What dramas did you enjoy watching in 2015?
Pride & Prejudice for sure. A careful plot having to do with probing into dark secrets of corruption that was actually intriguing with a tinge of romance for suckers like me. Come spring time, Unkind women, full of some quirky but endearing female characters played by some of the best actresses. Also a great way to capture many charms of Korea like its foods, street sides, and people. Heard it through the grapevine, such a well-made, classy television series of which I’d like to have a second season to find out how the little ones are faring in a new world they are helping to build. Another intriguing and distinctly Korean story crackled with stellar acting was The Village: Achiara’s secret. Don’t watch this show alone in dark. The Awl has to be the winner. This webtoon-inspired drama drawing from the 2003 labor dispute involving Carrefour and its supermarket workers was truly thought-provoking and well-executed despite the difficulties the theme presented. Lastly, what more can I say of Answer me 1988? It’s meant to make you feel warm and fuzzy – which it does very well.
What other dramas did you watch?
Healer, Punch, Producer, Assembly and High Society. I watched clips of She was pretty and Oh My Ghost. I didn’t get to watch any Hwang Jeong-eum shows, but I know she had a great year. Jingbirok and Six Flying Dragons seem like something that you’ve got to watch but their sheer length is a bit prohibiting. Heard some great things about Bubble Gum.
What variety shows did you enjoy watching in 2015?
Cheongchun FC Hungry Eleven for trying something new with integrity. Its creators did their best given the lack of control they had over the soccer players’ post-show career. The Genius: Grand Final brought back the best contests from previous seasons. Kudos for many exciting surprises. Watching these two shows from beginning to end made me think how much the variety genre would benefit if the shows could have a hiatus with different seasons.
I recently watched the first episode of the second season of I, Too, Am a Film Director on the CGV channel. The first episode is promising. I might watch the rest of the series.
Other shows you watched on and off?
Radio Star, Infinite Challenge, 1N2D, Return of Superman, Take care of my refrigerator, and Where is my friend’s home? It’s so hard for these shows to be consistently entertaining. Another reason for seasonal variety shows.
Instead of watching entire episodes, I watched clips of these shows, which were often more than enough: My Little Television, Mystery Music Show Mask King, Real Men, Sugar Man, and Hidden Singer.
What music did you enjoy listening to in 2015?
Contrary to the title of this blog, my lazy ass just sat around soaking in lots of Korean television rather than looking up music, with which you have to be a little more active because the freaking television doesn’t feed you a variety of music. Due to my laziness, I didn’t discover much new music this year. I don’t have a good sense of what’s hot, especially in K-indie. You’ll find other blogs much more helpful for getting music recommendations. I briefly scanned album reviews on two different music sites, and these are the people I’d love to check out in the near future: Cranfield, Trampauline, Kim Sa-wol, Deep Flow, Second Moon, Han Dol, and Goonamguayeoridingstella.
The few listens I had and enjoyed this year include G.Soul‘s two EPs and single album and F(x)‘s 4 Walls. Hyukoh was big and their music great. While IU ended the year on a troubling note, her accomplishment shouldn’t be reduced to nothing. Kim Mok-in‘s song New language had such sensible lyrics – things you’d wish for yourself. Park Si-hwan‘s Shout Out for the show The Awl was a great Kpop tune. LeeSA whom I stumbled upon on YouTube has a nice voice in the realm of Lim Kim. Other than that, I listened to Neon Bunny‘s Seoulight from 2011 and some of Park Ji-yoon‘s old songs a lot.
Hey otaku, sounds like you don’t have a life outside of K-world. What other K-stuff would you say you did in 2015?
I tried out Naver’s V app. I watched some episodes from documentary series. I watched few movies, including Twenty and Ode to My Father. I listened to podcasts of Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show, a CBS radio news program airing five days a week. I read Hang Kang’s moving novel from 2014 titled Here Comes the Boy and Kim Sum’s short story collection Noodles.
Feel free to share your 2015 K-stuff musings. Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!