The "Viki Original" you haven't seen yet




So there is now a family of squirrels that has taken over a tractor-trailer truck full of frozen shepherd’s pies. Hmm.

Wikipedia lists several Asian species of squirrels and chipmunks. It looks like some kind of Tiny Mammal Convention may be in town . . .


Genus, :rofl: I ran into that word in my WordBliss, and/or, WordTrip journey. I feel so in the know :slight_smile: reading your findings. :joy:


Mini romance drama: [Ha-Neul recounting how they met and married to parents in the long-ish flashback]

Why would the two marry so suddenly? Haruto’s parents wants him as the eldest son to take over the Mulberry farm. They are constantly trying to get him to get married and settled down in the hopes that he will give up his wanting to work in the city. We show a mini montage of either parents,
Mother popping head round door: “What about Kimiko, she’s pretty…”
Parents with Haruto in the field picking Mulberries: “I hear Niko just broke up with Fukashi, why not see if she needs companionship?”
Over dinner: “So when are you going to get married and settle down? You know that Ahara’s second daugter, Mikki really likes you!”
Mum and Haruto at local Shinto shrine: Hatruto’s mum, bows x2, claps x2 then instead of praying in her head, she blurts out loudly so that Haruto can hear “Kami-sama, bless Haruto with a quick marriage so that I can have lots of grandchildren to help on the farm!”

Ha-Neul understands how that feels because her parents tried to marry her off like a sacrificial lamb.
Cue mini clip of the two families introductory dinner where the intelligent and very rich son turns out very lacking in the looks dept and very short, basically some compelling aspects for zero attraction and compatibility.

So when the two fall for each other hard they have no hesitation in getting hitched in part to take control of their own destinies when it comes to who they love and marry.

On one of Ha-Neuls visits to the farm she bring the parents luxury foods as gifts, parents say they’re too sweet for them but Haruto loves them and he’s busy in the silkworm cocoon room, Ha-Neul dashes off to the room, hand feeds Haruto as he is in middle of setting up silkworm trays, that’s when Haruto’s younger sister (high school age for more awkwardness) walks in on them, blushes all round, “do you think she saw us?” etc.

For the Mulberry farm I’m thinking something small/mid sized rural like this (ironically this is a Korean Mulberry farm, not Japanese!)


Let’s try The Farm from a slightly different angle.

(BTW, I have what appear to be a variety of mulberry seedlings growing in my flowerbeds because a kick-ass gardener who was helping me clean up my backyard got sick.

(There are always a few mulberry bushes growing somewhere in my neighborhood.

(People hate them because, where the bushes are allowed to grow, the berries stain sidewalks, attracting little children who mash them in their hair and clothes, and they are magnets for bees, wasps, ants . . .)

The mulberry farm has a lot of possibilities. If The Hotel is dedicated to providing the super-rich an “immersive” cultural experience, then . . . the farm could be providing mulberries for jam and mulberries for silkworms, silk for some really pricey little tchotchkes, snax ( of course) . . .

Writing paper, gift wrap, and who knows what else in The Hotel’s gift shop.

Maybe Haruto . . . is the nephew of The Hotel’s owners and son of the owners of The Farm? The Hotel’s son became estranged years ago from his parents somehow? Or died? Or disappeared? And got amnesia?

But at a certain point, Haruto went from managing mulberries to managing The Hotel, and both The Hotel and The Farm gained in prominence and popularity.

And what if Ha-neul, in going to Tokyo, is actually going to do some kind of business at The Hotel but ALSO make to arrangements for her honeymoon with The Other Guy . . . because there is a year-long waiting list?

And her friend Haruto from MBA school in . . . pick a good place . . . takes her on a tour of The Farm . . . insert car going off the road in a rainstorm as they are driving back in the dark, dead car battery, dead phone, piggyback ride, umbrella, and maybe a hitch-hiking kami that ends up going “back to town” with them?

I think that, if The Other Guy has something going for him, something that makes him a worthy companion for Ha-neul . . . and initially a more interesting person (at least on the surface) . . . then there would be a plausible reason for her marriage to Haruto to start coming unglued just a bit when “weird things” begin to happen.


Looking at all these ideas, I finally understand how hard it is to go absolutely trope-free… There are soooo many details to think of that we just gravitate towards tropes to make our work easier or tie up a storyline.

I will be a LOT less harsher on drama writers from now on :joy:

What? Why would they plan a honeymoon without a confirmed wedding/engagement? Or does Ha-Neul just run away and break the engagement by marrying Haruto?

I like the old friends trope. Makes the sudden marriage a lot easier to understand. However, I will put my foot down at the

love triangle part. We have the old-acquaintances trope and the parents-forcing-marriage trope already. And I hate triangles, even teeny tiny ones.

:rofl::rofl:Oh dear, amnesiac heir on the loose! I approve of him being the second lead


My understanding of personal relationship K-drama tropes is that the “K-chaebol daughter” is always expected to marry the “K-chaebol son,” and it starts back in childhood.

Love triangle? No. Someone who is mistakenly understood by uninformed and nosy individuals to be the third angle in a love triangle?

But of course! Gotta keep viewers guessing, keep 'em coming back for just one more episode.

And if there is some K-chaelbol vs J-chaebol smackdown action going on, so much the better as far as I am concerned.

Something somewhere on The Farm might even be the sort of Spy vs Spy thing that brings unfavorable scrutiny on Ha-Neul’s beloved parents. Some kind of accidental hybrid mulberry that is bigger, sweeter, something-er than the average berry?

What if a modest little mulberry liqueur from The Farm causes quite a stir among the hip, trendy, and over-wealthy, and when Ha-Neul and Haruto get married suddenly, The Other Guy’s family loses its mind and vows revenge . . . by trying to sneak in and find that mutant bush (or bushes) so they can say it’s their accidentally amazing mulberry bush and their amazing liqueur?



Regarding tropes and patterns and motivations and whatnot. Science is always finding out that life is both random and predictable.


The butterfly effect is a deceptively simple insight extracted from a complex modern field. As a low-profile assistant professor in MIT’s department of meteorology in 1961, [Edward] Lorenz created an early computer program to simulate weather. One day he changed one of a dozen numbers representing atmospheric conditions, from .506127 to .506. That tiny alteration utterly transformed his long-term forecast, a point Lorenz amplified in his 1972 paper, “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?”

Lorenz was the guy who started the whole field of study called chaos theory.

Wikipedia puts it this way:

The theory was summarized by Edward Lorenz as . . . Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future . . . meteorology, anthropology, sociology, environmental science, computer science, engineering, economics, ecology, pandemic crisis management.



I read somewhere years ago, in an article on chaos theory and its application to making sense of life, that things in life only seem chaotic because we cannot see the edges of what we are looking at, but there is order and structure embedded in what we think of as randomness.

And one reason I love K-dramas so much is how they balance order and chaos. In terms of being both satisfyingly sweet and ordinary and frighteningly destructive and unexpected, I salute the writers of Psychopath Diary, emphasized text, Devil Judge, Descendants of the Sun, and Blood.

This article that I just found suggests there are eight basic stories to tell.

Looking through them, it seems to me that what we have emerging from our collective “brain storm” is what Issa Bacsa would probably identify as a Romeo and Juliet story. The roles are, however, reversed. Or, depending on the circs, interchangeable.

Boy and girl meet each other, lose each other, find each other again.

How do they do that?

How do I love thee, hate thee, feel ambivalent toward thee? Don’t make me count the ways because there are so many freaking possibilities.

There specific tropes that let viewers know “THIS is a K-drama, baby!” But there are a lot of other tropes that are available to mark out our creation as OUR creation.

Mulberry wine? Just what the hotelier AND the sommelier and the maitre d’ and the gift shop manager ordered . . .



Think about this. Badger Productions and its many odd characters and happenings . . . is that not a story in itself?

Sort of like Modern Magazine Home in its family feeling and celebration of ordinary life." Sort of like Korea’s Harry Potter-ish Moorim School. Sort of like Back Street Rookie. Sort of like Yumi’s Cells.

The Badger Productions is essentially full-blown at this point. The completion is all in how the details sort themselves out.

Film school pals come together to do . . . commercials? Hire a consultant for some product who turns out to have a truly unusual imagination (in that whatever he/she says/does takes on three dimensions)?

Pals do good commercial work, get noticed, slowly evolve from a group of poor, cup noodle eating, always scrounging students into a stable, cup noodle eating, commercially viable production house . . . all the while having to hide, explain away, disguise the assorted creatures, characters who keep showing up . . . all the while bickering about budgets and who is in charge of what and how much can they realistically hope to impress potential big-name employers and potential big-name celebrities . . . all the while dealing with life–good, bad, ugly, supernatural, sad, weird–in a huge metropolitan environment.

Badger Productions gets the chance of a lifetime when a well-known, well-loved, well-remembered (and out of the limelight for years) celebrity crosses paths with BP staff and makes them realize they could make the leap from small-screen recognition to big screen recognition.

All they have to do is get a few ducks in a row.

  • Keep odd events from happening.

  • Beg and plead with everyone they have a connection with.

  • Keep their amazing and iconic building from being accidentally knocked down, mistaken for the home of a loan shark, mistaken for a fancy restaurant, mistaken for . . . whatever.

  • And how truly funny it would be to have the owner-operator of BP go out and discover that his beloved old car (that he has had ever since high school) has been mistakenly put into a dumpster by people renovating the building next door.

  • And maybe the thing that gets the faded celebrity mentally and emotionally back in the game is finding his/her lost first love after years, with BP staff aiding and abetting the romance (which threatens to fall apart every other minute).

  • And maybe in order to impress everyone they need help from (in order to make their first real film) they dress up in their own costumes, adopt disguises and accents, lie about knowing certain people in the industry, pretend to be certain people in the industry.

They slog through with a great amount of heart and an inordinate amount of slapstick comedy and get their movie made.

And the movie ENDS with a black screen fading into a classy, sepia-tinted, classy title shot that reads The Beginning.

We essentially have a rough draft, story board, costume list, etc., etc.

We essentially have, as I see it, two very viable stories going that could indeed be Viki Originals.

We are getting it done, and we already have it done.

If we keep following the learning curve, we will get there.

“Television may have an excuse for putting on all those unrealistic Medical Shows and unrealistic Police Shows and unrealistic Lawyer Shows and unrealistic Western shows. After all, Television writers don’t have any first-hand experience at being Doctors or Cops or Lawyers or Cowboys. But what’s the alibi when Television puts on an unrealistic Comedy about Television?”

MAD , “The Mary Tailor-Made Show”, December 1972 [Mary Tyler Moore Show]


One more take on the “how many stories are there” issue:


It is a much quoted maxim that there are only seven stories in fiction and that all others are based on them. Is it true, and what might these seven stories be?

IF IT IS true, do you think someone should introduce Barbara Cartland to the other six?

Jim McNeil, Sheffield, S. Yorks.

Alas, poor Yorks, I knew him well.

What IS it about those Brits and those members of America’s largest unincorporated northern territory that they will NOT stop getting all up in everybody’s literary grill?

Bossy, bossy people. Just because their head of state is a tiny, bossy lady in a shiny hat . . .


I think by this stage you’ll never get a 16 hour show to be trope free, something is bound to have been used before given the amount of dramas that have gone before. There’s probably even shows that have similar synopsis and they’re not even remakes of each other! The key word here being we just need to get it to be ‘original’ enough of a story in itself (with all its tropes) for an audience to give it their time of day.
It wouldn’t surprise me if we’re so conditioned to a point if there is a scene with ML on one side of the crossing, FL on the other side, their eyes meet, romantic background music, the green man sign lights up and they cross to meet trope, we subconsciously expect the white truck trope to occur!


WHAAAAT? Did you just squirrel the Badger Productions story? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
I don’t know if we’d get that serious version of Badger Productions, what with Badger Productions side story seemingly morphed into a free for all role playing story not dis-similar to a Monty Python-esque series of sketches! We’re now verging on having more animals in the titanium building than we have staff! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


Though tropes can be annoying sometimes, I think the reason people love or tolerate them is because many of them offer comfort in familiarity. When FL is crying or running in the rain, it’s satisfying to know that ML will appear any moment with his big yellow umbrella. When someone trips, I can’t wait to see who saves that person. Even anticipating the white truck is fun sometimes. When FL stands on any platform higher than ten inches, the suspense is already building, and my mind starts to chant “Fall, fall, fall.” :joy: I love my tropey tropes as long as they’re executed well and don’t become repetitive or annoying.

I agree. I can’t wait to watch the next episode of my weekend drama. It surprises me so much. Why am I so excited to watch a drama that feels like a Sound of Music remake with a very Korean-soap-y twist when it doesn’t even have the same production quality as an average k-drama?
I think the trick is to make the main characters as lovable as possible. I can forgive all sorts of stuff if there’s good character growth and relatable characters.


Ha! Ha! Haaa! Yup!:rofl: They’re following all those shipment of Marmite Bikki Stix :smile::joy::rofl:


Lovability is key. Maybe more like: I want to see you included in, not included out.

K-drama specific tropes are sometimes a crutch. “Ooh, here we are at a plot crossroads. Depending on a lot of factors, we can choose a number of possible tropes . . . which imply that an episode or episodes will develop in certain ways. And if we invoke one trope, there are clusters of related tropes that must follow.”

Yumi’s Cells is very funny with the scene about what to do when she faints at the bus stop. His algorithm tells him he has to leave the umbrella, but it’s there. It’s a tip of the hat to the umbrella trope, and the piggyback to the hospital trope is tweaked as well.

We need a trope flow chart. Here’s where we are, here’s where we want to be. How do we move ahead to the results we want?

Or . . . here’s where we want to be. How do we get there successfully from where we are?


More proof fans want to see The “Viki Original” you haven’t seen yet :wink:


Very good pointers.


we already attempted that in another place


Oh! Who else? Do share, and how far along did you all get in your collaboration? What kind of story did you all try to write?


re write the ending of dramas we hated, I didn’t get very far


Okay, whew! Maybe you can rustle up your gang to join Badgers Production? 'Cause what we are attempting is not rewriting the ending, but an actual original. :dizzy: :wink: