K-DRAMA REVIEWS: The Suspicious Housekeeper (수상한 가정부)

Every now and then you come across something that is an instant classic with you personally. You know what I mean: it’s nearly perfect, though not quite perfect, and even its imperfections are familiar and loved friends by the time you’ve finished watching/reading it.

That’s how I felt about The Suspicious Housekeeper by the time I finished the first episode. I still feel like that. It’s far from perfect, but even those imperfections are an integral part of what I like about this odd-ball, not-this-nor-that South Korean Drama.

What is unusual about me loving this drama so much is that it deals with a couple of things that I will almost never watch, but found were dealt with in a beautiful way. In fact, there were a lot of things about it that, had I known in advance, would have stopped me from watching it altogether.  Themes such as adultery, suicide, teenage rebellion carried to extremes, and little children in emotional pain are not things that I would typically watch for amusement. The Suspicious Housekeeper does them in such a way, however, that I found them not only surprisingly moral, but enthralling.

The title refers to a Housekeeper hired by father Sang Chul after his wife dies, to look after his children and the house. It’s not, you understand, that she is suspicious of someone (though she is, later on). It’s more that everyone finds her suspicious. But really, it could go either way and work just fine.

The plot

-ish. It’s kinda hard to condense HOW MUCH FLAMIN’ PLOT there is in these 20 eps down to a paragraph or two. The essentials, however, are as follows:

*Sang Chul’s wife died in an accidental drowning before the beginning of the drama–or did she? The children are reeling from her death already, though Sang Chul is less sad.

*Sang Chul is less sad because he wasn’t really ever in love with his wife, and had, in fact, been having an affair. Normally, this would have stopped me watching the series immediately. This time it didn’t, because knowing a little bit about K-Dramas now, I was very well aware that in a drama of this calibre, cheating would never be shown to be okay, or rewarded. I was right, and I’m happy I was right, because this show is so worth watching!

Sang Chul’s mistress. Oh, I hated her! Her ending, however, I completely loved. Well done, the writers.

*Basically, by the end of the first couple episodes, everything is on fire. The children are no longer sure of anything. They know their dad cheated on their mother. They don’t know whether or not he loves them because he’s a truthful (if wishy-washy) man, and can’t commit to tell them he loves them when he isn’t sure he is.

*The children take over the house and refuse to let Sang Chul back in until he agrees that he will never again meet with his lover. This is, again, something that would normally make me stop watching something: I have no love for children being taught that it’s okay to dishonour their parents. But again, the way this drama dealt with it was so poignant and beautiful that I can’t really fault it.

*Toward the middle, after Bok Nyeo has more or less settled things with the children (if not with Sang Chul) we meet with a VERY SCARY MAN who Bok Nyeo is sure she knows, but that man is supposed to be dead. This is where the drama goes from family drama into psychological thriller, including a crooked cop, a stalker, and layer upon layer of conspiracy. The children by this point are firmly on Bok Nyeo’s side, and fiercely love her, so there is the constant threat of danger to them as well as Bok Nyeo.

That’s all I can say without major spoilers, so on to the characters!

The Characters

This is Bok Nyeo. She doesn’t smile. She very rarely shows any emotion, as a matter of fact, even guilt. When Sang Chul asks her how she could do a certain thing that she’d done, and asked her didn’t she feel any guilt/responsibility, her response is: “I threw that away somewhere.”

What Bok Nyeo does do is cook exactly like the childrens’ mother did, keep the house impeccably clean, and…follow orders. I mean, really follow orders. Without hesitation, without second thought, without remorse, and without ruth. (Yeah, I could have said ‘ruthlessly’, but it wouldn’t have matched, okay?!)

This, with the four children also giving orders, could and does become dangerous. And yet, each time, when I hoped for the best from the children, they invariably showed me their best (after a little while in the case of some of them).

Bok Nyeo is a truly amazing character, played by a truly amazing actor.

Sang Chul, the childrens’ father. His life is unravelling, one awful lie after another. Weak, wishy-washy, and yet absolutely truthful with his children once the biggest, dreadful truth is out there. It’s like he lied to himself and everyone else so much that now he won’t even lie when his children want to hear that he loves them and he doesn’t think he does love them.

Eldest daughter Han Gyul. Angsty, bereft at her mother’s death, and furious with her father for cheating, she is an explosion of bad decisions waiting to happen. I actually kinda disliked her for a long time, but I could really see why she was behaving the way she was behaving, so I was willing to give her some slack.

As the eldest girl, Han Gyul gets not only a big part in the proceedings (both family drama and thriller), but her own little story-line complete with a couple of love interests (one of whom manages to be even MORE ANGSTY than she is, which is, frankly, incredible.) Kim So Hyun was as amazing as ever in this part, but then, I’ve never seen her anything but amazing.

Eldest brother Doo Gyul–AKA, my squishy. I loved this kid! He was my favourite of all the kids, despite me loving clever cookie Si Gyul and adorable Hye Gyul. I actually started out by hating him: mostly because he slapped Bok Nyeo, and that really got up my nose. Before too many episodes were over, however, I had begun to love this messed-up little kid.

Doo Gyul actually makes this face (or variations thereof) A LOT. That’s because he’s always doing something daft.

Why, you ask? A number of reasons. The first and foremost of these is because of his big heart. The second is his stupidity. He rushes in where angels fear to tread, stuffs things up majorly, and tries his stupid best to protect and serve the people he loves. Mostly he does this by doing groan-worthy things that a moment’s reflection might have told him were bad ideas, but that just made me love him more. He’s quick-tempered, hasty, and really not very bright. The thing that cemented my love for him was the scene where he and the other children sneak up on Bok Nyeo at the amusement park, where she has a meal set up for someone else. Doo Gyul sits down angrily, grabs one of the burgers, and stuffs it in his mouth, saying: “These are ours now!” He’s just adorable.

Clever cookie Si Gyul. Oh, this little baby! He’s dealing with mum’s death, bullies, and the fact that he has to pass his tests. He made me cry. This whole drama made me cry so many times, but Si Gyul was the first who made me cry happy tears because I was so proud of him. That’s right, I cried because I was proud of A TOTALLY IMAGINARY PERSON. Si Gyul is such a little darling.

Darling, pig-tailed Hye Gyul. An emotive little girl who just wants someone to love, and a stable family. Hye Gyul made me cry heaps because she’s always getting knocked down and having to get up again–always having to deal with things that are far too big and old for her to deal with.

Bok Nyeo doesn’t show much emotion, but when she does, you can guarantee that Hye Gyul is the cause of it, somehow.

Honestly, most of the tender Bok Nyeo moments were because of Hye Gyul, and Hye Gyul is the primary mover in Bok Nyeo’s eventual restoration.

Hye Gyul is the one who brings back fear, love, slight happiness, and tenderness into Bok Nyeo’s scarred, cold life. When Bok Nyeo’s freakin’ scary stalker sees them together, in fact, the first thing he does is go off into a mad rage: “I saw a mother’s look on her face again? Why is there a mother’s look on her face?”

Which brings us to scary stalker guy, Seo Ji Hoon. This guy legit terrified me. Gorgeous face, and the most frightening eyes I’ve ever seen. He creeped me out every time he appeared on the screen, and he just got scarier and scarier as the episodes went on.

One of the scariest things about Ji Hoon? His ability to portray absolute fragility.

His utter ruthlessness in going after what he wanted, his boy-like adoration, his terrifying tenderness–this guy just really freaked me out. First rate job, Song Jong Ho. You’ll always be my litmus test for creepy stalker guy.

You’re never in any doubt that this man is a Very Bad Man, but you can’t stop watching with your mouth open.

Flaws…

I loved this so much, guys. I really did. Go out and watch it, and you’ll see why. You’ll come to me with tears on your face saying: “W.R., why?? Why all the feels?? Why did you make me cry?”

And yet, it wasn’t perfect. I’ve come to the conclusion that perfection in this case might have made me love it a little less. I love this imperfect, messy, emotion-tugging drama.

And yes, okay: the camera does tend to pan over each of the children’s faces to get each of their reactions every time something particularly bad or good happens. It’s campy but the kids are such good actors, and it’s done so often that it’s more of a quirk than an actual flaw. Maybe a quirky flaw.

And it’s too long. Well, not exactly too long. But the storyline doesn’t quite know what it is–is it a family drama, a psychological thriller, or a story of redemption through pain?–and this means that it has three rather uneven acts. Again, it’s more of a quirk than a flaw, and I admire this story for pushing out of the mould and being what it wants to be. It also means that you get satisfaction on all counts and all threads: the family drama is brought to a close, the thriller ends with a bang, and the redemption is lovely. It’s just…odd.

I’ll leave you with this pic. It’s what I like to imagine the family looks like now. I love that they’re all smiling, even Bok Nyeo.

These are a Few of My Favourite Things: FLOWER BOYS NEXT DOOR

Welcome to THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS, the KDrama edition!

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FLOWER BOYS NEXT DOOR

I’ll say right now that FLOWER BOYS NEXT DOOR contains pretty much everything I love about KDrama, and most things I love about the best T.V. shows–and, in fact, story-telling as a whole–within its bright little bubble.

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The description of this KDrama interested me straight away (a free-lance editor with agoraphobia is set upon by a boy-puppy type hero and chivvied out of her comfort zone? yes please!) and when I learned that the female MC was played by Park Shin-hye, it was a no-brainer.

The Players

Go Dok-mi (Park Shin-hye)

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I love Park Shin-hye. I love the fact that she’s not horrendously, unhealthily skinny. I love that she’s always adorable. I love watching her act. I’ve also found out that she has a gorgeous singing voice (she’s actually part of the soundtrack for Flower Boys Next Door), so there’s that too.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that I absolutely adored her character in this. Go Dok-mi is a freelance editor who, as a schoolgirl, was so much bullied by both enemies and (supposed) friends, that she almost tried to kill herself, and ended up as an agoraphobic shut-in. From her small apartment, she watches the world outside (and particularly the guy next door, with whom she has fallen in love) with her bright yellow binoculars.

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I love Go Dok-mi’s frugal cost-saving measures. I love her infrequent, nervous trips Outside, when she can’t put them off any longer. I love the fact that although she doesn’t care for herself, she has an incredibly caring nature, and will always do the kind thing for others. I love her quiet, undemanding, unrequited love for the man next door. I love her humble self-knowledge.

One of my favourite Dok-mi moments? When, after seeing her through 5 or 6 episodes where she won’t put the heater on to save electricity costs, wearing multiple layers to keep warm, and sleeping with hot water bottles (which she uses, when cold, to flush the toilet)– when Enrique says thoughtlessly upon entering her apartment “Oh! So cold!” we see her turn on the heater immediately. It’s the trademark of this beautifully written drama to place such quiet, effective moments in the most unexpected places.

My other favourite moment is when she tells Jin-Rak: “You had it wrong the whole time. I’m not the princess. I’m the witch who locked her in.”

Enrique Geum (Yoon Shi-yoon)

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Okay, this was only the second KDrama I watched (after something like 10 KDramas) where I didn’t get 2nd Lead Syndrome. That should tell you something about how delightful Enrique was.

How to describe Enrique? Well, he’s a world famous games designer, but the first word that springs to mind is puppy. This little puppy of a hero is warm, and kind, and enthusiastic. He doesn’t give up, he’s teachable, and he has a heart that is just as kind as Dok-mi’s. His unrelenting bouncing around Dok-mi’s seemingly impenetrable facade of untouchability is just delightful to watch–as delightful, in fact, as watching him fall in love with her all unknowingly, and her falling in love with him with barely greater knowledge.

As much as I love each character separately, I love them as a couple even more. I don’t know if there’s an actual age difference between them, but Enrique’s bouncing youthfulness combined with Dok-mi’s decidedly womanly dignity is a truly gorgeous dynamic. (Guys, he calls her AhjummaAhjumma!) And it’s not just his relationship with Dok-mi that is heart-warming: his relationship with Jin-rak is also a huge highlight of the drama.

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Oh Jin-rak (Kim Ji-hun)

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Oh Jin-rak. Some of the best comic moments in this drama come from Oh Jin-rak. He’s been in love with Go Dok-mi ever since he first saw her at their shared apartment building.

Remember I said that I didn’t get 2nd Lead Syndrome with this drama? I didn’t, but that’s not because Oh Jin-rak, the 2nd boy of Flower Boys Next Door, wasn’t an awesome character.

He totally was.

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For starters, he’s a writer. How could I not love him? Not only was he a writer, but the very nature of this drama (wherein Jin-rak is part of a team who write a webtoon based on their life) means that the fourth wall is constantly being broached in the most delicate and delicious manner. Jin-rak is the source of most of this assault on the fourth wall–the rest coming from the Editor–and he is one of the most self-aware characters I’ve had the joy of watching. Plus, he’s a Facilitator, and if you’ve read my posts on KDrama, you know how much I love Facilitators.

Despite that, I was very happy to see him not end up with the girl. (Oh, yeah, SPOILERS).

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A big joy for me in the character of Jin-rak was how much we got to see of his personal growth and shenanigans. This was followed closely by the joy in the relationships grown between him and Enrique, and the even sweeter seonbae/hubae, hyung/dongsang relationship between him and Oh Dong-hoon. It’s so rare for a western show to focus on brotherly love that it was a constant refreshment.

Oh Dong-hoon (Go Kyung-pyo)

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This kid is another actor I’ve loved in everything I’ve seen him in. As Oh Dong-hoon, he plays an impoverished kid who is bunking with Jin-rak while co-writing a webtoon with him. Their hyung/dongsang relationship is sweet and hilarious to watch, and it’s not Jin-rak alone who grows over the course of the drama.

Even sweeter is the budding (yet entirely practical) romance between Dong-hoon and the Editor. I loved seeing those two together.

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Editor (Kim Seul-Gi)

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I’m quickly gaining new favourite actors, because Kim Seul-Gi is sheerly hilarious. All the quiet incursions of the fourth wall that Jin-rak isn’t responsible for, the Editor is, and as I’ve said before, her relationship with Dong-hoon is just perfect.

The Editor is (obviously) the editor of Jin-rak and Dong-hoon’s webtoon. She gets four hours of sleep per night, and therefore spends the remainder of her time with the cutest panda eyes I’ve seen, and a raging case of bipolar disorder that is even cuter than her panda eyes.

OBVIOUSLY she’s a favourite character.

Cha Do-Hwi (Park Soo-jin)

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Blurk. Cha Do-Hwi is your requisite bad guy gal who used to be a friend of Dok-mi’s in school, and then both betrayed and bullied her to the point of suicide because Cha Do-Hwi fell in love with the teacher who seemed to be falling in love with Dok-mi.

My biggest fear was that Jin-rak would fall in love with her, because I really hated her.

She’s unpleasant and highly toxic, and never actually gets to the point of admitting total fault. What I like about this character is, that although you never see her change, exactly–well, you never see her change. And that was oddly satisfying. Because although Dok-mi was able to grow beyond her boundaries, by the end of the drama you could see that Cha Do-Hwi would never change, and that, to my justice-loving mind, was punishment enough.

Also, I hated her clothes.

Watanabe (Mizuta Kouki)

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This kid was basically there to look pretty and be a plot device, though he was a pleasant one and rounded out the group nicely. Watanabe is a Japanese boy who is cooking his way around the world. There’s not too much to say about him, but he fit in with the whole drama beautifully, and he’s a constant thread through it.

The Plot

Well, I’ve already really told you most of the important stuff. There’s other stuff going on, of course: the residents picketing their apartment for better terms, the mystery of who really owns the apartment building, the packing up and leaving of Dok-mi’s one-sided love from the apartment across the road, Enrique’s first love– not to mention a totally sweet, budding romance between one of the older, female residents of the apartment building and the elderly security guard.

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Then there are the mobster-looking types who are following Jin-rak around, and the scurrilous goings on within Enrique’s gaming fandom…

The Writing–oh my goodness, the WRITING!

I don’t remember the last time I actually squealed in glee while watching a movie or tv show. With Flower Boys Next Door, I was doing it constantly.

The metaphors, guys! The subtle, beautiful metaphors, in both dialogue and situation.

The constant, delicate encroachments upon the fourth wall.

The downright lovely, delightful characters!

I’m actually so overcome with how amazing the writing is that I have almost no words to describe it, and after watching Flower Boys Next Door I just sat in my chair saying to Mr.G: “I will never be able to write like that!”

I loved the comedy. I loved the way they played with viewer expectations, and the way they subverted those expectations.  Oh my goodness, I LOVED how they directed and obscured the narrative, and then tore the rug out from under my feet in the most hilarious and heartwarming ways!

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You’ll see what I mean when you get to this part. And then, like me, you will laugh until you cry at what they’ve done with your expectations.

*Breathe, WR, Breathe*

Okay, you can probably tell I loved this one to bits (it’s one of my top 4 KDramas that I can rewatch over and over again) so go out and watch it already before this blog post runs beyond its already ridiculous word count as I try to convince you.

The best part? I get to watch it over and over, and it’s STUDY, GUYS, because I’m learning Korean.

 

 

 

Learning Korean (and Other Things)

I started learning Korean last month.

Being the cheap sort of person I am, I looked around at all the options and said something along the lines of “Flamin’ heck, I can’t afford that!

Fortunately for me, I stumbled upon a website that was offering Korean lessons for free. More, they were good lessons, starting with building blocks of grammar and sensible advice. Lessons taught in a way that made a lot of sense to me. Printable PDFs and workbooks to go along with ’em.

대박!

Because I had the whole month off, it was easy to slip into a good study regime of a couple hours per day. Between writing out flash cards, making copious notes, and watching a truly massive amount of Korean T.V., I began to get a reasonable grasp on the basics of Korean.

The only thing that was lacking, as far as I was concerned, was the opportunity of conversing aloud in Korean. Now, there are a lot of Korean itinerants and permanent citizens around where I live, but I couldn’t see myself walking up to any of them and saying: “안녕하세요! 너는 한국어를 말해요?” (Also, I’m not entirely sure I’ve got that right, so I wouldn’t say it anyway.)

It seemed important to begin speaking aloud (and giving someone who actually knows what the words should sound like the chance to laugh at my bad pronunciation) but no one was offering classroom or even personal lessons.

And then, through a serendipitous set of circumstances, it became possible for me to join classroom setting Korean lessons.

I hadn’t really told many people that I was studying, but I was unexpectedly visiting a friend I don’t often get to see, and mentioned it to her (along with some reccs for my favourite KDramas, of course). The next day, she sent me a text.

V__C255I read it and thought “Oh yeah, when I’ve studied enough, I’ll be confident to go to this and practise speaking aloud. I wonder when it starts?” Checked the date. Their first lesson was that night. Ah. But I was working that night and also desperately nervous.

Despite my desperate nervousness, it was a good opportunity, a free course, and it meant that if I could learn well enough, I’d be able to use my lessons in a ministry setting–aka, effectively using this for God.

So I plucked up my courage and asked my boss if I could have the afternoon off if I could get someone to take my shift. He, lovely boy that he is, said yes: which would have been well and good, if only someone would take it. Which they wouldn’t. So off I went to work, very despondent at missing my first Korean lesson–only to be called to the service desk an hour into my shift. The 2IC (another lovely boy) had seen my fervent–aka whingey–plea on the work group chat, and had arranged for someone to finish my shift so that I could get off in time to make it to the first lesson.

And just like that, I was off to my first classroom Korean lesson (during which I was too nervous and off-balance and mumbly to actually do much talking, but that’s a problem for another day…)

Here’s the thing.

I’ve been learning Korean for about a month and a half now. Want to know what I’ve learned in that time?

1. English is mad and bad and dangerous to know. Seriously, English is one crazy, mixed up, impossible language. Anyone learning English from another language is a flamin’ genius. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated how clever you have to be to go from another language to English, where the rules are always changing, there are always exceptions to those rules, and even the speakers thereof have frequent arguments about who is right or wrong when it comes to the application of those rules. In my time studying Korean, I have gained a huge respect for those whose second language is English, no matter how broken.

2. Learning to speak another language is an insanely humbling thing to do. I don’t know if it’s everyone, or if it’s particularly writers, who have such a grasp on words as a way of life, or just particularly me, having prided myself for so many years upon my vocabulary, but having to leave all that behind and start new is very hard. Instead of having the world at the tip of your tongue, instead of being sure of your expertise in that one thing, you’re flailing wildly for the smallest scrap of understanding and comprehension. More, you know that to others, you will appear exactly as you’ve often thought of newcomers to the English language: foreign, hard to understand, and slightly embarrassing to be around. People will talk to you like you’re a baby, and you will feel like a kid playing dress-up in clothes that aren’t yours and really don’t fit very well. You’ll feel like a fraud. And if you’re anything like me, you will find it painfully hard to open your mouth and force yourself to speak in a language that you feel you’re a pretender to. It’s another thing that has given me a huge respect for people who learn English as a second language. They must have felt like that all along, and I never knew.

3. Korean grammar cheats, too. Seriously, I love this language. From what I’ve read, the Hangul form of Korean was formed when one of their leaders decided that they should have their own written system distinct from Japanese/Chinese/etc. and made it up. Just, yanno, made it up. 

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Taken from my lessons (follow the link back for more)

They formed rules about how the syllables should work, too (aka, each syllable is always formed in the consonant/vowel, consonant/vowel/consonant, or consonant/vowel/consonant/consonant format). The first letter of a syllable is always a consonant. Except, yanno, when one of those pesky words doesn’t actually start with a consonant. So then you have to work out a ‘null’ symbol so that the rules can stay true. And I won’t even go into the complicated usage of particles, because I’m already going overboard with the length of this post. Suffice it to say that Hangul is the kind of written language I probably would have come up with, quirky fixes and all.

4. The versatility of the English language. I didn’t really realise it until I began learning Korean, but the English language is so versatile. You can form sentences in so many different ways, with the words in so many different places, and still get your meaning across in the way you want to get it across. It could be because I’m still such a beginner in Korean, but so far I’ve found it incredibly restrictive: there seems to be only one way of saying things, and one way of writing them. That isn’t a problem, per se: just as when I learned about structure in poetry (thanks, Harriet!), the prohibitive structure of it doesn’t mean beauty is impossible. It simply means working within the rules to make the beauty, and that, ultimately, is a test of how good a writer you are.

5. Oh yeah, and I also learned stuff like Korean sentence structure, Korean grammar, random useful words and particles, and various rules that make Korean work. I’ve  gained enough comprehension to be able to understand about 30 percent of a KDrama with the subbies off, and can speak and write in simple–very simple–sentences. I also know how to say “Wanna die”, “What the heck”, and “Awesome”, along with other slightly slangy things.

6. The insanely long words. Dudes. Korean words can be so long! This is frustrating for me because I’m still sounding things out while running my finger along the bottom of the word like a little kid. I get to the end of the word at last, and I’ve forgotten how the whole thing fits together.

All in all, just as with my writing, there are moments when I have the depressed feeling that I’ll never be able to do it, and that I’ll have to give up in ignominy. Fortunately, those moments are balanced out by the flying feeling that I get every so often when I learn some new bit that connects several other bits together and makes a wonderful big whole of comprehension in my mind. Those are the moments I love, because I know that, just like my dream of being an author, it’s a dream that is achievable for me.

화이팅!

EOM Wrap-Up: Should Have Done versus Did Do

Okay, it’s not the end of the month, but it’s close.

And if you’ve been paying attention up until now, you’ll know that I’m in the last few days of a whole month off work. I planned to use this month in writing furiously, doing taxes (both personal and business), and clearing up myriad small and medium-sized Stuffs that needed to be cleared up.

I was going to write thousands of words per day, get back into the habit of practising my violin, get a good start on my Korean Language studies, and clean up the spare room, pantry, and bathroom.

I was gonna do a lot.

So. Did I get it all done?

Hint: I’m a writer. Basically, I major in procrastination.

And since I’m sure that you’re all dying to know what I did and didn’t get done, here’s a list for your delectation.

Should Have Done: Write at least 3k words per day, with a goal of up to 6k. I was planning on getting a good 60k of Bright as the Eyes of You written in advance so that I could have a nice, leisurely schedule publication schedule on Wattpad, and to have about 30k of Blackfoot completed.

Did Do: Um. Well. My range for this month fell between 500-2.5k imagewords per day. That’s right. I didn’t even get to my minimum planned word count on my best day. It was VERY BAD.

On the bright side, I got the first chapter of Bright as the Eyes of You up on Wattpad, with a publication schedule of one chapter every two weeks, and the next chapter is starting to come together, too.

(Chapters 4,5, and 7 are already mostly done, but that’s anther story altogether…)

Should Have Done: Violin Practise resumed and made into habit.

Did Do: There are 31 days in this month. Wanna know how many days I picked up my violin to practise? Five. Yep, you read that right. Five days out of the thiry-one. Not my best effort.

Should Have Done: Korean Language studies.

Did Do: Dudes, I totally aced this one. I not only achieved but exceeded expectations Here. So, hooray, maybe?

The homework in sentence structure, translation, and word recognition that looked too hard to do at the start of the month was almost laughably easy when I tackled it this morning.

This is thanks to flash-cards, CNBLUE, B.A.P. and loads of Korean TV, which, as laughable as it sounds, actually is hugely helpful to my language studies. I learn best by context, repetition, and example.

Should Have Done: Taxes (business–whee!–and personal).

Did Do: NOTHING. NOT A SAUSAGE. Why, you ask? BECAUSE I’M SCARED. This is the first year I’ve ever had to do taxes with my A.B.N (I’ve only been publishing about a year and a half) and there was a ridiculous amount of printing of receipts to do. This fear of doing business taxes led me to put off the personal ones as well. That and my natural, inbuilt laziness.

Should Have Done: Car Serviced. Recliner Fixed. Bathroom de-molded.

Did Do: Oh, oh! I got this one! Sort of. I remembered to make the call and get the car serviced, and my eyes are still red-rimmed from the Exit-Mold I used to de-mold the bathroom–unenthusiastic yays–but the recliner thing has me beat for the time being. It’s still under warranty but the store we bought it from has closed down and an internet search for the maker to deal directly with them for the warranty only led to me having a 10 minute conversation with a rep whose company doesn’t actually service my brand of recliner, before either of us realised I was calling the wrong company.

On the bright side, the rep loved how my first name is spelled, so there’s that. It doesn’t get the recliner fixed, but yanno, it’s cool.

So the answer to the question “How much did you get done?” is “Not a lot, really”.

One reason for this is that I pulled my lower back muscles one week–oh! the pain!–and was sick with a resurgence of Meniere’s Disease for another two of those four weeks.

Those are just excuses, of course. I don’t write well or easily when I’m ill or in pain, but I can write.

No, the big reason for my lack of accomplishment this month is sheer laziness. That and the fact that I’ve been watching tons of Korean TV.

So now that I have to go back to work next week, maybe I can knuckle down and actually write properly again…

Adventures in Wattpadding

So.

As promised, the first chapter of BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU is up on Wattpad!

imageI’m having a bit of fun with this, so keep your eye out for KDrama tropes, familiar names, and other stuff. The chapter headings I’m using are all taken from the songs of one of the bands that I’m listening to as I write: if you figure out which band, email me at gingellwrites[AT]gmail.com and I’ll send you a free ebook of your choice. Bonus BONUS points to anyone who can tell me which songs the chapter headings are from!

BATEOY is in its ‘rough’ form (aka, there will be significant editing and/or changes once it’s finished, prepatory to publication) so feel free to point out my mistakes with as much glee as my mother does…

(How much glee is that? A lot. A LOT of glee.)

Here’s hoping you guys have as much fun with this one as I’m having.

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Bright as the Eyes of You

I’m trying an experiment. More precisely, I’m experimenting on you.

You’re grateful, I know.

You’re probably wondering what that has to do with either a cover reveal or an excerpt.

Allow me to explain. Bright as the Eyes of You is one of my new WiPs (the other two being the 2nd Two Monarchies book and a Carmine & Fancy slightly-longer-short-story).

More importantly, I will be uploading a chapter of it to Wattpad every two weeks.

Theoretically, that is. If I get behind, hopefully it will go without saying that I’m trying to concentrate on the quality of the story (as opposed to simply me being lazy). Because I would never be so lazy. Really, though.

It will be both exciting and terrifying for me, as I’ve never posted a WiP piecemeal before; but I’ve got a good feeling about this one, and I’m interested in feedback.

Also, I really love the cover and I want to show it off.

So there.

Behold! The Beautiful & Wondrous Jenny-Cover that is Bright as the Eyes of You!

image

And below is the first 500-odd words of Bright as the Eyes of You, a quick preview before I upload the 1st chapter on Wattpad early next week.

Enjoy!

1

I See all Kinds of Sorrow

I don’t remember when I first started to Dream. I don’t know why I began to Dream, either, or even how the way I Dream is possible. It could have been because I was bored. Perhaps it was because I’m nosy. Yes, that’s far more likely. I was bored and nosy, and for the first fifteen years of my life I couldn’t walk, so what else was there to do but Dream?

I didn’t know I was spying on people. Not at first, at least. And when I did find out, I didn’t care: I couldn’t stop the Dreams, and it was pointless to be embarrassed by something I couldn’t help. The Dreams came by night or by day, intruding upon the real world until it was all but impossible to tell which was real and which the Dream. My nights were long, but my days were longer, and the Dreams were a welcome distraction from the beige ceiling and the window from which I could see only grey sky. In Scandia the sky is always grey and the ceiling always beige: there’s probably a moral in there somewhere.

You have questions. That’s all right. Ask away.

Oh, that’s a clever one: no one has asked me that before. Did the Dreams come first, or the paralysis? I don’t know for sure, but I can guess. I think the Dreams came first, tugging my soul away from my body, and I became so used to being away from my body that I never learnt how to use it or really live in it.

But it’s more than that. I’m left alone in my quarters most of the time, simply forgotten. People don’t see me. Servants sweep past me without bowing, and if I’m not very careful, I get left out in the garden when I take the air on my couch. I used to think it was because I was actually dead, and perhaps I wasn’t so far off. After all, what is a body without a soul, and why should a soulless body be seen?

 

The year that made me seventeen, my dreams of Eppa began a few weeks before I actually arrived in that country for my now annual visit. It wasn’t unusual for me to dream about Eppa, though I didn’t often dream about it when I wasn’t there. My dreams chiefly follow people rather than places, and I normally dream of the people I’m with. Unless it’s Jessamy, of course. I dream about Jessamy no matter where he is. That’s probably why the dreams began early, if it comes to that.

I was a perpetual nomad, flitting between Eppa and Scandia, and though my father made sure I spoke both Eppan and Scandian, my real home was Scandia. My home was small and light, one of a long line of seaside houses that faced the bare, open shore. I couldn’t see the water from my windows unless it was a day when I could walk, and those were few and far between. The rest of the time I spent on my chaise lounge, my view alternating between beige ceiling, empty sky beyond the frame of my window, and the dreams that visited me by day and night.

***

That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for my tweets and FB posts once the Wattpad chapter is out if you want to read more!

10 Things I Hate About KDrama (Part Two)

And now for the final installment of my KDrama 10 Things posts!

I know, I know. You’re excited, right? And kind of sad, because the end has come.

Wait, no. That’s how I feel toward the end of a particularly good KDrama.

But if you are sad: Not to worry! Further blog posts on KDrama will be forthcoming. Mostly reviews of my favourites, so keep your eyes peeled.

Meanwhile, here are the last 5 Things I Hate About KDrama…

The Inevitable Part Where Our Main Female Lead Gets Drunk

Oh, how I abominate this trope! It seems to be a pretty universal one: I don’t think I’ve seen a KDrama where there isn’t a drunk scene with the MFL. These scenes range from cute and mildly amusing to horrifyingly embarrassing (they seem to serve mainly as a catalyst for confessions of love or hate), and they never fail to irritate me. I can understand why they’re included–the Korean culture seems still to be so much a patriarchal one where the women bow their heads and do as they’re told, that there’s a need for some kind of catalyst to throw them out of that and make them act with boldness. Or speak with boldness, as the case may be.

But I still hate it. Drunken women are just as unappealing as drunken men, and drunken women are in a lot more danger than men who get themselves into the same state. It’s a dangerous sort of behaviour to promote.

Gong Shim, who plays hide and seek (in the garbage) when drunk...

Gong Shim, who plays hide and seek (in the garbage) when drunk…

The Drama

So, again: this is something that is on both of my lists. Meaning I both love and hate it.

I love the depths to which KDrama takes its characters: the highs and lows, the challenges and the triumphs, the soul-searching and the growth. Being that there are usually 12-20 hour long episodes devoted to the one story-line and one set of characters, there’s the scope for depth and well-drawn characters; and for the most part, KDrama seems to do that remarkably well.

Until it doesn’t.

Then you get the angsty, soap-opera style of drama that underpins too many of the KDramas I’ve seen (and promptly rage-quit watching). Your MFL, in her pursuit of the MML, will cry and whine and angst and despair. The MML, in being pursued, will suffer from the worst kind of bipolar disorder–one day he’ll be furious at being bothered, the next, when his MFL finally gets a backbone and decides not to take the insults anymore, he will actively cling to her, putting paid to any thoughts of healthy independence in her silly little head. (Not mentioning any names, but *coff*Playful Kiss*coff*)

pk

You, sir, are a prat.

Or, or (oh my ragey heart!) a hitherto perfectly good KDrama that should and could have ended with 12 or 14 episodes, is artificially expanded with angsty drama that drags it down into what I call the Sticky Middle. The best KDramas I’ve seen do not have a Sticky Middle. They continue evenly and build beautifully, with the best kind of depth.

KDramas with a Sticky Middle, on the other hand, seem to bog down at about episode 9 or 10, and don’t really pick up again until the 15th or 16th episode. All the humour and fun is subsumed in the tears and angst, and one might be forgiven for thinking that some of the female leads were chosen specifically for their ability to cry.

It’s depressing.

Seriously.

If a KDrama is good enough, I’ll stay with it even through the Sticky Middle, but I infinitely prefer those without.

Gratuitous Objectification of Men and Young Boys

This might sound like I’m having a laugh, but I’m not. You think women are objectified in western movies (they are, but that’s a discussion for another day)? Watch KDrama and find out that while the girls are (usually) kept out of the grimier spotlight, almost every single male lead, be he 17 or 37, will have a shower/change scene. And it’s no good telling me that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, because I am very much of the opinion that two wrongs do not make a right. If it’s objectification when it happens to young girls, it is also objectification when it happens to young boys.

I know there are a lot of people who aren’t going to have a problem with this point (and it seems extremely unusual for it to proceed further than a bare chest), but it still gives me the same squicky feeling I get when I watch a western movie where the very young female lead is parading around in her barely-there underwear for that getting-changed scene that movies always seem to have.

On the bright side, I really do love that KDramas (mostly) seem to be very careful about the modesty of their female stars. It’s lovely. I’d just like to see the same care taken of the male stars.

MFLs with Split Personalities

Okay, so technically, it’s not a split personality. It’s actually just bad writing, and it’s bad writing that even the best KDramas are just a tiny bit guilty of. Inconsistent characterisation, in fact, which I always find difficult to forgive.

Let me explain.

You may have noticed my penchant for violence. As in, I really love a MFL who is not only capable of punching the MML (or in fact any of the Male Leads) in the face when they deserve it, but actually does punch them in the face.

It warms the cockles of me little ‘eart.

So when that MFL, who all the way through the show is tough and strong, and fully capable of taking care of herself, becomes fearful and useless and cowering in the last episode (or worse, half way through the series), I find it excruciatingly frustrating. Worse, often she becomes so simply and purely because it’s necessary for the MML’s gratification/aggrandisement.

Aaaaaaargh!

No. Fix your characterisation, KDrama! If your MML isn’t man enough to not feel threatened by the MFL’s strength, write another, better MML who is.

Soon Joon (Falling For Innocence)

Soon JoonShe has smarts–serious smarts. It’s seen through the whole first half of the drama, where she manages to outwit our MML quite a few times in business matters, and proves that she is a very good ally.

Unfortunately, she then has to take a back seat in the business/political type machinations so that our MML can triumph with his own cleverness.

This, I did forgive, simply for the fact that the MFL’s strength in another area was more clearly shown up by her lack in this area. Soon Joon didn’t become any less for the MML’s failure to properly utilise all her strengths. Besides which, his growth as a character was still shown through it, and his triumph would still not have been possible but for her strength behind him.

Joo Hee (After School Bokbulbok, Season 2)

Screenshot (139)Spends most of the series making the boys live in fear of her fists and is actively awesome, then as a necessary element for the last episode, is stripped of all that fierce fighting spirit and left cowering so that the MML can rescue her.

I find that very hard to forgive, and if After School Bokbulbok, Season 2 hadn’t been so flamin’ hilarious, I wouldn’t have forgiven it. Also worth noting is the fact that I don’t actively reccomend After School Bokbulbok, Season 2 as it has far too many things in it that I wasn’t comfortable with.

But for the purposes of illustration, it illustrates this particular KDrama Hate perfectly.

Yoon Seo (Noble, my Love)

*breathe, W.R., breathe*

No.

Nope.

I get too ragey about this one.

(I should also mention that I laughed a lot, but the ragey feelings are what I chiefly remember).

not irritated

Romance is Not (Always) the Point

I’m really torn about this one. As with a few of the things I’ve hated (each of which has had its side that I loved) there is actually quite a bit I like about this.

The main romance thread through KDrama will usually come to its zenith somewhere about the middle of the drama. By this point, love will (usually) have been declared and kisses (usually) exchanged. From that point on, there will be relationship issues (if it’s an annoying, angsty drama), or plot-line related issues (if it’s a good one).

It’s not a thing I love. My favourite form of romance is where the main romantic plotline is resolved toward the end of the story. This is mostly because when the romantic plot-line is resolved in the middle of the story, there is usually only angst to come.

In KDrama it ain’t necessarily so. In fact, some of my favourite KDramas have completed the first part of their romance plot-line somewhere in the middle of the drama, and then continued on strongly because it wasn’t just about the romance–or at least, not just about the exciting beginning of the romance. It was about growing together as a couple and facing the difficulties to come (in the form of the other main plotlines).

That’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s flamin’ brilliant writing, and it shows how good of writing it is that I keep watching.

It's not. It's really not. You're just stupid.

It’s not. It’s really not. But then, maybe all stalkers think like that…

But remember the Sticky Middle? Yeah, if your KDrama is finishing its main romantic plot in the middle of the drama, and from then on it’s all angst and separation and reconciliation and separation ad nauseum, I’ll stop watching.

Because–say it with me!–“Life is too short to watch bad T.V.”

This concludes my four part series of (ridiculously long) KDrama posts on 10 Things I Love/Hate About KDrama.

Hit me with your reccs (if you have any) and feel free to ask questions. Also remember that taste is completely subjective, so if you hate the things I loved, and vice versa, try looking for KDramas you’ll like in the ones I didn’t like…

 

10 Things I Hate About KDrama (Part One)

Okay, you know the drill. Been watching KDrama, loving some things, hating others, too long and gasbaggy to keep this down to one post, so ya got another two-parter.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

I guess I’ve just got a giving heart.

Anyhoo.

Some of the 10 Things are minor niggles. Some of them are pet hates. Some of them are things that make me fume and scream and rage-quit. Some of them are things that just make me give a small, sarcastic hiss of laughter and say: “Oh really?” 

So here goes, again in no particular order. 10 Things I Hate About KDrama, Part The First.

The ‘Accidental Kiss’

So there’s this thing in KDrama.

It’s this thing where the characters are secretly attracted to each other (or perhaps simply don’t yet realise that they’re attracted to each other), and through a terribly coincidental accident or ‘adorably’ clumsy moment, end up kissing. Like, the girl falls off a chair or a bench or something (this method seems remarkably popular–hint: ladies, if you tend to fall off things, flamin’ well don’t climb on ’em, yeah?) and the hero, in catching her, ends up accidentally locking lips with her. ACCIDENTALLY.

accidental kiss flower boys next door

YEAH. FLAMING. RIGHT.

You know how I said that this was in no particular order? I lied. This one cheeses me off the most. And when I say ‘cheeses me off’, I mean I sit there saying: “Oh really? Where is the blood? Why aren’t your lips mashed to a bloody pulp fit to rival The Walking Dead?”

Mates, it’s simple. Lips may be soft, but they’re backed by teeth, which really aren’t. I so much want to see a scene where the heroine loses her front teeth and the hero’s annoyingly bee-stung lips are a bloody, gory mess. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TWO MOUTHS COLLIDE AT HIGH SPEED AND SIGNIFICANT IMPACT.

(Sourced from Stuck-In-A-Loop) This. This is what happens.

(Sourced from Stuck-In-A-Loop)
This. This is what happens. It’s not cute, and it’s not pretty. You WILL look like a zombie.

(There’s only one instance that I’ll forgive and it’s sheerly because of Park Shin-Hye and Yoon Shi-Yoon, who are both so adorable as Dok-Mi and Kkae-Geum that I’ll forgive them almost anything. Also, there was no falling from a great height, just a minor impact. Also, also, it was unusual in that he was the one who fell on her, which made me laugh.)

Arrogant Male Leads who win ALL THE TRICKS

AUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

Okay, it’s out of my system. For now.

But maaaan, is it annoying!

Here’s the setup: your Main Female Lead (henceforth MFL) is a bright, determined, stubborn woman. She doesn’t give up. She makes things work. She is kind and principled and clever.

Enter MML (Main Male Lead). Maybe she saves his life. Maybe she accidentally sends him hurtling into a vat of concrete (I’m firmly of the opinion that she should leave him there but no one listens to me). Maybe she piques his interest ‘cos every other woman ever falls at his feet in an infatuated heap, and he *blurk*’likes a woman with spirit’*blurk*. Naturally he is unbelievably handsome and all the women love him.

Because apparently it's ok to be a prat if you're beautiful and/or sexy. I wanted to punch this guy in the face SO OFTEN.

Because apparently it’s ok to be an abusive prat if you’re beautiful and/or sexy. I wanted to punch this guy in the face SO OFTEN.

Whichever way it happens, the hero decides pretty quickly that he needs this woman in his life. He may not realise exactly why at the time, but he’s pretty clear that she’s not allowed to go anywhere, or with any one. To achieve this, he will (if he’s rich) buy up whole buildings to force her into the one he wants her in, get her fired from her job, make her homeless, make her indebted, and basically mess with her in a fashion that’s about as close to torture as you can get without blood.

She will initially struggle and try to fight back, but will eventually come to him with her tail between her legs (or, if the writer prefers to save face) with a reason as to why she changed her mind. After a protracted battle where he wins all the tricks and she manages not to do a single thing that could have ended the cycle for good (like engage in assault and battery, for example), bam, they’re together, exactly where and how he wanted them to be.

Can you say: “Abusive Relationship?”

And after being worn down like that and having all agency taken away from her, the MFL will still fall in love with this grade-A prat. Worse, during the struggle, all of her vaunted determination and cleverness and self-reliance will have proved to be just window-dressing on the part of a writer who had to have a reason for the MML to fall for the MFL in the first place. Of course, once he has, who needs that window-dressing?

Pft, Consistent Characterisation? What’s that? Can I eat it?

I would like to stress here that the best KDramas I’ve seen do not do this. It has, however, been prevalent enough in the rest of ’em to make me want to reach through the T.V. and physically hurt those arrogant MMLs who are verbally or emotionally abusing their MFLs (Noble, my Love, I’m glaring at you).

I would also like to stress that in the best KDramas, even if a MML starts out as an arrogant idiot, he is always changed into something infinitely more lovable during the course of his adventures and trials. This change can be effected because of the MFL, or because of a capability to learn and change on the part of the MML (which is even more satisfying).

Perfect hair...as in, perfect for grabbing so I can rub his face in the dirt.

Perfect hair…as in, perfect for grabbing so I can rub his face in the dirt. Ji Sung-Joon from She Was Pretty only just made it through my 3 episode rule.

So I’ve made a rule for myself. If I spend more than three episodes wanting to grab a MML by his perfectly coiffed hair and forcibly acquaint his face with the nearest table-top, without once thinking ‘Oh, poor baby!’ Or ‘Ah! So that’s why!’ I stop watching.

Why?

Because life is too short to keep watching bad T.V. Also, there are far too many great KDramas out there to be wasting my time on the bad ones.

TSTL MFLs (AKA, Main Female Leads who are Too Stupid To Live)

This indirectly leads off the previous point, in that one of the biggest things an arrogant MML will taunt a MFL with, is the charge of being stupid. This seems to be a much bigger thing in Korean T.V. than it is in Australia: probably because we don’t actually care about being called stupid (Study-Til-Your-Nose-Bleeds isn’t a thing here).

My problem with this is more than the constant barrage of insults the MML shoots at the MFL. The big, BIG problem I have with this is that the MFL doesn’t actually usually start out as stupid. She may not be book smart, but she usually has a different kind of smarts. She is also usually kind, lovely, and proactive in helping others.

So of course, I sit there calling out and verbally abusing the MML because of his insults, and basically getting all rage-quitty.

Then we get to somewhere in the middle of the drama and the MFL starts to do really, really stupid things. Things like following the MML around like a dog. Or stalking him across campus and hiding behind bushes to watch him while he’s on a date. Getting hit by a car while she’s following someone. Or doing THE THING, THE ONLY THING that he told her not to do. Or–oh my ragey heart!–making the exact same mistake over and over and over and OVER AGAIN.

Basically proving true every single insult he ever made about her.

Playful Kiss. I would like you both to die now, please. And bring on the dude who checks if the petrol tank on his motorbike is empty by using his lighter, cos even he isn't as stupid as these two are. Plus, he's funnier.

From Playful Kiss. I would like you both to die now, please.
And bring on the dude who checks if the petrol tank on his motorbike is empty by using his lighter, cos even he isn’t as stupid as these two are. Plus, he’s funnier.

I can’t even.

I can’t odd.

RAGE. QUIT.

I will forgive a lot in a kind heroine, but not that.

OTT MFLs (AKA, Main Female Leads who are Ridiculously, Embarrassingly Clumsy and/or Cling to the MML like Lawyer Vine)

Let me state a basic rule of thumb, MFLs. If you have to install an app on his phone to track his whereabouts, it’s not a crush. You’re a stalker.

Writers, I want to love your MFL. I want to love her and sigh for her and cheer her on. And that’s really hard to do when she’s an idiot who clings to the MML with all the tenacity of Lawyer Vine, without a smidgen of self-control, self-respect, or pride. I mean, how much humiliation and rejection do you have to imbibe before you finally realise that he’s not into you?

Only in KDrama, he will eventually be into her. Because if you stalk a guy long enough, of course he’s eventually going to think you’re cute and fall in love with you. Of course he’s not going to have you put under a restraining order or actively run away from you. Because you’re the cute MFL, and the paradigm is created solely for you.

I hate your guts.

Also. MFLs who are so cringeworthily clumsy that I’m watching entire episodes through my fingers because I can’t bear to look.

I hate you too.

It’s not just clumsiness. It’s unbelievable, ridiculous clumsiness. How have these girls not died? HOW? At some point they would get run over, or accidentally impaled, or slip in the shower, or any number of things.

You. Clumsy/awkward MFL. Why are you holding your head like that? You look like a chook. A scrawny chook. Why are you rushing around like that when you know you fall over? I spend most of my time with these MFL wailing: “Why would you do that? Why? Why would you do that?

Unfortunately, MFLs who are either of the above tend to be BOTH of the above.

This, too, makes me rage-quitty.

2nd Boys who break my heart (AKA, Give 2nd Boys a Happy Ending too!)

(Told you this was gonna be on both lists.)

Oh my broken heart! It is an almost infallible fact of life that I will always fall in love with the 2nd boy. If that 2nd boy is a facilitator, there’s no hope for me: I’m lost.

So it naturally bothers me that my lovely little 2nd boys so rarely get their own happy ending. Where in the rule book does it say that only the main leads should have a romance?

KDrama writers, what are you doing to me?? I have enough books of my own to write: I can’t obsess over every 2nd boy and write him a story just so that he gets a happy ending! Help me!

A Tale of Shin-Woo: or, How I Wrote a Whole Novel to Give my Fave 2nd Boy a Happy Ending...

A Tale of Shin-Woo: or, How I Wrote a Whole Novel to Give my Fave 2nd Boy a Happy Ending…

It’s the same thing I hate about most older films: the secondary characters are never allowed to do more than stand as supports for the main characters. They exist solely as they impact the main leads.

Bad storytelling, KDrama. Bad, bad storytelling.

OTOH, it means that when I find someone who is technically a 2nd boy but manages to take over the main role because the writer is that good, I appreciate it so much more (Flower Boys Next Door and High School King of Savvy, thank you very much!)

You already know how I feel about Kkae-Geum from Flower Boys Next Door. Meet Seo In-Guk, who is a 2nd Boy type character. He is ADORABLE. So sweet, and stupid, and delightful. Sort of like a big puppy, but better. He completely won my heart, and without him I would have stopped watching High School King of Savvy, which would have been a pity.

You already know how I feel about Kkae-Geum from Flower Boys Next Door. Meet Lee Min-Seok, who is a 2nd Boy type character. He is ADORABLE. So sweet, and stupid, and delightful. Sort of like a big puppy, but better. He completely won my heart, and without him I would have stopped watching High School King of Savvy after the first episode, which would have been a pity. This little baby gets the girl, and not only that, does a huge amount of growing at the same time. It’s constantly delightful to see his change in perspective as the episodes pass.

Okay. That’s it from me until next time! I hope you enjoyed this episode of my (rapidly increasingly) series of posts about KDrama!