[Staff Spotlight] Get to know Laica

Explain your username (and/or avatar).

This is super nerdy, but I created the handle years ago, in my heyday as a Lord of the Rings fangirl. I ended up using one of those name generators that give you a moniker for every race from hobbit to maia. I cringe to admit this, but Laica is a shortened version of my elf name. Over time it’s simply become my alternate online identity. I couldn’t find an image I felt represented me, so I drew the avatar myself—I’m a cat person, and I’ve loved writing since childhood.

What is the first drama that you watched (or the first drama that made an impression)?

Coffee Prince. I started out with Japanese dramas—I stumbled across them when looking for an anime adaptation of the original Boys Over Flowers manga, because my older brother had hooked me on anime in high school. I would watch my dramas on mysoju back then, and Coffee Prince was rated number one for months. I eventually ran out of j-dramas to marathon and gave in to my curiosity. That was 2008, and I’ve never looked back. So I have my Oppa to thank (or blame) for my addiction.

Have you ever lived a moment that you thought belonged in a drama?

I’ve struggled with serious illness for many years, and though things are much better now, I had some close calls. When I was twenty, I was living overseas when I became so ill that my family thought they might lose me. I had to be medically evacuated back to the U.S. on oxygen. We passed through London Heathrow on the way, and a ticketing agent asked my mom, who was pushing me in a wheelchair, “Is that your mother?” (Yup, I’m hoping for a rom-com scenario next time, too.)

What’s your favorite drama that you’ve recapped?

It’s not objectively the best, but Mystery Queen was my favorite of the four I’ve recapped so far. I loved the show’s sense of humor and the way it balanced light and dark moments, and the entire cast’s chemistry was off the charts. I’d look forward to spending my time with Seol-ok and Wan-seung every week, and I couldn’t get enough of them together. I’m crossing my fingers for a second season! 1% of Anything was a close second, for all the squeeing it induced.

What drama genres do you especially like?

I’ve always been a rom-com girl at heart, maybe because I grew up on classic romantic comedies like You’ve Got Mail and Overboard. Hollywood doesn’t make those much anymore, but now I like dramas better. With movies we get a big, romantic declaration, but dramas can give us the small moments in the evolution of a relationship, and I love that. This is why I like family dramas, too, because the character dynamics are usually my favorite part of any show. I also enjoy slice of life, mystery, or sci-fi dramas, though I’m pickier about those.

What drama genres do you especially dislike?

Medical dramas. I find them nearly unwatchable, probably because I’ve spent endless hours in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Is there a drama character you’ve ever strongly identified with, and why?

Beo-jin from Tamra the Island. I totally empathized with her struggle against suffocating circumstances, her constant daydreaming, and her irrepressible desire to explore the world. Even though she could be immature at times, she had a big heart and lots of love to give, and I’m equally squishy inside, to the point that it sometimes backfires on me. I’ve had my own challenges in life, but I’d like to think that I’m as brave in the pursuit of my dreams as she was.

What drama character would you want to be?

Kim Hye-soo in Signal. She’s simultaneously a badass with deadly aim and a soft-hearted romantic pining for her first love (though she’d probably punch you in the face if you mentioned it to her). I love how smart and capable she is, and how fiercely she protects the people she loves.

What was your major in school?

I double majored in English and Diaspora and Transnational Studies. I’ve always had a book in my hand from childhood until I discovered dramas in university. I’ve also been a nomad my whole life, so I’m fascinated with the idea of home, and of multiple and intersecting belongings.

What’s a random skill you have?

I crochet. I made a blanket for both my niece and nephew when each was born, and I made a queen-sized one for my sister a few years ago.

Favorite non-Korean movie and/or TV show?

As if you hadn’t guessed, The Lord of the Rings trilogy—and yes, that counts as one movie. I can watch it when I’m feeling blue and in need of some courage and hope, or when I’m simply in the mood for some epic swordfights and bromance. My favorite TV show is Firefly, and I will never stop hoping for Season 2. I’m also a big fan of Community and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. *clang clang*

Which Hallyu celebrity would you actually want to meet and spend an hour with?

Jessi. I’ve always liked her in interviews, but I fell in love with her in Season 1 of Unnis’ Slam Dunk. She’s hilariously honest, and I love that she’s not shy about admitting her fears and mistakes. I feel like she’s a marshmallow despite her “tough” rap persona, and she just seems so fun (and funny) to hang out with.

Which of the 7 deadly sins would be your undoing? (Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, or sloth.)

Gluttony, because I love to eat, and I love to cook to feed myself and others. K-dramas have only made my weakness for food greater, because the characters are. Always. Eating. Speaking of which, let me just put some water on for ramyun…

Your favorite drama has an unholy alliance with your most hated drama and produces a mutant baby drama. Describe the plot.

A failed baduk genius gets a temp position at a large corporation, but he crosses the spoiled daughter of the CEO on his first day, and she makes his work life hell. He diligently plugs away and eventually earns the loyalty and respect of his team, particularly his manager. The girl’s just smart enough to be impressed with his persistence, and she starts to fall for him. When CEO Mom finds out that her daughter is crushing on a lowly temp, she fires his whole team, who start their own business. The girl leaves her old life and joins them, vowing to win him over with her sincerity.


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