Monday, June 22, 2015

Of Filters, Genres, and Networks

Blogging all this time has brought some things to my attention, like the use of filters in dramas.  Sometimes these filters are used to make the drama work better, but honestly sometimes that filter is there for no reason.  I've also noticed that some genres lead to certain types of filters, and also some networks favor and abuse filters as well.

Filters can make the drama's atmosphere more intense, romantic, or funny.  They can make the images and people more beautiful, or they can make everyone look weirdly gray/porcelain, which tends to look weird or yucky (especially those with red or orange hair).  Extreme filters like that usually only do a few people in the show a favor.  People like Lee Soo Hyuk, who would probably look good with any filter because he already looks like a porcelain vampire.  But let's look closer at these different categories of filters.

As I said, there were many different ways to categorize the use of filters.  Let's look at genres first.


Melodramas tend to have a more muted filter used.  Colors will be deep and rich.  Everything is usually dark, intense, and muted.

There can also be a more gray look to them too, which makes the skin tones whiter and prettier.


This is similar to the melodrama, in that it's usually a darker filter with deeper colors.

Romantic Comedy

Usually romcoms go with lighter filters and brighter colors.  This is to focus on the cheerful comedy.


The fantasy dramas usually have a very gray filter that makes everyone (especially the vampire/gumiho/superpower dude) look pale and gray.  This filter usually does no one favors, unless it's the person who was born to play a supernatural pale faced creature.  Usually we'd prefer people to actually look healthy.


Action and crime dramas usually have a dark, shadowed filter that makes everything more mysterious, intense, and extreme.


This historical filters are designed to make the colors more vibrant and yet give the antiqued feel.


These have a more typical TV type filter.  Straight forward.


Or maybe this is just no filter, because you can always tell a variety show at a glance because they all have the same quality of filter.

Special filter choices

There are also filter choices that can be used within any of these genres at the director's, or whatever, descretion.  A prime example of this is  I Heard It Through the Grapevine.  The lighting and filters were darker than normal, even for a melodrama, to give the right feel to this battle of the classes/generations/rumors melodrama.

So while those are the typical uses of filters, there are also just random filters that are used for no reason I can think of.  I sorted them by network and it was a little bit telling.


Usually has the slightly more edgy and artsy shows that require special types of filters anyways.  The wide range of filters is or should be normal.  It looks more genre based than anything else.

Except this one.  Why the heck did they use this filter which makes Cheondong look nasty with that hair color?


Generally SBS seems to do the idol dramas and general popular type shows.  There are also a range of filters, some that I do and don't agree with.


Another wide range of genres and filters, more of which I am confused about the reason for.

This filter is not good for Ji hyun Woo's hair... or Shin Sung Rok's for that matter.


Lots of romcoms, typically.  However, why the heck are they using these random, extreme filters?  Worst offender when it comes to filter use.  I love their shows, usually more than any other network's, but seriously, why the filters?

This might be the mildest of the TvN filters, but still it's there and more extreme than the other networks.

I understand trying to make Reply 1994 and 1997 look retro, but it's a bit extreme, I think.

A little too gray, which made Heechul's lighter hair lame.

So gray that everyone but Lee Soo Hyuk looked nasty (especially Lee Ha Na).  Also, I have no idea why they chose this super brown gray filter at all.

Why the orange filter, Marriage Not Dating? It's okayish, but really unnecessary.

After all the talk about the yellow dust at the beginning of Plus Nine Boys, it looks like it took over the filter job for this show.  So gray it's weird.

Imagining how all the beautiful clothes in My Secret Hotel would look without the weird gray filter makes me sad, because they'd be so much more beautiful with their colors shining brightly.

The blue-ish filter on Liar Game was a little more acceptable, given the genre, but it is still an example of an extreme filter.

Yes, even Super Daddy Yeol had the brown/gray filter treatment.  Sigh.


Also know as the "Man Channel" by us, OCN runs almost exclusively action dramas.  I wish they were more widely subbed too, because they are all pretty awesome.  However, this also means that they stick to the action type filters, which is totes ok.

MBN (or other cable channels)

I honestly don't know much about MBN, I would have guessed that this show was a TvN, based on the yucky filter, but the filter thing could just be a cable thing in general... I don't know.

It was definitely all the random TvN filters that prompted me to write this.  Every time I would write a list post, the filters that were not as noticeable if I was just watching the one show (because I'd get used to it) suddenly stood out like sore thumbs, so I had to analyze it a bit.  I guess those cable networks just like to play around with the filters.  With some of those I can't think of any other reason why they'd pick something like that.  Oh well.  I guess it is what it is.  It doesn't stop me from watching those shows (especially since some of the worst filter offenders have been some of my favorite shows) but it does give me a reason to shake my head while laughing gently at them.

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