To Drop or Not To Drop: Pros and Cons


‘To Drop or Not To Drop’ is another question that has been around for as long as Dramaland exists, and made way for no less than at least 5 other articles here on MDL, making you, me and probably the editors wonder if I should drop this article or move forward with yet another article on that subject.

At the moment I started writing this article I had about 39 titles on my Dropped List and +21 titles on my On Hold List – So basically 60 titles that I have started but failed to finish, while I have successfully finished 539 titles, making me a fairly moderate dropper and, I would say, someone somewhere in between those people with DD (Drop Disease) and people with NDD (Never Drop Disease). While Mokona studied the reasons people chose to drop or not drop Asian dramas in Dropping Asian Dramas… Is OK!, this editorial will focus more on what we gain or risk losing by dropping.

I have better things to do with my life – The Pros 

Time Is Money, Money Is Time

Ok, time does not always have to be money, but why waste your precious time on something you are obviously not enjoying? I am going to assume you are not enjoying what you are watching if you are considering dropping.

There are Plenty of Titles to Stream…  

Yes, this may sound like time is money, but this is about the huge variety available out there on the various streaming sites… Just like people say ‘there are plenty of fish in the sea’ for break-ups. Actually some fish are dying out, but the saying remains and so does the meaning of it. There are so many other titles to watch or rewatch, you do not have to hang onto this particular title you are currently watching. You can just let it go and move on.

I Want to Break Free… 

Some titles will just feel like they are holding you back, tying you down, staring at you with those puppy eyes whispering: “watch me”… For those who are like me and really find it hard to drop stuff, actually taking that step of moving a title from the Currently Watching or On Hold List to Dropped List can give you an exhilarating feeling of freedom, like spring-cleaning, blocking or getting out of a bad relationship type of deal (yes, I am embellishing).

The Silent Protest  

Other titles will have controversial and problematic dialog and/or scenes – the type to punch down and/or offend you or other people. While you may feel you can overlook some of this, everybody has their limits (different limits) as to how much of this they can bear. By dropping this title, you take a silent stand against it. Ok, the production may actually not notice if you specifically drop it, but at least you stop supporting a problematic production.

AnanyaS mentions the following reasons for dropping dramas in 5 Signs That It’s Time to Drop a Drama: Those include boredom, messy plot, loss of charm and loss of interest.

Side Note: Twenty Shades of Dropping 

I have dropped titles after anything between 10 minutes and getting close to those last episodes. While some may think you are so close to the end, why drop now, I try to think about this quote:

“Do not hold on to a mistake, just because you spent a lot of time making it” – Unknown

In Dropping Disease: Curse or BlessingAnushka writes:

“[…] just the first 10 minutes into drama were enough for me to decide if I like it or not, if the drama doesn’t have a good first impression on me, that drama has successfully made its place in my dropped list.”

Kate mentions this behaviour in Stages of Dropping Dramas, where she writes about her own experience of dropping dramas.

Me, I would call dropping within 10 minutes a symptom of the Full Fridge Syndrome when nothing really sticks, so I often try to revisit those dramas as quite a few of them have turned out to be some of my favourites and did just not fit my mood at the time.

For titles I have dropped and at what point, you can see my Dropped List.

Titles I almost dropped during the first episode: 


Final Rating 

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon 


Romance Is a Bonus Book 


Sky Castle


My Mister


The Untamed 


What if … The Cons

But what about my Oppaaa … (or whoever you stan)

The other side of the silent protest is the silent support for your favourite actors, actresses and creators. If you drop a title with one of your favourites, you are not showing them the support you normally do, and you are missing out on seeing them. Of course, how much difference a few episodes make is up to discussion, and you could just go rewatch another one of their titles instead of torturing  yourself through this… But can you really call yourself a fan if you have not seen all of their works???* 

*Yes, you can call yourself a fan. I am just messing with you, as moonchild wrote:

“Just because you’re a fan of an actor/actress doesn’t mean you have to watch all their works, skipping some of their works is not making you less of a ‘true’ fan regardless what others say.”

Dramas I Should’ve Dropped And Why I Didn’t

Everybody seems to love it – is there something wrong with me? 

Popular shows, hyped shows, shows that your friends love but you just don’t get it may make you feel a bit left out or question your own taste. One, there is not a single show out there that everybody loves, popular shows have as many haters as lovers. Two, there is nothing wrong with you, it is okay to like different things. However, you will not truly know if you like it or not unless you stick to it  till the end.

My Best Friend Will Disown Me…

Do not underestimate the power of peer pressure. Dropping a title your friend loves can be a source of conflict. And even if I doubt a friend truly will disown another friend for dropping, it will certainly be the cause of some friction and put a strain on the friendship, saying: “but you didn’t even give it a chance”. Is giving it a chance resulting in a low score better or worse than dropping it? How strong is your friendship? Is it worth taking the risk? Do you have other friends who can support you in your decision?

Unfinished Business 

The show may not really fit your taste, but you may still want to know what happens. If you drop now you may just not get to understand or see the ending. What if it is just a show with a really long build-up? Worst scenario is: not knowing will keep you up at night like a song stuck in your head. The type you really do not like but can not get rid of. 

If I watch it till the end, I can point out the problematic content

It is a lot easier to raise awareness about problematic content if you have seen the show till the end. And as important as we all are, one person dropping is barely noticeable, but talking about the issues with a title is sure to discourage others – or will at least raise awareness about the issue instead of just letting it pass by and vanish into thin air… 

Who Is The Real Enemy? 

Some shows will start off with problematic content, or have a problematic slant or two at the beginning. But once everything is put into place and the big picture is painted, what seemed problematic in the beginning may not seem problematic at all. In some cases it may even turn out to be progressive and rather shed light on the problems shown in the beginning. If you drop it too early, you not only risk missing out on a good show, but also find yourself fighting against your own cause.

First Impressions Can Be Deceiving

If there is one thing we should have learned from the enemies to lovers trope, it is that first impressions can be deceiving and, as mentioned above, I almost dropped some of my all-time favourite dramas (two of them I even rewatched) because they did not fit my mood at the time. Dropping too early may just rob you of a wonderful experience. Do you really dare risk it?

I Ain’t No Quitter – Droppers Finish Last 

The user moonchild lists “So I could use it for the MDL Watch Challenge” (source) as the foremost reason she did not drop dramas. So I assume that those who are competitive, participating in any challenges or just watching the Completed List grow will experience a setback from dropping a title. As the episodes are watched, it means that if you drop, you will have been wasting time for nothing… However, for those truly competitive there is a solution, as you can compete in more or less anything, including number on one’s Dropped List. A so-called Drop List Challenge. 

Old_Anime_Lady & Hwayi have solutions for those who do not want to drop, in the article: Symptoms and Cures for Sufferers of NDD – Never Drop Disease

Enough is enough…

That will be all for now, for those of you still here. I hope this can help you with the decision to drop or not to drop… If you do drop and are now facing the decision to rewatch or not to rewatch, you may find some help with that in my previous article:

Thank you for reading my thoughts on this subject, now it is up to you to share yours! I’m out.

Credits: GIFs used were made by me or have a source beneath them. The dramas they were sampled from are also linked below. Pictures and other sources used have a link to them inside the text/below the photo.

Special thanks to AnQuat and the Editors!

Edited by: Tine (1st editor)

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