My Year in Asian Dramas 9 – With a Side of Kimchi

It’s sooo hot it’s not even funny anymore. Summer stuck at home with the only way to cool off is to take a bath sucks. I’m dreaming of going to the beach or maybe even a pool resort or the Mountains of Baguio. I may also be just vicariously living through the lives of the drama actors who live in a cold country.

And speaking of Kimchi, my fridge staple does not last me more than a week because we love to add it to any of the meals we cook. I might need to make my own Kimchi soon. These next few dramas and movies are definitely well best served with that spicy side dish.😜



Her Private Life (그녀의 사생활)
Aired: April 10 – May 30, 2019
Plot: Sung Deok-mi (Park Min-young) is a talented chief curator of Cheum Museum of Art, who also happens to have a secret: she is a fanatic fangirl of White Ocean’s Cha Shi-an (ONE). In addition, she is also the fansite manager of the famous “Shi-an is My Life”. Ryan Gold (Kim Jae-wook) is a standoffish artist who develops Stendhal syndrome, eventually retiring as an artist. After the current boss, Uhm So-hye (Kim Sun-young), gets investigated for embezzlement, Ryan Gold becomes the new Art Director of Cheum Museum of Art. After rumors break out claiming Deok-mi and Shi-an are dating, Ryan suggests that he and Deok-mi pretend to date to ward off Shi-an’s fans who threaten to harm her. However, Sindy (Kim Bo-ra), another fansite manager of Cha Shi-an, manages to land a job as an intern in the museum to prove that Ryan and Deok-mi are a fake couple, leaving both no choice but to continue the act even at work.

Thoughts: Fangirling is real I tell you! It’s funny how relatable Sung Deok-mi is when she fangirls over her favorite idol. I wish I was living in her country and have the means to buy that huge camera she has so that I could fangirl just as hard as her. I also wanted to mention her perfect boyfriend Ryan who doesn’t hold a grudge, knows how to apologize, AND is super supportive of his girls fangirling. I may have found the perfect guy. 😆😆😆

***

Signal (시그널)
Aired: January 22 – March 12, 2016
Plot: A mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in the year 1986 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015; with the power of fore and hindsight the two not only solve crimes but prevent them from ever taking place. A criminal profiler Park Hae Young (Lee Je-hoon), solves a kidnapping case that ended up with a falsely accused who apparently disappeared after the crime, with a mysterious walkie-talkie he picks up. The success of this case triggers the formation of a long-term cold case team, led by Detective Cha Soo-Hyun (Kim Hye-soo), who has been searching her long-lost mentor Lee Jae-Han (Cho Jin-woong), for the past 15 years. With the help of Detective Lee Jae-Han, the person at the other end of the walkie-talkie, Park Hae-young solves many other cold cases that have remained unsolved for years, while helping Lee Jae-Han help solve some cases in the past. However, grave unintended sequences follow. Within the limited capabilities of the supernatural element, the three detectives put up a fight against time to solve crimes and save themselves from the unprecedented events that occur due to their actions.

Thoughts: I am such a sucker for mystery dramas that I couldn’t pass this up. Just like the drama Tunnel, this had a little bit of a time element. I was hoping it wasn’t as cringey as Tunnel and it wasn’t because the characters didn’t really time travel. This drama was just like the series Frequency except it had an open ended ending where Detective Lee Jae-Han was still missing and now for an entirely different reason as they were able to change his original time line. Maybe they could come out with a movie to actually give him the happy ending he deserves.

This series also has a Japanese and a Chinese remake I haven’t seen yet.

***

Strong Girl Bong-Soon (힘쎈여자 도봉순)
Aired: February 24 –
April 15, 2017
Plot: Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young) was born with superhuman strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. She desperately wants to become a delicate and elegant woman, which is the ideal type of her crush, In Guk-doo (Ji Soo), a police officer. Thanks to her strength, she gets a job as bodyguard to rich heir Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyungsik), the CEO of a gaming company, Ainsoft. In contrast to Guk-doo, Min-hyuk is an eccentric man who is playful, a little spoiled, has no regard for rules, and dislikes policemen. He has recently received anonymous threats and has even been stalked, leading him to hire Bong-soon as his bodyguard after seeing her beat up a bunch of men after they threatened an old man who was an elementary school bus driver. A series of kidnapping cases happen in Dobong-dong, the district Bong-soon lives in, and she is determined to catch the culprit, who targeted her best friend. With help and training from Min-hyuk, she manages to control her strength to use it for good causes. Min-hyuk and Bong-soon find their relationship growing into something more.

Thoughts: A light and funny drama that shows how a girl comes to terms with the fact that she’s never going to be a damsel in distress. But even if she is a superhero, she’s still a woman who deserves to be loved.

I wanted to mention that Bong-Soon’s leading man has such a dreamy voice. Here he is singing the Korean Version of True Colors with another actress who also played a strong woman.


In keeping with the Korean shows I’ve seen in the last few weeks, I’m currently still watching 2 dramas and then I finally got to see some movies too.

Spellbound (오싹한 연애)
Released: December 1, 2011
Plot: Jo-goo, a street magician (Lee Min-ki), notices a miserable looking girl, Yeo-ri (Son Ye-jin), in the audience during one of his performances, and she winds up being the inspiration for his “Horror magic show.” The show becomes a runaway success almost overnight and Jo-goo in turn, is now a successful stage magician with a model girlfriend. Yeo-ri works for Jo-goo, playing the specter in his show. Forward to almost a year later, the darkness inside her, something her colleagues sense, keeps her from truly connecting with them. When Jo-goo’s attempts to include Yeo-ri in a staff dinner finally succeeds, hilarious disaster ensues when she ends up blindingly drunk. Jo-goo calls Yeo-ri the next morning to sort things out, but when the phone disconnects with a weird sound, he decides to drop by her place for a visit instead. There, Jo-goo meets and engages in a game of hide-and-seek with a ghost child, which then scares the bejesus out of him later that night. As the two of them spend more time together, developing a fast friendship, Yeo-ri confesses the long story behind her gray, wan face.

Thoughts: I’ve only ever seen actress Son Ye-jin in Crash Landing on You so I was surprised when I saw this Rom-Com movie. I’m not sure if it’s becasue the movie was from 2011 but the plot was a little wonky. If Son Ye-jin’s character has been seeing ghosts for a long time I don’t understand why she still scares so easily in one scene then is like “I got this” in another. The story was cute though.

***

No Breathing (노브레싱)
Release: October 30, 2013
Plot: Like his swimming champion father, Won-il (Seo In-guk) was once a promising swimmer. But when his father dies during a swimming competition (where he was doing his specialty called “no breathing”), followed soon after by his mother’s death, Won-il quits swimming for good. Instead, he lives life hopelessly and recklessly, like there is no tomorrow. With Won-il in danger of being expelled from school, his father’s longtime friend Jae-suk (Park Chul-min) drags him to a physical education-focused high school, hoping that he’ll start swimming again. There he meets his long-ago rival, Woo-sang (Lee Jong-suk) who in the past had always been overshadowed by Won-il. With Won-il’s absence from the sport, Woo-sang is now in first place and is a national swimming star. But he gets disqualified from the national tryouts after getting into trouble, so he has to start from ground zero and ends up at the same phys-ed school as Won-il. Woo-sang is Won-il’s complete opposite in personality, and all he cares about is winning so he finds Won-il’s return to the sport unwelcome. Then there is Jae-suk’s daughter, Jung-eun (Kwon Yuri) who captures both Won-il and Woo-sang’s hearts and further reignites the rivalry between them. The two very different young men begin training for an upcoming swimming competition, battling for love and friendship as they undergo the rite of passage of growing up.

Thoughts: Lee Jong Suk. Should I say more? LOL. Just joking. This is one of his movies that I have wanted to watch since I finished most of his series. He was so young and skinny back then but the acting chops are still on point.


One of the new dramas I’ve encountered recently are what is called BL or Boys’ Love Dramas from Thailand. BL of Yaoi (やおい) is a Japanese term for female-oriented fiction (novels and tv/movies shows) featuring idealized romantic or homoerotic relationships between two males. I started watching some clips in Facebook and then discovered the cute (and oh so hot) tandem of Mew Suppasit and Gulf Kanawut.

TharnType: The Series (เกลียดนักมาเป็นที่รักกันซะดีๆ) )
Aired: October 7, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Plot: Type is a dark, tall and handsome freshman. Although he’s a warm boy, he is homophobic because he was molested by a man as a child. His life turns up side down when the new year of college brings along a very interesting person in his life — , a gay roommate, Tharn. Tharn is a very handsome music major with fair skin and mixed features. He is also openly gay. With a gay guy and a guy who hates gay men that have to share a small space together for the rest of the year — what can possibly be the outcome of their story? Hatred? Or maybe love?

Thoughts: I am shipping these two so badly! And I get why BL was mainly made for women. It has all the rough and tumble fantasies women have without the female drama. Since they are both “boys” (or should I say men?) they say and do what they want to and with each other. If they are attracted to someone then hot damn they go get what they want. Both Mew and Gulf are eye-candy and their kiss and bed scenes are 🔥🔥🔥.

I’m straight but, damn that’s really hot


Aside from watching my ever long list of dramas and discovering news ones a long the way, I am also starting up doing bullet journaling again. I got a new grid type notebook journal online. I salute the delivery men who are out there working despite the quarantine and pandemic. Maybe I’ll make an article about designing my bullet journal soon. 😉

Fangirl with me?

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