Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kmuse's Musings - A New Batch Of Dramas: The Good, The Bad, & The "Meh"

Hi my fellow Kaddicts.  Kmuse here, popping back in with a quick post about my initial thoughts on all the new dramas that have started recently.   Is it just me, or does everything seem to be starting at the same time?  This makes it difficult to watch everything, so hopefully this post can help you sort through your options so you can make the most of your precious kdrama watching time. 

The Bad

Modern Farmer- starring Lee Hong Ki & Honey Lee
Washed up urban wannabe rockers reunite to plant cabbage in order to earn enough money to produce a demo tape and regain the fame of their glory years.

My thoughts:
I really really really wanted to like the drama.  The promotional materials were executed flawlessly making the drama look like it was going to be a perky, upbeat, musical drama.  Instead it was a loud, shouty, mess.  Lee Hong Ki, while adorable, acts like a somewhat dim ten year old who can't seem to grow up.  His line of thought is so basic that the writers add in ton of random animal interaction scenes that read like an old Chris Farley movie (and not the funny ones).   The leading lady is painful to watch, and even more painful to listen to. This is a drama that should have put more effort into its plot and relied less on Lee Hong Ki's ability to be cute.

The Greatest Marriage (aka- The Greatest Wedding)- starring Park Si Yeon, No Min Woo, & Bae Soo Bin
News anchor Cha Gi-Young struggles to give birth and live as a single mother in a male dominate conservative workplace.
My Thoughts:
I initially was excited for this drama.  It seemed to have a more realistic outlook on modern society and the change between old school and modern thought about women, dating, and parenthood.  Then the writers decided that they could not just trust the viewers to understand what they were trying to portray, instead they decided to make the characters into caricatures of themselves..  By episode six I feel that all that everyone has been pushed into the worst version that reality can offer.  There is no balance at all with the men and I think that I am not alone in saying that the leading lady can do much better than either of them.  I am still sticking it out in hopes that there is some serious character growth forthcoming, but I am preparing myself to dump this one if the plot continues to annoy me.

The "Meh"

Cantabile Tomorrow- Starring Joo Won & Shim Eun Kyung
Piano major Yoo Jin works on attaining his dream to be a great conductor.  Along the way he meets quirky next door neighbor Nae Il who turns his structured world upside down.  This is an adaption of the Japanese manga Nodame Cantabile.

My thoughts:
I love the interaction between Joo Won and Shim Eun Kyung's characters, unfortunately a lot of the other characters don't interest me in the same way.  The more crowded the cast gets, the less I feel the urge to tune in.  I will finish it for Joo Won, but this is just not my favorite plot line.
The Good
Liar Game - Starring Lee Sang Yoon, Kim So Eun, & Shin Sung Rok
A naive college student is tricked into joining a game show where you have to cheat, steal, or outwit others for money. 

My Thoughts:
I loved the Japanese version of this drama and I like the Korean version even better.  They cleaned up some of the issues I had with the plot in the current rendition.  For example, in the Japanese drama the game was created as a huge betting ring by the bored rich elite.  They were behind the scenes and the whole thing had a slight sinister feel to it.  The kdrama version modernized the concept by making it a televised game show by an almost broke tv station desperate for ratings.  Still sleazy but more relatable for the viewers. This drama also has Kim So Eun who is one of my current girl crushes thanks to the variety program "We Got Married".  If you are not already watching that, then start ASAP.  She and Song Jae Rim will steal your hearts and provide you with massive entertainment every week. It makes watching her in Liar Game all the more enjoyable.  

Misaeng (Incomplete Life) - Starring Siwan, Kang So Ra, & Lee Sung Min
Jang Geu Rae plays a genius who after a life of only studying the board game "Go" joins the workforce. Based on a webtoon.

My Thoughts:
First off I would suggest everyone ignore the dullness of the synopsis and try out this drama.  It is impossible to describe the emotional and character nuances packed into 70 min.  I love the writing and the mix of simple and intricate dialogue that create multiple moments of greatness.  I also appreciate the performances that bring all these characters to life and touches my heart.  If you are looking for something fast paced, full of the usual cliches, and the typical romantic triangle, then this might not be your drama.  Instead it delves into real emotions and avoids the cookie cutter characters that have become kdrama basics.  If we were going to compare it to literature, regular dramas would be well written romance novels, while Misaeng is Dickens, Hawthorne, or Twain, deep thinking and full of quiet moments of genius.
Bad Guys - Starring Park Hae Jin & Kim Sang Joon
One of the highlights of my weeks is getting to watch this drama.  Full of mystery, action, and mayhem, it is a fun ride and wonderfully acted.  Check out my initial recap for more detailed information in the link below

I hope this helps everyone out with their future kdrama choices.  If you have any other questions about any kdramas both past, present, or future, feel free to leave a comment or check out our FB page.  I am always happy to hunt down suggestions based on peoples personal interests.  Dongsaeng and I will be back recapping in a couple weeks as we attempt to tackle the new drama "Pinocchio".  Everyone cross their fingers that it is better than others we have been recapping.

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  1. Yep, I tried out Modern Farmer and had to take it off my list as well — which makes me sad, because I want to see Lee Hong Ki in something I want to watch. Now maybe I'll have to go watch a You're Beautiful Jeremy highlight reel to get my LHK fix.

    My currently watching list is more than I can actually handle right now, so I was really hoping you'd tell me that Liar's Game was bad so I could take it off my list, but nooooo you had to like it, so now I'll have to check it out along with all the other stuff I'm trying to watch before the end of the year. :P

  2. So glad to hear Misaeng compared to Dickens. Since I love 19th century novels, I will give this one high priority.


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