Asian Cinema : The Official Asian Drama Thread

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I'm finishing up "Style" with Ji-ah Lee. It's basically crap, but I find it oddly watchable. The actors are wooden, but the actresses are charismatic enough.

I also just finished an anime series called "Steins Gate", which is awesome! A great time travel thriller/comedy with some of the best characters I've ever seen in an anime.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

As a reminder, Iris 2 begins its television broadcast run tomorrow! That means it should hit the net with English subs by the end of the week.

Info: http://asianwiki.com/IRIS_2
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F3ZFbIGJMM

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Iris 2 is 4 episodes in, and I'm very happy with it so far. If it continues at this level it could be as good as the first season.

The script tries to be solid espionage fare, which is a good thing. ThereÂ’s an element of not only Iris but also the friction between moderate and hardlined military forces within North Korea. The action sequences are very well-constructed and exciting because thereÂ’s proper plot development and build-up before the shootouts, fist-a-cuffs, and car chases. Foreign locations are very nice, especially Budapest (Hungary) and Angkor Wat (Cambodia). ThereÂ’s no cliched Korean melodrama yet, which is kinda surprising. Characters were a bit generic at first, but are beginning to develop and grow.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Quick update. Episodes 5 and 6 of Iris 2 were very disappointing. The script basically fell off a cliff and there were some huge doses of K-drama melodrama too. There was one ridiculous plot twist in episode 6 that could actually be very entertaining in future episodes if they play it correctly, but my enthusiasm has waned quite a bit. That said, I hope that this turns out to be a fun "popcorn" series in the end.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Last year I had an 'overdose' of mediocre SK movies, 90% of what I was watching was really mediocre at best so I decided to watch Iris and it turned to be a great drama, I loved the whole thing and it actually encouraged me to watch more dramas, I've been watching SK movies for more than 10 years but I never watched a drama (with the exception of Alone in Love with my girl Son Ye Jin).

I first wanted to stay with the action/thriller/romance genre, of course nothing topped Iris but I've seen some really good ones with "Time between dog and wolf" being the closest in term of brillance. Even if the reviews have been very mixed, I'm tempted to watch Athena, I hear that the story was close to Iris (maybe too close) I don't know...Soo Ae is one of my favorite Korean actress.

So far I've seen (in all genres) :

Iris : 91%
49 Days :80%
You're beautiful : 77%
A Love to Kill : 78%
Temptation Of An Angel : 80% Lee So Yeon's performance is really impressive.
Bad Guy : 80%
CIty Hunter : 82%
Time between dog and wolf : 87%
I'm Sorry, I Love You : 82% So Ji-Seop gives such a stellar, star making performance, he has been so disappointing in his choices since then.

Next one should be either Bridal Mask (seem like to be a real deal and it will be my first period drama) or Rooftop Prince (sound very fun). Of course when all the episodes of Iris 2 will be available with subtitles (late april certainly) I will jump on it.

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

South Korea and Japan are the only two film industries where I can watch films at random but still enjoy most of them. Here are some recommendations for Korean movies that are less mainstream and have a very good overall quality (well, most of them): http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000007/nest/194704183?d=194704183#1947041 83

I really enjoyed You're Beautiful. I'm Sorry I Love You was also very good but some of the melodramatic moments annoyed me. City Hunter had one of the worst scripts I've seen for a K-drama, but I still enjoyed watching it - mostly due to the lead actor.

If I were you, I would definitely go into Iris 2 with lower expectations.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

i finished IRIS a few weeks ago and one the last few episodes of city hunter, was recommended Bridal Mask and just wondering if you have started watching it and what you think? what would you recommend for me? i want something on the same lines as IRIS and City hunter (modern action/thriller/romance which ends on a cliff hanger)

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I finished watching A gentleman's dignity. Interesting drama but i cared more about tae sans, yoons & roks relationship more than do jins relationship. Jin and yi soon were too cutesy with each other. they had me rolling my eyes a lot during there scenes together.

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I started watching two more series this week:

Faith (aka The Great Doctor) (2012) - this K-drama is fun so far.

The Ancient Dogoo Girls (2010) - this J-drama has scantily clad hotties fighting yokai monsters; completely ridiculous but lots of fun so far; I plan to watch the original series (Ancient Dogoo Girl) after this one.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Below are my final thoughts on Faith. I'm gonna get back into anime series starting in May.

Faith (aka The Great Doctor) (2012) (Korean Drama/Romance/Action Television Series) – A 21st-century plastic surgeon is kidnapped by a warrior and brought 700 years in the past for her healing powers. Both leads are good but the plot and characters are fairly stagnant and thin for a while. Thankfully, it does get better later on, with stronger conflicts and effective drama. It's kinda cheesy, but there are some genuinely funny moments peppered throughout. The final episode is a bit of an anticlimax, but this is a pretty good series.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

ebossert wrote

Both leads are good but the plot and characters are fairly stagnant and thin for a while. Thankfully, it does get better later on, with stronger conflicts and effective drama. It's kinda cheesy, but there are some genuinely funny moments peppered throughout. The final episode is a bit of an anticlimax, but this is a pretty good series.


I knew nothing except the story line about this drama Faith (aka The Great Doctor) (2012) when I ordered it as my Christmas present.

For me who likes historical movies, fantasy, and martial arts, this is up to now the best Korean drama, worked better for me the the highly acclaimed Dae Jang Geum (2003). In contrast to ebossert I felt hooked already from the first episode.

By the way, I have seen now 4 dramas with Lee Min-Ho (Boys over Flowers, Personal Taste, City Hunter, Faith) and concerning my preferences Faith is definitely the best. I especially like that many of the supporting actors work so well for me, and I further like the interpretation of the side story of Goryeo king Gongmin and Yuan princess Borjigin Budashiri turned Goryeo queen Noguk.

Made by a very competent director http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-hak (it is really sad that he took his life due to the heavy financial losses made by his last two dramas Legend (2007) and Faith (2012)); and even the soundtrack is good. Second viewing already and even my life partner liked it who usually doesn't watch Korean dramas.

I recommend this series, my favourite Korean drama up to now.


--- each brain develops its own preferences ---

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Thanks for your thoughts. That's too bad about the director

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I just finished Another (2012), which was a slow-paced but good Japanese anime series.

Tonight I started watching I Need Romance: Season 2 (2012) because Yu-mi Jung is in it. It's awesome so far! Yu-mi is outstanding and the tone of the series is playfully naughty and sexual (a rarity for K-dramas).

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Wow.

I Need Romance 2 (2012) (Korean Romantic Comedy Television Series) – A 30-something woman lives with her ex-boyfriend but suffers through a withdrawal of romance, prompting her to start a relationship with another man despite still having feelings for her ex. This K-drama (16 episodes, 45 minutes each) has one of the best scripts to ever hit a television screen. The rocky relationship between the leads is developed in great detail and has a very complex web of psychological angles. This establishes a sense of realism because both likeable and unlikeable personality traits (i.e., virtues and flaws) are showcased. At certain points, the viewer may actually begin to dislike a particular character, but subsequently come to understand their perspective and ultimately care for them. The characters are also very honest and forthright with each other, which allows for some fantastic exchanges of dialogue. But that’s not all. I’ve never seen a K-drama that so expertly pulls a woman equally between two men. Right up until the final episode, I had no idea who she would ultimately end up with, and I kept changing my mind regarding who she should choose! Viewers could literally spend hours analyzing this love triangle and debating on whether her final choice was the correct one. There really are no simple answers here, and that’s what makes it so great and unique. Performances are impressive by everyone, but Yu-mi Jung is utterly phenomenal. She expertly portrays a clingy woman to the point where the viewer will want to lecture her one minute, then hug her the next. The tone is playfully naughty (in a classy way) and there’s lots of kissing, which is rare for a K-drama. The humor is almost always effective and charming. I cried near the end, and she didn’t even end up with the guy I was rooting for. This is special stuff. 10/10

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Mononoke (2007) (Japanese Anime Horror/Fantasy Television Series) – Set during the Edo period, a medicine seller travels the lands and faces a myriad of unnatural spirits in this continuation of the “Ayakashi: Goblin Cat” film. This has an unorthodox style of animation, which is very colorful and provides some stunning visuals. Per Anime News Network, “it uses a pastel palette with layers of blocked texture, and every scene appears drawn on creased rice paper, emphasizing the show's roots in traditional Japanese art.” For fans of Japanese folklore, some legendary yokai monsters are featured (Zashiki-warashi, Umibozu, Noppera-bo, Nue, Bakeneko), which creates a very unique, culturally relevant experience. In terms of story, there’s a reliance on understanding the “form, truth, and regret” of the monster first before the protagonist is capable of defeating it. Horror elements are highly creative and implement traditional Japanese imagery that have a dreamy, otherworldly feel. This is a very artistic, high quality anime series (12 episodes, 23 minutes each).

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Que Sera Sera (2007) (Korean Romance Television Series) – Never has a K-drama collapsed so horribly as this one. The first 8 episodes set up the typical “love square”, but two of the four characters are unlikeable and the pacing is fairly slow and laid back. These qualities are refreshingly different at times, but the male lead is quite possibly the biggest scumbag “protagonist” I’ve ever seen in a K-drama. In any case, the series becomes unwatchable during episode 9 when the scriptwriting falls off a cliff. Let’s just say that the story shifts to a borderline misogynistic treatise that practically condones sexual assault. But that’s not all, because the female lead then solidifies her status as a completely pathetic, self-hating wench who two-times a nice guy without the slightest bit of regret. Oh, we also have a “I'm falling for you” comment from the rich girl character that seemingly comes from out of nowhere. If that weren’t annoying enough, episode 10 is arguably even worse in terms of scriptwriting. Okay, so the scumbag guy (after so much inner conflict) decides to scrap his money-grubbing playboy attitude to live and love with the lower class girl (after attempting to rape her). Then – after one brief conversation with a rich guy – he changes his mind!? This is literally, like, two days after he wins her over. This is just terrible writing people. It makes no sense whatsoever, and his character isn’t complex or developed enough to make it work. If you're a K-drama writer, you can’t just throw a bunch of random “surprises” in and expect me to take your “oh so serious” romance seriously. I simply could not make it past episode 10.

I cannot recommend this.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I recommend this one, and look forward to Season 2.

Time Limit Investigator (aka Jiko Keisatsu, aka Time Limit Detective) (2006) (Japanese Comedy/Mystery Television Series) – Is there even a point to investigating murder cases that have already exceeded the statute of limitations? One cop thinks so and makes a hobby of it in this series (9 episodes, 45 minutes each). Quite an odd premise, since none of the criminals end up going to prison. The comedy is very funny, using sharp witty jokes (the dog-lick theory in episode 5 is a classic). Joe Odagiri and Kumiko Aso have great comedic timing and chemistry. Some of the episodes were directed by Satoshi Miki or Sion Sono. Special appearances by Noriko Eguchi, Chizuru Ikewaki, Hiromi Nagasaku, Megumi Okina, Yuriko Yoshitaka, and Ryo.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

After a long hiatus, I'm back to watching Asian TV series, mostly Korean.

The most recent one I've seen is Shut Up Flower Boy Band - I really liked this one a lot. It was unexpectedly deep for a drama revolving around teens.

Others that I've enjoyed:
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
Winter Sonata
Autumn's Concerto
(Taiwanese drama)

Right now I'm about halfway through Lie to Me, which is a light comedy. It's entertaining and perfect for the season.

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I really enjoyed "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho", but I have skipped "Winter Sonata" multiple times because it looks rather dull. "Lie To Me" is a good one, and I'm a huge fan of Eun-hye Yoon.

I'll put "Shut Up Flower Boy Band" on my to see list.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I finished watching Lie to Me and really enjoyed it.

Winter Sonata has some great acting and is very melodramatic but they could have shortened the number of episodes. The cinematography was excellent, lots of beautiful winter scenery -- and watching it during this summer's heat wave in my neck of the woods was a bonus.

Film Trek Asia: http://filmtrekasia.blogspot.com/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

NMFilmgirl wrote:

The most recent one I've seen is Shut Up Flower Boy Band - I really liked this one a lot.

Following your recommendation I watched it recently. And I too really liked it lots, probably as much as Secret Garden, which was before Shut Up Flower Boy Band my favourite Korean drama. So, my sincere thanks for your recommendation.


It was unexpectedly deep for a drama revolving around teens.

I agree. It is the most realistic Korean drama I've seen up to now. Concerning the realism it reminded me of 19-Nineteen (2009) with Seung Hyun Choi. Moreover, the music worked for me. I have bought the two SungJun songs "Wake Up" and "Jaywalking". I definitely had hoped for more rock pieces. Anyhow, I will for sure buy the DVDs of the series when a version with English subtitles is published.

It adds certainly to my relish of the series Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012) that I like rock far more than pop, which is used in the other Korean dramas as for instance You're Beautiful, another boy group drama, which I'm watching now. You're Beautiful (2009) is as unrealistic as they come, and I'm happy when I'm through, though it was for sure addictive as well. But it felt even more cheesy than Boys Before Flowers (2009), which worked a bit better for me.


--- each brain develops its own preferences ---

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I recently watched a K-drama entitled Over the Rainbow, which is about pop singers and dancers. The only reason I seeked it out is because Ok-bin Kim was the lead actress, but it turned out to be more interesting than expected. The characters are nicely multi-dimensional and engaging. The story seems to run out of gas during the final handful of episodes, but this was good stuff.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I cautiously recommend this.

The Return of Iljimae (aka Moon River) (2009) (Korean Drama Television Series) – Set hundreds of years in the past, a vigilante uses ninjitsu to bring powerful criminals to justice. This series (24 episodes, 65 minutes each) takes its sweet time setting everything up. Even though some of the episodes move as slow as molasses in January, the characters are properly developed and the storyline becomes deceptively engaging early on. The production values and natural environments are great too. There are a number of flaws to point out, however. The script is mediocre and contrived, failing to build dramatic intensity or strong antagonists (on the other hand, it does avoid melodrama, which is a positive). The plot meanders a lot, meaning that they could have shortened the number of episodes. The final few episodes are not satisfying. This is a pretty good series, but it will test the viewer’s patience.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I recommend this one.

Gu Family Book (2013) (Korean Drama/Romance/Action Fantasy Television Series) – Set hundreds of years in the past, a half-man half-gumiho strives to change his fate and live amongst humanity. This has a strong conflict right from the opening episode. The antagonist is immediately despicable and that creates some serious dramatic intensity. The driving force of the storyline, however, is the romantic relationship between the protagonist and a woman. The actors have very good chemistry. Pacing is brisk and there’s a good amount of fighting too. There’s a lot of emotion in this, but the story and characters properly earn that emotion. Near the midpoint, the mood lightens and the plot shifts to a more purely entertaining level. A few of the character turns are unexpected and interesting too. There are also some smart manipulations and schemes.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I recommend this one.

Two Weeks (2013) (Action, Melodrama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller)
A man named Tae-San (Lee Joon-Gi) lives his life meaninglessly. He is falsely accused of murder. The man learns that he has a young daughter stricken with leukemia. For the next two weeks, he struggles to save his daughter.

8 years ago, Tae-San and In-Hye (Park Ha-Sun) were involved in a romantic relationship. At the time, Tae-San was a member of a crime gang and worked for crime boss Moon Il-Seok (Jo Min-Gi). One day, Moon Il-Seok ordered Tae-San to take the wrap for a murder charge that Moon Il-Seok committed. If Tae-San refuses, Moon Il-Seok threatens to kill his girlfriend In-Hye, who is pregnant at the time. Tae-San agrees to take the fall and goes to prison, but first he takes In-Hye to an abortion clinic. In-Hye has no idea why Tae-San changed.

Now, Tae-San is still a gang member and works under Moon Il-Seok, but he's looked down upon by the other guys. Tae-San also works at a pawn shop run by his gang. One day, Tae-San is about to hit another guy there, but stops when he sees a woman through the window. The woman is his ex-girlfriend In-Hye.

They sit together in a coffee shop. In-Hye then asks Tae-San to take a blood test. Tae-Sun is confused by her request, but learns that she has an 8-year-old daughter named Soo-Jin (Lee Chae-Mi). Her daughter also has leukemia and desperately needs a bone-marrow transplant. Tae-San also realizes that when he took In-Hye to the abortion clinic 8 years ago, she did not go through with the abortion and that Soo-Jin is his daughter. In-Hye lets Tae-San know that she has no interest in restarting a relationship with him and that her fiancé Seung-Woo (Ryu Soo-Young) is a detective.

After going to the hospital for the blood test, Tae-San learns that his bone-marrow is a match and he can go ahead with the transplant operation in 2 weeks. But, Tae-San goes to see someone and when he wakes up he is arrested by two detectives for her murder.

my favourite korean drama right now! give it a watch!

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

That sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I'm trying to get into watching Japanese dramas. Where would you guys recommend I start?

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
- Goethe

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Liar Game (2007-2010) is my favorite J-drama series. It's a fast-paced puzzle-solving storyline with some very clever scriptwriting.

The Trick (2000-2003) series are also very entertaining if you're into "who-dunnit" crime investigation involving magic tricks and desolate locations.

Still, Life Goes On (2007) is one of my favorite darker themed dramas.

The first season of Boys Over Flowers (2005) is my favorite romantic comedy J-drama series.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Thank you!

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
- Goethe

The Innocent Man

I went over the thread and I haven't seen anyone mention this. I googled it and found out that its a pretty recent series (2012) and it stars very promising, not to mention good-looking, leads. I'm still on episode 2 and I'm already hooked on it. It would be too early for me to recommend this but I figured a heads-up to those who are in search for another K-drama to watch. I'll be back to give my review of this.

Re: The Innocent Man

Thanks for the rec.

It's nearing the end of October so my horror movie viewings will start ramping down and my K-drama, J-drama, and anime viewings will shoot up immediately.

I actually just started "The King 2hearts" tonight and thought that the opening episode was great. It will be interesting to see if it maintains that level of entertainment value throughout.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

The King 2hearts (2012) (Korean Drama/Romance/Action/Comedy Television Series) – Set in a fictional present day where South Korea is governed under a constitutional monarchy, this series (20 episodes, 60 minutes each) tells the story of a South Korean prince (Seung-gi Lee) and a North Korean special forces instructor (Ji-Won Ha) who are assigned to train and compete together in an international “special ops” competition. Like many K-dramas, the opening episodes are heavy on humor (which is very effective), but that transitions to a more serious tone later on. Fortunately, the character development and dramatic intensity are so good that the transition is completely successful. This is anchored by a number of great performances, including both leads. Ji-won Ha is particularly outstanding as she convincingly portrays every possible angle of her multi-dimensional character perfectly (she even speaks in a North Korean dialect). This could very well be the best performance of her entire career. In terms of tone, this series is all over the place because it’s an odd mix of serious drama, light comedy, romance, and action – but it successfully bends the genres together and that makes it unique because it can invoke a wide range of emotions within relatively short periods of time. The villain is one of the most entertaining psychos I’ve ever seen. He’s completely over-the-top, but in an oddly laid back manner – and his drug-addicted, chocolate-loving, goth-chick assassin is equally amusing. The viewer will hate the bad guys, yet laugh at them at the very same moment! This is riveting stuff. Highly Recommended

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I feel overwhelmed right now with all of the K-dramas I want to watch. Here's a rundown:

Flower Boy Next Door (aka My Flower Boy Neighbor) (2013) - I just finished this and it was pretty good, albeit a bit thin. Shin-hye Park is the reason I watched it. I look forward to the other Flower Boy series, which are said to be better than this one.

Bridal Mask (2012) - I'm thru 7 episodes and this is really good stuff!

Marry Him If You Dare (2013) - Currently airing. I'm watching this for Eun-hye Yoon. It's pretty good so far.

Medical Top Team (2013) - Currently airing. I watch everything with Ryeo-won Jeong, because she could be the best actress on the planet right now. However, the comments I've read on this series are mixed at best, so I may put this off a bit. Of course, I need to see it for the actress.

I'm also trying to track down some of Ha-neul Kim's and Ji-won Ha's earlier K-dramas.

Too much! I feel like a crack addict!

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

My review of THE INNOCENT MAN

a.k.a The Nice Guy

So I have successfully hurdled the quite-long-for-me 20 episodes of this series and my honest assessment on this would be, it was a BIG potential, only that it failed on one of the most essential ingredients to make a series: an active soundtrack. There were times when I was almost teary-eyed my tears were just a blink away from falling and then ugh, where the hell is that registrable soundtrack which would crumple the viewer's heart. It was like, everything was so perfect, the actors were all in their acting glory, but the feeling is........dry. There's no music which would cement the scene, be it a sad, heartbreaking or a joyous scene.

Now let's go to the other essentials. The actors. Of the three leads, the only one I've seen a previous work on was Park Shi-yeon and she was promising on this one. Not only has she beautifully modified her body (as compared to the last time I saw her), she has also improved on her acting skills. As for the other two, they're brilliant. I could ogle at Song Joong-ki whole day. He gave perfect life to a character with deep and unpredictable personality. Moon Chae-won is also fascinating. She portrayed very well the persona of a strong-willed woman with a soft side.

On to the story. I have some bias against melodrama. There's just something in dramas which easily turns me off. But with this one, nope. Definitely, a story with someone inamnesiais my cup of tea. I have to admit this series lost its steam on the middle part I felt I was just watching it just for the sake of finishing it. But it redeemed itself in the latter episodes. Its a story of love, hate, revenge, sacrifice, priorities, conscience, trust. There were times I got confused as to their emotions. But I guess its where the beauty lies, its ability to contain our attention by giving confusion to the viewer's mind. Questions here and there, up to the point that even the ending would still leave us with some questions.

The plot was a bit common if we're talking about the Cinderella-type of story. But what's great about this series is the strategy employed by the director. You seem to know what's going on his/her mind, yet, later you'll be proven wrong. Or you'll think every scene just fell into place, until a flashback would reveal something else. There's a battle of the brains..and a battle of the hearts. The story deals with the overused cliché.. which one should prevail, the mind or the heart?

Now as to the aspect of Romance, this is where I felt a bit disappointed. Just a bit. I felt the romance in the series was not really given much spotlight when in fact it could have been very effective if it had been given more of the limelight. I honestly couldn't remember the leads saying I love you to each other??? (I'm open to being corrected if I'm wrong) I could just count with my one hand the times when I felt some electricity between the characters because they were deeply in love (Of course, I melted during those times considering how sexy Song Joong-ki is. lol.)

Alright I won't detail the storyline because I'm afraid I'm not capacitated to do so. I guess there's just so much to write yet I can't put these into words. I'm overwhelmed by the series and if anyone asks whether I recommend this or not, DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED!





Re: My review of THE INNOCENT MAN

Thanks for your thoughts.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

As if I don't already have enough K-dramas to watch, I'm gonna start watching Happy Together (1999) today. This series is loaded to the brim with superstar talent – Byung-hun Lee, Ha-neul Kim, Ji-hyun Jun, and Tae-hyun Cha.

Update: I'm watching this now, and one really entertaining aspect is the handful of bizarre similarities to “My Sassy Girl”, which would also star Ji-hyun Jun and Tae-hyun Cha (did they have this series in mind when they made the movie?).

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

It's ironic that I finished this series on this Thanksgiving Day. It made me thankful to not have lived under Japanese occupation.

Bridal Mask (2012) (Korean Action/Drama/Romance Television Series) – Set in Seoul during the 1930s (during the Japanese occupation), a Korean police officer works with the Japanese to catch a masked freedom fighter with ties to rebels. This is compelling for a number of reasons. First of all, there are some clever strategies and mind games. The lead character is very smart and can seemingly talk his way out of any hostile predicament. The antagonists are just as interesting as the protagonists, so the cat-and-mouse games between them ascend to a very epic, dramatic level. Secondly, there is a lot of quality action that is well-staged, shot with wide camera angles, and incorporates some surprisingly exciting choreography. Thirdly, the characters are properly developed and multi-dimensional. Fourth, the performances and scoring are very impressive. It does get a bit too melodramatic in spots and there’s an overuse of repetitive flashbacks, but those flaws only appear a small handful of times. Pacing is generally brisk and entire episodes prove to be suspenseful and thrilling. The style of 1930s Korea is also neat to see. Viewer beware that there are quite a few torture sequences, and a lot of people die. This series (28 episodes, 60 minutes each) is both fun and emotionally affecting. Strongly Recommended

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread


great show, glad you enjoyed it.

and it makes a nice change, you hearing about this one from me, 99% of the time it's the
other way round


Atoms should not be trusted, they make up everything.

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Thanks for the rec.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

WHEN A MAN LOVES

Alright so I'm late for the Song Seung-heon ship but whatever.... I LOVE HIM! This is actually the first time I've seen his work and I have to say that I now know why every girl loves the guy. He's not really physically as handsome as some other Korean actors, but hey, he has this unexplainable appeal and charisma.

So this 20-episode drama series is about an ex-gangster (Han Tae Sang) who eventually became a company president, and who fell in love for the daughter (Seo Mi-do) of his boss' debtor. She spends for her tuition, saved her from all trouble..yet infidelity prevailed. How dare she! After everything Han Tae Sang did for her, heck, he even risked his life for her, she came to like Mr. Mcdreamy (Lee Jae-Hee) because according to her annoying character, Han Tae Sang might have helped her a lot, but, she likes someone else. *Enter a million rolling eyes here* I felt like the writer just tested the waters to see if a Mi-do-Jae-Hee team up will earn the ire of the viewers. And I believe he is successful. But this also made me lose interest with the flow of the story. I was kinda discouraged to go on thinking the pair I wasn't rooting for ended up together. Or not. Everyone emphatized with Tae-Sang and I could just imagine the number of "awwws" from the lady viewers who wished to give Tae-Sang the love he deserved.

I have to say that the downside of this series is the dragging of some sidestories such as family geneology, one-sided obsessive love, and crime investigation. It sometimes lost track of the main meat of this story which the viewers are all anxious to know: which one will Mi-do choose? Will it be the ahjussi (Han Tae-Sang is 12 years older than Mi-do) who was her knight-in-shining-armor or will it be Lee Jae-Hee, the guy whom she can freely be herself and who understands her? Not that Han Tae-Sang doesn't understand her, but I think this series well-portrayed the realities of life. Lee Jae-Hee is the dream of every little girl who has yet to experience how things really happen..no problems, both of you think alike, he supports you, he can read your mind, he knows what you want, he gives everything you want, you don't disagree with each other..Sunshines and rainbows all the time! Yet, it is Han Tae-Sang who evinces what being in a real relationship is. Having differences of opinions, someone who feels being dominated and controlled by the other, the feeling that your partner doesn't understand you and you can't understand him, this IS reality!

I made mention about the dragging sidestories and to be honest, starting episode 15, I already lost interest. When will this end and when will they finally know the truth? Can we fast forward to that part already? Here's what's funnier. Because I got bored, I decided to just read the spoilers to find out how will the story end. And I much enjoyed the blogs I've read so I somehow managed to really watch the final episode (but I have to fast forward at times because my impatience is getting me).

The soundtrack is present. Its registrable. But it could do better. Now I just have one commentary re: Shin Se-kyung. I've read that a lot of viewers hated her acting. They categorized it as "expressionless" and "dead face". Now I don't know with her other works but I guess I am in the minority who actually liked her performance here. I think she well-portrayed the role of a strong yet vulnerable woman. Her voice wasn't annoying either and she wasn't overacting. I think her character is really someone who tries not to show too much emotion and not too obvious, thus, the dead face.


In here you'll marvel at Song Seung-heon's acting prowess, take pity at Han Tae-Sang's plight of destiny, get annoyed at the character of Lee Jae-Hee (hey did I mention that he and Mi-do had some almost bed-scene which I consider as nightmare-ish rather than sexy?), also get annoyed at Goo Yong-gap who seem to be everywhere (you'll understand this once you watch the series), fall in love with the character of Lee Chang-Hee and his loyalty to Han Tae-Sang and his immeasurable brotherly love to Lee Jae-Hee,and sleep at the dragging family story.


My rating for this would be 7/10, with the 5 points attributed to Song Seung-heon. lol.

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

The Master’s Sun (2013) (Korean Romantic Comedy/Drama Television Series) – A woman who sees ghosts meets the president of an extravagant shopping mall in this series (17 episodes, 60 minutes each). First of all, Hyo-jin Kong gives an awesome performance, as usual. Her natural acting style helps to ground the supernatural themes a bit (there are a lot of ghosts on display, most of which in human-like forms with spooky make-up). The main actor is very good as well, and both leads contribute a number of laugh-out-loud moments. This is more episodic than most K-dramas, with different ghosts and mysteries for each episode. There are overarching stories as well, of course, that spring to the forefront at times. Nice tonal shifts are also present. The plot does lose some steam down the stretch. Recommended

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Happy Together (1999) (Korean Romance/Drama Television Series) – The love, conflicts, and reunions of 5 siblings who were separated after the death of their parents. This series is loaded to the brim with superstar talent – Byung-hun Lee and Ha-neul Kim are present, to name only two. Unfortunately, the script is not well-written; it’s contrived and soap opera-ish. The characters are thin (they’re also childish, pathetic, and cry continuously) and there’s no plot or engaging conflicts. One fun aspect is the relationship between the side characters played by Ji-hyun Jun and Tae-hyun Cha, who would later star together in the mega-hit “My Sassy Girl.” However, that’s not enough to warrant a viewing of this series. This is the first K-drama I’ve seen that feels like a bad U.S. soap opera. Good luck sitting thru this crap. Not Recommended

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Season 1 (2006) (Japanese Anime Comedy/Mystery/Thriller Television Series) – A highschool boy meets a bizarre, eccentric girl who coerces him to join her extracurricular club. This series (14 episodes, 24 minutes each) blends realistic everyday interaction with some crazy science fiction concepts. The characters are nicely drawn and interesting. The humor is effective and frequently hilarious. Watching the episodes in “broadcast order” may cause slight confusion at times because events happen in non-linear fashion, but that’s probably the best way to view them because the final broadcast episode has a really nice ending. Strongly Recommended

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Season 2 (2009) (Japanese Anime Comedy/Mystery Television Series) – Right off the bat, one must understand why the second season (14 episodes, 24 minutes each) of this anime is so reviled by so many people. The filmmakers chose to infuse a “Groundhog Day” scenario which basically repeats the same chain of events 8 times over 8 different episodes. There are marginal changes present (like the color of clothes), but not nearly enough to justify the excessive repetition. Can you even imagine what it must have felt like to watch this garbage while it was broadcast? To make matters worse, the final “revelation” to solve the time loop is so shamelessly trite and trivial that one will likely throw a brick thru their television screen after they realize that they waited 192 minutes for essentially nothing. (Can you even imagine "Groundhog Day" as a 192-minute movie? I didn't think so.) These episodes are literally unwatchable, and represent the kind of pretentious, arrogant writing that occasionally rears its ugly head in anime. Per AnimeNewsNetwork, “And then there's the eight-episode “Endless Eight” arc, which may be the single most reviled gimmick in the history of anime; fans at the time of its original airing became so irate that Haruhi's seiyuu Aya Hirano even felt a need to publicly apologize for it.” There were additional public apologies as well. In any case, most of the remaining 6 episodes of this season are mediocre at best, and some of the protagonists got really annoying along the way. It’s impossible to recommend this nonsense. Season 1 was way better. Not Recommended

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I watched the first episode of Ji-hyun Jun's new series You Who Came from the Stars and it was really good. She's cutting loose with her character and showing off her acting range. The woman has some serious acting chops.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Antiquarian Bookshop (aka Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou) (2013) (Japanese Drama/Mystery Television Series) – A young man teams up with a beautiful, perceptive librarian to solve mysteries that are connected with works of literature and the people who read them. This series (11 episodes, 45 minutes each) has a very intelligent script with clever logic and mysteries, as well as properly developed characters and compelling drama. There’s a strong romantic undercurrent that simmers deep beneath the surface. The lead actress (Ayame Gouriki) is gorgeous and her temperament is perfectly suited for the role. The cinematography has a warm yellow tint to it. The soundtrack uses the theme to “The Neverending Story”, which is a very nice touch. Strongly Recommended

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

A quick summary of my current Asian drama projects.

You Who Came From the Stars (2014, Korea) - This is almost done airing. A very good series that boasts Ji-hyun Jun's best performance since My Sassy Girl.

The Private Detective That I Don’t Like (Watashi no Kirai na Tantei) (2014, Japan) – Currently airing. After being extorted by his cute landlord, a private detective takes her along on his investigations. Ayame Gouriki cuts loose and is hilarious. I'm really digging this actress and hope to see more from her. Interesting mysteries to be solved. High energy and lots of fun.

Security Police (2007, Japan) - After enjoying both theatrical films (especially the first one), I'm watching the television series now. Junichi Okada has excellent screen presence and definitely nails the smooth bodyguard character.

Dirty Mama (2012, Japan) - This one stars Hiromi Nagasaku. I plan to watch this next.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I just started "Woman" (2013), a J-drama about a young woman who attempts to raise her two children after the death of her husband. This has the same writer as "Still, Life Goes On" (2011) so they are definitely throwing the protagonist through the ringer for the opening episodes. Hikari Mitsushima is awesome in this so far.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Woman (2013) (Japanese Drama Television Series) – After her husband dies in an accident, a young woman must raise her two children while attempting to reconcile with the mother that abandoned her as a child. This series (11 episodes, 45-60 minutes each) has the same scriptwriter as “Still, Life Goes On” and displays the same excellent level of craftsmanship in terms of dialogue, which is both intelligent and intense. The viewer will feel that the characters are ironing out their differences, but getting there is thrilling because the resentment from prior decisions runs deep. There is much complexity here, both in terms of the characters themselves and the mysteries that are gradually revealed. The acting is great all-around, but Hikari Mitsushima is utterly spectacular here and gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. That is no exaggeration. Lots of time is spent with the children as well, which is great. This series yields a number of powerful dramatic moments.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

I'm watching Brain at the moment and to my surprise, Claudia Kim who was recently cast in Avengers 2 is in it
I honestly watched it for the main actor Shin Ha-kyun.

George Lucas talking about: 'Hey, give it to me, I'll fix it. I'll make 20 more of them'

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Last year I saw "I Need Romance 2" and absolutely LOVED IT. So I decided to watch seasons 1 and 3 even though they have different casts.

There's no way they will be as great as season 2, but hopefully they will be good.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/

Re: The Official Asian Drama Thread

Finished the first season of "I Need Romance" and it's not nearly as good as "I Need Romance 2." It's watchable fluff, but the female lead is a bimbo with no self-respect.

I will move onto another K-drama soon, but I haven't decided which one yet.

Asian Film List
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur10058980/boards/profile/
Top