Sunday, May 12, 2013
Since I've watched enough of his works to be disturbingly educated on topics such as the expressive use of his eyebrows, I thought I would make a recommendation list with mini-opinions for the works of Lee Beom Soo; an actor you should all be honored to know and feel like the worms you are if you don't. Alright, I am overdramatizing here, but you should definitely check this gentleman out.
Given the man has a career as long as about half this puny human's life on this Earth, I have not yet watched all of his works nor do I really plan to. However, I have watched a lot of them. While I might be making a more complete list with them all one day, I will now just mention the ones I especially liked and recommend to others.
In this part, the Dramas. The Movie Recommendation List will be coming shortly.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Time is money and money is precious. Since 'IRIS 2' shamelessly blew the biggest budget ever used for a Korean drama (~ 152.000.000 US dollars) and precious time away on one of the worst series Korea has produced, I decided I will not use much time to make a huge final review as I had planned. Instead, I will use the formula I did for the Midpoint Review and explain what changed and how I feel about it. If you like my pain, you can also read this to see how my expectations were crushed.
In that review above, I said watching this was, up to that point, like twirling around yourself. You get dizzy, feel sick, but it's fun and it's at least exhilarating. So how would the second half be described then? It would be like tripping and falling on broken glass and nails. Then comes the manic laughing. You're ok, you made it and although you'll spend the rest of the day picking shards from your unmentionables, you're just happy it's over. "Never again", you say and this time, you really mean it.
Here come the SPOILERS and vitriol.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The news just came out, kindly translated by javabeans over at Dramabeans, that series 'End of the World' of jTBC has been cut to half due to bad ratings. It will air 12 episodes instead of the planned 20.
As you can imagine, something like this puts a dagger through many a heart. Mine personally as well. You see, in business, a deal is valued. A contract is the law. When you sign up for something, you make an oath to see it through. That is what makes the difference between a professional and a clown.
So explain to me this. If the production team sign a contract by which they are obligated to produce material for a certain number of episodes, if the actors sign up to perform for that number of episodes and if this is the plan most approve and are on board for, why is it that the channel is not also bound by that contract? If the writers or actors or crew or director don't have the right to just walk when they feel like it, which they shouldn't have, why does the channel?
Filming a series is grueling work. We're talking long hours, less time to prepare than with movies, more demanding a format for storytelling. Especially in Korea and its obsession with nearly-live shooting, the whole process is even harder. People work very hard, very fast so they can tell a story. Everyone should be required, by law and contract, to commit to that story from beginning to end.
I realize that is not possible with some shows in the West. They are designed to be multi-season ones. If one season is doing poor, it's the channel's right to have it cancelled, since it would be insane to support more seasons of something which is bringing no profit. But they should at least be required to let the running season end and inform the makers of it early enough so that the story can be changed. Story is God in a work of fiction. It should be protected and respected, as should the people who work on a show and their hard work.
Korea mostly makes 1-season shows. Cutting one in half and letting them know so late (9 episodes have already aired), especially when it's being filmed just before it is aired, is simply disrespectful, unprofessional and disgusting a move.
We know ratings mean the world to them. Pleasing and hooking overly-demanding viewers is their only goal, when we are talking about the business people involved. But audiences do not watch entertainment as a business. They get drawn to the stories, the characters, the emotions, the settings. Dramas are business, yes, but they are also entertainment and sometimes even art. Unless a fine balance exists between those things, you lose the dedication to them from either side. Without that dedication, everything collapses.
If channels keep this behavior up, pretty soon people will get tired of it. They will tire of the same stories, same settings, same dialogues, same everything which exists within the ever-shrinking sphere of what sells and what is allowed in Korean drama. This is the end for 'End of the World'. It does not have to be the end of Korean dramas or the end of hope and effort for better quality works, filming methods and working environments in them. So speak up, viewers. Tell them when they're wrong.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Because Twitter. This conversation was born when Yours Truly, the lovely Jeelisa and the foxy JoAnne started discussing 'IRIS2' pairings. Jeelisa was kind enough to lead the discussion to the eye-sex couple of Joong Won (Lee Beom Soo) and Choi Min (Oh Yeon Soo).
To those who don't know of the series, one is a North Korean terrorist threatening the South with missiles and the lady is the South's secret service deputy director. They hold private meetings where they negotiate the situation and their chemistry as enemies is quite the sight. Hence, eye-sex.
Since the pairing is popular, we were kind enough and lend a hand to their job.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
If you had an at least semi-functional childhood, you'll have experienced twirling around yourself a few times. It's a special feeling. The world is spinning around you, you're thrilled, dizzy and then you fall on your ass. It hurts and you feel like you're gonna puke. You're thinking "Oh God, I'm dying... This can't be healthy and I'm never doing it again". You get up, shake it off... and do it again.
This is kind of how I'm experiencing 'IRIS 2' so far. I like watching it. I do. Despite many problems and plot points that make you want to rip your hair out in anger, I keep watching. After the disappointment I call 'IRIS', maybe my expectations were so low that I'm just enjoying this due to desensitization. Also, I have fun by simply not taking it too seriously. It spins me around, makes me sick, but keeps me excited. I know it's bad for me and generally bad and yet there I am, twirling again. Why? Because I am creating my own fun.
And this is the problem with 'IRIS 2'. It's not trying to be good. It's not good. Any fun I am having is because of the characters and cast members I like and choose to focus on and the way I watch the series. With friends, commenting on Twitter and Soompi. Here I am, putting in effort to watch it and it is not even trying.
This may or may not become the final review, but let's look at how I feel so far.
Obviously, here be SPOILERS!