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!!!

Continue reading

Favorite Female Roles (Part 1)

Here is Part 2 of our Favorite Roles poll. Part 1 is here.

Twenty actresses and seven of their most recent or most famous roles. (They must have at least seven to qualify for this poll. Sorry, Yoon Eun-hye.) Again, in random order except for the one who reigns deservedly at the top: Korea’s first win at Cannes for Best Actress.

Continue reading

He Who Can’t Marry: Episodes 1-2

A few preambles before we plunge into the post proper.

First, I’ve just realized that KBS has opted for a less wordy rendition of the title. Instead of The Man Who Can’t Get Married (my previous post on this drama), it’s a more succinct He Who Can’t Marry. I’m all for reducing wordiness (not that I’ve been practising it in my recent posts, alas), so the new title is nice. But my favorite title is still the one coined by my friends: Kimchi Kekkon. A really apt nickname for the drama considering how similar this one is to the J-version.

Second, although the title of the post suggests otherwise, this isn’t a recap. I’m not including screencaps (which instantly saves me several hours) and I won’t go into details of plot developments. It’s really a (ranty) First Impressions piece.

Final preamble. I will make constant mention of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, the Japanese drama on which He Who Can’t Marry is (completely) based.

Let’s begin with a quick summary of the first two episodes and the main roles.

Continue reading

Anticipating The Man Who Can’t Get Married

As recently as two weeks ago, I had little interest in the upcoming Korean drama The Man Who Can’t Get Married. Then over the weekend I watched a Japanese dorama that my pals were raving about. Now I can’t wait for June to roll around.

Unlike many people, I’m not at all worried that The Man Who Can’t Get Married might be a sorry remake of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko. Whatever happens, I know it will never be as good. You can’t beat perfection.

Ji Jin-hee will play Abe Hiroshi‘s lead role. He will be Cho Jae-hee, the K-version of Kuwano Shinsuke, whom I adore to itty-bitty bits. Somehow the name doesn’t seem fitting, immediately conjuring up images of a youngish person (like a certain actor now in the army?). How about the name Kwang-ho instead? That’s close enough to Kuwano, isn’t it? Haha.

So, on one hand I want Jae-hee to be as similar to Kuwano as possible. On the other hand, I don’t want a remake to spoil Kuwano’s characterization, to exaggerate his eccentricity and turn him into a caricature of a fussy and aging bachelor. That can happen, because Kuwano possesses so many quirky traits.

Continue reading

Marriage is a Crazy Thing

marriagecrazything11

For some reason I was expecting this to be a really sleazy film with little artistic merit but I was very pleasantly surprised. I found Marriage is a Crazy Thing to be a thoughtful and fascinating study of human nature. I liked the languid pace and relative lack of melodrama – the whole movie played out like a real relationship with its moments of ups and downs.

Joon-yeong (Gam Woo-sung) is a part-time professor of English Literature at a university (this fact immediately scored major brownie points, ha!). He’s the oldest among three siblings and the only one unmarried. His mom is naturally extremely worried about his single status.

marriagecrazything2

One day, his good friend fixes up a blind date for him. Joon-yeong’s first date with Yeon-hee (Uhm Jung-hwa) is as tentative and tiresome as blind dates go, with each party warily sizing up the other and making feeble small talk. Before the night is over, however, both of them end up in a motel and in bed together. Thus begins the story of their relationship.

Continue reading