skygiants: Cha Song Joo and Lee Su Hyun from Capital Scandal in a swing pose (got that swing)
So [personal profile] tenillypo and I have just finished watching a drama which is called I Hear Your Voice but which I have been calling, from the beginning, ACE ATTORNEY: KOREAN ROMCOM.

Our Heroine is a jaded public defender named Jang Hye Sung who needs to learn to believe in her clients! and the law!! assisted by a telepathic teenager who can read her clients' minds and tell her if they're innocent or not!!! Because that's definitely what you need to know, to do your job as a defense attorney!!!!

The storyline literally follows all the beats of an Ace Attorney game:

FIRST CASE - Easy Starter Case! A Failboat Friend Has Been Falsely Accused!
SECOND CASE - Bizarre Strangers Are Involved In An Inordinately Complicated Murder!
THIRD CASE - Someone We Care About Got Murdered!
FOURTH CASE - Someone We Care About Got Framed For Murder!
FIFTH CASE - Someone Is On Trial For Murder But It's All Tied To A Previous Murder Trial That Went Wrong Twenty Years Ago And Also The Principals In The Case Might Be Somebody's Long-Lost Parents Presumed Dead!

On the one hand, TRAGICALLY, nobody interrogates a parrot. OR a whale. On the other hand, dramatic amnesia, accidental stabbing, identical twin murder suspects, and MORE THAN ONE INCIDENT of a person cutting off a body part to fake their own death. Also, not even while playing an Ace Attorney game have I screamed "CONFLICT OF INTEREST! RECUSE YOURSELF!!!!" so much at a screen in my life, ever.

Now, OK, I've played lots of Ace Attorney games. I know how this goes and I can provide documentary screencap evidence )
skygiants: Pique, Duck and Lilie, from Princess Tutu.  HUGS FOR EVERYONE (group hug!)
For my first post about television in 2017, I want to grab all of you by the collar and tell you at great length about Age of Youth, now on Netflix as Hello My Twenties.



Age of Youth is about five college roommates, almost all of whom are haunted by a DARK SECRET of some sort or another -- murder! ghosts! crushing debt! loan sharks! stalkers! even more murder! -- and yes, all of these are problems, but you can't worry about them all the time when you're also sharing a house with four other people, and the trash always needs taking out, and someone is ALWAYS borrowing your stuff without asking, or looking out the window and whistling obnoxiously when you're trying to have a romantic moment, and also there is ONLY ONE BATHROOM.




Although there are a couple of love interests floating around here and there, the primary focus of the show is emphatically on the relationships between the girls; there's maybe one reverse Bechdel pass in all twelve episodes. And let me tell you, every time we got a fakeout where it looked like a girl was about to call on a love interest for help and instead the roommates came charging to the rescue, MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES.



Also, the general lack of tolerance the show has for male angst is ... kind of amazing.




Cut for more on the girls and further picspam )

Anyway, as aforementioned, I highly recommend this drama -- though please ask me if you want trigger warnings, as trigger warnings may be needed.
skygiants: the main cast of Capital Scandal smiling in a black-and-white photo (children of the revolution)
It has taken [personal profile] shati and me over a year to watch Sandglass after my surprise-kdrama-fan colleague dropped it on my desk one morning in 2015. I'm honestly not sure if it's great or terrible timing that it worked out so that we finished it right after the election, but here we are!

Sandglass aired in 1995, and focuses on the political oppression and corruption of 1970s and 80s Korea. It's notable for:

- interpolating archival footage of significant events, most significantly the Gwangju Uprising, in with footage shot for the show
- breaking a fifteen-year media silence about said significant events
- influencing the prosecution of the former president responsible for aforementioned significant events, who eventually ended up jailed for the abuses committed during his regime
- being one of the most overwhelmingly popular dramas in Korean history
- launching the career of the beautiful and impressively eyebrowed Go Hyun-jung, previously seen on this blog as Seju Mishil, ruthless aspirant to the throne of Korea!

Here of course she is just starting out, and therefore Go Hyun-jung's character Yoon Hye-Rin is only ruthlessly aspiring to control of a casino empire )
skygiants: the main cast of Capital Scandal smiling in a black-and-white photo (children of the revolution)
A couple weeks ago [personal profile] innerbrat and I finished watching through Hong Gil Dong, frequently sold as 'Korean Robin Hood.'

Hong Gil Dong is one of those kdramas that kicks off at 100% candy-colored slapstick and ends -- fair warning -- at about 100% tragedy, with several unexpected zooms up and down along the scale in the middle.

Hong Gil Dong is the illegitimate son of a nobleman and a slave, who bops around being an asshole to everyone until he a.) gets mixed up in a conspiracy and thus b.) in trying to clear his name accidentally becomes a folk hero and prince of thieves and as a result c.) decides his only choice is to revolutionize the world.

cut for images )

My biggest problem with the show is probably its pacing. The primary narrative arc -- after the first few episodes of 'How Hong Gil Dong Accidentally Becomes A Hero!' -- involves the slow build of Hong Gil Dong's partnership with the prince for the purpose of installing a less oppressive regime, followed by the very heavily foreshadowed and VERY RAPID dissolution of that partnership due to fundamentally incompatible goals and worldviews.

I actually really appreciate how the show sets up the incompatible goals and worldviews, and how it complicates the mythic narrative of the 'rightful' prince, and the fact that it does deal with the political aftermath of dynastic struggle and revolution, instead of ending when the crown goes on the correct head, but I wish it did it ... better ... or, you know, with ten episodes devoted to it rather than two.

...my other biggest problem with the show's pacing is that Hong Gil Dong has FOUR Most Important Merry Men and only TWO of them get backstory episodes, which is a.) offensive to my sense of narrative symmetry and b.) offensive to me personally because neither of those two is Mal Nyeo the Obvious Lesbian.

But that said, we enjoyed this weird and wild ride, and now that I have made this entry I can go read the English translation of the 19th-century Korean novel that the show is based on, which I am very excited to do! Both because it looks cool in its own right and because I'm SO CURIOUS about which choices in the show came out of the book, and which were invented by the creators; there's a fair bit of metanarrative in the show about the legend of Hong Gil Dong and who's telling it and how people react to it, which obviously I was into, because I am me.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
I've been waiting until I had enough time to go hunt down images to do a post about the kdrama Faith: The Great Doctor, because, like



the wigs



the wigs

The story of a time-traveling plastic surgeon and her romance with a famous historical general with lightning hands )
skygiants: the main cast of Capital Scandal smiling in a black-and-white photo (children of the revolution)
So I have not been booklogging at all this week because I've been using like all my free time to zoom through Healer, a kdrama about POLITICAL CORRUPTION AND THE POWER OF THE PRESS.

 photo journalists and murder_zpssuqph6y1.jpg

Our heroine's dad is probably right to have concerns )
skygiants: Yong Ha from Sungkyunkwan Scandal (trollface)
For the past -- two years? I think it's two years -- [personal profile] aberration and I have been VERY SLOWLY watching our way through Queen Seondeok. We finally managed to finish it. Literally the day before she left the country for two years. PRIORITIES.

Anyway, Queen Seondeok is an extremely epic show that is very, very loosely based on the life of Korea's first queen regnant, who ruled the kingdom of Silla from 632-647 AD. I say loosely because there is, for example, no evidence that the historical Queen Seondeok spent the first third of her life in exile and then cross-dressing as a boy, but, like, why not? WHY THE HECK NOT.

Cut for the inevitable picspam )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (bang bang)
Okay guys, I guess it's time for me to talk about GAKSITAAAAAAAL!

(You cannot pronounce the name of the show just as Gaksital. You MUST pronounce it with at least six as and a heartfelt scream of despair!)

So Gaksital starts out as a show about a Korean policeman during the Japanese occupation who's trying to catch a costumed nationalist vigilante; for the first few episodes, this made it weirdly like watching a version of Capital Scandal where Lee Kang Gu was the protagonist. [personal profile] innerbrat and I started watching it because we loved Capital Scandal SO MUCH, and this show is set in the 1930s, and there were presumably going to be people in snazzy suits and fedoras and ladies with guns. Priorities: we've got them!

After a few episodes we rapidly came to the conclusion that we couldn't actually . . . recommend it to anyone else . . .

Okay, the thing is, there are many ways in which Gaksital is a very good show! It's super well-crafted in terms of production values and suspense and so on, and it has about six million plotlines and it actually does an amazing job juggling all the side stories and not giving anybody an easy out; all the side characters feel like real and complicated people. This is a full (if very dark) world -- and the scope keeps pulling out, so you start with one angsty individual and end with a movement, in the grand scheme of which one person's kind of silly vigilante revenge quest is not all that important. I really appreciated that.

That being said, the MAIN storyline is SO FULL OF MANPAIN. Our two lead dudes have paid the price SO MANY TIMES. (The show made sure to cast people who were very, very good at ugly crying! My favorite is the tandem bicycle ride of mutual sobbing.) I mean, sometimes it's evil manpain that's called out as evil! The best example went like this:

HEROINE: I'm not going to tell you anything!
DUDE THREATENING HER: Do you not understand how hard it would be for me to have to torture you? WHY DON'T YOU EVER THINK ABOUT MY PAIN?

. . . did I mention there is also a lot of torture?

BUT THERE ARE ALSO A LOT OF AWESOME CHARACTERS, most of whom are played by super attractive people, so . . . I guess at this point I'm just to picspam a bunch of people at you and you can make your own decisions on the rest of it?

Cut for images of lots of attractive people! )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (costume drama)
Since it's Valentine's Day, I might as well write up a romantic kdrama I have been meaning to talk about for ages!



So these are the leads of Queen In-Hyun's Man. In case you are wondering why our hero Kim Boong-Do's hat looks like it has tons of hair stuffed up inside it, that's because Kim Boong-Do usually looks like this:



Yes, this is a TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE.

Details about the smartest time travel ever below! )

REALLY SMART TIME TRAVEL is so rare, guys. I mean, I feel like it's rare, anyway, I dunno. What are your favorite time travel stories?
skygiants: Yong Ha from Sungkyunkwan Scandal (trollface)
Over the past month or so I have been making my roommates watch Sunkyunkwan Scandal with me. We're about halfway through the twenty episodes now, and at this point it is FILLING ME WITH DELIGHT, which means that it's time to tell you guys about it to preserve this feeling of joy in case it takes the kdrama nosedive over the next ten episodes into gloom and misery!

Sunkyunkwan Scandal is basically a lulzy college-hijinks drama! . . . set in eighteenth-century Korea.

Cut for picspam! )
skygiants: Koizumi Kyoko from Twentieth Century Boys making her signature SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED face (wtf is this)
Obedient to my promise, I did what you guys told me and spent my weekend marathoning You're Beautiful. For the amazingly terrible and glorious assault on fashion, good taste and sanity that follows, therefore, you have only yourselves to blame.




How do you solve a problem like Go Mi Nyu?



Obviously, you disguise her as her rising pop-star ~identical twin brother~ - exiled for a month to America to heal from embarrassingly botched cosmetic eye surgery - and make her join a boyband.

It's just like The Sound of Music, except with more cross-dressing, screaming fanclubs, internal slashfic, and fakeout incest.

LENGTHY PICSPAM UNDER THE CUT. )

SO. THAT HAPPENED. (I found out about the show, by the way, from this amazing picspam by [livejournal.com profile] darkeyedwolf, which is ten times more hysterical than mine. I can now vouch for it that every word is true.)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (costume drama)
After hearing me babble a fair bit about the korean drama I have been watching most recently, [livejournal.com profile] genarti ordered me to do a picspam! (Possibly in an attempt to get me to babble at the rest of the world in the hopes that she will have to put up with a bit less of it?) In any case, because I do as I am ordered, here is a picspam of The Legend, epic Korean fantasy TV with a full slew of awesome female characters and a huge costume budget.

And, you know, plot too, I guess. But in the interests of not spoiling I am going to mostly talk about the characters, because they are all pretty cool. Or maybe pretty and cool!

The awesome ladies of Legend! And some other stuff too. )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (kdrama punch!!!!)
Okay so um. As some of you can probably bear unfortunately great witness to, I have recently become kind of hooked on kdramas.

And one thing kdramas do best - in my so-far-limited experience - is awesomely ridiculous declarations-of-love scenes.

Exhibits A and B! )

So, guys, because I am in a soppy/wanting to be entertained sort of mood - tell me about your favorite fictional declarations of love! Bonus points for hilarious undercutting immediately afterwards, but the ones that play it straight (uh, so to speak) are welcome too. :D

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