2011 In A Nutshell

It’s been a while, sitting down and squeezing words out of my brain, trying to recall every single drama I watched this year. As reflected by the extremely low post counts, 2011 was a quiet drama watching year for me. This is definitely something to do with a few changes in my life, when I finally stepped out of the carefreeness of tertiary education and plunged headfirst into the working world. Priorities, body clock, time management, state of mind and whatnot had to adjust, and dramas sadly get abandoned a little. Drama marathons become less and less likely, and to my horror I did not get to watch the bigger hits like City Hunter, Can You Hear My Heart, Protect The Boss, nor the Princess Man.

2011 is also my third year of intensive k-drama watching – I am still far from being a seasoned viewer, having not managed to complete any drama above 30 episodes (other than Jejoongwon). It’s either this year’s quality, the drama choices I made this year, or a slightly more grumpy and less patient self, or all of them. But lately it’s getting harder to stick to dramas to the very end. The problem with many k-dramas are, they started out with really strong setups but fizzled out as quickly as the writers go back to the same old tropes and cliched conflicts again and again. Since I have also learnt to throw in the towel rather than suffering to the end, there are many dramas I dropped in the middle.

But k-dramas also bring me enjoyment not found in any other entertainment; such as their unique brand of sincerity, earnestness, family values, Asianness, and exhilarating romance, without necessarily eating each other’s faces. I am hoping 2012 will see me spending more time with k-dramas, making wiser choices, and get back to mini- marathons (because sometimes there’s no other way to stand the drama).
Despite 2011 being a rather quiet year with not as many dramas finished as I’d like to, I’ll try to crack it down anyways. Because a girl’s gotta keep track of what k-drama she watched.
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The James McAvoy Escapade Part 2

Part two of the Mr. McAvoy escapade! After the jump, I will be talking about Starter of Ten, Inside I’m Dancing, The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, Penelope, Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth, and X-men: First Class.

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Crack alert: The Musical

Another crack alert! Aahh!! Have not felt this for a long time! It is because of The Musical,… or in fact, him!


HELL YES DANIEL CHOI! TAKE ME!!!

Ah, this man-boy. I noticed him in Worlds Within and found him adorable, despite him playing a very annoying character. But I never thought too much of him. The next outing that I watched him in was Cyrano Dating Agency (which disappointed me, by the way. Not him but the movie) and I was starting to worry about him getting typecasted. And now this. Read more of this post

The Baby Steps of Drama Addiction

Baby steps. It all starts with baby steps. I wrote this list a long time ago and thought it worth posting… due to the lack of posts these days.
  • The magic of watching that first drama
  • Becoming an recreational drama watcher (through dvds or friends’ hard-drives).
  • Heightened interest in faces and recognition skill
  • Becoming a regular streamer
  • Becoming an insane fangirl / fanboy
  • Growing curiosity and courage to try other genres: thriller / revenge, makjang, sageuk…
  • Becoming a constant drama hunter (to ease increasingly frequent addiction pangs)
  • Discovery of the right people and blogs. These people seem like superhumans: they watch, translate, sub, advise, review, discuss, it’s endless
  • The courage to try on dramas beyond 20 episodes
  • Learning to juggle a few dramas at once
  • Accepting that it is OK to not finish a drama
  • Sometimes, streaming sucks and unreliable. Moving on to be a downloader and a tech expert.
  • Passive understanding of certain foreign drama phrases and using them in everyday life
  • Unexplainable swelling fondness when hearing Koreans speaking Korean on the street
  • Blog commenting. And later, blog writing.
  • Surprising tolerance, and later… interest, on K-idols
  • Piling up wish list. Suddenly life seems so short and the drama list keeps growing
  • Ruthless culling method of drama selection. A few episodes, if a drama does not impress, it’s out
  • Getting friendly with the FF button
  • Start to have impossible cravings of a certain director / writer / actor…
  • Watching is like a ritual. Or like breathing.
  • Watching a drama live and raw. Then rewatch when subs are out. Then read recaps. Then write about them in your blog.
  • Joining the twitter party
  • Showing symptoms of a seasoned watcher, i.e. gets grumpier and harder to please.
  • The gaining of extraordinary knowledge and database
  • Invasion of one’s iPod, blog feeds, browser bookmarks, dashboard, etc by all things Korea
  • Determination to achieve mastery of the drama’s native language
  • Joining the fan-subbing party
  • Joining the recapping party
  • Going to Korea to learn the language, or to work, or to stalk some celebs, or all combined
Uh. Not that I’m trying to achieve all of them.
Img from hsuphoto

Celebrating Ludicrous Subs

Don’t you hate it when you watch some streaming and it’s a machine that does your subs? Chinese names cropping out of nowhere, nonsensical gibberish you can’t understand? And yet, they’re the first thing available to soothe me, who refused to wait any longer. Mostly I can still decipher what the big picture is, but at times (when completely unedited by a human being) they’re so absurd they gave me a good laugh.

She doesn’t care that a good friend is good?

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Thoughts on 49 Days

I just love the promo poster above. There’s that slightly sinister (did I just use that word?) look on Ji-hyun. Yi-kyung, while facing her, seems unaware of her presence. And the black and white.

I caught up and finished 49 Days a while ago. I started with pretty high expectation because I noticed the raves, and generally, I have a fondness for shows and movies like Six Feet Under, Death at A Funeral, In Bruges, (the k-drama) Flowers for My Life. Morbid much? In reality death is grim, it’s something we don’t fully understand and we rarely talk about. Behind the lens (or the pen), when done well and thoughtfully and sensitively, it has the mad potential to be something great.

The result? To me, the drama hovers on the borderline between good and great; but eventually, it didn’t manage to make the jump to greatness.

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A Quickie

A quickie post before I go to bed.

49 Days is over. Good drama, strong ending, thoughts (and some rants) coming up.

Live watching a Hong sisters’ drama again. Now I remember how good it feels. I thirst for the next episode and needed something else to distract me.

Mum has finally joined the Flames of Ambition feast, which means I can’t binge since we’ve gotta watch it together. (In-ki found out that Yoon Na-young’s her mum! Oohhh!! Her expression was priceless.)

So yesterday I made a little trip to Thundie’s Prattle, where one thing led to another: the failure of streaming Magic episode 1 and Kang Dong-won staring tauntingly at me. I’ve never watched this dude before but I could only respond, “Whatever you say, sexy bastard!”. Torrent is working as we speak. I can’t wait.

I’m weighing on whether to start Romance Town, less inclined on City Hunter. Probably not gonna start Lie To Me (sob, sorry Kang Ji-hwan!).

Ahh! Choices! Choices!