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Rachel Udin
08-22-2012, 11:12 AM
Anyone watching any? (Couldn't find a thread, but then I didn't dig that deep)

I have an obvious bias.... (Though I watch other Asian dramas too)

=P You can tell it's Korean because the guys wear pink shirts, the girls/women are constantly hitting guys (usually aided with brooms or other objects) and cursing at each other, every time a guy gets back from the army he always does shower brooding, and there is a compulsory beach scene in almost all the romance dramas. It's also usually 16-20 episodes. Oh and they speak KOREAN. Duuurrr.

I offer Dae Jang Geum.... sageuk.
I like a lot of the rom coms too. Melos, doctor dramas, suspense/thriller, not so much.

What do you like?

mirandashell
08-22-2012, 03:34 PM
I haven't seen any Korean TV dramas but I have seen quite a few Korean films. I liked them. One or two of them were downright odd. Especially the one with the young girl who thinks she's an android. Really enjoyed that one.

Calla Lily
08-22-2012, 03:39 PM
I don't do drama, but I'm heavily into Korean horror right now.

Max G
08-23-2012, 01:05 AM
I am a sucker for Korean dramas. Can't do without my Drama Fever account. Though, my favorite one so far is Cinderella's sister. I think having to read subtitles just draws you in even more. A great way to hone your focus.

Little Ming
08-23-2012, 01:28 AM
I love Korean films. :D

TV dramas... are more of a mixed bag. Not a fan of rom coms in general. I've tried to watch some high-concept series like Chuno and Iris and found the storytelling too heavy-handed and the plot tends to fall apart by the end.

Dramas I did enjoy: Cain and Abel, Slingshot and Beethoven Virus.

I will say one thing I like about Korean dramas (or actually Asian dramas in general) as opposed to American TV series is that they actually end. In general you know there's a last episode where the story will end and they're not trying for a cliffhanger/second season.

kuwisdelu
08-23-2012, 03:53 AM
I will say one thing I like about Korean dramas (or actually Asian dramas in general) as opposed to American TV series is that they actually end. In general you know there's a last episode where the story will end and they're not trying for a cliffhanger/second season.

Amen.

Rachel77
08-23-2012, 06:38 AM
I don't do drama, but I'm heavily into Korean horror right now.

Love Korean horror. Arang and A Tale of Two Sisters are among my all-time favorite horror movies.

Silver-Midnight
08-23-2012, 06:52 AM
I watch them. I haven't watched any recently. I've seen Playful Kiss/Mischievous Kiss and some of "I Do, I Do".


I don't do drama, but I'm heavily into Korean horror right now.
I'm curious. Do you have any suggestions for good ones?

Amadan
08-23-2012, 07:08 AM
I'm curious. Do you have any suggestions for good ones?


The Host. Awesome monster movie. No relation to the Stephenie Meyer thing coming out.

Calla Lily
08-23-2012, 03:43 PM
^Yes.

Bunshinsaba (Heathers meets Prom night)
Noroi (A Blair Witch type of pseudo-doc, but better and almost no shakycam, yay! Also, the actor playing the batshit psychic is brilliant.
Muoi (Haunted portrait, backstabbing friends)
Scarecrows (I forget the Korean title, and I'm at work and can't look it up)
Cadaver (Also can't remember Korean title) If you've seen the US movie Autopsy, this is the movie it was based on. IMO, the original is better.

With Muoi and Scarecrows, you know where it's going but it's very enjoyable getting there.

Above all: R-Point. Excellent.

All these are on YouTube.

roseangel
08-24-2012, 01:09 AM
Iljimae, it's the first drama series I watched, so it stands out to me.
I've recently finished the first episode of Jewel in the Palace, Warrior Baek Dong Soo and the Return of Iljimae.
I didn't care for the RoI, but I enoyed JotP and WBDS, at least the first eps.
I'm going to continue watching JotP and WBDS, and try out Queen Seon Duk and Tree With Deep Roots.

Rachel Udin
08-24-2012, 01:32 AM
Seodongyo I really like, though most people like Jumong more. I tend to like Seodongyo more. Also, has strong female protagonists, even if they weren't the main characters.

That's in the realm of 3 Kingdoms Sageuk.

I tend not to watch melos because they often get a bit too ridiculous, for me, and aim on the unrealistic/unbelievable side.


I will watch Ajumma (Middle Aged women) dramas, Dalja's Spring and My Name is Kim Sam Soon come to mind. Though, personally, I liked Baby-Faced Beauty the best out of the Noona Killer group (Older woman to younger man romance)

Though it is a bit older, I also liked Sweet 19, which shows a lot of the cultural features of Korea and the kind of struggle Korea is currently going through without getting preachy.

More recent one, though a bit racy (well, not compared to American television) I Need Romance 2 is pretty good. No soapbox, but examines the life of women and other issues with it in contemporary Korea pretty well.

I also like Korean dramas a lot since they tend to feature women without putting labels on them. But then, it is a woman-dominated industry (for the most part--directors tend to be male, writers female)

Silver-Midnight
08-24-2012, 02:00 AM
The Host. Awesome monster movie. No relation to the Stephenie Meyer thing coming out.


^Yes.

Bunshinsaba (Heathers meets Prom night)
Noroi (A Blair Witch type of pseudo-doc, but better and almost no shakycam, yay! Also, the actor playing the batshit psychic is brilliant.
Muoi (Haunted portrait, backstabbing friends)
Scarecrows (I forget the Korean title, and I'm at work and can't look it up)
Cadaver (Also can't remember Korean title) If you've seen the US movie Autopsy, this is the movie it was based on. IMO, the original is better.

With Muoi and Scarecrows, you know where it's going but it's very enjoyable getting there.

Above all: R-Point. Excellent.

All these are on YouTube.

Cool. I have something to check out in my free time. I'll be sure to look those up. :D

EarlyBird
08-24-2012, 02:01 AM
We used to get a Korean channel with our former cable service and there was one program I loved (watched it with subtitles, of course). It was like a soap opera about a family and all the drama that goes with it.

We can only get DirecTV at our new home, so I can't watch the show anymore, unfortunately.

Little Ming
08-24-2012, 02:39 AM
For horror check out Secret Investigation Record (Joseon X-Files). It's a shorter series (only 12 episodes), has elements of horror and sci-fi which I find refreshing in a Korean series. Though the ending did leave me a bit :Wha:

Calla Lily
08-24-2012, 04:42 AM
Thanks, Little Ming. I don't see it on YouTube yet, but I'll keep checking.

childeroland
08-24-2012, 06:37 AM
Second on A Tale of Two Sisters. Best horror film ever made.

As for TV drama, I liked Winter Sonata. East of Eden is okay. Love Boys Over Flowers.

Silver-Midnight
08-24-2012, 08:46 AM
Second on A Tale of Two Sisters. Best horror film ever made.

What was that about?

ETA: Do you think any of these horror movies be on MySoju or Dramacrazy, or are they only on YouTube?

Little Ming
08-24-2012, 08:32 PM
I loved Tale of Two Sisters. Generally, it's a girl returning home from a hospital stay, and then weird, horror-like stuff starts happening at home. Yeah, um, that sounds terrible, but the story unfolds slowly and I don't want to give anything away... ;)

For horror movies I also recommend Thirst. For more of a slasher movie check out I Saw The Devil.

For a really awesome homage to spaghetti westerns, The Good, the Bad, and the Weird. :D


Thanks, Little Ming. I don't see it on YouTube yet, but I'll keep checking.

You can also check hancinema (http://www.hancinema.net/watch_korean_drama_episodes_online_for_free_and_le gally.php).

Silver-Midnight
08-24-2012, 09:01 PM
Cool!! :D

Calla Lily
08-24-2012, 09:20 PM
Little Ming, I'll def. check out Thirst. Can you tell me if A Tale of Two Sisters involves child abuse? I'll avoid it if so. You can rep me if you'd like. Thanks.

childeroland
08-25-2012, 04:44 AM
What was that about?

ETA: Do you think any of these horror movies be on MySoju or Dramacrazy, or are they only on YouTube? It's about two teenage sisters, Su-mi and the younger Su-yeon, who have to deal with their increasingly cruel new stepmother after the death of their mother and Su-mi's stay in a mental institution. As the stepmother's behavior grows more and more cruel, bizarre events which may or may not be in the girls' imaginations start happening, and it may be that the girls' mother never left.

I doubt any of these films are on Youtube or Dramacrazy or MySoujo.

Calla Lily
08-25-2012, 04:50 AM
All of the ones I listed are on YouTube. :) I didn't see Two Sisters there, tho.

roseangel
08-25-2012, 08:51 AM
It's about two teenage sisters, Su-mi and the younger Su-yeon, who have to deal with their increasingly cruel new stepmother after the death of their mother and Su-mi's stay in a mental institution. As the stepmother's behavior grows more and more cruel, bizarre events which may or may not be in the girls' imaginations start happening, and it may be that the girls' mother never left.

I doubt any of these films are on Youtube or Dramacrazy or MySoujo.

It is on dramacrazy, it isn't on mysoju or dramafever, crunchyroll has a page for it but no vid.

J.S.F.
08-26-2012, 11:40 AM
As another non-Korean Jew (:)) on this forum, I can say that the Korean dramas here (Japan) are very popular, even more so than many of the Japanese dramas.

For the life of me, though, I can't say why. I fiind them outrageously overracted, with piss-poor production values (even lower than the Japanese TV programs) and melodramatic scripts. The period dramas are interesting, though, but again, horribly overracted IMO. Yet, they have a following and have always had one since the days of Winter Sonata.

I try not to watch too much TV. It takes away what few brain cells I still possess.

Silver-Midnight
08-26-2012, 07:44 PM
I like a few of them. I don't think all of them are bad. However, I'm able to get more into some than I am others. But I think that's just a matter of preference though. I haven't really checked out any of the period drama pieces though. I lot of the ones I've seen are K-Drama versions of anime.

Little Ming
08-28-2012, 04:22 AM
As another non-Korean Jew (:)) on this forum, I can say that the Korean dramas here (Japan) are very popular, even more so than many of the Japanese dramas.

For the life of me, though, I can't say why. I fiind them outrageously overracted, with piss-poor production values (even lower than the Japanese TV programs) and melodramatic scripts. The period dramas are interesting, though, but again, horribly overracted IMO. Yet, they have a following and have always had one since the days of Winter Sonata.

I try not to watch too much TV. It takes away what few brain cells I still possess.

Admittedly, I've only seen about a dozen Korean dramas, but I also wonder about the overacting. I've seen the same actors doing films and their styles are very different. So, is it the norm to overact in the dramas? Same question for the scripts, though I tend to call them cliched and predictable instead of "melodramatic."

Bad production values I can usually forgive if they have good characters and an interesting plot; I don't expect everyone to have Hollywood budgets.

J.S.F.
08-28-2012, 04:51 AM
Admittedly, I've only seen about a dozen Korean dramas, but I also wonder about the overacting. I've seen the same actors doing films and their styles are very different. So, is it the norm to overact in the dramas? Same question for the scripts, though I tend to call them cliched and predictable instead of "melodramatic."

Bad production values I can usually forgive if they have good characters and an interesting plot; I don't expect everyone to have Hollywood budgets.


---

While I'm not an expert in acting or Korean dramas, I have seen a number of Japanese dramas and the leads can be very bland or outrageously hammy in one show, just to pop up and do something terrific in another. It may partially be the script but I think it might also have something to do with the director giving them a sense of purpose. It may also be the actor finding himself/herself and learning about the craft.

As an example, Ryoko Shinohara was considered just another sexy pop idol when she first started in television over here (Japan). She did a couple of forgettable dramas and then did a show called 'Pure' which got very high ratings and made me realize she had talent. Then she got cast in a drama called 'Unfair' and damn, she was great! She hasn't stopped since. So is it just talent or a good script or the director guiding his actors? Can't say for sure, this is just my impression.

Agree with the budgeting idea. If the show is good then low budgets may not matter. But I find some of the plots here a little hard to believe. I remember one drama had the heroine as an office worker in Tokyo and when she came home it was to a very plush apartment which would have cost at least half her salary, yet she wore designer clothes and ate at the best restaurants! If anyone knows about Japan, they'd know office workers don't make that much money at a young age and the rent on the apartments here is atrociously high. Pretty unrealistic but that's how most shows are anyway.

Better back off my rambling now....

Rachel Udin
08-28-2012, 06:50 AM
As another non-Korean Jew (:)) on this forum, I can say that the Korean dramas here (Japan) are very popular, even more so than many of the Japanese dramas.

For the life of me, though, I can't say why. I fiind them outrageously overracted, with piss-poor production values (even lower than the Japanese TV programs) and melodramatic scripts. The period dramas are interesting, though, but again, horribly overracted IMO. Yet, they have a following and have always had one since the days of Winter Sonata.

I try not to watch too much TV. It takes away what few brain cells I still possess.



Admittedly, I've only seen about a dozen Korean dramas, but I also wonder about the overacting. I've seen the same actors doing films and their styles are very different. So, is it the norm to overact in the dramas? Same question for the scripts, though I tend to call them cliched and predictable instead of "melodramatic."

Bad production values I can usually forgive if they have good characters and an interesting plot; I don't expect everyone to have Hollywood budgets.

It depends highly on the drama. ^^;; Watched over 100 K-dramas.

Some of it is cultural too. If you see real life Koreans together, you would say Koreans *tend* to be emotional, dramatic, and overly passionate. To an outsider sometimes it looks like Koreans are cursing at each other on the street. Sometimes fights break out that look like it'll turn to fangs, but it doesn't. The idea of logic and left-brain activity overriding everything isn't high on the priority list of culture in Korea. (This isn't to say *all* This is to say the cultural standard.) Passions run high.

As for production values--most Korean dramas run on a limited budget. In the early days, sometimes the boom would get in the shot and they had no way to cut it because they didn't have the money for CG. It was a frequent in-joke.

Japanese dramas and Korean dramas also try to achieve different things.

The Rom-com and the slice of life version of K-dramas do better than the melos which annoy me to no end. And some of the sageuk do better in richness of color and basic camera work (maybe not in cinematography all the time--though the fairly recent Dong Yi did fairly well) than their American counterparts in which the camera work can sometimes feel a little lazy to me.

J-dramas are a different story telling style. With shorter episodes and more often an episodic feel rather than a novel feel, J-dramas tend to run differently. Also the cultural values, are, again, different. (As well as basic story telling conventions.) It's not quite fair to compare the two. J-dramas also have the advantage of being pre-shot before the production. K-dramas work on often very close to live shoots.

J-dramas have more of men yelling at each other about feelings and considering each other's feelings. =P Whereas the K-dramas have the men faking each other out and just plain showing them. That's more of a cultural bit though. (Several men from the US have complained that Korean style of communication is too emotive so they refuse to do the proper Korean inflection because in the US there are stigmas around it being associated with girls.)


---

While I'm not an expert in acting or Korean dramas, I have seen a number of Japanese dramas and the leads can be very bland or outrageously hammy in one show, just to pop up and do something terrific in another. It may partially be the script but I think it might also have something to do with the director giving them a sense of purpose. It may also be the actor finding himself/herself and learning about the craft.

As an example, Ryoko Shinohara was considered just another sexy pop idol when she first started in television over here (Japan). She did a couple of forgettable dramas and then did a show called 'Pure' which got very high ratings and made me realize she had talent. Then she got cast in a drama called 'Unfair' and damn, she was great! She hasn't stopped since. So is it just talent or a good script or the director guiding his actors? Can't say for sure, this is just my impression.

Agree with the budgeting idea. If the show is good then low budgets may not matter. But I find some of the plots here a little hard to believe. I remember one drama had the heroine as an office worker in Tokyo and when she came home it was to a very plush apartment which would have cost at least half her salary, yet she wore designer clothes and ate at the best restaurants! If anyone knows about Japan, they'd know office workers don't make that much money at a young age and the rent on the apartments here is atrociously high. Pretty unrealistic but that's how most shows are anyway.

Better back off my rambling now....

The advantage of J-dramas over K-dramas is that often they will adjust the script to make fun of the low budget. They never try to make it seem more serious than it is.

Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro is a great example of that. Not popular among many J-drama fans, but funny as hell because it often poked fun at its own low budget and it made up for it by having the actors have fun and running lots of in-jokes. (For those who like RPG's and the campy humor of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it probably will be up your alley)

J-dramas also tend to do a lot more hammy jokes. K-dramas do a lot, lot, of toilet jokes. (which has an actual basis in reality.)

But K-dramas by themselves when the production values and writing, etc are all on cue can be like magic.

Both countries will also use production schemes where they are merely introducing actors, writers, or directors to raise them up. The one that gets all of those on the spot tend to sparkle and do well, but cost a lot of money. I kind of find that fun since in the US they don't allow that. I like seeing talent evolve.

Oh and K-drama's NGs are funny. Plus the self-deprecating humor.

J.S.F.
08-28-2012, 07:41 AM
Rachel, I'd agree with the idea of seeing talent evolve. Ryoko Shinohara was just one example, but there are others. Eiko Koike, for one. Known more for her breasts than talent (she was a pinup idol)--at first--I always thought of her as having more ability than she was allowed to demonstrate.

Then my wife watched her in a drama called 'O-Oku' which was about a young woman who's a member of an imperial household harem in ancient Japan (Tokugawa Shogunate). She asked me to watch with her and give my impressions. It had a bit of overacting--and again, that may be a cultural thing more than anything else--but what impressed me was Koike's performance as one evil concubine. She said in an interview when she got hate mail directed at her character, she knew she'd arrived as an actress.

Little Ming
08-28-2012, 09:13 PM
Sorry to pick on only one thing here, but this was something I had wondered for a while:


J-dramas also have the advantage of being pre-shot before the production. K-dramas work on often very close to live shoots.

Again, I admit that I haven't seen that many Korean series, but of the ones I did see, there was a tendency for the storyline to fall off a cliff by the half way point. From a writer's POV, it felt like they were just making it up as it went along... and then couldn't figure out how to tie it all back together. Do you (or anyone) know if it is true that they really do write it as they go along?

Rachel Udin
08-29-2012, 02:40 AM
Sorry to pick on only one thing here, but this was something I had wondered for a while:



Again, I admit that I haven't seen that many Korean series, but of the ones I did see, there was a tendency for the storyline to fall off a cliff by the half way point. From a writer's POV, it felt like they were just making it up as it went along... and then couldn't figure out how to tie it all back together. Do you (or anyone) know if it is true that they really do write it as they go along?
The drama system in Korea can be downright cruel.

Taiwanese dramas usually film everything and then before airing the director cuts it all together on a deadline. In that case it's nutty because the director has to cut together the episode at the last minute.

Korean dramas though often shoot at the same time it's airing. This is because the television stations are nuts. There are often strikes (MBC was the last example) for workers rights. Actors burn out because often they have to do overnight shoots and then shoot a CF the next day. There was a report from a writer that he was hospitalized for exhaustion, which delayed the schedule.

They will also switch writers if it's failing halfway and since there is *usually* only one writer per 16-episode show, that means when the writers switch, the whole tone of the series can be thrown off.

Actual live shoots are where it's being written as fast as possible *while* they are shooting the drama, which means the writer has no time to think or do edits. It's not because the writer is being irresponsible, it's that the stations demand that they have the power to change the script and direction if some aspect is popular, the sponsors fall out, the government steps in (which does happen--politically step in. I know) or change writers all depending on feedback and ratings.

The better writers usually have a plot outline, which makes them able to go faster. Very few successful writers report that they go all improvisation. This also means that sometimes writers are forced to put in plot holes/plot extension ability just in case the drama gets popular and the station demands more episodes.

=P In another words--You have writing nightmares? Nyahh~ Doesn't compare to this system. It's nuts.

Sometimes the production does refuse to give more episodes and in one case they used the extra money to buy new sound equipment. Take the money and run.

You can see some of the famous incidents of this in such dramas as Mary Stayed Out All Night, Lie to Me and Myeong Wol. First two switched writers because of bad ratings and went further south. Last one, the main actress got burnt out, ran away to Los Angeles, almost ruined her career and she got punished for it by Korea's standards (which is just insane).

Korea keeps saying that they want to switch over to pre-shot material to save people, but the execs don't want to risk it. =P (They apparently also don't quite get separation of the press and politics either.)

@JSF Ooku was really good.

Kyoko Fukada--I've enjoyed watching her evolve too. Sometimes they'll suddenly *get* it and hit it in such a way that you understand why they were hired. I like seeing those moments.

Gou was also good.

Moon Young Geun (Korean) has been fun to see her evolve too. She went from kinda cutesy to an actress with some really cool depth.

Ha Ji Won too. I pretty much watched a lot of her early dramas where she had wicked comic timing (100 days with Mr. Arrogant), but now her image has turned to kick butt (Damo/The King 2 Hearts). Though I personally liked her a lot in Hwang Jin Yi.

J.S.F.
08-29-2012, 05:57 PM
Rachel,

I never really cared for Kyoko Fukada. Very pretty eyes--her best feature, IMHO--but to me, not much of an actress although I have to admit this--and I hate admitting it--when I saw her tear through the scenery in Yatterman (based on the comic and cartoon and a totally whacked out flick) I could tell she was having a lot of fun with the role. She later said in an interview that was the most fun she ever had making a movie or television show.

Gou, bettsu ni.

Naomi Zaizen went from being a goofy actress to a very good one in the Sleeping Forest. I think if they have a good script it can make all the difference. They know it's their best shot at being noticed and make the most of it.

BTW, did you ever catch the television series Densha no Otoko. Really funny, especially the first and last episodes.

Little Ming
08-30-2012, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the detailed answer Rachel. While it's nice to have my suspicions confirmed, it doesn't really make me want to watch any more Korean dramas. :(

Rachel Udin
08-30-2012, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the detailed answer Rachel. While it's nice to have my suspicions confirmed, it doesn't really make me want to watch any more Korean dramas. :(

K-dramas have their upsides too, it's just that the business side can be harsh. But that's also true of Hollywood/US television industry who can't seem to get their act together half the time.

The underbelly of the US television industry isn't always roses either. See Writer's Strike... (Fairly recent), recent strikes about wages, and also the lack of equal representation in films. (which is well covered in the political, PoC and QUILTBAG sub-forums)

Korean society tends to be workaholic... (tends to being emphasized here, as in not an absolute rule.)

*shrugs* Korea is still struggling against itself. So it will even out. The better productions and the more highly rated tend to be the ones where it's *not* the live shoot system. If the execs weren't so preoccupied, they'd see that the live shoot system often hurts the ratings more often than it helps. But it's kind of the same attitude in the US--people take credit when it *does* work and wash their hands and ignore it when it doesn't. (The old argument of what makes a story good and trying to break it to a formula... and then the publishers being idiotic enough to think it's the genre as a whole rather than the quality of the work produced, because they can't quantify that).

But then I'm kinda getting into social psychology... suffice to say, not the whole of the K-drama industry is at fault here. It's mostly the bigwigs at the top which creates a trickle down effect.

Better writers in the K-drama industry are more equipped to handle the eccentricities of the industry and you'll see them seed actual possible plotlines in just in case they push it to more episodes. Also they tend to plot ahead of time, mostly in what I've seen as milestone markers. (as in goal-oriented writing) in which case, you end up with a smoother ride and often the writers who do work the system well, end up with better dramas. It is consistent within the industry that a better script often leads to a better production overall, because those writers have their act together, to get the pages out on time, meet the demands of the networks before asked, and thus make everyone happy.

Tis true of the US system too. (See rumors about Star Trek and writing... which is probably *worse* than the Korean system....) Though I think the US system is a bit more dependent on the producers/directors rather than the writers, which again, can be a good or bad thing.


Rachel,

I never really cared for Kyoko Fukada. Very pretty eyes--her best feature, IMHO--but to me, not much of an actress although I have to admit this--and I hate admitting it--when I saw her tear through the scenery in Yatterman (based on the comic and cartoon and a totally whacked out flick) I could tell she was having a lot of fun with the role. She later said in an interview that was the most fun she ever had making a movie or television show.

Gou, bettsu ni.

Naomi Zaizen went from being a goofy actress to a very good one in the Sleeping Forest. I think if they have a good script it can make all the difference. They know it's their best shot at being noticed and make the most of it.

BTW, did you ever catch the television series Densha no Otoko. Really funny, especially the first and last episodes.
While I like talking J-dramas, perhaps it needs its own thread. ^^;; I kinda dislike mixing the various East Asian dramas because it gives the impression they are the same... and yatta yatta... ya know the old adage.