KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

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


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Diary | Funny Mathematics

I stumbled across a Korean language aid thingie on the KBS World Radio site here. It appears to be a tool aimed to encourage foreign fans to visit Korea and has conversational tips about surviving while in country, such as going through airport customs.
It’s kind of amusing to sift through and is a cool idea, I dunno how helpful it is in actually teaching anyone anything though. The lessons are delivered in your selected language, be it English, French, or Dutch.

First stills of Park ShinHye in Heirs were released, these from a shoot done last month in a Gangnam wedding hall. Staff complimented Park ShinHye on her natural ability to shine even when she’s doing nothing more than washing dirty dishes in rubber gloves and a head rag. Word. The girl is adorable. Her smile lights up a hotel kitchen. If I wore this outfit doing dishes I would look like...wait a minute, sometimes I do wear an apron and rubber gloves when doing dishes...=/ And let’s just say I look less like a dishwashing fairy and more like a sudsy gremlin. I’m always up for another spin on a Cinderella story, especially with the lovely ShinHye. Heh. I feel like I have been waiting anxiously for this one all my life—definitely since casting was announced. The only thing missing is Yoo AhIn.
I don’t know if I’ve ever written this anywhere on my blog but my dream pairing is Park ShinHye and Yoo AhIn. I will just die the day that happens. DIE. With that train of thought, I’d always wanted to see her paired with a more rough, hardy male lead (admittedly, the picture I posted up there doesn’t really communicate a tough Yoo). I love Lee MinHo, I really, really do, but he’s on the urbane side of the spectrum. Is it wrong of me to already harbor a teeny tiny wish that Kim WooBin be her fated? I dunno, I think his edgy charm would jive well with Park’s clean one. Ok, sorry. I’ll be happy with just having this massive cast of, what is the phrase, “in trend” stars collected in one show.

Okay so a few steps away from kdramaland, there’s a strange battle going on. I do not know how this happened but...my current favorite kdrama and my forever favorite rapper are duking it out...on the music charts! WTK! According to Instiz, the music tracking chart that tracks music tracking charts (yeah, I know how funny that sounds), Yoon MiRae’s tender ballad Touch Love is #1, with G-Dragon’s Who You? at #2, his Black at #3, and his Crooked at #4, then Hyorin’s Master’s Sun crooner Driving Me Crazy retaining strong at #5. Then G-Dragon pops up again at #10 with Coup d’Etat. So six out of the top ten slots are occupied by these two juggernauts. I am not sure what response is appropriate. Yay, I love Touch Love I’m glad it’s at the top! Or, G-Dragon should be at the top, damnit! Or probably, more reasonably, I’m so thrilled both are doing so well.

How did the (currently) blond kpop prince find himself competing in a heated battle against a ghostbusting couple for the number one spot on an album sales list? He must be scratching his head while in his posh YG music studio, too. It is a strange and awesome thing to see these two unlikely but insanely great entities pretty much taking over the charts. Heh. I think GD should make a cameo on Master’s Sun as himself, I dunno, doing a fan event at Kingdom Mall?

Onto THE DRAMA on everyone’s mind:
See above. This is the face of a man who just forgot his numbers. Master’s Sun (eps 9 & 10) is the only drama I chat about after the jump. But I am pretty sure I am going to start Good Doctor this week. I have plans. I got derailed this weekend by Aaron Sorkin’s much improved season two of Newsroom...marathoned seven episodes in one sitting. *shamefaced* Yes, I sat at home and watched seven hours of tv. Sheesh!

So I’ve noticed that my diary posts about this show are spiraling into almost recap territory. I have to knock that off. There’s a lot of great Master’s Sun recaps already being done, certainly no need to add my useless voice to all that. So I’m going to skip all summarizing and go straight into my thoughts, so if you haven’t seen the episodes, probably none of it will make any sense.

Master’s Sun
Episodes 9 & 10
When JiSub returns from China after a week away, he sneaks in a quick line that almost gets missed, although it is hugely significant and pretty much sums up the progress of the week’s episodes, in that, he’s aware of his feelings but he’s determined to fight them. “How were you this week?” he asks HyoJin after their separation. “You seem fine.” Sniff. “I felt like I was in hell.”

Secretary Kim The Meddling Cupid
The person most honest about his upset feelings by the possible end to the budding romance between JiSub and HyoJin is dear Mr. Kim, JiSub’s faithful assistant. He clearly loves having a vacay back up. Oh, right, and he clearly loves the idea of his boss thawing his heart and falling in love as well. I love this guy. It is nice to see a suit and tie fellow that isn’t depicted as a crumb scum for once.

JiSub & HyoJin
JiSub is definitely a close second in terms of hating the idea of a possible end to his contract relationship. After spending a week in another country, and even bringing back a fake fiance, all he can think about is the day HyoJin will walk out of his life. He wants to minimize his own hurt when that happens so spends majority of his energy trying to find new ways to calculate and diminish her value to him. A confused HyoJin has to suffer through his fickle moods and increasingly misunderstands that he wants desperately to rid of her because he suspects she likes him. She keeps reassuring him that she really will leave one day so he can stop worrying about her, in fact, she may even go away before he gets sick of her! Yes, that’s exactly what he wants to hear—not. He says out loud that’s what he wants, but every time she takes another step away from him, he becomes even more agitated.
My favorite moment lasts only a few minutes but is galactically cute. JiSub, alone in his office, sheds his posturing and outwardly displays his insecurity. He mentally picks apart a daisy. She loves me. She loves me not. Head in hands, he pouts in annoyance with himself, unable to figure out if HyoJin really likes him or likes InGuk, as she keeps claiming.
What is an intriguing set up in their romance up until this point is that they’ve completely confused the issue. Love is love, but both individuals have a selfish motive in staying connected. JiSub has his dead ex-girlfriend and the issue of a multi-$$$ diamond choker and HyoJin uses him as a shelter from ghost activity. Most especially, we should not dismiss the ghost factor for HyoJin, which holds an almost life and death importance for her. Her analogy of wolf and sheep is pretty accurate. Can one afford to love what one needs to survive? But it does present an interesting question for them both. Would she still like him so much if he didn’t have that special power? At some point, this ‘power’ must be neutralized so she can really analyze her heart. Need and love are not always the same thing.
After a week without him, HyoJin is somewhat haggard, but nothing like she was before. She has found that she can survive in the world, has found a reason to fight for life. It seems now her need is less about the evaporation of ghosts, but knowing there is someone she can depend on, which is not a supernatural need, but a human one. But the point is, she did manage fine with him gone, and starts entertaining the possibility of living without JiSub.
Ironically, JiSub comes to realize the opposite, that perhaps he can’t go on without her by his side. “I’m not a ghost, why am I like this?” Well, he kind of is a ghost, which is what Secretary Kim keeps harping at him. JiSub initially worried about how people would perceive them with all the touching, then his strange logic jumps toward embracing the misconception. If that’s what strangers think anyway, they should just go with it. And hence the obsession with molding HyoJin into his “Candy”—if he traps her into the role, even if it is a lie, it is still a type of glue. He’s trying to find a way to date her without letting go of his defenses.

These episodes are two of the most romantically bent episodes so far. Lots of swoons, but here is the biggest one:
HyoJin gets possessed. JiSub kisses her free and consequently gets his math rocked to the core. And HyoJin is unconscious through all of it. But WE see it all! Squee x1000 moment.

SalaryMan World vs VainActress World
Even though InGuk finally gets to learn about HyoJin’s ghost seeing extracurricular activities, he still stays on the sidelines. Unintentionally, as all handsome dashing second leads end up doing, his lurking only serves to kick the first lead’s ass in high gear. When he sums up JiSub’s feelings for HyoJin to JiSub—“She’s not special. You are just using her to see someone special.”—he does no good to his own cause because it only makes JiSub stew even more over his true feelings.
Let us just take a moment to smile at the image above. This is the second time poor YooRi gets slammed into the wall by her crush. Love hurts! Heheh. We get a bunch of philosophy regarding dating someone of a different world as YooRi continues to mall-stalk him. I guess it can get pretty annoying when your stalker knows where you work and has a lot of free time between rolling around on the floor of pyro-filled pan commercials. YooRi not only gets a cheek bruise, but she also manages to get in and get dumped by InGuk under a minute. Ouch.
But my personal highlight is when she smacks her lips on his starched white shirt. Sizzling. She pretty much spits on her favorite piece of steak so that no one else can gobble him up. With such inventive jealousy, she succeeds in keeping him on the sidelines, as he cancels his planned date with HyoJin for that evening. I like that both romances seem to be supporting the idea that the person you are most at ease with…and most quirky with...may be the one meant for you.

Dead but No-So-Dead Ex?
A little more info on what will keep the characters occupied for the next six episodes to come. Obviously we know his dead ex-girlfriend really is dead…because she’s got a transparent blue-gray complexion and can window-stalk JiSub in his office without being seen, so who is this other living woman stalking JiSub? Weird curve ball. I have no idea who this lady could be. I mean, I have guesses, but nothing I want to commit to text so that I can be proven wrong later. It does appear, however, that our ghost seems to be trying to protect both the mysterious woman and JiSub. Ghost Girl looks sad.

The UnGrand Gesture
Breaking engagements with rich heiresses can be nasty bizness in kdramas, but thankfully, Lord JiSub’s already done it three times before so everyone is all, yeah, of course, all in a day for our boss. What is more interesting is that The Grand Romantic Gesture where the guy swoops in and drags off the girl…is totally kind is sleazy this time! Well, no it is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY swoonworthy from our point of view, but HyoJin looks at him like he’s a jerk who has lost his mind. His idea of a gallant Prince Charming moment is a total toad prince moment for her. Because well, this kind of manhandling is kind of really toady. In the end it is all about men exerting power and control. And the last thing HyoJin wants to be is a chippie angling for a rich man.
His grand gesture is, to her, an ultimate cruelty, because after hinting at it for two episodes, he finally does reduce her to nothing more than a cliché. It is even less than being a ghostbuster because it is meaningless, and she knows it holds no value to him. Where she misunderstands is that the idea of mistress may hold no value, but that does not mean she doesn’t hold value to him. He’s just got majorly thick concrete walls around him. It keeps people out, but once they are in, that wall holds those he cares about in close to him, too. He’s proven that he can be loyal. He’s a difficult man, but the reason why she cares for him, as we do, is that he’s good guy. Again, it’s that duality that makes the scene so great. Pain and bliss.
Of course, he does lay on her the mother of all zingers: “Tae-yang, I think I might love you.” As far as cliffhangers go, it’s a pretty standard one, but always pretty effective. HyoJin stares numbly as our eyes at home bug out.

—SubPop’s LOSER makes an appearance. Indie rock slash Seattle shout out everybody! Who on the Master’s staff has a rocker heart and dug out this iconic shirt?
—JiSub wears gorgeous loafers and while I don’t normally like men who wear silk scarves and unbutton their shirts halfway down their chests, well, I guess pure sexy can make me like anything. You go, JiSub, for making me re-evaluate gaping v-necks on men.
—InGuk ended up gifting HyoJin the pink GongShil dino after all…after he pitched it into the recycling bin. The original Dooly and GongShil toys purchased were adopted by the two local kiddies. I sure do hope InGuk bought another dino couple instead of stealing those back from the kids? You know, not only because stealing toys from kids is lame, but to help with the economy and all.
—Really? Who likes walnut pies that much? Pecan, I understand, but walnut ones? No offense intended, walnut lovers.


  1. Love it! Really enjoyed your thoughts on Master's Sun. You've clarified many things for me and also pointed out things I'd missed. Made it a richer experience when I re-watch each episode. So, thank you! ^^

  2. I'm curious of how she's going to answer to Joong Won's confession. Does she believe him? Is he playing with her? Will we get another kiss where everybody's souls are in place? Can't wait for the new episodes.

    "The original Dooly and GongShil toys purchased were adopted by the two local kiddies. I sure do hope InGuk bought another dino couple instead of stealing those back from the kids? "

    Haha, I didn't realize it but it's funny to think that maybe he totally did steal them back.

    1. Heh. I totally miss those cutie pie kids! I hope they pop up again soon.

  3. I LOVE reading your thoughts on this drama & speculations about SJSxGHJ! Thank you so so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

    After reading this, I feel like I understand much more about the plot, and about what they are feeling! Thank you thank you!

    Please write more when you have time, thanks so much!

  4. I'm waiting to marathon Master's Sun so I skipped all that part, but I did want to say, Park Shin-hye and Yoo Ah-in?!? Sold!! :D

    I'd never thought of it before but now I have a new k-drama dream. Thanks!

    --Betsy Hp

    1. I know, right? I think they would be SO amazing together, both being such unconventional talents that have the ability to bring to life unique personalities. I think forces combined they would bring out the best in the other. It's kind of like how I wish Bae Doona and Won Bin would reunite...sigh. Oh, the dreams.

  5. I'm totally addicted to this drama! It's such a relief to see the Hong Sisters back after the disaster of Big.

    I also look forward to Heirs, even though the story line is so cliche and pretty much just another Boys Over Flowers. But all the gorgeous people in it! Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, and Kim Woo Bin! Yep, definitely watching it! Haha.

    1. It does sound like BOF redo, doesn't it? And I'm not sure I love the Gossip Girl comparisons much either. BUT who knows? There is some real talent in there amongst all the pretty. I hope this drama surprises us, like Master's is doing! *fingers crossed* Or maybe the kworld is ready for another wacky BOF to shake the lands?


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