All of us have things we’re secretly nerdy about that we don’t really talk to anyone about. Which is silly, because you should never be ashamed of enthusiasm! So, I thought I’d start a segment here on Very Nerdy Curly where I and guests talk about their “nerdy confession.”
I’m sick. It sucks. But it does give me an excuse to binge watch telly. Now I could chip away at my very long list of dramas and comedies that I’ve been meaning to watch for years… or I could get sucked into Korean dramas. Guess which one I chose?
Ding dong! K-Drama! There’s something to be said for the romantic melodrama genre that South Korean has the monopoly on. Mistaken identities. Farcical comedy. Super intense drama. And of course, l’amour. South Korean puts out an alarming amount of dramas ranging from insanely detailed (& beautiful) historical pieces to adaptations of popular comic book series (manwa in Korean). They’re addictive to boot, which is always good for a binge watching session. A lot of them are incredibly charming and can be properly dramatic. A lot of them are sugar coated cotton candy. They’re all great.
I spent all of four days in Seoul, but I really adored the city. Since then I’ve always had an interest in South Korea. My grandfather was a medic in the Korean War, and my time living in Japan has given me a long lasting appreciation and love for Asia and its many cultures. I can’t make heads or tails of Hangul, but I do enjoy their media!
So here’s what I’ve been watching!
You’re Beautiful (미남이시네요) is about a nun-in-training, Minyu, who is asked to pose as her twin brother, Minam, who has joined a popular boy band group called A.N.JELL (see what they did there?). It sounds ridiculous and it is ridiculous, and that’s what I’ve been loving about it. As you can probably guess, one by one each of the band members find out Minam is really Minyu and naturally, they all fall in love with her. But who does she love? Who do you WANT her to love?
Blessed be my poor flatmate who has had to hear me arguing with myself about who she should end up with. What You’re Beautiful does well is make you not necessarily root for the front-runner, but for another guy, and then make you switch you’re mind. It’s infuriating. I think I’ve finally made up my mind and I’m two episodes from the end. Only time will tell.
EDIT: I have finished You’re Beautiful AND IT WAS REALLY STRESSFUL BUT I AM WELL PLEASED.
It’s also interesting because you see the business side of the Korean music business a little bit here too, which is something the Hong Sisters, the powerhouse duo who produced, wrote, AND directed You’re Beautiful along with a ton of other dramas, are very good at.
You’re Beautiful stars Park Shin Hye as Minam, Jang Geun Suk as Tae Kyung, Jung Yong Hwa as Shin Woo, and Lee Hong Ki as Jeremy.
SBS, the station that aired You’re Beautiful, have the entire series on their youtube channel. You can watch it, with English subtitles, here.
Another drama I can recommend, and in the same vain (it’s also by The Hong Sisters) is The Greatest Love.
The Greatest Love (최고의 사랑) follows fallen pop star Goo Ae Jung as she tries to keep up in the entertainment business after a series of scandals set her popularity plummeting. South Korea’s top movie star Dokko Jin gets mixed up with her and the two have a definite love/hate relationship as she begins to rise. Hearts are tested when Ae Jung enters into a reality show that matches her up with doctor, Yoon Pil Joo, who falls for her… meanwhile Dokko Jin’s fake girlfriend Kang Se Ri is in love with Yoon Pil Joo and wants to see Goo Ae Jung fail because THEY use to be in a pop group together and it was Ae Jung’s fault it failed.
The Greatest Love stars Gong Hyo Jin as Goo Ae Jung, Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin, Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo, and Yoo In Na as Kang Se Ri (god I hated her).
You can watch The Greatest Love on Hulu!
So there’s my nerdy confession for you all. I love Korean dramas! Are any of you a fan? Gonna check these out? Let me know!
17 thoughts on “Nerdy Confessions: Korean Dramas”
I don’t know if it’s a very nerdy confession but here it goes: until sometime in 2012 I’ve only read Harry Potter fanfiction (I discovered there was such a thing in 2007, I know, I lived under a rock – Lithuanians are not big on fandom things at all) and mainly one pairing in particular, Hermione Granger/Severus Snape. Then I started reading Game of Thrones fanfic, but also mainly one pairing (Sansa/Sandor). There were several Avengers fics too during the last few years (including the best of best – Off The Record by goddamnhella which I own as a proper book). That’s it. Being a Sherlockian it’s actually quite strange not to be into the fics of it but I just can’t. I don’t know why.
I can count on my hand the number of fanfics I’ve read, so I completely understand. Glad you found some that you really enjoyed though :)!
Yeah, I think fanfic for me is a sort of one-off thing, when canon makes me very angry or very disappointed, it fills the hole. *still in denial about 7th book of HP*
By the way, I’m actually rather curious about K-drama but afraid to get sucked in it – I watch way too much TV series already. xD
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Oof, yeah, 7th HP book. Don’t get me started on Harry Potter! XD I feel that may be a bitch session we need to do with some of your toxic Lithuanian liquor.
You will get SO sucked in, but the good thing is that most are one-offs of around 16 episodes. There are some serials, but not a huge amount. I can recommend either of the two above if you want fun love stories with some drama thrown in. Or if you’d prefer something historical/more silly/less silly let me knoooow. JOIN MEEEEE.
If you’re ever having a bitch session about book 7, I want in. I’ll even bring extra booze!
As for my nerdy confession, I probably read too much fanfic. I’ve never seen Star Wars. I’d totally name my kids after one of my numerous favourite characters.
Let’s make a date!
I’m actually impressed you’ve never seen Star Wars haha, that’s a monumental task! Oooh what names??
Hahah I try XD I’m probably one of the rare few who has never seen it.
James, Gregory, Lily, Grace, Jack. I forgot most of them though XD
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My nerdy confession? I am obsessed with Sherlock fanfic. To the extent that I find that i don’t read anything else. I used to read proper paper books, at least one a week. Now I just download Johnlock and Mystrade to my Kindle. The naughtier, the better.
Heehee, fabulous! What are some of your favorite fics (if you don’t mind me asking!)
Go to AO3 (I presume you are familiar with it), select the Sherlock fandom, sort fics by kudos, look for the ones with the most kudos. My absolute fav authors are earlgreytea68, jupiter_ash & mad_lori. I also get recommendations from Twitter.
For me, it’s either Nordic Noir (Saturday night for me means a bag of knitting, & The Killing/Borgen/The Bridge/Arne Dahl) or UK reality TV of a certain calibre (Educating Essex/Yorkshire, Great British Bake-Off/Sewing Bee) – I try to exercise some taste!
Heehee, thank you for sharing! Great British Bake Off is amazing. The drama over pastry!
A certain Baked Alaska incident – all I am going to say!
I quietly nerd out over tailoring (spent most of this afternoon reading about Milanese handsewn buttonholes…), does that count? :P
That TOTALLY counts!
Oof. I’m nerdy about a lot of things, but one of my first secret nerdy loves was Goethe/the German Romantic poets of his time I think. I bought a book and several audio plays about Goethe’s life after we’d studied him at school. He had a very exciting life; I think I enjoyed reading up on it more than studying his plays at school.
I’ve also been known to verbally nail people to a wall and lecture them on historical linguistics, but I think I got over it. And I am very sad that British folk music and German TV crime dramas don’t have proper fandoms, because I’d be all over that.
Keep on working, great job!