Why do they do so many flashback? grrr!

i wonder how many episodes they could cut down to if they just got rid of all the damn flashbacks. my only pet peeve is these shows run 45 to 60 min long with at least 15 minutes of people standing around while they replay old footage (flashbacks). add it up over 40 episodes you get 10 to 14 episodes of flashbacks. t drives me nuts when they get a plot moving then stop to replay previous clips it takes me out of the story. i get so upset when i see them i just get up and go get something to drink till the “flashback” is over. i hate it more when they redo the same flashback over and over.do they think that we cant remember what just happened the previous episode so they have to waste time replaying it the very next episode?


Hello, fellow ONCE here. :v: Well, flashbacks are an inescapable part of Kdrama. The really annoying ones are those that show a flashback of something that happened like literally 5 seconds ago. Other flashbacks, like those in Because This Is My First Life, are integral to the story, revealing unseen scenes of why certain situations came to be. Actually, Because This Is My First Life is extremely progressive in how it handles its characters and story. Sure, it has the marriage contract plot, but it’s so much more than that. Really, go and watch it if you haven’t already. It’s absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!



yes i have seen Because This Is My First Life and enjoy anything with JUNG SO MIN it started with playful kiss. i understand flashback to expain stories is needed but the ones that really get me is when the character stands there and they just replay a clip of a previous scene as if they are remembering something. they do it way to often and for way too long. you can get rid of at least 2 to 3 episodes of air time just but cutting out these stupid “reminicing” scenes. its like the director needed to fil some air time so they just reuse old footage as a montage.


Flashbacks have two uses:
one, to remind memorable scenes to TV users who might have forgotten a scene by the time it has to be remembered. After all, their situation is different than ours, who watch all episodes and sometimes binge-watch a 16-episode drama in three days or one week. Or maybe they had to skip an episode. It can easily happen that one is away from home when an episode is airing. You can’t forsake all social life, for instance if friends invite you out, because you have to stay at home and not miss an episode of your drama.
Two, they are used to show us what the character is thinking/remembering, something which affects his or her decisions.
So they are very useful, when used in moderation. The problem arises when they overdo it, as you say, and especially when the remembered thing was minutes before. They could still show what the character is remembering by replaying just the crucial sentence, not the whole scene!

There was an instance when everybody was complaining, in W, of the lengthy recaps with narration. But then I read in the comments (timed and underneath) all the people saying “I am lost”, “I don’t understand what’s going on”, “Who is this guy and why does he do that?”. When it was perfectly obvious for me and I didn’t get lost for a second. Probably these people didn’t watch carefully or skipped a crucial scene for some reason.
Some people watch dramas while doing other things, maybe going out of the room for a bit, or while doing chores like ironing etc. I sometimes watch dramas while crocheting to keep my hands busy - but I choose easy projects where I don’t have to look much on the work.
While this works well with many dramas, there are some dramas which require your full attention if you want to understand what’s going on, and if you want to avoid asking stupid questions. “W” was one of them. “Hwayugi” was another one.
For these people who don’t pay attention, recaps and flashbacks are a lifesaver. It’s a bit unfair, though, for all the rest of us, who were faithfully watching all the time and don’t need them.

I have spotted a third use of flashbacks in k-drama. As most dramas are shot live on the week of release, when it’s a holiday and the actors need some time to enjoy rest and celebrate with their families, there is a filler episode with lots of flashbacks. This is understandable, they need their rest, but… Then, why didn’t they start the shooting a couple of weeks earlier, to be more episodes ahead of release. After all holidays are in set dates, they don’t happen as a surprise, everyone knows they will be there. Plan ahead, people! In my opinion, they should pre-produce at least half of the drama before starting.

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Yeah I agree with @irmar. If I watch a drama with Timed Comments on, I often see these questions about what’s going on, that people are confused, etc. And I’m like: are you kidding? It just happened!

I think directors know that some people have a short attention span, so they replay those scenes for that target demo. They also don’t want bad ratings, because ‘people were confused.’

Unfortunately, the people who pay close attention to dramas have to suffer :sweat:

I have no problem with flashbacks that actually serve a purpose :slight_smile:

Oh! And there is something else that I’ve noticed - people seem to be confusing transitions (for example from the future to the past) with flashbacks. They aren’t the same thing (for example in Iljimae they transition from the future to the past and at the end back to the future - people were very confused, complaining about the long flashback).

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there are some well made points here. i would like to point out something i forgot in my last post. that is when a character is having a “flashback” memories montage and one of the clips involved is one where the character was either passed out drunk (which happens alot in kdramas,alchoholics much? lol) or asleep and my first response is"how could they remember something when they weren’t even awake"? maybe i am spoiled due to the fact that american tv is obsessed with continuity but that seems like a major screwup by someone. and it has happened on more than one show.maybe i just watch too many dramas and notice the little things too much.

They did that with Descendants of the Sun. Biggest hit of '06.

Daily, nightly, pre-produced, over-produced, no-enough-produced, romance, comedy, tragedy, in the rain, in a building, in Winter, in Summer … There are so many types of dramas covering so many topics that it’s difficult to complain in terms of variety. Take your pick.

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Maybe his subconscious took it all in? His Higher Self or Soul? Or he just remembered passing out and nothing else, but the flashback was for us, LOL!

I have that not only with the flashbacks when they pass out, but also when they magically hear conversations from distances far away… One of the many joys of K-drama land XD

I want to see a flashback from the character’s point of view for once. You know how usually flashbacks come up when a character is recalling an event? Well, most of the time that character is in their own flashback. They’re recalling their own facial expressions. If they’re going to use them that often, they should shoot it from his/her perspective. AND sometimes it’s a flashback to something the character wasn’t even present for. I wish I could think of an example…

@irmar I just started Hwayugi and have been paying attention, but I’m still really confused. I’m actually here right now because I wanted to see if there was a thread explaining the show. :sweat_smile:


Then mysteriously and conveniently can’t hear a crucial conversation happening very close to them. :joy:


Then make one, and I’ll explain the best I can. I was Italian mod there, and I did two edits, so I think I have watched each scene three times?

Yes! I think I saw that once (I don’t know if it what program I was watching, but I thought it was fascinating) and I loved it. I wish they would do it more often, but I also get that it means more filming, crew needs to work longer (they already work crazy times) and the editing would take longer as well.

Hahah Ikr? That always seems stupid to me. If you can hear stuff from far away, then they should hear stuff from closeby. Like some situations I understand - if the doors were closed and the walls are thick, then it’s still hard to hear a conversation, even if you stand close. But if there are no obstacles…

I think another point to mention is the time gap between episodes. When i first watched W the show was airing and i don’t remember people complaining as much about the flashbacks. But the second time i watched it was a whole different story. Because there wasn’t a week gap between each episode I really seems like I’m watching the same thing over and over again.

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Good point. These showed weren’t meant to be binge-watched. Shows made for binge-watching don’t have as many flashbacks. So, viewers must understand that if you haven’t seen the show for a week or two (in case of a holiday), it helps viewers remember everything. After all, K-dramas are made for tv :slight_smile:

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true but the same thing is done (even more some may argue) for the chinese dramas that air every day. and a lot of the flashbacks are of scenes within the same episode and done repeatedly (which is mostly my complaint). to me that’s just lazy directing trying to extend the episode time . they just have the actor stand there as if they are caught in thought and then go to flashback over and over and over.

From the Chinese drams i.e. watched i don’t remember that being a huge issue for me but, I can see how that can drag the plot out. Like I said with W, if I had first watched that show after it had finished airing I probably wouldn’t have loved it as much because of the excessive flashbacks.

We were! Very vocally, too! Not the flashbacks so much, but the lengthy recaps at the beginning of each episode. If I remember correctly, sometimes they could be of more than 5-8 minutes.
But there was a reason. Many people were complaining of not understanding what was going on. So these recaps, narrated by one of the leads, explained what went on for people who watched on TV and couldn’t rewind parts which were unclear, or were watching while doing other things like ironing, or even leaving the room for a bit. This was a show where you had to give your full attention to understand everything, not a show you watch while crocheting or ironing or talking on the phone with your friend.