Bad Guy

Aug. 8th, 2010 07:10 pm
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You know I've seen endings to kdramas where everyone gets shot, people walk into the sea, get run over by lorries, fall over in the street drunk with soju while crying out the name of the wife they dumped so they could marry a rich woman, and play angsty pianos on beaches after their wives have died of eye cancer they got when they were run over by their step-sister. So believe me, at this point, I am hard to annoy or even surprise. But, Bad Guy I SHAKE MY FIST AT YOU. YES, THERE IS FIST SHAKING. WHAT WAS THAT ENDING?


*This means that she is very evil indeed, given that her competition involves the guy who beat his son with his golf clubs and the father in Spring Waltz who not only stole the money the heroine needed for an operation but sold her into slavery.
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I had forgotten how much I hated useless Step-Brother in this. I REFUSE TO THINK OF HIM BEING ALL TORMENTED WITH HIS INCESTY LOVE AND ALL. I WANT HIM DEAD. Plus all the relatives, all round. Hero and Heroine would have been better being orphans left on the steps to a monastery somewhere than getting this bunch.
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I have decided to rewatch Stairway to Heaven. THE CRAZY EYES OF EVIL STEPSISTER ARE AS MAGNIFICENT AS EVER. Also, given how much hero cries, I hope he drinks plenty of liquids or else he'll become a shrivelled husk.
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I love this show even with William the Dutch/English castaway's awful hair like I love puppies and bunnies. The heroine is cute, other guy is jealous but not psychotic and even saves William when he is captured by villagers and no one except for the evil people I am allowed to hate is really bad.
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I started watching this, but feel a bit conflicted. I like all the female characters, who are clearly far too good for the men and should run off together and be awesome and happy. But I have rather zero sympathy for any of the men. I understand emo hero is messed up because of background, but cannot really recover from one of his first major actions as an adult being threatening to set fire to protestors on a boat so they will sign to agree to a development. I know that he wanted the money for a defence lawyer for a friend but it's hard come back from that one. And, honestly, after he has sold his soul to big mob lawyer and is clearly willing to do anything for his big chance, then it's really hard to have immense amounts of sympathy for anything he experiences. It doesn't mean he's not interesting and I get why he's this way - it's more I have zero sympathy for his fate. You did it yourself mate and you and your colleagues are more than willing to beat the crap out of innocent people on behalf of your boss, so I basically lump you with all the other people I think I am supposed to think of as worse than you. So, hmmm. I sort of want all the menfolk to suffer together horribly forever and the women to sail off and be happy.

However, I did also start watching Tamra, the Island which is very entertaining. I have more or less stopped twitching when I see William's horrific hair - it is better when it is wet and as he seems to have to leap in the water every 5 minutes that's quite a bit of time. I did find it rather entertaining that according to Kdrama evil parents are a universal and William's mum is also probably the sort of person who whacks her kids with sticks to make them behave. I also enjoy Exile Hero being all emo about heroine clearly finding this strange foreigner endearing and having to watch as she gives him clothes. Though sub-plot about thievery is interesting, I am mainly here for William-Heroine-Hero shenanigans.
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I divide many kdrams into two sorts: the ones that lure you in with a few episodes of happiness (often involving first love and gorgeous scenery that is just there to lull you into a false sense of security) and the ones that think that is for weaklings and decide to start off with the misery in the first five minutes and keep ramping it up from there on in. Cinderella's Sister is clearly of the second type which makes me fear for what horrors they will spring on us in episode 5 or so, because you know they've only been honing their skills in the angst department in these first episodes.
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After a week that turned out to be a total parcel of crazy (other peoples') I watched the episode of Cinderella's Sister and it looks like it might be the perfect antidote. It is great! Poor Heroine (who has totally awesome hair that featured in an amazing scene with hero)* and her useless awful mum. I know that new stepfather and stepsister will end up being horror shows despite their niceness new, because this is a kdrama and if kdramas have taught me anything it is that any step-family only exists to ruin your life or fall inappropriately in love with you.

*Um. That sounds creepy. But it wasn't. He didn't chop it off and wear it round his neck like a talisman or anything like that.
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I am finally back watching kdramas, starting with Last Scandal in which I want to smack almost everyone. I know it's unfair but that includes the doormat heroine. I can only get through it by leaning on the FF button very hard.

So far:
1. More bad perms an episode than I can count
2. No one has shown any signs at all of expiring from a terminal illness or having inappropriate stepsibling love
3. There have been about 80,000 aigoos
4. Evil other woman (also with bad perm) has returned to doubtless torment people as she strokes her Persian cat (not kidding about that: she has a white Persian cat, which how I knew she was evil the moment I saw her. I expect her to say 'no, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die' any second now)

ETA: Decided to switch over to Cain and Abel for a bit. I bet everyone dies in that one, given that it starts with the hero collapsing in a bloody mess after struggling across a desert.

ETA 2: As warned by [ profile] dangermousie people are remaining distressingly manpainfree in Cain and Abel. Lots of emo doctor standing around is about it. Complete with graphic surgery, which as I know from lots of kdramas is necessary to cure all ailments in Korea.

In unrelated news I really wish that my neighbours upstairs would stop building the Ark or whatever the hell other woodwork project they have going up there.
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[ profile] dangermousie is watching Spring Waltz which makes me want to rewatch it. That Kdrama has everything: evil parents, children being sold into slavery, classical piano recitals, evil and crazy other girl, evil dads, and cute heroine. And Daniel Henney. I should dig out my discs with the crazy subtitles and enjoy the pretty, pretty people suffering beautifully.
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I've been slowly catching up on the Korean version. Hmmmn. I'm not sure: some things I quite like about it - they've certainly got the best Domyouji incarnation (and he can do intimidating plus besotted plus quite bonkers which is a hard combo) but... I really find the more I watch the less I like the girl playing Jandi. Admittedly, she is struggling against the world's most unflattering bowl hair cut, a hair cut no human being should be forced to wear, but, still, that can't be what's impeding her acting. The Japanese version's Makino had a spark that appealed as much as how very cute the actress was, Barbie Hsu as Shan Cai in Meteor Garden was both charismatic and had a will of iron that never wavered, but Jandi is just okay. She's better when they're not making the actress mug for the camera but she still comes across as flat a lot of the time.
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I might have to give up on this, I think. Basically it's the same every episode: Icy Hero is icy, Ugly Brother is ugly, Annoying Sisters combine to make me think that the author clearly had issues with their siblings, Heroine is enduring, and no one is dies of terminal illness that makes you both wan and strangely attractive. Plus, Hero really needs to move on with his family issues. Admittedly, Dad is a horror show but just get over it with your stepmother and stepbrother and the fact that your dad moved his bastard child and actually rather nice mistress into your house right after your mum died. Or bloody well move out. Or something. Don't just go around being all woobified at whatever age you are. Grow a fecking spine - there are far, far worse Kdrama fathers out there. Until your dad has beat you have to death with a golf club, you're only in the amateur leagues.

ETA: I think I shall watch Save the Last Dance instead. Someone has amnesia in that one, which always makes for superior kdrama angst.
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1. Younger 'sister' of heroine is an actual techno singer in real life. Last night I watched some of her videos in entranced horror. She really is that bad of a singer in actuality as well as in Kdrama. That's got to be some of the worst techno I have ever heard. And I've heard a lot of bad techno so I know whereof I speak.

2. Stepmother continues to be saintly. Personally, I think she'd be well within her rights to smack younger sister of Hero. It would probably do her a world of good. My big beef against Hero is that he can't see that indulging her and insisting that their father's asshattery gives her the right to be a horrific and messed up human being is harming her, not helping.

3. So both little sisters battle it out for who I want to toss into the Han river first. I think the singer sister has an edge though; if I tossed her in those cold, icy waters I'd never have to hear her sing again. Or watch her 'dance.' Though I'd lose the opportunity to marvel at her impressively awful hair.

4. Hero and Heroine still not together. They need to ramp it up a bit because so far all I'm getting is family angst and as that involves the younger sisters and ugly brother this is not all that interesting.

5. Ji Woo Choi who plays Heroine has a lovely voice. Really soothing and lovely. I think it's the nicest voice among the Kdrama actresses. The worst, for the record, is whoever played the heroine of Shoot for the Stars.
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So far I am quite delighting in Beautiful Days though may not for all the reasons the creators intended. In particular, I find it hard to believe that little 'sister' of the heroine (they're not related but grew up in an orphanage) could be considered a decent singer by anyone no matter how tone deaf or whatever hatred of decent music they had. They keep playing scenes of her singing for various auditions and I think we're supposed to believe she has talent, but MY GOD IT'S LIKE A CAT BEING STRANGLED. And that's probably being overly critical of the cat.

So far
1. No one has died
2. All younger siblings, whether truly related or not, should have been drowned at birth
3. Someone screams at someone approximately every 10 minutes (this is not an all time high for Kdramas. In fact, by many standards it's practically restrained)
4. Evil dad is evil
5. Stepmother (uniquely in all Kdrama) is not evil
6. Hero has yet to impress. He needs more angst. Real angst, not this 'my dad brought a woman home with a kid who was probably his bastard son days after my mother died' low-grade stuff. Compared to what most Kdrama heroes have to suffer that's nothing
ETA: 7. Younger 'sister' of Heroine is totally around the bend. Can't sing, can't dance, and totally around the bend. That's a lovely mixture.
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I should be reading [insert boring book here] but instead I am watching Beautiful Days a Kdrama which promises delicious angst. Already in (halfway through episode one) there's been a murder, bastard children being brought home, step-sibling hatred AND an orphanage. I hope it keeps up the pace.

ETA: And could the heroine be crying when people mention the future BECAUSE SHE HAS A TERMINAL ILLNESS? No! Kdrama gods, you can't possibly that good to me.
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I am up to episode 10 now and agog at the screenwriter's one track desire to beat the living daylights out of the heroes as much as possible. Their writing strategy for every episode seems to be:

1. Beat up main hero
2. Do something horrible to a girl he or his brother likes
3. Toss in a bit of skullduggery by one of their deadly enemies
4. Beat up secondary hero
5. Have manly weeping or feminine angst
6. Insert small scene with Dennis Oh* for relief
7. Return to main hero for a last stint of beating up, just because you can

Honestly, I am not just astonished that these people aren't crippled for life but that they are still alive. They make 'em tough in Korea.

I am also impressed that where other series like to start off the angst slow, usually throwing in at least one or two episodes of happy childhood, this one doesn't bother at all. Nope, right into angst and misery and violence.

*Finally, an actor who makes Daniel Henney's 'skills' in that department look good.
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Honestly, I don't think I could love this more. At the end of episode 11 I even rather enjoy emo prince.

I shall cut this for [ profile] calixa even though she has a wrong view of OTPs in the show.

cut for spoilers up to episode 11 )
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Hong Gil Dong is a Korean drama about the disgruntled son of a slave* and a government minister who almost accidentally becomes a Robin Hood figure. In the course of trying to just really do nothing good with his life he falls in with and saves a band of thieves, kills many thugs oppressing the common people, and is believed to have blown up the royal palace because it was built on the backs of the working people.

It's at turns funny and heartbreaking. Actually, a lot of the time it's really pretty dark because it doesn't hold back on the humiliations that people without status and money face. And worse than humiliation, the ultimate denial of any worth. Because it's got wuxia roots there some flying through the air fights but much of the writing has its feet firmly on the ground.

So far (episode 7) here are my thoughts:

1. I hate emo prince. I'm sorry but I do. What does he do really besides have ridiculously good hair and look emo? NOTHING, I SAYS.

2. I love Hong Gil Dong and his desperation to belong somewhere and to be at least seen as a person. And I've got to believe that the writers saw Robin of Sherwood at some point. The scene where he's surrounded in episode 7 and they shot arrows at him? The view of the essential horrible fixity of aristocratic privilege? It's so Robin of Sherwood.

3. I want to have the writers' babies for making me both laugh and cry in quick succession. And for feeding my horrible kink for heroism when people know all is lost but still fight on anyway.

*Who, to make his life thoroughly miserable, was beaten to death trying to run away with him so he could have a decent life.

Bad Love

Mar. 13th, 2008 05:55 am
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I gave up on sleep and decided to watch the last two episodes of Bad Love. I haven't finished yet but I will be sad when it's all over. I can't decide what delighted me more in the last few episodes, but I think that it might be Eyebrows' writhing in the midst of his (terminal) illness. By about episode 17 he would keel over anywhere. And then he lay wan and sickly on his hospital bed calling for the heroine. That was good stuff.

ETA: But, God, kids on kdramas are always irritating. The one on this is sickly sweet and extra annoying. Just like her crazy giant-haired mother. But hopefully without being prone to random assaults of people who catch her shoplifting.

ETA: I think my next dorama might be 'Hello Francesca,' which [ profile] caerbannog described as "about a family of vampires who decide to leave Romania in search of safer places to live, but due to an unfortunate shipping area, they end up on the wrong boat to Seoul. Fortunately, despite being Romanian, they're also asian and speak Korean as well. Then they make some Korean guy a vampire as well so they can crash at his apartment and sponge off of him."

Doesn't that sound just great*? I can't wait to see how they portray Romania after the mad vision of Ireland in 'Ireland.'

And all you Legend (the Kdrama) fans should go to her journal and look at this picture: Mighty Wang!

*This, of course, may depend on your definition of great.
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I'm up to episode 11 and I am delighted that we have finally a (sort of) return of the Giant Hair. Wife is also still crazy and puppy hating and so deliciously evil that she is running neck and neck with Crazy Eyes from Stairway to Heaven for sheer entertainingness.

Cut for spoilers for a show you will probably never watch. And pictures of Giant Hair )

I am quite excited by the sheer number of WTF doramas I have the opportunity to watch: the one about the man stalked by deer and, of course, RH+, that excellent show about gay, teenage vampires who fight crime and other vampires with silverware.
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So naturally I love it. In fact, I am thinking of admitting the obvious and calling this journal 'I only watch rubbish. Don't bother recommending things to me unless they are total, absolute crap.'

This is a kdrama replete with angst, dreadful romantic choices, premarital affairs, evil, Giant-haired women who attack shop assistants, and classical music. AND SO MUCH MORE. It also has had the educational effect of informing me that in Korea adultery is an imprisonable offence. Really!

Angst and giant hair this way! )


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