Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Answer Me 1994: Speculations on the Ending

I'm sure I'm not the only one annoyed to death by the groom mystery, but at least the silver lining is Chilbongie finally returned to star in the past couple of episodes of 1994. Despite that, I have no delusions that they're going to let him win out at the end - after all, Korean drama writers are slaves to Korean popular sentiment, and for reasons I'll never comprehend, Trash somehow gained a following there. How does one watch the sibling-type, boring as dirt "romance" and somehow prefer that to the sweet, heart-achy alternative?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Miss Korea: Initial Impressions

I'm liking Miss Korea so far, but will say it feels significantly slower than its popular competitor You From Another Star. I'm not yet invested in either of the lead characters, but I've enjoyed watching their interactions and find them likable both individually and together. I'm also liking all the side characters, who bring interesting color through their own quirks and eccentricities. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Year-End Reflections: Worst to Best Heroines of 2013

Instead of the usual year-end drama review set, I thought I'd start things off with a look-back on all the heroines we encountered this year. Overall, this was a bad year for them. We got lots of pretentious, self-absorbed girls, a couple outright idiots, and several purposeless flower vases. I'm admittedly a harsh critic of female leads, because they really do need to thread a fine balance between relatable, smart, and interesting for me to actually feel invested enough to care (normally I just watch for the guys, cause who are we kidding).

Once in a long span, there comes a lady who makes me care enough to watch for her own right. My top two to date are Ma Hye Ri (Prosecutor Princess) and Cha Bong Sun (Me Too, Flower), and I am happy to say there were a couple good ones this year. But most of the time though, we get ones like those in the "Worst" and "Indifferent" lists below.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nine: Series Review

Truthfully, Nine left a poor taste in my mouth after the first episode, which was waddling and lacking of any hook. But I went back to give it a second chance, and in retrospect it was one of the best dramas of the year. It was the rare show that really pushed the bounds of episodic, visual storytelling, and left me entirely convinced of the quality behind this writer-director team. While the show took a while to situate itself, once it got going it was hard to look away. This is the kind of story that stays with you long after watching, and leaves you both puzzled and heart-wrenched in the best way.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Drama Updates: Prime Minster and I, Let's Eat, Answer Me 1994, Pretty Man

I've been steadily checking out the new dramas, and while I haven't formed any defining judgments yet, thought I'd weigh in on the most recent run of episodes:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Answer Me 1994: Episodes 12-13 Thoughts

From the position of someone squarely on Chilbongie's side, episodes 12-13 were pretty painful. I've resigned myself to the fact that these writers and I will never see eye to eye on the romance front. In 1997 I was on the tiny ship for Shi Won and Yoon Jae's brother, and of course in 1994 I again boarded the second-lead love train. However, at least for 1997 I could understand the fan adoration for Yoon Jae, even if I found his romance with her unoriginal and boring. By contrast, I don't get the fan love for Oppa at all. Yes, he was cute back in episodes 2-3 before Chilbongie showed up, but how does one watch all the sweetness of Chilbongie and all the idiocy of Oppa and still somehow support the latter? I can't understand it, and because of that the Na Jung-Oppa scenes leave me fuming rather than resigned.