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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764 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 301 Jill

    Thank you so much for the music downloads! I have not watched any Korean drama before – I watch anime and somehow made it to Boys Before Flowers – I was sooo hooked. I have obsessively watched all the episodes in one week. I hum the music at work all day long and am so glad to have the full versions to play full blast.

    I haven’t read all your posts, but I will!!! I was trying to figure out why I was so nuts about this series – I didn’t really like the anime, and I think I’ve watched the Chinese (Taiwanese) version but it has been a while – and it came to me in episode 16:

    This is Jane Austen!!! I love Jane – I love her romance, her characters, especially her supporting characters, and Her Leading Men. And the F 4 are just gorgeous, esp. Lee Min J; there is also an innocence to the relationships that is, hmmmmm, refreshing, touching.

    Anyway, I burble on! Thanks! You’ve got a new steady reader! (U.S. librarian)

    Any recommendations for what I watch next??? (I am seriously thinking of starting over again with BBF!!)

  2. 302 Jill

    Oooo Oooooo Never mind about suggestions! I found your drama ratings page! I am soooooooooooo excited. Coffee Prince first!!!!

  3. 303 gbox

    hey, new to your site, but i really enjoy it! i have similar thoughts/analysis as you. some other sites are too childish/mean/stupid. and jil too was my first drama too! look forward to perusing through your site and your new updates! =)

  4. 304 Yulsy

    Came by your website, b/c I could not wait for the next installment of videos to show Boys Over Flowers. Thanks to you, I am all caught up. Since my Korean is so-so at best your summaries are quite enlightening and quite amusing. The first Korean drama I got hooked on was Jealously as well while I was in Korea in ’92…it was all the rage and Choi Jin-Sil was all over the place…quite sad about her passing. Anyway, you have a gift-4-gab and love reading your blogs in the nether hours of the morning.

  5. 305 Yulsy

    Under your “about” section, there is a cartoonish pic of 3 superladies…it reminds me of a comedy I saw about 2 years ago, but I cannot remember the title for the life of me. My then 1 year old son used to dance to the music on the show I wanted to see if i could purchase the dvd somewhere. anyway, it is about this hip funny women with goregous thick wavy hair who works in an advertising agency, see is in love with her boss who has a psycho wife that stalks him and then see falls for a younger guy that is actually an attorney wishing to be a chef…ring any bells for anyone…if so, please clue me in…driving me nuts trying to remember

  6. 306 Ida

    Hi Javabeans,

    Your site is definitely a very big help for us who are non-Koreans. There may be some comments that I may not really agree on (I mean, to each to its own right!), but I find it all witty and very informative. You are a notch apart from all the rest, and keep up the good work. You are making a lot of people happy with what you are doing, which I really DO APPRECIATE (Yehey!!!) THAT since for your to keep track of everything… its boggles my mind…

    Boys Before Flowers is definitely a favorite and I am always looking forward to your reviews (or any updates to any star).

    Keep it up! You are doing us a really good service!!

    XOXO

  7. 307 ashtoh

    Hi Dramabeans,

    Nice to meet you.
    Just want to say that you have done a very good job in updating Korean dramas.
    I myself like you, a blogger on Korean entertainment but not that strong hehe.
    coz i’m lack of understanding Korean and now i still studying.
    Keep up the good work and wish you all the best.
    Aja aja fighting…keep the spirit too…
    I will keep updating at ur page for information.
    Have a nice day..
    Cheers~~~

  8. 308 BZnJustCRZY

    dramabeans!!!
    ^__________^
    I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    in the sense that i really really really DO appreciate what you’ve done for all of us Kdrama fans out here who don’t understand korean nor have time to watch the whole video~!
    love you! love you! love you!
    *mmmmuah* ^ . ~
    This is the best entertainment site dedicated to drama (n fans) i’ve ever been too!
    very detailed and updated with opinions~!
    that’s the best!
    you are the best!!!
    well i’m just repeating wat everyone’s saying =.=;;
    beside it’s the thought that counts right?!?!
    I wanna help out but i don’t know any korean
    nor do i know much about computers
    but you let me know if you need an extra hand ^__^
    I’ll tell all my friends about this site and tell them to tell their friends too
    and i’ll put this site as my top fav!!
    we love you and we support you!! ^^
    truck loads of love
    DGBZnJustCRZY

  9. 309 abby

    Hi hi Javabeans
    My doc colleague is a great fan of K-drama and she introduced me to your site years ago. Your comment are witty and gives non-Koreans like a better understanding of the Korean culture and why things are done the way it is. It also gives a timely update of the latest drama.

    I truly appreciate your effort in keeping us connected.
    Much thanks.

    Fighting

  10. 310 yngma

    hi dramabeans,
    just a shout out to thank you for your up to date reviews on “boys over (before) flowers.” believe it or not i literally stumbled on the series just last Sunday – as there was nothing good on cable. I discovered the show while I was channel surfing. It’s a cute love story… And your site enabled me to get a whole dose of the tv show.
    thanks again and more power to you.
    -yngma-

  11. 311 shawtyshawtyshawty

    hello there!
    i know that this is random but i just started to listen to Sorry Sorry(my first time listening to SuJu) the other day, and now i’m really diggin it, too!!
    it’s just so catchy.

    and btw, thank you so much for the BBF recaps.

  12. 312 Balletbabeanna

    I just wanted to say komawo (I don’t know if I spelled that correctly but…) I love your blog, it makes my week. I really appreciate your in dept summaries on the dramas/ culture/entertainment world. Sometimes I’m happy to see the things I missed while watching an episode on your blog or even just the fact that there are a lot moments in dramas I wonder about something and I come to your page and see that I’m not the only one. Your summaries make my laugh and think deeper about what I’m watching ( I even go back to rewatch after reading your blog). They even have my talking to myself when I’m readiing them ( My family thinks I’m crazy) AnYwAyS THANK YOU and KEEP UP the GOOD Work!!!

  13. 313 lady maddie

    hello there,
    i love your blogsite…very informative!!!
    are you a korean and living in korea?
    thanks for all the information we always wanted in a kdrama and everything abt korean news…
    keep up the good work!!!

  14. 314 Sen

    Hi javabean!

    It is alright to download the songs right?

    there wouldn’t be any implications to it right? (no virus, legal right?)

    appreciated if u can reply through my email.

    Thanks. really love the songs. :)

  15. 315 fluffy

    HI JAVABEAN,
    your site/blog is AWESOME…content is always interesting; and your comments, while I may not agree all the time, are well written and thoughtfully put together.
    Songs are also wonderful to listen to…I have actually gone off to order many of the CDs by these artists.
    Please don’t retire…I haven’t found another site that even comes close to yours!
    Many thanks for a job well done!

  16. 316 Blur

    Hi dramabeans,
    I caught BOF on-off for the first few episodes when i was visting korea in Jan. Wasn’t too into the show. But cos its soooo huge now, i went to look for it online out of curiosity and .. found ur site!!!!
    Thanks for the great and in-dept synopsis and pics! I’m now hooked on the drama just by reading ur blog. Can even imagine the scenes from the drama in my head! It’s that detailed. Can’t wait for the next updates on BOF ep. 24 from u!
    Great writing! :))
    ps: btw, love the comments abt the song Paradise being played at all the wrong times in the drama hahaa

  17. 317 mkartadi

    Halo Javabeans, Love your blogs. Always have update info. about the lastest korean drama.

  18. 318 Curious George

    Hello DramaBeans Founder,

    You have a great site going on here. But, I would like to know your biography. Who are you? Guy or girl? Details, please.

  19. 319 gee ann

    hello.. I’m a new bloger in the entertainment industry. I like to watch korean movies and dramas since it is introduced here in the Philippines. I enjoyed mostly about the reviews and comments that you write.

    and my question is this:
    I would like to know if you are only reviewing most about the KBS shows and I don’t see if you are reviewing also the shows of MBC. I’m still curious about this two stations.. What is the difference of this stations?

    I hope you will answer this.
    just mail me gie_ann_01@yahoo.com
    Thanks!

  20. 320 Gloria

    First of all, no guarantee that you’ll read this, but I just want to say thank you again! (:
    You always deliver for me with your insightful (and funny) recaps. They make me laugh, and they also make me appreciate/enjoy the drama more. (Though sometimes I’m laughing at something in the drama that happened to be ludicrous that you also pointed out… but that’s all out of love ^ D ^) Your blog/site is one of the best sides out there for Korean entertainment (sadly you don’t do Jdramas, but it’s all good ^ W ^) and they always make me say “At least javabeans understands! ; w ;” or “That’s what I was thinking!” I think your reviews are pretty fair as well (though of course we all have our own tastes, so it’s impossible to stay completely objective). For the most part we’re pretty similar in tastes, except I can stomach dramas that are mediocre, mainstream, or melancholy. (Enjoying them is another story?) The problem with melancholy dramas is that I cry too easily, so I try to avoid dramas that are sad just for the sake of being sad…
    Anyway, your site continually helps me refrain from going to school and saying long speeches/rants about dramas and my analysis of them. Ahahah I really should stop talking so much. Thanks again, and sorry this thank you was so long! T_________T I gotta fix that.

  21. 321 Jess

    Hi javabeans ..my friend link me to this site..thankyou for a great site with updates news..i wanna ask if we can affiliate?

    http://ygworld.wordpress.com

    Jess

  22. 322 nasim

    hi .i love ur site i live in iran .in iran every one love song il gook.do you have his ID?

  23. 323 Pandamama

    I found this site while I am visiting U.S.
    Thanks for the details of “the return of Ilujime’ with so many photos.
    I am a big fan of Kim Min Jong. But, I am a way from home as his drama”Ilujime” starting in Japan.
    You saved me!
    Thanks!

  24. 324 SUPPORTEROFDRAMABEANS!!

    hey dramabeans! i know you know how to speak korean there is a site called viikii.net and there is a drama there called just looking at that fool can you translate it. it has the two newer episode 3 and episode 4 i know you only recapped episode 1 and 2. tnx!!

  25. 325 yhsarang

    Hello! You have an awesome site and I just wanted to voice my appreciation. I sometimes don’t understand fully what goes on in K-dramas as my Korean skills are limited to light conversation. I’m so hooked on Slingshot right now and if you weren’t there I probably would only understand a little more than half. (My Korean is good enough to know that the subs I find online really suck). The fact that you’re so detailed with the episode recaps are great– and I find myself agreeing with your comments. The fact that your writing is pretty good doesn’t hurt either. :)

    Anyway, I’m glad to have found you! Keep up the good work! (BTW, where do you find the time to keep up with this site?)

  26. 326 Anonymous

    it’s sooooo GoOd

  27. 327 sophiayew

    Hello,i like your way of blogging and your enthusiasm.
    Will catch your blog frm time to time.
    Keep up the good work

    i knw this is not a good question but
    May i ask ,are you a Korean ? (cause i cant see your profile)
    i’m obsess with korean food,clothes(esp traditional dress),jewellery(in drama) etc. : )

    :) frm Malaysia,sophia.

  28. 328 Kay

    Hey, since you watch so much dramas, is there any good dramas that you recommend?! (that’s new or so?) If there’s any please tell me!!!!

  29. 329 Tammy

    I just wanted to let you know that your work is awesome and SO appreciated! Because of your episodic summaries, I’ve found myself watching series that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered (e.g., Que Sera Sera and Love Marriage, which I absolutely love now and have fallen in love with Kim Ji Hoon…).

    Thank you, thank you! :) I wish people would take up this for Taiwanese and Hong Kong series… I would love to do the work myself but don’t have the software to rip the wonderful screencaps that you do for your summaries…

  30. 330 Sophie

    THANK YOU for all ur recommendations & summaries of korean dramas (((:
    it’s been a great help for me.

    VERY VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!

  31. 331 Randy

    Thank you for this web site. I love reading the comments, summaries, and opinions of other kdrama and jdrama lovers.

    Your insight about news and all the dramas is priceless. I’m so glad I found this website recently.

    Please don’t go away.

  32. 332 Haizah

    Hi,

    I really like your website. I came across it when I was looking for Boys Before Flower sypnopsis with English subtitle on google and now I’m hooked.

    Thanks to you because now I don’t have to look for other website for Korean dramas with Eng Sub. And thanks for the free language translator software that you recommend which i have yet to download.

    It’s so funny when you write what you thought of of every episode,scene,plot, etc(whatsoever they call it). Sometimes when i watch those dramas, i did thought of what u though of , you know what i mean? :D

    Btw, i really do appreciate if you know of any website (in English) that updates Korean celebrity visits to other country. hehe.

    THANKS!!

  33. 333 popy

    Hi, javabeans
    I have visited your homepage several times however, until now I already left this message to thank you. I really like your site, especially your recaps and even more the quotes from the dramas. What a meticulous job! I came across to find out your site when searching drama “Who are you”. I have been watching a lot of K-dramas but “Who are you” is one of my most favorite. Moreover, I’m glad to read the comments on your site, especially about the drama I love because I (like many people above) don’t know anything in Korean and this is the first site having English content and comment (except for soompi). Thank you very much again, javabeans.

    Last but not least, I have a question for you. You like Yoon Kye-sang, don’t you? I mean that a little more than any actors?

  34. 334 anon

    Do you have any suggestions for purchasing korean entertainment type magazines, such as korean vogue? Can you only get these through subscription type services?

  35. 335 Max

    Why are all the kiss scenes from BOF like after school specials? Are there kdramas that are a little more, um, affectionate?

  36. 336 deedee

    i love your site. i enjoy going through every posts, especially the drama/episode recaps. keep it up! ^_^

  37. 337 Ladymoonstone

    Hi javabeans,

    I truly enjoy your site. I love reading your recaps on BBF. They are so witty and I understand the episodes much better. I am just getting hooked on K-dramas and I definitely will be a regular here.

    Thanks again and more power.

  38. 338 lot2x

    I really love your site JB and i keep open it from to time to time because i’m so excited of your new updates of my favorite actors & actresses . I’M FROM the
    PHILIPPINES . thank you JB just keep the good work & more power

    THANKS JAVABEANS!!!

  39. 339 kaylee

    I love kim bun so much

    He is Very Cute………………!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. 340 L00L

    As a Kdrama fan, I enjoy reading your blog very much. I find your website thru a search of “The Return of Iljimae”, a series, which I love. I took cinema courses in college. The teacher mainly focuses his attention on the technical stuff: such as the position of the camera angle, lighting and stage setting. What interests me the most is the character development part, which we hardly touch base on.

    My mother is also a Kdrama fan. Her tastes are broad and vary. She can sit thru hundreds episode of one family drama and still be enthusiastic about it. However, I prefer something that is short, direct and beautifully presented with excellent plot and writing (for an example: this “Return of Iljimae” I like so much).

    One thing I find rather interesting while I was watching ROI is that certain scenes from the Spoiler and Close Caption are not reflected in the actual running drama. For an instance, in the Spoiler of Episode 16, it shows Iljimae WITHOUT his mask on fights the assassin in the woods. When we see the scene on air in Episode 17, it shows Iljimae WITH his mask on and he kills the assassin rather swiftly without engaging in a more complicated fight. Also, in the final version of the Close Caption, we see a gunman shoots Iljimae first and then pounces back, fires the gun at his partner. This is not how the actual scene plays out in the drama. And the caption of Iljimae hands tied, mouth stuffed, a small blade comes out of the front of his shoe is not in the drama at all.

    I wonder whether the director keeps these scenes in (or adjust them) merely to make the Spoiler/Close Caption more exciting, or to test the viewer senses, see if they really watch the drama carefully, or there is a different version at work (sometimes, certain scenes of a drama are manipulated to fit the viewing code of anther country)? Since I haven’t seen any other drama that does this, I am curious to know the inside details.

    Finally, I am grateful that you take the time and do such marvelous job at recapping this drama. The discovering of your blog is like having a delicious treat. I am intrigued, satisfied, and wanting for more.

  41. 341 melai04_yukashii

    hey ms javabeans, are you a korean? i just wonder because you’re very good in english writing. love your posts! thanks! :)

  42. 342 retsnom_Adedekutsu

    Just wanna say thanks a lot for this site, javabeans. ^^

    I enjoyed reading some of your articles, blogs, recaps, etc. And thanks also for the scripts.

    Thank you very much.

  43. 343 lala

    HI!

    I absolutely ADORE dramabeans and always read through the analysis. I was wondering if you run this site on your own or if you have any help? I’ve seen some Korean blogs hire applicants and was wondering if you do the same because I actually write my own essays on a few dramas I really like.

  44. 344 Anastasia ErYe

    hai…

    wau…
    thank’s alot about information n all about KIM BUM..

    I LOVE U SOMUCH KIM BUM>>>>

    JBL;)

  45. 345 pinkie

    Hi JB, I’m from Spore and just wondering where your viewers are from?

    I just happen to bump into your site one fine day some months back and cool…..like your site alot as you provide latest up-to-date news…..like yourself, I love to watch k-drama and movies. I have been to Seoul many years back with my children and my sister during Christmas and really enjoyed our trip.

    Keep up your good work though it’s hard….as it’s so time consuming…….well…really appreciate it!! Cheers

  46. 346 jay

    hi.. i’ve been reading your blog for some months now because i like the way you make your reviews.. because im not korean it kinda gives me an insight to the culture.
    i have yet to learn to navigate here in your blog. i guess like the others i’m interested in knowing what other dramas you recommend.. ;)
    i left a comment on your coffee prince episode guides. like i said i discovered this series quite recently and REALLY ENJOYED IT!!!
    i hope to read more reviews and rants from you..

  47. 347 Jo

    I’m really thankful for a website like this! I’ve only been recently addicted to BOF [it was first shown in the Philippines a month or so ago, but I only started watching the DVD last week], and it’s really a hard habit to break — which is bad since I’ve classes now. but anyway, I just want to thank you for the stuff you write. I enjoy your recaps and updates about BOF [it's funny that I totally agree with what you say sometimes, especially those that I used to think only I agreed to]. I hope to get to know more Kdramas, seeing as how entertaining they are.

    will stay glued to dramabeans.com!

    – Jo :)

  48. 348 Keiki55

    I absoutlely love your website, I started watching Kdramas a couple a mouths age(My Girl was the 1st one I watch) have been addict since, your insights on the shown help me alot , am not korean and your thoughts on the culture and all the major subjects they have on the showns have help me greatly. Thanks so much for such a great site keep up the good work.

    luv.

  49. 349 Eliza

    Just to say thank you for your hard work subbing and keeping this blog. I have recently started subbing to Spanish (I am from Mexico) and realize how hard work it is and therefore admire all those who have worked to so hard through the years so that we(non-Koreans) may enjoy these wonderful dramas. I became addicted almost 4 years ago and have seen more than one hundred k-dramas. I am still amazed at the quality, originality and depth of many of the scripts of these dramas. I truly admire Korean actors and the acting skills, not only the lead actors/actresses but also the supporting cast: that handful of middle-aged/senior thespians who must be the hardest working supporting actors in the world and that is always a joy to watch, even though one may not know their names.

    Keep up the good work.

    Greetings and blessings to all fellow Kdrama addicts of the world.

  50. 350 J-Pooh

    I’ve seen dramabeans mentioned on some sites before but finally decided to check it out today. I just wanted to say that my first drama was Jealously as well! A friend popped it in the night before my finals and I got so hooked that I spent the whole night watching it! I compare all Kdrama love story liners to that one! ^^

    I remember the Kdrama sites back then were slim pickings. I look forward to exploring your site!

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