The doctor is in

Doc: Shouldn’t it be “The Doctor is JIN”?

Ha-eung: Sure, sure. There’s a 100-nyang bounty on your head, but we’re not at all worried about that, are we? Why don’t you just march to the police bureau and give yourself up? Save the officers there the trouble of hunting for you. In fact, I might as well take you there myself now.

Doc: All right, no need to flap; it was just an innocent question. Back where I come from, it’s basic courtesy to tell people your name.

Ha-eung: I don’t know what backward village you hail from, but over here you lie low and stay out of trouble, you hear? You treat the people who come, I collect the payment, and together we…

Doc: But I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m neurosurgeon Dr. Jin Hyuk!

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Finds (of the fair and K kinds)

A strange thing happened to me in May. And it’s got nothing to do with the six new dramas that began airing that month. (It has, however, affected how I watch those dramas.)

I’ve become a face watcher. Specifically male faces. Specifically actors’ faces. I lean close and stare. I study every inch; I check even the earlobes. And then I lean back and announce my verdict to the lizards in my room. (Well, to the remaining two whose reptilian hearts overflow with pity for me.) Triumphantly, because I have a point to prove, I say aloud:

“Close enough but not quite. He’s still fairer.”

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Revisiting old favorites

As you can tell from my previous post, I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic lately. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the hours I spend watching or reading about the manifold tribulations in Japan and feeling sorrowful and overwhelmed. My mind drifts easily when I’m in a pensive state, flitting from one thing to another, and it takes me to places that I wasn’t planning on visiting.

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Time between Dog and Wolf

(thundie: I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce my first guest blogger, ockoala, whom some of you know from the Dramabeans’ Open Threads. Please welcome her!)

For the Love of Woof-Woof:

Before diving right in, namely, to talk about one of my favorite k-dramas, I want to thank Thundie for honoring me with an invitation to write a guest post on her blog. I’ve been reading Thundie’s Prattle for almost as long as I have been watching k-dramas. Never in a million years did I imagine a day would come when I can contribute and give back to the world of k-dramas through Thundie’s Prattle. Thundie, and all the dedicated, thoughtful, and prolific writers who spread knowledge and enjoyment of k-dramas worldwide, are an inspiration to me. I am beyond excited to take a tiny step in their direction.

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Favorite Male Roles (Part 1)

Today’s a wonderful day because one of my favorite stars was discharged from the army. It makes me so happy to know he’s back!

I’ve been thinking about Chun Jung-myung all day and revisiting memories of his past roles. Which of those have I loved the most? One thing led to another and I thought, “Hey, let’s have a poll!” The last (and only) poll on the blog was so very long ago.

Here in random order (except for the first one because today is his day; welcome back!) are twenty actors and seven of their most recent or most prominent roles. Some of them I love ardently, some of them you love ardently. All of them are familiar names, I’m sure.

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Sympathy for second fiddles

If you’re in the midst of watching Stairway to Heaven (2003) and are rooting for Han Tae-hwa (Shin Hyun-joon) to win the girl, don’t.

None of the guys in this post gets the prize they most covet: their beloved. Consider that your Wet Blanket Statement of the Week.

Not all kdramas feature a love triangle (or quadrangle). But for those that do, it’s almost a sure bet that the ones playing second fiddles will not emerge victorious. Still, that does not stop many of us from fervently hoping the tide will finally turn in our favorite second fiddle’s favor. Even after getting our hopes crushed multiple times, we still believe there’s a writer out there farsighted enough to write a different ending for the traditional loser. Haha.

This post is for all the second fiddles in our kdramas, who are left with nothing in the end but heartache. Most of the ones here I have loved ardently, a few I have heaped venom on. All of them deserve our sympathy. (Or perhaps not.)

Let’s start with my Numero Uno Detesto. (Excuse the mangled Spanish, but you get the gist.)

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King and the Clown

The first time I watched King and the Clown (2005), it was on a tiny screen with turbulence and frequent reminders to “Please fasten your seat belts.” The movie was enjoyable enough, rocky flight notwithstanding. I giggled at the antics of the clowns, cringed at the king’s unpredictable mood swings, cried in the sad scenes, and when it was over, pronounced myself content. It didn’t blow me away, but I could see why it was breaking all the records.

Then I landed, battled jet lag, and a few days later, watched the extended version in my scrumptious worth-every-penny Special Edition set. The next day, a dull ache settled in my heart and refused to leave. My eyes were unusually watery, as if a cold was creeping up. The movie rewound itself endlessly in my head, the images mostly of Gong-gil (Lee Jun-ki) and Jang-saeng (Gam Woo-sung), and of their relationship which could not be categorized or neatly explained.

Paternal love? Brotherly bond? Homoerotic underpinnings? Or just a strong friendship? What was it and what were they? Most importantly, did it matter?

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