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”
True Beauty doesn’t exactly re-invent the drama wheel in any sense of the word, but it’s fun and endearing, even while it’s being tropey and silly, and altogether, it works out to be a reasonably good time, especially if you’re in the mood for something that doesn’t tax the ol’ brain much.
As a bonus, thematically, Show manages to shine a bit of a spotlight on the importance of inner beauty, even as it plays with the contrast between our female lead’s bare and made-up face.
The acting in this show may not be the most skilled or nuanced, but our characters are generally earnest, well-cast, and pretty to look at.
Moon Ga Young and Cha Eun Woo are picture perfect as our story’s leads, and share decent chemistry as the sweet OTP at the center of our story.
It’s second male lead Hwang In Yeop who ended up stealing my heart a little extra, though. I do have a bit of a weakness for broody bad boys with hidden marshmallow hearts, heh.
Far from amazing, but a solid pick for a bit of sweet, mindless froth.
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.
Confession: this Dear kfangurl post wasn’t actually triggered by a Dear kfangurl question. It just made sense to group it with the other Dear kfangurl posts, coz that’s where the other lists on the blog live, heh.
BUT! This post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jan on Twitter.
Basically, yesterday, Jan had remarked that she was looking for a Kim Ji Suk fix, and I’d suggested 20th Century Boy and Girl, in which he is the sweet, perfect boyfriend.
Less than 24 hours later, Jan’s super happy with the drama suggestion, and her tweets are filled with happy spazz, and she’s also said that this was the rom-com she’d been looking for.
..Which got me thinking. With all the darker &/or heavier shows that Dramaland’s been serving up of late (like World of the Married, Graceful Friends, Flower of Evil and It’s Okay To Not Be Okay), as solid as these shows are, maybe some – or many? – of you guys might be looking for something lighter to make these dark pandemic days a little brighter.
A show that’s light, breezy and really rather slurpable, with a nice handful of thoughtful nuggets thrown in for good measure, Find Yourself might not be the kind of Amazing Drama that shifts the world under your feet, but it just might be the comfort food marathon that you need.
With a rather charming noona romance at its center, and endearing friends and family to round it out, this drama world feels a little bit like a family drama with romcom leanings.
Our noona romance starts off pretty heady and cracky, but eventually gives way to an emphasis on soul-searching and finding your own truth. In the end, this gives us a story that feels nicely balanced, I think.
Even though the fangirl in me would’ve loved to have stayed in heady, cracky territory, the comparatively more muted later stretch, allowing our characters space to figure themselves out, is what makes this story and our characters feel more real than fairytale.
And, who doesn’t need a down-to-earth fairytale right now, right?
PS: Did I mention there are cute pups in this show? And that they make repeated appearances? ❤️
Show really is everything that many of us have come to love in kdrama.
It’s gorgeous to look at, our actors are pretty darn capable all-around, our characters are mostly endearing, there’s amped-up, epic romance to be had between an OTP that shares solid, sparky chemistry, and, well, Hyun Bin is appealing in this, to a rather staggering degree. Flail.
As a bonus, Show possesses a cheeky sense of humor around drama tropes, even as it revels in them. In addition, the glimpse into North Korean life feels fresh and novel as well, and is a major highlight.
On the downside, there’s a bit of drag in the mid-to-late episodes, which is compounded by rather heavy-handed narrative angst, and Show’s long episodes. That can feel a bit or a lot hard-going, depending on your appetite for angst.
Overall, though, Show does a great job bringing the feels, and is well worth the watch.
In a drama landscape where characters have been traditionally subscribed to a patriarchal way of thinking, and where women – especially women in sageuks – have often been relegated to being pushed around by men who believe they know better, Rookie Historian stands out for daring not only to present a different perspective, but for presenting it as the better way.
Make no mistake, Rookie Historian is not a perfect drama by any means.
I’ll talk more about why that was the case for me, shortly, but really, for its bold stand alone, I feel like Show deserves some acknowledgement and praise.
I know I said last year that Dramaland was exploding with more dramas than ever before, but Dramaland basically outdid itself in 2018 – and then some.
You know when you have only 2 ice-cream flavors, and only room in your stomach for 1 scoop, it’s really easy to choose, but you still wish you had more flavors to choose from?
Well, it’s all fine and good when it increases to 5 flavors, or 10 flavors, right? But when it gets to like, a thousand flavors, your eyes glaze over, you get hit by decision paralysis, and it just feels impossible to choose, anymore? Same thing.
I used to try and keep up with Dramaland, especially after I started blogging. I’d try to stay on top on what dramas were airing, and which ones were good, and I’d try to watch all the reportedly good ones, because I’m a curious cat and FOMO is real, yo.
Well. I think 2018 is the year that I realized it is humanly impossible to keep up with everything that Dramaland is putting out, and there is just not enough time in one person’s world, to watch all the reportedly good ones, and take time for the ones that you wanna watch, whether anyone else is interested or not.
So 2018 is the year that I stopped trying. Uh.. Kinda.
Not too long ago, lots of people on my Twitter feed were going gaga over Meteor Garden 2018, and so I dipped my toes in too, out of curiosity (yes, despite stating firmly that I had had my fill of the story via the J- and K-versions).
I really liked the first episode, but found myself losing interest in the next few episodes, so much so that I ended up dropping out early, after just 4 episodes.
BUT! Plot twist!
I found similar tsundere-male-lead-campus-romance crack in My ID is Gangnam Beauty instead.
This kinda-sorta gave me the addictive feels I once had over Boys Over Flowers many, many moons ago (ironically, I can’t bear to watch BOF now), but I liked this one better, and slurped up the first 10+ episodes back-to-back. Woah, indeed.
Yes, there are caveats, but they aren’t dissimilar to the ones you’d need to make for Meteor Garden 2018 too, so – fair play? 😉