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Catching up with Kdramaland

April 20, 2010

The “new” crop of Wed/Thurs dramas are now 6 episodes deep and it’s a good a time as any to check in and see how things are going. I’m not having any love affairs with any of these dramas but each have held enough interest for me to continue. (The reason isn’t because I have no life… atleast not the primary reason.) It’s because of the following: Son Ye Jin, Kim So Yeon, Moon Geun Young, Chun Jung Myung (yummers), and Seo Woo (after her initial annoying phase) are all showing why they are some of the most talented actors in the industry today.

In the ratings battle, Cinderella Sister has been consistently on top with numbers in the high teens. Personal Taste has been following suit with low teen figures and Prosecutor Princess finally broke double digits in last week’s episodes. Personally, I’m enjoying Cinderella Sister heads above the other two, especially after the first 2 episodes of the series. The other two make me laugh and fume in one episode, which makes them an interesting watch.

Prosecutor Princess

I’ve liked Kim So Yeon since she played the crazy bitch in All About Eve. I haven’t watched IRIS but may take a gander just to watch her play a badass North Korean. It’s a weird change to see her as the seemingly carefree, frivolous lady – caring more about her shoes (which she names Grace) than just about anything else. Throughout the first few episodes, I thought she looked a little awkward as Ma Hye Ri. She was always a little slumped over, as though she wasn’t comfortable in her own skin. I just figured it was Kim So Yeon adjusting to the different role but seeing this past episode, it not only makes sense but is quite clever.

(SPOILER ALERT!) Initially, I found the confidence issues stemming from her major weight loss kinda interesting, but the writer and PD (combo from Brilliant Legacy) portray the overweight Ma Hye Ri as a total loser and even shows the now thin Hye Ri tied to her scale and looking incredulous at the 48kg (103lbs) on the scale after a large meal of Chinese food. I know that Korea is very weight conscience, especially for women, but watching the scene was pretty infuriating. (END SPOILER)

I have a soft spot for General Choi, I mean Han Sung Soo, because of Conspiracy in the Court and Chuno. I don’t exactly find his character enticing or even that interesting, but it’s hard to deny that he’s a sexy man. On the other hand, Park Shi Hoo is not only a robotic actor, but quite an annoying one, especially when he does his fake laugh. In the end, Kim So Yeon is the reason why I keep watching. And I didn’t really like Brilliant Legacy until about third of the way in, so I’m holding out hope that things will turn around.

Personal Taste

I really like Son Ye Jin. The weird this is that I haven’t seen her in anything else besides My Wife Got Married. I’m not sure why that is, it just happened that way. I really want to watch Alone in Love, but the drama isn’t readily available for viewing. Watching Personal Taste, makes me want to just eat her up. I know she’s overworking it, but I still find her to be so adorable. Her character is pretty flat, but oh she’s so cute.

The rest of the series isn’t doing much for me at all. Lee Min Ho is pretty. Really pretty. But I just can’t get into his character. I want to like him more but I can’t and I don’t really enjoy the gay jokes. Kim Ji Suk and Wang Ji Hye are completely wasted as kdrama one-dimensional sidenotes. I mean, do they have to be such stereotypes? An utter waste.

Unlike Prosecutor Princess, I’m not holding out much hope for Personal Taste – especially because it’s based on what seems like a chick lit story. (Not that chick lits are bad, but generally what you see is what you get.) I’m just watching to see a Son Ye Jin project and a pretty Lee Min Ho.

Cinderella’s Sister

OK. Here we go. As the best drama in the Wed/Thurs slot, Cinderella’s Sister is getting better by the minute. I didn’t think much of the first couple of episodes, but am really digging the recent episodes. I just love Moon Geun Young‘s Eun Jo. I love that she’s such an imperfect, wounded character. So many kdramas have female characters face hardship living these bright and cheery lives, so it’s refreshing to see Eun Jo lash out at her mother, hold back all of her feelings, and be a bitch to the nth degree. And Moon Geun Young infuses so much complex emotions into some of her scenes that I physically want to reach into the computer and hold her hand.

I had no idea Chun Jung Myung was so hot. I’ve apparently been living under a rock. In the first two episodes, I found his silly grin to be a little creepy but the scene where he yells at his half-brother (in episode 2) had my heart pumping and wanting more. And then episode 3 came and I fell in love. I think his character can develop more but I hear cheesy love songs in my head when he comes on screen… namely Lost in Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson.

Seo Woo started out quite annoying, playing the overly sweet little Cinderella, Hyo Sun, but I’m starting to like her character as the series progresses. She’s just so sad and dark, veiled in a ballerina tutu and innocent smile. And now that she’s lost her sugary cheery nature, the complex part of her character is coming out, giving Seo Woo a chance to show off her acting chops. (I just watched Paju, so I know the girl can act.)

Lastly, Taecyeon . I don’t know everyone in 2PM but Taecyeon’s my favorite mostly because I heard he was a nerd in high school. He hasn’t seen much action so far, which I think is a good thing for him. He’s been cute enough, turning Eun Jo’s shoes for her and saluting to his marine sun-baes. And for some reason, I find his perpetually red ears to be amusing. I’ll hold out real judgment until he has more than 2 sentences strung together.

As a story loosely based on a fairy tale, I guess it made sense to have the fairy tale elements thrown in. But it’s such an afterthought that it seems so out of place. I’m usually a fan of fantasy sequences, but I feel like it’s a bit of a cop out to portray Eun Jo’s emotions through these oddly places scenes instead of just letting the story do its work. Or if they’re planning to keep the fairy tale element, I wish they would just commit and show it in every episode.

So what do you think? Which one’s your favorite?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 6:00 am

    i’ve been watching personal taste and so far i am enjoying it for the simple reason that it makes me laugh, in this hard times and harsh reality, i need to escape real life even for an hour to watch silly gay jokes and one really hot leading actor ( who needs heavy tear jerking mind bogling shows – i already have that in my life).

  2. ditdut permalink
    April 20, 2010 1:28 pm

    I’m holding out hope for PP as well because I enjoyed BL immensely. Like you, I’m so not into the men of PP. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if they substitute the men’s screen time for Ma Hyeri’s mom.

    Between Jinho and Changryul, I actually care more about the latter. At least he carries his character with a lot of colour. The same cannot be said about Lee Minho.

    I know MGY is great, but at this point, I’m becoming more interested in Hyosun. She’s got a complex situation right now and I’m looking forward to see how she would play out in the future. Whereas Eunjo, while beautifully portrayed, just seems like she’s hit a stagnant point as a character. I feel like we’re missing so much because we can’t see what the 8 years were like for her. Right now, her character feels already established.

    And Kihoon shall go back to his older hairdo.

    But basically, it’s Cinderella Sister for me.

  3. April 20, 2010 3:39 pm

    I pretty much gave up on PP after the first episode because it was way too frivolous for my taste. At least PT had some weighty scenes all thanks to the brilliant acting of Sohn Ye Jin, but PP just seemed like fluff so I couldn’t get into it.

    PT took a while for me to enjoy watching, but it was the bonding moments in episodes 5 & 6 between SYJ’s and LMH’s characters that gripped my attention. I’m glad it’s picked up because it was bumming me out that SYJ wasn’t being given the chance to show off her acting chops thus far.

    CS.. oh, CS.. I love it. I’m a sucker for whimsy, so I actually enjoy the little touches of fairy-tale like ambiance they add in, but I see what you’re saying. It does seem like a copout that once the drama started heading into the melodrama territory, the whimsical scenes made a complete disappearance. And you echoed all of my thoughts on Taecyeon as well. He’s not as big of a disappointment as I thought he’d be, and I’m quite relieved about that. I’m hoping that when he’s given more dialogue, his lack of acting experience won’t stand out too much against the others.

  4. tinysunbl permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:13 pm

    I shared the same sentiments when I first started PP. The men were utterly boring at first. Well AT FIRST, because things get better as the drama progresses. Park Shi Hoo acts more and more naturally, and his character is shrouded in mystery, making me unable to wait and see what’s in his cards. Han Jung Soo is hot as hell. I guess his stiffness can be seen as sexy, but I’d say there isn’t much character development or depth for him. Kim So Yeon is one of those actresses that can’t go wrong in any role. SHE can’t be more AWESOME!

    CS storyline and Eun Joo’s cynical attitude really tired me out. I tried so hard to enjoy the story, but it just feels off.

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