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Archive for June, 2013

It’s something of a hyperbole to talk about The End of the World. Usually it’s nothing of the sort. An increase of pollutant particles in the air, though annoying, should not be treated like the end of the world. An isolated terrorist attack, though horrible, does not actually signal the end of the world either. Likewise, you’d think that one shouldn’t take seriously the heralding of a k-drama as brilliant.

WRONG!

EotW poster

I have watched five episodes of the much-feted The End of the World (jTBC, 2013). And initially, though I knew its admirers to be reliable, deep down I was skeptical. A brilliant k-drama about a virus outbreak? Seriously?

SERIOUSLY. This stuff is brilliant. I’ll leave it to more technically accomplished folk to detail and analyze its technical and artistic perfections. All I would say for the moment is:– It is so perfect and so compelling, I seem to have lost my usual ability to keep a healthy distance from what I’m watching. I am totally emotionally invested. I am totally immersed in its life-threatening situations. In fact, I’m scared shitless.

Mommy!

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I’ve always been shy about admitting to being a k-drama watcher, in real life. People jump to all sort of conclusions:– That I love long-winded and weepy soap operas. Or that I dote on long-winded and portentous period court intrigues. Or, if they are more up-to-date, that I like Secret Garden and Coffee Prince. Or that I swoon over Hyun Bin and Lee Min Ho. All of which is totally untrue. The way I see it, I just don’t watch what most people think of when they think “k-drama”, so I’m not really lying when I say I don’t watch that stuff.

A Wife’s Credentials is a case in point. It is my k-drama of the moment. It is why I watch k-drama. How on earth am I supposed to play this to the world out there? “Oh yes, I like k-drama. It’s realistic, elegant, well-acted, and thoughtful.” How on earth are people supposed to square this with Winter Sonata? They’d think I’m seriously deluded and have terrible taste. But if I start explaining that there is middling populist k-drama and good k-drama (usually obscure), and that I watch mostly the latter, I will merely seal my reputation as the world’s greatest pedant and intellectual snob. Best to avoid this conversation altogether.

AWC B&W poster

Anyhow, back to A Wife’s Credentials. What a great show! Even with my expectations already set sky-high, I wasn’t disappointed with its second half. Even with its story set up for all its pieces to move in apparently predictable directions, it forged on strongly, engaging me constantly, and even surprising me.

Click on link for extremely spoilery musings about its final episodes.

(more…)

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After a considerable hiatus, I have resumed watching A Wife’s Credentials (ep1-7 review here) and have fallen in love with it all over again. How can any k-drama be so grown-up, so sensitive, and so subtle? It is a miracle of television, a miracle.

AWC poster

Why did I take such a long break from this show? I lost momentum at the point when decent English subtitles got harder to find, I was feeling heart-broken and scared on behalf of the characters in the show, and then my non-k-drama life kind of reared its ugly head and let out a great big roar. So, what with one thing or another, I put this one aside for a bit. But I always knew I would definitely come back to finish this. Definitely.

And coming back to this, I’m amazed afresh at how genuine this show is. How thoughtful the script is, how heartfelt the acting, how elegant the direction, and how organic the music. Once again, I don’t feel as if I’m watching television; I feel as if I am entering a parallel world.

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So. If it takes me four months to watch three episodes of a show, I reckon it’s safe to say that I’m just not interested and it’s time to give up?

*delete*

I really feel bad about bailing on TBDAW, I really do. I’m not quite sure why I simply can’t go through with it, but it appears that I really can’t. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with the show. In fact, I think it’s quite a decent specimen of its genre (thriller). I keep thinking, “Oh, I must continue watching that.” Then when I hit play, before long I feel bored. I can’t even invoke “Life is too short for bad dramas”, because TBDAW is not a bad drama. What gives?

Good bye doggie

(1) I don’t love Jun Ki sufficiently. (Sorry, Jun Ki, sorry.) (2) I can’t stand Nam Sang Mi. I find her incredibly boring as an actress and I have zero interest in her character. (3) I’m not nearly as irritated by Jung Sung Mo, I think he’s quite cute, but I’m not that interested in his character either. (4) It’s a show that take itself rather seriously, so if I’m not that invested in the story, it rather fizzles out. (5) The plot is somewhat predictable.

None of these reasons warrants hitting the “eject” button. Perhaps it’s the cumulative effect? Added to the fact that my life is crazy busy and I only have time to watch a couple of episodes of anything per week. Whatever the reason, it is with a sad face but a light heart that I clear my hard disk of TBDAW.

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