KOREAN DRAMA: PART 2: Dramas I didn't like or couldn't finish....
The Moon that Embraces the sun
Coffee House (shudder)
The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012):
I was really excited about this one for two reasons: Fantasy Sageuk & Kim Soo Hyun. (Song Sam Dong I will forever love you!)
Sadly though it really didn't live up to my expectations and I found myself so incredibly disinterested that towards the end I even accidentally skipped a whole episode without noticing. In fact the only reason I ever even realised it had happened was because I saw some photo stills of the main lead's kiss after they are finally reunited and it occurred to me I had never seen that happen.
But basically I hadn't missed much.
I actually really loved the beginning of this drama with the child leads. This was the first time I had ever come across either Yeo Jin Goo or Kim Yoo Jung who play the main leads as children (though now I realise one or the other of them are in every single drama ever) and I really liked both actors a hell of a lot. Especially Kim Yoo Jung who is just gorgeous. I can't freaking wait for her to grow up and star in a drama.
I thought the childhood storyline was fresh and oh so romantic, rooted firmly in the innocence of youth and with such a perfect sweetness that it was impossible not to get fully invested in this couple. Because of them, this early segment of the drama was an absolute pleasure to watch for me.
And then everyone grew up and ruined it.
I felt like the plot seemed to stagnate as soon as the adult cast arrived and I found it hard to relate the new Wol (played now by the rather flat and uninspiring Han Ga-in) to her younger and much more interesting counterpart. Because I could never quite connect these two characters in my mind as being the same person, I found it really hard to care very much for Wol or the difficulties she had to face to get her love (and her memory) back. And with that less than great opinion of the lead female character, my excitement for this drama began to fade away.
I guess I thought Kim Soo Hyun was fine in his role as the lovelorn king, but he didn't really blow me away and I discovered I don't really enjoy Sageuks that are almost exclusively located within the palace walls, with pretty much every single character involved in the restrictions of regimented palace life. One of my main reasons behind this is, with the main character a king, he is constantly being followed by about a billion court attendants, all of whom stand around in the background of every romantic or emotional moment, basically just being a damn nuisance and ruining the mood.
I am not a massive Jung Il Woo fan but I do usually enjoy him in dramas, though in this one he really got on my nerves in a major way. I don't think that was the actor's fault at all and was purely the way his character was written, which was basically as a big dumb jerk.
I don't know if anyone else shared this opinion of the character as I have read there was actually a lot of love for him when this aired, but I just found him to be so overly jealous of everything his brother had, (even though, lets be honest, it's not that great to be king. In fact it is pretty stressful and restrictive and also there are constantly evil plotting politicians trying to kill you with their evil plots) and also, where his love for Wol was concerned, I thought he was quite petty.
I mean, it is all very well and good for Prince Yang-myung to cry to his brother (and everyone else) that he should be allowed to keep Wol for himself because he has nothing else, and that he should get his own way just this one time as he has never asked for anything before, but seriously......
....she doesn't love you dude!
Isn't it up to Wol who she decides to be with? It's not like the King could just give her to his brother anyway. And I don't even want to mention the Kings little sister whose entire storyline was about her flirting with her husband.....WTF drama? How was that riveting in any way?
I sound so angry, but its only because I so wanted it to be good. Anyway....this drama looked beautiful, and sounded beautiful and started beautifully....and then took a stroll down stupid avenue.
School 2013 (2012!? )
Mmmmh. Now this drama started off very interesting for me. It was gritty, hard hitting and dealt with some very serious issues...bullying, parental pressure to succeed, parents who don't give a shit.....you name a relevant teen issue and it was in there harassing the hell out of this bunch of students.
So we start off with a damaged boy, a kid who doesn't engage or connect with his classmates or get involved if he doesn't have to. He is also someone who is habitually bullied and bashed up by the class thug and his minions. This is Nam-soon.
Enter a mysterious boy from Nam-soon's checkered past and we have Heung-soo, another completely damaged kid who is holding a massive grudge against our hero for a violent and thoughtless past act that destroyed Heung-soo's life. So far so good right?
Then as Nam-soon and Heung-soo start the long road to recovery, they fall onto the wrong side of the school board and might be expelled. They have two teachers though who try and help them, one an optimistic dreamer and the other a cynical whiny puss. These teachers stick their necks out to clear the students names and the day is saved. Yay!
And then the next thing that happens is that Nam-soon and Heung-soo start becoming friends again, but get into a situation that puts them on the wrong side of the school board and they may be expelled! But they are saved by their two teachers and everything is fine again.
For at least half a second anyway....
.....because then they get on the wrong side of the school board again and .......
You get the idea.
I mean there was obviously some major variations to the above plot lines but I still think it was a little repetitive for me to fully get invested in, and so I ended up a bit bored.
And now onto the shallower side of my disappointment. Heung-soo (the lovely Kim Woobin) had hair that upset me. Why was it cut in a way that covered his amazingly insane eyebrows? Why was it styled so that the only glimpse of his fantastical eyebrows I ever got was when he was briefly running away from danger?
I hope they cast him as the lead in a new drama soon. (And also that he has an awesome haircut that I approve of.) Unleash those eyebrows Kim Woobin!!
Coffee House (2010):
This has got to be my most hated Korean drama of all time (even just the picture above makes me want to vomit), though I am not entirely sure it actually deserves that title. I watched this during the early days of my obsession when I still hadn't mastered the art of being able to say: 'This drama is totally shit. I am going to turn it off now and watch a better one.'
Unfortunately back then I lacked that sort of skill so I watched the entire thing, just waiting and hoping desperately for something to actually happen that would cause it all to make sense.
It never did.
I hate you Coffee House! You ruined my life for the few days that it took me to watch you, and I will never get those few days back again. Sob.