Apr. 30th, 2008

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Of the four kdramas I've watched recently, three have had a "hero fakes his own death thus causing major trauma to his loved ones and when his loved ones find out (usually years later) they forgive him completely" storyline*, two have had a "hero experiences temporary amnesia" storyline, and all four have had a love triangle. I used to think that Bollywood could get cheesy and melodramatic; I now realize that I had no idea what those words meant.

more on Hong Gil Dong:
This drama really bugs me, because there were times when the writing and dialogue and action were so clever and fantastic and deep, which just made the negatives all the more glaring. One of the things I still can't get over is how stupid they made Yi Nok, for no reason other than to get some laughs out of the ridiculous predicaments she got herself in and had to be rescued from. I don't find the stupid infantile girl portrayal funny, in the same way I wouldn't find exaggerated portrayals of dirty savage indians funny. It's magnifying and presenting negative societal prejudices in ways that reinforces them, which I find annoying at the least and infuriating at the worst. I didn't find it infuriating in this drama, just annoying, because the rest of the females on the show were clever (sometimes). But the fact remains that Yi Nok was the heroine, the one with the most screentime, the one that the guys ended up falling for, the one that you were supposed to identify with and sympathize with the most. I feel like the message a girl watching this show goes away with is that brains count for nothing (which is a good thing because girls have fewer than guys!), that acting stupid and cheerful is the most failsafe method of being desired and loved. And that the creators of this drama were women just makes it all the more wtfish.

more on Time of Dog & Wolf:
I've realized that if Lee Junki hadn't starred in this drama, I wouldn't have liked it very much, and would probably have dropped it after the first few eps. No one else angsts as prettily as Lee Junki does (and that's including the Blue Spring dude), and if I hadn't had that to distract me I might've gone crazy from trying to reconcile all the plotholes and could never have forgiven the sheer amount of crazyness that all the cast engaged in. As it is, I still feel like I should make a manual on things that Korean secret agents (and those associated with them) should and shouldn't do. The little things like:
(a) if you're working undercover, you probably don't want to leave a disk that has information about your real identity lying around where anyone could find it.
(b) if you're a good guy tailing the bad guys, you probably don't want to confront them in their territory without any backup and then, instead of running away when you find you're outnumbered 40 to 1, start yelling at them.
(c) if someone that's always manipulated and lied to you tells you to do something, you probably shouldn't do it.
(d) if someone you care about seems like he might be working undercover, you probably shouldn't demand that he reveal his real identity to you where others could hear or chase him around or generally act in ways that are likely to get him killed.

I could go on and on. But, yes, I like to think that kdramas have made me a more tolerant and forgiving individual, because after watching them real people are starting to seem like emotional and intellectual geniuses.


* to make matters worse, it is often presented as the hero doing something noble and self-sacrificing, when in any reality that is not kdrama reality such a thing would be interpreted as dumb and unnecessary. then again, that is true of a lot of things that happen in kdrama reality, so.

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