07. Do you watch Asian dramas for their storyline, actors/actresses or both?


I’m pretty open minded when it comes to picking TW dramas, since I’ll try 2/3 of the ones that come out. That doesn’t mean I’ll finish them per se – just that I’ll try an episode or two. For K Dramas and J Dramas however, I tend to be more choosy. I’ll follow actors I like, and check dramabeans/online reviews to determine whether it’s worth watching or not. That’s how I got hooked on YAB, I didn’t know any of the actors, but read the first two recaps and fell in love. 🙂 CONFESSION: I do look at how attractive I find the cast – it’s not defining, but will prompt me to start watching a drama even if I’ve never heard of them. 😛


So you know how people always say “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I almost always judge a book by its cover—and the same mindset goes to picking dramas too… So I will usually be drawn by my favorite actors/actresses first, and then read the summary/watch the trailers. If it’s a plot I’m not super interested in, I will still watch the first few episodes because I love the actors so much, but if the plot really is disappointing/bad, I will eventually drop the drama. So in summary, actors/actresses are the first filter, and then comes the storyline!


10 thoughts on “07. Do you watch Asian dramas for their storyline, actors/actresses or both?

  1. I used to be more about actors, but perhaps that’s excusable, because it was the start of my journey in Dramaland, so I just wanted to follow someone I know I really liked to watch. But now I’m looking at the plot, and the actors are only as a bonus or as a deciding factor when I’m on the fence. On the other hand, there are couple actors that I’ve noticed to tell myself “Oh, he’s in that drama – I must watch it. Wait, what’s the plot? Erm, not tooooooo hopeless. I’ll give it a go, I think”. And I do want to change that, but the inner fangirl sometimes just doesn’t listen ;D

    1. haha it’s hard to stop fangirling 😛 I definitely do that with my kdramas (heh, lee sunggi, JGS, Gong Yoo). After a while though, the plot becomes the deciding factor because let’s face it, drama-land LOVES to overuse tropes.

  2. If I were to judge books by their covers I would never ready anything 😉 Not really. Attractive packaging catches the eye, but it’s content that is queen. I look at plot first and actors second. Sometimes I dramastalk and try to catch all dramas by a certain actor I love, but useless drivel or disappointing plots just can’t be hidden by the icing all of the time and disappointment can come more often than not.

  3. I’m a little of both? See, I judge by the actor/ actress, but not by appearance, but whether I like them off screen or not. There are certain actors (and I’m not going to name anyone) who are absolute jerks off screen. Watching their interviews (it’s usually very formal, very rigid, and unpleasant) make me associate the actor with the character itself. So when the character does nice things, but I know the actor is actually pretty nasty, it’s hard for me to like the character as well.

    On the other hand, really nice actresses or actors (say, Jennifer Lawrence) really sells the characters for me. Even if they’re playing mean characters, I can pretend this is just a role they play. It doesn’t work vice version, mean actor plays nice character just feels fake and takes me out of the storyline.

    My favorite asian actor is Jiro Wang. Read any of his interviews, most people who have worked with him have nothing but praise for him. Being humble is the trait that I really, really look for in artists.

    1. You definitely raise a good point! Even if an actor acts really well – a terrible personality is a big turn-off. That’s part of the reason I like Zai Zai so much, he’s very humble and very honest – his interviews (imo) feel the most unscripted.

  4. I won’t necessarily watch a show specifically for an actor, but they help to get me into it. Like, if I hear about an actor being in a drama, i’ll look into that show and check out the plot and other actors. And then if they interest me, I’ll watch it. I did watch Nice Guy purely for the cast (Song Joong Ki) and I wouldn’t have watched it otherwise, because I’m not a revenge melodrama kind of person. And certainly, Nice Guy did nothing to make me change my mind, lol.

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