[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 16 2017/01/11,
Joon-jae's mother did not get hit by a car. Instead we get a very satisfying reunion of mother and son that results in mutual sleuthing into Ji-hyeon's mother and her shadowy past. This plot thread took up the bulk of the hour with very little interference by Cheong's and Joon-jae's romance.,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 15 2017/01/06,
At last our main couple is on the same page. Cheong can be honest with Joon-jae about who she is and where she came from and feel comfortable with the fact that he loves her. While these two are growing closer, the villains are inching their way towards evil. While Ji-hyeon does become violent this episode, he is so deflated by a scolding from Dae-yeong that he loses all potency as a villain,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 14 2017/01/04,
After a pre-empted episode last week, episode 14 tore into this week at full force with heavy plot and character development. There were a few awkward changes, but for the most part, it was one of the most interesting episodes to date. Part of what made it interesting was the change in Ji-hyeon's character,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 13 2016/12/29,
Joon-jae and Cheong grow closer, flirting like mad and coping with Cheong's attempt to learn about love via the internet. As they are sealed in their blissful bubble of romantic happiness, Dae-yeong and Ji-hyeon's mother continue their nefarious ways and are sadly joined by another,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 10 2016/12/16,
Cheong's presence amongst the humans is causing quite a stir along with Dam-ryeong's clever intervention in Joon-jae's life. Around the couple, people are starting to cotton on that things aren't quite as they should be as the mermaid's otherworldly nature becomes more evident.,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 9 2016/12/14,
Sometimes all a man needs in life is the steadfast presence of someone who doesn't leave when the going gets tough. For Joon-jae, a man who was abandoned by his family in his youth, the unwavering devotion of mermaid Cheong gives him the strength to get through the tough times.,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 8 2016/12/08,
The parallels between past and present grow greater as Joon-jae experiences flashbacks of his previous life. Parallels don't just run between past and present, but between characters. In many ways such comparisons are useful, but in this drama they are belabored. That is the great downfall of this otherwise adorable drama, it overuses plot points and cute character traits until they lose their sparkle. Joon-jae's and Cheong's past romance, while sweet, doesn't have the insistence necessary to carry this story forward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 3 2016/11/23,
No matter how much the mermaid tries to stay away from her Joon-jae, fate in this tightly woven fabric of fantasy always leads him to her, or she to him. Oftentimes convenient coincidences are the product of lazy writing. In "The Legend of the Blue Sea" it tells the story of two lovers who fate transcends time and circumstance. Not only is it romantic, but it's fun, cool, and full of the opportunity for Jeon Ji-hyeon to time and time again prove herself the genius comedienne that she is. Episode 3 is comprised of three plot threads during three periods of time in our main characters' lives or the lives of their incarnations,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Production Pains and New Romances 2016/07/23,
Today I talk about the always sad, always frustrating episode cutting and its latest victim, "Beautiful Mind". Ha Seok-jin is a busy man and he has two upcoming romantic dramas, so I share some media from those. Those looking for some romantic works between 35+ folks of similar age have three new dramas arriving soon which might interest them. Miscellaneous news are here, as usual and while I have been too busy to keep up with my own dramas, I can guarantee you it is because we have good things coming up at HanCinema,...More
[Orion's Drama News] "Go Ahead, (Re)Make My Day" 2016/06/11,
It is a week of popularity giants and remakes, as star-studded summer and autumn dramas are already being compared on premise, production and participants. I also take a little look at news on the emerging trend of recreating popular North American series as Korean dramas. Not that the industry has no alternatives or does not remake enough things already, as evident by the third topic I share news of today,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Drama Fights and Trolling Rumors 2016/04/23,
We have had quite an eventful week in Dramaland. KBS, SM C&C and SBS are getting into a fight while actors and the fate of a drama are caught in the middle, rumors become news only to be refuted and we have a casting which is already dividing viewers. As usual, upcoming drama goodies and my personal drama updates are included, so join me in a recap of the craziness,...More
The keyword this year is 'romance' 2016/03/31, Source,
The keyword is romance. The three ground-wave broadcasting stations are coming up with romantic comedy and melodramas.
11 out of 17 dramas that are due to be released this year are romantic dramas,...More
Actors with 'honey vocal cord' in their 20s/30s 2015/09/14, Source,
'Honey vocal cord' as in sweet voice is an important charming appeal for actors to have.
Attractive voice highlights emotions in acting by delivering them more vividly and makes audience focus more on his acting. The young actors in his 20s and 30s with the sweet voice as well as the charming look are 'perfect guys',...More
Actors' salary this year 2015/09/03, Source,
Curiosity rose for actors' pay after actresses' pay was released last month. We've updated the ranks from highest paid actors to the lowest.
According to studies, the gap between actors and actresses isn't that large. In case of the actors, they are more highly paid as they have a strong fan base all over the world. The prices of actors continuously rise but the actresses fill in the gaps with fashion and beauty advertisements. After actors make it big with dramas, they make more money off extracurricular events such as foreign fan meetings and such so they make extra profits,...More
KCON Drama Stars Announcement - Kim Soo-hyeon-I, Daniel Henney, Son Ho-joon, Ki Hong Lee 2015/07/10,
Largest North American Festival for All Things Hallyu Confirms Appearances by Top Drama Stars, plus Writer and Director. KCON 2015 USA presented by Toyota, America's biggest event for All Things Hallyu is going big on drama in 2015 with confirmed appearances by top actors from television and film from Korea and the U.S. being featured at the annual celebration alongside the many top K-Pop artists previously announced. Living up to its mission to bring fans the most comprehensive celebration of all aspects of Korean entertainment, KCON 2015 USA has just confirmed stars Kim Soo-hyeon-I, Daniel Henney, Son Ho-joon and Ki Hong Lee to participate in the Los Angeles dates of the event. (Bios below),...More
"Producers" Kim Sun-a, sudden popularity
2015/07/02, Source, Kim Sun-a is one of the actresses from "Producers" that caused a hit. She played Kim Da-jeong, a scriptwriter for the show "Music Bank" in "Producers". She looks cynical but is loyal and showed many different sides of her personality.
Kim says she's sad the drama is over. "Da-jeong was beginning to appeal more to the public so I am sad it's over but I think it will last a long time",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Producers" 2015/05/09,
Experimenting and taking risks is not typical behavior for the Korean drama industry. KBS2 has been making great, even if not very successful efforts in diversity and its new Friday and now also Saturday timeslot is one example. Taking things one step further, "Producers" uses a powerhouse cast and production team to create a possible mix of formats between variety and drama,...More
"Producers" experiments with 'documentary' 2015/05/07, Source, 'It was like a docu-drama' is what a manager of an actor said.
The drama seems that much "Real". "Producers" that's being released on the 15th is about the real things that happen in a broadcasting station. According to various sources, there is even a story about a real KBS Producers,...More
"Producers", targeting to be the "Answer To 1997" of ground-wave? 2015/03/08, Source, The creation of tvN drama "Answer to 1997" went down in broadcasting history. There were no top stars and it wasn't prepared by a writer or a producer. However, it made a hit with a few elements such as the 90s, retro, dialect and entertainment. "Answer to 1997" had many merits but what stood out the most was the balance between comedy and drama. It reached its peak in the sequel "Answer Me 1994".
The main things about the "Answer" series were the characters who were comical although it wasn't comedy and the way the characters created entertainment in each episode. Producer Sin Won-ho from the KBS entertainment department and Lee Woo-jeong brought out their strong points and created such results,...More
Korean drama of the week "Queen of Reversals" 2014/08/14, Source,
Korean drama of the week "Queen of Reversals" (2010) Directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, Kim Nam-won Written by Park Ji-eun Network : MBC With Kim Nam-joo, Jeong Joon-ho, Chae Jeong-an, Park Si-hoo, Kim Hye-jeong, Ha Yoo-mi,... 31 episodes - Mon, Tue 21:55 Synopsis A romantic comedy that revolves around the life of a thrifty housewife who overcomes the setbacks in her life. She once believed that marrying a man she loved would bring all the happiness she could ever want in life. However, after facing a string of obstacles just to marry her boyfriend, she finds that married life is not a bowl of cherries. Nothing in life turns out the way she imagined it would. All she wanted was a steady paycheck, a reasonable mortgage that she and her husband could afford, happy children, and a devoted husband. But life has a way of throwing curve balls at you and so it goes. Unexpected events in her life push her and her family to the brink. But after hitting the pits, she rises to emerge stronger than ever,...More
[Interview] Jeon Ji-hyeon, "I barely expected the grand prize" 2014/05/27, Source,
Actress Jeon Ji-hyeon laughed and cried at the Baeksang Arts Awards. She got the Rookie Award in 1999 for "White Valentine" and this is the first time in 15 years after that. With the TV Grand Prize in her hand, Jeon Ji-hyeon said, "I feel my heart being heard to the public with this award". She started crying. She came back with the SBS drama "My Love from the Star" for the first time in 14 years and created the character "Cheon Song-I", which no one else will be able to replace. This character caused another Hallyu drama shockwave across the country which reached all the way to China, the first time since "Jang Geum" from "Dae Jang Geum". Jeon Ji-hyeon had been in the acting career for 10 years; there's never enough positive reviews about her in acting and now she's at the highest point of her life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You Came From The Stars" Episode 21 Final 2014/02/27,
The drama wastes no time getting right to the essential conflict that defines the final episode- Min-joon's departure, and the emotional turmoil that follows for Song-I. This episode as a whole is very moody and angst-stricken. Basically, all of the emotional thrust is on making a persuasive pitch to the viewer that this drama really is going to end on a sad note, with Min-joon and Song-I permanently separated.
The twist ending that finally resolves this question permanently...leaves something to desired. It's basically technobabble,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 20 2014/02/26,
It would seem that the consequences of Min-joon coming out as a mysterious entity with superpowers are rather subdued. I can't really fault the drama for taking this path, honestly, because who knows how such an event would play out in real life. Constant media coverage and interviews? Yeah, we'd definitely have that. Which I imagine would make it somewhat difficult for a shady government entity to try to snatch Min-joon up and dissect him or something. Ironically, Jae-kyoung may have actually done Min-joon a favor by exposing him in public, as opposed to a controlled room.
But if the drama doesn't really care that much about the implications of this, eh, I don't either,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 19 2014/02/20,
Just when I had forgotten why "My Love from the Star" has a murder subplot in the first place, this episode comes along to give a reminder. It exists to make Min-joon act in a ridiculous contrived way against whatever stupid transparent scheme Jae-kyoung has come up with this week. And this one really takes the cake- the only apparent purpose of the plan is to do damage to Min-joon. It doesn't actually help Jae-kyoung at all. If anything it makes Jae-kyoung's situation worse. Who the heck makes an announcement like that at a press conference?
Scratch that. What kind of benefits plan are Jae-kyoung's henchmen getting? They're literally fighting a superhero here. It's one thing to try and get ahead in life by committing murder,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 18 2014/02/19,
It's back to comedic misunderstandings and devious secrets for the Min-joon / Song-I loveline. Fortunately this time it's at least understandable why Min-joon is staying mum about the difficulties in his life. This would be a heck of a time to start worrying Song-I with problems neither of them can do much a job solving. Especially given there's only a few episodes left and we still have to wrap up all the previously existing plotlines.
Speaking of which, Hwi-kyeong is still confronting his brother,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 17 2014/02/13,
Well it's back to normal I guess. The apparent romantic development of the last episode is pretty much replaced by the usual zany antics here. I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. Yeah a crisis point was pretty clearly identified and it's understandable that these two react badly but come on. If it seems like these two lapse back into old habits at the slightest excuse it's difficult to imagine this relationship has much of a long term future. It's all right to go back into comedy staples but at this late stage of the drama we really need to be looking into a better climax,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 16 2014/02/12,
It's all about the romance at this point as "My Love from the Star" moves into the territory of explicit love confessions. Starting now, Song-I and Min-joon are a couple. Not exactly right away, but the interplay they have with each other turns explicitly playful. It's not just a matter of context or only one person being serious / silly at a time. They're on the same wavelength now, and it heightens the contrast of some of the gags.
Note, for example, that it's no longer necessary for them to play games where the first person who makes the confession is the loser,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 15 2014/02/06,
The drama has once again entered a cool-down period. The initial emphasis is on Song-I making a recovery. Also her daddy issues. Which honestly seemed rather light. Partly this may be bad timing. "The Prime Minister and I" just made a point in its final episodes that a long absentee parent is not necessarily welcomed back with open arms unconditionally. So it's rather odd seeing the usually acerbic Song-I just kind of...accept the fact that the first time she has seen her father in years was after a near death experience.
Hwi-kyeong's dilemma is a far more interesting one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 14 2014/02/05,
Be forewarned- most of this episode is just a flashback. Don't worry, the drama's not screwing around with you or anything. Within the first few minutes it will immediately be clear what happened after Song-I made that jump, and how Min-joon reacted to the news. You'll be waiting until the end, though, to find out what Min-joon is doing in full, which is just as well. The man spends so much time not taking the situation seriously, I really want to enjoy it when he finally snaps,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 13 2014/01/29,
I suppose Song-I's reaction to the fact that Min-joon has superpowers was probably inevitable. Song-I's a loud forceful woman and has consistently been one throughout the entire drama- so of course she's going to try to bully more information out of Min-joon. Give an inch, take an ebb or so they say- although maybe if you give a mouse a cookie would be a more modern reference? The analogy, at least, is probably more relevant.
Bear in mind that for the most part we know exactly as much about Song-I as Min-joon does, given that we were all introduced to the character at the same time. So it comes off as reckless on his part to share anything important with her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 12 2014/01/23,
I'm beginning to think that Hwi-kyeong is the real main character here. The apparent apathy everyone else has toward the murder subplot makes a lot more sense if we look at it from his perspective. Hwi-kyeong has gotten very suspicious of his brother, yet even as his investigations bring him to more unsettling truths, Hwi-Kyeong is hesitant and reluctant to fight out in the open because, again, this is his brother. It's only slowly dawning on Hwi-Kyeong that he may be the only person in a position to stop the man. Consider the conflict this way- Hwi-kyeong is so bothered about all this he's barely even paying attention to Song-I anymore, whereas before that was his only apparent motivation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 11 2014/01/22,
The byword for this episode is curiousity. There are lots of questions posed this time that for the most part aren't answered. But then, that's the entire point. It's easy to see how Jae-Kyoung has been able to operate for so long- even though the Lee family still goes to the trouble of having family dinners they seem to react to matters of curiousity and gossip with mild disdain. I guess they just prefer eating in stony silence.
Granted, there are reasons for people to not want to engage in such trivialities,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 10 2014/01/16,
This has to rank among the slowest moving murder plotlines I've ever seen. It needs to be emphasized- nearly every character already has all the information they need about the plotline. The only explanation for their constant hesitation and dithering is...well, because we have wacky subplots to get to. It's apparently now Song-I's goal to get Min-Joon recognition as her manager. There are also various other mishaps involved, as is to be expected in the woman's daily life.
The storyline is cute and comical, sure. But it's also horribly out of joint with the rest of the narrative. I'm not even totally sure why Min-Joon is going along with this,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 9 2014/01/15,
I have to wonder what kind of benefits Jae-Kyoung is offering to his minions. They seem rather nonplussed, not just at having received orders to commit murder, but also at the fact that their plans were foiled by what appears to be a superhero. Personally, that's the moment when I would start thinking that the pay probably isn't worth the risk. Min-Joon could execute all of these people easily if he wanted to. Note how the police are a lot less aggressive, even though they have actual legal authority and less knowledge concerning Min-Joon's true abilities. That's because they have a better sense of tactics and self-preservation. Or maybe it's just the writing- it's not like these characters are explored deeply enough for that to be clear,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 8 2014/01/09,
The disinterest Song-I and Min-Joon exhibit in regards to the murder attempts on her life has gotten rather absurd. Although, I don't know, maybe Song-I actually believes that she checked herself out of the hospital, drove off to a cliff in the middle of nowhere, and that her brakes by sheer coincidence gave out at the exact same time she regains consciousness of what's going on? I mean, it's possible. It just sounds really dumb.
If Song-I was at least under the assumption that this entire event was a dream sequence, her apathy regarding the situation would be somewhat understandable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 7 2014/01/08,
The drama takes a turn for the repetitive here. I don't necessarily mean in terms of things that we've actually seen, though there is plenty of that. More threats, more danger, more of Min-Joon using his powers in increasingly inefficient, increasingly easy to detect to ways rather than confronting Song-I's looming enemy directly. And Song-I, too, continues to be silly and childish in a way that is really unbecoming to a woman her age,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 6 2014/01/02,
Notwithstanding the crisis point at the last cliffhanger, this episode irons itself out without too much drama or danger. Unfortunately Min-Joon doesn't seem to have learned too much from this experience. I'm sure ice-fishing with his buddy is lots of fun, but when there's a murderer running around with good reason to kill Song-I, waiting until the last minute all the time is probably unwise. Even if the man in question has time-stopping superpowers.
While Min-Joon may not have thought through the situation fully, "My Love from the Star" as a whole is clearly making a point of holding the focus on it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 5 2014/01/01,
Up until now the characters in this drama have been almost entirely reactive. This isn't a complaint- just a sort of odd observation considering who these people are. Min-Joon has superpowers, and could choose to do practically anything- he just doesn't want to. Meanwhile, Song-I is on the top of the world as far as her career goes- yet for most of this episode she's reduced to hiding out in Min-Joon's apartment rather than going out and facing her problems.
Emotionally speaking, we get a picture of just how fragile Song-I is as she lists off a proud accomplishment to Min-Joon, and Min-Joon is later on forced to try and shield her from the worst of how her...well...lack of reaction has created a whole new host of issues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 4 2013/12/26,
This drama's emphasis on cynicism and negativity is the main interesting hook holding all the action together. This episode runs into a slight problem, though, in that Song-I's general unlikability makes it extremely difficult to sympathize with her when she runs into a problematic situation. Her petty actions to date have been self-destructive, and hurt the people who enable her, but the damage has been relatively easy to contain. Here, someone unrelated to the main plot has been straight up murdered and Song-I is in possession of important information relevant to that event.
For whatever it's worth, the victimized woman was probably not a good person. "My Love from the Star" gets credit for not just pretending like Song-I is a singular bad apple,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 3 2013/12/25,
I'd just like to take a moment to admire Yoo Joon-sang's role here as Section Chief Yoo. Yes, it's a fairly minor role, which for the most part only relates to the characterization of one of the secondary characters. But I just love how delightfully angry he gets! Corporate culture is serious business, and look at this new guy, failing to work himself to death for the amusement of his betters. It's funny stuff, and surprisingly relevant.
Because here's the thing- "My Love from the Star" is clearly trying to make a deliberate theme out of putting unlikable characters into sympathetic situations, which kind of confuses the emotions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 1 2013/12/18,
Min-Joon (played by Kim Soo-hyeon-I) is an alien who seems to hate just about everything. He's not so gauche as to actually state it outright, but this is clearly someone who has seen all that there is to see of the world and is consequently completely sick of it. I'm going to guess that in his past four hundred years on Earth, Min-Joon has figured out the basics of human emotional facial expressions, and is just choosing not to use them anymore because he's just that indifferent.
His opposite number here is Song-I (played by Jeon Ji-hyeon) a woman who...you know, it's actually not as easy to pin her down,...More
[REVIEW] MBC TV series "Queen of Reversals" - 1st Episode 2010/10/21, Source,
Poster for MBC TV series "Queen of Reversals" [MBC]
The first episode of every TV series is supposed to give a recap of its characters' past and their view on the world while also providing a heads-up to the actual incident that will occur in the drama. But this may be too grand of a mission for the first episode of "Queen of Reversals" to accomplish. The characters in the planning and development team of Queens Group, executive director Han Song-i (played by Ha Yoo-mi) who has never been in a relationship, and the elements of comedy which should push forth the overall story, failed to find any sincerity and hung in the air,...More
Ko Hyeon-jeong wins grand prize at MBC Acting Awards 2009/12/31, Source,
Korean actress Ko Hyeon-jeong [MBC]
Top Korean actress Ko Hyeon-jeong won the grand prize at the MBC Acting Awards, held at MBC's Open Hall on Wednesday.
Ko, who won rave reviews for her portrayal of royal concubine Mi-shil in historical drama "Queen Seon-deok", won the year's top crown while many of her co-stars also collected their share of awards.
"I believe there was a moment when Mi-shil really came to life [during the show]", said Ko in her acceptance speech. "I was very nervous because I had never done a traditional drama before, but thank you for giving me the opportunity to wear a dress like this". The actress got teary and emotional when she added, " I hope my kids are watching this... "
"Queen Seon-deok" -- which was also voted Drama of the Year -- was handed a total of 12 awards, winning the count over another hit drama "My Wife is a Superwoman", which won 7 in total. Writers of both dramas were awarded Writer of the Year at the event.,...More
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