For a long time my daughter had been trying to get me to watch Korean Dramas with her. For some reason, I was under the impression that Korean Dramas were not unlike American soaps… which I loathe for one major reason: the characters you spend weeks and even months rooting for, once they find resolution in their relationships or goals … suddenly those things they fought so hard for become nothing. The thought of watching the same thing only with sub-titles made my blood run cold.
I declined frequently and often. I finally agreed after she begged me to watch just one with her… she chose Goong, because she hadn’t seen that one before and she thought it might be good… so starting in August of 2011 we began watching an episode or two now and then…
Unlike American Soap operas, the Koreans do their television series from beginning to end as one story. They are basically a romantic novel on TV. Each episode is a chapter and the story has a beginning, middle and end. While they have the same melodramatic quality as Soap Operas, the Korean dramas each come to a more or less satisfying conclusion. The k-dramas are also, for the most part, very moral, which is refreshing in a modern day romance. Relationships between men and women are chaste, but no less passionate.
Kimchi Family (aka Fermentation Family)
Anyway, after watching the first series with her I was hooked. I’ve been watching them almost exclusively, since. By exclusively, I mean, I haven’t watched much TV or gone out to very many movies since I’ve started watching these things. I’ve also started this blog about k-dramas… Since I keep boring everyone I know about them, it might be a nice outlet. Anyway, if you are curious about what I’m talking about you can view them several places, but dramafever.com is my favorite. I have a premium account there so I can watch them commercial free.
… I only recommend ones that are rated 4 stars or better. My current favorites are “Padam Padam” and “Kimchi Family.” Neither of those dramas are finished and I’m watching them as episodes get subtitles added and are posted. I’ve also gotten hooked on Wild Romance which I touched on in a previous post. It’s simulcast like Padam Padam and Kimchi Family.
I started watching Wild Romance this week and discovered two new actors to add to my watch list: Lee Dong Wook and Lee Si Young.
Lee Si Young plays Yoo Eun Jae, a tomboyish, baseball loving bodyguard.There’s absolutely NOTHING pretty or remotely attractive about this character.She sports a short tousled mane of hair that would look good on a flower boy, but does nothing to enhance her looks (more about the hair in a moment).She can sneer, spit and be as raunchy as any guy.She is also a bodyguard with 7th degree blackbelt in Judo.Her initial introduction to Lee Dong Wook’s character includes throwing him over her shoulder on his back.
Eun Jae’s hair … well … it’s not pretty.She does have ‘cute’ moments, in spite of the hair, but mostly when she’s sporting a hat or when her hair is plastered down for whatever reason.Her most hilarious hair moment is when she confronts another character, Oh Man Suk as Jin Dong Soo, with the most amazing demonstration of bed head I’ve ever seen.Furthermore, Dong Soo doesn’t appear to notice.I wonder how many takes it took for him to keep a straight face.She also faces doen Dong Wook’s character, Park Moo Yul, with the same bad hairdo and since their relationship to this point has been nothing short of perpetual hatred… he doesn’t make the slightest hint of a reaction.All I could think was how he could let this amazing opportunity for insults to slip by.
Maybe it’s because these guys are men, and men don’t really notice such things as hair.Or maybe they were so stunned that their minds blanked it out completely.They were still able to hold straight faced conversations with Eun Jae, so I’m thinking me must really have more than a one track mind, it’s just that they are unable to access more than one track at a time.
It got me wondering about this actress, Lee Si Young.The only two dramas she’s in on DramaFever.com are Kingdom of the Wind and Playful Kiss.Kingdom is on my list to watch, but I’m not in a hurry to watch another historical drama right now, so I ventured in to watching Playful Kiss.It’s a cute, high school drama that I won’t review right now, but Si Young plays a femme fatale, Yoon Hae Ra, and is absolutely drop dead gorgeous.The contrast between Yoon Hae Ra and Lee Eun Jae is so astonishing it took me a while to recognize they were the same actor.I love when they do that.Lee Si Young, you win a top grade actors award in my book.
In contrast, Lee Dong Wook is eye candy.For now that’s enough.I’ll watch one of his other Drama Fever videos after I finish Playful Kiss.I believe it would be La Dolce Vita or My Girl.Not sure at this time which I’ll watch; maybe My Girl, it’s shorter.
Some of you may know who Kim Bum is... one of the original Boys over Flowers pretty boys. He played So Yi Jung, the Casanova of the F4 pretty boy club.
I thought he was cute in Boys over Flowers and his character was somewhat interesting, but since I'm not really in to pretty boys, I didn't pay much attention to him.
Then I saw him in The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry as Ha Min-jae ... and still thought, meh, sweet, but too pretty. I might enjoy ruffling his perfectly coifed hair, but that's about it.
... but along comes Padam Padam, where he's a scraggly, dimwitted, sweetly insane ex-con named Gook Soo, who thinks he's Kang Chul's (the main character) guardian angel... and ... well ... I'm smitten. He's adorable! ... and gosh darn it if he doesn't actually sprout wings!
... actually, that's not true. I don't know squat about Korean dramas. I just know I enjoy watching them. I intend to ramble on a bit about the k dramas I watch and comment on the plot, characters, actors and general impressions. I've already watched quite a few on dramafever.com. Let's see ... not counting ones I haven't completed yet there are forty.
Young Love Jae In
Me Too, Flower!
I'm Sorry, I Love You
Spy Myung Wol
The Painter of the Wind
The Snow Queen
Tree With Deep Roots
Flower Boy Ramen Shop
The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry
What's Up Fox?
Queen Seon Duk
Can You Hear My Heart?
Baker King Kim Tak Goo
My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox
Hong Gil Dong
God of Study
Warrior Baek Dong Soo
Boys Over Flowers
My Lovely Sam Soon
That's sort of in reverse order ... My Lovely Sam Soon was one of the first and Young Love Jae In was the last one I completed.
I'm also currently watching:
Bachelor's Vegetable Store
... yes, all at the same time... sort of. All of them except Crime Squad are being simulcast and dramafever.com only dishes out a couple episodes at a time. Since I can watch a minimum of 5 episodes a night I easily keep up with them all and add a fully uploaded one to fill in while waiting on the next episodes to get subbed and uploaded.
I'm hoping to fill in the time between episodes to comment, berate, croon over and blather on about them so I can avoid boring my poor friends and family who have absolutely NO interest in hearing about them. I'm hoping a few lovely people out there will find this blog and give me feedback and comments. I would enjoy finding others who enjoy k-dramas as much as I do.