Oct. 31st, 2012

dangermousie: (CH: comfort by meganbmoore)
I confess that when I checked out ATDP, I didn't expect to love it, yet here I am, 5 episodes in, loving it so much. So much.

Despite the rather melodramatic premise, ATDP feels very real - it is not OTT or loud, but feels like a peek into lives of real people, people I could pass by on the street (OK, they are prettier and more eloquent than I am but still...) In fact, the drama ATDP reminds me most of isn't any of its fellow melodramas but Worlds Within, a decidedly unmelodramatic drama - it has the same feel of every day, of a mood piece that is somehow real.

The characters, most of them, are not perfect people, but the writing and the acting makes me care for them and understand them even when they do things I would normally disapprove of. I mean, in ATDP, I am rooting for a couple who are sleeping together even though the man is engaged (and the woman knows he is). But Soo Ae's fierce independence and her equally fierce vulnerability speak to me. And Kim Rae Won is perfectly cast because somehow, I don't see his character as either weak or despicable, but someone I understand and care for. When he incoherently sobs out to his friend, desperate for Soo Ae to know that the reason he didn't break off the engagement and marry her was because he was being too dutiful to his parents (who are pretty awful, happily selling their son in exchange for staying in a comfortable groove, even though they know he wants out, but it's realistic), not because he didn't love her enough - I believe him. And that takes a lot of acting and writing brilliance to do.

Another thing I love about this drama is the looping narrative structure - the story is linked by the lovers' memories - jumping from the bleak present to their shared past (the sequence after KRW learns about Soo Ae's illness and flashbacks to the start of their relationship, and then it flashbacks out, and he is crying, and then it moves to a different part of their past, is especially brilliant). It really echoes the theme of identity and memory. And it also allows the writer a lot of freedom - after all, our couple broke up in episode 1, and yet we still get plenty of them together through that looping structure...

Oh, and there is the fact that family is as, if not more, important to the story than romantic love...ATDP is pretty much pitch perfect.

Some caps from eps 3-5 )
dangermousie: (HGD cheek by miss-dian)

I confess, until now I had little interest in the upcoming fantasy sageuk Jeon Woo Chi - I just didn't know anything about it and Cha Tae Hyun has never been a favorite of mine.

But now!!!!! Uee, playing our heroine, the granddaughter of Hong Gil Dong, apparently gets placed under an evil spell and becomes an emotionless assassin for the bad guys. Except a couple of times a year (?), when she is freed. And as the drama starts, apparently she shows up to kill her grandfather HGD and her lover, Jeon Woo Chi.

I NEED THIS DRAMA IN MY LIFE ASAP!!!! It's made for me! It makes me think it could have been a wuxia starring Nic Tse, and that is never a bad thing.

I think part of the reason for my interest being so acute is because this is the first time in months and months I don't have a period drama of some sort on my viewing list. I checked out The Horse Doctor and it's solid but not my thing (medical dramas = deadly boredom, as far as I am concerned) and The Great Seer should have instead been titled The Great Leer, going by the amount of gratuitous sex and torture in that drama. I'd be fine with sex and torture and the atmosphere of wannabe degeneracy if I cared for any of the characters or the actors (OK, Ji Jin Hee is rocking his role, but he can't rescue this puppy alone), or even if the costumes and sets were less shoddy.
dangermousie: (VM: V/L kiss by frenchscent)

I've enjoyed the second episode of Beauty and the Beast a lot. Of course, I am in it for the shipping and the Government conspiracy, so the 'case of the week' procedural stuff is for playing in the background while I am doing something else, but we can't have everything.


dangermousie: (Default)

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