Review – Man from the Equator
There is a certain grandiose nature (also known as being waaaay overdramatic for no reason) to these older melodramas that can’t be replicated. Maybe it’s the standard tv (box) formatting. Maybe it’s the lack of fancy cinematography, most of the shots are head on and there are many long cuts. Maybe it’s the emotional music, reminiscent of soap operas from the States in the late 20th century. There’s a roughness to the characters, a grittiness and cruelty… as well as honest and instinctual love. This is a story about two young men who become unlikely best friends, the smartest boy in the school and the street fighter. They are two totally different people, and though they become best friends, their values, motivations, and personalities remain independent of one another, even over time. In a way, those are some of the best friendships. And like most good things, they require a lot of work. So does this drama. Perhaps more work than it deserves…
The first part of this drama is captivating and interesting – but unfortunately the second and third part just drag and drag and drag. Part two involves a wandering story line of love and blindness, and part three is about revenge but manages to forget that half the time and just bore us with flashbacks, unnecessarily long sequences of staring, walking, staring, pondering, staring and more staring. I don’t think I’ve seen a show that enjoyed focusing on a character just staring pensively into the distance more Man from the Equator. Still, I didn’t hate it I just… wanted to speed it up.
Overall Rating – 4/10. Not Recommended For Tourists.
More plot musings and spoilers and discussion follow…
Movie Musings – Haunters
So, finished HAUNTERS – a movie about a man who can control people en masse with his mind, and the one dude who is immune and thus fated to stop him. It kinda reminded me of Unbreakable, in a strange way. And of Kilgrave from Jessica Jones… except even he didn’t throw a baby at a speeding subway train. Anyways, it was visually stunning and creepy but there really wasn’t much more to it than a showdown between two dudes. With some character development, this could have been stellar… cause if we knew anything about these guys, we might care a bit more who won in the end.
Let’s face it – there are a lot of gay-questioning dramas out there. Okay, sure, they’re not implicitly gay; Only recently have dramas crossed the purebred gay border, though their feature films have definitely made some expeditions to gay town in the past few years. But it doesn’t matter if they’re gay or just questioning. We love it! Whether it’s one sided or misdirected, for comedy or for drama, for love or for money… K-Dramas are sprinkled with the gay rainbow. And no one can deny it.
Korean dramas often depict variations in sexuality, sex roles, sexual attraction, and sexual fluidity. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to their seemingly strict gender assignments and homophobia… and/or perhaps a direct result of them. Because the rules are there, it’s more fun to break them.
Gender Bending is popular in Taiwan too.
Off the top of my head – there are three excellent examples of LGB with a large emphasis on Q in K-World. Cross-dressing is the biggest culprit in these same sex shenanigans – and, if we’re honest, the reason these dramas are so frequently made. It’s not all LGB with Q, of course. There are plenty of examples of the T within various shows as well but as of yet not as the lead romance.
Let’s run through the questioning dramas together…
There are a lot of great kisses in K-Land. A lot. Mostly because we wait so long for them, by the time they come we’re tightly coiled balls of anxiety and desire. Then BAM, even the most chaste peck lights up our panties and sends us swooning.
Caption: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
These are just some of MY PERSONAL FAVORITES… so sorry, no Lee Min-Ho… he just does nothing for me, even though I enjoy most of his dramas. And this isn’t exhaustive… there are plenty of great smooches not listed.
Description of Kisses may include slight (or maybe big, I dunno) spoilers, so weigh how much you want to know about smooching versus how much I might ruin a show for you.
SPOILERS & KISSING AHEAD… follow me… Continue reading
The Asian Shift or Trying to Watch American TV After a Long K-Drama Binge.
I upgraded to premium on Dramafever this winter and have been firmly planted in Korean dramas for weeks. I watch at least an episode or two a day, sometimes the majority of a show during the weekends. I’m not proud of my obsessive drama-watching and am pretty sure it’s not how humans were meant to live – watching other people live exciting lives as I sit motionless on the couch – but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.
I’m here to talk about how weird American TV is when you’ve been thoroughly saturated in Korean/Thai/Japanese/Chinese dramas.
My two favorite leading male stereotypes are the arrogant, self-centered types (for example the male leads in The Greatest Love, Master’s Sun, You Are Beautiful) and the hardened criminal with a soft spot for love.
When I say hardened criminal, I mean the type that you can count on to beat someone bloody on the street for you. Cause… that’s a skill set you might need one day. Especially if you inhabit K-World. I do not mean the psuedo-criminal. I do not mean the sensitive action heroes found in City Hunter or Healer. I do not mean the men who thrill us with graceful acrobatics during a well choreographed fight sequence. I do not mean white collar criminals or cyber criminals or dudes plotting their revenge. I mean bloody knuckle criminals. The ones that can be genuinely scary when they’re not romancing a lady. My heart always goes wonky for the guard dogs, the yard dogs, the junkyard dogs of K-world. The fighters.
Every drama fan knows you can’t really rewatch your favorite shows too many times. They’re just long enough that you can’t possibly remember everything – even with repeated viewing. A lot of shows get better the second or third time around. A few of them slip down your charts. Not everything can stand up to the test of time. But a good rewatch is needed to fully appreciate K-Dramas. Especially if you’ve been watching mainly new dramas.
I’ve got a three day weekend ahead of me… which means, conceivably, I could watch an entire drama, start to finish. Binge, baby, binge! But what to watch, what to watch? 어떻게해야 하나요? Dilemma!
Here is what I’ve narrowed it down to…
HEALER (haven’t seen it, hear it’s good) – embarrassing update… I have seen this before after all. Twice! And it was AWESOME.
SIGNAL (haven’t seen it, everyone is buzzing)
COFFEE PRINCE (cause it’s been a few years and that’s a few years too many)
So, friends… what do you think?
I just watched the trailer for The King, though honestly I didn’t have to. My movie ticket was sold the second I found out who the leads are. Jo In-Sung and Jung Woo-Sung? Sign me up, please.
Though the movie does actually look good. Nah, that’s a total lie. The movie could just be Jo In-Sung and Jung Woo-Sung sitting across the table from each other playing Go and recalling childhood experiences and I would watch it for hours. I love these guys! They’re two of my favorite actors.
Wonder how long until we get a nice sub version of this in the States?
I’ve been loving Goblin… even though it has SOOO MANY PROBLEMS… I don’t care one bit. I absolutely love this show so far and don’t mind it’s many, many issues with pacing, plot, and irregularities. Gong Yoo is too freakin’ sweet, that’s why! Pair him with the most adorable lost puppy eyed Grim Reaper of all time and you’ve left me with a shameless school girl crush on a show that doesn’t really deserve it. But it does. But it doesn’t! But it does. Oh… Goblin… my love for you is as ridiculously irrational as my crushes in real life. The heart wants what it wants and it wants to see you wandering around a city with your ankles showing from under your short hemmed pants, apparently.
I mean… look at him! Look at this handsome, sensitive man who smiles too easily to ever be a believable army general. It’s like casting Tom Hanks a serial killer. It just doesn’t work… his soul is too pure, it shows through the eyes… even if he is an amazing actor, there are some things that just don’t work. Gong Yoo covered in blood? Uhm… no. Preposterous. Outrageous. Ludicrous. And I still don’t care cause I love it so… they could have him run down the street with a chainsaw at this point and I’d still go “Oh my gosh, he’s soo sweet! Look at him go!”
I look forward to reviewing this show when it’s done crossing the great subtitle divide to dramafever. Until then… just had to take a moment and gush over it. So cute! So, so cute… gah…