Tag: korean drama

lonely goblin

I picked up Lonely Shining Goblin and Legend of the Deep Blue Sea at the same time, but only Goblin felt truly inventive.  It was brooding and patient (occasionally too much so), and Lee Dong Wook’s grim reaper was reminiscent of another drama I liked, although it didn’t quite reach its potential, Blade Man.

For me, the best thing about this drama is the mood.

The-Lonely-Shining-Goblin-sword-in-chest.jpg

SPOILERS AHEAD

Highlighting Lee Dong Wook as an actor isn’t to imply that it wasn’t great to spend time with Gong Yoo on the small screen again, but as much as I hate to say so, Gong Yoo’s gravitas may have overgrown the TV medium.   Although he did well embody the longing one might expect from a goblin who had brooded for 500 years, reflecting on tragedy and injustice, suffering without intimacies.

Yet having seen him in films like A Man and a Woman, I couldn’t shake the feeling that a mature partner for him would have been more appealing.

Kim Go-Eun did move my heart in scenes, even out-shining her more seasoned costars.  Especially, her capacity for anguish was startling for one so young.  But the ultra light-and-girly way her character was written didn’t allow for deep enough chemistry between the two.  By contrast, her Cheese in the Trap character held to a grounded center.  I much preferred her there.

Overall, I was pleased with facets of time and memory, overlap and questioning of identities, virtue and vice, even though some connections weren’t quite made.  Long episodes were appropriate, fitting to the desired epic scale.

that reason knows not of

A compelling reason to write again, having reached the second to last episode of This Week, My Wife is Having an Affair!

TWMWHA

– SPOILERS –

This Week, My Wife is Having an Affair has not been an enjoyable watch exactly, not light nor fluffy, but neither has it been predictable or dishonest.  What the writers seem to want to say is along the lines of, divorce isn’t something that something that happens only to ‘bad’ people, or to people who married for the wrong reasons, or to people who aren’t kind and loving, well-prepared, or who have no support.  It happens.  It is usually horrible and sad, and can be made harder by relentless judgments about others’ lives from the outside.

Here, this is well displayed by internet commenters who become more caught up in Toycrane‘s life than their own, who try to work out their own dramas through his. And there are bystanders–people hurt without any involvement in blame.

I found that impression to be thoughtful, lasting.

Although the writers show compassion for the wife’s longings and her difficult, mostly-silent struggle, they don’t leave the affair as an option.  Yes, it is obviously an option because it happens, but it is something they can never take back, which has effects simply because it has effects… just like a death is something one can’t undo… fundamentally changing everything, and one’s view of everything, both forward and backward.

The show so far seems to be saying that there can be no recovery, but we’ll see. I myself can imagine scenarios in which a new relationship, but with the same people, is possible.

[ending spoilers ahead]

I like that the show gives other relationship examples, and shows change of personality when someone experiences a sudden loss, coupled with the abandonment of beliefs they may not have even realized they were operating in.  Even for a character very much led by mere excitement for other women, sex doesn’t seem to be the driving force, but rather a fundamental misunderstanding within himself.

That string also touches on a recurring theme in K- drama, ways in which extreme wealth can affect sincerity or motivations.

Continue reading “that reason knows not of”

Moon Lovers (Curtain Closure)

[SPOILERS]

It is a good feeling… to find a finale subbed early in the day. Before reading anyone else’s thoughts, I can rush to this page and first give a bow of thanks for all that was right, before tempering that thanks with just a few comments to show I didn’t partake obliviously.

Although, I may have suspended disbelief more than most. 😉

What matters to me when dust has settled, is whether Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo conveyed something unique… imparted an emotional experience. And it did. The story itself was told in a substantive way that gave textures to contemplate and carry forward.

shg7

Continue reading “Moon Lovers (Curtain Closure)”

Hard Pill

[Spoilers, Cheese in the Trap re-watch: episodes 13 – 16 (Final)]    CiTT posts in order 

I’m not sure when this turned into recaps when I never meant to do such a thing, but it has been a good tool to work through unarticulated impressions, with distance from the first viewing.

I’m not going to go through all the scenes that get us to the high and low points of the next few episodes, which in many ways felt flimsy.  Basically, there are a number of ‘testing’ situations… Seol setting limits, Jung defaulting to usual patterns, and Seol dealing with In Ho’s now openly expressed feelings.

Ready to be dropped off a cliff?

Me neither but here we go.

Continue reading “Hard Pill”

As You Are, if You Know

[Spoilers: Cheese in the Trap – re-watch, episode 12]

CiTT posts in order.

Episode 12 is actually another worthy of its own attention. I see it as the flip side of 11, where Seol’s vulnerability and anger surfaces, and she finds comfort in Jung, who then matches her in kind. Both are achingly raw with each other, but tested too soon. Jung closes abruptly, hurt mostly by his own unfamiliar openness.  

Having seen both Jung’s warmth and coldness in play, perhaps Seol feels she can talk him through what she is coming to know about expression and ‘prevention’. He can be genuine and warm with her; can he also be honest? Can she risk being honest with him too, about all the ‘little things’ she is afraid will hit his many triggers?

What will it take to maneuver this minefield together?
Continue reading “As You Are, if You Know”

Sometimes I, Even I…

[Spoilers – re-watch episode 11]

CiTT in order.

I am now so sucked in, so invested, that I’m scared to have forgotten what I know about the drama on the whole. Am I about to be blindsided again? I can’t help myself – the character study is intricate, and episode 11 especially, hits me right in the gut. I find both Seol and Jung too deeply relatable and am projecting on them full speed ahead, myself an introverted only then oldest child, raised in a small and fragmented family.

When Seol finally erupts at the unfairness of treatment by her parents in comparison with her younger brother who has priority of resources as a male, it is one of the drama’s pinnacle moments.          Continue reading “Sometimes I, Even I…”

Who Exactly, Are You?

[Spoilers for re-watch, episodes 8, 9, 10]

CiTT in order.

It might have worked a number of ways, actually. Here in the middle episodes we may have been able to shift away from Jung/Seol for a while, and to consider In Ho/Seol. We could have been honestly torn, and come to accept a change of heart, or have backed up enough from both to see them growing up in parallel through unique challenges.

However, for In Ho to supplant Jung in Seol’s affections, the writer would have had to start solving Jung for us in another way by now…

watching-video

Continue reading “Who Exactly, Are You?”