If you find a TV show, film, or anything else that you like, what makes you keep watching it? Do you watch it for the characters, the actors, the story line, the music, the visuals or what?
The obvious answer is everything, however what is the most important really?
To me it has to be the characters. When I think of the pieces of media I enjoy the most, it essentially boils down to an excellent character, in the perfect place for them, doing what they need to do, and just being really interesting.
I love Kaiji because he’s a flawed and horrible character. He’s a compulsive and addictive gambler unable to stop, yet his nature drives the plot forward due to this flaw. And his point of reference is so interesting, a guy controlled by gambling, yet knows so little about it, but has the ability to attempt to survive.
What about Guts? Who is a man trained just for fighting and knows nothing else, on a mission to find purpose. His flawed and antisocial personality is a driving factor for much of the conflict later on, so it’s massively interesting to witness the story from that perspective.
But heck, even in absurdists comedies it seems like it helps! Take Brian from Life of Brian. Though everyone around him is crazy, Brian is our one point of normality. He’s such an interesting character to me, genuinely. He’s meek, he’s bullied and controlled by his overly shouty mother, and he’s shy towards romance, but because of that we root for him, and care for him. And when he eventually takes his life into more of his own hands, it only makes the story more interesting and better.
But here’s another interesting query, what if a show had none of that? What is the minimum a show needs to be fascinating.
Though it wasn’t the intention of the film, I may just have a film with an answer. Kaili Blues.
What does Kaili blues lack. Well a main character, or characters in general, music, and story. But despite that it’s fascinating. How?
To put it quite clearly, setting, and by extension atmosphere.
The world that Kaili blues depicts is actually one of complete poverty. It was filmed in 2016 but intended to look very old in presentation – which it does perfectly.
The visuals and the areas depicted are just so fascinating to see that your wrapped up in them.
Though theirs technically a main character you never really focus on him, and simply follow him around, time is a mess, and theirs no real story outside of the idea that the character that we’re vaguely following is vaguely trying to find his son.
So ultimately what does a show need to keep you watching? Not a lot honestly, it doesn’t even have to tick all the boxes, just do enough well that you enjoy it!
Thanks for reading day 7 of the 30 days of Asian drama challenge! Today I answered ” Do you watch Asian dramas for their storyline, actors/actresses or both?” however not completely, part two will be up tomorrow on day 8! Look forward to it!
Now that we’re a week in, how do you think it’s going, you liking all the posts so far?