To Recommend or Not To Recommend: Pros and Cons

To Recommend or Not To Recommend Asian dramas and movies to your friend, family and feeds… A question as old as the concept of friendship itself. Even before Dramaland existed, people were taunted with the idea of sharing their interests with others, while some probably would shout out into the forest: ‘Those blueberries are delicious!’, others would rather save them berries for themselves. Ok, I am getting further and further away from what I am trying to say here. As I intend to discuss the pros and cons, risks and gains as well as some complications when it comes to recommending titles to others. 

I’ll start with my current completed list as one with about 550 titles found on MDL. Out of these I have rated almost 200 above 9⭐. Yes, I watch things I enjoy a lot most of the time. And I would probably recommend others to watch anything I rate above 8.5, giving me a seemingly endless pool of titles to recommend. 

I love it when – The Pros 


Sharing one’s knowledge about Dramaland may only be appreciated by a small audience (mostly found here on MDL), but is there really a better feeling than sharing that knowledge with others? Oh, so you want a Korean romance drama with a serial killer, some kind of car accident, amnesia, and a cute pet? No problem, I have the answer! Or I think I do, just give me a moment…

Which one fits the description? (answer is under the spoiler)


Bring It On, Ghost


Psychopath Diary

Not a romance
Or C:

While You Were Sleeping

No amnesia 

There is no greater feeling than finding that special title

This is a bit like the feeling of being an all-knowing genius, but on a more personal level. Be it a newbie, a person with a completed list longer than one’s own, or a person who has never visited Dramaland. Finding that hole in their list, that special title that they will remember, gives us this awesome rush and feeling of satisfaction. The feeling of ‘I know you so well’  or ‘I get your taste’. Forget genius: I am… a GOD!

Shared joy is double, no, triple joy…

Having a friend watch a drama you recommended can make you get closer to each other and is sure to make you feel connected, as it will not only give you something to talk about, but you can share the joy, your frustration, your love for Jung Hae In…  I mean actors, idols, writers, directors etc.

Life Hack by user soltarism:

I watched 2 episodes of A Business Proposal on my friend’s TV last month and somehow manipulated her Netflix recommendations so much, that it only showed Asian dramas.

Suddenly she told me she started watching The Heirs and I almost passed out. xD

Dramaland making people talk  

Forget awkward silence or boring talks about the weather, once a drama-fan starts talking about dramas and recommending titles, the words coming out of that mouth will most probably be endless. If the other person is also a fan, it may actually be a conversation that both enjoy. If the person never visited Dramaland, you may just have recruited a potential drama-lover or addict. You may also be partly responsible for a person’s drama addiction, as well as make way for the cons coming up next! 

What if… And how the… – The Cons 

Dramaland making people bored, stupid or just plain mean… 

A person trapped in the endless ramblings of a drama-fan will most probably not understand a word of what they are saying, sad but true. They may find it hard to relate to the subject, resulting in you having a monologue while the other person may be either too polite to back out of the conversation, or they may be looking at their phone, have walked away without you noticing or, worst case, they may say something ignorant, stupid, or plain mean to get out of the drama fanatic’s trap.

Say That You Loved It!

You find yourself desperately hoping the person loves your recommendation, you may find yourself crossing your fingers, sitting in complete suspense, hoping they will see what you see; only to see them make all kinds of weird, slightly disapproving noises, or just shrugging their shoulders, saying it was fine… While you are thinking: Just FINE, hello, did you see how talented those people are, the pace, the story, the twists… just FINE???

The endless struggle of trying to decide on what to recommend…

There are just too many good dramas out there – trying to decide on just one or two titles to recommend to others can be an agonizing process, making you feel bad for all your beloved dramas that you don’t mention, or leading you to recommending a seemingly endless list to the poor person on the other end.

You put all that effort and they do not even watch it…

Sometimes we may put a lot of effort into trying to reach that feeling of being a god, or just wanting to talk about a drama with them. But all falls flat when the person does not even give it a try. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want the person to feel pressured to watch the drama. Maybe they just do not have time right now, or maybe they were turned off by its description. Maybe they started it and did not like it? Did you do your research? Maybe the person has a trauma and is triggered by parts of the content, but does not want to tell you about it? Maybe the person can’t stand the lead, or, I don’t know, maybe they just forgot about it because they got another ten recommendations at the same time and actually have a PTW (Plan To Watch list) with another 333 titles.

Can you still be friends?

Recommending your favorite drama to someone but seeing them hate it will put a strain on the relationship, as you may start to wonder how the person could not see how amazing that title is. If the person does not like it, why? Is there something wrong with them, with you, with your friendship? Do you really know the person as well as you thought? Can you still connect even if the person does not like your favorite drama (yes, you can)?

If it is another drama-fan, you will probably be able to just go past it and find common ground in the next title, but friends outside the drama fandom may be trickier and may say stuff like:

But why did they keep on crying? 

Why can’t they just speak English like the rest of the world (does not do)? 

I don’t watch anything with subtitles…

or even worse: They all look the same, how can you tell the difference? And so on…

Making you regret you ever mentioned it, and reminding you that some things are better shared with your online community.

So, to recommend or not to recommend – my recommendation to you:

It may seem like I listed a lot more cons than pros, but honestly, if you just manage your expectations as well as you read the room, I am sure you will be able to figure out what is best for that given situation. As there is no drama that fits all, there is no advice that fits all either. If you do recommend dramas, you could try to find out what the person normally likes. Are they into the romantic type of yellow umbrella stories, or more into umbrellas that are used to stab people? Maybe they could fall for The White Truck of Doom? Or some good old-fashioned amnesia? And also ask yourself:

Can your friendship handle a potential rejection of your favourite show? 

Can they handle the wonderful world of Dramaland? 

But also: Can you take responsibility for a potential new addiction?

All things you may want to take into consideration before you take that step to recommend dramas and movies to others. However, once you do make that recommendation, I suggest that you let it go. You may be able to show them the holy Hae In land, but you can not make them drink the water… or was that a donkey? Never mind, the point is, if you do recommend movies and dramas to others, have patience and let it go. If they come back for more, you know you have succeeded. If not, then there are plenty of drama-fans here on MDL to talk to. 

Gifs and screenshots were taken by me, or found on MDL’s database.  Links to the drama pages from where they were sampled are found inside each gif/photo. Also, if the text is neither black nor white, it has a link in it. Special thanks to AnQuat and the editors.

Edited by: Tine (1st editor)

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