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September 29, 2015

Korea, Women, Money - 한국, 여자, 돈

On Saturday, Park Gun Hye, Korea’s first female president, announced that South Korea would spend $200 million in 15 poor countries to launch a “Better Life for Girls” initiative.

A hand holding Korean paper money, with a low denomination bill on topI am all for improved education, health care, and autonomy for women everywhere, but the timing of this announcement was a tad ironic in the wake of an Associated Press article published the previous day. The article describes how hundreds of Korean women in their 60s, 70s and even 80s, unbeknownst to their families, prostitute themselves on the streets of Seoul to make ends meet.

In 2013, South Korea came in last in an Economist magazine ranking of the best countries for working women. Korea’s support for women abroad would be a lot more credible if it showed the same support for women at home.

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.
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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.
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December 18, 2012

Holiday Gifts for the Kdrama Heroine

full forearm gauntlet in pink leather completely covered with with gold spike studs;A stack of different colored leather bracelets with spikesOr, for a fashionable stacked effect…

파이팅!

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…

November 24, 2012

Seoyeong My Daughter – Episodes 7-8

THIS POST IS ONE BIG SPOILER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Episode 7 – Seven episodes into Seoyeong My Daughter, the s-word is finally mentioned! But is it Seo Yeong (Lee Bo Young) who calls Woo Jae (Lee Sang Yun) a stalker? No, it is not. Never mind that he shadows her bus on a 4 hour drive, then skulks around in the shrubbery, eavesdropping on an extremely private moment. And how did she not notice his SUV creeping up a deserted country road behind her?? Maybe it was a hybrid in electric mode?
Seoyoung weeps on the bus, while Ujae's SUV hovers just outside her window; MORE…

November 14, 2012

Seoyeong My Daughter – Episodes 1-6

A young man slow dances with his smiling mom in front of a white grand piano;Episode 1 – Seoyeong My Daughter is off to a rip-roaring start! Fractured families, unhappy marriages, financial woes, health emergencies, and a couple of photogenic strangers who somehow keep crossing paths in a city of 10 million. All in the first episode, which ends with them stubbornly glaring at each other. Can romance be far behind?
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November 10, 2012

Seo Yeong My Daughter – Watch With Me!

Lee Bo Yeong as Seoyeong in functional student dress;The new family drama Seo Yeong My Daughter is airing in the time slot previously occupied by My Husband Got a Family. This is a hard timeslot for me to resist. I did something else for one weekend, but episode 3 caught my eye, and now I’m going back to catch up.

It isn’t just the timing that works for me, however. The title character (Lee Bo Young) is smart as a whip and tough as nails. She’s versatile, too. We’ve already seen her in a red curly wig, gussied up like a clubgirl, and in her more usual outfit of baggy men’s shirt and slacks (such indifference to fashion is downright edgy for a Korean drama heroine) as she works her way through law school. Lee Bo Young is obviously up to whatever challenges the role might throw her way. I’ve seen her before, in the relentlessly histrionic 2006 melodrama, Queen of the Game, but I didn’t recognize her. She actually looks younger in this role.

In case the title didn’t clue you in, this is an all too familiar struggling daughter/loser father tale. However, Seo Yeong has impressed me more with her resilience in one episode than Da Ran did in all 20 episodes of Can Love Become Money. And don’t even get me started on Damo’s fatalistic Chae Ohk (I have not, however, abandoned Damo – it’s just been a busy week. Episode 8 recap is coming soon).

Has this become the KBS feminist drama timeslot? If so, 괜찮아요. It’s about time we see some roles for women that have the depth and development that is usually invested only into the roles for men.

At 50 episodes, I won’t be doing recaps. Instead I’ll post thoughts every few episodes and see how that goes. Check it out, and join me!


Related posts: My Daughter Seoyoung – Episode Reviews

October 26, 2012

My Husband Got a Family – Final Thoughts

My Husband Got a Family (넝쿨째 굴러온 당신 – literally You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly or Unexpected You) wrapped up on KBS World last weekend. The series fulfilled its initial promise of utter predictability from beginning to end. Plot developments to come were not merely hinted at, they were shouted from the rooftops with megaphones. The abrupt timeslip at the end of the second-to-last episode seemed entirely arbitrary, as if the writer suddenly got bored and stopped caring what happened to the characters.
SPOILER ALERT: stop here if you haven’t watched yet.
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