Whilst that image [not mine] is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to my post – it’s so true!
I would like to announce to all you fabulous readers that I have had a wonderful (yet rather useless) epiphany. So I had successfully convinced (more like forced but whatever) my mother to watch a Kdrama with me. Obviously the conflict lied with WHICH drama I would chose. I’d told her the plots for The Masters Sun, School 2013, Secret Garden, Gaksital, and I Hear Your Voice [notice a Lee Jong Suk theme yet? He got all the good scripts anyway. Doctor Stranger is apparently good too – but I’ll believe that when I watch it]. Anyway, we’re a pretty awkward family when it comes to romance or anything remotely related to sex ed (my mum doesn’t even use the word period in front of me – if I’m complaining about cramps she’ll be all like ‘Has IT started yet??’ – but it’s endearing. I still remember her slight shock when I said ‘bra’ in front of her; and It’s even funnier because my grandma is super chill and all cool with it. She doesn’t mind talking about it all – and I think my mothers morbid embarrassment from past experiences have made her so that she’s super conservative now. Regardless, my mum’s funny and amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way).
SO! What drama to watch. I had decided on IHYV due to the massive amount of skinship in TMS and the ridiculous implied sex convo in one of the first scenes of SG. School 2013 was way too serious and slow to begin with, as was Gaksital. Anyway, so we watched couple of episodes (my mum even GIGGLED for some of the funny scenes c’:) and I thought she quite enjoyed it [although she was, like me at first, opposed to the whole Highschool kid/ Adult Attorney pairing because of the reverse of the traditional age gap].
During dinner I asked her what she thought of the series – like if it was interesting, if the storyline was good, who her favorite character was – and she responded positively to everything except the last question. She said that there was no character to really like – because everyone’s acting was stony faced. I admit, originally I was quite surprised at this statement. I thought she had seen enough of Lee Bo Hyung’s screaming and crying, as well as Lee Jong Suk’s eye gaze and crazy anger acting to think that they were quite expressive – thank you very much. But she said that even though the plot and characterization made for an interesting show, the actors didn’t express emotion using their eyes.
Yeah this isn’t mine either
And suddenly – I understood what she meant. I had a bit of an epiphany [how anti-climatic after all that build up but whatever]. I realized that… THEY RARELY USED THEIR EYEBROWS.
Okay so maybe that’s a bit random – but here’s my explanation. It’s an Indian thing. We use our eyebrows A LOT when expressing. I do traditional Indian dancing (Bharatanatyam) and I do it myself ALL. THE. TIME. Eyebrows and eyes for happiness, sadness, excitement, despair, horror, surprise – you name it. It’s not like we use JUST that part of our face, the mouth and stuff comes into play as well – but in comparison to South Korean actors, we do it a lot more. And it’s true what my mum said; it leads to less expression being shown on the face. It leads to more emphasis being placed on the dialogue for expressiveness, and of course some of that dialogue would be lost in translation.
So that was my epiphany – and it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop watching dramas – it just means that I’ll pay more attention to this contrast when I do.
EDIT: Okay I realized that they do use their eyebrows, but just not in the same way or as obviously. This post just keeps getting more and more underwhelming. I’ll go now.