There was a time when heroines in stories were damsels in distress who cried for their “perfect” and “flawless” Prince Charmings and Knights in Shining Armor to save them, sweep them off their feet and ride into the sunset.
When this became too much of a cliché, we finally got our strong female leads; a step up from the singing, weeping walking mess of the old century. Yes, they still needed a bit of saving from their counterparts who were still often good at everything, but at least they didn’t need them so much anymore to steer their character developments.
When the times changed yet again and gender equality came through, storytellers gave us the ultimate ‘Alpha’ women and femme fatales. Ladies who were so amazing men fall to their feet declaring their love for them instead of the other way around–but they would end up with the ‘Alpha’ males, naturally.
But we, the readers/listeners/watchers are fickle. Storytellers know that. They have to mix and match to catch our ever-changing tastes. And in this era where we have almost seen it all, they have very little choice left but bring characters home to what is more relatable—because whether we like to admit it or not, most of the time, we–the readers/listeners/watchers–become them, the characters to where we most fit.
Which now brings us to Hwarang.
It’s not the best of dramas, obviously. It’s mediocre at best, however I am glad the writers were unafraid to keep their characters’ dynamic a bit away from what’s mainstream…and that’s what makes it enjoyable to watch.
It’s always refreshing to see characters who are seriously flawed…
Ah Ro | street-smart and endearing but cries at absolutely the tiniest things.
Moo Myung a.k.a. Sun Woo | handsome and loyal but is pretty much uneducated and generally untalented.
Soo Ho | the beautiful flirt but who’s supposedly stupid
Ban Ryu | the intelligent one but totally sucks at music
…or when the Alpha characters don’t always get what they want…and are found wanting…
Sam Maek Jong a.k.a. Ji Dwi | he is “king" but doesn’t get the girl
Princess Sook Myung | perfect as main lead, but isn’t one
…meanwhile still not forgetting to put in the favorite fluffs we often see in shows we love…
Soo Yeon | the bestfriend who talks a lot
Han Sung | the precious cinnamon roll who most of us think will die in the end just because. Lol.
Yeo Wool | the neutral but mysterious character—who we are willing to trade for Han Sung for the death part. Lol.
And lastly, it’s quite noteworthy that the writers managed to tie together all the characters well, from the principal to the cameos. It’s not perfect, yes, but we must remember that this show is —
…not about Ah Ro and Dog Bird’s love story
…not about Dog Bird’s secret past
…not about King Jinheung and his journey to the throne
…not about Min Ho’s infatuation with the Queen
…not about Soo Yeon’s star-crossed love story with Ban Ryu
…not about whether Yeo Wool and Han Sung is a ship worthy of sailing :)))
No..at least, not only.
It’s about the coming together of The Hwarang, a true event romanticized with all of the above fictional storylines for our enjoyment–with every single character essential in the storytelling.
“Love as much as you can while you’re alive. after you die like this, you can’t go anywhere together. you can’t touch. And you can’t confess either. so when you’re alive, love as much as you can. Go to places where you want to go. Eat whatever you want to eat. If you love someone, until your lips wear out, tell him that you love him.” - Mimi (미미)
There have been a lot of news of different dramas coming up on our screens lately, all with actors and actresses that I am really fond of, so here is a list of 5 dramas that I’m really excited about!
1. Uncontrollably, Fondly starring Kim Woo Bin and Suzy - July 2016
I have had this drama on my radar since it was first announced. I’ve been dying to see Kim Woo Bin as the lead character in a drama and my wishes have been answered. The story seems quite typical as it talks about a man and a woman who met and got separated as children who meet again once adults. The big plus? The 100% pre-produced drama comes from the writer of The Innocent Man, Will it snow for Christmas? A Love to Kill and Sorry, I love you…to name a few.
2. W - The Two Worlds starring Han Hyo Joo and Lee Jong Suk - July 2016
This drama comes from the wonderful writer behind one of my favorite drama of all times Queen In Hyun’s Man…needless to say I have to watch it. Add Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo, for whom it’s her first drama in 6 years, in the mix and I am sold. According to the reports it is a “fantasy romance between a man and a woman living in two parallel universes existing concurrently in present-day Seoul.” I’m not sure exactly how the parallel universe is going to be introduced but considering it isn’t the first try of the writer in this genre I have high hopes.
3. Jealousy Incarnate starring Gong Hyo Jin and Jo Jung Suk - August 2016
You may have heard about this drama thanks to the fight between SBS and KBS regarding the broadcasting rights which ultimately went to SBS. The story takes place in the competitive world of a broadcasting station and depicts the love between an anchorman and a weather caster. I think both Jo Junk Suk and Gong Hyo Jin have what it takes to pull off their characters, I just hope the later’s character won’t be anything similar to Ji Hae Soo in It’s Okay It’s Love which I hated.
4. The Legend of The Blue Sea starring Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho - October 2016
Announced a couple of days ago, The Legend of the Blue Sea is apparently on its way to break records already. Despite not knowing much about the project, aside the fact it is inspired by the Little Mermaid (the real story not the Disney one), China is already offering huge amount of money to secure the broadcasting rights! I do understand them as the project comes from none other than Park Ji Eun the writer behind You Who Came From the Stars, which is actually the main reason I want to watch this drama.
5. Hwarang: The Beginning/ The Beautiful Knights starring Park Seo Joon and Go Ara - 2016
Well have you seen this first drama poster? I am sure each of us will find a reason in it to watch the drama. Mine? Definitely Park Seo Joon, I love him so much. Hwarang tells the story of an elite group of male youth during the Kingdom of Silla. Believe it or not I’m actually curious to see the drama because of the era it takes place in. I don’t recall watching any drama who aren’t set during th Goryeo or Joseon dynasty.
Bonus: My Sassy Girl starring Joo Won - 2017
Probably Joo Won’s last project before enlistment, My Sassy Girl is a sageuk remake of the 2001′s movie of the same name. I did previously mentioned my happiness about Joo Won trying a sageuk drama so I really can’t wait. The drama has already brought in a lot of attention as a thousand women took part in the auditions process to be the next Sassy Girl. The drama isn’t due until early 2017 and I am already counting the days!
There’s actually a lot more dramas in my list but I try to narrow it down to my 5 that I really can’t wait for. And you which drama are you waiting for?
It’s Children’s Day in South Korea (May 5) and to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of 30 of the hottest, young K-drama stars under 30 in Korea right now and their childhood photos to track where all that talent and looks came from!