dangermousie: (TODAW kiss by bambinainnero)
TODAW, starring Lee Jun Ki as an undercover agent tracking his mother's mob killer, will always be one of my favorite dramas - it manages to be suspenseful, emotional, dark, hopeful, tightly-written, with a gorgeous love story and friendship and family conflict. I love everything about it and, except for IRIS, it would be my favorite action/revenge kdrama ever.

In the process of trying to convert [livejournal.com profile] cleobulle to the dark side, I came across this MV and it's too awesome not to share with the flist:



If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?
dangermousie: (TODAW kiss by bambinainnero)
TODAW, starring Lee Jun Ki as an undercover agent tracking his mother's mob killer, will always be one of my favorite dramas - it manages to be suspenseful, emotional, dark, hopeful, tightly-written, with a gorgeous love story and friendship and family conflict. I love everything about it and, except for IRIS, it would be my favorite action/revenge kdrama ever.

In the process of trying to convert [livejournal.com profile] cleobulle to the dark side, I came across this MV and it's too awesome not to share with the flist:



If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?
dangermousie: (TODAW kiss by bambinainnero)
TODAW, starring Lee Jun Ki as an undercover agent tracking his mother's mob killer, will always be one of my favorite dramas - it manages to be suspenseful, emotional, dark, hopeful, tightly-written, with a gorgeous love story and friendship and family conflict. I love everything about it and, except for IRIS, it would be my favorite action/revenge kdrama ever.

In the process of trying to convert [livejournal.com profile] cleobulle to the dark side, I came across this MV and it's too awesome not to share with the flist:



If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?
dangermousie: (Mawang angst by miss-dian)
These are just some random thoughts I keep having about Bad Guy. Pardon me as I ramble.

Whoever tried to advertise BG as a revenge story did it a disservice. At its heart, it's a family story/melodrama. It is best at showcasing interactions/connections between its damaged characters - the revenge plot is not only not tightly done at all, it's not even a driver of the story or takes too much space. Let me put it this way, if you are a revenge story junkie, you are better off with Green Rose or Resurrection or (the best drama ever made, IMO) The Devil (I am lazy and will from now on refer to it as Mawang).

Revenge stories in kdrama are often a conduit for other themes - forgiveness and change and one's own culpability in Mawang and Resurrection, passionate dysfunctional love in A Love to Kill and Queen of the Game, the suffering motivating such vengeful behavior - Green Rose, Dog/Wolf etc. But still, the revenge and its effects are the main driver in these stories. Bad Guy uses Gun Wook's plans almost as a mcguffin to create its emotional interractions and connections. Its vibe reminds me much more of classic melodramas like Something Happened in Bali and I'm Sorry, I Love You (MiSa). Nobody can claim that the revenge plan in MiSa is in any way anything but an excuse to have So Ji Sub's character meet the girl he loves and slowly become a human being. It's not a revenge drama at all - very little time is occupied with any revenge. And Bali, which is the drama BG reminds me most, has never been described as a revenge drama.

Actually Bali and BG have eerie similarity. We have the prevailing, corrosive power of wealth. We have a powerful, soulless rich family which ends up being brought down by a combo of a smart, poor man who has a grudge (after he realizes he will never be accepted and always used). There is a whole subplot between the poor man and an icy rich woman (though unlike the vulnerable Taera of BG, Young Joo of Bali really does have ice water in her veins). The heroine is a warm-hearted, conflicted gold-digger who draws both of the damaged male protagonists to her through her sheer humanity in contrast with what they normally deal with. The other male protagonist is a horribly damaged rich boy who is emotionally very open and very unstable. Etcetcetc. I could really be here all day but I believe I made my point - Bad Guy, like Bali, is IMO a melodrama and just as I had little interest in seeing So Ji Sub's financial machinations to bring Jangs down, I don't really care about the details of Gun Wook's plans to bring down Hongs in the end - I just like seeing the situations as they develop. Interestingly, just as in Bali, I am all about the damaged rich boy in Bad Guy and the smart poor man leaves me rather cold. Bali is what made me a Jo In Sung fangirl for life - I guess I am drawn to off-kilter vulnerability.

Ironically, I find the protagonist of BG the story's biggest weakness. Even though Kim Nam Gil is a great actor, Gun Wook himself is rather a cypher and not a fascinating one. If you compare BG to Mawang the differences are stark and not just because Mawang is the epitome of the revenge drama. Mawang is a story which really shows the damage and the cost of revenge and what sort of damaged person would be consumed by it. Joo Ji Hoon's avenger in Mawang is arguably even more self-contained than Gun Wook but he is a dynamic, interesting character anyway and as the story goes on you quickly see that this tight control hides a destroyed little child within. Reserved and restrained doesn't have to mean so controlled as not to show anything more than the controlled mastermind facade but that is a problem with BG - so far, after 6+ episodes, that is how Gun Wook comes across to me. He is not an interesting character because the feelings of anger and his background causing his desire for revenge come across fine on paper (i.e. I don't think it's illogical he wants to bring down Hong family) but they lack any emotional connection to me as shown and do not feel dramatic.

One does not need to spend episodes showing the hell that the avenger was put through in order to decide to become an avenger (Green Rose goes that route but something like Mawang reveals the truth stingily, slowly, in scattered flashbacks that probably take 5 minutes combined). But there has to be some sort of an emotional connection and I do not feel any. In part it's because Gun Wook's story is made so bizarrely evil and OTT it makes me roll my eyes at kdrama melodrama - sure, his evil adoptive parents realized they made a mistake and he wasn't the illegitimate son so they dumped the little kid in the rain, he hurt his back badly through being shoved, his parents died trying to pick him up, even his dog got run over. I mean - what???? It all seems a bit silly. Contrast it with e.g. Green Rose, where protagonist is a collateral damage for a corporate murder gone wrong and ends up having his family destroyed as a result and see himself convicted for life for a murder he did not commit , and then, when he goes on the run, almost starves to death in China - it's not just Go Soo's amazing anguished acting that sells this, it's just the story is explained in a number of eps, it immerses you. No crazy brief OTT flashback. One can get away with a brief flashback if it's something fairly simple (like in Resurrection - bad guys killed hero's father to hide their corruption and later his brother. Not much explanation is needed) but if the story is crazy OTT, you better spend more time on it.

But ultimately, what fails to sell me on any sympathy with Gun Wook is not the inadequate background stuff, it's his present-day demeanor. I could overlook a backstory that is lacking if the present-day revenge stuff is interesting either in being clever so the viewer is piecing together a puzzle or emotionally connecting because you are invested in the protagonist, or both. (All the best revenge dramas have both). But here, Gun Wook is so self-contained and so well-put-together and functional, I have little patience or sympathy with him and want to tell him to move on and do something productive - the drama fails to show that whatever happened to him in the past truly screwed him up enough to make him want to go all-out for revenge. The protagonists of Mawang or Dog/Wolf or A Love to Kill - they are all wrecked people and if not for revenge there would be no meaning to their lives. Alternatively, in Resurrection or Green Rose, you see how revenge slowly destroys the protagonist. It all makes for a sympathetic, emotionally grabbing story that has dramatic tension. But neither is the case here. Gun Wook is not particularly symathetic because he is not damaged nor does he become damaged by his vengeful actions. Let me put it this way, if Gun Wook walked away, I can see him living a perfectly fine life - I have not been sold on such a dysfunction which would make revenge necessary. And so the tension in the story is gone.

I cannot identify, sympathize, or get interested in emotions of the protagonist when he has so little of them.

The above is not a bash of Bad Guy or even Gun Wook. It is all a very long way of saying that BG does not work as a revenge story, but what it does work brilliantly as, is a melodrama. Gun Wook is boring as dirt in most vengeance-related stuff or by himself, but his scenes with Taera which sparkle with desperate sexual chemistry and her desires or his scenes with Jae In when he shows vulnerability (i.e. melodrama scenes) work beautifully. And I find the family dynamics of the Hongs and the Hong siblings themselves a lot more interesting than Gun Wook anyway. Taera's cold loveless marriage and her desperation for some genuine warmth and love before it's too late. Mone's spoiled sheltered self-centeredness. Tae Sung's self-loathing and childlike craving for love. Jae In's pressing her nose against the window of the rich people's lifestyles. Madame Shin's cold, socially-calculated scheming. This is what I find really interesting. Gun Wook is interesting to me only insofar as he is a catalyst for any of these people. If Gun Wook randomly fell of a bridge, provided the rest of these characters would remain 'stirred up', I could be just fine. To be honest, I think I would love BG even more if it was a Tae Sung show, instead of Gun Wook show (yes, Bali all over again).

One last quick comment - I have a problem with GW's choice of revenge. He can extract all the revenge he wants from the Hong Parents who wronged him and are monsters. But he is purposely hurting Taera (he is wrecking her life), Tae Sung and Mone, and they have never done anything to him. Tae Sung got torn from his family just as Gun Wook was - he did not choose to come into cold abusive household at 8 on his own. Mone was a baby when all the bad stuff was going down. And Taera was a teen with not much agency either. Leave them alone!

Phew, this was long.
dangermousie: (Mawang angst by miss-dian)
These are just some random thoughts I keep having about Bad Guy. Pardon me as I ramble.

Whoever tried to advertise BG as a revenge story did it a disservice. At its heart, it's a family story/melodrama. It is best at showcasing interactions/connections between its damaged characters - the revenge plot is not only not tightly done at all, it's not even a driver of the story or takes too much space. Let me put it this way, if you are a revenge story junkie, you are better off with Green Rose or Resurrection or (the best drama ever made, IMO) The Devil (I am lazy and will from now on refer to it as Mawang).

Revenge stories in kdrama are often a conduit for other themes - forgiveness and change and one's own culpability in Mawang and Resurrection, passionate dysfunctional love in A Love to Kill and Queen of the Game, the suffering motivating such vengeful behavior - Green Rose, Dog/Wolf etc. But still, the revenge and its effects are the main driver in these stories. Bad Guy uses Gun Wook's plans almost as a mcguffin to create its emotional interractions and connections. Its vibe reminds me much more of classic melodramas like Something Happened in Bali and I'm Sorry, I Love You (MiSa). Nobody can claim that the revenge plan in MiSa is in any way anything but an excuse to have So Ji Sub's character meet the girl he loves and slowly become a human being. It's not a revenge drama at all - very little time is occupied with any revenge. And Bali, which is the drama BG reminds me most, has never been described as a revenge drama.

Actually Bali and BG have eerie similarity. We have the prevailing, corrosive power of wealth. We have a powerful, soulless rich family which ends up being brought down by a combo of a smart, poor man who has a grudge (after he realizes he will never be accepted and always used). There is a whole subplot between the poor man and an icy rich woman (though unlike the vulnerable Taera of BG, Young Joo of Bali really does have ice water in her veins). The heroine is a warm-hearted, conflicted gold-digger who draws both of the damaged male protagonists to her through her sheer humanity in contrast with what they normally deal with. The other male protagonist is a horribly damaged rich boy who is emotionally very open and very unstable. Etcetcetc. I could really be here all day but I believe I made my point - Bad Guy, like Bali, is IMO a melodrama and just as I had little interest in seeing So Ji Sub's financial machinations to bring Jangs down, I don't really care about the details of Gun Wook's plans to bring down Hongs in the end - I just like seeing the situations as they develop. Interestingly, just as in Bali, I am all about the damaged rich boy in Bad Guy and the smart poor man leaves me rather cold. Bali is what made me a Jo In Sung fangirl for life - I guess I am drawn to off-kilter vulnerability.

Ironically, I find the protagonist of BG the story's biggest weakness. Even though Kim Nam Gil is a great actor, Gun Wook himself is rather a cypher and not a fascinating one. If you compare BG to Mawang the differences are stark and not just because Mawang is the epitome of the revenge drama. Mawang is a story which really shows the damage and the cost of revenge and what sort of damaged person would be consumed by it. Joo Ji Hoon's avenger in Mawang is arguably even more self-contained than Gun Wook but he is a dynamic, interesting character anyway and as the story goes on you quickly see that this tight control hides a destroyed little child within. Reserved and restrained doesn't have to mean so controlled as not to show anything more than the controlled mastermind facade but that is a problem with BG - so far, after 6+ episodes, that is how Gun Wook comes across to me. He is not an interesting character because the feelings of anger and his background causing his desire for revenge come across fine on paper (i.e. I don't think it's illogical he wants to bring down Hong family) but they lack any emotional connection to me as shown and do not feel dramatic.

One does not need to spend episodes showing the hell that the avenger was put through in order to decide to become an avenger (Green Rose goes that route but something like Mawang reveals the truth stingily, slowly, in scattered flashbacks that probably take 5 minutes combined). But there has to be some sort of an emotional connection and I do not feel any. In part it's because Gun Wook's story is made so bizarrely evil and OTT it makes me roll my eyes at kdrama melodrama - sure, his evil adoptive parents realized they made a mistake and he wasn't the illegitimate son so they dumped the little kid in the rain, he hurt his back badly through being shoved, his parents died trying to pick him up, even his dog got run over. I mean - what???? It all seems a bit silly. Contrast it with e.g. Green Rose, where protagonist is a collateral damage for a corporate murder gone wrong and ends up having his family destroyed as a result and see himself convicted for life for a murder he did not commit , and then, when he goes on the run, almost starves to death in China - it's not just Go Soo's amazing anguished acting that sells this, it's just the story is explained in a number of eps, it immerses you. No crazy brief OTT flashback. One can get away with a brief flashback if it's something fairly simple (like in Resurrection - bad guys killed hero's father to hide their corruption and later his brother. Not much explanation is needed) but if the story is crazy OTT, you better spend more time on it.

But ultimately, what fails to sell me on any sympathy with Gun Wook is not the inadequate background stuff, it's his present-day demeanor. I could overlook a backstory that is lacking if the present-day revenge stuff is interesting either in being clever so the viewer is piecing together a puzzle or emotionally connecting because you are invested in the protagonist, or both. (All the best revenge dramas have both). But here, Gun Wook is so self-contained and so well-put-together and functional, I have little patience or sympathy with him and want to tell him to move on and do something productive - the drama fails to show that whatever happened to him in the past truly screwed him up enough to make him want to go all-out for revenge. The protagonists of Mawang or Dog/Wolf or A Love to Kill - they are all wrecked people and if not for revenge there would be no meaning to their lives. Alternatively, in Resurrection or Green Rose, you see how revenge slowly destroys the protagonist. It all makes for a sympathetic, emotionally grabbing story that has dramatic tension. But neither is the case here. Gun Wook is not particularly symathetic because he is not damaged nor does he become damaged by his vengeful actions. Let me put it this way, if Gun Wook walked away, I can see him living a perfectly fine life - I have not been sold on such a dysfunction which would make revenge necessary. And so the tension in the story is gone.

I cannot identify, sympathize, or get interested in emotions of the protagonist when he has so little of them.

The above is not a bash of Bad Guy or even Gun Wook. It is all a very long way of saying that BG does not work as a revenge story, but what it does work brilliantly as, is a melodrama. Gun Wook is boring as dirt in most vengeance-related stuff or by himself, but his scenes with Taera which sparkle with desperate sexual chemistry and her desires or his scenes with Jae In when he shows vulnerability (i.e. melodrama scenes) work beautifully. And I find the family dynamics of the Hongs and the Hong siblings themselves a lot more interesting than Gun Wook anyway. Taera's cold loveless marriage and her desperation for some genuine warmth and love before it's too late. Mone's spoiled sheltered self-centeredness. Tae Sung's self-loathing and childlike craving for love. Jae In's pressing her nose against the window of the rich people's lifestyles. Madame Shin's cold, socially-calculated scheming. This is what I find really interesting. Gun Wook is interesting to me only insofar as he is a catalyst for any of these people. If Gun Wook randomly fell of a bridge, provided the rest of these characters would remain 'stirred up', I could be just fine. To be honest, I think I would love BG even more if it was a Tae Sung show, instead of Gun Wook show (yes, Bali all over again).

One last quick comment - I have a problem with GW's choice of revenge. He can extract all the revenge he wants from the Hong Parents who wronged him and are monsters. But he is purposely hurting Taera (he is wrecking her life), Tae Sung and Mone, and they have never done anything to him. Tae Sung got torn from his family just as Gun Wook was - he did not choose to come into cold abusive household at 8 on his own. Mone was a baby when all the bad stuff was going down. And Taera was a teen with not much agency either. Leave them alone!

Phew, this was long.
dangermousie: (Mawang angst by miss-dian)
These are just some random thoughts I keep having about Bad Guy. Pardon me as I ramble.

Whoever tried to advertise BG as a revenge story did it a disservice. At its heart, it's a family story/melodrama. It is best at showcasing interactions/connections between its damaged characters - the revenge plot is not only not tightly done at all, it's not even a driver of the story or takes too much space. Let me put it this way, if you are a revenge story junkie, you are better off with Green Rose or Resurrection or (the best drama ever made, IMO) The Devil (I am lazy and will from now on refer to it as Mawang).

Revenge stories in kdrama are often a conduit for other themes - forgiveness and change and one's own culpability in Mawang and Resurrection, passionate dysfunctional love in A Love to Kill and Queen of the Game, the suffering motivating such vengeful behavior - Green Rose, Dog/Wolf etc. But still, the revenge and its effects are the main driver in these stories. Bad Guy uses Gun Wook's plans almost as a mcguffin to create its emotional interractions and connections. Its vibe reminds me much more of classic melodramas like Something Happened in Bali and I'm Sorry, I Love You (MiSa). Nobody can claim that the revenge plan in MiSa is in any way anything but an excuse to have So Ji Sub's character meet the girl he loves and slowly become a human being. It's not a revenge drama at all - very little time is occupied with any revenge. And Bali, which is the drama BG reminds me most, has never been described as a revenge drama.

Actually Bali and BG have eerie similarity. We have the prevailing, corrosive power of wealth. We have a powerful, soulless rich family which ends up being brought down by a combo of a smart, poor man who has a grudge (after he realizes he will never be accepted and always used). There is a whole subplot between the poor man and an icy rich woman (though unlike the vulnerable Taera of BG, Young Joo of Bali really does have ice water in her veins). The heroine is a warm-hearted, conflicted gold-digger who draws both of the damaged male protagonists to her through her sheer humanity in contrast with what they normally deal with. The other male protagonist is a horribly damaged rich boy who is emotionally very open and very unstable. Etcetcetc. I could really be here all day but I believe I made my point - Bad Guy, like Bali, is IMO a melodrama and just as I had little interest in seeing So Ji Sub's financial machinations to bring Jangs down, I don't really care about the details of Gun Wook's plans to bring down Hongs in the end - I just like seeing the situations as they develop. Interestingly, just as in Bali, I am all about the damaged rich boy in Bad Guy and the smart poor man leaves me rather cold. Bali is what made me a Jo In Sung fangirl for life - I guess I am drawn to off-kilter vulnerability.

Ironically, I find the protagonist of BG the story's biggest weakness. Even though Kim Nam Gil is a great actor, Gun Wook himself is rather a cypher and not a fascinating one. If you compare BG to Mawang the differences are stark and not just because Mawang is the epitome of the revenge drama. Mawang is a story which really shows the damage and the cost of revenge and what sort of damaged person would be consumed by it. Joo Ji Hoon's avenger in Mawang is arguably even more self-contained than Gun Wook but he is a dynamic, interesting character anyway and as the story goes on you quickly see that this tight control hides a destroyed little child within. Reserved and restrained doesn't have to mean so controlled as not to show anything more than the controlled mastermind facade but that is a problem with BG - so far, after 6+ episodes, that is how Gun Wook comes across to me. He is not an interesting character because the feelings of anger and his background causing his desire for revenge come across fine on paper (i.e. I don't think it's illogical he wants to bring down Hong family) but they lack any emotional connection to me as shown and do not feel dramatic.

One does not need to spend episodes showing the hell that the avenger was put through in order to decide to become an avenger (Green Rose goes that route but something like Mawang reveals the truth stingily, slowly, in scattered flashbacks that probably take 5 minutes combined). But there has to be some sort of an emotional connection and I do not feel any. In part it's because Gun Wook's story is made so bizarrely evil and OTT it makes me roll my eyes at kdrama melodrama - sure, his evil adoptive parents realized they made a mistake and he wasn't the illegitimate son so they dumped the little kid in the rain, he hurt his back badly through being shoved, his parents died trying to pick him up, even his dog got run over. I mean - what???? It all seems a bit silly. Contrast it with e.g. Green Rose, where protagonist is a collateral damage for a corporate murder gone wrong and ends up having his family destroyed as a result and see himself convicted for life for a murder he did not commit , and then, when he goes on the run, almost starves to death in China - it's not just Go Soo's amazing anguished acting that sells this, it's just the story is explained in a number of eps, it immerses you. No crazy brief OTT flashback. One can get away with a brief flashback if it's something fairly simple (like in Resurrection - bad guys killed hero's father to hide their corruption and later his brother. Not much explanation is needed) but if the story is crazy OTT, you better spend more time on it.

But ultimately, what fails to sell me on any sympathy with Gun Wook is not the inadequate background stuff, it's his present-day demeanor. I could overlook a backstory that is lacking if the present-day revenge stuff is interesting either in being clever so the viewer is piecing together a puzzle or emotionally connecting because you are invested in the protagonist, or both. (All the best revenge dramas have both). But here, Gun Wook is so self-contained and so well-put-together and functional, I have little patience or sympathy with him and want to tell him to move on and do something productive - the drama fails to show that whatever happened to him in the past truly screwed him up enough to make him want to go all-out for revenge. The protagonists of Mawang or Dog/Wolf or A Love to Kill - they are all wrecked people and if not for revenge there would be no meaning to their lives. Alternatively, in Resurrection or Green Rose, you see how revenge slowly destroys the protagonist. It all makes for a sympathetic, emotionally grabbing story that has dramatic tension. But neither is the case here. Gun Wook is not particularly symathetic because he is not damaged nor does he become damaged by his vengeful actions. Let me put it this way, if Gun Wook walked away, I can see him living a perfectly fine life - I have not been sold on such a dysfunction which would make revenge necessary. And so the tension in the story is gone.

I cannot identify, sympathize, or get interested in emotions of the protagonist when he has so little of them.

The above is not a bash of Bad Guy or even Gun Wook. It is all a very long way of saying that BG does not work as a revenge story, but what it does work brilliantly as, is a melodrama. Gun Wook is boring as dirt in most vengeance-related stuff or by himself, but his scenes with Taera which sparkle with desperate sexual chemistry and her desires or his scenes with Jae In when he shows vulnerability (i.e. melodrama scenes) work beautifully. And I find the family dynamics of the Hongs and the Hong siblings themselves a lot more interesting than Gun Wook anyway. Taera's cold loveless marriage and her desperation for some genuine warmth and love before it's too late. Mone's spoiled sheltered self-centeredness. Tae Sung's self-loathing and childlike craving for love. Jae In's pressing her nose against the window of the rich people's lifestyles. Madame Shin's cold, socially-calculated scheming. This is what I find really interesting. Gun Wook is interesting to me only insofar as he is a catalyst for any of these people. If Gun Wook randomly fell of a bridge, provided the rest of these characters would remain 'stirred up', I could be just fine. To be honest, I think I would love BG even more if it was a Tae Sung show, instead of Gun Wook show (yes, Bali all over again).

One last quick comment - I have a problem with GW's choice of revenge. He can extract all the revenge he wants from the Hong Parents who wronged him and are monsters. But he is purposely hurting Taera (he is wrecking her life), Tae Sung and Mone, and they have never done anything to him. Tae Sung got torn from his family just as Gun Wook was - he did not choose to come into cold abusive household at 8 on his own. Mone was a baby when all the bad stuff was going down. And Taera was a teen with not much agency either. Leave them alone!

Phew, this was long.
dangermousie: (Mawang otp by miss-dian)
I have decided that it was about time for me to update and expand my favorite kdrama primer yet again (which I first did some months ago). Not only were there a bunch of kdramas I wanted to add to the list, but I wanted to rearrange the order of some of the dramas on the list already (except for the first three or so, the placement of the other ones within the rankings is fluid and moves based on my mood) and very much expand it.

So behind the cut are 25 of my favorite kdramas, with summaries, reasons why, pics and vids. I have tried to keep it as unspoilery as possible.

No kdrama I have not finished is on the list because I want to have seen the complete drama before evaluating the fave status. Also, I watch a lot of dramas, but I have hardly seen all or most kdrama out there, and there are some very famous ones I have never seen. I am always open to recs and am always looking for said recs.

Now, without too much further verbosity, Dangermousie's 25 favorite kdramas list, new and improved.

Lengthy post here )
dangermousie: (Mawang otp by miss-dian)
I have decided that it was about time for me to update and expand my favorite kdrama primer yet again (which I first did some months ago). Not only were there a bunch of kdramas I wanted to add to the list, but I wanted to rearrange the order of some of the dramas on the list already (except for the first three or so, the placement of the other ones within the rankings is fluid and moves based on my mood) and very much expand it.

So behind the cut are 25 of my favorite kdramas, with summaries, reasons why, pics and vids. I have tried to keep it as unspoilery as possible.

No kdrama I have not finished is on the list because I want to have seen the complete drama before evaluating the fave status. Also, I watch a lot of dramas, but I have hardly seen all or most kdrama out there, and there are some very famous ones I have never seen. I am always open to recs and am always looking for said recs.

Now, without too much further verbosity, Dangermousie's 25 favorite kdramas list, new and improved.

Lengthy post here )
dangermousie: (Mawang otp by miss-dian)
I have decided that it was about time for me to update and expand my favorite kdrama primer yet again (which I first did some months ago). Not only were there a bunch of kdramas I wanted to add to the list, but I wanted to rearrange the order of some of the dramas on the list already (except for the first three or so, the placement of the other ones within the rankings is fluid and moves based on my mood) and very much expand it.

So behind the cut are 25 of my favorite kdramas, with summaries, reasons why, pics and vids. I have tried to keep it as unspoilery as possible.

No kdrama I have not finished is on the list because I want to have seen the complete drama before evaluating the fave status. Also, I watch a lot of dramas, but I have hardly seen all or most kdrama out there, and there are some very famous ones I have never seen. I am always open to recs and am always looking for said recs.

Now, without too much further verbosity, Dangermousie's 25 favorite kdramas list, new and improved.

Lengthy post here )
dangermousie: (Lobbyist hug by miss-dian)
Since Powerful Opponents made me think about drama endings. Now, we all know about those infamous ‘last minute unhappy endings’ which seem to be tacked on to inflict utmost misery (Glass Slippers’ infamous ending, I am looking at you) or those dramas which would pretty clearly end happily as are giggle-fest or unhappily, as they involve hot people with terminal illnesses.

But how about that rare yet delightful category of dramas: surprising happy endings. Not ones that could have gone either way (Smile Again, QSS) but ones you did not expect at all. Behind the cut are Dangermousie’s Top Dozen Most Surprising Happy Endings.

My Dozen Here )
dangermousie: (Lobbyist hug by miss-dian)
Since Powerful Opponents made me think about drama endings. Now, we all know about those infamous ‘last minute unhappy endings’ which seem to be tacked on to inflict utmost misery (Glass Slippers’ infamous ending, I am looking at you) or those dramas which would pretty clearly end happily as are giggle-fest or unhappily, as they involve hot people with terminal illnesses.

But how about that rare yet delightful category of dramas: surprising happy endings. Not ones that could have gone either way (Smile Again, QSS) but ones you did not expect at all. Behind the cut are Dangermousie’s Top Dozen Most Surprising Happy Endings.

My Dozen Here )
dangermousie: (Lobbyist hug by miss-dian)
Since Powerful Opponents made me think about drama endings. Now, we all know about those infamous ‘last minute unhappy endings’ which seem to be tacked on to inflict utmost misery (Glass Slippers’ infamous ending, I am looking at you) or those dramas which would pretty clearly end happily as are giggle-fest or unhappily, as they involve hot people with terminal illnesses.

But how about that rare yet delightful category of dramas: surprising happy endings. Not ones that could have gone either way (Smile Again, QSS) but ones you did not expect at all. Behind the cut are Dangermousie’s Top Dozen Most Surprising Happy Endings.

My Dozen Here )
dangermousie: (PO: GP by alexandral)
Ok, so Powerful Opponents ended.

You know what else ended? My brief attempts to watch dramas as they air.

I dislike it and it always comes back to mess me up. PO would be only the third drama I have ever watched as it aired all the way through. The other two were Hana Yori Dango 2 and Hong Gil Dong. This experiment has officially failed because I get RAGEFUL at endings 66.7% of the time. I love Iljimae but I will wait until completion.

Ramblings on real-time watching, unpopular endings, and open endings. Spoilers for a whole bunch of dramas but very very vague spoilers )
dangermousie: (PO: GP by alexandral)
Ok, so Powerful Opponents ended.

You know what else ended? My brief attempts to watch dramas as they air.

I dislike it and it always comes back to mess me up. PO would be only the third drama I have ever watched as it aired all the way through. The other two were Hana Yori Dango 2 and Hong Gil Dong. This experiment has officially failed because I get RAGEFUL at endings 66.7% of the time. I love Iljimae but I will wait until completion.

Ramblings on real-time watching, unpopular endings, and open endings. Spoilers for a whole bunch of dramas but very very vague spoilers )
dangermousie: (PO: GP by alexandral)
Ok, so Powerful Opponents ended.

You know what else ended? My brief attempts to watch dramas as they air.

I dislike it and it always comes back to mess me up. PO would be only the third drama I have ever watched as it aired all the way through. The other two were Hana Yori Dango 2 and Hong Gil Dong. This experiment has officially failed because I get RAGEFUL at endings 66.7% of the time. I love Iljimae but I will wait until completion.

Ramblings on real-time watching, unpopular endings, and open endings. Spoilers for a whole bunch of dramas but very very vague spoilers )
dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)
Things that make me happy:

1. Daemul isn’t scrapped. The air date has been pushed to October, which I can deal with. Hopefully they will iron things out by then.

2. The fangirls in the JJH thread on soompi. They are discussing possible kissing scenes in Antique and are torn between horror (oh noez! Their oppa might be kissing another guy!) and delight (at least it’s not one of those icky girls). Heeee. I really wish this was a drama and not a movie, but oh well, beggars can’t be chosers. Still, 16 episodes of JJH reliving cake-related childhood abduction trauma and dealing with advances of the hot Waffle Sunki, whose sexy gay love he rejected in high-school, would have been pretty awesome.

3. Yup, Winter Sonata is definitely being made into an anime.


Heee.

4. Powerful Opponents has certainly become the drama of the spring for me. Who would have thought…I wasn’t very familiar with/attached to any of the leads before it started. Especially amusing is that I mainly checked it out to see Lady Bodyguard and President’s Son hook up but ended up the hugest bodyguards!shipper. Heeeee. Oh, Gwan Pil :)

5. Even though I want Gwan Pil/Young Joo with a scary level of fangirling, I do like Su Ho as a character, and adore Lee Jin Wook, who plays him. I just don’t want him with Young Joo. So imagine my delight when I found he was in a drama where he did get the girl, last year’s Someday. The plot sounds delightful. Our Heroine is a reserved manga artist, who doesn’t really believe in romantic love much. She comes to Korea and meets Secondary Guy, a manga fanboy who is smitten and decides he is in love at first sight, not even noticing the cool Secondary Girl who has loved him for years. Secondary Guy hires our Hero, Lee Jin Wook, a private investigator with a tragic past, to follow his dream girl. And it goes from there… Happy endings for everyone abound, so what’s not to love. I don’t think fansubbers ever did this drama, but a DVD with subs is available from YA. I mean, look at the cute MV!



5. PO is winding up next week. But luckily, I have a new drama fixation to take its place…Iljimae. And speaking of, ep two subs are out! I have only watched the first half of first ep and I like it a LOT. I don’t love it as much as Hong Gil Dong, but it’s early days yet, and in any event, HGD pinged my fiction loves uniquely. Oddly, I can also see why it’s getting better ratings: it’s a lot more traditional in its approach than HGD.

So yes, Iljimae. I am sure my like will transform to LOVE as soon as poor little Iljimae will lose his privileged existence and his family at the age of eight (???), grow up to be Lee Jun Ki and begin his awful yet photogenic torment and suffering. Also, any clue which of the two girls is his OTP? I don’t mind either way. One way we get so beloved by me trope of aristocrat-slave (though would Iljimae be considered a slave? I mean, he was born upper class. But then Ha Ji Won lost all her aristocratic status when her family was executed in Damo, and became a slave…so.) Plus, that would mean he falls for the girl whose Dad killed his family, thus giving me shades of Time Between Dog and Wolf. However, if we don’t get that, I don’t mind a bit.It would also be fun if he hooked up with thieving peasant girl, sort of like Legend. I already got aristocrat/slaveOTP with Hong Gil Dong and Damo and it was all so perfect, plus I can have my fill of angsty avenger/gently brought lady otp angst with Strongest Chil Woo which is coming out later this summer. Also, this way I can have a ‘I am in love with my not!sibling’ OTP of aristocrat girl and Iljimae’s nemesis, which would also make me happy.
dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)
Things that make me happy:

1. Daemul isn’t scrapped. The air date has been pushed to October, which I can deal with. Hopefully they will iron things out by then.

2. The fangirls in the JJH thread on soompi. They are discussing possible kissing scenes in Antique and are torn between horror (oh noez! Their oppa might be kissing another guy!) and delight (at least it’s not one of those icky girls). Heeee. I really wish this was a drama and not a movie, but oh well, beggars can’t be chosers. Still, 16 episodes of JJH reliving cake-related childhood abduction trauma and dealing with advances of the hot Waffle Sunki, whose sexy gay love he rejected in high-school, would have been pretty awesome.

3. Yup, Winter Sonata is definitely being made into an anime.


Heee.

4. Powerful Opponents has certainly become the drama of the spring for me. Who would have thought…I wasn’t very familiar with/attached to any of the leads before it started. Especially amusing is that I mainly checked it out to see Lady Bodyguard and President’s Son hook up but ended up the hugest bodyguards!shipper. Heeeee. Oh, Gwan Pil :)

5. Even though I want Gwan Pil/Young Joo with a scary level of fangirling, I do like Su Ho as a character, and adore Lee Jin Wook, who plays him. I just don’t want him with Young Joo. So imagine my delight when I found he was in a drama where he did get the girl, last year’s Someday. The plot sounds delightful. Our Heroine is a reserved manga artist, who doesn’t really believe in romantic love much. She comes to Korea and meets Secondary Guy, a manga fanboy who is smitten and decides he is in love at first sight, not even noticing the cool Secondary Girl who has loved him for years. Secondary Guy hires our Hero, Lee Jin Wook, a private investigator with a tragic past, to follow his dream girl. And it goes from there… Happy endings for everyone abound, so what’s not to love. I don’t think fansubbers ever did this drama, but a DVD with subs is available from YA. I mean, look at the cute MV!



5. PO is winding up next week. But luckily, I have a new drama fixation to take its place…Iljimae. And speaking of, ep two subs are out! I have only watched the first half of first ep and I like it a LOT. I don’t love it as much as Hong Gil Dong, but it’s early days yet, and in any event, HGD pinged my fiction loves uniquely. Oddly, I can also see why it’s getting better ratings: it’s a lot more traditional in its approach than HGD.

So yes, Iljimae. I am sure my like will transform to LOVE as soon as poor little Iljimae will lose his privileged existence and his family at the age of eight (???), grow up to be Lee Jun Ki and begin his awful yet photogenic torment and suffering. Also, any clue which of the two girls is his OTP? I don’t mind either way. One way we get so beloved by me trope of aristocrat-slave (though would Iljimae be considered a slave? I mean, he was born upper class. But then Ha Ji Won lost all her aristocratic status when her family was executed in Damo, and became a slave…so.) Plus, that would mean he falls for the girl whose Dad killed his family, thus giving me shades of Time Between Dog and Wolf. However, if we don’t get that, I don’t mind a bit.It would also be fun if he hooked up with thieving peasant girl, sort of like Legend. I already got aristocrat/slaveOTP with Hong Gil Dong and Damo and it was all so perfect, plus I can have my fill of angsty avenger/gently brought lady otp angst with Strongest Chil Woo which is coming out later this summer. Also, this way I can have a ‘I am in love with my not!sibling’ OTP of aristocrat girl and Iljimae’s nemesis, which would also make me happy.
dangermousie: (QSS by bambinainnero)
Things that make me happy:

1. Daemul isn’t scrapped. The air date has been pushed to October, which I can deal with. Hopefully they will iron things out by then.

2. The fangirls in the JJH thread on soompi. They are discussing possible kissing scenes in Antique and are torn between horror (oh noez! Their oppa might be kissing another guy!) and delight (at least it’s not one of those icky girls). Heeee. I really wish this was a drama and not a movie, but oh well, beggars can’t be chosers. Still, 16 episodes of JJH reliving cake-related childhood abduction trauma and dealing with advances of the hot Waffle Sunki, whose sexy gay love he rejected in high-school, would have been pretty awesome.

3. Yup, Winter Sonata is definitely being made into an anime.


Heee.

4. Powerful Opponents has certainly become the drama of the spring for me. Who would have thought…I wasn’t very familiar with/attached to any of the leads before it started. Especially amusing is that I mainly checked it out to see Lady Bodyguard and President’s Son hook up but ended up the hugest bodyguards!shipper. Heeeee. Oh, Gwan Pil :)

5. Even though I want Gwan Pil/Young Joo with a scary level of fangirling, I do like Su Ho as a character, and adore Lee Jin Wook, who plays him. I just don’t want him with Young Joo. So imagine my delight when I found he was in a drama where he did get the girl, last year’s Someday. The plot sounds delightful. Our Heroine is a reserved manga artist, who doesn’t really believe in romantic love much. She comes to Korea and meets Secondary Guy, a manga fanboy who is smitten and decides he is in love at first sight, not even noticing the cool Secondary Girl who has loved him for years. Secondary Guy hires our Hero, Lee Jin Wook, a private investigator with a tragic past, to follow his dream girl. And it goes from there… Happy endings for everyone abound, so what’s not to love. I don’t think fansubbers ever did this drama, but a DVD with subs is available from YA. I mean, look at the cute MV!



5. PO is winding up next week. But luckily, I have a new drama fixation to take its place…Iljimae. And speaking of, ep two subs are out! I have only watched the first half of first ep and I like it a LOT. I don’t love it as much as Hong Gil Dong, but it’s early days yet, and in any event, HGD pinged my fiction loves uniquely. Oddly, I can also see why it’s getting better ratings: it’s a lot more traditional in its approach than HGD.

So yes, Iljimae. I am sure my like will transform to LOVE as soon as poor little Iljimae will lose his privileged existence and his family at the age of eight (???), grow up to be Lee Jun Ki and begin his awful yet photogenic torment and suffering. Also, any clue which of the two girls is his OTP? I don’t mind either way. One way we get so beloved by me trope of aristocrat-slave (though would Iljimae be considered a slave? I mean, he was born upper class. But then Ha Ji Won lost all her aristocratic status when her family was executed in Damo, and became a slave…so.) Plus, that would mean he falls for the girl whose Dad killed his family, thus giving me shades of Time Between Dog and Wolf. However, if we don’t get that, I don’t mind a bit.It would also be fun if he hooked up with thieving peasant girl, sort of like Legend. I already got aristocrat/slaveOTP with Hong Gil Dong and Damo and it was all so perfect, plus I can have my fill of angsty avenger/gently brought lady otp angst with Strongest Chil Woo which is coming out later this summer. Also, this way I can have a ‘I am in love with my not!sibling’ OTP of aristocrat girl and Iljimae’s nemesis, which would also make me happy.
dangermousie: (Legend: Sa Ryang by alexandral)
I have decided that it was about time for me to update and expand my favorite kdrama primer (which I first did some month ago). Not only were there a bunch of kdramas I wanted to add to the list, but I wanted to rearrange the order of some of the dramas on the list already (except for the first three or so, the placement of the other ones within the rankings is fluid and moves based on my mood) and very much expand it.

So behind the cut are 20 (actually 21, because of a tie) of my favorite kdramas, with summaries, reasons why, pics and vids. I have tried to keep it as unspoilery as possible.

No kdrama I have not finished is on the list because I want to have seen the complete drama before evaluating the fave status (possible future candidates to be put in that aren't there because of it are Mawang and MISA). Also, I watch a lot of dramas, but I have hardly seen all or most kdrama out there, and there are some very famous ones I have never seen. I am always open to recs and am always looking for said recs.

Now, without too much further verbosity, Dangermousie's 20 or so favorite kdramas list, new and improved.

Lengthy post here )
dangermousie: (Legend: Sa Ryang by alexandral)
I have decided that it was about time for me to update and expand my favorite kdrama primer (which I first did some month ago). Not only were there a bunch of kdramas I wanted to add to the list, but I wanted to rearrange the order of some of the dramas on the list already (except for the first three or so, the placement of the other ones within the rankings is fluid and moves based on my mood) and very much expand it.

So behind the cut are 20 (actually 21, because of a tie) of my favorite kdramas, with summaries, reasons why, pics and vids. I have tried to keep it as unspoilery as possible.

No kdrama I have not finished is on the list because I want to have seen the complete drama before evaluating the fave status (possible future candidates to be put in that aren't there because of it are Mawang and MISA). Also, I watch a lot of dramas, but I have hardly seen all or most kdrama out there, and there are some very famous ones I have never seen. I am always open to recs and am always looking for said recs.

Now, without too much further verbosity, Dangermousie's 20 or so favorite kdramas list, new and improved.

Lengthy post here )

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