[Staff Spotlight] Get to know festerfaster
Explain your username (and/or avatar if you wish).
My name here is an homage to Uncle Fester of The Addams Family, whom I stubbornly called Uncle “Faster” throughout my childhood. He really understood pre-teen angst. My avatar is of Agent Carter, the most badass spy in fiction. I will never stop mourning the end of her TV show. Hayley Atwell as Peggy was life!
What is the first drama that you watched (or the first drama that made an impression)?
You’re Beautiful was my introduction to Korean dramas, and nothing ever caught my heart the same way again. Hwang Tae-kyung became the emotional, mercurial, steadfast, stubborn male lead that I secretly compare all my fictional heroes to. Go Mi-nam brought me the satisfying realization that a drama heroine can unapologetically defend her self-worth to the man she loves, without the writers undoing her defiance in the final act. Together, they pulled me into a world of storytelling where characters are deeper and the narrative more nuanced than I had ever been exposed to before.
Name a job or two that you’ve had in the past.
I once played girlfriday to the beloved Indian lyricist/director Gulzar. He was a legend, and I had grown up loving his movies. He was visiting my city for a festival, and the organizer needed someone to ferry him around and keep things smooth for two days. There was a lot of running around and door-holding involved. I was a recently graduated, overly opinionated kid, and that gig changed something in the way I viewed life. I watched this gentleman, whose name inspired awe, deal with fans, reporters, and self important businessmen with unwavering calm and humor. And I received an unforgettable lesson in grace and dignity.
Have you ever lived a moment that you thought belonged in a drama?
My dad and I got caught in a landslide on our way back from a trek in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Our train back home was to leave from a station 300 miles from our basecamp. We realized that we would miss it if we waited for the road to get cleared, so he and I ditched the hired car and trekked down the mountain through rain and knee-deep sludge over two days without food. By the time we got to a town that had clear roads ahead, both of us were running on fumes. We hired a farmer to drive us down the last leg of the trip, terribly aware that we were about to lose the train anyway. The drama-worthy moment happened when, after all the troubles we went through, we arrived at the station with moments to spare. We ran inside to find that our platform was the very first one, and that our train was already standing on it, and the door to our coach was standing open in front of us. There may have been angels singing in the background, but I was too shocked to notice. Neither of us moved much on the journey home, and there were a few fractured ankles and toes between us, but it was all worth it.
What’s your favorite drama you recapped?
The Liar and His Lover. While objectively the best drama I’ve recapped till now has to be Police Unit 38, covering Liar was an experience augmented by the love and engagement of a core community of Beanies, whose weekly insights turned a sweet youth drama into an unforgettable phenomenon.
What drama genres do you especially like?
Romantic comedies, fusion sageuks, time traveling, high school, medical, mysteries, and everything to do with science fiction and fantasy.
What drama genres do you especially dislike?
Melo. I can’t stand weeks of unrelieved pathos, no matter how satisfying the conclusion.
Is there a drama character you’ve ever strongly identified with, and why?
The one character I’ve felt strong kinship with despite being her polar opposite in real life is Choi Hee-jin from Queen In-hyun’s Man. There was just something about the way she underestimated herself, despite being resourceful and clever. She was smart, self-aware, and unselfconscious in her love for Kim Boong-do. She’s still stuck in my heart after all these years.
What’s a random skill you have?
Coaxing street dogs into letting me treat their injuries. There was a time when I was terrified of dogs. Then, I lost my mind and brought home a puppy. Caring for him made it impossible to overlook the roamers who lived on the streets of my city, and so, I bought some books and taught myself the basics of veterinary first aid. There’s something of a learning curve, but I’m fairly competent with needles and tourniquets now.
Favorite non-Korean movie and/or TV show?
Marvel’s Agent Carter (U.S.), Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai (India), and Bromance (Taiwan).
Which Hallyu celebrity would you actually want to meet and spend an hour with?
None. I believe firmly in never giving people I admire the chance to disappoint me in person.
Which of the 7 deadly sins would be your undoing? (Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, or sloth.)
Gluttony. I can fight sloth, but the spiraling, sucking vortex of gluttony is the kind of evil that defeats you by making you feel good. Who knew K-drama marathons would become the battleground where I lost my soul for good?
Your favorite drama has an unholy alliance with your most hated drama and produces a mutant baby drama. Describe the plot.
A prince marries the wrong sister, then finds her dead in a pond one day. He travels to the future to solve the mystery of her death, but decides to open a coffee shop instead. He hires a boy, who is really a girl, to help run the shop, and then spends all his time pining after his cousin’s girlfriend. Thankfully, his cousin wanted to kill him anyway. Assassination attempts ensue, and the girl saves the prince’s butt. Both fall in love, but the prince thinks the girl is a boy, so much struggling with self-identity and societal concepts of manhood happens. Then, just as he decides to love her even if she’s an alien, he gets sucked back in time and remembers that he still has a murder to solve. Meanwhile, the girl meets Gong Yoo in the future timeline and decides that he’s far hotter than the prince anyway.