KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Friday, August 16, 2013

Diary | I Heart Kim Bum

My first rambling thoughts post...
A sad summer cloud has been following me around. I really really REALLY miss my KyungHo-filled Mondays and Tuesdays. I want the poor actor to rest and heal from his back injury, absolutely, but I also don’t know how I’ll stand the rest of the year without any hope of seeing him again.
In fact, I haven’t quite gotten over Heartless City’s dramatic conclusion yet either, definitely not enough to write anything about it without getting too emotional. Even thinking about it in relation to how much I miss Jung KyungHo makes me feel morose all over again. 

I am, however, almost done with my I Can Hear Your Voice review. Almost...

One last thought about Heartless City. One of the happier things I took away from the show: makgeolli is sexy when sipped out of wine glasses. LOVE IT. This milky and sweet humble farmer’s chug got a bump up in style courtesy of some Seoul gangsters. I totally plan to drink it out of big wine glasses next time I have a post-murder party. Or maybe it’s not the same feel if not held by the sexy long fingers of Jung KyungHo, who definitely has the sexiest hands I’ve ever seen.

I’m not really sure why I drew milk and a canister of flour next my mug of imaginary coffee above. Not really a natural pairing that...let’s just pretend I drew a cookie there instead. Why the pictures anyway? Don’t diary pages have a lot of doodles, as a general rule?

So, what is this corner? I haven’t really indulged in much rant fangirling on my blog outside the lines of my drama reviews, but I do personally enjoy it when other bloggers share their developing thoughts about what is going on in the K-universe, so I thought I would try it myself. Like everyone else, I do secretly lurk on other drama blogs like all the time. I’m too self-conscious to comment on posts, but I love reading.

Also, I noticed my drama reviews were getting longer and longer and that needed to be solved. I thought perhaps releasing some of my drama thoughts beforehand might do the job.

Dramas I will ramble about and spoil after the jump: The Blade and the Petal (I have watched until Ep3), Goddess of Fire (until Ep11), and Who Are You (until Ep4).

칼과 꽃  
The Blade and the Petal
A very strange show. Gorgeous in its cosmetics, daringly flamboyant in its delivery. Very little is offered in a way that feels normal. I do like its boldness, the show’s sense of adventure in the way it is filmed. We are given a hyper-aware look into their world, the show imploring us to consider the sights and sounds of this place, the swish of heavy fabrics, the slice of sword through rain, the brush of air against hair. Instead of a poet sitting with his stencil trying to scribe the lyricism of life to paper, this drama wants to transmit it directly to our eyeballs. Emotion is conveyed by the moving and shifting of a world that reacts against its residents, who so far have proven to be taciturn creatures. Words seem more grudgingly spilled than sounds and pigments. Everything feels painstakingly painted, the sets are deep and moody wraps, the land a lush and noisy soundtrack, even the people are hued in a gloriously surreal palette of colors.
The story, in the simplest description, is about a Goguryeo king’s daughter who falls in love with his antagonist general’s bastard son. Obviously, as a somewhat somber period piece, more to it than a light romp with a budding romance. My worry? The artistry is great, but at what cost? Things that step this forcefully outside convention can sometimes become inaccessible. 
In all its beauty (and it is so beautiful), do we have a story that is worth all this costuming? Will the characters themselves be able to do justice to everything else going on or will we be left at the end of it merely having admired the way the colors danced when the fabrics swished? I’m not sure yet…it bothers me that my eyes adore it, but my heart doesn’t care about these people at all. Only a few episodes in, I find the older rivalry between the savvy king Kim YoungChul and his warmongering general Choi MinSoo way more fascinating than anything else so far introduced. I am not sure I will travel with Petal to the very end, but I do want to grow to like the people as much as I do the rich beauty that surrounds them.

불의 여신 정이 
Goddess of Fire
I hate you Kim Bum for making me endure this one. I clearly like you too damn much. At no point was this a particularly fantastic drama in terms of writing but the initial episodes with the young cast were at least completely and ridiculously charming. A story about a young female ceramist when females were not allowed to be ceramists, this is the story of a girl who aims to be a master artisan of the royal variety in what is depicted to be a period when pottery was the pride of a nation. Well, the pottery pride and treason-by-pottery appears the focus of this show anyway. Initially, Jin JiHee (adorable little girl ceramist), Noh YoungHak (adorable prince), and Park GunTae (Kim Bum in the making) made me giggle and actually anticipate the love triangle being set up in this world of clay fondling
I could even almost ignore the constant over the top talks of treason over pottery for the sake of cuteness. Then the younger cast went away, as they always do after they do a great job laying foundation, to make room for the older cast, who were indeed older, but not better. Bah. And that’s where it all goes wrong. Except for the delicious that is Kim Bum in long flowing locks…this story is really driving me crazy. Moon GeunYoung is also driving me bonkers. I don’t dislike the actress, but her depiction of the character is not what I wanted or expected after Jin’s depiction of the strong-willed and loudmouthed firecracker. I find myself hanging onto this one by a hair strand. 
Kim Bum’s hair strand, that is, in all its fake mane of hotness. Just as Yoo AhIn’s long flowing locks got me through Strongest ChilWoo, just as Jang GeunSuk’s long flowing locks got me through Hong Gil Dong, just as Yoo SeungHo got me through Warrior Baek DongSoo, I’ll probably see this to the end, to the very edges of its hairy margins. But I have a feeling I won’t enjoy much of anything else but the beauty of the Kim Bum elf archer, above. My fangirl love for Kim Bum may end up hurting a lot this time. Why oh why is it 32 friggin’ episodes!?

Who Are You
Me thinks the title is missing a question mark? Anyhow, already four episodes into Who Are You and the only eyes on Kim JaeWook I got was in the first ten minutes where he did a quick and violent exit. This made me feel exceedingly negative towards this show from the get-go.

The story kicked off following a female police officer waking up from a coma suffering from selective amnesia, then taking leadership of a central evidence locker for all of ROK police crime paraphernalia, what the show called its Lost and Found center. I like So YiHyun as our female cop lead, 2PM’s Taecyeon is very earnest and sincere in his part as her unhappy grunt underling, but the two have yet to convince me that I enjoy seeing them onscreen together. There’s also a dash of Cold Case cheesy to it (female cop helping restless souls find peace by solving the unsolvable), which lead to some groaning by me. Not that the sad ghosts popping up here and there was bad, I just didn’t care about them being as I was so busy wondering where the heck my Kim JaeWook was hiding in the afterworld.
I’ll probably continue watching a bit more to see if the show gets better footing when Kim JaeWook comes on in his supernatural form, but if his presence in the show becomes apparitional in minutes as well as in physicality, I may have to skip away. Although a pleasant surprise was that the young prince from Goddess of Fire popped up here as a rookie cop. He’s quite a cutie pie.

One more because Soo & ShiHyun = Happy Sigh
Hopefully I’ll be checking out Master’s Sun and Good Doctor over the weekend, which I have been saving…because I have high expectations. I’m sure in this mob of dramas, I will have to ditch something. Who has the time to watch five dramas at once?


  1. I really enjoyed your rambling thoughts post, its fun to read stuff like this!! :)

    I have decided to avoid Goddess of Fire after reading everyone's reviews which is a shame as I was kind of interested originally but it does seem a little too long considering no one at all thinks its any good :( I am not a crazy Kim Bum fan (I was too blinded by Lee Min Ho during Boys Over Flowers to notice anyone else at all) so its probably not worth my time....
    Its pretty funny what a good mane of glory can help you to endure though right?

    Out of the new ones airing at the moment I have been watching Who Are You and Master's Sun, both of which I have been really enjoying, though I must admit that Who Are You has really captured my heart for some reason which was a little unexpected. I don't know why but I am really loving that drama so much!

    I am saving Two Weeks for later though when I can enjoy watching my lovely Lee Jun Ki all in a row and not have to wait for new episodes which might kill me!! :)

    I used to also be a total lurker on blogs like you said above, but these days I am trying to write comments a little more often, though sometimes you do feel a little silly, like what your saying isn't exactly relevant...so I'm sorry if thats the case here too! :)

    1. Haha, you are probably wise in not even attempting Goddess.

      I finally started Master’s Sun and I LOVE IT too. Also caught up with Who Are You and got an eyefull of the gorgeous that is Kim JaeWook...so can't ditch that drama either now. I feel overwhelmed with too many dramas! I can't remember the last time I was trying to juggle so many at once. I'm watching so many that I have no time to write about them!

      SO FUNNY, I'm doing the exact same thing as you—not even starting Two Weeks so I can savor Lee JunKi later!

  2. Mmmh, that is a good way to put it.... 'savor' Lee Jun Ki! Ha!


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