I’m back again with another KDrama round up and review-ish thingy. I honestly don’t know what you want to call these posts as they aren’t exactly reviews and it isn’t exactly a discussion post, but what I’m really trying to do is raise awareness for KDrama and to get more people into watching them. Because…as I’ve recently discovered, they are really, really great. I thought at first that I would get annoyed about all the subtitle reading I would have to do, and at first it took some getting used to, but now I don’t even notice it to be honest.
And then there’s the other thing I’ve learned since the last time I blogged about KDrama. I just truly enjoy Korean television more than I do North American television. They cover topics I am more interested in, and I like the length of their shows. I can finish an entire plot line and show in about 2-3 days if I really want to. I don’t have to deal with it being dragged out over seasons and years, during which I most assuredly will lose interest.
There are also shows that would NEVER make it on the air here. One that I will be blogging about in this post, called Love O2O is all about gaming–a romance developed within a game, game development itself, etc. This show is Chinese and not Korean, but I’m including it in this post because it does have a similar structure as most KDramas, and it’s part of this experiment anyway.
Actually, I’m done calling this an experiment. It’s definitely been successful and it’s something I want to continue for the foreseeable future. I’ve found my favorite actor of all time (Jung Kyung Ho), and a new activity that I can enjoy that really keeps my depression at bay.
With that said, let’s blog about the shows!
Falling in love with Soon Jung (Beating Again, Falling For Innocence-2015)
Um…where to start. I was having trouble getting into a new drama after finishing Heartless City so I decided to just watch another drama with Jung Kyung Ho which turned out to be a fantastic decision. Usually I need a break between shows with the same actor so I can forget the role they were just in as the new one won’t be as convincing but that’s not an issue with JKH because he is fucking fantastic in anything he does. He does drama, emotion, and especially comedy, very well.
This show is stupidly angsty and has a ridiculously over the top villain, but the romance is very sweet and the chemistry is great. So even though it wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed it and I can honestly say this is a drama I will probably rewatch in the future because it gave me so many feels.
The ending was not resolved to my satisfaction, however. Things were just magically okay, and I wasn’t given an explanation as to how, exactly, that came to be. It was one monster plot hole at the end. Look, I’m ecstatic about the happy ending, but I just like to know how we got there. But…I’m more than likely watching this for the romance anyway, and that part was absolutely magical, so whatever. I don’t even care.
Love O2O (Just One Smile is Very Alluring-2016)
Oh boy. This drama. After watching a bunch of KDramas, switching to a Chinese drama took a bit of getting used to. Interestingly enough, I really loved listening to a drama in Mandarin. It sounded really odd to my ears because they are used to hearing Korean at this point, but I love following the pronunciations in the different names and surnames. I really want to attempt to learn an Asian language at some point and it definitely won’t be Mandarin. It sounds so difficult.
Okay, but back to the drama. I absolutely adored Love O2O. The show concept was simple and not very dramatic. I would call this one a quiet romance about gaming, and if that sounds like your thing, you will probably love this one. A good portion of the story takes place in a Chinese MMORPG called A Chinese Ghost Story. Wei Wei gets dumped by her in-game boyfriend and Xao Nai, the top player on their server asks her to couple up within the game after seeing her play her character in an internet cafe. Basically, it’s love at first sight for him and she has no idea he has seen who she is outside of the game. They do couple up though and eventually meet in person to discuss a video contest and then the romance gets going.
I loved this drama. There is secret pining, strong female friendship, game rivalry, etc. There are also a couple of side plots where Xao Nai attempts to develop the MMORPG sequel to A Chinese Ghost Story and he competes against another company. The manager is Wei Wei’s in-game ex boyfriend. Lots of testosterone going on there.
Love O2O is a show that would NEVER make it on the air in the USA, and though the kissing is terribly awkward until the very end, the romance is sweet and I swooned an awful lot. There are 30 episodes, which is a bit much in my opinion, but it’s definitely worth watching if you love romance. Oh, and if you love bromances which I am learning is a big thing in Asian dramas and something people actively seek out, you will find lots of that here.
Heartstrings (You’ve Fallen For Me-2011)
Heartstrings sort of has some bad reviews, and I honestly don’t get it. It’s true that the writing isn’t as strong as some other dramas that I have seen, but it’s such a great fucking musical. I was hesitant about trying this genre of KDrama, but I think this one was a good one to start with. Park Shin Hye is an amazing actress, though she can’t kiss (like at all), and I think the directors know it because there is very little kissing in this drama and I really wanted more.
The romance is sweet although it doesn’t really cover any new ground. Popular guy (Lee Shin, the lead singer of a band called The Stupid) finally notices traditional music student Lee Kyu Won when she challenges him to a competition (Western Music vs. Traditional Music). She loses because her gayageum busts a string, and has to be his slave for a determined amount of time. There is a lot of girl on girl hate in KDramas (almost always, that I’ve noticed) when the popular guy finally starts to show interest in the girl, but I’ve gotten past it. This KDrama is adorable.
Gyu Won falls for Lee Shin before he falls for her, and she ends up getting hurt. Eventually he wakes the fuck up, but by then she is mostly over the heartbreak so he has to make some grand gestures to get her back. It’s cute, it’s heartwarming, and if you are into romances, you’ll probably like it, cuz like I said, it’s got some great music. Plus, Jung Yong Hwa is pretttttyyyy hot.
I’m currently watching Missing 9 which is half over (this drama is currently airing), Rooftop Prince, and The Master’s Sun. Not sure how those last two are going to work out, but I need to give them more of a chance before I decide whether or not I will be finishing them. They are both very highly rated but so far are not clicking with me. I’m also planning on trying some feature films, so I might include those in these posts as well. So I’m not sure what I will have for you next time, but it should be coming soon as I am still all-in and enjoying KDramas A LOT.