Yep, I’m at it again! Welcome back to the segment that is apparently so regular that I added a category for it–a list of Korean dramas I have watched recently, and my feelings/reactions towards them! (Spoilers kept at a minimum, because I’m not a monster and the idea is to encourage people to watch them!)
I know, I know. This must be getting old for everyone, but I just can’t help it. Although, I HAVE actually done a couple things lately worth blogging about, so you do have that to look forward to, those who may consider these filler. Granted, I haven’t heard anyone complain about my blogging preferences, so… I’m going to start assuming everyone is fine with it, and do what I want, LOL. It’s my blog, right?! (Speaking of, the blog is almost 2 years old!! It’s practically a toddler! But more on that later.)
So, without further ado–the K-drama Saga Continues!
Here we have Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa playing main characters Kyu Won and Lee Shin respectively. These two were also in You’re Beautiful, where he was the ill-fated second-fiddle to Jang Geun Suk… But no more! This time he gets the girl in a cute, innocuous comedy about two college music students who are inherently opposite.
So we have Lee Shin, who lives with his mother and half-sister, playing guitar in a band and generally being entirely too full of himself, as the male leads so often are. The only girl he can’t have is the one he wants–the dance professor at his college. Kyu Won is the drifting traditional music major, forced into it because of her famous grandfather. Her mother is dead, and her father can’t even live with them because of the grudge between he and the grandfather. Kind of sad really, although a generally boring part of the plot.
The good stuff happens when the school gets ready to host a special anniversary show and brings back an alumni who has been on Broadway to direct. You find out that he was once involved with the same dance instructor that Lee Shin has a crush on–who broke his heart to pursue her dance career. The director also takes a shine to Kyu Won, favoring her and seeing a potential in her to be a really great singer and actress.
Although nothing special happens, and the kisses are REALLY REALLY BAD, it’s not a bad series… Just maybe a bit drawn-out for what you’re getting. Still, if you were a fan of their pairing in You’re Beautiful that wasn’t meant to be, give this a watch!
2. Flower Boy Ramen Shop
Pretty much what it sounds like, no lie! This is one I started to watch wayyyyy back, after I finished Boys Over Flowers, but I think I wasn’t into the whole Korean scene enough yet to appreciate it… Or understand what was going on, ha ha. And it does have a slightly strange start. The aforementioned ‘Flower Boy Ramen Shop’ doesn’t even pop up until like 4 episodes in, or something. Still, when I sat down to watch it the second time around, I appreciated it much more… As well as a cast of completely new actors, whom I hadn’t seen before! (Apparently, Main Guy Jung Il Woo is one of Lee Min Ho’s BFFs in real life. I love finding out those kinds of facts!)
So Yang Eun Bi is a hard-working girl who was known as a bit of a tomboy in Highschool–she played a mean game of volleyball and grew up in her father’s ramen shop. However, because of reasons, she grew to resent the shop and everything it represented, forsaking it all completely and deciding to become a womanly teacher, living what she figured as a ‘normal’ life… Which, naturally, would include a nice man! Enter Cha Chi Soo through a bizarre meeting in a restroom, and Eun Bi is immediately smitten. Which would be fine, except…
The guy is only a senior in High School, a full six years younger than her. Whoops.
Although he toys with her at first, he later finds himself mesmerized by the tough, sporty side of her who doesn’t take his crap, and begins down a path of trying to get her. This mostly involves him acting like an idiot macho jerk, but I think he does finally get the idea towards the end, and makes a lot of sacrifices to make it work. Meanwhile, Eun Bi ends up working with a man running her father’s ramen shop, who considers himself her de-facto husband. He’s cute, funny, incredibly tall, and very sweet/understanding… So of course you know he has no chance whatsoever. xD
A funny RomCom, although Chi Soo is exasperating on more than one occasion! Still, some pretty hot kisses, and great chemistry… Not to mention pretty boys, and a hilarious side-friendship that was one of my favorite things in the whole show!
3. King 2 Hearts
This is listed as a ‘Romantic Comedy,’ but don’t you believe them! It is definitely a melodrama, and if you aren’t a heartless witch, there WILL be tears. Just a warning.
So! This series brings back two familiar faces–Lee Seung Gi, who was in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and Ha Ji Won, from Secret Garden. In another series set in a semi-fictional S. Korea, where the monarchy hasn’t been dismantled, we see Lee Jae Ha, younger brother to the King with no interest in taking his brother’s place. He’s just finished his stint in the army, and is eager to return to his carefree lifestyle–except that his brother has signed him up to participate in a world-wide war-games. Only united countries can compete, so for the first time ever, North and South Korea are trying to foster some peace and goodwill by teaming up for this event. From the Northern team we have Kim Hang Ah–an assassination specialist who is totally uninterested in participating, because she’s afraid it will make her look too manly and unable to ever find a man to marry her.
On the sidelines, watching the S. Korean king attempting to foster peace, is a total wacko nutjob guy with a lot of money and waaaaay too much time on his hands. He has, for some reason, decided HE is the king of Korea–and sets out to totally destroy and dismantle Jae Ha’s family to make it so. This grudge results in more than a few deaths throughout the series, and fosters a mounting frustration that will leave viewers shouting JUST KILL HIM ALREADY, OH MY GOD, HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU INCRIMINATE YOURSELF AND STILL GET AWAY WITH IT dskfjfhae fljdskj afdsa;lfj!!!
While I like both actors individually, and could get invested in their relationship because I’m very good at immersing myself entirely in these storylines, I never really felt there was a lot of chemistry between the two leads, which was kind of sad. I WANTED to, really I did. For that, I really was more invested in the side-romance between Jae Ha’s right-hand man and Jae Ha’s sister. But the plot was really very interesting and intense, I cried more than a few times, and it was great to get a look into North Korea–albeit from a S. Korean TV show’s POV.
4. 9 End 2 Outs
I’m just going to start out by saying that I don’t have much to recommend from this drama. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but neither was it really good–it just sort of WAS. At 16 episodes, it literally felt longer than some 24 episode series I’ve watched–and that was even after I fast-forwarded through a lot of content. Few! But still, let me tell you a bit about it.
This series–which has a curious obsession with baseball and baseball-related metaphors, even though it’s really got very little to do with baseball at all–is basically about two best friends who are turning 30, and still figuring out what they’re doing with their lives. That is the short and the long of it. Hong Nan Hee is a wanna-be writer working as an editor at a publishing house. Her heart isn’t really in the editing, but that’s because she really wants to be an author–but the constant rejection is beginning to weigh on her, especially when she still lives with her disapproving mother. Hyung Tae is a guy who works at an advertising company. He has a good job and enjoys the company of women, but is still emotionally taken by his ex, a guitar player who left at a really inopportune time without saying a word of goodbye. They have been best friends practically their entire lives.
The show is about them… Being pretty much normal. I guess the fact that they move in together and become roommates is the ‘hook’ for this show, and the fact that they insist they are just friends until… well, until they’re not, but that never seems to be enough for me. It was just too boring, for lack of a better term. This was probably real life at its finest, and I couldn’t have been less enthusiastic. I realize it can’t be all drama and super powers and aliens, but still… They were just so damn friendly and affable throughout the whole thing! Plus the first half dragged and dragged as she tries to have a really awkward relationship with a guy 8 years her junior. Mm. Just… no. Their friendship was probably the best thing about this show, and it did very little to save it… At least in my eyes.
I feel kind of bad this time, because out of the 4, there really wasn’t one that I was totally over-the-moon about, you know? I would still recommend watching them–or at least 3 of the 4–but nothing that really stood out for any reason. Well, I guess King 2 Hearts wins for plot–it was definitely the most original–but you know what I mean. Maybe I’m just getting entirely too used to them now? Although I don’t think that’s it, since the one I’m currently watching I am totally invested in. Just the luck of the draw, I guess!
So there you have it!! Join us again next time for whatever nonsense I manage to type out, and maybe one day you’ll get to see some progress… Or pictures from Korea, whichever comes first. 😉
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! And by that, I mean a Jiro Wang picture. ❤