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What I’ve been learning from Netflix lately

9 June 2021

Lately there has been an explosion of Korean dramas on my favorite streaming service, Netflix. There are so many that I literally don’t have time to watch them all. The back catalogue is huge, but there are also brand-new dramas that are being trickled out as they are shown in Korea. Law School, Vincenzo, Hospital Playlist…they range from romance to thriller in scope. Whatever you’re looking for, whether heart-racing terror or meltingly sweet love story, it’s there.

It is amazing to feel like I’m connected to a viewing audience in a country that is half a world away in terms of geography but worlds away in terms of culture and language.

I also found myself binge-watching Call My Agent, a series out of France. Hysterically funny and with cameos from famous French film actors, it chronicles the office and personal lives of a group of high-powered celebrity agents.

What I particularly love about these types of shows is that they aren’t aimed at me at all. They weren’t created for the American viewing public; they were created for their own home audiences. As such, I get to see what they assume about the tastes of people who live far away from me and live lives that presumably aren’t like mine.

At some level, though, people are people, right? We all have families, hobbies, work…and we all try to live life as fully as we can.

My family stole a scene out of one of the most famous and beloved recent Korean dramas, Crash Landing on You, about a Korean fashion conglomerate CEO who accidentally paraglides into North Korea and is rescued by a troupe of adorably happy-go-lucky North Korean soldiers. They try to get her safely back to South Korea but run into corruption and danger at every turn. While she is there, the CEO learns something about the simple, old-fashioned lives her parents ad grandparents probably experienced before the Korean War rent the peninsula in two back in the 1950s.

The North Korean soldiers show her how to enjoy freshly dug clams…by dousing them with oil (some people say it was gasoline, I would hate to think so, but it’s possible!) and setting them alight. They then drink soju (a powerful Korean alcohol) in the clam shells.

We couldn’t resist trying it—and yes, it’s an EXCELLENT way to enjoy some fresh clams!

clamsclams on fire

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