Friday, May 08, 2009

Forgive me for I am addicted.

It has been one month since I confessed my K-addiction and I am more deeply addicted than before.

In that time, I have spent sleepless nights and endless hours in front of the television. I have neglected my children, forsaken my books and ignored my cat. I have spent much money wantonly on numerous boxsets. Mysoju and Dramabeans are now part of my permanent list of favourites (thanks Mag!).

In that one month, I have watched The Vineyard Man, Boys Over Flowers, My Girl, Princess Hours (twice!), Lovers In Prague and one episode of Winter Sonata. I have three more boxsets bought on impulse and still unopened. I have taken to haunting TS and Poh Kim in search of Coffee Prince with English subtitles. I know I can catch this online but I like the idea of watching it on a bigger screen with much clear visuals. And anyway, I need an excuse to keep popping in to TS all the time!

We are so immersed in the Korean language that I think the kids speak better Korean than Mandarin these days. Korean dramas, K-pop at home, on the car radio, K-sites online. Isaac has taken to striking up a friendship with the lone Korean boy in his class. Gillian even greets me in Korean when I get home from work with a cheerful "Annyeonghaseyo Oma!" We are trading Korean words and phrases these days. My favourite is "Pahbu!" heh... Even Owain now asks: "Boh?" instead of "What?" and Cait warbles K-pop (she doesn't understand a word of it but just takes it on a phonetic level!).

Only thing we have not done so far is eat Korean - but that might change soon!

Of all the series I've watched, I still like Princess Hours - great sets, very lush colours and overall beautiful art direction. Interesting plot, cute leads and coupled with a really nice soundtrack. The much-touted Boys Over Flowers runs along similar lines - fish out of water concept where ordinary girl gets thrust into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The art direction and set design was nice, even extravagant in some places - think beautiful scenes in the South Pacific heaven of New Caledonia compared to PH's shoot in Bangkok!

But despite the big budget overseas shoots that BOF had, I thought Princess Hours was still a superior production. I found BOF to be inconsistent in terms of quality - plot, continuity and acting. The soundtrack is not bad. But overall, the whole package does not measure up to what I expected given the hype. Still, have to say Lee Min Ho makes the best-looking lead compared to the Japanese Hana Yori Dango and Taiwanese Meteor Garden leads.

The series I liked the least is The Vineyard Man. Fast-forwarded my way through most of it. Even though it had the lovely Yoon Eun Hye from PH in it, I did not like the plot or the setting and the soundtrack was meh. Worse, the male lead had googly eyes!

Now that I've just finished Lovers in Prague (ah, great scenery, very nice cinematography - some shots very beautifully framed and angled, interesting plot and premise, likeable characters, smouldering male leads and hummable soundtrack) I'm looking for the next Big One to watch. Will it be Winter Sonata or the mega omnibus of Dae Jang Geum (Jewel In the Palace)? Not quite in the mood to plough through so many episodes and not in the mood for the teary histrionics of Winter Sonata even though both were apparently big hits and have garnered strong positive reviews.

Now where's my Coffee Prince when you need him? If I can't find him and I'm feeling desperate for K relief, I think the DVD boxset for My Lovely Kim Sam Soon is now going for a mere $15 at TS...

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