Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cunning Single Lady: Second-Lead Syndrome as of Episode 10

The last two episodes have done it - I've jumped completely onto the Seung-hyun ship. Unfortunately, it's clear that the drama is sticking to Ae Ra - Jeong Woo, but I'm going to soak up Seung-hyun's presence while it's here. As a character, he's just such a better fit for Ae Ra. He's self-confident and already understands her strengths and weaknesses in a way Jeong Woo still struggles to do. It's seriously regretful that she's trapped into the single-love-her-whole-life fallacy.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wonderful Days: Episodes 1-2 Initial Impressions

Out of curiosity regarding the positive reviews and a residual love for Kim Hee Sun following Faith, I checked into the first couple episodes of Wonderful Days. To put it upfront, I have no intention to continue watching even though I can see why it's popular. It's a heartfelt, borderline makjang family drama with a huge cast and appealing lead characters. But it didn't quite touch me, and I'm not committed enough to sit through tens of episodes to see where this all goes.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cunning Single Lady: Episodes 3-6 Thoughts

The past few episodes of this show have in some ways confirmed my love for the show, but in others cooled my obsession with our divorced couple. Episodes 3-6 really dove into the many issues still resting between them, and honestly confused me in terms of whether getting back together is really the best answer. It's clear that both parties are very different people now, so it'll be hard to use their former relationship as an argument for the future. Additionally, the second-lead siblings were really given a chance to shine, and I'd almost be fine with an alternate pairing in the end.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Love from the Star: Hilarious Washington Post Article & Series Thoughts

I'm currently still a few episodes from the end of the exorbitantly popular My Love from the Star, but found this Washington Post article describing China's complaints on why they can't produce a drama as good as South Korea. It was too hilarious to not share. It's a question I've pondered previously, for given China's large drama budgets and greater number of producers / actors, why is there such a negative production differential? The interviewees of the Post seem to think the answer lies in censorship and claim that Korean dramas are at core a representation of traditional Chinese values (the latter's a bit of a stretch and frankly makes no sense). 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cunning Single Lady: First Impressions

Definitely made a mistake starting this drama so early in its airing. I adore Cunning Single Lady (aka Sly and Single Again) so far, and it's got all the makings of an addicting and fun show. I like Lee Min Jung's quirky heroine, Joo Sang Wook is the sexiest I've ever seen him, and I'm already getting a bit of second-lead syndrome. This is the first of the exes-getting-back-together shows I've seen, and I'm surprised by how well the strange plot device works here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Let's Eat: Episodes 1-14 Thoughts

My favorite drama as of late has been the oddly addicting, food-porn filled Let's Eat, starring Lee Soo Kyung and Yoon Doo Joon, aka BEAST (I still don't understand the stage name, but going with it). It still has the mellow, slice-of-life feel that attracted me initially, but now the romance is taking center-stage and I'm pretty much hooked.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Watching TW Dramas: In a Good Way

The final part of my recent TW drama foray is the popular In a Good Way. Frankly, I was pretty underwhelmed, and truly the standards in drama-making in TW have slipped considerably over the past few years. It doesn't feature the typical exaggerations, but instead is filled with cheesy dialog and a painfully slow pace. I was horribly bored by the opening episodes, and would much rather spend my time on zippier, better-produced K-dramas.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Watching TW Dramas: Love Family

Part two of my Watching TW Dramas covers a more recent Chris Wang drama, Love Family, which is a fairly standard family drama, meaning multiple episodes and a fairly slow plot. I admit to not getting very far into this, and generally it suffers from all of the same issues I discussed in Part One. At least Chris looks good still.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Watching TW Dramas: Inborn Love

It all started with The Fierce Wife, which reminded me of just how much I missed Taiwan dramas and their music. That show also landed me with a major soft spot for Chris Wang, so I proceeded to track down some of his other dramas to fulfill the desire to see him onscreen. Unfortunately, most of these ended up as duds, because as great as Taiwan dramas can be, they also seem to feature the most annoying heroines possible. This is especially true in the campy rom-com genre, where somehow it's ok for the ladies to be psychotic, rude, and whiny while the men remain perfect and sane.

I'm going to do a series of initial reviews on the TW dramas I did look into, starting with Inborn Love. In pretty much all of these dramas to follow I have a bone to pick with the leading lady, and literally debated internally with myself on if watching the perfect guy was worth suffering through the annoyance of the shrill women. Unfortunately, the annoyance ultimately won out - in today's day of near-perfect K-dramas, there's no sense in wasting hours on such low-quality offerings.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Fierce Wife: Series Review

My most recent marathon drama was 2011's Taiwan hit, The Fierce Wife. I've long wanted to watch it because of its obvious similarities to one of my favorite series, Queen of Reversals (which interestingly aired at almost the same time), with the second-chance story of a woman finding happiness after divorce. QOR still holds the superior spot in my heart, but as far as dramas go I can completely understand TFW's popular appeal. It tells a far more realistic story of a relationship falling apart and of the repercussions, both for the original marriage and the affair. Overall, TFW features an intelligent script, impressive acting on all fronts, and a cast of multidimensional, likable characters across the board.