Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 - What happened to the Comedy genre this year?

I am just warning you all that I was not feeling very witty today while I was writing this.  Ironic since this is a list of my favorite comedies.  I have to imagine that this is what all the kwriters felt like this last year because I have just one question.  What the heck happened to the Romantic Comedy genre in 2013????  Did Korea forget how to laugh and be romantic at the same time?  Looking back I am amazed on not only the absense of humor but in the poor quality of many of the dramas that were catagorized as "comedies".   The several that I did like tended to be a mix of genre's not straight comedy.  For example, I loved I Hear Your Voice and yes it did have some truly funny scenes but the majority of the show was about them dealing with a Serial Killer and him trying to destroy/kill them.  Amazing drama, but not really one where I am laughing all the time.  Be aware that many of these could be slotted into multiple genre's.   However this is a best & worst list so I added these in because they made me laugh more then cry. 


All About My Romance 

This drama was a sleeper drama and many people had not even heard about it let alone watched it.  However it earned a spot on my list because not only was it a really really sweet romance, but it actually stayed pretty consistent from start to finish.  Kim Soo Young (Shin Ha Kyun - Harvest Villa, Brain ) starts to date Noh Min Young (Lee Min Jung - Big, Smile You) and both actors for once really work.  I know a lot of people hate Lee Min Jung but I promise she is much much better in this drama.  For once she is allowed to act like an adult and the cutesy stuff is eased way back.
Belonging to opposite political parties they are forced to hide their budding romance.  It is full hijinks and cute moments and is one of those dramas that just made me smile.  If you plan on watching expect a lot of political talk but if you can get past that then you are in for a great drama.

 Cute OTP

Flirting like a politician.

Incarnation of Money
 IOM is a drama that is not sure what genre it is meant to be.  Comedy, Action, Suspense, & Revenge were all tossed into a bag, shook up, and out came this amazing drama which had me hooked from start to finish.  Written by my favorite kdrama writers, Jang Young Cheol & Jung Kyung Soon (Empress Ki, Giant, History of a Salaryman), they did not disappoint yet again.  Orphaned with amnesia at a young age Lee Cha-Don (Kwang Ji Hwan- Lie to Me, Coffee House) must face a world run by greed and bribery.  However when he regains his memory he sets off on a quest to get revenge against the man who took everything from him.
Kwang Ji Hwan is amazing in this drama!  I have always enjoyed him as an actor but he really proves his abilities when he switches from a comedic buffoon to seriously dangerous in a blink of the eye.  And he rocked some seriously bad hair and that takes talent.   Add  a great supporting cast you get great scenes over and over.  I would highly suggest this drama to anyone since it is such a mix there is bound to be something that hooks you into this drama.

Incarnation of Money Trailer

I Hear Your Voice

One of the biggest hits of the year, I Hear Your Voice was an instant success with its mix of comedy and suspense.   A thriller courtroom drama with fantasy and romantic comedy elements. It depicts the story of Jang Hye Sung (Lee Bo Young), a bold, sassy, and materialistic public defender who becomes a lawyer after overcoming poverty and painful memories from her childhood. Park Soo Ha (Lee Jong Suk), is a 19-year-old boy who reads other people’s thoughts and who has loved Hye Sung who since he was eight after she gave her testimony in his father's murder case.   This drama will have you on the edge of your seat as you watch them avoid a serial killer and attempt to overcome their age difference to find romance.  I know I am personally biased towards this drama since Lee Jong Suk is in my top 5 favorite actors, but you will not be sorry if you give this drama a try.  It will make you laugh, cry, and forever be scared of the Jackson 5's song "Ill Be There".

I Hear Your Voice Trailer

Romantic Cuteness - Seriously who would not love LJS's smile!

The Reality of Women

The Masters Sun
 Probably the most traditional comedy of the year was the Hong Sister drama The Master's Sun.  The story of Tae Gong Shil  (Gong Hyo Jin - Greatest Love, Pasta) who's life is falling apart because she is able to see Ghosts.  When she discovers that the ghosts disappear anytime she touches Joo Joong Won (So Ji Sub - Ghost), she becomes determined to stay close to him regardless of the costs.  While this drama has its share of spooky pop out at you ghost, it is more a romantic comedy then a horror drama.  Filled with witty sexual innuendos and classic physical comedy we get to laugh along with the characters. And if the laughs taper off a bit towards the end of the drama we can forgive them since it was so funny at the beginning.  The following is one of my favorites scenes where Gong Shil wakes up in Joong Won's bed and he proceeds to tell her about his sleepless night because she kept getting possessed by various ghosts.
Masters Sun Possession.
Least Favorite
I have to imagine that this is the picture that all the writers looked at while they wrote these dramas.  Instead of funny all of these following dramas were just a painful jumble of bad writing, bad characters, and just everything that is bad.......  Even those that started out funny evolved into sad serious emo dramas that still made no sense.

Cheongdamdong Alice
This drama looked like it was going to be so cute.  And even if Moon Geun Young is the Debbie Downer of dramas I had high hopes.  Park Shi Hoo's character looked like he was going to make up for her somber performance.  He was everything I loved in a character..... crazy, egotistical, and well just more crazy.  But then everything took a turn for the serious and MGY's character just became even more unlikeable then she already was and PSH's character lost all his sparkle.  This possible comedy became so blah that I just stopped caring about any of the characters and was just praying that it would end. However we at least got this cute dance scene out of it.........  the best 40 sec of the whole drama.

Flower Boy Next Door
Another drama that should have been a smashing success as a comedy.  It had Yoon Shi Yoon as the lead - a quirky man child who loved life and fuzzy animal hats.  Park Shin Hye (this was before I fell out of love with her due to her inability to have a romantic scene with a man) was the cute shut in stalker who stares at a hot neighbor from her window.  Add a great cast of cute sexy men and where could you go wrong?  Obviously when you decide to drop the funny and make it a sad drama with a very depressed heroine and an emotionally stunted bipolar hero.  I know there are people out there who loved this drama saying that it "had depth".  I personally would have liked less depth and more cute hijinks between the leads.  The constant crying did not do it for me. 
Nail Shop Paris
There are not enough words to accurately describe this psychedelic mess of a drama.  My 2nd lowest ranked drama ever, it achieves levels of crappiness that no drama should ever achieve.   I would purposefully watch it late at night when I was kind of punch drunk sleepy so I could get through it.  My drama BFF Angela and I  would always come up with reasons for the plot and I think we finally concluded that it was because all of the writers were drugged out on PCP.  There is no other explanation for these characters.  Said to be a romantic comedy revolving around flower boy nail artists and the happenings around them.  What it really ended up being was a drama about a bunch of nail artists that invaded their clients personal lives (in very very awkward and uncomfortable ways).  With a heroine who is a cross dressing half Gimiho writer who falls in love with the most boring vanilla character ever (oh and he is also a half Gimiho which is why she feels a connection to him).   The only good or interesting thing about this drama is Song Jae Rim as Kay (the B lead) who actually gets the girl.  As a character/actor he is very good but his talent just shows you what a crapfest the rest of the drama/characters are.  So take my advice and burn this drama out of your queue.

7th Grade Civil Servant
I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE Joo Won fan.  Up until this point he could do absolutely no wrong..... until I started watching this drama that is.  (I would just like to say that I thought even in this horribly written drama Joo Won still was amazing.  His character was likable and believable and I blame the writers and other actors for everything else that went wrong to make this such a bad drama).  I am not sure what the writers were going for?  Was it a satire of the Spy movie genre?  Was it meant to be a comedy and the acting was just so bad (EXCEPT FOR JOO WON) that it came out wrong?  Whatever the reason this drama made you laugh at it, not with it.  

Final Thoughts:
This concludes my list for my favorite and least favorite comedies of 2013.  However, there is a glimmer of hope for the kcomedy genre.  In the last month several really funny dramas have started, I did not add them to the 2013 list since they all overlap heavily into 2014 but I just wanted to give them a shout out. Pretty Man (you can catch my recaps of this drama on our blog), The Prime Minister and I (contract marriage hijinks), Let's Eat (Cable quirky food and single life comedy), and Potato Star 2013Qr3 (daily large cast family comedy) all provide a plethora of laughs and have made my weekly watching a lot more enjoyable.  Lets cross our fingers and hope that they and future dramas are better written and can keep us laughing.

Sincerely, Kmuse

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