Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall 2013 Kdramas: Mini-Reviews

Secret/ Secret Love

Episodes Watched: 8

     This is my kdrama crack for fall and I'm loving every episode. Revenge is a common theme in dramas but Secret feels fresh and continually surprises me which few dramas tend to do. I love the actors and the story keeps me glued to the screen. 

Heirs/ The Inheritors

Episodes Watched: 4

     The most hyped drama of the year and the most disappointing. It seemed like it was going to be amazing-written by Kim Eun Sook (who wrote Secret Garden), starring Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye who have both been in really popular dramas and have a strong fanbase and it was being hailed as a mixture of Boys Over Flowers (arguably the most popular Korean drama of all time) and Gossip Girl (a popular American tv show). I went in with low expectations but I still ended up confused and disappointed by the first episode. The first and most obvious flaw were the American actors, they were all terrible. If you have watched more than 5 Korean dramas then you have probably run across some white actors with terrible acting skills. Although annoying, I find this more acceptable when filming in Korea because it would make sense to have a very small pool of talented actors to pick from. However, Heirs was filmed in America, California no less, and there are many actors available. Another immediate flaw was Lee Min Ho's English, he was supposed to have lived in America for 3 years but I wouldn't have been able to understand what he was saying if it weren't for subtitles. I also am not happy with the extremely large cast, I'm sure as the drama progresses further that I'll be able to distinguish everyone but I just felt that there were way too many characters. Also, I feel like the relationship between the leads is moving a bit fast. Granted it's not completely western because they didn't jump into bed together in the first two episodes but it's still progressing faster than I'm used to in a drama.  I don't hate or dislike this drama despite my many criticisms, I just expected more from the drama than I got. Lee Min Ho isn't my favorite actor but I like him in this so far-he plays a rich guy but he's not a cold arrogant jerk. Park Shin Hye is fine, she's playing a part similar to her other character but it works here. Time will tell how the story plays out but I'm hoping it gets better.

Top Medical Team. Medical Top Team

Episodes Watched: 4

       I wasn't planning on watching this one right away but as soon my cousin (and mini drama partner) heard that Choi Min Ho aka Flaming Charisma would be in it, that was all she wrote.  My first medical drama and I'm, enjoying it so far. I like most of the cast and I'm sure the hospital setting is ripe with story line possibilities.

Reply 1994

Episodes Watched: 2

     I was excited when I heard that they were making another installment in the Reply series because Reply 1997 was my favorite drama from last year. It's a new cast and new story but there are a lot of common elements that tie it to the previous drama-fangirling (basketball players instead of kpop groups), physically abuse female lead, mystery future husband, close friendship between a boy and girl to name a few. It's similar to it's predecessor but not a carbon copy which I appreciate. It's funny, a bit more racy than the average kdrama and surprisingly sweet.

Marry Him if  You Dare

Episodes Watched: 4

      Yoon Eun Hye's dramas are usually hit (Coffee Prince, Goong) or miss (Take Care of the Young Lady, Lie to Me) although I find her to be a good actress. This is yet another time travel drama but it's a bit different than the others-the female lead's future self visits her in the present to change the course of her life. So far the acting is good and the story is interesting. I am suffering from a bad case of second lead shipping at the moment but that may change along the way.

Friday, October 18, 2013

52 Week Drama Challenge: Week 41

Kou Kou Kyoushi 1993

Score: 8/10

Switch Girl!!

Score: 8/10

Switch Girl 2

Score: 7/10

Innocent Lilies

Score: 7/10

Saturday, October 12, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 14

What Drama(s) Are You Currently Watching?


A Step into the Past (2001, Hong Kong)

Asuko March! (2011, Japan)

Bump Off Lover (2006, Taiwan)

Creating Destiny (2009, South Korea)

Dream of the Red Chamber (1987, China)

Goddess of Fire, Jeongi  (2013, South Korea)

Gu Family Book (2013, South Korea)

Inborn Pair (2012, Taiwan)

Innocent Lilies (2013, Japan)

Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003 (2003, Japan)

Lovers (2006, South Korea)

My Daughter Seo Young (2012, South Korea)

Secret (2013, South Korea)

Say That You Love Me (2012, China)

Sukeban Deka (1985, Japan)

Yankee-kum to Megane-chan (2010, Japan)

Friday, October 11, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 13

The Last Asian Drama You've Seen?

Kou Kou Kyoushi 1993

    This is an older Japanese about a love affair between a high school biology teacher and one of his female students. This is one of the earliest jdramas that I've watched and it was quite a jarring experience. It reminded me a lot more of an early kdrama except for the fact that it featured a lot more mature content than I'm used to seeing in any Asian drama including nudity, sex, rape, lesbianism and attempted murder by the female lead. All that aside, I actually really enjoyed it-the acting and story were both really good.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

60 Day Drama Challenge: Day 12

Your Favorite Drama Ending?

     As much as I love Asian dramas, I don't always find myself happy with the way most of them end. There have been so many that have endings that feel rushed, incomplete and more of an afterthought than a strong conclusion to the story. I like happy endings, all story lines being tied up and most of all, I enjoy the couple ending up together. 

Monday, October 7, 2013