I am a relatively new Netflixer. Because I’m a dinosaur and still pay for cable I only thought of subscribing to Netflix back in September. Well, whew! It was like opening Pandora’s box. And not because I’m an avid movie or TV watcher but because of all the incredible foreign content on there. I’ve always been an international movie watcher. Grew up looking at Hindi movies even though I didn’t speak a word of it. In the Caribbean, Hindi movies are a thing. It’s our only connect to our East Indian ancestry to be honest. Because apart from Hindi movies, I didn’t learn about the many different cultures and languages of the beautiful country until my twenties. But by then I was able to sing an entire song in a language I did not fully understand.
Why am I telling you this? Because Netflix has all these different movies and series in different languages and it sucks you in to be honest. When I first subscribed, I started looking at a Spanish series called El Barco. These episodes were like one hour long but they weren’t boring. They were very captivating and I kept wanting to know more and more so I lost a lot of sleep until I finished that series. Then came the Turkish dramas and OH EM GEE! These really rope you in. My house is disgusting when I start a Turkish series because it consumes my life. I go into the bathroom with my phone, I stand the iPad on the shelf above the sink when I’m doing dishes. Like, I dream about these characters like I’ve lived with them. I’m so invested in the show that it’s just on my mind all of the time. Recently, I’ve looked at a Korean movie and I’ve added some to look, and I’ve noticed that a lot of other countries base their movies on Korean movies. Which means that Korean movies might be some interesting stuff.
But let me tell you what I think really hooks me. Apart from me just loving other cultures and languages and yearning to learn more about them, I think it’s the brilliant writing behind these movies and series. It is just plot after plot. Fast paced, in depth. It is just mind blowing to me. And it’s a huge inspiration for me as a writer who likes to write fast paced, mind boggling stories. Honestly, if you as a writer have the patience to look at international movies, I suggest you do. Examine the people, their motives and everything that goes on. It’s like a writing prompt almost. I think it also explores villains in such a way that they can be hated and then redeemable. There’s also elements of just plain evil and the writing is done so well. Even the smallest character has an important part. These shows reveal character development so well. Like they aren’t just going in circles episode after episode, season after season. The characters really do change, develop, come into their own etc. I just really enjoy it. And if I could learn to write stories like these, I would be ecstatic! I cannot stress how well the storytelling is. And they’re mostly tear jerkers. I am a very hard person to cry over movies. I think the only movie I cried for was Titanic and I was ten at the time. I cried because I felt bad for the actual people who died on the ship. As a ten year old learning that reality, it was a bit much. I think most people cried seeing that. But these international dramas have me so emotional. For days, I walk around like a shell of myself just feeling all kinds of sad or happy.
It’s the writing, I tell you. It can’t be anything else. Of course, actors do have chemistries with the parts they play and they play it so well but writers are so under credited in movies and shows. They’re the real backbone of this thing and they have my respect. I will drop another post giving you some suggestions of what I’ve looked at so far.
Have a great Easter weekend! My Spring Break started with laundry and I still have to get a few things for my kids’ baskets. I’m just happy that I don’t have to set an alarm for the next week or so.