Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 8 reasons why I'm poisoned by Korean dramas

I've decided to write this post as I've made a couple of observations that were common in a lot of the Korean dramas I've been watching. And I'll be taking my current favourite, Queen In Hyun's Man as the main example <3

So here goes!

1) Good looking Cast

Uh well, we all like looking at pretty people don't we?

When I first picked up the drama, i actually selected it because it had a historical sounding title, not because I knew somebody inside or because some hot guy is in. A classmate of mine further encouraged me to watch it after I've downloaded the series, so I started watching it after Rooftop Prince finished.
I actually found the first 2 episodes slightly strange because of the historical-modern crossover, but I was soon hooked after episode 2.

The 2 main characters were people who grew on you. While Ji Hyun Woo (acting as Kim Boong Do) didn't always look great from all angles and was much better looking after his haircut, I found that I treasured scenes that captured his great looking angles, and the imperfections made him seem even more perfect! Not to mention this guy is at least 1.85cm, so when he stood with the girl they just looked so cute together.

As for Yoo In Na (acting as Hee Jin) I found that she looked familiar and only realized soon after that she's from Secret Garden. I didn't really have a good impression of her during the first 2 episodes where she was changing in some random room and running around in heels (looked like some typical sexy Korean actress...), but soon her cute acting and happy-go-lucky self revealed with the storyline. It felt natural to me, and unpretentious - the kind of girl whose smile can just brighten up your day. It was probably the first time I actually really like the both the guy and the girl in the show!

It doesn't hurt that outside of acting, our Hyun Woo is also a multi-talented guy. These days, Koreans can sing/dance/act and do everything well at a time. *_* He didn't sing in the show, but here's a clip of him singing in this very sad MV.

2) Story with a key takeaway

Ok, so most people think it's a you love me I love you something comes along break the 2 up and then they get together or die in the end. Well, ain't the gist of most shows like that? It's more to do with HOW it actually happened than what happened. In QIHM, besides the whole I-came-from-300-years-ago-to-meet-you, the show also spoke of the balance in this world, where nothing comes for free. Having been saved by this talisman at every dying point, Boong Do came to realise that there was a heavy price to pay - losing his people, his friends, his lovers, and finally, almost losing his memory.

It really reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist's Law of Equivalent Exchange. It States that:
"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return... To obtain something of equal value must be lost."

And so, how much must he lose before he finally pays off the price of saving his own life so many times? He penned this down in his letter to Hee Jin, where you should read more about here. Or just watch it!

And of course... what's a show without humor? I almost laughed in the train out loud at the part where Hee Jin tried to block Dongmin's kiss with her leg.

3) That awesome song

That just keeps playing again and again, and when you listen to it, the whole drama replays. The song that summarises the drama so well. I posted both in my previous post, so here's some more.

I. Deok Hwan - I'm Going to Meet You Now // 덕환 - 지금 만나러 갑니다  (lyrics)
This song speaks of how they imagined and often think of each other in their dreams, in their mind, and how they eventually meet each other.

(look at his sparkly teary eye. Did I say how beautiful he can cry??)

II.  Joo Hee (8eight) - Another Time, the Same Sky // 같은 하늘 다른 시간에 (lyrics)

Another lovely song, that's fused with ancient instruments (you can hear it in the beginning!). It talks about how the lovers are living under the same sky, but in a different time, and how their love can never be. Doesn't it totally describe the drama? I love how all these music are made just for the drama.

III. Gayageum music
I'm not a very good analyser of music, but when I hear them, I can quite often decipher if they have historical/ancient instruments inside. This music often plays when the 2 of them meet, and is somehow a fusion of ancient and modern instruments. And it reminds of the rain. Somehow, very sweet and sad in a way.

4) The artistic direction, the video edits!

I'd say the whole 'wrapping' of the show is fantastic. Look at the well-illustrated opening and the 'display box' movie. The display box portrays the 2 of them, in almost the same location, but separated by an invisible barrier (read: time). The illustrated opening brings out the more traditional artwork. A complete contrast.

And here's something pretty small, but I appreciated it anyway. The very nice borders around the preview, as well as the color rendering. In fact, the whole series has pretty nice colors, depending on the time/setting/mood.
In addition, they like to put on an effect transition to signify the end of that episode. It's almost like dramatically telling you the show has come to an end, and then leaving you with a pretty impression of it.

And if you're talking about scenes editing, I especially like how they merge different scenes together - it makes the whole flow faster, and more exciting! The director also filmed from some really memorable angles.

5) That Wardrobe Team!!! 

Did you notice that the casts tend to change their hairstyles halfway through the show? Perhaps about 8-10 episodes later. This is not because Boong Do was switching between the times, but it happens for other Korean shows as well. And everyday, they have a new set of clothes/shoes. Even their pajamas looks too nice for people to sleep in.

Aside from that, look at how the wardrobe team has matched the couples. I really like the blue/yellow hoodies, and the graffiti-like stripes in the library. Yes, I noticed those.

And they even have couple shoes.

Some of their clothes and bags are also branded from head to toes. I could have sworn I saw a cambridge satchel in there, I'll put it up when I find the scene! But here's a bag she was carrying from Paul's Boutique.

And this bag she's carrying from Lancel is no joke. Just look at the price. If I'm not wrong, I once saw it in an expensive mall overseas with all the high class labels and the price stunned me. Think it's a French label. i think they have quite a huge budget for apparels alone. And they never ever wear/carry the same thing twice, unless it's something on their handphones, or something the characters love to keep wearing.

6) The Setting

I'm sure there are times you have gasped at that house, that view, that scenery...
This nice red phone booth with the fountain, that he appears in each time.
Or the hotel he stayed in while he was here. Yes it's like a super big 2 storey hotel with sunflower wallpaper (now, don't get distracted by the kiss there...)
Then the place that Hee Jin found for Boong Do, which is just too impossibly big and spacious!

7) Gadgets

I seem to have the impression that every phone that the actors use is a Samsung phone. i might be wrong though. When i watched Rooftop Prince, Han Ji Min was carrying a Samsung note and she used the function inside to write an animated message to Micky. Didn't happen here since our dear Boong Do can't do much except pick up calls. Would be funny to see him type a Kanji message to Hee Jin.

Anyway if you take a good look around, the digital elements they have are almost always the latest - flatscreens, touchscreens, fingerprint scanning system (for door locks), iPads etc - updated and modern!

And if I might say so, it applies to vehicles as well. Look at Fashion King - when Young Geol got really rich, he bought himself this really cool convertible which at the press of a button, could keep the whole shield on top to the back of the car. Totally like transformers.

 8) Something to keep

Think the Polaris necklace in Winter Sonata.. the Stairway to Heaven necklace... the turnip in Rooftop Prince, the crown bear in Fashion King

Then there's the Scheduler ringtone or the 'Hurry Answer' ringtone in 49 days... the 'Message is here' from Secret Garden... you get me! So here's something to keep from QIHM. So if you're hearing some weird monk-like singing from my phone... this is where it's from!

So anyway you can tell I'm totally obsessed and poisoned that I'm even writing a post to analyse why I am poisoned. SAVE MEEE!!!!

To finish off... one of my most favourite scenes in QIHM... Hope this post has brought back many wonderful memories about the show too... enjoy!!

Friday, June 08, 2012

kim boong do's letter

this crazy sad letter that kim boong do wrote for heejin. it breaks my heart. of cos, it's always back to the law of equivalent exchange. however much you take, is however much you have to give. it doesn't change, no matter what. T_T i must be nuts, i think his tears are so beautiful, and his every words are lined with pain. T__T sighs.

이것은 당신에게 쓰는 서신인 동시에 나에게 쓰는 글이오. This letter is written for you, at the same time, written for me.

내가 이 글을 썼다는 것을 잊을지도 I might forget that I wrote this letter

아니면 이 글조차 존재가 사라질지도 모르지만 Or maybe, this letter might not even be in existent by then..

내가 아니면 당신이 혹시나 기억을 붙들고 살게될지도 모를 누군가를 위해 쓰는 글… This letter is written for me.. or you, whoever that may continue to hold this memories of ours.

내가 이 부적을 우연히 얻게 되었을 때 나는 그 인과가 무엇인지 알고 싶었소. When I first got this talisman, I wanted to know what the cause and effect behind it was.

처음에는 좌절했던 나의 꿈을 이루는 것이 그 과라 생각했고 At first, I thought that it will allow me to fulfill my dream.

그 다음엔 당신을 만나 인연을 잇는 것이 그 과일지 모른다고 여겼고 Thereafter, I met you and then i thought maybe it was for our meeting.

그 다음엔 다른 세상에서 새 인생을 사는 것이 그 과라 생각했으나 After that, I thought that the end of all these was that you and I would live together in that world.

이제야 뒤늦게 깨닫게 된 인과는 목숨을 구한 인으로 내 모든 것을 잃어야 하는 것이 과였소. However, I finally realized what the effect of all this would be. In order to save my life, I had to lose everything.. that is the effect.

나의 미래, 나의 명예, 나의 가치관, 내 사람들 그리고 당신까지… My future, my reputation, my values, my people.. and even you.

목숨을 얻으려면 다른 모든 것을 잃는 대가를 치뤄야한다 In order for me to keep my life, I have to lose everything.

어쩌면 당연한 이치였소. I was a fool..

그중에 하나쯤은 갖고 갈 수 있다고 믿은 내가 어리석었을 뿐. I thought that I was able to at least keep one thing..

어디까지 잃어야 대가를 다 치르는 것일까 But how much more do I have to lose, in order to pay back for my life?

당신을 다시는 만나지 못하는 것, 그것조차 사치라는 걸 이제 깨달았소. I will not be able to meet you again.. I finally woke up to that fact. I want to meet you.. but that to me, is a luxury.

기억. 우리들의 기억… The memories between us.. memories.. 우리가 서로를 잊고 살게 될지 Will we both forget the memories and live on…

아니면 기억을 놓지 못한 채 영원히 괴로울지 Or will we be able to keep the memories and cry holding the memories forever…

마지막 바람이라면 나는 당신을 기억하고 싶소 If I can have a last wish… I wish that I will remember you..

목표도 없는 여생에 그 기억조차 없다는 건 지옥일 듯해서 If i cannot even remember you in this aimless life i live, then this life will be like hell to me..

그리고 당신은… 그리고 당신은 훗날 이 글을 읽게 되더라도 And you… and you… If you ever read this letter..

누구를 향한 서신인지조차 깨닫지 못하길 바라오. I hope you will not be able to realise who the letter is written for…

credits from this blog and this tumblr

Monday, June 04, 2012

hooked on inhyun's man

haven't blogged for so long.. so i'm going to make a post on all the recent dramas i've been spasming over... *_* 1) princess prosecutor i paused rooftop prince and fashion king after i watched an episode of this. park shi hoo is so amazing here T_T he makes me cry!!!

2) queen inhyun's man teaser

still in the midst of watching this. jin hyun woo is really charming here. imagine a yangban josen man, well-mannered and all - he's so charming. where on earth can we find a guy like this now?! i think he's not good looking from certain angles, but that smile! and the way he talks.. and how he treats the people around him. WINS. pwns all. spasms over. i guess this is how character overrules everything (of cos looks still help xp)

really love this mv

i am so so deeply poisoned. this man has set a new standard for the modern man, and surpassed all expectations of a lover. T_T