Tag Archives: Crash Landing On You

Dear kfangurl: Why is Squid Game so popular?

So, full disclosure, everyone: this question wasn’t an actual submission for Dear kfangurl; it’s just that enough people have asked this question, or a variation of it, both here on the blog, and over on Patreon, that I thought I’d attempt to answer the question.

And since Dear kfangurl is where most of my attempts at answering questions sit, I thought this would be a suitable addition. 😉

Just so we’re clear, I’m not an actual professor of Korean entertainment (is there such a thing?). These are simply my personal observations and opinions, after hanging around the Dramaverse for.. (woah) 14 years now.

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Dear kfangurl: Are there dramas with sympathetic second female leads?

Sharbani writes:

Hi KFangurl

My observations have been (and this may be a generalisation based on the 80 or so K-dramas I have watched) that most male second leads are presented in a way that engenders sympathy. So, by the time the series have ended we are actually rooting for them to find love!! I know that there are exceptions but they are a rare breed in drama land.

In contrast, most female second leads are presented in a more negative light – possibly a throwover to the ‘vamps’ of earlier times! I know going into the reasons for such portrayals needs a lot of study of human society and the status of women and have probably been the subject of a lot of research! But my question is simple – Are there any dramas that present the second female leads in a positive light?

Hope you are well and staying safe! Your blogs continue to be my first port of call before I pick a new drama to watch so thank you!

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas where we can learn about Korean culture &/or history?

enapeters writes:

Hi, kfangurl, thanks for your amazing and detailed drama reviews. I’m currently watching Mr. Sunshine, and although I’m not loving the OTP, I have enjoyed learning about the time period in Korean history when the show is set. I’ve learned so much about Korean, Japanese, and U.S. relations at the time, and it’s fascinating! Similarly, when I watched Crash Landing on You, I loved seeing the different perspective of North Korea so much that I started getting really emotional thinking about the separation between North and South Korea. I was wondering, what dramas have you seen or recommend where you felt like you were getting a new or better understanding of history or culture?

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Review: Move To Heaven

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show takes the heavy, delicate topic of death, and gives it a warm, tender and hopeful sort of treatment which I personally find extremely soothing. It’s true that some of the cases are painful to watch, but Show always finds a way to bring a heartfelt, healing touch to each case, which makes the journey feel worthwhile. On top of this, we also get meaningful character and relationship development for our key characters over the course of the show, and this ties everything together in a way that feels meaningful.

Our cast is excellent, but the stand-out for me is Tang Joon Sang, who does a fantastic job of portraying Geu Ru, a character who’s on the Asperger’s spectrum. I also love that Show often makes Geu Ru our MVP, because this demonstrates so well, that Geu Ru isn’t disabled; he’s just differently abled.

It’s true that Show makes my heart ache, but even so, my heart aches so good.

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Dear kfangurl: What are your guilty pleasure dramas?

Shahz writes:

Hey KFG. Hope you are well. An idea for “ask KFG” post was one around what your guilty pleasures are? And opening that same question up to the KFG community. In particular those that you couldn’t explain to a non K drama lover.

So for me three immediately come to mind. The first being “Secret Garden”. Body shifting, toxic couple. Female lead sometimes one note, an annoying mother but even though I watched this ten years after it was shown I still fell for all the iconic lines. The second ” “You are Beautiful”. Cross dressing nun joins a pop band pretending to be her male twin. The chemistry between the OTP never sizzles but it is oh so sweet and actually what develops is a nurturing relationship despite the communication problems. And Jang Keun-suk is so mesmerising beautiful that you can’t take your eyes off him.

The third is” Don’t dare to dream”. Questionable OTP and questionable decisions and at one point the female lead dates both the ML and the second lead at the same but the sparkling chemistry between the leads makes this a great binge watch. And an honourable mention for Masters Sun. FL sees ghosts and ML acts as a barrier to those ghosts but uses this power to manipulate the FL into furthering his interests but again the sizzling chemistry between the leads makes the show so bingeable”

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about drama awards shows?

2014’s You From Another Star: Cheon Song Yi at the fictional Korea Film Awards 🤩

Shree writes:

Hi kfangurl,

I’ll start by saying, I LOVE your blog! I tend to agree with your unpopular opinions, and I take OST recommendations from your posts all the time, even when I haven’t seen the drama itself. Thanks for putting in the effort to create such an informative, fun space – it pays off.

With the 57th Baeksang Awards coming up, I was curious about your thoughts on award shows. Do you follow them and take them seriously? Do you think the credit is given where it’s due?

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Review: Mr. Queen

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show took a while to settle, for me, and Show’s chosen ending also isn’t my favorite choice that writer-nim’s made, but by and large, Show had me firmly by the heart during the course of my watch.

Shin Hye Sun is simply outstanding in this, putting in a tour de force performance that makes this show watch the watch, all on its own, and Kim Jung Hyun is fantastic as well, making his character Cheoljong someone that I really wanted to root for, both as a king and as a person. The chemistry that our leads share is of the deliciously cracky variety, and I found watching their burgeoning connection a true delight. Aside from this, there are also a nice handful of supporting characters that I found myself growing very fond of, as well.

Not perfect by any means, and Show does require some hefty lens adjustments, but still so worth it, in my opinion.

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Dear kfangurl: Do you have difficulty seeing an actor in a different role?

Elaine writes:

I have a Dear kfangurl question to ask! My question is whether you’ve ever had a problem watching the same actor in a different role, because you have such a strong impression of him/her in the first show you saw the actor in? Asking because I just started watching K dramas last year, and i started with highly rated ones like Crash Landing on You and Healer, where the OTPs are so smashing that I was reluctant to see the actors in other shows as it would feel to me almost like they were cheating on their original OTP! Lol.

So far I haven’t “repeated” any actors besides Lee Jun Ki – I first saw him in Arang and the Magistrate and a few months later in Flower of Evil. But to me that felt ok as his performance made the two characters feel completely different. It probably helped that his Flower of Evil character was supposed to have antisocial personality disorder so has flattened emotions.

But now almost a year after watching Healer, I’m watching Park Min Young in Her Private Life and I keep getting flashbacks to her Healer performance, especially when the two characters overlap on certain traits like optimism, pluckiness and sunny smiles. It’s probably a personal quirk but I do wonder if anyone faces this issue too! For now there are so many dramas out there that I can avoid repeats of actors but soon it won’t be an option! Ha ha.

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Year In Review: 2020

What a surreal year 2020 has turned out to be, amiright?

It’s been the year of surprises and curveballs, and I think it’s safe to say that none of us has been unaffected by the events of 2020. As a small silver lining, with lockdowns taking place around the world, and Netflix promoting Asian dramas with unflagging enthusiasm, we’ve welcomed many new drama fans into our midst.

And, our dramas have not let us down. I mean, yes, there’ve been duds, but that’s true every year anyway, yes? 😉 I’m just happy that Dramaland has found a way to continue production while ensuring the safety of cast and crew, coz I know I’m not alone when I say that dramas have helped make 2020 better.

Now, let’s take stock of my drama year in 2020, before 2021 comes upon us!

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas where the leads are nice?

Reaper525 writes:

So my question is: Is it just me or is it really hard to find likable leads these days in dramas? I mean most female leads these days annoy me compared to older dramas. But also male leads are just sometimes you know …. facepalm material.

Is that me or is there actually something changing in dramas? Back in the day I liked 9/10 of the dramas (and their leads) that I watched but now it is more like 3-4/10…

Am I getting old? 😀

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