Saturday, June 10, 2023
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Drama with a countryside setting

by Amber Simmons

You can only pick one: Drama with a countryside setting

You can only pick one, and boy the pressure is on. The DB team will answer a new prompt in each post, and you’re invited to do the same in the comments. Ready to play?

You can only pick one drama with a countryside setting

missvictrix: I’m going to have to go with Chocolate again, I think, but it was a hard call, because this is a storytelling theme I like a lot. So much of K-drama is about the bustle and activity of life in the city (I mean, how else would you run into people from your past every five minutes), so it’s always refreshing for a drama to take up a countryside setting instead. It’s usually set as a point of contrast, and I think that’s why I like it so much: escape the noise and enjoy some space and quiet. That’s exactly how Chocolate uses its countryside setting, whether it’s our heroine who is trying to deal with her trauma and live peacefully in a quiet place, or our hero who’s literally forced out into the countryside setting. The countryside setting is also often synonymous with healing — great for anyone like me who loves a healing drama — but it also makes for a beautiful drama on the eyes, as well. Move over, Seoul coffee shops! There are bridges to be sat on, bikes to ride through fields, and some beautiful walks to take.

mistyisles: It occurs to me that I haven’t seen very many K-dramas with a countryside setting, or at least not ones where that setting stands out in my memory. So I’ll pick one that’s impossible for me to separate from the village where its story takes place: last year’s Wild Boar Hunting. What appears to be a tight-knit community is actually the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of dark secrets that refuse to stay buried. The premise — a wild boar hunt gone horribly wrong — seems straightforward enough, and I wouldn’t really call it fast-paced even though it is a thriller. Yet it still managed to keep me guessing with unexpected turns, give depth and sympathy to characters I’d normally find unlikeable, and deliver a strong emotional punch, all within four tight episodes.

Dramaddictally: This turned out to be really hard! I didn’t know I was such a fan of countryside settings. But if the game is to pick just one, I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day takes the cake. I think it’s because the setting in this one reflects the story itself so well. It’s not just a pretty backdrop to make us feel at ease, like in some of the rom-coms I had on my list. In fact, it’s the opposite. Here, the countryside setting is harsh and blinding, just like the protagonists’ lives, and the snowy, mountainous terrain only adds to the atmosphere of cold, hard reality. On the flip side, being cold outside means we get warm and cozy interiors (like the lovely little bookshop) that also let us see the warmth inside our characters. I love the pacing of this one — slow, like walking up a hill — and the way the leads are unburied, little by little, so they can heal. I’ve written about this drama a few times before, but it’s one of the gems that actually gets better as it goes on, using the setting and seasons to remind us that if we can make it through the winter, we’ll start to see signs of spring.


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