Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Demand a Recount (part 2): You Are Beautiful Review

Earlier, I wrote a post about one of my favorite dramas that the internet didn't seem to love.  Well, now it's time to visit the other end of the spectrum with You Are Beautiful (or You're Beautiful), which, apparently, everyone on the internet loved except for me. I went into this show with high hopes because I saw so many recommendations for it, but by the end, I kind of wished I hadn't wasted my time.  I know that my stance isn't popular, but bear with me for a few minutes, and I will try to prove that I'm not completely crazy.


Problem #1: Go Mi Nyu Is Not That Great

"Relationships confuse me. 
Then again, so do bookshelves.  And fire.  And glue."
I was excited when I watched the first episode of this drama because I liked the idea of the happy-go-lucky heroine who is innocent because she grew up in a nunnery.  As it turns out, Go Mi Nam/ Go Mi Nyu isn't just innocent: she's legitimately kind of dumb. Yes, she's a nice person, but she tries to spit on a fire to put it out.  I think this is meant to make her endearing.  I was not very endeared.

Even if she weren't smart, I could have handled it if she were upbeat and cool in other ways.  Unfortunately, that happy-go-lucky nun turns into a pathetic, teary puppy within a couple of episodes, leaving me with the question, "ALL of the men are in love with her?  Really?"

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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My #1 Kdrama Love: Coffee Prince Review

Photo Source
My all time favorite kdrama is Coffee Prince. When I merely glimpse a meme from it on Pinterest, I get a major urge to watch all 17 hours all over again despite the fact that it's only been a month since the last marathon. It was only my second kdrama, but it will always be My #1 Kdrama Love! I truly believe that anyone who gives this drama a real shot will fall in love with it. As evidence of this fact, I recently was temporally living with one of our other best friends and her husband and I made them watch Coffee Prince as their first exposure to kdramas. We collectively got addicted to the point where one night we were out with a group of friends and her husband turned and whispered, "I just want to get home so we can watch Coffee Prince," so the three of us bailed! 

Main Plot Summary: A spunky, androgynous looking girl, who is the head of her family, has a run-in with an immature but attractive heir of a family company. He thinks that she is a boy, and she lets him believe that in order to be able to get a job at the coffee house his grandmother demands he take on. They gradually fall in love, but he is incredibly torn because he thinks she is a guy and he doesn't want to be gay, but he can't resist her. An emotional roller coaster ensues.    

Here is a list of reasons you should watch Coffee Prince immediately:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

K-drama Music Awards: Let Your Voices Be Heard!

Let's talk about Korean drama soundtracks for a second.  Every single series has about 5 songs (upbeat cheerful song, sad crying/reminiscing song, mellow in love song, love triangle song, etc.) that get repeated over and over in every single episode whenever a certain emotion arises.  These songs all tend to blend together after a while, but every once in a while, a song will stick with you.  We thought it would be nice to celebrate some of the best and worst songs in our k-drama watching experience, and we want YOUR votes!  The polls will be open until February 27, and then we will announce the winners. Even if you haven't seen these dramas, you can watch the links before making a decision. If we held a red carpet event, do you think Taecyeon would show up? One can only hope, right?

And the nominees are...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

K-drama Valentine's Day Gift-Giving Guide

It's Valentine's Day again--that time of year to celebrate the special someone in your life.  Now, one of the most stressful parts of this holiday can be choosing just what to give to the one you love. Worry no longer!  We're here to help you navigate this treacherous season with our k-drama wisdom.  Korean dramas are filled with a wide range of gift ideas that you can copy, but some of them are more successful than others.  So, if you've ever purchased a star necklace that you wanted to use as a heavy-handed symbol of your relationship but weren't sure if it was the right move (Answer: If the words "I encircle you so that you can NEVER leave me" leave your lips, it was probably the wrong move), this gift-giving guide is the place for you!

K-Drama Gift-Giving Countdown

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kdrama Bingo!

So Vivi and I have been best friends for 10 years, but because I recently moved across the country it's been harder to spend time together. One thing that will never change is our mutual love of kdrama, which has has the power to bring all people of every race, religion, and nationality together! And what better way to watch kdramas together than to make a game out of it that we can play anytime, anywhere? As we've watched kdramas we've noticed that there are several key plot points that every show seems to have. Often ridiculous, but always endearing, they can easily be made into Kdrama Bingo! You will find two Kdrama Bingo boards below that you can print out and play with your best friend. Start from the beginning of the drama and see who can get bingo first. Maybe loser has to buy winner a ticket to Seoul, or maybe just Korean food. Enjoy, and let us know how it goes!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kdrama Hollywood Lookalikes

You know that feeling when you're watching a movie, and you suddenly know that actor reminds you of someone, but you just can't figure out who it is?  I have that feeling all the time while watching Korean dramas.  Sometimes they remind me of my second grade crush or my old piano teacher, but sometimes the actors look like a Korean version of actors in Hollywood movies. Because I'm so nice, I'm going to share my discoveries with you.  For some of them, I might save you the trouble of having to google "so-and-so looks like..." in hopes of resolving the unsettling feeling that you've seen that face before.  For others, I might be the only person on the planet who sees the similarity, but I will defend these connections to the death.

Without further ado...Kdrama Hollywood Lookalikes!

So much brooding and cheekbones going on in these photos.
All kdrama photos are screenshots; RPats photo source

1. Jae-joong (Protect the Boss) and Robert Pattinson

Interestingly enough, I'm not the first person to make this comparison.  Apparently, an Italian magazine did a "which one is hotter" segment comparing these two, which seems redundant because they basically look the same to me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Demand a Recount! Protect the Boss Review

When I first started watching Korean dramas, I felt a little bit overwhelmed by all of the options on Netflix (click here for our current list of kdramas on Netflix) and Hulu Plus.  Since watching a full series is such a time commitment, I didn't want to waste my time on unsatisfactory dramas.  Internet to the rescue!  I quickly found myself googling things like "Best Korean dramas" or "Korean dramas like (insert whatever I watched most recently)."  While this method has been pretty successful so far, I have to admit that there are a few instances where I think the internet consensus got it wrong.  Not just kind of wrong, but I-think-I-have-been-transported-to-an-alternate-universe-filled-with-lying-robots wrong.  It's the same kind of feeling I get when people say that they don't like chocolate, or when Bradley Cooper was People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" (with that smug face?  How is this possible?).

So today, I'm bringing the jury back in on one drama where the internet got it wrong. I'm completely biased here, but I'm going to do my best to sway you anyway.

The Best: Protect the Boss

Protect the Boss might very well be my favorite Korean drama of all time.  Yes, it is the story of a rich, grumpy, emotional man-child who falls in love with a sassy poor girl, so I get the complaints that it's the same old cliche we've seen a million times.  But this drama tweaks the formula just enough that I thoroughly enjoyed every single cliche-riddled minute. Here's my case for the defense (VERY mild spoilers below):

Monday, February 4, 2013

Meet Vivi: More Die Hard than Twilight

I'm one of those people who is offended by Coco's comparison to Twilightbut I can see what she's saying.  It's not like any of us reeeeeeeeally believe that these kdramas are anything but complete and utter gooey fluff--the s'mores of romcom-dom, one might say.  The thing is, aside from the one Twilight movie that Coco forced me to watch, I couldn't ever bring myself to read any of the books or watch any of the movies in the series.  Too sappy!  Poor writing!  Encourages unhealthy, co-dependent, emotionally abusive relationships for young women!

So how did someone who would much rather see things blow up than read about vampires in love end up on this blog?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Korean Drama is the New Twilight: Intro to CoCo

I know I may offend some kdrama fans who are not Twilight fans, but it's true. We all know that Twilight was a romantic drama phenomenon that took the women of the world by storm with it's inexplainable appeal. Perhaps it was the simpleness of the love story and the drama of first love that drew us in, but we couldn't stop reading and watching once we were hooked. With the number of international fans growing quickly, Korean dramas are on this same path towards global popularity.

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