Painter of the Wind: Hidden Brushstrokes



Of course in my saguek mania mode, I decided to add one more traditional epic onto my plate. I have always admired Moon Geun Young as a very talented young actress. Add in a little crossdressing fun like Sungkyunkwan Scandal and you have me hooked. However, instead of your youth fusion, Painter of the Wind breaks some usual drama barriers. Moon plays Yun-bok, a young genius painter who is attending the royal school for artists. She is also a girl, but was brought up as a guy by her adopted family because her father had committed a sin against the royal family. She has a unique way of painting and looking at the world. One day, she hopes to work for the palace, but in the mean time she makes side money painting lewd paintings for nobles. She especially likes painting romantic rendezvous. However, during a painting competition held by the school, she unknowingly painted the Queen dowager having a illicit affair with a mysterious man. She submitted the work anonymously, but it caught the attention of the royal court and it become a huge deal. The queen was incredibly angry and wanted the hands cut off of the person who drew her affair, but did not want to give it away that it was her. Instead, a genius, but exiled painter was called back to figure our which younger painter in the school had painted it. Said genius is a Hong-do, a middle-aged gentleman who has unique teaching methods, but is incredibly famous for his amazing paintings. He especially had the king’s favor, who is also opposed to his grandmother’s power in the royal court. Hong-do manages to figure out that is was Yun-bok who painted the illegal painting, but did not know that she was a girl or that she was the daughter of his previous mentee. He takes her under his wing due to her amazing talent. Meanwhile, Yun-bok gets to know a gisaeng who is very pretty, haughty, has very high standards. She becomes her muse while the gisaeng actually slowly falls in love with her without knowing that they are both girls. Yun-bok really adores Jung-hyang who embodies the feminine side that Yun-bok never got to explore. Luckily Hong-do manages to save Yun-bok from getting her hands chopped off, but at the sacrifice of her adopted brother who got exiled from the school instead. Yun-bok also makes it into the royal painters association due to her skill and overcomes the obstacles that are set against her by jealous colleagues. However, it came with a price as the king now wants her and Hong-do to be his spies in order to best his scheming ministers. Of course, now Yun-bok is engaged in a weird love triangle between her new mentor and the gisaeng with neither of them knowing her true gender.

Continue reading

Goodbye Mr. Black: Black Swan


Looks like military is the theme for dramas this year. While ratings wise, DotS is slaughtering Goodbye Mr. Black, I enjoy the raw ball of energy the second one possesses. Cha Ji Won is a special forces officer (we love our elite soldiers, don’t we) who is cheerful and doesn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body. He has it all, a rich household, a loving and supportive family, and is a leader among the soldiers. In contrast, his best friend Sun Jae is a bit surlier and less fortunate. Coming from a poor family and basically abandoned by his debt-ridden father, Sun Jae tries his hardest to become the best and hates being looked down upon. He is subsequently almost adopted by Ji Won’s family and so the two grew up together. However, he always feels a sense of inferiority to his friend and even has feelings for his Ji Won’s girlfriend. Unfortunately due to his father’s crime issues, he had to leave his hard-earned position in the special forces and work for Ji Won’s father instead. One day, Ji Won is sent to Thailand for a mission. There he encounters, Kaya, a orphaned Korean girl who makes a living as a con artist/scammer/fruit seller. She is sassy and knowledgable about the streets of Thailand. Although they get into a misunderstanding in the beginning, they resolve it and leave each other with good feelings. Meanwhile, Sun Jae makes an unfortunate decision using company money and loses the trust of Ji Won’s father. He had tried to make a deal with gangsters in Thailand which went sour as a bigger conspiracy was underfoot. Moreover, he becomes involved in the murder of Ji Won’s father (even though he did not pull the trigger himself) for a bid of more power in the company. Sun Jae and the gangster loan shark set up a story that slanders the good name of Sunjin Group and even manage to sabotage Ji Won himself. Ji Won wished to investigate the suspicious death of his father himself, and is set up to be a murderer through media. Thus, he is now pursued by the Thai police and is unable to go back to Korean to clear him and his father’s reputation. He begs Kaya for help to get a fake passport and cross the border, which ultimately did not work out.

This is actually my first drama with Lee Jin Wook, whom I have heard good things about. So far, I enjoy his portrayal of a carefree and warm character who is about to grow out of his naiveté real fast. Good revenge stories always start out with a personality that is turned 180 degrees because of bitter betrayals by close friends/family. I also absolutely adore Moon Chae Won who looks fresh and tomboyish in her short pixie cut. I am looking forward to seeing how she will adapt to Korean culture when she engages in a fake marriage with Jin Wook’s Ji Won. My last drama with Kim Kang Woo was Missing Noir M and I am excited to see him again as he is amazing actor. Although he is playing a baddie in this piece, he has got that tortured role squared away. This will be an exciting ride!