Mid-Year Report Card (Part 2)

Okay! Now that we’ve sussed out the best/worst kdrama offerings for the first half of this year, it’s time to check out the lead performances and everyone’s favorite topic: the OTPs!

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Sympathy for second fiddles

If you’re in the midst of watching Stairway to Heaven (2003) and are rooting for Han Tae-hwa (Shin Hyun-joon) to win the girl, don’t.

None of the guys in this post gets the prize they most covet: their beloved. Consider that your Wet Blanket Statement of the Week.

Not all kdramas feature a love triangle (or quadrangle). But for those that do, it’s almost a sure bet that the ones playing second fiddles will not emerge victorious. Still, that does not stop many of us from fervently hoping the tide will finally turn in our favorite second fiddle’s favor. Even after getting our hopes crushed multiple times, we still believe there’s a writer out there farsighted enough to write a different ending for the traditional loser. Haha.

This post is for all the second fiddles in our kdramas, who are left with nothing in the end but heartache. Most of the ones here I have loved ardently, a few I have heaped venom on. All of them deserve our sympathy. (Or perhaps not.)

Let’s start with my Numero Uno Detesto. (Excuse the mangled Spanish, but you get the gist.)

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Conspiracy in the Court

What did I do after I watched Conspiracy in the Court (a.k.a. Hansungbyulgok a.k.a. Seoul’s Sad Song, 2007)? Went down on my knees and whispered, “Thank you, KBS, for the DVD.”

Because to own this, to be able to look at and hold it, somehow makes it all tangible. Because I can’t tell you how many times I pinched myself, disbelieving that I had watched the most exquisite of sageuks (period dramas). I thought surely something so underrated (6% average ratings) would not see a DVD release. And with English subtitles, too!

Only eight episodes and yet more intense and complex than sageuks five times its length, Conspiracy in the Court is a thrilling whodunit, a compelling love story, a political duel, a social commentary.

The first episode left me breathless. Characters flit in and out of buildings, a murder takes place and then another, darkness veils the perpetrators, events unfold so fast I could barely keep up. In fact I was so lost I had to pause the video midway so that I could go on the Internet to find a (spoiler-free) synopsis of the drama.

After that bewildering first episode, Episode 2 took me completely by surprise.

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Two-word Sunday: Jin Yi-han

Meet Jin Yi-han.

I first saw him in Mixed-up Investigative Agency, a little quirky gem of a drama, where he appeared in just one episode. Then I watched him again, as lead actor this time, in another 2007 gem, Conspiracy in the Court. The drama was perfect, and he was one of the reasons that made it so; there was just something so sweet and pure about his character. And his acting… Ah, such amazing and unforgettable acting indeed. He was the only reason why I decided to watch the 2008 drama Who Are You.

(By the way, don’t let this first image deceive you. He’s really a lamb. Check out the other pics to know what I mean.)

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