Monday, July 9, 2012

Meta References in Dramas

  I love meta references, and there are so many in asian dramas. They're like little easter eggs for me to treasure. The Hong Sisters are especially well-known for being self-referential, but there are many meta allusions out there, from actors discussing getting their own autograph to clips from related shows. There's even the more subtle and ubiquitous question "Are you writing/starring in/filming a drama?" Here is an open-ended list:

  • A Gentleman's Dignity: On the plane, Me Ah Ri and Colin watch a scene from Secret Garden in the first episode. Secret Garden and A Gentleman's Dignity are both written by Kim Eun Sook.
  • Twdrama Down With Love: Jerry Yan's character asks Yang Guo if she thinks he looks like the actor in Meteor Garden. He is the actor in Meteor Garden. Also, I love that she says that they look nothing alike.
  • The King 2 Hearts: In ep 1 Ha Ji Won's character is excited by the billboards all over Seoul. There is an ad for mise-en-scene hair products in which she appears with Jo In Sung (it doesn't show her part, though). This is followed by a billboard showing her Secret Garden costar Hyun Bin. She gets most excited over that one.
  • Flower Boy Ramyun Shop: Coach and Dong Joo try to figure out Chi Soo's intentions toward Eun Bi and imagine scenes from dramas. The second scene is a reference to Secret Garden, complete with sequined tracksuit. Then Dong Joo's phone goes off with the same message tone Ra Im has on Secret Garden. 
  • The Greatest Love: The sequined tracksuits again rear their crazy heads—Ae Jung's father and brother both wear them.
  • Gentleman's Dignity: Lee Jong Hyun's CNBlue bandmate Jung Yong Hwa shows up in episode 13.

  • Big: okay, this may not be meta, per se, but I still love it. Ma Ri goes to a shaman to get some talismans to fix Kyung Joon, and there is a total The Moon that Embraces the Sun vibe, complete with background music from the movie.

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