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October 23, 2013

Grandpas Over Flowers Season 1

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. isn’t entirely deserted, however.
Lee Seo Jin and Grandpas Over Flowers Park Geun Hyung, Shin Goo, and Baek Il Seob leap into the air in front of the Eiffel Tower
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!

July 17, 2013

The End of Damo

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

Damo – Episode 13 – Korean drama recap

Soo Myung supports Boss Jang's head as she gives him some waterEpisode 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…

April 21, 2013

Terror Taxi with Lee Seo Jin - Korean film review

Gilnam grins from behind the wheel of his new cab in Terror TaxiTerror Taxi or 공포택시 (2000) is not the B-horror film I expected from the title. Although it opens with a gravity-defying hit and run murder, we know nothing about the victim or the reason for his death. He is soon forgotten as we meet Kim Gilnam (Lee Seo Jin), a happy, extroverted young cabbie. Gilnam is moving up in the world, having just purchased his own car, and is planning to propose to his girlfriend (Choi Yoojung).

It was refreshing to see LSJ playing such a normal guy, since his roles tend to be deeply conflicted and/or repressed characters, often with severe anger management problems. He has said that MORE…

April 4, 2013

State of the Blog, early Lee Seo Jin

The transition to a three-column blog is complete! I’m very excited about this, as it allows me to put a lot of stuff in formerly wasted space.

If you visited during the Invasion of the Giant Titles, sorry about that. The default text in my new theme was clearly sized to be visible from space. Why? That’s a very good question. But I’ve knocked it down to size now. Thanks for coming back – I know it was scary :)

I’ve begun to separate content into three major streams:

  1. Korean drama/film/TV/other entertainment
  2. Korean language resources, reviews and posts
  3. Korean culture

Eventually, if all goes according to plan, visitors will be able to sign up for only the topics they are interested in. I’m not quite there yet, but in the meantime you can View Posts by Topic using the menu in the right sidebar.

Design tweaks are still in progress, but it’s not too soon for your feedback. Is the post font size too small? Does the layout work on your mobile device? Did you have trouble finding something that you know is on the website? Should I stick with the general color scheme of the old theme, or throw it out and try something completely different? Please leave a comment with details!

DVD cover for Terror TaxiSpeaking of scary, on the agenda for tonight is a horror film from 2000 called Terror Taxi, starring Lee Seo Jin. I’ll tell you all about it soon :)

March 19, 2013

Damo – Episode 12 – Korean drama recap

Episode 12 of Damo opens in the mountain forest. It’s daylight, and soldiers are nodding off all over the camp. Hwangbo announces that he’s taking over the search and starts to rouse them, but the local commander demands that he allow the soldiers some rest after searching all night. Hwangbo starts to argue, but Officer Lee intervenes and takes him aside for a private talk. He agrees with the local commander, and accuses Hwangbo of being obsessed with Chae Ohk, not Jang Sung Baek, and running his men into the ground because of it. Officer Baek, looking on, is shocked at Officer Lee’s audacity. Hwangbo doesn’t deny obsession, but insists it’s all about Jang Sung Baek.
Hwangbo and the local commander debate authority while Officer Lee looks on in irritation
Hwangbo has just questioned whether Officer Lee has enough faith in Hwangbo to serve under him when MORE…

February 1, 2013

Damo – Episode 11 – Korean drama recap

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to Episode 11 of Damo. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like what comes next, so I’ve been dragging my feet.

The episode opens with the former thief instructing his borrowed troops to masquerade as a rebel band, under the supervision of Jang Sung Baek’s younger sister (so much truer than he and the damo know!). They scare villagers and bully travelers to establish their false identities.

Meanwhile, Chief Joh’s investigation is at a standstill, since his suspects are too high in the court hierarchy to touch. When he receives the letter Chae Ohk faked for the police chief who lent them the soldiers, he knows right away who to blame, and what they are up to. If they can capture the rebel leader, that will move the investigation forward. Chief Joh sends Hwangbo after Chae Ohk.
Guards stand atop a stone wall at the rebel hideout
At a rebel meeting, a captain crows with delight over their successful misdirection of the forces that are hunting them. Then he reports that another band claims to be led by Boss Jang’s younger sister. Jang abruptly leaves the meeting. MORE…

January 3, 2013

Damo – Episode 10 – Korean drama recap

Damo 10 Hwangbo looks off into the sunny morning with a happy expressionAs Damo Episode 10 opens, Hwangbo (Lee Seo Jin) and the old monk rush into Chae Ohk’s room. She is gasping, and falls over when Hwangbo touches her arm. Then her eyes open. Hwangbo smiles, the monk says a prayer and Hwangbo walks out into the grounds to drink from a fountain. There is a sudden sprinkle of spring rain. In this moment, all is well. If Hwangbo’s smile momentarily dims now and then when he thinks of his job, it soon returns. Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) will live.

December 24, 2012

Damo – Episode 9 – Korean drama recap

The damo (Ha Ji Won) does not, of course, give up her plan of seeing the King to plead Hwangbo’s case. But first she writes Hwangbo a letter, telling him how much he has meant to her, and how much she regrets her baffling inability to kill Boss Jang, even to save Hwangbo’s life. Then, it’s off to the palace.
The King looks down on the kneeling damo with a concerned expression;
After a lot of swooping, slinking, swimming, and close calls, Chae Ohk finds the King. His guards pounce on her, and she is severely wounded. Her battered body is dumped at his feet. He is amazed that such a low ranking woman has gone to such lengths to meet him. The damo manages to gasp out the story of a conspiracy against the throne, insisting that Chief Joh and Hwangbo are innocent, and demanding their release.

November 29, 2012

Damo – Episode 8 – Korean drama recap

Hwangbo and Chief Joh are escorted to the jail by guards in conical hats;In Episode 8 of Damo, we learn that the general has left a suicide note, swearing his loyalty to the King. The King is upset, and berates Chief Joh and Hwangbo. MORE…