dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


Candidate N4 for "Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas" is perhaps the most underrated drama on the entire list - cable kdrama Someday, starring Bae Doona, Lee Jin Wook, Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah.

When she was 17, Hana (Bae Doona), a Korean brought up in Japan by her grandmother, won a prestigious award and was launched on a career as a popular manga artist in Japan. The same day Hana was launched on her path to popularity and fame, Seokman (Lee Jin Wook) was having the worst day of his life -- he and his family were involved in a car crash, leaving him the only survivor. Fast forward three years or so and the paths of Hana, now a well-known mangaka who is facing a creative draught, and Seokman, now a sort of a missing-persons detective, are about to collide.

Being a cable drama, not that many people have seen it and it's such a pity - this one is on my Top 10 kdramas list of all time for a reason. There are so many reasons as to why this deserves to be better known - its delicious off-beat vibe - this is as if Korea tried to do a jdrama with its realistic feel and its meditation on life but retained its own strengths of romance and suffering and gorgeous cinematography. Its love story, which made me cry and cry and then grin like a lunatic and hug my pillows - it's so unexpected and sneaks up on you and then grabs and refuses to let go. Its stories of alienation and connections and families lost and found and made. Its laid-back charm which lures you in until you, all relaxed, are whacked with the darkness at the core, and are left gasping for breath (full disclosure - this drama made me cry more than once).

It is also a chance for you to see actors who do not often get leading roles actually be allowed to show their chops. The always sublime Bae Doona is well...sublime, as the quirky Hana who has locked her capacity for warmth and caring far away due to childhood loss - when the story starts she is almost an alien dropped among those weird humans - curious, exploratory, and oh-so-different. One of the biggest pleasures of the drama is to watch her learn to become fully human - to feel compassion, to feel love. Lee Jin Wook is one of my huge crushes and I was madly excited to see him get a leading role at last. And he doesn't disappoint, playing his character with so much sweetness that you get lulled into a false sense of security and don't realize just how much damage and despair Seokman has inside, until you are confronted with it, and then go "of course - it all makes sense now." His chemistry with Bae Doona is just so pitch-perfect - their whole relationship is so full of discovery and hope and tentativeness for both of them. You can't help but root for these two very damaged people to work it out and heal each other. She has no emotions but he has no hope or self-worth - and the biggest pleasure for me was to watch both of them recover what they lack. The drama Someday reminds me of most is my favorite twdrama, Mars - the two horribly damaged protagonists with vastly different coping mechanisms make each other better. It goes dark sometimes, terribly dark, but ultimately it's the story of new beginnings and of hope.

Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah are not secondary characters in this - every member of the quartet (and they are not really a love quartet in the usual sense) is equally important. If Hana and Seokman are horribly wounded children, both KMJ and OYA play grown-ups. If you are expecting a typical evil secondary girl, you are in for a disappointment. OYA's Hae Young is the sanest, best person in the quartet, and the one most in touch with her feelings, which include her unrequited love for her best friend Jin Pyo (KMJ). And speaking of Kim Min Joon - he plays perhaps the most controversial character in this - a psychiatrist who gloms onto Hana as a representation of his fanboy fantasies, not a real woman (he does not get to know the real Hana the way Seokman does) and who is the one most in control and delights in manipulation. But I ended up liking him nontheless - in a way, he was caught in a bubble as much as Hana was, only this bubble was of his own willful making.

My favorite scene? Because I am a sadist, it's the sequence leading to Seokman's suicide attempt (it's either that or he gets done in, due to the debts) - his counting how many minutes he has left and getting his math wrong, his visiting the hospital and tying up all the loose ends, his scene on the river bank with Hana, his suicide attempt itself, when he walks off limping and muttering "stupid stupid stupid" not able to think of anything but that he failed.

Favorite quote (Seokman to Hana): "I can't breathe because my heart is filled with thoughts of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you."

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


Candidate N4 for "Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas" is perhaps the most underrated drama on the entire list - cable kdrama Someday, starring Bae Doona, Lee Jin Wook, Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah.

When she was 17, Hana (Bae Doona), a Korean brought up in Japan by her grandmother, won a prestigious award and was launched on a career as a popular manga artist in Japan. The same day Hana was launched on her path to popularity and fame, Seokman (Lee Jin Wook) was having the worst day of his life -- he and his family were involved in a car crash, leaving him the only survivor. Fast forward three years or so and the paths of Hana, now a well-known mangaka who is facing a creative draught, and Seokman, now a sort of a missing-persons detective, are about to collide.

Being a cable drama, not that many people have seen it and it's such a pity - this one is on my Top 10 kdramas list of all time for a reason. There are so many reasons as to why this deserves to be better known - its delicious off-beat vibe - this is as if Korea tried to do a jdrama with its realistic feel and its meditation on life but retained its own strengths of romance and suffering and gorgeous cinematography. Its love story, which made me cry and cry and then grin like a lunatic and hug my pillows - it's so unexpected and sneaks up on you and then grabs and refuses to let go. Its stories of alienation and connections and families lost and found and made. Its laid-back charm which lures you in until you, all relaxed, are whacked with the darkness at the core, and are left gasping for breath (full disclosure - this drama made me cry more than once).

It is also a chance for you to see actors who do not often get leading roles actually be allowed to show their chops. The always sublime Bae Doona is well...sublime, as the quirky Hana who has locked her capacity for warmth and caring far away due to childhood loss - when the story starts she is almost an alien dropped among those weird humans - curious, exploratory, and oh-so-different. One of the biggest pleasures of the drama is to watch her learn to become fully human - to feel compassion, to feel love. Lee Jin Wook is one of my huge crushes and I was madly excited to see him get a leading role at last. And he doesn't disappoint, playing his character with so much sweetness that you get lulled into a false sense of security and don't realize just how much damage and despair Seokman has inside, until you are confronted with it, and then go "of course - it all makes sense now." His chemistry with Bae Doona is just so pitch-perfect - their whole relationship is so full of discovery and hope and tentativeness for both of them. You can't help but root for these two very damaged people to work it out and heal each other. She has no emotions but he has no hope or self-worth - and the biggest pleasure for me was to watch both of them recover what they lack. The drama Someday reminds me of most is my favorite twdrama, Mars - the two horribly damaged protagonists with vastly different coping mechanisms make each other better. It goes dark sometimes, terribly dark, but ultimately it's the story of new beginnings and of hope.

Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah are not secondary characters in this - every member of the quartet (and they are not really a love quartet in the usual sense) is equally important. If Hana and Seokman are horribly wounded children, both KMJ and OYA play grown-ups. If you are expecting a typical evil secondary girl, you are in for a disappointment. OYA's Hae Young is the sanest, best person in the quartet, and the one most in touch with her feelings, which include her unrequited love for her best friend Jin Pyo (KMJ). And speaking of Kim Min Joon - he plays perhaps the most controversial character in this - a psychiatrist who gloms onto Hana as a representation of his fanboy fantasies, not a real woman (he does not get to know the real Hana the way Seokman does) and who is the one most in control and delights in manipulation. But I ended up liking him nontheless - in a way, he was caught in a bubble as much as Hana was, only this bubble was of his own willful making.

My favorite scene? Because I am a sadist, it's the sequence leading to Seokman's suicide attempt (it's either that or he gets done in, due to the debts) - his counting how many minutes he has left and getting his math wrong, his visiting the hospital and tying up all the loose ends, his scene on the river bank with Hana, his suicide attempt itself, when he walks off limping and muttering "stupid stupid stupid" not able to think of anything but that he failed.

Favorite quote (Seokman to Hana): "I can't breathe because my heart is filled with thoughts of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you."

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


Candidate N4 for "Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas" is perhaps the most underrated drama on the entire list - cable kdrama Someday, starring Bae Doona, Lee Jin Wook, Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah.

When she was 17, Hana (Bae Doona), a Korean brought up in Japan by her grandmother, won a prestigious award and was launched on a career as a popular manga artist in Japan. The same day Hana was launched on her path to popularity and fame, Seokman (Lee Jin Wook) was having the worst day of his life -- he and his family were involved in a car crash, leaving him the only survivor. Fast forward three years or so and the paths of Hana, now a well-known mangaka who is facing a creative draught, and Seokman, now a sort of a missing-persons detective, are about to collide.

Being a cable drama, not that many people have seen it and it's such a pity - this one is on my Top 10 kdramas list of all time for a reason. There are so many reasons as to why this deserves to be better known - its delicious off-beat vibe - this is as if Korea tried to do a jdrama with its realistic feel and its meditation on life but retained its own strengths of romance and suffering and gorgeous cinematography. Its love story, which made me cry and cry and then grin like a lunatic and hug my pillows - it's so unexpected and sneaks up on you and then grabs and refuses to let go. Its stories of alienation and connections and families lost and found and made. Its laid-back charm which lures you in until you, all relaxed, are whacked with the darkness at the core, and are left gasping for breath (full disclosure - this drama made me cry more than once).

It is also a chance for you to see actors who do not often get leading roles actually be allowed to show their chops. The always sublime Bae Doona is well...sublime, as the quirky Hana who has locked her capacity for warmth and caring far away due to childhood loss - when the story starts she is almost an alien dropped among those weird humans - curious, exploratory, and oh-so-different. One of the biggest pleasures of the drama is to watch her learn to become fully human - to feel compassion, to feel love. Lee Jin Wook is one of my huge crushes and I was madly excited to see him get a leading role at last. And he doesn't disappoint, playing his character with so much sweetness that you get lulled into a false sense of security and don't realize just how much damage and despair Seokman has inside, until you are confronted with it, and then go "of course - it all makes sense now." His chemistry with Bae Doona is just so pitch-perfect - their whole relationship is so full of discovery and hope and tentativeness for both of them. You can't help but root for these two very damaged people to work it out and heal each other. She has no emotions but he has no hope or self-worth - and the biggest pleasure for me was to watch both of them recover what they lack. The drama Someday reminds me of most is my favorite twdrama, Mars - the two horribly damaged protagonists with vastly different coping mechanisms make each other better. It goes dark sometimes, terribly dark, but ultimately it's the story of new beginnings and of hope.

Kim Min Joon and Oh Yoon Ah are not secondary characters in this - every member of the quartet (and they are not really a love quartet in the usual sense) is equally important. If Hana and Seokman are horribly wounded children, both KMJ and OYA play grown-ups. If you are expecting a typical evil secondary girl, you are in for a disappointment. OYA's Hae Young is the sanest, best person in the quartet, and the one most in touch with her feelings, which include her unrequited love for her best friend Jin Pyo (KMJ). And speaking of Kim Min Joon - he plays perhaps the most controversial character in this - a psychiatrist who gloms onto Hana as a representation of his fanboy fantasies, not a real woman (he does not get to know the real Hana the way Seokman does) and who is the one most in control and delights in manipulation. But I ended up liking him nontheless - in a way, he was caught in a bubble as much as Hana was, only this bubble was of his own willful making.

My favorite scene? Because I am a sadist, it's the sequence leading to Seokman's suicide attempt (it's either that or he gets done in, due to the debts) - his counting how many minutes he has left and getting his math wrong, his visiting the hospital and tying up all the loose ends, his scene on the river bank with Hana, his suicide attempt itself, when he walks off limping and muttering "stupid stupid stupid" not able to think of anything but that he failed.

Favorite quote (Seokman to Hana): "I can't breathe because my heart is filled with thoughts of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you."

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)


Candidate N3 in Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas is one of my all-time favorite kdramas, a vastly underrated 2007 gem Que Sera Sera, starring Eric Mun and Jung Yumi.

QSS is that rare beast - a passionate, dark, messy, fully grown up, very physical kdrama. In a kdrama world, where even 40-somethings often act as pure as kids in love and where heroes and heroines are usually unequivocally good, QSS is unusual indeed. The drama QSS reminds me most of is Bali, only if Bali added a lot more physical passion and a lot more hope.

The plot is pretty simple at first glance - QSS follows the interactions of a group of people but at the center of it all are Eun Soo (Jung Yumi) and Tae Jo (Eric Mun), a completely impossible pair of dysfunctional lovers. I don't mean impossible in a traditional kdrama sense - there are no opposing parents or deathly illness. No, they are impossible in the sense that when you watch them destroy everything - themselves, each other, innocent bystanders, you want to take them aside and try to convince them they are better off without each other. Only - you know it's not true - they may be dysfunctional together but they cannot exist apart. Eun Soo is a naive, unworldly girl at the start of the story. She is sheltered and emotionally needy - ripe pickings for the first smooth talker who comes her way. And the first man whom she meets and gloms onto in the big bad Seoul isn't just anyone - it's Tae Jo, a good-looking, charming, emotionally hollow man who supplements his meager middle-class income by sleeping with rich bored women who shower him with gifts - a sort of a dilettante gigolo. Eun Soo is entirely not Tae Jo's type - she is poor, dowdy, and inexperienced. And Tae Jo is definitely not someone Eun Soo should meddle with - she is not familiar with games Tae Jo enjoys as easily as breathing. And yet the two find themselves irreistably drawn to each other - Tae Jo is drawn in by Eun Soo's emotional openness and ability to be hurt (so different from the women he plays with) and Eun Soo is wallowing in her romantic fantasy of the good-looking man paying attention to her.

Of course, nothing is so simple. Tae Jo is terrified of opening emotionally and of commitment. It's a question mark as to whether he can be capable of love at all. And being pushed away and discarded brings out the latent complexity and darkness in Eun Soo and soon she is matching Tae Jo hurt for hurt, lie for lie. Throw in a pair of stepsiblings trying to fight a latent attraction to each other and the most dysfunctional love quadrangle ever is set.

The relationships and feelings are equally messy but, no matter what, the story revolves around Eun Soo and Tae Jo - two people who cannot live together, but who cannot live without each other, either, drawn back together as much by their matching dysfunction as by lust. Ah yes, lust. It is perhaps the most physically passionate drama I have ever seen. Eric Mun and Jung Yumi have insane chemistry. Insane. And the drama takes advantage of it - there is more kissing, make-outs and physical contact in QSS than there is in another 20 dramas put together. This drama is delicious - like very dark, bitter chocolate. As I have said, it pulls no punches. Almost every character does something truly despicable before the drama ends. At one time or another during the running time, I hated each of the main quartet. And yet I ended the drama loving and pitying them all.

The acting knocks it out of the ballpark. I have never liked Eric Mun in any other drama but in QSS he drops his usual goofball drama persona to play someone broken and damaged on a very basic level and it blew me away. He is also sex on legs in this - so very strongly masculine you can see why Eun Soo abandons her common-sense to get involved with him. This is the only drama in which I have seen Jung Yumi but I loved her - her unusual looks fit perfectly but what really got me was the feeling of high-strung fragility, of repressed energy. Lee Kyu Han is more known for playing second-string jerks but he knocks it out of the park as a reserved, controlled man who is, perhaps, the best person in the quadrangle. Yoon Ji-Hye takes what could be seen as a typical secondary girl role and turns it into something else - needy and sad.

My favorite scene? Oh, this is so hard. Probably, the scene of Tae Joo shaking and sobbing dryly, fists to his mouth, literally banging his head on the bar, trying to control his feelings of Eun Soo being lost to him.

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)


Candidate N3 in Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas is one of my all-time favorite kdramas, a vastly underrated 2007 gem Que Sera Sera, starring Eric Mun and Jung Yumi.

QSS is that rare beast - a passionate, dark, messy, fully grown up, very physical kdrama. In a kdrama world, where even 40-somethings often act as pure as kids in love and where heroes and heroines are usually unequivocally good, QSS is unusual indeed. The drama QSS reminds me most of is Bali, only if Bali added a lot more physical passion and a lot more hope.

The plot is pretty simple at first glance - QSS follows the interactions of a group of people but at the center of it all are Eun Soo (Jung Yumi) and Tae Jo (Eric Mun), a completely impossible pair of dysfunctional lovers. I don't mean impossible in a traditional kdrama sense - there are no opposing parents or deathly illness. No, they are impossible in the sense that when you watch them destroy everything - themselves, each other, innocent bystanders, you want to take them aside and try to convince them they are better off without each other. Only - you know it's not true - they may be dysfunctional together but they cannot exist apart. Eun Soo is a naive, unworldly girl at the start of the story. She is sheltered and emotionally needy - ripe pickings for the first smooth talker who comes her way. And the first man whom she meets and gloms onto in the big bad Seoul isn't just anyone - it's Tae Jo, a good-looking, charming, emotionally hollow man who supplements his meager middle-class income by sleeping with rich bored women who shower him with gifts - a sort of a dilettante gigolo. Eun Soo is entirely not Tae Jo's type - she is poor, dowdy, and inexperienced. And Tae Jo is definitely not someone Eun Soo should meddle with - she is not familiar with games Tae Jo enjoys as easily as breathing. And yet the two find themselves irreistably drawn to each other - Tae Jo is drawn in by Eun Soo's emotional openness and ability to be hurt (so different from the women he plays with) and Eun Soo is wallowing in her romantic fantasy of the good-looking man paying attention to her.

Of course, nothing is so simple. Tae Jo is terrified of opening emotionally and of commitment. It's a question mark as to whether he can be capable of love at all. And being pushed away and discarded brings out the latent complexity and darkness in Eun Soo and soon she is matching Tae Jo hurt for hurt, lie for lie. Throw in a pair of stepsiblings trying to fight a latent attraction to each other and the most dysfunctional love quadrangle ever is set.

The relationships and feelings are equally messy but, no matter what, the story revolves around Eun Soo and Tae Jo - two people who cannot live together, but who cannot live without each other, either, drawn back together as much by their matching dysfunction as by lust. Ah yes, lust. It is perhaps the most physically passionate drama I have ever seen. Eric Mun and Jung Yumi have insane chemistry. Insane. And the drama takes advantage of it - there is more kissing, make-outs and physical contact in QSS than there is in another 20 dramas put together. This drama is delicious - like very dark, bitter chocolate. As I have said, it pulls no punches. Almost every character does something truly despicable before the drama ends. At one time or another during the running time, I hated each of the main quartet. And yet I ended the drama loving and pitying them all.

The acting knocks it out of the ballpark. I have never liked Eric Mun in any other drama but in QSS he drops his usual goofball drama persona to play someone broken and damaged on a very basic level and it blew me away. He is also sex on legs in this - so very strongly masculine you can see why Eun Soo abandons her common-sense to get involved with him. This is the only drama in which I have seen Jung Yumi but I loved her - her unusual looks fit perfectly but what really got me was the feeling of high-strung fragility, of repressed energy. Lee Kyu Han is more known for playing second-string jerks but he knocks it out of the park as a reserved, controlled man who is, perhaps, the best person in the quadrangle. Yoon Ji-Hye takes what could be seen as a typical secondary girl role and turns it into something else - needy and sad.

My favorite scene? Oh, this is so hard. Probably, the scene of Tae Joo shaking and sobbing dryly, fists to his mouth, literally banging his head on the bar, trying to control his feelings of Eun Soo being lost to him.

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)


Candidate N3 in Top 10 Most Underrated Dramas is one of my all-time favorite kdramas, a vastly underrated 2007 gem Que Sera Sera, starring Eric Mun and Jung Yumi.

QSS is that rare beast - a passionate, dark, messy, fully grown up, very physical kdrama. In a kdrama world, where even 40-somethings often act as pure as kids in love and where heroes and heroines are usually unequivocally good, QSS is unusual indeed. The drama QSS reminds me most of is Bali, only if Bali added a lot more physical passion and a lot more hope.

The plot is pretty simple at first glance - QSS follows the interactions of a group of people but at the center of it all are Eun Soo (Jung Yumi) and Tae Jo (Eric Mun), a completely impossible pair of dysfunctional lovers. I don't mean impossible in a traditional kdrama sense - there are no opposing parents or deathly illness. No, they are impossible in the sense that when you watch them destroy everything - themselves, each other, innocent bystanders, you want to take them aside and try to convince them they are better off without each other. Only - you know it's not true - they may be dysfunctional together but they cannot exist apart. Eun Soo is a naive, unworldly girl at the start of the story. She is sheltered and emotionally needy - ripe pickings for the first smooth talker who comes her way. And the first man whom she meets and gloms onto in the big bad Seoul isn't just anyone - it's Tae Jo, a good-looking, charming, emotionally hollow man who supplements his meager middle-class income by sleeping with rich bored women who shower him with gifts - a sort of a dilettante gigolo. Eun Soo is entirely not Tae Jo's type - she is poor, dowdy, and inexperienced. And Tae Jo is definitely not someone Eun Soo should meddle with - she is not familiar with games Tae Jo enjoys as easily as breathing. And yet the two find themselves irreistably drawn to each other - Tae Jo is drawn in by Eun Soo's emotional openness and ability to be hurt (so different from the women he plays with) and Eun Soo is wallowing in her romantic fantasy of the good-looking man paying attention to her.

Of course, nothing is so simple. Tae Jo is terrified of opening emotionally and of commitment. It's a question mark as to whether he can be capable of love at all. And being pushed away and discarded brings out the latent complexity and darkness in Eun Soo and soon she is matching Tae Jo hurt for hurt, lie for lie. Throw in a pair of stepsiblings trying to fight a latent attraction to each other and the most dysfunctional love quadrangle ever is set.

The relationships and feelings are equally messy but, no matter what, the story revolves around Eun Soo and Tae Jo - two people who cannot live together, but who cannot live without each other, either, drawn back together as much by their matching dysfunction as by lust. Ah yes, lust. It is perhaps the most physically passionate drama I have ever seen. Eric Mun and Jung Yumi have insane chemistry. Insane. And the drama takes advantage of it - there is more kissing, make-outs and physical contact in QSS than there is in another 20 dramas put together. This drama is delicious - like very dark, bitter chocolate. As I have said, it pulls no punches. Almost every character does something truly despicable before the drama ends. At one time or another during the running time, I hated each of the main quartet. And yet I ended the drama loving and pitying them all.

The acting knocks it out of the ballpark. I have never liked Eric Mun in any other drama but in QSS he drops his usual goofball drama persona to play someone broken and damaged on a very basic level and it blew me away. He is also sex on legs in this - so very strongly masculine you can see why Eun Soo abandons her common-sense to get involved with him. This is the only drama in which I have seen Jung Yumi but I loved her - her unusual looks fit perfectly but what really got me was the feeling of high-strung fragility, of repressed energy. Lee Kyu Han is more known for playing second-string jerks but he knocks it out of the park as a reserved, controlled man who is, perhaps, the best person in the quadrangle. Yoon Ji-Hye takes what could be seen as a typical secondary girl role and turns it into something else - needy and sad.

My favorite scene? Oh, this is so hard. Probably, the scene of Tae Joo shaking and sobbing dryly, fists to his mouth, literally banging his head on the bar, trying to control his feelings of Eun Soo being lost to him.

Have a MV:

dangermousie: (Aishiteiru)


The previous candidate was a kdrama, A Love to Kill, but candidate n2 is a jdrama - one that is in the running for one of my favorite jdramas of all time. It is 1995's Aishiteiru to Itte Kure, starring Toyokawa Etsushi and Takiwa Takako.

Aishiteiru was a big hit when it came out - both ratings and awards-wise. But seeing that it's a very old drama by fandom standards, it is little known today. I don't know too many people who have seen it. And that is a pity, a huge pity, because it is hard to find a more natural, emotional, realistic, romantic, well-acted jdrama. Especially in the first half I felt as if I was intruding - as if the camera was following real people out there somewhere, that is how natural and real it felt. I giggled, I swooned, I cried so hard snot was coming out of my nose. Few dramas owned me as hard, before or since.

Aishiteiru's set-up is simple - it is a love story between a pushy, upbeat, young aspiring actress Hiroko (Takiwa Takako) and a somewhat older, quiet, mute/deaf painter Kohji (Toyokawa Etsushi). The story centers on barriers and flaws and love. Nothing is melodramatically over the top - when bad things happen, they are realistic. When the relationship fractures - there is no made-up drama but realistic differences between people who are in different places in their lives, have different temperaments, and may not be able to make it work despite all their love for each other. When they show their love, it is all the more moving for feeling real.

Before Aishiteiru, I never knew how much the lives of two rather ordinary people, with some baggage (but a baggage a person can have quite often), and with no hyperdramatic events could enthrall me. Because the things that happen are so everyday, so real, so normal, however earth-shattering to the participants they might be: a fight out of frustration, making love first thing in the morning, holding an umbrella in together in the rain, being tormented by insecurity, making rash decisions you can not undo however you regret. The relationship at the center of the drama, with its giddiness, its hurts, its complexities, and yes, its sexual charge, too (Aishiteiru allows its protagonists to be adults in their physical attraction to each other and small, everyday physical tenderness is very much present) is irresistible to watch. There are few dramas, from anywhere, that got me this emotionally engrossed.

Favorite quote: "I love you. I will love you today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Isn't it enough?"
Favorite scene: When he screams for her on the train platform. I sort of died.

So, go watch! And discover a forgotten gem.



Now, excuse me, I am off to watch Aoi Tori with Toyokawa Etsushi...
dangermousie: (Aishiteiru)


The previous candidate was a kdrama, A Love to Kill, but candidate n2 is a jdrama - one that is in the running for one of my favorite jdramas of all time. It is 1995's Aishiteiru to Itte Kure, starring Toyokawa Etsushi and Takiwa Takako.

Aishiteiru was a big hit when it came out - both ratings and awards-wise. But seeing that it's a very old drama by fandom standards, it is little known today. I don't know too many people who have seen it. And that is a pity, a huge pity, because it is hard to find a more natural, emotional, realistic, romantic, well-acted jdrama. Especially in the first half I felt as if I was intruding - as if the camera was following real people out there somewhere, that is how natural and real it felt. I giggled, I swooned, I cried so hard snot was coming out of my nose. Few dramas owned me as hard, before or since.

Aishiteiru's set-up is simple - it is a love story between a pushy, upbeat, young aspiring actress Hiroko (Takiwa Takako) and a somewhat older, quiet, mute/deaf painter Kohji (Toyokawa Etsushi). The story centers on barriers and flaws and love. Nothing is melodramatically over the top - when bad things happen, they are realistic. When the relationship fractures - there is no made-up drama but realistic differences between people who are in different places in their lives, have different temperaments, and may not be able to make it work despite all their love for each other. When they show their love, it is all the more moving for feeling real.

Before Aishiteiru, I never knew how much the lives of two rather ordinary people, with some baggage (but a baggage a person can have quite often), and with no hyperdramatic events could enthrall me. Because the things that happen are so everyday, so real, so normal, however earth-shattering to the participants they might be: a fight out of frustration, making love first thing in the morning, holding an umbrella in together in the rain, being tormented by insecurity, making rash decisions you can not undo however you regret. The relationship at the center of the drama, with its giddiness, its hurts, its complexities, and yes, its sexual charge, too (Aishiteiru allows its protagonists to be adults in their physical attraction to each other and small, everyday physical tenderness is very much present) is irresistible to watch. There are few dramas, from anywhere, that got me this emotionally engrossed.

Favorite quote: "I love you. I will love you today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Isn't it enough?"
Favorite scene: When he screams for her on the train platform. I sort of died.

So, go watch! And discover a forgotten gem.



Now, excuse me, I am off to watch Aoi Tori with Toyokawa Etsushi...
dangermousie: (Aishiteiru)


The previous candidate was a kdrama, A Love to Kill, but candidate n2 is a jdrama - one that is in the running for one of my favorite jdramas of all time. It is 1995's Aishiteiru to Itte Kure, starring Toyokawa Etsushi and Takiwa Takako.

Aishiteiru was a big hit when it came out - both ratings and awards-wise. But seeing that it's a very old drama by fandom standards, it is little known today. I don't know too many people who have seen it. And that is a pity, a huge pity, because it is hard to find a more natural, emotional, realistic, romantic, well-acted jdrama. Especially in the first half I felt as if I was intruding - as if the camera was following real people out there somewhere, that is how natural and real it felt. I giggled, I swooned, I cried so hard snot was coming out of my nose. Few dramas owned me as hard, before or since.

Aishiteiru's set-up is simple - it is a love story between a pushy, upbeat, young aspiring actress Hiroko (Takiwa Takako) and a somewhat older, quiet, mute/deaf painter Kohji (Toyokawa Etsushi). The story centers on barriers and flaws and love. Nothing is melodramatically over the top - when bad things happen, they are realistic. When the relationship fractures - there is no made-up drama but realistic differences between people who are in different places in their lives, have different temperaments, and may not be able to make it work despite all their love for each other. When they show their love, it is all the more moving for feeling real.

Before Aishiteiru, I never knew how much the lives of two rather ordinary people, with some baggage (but a baggage a person can have quite often), and with no hyperdramatic events could enthrall me. Because the things that happen are so everyday, so real, so normal, however earth-shattering to the participants they might be: a fight out of frustration, making love first thing in the morning, holding an umbrella in together in the rain, being tormented by insecurity, making rash decisions you can not undo however you regret. The relationship at the center of the drama, with its giddiness, its hurts, its complexities, and yes, its sexual charge, too (Aishiteiru allows its protagonists to be adults in their physical attraction to each other and small, everyday physical tenderness is very much present) is irresistible to watch. There are few dramas, from anywhere, that got me this emotionally engrossed.

Favorite quote: "I love you. I will love you today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Isn't it enough?"
Favorite scene: When he screams for her on the train platform. I sort of died.

So, go watch! And discover a forgotten gem.



Now, excuse me, I am off to watch Aoi Tori with Toyokawa Etsushi...
dangermousie: (ALTK by alexandral)
[livejournal.com profile] walkswithheroes is doing a similar list and I thought I'd steal the idea.

So I am going to post on 10 dramas that I think are excellent but deserve more fandom love.



"If I am to be punished, I'll take it. If people will throw stones at us, I'll get hit. If there is a hell, I'll go there. Let's forget who you are and who I am. Let's be crazy. Let's run away together."

My first choice is my favorite melodrama of all time - 2005 kdrama A Love to Kill starring Rain and Shin Min Ah.

The story is fairly simple - a lowlife named Bokgu decides to avenge his older brother, who he thinks has committed suicide because of being dumped by the rising young actress Eun Sung. (The audience knows from the start he is wrong about his facts and a lot of tension in the story comes from that knowledge). His plan is to get close to her and emotionally wreck her the way he believes she wrecked his brother. (It's an insane plan but it's clear it is just something for Bokgu to do in order to go on with his meaningless existence). But he cannot help falling in love himself...

Everyone on my friendslist who has seen it has loved it but too few people have seen it. Its ratings were pretty low too. I have no idea why it has such a marked lack of popularity - except that maybe many a Rain fangirl couldn't bear to see her idol playing a despicable character in a dark drama? I honestly do not know.

I love ALTK precisely because it is dark and muddy and passionate and desperate - if many kdramas make me think of chicklit, ALTK reminds me of one of those sprawling, tragic 19th century Russian novels, with protagonists trapped and doomed by their environment and limitations. The story is by my favorite melodrama writer, Lee Kyung Hee. LKH is a master at getting at the emotional heart of situation but in her latest work (Christmas) she takes narrative shotcuts to these points - not so in ALTK - the emotional strength is underpinned by a story where things are adequately explained.

There are many dramas I loved where, once a few months pass, I cannot remember why I was obsessed, and the emotional connection gets blunted. Not so with ALTK - remembering some of its moments immediately brings to mind how strongly I felt about them - the utter emotional immersion. The amazing cinematography and direction help with the almost dreamlike intensity of the story. And the acting is top-notch too. This is the drama that made me realize the fuss both about Rain and SMA. They play these both utterly broken people, desperate, dysfunctional, not really likeable but somehow relatable. He is brutal, lonely, crushed under his obligations. She is broken, fragile, self-destructive. They both are controlled by past, honor, and guilt. They both have no warmth in their lives. Despite everything they are strikingly alike.

It is hard to pick my favorite scene (and not be too spoilery) but, oddly, among all the great moments it is one very little one which sticks out. It's a quick moment in ep 15 - when she asks him when he first fell in love with her and his answer was so not what I expected. "From the first moment I met you" - that is all he says and it blew me away. I remember starting to sob like an idiot.
dangermousie: (ALTK by alexandral)
[livejournal.com profile] walkswithheroes is doing a similar list and I thought I'd steal the idea.

So I am going to post on 10 dramas that I think are excellent but deserve more fandom love.



"If I am to be punished, I'll take it. If people will throw stones at us, I'll get hit. If there is a hell, I'll go there. Let's forget who you are and who I am. Let's be crazy. Let's run away together."

My first choice is my favorite melodrama of all time - 2005 kdrama A Love to Kill starring Rain and Shin Min Ah.

The story is fairly simple - a lowlife named Bokgu decides to avenge his older brother, who he thinks has committed suicide because of being dumped by the rising young actress Eun Sung. (The audience knows from the start he is wrong about his facts and a lot of tension in the story comes from that knowledge). His plan is to get close to her and emotionally wreck her the way he believes she wrecked his brother. (It's an insane plan but it's clear it is just something for Bokgu to do in order to go on with his meaningless existence). But he cannot help falling in love himself...

Everyone on my friendslist who has seen it has loved it but too few people have seen it. Its ratings were pretty low too. I have no idea why it has such a marked lack of popularity - except that maybe many a Rain fangirl couldn't bear to see her idol playing a despicable character in a dark drama? I honestly do not know.

I love ALTK precisely because it is dark and muddy and passionate and desperate - if many kdramas make me think of chicklit, ALTK reminds me of one of those sprawling, tragic 19th century Russian novels, with protagonists trapped and doomed by their environment and limitations. The story is by my favorite melodrama writer, Lee Kyung Hee. LKH is a master at getting at the emotional heart of situation but in her latest work (Christmas) she takes narrative shotcuts to these points - not so in ALTK - the emotional strength is underpinned by a story where things are adequately explained.

There are many dramas I loved where, once a few months pass, I cannot remember why I was obsessed, and the emotional connection gets blunted. Not so with ALTK - remembering some of its moments immediately brings to mind how strongly I felt about them - the utter emotional immersion. The amazing cinematography and direction help with the almost dreamlike intensity of the story. And the acting is top-notch too. This is the drama that made me realize the fuss both about Rain and SMA. They play these both utterly broken people, desperate, dysfunctional, not really likeable but somehow relatable. He is brutal, lonely, crushed under his obligations. She is broken, fragile, self-destructive. They both are controlled by past, honor, and guilt. They both have no warmth in their lives. Despite everything they are strikingly alike.

It is hard to pick my favorite scene (and not be too spoilery) but, oddly, among all the great moments it is one very little one which sticks out. It's a quick moment in ep 15 - when she asks him when he first fell in love with her and his answer was so not what I expected. "From the first moment I met you" - that is all he says and it blew me away. I remember starting to sob like an idiot.
dangermousie: (ALTK by alexandral)
[livejournal.com profile] walkswithheroes is doing a similar list and I thought I'd steal the idea.

So I am going to post on 10 dramas that I think are excellent but deserve more fandom love.



"If I am to be punished, I'll take it. If people will throw stones at us, I'll get hit. If there is a hell, I'll go there. Let's forget who you are and who I am. Let's be crazy. Let's run away together."

My first choice is my favorite melodrama of all time - 2005 kdrama A Love to Kill starring Rain and Shin Min Ah.

The story is fairly simple - a lowlife named Bokgu decides to avenge his older brother, who he thinks has committed suicide because of being dumped by the rising young actress Eun Sung. (The audience knows from the start he is wrong about his facts and a lot of tension in the story comes from that knowledge). His plan is to get close to her and emotionally wreck her the way he believes she wrecked his brother. (It's an insane plan but it's clear it is just something for Bokgu to do in order to go on with his meaningless existence). But he cannot help falling in love himself...

Everyone on my friendslist who has seen it has loved it but too few people have seen it. Its ratings were pretty low too. I have no idea why it has such a marked lack of popularity - except that maybe many a Rain fangirl couldn't bear to see her idol playing a despicable character in a dark drama? I honestly do not know.

I love ALTK precisely because it is dark and muddy and passionate and desperate - if many kdramas make me think of chicklit, ALTK reminds me of one of those sprawling, tragic 19th century Russian novels, with protagonists trapped and doomed by their environment and limitations. The story is by my favorite melodrama writer, Lee Kyung Hee. LKH is a master at getting at the emotional heart of situation but in her latest work (Christmas) she takes narrative shotcuts to these points - not so in ALTK - the emotional strength is underpinned by a story where things are adequately explained.

There are many dramas I loved where, once a few months pass, I cannot remember why I was obsessed, and the emotional connection gets blunted. Not so with ALTK - remembering some of its moments immediately brings to mind how strongly I felt about them - the utter emotional immersion. The amazing cinematography and direction help with the almost dreamlike intensity of the story. And the acting is top-notch too. This is the drama that made me realize the fuss both about Rain and SMA. They play these both utterly broken people, desperate, dysfunctional, not really likeable but somehow relatable. He is brutal, lonely, crushed under his obligations. She is broken, fragile, self-destructive. They both are controlled by past, honor, and guilt. They both have no warmth in their lives. Despite everything they are strikingly alike.

It is hard to pick my favorite scene (and not be too spoilery) but, oddly, among all the great moments it is one very little one which sticks out. It's a quick moment in ep 15 - when she asks him when he first fell in love with her and his answer was so not what I expected. "From the first moment I met you" - that is all he says and it blew me away. I remember starting to sob like an idiot.

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