Giving The Romance Genre a Shot…

Over the past few months we’ve been inundated with terrible news on TV, radio, the internet, etc. Yet, I can’t seem to stop watching or scrolling through my social media feeds. I realize I am in desperate need of a break!

So with the world in utter turmoil, I’ve decided to turn my sights towards something lighter and more hopeful… romance! Anyone who knows me knows that I generally don’t do the romance genre. I prefer historical fiction, thrillers, or literary fiction. But lately, I’ve found those genres to be too heavy. And it’s too much for me right now. I need something different. Starting with…

Emma. This is the new movie based on the Jane Austen novel.

I know that many other versions of Emma have come out and I’ve never been interested in them. But for some reason, this one looked really good. I also remembered that I have a copy of the book on my bookshelf, just sitting there and collecting dust, never having been read. So I dove in, starting with Chapter 1.

The first thing that I realized is that Emma is a pompous snob who needs to stay out of other people’s business! Thank goodness there’s Mr. Knightley there to call her out on her shit. I’m only about 100 pages into this book but I already know how this is going to turn out. And maybe that’s why I’m so into this story. I know it’s going to have a happy ending and hopefully will remain comedic throughout.

 It’s not just books that are helping me to escape the madness of the world. I’ve also found a Korean rom-com on Netflix that I’ve completely fallen in love with! It’s called Crash Landing on You. It’s about a very rich South Korean woman (Yoon Se-ri) who accidentally lands in North Korea after a paragliding accident (hey, no one said this story had to be realistic).

There, she meets a handsome Captain in the North Korean Special Police Force (Ri Jeong-hyeok) who tries to help her escape. Crash Landing on You is now the third-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history. I’m about half-way through the series and I completely understand the popularity. I like how it shows North Korea (though I’m not sure how accurately) and roughly what it’s like for people to live there. For example, there is a house inspector that will come into people’s homes without warning to check to make sure there is nothing illegal in the house (like a rice cooker). There’s another scene where all of the people in the community must go outside at a designated time to do government mandated group exercises that are led by a voice on the loudspeaker. Conversations are monitored and the people are micromanaged on how they live their lives. I read an article that said North Korean defectors helped to provide guidance to the writers of the show to get the scenes right.

Despite the harsh setting, the show is still upbeat and surprisingly funny. The focus is mostly on two star crossed lovers who meet against all odds. It’s sappy at times, but hey… sappy is what I’m looking for (don’t judge)! 

For now, those two romance stories are what I’m distracting myself with to get my mind off of pesky things like Covid19. So far it’s working!

What romance books/shows/movies would you recommend?

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