Tag Archives: Sweet Home

Dear kfangurl: Is my love for kdrama frivolous?

Lali writes:

Dear KFG

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!

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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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Review: Mad For Each Other

THE SHORT VERDICT:

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.

Altogether fresh, heartfelt and quite satisfying.

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Review: Youth Of May

THE SHORT VERDICT:

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.

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about single season vs. multi-season dramas?

Entropyenator writes:

Hi KFangurl,

Absolutely LOVE your blog and best of luck in your journey to keep writing!

Two questions for you I hope you can help with, though they are sort of related:

1) Why is it so rare for kdramas to get more than 1 season?

2) What qualifies a kdrama to get a second season?

To explain a bit, I just finished Vincenzo (so amazing, SJK, JYB and the rest of the cast were brilliant, even if the logic got…stretched in some bits) but SJK’s interview right after the finale seems to indicate it won’t get a second season despite very very good ratings.

This seems to be the norm for kdramas–save very rare exceptions like Hospital Playlist and Age of Youth/Hello My Twenties. So what gives? Is it a different industry/culture thing? I do admit that I am based in the US, where, as long as a show doesn’t completely flop, getting at least 2-3 seasons is incredibly common.

Looking forward to your answer!

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Review: Navillera

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Navillera works out to be so many things; it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a story of personal journey; of unlikely friendship; of family; of healing; of growth; of daring to dream your dreams, and it’s altogether uplifting and wholesome.

Our entire cast is excellent but the dual stand-outs for me, are Park In Hwan and Song Kang, who, individually and together, steal this show – and my heart – in deep and profound ways. On top of this, Show is confidently written, and wonderfully executed, plus, a wonderfully immersive OST works to lift the watch experience to a whole other level.

Affecting, inspiring and completely moving. A must-see.

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Flash Review: Sweet Home

I did it, you guys. I, the self-proclaimed horror wuss, have finished watching Sweet Home. Achievement unlocked, officially, ha. 🥳

For the record, the reason I decided to try this one out, despite my general aversion to horror, monsters and gore, is because of my recent love for Lee Do Hyun, thanks to the very wonderful 18 Again (go watch it, if you haven’t!). That, plus the fact that everyone who’s seen it, has been saying such good things about it; mainly, that apart from the blood and gore, it’s very meaty, and there’s a lot to unpack with regards to the psychology of our characters. That all sounded pretty compelling to me.

Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t think I loved it as much as some of you, but I did enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. Considering my horror-wussness, I’d count that a win, yes?

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Dear kfangurl: What are some good dramas that aren’t romances?

rufflina writes:

Dear kfangurl, I have a question for you – can you recommend dramas that are really good and don’t involve romance? I have just finished Healer and really liked the love story there. When picking a new series I searched for drama that does not have romance on purpose because I did not want to “replace” the OTP from Healer with a new OTP right away, but I still wanted to watch something engaging. Two examples that come to mind are My Mister (thanks for recommending it! I loved it so much!) and Hot Stove League (which is the one I’m watching at the moment). I’m sure there are more. And thank you so much for this awesome blog! I very much enjoy reading your reviews before and after watching a drama (except for Someday or One Day. I stopped reading the moment you said that’s best and returned after finishing it 🙂 )

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