And so my love affair with Korean drama continues. From a curious kitten, I have become completely absorbed by their period dramas, cute romantic comedies to serious soaps. So far, I have seen Bad Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Coffee Prince, Rooftop Prince and Fashion King. My favourite actors are Micky Yoochun and Yoo Han In. The latter is charismatic and lights up the screen with his boyish charm, while Micky Yoochun comes across as a more practical, no-nonsense chap. In general, most actors essay their roles effortlessly, which is a treat to watch.
I have also managed to pick up a smattering of Korean words as well and have even attempted to place the context by identifying familiar words. I find that Korean dramas portray a male dominated society in general; however, every house has a fierce matriarch who goes to any lengths to protect the family name and is revered by the eldest son. Of course, women once married are expected to produce a male heir since the girl child is only expected to get a basic education, get married, and confine herself to household responsibilities.
Sungkyunwan Scandal was the best period drama that had the perfect blend of intrigue, humour, love, and treachery. It is the story about Kim Yoon Hee who disguises herself as a boy to earn a living creating cheat sheets for the not so smart upper class scholars. She gets caught by the upright scholar, Lee Seon Joon (Micky) who is impressed by her intelligence and creates an opportunity for her to get admitted to the prestigious Sungkyunwan University where only male scholars are admitted. However, Lee Seon Joon is unaware of Kim's true identity. She is forced to share her living quarters with Micky and Yoo Han, and a love triangle follows. To make matters worse, she has to constantly battle her wits with the playboy Gu Hong Ya and the treacherous resident scholar to protect her identity.
Coffee Prince is a sweet romantic comedy of the playboy Han Kyul who is irresponsible and meets the hard working Yoon Chan,who looks like a boy. Ofcourse, Han is unaware of her identity and pays her to act as his gay partner to ward off marriage proposals that his grandmother sends his way. In a series of events, they both fall in love. The gay element in the drama, though provocative, was in no way a deterrent to the numerous awards the show recieved; not only that, the show was also aired throughout Asia as well as Israel and Zimbabve.
In Rooftop Prince, Micky Yoo Chun is Prince Lee Gak from the Joseon Era who mysteriously time travels with his faithful team to modern day Seoul to unravel the death of his beloved Crown Princess, Hwa Yong. He finds himself dealing with modern day dopplehangers of everyone from his past. The prince races against time to solve the mystery before he is transported to the Joseon Era again.
Both Bad Love and Fashion Prince are serious dramas with a central character of a woman two men love. In both dramas, the women cry too much and that can be a bore. I was forced to skip a few episodes to escape the monotony. Nevertheless, you can watch them atleast once for the experience.
For some reason, I have not been able to watch Winter Sonata yet.
I dream of travelling to Korea nowadays. Maybe, Micky or Yoo Han will invite me to their sets and I can enjoy the drama up close, sample some Korean cuisine (hopefully they have vegetarian kimchi), take some pictures, write about it, and make some memories.