Emperor of the Sea: Episode 2

Two episodes in and I know I don’t want to marathon this drama in a hurry. I want to savor it slowly, like one drinking in the view from a mountain peak.

The cinematography blows me away. From the arid plains in Episode 1 to the verdant hills in Episode 2, I lose count of the number of times I’ve paused in mid-watch to sigh, “Show, you are breathtakingly beautiful.” Yet at no time do I feel that the beauty is there merely for display and for me to gawk at. The camera never lingers longer than necessary; the backdrops never distract.

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Emperor of the Sea: Episode 1

Why an older drama like Emperor of the Sea? Isn’t that a 2004 production?

Guilt, first of all. That three-volume set sitting on the shelf and looking all forlorn whenever I walk past. How many years has it sat there?

And giddy anticipation. Because ever since I found this when I was looking for a suitable image for the Titans on our screen page, I’ve been antsy. Can’t wait to watch him!

So did he make an appearance in Episode 1?

He did. Even the lizards in my room squealed when he appeared. But you should see the lizards’ reaction and mine when Brad Pitt’s two lady loves, one current and one former, popped up on the screen.

C’mon, be serious.

I kid you not. At first I thought I was seeing things, but when they appeared one after another and then stood side by side (ready to scalp each other), every doubt dissolved and I about fell off my chair. Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. In a sageuk!

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My fat suit is fatter than yours

The name’s Karl. Karl Go. Male lead character in Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung. What do you mean, you’ve never heard of my drama? Fine, I’ll concede that quality-wise we rank way down the pecking order in that year of sterling offerings, but I’ll have you know my drama boasts something that none of the other 2007 dramas can lay claim to.

A fat suit.

Sure, I looked like Barney the Purple Dinosaur in my fat suit, but is that my fault? Damned budget cuts eating into my prosthetic makeup and causing me to look like someone dunked my head into a tub of violet-red paint. Still, I was king of the kdrama fat suit and reigned without a rival for four heady years.

And then Romance Town (2011) came along. HE came along. Waaahhh!!!

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[Epic review] Joseon X-Files: Secret Book

The invitation went out and quickly met with mixed response.

One pal claimed he had retired as a pundit, but I suspect the real reason is because his cat’s fur stood on end every time the drama was playing in the room. (Dogs just lick you silly but cats see things that the human eye can’t.) Another pal thought she could evade the invite by distracting me with a bunch of Micky Yoochun clips. (She succeeded because I forgot to send her the question.) A third pal developed a strange rash that necessitated a trip to the hospital. (Apparently too much squealing over one Kim Gab-soo can do weird things to your body.) The fourth dropout (thundie) professed being so busy she could barely breathe, but of course the truth was that the drama made her feel all kinds of dim. (Dumbstruck with wonder but still dim; she didn’t get the ending at all.)

So only four reviewers remained for our third epic review this year. Wild applause, please, for langdon813, momosan, ockoala and Serendipity! With their usual eloquence and erudition, they have bravely attempted to answer the following question:

Solve this mystery: How did a little-known cable drama nudge its way past this year’s stellar offerings to become the best of them all?

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SKKS: Serendipity’s Krazy Koncluding Scenario


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

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[Epic review] Sungkyunkwan Scandal

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.

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 16



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.

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