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10 Characters you're guaranteed to see in every K-drama
Ever feel like some of your K-dramas are a lot like some of your other K-dramas, but you can’t quite put your finger on why? Well, to help you chart your sense of déjà vu like some sort of epistemic “Where’s Waldo,” here are the 10 characters you will see in every Korean drama EVER! 1) The shy girl that guys can’t resist She rarely says a word that isn’t an apologetic “sorry” followed by an embarrassed bow, but apparently, just her eyes are enough to drive all the men insane. 2) The rich jerk with a heart of gold There won’t necessarily be too many times where he’s tolerable, but he will do such nice things for our lady that you can’t help but fall in love with him. 3) The celebrities that are everywhere And it’s not the least bit strange that internationally recognized idols of music or film have nothing better to do than hang out with apparent nobodies all the time. 4) The mother that owns you As an Asian male, I can attest that no matter how old we get, no matter how much money we earn, no matter how independent we seem—our mothers rule our lives. 5) The unlucky-in-love sidekick She’s charming, she’s kind, and she’s often just as pretty as our lead lady, but this girl is there to repeatedly get her heart broken and to share those sad moments with our considerably more fortunate lead. 6) The nice guy that doesn’t get the girl Unfortunately, the rich jerk is the one that rides off into the sunset with the lady. This guy, whether he is the goof that makes our lady laugh or the angry but loving friend, he’s just not going to get the girl. 7) The arrogant beauty queen She knows she’s beautiful and she makes sure you know it. Unfortunately for her, our lovely lead is nicer and almost always gets the guy. 8) The distant, angry young man Almost like the Kdrama equivalent of an anime drifter, this angry young man does not seem to enjoy life and pretty much exits whenever he gets the chance. 9) The evil old guy Sometimes a henchman of the aforementioned mother, or even the father, this company executive/dastardly villain/crime leader will try to take our lead’s life in an accident. Usually, though, he’ll just give the hero amnesia. 10) The Traveler They always have to leave before the end of the show, exiting just in time to create the perfect teary-eyed goodbye (or, you know, just so they don’t disturb our existing love angles). So what other K-drama characters do you keep coming across? And have you found that mystical unicorn that doesn’t exist in K-dramas—a guy who isn’t that good-looking?
Korean Movie Club: Silenced
Trigger warning: Physical and sexual abuse of minors. The plot: Kang In-ho (Gong Yoo) is a new art teacher at Benevolence Academy, a deaf school for children (Based on the real-life Gwangju Inhwa School). He's excited to teach his new students, but they all seem afraid of him and even scared. In-ho does not give up, and eventually the students start to open up to him - and tell him horrifying things. The children are being physically and sexually abused by their teachers. When he decides to fight for the children’s rights and expose the crimes being committed at the school, he soon realizes the school’s principal and teachers, and even the police, prosecutors and churches in the community are actually trying to cover up the truth According to its summary: It is based on actual events that took place at Gwangju Inhwa School for the hearing-impaired, where young deaf students were the victims of repeated sexual assaults by faculty members over a period of five years in the early 2000s The aftermath: The film looks at both the crimes, as well as the legal battle that followed. It showed the true story that the teachers who ABUSED THEIR STUDENTS were let off with minimal punishment. The nation was pissed. After its release, there was so much outrage from the citizens who watched the film, that the investigations were reopened. The demand for legislative reform reached all the way to the National Assembly, where a revised bill, dubbed the Dogani Bill, was passed in late October 2011 to abolish the limitations for sex crimes against minors and the disabled. I haven't seen it yet and will need to be emotionally ready, but I do want to see a film that sparked such a big change in Korea! You can watch it here on Dramanice. Is anyone else interested or has seen it before?
'Train to Busan' as Critique of Korean Society
I still haven't been able to see Train to Busan for myself, but I found this article on NPR to be really interesting! It doesn't ruin any plot points (other than the fact that there is a zombie apocalypse which I'm pretty sure we could gather from the trailer...) According to the article: Without giving too much of the story away, the film blames corporate callousness for the death toll. The government covers up the truth — or is largely absent. And the crew? Rather than rescue passengers, it follows the wishes of a businessman. Sewol Ferry Reference: These themes are particularly resonant in South Korea, which in 2014 faced national tragedy after 300 people, mostly teenagers, died when a ferry overturned in the sea. Investigators found the ferry's corporate owners overloaded it to save money. And the captain and crew got into lifeboats without rescuing passengers. News media, toeing the government line, originally reported that everyone survived, blamed rescuers for not working hard enough (when in reality the government refused to let them go into the water and rescue the children), etc. The Korean president's whereabouts on that day are still unexplained. Then the MERS Outbreak: Last year, as Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, spread in South Korea, the government wouldn't share key information about where patients were being treated, where it started, and how officials would contain the outbreak. The government refused to communicate with the public, so the Seoul mayor had to go against the president and form his OWN plan to fix the problem. As a result, he's now in the running for next president (since Koreans have lost all respect or trust in the current pres) You can read the full piece by NPR right HERE. Has anyone seen this yet?!