Saturday, June 30, 2012

What Are You Watching?

I haven't posted in a while.  Real life has gotten in the way and I am seriously behind on my dramas.  Queen In-hyun's Man/The Queen and I is seriously tempting me to start.  Crazy!  I can't even manage to watch the dramas already on my list. But how can I resist the drama that caused the infamous Fan Meeting to End All Fan Meetings?    I need a day that I can do some serious marathoning. 

Big is a lot of fun, if not the cracktastic rollercoaster ride you normally see from the Hong Sisters.  Admittedly, a lot of the time it coasts on Gong Yoo's charisma and abs.  I Do, I Do I'm really enjoying, even though I don't get the romantic pay off there that I get from Big Protect the Boss I'm really lagging on and I'm still too traumatized by King 2 Hearts to pick City Hunter back up again. 

How about you guys?  What are you watching?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Full House Wrap-Up

Full House is an older drama, from 2004.  It stars Rain as actor Lee Young-Jae and Song Hye-kyo as aspiring writer Han Ji-Eun.   

The first few episodes of this drama were really hard for me to take.  The premise is ridiculous in that the lead character gets scammed out of her house and all her money and possessions by her best friends but does not put them in jail because they are going to have a baby.  This all happens in the first episode so I'm not spoiling anything by telling you this, just giving you a heads up because if that sort of scenario is likely to make the top of your head fly off in a rage you may want to avoid this drama.

I'm putting in a jump because this is long.  Mild spoilers follow...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Do, I Do (through episode 4)

This drama is really unusual.  At least, maybe, my reaction to it is unusual because it may just be me.  But I'm not really feeling the love line but I am completely invested in the two female leads.  

A lot of K-dramas have trouble with the heroines.  Sometimes they are nothing more than a cardboard cut out that reacts to the hero but we have trouble understanding what motivates them or why they are feeling what the audience is told they feel.  And as for the B female lead, well usually she's just a crazy, clingy chick who puts the E in Emotional Disorder. 

The reason I'm digging I Do, I Do is that both women are becoming very compelling in their own right, away and apart from the male leads and their story lines, particularly when they are together. A lot of this is the writing, but I think you really have to credit the actresses, Kim Sun-ah and Lim Soo-hyang.

Spoilers after the jump...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Geek Post #2: It's Taboo

Language is a mirror that reflects the culture that produces it.  

In George Orwell’s 1984, one of the goals of Big Brother is to reduce vocabulary because a broad vocabulary can convey complex thought.  If you don’t want people to think, limit their ability to communicate.

Part of the complexity that language communicates is the history of a people and the way they think, for example the taboos that they have embraced.   A common taboo among humans is left-handedness.  

About 10% of the world population are left-handed.  Apparently that’s just the right number to freak history right the heck out because it’s a taboo that is extremely common in languages around the world.  

This is kind of long, so the rest of the post is after the jump...

Too. Many. Dramas.

I'm watching 5 dramas.  Drama overload.  There aren't enough hours in the day.  

City Hunter I haven't watched since a certain event in King2Hearts because the drama is hurtling toward its endgame and I'm still traumatized from K2H.  If anything bad happens I can't take it.  So rom-coms it is! I'll come back to it because it's really good but I've got to be ready for it. 

Protect the Boss I'm really enjoying, but it's been spinning its wheels the last couple of episodes so I picked up Full House thinking I wasn't going to watch anything currently airing and I wanted to see something a little more old school. 

Foolish, foolish Penny.

I already posted about I Do, I Do.  I've been totally sucked in because I want to see how the drama between the A and B female leads plays out.

And then there is Big.  I was feeling some ambivalence but it's the Hong Sisters and Gong Yoo so it's not like I could stay away.  Plus I really liked Lee Min-jung in Boys Over Flowers (She played Ha Jae-kyung.  Am I the only person who was upset that she didn't get the guy?  I actually liked Ha Jae Kyung more than Geum Jan-di and thought that Lee Min-ho had a ton more chemistry with Lee Min-jung than Ku Hye-sun. But that's another story...) Anyway....Gong Yoo is killing me playing a teenage boy (*waves hands* "Whatever!") and his post army body is....killing me in a completely different way.

(Dear Gong Yoo,
I'm sorry for objectifying you.  I know it is wrong.  But the army was very, very good to you.  And everyone else.  The end.


So, yeah, it's Drama City around here.  Sigh!  Can you tell I'm really, really happy?

P.S.  We need to talk about the person responsible for Rain's wardrobe in Full House.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cyrano Dating Agency

So if Perfect Couple was an example of B grade fluff, Cyrano Dating Agency is bringing its A game.  

Cyrano Dating Agency stars Lee Min-jung (who will be in the upcoming Big with Gong Yoo), Uhm Tae-woong, Park Shin-hye, and Daniel Choi as unemployed stage actors who decide to use their drama skills to help the lovelorn win their hearts' desire.It's basically a modern retelling of Cyrano De Bergerac, only instead of letters they are using high tech surveillance equipment.

First of all, the cinematography and the set design is lovely.  The set for their home base in an old theater has all of these lovely warm tones and antique theater props.  The soundtrack is perfectly understated as well.  Here's a video of the song that features prominently in the plot line:

AGNES BALTSA - Aspri méra ke ya mas

Like the song, there is a certain dreamy quality to the film and it's not a fast mover.  This is one you just kind of sit back and go with the flow on.

The cast works well together, the plot isn't wholly unexpected if you know the source material but the journey is a pleasant one and the angst isn't overwhelming.  In fact there is a definite sweetness to it that I enjoyed a great deal. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Top 10 Hints You Might Watch Way Too Many K-dramas

1.     Your husband leaves a love note in your lunch and you grade it and give it back to him.

2.     You want to name the family’s new puppy Seung-gi.

3.     You start to wonder what your husband would look like with an asymmetrical haircut.

4.    You avoid commercials like the plague, but find yourself looking up your favorite k-drama star’s CFs on Youtube and now you’re measuring your kitchen for a kimchi refrigerator.

5.     Ramen has become a major part of your diet.

6.     You have a sudden urge to buy a Galaxy Note.

7.     Your sister is upset because the school play is Twelve Angry Men. Your advice is to pretend to be a boy to land a role because this WILL TOTALLY WORK. 

8.     Your mother-in-law gives you birthday money and you think this is her subtle way of telling you to go study overseas.

9.     You are convinced that everyone has cancer.

10.   You almost failed high school Spanish but now have a Korean vocabulary at least as good as an average Korean two-year-old.

Committing to I Do, I Do

The promos for this drama were weird and honestly a little off-putting so I didn't think I was going to watch it in spite of the fact that I love Kim Sun-ah.
See. Weird.
I mean, this show has SHOES!!11!!! Shoes! And the ladies love shoes, amirite? We want to make sure that every promo features the shoes because SHOES!!!


I'm not all that into fashion or shoes, nor am I all that drawn to noona-killer plotlines, so I figured I'd give this one a pass.  I'm not even sure what made me watch the first episode. 

But, you know, it's pretty good.  It's fluffy, but there's some interesting stuff going on here, too.  I don't want to post spoilers, so I'm going to stick to the most general points.

More than anything, the plot really picked up momentum when the B lead was introduced.   Yeom Na-Ri (played by Lim Soo-hyang) is the young and ambitious daughter of the company CEO.  But she has her own drive to succeed as she is the illegitimate daughter of his mistress.  She has impeccable credentials but no real world experience.  She makes the rookie mistake of trying to dominate Hwang Ji-An (Kim Sun-ah), her sunbae, rather than learn from her. It makes for a great antagonism that has nothing to do with a man. 

Also, ignore that picture up there, because Park Geon-hyeong is the B male lead and he is sex-on-a-stick.  If he and Kim Sun-ah dance the tango in this I will probably spontaneously combust. 

The male lead actor, Lee Jang-woo is fine.  He does have some chemistry with Kim Sun-ah (but she is like Ha Ji-won in that I challenge an actor to not have chemistry with her.)  I think acting opposite Kim Sun-ah will make him improve over time. 

If I could make a K-drama wish, it would be that A-chick ends up with B-dude and A-dude ends up with B-chick.  I will be shocked if this actually happens.