’d say that I mainly watch Korean, Japanese, Thai (lakorns), and Taiwanese dramas. Much of this depends on my mood, though. If I’m looking for pure crazy escape revenge stuff, I watch lakorns because I think they do revenge well and the crazy confrontational weddings (where often someone gets shot). I like Japanese dramas because the serious ones feel more intellectual—I pay attention but do not get the feeling that they are trying to manipulate my emotions the way Korean dramas do. The funny ones are real fun—either light goofy manga fun or sarcastic which I like. Taiwanese dramas for me really depend on casting and story. They often start out really well and then fall apart (aka Fall in Love with Me), but they really know how to do swoony romance with real kissing (Drunken to Love You, Down with Love).
I feel like right now, I’m in a love-hate relationship with Korean dramas. When making my year-end review, I found few that I absolutely loved. Many more I fell out of love or I couldn’t even stomach starting because I felt like “been there done that and been burned” or that it was going to be too emotionally taxing or that it was easier to just read recaps than to have to sit through a whole bunch of plot to see the 2-3 characters that I actually cared about.
I also am pretty resentful and resistant to hype and when I keep getting beat over the head with trying to get to watch/love a show just because it's an event (DotS), so I don't watch even if I might have started without a push. But I still love them the best I think even though they hurt me the most.

Is there a particular upcoming drama you are most looking forward to?

I had to do research for this one because I rarely pay attention to upcoming drama news since I don’t want to get excited before I know something will get subbed. But I do have a list in no particular order.

· Voice (Korean with Jang Hyuk)
· Koo Za Rot Zab (Thai with Weir Sukkollawat)
· Yilu Fanhua Xiangsong (Chinese with Wallace Chung and Aaron Yang)
· Solomon’s Perjury (Korea)

Any drama-wishes for 2017?

I will wish the same two wishes that I wish every year.

1. A drama about fabulous Personal Assistants (PAs) that we see in all of these dramas.

2. Dramas where the hero and heroine fall in love and work together to fight the obstacles instead of splitting up to fight obstacles alone and get together in the last five minutes of show.