Not that you are going to be easily swayed, I know, but here are nine reasons why you should check out Royal Family (2011). Whether you think these reasons weighty or flaky, at the end of the day it really boils down to this:
I’m just a drama, standing in front of an audience, asking them to love her.
(So says a certain Thundie Scott from a certain movie Prattle Hill. And yes, a drama takes a feminine pronoun, you have issues with that?)
Okay, now that we’ve gotten grammarians and Julia Roberts’ fans in a flap, here are the nine reasons in no particular order of weightiness or flakiness. (Why nine and not ten reasons, you ask. Because even numbers hog the limelight way too often, that’s all.)
It has been a great party. Our site view stats have gone through the roof. We have more posts on Sungkyunkwan Scandal than on any other drama, ever. We’ve had a truck-load of squeeing fun. We’ve made lots of new friends. I’ve (co-)recapped my first series and found that it is hard work but fun. And Thundie still hasn’t fully recovered from the exertions of partying so hard.
We’ve decided, after all, not to (re-)recap episodes 17 to 20. We hope you are not too disappointed. But really, both of us have said pretty much all that we have to say. Between the Epic Review and the Live Recaps I think our work here is just about done.
Thundie has graciously allowed me to have the last word. We all know that the show really wanted to go for five more episodes, and indeed some of us feel that the story was wrapped up in unseemly haste. What if the story had unfolded as it should? (At least, as I think it should have…) Ladies and gentlemen, in lieu of an Episode 20 recap, I present:
SKKS: Serendipity’s Krazy Koncluding Scenario
Thundie’s Prattle is thrilled to roll out our second epic review. (The inaugural one is here.)
This time we have invited six fans of a drama that’s officially known as Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but which most of us prefer to call Joseon Crack, or Micky-Yoochun-I-Love-You!, or Give-Hottie-Yoo-Ah-In-The-Girl-Dammit! (or, to a smaller extent, Gu-Yong-Ha-Take-Me!).
All six reviewers share a few things in common: They adored the drama (for the most part), they spent more hours on it than they care to admit, and they are fabulous writers. Their reviews are long (so make yourself comfy) and honest (exceedingly so, because love isn’t blind). In a nutshell, a wonderful read that everyone will enjoy.
blue1004, dramaok, Lei, miss_tofu, momosan and Softy, thank you so much for being part of this epic review. SKKS brought us close and for that I will always be grateful.
I must also thank the following: ^L4uRa^, who created the lovely wallpaper that you see above. Serendipity, who partnered me (most doggedly!) in bringing you the SKKS recaps (and we’re not done, so please don’t leave us; we have four episodes left!). All the patients of our SKKS AA Hospital, and everyone who has laughed and cried us with us on this unforgettable journey.
This epic 20,700-word review is dedicated to all of you.
This is not really a recap, in the sense of a detailed description of what happened in SKKS16. Some of you may be new to Thundie’s Prattle, but our regular readers will know that Thundie and I prefer not to do “linear” or “straight” re-telling of stories. We present our personal take. Not quite a review, but not quite a recap either, and certainly opinionated and subjective. I should also add that Thundie does not edit my work and the views I express are entirely my own and do not reflect any “position” of Thundie’s Prattle.
Ready? Hang on to your hats! Let’s start with a confession: While I have enjoyed watching and recapping SKKS, I haven’t suffered an SKKS-induced lobotomy. Perhaps because I have so much affection for the show and its characters, I can’t ignore its flaws. I’m not fully devotedly blindly squeeing-ly 100% fangirlying, to be honest.
Hence I have come to Episode 16 with mixed feelings. I have been pretty on board with the OTP (“one true pairing”) and pretty on board with all SKKS has stood for (e.g., fan-servicey entertainment over hard logic). But I’m not beyond a bit of considered analysis. Especially when it comes to this pivotal episode, where the rubber hits the road, and where I feel that the show’s best aspects as well as some of its weak points surface. It’s as if I have a split personality with this episode: The Rabid Fangirl on the one hand, and the Disgruntled Detractor on the other.
Unless you have been living in a cave, you will know by now that Sungkyunkwan Scandal has aired its last episode (and that the best live recap party was hosted right here on Thundie’s Prattle). And if like half the k-drama-watching world you have already watched the ending, you may be asking yourself: What? Episode 15? Again?
Yes! Episode 15! Because this was a good one. And because we can’t let go of SKKS, we are going to revisit Episode 15 with our dear friends.
This last post is dedicated to all the Scandalers:
People asked me why I started doing recaps and translations all of a sudden for this drama. It’s hard to explain, but one day I just started to care. I wanted people to know how special this show was and I couldn’t wait a few days for them to find out on their own. Another reason is best summed up by this:
My favorite scene was when Yeorim tried to talk MJS out of going as HBS and MJS confessed to his friend that living wasn’t fun for him. That scene stayed with me because it encapsulated what Yoon Hee meant to MJS. She gave him purpose and meaning in life again. From watching MJS do everything he could to protect and cherish her, he gave me a reason to believe in love.
SKKS made us forget our own realities for a while. During that time, we could leave behind our own troubles and problems and step into their world. For that hour, we existed with them, we watched them grow, we watched them step out of their comfort shells to try on another and before we knew it, we began to care and then we started to care too much. Some of us lost sleep, some of us put our relationships at risk, some of us almost broke our refresh button, some of us had to go into hiding mode just to sneak away and watch this without our spouses knowing, and one of us got ulcers from stressing about writing these posts and doing well on the live recaps.
We fell in love deeper and deeper with SKKS and it reached an audience eager to embrace, eager to believe, and the drama hit its mark. With each great scene, it pulled us in and we discovered others who felt the same. Its reverberations could be felt throughout other countries and even managed to cross time zones and language barriers.
I used to go out of my way to avoid sageuk dramas. I didn’t have it in me to sit there for an hour feeling stupid, wondering why the rest of Korea heard the word “chun-ha” and recognized it as “Majesty” implicitly and I (no matter how hard I tried and focused) only heard “telephone” every single freaking time. Same goes for “ma-ma” (another word for “Majesty”). Watching grown men and women calling out “ma-ma” so much wore down my patience. Just try sitting through one episode of Dong Yi and tell me I am wrong.
I think my frustrations with sageuk dramas might stem from some very traumatic Korean sightseeing tours I went on as a kid. Every cousin or relative would drag me to yet another dull historical site or folk village and try to convince me to try “shee- kae (rice wine) and appreciate the charms of a rural village or force me to climb some steep godforsaken mountain to see a historical landmark I couldn’t even enjoy cuz I was all out of breath from the exertion. What they just didn’t get — and what I couldn’t even explain back then because I didn’t speak Korean — was that you can’t make people embrace their heritage when it was never a part of their lives growing up. No matter how many cultural places you drag them to or fill them up with traditional Korean food, it’s just not going to happen magically over night.
Or so I thought. What my cousins should have tried and would’ve worked foolproof was to show me this drama. Three stunning main leads with a posse of other cute guys, strong acting, endearing “never been seen before in other drama” antics with some angst throw in, and a well paced plot and and you’ve got my undivided attention. It totally made me forget I was watching a sageuk – I only remembered it from time to time when I heard someone say “Your Majesty”. Its cinematography left me spellbound at the beauty that surrounds SKK and made me fall in love again with Korea’s magnificent vistas. All of a sudden, an outdated way of speaking that I once dreaded sounded lyrical and poetic. It even changed my mind about hanboks (traditional Korean attire). I used to hate modeling them for college fashion shows on International Fair Day because I thought it made every woman look pregnant. Now I love its vibrant colors and intricate embroidery and I credit that appreciation to Yeorim for pulling off that look so well.
This drama gave me back a piece of myself I never realized was missing. It made me appreciate my heritage again and be proud to be Korean. And for that, I will always be grateful.