Monday, June 25, 2012

{Monday Morning Therapy with Dongsaeng} Bonus Reviews

Obviously I've been watching and reviewing Dr Jin these past few weeks, but would you be surprised to know that it's not the only (or even my favorite) one that I'm watching right now?  So, you may be asking yourself, what else has Dongsaeng been watching and how does she feel about it/them?  Well, wonder no more good readers, for I shall tell you!  I've been wanting to talk about some of these for some time now but just haven't found the chance to fit it in, until now.  Hip hip hooray!

I, like Unnie, have been watching and LOVING A Gentleman's Dignity.  I'm all caught up and the week is sooo long in between episodes.  This one has not disappointed me in the slightest since it started.  I love the tension and romance between the lead characters, Do Jin and Yi Soo.  I watch and rewatch all of the breath stealing moments.  I have laughed until I have cried.  The Husband would call it more of a cackle really, but I'm a lady and ladies don't cackle.  I mean, c'mon....  I don't like Tae San and can't wait for Yi Soo to get over him and go for Do Jin.  And while I don't know about them ultimately getting together, I sure would love to see a nice SWAK scene soon between Meahri and Yoon.  I just love the more grown-up vibe of this drama.  After a plethora of teen/20s dramas, it's a nice shift.  Nothing against the teen/high school/20s/college dramas, I just like to add a grown-up variety into the mix.  This show is awesome and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it and am at times insanely jealous of Unnie that she gets to review it.  But then I remember that it's a lot more satisfying to just watch it for fun and not "work" and then I feel lots better.  ^-^
*This just in!  I just finished watching episodes 9 and 10.  Wow!  First I was up, then I came crashing down.  And what was up with that ending?!  Don't they know I have to wait a whole entire loooonnnngggg week now?!  Why?  Why do they do this to me?!  Wae?!  Feel like throwing a Yi Soo-style meltdown fit right about now.  This show!  Agh!  I love it so.  It may torture me, but I keep coming back for more.  And more.  And more.  I won't jinx this one by saying it's in the running for a top all-time favorite, because every time I do, it always backfires on me.  The story stalls.  Something goes wrong.  So I won't say it.  I'll wait until the last episode to decide where this one falls in the history books.  Either way though, that was one crazy ride and it is going to be a really, really long week. sigh.  AGD, why you gotta play me like that?*

Another one that I am watching is Big.  I know some people that are not too into this one, but I have to say that, for the most part, I am really enjoying it.  The main female lead character, Gil Da Ran, at times really annoys me because she is so blind in her relationship with her fiance.  She's obviously way more invested in the relationship than he is but she's oblivious to this fact.  She's so naive that I just want to shake her and tell her to wake up.  Problem is is that she's a fictional character and so that's not possible, try as I have.  Good thing the writers then have included Kang Kyung Joon to do it for me.  He's the 18 year old kid that switches bodies with Seo Yoon Jae.  I love how he can see off the bat what is going on with his teacher and where she's screwing up and tries to help her.  I think that this drama holds a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where they go with it.  My only big complaint is the English of Kyung Joon who is supposed to have been raised in America and not know Korean very well.  Dear people that make dramas, I'm sorry, but you have to choose.  Either do away with the concept of "lived/studied abroad" or find actors that can actually portray that kind of character.  I don't mind in general if they're Korean and can't speak English - that's not a problem.  They're Korean, not English.  Got it.  If they learned English in school in Korea and struggle with it, that's absolutely and totally fine and acceptable.  But if they're supposed to have spent a great amount of time living and learning in an English-speaking country, please make it believable.  That's all I ask.  It's like the non-American "American" accent that pops up every now and again (King 2 Hearts, I'm looking at you!).  Fit the accent to the character's back story/identity if you want me to buy it.  Otherwise it's like nails on a chalkboard.  It's that simple.  Okay, rant over (for now - bwahahahaha!), time for more drama talk.

I am also watching I Do, I Do.  I really like this one too.  Chincha.  I have heard people complain about the lead female role of Hwang Ji An in this one, but I have to say that contrary to their opinions, I actually like her character.  A lot.  Now, before you immediately tune me out and declare me insane, hear me out here.  No, she's not bubbly and effervescent like we're used to.  She's hard and stoic.  But, see, the thing is, I get her.  I do.  It's all about the walls of defense.  I see her as a sensitive person who has to wear the tough exterior to protect herself.  I feel so bad for her when people call her Medusa or when she tries to reach out to her employees and offer to treat them to dinner for example, only to have no one show up.  Does she moan and complain or blame them?  No.  She knows why they don't come.  And she tries to change.  Real cold-hearted people first of all wouldn't have tried in the first place, but secondly, if people didn't show, they'd get angry and punish them and try to force them in to liking/respecting/supporting them.  She doesn't ask this of them.  She's hurt by it but knows why they feel the way they do.  How about in this last episode where they choose teams and everyone (well, almost everyone) opts out of being on her team?  Did you see how hurt she was?  It broke my heart.  She's not a cold-hearted shrew - she's a sensitive soul with a tough shell.  I think that the two men, Tae Kang especially, see that in her which is why they are so drawn to her.  She has a lot of depth and warmth to her, it just takes somebody patient and understanding to draw it out and allow her to let her guard down.  Her life, that she has fought tooth and nail to build, is crumbling around her because of one stupid, drunken night.  She's scared and alone and making life-altering decisions that she herself isn't fully aware of the impact of.  Until she proves me wrong, I will defend her character as likeable and loveable and this drama as watchable and enjoyable.

The final drama that I am currently enjoying is Bridal Mask.  Unlike the other four mentioned, this one I'm not fully caught up on.  As I write this (on Saturday), I am only in episode 5.  I am in love with this drama.  As much as I like it though, I find myself watching the rom-coms first (and Dr Jin because I have to) which is why I'm behind.  It's not because I don't like it, I just like to start with the fluffier stuff first.  The more I watch, the more I fall in love with it.  I was initially drawn to it because of the time period.  It happens to be the time period and setting of a book I am currently reading and is therefore that much more appealing and relevant to me.  While some of the characters, politics and history so far are confusing or lost on me, I get the general idea just fine and understand enough to enjoy it.  I can tell it's going to be another heart-wrenching and heart rate increasing drama, much like King 2 Hearts was for me.  I love the conflicts revolving around the life of Lee Kang To.  Talk about being between a rock and a hard place - sheesh!  This poor guy just can't win.  He's screwed on all sides, at least right now.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but if you're watching it, you should know what I mean.  Here's another perfect example of a character that I'm probably supposed to hate, but instead feel nothing but sympathy and sorrow for.  Even through his violent actions, I am still rooting for him.  I guess I'm similar to his mother and brother in that I hate what he does for a living and hate some of the choices that he makes in carrying out his duty, but I can see that as a man, he is doing what he feels to be the best under the circumstances.  Plain and simple, it's a rotten time to be Korean no matter what side of the fence you find yourself on - supporting the Japanese Empire or fighting against it.  He's made his choice and I have the feeling he's going to have to make another choice pretty soon - a final choice on where he truly stands and what kind of man he truly is and will become.  His proverbial fork in the road is coming and I am so curious to see where we go from here.

And there you have it.  This is a first for me.  5 currently airing dramas at once!  I've never done more than 2 before and that was only because of this blog.  In the past I usually avoided the currently airing ones until they were completed or at least near completion because I am impatient and hate waiting for new episodes.  It wasn't until Rooftop Prince and King 2 Hearts that I even dedicated myself to two, but now here I am with 5 and no plans to give up on any of them. But that's okay, now I can chat with you, my favorite readers, about any of these 5 dramas.  Makes me more relevant and current, right?  Haha!  It's all for you guys.  That's how much I love and appreciate you.  See that?  That's a whole lotta love right there that is.  So, let's chat.  Are you watching any of these?  Are there any you'd like to see more regular reviews on?  Curious about how I would rank these in order of favorites at this point as we near mid-season with them?  Well, I'll tell you.

1st - A Gentleman's Dignity
2nd - I Do I Do (a near tie with Bridal Mask, I Do I Do edged out in front only because it has given me more romance so far and that's the ultimate clincher for me)
3rd - Bridal Mask (has great potential to sky rocket up this list though once I catch up in episodes)
4th - Big
5th - Dr Jin

I'll probably stick with reviewing Dr Jin since I'm already invested this far, but might consider blurbs on the others every now and again since they're more fun to talk about.  Sorry Dr Jin.  I am trying, I really am.  Isn't it enough that I've stuck around through thick and thin (or thin and thinner)?  Do I get bonus points for that?  Not every drama is for every person.  It's nothing personal.  Well, except that you're not very good.  Other than that though... oh who are we kidding?  It's not me, it's you.  You have potential, just step it up for me and then my weekly reviews will be less of a chore and more of a cheer fest.  I'm here - a wannabe cheerleader - just waiting in the wings.  Give me something to cheer about and I'll be all over that.  Honest.  I don't like to give negative reviews.  You might have to start calling me Medusa though because I'll do what I have to do.  Dongsaeng is my name and honesty is my game.

You didn't really think that I would leave without filling your prescription for this week, did you?  My sister (remember her?  Ms Luckypants McGee?) sent me a video that I thought was cute and wanted to share with you.  It's from a group called Wong Fu Productions (maybe you've heard of them - I hadn't until today).  They're not Korean, but this video is fun because they are giving themselves KPop makeovers - in other words, dressing and posing like KPop stars. There's even a special "guest appearance" by a certain group.  Check it out!  It's pretty fun stuff, if for no other reason than it's three grown men trying to dress like KPop idols.  Take your theraputic medicine and have a wonderful Monday everyone!

On a personal side note, this store is in San Francisco and the fam and I are heading there soon!  Oh, Honey....guess what we need to add to our San Francisco To Do List!  ;)  

And if you liked that one and want to see more, this one is not Korea related, but still funny and a great commentary on stereotypes and silly assumptions that we sometimes make about people.  Enjoy a giggle or two! (Oh, and I apologize ahead of time for the language at the end - I don't want to offend anyone. I don't like foul language myself.  A lot of it is bleeped, but of course you still get the idea.  So, if it's a problem, you'll want to mute it from 4:12 - 4:35).


  1. I'm so glad you are loving AGD as much as I am. That makes me so happy. And gurl! I do NOT know where you are finding the time to watch that many dramas. I have my hands full w AGD! Oh & Love Rain. :) Great post dongsaeng! <3 you!

  2. Watching is very different from reviewing. Plus I'm watching zero American TV, so 5 dramas spread over an entire week isn't a big deal. And it's summer in BoringTown AZ - hot, hot, hot and more hot - what else can I do? It's not like I can go outside and there's only so many times one can go to the library in a week. So there you go - that's how I find the time. :)


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