Beans of Wisdom: K-drama school
by DB Staff
This week in Beans of Wisdom…
PBY writes in “Cinderella and the Four Knights: Episode 9” comment #7:
I have a theory about Hye-ji. She either is or would be an ideal candidate for a tragic ghost.
Think about it – she’s clearly obsessed with some sort of sad past that is always alluded to but never shown, you can find her weeping at random places in the house, and she stares at her never-forgotten love with an intensity of a thousand stalkers and a single tear streaming down her cheek. I can practically see her slowly extending her hand towards Hyun-min and breaking down in despair when her hand passes through him.
she could have been crying myrtle, hiding in hyun-min’s toilet and angry flushing herself time to time
It seems like the problem persists in “Cinderella and the Four Knights: Episode 10.” So noooooooooo asks in comment #8:
How do you solve a problem like Hye-ji? I’ve been trying to ignore her but it’s getting increasingly hard with the amount of screen time she’s getting. Send her far, far awaaaaay please!
Self-help guide to solving the Hye-ji crisis:
1. Drunk watching – this show is best watched when under the influence of alcohol because the next day after would be easier to admit that you did watch it and the alcohol can be the excuse as to why you did.
2. Fast forward button – perfect way to skip through those scenes when chubby cheeks is on.
3. Stop watching and just read the recap! – no explanation needed.
4. Pray – taking a page from Jealousy Incarnate’s Hwa Shin, if there’s a higher being, they can go take this show and magically reincarnate it with better writing and as an added bonus, we’d like to send the actress playing hye-ji back as well in exchange for someone with actual talent.
5. Just re-watch episodes 1-5 and pretend it ended there.
Arya asks in “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 7” comment #49:
I probs sound like a complete noob but what was that song she was singing in this episode??
To which owl replies:
Not sure, but the whole scene reminded me of Snow White singing a lullaby to the seven dwarfs.
So does this mean:
Doc = Wook (the brains and Kang Haneul in glasses makes me happy)
Grumpy = So (enough said…)
Happy = Jung (seems to be the most carefree besides when he is about to get his arm cut off in a sudden revenge plot)
Dopey = Eun (though I could use some other words to describe his intelligence after this episode)
Bashful = Baek Ah (since he took the most time to warm up to Soo and his “okay” was really cute *.*)
Sneezy = Yo (because I’m allergic to his presence on my computer screen)
Sleepy = Won/CP (they appears the least so I’m going to just assume they’re taking naps off screen)
Objection! Nope, So can’t be Grumpy, as he will be the prince charming who will get to kiss Snow White Su eventually 😉
Perfect! That means we can move Yo to Grumpy and CP to Sneezy (since he has health problems anyways) and now we have all the princes covered. 🙂
Hi ho hi ho!
In the same post, Barbrey writes in comment #88:
Wang So. Character precariously placed on the edge of sharp blade to either “shine brilliantly” as his name implies, or cause bloody mayhem. I don’t want him to lose that cruel streak that environment has given him, while also not wanting him to be so bad we can’t like him. It’s still possible that it’s Soo’s fate to soften those edges, but I’m hoping the edges remain – just makes him a more interesting historical character.
It’s interesting, because I don’t know if you’re coming from this direction, but the Hanja for So’s name “昭” has a literal knife “刀” above an edge “口”. So literally he’s living life on the edge, with a knife in hand. It’s just my interpretation of it, but I thought it was appropriate!
Also his name has the sun radical (日) as well, similar to Wook’s, and I was just thinking of how there can never be two suns in the sky. One of them has to go… but how?
Oh, one’s the morning sun – Wook – first light/first love, and one’s the setting sun (all that orange setting sun imagery for So) – last light/last and final love. Soo’s the moon and all the “suns” or “sons” are in love with her. Moon Lovers. Or Moon Embracing the Son(s). 🙂
I wasn’t coming at it from Hanja, which I don’t know, but from the point of view of “Shine or Go Crazy”, which also had the Wang So character. So means to “shine brilliantly”, but it had the double edge of “going crazy” instead. His fate was to do one or the other, depending on whether he met the right girl. I do think this drama is incorporating the exact same thing.
Oh what a lovely way of putting it! I went and looked up the character a bit more, and it does mean what you’ve said here–it’s also “light in the darkness”, so yeah that definitely signifies him winning that race to the throne in the end doesn’t it.
It does seem to be that way, I agree, that So will become one or the other depending on who he meet. Maybe that’s why Su was sent back in time–to ensure that he will shine in the darkness, and not be engulfed by it.
(If you liked this convo, you should check out the original thread for more of the discussion.)
Folding_Castles writes in “The race is on to catch a legendary conman in crime thriller Master” (#11):
I’m hoping to pitch a movie idea to Kang Dong Won’s agency. The movie will be a 90 minute continuous shot of his face and it’s tentatively titled “You’re Welcome”.
Meanwhile, Manongja writes this idea in comment #3 of “Shim Eun-kyung becomes King of Walking in new film”:
I hope they promote on Runningman and do everything by walking.
Purple Owl writes a goodbye poem in “W–Two Worlds: Episode 16 (Final)” comment #9:
I once had a soul
Now it has a W shaped hole
I’ll never be whole
Jokes aside, Imbuk‘s words might help us make peace with the show’s ending. In comment #82:
I loved how the ending scene kind of glorified the ordinary, because we always take it for granted. Its ironic for this drama to do that because it was anything but ordinary. Only when we come upon love stories like these, do we realize how extraordinary it is if we get to fall in love with someone, marry them and live the rest of our life with them. It made me feel that an ordinary life is probably the best thing you can get. And I am happy Kang chul and Oh yeon joo get to live that kind of life and sad that we didn’t get to see it, but we can always imagine!
This week’s “Spill the Beans: Sisterly bonding and bizarre fanfiction” inspired more spilling of beans about family bonding over kdramas. In comment #3, Skyofblue writes:
I can relate very much to the first story. My cousin and I were good friends but we never really went beyond a surface relationship. But once I showed her dramas and Kpop we suddenly had so much more to talk about. It became a door to new conversations and midnight confessions, as we became more comfortable with each other through our shared interests. These things really can bring people together if we’re brave enough to share.
(Now if they don’t like it is another story. Maybe one involving a chair, some rope, and a twenty story building)
While JuicyFeet shares in #9:
My mom had surgery recently to remove some possibly cancerous cells so I drove down to her house (8 hours) and spent ~2 weeks with her helping to care for her farm.
In order to keep my mom SITTING ON THE COUCH LIKE A GOOD SURGERY PATIENT and not trying to flounder around the kitchen and dogs and chickens etc, I introduced her to kdramas for the first time.
One of my besties growing up was half korean and I have fond memories of her oma making kimchi and all kinds of things for us while we watched whatever korean drama was on together.
I had only recently started really obsessing with kdramas again (I HAD MISSED OUT ON OVER 10 YEARS WORTH OF GREAT TV) and I was excited to share some of these new great finds with my mom (especially because she was now a literally captive audience). I watched Secret Garden and You From Another Star with her. My mom was hooked.
It gave my mom and I something extra to bond with whilst also keeping her safe on the couch to recover. Thanks, kdramas.
Emanresu posts this question in “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Episode 7” (#78):
The show and the response I’ve seen here and elsewhere has prompted a question I’d like to pose to the ladies (if I may).
Can someone help me to understand:
What is it about faux homosexual romance/kissing that women find so appealing and “squee-inducing” (for lack of a better term) in Korean dramas?
To my eyes, there seems to be something about this particular scenario that really seems to emotionally connect with the majority of the viewers here and elsewhere (who I would presume are mostly female).
The huge ratings success of the shows Coffee Prince and Sungkyunkwan Scandal as well as Moonlight would suggest as much. I recall similar responses to those shows depictions of faux homosexuality.
As a guy, I’ve really enjoyed the show. But the faux homosexuality does not for me elevate the show any more than any other of the standard trappings of the romance genre would. To be honest I’m rather indifferent to it.
Forgive me if I’m incorrect in my assessment. However, I’m honestly curious! I’ve struggled to understand this for some time, so any help would be immensely appreciated.
Well not really all of them. There’s Scholar Who Walks The Night, To The Beautiful You and Nail Shop Paris which were all cross-dressing shows but weren’t ratings hits.
It’s just that Coffee Prince, Sungkyungkwan and Moonlight are very well-made shows and succeeded to hit the viewers’ sweet spot, notwithstanding the girl-pretend-to-be-a-man premise.
I can’t speak for others but for me, it isn’t really about the faux homosexuality. It’s more on the thrill of anticipating when will the lead guys find out and all the super fun gender-bender hijinks that comes with it.
Violet chimes in with:
I think it’s the loving despite the forbiddeness of it, the angst it brings, the pay-off when they finally get together because a “gay relationship” is so looked down upon. The male lead basically loves the female lead for her “soul” and not because of the physical. I dont think it will work as well as it does if say an American drama tackles a cross-dressing drama since being gay is okay here in general, but in Asia, especially in the old times, it is a big no no. So that jump amps the stakes even higher.
And Michykdrama adds:
I agree with the ladies here. It’s not to do with gender but romance related.
The swoony bit to me is the idea that there is a love that is worth sacrificing everything for. In this case it is not just gender- it is also that they are worlds apart status wise, and even if Prince Yeong knows Ra On’s true gender, this still holds true. She can’t ever be his wife. And he could lose everything by confessing his love for her especially as a eunuch- becoming interim King, his reputation etc- and still he did it. And it made it extra special because he was pushed to do it by something Ra On herself said.
Also, in this case part of the magic is the belief that a guy will fall in love with a girl despite her outward appearance not being appealing, or even if she doesn’t even try to attract at all. Because he can see her inner beauty and he can’t help but fall in love. And in this case both Prince Yeong and Ra On seem to be their true selves only with each other.
And lastly is my belief that True Love Can Conquer All. This show makes me hope beyond hope that it will happen, and I’m rooting for the couple to defy all odds and win.
So yup. I swoon for this amazing type of love. The girl falls in love with the most unattainable of men, who falls in love with her as well, and sacrifices everything to confess his love for her, and together they will overcome all obstacles in their way and Live Happily Ever After. ?
stuffed starts this thread in “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Episode 8” comment #1.2:
Can we all take a moment to appreciate how fluid Bogummy’s expressions are. I mean, when he saw Ra On in that hanbok his expression changed from being surprised to being delightful in such a smooth transition! And in that last scene.. omagasshhh.. is there a class where we can study and discuss his facial expression because I wanna sign up for that!
Hahahaha should I take that class? Lead that class? I feel like I’ve already written the extra credit essays ?
I volunteer as TA for that class!
100% attendance in Dramabeans School. lol Always too early for classes (recaps). Always ready with recitations (comments) that are well-thought out, researched, and analyzed. LOL
DR1001 Introduction to K-Drama Studies
DR2101 Squee Statistics and Analysis
DR2102 Trucks and Tumours: Trope Identification
DR2103 Chaebols and Heirs: Inequality in Dramaland
and of course,
DR3101 Micro Expression Analysis: Moonlight Drawn By Park Bo-gum
On a more sentimental note, I just want to say that I’m so proud of how DB is a community that subverts stereotypes about drama-watchers. Call us fanatics or addicts, but I’ve seen written pieces here that would not look out of place in a film studies essay. All you dedicated recappers and Beanies – I salute you!!! ??
Thank you, beanies, for turning kdrama comments into both an art and a science!
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Tags: Beans of Wisdom