You guys. I really think it’d be worth your while to clear some room in your schedule to watch this movie.
Yes, it’s an older movie from 2012, and yes, it’s about table tennis, which you may or may not have a strong interest in, and yes, it does take a little while to actually get good. BUT. It’s ultimately so moving, so inspiring and altogether affecting, that I think it’s more than worthwhile.
It’s been a hot minute and a half, since I last watched a Japanese drama, not because I dislike them or anything, but because my drama plate’s been overflowing, just with Korean and Chinese dramas alone. When my dear friend Timescout mentioned this one to me, though, my interest was immediately piqued – enough to entice me to check it out quite quickly even, which is a Rather Big Deal, since my watch list is neverending, and my good intentions towards dramas often remain just that.
The topic of a mature woman restarting her life and finding her lost mojo is one that is near and dear to me, and I have a big ol’ soft spot for dramas that shine the spotlight on this particular female experience. I loved both C-drama The First Half Of My Life and kdrama Romance Is A Bonus Book, and I was immediately intrigued to acquaint myself with a Japanese take on a similar story.
In short, the J-treatment is unique in its own way, and.. I rather liked it.
I conclude that I might be one of maybe 3 people in the entire dramaverse who doesn’t love this drama to bits.
I really wanted to like this one, especially after long-time drama pal DDee told me that she loved this so much that she felt like going right back to the beginning of this show, once she got to the end. In my experience, that’s serious high praise for any drama, and not to be taken lightly. So I promptly moved Rich Man, Poor Woman to the top of my watch list and dived right in.
Sadly, I never felt the same kind of love for this show that just about everyone else seems to have. I do concede that Oguri Shun can be very sexy, though.
I think I may have trust issues with the English that comes out of Korea.
I mean, seriously, it’s right there in the title, but all this time that I knew this movie existed, I somehow had it in my head that this was a movie about a wolf boy, and not a werewolf boy. For the record, I can now confirm that this movie is, indeed, about a werewolf boy, and, happily for me, it is far from being a scary movie (unlike most movies about werewolves).
Also for the record, Song Joong Ki is absolutely wonderful and amazing in this (although, when is he ever not, right?).
So this might be the mother of all throwback posts on this blog. (Wait, this might be the only throwback post on the blog, actually!) Basically, this post had first appeared on Stephanie’s blog Crazy for Kdrama, when she’d invited me to guest on her 2012-in-review series. I’d been super excited, and Stephanie’s invitation basically was the catalyst that inspired me to even start this blog (you can find the blog’s origin story here).
Long story short, Crazy for Kdrama suffered from a takedown a while ago, thanks to DMCA bots, which sucked. 🙁 But, Steph’s since dusted herself off and has started over at Kchat Jjigae.
This post, though, was lost with the original blog. That’s been niggling me for a while, since this post has a special place in this blog’s history. That, and the more OCD parts of my brain felt uncomfortable that the link to my 2012 year-in-review on the Full List page basically led to nowhere. Happily, those same OCD parts of my brain had thought to save my original draft somewhere, so it wasn’t all that hard to reproduce the post here.
So now, for old times’ sake, and for the sake of having my 2012-in-review post available somewhere, I present to you one of the earliest blog posts I ever wrote, in its pure, original state. I’ve simply added links to reviews where available. Hope you guys enjoy the walk down memory lane with me! 🙂
Although I really do enjoy the occasional well-done melodrama, somehow, revenge melodramas remain steadfastly in the category of “not quite my kinda thing.” To date, I haven’t yet seen a revenge melo that I unequivocally loved. I guess I mostly find them just a little too intense, and extreme and, well, kinda crazy, as a general rule.
Without all the positive buzz around Nice Guy as a drama, and without the added push of LUFFING Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (so, so adorable!) and then being a sad puppy that he’d gone away to the military, I probably wouldn’t have touched this drama with a ten-foot pole.
Despite being the revenge melo outsider that I am, though, I managed to enjoy this one.. quite well.
A drama that positions itself as a breezy rom-com, but that also happens to have birth secrets and corporate politics hidden up its deceptively fluffy sleeves.
Because of plot pacing that jerks between campy comedy and more melodramatic arcs, watching this drama can be a very uneven experience at times. Still, if you’d care to peel away this show’s flaws – layers made up of sudden melodramatic dips, lots of yelling and screeching by two-dimensional secondary characters, and more overacting than I’d care to mention – there might be just enough cute and just enough heart to keep you hanging in there.
Plus, there’s quite a lot of Kim Kang Woo pretty on display. Depending on where you’re coming from, that could potentially count for a lot.
A show that’s really good right away, and – gasp! – actually stays that way throughout its 28 episodes. That’s a rare, rare feat in dramaland, as we know all too well.
Gaksital is a show that manages to take a political context and ground it in the personal experience and emotion of our characters, and then by extension, help us to care about that political context in a way more visceral that I expected.
I found Gaksital intense, gripping, and gut-wrenching in some of the best ways. And I don’t even usually like shows with political contexts.