Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Impression: Six Flying Dragons

Six Flying Dragons
Genre: Historical, Politics
Episodes: 50
Broadcast Network: SBS
Air Time: Monday/Tuesday
Broadcast Period: Oct. 5, 2015 - March 22, 2015

Main Cast:
Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won (King TaeJong)
- Nam Da Reum as Young Lee Bang Won
Kim Myung Min as Jung Do Jeon
Shin Se Kyung as Boon Yi
- Lee Re as Young Boon Yi
Chun Ho Jin as Lee Seong Gye (King TaeJo)
Byun You Han as Ddang Sae
- Yoon Chan Young as Young Ddang Sae
Yoon Kyun Sang as Moo Hyul
- Baek Seung Hwan as Young Moo Hyul

In the formation f every great nation, many battles are fought by those who have clashing ideologies and political views. These six dragons, Prince Lee Bang Won, Jeong Do Jeon, Lee Seong Gye, Boon Yi, Ddang Sae, and Moo Hyul, fall on opposite sides of a power struggle between those who want a country ruled by ministers and those who want absolute power. Do Jeon helps his father, Seong Gye, who becomes the first King Tae Jo, establish the Joseon Dynasty, but Bang Won, who later becomes KIng Tae Jong, will become his biggest enemy. 

Okay I am apparently feeling very ambitious right now to take on a historical drama that is 50 episodes long. I already struggle getting through regular 20 episode historical dramas let alone 50. It is a huge time commitment and if I am being completely honest historical dramas are not always the most exciting thing to watch, especially when they get bogged down with politics. I think part of why it is so hard to really get into this genre is because I am not Korean and I don't know the history behind the story. So when this drama was first announced and I saw what a star studded cast this was it really peaked my interest. I thought "could this be something I could really get into?" So in preparation I did some research, and when I say some I mean I spent hours upon hours learning about the formation of the Joseon Dynasty, instead of studying for midterms.... Oops. I didn't want to feel like I was missing something because I didn't know the background of what was going on. And I really do think that helped. I actually found myself enjoying the first two episodes rather than being confused about who all these people actually were and who they were going to become in the future.

I think it is very difficult to judge a 50 episode drama after the first week, because really these two episodes are used to set up backstory. But I still think it was done pretty well. I was engaged throughout the entire episode and there was enough action mixed with the politics to keep everything interesting. But with so many episodes to go it is really difficult to say whether I liked what I watched or not. 

I am definitely going to try to keep with this drama until the bitter end. I am really really going to try but I cannot guarantee that that is actually going to happen. I want to stick it out because I spent so much time learning about this period that I am now wondering how closely they are going to follow the actual history, because Lee Bang Won isn't necessarily a good person who is going to win "best son of the year" anytime soon. So I am really interested what direction they are going to take that character with Yoo Ah In playing him. I really want them to take Yoo Ah In who looks so noble and beautiful and just make him a dark and frightening person who is able to kill his brothers to get to the throne. So I am going to attempt this and if I make it to the end I am going to be extremely proud of myself. And for anyone who is wondering whether they should start this drama I really do recommend looking at the history because it really does help. Some people may think of it as "spoilers" but come on... these are actual people who actually lived and basically the whole Korean nation knows what's going to happen so you won't be the only one who knows the ending. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Impression: Sassy, Go Go!

Sassy Go Go
Genre: Romance, Youth, School
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: KBS2
Air Time: Monday/Tuesday
Broadcast Period: Oct. 5, 2015 - Nov. 24, 2015

Main Cast:
Jung Eun Ji as Kang Yeon Doo
Lee Won Geun as Kim Yeol
Cha Hak Yun as Ha Dong Jae
Chae Soo Bin as Kwon Soo Ah
Ji Soo as Seo Ha Joon

Is there more to school than just grades? Kang Yeon Doo is a peppy cheerleader who is popular at school because of her sunny personality. But when she transfers to an elite high school where grades and school rankings are stressed, she feels like an outcast because of her less than stellar grades. She also clashes with Kim Yeol, a student who seems to have it all with great looks and great grades. Fellow cheerleader Seo Ha Joon also feels the pressures to do well academically but also harbors a family secret that detracts from his focus. Kwon Soo Ah is pushed into cheer leading by her mother to boost her resume, but she realizes that she has a talent for it. All the students have to try to measure up to the school brainiac, Ha Dong Jae. 

Man I was really looking forward to having a drama that was just lighthearted and one that I didn't really have to feel anything for. Sure this is an extremely light hearted drama for the most part and it seems really fun but then you have Ji Soo who has to be tortured again and I don't think my heart can take it. After seeing his performance on Angry Mom I knew that is a very talented actor who can handle a pretty intense role, but I just want to see him be happy! Is that too much to ask? 

But overall I really enjoyed the first two episodes of this series. It is going to be a fun ride with a little bit of seriousness sprinkled in here and there to add a nice balance. There have been several school series that have come out this year that have focused on bullying and how much pressure these high school students are under. This show tackles the same topics but I feel like the tone is going to tread more lightly for the most part. Which is nice and I am very excited to see where the drama goes.
I first say Jung Eun Ji in Reply 1997 and have loved her since.... well not in Trot Lovers but I think that was more because of the actual drama than her. She is a very talented actress and I think she has the ability to play this role really well. Yeon Doo is a very strong character and I love seeing that she isn't taking anything laying down. She fights back and that is so good to see in a female lead character. That is what I love about all the characters that Eun Ji chooses to portray, they are all strong people who refuse to be pushed around.

This is the first drama I have seen Lee Won Geun in and so far I am pleased with his acting. I am especially happy that after the first two episodes I feel like there is real chemistry between our lead couple. Unfortunately right now Kim Yeol just seems like the typical rich jack ass but you get hints that there is so much more to him beneath the surface and I just want his soft side to come out. The absolute best part of the first two episodes for me was the bromance between Kim Yeol and Seo Ha Joon. Really these two characters are more like brothers than friends and you see how much they really care about each other in the second episode. I love seeing great friendships portrayed in dramas and I just want to see all the interactions between these two. Plus Ji Soo has my heart and I just want him to have all the screen time and to smile. 

Overall I am excited for the drama. I can't wait to see what type of cheer leading is actually going to be portrayed on the show. I think there will be some great romance and friendships that will develop through out the series.