Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Addiction to Korean Dramas


I need help! Yes, is there a rehab center to cure my addiction to, no, NOT DRUGS but KOREAN DRAMAS??? Of late, my lifestyle has been totally changed and everything has been brought to a standstill. My social life is lacking and I don’t go out that often these days like previously. It’s nothing but Korean drama, day in and day out. No day passes without my sitting in front of my computer watching not one but several dramas, one after another. Every day it’s a Korean drama marathon for me. You see, the episodes of the newer ongoing dramas will only be released one or two at a time and it’ll be another week before more episodes are uploaded. So to kill time in between I started watching the videos of the completed dramas, which stemmed my addiction to Korean dramas. I enjoy these completed dramas more as I can breeze through the episodes uninterrupted without any break in the sequence of the episodes.

Before, when I had to depend on the airing of Korean dramas on TV or bought/borrowed DVDs, I was not that much addicted. But now with the free watching Korean drama sites online it’s sheer heaven. I think at the rate I’m going I’ll finish watching all the Korean dramas in no time at all. To be frank, I only sleep about 4 hours per day and yet I do not feel sleepy or tired at all. My only complaint is that I wish I could find a more comfortable chair for the long hours I sit in front of the computer. I’ve tried a few but I have yet to find the perfect one. Got any suggestions anyone?

I have to apologize for neglecting to update my blog of late due to this addiction of mine. So I hope that you’ll forgive me for it. It’s not that I don’t want to continue to blog, it’s just that I forget or rather, find the time to do it just like the many other things I’ve stopped doing due to this recent addiction of mine. But today I feel that I need to tell you why I haven’t written for quite a while. So in future if you come to my blog and you see that it has been a while since I updated it, then you’ll know the reason why it’s so.

If, in the past the names of Korean actors and actresses have meant nothing to me, today it’s a different story. I can rattle off their names without any effort and I even have a few favorites whose dramas I always watch first before others and I’ve even joined their fan clubs. Among my favorites are Lee Seo Jin, Bae Yong Joon, So Ji-Sub, Ju Ji-Hun, Daniel Henney, Kwon Sang-woo, Song Seung heon, Lee Byung-hun, Lee Hyun Woo, Park Shi Hoo, Kim Nam Gil, Kim Hyun Joong, Lee Min Ho and Lee Joon Hyuk for the men and Han Ga In, Park Eun Hye, Chae Rim, Son Ye-jin, Choi Ji-woo, Song Hye Kyo, Eugene, Yoon Eun Hye and Kim Jung Eun for the ladies.

My favorite genre is historical/costume/period dramas. Even from school days history had been my pet subject. My introduction to Korean historical drama was through Jang Dae Geum or Jewel in the Palace. This drama also introduced me to Korean Royal Cuisine, making it all the more enjoyable for me as I love to cook. From then onwards I developed a love for Korean food, I started to patronize the Korean restaurants and even surfed on Korean Cookery sites to look for Korean recipes. So now I’m not only a lover of Korean Drama, I’m also a lover of Korean Food and all things Korean.

A friend gave me the DVDs of Queen Seon Duk as a present. It was a beautiful drama with the usual rivalry and jealousy in the king’s court and the battle between two powerful women, the evil Mishil and the intelligent, brave and young Queen Seon Duk (the first Queen of Silla in the history of Korea). It was about the life of Seon Duk as a princess until she became queen and the tragic love story between her and Bi-dam. I became a fan of Kim Nam Gil who played the part of Bidam. I think this drama also helped him to become a superstar. His latest drama was in Bad Guy where he played a leading role, Other dramas he’s acted in are Terroir, Several Questions That Make Us Happy, When Spring Comes, Lovers, Goodbye Solo and Be Strong Geum Soon

Dong Yi, set during the reign of King Sukjong during the Joseon dynasty, focuses on a water maid, Dong Yi, who gains the trust of Queen Inhyeon and later the favour of the king. Dong Yi becomes a concubine with the rank of sook-bin and bears a son who will later become the 21st king of Joseon, As usual there’s always rivalry, jealousy, hate and treachery in the king’s court and each episode is full of excitement. This is an ongoing drama and should be ending soon and has been on the top ten list of ratings each week. So it shows that there are many people like me who enjoy historical dramas.

I was so happy when I came across the completed videos of Yi San. So while waiting for the weekly episodes of Dong Yi, I was watching Yi San (77 episodes) which I finished in less than a week. I think I like this better than Dong Yi because my heart-throb, Lee Seo Jin was starring in it. I loved the OST ‘The Promise’ very much which I have downloaded here. I cried a lot too when I was watching this drama. Actually, the story line is almost about the same, the two Kings took commoners as their royal concubines who were well loved by the queens although there was enmity between the other concubines. Coincidently, the son of King Sukjong, Yeongjo, was the 21st king of Joseon while the son of Crown Prince Sado, Jeong-Jo, became Joseon’s 22nd King.

Yisan is about the life of King Jeong-Jo, who is well remembered in Korean history as one of Korea’s greatest Kings who loved the people and reigned for the commoner.

When he was the Crown Prince, King Jeongjo met with Hong Guk-yeong, a controversial politician who first strongly supported King Jeongjo's accession and toiled to improve the king's power. King Jeongjo went through many turbulent times but overcame them with the aid of Hong Guk-yeong. However due to his great desire for power Hong Guk-yeong ended up being expelled.

King Jeongjo was known as an open-minded leader who implemented “tangpyeongchaek,'' an engagement policy toward rival factions intended to give people equal footing in politics despite death threats from multiple sources.

He made various reforms throughout his reign, notably establishing  Gyujanggak, an imperial library, which was part of his reform efforts to improve the cultural and political stance of Joseon and to recruit gifted officers to run the nation.
Also, the library was created to lessen the power of various wealthy aristocrats and relatives of the queen, who had frequently plagued the Joseon era.

He also spearheaded bold new social initiatives, opening government positions to those who were barred because of their social status.

Jeongjo had the support of the many Silhak scholars and they in turn, supported Jeongjo's regal power. King Jeongjo's reign also saw the further growth and development of Joseon's popular culture.

Jeongjo spent much of his reign trying to clear his disgraced father's name, who as Crown Prince Sado was put to death by his own father, King Yeongjo (Jeongjo’s grandfather).
He moved the court to Suwon to be closer to his father's grave and immersed himself in building Hwaseong Fortress, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to guard his father's grave.

Another historical drama that I liked was Damo, again acted by Lee Seo Jin although I didn’t quite like the ending where all the leading characters died.

I watched Hwang Jini because I’ve a passion for hanboks and there were many beautiful ones in this drama. I have just started on Jumong (81 episodes), while The Iron Princess or Empress Chun Chu (78 episodes), Princess Ja Myung Go (39 Episodes), Iljimae (20 Episodes), The Return of Iljimae (24 Episodes) and Chuno are still on my waiting list.
Apart from the historical dramas I also like family orientated and romance dramas like ‘Family’s Honor’ and ‘Loving you a Thousand Times’. I do watch the current favorites too. Too much of the same thing will be boring too. So guess that’s about all for now. So, if in future you see that my blog has not been updated you‘ll know the reason why. Can’t stop watching Korean dramas!!!!