[K-Drama Hub] Updated 10/02

NOTE: Titles are, for the most part, literal translations
UPDATES IN PINK

~ SEPTEMBER 2013 ~

제왕의 딸 (The King's Daughter)
09/30 MBC - Replaces 구암허준 (Hur Jun)
PD: 이상엽 (Lee Sang-Yeop)
WRITER: 황진영 (Hwang Jin-Young)
CAST: 서현진 (Seo Hyun-Jin), 서우 (Seo Woo), 조현재 (Jo
Hyun-Jae), 전태수 (Jeon Tae-Soo), 윤태영 (Yoon Tae-Young), 
이재룡 (Lee Jae-Ryong), 차화연 (Cha Hwa-Yeon), 명세빈 
(Myung Se-Bin), 이미도 (Lee Mi-Do), 김민교 (Kim Min-Gyo), 
임세미 (Im Se-Mi), 정만식 (Jung Man-Shik), 이동윤 (Lee 
Dong-Yoon), 정찬 (Jung Chan), 김영재 (Kim Young-Jae), 
김병욱 (Kim Byung-Wook), 안석환 (Ahn Seok-Hwan)

시크릿 러브 (Secret Love)
09/?? KBS2
Produced by: Mays Entertainment
PD: 김규태 (Kim Gyu-Tae)
CAST: KARA, 김영광 (Kim Young-Gwang), 지창욱
(Ji Chang-Wook), 김서라 (Kim Seo-Ra), 연우진
(Yeon Woo-Jin)

~ OCTOBER 2013 ~

실업급여 로맨스 (Romance on the Cheap)
10/5 E Channel
Produced by: Chorokbyul Media
PD: 최도훈 (Choi Do-Hoon)
WRITER: 이수아 (Lee Su-Ah)
CAST: 이영아 (Lee Young-Ah), 남궁민 (Namgoong Min),
서준영 (Seo Joon-Young), 배슬기 (Bae Seul-Gi), 명계남
(Myung Gye-Nam), 권기선 (Kwon Gi-Seon)

메디컬 탑 팀 (Medical Top Team)
10/09 MBC - Replaces 투윅스 (Two Weeks)
Produced by: A Story
PD: 김도훈 (Kim Do-Hoon)
WRITER: 윤경아 (Yoon Gyeong-Ah)
CAST: 권상우 (Kwon Sang-Woo), 정려원 (Jung Ryeo-Won),
오연서 (Oh Yeon-Seo), 주지훈 (Joo Ji-Hoon), 
민호 (Minho), 알렉스 (Alex)

처용 (Cheoyong)
10/6 OCN
Produced by: Chorokbyul Media
PD: 임찬익 (Im Chan-Ik)
WRITER: 홍승현 (Hong Seung-Hyeon)
CAST: 오지호 (Oh Ji-Ho), 오지은 (Oh Ji-Eun), 전효성
(Jeon Hyo-Seong), 문성근 (Moon Sung-Geun), 전지안
(Jeon Ji-Ah)

상속자들 (The Inheritors) 
10/09 SBS - Replaces 주군의 태양 (The Master's Sun) 
Produced by: Hwa&Dam Pictures 
PD: 강신효 (Kang Shin-Hyo) 
WRITER: 김은숙 (Kim Eun-Sook) 
CAST: 이민호 (Lee Min-Ho), 박신혜 (Park Shin-Hye), 김우빈 (Kim Woo-Bin), 
크리스탈 (Krystal), 김성령 (Kim Seong-Ryeong), 최진혁 (Choi Jin-Hyeok), 박형식 (Park 
Hyung-Shik), 임주은 (Im Ju-Eun)

네 이웃의 아내 (Your Neighbor's Wife) 
10/14 jTBC - Replaces 그녀의 신화 (Her Legend) 
Produced by: Dramahouse 
PD: 이태곤 (Lee Tae-Gon) 
WRITER: 김유평 (Kim Yu-Pyeong), 소다희 (So Da-Hee), 서정 
(Seo Jeong), 강지연 (Kang Ji-Yeon) 
CAST: 염정아 (Yeom Jeong-Ah), 정준호 (Jung Joon-Ho), 윤지민
(Yoon Ji-Min), 신은경 (Shin Eun-Kyung), 김유석 (Kim
Yoo-Seok)

미래의 선택 (Future Choice) 
10/14 KBS2 - Replaces 굿닥터 (Good Doctor) 
Produced by: Annex Telecom 
PD: 권계홍 (Kwon Gye-Hong) 
WRITER: 홍진아 (Hong Jin-Ah) 
CAST: 윤은혜 (Yoon Eun-Hye), 이동건 (Lee Dong-Geon), 정용화 
(Jung Yong-Hwa), 한채아 (Han Chae-Ah) 

빠스껫볼 (Basketball)
10/21 tvN - Replaces 후아유 (Who Are You)
PD: 곽정환 (Kwak Jung-Hwan)
CAST: 도지한 (Do Ji-Han), 김보미 (Kim Bo-Mi), 정동현
(Jung Dong-Hyun), 박예은 (Park Ye-Eun), 이엘리야 (Lee
Elia), 김응수 (Kim Eung-Soo), 이민지 (Lee Min-Ji),
공형진 (Gong Hyung-Jin), 이한위 (Lee Han-Wi), 조희봉
(Jo Hee-Bong), 박순천 (Park Sun-Cheon), 지일주 (Ji
Il-Joo), 안석환 (Ahn Seok-Hwan), 정인선 (Jung In-Sun),
정승교 (Jung Seung-Gyo)

기황후 (Empress Gi) 
10/21 MBC - Replaces 불의 여신 정이 (The Goddess of Fire) 
Produced by: LeeKim Production 
PD: 한희 (Han Hee) 
WRITER: 장영철 (Jang Young-Cheol), 정경준 (Jung Gyeong-Soon) 
CAST: 하지원 (Ha Ji-Won), 주진모 (Joo Jin-Mo), 지창욱 (Ji
Chang-Wook), 김서형 (Kim Seo-Hyeong), 송경철 (Song Gyeong-Cheol), 
김정현 (Kim Jung-Hyun), 최무성 (Choi Mu-Seong), 김영호 (Kim 
Young-Ho), 김갑수 (Kim Gap-Soo), 진이한 (Jin Yi-Han), 김영철 (Kim 
Young-Cheol), 정웅인 (Jung Woong-In), 권오중 (Kwon Oh-Joong), 
이원종 (Lee Won-Jong), 윤아정 (Yoon Ah-Jung)

천국의 눈물 (Tears of Heaven)
10/28 tvN - Replaces 미친사랑 (Crazy Love)
Produced by: Neo Entertainment
PD: 유제원 (Yoo Je-Won)
CAST: 박지영 (Park Ji-Young), 홍아름 (Hong Ah-Reum), 
인교진 (In Gyo-Jin), 서준영 (Seo Joon-Young), 윤서 
(Yoon Seo), 윤다훈 (Yoon Da-Hoon)

응답하라 1994 (Reply 1994) 
10/18 tvN 
PD: 신원호 (Shin Won-Ho) 
WRITER: 이우정 (Lee Woo-Jeong) 
CAST: 고아라 (Go Ah-Ra), 유연석 (Yoo Yeon-Seok), 성동일 (Seong 
Dong-Il), 김성균 (Kim Seong-Gyun), 이일화 (Lee Il-Hwa), 정우 (Jung Woo), 도희 
(Dohee), 바로 (Baro) 

쓰리데이즈 (Three Days) 
10/?? SBS - Replaces 주군의 태양 (The Master's Sun) 
Produced by: Golden Thumb 
PD: 신경수 (Shin Gyeong-Soo) 
WRITER: 김은희 (Kim Eun-Hee)

~ NOVEMBER 2013 ~

황금 무지개 (Golden Rainbow)
11/?? MBC - Replaces 스캔들 (Scandal)
Produced by: May Queen Pictures
PD: 강대선 (Kang Dae-Seon)
WRITER: 손영목 (Son Young-Mok)
CAST: 유이 (Uee), 김상중 (Kim Sang-Joong), 김유정 
(Kim Yoo-Jung), 정일우 (Jung Il-Woo), 송유정 (Song 
Yoo-Jung), 안서현 (Ahn Seo-Hyeon), 최로운 (Choi 
Ro-Woon), 정윤석 (Jung Yoon-Seok), 김태준 
(Kim Tae-Joon)

예쁜남자 (Pretty Boy)
11/?? KBS2 - Replaces 비밀 (Secret)
Produced by: Group Eight
WRITER: 유영아 (Yoo Young-Ah)
CAST: 장근석 (Jang Geun-Seok), 이장우 (Lee
Jang-Woo)

내 손을 잡아 (Take My Hands)
11/?? MBC - Replaces 잘났어 정말 (You're the Boss)

콩가네 밭가네 (Beans and Fields)
11/?? KBS1 - Replaces 지성이면 감천 (A Tale of Two Sisters)
PD: 이덕건 (Lee Deok-Geon)
WRITER: 윤영미 (Yoon Young-Mi) 

따뜻한 말 한마디 (One Word of Warmth)
11/?? SBS - 가정부 박복녀 (Housekeeper Park Bok-Nyeo)
PD: 최영훈 (Choi Young-Hoon)
WRITER: 하명희 (Ha Myung-Hee)
CAST: 김지수 (Kim Ji-Soo), 지진희 (Ji Jin-Hee), 한혜진
(Han Hye-Jin)

세번 결혼하는 여자 (The Third Marriage)
11/?? SBS - Replaces 결혼의 여신 (The Goddess of Marriage)
PD: 정을영 (Jung Eul-Young)
WRITER: 김수현 (Kim Soo-Hyun)
CAST: 엄지원 (Eom Ji-Won), 송창의 (Song Chang-Eui), 
서영희 (Seo Young-Hee), 김용건 (Kim Yong-Geon), 
김영철 (Kim Young-Cheol)

~ DECEMBER 2013 ~

별에서 온 남자 (The Man from the Stars)
12/?? SBS
Produced by: HB Entertainment
PD: 장태유 (Jang Tae-Yoo)
WRITER: 박지은 (Park Ji-Eun)
CAST: 김수현 (Kim Soo-Hyun), 전지현 (Jeon Ji-Hyun)

총리와 나 (The Premier and I)
12/?? KBS - Replaces 미래의 선택 (Future Choice)
Produced by: SM C&C
CAST: 이범수 (Lee Beom-Soo), 윤아 (Yoonah)

텐 데이즈 어고 (Ten Days Ago)
OCN 12/?? - Replaces 처용 (Cheoyong)
PD: 김용균 (Kim Yong-Gyun)

미스코리아 (Miss Korea)
12/?? - Replaces 메디컬 탑 팀 (Medical Top Team)
Produced by: SM C&C
PD: 권석장 (Kwon Seok-Jang)
WRITER: 서숙향 (Seo Sook-Hyang)

~ JANUARY 2014 ~

정도전 (Jung Do-Jeon)
01/04 KBS1
Produced by: KBS
PD: 강병택 (Kang Byung-Taek)
WRITER: 정현민 (Jung Hyeon-Min)
CAST: 조재현 (Jo Jae-Hyun), 유동근 (Yoo Dong-Geun),
전노민 (Jeon Noh-Min), 이아현 (Lee Ah-Hyeon), 임동진
(Im Dong-Jin)

감격시대 (Moving Times)
01/?? KBS2 - Replaces 예쁜남자 (Pretty Boy)
Produced by: Goldentree
PD: 김정규 (Kim Jeong-Gyu)
WRITER: 김진수 (Kim Jin-Soo), 고영오 (Go Young-Oh), 
이윤환 (Lee Yoon-Hwan)
CAST: 김현중 (Kim Hyun-Joong), 임수향 (Im Su-Hyang),
김소은 (Kim So-Eun), 이재윤 (Lee Jae-Yoon), 한정수 
(Han Jung-Soo), 임형준 (Im Hyung-Joon), 주다영 (Ju 
Da-Young), 지우 (Jiwoo), 문지윤 (Moon Ji-Yoon), 
최일화 (Choi Il-Hwa), 조승현 (Jo Seung-Hyun), 
신승환 (Shin Seung-Hwan), 이덕희 (Lee Deok-Hee), 
손병호 (Son Byung-Ho), 박철민 (Park Cheol-Min), 
서동원 (Seo Dong-Won), 이초희 (Lee Cho-Hee), 
배누리 (Bae Nu-Ri), 윤현민 (Yoon Hyeon-Min), 
김성오 (Kim Seong-Oh), 김경룡 (Kim Gyeong-Ryong), 
정호빈 (Jung Ho-Bin), 이철민 (Lee Cheol-Min),
조동혁 (Jo Dong-Hyeok), 이선호 (Lee Seon-Ho)l
곽동연 (Kwak Dong-Yeon), 신은정 (Shin
Eun-Jung), 엄태구 (Eom Tae-Gu), 정진 (Jung Jin)

~ TBA ~

status: ON HOLD, PRE-PRODUCTION, CASTING/SHOOTING

  • 잘 키운 딸 하나 (My One Good Daughter) – SBS
  • 사랑의 조건 (Conditions of Love) – CS Group – PD Lee Hyung-Min
  • 가십컴파니 (Gossip Company) – Good Happy
  • 악의 꽃 (The Flower of Evil) – KBSn
  • 예쁜남자 (Pretty Boy) – Group Eight – Writer Yoo Young-Ah
  • 1L의 눈물 (One Litre of Tears) – PD Kim Woo-Seon, Writer Kim Hyo-Seon
  • 바다가 부른다 (The Sea is Calling) – ilWol Media – PD Ahn Jun-Yong
  • 미스터블랙 (Mister Black) – OCN
  • 뱀파이어 검사 3 (Vampire Prosecutor 3) – OCN
  • 파천황 (Chaos Under Heaven) – MBC – PD Park Hong-Gyun – Writer Kim Young-Hyeon/Park Sang-Yeon
  • Entourage Remake – tvN – PD Jang Young-Woo
  • 수사반장 (Chief Inspector) – MBC
  • 나래 (Wings) – Stage Factory
  • 미생 (Incomplete Life) – tvN – PD Kim Won-Seok
  • TBA – KBS/Samhwa Networks – PD Kim Jin-Won, Writer Lee Kyung-Hee
  • 여자전쟁 (Women at War) – Verdi Media
  • 뱅크 (Bank) – A story – Writer Kim Hyeon-Joon
  • 닥치고 꽃미남 밴드 2 (Shut Up and Let’s Go 2) – tvN – Oh! Boy Project
  • 바우덕이 (Baudeok) – StoryTV/KBS – Writer Park Gye-Ok
  • 닥터프로스트 (Dr. Frost) – OCN
  • 살롱H (Salon H) – Curtain Call Media
  • Three Musketeers in Joseon Project – Writer Song Jae-Jung
  • 강철왕 (The King of Steel) – KBS/Kangho Production – PD Lee Nok-Young – Writer Jung Sung-Hee
  • 이순신 외전 (Lee Soon-Shin – The Untold Story) – StoryTV/SBS – PD Jin Hyeok, Writer Park Jin-Woo
  • 강남스타일 (Gangnam Style) – Achieve Group DN – PD Jeon Gi-Sang
  • 여의도 (Yeouido) – PD Jin Hyeok, Writer Park Jin-Woo

Published by

조폭고양이

I am Kitteh.

213 thoughts on “[K-Drama Hub] Updated 10/02”

  1. Hi!
    i really miss your thoughts!
    What do you think about Miss Korea and One Warm Word? These dramas need more appreciation from the viewers because it’s really good!
    And what about popular dramas like You Who Came From The Stars and Empress Ki? Do you enjoy it?
    What about Secret Love Affair, 3 Days, and God Gift’s? Do you watch it?

    seriously, i miss you, chingu!!

  2. Has anyone watched God’s Gift – 14 days yet? Any opinions? I watched the first two episodes and found it to be fairly good.

  3. Similar to the sentiments of others, you are really missed Kitteh. The work and time you put forth are appreciated. Thank you for all that you have done thus far.

  4. Trying not to panic, I started rereading portions of The Vault. The “not depending on others” part of the language discussion was a good kick in the pants. I’ll try not to be dependent on The Vault, as much. Doesn’t mean you’re not missed, though.

  5. we really miss your thoughts/ideas and ratings. watching kdramas is not the same without you … i know you must be busy but here are greetings for the new year and hoping for your return!!!

  6. Good to see that there’s another version of your blog!! I saw a link on a forum so here I am.

    I’m sorry if I’m wrong but I think you used to have a site called dramatic on weebly? I recognized the way you blog, lol sorry that sounds creepy.
    I really liked what you said about A Wife’s Credentials (back then), as well as the other thoughts on old dramas. The rating system of current dramas is interesting and helping me select what to avoid or watch.

  7. Sorry if I’ve asked this before (my memory is a little fuzzy), but lately I’ve been really surprised to see that very few new actresses have debuted in the past few years. I get that the traditional structure of trendies (female lead + harem of male leads) naturally skews the acting ranks in terms of gender, but is this something the industry on the whole is concerned about? I know that older female audiences may not be particularly interested in seeing fresh young things, but it seems worrisome that there are so few female ‘stars’ (as opposed to the talents you’ve highlighted in the Draft) in the making – as you said before, the industry needs both. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. “They” are concerned about the immediate bottom line. Little else. That will eventually doom them, but it’s hard to care about the day after tomorrow when you only look at the benefits of today.

      1. Well… good to hear I’m not just seeing things. One wonders just how much casting credibility will be stretched in the coming years.

        1. Casting “credibility”? ㅋㅋㅋ Long gone. Those who pay the bill give you the options.

          Only Ahn Pan-Seok, Kwak Jung-Hwan and a couple of others have (relative) free reign over whom they choose.

  8. I just finished Empire of Gold… well said indeed my guru… those magnificent final episodes written in such an uncompromising manner utterly ruined by a DISASTROUS performance by Go Soo and a pretty shallow one by LYW. A pox on the casting director — by the way, is there such a thing in kdramaland? Who is in charge of casting — writer? PD?

  9. I must say that it’s really sad to see the BaP banner taken off and replaced with a new one. It was beautiful, and so was the banner with Choong and Princess So-hee standing next to each other you once used for Newsdesk:)

  10. I heard a rumor that you have an essay on Park Gyeong So somewhere but I am having a lot of trouble finding it. Can you please help? I want to read it as I end my time with Empire of Gold…. a writer’s show all the way it seems to be…

  11. I love your award choices… I wonder though, what’s the different between most improved actor/actress and female/male breakthrough category? I think if they have improved, means you already make a breakthrough performances… no?

    1. Most improved is when you start from a less than ideal point and – obviously – improve upon it. That you started as a bad actor or an underachiever is a given. Park Si-Yeon before La Dolce Vita was nothing more than a pretty face prancing about inside our screens. After that? An actress. Not a great one, and it took her another few years to become a good one, but it changed her. As Goodbye Solo did to Kim Min-Hee.

      Breakthrough is more neutral. It’s basically someone saying “here I am, notice me.” It doesn’t have to be a newcomer award because I don’t believe in those. Even someone who’s only played bit roles for decades doing something impressive — enough that you start remembering his or her name — warrants a nomination.

      1. Didn’t expected you would replied my post…. I’m so grateful…. Thanks for your explanation… Now I can get the pictures for each category…
        Still abit shock knowing IU get pick on female breakthrough category

        1. Why? She’s good. The K-pop aura certainly didn’t do her any good in terms of expectations but once you start acting that’s where her “exterior baggage” gets thrown out of the window and I only judge what she does inside the frame.

          And that’s good. Now whether that’ll translate into a serious career or she’ll just keep choosing safe star vehicles, that I couldn’t possibly know.

          1. I knew she is good, but didn’t expected you would rate her higher than I thought, considering she is really an idol. except her, who else do you think has the potential become good become an actor in idol category? ..
            Btw. I heard IU will starring in Pretty Man along with JGS, what do you think?

  12. I haven’t seen that many dramas this year, but do you think that this is the year where most of the actresses in this year’s show almost outperformed their male counterparts? Son Ye-Jin, Park Ha-Sun, Kim Ok-Bin, Song Hye-Kyo, and even Kim Tae-Hee.

    1. Routinely happens for the under 40 actors. It’s only when you move to older veterans that the balance is reestablished. Otherwise ladies wipe the floor with their male counterpart on a daily basis.

      1. These under 40 actors need to play catch up then because the ladies this year are on a homerun. Though I do think that Cruel City had some of the strongest leading male performances of the year. For the veteran actor category, Choi Min-Soo together with his eye twitch, leads the pack.

  13. I know that it’s only October and that it’s not time for you to decide on your awards yet, but I still want to ask: What is the best performance by an actor and an actress so far in 2013 in your opinion?:)

      1. Oh oh, I actually haven’t noticed that😛

        Uhm Tae Woong is not in your nominations for Best Actor? I watched BaP, and I feel like Kim Ok Bin outperformed him in the first half of the drama, but in the later half he totally outshined her.

          1. What a pity…… I don’t know abt the other 3 in the Best Veteran Actor category cos I haven’t watched the respective dramas, and I know there’s no way UTW can measure up to Choi Min Soo’s performance, but he sure is so much better than Kim Sang Ho in BaP. But again I haven’t watched Ten 2…

            1. Shouldn’t let the prominence of a role affect the way you judge acting. Kim Sang-Ho has the TEN factor as well but he was fantastic in BaP, much, much better than Eom. I like Eom Tae-Woong like the next guy and he emotes like a champion but he ain’t exactly a technique maestro and/or a consistent performer. Kim’s performance, within the boundaries of his character, was much more compelling.

              To make a long story short, there’s too much competition. Eom’s performance, while good, wouldn’t even figure in the Top 10.

  14. did you stop watching empire of gold? i feel bereft! also, i just marathoned “Alone in Love” — it was really mature and quite subtle even in translation. i enjoyed it much…. thank you again.

  15. In paper, I understood how his character was supossed to work, but No Min Woo was so over the top and out of place as Nam Saeng that everytime he appeared I couldn’t help but laugh. He seemed out of a venezuelan telenovela, exaggerated ME!LO!DRA!MA!TIC! round eyes included – ¡Padre! ¿POR QUÉ NO ME QUIERES? That unintentionally hilarious portrayal zapped the tension, and moments that sould’ve been epic, fell flat and cringeworthy.

    So, my question is: Do you think that if they had given Nam Saeng to an accomplished actor, Blade and Petal’s last episodes would’ve been better? I tend to think that yes, because I liked where the story was going, but agh, instead of feeling dispair and sadness and bitterness and awe at the awesome swan song of this outstanding drama, when everything ended I was like wut oO

    1. Feel bad for the kid because people began shitting on him even before he actually started sucking to an extent that damaged the show (which only really happened when his character gained foothold as the main antagonist in the third act), which is understandable given his track record but not exactly functional judgment.

      No… Don’t really think things would have improved all that much. Maybe the whole thing would have been a little more credible in terms of delivery, but the production suffered such a fatal blow in the middle that it was never going to go as they first intended. This show should have been shot in its entirety before broadcast, or at least have started with enough headway that any logistic/temporal issue would have been ininfluent. Can’t do visual storytelling with two shooting teams working around the clock in between fits of intermittent rain. You just can’t.

      Let’s just be glad that at least script-wise things wrapped up in a fairly coherent way (at least vis-a-vis the new trajectory they established in the middle). And those first eight episodes are as much of a treasure as God of War’s first eight. It’s always that damn eight rearing its ugly head…

      1. I feel BaP suffered the same fate like JOJ. They should have been shot in their enterity before airing…

  16. this is empire of gold related. your comparison to flames of desire is excellent since that was also like a sageuk in its narrative scope and emotional power. u know what you say about modern narrative is really interesting but don’t you think that is changing a bit lately? i mean one reason i love KOREAN dramas is because the best ones spin the web so tightly that self-interest feels like betrayal and the rise of one always happens at the cost of another near and dear one. there is this tight calculus — the metaphor used in empire in gold at least in translation was the see-saw. now, modern narrative escapes this web through the genre of the bildungsroman (the trendy drama of its time) thus theorist georg lukacs called the novel the genre of transcendental homelessness. but i think in these risky times of global networks, that web is being tightly spun again and here Korean dramas lead the way. I was watching this most recent episode of BREAKING BAD and thinking (what I have always thought for a while) that this is like a good kdrama in the terms of the world it imagines and the relations between people that obtain in it … skylar would be at home in the cruel palace don’t you think and walter too!!!

    i am happy to hear that you think it is improving….

    1. Need to be careful not to take things like End of the World and War of the Flowers — or even Empire of Gold, for that matter — as the barometer of what’s happening in the industry. They’re rare projections of the few remnants of uncompromising artistry of an industry that’s been almost completely assimilated by corporate industrialism.

      Now in theory you’d be inclined to say “then what about the US, which is corporate heaven?”

      Yes… but Breaking Bad, Treme… That’s niche material being given a chance to be uncompromising, and the respect it deserves. Nobody questions the raison d’etre of something as unique and brilliant as Breaking Bad. And its brilliance and diversity is celebrated, although it obviously is not everyone’s cup of tea. End of the World was literally vilified by the media because of its ratings (because in that neck of the woods rating failure forces “critics” to outlandishly make up problems with the show that justify such lackadaisical mainstream acceptance), scorned at by the drama-watching public for being too dense and playing in a league of its own, completely ignored by the masses. It died a tragically quick death despite being one of the two-three most accomplished statements in this industry’s history. Only people like me, us, and those who made it will remember it.

      So Korean dramas leading the way, even only in selected narrative or thematic terms… that’s wishful thinking. Attaching more meaning to personal feelings. Of course they affect us even in a personal way, but don’t let the Hallyu propaganda inveigle you.

      1. i am so so so sad to hear that the end of the world did not find a good critical reception… that is sad. it was kind of perfect and i felt this strongly even though i have no real knowledge of history of the form except what i have read on these pages. which btw are terrific. i read everything you write here — always so informative and enlightening.

        you know… often i like TV that is wanting from an artistic perspective but that is emotionally resonant even if somewhat stereotypical, predictable, manipulative and cliched. sometimes, very populist works get to the truths of everyday life very efficiently and crudely but effectively. can you recommend some such kdramas to me? not artistic but affective? i have looked at your top 100 but am having a hard time narrowing….

        thanks for your help,

        1. Leaving out what you won’t find with subs, which definitely limits your choices, but still…

          014. 전우 (Comrades)
          015. 청담동 살아요 (I Live in Cheongdam-Dong)
          017. 얼렁뚱땅 흥신소 (Evasive Inquiry Agency)
          024. 경숙이 경숙아버지 (My Dad Loves Trouble)
          027. 네 멋대로 해라 (Ruler of Your Own World)
          033. 꽃보다 아름다워 (More Beautiful Than a Flower)
          034. 연애시대 (Alone in Love)
          040. 굿바이 솔로 (Goodbye Solo)
          044. 공주의 남자 (The Princess’ Man)
          050. 강남엄마 따라잡기 (Gangnam Mom)

          can start with these.

          1. Er, if I could jump in. Just wanted to ask for some recommendations. Umm. You are the Mister X from With S2 subs? Thanks to you, I watched Gaiji Keisatsu, which become my favorite Japanese drama, afterwards, I watched others recommended in the post.

            But recently, I’ve tried watching a lot of jdramas, only to give them up as hopeless or boring. Do you have any recommendations or could point me to other posts that has some?

            And thanks for such a great site. I’ve read almost every post, though I don’t feel I have anything really substantial to say in reply, so I usually just rate them. I’ve often wondered if you’ve ever given up on a drama, only to pick it up later and found it better/worse then your expectations. Or just changed your mind about a drama.

            1. Am I the MisterX from WITHS2?

              (Some say I am, but ymmv. The cats are not what they seem)

              On a more serious note… Jdorama hasn’t been terribly good this year, although that’s a longtime trend. You should definitely check Saikou no Rikon and Furueru Ushi if anyone’s subbing them, plus there’s always Kodoku no Gurume (albeit this needs good subs, because of the delicious plays on words that fill the show) which remains an easy, quirky, often brilliant little watch.

              That industry is essentially moribund, it’s like a cancer ravaging a terminal patient and we get to see the last feeble remnants of life. Increasingly feeble.

              1. Arigatou gozaimashita. I will definitely put these at the top of my to-watch list. Currently, i am watching The End of the World, thnx to you, and find it very absorbing.

  17. I notice that your grade for “empire of gold” keeps slipping and it saddens me since i continue to be totally hooked to the narrative. even though fans are very disappointed with the fact that the drama refuses to take a romantic turn, i am hoping it never will (i am sure i will be proved wrong). Go Soo is singlehandedly at this point turning a very complex character into a caricature — such a loss. Lee Ye Won is lacking range but is at least not making me cringe. But if these performances were better, it would be such a great study in the psychology of social class. The very smart girl who knows nothing of love or life and has lived for books, poetry, her dad and her brother. She does terrible things to save her father’s accomplishments. I read somewhere that women usually become professionally very accomplished when they receive the attention of their fathers when young. But it is the closeness to the mother that allows a woman to know her desires. Seo Yoon is exactly in this position and there is no possibility that she will ever get that from her mother. When will she ever know herself and who she is and what she wants? Tae Joo is more of the same — a dynamic, ruthless man (not that you would know from Go Soo’s performance but even the subtitles make this evident) who might take her brain over again. Already his words keep echoing through her mind and she is getting conditioned by them. Between the business acumen and the poetry, he is taking her over. The only way she can exercise her power is by reverting to their difference in social origins… she needs to send him back to the slums and until she can do that, she needs to keep Sung Jae there so that there is someone else balancing things out. I also love the gender flip here…. that the brother is the good angel when it is usually the other way around. Again, I keep thinking if Go Soo were a more physically-attuned actor, he could convey through his body (and not the laughs, claps, slouching) the power he could unleash over this very repressed woman. And here is where it gets complicated … Tae-Joo too does not follow the cliche of the lower class man whose sexual energy melts the ice-queen. He too seems really unable to understand romantic love and all his libidinal energies are given over to money. Love and Money always get tangled in melodramas so that characters have to choose between them, but this drama will hopefully continue to show that there is no time for love in the empire of gold. Capitalism they say invented romantic love to reproduce its production base, but in finance capitalism where all that is solid melts into air, romantic love is an absolute encumbrance. Not needed at all. I am losing my mind here…. over-interpreting this show… please tell me to stop now. I will stop now. Sorry to burden you.

    1. You’ll notice that writing and — to a lesser extent — production scores are more or less the same. What’s going down are the acting and intangible sliders.

      The writing is engaging and production remains very watchable but basically I can’t take anything seriously anymore. Go’s acting is reaching lows that he rarely experienced in his recent career, and it’s beginning to affect people who should do much better as well.

      I’m still watching and I have faith that Park will draw something compelling out of this, but essentially the drama is shot. The acting of 60-70% of the cast is not only unable to do the writing justice, but it’s actually making it hard to concentrate on all the quality writing. Because when a character utters a brilliant line of dialogue and the end result is unintentional laughter because the actor sounds like Alan Partridge laughing ad libitum before saying “News,” you know your shows has a big problem.

      Show is dead. Can never get back up on its feet. I’m just sticking with it to see what Park does with the story, but as a quality production… it’s a dead man walking.

      1. i just googled alan partridge laugh. you. are. too. brilliant. kitteh.

        let me ask you this… why did they pick Go Soo to kill their show?

  18. Hi there, do you think PD Kim still directs Blade And Petal? Lol, i know he does, but it’s that lately the current eps don’t feel like anything i saw in the ten previous eps. The almost dreamlike visual quality is lost, it’s not as tight and as focused as they’re used to be. The dialogs just so so and meaningless, random characters pop here and there carrying irrelevant unnecessary fillers. So not 1 – 10 Blade and Petal eps style.

    What, does the freakin shocking rating freak the PD? KBS? or other investors? So they pump up the show with these-actors-may-come-and-star-here-as-cameos-the more-the merrier-so then-the-rating-can-get-higher attitude?

    It’s just like the show takes a 180 degrees on it’s directing/editing style so unlike the show i fell in love seven weeks ago. And they said they added two more writers to the team. Bleh. Instead of giving tighter, richer plot, they give us chaos. What do you think will happen next? Will the show comes back into what we all love at the first sight, or they stay at this messy condition? They do review their work right? Do they read ppl’s comments or do anything to see how ppl react on the latest eps? and what i mean with reaction isn’t about the rating. But really abt how ppl see their latest eps. I just can’t stand seeing this show sink helplessly just coz they frantically throw anything they can think of just to save the already sinking rating. If that’s the case.

    1. Nothing personal, but huge pet peeve of mine… Let’s not talk about dialogue if we’re reading subtitles, because that ain’t dialogue. And dialogue is the same as before. Least of the show’s problems.

      With that being said…

      Show didn’t take a 180 degree turn, it’s just the inevitable fallacy of shooting something on the fly rearing its ugly head. It eventually catches up with you, even if you’re good. Consider:

      1) post-monsoon season and its daily “I’m gonna rain every 20 minutes. Fun! Try to shoot ANYTHING if you can” weather perks destroying any chance of shooting things on time, ergo —> having to adjust here and there, omit, prolong something, shorten something else, ask writers to fix this and that. I know assistant writers who actually deal with this on a daily basis, and you can’t even imagine how that can fuck up EVERYTHING. Everything. You just literally go from “how should we deal with this character’s trajectory” to “fuck this, let’s just get it over with.”

      2) the adding of two writers to the team? Casting of Noh Min-Woo et al? They were there in the first place. It’s called being an assistant writer in the former’s case, and quid pro quo in the latter (want money from certain companies? You cast who they want). Only difference is those writers “moved up the ladder” because stuff got a lot tighter and now they’re basically on level ground vis-a-vis the main writer. They’re literally gasping for air because of the weather.

      This is what happened, basically. There’s no time for Kim Yong-Soo to do his magic because there’s barely any time to get the basics shot, edited and sent to the station. The flip-flopping of this neverending second act? If they actually had time to surround this flimsy text with actual visual storytelling it’d all make a lot more sense because the “emotive quotient” would take over, whereas all we get now is the flimsy text and little else.

      They’re not idiots. They obviously know the ship is sinking. But WTF are they supposed to do, shoot 39 hours a day? Stop a la US show and announce to the viewers that they’ll come back in six months after getting some time to do this show’s concept justice?

      That’s all there is to it. Quality takes time. You have no time, and soon quality turns into less quality. It might not be shit, it still might be one of the two-three best shows airing in Korea at the moment, but can’t do much better when you’re shooting 140 minutes of footage in four days.

      So is the show getting better? Good luck with that. It’ll probably continue to stall with this endless second act and then make up a quick third act the last two episodes. The “why did Goguryeo meet its downfall” thingy? Foggetaboudit. Ain’t gonna be any Tang or Shilla. Blame the weather. Blame this industry’s retarded funding structure and whomever is A-OK with it, cheerleaders included.

      1. Thanks for explaining. It’s way more assuring me now after i get what really happened behind the production. With the weather like that of coz it’s impossible to shoot things on time and edit it the way it suppose to be. I guess i will cross my finger and wish that the team can overcome this.

        And yea, i read subtitles and i understand why my attitude towards the dialogs annoys people like you who speak the language. Sorry, lolz. I think i demand too much while actually i practically don’t know anything but what i see in front of my eyes. Good luck to Blade and Petal then :)

  19. I really wish someone smart and knowledgeable and critically astute as you was reviewing “empire of gold” — a show that i am truly hooked on — as much for the historical backdrop as for the machinations. please consider discussing this at some point though I agree that the acting is not what it could be. I just think it is spot on in many other ways…. especially the turns it has taken these last two episodes seem so inevitable given the characters involved. i was so afraid when i watched episode 1 that this marriage thing would come about in a different way but i liked its narrative evolution. i am just hoping it retains the psychological tension and does not turn into a silly love triangle…

    i would love to hear your thoughts ….

    1. Park Gyeong-Soo remains Park Gyeong-Soo, but it’s hard to take this show seriously, with the main trio acting as if this was a trendy drama. It’s nearly impossible to concentrate when they’re around.

      1. i just started watching “chaser” and so far, quite gripping. u know as someone relying on subtitles, i just feel so wretched that all that good writing is passing me by though I am extremely grateful to have the subtitles so i can watch at all. i so appreciate the hard work done by subbers. anyway, for people like me, acting becomes very important, especially gestural idioms and expressive range. here, empire of gold is being let down by its leads as you rightly point out. i am so disappointed — i loved lee yo won’s performance in “take care of my cat” — a film i really adore. this is my first run into go soo — and he is clearly in over his head with this role and is just not managing the complexity of tae-joo’s conflicting desires and as for jang shin young, i am not sure whether it is her abilities or in fact the writing which is weakening her character. she seems to have the capacity to convey complex emotions and a very potent sensuousness — a smart woman who can use sex in an instrumental way — but the script wants to make her so vulnerable. i was thinking that the nice balance between see yeon’s offer of marriage and seol hee’s offer of sex to help the men they love (daddy and tae-joo) needs to be seen as female agency rather than sacrifice even if there is cost involved in each case. i do not know …. just my thoughts. why is that men can use their bodies to save women, but it never works the other way around?????

        1. Sadly with Park Gyeong-Soo it’s nearly impossible to convey just how rich his dialogue can be with subtitles — it’s not a matter of quality but just lack of available tools in English, even if you go completely contextual and forgo the literal like I did back in the day. So whereas someone like Park Geun-Hyung can take those nuances and basically create a character and his history out of the blue (with just dialogue and inflection), people like Go Soo and Jang Shin-Young can’t so they try to compensate by emoting. And of course it’s not working because it’s not something that the script actively calls for, so it feels manufactured and horribly stilted.

          That’s the problem, really. It’s a great piece of music played by a poor cover band. Hush ain’t Pink Floyd, you know…

          1. well—- that helps me understand better. and i feel worse that i do not know the language. you know, i often think maybe i should stop watching kdramas (though i love them — not all but many and i do think the good shows are among the best things i have experienced on TV and I am Asian so culturally it seems familiar to me and more enjoyable for that reason) but then i watch something like “queen’s classroom” or “cruel city” and while i am missing a lot because of the subtitles, i still feel satisfied enough to keep going. with this show, i am feeling frustrated since i am experiencing the gap between the writing and its presentation but am helpless because of my ignorance. in any case, i want to thank you for being such a wonderful guru… so generous with your time.

            1. Don’t ever stop. Just learn some Korean. It’s not something forced on you but something you enjoy watching (sometimes anyway) so you’ll pick it up in no time. Scariest part is the leap of faith the first time you turn off the subs, I guess.

              Then that will open you to a new world of enjoyment, because when you start to pick up the nuances shows become a lot more fun.

              1. Hadn’t seen this last reply, which thankfully calmed me considerably.

                I’d GLADLY learn Korean (and I’m picking some of it up) but I might, just might, not have the decades required to grasp the nuances. It’s still a challenge with my second language, at times. So when I read that approx. 70% was lost in translation, I felt like mohinni’s mommy. Here I am, filling a second legal notepad with my own personal recaps because I can’t find recaps or reviews for La Dolce Vita to fill the gaps in my understanding (even some of the soompi forum stuff has been blacked out as if it was some classified, top-level government secret), making my viewing as slow as molasses cuz I don’t want to miss ANYTHING. Just so that 70% will escape me anyway?!

                But, then again, if just getting 30% of the meaning in kdramas and movies produces the most satisfaction I’ve experienced in DECADES, I’m not giving them up.

                Would the translation tools be available in another language, like Spanish? (fingers crossed)

                1. Decades? No…

                  Put it this way. Some people in our “community” — or however you want to define it — can spend anywhere from five to twenty (or more) hours a week watching K-dramas. That goes far beyond the idea of hobby — and I’m not even considering all the close-to-full-time bloggers and people like me who have a connection of sorts with the industry (having friends and acquaintances who make this their livelihood affects what you’re watching a lot more than you’d think, not only emotionally). I myself went through a phase whereby I was spending a good two-three hours a day subbing K-dramas on top of watching them. I’m probably the only business owner in the world who’d spend lunch breaks trying to work around ladies throwing thinly-veiled F-bombs at each other in a home drama.

                  It’s just not functional to have to depend on others all the time for something you invest such a large portion of your free time on. I do mean depend, because if there is something you want to watch and there are no subs… you can’t watch it. Freedom of choice is taken away from you. Hell, even if subs are not up to par they can impact your viewing experience. You’re marginally better off than people who depend on traditional distribution models and suffer the choices of other people, since at least you can choose some of what you watch. But it’s not real freedom of choice.

                  So what I’m saying is enter a new frame of mind. If someone, like you’re doing, begins a process of discovering the language, then every second you actively spend trying to improve your Korean is a second well invested. Every second passively spent waiting for the solutions to drop on your lap is a second wasted. You want freedom to enjoy what you like to the fullest… then begin to study. Save 30 minutes a day for learning Korean the way you save X minutes a day to work out. Maybe watch a show with subs and then without, or viceversa. See how that impacts the way your brain approaches the viewing experience — because the “leap of faith” is really the biggest issue. It’s a matter of confidence, the same way you approach talking with people in a language that’s not your mother tongue.

                  There’s a good chance there’ll be learning materials in Spanish, definitely. Should inquire with a closeby East Asian Studies faculty on the matter, or alternatively look into it yourself. A “aprender Coreano” Google search turned this up right away: http://coreano101.bravepages.com/

                  I tell you, there are reputable voices in this community (voices you’d think were ethnically better suited to pick up the nuances) who still don’t seem to possess any real insight into those nuances, and yet other voices who despite their being ethnically “foreign” do a perfectly fine job at that. You’ll pick them up, one piece at a time, if you want to. The “if you want to” is the key, tough. Ain’t no free lunch in this.

                  1. okay — i just took that leap of faith and enrolled for KOR 101 at the University where I teach. it meets 5 days a week! god help me. i have a full-time job and gajok duties but for the past 2 years I have pushed back my bedtime by 2 hours to watch kdramas and so this is more than a passing fad. your last post gave me the push that i have been needing all this summer…. i want to watch what i want to watch. so, please wish me well and i hope i succeed a little bit.

                    1. Thanks so much for the reply. Recently, I read an article you wrote re: LDV for Twitch and that started a binge, reading almost everything you wrote for Twitch (and thereby augmenting my list considerably). So I’ve been lax about emails, etc., as I learn more about Chungmuro. This AND studying the Korean History Project.

                      Without having read your reply on learning Korean, I’d started researching sites, books, educational materials to help me. After all, if 5-year-olds can do it, right?

                      So gracias mil for the spanish link. And the idea of watching with and without subs certainly makes taking that leap less scary.

                      Came to the same conclusion, while reading all those articles: if I want to see the gems I’m missing, I have to be more proactive about learning the language. I’m excited!

              2. I can relate to this. I’ve been watching K-Dramas for close to 10 years now, and I started from knowing nothing about Korean language and completely relying on subtitles, to learning to read Hangeul and picking up words here and there. As I keep watching, I realised that I could watch an episode just fine before the subs came out, and even sometimes ended up cursing at the subs when they don’t do the actual dialogue any justice.

                I don’t mind the subtitles when the writing is mediocre, but when I immensely enjoy the drama, and the subs just killed it, I can’t help but rage. In which case, I prefer turning off the subtitles (as in the case with Answer Me 1997, although I can hardly understand half of the words spoken, thanks to the charming Busan accent), or re-watching the whole thing again as an excuse to ”correct” the subtitles (as in the case with Heartless City, where I spent countless hours doing so, but so worth it, even if only for my own enjoyment).

                It is indeed a lot more fun.

  20. Han Ga-In is out of 세결여 due to “differing opinions”? What happened there? She couldn’t keep up with The Grand Dame’s expectations/standards?

    1. Why do you think they’ve started to call script rehearsals a simple “meet and greet” thing in the media? If you flunk the rehearsal/get the writer to expose you/realize it ain’t worth it, you can always get out of the door without having “confirmed” anything. Same thing happened with Cheon Jung-Myung.

      1. Thanks for the response. Looking at “Two Weeks” info, is this show being produced in-house by MBC?

        1. JS Pictures. Forgot to update the template. If you look at the very last shot of every episode on the bottom right, you see two logos: one above is planning (the channel), one below is production (indie, SPC or both). If there’s only one logo, it’s in-house.

  21. Will Hwatu have King Chunghye as the male lead? Maybe not in the romantic, let’s pet each other sense but in the sense that he’ll be getting a lot of screentime?

    1. Love triangle, apparently. Empress Gi and Chunghye fall in love when they’re kiddos, then the shenanigans will continue when she heads to Yuan territory.

  22. Are Wed-Thurs dramas usually at a disadvantage in terms of the combined size of the ratings pie when compared to Mon-Tues dramas? For the first half of 2013, the combined ratings for Wed-Thurs dramas for the Big Three fell short of 25 – 30% more often than not. The MBC Mon-Tues slot is traditionally reserved for sageuk or shidaegeuk which are long-running and are expected to bring in stable ratings (15% and up in this day and age) right?

    1. Mon/Tue has historically been strong going as far back as the 1980s when MBC started airing the 500 Years of Joseon series, so it’s a bit of a tradition.

  23. I’ve just started watching Breaking Bad. I’m wondering if you’ve seen this show? If yes, what are your thoughts on it?

      1. Oh, I don’t usually check twitter feed. I take it as “this show is freaking awesome”😉

  24. Oh God your review for The Dramatic. If it wasn’t because I’m too busy catching up on Petal and The End of The World, I’d check it out just for the trainwreck value.

    1. 惡の華? Unlikely. And even that is inspired by Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, so they could go back directly to the source. I’m just betting on a generic title.

      Then again, information is rather scarce. Too early, I guess.

  25. Is that Harry I see on the ‘Best Foreign Drama’ list? Sam Neil felt out of place in it imo … might have been his accent. Was a nice break from all the Australian reality shows, soaps or NZ editions of various talent shows we get bombarded with on free to air.

  26. How credible is the stuff on DCInside generally? I was looking through the drama gallery for pictures but I found all sorts of casting rumors like Kim Hee Sun and Choi Daniel for Future Choice (which I thought was kind of odd but you never know these days) and Chun Jung Myung for Hwatu…. anyways, just asking out of curiosity.

    1. Need to use your own judgment, and corroborate with other sources (when available). The thing with DC is that industry folks (mostly of the tangential type, the so-called 관계자) are still more likely to pop up there than in any other community (텔존, 베스티즈 et al), so some people giving out information there do actually have a clue — although the majority is just wildly speculating based on fragments of evidence they find on the net. A bit like what happens on Baidu, really.

      DC was great back in, say, 2005~2007, but now is a cesspool — most of the time you’ll find shallow ratings talk, and annoying battles between antis and fangirls. Basically if something sounds too good (or silly) to be true, it most likely is not true, but as you’ve said you never know these days. But there is solid information from time to time, yeah.

      Thing is, these days trying to do that kind of reporting is as miserable as it’s ever been. Portal news reporters will sell their entire family for a buck, so press propaganda has become the norm 99% of the time (to the point that even people who realistically shouldn’t know any better will spot it when it happens); you can have a timeslot meeting say one thing, and then three days later some advertiser starts wagging his tail and everything changes; you’ll have broadcasters react to a competitor’s move by changing the entire plate…

      It’s so intricated that most of the time you just give up on all the BS and wait for things to actually happen. DC is part of that game, not only of confused people’s flights of fancy, but of people who would actually know better confusing other people just out of fun.

  27. Is Kim Jonghak production the same one that produced Faith? Last I read, the PD/production has yet to pay the cast and crew, right? But the company is still allowed to produce I Hear Your Voice and Empire of Gold? How does it manage to get funding for those shows, but not able to pay Faith staff? I’m confused.

    1. Kim Jong-Hak has no longer anything to do with Kim Jonghak Production — Faith was produced by Masterworks and an SPC specifically launched for the show. It’s Kim Jong-Hak and the SPC head honcho who ran with the money who are being investigated, it’s got nothing to do with Kim Jonghak Production, as strange as it sounds.

  28. I see some ppl asking you about non-Korean TV series, so I just wanna ask for your opinion on ‘Sherlock’, the BBC series ^^ Do you like it and what do you think of it :)?

    It’s fine if you don’t want to answer ^^!

      1. Thank you. I thought there was something wrong with me because everyone else loved it.

      2. Hahaha, wow that’s harsh! I guess we just have very different (if not polar opposite) taste in dramas then ^^

      3. Speaking of which…*is totally stalking all the comments* what would u consider quality Western TV, just off the top of your head? I’m guessing The Wire will be on there…maybe Game of Thrones?

        1. There’s an updated Top 10 of this year’s “Foreign” dramas (as in not Korean) in the final page of the Hub, along with all the other nominations. That should give you a decent idea.

  29. What are your thoughts on Rectify, Mister X? I know a few people who watched it, but they had differing opinions on it.

    Also, have you ever watched Hannibal? If so, thoughts?

    1. One of the smartest shows of the year, and one with the strongest thematic consciousness.

      Not a big fan of Hannibal. A lot of what it tries to do, albeit technically sound, feels artificial.

  30. Saw that you included Saikou no Rikon as one of the best foreign dramas completed this year. Would you share your comments on this dorama?

    1. Watched, dorama is raw and honest.., Eita is goood, story wonderful and well written. Sakamoto Yuji after all😉

    1. I mention hardly crucial but often important elements of a script like dialogue and exposition. You talked about swim bladders in a revenge melodrama and standard medical procedures in a human drama about primordial instincts when presented with impending calamity.

      Yeah, same exact thing….

      1. Well,gee, sorry. I’m just a Joe Friday kind a guy. The material you love to wax poetic over is in a way implicit to me, but for a show to work, especially if it purports to be realism or use reality, that reality has to work.

        1. Sure. You just like to waste time obsessing over frivolous minutiae that in reality only matter to you. “Realism” is a macroscopic, and not microscopic, concept. You need to give the perception of realism, not reenact everything down to the finest details. There’s a limit to what you can recreate, and to what it costs to do so both in temporal and financial terms. You’re the guy who’d spend three extra hours obsessing over the button on the medical equipment being green instead of turquoise blue. There are bigger priorities.

          But at this point you don’t seem to understand that concept.

  31. Looks like I Can Hear Your Voice’s success (will hitting 20% even be a problem?) is going to make Lee Jong Suk a bona fide leading man… could you expound on why you rated the second episode much lower than the first?

    1. Tonal shifts. The childhood portion was a little coarse narratively speaking, but it had some compelling elements and decent dramatic tension. The adult portion feels like another, lesser drama forcibly tacked on. I know you want to render your material more accessible by softening the blow and adding a little levity here and there. But the good writers do this rollercoaster within the confines of an organic canvas (so both the more dramatic parts and the lighter ones feel like offsprings of the same core foundation, so to speak), they never almost literally stop the flow to bring you the funneh.

      Plus Yoon Sang-Hyun and Lee Jong-Seok are severely limited (to the point of being grating), and although marginally better, Lee Bo-Young isn’t exactly someone who can carry a drama on her acting shoulders.

      It was a good drama in theory. Execution is poor.

  32. I was just wondering if ‘intangibles’ included the quality of the English subs. Assuming that you even look at the English subs, I would be curious to know if you consider any English subs, of any drama, as doing credit to the original language. (Other than the subs from MisterX/Anarchist.)

    As I watch with English subs, I always wonder what and how much I’m missing from the original language.

    Just curious . . .

    Thanks!

    1. ㅋㅋ Why would anyone who speaks the language watch with subs? Even a near perfect translation only gets 50 to 70% of the original language’s cultural and grammatical nuances, and that often goes down to 20% in a sageuk’s case. Especially for two languages as different as English and Korean are (you could try to go literal from Korean to Japanese and viceversa and do a half decent job, but go literal from Korean to English and it’s amateur hour, guaranteed).

      As if I didn’t cringe enough at the sight of the lousy subs I made…

      1. Just curious. Korean dramas get subbed into many languages by various parties almost as soon as they air. Though maybe not to the same extent, is there any kind of reciprocal consumption of drama content from other countries by the Korean population, i.e. American, Japanese, Chinese, or Thai? Are there many if any current foreign dramas with Korean subs floating around?

        1. Of course. Like any other country, really.

          There’s a very active US series-subtitling scene, J-dorama and Chinese dramas are extremely well covered (much more so than in English), and I guess the occasional European show is as well. Not to mention anime, which is insanely popular.

  33. Is it possible that Jang Ok-jung’s sudden turn is due to a mad scramble for better ratings via live-shoot? (Also, where’s Jae Hee?)

    1. Is that a rhetorical question? ㅋㅋㅋ (No idea. It’s not like him coming in at this point would do any good. Hell, add another potential love interest and the whole thing doesn’t just derail, it takes the whole railway along with it)

    2. I think so. If the production staff are receiving positive response to the drama so far, then they have to cater to the viewers’ demands. Ratings are very important for a drama to be considered a success, plus the awards that it will receive. So, they have to do all kinds of strategy. If the scriptwriter wants to change the script, she can always do so. Anyway, it’s her own story. I just don’t look at this as a historical drama but as an ordinary fictional story set in ancient times. That way, I can always expect the unexpected, with zest and enthusiasm. I don’t want a story that is so predictable but I rather want surprises and twists.

      There has been many versions of this drama and if the scriptwriter will just make a copycat of the previous, I might as well watch the past remakes. In my opinion, the producer/writer/director want to present a new Jang Ok Jung, the other side of her and what made her turn to an evil woman. She is not portrayed here as a hateful concubine, but as a victim of the bad circumstances around her. The viewers already sympathize with her and understand her predicament, thus, they can’t her that much anymore.

      About Jae Hee, he will definitely appear here, but not yet at this time. Injecting another figure in the love triangle between Ok Jung, Sukjong and Dong Pyeong will only make the love story more complicated. Maybe when OJ has finally started her revenge and created more enemies, needing more allies to protect her, Jae Hee will come out.

      Let’s not complain about the much emphasis given to OJ and SJ romantic and intimate scenes. Remember, the title of the drama is “Jang Ok Jung, LIVE FOR LOVE”.

  34. Lol even though the romance developed in episode 9 and 10, the political intrigue (IH, battle between the queen mothers, JH vs MM and soon JOJ vs IH and MM) and the complexity of characters (IH, JH, JOJ, SJ) remains the central point of the show. In episode 10 the leads have what, 2 scenes together ? And I don’t think by the end of episode 10 JOJ only think about love…

    1. Think in what direction that political “intrigue” goes. Don’t just look at isolated narrative checkpoints (like how many times the leads meet), but the macroscopic, overarching theme of the show. Don’t just look at what JOJ says (or what you read she said, which might be another can of worms…), look at what motivates what she says. It’s one thing to throw romance into an organic world inhabited by much greater issues (where romance itself is nothing but a catalyst that helps those themes come to light, as it did for CitC). It’s another to make everything revolve around romance. All the roads lead to Rome.

      And the romance didn’t just “develop,” it engulfed the whole show. It’s as if everything else was relegated to second fiddle after that kiss. It’s one thing to humanize a historical figure (Lee Soon before King Sukjong), it’s another to take him completely out of the historical context and have him play “my royal nether regions need some luvin” on a rampage, complete with assorted romantic rivals and the usual leading quartet obscuring the rest of the world they inhabit with their romantic entanglements. Westerners and Southerners, the somewhat compelling political framework that had been established in 8 episodes? All under the rug to focus on garden variety sturm und drang we’ve seen written, produced and acted better.

      You go from a proper fusion sageuk to yet another shoujo manga with hanbok. Me, I have no time for mediocrity. Read the tag. Life is too short for bad dramas.

      1. When I am talking about complexity of the characters read the name I picked first : IH and JH. Both play a big part in the story and even the main lead show romance between them, still their environment dominate the show and watching the end of episode 10 the intrigue doesn’t go all lovey dovey. SJ may love OJ but still he marries her and one cannot deny she is the best placed to be queen and good political ally for her husband. And even though there is love here, the king doesn’t spend all his time with OJ and his character still focus on his work and battle against the ministers for power as one can see in episode 9 when he secretly meet with JH at nights and each time he meets with the ministers. And I don’t think this SJ is the type who renounces the throne because of ‘love’. Even the relationship between both lead is still used polically by OJ’s uncle, the great Dowager queen for her faction and prince DP chose his side. Even JOJ started to play the game – a lethal game. So far I don’t think romance is killing it. They may love yes but the reality is still dominant.
        And you compared CIP and MTETS but where do you place JOJ so far ?

        1. Closer to the latter. Infinitely better acted and much better produced, but still no cigars.

          It’s not that romance is killing the complexity. The “complexity” revolves around the romance, and thus stops being… complex. ㅋㅋ It’s just salad dressing, really. Slo-mo scenes of our royal boyo storming out of the palace because he learned his beloved is still in Joseon surrounded by syrupy ballads or scatological renditions of court intrigue between palace ladies (which look more like the usual daily drama histrionics, and it’s not only because of the acting) is not my idea of complexity. And I always pointed out that the “divide” between Southerners and Westerners was much too superficial to begin with. Now I know why they didn’t bother making it a little less black and white.

          Maybe this is about standards? Go look on Youtube if you find clips of The Last Empress or The King and the Queen and see what complex political sageuk look like. Hell, Queen Insoo would do wonderfully as well.

          1. They did not call it JOJ live in love for nothing and romance theme is here till ep 1 and it will not change, still unlike you I don’t think this is the central point here(slow motion or not…)

            1. Indeed they didn’t. Kind of proves my point, though. ㅋㅋ

              We’ll see. If it gets better, the average goes up. If it doesn’t, maybe it’ll go down in the mid 50s. Pretty simple formula, as you know.

              1. Yep, my usual jinx must have taken hold again. Every time I start to feel positive about a drama, it takes a turn for the worse. The ‘seed’ of romance to which I referred must have gotten a mega-dose of Rapid Growth fertilizer because the romance is the main and all encompassing force now. Oh, hell. Another one bites the dust. Onward, to the next potential . . .

  35. Any idea about why Lee Yo Won’s agency is being so ambivalent about her involvement in Golden Empire? Does she want more money from producers?

    1. Eh. Usual leverage BS (role is not as big as they thought). She’s as confirmed as you can get, her entire entourage is on board (I can prove it), she joined the script reading.

      Read: “You increase her character’s importance or we pull out.” vs “Screw you ninnies, you signed knowing that this drama wasn’t about your girl, so if you try anything funny we’ll embarrass you before the entire entertainment media.”

  36. Kim Soo-hyun won top prize last year at baeksang awards for doing nothing in MTETS but Song Joong-ki not even best actor for Nice Guy.
    What the foook is this shit?

  37. Sung Dong Il, who plays the role of Ok Jung’s uncle, is mesmerizing to watch, in his machinations. Now, that character is a master at playing the political game. Use anybody, use any advantage, at any time.

    It’s interesting that the romance is not the core of this drama. Just merely the ‘seed’ that is planted. The writer’s thinking is fresh. I really like the avenue that s/he provided to have the King agree to wed Queen In-hyeon.

  38. Awh, eff yeah. just finished catching up on ETOW and how it makes me sit with my ears perked and eyes not even wanting to blink.
    One thing that makes me sad, as amazing this continues to be is that I’ll never know how the drama could have gone had it not been cut.

  39. Will wonders never cease? (snark) MBC is providing English subs for “Crazy Love” on the MBC-America channel in Hulu. Why?!!! (Don’t answer because, frankly, I don’t care.)

    What a waste of time and resources!

      1. And, the mystery (at least for me) deepens because Ten 2 is not on MBC-America/Hulu.

        Yet, they’re putting resources on a 120 episode daily when they could devote the same said resources to Ten 2.

        As it currently stands, MBC-America/Hulu has subs for “Gu Family Book”, “Hundred Year Inheritance”, “When A Man is in Love”, “Summoning Gold” and “Hur Joon” (daily). It seems like MBC is moving towards a major commitment to sub all their shows. ???

        1. Hulu is paying them decent commissions, that’s why. It’s the “brand” (Korean dramas as a whole) that’s building momentum, not the single shows. So you sort of try everything and see what sticks, and move from there.

          Ten 2 is handled by CJ E&M because they invested more moolah in it, and it’s something you’d lose out on by packaging it (because obviously Crazy Love was packaged with something else and not sold individually, otherwise neither Hulu nor the beavers would even bother with it).

          1. Ohhhhh, I see! Package deals that include ‘turkeys’ with the potential winners. Thank you for the explanation!

  40. Very much enjoying your extend End of the World reviews – and even more delighted today to read your high praises of Jang Hyun Sung. He being the reason I’ve started watching K-Drama (selectively – namely chosen based on if he’s in it… fortunately he choose good projects for the most part!). Not being able to speak Korean I’m waiting impatiently for the subbing to catch up, but it is exceedingly good and I’m glad someone is singing its virtues and with such eloquence.

    1. I assume you’ve already seen A Wife’s Credentials? He’s just as good in there. And set aside movies like Feathers in the Wind and Nabi: The Butterfly, one of his finest perfs is in the short drama “Leslie Cheung is Dead?” — you still could find it out there if you search well. Added it to an anthology of KBS shorts I subbed and it’s just downright glorious (with Jang and former short drama queen Min Ji-Ah/Kim Min-Joo as protagonists).

      1. Only through the first ep and a bit of A Wife’s Credentials – and I already want to tie people down and make them watch it. Thank you for the suggestion of “Leslie Cheung”, I’ll definitely have a hunt – it’s good to have recommendations for his work, especially since I hadn’t heard of that one! (else I may be reduced to fast-forwarding through Big to get to his scenes…)

      2. Wait, wait a minute MrX!. Is this “Leslie Cheung is Dead?” same Drama City episode “Who murdered Curt Cobain?”?. You dont know how much I search that. It have same actress KMJ from Blue Skies, right? Recently found out she changed her name(really, why they are doing that?) Do you know where I can find it? Since I dont understand Korean and my english not good I couldnt find it anywhere. I have subs but dont have video:( Recently I have searched a few DC epis but could not find any of them:(

          1. Hahaha, thank you for that loong answer:).. Yeah, different shows. After searching and searching, I found those two show… Oh lucky me! but only with french sub(like I fully understand eng, now it is french, ugh!)..And as you can guess didnt understand anything:/.. I know you liked Leslie Cheung but have you watched Curt Cobain? How was it?

            And X, when click to “shorts” it leads you “next” part not to shorts.. Anyone noticed this or it is only me?

              1. Fixed now. When links don’t work/lead you astray (!), there’s always the “Pages” thing at the very bottom. Or changing the link in the URL to 1, 2, 3 etc.

                /petty excuses

                Cobain was all right.

      3. So I searched for “Leslie Cheung” – it was worth the three hours of hunting/corrupted downloads etc. to finally get a working copy😉. Thank you very much for letting me know about it! (And thanks for subbing it in the first place.) It was bloody good – still thinking about it days after seeing it, scenes just keep repeating themselves without me realising it’s going through my head. Quietly heartbreaking, quietly hopeful. Lovely.

  41. I read on some blogs that as an sageuk Jang Ok Jeong, Live for Love is pretty horrible. Wikipedia is pretty much bare bones and I don’t speak Korean/Chinese, so I can’t really check myself. Since you are pretty well versed on the subject, I would like to ask you how bad it is and if you can take it seriously.

    1. You mean in terms of historical relevance? If you see anyone bring up historical relevance in anything not written by Jung Ha-Yeon, laugh in their face and tell them they don’t get it. History has meant nothing for the genre in over a decade, and the occasional exception only confirms the rule. They’re basically borrowing names and a few historical facts and doing what they want with it, it has zero — I repeat ZERO — historical relevance. It even says so at the beginning. “Dude, this is fiction, don’t get your panties in a wad.”

      It’s usually wannabe armchair historians who only know a few details they read on Wikipedia and then attempt to show off their meager knowledge by criticizing an harmless fusion sageuk. Wouldn’t be the first time, or the last.

      1. Thank you. Like The Vault I think people criticizing just use excuses to lynch the drama. Why ? I don’t know. Because frankly what are the rules of a ‘good sageuk’ ? Queen SEO Dok ? They are looking for perfection in a drama ? Sure they found it in BOF, shitty hunter, dream high or I miss you…

  42. So you’ve pretty much confirmed that Lee Bo Young will be starring in that new SBS drama with Yeo Jin Goo but I saw an article (just one) yesterday that claimed she and Kim Jae Won had received offers for the ‘Can I Hear Your Voice?’ drama that was shelved. My question is: what good would it do for the other drama production team to cite Lee Bo Young’s potential involvement if she’s presumably already committed to the YJG drama… my sense is that Lee Bo Young is not exactly a big enough of a name to force a network’s hand. Or is this simply an entrepreneurial reporter digging for a scoop?

    1. It would do a lot of good, since that same article mentions that “[the YJG drama] was in consideration for the AAMR follow-up slot but then [Voice] won over.”

      …which I’ll need to double check on, but last I heard that was indeed shelved. Even the staff cafe hasn’t given any sign of life in several weeks. That’s usually a good sign that nothing is moving forward.

      So my guess…

      1) SBS is having some second thoughts about [the YJG Drama], DRM Media takes advantage of it and disseminates propaganda suggesting that they’ve got Kim Jae-Won and Lee Bo-Young in the can. Again the mentioning of “offers” and “positive consideration” on the actors’ part on the usual press propaganda rounds means very little if you can’t actually secure a timeslot — which is probably the difference between “positively considering” and a confirmation.
      2) there’s a script reading for the YJG drama set for tomorrow. Would be strange to do one if they lost the timeslot, regardless of the Lee Bo-Young factor [because Yeo, Kim So-Hyun, Yoon Sang-Hyun… what would that make of them?]

      ergo

      DRM Media knows there’s a slight chance the YJG drama might be dropped and they’re pushing SBS with the usual propaganda. Lee Bo-Young might just be considering one between the two. Or I could be wrong, and that’d explain everything. ㅋㅋ

      But not a big enough name? She just starred in a 40%+ weekend makjang, not to speak of her past track record. Momentum is everything. Even Lee Sang-Yoon is getting another leading role out of it right off the bat.

      We’ll see how this evolves and I’ll pick it up again next week.

      1. Re: Lee Bo Young, I had forgotten about My Daughter Seo Young being so successful… my bad. It’s just that when I think of actors whose involvement would get a script greenlit, my mind goes to people like Go Hyun Jung (but obviously you’d know way more about that than me).

        I do kind of hope that Can You Hear My Voice? does get chosen (if there’s a chance of that happening) because I can’t imagine the other drama doing the people involved any good…

      2. Also, you have both Moving Times and Summer Snow (remake of the eponymous Jdrama?) listed as the successor to Swords and Flowers. Has Lee Joon Ki dropped out of the former?

  43. Oh thank you so so much for reviewing about “Like A Fairytale”
    It’s a bit of a sleeper hit that pretty much the mainstream crowd would pass up, but I really like the storytelling, the beautiful wistful cinematography and the cast just doing a great job all the way!
    I wish it didn’t end at four episodes!

    Although everyone raves about Bluebird I have yet to find an online subbed version (I live outside the Americas). I will just have to keep trying.

  44. Lol. I wonder what’s wrong with those people who give the green light to such crap stuff like summon you gold, god of the workplace etc. They seriously need some kind of redux.
    is the script for a drama given the go ahead first before casting? Or is it done simultaneously? Do the actors pick projects from reading the synopsis or/and the first script?

    1. It’s usually synopsis -> lead and/or co-lead (as in male and female) is/are cast -> timeslot negotiations (although at times it’s the other way around) -> everything else.

      They’ll have the script for at least the first two episodes ready by the time they talk to actors, but rarely beyond that. So, yes. At least the script for Episode 1 was ready by the time they entered timeslot negotiations.

  45. Even for cable, End of the World isn’t a ratings success if it hasn’t passed 1%. Didn’t A Wife’s Credentials bring in high numbers? Why are the ratings for EotW so low?

    1. Too meaty for mass consumption.

      Ratings have realistically gone up (probably around 1%), but nobody’s reporting them and I ain’t paying 30,000 won a pop to find out, so I’ll have to wait until it’s over to check quarter reports and get the average.

  46. Do you know if ‘사랑해도 될까요’ is really about a 27 year old woman and 17 year old boy? That is just so gross to me. You mentioned before that noona stories are popular with the ajhumma crowd but I can’t imagine anyone thinking that this set-up is ok…

  47. (headbang)
    It is really so disappointing that no one is subbing “The end of the world”. I would like to see this drama so much… Especially after your comments. All subbers translate only dramas with kawaii boys but not serious dramas. Miss your translations so much…
    P.S. Thanks for “Eyes of dawn”. It is really masterpiece and I’m glad you’ve translate it. Hope someday you will return…

    1. That was more or less the state of the “scene” when I started subbing, and it more or less went back to its original state when I left. No real “degeneration” to speak of. Guess “serious dramas” were too much of a niche to begin with. But I’d blame the stereotypes created by certain parts of the community for that.

      Mvibo.com (which is legal and works worldwide) has a partnership with jTBC and the raws are already up, so if you e-mail them in droves and express your interest in the show, they might be inclined to give it the same attention they give to drama with kawaii boys. They are, after all, subbing Queen Insoo. Although by the time they’re done I’ll probably have grandchildren.

    2. Same, hopefully someone picks it up. I’m still bitter about I Live in Cheongdam-dong – I’ve emailed Dramafever about it and they gave me a standard “we are appreciate all the feedback and are always on the lookout for amazing dramas to bring to our audience”.

        1. Just kind of annoyed that they bothered to reply at all. Would be nice if they actually took a moment to consider what the community needs instead of shoving their dispassionate customer service down my throat.

      1. I also emailed them about I Live in Cheongdam-dong and they emailed me back a couple of months later to let me know they had subbed episodes Cheongdam-dong Alice. .__.

    1. Nah, they just bought the adaptation rights. No interest from anyone, so they’ll probably make a final attempt before the rights are up. It’s usually 5 years.

    1. It’s just airing and shooting normally. I’m not watching so I can’t give you details but I think they’re working around the injury issues (lots of roundtable scenes where nobody moves and the like, but that’s a format tradition). Plus there’s talk behind the scenes that they will likely cut off at least a dozen episodes, possibly more — the follow up is starting in May or June, so I’m betting on more.

  48. I was really surprised with Noh Hee Kyung – it feels different (I’ve only watched Padam Padam and Worlds Within). The outlook is really really promising, I guess having the jdrama as her framework aided her somehow but she definitely evolve the jdrama more than it was, here in TWTWB. BTW, I hate Kim Gyu-Tae’s way of bombarding us with faces. Even half-body shots seems seldom. It continually distracts me since I figured out his style though in this drama it helps esp with JIS and SHK moments. it doesn’t help other casts like eunji cause it highlights her limited range and for me the way she displays her emotions is still not smooth and kinda discontinuous.

  49. Out of a sense of perversion, I had to check out what drama was only half as bad as “When Women Powder Twice”, to which you had awarded the lowest score to date. So, I watched the first three episodes of “Thorn/Spine Flower” . . . and got laughs I never expected. And, they weren’t trying to be funny, I’m sure! This drama may be striving to unseat “When Women Powder Twice.” for the bottom of the barrel. Gads, I can’t stop laughing just thinking about those supposedly ‘melo’ scenes in ep 2 & 3.

  50. HI,
    i’ve watched the first two episodes of Flowerboy Next door, and I can’t quite describe WHY it was that I didn’t feel drawn to the drama. Ignoring it’s slight over production, the story. I don’t know why I felt it to be so… unrooted. (if that’s a word I don’t even know)
    Why is it that it felt like that? The plot will be something related to getting Dokmi out of her apartment, I get that. But why is it that despite there seeming to be some kind of plot it feels like various skits, with random people saying random stuff? Although what they are saying is all rather coherent talk?
    The few moments I did like were when Dok-Mi was talking/thinking to herself about first love etc.
    ack– I shouldn’t make a big deal out of this, but I really want to be able to explain why I’m feeling like this. If you have any explanation for this drama’s feel, please tell me.
    I don’t get it. I don’t get me.

    1. It’s the overproduction. This is targeted to hyperactive teens who hide the fact they can’t keep their attention straight for more than 30 seconds by pretending they’re “multitasking.” Ergo, everything is punctuated twice, thrice, four times. If the actor’s expression is not enough, here comes the music helping. If even that doesn’t suffice, here’s ad-hoc camera angles, lighting, editing and “cute” CG coming to the rescue. The point is, we’re not worried about storytelling that will be denoued in 10 episodes, or even the greater themes at play in this episode. We’re worried about THAT scene, THAT moment, lest all those quasi-ADHD kiddos will lose interest and maybe start writing crap on their smartphones.

      That works fine for CFs or 30 second mini-skits that capture your attention in between “multitasking,” but if your purpose is actually that of sitting down and only watching this show, there is no flow so it all feels… unrooted.

      1. ah, so the very thing I was trying to ignore to find out the reason was THE reason for the unrooted feel.
        I’m glad there’s a reason for the wishy washy, not here not there feel of the drama.
        But it seems a shame. what themes it does have, loneliness/distance from society being one, could I think be quite interesting to explore. Although HOW I dont know.
        I dont get this drama. I wish it would give me something coherent.
        Why is it that the connections trying to be made between dok-mi and enrique so forced? Is overproduction to blame for that or story? Because the rest of the drama’s logic of enrique trying to bring dokmi out of her shell, I think, will depend upon the fact that they had a “connection’.
        Oh, I wish I could like this for the actors but…

        1. I wouldn’t expect multi-layered, intelligent characterization and thematic consciousness out of something like this. It’s not just Oh! Boy, it’s the whole CJ rebranding mantra that’s to blame. They just want to establish a style and cater to certain visceral whims of the demographics it targets, and that’s it. So tvN is shallow teen fare (with due exceptions, like Reply 1997), OCN is superficial bling, Tooniverse takes the Nickelodeon/Disney Channel approach and doesn’t do much else, XTM goes for the beefcake crowd…

          That’s the corporate creed applied to drama production. Market something to someone. They know how (aforementioned rebranding) and why (money). Just forgot to add some soul and brains in between.

      2. Oh, just realised it was a stupid thing for me to suggest they’d explore themes like loneliness etc seriously in this series. I forgot, it’s part of the oh boy project and their primary aim may not necessarily be seriousness.
        I guess I should just take it as it’s aiming to be taken.

  51. I see Clara is back on the table – what does it mean to make Japanese material more ‘Korean’? I found Tokyo Tower dark and nihilistic but will the Korean adaptation emphasize the ‘romantic’ elements? I can’t see why that particular movie is being adapted at all except in deference to the age gap craze…

  52. I admit Sometimes, I’m so subjective for rate my drama… Usually my enjoyment is take a big part for me to appreciate the drama, how much I can related to the character despite some of incoherent and inconsistencies characteristic. That’s a reason I always goes to some website that approach the drama/movie views more objective. Because I need their opinion and point of view. So Your website helping me alot. despite some of my disagreement with some of your rating. and it’s fine.

    Thanks for your time to makes this blog. I love your insightful writing.

  53. Thank you for the list. I went and Googled who the PD/ writers are.
    Do you have any writer or PD you like amongst the pre production dramas? Only because I am from viki and looking for which drama I will be working on next year.

  54. i remember back in dramatic you have a post explaining about your rating system. i can’t find it here, please link it. i forget about what you mean with “intangible”

    1. The site has been removed (both by Google’s Penguin cache and now Yahoo/Bing) so you won’t find it. Doubt web archives go as far as storing sub-domains of blogging platforms. I remember some people had PDFs of the site saved or something, so maybe they can help you there.

      But anyhow…

      As the definition suggests, it’s anything not immediately tangible like production values, storytelling and acting. Anything you can’t define based on clear objective standards (people with a bit of critical discernment have all more or less a certain idea of what good acting, writing, directing is. Saying that even that can be subjective pretty much refutes the existence and raison d’etre of criticism itself, and is a populist excuse to hide one’s own lack of discernment) and is instead mostly motivated by subjective, personal whims. Like, saying something is “cool” doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not tangible, there are no standards there. It’s just cool to you for whatever reason. I don’t know… I’m an asshat, so fellow asshats in dramas are cool. Maybe you don’t like asshats… they’re not cool to you. That does affect your enjoyment of the show, it doesn’t affect its intrinsic quality. That’s why it gets a separate, all-encompassing category. It does mean SOMETHING, but not enough to derail the whole appraisal.

      That includes whatever is cool, cute, hilarious… anything that is subjective. So maybe one show gets three 60 in the first three categories (so decent stuff) but I’m totally annoyed by it for whatever subjective reason, so it gets a 30 for intangibles. Average would be 52. So my personal whims don’t affect the show’s objective quality (or lack thereof) all that much.

      I used the example of Yeon Gaesomun as a show that’s horribly written, acted and produced, but that has a gloriously addictive vibe — like watching a sort of unintentional, 100 episode long Monty Python skit set in the Three Kingdoms. So it gets relatively high marks in terms of intangibles, but when writing, production and acting are in the 30s… the average still says the show sucks. And it doesn’t make any lists.

      Makes sense?

      1. i kinda get it. anyway, when we thought “wow it’s cool/cute/hilarious”, isn’t it something credited to either the plot, the directing, or the acting? for example, i think ‘reply 1997’ is cute. eunji gave character to siwon’s character that i think it’s cute, so i guess my ‘cute’ is directed to eunji’s siwon, hence it’s dedicated to her acting.

        if anything, our assesments of those three aspects can be really subjective… no? ah, i wish you could repost that post in this blog too… what makes a good plot and good directing anyway?

  55. Alright, “Boo!” Lurker status officially deactivated xD

    I’m not sure if this comments section is where your readers are supposed to vote for their picks for the Vault Drama Awards (because I’m kinda surprised there aren’t more votes), but here’s where I’ll dump my votes ^^~~
    [Edit by THE POWERS THAT BE~!] There will be a separate post with polls on December 12. You can vote then]

    1. @THE POWERS THAT BE~!

      Then can we nitpick at your Vault Drama Awards nominations xD? I have this niggling feeling that there are a few dramas/actors that you have intentionally overlooked. Actually, nvm, I’m too lazy to take you up on that ^^

      I do have some bones to pick about your drama ratings, though~~

      Why does Wild Romance get a 76?
      How does My Daughter Kkotmin and BRAIN (supremely flawed yes, but still, three syllables: SHIN HA KYUN) get the same rating (54)?
      How is Vampire Idol better than You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly?
      How is The Color of Women, Bachelor’s Vegetable Store, and FULL HOUSE 2 better than the King 2Hearts? (Granted, I did like The Color of Women and Bachelor’s Vegetable Store in the beginning, but after the first few episodes, they became pointless, ridiculous and utterly unwatchable. K2H was at least watchable until episode 10(?) or so).
      How are Standby and It’s Here, It’s Right Here (blergghh) better sitcoms than High Kick 3?

      In my (humble) opinion, some of your ratings seem unduly generous (The Thousandth Man, I Do I Do, Can Love Become Money), and some of your ratings unduly stingy (My Daughter Seoyoung, May Queen). But I’m satisfied well enough with all your other ratings, and I’m delighted(!) with your ratings for Shut Up Family, 21st Century Family, Dr. Jin, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Love Rain, etc. I’m kind of tempted to type of an “In Defense Of….” but I’m too lazy and time strapped (mostly lazy) to engage in drama polemics. I have a feeling you wouldn’t take us seriously anyhow ^^~~

      1. Are non sequitur quibbles part of the laziness thing?
        Because if you want me to take you seriously, I’ll need more than a “why did you give this XX?” thrown out there without any logical and critical follow up.
        I’ve written at length about most of those shows here and at Dramatic, justifying those ratings. And said rating system is not made of numbers thrown at the wall when I get out of the toilet. It’s a simple average made of 75% of objective standards on top of a 25% of subjectivity that affects the whole.
        You suck badly at one of the four categories, or two, three of the four, and the score goes down. You do reasonably well within the confines of your genre and/or format, and might even end up doing better than a much more prestigious and heralded (by whom? With what standards? What experience watching Korean dramas? What fluency in Korean? What understanding of the industry and what makes it work? What comprehension of the social and cultural underpinnings that define the narrative?) show. Simple.

        1. Initially, I was just going to thank you for replying to my (in retrospect) cop-out, rather off-putting post (which I didn’t mean to come off of as though I were implying that you wouldn’t deign to consider a reader’s input. Rather, it was meant to be self-deprecating V_V; as in, though kind of tempted to try typing out a counter-defense for MDS and the like, in all wisdom, I shouldn’t attempt it, because a. I am a noob, b. because I am lazy and typing a non sequitur-free response entails supporting arguments with evidence, analysis, deductive reasoning and the like, c. I should really spend less of my time dedicated to dramas, d. I had thought that there was a significant chance you wouldn’t be able to read my comment, and even if you could, couldn’t imagine why anyone with as much drama expertise and insight as would want to read my noob contributions, and e. blargghh… must stop rambling now -_-“). Back to the topic, after reading your comments about objectively evaluating dramas, a hitherto unbidden ambitious side of me decided to rise to the challenge of watching a drama or two purely with the intent of subjectively analyzing its components. Hells yesss, it’s Thanksgiving Break~~ and it’s now or much later >:3

          And I have another minor quibble, or question more-like. You mentioned that you evaluate dramas taking into account “the confines of [the] genre and/or format.” Doesn’t this sort of skew your ratings on a macroscopic (like top 500) level if certain genres/formats have different, perhaps more lenient standards? I’m assuming that that’s how certain dramas like Full House 2 can get higher scores than dramas like The King 2Hearts? I’m not a fan of TK2H, and I could list several criticisms I have of it, such as its uneven pacing and messy organization, the weak plot, the inconsistent characterizations of the leads, and the poorly developed characterization of the antagonist. And perhaps if I watch more than 5 minutes of FH2 I would be able to see how FH2 did better within the confines of its genre than TK2H. However, I think to most people, TK2H would seem like the better drama albeit perhaps based on subjective factors. Thus, some of your scores wouldn’t make sense initially to the layviewer like me. Do you think it’s possible for reviews to be too objective?

          And this is a minor, minor, minor quibble, but I find your kdrama hub rather overwhelming. Is it possible to create a streamlined master list of reviewed dramas with hyperlinks to their production info, 100 word reviews, etc? It would also be nice if it were easier to see which parts of your liquid posts have been updated. For example, there’s a block of drama info on your kdrama hub page and one has to root out which segments were updated. And would it possible to post some kind of notification on the main page when one of your liquid posts have been updated? Yup, pretty sure I’ve fulfilled my quibble quota for the data >///<

          1. No worries. I get notified by the WordPress taskbar of every new comment, so there are no chances of missing one unless it ends up in the spam folder (and that’d take several links within the same post or certain spam-friendly keywords).

            Now…

            – One caveat of that whole list — which is perhaps confusing to anyone not used to it — is that the average only reflects that show’s overall quality up to a certain episode (so if between the brackets you get a [01/16] it only means that after one episode, that’s the score it got). This makes the whole list obviously imperfect and inherently flawed because I’d have to watch everything down to the last episode to really give a fair appraisal of a show. After only a few episodes you get a good indication of where that show might be going quality-wise, but of course it’s only a first impression and those are obviously flawed by nature, no matter how much experience and the right approach to viewing a show can ease things. Now the problem is… if the first impression is that bad, and I don’t see any indication that things are getting better, I simply drop the show. Period. See the motto up top? Life is too short for bad dramas. Watching a poor show in its entirety would obviously change the score, and a 35 can certainly get up to the 50s if it somehow manages a miraculous improvement towards the end. But the time spent evaluating the possibility of those extra 15 average points to actually materialize isn’t all that compelling to me. It wouldn’t make the Top 500 anyway. Certainly wouldn’t make any year-end lists. My time is finite, and I tend to stick to quality. If you’ve been following the evolving rating list, I’m going back and catching up on anything hovering around the 50 AVG and trying to complete before the end of the year, but that’s about it. Anything below that… I guess it should have improved a little earlier.

            So if you keep that in mind, the minutiae of an AVG 35 vs an AVG 43 of two shows I haven’t completed are just that, minutiae. The bigger point is that they both are poor, and aren’t worthy of my continued interest. Then if I watched both and the first went from 35 to 59 and the second from 43 to 27… that’s out of my control. I can’t review everything in detail and those four categories — which every single show aired in 2012 will get (along with a brief, 100 word pillow review) in the Year End Awards, as obviously just tossing averages out there means very little — are the best compromise I can come up with. Of course someone who watched both through the end can take issue with those averages, but I’d only focus on the “green stuff.” I can tell if a show will be good or bad within the first half hour, generally. I can’t tell in detail just how good or bad it will be until I actually finish watching. That’s the difference between first impressions and bonafide reviews.

            – For the updates, you’re best off just checking my Twitter (either by following it, bookmarking it, or just checking the top right side of the site). That will tell you whenever the Hub or Databank are updated (which is generally on a daily basis). Any update in the “NEXT” list is generally underlined so you can tell whatever is new at a glance. And as for the streamlined list, that’s more or less what I’m doing with part of the Year End Awards — it’s the 2012 Archive link up top, which I’m gradually updating and will be complete by December 24. I know the Hub is a bit overwhelming, but it’s a quick one-way stop for the skinny on everything that’s airing, so it has to be all thrown together. For anything more in depth, check the various reviews and reports.

  56. I’m not familiar with the drama, “When Women Powdered Twice”. Holy Mackerel! A score of 12? What? Were they simply breathing?! LOL

  57. Glad i found this Vault… haven’t read much (this only) but really felt thankfull.

    Please keep watching VP2, yes its not perfect, but its deserve more than a mere 59…

  58. I’m so glad to see “Just An Ordinary Love Story” on the list. Single drama specials don’t seem to generate much attention, reviews or critiques on the popular blogs or websites. I happened to come across this drama and thankfully, gave it a try.

    To this day, the performance by each member of the cast remains vivid and memorable to me.

    Since discovering the Drama Special series because of this one drama, I have been on the look-out for other Drama Specials. And, I found another one, “When I Was Prettiest”, which I thought the story and the telling of the story was perfect. Caveat: I worked in a hospital and can empathize with the message of the story.

    Thank you so much for reviving your blog. Even if I will never have a complete set of subs for my top-pick of the year, i.e. “A Wife’s Credential”, it is great to have your writing back.

  59. *Fangirl squeeeeee* Sorry. I’m just overjoyed having discovered this blog, I’m poring over it in phases, sloowly. I’m so enheartened by absolutely everything on here, I don’t even know where to begin, but but but I’m so happy to see Jin Tae-hyeon is in the short; Glass Prison. And with Im Jung-eun, too? I had no idea, I’d downloaded the file and forgotten about it. Thought he’d go back to ahjumma soap opera dailies or something after his blazing performance in Queen Insu (had he not had such solid competition in co-stars Chae Si-ra and Jeon Hye-bin, I would have dubbed this THE greatest performance this year).

  60. Glad to have you back! As someone who’s relatively new to K-drama watching, (I’ve probably watched less than 30 kdramas and most of them in the last 2 years) your insight at the behind the scenes work of dramas, and knowledge of different directors, producers. actors and actresses histories makes for fascinating and compelling reading.

    But where are the subs? I had meant to download some of them, but alas….

  61. Thanks you for your little reviews. I have to say that the only reason why I keep watching Faith is the kings and queens story line and acting and sometimes Kim Hee Sung (I like her when she is together with Lee min-ho because at least one of them has some emotions and the scene becomes bearable). I also watch reply 1997 and I like it very much and I completely agree about Seong Dong-Il he’s fantastic!
    But the drama I’m most excited about is Nice Guy, I can’t even explain why. I think it’s because the production gives an overdone plot somehow new feeling about it and the acting makes it feel less dramatic and more real. I really hope it stay the same for next episodes.
    p.s. (Sorry I’m not native English speaker as you see)

Don't be lazy, write something. Like... Boo! (아따 시방 댓글 좀 쓰랑께~)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s