Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Return of the Korean Dramas!

A few months ago I discovered Korean movies and dramas and I went on for days about it on my blog until I decided that my blog was turning into a Korean movie review blog and everyone was probably bored to tears, so then I didn't post about it as much.

But here I am again to rave about Korean dramas again!! I can't help myself, I'm totally obsessed!

In case you missed my last description about Korean dramas, let's recap! :) Korean dramas are sort of like a combination between a soap opera, a weekly American TV drama and a mini series. They're on weekly in Korea, like ER or Grey's Anatomy is here. The difference is that generally they only have one story line and when that story line has been played out, the show is over. The dramas that I've seen had about 20 hour long episodes. So it's actually kind of like a 20 hour movie. There's one plot, each episode picks up exactly where the last one left off, and once they've resolved the plot the show is over. They're seriously AWESOME! You know when you watch a movie and you like it but you wish that there could have been more to it? That's why I love Korean dramas. They have the time to really work on the character development and really draw out the plot. They don't have to hurry and resolve things, they're able to take the time to play it all out.

The first Korean drama I saw was called Winter Sonata and I've been totally obsessed with that show ever since. The theme song to that show is the ringtone on my cellphone. Shawn and I are such nerds about it that we're actually planning to spend one day in Korea visiting the island where it was shot. Best show ever. Seriously.

The one we're watching right now is called Summer Scent. It's actually made by the same guy that did Winter Sonata and has a very similar feel to it, and actually it has a similar plot as well. Sort of.

Summer Scent is a little like the American movie Return to Me. The plot goes in a different direction, but the concept is the same. It's about a guy who was in love with a girl and they were engaged to be married and then she dies and they donate her heart. Three years later he's still grieving over her when he rescues a girl who is lost in the woods. They start talking and spend some time together and they're both really drawn to each other. What he doesn't know is that three years ago she got a heart transplant and what she doesn't know is that her heart belongs to his dead fiance.

The problem is that she's engaged to be married to someone else, but every time she's around the new guy her heart beats faster and she finds herself falling in love with him. The plot gets extremely complicated after that. Her fiance is a really controlling guy who sees what's happening and tries to stop it and it becomes a big mess. The girl and the guy try to stay apart but they just can't and the whole time we keep yelling "just be together!!" at the screen, lol.

The Korean dramas I've seen are extremely emotional and SOOO romantic! Koreans know how to make a compelling and romantic drama way better than us Americans do! Koreans love drama. They like emotional, sad movies. So do I, actually. I can be an intense person and I tend to like emotionally intense movies.

One thing I love about Korean movies is how clean they are. Koreans are not comfortable with public displays of affection at all. You don't kiss in public or anything like that. So the Korean movies I've seen are kind of the same way. No one is hoping into bed together and you rarely even see kissing. But generally they spend the whole movie wanting to kiss and they never do (except sometimes at the end) and I think it's actually way more romantic and sensual than it would be if everyone was just jumping into bed. We're in the middle of Summer Scent right now and we've been on the edge of our seats for three days just waiting for them to kiss already, lol!! They ALMOST do...and then they don't. But in the meantime it's just so SWEET. The Korean men in movies are always incredibly sweet and emotional. Not like American men in movies at all.

One thing I love about Korean culture is their views on fate. I don't necessarily agree with fate, but they do and it makes Korean movies really romantic. There always seems to be a theme of finding that one person that you're meant to be with. They mention fate a lot in the dramas and movies I've seen. Unrequited love is a really common theme in Korean dramas. What do you do when the one person you're fated to be with is with someone else? I've seen that same type of plot several times now in Korean movies and dramas.

Korean movies and dramas also don't always have happy endings the way that American movies do. It seems like with most American movies you can pretty much figure out how it's going to end in the first five minutes. The good guy almost ALWAYS gets the girl in the end. That's not always true in Korean shows. Sometimes it turns out good and sometimes it doesn't. I've seen a few movies and dramas that totally shocked me at the end because they didn't turn out the way I thought they were going to.

Anyway, see, now I've rambled on about Korean movies again!! I've been trying to talk my friends and family into watching Korean movies with me and no one will because they don't like subtitles. I think you just have to watch one though and then you'll be hooked forever! The subtitles bugged me at first but I totally forget I'm even reading them after a while.

If you're interested in trying some Korean movies or dramas (and you totally should because they're awesome!!), my favorite movies so far are The Classic, Ditto and My Sassy Girl, and my favorite Dramas are Winter Sonata and Summer Scent. I could watch any one of those a million times and not get bored. If you're looking for something that is incredibly romantic and beautiful but will make you cry your guts out for half and hour at the end, The Classic is the best movie in the world! I absolutely love that movie. If you want something really funny and sweet that will still probably make you teary at the end, My Sassy Girl is the cutest movie ever. It cracks me up and makes me cry at the same time.

It's my goal to get just ONE person hooked on Korean movies! The Classic is my all time favorite movie in the world and I can't get anyone besides my husband to give it a try. I'll be happy if I can talk just one person into watching it, lol. I've begged my family for months, and no go so far. They don't know what they're missing!!

So if you watch The Classic because I told you what a great movie it was and you can't wait to cry your guts out for half an hour, leave me a comment so I know that I've created a new Korean movie fan, OK? :)

You can even watch it online! http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/THe+Classic+k-movie#watch%3Dv844936S9sSCgc9

See how easy I made it?! :)

9 comments:

Amanda said...

Where do you find these? Are they on Netflix? They sound right up my alley!

Wenders11 said...

YAY!! I'm so excited that you want to give them a try!!

There are only a few Korean movies on Netflix. The best place to watch them online is at Mysoju.com or Veoh.com.

At mysoju.com they basically find the movies from different places on the internet and sometimes the quality is not perfect and usually you have to watch the movie in pieces. Like you watch 20 minutes and then you click on a link to watch the next 20 minutes. It's not the ideal way to watch a movie, but it's no so bad.

At veoh.com you can download some of the movies onto your computer and watch them that way. That's how I watched The Classic and My Sassy Girl. I now own both of those movies on DVD so I can watch them whenever I want! I bought them from dvdasian.com, but if you buy them from a place like that, make sure you pay attention to the region code and make sure that you get one with English subtitles.

Hope that helps! Let me know how you like them!!

Amanda said...

Ok, I watched My Sassy Girl last night. I loved it! Thanks so much for the recommendations-the Korean movies on Netflix are definitely not my style, yikes, I was getting scared just looking through them lol. I'm watching The Classic tonight after the kids are in bed.

Wenders11 said...

YAY!!! I'm so excited that you liked it! I finally got someone to give Korean movies a try!

Wait until you see the Classic! It's SO sweet and romantic, but keep the Kleenex handy!

The main female lead character in The Classic is my very favorite Korean actress. I've seen almost everything she's been in. She plays two different parts in the Classic. She plays the daughter who is reading her moms love story and then she also plays the mom in flashbacks. She's fantastic.

Let me know how you like it! I wish you could come to my house and watch it!

Amanda said...

The Classic is my new favorite movie. I cried so much! I'm going to make my husband watch it with me Friday. Thank you so, so much for the recommendations.

Do you watch the series' online too, or do you order them from somewhere?

Wenders11 said...

YAY!! I'm so excited that you loved it! Isn't it the sweetest movie ever? And the end?! Oh my goodness, I can never get through it without bawling my eyes out.

I watch the dramas at www.mysoju.com. Just go to that website and do a search for the one you want to watch. You have to watch them in pieces but it's totally worth it! Watch Winter Sonata first. It's totally addicting!

kristalina said...

You can also try crunchyroll.com (really good quality), dramafreak, or even youtube for more Korean drama-and you have to see My name is Kim Sam-Soon and Coffee Prince.

S said...

Hey!I totally agree with you about Korean dramas and movies!!My mom, my sister and I used to watch this amazing drama about the lives and loves og three sisters from an upper- middle class family and it was one of the best shows i've ever watched!unfortunately I dont remember the name or else I would have recommended it to you.Theres another drama called "Jigsaw Puzzle" that we really loved.You should watch that...it's about families.And "The Classic" is my all time favourite movie!!!My friends and I watch it over and over again, and never get tired of it...I especially like the piano music they have in the background in most scenes!If you want to watch more dramas and movies try mysoju.com...it has everything!!!It's so nice to have found another Korean dramas and movies fan!!xxx

S said...

Oops!sorry!just realised you already go to mysoju.com...pls excuse my mistake and have fun watching ur shows and movies! :)