White Tower drama giveaway

I first saw Kim Myung-min in More Beautiful Than a Flower (2004) where he played a man hiding a dastardly past. “What a gem of a drama and actor,” I thought, not realizing at that time that MBTAF would mark the beginning of an abiding love for one of Korea’s greatest actors.

Bad Family (2006) was next, and I fell even harder for this chameleon of an actor who went from classy in MBTAF to coarse in BF, playing a foul-mouthed but soft-hearted ex-thug in the latter. But it was 2007’s medical thriller and masterpiece White Tower that knocked my socks off and forever sealed Kim Myung-min’s place in my heart.

From the moment he appeared in Episode 1 as Dr. Jang Joon-hyuk , everything about Kim Myung-min’s acting blew me away. He was amazing playing puppeteer and puppet, king and subject, whether performing a surgery (and it really was like a performance, as if he was conducting an orchestra) or kneeling on the ground in an embarrassing display of servitude and desperation. He didn’t have to cry heartrendingly; he just had to sit in his car and talk quietly to his mom and my tears would flow just watching him. An utterly self-centered and ruthless man, he made me feel dirty rooting for him and yet there was never any doubt that I would root for him because he was also so charismatic and likable! Despite all his failings, he made me care deeply for him.

I have since gone on to watch more of Kim Myung-min’s dramas and movies, but none has left as deep of an impression as his role in White Tower. It is simply his most sublime piece of work. It is also the drama that I want to give away, to celebrate this little blog crossing the 800,000-hits mark today (woot!).

To stand a chance at winning an English-subtitled set of White Tower, you just need to do the following:

In as many words as you like, and in either prose or poetry, write about your favorite actor’s best role. The one that made you wander around in a daze for days. The role that made you a fan forever. That most luminous moment in the actor’s career.

Closing date for all submissions is December 12, 2010. There are three sets to be won so write away! You can submit more than one entry, but each must be of a different actor. Happy writing!

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23 thoughts on “White Tower drama giveaway

  1. There was “A Moment To Remember”
    A time when my heart was in slumber
    Thinking I’d never see the day
    When I would ever feel this way

    Though Jung Woo-sung was nothing
    like the man I always imagined
    He pierced through my sleeping soul
    and awakened me with his loving call

    So if I were to relive my life
    I’d want to be Chul-soo’s wife
    I may forget everything as Su-jin did
    But to be loved by him is life itself indeed

  2. From a land far, far away.
    From whence a fair stranger did stray
    To a beautiful Island, Of The East.
    Tamra, Tamna or Jeju, as known today.

    A seemingly fallen noble-man,
    Born of high status,
    Yet banished for indiscretions,
    Exiled to Tamra, forlorn and disgraced
    In servitude and bondage,
    he was displaced.

    To a family of commoners
    He was left to be chastised
    Without finery and comfort
    So deeply despised.

    Yet, behind those eyes,
    There shimmered and glimmered
    Something quiet kindly and wise.
    Was the “banished one”
    More than he seemed

    A magical, enchanting story,
    Of adventure, intrigue,
    Romance, and Love.
    An escapist’s pure delight
    A hidden gem, a treasure trove
    A wondrous, heartfelt glory!

    A graceful, true noble one
    With love and compassion
    For all, without status or clue
    A seeker of justice,
    A great warrior true.

    As yet unknown,
    A performance as great, and
    More memorable than most,
    Park Kyu, Im Joo Hwan
    Forever, cherished and held close.

  3. Great prompt! I admit that putting any writing on display takes courage so here’s to overcoming my scaredy cat inclinations! Here’s my first entry, I have another on the way! =)

    Prisoner

    He lured me in with swing dancing and a roguish smirk. From the minute he arrived in Old Seoul, I was his. He, who could have any woman in the capital, held me in his elegant hand. He offered me treasures unlike what I’d seen before. I would be able to watch four people not sink into the usual flotsam and jetsam of relationships. They would break preconceived barriers unlike what I had observed before. He would introduce me to the coolest gisaeng in the Capital, someone never to be compared to other conniving and irksome predecessors. He would allow me to watch him woo and love someone strong, independent, never weepy, never someone to be saved continually. And the world he inhabited, so fraught with conflict and pain! How could such things as dancing and romance exist in such troubled times? Such was his power over me that I stayed with him for 16 hours. I was his captive, his prisoner of a revolution from a different land and era. Little did I know that after those hours of bliss, I would want more. I followed him to regions beyond, stranger lands than whence I came. A hero who stole from the rich to feed the poor. An inexperienced agent for the government. A doctor. A damaged writer with wanderlust. He masqueraded as so many. But for me? He would always be Seon Woo Wan and, forever, Kang Ji-hwan.

  4. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months but this is my first time commenting. Thanks for all the hard work. I like reading your thoughts (and the other bloggers) on this site despite having differences in taste because your writing sytle is brilliant. I’m commenting today because I thought this would be a good chance for me to (try to) express the greatness of an underappreciated role this year. Sorry, it’s really long. I tried to contain myself but my love just overflows.

    One of my favorite actor’s best role:

    We are introduced to a wild haired man who puts on a smile to hide his worries and frustrations. He is a prodigy but is belittled by society because of his class. Since birth, our wild haired man has casted his eyes to the floor and endured the pain and discrimination. Whether people kick, spit, curse or cheat him, this man continues living because he has a mother to save. Even coming from such a background and living as the scum of society, he still has a twinkle in his eye and smile that goes beyond comprehension. Even with the on slaughter of stumbling blocks that obstruct his way, he moves forward. He is So-geun Gae/Little Dog.
    We see a man donning fake clothes and an identity. He tries to hide amongst the people but is discovered and almost killed. Nearly dead, he comes across an angel, and like a miracle, he breathes once more. Our man is an impostor but not with evil intentions. Fate, a frivolous and cruel mistress, had decided to give our man a choice: to return to the past or to start anew. Both roads are dark and riddled with holes, but our man chooses. He meets many strangers on his path, but three are most prominent: his teacher, his teacher, and his teacher. The first teacher is a kindhearted alien that leaves the man awed and staring like a school boy. This teacher has saved the man’s life not because he gave the man a fish but taught him to fish. Now, the man trails this teacher like a lost puppy who’s just found its home. He can be a handful but the glint in his eyes that thirst for knowledge makes any recipient fuzzy and blinded by a need to love. Our second teacher is brilliant and loving, and teaches the man to love not only others but himself, as well. The man respects this teacher and loves her with all his heart. His smile shines and his eyes twinkle only for her. He stutters like an innocent child and blushes in a way that makes the watcher get butterflies in their stomach because his purity and raw emotions are contagious. His words for this teacher ring from the bottom of his soul, “You are so beautiful.” The third teacher is strict and realistic. This teacher teaches the man that beauty only exists because there is an ugly. Without the shadow of the third teacher for the man to chase after, he would have never pushed himself tirelessly. The man may have hated the third teacher for his cruelty, but in the end, like a pupil who has realized the purpose of the journey, is only filled with gratitude and admiration. With his teachers, the man walks, often runs, but also crawls along his path searching for the light that seems so far away. Suddenly, fate with her fickle nature stops the road short. The man, ignorant of this fact, takes a step forward… At the sudden realization of the impending fall, a tear rolls down his eye, but he smiles with warmth. Despite his doom, he sees the gift of life: a small flower breaking through the March frost. His face conveys so many emotions that the watchers can only feel a lump in their throat and a pounding in their chest. Standing in front of death’s door, the man’s twinkle is still alive even if it’s obscured. The man is Hwang Jung.
    We watch our man enter with pride. Head to toe in new clothes, his head is raised, and he is almost unrecognizable if it weren’t for his twinkling eyes and wide smile. Our man has changed. No longer a fake, our man is now a true gem among gems. However, the path remains difficult. Love ones are lost along the way, but our man cannot stop. Too many sacrifices have been made, too many burdens remain on his shoulders, and too many eyes watch his next step. Our man still has his warmth and innocence but a new kind of tiredness has befallen him. He falters because our man is not perfect. He is kind. He is pure. He is true. But he is not perfect, far from it. He hates, holds grudges, and wants revenge. Our man is given the chance to strike a blow to his enemy, the perpetual wrongdoer. Even if it goes against all his morals, the opportunity is too great to pass by. The longing shines in his eyes but the slightest quiver in his hand and face gives away his inner-turmoil. Though still wrought with conflicting emotions, his senses return, and we heave a sigh. Our man is able to continue down the path because his teachers and companions are with him as each step taken brings our man closer to the light. He is neither Little Dog nor a fake. Our man is the Hwang Jung, the one we have come to love.

  5. Thanks for all the lovely submissions so far! For those still wondering what to write, the giveaway will close on Dec 12. Looking forward to your entries! 😀

  6. @Lovepark: That was really lovely. Now I can’t wait to watch Jejoongwon 😀

    Things I like in actors are (1) a winning natural charm and (2) versatility. I’m somewhat new to the K-addiction. While I’ve witnessed lots of understated, natural acting, and loads of charm where my favourite actors become one with their characters with such ease, I think they are better than this particular actor I will talk about. Yet, when thinking about sublimeness, he’s the one who comes to mind.

    He’s the first K-actor I like. I first notice him in a lighthearted, delightful trendy drama as a goofball high school slacker who slowly transformed into a respectable police officer. I didn’t know how on earth did it happen that his next project I chose to watch was a Kim Ki-duk’s, whom Google said is a specialist of arty, indie, often obscure movies.

    The next one and a half hour was magical.

    Completely gone were the traces of silly Lee Mong-ryong that I knew. From the moment he appeared as a quiet stranger clad in a black breaking into empty houses, only to… take a shower and do the laundry… he commanded my full attention. I sat up straight and was instantly smitten.

    This mysterious silent man and his strange world were intriguing as hell. He chose to live as a visitor who peeked into others’ life and “borrowed” them for a few days, a tourist with no attachment. But to other people, he’s non-existent. Never did he utter a single word. Precisely because of his complete silence, his body language and gestures told his whole story, and they held me enthralled.

    Was he really as content as he looks? Was he a little bit lonely? He’s charismatic, graceful, enigmatic. And his eyes. My God, his eyes. Sometimes understated, sometimes incredibly expressive and louder than words, he conveyed a jumble of different emotions, a mixture of gentleness and violence, maturity and childlikeness. He’s discreet but good-natured; fixing broken things and – finally, finding the courage to mend a woman’s broken heart. Yet, his burning anger towards the abuser of the woman he loved escalated into violence. He exuded authority and confidence but in front of her, he opened up and showed his vulnerability. He made me smile, he made me sad, he made me swoon (oh swoon did I!), and through and through I rooted for him.

    It was a touching portrayal of a lonesome man who was transformed, empowered and emboldened by the power of love. Long after the movie ended, I was tongue-tied and he refused to let go of my mind. I seemed to lose the will to speak myself, a little. That was Kim Ki-duk’s Bin Jip or 3-Iron. He is Lee Hyun-gyoon who’s better known as Jae Hee.

  7. Here I go…anything for Kim Myung Min, right? *honks on trumpet*

    An unforgettable character from one of my favorite K-dramas of all time:

    Hong Minki (played by Lee Minki) from Taereung National Village

    A judo fighter just barely restrained by discipline; a happy scamp trotting around with a brash sign ‘Best Hong’ on his back; a boy with a nature that connects deeply and directly, without preamble or warning, to others – this is Taereung’s Hong Minki.

    Minki scampers, twitches, fiddles incessantly. Like a puppy, he has that odd mixture of curiosity and impulse, a barely controlled brashness; speak to him and he will either embrace you or fight you. Neither reprimand nor disdain nor disregard can dampen that bright inner light that fuels him.

    We see him waiting for a woman, heedless of time, playing games to amuse himself. He throws chocolates at her to get her attention, follows her around, single-mindedly watches her to understand her. She has that maturity which he lacks, and which he finds fascinating. He holds her, touches her, moves to her with a familiarity that is his language – what he cannot articulate, he acts out. Minki judges everyone as he judges himself – with directness, if not complete insight. It is why he does not place anyone on a pedestal, because he does not do the same for himself.

    Lee Minki is not just Hong Minki – he understands him in a way that Hong Minki himself does not. Hong Minki stands shouting in frustration, rage, and despair, not knowing why he feels so – but Lee Minki knows, and shows us in the stiff arch of his neck, in the clench of his fingers, in the protective stance that he retreats to. Hong Minki is brash, forthright; but Lee Minki is subtle, intense and expressive. If it is Hong Minki who stands before Dong-kyung (Lee Sung-gyun) , pleading and heartfelt, then it is Lee Minki whose voice shakes, whose breath breaks, corners of his mouth quivering with raw emotion.

    This is the man that I sometimes forget is a character, so living and bright is he onscreen. At odd times of the day, I will remember Minki romping with Jung Ma-Roo (Kim Byul) in the gym; the moments where he learns to hold still, see things instead of lashing out; his moments of intense kindness and cruelty; gradually, slowly, growing up.

    Hong Minki and Lee Minki – one the character, the other the inner awareness, both unforgettable. Lee Minki is the character, the emotions and motivations and expressions; but more than that, he is their soul.

  8. hi thundie, i can’t think of anybody to write about. i haven’t seen enough dramas of any actor to be able to say which role they are best in.

    i have seen at most two dramas/movies of each of my favorite actors. funny the one actor i have seen the most is jang geun seuk, and he’s not even favorite. he’s very good but it’s not like i would be interested in a drama just because he is in it.

    you’re beautiful and hong gil dong — i watched because of the hong sisters
    mary — currently watching because skks is over…
    doremi — can’t remember why i bothered with this. premise was good, execution was bad. wasted JGS and that guy that almost jumped off the building in BOF ep 1
    baby and me — recommended by a friend.

    now i am thinking of watching hwang jini, not because of jang geun seuk but because of ha ji won.

  9. I debated on whether I wanted to enter this…but hey why not? And this was a bit spur of the moment kind of thing so isn’t that great and it’s all free-verse-y but hope it’s okay.
    There have been many actors (and actresses) whose acting I’ve appreciated over the years…but a few performances that truly have stayed with me because they had a huge emotional impact on me. One of them is Uhm Tae Woong’s performance as Kang Oh Soo in Mawang. I haven’t liked his past two dramas and I have yet to see the one that is considered his best, but here is my two part poem. The first part deals w/the character of Kang Oh Soo (I wrote when I wasn’t paying attention to what I exactly had to write) and Part II deals with UTW.
    Part I
    The crushing pain of a wrong
    A wrong you can’t take back
    You fight it, fight it
    As it tears you asunder
    The thud of the basketball
    The blood on your hands
    Not yours, not yours
    You stare in shock, in disbelief
    When did this moment turn astray?
    Oh damn this spot, this wretched spot
    Each new case, with eyes tormented
    Each new criminal behind bars
    It’s not enough to wash the blood away
    A paper thin wall that crumbles
    From your father’s scorn
    Your brother’s protection, your friends trust
    Futile against the weight of the burden
    A paper thin wall that crumbles
    The cries his mother gave, those broken sobs
    They echo, hollow and empty they echo
    Against the guilt when you walked away

    You wonder when this will end
    The lost childhood you left behind
    Forgiveness, can you forgive yourself?
    And then from a dark avenger
    Your time has come, but not this
    Not at your friends’ risk
    At their betrayal…or their death
    Not at a fragile, could be?
    Should be? Love
    Or is it tentative friendship?
    She knows the truth of the past
    Your truth, his truth
    Her truth falls as the cards scatter
    She sees the light in you,
    The darkness that consumes him
    As you stare at the gun in his hands
    That it should come to this
    It wasn’t the road to redemption
    But was a forgiveness of another kind
    Yet you want it, want it desperately
    (Will it bring you peace?)
    This end to the guilt
    This burden your eyes bear
    As much as you fight it
    The end is close, so close
    And at that shot, you fall
    Forgiveness—did it bring you peace?

    Part II
    When you first came onto the scene
    Trying to woo Chunyang from her beloved
    As the rich obsessive ajusshi
    It wasn’t your looks that held me captive
    Or the character that started out charming
    That somehow became the evil angsty second lead
    It was your charisma, your presence
    The way it wasn’t you, but him
    Somehow you ended and became him
    The way your eyes reflected your possession
    The way they changed to an obsession
    That held me captive, intrigued
    Intrigued at what you could do
    I wasn’t alone in my impression
    Even the media had a word or two

    Two years later you left me in a daze
    A man who lost his innocence
    A cop seeking his path of redemption
    His hands were stained with blood
    An accident, horrifying of its kind
    His agony became your agony
    His desperation showed in your eyes
    The acceptance of his fate
    The way you accepted yours
    Were you him, I couldn’t tell
    Was he you, where did the lines blur?

    The ratings may have not been great
    And they say this wasn’t your best
    Yet Kang Oh Soo stayed with me all this time

  10. diorama – LOVE THAT! But LMK is the love of my life, so I’m a little biased. 🙂

    These are all so great, I don’t envy Thundie having to judge these entries!

    • Hehe, langdon813, I’m not judging the entries! Have invited two guest judges (and I don’t envy them!).

      Giveaway closes midnight, Dec 12 (US Pacific time). Let’s have more entries so that the judges will have a hard time picking the winners! 😆

  11. @langdon813 – Thank you! LMK is just about perfect in every role I’ve seen him in, but Taereung just blew me away, and he was a big part of that. *sigh* And I thought that I could own him forever. At least let him throw pebbles at my window…please? 🙂

  12. @toopai — i’m also a jae hee fan and i love 3-iron. it’s one of those strange movies that i love but if anyone asks me what’s so great about it… i’d be as quiet as jae hee’s character 🙂 it’s so beautiful but it’s hard to explain why. and it was maybe 30 mins after i have seen the movie when i finally understood the ending! ha ha!

  13. @lei: 3-iron was my first Kim Ki-duk’s too and it turned me from a Jae Hee noticer into a lover. The effect was heaps powerful, and he left a really deep impression. I’m still waiting with fingers crossed for him to take on non-crap dramas, hopefully, soon!

    @diorama: I just finished EIA (2nd project I watched after Dalja), and officially start to keep a keen eye on Lee Min-ki now. This dude is something, his all-round wonderfulness and versatility is just… Dorky Min-ki is a worthy contender to Kang Tae-bong.

  14. Hi Thundie,
    Happy New Year!
    Just looking at the above list of KMM dramas mentioned and I am proud to say that I own a copy of each of them; not sure if it is influenced by you or by this certain kdramafanusa named Helena 😛
    ~~
    Oh I guess this is the best way to get hold of you…
    2 favors to ask:
    #1 I have started a humble little blog prattling about life in general and once in a while i would like to mention some outstanding kdramas so may I post some of your articles there (most likely in the form of an excerpt and just credit it Thundie Prattle or TP only; and not the exact website link ‘cos i know my present readers… if I give them long links, they would sure by-pass it ;p unlike when in soompi I could just use your link as my siggy 😛 I will do it with discretion… let me know 🙂

    #2 Could you provide me with the quote again with the question I asked long time ago about why you write sth along the line “writer writes because no one else does” which author said it? That quote has “haunted” me much and that is why I decided to take up blogging and has been affirmed … shh…so now I try to slowly sneak in my favorite dramas here and there to convert some to follow my taste of drama. Thanks a bunch, dear!

    p.s. One of my new year resolution is to park myself at TP more often that is why I FINALLY signed up for TP e-mail subscription! So far it hasn’t been disappointing… hehe, who am i kidding ^^

  15. Oh heck I did stumble upon this way too late. I would have loved a good set of subs for this one, as the ones I have are dastardly to say the least. I agree with your comment this character he portrayed in white tower was awesome, even watching it raw he made me cry 🙂

  16. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
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