Good Ol’ Review: My Happy Home and Legendary Lackey Again Prove Why the KBS Drama Special is Essential Viewing

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
No spoilers.

The KBS Drama Special has been home to some of the most excellent and unique storytelling on Korean television. Basically short films on television, the KBS Drama Special usually touches on stories and concepts that may not be as mainstream as primetime or daily dramas. Or they may take on a familiar concept in fresh and different ways.

My Happy Home and Legendary Lackey are two recent examples of why KBS Drama Special is essential viewing. Continue reading

Good Ol’ Review: Middle School Student A Misses Huge Opportunity to Be Something Great

KBS Drama Special Youth

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
No Spoilers

Another recent teen-centric KBS Drama Special was Middle School Student A about a transfer student, Hae Joon (Kwak Dong Yun) who provokes the top student in the class after he bumps her from her #1 ranking.

The theme and unfortunate reality of young Koreans being pressured about excelling in school has been depicted in various types of stories from drama to comedy to horror. Teens feeling trapped by their parents’ expectations and the nasty competition between the students themselves, high school life in Korea appears to be pretty dramatic. And the themes are certainly not restricted to South Korea.

It is a worthy theme to explore and Middle School Student A even touches on the growing problem of suicide in Korea.

But while the drama takes a dark turn in the last third, it starts off like a typical and cliche-ridden teen romance. Continue reading

Good Ol’ Review: Youth is Another Excellent and Affecting KBS Drama Special

KBS Drama Special Youth

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
No Spoilers

If revenge is the most popular go-to theme in Korean drama, then the youth experience is a close 2nd. While there have been plenty of youth/high school dramas, many cute and idol-driven stories, KBS Drama Specials have been able to present darker and maybe more realistic depictions.

And the KBS Drama Special Youth (청춘) blends both themes into one dark, gritty hour. Continue reading

Good Ol’ Review: KBS Drama Special A Taste of Curry Another Charming Story

A Taste of Curry

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
No spoilers.

Another KBS Drama Special, another pleasant surprise.

A Taste of Curry starring Jun Hye Bin and Hyun Woo is another great example of KBS Drama Special’s penchant to present different and engaging stories.

Yoo Mi (Jun Hye Bin) owns and runs a curry restaurant and Hongdae all by herself. She doesn’t get very many customers and she’s fine with that even though she and her mother need the money. One day, she ends up knocking out Kyung Pyo (Hyun Woo), a seemingly drunk man who has just awaken on the bench outside her restaurant. 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

Review: KBS’ Dark, Compelling Drama Special, Sirius

Sirius

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Some big spoilers, but I give a warning before they start.

The KBS Drama Special has presented some of the most provocative, original and even irreverent stories on Korean television. Different from the more mainstream primetime and daily dramas, Drama Special has focused on anything from psychological thrillers like the miniseries White Christmas to Daughters of Bilitis Club, a controversial one-episode drama about a group of lesbian best friends living in the city.

Sirius, KBS’ opening salvo Drama Special for 2013, is another one of those atypical, yet incredibly engrossing series that there should be more of on Korean television. Continue reading