[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" 2017/04/22,
If there is one thing to say about "Fantastic" is that the drama has bold ideas. Combining the promise of a happy, light series with the premise of its lead dying of cancer is a very daring move, although one Dramaland has not succeeded very well in yet. Still, this drama tries to juggle the illness, romance and a hefty dose of family drama to go with,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Shinsukki Blues" + DVD Giveaway 2016/12/17,
Seok-gi (played by Lee Jong-hyuk) is a hot shot lawyer who's a bit of an arrogant jerk. Seok-gi is the kind of guy who thinks he has friends because people are polite to him, and therefore, why bother making new friends? Consider how upon receiving a birthday present from Jin-yeong (played by Kim Hyun-joo), Seok-gi never stops to wonder why no one else gives him birthday presents. Then, Seok-gi meets the other Seok-gi (played by Lee Jong-hyuk) and, well, that's where life starts to get weird,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 16 Final 2016/10/22,
So-hye continues to be sick. While "Fantastic" is fairly ambivalent about So-hye's exact fate for some time, it's the same basic holding pattern the drama has had ever since So-hye had to be hospitalized. All there really is to do anymore is look at the various relationships between the main characters, and admire the depth and strength of their social bonds. Even when it leads to somewhat humorous scenes like So-hye and Hae-seong one-upping each other in the prior sacrifice department,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 15 2016/10/21,
And now, Seol's in-laws move to force some last minute conflict in a predictably abortive attempt to scuttle a happy ending. Jin-sook's plan is pretty dumb. Really, So-hye should have mentioned the extortion attempt back when she was at the police station. Besides that even if it's not technically a breach of contract nobody going to want to work with Jin-sook when the best case scenario is that she's an idiot who keeps important information in a non-secure phone,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 14 2016/10/15,
On one end I'm somewhat annoyed that the situation regarding Joon-gi continues to be stretched for time when it appeared to have largely been concluded last episode. But then again, isn't that what melodrama has always been about- stretching the pain out for as long as possible? It's a sensible strategy really, because death is at its most especially unpleasant when it lasts for a really long time. And even after that, grief is a factor,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 13 2016/10/14,
The focus on So-hye's weirdly melodramatic disease symptoms is removed here for the sake of instead focusing on Joon-gi's more traditionally tragic melodramatic disease symptoms. The results are about what might be expected. The acting is unavoidably corny as the emphasis is instead placed on the inherent empathy of the situation. Friends don't like it when other friends are in for a bad time. Even if Hae-seong hates letting go of So-hye for even a moment, well, Joon-gi is a bro. And that's what bros are good for,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 12 2016/10/08,
So-hye has a form of brain cancer. Up until now I never really thought that the specific kind of cancer So-hye has was ever going to be all that important, since its usefulness as a plot device was in the generic way disease forced So-hye to reconsider her life. Well, here, So-hye ends up coming down with symptoms that I'm pretty sure are completely made up. So what we're left with is a woman in her thirties suddenly turning into a character from a very different kind of melodrama,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 11 2016/10/07,
A disproportionate amount of the action in "Fantastic" takes place in the hospital. Granted the entire premise is that So-hye has a (possibly not) terminal illness, but matters do take a turn for the slightly silly when both leading men also end up needing medical care for completely unrelated problems. Then they have silly hospital-related adventures together as they bond, and aw, who doesn't love some good male bonding on-screen?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 10 2016/10/01,
With So-hye out of the hospital, "Fantastic" enters into a fairly predictable holding pattern. Obviously Hae-seong is quite pleased to have her around again, and this is a significant booster to his mood. But the sacrifice dynamic has been reversed in a possibly more risky direction. Even doing his own stunts Hae-seong isn't in that much physical danger. So-hye, however, knows full well that her health is at risk, and has to make a conscious effort to ignore that,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 9 2016/09/30,
It all starts out fun and games- the usual romantic hijinx as So-hye prepares to go into more serious treatment and Hae-seong simply reassures her. But the main plot quickly turns troublesome as Hae-seong is threatened by a scandal. To be honest it's kind of a silly scandal. The closest analog I can think of is what happened with Gary awhile back, and that was so obviously unverified Gary's agency didn't even respond to it until the guy in the video asked them to, because as a Gary fan he was deeply hurt by the idea that someone would use his tattoo to defame Gary,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 8 2016/09/24,
A brief flashback fills us in on the question of how much Hae-seong knows, and also when he knew about it. It's noteworthy how just because Hae-seong is discretionary with the information he has doesn't necessarily mean that So-hye is happy with all the implications. While on the surface level it can seem rewarding to be dealing with a stand-up guy like Hae-seong, on the deeper level it can seem rather unfair if one and only one partner is making noble sacrifices,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 7 2016/09/23,
Mi-seon (played by Kim Jae-hwa) is the third best friend of So-hye and Seol- the one who everyone has to call when they're in trouble. Mi-seon never really has any plotlines of her own, she's just a useful shoulder to cry on. Consequently, her character offers some much needed perspective when it comes to difficult questions like, am I happy, and should I do such-and-such risky behavior considering the possible trade-offs?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Fantastic" 2016/09/18,
Terminal illness is a common and very old theme in Korean drama, but like everything else rich with melodramatic potential, it has often been subjected to shallow and cheap treatment. Love for tears and tension over love for meaning is less common these days, however and so we see productions which make the effort to treat serious topics with more respect. It is too early for me to say "Fantastic" is such a production, but it is on the right path,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 6 2016/09/17,
While Jong-gi clearly skirts the line of medical ethics, all of his actions are very clearly in line with trying to calm So-hye down and see herself as a person whose life has value. It's very noteworthy how Jong-gi has gotten So-hye to go from mental breakdown in earlier episodes to participating in a support group this episode. The support group scene is wonderful, by the way, precisely because it really gets at how the mental toll of illness is just as bad as the physical, and how it really helps just to get positive encouragement from peers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 5 2016/09/16,
Joon-gi (played by Kim Tae-hoon) is So-hye's doctor. Given that So-hye is dying, that's a very awkward position to be in. While Joon-gi obviously wants So-hye to get better, So-hye's problems are just as much mental as they are physical at this point. In So-hye's general desperation to find some last minute meaning in life, she has been willing to latch onto any kind of validation possible- even if it means an obviously unethical relationship with her own physician,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 4 2016/09/10,
The production team continues with the very wise decision to be more about drama than forced comedy. We see this episode even more clearly that Hae-seong, as utterly obnoxious as he can be given the opportunity, is really just looking for the chance to be a good guy. It's uncanny how well Hae-seong is able to compose himself during action scenes. While ostensibly acting is the actual important part of his job, note how Hae-seong does not appear to be using a stunt double. That's dedication which can't easily be faked,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 3 2016/09/09,
There's some badly needed sympathetic characterization for So-hye and Hae-seong this episode as they respond to the aftermath of the big kiss at the last cliffhanger. In contrast to the normal romantic comedy implications of that trope, "Fantastic" instead gets into the issues of self-worth that provoked So-hye and Hae-seong into acting that way. So-hye has, of course, been in a generally rotten mood since getting her bad medical prognosis. Hae-seong, however, has really bad insecurities when it comes to his lack of acting talent,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 2 2016/09/03,
Seol (played by Park Si-yeon) is So-hye's old friend, and a bit of a wreck. Literally, even, considering the last episode's cliffhanger, and the woman's precarious life situation isn't much better. We very quickly go from Seol giving standard reassurances to So-hye to seeing her get in a huge fight with her current partner to even bigger existential crises as violence and base hostility quickly become the order of the day,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 1 2016/09/02,
So-hye (played by Kim Hyun-joo) is a drama writer. Her sense of confidence and competence is well-displayed metaphorically in the opening action scene of "Fantastic". To succeed in the cutthroat world of drama production, So-hye has had to be the best of the best. But no matter how good she is, every so often So-hye has to rely on the help of such disreputable persons as Hae-song (played by Joo Sang-wook). A handsome and arrogant actor, to date the only notion we have that Hae-song may be a good person is the man's genuine love toward his grandmother,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Fantastic" 2016/08/27,
"Terminal illness" and "comedy" do not exactly seem to match outside of the black comedy genre, yet Dramaland keeps trying to make it happen. Unfortunately, it usually fails. Even so, "Fantastic" is another drama which promises laughs and fluffy romance, along with great female friendship and other interesting concepts. The series does have promise and if it succeeds where many others have failed, it will be a pleasant surprise,...More
[Orion's Drama News] All the Dramas 2016/07/30,
My partner in not-crime, Lisa is busy over at KCON and I am here feeling lonely with a plethora of drama news. So I figure, what better therapy to loneliness is there than to share them all with you? I usually focus on specific noteworthy happenings and news, but today I switch it up. I feature three upcoming dramas and their news before piling on even more drama-ness with the usual upcoming drama goodies section. Let me pamper you,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Stars, Awards and Exports 2016/05/07,
Join me in a week of awards, casting additions and even some new drama announcements. This time around I contemplate the drama race for appeal in the Chinese market, which we all know is becoming a top priority of wannabe-popular series. I also present to you some of our links for the upcoming 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards and take a look at some of the freshly cast or confirmed actors for upcoming dramas,...More
Male star battle 2016/03/07, Source,
There's going to be a battle between broadcasting stations ground-wave and cable. Actors are going to be responsible for the four dramas. Unfortunately, actresses have been pushed out of the Monday and Tuesday game,...More
SBS Drama Awards, quality or popularity? 2015/12/03, Source,
Who will be the last one to laugh at the SBS Drama Awards?
SBS maintains its reputation for being one of the most powerful drama broadcasting stations in 2015. It entertained viewers with various dramas and so did actors and actresses with their various transformations,...More
Ji Jin-hee's secret to acting? Understanding loneliness 2015/10/22, Source,
There are several women who say they feel vulnerable by this man's eyes every weekend. It's not a Hallyu star or an idol, but actor Ji Jin-hee who is in his 40s. He stars in the SBS weekend drama "I Have A Lover" as Choi Jin-eon. We met with him recently and asked if he felt how popular he was, he laughed and said, "I hear there are many people who download our drama in high quality".
At first, he earned the nickname, 'the affair man' because of his character who abandons his wife Do Hae-kang (Kim Hyun-joo) for a younger Kang Seol-ri (Park Han-byul). Viewers were boiling with anger when he asked his father to 'get rid of' Hae-kang from his sight. However, watching ex-wife live the life of her twin sister Dok-go Yong-gi without knowing it, caused him to feel bad for her and the way he looks at her is what stole the hearts of many. Many wives claim they want to fall back in love with their husbands,...More
Outrageous 'makjang' dramas distinguished by cast, producer and writers 2015/10/20, Source,
The story of the affair of a brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
This is the story of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" which might seem like a makjang story. The Greek story of Oedipus who kills his father and marries his mother, is also another good example of a makjang drama in the year 2015.
What's the standard of telling a makjang drama from one that's not? There's no answer to that as the boundary is vague like the proposition of 'art and indecency'. It all comes down to being subjective, but in the sign-less reality, makjang stories end up being outrageous, sometimes irrational, and even ridiculous to keep the viewer hooked,...More
[Spoiler] "This Is Family" Yoo Dong-geun starts filial piety 2014/11/02, Source,
On the twenty-third episode of the KBS 2TV weekend drama "This Is Family", Cha Soon-bong (Yoo Dong-geun) held hands with Byeon Woo-tak.
Cha Soon-bong cried to himself when a conflict arose between his sister Cha Soon-geum (Yang Hee-kyeong) and his children on the anniversary of his wife's death. Cha Soon-geum was infuriated when Cha Soon-bong pre-wrote his will for Cha Kang-jae (Yoon Park). When Soon-geum yelled at Kang-jae for making him write out his will and Cha Kang-jae yelled back at her, they stabbed a dagger through Cha Soon-bong's chest,...More
Kim Hyun-joo reveals thighs 2013/11/19, Source,
Actress Kim Hyun-joo has become the seductive femme fatale.
She modeled for the December issue of luxury lifestyle magazine "Style Chosun". Looking sexy and elegant at the same time, she's wearing a dress that clings to her silhouette with red make-up and eye liner that makes her eyes stand out,...More
Kim Hyun-joo appears at premiere event 2013/11/13, Source,
Actress Kim Hyun-joo made an appearance at the 2013 "Road to Hope" production premiere on the 13th at the KBS Hall in Seoul.
Kim Hyun-joo posed for photo time before the conference started. She wore a one-piece dress with see-through fabric. Her fair skin and red lips matched her outfit very well,...More
Kim Hyun-joo debuts to Hollywood 2012/12/06, Source,
Actress Kim Hyun-joo is about to debut into Hollywood. She received a call from a US productions while she was taking a break from "Dummy Mommy" and had a movie meeting.
This movie is being prepared by a Korean-American and it is a biography of Mafia Jason Lee. Kim Hyun-joo was offered the role of Master Ahn Chang-ho's daughter,...More
[Spoiler] "Dummy Mommy" Kim Hyun-joo carries Ha Hee-ra's heart 2012/05/20, Source,
The final episode of the SBS weekend drama "Dummy Mommy" was broadcasted on the 20th of May. Choi Go-man (Sin Hyeon-joon) heard about Kim Yeong-joo (Kim Hyun-joo) and was going to leave with Kim Seon-yeong (Ha Hee-ra).
However, he said "Yeong-joo is more important right?" and headed for the hospital. Kim Seon-yeong stood by Kim Yeong-joo's side and looked like she was ready to die as she said, "My child, how much pain you've been through. Wait a little and mommy will give you a heart",...More
[Spoiler] "Dummy Mommy", sad ending? 2012/05/06, Source,
"Dummy Mommy" foresaw a wave of tears as Ha Hee-ra also got terminally ill as well as Kim Hyun-joo.
On the sixteenth episode of the SBS weekend drama "Dummy Mommy" aired on the 6th, Kim Seon-yeong (Ha Hee-ra) was diagnosed with brain steam tumor.
Kim Seon-yeong found the doctor when she started vomiting because of the massive headaches she had. She was diagnosed with brain stem tumor and it was so bad that she couldn't even go under surgery,...More
[Interview] Han Ga-in, "It's not that I didn't, I couldn't" 2012/03/27, Source,
The 'it' girl is Han Ga-in (30, Kim Hyun-joo) these days. It took her 10 years to become 'the lovable actress' from 'the pretty commercial star'.
She took in all the criticism she will hear in a lifetime, all at once on "The Sun and the Moon". People ask "Is that X her?" in the movie "Architecture 101".
Out of the box and into the public's arms, Han Ga-in talked about the past 6 months she lived as an actress. "I knew it was going to be hard but I got the courage and it was beyond harder than imagined but I survived with tenacity".
Seeing the box office top 1 result, she pats herself on the head and says, "It was right of me to get my courage together",...More
[Star ESI 1] Star's past, since when were they pretty? 2011/05/01, Source,
"Since when were so pretty?"
There are many pretty women on TV. We wonder if they are 'pretty from birth' or 'medically pretty'. We can check the truth from their graduation or debut pictures through the Internet. Among the pretty women are those from a beauty contest or were a child actor. There are also those who fired up male students hearts in uniforms. There are also pretty women who have peculiar experiences and are favorites by the public and in online shopping malls.,...More
Kim Hyun-joo Finds Relief from Personal Grief in Charity 2010/08/12, Kim Hyun-joo with Bangladeshi children
Kim Hyun-joo made her first public appearance on July 22 since her father's death on July 7. Kim took part in an event by Good Neighbors, an international humanitarian and development non-governmental organization, on July 22 and then went on a nine-day volunteer trip to Bangladesh from July 25 to Aug. 2,...More
Singer and actor Park Yong-ha laid to rest 2010/07/02, Source,
Actor So Ji-sub carries late actor Park Yong-ha's portrait and mortuary tablet to Park's burial site at Bundang Memorial Park in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on July 2, 2010. [Han Youn-jong/Asia Economic Daily]
Singer and actor Park Yong-ha has been laid to rest at a private funeral attended by close family and friends.
The remains of the late star, who was cremated around noon on Friday, arrived at Bundang Memorial Park in Gyeonggi Province located south of Korea's capital of Seoul.
Actor So Ji-sub, carrying Park's portrait in his hands, led a procession of family and friends toward the burial site where song "STARS", from Park's last album, was being played in the background for the Buddhist ceremony,...More
Park Yong-ha's coffin borne out of St. Mary's Hospital 2010/07/02, Source,
Korean actor So Ji-sub carries a photograph of the late actor Park Yong-ha during the coffin-bearing ceremony held at St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul, Korea on July 2, 2010. [Asia Economic Daily]
The coffin for the late Korean actor Park Yong-ha, who committed suicide two days ago, was borne out of St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul earlier this morning amidst a sea of celebrities and fans attending the ceremony.
Actor So Ji-sub, a close friend of Park, led the coffin-bearing procession while carrying a photograph of the deceased, followed by Park's parents, family members and fellow actor friends. Several celebrities broke out into tears and started sobbing loudly,...More
Which will it be _ teenage love and friendship, or the real, yet humorous lives of ruthless lawyers? Television fans will now have the chance to explore the two different worlds with the new dramas "Friends, Our Story" on MBC and,...More
Keeping the 'Korea Wave' washing onto Asian shores 2004/08/26, Source, When President Roh Moo-hyun invited Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and his delegation for a luncheon meeting last September, something unexpected happened. After a moment of calm, the Vietnam officials stood up one by one and started to line up in front of a woman, asking her to sign their,...More
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