Saturday, February 23, 2013

Korean historical dramas (sa geuk) ~ Part II ~

Bridal Mask (각시탈) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Period, action, drama, romance 
Episodes: 28

 Gaksital is what happens when you put together an amazing storyline with complex characters, excellent actors, epic cliffhangers and breathtaking music. 
  Great twisted plot, beautiful set design following the spirit of the ‘30s - it is just a pleasure to see all those clothes carefully matching to everything, a feast for the eyes. And most of all: fabulous acting of Joo Woo - this guy just runs this drama entirely. Thumbs up!


The Moon Embracing The Sun ( 해를 품은 달) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance, fantasy, period 
Episodes: 20

  Two Suns. Two Moons. This is the story of The Moon Embracing the Sun. It centers around the fate of the the fictional King Lee Hwon, Prince Yang Myung (his illegitimate older brother) their first love Heo Yeon Woo, who alledgely died yet reappeared years later with a new identity as Wol the shaman and Yoon Bo Kyung (The Two-faced Queen). On the sidelines are the political conspiracies, collosal secrets and the games of destiny. This drama incorporates my favourite elements in a drama: heart-warming scenes, heart-breaking intensity, sageuk-flavoured, romance and fantasy. It’s all in one, so what else are you looking for?

Gye baek (계백) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Historical, period 
Episodes: 36

  The plot is like any other historic drama; there is betrayal, political intrigue and war. But I guess this has a small twist, it is center around Gye Baek. On how all the secrets and lies of the royal court change Gye Baek's life; separating him from his love and turning him into a great general.
  Overall, if you want to see how a royal court's lies and betrayals changes a person's life and destroys a kingdom or if you just want to see a good drama, check out Gye Baek!

The Duo (짝패) - BAD DRAMA
Genre: Period, romance 
Episodes: 32

  The first few episodes where the main characters were in their teens were much, much better than what followed as they grew up. The acting isn't bad, the scenery and costumes are beautiful, but it lacks that certain something to draw you in. I didn't feel any connection to what I was watching onscreen. I love sa geuks, but this one is lacking. In conclusion: don't start watching it!

Tree With Deep Roots (뿌리깊은 나무) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Period, historical, mystery, investigation  
Episodes: 24
   The cinematography was an absolute delight for the eyes. The settings and the costumes used in the drama series were exquisite. The plot was engaging and full of the appropriate twists and turns. Who knew that a sa geuk about Hangul could be so amazing?

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (성균관 스캔들) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Period, romance, comedy 
Episodes: 20

  Really great storyline, with very well-acted, well-developed and lovable characters. Unlike most K-dramas the female lead isn’t a weeping flower and the male leads aren’t unintelligent spoiled brats. The humor is a constant a long side the drama and it’s definitely a contemporary drama in a historical package.
The Painter of the Wind (바람의 화원) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Period, romance 
Episodes: 20
   This drama is beautiful and romantic. Our heroine is a prodigy artist and an intelligent girl who is disguised as a boy so that she can become successful through her art. I was just swept away by her brilliant acting and the confusion her “roles” as well as the passion of her character trying to be faithful to herself. My only wish is that it ended differently, but like all k-dramas it's real to life. 
   Overall, it's worth watching and the scenery is beautiful.  

Princess Ja Myung Go (왕녀 자명고) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Historical, period, romance 
Episodes: 39
  A great love story with a sad ending. This is about a prince (Hodong) seeking for a mother’s love, but could not receive one from his stepmother. A long lost princess (Ja Myung) looking for her true identity and the real essence of her existence. And a crown princess (La hee) proving herself worthy to the throne. These three are caught up in a struggle between Nakrang and Goguryeo, and that their fates are intertwined as they decide whether to choose their people and country over the person they deeply love.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Korean modern dramas ~ Part II ~

King of Dramas (드라마의 제왕) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance, drama, comedy 
Episodes: 18

  The story, for me, was totally refreshing. It gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes when dramas are being made, and it was nice to see.
  Comedy-wise, it’s a genuine masterpiece for me. Romance is subtle yet touching at first and tends to develop later which makes it more believable and truly romantic—not the usual wrist grabbing can determine the person you love. Did I mention a lot of anti-cliches here? Well, it has. And I love every bit of it! I also love the cast. This would definitely be one of my favorite casts in a drama.
  If a true drama lover runs in your veins, I believe you should watch this!—err, scratch that, I mean you would appreciate, relate and enjoy this refreshing, funny, one-of-a-kind drama as much as I did.

I Miss You (보고싶다) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Melodrama, romance 
Episodes: 21

  This drama started magically, I mean it, when I watching the first 2 episodes I was mesmerized from the cuteness ad genius acting of the child actors. They bring justice to the character they portray. Same goes to Park Yoochun and Yoon Eun Hye. The plot is really unique and interesting. Each episode makes you think of what will happen next. Watch it!

Padam Padam (빠담빠담... 그와 그녀의 심장박동소리) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Romance, fantasy 
Episodes: 20

  This is a drama that does not fit simply into one category. I'd say 'Padam Padam' is equal parts love story, tearjerker, crime drama, and supernatural tale. It combines all four genres seamlessly, and every moment of it felt genuine. I think much of the credit should go to the outstanding cast. I also liked that the director made some interesting storytelling choices that kept me engaged. This drama may not be fast paced, but it's originality stopped me from ever being bored.
  You must try watching this drama and you'll never regret it.

The Greatest Love (최고의 사랑) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance, comedy
Episodes: 16

  Cha Seung Won, stole my heart in this drama. He showed how a man can grow in a relationship and come from being the narcissistic, idiot of a man to the prefect boyfriend that every woman would want. Gong Hyo Jin, captured the character of Ae Jung, the female who is all tormented by the people she tries to protect, perfectly. This story is set in the entertainment world and probably sheds a glaring spotlight on the trappings and "traps" of fame. Each character is fame's satelite planet spinning in orbit around it's shiny tempting sun.

   Very watchable. Sweet, endearing and funny. Fluffy happy viewing. What’s not to like?


Scent of a Woman (여인의 향기) - GOOD DRAMA
Genre: Romance
Episodes: 16

  This story is well written, produced, and acted. The theme to this drama is to live your life to the fullest, because you never know what will happen. Although there is fear and sadness at the thought of death, there is also strength and awareness that wasn’t there before. 
  Kim Sun Ah plays Yeon Jae with exceptional grace and strength. Her character transformation may not be typical of someone that is facing death, but her way of life after finding out that she was dying should be how we all aspire to live. 
  Overall I felt the story was missing just a little something towards the end and there were episodes that needed more plot development, but not enough to detract from its overall awesomeness. I recommend this! You will laugh. You will love the passionate moments between the two leads as well as the light comedic moments. But you MUST have tissues handy!

Thorn Birds (가시나무) - GOOD DRAMA
Genre: Melodrama, romance
Episodes: 20

  Thorn Birds deals with dark issues - child abandonment, secrecy, lies, revenge and twisted personalities all have their places in this Korean drama. In the beginning it started slow and the plot was not that interesting. However, after watching five episodes I was addicted. The plot takes many turns and the characters become more three dimensional. There is a lot of character development and I felt so connected to the main character. It has the usual Korean drama plots such as a love triangle but it presents them in a new way.
   Overall, I enjoyed Thorn Birds despite it's flaws.


The King 2 Hearts (더킹 투하츠) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Romance, comedy, action 
Episodes: 20

  The story takes watchers into the real hardcore topics like war, the threatening status of the royal family, love/loyalty/betrayal, the unification of South-North Korea. It also appeals to men in terms of political views, action, suspense, military involvement.
  Plus, never say no to the two most successful actor and actress in South Korea. I don’t even need to mention the chemistry between the two for you guys to find out.


Rooftop Prince (옥탑방 왕세자) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance 
Episodes: 20

  What happens when you get time-travel, comedy, romance, mystery, action, fantasy and a pack of eye candies in one drama? It’s a hell a lot of fun with tons of twists and turns. All the characters are superbly played by really talented actors. They really bring out the best in the story. So for those who just want to relax without being too tensed, this is a drama series I highly recommend. For those who want to feed their drama crazy addiction, you will be delighted!

History Of Salaryman (샐러리맨 초한지) - GREAT DRAMA  

Genre: Comedy, politic, mystery 

Episodes: 22

  The writer of this show is a genius! He managed to mix hilarious comedy, suspense and industrial spying with a pinch or two of romance to make an explosive drama cocktail. The acting is absolutely top-notch, the music is currently on infinite repeat in my apt, and I would watch this drama again.
  All in all, definitely a recommend, don’t let the title and the weird sepia poster image scare you off. You won’t be transported into some far away historical documentary. Watch it! 

I do, I do (아이두 아이두) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Romance, comedy 
Episodes: 16

  I consider this drama a little gem in its genre. It doesn't have a tremendously eventful plot, no big, earthshaking truth to be revealed in the last episode, no memory loss, birth secrets or time jump. I loved it because it offers the viewer a range of different points of view on subjects which are very common in real life, and not so common in the Korean drama world; there's no judgment involved, no stance is presented as better than the other. It's up to you to decide what you would do and how you would react in a similar situation.
  I recommend this drama to everyone who likes a solid, modern script, unusually believable characters and a no-nonsense plot.

City Hall (시티홀) - GOOD DRAMA
Genre: Romance 
Episodes: 20

  A must watch politically-driven romantic-comedy drama, City Hall is a story of two individuals who crossed paths in the arena of small town politics and corporate-political intrigues, infused with family secrets, driven with personal convictions and beliefs, and highly-charged with honey sweet, yet tastefully romantic scenes.
  Amazing chemistry and solid acting by the two leads, as well as the supporting casts, makes this a must watch drama with its witty lines, political and partisan intrigues, and touchingly wishful and uplifting romance. A hands-down, fantastic plot!

A Gentleman’s Dignity (신사의 품격) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance, comedy 
Episodes: 20

   'Ahjussi’? ‘40s men’? ‘Old men’s love stories’? These might be the reason to put you off from even getting a sneak peak about this drama. YES. They are 40-year-old uncles whom trying to tell their individual, unique love stories. But, as quoted by Kim Do Jin [portrayed by Jang Dong Gun himself], "Adolescents don’t mature, they just get older". That’s the very theme of this drama, immature men who are trying their best to keep the love alive. With great casts and very good story plot, this is a drama you can’t miss at all. Don’t worry. This ‘oppas’ will give you a laugh when you least expect it. 

Innocent Man (세상 어디에도 없는 착한남자) - GOOD DRAMA
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
Episodes: 20 

  'Innocent Man' or 'Nice Guy' is not ordinary drama you see nowadays, because the leading characters both are smart, not easily fooled around and they both have strong personality, you will loves them no matter how intense and cruel situations they were in. Love is a good thing but this one can also cause obsession that may be a very dangerous thing as it results to revenge. This is mainly a show that will give you more lessons and deserves to be watched.

Beloved (친애하는 당신에게) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance
Episodes: 16

  This is a drama for anyone who believe that true love can exsist in this crazy world we live in. It touched on the ups and downs that can happen in everyday life styles and marriage. The actors did a great job of bringing this drama to life and the soundtrack is a great fit. Watch it!