[HanCinema's Film Review] "Wonderful Nightmare" 2015/09/05,
Having lost her parents at a young age Yeon-woo (played by Uhm Jung-hwa) resolved to become an unambiguous success in life so as to do honor to their name. And Yeon-woo succeeded at that goal...sort of. Most parents would be proud, of course, to have their daughter grow up to be a top tier lawyer, recognized by her peers, well-respected, and wealthy. The problem is that Yeon-woo's clients tend to be rich more than they tend to be decent human beings. That is the backdrop into which Yeon-woo falls into the "Wonderful Nightmare" of being an ordinary housewife,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 16 (Final) 2013/08/04,
Here we have it folks, the end of "The Queen's Classroom". It was quite a mixed watch for me. Let's deal first with the final episode itself, then we'll delve into the drama as a whole. The last episode focused on tying up loose ends with all of the characters plot threads. And by all, I mean every single character with more than four lines. It was so much information about all of the students and teachers and parents that the episode was bogged down by details. The students explained how Ma's teaching and caring influenced them to change their lives. While the message is good, an voiced-over narrative over a visual montage would've been much more effective and much less draggy. But that's what happens when there just isn't enough plot material to span sixteen episodes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 15 2013/08/03,
Teacher Ma Yeo-jin has fallen ill from overworking and stress and left her class in a state of confusion. The kids actually miss their teacher because they know that despite her terrifying teaching methods, Ma truly cares for them. They fight the vice-principal who is ecstatic to allow the school board to put Ma on probation for inadequate teaching. They want Ma to stay. I'm really not sure how I feel about this. I know that Ma's good intentions to make the kids strong and self-sufficient are the heart of the story. Ma sacrifices herself as the common enemy so that the kids can fight and grow because of it. But the method is so truly horrible that it just isn't worth all of the suffering,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 14 2013/07/28,
It's all about repercussions this episode. Ma Yeo-jin has decided to teach her class in a very questionable manner and despite being given many chances to change her ways, she does not change. At the behest of Na-ri's power hungry mother and the ladder climbing vice principal, the school board has sent it's most morally sound member to investigate Ma. The investigator finds her unacceptable, which is not a surprise. However, the investigation process is the heart of the episode. We've seen glimpses of humanity in Ma that become more frequent as the drama has progressed. During those moments, Ma genuinely seemed to enjoy the happiness of the children. But then she proceeded to break them down again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 13 2013/07/27,
The Wednesday episodes are much weaker than the Thursday episodes. It's frustrating to sit through the choppy pacing and plot changes of the Wednesday episodes while knowing that the Thursday episode will probably be stronger. Music was a strong point of this show. The composition fo the soundtrack is crisp. Song choice matches the mood. However, the music is starting to foreshadow emotional changes much too soon and sapping the tension scenes. Also, the habit of Korean dramas to reuse the same music for the entire drama makes timing extremely important when it comes to playing the songs. Badly timed entrances make the soundtrack sound like a broken record rather than something that enhances the drama,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 12 2013/07/21,
How does this show do it? I was so unimpressed last episode. The ending of this one had me biting my nails on edge and hankering for more. And the reason I liked it is a paradox. The cyclical storyline was and is wearying. But when the cycle is suddenly broken, it's absolute magic.
Episode 11 introduced a new character, Kim Do-jin, that is normally one a viewer would empathize with. He has severe abandonment issues that cause him to lash out as a manipulative and violent bully - a very pitiful creature,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 11 2013/07/19,
"The Queen's Classroom" episode 11 was good, but it wasn't great like the last half of episode 10. It's struggling for material and to retain the intensity and momentum it had during the first half of the drama. A new character appeared, which always brings variations in relationships and tone, but this character, Kim Do-jin (Kang Chan-hee), was misused and therefore doesn't help perpetuate the story. (Kang Chan-hee is a fabulous actor, though.) Do-jin is basically Ma Yeo-jin's mini-me. This show doesn't need a second Ma Yeo-jin and it doesn't need to have her best yet another child. Sure, he's a power-hungry boy with abandonment issues who is out for class domination; but he's still a child in need of guidance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 10 2013/07/17,
When this show is good, it is really good. It doses out just enough suspense, horror and mind games to keep us coming back for more. Now that it's in the later stages of story development, it's finally giving us insight into Ma Yeo-jin's character, which is absolutely fascinating. Her reactions to classroom events are starting to change, especially those that involve injury and friends banding together. She probably didn't expect the children to break her down as she does them. Also, we finally see some emotional vulnerability in Ma when Ha-na sees a scar on her neck and she covers it up in a panic; or when she watches a mother with her young son and she smiles,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 8 2013/07/12,
There was a huge tone shift in episode 8. The tension that flowed through the show and made it riveting died. I kept anticipating Teacher Ma Yeo-jin's next mind-boggling move, and while her actions were surprising, they were not mind-boggling. It was a let down. On top of that, there was a lot of character exploration that, while interesting and well-acted, was very oddly put together and stilted. It was information that should've been given to the viewers in small doses during the first 7 episodes. The incident with Na-ri trying to burn down the school takes about half an episode to be resolved and from the resolution I gathered two things,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 7 2013/07/10,
It happened. Someone broke. Na-ri completely snapped and went off the deep end. It was horrifying, yet amazing. Lee Yeong-yoo as Go Na-ri carried this episode on her small, but very capable shoulders. Na-ri has been bullying Ha-na and Bo-mi in attempt to take the limelight off of herself. She stole one friend's wallet and took secret swimsuit photos of another and blamed both incidents on Ha-na. As a result, Ha-na has been wrongfully terrorized and ostracized. I've been waiting for Ha-na's name to be cleared, but I've also feared it, just as Na-ri has. If Na-ri comes clean, the animosity of the kids will turn on her. Her rich, demanding, school board mother will be disappointed. Ma will inflict some unknown punishment. Ha-na's name does get cleared near the end of the episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 6 2013/07/08,
What happens when a child is trapped in hell and has to make choices? What happens when that child knows she has made the wrong choice? What happens if she doesn't know whether or not she made the right choice? In the case of "The Queen's Classroom", the child sticks by her decision no matter the consequences. In hell, she has to give it her all or perish. To admit an error is fatal. Such is the case with Na-ri, Ha-na's former best friend and current enemy. To save herself, Na-ri leads the classroom in bullying Ha-na. She coerces Bo-mi into helping her by promising social sanctuary. The more Na-ri's conscience whispers in the back of her mind, the crueler she becomes to drown it out. It's a vicious cycle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 5 2013/07/03,
How far can you push someone before they crack? It's a question whose boundaries are tested by The Queen's Classroom. This show pushes it's characters to their breaking points, then once they are broken, pushes them some more. It kicks them when they are down and doesn't give them any time to get up. Our heroine, Shim Ha-na, learns what it means to be loyal to a friend who is terrified. That friend, Ha-ni, who is scared of her mother, her classmates, her teacher, will betray Ha-na to save her own skin. Teacher Ma Yeo-jin tells Ha-na that her faith in friendship foolish, but Ha-na won't listen. At the end of the episode, she is locked in a gym locker and left alone. Will Ha-na continue to keep her dogged faith in her friends?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 4 2013/06/26,
"The Queen's Classroom" continued to grow even more intense this week. Kids are getting desperate and no longer want to fight an enemy as powerful as Ma Yeo-jin. There is outright betrayal and a heightened sense of animosity towards the person who keeps stirring up trouble: Ha-na. It's so interesting how self-preservation trumps sincerity and justice in this show. It's a theme not often explored in K-drama. The shows J-dorama roots are definitely showing through. This is not easy content to digest and J-dorama loves to take it on. It's good to see K-drama delve into it as well,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 3 2013/06/24,
"The Queen's Classroom" will make you think. It will make you doubt. It will make you question what you believe is right and what you believe is wrong. The lines will blur between the two.
And you'll enjoy every minute of it.
A classroom shouldn't be a battle ground, but Ma Yeo-jin's classroom is. In order to survive, the children must quickly learn to cope. They come together and break apart and then form new alliances, searching for the best way to live through the school day. Ha-na, the plucky student who stands up to Ma, encourages the children to band together against Ma's tyranny. Her honest, fervent desire to be treated right and for the kids to be friends is touching to see,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 2 2013/06/16,
"The Queen's Classroom" is absolutely riveting. It has a magnetic emotional draw that is created by a combination of excellent writing, music, directing and acting. Especially the acting, which is essential in a character-driven drama. These kids are simply amazing. Most dramas rest on the shoulders of adults, but this one rests firmly on the shoulders of a classroom of twelve-year-olds. That's quite a task for such a young cast. Their leader, Ko Hyeon-jeong, brings frightening life to her well-written character, the mysterious and cruel Ma Yeo-jin. Ma is darkly clever and uses that to terrorize her students. When one student, Go Na-ri (Lee Yeong-yoo), takes courage and tells her school board mother about the things happening in the classroom, the kids take hope that their school situation will improve,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] The Queen's Classroom Episode 1 2013/06/14,
Going into "The Queen's Classroom", a re-make of the popular Japanese dorama, Joo no Kyoshitsu, I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I had high hopes. The cast boasts of seasoned child actors who are led by acting powerhouse, Ko Hyeon-jeong as the world's strictest, scariest teacher, Ma Yeo-jin. Ma Yeo-jin, queen of the classroom, is a cross between Matilda's Trunchbull and Roald Dahl's witches. I half expected Yeo-jin to pull off her wig and expose a bald head. She believes in the school of hard knocks: you get what you earn and if you don't, suck it up. On the first day of school, she gives privileges based upon test scores,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.08.10 ~ 2012.08.12 2012/08/13, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.08.10~ 2012.08.12)Choi Dong-hoon's "The Thieves" has been smashing the record books as the Korean public are still scrambling to catch this star-studded heist flick. "The Thieves" is already the highest grossing film released in Korea this year, with a phenomenal admissions count of almost 10 million! That's more that 2 million past its closest rival "The Avengers". All the while undermining "The Dark Knights" climb to 6 million admissions as well as nullifying the initial impact of Kim Joo-ho's "The Heist" which entered the race this past week,...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
[INTERVIEW] Korean actor Lee Min-ho-I 2010/08/18, Source, Interview with Korean actor Lee Min-ho-I
Korean actor Lee Min-ho-I [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
My name isLee Min-ho-I. I had considered using a stage name because many people confuse me with the other actor Lee Min-ho. My parents disapprove of that idea though and say that I should work harder instead of changing my name and taking a step backwards. So I'm just going to work hard and live with my name. (laugh) I was born on June 28, 1993. My co-stars Seo Sin-ae and Kim Yoo-jeong asked what I wanted for my birthday this year. I couldn't ask them to buy me a present because I am older than them, so I instead told them to write me a letter. They each gave me a handwritten letter, chocolates and a foam cleanser. I was so thankful,...More
Yoo Jae-seok wins grand prize at MBC Entertainment Awards 2009/12/30, Source,
Korean variety show host Yoo Jae-seok [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean entertainment show host Yoo Jae-seok won the grand prize at the MBC Entertainment Awards held last night. Yoo won the year's top honor at the awards, held yesterday at Seoul's MBC Open Hall, for the first time since last winning the same title in 2006. This is his fifth win overall at MBC's annual event. His rival Kang Ho-dong, who won the title at KBS Entertainment Awards on Saturday, did not win any awards at MBC but reportedly congratulated Yoo on his big win of the night.,...More
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