Annyeonghaseyo everyone! It’s time for a new installment of Kdramas!! I know you’re all just thrilled to pieces, ha ha. However, if I didn’t post about my lack of productivity and the dramas that I watch, I really wouldn’t have anything to post about, and then it would just be a sad, empty blog. </3
So I’ll just cut right to the chase, and give you the low-down on some of the (awesome) shows I’ve been watching recently–what’s tugged my heartstrings of late, as it were.
This historical fantasy is right up there with Love from Another Star on my list of top favorites. Although the ‘fantasy’ parts sometimes verged on anime-esque with their oddity (see: white-haired flute guy, fire chick, etc,) and their ‘powers’ play such a little part in the overall story, you have to wonder why they were included at all… Maybe so the time-travel element didn’t stick out so much? But honestly, I would have been fine with time-travel sans weird powers, if only because I really never saw the point of them. If you just had a few people who were a lot better at fighting than everyone else, it would have been just as good.
Not to make you think that I didn’t like this drama! On the contrary, I was predisposed to like it from the start–I mean, Lee Min Ho as a brooding-faced hottie in armor, with a PONYTAIL?! My girlish heart was never going to stand a chance against THAT. ❤ Yum. (Especially when they start playing the INTENSE STUFF IS HAPPENING music! Or he has a sweet sword fight, which happens often.)
So, Eun Soo is just going about her life, being a cosmetic surgeon, when all of a sudden a crazy guy pops out of nowhere and kidnaps her back in time! Of course she doesn’t believe him at first, but gradually begins to accept that she is not in fact on the set of a weird historical drama, but in fact in the past, dragged there to save the queen of the country that will one day become Korea. Choi Young, the Captain of the royal guards and the one who kidnapped her, becomes her de facto keeper–a fact that they both resent, and then eventually grow to rely on as their relationship deepens.
So, there are kind of a lot of stories floating around in this one. You have the new king, who is very unsure of himself, but wanting to be a good king. His relationship with his wife. Choi Young’s past, which is depressing. Choi Young’s present, which is still pretty depressing, but gets better. His relationship with Eun Soo. Eun Soo being a time-traveling foreigner working for the king, and trying not to get killed by the bad guy. The Bad Guy, who wants power, and believes that Eun Soo has come from Heaven. The side-relationship between his two goonies, flute-guy and fire-lady. The court doctor, and the mute girl who has a crush on him. The awesome friendship of court-doctor and Eun Soo. Choi Young and his aunt, one of the court ladies. Choi Young and the members of his elite warrior group, the Woodalchi. There’s quite a lot to be getting on with! Not to mention all the political stuff, the blood, and the fact that a future Eun Soo seems to be leaving hints for herself…?
This is a long drama–twenty-four episodes!–and probably the longest as far as payoff. (In the romance department.) Obviously they have great chemistry, with a huge element of sweetness/bitterness at times, but you only get ONE KISS in the whole show, and even that you’ll have to wait 17 episodes for. OH MY GOD, I KNOW. But it is totally worth it, because sometimes the feels are strong even when the PDA isn’t. (And there are other cute relationships to occupy you while you’re waiting for CHOI JUST KISS HER ALREADY, DAMN IT!)
2. To the Beautiful You
Based off of the manga Hana Kimi, this belongs under the heading of ‘girl pretends to be boy’ category. Which, hey, I’m always happy to follow along. 🙂 If you don’t know the story: In this version Jae Hee, a Korean girl living in America, is very inspired by high jumper Tae Joon–so much so that she concocts an INSANE PLAN to pose as a boy and go to his all-boy school, JUST so she can see him jump. That’s dedication, amirite?
The only problem is that he’s given up high jumping after an injury. Or he thinks he has, since once Jae Hee arrives and starts pestering him to jump again, he’s never going to get away with that decision–especially not when, as the fates would have it, she’s his new roommate! Ha ha, thanks, fate. You make kdramas (and anime/manga plots) go ’round.
Although I joke, I really did enjoy this adorable drama. The actor who plays Tae Joon is apparently in a band, and rather popular? I wouldn’t know about that. His face reminded me of a dog I once knew. Not in a bad way! (??) I found him very cute, really!! And I liked the actress, also apparently in a band?? Lots of famous band people in this one, ha ha! 🙂
So, yes. Lots of general Kdrama tropes present. A second-lead who, although sweet, you should NOT ROOT FOR, because we all know how far that gets you. The inevitable falling for someone who is by your side and roots for you. (Because who doesn’t like that?) A truly annoying female rival who is like the Kdrama version of nails on a chalkboard. A weird teacher side-story romance. YUP. All the boxes, check-marked.
3. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Or: My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox)
Also joining the ranks of shows that have given me a SERIOUS case of feels, and one that I was not expecting to make me cry–MGiaG! Apparently actor Lee Seung Gi is a Big Name, but this was the first drama I encountered him in. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of him, or if he was going to be my type. I should have known–I inevitably fall for all of these guys, ha ha. But, what was a little more surprising, I think that the actress, Shin Min Ah, has got to be THE CUTEST THING EVER. Her role in this just left me in love from the very first episode!
So! Dae Woong is a spoiled rich boy, whose parents died when he was young, leaving him to be raised by his indulgent grandfather and his spinster aunt. He isn’t mean on purpose, per say, he’s just clueless and solely motivated by his own aims and desires… Which happen to be becoming an action-movie star, and getting to date Hye In. All of this is thrown out of balance when he accidentally releases a Gumiho (nine-tailed fox) from an ancient painting, getting grievously injured in the process. Out of gratitude, she gives him her fox-orb, thus sealing them together for all of the adorable, sad, sweet hijinks that ensue.
MiHo wants to become human, and a suspicious emo-guy who knows about her true origins, Dong Joo, seems to have the answer… Little do MiHo and Dae Woong know that it will result in Woong’s death! DUM DUM DUUUUUUUM.
But seriously though. This show is filled with as many laughs as it is tears. Watching MiHo try to be human while being obviously NOT is a pleasure. I don’t know how the actress managed to eat SO MUCH MEAT for this role! Seriously! xD And seeing Dae Woong grow up and care for someone other than himself is the best. At first he’s quite childish in his insistence that he doesn’t care, but who can resist that cute face for long? (I mean Miho’s face, LOL.)
Plus, the side-romance between his aunt and his action-school director is not to be missed!! HOY HOY!
4. Playful Kiss
Another show based on a manga, this time Itazura na Kiss. Probably, in terms of being a moral compass, this drama is only slightly above Pretty Man, but bear with me.
Oh Ha Ni is a girl who is filled with a lot of determination and spirit, if not a lot of natural talent or book smarts… So much so that her nickname is ‘Noah’s Snail,’ LOL. Unfortunately, the object of her affections, Baek Seung Jo, is an icy pillar of perfection–he is cute, he knows it, and he’s also like #1 in the class ranking. But he’s also generally aimless, having everything come to him so easily. When Ha Ni tries to give him a confession letter, he corrects it and grades it with a D-. THAT’S what kind of guy we’re talking about here. But when Ha Ni’s house is ruined in an earthquake, she and her father must go live with a friend… AND GUESS WHO THE SON OF THAT FRIEND IS?
Yup. Seung Jo.
Kim Hyung Joon is a cutie, no arguments there. He was also in Boys Over Flowers as the second-fiddle man, so it’s nice to see him as the main. UNFORTUNATELY, his personality here leaves a lot to be desired most of the time. I mean, I’m all for the jerks and the aloof guys, don’t get me wrong–there’s a bit of a bad boy in most of these guys. But the degree to which Ha Ni is attached to him, relinquishing every iota of her individuality in order to get him… It’s not great, you know? Which is something that has to be acknowledged and accepted from the get-go, or you won’t find any enjoyment in the show.
That’s not to say that, eventually, he doesn’t grow on you, and obviously they end up together… You actually get to see a lot of their post-relationship life, which is always nice. Still, if it were real life, I feel like I would always be wondering if I was still the one most invested in the relationship, you know? But maybe that’s just me. (Ha Ni’s friends, just for reference, must be saints. If one of my BFFs was talking about the same guy for like 5 years straight, especially when he does nothing but torment you most of the time… I don’t think I could keep from beaning them, you know?)
SO! There you have it! Our four Kdramas of the day. Actually, I realized that I only have 2 other dramas that I could list here, which means that I think I have been slowing down a bit recently. Hurrah! That could also be because I worked like 50 hours last week… eh, I’ll take what I can get. Plus, I’m also semi-watching a couple of Taiwanese dramas too, so those have been taking up some time. Not because I’m suddenly into Taiwan now! It’s strictly so that I can watch my beloved Jiro Wang in action.
Mmm, Jiro Wang.
So yeah! 🙂 I hope you all have a good week. I’m writing this Tuesday, although I’m not sure when I’ll get around to posting it… Which means that tomorrow is Productive Wednesday! My hopes are to get a couple of backlog posts for the blog, to edit a chapter of LOG to post on JukePop, and draw a new page of my comic. If all of that gets finished… maybe do some new writing? But I don’t want to get ahead of myself! Editing will come first, ha ha. I need to get out of this hiatus.
Edit: Wednesday was… semi-productive? I got a chapter edited for LOG, so I’m taking that as a win!