Since I do most of my work at night after the kids are asleep, I started to watch Korean dramas to try to brush up on my Korean and of course be entertained. I leave it up in the background while I work to improve my listening skills. I grew up with my family watching Korean tv after dinner, so I missed that routine after I got married. Here are some that I've watched recently. I'm not going to focus so much on the plot as you can easily find out online (nor do I want to spoil it for you), but I want to give you my opinion on what I thought about them.
1. "The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry" - I started watching this drama when it happened to be on at my parent's house while I was visiting. I got hooked when I realized that it was dealing with issues that 3 women in their mid-thirties were facing as single women. As they're attempting to figure out their life goals, they're grappling with the social pressures of being older single women in a society where being married is the accepted norm. The issues they faced appealed to me as a married woman in my thirties since just because you're married doesn't mean that all your problems are solved.
2. "Boys Over Flowers" - I began watching this drama when I realized that Kim Bum from "The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry" had been in it. I had no clue that it was such a popular drama in Korea, so I started watching the drama without any expectations. It was a very entertaining drama with the lavish sets, fashionable clothing, exciting story line, etc. This drama is a remake of the Japanese Manga, so it has a lot of teen angst. The F4 are definitely drool-worthy, though at times, I felt like a teenie bopper again. It's a good show to watch if you want to get a glimpse of what the youth of Korea are watching these days.
3. "You're Beautiful" - This drama was recommended by Dramafever.com that I was watching "Boys Over Flowers" from, and it is also entertaining on a similar level as "BOF". Not much brain power is needed to watch this so it was ideal for just spending some time working while listening to it in the background. A nun is recruited to take the place of her twin brother in a boy band, and the adventure involves her attempt to hide her gender to the rest of the band members and the public. Of course, there's a love triangle involved. I liked how they showed the life of a boy band, and what issues they might have to deal with. What you deal with in public may not be what you're dealing with in private.
4. "Spring Waltz" - Stunning cinematography, and beautiful classical music is what comes to mind when I think of "Spring Waltz". The plot is a bit too contrived and hard to swallow, but it's still tugs at your heart strings, and there are moments that you want to cry for the individuals. I liked the soundtrack so much I have it now to listen to whenever I need some relaxation time. I do have to add, Daniel Henney is beautiful eye candy as well. :)
5. "Coffee Prince" - Wow... what can I say but that I was impressed by Yoon Eun Hye's acting ability. She had me totally convinced that she was a boy. When Choi Han Kyul starts falling in love with him/her, it's agonizing to see the struggle that he goes through. Plus my husband was a barista for awhile, so I just can't help but love all the coffee references. I loved all the characters in this drama. I highly recommend this one.
6. "Goong" - I had a difficult time believing that a Korean monarchy could exist today, but as the drama progressed, it no longer was an issue. I was impressed by the main actress' acting ability since I had no idea that she was the same actress as Coffee Prince. She was so pretty and feminine in this role. The end dragged a bit, but I really wanted to know what happened to them after it was over. It's too bad that they could not get a sequel going. I thoroughly love the main queen. She's such an icon in the drama world.
7. "My Lovely SamSoon" - I fell deeply in love ... with desserts! I think it's very hard watching Korean drama in the middle of the night since so many are focused around food! I noticed that everyone was eating in these dramas, and it's difficult not to gain weight by simply being so tempted with food. The main character is very spunky, and I like to see that not every Korean woman has to be stick skinny. Beauty isn't about weight or figure, but it's what's in one's heart. There's a lot of crude cursing in this drama which matches Sam Soon's character, yet it was a bit hard to hear so often. I was also not thrilled with the ending, but it also fit the theme of the drama. I couldn't help but compare it to "Brigit Jones' Diary."
8. "Take Care of the Lady" - Yoon Eun Hye is also in this drama, and I was happy to see her in a part that showed how evil she could be. In the other parts, it was so easy to like her character right away. In this one, she had to earn people's love from the changes that took place as she fell in love with her butler. I also love the actor that plays her grandfather. There are parts that do drag, but I like the general message of the drama which is that everyone is redeemable.
9. "Personal Taste" - The main actor is the same one that played in "Boys Over Flowers" so I was curious if he could also deliver in a drama without all the fancy settings and outfits. I was pretty impressed with his acting ability, and I think Lee Min Ho is a rising star. He pretends to be a gay man in order so he could move in and find what is so special about this house that Park Kae In's father designed. Once he gets to know the initially rather unfortunate woman, he falls in love. I thought it was a very sweet story, although I was very annoyed by the main woman at the beginning. I felt there was a lot of whining, but once the story progressed, the character grew on me. I think Lee Min Ho's character development really carried the entire show through.
10. "Shining Inheritance" - The main character is the actress that played in Spring Waltz. I really liked her character in the drama so I thought perhaps I'd love this drama. There are a lot of tear jerking moments, but I feel like there are way too many of the same thing. The story feels so contrived that it was not at all believable. I have still yet to finish this drama. I really hope that I can finish the drama and end up liking it. I'm halfway through. I really like the character of the man who likes the girl first. He seems like such a wonderful guy, but I can tell they won't be together.
11. "Playful Kiss" or "Mischievous Kiss" - This week is the final week of this drama, so I'm curious how it will all end. This drama stars Kim Hyun Joong (of SS501 and "Boys Over Flowers") and Jung So Min. They are pretty new to the drama world, but I thought Jung So Min played the Oh Ha Ni character very well. She is quite adorable with her quirks and tenacious personality. The first episode was pretty bad, and ratings reflected that, so that's why there are only 16 episodes. However, the drama starts picking up in the 3rd and 4th episodes. It's quite a fun drama to watch that doesn't require much thought, and it isn't such a big tear jerker as Korean dramas can be. This drama is geared toward younger audiences so keep that in mind when you're watching.
If you've been watching Korean dramas, please do comment and recommend some more with your thoughts on what you thought of them. Until next time...