I recently did some digging in my old LJ account to find something I’d written about an older drama and thus came across couple of old posts that I thought might merit a re-posting. Here’s the first one. Written when I was still a relateive noob and had stamina to marathon dramas. 🙂
LJ 16th Aug, 2010
In the past few weeks I’ve been marathoning k-dramas like a crazy person. Guess that makes me a…. er, a crazy person. It all started as an innocent foray into The List of Doom. But once I started, I just could.not.stop. Of course it spilled into watching currently airing and Western TV shows. *headdesk* I swear, I’m possessed! By the accursed List. Stay far, far away from The List my friends if you don’t want to end up like me. Totally sleep deprived but craving for more….
Here’s a little break down of the dramas I’ve
mainlined watched so far (unfinished business not included), in no particular order. Could come handy to some…. or not.
My Country Calls aka Call of the Country / Secret Agent Miss Oh
Not particularly memorable but a semi fun romcom with Lee Soo Kyung, Kim Sang Kyung, Ryu Jin and Horan as the main foursome. Secret agents, criminals, mysteries and luuuurve. Ryu Jin totally stole the whole show as the whacky, self centered art gallery manager dabbling in crime. He was a blast. He also angsts beautifully. Give the man a leading role already!
Evasive Inquiry Agency aka Mixed up Investigative Agency
The frist episode was so OT that I wasn’t sure I’d want to continue. I was rolling my eyes and going WTH! A lot, ha. I’m glad I did continue as it turned out to be all sorts of fun. Once I got used to the style (which was a bit like they’d let Kudo Kankuro give them tips on scriptwriting). The OTness evened out eventually and as per usual the 2nd half was kinda angsty. No real romance but there’s a pairing or two… sort of. There’s a whole plethora of odd side characters who all have a bearing to the plot.
This one has Lee Min Ki as a taekwondo teacher with no business sense, Ye Ji Won as a money hungry and not so good psychic, Ryu Seung Soo as a slacker manhwa shop owner and Lee Eun Song as a mysterious poor, little rich girl with partial amnesia. LMK and RSS are mistaken as private investigators and they rope YJW in to help them in their 2nd case as it apparently includes ‘a gost’. What they find is gold, a corpse and a treasure map. LES moves in the same building the other three live in and hires them to do some investigative work, that in the end is linked to the gold and the trasure map. All sorts of high jinx ensue. A local mob boss, played by Park Hee Soon keeps sticking spokes on their wheels. Favourite character: Ryu Seung Soo’s smartass slacker! ;P
Park Hee Soon was a revelation. His Baek Min Chul – da big bad boss, is quite possibly the most interesting character. The drama makes no bones about what Min Chul is. He is a ganster, intelligent one but also violent, ruthless and very good at what he does. He is loyal to his underlings and cares deeply for his dementia suffering mother. He also has a wicked sense of humour and a soft spot for bumbling Ji Won. PHS is not really a looker but he’s got the same sort of charisma that UTW has. A presence that is hard to ignore. Another underrated actor.
The last two episodes were rather nerve wracking. It ended well though.
When it’s at Night aka Everyday Night / When Night Comes / Night After Night
This is the best of the bunch. It’s a rarity, a well done romcom with actors who fit the bill. Great characters all around and the story set in the antique art world with theft, forgeries and all sorts of intrigue was both fun and interesting. Loved the OTP! Loved their interaction, the banter and the slow falling in love. As well as the camaraderie. Lee Dong Gun at his best. I don’t think I’ve ever really cared for him in anything before but he was perfect for this part. Kim Sun Ah as the feisty cop was good too.
A housewife has to create a new life for herself when his hubby falls in love with a younger woman and leaves her. She foolishly invests her divorce settlement in a shady deal and looses all her assets. Helped by a young neighbour she sets on a journey of self discovery, while doing odd jobs and acquires couple of suitors while she’s at it. Determination and spunk conquers all and she emerges as an owner of a chicken meal producing plant. Plenty of convoluted plot twists and tears. There’s just 22 episodes but it could have done with less. Got through with generous help of ff-button. Oh Ji Hoo is ever so gorgeous. ;P
Country Princess aka Funny Wild Girl / Miss Majesty / Courageous Girl
This was so baaaad….. It sounded interesting on paper but alas, the execution was sorely lacking. God, the whole thing was a bundle of clichés badly done. There was over acting and wooden posturing. Yikes, I bailed out when I got too disgusted with the idiotic plot twists. I did skim through the final ep and the ending is happy. The OTP was sweet though. A grumpy, stuck up guy who inherited a factory deep in debt and a spunky, poor, unmarried single mom who ends up saving the day. The files I had were very bad quality but even disregarding that the whole thing looked like something made 15-20 years ago. Kang Dong Won! What a pretty little thing he was. ;P
Star in My Heart aka Wish upon a Star
Not much to say about this oldie from 1997. dangermousie made several squee-worthy posts about this so anyone so inclined can go hunt for those. 90’s hair, 90’s fashions, 90’s music – best forgotten I’d say, ha. It’s a Cinderella story with angst on top. Choi Jin Shil and Ahn Jae Wook as the aspiring fashion designer, poor girl and rich, woobie rocker boy were a match made in heaven. Even I could get behind that OTP.
My Woman aka My Lady / Sea of Ambition
Yes, I have a ‘thing’ for Go Joo Won and I’m totally unashamed of it. *g* I picked this one up because it sounded somewhat interesting and he was totally adorable in OB/Gyn. 😉 His acting range is kinda limited but he’s pretty good given a right part to play. He’s currently wielding a sword as a hot antagonist in Kim So Roo and I’ve yet to measure up his abilities as a baddie.
My Woman is set in the international ship building world so be prepared for plenty of engrish. The various foreign bodies around were presented in a slightly less gringe-worthy way than usual though, so I guess that can be counted as a blessing. Strangely enough I found all the ship building stuff interesting and loved the fact that the tittle of this drama does not refer to an actual woman but the ships they build. I wouldn’t say this is a perfect drama, it has it’s weak points and is somewhat draggy but it manages to tell the story in a way that kept me going even amongst the worst melodramatics. I wouldn’t say it’s a full blown melodrama though, it has other elements that are more prominent. Just about everyone is flawed to begin with but they all change, one way or other, for the better too. I didn’t really warm up to any of the main characters in the beginning, Se Ra especially was annoying as hell. God, I really wanted to drown that woman. It took me a while to start liking even GJW’s Hyun Min. He was such a paragon of virtue and really needed some shaking up. Alas, I could not resist his dimples for long. XD All in all the cast was pretty much spot on and did a jolly good job. The second half of the drama is better than the beginning and I liked how it all ended, reconciliatory. Everyone in a place they belong to. It has a satisfying symmetry that appealed to me.
Tee hee. It’s so cute to see Past You all crazy about dramas, Timescout! 😉 I did attempt Mixed Up Investigative Agency, but had no idea what I was in for, and bailed before I was even done E1 😛 I had most of the other titles in my list, but never got around to them, somehow. Still fun to know what you thought of those dramas tho!
Haha! Yup, I was a bright eyed and bushy tailed noob once.
Give Mixed Up IA another go sometimes. Once you get past the first fiew epis it gets very good. And hilarious as heck. Totally worth just for Park Hee Soon. 😉
Aw.. I think you’re adorable as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed noob! Now no more a noob, but ever so occasionally, you do still get all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed over a good drama, so there’s that! 😉
Sounds like MUIA is something to revisit, sometime.. I was totally thrown by the weirdness of the first ep, but who knows, maybe my weirdness threshold has grown to a suitable depth now, to re-attempt! 😉
Like I wrote, I almost dropped MUIA too after the first epi. There really was loads of WTFfery in it. 😂 I guess what threw me off was that I wasn’t expecting it.
SAME. Only difference is, I bailed without looking back, while you actually made an effort to finish it! Now that you’re saying it was all worth it, I’m gonna have to reconsider MUIA all over again! 😉
If it had been, say a Kudo Kankuro jdrama I would have known there would probably be some strange goings on in it. 😄
I’ve actually rewatched MUIA and it was even funnier the 2nd time around.^^
I guess I need to put this one back on the list now. You just have this way of piquing my interest, Timescout! 😉
Same happened with me in case of ‘Flowers For My Life’!
I haven’t seen that one either!
Wow….what a nice nostalgic read!
I started watching kdramas in 2011…and started writing about them in 2012.
So many shows on this list that I’ve never read about but only read the name as one of my initial hobby after entering the dramaverse was going through filmography of various actors and trying to ass more dramas in my list, thanks to Dramawiki 😀
I know Go Joo Won through Lee Soon Shin is the best…I think he is very underrated. Mixed up Investigative Agency is definitely on my list! And I think I’ll ass some more after reading this post 😉
My question: do you still feel the same about these shows?
add* (MAJOR typo!!)
LOL! I didn’t even notice that. 😀
Yeah, it was a nice nostalgic read. I’d totally forgotten about some of the dramas, mostly those I didn’t think much of. 😀 I thought I’d already collected everything there was to have from my LJ but apparently not as I keep finding more stuff to potentially re-post.^^
Ah, Go Joo Won… I wonder where he disappeared to. Haven’t seen him in anything in ages. Have you watched OB/Gyn? I really liked him in it.
I’d say I still feel the same about them. I’ve only rewatched Mixed Up Investigative Agency and it was even funnier the 2nd time around. Basically I’ve noticed that if a drama appeals to me, I’ll still like it on rewatch as well, sometimes even more. I think I’ve always been good at assessing what works for me and what doesn’t. 🙂
I have not watched OB/Gyn…is it good?
I liked it a lot while I was watching it. It has it’s flaws like any deama but I seem to recall it’s a bit different as korean medical dramas go. Maybe a rewatch…? ☺ If I can ever find the time.