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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The Return of Iljimae

Due to a prolonged bout of allergic conjunctivitis (non-contagious, but oh, so annoying!), I’ve not been able to do any writing. (My eyes didn’t like my last blog piece, on Chuno, and staged a mini mutiny, causing me to look like Dracula’s bride for days. That also explains why that review feels truncated; it was just too painful, literally, to continue.) Who knew the new constant in my life would be eye drops and daily pleas of “Go away, pollen!”?

I’m still watching dramas, albeit at a snail’s pace (and on the TV rather than computer; it’s kinder to my eyes that way). A few days ago, I started a drama that several pals had been raving about last year; I instantly liked what I saw.

A Kim Min-jong standing unseen outside the room of his beloved made my heart ache for some reason; I know I’m going to root fiercely for this couple. I hurt again when Iljimae (Jung Il-woo) met his real dad for the first time and was unceremoniously rejected, a second abandonment. The first rejection led to him becoming an unwitting seafarer (or riverfarer, to be more precise). In a scene so picturesque it was like gazing at a watercolor painting, our wee Iljimae floated down the river on a basket before he was rescued. I had to pause to take a screencap, so transfixed was I by the beauty before me.

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Best and Worst Dramas (Part 7): 2009

I know. I know what you’re thinking.

“HELLO! It’s not even December and you want us to vote for the 2009 dramas? Getting carried away with this poll thingy, are you?”

Wait, hear me out. I know it’s early, but depending on which spot on the planet you’re planted, December is just 1-2 days away, anyway. Also, some of you made up your minds long ago (woohoo, City Hallers!) and have been waiting for a poll like this, right? (Excuse me, Ms. Thundie, we’re not poll-crazy like you!)

I’ve been checking the voting for the 2003-2008 polls and reading your comments. The results have been interesting, with some dramas leading both the best and worst categories! In about 2-3 weeks I would like to write up a special summary post on the Best and Worst Dramas of 2003-2009. Instead of the seven-year itch, this will be the seven-year pitch where I’ll pitch (on your behalf, because you’re the ones who voted) for the best dramas.

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