Friday, February 24, 2012

Initial Thoughts About Four "Thousand" Dramas (Part 1)

In case you got the wrong idea, let me clarify first that I'm not going to lay down my first impressions about four thousand different dramas. That's a massive account and so far, I only have more than a hundred of Asian dramas on my list. Instead, I am going to tackle about the early episodes of four Korean dramas that have the word "thousand" incorporated on the their titles.

I find it weird but amusing that Koreans have a special thing for the word "thousand". I was not aware until last week that there were four different dramas that actually used "thousand" on their titles. I don't know if these English titles are the actual translation to the Korean titles but nonetheless, one thing is for sure, they do like thousand more than hundred, million and billion. LOL ^^

I've already watched a couple of episodes from Thousand Day Promise during it's airing but I decided not go further while A Thousand Kisses, Loving You a Thousand Times and Thousand Years of love knocked on my watch-list only last week. These four romance dramas have different backdrops that all center around the concept of "love against all odds". In this post, I am going to enlighten everyone about the gist of the these dramas along with my first impressions.

Let's have the recently ended dramas first (Thousand Day Promise and A Thousand Kisses) on a roll. I'll discuss Loving You a Thousand Times and Thousand Years of Love on part 2 that will also be posted in the coming days


Genre : Romance, Melodrama
Episodes : 20
Network : SBS
Broadcast Period : October-December 2011
Main Cast : Soo Ae, Kim Rae Won, Lee Sang Woo and Jung Yoo Mi

It's easy for me to pick up this drama because it boasts amazing actors such as Kim Rae Won and Soo Ae as its lead but it's easier to drop this in one go because of it's unacceptable romance. The story gives us Lee Seo Yeon (Soo Ae), a woman who suffers from rare case of Alzheimer and her forbidden love with Park Ji Hyung (Kim Rae Won). The premise of this show promises the viewers a sob-fest by making Soo Ae as the drama's bawling front-runner. She was an effective pull at first but then I found out the main obstacle of the relationship between the forgetful heroine and her first love. Successful and well-bred Park Ji Hyung who happens to be the man of her life is already engaged with another woman. They love each other fervently but their relationship can't go any further and the only thing they can do is to see each other secretly.

Scene from Episode 1 (Source : Dramabeans)
I am sentimental at heart so I really cherish heartbreaking characters, angsty scenes, highly-problematic love and truck-loads of crying. But the mere fact that making the main leads bind their hearts together coaxes cheating and crashing the heart of an innocent girl bugs me. If there's one thing I can't tolerate in love stories, that is cheating on your partner. There's no way that I can turn a blind eye over the love affair of two persons even if they are the actual one true pair of the story. The fact that he is already committed with someone and cheats just to be with her totally irritates my mood even if they are the leads.

Noh Hyang Ki's (Ji Hyung's fiancee) perfection makes it even harder for me to root for the love of the main couple. She is an innocent angel. She has a good upbringing, kind personality, charming physical features and above all, an understanding heart for Ji Hyung. They are so perfect for each other, even their families bonded together. But his heart doesn't belong to her and that ends her flawless qualifications. It would be reasonable for me to like the main pair even if their doing the act of cheating only if the fiancee turns out to be a spoiled, manipulative and self-centered b**** but that's not the case of Hyang Ki.

Using the concept of Alzheimer as a tear device for a movie seems heart-rending (just like Son Ye Jin's "A Moment To Remember" and Rachel Mc Adams "The Notebook") but for a 20-episode series, the idea hints a plot that gets draggy in every twist and turn.

After I've seen the first two episodes of Thousand Day Promise, I had no other intentions but to abandon it. The kind of taboo romance the story-line has is simply not my cup of tea. I may give this a second chance in the future because of its quick pace and well-executed acting but for now, I prefer to run away and leave it behind along with the other forgettable dramas.



Genre : Romance
Episodes : 50
Network : MBC
Broadcast Period : August 2011-February 2012
Main Cast : Ji Hyun Woo, Seo Young Hee, Ryu Jin and Kim So Eun

"Don't dig out the roots prematurely if you don't have an idea what kind of fruit you can harvest from it." I don't know if that makes sense but here's the real deal : let the seed of the story finds its place first and only cut it out if you don't like the way it grows.

And that's what I failed to do the first time my eyes landed on A Thousand Kisses. After 15 minutes of episode one, my hands were already itching to pull it out of the fertile soil of K-dramaland, wondering why a dull and passé plot like this still exists. Months passed, I was able to check out the mind-boggling performance of Seo Young Hee in Bedeviled. Her convincing portrayal in a disturbing movie left me stunned and what I wanted to do next is to see her again on-screen. So I re-planted the roots of A Thousand Kisses and little did I know, it developed into an intriguing watch.

This family drama pretty much deals about the age difference in a relationship of couples. The story is simple and has the same conflict with the movie Hello School Girl but in this series, the main four characters are all full-grown adults. In the older-woman-younger-man" set-up, we have Woo Joo Young (Seo Young Hee) and Jang Woo Bin (Ji Hyun Woo). Not only is she older than him but she's also a mother of a seven-year old son and a married woman who wants divorce from her three-time adulterous husband. Through series of fateful events, Joo Young meets Woo Bin, a former soccer player before he became a manager who recruits players. Because of his growing fondness with her son, Woo Bin gets close with Joo Young.

To explore the "younger-woman-older-man" relationship, the drama brings us Jang Woo Jin (Ryu Jin) and Woo Joo Mi. She's a bright and sunny 26 year-old magazine writer and he is a serious, stiff and snobbish 35 year-old heir of a resort and leisure company. Joo Mi falls for Woo Jin at first sight when she accidentally bumps to him while they are both jogging on the park and since then, she keeps her eyes for him. Though it's obvious that Woo Jin doesn't have any interest in her or in girls in general, Joo Mi still cares for him no matter how many times he rejects her friendly gestures.

I watched six episodes of A Thousand Kisses in one sitting and I could say that the story gets better in every episode. I still have a long way to go but so far, the story-line is surprisingly light and cute. I especially adore the interactions between Woo Jin and Joo Mi. I can't wait to see him getting so fluffy and sweet with her as their feelings for each other continues to evolve. Though this drama presents an old theme laced with outdated family secrets and infuriating villains, I still find this watchable and entertaining.


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