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MyDramaList

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mydramalist.com

Am I the only one who feels like the world of movie review and rating sites is getting a little stale? I mean, think about it … when you want to learn more about a movie or get a sense of whether it is or is not worth watching, what sites do you tend to visit? Rotten Tomatoes? IMDb? Maybe a site like New York Times or Roger and Ebert if you are in the mood for reading a full-blown proper movie review? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the same old movie review sites are really cutting it for me anymore.

There are a number of reasons why I am tired of the usual so-called ‘best movie review sites.’ Firstly, although sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb can be great resources for quickly getting a feel on how people generally felt about a movie, that is sort of where the conversation stops. I mean, sure, I could follow up and look at each individual review, but there is still something of a disconnect in that. I am merely reading one person’s thoughts on a movie, sometimes years after the fact. It is, largely, a passive process.

Lately, though, more and more, I have been craving a deeper connection. I have been wanting something more community oriented … a movie review site populated with like minded people with whom I can have in-depth discussions about my favorite movies and TV shows, stay up to date on the latest news, and share my own opinions. The best movie review site for me will be one that provides a sense of community, comradery, and companionship – not just information and movie ratings.

Secondly, sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes tend to be rather Americentric. Or, at the very least, it seems as if they favor and more prominently feature Western movies and TV series – be it the United States or the United Kingdom. As a huge fan of Asian film and television, though, I am often left in the dark on these sites. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean movies, although hugely popular all around the world, seem to take a backseat on many of the best movie review sites that I have seen.

If you have ever had similar frustrations with a lack of options when it comes to movie review sites, I have some very good news for you. Today, I am very excited to share what just might be the best movie review site for fans of Asian movies and television. Although My Drama List is not a new site by any means, it is a new site to me, and it is one of those sites that makes me wonder, ‘where has this been all my life?’

My Drama List is precisely what I have been missing from all of the top movie review sites out there. It offers so much more than just movie reviews, rankings, and ratings (although it has all of that as well). My Drama List takes everything that we already love from the best movie review sites, and then some. It’s something like a combination of Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and your favorite social networking site all rolled into one.

Even better yet, My Drama List is dedicated solely to Asian movies and TV, which is awesome news for a fan of a whole subsection of cinema that is all too often overlooked in mainstream culture. Plus, by focusing only on Asian movies and TV, the My Drama List community is able to be more tightknit than just about every other movie review site on the web today.

My Drama List’s slogan is a simple one: “Organize, discover, discuss Asian movies.” It’s a simple premise, sure, but a profound community, nonetheless. Is My Drama List, in fact, the best movie review site for you? Well, let’s dive in and take a closer look at everything it has to offer in order to find out.

History

It’s amazing that I haven’t heard of My Drama List until only recently, seeing as it has been around since 2011. As an avid fan of Asian drama and a professional writer of movie streaming site reviews, I cannot believe that this incredible site and online community has managed to fly under my radar for so long. Always better late than never, though, right?

Interestingly enough, the site is still currently in beta mode. This could be why it eluded me. Apparently, the people behind My Drama Lists are perfectionists, and don’t feel comfortable officially launching My Drama List until it meets their (very high) expectations. As is written on the site’s About page: “Currently, the site is still in Beta mode, as it’s not perfect (because we all know perfection is possible 😛 ).”

Nevertheless, the site is live and accessible by anyone who is in need of a fun and friendly community of fellow Asian cinephiles, a convenient way to discover/rate/review new movies, and a means by which to keep track of the films and series to watch in the future. There is truly no other site out there that is quite like My Drama List, and this is one of the many reasons that it deserves to be considered one of the best movie review sites on the web today.

Design

I have mixed feelings about the user interface of My Drama List. As I just mentioned, after 10 years the site is still in beta mode, and I am beginning to see why that is. The site doesn’t look bad or anything – it is clean, neat, and easy enough to navigate – but I’m not entirely sure that My Drama List offers the best movie review site layout that I have ever seen.

It is a little bit chaotic, a bit all over the place, but not so much so that a first-time visitor would be incapable of figuring out how to use it. It straddles that line of being so close to offering an intuitive user experience, yet it still leaves much to be desired. The organizational structure of the site, I think, is one area for improvement. As it stands now, you will find news and editorial articles simply listed in a column spanning the middle of the page. You can filter this by clicking either featured, recent, or editorials. I would prefer to see these split into clearly differentiated sections.

To the right of this column are additional columns, adding to the somewhat haphazard nature of the site design that I speak of. Here, you will find popular voting lists, top airing shows, upcoming shows, latest reviews, and most popular shows. Again, it’s not impossible to find what you are looking for, but I think that the site could be made much easier to navigate, much better organized.

The site menu bar, however, will go a long way on My Drama List. This part they got right. Choose Home, Explore, Community, or Calendar to access exhaustive dropdown menus and quickly find the section you desire. I just wish this same attention to detail could be paid to the central sections of the homepage as well.

Content and Features

Like I have already said, My Drama List is something like IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, but enhanced, with a much better community. In fact, community is definitely at the core of what makes this movie review site so great. The community is knowledgeable, friendly, and very active. Most movies and series pages have hundreds of comments. Each comment can be replied to and/or “liked.” You would be hard pressed, I think, to find a better community dedicated to Asian movies and TV series.

Additionally, user profiles are impressively detailed, further bolstering the social media aspects of the site. Browse each users feeds, reviews, recommendations, lists, articles, stats, and more. User stats even come with cool graphics to represent how they spend their time on the site, through charts and graphs. To complete the social media components of My Drama List, you can add friends and send direct messages for more in-depth conversing.

Even if you don’t care as much about being a part of such an amazing community of Asian movie fans, My Drama List is still one of the best movie review sites out there. The site consists of an enormous database of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean movies and series reviews, ratings, and information. This is a site that every fan of Asian media needs to know about, immediately!

Mobile and Desktop Experience

As far as I can tell, there is no mobile app available (at least not yet). However, the site is well-optimized for mobile devices, allowing you to read movie reviews, rate shows, and keep up with the community no matter where you happen to be. Warning: ads may be pesky.

Likes & Hates:
Amazing database of Asian movies and series info and ratings
Tons of movie reviews
Awesome community and social media components
Make as many watch lists as you like
No mobile app
Site design could be improved