I don’t watch television all that often, but whenever I do, it just convinces me even further that my taste in dramas is more unrefined than Changmin’s acting skills…which is precisely the problem, I guess.
Television programs that have effectively sucked up my free time as of late:
Why Patricia Has Bad Taste In K-Dramas, Exhibit A: I’m a sucker for idol stars.
There. I said it. It’s pretty obvious that my K-pop interests lie more in the music scene than the cinematography scene – mostly because I just don’t have the attention span to fully appreciate anything that’s longer than the Youtube upload limit. In terms of K-dramas, just give me someone pretty to look at and I’m all set. Really. Of course, I can tell when a drama just plainly sucks…but that’s more a result of my caustic personality than it is any semblance of discerning taste. Because regardless of its level of suckdom, I’ll continue to keep watching a horrid drama if I find the male leads attractive enough. The pretty boys are just too distracting.
But even I was about to call it quits after seeing the first episode of Paradise Meadow because a) Da-ji was annoying as heck, b) the plot was boring and hard to follow, and c) it turns out Changmin really isn’t that attractive in a suit – not when he appears to be wearing one 24 hours a day. And the horses! Plotwise, the horses are kind of a big deal but pairing the bajillion-member equestrian cast with a Jeju Island backdrop made me want to barf. In snooty Wellesley terms, the entire premise of Paradise Meadow just reeks of ‘privilege’ – and I’m not as bothered by that on socio-economic terms as I am just sick of looking at things that appear to be spun out of cotton candy.
And yet, I’m still following this drama as it airs because – well, because I don’t like giving up on something I’ve already started, no matter how bad it is, and because I like Changmin. Honestly I don’t think he’s doing a bad job here; as expected, he was pretty stiff for the first three or four episodes, but his performance in last week’s episodes were pretty good. What’s interesting about Dong-joo is that he acts like a total child when he’s around Da-ji, but when it’s time for him to turn into the Almighty Director Han, it’s clear that his game is as tight as the silk scarf around his neck. It’s not a terribly difficult character trait to portray, but Changmin has a really good handle on it – a better handle on it than Lee Yeon-hee, I daresay.
I just started watching this today, and I gotta say – I feel ten times cooler whenever I’m watching it. I’m not exactly sure why I’m starting with Athena instead of Iris – probably has something to do with the fact that Changmin makes cameo appearances in the last four episodes of the series – but despite the comparatively lackluster reviews, Athena has still managed to reel me in. I haven’t watched a great variety of dramas – in fact, my drama-watching resume doesn’t extend far beyond your typical rom-com genre – but seeing a spy flick in the context of a K-drama kind of threw me for a bit of a loop. Athena is super badass starting right off with the first episode, and it’s that super badassery that sets it apart from the melodramatic K-drama stereotype. My naive sense of K-drama judgment doesn’t allow me to say more than that, but I’m pretty excited to see a cool, 24-esque spy theme integrated in a K-drama.
(Also, the fight scene pictured above? SO SICK.)
Picked this up in Taiwan from my grandma, of all people. Maybe it’s because a lot of my memories of Taiwan were from my childhood, but I always find myself watching an embarrassing amount of cartoons whenever I go back (or whenever I feel like reminiscing, for that matter). However, “我們這一家” (English name “We Are Family,” but I think it could be more accurately translated as “This Family of Ours”) is pretty hilarious, cartoon or not. It’s originally imported from Japan and redubbed in Mandarin, but I think this is one of the few times I prefer the dubbing over the original audio track….because the mom (pictured above) has this hilariously outrageous Taiwanese accent in the dubbed version, and I love that.