March 10, 2014
North and South American viewers can now watch the new KBS drama Wonderful Days on Viki (many thanks to Kim for bearing this excellent news).
Lee Seo Jin’s talent for non-verbal expression is a great fit for his outwardly cold but internally turbulent character. 2 pm’s Teac Yeon plays a more straightforward character, and so far is doing a respectable job of it for a Kpop star with limited acting experience. There are great female characters in this drama, too – loving feisty Kim Hee Sun and Yoon Yeo Jeong, whose role promises a depth worthy of her versatility, for once.
Viki’s page for Wonderful Days has extremely helpful character (not actor) bios to help sort out the rather complicated family relationships and back stories. They are a little spoiler-y after only two episodes, though, so be warned.
March 9, 2014
There is no way I’m watching 50 episodes of Wonderful Days without having something to say about it! But how to find the time? Solution: Twitter. Enforced brevity :)
So follow me. Hurry, please. It’s creepy when I’m talking to myself.
(Don’t forget to drop the dot, and keep the net at the end. SA Mihan beat me to the Mihansa Twitter handle fair and square).
February 24, 2014
Mihansa.net turned two last week. My schedule has been too crazy for the past few months to even watch Kdrama, much less write about it. However, I’ll make time for Lee Seo Jin’s new drama.
Wonderful Days | Wonderful Times | Very Good Times | Wonderful Season | Good Times Indeed
참 좋은 시절 – translated variously as above – debuted in Korea on Saturday to healthy ratings, easily outranking the numerous competing dramas in the same time slot. We have seen a lot of Lee Seo Jin in commercials since his success in the Grandpas Over Flowers series (the 3rd installment of which was filmed in Spain last month, but has not yet aired). That’s all very well, but it’ll be nice to see him in something that’s longer than two minutes!
Where to Watch
Happily, Very Good Times is a KBS drama, so I’ll be able to view it on the local KBS America station starting March 8th. For those less fortunately situated, Viki is in licensing talks. KBS World has full episodes of the previous drama in this time slot available to U.S. audiences on YouTube (scroll down to KBS Drama). I would expect Wonderful Times eps to be added on the same schedule as the KBS America broadcasts (late afternoons Saturday and Sundays, starting March 8th).
More about Wonderful Days
Cast and Location
The other leads (including the obligatory Kpop star, 2 pm’s Taec Yeon) are new to me, but I recognize many of the supporting actors, from the versatile Yoon Yeo Jung to ubiquitous comic sidekick/hoods Kim Kwang Kyu and Kim Sang Ho. Refreshingly, this drama gets out of Seoul, and is set in a country village, a rarity for contemporary dramas. Looking forward to 50 episodes!
Korea Numbers Android Game
Korean Bubbles is a great little falling bubbles game for Android that matches the numeral to the Hangeul (or Hangeul to numeral, your choice) for both Korean number systems, and it has Korean colors, too. A fun way to speed up your Hangeul reading skills. As my regular readers know, I try to make my studying as pleasurable as possible :) And it’s free!
There isn’t an iPhone version, as far as I can tell. The developer (Clever Turtles) also makes a check splitting app.
October 27, 2013
Certain frequently-used words and phrases in Korean drama have a special significance. Some of them are customarily translated in a way that doesn’t fully express their implications. Others signal a particular plot development ahead.
Here is a handy guide to significant Kdrama phrases:
1). I have something to tell you.
It’s something of the utmost importance to you and the storyline, but I can’t stop to tell you now, as I have to go fall into a coma, contract amnesia, disappear, or die.
2). I like you.
I’m in love with you.
3). Are you crazy?
Don’t burden me with your feelings. Can’t you see I’m busy?
4). I love you.
Female to male: We can have sex now.
Male to female: Can we have sex now?
5). Trust Me.
The situation is even worse than you think, and the odds of things ending well are miniscule, but I’m in total denial.
6). Get Some Rest.
You are obviously overtired, or you wouldn’t have raised a subject I have so little interest in discussing.
7). Kill me now!
If I efface myself out of all proportion to my error, you’ll have to go easy on me. Avoid if your boss is a warlord, gangster or pirate.
Eventually, but I’ll make you pay heavily first.
9). Did you have a drink?
I see you’re totally plastered.
10). I will definitely do that.
Why do I have a feeling I shouldn’t have said that?
5 signs that you are watching a Korean drama
7 familiar characters in Korean drama
10 Obstacles to Love in Korean Drama
October 23, 2013
It’s been a busy summer, with too little time to even watch Kdrama, much less write about it. Mianhae, dear readers. I am with Korea in spirit. Mihansa.net isn’t entirely deserted, however.
If you’re interested in the Grandpas Over Flowers reality show with Lee Seo Jin, Lee Soon Jae, Park Geun Hyung, Shin Goo and Baek Il Seob, check out the comments thread on the Lee Seo Jin page.
I’ll try to watch Season 2 soon. It’s just been announced that the location for Season 3 (with Lee Seung Gi and 4 ahjumma actresses) is… (drumroll)… Croatia! Keeping it fresh, for sure!
September 18, 2013
Happy Chuseok, everyone! (Chuseok is actually on Thursday, but it’s already Thursday in Korea).
September 16, 2013
Let’s be honest, if you are in the mood for something delicately humorous, Korea may not be the best place to look. I passed up three dozen stories of heartbreak, struggle, injustice, and really awful luck before happening upon Spellbound. Maybe they all would’ve ended happily, but sometimes I just like to start from a happy place, y’know?
Not that Spellbound starts out all that happy. But it has the same light touch I appreciated in The Recipe, which regular readers have heard me rave about several hundred times. MORE…
August 1, 2013
Stoker is the first English-language film by Korean director Park Chan Wook. Park is well-known in Korea, mostly for vengeance-themed and horror films. Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode play the leads. The film also features Nicole Kidman, a longtime favorite of mine who never seems to age.
By U.S. standards, Stoker is shocking (yes, there are still a few things that can shock us), with an astronomically high ick factor, yet it’s so stylistically novel that it’s hard to stop watching. MORE…
July 17, 2013
I finished the final episode of Damo last night. It was late, and silent. I sat long by the open window, listening to the fog and weltzschmerz.
Eventually, I sighed, gathered myself back to the mundane, and went to bed.
Deep impressions to the maum are not so easily shaken, however. In my dream, a love long lost to me in waking life was lost again, to death. Or was it to uncertainty?
I asked an acquaintance for news, but he had none.
If we meet again, I said, and I don’t ask, tell me nothing.
July 13, 2013
Episode 13 of Damo opens with a still unconscious Jang Sung Baek being tended by a doctor. Soo Myung, the Magistrate, and another conspirator look on. The doctor tells them he will recover, and leaves. The Magistrate tries to dismiss Soo Myung, but she refuses to go. The other man wonders whether it was worth risking so many lives to save one man. Soo Myung breaks in to pronounce that Jang Sung Baek is the heart of the people. The Magistrate tells her to shut up and do as she’s told.
Boss Jang wakes up. Dark veins are showing in his face. The Magistrate tells him how close to death he came, and asks him how he could let that damo use such a powerful poison on him. Jang Sung Baek suppresses a smile. MORE…