Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Deal with the Elderly in Asian Shows

Frankly, it's really annoying how most Asian dramas, and especially Korean ones, portray elderly and older generation characters. They're always super-meddling in a negative way, they have sudden life-threatening health conditions from the most menial arguments, and they're an oxymoronic mixture of super powerful (holding authority over the family's finances, status, and their kids' lives) with childishly feeble (again the frail-as-a-feather health and excessively self-pitying attitude towards life).

Is anyone's grandparent, or for that matter even parent like that? How many grandparents actually even know where we work, or who we're dating, or actually care about the details of our lives? I get family is important in Asia, but as a Chinese-American, I've certainly never seen anything in reality that even closely resembles these drama family dynamics. If there really is a 25 year-old in this world who's enslaved to act according to his/her grandparent's wishes in matters of relationship and career, I feel boundless pity for them. But then I also think- go get a life. You also get the psycho parents who tell their kids that they'll kill themselves if they don't marry a certain girl (ahem How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor and other k/j/t dramas). Call me cold, but if my parents were immature and mentally disturbed enough to say something like that in complete seriousness, I would either run away or call an institution. Or just not marry that certain person and see if they actually go through with the threats, which a sane person probably wouldn't.

The reason for this post is that I started watching Can You Hear My Heart and am so disappointed that they chose to spoil an otherwise interesting story with a plethora of annoying scenes involving the grandmother to one of our young heroes. She fits all of the cliches above and tops them off with a "woe-is-me-and-my-fate" attitude towards everything. My only words for her are that life is the result of your own actions and your self-servicing ability to blame it on the cosmos isn't going to change any of it.

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