A Year in Review: KDrama Watching in 2010

I debated for a while on whether I should write up this post. I mean, come on – every other Kdrama blogging site is doing one. Or, the ones I read do. I also admittedly have skimmed through a lot. Yes. Skim.

I have to say that 2010 was a big year for me in terms of dramas. I have never worked so closely with dramas before, and recapping is a pure joy. As I was compiling the list, I realized that I saw more dramas than I ever have in my entire life. Some were not to completion, and some were fleeting. But I included them in the list because I get to explain why I didn’t continue a certain drama. I also realized that I watched a LOT of SBS dramas. I also saw a lot of dramas that were not made or released in 2010, but more like catching up.

So here goes, a review of dramas I saw that came out in 2010 – the good, the meh, and the bad.

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News Bits: 7/9/10 Edition

Se7en is making his comeback with an album on July 21, but to hype it up he released a teaser today. There’s nothing special to the teaser – you don’t even hear his voice. However there is a definite techno/auto-tune thing going on for at least this single.

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Prosecutor Princess’ Rising Ratings

Anyone following this drama as avidly as I am!?

Prosecutor Princess‘ ratings have been rising in the past two weeks. While it’s still too early to determine its ratings for this week, last week it surpassed Personal Taste (finally!) and snagged second behind Cinderella’s Sister. The reason was supposedly because of the mystery coming out into the open in episode 13, where Ma Sang Tae (played by Choi Jung WooShining Inheritance) revealed his guilty past to Seo In Woo (Park Shi Hoo). The fact that it surpassed Personal Taste is also another reason why more viewers may be tuning in this week.

Plenty of fans have drawn up their own conclusions and hypotheses on what would happen in the last two episodes, airing this week. Most have agreed that Ma Sang Tae, who is also the father of Ma Hye Ri (Kim So Yeon), is not guilty, but is instead lying to cover up for someone else. After all, everyone wants to see the two main leads (In Woo and Hye Ri) get together without such a sordid history behind them. On top of that, the developing second story line between Han Jung Soo and Choi Song Hyun‘s characters have garnered enough interest that fans want them to get married.

All I can say is, it’s about time Prosecutor Princess gets some more attention, because it’s not just rom-com fluff. After all, the writer is So Hyun Kyung, who last wrote Shining Inheritance before this, and we all know how popular and well-made that one was right?

sources: soompi, parkshihoo.com

An Amusing Comparison – Part II

And the comparison goes on…!

6. Work and Love, Love and Work: The story for all three stories are set at the workplace

Prosecutor Princess“: It is impossible to perfectly reenact the process of investigation that prosecutors carry out unless the program is a reality documentary. However, “Princess Prosecutor” adds an abundance of detail into depicting the daily life of a civil servant. The show has received reviews that even regular office workers can relate to the portrayal of the job description of a rookie prosecutor. “Princess” could become a good example of an office drama if it lays out the process of investigations with common sense.

Personal Taste“: One can’t really say it is specialized. The drama does not explain through what process a house is designed, how to trim the different kinds of wood in order to make furniture, or what the necessary preparations are in carrying out a bidding. The scenes where Park Gae-in takes part in a furniture exhibition and has Jun Jin-ho cut the acrylic from a blind in order to avoid an emergency situation adds onto the sense of reality in telling the difficulties one struggles as an employee.

Cinderella’s Sister“: Everyone gathers together at the makgeolli brewery called “Daesungdoga.” However, Goo Dae-sung’s world of abundance is one of the things that Song Gang-sook wants, and it does not display any characteristics of a work place. One might forget that it is a brewery, if it did not show the scene of Goo Hyo-seon (played by Seo Woo) drinking the residue left after rice liquor is drained before going to school. As a whole, the story of the self-righteous self-made owner, the femme fatale-like new lady of the house, the naive yet talkative workers and the large family all seem like trite set-ups.

WINNER: Prosecutor Princess

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An Amusing Comparison – Part I

I just realized this is another “drama trifecta” post I’m putting up. =D

The following article is an interesting analysis of the three dramas head to head on Wednesday-Thursday nights: Cinderella’s Sister, Prosecutor Princess, and Personal Taste. It has ten categories and basically compares which drama has the edge under that category.

I ❤ this analysis. It’s too funny! I’ll put up who gets the most “first place” wins at the end.

[FOCUS] Wednesday/Thursday drama rivalry – Part 1

1. The Moment of Truth: The one scene where you can witness the producers’ hard efforts

Cinderella’s Sister” Song Gang-sook (played by Lee Mi-sook) wraps her arms around Goo Dae-sung (played by Kim Gap-soo) when she is startled while riding on the back of his rattling bicycle. But the bike actually rattled because Song Gang-sook had kicked its rear wheel. This single scene describes what the show’s two characters are like — the sly Song Gang-sook and the clueless Goo Dae-sung — and sums up their romantic emotions for each other. Thanks to such scenes, “Cinderella’s Sister” explained its basic set-up in one episode and went on to unfold its main story. How the producers left a lingering feeling through restrained forms of expression, such as simply showing the bike left behind after the two characters fall from a low slanted row, rather than attempting to explain the details of the incident, was also impressive.

Prosecutor Princess” At work, Ma Hye-ri (played by Kim So-yeon) sometimes positions herself in front of her desk as if sitting in a chair but actually will pose herself in a posture she learned during yoga class. That is how much she is of a woman who considers that beauty as a woman is important, even while she is at work, and that is why it is inevitable that she clash with the rigid organization composed of prosecutors. Such is how her character is described clearly and the element of conflict existent within the show. It is a bit disappointing to see how she, as one who has a preference for luxury goods, merely adds on a pen with a decoration on hanging from it when she decides to decorate her office at work. The show could have done better in showing Ma Hye-ri’s style in more detail.

Personal Taste” Why did Jun Jin-ho (played by Lee Min-ho) not drive his own car when he had to carry an important construction model. He could have at least called a cab. But he ends up riding a bus with Park Gae-in (played by Son Ye-jin) and as expected, the model breaks. The incident even happens when he mistakenly touches Park Gae-in’s bottom and is driven as a sexual molester. The incident is trite and instead of it creating conflict, it is one that has been created in order to produce conflict. The first episode, important to the drama’s beginning, wasted time by failing to bring out the characteristics of the two characters.

WINNER: Cinderella’s Sister

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Behind the Scenes with OML, PP, PT

There is no way I can pass up an opportunity to put up a cute kid’s photos here. There is also no way I can miss the opportunity to see Yoon Eun Hye‘s pretty face here too. And there is no way I can’t report about the other two and not about Prosecutor Princess!

BEWARE – spoilers may abound with these pictures, depending on how far you are in the series.

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The Future of Personal Taste

From here on out, strong-ratings drama Personal Taste will be showing greater character growth and development – particularly for Son Ye Jin‘s character. The interview has a few spoilers in it for those who don’t watch it or haven’t started yet, but it also has the actors Lee Min Ho and Son discussing their characters and how their image as actors have changed.

The drama has been performing quite consistently, even though Cinderella’s Sister has been busting all other dramas’ asses ever since its premiere. Cinderella’s Sister’s ratings went down a percent this past week from Wednesday to Thursday, but had its highest overall rating ever. Personal Taste has been rising in the 10-13 percent range, while Prosecutor Princess has maintained a low 10% rating (*sob!*).

I’ll keep the plot spoilers to the end, so that others may read the actors’ responses without seeing the spoilers even peripherally!

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Yoon Eun Hye Does Double Duty

Yoon Eun Hye recently flew to Paris for a photo shoot for W Korea. Instead of an edgy or a cutesy or a catalog photo shoot, this one shows off her more feminine side. One of the photos makes her appear more curvy than she really is too (which I think is also the sexiest of all the photos).

But she is not just a model! She will also have a cameo role in Personal Taste for next week’s episode. She will play an ex-girlfriend of Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho) and will bump into him and Kae In (Son Ye Jin). That has got to be awkward – especially with Kae In still believing that Jin Ho is gay.

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News Bits: 3/29/10 Edition

There is happy and sad news.

Choi Jin Young, the younger brother of Choi Jin Shil, recently committed suicide. His death comes 18 months after his sister’s and mirrors the same situation. He was an actor who was planning to return to acting earlier this month. He had been battling depression like his older sister, but now he leaves behind his niece and nephew (his sister’s children). I cannot believe that such a thing could happen and I’m unhappy that he couldn’t reach out and stay strong – especially for the sake of the kids. Now the kids have lost their mother and father figure. Though it would be bad if they ended up under their father’s custody (the notorious baseball player Jo Sung Min, who had domestically abused Choi during their marriage), I do hope that their father can get his act together and be there for his children too.

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