Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's Just Talk About Lee Min Ho: City Hunter Review

When I first started watching kdramas I was pretty hooked. I went through Lie To Me, Boys Over Flowers, and Coffee Prince in rapid succession. I had a bit of a drama hangover after that and needed a little break. For about a month I tried several different romantic comedy kdramas but I just couldn't get into them. Too much like BOF or Coffee Prince! Same old, same old. Then I was recommended City Hunter, and boom, the magic was back! Turns out I just needed a little action and revenge in my life. I recommend that every drama fan switch the genres up a little once in awhile so they don't get old. City Hunter was the first drama in awhile that I just couldn't stop watching. Here are some reasons you should invest some time and emotional energy into City Hunter.

1. The Story Line

Lee Min Ho plays Lee Yoon Sung, a man raised to take revenge on the government officials responsible for his father's death. He is educated in America and then returns to work in the Blue House (the Korean equivalent of the American White House) where he can infiltrate the system to find the culprits. In the process he becomes the City Hunter, an anonymous crime fighter. Think of Batman, but without a costume. He also falls in love with a girl who he loves but wants to protect so he pushes her away is in typical superhero fashion. It's a great story of love and revenge and the choice between the two. It had just enough of the great kdrama cliches we come to expect and love, along with some new plot twists. I was captivated throughout.


2. Lee Min Ho








Need I say more? Lee Min Ho is the Korean equivalent of Ryan Gosling. Just check out his meme potential. I have to admit that I wasn't super attracted to him in Boys Over Flowers, but he did grow on me. However, City Hunter came along and boom, all the hidden bad-a hotness came out! He's just so smooth in all the action scenes. I love this man, I can't help it. I'm pretty sure you won't be able to either.





              

       


3. The Leading Lady


Park Min Young is the perfect combination of strength and loveliness as Kim Na Na. The character Kim Na Na is talented and hard working as well as having a strong sense of what's right and wrong. She is an admirable heroine. Not only that, but she doesn't even need Lee Yooon Sung to give her a makeover! I really enjoyed this leading lady, even though I experienced intense feelings of jealousy of her for her beauty and the fact that she gets to kiss Lee Min Ho.


 

4. The Compelling Second Male Lead


Prosecutor Kim Yong-joo, played by Lee Joon-hyuk, is the City Hunter's rival in both crime fighting and love. Like the City Hunter, his goal is to uncover corruption and bring evil politicians to justice, but unlike the City Hunter, he believes in doing it by the book. He tries to discover the identity of the City Hunter because he believes he is dangerous. He is also the romantic rival of the male lead, as both vie for the attention of Kim Na Na. Once again all this is similar to Batman, but still in a fresh way. I really enjoyed this character, as he provided a great foil for the lead as well as additional eye candy.


5. The Chemistry Between the OTP


As mentioned in my Coffee Prince review, this is really the most important aspect of a good kdrama.  Lee Yoon Sung and Kim Na Na have believable attraction between them. They are simply adorable. I'm also a fan of a little, "I love you and want to be with you, but I want to protect you from the bad guys who I'm fighting, so I have to pretend that I don't love you. Maybe one day we can be together when I stop saving the world." So romantic, it gets me every time. 


The one complaint I have in this area is that this drama definitely left me unsatisfied in the passion aspect. Especially at the end. Ugh, that's the worst! But it was still great.




So if you need a change in pace in your kdrama addiction, or you're looking for a kdrama that you can trick your significant other into watching with you, City Hunter should be added to the top of your list. There's enough action for the men and adventurous women and enough romance to keep you wanting more. 

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Places to Watch City Hunter


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37 comments:

  1. I agree! It was GREAT all the way through, except for the end.

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  2. Yeah, I had to make up an ending in my head! Why would they do that to us?!

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    1. yeah thank godd im nt the oly one who didnt get the ending. i hope there is season 2

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  3. well..i quite liked ur review..i will watch it.. :) :) thnx...i was a bit confused as to start 4rm wich one after my already watched 5 dramas... thnq so mch.. :) ^_^

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  4. How much did I love this drama? Enough to make my husband find a wi-fi hot spot while on a camping trip so we could stream an episode on my laptop, sitting in the car. And he didn't even complain.

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    1. Wow, you found a keeper! It really is one of the best kdramas!

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    2. Haha, just last week my husband drove 7 out of 8 hours on our road trip so that I could stream Queen of Reversals on my phone. Sometimes I think that maybe he shouldn't enable my habit!

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  5. Have you watched Lee Min Ho in Faith yet? I thought City Hunter was my favorite drama, but I'm almost done with Faith and I can't decide which I like more! City Hunter and Faith are both shows I will re-watch. I'm still trying to convince my husband to join me for one of them, but I think I'm probably going to have to win a bet or something first to make that happen.

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    1. I have only seen the first episode and then got distracted, but I totally need to watch that next! The female lead kind of irritated me. Does she get better?

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    2. Yes, she definitely gets better. She's annoying during the first few episodes but her character changes for the better throughout.

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    3. Ok I'll hurry and finish Flower Boy Next Door so I can watch Faith again!

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    4. I should have Faith finished tomorrow. I think the ending will determine whether I like it more or less than City Hunter since I wasn't a huge fan of the City Hunter ending either. Lee Min Ho kicks some serious a** in Faith which is probably why I like it so much. It seems like he is made for action roles. But then again, he is just good in anything! So glad I found your blog!

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    5. Yeah, he is surprisingly good at action roles for being tall and skinny! Alright, I only have 1 episode left of FBND so I can start Faith tomorrow! Glad you like our blog :)

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    6. Just finished Faith. Loved it! One of my favorite Kdramas for sure.

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    7. Faith is my favorite kdrama! I watched it half a year ago and the ending still leaves me breathless.

      City Hunter was a huge disappointment for me--watched it after Faith. That ending was so terrible.

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    8. For a different point of view on the whiny start for the female lead in Faith, I found that to be a REAL strong point - the first time I can remember a time travel story of any genre showing someone behaving exactly how I'd expect them to if they were not only forcibly kidnapped but dragged back to what is effectively a completely alien environment from which they had no hope of return. If that happened to me, I sure as hell would be a whiny, nagging howly bag about it too! The fact that she changed as she acclimatised added to the credibility for me.

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    9. Stuart, I don't know if you saw Operation Proposal, but I really liked how they deal with the themes of the ramification of time travel, specifically around why people usually want to do it. I'm only about half done with the show, so it may all fall apart, but so far I really like how it's progressing.

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  6. Oh, kdrama fans and the men who love them! I haven't watched Faith yet, but I hear great things about it. I tried to trick my husband into watching kdramas with Iris, but even then, he only got through one episode before he couldn't take it anymore! I've resigned myself to watching alone or watching on my laptop while he watches violent Korean revenge movies on the iPad next to me...

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  7. I love this Blog. Lee Min Ho quickly became my favorite Korean male actor after City Hunter. I also agree that I didn't like him as much in Boys Over Flowers, but I might go back and watch it again due to my new found attraction for that man. I haven't watched Faith yet, but I think I will now after reading your opinions. And I love that you put Hey Girl sayings on his pictures. Perfect!

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    1. Thanks! Doesn't his face just beg to be put on Hey Girl memes? Such a cutie!

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  8. I completely agree... Loooved the drama, but i was too disappointed at its ending... it had no closure whatsoever :( I don't know if i'm being delusional but Im really hoping they do a second season... or a movie... I don't know but I need closure.. lol

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  9. I really am addicted to kdramas since I've watched Boys over flowers (I'm in to Lee Minho XD ) But infortunally here in Algeria they don't sell Korean dramas :/ Do u have any site where I can watch them clearly ? Thank u for ur hard work :)
    Daya

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    1. The only website I know of that streams abroad right now is Viki, but I don't know if they stream to Algeria. Hopefully they do so you can catch more kdramas!

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    2. Dramafever streams some here in NZ - more than Viki actually, which labels much Korean content "unavailable in your region"

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  10. After seeing lots of memes and other comments (in this case, your closing remark about passion, Viki, and subsequent comments here), I'm realizing I probably diverge from the majority on this point. As an example, I saw one meme that lamented "21 Reasons Korean Dramas Are Ridiculously Frustrating. | Everyone is so prudish." I actually love the physical restraint and think it adds more depth emotionally and thematically. That's one of the things that struck me most and galvanized my love for K-dramas on my first show, Playful Kiss.

    One of my favorite things about K-dramas is their more chaste approach than their Western counterparts. K-dramas are so endearing, to me, because they focus more on genuine affection and the more enduring pillars of love, e.g. selflessness, sacrifice, thinking of the other's needs and dreams before your own. I LOVE that about K-dramas because it's invaluable and so much scarcer in Western TV. To me, the love is so much more powerful when heart is placed center stage rather than the physical attraction.

    As for the other specifics on City Hunter, it is, so far, my least favorite -- but I don't mean "least" as any degree of dislike. It has a much greater focus on action than any of the others I've seen, which have tended to be mostly rom-com in nature. Definitely enjoyed the action, but my love affair with K-dramas is more about emotion, heart, and noble themes. Those are definitely present in City Hunter (which is part of why I like it), but they have to share time here more often with action. That part is fun, but isn't, of course, emotionally resonant.

    I watched this after BOF to see how Min Ho fared outside of the character I discovered him and got attached to in BOF. He's just as good here, and the rest of the cast is spot on, as well, and their characters are well crafted. The story is also smartly conceived and dressed up with the witty banter so typical of K-dramas.

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    1. For me, it's kind of a balance thing. I appreciate that kdramas are more chaste in general, especially since American shows and movies sometimes send the message "Get drunk and have sex with ANYONE," which isn't exactly a healthy approach to relationships.

      I do, however, like to see some manifestation of physical attraction. It's not THE most important part of a relationship, but it's still important, and having people kind of bump lips doesn't strike me as the ideal relationship, either.

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    2. Yeah, there is probably a suitable line in the middle that some K-dramas could safely venture closer toward. I certainly seem to be in the minority being satisfied with them erring on the side of the "lip bump" (unless that's suggested as being the limit of the couple's passion for each other), but as you say there's room for more than that while still preserving a wholesome tone.

      I'm satisfied as long as they come up with a resolution that reinforces strong, admirable themes, whether that means the guy and the girl get together or not. Granted, it is lovely to see them get together, though!!

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  11. Can someone hel me to understand the role of Lee Yoon Sung's mom? I've just been curious that she must have been quite a popular lady 28+ yrs ago? not only with Park Moo Yule, and Choi Eung Chan, perhaps also with Park Jun Pyo? While Moo Yule and Choi Eung Chan seemed to be endearing family men, they all fell for her! And Jun Pyo seemed VERY familiar with her. I think she seems to be the character of the characters-- whatever that means. I also wish they showed more on the relationship btw Choi. Eung Chan and Lee Yoon Sung.

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    1. It's been too long since I've seen it to try and help you out with that, but just wanted to say that I loved this actress in that role. So great to see her like that after her frightening, near-sociopath role in Brilliant Legacy (which she did great, btw).

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  12. Heya Coco, Vivi and all the lovely girls who love K-Drama and Lee Min Ho (as much as I do)! You might want to start adding "THE HEIRS" on your to watch list (it's already on its 4th Episode). :) ~xoxoKIX

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    1. We've been following it so far! It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

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  13. LOL this cat face at the end of city hunter! I was like this myself :
    http://consciouscat.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Grumpy-Cat-300x225.jpg

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  14. i Loved the drama and all the characters especially Lee Min Ho and his lead lady and everything but when i got to the ending i was so unsatisfied i felt something was missing and like everyone i assumed that Kim Na Na and Lee Yoon Sung are together living a happy life. long story short i LOVED the Drama, HATED the ending.

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  15. lee min ho was the very interested korean actor wll be attached t our heart how he acts especially the perfect match its very interesting and he showed his attitudes towards girls and we congratulated korea of how they are very nice to handle of how to attacked the responsed of the viewers it will be attacked our heart and it remains the stories until you were asleep its a very good stories all koreaN NOVELAS VERY GOOD MY PLEA ONLY PLEASE PROTECT THE LEE MIN HO HE WAS VERY EFFECTIVE IF THE STORIES WAS LIKE THAT AND THE INHIRITORS AND PERFECT MATCH PLEASE PRODUCTIONS AND WRITER ATTENTIONS HE WAS VERY ALWAYS EXCITED BUT THE FAITH AND CITY HUNTER I DONT HAVE TIME TO VIEW BECAUSE THERE ARE PLENTY OF ACTORS AND WE WANT ONLY ACTOR THE STORIES ONLY HIM AND THERE WAS ALSO A CONTRA ACTOR THANHS THIS IS FROM THE PHIL. AND WANTED TO SEE YOUR PACE THANKS VERY MUCH

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  16. Very good review...i too thought it lacked passion, but we Americans are so used to love scenes that when they aren't there, we feel deprived. In my view a love scene between two adults is more realistic than them refraining from any physical contact... Who does that these days?

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  17. The best drama ever!

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