Well, it has been a while. As other things took precendence, I quite naturally went on a looong hiatus from blogging. Taking a break is good, though as I have now returned with double the energy. In the meatime Yeona has been behind the steer and looking out for the blog- thank you kindly for your continued support, Yeona. As for dramas…
As a way of coming from my drama slump, I have started following a new dramastarring Park Shi Hoo (yes I know I am unfairly biased towards the man, as I should mention Moon Geun Yong first) and watched several first episodes.
Cheongdamdong Alice is a sort of a Cinderella type story which tries to be clever in that the heroine turns less pure with each of her decisions as she follows the “White Rabbit” she needs to catch in order to get herself a better life. Makes her into something of a gold digger since she is going to use the people she meets to her means. I can understand her, but I do not empathise with her much. I am not particularly fond of “strength” which has to resort to lying and scheming and she is brewing her own fate. Sometimes there is no other choice? There is nothing wrong with going after someone’s money especially if you are in a desperate situation? Be honest, make it clear at the start at least and besides… why marriage has to always be presented as a way out of predicament? Life may be like it and I would perhaps be more tolerant of this pretty good idea (certainly it’s rare that we have a lead female character who goes from innocent and enthusiastic to scheming and lying) if I was convinced that the character is trully turning terrible, but the problem is this drama is not the type of drama to pull it off. It’s constructed as a mainstream idol drama, the script is not at all sparkling and the set up is for a mainstream romance. I am pretty sure any more niche drama could pull it off better.
Park Shi Hoo’s character is likeable in the first episodes though as there is an air of certain innocence about him that is quite appealing, that’s what makes me feel a little bad for him. Moreover, the studies she does…in gold digging techniques almost… Well, if anything that proves her underlyingly innocent character and perhaps it’s good that she doesn’t know these things from the start, but it’s also not convincing enough for me. Look at the female character in Giant, for example. She though Lee bum Soo’s character, someone she loved, had mistreated her (not going to spoil the details here!) and become her competitor to top that, so she became more decisive in buisness herself and really fierce to try and match him. It was really interesting to watch how the two battled things out, and she really became quite stronger thanks to this arc in the story: it was right within the story meaning that it felt natural. For now I keep watching what will happen with Her schemes to catch herself a White Rabbit, but I do not think the drama really intends to accomplish what it supposedly intends to, it’s just a set up.
Some of the dramas that recently caught my attention include:
- 9 End 2 Outs – a pretty good drama, one of few romance dramas in which nothing overdone ever happens. It’s about how two lifelong friends gradually realise they are actually more than just friends and that they want more that just friends. It’s well cast and the chemistry is palpable, it feels that they care about each other.
- Shut Up Flower Boy Band: It makes me conviced that TvN dramas are actually worthwhile to look out for since they do not stick quite as closely to standard formulas. (I have nothing against standard cliches, mind you, but it’s good to see something fresher from time to time). The story follows a group of friends wishing to run a successful band. Unfortunately, they’re young and inexperienced and..things happen. Not even guidance can help them, there are something they just have to realise on their own and make a little step forward through that. The ups and downs of friendship are done very convcingly, the story is well crafted and well worth a look.
- Tatta hitotsu no koi– a first love story between a poor guy and a rich girl. Despite what it sounds, if you are looking for something a little more thoughtful, something with a little more substance to it than Rich man, poor woman, this is a good choice. There is a genuine sense of difficulties and differences separating and challenging our lead couple, the music creates a distinct mood, no one is out to separate them becuse of evil scheming but out of genuine concern whether this will work out. The ending may leave the viewer slightly unconvinced however. But if you are after something less sugary and glamorous and something a little more thoughtful for a romance, then, again, Tatta is a decent choice.
- At Home Dad: This is fun to watch as Hiroshi Abe’s character struggles to adjust his manly macho image to the role of a stay-at-home dad and makes some constructive realisations about himself and his role in the family. His itneractions with his neighbour doing the same job are also fun. There are a number of truisms thrown around much in this drama, and these are sometimes quite annoying (more on that some other time), but for entertainment value this is a good watch.
- That Fool – it’s a pretty standard celebrity-ordinary guy romcom but it features some really fun interactions between the lead and his brother-in-law. Besides that, I really think Hweong Jung Min is worth taking more note of as he seems to have a certain ease in sliding into any of his roles and it makes things…more natural. I have to say, I am quite taken with his acting ability.
So that is it for an update from me, my first in 2013…have a good year and hopefully many good dramas are yet before us. I am now excited about getting back into drama blogging and writing more of themed entries.