Thursday, June 28, 2012
I realized I haven't done such a post, as I mostly watch too many dramas to really focus on anything and most are just light entertainment I don't feel writing much about. However, I thought I'd do a little post about what I'm watching now.
I always watch 3-4 episodes before really judging a show, as the first two episodes are often misleading. They are made to draw audiences in and might not necessarily reveal what the series will really be like.
Plot and overall tone start to settle in after the 4th episode, usually, so I can tell by then, if I am going to like something. Of course, I am talking about the usual 16-episode shows, as it might take longer for longer series. However, the 4th episode is a good indication already, of what you will be seeing from then on.
So let's get to it then. At this moment, I am watching 5 series (although I need to catch up with one). God's Quiz Season 3, I Do I Do, Big, Dr.Jin and Bridal Mask.
Might be adding more soon, but I'll make another post for them. I'll also be making small review posts after all of these are done. Lastly, I do have some spoilers here, but they're important in stating my opinion and giving fair warning.
God's Quiz Season 3
Now, I am glad to announce that subtitles are out for Seasons 1 and 2. You can watch the show streaming on places like Dramacrazy and maybe softsubs exist out there as well. I am taking this slow, because I want to watch the first 2 seasons with subtitles first.
However, I am liking the chemistry between Ryu Deok Hwan and Ahn Nae Sang. I was sad to see Yoon Joo Hee go (although the characters are still an item) and I was very annoyed about that change in the beginning, but I'm getting used to it. I can't say much about it yet.
The cast looks ok, the music is nice (Hello again, Hlin!) and it's looking like a 3rd Season of 'God's Quiz' indeed. We still have the dark main story going too, so let's see what happens this time around.
Season 3 is slowly getting subbed too, so yay for that! Finally, cable tv is getting more attention.
I Do I Do
The cast is lovely, the plot interesting and most importantly, it started off on a very human note. Most kdramas go for melodrama, but they lack humanity and realistic human struggles and emotions.
'I Do I Do' has been doing well on that so far and it's keeping a nice balance between funny and emotional, without getting melodramatic. It is doing well. Mostly.
However, a recent issue annoyed me a bit. They present a character who supports women's right to an abortion as almost a wicked feminist, an abortion doctor as a cold and twisted psycho and a main character said some pretty harsh things to the female lead about her actions and thoughts. I did not appreciate the fact that she's being treated like an evil bitch for being a human being and finding herself in a situation which is tough on her, more than on anyone else.
Nor do I appreciate the fact that anyone who is involved with abortions so far is portrayed as wicked or that the women shown going to the clinic are all underage or seemingly flimsy. As if an older and more responsible woman would or should not even consider abortion.
While it's not a big deal, it's one of those things which act like a fish bone. It if does sting your throat, the pain will remain for a while after it's gone. These antiquated views of society kdramas show are always annoying to see and sometimes, they ruin a show for me. I will watch this, but I don't appreciate it as much anymore.
This was a case of me being very VERY cautiously optimistic about a series. I think the Hong sisters are good for fluff, but frankly, when they attempt poignancy, they fall flat on their face. That's my personal opinion. I never finished 'The Greatest Love', because they turned it overly melodramatic for its type and started talking about love through potatoes.
Sorry, I am not a fan of symbolism. Love is human, it's pure and I find masking it in symbols to make it seem poignant is chickening out from showing it the hard way. Through characters, interactions, simple human life and nature which let it show crystal clear, without the need of metaphors.
So, back to 'Big' now. I was loving this series, because, refreshingly, the Hongs seemed like they might actually have started being human and attempting to write an honest story. I think it's spot on it its balance of jokes and drama, it's not getting to melodramatic or in a silly way, it's interesting and there are no tons of slapstick jokes, a Hong element I never much liked when it was overdone.
But I have one big problem with it. What do you call a woman who wants to marry a guy's body without his consent, while said body is inhabited by the soul of a lonely and hurt teenager who she knows is in love with her?
I call that a selfish, center-of-the-universe-wannabe psycho bitch. Now, when that woman is the main female character the "romance" is supposed to happen with, you may understand why I am rapidly getting bitter over this. When watching a rom-com, I want to see two nice people getting together. A crazy woman taking advantage of a kid (and everyone else) is not my idea of "nice people".
I will give this another chance, as it's shown some very good things to me, but please, get this woman some psychiatric help and save the kid from her. And Hong sisters? Stop smoking whatever it is you were smoking when you had this fine idea.
Oh, Dr. Botox. I never thought I'd one day be relieved to see your "acting". See, I find Song Seung Heon a complete table, but after So Ji Sub in 'Ghost' (will try and watch ep 3 soon), I am actually finding this one "good".
The problem with 'Dr. Jin' is that it doesn't know what audience it wants. They are trying to have some romantic elements and keep things as simple as possible for the dumber audiences, but then they do have some nice elements for those who have not been lobotomized by Jin Hyuk.
The "drama" is ridiculously melodramatic, complete with bad overacting and "Look! Saaaaaad!" directing and even music. The dramatic parts of the plot are just silly. The funny parts of it are mostly silly too and even watching Lee Beom Soo here was painful in the beginning, although he is getting all political beast-ey now, putting his charisma and skills to better use.
A good premise, interesting characters, some nice dialogues and points to be made, but the fact that this series takes itself too seriously and goes for "dramaaaaa" is the thorn in its side.
Lee Beom Soo, Lee So Yeon and some good guest appearances are keeping me interested, along with the fact that I am bored on weekends. But hey, at least they're trying to expand the genres of Korean drama a bit. That's good.
It did take me 3-4 episodes to get into this, as I could not stomach Lee Kang To as the hero. I was confused by the fact that Joo Won's character would be Gaksital (the Bridal Mask), as I could not find one redeeming thing about him for quite a bit. However, once the reasons for his choices were explored more, I started seeing the bigger picture, or rather realizing the writers have formed one. Bad writing is the curse of kdrama, because live filming means a lot of stuff is made up as they go and that "big picture" and vision are sometimes completely absent.
This series is good and I don't mean that by (the very low) kyaagirl standards. It's good for those with more brain functions than a weed. The story is interesting and fresh, the characters are very well and steadily developed, the acting is mostly good with a few misses, but also a couple of absolutely awesome bits as well.
Joo Won's performance in episode 6, especially, will haunt me for a long time. In a Dramaland so preoccupied with control and perfection, where even the simple human emotions are thrown through filters and "prettied up" to be aesthetically pleasing, I really appreciated the raw emotion displayed by all types of pretty and non-pretty people in this series, even if it crosses the fine line to overacting sometimes and by some characters.
I really can't focus on any faults this has, because they are not the kind which annoy me by making me feel the people making this aren't trying or aren't taking it seriously. I am loving it and I can't wait to have more.
P.S: No, I don't see the similarity between Joo Won and Kang Dong Won, but they're both good actors and handsome men.