Sunday, March 9, 2014
Korean drama titles are often on the silly side and depending on genre, might not even hold any meaning. For those who like the title of 'Heartless City', you will be pleased to know it is a very accurate one. This is not a happy series. But it is also not melodramatic in the usual over the top way. 'Heartless City' is a dark, noir-like suspense series about less than lovable characters. There really is no happy way to portray the underworld, drug trafficking and crime. But the series goes all out in its characterization, attempting to show how such a life affects people and how dirty and indeed heartless the world really is. And it does this quite well.
Jeong Si-hyeon, otherwise known as Doctor's Son (Jeong Kyeong-ho), is a drug trafficking gangster who tries to take over his boss's territory. When a detective he had a personal connection to dies during a police operation, her fiancé, Ji Hyeong-min (Lee Jae-yoon-I) vows to catch Si-hyeon, thinking he is the killer. Meanwhile, the dead detective's sister from the orphanage they grew up in, Yoon Soo-min (Nam Gyoo-ri) decides to become a cop and infiltrate the organization as an undercover agent for Hyeong-min. With different players from the side of the gangsters and police alike making their moves, all having their own hidden agenda and goals, a race against time begins for the main characters to survive and reach the top of the drug ring food chain.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heartless City".
Both in terms of ratings and content quality, there is no doubt that when PD Yoo In-sik and writers Jang Yeong-cheol and Jeong Kyeong-soon-I come together for a work, something great is created. Having brought audiences two major hits with "Giant" and "Salaryman", they have proved they bring the best out of one another and the cast and crew they work with. While 'Incarnation of Money' sadly does not live up to the expectations the two series before it created, it still has plenty to offer.
When Lee Cha-don's (played by Kang Ji-hwan) father is killed by his trusted protégé and his mother is framed for the murder, he finds himself on the run. After losing his memory and being taken in by Bok Hwa-sool (Kim Soo-mi), he grows up to be a prosecutor. As he slowly recovers his past by being linked to his own family's case without realizing it, he must take his revenge against Ji Se-gwang (Park Sang-min), the man who ruined his life and is now a top prosecutor.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Incarnation of Money".
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Image credit: AsianWiki
As I said in my 'Triangle' pieces, I do not watch melodrama for just anybody. But Lee Si Yeong has now been confirmed to star in KBS2's 'Golden Cross' [골든 크로스] and this makes it the third melodrama I'm in for this spring. I am terrified, but smiling.
'Golden Cross' is about a man named Kang Do Yoon, who has a lovely relationship with his mother and sister. When his sister is murdered, he decides to take revenge against the person responsible. Who, of course, is the father of his leading lady. It's a melodrama. You know the woman's family has to have done some terrible thing to keep the lovebirds off each other until the end.
The series is written by Yoo Hyeon Mi, who wrote 'Gaksital/Bridal Mask' and directed by Hong Seok Goo, a PD of 'Marry Me, Mary'... Ok, the latter is less than encouraging, but I have to believe such a writer would be given a worthy PD to work with, so let's see.
After a short scare with Park Shi Hoo gunning for the male lead role, he gave up (good riddance) and now Kim Kang Woo has confirmed to lead. This makes me very happy, because he's someone I really like. He is not afraid to be silly or different and in an industry where many a handsome man try to be swoon-worthy and cool, someone who feels more down to Earth and relaxed with his choices is appreciated.
This makes me happy for my "darling" too, because I honestly did not want to see her having to be romanced by a nearly convicted rapist. Given she has a strong image and that this is her first leading role in a big melodrama, it could have also tainted an important step for her. Now she gets a co-star without baggage.
Uhm Ki Joon is also confirmed to play businessman Michael Jang and complete the trio as the second male lead. Han Eun Jung is already confirmed as the second female lead. The best part? Lee Si Yeong's character's father is played by Jung Bo Seok. Yes, that Jung Bo Seok.
The man whose face made me want to hit my television in every single scene he had in 'Giant'. This man can look obnoxious and stir up a viewer's murderous instincts like nobody's business. And what better person to play a villain than someone who nearly makes you physically ill when he switches that on? I love this dude and I am so very happy he is the big baddie here.
'Golden Cross' follows 'Inspiring Generation' in the Wed-Thu 21:55 slot on KBS2.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Politics is not something most would associate with love or romance. In fact, politics is often one of the sad things fans of romantic comedy want to run away from by means of happy escapism. Hearing those two combined in a romantic comedy drama would make many uncertain. However, we have to remember the medium and genre have a certain focus that viewers like and that it would be unwise to change that. Those who have watched works like the 1995 movie 'The American President' also know it is very doable without losing that focus. Thankfully for those who might not like the topic, 'Everything About My Relationship' uses it in a very good and fun way that adds to its romance and comedy, rather than sully it.
Kim Soo-yeong (Sin Ha-gyoon) is a rash and arrogant conservative party member who is struggling with his want to change the system and his loss of such a hope existing. He has reached a point where the whole thing feels like a big joke to him. No Min-yeong (Lee Min-jeong) is the determined and passionate Green Party leader. Despite her party having close to no power, she dreams of a better future for her people. When their political careers clash, the two start developing an attraction for each other. With both parties up in arms and the nature of their work being in the public's eye, they find themselves trying to juggle a career and a very threatening to it personal connection.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Everything About My Relationship".
Dramas taking a turn for the bleak is certainly not a shift a lot of fans appreciate, but since the domestic audiences seem to like their darker stories, this is something we will have to get used to for this spring season. The good thing about it though, is that rather than going for makjang, we are seeing a rise in suspense thrillers with highly cinematic qualities. And this is a good thing for an industry mainly about cheap and quick entertainment. "Three Days" is one of these new series going for a more serious approach.
"Three Days" follows a presidential bodyguard after he is framed for an attempt against the president's life. Having to prove his innocence, he and all the other players find themselves in a big mess of a national security alert. In what seems to be more of a character- and perhaps bromance-heavy suspense thriller, Micky Yoochun plays the bodyguard to Son Hyeon-joo's president and given the premise and cast, this drama is being treated as dark cinematic goodness by all involved.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Three Days".