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!!

1 comment:

okta said...

9. And they are full of surgery hahaha....

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