Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quiz: Which Sungkyunkwan Scholar Is Your Ideal Match?

I'm in the middle of Sungkyunkwan Scandal right now (right around the point in the show where I'm throwing things at the TV and shouting "JUST TELL HIM YOU'RE A GIRL! AAAAAAAAAHLJSFDLJF;KSJHGHSDKGHSDKJHFLKSDH!"), and I am having some serious trouble deciding which cast member is my favorite.  That actually says something about how well-rounded this show is, but it's nice to know which character you're rooting for over all the others.  To save others from a similar predicament, I have composed a (ridiculous and completely unscientific) quiz to help you figure out which member of the Sungkuynkwan community is your ideal love match. For those who haven't seen the show, there is some spoiler-y stuff in the questions, but nothing that you couldn't guess pretty early into the series.


The rules: Just keep track of your answers and tally the number of times you answered A,B,C, or D.  Then, BEFORE you look at the results, vote in our poll. The results are underneath the poll.  NO CHEATING!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let's Get Pumped Up: KCON 2013!

It's that time of year when every Kpop and Kdrama fangirl and fan boy's dreams are about to come true at KCON 2013! KCON is a convention organized by the Korean network, Mnet, that will take place on August 24th-25th in Los Angeles. The convention features concerts from top Kpop artists, workshops and panels on Korean pop culture, fun contests, and artist engagements. This year, I am lucky enough to get to go and represent Kdrama Fighting! to the Kfan community.

Confession: I am much more of a Kdrama fangirl than a Kpop fangirl, so I am not well versed on Kpop groups. However, I figured that in order to be an informed reporter and an enthusiastic concert goer I better do my research. I just happen to be visiting ViVi this last week, so a couple days ago we were working on the blog and I started playing songs by EXO and f(x). I kind of didn't want to love Kpop, but as we sat there, we got sucked in! It's just so catchy! It shouldn't come as all that big of a surprise considering that I was American pop fangirl in the 90's. As we listened, I kept saying, "Oh no, no, no. I can't help it. I didn't expect I would like it. Now I'm going to be a Kpop fangirl!" I guess Kpop just sneaks up on you!

Monday, July 29, 2013

List of Smart, Strong Korean Drama Female Leads: Adding A Pinch of Brains to the Niceness

Ever since my Queen In Hyun's Man review, I've been thinking about the stereotypical "dumb-as-a-rock-but-nice" kdrama female lead.  I really, really liked the leads in that show, but I was infuriated that she kept calling herself stupid the whole time (and no, I don't think that his response of "You're not stupid; you just don't know anything" made things much better).

In many dramas, it's much worse.  The male lead often belittles the female lead for her stupidity, pushing on her forehead with his finger and saying things like "Do you just smash things with this rock?" or "I'm surprised you can even chew food with this useless lump."  (I don't know if those are actual kdrama insults, but they sound like real kdrama insults.  You're welcome to use them in any upcoming dramas, provided that Lee Min Ho is the one saying these lines.)

If a man did this to me, I would break his finger off.  And then do some calculus out of spite.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Korean Ice Cream Taste Test: Guest Post at DramaFever

It’s summer, it’s hot, and you’re watching your favorite K-drama on DramaFever. All of a sudden, the leading man buys the female lead ice cream to demonstrate his love, like in Lie To Me, or the leading lady shoves ice cream in the leading man’s face, like in Boys Over Flowers, or the main couple finally get together after all the turmoil and are now able to share ice cream as they cuddle, like in Coffee Prince. What better way to share in their experience than to go out and try some Korean ice cream for yourself?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not Quite Kdrama Magic: City Hall Review

City Hall was an interesting watch for me.  I went into the show with really, REALLY high expectations because every person who had ever mentioned it made it sound like it was the best thing that they had ever seen.

I have to be honest. It wasn't the best thing I had ever seen. (Cringes and waits for angry protests)

Now, don't get me wrong; there were some elements of the drama that were quite good, and I think if I had watched it earlier in my drama-watching career with lower expectations, I might have enjoyed it more.  That being said, I didn't quite feel that magic that I get with the best of the best dramas.  You know what I mean--the kind of magic that puts a permanent smile on your face and makes you want to start the whole series over the second it ends.  With City Hall, I was mostly engaged, but not mesmerized.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reliving My Adolescence, Korean Style: Answer Me 1997 (Reply 1997) Review

Reply 1997 Poster
As someone who came of age, myself, in the late 1990's/early 2000's, watching Answer Me 1997 (or Reply 1997) is like watching what my life would have been like had I been born in South Korea, and had my best guy friend been an incredibly attractive Asian man that just happened to be madly in love with me.

However, instead of fangirling over early Kpop bands like H.O.T., like the characters in Answer Me 1997, I was living out my awkward teenage life in America, attending N'SYNC concerts and learning the dance moves to all of Britney Spear's music videos. (I know for a fact that there exists a home video of me and my four best friends reenacting a Spice Girls music video at my best friend's birthday party, but I don't know where it is and probably should spare you the awkwardness anyway.)

But, I digress. I wrote this post to tell you that I loved watching Answer Me 1997, and give it my full recommendation as a great Kdrama for beginners and connoisseurs alike. It has a distinct vibe, different from the typical Korean romantic comedy plot and characters, which makes it feel fresh and unique. The characters are relatable and lovable, and the situations will likely remind you of your own adolescence.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Battle of the Time Travel: Queen In Hyun's Man Review

Sometimes you go on vacation to Europe and don't have time to watch any tv or even use the internet for almost three weeks.  Then sometimes you get sick on vacation and spend an entire day holed up in a hotel room groaning and sending your husband onto the subway to find a pharmacy while you stay wrapped up in blankets.  Can you guess which was my experience? (It was only a 24 hour thing.  I spent all of today wandering around and stuffing my face with gelato, so I'm pretty sure I'm fully recovered.)

The upside is that I FINALLY got to finish Queen In Hyun's Man (thanks to the awesome Viki website, which streams to Austria), which I started almost two months ago.  As I watched, I couldn't help but compare it to Rooftop Prince, which also came out in 2012, and which I previously reviewed here.  In my mind, reviewing this drama makes the most sense in comparison to Rooftop Prince.  While most reviews seem to clearly prefer one or the other, I think both had a lot going for them in different areas.
Which time travel drama won your heart?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kdrama Posters: The Message They Didn't Mean to Send

One of the reasons we wrote some of our recommendations posts is that it can be really difficult to sift through all of the dramas out there to find one you really love.  While I usually rely on reviews from bloggers who seem to match my tastes to help direct me to new dramas, I have to admit that I'm also really heavily swayed by advertising.  A great drama poster can push a show to the front of the line, while a ridiculous one can sometimes prevent me from starting something I might otherwise really enjoy.  Sometimes, the posters are so random or poorly planned that I have to wonder what advertising executive signed off on it in the first place.

With that in mind, here are some of my favorite random kdrama posters:

1. Shark

What it should be about: A man with some sort of brain injury is very sad, so a nice lady lets him drool on her breasts for comfort. Then she is also sad.  They are both very, very sad.

I have seen this picture popping up all over Pinterest, but I just can't get past this poster to give it a real chance. 

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