Mary Stayed Out All Night: First Impressions (KBS2 2010)

There is no one with a completely objective ability to enjoy a drama. Beyond the one man’s trash is another man’s treasure saying, everyone subconsciously inserts their own experiences into any viewing, and out pops a litany of reactions from love to hate. From the most highbrow viewer to the least discerning watcher, I find myself encompassing the entire gamut of views depending on time, place, and weather. Yes, sunny days make me crave makjang dramas, and rainy days make me long for trendy rom-coms. Or is it the other way around?

Mary Stayed Out All Night (Marry Me, Mary! or M3) might as well hang a flashing neon sign on its head – enter all ye who wish to find the charming in the ridiculous, who wish to experience the addicting with the pedestrian. It forces me as a drama watcher to engage in an hour-long bout of bipolar discussion in my head twice a week. For a drama that is ultimately a confectionary treat, it sure fills me up just right.

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It’s Monday but where’s my Sungkyunkwan Scandal?

Are you like Soon-dol above? Clinging hard and refusing to let go? Wailing your head off because you’re back to hating Mondays?

Well, if it’s any consolation at all, here’s a post-SKKS poll to assuage (or aggravate) the pain somewhat. I call it the SKKS Silly Poll because… well, I hope its silliness will make you giggle a little and forget (momentarily) that Joseon Crack is over! Waaahhhhh!!

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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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Sageuk Awards

Was it six years ago? A man and a woman at night, she bleeding from a wound on her shoulder, he tending so gently to the wound. Their voices are as soft as the breeze is light. As they walk home afterwards, cherry blossoms flutter around them, like a million pink and white lights aglow in the dark.

Even now, six years later, I can’t speak of my first sageuk (Korean historical or period drama) without a lump suddenly forming in my throat. Damo changed my life, literally flinging me over the edge into the depths of kdrama addiction. It marked the beginning of a love affair that has continued to grow; both my top movie and drama are period ones and I don’t see any other genre coming along to topple them, in the foreseeable future or otherwise.

Damo stayed at the top of my favorites list for a long time, but the day finally came when I had to sadly acknowledge that another drama would take its place. So it has been, this game of musical chairs, this rotation of faves and favored. I’m not alone. One of the contributors to this post sent me this note along with her picks: “I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND.” (See how passionate we sageuk fans are? Haha.)

So here we are, a special post on my favorite genre. Six dear friends, all familiar names in the Kdrama community, responded enthusiastically to my invitation to participate in this poll of sorts. Nine categories in all (because it’s obvious thundie can’t count; she thought she listed ten), with picks that I’m sure will delight or dismay you. Wrapping up the post is a hilarious and insightful look at how sageuk and wuxia stack up against each other.

Many thanks (and cups of coffee) to ockoala (who wrote the sageuk/wuxia piece), dahee, dramaok, hjkomo, javabeans and His Grumpiness misterX. All of you inspire me every day to be a more discerning viewer.

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Favorite Female Roles (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of our Favorite Female Roles poll. (Part 1 is here. Please check out the Favorite Male Roles poll as well: Parts 1 and 2.)

I really like this second part because it allows me to pay tribute to one of the brightest lights in the Korean film industry. She has left us (a fact that still brings me to tears), but in my heart she is always here, illuminating our days with her sweetness, her grace, her strength, and the immense power of her acting.

We love you, Jang Jin-young.

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