Sunday, August 30, 2015
It is a fact that entertainment is not kind to women past a certain age. In film and television specifically, while being an older man still lands one opportunities, older women are given limited options. Ageism in entertainment is nothing new and most actresses adapt and manage with what is available. They portray mothers, grandmothers and other such roles. Lee Yong-nyeo, however, is someone who has found a unique place in these industries.
Lee was late to join the acting industry, having made her debut in 1993 at age 37. Since then, she has mostly done supporting and guest roles in film and drama. Movie fans might best remember her in roles such as Yeong-goon's awkward mother in 'I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK', while many drama fans will know her as Lady Go in 'Master's Sun'. Chances are, you have seen her in many of her dozens of works.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Lee Yong-nyeo.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Good action shows can be hard to come by in Korean drama, especially outside of the crime-oriented channel OCN. Its sister channel, tvN is more known for its romantic comedies and other lighter offerings, but has occasionally taken a shot at darker works. 'Hidden Identity' is tvN's latest attempt at a sleek action show, offering a unique blend of actors and crime-fighting suspense. While not brilliant, it is quite a nice addition to the action genre.
The series follows an investigative team operating largely in secret and not always within the law. Cha Geon-woo (Kim Beom), their latest recruit is out for revenge over the death of his girlfriend; a death related to the latest case the team is handling. Jang Moo-won (Park Seong-woong) is the team's mysterious, but capable leader and someone who knows of Geon-woo's past. The team finds itself as the only group capable of capturing a dangerous individual called the Ghost.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hidden Identity".
Sunday, August 16, 2015
A big part of what often keeps dramas or certain concepts in dramas superficial is the refusal to get real and get dirty. From romance to violence, everything is too black and white and too idealistic. Style and substance are not mutually exclusive, which is frequently overlooked in fiction and especially genres like action. 'My Beautiful Bride' is a series which presents a grand romance in a suspense show, successfully combining genres others have failed to.
Kim Do-hyeong (Kim Moo-yeol) and Yoon Joo-yeong (Ko Sung-hee) are living a happy life together. That is until Joo-yeong's past catches up with her and she disappears. Do-hyeong finds himself going deeper and deeper into a dark world, as he will stop at nothing to find Joo-yeong. Cha Yoon-mi (Lee Si-yeong) is a detective who is connected to Joo-yeong and her illegal past. She handles Joo-yeong's disappearance case, which reveals the organization they were both connected to has resurfaced.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Beautiful Bride".
Drama fans who follow the domestic ratings for shows will know that the numbers have not been doing well in the last few years. Because of this slump, 'Yong Pal' has been quite the pleasant surprise, with ratings most shows of its kind can only dream of nowadays. There is good reason for those ratings. The series has appealing drama and an intriguing story. Even so, there are issues which will cheapen it if continued.
With the promotional material being quite confusing in tone, some potential future viewers might be wondering what type of show this is. While there is a medical theme and some action, 'Yong Pal' is still within the melodrama genre. We have an anti-hero whose hard life has forced him to act selfishly and put himself through danger for money. We also have a comatose heiress who is after revenge. The melodramatic premise and its potential are solid here.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Yong Pal".
Sunday, August 9, 2015
A lot of dramas include action and crime, but there is usually more to it than the world of crime itself. Revenge, justice, survival and other manner of more grand elements are the goal of those stories. 'Last' is an odd show in the sense that it approaches new topics and from a slightly different angle than what most shows go for. What has been quite a nice start can now hopefully evolve and succeed.
At a time when each given series seems to require several words to describe its often very different genres, this one comes in as a simple action crime show. There are subplots and each character clearly has their story, but the basic premise is simple. An arrogant, but skilled man makes a mistake, loses everything and then makes a probably bigger mistake to take it all back. There are fights, a lot of fights, gratuitous machismo and violence.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Last".