Thanks to Thank You!

Note: The following was actually a post I made in December 2007 on my (now defunct) wordpress blog but it’s as true now as it was then. Thank You still ranks as one of my all-time favorite Asian dramas. 

For those of you who are interested in watching quality programming, chock full of great acting and well written stories, I would recommend that you try looking outside U.S. borders too. In recent years, I’ve been moved to tears and laughter by Asian dramas, particularly Japanese and Korean dramas. No worries if you don’t speak or understand the language; many fansub groups, composed of normal folks like you or me have taken the trouble to translate these shows into English by creating subtitles. Many are available to watch for free on sites like youtube. So don’t let language become a barrier because you’ll miss out on some truly amazing television.

I’ve just finished watching a 2007 series called Thank You, one of the most moving, heartwarming shows I’ve ever seen. Thank You is a Korean 16-episode drama series (That’s one of the good things about Asian dramas: they’re short and self-contained) that tells the stories of a single mother raising her HIV infected daughter and caring for her Alzheimer afflicted grandfather in a rural village, an arrogant and jaded city doctor who promises his dying doctor girlfriend that he’ll apologize to the mother/daughter on her behalf for accidentally infecting the daughter with tainted blood , the rural villagers who are ignorant of HIV/AIDS and don’t know that the daughter is infected, and what happens when all their paths cross and how they’re all transformed. Funny, sad, romantic, dramatic, a phenomenal child actor, fantastic acting, great character development and amazing chemistry between the leads. What more could you ask for? I could go on and on but to say more would spoil the show for you. WATCH IT!! That’s all I can say.

More and more, Asian productions are catching on with Western audiences. American remakes of J-horror movies like Ringu, One Missed Call, and Ju-On; K-horror movies like A Tale of Two Sisters; and Thai-horror flicks such as Shutter show us that Western interests have been piqued by what’s going on across the sea. Horror was only the beginning. Romantic comedy remakes of movies like the Korean hit, My Sassy Girl, are also in the works. It wouldn’t surprise me if Asian tv series undergo American remakes soon too.

There’s a reason why everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon but why not see for yourself? Better to see the works in their original, undiluted format than as an altered remake. You won’t regret it.