Sunday, September 14, 2014

Drama Review - Sign

While OCN might be the current king of the crime in Korean drama, crime as a topic, premise and even genre for shows is nothing new for the industry. Series with crime as their genre or an integral part of them might not appear often, but attempts have been made with various results. 'Sign' is a big attempt at pure crime and achieves some new things, but its problems and lack of a solid main plot ultimately fail it.

When a popular idol is murdered, coroners Yoon Ji-hoon (Park Shin-yang) and Lee Myeong-han (Jeon Kwang-ryeol) clash. Ji-hoon believes the truth is all that matters, but Myeong-han is hired to conceal the true culprit. With the help of rookie forensic scientist Ko Da-kyeong (Kim Ah-joong), Ji-hoon tries to reveal the truth. A year after their failed attempt, the two reunite as boss and employee, taking on a variety of new cases and hoping to solve the mystery of that murder they met through and expose the true culprit of it to the world.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sign".

Actor Spotlight - Kim Seo Hyeong

When looking at the style of women that are popular in Korean drama and considering the types of roles women usually get, it is obvious that being pretty and sweet are qualities favored. However, it takes all kinds of characters to create a work and there are many types of women in stories aside from the often cookie-cutter stars that lead them. Kim Seo-hyeong might lack the innocent and juvenile quality appreciated in actresses, but her charisma and choices give her options those often lack.

Kim made her official debut as an actress in 1994, but did not get many opportunities in central roles until about ten years later. Her first big chance on the drama side came with 'Lovers in Paris' in 2004 and she is often remembered for her villainous role in 'Temptation of Wife'. On the movie side, she had a leading role in popular horror film 'Forbidden Floor - 4 Horror Tales'. Since then, she has been in a number of known and some very successful dramas and movies, both in supporting roles and also cameos.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Kim Seo-hyeong.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Drama Review - Fated to Love You

Romantic comedy has seen better days in Korean drama. The last couple of years have really been disappointing, with shows going overly dark for the genre and even going as low as to falsely advertise themselves as something with a lighter tone. That is not to say romantic comedy shows in the past have not had their issues, but they were also more realistic, as realistic as this type of work can be, and mostly light in tone, as the genre should be. 'Fated to Love You' brings some of those issues back, but it also brings back the sorely missed lightness.

Lee Gun (Jang Hyeok) is a chaebol son who is under pressure from his family to present an heir and who is planning to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Kang Se-ra (Wang Ji-won). Kim Mi-yeong (Jang Nara) is a woman who has trouble saying no to people, but she is a kind person who genuinely wants to help others. During a trip to Macau, Gun and Mi-yeong are accidentally both drugged and end up sleeping together. Making things even more complicated, Mi-yeong soon realizes she is pregnant.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fated to Love You".

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Drama Review - The Joseon Shooter

If there is a type of work in Korean drama that has the potential to be ambitious and thrilling, that is sageuk. If there is a premise that has the potential to be an emotional rollercoaster and give audiences a riveting journey, that is a revenge plot. With both of those characteristics, 'The Joseon Shooter' had everything it needed to be one fun ride. While ultimately a pretty good series, some things sadly kept it from being quite the epic it could have been.

'The Joseon Shooter' takes place during a time of change in Joseon. With the kingdom caught between Qing and Japan, a group of reformists clash with the conservative noble class who are afraid of losing power. After Park Yoon-gang's (Lee Joon-Ki) father is killed by the conservatives and his family is branded as traitors, he is aided to Japan and then returns to have his revenge. Back in his homeland, his quest for justice puts his morality in danger, as well as his love with a noble woman and reformist called Jeong Soo-in (Nam Sang-mi).

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Joseon Shooter".

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Drama Review - King of Dramas

Dramas are not averse to having self-referential meta material in them. We hear "like in dramas" said by drama characters often and some works might even parody others in direct or indirect ways. Like 2008 series 'On Air', 'The King of Dramas' explores the world of the drama industry. Sadly for the latter, a lot of the issues it criticizes rear their ugly head both within its plot and through the drama itself by the end.

Anthony Kim (Kim Myeong-min) is the go-to producer for a successful drama. The works he handles get top ratings and satisfy all the industry criteria, while leaving little room for fresh concepts. When a production faces a problem, Anthony clashes with Lee Go-eun (Jeong Ryeo-won), an aspiring writer who believes stories are more important than business. After a casualty during filming, Anthony loses his job and fame. When he later opens his own production company and finds himself deep in debt, he and Go-eun reunite and decide to try creating a successful drama. However, their ideals are still on opposing sides.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King of Dramas".

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