Y’all, having just finished watching Coffee Prince 9, I can confidently say that sldkfjsdflkj THIS SHOW IS BASICALLY SLASH FICTION.Â I — I can’t even.Â I mean, there’s even?Â And I just can’t.Â May the spirit of Burt Reynolds preserve me.Â My GOD.
Archive for the 'kdrama' Category
â€¢ David Hewlitt’s contemplation of John Sheppard’s history as an exotic dancer at the San Diego ComicCon–yes, this is where the other infamous photo of PSYCHO BOYFRIEND MCKAY is coming from.Â (Toward the end of the video, but they’re terribly charming pretty much throughout.)
â€¢ Apparently there is at least one other person in the known universe who loves Daa Daa Daa!, which is why it’s been uploaded up to episode 59 with English subtitles over at CrunchyRoll–alien baby comes to Earth, and an adorable boy and girl become its foster parents.Â It’s so cute my face falls off, and also, I feel as if I possibly wrote the only fanfiction in existence for it.
â€¢ Bad Couple now viewable–to episode 13–at MySoju.com, and Coffee Prince 8 is now up as well (PS, you guys watching Coffee Prince?Â You’re going to get your minds BLOWN in the next two episodes).
Kdramas probably have a long and storied history that ties into South Korea’s meteoric rise as one of the Pacific Rim’s economic powerhouses etc. etc. — but mostly what I know is that many years ago, predating DVDs’ commonality, when in Asia, all things came as a VCD, my father brought to our home (and probably regrets it each day he lives) a copy of Meteor Garden.
My mother and I resisted watching it for many moons, immediately dismissing it as “horrible,” and “totally lame,” and “Asian guys aren’t even hot.” But after caving during a long and lingering winter vacation, the rest was, essentially, history: like a casual coke user turned hardcore crack smoker, I went from Meteor Garden to Meteor Garden II to Huan Zhu Ge Ge to — and this is when ya’ll will want to check in — to something call All About Eve.
All About Eve was like black tar heroin to me, featuring rival newscasters and their many loves and frustrations — it was melodrama in its purest form: everybody cried and broke up at least three times, and there was one fake pregnancy, one fake abortion, one senseless and physically-impossible vehicle-related death, one suicide attempt that goes wrong, and some people who come together in the end for the most awkward, uncomfortable, and unrealistic kiss ever. I loved it. It burned like sugar and Jesus in my veins.
Guys — it was time to break out the spoon, lighter, and tourniquet.
â€¢ …You haven’t made these sound all that well-written, why should I watch them?
Because they’re somewhat poorly-written. They’re the visual equivalent of Harlequin novels, with predictable twists and turns but usually an ending that you want — with a sense of sweeping romance. They’re totally mindless, by turns funny and wonderful and charming. In fact, they share many of the same characteristics of fanfiction — if not the very best fanfiction. My current two favorites are Coffee Prince and Bad Couple — the first of which features a tomboy who is literally taken for a boy, and gets paid to act like a lazy, wealthy scion’s boyfriend (I’m not making this up or stealing the plot from an SGA story, by the way) to scare away potential suitors; the second features a woman who wants a baby and — after scoping out the best sperm in the country — finds it in a botany professor, and proceeds to roofie the baby juice out of him with hilarious results.
These stories are by no means perfect, but they are dear — they’re also wonderful good fun in packages of 24 hour-long episodes or less.
â€¢ But Pru, I just remembered: I don’t speak Chinese/Japanese/Korean!
Not to worry, dedicated teams of rabid fangirls fansub this stuff at an astonishing pace, meaning while you’re going to be listening to Chinese/Japanese/Korean, you’ll be reading English subtitles — many times those subtitles will outstrip the so-called “professional” ones.
â€¢ All right, fine, I’m sold: where do I get ahold of this stuff?
That’s where ya’ll are lucky: watching k/j/c/twdramas these days are a snap. Once upon a time, you had to go through the terrifyingly huge forums at either Soompi or D-Addicts to (a) download the torrents of the video and then (b) to download the soft sub of the episode. What that means, in English, is that you had to download the raw video (all foreign language, no English) and then download an srt file (a subtitle file) — make sure that the video and srt file had the same name (except for the file extension), and then were in the same directory — the subtitles would load automatically, but the stress levels were insane. At least for me.
These days, with the advent of YouTube and other online streaming , you’re lucky in that none of that is necessary for the most popular of the k/j/c/twdramas — usually, they’re available for you to watch anytime straight from the web. (Be warned, because of certain copyright restrictions, things may disappear and be rearranged fairly frequently — my constant hunt for the show “Goong” online will be discussed later.)
â€¢ Fine, drag me into the abyss. What should I be watching?
- Bad Couple – (watch it here) About fashion editor Dang Ja and her decision that — despite her disinterest in marriage, she is interested in having a baby, and the many shenanigans that get her to the maternity ward. Funny and sweet and horrible — guys, the two protagonists get attacked by a wild, horny pig that Dang Ja accidentally roofies, I shit you not — I fell fast and hard for this series. It’s finished airing in Korea now and the last few subtitle sets should be coming out soon.
- Coffee Prince — (watch it here) About a hardworking, tomboyish girl named Eun Chan who gets mistaken first for a thief, and then for a boy, and then finally gets roped into pretending to be a gay lover to Han Kyul (the scion of a coffee empire) — but what makes this story amazing is the wonderful tenderness that the characters play for one another: yes, this is a running joke about gender and homosexuality, but it’s not used for cheap laughs. Coffee Prince is about friends and learning not to quit — lovely and lovable.
- Long Vacation — (watch it here) Is a classic Japanese drama — about a struggling concert pianist and his flaky roommate’s fiancee…who said roommate dumped at the alter…and who bursts into the pianists’ life in her wedding kimono. Engaging and funny and enduring, this is one of the earliest dramas I watched and still one of the best — plus, guys, Kimura Takuya is in it. He’s hot like burning.
- Meteor Garden — (watch it here) I’M SORRY. I COULDN’T RESIST. Fair warning: it’s really really pretty terrible, but it does it with flair. F4 — the four rich boys as beautiful as flowers — slouch around their elite school treating everybody like dirt until one girl changes everything. It’s the show that introduced me to my one true love: Vic Zhou (you may look but not touch; we’re going to get married one day). It still holds a very near and dear place in my heart. Based on the manga “Boys Over Flowers.”
- Mars — (download it here) It’s based off of the manga of the same name, starring Vic Zhou in a really appallingly fake and fugly mullet — but it’s okay, because he rides a motorcycle. It’s actually good, telling the story of a bad boy and a broken girl and their unlikely romance — one of my favorites.
- Goong — (watch the first episode online) I BURN to find this entire series to give to you in a bow, because Goong is simultaneously the biggest kdrama blockbuster ever and one of my favorite dramas ever filmed. It is set in an alternate-reality 21st century Korea, where it was never fractured in two and is still ruled under the Korean royal family, which functions now like Britain’s constitutional monarchy. A girl, Shin Chaegyun, finds that she’s been promised in marriage to the sullen crown prince, and the rest, as they say, is history. There’re intersecting love stories, tales of past betrayal, questions of family loyalty, and the sets, the costumes, they’re so enormously beautiful. Watch the first episode, I promise you, it’s worth it, and as soon as I find where to show you the rest, that information will be yours.
Happy viewing, my friends, and God speed.
ETA: If you look at the comments for this post, you’ll see those who have chimed in already have loads of differing opinion — which is great, it just shows you what a wealth of options there are in Asian dramas — so! Happy viewing! (And if ya’ll go watch something (ie: My Name Is Kim Sam Soon) and hate it for the not-at-all latent misogyny and assorted bullshit that made my blood boil, DO NOT come crying to me — it was not on my recommendation.)
Guys, I cannot even look at this research tying diet soda (OH MY GOD MY SWEET DIET CHERRY COKE) to heart disease.Â I cannot even look at it.Â People who know me know that I have a psuedosexual definitely addictive relationship with that stuff; you wouldn’t like me if I didn’t have my Diet Cherry Coke.Â Seriously, what the fuck?Â I always knew they put crack cocaine in it, but I was like, “That’s fine — that’s just going to make me model thin.”Â But heart disease?Â The sad part is, I’m actually weighing the benefits like, “Well, I am probably going to die young anyway from my associated risky behaviors (ie: also the inadvisable drinking I have been doing), so really, is heart disease such an issue?”
Meanwhile — I’m wondering, how many of you would actually be interested if I did a big kdrama/jdrama/twdrama/cdrama intro post the way I did with yaoi?Â I mean, it can kind of be intimidating to get into, but things have already improved so much since you know, there’s live online streaming of a lot of episodes — and I have already suckered people into watching Bad Couple and Coffee Prince, there’re a couple of others I would highly recommend.Â Bueller?Â Bueller?
There have been plenty of good kdramas — but as a general rule, they don’t really run concurrently: there’re good ones here and there, many one or two every one or two years if we’re lucky.Â The last kdrama before Goong that I really truly loved was probably Hotelier, and that was ages and ages hence, and before that, All About Eve — yeah, you see?Â And while I have been fond of Dal Ja’s Springtime and — briefly — Witch Amusement, to have two kdramas at the same time?Â That’s wacky.
And this second kdrama, my friends, is definitely hilarious: Bad Couple.
A woman, Dang Ja, wants a baby, but not the husband that associated marriage shenanigans that go with it.Â When she realizes that in Korea, she can’t have a test-tube baby unless married, she starts scoping out people who might have good sperm…which brings her to Gi Chan, a brilliant if socially-retarded botanist.
I don’t have the heart to spoil the rest — suffice it to say, Dang Ja is after his babyjuice, and God damn it if she isn’t going to get it.Â But the imagery in this story so far, oh my GOD.Â It’s like somebody ripped open my Id and was like, “Go nuts”: attacked by horny wild pigs (no joke), killing plants with boiling water, babies sucking down liquor in their bassinets — I love it.Â I love it all.Â Oh yeah, and thirtysomething career women popping mancherries all over the place, since apparently Gi Chan has been saving himself for marriage.Â I love it so much.
Oh, and poor Gi Chan, who, after the second time Dang Ja bangs him,Â gets told he’s not all that great in bed, and then follows her out into the street to plead his case because really, nobody’s good at something when they just get started, right?Â HE HAS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.Â GOD.
I wanted to dig up images, but they’re hard to find on the internet so far, and sadly, I’m not downloading the actual files so no screencaps (for now, we’ll see if this changes) — but!Â If my description has intrigued you at all, tally-ho here to watch the series online with English subtitles.Â It comes highly recommended.
First off, ya’ll, I am so tired.Â I am also sort of sunburned, imagine me saying this all in Britney Spears English.Â I just hit up Agua Verde on Portage Bay where friends and I kayaked for a while before climbing upstairs to gorge outselves on really wonderfully fresh Mexican food and eat salsa until it came out of our ears — fabulous.Â So it’s with sore arms I sit down to write you about my NEWEST TRUE LOVE.
Last time I talked about kdramas, I was talking about the appallingly bad Witch Amusement, which actually took bad to such a transcendental place I’m pretty sure it was doing shots with Keats. In the past, I have also mentioned my fascination with the uneven but overall fantastic Goong, which re-imagined Korea into unified country with a constitutional monarchy — for the super important purpose of there being a royal love story. And since I have a penchant for following the careers of people I have been impressed with in the past, of course I followed up on Yoon Eun Hye.
Who is now in something called Coffee Prince.
Guys? The gay theme started by Witch Amusement? Is continuing in Coffee Prince. I am without words. It all starts with a picture. Of dudes smooching. I know. (more…)
Midway through episode six, I turned to my mother (who is possibly more into this show than I am given the earnestness of her pleas for me to provide more source to her NOW NOW FIVE MINUTES AGO NOW) and said, “Okay, so basically, the only couple in this show I like is Chef and Moo Ryong.”
There’s just one little catch:
Dial-up warning for below the cut: heavy image-whoring.
It all started when, the summer of my junior year of high school, my father brought home something called “Meteor Garden.”
(There are about 2394872393478343 of you with Asian backgrounds who just gasped and said, “Meteor Garden! That one stole my Asian drama virginity! And then when it finally did call, it was like it’d gotten worse in the sack instead of better!” As somebody who concluded that abusive relationship on my living room couch middle of my senior year sobbing my eyes out at the end of “Meteor Garden II” all I can say is: yes, yes I know.)
I’d seen Asian TV before — no second generation Chinese kid has managed to completely escape the Chinese New Year countdown variety show, and no one should: it’s good Communist motherland TV for us to grow glorious in our heathen American ways! — but you know, I’d never seen hot Asian guys. I pretty much thought there was something wrong with the Asian Y chromosome (well, something MORE wrong) — we will not speak of the One Who Was Hit On By Construction Workers, And Then Was Foolish Enough To Call To Tell Me About It, And Was Somehow Surprised When I Made Asian Twink Jokes For About A Thousand Years.
Anyway, the point was:
Then along came my Future Husband, whom my entire family — I’m not making this up, it’s entirely too embarrassing to be a joke — now actually refers to exclusively as The Future Son-In-Law. We work on the theory that Vic Zhou loves me, he just doesn’t know it yet, and as soon as he realizes — our eyes will meet across the white-lit showroom of a Ferrari dealership; he will be buying another speed toy, I will be stalking him — we will touch one another inappropriately and have somewhat less than optimally attractive babies because I’m bringing down our average, but I’m sure he’ll love me enough to forgive me.
That was it folks. I realized that China, Taiwan, Korea, and indeed even Japan (who else watched that wretch-awful and yet still unspeakably amazing “Majou no Jouken“? Don’t lie. It changed your life, shut up. And you’ll never be able to listen to Utada Hikaru’s “First Love,” ever again) dramas! They were…melodramatic. They had…sometimes horrifyingly poor production values. Couples expressed their eternal love and simmering sexual tension by not touching one another at all — kissing was all fake and awkward looking! Guys, it was a brand new world and I was all over it like cheap perfume on a Lindsey Lohan hanger-oner.
And now, I spend a lot of time watching Korean dramas, mostly because there’s a huge abundance of them, which helps because 90 percent of them have some sort of abusive relationship that would have, and I quote a conversation I had with somebody the other day “slapping the motherfucking life out of the man who was shoving me into the wall and then flinging his scrawny ass, 30 lbs dripping wet body out of a window.” (Who else “My Name Is Kim Sam Soon through the rage blackouts?)
At the moment, the two that have captured my attention are Witch Amusement, starring some adorable faces we might remember from “Goong” and some adorable faces we might remember from “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” who could not act in that drama to save his blessed life, but who was pretty to look at!. And also the concurrently airing “The Devil,” starring universally agreed cross-gender hawt-ass my future man slave of sexual plaything-ness. (I’m not kidding. I will fight all of Korea for him. Don’t worry: Vic knows how to share.)
Just be prepared — there might be episode reviews. I have to talk about this sickness with somebody.
Oh, and because you’ve all been so good to read the whole damn thing — gratuitous eye meat!
(For more mansluttishness of the Joo Ji Hoon (twink cowboy) variety go here — for more mansluttishness of the look don’t touch because he is mine and we are going to have babies and I am not kidding, I would fight Korea for Joo Ji Hoon but I will fight the entire continent of Asia for Future Husband, go here.)
For those of you who are new (and I mean really new): I have a thing about Asian guys. It’s not a nice thing.Friday, April 13th, 2007
And I’m not saying this from a bigoted perspective here — I both share genes and given them a ride (SORT OF NOT IN THE FILTHY WAY. MAYBE. GOD STOP JUDGING ME) in my time and it has taught me two things about my perspective on relationships: (1) I have to be the prettier one; when your MALE PARTNER has finer skin, shinier, softer hair, and gets cat-called by construction workers more (I’m not making this part up; God damn Philip anyway), that is a bad sign and (2) I cannot stand Asian Boy Personality Disorder. I’m pretty sure the latter is a slow-fading disease, but at the moment, it still plagues only children and older sons, mothers who think that by virtue of their offspring’s dick it’s okay not to teach them how to be humans — this fails on multiple levels, including the one where I deck your kid. The point is: I have a thing about Asian guys, insofar as I vowed at the crone-ly age of 17 years never to date one again.
However, I have to say, if I ever met this piece, I would be hard pressed to turn down his obviously prettier than I personality disordered ass. And I mean ass. Let’s not try to be deep here. But guys, damn.
I’m celebwhoring like nobody’s business tonight — catching up on the multitude of Korean dramas that have come out since I last binged on them like an America’s Next Top Model contestant after Tyra has shown ALL BUT HER PHOTOGRAPH and she has left the house with none but sundry shames IMMEDIATELY. And anybody who fell ass over teakettle over Goong and felt possibly a little torn between you know, Shin and Yul (DON’T BE ASHAMED. WE’LL START A CLUB. I CAN MAKE MEMBERSHIP CARDS) is sure to be biting their nails when they, like I, realized that THOSE TWO HAWT-ASSES ARE AT IT AGAIN! Now they’re competing in rival drama, instead of in the same one, but since The Devil sounds like it might be heavy as opposed to filled with zaniness, I will be giving Yul’s (yes, I know that’s not the actor’s name) a chance first.
Also, your dumb anime screencaps of the day:
I have to say immediately and in my defense that I am seriously not shitting you. These are in the closing sequence of “Princess Princess” and are totally not my fault. It’s not like I could have psychically known to send them email saying shit like, “Can you make Yuujirou and Tohru pose all super gay like?” In Japan, these things, they just happen — just like they did to Ban and Ginji for “Getbackers.”
THESE ARE ALL OFFICIAL ART PEOPLE. I mean, at least they made Ginji (blond) an honest boy. First comes tipping your man partner on the floor, second comes you know…a lot of inappropriate touching and chains and lastly of course comes marriage. Did I mention this was official art? For a comic series FOR BOYS? GOD. NO WONDER JAPAN’S BIRTH RATES ARE SO LOW. MEDIA IS MAKING THEM ALL GAY.