My Year in K Drama 2013-Part 2 of 3

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Just a refresher on ratings:

My rating scale is seriously too complicated but here it is.

Coffee Prince Good/Watchable 1-10   Boys over Flowers Crack 1-10   Flower Boy Ramyun Shop Fun 1-10

I also want to rate dramas on strength of the female lead, and that means a empowered female lead that has agency,  but I am working the kinks out on that scale.  For now it will simply be Kim Sam Soon 1-10, and basically I am looking at the lead character damsel in distress level, ability to take care of herself, and owning her sexuality.

And the tried and true Dramabeans scale:  How much I enjoyed it 1-10  vs How good (quality) it was 1-10

Warning:  I’m super harsh on ratings.  I mean seriously, I’m rating against Coffee Prince.

Masters Sun

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CP-5  BOF-3  FBRS-6

KSS-6  Gong-shil/Taeyang- Fun character, mature actress, took care of herself,  most of the time, and knew she had girl parts even though that an over 30 character was reduced to non responsive gimmick kiss lip presses was mind boggling.  My problem with this character was the passive aggressive cutesy manipulation technique.

6/6

It’s hard to watch, and rate,  a drama where you would prefer to fast forward through the parts with  the male lead character in it.  You know, So Ji Sub in advertisements and in magazine shoots, he’s pretty compelling. However, as an actor  he leaves me cold.   I was glad to see him try his hand at humor however, I was really hoping to like him more.  But the character of Joong Won just did not do the job for me.  I feel that Joong Won was reductive of Dokko Jin.  To be fair, if you take three Hong Sister heroes,  Dokko(Best Love) Tae-kyung(You’re Beautiful), and Joo-woong, you have a lot of similarities. However, you add the three characters own little bits of singular bat shit crazy, we can factor that for differences.     But here is the clincher,  Cha Seung Won and Jang Geun-suk, very different actors, very different appearances.  But put another mature, tall actor with a long face in a hair style similar to Dokko, and there is a friggin problem=So Ji Sub as Joong-won.

And really, on top of find the character annoying, the visual did not help.   I hated his hairstyle, I hated his clothes.  I hated the fit of the clothes.  It’s as if Joong Won went to Dokko’s hair stylist, and went shopping in the Thurston Howell III Collection,  with advice from Hugh Hefner and Fred from Scooby Doo.

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And other than Joong Won, my biggest issue was the mature actors in silly lip presses.   This drama received a lot of love for the romance.  I personally disliked it, and felt it was over-rated.  I think viewers equated the constant Taeyang touching as hot.

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I did not enjoy this drama as a whole, but the female cast was stellar.  Lil Sun was a definite stand out in this drama.  Gong Hyo-jin as usual was fabulous.  Taeyang was off the charts wacky and fun, but it was hard to relate to her character at first and it took a bit for the story to unveil that she was afraid of the ghosts because some were actual menaces, and that possession was dangerous to her.  So for too long a span we were watching a character act irrationally and it got a bit annoying.  My biggest complaint however was her cutesy act to manipulate to get her way with Joong-won.   I think Gong Hyo-jin likes this type of character.  In Pasta, her character was supposed to be more of a feisty, plucky, smartmouth type. She was allowed input with the character and the character changed to a more pouty little girl manipulative type.   That said, the female characters on a whole had a strong and positive presence in this drama, with Taeyang, the Aunt, The Suns, and the sister.  However, other than the sister and Taeyang, the women were not friends or a support network.

Despite my avid dislike of the lead male character, this show had a lot going on but it never pulled it all together to make me love it.  I personally liked the ghost of the week mystery that went by the wayside.  It was the little moments that were the best, just silly little things from crazy Lil Sun hair to the Mall Security that dressed like g-men to the fabulously hilarious Uncle to the wise Secretary Kim.

What the show did have was some really interesting things to say about religion, especially Christianity and Catholicism.  Which is par for the course with the Hong Sisters, Big and You’re Beautiful (idol worship ha) being pretty in your face.   With MS,  we had the “Kingdom”  and the master, and the master viewing his opponent from above with his spy glass.  That was pretty funny. Even better when the so call Devil admitted to checking in on heaven too with his own spyglass.    Regardless of what Taeyang did, from her “Jesus Save Me”  nun inspired nightie, to the religious icons in her room, nothing solved her problems.  They were meaningless, powerless, relics.   Should we even talk about the healing touch of her “master, her own personal Jesus?’  But despite all of these “fixes,”  Taeyang’s issues did not resolve until she faced them herself, and looked at her life, on her own. The message in the end perhaps is that things do not happen for a reason, shit just happens, and to good people.   Then we had the huge church looming over her apartment.   If that was not a statement I do not know what is.  The ending scene that invoked a wedding scene, without religion, also made a statement;  commitment and love has nothing to do with religion or marriage.   There is also the Chinese  Shaman and Korean Shamanisim which I have not studied in detail and would itself be a topic for its own post.

Hot scenes?  The ice cream scene between Taeyang and Kang-woo? That was screaming awesome in your face euphemism risque fun.  (Seo In Guk was fairly adorable throughout the drama.)   Otherwise not so much.  There were a lot of people crying chemistry and hotness with the lead couple,  but I did not feel it.

The drama was uneven, so I kind of felt jerked around.

I Hear Your Voice

CP-7  BOF-8 FBRS-6

KSS-7  Hyo-sung-gets major points for breaking trope rules,  but she did not own her sexuality, despite the incredible physical rapport with LJS,  and was just a tad damsel in distress. She supported herself and lived alone.   But she had no friends.  What she was though, was a character with a strong sense of who she was.

9/8

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UntitledI decided this simple screen-cap illustrated why Hye-sung was so awesome, that she dealt with everything head on.  She might have to stew it over, but it did not take long.  Really just a fun female drama character that was one part goofball and one part smartypants.

This show was the closest thing to crack for me this year.  I really enjoyed the two lead characters.  The biggest flaw in this show was the legal aspect, which sometimes defied logic.  This drama gave us something new-lead actors that portrayed a physical comfort level that we just do not see in Korean dramas.  It played with drama tropes.  Hye-sung was a stellar lead female character.  Su-ha was a beautiful character.  And Mom was just awesome,  It gave us a second lead female that grew up and became a real person, not just redeemed because someone decided to forgive her in the end.  I do not like Lee Dahee as an actress and I think her performance is over-rated.  I did not like the character but I give the writing points for giving the second lead real facets, not end of the story forgiveness.  It also gave  us a downright Scary  Gorton’s Fisherman Ahjussi, yikes!  But my biggest problem with this drama was the second lead male character.  Frankly, I wonder if the premise changed or the character changed right before filming and that was the problem. I don’t know if the character was altered due to the actor, or they wanted to go a different direction with the character and didn’t flesh it out.  The original notes released on the character was that he was an experienced cop, and macho.   This may explain the cop flashback scenes where he was very much a more cool together character which completely conflicted with the nerdy goofball attorney that tripped over air when walking.  This was not facets of the character-it was as if he were two different people.  Anyway, that was a problem.  When I  watch this drama again I will certainly want to skip his scenes. And when I am willing to skip through a drama, really that’s a big tell for me that when I go back to watch it again, I may have more issues with it.    Then again there was a lot of stuff going on in this drama that I did not have to time to pay attention to properly, such as the use of color.  I haven’t had a chance to close watch it but I’ll get there.  I think the drama as a whole is a lot shakier than I completely grasp yet, and they never did explain Su-ha’s ability.  I think the teen friend scenes were choppy.

The themes need more analysis because I was really extremely mesmerized by Lee Jong Suk in this drama, pardon my fascination with everything about him.  Justice is supposed to be blind but is not,  is the most obvious one.

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Hot Scenes?  Lee Jong Suk shoulder porn?

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Heirs

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CP-4  BOF-5 FBRS-6

KSS-3.5 -Eun-sang- the character had great potential and somehow just never got out of the pawn zone and certainly did not own her sexuality. And how come she had no friends except the boy with the beautiful smile?

6/6

First of all, unfortunately this took up more of my review than many will probably argue that it is really worth, but in keeping with it being one of the most talked about dramas, I guess that makes sense. And to be fair, there was a lot going on in this drama and it is more complex and layered than given credit, but it was poorly executed and and managed to say absolutely nothing  in the end.  I should have dropped it mid way simply due to time constraints,  but it was never horrible enough to make me throw up my hands.  In the end, it was sticky for me, even if it made me angry.

Fucked up people doing fucked up things.  A sageuk family in 2013 =UGH.   There is a reason I do not like sageuks.

Complete male lead character subversion because Kim Tan was the second lead, development wise, and Young-do was the jerk type lead.  So repeat after me all of you second lead syndrome people-be careful what you wish for:  a writer gave you what you wanted, she made the second lead the lead and he got the girl, and you still didn’t like it and still shipped the other guy! The same people that hated Gu Jun Pyo and Cha Chi Soo were probably shipping Young-do. And Young-do was a guy that would do some serious damage to people for fun.  There were a lot of comparisons with this drama to Boys Over Flowers.  I personally think that was unfair to both the dramas.  But let’s go there with Young-do and Gu Jun Pyo.  GJP and F4 were stand-offish and cold and sometimes cruel to people for a reason.  Self-protection.  If they were nice, especially at school, people wanted something from them all the time.  Sure, GJP was an extreme.  And let’s also remember that while he played that silly red card game, it was the other students that took it upon themselves to perpetuate extreme violence on other students.  And let’s also remember GJP did not change.  He had no use for anyone not in his little world and could not care less what happened to anyone outside his circle and that never changed. Everything involving Jandi was personal, from his initial grudge to falling for her, and his behavior changed toward HER because she mattered to him.  Jandi and her family became part of his world, they were his people, and GJP did care about his people.   YD, why did he do what he did?  Because it was fun to him, he got his jollies by personally mentally and physically torturing people. Sorry I don’t have a Mom and my Dad is abusive so it was learned behavior and I am angry at the world  but I’m going to change now because I met a cute girl does not cut it.  I could never buy his character development and mostly felt it was manipulative to make the character sympathetic.

This drama was a textbook example of how media can manipulate the audience.  Let’s look at this.  The show had viewers:

-crushing on and making excuses for a jolly sadist (don’t try to play it off on the backstory, the shipping was going on in the first episodes when we would not have been surprised to find out Young-do was torturing kittens).

-sympathizing with a woman that had an affair with a married man for years and took no steps to remove herself and her child from a miserable, abusive, existence because of MONEY.   But, the legal wife, from a political marriage entered into by BOTH parties, was the “bad” guy for protecting her political/business/financial rights.  Yes she was a nasty piece of work, and Daddy Kim enabled her behavior if not encouraged it.

-validating Rachel’s behavior because  she was “engaged” to Kim Tan.   Her parent and Kim Tan’s parents arranged an engagement which Tan openly told Rachel he went along with to keep the peace until he could not do it anymore.  So, by Tan having feelings for Eun-sang, Rachel, a worthless excuse of a person,   was a sympathetic character because Tan was “cheating” on her.  Really?  Seriously?   Rachel kind of faded away in the last bits.  Which was good.  In a group of useless people, she was the most completely useless and non-essential.  She was not a nice person and she was no ones friend.

-Upset with the ending where Kim Won did not get his girl. Won played the societal game, and the rules said he had to marry in his class, and he never went after securing his life with Teacher.  No sympathy from me.  You can’t buy into the system and then cry foul.   (Sidenote-Won and Teach were foils for Tan and ES-each were mirror images of what they could have been if they made different choices).

And let’s be real.  The root of all the problems were the PARENTS, and for Kim Tan’s family, the FATHER.

People talk about that Young-do really was the only character with development (which is often classic first lead stuff).   But I really enjoyed what they did with Bo-na, taking her from the bitchy jealous rich mean girl to show us the insecure girl that really did not have class bias or other bias at all.  We could have used more of that and less of Rachel or her mother.  The time used with Snogging Daddy and Esther and YD’s Dad, would have been time well spent with other characters, such as Bo-na, Hyo-shin, and Won and Teach.

Which leads me to-There were too many characters and too many fine actors and actresses in this drama.  There was also a ton of metaphor and layers in this drama, but not great direction or production.  it was choppy, and there was never enough time with some delightful performance and characters.

I do not buy for one minute the story that the Kim Tan character was written specifically for LMH.  Lee Min Ho didn’t have much to do with Kim Tan, other than play out the angsty melo, because the stuff that he’s best at, dynamic action, intensity, bickering, and pettiness that is played for humor was too spotty for him to shine, because, he was the nice guy second lead,  remember?   The characters he worked best with were Bo-na, Young-do, and Hyo-shin, and that was just never enough.    Despite the awesome coats and LMH jeans, this show’s ugly sweater parade was proof that Lee  Min Ho in fact can not make anything look good.

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Sadly, Eun-sang,  I never felt her, or never really knew her, after the first few episodes.   Lot’s of potential, and it went no where but as the good girl.  I will say she did not deserve the derogatory Candy moniker thrown at her by some viewers within the first few episodes of the drama, but she was never really allowed to be anything other than the damsel in the writing and directing. However the loop of poverty, the psychological damage it does to people, and how the cannot see any other way to live was evident in Eun Sang’s Amma and Eun Sang, and even her sister.

The conflict with Eun-sang’s disappearance was contrived and oh, wow, back together in a couple of episodes. Totally lame.

The really sad part was the total drop of the dreams and vision of the future theme, because that had something to say, and it just didn’t flesh out.  Was this the writing or the directing?  I am going to make a call on the directing and script changes.  Kim Tan started out with some deep thought, and wow, nothing happened.  There was a lot of hate for the Cali episodes, but personally I enjoyed the dreamy quality and Kim Tan the most in that part of the drama.  The entire drama really had this surreal dream quality-but what was dream and what was nightmare really was up to the character,  and/or viewer?  There was depth in this drama, the themes of dreams, and eyes as windows of the souls, the lead subversion, and the lead twinning-did viewers even notice that Kim Tam and Young Do were basically the same character only changed by specific singular life events that altered their perspectives and actions?  These elements which made the drama interesting and sticky in many ways, do not make it a great drama however.

Kang Haneul was absolutely fabulous. It was the little bits of the secondary and tertiary characters that made this drama bearable. It really was a terrible waste of talent.

One of my favorite scenes from Heirs-why?  Kang Haneul’s facial expressions.

My take away from this show is that it showed unlikable people have feelings too, and no matter how awful people are,  someone loves them.  That’s rather shallow, and I know part of that is coming from anger that this show could have been deeper.  Young rich people have it tough because they have no dreams or motivation other than carrying on the family business.  They have to operate in this restrictive set of rules.  Right.  Okay.   They have a dream life already, so why should they want anything else?  Just…No.  Poor people think rich people have it so good…because they DO. That doesn’t mean they are not human, but it is not sympathy inducing.   It was extremely difficult to care about any of these characters, Eun-sang included, because she was terribly self involved.  And had really amazing hair for a poor girl supposedly one step from living in a ditch.   The conflicts just kind of faded away, there were never any real resolutions, so yeah, what was the end here?  Oh, yeah, we cried alot because we couldn’t do what we wanted to do because our parents are mean, but we kind of just did it anyway?  That is a statement about class in itself, though, is it not?

I see this drama called over-rated by others. To me over-rated means considering something as a higher quality than it actually is.  When I think over-rated, I think of Queen Inhyun’s Man.  A great lead male character and good chemistry with leads does not make it a great drama.  QIHM was a good enough drama, but other than the scenes with the two leads I could fast forward through ever other moment of it.   I’m also thinking people confuse over-rated with over-hyped.    I’m not sure how anyone could consider Heirs over-rated, because really, who really expected much from it to start with with so many characters?  That was really the buzz when it was announced, how could it possibly be any good with this enormous cast and 20 episodes, and a writer that gives you some crazy fun male leads, but often leaves the female characters as pawns?   Was it over hyped (over publicized)?  To be fair, I can’t exactly judge that.   My understanding is that it was popular in Korea, as are many of the really soapy dramas,  as are sageuks.  That doesn’t make it over rated either, just more popular than acclaimed.   It can be called over-buzzed maybe?  Because certainly it was the most talked about drama, both in positive and negative terms.

Hot Scenes? Lee Min Ho in Cali.

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Lee Min Ho in backwards baseball cap is SWEET, and probably the only time he came close to looking around 17.

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Secret

CP-2 BOF-2 FBRS-1

KSS-Kang Yoo-jung- I don’t even know how to rate this character.  What a hot fucking mess. Does she gets a 3 for not committing suicide? No, because her stupidity enabled the tragic in her life.

4/4

Fucked up people doing fucked up things and calling it love in trainwreck lives that you kind of cannot look at and not think Jerry Springer would love you.  Two extremely thin extremely plastic actresses that are kind of scary.   The good?  A group of female friends, and Ji Sung as an actor. Wow, he really was good, and somehow the direction and writing worked with some of his  ability to do quirky that makes him so fun to watch.

I can deal with fucked up people doing fucked up things on TV shows.  But what was beyond disturbing was the fan comments.  I became increasingly concerned over the comments on how cute it was that the lead male character was falling for the lead female character, and how awesome it was, but at no point did the female lead character show interest in him.  EVER.  That did not seem to matter, it was just ASSUMED that hey hot guy, no matter that he’d tormented her for YEARS, oh yeah, no chance she might not be interested, right?   And then we come to the car forced kissing scene.  Min-hyuk has tried to kiss Yoo-jung earlier in the episode but she refused.  The mean girl fiance orchestrated a confrontation between the three of them and Yoo-jung’s former lover.  Yoo-jung refuses to play the game and leaves.  Min-hyuk is dropping off Yoo-jung at her home.  Suddenly, he forcibly holds the woman down in the car seat and kisses the female character as she struggles repeatedly, protesting,  She breaks away several times and he forces her again and again.  He stops and she tries to get out of the car, and he forces her to a sitting position,  and then he starts to kiss her again and she just sits there passively with no response as he kisses her again, with tears running down her face, supposedly because she likes him too…based on saying so in a subsequent episode?  There is a difference in a guy taking a shot and kissing a girl and getting shot down.  It’s another for a guy to NOT STOP when a woman is protesting, never stops protesting until she plops down in exhaustion.

At no time in the scene did she EVER indicate she wanted to be kissed. At no time did she ever respond.

The comments–oh how sweet, cute, how luck she was, how hot it was.    I saw several comments which said that she needed to be forced to accept her feelings for him.  When did she have romantic feelings for him before?  I never saw them.

Appalling.

Hot Scenes? NOT that.    Ji Sung’s wardrobe?

I can’t even deal with screen caps from this show.

Ten 2

I’m not rating this all the ratings, just a simple  8/6

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This show is really good, if you like procedural crime shows but as it left us hanging sort of with no expectation of a 3 season to wrap, it’s kind of a limbo show and hard to rate.  Season 2 never really cleared up Season 1, so where do you go with it?  I had the same problem with Vampire Prosecutor.  I’d really like dramas to have a season arc with a nice wrapped conclusion because most of the time they do not have multiple seasons.

The Good Doctor

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CP-4 BOF-2 FBRS- 5

KSS-6-Dr. Cha-This is a really strong female lead probably on of the strongest in the bunch.  Why a 6 then?  Because once she decided Si on was a go, she turned into a scary controlling asian girl friend stereotype and creeped me the hell out.

7.5/6

Si On was an awesome character and I became in like with Joo Won as an actor.  The kids and supporting cast were fun. I had some issues of portraying Si On as a prophet/savior/Jesus figure, there was some silliness and repetitiveness in the first few episodes, but it settled in and leveled out.

Dr. Cha is an awesome female lead.  She’s smart, she’s talented, she had an independent nature, and is a good friend and a good person.  I would have liked to see her have more of a personal life with female friends outside of work.  The female characters in this drama were pretty strong.

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Hot scenes?  Not so much.

Suspicious Housekeeper

CP-2 BOF-1 FBRS-2

KSS- 3-Bok-Nyeo   Why only 3?  because of the message of the show.

5/4

This show had a lot going for it, and a great cast.  What was disturbing to me was the message it sent; the role of a woman in society exists for one reason, as a mother and a helpmate.  The mother is the center of the family and is responsible for EVERYTHING,  and that is ALL that matters-she is a NON-entity otherwise.  Her personal happiness is centered around this function ONLY.   No matter how accomplished and bad ass and DIFFERENT Bok Nyeo was, her identity, her fulfillment, her happiness,  was tied to that one responsibility.   That she was a person with a sexuality and a mind was not important.   And I REALLY did not like marriage for the sake of the kids part of the plot and I am glad they did not go there completely, even though it was kind of implied they Dad and BN would end up together.   I found that extremely disturbing.

The whole time I was cracking up with the Gatsby thing.  It was actually quite interesting to see the Gatsby irrational love that fueled his upwardly mobile con,  for the spoiled and egocentric Daisy applied to Hottie psycho’s sociopathic obsession for Bo Nyeo the perfect mom and wife.

Hot scenes?  Not.

Reply 1994

CP-6  BOF-5 FBRS-6

KSS-5-Na-jeong is a strong personality.   She earned major points for stopping the wedding to secure her career.  She also engaged in physical contact and actually kissed Trash.  She lost points for cleaning up after Trash, and having the hots for a guy that probably rarely brushed his teeth,  and going no where with her career in the end.

9/9

answer2-00379-800x450This is when I knew I was going to love this show.  A lip biting scene in the second episode?  YES.

reply94braAnd with the fauxcest is hot thing.  again.

This show was delightful.  I loved each and everyone of the characters.  I think that it dropped the ball with opting out of a gay character, and negating all of Bing’s crushing. I find it a bit sad that it was reduced, to oh, he was confused.  I felt it was reductive of people that struggle with their sexuality  I have no problem with Bing being portrayed as bisexual and falling for a woman in the end, but I did have a problem with it never being fully addressed.

I like that it mixed up the tropes with the leads, which really fueled the 2nd lead shipping, and heightened expectations.  All i can say is people, come on, read the damn cast listing.  They don’t lie.

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Despite that I’d never let Trash touch me because he’s probably breeding botulism,   the character was so funny and weird and quirky, really a different kind of male lead.  I do not know how much of that was the writing and how much of it is Jung Woo but it was crazy awesome.  He was not always attractive or even appealing, but he was always full of heart.  The fact that this nasty, goofy, kind of idiotic guy was a neurosurgeon was scary.   And for one hot moment in the early episodes thought that Trash might end up a bisexual if not gay character, and that amazed me and I had to go back to the cast list to make sure he was the male lead.

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I heart Chilbongie.   He was a little dumb, but capable, and very sweet.  But really, Na-jeong never showed any feelings other than friendship for him.  There was not much chance Trash was not endgame despite all the punking the writers did throughout.

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I was really shocked about how much airtime they gave Chilbongie in the last two episodes.  That is unusual with a second male lead.  However it was nice to see.

I really enjoyed the heart and earthiness of this drama.  I’m not much for bathroom humor but thankfully that became more sparse over time.  I think it ran too long, and I think that it got a little over the top with punking us on the gay or not plot bunny, and which guy is the hubby.

This drama also has a lot of physical contact between ALL of the characters that you just do not see in most k drama.

I think that Haitai was really integral to the group, he was definitely as central as the house and parents.  He was the person that was friends with each character, and the parents.  It really bothered me that Na-jeong never went to see him when he was in the military considering he was almost a better girlfriend that Yoon-jin.

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Na-jeong. She was smart and funny and caring, but really she was not particularly interesting.  She was definitely self centered, but never to the point that she was completely obnoxious.  I don’t think she was always the best friend, but she definitely had great people in her life.  I do not like that her career apparently went no where and she then became a stay at home Mom.  I also did not like the message that Yoon-jin HAD to work because Samcheonpo did not make enough money.  It would have been nice that these two strong female characters could be shown to be have successful and fulfilling careers.

The end note of the show was a nod to the nostalgia of your youth, which has definitely been a big part of the the Reply dramas, but it kind of negated the characters journey in life.  Life was good and now it’s okay?

Hot scenes?  Chilbongie in the dugout shirtless?  Trash fondling Bing constantly?

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Those dramas that are still running and will finish in 2014, impressions:

Let’s Eat-Quirky, different, fun.  Strong female characters.

The Prime Minister and I-Cute, funny, odd.  Borderline easy push over into annoying.  Yoon Si Yoon=wasted.

Pretty Man-Fun unique female character.  IU is quite like Chae Rim-cute as a button, all big eyes and sunshine, and then she laughs that naughty husky laugh and it does things to people.  As odd as Jang Geun Suk may be in his non drama life, he can act, and he is always entertaining.  People seem to forget that.  The eye makeup on the women is fabulous lol.

Man from Another Star-Very disappointed in some sloppy continuity and that it’s going with some Twilight bad canon and a stupid heroine.  Obviously they took the script and substituted alien for vampire.  The female lead is funny but it’s hard to feel sorry for someone that stupid, and hard to believe an extremely intelligent guy would have any interest in her other than her beauty because it’s not like they can relate on an intellectual level.  Oh wait, silly me.

Shows I dropped or what not:

Unemployed Romance-Dropped it after the episode THAT WAS ENTIRELY FLASHBACK.

Mirae’s Choice-I think Jung Yong Hwa was pretty  fun and refreshing in the first few episodes,   but the show did not hook me.   It was just flaky and the Shin/Mirae relationship seemed forced.  I dropped it, and followed some recaps.  However, the ending was IMPORTANT.  Wow, there a lot of hate out there for the ending.  And it pissed me off, considering all of the outcries for empowered female characters.  Mirae chose herself. I was not a fan of the show over all but the ending to me is important for a female k drama character. That Mirae made herself a priority and did not see a man as her only choice- that is big, huge. That WHO she ended up with was not important, but that she had choices, and either guy was a good choice for her, or no guy was a good choice for her-that was a big deal. Wow, was this really a k drama? Did they really let a woman character say which man she chose was not the point?  I’m not sure actors get to pick their roles really, I think they have to take jobs available, but lets assume YEH chose this role, and knowing she’s not afraid to color outside the lines, well the ending might just have something to do with her taking the role.

Level 7 Civil Service:   Romulans running Korean covert homeland security and a great cast cannot save a drama from terrible terrible wtf writing.  The fan hate Choi Kang-hee received for daring to be paired with Joo Won in a drama was just disturbing.

Incarnation of Money-Fat suit and fat stereotyping and fat jokes=Just NO.

Thrice Married Woman-I may still watch this eventually.

Hundred Years Inheritance-A divorced female lead character, yay!!!  A great cast.    Yay!!!  The execution, bleaaaaah.  The same thing happened every episode, I swear.   It made me want to vomit.   Bad writing and no where to go made it seem like it aired for a hundred years.

Nine-A few episodes in and I wanted to stab the mushroom hair girl with the incense, and stab the guy too, when he was with the girl. I got off that train.  I do not care how cute that guy was or how supposedly smart this drama was, every time I tried to watch it something annoying just sent me looking for something else to watch.

Golden Rainbow-I think it’s going to be mediocre at best.   Jung Il Woo is fabulous, but he is better than this show.  UEE’s character is all over the place.  The logic is well, not logic.

Miss Korea-much stronger female characters that I expected.  Much older characters that I expected., which is great.  Stellar cast.  It’s like a Pasta/Golden Time reunion ha.  The Voice playing his character as a teenager is ludicrous.

Shows I had interest in but decided against:

Two Weeks-I love looking at Lee Jun Ki, but his dramas never quite do it for me.

Rascal Sons-I could just never commit.

My wish list for 2014 (I had to throw in some k pop stuff too because, hey, it’s my wish list):

Lee Jong Suk in a really sexy role.

Jung Il Woo in a really sexy role.

Yoon Si Yoon in a mature role and where he gets to open mouth make out with his co-star, so basically Yoon Si Yoon in a sexy role.

Ahem, I seem to have developed a theme there.  Let’s move on because my shallow is showing.

The death of the lip press and bug eyes.

A lesbian character.

Lee Min Ho and Kang Sora in a bickering couple rom com.

Even more awesome female characters. A female lead character that:  is self sufficient, is not a virgin, having had mature relationships, doesn’t need saving and may be even saves her guy,  makes herself a priority,  shreds anyone that tries to wrist grab, slap her, put her down, bully her, make her feel ugly, or get her fired, and opens her mouth and kisses the crap out of her love interest.

Drama Plot:  A 40 year old Prime Minister widower with 3 kids marries a 20 year old something tabloid reporter.  Shenanigans ensue. Oh, right, that’s being done, but what if, say,  the  PM is played by Lee Mi Yeon and the reporter is played by Kang Min-hyuk?  🙂

TVXQ reunion.  Just thought I’d throw that out there as it is a wish list.  No?  Okay, how about a new JYJ album?

More Jonghyun and Taemin fanservice?

Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin as the leads in a bickering couple rom com.

Rain taking his clothes off on stage.

The only one I’d bet on is Rain.

Part 3 will be a best of type thingie, along with some commentary going into 2014.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlyn Burton
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 23:42:59

    I Hear Your Voice – “But my biggest problem with this drama was the second lead male character. Frankly, I wonder if the premise changed or the character changed right before filming and that was the problem.” Yeah, that was what i was wondering as well. He was such a pointless character, in the end, but they seemed to want him to be a love interest initially, so I’m not really sure what happened there. I never cared about him at all. I was purely in it for Soo Ha.

    Heirs – I love everything you said because you’re so right, but despite everything, I still totally don’t mind shipping Young Do or sympathising with Tan’s mum. Loved both the characters. Originally, i did hate myself for liking sociopath Young Do so much, lol, but i eventually accepted it because all I was doing was what the writers wanted me to do. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. If writers (or actors, because in this case, I really do think Woo Bin played a massive part in getting us to love that character) can’t manipulate us to make us feel what they want us to feel, then what is the point in writing or watching TV at all? Plus, it was easier to just go with the flow with Heirs. I think the reason there are so many people that hated it was because they took it too seriously. But if you just take it for what it is, it’s not half as bad. I was glad that Won didn’t get his girl though, he never tried to keep her, so he didn’t deserve her.

    Secret and Reply 1994 – Agreed. What you said about Golden Rainbow is exactly what I was thinking as well. The characters were better and made more sense when they were kids.

    It’s a pity you couldn’t stick with Nine. Well worth watching. I understand how frustrating it can be to watch something where you can’t stand one of the characters though.

    Unemployed Romance really shot itself in the foot with the stupid structure. In the end, I actually really liked it, and I came away from it thinking “aw, that was cute”. But while the episodes focusing on the lead guy (that i kept calling flashbacks but I guess were just events from another perspective) were happening, I kept wanting it to catch up to the present and get on with it, and as you said, that’s where you stopped watching and I think a lot of other people probably did too. I don’t know whose idea it was to make it like that, but that person needs to learn from this mistake and never do that ever again.

    Lee Min Ho and Kang Sora in a bickering couple rom com – Ummm, yes please! I would totally watch that!

    Reply

    • randomsoju
      Dec 30, 2013 @ 17:53:07

      Did not really mean to come off judgmental, just some stuff I noticed. I liked Hot Mamma. I do however find it really funny how people can hate or love characters with similar traits or tropes based on if they are leads or seconds or based on the actors portraying the character. It’s rather mind boggling. Regarding Heirs, well, that’s the problem with dramas and viewers. Especially with k dramas and some of the, uh, fans, that think they have the right to dictate their preferences to the writers lol. Heirs was never really bad, it just was not very good either. Mostly it was kind of…there.

      Reply

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