I was pretty excited for Yong Pal before it aired, because I really like Joo Won (despite not liking most of his drama choices in the past), and was intrigued by the high-energy teaser and the promise of the premise, which made it sound more than a little like City Hunter. In case you don’t know, the premise is a nutshell was: Joo Won is a doctor who moonlights as a surgeon to gangsters and criminals in order to raise money to pay his little sister’s expensive hospital fees. Kim Tae Hee is a rich heiress who lies in a (induced?) coma. Their paths cross.
Tag Archives: Korean drama review
The Time I’ve Loved You is a Korean drama remake of Taiwanese drama In Time with You, and just started airing. In Time with You, though it kind of self-destructs in its home stretch, is one of my favorite dramas, thoroughly lovely and extraordinarily well-written, that rare story that often transcends its medium to tell something real and gripping about human life and love (I wrote a full review earlier today).
The Time I’ve Loved You can be viewed one of two days: as an original story by those who haven’t seen the Taiwanese drama, and as a remake/new interpretation by those who have. Either way, I can say this: both will find it an unexceptional drama. The premise itself of two 30-something best friends who fall in love is strong, but not a guarantee of success, nor unique (9 Ends 2 Outs had the same premise). What matters is how you take that story and run with it, whether or not dialogue and music, casting, visual and pacing choices add or subtract from that premise. In this case, all those variable choices mostly subtract from it. Editing choices are odd – the drama uses an odd kaleidoscope effect to shift abruptly from past to present and back again – and the pacing is slower than in the first drama.
Emergency Couple is a fantastic drama, fast-paced with incredible romantic nuance and an aching, so-real-it-hurts chemistry between leads Song Ji-Ho and Choi Jin-hyuk. Medical dramas always sound boring, but I’ve discovered over years of drama-watching that in fact they’re wonderful fodder for romance, mainly because it sets up the leads to work together in a high-stakes, dramatic environment in which they are constantly forced to interact.
Pinocchio is a currently-airing Korean drama starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk.
Ha-myung (Lee Jong Suk) has a photographic memory (he has to see something only once in order to remember it) and a happy family – his father is a firefighter captain, his mother a loving parent, and his brother shares his gift. One day, however, his father leads his squad into a terrible factory explosion, and when it’s over, most of the squad is dead and Ha-myung’s father has disappeared. The media, grasping hold of the story, sensationalize it as an irresponsible captain killing his squad and then disappearing out of fear, and Ha-myung and his family become nationally despised.
Ha-myung’s mother decides to kill herself and jumps with him into the sea, but Ha-myung is rescued, miles away, by the kindly, elderly Gong-pil. Gong-pil, who has a few screws loose, decides that Ha-myung is his oldest, long-dead son Dal-po, and adopts him. Ha-myung gladly accepts the identity, and is raised alongside Gong-pil’s other son Dal-pyung and his daughter In-ha (Park Shin Hye). The two grow up together and ultimately enter the world of journalism as newbie reporters.
I can’t say enough about how deeply lovable Pinocchio is. I had a good feeling from the first episode, when it started out quick and charming and assured…
It’s a dark season for new television. On both sides of the pond – and in this case by “pond” I don’t mean England and the United States but Korea and the United States – the new series that have debuted in the fall have almost universally been disappointments. Here in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of good (and highly-rated television) currently on is the returning favorites, and among the few new successful shows are How to Get Away with Murder and The Flash. The dramas that have premiered and aired in the past few months have also almost all been disappointments, and at this point I’m just impatiently waiting for Pinocchio (starring my love Park Shin Hye!) later this month, Healer in December, and Jekyll, Hyde (starring Hyun Bin!) in January.