Drama year 2014 in retrospect

Where did the time go? It’s already mid January and a new drama year is out of the gate. But what about the previous one…?

Looking back, what did last year actually bring? Mostly more of the same but there were couple of great dramas that turned 2014 from ‘mainly meh’ to ‘ok, I’ll give it a pass’. It probably comes as no big surprise to anyone who ‘knows’ me that the biggest (overrated) hit of the year did not impress me much, nor did the ‘it’ boy who headlined it. But, as the saying goes, can’t win ’em all. XD

I checked out quite a few dramas as per usual but actually managed stick with only 14, two of which are on hold (Woderful Days + Pride&Prejudice). I’ll finish both one of these days.

My favourite dramas of 2014 were Yoo Na’s Street, Misaeng, Discovery of Romance and Secret Love Affair. They all represent different genres and at a glance don’t seem to have much in common but look deeper and the commonalities start to become apparent. Good script, great acting and a competent director who knows what he/she is doing. None of them were pickled in makjang or had overblown histronics either. Another thing in common were characters who had more than one side to themselves but felt very real in their imperfections.Β People weren’t exactly how they seemed in the beginning. Everyone had room for improvement and often your preception on someone changed as the story progressed. I was thinking of writing something about each of these four but when I actually got downt to it, I realised I don’t have anything more to add to what I’ve already written about them in my posts. πŸ™‚

So, upward and onward, let’s hope 2015 brings on some good ones as well.^^

Secret Love Affair – The end

I loved it, the ending. Without any reservations. In fact, it was more or less what I envisioned but didn’t quite dare to hope for. Ahn Pan Seok – I bow for you and your grasp of how to make a drama that has a beginning, a middle and a proper end. πŸ™‚
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It’s always darkest before the dawn….

Just two more episodes to go and we’ve come to the end of this particular road. I’ve still no nearer in guessing how this story is going to end as there are several possible scenarios out there. All I know is that it’ll be an ending the drama deserves and I doubt I’ll be disappointed. I have faith in the PD-nim. πŸ™‚

I feel like the last few episodes have been sort of slow in pace but that’s probably just calm before the storm. The piranhas are circling and waiting for the right moment to strike. I really don’t see how Hye Won is going to wrangle out of the mess without getting herslf and/or Sun Jae hurt. The thing is, thematically it doesn’t make sense for her to get out scottfree. She has been a willing participant in the shady dealings and not some poor duped patsy. Though I wonder if she really thought that she’d be in this deep and what she’d have to give up to gain the societal position she was aiming after. It was Sun Jae who made her look in the mirror and really see what she’d turned into and ponder if it was really worth it. To live an emotionally stunted life, without real warmth and love.

Which leads me to the 1000$ question – why did Hye Won pick up an ass like Prof Kang for her husband? Surely there would have been better prospects, even for an arranged union. He is intellectually and professionally inferior to her. A mediocre pianist and mediocre teacher with questionable people skills. Most of what he’s gained over the years has been due to her. I do wonder if he was hoisted on her by the Seo clan. He is after all connected to them through his brother.

Anyway, it’s time for Hye Won to make her move and decide what she really wants. To take a chance with Sun Jae and kiss goodbye to the ‘easy’ life as she knows it or continue to live the lie. It won’t be an easy choise by any means. Sun Jae isn’t interested in money or prestige or fame. He still hasn’t lost touch with his former self so going back to the sort of existence he had before, if that’s the route he has to take at first, won’t be so hard on him. Besides he is young, so it’s easier to adjust. He can always play the piano and make music unless he happens to injure his hands.

I think Hye Won/Sun Jae make sense. They are good to each other and connected in a way that trancendes age and circumstances. I also think that a time apart is a must. Hye Won needs to distance herself from anything to do with the Art Foundation and that corrupt life, to learn how to live as a ‘human being’ again. Sun Jae needs to grow up a bit more and make something out of himself on his own speed, to blaze his own path.

A bit of this and a bit of that

Another one bites the dust. God’s Gift went out with yet another WTF! ending aaannnd thus it got scratched from my to-watch pile. I’m glad to have dodged the bullet with opting out not to watch it as it aired. My spidey senses told me after the first couple of epis, that it’s better to wait and see. Was I right, or was I right? ;P I wonder what’ll be the fate of Three Days…?

These days is almost more nerve wrecking to wait for a kdrama to end than watching a suspensefull thriller. Sigh. So, thank god for Pan Ahn Seok! I don’t have the smallest doubt that Secret Love Affair will have an ending it deserves.

SLA has more or less spoiled every other kdrama for me atm. I even had to take a break with Wonderful Season, which I’ve quite liked so far. Well, that one is a 50 ep family drama, so a short pause may actually be a good move.

Instead of kdramas I’ve been watching more western tv shows, couple of jdramas and I finally picked up The Pursuit of Happiness, a tw-drama I’ve had on The List of Doom for a while now. TPoH came highly recommended by Mookie, a good blogging buddy who is very hard to please, LOL! She was not wrong about it either, I’m loving the mellow feel of TPoH and a lead pair with lovely chemistry. πŸ™‚ A post will probably appear at some point. I think.

I’m very good at procrastinating, which is why I decided to tinker a bit more with the blog instead of tackling stuff related to my studies. Added a link to my tumbler and a new sidebar widget-thingy that’ll be featuring yt vids of some of my fave songs/performers. XD The group featured atm is the first Korean vocal group I got to know and love; Monday Kiz.

Secret Love Affair – EP 7-8

I guess this more or less says it… and I don’t believe the shot was there by accident either.

This drama is a tough watch. It’s so filled to brim with emotions that you feel quite spent after you finish an episode and twice so after two. And yet, I always end up watching them more than once. I just can’t let be. Sigh.

These episodes. Oh lordy! What can I say, I was once again so engrossed with the story that after I’d done with the epis I just sat there, with a bounding heart and buzz in my ears, all coherent thought gone. To use teen-speak – all the feeeeels…. I went through a whole gamut of them, from deep sadnes to guaffy mirth and all sorts in between. It’s a rare drama that makes me empathise this deeply with the characters.

I’ve been trying to sort my thoughs on some sort of order but it’s not happening so I’ll just ramble on.
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More thoughts on Secret Love Affair…

Sometimes I wonder…. if it’s wise to watch something as emotionally exhausting as Secet Love Affair. Because, as much as I love it, it is still… exhausting and we are just 4 episodes in. The last time I was this invested in fictional characters was with Karei Naru and I remember how well that went. Months afterwards I couldn’t even listent to the OST without bursting into tears. Sigh. I can see this going along the same lines.

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First Impressions: Secret Love Affair

I think I’m in love. I just watched the fist two episodes of Secret Love Affair again and after I’d finished I wanted to click play, start from the beginning again. And this was my 2nd time watching them too. I was ‘this’ close to writing this piece after the first viewing, a few days ago but it was late and I was too tired. I also wanted to watch the epis with subs as my Korean is still not good enough, so lot of the dialogue goes over my head and with this one, the words too matter. Afterwards, I just didn’t have a proper moment to dedicate for the drama. I really, really wanted to watch it again without any outside distractions. It was never far away from my thoughts though. I kept mulling and mulling, trying to figure out what to say, how to convey to words what I felt. I’m not very good at that at all you see.

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