Korean Drama (K-Drama) Trends (Part Two)

The list of trends in K-Drama are never ending. In a way, it makes K-Drama rather fun. If you didn’t catch the last 5 on my list, feel free to do that now. For the rest of us, the trends continue.

Men have egos bigger than the moon

I’m surprised the men in the dramas don’t have broken arms with all the time they spend patting themselves on the back. They’re constantly telling the women of their dreams why she should love him or why she’s so lucky to have him. Because all women love egotistical jerks, right? NOT!

Men LOVE ugly women

How do I know this? Because when he never fails to correct her when she or someone else mentions she’s pretty. And if that’s not enough, he’ll flat out tell her she’s unattractive.

Koreans can put away the food like it’s nobody’s business

Okay… that’s only half true. Korean women can put away the food like nobody’s business. I don’t know if they think they’re in a race to the finish, afraid someone will take their food away if they don’t gobble it down as quick as possible, or fear it’ll be their last meal so pack away as much as possible before it disappears, or what. The thing I don’t get is how actresses stay so skinny, especially when every other scene includes shoveling away food.

Koreans can drink like it’s nobody’s business

The evenings are filled with Gunbae! (cheers in Korean) and one shot as shot glass after shot glass of soju (Korean rice wine) is consumed. I will note, Koreans are not immune to the effects of alcohol. And a scene of binge drinking often transitions to a scene with a piggy back ride.

It’s not a K-Drama without a piggyback ride

Which brings me to the last notable mention for this post. The piggyback ride. No K-Drama is complete without the piggyback ride. Once in a while, the lucky (or rather unlucky) lady will find herself on bottom, as she struggles up hills and suffers flights of stairs to tote her drunken fella home. But by the end of the series, she’ll get her piggyback ride too, even if she has to twist her ankle to sucker him into it.

Into Korean Drama? Check out my list of favorites!

Eat to Live (Rambling Alert)

I mentioned a few posts ago about my newfound addiction to Korean Drama (K-Drama). One of the things they do often in the series is eat. Now I have to admit… I’m typically a big fan of eating. I LOVE meat… particularly steak.

A while back, my father-in-law (hater of all meats other than hotdogs and hamburgers) and I were talking about food. I mentioned I could eat steak EVERY night. He was quite skeptical and told me no I couldn’t. Crazy man… I assured him I could. In fact, I’ve been on steak binges from time to time. Day after day of grilled steak… yum!

So, steak… Yes! Enter K-Drama. Besides rice, noodles seem to be a big thing in the K-Dramas, particularly Ramen. Now, I’m not a ramen fan. However, I am fond of other noodles. So, I headed to my local Korean market and picked up some goodies.

Over the course of a couple of months, I found there are different types of rice noodles, even though they may look the same before cooking. For example, there are clear noodles (vermicelli) and another type which turn opaque after cooking. Originally, I started with rice noodles, which turned opaque white after cooking. Along with the noodles, I picked up some seaweed and miso soup mix stuff.

The first morning I had a bowl of the rice noodles and soup mixture was so satisfying. It was like comfort food. I had this wonderful full feeling… not the overstuffed bloated feeling that makes me feel like I’ve made a horrible mistake… but just very satisfied and cozy.

My rice noodles became my new steak. My late night snack would be rice noodles, and sometimes I’d slurp some down for breakfast. Oh, happiness. 🙂 Sometimes I’d mix things up by adding some meat into the mixture… chicken, smoked turkey, fish, shrimp, poached egg. Oddly enough, my preferred meat (beef) didn’t make it to my concoctions.

So, I ran out of rice noodles and headed back to the Korean store. This is how I learned rice noodles were not all the same. I picked up vermicelli instead of my opaque noodles on that trip. One difference was vermicelli took a lot less time to cook… 3 minutes. In fact, I originally thought the first rice noodles were the 3 minute ones and was surprised they took so long… even more surprised when they turned opaque. With vermicelli, adding hot water is enough to cook them in 3 minutes, and they’re really easy to overcook… falling apart if left in heat too long.

After tasting the difference between opaque rice noodles and vermicelli, I have to say I prefer the opaque ones (whatever they’re called).

Odd thing has happened recently though. The last week or so, I’ve had very little appetite. Food just isn’t very appealing these days. I still enjoy my noodles. They’re tasty, and I eat quite the serving each time. But then there is the family dinner. I sit down to eat, and it’s just a huge chore.

It’s not that I’m not hungry. In fact, I’m hungry right now. I was hungry before dinner. Yet, I didn’t want to bother with it. If not for my family, I probably would have skipped it. The odd thing, it was one of my favorite meals.

Apparently, pizza is rather popular. My family loves it. Me? Not so much. However, I’m quite fond of Pizza Hut’s Spicy Asian wings. So when my family wants pizza, I put my own order of wings… and usually, I don’t share. 🙂 They’re mine! All mine! Mine, I tell ya!

Tonight was pizza and wing night. I didn’t really want to eat when the food arrived. But like I said, I have a family, and dinner happens to be our family time. So, off to eat I went.

I decided to have a slice of pizza with my wings. However, after eating my slice of pizza, I no longer had the motivation to continue and skipped the wings, which explains why I’m hungry. Right now, what I’d really like is to not be hungry without having to eat.

Really, I have no idea what’s going on with my head. Have my noodle and seaweed meals met my needs to the point I have little to no cravings? Lately, I feel like I’m eating to live rather than living to eat, like I used to. Family meals are just a big hassle. The menu options are just so uninspiring, and I’ve yet to convince my husband and son to go on my Korean diet. I suppose it’s a good thing. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the physician without hearing the polite suggestion to lose 10-15 lbs. Perhaps this will be the way to do it.

Have you gone through a phase where you’ve lost the passion for your favorite foods?


Korean Drama (K-Drama) Favorites (Part One)

So last post I mentioned a few trends I’ve come across in Korean Dramas. Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite K-Drama Series. Before I mention the series, I have a confession. I have little say about the women. You see, I’m a bit boy crazy.

A bit of rambling. My husband and I were talking about an old foreign series called Lexx and how it’d be interesting to see a remake of it. Of course, my thoughts ran to: who’d be able to pull off the sexy undead Kai. Something about Kai just used sex appeal. My husband, on the other hand, asked: who’d play Zev/Xev. My response? “Who cares?” ha ha

I mention this now, because you might notice my comments are lacking when it comes to the female actresses.

Gu Family Book

Gu Family Book PosterIt’s a historical fantasy which features the Korean mythical creatures called nine-tailed foxes AKA Gumiho.

I absolutely LOVED this series. More than that, I fell in love with the actors. Choi Jin-Hyuk is so sexy as Gu Wol-Ryung (a nine-tailed fox). I’ve watched a few other shows with Jin-Hyuk, but he totally lacks the sex appeal he has a Wol-Ryung. *sigh* Since Gu Family Book was his last show, I’m really hoping it’s the start of a brand new sexy Jin-Hyuk. I’ve seen him talk on reality shows and he’s so goofy. Apparently, he’s always working out though… keeping his boy sexy hot for me.

Then we have Lee Seung-Gi who plays Choi Kang-chi (Wol-Ryung’s son — a half-human/nine-tailed fox). Love him too. Not so much sexy… well, not sexy at all. Instead, he has a goofy charm to him which shows through pretty much all the series I’ve seen him in.

Sung Joon was kind of sexy too. However, I haven’t found him any good lead roles, so I’ve been in a rather “screw you then” mood when it comes to him. I did start watching a series where he plays in a flower boy band, but there were too many people being introduced at once, and I couldn’t keep track. Maybe I’ll come back to it, but he didn’t seem sexy at all. 🙁

My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox

My girlfriend is a Gumiho PosterThis is a contemporary fantasy, romantic comedy featuring the Gumiho. I absolutely fell in love with a couple of the songs. Fox Rain by Lee Sun Hee and Losing My Mind by none other than Lee Seung-Gi. Did I mention he’s also a K-Pop Singer?

This time around Lee Seung-Gi plays Cha Dae-Woong, a rich jerk who is beyond selfish. Even so, he keeps his goofy charm and is highly amusing. It makes him sexy in a not so sexy way. 🙂

His counterpart and girlfriend is a Gumiho played by Shin Min-Ah. Now the reason she made such an impression with me is because of her enormous dimples. I’ve only seen her in one other show Arang and the Magistrate, and it didn’t make it to my favorite lists. Oh well. Still, I loved her in this. Very few Korean shows feature a strong female lead. Usually the female are the type who attract abuse. Yeah… I know, I know… no one deserves to be abused. However, we all know some women are more prone to be abused than others, just like some people are more likely to be bullied than others. Now this gal is tough. So tough, most of the time Dae-Woong is about to piss his pants trying to keep her happy as opposed to becoming her next meal. 🙂

I can’t wait to see what’s next on Lee Seung-Gi’s list of shows to play. Gu Family Book came out this year, and I’ve seen nothing else on his schedule. Poo. 🙁

Faith

Faith PosterFaith is another historical fantasy. Just like my reads, I’m quite fond of supernatural romances. This time around, we get a time-travel romance. I love these historical time-travels. My favorites are when the past comes to the future, but this one, the present goes to the past. Beyond the time travel element, it also has some magic happening.

I actually did like the female lead in this series (Kim Hee-Sun who plays Yoo Eun-Soo, I haven’t sought her out in any other roles. Mostly because she’s not a sexy hot guy. 🙂

But Lee Min-Ho… he is so yummy. Broody, sexy. Did I mention Yummy?

One other guy who stood out was Phillip Lee. Something about his calm demeanor just does it for me. I’d like to see him in a lead role, but I get the impression his career is that of a supporting actor.

Personal Tastes

personal tastes posterPersonal Tastes is about an architect who pretends to be gay in order to become roommates with a woman who lives in a famous building. The woman also happens to be the daughter of a famous architect and the designer of her home.

Yes, I love looking at Lee Min-Ho, which is why I sought out Personal Tastes. Again, he plays the brooding type as Jeon Jin-ho. This time he’s a little more fun and smiles a whole lot more. Still, he’s serious. The guy has the weight of the world on his shoulder. But he’s so sexy… even when he’s wearing high water pants and walks like he’s squeezing his butt cheeks together.

And of course, some woman other than me plays the lead role.

I’ve watched several series featuring Lee Min-Ho, but they didn’t make it to my favorite lists. If I’m not mistaken, his next series — The Inheritors — starts in a few days. I’m excited. 🙂 It will also feature Choi Jin-Hyuk from Gu Family Book. From the looks of it, Jin-Hyuk will have a supporting role.

Nine: Nine Time Travels

Nine: Nine Time Travels PosterNine: Nine Time Travels is very much like the Butterfly Effect. Only he uses incense sticks to time travel to the past exactly 20 years from the present, right down to the last second. Unlike the Butterfly Effect where Ashton Kutcher screws everything up even worse, each time the lead goes back in time he gains a bit more insight into his present.

This series was intriguing and dealt with paradoxes in a reasonable way… for the most part. It really left me with a bittersweet feel. Still it was satisfying. It was because of this series that I started seeking Korean time travel shows, since I’ve never really been big in that genre.

I don’t know what it was about Lee Jin-Wook in this role, but he made a blip on my sexy radar. It’s odd, because I watched him in another Korean Drama and despite him having the lead role, I totally was rooting for the other team. Still he was sexy in this one. It’s probably because he didn’t play a jerk like he did in the other K-Drama I didn’t like him in.

Lie to Me

Lie to Me PosterLast but not least, Lie to Me. I happened upon this one by accident. In fact, this is likely the series which got me on the K-Drama rampage. I was searching for the American Lie to Me and happened to come across this. I was so excited my cable company carried it on demand. Watched that, then started seeking other Korean shows.

Basically, this circles around a gal who turns a misunderstanding into a lie and runs with it. I’m talking olympic running. It’s one of those Cinderella stories. Now that I think about it, a lot of Korean Dramas are Cinderella stories. Rich man meets poor girl and they beat all odds for their happy ever after.

Now I have to admit, I’ve watched so many Korean Dramas, I’m not sure it belongs as a favorite. However, since it’s what drew me in, I can’t help but be fond of it.

So that’s enough for now. This list is not all-inclusive. They’re just the ones which come to mind and have a special place in my head at the moment. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Are you into K-Drama? What are some of your favorites?


Korean Drama (K-Drama) Trends (Part One)

I’ve been out of this blogging thing for a while now. It’s always in the back of my mind, but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to muster the motivation to do anything about it. Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to keep this blog focused on books, like I’ve done in the past.

When I think about it, why should it be all about books anyway? After all, it is ramblings of an amateur writer. So why not ramble? Here goes. 🙂

About a month or two ago, I had this great idea. I’d start watching Korean television in order to improve my Korean. And thus my journey began.

Why Korean?

Well, it all started with my military service. Part of my training included over a year of Korean training. I admit, I never got great at it. I think I scored something like a 1+ Listening/2 Reading/1 Speaking on the Korean proficiency test, which is pretty poor. And since that was going on two decades ago (please don’t do the math), I’ve lost even that little bit of knowledge.

Here’s the thing. I happen to live in an area which has quite a decent Korean population. I eavesdrop. 🙂 Something I naturally do as a writer, looking for tidbits to write about. ha ha I caught snippets and can gathered what the topic of a conversation was about, but had no real idea what exactly was being said.

I decided to look for a bit of Korean TV and came across K-Drama. It’s quite addictive, and once in awhile I find a great song.

Curious about my progress with Korean? Well, I see some improvements. My vocabulary is improving along with my understanding (at least when it comes to listening). I went from catching a few words here and there to understanding maybe 30-40% of a conversation, depending on the complexity.

K-Drama Trends

I’ve never been to Korea, so I’m not savvy to all the cultural nuances. However, I found a few interesting trends when it comes to K-Drama. Today, I’ll be sharing a few with you. 🙂

Wrists are meant for grabbing

At least if the wrist belongs to a woman. Apparently, it’s perfectly okay to grab a woman by the wrist and drag her where ever you want to take her and whenever. If she screams that she doesn’t want to go, no one worries or listens to her. Bystanders won’t come to her rescue. If anything, they’ll smile, most likely reminiscing about their own Neanderthal moments.

I don’t know how prominent the wrist grabbing is in Korea, but I found a reason for it. Apparently, the wrist is more of a neutral zone as opposed to the hand. Even so, the wrist grabbing looks a bit painful to me, and not something I’d tolerate. Which brings me to the next item.

Skinship is Awkward

If you’re wondering what skinship is, that relates to intimacy–holding hands, hugging, kissing. From what I’ve discovered, public displays of affection (PDA) is frowned upon in Korea. As I mentioned above, hands are not neutral. When it happens in a Korean drama, it’s a big deal… a statement is being made… like staking a claim.

Along with that, hugging in a Korean drama is one of the most awkward things. Men hug from the front. All of a sudden, they’ll wrap their arms around a woman and lock them in place. If he has to swing her around to face him, he’ll do it. But once they’re in an embrace, he’s like a boa constrictor. Women, on the other hand, are a bit better. But they’re only allowed to hug men from behind. Like a seductress, she’ll slip her hands around his waist, while he stands there unresponsive with his arms hanging limply at his side.

Finally, we come to kissing. There is the kisser (the one doing the kissing) and the kissee (the one receiving the kiss). 95% of the time, the man is the kisser. And like the hug, the kiss comes all of a sudden… as if to make a point, usually during an argument. The kiss could be really sexy, but it’s not. He yanks her into a kiss–lips pressed together. Her eyes are wide open and her lips are unresponsive. The perfect kiss must not include tongues or anything wild. The couple must simply press their lips together and hold for… well, hold until the commercial break, while allowing ample time for the camera to catch the lip press from every angle.

Two degrees of separation

Ever hear of 6 degrees of separation? Well, in K-Drama, there are 2 degrees of separation. If you don’t know someone, your friend does. Everyone knows Everyone in Korean dramas. Weird thing about it… no one realizes it. So if you’re looking for your long lost brother and he’s staying at your boyfriend’s place, you’ll never know it. Why? Because you’ve put every important detail you could think of in an envelope, along with your one and only picture, and handed it over to your boyfriend’s best friend, who happens to be a detective. And you’ve done this all without letting your boyfriend garnish even a single peak. And since you never visit your boyfriend’s place, you never get a glimpse of his roommate (AKA, your brother). Doh!

Koreans are super fast healers

Apparently, Koreans have superior healing abilities. If they’re in an accident or get their face pounded, it only takes a day or two to heal a busted lip, bruises or cuts. Even more awesome, ripping out an IV leaves absolutely no evidence the IV was there in the first place. No blood, no bruising, and no marks. Wicked regeneration!

The only exception to their powerful healing ability is when it comes to a brain injury or illness. So, if someone gets brain cancer or brain surgery, they don’t heal… ever. Instead, they get to wear an off-white knit cap throughout the rest of the series.

Talking in a whiny voice is cool

Apparently, women are allowed to talk in a whiny voice. Instead of coming across as annoying and childish, it’s an endearing quality loved by all men.

Oh… and men can stop being men when talking to their mothers and grandmothers, because grandmas and mamas always give in when their little boy reverts to a childish voice.

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So that’s it for now. Maybe next time around I’ll share some of my favorite Korean Dramas. 🙂