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A treat for Romance Lovers

 
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Estelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 337
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: A treat for Romance Lovers Reply with quote

I've been giving romance books the cold shoulder for the past year because I could find nothing that really satisfied me. I don't think I'm jadded because I can still enjoy really good books. It's just that I've been disappointed by the flood of mediocre books on the market and their high prices.

So I've been turning to other avenues to satisfy my romance needs until the love for the romance genre comes back and I've found some wonderful stuff.

My most precious discovery: Asians dramas. They're truly romance books brought to the screen with the visuals of the best movies and the length of a TV series to develop the stories and the characters. An average length for a Korean drama for exemple would be 16 episodes of 60 minutes each. Another common length would be 20 or 24 episodes of 60 minutes. You also have the epics that are 50, 60 or even 80 episodes long but I confess I never had the courage to start any of them.

They're not very well known in western culture but they deserve to be and I am certain that romance readers would absolutely love them.

You can find all your favorite genres: historicals, contemporaries, fresh and funny, heavy on the angst, a mix of action and romance, psychological thrillers, parodies etc...You name it, they have it.

Some of these dramas can be bought in boxed sets with english subtitles but the vast majority of them are unlicensed and can be watched legally on the internet thanks to teams of devoted fans who bring us english subtitles.

I thought I would share a few music videos of some of my favorite dramas with you to see if anyone here would be interested. If a drama interests you, I can give more details about it and direct you to sites where you can either watch it of buy the dvds.

I can't seem to embed the videos directly into the page so I'm posting links unfortunately. If anyone knows how to embed videos on this message board, I would appreciate the help.

*Chuno / Slave Hunters Category: historical, Romance/Action. This drama is currently running (we're up to episode 8 ) and it's unbelievably gorgeous. A nobleman who has lost everything became a cynical slave hunter so that he may be able to search for the woman he's loved all his life but who was a slave. Opposite him we have a former general turned slave because he was betrayed and accused of treason. Dae Gil, our slave hunter, has been ordered to capture the ex-general and tracks him relentlessly without knowing that the woman he's been looking for all this time is traveling with him.

The Opening of the drama:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr3fseA-V2M

MV about the chase between hunter and hunted:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEfaDwPDKP8

Romantic MV:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XqwvPLrBco




*You're Beautiful Category: contemporary, fresh and funny, cross-dressing. A gentle parody of idols group in Korea. This drama takes all the romance clichés of cross-dressing stories and turn them on their heads. It's hilariously funny and touching at the same time. I love the grouchy hero with his OCD disorder and his outrageous wardrobe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asPnC9WmSW4





*Hong Gil Dong: Category: Historical, Romance/Action. It's Korea's very own Robin Hood. One of my favorite dramas. A love triangle to die for.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bOpmdHIA0I



*Mawang/The Devil. Category:"soft" psychological thriller with one of the best romances I've ever seen. It's poignant, understated and very victorian in its portrayal. It's the kind of drama where every word counts and when you get the big picture only little by little. It's fascinating. Short Synopsis: A lawyer and detective work on a mysterious case concerning a killer who sends tarot cards to his victims.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYYVcB7LeuQ



*Capital Scandal. Category: historical, romance, action. Korea in the 1930s and chaffing under Japan's rule. Rebels are on the move. The person who made the MV I'm going to post a link to described it as "Guns, hot people and swingdancing! ". She's got it in one. That's exactly what this drama is about. The subject matter is kind of dark but there is still plenty of humor in this drama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmJwQEGH1XI




*Tamra the Island. Category: historical, sweet and funny. The lives of villagers of Jeju Island are disturbed by the arrival of a noble from the capital who has been banished there as a punishment for his crimes. He starts his own investigation when the tribute the islanders have to collect for the mainland keeps getting stolen. The heroine is the daughter of the Chief Diver and his always butting head with the exile. She finds a shipwrecked foreigner on the beach one day and takes care of him, dreaming of leaving her life of drudgery on the island.

General:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_0I4wH1HWI

Funny Tamra video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhEFc8KU5wc

I hope you'll find something to like in my selection. Asian dramas are really a romance reader's dream come to life.
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Jean Wan AAR



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know the massively long Korean TV movie (like, 20 DVDs or something) that takes place during imperial Korea and features a heroine who becomes a cook in the imperial palace? Don't ask me what it's called, cause I only know it in Chinese. But fabulous kitchen scenes, and a darn good romance too.
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Mingqi



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

omg, i LOVE Asian dramas, especially the korean ones. I'm currently watching Wish Upon a Star (also titled Pick the Stars, Stars Falling from the Sky). It's about a young woman whose parents were suddenly killed in a car accident and now has to take care of her 5 younger adopted siblings. Since they are poor and their do-gooder parents had somehow sold their insurance to help someone poorer than they were, the kids lose their home. So the heroine starts working temporarily as a maid for the cold guy she used to like. The first episode depicts her as a horribly selfish daughter, but she grows up after her parents were killed.

I agree that asian dramas are like a romance goldmine. I haven't really been into reading many romance novels lately but I have been watching dramas like crazy. And asian dramas often have these great soundtracks to accompany the mood of the story.

out of the dramas you listed, I had watched You're Beautiful, Hong Gil Dong, and part of Tamra. loved it. loved it. and waiting for the uncut version to come out (the show got a bunch of material towards the end axed because of low ratings)

I have to add to your list

9 end 2 outs (2 outs in the 9th inning): a drama abt best friends who fall in love. It's pretty low-key, but well-written. I always recommend this one to people because it's less fairy-tale like than the other dramas.

Delightful Girl Chunhyang: a modern retelling of the korean folktale. It spans about 8-10 years of the characters' lives. It features a poor, but very intelligent heroine who falls for the rich, silly troublemaker. The actor has a great gift for comedic timing and expression.

My Girl: funny, con-artist heroine is hired to pretend to be the long-lost granddaughter of the stiff hero's grandfather.

My Name is Kim Samsoon: a slightly chubby and very outspoken 30-year old pastry chef finds love with a younger man. This one is really popular for its depiction of the romantic plight of korean women in their 30s. One of the few dramas that doesn't turn the other woman in the love square into an unlikable villain.

City Hall: an amazing drama abt love and politics. The heroine is an average low-level civil servant who works her way up to become a beloved mayor. The hero is a high-level bureaucrat who had been aspiring to a major govt position, but was exiled by his powerful father to be deputy mayor of a provincial town. Their life philosophies clash, but they still manage to fall in love.

Jean Wan AAR wrote:
Do you know the massively long Korean TV movie (like, 20 DVDs or something) that takes place during imperial Korea and features a heroine who becomes a cook in the imperial palace? Don't ask me what it's called, cause I only know it in Chinese. But fabulous kitchen scenes, and a darn good romance too.


Maybe it's Dae Jang Geum. I think she became a royal cook first and then a royal physician?
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Estelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 337
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe it's Dae Jang Geum. I think she became a royal cook first and then a royal physician?


That's the one I was thinking about too. I haven't watched it but I've heard about it. Wasn't it the drama that brought Saeguk back in fashion? Jean Wan, does that name ring a bell?



Mingqi, It's great to find another drama addict here Very Happy My Girl is one of my favorite dramas. I didn't want to make the list too long and already had You're beautiful in the "funny contemp" category but I definitely thought about including an MV about it. I just love YooRin, her unabashed love for money, the little cons she runs and the way she knows how to hide her pain. I just thought that the drama went a bit downhill in the last two episodes with the grandpa thing. I wanted to bash him on the head and shake YooRin. But I've noticed that Kdramas are still big on the respect of the elders thing. Still, an excellent drama. Funny and touching. The stick in the mud hero is to die for too.

I watched Delightful Girl (I'm eating my way through the Hong Sisters drama backlist and can't wait for their next release) but I didn't really like it. I couldn't stand the storyline between the hero and his first love. Darn, I couldn't stand the hero full stop. I was rooting for the other guy, even if he bordered on psychotic sometimes.

I've heard a lot of good things about My Name is Kim Samsoon and City Hall and they're on my list of dramas to watch.

I'm waiting for a few more episodes of Pick The Stars to come out until I start it. I might also wait until the drama is over. I'm not a patient person and am already chomping at the bit while following one drama "live" so two of them would be too much for me. Lol.

I'm also waiting for Jejungwon to finish its 36 episode run. It's an historical about the first western hospital in Korea. I've watched the first 3 episodes and it's looking good so far.

Not as fantastic as the wonderful Chuno but still promising.


EDIT:

Quote:
and part of Tamra. loved it. loved it. and waiting for the uncut version to come out (the show got a bunch of material towards the end axed because of low ratings)

ARRGH! I'm still raging against MBC for cutting that drama. YA entertainment will have the director's cut version out in April but it's very far away. Especially since there's currently no way of watching episodes 9 and 10 with subtitles. I'm so addicted to that drama that I manually typed all the subs from eps 7 to 16 (minus 9 and 10) from viikii and timed them so that I could use them with my HD raw versions of the episodes while waiting for the D-cut to come out.

Speaking of D-Cut, I ordered the D-Cut of You're Beautiful (2 hours of extra footage! yeepee!) and it should arrive at the end of February. I can't wait Very Happy
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 469
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG THANK YOU! Where has this been all my life?
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Estelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 337
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
OMG THANK YOU! Where has this been all my life?


You're very welcome Very Happy

That's what I asked myself when I became hooked almost two years ago.

I couldn't live without those dramas now. They are romance novels brought to the screen, only better, because they are more fleshed out and so very pretty to watch.

I had absolutely no idea that there was such a treasure trove hidden in the not well known Asian entertainment culture.
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Mingqi



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Estelle wrote:
Quote:
OMG THANK YOU! Where has this been all my life?


You're very welcome Very Happy

That's what I asked myself when I became hooked almost two years ago.

I couldn't live without those dramas now. They are romance novels brought to the screen, only better, because they are more fleshed out and so very pretty to watch.

I had absolutely no idea that there was such a treasure trove hidden in the not well known Asian entertainment culture.


As a fellow kdrama lover, have you checked out the dramabeans website? It's an awesomely well written blog about kdramas with very thoughtful recaps of some dramas. I'm not sure if Dae Jang Geum brought the sageuk back into fashion, but I heard half the country tuned in to watch it when it was airing, so I wouldn't be surprised!

I think those dramas would be great for people who want the romance, but don't necessarily care for the sex and constant boners (on the part of the hero). I guess it's almost like your traditional regency or old school hollywood romcom, but with modern koreans? Often there is no sex and the kissing is minimal, but the chemistry and the squee-feeling whenever the hero and heroine interact and banter are there. And every time there is a hug, an almost kiss, an accidental kiss, or even CPR, I can almost feel myself swooning as if Chace Crawford has swept me into his arms and told me he couldn't take his eyes off me (I got sucked into watching Gossip Girl tonight.). Embarassed
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Estelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 337
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As a fellow kdrama lover, have you checked out the dramabeans website?


I visit that site daily (and sometimes several times a day when I'm waiting for a particualr recap). I love it. Javabeans' taste are similar to mine for the most part.

Quote:
Often there is no sex and the kissing is minimal, but the chemistry and the squee-feeling whenever the hero and heroine interact and banter are there.

Indeed. Kdramas have UST and chemistry down to a T. They can be very intense that way and all without showing much skin. [/quote]
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Jean Wan AAR



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mingqi wrote:

Jean Wan AAR wrote:
Do you know the massively long Korean TV movie (like, 20 DVDs or something) that takes place during imperial Korea and features a heroine who becomes a cook in the imperial palace? Don't ask me what it's called, cause I only know it in Chinese. But fabulous kitchen scenes, and a darn good romance too.


Maybe it's Dae Jang Geum. I think she became a royal cook first and then a royal physician?


Yup, that's it.
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