dangermousie: (Chuno - bride)
While I often adore kdrama heroes, it is the heroine who is a deal-breaker for me. A drama does not need to have a woman in a prominent role for me to love it - as long as the relative absence of women makes sense (i.e. if someone made a drama set in the military and had only minor female characters), if the story is good, I will buy it. But if the drama does have a prominent female character, I have to like her or I bail. An unsatisfactory hero I can live with, an unsatisfactory heroine? Never.

Luckily for me, this season of kdramas is full of strong, intelligent, funny heroines. Sometimes all three at once. Here is your primer:

2009 January Heroine Roster )

And not related, but because I am a geek, I went and compared all of last week's kdrama ratings.

Ratings comparison here )
dangermousie: (Chuno - bride)
While I often adore kdrama heroes, it is the heroine who is a deal-breaker for me. A drama does not need to have a woman in a prominent role for me to love it - as long as the relative absence of women makes sense (i.e. if someone made a drama set in the military and had only minor female characters), if the story is good, I will buy it. But if the drama does have a prominent female character, I have to like her or I bail. An unsatisfactory hero I can live with, an unsatisfactory heroine? Never.

Luckily for me, this season of kdramas is full of strong, intelligent, funny heroines. Sometimes all three at once. Here is your primer:

2009 January Heroine Roster )

And not related, but because I am a geek, I went and compared all of last week's kdrama ratings.

Ratings comparison here )
dangermousie: (Chuno - bride)
While I often adore kdrama heroes, it is the heroine who is a deal-breaker for me. A drama does not need to have a woman in a prominent role for me to love it - as long as the relative absence of women makes sense (i.e. if someone made a drama set in the military and had only minor female characters), if the story is good, I will buy it. But if the drama does have a prominent female character, I have to like her or I bail. An unsatisfactory hero I can live with, an unsatisfactory heroine? Never.

Luckily for me, this season of kdramas is full of strong, intelligent, funny heroines. Sometimes all three at once. Here is your primer:

2009 January Heroine Roster )

And not related, but because I am a geek, I went and compared all of last week's kdrama ratings.

Ratings comparison here )
dangermousie: (Damo OTP by miss-dian)
ETA: Double-checked and this is apparently only 16 eps long. So you have no excuse!

Nobody is more surprised than me by how hard I have fallen for The Reputable Family. After two episodes, I am borderline obsessed.

I never thought this would be the case - I mean, the description sounded not my thing at all - a 50+ ep period saga about a merchant clan dedicated to charity? No, thank you. I only checked it out because my drama slate was so empty and because I adore Han Ga Eun, the female lead in this. I was sure I would scroll through the eps, decide it was not for me, and be done.

Instead, I am hooked, hooked, hooked!

Why?

* I got tired of period dramas centered around royals - they can be very good dramas (Legend is my favorite drama of all time) but after a while, one wants to see something else than court intrigue.

* The pace - so far it really has excellent pace - not so fast as to be incomprehensible but not draggy at all. Everything is fleshed out for the future but not dragged out - the steward's son's future resentment against Guksan's family, the love between the OTP, political turmoil, the fleeting nature of wealth - it's all started here in the childhood portions, and done very well.

* Balance of childhood/adult stuff - the first two episodes encapsulate all of the childhood stuff - it is just enough to build the backstory but it avoids the trap of having childhood portions go for too long, thus either making people bored while they wait for the main event, or creating such an attachment to children's characters that when grown-ups show, it's a disappointment. No, I adored child-versions of Dani and Guksan but I was glad to see Guksan's grown-up self and (in previews) Dani as a grown-up.

* Characters, characters, characters. I love them all but especially Dani and Guksan. Dani is a strong girl with a secret (she is a slave but clearly is someone from a noble family who is hiding this way otherwise she'd be executed for treason with the rest of her folks - Koreans seem to be strong believers in family discipline of that sort, ugh). And I utterly adore Guksan - do you know how rare it is to have a protagonist who is both good and unscrewed-up in a period drama? But that's the thing - Guksan is remarkably sane and a very good guy - he has flaws - temper, occasionally thoughtless, but he tries his best and, most importantly, he learns from his mistakes. I love. When his family lost all their money in the war, thus becoming noble only in name, you don't see him whine - he goes working like a laboroer to earn money for his mother's medicine. I totally love.

* The OTP potential is off the charts - she lives a false identity, they were childhood friends, he has no money etc etc. MMM.

* The preview for next ep promised me (a) Han ga Eun! (b) Guksan bound up for punishment (why so good to me, drama?) (c) OTP pining of UST.

* viikii subs are very good and very fast - they come out less than 24 hours after each ep.

* It's a long drama, yes, but it's currently airing which means two eps a week - and that's doable - after all, it's 2 eps a week whether it's a 16 ep drama or a 50+ ep one.

GO WATCH!
dangermousie: (Damo OTP by miss-dian)
ETA: Double-checked and this is apparently only 16 eps long. So you have no excuse!

Nobody is more surprised than me by how hard I have fallen for The Reputable Family. After two episodes, I am borderline obsessed.

I never thought this would be the case - I mean, the description sounded not my thing at all - a 50+ ep period saga about a merchant clan dedicated to charity? No, thank you. I only checked it out because my drama slate was so empty and because I adore Han Ga Eun, the female lead in this. I was sure I would scroll through the eps, decide it was not for me, and be done.

Instead, I am hooked, hooked, hooked!

Why?

* I got tired of period dramas centered around royals - they can be very good dramas (Legend is my favorite drama of all time) but after a while, one wants to see something else than court intrigue.

* The pace - so far it really has excellent pace - not so fast as to be incomprehensible but not draggy at all. Everything is fleshed out for the future but not dragged out - the steward's son's future resentment against Guksan's family, the love between the OTP, political turmoil, the fleeting nature of wealth - it's all started here in the childhood portions, and done very well.

* Balance of childhood/adult stuff - the first two episodes encapsulate all of the childhood stuff - it is just enough to build the backstory but it avoids the trap of having childhood portions go for too long, thus either making people bored while they wait for the main event, or creating such an attachment to children's characters that when grown-ups show, it's a disappointment. No, I adored child-versions of Dani and Guksan but I was glad to see Guksan's grown-up self and (in previews) Dani as a grown-up.

* Characters, characters, characters. I love them all but especially Dani and Guksan. Dani is a strong girl with a secret (she is a slave but clearly is someone from a noble family who is hiding this way otherwise she'd be executed for treason with the rest of her folks - Koreans seem to be strong believers in family discipline of that sort, ugh). And I utterly adore Guksan - do you know how rare it is to have a protagonist who is both good and unscrewed-up in a period drama? But that's the thing - Guksan is remarkably sane and a very good guy - he has flaws - temper, occasionally thoughtless, but he tries his best and, most importantly, he learns from his mistakes. I love. When his family lost all their money in the war, thus becoming noble only in name, you don't see him whine - he goes working like a laboroer to earn money for his mother's medicine. I totally love.

* The OTP potential is off the charts - she lives a false identity, they were childhood friends, he has no money etc etc. MMM.

* The preview for next ep promised me (a) Han ga Eun! (b) Guksan bound up for punishment (why so good to me, drama?) (c) OTP pining of UST.

* viikii subs are very good and very fast - they come out less than 24 hours after each ep.

* It's a long drama, yes, but it's currently airing which means two eps a week - and that's doable - after all, it's 2 eps a week whether it's a 16 ep drama or a 50+ ep one.

GO WATCH!
dangermousie: (Damo OTP by miss-dian)
ETA: Double-checked and this is apparently only 16 eps long. So you have no excuse!

Nobody is more surprised than me by how hard I have fallen for The Reputable Family. After two episodes, I am borderline obsessed.

I never thought this would be the case - I mean, the description sounded not my thing at all - a 50+ ep period saga about a merchant clan dedicated to charity? No, thank you. I only checked it out because my drama slate was so empty and because I adore Han Ga Eun, the female lead in this. I was sure I would scroll through the eps, decide it was not for me, and be done.

Instead, I am hooked, hooked, hooked!

Why?

* I got tired of period dramas centered around royals - they can be very good dramas (Legend is my favorite drama of all time) but after a while, one wants to see something else than court intrigue.

* The pace - so far it really has excellent pace - not so fast as to be incomprehensible but not draggy at all. Everything is fleshed out for the future but not dragged out - the steward's son's future resentment against Guksan's family, the love between the OTP, political turmoil, the fleeting nature of wealth - it's all started here in the childhood portions, and done very well.

* Balance of childhood/adult stuff - the first two episodes encapsulate all of the childhood stuff - it is just enough to build the backstory but it avoids the trap of having childhood portions go for too long, thus either making people bored while they wait for the main event, or creating such an attachment to children's characters that when grown-ups show, it's a disappointment. No, I adored child-versions of Dani and Guksan but I was glad to see Guksan's grown-up self and (in previews) Dani as a grown-up.

* Characters, characters, characters. I love them all but especially Dani and Guksan. Dani is a strong girl with a secret (she is a slave but clearly is someone from a noble family who is hiding this way otherwise she'd be executed for treason with the rest of her folks - Koreans seem to be strong believers in family discipline of that sort, ugh). And I utterly adore Guksan - do you know how rare it is to have a protagonist who is both good and unscrewed-up in a period drama? But that's the thing - Guksan is remarkably sane and a very good guy - he has flaws - temper, occasionally thoughtless, but he tries his best and, most importantly, he learns from his mistakes. I love. When his family lost all their money in the war, thus becoming noble only in name, you don't see him whine - he goes working like a laboroer to earn money for his mother's medicine. I totally love.

* The OTP potential is off the charts - she lives a false identity, they were childhood friends, he has no money etc etc. MMM.

* The preview for next ep promised me (a) Han ga Eun! (b) Guksan bound up for punishment (why so good to me, drama?) (c) OTP pining of UST.

* viikii subs are very good and very fast - they come out less than 24 hours after each ep.

* It's a long drama, yes, but it's currently airing which means two eps a week - and that's doable - after all, it's 2 eps a week whether it's a 16 ep drama or a 50+ ep one.

GO WATCH!
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog closeup by likestarlight)
The drama winter season is about to kick into full swing - January is full of goodies. Jdrama Wallflower, about an eccentric extreme goth and four pretty boys she befriends starts this Thursday. I love the source manga so even if I am not sure how well it will be adapted, I plan to check it out. And, of course, kdramas are the ones which preoccupy me, as always. Will It Snow for Christmas will continue it's well-made angst and melodrama this Wednesday. The Reputable Family has clearly become my first addicting drama of 2010 with its period love, rivalries and conspiracies (for once, they do not center on the court but on the merchant class - very refreshing). It has aired its first two episodes this Saturday and Sunday. And a whole slew of new dramas hit this week - both medical period drama Jejoongwon, about the first Western hospital in Korea, and romcom Pick the Stars, about an icy lawyer melted by burdened-by-orphaned siblings heroine, start Monday. My most anticipated of the year, Slave Hunters, starts this Wednesday, replacing my one true drama love IRIS, and hopefully will keep up the amazing KBS streak going. Two more dramas which start Monday are not really my thing - cooking romcom Pasta (I like the cast but find cooking-themed dramas boring) and teen manga adaptation Lord of Study (I am too old for it) but you never know. 2009 has been good to me, drama-wise. Hopefully 2010 will be as well.

I am, however, a bit in-between dramas - except for The Reputable Family and Will It Snow for Christmas, I am not really watching much. Yay for next week! But meanwhile I have checked out 1997 drama Beautiful My Lady - there are no subs but it's addicting and I craved old-fashioned romantic angst. My impressions are as follows:

(1) I like the heroine and (2) I have never seen Lee Byung Hun look that young!



(3) There is amazing kissing and romantic angst:



(4) And angsty bloody hugs:




(5) You know it's an old drama when people smoke on-screen:



And last point of this post, not connected to the others. I am still obsessed with IRIS and I love its cast. Here they are at the award ceremony.

Cut as is huge )
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog closeup by likestarlight)
The drama winter season is about to kick into full swing - January is full of goodies. Jdrama Wallflower, about an eccentric extreme goth and four pretty boys she befriends starts this Thursday. I love the source manga so even if I am not sure how well it will be adapted, I plan to check it out. And, of course, kdramas are the ones which preoccupy me, as always. Will It Snow for Christmas will continue it's well-made angst and melodrama this Wednesday. The Reputable Family has clearly become my first addicting drama of 2010 with its period love, rivalries and conspiracies (for once, they do not center on the court but on the merchant class - very refreshing). It has aired its first two episodes this Saturday and Sunday. And a whole slew of new dramas hit this week - both medical period drama Jejoongwon, about the first Western hospital in Korea, and romcom Pick the Stars, about an icy lawyer melted by burdened-by-orphaned siblings heroine, start Monday. My most anticipated of the year, Slave Hunters, starts this Wednesday, replacing my one true drama love IRIS, and hopefully will keep up the amazing KBS streak going. Two more dramas which start Monday are not really my thing - cooking romcom Pasta (I like the cast but find cooking-themed dramas boring) and teen manga adaptation Lord of Study (I am too old for it) but you never know. 2009 has been good to me, drama-wise. Hopefully 2010 will be as well.

I am, however, a bit in-between dramas - except for The Reputable Family and Will It Snow for Christmas, I am not really watching much. Yay for next week! But meanwhile I have checked out 1997 drama Beautiful My Lady - there are no subs but it's addicting and I craved old-fashioned romantic angst. My impressions are as follows:

(1) I like the heroine and (2) I have never seen Lee Byung Hun look that young!



(3) There is amazing kissing and romantic angst:



(4) And angsty bloody hugs:




(5) You know it's an old drama when people smoke on-screen:



And last point of this post, not connected to the others. I am still obsessed with IRIS and I love its cast. Here they are at the award ceremony.

Cut as is huge )
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog closeup by likestarlight)
The drama winter season is about to kick into full swing - January is full of goodies. Jdrama Wallflower, about an eccentric extreme goth and four pretty boys she befriends starts this Thursday. I love the source manga so even if I am not sure how well it will be adapted, I plan to check it out. And, of course, kdramas are the ones which preoccupy me, as always. Will It Snow for Christmas will continue it's well-made angst and melodrama this Wednesday. The Reputable Family has clearly become my first addicting drama of 2010 with its period love, rivalries and conspiracies (for once, they do not center on the court but on the merchant class - very refreshing). It has aired its first two episodes this Saturday and Sunday. And a whole slew of new dramas hit this week - both medical period drama Jejoongwon, about the first Western hospital in Korea, and romcom Pick the Stars, about an icy lawyer melted by burdened-by-orphaned siblings heroine, start Monday. My most anticipated of the year, Slave Hunters, starts this Wednesday, replacing my one true drama love IRIS, and hopefully will keep up the amazing KBS streak going. Two more dramas which start Monday are not really my thing - cooking romcom Pasta (I like the cast but find cooking-themed dramas boring) and teen manga adaptation Lord of Study (I am too old for it) but you never know. 2009 has been good to me, drama-wise. Hopefully 2010 will be as well.

I am, however, a bit in-between dramas - except for The Reputable Family and Will It Snow for Christmas, I am not really watching much. Yay for next week! But meanwhile I have checked out 1997 drama Beautiful My Lady - there are no subs but it's addicting and I craved old-fashioned romantic angst. My impressions are as follows:

(1) I like the heroine and (2) I have never seen Lee Byung Hun look that young!



(3) There is amazing kissing and romantic angst:



(4) And angsty bloody hugs:




(5) You know it's an old drama when people smoke on-screen:



And last point of this post, not connected to the others. I am still obsessed with IRIS and I love its cast. Here they are at the award ceremony.

Cut as is huge )
dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


The first drama of 2010 that I intended to check out, The Reputable Family, has come out. I have watched the first episode (available fully subbed on viikii) and I am in love.

TRF is a historical epic dealing with the merchant class - normally I would be wary of checking it out seeing that it's going to be over 50 episodes, but in addition to the premise (of which more below), I wanted to watch it due to its cast, namely the leads Cha In Pyo and Han Ga Eun. I have not had a chance to watch Cha In Pyo in much of anything, due to his being either in older dramas (he became famous with 1994's All For Your Love) or in period dramas, but I like him on general principles because he's still married to his 1994 co-star and is sort of adorable with her. But my main reason to watch is, undoubtedly, Han Ga Eun in a leading role - I loved her madly as a courtesan/resistance assassin in Capital Scandal.

Neither CIP nor HGE appear in the first episode, which addresses the characters' childhoods (CIP's childhood self is played by the same little kid who played little Iljimae - he's adorable) but the episode really drew me in, nontheless.

The set-up of TRF is this - it is 1640s when we start, and a war with the Qing Dynasty is raging in Korea. But to little Guksan (future Cha In Pyo), this is rather abstract - a young master (who is a bit spoiled but ultimately very sweet) brought up in a loving aristocratic household by his philanthropic and just Grandfather, the war first hits Guksan's consciousness when he sees the refugees stream into the village - among these refugees is a girl about Guksan's age called Dani, a mistreated slave to a rather nasty master.

It is crush as first sight when Guksan sees the strong-willed Dani (who has her own birth secret) and sparks fly as his ineffectual attempts to woo her are by turns cutely funny (sending his flunkies to give her coins) or not as nice (bullying neighborhood children to build a bridge for her in cold water - his Grandfather, however, teaches him a lesson in what not to do by making him stand in that water for an hour - Guksan might be thoughtless but he's sweet-natured and he learns).

Due to a variety of circumstances, Dani ends up being bought by Grandfather and the children continue their friendship. This life might have continued relatively peacefully indefinitely, but Grandfather is appointed War Governor (a dangerous post fraught with possibilities of execution) and rides off - his protection over his family much diminished. Just the opportunity for various family enemies (including the slippery family steward and his obsequious son) to try to bring the family down. Seeing that according to the synopsis, Guksan will have to start from nothing, presumably they succeed...
dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


The first drama of 2010 that I intended to check out, The Reputable Family, has come out. I have watched the first episode (available fully subbed on viikii) and I am in love.

TRF is a historical epic dealing with the merchant class - normally I would be wary of checking it out seeing that it's going to be over 50 episodes, but in addition to the premise (of which more below), I wanted to watch it due to its cast, namely the leads Cha In Pyo and Han Ga Eun. I have not had a chance to watch Cha In Pyo in much of anything, due to his being either in older dramas (he became famous with 1994's All For Your Love) or in period dramas, but I like him on general principles because he's still married to his 1994 co-star and is sort of adorable with her. But my main reason to watch is, undoubtedly, Han Ga Eun in a leading role - I loved her madly as a courtesan/resistance assassin in Capital Scandal.

Neither CIP nor HGE appear in the first episode, which addresses the characters' childhoods (CIP's childhood self is played by the same little kid who played little Iljimae - he's adorable) but the episode really drew me in, nontheless.

The set-up of TRF is this - it is 1640s when we start, and a war with the Qing Dynasty is raging in Korea. But to little Guksan (future Cha In Pyo), this is rather abstract - a young master (who is a bit spoiled but ultimately very sweet) brought up in a loving aristocratic household by his philanthropic and just Grandfather, the war first hits Guksan's consciousness when he sees the refugees stream into the village - among these refugees is a girl about Guksan's age called Dani, a mistreated slave to a rather nasty master.

It is crush as first sight when Guksan sees the strong-willed Dani (who has her own birth secret) and sparks fly as his ineffectual attempts to woo her are by turns cutely funny (sending his flunkies to give her coins) or not as nice (bullying neighborhood children to build a bridge for her in cold water - his Grandfather, however, teaches him a lesson in what not to do by making him stand in that water for an hour - Guksan might be thoughtless but he's sweet-natured and he learns).

Due to a variety of circumstances, Dani ends up being bought by Grandfather and the children continue their friendship. This life might have continued relatively peacefully indefinitely, but Grandfather is appointed War Governor (a dangerous post fraught with possibilities of execution) and rides off - his protection over his family much diminished. Just the opportunity for various family enemies (including the slippery family steward and his obsequious son) to try to bring the family down. Seeing that according to the synopsis, Guksan will have to start from nothing, presumably they succeed...
dangermousie: (Capital Scandal secondary otp by meganbm)


The first drama of 2010 that I intended to check out, The Reputable Family, has come out. I have watched the first episode (available fully subbed on viikii) and I am in love.

TRF is a historical epic dealing with the merchant class - normally I would be wary of checking it out seeing that it's going to be over 50 episodes, but in addition to the premise (of which more below), I wanted to watch it due to its cast, namely the leads Cha In Pyo and Han Ga Eun. I have not had a chance to watch Cha In Pyo in much of anything, due to his being either in older dramas (he became famous with 1994's All For Your Love) or in period dramas, but I like him on general principles because he's still married to his 1994 co-star and is sort of adorable with her. But my main reason to watch is, undoubtedly, Han Ga Eun in a leading role - I loved her madly as a courtesan/resistance assassin in Capital Scandal.

Neither CIP nor HGE appear in the first episode, which addresses the characters' childhoods (CIP's childhood self is played by the same little kid who played little Iljimae - he's adorable) but the episode really drew me in, nontheless.

The set-up of TRF is this - it is 1640s when we start, and a war with the Qing Dynasty is raging in Korea. But to little Guksan (future Cha In Pyo), this is rather abstract - a young master (who is a bit spoiled but ultimately very sweet) brought up in a loving aristocratic household by his philanthropic and just Grandfather, the war first hits Guksan's consciousness when he sees the refugees stream into the village - among these refugees is a girl about Guksan's age called Dani, a mistreated slave to a rather nasty master.

It is crush as first sight when Guksan sees the strong-willed Dani (who has her own birth secret) and sparks fly as his ineffectual attempts to woo her are by turns cutely funny (sending his flunkies to give her coins) or not as nice (bullying neighborhood children to build a bridge for her in cold water - his Grandfather, however, teaches him a lesson in what not to do by making him stand in that water for an hour - Guksan might be thoughtless but he's sweet-natured and he learns).

Due to a variety of circumstances, Dani ends up being bought by Grandfather and the children continue their friendship. This life might have continued relatively peacefully indefinitely, but Grandfather is appointed War Governor (a dangerous post fraught with possibilities of execution) and rides off - his protection over his family much diminished. Just the opportunity for various family enemies (including the slippery family steward and his obsequious son) to try to bring the family down. Seeing that according to the synopsis, Guksan will have to start from nothing, presumably they succeed...

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