2011 has made me ponder my relationship with K-drama. Why do I spend so much time watching? Why do I expend so much energy writing about it?
I’m in a contemplative mood at the end of 2011. Not because it has been a great year in k-drama for me, but because it’s been the worst year since I started watching in 2008. This is probably due to my taste shifting and my becoming somewhat more demanding of my k-dramas, but perhaps it’s also the case that 2011 really hasn’t been a vintage year. It was not altogether hopeless; there were enough wins to keep me from abandoning k-drama altogether. But it seems beyond doubt that for me the flush of k-drama first love, when anything might be forgiven, is long over.
This year has been a wild ride in k-dramaland. From the excesses of Secret Garden fandom to little shows popping up on new cable channels, it’s been interesting to say the least.
I made a list and checked it twice, and I was struck by the number of shows that I had watched at least part of and then bleached from my brain. Admittedly a couple of them ended in January, so I was thinking of them as last year’s shows, but still, that there is a whole lot of drama.
The pre-broadcast buzz surrounding The Duo (or Mate, MBC, Feb-May 2011) focused on the delectable prospect of Chun Jung Myung (or “PIE” to our fangirl club, short for “cutie-pie”) all gorgeously angsty in period garb and dashing about with a sword. But it wasn’t long before the chatter moved away from PIE and escalated to “OMG this is great!”, “Brilliant, brilliant writing”, and “It makes me feel so happy”. How did a mere PIE-vehicle turn into Drama of the Year? Let us share our joy; me, serendipity, and my friends momosan, Nimiwehy and nycgrl (plus, a short endorsement by Mr X himself):
With June drawing to a close, it’s time for us to look back at the dramas that aired in the first half of this year.
What were your favorites? Which ones made you paw the walls? Whose acting caused you to weep, whether out of delight or despair? Which couple did you watch ad nauseam, till your eyes glazed over permanently?
Last night I watched a drama that got me squealing with delight. No, it didn’t have a Kim Gab-soo or Yoo Ah-in, but what it did have was sageuk done right, serving up a compelling story, a wonderful cast, assured directing, and, seemingly in a class of its own, a superb music score.
Written by Kim Woon-kyung, who also wrote last year’s best short drama, My Sister’s March (more on this gem below), The Duo tells the story of how two baby boys born on the same night got switched, all because one runaway slave woman was desperate to give her newborn a shot at a life unthinkable for the dregs of Joseon society. As a result, a baby born of noble blood ends up in a beggar’s clan and grows up with the mistaken notion that a wet nurse, she serving the most influential noble in the district, is his mother.
Just two episodes of this 20-episode drama have aired so far and already they are fully subbed. Thundie’s Prattle would like to share download links with you and also tell you where to find the subs. As a bonus, you can download My Sister’s March as well.