Heisui’s Thoughts: How I First Started Watching Dramas

Heisui's ThoughtsOther

There’s always that one question that people want to know: How did you get into dramas?  This question is usually paired with another related question: What was your first drama?  Many drama bloggers and fans can specifically and very vividly recall their very first drama.  Sadly, I can barely remember mine. X_X  Also, I don’t have any specific point in time where I suddenly got into dramas.


^From left to right: Kevin Cheng, Bosco Wong, Niki Chow

My first drama was a Hong Kong drama called Under the Canopy of Love, starring Niki Chow, Kevin Cheng, and Bosco Wong.  I got into it because my family was watching it.  At the time, I didn’t even know that I was watching a drama!  I had no clue that Asian TV shows could be called “dramas”–I simply regarded Under the Canopy of Love as a Hong Kong/Canto TV series.  o_o”  Yes, I was a total drama newbie!  Well, it’s been so long since I watched this that I can’t remember anything important about the story or even the characters.  And as I’m writing this, I realize that I even accidentally said that I had never seen Kevin Cheng before watching Bu Bu Jing Xing!  I totally forgot that I had already seen him in my first drama.  OOPS!  Unlike those who fondly look back on their first drama experience, my first drama is more like a vague blob in my memory.  Thankfully, I still remember the theme song from Under the Canopy of Love though.  😉

So, overall, my first drama ever was not a transforming experience by any means.  It was just a normal thing for me to watch a TV series with my family, just that this particular series happened to be from Hong Kong.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  Under the Canopy of Love did not get me addicted to dramas, nor did it spur me to watch lots of other HK dramas during that time in my life.


^Recognize any of these posters?

Later on I got into anime and manga. From then on, I also started to dabble in watching Asian dramas–mainly from Taiwan and Japan.  I’m not exactly sure how I found the magic portal to the world of dramas, but I’m pretty positive that I found it through anime.  Anime + drama worlds are connected, you know! 😛  After all, a lot of Asian dramas are live actions based on the original manga.  At this time I mainly watched Taiwanese and Japanese dramas such as the live actions It Started With a Kiss (ISWAK), Hana Kimi, Meteor Garden, and Hana Yori Dango.  And of course, I also watched non-live action dramas–mainly Japanese ones like 1 Liter of Tears.  Good memories!  After a while, I eventually transitioned to watching dramas more than anime.  But I have no idea why!  o_o”

So..that was my brief and unexciting story about how I got into watching Asian dramas.  My basic point is that anime was the catalyst for me to find dramas…and somehow I ended up getting more and more interested in dramas as time went by.  It was a gradual process, not a sudden obsession.

What was your first drama?  How did you first get introduced into the drama world?

Read more of Heisui’s Thoughts…

Heisui’s Thoughts is a series of posts where I muse about various drama and blogging-related topics.  You can find the whole list of Heisui’s Thoughts posts here.


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
Fuben na Benriya: Eps 6-9
The Pros & Cons of Empresses in the Palace (U.S. Version)
  • My first asian drama was Taiwanese Justice Bao 1993 with Kenny Ho as Zhan Zhao. My first tvb drama was A Good Match from Heaven starring Jessica Hsuan and Derek Kwan. I grew up watching lots of Wuxia Series from the 90s.

  • My first drama was Tokyo Love Story, with Rika and Kanji It aired on tv and I remember I tried to always go home in time so that I didn’t miss each episode. But wait, if The Return of Condor Heroes is considered as drama also, historical drama, then the one starring Andy Lau was my very very very first drama 🙂 I watched it together with my family when I was still in elementary school. We rented the videos every week. 🙂

    There was time I watched many historical dramas when I was small, and then stop. When Japanese and taiwainese dramas booming on tv, such as Tokyo Love Story, Ordinary love, Judge Bao, I watched dramas again. And then went to hiatus again, not watching dramas due to RL.

    And Meteor Garden makes me watch dramas again 🙂 and till now… 😉 But sadly, the more I watch dramas, the pickier I become. Now it is difficult to find a drama that I really like.

    So I guess that’s it 🙂 Yep, I am still watching dramas, though not as addicted as before, still reading mangas. But for anime, I wonder why I am not really into it. Should I start watching anime???…hmm…

    • Yeah ROCH can be classified as a drama. 😉 My first drama was also from a rented video, hehe. I too am regularly reading manga. But I only watch a couple anime from time to time.

  • Ahaha, yeahh, I have a really cloudy memory too! I first started watching dramas because my parents were watching TVB dramas. Then I slowly got myself into Taiwanese and Korean dramas. I think my first Taiwanese drama was Romantic Princess, I think. My first Korean drama was You’re Beautiful. 😛

  • I grew up watching HK dramas in Malaysia but after I moved to Canada that pastime came to a halt until I was introduced to Kdramas in 2010. My first foray into kdramas was God of Study and I quite enjoyed it. Next came Heartstrings and Secret Garden and let’s say the rest is history. I am hooked and has been since. 🙂

    • Cool! I’m not exactly sure which kdrama was my first one. I think Autumn in My Heart was the first one that I tried watching, but I never finished it. I have no idea what kdrama was my second one. o_o

  • I’m a complete newcomer to all kinds of dramas – so my first watched drama was Princess Hours/Goong with my daughters. However, my favorite shows are the early 2000s ones – mostly Taiwanese like Honey & Clover, Mars, Bullfighting, etc. – but also Kdramas like Delightful Girl, Choon Hyang and 1% of Anything. If a show is a modern day story, I like families that get along and that’s not a current trend. I’m getting a ton of suggestions from this post, though!

  • like I said on Twitter, mine was METEOR GARDEN. that’s not counting the dramas that I watched at home with family because I considered that as part of bonding time lol

    but MG was different. it opened a whole new world for me. I remember turning my nose up on it though the first time, looking at how they looked (low-budget styling). but I ate my words big time once I watched it. and I haven’t looked back since lol

  • I cannot possibly remember my first drama because I’ve been watching TVB/Hong Kong as long as I can remember. I do remember that my first Korean drama was Full House but I don’t remember my first Japanese drama. My first Mainland China drama was Journey to the West.

    • Hmm I can’t remember my first jdrama either. o_O Nor can I remember my first mainland Chinese drama. It’s kinda funny how I can remember my first HK drama even though I don’t often watch HK dramas..

  • I’m from a different generation altogether…My first drama was from HKG called Man in the Net. You’all prolly too young to even know this. It propelled Carol Cheng and Chow Yun Fatt to instant stardom!

  • The first drama that i watched and love probably Journey To The west although I don’t remember much about it.But the drama that got me hooked to dramaland is “It started with a kiss”!! Watched it on tv and ended up marathon all the episodes on the internet.Then,i start searching for another drama and the rest is history…

  • My first drama was probably Return of the Princess Pearl and I remember thinking that the costumes and plot were so interesting. Then when I watched the kdrama Beautiful Days, with my mom I really got into dramas. But my all time favs are Meteor Garden, Full House, Mars, My Girl, Return of the Condor Heroes (2006), BBJX, and definitely Legend of Zhen Huan. After watching so many dramas all this time, I do share the same sentiments as unicorn1607 about being picky about the dramas I watch now. Legend of Zhen Huan was the first one in awhile that really captured my attention.

  • Try to beat this in weirdness, my v ‘first’ drama is The Book and The Sword, TVB, wuxia, Louis Cha. I was the bun in the oven inside my Dearest(biggestfangirlofhertimes)Mama’s womb and her fav past time was droolzing at Adam Cheng while gorging on strange food cravings.

    My Mom did not tell me that tidbit till much later, but i must have some subliminal memory, she would play this and I would shut up and behave, in my diapers, she said. It advanced into any TVB wuxia in the 80s, able to sing all the ballads, even the duets, before I know half the characters in lyrics. *I still can sing ANY TVB wuxia songs* That and like you, there was lots of nostalgic nurturing watching whatever family is watching without the cognitive processing I was watching a drama, like OShin (an 80s asadora) with my Granny daily after school not picking up much other than Granny moved to tears often, and OShin mopping the floor the towel J crawling way… which turns into a habit I function the best STILL when some drama is humming in the background. This goes on and on into summer break tagging along my folks till highschool, visiting friends, family overseas and LoCH with BarbaraYung would constantly be playing everywhere we hopped which actually got terribly annoying when you were a rebellious teenager. Serendipity ruled, I was very homesick, debilitatingly, unable to sleep, zombie-ing first month in college, Deer of Mt Duke with TonyLeung and AndyLau was on one little cable channel at 1am when I can have the entire social room myself, and the theme song by Leslie Leung…there can’t be a better Godsent that very moment I still rem fondly, rekindling my love for old time TVB wuxias.

    I do watch BBC, US shows since forever. Loved many still. My very first very trashy guilty pleasure was Till We Meet Again because I can’t rem my first one, tried as I might. Which might have planted the seed of how I can still sit through some very craptastic Kdrama incestuous makjang if done delish. My first Kdrama addiction was Kim Sam Soon, per rec of my bff, trying it out just to prove her wrong because I hated everything hallyu popular then. Yes, I will still debate like the rambling idiot I am how that is still the best fluffy romcom out of Korea now and forever.

    I skipped most TVB/C/TW dramas in the early 2000s till War of Beauty, was my full blown Jdorama stage, very manageable length and what hit my fancy. Tokyo Love Story was my first ever ren-ai dorama addiction (buy the manga afterwards, rereading while rewatching), then Long Vacation. When that stopped giving me as much the guilty pleasure fix, I ventured into TW idoldrama, that was lots of snarky hate-watch, harmless fun. Skimmed UnderCanopyofLove much later checking out the newer pretty TVB face ie Bosco then but royally bored unless I YY slashing KC and Bosco. My first Cdrama in entirety was 大宅门 Grand Mansion Gate and Yong Jing Wang Chao, first crazylove. Cdrama was offering quality stuff everywhere I look (ie whatever my folks watched and loved and passing down D9s to me) around early 2000s. I could still be the lone loon whom have not sit through one entire ep of Princess Pearl, which I am thankful, actually XD

    Funny what lasted as a constant , one thing I am most lenient is Jdorama.

    • LOLOLOL you’ve outdone us all Mookie! I doubt anyone else can say that they’ve “watched” dramas since they were in the womb. And now this makes me wonder, if I have kids will I pass down dramas to them? Will I make them watch anime? 😛 Jk. And wow, your memory is super good. When I try to think of all the dramas I’ve watched it’s hard for me to remember them all. O_O I also watch US shows & some BBC shows. But I’m not as up to date with the latest US/BBC shows.

    • Princess Pearl is alright but I think it’s overrated and overhyped. Oh you mentioning about Book and the Sword gave me lots of memories. Yeah early 2000s is when TVB Wuxia Series is starting to go down.

  • Omg Under the Canopy of Love… those were the days when I was a KN shipper. (Not crazy shipper, but I loved them as a couple). I don’t remember my first drama either, I suspect though it was something featuring Leon Lai (*shhh he was my 1st crush from the 90s). But I got into TW dramas much later with Silence… 🙂

      • I think the first completed one was Survivors Law, it starred 4 newbies and even though I didn’t think I’ll like it, it actually turned out really good and the start of a long obsession LOL.

  • Hi Heisui….How are you?

    Reading your post really brings so many childhood memories…
    To think about it, my first drama was “White Snake Legend” where 80 percents of the dialogue were singing instead of talking.. I loved that series so much…
    But, the first series that made me fall in love with the whole “drama thing was:
    1. Chinese: Huan Zhu Ge Ge.. (I don’t know how many times I have watched and re watch this..)
    2. Korean: Endless Love
    3. Japanese: Kamisama

    Again, great post Heisui!!!

  • wah, thank you for posting this.

    thinking about it, my very first drama should be Oshin (Japanese). i watched white snake legend from mainland. from korea, i watched a drama with Cha In Pyo and Lee Yoon Ae as the main actors, it was called Fireworks. then i started watching Endless love, hotelier etc. while japanese, after oshin, i watched Kimutaku’s dramas. time flies so fast..

    oh, anyone remember a drama played by Louis Koo? At the Threshold of an Era?
    i watched it when i was in elementary school.. i forgot how old i was at that time 😀

  • My first Asian drama was the Korean drama “The Birth of the Rich”, at least I’m about 90% sure it was. Today, when I know more about Korean dramas, that is a bit funny because it’s a rarely talked about drama. I know I actually downloaded “My Girl” first, but that became my third drama to watch. My start of drama watching was a natural curiosity because I had watched Korean and some Japanese movies for some time and the next step was TV-dramas. My first Japanese drama was, I think, “Attention Please”. After that I also tried my first TW-drama “Devil Beside You”.

    Today I watch much more dramas than movies. I can regret that sometimes and wish I had more time for movies also, but when you constantly have drama that you are watching it’s so much easier to just watch the next episode of the drama you are currently watching instead.

    • I watch more Asian dramas than I do Asian films. Subbed dramas are generally easier to find than subbed films. I also watched Devil Beside You way back when it was one of the hottest tw-dramas. Looking back it feels like it was forever ago; the leads Rainie Yang & Mike He have come such a long way since then!

      • Yeah Raine Yang is fun to watch. I watched it some years after it was broadcasted. Problem with TW:s dramas that it’s not many that are good quality, they easily get a bit too silly 😛

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