Staff Picks

March 2016

My Love From Another Star” because Kim Soo Hyun is sexy. (what other reason do you need?)


It’s Okay, That’s love

It was refreshing because it takes love to another level. Its not your usual rom-com. You see themes that are very much a thing in life, but somehow don’t exist in dramaland.

April 2016

Bride of the Century”

This is the drama where you see Lee Hong Ki truly show his acting capabilities. especially if you’ve seen his real reactions and interactions in concert and interviews.

May 2016

“Shining Inheritance” (aka Brilliant Legacy) got me staying up way past my bedtime every night down to the very last episode. It was cute, funny and makes you bawl your eyes out at the same time. Can’t complain when Lee Seung Gi is the male lead. Second Lead is not bad himself 😉 One of my all-time favorites!


“Descendants of the Sun” This drama will grab you from the first episode until the last, and leave you wanting more. You’ll love the dynamic interplay between the characters and find yourself invested in not just the leads but the entire cast. Get ready for the feelz.

November 2016

“Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo” This drama sucks into this drama from the moment you watched the teasers. Its highly addictive. Watcher beware.


January 2017

 

The Lonely Shining Goblin” It’s as beautiful as it an emotional journey because it has the underlying theme of love stronger than death, a connection that runs so deep that two fated souls will find each other again and again. Lovers separated by death and reunited in the next life.

July 2017

 

“Fight My Way” Its a good drama, well-written and well-acted. The beauty of this drama is that it portrayed characters who actually behave like humans with all their pettiness, insecurities and other complexities.

October 2017

“Suspicious Partner” The leads working to figure out relationships and messing things up while finding their place in the world worked well. It was really relatable.


Dreamkatchers Initiative

KHorror: Halloween Movie Edition

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Asian horror films are known for their unconventional and disturbing storylines that will make your skin crawl this Halloween, and South Korea certainly is no exception.  Check out our Dreamkatchers Initiative staff picks of K-Horror movies below!

 

 1. Train to Busan    Feature Film – 2016
Starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.  This zombie fest film takes place on a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country.

 

2. White: Melody of Death    Feature Film – 2011
Starring Ham Eun-jeong, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, and May Doni Kim. Girl group “Pink Dolls” release their new song “White”, a remake from unknown origins their internal strife takes a back seat to death when as they continue to perform a cursed song.

 

3. A Tale of Two Sisters   Feature Film – 2003
Starring Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum, Soo-jung Lim, and Geun-young Moon. Two sisters, both of whom are returning to their old home for the first time since being released from mental institutions, are forced to deal with their cruel stepmother.

 

4. I Saw the Devil   Feature Film – 2011
Starring Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, In-seo Kim, and Bo-ra Nam. This film is about a secret agent of the National Intelligence Service who embarks on a quest of revenge when his fiancée is brutally murdered by a psychopathic murderer.

 

5. The Wailing   Feature Film – 2016
Starring Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, and Chun Woo-hee. About a policeman who investigates a series of mysterious killings and illnesses.

 

6. Wishing Stairs   Feature Film – 2003
Starring Song Ji-hyo, Park Han-byul, and Jo An. It is the third installment of the Whispering Corridors film series set in girls boarding school in Korea. There is a legend at the boarding school that if somebody discovers the 29th step in the 28 step stairway at the school they will be granted a single wish by a fox.

 

 

Which k-horror movies should we add to next year’s list?

Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: Top 3 of 2016

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: Top 3 K-Drama Picks of 2016

And just like that, 2016 has come to an end.  Before I dive into my Top 3 of 2016, let me get the disclaimers out of the way. I am NOT a professional critic. My picks are merely my opinion; I didn’t pick the dramas based on any sort of rating or recognition received.  I went with how the drama made me feel. The dramas also had to have started in 2016; so shows like Oh My Venus and Reply 1988, that started in 2015, but ended in 2016, were taken out of consideration.  Here we go!

 

Honorable Mention: Page Turner

Total Number of Episodes: 3

Where to watch: Dramafever, Viki

Main Cast: Kim So Hyun, Ji Soo, Shin Jae Ha, Ye Ji Won, Hwang Young Hee

OST: N/A

Brief synopsis: Kim So Hyun plays Yoo Seul, a talented pianist, who becomes blind after an accident.  With help from unexpected friends, Yoo Seul discovers a new lease on life.

 

Comments: If this drama had been a full length drama, I feel like it could have made it into my Top 3.  Ji Soo made this drama for me.  Unsurprisingly, he was so full of charm and energy, I couldn’t help but fall for it.  Kim So Hyun also played her character well, but we’ve come to expect that from her.  KSH’s talent shines brighter than ever.  The storyline was simple enough, but even so, after every episode I was craving more, wondering what would happen next.  In my opinion, that’s what makes a good drama, its ability to draw you in and leave you craving for more.  I was really sad when this drama ended after only 3 episodes, because I sure would have loved to see the romance blossom between Kim So Hyun and Ji Soo’s characters.

 

  1. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Total Number of Episodes: 16

Where to watch: Viki

Main Cast: Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kyung Soo Jin, Lee Jae Yoon

OST: https://youtu.be/jnwkp6kwDVA

Brief synopsis: A coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way

 

Comments: From the start, this drama was always the underdog, competing with the likes of Legend of the Blue Sea and Oh My Geum Bi.  Of those three dramas, I’ve only kept up with Weightlifting Fairy. Why? Because I absolutely fell for the storyline.  I loved the fact that it was the handsome athlete that falls for the heroine first.  I loved that he played her daddy long legs and allowed her to love and grieve the loss of her first love, without pushing her to love him.  I loved the progression of their relationship from friendship to love, and how genuine it felt.

 

  1. Descendants of the Sun

Total Number of Episodes: 18, plus 1 bonus behind-the-scenes episode

Where to watch: Dramafever, Viki

Main Cast: Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Gyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won

OST: https://youtu.be/YmC53o2_gWk

Brief synopsis: This story tells of doctors stationed in the fictional war zone of Urk (Uruk), and follows the love story that develops between a surgeon (Kang Mo-yeon) and a special forces officer (Yoo Shi-jin), both elite in their respective fields. The story will track both their personal and professional struggles while exploring issues about the value of life (Dramabeans).

 

Comments: I’ve gotten mixed reviews on this drama, and funny enough, people either really loved it or really hated it. I was a fool for this drama.  Prior to Goblin, I was 100% sure DOTS would be my #1 drama of 2016.  I fell so hard for Song Joong Ki in this drama – the way his sad eyes just pierced your soul, the way he romanced Song Hye Kyo’s character, his bromance with Jin Goo, I LOVED it all. Looking back, the storyline was extremely lacking, but it didn’t matter, I was sold. The OST was amazing. Song Joong Ki was amazing. Song Joong Ki was amazing. Oh wait, did I say that already? If you’re not too concerned with storyline, please give DOTS a watch! Song Joong Ki deserves the love.

 

  1. The Lonely, Shining Goblin

Total Number of Episodes: 16

Where to watch: Dramafever

Main Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na

OST: https://youtu.be/J_XCbHgTg5I

Brief synopsis: Kim Shin is a goblin who is also a protector of souls. He lives together with Wang Yeo, an amnesiac grim reaper who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Shin doesn’t want to be immortal anymore and seeks a human bride in order to end his immortality. Meanwhile, Ji Eun Tak is a high school student who despite her painful reality, remains optimistic, ends up falling in love with the goblin. Kim Sun is an owner of a chicken shop, she is a bright and attractive girl who is loved by all men. However, while encountering hardship in her reckless life, she’ll meet the reaper and begin to change…

 

Comments: I was really hesitant to start Goblin because I’m more into realistic storylines as opposed to fantasy ones, and I couldn’t get behind a drama about a goblin and a grim reaper.  It was too weird for me.  However, I got bored one day during my winter break from classes, and decided to give it a go.  My life hasn’t been the same since.  There are so many reasons why I love the drama and I don’t know where to begin.  Is it bad that I favor the bromance between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook more than any other relationship in the drama?  Kim Go Eun’s eye smile melts my heart.  The way Lee Dong Wook’s naturally red lips quiver when he’s about to cry. Ughh my heart can’t handle it! Even the teasers at the end of the episode probably give me more excitement than the episodes themselves. The drama hasn’t even ended yet, but I feel like it has been so well thought out,  and I’m claiming it as my favorite drama of 2016 because it is just THAT GOOD. Nevermind the OST that is just absolutely epic.  Most of the songs have a melancholic theme that just haunts you, and they are so fitting to the drama.  I could carry on, but that would take away from my drama watching time, and we don’t want that =)

 

Until next time!

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: September Edition

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The common theme for this month’s dramas is REVENGE. Who doesn’t like a good revenge drama? If done well, it keeps you on your toes, unsure of what will happen next. Will your hero succeed, or will your hero succumb to the evilness of the world that we live in?  In the process of seeking revenge, will your hero lose his humanity or will he have a partner keeping him from crossing that line? The following dramas had just enough of everything you look for in revenge dramas, so I highly recommend you give them a try (if you haven’t already).


 

 

sept_soam-posterSTORY OF A MAN (SOAM)

Total number of episodes: 20

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Park Yong Ha, Park Si Yeon, Kim Kang Woo

OST: https://youtu.be/KDPBYU_3lMQ

Brief synopsis: Kim Shin is seemingly living the good life; he has a beautiful girlfriend who loves him and he works for his brother’s dumpling factory. However, his life gets turned upside down when his brother’s company goes bankrupt due to false accusations about the quality of its products.  Shin’s brother ends up committing suicide, and Shin goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.  While in prison, Shin learns that the downfall of his brother’s company was orchestrated by Chae Do Woo, head of a conglomerate started by his own father.  Shin vows to get revenge, and enlists his prison buddies to carry out his plan.

 

Comments: Up until now, I’ve only recommended dramas that recently aired or were currently airing. SOAM actually aired back in 2009. For me to even remember, should tell you how good of a drama it was.  This drama holds a special place in my memory for several reasons; the first being Park Yong Ha. I was introduced to PYH by this drama, and sadly, SOAM ended up being his final drama. PYH definitely shone his star in this drama.  I was thoroughly impressed by his performance.  He emitted so much emotion that I felt like i was right there with him.  I was also introduced to Kim Kang Woo in this drama.  He also played his role so well.  He was evil, but I kinda felt sympathy towards him. I would many times have to tell myself that he was a bad guy, I can’t want things to work out for him.  But ultimately, these two characters were all I needed from this drama.  I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, SOAM knows what is expected of a revenge drama, and it delivered.  I rewatched the drama a few weeks ago just to make sure I still wanted to highlight it, and guess what the result of that was =)

 

 

 

sept_last-posterLAST

Total number of episodes: 16

Where to watch: Viki

Main Cast: Yoon Kye Sang, Lee Bum Soo, Park Won Sang, Seo Ye Ji, Park Ye Jin

OST: https://youtu.be/d1Jpqp4s-Vs

Brief synopsis: Jang Tae Ho is a successful fund manager who becomes homeless after a stock operation goes wrong.  Living on the streets of Seoul Station, Tae Ho learns of the secret, hierarchical organization that the homeless are a part of.  Determined to fix his life and to help the homeless people who are being exploited, Tae Ho works his way from the bottom up to fight against the boss of the organization.

 

Comments: Last is in my Top 3 as far as dramas that aired in 2015. I loved the pace. I loved the characters, the relationships, everything. If I had to choose a favorite character, it would have been Park Won Sang’s character Ryu Jong Goo.  He was conflicted throughout the drama with choosing between right and wrong, but he definitely ended up being really stand-up guy. Last is a perfect supplement to SOAM because I was so satisfied with both dramas. I have nothing bad to say about either of them. Both dramas were just really, really good.

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: July Edition

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The month of June was a busy month in the kdrama universe. We had so many premieres that I’m still playing catch up. Fortunately for us kdrama addicts, there’s always more in store for us. Here’s the rundown on what dramas I’m currently watching and what dramas to look out for in the next few months.

 

DoctorsDoctors/Doctor Crush

Total number of episodes: 20

Episode I’m on: 6

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Park Shin Hye, Kim Rae Won, Yoon Kyun Sang, Lee Sung Kyung

Brief Synopsis: Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) is a tough high school student who gets sent to live with her grandmother after causing trouble. Thanks to the warmth and guidance of her grandmother and her homeroom teacher Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won), Hye Jung grows up to be a successful neurosurgeon.

Reasons to watch:

1. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Park Shin Hye play such a bad ass, and it suits her so well!

2. I was a bit hesitant about the Park Shin Hye/Kim Rae Won pairing because he’s SOO much older, but surprisingly, the chemistry is there. I found myself cringing a little bit when they showed some skinship in episode 4, but I think they’ll grow on me by the time the finale comes around.

3. I really like the different storylines of this drama. There are so many different arcs that interest me, from the rekindling of the OTP’s relationship, to the reconciliation of Hye Jung and Seo Woo (hopefully), to the possibility of Hye Jung seeking revenge for her grandmother’s death. There’s just so much hope for what this drama could be. I’m really looking forward to the direction in which the writer chooses to go.


Mirror of the Witch

Mirror of the Witch

Total number of episodes: 20

Episode I’m on: 5

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Yoon Shi Yoon, Kim Sae Ron, Kwak Si Yang

Brief Synopsis: Desperate to produce a successor to the throne, Queen Sim accepts the help of shamaness Hong Joo’s black magic in order to conceive. However, during labor, Queen Sim gives birth to not one child, but a boy, Soon Hwae, and a girl, Seo Ri. Cursed, Seo Ri is abandoned and left for dead. Seo Ri is saved by a Taoist monk and grows up in hiding deep in the mountains, which is where she meets Heo Jun by chance. Determined to save the people that she loves, Seo Ri goes on a journey to break the curse that is plaguing her life.

Reasons to watch:

1. Yoon Shi Yoon! Yoon Shi Yoon! Yoon Shi Yoon! I’ve missed him so much since he was in the military, and admittedly, I was concerned about him taking this role considering the age gap with Kim Sae Ron, but YSY plays this role so well that I’ve decided to turn a blind eye to it. I cry when he cries, I smile when he smiles. He has this amazing ability to make me CARE so much about his character.

2. This drama was shot so beautifully. I’d watch just for the cinematics alone.

3. Honestly, the story revolves around Seo Ri and this curse that needs to be broken, but I’m more invested in Heo Jun getting revenge for his mother’s death at the moment. I don’t think he can be fully at peace with his mother’s death until that gets resolved.


Beautiful MindBeautiful Mind

Total number of episodes: 16

Episode I’m on: 3

Where to watch: Viki

Main Cast: Jang Hyuk, Park So Dam, Yoon Hyun Min, Park Se Young

Brief Synopsis: Lee Young Oh is a hotshot neurosurgeon with one major flaw – he’s heartless. Due to an injury in his frontal lobe, Young Oh has the inability to empathize with others. On the contrary, Gye Jin Sung is a rookie cop who is outspoken and cares deeply about those around her. They meet under murderous circumstances, but meeting Jin Sung will prove to be just what Young Oh needed to recover his humanity.

Reasons to watch:

1. I’m not really into legal and medical dramas nor ones of the suspenseful type; my heart just can’t take it, but I at least try to give dramas a one episode chance. If I’m drawn in after the first episode, I’ll give the drama my all until the end. Beautiful Mind wasn’t really on my radar, but I gave it a go anyway, and after watching one episode, I’m excited for what’s to come. I am so impressed with how rich each main character is. Young Oh is a straight up ass hole, and I find myself hating him; but I think that’s how I’m supposed to feel, making his change that much more meaningful in the long run. Jin Sung is righteous and won’t back down for anyone. She’s thoughtful and smart. I don’t like her yet, but I hope to get there with a few more episodes.

2. I’m enjoying the pace of the show so far. I haven’t found myself dozing off, so that’s a good sign. I’m not sure if the main storyline is going to be about the relationship that Young Oh and Jin Sung develop, or if they’re gonna lean more towards the mysterious deaths that keep occurring, either way, I’m in for the long haul. Show, don’t fail me!


Task Force 38Task Force 38/Squad 38

Total number of episodes: 16

Episode I’m on: 4

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Ma Dong Seok, Seo In Guk, Sooyoung, Song Ok Suk, and many more!

Brief Synopsis: A special task force comprised of government workers and conmen will work together to catch tax evaders.

Reasons to watch:

1. 3 episodes in and this drama is gearing up to be a fun ride. Baek Sung Il is such a lovable character because he seems so real. He’s flawed, and he’s been carrying around this guilt over what happened to his coworker. I think being a part of this task force will be just what he needs to at the spark back to his fire.

2. Seo In Guk.. I’ve never really been a fan of his, but I’m really loving his mischievous character in this drama. Aside from the fact that he got caught, he’s smart, witty, and I think (hope) he will really be able to pull of this “heist.” I’m looking forward to seeing how his plan plays out. They better be successful otherwise I deem this drama a failure. I’m kidding, sort of.


But wait! There’s more! The following dramas are airing soon, and I’m so excited. The cast alone has me committed.

 

Uncontrollably Fond

Premiere Date: July 6

Main Cast: Bae Suzy, Kim Woo Bin, Lim Ju Hwan, Lim Ju Eun

Let’s Fight Ghost

Premiere Date: July 11

Main Cast: Kim So Hyun, TaecYeon, Kwon Yul, Kim Sang Ho, Lee Do Yeon, Kang Ki Young, David Lee, Baek Seo-E

W

Premiere Date: July 20

Main Cast: Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo
Second to Last Love

Premiere Date: July 23

Main Cast: Ji Jin Hee, Kim Hee Ae, Kim Seul Gi, Kwak Shi Yang

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds

Premiere Date: August 15

Main Cast: Park Bo Gum, Kim Yoo Jung, Jin Young, Chae Soo Bin

Jealousy Incarnate

Premiere Date: August 17

Main Cast: Jo Jung Seok, Gong Hyo Jin, Go Kyung Pyo

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo/Moon Lovers

Premiere Date: August 29

Main Cast: IU, Lee Junki, Kang Haneul, Hong Jong Hyun, Baekhyun, Nam Joo Hyuk, Ji Soo, Yoon Sun Woo, Kim San Ho, and so many more

Goblin

Premiere Date: November

Main Cast: Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook have confirmed. We’re still waiting on confirmation of our leading lady.

Legend of the Blue Sea

Premiere Date: November

Main Cast: Lee Min Ho, Jun Ji Hyun


Hwarang: The Beginning

Premiere Date: None so far

Main Cast: Park Seo Joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung Sik, Minho (of Shinee), Do Ji Han, Jo Yoon Wo, Kim Taehyung (BTS’ V)

Thank you so much for joining me this month. See you next time!

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Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda: June Edition

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Annyeong, everyone! I was invited back to DKI and of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so here I am! To celebrate Father’s Day this month, I’m highlighting a couple of dramas where fathers play a pivotal role in the overall storyline of the dramas.

-Thumbalynda


 

Warning: Many spoilers ahead!

 


 

Remember Poster

 

Remember – War of the Son

Total number of episodes: 20

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Yoo Seung Ho, Park Min Young, Park Sung Woong, Namgoong Min, Jung Hye Sung

OST: https://youtu.be/DBxQDpWiHm0

Brief synopsis: Yoo Seung Ho plays Seo Jin Woo, a kid with a condition, called hyperthymesia, that allows him to remember every day in near perfect detail. When Jin Woo’s father is falsely accused of murder, and then is betrayed by his lawyer, Jin Woo decides to use his condition to his advantage and becomes a lawyer to prove his father’s innocence himself.

 

Comments: So, the story of Jin Woo and his father is pretty tragic. While Jin Woo has this amazing memory, his father ironically is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I think I cried the most while watching Jin Woo’s interactions with his father. The fact that Jin Woo had this unwavering belief in his father and his father’s innocence made me root for their victory even more. Even when his father could no longer remember him, Jin Woo remained devote to the end. His unconditional love for his father drove his ambition to clear his father’s name. Although Jin Woo’s father didn’t get a lot of screen time and ultimately died well before the final episode, there would have been no story to tell without him.

Side Note: I can’t talk about Remember and not give an honorable mention to Namgoong Min. I thought he was pretty creepy in The Girl Who Sees Smells, but I felt like he took this villainous role to another level. I seriously felt scared for everyone who encountered him (especially his poor secretary), and even towards the end of the show, I felt like there was a real possibility that he couldn’t be defeated. Now I’m not saying I like villains, but I definitely loved Namgoong Min’s portrayal of Nam Gyu Man.

 


 

reply 1988 poster

 

Reply 1988

Total number of episodes: 20

Where to watch: Viki, Dramafever

Main Cast: Lee Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi, Park Bo Gum (this is a pretty large cast so I’ve only listed the “kids”)

OST: https://youtu.be/jqZ2Ie4pd30

Brief synopsis: This drama follows five neighborhood friends and their families during the late 1980s. (Once you watch this drama you’ll understand why it’s basically impossible to write a brief synopsis…lol)

 

Comments: Each of the “kids” had a unique relationship with his/her father, but the father-child relationship that stood out to me the most wasn’t even that of one of the kids; it was the relationship between Bora (Duk Sun’s sister) and her father. I think I gravitated toward this relationship because it reminded me how my relationship with my dad has progressed over the years. Bora didn’t communicate with her father well and vice versa, but there was a mutual love that was expressed in their actions. One of the most heartfelt moments in the drama was in the final episode when Bora had gifted her dad with a new pair of shoes to wear to her wedding. Dad insists that the shoes fit perfectly, and buffs and shines them with pride. Even when Bora repeatedly asks him if his new shoes really fit, he still insists that they are perfect. However, on the day of the wedding, Duk Sun notices the shoes are way too big and gives dad some tissue to stuff in the shoe so he doesn’t trip over himself. It is only when Bora is doing the obligatory bow to her dad that she realizes the shoes were too big for him. She starts balling her eyes out and of course I do the same. Dad’s willingness to wear the shoes, even though they were too big, speaks to how valuable the shoes (and Bora) are to him.

Conclusion: I loved Reply 1988 so much because of the refreshing realness that it brought. Kdramas can be very cliché and even predictable, but finding a drama that you can relate to personally; you don’t come across that too often. On the other hand, Remember wasn’t exactly relatable, but I still found myself invested in Jin Woo’s journey to clearing his dad’s name and bringing about peace to his life. I really hope you enjoy both dramas as much as I did! Happy Father’s Day!

Once Upon a Drama with Thumbalynda

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Hi everyone!

Firstly, I’d like to thank DKI for inviting me to be a guest writer on their website. It is such a great honor to be able to contribute to such an awesome organization. To top it off, I get to write about a topic that I absolutely love: KDRAMA. I’ve completed nearly 100 kdramas (but who’s really counting ^_^), so I can safely say that I’m a kdrama addict; AND, I wear that title with pride. Honestly, kdrama has been a source of comfort for me through some of the darkest moments in my life. Taking a timeout from life for 60 minutes (or so) has been my self-prescribed therapy over the last several years. Kdramas have given me the excuse to cry when I felt like crying (without having to give an explanation), or the reason to laugh when I felt like crying (but had nothing or no one else to comfort me).

I wasn’t given a specific topic to write about, so I’ve opted to recommend a couple of dramas that are currently airing without giving away any spoilers. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read =)

-Thumbalynda


 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD LAWYER JO DEUL HO (NLJ)
Airs on: Mondays and Tuesdays
Total number of episodes: 20
Most recent episode aired: 12
Where to watch: Viki
Main Cast: Park Shin Yang, Kang Sora, Ryu Soo Young, Park Sol Mi
OST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAutvff4AnM
Brief synopsis: Jo Deul Ho has gone from growing up in an orphanage to becoming a star prosecutor with a very promising future. However, when he discovers corruption in his workplace and decides to report it, he ends up losing everything. This drama follows Jo Deul Ho as he tries to rebuild his life by opening a neighborhood law office and becoming a lawyer that citizens can depend on and trust.

Comments: I almost didn’t give this drama a chance because I had no idea who Park Shin Yang was and legal dramas aren’t really my cup of tea. The last legal drama I watched was Pride and Prejudice and the drama itself was just so-so to me. However, the same cannot be said about NLJ. I’m not sure if it’s the writing or if it’s the actors, but I find myself feeling everything that the characters feel. Whether it’s excitement over a small victory or hopelessness because of repeated failure, I feel it all, and that’s what’s most important to me when it comes to dramas. If I don’t care about what happens next, I’ll just stop watching. Granted we’re only halfway through the drama so things could turn terribly south, but given that each episode so far has kept my interest, I can only imagine it’ll get better from here.

 

VAMPIRE DETECTIVE (VD)
Airs on: Sundays
Total number of episodes: 12
Most recent episode aired: 6
Where to watch: Dramafever, Viki
Main Cast: Lee Joon, Oh Jung Se, Lee Se Young, Lee Chung Ah
OST: None available
Brief synopsis: This drama follows Yoon San, a former police detective who becomes a private investigator following a traumatic injury while in the line of duty. During one of his investigations, Yoon San is attacked and is turned into a vampire. Using his newfound supernatural abilities, Yoon San works to solve a variety of cases, while simultaneously trying to solve the mystery of his own life.

Comments: OCN sure does love vampires, and for that I cannot complain. If you’ve seen the Vampire Prosecutor (VP) series then you’ll definitely be a fan of VD. It follows the same sleek, dark style, and Lee Joon is drop dead sexy (as was Yeon Jung Hoon in VP). Each episode introduces a new case, while also giving you a piece to Yoon San’s own puzzle. I honestly didn’t have any high hopes coming into this drama, I just wanted to see Lee Joon in action, and thus far, I have not been disappointed. The storyline is really good in that each case is engaging, while the buildup to Yoon San’s own mystery is continuously gaining momentum as well. What really keeps me hooked is this cast though. The chemistry between Lee Joon, Oh Jung Se, and Lee Se Young is soo fun to watch, while Lee Chung Ah’s portrayal of the villain is creepy as hell.