29 June, 2014

Latest Drama Debuts

As usual I am watching about five dramas too many, but that doesn't stop me from starting another one, or three. Then again, I have like a million dramas I haven't finished yet. I think I have problems peeps. This past week or so, several dramas debuted that I really wanted to check out. High School King, Trot Lovers, and Joseon Gunman.

Now I sit with the dilemma of liking all of them, but realizing that I'm watching four currently airing dramas, which makes me a little crazy in the head, what with RL and all. ㅋㅋㅋ I guess there's a reason I chose the moniker dewaanifordrama.

I had struggled to find High School King subbed anywhere (legit). Luckily a plea on Twitter resulted in about four (lovely) people telling me that Crunchyroll's beta website: Kdrama.com was offering it subbed. Not only have I been pleased with the quality, but the ads aren't excessive. All that aside, High School King is pretty fabulous so far. Four episodes in I already care about the characters, I feel like I know them pretty well, and I am intrigued to see where the storylines will go. Seo In Guk is doing a great job at playing both his high school hockey player character and then playing the high schooler posing as his brother because they are doppelgängers. Of course I have to suspend my disbelief just a tad because no high schooler could be that good at being a businessman that quickly. Not that he doesn't make mistakes etc. but he's just a leetle tooooooo good. But that's okay. Seo In Guk is fabulous! and I just adore his grandpa (and his relationship with his gramps). That chocolate stealing scene was just so funny! And yeah, Seo In Guk, I heart him.

Another big draw for me watching the drama was knowing that Lee Soo Hyuk is starring as the male second lead (?) at least I am guessing that is going to be his role. And he's speaking much more than I've ever heard him speak him before in a drama! Hallelujah! Of course, he's also really just nice to look at, and he has a most fabulous nose, so I guess it wouldn't matter too matter if he wasn't speaking, I mean of course I want him speaking. I am really intrigued to see how his backstory is going to play out. I hope there is lots of bromance between him and Seo In Guk and not too much enemy stuff.

Lee Ha Na isn't bad as our resident female lead. I am still not sure if she is supposed to be the female lead pairing with Seo In Guk, but I am pretty sure she is. I wonder if Seo In Guk's brother (played by Seo In Guk) is going to show up and complicate matters with her or not. And while some people are really annoyed with her character, I haven't minded her incredible awkwardness. She gets much better when she's drunk. Her little sister is pretty much the exact opposite (she's pretty much Seo In Guk's gangster-like stalker trying to be his girlfriend). It's much to early to tell what all's going to happen with everyone in the drama, but for now I am enjoying it thoroughly. And the production values are pretty good, which I am a huge fan of. If you aren't already watching this drama, I would highly recommend diving in and watching it!

The second drama I tried out this week was Trot Lovers. Of course I wanted to watch Ji Hyun Woo in his first post army drama and I also adore Jung Eunji, so it's a win-win situation. I am also a complete sucker for musically themed dramas and I quite like Trot - it's just fun and upbeat. The drama so far has done a great job at balancing comedy while still establishing a solid, emotional connection with each of the character's back stories.

Ji Hyun Woo plays a slightly dense, narcissistic musician who is about to be schooled in the hard knock school of life. His character is I guess the antithesis of the awesome Kim Boong Do, but he's doing a great job as a jerk. He also looks pretty different. Gone is his adorable, imperfect teeth smile *sigh* I really liked that smile. He's also lost a lot of his pre-army baby fat in his face for a leaner, more chiseled look and he's blonde. He's looking smokin' hotte, but I also miss Kim Boong Do. You can tell that under all his narcissistic crap, he's a vulnerable man who is totally going to fall hard for Eunji's character. It will be so fun to watch. You can already tell he's caring a little about her and her situation, but I am sure he's going to hide it under general idiotness.

Eunji is great as the tough take life by the horns but happy go lucky heroine. She's not quite a Candy, she's got too much sass for that, but she's entirely sympathetic without us having to get too sappy about it. She also kills it as a Trot singer. She's got the musical skill and stage presence for the music genre and she is quite a decent actress considering she's an idol-actress cross-over. You can also already tell that she's going to give the people who come up against her a run for their money.

I also spent much of the episodes laughing out loud, whether it was the gangsters burying Ji Hyun Woo's character in the sand, or our resident serial killer from You From Another Star. Don't worry, he's not going to be a serial killer in this, but he was so good at creepy in YFAS, that it's hard to see him not be super creepy. He's sort of silly in this, but that should be amusing. I think the drama will be a good mix of laughter and seriousness and I have high hopes for it. I think I still prefer High School King to this debut, but I've also had two more episodes to judge it by. We'll just have to see.

And last, but not least, Joseon Gunman. I could tell about two minutes in that I am going to want to buy this OST. Gorgeous! The editing and cinematography are spot on and so far we've plunged right into the story. I am also excited for the reuniting onscreen of Lee Jun Ki and Nam Sang Mi. I really loved their chemistry together in Time Before Dog and Wolf and I can tell that they already have a great rapport in this drama as well. So far the drama has been fairly light in tone, mixed in with the more serious political machinations against which the stage is set. And then all winding up to a more dramatic and serious ending with the second episode cliffhanger (something the drama has already begun to use to good effect more or less).

One of my favourite things about watching sageuk is that I end up googling the period and history discussed, and I invariably end up learning something new, and I am always a fan of that. I recommend you look it up as the period the drama is set in has interesting ties to the Japanese occupation and the era that ushered in for Korea. Anyway, I am sure that's not going to be the only thing the drama focuses on, but it is interesting to see a drama set right on the cusp of the 19th century, give or take a few decades.

Watching Lee Jun Ki in Joseon garb is also making me want to re-watch Arang and the Magistrate; he just looks so fabulous in hanbok. I also really love that Nam Sang Mi's Jung Soon In is completely knowledgable and capable - whipping out her compass and general smarts. She's also plenty plucky and I really like that about her. She's no Katniss Everdeen, but for a woman of her time, she's progressive and pushing the limits and I love that Lee Jun Ki's Park Yoon Kang is attracted by that.

Of course he's plenty flirty and a tease, but when it comes down to it, he's ready to help her in a jiffy. They already also share a great level of trust and camaraderie that's tangible and just plain fun. I guess it helps that the leads have excellent chemistry and have worked together before. Anyways, I could go on and on about this drama. Bottom line, I think this is going to be a great drama and I highly recommend that you watch it as soon as you can. Oh man, Jun Ki (or Yoon Kang really) is such a tease! (And he knows it!) And I love it!

That about wraps up this post. Are you all watching any of these dramas? What do you think about them? Any other dramas in the currently airing cycle, or otherwise that are you watching? Any you think I need to add to my stack of drama watching? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. I agree! I love these dramas so far as well (except I haven't started Joseon Gunman yet, but I'm super excited to). I'm especially enjoying Trot Lovers. Since I actually liked Shin Sung Rok in You From Another Star, I am having a good time seeing his new crazy character, and also not feeling weird because I'm attracted to the creepy killer of the show, cause he's not this time. Also Ji Hyun Woo = yes. He looks and acts soooo good so far so... yes.

  2. ㅋㅋㅋ You and your thing for bad guys ;) Shin Sung Rok has such an interesting face and I am interested to see what he does with this character. I think the YFAS character was a bit 2D and didn't give him enough room to show his acting chops. Ji Hyun Woo is totally having a blast, and I am completely enjoying it. And boy is he lookin' fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Of the three, I think Joseon Gunman might be my fave...but ah, Seo In Guk...ah! I am so glad all three are great!

  3. I know. It's about time.

  4. The three dramas are all on my watchlist!
    - High School King is my happy pill for many reasons: SIG in suits (YUM), LSH's voice, and the workplace shenanigans.
    - I've never thought that I'd be watching Trot Lovers but it's growing on me. Love the weird SSR but I'm looking forward to Sohn Ho-joon singing in the drama. Let everyone disclose their singing ability!
    - Joseon Gunman...oh, I was really hoping that it would turn out decent and thank God it was a great pilot. I am hungry for more but at the same time, I'm afraid I won't be able to handle all the nerve-wrecking moments. LJK+NSM are killing it with their chemistry but the baddies (the merchant father-daughter pairing) are interesting too.
    - I'm planning to start Endless Love. The first two episodes were straight up melo and here's hoping it'll pick up this week.


  5. I am glad that we have some really great dramas airing right now...if only I could get a time-turner to watch all of them...

  6. Happy pill - that's a great way to describe it! SIG in suits and LSH...man, so much eye candy! I have been surprised by how much I'm enjoying Trot Lovers. JHW is pretty dang hilarious. He plays a jerk rather well. I really, really, really want Joseon Gunman to stay great. I have high hopes though as this director and writer seem to have it under control as of now. And yeah LJK and NSM have such excellent chemistry! Ah! It's so great! And LJK teasing her is so funny. And I am totally down for all the skinship that is already happening. Endless Love I haven't taken a look at yet. I am not sure if I will be able to get to it though...

  7. I have no time for yet another currently airing drama, but Trot Lovers is sounding more and more appealing. People don't actually need sleep, right?

  8. Lol. Sleep, what's sleep? Trot Lovers is a lot of fun...but sleep is super important too...

  9. I hadn't. Is that from a scene they decided to cut or something? Oh LSH...he is so gorgeous!

  10. ㅋㅋ That was pretty funny. I kind of like the pairing...but yeah...even with SIG and Ha Na...the whole high school student pairing with someone older is a tad squicky...

  11. Sleep is overrated. Watch it, it's so fun so far!

  12. I just realized that "Endless Love" stars Jung Kyung Ho...I might HAVE to watch it just because of him...

  13. Btw have you seen this extra footage of High School King of Savvy? :D


  14. It's just an extra scene..or maybe tvn is just testing the waters about this pairing. I like to watch them swearing at each other :D