It’s Okay to Not be Okay 사이코지만 괜찮아

Title: It’s Okay to Not be Okay 사이코지만 괜찮아

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: June 20 – Aug 9 2020 (Netflix Canada)

Starring: Seo Ye Ji, Kim Soo Hyun, Oh Jung Se

Here’s the trailer

Plot

This Kdrama follows the lives of a children’s author and a community health worker- two people who appear to be complete opposites. While this leads to many clashes and differences in opinion at first, the two discover that by finding a middle ground, they can help balance each other out, helping one another to heal their psychological wounds.

This is in many ways the classic Kdrama- as we watch an unlikely pair fall in love. It is soon revealed that they are deeply connected through their childhood – something that both brings them together and threatens to tear them apart.

The Lead: A Familiar Villain with a Twist

You know that evil girl in every K drama ever? The rich, self important girl, who is often the daughter of the CEO and has a claim to the main lead before our leading lady comes into the picture? This character will often be the lead’s fiance (or trying to be) and is constantly fighting the leading female character to win his attention.

This character acts as the leading lady’s rival and is at some point defeated much to the viewer’s satisfaction. But what if the roles were reversed?

In It’s okay not to be okay the mean b**** plays the lead while the nice girl who has a hopeless crush on the lead male is swept to the sidelines.

While this is unusual, one might still expect that the mean girl will become nicer as the show goes on- that being around the main lead will make her the the sweet leading lady we are used to- but that is not the case.

It is refreshing to see that while her relationship does help her to grow, she does not feel the need to change who she is to please others. Instead as an audience we learn to accept her for who she is recognizing that it is okay not to be okay sometimes and that people need to be accepted for who they are. This is truly something special and we’ve got to give this drama a round of applause for it!

Mental Health

The majority of the drama takes place in and around the OK Psychiatric Hospital where Moon Gang Tae works as a caregiver. This setting gives us the opportunity to get to know many residents at the hospital and the various challenges they face.

The leads are challenged by trauma and antisocial personality disorders that become difficult to navigate as they intertwine with one another.

Ultimately the characters discover that it is by loving and supporting each other – by working together that they can become stronger people.

Butterflies 나비

Butterflies play a key role in the story as they come to represent the trauma Moon Sang Tae experiences as a child.

We learn early on that Gang Tae and Sang Tae must move every few months because of Sang Tae’s fear that ‘the butterfly’ will find them and kill him.

While this does become a tangible symbol by the end of the film- there is still a lot more to it than that.

Greek Symbolism

In the drama, the butterfly is periodically referred to in its Greek form- that it represents “psyche”.

In this sense the butterfly represents a deeper understanding of a person- getting at ideas of psychology, philosophy and the soul.

Psyche from mythology was a mortal woman who Zeus took pity on and released from death by transforming her into a butterfly – granting her immortality and the ability to fly freely. In this way the butterfly symbolizes the soul of the dead who must endure trials and tribulations before achieving immortality.

Taking this interpretation into consideration, it is easy to make the connections between who the butterfly is, why they identify as a butterfly as well as Sang Tae’s uncertainty and fear.

(https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-282X2017000300176&lng=en&tlng=en)

Korean Symbolism

As a western viewer, I was missing out on what the butterfly could represent culturally in Korea – here’s what I learned:

Butterflies appear frequently in traditional Korean art and are often paired with flowers (this explains Lee Sang In’s insistence that the flowers in Sang Tae’s mural must be paired with a butterfly).

While butterflies depicted on their own represent joy and pleasure, butterflies paired with flowers symbolize prosperity, contentment and harmony within a family or between a couple.

This symbolism knits together the drama’s key thee of finding love, contentment and balance within a family.

(https://snackfever.com/blogs/magazine/animal-symbolism-in-south-korea)

The Butterfly Effect

With the butterfly as such an important symbol, we can’t help but think of the Butterfly Effect. This concept was formulated by Edward Lorenz who asked the question “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”.

The idea that one small event can hugely affect the outcome of the future has been widely adopted and has since been coined “the butterfly effect”.

Without giving away too many spoilers- it is clear that Moon Gang Tae and Sang Tae’s mother’s small misstep set off a series of events that would deeply affect the future.

(https://www.americanscientist.org/article/understanding-the-butterfly-effect)

The Fairy Tale

Fairy tales are an important element in this drama. Sure- Ko Moon Young is a children’s author, but WHY the fairy tale genre?

What is a Fairy Tale?

Fairy tales are short stories that stem from myth and folk stories which typically involve creatures such as dwarfs, fairies, goblins and other mythical entities. While the details of the stories often seem surreal and unlikely, fairy tales at their heart reveal truths about human experience and nature which is often universal.

Ko Moon Young uses the grotesque to express herself for at the heart of her violent stories she reveals her own struggles through harsh lessons she learned as a child.

The Grotesque

You may have been confused realizing that Moon Young stories do not at all resemble our familiar understanding of the fairy tale in stories such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. But Disney has made a lot of changes to how we understand these classic stories.

Fairy tales are originally much darker than you might think!

For example- did you know that in the story of Cinderella the step mother cuts off the evil sisters toes and heels in order to squeeze their foot into the glass slipper?

Did you know that in Sleeping Beauty, princes and knights who tried to rescue the princess before the allotted 100 years were caught up in the rose thorns and strangled?

Disney has completely redefined how many of us understand fairy tales- romanticizing the genre. In this way, Moon Young’s children books thought it may at first seem strange to you, are actually much more accurately depicting the genre.

The Ending

It wouldn’t be a good Kdrama without a twist at the end! And while you should have seen it coming- we’d be surprised if you figured this one out before it is revealed.

I was surprised and that I really should have caught it- but this twist was right under my nose!

Overall, this was a relatively unique drama in which I learned something about myself and something about others.

While it isn’t an all time favorite, I defiantly enjoyed the drama and would recommend it!

Drama Drop: Vagabond 배가본드

f58d768b23e143409e35a7e8fdad2542

Title: Vagabond 배가본드

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: September 20 – November 23 2019

Starring:Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy

Find it on Netflix Canda!

Vagabond06-00577

Plot

Cha Dal Geon is a young stuntman struggling to provide for his orphaned nephew. When Hoon, his nephew is killed in a plane crash, Cha Dal Geon becomes determined to prove that the disaster was the result of a terrorist attack. Enter Go Hae Ri, a secret agent for the NIS who is more of a rookie than she would like to admit. Eager to prove her worth, she is convinced to help Cha Dal Geon investigate the crash and the two begin to uncover corruption wherever they turn.

Vagabond-MAINIMAGE-03

Action

The main hero Cha Dal Geon is a stuntman who never imagined he’d be putting his kills to use in ‘real life’. As such you can imagine that this series is full of neat tricks both believable- and unbelievable. Nevertheless, you will definitely enjoy this action-based drama that follows a network of secret agents attempting to overthrow government corruption.

Suspense

If you are looking for a drama full of mystery and unexpected plot twists, LOOK NO FURTHER! I was incredibly impressed as this drama continues to throw unexpected wrenches into the plot.

If you enjoyed The K2 then you will definitely like this drama (I would go so far as to say that it is better than The K2).

 

EElohg5UcAIaz7A

Romance

If you are in it for the romance- this is not the drama for you. While Cha Dal Geon and Go Hae Ri share some tender moments, these two have yet to confide their feelings to one another… a whole 16 episodes later!

While we have high hopes for the couple in the upcoming (hopefully) next season, romance just isn’t a priority in this show. If you watch with romantic expectations, you will most likely be disjointed and unrewarded.

Thinking Deeper

This drama will cause you to question what you think know versus what you really know. While things may seem clear, sometimes what the characters know as truth and the snippets of conversations that the audience is able to witness align differently from what is really going on. Is the perspective the show gives you truly unbiased?

Overall

Overall, This drama has made it to my list of top 5 favorites! I’m absolutely in love with the action, mystery and excitement the show brings.

I highly recommend this drama and am looking forward to a second season.

GO WATCH IT

Drama Drop: Her Private Life 그녀의 사생활

Her-Private-Life4

Title: Her Private Life 그녀의 사생활

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: April 10 – May 30, 2019

Starring: Park Min Young, Kim Jae Wook

Plot

Sung Deok Mi, a gallery curator by day and a hard core fan girl by night. As she runs between her work and ‘hobby’, she takes precautions to ensure that her private life remains separate from her professional one. When her boss Ryan Gold accidentally runs into her while she’s taking shots of her bias’s arrival at the airport, Deok Mi is afraid that he may recognize and expose her as an obsessive fan girl.

Can Deok Mi keep up the dance between these two separate realities?

 

56205170_430599620844902_639998746133790720_n

It’s Relatable

If you are a k-pop fan, then you will be able to relate to Young’s character Deok Mi, even if you are not quite such a hard core fan as she is.

Deok Mi’s room is plastered with pictures and posters of her bias. You will smile as you see her singing along to her favourite pop songs with the music blasting in the car. What would it be like if you saw, or met your bias? Deok Mi will take you on that journey. You will smile and laugh at how she defines what it means to be a fan girl and see yourself in her.

There is a moment in the first episode where Deok Mi catches a glimpse of her idol ahead of the crowd- I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement as I recalled my own similar experience at the Pentagon Prism Concert earlier this year when I caught a glimpse of Hui a few hour before the concert.

Take my word for it- if you’re a kpop fan, you won’t be able to keep yourself from smiling and laughing- I highly recommend this drama to you!

Kim-Jae-Wook-1

Can I Have a Bias AND a Boyfriend?

While Ryan is a little jealous of Deok Mi’s Obsessive love for Cha Shi An, he accepts her and supports her interests. Rather than becoming angry or trying to force her to choose between her bias and himself, he does research and tries to understand her better.

Ryan continues to support and encourage Deok Mi. He learns to understand the different love Deok Mi has for each of them and goes to great lengths to make her dreams come true.

While you may suspect that Deok Mi chooses one over the other herself, she never really makes this decision and remains a fan girl until the end of the drama.

Jung_Jae_Won

The Star in the Show: Jung Je Won

Jung Je Won plays the kpop star and Sung Doek Mi’s ultimate bias Cha Shi An.

For those of you who are fans of Arthdal Chronicles, you will recognize Jung Je Won as the young Ta Gon. He has also appeared in Show Me the Money, A Korean Odyssey and Room No.9

One_(Jung_Je-Won)-P1

Jung Je Won known as One, is a rapper, singer and songwriter. He debuted in 1Punch in 2015 but has since worked as a solo artist.

Check out his work!

We’re ready to be his fan now too!

 

d23214ae6fc84ee290835f47b684d675.jpeg

Overall

If you are a fan of Park Min Young, or enjoyed Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim, then you will not be disappointed.

This drama is not about action, mystery or tension – rather you will be able to watch one episode at a time. This does not mean that you won’t want to keep watching though! Rather you can watch it as a healthy pace.

This drama was really refreshing as a fun, sweet drama.

I have never felt so connected to a drama. This drama is cute, relatable, romantic and satisfying. I was laughing so hard the whole time- and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it.

Personally I liked it better than Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim and would HIGHLY recommend it, particularly to those who are also fans of kpop.

 

 

What did you think of Her Private Life?

Are you a fan of Jung Je Won?

We want to hear from you!

 

 

Looking For a New Drama?

when-someone-asks-kdrama-memes

Are you looking to start a new drama? Here’s a running list of some of the drama’s we’ve watched!

382611d47e4c8c5f1c6306b9843dc1b7

We’ve highlighted some of our favourites in blue

Action/Crime

  • Abyss
  • Decedents of the Sun
  • Healer
  • Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
  • Suspicious Partner
  • The K2
  • Vagabond
  • Live
  • Private Lives

Romance

School Romance

  • Accidentally In Love
  • A Love So Beautiful
  • Hello My Twenties (Age of Youth)
  • Love 020
  • My First, First Love
  • Weight lifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Historical/Fantasy

Sci Fi

  • About Time
  • Are You Human Too?
  • While You Were sleeping
  • My Holo Love

Film

  • Fabricated City (Ji Chang Wook)
  • I Belonged to You (Yang Yang)
  • Jurors (Park Hyung Sik)
  • Once Upon a Time (Yang Yang)
  • Parasite

talks-about-kdrama-memes

Got any Recommendations for us?

What are some classic must watch dramas?

What is your favourite drama?

Let us know in the comments below!

Drama Drop: Abyss 어비스

re.png

Title: Abyss 어비스

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date:  May 7 – June 25, 2019 Netflix

Starring: Park Bo-Young, Ahn Hyo-Seop

We were really excited when we first saw the trailer for Abyss-and the show did not disappoint.

Plot

When Cha Min is accidentally killed, he is suddenly transformed into a handsome young man, yet when Ko Se-Yeon is murdered, she comes back to life without her stunning beauty.

The two life-long best friends work together to live anonymously in their new bodies as their ID cards, friends and families can no longer help them.

The two are determined to hunt down Ko Se-Yeon’s murderer in order to reveal their true identities and get their life back on track.

Suspense

I personally prefer Kdramas that are full of mystery and suspense- dramas such as The K2 , Healer and Suspicious Partner.

If you are a fan of any of those dramas, then ‘Abyss will not disappoint.

The suspense and mystery is excellent and you will be on the edge of your seat!

250px-Abyss_TV_series

Romance

If you’re looking for romance- that is not the central focus of this drama. HOWEVER it is quirky and cute and there are plenty of ADORABLE scenes as the couple grow closer together.

If you enjoyed ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ you’ll enjoy this drama.

Provocative Questions

************SPOILERS************

When Cha Min is pushed off a roof by a supernatural being, he is given Abyss, a magical marble that brings back the dead. But there’s a catch- individuals are revived in the form of their soul.

Cha Min has always had a kind heart and as a result, he is reborn as a gorgeous man while his best friend Ko Se-Yeon, a self centered girl, is revived with “plain” features when Cha Min uses Abyss to bring her back to life.

This is a really interesting thought: what if our bodies were a reflection of our personalities?

How would you make a living if you were not recognized or registered in the world? After Min and Yeon are killed, they cannot return to work, visit their families, use their ID or even withdraw money since their bodies no longer recognizable.

What would it be like to attend your own funeral?

How do you choose who to bring back to life and who to leave deceased?

2017_02_28_22461_1488271266._large.jpg

Park Bo Young

Recognize the name? The face?

Its our favourite Park Bo-Young of ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ and ‘Oh My Ghost’!

While I didn’t love her character at first, you will definitely warm up to this spunky, sassy character.

Ahn_Hyo-Seop-P2.jpg

Ahn Hyo Seop

WHAT A HEART THROB

This has been my first introduction to Ahn Hyo Seop- and he’s my new favourite guy ❤

Born April 17, 1995 in South Korea, Seop is a rising talent.

Its no spoiler that Park Bo Young’s character quickly falls in love with Seop’s kind heart and good looks.

While watching the drama- we suddenly realized that Seop had begun speaking in (nearly perfect) ENGLISH! He sounded so natural that we had to go back and re-watch the scene.

As it turns out, Ahn Hyo Seop spent a few years living in TORONTO, CANADA we were exctatic to discover he had visited Canada- might he possibly return? How many future stars might we have in our very own midst HERE IN CANADA?

You’ll fall for him just like Ko Se-Yeon after watching this clip

Overall

If you are looking for a Kdrama that will give you something to think about, a drama full of action and suspense- then this one is PERFECT FOR YOU. Give it a try!

Do you agree with our review?

What did you think of ‘Abyss’?

Have you heard of Ahn Hyo Seop before?

Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

Is New Netflix ‘Love Alarm’ Like Black Mirror?

Love-Alarm.jpeg

Title: Love Alarm 좋아하면 울리는

Country: Korea

Episodes: 8

Release Date: August 22 2019 Netflix

Starring: Kim So-Hyun, Jung Ga-Ram, Song Kang

So here’s the scoop!

Netflix is releasing a new kdrama on August 22 2019- and after watching the trailer, it looks like something straight out of black mirror!

While I’m not really one for high school romance, this drama looks like it will be addressing our whole concept of dating.

The concept seems simple: what if you could tell when someone liked you? How would that change your life?

I have really high hopes for this drama and am excited about the thoughts and solutions it will explore.

Whether it will be any good, or whether it will be a twist on the classic Pride and Prejudice, we’ll have to wait to find out. I for one will eagerly be tuning in on August 22!

EA8flWIX4AA3UZ6.jpg

Is Arthdal Chronicles Korea’s Game of Thrones???

Arthdal=GoT

00258942

The highly anticipated Korean Drama Arthdal Chronicles was just released through TvN and Netflix on June 1, 2019.

And after just the first two episodes, there has already been some backlash with some viewers complaining that the show is copying the high profile show which just recently came to an end: Game of Thrones.

I have to admit that the moment I began watching, Game of Thrones immediately came to mind even before I heard about the controversy. While there are some definite similarities, after completing (lol like the only 2 available episodes) I don’t think it is fair to make such assumptions.

Lets take a look at why people are saying this, and debunk the arguments.

The Visuals

jon snow.PNG

Tagon = John Snow
So what? They are both wearing fur.
John snow wears fur for two important reasons. Firstly its damn cold in the north and secondly, his house’s sigil is the wolf.
Tagon wears fur because fabrics would have been expensive, taken a great deal of time to create and, is not as durable as leather. Early people wear leather and fur, that’s all there is to it.
For both men, the fur gives them distinction as leaders. It is a common trope that the leader is strong and fierce. The fur symbolizes who is the head of the pack by drawing on wolf behavior.

REd woman.PNG

Taealha=The Red Woman
Red is a symbol of power and sexuality. Caeser and his armies wore red.  Jessica Rabbit? Red. The Moulin Rouge? Red.
Put a woman in a red dress and the viewer instantly knows that this woman is confidant, powerful, sexy and a force to be reckoned with.
As for the “hood” well,
The Red Woman the hood keeps her out of the cold. She only wears red- so what other color would her hood be?
Taealha these are early times and if you look closely, clothing / sweing/ tayloring is kept pretty simple. What could be more simple than draping a square cloth around yourself? Nothing I tell you. we are evoking the elegance of Greece- which hasn’t even happened yet. fairy.PNG

Flower Crowns=Children of the Forest
Why is this even being compared?
Children of the Forest they are thier own kind of being- they are like fairies or nymphs or something
Flower Crowns you’ve got a tribe of humans dressing up for a festival. No fairies. This is not everyday wear.

maxresdefault
nean

Neanderthals=White Walkers
To be honest- I think that opening the show with this as an introduction is what started this whole comparison in the first place. Game of Thrones is just so fresh in our minds after the final season, that we can’t help but see the comparison. I think we’ll all be afraid of our blue eyed friends after the trauma GoT gave us.
BUT belive it or not- piecing, glowing eyes, blue or any other color for that matter, are NOT NEW. GoT did not invent this. Lets look at superheros for example.

We could play this game all day.

Take a look at the visual comparisons yourself and see what you think:

The Plot

The Battle For the Throne

Groups struggleing to be the leader is not exactly a revolutionary idea. That is how cilvization works. Look into recent history and you’ll see imperialism- how is that any different?

While in Game of Thrones you have different houses fighting for the throne, here we have tribes seeking to dominate one another- and to be honest, that seems a lot more plausible. Driven by a desire for wealth, comfort and resources, the tribes fight hopeing to build a more stable nation- its not all politics and title seekers like GoT.

We’ve got to agree with Forbes that “battles at the dawn of time do not make the Arthdal Chronicles Game of Thrones“, in fact the Arthdal Chronicles takes place eons before the world of GoT would ever have existed.

wass.PNG

The Wall

I have to admit that if anything- this one is a bit of a struggle. But I’m going to attempt it anyways.

I can definitely understand that the wall- isn’t really NECESSARY and that it seems like a GoT copy. BUT while it may have visually been inspired by GoT, you can’t deny that big walls like that are part of many other stories and shows (Think of Attack on Titan, Donald Trump etc)

The concept that a civilization builds/uses a wall to protect itself from the ‘other’ is not new. What do you think moats are for in castles? If anything, this wall is different since it is a natural barrier to unexplored territory rather than a deliberate attempt of protection.

But yeah- I’ll give it to you- this aspect does ring Game of Thrones.

The Point?

Lets not get carried away by trying to find similarities between the two. Its complicated to do worldbuilding and creators often resort to classic tropes and symbols as ways of organizing ideas and to imply character traits etc.

Think about how the Divergent series are organized- organized traits given to different groups. Game of Thrones does EXACTLY the same thing (see this video If you don’t believe me).

Think of colors- black is usually associated with evil or mystery and is usually worn by men, whereas white is usually associated with goodness and is often worn by women. Since your Game of Thrones fans, think of John vs. Dany- black and white right there.

My point is, it is easy to find similarities when these authors are trying to express and convey a lot of information in s short period of time. They are definitely playing off what you as an audience already know.

SO? Don’t get too worked up. The tropes you see repeated from GoT- arn’t exactly Game of Thrones originals anyways.

Overall, we really wouldn’t say that Arthdal Chronicles is Korean Game of Thrones.

 

Have you watched this new TV series yet?

Do you agree or disagree with us?

Let us know in the comments below we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

Drama Drop: Fight My Way 쌈 마이웨이

mobile_800_600_1

Title: Fight My Way 쌈, 마이웨이

Language: Korean

Episodes: 16

Release Date: May 22 2017

Starring: Park Seo Joon, Kim Ji Won, Ahn Jae Hong, Song Ha Yoon, Kim Sung Oh

This Drama is about the everyday. There’s no fortune, no CEO, no perfect personality or perfect looks.

You’ll find main characters who can’t be bothered to shower, who have gasy stomachs, tempers, and dress in sloppy oversized t-shirts.

This is a story about two life-long best friends who, only through time come to realize their love for one another with jealousy and fear of well-being helping them to knowledge their love.

This is a quirky drama that will have you laughing and crying, full of sweet moments followed by hilarious jokes.

Even if you know nothing about taekwondo you’ll find this an light, enjoyable drama.

maxresdefault

Plot

The audience is introduced to a group of high school friends who aspire to great things. flash forward ten years and you will find that their jobs are not what they appear, and even less close to what they hope to achieve.

Ko Dong Man struggles to return to taekwondo after an incident in his youth as a champion while Choi Ae-Ra struggles to climb her way to become an announcer.

Reason-3

Did you Know?

Fight For My Way is something of a classic among Kdrama fans. If you are looking for a light, fun drama, take the time to watch it!

song-joong-ki--kim-ji-won-song-hye-kyo

This drama is Kim Ji Won’s first lead role in a major TV drama! She received several awards for her role in Fight For My Way including excellent actress Award, Netizen Award and Best couple award. Some of her noteworthy roles include Mr. Sunshine, Descendants of the Sun and, Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead. She will be playing a big role in the upcoming Arthdal Chronicles which will be released on tvN this June 2019.

Did you like Whats Wrong with Secretery Kim? While the Drama is nothing like it, you’ll find a big number of the cast, in this Drama as well! including appearances of Park Seo Joon, Pyo Ye Jin and Hwang Bo Ra

 

 

Drama Drop: My First Love 첫사랑은 처음이라서

1 OScem3GY4mzQBkEBjzn7qw.jpeg

Title: My First Love 첫사랑은 처음이라서

Language: Korean

Episodes: 8

Release Date: April 18, 2019 Netflix

Starring: Ji Soo, Jin Young, Jung Chae-Yeon, Choi Ri, Kang Tae-Oh and Hong Ji-Yoon

I have been waiting with great anticipation for Netflix to air My First Love!

Ji Soo in the Lead

I was first introduced to Ji Soo through Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon and saw him again in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo- both in which he plays the diverted love interest. Here, FINALLY he gets the limelight he deserves and I am so thrilled!

1e9adea2dd8d509fa0940512a65991ab.jpg

Plot

Tae-O (Ji Soo) is given his own house for his 20th birthday with the one condition that he is not allowed to have girls over. This plan goes awry when several of Tae-O’s friends show up at his door step, desperately needing a place to stay. This is the story of a group of five friends who are support each other through ups and downs which becomes a tangle of love triangles.

Tae-O and Song-Yi have known each other their whole lives and are best friends. They have each harbored feelings for each other at some point- but they never seem to align. When they each find love interests elsewhere, they hesitate to wonder if they should have been together with each other after all.

mffl-group-620x394.jpg

While this show had now great plot, nor great action – it is FANTASTIC.

I am not usually a fan of the every-day-life style drama, but this one is a bit of a roller coaster. While most couples are pretty clear cut from the beginning of the drama- this one will leave you guessing – you heart torn besides the two leads who fight for Song-Yi’s affections.

With only 8 episodes, its a fast watch that is perfect for unwinding.

GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

 

Have you Watched this Drama?

What do you think of it?

let us know in the comments below! We want to hear from you!

 

 

 

Drama Drop: The History behind ‘Hymn of Death’

the-hymn-of-death-1

Title: Hymn of Death 사의 찬미

Language: Korean

Episodes: 3

Release Date:November 27- December 4 2018

Starring: Lee Jong-Suk, Shin Hye-Sun

This Netflix original is short and sweet. With only three episodes, you can finish the drama in an evening- just be sure to grab a box of tissues and a cozy blanket before you begin!

The Plot

The story begins when Yun Sim-Deok a soprano singer, meets and falls in love with playwright Kim Woo-Jin wile at university. Things become complicated when Sim-Deok discovers that Woo-Jin has family commitments and responsibilities that do not allow them to be together. Fed up with their obligations, the two tragically decide to commit suicide (no spoilers here- that is literally how the show begins!)

True Story

While the incident is famous in Korea, not many westerners know the history behind the drama- and that it is based on a TRUE STORY.

jkl;.PNG

Yun Sim-Deok (윤심덕) is remembered as Korea’s first soprano singer.

Born in Pyongyang on July 25, 1897, Sim-Deok was privileged enough to study at Kyongsong Women’s Teaching College in Seoul 1914. Education for women at such a high level was unusual during the time. Sim-Deok was eager to further her studies and became the first Korean to study at the Tokyo Music School in Japan where she met Kim-Woo-Jin (김우진).

Sim-Deok had her first debut as a soprano in 1923 and while she was admired for her talent, she was unable to make a living by singing western classical music. This forced her to change course and sing pop and fold music in order to support herself.

She famously committed suicide with Kim-Woo-Jin on August 4, 1926 at the age of 29.

Sim-Doek’s most famous recording was “In Praise of Death” (the first Korean pop song) in 1926 that she recorded with her sister accompanying her on the piano. The piece is set to the tune “Waves on the Danube” by Ivanovici.

Here’s the original 1926  recording:

For comparison here’s a modern rendition of the song:

l;;;;pi.PNG

It is difficult to find details on the life of author Kim Woo-Jin in English.

No matter how hard I look, I can’t seem to find anything on him- though I would love to insert some of his writings here for you to read!

If you are interested in reading about Kim U-jin on Karel Capek you can find an article written by Sdenka Kloslova in Vol 32, Issue 1, Pg 84 of the Korea Journal

If you can understand Korean though- this documentary published in 1997 looking into his life may be helpful !

If you know or can access the history surrounding this author (or can translate) let us know! We would love to learn more about him!

The Period

I must admit that I am no expert in Korean history- if you were as confused as I was, I went and did some research for you, so here’s a little context for the Drama.

TLDR? Check out the highlighted sections for info directly relating to the Drama

  • Japan attempted to establish diplomatic relations with Korea which were refused. In frustration, Japan began considering war against Korea
  • Japan sent warships to threaten Korea to sign a treaty of commerce and friendship, which it did resulting in the opening of Busan, Wŏnsan, and Incheon to Japanese trade.
  • The increasing Japanese presence in Korea disturbed China who sent troops to Korea.
  • China then forced Korea to sign a trade agreement which led to similar treaties signed with the United states (1882), the UK, Germany, France and Russia who quickly established foreign missions in Seul.
  • This led to rapid modernization in Korea. Many officials and students were sent to the West, China and Japan to study technology and ideology to bring back to Korea.
  • After Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War, the Treaty of Shimonoseki of April 1895 recognized Japanese hegemony in Korea.
  • Encouraged by Russia, the Korean government attempted to push out the Japanese
  • The Korean Emperor secretly sent an emissary to the International Peace Conference at the Hague in 1907 asking for help.  This plea was ignored however and by 1910, Japan dispersed the Korean army and took full possession of Korea
  • Japan set up their government in Korea. Koreans lost freedom of assembly, association of the press and the freedom of speech. The Japanese school system was enforced and as an attempt to assimilate Koreans, the Japanese language was forced onto the people while Korean language and Korean history were no longer allowed to be taught.
  • March 1 1919: The March First Movement, was a nationwide anti-Japanese peaceful protest in which approximately two million Koreans took part. The Japanese responded with brutal violence arresting 46,000 while 16,000 were wounded and 7,500 were killed.
  • Students and Intellectuals attempted to inspire the Korean people with ideals of patriotism and democracy. This was done through western-styled newspapers and through the creation of Korean novels and poems which grew in popularity
  • A big anti-Japanese Rally occurred again in Seoul in 1926
  • A Nationwide student uprising occurred in November 1929
  • Constant uprisings and WWII led to Korea’s independence in 1945 ending 35 years of Japanese rule.

To learn more check out this link

The Romance

TO be honest, this Drama is EXTREMELY TAME. Don’t get your hopes up because there is one and only one kissing scene. While modesty is one of the charms of Kdrama- this one really builds up the chemistry and tension- and leaves you a little dissatisfied.

EVEN SO, it was a nice, short little drama that I really enjoyed.

I loved the struggles of the young author, and the history involved in the series.

I had a fun time and learned something new!

If you have an empty afternoon and are ready to shed a tear- this Drama is PERFECT !

Also, its on Netflix which is really convenient. Next time your browsing your suggestions, look it up!

As a teaser, enjoy this little clip from the drama:

 

Have you seen this Drama?

What did you think?

What is your favorite Lee Jong-Suk Drama?

Let us know in the comments below! We want to hear from you!