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My Favorite K-Dramas Ranked

Park Seo-joon happily thinking about dramas Just to keep a ranking of the shows I have blogged about...all subject to change:  MUST SEE SHOWS 1) Crash Landing On You : Just the perfect blend of comedy, drama, and romance with a narrative that sustains itself and interesting conversations about borders and separation. Characters and chemistry win the day. I can't imagine a more perfect pairing than Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin. 2) Mr. Sunshine : Strong historical drama focused on important issues but never losing sight of the personal connections between the characters and the impossible choices they face. So heartbreaking. 3)  Kingdom : A little bit of Shakespeare, a little bit of  Handmaid's Tale , and a whole lotta what-happens-when-your-leaders-care-more-about-preserving-their-power-than-serving-the-people." Apt for pandemic times. 4) Rookie Historian: Goo Hae-ryung: A mostly lighthearted meet-cute romance, with intriguing palace machinations that integrates Joseon politics

Pandemic Diary March 2021: Team Good Boy

Spring is springing and unlike last year which was a profoundly silent time…this year New York City is full of revving motorcycles.   My dearest friend from college had a baby and despite a long-ass labor everyone is okay.    I got my second vaccine dose and a small fever to go with it. But truly a mild reaction. I’m still not sure I am ready to be in the world. *************************** Start-Up When I first saw Kim Seon-ho in 100 Days My Prince , I was instantly drawn to him, but that TV show was less interested in his character than I was. Start-Up is a better showcase for his talents. The story involves two sisters who go to live with different parents when the parents divorce. Seo Dal-mi stays with her entrepreneurial father who is full of ideas but struggles to find success. Dal-mi’s grandmother (Kim Hae-sook) runs a corn dog stand and ends up giving shelter to an orphan, Han Ji-pyeong there. He has aged out of his orphanage and has nowhere to go—he’s not an adult,

Pandemic Diary February 2021: 12 Months of Blogging

It’s been a fucking year. And I don’t know what I am supposed to tell this pandemic diary…except I didn’t really think when this started, we’d get here. I started counting the days I had not been away from my house at the start of the pandemic truly thinking it would be about 3-months.  That was my first week thought. And now here we are…rounding the start of March again and all the anniversaries of this year of isolation are just awful. Somehow though, on the last weekend of February, I got my first vaccine shot.    I am panicked at both continuing to stay in my house all the time and venturing out further as the agoraphobia has set in. So yeah…a year trapped indoors will fuck with your brain. I also have managed to watch about 50 K-dramas in a year, so let's talk about my February shows.  *************************** Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth Thank god this show came into my life this month. I know a lot people were hitting a winter pandemic wall and I’d like to thin

Pandemic Diary January 2021: Monsters and Meanies

I felt oddly positive this month despite it getting colder and making it harder to socialize at all. Virus numbers were going up, but the vaccine roll-out began. Sure there was an insurrection, an impeachment, and an inauguration. We packed a lot into one month. But I felt a deep exhale with Trump leaving the White House.   Maybe my winter wall is coming and I will hit it. My cat bit me so badly at the end of the month I ended up at the doctor’s and on antibiotics because I could not move my wrist. So, it has not been all unicorns and rainbows. It has in fact been all fangs and trauma. As for my month of dramas, I am, for sure, drawn to stories where people are a little sad, a little messed up, a little lost, or struggling to find their way. This month I managed to find a bunch of those shows. Came across some actors new to me who I really liked but did not love all the stories being told.  *************************** Sweet Home This gory, violent allegorical ensemble drama ask

Pandemic Diary December: Getting Out of 2020

While the pandemic is far from over and our lives are not going to magically change as the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020, there is still something deeply satisfying with putting 2020 behind us. Maybe a mix of the vaccine news and just this turning the page has buoyed my spirits a bit. I also got super emotional over the announcement that Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin are dating. I think it has less to do with them personally and more to do with how much they got me through the early pandemic. I’m still not fully ready to write about it…but I leaned on  Crash Landing to survive March 2020. It was my lifeline and those performances mean a lot to me. I have returned to it many times over the year whenever I needed a little boost. I owe it a better piece of writing than this. But no matter, I am feeling grateful as we head into 2021. *************************** Descendants of the Sun  I was glad to finally see Descendants of the Sun in December. I get why this is a fan

Pandemic Diary November: Happy Birthday To Me

A birthday present to myself In March, I did not think I’d be having my November birthday during the pandemic. And yet, I did. Alone in my apartment. Eating a cupcake. Middle age is for sure here and with it came bifocals. Got a new pair of glasses which involved walking miles, up hill and down, back and forth through Queens, three times this month. Everything just takes more time and effort right now. Things have been hard. The aggregation of the past 8 months really caught up with me in November.   The election, non-election, election, my struggles in Korean class, unrelenting sadness, weight gain, time passing, time passing me by, and standing still all just weighed on me. Some haunting ghost leaves At some point, putting my life on hold for a year felt like no big deal and maybe even a welcome respite from the grind of what my everyday had become with 3 jobs. But as this birthday crept up on me, I started to panic about what losing this year meant. Because it’s not just one