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The current drama landscape: An overview

It seems we suddenly have a ton of new dramas out, and I was starting to feel a bit lost. So here’s a brief overview of the dramas currently airing, some of which I’m following regularly and some that I haven’t committed to sticking with yet.

For the series I plan to keep watching, I’ll probably follow up with more in-depth posts, but for now I’m taking a general, overall look at the current lineup. (The two dramas pictured above, Kingdom of Wind and The Painter of Wind, are probably the two best series airing currently, but for different reasons.)

SONG OF THE DAY

Sorri – “Because of You” [ Download ]

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But let’s do this chronologically, shall we?

MONDAY-TUESDAY DRAMAS

Ratings-wise, East of Eden is winning Mondays and Tuesdays, clobbering the romance Love & Marriage and taking a comfortable lead over Tazza (although it had a considerable advantage over Tazza in starting several weeks earlier).

East of Eden (MBC)

When I watched the first episode of East of Eden, I thought it sucked. It was alternately melodramatic and interminably boring. (The boring/melodramatic dichotomy continues in following episodes, but while it’s to a lesser degree in latter installments, Episode 1 was almost painfully dull.) But now that I’ve seen the first six episodes, I find that I don’t hate East of Eden. In fact, there are some parts I find downright compelling.

Audiences are enjoying the grand melodrama that characterizes Eden, and being able to watch the gorgeous sculpted features of Song Seung-heon after such a long time away from television can’t hurt, either. But imo, while Song certainly has a pretty face, his presence is not the draw; the early success of Eden owes a huuuuge debt to the young Kim Bum, establishing the character of young Dong-chul (later played by Song).

The first five episodes take place in Dong-chul’s childhood and adolescence, and Kim Bum positively carries the entire show on his young, untried shoulders. He’s fierce, vulnerable, loving, desperate, and scrappy all at once. He emotes with his whole body, and conveys the character so thoroughly that it’s hard not to feel for him. What a long way he’s come from being the goofy little kid on High Kick to being so dynamic here, on the cusp of manhood. And then Song Seung-heon showed up and I got bored. (Issues of acting talent aside, Song just doesn’t embody the same intensity as Kim Bum; he doesn’t dig deep and invest himself as wholly. I always feel like he starts his work on top of a base veneer of vanity.)

Unfortunately, despite having some heart-tugging moments, the biggest irritant for me is that Eden gets damn repetitive. The scene that brings you to tears the first time might wring out a tear or two the second time around, but the third, fourth, fifth… When you’re basically putting forth slightly altered iterations of the same scene over and over and over, it gets tiring. And since most of these scenes are the tearjerker scenes, it also starts feeling emotionally manipulative. The acting is good, but there are only so many ways you can say the same thing. And there is So. Much. Damn. Crying. To be fair, I cried along with the characters — to a point. After a while, you’re like, “This again?”

Verdict: This is a show I might have continued to follow if it were on TV every day and I left the program on in the background while I did the dishes. Or I might have continued it if it were a short, concise miniseries wrapping up at 16 episodes. I might’ve also continued had Kim Bum somehow stayed longer. But I find that despite the aspects I did like, I don’t have it in me to stick out this kind of overwrought, tearjerking, grandiose drama for 50 episodes, especially when I find Song Seung-heon’s Dong-chul only a fraction as compelling as Kim Bum’s.

 

Love & Marriage (KBS)

Since I’m recapping Love & Marriage, I won’t go into too much detail now. Suffice to say that this drama rides on the charm of Kim Min-hee, the looks of Kim Ji-hoon, and the hilarious, offbeat scenarios engineered by Goong scriptwriter In Eun-ah.

Love & Marriage isn’t reinventing the romantic-comedy wheel, and thus far there’s not a lot to get emotional about — but it’s a sleeper surprise (at least for me), displaying an effervescent, flirty charm that appeals to those of us who like our dramas speedy, fun, and laugh-inducing.

Verdict: Oh, you know I dig it.

 

Tazza (SBS)

Tazza is less intense than I’d thought it would be, showing off a glib slickness exemplified by Jang Hyuk‘s freewheeling character. I think Jang is perfect for these rascally guys he is starting to get typecast playing, but since he fits the bill, it’s for good enough reason.

Han Ye-seul does better with extreme or exaggerated characters; she’s not exactly a nuanced actress. But she’s been gradually improving (she was almost unwatchable in the Nonstop series), and although I don’t think her rise in visibility after Fantasy Couple was because of skilled acting, it was because she carried off the outrageous character with an endearing panache. Here, her Nan-sook is a feisty character with a heavy rural accent, which lends itself to better to Han’s strengths because I find her most watchable when she’s being a little left of center (I tend to cringe when she’s playing a scene “straight”).

There’s also something really cute about the way the childhood love between Nan-sook and Jang Hyuk’s Go-ni is expressed. They’ve done a fair job of establishing them as friends as children, and the years spent apart until their reunion in their late teens have only made their hearts grow fonder. Their relationship dynamic fits every first-love cliché — as well as the good-girl, bad-boy cliché — but it still makes me smile.

Plus, in its first few episodes, Tazza also showcases some early-’90s fashions, MC Hammer and New Kids On the Block, and a nightclub dance-off. Kitsch city!

Oh yeah, and there’s also that “my best friend tried to save his family and ended up ruining mine” angle they’ve got going, too.

Verdict: Still not convinced either way. Will keep a tentative eye on the series, enjoying it while I can and dropping it if my interest wanes.

 
WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY DRAMAS

But Wednesday-Thursday is when things really get good.

I think Beethoven Virus is at a slight handicap (quality-wise), because it’s up against two excellent series. This doesn’t mean Beethoven is bad; it’s just that the two others are superior to everything else right now.

But on the upside, Beethoven Virus is winning the ratings battle, even if it’s not by a huge stretch. Beethoven is creeping up in the mid- to upper teens, Kingdom of the Wind is in mid-teen territory, and The Painter of Wind — which premiered the latest and has aired the fewest episodes — got off to a 12% start.

Beethoven Virus (MBC)

I’ve been behind on this series, and based on early reports of hate from some people, I was pre-emptively feeling disappointed. But I’m glad I watched the series for myself, because I’m really enjoying this drama. At least, I’ve really liked the first three episodes. Perhaps it helped that I didn’t have many expectations going in.

Like Sevenses said, Beethoven Virus can get a little predictable, but there’s enough about the series that feels fresh that I don’t mind a little plot predictability. And by “fresh” I don’t mean wildly ingenious — that’s rare for broadcast television in any form — but rather that it incorporates a stylish flair that I appreciate. Kind of how My Sweet Seoul wasn’t exactly a breakthrough novelty, but set itself apart with its atmosphere. The director makes occasional use of jump cuts and composite shots that I dig — they add a stylized feel and a jolt of energy to the scenes. And I love the classical music featured, although I wish they’d actually do more with the classical-music theme.

Kim Myung-min, coming off a career high with White Tower, is again the intense, commanding actor we’ve come to expect of him. What I LOVE about his portrayal of Maestro Kang is in how he makes him rude — borderline socially defunct — but also relatable. His character says some truly boorish things sometimes — not necessarily false, but cruel in spirit and in tone — but Kim’s genius is in making his extreme snobbery and contempt for people stem from a place of wild, nearly debilitating insecurity. The instant we connect with his Salieri complex — Maestro Kang hates geniuses, because he was overshadowed by one — his character opens up to all these wonderful, lovely and ugly complex shades. Vintage Kim Myung-min.

Y’all may know how I was sorely disappointed with Jang Geun-seok since his performance in Hong Gil Dong, but I’m so pleased that I like him 100% more as trumpeter genius Gun-woo. Maybe even more than 100% better. He is the Mozart to Maestro’s Salieri (the second Mozart in his life, actually), and Gun-woo’s own initial detachment and disinterest also mask an inner longing. But since he’s the genius, the natural who doesn’t have to try as hard as Kang, Gun-woo is the perfect foil for Maestro Kang, his complete antithesis.

Lee Jia‘s acting — yes, a little exaggeratey — doesn’t bother me (yet?). Note: what DOES bother me is how her fake violin playing is atrocious. Really, really fake. To be fair, the other “musicians” are also pretty fakey, but string instruments are particularly difficult — more so than wind instruments, for instance — to feign skill in faux-playing.

Verdict: Me likey so far. Now I’ve got to catch up on all the great recaps!

 

Kingdom of the Wind (KBS)

Gorgeous and epic.

Although Kingdom of the Wind and The Painter of Wind share some similarities (both are Wed.-Thurs. dramas, both are sageuks, and both titles bear the word “wind”), they’re not really similar at all, content-wise. While both are shot in a beautifully cinematic way, Kingdom is a war epic/conspiracy thriller, while Painter is period romance. It’s almost too bad they share the same timeslot, even if audiences these days can easily partake of dramas via the internet.

Kingdom of the Wind is characterized by a beautiful score, sprawling battle scenes, and lots of political intrigue, for those of you who like your historical dramas chock-full of conspiracies and assassination plots. It’s well-acted, beautifully lit, and well-directed. There are hints of a dark fantasy-like element, but from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t take it far enough to call the series fantasy — unlike, say, Legend, which was much more a hybrid fantasy-historical.

Verdict: I am duly impressed, but I won’t be recapping this. It’s a series that deserves attention, though, so if anybody feels a desire to recap the series, I hereby offer up my webspace here. Takers?

 

The Painter of Wind (SBS)

On the other hand, The Painter of Wind shows off an entirely different artistic sensibility in its delicacy. While Kingdom of the Wind is dark, Painter is picturesque, and finds itself in its details — the close shots of the moving paintbrush, the lingering look in a character’s eyes. It also boasts a lovely background score and a director who uses it to its best effect.

I wouldn’t be too quick to call Moon Geun-young revelatory in her performance as a woman masquerading as a man in order to receive art training — not yet — but I think we can expect good things from her as this series progresses. Like Yoon Eun-hye before her, she is almost too pretty to pass off as male, but actually does a credible job with mannerisms, line delivery, and deepened voice (especially considering how much more high-pitched her normal speaking voice is).

The thing that sets The Painter of Wind apart from most sageuks is that it doesn’t (appear to) have a political focus. While the court and politics are featured, the main plot of Painter isn’t dictated by power (comma, the acquisition of). It’s a character and relationship study.

Based on the first two episodes, it looks like the series is going to start off lighthearted — Episode 1 was surprisingly upbeat and funnier than I’d expected. I am guessing the series will progress into more emotionally fraught territory as we delve into these characters. Park Shin-yang lays out the development of the relationship that will flower between master and student in the opening voiceover, saying, “She was my student… my teacher… my friend… and my beloved.”

Verdict: Same deal as Kingdom. I plan to watch, but won’t be recapping. But if you feel up to the task, I’d be happy to give someone else a stab at it.

 
…AND THE REST

Scale of Providence is SBS’s new Friday drama. Centered around the world of lawyers and judges (the “scales” in the title refer to the scales of justice), it looks to be shaping up into a legal thriller and relationship drama. It may require more watching to get into, but I found the first episode on the boring side.

As for weekend fare, MBC offers Moon Sori‘s (Legend) fifty-episode drama Golden Years of My Life along with My Woman as its Saturday-Sunday shows.

KBS has two long-running successes with Angry Mom and the historical Great King Sejong (well, Sejong isn’t a ratings bonanza, but it’s holding steady, while Mom continues to do extremely well in the 30%-40% range).

And SBS, in addition to its long-running hit First Wives Club, brings Yoon So-yi (Goodbye Solo) and Lee Jin-wook (Rivals) together in another fifty-episoder that unfolds around romance, career, and marriage.

 
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OK, I'll admit it. I'm disappointed you're not planning on recapping Painter, but I understand it's a lot of work, etc, etc, and as a non-Korean speaker I'll have to resign myself to waiting patiently for a team to start subbing it. (Must be patient, must be patient. Must not be pushy and demanding.)

I WILL say, though, that I absolutely loved what I saw of the first two episodes, the basic plot of which was pretty well covered by some generous souls over at soompi, and that if anybody else does decide to recap it they'd have my eternal (or at least heartfelt) appreciation.

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i dont agree with your analysis of east of eden. i m addicted to this drama.

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whoa! thanks for summarizing all the dramas on right now. I remember I used to pay attention to dramas that have different timeslots, but nowadays I keep hearing about dramas sharing the same timeslot and ratings being split among 2 or 3 dramas. Not that this is anything new, but it's just something I've only become aware of this year. I've been curious about the other dramas playing and if they are good. And i love that beethoven virus pic you have.

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I agree with your analysis of East of Eden. I'm still watching it, but I am not as enthralled as I was before Kim Bum left. He did a really good job (all of the child actors did) and Song just falls short in comparison. It's really a pity. The crying scenes do not affect me at all, sadly enough. In fact, I cannot really understand it when Song keeps yelling "Dong-wook!" over and over again via the phone. Over done much?

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I'm currently following East of Eden, Beethoven virus and Painter of the wind!

Aaww, I thought you'll do a recap of Painter of the wind. Anyway, I agree with on, the first 2 episodes of Painter of the wind were awesome. I really enjoyed Moon Geun-young and I thought she acted way better than Yoon Eun-hye ! I hated Coffee Prince =.=.
I'm not that hooked to Beethoven Virus like East of Eden and Painter of the wind , but it's still enjoyable to watch. Haha I'm like really addicted to East of Eden and Painter of the wind!

Yeah, so many good dramas these days. ^_^

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I think you are spot on! Of course preferences differ, but yours are aligned with mine. I'm a little sageuk-ed out, so I won't be watching the two although I agree they deserve attention. For the time being, I'm just watching LM (I'm shallow and like things quick and funny). And I just realized how many dramas are out right now. Amazing really.

Btw, I really did this drama landscape feature! It saves me a lot of time digging for info and such. Thank you!

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Hope there will be takers for Kingdom and Painters...
Among the modern dramas, I was initially looking forward to Beethoven but am not hearing good reviews about it. So guess I'll have to wait for the subs...
Am not sure if I could endure 50 episodes of East of Eden as a modern drama.
I'd rather watch historical dramas :)

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I'm currently watchin eden and kingdom of wind! But i'm kinda givin up on eden now, i think wat drew me 2 the drama in the first place is off all the a listers but the plot is nothin of the originary (2 be truthful i find it kinda borin at some parts) It's one of those drama that like skip....skip.... oh good part.....skip....
Kingdom of the wind on the other hand drew me in! At first i thought i've had enough of all the sageuks but then i hav 2 at less give it a try and i waz hooked right away!! I don't understand y the ratin stayed the same, this is a reallyy good drama!

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I have to say I find Love Marriage incredibly tedious and had to force myself to watch the first three episodes (I wanted to give it a real chance before kicking it out of my car and high tailing it out of there).
I can't help but think "I've seen all this before...more than once". I think you succeed when you can birth something new out of an old plot and this drama didn't do that for me.

Kingdom of the Wind really appeals to me so I will be checking that out as soon as possible. Something about it reminds me of "Legend", whose story I absolutely loved but whose main characters I found uninteresting and one toned.
I have a feeling i'm going to love it.

Thanks for the reviews!

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"nowadays I keep hearing about dramas sharing the same timeslot and ratings being split among 2 or 3 dramas"

It's especially frustrating this year because it seems like NOW the Really Good Stuff are airing now. Both KotW and PotW deserve 20+ ratings, and I think both shows probably would earn them were they aired at different times in the year.

In 1-2 months, we're going to get Binnie/Song Hye Kyo's World That They Live In and So Ji Sub's Dr. Stop competing in the Eden time slot, aka "Song Seung Heun, you will always be oppa/hyun #1 to me, but MY show is going to take you down!!"

"There are hints of a dark fantasy-like element, but from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t take it far enough to call the series fantasy — unlike, say, Legend, which was much more a hybrid fantasy-hist [Read more]

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I'm hoping Dahnee Fanel might consider re-capping Painter of the Wind since I really like her writing style. And thanks for the overview Dramabeans! I wasn't planning on watching Kingdom of the Wind. But it sounds really interesting from your description, am giving it a try.

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I have read many different opinions on East of Eden to help me decide whether I should undergo the arduous 50 episode marathon, but it has ultimately been your thoughts Javabeans, that has been the decisive factor for me. Six episode of non-stop crying is certainly not my cup of tea and even though I have heard it does get better, I prefer not to utilize the fast forward button just to make it through the rain (full of tears!). Thank you.

Also, good to know you have relatively positive thoughts regarding Tazza, BV, KotW and PotW, all of which I intend to watch.

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belleza, sorry I didn't respond to your last comment. I do like reading your thoughts. Going by your words, I'll have to start watching KotW sooner than I planned on. ;)

One of the main problems I have in giving East of Eden another chance is Dennis Oh. Sorry, but I vow to never, ever give serious consideration to any production dumb enough to let him act. It's harsh of me to say, but nothing will ever change my stance on that matter.

Great overview dramabeans!

I was looking forward to Beethoven Virus solely for Kim Myung Min, but talk about a letdown. Maybe he set the bar too high for the rest of his career with White Tower, but it's not like I can't enjoy lighter, fluffier work from him. I loved his drama Bad Family. In BV, Kim Myung Min is the only saving grace in an otherwis [Read more]

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i am really loving your site.

i don't have time to really watch all the k-dramas that are available to me and your reviews are really spot on.

i watch the ones i like based on your reviews. there are times that you might not like the series but since you do tell us what the good and the bad points are, it's easier for me to decide for myself if i should try it or not...

thanks a lot.

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Your opinions about the current crop of shows pretty much mirror mine, except for Love and Marriage which doesn't interest me because none of the actors appeal to me.

Your comments about Painter of the Wind sound intriguing though, so I'll definitely check it out.

Thanks a bunch.

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Great write-up! :D

I am currently in drama heaven. This year's been rather abysmal in terms of quality (at least for me), so it's awesome to get so many I like all at the same time. Scales of Providence (LOVE the heavy themes), Kingdom of the Wind (mucho fun), Painter of the Wind (LOVED the absolutely gorgeous first two episodes)...*happy sigh* Does this signify a change for the better this year, I wonder?

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I agree with your analysis of East of Eden that it sort of gets out of a gripping turn when Kim Bum left, the kid just really portrayed chaos and intensity so well, without being overbearing with it. He's one great actor, and I hope to see more of his performances.
I do like the flashes of what EoE is trying to be, with the story of injustice and everyone being used/playing their roles in this world.

To Song's credit he improves later on especially when he comes back as a dark man again and channels the old Dong Chul.

If there's one thing that can redeem this piece, watch it for Lee Da Hae who, I think at this early stage is giving the performance of her career.

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East of eden just keeps getting better and better.

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"One of the main problems I have in giving East of Eden another chance is Dennis Oh. ."

Dennis's problem is that he gets very, very little actual direction for his line readings on K-dramas. It's just really obvious, because most models who do soaps, won't miss on tone as much as much as he does. BUT, for a Korean audience, they may not be able to tell. Maybe. ;) It's the same with all the English spoken in Macao.

"the kid just really portrayed mayhem and intensity so well, without being overbearing with it."

Also, at that point in the drama, the story seriously tightens up into a strong thriller-style story. It's the only part so far where episode goes way to wall with stuff that engages the audience.

Really, East of Eden is at its best when conveying hatred. The more hate, [Read more]

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thank you! quick overviews help me catch a glimpse of whats going on.

random question: do you know if clubbox is reported to have problems with vista?

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no!!! i really enjoy your recaps and was so hoping you could do painter of the wind. hopefully, there is someone who volunteers since i really enjoyed the first episode but didn't quite understand a few things in the plot.

i totally agree with your assessment of the above dramas (apparently mom's angry just ended, and lee tae ran is coming out in its replacement with kim sung soo, ji hyun woo, etc...the cast is good, but i usually can't follow these dramas).
everyone calls east of eden a mix between sandglass and all in, which i totally see. even with the huge scale and beautiful cast, the whole thing just seems awkward, though, because the little details are overlooked in each scene. it seems like the director isn't giving enough "direction" to the actors. song seung hun isn't ba [Read more]

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I don't watch any of them, subbed or otherwise. I just enjoy reading your recaps. You should write screen plays!

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East of Eden wasn't that interesting to begin with, but the later episodes have now gotten really interesting! Esp. ep 10. There's a lot of drama between Ji Hyun and Myun Hoon.

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Kim Bum did a great job, but the child actors are the ones that left really good impression on me. They're simply amazing considering how young they are.

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Thank you Javabeans, great reviews.

So many good dramas this time, why didn't they come out earlier?
I dont have time to follow them all, right now I just enjoy light-hearted LoveMarriage. I'm not fond of EOE, 50 Ep. of modern drama, such a pain. But for the rest, I'll manage to watch them later, esp. PotW, look so beautiful.
Btw, I always follow your comments to spot on good dramas, and you've never failed me. Really appreciate, esp. Soulmate and Flowers for my life (which is also a reason why I watch LoveMarriage, because of Eun-Tak sshi).

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Tazza: I like it very much based on the first three episodes. Great camera work, excellent musical score, good performances so far from Jang Hyuk and Kim Min Joon (yes, I am a huge Jang Hyuk fan; I admit that!! ;))

EOE: Watched 6 episodes. Didn't feel involved. Everyone is overacting. Nonstop screaming and crying is not good acting. It made me feel very uninvolved. Also they took WAAAAAAY too long to set up the story. Come on: 5 episodes and we are still in flashbacks and none of the principal leads has shown his or her face???

SSH has a nice bod, but his acting is only so-so...so far. But I have to disagree on the "younger" Dong-chul. He didn't draw me in; I think I can blame part of that on the direction because he was way too overwrought most of the time. As to Dennis Oh, all I ca [Read more]

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Yes, these dramas do seem to be looking up. I agree with many, and I actually like Love and Marriage, and Beethoven Virus as well, more so Beethoven Virus, because Kang is hilarious (as is Kang from Love & Marriage). Those two characters are awesome. Anyway, I am looking forward to Painter and the Wind. I had totally forgot it premiers this month. ~BOING~ I am so going to watch it, if only, if only a team can sub it. If not I might still just watch it.

~*Tricia*~

P.S. MC hammer pants rock, lol.

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I recommended to another blogger I read that she recap Kingdom of the Wind here and it brought up couple of questions. I don't know if she's really interested, but I'm still curious, so I thought I'd ask... Are you only looking for someone who understands Korean or would you consider someone who had to wait for subs to recap? As a reader, I wouldn't mind waiting for recaps. This whole thing has also made me curious about how many Dramabeans readers understand Korean vs how many don't, and other demographics, like nationality and age.

@Muffin: I do that too! I really enjoyed reading the recaps for Hong Gil Dong and Love & Marraige, but I don't think I'm going to actually watch them.

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PotW, I only watched one episode and I think it is WORTH THE HYPE. Mr.X gets this one right. I like it, just wish PSY wasn't so... same old, same old. no pun intended.

bellaza- agree on the soju scene, just the way she drinks and the way she talks, she was in character. she is a scene stealer too. I thought to myself, "was she always a capable actress?" Because I do not remember her that way. I did not like her comedies. She was also too "acty" in everything.
I always thought she was overrated. however, here, she just is different. I cannot compare her to the original portrayal in "Sandglass", because she gives Hye-rin a different approach. It's apples and oranges to me. She also gives justice to it so far. I don't know how she'll handle the character's angst later on.

Maybe yo [Read more]

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Are you only looking for someone who understands Korean or would you consider someone who had to wait for subs to recap? As a reader, I wouldn’t mind waiting for recaps. --Gigi

To answer your question, Sevenses operates off Chinese subs. To me, good writing and strong recaps are more important than working off the Korean raw videos. It's always nice to have some added insight into the drama's world or background, which may be more readily found in someone with Korean language fluency, but it's definitely not exclusive to native speakers. (Because, for instance, you could have a fluent Korean speaker summarize something in poor English and then where would we be, right? ;) ) If you think your friend is interested, let's talk!

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I completley agree with you on Kim Bum.
At first when they transitioned to him (from a five year old to fifteen) I was really not expecting much.
But MY GOD he had so much intensity. I loved him.
Then seung hoon came and just killed it.
Right now, Im not even watching because of him, mostly because of the brother

I also love Kingdom of the winds.
I didnt think you were in sagueks, lol. But yeah, kingdom of the winds is worth getting into. So fun.

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Thanx a lot for the brief review on the current dramas. It seems like I'm missing out on the better dramas, eg. KoTW and POTW... I've only been focusing on BV, EOE and Tazza..=P

I agree with your take on EOE. The first 5 episodes did seem a bit repetitive...but Kim Bum was so good, that I just could not bring myself to disregard the storyline just like that. I've seen up to Ep 10, and I have to say, the relationships between the characters aren't really solid and polished enough. I find myself rooting more for the brothers' reunion than any of the couples, despite breakthru performances from the cast..esp Park Hae Jin. YJH, like somebody said before, always dwells in his mopey expressions and doesn't really connect with his female co-stars.. dunno if it's him or how he's character's wri [Read more]

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awwww...i was actually waiting for you to do recaps for Painter of the Wind. I hope someone will volunteer and post it here.
But anywho, I do love reading your verdicts on each of these dramas. Still, I'm sticking with one for now..Thanks javabeans! ^^

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- belleza: "I think the problem for me is that there’s too much good stuff to watch right now. I’m actually glad the PotW subs haven’t come out yet, and Beethoven Virus’s subs are not coming out that quickly. It’s just easier to manage everything."

I like it when there's a lot of good dramas at the same time because I almost never watch them when they first air anyway. I usually only begin a drama once the subs have been completed (to prevent myself nagging for subs :)), and keep a note of them on my "To-Watch" list for later on. I'm still watching some dramas from 2006.

"I’ll say one thing, though. If you’re a big fan of Lee Dae Hae, she’s delivering one hell of a performance."

Lee Da Hae was probably the only reason that kept my interest in EoE, but too many n [Read more]

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I already watch the three episodes of KOTW and i find interesting as i go on watching it. I'm quite excited what will be the next episodes in the near months coming. I want to watch it with one sitting only bec it makes me sick of waiting thenext episodes to come.

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@kobe,

"I like it when there’s a lot of good dramas at the same time because I almost never watch them when they first air anyway. "

Kind of a shame, given the gratuitous nudity in the first episode of Hometown Legends. Just kidding. Maybe? ;)

Lemme tell ya, if you get MBC America, your life will end. Who knew Park Shin Hye had her own game show?!?

@triple,

"bellaza- agree on the soju scene, just the way she drinks and the way she talks, she was in character. she is a scene stealer too. I thought to myself, “was she always a capable actress?” Because I do not remember her that way. I did not like her comedies. She was also too “acty” in everything."

It's weird, because I really have a love/hate thing with the director. If you've seen Ireland, he can so good [Read more]

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Good overview, javabeans. I don't watch most of the dramas you recap but it's always entertaining to read your recaps.

Finally, some promising kdramas to look forward to after a year with slim pickings.....I don't consider myself a kdrama fan per se, as in, I don't feel a *need* to watch kdramas because they're kdramas. Have seen too many kdramas in the past and it's all gotten very stale to me. So your blog is a very useful site to keep up-to-date with the kdrama world without having to actually watch any kdramas, lol.

The only new kdrama on my must-watch list this year is Painter in the Wind. Am really looking forward to see Moon Guen Yang in her first adult role. The drama sounds like just the type of artistic adaptation of a novel that I really dig.

I'm semi-interested in Taz [Read more]

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Currently watching Beethoven Virus and Painter of The Wind, and loving both :D
I was hoping you would be recapping POTW ):
It's always fun to read your recaps!

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above all else, gah to many good stuff to watch.
my HD is going nuts soon.

but, im catching BV, Tazza, L & M more intently than of others..

im watching EoE also. but not as intently.
somehow, Song's acting can turn my interest 180
but LDH is really good and PHJ too i was impressed.
there's something with YJH like everyone is saying.
i know he can be better but hmmm i dont know.. if the role is hard for him or what.

KoTw is awesome must say. the special wow.
plus seeing the ep 1 and 2. wow. but yeah such a full plate its hard.

PoW hmmm..
well its pretty, beautiful also those nice things..
but the age gap man. O_O im having a hard time.
honestly, i cant really grasp that part yet and it makes me uncomfortable sometimes. but i do overlook it when those beautiful scene [Read more]

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All of these dramas.. they have good looking cast members and to me they all look really good to watch, but i think its hard to start watching something that's hard to catch on to without like a good backbone or framework. (basically I'd like to read a good synopsis or plot before watching the drama )

I started watching East of Eden because it had great looking actors but I agree with you Javabeans that episode 1 was just boring and wasn't intereting. I think I've skimmed through the first 5 episodes to understand the background of the story, but haven't quite gotten myself to continue watching it again. I may pick it up again after the english subs come out for the rest of the episodes, but until then i'm still debating about it.

I've watched the first episode of the Kingdom of t [Read more]

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I'm currently watching 3 dramas, all complete dramas, + various US shows. I was going to watch East of Eden, and Beethoven. Maybe even Kingdom. And Tazza. And Painter. AHHHHH, too many dramas, and too little time. BUT I might consider ditching EoE since I've read mixed reviews, but mostly tend to be on the negative side. Hmm, watch me ditch them *all* until they're completed and then decide which one to try.

*sighs*

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- belleza "Kind of a shame, given the gratuitous nudity in the first episode of Hometown Legends. Just kidding. Maybe? ;)"

There are exceptions of course. Park Min Young drama = Watch on the same day subs are out :D I was kinda shocked when that elder woman told those girls to "lift up those skirts, hurry lift them up!". I mean really, was that entirely necessary? It's not like there are people out there who take gratification from the slender legs of pretty Korean actresses. Shallow people like that simply do not exist in the K-drama community!

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The Painter of the Wind is great; MGY does a great job with it, I look forward to seeing what's going to happen next. The ... interesting age-difference seems a lot less prominent here, and PSY is supposed to be a lot younger than he looks in this series.

I would take a stab at re-caps, but like most people...sometimes it's hard to tell what's going on with the Noble's JoSeon Era vernacular and whatnot.

Do you have any idea how many episodes this series will stretch out?

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this is really helpful; just what i needed. so far i'm half hour into Painter - will catch the rest tonight. lots of "exotic" culture on show, "drama de qualite" direction, jury's still out on MGY (acting talent & interpretation aren't one and the same i think), PSY @ intro is as bleak as his Kilimanjaro movie, but...thanks javabeans!

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@Kobe,

"It’s not like there are people out there who take gratification from the slender legs of pretty Korean actresses. Shallow people like that simply do not exist in the K-drama community!"

Nope, they don't exist at all. All male Song Hye Kyo fans are just compensating for their attraction to Won Bin anyway. They're waiting for the wrong Hallyu star. ;)

@Felicity,

"The main thing that made Nodame Cantabile so good was that (aside from the slapstick jokes and wild, crazy characters) it was really about the music"

Yeah, that's the inherent problem with doing a K-drama that compares with Nodame. The Nodame comic itself was an award-winning josei that beautifully expressed why we love music. The romance is there (and memorable), but it's really about how hearing a cer [Read more]

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if possible, i would love to watch kingdom of the winds because ive heard people raving about how good it is..
but since its a sageuk drama, its a bit harder to understand than other dramas.. wish my korean was better..
if someone recapped the drama, that would be awesome!

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"but since its a sageuk drama, its a bit harder to understand than other dramas.. wish my korean was better.."

Just to let you know, X is subbing KotW and he's been churning them out like a champion (through episode 5 today.) The subs are rich with historical annotations, and the language has great ear. Really a cut above.

@Felicity,

Oh I forgot. J-drama talk!!!

"Ryusei no Kizuna"

I think this season, the one I'm most interested in. It looks like a edgy, complex revenge drama (like East of Eden, but meaningful), and it has Nino. I like that Nikishisho Ryo better when he takes on edgier, darker roles, even if his fanbase can be kinda . . . blind (see Last Friends.) :D But the hook for me is that Nakashima Mika will also have a part in this story.

"Innocent Love"

Let's add up [Read more]

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I love watching East of Eden right now but the lead guy (whatever his name is that I don't care to know) is not so great in his role here. Kim Bum was amazing 'cause he made me cry in many scenes. I guess I have to wait for a few more eps before I decide to continue or drop it. This drama is nothing new from the Hong Kong dramas that I've seen.

As for Painter of the Wind. I'm so excited even though I've only seen the raw eps. The score and cinematography are great but we'll see how that will play out. I'm always skeptical of dramas that people say are good just 'cause some actors are in it. It's rather the script, music, and scenery that draws me in.

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(oops wrong post. disregard!)

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@belleza

Cool, more jdrama talk! :)

Yeah, me too! Looking forward to Ryusei no Kizuna the most, followed by Bloody Monday, Innocent Love, Kaze no Garden, and Oh! My Girl!

re: "Ryusei no Kizuna"

"It looks like a edgy, complex revenge drama (like East of Eden, but meaningful), and it has Nino"

Yep, Nino should really act more. He's the most sensitive actor in Arashi but I've never seen him play this type of 'greyish' character before. I wonder if Mika Nakashima can act? It really seems gimmicky to cast her (it's like casting Boa in EoE). Ryo and Toda Erika suit their roles though. Higashino Keigo's Byakubyaku was morbidly good, and Ryusei's premise seems equally intriguing. Also with Kudo Kankuro as the scriptwriter, I think we can expect to see some dark humour. heh.

[Read more]

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