adelagia: (mst3k | danger small talk)
According to my massage therapist, who is a funny old Korean man, all K-dramas are this: eating, screaming, and love triangles. And he's SO RIGHT.

Here are thoughts on some of the K-dramas I've watched recently. Many spoilers ahead.

Drinking Solo/Let's Drink:
The good: Oh, the food porn. Every episode starts out with one of the characters ruminating on the reason they're drinking at that moment, and invariably, it's paired with something that looks insanely delicious.

This was the drama that introduced me to Key from the K-pop group SHINee, and I gotta tell you, I LOVE HIM. His character Kibum and the two friends he hangs around with Dongyoung and Gongmyung -- students trying to pass a civil service exam, which apparently is extremely difficult -- were the highlight of the series. Their friendship was so much fun. I'd watch a show about the three of them (and Chaeyeon) being dorky together exclusively.

On the other hand... )

Descendants of the Sun:
I only wanted to watch this because Onew (one of my many future husbands) is in it. I'd heard that it was way overhyped, so I went in with pretty low expectations, which may be why I ended up kind of enjoying it for what it was. It's purdy. Part of it was filmed on location in Greece, so the backdrops are stunning.

Clench your teeth... )

1% of Something:
I did have high-ish hopes for this. I trawl Dramabeans from time to time to see what people are watching and enjoying, and this one seemed high on everyone's list for a cute romcom. It does start out that way and I liked both leads, but unfortunately, I have such a low tolerance of guys being a-holes to women that I had to jump ship by episode four. And here's why )

Reply 1997/Answer Me 1997:
There were things this series did tremendously well. I loved that they captured the feeling of being a teenager so well -- crushes, first loves, unbreakable friendships, obsessing over celebrities you're sure you'll marry someday, taking your parents for granted. Like, I lived all of that. In a different country and an entirely different culture, but I related so much to it. I was also pleasantly surprised by how gracefully they handled Junhee's one-sided love storyline; it was so quietly dignified and sad.

There were also things that I thought were not great. Mostly revolving around hyung )

Reply 1988/Answer Me 1988:
JUNGHWAN-AAAHHHHHHHH. Those damn traffic lights... )

Hwarang:
This one's a period drama that's currently airing with about six more episodes to go. It's... I have more complaints about it than compliments but that's only because it has so much potential and so many tantalizingly untapped storylines that it really could have been great. The crazy thing about it is that it seems like everyone except the two main leads has an interesting storyline, but we don't get to spend more than, like, five minutes per episode on those characters because we have to watch Aro cry and Sunwoo brood about shit (and we hardly ever know what the hell he's brooding about because there's a whole "mystery" about his background and it's been 13 episodes and WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS). And then when they get together, it's a veritable black hole of chemistry.

Are you... the king? )
adelagia: (community | brain wrinkled)
Way back when summer was still new and I was celebrating being freshly off work for an extended period and therefore had nothing to do -- HAPPY, HALCYON DAYS -- I got super into Korean dramas again. After watching City Hunter a few years ago and it knocking every standard for drama out of the park, I didn't feel like watching any other K-dramas, feeling quite certain none of them would measure up.

Over the summer, I managed to get over it and get three more under my belt (and a few that I started and then just ended up reading recaps for instead): School 2013; Pinocchio; and Signal.

They're all great in different ways, though if I only get to rec one, I aggressively rec Signal. More on that in a bit.

School 2013
What's awesome about it: It's a high school drama about a low-performing school and more specifically, about the "bad" class, the quiet, still-waters-run-deep student who doesn't listen to lessons but hears everything, the inexperienced teacher with her heart in the right place. It's kind of difficult, actually, to pin down an easy summary for it, because it's all about the relationships between the characters -- and I'm not talking romantic relationships; in fact, what worked so well for it was that it didn't have any canon romances, and centered itself on character growth instead. Also, it has THE CUTEST, ANGSTIEST BROMANCE EVER. (And the actors are BFFs in real life; SO ADORABLE.)

Pinocchio
What's awesome about it: A female lead who says what she means, doesn't take any crap, and goes for exactly what she wants? THANK YOU, I'LL TAKE TEN. No noble idiocy or inane love triangles to be found here; the lead couple are refreshingly communicative and honest with each other and cute cute cute.

Signal
What's awesome about it: It's my new City Hunter. After watching this, I'm off K-dramas again. The premise is a time paradox: a police profiler hears someone calling his name over a radio transmission and he finds an old walkie-talkie and starts getting messages from the past to help solve cold case crimes, from a detective who, in the present, has been missing and presumed dead for over a decade. It's part murder mystery(/ies) and part thriller, grounded in profound emotion. It's about the human connections we make, the decisions that change the course of history, the lifelong regrets about the things we never said. I can't tell you how many times I cried while watching this -- and listen, I cry at A LOT of things, but I know when I'm being manipulated to cry and when I'm not; Signal isn't by any stretch of the imagination a tearjerker melodrama. It earns every tear and gasp and howl of injustice. And the acting in this by actors who play the veteran detectives, OMG.

I will say, I didn't get fully hooked until about episode 4, so if you do give this a looksee, make it at least that far before you decide whether or not you want to go on. AND YOU WILL. (Also, watch it on Dramafever. At the time I watched it, Viki didn't have it fully subbed.)

tl;dr: Watch Signal. Do it do it do it.
adelagia: (unapologetic fangirl)
Independently of each other, [livejournal.com profile] slitherhither and [livejournal.com profile] accordingtomel both told me that I absolutely must watch the K-drama Flower Boy Next Door. True to their word, it's fantastic. I watched the first six episodes in a single day. So now it's my turn to tell you all that you absolutely must watch the K-drama Flower Boy Next Door.

 photo e6048357-7a59-400a-a007-03c5453f6507_zps634918d7.jpg
OTP: Enrique Geum (Yoon Shi Yoon) and Go Dok Mi (Park Shin Hye)


The gist of it is that a reclusive young woman who's hidden herself away from the world due to past psychological trauma slowly gets drawn out when she encounters two neighbors, one who can't leave her alone because he sees through her defenses and wants to help her be courageous, and one who wants to keep protecting her from the big, bad world that hurt her.

Ahjumma, what are you doing? )

Heart eyes

Dec. 28th, 2011 02:33 pm
adelagia: (Default)
Am watching City Hunter now. Lee Min Ho as a super hot super spy (with secret heart of gold)? YES PLEASE. I'd even prefer it without the romantic subplot; just want to watch him be suave and actiony all day and become bffs with the prosecutor who is also very cute in the face.

Winter break: officially well spent.

Aigoo

Nov. 29th, 2011 09:49 pm
adelagia: (pixar | dory)
Very recently, [livejournal.com profile] phoenixacid mentioned the Korean drama Coffee Prince to me, so I went to look it up. And then I found out that there are DOZENS of subbed Korean dramas freely available on Hulu. Oh god, you guys. I do not have the time to get into these things. This is a terrible discovery.

(But also awesome.)

(But also terrible.)

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