Marriage, Not Dating

2014-08-28 23.39.22

Original Title: 연애 말고 결혼

Episodes: 16

Year: 2014

Channel: tVN

Theme: Rom-com

Joo Jang Mi is in her late twenties-early thirties and like a lot of women at that age she feels the need to find her husband. She first sets her eyes on Lee Hoon Dong. Jang Mi and Hoon Dong have been seeing each other for quite some time now, but it’s always been in shady places. They are not official yet and that is something Jang Mi is trying to set straight. When Jang Mi introduces the topic of a more serious and steady relationship, Hoon Dong panics and runs! Hoon Doong starts avoiding Jang Mi hardcore – not picking up his phone, running away when he sees her, and the worst: asking his friend Gong Ki Tae to help him get rid of Jang Mi.

Jang Mi chasing after Hoon Doong gets her a reputation of stalker + a little trip to court where she faces STALKING charges T___T.

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Emergency Couple

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Original Title:응급남녀

Episodes: 21

Year: 2014

Channel: TVN

Theme: Rom-com

Oh Jin Hee and Oh Chang Min meet at the university. They are both studying in different fields of medicine – nutrition for Jin Hee and pre-med for Chang Min. They instantly connect and develop romantic feelings for each other. Nothing wrong with that so far… Problems arise when the two decide to get married. They are both very young and haven’t been dating for that long (At least that’s the impression that the drama gives). Plus Chang Min’s mother is the mother in law from hell (We will just call her MIL from now on). She has high expectations for her son since he comes from a prestigious family of doctors. He is also the only son and she has high expectations for him. Chang Min’s parents have been separated – not divorced – for quite some time now.

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Scent of a Woman

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Lee Yeon Jae (Kim Sun Ah) works in a tourism company. She spends her days picking the slacks of her co-workers. All that changes when she learns she has only six months to live. Yeon Jae realizes that she has never done anything she truly wanted since she was always saving for God knows what. The thought that she would never be able to spend that money haunts her and she decides to enjoy the last six months to the maximum. She drops her job, gets a makeover, and takes a trip.

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Heartless City

Original Title: 무정도시 / Moojungdoshi / Cruel City

Episodes: 20

Year: 2013

Country: South Korea

Channel: JTBC

Theme: Mystery, Suspense, Noir, Romance

               Plot: Cruel City (Heartless City), a 20 episode drama, flew mostly under the radar during it’s broadcast. In a similar vein, this dark noir piece talks of the seedy underbelly of a city where police and criminals are indiscriminate. The story starts with Jung Shi Hyun, better known as Doctor’s Son, who is a middle level boss in a cocaine drug  ring. Accompanied by his trusty right hand man, Soo, and beautiful yet deadly “aunt”, Jin Sook, his faction is a force to be reckoned with in the shady underworld of criminal organizations. On the other side, the legal side, we have Hyung Min and Soo Min. Hyung Min, son of a Prosecutor is a fiery young detective hell bent on crushing the cocaine rings in the city that ruined his brother. Soo Min is the younger “sister” of Hyung Min’s fiance. Though they don’t find out at first, Shi Hyun, Soo Min, and her sister had all grown up at an orphange together and Shi Hyun had been her sister’s best friend. After the tragic death of Soo Min’s sister with Shi Hyun present, Hyung Min mistakenly targest Shi Hyun as the killer of his fiance. What ensues is a cat and mouse game between Shi Hyun and Hyung Min.

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New Tales of Gisaeng

Original Title: 신기생뎐 / Shin Gisaeng Dyeon / New Gisaeng Story

Episodes: 52

Year: 2011

Country: South Korea

Channel: SBS

Theme: Romance, Makjang, Birth Secrets

        Plot: A huge 52 episode drama, New Tales of Gisaeng is as complicated as it is long. An intensely makjang piece, New Tales is an often overlooked gem. This drama focuses on the developing relationship between a young couple as well as the relationships of family and friends beside them. The story starts with the blossoming romance between Saran and DaMo, a young classical dancer from a poor family and the rich haughty heir to a company. While Saran keeps her dignity amongst her rich friends, DaMo lives looking down on women, a trait he had learned from his affection-less father. Intrigued by SaRan’s dignified demeanor, DaMo slowly opens up his heart to her and the two enter a clean relationship focused on honesty and trust. Though as all dramas will have it, SaRan encounters financial difficulty as well as learning that she was adopted. Coupled with a hurtful breakup with DaMo who lied because he was afraid of their status differences, SaRan makes drastic decision to enter a gisaeng house, Buyounggak.

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Time Between Dog and Wolf

Original Title: 개와 늑대의 시간 / Time Between Dog and Wolf

Episodes: 16

Year: 2007

Country: South Korea

Channel: MBC

Theme: Action, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Romance

                Plot: Time Between Dog and Wolf, a 16 episode drama, is a mask upon a mask upon a mask. In the beginning, Soo-Hyun, the protagonist of the story is traumatized as a child when his mother was shot right in front of his eyes by a gangster named Mao in Thailand. Luckily, he was quickly adopted by Jung-Ho’s family and grew up together with his son, MIn-ki in Korea. The two children grew up to be NIS agents following their father. By a twist of fate, Soo-Hyun manages to reunite with his childhood first love Ji Woo whom he had first met when he lived in Thailand. However, his normalcy was soon shattered when one of his missions ended in failure due to resurfacing of memories of his childhood trauma. Vowing personal revenge against the Mao, he ignored his superior’s orders and was subsequently fired.

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Killer Girl K

Original Title: 소녀K / Sonyeo K

Episodes: 3

Year: 2013

Country: South Korea

Channel: CGV

Theme: Action, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

               Plot: Killer Girl K, a short drama of only 3 episodes packs a punch, figuratively and literally! Being a cable drama, Girl K is able to fill its short broadcasting span with much intense, uncensored violence and lust that is usually taboo amongst the longer dramas. The story tells of a young girl Cha Yeon Jin played by a newbie actor (Han Groo) who masks her hidden identity by pretending to be a normal student. With a family shrouded in mystery, Yeon Jin grew up as a rebellious teenager who gave back as much as she got, if not more. However, an unfortunate run-in with a group of dangerous people and her friends changed her life forever. With her mother kidnapped and all of her friends dead, Yeon Jin inevitably set out to rescue the one family she has and avenge the deaths. Coming up against trained assassins and hitmen, her fighting skills were not up to par and she narrowly escaped death, but unfortunately she lost her mother.

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White Christmas

Original Title: 화이트 크리스마스 / Monster

Episodes: 8

Year: 2011

Country: South Korea

Channel: KBS 2

Theme: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Melodrama, Artistic, School

             Plot: White Christmas, an 8 episode drama, is a psychological thriller that coldly portrays the different facets of human nature and morality. At Susin High School, a private elite academy that only takes the top 1% of the students in the country, Winter Break approaches and all go home except for 7, well and a surprise 8th,  students and one proctoring teacher.

However, these aren’t just any students, all of them had received a mysterious black envelope with a chilling fragment of poetry that threatens murder. As a result, all of them stay behind that break to find out who wrote these messages to them. To introduce the core students, there is Moo Yul, the second smartest student in the school with an inferiority complex. Next, there is Young Jae, a hotheaded bully who hides his cowardice by teasing Kang Mo and Yoon Su. Kang Mo is a hearing impaired student who has a complex about his disability and uses a hearing aid. Yoon Su is a traumatized young man suffering for psychological problems that has him downing drugs to control his hallucinatory spirals. He is constantly afraid a blue “corner monster” and nicknamed the Angel because his family is rich. Jae Kyu seems like Moo Yul’s right hand man and friend, but a little socially awkward. Eun Sung, the only female to stay behind rarely smiles, seems to have frozen over and has a complicated past with Yoo Mul and an intense love/hate relationship with Young Jae. Then we have Chi Hoon who is a genius, but apathetic to his peers.

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School 2013

Original Title: 학교 2013

Episodes: 16

Year: 2013

Country: South Korea

Channel: KBS 2

Theme: Friendship, Slice of Life

                Plot: School 2013 brings back the fleeting memories of one’s high school days and makes you wish that teachers cared about their students as much as they do in this drama. The drama is akin to a puzzle, each of the pieces are characters who need each other to become whole. Like a puzzle piece, each character has jagged edges that are looking for a counterpart to fit in with. The drama starts out with Go Nam Soon, played by Lee Jong-Suk, who seemed to be on the low end of the social hierarchy at Seungri High. Bullied at school everyday by the Terrible Three, he never seems to fight back and just takes it with a grain of salt. Sleeping through classes, and generally just ignoring the others seemed to be a daily routine for him. Meanwhile, two teachers, Jung In Jae and Kang Se Chan, who seemed to be on the opposites sides of teaching attitudes are trying to find their place at the school and in Nam Soon’s class. In Jae, a sweet young teacher, tries to care about each and everyone of the students. Meanwhile, Se Chan seemed jaded, a “it’s your life” type. One day, the school gets turned upside down when a transfer student, Heung Soo, arrives. It was the wakeup call that Nam Soon was waiting for. With their dark troubled past, Nam Soon and Heung Soo were at odds with each other immediately.

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Secret (비밀)

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Original Title: 비밀

Episodes: 16

Year: 2013

Country: South Korea

Channel: KBS 2

Theme: Romance, drama

Secret is the story of Kang Yoo Jung , a woman who goes to jail for a crime she didn’t commit. The night her long time boyfriend, Ahn Do Hoon, proposes to her, is also the night they get into a car accident and kill Jo Min Hyuk’s girlfriend, Seo Ji Hee. Do Hoon decides to hide the fact that they hit someone  and leaves Ji Hee dying on the side of the road. When the case is reported to the police, Yoo Jeong decides to take the blame. Do Hoon was on the track to fulfill his dream of becoming a prosecutor and she didn’t want him to lose everything he had worked for. She will spend four years in jail, where she will give birth to a baby boy. While in jail, she will suffer all kind of abuses from other inmates and will even have her baby taken away from her. Some of the difficulties encountered are by no means by the will of God or luck, but rather deliberately provoked by Min Hyuk, who is seeking revenge for the dead Ji Hee. When she gets out of jail, Min Hyuk keeps making her life impossible  – neglecting his fiancee Shin Se Yeon.In the meanwhile, Do Hoon, who is now a prosecutor is not the same as four years ago. Blinded by greed, he will do anything to get richer and  recognized even if it means throwing the woman –  who saved his life – under a bus.

 Character analysis

 Yoo Jung (Hwang Jung Eum)

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