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?
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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…
July 10, 2013
I can’t really say why balmy nights turn my thoughts to the blood-sucking undead. Summer and vampires just seem to go together.
Since my dramas-to-watch list is ever-lengthening, I don’t usually watch one I’ve already seen. However, everything I liked the first time in Vampire Prosecutor Season 1 – acting, cinematography, music – is just as good the second time around. And the two episodes that wrap up the season are considerably clearer. I think I finally have a firm grip on the storyline.
Now that I’m free to focus on details other than plot, here’s what jumped out at me.
June 26, 2013
In May, Korean cable network OCN released a lineup for 2013 that included a Season 3 for the popular vampire/crime drama, Vampire Prosecutor. Nothing more has been said, so who knows when (or if) it will happen. Fans have been waiting impatiently for quite awhile. Just in case, I decided it was high time I watched Season 2.
But first, I’m revisiting Season 1. I’m up to Episode 5, and finding it all makes a lot more sense when you’ve already seen the whole season once through. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that episodes 11-12 will be a little clearer the second time around.
If anyone knows where I can watch a version with subs other than DramaFever’s, please post a comment (Viki and Hulu both use the DF subs). I don’t know whether different subs would make a difference, but I’m curious.
You can read my episode reviews of Vampire Prosecutor Season 1 here.
June 23, 2013
In Secret Agent Miss Oh, we finally meet a spunky heroine who stays spunky right through to the end. Lee Soo Kyung shows off a fabulous dramatic range as morally impaired cop Oh Ha Na, who’s always looking for the next dollar (and not too picky about how she gets it).
A lot of things about this drama are familiar. There’s a spendthrift parent, a jilting boyfriend, handsome rich guys with an attitude who receive an education about how the other half lives, corruption and moral dilemmas, astronomically improbable coincidences, ludicrous scenarios to bring characters together, an ex who won’t let go, and forced intimacy between antagonists that develops into romance. MORE…