Thursday, 7 June 2012

Rooftop Prince & The King 2 Hearts Finale, I Do I Do, and Queen InHyun's Man.

I'm on a K-drama roll this year. Really. I haven't seen this many dramas consecutively in ages.
I'm writing this entry within the comfort of my own room, back home, in Ipswich. Yes I just finished my first year of university, it feels so damn surreal. Feels just like yesterday when I spazzed about moving into Leeds with my friend to start my university life. And here I am now, trying to comprehend how fast time has gone by...

Anyway, back to the main topic of this entry. I shall be talking about 'Rooftop Prince' and 'The King 2 Hearts' finale - spoilers ahead, thoughts on the first two episodes of 'I Do I Do', and 14 episodes of 'Queen InHyun's Man' - I have a lot to say about this drama mainly due to Ji HyunWoo.

Right now, where to begin?

Rooftop Prince

Yes, I gave this drama a second chance, purely because I was bored, YooChun was in it, and I felt that the drama has potential to improve. And it did.

Overall the drama was basically a light hearted romcom. Nothing too serious about it. Something just for laughs really. Not much emphasis on mystery of the princess' death throughout the drama, it's mainly focused upon in the beginning and the end.
I wouldn't highly recommend it to people, but it's something you can watch when you're bored. Not the best drama this year. Not really a waste of time either. It's an okay drama. I would give it a 6 or 7 out of 10.

Here comes the spoilers.

The ending was satisfying and realistic.

The writers didn't have to entirely meet the demands of the viewers. I liked that.

Everything was explained in the end in a clear manner, thus clearing my intial scepticism of the drama. It unfolded well.
Though I did feel slightly confused as to how YiGak eventually understood what really happened back in Joseon. How did he find out every little detail so quickly? There wasn't much emphasis put into that aspect of the narrative. I also felt that it was a bit sudden that they suddenly mentioned TaeMu's ancestor. I mean, he could have at least appeared or been mentioned in the first episode.

The most realistic thing about the ending was the fact that YiGak had to eventually return to Joseon and Pak Ha understood. Though I did find their wedding to be a bit on the crazy side. But it was cute. They both took it very well. The parting was bittersweet. But it had to be done.
The whole letter to Pak Ha from Joseon was adorable too, but it was still saddening at the same time how the letter was pretty much the last thing YiGak communicated to Pak Ha.
Despite this depressing aspect of the ending, I liked how the writers kept the drama's themes - happiness and humour, intact.
How we see ChiSan jamming to his iPod - in which it would become useless once it runs out of power, YongSool offering gum in exchange for food, and the four of them sitting down to eat some good old omurice.
And the omurice stall! All because of Pak Ha.
This is a really satisfying scene since I personally feel that the three of them are coping with their departure from modern day Korea by cooking omurice and eating it all together in their comfy power rangers outfits.

I felt slightly confused and a bit unsure at the very end of the drama. How the real TaeYong appeared to meet Pak Ha, but then we are shown YiGak, thus hinting that Pak Ha is reminded of YiGak through TaeYong.
But what is the meaning behind TaeYong meeting Pak Ha is the real question here. Are the writers suggesting that they're going to get together? Is TaeYong interested in Pak Ha? Heck, is that even TaeYong? Wasn't he a human vegetable? Or is Pak Ha being delusional? Curses this kind of an open ending!

I was glad that TaeMu got what he deserved, and even more glad when SeNa turned herself in. Initially, as viewers, we were made to believe that SeNa and TaeMu will never turn to the good side, they were too stubborn and committed far too many bad deeds to turn over a new leaf, they were villains.
We hated TaeMu for being a greedy bastard and SeNa for being a snobby bitch.
However, only TaeMu turned out to be the stubborn one till the very end. I believe we witnessed a few cracks in SeNa's bitchy persona, a few moments were her weakness was shown. She was a fragile girl, easily scared by threats, utilising lies to make her feel stronger. In the end she cracked when someone's life was at stake, her real younger sister, Pak Ha. SeNa regained the viewers' respect in the end when she turned herself in, realising her mistakes. Her 'mothers' were almost like the representatives of the viewers, telling her that it's okay, as long as she understands that she's wrong, something good will happen to her in return. That was a touching moment.
It also links with SeNa's ancestor I guess. How she was merely a powerless pawn.

The King 2 Hearts

An enjoyable series overall. I loved it. It felt fresh and definitely something out of the comfort zone - well for me personally.
It wasn't entirely focused on romance, it balanced well with the political conflicts - action, how both acted in relation to each other, as if it was cause and effect. These themes were in complimentary with each other.

Both characters were strong in different ways. HangAh was physically strong and JaeHa was stronger in terms of intellect and influence. I found JaeHa to be an interesting character, laid back most of the time yet hard working and serious when necessary. He didn't want to become king, but eventually accepted it, because his hyung mattered that much to him.
Having studied feminism in the media recently I can't help but see that HangAh is still the damsel in distress in this drama despite her militarian character. She was treated as a dainty girl at times when she was in the palace, she had to restrict herself. Perhaps it's due to the influence of society, how the potential queen must live up to the expectations of being a submissive being, especially when she had come from North Korea as well, she was put into more pressure. But then there's also the aspect where she no longer wants to be the strong Hulk-like woman, but instead a fragile girl who only wants a man to marry.

Another aspect of this drama that I really liked was the villain. The villain was interesting. He wasn't dashing and suave villain in a sexy black suit most of the time, he was pretty much a loser with a child-like mind getting everything he wanted through influence and power. He was just eccentric.
Despite his childish personality he was very strategical. Him being slightly childish was actually pretty creepy. Magic tricks to threaten and potentially harm people. Giving his dangerous assassin a cute child-like name, Bong Bong. He was a messed up man alright.

The ending was intense and well thought out.

Nations basically ready to release fire at will.
South Korea being taken as hostage by North Korea, threatening to shoot if America shoots (omg hetalia).
Pressuring someone for a decision during gun point.
Utilising JaeHa and HangAh's wedding in order to stop perhaps WWIII from happening - awesome solution or what? Though quite corny...

Again, a few realistic factors were included as there is still some kind of tension between South and North, how the South believe that the North should remain submissive since Southern citizens criticised JaeHa and HangAh's child for using Northern dialect. As well as how they should all still be wary of Club M despite BongGu getting jailed.

Though, I am still upset over ShiKyung's death. It was like City Hunter all over again. The guy tells the girl that he'll come back and makes a promise. Promise ends up being broken because the guy dies in the hands of the villain. Fab.
Eun ShiKyung was innocent. Why did you kill him?! *flail punches writers*
Got me tearing up during that scene when JaeShin watched a pre-recorded video of ShiKyung telling her that he'll come back as a humourous man /insert ugly sobbing here.
Why ShiKyunhg, why are you like this?
Damn you writers.
I wanted to see a ShiKyung making silly jokes to JaeShin at their wedding. I wanted to see JaeHa clinking glasses with ShiKyung in celebration of them becoming brother-in-laws!!

Excuse me while I flail in feels.

Definitely would recommend this drama to people.
Best drama of the year? No, not really. It's up somewhere near there though. A rating of 8 out of 10 I would say. 
After I finished this drama I ended up watching Secret Garden again because I love how Ha JiWon is always playing the fiesty strong-woman character!

I Do, I Do

Initially I wasn't too interested in the drama but then my friend convinced me to give it a shot, in which I did, and I thorogouhly enjoyed it.

Plenty of humour was packed in this drama. Love it.
Lee JangWoo's character is hilarious. JangWoo's acting felt natural as well. The comical scenes were indeed exaggerated, but it wasn't something cringeworthy like Jung IlWoo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. JangWoo really got into the shoes of his character because I started believing that he was just the same in real life too, girlish screams and all.

Why wasn't I interested in this drama featuring the legendary Kim SunAh in the first place?
Call me dated all you want, but I can't help but feel weird about older-woman relationships. Not that I'm against them or anything, but I just find them...weird. Perhaps I'm too tied/used to social constructs where the man must be of a higher position in terms of relationships, income and age. I don't know, personally I wouldn't want to be the older one in relationships so...
Oh, and call me shallow, brick me all you want, but I couldn't help but feel a bit weary that SunAh is a bit too old to be the main actress of a romcom..?
But don't worry, I totally forgot about the age thing whilst watching this drama. How SunAh is in her late 30s in reality but still looked like a late 20s babe. And the age gap worked well since it gave room for humour.

I am looking forward to the rest of this drama. Especially how the relationship between JangWoo's and SunAh's characters can develop into love.

Oh and I think Park GunHyung is pretty fit in this drama. He's just so charming!

Queen InHyun's Man

It got me squealing, screaming, flailing and melting. Seriously. Well, mainly because of the main actor, Ji HyunWoo, but I'll spazz talk about him later.
Currently waiting for episode 15 to be subbed and 16 to be aired. Expect an entry that expresses my exploding feels soon.

This drama is the ultimate fluff drama I tell you. Everything about it is fluffy!
It's adorable. Ji HyunWoo's character, BungDo, is so freaking clever and romantic. Yoo InNa's character, Hee Jin, is perky and cute.
I love this drama to bits!

Alright. So initially I was a bit weary of this drama. It looked mellow and slightly...boring. It looked incredibly far too romantic for my liking. I mean, look at the poster!
But a few people on Twitter recommended me to go watch it, and so I did - purely because I wanted to watch a drama on the 3 hour train back home on Monday. So I tried out the first episode on Sunday evening, or to be exact, 3am on Monday, and loved it.
Watched episode 2 and 3 on the train, hooked.
I ended up watching from episode 4 to 12 yesterday. Now that is something. This is perhaps the second drama that I've watched so quickly and consecutively - first being Coffee Prince when I rewatched it in April. So perhaps it holds potential to become one of my favourite dramas of all time? Only the final episodes could determine that...

Comparing this drama to Rooftop Prince, I must say that I very much prefer QIHM over RP.

QHIM was more complex. BungDo kept travelling to and back between Joseon and Korea. Whatever he changed back in Joseon affected Korea. I liked this kind of complexity. Mainly because the effects pretty much only effected on HeeJin's drama filming, not like the entire nation - now that would have been overly complex and confusing. It was basically change that was important on a small scale, which is necessary in order to keep audience engagement. If it actually affected the entire nation then that is going to be hard to write. There would be too much information for the audience to process. The writers have kept it simple for us.
Also I like how it was made possible that the dates between Joseon and Korea were kept in sync with each other. However long BungDo stayed in Korea meant how long he had disappeared for in Joseon.

BungDo was a clever guy who could adapt sensibly and calmly to modern Korea. Whereas YiGak was a bit...stubborn, perhaps, to blend in properly. YiGak was pretty dumb compared to BungDo. But then again YiGak adapting to modern life was quite funny. BungDo was a bit boring, then again it was actually cute.
Additionally, BungDo's strategicness had me mind blown in the later episodes - mainly episode 14. He knows how to utilise time properly and wisely in order to change history for the better.

Oh and BungDo can fight. YiGak? He has YongSul. I has much respect for a man who could fend for himself /bricked.

Anyway, enough with the comparisons.

I have one thing that I don't really like about the drama: the camera and editting.
I don't hate it, but I don't think I like it either.  It can leave the viewer unsatisfied and a bit intimidated. It's too busy.
 The multiple cuts of the character in different angles with each cut sometimes work when the character is angry or being spontaneous and quick with their words. Sometimes it feels like the multiple angles are too over done. Sometimes it feels like the flow of their sentences have been cut and ruined, jagged and staggered.
 Oh and dear loard, the phone conversations scenes. I like how it is edited to show both of the people's faces at the same time, but when their panels starts to move...just stop. There's too much for the viewer to focus on. The viewer has to follow the freaking character's 'panel' to see their reaction, whilst trying to pay attention to the other character's 'panel' to see their response. It doesn't help when the panels move, making the audience have to work harder in order to entirely take in the scene. Heck, it's even harder when us foreign viewers attempt to read the subtitles too!
I know it could be used to give a sense of pace on the drama, as well as make it look more modern and 'hip', but sometimes, it's just too overdone, cluttered, overworked that it loses...flow.

This drama is definitely recommended. And perhaps if it had ended on episode 14 I would have given it a 9 out of 10! But alas, there's 2 more episodes left, meaning more drama has yet to come. It's going to be another rollercoaster ride of emotions for me *sighs*

I swear, the previews for this drama make me want to not carry on watching the drama because it keeps showing the horrible heart wrenching parts of the next episode! My poor little heart can't take it!

Can I talk about BungDo Ji HyunWoo now? 

ignore the rest of this entry if you don't want to know how infatuated I am with the main actor of this drama  right now

I'll start by stating that this fellow has climbed himself up my bias list ladder, dodging Tao and his wushu stick, effortlessly and landed himself on my bias list pool. But it doesn't stop there. He's making his way towards the ultimate bias thrones where YooChun and Onew had been sitting on for years. 
Ji HyunWoo's a threat to my overall bias list I tell you.

He looks old in some angles, shots and expressions. Sometimes when he smiles he looked kind of weird, old yet strangely cute.
He is incredibly manly looking but cute at the same time.

And mother of God.
When his character suggested that HeeJin spends the night with him.
That cute pout.
It looks weird, strange and odd, but at the same time I find it adorable.
I mean. If I was HeeJin I would be all over him after he shoots me that pout. Heck, I think I would be all over him already by just being in the same room as him! Yes I am that attracted to him right now guhhh!!!

And holy crap! This guy has really nice singing vocals and is great at guitar! Talk about romantic! Have you guys seen the YouTube videos of him strumming his guitar while singing English songs? OMG SOMEONE HOLD ME *fans self*

But yes, indeed I had been shrieking like some school girl throughout the episodes whenever he done something that I deemed as cute - which is basically EVERYTHING, and whenever he smiles I just gush over how perfect he looks despite the smile looking slightly crooked.


Let's just say if someone asked me who my ideal guy is now I'll just reply "someone like Ji HyunWoo, actually can't Ji HyunWoo just marry me?"

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