Drama Musings: 1st Half of 2013

Was browsing through my blog archives last week and realised a drama entry/update is way way overdue …… given that the last drama-related entry was in August 2012 …… and only a quick mention of the Japanese drama ‘Love Generation’ which I finished later on in year 2012 ……

Did a quick think through and realised that I really only watched ONE Korean drama in this half of 2013! Considering that I previously chased dramas up to korean live schedule (recall: ‘Bridal Mask’, ‘Fashion King’, ‘Nice Guy’ –  gave up halfway despite the good reviews) – ONE drama is paltry right? By the way, reading through complete episode synopsis on Dramabeans (via iPhone) does not count as drama-watching as it is more of wanting to know what happens at the end that’s all ……

‘Yawang/Queen of Ambition’ gets the honour of the sole Korean drama that I have watched from beginning to end in this 1st half of year 2013! Thinking aback now, what ‘pushed’ me to persist with this drama from beginning to end (24 episodes in total) is probably the fact that it was hardly recapped by the internet communityout there (notably Dramabeans) …… Whereas post ‘Bridal Mask’, I gave up on ‘Nice Guy’ (2012 KBS drama) half-way since there’s not much point carrying on watching something when the ending is all out there on Dramabeans …… while hearing great things about ‘School 2013’ (Lee Jong Suk is riding such a huge wave of success right now as I write this), never even get started given that all 16 episiode recaps were out there on Dramabeans as well 😛

However after my Japan trip in December 2012, I did start to watch Japanese dramas more intensively again 😛 ….. Re-watched ‘Nagareboshi’ (2010 drama starring Yutaka Takenouchi & Ueto Aya – gorgeous sceneries of Enoshima, will make it there one day!) …… ‘First Love’ (old 2002 drama that was on my to-watch list long ago and rediscovered again post-trip) ……

After getting my iPad, went through a movie marathon (mainly Leslie Cheung movies and some HK movies) before getting started on the newer Japanese dramas – namely ‘Last Cinderella’ from the Spring 2013 season, ‘Zenkai Girl’ from the Summer 2011 season and currently have on my iPad ‘Saikou no Rikon’ from the Winter 2013 season …… I guess one advantage of Japanese dramas is that they are shorter overall (average 45 min per episode and 10-11 episodes in total) which make for breezier pre-bedtime watching as versus to Korean dramas which tend to get a bit overwrought with makjang/dramatic historics and at times some plot drags as scripts and drama itself are completed almost on-the-fly/close to live broadcast …… ‘Yawang’ definitely was guilty of this plot drag and some pretty illogical writing towards the end despite the fact that Soo Ae did give a steaming performance as a villan-ness per se …… Also, with declining interest in all things Korean (KPop included), it may also explain why I am watching lesser Korean dramas these days ……

Also, at times, good ratings ≠ good/enjoyable drama. ‘Last Cinderella’ was a strong case in point. Despite doing well for Fuji Television after some middling ratings from the past few drama seasons, I for one think this drama was over-rated big time. Started on it intiitally based on great reviews from Couch Kimchi …… As I gradually caught up to live schedule (confirms that one is more interested in seeing through the drama till the end if on live schedule since there are no spoilers to fall back on + the excitement and suspense of knowing the ending makes things very compelling), started reading negative comments on plot pacing and script on Couch Kimchi as well. Chose to ignore it initially in order not to spoil my enjoyment of the drama …… but it was all painfully apparent and it was pretty much a torturous march towards the ending (episode 11). Responded by deleting all episodes on my iPad after finishing the series (to make room for better dramas) and sorry Miura Haruma fangirls – his acting is average at best!

Whereas ‘Zenkai Girl’  was much more enjoyable (in my opinion) despite the simple and ordinary plot. Where acting is concerned, it is competent with a lot of heart …… Despite reading quite a number of gossip articles depicting Ryo Nishikido as pretty much a douchebag in real life, at the bare minimum, this guy can act. And I like the fact that the heroine (Yui Aragaki) has her own journey of growth towards discovering what she truly values and wants out of her life. Check out the synopsis here courtesy of Koala’s Playground ……

Am on ‘Sakon no Rikou’ now after some very positive reviews at another drama blog – http://jdramas.wordpress.com/category/dramas/saikou-no-rikon/ ….. Another well regarded drama (acting and plot wise) despite average ratings when 1st shown. Will be ‘fairer’ to give my thoughts on it after finishing off the entire series ……..

So that sums up the ‘drama’ for 1st Half of 2013!

P/S: Before I forget, discovered this website which lists the filming locations of J-Dramas dating back to as early 90s. This is just wow!


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