[HanCinema's Report] "Descendants of the Sun" filming in Greece 2015/10/17,
Upcoming series 'Descendants of the Sun' has been filming in locations all over Greece since late September. The drama starring popular actors Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo is about a UN peacekeeping troops captain and a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders falling in love while in a war-stricken country. Due to this premise, 80% of the pre-produced series is filmed outside of Korea. While the production has been mostly secretive in order to maintain audience suspense, some Greek news portals and blogs have followed the filming and acquired information. After contacting them, they have graciously shared their coverage with HanCinema. Filming has mainly taken place in Zakynthos, Arachova and Lemnos,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 20 Final 2013/12/12,
I don't think I've ever been this frustrated by a happy ending before. A certain amount of schmaltz and contrivance is appropriate to get a story to end on a positive note, sure. But nearly every single conflict solved here quite literally appeared only one episode ago. And even in those cases where there was a bit more foreshadowing, we're talking extremely brief glimpses from several episodes ago.
The most annoying part about is that Kim Tan, our alleged main character, barely has anything to do with any of this. Yes, as usual, the scenes about the love story between him and Eun-Sang predominate,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 19 2013/12/11,
There's lot of cuteness here as we get a bright cheery look at Kim Tan's birthday party, where all his friends have shown up and are having a gay old time taking pictures and doing basic teen stuff. Even the abrupt ending of Kim Tan confronting his father with Eun-Sang in tow is pretty fun. When the drama loses its pretensions and just lets its teen characters act like real teenagers, it can be fairly successful as light entertainment.
However, the more of this cute stuff that we see, the more the question comes up of how appropriate it is for the only apparent conflict in this drama to be deflated so close to the end,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 18 2013/12/05,
It would seem that the immense effort tha previous episode made to convince the viewer that yes, the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang separation really is serious this time, was actually just an elaborate trick so that the drama could do the same plot, again, without it feeling too repetitive. I have to admit that it worked- there simply isn't enough time left at this point for "The Heirs" to try and stir up drama by separating them again. And I did have that brief optimism, for one episode.
But that's pretty much entirely gone now. This episode is immensely exhausting in the way it just keeps going on and on about the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang connection, wringing its hands about awful the situation is, until finally we get to a climatic moment where they finally resolve to do something to finish off the drama's issues once and for all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 17 2013/12/04,
Most of the episode's runtime is dedicated to searching and pining about Eun-Sang. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually take that long for anyone to find her. The main conflict ends up being, all right, provided that we know where Eun-Sang is, then what? The barriers preventing her from getting together with Kim Tan are, as has been thoroughly noted, a lot more dense and problematic than just her staying in a different physical location.
Unfortunately there isn't really much going on here in the way of attacking those barriers. Personally, I have no big stake in Kim Tan and Eun-Sang getting back together soon, or even at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 16 2013/11/28,
While the romantic storyline in this drama is fairly repetitive, I have to give it credit for managing to pull a fast one. Eun-Sang has been doing the pouty face thing for so long it genuinely didn't even occur to me that there was something more to it this time. In one sense, the episode really just repeats its own plot all over again- but thanks to the changed context and the way Kim Tan is typically the focus character, the ending manages to sneak in very effectively.
The corporate intrigue plotline manages to sputter out with comically little fanfare. We get a clear sense that, in the end, the balance of power really is pretty horribly one-sided,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 15 2013/11/27,
I really don't like Kim Woo-bin's new haircut. The one he had before was really slick and sharp- it showed off the rough, smart edges of Yeong-Do, and the way it played off of his eyebrows was just great. But this new haircut is almost exactly the same as Lee Min-ho's, and while that kind of hair works for members of the Kim family, it lacks the sneaky smugness that the character of Yeong-Do really needs. It's also slightly confusing having so many unrelated cast members with similarproblems. In a me-looking hair.
Anyway, aside from the hair, there's some still some good stuff here. The episode starts out the same place we left off at the party, and we almost immediately delve into a hilarious bit of tit-for-tat,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 14 2013/11/21,
The ostentatious displays by our lead characters have managed to get really nauseating. I knew when I started watching "The Heirs" that this was going to be a drama about the extremely rich and well-connected. What I liked about the early episodes was that there was this clear indication that being rich and well-connected is not necessarily a good thing for a person with lousy emotional attachments. The picturesque cityscape of beautiful Los Angeles was consistently tempered by the dark side of life there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 13 2013/11/20,
It's pretty inescapable at this point that, if one were to describe the things that Kim Tan does to a neutral observer, he would come off as a really awful person. Technically speaking I don't think he actually breaks into the apartment, but the very fact that he takes Eun-Sang there alone against her usual resistance, coupled with his subsequent actions, make it difficult to play any of this off in a sympathetic light. Granted, he acted the same back in Los Angeles- but that was when I thought these were characater flaws he was going to overcome,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 12 2013/11/14,
The mixed metaphors this drama is putting out are starting to give me a headache. We're still doing the whole will-they-or-won't they thing with Kim Tan and Eun-Sang, and on a literal level, the drama seems to be making the statement that they should totally be together. We didn't even get a single episode of full separation out of the cliffhanger from last time and already we're back to teary romantic stuff.
But let's pivot around and look at the main subplot this episode, where big bro Kim Won ends up getting in trouble with their dad Nam-Yoon about a situation that is, in many ways, almost identical to the relationship between Kim Tan and Eun-Sang,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 11 2013/11/13,
Yeong-Do has finally shown what he can offer Eun-Sang in terms of a romantic partner. Hatred and spite toward fellow human beings. That probably doesn't sound like a good thing- but the argument he makes is surprisingly persuasive. Eun-Sang has, for pretty much the entire series, been living in fear of constant disaster and has had to act in a placating way to try and avert it. But these attempts always fail and this episode is no exception to that rule.
As if inspired to prove Yeong-Do wrong, for example, Eun-Sang tries to head off Kim Tan's latest romantic advances by being more affectionate and kind in her rebuff this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 10 2013/11/07,
It suddenly hit me this episode that "The Heirs" is a drama, not about ambitious young adults, but high school students. This would seem obvious, given how much of the action lately takes place at a high school. The trappings of wealth, however, consistently give the misleading impression that these characters have clearly defined goals and a coherent narrative trajectory. In reality, they're impulsive, selfish, and resentful.
Kim Tan, for example, is now explicitly trying to manipulate EunSang emotionally in very childish ways,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 9 2013/11/06,
I'm pretty sure "The Heirs" is trying to make some sort of statement about traditional masculine gender roles in a courtship context, but I'll be darned if I have any idea what. The imagery this time around is too inescapable. This episode Eun-Sang receives come-ons, not just from leading men Kim Tan and Yeong-Do, but extras. And there's a strong frustration underscoring her reactions to these events that emphasizes the importance of diplomacy in her responses- she'll only go as far as she can without risking damage to her long-term prospects.
What makes this especially nuanced and difficult is that it's explicitly confirmed this episode that she does like Kim Tan,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 8 2013/10/31,
Up until now I wasn't completely convinced that Yeong-Do's intentions toward Eun-Sang were romantic ones. This episode lays that doubt to rest, but not in the way I was expecting. It's extremely clear that Yeong-Do's aggressive cornering behavior bares a lot of similarity to when Kim Tan does the exact same thing, and Kim Tan's motives have never been in doubt. Especially since he helpfully engages in similar behavior this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 7 2013/10/30,
The adults in this drama are pretty easy to spook. On multiple occasions in the Kim household we see characters panic just because some unfamiliar person shows up. Never mind that in both cases, the unfamiliar person has every possible reason to be in the house. It says quite a bit about their quilty consciences that even in their own extremely safe homes they panic at the thought of the unexpected happening.
This takes on depressing dimensions when taken in the context of Kim Won. Kim Tan wants to reconcile with his big brother so badly it hurts- I'm impressed at the little bro's tenacity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 6 2013/10/24,
Now that Kim Tan and Yeong-Do have finally met, and presumably we're going to get into an actual plotline instead of just metaphors, it occurs to me that the narrative structure of "The Heirs" isn't particularly strong. I'm not totally sure what any of these characters want, how they're going to get it, and what, to them, will constitute a happy ending. The drama being difficult to predict is normally a high point, but there needs to be some sort of baseline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 5 2013/10/23,
This drama has a really weird take on romance that I'm still not totally sure how to compartmentalize. Multiple new romantic subplots manage to pop out of nowhere, and we even get a moment to remember that, hey, technically, the parents of the two crabbiest heirs are in a romantic subplot, too. It's just not something that comes up that much because for the most part this drama is, appropriately enough, about "The Heirs",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 4 2013/10/17,
It turns out that, almost as soon as she gets back to Korea, Eun-Sang discovers that her life is once again ruined thanks to money. At this point it seems like Eun-Sang getting put through the ringer on this should be getting tiring- but I find it works really well with the overall theme of the drama being the impossibility of escape. Having to live in the house and be an apprentice maid is the ultimate indignity for Eun-Sang. Fortunately, it's also literally the ultimate indignity, as once she's adjusted the bad stuff finally stops happening,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 3 2013/10/16,
Ah, the American road trip. A long, boring drive into the middle of nowhere that quickly loses its novelty. Meeting up with people who probably don't actually want to see you. That empty feeling inside realizing an entire day was wasted on a pointless sentimental gesture. Vast open space of poorly maintained roads, easy accidents, and no cell phone reception to call for help. Truly a feature of the culture worth idolizing.
I have no idea how much of the metaphors "The Heirs" is using are intentional, but I'm just plain astonished at how striking they are. This entire episode is a wake-up call to Kim Tan that he is not, in fact, as cool as he thinks he is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 2 2013/10/10,
Eun-Sang (played by Park Shin-hye) sticks out in this drama as being the token teenager of a lower economic class. Kim Tan spends a lot of time deliberately needling her about her various peculiar attitudes, and this is all played for laughs. It's obvious to us, the audience, that this is a romantic drama where these two are supposed to get together, so it's funny. But "The Heirs" takes the bold, discomforting step of showing us why Eun-Sang's excessively non-confrontational attitude is probably the correct one.
There's even a line here that explicitly spells it out, when Eun-Sang mentions she wants this trip to have at least one (rather pitiful) positive memory. Kim Tan doesn't get this at all- he's been having lots of fun,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 1 2013/10/09,
This drama starts out highlighting a rather ambivalent attitude toward the United States. On the the one hand, this is the country of awesome surfing, gorgeous scenery, and a crazy party atmosphere. On the other hand, the very name America appears to be synonymous with exploitative interaction between the sexes for ill-advised financial reasons. And this appears to be true for both the richer and poorer members of the cast.
I was not expecting "The Heirs" to take such an ambivalent attitude to Korean-American cultural interactions. But I have to admit- I'm really enjoying the creative direction. Cha Eun-Seok (played by Yoon Jin-seo) has a very interesting role here as the older sister who escapes conservative Korean society,...More
Park Shin-hye in the desert 2013/09/26, Source, Park Shin-hye plays the role of Cha Eun-sang, a hard working girl in a reality of poverty in the new SBS drama "The Heirs" which is to be aired for the first time on the 9th of October.
Park Shin-hye was seen filming for this drama in a desert in LA on the 10th. The pictures of her are so perfect she doesn't even need editing or brushing up,...More
Lee Min-ho on the LA beach 2013/09/25, Source,
Actor Lee Min-ho was seen on Malibu Beach in LA on the 17th. He was filming a scene for the SBS drama "The Heirs" and his aura was everywhere.
While wearing a surfing suit, Lee Min-ho displayed a flawless body, heating up the film set. He's been getting surfing lessons to brush up on his skills every now and then, even in between his busy filming schedule,...More
Ji Seong VS Kwon Sang-woo VS Lee Min-ho 2013/09/25, Source,
A new battle has begun between the three broadcasting companies now that Chuseok is over. Fierce new dramas take over Wednesday and Thursday nights with different genres.
The first drama to be mentioned is the KBs 2TV drama "Secrets".
"Secrets" was pre-sold to Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and other Asian countries even before it was shown in Korea and it tells the story of a man who falls in love with the woman who kills his lover,...More
A look at the K-dramas of 2012 2013/01/01, Source,
This year was really a wild ride. It was my second full year as a k-drama watcher and my first full year blogging. Phew. Did 2012 go by as quickly for you as it did for me?
Some of it I loved, and some of it left me lukewarm. There were a few dramas I really wish I could obliterate from my memory. But the good ones made up for it, 'cause there were some GOOD dramas.
The reviews will be highly biased and highly noninclusive. It's about what I remembered at the end of the year 2012. How did these shows impact me? Am I still salivating? Or did I forget it existed until I had to write this thing?,...More
[PREVIEW] MBC TV series "My Princess" 2011/01/04, Source,
Actors Song Seung-heon, Park Ye-jin, Kim Tae-hee and Ryu Su-young poses during a photocall of a press conference for upcoming MBC TV series "My Princess" held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea on January 3, 2011. [MBC]
The 'cheerful and nothing-can-bring-me-down' female character meets the grandson of a conglomerate. He tries to turn her into a princess and the two fall in love. That is how you could summarize MBC's "My Princess". To add on just a little more detail, Lee Seul (played by Kim Tae-hee) is a stingy female college student who is of royal descent and diplomat Park Hye-young (played by Song Seung-heon) becomes her tutor to make her a princess per the request of his grandfather (played by Lee Soon-jae) in order to restore their imperial family,...More
[2010 10Asia's Awards] "Thank You" List 2010/12/31, Source, There are things that cannot be expressed through annual awards ceremonies. The big trophies are not enough to describe the gratitude we feel for the dramas that contributed to brightening our days during the past year. This is why 10Asia is presenting the "Thank You" list in which we selected 10 memorable dramas. This is a shout-out to all those dramas that at time melted our hearts with highly appealing looks, made our hands and feet cringe yet leave our eyes and mouths smiling with famous lines, delighted us at the mere sight of some characters and left the single viewers green with jealously with the romance scenes. Let us thank all these dramas that took our emotions on a most exciting roller coaster ride. So thank you! Eye-Cleanser of the YearKBS2 TV "Sungkyunkwan Scandal": Jalgeum Quartet
There is a fairy tale in Korea in which a filial daughter volunteers to sacrifice herself to a sea god in order to cure her father of his blindness,...More
[REVIEW] SBS TV series "Secret Garden" - Episode 1 and 2 2010/11/15, Source,
Official poster for SBS TV series "Secret Garden" [SBS]
SBS TV series "Secret Garden" - Episode 1 & 2
After the arrogant and thoughtless department store CEO Kim Ju-won (Hyeon Bin) falls for the ordinary stunt woman Gil La-im (Ha Ji-won), he even ends up confessing, "To me, this woman is Kim Tae-hee and Jeon Do-youn [top Korean actresses]". That too in just two episodes of going on air.
In "Secret Garden", the main male character's emotion develops to its peak at a pace that is extremely fast compared to the usual romantic dramas, showing that it will not be the typical love story between a rich man and poor woman,...More
Decision on Jay Park drama casting yet to come 2010/08/04, Source, Jay Park [Asia Economic Daily]
The decision on former boy band 2PM leader Jay Park appearing in a drama tentatively titled "Secret Garden" has yet to be made, according to his agency on Wednesday.
SidusHQ stated through a press release that negotiations regarding Park's casting for the upcoming SBS TV series had been "going positively" and they are now waiting for a response from the show,...More
Ha Ji-won cast as female lead in new SBS drama 2010/07/21, Source,
Korean actress Ha Ji-won [Wellmade StarM]
Korean actress Ha Ji-won, who is returning to small screen after four years, will play the female lead in a new SBS weekend drama tentatively titled "Secret Garden", according to an official related to the show on Wednesday.
"Ha has been set to play female character Gil La-im. She has finished negotiating on the details of the contract", the official explained,...More
The New Year will be another one full of drama, as broadcasters prepare unique stories to grab audiences' attention. Korean dramas have always been at the forefront of domestic entertainment, for if a certain drama gains popularity, the actors ride,...More
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haiii...miss kim eun sook...my name is sari from surabaya,indonesia...sorry before 'coz my english is very bad but i try...
Ms, Kim, i addore you because you can write such a beautiful story...How can you just put your idea n imagination to one good story such as Lovers in Paris n Prague...
it's so romantic....i always see that series for many times but i didn't get bored...please send me your e-mail...i'd like to send mail to you ...thanks n always success
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