The last stop of our 5 Things 2nd anniversary stroll through the past year is all about the drama, K-drama that is. There was makjang, there was laughter, there were tears, there was love and there were ‘happily ever afters’–what more could a K-drama lover ask for? The biggest breakthrough in the realm of K-dramaland has got to be cable channel tvN. In the past year, they have proved to be a force to be reckoned with due to the release of dramas with masterfully crafted stories such as Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Queen In-hyun’s Man, and the record breaking Answer Me 1997. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the next year. The following are some of my favorite moments in K-drama for the past year, if you’re really behind in your K-drama watching, turn back now because spoilers will most definitely ensue.
Brain Diagrams in Joseon
The Moon That Embraces The Sun is about first love, politics, and the power of fate. It’s been mostly fun and young love so far in the drama, but next week’s episodes will turn the fairy tale ending of this week where the prince gets his princess into a Grimm tale. I did love this bit from episode three where Prince Lee Hwon‘s servant Hyun-sung tries to explain the thought process of Yeon-woo (the princess to be) to him– her knowledge of men is 70% her brother Yeom, 20% Prince Yang-myung her brother’s good friend, and 10% her brother’s other good friend Woon. Prince Hwon? He’s the tiny dot on the bottom, to which he gets angry and sends Hyung-sun to face the corner. Next week’s episodes will be the last for the younger cast of Yeo Jin-ku, Kim Yoo-jung, Lee Min-ho, Kim So-hyun, Siwan, Jin Ji-hee, and Lee Won-geun. While I can’t wait to see the story develop with the lead actors, I’ll miss these young actors who did a great job of setting up the story for us.
What’s Up worth the wait?
After only one episode it’s hard to say. The direction of the drama is a bit quirky, but I’ll still be watching if only to see scenes like this.
Finding Your Voice
In the K-drama What’s up?, Kim Byeong-gun (musical actor Jo Jeong-seok) finally conquers his fear of singing in front of an audience after receiving his hyung’s encouragement and Tae-hee (Kim Ji-won) recovers her singing ability when supported by the one she loves. What’s Up? isn’t a ‘bells and whistles’ kind of drama, but it’s a great slice-of-life type with a great cast exploring the trials of young adult life and ‘finding your voice’ in this world. If you’re not already watching you should give it a try.
Put Up or Shut Up
The day of the big contest between the two rival bands has finally come, so who was able to rock the house? The episode didn’t quite play out the way I hoped or expected, but it did show heart–of which this drama has a lot.
I have to say that I’m a big fan of all the Eye Candy boys– for being such raw talent, I think they’re doing admirable. Love INFINITE‘s L, if looks could freeze someone to death his definitely could . I’m also a big fan of Superstar K3‘s Kim Min-suk, he’s cute yet lethal and I love his accent. I’ve read that the producers loved him too and tweaked the character in the show just to fit him.
The Battle of the Premieres
Four new dramas premiered last week: SBS‘ new Monday-Tuesday drama Fashion King; and three new Wednesday-Thursday dramas KBS‘ Equator Man, MBC‘s The King 2 Hearts, and SBS‘ Rooftop Prince. I’ve watched the first two episodes of all the shows except Equator man and so far my favorite overall would have to be Ha Ji-won and Lee Seung-gi’s The King 2 Hearts because I think it delivered the best acting and story so far. Fashion King was kind of all over the place in story and acting, but I’m not giving up on it yet. I do have to say that Rooftop Prince comes in a close second, because although the storyline is kind of out there with all the time travelling and evil plots–it was hilarious. The boys that make up the time travelling heroes: Park Yoo-chun, Lee Min-ho, Choi Woo-shik and Jung Suk-won get an A+ for their acting as Joseon men being rudely introduced to modern South Korea.
Revolving door 1, Yong-sool 0
I’ve said before that the Joseon men in modern South Korea schtick would get old sooner or late in the drama Rooftop Prince. But I guess that time hasn’t come yet. The writers are doing a good job of integrating these little gems here and there in the storyline to keep the jokes fresh instead of boring. Here Jung Suk-won as Woo Yong-sool gets defeated trying to storm the building not by the two security guards at the entrance, but by its revolving doors.
Last week’s episodes of Protect the Boss were just too awesome beyond words. The Kdrama is great at letting these character be so real and not a cliché. The fight between Cha Ji-heon and his cousin Cha Mu-won after Ji-heon witnessed Mu-won‘s confession to Noh Eun-seol was just classic.
I seriously hope that Jaejoong doesn’t fight like that (was that supposed to be a bitch slap?) and the fact that the two were fighting like two prissy girls pushing and pulling hair? I died laughing. I really love how the show portrays the Cha family, like when Halmoni punishes them all for fighting and getting caught doing it by making them all eat dinner together. I find it hilarious yet heartwarming how Ji-heon, Mu-won, and even Na-yoon all look for and rely on Eun-seol so much, she’s like the dependable and fun best friend they all never had. I hope at the end of the drama that they’ll all be able to be friends (sorry, wearing my rose-colored drama watching glasses). I also really love the character Myung-ran, Eun-seol’s best friend, who supports her and understands her so well.
Chi-soo gets a 10
Jung Il-woo‘s Cha Chi-soo in the K-drama Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is a conflicted man/boy who can be both maturely sophisticated and a majorly spoiled child. But at the end of episode 10, Chi-soo is all man and gets a 10 out of 10.
Thank you for not being your typical K-drama lip smashing kiss, although I do feel a bit weird about him being her former high school student and my heart broke a little for Kang-hyuk.
The King 2 Hearts take you on a ride
A roller coaster ride of emotions–from the high of Prince Lee Jae-ha (Lee Seung-gi) and Kim Hang-ah‘s (Ha Ji-won) engagement to the depths of despair over the king and queen’s death. Most avid K-drama fans must have been anticipating the king’s death because if Lee Seung-gi is the lead in the drama and was always going to be prince, wouldn’t the title have been The Prince 2 Hearts? While there were so many good scenes between Lee Jae-ha and Kim Hang-ah, or with the king and queen before their death, it was a scene between the Princess Lee Jae-shin and her royal guard Eun Shi-kyung that made an impact this week in both character’s story lines. After challenging Shi-kyung to a race up the hill, Jae-shin explains that she wanted to see a shooting star to make a wish and insists Shi-kyung make one, too. When she correctly guesses that he wished for “World Peace,” she mocks him which sets him off on a rant that if it wasn’t for him and all the other soldiers that protected their country she wouldn’t be able to do what she loves which is sing. As a sign of remorse, she sings for him her newest song which speaks of protecting one’s first love.
I love this couple–they’re going to be a couple, right? Lee Yoon-ji is awesome as the free-spirited princess and I can’t believe how great Jo Jung-suk is as her uptight and honorable protector, although he was totally impressive as Kim Byung-gun in What’s Up?
Choosing a life together on Queen In-hyun’s Man? This kiss between Hee-jin and Boong-do, although not even their first, was so romantically sweet–and apparently solves the problem of having a tall boyfriend. I’m sure that this will be added to the list of great K-drama kisses; not sure if has gotten a name yet, but I’m thinking the “Tippy-toe Kiss” would be appropriate.
Boys will be Boys
Even if they’re forty years old. The bromance is perhaps that best part of A Gentleman’s Dignity and nothing is better than when the four friends are together on screen. Check out this clip where the men discuss such important matters as “who is the best member od SNSD?” What’s more hilarious than Yoon‘s reaction to meeting SNSD’s Sooyoung in person (especially after he was previously criticizing their conversation over such a mundane matter as the best member of SNSD), is his friends’ reaction to his fan boying– nothing like seeing one’s weaknesses up close and personal.
This Magistrate Kicks Ass
Undead ass, too. I’ve been a fan of Arang and the Magistrate since the start, the drama has been a pleasant surprise with it’s great storyline and acting. In this scene, Lee Jun-ki‘s character the magistrate Kim Eun-oh busts the grim reaper himself, played by Han Jung-soo, going through his things and what ensues is an impressive fight sequence which is choreographed to a powerful track by MC Sniper called “Mask Dance.”
Answer Me 1997
Although there was some hype about this coming of age mini drama on tVN it didn’t get much love at first, but when something is good word spreads. I actually watched the first two episodes when they came out, but it wasn’t easy to find and there were no subs, so I kind of put it on the back burner. Fast forward two weeks and I find that my fave K-drama recappers are recapping it and a legit K-drama channel is subbing it, but unfortunately the subs are coming out about a week late.
The story reflects on the life of Sung Shi-won (played by A Pink‘s Jung Eun-ji) whose whole life revolves around her love for H.O.T. and Tony An (who makes a guest appearance) in particular. Due to her devotion she barely has time for family, school and growing up. Her friends made up of best friend Mo Yoo-jung (Shin So-yool), top boy in school who she’s known all her life Yoon Yoon-jae (Seo In-gook), Yoon-jae‘s BFF and resident sensitive guy Kang Joon-hee (Infinite‘s Hoya), motor mouth Bang Sung-jae (Lee Shi-un), and the cool new guy Do Hak-chan (Eun Ji-won). The drama does remind me most of My So Called Life because of the angst, touching on taboo subjects, its great portrayal of an ordinary teenager’s life, and for showing real relationships with family and friends which isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but yelling and screaming and disappointments, too. The story flashes back and forth between 1997 and 2012, although mostly set in 1997. What works is that secrets are mentioned in the future, then it flashes back to the past to explain why things are the way they are, then it returns to the future to reveal the answers and pose more questions. I can’t wait for the last two episodes and really wish that it were a a full length drama. You definitely must check this one out–although I might suggest waiting for all the subs to come out first. Here’s a great little scene that shows when friendship changes to something more.
Seriously was this even a question?
Shi-won and Yoon-jae‘s kiss on the stairs after finally acknowledging their feelings for each other. I think I saw fireworks. And Shi-won giving Yoon-jae the cold medicine because she was now cured? Classic K-drama moment. Answer Me 1997 can you get any more wondrous? Well with two more episodes, I guess you could.
Those were the top moments in K-pop that I loved in the past year of 5 Things, were they yours?
(MBC, MBN, MBN, tvN, SBS, SBS, SBS, tvN, MBC, tvN, SBS, MBC, tvN, tvN)