Saimdang Brings Back A Man


He glows and glowers; he has super powers.

Smashing the mirror with wings of a dove.

He stares and he’s sad, his Auntie won’t help him.

He needs to forget his first and true love:

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Kill Me, Heal Me – Shakespeare Would Approve

There is something very Shakespearian about Kill Me Heal Me. We love it because it is a funny show with romantic moments, however, the lightness exists in strong contrast to the dark. As awesome as Yo-na is as a character, or as humorously Ri-jin reacts to Perry Park and Se-gi’s outrageous behaviors, there is always the sadness of Yo-sub to remind us how tragic Do-hyun’s existence is.

The shadows have grown even more in the most recent episodes, as the audience approaches the central mystery of the trauma that shattered Do-hyun’s psyche.

It can’t be that interesting being Do-hyun, living in isolation from his own life.  Yo-na and Perry steal the pleasures of the manic highs – chasing idols, drinking heartily, blowing things up – escaping from the routine. Yo-sub and Se-gi bear the misery and face the lows. He has no seat on this roller coaster ride. He may hear the rumblings of approaching thunder, but only gets to clean up what the departing storm left in its wake, without enjoying the thrills or facing down the fears himself.

The drama could be considered an adaptation of Hamlet’s To Be or Not To Be soliloquy, as performed in parts by each of his seven personalities. When Ri-jin asks Se-gi why he hasn’t accused anyone of the abuse suffered as a child, why they remain silent, he replies,

“That bastard cannot handle it. In the end, he will end his own life.”

Ri-jin disagrees affirming ”Do-hyun can handle it. He can overcome it.”

Then Se-gi explains how this would be counter-productive, to say the least, for his own survival.

“Then we die! We were made to take in that bastard’s pain instead for him. If that bastard’s pains go away, then we all die. Either he lives like this while covering it up, or instead of him, I remain alive. It’s one or the other.”

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Kill Me Heal Me: Ji Sung is ♥ ☺ Fanvid

I haven’t done one of these in years! Here’s hoping my channel doesn’t get shut down too soon.

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Kill Me, Heal Me: All for One

Poem for Week 2

It’s a trick.

These faces.

We get to taste each one separately.

Like picking out ingredients of a dish one at a time,

Or trying out a Chinese dim sum feast on the turntable before us.

Spin it fast, however, and all the aromas and colors blur and unite.

But not too quickly, or they fly out at us destroying the beauty and delicate nature of the meal.

It’s a trick.

These faces.

How do we make them all one without losing any?

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How Revenge Drama Characters Do Not Actually Represent Real People

Some of the revenge plots in dramas are impressive. I don’t think a real person is capable of focussing that sharply or for that long to actually succeed. Real life has too many distractions. 🙂

Thanks again to my children for taking part. I pay them, you guessed it, with take out.

PS Do you have any ideas for a video we could do?

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Oh, So You Watch Asian Dramas? Really? That’s….um…interesting…

I know you all have encountered the same reaction that I get when I tell folks I watch television from Asia with subtitles. My response, thanks to my daughter, LB, is here.

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Kill Me, Heal Me : First Impressions ♥ ;)

Guyliner: You will fall under its power

Kill Me, Heal Me commands, and I give in  –  even without 100% subs. While I anticipate understanding all of what the people are saying, and knowing the full picture of the plot, the first two episodes delivered enough emotional punch to pull me in. I did understand the poor boy had the bad luck to belong to a disaster ridden family who treated him with criminal aplomb. The abuse he suffered triggers disassociation in order to cope with the trauma. (Actual science talk here.) There is a power struggle at their corporation, and our hero not only has to battle outside forces, but the devil within. The psychiatry and medical details of the plot blur some aspects of reality. For example, bad Se-ki’s repeated violent outbursts should get him locked up and fast, but this is K-dramaland where real laws need not apply.

Ji Sung, who plays bad Shin Se-ki and nice Cha Do-hyun, as well as a handful of other personalities, brings intensity, vulnerability and silliness, which is awesome to behold. His character comes home to Korea from the States after his bad side erupts and takes over. We had to endure Bad English from Fake Americans, as well as four too many F-words, but mercifully this lasted only twenty minutes before he landed safe and confused in his homeland.

Who do you love? I can’t choose.

I ♥ Hwang Jung-eum, I have to confess, despite never expecting to and starting most of her dramas with trepidation. Her character is a psychiatry intern, Oh Ri Jin (Origin). Right from the first scene, she’s screechy, clumsy, vulnerable and easily excited but her OTT antics had me guffawing.

Hwang Jung-eum: I just like her. I can’t help it.

Yes, she has had major PS, and rarely do Make-up, Hair and Wardrobe do anything but insult us, but she endears the audience almost by sheer will. Anyone who watched Can You Hear My Heart or Full House 2 knows that she fears no bad hair. Possibly, the lack of positive styling is why we like her, since she has to work that much harder to make the character appealing.

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Valid Love: First Impressions

To balance out my thoughts, I have invited Carole McDonnell, poet, essayist, reviewer and everyone’s favorite commenter from Dramabeans, to give her take as well. Over the years, her analysis proved insightful about every drama that interests her. She sees deeper into scripts, characters and their psychology than I ever can, and I enjoy trying on her opinions to see how they fit with mine. Everyone say, Welcome, Carole!

Spoiler warning: This post cover up to the end of Episode 4

Carole’s Intro

I’m not a fan of adultery. But I can understand it. And I can forgive it or even applaud it if it’s “valid.” I suppose one important question in any adulterous relationship — or even in any marriage relationship– is: “Is this love valid?” But this is the first time I’ve seen a drama title that placed that very important issue in the actual title. So, yeah, “Valid Love.”

Validity is often in the eye/emotions/feels of the beholder. Or it can be proven by a boatload of evidence. And it’s up to the writer and director to prove the validity of a love in such a way that will make our tripped moral sensors accept something the priggish side of us balks at. Let’s face it: there are a lot of married ahjummas out there who would find the idea of a hottie carpenter lover downright fun. But they — we– stop ourselves from getting into adulterous relationships. Thus, such ahjummas are inclined to judge someone in a happy marriage who has not put the brakes on her “invalid” attractions.

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The Hand Towel with a Pearl Earring a.k.a. Obsessed

colwithapearlThe Hand Towel was never simply A Man.

He’s much more; that’s why we’re devoted.

collage11collage22He’s been Art Director, Diplomat, Brain Surgeon, Thug.

Now I hear that he’s been promoted.

cthtHe’s A Colonel Obsessed and soon we’ll be blessed

to view him on a thirty foot screen –

from his brows to his toes and where the vein goes –

A Hand Towel we’ve dreamed of not seen.


Let’s cheer on our Man and wish the film well

(Though I doubt he’ll end up with the girl.)

No matter what happens Colonel Hand Towel,

Song Seung Heon is our own pretty pearl.

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Secret Love Affair: I Love Sun Jae ❤ Because of Schumann

What took me so long? Is that what you are asking? Here’s the deal. I struggled against Yoo Ah In’s portrayal of Lee Sun Jae for weeks, telling myself he really isn’t that good. It’s just me being impressed by the production and the writing. Sure, there were brilliant bits here and there, but I determined it was only Yoo Ah In in the reflected glory of Kim Hee Ae. I wasn’t going to be blinded by pretty, but remain completely objective in my assessment of this beautiful specimen of a man experienced actor.

HA!  The many moments of awe turned into a stream, then a river, then a deluge.

Finally under the weight of the vastness of awesomeness required to pull off that freaking Rachmaninoff concert, I caved. This isn’t a good actor playing a good role, this is YAI acting his fingers off in the performance of his lifetime. Linked here is a musician the same age as Sun Jae performing the same Rhapsody. If our guy was half as impressive as Danil, Hye Won’s enraptured response makes perfect sense.

I want to thank Schumann, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Lizst, Paganini, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky for inspiring the writers of Secret Love Affair. They gave us Lee Sun Jae, the personification of their love and passion for music. Not convinced he is a real boy yet – we will see how he handles the fall out from what he has done to Hye Won’s and our lives – but I still love him with all my heart.

Why do I love Lee Sun Jae as played by Yoo Ah In?

The first challenge the man had to meet for the entire 20 episodes to work is the piano acting playing. Think about how difficult lip-synching is because of the timing, and how poorly it has been executed in recent dramas. Now throw in a requirement to hit keys in exactly the right places making sure to match your back-up orchestra. He did this spectacularly. My jaw is still on the floor.


As far as the character himself, I choose this moment that YAI showed how firm a grasp he had on the part. In all his squirmy glory, he let us see Sun Jai’s bare naked soul, out in front for the jaded and tainted Hye Won to step on. He looked the lady of lies straight in the eye and called BS on her entire existence. “No, I am being sincere. I was reborn that day. You have given me a new life.” Neither knew then how those words would apply to both of them.

The same guileless face making a plea to be loved has to hide itself from the embarrassment of being laughed at. Doesn’t matter, though, he isn’t simply saying words to Hye Won, but staking his life.

This Sun Jae is whom I would protect with my life. Me and Da Mi out there killing a person to stop anyone from hurting him. How can he love so fiercely and unguarded? Why doesn’t he know better to protect himself?

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