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!

Continue reading

Video Variety – Steven Yeun Hungry for K-Fame

WhatsEatingStevenYuen4-575x323

Steven Yeun contemplating Fan assisted suicide. One of many instances that had me gasping for air.

Anyone who needs a laugh (and especially those who don’t) need to stop what your doing, take a break and watch this amusing, humorous video series.  Though each lasts episode lasts about 7 minutes, give yourself 25 because like Pringles, once you start the fun won’t stop!

Once-You-Pop-You-Cant-Stop

The “plot” involves a heightened version of Steven Yeun (Korean-American actor from The Walking Dead fame), and his attempt at Korean fame and glory by becoming a mokbang, or food eating vlogger, (yes, this is a thing) star.

Continue reading

A Deep Dive into the Whimsical World of Award Shows, Representation, and Style vs. Substance

photo433778

Note: Apologies in advance, as this very well may turn into stream of conscious bout of rambling, much of which has already been said in various places here, but even if this turns into a glorified diary entry, I just need to organize my thoughts in whatever chaotic way this post turns out to be.  May I suggest gearing up for a light-hearted review of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (coming soon!) or below with a hilarious spoof of K-Dramas.

Continue reading

Quote

“Tea, what tea….

“Tea, what tea… You should remember [this] with flesh” – Lee Sun-Jae (Yoo Ah-In) Secret Love AffairSecret love affair - Hye Won hug

That quote deserves a RAWR to nth degree! Thanks for memories SLA, I hope future show creators/directors take note, because that is how you make a television show.  Excellent for it’s duration, with no lulls or out of place character beats, the only major downside is the benchmark it set for future dramas (especially melos).  While I’m still mulling over the final episodes events, let us all remember the reason any of this was possible.

Continue reading

The Piano Man Behind Billy Joel and Secret Love Affair

billy joel

With my latest obsession in the jTBC hit Secret Love Affair, I’ve really gone down the rabbit hole in ways I’ve only done with a handful of American shows, and a first for a Korean drama.  I know i’m not alone, soompi forums and sites like Outside Seoul have produced brilliant thought-provoking discourse coupled with several amazing theories that seems to only add to the wonder that is SLA.  I’m usually horrible at thinking of such theories but perhaps it was my inner DJ/music aficionado that led to this.  In episode 12, Sun-Jae (Yoo Ah-In) and Hye-Won (Kim Hee-ae) listen to an uncut, uninterrupted 4 minute Billy Joel classic, “The Piano Man”.  Though I’m not sure if it was as impactful to Sun-Jae and the Korean audience who doesn’t understand English, but for me I was sold.  I noticed some similarities to the characters in SLA to the people Billy talks about in his song.  Below are the lyrics and scene in question

Continue reading