about javabeans

I love Korean dramas and I write about ‘em. (And write about ‘em. And write about ‘em. You may have noticed that brevity is not my friend. I want to be ITS friend, but it shuns me regularly.)

I’ve been watching Korean dramas (on and off) as long as I can remember, for almost two decades. My first Korean drama was the 1992 hit Jealousy, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Man does that make me feel old.

I started this site because I couldn’t find a site providing meaty (or any) analysis for K-dramas, a longtime guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoy marveling at the pretty as much as anyone, but also wanted to express appreciation for quality that didn’t automatically dismiss something for being popular. Or, on the flipside of that same coin, to discuss something popular that went beyond surface discussion of the plot or hot cast. (Although, let’s be honest! Hot cast = a nice bonus.)

My underlying modus operandi: Just because it’s pop culture doesn’t mean discourse has to be shallow. I’d like to sustain a fun but hopefully substantive level of conversation, mixed with some irreverence. Because it’s not worth it if it’s no fun.

I occasionally tweet (@javabeans). And even less occasionally blog (elsewhere, that is). There’s also a Dramabeans Facebook that gets ignored a lot.

 

about girlfriday

I’m 50% writer, 50% couch potato. I lean left; politically, not footwise. I like to make snap judgments, then reconsider them to a pulp. I enjoy grammar, if only to break some more rules. I’m a tv junkie, a critic, a fan, but mostly importantly, I’m a writer who likes to procrastinate by watching k-dramas. The fact that I can do both now blows my mind.

I feel very strongly that people can have thoughtful discourse on just about any topic, and that art—mass, pop, high, pulp, whatever it may be—can and should be discussed intelligently for the thing it is.

Hence, I thought Dramabeans would be a good place to exercise my brain. Or was it exorcise? That would explain the confusion.

About the name: A Girl Friday could rule the world, if she really wanted to. You know her—the best friend smartypants, the plucky assistant who always knows exactly what the private eye/cop/secret agent/superhero needs? She’s cute and clever and sassy and loyal, and pretty much smarter than everyone in the room. I mean, could Jack Bauer have saved one day, let alone eight, without Chloe O’Brien?

My favorite Girl Fridays are of course ones that break the mold. Willow Rosenberg and Veronica Mars are the contemporary evolution of the classic character, and give us all hope that the geeky outcast can and will save the world.

Just think of me as Dramabeans’ girlfriday: the Miss Moneypenny to javabeans’ Bond.

I sometimes tweet things I shouldn’t. And ramble on in a blog.

Meet the rest of the Dramabeans staff.

 

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766 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 51 happysis

    It’s good to know that you are in U.S. I just wish the DVD-english Sub could carry part of your good english. This is the first time I’m following up a drama this close (Air City). Thank you for your comments, inputs and translations up to now on “Air City drama”. My husband and my kids think I’m nuts but I could do this because it’s summer-No school for kids… I hope you will not give up on Air City yet!

  2. 52 fizzlex3mh

    hey~
    I love your site! After trying to enjoy Witch Yoo Hee and failing miserably, I read your episode summaries and found myself disliking it a little less – yes, because of the mock factor. Your recaps are just tooooo funny. There are a lot of things that happened in WYH that made me want to throw something at my computer, and I love how you pointed them out in a humorous way. “Pure eye candy, no nutrition”. So true, so true.

    I agree with all your ratings of how much you liked your dramas, although I would rate Fantasy Couple higher than Full House and My Name is Kim Sam Soon a little less. But that’s just me. I might even check out Soulmate since we have such similiar tastes!

    By the way, do you like romantic comedies more than melodramas? It seems most of the dramas you have seen are funny rather than serious…just curious.

    Keep up the great blogging!

  3. 53 javabeans

    fizzle, did i rate Full House higher than Fantasy Couple? how could that be? *checks post* Ah, they’re the same. Sometimes my ratings fluctuate a little (not too much, just a bit) depending on my mood, and probably depending on which one i watched most recently. I would rate FH lower now, but then I remember that I did enjoy myself a lot when I first watched it so I feel guilty lowering my ‘rating’ retroactively… so there it stays, for now at least.

    i do like romantic comedies more than melodramas… probably because i figure life is serious enough as it is, and koreans tend to have a flair for the tragic. i like laughing a lot more than crying. unless i’m crying with laughter — that’s the best.

  4. 54 SarangCandee

    I guess i’m going to follow closely to all your blogs because I also prefer romantic comedies over melodramas…”Laughing is definitely better than crying”..hehehehe

  5. 55 icechocolate

    Hi, because you mention bit about my girl, can i ask you a question? What did yoo rin choke on the first family dinner after grandpa got well? Is it chilli or pepper or something else? Because the translation is so awful, so i don’t get the point.
    Thanks, because of you i can understand some of jokes that related to language. Like hand telephone in hello miss.

  6. 56 javabeans

    icechocolate, I’m not exactly sure which instance you mean, but at the dinner table, Yoo Rin’s so nervous trying to answer everyone’s questions and keep track of her lies, that she busies herself eating and burns her tongue. I wonder if that’s what you mean. At the end of that episode (4), she doesn’t choke but gets indigestion from stress, because she’s feeling guilty over all her lies.

  7. 57 icechocolate

    Yes, the first family dinner. So because of nervous she doesn’t know what kind of food she picked? I see. So maybe it’s just a chilli soup (or something spicy) that yoo rin must drink not to eat. Because after that, gong chan’s aunt serve the food in a bowl.
    I got it. thanks.

  8. 58 kiwee
  9. 59 kiwee

    wow. it was erased becuase of a less than 3 love sign. bleh.
    anyway, i love money’s warfare. although sometimes ridiculous, i find it entirely hilarious. but i didnt watch the 1st 2 eps and wasn’t planning on watching the rest ’cause of your review, but i guess everyone has different tastes. :)
    i love bad couple though, and sometimes i’m embarrased for gi chan becuase he’s so… innocent. hah.

  10. 60 jxbeaucp

    wow this is great you moved!!! how exciting!!! loved both dramabeans and javabeans!!!! keep up the good work!!!!

  11. 61 ripgal

    hahha..Sarah! You made me laugh with your witty but short comments on the dramas..
    Esp the last one…I totally agree. hehehe..

    And Flowers is just next to Soulmate, your fav series. It’s currently my BEST too!

  12. 62 Peps

    Damn ur such a great writer!…as if i am watching the series!..esp. Flowers for my life!…i love everything about it and the writer’s and director’s approach to the story!..Melodramatic!…BTW, are you a art or film director?..I love the way you give your comments to each of the characters attitude towards the scene and how you praise the director’s shots on the film!…you are such a great film critic!…my IdoL!

  13. 63 blueseeker

    I have to agree with peps, you surely do a great job at describing the scenes making it as if we were watching it ourselves. You are quite fair at how you word opinions based on your likes and dislikes, which makes you a great critic. I agree with your ratings on the dramas, so i wanted to ask your opinion on the new drama “snow in august” although the sypnosis seemed interesting, after witch amusement am a little cautious. Thank you for all your efforts!

  14. 64 mangoicy

    Hi javabeans!
    I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask for a technical question (and for some reason the following paragraph got cut off from my original message on your another post, but that’s besides the point), so here goes. Maybe it only happens to me, but i have been having problem getting in to your new homepage (I never had this problem before when you were still on wordpress). My initial suspicion is the limited bandwidth of your new server. Do you know if perhaps anybody else is having the same problem?

  15. 65 carpediem101

    hey! i just realized i could have commented here instead of in your “Rockin Monday” post.. -.- but i really just wanted to encourage that you give war of money a shot!! really really!!! it seems kind of depressing for like the first couple eps maybe cuz it seems to show the grim reality of what money actually means in life and the ridiculuous power it has over people… but i really think it’s really worth all the hype it’s receiving in korea. true, it does center around money and how the “money demons” can get the best of you and basically consume you body and soul if you aren’t careful … oh and that easy money is basically bad money etc. but “money” is in the title. go figure right? there doesn’t seem to be a huge response amongst the younger generation or overseas probably b/c there aren’t any huge name/idolized young stars like those coming out right now, but i really have to credit park shin yang. he is a superb actor, and while not the obvious choice of hunk that many prefer, his charisma and talent are very much apparent. it’s like, how can you NOT root for this man? plus i was pleasantly surprised by Park Jin Hee (who i had never even heard of before this but was apparently in some drama called Come back Soon Ae?? or something along those lines) Kim Jung Hwa is also portrayed a little differently from her previous roles so that’s interesting to see…it’s seriously a well put together cast. it’s almost done.. i think 4-5 more eps to go? so i’m really hoping it won’t let people down, but so far, it’s been a fun ride. please try to give it another shot. maybe not now, but later? haha but who knows, it just may not be your cup of coffee. and that is perfectly fine too.

    p.s.
    Thank You with Jang Hyuk and Gong Hyo Jin was also a very heart warming drama you are probably very much aware of. It was Jang Hyuk’s comeback drama, and I do believe he came back better than ever in it! and Gong Hyo Jin seems to always be a very consistent and solid actress. and Seo Shin Ae (the little girl) is just the cutest thing ever! This was also a drama that seemed to not be so popular with those in forums and watnot but everyone who gave it a shot eventually came to love it, especially Shin Ae’s character. The story seems simple, but it seemed to be that very simplicity that makes it so sweet. (ok.. simple in comparison to other dramas out there). aah. but that’s just my two cents.

  16. 66 javafiend22

    javabeans: After mooching off your efforts via your blog and subbing work for With S2, I just had to leave a post to express my appreciation. You are like a kindred spirit in a multitude of ways beginning with our similar handles Despite my mothers past attempts, I never took to Kdramas until a pending family trip to Korea gave me agita over my near non-existent Korean (last trip was over 20 years ago!). So I started crash studying by watching Kdramas and the subtitles by With S2 exponentially accelerated my learning curve. Thanks to the great work done by the With S2 team, my relatives actually understood 90% of what I said (and were amazed) and my parents couldnt have been prouder (or maybe relieved?). I managed to lay off Kdramas following the trip but got hooked again recently when I stumbled onto your phenomenally-written blog and and gave Dal Jas Spring a try after reading some of your comments. Alas, medical leave ending soon, but you certainly made me forget my back pain! Please keep up the great work – its appreciated infinitely more than you may think!
    (P.S Not enough is said about your diverse selection re: songs (and generosity in posting download links. Kudos to you for reversing my opinion of current Korean music.)
    *** Dup post from “Fansubs: Anything to Avoid Real Work” ***

  17. 67 Jovy

    Hi javabeans…
    just wanted to drop you a msg to let you know that I really like your blog. Sometimes, I read your blog to keep up with the drama since it takes a while for the english sub to come out. i check your blog everyday just to see your post. Hope you continue with the Coffee Prince…Love your blog, keep it up..

  18. 68 ash

    hey javabeans! i just wanted 2 say thanks for ur blog- its very fun to read instead of waiting for the next eng sub episode to come out!!!

  19. 69 Turtlegirl21

    Hey have you ever watched. Sweet buns? It is a Korean Drama from 2004. I watched the first episode and was wondering if you had seen it and knew where I could get my hands on the rest. Thanks as always. I love what you do and I wouldn’t know where to begin if I wanted to do it myself, so I rely on you.

  20. 70 all4movies

    This is one of the best blogger sites about Kdramas. Nice job. I have recently become addicted to watching and buying them. It looks like we have different opinions as you don’t like some of my favourites (Only You, Fireworks), but that’s ok as we both love My Name is Sam Soon so that makes you a kindred spirit. I found this site because of Coffee Prince which I just started to watch and love. Thank you so much for your interesting commentaries and summaries. Keep up the good work as it helps non-Koreans like me to enjoy the unique Korean sensibility and culture.
    I will definitely check out some of your other commentaries as I want to keep an open mind to other dramas I haven’t watch yet.

  21. 71 catinmyfridge

    I’d have to disagree with you there on Full House. Rewatchability is a big factor in my eyes, and as much as I hate Rain, Full House is one of the few Korean Dramas I don’t mind rewatching. It’s still fun. I would give it (9/9)
    It’s not difficult to understand why Song Hye Kyo is still considered a top 5 actress in Korea after you see this.

    Also, some of the stuff you gave (10/10) is questionable. Personal taste, I guess.

  22. 72 len

    Hi Javabean,
    Thank you for your hard work. i am not korean but i’m enjoying korean dramas plus your summaries. It helps a lot for people like me who are getting addicted watching korean dramas/ movies. by accident, l found your site because of “Coffee Prince”.
    i have only one question for you right now, how come you don’t have any of Kim rae won or kang dong won dramas? just curious????

  23. 73 Vanessa

    I just love all the stuff you write!!! I never cease to be amused whenever I read anything on your site, be it summaries or something about your website(zen!)…. And i think your banners are all pretty and it’s nice the way it changes on every page!!! Currently watching Dalja’s Spring and trying not to read the spoilers but the itch is always there… Keep up the good work! :)

  24. 74 didi

    I could not find the vineyard man and hotelier on your rating? have you seen them? I just curious what rating ur going to give.

  25. 75 jk

    hey,
    i’m in seoul watching the 11th “cup” and i’m getting worried….this is such a heavy episode with so much angst and heartache….god i miss episodes 6&7….this is why i shouldnt watch these things…so frustrated…how do you stand it when the dramas get to this stage?????

    anyway i was wondering if i could help you guys sub the rest of coffee prince. i’ve always wanted to but never knew how. i wanna help out cuz you guys are doing it for free. helping you guys make the world a better place with your services seems to be one altruistic gesture i want to be a part of…please let me know.

  26. 76 Amyable

    Sarah,
    I love that little icon-thingy that appears before the url. Is it new or did I just notice it? So cute!
    Amy

  27. 77 kriss

    hi javabeans!
    strangely enough, i have the exact same question as didi ^up there^ at 74. she was asking what your rating would be for the vineyard man. my friend recommended it, and i remembered while watching yoon eun hye in coffee prince, but i still had to check with you. i am so dependent on you for my kdramas :]
    it started with witch yoo hee, and your snide comments ended up being more enjoyable than the show. then i took your rec for qss, and here i am watching coffee prince. i’ll probably watch soulmate and flowers for my life sometime soon.

  28. 78 kriss

    oh! and i love the coffee prince banner!

  29. 79 melissa

    :] great list! imma watch “flowers for my life” now ^^ i wasn’t planning to cuz it looked too sad, but o well :] watch “tree of heaven”!!!! i thought that drama was awesome :]

  30. 80 Diana

    Hey, i was wondering if you are going to follow up on “9 ends 2 outs?” I just started watching it and fell in love with the drama. Thanks for the Coffee Prince Novel blogs, i really enjoyed reading them. Anyways, you are doing a great job,

    Fighting!! ^_^

  31. 81 ezra =]

    Wow. Thanks for your blog! :) I really appreciate people who have the patience to blog about their obsession for KDrama, which not a lot of people I know understand. I love KDramas so much, and most of my friends think I’m crazy because I don’t even understand the language. But thanks to people like you, I will forever be a fan of KDramas! :) Thanks a lot for all the info, summaries, OSTs, and spoilers. haha. :D

    I love COFFEE PRINCE so MUCH! haha. :) It’s by far my most favorite KDrama.ü

  32. 82 del

    hi! I really enjoyed your site. i’m not korean but i’m kinda hooked up with their kdramas. Most of the stories are poignantly endearing- and most of the emotions portrayed in the lovestories are raw and deep. At first i reluctantly saw goong- but then it was romantically funny and light (i hate nose-blowing melodramas!) and at the same showcased cultural activities (such as the marriage ceremony) of korean royals. Now I’ve counted 9 Kdramas under my sleeves.
    I enjoyed your coffee prince novel translation- specially the ending- perfect lines. ….. I’m a fan of stories with “forever -love conquers all-friend to lovers” themed stories ..aren’t we all?

    thanks for creating this site!

  33. 83 lenggay

    javabeans,
    I really enjoy your site..gosh I’m not korean but I find it really amazing each time I watch korean dramas I look for your name as one of the subbers.. Nway, I do agree with your comments on the favourite ones, I liked the wit of Kim sam soon, bit disappointed with the ending of lovers in Paris, and witch yoo hee ( i watched it for the nice wardrobe!), the refreshing take of Goong.. and the coffee prince..I think I’m enjoying reading and re-reading lines, and the little spot you’ve translated for the novel really helped me a lot.
    I’m seriously hoping to visit korea sometime soon to experience what I see on the dramas in real life even for a short while..
    All the very best in your future endeavours and please continue this website for us to enjoy for a long looooooooong time, I’m just glad there’s somebody like you who is very enthusiastic in promoting good quality korean dramas for everyone to enjoy.
    (I must also tell you that your comments have been very useful for the arguments I have made in my essays…)
    THANKS AGAIN!!

  34. 84 avril

    javabeans,
    I really enjoy your site… I am a Chinese. With the help of you, I could know more about the korean dramas .
    My Enlish is not very well. So I can not express myself completely. I just want to say you are a good translater and I’m just glad there’s somebody like you who is very enthusiastic in promoting good quality korean dramas for everyone to enjoy.
    At last , fighting!

  35. 85 ayah

    thank u so much javabeans…. your summaries are great, especially in coffee prince…. since coffee prince started, ive been a regular stalker in your site…. how i wish to learn to understand and speak korean…. well, i will someday… btw, you’re such a good and unbiased critic… il be watching those kdramas you watched with high ratings.. again, thank you…

  36. 86 Arriane

    Hey Javabeans! I’m a Filipino-American here in the US, who started watching Kdramas in the Tagalog dubs when I visit the Phil. (But when I watch the original series in Korean w/ english sub there were a lot of cuts and changes! :-P so I quit watching dubs) Anyways, OK, so it wasn’t very long since I 1st visited your site. And in fact, the only reason why I visited it and started coming back everytime (at first) is because I am a Coffee Prince addict and I want to find a site that would give recaps ASAP. And you did have recaps posted ASAP, didn’t you? But things have change. I started browsing all around your site and loved it! I praise your writing skills. They’re absolutely fantastic. I would check here everytime I go online. If ever you would have a fanclub, I’ll be sure to be one of its member. Keep up yout GGGGGRRRRREEEEEAAAAAATTTTTTT work! I’m looking forward to your future projects! Thank you so much for all your hardwork! I really appreciate it!

  37. 87 yippieyeah

    Hi there,
    I love how you not only detail the episodes but also give your own review and critique. I always like to see your views on top of the summary.

    I have a little request…because I really like the way you critique, I would be very honored if you have any time to spare to just read my first story and make a critique. It definitely has room for improvement but I would really love to get your critique if you can.

    It has http://coloredrhythms.wordpress.com

    Sorry for my selfish request…thank you for all the hard work..really appreciate it :)

  38. 88 bibini95

    I enjoyed your writings and comments. Before I even start any “Coffee Prince” eps, I make sure I go to your blog. Are you by profession a writer yourself? I enjoyed your style. Keep it up and hope for a good future in this field.

  39. 89 kyotoji

    I SIMPLY love your blog. NO WORDS can describe this feeling of mine.
    You have done a credible GOOD JOB!
    Not only, you gave drama episodes summaries… you also give your ideas and thoughts and opinions on them. So far, i can only see these in your blog. This has greatly interested me. I am someone who liked to discuss on scenes and plots… and really great to know that there is some1 out there who show this interest. It also gives me another angle of looking certain things/aspects/areas.. really made me think in another pair of shoes…
    thanks…

  40. 90 Anonymous

    Hi

    Could you Please blog on Korean drama 9 end 2 outs… It a great drama. Would love to see your translation & interpretations on the drama….

    Thanks…:)

  41. 91 phoenix27

    I stumbled into your site about 2 days ago and I have not stopped from browsing all of the synopses you, right from the very beginning.
    It’s so gratifying to know that there’s someone out there who’s as crazy as I am for KDrama. Love your writing, Keep it UP!!!

  42. 92 penn_ann4

    Oh!How great you are!I am a senior school student,I seldom have time to watch the Korean Drama,but when I see your web site,I feel surprised,you have many detailed introduction,I will support you forever!A SA!

  43. 93 tuesdhei

    wow! i love your new header! it’s new right? the one with song seung heon, gong yoo and song hye gin… goodmorning javabeans! 1 more day to go!

  44. 94 tuesdhei

    oops i got that wrong — i mean Song Hye Kyo!

  45. 95 EinJel

    may i ask what plugin are you using for the audio in this blog?

  46. 96 javabeans

    EinJel, it’s the Audio Player plugin for WordPress put out by 1 Pixel Out. You can find it on the WordPress.org plugins page.

  47. 97 EinJel

    cool, thanks for replying so fast! ^^

  48. 98 cheremaman

    With great appreciation for your drama explanations, insight, and criticism. Very often the English translations leave me perplexed although our local station is touted as having competent translators. I pride myself on being a logical thinker and having a modicum of intelligence but sometimes, the translations just leave me purely confused. I very much enjoy your conversational writing style, just like having a friend in your living room explaning the dramas to you. You write with fluidity and have a good and humorous choice of vocabulary. You don’t mince words but just cut to the chase. With the constancy of putting out so many drama summaries, your brain must hurt. Well, at least mine would. You are truly to be commended!

  49. 99 star_bucks

    Is it strange to be a Russian living in America and watching my 10th kdrama in less than a year? (It is lonely sometimes) : ) I hope not – I wish more people knew about the wonderful world of k-dramas – so what if you have to read subs, right? I watched Que Sera Sera just because you recommended it javabeans and loved it, and I saw Witch Amusment and I think you mentioned My Girl in one of your posts and I watched and LOVED that…I love reading your summaries too, sometimes they’re more exciting than the actual episode! (Think the latter part of Witch Amusement…) You are one sharp writer – you don’t let up – it seems like every post is really thought out and witty, I just don’t know how you keep it coming…I wish you got paid for this….I haven’t found another blog devoted especially to dramas (written in English) so if I’m watching what you’re watching I love to read your summaries. OH and you HAAAVE to watch Time of Dog and Wolf – I got through the first episode and I love it and judging by the way you write you would love it too…great acting, character development, set – up, and boy is it FAST! don’t miss this one! (Of course it’s up to you in the end *sigh*)…

  50. 100 남혜원

    신기하네요 , 영어로 써야하는데 – – ;
    영어를 잘 못하다보니 ,,,,

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