Sunday, May 12, 2013
Since I've watched enough of his works to be disturbingly educated on topics such as the expressive use of his eyebrows, I thought I would make a recommendation list with mini-opinions for the works of Lee Beom Soo; an actor you should all be honored to know and feel like the worms you are if you don't. Alright, I am overdramatizing here, but you should definitely check this gentleman out.
Given the man has a career as long as about half this puny human's life on this Earth, I have not yet watched all of his works nor do I really plan to. However, I have watched a lot of them. While I might be making a more complete list with them all one day, I will now just mention the ones I especially liked and recommend to others.
In this part, the Dramas. The Movie Recommendation List is found here.
Surgeon Bong Dal Hee
Not what I was expecting and therefore quite fun. While there is certainly drama involved, it does not get too melodramatic. At least not as melodramatic as one would expect from a series set in a hospital full of people suffering and dying a lot.
The series is somewhat career oriented, but not boringly or heavily so. It's more about the challenges of working in such an environment and the skills and mindset required to face them.
The more personal stories are fine, although nothing new or particularly exciting and the romance is there and it's nice enough, though not as "big" as rom-com crowds are used to. Meaning this is not a rom-com or something to swoon like mad about. It's toned down, but sweet enough.
Difficult to recommend, as it does not do much out of the box in the way it presents its story, but it's ok enough if you really like the cast and are interested in the premise. If you want an insight into drama making and some of the challenges, you can check it out.
One side of this is about the filming environment, with emphasis on the challenges of writing and dealing with certain tough topics related to ratings and script/schedule changes as well as power struggles and directing.
The romance and drama are a bit cliched and ultimately not very exciting, but there are worse series around and at least it does some things well. The writer female lead will annoy the hell out of you before she calms down though.
I posted my opinion about this already, but definitely a must-see in general. Epic story of Good Vs. Evil through the simple suffering of a family at the hands of a monster. It's a revenge story and also one highlighting the rapid urban development of Seoul and Korean politics in all their dirty detail.
The performances are very good, there is plenty of melodrama which rarely feels overly soapy and while the romance drags out too much and is filled with way too many obstacles, it is not really the focus of it so it does not take away from the experience. Not flawless, but definitely brilliant.
History of the Salaryman
Hilarious, cool, kickass. It's among my favorite series and I really don't mind the issues others have found with it. I never expected a series that opens with a murder to be all rainbows and kittens, but I was not disappointed on how incredibly light it remained throughout.
Excellent cast, even if I did not find all the characters equally well-written, great fun, exciting from beginning to end. I will recommend this to people until my mouth runs dry and fingers turn to dust. It's like 'Giant', but the funny version.
This is not a good series. This is a series so terribly awful that it becomes ridiculous and therefore hilarious. If you are with company and tend to make fun of things together, you might enjoy the epic fail that is 'Dr. Jin'.
A complete waste of money, time and talents, but if you find yourselves really digging Lee Beom Soo as an actor, it's worth checking out for his efforts. He does get to try some new things and a character he has never done before.
You can read more about these in my Korean Dramas 2012 The Bad, The Out of Date and The Best Of posts and the 'IRIS2' ones are in this here label.