I finally did it, you guys. I finally watched Train To Busan, after having skirted it for years.
I’ve been hearing great things about it, even from non-zombie flick fans, but had been reluctant to check it out, because I’ve always been a self-declared horror wuss. And a train full of zombies just felt like a bit much, to me. 😅
But today, I’ve finally decided to give it a try, since I’ve managed to enjoy some horror-themed shows like Happiness (zombies!) and Sweet Home (blood and monsters!), and whaddya know – this one’s not that hard to enjoy, after all!
I.. guess I’m less of a horror wuss than I’d thought, heh. 😁
Psst: Links to watch are at the end of the review!
In case you missed it, we have yet another guest post series to enjoy, this month!
Unlike our previous guest post series, this one was kind of an accident, almost. I have Ele to thank for this one, because it was her innocent question about something, that made me casually talk about the off-the-top-of-my-head, hypothetical possibility of a guest post series on love, in the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day.
So many folks on Patreon responded enthusiastically to this idea, that I felt that it would be remiss of me, not to actually make it happen, come February.
And so, here we are. This month, we will enjoy a total of nine guest posts from patrons on Patreon, on the topic of love stories. The brief is pretty flexible, in that, each writer is free to go deep, or go wide, on anything around the topic of love stories in Dramaland. I feel like we have a lot to look forward to, this month! 🥰
You can check out Uyen’s inaugural post here, and Jaco_4950’s post here.
Today’s post is brought to you by Kate, whom you may have seen around the blog, as well as on Patreon. Like Jaco_4950 did in her post, today is the first time Kate’s introducing herself to us properly (YAY for proper introductions! 🤩). I’m so glad that we have this chance, to get to know her better!
Full disclosure that I checked this one out purely for the love of Lee Do Hyun, you guys.
After he up and stole my heart in 18 Again, I just can’t seem to help myself, when it comes to wanting to see more of him on my screen. 😅 You guys know I typically don’t do horror or monsters, but I legit watched Sweet Home because he was in it.
..Which means I kinda had to at least give this show a try, since he’s this story’s male lead, right?
Unfortunately, this is one time where my love for Lee Do Hyun is just not going to see me through a show. I’m officially calling it quits on this one, after 7 episodes.
In case you missed it, we’re doing something special and different to end off the drama year this year! Guests posts, by patrons on Patreon!
You can read more details, and check out Shahz’s inaugural post, here. You can also find JJ‘s post here, Trent’s post here, Sean’s post here, and Martina’s post here!
After today’s post, there will be one final guest post by a mystery guest writer, whose identity will be revealed when their post goes live. And then we’ll cap everything off with a poll, where you’ll be able to pick YOUR favorites for the year, from among the gems identified in these posts. How exciting! 🤩
Today’s post is brought to you by lotusgirl, who happens to be a very talented photographer and artist, on top of being an avid drama fan. She’s just beginning to make her work available commercially, and some of her paintings have already sold!! Wow! You go, lotusgirl!!
I took the liberty of including one of her paintings below, just to tempt you a little extra, to pop over to lotusgirl’s blog, where you can browse more of her fabulous work. 🤩 (Edit! You can find her on Instagram @lamosscreative too!)
Slick, gritty, and with more than a dash of blood and violence, Show isn’t your typical nor traditional Korean drama, that’s for sure.
I think what Show does well, is tell its story in a manner that’s equal parts twisty, action-packed and emotionally compelling. In that sense, I feel like Show is quite well-rounded and perhaps therefore more able to reach a wider audience.
For example, you might not be into fight scenes per se, but you might be emotionally invested enough in our protagonist’s journey, to see it through anyway.
Very solid, and very bingeable, if you’re in the mood for a revenge tale with its fair share of grit.
Recently in the US the great, great American television serial character actor Michael Kenneth Williams died (insofar as I can tell of a drug overdose, though the facts have been slow in coming) at the age of 54.
Just a flat out brilliant actor, Williams has had three especially memorable roles in HBO series.
But one especially stands out, the role of Omar, a kind of lone ronin bad ass, who lived out of his own moral code as a gay, shotgun carrying thief who stole from drug dealing gangs to make his living on the streets of Baltimore during the late nineties, in The Wire, a 5 season series that critics, and I as a watcher of television series, universally have acclaimed as one of the greatest if not the greatest such series ever produced.
While show features a large ensemble, and it would be hard to pin point any single actor as lead, therefore, Williams’ Omar was distinctly a support character, albeit imo the greatest antihero ever filmed.
It is hard to over emphasize what a signature role Williams enacted, except to say in the wake of his death, the outpouring of grief in response, focused in elaborate, admiring, and loving detail in large part upon his role as Omar, his superlative and unforgettable performance, and how its impact upon American culture has been universal.
I cannot myself remember any actor in film or serial drama in a supporting role so iconic; that is, in a drama so universally praised, a supporting character being universally its most memorable. I wonder if in K drama you can think of any equivalent kind of performance?
Greetings! Hope you’re doing okay in these uncertain times. Recently, I was asked by a friend why people are watching a lot of kdrama these days and I found myself groping for a good answer. I couldn’t really gush with goggly eyes as I would before a fellow kdrama enthusiast.
There’s the matter of availability and good looking actors, but that didn’t really feel to be at the heart of it. I also felt angry at myself for feeling apologetic about my drama choices (the person’s what you’d call a “serious” type and I didn’t want to be an object of his condescension).
Does this mean I subconsciously subscribe to the notion of kdramas somehow not being up to the mark? I have been agonising about this for a while now. I want to be able to watch what I like without feeling guilty or hesitant to acknowledge my love for it to the world.
And I could think of nobody better than you to provide a thoughtful answer to my predicament. The next time I come across this question, I’d like to bank on your eloquence and insights, please!
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.
The great thing about Mad For Each Other, is how robust it feels. Despite its short episodes and overall shorter running time, Show manages to feel like a full story, with fully fleshed-out characters, and a nicely teased-out main loveline.
Plus, it manages to also say a few thoughtful, thought-provoking things about mental health, the lingering effects of trauma, and healing as well.
Jung Woo and Oh Yeon Seo are really excellent in this, both separately and together.
Individually, they manage to make their flawed characters sympathetic and endearing, and together, they spark very effectively, whether our characters are fighting with each other, or learning to get along.
Set against the Gwangju Uprising of May 1980, our story is primed not to be an easy one, from the outset. However, Show does a fantastic job of bringing its story to life via our characters, their experiences, and their relationships.
I felt invested almost immediately, particularly in our OTP lead characters and their burgeoning connection, thanks to the thoughtful, tight writing, and also, the wonderful performances by Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si, who are likable, sympathetic and so naturally easy to root for, both separately and together.
Although the OTP was my personal highlight, I also wanted to mention that our entire cast is strong, to the extent that the arcs of some more minor characters managed to be surprisingly affecting, even.
A rollercoaster of emotions that’s not easy by any means, but that’s completely worthwhile.