meganbmoore: (city hunter: but it's only ep 2!!)
Recommend me a good Kdrama for beginners. ( [personal profile] coffeeandink  )

Limiting myself to kdramas I’ve seen that are also on Hulu or Netflix (I know you have Netflix from comments made in the past at your DW, and I’m just guessing as far as Hulu goes), though both have taken down most of their kdramas (both that I’ve watched and otherwise) over the last year or so.:

On Netflix: Hello My Twenties (previously Age of Youth, don’t know why Netflix wanted a new name) which is a slice of life series about 5 female college students who are roommates, except in this case, one or more MIGHT be murderers, there’s at least 1 Secret Lifestyle and 2 Secret Pasts between them, plus one who can see a ghost that may or may not be the ghost of a murdered person. A few others that netflix has that I liked but didn’t exactly love are Descendants of the Sun (romance between a doctor and a soldier, pretty straightforward and simple but enjoyable, but sometimes prone to pro-military propaganda), Goodbye Mr. Black (modern day retelling of Count of Monte Cristo), and Be Arrogant (webdrama about 2 women who open an online shopping store after their mutual cheating boyfriend robs them and runs off.) Go Mrs. Go is a drama that I’ve heard good things about, but haven’t watched. White Nights (previously Night Light) is a recent drama that Netflix has the first half of (I think they can’t add the second half until a certain amount of time after the international broadcast finishes, or something like that). What I’ve seen is a good thriller about a businesswoman with huge schemes and plans and a parttimer who she brings into her inner circle and starts grooming as a bit of a mini-her/femme fatale. I can’t actually recommend it though because I don’t actually recommend things until I know whether or not they have good endings.

On Hulu: Most definitely Healer, a thriller/romance about a mercenary, a spunky reporter, and 80s underground radio station, political corruption, and spunky journalists. Sungkyunkwan Scandal, which is a revolutionary youth sageuk about a crossdressing girl, political conspiracy, and feuding political factions at Sungkyunkwan, the school for scholars and future government officials, is a drama I loved and would normally highly recommend (despite it having a lot to do with more serious sageuks becoming less popular and fusion youth sageuks that are heavy on idols and lighter on sageuk pros and historical veritas largely taking over the genre, but that’s another matter), but shortly after I finally got around to watching it, the lead actor was involved in a rape scandal where multiple women accused him of rape over a longish period. He was found not guilty, but with Korean rape laws, it largely meant “we can’t convict him under the current laws, but he probably did it.” (That said, the rest of the cast is wonderful, and the only bad thing I’ve ever heard about any of the others was that one time he got in a fight with police when drunk-which was worse for his career than exposure as a possible serial rapist was for Park Woochun.) For “liked but didn’t love,” hulu also has another thriller, Liar Game, about a reality show where people have to con each other out of millions of dollars. T’s on the absurd side, but fun and the leads were pretty great. Oh My Venus is a romcom that I liked in spite of it being a makeover plot, but the leads more than made up for it. The Master’s Sun is a romantic dramedy about a woman who sees ghosts and a man who keeps them from bothering her because she can’t see them if she touches him. I Hear Your Voice, Empress Ki, and Tree With Deep Roots are dramas hulu has that have been highly recommended, but I haven’t seen them yet. W: Two Worlds is a metafiction fantasy drama that was really really popular last ear. I started out really liking it but lost interest about 2/3s through, but most people I know who watched it loved it till the end. Hulu used to have a huge selection of kdramas but lost most of them a year ago when DramaFever’s license expired (this might be changing, as ive noticed a couple dramas on hulu have been moved to the DramaFever channel, which had been deleted before), so I think everything else I’ve seen that they used to have was taken down.. They still have the best selection outside of Viki or DramaFever, who hold licenses for most kdramas and cdramas that have been licensed.

[personal profile] skygiants has pretty good rec posts for Healer, Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Age of Youth at their dreamwidth, along with several other kdramas, so that’s also a good place to look.
meganbmoore: (Default)
I've started watching Goodbye Mr. Black, the still-airing kdrama based on an 80s manhwa that is loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo. This somehow resulted in it being more recognizably Monte Cristo than most direct adaptations. I actually spent about a week trudging through the first episode in 5 and 10 minute increments until I hit about the 3/4 mark last night and I have now finished the 5th episode. I guess I just needed Moon Chae Won to show up.



I'm not overly invested in the revenge aspect yet, largely because I like Ji Won/Black (Dantes) well enough, but am not overly interested in him yet, but I like the characters and have liked a decent number of the actors in other things. More importantly, the male lead's assumed name is Black and the female lead's assumed name is Swan. The subtlety there is downright kethal. So very very subtle. He also gave her the name (her name was Kaya because she was found abandoned in a garbage pile in Thailand as a child and "Kaya" means "garbage" and he decided that wasn't ok) based on his nickname for his sister, " Ugly Duckling."



BUT MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, as of episode 5, this is the 3rd kdrama I've watched in April in which "inexperienced but determined young reporter takes on impossibly huge and powerful opponent" is a plot point (this is actually pure coincidence aside from the "overlapping people who like them" part), though I doubt it'll be as central here as in Healer or Pinocchio. There was also a scene in episode 5 that was straight out of Healer with a bit of City Hunter thrown in. All that was missing was Park Min Young. The show can feel to have scenes straight out Healer anytime it wants. I suspect I may have been better off waiting until the show is finished to start watching, but South Korea seems to be largely over the "a tragic ending is the best ending 4 out of 5 times" thing.



As of this series, I've watched 4 complete kdramas and started 2 more that I intend to finish in April alone. And The Flower in Prison started today, though English subs arent out yet. I don't think I've ever had such a concentrated period of watching kdramas in the 12 or so years I've been watching them, even adjusting for the superlong sageuks I've watched. That said, given the shenanigans US-and, to a lesser degree, British- TV have been up to the last few months, and the lack of airing anime that I want to watch, it isn't really surprising.

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