Tag Archives: k dramas

Her Private Life (Korean Drama Review)

It has been a while since I reviewed a Korean drama! But if you’re looking for something to stream with all your free time…it is free on Viki. I’m giving it 4/5 stars. Solid, but not solid enough to get me to finish. 

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Her Private Life follows art curator Sung Deok Mi (played by Park Min Young, you might know her from What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, Healer, or even City Hunter) and her new boss, painter Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook, who I know as the guy who should have gotten the girl in Mary Stayed Out All Night). Sung Deok Mi acts mature at work, but she carries a secret: she is a huge fangirl of K pop celebrity Cha Shi An (Jung Je Won). And she will go to any lengths to keep her two worlds from colliding. Her new boss, Ryan Gold, also has an interest in Cha Shi An and keeps showing up to the same events. It won’t be long till he realizes her secret…

I love Park Min Young and I think this drama especially demonstrates the much healthier direction K dramas have taken in recent years. Instead of the typical dense schoolgirl with a heart of gold, the heroine of Her Private Life shows brains, ambition, and self-confidence. The main love interest acts with the traditional cold-heartlessness of a male lead, but quickly redeems the stereotype with some truly heartwarming acting and delightfully memorable scenes. And the secondary love interest is…ah…forgettable enough. So no secondary lead syndrome here. 

The plot clicks along at a strong pace until episode 9, which unfortunately displays the K Drama tendency to keep the couple apart with stupid misunderstandings. I stuck around for episode 10 and with the resolution of most of the plot…don’t feel inclined to watch another 6 episodes. I don’t care enough. 

But what I did see impressed me. Besides excellent acting, Her Private Life shines in two ways that don’t traditionally stick out to me: music and costumes. 

The choice of music is interesting mostly because of how often it is lacking. Particularly intense, romantic scenes that you would expect a sweeping score to accompany get acted out int total silence. At first it threw me. But I came to appreciate how much it makes the viewer hold their breath and just appreciate the tension and drama of the moment. 

The costumes are also delightful and very well coordinated between the main leads: lots of linen suits and loose fitting, professional clothing. It ties the main couple together almost from the start because their clothing matches so well. Only when the heroine goes crazy fangirl and wears her fangirl clothing do we see a change. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, which also features Park Min Young wearing a lot of professional, business clothing, does something similar except in that drama the heroine favors pencil skirts and silk blouses. (Also beautifully contrasted with how she initially dressed at the beginning of the drama.)

In conclusion, Her Private Life is artistically quite beautiful, very well acted, and far too long.  But if you don’t mind lots of scenes with the main couple being lovey-dovey while the side stories get wrapped up, I’d recommend giving it a shot. 


Crazy Rich Asians

“We should see Crazy Rich Asians!” said my friend. “It is just like your K Dramas!” 

I don’t know about just like, but I did really enjoy Crazy Rich Asians. It had much more depth than I expected. I loved the beautiful costumes, both serious and light-hearted plot, and amazing Asian cast. An immediate favorite! 

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Can’t Wait Wednesday

I love following kattiescottagebooks…I learn about so many different weekly spotlights (like Teaser Tuesdays) and now, Can’t Wait Wednesday! If you like reading about books, you should definitely follow her here.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

This was an easy pick for me. I can’t wait to read…

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Title: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publishing date: May 30th, 2017

Plot: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

 

KOREAN DRAMAS AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION.  It is the combination of two of my favorite things; I’m psyched. There is no way this book will live up to my expectations. It just isn’t possible. I also know this because the synopsis says, “where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten.” That is a blatant lie. Everyone knows that if the heroine is in her true love’s arms in episode ten, something horrible is going to happen because there are 6 more hours to go. HOWEVER, I’m super excited anyway. Hopefully this won’t be the next Girl Online


Stars Falling From the Sky

Two years ago, I put together a list of my favorite k dramas. The list is fairly out of date and I really should put together a new one soon. However, there is one drama on there that has stayed my favorite despite an influx of really excellent shows lately.  It is Stars Falling From the Sky. 

When a self-absorbed, 25-year old woman finds herself the sole guardian of five, adopted younger siblings, her world flips upside down. With no money and no place to live, she takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for her long term crush and hides the kids in his basement. Chaos ensues…

I rarely finish the k dramas I start, much less re-watch them, but I just finished watching this drama for the third time through. I found it as endearing as ever. This just might be my favorite drama. However, I do not think it is a drama most people will like. Filmed in 2010, it lacks the polish of more recent shows. The characters spend over half their time drinking or crying. The usual k drama stereotypes are all present, including the love triangle/square thing, and everyone is in a constant state of angst

Everyone, that is, except the heroine. She doesn’t have time for angst. She is trying to feed and house five siblings. Her character arc is incredible. I love her affection for her siblings. She isn’t the only one with that arc, though. Re-watching this drama, I was struck by the fact that for a “romantic” drama, the real love goes to the siblings. There is an interesting contract between the characters with siblings (even just one), and those who are only children. Maybe because it is so rare to find big families or sibling love as the focus of pop culture, this story line really appeals to me. 

The romance in this drama used to throw me off. Spoilers in this paragraph. The couple finally gets together in the second to last episode. In the last episode, the hero proposes…and gets turned down. This is not an uncommon move in k dramas. Usually the previously weak willed heroine then goes off for two years only to return within the last five minutes of the episode for an inconclusive reunion scene. (Thankfully this trend is less predominant in recent dramas.) However, the heroine in Stars Falling From the Sky is hardly weak willed. She doesn’t disappear. She is as determined as ever to provide for her siblings. In this sense, while the last episode is full of dramatic kidnappings and shocking discoveries, it provides a level of realism. Not everything becomes perfect because you’ve found a man and he proposes. In this last episode, we get to see the heroine standing on her own two feet while also learning to rely on the man who loves her. It isn’t Disney ending, but it is a satisfying one I appreciate more now that I am older. 

Like I said earlier, I don’t expect most people to enjoy this drama nearly as much as I do. However, it was a pleasant surprise to re-watch it and discover I like it even more than I remembered! 


Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Looking for a cute Korean drama? Look no farther than Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.

My sisters and I have been addicted to the drama since it first started airing and tonight we watched the last episode. Totally worth it. Though not quite as wonderful as Healer, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon definitely makes it on my Favorite Korean Dramas List. 

Do Bong Soon is a sweet, adorable girl who is secretly freakishly strong. Ahn Min Hyuk is a the CEO of a successful video game company and the recent target of several death threats. After seeing her in action, Ahn Min Hyuk hires Do Bong Soon to be his bodyguard. Shenanigans ensue. Throw in an angsty secondary lead, bumbling gangsters, and a murdering serial kidnapper, and you have a drama with a strange blend of romantic comedy, corny humor, and dark suspense.

The fact that these plot lines work together so well (aside from a few cheesy moments) is mostly due to the talent of the actors. Park Bo Young (who plays Do Bong Soon) and Park Hyung Sik (Ahn Min Hyuk) are both adorable. Though playing fairly well-worn roles (sweet poor girl/rich CEO), they bring new life to an exhausted trope. Seriously, I can’t think of any other other word for them collectively or apart than adorable and if you don’t agree, you haven’t seen the show. 

The supporting cast, however, are equally talented and creative in their roles. 

With only 16 episodes, this is one drama you won’t want to miss! Puppy Couple forever!

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon' Park Bo-yeong, Hyung Sik, Ji Soo's chemistry - http://asianpin.com/strong-woman-do-bong-soon-park-bo-yeong-hyung-sik-ji-soos-chemistry/:


A K Drama Evening (sort of)

Since I am in the middle of a couple different currently-airing Korean dramas, I decided yesterday to re-watch one. Alas, the process went something like this…

Me: I’m going to pick a favorite drama to re-watch! How hard can choosing one be? I really love Who Are YouI can re-watch that one.

Also me: But…I really love Master’s Sun, too. And Stars Falling From the Sky. And Healer. 

Me again: Why not finish one I started and stopped watching? I got too emotionally invested in I Hear Your Voice so I quit, but that was years ago. I could try that one again.

Me: If I’m going to finish a drama I got too involved in, I should finish Shut Up Flower Boy Band.

Also me: Or King 2 Hearts.

Me: *sobs internally* 

Me: Better not put myself through that. 

Me again: Start a new drama! How about the classic Shining Inheritance? Or I Am Sam. 

Also me: Finish one you quit! Finish High School King of Savvy! 

Me: Bethany hated that drama. 

Bethany: ….

Me: I’m going to go with Who Are You. There. Decision made! 

Me again: Which episode? 

Me:

Me: Obviously I’m not finding anything on DramaFever. Better check Viki. 

Repeat the above scene times 10. 

In the end, I didn’t watch anything! I went to bed. 

The struggle is real.


A House of Sleepyheads

Tonight is the last night we girls have the house to ourselves before the boys come back from their mission trip. Are we partying it up? Playing loud music? Eating more Korean? 

Not quite. In fact, it is not 6 o’clock and we are all ready for bed.

It is gray and cold and lousy out and inside we’re flopped out, ready to watch a k drama episode or two. And then off to bed! Hurray!