Asian Drama Fever

Archive for the ‘Korean Drama’ Category

Logistics: I haven’t posted in a while but here we go. If I’m a roll, I’ll write a new post for each new drama that I’ve enjoyed since my last update. Someone suggested that I put a grade for each of the drama I review. I really like the idea and hopefully it will help you guys decide what to watch next.

So the drama I’m writing about is one that’s got my wednesday and thursday night schedules in a mess. I basically stay up waiting for new episodes to be translated and released on Viikii.net at midnight. I usually like waiting for an entire series to be completed before I start watching in order to maximize instant satisfaction but I couldn’t keep myself away when it’s… a KOREAN REMAKE of It Started With A Kiss (恶作剧之吻).

To sum the entire series in one word: it’s Adorable! You’re not going another cuter couple in the entire Korean drama universe. You’ll find that the handsome male lead also played Rui in the Korean Boys Before Flowers. The female lead also appears in Bad Boy as an over-privileged and rebellious teenage girl.

Oh Ha Ni essentially has a six-year crush on her classmate, the world class genius Baek Seung Jo. Unfortunately, she is clumsy and not (by far) the brightest of the bunch. However, higher powers at play help her out a little when her father’s house collapses and they move in with Seung Jo’s family.

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shining-inheritance

Gorgeous people, Cinderella like storyline, what’s not to love?

Well, a long 28 episode and slow pickup at the beginning are the only things I’m going to complain about. I enjoyed the rest as much as I can for a Korean drama. It has the usual long scenes, internal dialogues, and repetitive flashbacks but overall this was a good drama.

The main character is incredibly innocent, and her silent-lover/protector is the perfect brotherly hero. Her male counterpart is always pissed and proud. To round out (or square out hehe) the typical love rectangle, you have the girl who is completely dedicated to the male lead and will do anything to have him. I’ll leave it to you to figure out who’s who in the picture.

After finishing the drama, I’ll have to say the best parts were by the step-mother who has been left off of the poster. She made a wicked amazing villain! Always calculating her next move and hardly ever falters from the setbacks caused by heroin’s good luck.

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boysbeforeflowersTwo episodes a week: you think that I would be satisfied. But I just can’t get enough!

The Korean version of Hana Yori Dango started airing at the beginning of January 2009 on Mondays and Tuesdays on KBS2. As I’m writing this, six episodes have been released. Of course, I’ve seen all six of them ;)

So what do I think so far? Not bad, not bad at all.

This remake definitely had a big budget, obvious in the helicopter and private island scenes. The F4 boys are all very adorable dressed in their sharp Korean style.I’m not too fond of Koo Hye Sun as Jan Di (aka Makino, the female lead). She really overextends her face too often. Other than that, over adorable as well.

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beethovenvirus베토벤 바이러스
Beethoven Virus

Best drama I’ve seen in a VERY long time! And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Look at the high viewership.

If you are fan of classical music, this drama is to die for! If you like it just fine, you will love the drama and become a fan of classical music. If classical music doesn’t absolute disgust you, watch this drama!

Now that I’ve advertised this drama. Here’s why I love it and been watching it none stop since last night. (Already on episode 10!!)

The female lead is lovable and not in a love/hate kind of way. The male leads… I can’t seem to figure out if the male lead is the intolerable and occasionally soft-hearted orchestra director or the sweet and talented musical genius. Well, the male leads are attractive in their own way despite their huge age gap and difference in personalities.
All the other supporting characters are interesting in their own way and they fill each episode with little stories that really touches the heart.

Ultimately, I love the music the most. I am personally very passionate about music, classical or not, and each episode of Beethoven Virus contains a mini-concert. Whether it’s an actual concert in episode 4 or scenes set during the orchestra’s rehearsal, the quality of music is up to par. There was one piece in episode 4 that featured a cello solo that I replayed over and over. It’s that good!

I’m not a classical music fanatic. Usually I despise orchestra concerts. But classical music in small doses does amazing things to the soul. It can be uplifting and sweetly sorrowful. Couple that with decent acting and a fast paced plot line, Beethoven Virus is a must watch.

English subs: Crunchyroll

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Right now, I’m at a lack of dramas to watch since Zettai Kareshi and Last Friends are both coming to an end. This is usually the point where as start asking people for advice on what to watch next. And I’m totally welcome to advice if you would like to leave a line in the comments!

But the purpose of this post to list out a couple dramas I still reminisce about, a couple that entertained me while I was watching it, some I never managed to finish for no good reason, and others that I really couldn’t keep on watching.

Amazing Dramas That I Love and Love Still Today (Most Memorable)

1. Meteor Garden (the first season) – This was probably one of my very first Asian drama and I absolutely loved it. Over the years, I’ve probably seen it more than 4 times all together and certain part more times can I can count. The background music really matched and the acting… they weren’t that bad for so many new actor. In fact, this show basically made them idols in much of Asia. F4 should be a household name… at least amongst drama fans.

2. Hana Yori Dango (the first season) – I was really skeptical when I started watching HYD. First, because I love Meteor Garden and it would take a lot to trump it for me. Second, Hana Yori Dango was at a disadvantage since I already knew the basic plot. Third, I’m sorry to offend any Matsumoto Jun or hardcore Japanese-F4 fans but I, not knowing any of the actors beforehand, looked at the choices for F4 in the Japanese version and raised my eyebrows… VERY high. But I think their looks grow on you and I accept anyone who plays Domyouji as hot. Lol.

Sadly, for both Meteor Garden and Hana Yori Dango, the second season is disappointing. Not so much for HYD but very much so for Meteor Garden.

3. Goong – Do you see a pattern here? I think I have a thing for rich boys and Shin is just sooo cute! I don’t think Korea really have to made their own version of Meteor Garden/Hana Yori Dango. I think Goong is a similar enough story (or at least gives me a similar warm feeling while watching it but can totally stand on its own) that remaking the same manga plotline will be pointless.

4. My Name Is Kim Sam Soon – For some strange reason, I really liked this show. I mean it’s not your typical Cinderella story like the three above but I really liked the character Sam Soon. Sadly, I do not prefer the choice of actor for the male lead. I think they should have a buffer man to match Sam Soon’s larger-than-the-average-Asian-actress frame.

5. Full House – Very cute and very sweet and of course, Rain is in it. Also, Kim Sung Soo who is also in I Like It Hot.

6. Zettai Kareshi – I HEART Yuu Watase for creating such interesting scenarios.

7. Last Friends – How can you not remember this drama years from now? Not only does it break all rules of conservative romance drama but does it so artfully too. The music is amazing and the actors are all really excellent.

The following two parts will probably get a lot of criticism but this is purely my opinion based on impressions I got from the first or first couple episodes of each drama. Feel free to correct me or tell me how amazing they become after the first episode. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve ever made it past the first episode for most of the following.

Time Passers

These are just a couple examples of dramas that are great a sucking time out of your life. They truly entertain you while you watched them, but after a year of two you realize what a waste of time – no, not that bad… how repetitive their themes are.

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It’s fictional? There’s no real Korean royalty? Does it matter? As long as there are handsome princes and an adorable female lead, this drama remains in my heart as one of the best.

Goong was one of my Korean dramas and one of my all time favorites. Yoon Eun Hye’s silly school girl here rivals her funny character in Coffee Prince. You can decide which role suits her more. Joo Ji Hoon is as icedly handsome as ever and I first fell in love with actor Kim Jeong Hoon here. Catch him in Witch Yoo Hee also.

Title: 궁 (宮) / Goong (Gung)
English Titles: Palace / Princess Hours / Imperial Household
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 24
Broadcast network: MBC
Broadcast period: 2006-Jan-11 to 2006-Mar-30
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 21:55
Songs: “Perhaps Love” by HowL & J. , “You & I Are Fools” by Stay, “Parrot” by HowL

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Title: 마왕 / Mawang
English Title: The Devil / Satan
Chinese Title: 魔王
Episodes: 20

Currently Showing
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2007-Mar-21 to 2007
Air time: Wednesdays and Thursdays 21:55

Synopsis
A love triangle occurs between the two men and a girl when a gift of psychometry and a tragic event during their childhood entwined their fates. The tragic event of their childhoods entwined the fates between the two men who are bonded by it and a woman who has an ability in psychometry into a love triangle. Oh Seung Ha is a lawyer, who is destined to meet a police detective, Kang Oh Soo. Seo Hae In is a 25 year old mysterious librarian with an ability in psychometry. She is at the level of being diagnosed with amnesia/sleeping disorder and she tends to be in full concentration when she becomes too absorbed/focus into something. Kang Oh Soo is from a rich family and accidentally caused Seung Ha to lose his brother and mom when they were young. Seung Ha studied hard to be a lawyer but he becomes a serial killer in order to seek revenge on Kang Oh Soo. Oh Seung Ha and Seo Hae In will have feelings for each other while Kang Oh Soo has a one sided love for Hae In.

Cast
Joo Ji Hoon as Oh Seung Ha
Shin Min Ah as Seo Hae In
Uhm Tae Woong as Kang Oh Soo


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