Good Ol' Review: Join After School Bokbulbok For an Insanely Fun and Surprisingly Sweet Little Drama

After School Bokbulbok

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Some small spoilers.

Dramas have grown a great deal in the last year with many fresh and even big stars taking part in projects being delivered to audiences in non-traditional ways.

After School Bokbulbok (or After School Lucky or Not) is one of those experimental new dramas having premiered online and on mobile devices via SK Telecom properties like Nate last September. It was recently made available on DramaFever and Hulu which is where I discovered this hilarious little gem. Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: The Universal Appeal of tvN's Answer Me 1994

Reply 1994

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
LOTS of spoilers.

So I am definitely late to the entire Reply/Answer Me hype, but finally managed to jump in last week. Instead of starting with 2012’s Answer Me 1997, I chose to watch the more recent Answer Me 1994 first.

One of my favorite things about Korean dramas is that their short, miniseries format allows for a wide variety of stories even if most fall into the same drama tropes. To find a few more original, risk taking or fresh concepts, the cable networks and the late night drama specials on the big three (or maybe just KBS?) are where to go.

tvN has been at the forefront of dramas that are both out of the box while still having mainstream appeal. And the Answer Me series certainly falls within that spectrum.

Another one of my favorite things about Korean dramas is when I stumble upon a drama that appears to be very Korean on the surface, yet ends up being very universal instead.

Answer Me 1994 is a perfect example. Continue reading

Review: KBS' Charming and Poignant Waiting For Love

Waiting for Love KBS

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
SPOILER ALERT! Full discussion of the story, but there is fair warning.

After watching two KBS Drama Specials today, I decided to catch up with the two-episode drama special (though not under the Drama Special banner) Waiting For Love.

The two-parter stars BoA, Choi Daniel and ZE:A’s Siwan in a contemporary story about love and relationships.

Before we get to the spoilerific review of the special, how about watching both episodes right here. I absolutely recommend Waiting For Love, both for the charming and emotional story and the great performances by its lead cast.

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

*Spoilers begin!* Continue reading

Review: Your Noir and Came To Me and Became a Star Are Excellent, Engrossing Examples of the KBS Drama Special

Drama Special

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
SPOILER ALERT! Full discussion of the two drama specials, but there is fair warning after a little intro to both.

KBS Drama Specials continue to present some of Korean television’s best and most unique stories. And two recent Drama Specials are excellent examples of that fact.

Now since my review will pretty much spoil both stories, I will say right now that both are well worth your time. And you can watch them both right now thanks to KBS World posting every Drama Special episode on their official YouTube.

The first drama is Your Noir starring 2PM’s Chansung as Hyung Joo, a new recruit in an “organized crime” gang whose boss wants to bring down a pesky prosecutor by finding clear proof of the prosecutor’s abuse of his wife. Turns out, the prosecutor’s wife (Chae Jung Ahn) is Hyung Joo’s former high school teacher who he had feelings for.

The second drama is Came To Me and Became a Star starring Kim Ji Suk and Jung So Min as two 20-somethings who are struggling to make a living and must live in a youth hostel. After getting paired up at a blind date meeting party, they start dating but hide from each other the fact that they are practically dirt poor.

*Spoilers begin now!* Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: tvN's Who Are You is Perfectly Fine, But Could Have Been Something More

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Moderate spoilers.

There have been some excellent Korean dramas this year. Some of them have been very ambitious (Nine) while others tense and dramatic (Shark, That Winter the Wind Blows).

Which is why I enjoyed tvN’s Who Are You. It was a light romantic drama with a mini-procedural aspect, a little bit of suspense and a touch of the supernatural.

But while it was a perfectly fine 16 episodes, I still wish it was something more. Continue reading

Could Nine – Nine Time Travels, One of the Best Korean Dramas of 2013, Get an American Adaptation?

According to Deadline, ABC has put into development an American adaptation of the Korean drama Nine: Nine Time Travels. Lost‘s Yunjin Kim will co-executive produce the project with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s ABC Studios based Fake Empire.

Kim had brought the project to Fake Empire and will be written by Derek Simonds.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a project being put into development before. Nine Time Travels is still one of the very best Korean dramas this year and it is certainly an interesting concept to adapt for American audiences. The concept would translate pretty well, but I don’t know how an American series would last more than the 20 episodes since the original wrapped up just before things started to get spread out too thin.

But I definitely think Yunjin Kim would make a great Min Young too.

Gotta point out that ABC has only put the project into development and will have to get ordered to series next Spring. But this is definitely very exciting news. There are plenty of great stories from Korea that could translate very well to American audiences. In 2010, KBS sold the rights to the first two series of the revenge trilogy Resurrection and The Devil to Kapital Entertainment, but it seems neither moved forward.

Read my three reviews for Nine Time Travels here:
(Warning! The Check-in Review and Hindsight Reviews have plenty of spoilers!)
First Impression Review: tvN’s Intriguing Nine – Nine Time Travels Off to a Great Start
Check-in Review: tvN’s Mind-Blowing, Thought Provoking Nine: Nine Time Travels – And We’re Only Halfway! (Spoilers up to episode 10)
Hindsight Review: tvN’s Nine – Nine Time Travels – Simply Epic (Entire series spoiled!)

Review: KBS’ Poignant and Charming Adolescence Medley

Adolescence Medley

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Basic minor spoilers.

Another KBS Drama Special, another winner. The recently concluded four-part miniseries Adolescence Medley (사춘기 메들리) joins the growing list of excellent stories presented under the Drama Special banner.

Also known as Puberty Medley internationally, the series was a poignant, nostalgic and charming coming of age story. Continue reading