Road No. One: Episode 2 – A Shorter Recap

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I think I now understand why some bloggers continue recapping dramas they disdain. Some strange bond forms between recapper and drama, even the risible drama. (Stockholm Syndrome? Morbid fascination?) So it is that no sooner had I recovered from the exertion of recapping Episode 1 of Road Number One (or R#1) to death than I watched Episode 2.

To save my sanity (and yours) however, I have sworn off the compulsive, anal nearly-12,000-words-and-topping-150-screen-caps recap. Instead, I present to you: The 2,222-word Recap of Episode 2!

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Road Number One Recap: Episode 1

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This is a recap of the first episode of Road Number One (“R#1”) in that I shall be doing my best to describe the episode as it unfolds. Do be warned, however, that it will be much in the nature of a review in that I’m not going to be holding back my opinion. Just so you know. If you think you may be offended by opinion, read no further. In point of fact, any re-telling of a story must come from a subjective viewpoint, and for me the whole point of a recap is to see a show through someone else’s lens. If I wanted a pure and unadulterated version of the show I’d just watch it!

All set? Here we go!

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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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Shin Don

Here’s the drama that I love to the moon and beyond. I previously wrote about it here.

Shin Don is many things to me, but above all it is a love story. It is about a king’s love for a country that once abandoned him. It is about this king falling in love with a woman who should rightly be a foe. It is about this woman loving him back with a devotion and ferocity that will rip your heart out. (And dang, just writing the above line brings instant tears. When will I ever recover from you, Shin Don?)

It is about a charlatan monk, with a wretched past, who will lay down his life for his king. It is about the monk’s sharp-tongued master, who sees beyond the visceral, who makes my heart hurt because I love him so much. It is a tale peopled by characters so flawed, so human, so unforgettable your heart soars when you see them in another drama.

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