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Open Thread #289

 
FT Island – “Baby Love” [ Download ]

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Yay Open Thread is here. Happy Friday everyone! I’m not sure if I should whine first or discuss my dramas first. Hmmm . . .
I guess I will rant a bit so I can end on a positive note. I am not as prolific a commenter and/or discusser on this site as many of the regulars, and although I reply to others’ posts here & there on open thread I’ve never bothered to post my own comment. But I feel it’s apropos today b/c it is my last day being able to peruse and hang around like I have done for the longest. I’ve been a reader for years, but for almost two years now I’ve been practically living on this site b/c I had so much free time. I was staying home with my children since summer 2011 after we relocated for my husband’s job. The youngest is 18 months now and I’ve been seriously looking for a job since January with very little luck. My husband and other attorneys I know encouraged me to open my own firm. Two weeks ago I decided to go for it, but I’ve accomplished zilch w/in those two weeks because I’ve gotten totally lazy and unorganized in the almost two years I’ve been home. It’s also difficult to focus on work when the 18 month old is climbing on my desk chair and pulling me into his room to play all day. The only free time I’ve had is the 2 hours during his nap and after 9/10 pm when everyone is down for the night and I’m too beat to do anything. I have to get back into worker mode, and that means going back to my structured life. I’ll be spending naptime, evenings, and weekends working on starting the firm, and once the doors are open I’ll be working to build the business and working for clients. The other time will be household things. That means very little to no drama watching. In the olden days I only allowed myself two hours of tv a week b/c I just did not have time for more. I can only hope that I will have two hours of weekly screen time here on out. That is going to be such a change from now where I watch three to four dramas a week, plus feed my obsession for HGTV. It’s been a fun ride staying home for so long, and I appreciate all the quality time spent with my family (and all of you Beanies), but it’s time to move on. Tomorrow is when it all begins. *sad wave goodbye*
Now on to what really matters (lol).
NINE: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. As with even the best dramas, there was some mid-show dragging, but there was no trace of that this week. Episode 16 totally threw me for a loop. *spoiler ahead* I knew there was a possibility evil Choi would figure out that Sun Woo time traveled, but it’s such a far fetched idea for normal people that I doubted he would take it seriously and take steps to confirm it. But he actually got his hands on the incense and used them. I am so anxious for Sun Woo. On one hand I’m sure the writers will figure out a way to save him for now, but I fear this is a drama that could legitimately kill the lead. I mean, just like Jung Woo, he should technically be dead now. The incense (in the current reality) prolonged Jung Woo’s life for twenty plus years but he died too. Sun Woo had to lose him (twice) just like he lost his father (twice). Will we lose Sun Woo now? And why haven’t I still been able to figure out how the effects of the time machine work? I can understand and remember the alternate realities, but it’s like rocket science trying to figure out why some characters can remember things while others can’t and why some characters get the memories of the alternate reality while others don’t. I’d like to give up on trying to figure it out but I am very curious.
GU FAMILY BOOK: I watched the first two episodes with the recappers and then decided to wait for a while to watch two to three in a row. I really enjoyed the first two episodes and avoided the recaps so I could watch the rest on my own. So far I am pleasantly surprised that Suzy is not nearly as bad as I thought she’d be. BIG was the first drama I’d seen her in, and now I wonder if it was the drama that sucked and not necessarily her. I am also finally on the puppy bandwagon with Lee Seung Gi. I was not a fan of his bang and ponytail in the promos, but he has such an arresting smile that I can see the attraction. I’m not saying he should wear this style in everyday life, but in the context of this sageuk I find him a total cutie.
Other than these two dramas, I am also watching Hana Yori Dango, the Japanese version of Boys Before Flowers. Dramabeans’ Mystery Drama Theater piqued my interest b/c many of the Beanies commented on how good the Japanese version was compared to the Korean version. It is my first Japanese drama. In fact, it’s my first non-Korean drama. I do think it’s better than the Korean version, except for the actor playing the lead. He’s not bad or anything but I find I liked Lee Minho’s portrayal better. I sort of wish LMH were the lead in the Japanese version and then it’d be perfect!
Well I’ve written more than enough. So long Beanut Gallery. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Take care of yourselves while I’m away.

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This is a fantastic news! Nice to see people who are still taking risks in life and who enjoy what they are doing even if it's hard.
*Break a leg* for your business adventure and say hello to the family for us.
Have a nice WE!

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*waves back*

With good friends, no matter how long you are apart, you find things to talk about when you meet again. Don't think you are leaving DB. Come back to visit when you have the time, and know you are not alone in KDrama addiction.

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I wish you good luck with your business! And don't worry, the dramas won't run away, they'll still be there for you to watch when you have the time.

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Right, there is always "Name that drama" if you forgot some :).

Best of luck to you.

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All the best for your business!!! Cool thing.

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Good luck!!! It's always hard to change your routine, but you just need a lil time to adjust.

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Fighting! We are cheering you on!

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Sending good wishes your way. Good luck with everything!

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Wow, congratulations on starting your firm. Yes, it's so hard to do stuff with kids around. It's possible though. Don't call yourself unorganized, though. Those two years you were just organized in other ways. Adelante!

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ALL THE BEST IN YOUR VENTURE! *hugs*

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Good luck to you on this new phase of your life! And you know, of course, there'll be Beanies to welcome you whenever you come back for a visit!

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Good Luck!!! I wish you the best in your new adventure!

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Lots of success for you in your new job:)

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Opening your own law firm, hm? Care to take on an unemployed litigation paralegal? :D

Regardless, congratulations and good luck! Hanging up your own shingle takes diligence and patience, and I'm sure you have both covered in spades. We'll leave the light on for you. FIGHTING!!

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all the best for the firm and hope that you get some time to rest and some time to watch dramas :)

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Wishing you much success and happiness!! Stop by when you get a chance we'll leave the light on for you!

:)

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Good luck with your firm. It's too bad you won't get as much time for dramas but at some point you might even be able to manage it all.

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Annyeonghaseyo! Kon'nichiwa! All spoilers are marked.

This week:
- Looking forward to Tiny Times. It's supposed to come out soon. I looked it up. The story is so Winnie's type of story which just makes me that more excited.

- Waiting for feedback on the first episode of the Korean drama script I wrote. =P Secondary readers.

- Researched locations in Seoul for a novel I wrote

- Still can't find where Lee Kwang Soo was born. Must be a secret.

Cultural Note: Korean communication (the cultural part beyond the noonchi) and inflection. (Separate post) I swear, two weeks from now It'll be around 2 sentences.

She is WOW

*sighs* Skip. There is no anchor character to like in this drama making me throw it out. I don't mind a cast of quirky characters, but making them entirely unlikable, unfunny, and having a long way to go with nothing to anchor makes me feel like a weathervane in a tornado. I've never liked the "perfect family that's secretly broken" from the Japanese, American or any market. So that's probably another prejudice making me ditch this.

Skip.

Nakuna Hara-chan

Finally got subs, though I should note DC is stealing subs from a subbing group that asked them not to post the subs anywhere. (Politics). You can watch through 10 from that group, if you join and DL. I have to say, as a subber, I'd be pissed off, especially since the warnings were deliberately taken off.

Other than that, it is as great subbed as I thought it would be.

WGM-- Kwang Hee and Seonhwa only

I marathoned this for 2 reasons: research for maybe writing Kwang Hee as the younger brother of my character imagined to be played by Kwang Soo.... (They kinda look alike, save for the height. Also have similar natures.) I like my Meta. I may as well entertain myself.

And to numb myself from Nine.

That given I can understand why they broke from the show at 8 months--they both said it--it was getting too confusing. Which is wise considering what happened with Andy and Solbi in the first season, where she clearly was upset it lasted as long as it did because it got too confusing and Solbi said she'd never do a show like that again. (Producers seem to have heeded her ever since too) Making it a wise move on Kwang Hee and Seonhwa's parts since they were friends before the show.

My notes on Kwang Hee (as he carried himself on the show) were that he's a sloppy eater, vain, lacks noonchi, is not physically gifted and for some reason reminds me strongly of Sin Joon Ho from Lee Soon Sin.... but isn't so irritating, despite boasting about his abilities, because he always over estimates it and makes up for it with talking really well and grinning. Also his trickster side and mischievous air is somewhat more amusing that the character of Joon Ho. This is because he does this, all his friends and acquaintances always want to prank him back which makes for an interesting dynamic. He's also open about his plastic surgery, how much it costs (and boasts about it) is bad at driving and often ends up singing off pitch (which makes no sense to me since he's in a singing group). The being embarrassed about skin ship in a close relationship is entertaining too. Despite being vain, and a little arrogant, he really doesn't seem to be covering for insecurities, because when he's pushed instead of really denying it and pushing harder he downright admits it (Most arrogant people are secretly insecure)--Kwang Hee gets away with his vanity quite a bit. Quirks: Keeps boasting he can cook when he can't. (He got that from his mom) And touches his "expensive" silicon nose a lot.

I look forward to seeing if he could fit into my script as a counter balance character (Which would not be a Foil)... though I'll probably do some twisting here and there. This is more a gage of his abilities. If I put him in, I'd probably capitalize on his mischievous nature, write him as a neat eater (camera and boon will have to stay away from his legs though.) ^.~ and use him to highlight against Kwangsoo's natural humble nature, which I'm exaggerating for my script.

Nine
Episode 15 left me cold and feeling sour. Mostly disappointed at this show for pulling a few stunts. Mainly the sloppy camera angles, the rough cutting, the rough cinematography, the rough script, and tons of filler in the place of smarter writing. And pontificating. OMG, I hate pontificating. Pontificating kills a lot of heist storylines for me as I fall asleep. And also mysteries. The pages upon pages of what could have happened, but you damn know well that's not what happened, puts me to sleep. Pontificate, fine, do it in action sequences.

*SPOILER*
I want to scream at dramaland to stop using rape for making a guy auto-evil. Not only is rape usually not about sex (as it was shown here), but it's usually done by acquaintances who are often nice and friendly with the person first. And it's certainly not about love either. There are usually mind games played before the want of possession. Stranger rapes do happen, but by portraying rape constantly like this, it cheapens what is truly a traumatic experience. Rape is usually confusing. PLEASE don't use rape to make someone auto-evil. Please. Rape is not a means for character development. It's not that simple either.
*END SPOILER*

Episode 16 was better, but I have a really strong noonchi feeling that they rewrote the script and that's why young HYH is missing for the last few episodes, and also why episode 15 suffered. (The actor was caught drunk driving near his apartment... got driven there, and then decided to park the car himself, drunk, and was caught. --;;)

They could have made up for it, but I suspect they were behind on the schedule so as Jomo put it, the derp face and as I put it, the filler came in to substitute. (Also long lines about pontification--elew.) Otherwise, I could have gotten some background scenes for really cheap that I think we all want... past HYH's dealing with his future annoying wife, more background on MY. More SW and MY first timeline scenes. Maybe some background on that annoying mother. (If you want Makjang, then let's see what JW is losing.) I'd even like some Past SW scenes playing with his older self. But ya know, live shoot and irresponsible actors means nine times behind schedule.

So here's to hoping next 2 weeks make our hearts race nine times as fast.

Take Five
Doesn't pass Bechdel and definitely something to watch with your male counterparts. It has action and male characters. It has a relatively strong female character, but she's most likely to get foiled as she's playing the detective. The jazz music is pretty amazing. I've heard a lot of versions of the song "Take Five" and I really like the creative arrangements put in time to the action. It's cut beautifully and the action is well done. The "planning" part is also not explained, though they do go over the basic security, keeping the surmising about plans to almost zero, planting some nice red herrings instead through small words an action, making for a tightly scripted show.

Writing-wise I had to admit I like this better that Tokage, though I like Matsuda Shota a lot. A much tighter script and some decent humor (Like middle-aged thieves). Also some nice questions about morals, without the preaching.

Tsuma wa, Kunoichi
I really like this--it's warming up by the episode, but it works much better late at night when I haven't watched Nine. You need to pay attention to the screen most of the time, but you get paid off when you do. It's slow, methodical and a thoughtful watch. I don't have high hopes for a happy ending though. Altair and Vega are referenced in the drama, as well as in the theme song like the lovers in the drama. (There is an East Asian Myth about them)

Last Cinderella

'Cause it was discussed last week... and somehow people missed it. But the cheating husband and the friend are some of the funniest parts of the show. I hate cheating a whole bunch, but because of how they played it out, I know that the husband's unending humor is that he's not getting any (and he's going to be punished to the end for this). =P This cleans up the subplot line which I was worried would fracture the story too much.

*SPOILER*
He has ED. The friend is trying to cure it for her friend's sake... But it's like watching him get kicked down there as she says she's not doing anything and is trying to use her "expertise" to help out. *dying from laughter* I love twisted punishment. And because she's spending her nights helping him, she's not getting any either. Double my love of dark comedy.
*END SPOILER*

The main love triangle, however, gives the story some heart going for it. Also the thing with the boss leaves me dead curious... why, dude, why?

Barefoot Friends They are still working out the kinks from a production side, but it was funny.

Hwasin--They got an upgrade to their set and more budget. I can taste it. They are still playing with format. But this week's guests are really funny. I was laughing really hard.

Lee Soon Sin The mother bugs me, so fast forward. The manager also bugs me. So also fast forward. The whining of the actress also bugs me, so fast forward. Hated the grandmother enough to give her my middle finger. (I skip through her heaving and hauling about how everyone around her is ungrateful and she should have died with her perfect son [Who was reincarnated into derp-faced overacting Choi.] How about her?) Wait? That means I didn't watch most of Episode 15? That's correct. Mostly went for the romance scenes of the daughters because the side stories are kinda weak for me at this point. (Do the writers have a grasp on older female characters? 'cause they kinda seem lost and spinning wheels. I had a lot of good influence from older women... so really disappointed.)

I kinda feel like launching into a rant about adoption here. If at any time you feel you will be jealous of your child's other family, to the point you're going to take it out on them, no matter who they are, you should not adopt. Period. Also if you do adopt, most psychologists say to not withhold the truth because it will hurt the integrity of the family in the long run. Love isn't so one dimensional that you should be so greedy anyway.

No changes in ditch or order. I'm fairly steady with what I like to watch. BTW, Running Man was funny with the eggs. OMG I think I was rolling. Comedy gold.

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Korean culture note: How communication works and Korean inflection

The thing about Korean communication that most foreign speakers get dead wrong is the inflection, which follows an emotional curve. Emotions dictate the tones, the pitch, the loudness, and the holding of vowel sounds. (Compare this to say, Japanese or Chinese (Mandarin, mostly) and you'll find that culturally, this is very different.) Daniel Henney admitted that this was the hardest for him to conquer because in the US, men aren't supposed to change, pitch, tone, loudness and hold vowels--it's considered girly (from mostly Standard American English). My brother also refuses to do it, even though he knows it's wrong. (This is one way to pick up someone is not native Korean)

This means that in order to prove anything, you have to have a better emotional base than the person in front of you. A book I read said that arguing in Korean can get ugly, whereas in English, it's a lot cleaner. English tends to be far more logical and report that if you don't get the precise word, then your meaning is off. Also, English tends to argue on logical points rather than emotional. Korean doesn't do that.

Korean is also highly contextual. This means that the meaning of words are much more clear in context than they are in English, where the meaning of words tends to be more stable no matter the context. (Look up Imja as an example--from Faith.)

Combine these two and it's obvious why you need Noonchi. You need a fair amount of intuition/perception to figure out the true emotional state of the other person. You also need it to figure out all of the other pitfalls, such as what the other person is really saying, what they mean, when to back off, when to press, etc. Noonchi is also not easy for foreigners, who are often pressed into respecting privacy rather than figuring out the other person. (Noonchi can also be scary for foreigners, which is why Koreans can seem blunt--because out of the blue this ajoomma might come to you and say something that's true and stings because it wasn't honey-coated) Noonchi can also seem to invade privacy quite a bit. (I turn off mine when I'm in the US, which makes me seem slow by US standards...)

Tact, however, does exist. (You can see this particularly in Lee Soon Sin, where Joon Ho has tact, but no noonchi, so confronts his ex-girlfriend without proof and starts a tirade.) This is mostly done through avoidance tactics. If you want to block knowledge, you change the subject at the best time where noonchi won't flare up. This takes some skill, because you have to work hard to block. (Anyone watch Hwasin last week??) In Standard American English you usually let the person continue, but say less an less as a blocking. In Korea, you change the subject steadily. That said, Korean blunt is like carrying a sledgehammer.

Koreans are also more physical, but I think you would get that, especially if you watched the Super Junior Full House special where they get English lessons.

When my suitcase was open both my Korean father and the person I was staying with poked at my suitcase, but didn't move anything. That never happened in the US. So that's also what happens in Korean communication too.

So most communication can go like this:

Let's get all of the emotions out in the air--you tell me what they are, I'll sort which ones are your real ones, and then return to you using my noonchi what I'm feeling based on what you're feeling and we'll work it out. I'll respect your boundaries, if you let me poke you a little.

Add on top of this respect levels where respect makes you colder. And age levels of respect (humbleness) And I would say this is a pretty good bisection of Korean communication. (I'm guessing that unless you've been really slow, you've at least picked up some of the respect level stuff--my friend half learning Korean picked it up even though she doesn't know hangeul or any vocabulary....).

One book I read a while ago told a story like this.

An American Guy who didn't know better bumped into another car. So he got out. The other guy grabbed him by the collar and started cussing him out. (You've seen this in dramas). The American then punched him. However, the other guy was really surprised at this, since Koreans are physical and like to fake threaten in the heat of the moment. So, the American ended up in jail for the night and having to call the agency because he'd done assault. Because in the US, you'd think it was self defense. In Korea, it's not so.

Another minor story. After a long journey I'm not talking about, I saw these two ajeossi in a bus terminal. They greeted each other like they were angry. Calling each other jerks and then fake punching each other. Then they put their arms around each other. One called the other "Hyeong" and they laughed together. So I figure that part of dramas isn't fake either.

Based on this, you can understand how the dialects work. Dialect is called either Saturi (Satoori)사투리 or Pangeop 방업.

Seoulmal (the dialect of Seoul) tends to sound like rising up a hill and then going a little down and sitting on the other side. The rising up will change on emotional curve. If you want to visualize it, it's kinda like: Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail of water. Then Jack walked down, and Jill sat next to him on the other side. What? They were tired. (You never get to the bottom of the hill) You can best hear this in the Seoul version of "Annyeonghaseyo")

Jeolla is like listening to someone roll up and down a rounded top and a rounded bottom. You usually can pick this up from phrases like keundi. (which is usually at the bottom of the hill) for Keunreonde. So up, rounded, down rounded, up rounded, down. The up is higher than Seoul which can sound flat in comparison. (They soften it quite a bit for dramas though. Even talkshows... Yoon Si Yoon softened his for Strong Heart, for example. There are smaller regional differences.) I always get the feeling of a kiddy rollercoaster smooth and relaxing a bit. Example: youtube.com/watch?v=RrSN2U_0nyU

Kyeongsang is like hearing a rising spike. The famous elevator pitch. (It's like those elevator rides... you rise to the top, anticipate the fall and are let down easy at the very end) If you imagine a sharp mountain with rounded valleys in between it sounds like that. The more upset or emotional you are, the higher your pitch, louder the sound, and inflection. You can occasionally pick it up from Hong Dong in Barefoot Friends who often slips into it when he's emotional. Yeobeosiyo instead of yeobeoseyo. The ye ending for ne and also yu instead of yo. Also a lot of "no" endings. There is also a primer for it in Answer Me 1997 episode 0, though that's the Pusan version, which is weaker than most of the surrounding area. (The diluted version.) Gary of Running Man occasionally uses it, but he often ends up in Seoulmal. Also famous for being noisy amoung Seoul saram. Men are said to be silent and women are said to be noisy... Some Seoul people think that it also sounds like Japanese, but it's not even close because of that elevator pitch. Answer Me 1997 had the most natural examples since the actors were from mostly Pusan. Gyeongbuk Satoori: (part of Kyeongsang) youtube.com/watch?v=dcqolxj5t8s (has subs) Compare to the usual drama version: youtube.com/watch?v=-Tq-mhKUyMw (on the guy) Jeolla is spoken by the woman.

Here is four dialects done very well: youtube.com/watch?v=GR2auwH_fxQ

You can hear it is similar to you can hear the spikes.
I haven't personally heard enough sample of Cheju or the other areas to get it. But if I did, then I could parse it pretty quickly.

Jeju I haven't heard enough of. youtube.com/watch?v=crgIiPJga1c is an example, though faked. I also noticed that most sentences have a rise in pitch at the end in this example: youtube.com/watch?v=DcQHONkB0d0 which feels like an angle, versus a question which rises pretty much straight up. (Must be confusing, since most sentence ends go down). Also Jeju people tend to talk fast. Jeju saturi is probably the hardest for Seoulites to understand. Sounds like a foreign language sometimes. It's harder to pin without a natural example of one native talking to another. youtube.com/watch?v=db7a7v4zyq4 <-- has a longer example, but the woman is clearly softening it for the non-speakers. (She also explains the cultural beliefs for why saturi from jeju is like that. youtube.com/watch?v=yJpyXmDM8I0 <-- a rap in Jeju satoori. youtube.com/watch?v=y8eUyUlOnjA <-- a kid speaking it Poor kid doing it in his underwear though. (You can hear the cadence. Over the hill and surf the wave.)

Gangwon, Chungbuk are harder to find dialect samples for.

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Thank you for another 'Korean Culture Lesson' haha. It's really interesting, since I'm trying to get some insight into the Korean culture. It's also interesting to compare to the Chinese culture (which I'm more used to) and see both the similarities and the differences.

The Chinese for example are really blunt as well, but perhaps in a different manner. At least, from the perspective of foreigners. Whenever my friends hear people speak Chinese, half of the time they think they're fighting because they can't understand what they're saying, but usually people are just having a normal conversation. I guess people express themselves differently in each language.

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I think it's the tones in Chinese that make people think they are fighting since tone is used in English to tell about emotional state... but to my ears, it sounds poetic. I like all the soft sounds in Mandarin. And the rounded sounds in Cantonese. Plus it has a natural cadence.

I've heard people who learn Chinese also say that Chinese tend to be ummm... how to put it, redundant as in pointing out the obvious.

Beyond that, I've only learned a little bit about Chinese socialization, etc, so I'm not sure how it effects the language by region/group 100%.

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It's definitely the tones. But apart from that, I think the Chinese just tend to be more... expressive, when they're talking. Bigger gestures and they raise their voices more easily, which can make it very intimidating if you don't know what they're saying, I suppose.

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When I was in college, I had a series of Asian roomies...some from Canton, China, one from Taiwan, one from Osaka, Japan, two from Bangkok and one from Seoul. Other than the odd word here and there, I didn't learn their language. I did learn about food, though. They were all awesome cooks.

But, we did notice a few things. When my Chinese roomies would have their chinese friends over, it was always, very loud, very boisterous and it always seemed like they were trying to talk over each other. The Thais and the Japanese on the other hand were always very subdued. They spoke in much lower toned voices. The Korean mostly hung out with the Thais, so if she had other Korean friends, I never met them, so I can't comment on that. Initially I assumed it was a personality thing, but as I met more of their friends from "home", it seemed pretty consistent. My next door neighbor didn't have a TV, so he'd come over and watch at my house, and he got so he'd ask which roomies were home or had friends. He said he could hear the TV over everyone but the Chinese, and there was no competition there, lol.

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무슨 말씀이신지...

Haha, I tried, but all those really just went over my head...

Damn, Korean's hard...

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The dialect and accent information is fascinating. I like training my ear to pick up regional differences, but it's so much harder than accents in English because I have only a basic understanding of the language. All the youtube clips really helped clarify. Thank you.

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Okay, I just totally copied that! Gonna put it in my notes.

As a Jamaican-English speaker and someone who taught ESL, I understand how American English/communication can be a problem.

English is a language one can use for good or ill. The nuances in English are definitely there to protect the speaker from seeming illogical and to make the listener do work of interpreting nuance. Stuff like, "That's not what I said!" And replies such as, "No, but you were thinking it!" To which the speaker replies, "You're imagining things." But we all know better. Because, hell yeah, that person was thinking bad thoughts and being way subtle!

Or, folks asking each other to translate sentences: "What does this mean? Someone said such and such to me? What do you think it means?" To which the helping friend replies, "How'd he say it?"

As a Jamaican, I tend to speak with a lot of cues to my words. And most Jamaicans are pretty direct (often tactless but not purposely cruel.) One has to develop a strong personality dealing with such honesty...and if one happens to be a "still waters runs deep" repressed person (which I tend to be) then wading through the subtlety of an English conversation ("What the heck did she mean when she said that?") or the emotional truth of a comment when one isn't in the mood for it ("Why the heck did she say that? Who gave her permission to intrude into my life with her opinion?") can all be stressing.

Then there are how other American English-speaking cultures speak. I tend to like dealing with Japanese Americans best because there is that Japanese cultural non-intrusiveness. So a Japanese-American is not gonna suddenly tell me some truth I'm not prepared to hear. On the other hand, I am never quite at peace as I would be with say Jewish or Italian or Jamaican English speakers because I know they will tell me whatever is on their minds, whereas with Japanese Americans there is the feeling that they are not telling you what they really think of you.

It's all so scary and complicated communication.

Oh my! Just had a thought. Between the internet and other issues, Communication about communication always gets so miscommunicated. (The writer's face being absent from view because one is on the web and can't see the smile on my face) So..in case you accidentally think I'm disagreeing with you. Am not. Am going to use your advice here to help me when I do go to Korea. Thanks so much.

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"Communication about communication always gets so miscommunicated" Oh, that is so true!

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For Japanese, try looking up Tatamae, honne and wa.

Japanese is opposite of Korean in philosophy.

You hide your inner feelings, use perception (not the same as noonchi) to read the other person's feelings, and keep your mask up. (tatamae) while doing so. This creates harmony. So it's a feeling of stepping on egg shells all the time. Which is why Japanese dramas will preach about "understanding other people's true feelings." Because they aren't saying it and it's rude to ask, but your perception should have picked it up anyway. (It feels like a game).

So, loudly contradict someone Japanese they'll either giggle or stay silent to keep the peace.

(Not talking about dialects... 'cause Aomori is as about as blunt as it gets. Really, really blunt. More than Osaka ben.)

For me, switching between Japanese and Korean is hardest in this area. I have to literally switch the thought pattern of how I treat the language.

Excuse the nerding.

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Ah, also some people say that this type of communication is breaking down a little under the weight of industrialization.

Also this type of communication leads to lots of repression and passive aggressive behavior and not my words (a professor), but also some fantastic art.

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Nerding accepted. And acceptable. I was listening to a guy on youtube who does videos explaining life in Japan. He remarked that in Japan there are a lot of sudden breaking off of friendships. I've heard that said elsewhere as well. People just stop speaking to friends and give no reason. While I really get uncomfortable with folks who tell you directly what's wrong with you, I would be so stressed in a culture where there is so much guesswork and "you oughta know" going on. I'm more of a suhldeuk person.

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OMG, your discussion on tatamae and honne totally reminded me of this essay I wrote on it for one of my cultural anthropology classes. From what I can remember, my professor was teaching it to us in the context of this Japanese thing of having so many etiquette books/magazines on all sorts of things like the etiquette of an OL, the oyaji, the onnagata, etc. Tatamae and honne always gives outsiders the impression of the Japanese being "two-faced" but you described it way better: it's like skirting on egg shells all the time.

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Carole - You're Jamaican?! My mom's best friend is Jamaican and she's one of my close friends too. I know what you mean about directness. I never thought about it until you mentioned it because....she's been there my whole life. Hehe. I love Jamaican directness. It cuts BS out of my life.

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I like feeling safe, basically. IF I'm with some cultural groups, I know that what they're saying is true. But that honte/tatame thing can really get to a person if you're inclined to be nervous and morbidly introspective.

A Black friend of mine had a Japanese MIL. The Black friend was very mouthy and a might insensitive. She would run over folks feelings all the time. It was like watching a disaster in slow motion as MIL smiled and was silent but you just knew she was seething.

I would think, "She says everything is fine but she wants to kill you right now."

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We're definitely open about our feelings..for the most part.

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I can see how that would happen. There is just this HUGe culture difference. I'm from Miami so lots of islanders, Cubans, South Americans...all very very very very open, loud, in your face cultures. So when I moved I had to tone myself down because that's how I grew up. Perhaps its why I find Asia and Asian cultures in general so fascinating. It's like a 180 of how I grew up!

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Your 'Korean Culture lessons' are really fascinating to read, and I find them so helpful when watching as so many more aspects are opened up (especially as I have to rely on subs of various quality myself to watch).

I find it interesting what you notes on the speech patterns, as I remember having to learn English speech pattern (being Norwegian myself) from illustrations with dots and lines to illustrate the up, down, and static/same place motion when speaking English.

I also find that different dialects/accents also influence the impression people get from what you are saying; some languages sounding harsh or angry, while others don't. One of the things people often say about my dialect, for example, is that is sounds sorta like a song or melodic compared to other Norwegian accents.

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Kyeongsang is said to be super blunt--it is. You air a lot more feelings out in the dialect version. Also, there is a reputation for making most Kyeongsang people gangsters in dramas. The majority use a fake Kyeongsang accent when playing a gangster. To me, Seoul kinda sees itself as NYC. While Kyeongsang doesn't really care all that much, but wishes they'd quit, which makes it the LA. Or Osaka ben v. Tokyo ben. Seoul also calls Kyeongsang the country and calls Gangwon snobs because of the beaches and rich people who live there. Kyeongsang kinda considers Seoul the snobs... and focuses most of the energy there.

Jeolla gets associated with "country". So slow, methodical, and produces food. I can sometimes hear a slight twang on the rising intonation too. The bluntness tends to sting you later on when you haven't realized it rather than up front. Haha. Aomori ben is a lot like that from Japan. I don't think there is a good equivalent in the US. Southerners don't sting you from the back in the US. And most other dialects I do know that tend to be blunt don't have the delayed effect. In contrast, Kyeongsang calls Jeolla the country, and has a long standing rivalry with Jeolla which dates back to the Three Kingdoms. Jeolla doesn't really care how other districts see them.

The other regions I haven't been to long enough to suss out. But I find it endlessly amusing. (A few historical dramas have also made fun of the intonation differences and explained how the people are based on rivalries... I can't remember which drama, but I think it was either Jumong or the Sweet Potato King (Seodongyo--sorry, I like the nickname better.) drama that had two characters explain the "language" differences... but they were actually making fun of the differences in modern dialects.)

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That is really fascinating. In Norway you have the major regions split along the areas of North, South, West, East and the are in separating the north from the rest (they want to be special, my dad is an example of this as he used to call himself trønder rather than Norwegian :p)

Of course, then you break up the major regions into the different counties and groups, each of which has it's own take on the regional accent, but you generally have to be from the area to be able to distinguish the different accents.

In Norway as well people with different accents are often given a "stereotypical portrayal" based on the dialect, like your Kyeongsang + drama gangsters example.

The only korean dialect which I can hear being different from the soul one is Busan, much thanks to Reply 1997 I have to say. But even then it's mostly that I can hear the words being prnounced a bit differently along with the feel of it being different in a sense.

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@Manin Pusan is in Kyeongsang. But people from other regions are said to be even more blunt. I love speaking Kyeongsang mal, 'cause you just throw everything into the pitch and volume when you're frustrated. Also a ton more blunt.

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wow didn't know there were so many dialects i only knew about two.. its like Hindi, in India every state speaks a different version

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"You need a fair amount of intuition/perception to figure out the true emotional state of the other person. You also need it to figure out all of the other pitfalls, such as what the other person is really saying, what they mean, when to back off, when to press, etc. Noonchi is also not easy for foreigners, who are often pressed into respecting privacy rather than figuring out the other person. (Noonchi can also be scary for foreigners, which is why Koreans can seem blunt–because out of the blue this ajoomma might come to you and say something that’s true and stings because it wasn’t honey-coated) Noonchi can also seem to invade privacy quite a bit."

I find it interesting that you say this because I am often frustrated by how avoid-y the conversations are in dramas. People will dance and dance around a topic rather than actually talk about something to the point where I want to throw things at the screen. Which is pretty much the opposite of what you're saying here.

Wait... you mean dramas aren't like real life? Whaaaaa?

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Oh, avoiding a subject is done in Korean. But you don't tend to tip toe once you're there.

The best demonstration of this is in Hwasin's last week's episode, where this guy's defenses were really poor. The women picked it up with their super noonchi that not only was he still dating one of the people he mentioned, but that most of the things he'd said was about the same girl. So they pressed for her name. That's the kind of bluntness I'm talking about. His lack of noonchi made him seem like he thought they were serious about asking about the name of the person.

However, he was able to block by withholding information. You have to be better than your opponent when blocking.

So tip toeing is definitely done. But if it opens and you're close, it's on!

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Thanks again for the interesting commentary on cultural stuff. If you remember the title of the book with the anecdote the American guy who punched the Korean guy I would be interested!

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Subs for Nakuna Hara-chan? Yeah. Only Jdrama I watched completely without subs (and I know NO Japanese). What is DL?

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Download.

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Kim Yoon Mi, totally agree with you on Soon Shin. So much time wasted on such boring stuff. I'm glad I just read through the recaps instead.

By the way, since you discussed Korean naming last time, I wanted to ask you why Yoo Bang's name from History of Salaryman is not made of three syllables like Korean names usually are? I was just curious to know.

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If I may: Yoo Bang is the name of a supposed historical figure in the Chinese period of the Three Kingdoms. Most Chinese names have 3 syllables. Some have 2. The full title of that drama is: History of the Salaryman, Chou Han Gi, i.e. it's supposed to be based on the story of the 3 kingdoms, but the resemblance escapes me, besides some char names that were lifted fr that work of historical fiction.

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I don't mind background stuff like that, but the execution is poor... I liked the actress when she was teaching, but when she freaked out, I didn't like her anymore. (Also not a spoiler--if you didn't get this from the first, then you have to be really slow on the uptake). I'm not quite sure why she's all panicked by the accident either. (Comes early, so it isn't a spoiler) It wasn't illegal.... and they didn't exactly put enough ground work to establish why she's so scared. Plus it would be good press in a way to say thank you to her savior, yes?

I keep hoping they flesh out the older female characters though. I really hope they do. I've seen some awesome ones on K-drama TV, so I know it can happen... so why not make it happen????

But in contrast, I LOVE the other story lines. I think the baker won me as a character. I can't stop smiling. And the sweetness of the doctor. And the sheer idiocy of the lack of Noonchi on Joon ho. (I watched him briefly in The King 2Hearts. *sobs* mostly for the wall... and the better hair cut. (I needed to see how they got there... they walked...)

KDAddict covered the rest.

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Baker guy is definitely super adorable. But yeah, I'm not so interested in the elders of the show either. As for the actress, I think they made her freak out so that her actions would have a bigger role to play later when it comes to the big reveals for the other characters, causing for lots of angsty scenes.

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Might try Nakuna Hara-chan since you like it. Thanks.

About the rape: Wasn't a certain person going out with her for a while? He wasn't a stranger. He was the lingering in the background guy who had been hoping for her love.

I understand what you mean about auto-evil and rape being linked but in college a friend of mine attempted to rape me. Pretty much for the same reasons that the villain here raped his victim. The only thing that bothered me about the off-screen attack was that he dragged her to an inn to rape her. I kept thinking, "Why didn't she scream since they were in the street?"

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The circumstances aren't what I'm picking on so much as the idea that rape can be used to flesh out a character at all. NO.

Though the dragging into the motel bit was weird.

He made no moves on her before from their conversation and it was fairly clear by how she called him by name that she barely knew him.

Though there are stranger rapes (a little political), the majority of rapes are actually done by acquaintances with prolonged contact. (The sad fact being that most are not prosecuted for the same reason.)

Also, the whole idea that rape expresses a need for sex or love is kinda thrown out by psychology. It's always about power. And I got that feeling from this one.

Anyway, rape as purely a character device, I loathe sincerely. It undercuts the trauma of rape, what it involves, the power grab, and also lies most of the time that rapists are always and will always appear to be evil anyway, so then why didn't that victim spot that person was a rapist in the first place kind of undercutting.

Here, it felt like a plot device to serve up how EVILZ he was. And then to serve up more makjang for the episode.

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I got the feeling they knew each other. She said she didn't want him because she didn't like his character. She must've been around him a while to know his character. Plus he was friends with her future husband and either her husband must've seen them together to know she slept with villain, or she had told her husband about the rape and husband ignored it. So I'm thinking if her husband thought her son was the villain's then she must've been dating villain before she chose husband.

In this case, though, the rape does say something about Choi's "disgusting will." He wants what he wants, he gets what he desires. So many evil villains wanting things...and rape is an easy way to talk about taking things by force. In this case, because they wanted Choi to be Jung Woo's dad, they had little choice. I guess they could've had Mom sleep with villain out of youthful love when she was younger. But that might taint Mom and create a different kind of character. And perhaps she would've married him if she had had the baby without the rape. As it is now, Mom is doubly victimized by Choi.

Rapes tend to bother me if overused as well but it does fit Choi's continued intrusion on the family and it helps to show the feeling that Jung Woo has of being a person who doesn't feel right in the world. .. and adds to the whole should have been born, should not have been born, should have married, should not have married, should never have existed, should have been killed destiny threads throughout. In the long run, Jun Woo seems to be the symbol of the entire story as someone whose life might be at odd with destiny.

Not speaking up for over-use of rape but for how it fits well into this story about the imposing of one's will on destiny.

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*spoilers from the scene.*

If she'd been dating him before, it's likely she'd call him "Oppa", but she steadily didn't. She called him Jin Cheol, which means he's an acquaintance, but not a friend. You call close friends, who are older than you "Oppa." He never reached friend status. (You actually can see this established well in WGM's episodes where friends start out with ssi, drop down to "Oppa"/"Nuna" and then down to "Chagiya" Also in the clip I provided for the Kyeongsang Saturi... (which has subs). He wants to be called "Oppa" and not Seonbae because he considers her a friend. Also because she keeps talking informally (which conflicts with her not calling him Oppa.), but conversely, uses his name.) It's a good lesson in formality.

He also said "You didn't look at me once despite knowing how I feel." Which means she never really showed interest. (You know the famous drama scenes, Look at me/see me. Which really means pay attention to me). So he was a friend of the guy she was dating, and came to admire her.

"You shouldn't have given hope to me then." is because she smiled at him--in his head.

She contradicts him by saying she never smiled at him once. She never led him on once.

He says she did it every day, but he says it in a deranged way. *strangle*

She says it's in his head. She only saw him because he pestered her like a stalker 2-3 times maybe and then turned him down. (In another words she has weak will power, not because she got flattered. She doesn't know how to choose men, since she eventually chose an abusive husband.)

From that, it's fairly clear that it went down like this...

She met up with SW's father. SW's father's friend, Choi was there, she went steady with SW's father, but Choi kept pestering her for dates. Since she's used to abusive guys, she buckled and thought she could get rid of him if she turned him down coldly, but she never liked him AND he knew it. SW's father probably know about the whole Choi dating thing. He yelled, "You think I didn't know about you and Choi" (While she's sniffling trying to defend herself) so it's obvious that he did know about the dating bit, but not about the rape. (My story memory can be scary...)

Choi raped her after she got engaged, but SW's father thought that she cheated on him, but she was too ashamed to tell him that she'd gotten raped.

She got bitten back, 'cause it's clear that SW's father is a secret wife beater from the look in JW's eyes.

This makes me think that SW's mother came from an abusive home??? 'Cause it's fairly clear she doesn't have much will power against people who are abusive to her. Not sure if she'd be codependent though. They never showed enough to establish that. (Would have been good for episode 15).

I don't get the feeling from her that she's a player. I think she just is that weak willed to begin with. And Choi and SW's father took advantage of that in her.

I don't think she told about the rape though.

I do think that scene has issues in scripting though. It's like they forgot what they wrote in the first half and rewrote it in the second half. >.<;; Supporting my theory about them having sleep deprivation.

*End spoiler*

So it's used as characterization for EVILZ. Elew. No. Still no. I also dislike it used as a sheer plot device too... but this is steering a little bit into the political side since it deals with reading up on rape culture/rape victims and I don't want to go there for drama discussions. Just that rape victims hate this in fiction. So I rather defer to those who have been through it.

It's not frequency of rape, which is a different issue. It's rape used as a characterization device I have issue with. Plus it's fairly clear from this, it's just used for the OMG makjang effect. Elew.

Even so, the emotional aftermath is undercut in favor of makjang and I can't condone that. I mean the whole mental trauma is cut. The whole having to relive it. The whole getting judged because of it. Being afraid to speak. Being confused and afriad. Being judged by people (Also not being able to tell police. Rape victims often feel like they are raped several times, once for the attack, once by telling the poublic, once for telling the police and again on the stand.). Not being able to say anything. (If South Korea did a movie on date rape and did it realistically, that's one political film I'd applaud, 'cause it's about time it changes and if other films have changed the culture, I would hope one about that would.) And because of those things, it undercuts rape and focuses it back on OMG, a birth secret. And how evilz the character is. Rather than giving rape the idea of terror that happens. Such as the unending shame, the confusion, etc. By making it a makjang element it really does undercut all of those things... and that's why I really hate it in this episode. Don't make it a plot element where she can recover so easily. Where the mental trauma isn't an issue. Where the same isn't an issue. Where she has to struggle to say or not say is not an issue. If you're going to include rape, do it properly. And don't undercut it. I'm not saying you have to show the physical wounds... but the mental wounds should resonate, and not through a secondary character either.

But I'll get off the soapbox 'cause this dangerously is getting into how to portray rape well in a story.

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KimYoonmi-shi:

I don't think we're disagreeing really. I sensed he was always with and around her, and she knew he liked her but tried to maintain a distance from him. There have been so many programs on Discovery Channel and other channels lately about stalkers. Often they are friends or acquaintances who are hellbent on relationships even if the woman is against it.

I felt she didn't call him "oppa" in the way any girl American or Korean would avoid calling someone "oppa." Oppa implies friendliness and she was distancing him. In English, if one is distancing a person, one doesn't use words that could cause trouble by implying friendship. She talks informally because they know each other but the conflict of friend/would be lover is something that shows they do know each other. That's how i interpret it. Whatever the cultural differences -- Korea or America-- if you know someone well enough to speak informally with them but you don't want to give them hopes about having a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship you do distance. Hence the complicated linguistic dance in the scene.

So I don't think we're disagreeing with each other.

In the US, supposedly 1 in 4 women are raped. So although there is a characterization of evil here, if rape is so ubiquitous, it's possible villains will always rape. In Korea, I'm suspecting it's different.

But I do go with the idea that in this story the rape works because it creates Jung Woo. And Jung Woo is the symbolic and thematic crux of the story: should I have been born? Was my destiny forced on others? I was the product of willfulness. I am alive again because of another person's will. Why should I live? Does destiny want me to live? So in this case, the rape as an exploration of force/will against destiny works for me.

But that's just me.

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*spoilers but if you are this deep into the thread, I assume they are no longer spoilers*

I don't think the rape was written to make Choi evil, I mean we were already on that page. He was a pretty disgusting fellow before that reveal.

I think the actual motive from a writing standpoint was to make mom, and even more so Jung Woo, as victims. Mom's story has kinda been on the back burner, but there is certainly a difference between her being indiscriminate or even "slutty" in her youth and being forced into an act. Having Jung Woo bring it up and finally telling someone the truth *may* be a factor in her current catatonic state.

It also gives Jung Woo a heavier motive for his suicide. And an extra push for leaving Korea for the US back in 1993, as I am sure it would be hard to know you are a reminder of THAT for your mother. Even though Jung Woo did nothing wrong in being born, he must feel guilt. So it is more of a clue to his persona than anything relevant about Choi.

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@Lisah
*spoiler*

I just don't like Jeong Woo involved in the rape part at all. Just undercuts the trauma when it's made to be makjang (boo hoo, let's make this sadder). But this is more for clarification than to argue against you. Wasn't sure if that was clear.

I really, really hate it when they skip over the actual mental trauma of rape. Period. And I doubly hate it when they do it just to make things more evil or more sad. It's one of my least favorite ways of plot. And I hate rape as a mere plot point to wrench feelings of evil and sadness from the viewer.

I feel it does a disservice to rape victims to use rape in that way. So my anti-rape in episode 15, is more of a political statement and personal feelings about how to write well and about rape, than it is on "if it works".

Again, clarification.
*End Spoiler*

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Wow!!! WOW!!! Just started watching Nakuna Hara-chan. And I totally totally love it!!! Thanks so much for the recommendation. It's become an instant favorite.

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I'm waiting for Tiny Times too. I must have heard of this project a long time ago on Koalas's blog and I keep replaying the long trailer.

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Supposed to come out in July. I need to watch it. I so need to watch it. I read the summary of the plot and it seems like something I'd love to eat up.

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I love Soon-shin when its about, y'know, Soon-shin and Joon-ho or the other sisters. But the other stuff is geting too heavy and annoying. I get Granny, though. At least a little. She's old and alone and her kid died and her daughter-in-law who doted her has cast her off to the emotional curb.

Hwang = pointless. Jung-ae's massive multi-episode flipout = makes me want to pull my hair out.

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I have/had 4 grandmothers total. And one of them is super alone, but not so half so annoying (When she gets lonely she tends to break boundaries and pick on people but never calls them ungrateful). So maybe that's my lack of sympathy for LSS's grandma.

Mostly, I think of my two Korean grandmothers who were awesome sauce, so maybe that's my lack of sympathy. Sure one was a card-wielding go stop champion who liked to drink, but her force of personality with the other people in my hometown (one of three), pretty much ran the market. People remember her as a force to reckon with. She had a husband leave her, despite that she remarried and had another child. She lived through the occupation and Korean war. Given her tough as nails persona that even my Korean father failed to inherit, I have a little less sympathy for this grandmother. (there isn't any background info.) She was far from an angel though... but I kinda like that image. (She was fierce in loving things, but ran everyone over like a bulldozer if they had a bit of weakness and hung out with women just like that too, since I met them. She was like a lynchpin too, keeping family together no matter what, just by her personality.) Kyeongsang grandma.

My Jeolla grandmother, however, was tough in another way. Had something like 7? children. And had to put up with a pretty strong willed husband. The type to run a farm and and cook for all those children.

The other grandmother lived through a genocide of her people, a death of her uncle, teasing in school, a world war, and constant prejudice. She wasn't perfect, but I could understand her motivations as well.

The first grandmother from the first paragraph I understand because she often suffers from depression and anxiety. She had a really touch childhood that I don't think she really recovered from since she still doesn't want to talk about it to this day. Also her husband died early--one that she still loves to this day. She also lived through the depression, which still affects how she thinks.

So if LSS's grandma was fleshed out, I'd likely feel for her like my last explained grandmother. Lonely isn't enough. Give me enough character background to feel for her, otherwise it's just complaining.

But as I said, I've had super women in my life, so I'm definitely biased.

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I think I'm from the other side. I'm American/white/Jewish/Spanish/Italian...no Korean nothing. BUT I have no grandparents at all. They all died before or shortly after I was born. I always regretted that so I hate seeing the grams cast aside like that.

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I'm curious with Last Cinderella as to who Choko is? At first I thought she was Hiroto's sister, but after watching the recent raw, I'm doubting that.

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well,,i like SHE IS WOW..

i know all of the characters are unlikeable..

but somehow,,don't you want to know how is this drama going to end?...

because i'm pretty all of the secrets will be out later, i wonder :
will the father stay loyal to his gay lover ?
will the mother get divorce?if so, how will she do that?make it like she's the victim?or, she'll keep her marriage?but before that,,will she have affair with the hot neighbor?
will the son ever be a good son?

this drama isn't ordinary, so the ending is so unpredictable,,unlike the common drama.

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typo.. "because I'm pretty SURE",,sorry for missing the SURE..

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and,,o yeah i like Tsuma wa Kunoichi also,,

just for fun,,the first time i heard about kunoichi was when i read a manga called NINTAMA RANTARO like 8-9 years ago,,and how they execute their ninja taska are so funny, so i have to completely maintain my mindset again that ninja tasks are dangerous after watch this dorama...

i can really feel the love in this dorama,,i hope that Futaboshi meet his wife soon...

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Let’s say it together: NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE! Can’t wait how they’ll end this show! Hopefully they won’t destroy everything with the last episode like it happened so often before (e.g. Nice Guy). Compared to so many other dramas this show is close to perfection. :P

Gu Family Book – Nope, still not tempted to check it out. Even if Choi Jin-hyuk returns. Guess, I’ll have to wait for Heirs.

Jang Ok Jung on the other hand I did check out and surprisingly I liked what I saw. 2 episodes till now and I plan to continue. (Btw I must be the only person on this planet considering Kim Tae-hee not beautiful beyond belief. I simply don’t see it.)

When A Man Loves – my guilty pleasure. So many wrongs somehow make an entertaining show. Oh, Kdrama, how I love thee.

Oldie but Goldie? Started White Christmas and it is meh. Too slow for my taste. Saw 2 eps and read the recap of the third, but I doubt I’ll continue. Sad, cause I hoped for more. Apparently I’m too old to cherish the hotties enough. Constant feeling of robbing the cradle…

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:( I love White Christmas, you can never be too old to admire hotties.

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I quite liked White Christmas too

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Aw, I'm sad you don't like WC. It's my favorite and NOT cause of the hotties. I saw it when I didn't know who they were and pretty much didn't know kdrama either. But I tend to like slower shows. I actually LIKED the pace of the beginning of Love Rain...

I LOVE Gu Family Book and I haven't checked out the others you're raving about! I suppose I will have to check them out. I've wathced afew scenes in WAML to help Shuk figure out the classical music bits. Oh the drama...

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And I appreciate it from the bottom of my boogity boogity shoop, Raine. lol

The last two eps are mostly KPop, unfortunately. But I'm sure they'll dust off a little Wagner before the end, just to heighten the dolor a bit. lol

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Please no Wagner...or STrauss. How's about....LALO!

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That would be...interesting. How about one of your compositions?

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But I like slow story telling too. That's why I'm puzzled why this drama doesn't pull me in. Maybe it's because I'm watching Nine at the same time and it is simply more suspenseful and better written? Ugh. I guess, I have to wait a couple of weeks and will return then. Or it is, because it is spring outside and we had this long hard winter? ;)

Actually it might even be that I still have great difficulties to distinguish Korean names and this story is hard to follwow wondering half of the time whom they are talking about. :D Whatever the reason I have to work to finish an ep, never a good sign. :/

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you should try it another time and don't you watch with subs why can't you differentiate the names??

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Because names like e.g. Joon Ki, Joon Ik or Joong, Jung or Young, random spelling like Gim or Kim etc., without a chance for me to recognize even the gender by looking at the name, are confusing for a German native speaker. Frank, Susanne and Max are far more easy. ;)
Having a huge cast of approx. 12 ppl multiplies the difficulties.

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I think that's the way I feel about Cruel Palace of Women. It's up against NINE for heaven's sake! And was also up against Incarnation of Money. After seeing how the ramifications/consequences of each action plays out (NINE) and how manipulation (in IOM) is really done...it's hard to like CPOW. But I managed to like Gu. The fairytale factor maybe.

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i liked white Christmas since it was only 8 episodes i watched it even though the start did not interest me but was the last episode a killer...

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I am watching 6 live dramas - Nine, Substitute Princess, Last Cinderella, Mischievious Kiss Tokyo, Gu Family Book, When A Man Loves. I'm O.O with Jomo/EE's recaps and Squeeing with JoAnne/Shuk/Kakashi.

After watching 'Last Cinderella' ep 4 raw, I admit I am hooked, but think it will be like 'Substitute Princess' ... where I argue at the screen but can't stop watching. I'm on the Sakura/Rintaro ship and all cheaters should get a disease that makes their parts fall off. What is the relationship between Hiroto Gigolo and Chiyoko Schemer? I thought brother/sister but now ... ? Do I count 3 so far that a certain someone has kissed and/or bedded? Three! That's not a love triangle, it's a pyramid.

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It's worth watching with subs. And I say that as someone who knows a fair amount of Japanese. Some of the jokes are really funny. Especially with the cheater pair. Haha. (Not putting a spoiler here).

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SPOILERS!!!!!!!
Substitute Princess, have you watched the rain kiss yet???? I was screaming at my screen "Finaly!!! yes!!!! Go Terry"

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Oh yeah. Love Terry. Love Chris Wu. Thinking about watching everything Chris Wu has performed in. Already watched Autumn's Concerto.

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Goodness.. SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!
Autumns concerto... Yep I luff him there. Yet I never care for the drama, the way I'm into SP. I loved the lil boy, but I just could not get over the fact that all the problems could had been avoided... If she either NOT LISTEN TO HIS STUPID EVIL MOM. Or if she waited till he was in the freaking operating room, then left. For gods sake he was going to have his brain cut open, and you choose now to tell him you are leaving???? Ugh

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Is there the ep 4 for Last Cinderella already subbed? where? where?

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Finally finished marathoning Giant. The verdict? It’s very satisfying and ranks as my most favorite revenge story so far. I love that it’s a character-driven saga wherein there’s such an amazing graph of character growth and degeneration that is so universal, making one feel as if they can see these kind of people in real life anywhere. This is the kind of realism that really gets to me in the heart because then I can understand everyone’s motivations, dreams, decisions, and desires and be able to naturally feel hate, protectiveness, love, pity, and scorn for them. I especially loved that redemption for some of the characters came after much struggle. Usually it’s the other way around: characters are quickly forgiven when I’m still feeling hateful towards them and I hate that. But here, my feelings were able to evolve naturally from anger, distrust, and hate to grudging and then finally to forgiving. So yeah, it was awesome. I even cried a bucketful in the end for Lee Sang-mo. Loved him so much. Gang-mo is also going down on my list as one of the best heroes in dramaland.

Because of Giant, I took up History of the Salaryman. Although it was initially off-putting to see a lot of Giant’s extended cast present in this drama (I usually dislike that), I quickly got over it because luckily the cast is good enough in their acting that I can forget their earlier roles in Giant while being immersed in the new storyline. [I even screamed in delight and fear at Jo Pilyeon’s cameo]. The humor was fantastic and a welcoming change from the heaviness that was Giant. As always, Lee Beom Soo is excellent as he delivers another hero that makes my insides melt (how awesome was he during his Versailles Yoo days, lol). I also fell in love with the heroine Yeo Chi who is super bratty yet adorable. She is truly a refreshing change from the usual drama heroines. But more than these individual characters themselves, I was attracted to their light romance. They were so friggin’ adorable that I just wanted for things to heat up a bit between them, haha. Too bad the romantic action was more focused on Woo Hee and Hang Woo. Speaking of the latter, is it me or does the guy who plays him seem like a hybrid between Lee Min Ho and Choi Si-won in looks? Anyways, Salaryman is awesome and I’m so happy that there are recaps for it on this site (thanks a lot, Heads!! Those are a delight to read after watching each episode and I’m able to glean the more subtle stuff that I otherwise would have missed). I would definitely recommend this show. It may be 22 episodes long but they’re actually very easy to get through since all the episodes are full of fun. Where Giant was actually a bit daunting to marathon because of its heavy nature, Salaryman is a breeze. I will definitely be on the lookout for future projects of this production team (even though they unbelievably screwed up everything they’re good at in their Incarnation of Money drama).

Meanwhile, I’m feeling disappointed with Nine on the amount of dragging that went on in episode 15. The hero literally spent so much time being idle that I was a little upset to see him in such a lethargic state. Mentally I could understand since he was going through such tough times but I guess I’ve been spoiled by my favorite go-getter heroes *coughLeeBeomSoocough* that this kind of lethargy doesn’t sit with me very well. I hoped things would get better in episode 16 but the first 15-20 minutes into the episode was still spent on the moping so I just stopped watching. I finally understand that this drama’s success hinged on its quick pace combined with complete unpredictability. But with none of that happening here, I was quickly bored and turned off. Nine should have been 16 episodes long but at this point I can only hope that it doesn’t get an extension if there are any thoughts about it. Meanwhile, can someone kindly recap episode 16 in a few sentences? I’d be so grateful.

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Episode 16 of Nine is worth watching though there are very few MY and SW scenes. You just have to get through Overacting Choi in the beginning and then it truly pics up. (Also fast forward through some of the funeral stuff)

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Alright, I’ll just do that. Thanks for the heads up. Now I know what to skip. :)

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Ah, come on!! The overacting Choi is one of the best part! Eat up the scenery, villain, I say!

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*sigh* I love Nine and thought the last two episodes were better than some of the previous ones, but to each his own. Basically Jung Woo died, Sun Woo decided to kill Choi & an incense he had disappeared right in front of YoungHoon and his eyes. We saw that Choi figured out that Sun Woo had been time traveling and had a cop get the incense from his house. He faked fainted at his sentencing and, after being rushed to the hospital, used an incense to time travel. Meanwhile, Sun Woo figured out that Choi was on to him and went to the hospital room & snuffed out the incense. But by then Choi had ordered young Sun Woo killed. The episode ended with Sun Woo being attacked and a scar appearing on 2013's Sun Woo's arm. There does appear to be some hope b/c initially Choi had two incenses but one of them disappeared in his hand just as it had with Sun Woo and YoungHoon.

Well, it wasn't just a few sentences but I tried to be brief!

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Smack a SPOILER on that.

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Oh shoot! Forgot to flag it. I'll send telepathic waves to the visitors not to read it if they don't want to know what happened before they see the episode for themselves.

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Ha! Thanks for the spoilers. Things certainly did pick up and I'll watch that stuff. I guess we have different tastes. I don't like so much moping around.

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Oh my gosh!! Folks keep praising Giant. I have to commit to watching it.

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Carole, Carole, Carole!! I know you have a lot of dramas on your plate...but you must get to Giant at all costs!!!! Lol, just kidding. Take your time. Giant is not something that should be rushed or watched half-heartedly. When you have less dramas to watch or feeling ennui, then that's perfect time for Giant. Meanwhile, I'm rewatching the drama just 'cause I'm having withdrawal symptoms staying away from it.

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You're right. I'll do well by Giant. I'll pay attention. Sometimes I do fast-forward through shows I'm marathoning. I will watch it slowly and intently. Promise.

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I cried like a little baby for Lee Sang-mo too. Giant was such a great show I end up buying the dvds for 130 bucks. My whole family have seen it and loved it.

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Where did you buy it? Does it come with subtitles? I would definitely love to own it so that in the future, if and when I should have kids, I will definitely force them to watch all my favorite dramas, LOL.

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Happy Friday everyone! Anyone else overwhelmed by the drama selections out there right now?
Seriously, I need one of those incense sticks from “Nine” to go back and watch all the dramas I have on my list (or a Conductor, or a magical cell phone). 50 episode dramas? No big deal! Bring them on.
My faves right now are Nine, Cruel Palace, Jang Ok Jung, and Lee Soon Shin. Will start Mandate of Heaven and Birth Secret as soon as a few more episodes are subbed.

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Hi, if you don't mind me asking, where are you finding the subbed Mandate of Heaven? I want to watch it sooo bad!

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I don't watch the show but I noticed it on dramacrazy(dot)net and gooddrama(dot)net

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Good Morning, My Wondrous Beans!

The sun is shining, I’m not really coughing any more…life is good here. I hope the same for you 

Nine: Every week. Every damn week, they get me. I love this show. It ALWAYS leaves me hanging, and I spend the whole week trying to figure out what’s coming, and I am ALWAYS wrong. I love that.

Gu: Still happy. Still miss GumiDad, but we’re getting to the meat of the conflict and so far I enjoy the story. How come the Head Gisaeng hasn’t aged in 20plus years?

Last Cinderella: My Miura grabby-hands are off the freakin’ charts, man. I’m filling in with Bloody Monday. I don’t think there’s a Miura out there that approaches Cinderella Miura, but I will take whatever I can get. By the way: Bloody Monday is a fun ride!

Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo: The ‘just try to forget me’ kiss scene. ALREADY. Sometimes I really really love the pace of Japanese shows.

Lee Soon Shin: Mom’s getting tiresome. I get your pain. We ALLLLLLLLLLLL get your pain. GET OVER IT. Love the boys. Love the sisters. SO HAPPY that Yoo In Ah is no longer so irritating. Now she’s the cute level of prickle and I like that.

She is Wow: Wow. WOW. This is a new show, I watched the first two episodes. They FLEW by. Check this one out, if you get a chance. Yes, there’s an idol, but you hardly notice it because he’s actually very competent as an actor. Mysti calls him the devil with an angel face, and that’s about accurate. He’s the cutest brat you ever saw. I think I recognize the..um…4th family member, but I’m not sure. I haven’t bothered to check.

We Got Married Global: Taec and GuiGui continue to be cute, but in a surprising twist, the spark between HongGi and Mina might be just about to burst into flame, and I like it. I really like it. Turns out that there’s a lot of Jeremy in HongGi and I don’t mind that AT ALL.

OPPA: Oppa, you need a real woman. One who can have an adult relationship that isn’t based on games or emotional blackmail. Call me. I’m waiting. By the way: those faded jeans with the grey sweater? I’d like to see them again. Thank you.

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how do you manage to watch all these dramas!?

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Wrong question on such a board. ;)

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lol!

well, i thought i was pushing it with watching three to four a week, but this list is a bit dazzling. i really am curious.

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Where there is a will, there is a way. ;)

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I've always wondered about this too. Do you happen to have magical powers that somehow enables you to watch your drama in a fourth dimension while you're juggling your RL priorities? I'm amazed. How do you manage to fit them all into your schedule, JoAnne? O.O

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Ha! I've explained this before, but it's been a while: my child is grown (and has now moved to the opposite coast); my dog is of the lap variety and needs little beyond ear rubs and a soothing voice; my housekeeping is not what it could be, and I only sleep between 4 and 6 hours a night as a general rule. I wish it were more, but it is what it is. My job, while quite absorbing, tends not to take more than 45-50 hours a week at MOST, and I have been single for many years. I do manage to spend time with friends and family, and I have other hobbies as well, but 2-3 hours of drama-watching a day is not at all out of the question. More, on the weekends. Probably less as we move into warmer weather, to be honest. This is quite a list even for me, but still doesn't include the sporadic viewing of several other shows I'm moving through pretty slowly.

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I used to do that....but driving all over the place has made my drama watching less! *sob*

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omg, i loved bloody monday to a ridiculous degree. like i really enjoyed the manga, and i thought the drama adaptation was just so spot on. and i was so pleased w/ the fact that there were two seasons of this awesomeness :3

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"SO HAPPY that Yoo In Ah is no longer so irritating. Now she’s the cute level of prickle and I like that." So true! And when she asked Lee Soon Shin whether she still liked their friend (forget his name), I even thought she's actually super-sweet!

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I liked YIA's character before...I know she was HORRIBLE, but she's at least consistent. *ducks*

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JoAnne, my love! So nice to "see" you. Have I been missing out on Twitter conversations with you lately or is that just me being a bit ... out of touch with things?
It could also be the lack of sleep. Today, I saw a ghost in my computer. Seriously. It was a face and when I looked more closely, it disappeared.
I'm starting to do the gifs now for the SqueeCap! Though I hear they are turning into RageCaps soon?

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No, we haven't been running into each other much - you tend to be getting off line just as I'm coming on. Sadness.

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JoAnne: Now there is no doubt that Muira is a thing of beauty. When Sakura is wearing nothing but a silk bed sheet and he goes all predatory stalking her as she leans back and back ... oh my!

*SPOILERS*
But I am not so in love with Muira's character in 'Last Cinderella'. Three! Three! It has killed any hopes I had that Hiroto was a nice guy who was going to fall for Sakura. I think you will find Hiroto has less and less screen time with Sakura. He is dodging kisses with Sakura and still having bed time with Momo. Then you add ... the one in ep 4 ... and I just am not feeling the love for Hiroto no matter how pretty.
* END SPOILERS*

I liked Samurai Seventeen (Samurai High School). The Museum Curator/Librarian was great. More Miura is good :-)

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Julia, hi! That scene was not as appealing to me as his runway strut through the ball room when he was first called onto the scene by the crazy girl, and then the cute frown through the tennis racket on the sports date, and then the tee shirt flapping on the park date. And ANY time he breaks out that whole-face enormous grin.

I don't see him avoiding kisses with Sakura at all. I see him TRYING to kiss her all the time, and her avoiding him. I can see that there are things he likes about her, but that snotty remark he made to Chiyoko about her in ep 3 was saddening. I look forward to him changing. I don't think he will have less time with her, I think we're headed for MORE.

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More Muira is good. So for both our sakes, hope you are right.

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Loved Samurai High School, what I saw of it. And Bloody Monday..what I saw of that.

It seems to me that in Cinderella, Hiroto is more truly misogynistic than Rintaro. Rintaro's is only skin deep but Hirato's disdain of women --especially women who find him pretty-- is to the bone.

I'm hoping Sakura's kind heart will bring some light and peace to Hiroto who seems way too guilt-ridden by a manipulative woman to ever truly love anyone ...at least in his present state.

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Except for the last two shows you mentioned, I'm watching all those too.

Nine: The last 2 weeks have been so-so and I've been procrastinating watching ep.16 as I already know what happened because of the preview. I was expecting this to be a 16-episode drama so I was surprised that it has 4 more episodes.

GFB: Only watching scenes of Suzy-LSG & Suzy-SJ. Thankful for the recaps. Love Suzy's character. Also, as much as I'm okay with actors over-acting in scenes meant to be funny, I wish LSG would tone it down a bit.

Last Cinderella: wondering why the other girl is obsessed with the lead guy. She's creepy. ;)

Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo: Even if I know what happened already what with watching the TW ver. (too long!) and Kr ver. (loved it), I'm also loving this version very much.

YTBLSS: Ah, the moms are turning out to be the most boring part of the show. Less scenes f them please and more of the leads.

She is Wow: The neighbors doing it cracks me up. Plus the unexpected hijinks. totally not predictable and laugh out loud funny.

All About My Romance: I like the writer and PD of this show. Hope they make it as much fun in future episodes. Also, more scenes of the niece, Bo-ri!

Dad, Where are You Going?: waiting for ep.16 subs...

Hwasin: missing the skits with KHS being so serious and funny at the same time.

Barefoot Friends: Watched ep.2 and love KHD and KHJ's interactions. I still don't know what to make of this show though.

Kogure Shashinkan: why is there only 4 episodes? Hope they do a special.

On my watch list:

Mandate of Heaven: not sure when I could start ep.2.

Cruel Palace: The first 1/4 of episode 1 was too long so I stopped. Hope I could pick it up again since I loved the intro recaps here at db.

JOJ: Would love to pick it back up at ep.6 but then I'd miss the other stuff in between. Why isn't there enough time? Though my plan is to watch this after it's finished.

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Kogure Shashinkan – The four episodes totally threw me off as well! I like that drama, but they could have done an even better job at full-length! Not just more mysteries, but really fleshing out the characters.

Plus, I want Nobuko to come back!

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Forgot to add TEN S2. Good first 2 episodes. Hope they'll make a good ending this season unless they're planning for S3 and would make it open-ended again.

Childless Comfort: The subs are so slow that I'm waiting for at least 3 or 4 episodes subbed before continuing watching. Also, I'm only watching this because I'm wondering what the hype was all about. Why are all the characters unlikeable so far?

A Game of Thrones: Why are there so many spoilers? Anyway, I'm still enjoying watching it even I already know what will happen because the production's so amazing.

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My brother LOVES game of thrones so I know I have to get on it sometime. I dropped my other two american shows...the walking dead and once upon a time. I got bored...lol Kdrama has spoiled me for multiseason dramas. LOLOL

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I'm mad at Oppa, with Oppa and Oppa's girls. This drama is batshit crazy, I can't take Fish Face any longer. I want only Oppa! /sharing Him with you is also an option/

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laos7

I CALL DIBS!!!

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Apartment with Oppa in it is mine!

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Excuse me. Can you google 'When a man loves Laos?' No. Can you google 'When a man loves Shuk?' Didn't think so.

You girls lost the war before you even began the battle.

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Hmm, then how come I google "When A Man Loves Shukmeister" the first five are all MEEEEEEEEEE.

Hah! [hands on hips]

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I can google Oppa and Laos, there're 2,140,000 results for me and Oppa out there!
We're meant to be!

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Episode 9 is up and running at kakashi's blog, and Oppa came to me in a dream and personally thanked me for his...um...exposure in the SqueeCaps. Really.

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Was he in his white shirt and grey cardigan or rather shirtless when he came upon you?

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[blushing] 8-)

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I LOVE Bloody Monday.

Did you see Hongki and Mina's wedding photos...they are beautiful...though his ponytail is annoying a bit

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I first saw Miura in that movie based off the Manga....guh what's it called...I know that's not a valid description here *goes to look it up* Kimi ni todoke. I was reading the manga and was like *jaw drop* when I saw him. Then I immediately gobbled up other Miura things. Bloody Monday is super fun. Kinda the Japanese Hackers but not as hokey or with underwater kissing.

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I watched Kimi ni Todoke two weekends ago. Yep yep.

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It's as cute as the manga and ...just as slow. but sooo cute.

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I like the Kimi No Todoke manga so I watch the animes and movie of course...the slight change to the ending annoyed me but it was cool.

I was happy with him in the role

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Ooh, Miura. Should men be so beautiful?????

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@JoAnne: I am glad I am not the only one who wondered why GFB's head Giseng hasn't aged. WHAT is in her tea? Or is she supposed to be a mystical creature?

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Hongki and Chemistry? eeeks I have to watch it! I'm waiting for the Miura to finish to I can DL it! Yay no more coughing. I think the snow is finally going to give me a break over here. FINALLY!<3

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those faded jeans with the grey sweater?

.......♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥......

Let's write a petition that The Golden Tree office needs to go corporate casual. THT in suits is nice, yes,
but, the jeans and the cardigan and the tee could help solve SK's population numbers all by themselves (with THT in them.)

I kinduv lunged forward when he was making his bed and thinking sexy thoughts...boyoboyoboy...

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jomo -

Yep - a domestic man with those feet and those shoulders is always a joy to see. Especially near a bed. lol

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Jomo, I will sign as long as there is at least one sharp blue suit/white shirt.blue tie day...fitted, of course.

[skipping off to dream...]

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I THOUGHT EXACTLY THE SAME THING about Baek Seung Jo's mom in GFB. IT's been 20 years and she still looks the same???

Although, my experience with all my asian college friends is: Asian women don't age. At least none of them did, still look exactly the same, even though they now have kids in college. I look every year of my way-too-many-years, lol. Just having kids gave me grey hair and wrinkles, lol.

But, then, I need an explanation as to where all the old asian halmeonis that I see at Costco (near a small Ktown) come from. Do they get to a certain age, THEN suddenly "poof" you're a halmeoni? I don't get it, lol.

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you must have known by now,,that the 4th family member is the father's gay lover..OMG,,i was laughing hard about this revealing...

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Yes, Shepo, I knew it when I wrote it, LOL - but I was trying not to reveal too much for someone who might not have seen it yet!

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