Archive | July 2012

My Top 5 Favorite Things About Having a Kdrama Blog

Okay here we go….

5.  I get to see what people search for when they happen to stumble upon my blog.  There are some super bizarre things that people search for lol.  I occasionally get searches for kdrama porn (which, do they really make that, like kdrama porn spoofs?  Because if they do it would be amazingly hilarious!!) or random stuff like “Why do all kdrama actresses have chapped lips?”  Or more recently, since I made a crack at her lack of chemistry with Gong Yoo in my post about Big, “Is Lee Min Jung a lesbian?”  I was totally joking when I said that, but it seems I am not the only one who has had that thought cross their mind since watching Big lol.

4.  I get to talk to people from all over the world.  Since I am from the town of Tallahassee (Which may technically be the capital of Florida, but don’t be fooled, it is nothing but the capital building and couple colleges, I don’t even consider it a real city, it’s a more of big town), I don’t get to see a whole lot of diversity around here.  So it’s cool to talk to people from different parts of the U.S. and different parts of the world who have different perspectives and interesting stories to tell that I wouldn’t hear otherwise.

3.   I can discuss currently airing kdramas with tons of other people after each episode.  The only thing that made the demise of Big bearable was bitching about it to other people on my blog and their blogs lol.  And in the beginning before it turned to poo, it was awesome to read other people’s blogs and find out theories about what they thought the new plot twists were going to be based on the little clues given in each episode, and I enjoyed making up my own theories about what was going on and then posting them to see what people thought.  I look forward to doing this with more currently airing dramas in the future.

2.  It gives me an excuse to pretend like my opinions are important.  I love when my husband is ready to go somewhere and I’m like “Hold on, I have to finish writing this post, I’m on a roll!!”  As if the world will stop if I don’t give my 2 cents about kdramas for a day ha ha.  And the truth is I only have a handful of loyal followers, but hey you know what, you guys are awesome and I love venting to you 🙂

1.  I drive all of my real life friends a little less crazy with my incessant kdrama babbling which sounds like well, Korean to their ears lol.  Since I vent the majority of my kdrama thoughts out on my blog and the kdrama blogs I follow, my friends have to hear a lot less about something that they really don’t know or care about.  And I have made some really awesome online friends that I love to chat up on different blogs every day.  Plus people recommend new dramas for me to watch that I maybe wouldn’t have watched otherwise or have never heard of before.  I have found lots of good ones that way!!  One of these days we’re all going to have to start a Kdrama Addicts Anonymous page when it totally takes over our lives.  “Um… Hello, may name is Julie, and I haven’t watched a kdrama in 2 days….”

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Que Sera, Sera

Que Sera, Sera, translated in English as “Whatever will be, will be,” this is also a famous old song by Doris Day.  The part of this song that is so very relevant to this drama is as follows:

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here’s what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

I recently went through the pain of watching Big, which the Hong sisters dubbed as a “coming of age story,”  but  really it just turned out to be a big steaming pile of disappointment and regurgitated kdrama plot crap.  Que Sera, Sera was so refreshing to watch right after because although the main characters are not teenagers, it is definitely very much a coming of age story.  It clearly shows how adults make mistakes, learn from them, and morph into completely different people over time, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for worse.  The female lead character, Han Eun Soo, starts out like a typical stock kdrama lead, a poor, needy, clumsy, ditzy, and naive doormat, clearly lacking the experience needed to survive in the real world.  Then enters Kang Tae Joo who is seemingly yet another kdrama male lead straight from the factory, a  handsome, self absorbed, worldly playboy trying to date as many beautiful, rich women as possible and doing whatever he can to climb the corporate ladder.  However, this drama quickly changes from an ordinary one, into a roller coaster ride of raw, passionate, and painfully real emotions and the typical drama cliches fly out the window.

The really interesting thing about this drama is that the true villain is not an evil second female lead (though she is rich, spoiled, and pretty bitchy), a crazy mom, or a corporate tycoon.  The real villain is simply human nature.  Greed, the need for security, and pride and miscommunication were the downfall of all of the relationships in the show.  All of the characters show their true and not so beautiful colors at some point, none of them being clearly good or bad people, just human.  This is so rare to find in a kdrama, especially when the male lead is almost always portrayed as some kind of love worshiping self-sacrificing hero (at least once they realize they’re in love).  This was definitely not the case in this drama, his love could not seem to outweigh his greed and pride.  This makes it a much more realistic drama to me than most.

As painful as it was to watch Eun Soo go through all of the hardships that she faces, I loved to watch her character grow from the beginning of the show to the end.  She really seems to become a totally different person.  I especially love the scene where Hye Lin comes to bitch her out after Tae Joo confesses his love to Eun Soo and decides (temporarily) to be with her, and Hye Lin slaps her, and Eun Soo without hesitation slaps her right back and tells her to leave.  I literally was shouting “YES!!!” when I saw that scene and laughed so hard because she clearly was no longer going to be Hye Lin’s doormat.

The passion gets really out of control in this drama, with fights, slapping, almost rapes, soaking wet rain kisses the whole deal.  I personally loved that it was so passionate and raw.  That being said, I don’t think that it was made necessarily as “crowd pleasing” drama.  It is often very beautiful yet painful to watch at the same time because every time you hope the characters will make a certain choice and for things to  happen a certain way, it seems like their heads get in front of their hearts and nothing happens smoothly or the way you would like it to.  But I feel that it is really a work of art, and though it is painful, it “hurts so good,”  and I really could not tear my eyes away.

This was one of the most well made dramas I have ever seen, and I suspect will ever be made.  Second only to Coffee Prince for me.  Overall I give it 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend anyone to watch it if you think you can take the burn.

I took the synopsis and cast list off of http://wiki.d-addicts.com, because I am in a rush right now, I will go back and write a better synopsis later :).

Synopsis

Kang Tae Joo (Eric) is a player with charm and good looks who always dates rich women. One day, he finds a strange poor girl named Han Eun Soo (Jung Yoo Mi) sleeping in front of his door. Although he initially despises her, he eventually finds himself falling for her. Cha Hye Lin (Yoon Ji Hye) is the daughter of a rich shopping mall CEO. Her first love, Shin Joon Hyuk (Lee Kyu Han), dumps her at her father’s request. Hye Lin buys herself a new boyfriend to make her ex jealous. That man is Kang Tae Joo, and during their contract relationship, Hye Lin begins to fall in love again. However, Tae Joo already has a girlfriend and he can’t forget her as easily as he has forgotten all the women in his past. This drama is basically about the redemption of Kang Tae Joo from bastard to human.

Cast

Extended Cast

 

Spring Waltz

While this drama was not quite up my alley as far as what I usually enjoy in a drama, for a more serious soap operaey drama it wasn’t so bad.  I figured I needed to watch at least one of the Endless Love dramas since they are revered as kdrama classics, and this one came highly recommended by a fellow blogger.  It was very over dramatic in some parts and the acting and dialouge were kind of subpar (Well let’s face it, Daniel Henney was terrible, but always beautiful to look at 🙂 ), but the overall plot was interesting enough and the two lead actors were both easy on the eyes.  It had a really sweet and happy ending, which is always nice.  As characteristic of the Endless Love series, nature played a huge part in the scenery, and that part of the drama was truly beautiful.  It also had lovely music, both instrumental and vocal.  They were trying to convey a Spring feeling through the set, clothing, scenery, music, etc., so all of the sets were very brightly painted and the clothes were like blindingly neon.  It was like the Easter Bunny threw up all over the place after taking acid, and I think they way overdid it with the colors.  And honestly, when I think of Spring I think of vibrant, but more natural pastel colors, not the crazy in your face neon stuff they had going on.  I don’t really have too much to say on this drama because although it was a heartfelt, pleasant story overall, and much more tolerable than I imagine the other Endless Love dramas would be, it did not rock my socks off, and it was just okay for me.  So in conclusion, I am going to give it a 3 out of 5, worth watching, but not world changing.

Cast

Supporting Cast

Synopsis:

Park Eun Young is a talented young artists in her 20s who wins a crystal design contest and gets a free trip to Austria to work.  While in Austria she crosses paths with a man named Phillip, who instantly falls for her.  Through Phillip she meets Yoon Jae Ha, a young piano prodigy who is Phillip’s employer.  Eun Young begins to develop a friendship with Philip, but does not get along well with Jae Ha at first, who is dark, brooding, and short tempered.  But somehow despite his nasty attitude, Eun Young finds herself becoming infatuated with him despite herself.  However, she soon returns to Korea and does not expect to run into either man again.  But when Jae Ha’s friend and business partner Song Yi Na convinces him to come to Korea for business, Eun Young once again meets up with Phillip and Jae Ha.  Things become complicated when Phillip professes his feelings for Eun Young and Song Yi Na makes her feelings for Jae Ha very clear, but even knowing all of that Eun Young and Jae Ha cannot seem to avoid their growing attraction for each other and begin a relationship despite the consequences.  Their relationship is not happy for long however, as it is clouded by the jealousy of their friends, Jae Ha’s parents disapproval, and a huge secret from Jae Ha’s past that is directly related to unsuspecting Eun Young’s complicated and painful past.  Can their love endure the hardships?

Big-A Painfully Frustrating Journey

This show’s first two episodes were dynamite and hooked me so hard that I thought  I was going to die while waiting for new episodes to air.  I thought the Hong sisters had finally written a 5 star drama (I’m not generally a huge fan of theirs).  I think I just had such high expectations for it because Gong Yoo is an incredible actor and quite possibly the sexiest man to ever walk this earth (You can tell I am a huge fan of his :P), and because the first few episodes actually had a complicated and unpredictable plot and it was so refreshing to not know what was going to happen next.  However, the show took a sharp dive in the middle, around episode 8 and started to drag painfully slowly and circle and circle until I was dizzy.  I think the Hong sisters had this  grand idea for an overarching plot, but bit off more than they could chew because they did not know how to fill in all the little details and have the plot move forward without circling back again. It was frustrating to watch because they could have done an amazing job with this because they set up so many different avenues that they could have followed, but they chose to just drive back and forth down the same damn road.  The ending was a big fat disappointment that was slow and left a million questions unanswered.  It was at least happy, but clearly lacked the suspense and power of the first few episodes.

Gong Yoo practically naked makes the first episode totally worth watching. Had to put this pic up for obvious reasons 😛

Another beef I had with this drama was Da Ran’s character.  The female lead was frustratingly dense and cowardly to boot, with no particularly fun or interesting characteristics whatsoever.  In fact, I thought she was about as interesting as watching paint peel.  In contrast to her however, the male lead character Kyung Joon was full of life and funny, but he had Gong Yoo playing up the role, and we all know that he does not half do any part.  Maybe it was because of the contrast between the personalities of the chracters, maybe it was because Da Ran was as stiff as a board, or maybe it was because Lee Min Jung is a closet lesbian, but the two actors did not have much passion in the chemistry at all.  It all seemed perfectly well mannered and rehearsed, and well, just as boring as Da Ran herself.  I mean in the episode where they have their Big kiss, Gong Yoo is like eating her face off and she is just there.  Her lips are pressed against his with absolutely no movement.  I mean, I’m so sorry, but if it were me, acting or no acting, I would be throwing it right back at Gong Yoo, I mean good Lord,  have you seen that man?  I think just touching his hand would give me and orgasm… TMI anyway…

 

What lesson have I learned from watching this?  Never have too high of expectations from the Hong Sisters, even if they have talent like Gong Yoo on their side.  However, despite Big being a huge let down after the first few episodes, I have definitely seen worse dramas, and it is worth watching just to see Gong Yoo work his magic as Kyung Joon and the little brother of Da Ran, Choong Shik is infectiously goofy and fun to watch (I hope to see that actor in other dramas soon).  Overall I feel it is worth a watch, just don’t get your hopes up too much from the get go.  Sadly, I give it a 3 out 5 (sorry Gong Yoo, you are fabulous!!  Don’t work with the Hong Sisters again, you are too good for them!!)

This pic is soo cute!! Too bad the chemistry is better on this pic than it was most of the time on the show 😦

Cast (Yes, I swiped the cast list off of asianwiki.com lol :P):

Big-Gong Yoo.jpg Big-Gong Yoo1.jpg Big-Lee Min-Jung.jpg Big-Bae Suzy.jpg Big-Jang Hee-Jin.jpg
Gong Yoo Gong Yoo Lee Min-Jung Bae Suzy Jang Hee-Jin
Yoon-Jae’s body+Gyung-Joon’s spirit Seo Yoon-Jae Gil Da-Ran Jang Ma-Ri Lee Se-Young
Shin Won-Ho Big-Kim Hyun-Sung.jpg Big-Ko Su-Hee.jpg Big-Ahn Seok-Hwan.jpg Big-Yoon Hae-Young.jpg
Shin Won-Ho Jang Hyun-Sung Ko Su-Hee Ahn Seok-Hwan Yoon Hae-Young
Kang Gyung-Joon Kang Hyuk-Soo Lee Gyung-Mi Gil Min-Gyu Lee Jung-Hye
Big-Baek Sung-Hyun.jpg Big (Korean Drama)-Im Ji-Eun.jpg Big (Korean Drama)-Kim Seo-Ra.jpg Big (Korean Drama)-Jo Young-Jin.jpg Big (Korean Drama)-Mun Ji-Yun.jpg
Baek Sung-Hyun Im Ji-Eun Kim Seo-Ra Jo Young-Jin Mun Ji-Yun
Gil Choong-Sik Kang Hee-Soo An Hye-Jung Seo In-Wook Na Hyo-Sang
Big (Korean Drama)-Choi Ran.jpg Big (Korean Drama)-Shin Ji-Su.jpg
Choi Ran Shin Ji-Su
Kim Young-Ok Lee Ae-Kyung

 

Synopsis:

Gil Da Ran is an aspiring teacher who meets Dr. Seo Yoon Jae by chance under very unusual circumstances.  Yoon Jae, who was her Dr. after an accident, begins dating Da Ran and then asks her to marry him.  However, his reserved nature leaves Da Ran wondering whether or not he is truly in love with her.  During this crisis of the heart, Da Ran happens to meet and begin to get to know a transfer student from America, Kang Kyung Joon, who is transferred to her school and is put in her class.  Before Da Ran can find out whether her fiance Yoon Jae loves her or  not, Kyung Joon and Yoon Jae get into a car accident together and switch bodies.  Yoon Jae is left in Kyung Joon’s 18 year old body, which is lying in a coma, while Kyung Joon is in Yoon Jae’s 30 year old body.  Things begin to change between Da Ran and Kyung Joon as Kyung Joon takes on Yoon Jae’s persona and together they begin to uncover the mysteries surrounding him that he is not awake to answer…

If Pride and Prejudice Were a Kdrama

This book/movie has the perfect set up for a kdrama, I’m honestly surprised they haven’t done it yet.  It was another hard one to cast because there are so many characters, and I still left some out as is.

Synopsis:

Bin Liz Ah is the witty and intelligent understated beauty of the 5 Bin daughters during the Joeson era.  She is not overly interested in marriage and frivolous things like other girls and is more concerned with the betterment of herself and society than flirting and fancy parties.  Her mother however, who is more concerend about money and the family being taken care of has other plans for her and constantly obsesses over finding a good match for her to marry.  One day at a local dance she crosses paths with a very wealthy man from a prominent family by the name of Fitz Dar Si who is handsome, but is standoffish and seemingly arrogant and self-absorbed.  She overhears a conversation between him and his friend in which he remarked that her looks were “barely tolerable” and in that moment decided that she despised him.  Her older sister and the obvious beauty of the family, Jane, falls in love with Mr. Dar Si’s best friend and therefore Liz Ah is forced to cross paths with him time and time again.  She continually uses her wit to show her disdain for his arrogant attitude, and Mr. Dar Si finds himself impressed and intrigued by her indifference to his looks and wealth, her genuine vigor for life and her educated views and opinions. Despite his growing affection for her, Liz Ah resolves to continue to despise him, but as they say there is a thin line between love and hate and despite the interest of another man and their very different social classes the two cannot help being drawn to one another.  Will they throw aside all the odds against them to be together?

Cast:

Bin Liz Ah-Moon Geun Young

Fitz Dar Si-Lee Jin Wook

Wick Jorg-Yoo Tae Woong

Bin Jane-Kin Ha Neul

Bin Ly Di-Seo Woo

Bin Ki Ti-Ahn So Hee

Bin Mae Ri-Woo Ri

Mr. Bin-Kwon Hae Hyo

Mrs. Bin-Im Ye Jin

Mr. Bing-Jo Jung Suk

Bing Kar Li-Jang Hee Jin

Image

List of KDramas I have Completed and am Currently Watching

I decided to go back and try to remember all of the dramas I have watched since this time last year when I first discovered them with Coffee Prince.  I included the 3 movies I have watched as well.  I think I listed them all, but I may remember some that I forgot later on down the road, who know lol.  It made me realize the ridiculous amount of T.V. I watch, not sure if that’s healthy lol, but I justify it by the fact that I work really hard at my job and I exercise a lot, so I’m not a total coach potato 😛  They are not in the order I watched them, just in the order that they popped into my head as I was remembering them.

  1. Coffee Prince
  2. Goong
  3. The Vineyard Man
  4. Take Care of the Young Lady
  5. My Black Mini Dress
  6. The Legend of 7 Cutter
  7. Lie to Me
  8. Boys Over Flowers
  9. You’re Beautiful
  10. Mary Stayed Out All Night
  11. Personal Taste
  12. Flower Boy Ramyun Shop
  13. Heartstrings
  14. Playful Kiss
  15. Beethoven Virus
  16. Love Rain
  17. Tamra Island
  18. Secret Garden
  19. Myung Wol the Spy
  20. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
  21. Dream High
  22. My Girl
  23. My Princess
  24. The King 2 Hearts
  25. Rooftop Prince
  26. Pasta
  27. Cinderella’s Sister
  28. Shining Inheritance
  29. The Crucible
  30. I Do, I Do
  31. My Lovely Sam Soon
  32. What’s Up, Fox?
  33. Coffee House
  34. The Musical
  35. Romance Town
  36. Oh My Lady
  37. Sungkyunkwan Scandal

 

Currently Watching

  1. Big
  2. A Gentleman’s Dignity
  3. Spring Waltz

I Do, I Do

This ended up being a very sweet and heart warming drama.  I was not too impressed by it at first, but it got better as the show progressed, which is funny because the majority of dramas are usually the opposite and start out good and then go downhill.  I did love the weighted message that this drama was sending Korean society, children are a consequence of sex, but being a single mother is not the end of the world and is nothing to be condemned for for the rest of your life.  You should be able to be proud of your child even if they were not in your original plan.  From my understanding of Korean culture this is a pretty big deal and a little bit of a controversial topic for a drama to deal with.  I never became overly fond of the male lead or the actor that portrayed him, he was cute but the guy’s acting just was cheesy and not too believable for me, but I have seen worse (watching Spring Waltz right now and man is Daniel Henney gorgeous but a horrible actor ha ha!!).  I was impressed with both the male and female second leads in this drama, neither of them turned out to be souless assholes so that’s a nice change from a lot of other dramas out there.  I loved the last episode, it left a smile on my face and a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart.  So my final verdict is that though this drama did not necessarily shock and awe me, it is definitely worth a watch.  3.5 out of 5 stars for me 🙂

Cast

Extended Cast

Synopsis:

Hwang Ji An is the workaholic director of a shoe design company in her 30s who is a slave to her career and has no plans for a husband or children.  One day when things are not going her way, she runs into a young man in his 20s, Park Tae Kang by coincidence, and the two end up talking together that evening because he is trying to console her.  Talking leads to drinking, and drinking leads to them sleeping together.  Naturally they wake up embarrassed the next day, wanting to forget everything that happened.  However, their lives end up permanently intertwined when Tae Kang wins a contest and gets a job at Ji An’s shoe company and Ji An turns up pregnant.  Though Ji An is trying hard to stay independent, the two cannot seem to stay away from eachother and there is chemistry that over time even she cannot deny.  Ji An now has a lot of decisions to make and a lot to think about.  Should she put her career on hold and keep her child?  Should she tell Tae Kang that he is the father since he is so young?  Can she be with someone so much younger than her and raise a baby and be happy?  Will society be able to accept a single career woman with a baby?