So we’re in the middle of that weird thawing period which isn’t quite winter, and not yet spring. Bear with me as we ride this out. Better yet, catch up with a bit of kdrama!
Heard It Through The Grapevine
Airs: Monday-Tuesday, February 23- June 2, 2015.
Writer: Jung Sung Joo
Director: Ahn Pan Seok
Cast: Lee Joon, Go Ah Sung, Yoon Bok In, Yoo Jun Sang, Jang Hyun Sung.
Premise: boy gets girlfriend pregnant while both are in high school. Chaos ensues.
16 and Pregnant, but K-drama style? I’m in. Even if it’s mainly stemming from curiosity of how a culturally conservative nation deals with teen pregnancy, I had to check this one out.
In Sang (Lee Joon) is ever the unrestrained, horny teenager – but he’s also genuine in his feelings for Seo Bom (Go Ah Sung) that it’s positively heartwarming. Awww. Seriously, my heart can’t take this much sweetness, ah!
In Sang’s the Richie Rich in this story, and his parents are of the politics-dabbling, frighteningly manipulative sort. Even just a episodes in, I was already appalled at the lengths to which they’ll go to in order to protect that glass castle. Pretty impressive, that Lee Joon. Score one for the pop star-turned-actor whose performance is no mistake.
Visually stunning, similar in tone to Secret Love Affair (with the same writer-director team).
Hogu’s Love aka A Fool’s Love
Airs: Monday-Tuesday, February 9 – March 31, 2015. (Marathon alert!)
Writer: Yoo Hyun Sook, Yoon Nan Joong (Flower Boy Ramen Shop)
Director: Pyo Min Soo (Iris 2, Heartstrings)
Cast: Choi Woo Shik, UEE, Lee Soo Kyung, Im Seul Ong, Lee Si Un, Choi Jae Hwan.
Premise: Clueless boy runs into his crush, a national athlete, at a high school reunion. One thing leads to another, they end up at the beach.
Damn, I haven’t had this much fun in kdramaland since King Of High School!
Started off strong and held its own the whole way. This one warmed me up in all the right ways: bold characters, fun dialog, and snappy pacing. Hogu (Choi Woo Shik) is adorable, Ho Kyung (Lee Soo Kyung is a standout) is the most fun, sexiest female in kdramaland, and the twists are refreshing, making solid hits on the funny bone.
No miserable childhood trauma here, we’ve got flashbacks with energetic, unexpected turns. I love dramas that throw out cookie cutter molds and bring in a fresh, sweet kick to the story. Can’t believe I’m just noticing Choi Woo Shik now – he was previously on Fated To Love You, Who Are You (episodes 10 and 12), and You’re All Surrounded (episode 4).
*Bonuses: glorious elevator fight scene (episode 5), brother-sister confrontation about having condoms on hand, among so, so many.
It’s one of the quickest, fun 16 episodes I’ve seen in quite some time.
Airs: Wednesday – Thursday, March 18 – May 7, 2015.
Writer: Park Kyung Soo
Director: Ashbun (Hotel King)
Cast: Kim Hee Sun, Kim Yoo Jung, Baro, Ji Soo, Ji Hyun Woo.
Premise: A dark thriller in which a mom pretends to be a high school kid in order to protect her bullied daughter.
Korean moms are badass, many already know. Why not make it the solid plot for a kdrama? Ma tries to get behind the bullying in her daughter’s school, ends up uncovering can of worms tied to her own high school days. The bullying is no joke; these ain’t Disney Channel tiffs – Oh Ah Ran (Kim Yoo Jung) ends up in the hospital. The plot is just thickening, and I can’t wait to see where this jump down the rabbit hole will go.
Normally, I cringe when middle-aged actors play high school kids. But, in this case, it’s a female actor playing a mom pretending to be a teenager, get it? (She’s that one old-looking kid who got held back a year, or many.)
Awesome fight scenes, watching Kim Hee Sun swear up a storm is delectable, and bullies are well cast (Baro, Lizzy, and hellooo newcomer Ji Soo), who knew watching Ma kick ass could be so much fun?
Happy kdrama watching!