I think I’m going to recap the kdrama sitcom Potato Star. I haven’t fully decided yet and even if I start, I make no promises that I’ll finish it. It is at 107 of 120 eps and I’m only on Ep 70. But I decided to start with introductions of the main characters etc.
Background/Why I Started Watching
Rich man/poor woman, living together, disapproving parents, mustache twirling bad guys, birth secrets, amnesia, poop jokes – it pretty much has all the Kdramas tropes. I don’t drink, but I think you’d get sloshed playing a kdrama drinking game in just 1 ep. (OK, maybe one week of 4 eps)
Why did I decide to start watching this? Well, 1st I didn’t realize it was a sitcom until I was a few episodes in. Else, I think I would’ve said “Pass.” but the real reason was the cast. Some of my favorite actors are in it, so I had to try.
I’ll tell you something, it wasn’t because of the Plot. I knew nothing about the plot (side note: I seem to enjoy dramas more when I don’t know what to expect). I think I thought it was about a metaphorical star (celebrity) and something involving potatoes. Nope, there is a real star (well, asteroid) that is shaped like a potato. I won’t say anymore about that right now.
Differences between US sitcoms & kdrama sitcoms
This is my first Kdrama sitcom (I’m not counting Vampire Idol cause I don’t think it was a normal Kdrama sitcom), and it really is eyeopening. I don’t really like US sitcoms (well with a few exceptions, e.g., Hogan’s Heroes), but this isn’t really what I think of a sitcom.
A couple differences:
- Length. It is almost as long as a US 1 hr show because they don’t have to make it shorter for commercials.
- Plot complexity. The sitcoms I grew up with were the ones like “Cosby Show” and “Full House.” You know the kind, all problems are fixed in 30 minutes (including commercials), the kids were also the center of show.
- Saccharine. I liked “Full House” as a kid, but even I knew how saccharine it was. My sisters and I would try to guess when the “aww” track would start playing. The Dad said something touching or the baby did something cute, cue the “awws.” This fakeness is probably why I don’t like sitcoms, now. There is nothing saccharine (especially involving the kids) in this show.
- Callbacks/Continuity. I wasn’t expecting how often the past was brought up. Either a throw away line referencing something, or a plot that I swore had been dropped would get mentioned. One ep in particular had a 30 minutes & done plot, but a dozen or so eps later, there was a line referencing it. A major plot line got reintroduced many eps later, and then dropped again, but I expect it will be brought up again. This happened continually. US sitcoms would bring people in (or issues) for one ep and then they’d never be heard of again, or “facts” regarding characters would be changed completely to fit a later plot. I’m not saying there aren’t some plot holes; there are, but you definitely feel there is method to the madness/overarching plot.
Stuff I like about it
- Even tho most of it is totally exaggerated, you can get a feel for some Korean cultural aspects, that you can’t really see in romcoms. Like the importance of New Years bows to kids (bows = money). I love learning about cultures so I love learning little things or seeing things that fill in the holes.
- The cast. They are really awesome. I think I’m going to dedicate a whole post to them.
- MinHyuk. I love him. And the actor (I’ll look up his name later) did such a good job of playing a 6 year old in a adult’s body.
- The couples. Ok, not so much Julian and Mina – they’re kinda annoying. But HongBerg & JinAh are so cute. (Kinda remind me of the DaGuen DaGuen couple from Gag Concert)
- It’s fluffy. I like fluff. I know I won’t have to go too long without some funny or cuteness.