Oh where, oh where to quench my thirst for Korean dramas?

*This post will be updated from time to time as I discover and check out more online sites for catching up on these fab Korean dramas.*

I can recall vividly when Winter Sonata hit Malaysian shores in 2002 and brought with it the tidal Korean drama wave. We’ve not looked back since. EVERYONE was watching and talking about it. It was such a hit here that there’s even a Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysia’s national language) version of the theme song. You could hear both versions of the song everywhere you went.

Admittedly, Winter Sonata was the first Korean drama I actually followed. Though it was a challenge because many a times, I couldn’t get home in time from work to catch it on tv. I followed quite a few more series thereafter until my interest waned because I felt most of them were too somber, plus work schedules no longer allowed me the luxury of rushing home to indulge in daily weekday doses of K-drama. The very last one that really enraptured me was Full House – I have this thing for romantic comedies. I loved it so much I presented myself with its original VCD box set.

For a while, that was the end until Love Rain happened recently. It was aired every Saturday on 8tv, one of the local television channels, a few months ago. Initially I was fleetingly watching it just for the sake of having some entertainment while having dinner. Then the plot thickened, the Love Rain bug hit me hard and I was hooked. And reality hit…I’d already missed several episodes plus the timing wouldn’t allow me to commit an hour and a half of my Saturday evenings to religiously follow it on tv. Of course another big pain is it was being aired only once a week! My goodness, I can’t wait that long! What can I do? What should I do?

So the search was on for ways to satisfy my Love Rain preoccupation at leisure. Oh, and since I don’t understand Korean, I need subtitles, preferably in English but in Bahasa Malaysia (as it is on tv) will do too.

I tried looking to YouTube at first but it was frustratingly difficult and ultimately impossible. There were links to sites such as Viki and DramaFever but the videos “are not available for my region”. Argh!!!

Then I remembered I’d read in the newspapers about a local Malaysian website which stream videos-on-demand for free. Sweet! Here’s the result of my search…

Maaduu
* Malaysian-based, LEGAL, FREE online video-on-demand site.
* Dedicated to Hallyu ie. The Korean Wave (K-dramas, K-pop).
* English subtitles available for all dramas. Subtitles in a few other languages (including Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese) are being added progressively.
* Advertisement-driven so there are very short ad breaks over each episode of a drama.
* One-time, simple registration required to get started on your K-drama marathon.

My thoughts on Maaduu:
Thoroughly happy so far. I’ve watched Love Rain numerous times (and to my husband’s chagrin, watching it again now…one episode each night…I can’t seem to get enough of it). I’ve also watched Spy Myeong-Wol and my neglected past love, Full House.

Even though there are 3 advertisement breaks per episode, I find them absolutely bearable because they’re really short plus these are what make Maaduu absolutely free!

The only disappointment I’ve encountered so far is some titles I’d like to watch (such as You Are Beautiful and Bread, Love and Dreams (aka Baker King, Kim Tak Goo / King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo) aren’t available. I’ve checked with Maaduu and they cited licensing issues as the reason.

Minor disappointments aside, free (and legal) K-dramas for my leisurely viewing anytime? Maaduu gets the thumbs up from me!

Screen shot showing Maaduu interface.
(Click to enlarge)

A scene from Love Rain on Maaduu

One of the heartwarming (for me at least) scenes from Love Rain in full screen on Maaduu.
(Click to enlarge)

Interesting newspaper articles about Maaduu:
Drama on demand
A video portal makes great strides riding the Korean wave

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