Dramabeans Podcast #14, Part 1
by | October 7, 2012 | 118 Comments

We’re a bit overdue for a podcast, which means that this one’s super long. In our defense, there was a ton of ground to cover. And yeah, so maybe we just had a lot to say about Gaksital. I was SO determined to make this podcast fit into one reasonably-lengthed entry… but who was I kidding? It was over with ‘reasonable.’ Two parts it is! And we weren’t even drunkin’ it.

Podcast #14, Part 1

Running time: 67:40

In which we:

  • talk about the disappointment that was Big and why the Hong Sisters didn’t deliver (3:10);
  • begin the very long discussion on Gaksital, beginning with overall impressions and how we rate the show (9:53);
  • discuss Gaksital’s dealing of historical events and people, with a brief mention of The Princess’s Man (16:40);
  • still Gaksital: its technical merits, why the director rocks, why the action scenes are meaningful, and how it went dark (20:35);
  • move on, finally, to Answer Me 1997, why we loved it, and where it faltered (32:35);
  • wonder about To the Beautiful You, where characters act like aliens (43:50);
  • puzzle out the dichotomy of Faith of its potential versus execution (49:19);
  • and discuss its lead stars Kim Hee-sun and Lee Min-ho (60:06).

[ Download podcast ]

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Songs Used in Podcast (In order of use)

Vanilla Acoustic – “Goodbye June…”
Venny – “Hey U” from the Big OST
“심판의 날” (Judgment Day) with Joo-won from the Gaksital OST
“내가 니 앞에 있는데” (But I’m Right Next To You) from the Gaksital OST
“각시탈” (Bridal Mask) from the Gaksital OST
Seo In-gook, Jung Eun-ji – “All For You”
J-Min – “일어나 (Stand Up)” from the To the Beautiful You OST
Ali – “Carry On” from the Faith OST
Younha – “눈물이 한방울” (One Tear) from the Faith OST


118 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dulcedeleche

    Arg haven’t gotten a chance to watch Gaksital yet. Will have to skip that part of the podcast….

    • 1.1 dulcedeleche

      omo…that was really long! Can’t wait for part 2. Btw have you guys watched Oo Laa la Spouses yet?

    • 1.2 monch

      Jajajajaja I just did the same 🙂 for the same reason 😛

  2. Betty

    Oh cool!!! I am really happy about this podcast. Thank you 🙂

  3. Amberscube

    Yay, just what i have been waiting…

  4. coby

    been waiting for this!

  5. ninji

    Awesome. Now I know what I’m gonna listen to on my way to work tomorrow.

  6. R

    Thanks a lot !!

    • 6.1 R

      I LOVE your discussion on Gaksital and agree with your comments, especially about the action scenes, the directors talents and Joo Won !
      Gaksital was certainly not perfect but it has my heart and listening to this make me miss the show and the characters even more :). So really happy to share your points of view !!!

      And I also really wanted to love Faith which had good potential; I liked the character Eun-soo but unfortunately, it became more and more boring for me …

  7. mtoh

    Made my night!

  8. OMG

    YAYE PODCAST!!! off to listen…

    • 8.1 OMG

      i have to agree with u guys on Gaksital, the director did a very good job with d scenery. he balanced it with the scene n made it show what is was meant to shwon without out letting it get carried away. same with d fighting scenes…i swear those scenes spoke to me even thou there were no words…
      have to say i didnt watch faith or big n m glad that i did it…lol

  9. UJ

    so many of my fav topics in a single podcast!! i gotta hear this now 😀

    • 9.1 UJ

      Loved your podcast!
      and i agree with a lot of things..
      i am a Minoz..been one since 2009…but with Faith i dont feel like Min Ho is giving his best…the fact that i am more concerned about Gongmin and Noguk’s storyline than Young and Eun Soo’s story says a lot!
      But that said i do like the drama..its not an amazing drama but its a decent watch 🙂

      As for Reply 1997…its my LOVE! i got soo into this drama…its fantastic..i didn’t mind if they did not stay in the 90’s or anything..i was so emotionally involved with the characters that i really wanted to see their journey..i wanted to see them grow older and wanted to watch what they do with their lives! oh but the “who is the baby daddy” thing got a leeeettle out of hand…by epi 10 i guess i was like yes show i know :p

      Big was just terrible! i had so much expectation for it…i mean seriously how can a drama go wrong with Hong sisters and Gong Yoo! it was an utter disappointment…i couldn’t make myself watch it more than epi 6..i actually deleted my whole downloaded folder of epis without even watching it..

      Gaksital was just an amazing drama to watch..i have been following Joo Won ever since his debut..i loved him in Baker King…i loved him waaay more than any other character in the drama..hell he was the reason i even completed the drama because truth be said i didn’t give a rat’s ass about Tak Gu’s journey..for me it was all about the yummy Ma Jun…then i saw him in Ojakgyo brothers..well i saw it after the show had already finished airing…and well my love for him grew exponentially…now i just pray for him and UEE to get married :p then watching him in Gaksital i was just too happy…i am so glad that he has a knack for picking really good dramas! he is not one of the most amazing actor out there…i mean he is good but its his drama choices and his characters that just makes the audience love him…And now that he has signed on to a romcom…oh gosh i am gonna be squealing a whole lot :p

      Ah about TTBY…i have only seen 1 episode…i was busy with exams so i had to drop some dramas…sadly TTBY was abandoned…but well its based on a manga and well the story gets a little weird in the manga too at some places..so i understand why it would have seemed weird to you guys^^ i personally loved the manga..adored the Japanese version…hated the Taiwanese version with a passion…and i am sure that i am not really going to hate the Korean version…well because in this version atleast the lead guy knows that she is a girl…oh yes i am looking at you Taiwanese version you *^%#&%#…IT WAS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!!

      anyways had fun^^ looking forward to you next podcast..
      lots of love to javabeans and girlfriday <3

  10. 10 Saner

    Whoop! Looking forward to listening to this tomorrow morning on my commute to work 🙂

  11. 11 Carole McDonnell

    LOL! Whittling! Thanks for the podcast.

  12. 12 Yushi

    I have been waiting forever for this podcast, thank you so muchhh!! off to listen~ and yes big is dead to me too. I feel like I only loved the beginning, and I loved the first episode. Ending of big was major disappointment.

  13. 13 pleuvior

    OMG!! 😀 to the beautiful you “where characters act like aliens” Bahahaha!! Made my day! looking forward to part 2! 😀

    • 13.1 Enz

      Ya, I was at work reading this and LOLed 🙂

  14. 14 jigglybelly

    Thanks for this, ladies. I love listening to your personal take on the dramas because it’s sometimes so different than what comes off in your recaps. Stupid me did not quite realize that the process of recapping is different from your personal opinion of the dramas. Duh! Anyway, i watched the Japanese version of To the Beautiful You, and in that case the concept worked better than the Korean version because it didn’t render the story more depth than actually exists. In the Japanese version, it was played out for laughs, as is typical of the weird, out-of-this-world, school-based Japanese dramas.

    • 14.1 Mystisith

      Absolutely: Mixing Hana kimi and makjang stuff can’t work. It’s just not written that way. Plus taking the fun out of it??? Why did they bought the rights for the story in the first place?

      • 14.1.1 asianromance

        So true!

        I’ve only watched up to episode 7 of TTBY. While I think the drama is faithful to the manga some ways, I think it’s not faithful enough to the fun, hi-jinxy spirit of the manga – which in the end makes the drama feel not very faithful to the manga.

    • 14.2 momosan

      Also, Hana Kimi gave a relatively sane explanation as to why she felt the need to go to all those lengths help Sano jump again. She wasn’t just Stalky McStalkersdottir. Also, the zany was pretty high in Hana Kimi, which made the plausibility factor much less of an issue.

    • 14.3 Sabah

      I loved Hana Kimi so much, it is one of my favourite all time dramas. The characterizations had so much depth, the story detailing that TTBY just overlooked even if we put a pin in all that zaniness. It’s a shame because it was a missed opportunity for me.

      Nakatsu’s story arc, development was so beautiful and I always felt that it was the inspiration for Han Gyul in Coffee Prince.

      • 14.3.1 Sabah

        After writing that last line, I remembered that dramas don’t always air in the order that I watch them and lo and behold, I find that they actually aired at the same time! Hehe, so I would just say that both characterizations/stories handled that ‘love is love’ plot line beautifully BUT for my own personal reasons I love Nakatsu more, he will forever have a special place in my heart.

      • 14.3.2 jigglybelly

        Ahhhh … IKUTA TOMA …. he played Nakatsu wonderfully. He was more endearing than Sano in that drama.

        • Sabah

          Agreed. Although I loved the way they ended it, with that silent bus ride, I would have to say that Nakatsu loved her more. Unconditional love. Beautiful.

  15. 15 Arhazivory


    Sorry, whenever I can type that, I’ll look for that opportunity. Thanks ladies; I’ll listen it to later.

  16. 16 Jillia

    The problem with Big was also that the Hong Sisters were not brave enough to do the soul-switch-back earlier and go into the conflict of a student-teacher-relationship.

    I still think they should have given the script to a cable broadstation and they would have done better.

    • 16.1 Jillia

      sorry, I meant cable broadcast station… 🙂

    • 16.2 Mystisith

      Obviously they were BIG artistic disagreements: I think than writers, producers, actors and everyone involved wanted to deliver a different version of the story. And I also believe than they have been surprised by the popularity of Shin Won-ho: When the first 2 episodes aired, the net buzzed almost only about him and not much about Gong Yoo. Ouch!

      • 16.2.1 Mar

        Mystisith-Haven’t had time to listen to the pc yet but wanted to comment on your comment on SWH and I apologize if I say anything covered in the pc- Yes, that explains why it was so schitzo, not a cohesive effort. And definitely a reason for the buzz-the SWH brought it to his few scenes-and there was definitely a sizzle of chemistry between he and Lee Min-jung. Everyone knew Gong Yoo would bring it, but I do not think people expected SWH to be such a presence in his initial scenes. A complexity of the show was that Gong Yoo was portraying Shin Won-ho’s character but he is also a strong presence, which many people, including the show makers, seemed not to take into account, that people would forget Gong Yoo was NOT Kang Kyung-joon. And that was a fail in the show-the fail was not to have SWH actively portraying his character in some scenes with Da-ran. Complicated, yes, but a better show would have come out of it. Because to be true to the story, Gong Yoo had to go back to being Seo Yoon-jae in the end, and the story had to wrap with SWH reprising the role Kang Kyung-joon in the flesh with Da-ran. Which didn’t happen ane why the ending was a suckfest. That’s my 2 cents, anyway, lol.

    • 16.3 asianromance

      And even when they did the switch back, they didn’t dare show Shin Won Ho. We were supposed to accept that Kyung-joon experienced some late puberty and in a short time, transformed into the same voice and physique as his older half-brother. The growing pains must have been excruciating.

      I was willing to forgive the late switch-back and accept it as part of the narrative they wanted to tell, but the ending proved that they were too chickened to display anyone but Gong-Yoo as the endgame.

      • 16.3.1 Annie

        Not using Shin Won Ho just seemed disingenuous even though pairing him with Lee Min Jung was all sorts of wrong in my book. If you want to have a teacher-student story, then by all means let’s have one. Using Gong Yoo again at the end just seemed to sweep any attempt at social commentary under the rug.

      • 16.3.2 RealKDramaaddict

        They are full-blooded twins; KKJ’s mother was a surrogate.

        • asianromance

          You’re totally right! For some reason, I keep on forgetting that fact even though I found it such an awesome reveal.

        • asianromance

          You’re totally right! For some reason, I keep on forgetting that fact even though I found it such an awesome reveal.

    • 16.4 canxi

      I think the biggest thing wrong with BIG is that they didn’t show the other side of the body switch. It would have been a much better show, in my opinion, if we got to see Shin Won Ho acting as Seo Yoon Jae. But he was in a coma the WHOLE time. It was weird, and I kind of felt bad for Shin Won Ho since that was all his part added up to in the show added up to. I feel like if we showed both sides of the story it would have been a much better drama.

      Not to mention, I feel like the character of Seo Yoon Jae was kind of thrown under the rug with the direction they did take. What happened to him at the end? What did he do? It was all so weird. The fact that they didn’t even show Shin Won Ho and Lee Min Jung together in the end makes me think that not even the directors & writers thought they actually looked like they could be a suitable couple, too. Using Gong Yoo in the end was lazy. :l And I still stand by my hunch that Kang Kyung Joon wouldn’t have had a chance with Gil Da Ran if he wasn’t in Seo Yoon Jae’s body. The show never gave any reason to let me, as the viewer, believe otherwise…so the relationship seemed like a farce.

      • 16.4.1 Mystisith

        Writer 101:
        -If you use the body-swapping premise, ALWAYS use both legs of the story. You have to show 2 people experiencing things and maturing, side to side. It’s the old tv trope of the 2 prisoners handcuffed together but in a fantasy way.
        – If you use the teacher/student love story premise, don’t get cold feet and show us the real thing. It’s not like it was the first time that kind of story was shown on screen: I’ve seen at least 5 or 6 dramas of that kind (skinship included), and I don’t even talk about the movie Green Chair which was clearly for adults… Or else they should have done a drama only about the kiddo finding a family and not a rom-com. Guh, I’m still so bitter about that drama than I can’t stop ranting.

        • Mar

          What Mystisith said. That’s it in a nutshell.

        • canxi

          Yeah! The whole time I kept hoping Seo Yoon Jae would wake up inside of Kang Kyung Joon’s body and it just neeeever happened. And so, I’m sitting here…like…what does Seo Yoon Jae learn from all of this? Cuz it seemed he needed to learn to be more open with his feelings and let people in on what he’s thinking but I guess he’ll never learn that because he’s in a frikkin coma down in the ocean. Wtf.

  17. 17 crazedlu

    Darn iPad. Can’t listen in right now. Guess I’ll be back later. Excited! Especially because I’m not quite over how much I hated Big and how the Hong Sisters flubbed and because I miss Gaksital… so I’ll take any rumblings about it. Ha. Tuning in later for sure.

    • 17.1 crazedlu

      finally listened in. HAHAHA. loved this. that is all. ^^

  18. 18 oi

    what a nice picture of Eun Ji and Seo In Guk

  19. 19 mollyP

    Ugh. You two are never gonna loosen your hold on me are you JB and GF? You just keep reeling me in.

  20. 20 MeeisLee

    YESSSSSSSSS, I’ve been waiting for you, Mr. Podcast. YAY, weekend after SATs is making up for my horrible friday~

  21. 21 Dorotka

    Thank you so much!

    • 21.1 Dorotka

      I actually liked Big. I liked how totally different it was from s.Hongs’ previous works. I loved it tonally, I remember how strongly (and sad) I felt for Kyung Joon during the first episodes. None of Hongs’ previous works grabbed me so emotionally… and so early in the story…
      As I’m saying, I liked that drama… until episode 13 (or so). Then it lost me. I felt like being left in the middle of the story. I also missed more moments with Da Ran’s parents and more connection with their story. Plus I couldn’t stand Kyung Joon’s parents, especially the mother. Don’t know whether it was the directing or the acting, but whenever the mother appeared on the screen, I had the urge to FF…
      Last thing, Shin Won Ho should have appeared at least at the last scene. I don’t take his inexperience as an argument. He was pretty awesome in the first episode and only thanks to him Gong Yoo could shine later on.

      From the other shows, I only stayed with Answer Me 1997. I started watching this show, because of GF’s recaps. And because I wanted to first see an episode without prior knowledge of what had happened in that episode, I started watching from episode 13… and I was lost :–) The result of this was, that I first saw the last episodes and only after that I started from the beginning (currently only episode 12 is left to be seen). Thus no feeling of a lost pace on my side.^^
      Anyway, I think it was important to have scenes from the later years to see how the characters matured (or not) and how they moved on. For me, the scenes with adult Yoon Jae were one of the strongest and I’m glad that they showed how he, from his own will, moved on with his life. I liked all the characters in this show, but Yoon Jae was my most favourite. He and Shiwon’s father.

  22. 22 Danna

    You pretty much echoed all my feelings about Lee Min Ho….having loved him in BOF despite hating that drama, I’ve been very confused as to why he hasn’t left much of an impression with any of his other characters….in PT he was very cold, in CH there were flashes awesome and cute and there there other moments where he felt weak….I still think he has that potential but he hasn’t brought it out the way I expected him to after BOF…..so now he’s only an actor that I like but not one that I love or look forward to working in new projexts

    • 22.1 anastassia

      Ditto regarding LMH I can’t feel his acting yet

      • 22.1.1 Enz

        Maybe coz there is a lack of it? Don’t hate on me min ho lovers *runs and hides* haven’t actually seen any of his dramas exc the first episode of faith and glimpses on you tubes etc.. But he looks very wooden to me

        Am gonna check out city hunter next , antidote to the last marathon 49 days :). So hopefully my opinion will change after

        • pepperandice

          hes pretty wonderful in city hunter, its really weird, if you randomly watch his different dramas and was asked to put them in sequence according to seeming actability youd think city hunter was his latest endeavour hes so good and perfect for that role

        • pepperandice

          …and like confusingly bad to the point of nonexistent in faith (forgot to add to last comment)

  23. 23 Bakachild

    Been waiting for this 😀 time to listen

  24. 24 asianromance

    Thank you for the entertaining podcast, javabeans and girlfriday! Off to listen to it again!

  25. 25 Sabah

    Thank you so much. I love how you analyse dramas through their objective merits, the public reaction and then your own personal experience. It helps me to figure out my own feelings too, in a way. I am indebted.

    I remember when I first began reading your recaps, and how it would seem that you loved a drama and then the rating would come out as ‘6!’ or something and I would be puzzled over the disconnect but I understand now.

    Thank you also for adding J min’s song to the playlist. Ever since I saw her performing the song with Jung Mo (Trax) on Inkigayo, I just can’t get him out of my head, that song is now linked to a certain feeling between excitement and awe which just feels so good!

    Once again, thank you for this wonderful treat!

  26. 26 queencircles

    I dropped both faith and to the beautiful you. Just got bored with both. I don’t want to think about big … just, no.

    I loved gaksital though, I’m glad most of the podcast focused on that. 🙂 thanks, love these!

  27. 27 katiamon

    Nice podcast girls.
    I loved Gaksital and i’m still missing it on W&T nights. The director nailed it and the cast was really good and gave it all. I know there were many lows (i mean, wasn’t there another option to catch Gaksital beside using Mok Dan as bait????) but the flaws were compensated with an amusing plot development and the ending was the best they could give me. Gaksitaaaaaaaal!!!!!!
    Reply 1997 was also good and different from many other dramas i’d seen and as GF said, i might not had behaved like Shi Won but i kind of related to her and felt nostalgic over the 90′ i lived and my high school period, friends, tv shows, favorite music bands, etc. I just don’t have TY in my life… Bummer, haha.
    Big sucked for me and Faith is overrated, i now you work hard with the recaps but i just don’t mind to read it… I’m so looking forward for your podcast about Arang and the Magistrate, i’m so hooked to this drama…. Satooooo!!!!!!

  28. 28 bd

    Aside from a couple of eps of “Big” where Gong Yoo was winning as the boy just coming to terms w/ being a boy stuck in a man’s body, the rest of the “Big” was lame writing filled w/ the usual K-drama stereotypes and cliches.

    In MGIAG (which was flawed) and “The Greatest Love” (which is the Hong sister’s most complete romcom to date), there were plenty of cute/fun scenes w/ interesting/humor-filled/cute dialogue.

    The overall big flaw in the storyline of “Big” could have been overlooked (as in MGIAG) if “Big” had better scenes and dialogue.

    The best thing out of “Big” was the song “Hey U.”

    As for “My Princess”, all the other stuff didn’t really matter.

    What did matter was the cute/funny scenes btwn KTH and SSH (as well as the good prof.) – which made it a real, nice romcom. You can rewatch those scenes again and it still makes you laugh (it’s the same reason MGIAG was a fun romcom despite its flaws, pretty much solely for all the fun/cute scenes w/ SMA as Mi-ho).

    In romcoms what matters the most is the relationship btwn the 2 leads and how it develops and “My Princess” did a good job in that dept. even tho it failed elsewhere (for instance, in INR2012 – nothing really happens aside from the various characters changing relationships w/ each other, but it was all fun).

    However, in “Big” – never really bought into the relationship btwn the 2 lead characters and not much fun moments btwn the 2 (just a lot of repetitive whining and fighting over the same issues).

    • 28.1 bd

      As for AM1997, I do agree w/ a good part of the commentary.

      The high point/most intense moments emotionally were those showing that it was the 1st daughter who was killed in the bus accident and the father getting cancer.

      The whole thing about being an avid/crazy fan was something I couldn’t relate to, but all the other things – about family and friends was something that I could relate to (even tho I haven’t experienced the loss that Shiwon and her parents have had to go thru).

      It started to dip when AM1997 went into that love-triangle btwn the brothers and Shi-won, which kinda felt forced since couldn’t really buy into the older brother being into, much less hung up on Shi-won and the writers overplaying the who is the father bit.

      But even w/ that, the later eps of AM1997 were still far superior to the typical K-drama, and AM1997 is one of the very best dramas to have come out of Korea and can hang w/ the best dramas produced in the US or elsewhere.

      • 28.1.1 Sabah

        “AM1997 is one of the very best dramas to have come out of Korea and can hang w/ the best dramas produced in the US or elsewhere.”

        Of course you are entitled to your opinion which is as valid as anyone’s but I just wanted to say something about this statement. I’m not sure whether you meant technical merit, style or story, but the ever growing global viewer ship for Kdramas, as a whole, shows to me that they have long since been in the running for best worldwide dramas BUT really, how would you even compare, each country’s dramas has its own manner, history (both artistic and culturally) and of course national audience, that it ends up being something like the Olympics. Hehe. Anyway, interesting comment.

        • Annie

          I’m not sure that the audience for Kdramas is quite as big as you may think. It’s easy to get that idea when you’re surrounded by people who love Kdramas on sites like these but the average person around the world probably couldn’t point to South Korea on a map let alone partake in Kdramas or Korean pop culture. Now, I love my Kdramas as much as the next girl, but I would hesitate to claim that they rank among the very best that the world has to offer. As you stated, the differences in format, scope, and material would make such a comparison impossible.

          • bd

            Again, I wasn’t taking about the popularity of K-dramas and what does that have anything to do w/ quality.

            All I stated is that AM1997 was an overall quality show and that it can stand w/ the best shows I have seen elsewhere.

            Really, some of you reading too much into this whole K-drama thing and seem to have some issues regarding it.

          • Sabah

            Hehe, if I may… I would say that Kdramas have a wider reach than you would think. I remember watching a documentary on Tibet and there in the background of someone’s house/cave was an hallyu star on a poster! Also I would say that they are well able to compete IF that is the type of thing that one would want to do. HOWEVER, you are more than free to have your opinion AND you might even be correct. Thank you for your reply.

        • bd

          I don’t know what your comment really has to do w/ what I said.

          I stated that Am1997 was a good enough drama to be comparable to the best produced in the US or elsewhere – which has nothing to do w/ K-drama viewership worldwide or for that matter, the quality of K-dramas in general.

          Having seen many of the most acclaimed US shows like “The Sopranos”, “Mad Men”, “Homeland”, “Breaking Bad”, much less a good no. of acclaimed British, French and Spanish-language shows, I stand by what I have stated regarding AM1997.

          When it comes to the overall package – the writing/dialogue, the acting and having numerous truly heart-retching moments, AM1997 delivered and I would put it right there w/ something like “The Wonder Years”, my all-time favorite US show which blends comedy w/ heartfelt moments.

          I’d also say the same w/ a sci-fi/fantasy show like “Joseon X-Files” – that it can stand up to the best sci-fi shows that the US or Brits have delivered.

          Did I say they were better? No – but just as good.

          Seems to me that you have an issue w/ K-dramas since you seem to think they are incapable of producing anything that be top-notch and brought up the whole popularity aspect has nothing to do w/ what I stated.

          And being popular has NOTHING to do w/ QUALITY; some of the best shows (or films for that matter) in the US don’t get the audience that crap shows get like “Two and Half Men”, “2 Broke Girls”, “How I Met Your Mother.”

          Same applies in Korea where fluff like BoF and “Secret Garden” were huge hits.

          • Sabah

            Whoa! I really didn’t mean to come off as confrontational, which is why I really tried to word my response well. Writing a certain tone is hard via the internet, as it doesn’t encapsulate those nuances of human facial expression.

            When I read your comment, that line really struck me; I found it strange that you would make such a statement since it seemed, well, unnecessary. It’s like if someone said to me, your beautiful enough to be a super model, it just doesn’t add anything to it, mean anything to me, why not just say, ‘you’re beautiful.’ Why rank things, have an order of ‘best of the best.’ I have always felt that we shouldn’t compete against anyone except ourselves. Think: Initial D (Japanese Movie.)

            However, please let me reiterate, you are more than welcome to keep your opinion AND I wasn’t trying to instigate anything, but your comment made me want to put my viewpoint across. Anyway, thanks for the discussion.

          • bd

            Geeze – would you have the same problem if I had stated that Han Suk-hyu’s performance in “Tree With Deep Roots” or Jeon Do-yeon’s performance in “You Are My Sunshine” are among the best I have ever seen?

            What’s wrong w/ saying that AM1997 is comparable in overall quality to the best shows that have been done?

            Or heck, what about saying that Kim Tae-hee is one of the most beautiful women in the world?

            Note – I didn’t say K-dramas in general – which is interesting enough, what you took out of it.

            If anything, It seems that you have an issue (and what I stated isn’t “ranking”) w/ something out of Korea being seen as topnotch in quality.

            And thanks for reiterating that it is OK for me to have my own opinion.

            Next time, keep your opinion to yourself if you have nothing pertinent to say.

          • Sabah

            Firstly, I am going to apologize to you for offending you. I really didn’t mean to begin anything. I found your statement an interesting topic opener upon which to discuss varying views. I understand that you really don’t want to debate this so I won’t go on and you are under no obligation to read or reply but I would take this opportunity to defend the accusations laid upon my door.

            Firstly, I don’t do sarcasm, so when I said that you are entitled to your opinion, I meant it, I just wanted to talk about different ways people rank things beloved to them. Neither way is better than the other, just different. Your way, like many others, is more like the Olympics where even though the medal winners tend to be from countries with better and ‘richer’ facilities, the bottom line is that the Gold medal winner is still the Gold medal winner because he is the fastest, the strongest and the best. No doubt their background and resultant training had an effect but it is not a consideration when the medals are handed out. For you some “dramas to come out of Korea” including Answer Me 1997 finally are at a level to “hang with the best.” I get that viewpoint, but I just wanted to add my own way of looking at things because I although I understand it, I do find difficulty in comprehending it fully.

            For me my criteria is different whereby Kdramas have long since been the best entertainment I have watched. My criteria isn’t story, technical merit or style but rather based on the movements of my heart. As Javabeans noted her Podcast, does it stay with you for a while, does it stir emotions or contemplation? Does it make you laugh your socks off or cry buckets? Is the acting haunting/ wondrous? These things are independent of and not reliant on a polished aspect of a high level, I cry just as sincerely, I laugh just as much and I am brought to a better place in the same way regardless of the finesse of the drama.

            For me it doesn’t matter how rough or raw a production is or what people would rank it in within the worldwide arena, what matters is whether my heart and mind were moved. It is not the only way and as my sister tells me, my kind of Olympics, where we give out medals based on personal achievements rather than who is the ‘best’ would NOT attract as many spectators, maybe only me.

            Thank you for a lively discussion, as I was able to work through my own understanding of my viewpoint and I hope that you gained something more than just offence, for which I apologize once again.

          • BB

            @Sabah: wanted to let you know that bd’s knickers are always in a bunch. As you can discern from his/her defensive & passive-aggressive responses.

          • Sabah

            @BB Thank you for the reassurance.

            I’ll be honest, I find it difficult to navigate through discussions/debate on the WWW. Just one turn and everything gets so personal. I would readily apologize if I have caused offence since there should always remain an etiquette to disagreement even if some reactions cause me befuddlement.

            Enough blah blahing, heartfelt thanks for your kind attention, I truly appreciate it. : )

          • bd


            Funny comment considering that it was Sabah who made it “personal.”

            Like said, thanks for letting me know that it was OK for me to express my own opinion and let’s totally overlook the fact that you totally misread what I wrote.

        • MEK

          in a way – doesnt it remind you of lost? how they go back and forth in time. they’ll show whats happening now and then they will show was happened back when…love it.

  29. 29 Mar

    Thanks for the podcast!

    Answer Me-To me this was the most satisfying show I’ve watched in a while. I felt it was a pretty level show throughout, and it was true to itself in the time jumps because people do change but can be the same as they mature, and because it was a look back at the characters saying wow, that’s how it was then, and this is now. I didn’t feel the ups and downs you all did. Wonderful show.

    TTBY-Ugh. Fluff. That soccer boy was adorable, his imp smile could like up the world, it was beautiful to look at, and it was just too silly and had nowhere to go and nothing to say.

    Faith-Agreed on the directing. It’s a bummer that it has had so many issues because the story is good. I feel bad for the actors. I can say it keeps me interested enough despite the cartoon bad guys. To compare, Arang is better executed, better to look at, but I get distracted easily, and walk away during the non-Sato and Arang scenes. With Faith, I watch it all, so I do not find it boring.

    On LMH-Jun Pyo is a once in a life time character. Are we being fair to say his portrayal of Choi is not the same intensity as Jun Pyo? Would we not crit him for playing the same character over and over in dramas also? The fact that we can look at the characters he has portrayed and see that they are different, I feel that deserves credit. I think the Choi character is quiet, is nuanced in a way, his movements are small, tight, he is low key, and LMH as an actor can’t bring the over the top Jun Pyo behaviors to Choi Young. Choi wouldn’t be Keep Calm and Carry On Choi if he was as big a personality as Jun Pyo, or as wide eyed I’d like to have some fun instead of shoot guns and learn to kill people as Puchai, or as intense and conflicted as the grown up Lee Yoon-sung. With Faith we have enough of the crazy with Hair Clip Guy as it is so I’m all good with Choi being the quiet type lol. Not that LMH can’t improve, gosh, the potential is smoking hot, isn’t it? I’d love to see him step back from being Mr. Hotty Lead Boy and take on some quirky supporting roles in a few films to do some growing. How great would that be?

  30. 30 Betsy Hp

    Yay podcast! 🙂 I always enjoy hearing your behind-the-scenes thoughts on the various shows, with the whys and wherefores and such.

    A couple of thoughts I had on stuff you said: With the directing in Gaksital, understanding the importance of story — making sure every scene serves the story, even the cool action scenes that could easily slip into the empty calories of looking cool — is what makes a great director. And I totally agree that Gaksital’s director was really good about keeping it about the story.

    Also, oh my gosh the “heads around a table” scenes are so dull! I think because everything else in Gaksital was done so well, it seemed especially bad in this case. There needs to be a handy fix for that. Like a walk-n-talk, or voice overs as things get built or… something. Because any drama it’s in screeches to such a halt. (I remember Tree with Deep Roots having similar issues, especially in the bad-guy base.)

    Finally, Faith. Yeah. The directing… *weeps* I’m still watching because I do enjoy the story and the characters but I’ve never seen directing that seemed to deliberately push you out of the world instead of drawing you in. It reminds me of old Masterpiece Theater episodes of Shakespearian plays, where the camera was mostly fixed while actors did their thing on a stage. At least in that case it was because they were literally filming a stage-play.

    Thanks again for the podcast Javabeans and Girlfriday.

  31. 31 Kiara

    Love your discussion on Faith. I agree with everything, from the director, writer, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hee-Seon, the budget and music etc etc.

    Shame, it could have been great. I love sageuks, so many of them dramas/movies. faith’s main character is not what I envision him to be. The writer has so much history to work with to make Choi Young’s character shines and more interesting but she didnt probably due their budget.
    Sageuk has a way of exposing actor’s weaknesses and I felt that LMH wasn’t ready to jump into the sageuk world especially with very little time to prepare. “If you havent done sageuk before, it will be a good idea to take a long time to prepare for it”.
    Kim Hee-seon, I never liked her before and I still dont like her acting for some reason. ” If you are going make a come back in a sageuk drama, then please make it memorable like Ko Hyun Jung.”

    Thank you for the entertainning and insightful bod-cast. Looking forward to part 2 <3.

  32. 32 canxi

    During Gaksital, I really liked some of the symbolism in the show. This part that I wrote about stuck out the most to me while I was watching it. Kang To and Shunji switch colors:


    • 32.1 canxi

      I always thought it was a little weird in Answer Me, 1997 that they didn’t stay in the 90’s. I would have liked it if they did. I didn’t mind that they skipped forward because I guess we needed to see how the Shi Won +Yoon Jae’s relationship turned out since it was the slowest to develop,lol.

    • 32.2 AnaBanana

      Canxi/kdramaologist — I actually saw that post about Shunji and KangTo and the inverted use of colors in their costumes. That was brilliant!

      • 32.2.1 canxi

        Yay! I felt so touched when I saw it in the show, I had to share it,lol. I just thought it was really cool how they did that. Not to mention the practice fight vs. the serious fight.

    • 32.3 booboo

      oh yes! I thought the color switch truly resonates with the whole drama and I’m glad how the writer / costume ppl paid attention to such small details that left a really great impact.

  33. 33 dramagurll

    thanks for the podcast! just a question though, when are you guys going to update the drama ratings page? i absolutely love reading the overall comments you guys have for the dramas and am dying to see what you guys rate gakistal and answer me 1997 😀

  34. 34 Bakachild

    i assume Arang is the first on the next podcast since we’re speaking of magical worlds last. I love your podcasts guys 😀 listening to other opinions, especially you guys, is good times.
    Can’t wait for part 2! Nice Guy and Arang talk!

  35. 35 Lemon

    Ooh thank you thank you!!

    One of my favourite parts of this blog. 🙂

    Listening to it now..

  36. 36 chaostea

    yay new podcast

  37. 37 Aliiiiiiiice

    I hope part 2 discusses Nice Guy. To an INTENSE degree.

    Thank you, ladies!

  38. 38 Aliiiiiiiice

    Oh noes! the player says “file not found.” I was super looking forward to this the way a gal ready for a BSG marathon is looking forward to the the bag of snacky snacks and pint of ice cream that come with it.

  39. 39 Enz

    Can’t wait to hear this when I get home from work today … Thanks.. Really love the podcasts

  40. 40 pinkjiawen

    I miss watching Gaksital!!! But then again it is not the kind of drama you can re-watch…

    Must wait for the new Joo-won rom-com…

  41. 41 Toystar

    Thank u I love Dramabeans podcast!

  42. 42 JoowonLover;P

    If you liked Gaksital, and you haven’t watched this video, you’re missing out on alot. It’s completely GENIUS.


    Thanks again for the podcast ladies!

  43. 43 nonski

    yehey! another podcast… downloading now.

    first off… always glad to know it was not only i who thought of Big this way. can’t even bear to finish the show. i was stucked at 6.

    gaksital is just so awesome right from the start till the end. and i love hearing its ost. just as good as the drama.

    2tbu… ah something to fluffy, don’t care about the acting although lee hyun woo, i can see some acting chops from the kid.

    faith… good drama. although i have this feeling that i am stilll looking for something from the drama.

  44. 44 Jushi

    I like girlfriday’s voice. I know, random.

    • 44.1 Dorotka

      I like both of them :–)
      And sometimes when I’m down, I just listen to some older podcast… and get better…

    • 44.2 Kiara

      They both have lovely voices.

  45. 45 KrazyK

    Oh yeah a long podcast. Just what I needed. Thanks so much for posting. I can’t wait for part 2. Off to listen with a huge smile on my face. This really made my day.

  46. 46 Teejay

    Another wonderful podcast girls, how I’ve missed listening to you two!

    I had to skip right over all the Gaksital discussion since I’ve yet to watch it, but I will do so very soon! I dropped To the Beautiful you at the mid-way point because I felt like I was losing braincells just watching it. The only thing it had going for it was the copious amount of eye-candy. & the adorableness that was Lee Hyun Woo.

    I can’t with BIG, and have erased it from my memory. That is all.

    I’m so bummed out to hear that Faith had the potential to be something really great. I love me some Lee Minho, and have seen everything with him in it…but I guess I’ll have to skip this one 🙁

    Like girlfriday, I found AM1997 and the characters that inhibited this world very relatable, and it was by far the best drama I’ve seen all year. I didn’t feel its flaws as strongly as you girls did. I felt as though it had that rare combination of outstanding writing, directing and acting- and because of this I cannot fault it. I admit the quality dipped ever so slightly towards the end, but still remained endlessly enjoyable to watch, and as close to perfection a drama can get for me 🙂

    Looking forward to part 2!

    • 46.1 Adnana

      Please don’t take this the wrong way but… Why would you categorically reject a drama just because you’ve heard *other people* criticizing it? Just because a drama isn’t universally liked, it doesn’t make it a certainty that you won’t like it, right?
      I mean, I love this site dramabeans, and I love reading javabeans & co’s comments. But that doesn’t mean I never disagree with their opinions; in fact, there are many dramas about which I feel differently than the girls. For example, I couldn’t get into “Story of a Man”, yet I loved “Personal Taste”. I don’t really care about the technical aspects of a drama, only about whether I feel a connection to the story and characters.
      Also, I love “Faith”, even while fully aware of its flaws (mainly re: filming, directing, editing, music insertion). It’s just, my love for these characters and their story trumps any other failing of this drama. (as an aside, I don’t regard the *acting* in this drama as a failing. quite the opposite, in fact.)
      What I’m actually saying here… Why not try and watch a few episodes and then make an informed decision that is your own. Maybe you won’t like “Faith”, but what if you do? Why miss out on a potential favorite just because of negative hearsay?

  47. 47 Akina

    you could talk forever about gaksital and i wouldn’t mind at all <33333

  48. 48 Jagi

    Thank you, GF and JB.

    Love love the first 10 episodes of Answer 1997. It just fizzled after the time jump. I got really annoyed with the ‘who’s the father?’ schtick and the meandering plot line. And gosh darn it, it totally became maudlin and cliche–especially the love triangle. I felt like I was watching a different show.

    Looking forward to Arang discussion. That show rocks!

  49. 49 whaterver

    I was hoping that you would cover Nice guy…

  50. 50 Suzi Q

    Faith has been a major disappointment. Totally agree with you that the characters could be without special powers altogether.What’s the difference if they had special powers or not, they don’t use those powers much in the latter episodes anyway.
    LMH is in his very first sageuk and at times looks unbelievable as the great and famous General Choi Young whose probably rolling in his grave with laughter. He seems like he’s sleepwalking while carrying a sword throughout his role that he’s so boring to watch. I hope the story line would proceed at a faster pace so that the Great Doctor can go back sooner to the modern world because this historical sageuk past is a drag!

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