October 18, 2012

Damo – Episode 5 – Korean drama recap

The first 10 minutes of Damo Episode 5 are awash with wave after wave of fighters swooping over rooftops into and out of the Left Police Bureau. To make sure we understand it’s exciting, it’s filmed hyper-energetically from a myriad of camera angles. The place is like a Joseon Grand Central Station, as lone Damo Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) rescues two escaping prisoners from dozens of guards armed with swords, bows, and rifles.
smoky torchlit courtyard of Left Police Bureau filled with armed officers poised to fire guns and bows;
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched yet, stop here.

October 16, 2012

Damo – Episode 4 – Korean drama recap

In Damo Episode 4,Chief Joh's daughter, watching unhappily as Chae Ohk and Hwangbo meet in the courtyard; remarkable coincidences and timely arrivals abound. Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) and Hwangbo (Lee Seo Jin) make some progress with their communication issues, and the Left Police devise another undercover plot to infiltrate the counterfeiting gang.

SPOILER ALERT: Stop now if you haven’t watched yet.

October 13, 2012

Dream of the Emperor, Happy Together and a Hangeul note

Life (the other life) descended with a bagful of unexpected deadlines and other demands, opportunities and distractions. Also, I’ve been auditioning alternate themes, as you may have noticed if you visited during an audition. But I haven’t forgotten Damo, and I will return to it, I swear.

Meanwhile, I saw an episode and a half of the new Choi Su Jong sageuk, variously translated as Dream of the Emperor, The King’s Dream, The Great King’s Dream, or if you’re feeling playful and run the Hangeul title (대왕의 꿈) through the Google Translator, The Maharaja’s Dream. Who knew there were Maharajas in 7th century Baekje? Not I. But Google knows…

It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what I didn’t like about Whoever-it-is’s Dream. It just didn’t grab me, seeming more like a 영화 (movie), not something that had 80 episodes to go deep with. There’s also the matter of taking sides in the 3 Kingdoms period. Can I switch allegiances just because a new drama came out? Of course not. What do you take me for?!

It’s airing in a very convenient timeslot, however, so it’s possible I’ll give it another chance later. See, I have learned to be more temperate with words I may later have to eat :)

Speaking of eating, I caught Choi Su Jong and other cast members on Happy Together today, where they were competing to make the best late night snack. Happy Together has another one of those formats that strikes me as distinctly Korean. Cast members from current dramas join emcees and others (Kpop groups, for example) for chats in a make-believe sauna (for which they all dress alike in t-shirts and towels), with various truth tests and other challenges. Since there is not really a concept of TMI in Korea, you can learn all sorts of interesting incidents about the filming of your favorite drama, how the actors really feel about each other, etc.

Language Note: Just recently, I learned that the name which is Romanized as Choi, and which I have, not unreasonably, pronounced Choy for the past year and a half, is actually pronounced Che (as in Che Guevara). If you haven’t read my rant about Why I Don’t Like Korean Romanization, this would be a good time.

September 29, 2012

Damo - Episode 3 - Korean drama recap

Ha Ji Won as Chae Ohk;The third episode of Damo continues to develop the back stories of Hwangbo and Chae Ohk, and their conflict over Chae Ohk’s safety comes to a head. While the Left Police Bureau engages in a sting operation to lure out counterfeiters, the audience sees signs that the counterfeit operation is just the tip of the iceberg.

SPOILER ALERT: Stop here if you haven’t watched yet.

September 25, 2012

Damo – Episode 2 – Korean drama recap

Episode 2 of Damo introduces us to the back stories of Hwangbo (Lee Seo Jin) and Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) and their early relationship, as they continue their investigation of the counterfeiting ring.
SPOILER ALERT: Stop here if you haven’t watched yet.

September 16, 2012

Vampire Prosecutor Season 2 & Damo

The first episode of Vampire Prosecutor Season 2 is available with English subtitles on DramaFever and Hulu. I haven’t watched it yet. I think I’ll wait a bit until there is more than one episode, as patience is not one of my virtues. So no spoilers, please. I suppose I’ll have to avoid every other drama blog until I catch up!

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to watch Damo – another episode review is coming soon.

Vampire Prosecutor (Season 1) – Reviews

Also with Yeon Jeong Hun:
Can Love Become Money – Reviews

See all Damo and Lee Seo Jin reviews

September 11, 2012

Damo with Lee Seo Jin - Watch with me!

Damo – Episode 1

Something about fall puts me in the mood for sageuk. SO many episodes, though! Do I want to be watching the same drama until spring? But I found just the thing in my DramaFever queue.

Damo (다모), an MBC drama from 2003, is positively petite by sageuk standards, at a mere 14 episodes. I’m curious to see some of Lee Seo Jin’s earlier work, and I always appreciate a storyline that revolves around a Spunky Heroine.
SPOILER ALERT: stop here if you haven’t watched yet