The Year That Was – 2014 Volume Uno: Best of K-Dramas

Wow, hard to believe but this marks just over 1 year of hardcore drama watching.  First exposed to Secret Garden via Netflix a couple years ago, it took some time (and free time) in order to finally jump in to the magic of Kdramaland.  I come to this “official kdrama watcher tag” by my first experience live-streaming, aka watching shows that haven’t been recommended in some critical consensus because they are still airing, which can also mean #loomingdissapointment.  But I’m in no position to complain, as my first “live” drama just happened to be the small, modest You Who Came From the Stars.  I like the symmetry that my first drama and first live drama just happen to be the most popular trendy dramas of the past 5 years.

yoo in ah

Key to crazy drama hits – Yoo In Ah?

Both set viewer records domestically and abroad, while proving their worth far after the final episode through parodies, tours, references, and commentary from news outlets.  At this point you may be thinking, “wait, I thought this post was going to discuss the year’s best dramas, not some girls experience watching massive hits.” Well if y’all would just calm down, my stream of conscious thoughts will eventually catch up so take Xanax and chill/scroll down.

AAA secret garden from the stars

My misappropriated point is this.  With both shows I was giddy for watching/experiencing something new.  The former being a K-Drama or long-form rom-com and the ladder being the feeling of watching a drama with an international online community, all while only barley grasping how huge the show actually was.  Thusly, my biased for these shows were/are obviously impacted.  Both shows have many problems that keep if from being a “perfect drama”, and yet I shall look upon these dramas with fondness and happy nostalgia pains for all that it lead to, namely this blog and the online drama community.

With all that sappiness outta the way let’s move onto the the good, bad, and ugly of 2014 in dramaland.  This year I watched 18 dramas.  I count watched dramas as anything where I watched the majority of episodes in 2014, either by calendar dates (Pinocchio), or it was so bad I dropped (Greatest Marriage).  Two currently airing dramas I’m loving, (Healer and Valid Love) won’t have enough episodes aired in 2014 to allow inclusion, but considering my happy dance when each episode is uploaded, expect their inclusion for 2015’s list.

Honestly I’m not sure If I could ever see myself completing more then 20 dramas (live) annually because there is whole lotta crap to wade through in order to get the gems.  Though when you do find those few precious few shows that surpass expectations, it can make any so-so year feel suddenly one to remember.

Because I feel the sudden need to acknowledge all these shows I put around a days worth of time and subtitle reading skills to, I’ve decided to follow the People Republic of Boulder suit and give everyone a trophy/award.  Like is my want, not all awards are created equal.  In addition, the shows are grouped together and in two main cate–, eh well you’ll figure it out. Onwards!

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Korean Movies Reviews Vol. Better than Ok- The Kim Ja Ok Memorial Marathon

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Note: Sorry this is posted much later than intended.  It took me far too long to get to the last film I wanted to see for this post.

When I belatedly heard the news of Kim Ja Ok passing, it hit me pretty hard — like Maya Angelou and Robin Williams hard.  At was puzzling at first.  Perhaps because as a K-Dramas devotee for around a year now, this is the first time where where a Korean actor passed whose work I knew so well.

Often when I see peoples work at an influential time in my life, it sticks with you in ways even “better” work’s can’t.  Well, considering the beginning of my drama watching included My Name is Kim Sam Soon and Coffee Prince, she will always be K-Drama Mama #1 in my book.

Which isn’t to say that’s how she will only be remembered.  Looking at KJO filmography she a major part of 70-80’s Korean cinema, and after a 25 year absence came roaring back in dramas and films.

Though I am much more attune to her work on television, the following will be reviews/odes to some of her cinematic achievements in the ladder stage of her long and distinguish career.  I hope to one day visit her earlier work as well, especially to see the characters she portrayed when she wasn’t excelling in playing the quirky Korean mom types like…

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Misaeng (An Incomplete Life) Review: Dreary Office Life Never Hurt so Good.

Well that was a beautifully crafted nightmare (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).  Seriously though, I’m so glad they didn’t “K-dramatize” this web-toon adaptation.  I was worried from the light n’ frothy faux-angst the previews made the show out to be.  Don’t get me wrong, such shows are certainly in my wheelhouse, but if TV shows were a meal then I shan’t be only consuming sweets and soju for all my nourishment needs. Diabetes runs in my family y’all*

diabeat this

*

Instead this show represents a lovely steak.  One that is so rich you must chew carefully and fully embrace the textured flavors….(Sorry not sorry to all those vegetarians out there). Okay enough food metaphors (especially since I literally had almonds mixed with yogurt for for dinner).

Let’s get down and dirty into the life of a newbie corporate drone!

Misaeng octopus geu-rae

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We’re Back: A Blogger’s Popcultural Story (Lack of Sleep Edition)

we're back

With 100% less prehistoric, time traveling creatures. That’s a Muenchabench guarantee!

Hiya Everyone!

It’s been awhile. I reckon an additional job/hectic scheduling/life changes will do that to a blogger, but I swear I didn’t intend to go all “Gone Girl” on you.  You know it’s been a while when you input your Constant Contact ID into your blogging username.  And now it looks like WordPress has done gone all upgraded, leaving me bewildered, confused, and amused.

confused state

I hope to not take such long hiatuses in the future, though as for the posting multiple times per week…  Hahaha #thoseweretheweirdoldays #isitjuneyet.  My goal when the hypothetical dust settles is to post once a week, hopefully on the same day but as everything with my silly old self you never know what your going to get.

Though rest assured I have been watching the dramas Korean.  Completed Marriage Not Dating and Fated to Love You (liked both for the most part). I will finish It’s Okay It’s Love (no matter how ambivalent that process seems), and am still fintastically obsessed with Surplus Princess. Eventually will write either a Summer Rom-Com round up of those first three shows, or provide a mini review of each.  Then I hope to start My Secret Hotel, the 99 problems and my age is one show, or anything else that seems promising. Which means do let me know what is your current drama crack at the moment.

I guess that’s it for now, oh and I did update the site with Instagram and twitter accounts I should stop ignoring, so +1 for technology!

*let me reiterate that is not a Google+ 1 for tech.   I like how this “Social” media has made it so I never have time to see actually people.

me in my natural state

Recreation of my natural state this past month.

Not So Serious Review – High School King of Life Conduct

High School King of savvy life conduct min suk get off my laen

Thank you very Kamsa HSKoS! Finally, my belated review on the surprise show of the summer, oh my how I will miss this world, the characters, and SIG!  Perhaps my want to still be in this universe is why I am a week late in writing the wrap-up for the show (though it probably more to-do with life conducting my lack of blogging time, but, shhh that sounds much too boring).

Before I turn into a mushy puddle of complete and utter Seo In Guk Teen Beat fangirling, let me say this drama boasted one of the all-around greatest drama ensembles I’ve seen in quite some time.  Not only were they crackling with chemistry, able to bounce off one an other,  and featured people who were human instead of the too-perfect saint devoid of personality or the equivalent of Hitler’s spawn.  Most all characters were given more than just one trait and often had their own side arcs that ran parallel to the main story, which is easier said then done, especially with your typical K-Dramas.

High School King of savvy life conduct Selca kim and teens high school king of savvy e16 singing

But enough with this actual review nonsense, considering Soo Young (Lee Ha-Na) was always overly stretching her bungee jumping metaphor, let’s add to the amusement park ride analogy by delving deeper into these side-characters, or shall I say side-show characters…

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Review: Day 1 of KCon (Or why I didn’t attend Day 2)

Note: Hey Y’all. Muenchabench here.  Exciting news here at the eastwest dram comm blom blah – a new blogger to the site!! Bringing some clout and actual television know-how. She has been slaying DVR’s and fighting for television truth, justice, and the dramaland way for many moons.  So before I delve down deep into some Pocahontas/Wind the Winter Blows references, I will just say, “Welcome Caitlin!” and look forward to getting to know her and her blog postings (such as this) in the coming weeks 🙂

KCON

KCON looks great on paper. A two-day festival where fans of Korean pop culture can meet each other, attend panels, buy fun souvenirs, and watch concerts. It’s bound to be a great weekend, right?

No. Just… No.

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