Drama Comfort 2020: A Year End Reflection

Trotwood: It's that time of year again where we usually do an end of year review for the blog. Last year, we even did an END of DECADE review. However, this year was not like any other year not just for us but for the whole planet. This blog was not unaffected by the turmoil going on in everyone's lives. In fact, most of us, despite working mainly if not completely from home, actually watched less dramas not more.

I also thought more about what people might like at the end of such a painful year, so I thought about doing something different for this end of the year post. I was in search of comfort for quite a lot of this year, which for me often (too often) means cake. Since I can't mail a cake to every one of our viewers, I asked our regular RAWR contributors to share a memory (or two) associated with dramas or watching dramas that provided comfort this past year.

I'd like to invite our readers to also share in the comments. Lots of people are going to try to forget this year, but I'm going to try to remember how much so many people I know here and in RL really stepped up (and stepped in) when I needed them the most. Anyone can behave well when times are good, but a pandemic will sure as hell show you who your real friends are.

So, welcome to



I realized after thinking about it that I have lots of drama comfort moments. Some are bitter sweet, like the last trip I took before COVID lockdowns began was to drive nine hours for a memorial service for our drama friend, Bel, where I sat and cried with other drama friends. There was whole group of us from all over the United States that I had met because of our shared love of dramas. It was a comfort to honor her with them. I am grateful for that experience as well because I broke up the trip by stopping midway to see and stay overnight my parents. My mom is 72 and my dad is 83. It has been too risky to visit them since. So, I got to see them again in person because of a sad drama connection, but I find such comfort in that weekend memory.

Another comfort memory was more like something out of a suspense thriller. The study abroad office at my university reports to me, and as you can imagine, we were already working with students last spring when news of COVID started because of course college students are the last people to pay attention to any kind of health news. A drama friend from Italy had been posting information that was really helpful; I was getting news faster from her than any news agency, so when she posted that several provinces were being locked down,  I DM'd her for more information. Within minutes, she sent me a copy of a map from a local newspaper that I was able to share with the study abroad director.  We were able to help almost 20 students make arrangements to stay isolated and then return home six hours before the news about potential border closings showed up on CNN. None of that would have happened without the international connections made through dramas.

My last one is connected to the picture above. It is of the O2 Academy in Brixton, London where I went to see Day6 last January with a drama friend I made who is from Spain. That is what the drama world does. It brings people together from all over. I got to have lunch with two other drama friends while I was on that trip. The world has really opened up to me even more because of my drama peeps who repeatedly come to the rescue.

They even have great air fryer suggestions.😁




Air fryer! I'm writing this as I am in the mountains but I will return to the city tomorrow where a brand new air fryer is waiting for me. All because Panda tweeted about her air fryer, I got curious, told husband we might need this and he, ever the good husband, immediately went and bought one. I cannot tell you how excited I am to try it out! It can do the most amazing things, even bake. I want to try a crispy duck sometime soon cause I crave duck. Maybe I'll just order it from a Chinese take out though, let's see...

As for the theme that Trotwood chose so aptly... I'm sorry to say that I had no actual drama comfort this year. Like others I know, the pandemic anxiety coupled with my mother’s worsening illness and death in November did not result in me finding time for or pleasure in consuming TV shows. I did watch a few things, but they weren’t Asian and nothing sticks to my mind. The one thing giving me comfort or distraction are historical romances though - and in a way, this is drama community related. I keep “blaming” Panda for getting me started (there's a pattern here), even though this is simplifying matters a little, she was not the only one tweeting about these books. However, Panda gave me at least two great recommendations that I enjoyed immensely this year: First, Evie Dunmore’s “Bringing Down the Duke” and more recently, Loretta Chase’s “Ten Things I Hate about the Duke”. I counted the other day, I read approximately 80 historical romance novels since March, most of them quite forgettable, yet all thoroughly enjoyable. With historical romance reading came the switch to reading on my phone - which I can do late at night when everyone else around me is sleeping. But you know what, historical romance is like Asian entertainment anyway and vice versa - apart from the cultural differences, the dynamics of the stories are so similar. So I think this counts as drama comfort :D

The other thing bringing comfort is fanfiction writing - I've moved on from Mo Yuan a while ago (Still owe people those epilogues, I know!!), on to Naruto and then Attack on Titan. I really enjoy creative writing. It takes time away from the type of writing I actually should be doing (academic writing) but more people read my fanfiction than I think they read my academic work, so... continue I shall. 

Friends, stay safe and be strong! The pandemic isn't over. I'd hug you all if I could. 



What. A. $&&#;#&#; Year! This year has been crazy. I had anxiety most of the time and had my first panic attack (not fun). Worried about health of my husband who was (is) exposed everyday and of course elections (which shit show still hasn't ended by the way). Let me talk about what made me happy :)

Just like Kakashi, I have no main drama comfort this year. In fact, I watched to completion only 2 new dramas this year - CLOY and Kingdom 2, and I don't even think they were 2020 dramas? My brain simply couldn't handle reading subs and concentrating on them (more on this later). So many anticipated dramas fell by the wayside. I couldn't even watch more than 3 episodes of Stranger 2! I simply couldn't do it. I really hope next year is better. What worked for me regarding tv were British cozy mysteries. I got great recommendations from here and binged through Midsomer Murders, Vera, Father Ted, Rosemary & Thyme, Shakespeare & Hathaway and so many others. They worked for me because I didn't need subs to follow, neither did I need to concentrate too hard. The murderer always gets shown in last 15 minutes or so. They soothed me.

My main saving grace this year though were yup, books. I read more than 500 books this year. A vast number of them forgettable, but I also uncovered gems. Without hyperbole books saved me this year from spiraling and being a general mess. When everything was so grim and I had a constant knot in my tummy I turned to them and felt better. I had an escape and I'll be forever grateful to the so many wonderful people who make that possible. I also started a BC last year which grew this year, made me try new books, and also made me develop greater relationships with the members. Aces :D

Finally I'm so grateful to my online community. I had a much reduced online presence this year just for self care, but knew anytime I popped back in I would be welcomed with open arms. I want to say a huge thank you to all of you especially the people on here. I know this year was so hard with Bel and K's mum, and so many others gone but never forgotten. My fervent wish and prayer is that 2021 is all we want it to be and so much more.

P.S. shoutout to the air fryer! Its the Tesla of the kitchen :) I ate my way though quarantine. Its been great.



Like my dear friends above, I was consumed with not-drama drama this year, and watching KDrama fell far, far down the list of things my brain could handle. 

Like Kakashi, though fortunately not with such finality, I had much family turmoil.  My parents moved to Tennessee, not very happily but with as much grace as they could muster.  It was a good solution to a complicated problem, but it's a huge adjustment for them and a sad goodbye to a much loved family home. My daughter also moved back home and she, her guy, and their many assorted pets are staying with me over the winter.  This, too, is an adjustment. A big one.  I bite my tongue, they bite theirs.  Overall, I am happy to have them, though, and their new home will be ready in a couple months, at which point I will have my quiet back, and begin to miss their laughter, and the antics of the animals.

Like Trot, work has been largely COVID-focused.  I feel honored to have been chosen to play a part in bringing my company's vaccine to the public.  This will be one of the biggest achievements of my career - but it brought with it insanely long hours and the stress and emotion that comes with being taxed to the limit - my mind so occupied with the day job that I couldn't even relax enough to watch my beloved dramas.

Instead, like Kakashi and Panda, I turned to English-language books and shows, things less actively engaging for my brain.  I also wasn't as much of an online presence, finding myself staring off into the middle distance more often than not and then just going to bed.  But any time I checked in, I'd find a friend online too.  Maybe not the whole raucous bunch of us chatting for hours as we used to, but still, I'd see familiar faces, and we could check in on each other and our families.  That was a comfort.  Reading this blog even when I mostly stopped participating was a comfort, too.  Some of you know that Trot and I meet up now and then for a meal at Korean restaurant mid-way between our homes, and we haven't been able to do that because of, you know.  But during a lull in the infection levels, I did get to meet a very dear friend and her husband, something we've wanted to do for at least 10 years.  We had a lovely (if careful) dinner and it is one of my favorite memories of this year.  We first 'met' on DramaBeans and have remained fast friends for over a decade now - I'm blessed to have her in my life and I owe it all to KDrama.

On a final note, I was also invited to work with some very special KDrama folks on an official JOB and was very, very flattered to have been asked.  In the end, the timing was wrong for me - with so much going on in the day job I just couldn't make the commitment I'd have needed to make, but for a few months I was privy to some of the inner workings of a major streaming platform and it was fascinating.  This will also be a fond memory for me, even if it was brief.

PS.  I, too, have obtained an air fryer.

Thanks to our readers who always provide uplift even if it is just  a space to share and rant. I appreciate you all and am hoping for you a safe and rejuvenating new year. 

P.S.--I just ordered an air fryer, too.