Kdrama Related News

KDRAMA 101 – Is There A Difference Between Daily Dramas, Weekend Dramas and Weekday Dramas?

OKAY. I HAD to talk about this.

I’ve recently been watching an ongoing daily drama called: “A Man In A Veil” on Viki. I usually stay away from these because they run up to about 100 episodes and that’s way too much for my attention span. However, I’ve been enjoying it.

Is it crazy? Yes. Is it cliche? Yes. But is it enjoyable, yes, to a certain degree. I went over to the review section of the drama and noticed SO many people giving it a bad review. Their reasons? I found out people really don’t know the difference between the different types of dramas that air on TV in Korea. So, I said, why not write a blog about it and explain the difference? Here’s a little KDRAMA 101…let’s get started!

Daily Dramas

These dramas air Monday through Friday for many weeks. They are typically low budget, not very high quality. Filmed in bad lighting studios, where you can absolutely tell it’s NOT a real home, office, etc. They are 30 minutes long per episode and only one episode is released per day.

Daily Dramas are usually about family, revenge, betrayal and they tend to be a bit outrageous! For example, people WILL get into car accidents, MIRACLES WILL happen, characters WILL die, a lot of memory loss will happen, the evil character will get away with a lot of things. Basically, these dramas are the equivalent of Mexican telenovelas (if you know, you know hahaha) where the shows run for way too long, and the writers have to scramble to keep adding more problems to the plot to keep things interesting so you keep tuning in, day after day. So if you think they are crazy and outrageous, dramatic, then the drama is achieving its goal. That’s the point of daily dramas.

Now the cast of these dramas might surprise you, there are actually some really good actors and actresses in these dramas. There are usually some familiar faces too, actors who usually star in your favorite weekday TVN high quality dramas, they are sometimes filming various dramas at the same time, so you might see them in your cheap daily drama on one day, and on the weekend watch them play a completely different role in a high quality highly rated drama.

These dramas are meant to be entertaining for your everyday “What’s on TV?” needs. They don’t really have any substance to them, they are simply made to entertain you briefly. They can’t be compared to your favorite high quality A-list Kdrama, so let’s not compare them but rather embrace them for what they are.

Weekend Dramas

These dramas air during the weekends, and are usually more family oriented. Why? Because weekends are when the family is home together, and what’s better then sitting down in the living room with the family to watch a Kdrama together? It all depends on the drama and their broadcast station but weekend dramas can range from 50 Episode dramas, to your typical 16 Episodes. These dramas achieve some of the largest ratings, but not necessarily because they are phenomenal but rather because more people have time to watch them. They are sweet, fun, and mostly happy dramas.

Examples of highly rated weekend dramas: My Husband Got a Family, You Are The Best, Lee Soon Shin , Crash Landing On You

They can get a little cliche too, but not as bad as daily dramas. They usually feature A-list actors too.

The drama I am currently very much into Start-Up (Check out my review here!) is also a weekend drama. It’s only 16 episodes though, and at the later time slot for TVN. It’s also very family oriented, but given the 16 Episodes, it’s of much higher quality, and features a major A-List cast.

I like a good weekend drama, they are usually more easy and relaxing to watch, and also they air on the weekends, so you always have something good to look forward to! (Especially during this pandemic where there is literally nothing to do on the weekends – 11/04/20)

Weekday Dramas

Last but not least! Weekday Dramas! I can guarantee, most of your favorite Kdramas have been weekday dramas. Usually released as follows: Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday, Friday/Saturday. So you only get TWO episodes per week, and they are only 16-24 Episodes long. These dramas are usually at much later time slots, usually air at around 10pm and are perfect for the younger crowd. People in Korea usually get out of work pretty late, then go out for dinner and drinks, so these dramas are perfect for unwinding after a long day before going to sleep. Since they air later, they are also rated 15+, which honestly is just your typical PG-13 here in the States. They allow for more riskier topics and themes. Themes for these weekday dramas include: thriller, melodramas, rom/com, action, crime. KBS, MBC, SBS and TVN always release very high quality weekday dramas with tons of A-list actor/actress favorites.

I love weekday dramas, because they offer escape from the day to day work life. They are usually very intriguing and interesting so they keep your mind busy even after you finish the episodes. Who doesn’t love a good high quality drama?

At the end of the day, I think a true Kdrama addict, loves all types of dramas. I know I do. What about you? Which drama type is your favorite? Have you ever watched a daily drama? Did you love it, did you hate it? Let me know! Thanks for showing up to class, see you next time for another lesson on KDRAMA 101!

Kdrama Related News, Kdrama Reviews

Lies of Lies EP 1-4 Review – Your New Favorite KDrama for Fall of 2020

I can’t believe Summer is nearly OVER here in California! However, another season means…NEW KDRAMAS! While I’m waiting for Flower of Evil to end (Really good drama recommendation if you aren’t watching it already) I had to find a replacement so that I won’t feel as empty when it’s over. I stumbled upon Lies of Lies and said “Eh, let’s give it a try even if I’m not familiar with the actors”. This drama, like Flower of Evil, draws me in because it focuses more on adult relationships. Not your teenage first love infatuation stories, but rather serious relationships with an older cast and how these older characters navigate their challenges. To me, that’s something I enjoy watching from time to time. Yes, first love, silly romcoms are fun, entertaining and lovable, but it’s also nice to see “love” from a different point of view, in this case, from a divorced man’s perspective, and from a woman who was abused in her previous marriage.

Photo Source: https://www.soompi.com/article/1424034wpp/lee-yoo-ri-talks-about-what-to-keep-an-eye-on-in-her-new-suspense-romance-drama-lie-after-lie

This drama focuses on the main character Ji Eun Soo played by the very beautiful actress Lee Yu Ri (I want to look like her when I’m 40!). Ji Eun Soo had it all, a good job and good looks, this attracted the son of a chaebol family, it seems he pursued her and eventually married her. This should have been the happy ending, Cinderella gets the prince, the fortune, but that’s not what happens to Ji Eun Soo. She ends up discovering this chaebol prince is an evil violent man, who physically abuses of her. She discovers she’s pregnant with his child and tries to run away from her husband, but he ends up finding her, dragging her back home and almost attempts to kill her. We don’t know what exactly happens next, but she ends ups waking up on the floor of the apartment with a knife in her hand and her husband now dead on the ground. Without being able to prove her innocence, she is then sentenced to prison for 10 years for murdering her husband. Having to give birth at a prison, and then later giving away her baby to her evil mother in law who says she will give her baby a better life.

Ji Eun Soo spends the next 10 years in prison waiting to reunite with her daughter, her only motivation these past 10 years to keep enduring the pain.

Photo Source: https://www.soompi.com/article/1361960wpp/yeon-jung-hoon-to-appear-on-the-return-of-superman-to-help-celebrate-6th-anniversary

Meanwhile, Kang Ji Min, played by Yeon Jeong Hun, is a journalist. Him and his wife keep trying to have children but it seems his wife is infertile and she suffers several miscarriages, so they end up adopting a baby, Ji Eun Soo’s baby. For awhile they are a happy family, until Kang Ji Min discovers his wife is cheating on him. Their marriage falls apart and they get a divorce, leaving Kang Ji Min to finish raising his daughter alone.

Kang Ji Min and Ji Eun Soo’s lives intertwine when Ji Eun Soo comes out of prison looking for her daughter and finds out Kang Ji Min is now the adoptive father of her child. She decides that the only way she can be close to her daughter is by become her daughter’s step mother, so she plots to make Kang Ji Min fall in love with her.

I am in love with the chemistry between these two characters and the chemistry they both have with their daughter.

Ji Eun Soo is a kind, caring, creative woman, so there’s no doubt that Kang Ji Min WILL fall in love with her, in my opinion, he will fall helplessly in love. Kang Ji Min is also a very charming, sweet caring man, the complete contrast of her ex husband who would beat her up, so I think although she is planning on doing this for her daughter, she will end up falling for Kang Ji Min, and end up regretting lying to him and using him for her advantage because he will love her the way she always deserved to be loved.

I cannot wait to see how their relationship develops, if she gets to finally get closer to her daughter, and how Kang Ji Min’s ex wife reacts to the new woman in his life!

Can these troubled souls find happiness in each other?

Where You Can Watch: Viki.com

Kdrama Related News, Uncategorized

When Your Kdrama Watching Friends Don’t Like The Dramas You Like

I feel blessed to have at least 3 friends now who also watch Korean dramas and yes, I met them all while traveling in Korea last year. I tried getting my local friends into Kdramas but they simply won’t even bother with them. I’ve recommended many dramas to them too and even told them they could now easily watch them on Netflix but nope, they simply don’t have interest in them!

Now my 3 friends who do watch dramas, they are all very different, and with differences in personality come differences in the types of dramas we like to watch! Nothing is funnier and sadder than asking a friend if they have seen a particular drama that YOU LOVED, just to find out they never watched it and don’t plan on!

Some of my friends really like those funny light hearted dramas, and don’t get me wrong I enjoy those too, but I also want my dramas to make me emotional, to have a deeper meaning, and for the characters to be a little more complex. Light hearted romance and comedy is fun but I need scenes like these too:

Dramas like: Strong Girl Bong-soon, Coffee Prince, and Love in The Moonlight, I’ve never bothered watching, just not my style, but I have friends who loved these dramas.

Dramas I’ve loved like: Doctor John, Pinocchio, Faith, Thirty but Seventeen, Rooftop Prince and About Time, haven’t even been watched by many of my friends! It really is just a matter of each individual’s taste, but I think you can all agree with me that when you fall in love with a drama, you wish everyone else loved it as much as you do.

I started this blog to be able to express my love for dramas out-loud. To be able to get more people to love something I love very much. I know that even if my friends did not like the dramas I watched, there has to be at least one person on the internet that did enjoy them as much as I did!

What dramas do you personally love that you feel didn’t get as much hype as they deserved? Do you have any hidden gems? What’s your favorite Kdrama genre? I’d love to know what all of you Kdrama lovers like to watch!

Kdrama Related News, Kdrama Reviews

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay EP 1-2 Review – Tim Burton Meets Kdrama World

MY GOODNESS!

Two incredibly strong first episodes! I don’t think I’ve watched a drama like this one in a long time.

Long hours were definitely put into creating this drama. The music, the way the storyline was introduced to us, the haunting Tim Burton-like animation, and visuals, it felt like I was watching a film!

Photo Source: https://ahgasewatchtv.com/2020/06/06/tvn-released-poster-of-upcoming-drama-with-kim-soo-hyun-and-seo-ye-ji/

The drama began telling us in animation form the story of a girl who lived in a castle, she was lonely and tried to make friends, but they were afraid of her and called her a “monster who brings along the shadow of death”. She ends up saving a boy from drowning, and he ends up following her around wherever she goes, for whatever reason, the shadow of death that followed her disappears after this. As if to test the boy and see if he will remain by her side, she ends up showing him her dark side: she rips the wings off of the butterflies. At seeing this, the boy becomes scared and leaves running. The girl is left alone again and the shadow of death returns telling her: “No one can ever stay by your side, because you’re a monster”. We are then shown the main character Ko Moon Young as the grown up version of the girl in this story and it is revealed to us that the shadow of death might be referring to her mother, since she replies “Yes, mother” to the words said to her by this shadow.

It’s a very interesting way of introducing us to the main character, she is a children’s book fairytale author, so it makes sense for her to tell us her story through a story. There’s still a lot of we don’t know about her, but one thing is for sure: She’s had a very rough and dark upbringing.

We are then introduced to our male lead, Moon Kang Tae and his older brother Sang Tae who has autism. Life hasn’t been easy for those two, it appears that Sang Tae can’t keep a job since “he’s too much to handle”. Sang Tae worries that Kang Tae might get upset at him for causing a scene and losing the job but we are quickly shown how much Kang Tae loves his brother, how forgiving and understanding he is too. He makes a living as a caregiver at a psychiatric hospital, he has many scars on his body from his long history of working with patients with psychiatric problems, but he seems to find his job fulfilling in some way, since he is good at it.

What brings these two characters together is one interesting encounter at Kang Tae’s workplace. Moon Young is sitting there in a clearly marked NO SMOKING area, smoking a very fancy cigar, waiting to read her book to the children at the psychiatric hospital. You can tell she’s not one to easily care about rules, and lacks consideration for others. She also has the habit of destroying beautiful things, as she plucks off the petals from a nearby flower shrub. I wondered if this reminded Kang Tae of the girl he once knew, or if he simply was very bothered by her smoking, but regardless of the reason, he approaches her and asks her to please stop smoking. They lock eyes, and for a moment they stare at each other as if they recognize one another. She then asks him if he believes in destiny and explains to him that “If someone shows up when you need them, you call that destiny”. The way these two look at each other is perfect, I feel the chemistry, the sadness and intrigue in their eyes.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am kind of in love with her character, she comes off at first as someone evil, mean, rude, and scary. Even her book at first, sounds like a book that isn’t meant for children since its so dark in nature, but by the time you reach the ending of the book, you come to realize, she’s not a bad person, children love her books because she encourages them, to face their fears, and grow from their trauma and past.

A scene I found interesting, was when the Nurse Nam Joo Ri shows up at her hotel asking for a signature to allow Moon Young’s father to receive a surgery he needs in order to live. The two seem to know each other from childhood, but seemed surprised to see each other (I wonder if Moon Young went by a different name before…) they talk about how they hadn’t seen each other in 20 years since she transferred schools. Moon Young says her father is dead, and then Nam Joo Ri begins to say “But your mother is alive…” and Moon Young interjects saying she registered her death a long time ago and claims to be an orphan. This leaves me wondering about what exactly happened to her family. Is her mother alive, or is she really dead? Did she have a bad relationship with both her parents? In the second episode, we find out that her mother was a writer herself, and is in fact dead and died suddenly…but then why did Joo Ri say she was alive? We also find out her father was a successful architect who went crazy. They keep blaming all the bad things that happened in her life on her.

These phrases about Moon Young were also mentioned throughout the first and second episode: “She was just born like that” and “That’s just how she was born”. I don’t think that’s the case though, if her father tried to murder her as a child, and if her mother died suddenly, and she had no friends growing up, I can understand why she is the way she is. People have shoved in her head that she isn’t worthy of good things in her life and happiness, that bad news follows her and they should stay away unless they want bad things to happen to them too. Makes me feel really sad for Moon Young, her children’s books help us understand that there is much more to her personality than just a mean, anti social, egotistic person. I cannot wait to see her transformation. It seems that Kang Tae really is someone good for her, I think they both can help each other heal from their past wounds.

One last thing to note from these two episodes: Butterflies (나비)

I still don’t know what that’s about, but if you guys have any theories, I am happy to hear them! All we know is that she used to rip the wings off of the butterflies, Kang Tae was horrified to see her do this when they were children, and Sang Tae has bad dreams about them because he claims a mysterious butterfly killed Sang Tae and Kang Tae’s mother. This honestly made me very sad since I love butterflies and we have been seeing a lot of monarch’s around SoCal this past month. I had a classmate who used to rip their wings too, back in the 1st grade. So this honestly brought back to mind some childhood trauma. I wonder what more significance these butterflies will have in the plot. I cannot wait for the next episodes, I really hope they are as detailed and wonderfully edited as these first two were. What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the first two episodes as much as I did, or did you find the drama to be slow? Let me know, I would love to hear what you guys thought about the premiere of: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay!

Where To Watch: Netflix

Kdrama Related News

Kang Ha Neul Deserves His Best Actor Award for When The Camellia Blooms

So here’s a little backstory of my relationship with Kang Ha Neul as an actor, I first saw him in 2013 when he came out in the drama Heirs, he didn’t catch my attention, his acting was quite forgettable, and I thought he was just some random new actor that I would never see again in another drama.

I then saw him again in Angel Eyes, but the drama was so awful I couldn’t finish watching it, and I honestly forgot he was even in the drama! (My sister had to remind me).

I later watched him once more in Scarlet Heart Ryeo, however, I completely detested his character, perhaps it was because I was more intrigued by bad boy with a mask Mr. Wang So. Regardless of the reason, he didn’t wow me with his acting or his looks. I told myself I would never watch another one of his dramas. 

Back in 2019, I kept getting suggestions for the drama When The Camellia Blooms, I read the synopsis and it didn’t seem my style, I saw that Ha Neul was the lead and remembered how much I didn’t like him in Scarlet Heart, so I completely avoided the drama. That is, until my trip back from New York this March. I had just parted ways with Crash Landing On You and wanted to download a drama to watch on Netflix with my sister on the 6 hour flight back home to California. 

After having seen clips on the drama on Instagram, I decided it didn’t look too bad and I would give it a chance. 

MY BEST DECISION EVER, and it could also be YOUR best decision too.

If you haven’t seen that gem of a drama, I highly recommend you do and soon.

There’s a reason why Ha Neul won Best Actor at the 56th Baeksang Art Awards, there’s also a reason why When the Camellia Blooms won Best Screenplay and The Daesang Award.

You can only truly understand the reason if you watch the drama for yourself.

Kang Ha Neul plays the opposite of your stereotypical Kdrama male lead, so it can be hard to accept that type of male lead at first.

His character has an accent, he’s not very book smart, he’s not a chaebol, he’s not super pale skinned in a suit, with lip tint. Rather he’s presented to us as a normal dude from a small town called Ongsan who loves justice, can fight really well, and is just plain goofy but with a big heart. 

His smile throughout the whole drama will leave you with heart eyes!

The way his character treats the female lead will leave you craving that kind of love and respect and care.

The script is really one of the best ones I’ve seen in Kdrama world.

It’s a very heartwarming story of a single mom, a woman who has been living independently almost her whole life, but lacks self-esteem and courage, but through the trials she faces in Ongsan and the friends she makes along the way including our charming male lead, she prevails and comes out as one the strongest most relatable female characters in Kdrama world. 

As much as I LOVED Hyun Bin in Crash Landing On You, Kang Ha Neul just really showcased a new wonderful side of his acting abilities. He brought this wonderful character Yong Sik to life and changed the definition of “dreamy lead”. We learned that a dreamy Kdrama lead just simply needs to be a man with an extremely good heart and personality, no need for the money, extravagance, and extremely stylish looks or superhuman abilities.

Kang Ha Neul is now of my TOP favorite actors. I’ve watched his variety shows and have come to love his personality too. He’s definitely my kind of man now, my apologies to Ha Neul for judging him so harshly before! 

Here’s a stupid edit I made of us during my spare time today after finding out he won best actor. I would CERTAINLY cast HIM as my male lead in the story of my life with ZERO HESITATION.

Kang Ha Neul and I, starring in the Kdrama that only exists in my head!

축하해요, 하늘 오빠!