K-Drama: ‘My Only Love Song’ Brief Review

Good morning to all my fellow ‘K’ fans out there. Things have been kind of crazy at work and home lately. Not that it’s an excuse, but I’ve had a tough time lately. I’ve been emotionally and physically drained these past few months as there have been a lot of changes to my job and my responsibility. Not that I have an issue with that, mind you. My issue is that I’ve been in a strange place mentally. I’ve been going through the motions and lost my interest in watching dramas for a bit there. After Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, things took a turn for the worse at work, and this blog suffered for a few months.

Nonetheless, I love my job. We’re just coming into our busiest time of the year, so stress plays a huge factor in my drama watching.

I attempted to get into the swing of things last month, but when blogging is your hobby and real life strikes, priorities are shifted again. On top of my continued internet woes, I haven’t exactly been a happy camper. It’s okay to be moody. It’s okay to watch dramas and not talk about them. But it’s so relaxing when I can throw all of my energy into talking dramas for a while.

Whining aside, I’m here to talk about a newer k-drama on Netflix called My Only Love Song.

It’s a time slip, fusion historical drama. I watched it as it aired on Netflix in June but I’ve been a little quiet as I’m not entirely sure where I stand with this drama.

Continue reading

K-Drama: ‘Bride of the Water God’ Poll

Hi readers! I’m currently watching Bride of the Water God and I thought it was time to take a poll. If you’re watching, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. After I catch up on today’s episode, I will be talking in depth about this one and School 2017 as these are the two k-dramas I’ve limited to myself in this round of dramas.

 

K-Drama: ‘School 2017’

Let’s talk School 2017! For a high school drama, this is really exceeding a lot of my expectations. I wasn’t convinced of the story or plot by episode one, but by episode three, I was hooked. It doesn’t take long for the story to heat up.

Good things take time to develop and I think this drama is hitting a lot of good notes so far. Some of the other characters make time drag as their screentime isn’t enough to keep me interested. That’s just a minor issue, though.

Also, I am loving Tae Woon. I am not that familiar with the actor, but he’s doing some good work here. If you haven’t watched Bing Goo yet, it’s on Viki and only two hour-long episodes. That’s how he ended up my radar and I gave School 2017 a fair shot. So far, I’m loving Ra Eun and Tae Woon.

Are you watching this drama? What do you think? Better than you thought? A complete miss?

As I’m 29, I don’t seek out many high school dramas as they have an irritatingly juvenile theme to them (it’s high school), but there are a few exceptions to my rules. I’m pretty happy that we’re seeing all kinds of characters in different situations. They are growing and learning. Our leads also have a nice air of maturity to them. I think it helps that the adults seem to be the ones with the most to learn.

Stay tuned as I plan to post my overview of the first half of the series after I catch today’s episode.

tumblr_otaz2nen8d1uy8zwto3_540

What to do when you don’t know what k-drama to watch?

Note: I realized I abandoned this series after the first post in June of 2014. As my continued effort to keep this blog constant, I will try to keep pumping out these kinds of posts between dramas and reviews.

What should I watch next?

I feel like this is the million dollar question. This one, seemingly simple, question is full of endless possibilities that depends on a variety of factors.

Have you watched rom-com after rom-com and are now sick to death of them? Maybe you binged a few too many psychological thrillers and now you can’t sleep at night? Maybe you’re sick to death of a million and one doctor dramas? Or maybe your biggest problem is the selection? What the heck do you do when there are so many k-dramas on your list that you can’t decide where to begin? Otoke?!

Never fear drama fans, I’m here to help!

These are tried and true methods that I’ve actually used. Maybe one of these options will work for you. After Strong Woman Do Bong Soon wrapped up, I’ve been in a serious drama lull. I just couldn’t find something that appealed to me, so I thought what would be better than looking through my ‘to watch’ list and employ some of the below methods.

  1. If you’ve got a long list of dramas that you haven’t touched and don’t know where to start, assign each drama a number. Say you have a list with 50 dramas on it. Number each one 1-50. Plug in those numbers at Random.org and let fate decide where you begin. This method is especially useful for those of us who are indecisive. May the odds ever be in your favor!
  2. If you’ve found a new actor/actress that you adore to pieces (and they’ve been in more than one drama) put together a list of their oldest to newest dramas and start with the oldest and work your way to the most recent. There’s nothing more thrilling than seeing your latest bias back-to-back with binge-watches.
  3. Pick any trope you love, commit to it, and find a drama on your list that fits the bill. Does your heart soar for a good Gender Bender drama? Maybe a Rom-Com? Maybe doctor dramas are the key to your heart? Whatever it is, find a trope/cliché that you never get tired of and find your next drama that way. Love Gender Benders and Gong Yoo but have never watched Coffee Prince? There you go! You’ve got your next drama.
  4. Maybe you’re pressed for time and you want to binge-watch something without the huge commitment? There are plenty of web dramas out there that are pint-sized and easy to finish in one sitting without feeling too bad about your life choices. (We’ve all been there!)

If you’ve got any tips for choosing your next drama, let me know. I am always looking for new methods to keep my drama addiction alive.

All The New Things

Hi guys!

It’s been quite a month and k-dramas had to be pushed to the back burner for a bit. I was still watching, but I was unable to blog for a bit. But I’m back and ready to start blogging again.

Right now, the only k-drama I’m currently watching is Suspicious Partner, which I hope to touch base on soon. I like it, think it’s well written, and both Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chang Wook are fantastic, but it feels like it’s missing a little something. It was the perplexing feeling I had while I watched Legend of the Blue Sea. I still can’t place what was off there, either. Nonetheless, I do thoroughly enjoy Suspicious Partner and can’t wait to talk about it as there’s a lot to love and chat about.

I’m not the biggest Taiwanese drama fan. I have a lot more misses than hits, but if a summary catches my eye, I’ll usually give it a shot. Recently, I started The Perfect Match and I’m completely addicted. T-dramas are not my favorite style of dramas, so when I fall in love with one, it’s pretty special. The Perfect Match only has two more episodes to air before it’s over, so it’s a great time to jump on in. This is top T-drama material and it’s easily the best Asian drama I’m currently watching. Two big thumbs up. Stay tuned as I plan to do a review on this drama when it wraps in two weeks.

Other than dramas, I recently fell down the rabbit hole and found myself swept up in Lularoe. I’ve already met a lot of great people through this company, and it’s inspired me to be more pro-active with my own dreams. It hasn’t been particularly kind to my bank account, so I’m practicing self-control and restraint this month.

I’ve also been on the road to rebuilding my credit. Long story short, there were a period in my life where I wasn’t working and also didn’t have health insurance. It resulted in some medical bills going to collections and majorly damaging my credit. Not my finest hour, but I’ve been spending a lot of time clearing things up and getting my credit back to tip-top shape. I’ll get there eventually, but working through this and other real life drama unfortunately has left me emotionally exhausted and too “meh” too blog.

But back to dramas and blogging. I’m working on a few posts to hopefully finish in the coming week.  I’m also trying to decide on another k-drama to watch, but I haven’t been wowed by any of the current dramas. If you have suggestions, I’m happy to listen. Once Suspicious Partner ends it’s either work on my “to watch drama watch” or take on a new show and hope for the best.

I also want to do a major overhaul of this blog – in terms of the layout theme. I’ve had this current theme for three years and I feel it’s more than time for a change. I do swap out header images that I design, but I feel in need of a larger change to breathe fresh life into ISWAKD. This probably won’t happen this month, but it’s on my list of things to do in the near future.

So, a brief overview:

  1. New content coming to the blog this week. (1-2 posts at least.) Yay!
  2. In need of k-drama suggestions. (Leaning towards new dramas, please!)
  3. Working on a new blog design for the distant future.

 

Review: ‘K Love’ By Devon Atwood & Alice Cornwall

“I just hit the lotto.”

If any phrase could accurately demonstrate how I feel about the collaborative effort between Devon and Cornwall, this would be the one. The beauty of K Love is that you don’t even have to be a k-drama (Korean Drama) fan to understand the story, the culture and the context. If you’re already a fan of these dramas, then be prepared for a special treat.

If you’re looking for a slow-burn, clean romance and an engaging story that weaves two cultures into one, you’ve found your book.

***WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ K LOVE, PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.*** 

Continue reading

K-Drama: ‘My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’ Review

Omo.

It’s going to be very difficult for me to articulate just the level of impact My Girlfriend is a Gumiho left on me.

I’ve waited a full week to really gauge my feelings on this drama. I loved this one so much that I wanted to take a step back and make sure I wasn’t wearing blinders. But even after that time has passed, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho still makes me giddy. When a drama is everything it’s supposed to be, you can’t help but feel victorious.

Continue reading

NerdCon: ‘Devon, Cornwall, & K Love’

Hi guys!

On Saturday, with my real life BFF and occasional guest blogger, Tiff, in tow, we made the hour and twenty minute drive to check out NerdCon for K Love. It’s not every day that you get to meet k-drama fans who wrote a book replicating the feelings and style of k-dramas. It’s also not everyday that all of this happens in Pennsylvania — the place I’ve called home for twenty-nine years.

So, how was NerdCon?

It was a very neat experience held at a library. Throughout the first floor, there were various tables set up with vendors selling stuff. This is not on a comic con size scale, but it was a nice experience. Tiff and I walked around for a while to admire the library itself and to see what the vendors were selling.

As we did another round of the library around 10:45, we spied the sign for K Love and then I saw Devon and Cornwall. Of course, I knew what they looked like thanks to pictures they’ve shared on their blog and from reaction videos like Goblin.

They had a few books and some bookmarks available. There was even a TV screen set up where they were playing some videos from youtube of k-dramas, which was a nice touch to lure in the passerby’s. Although, as we chatted, the videos suddenly deviated to a series of The Heirs fan videos. Cue Lee Min Hottness, ugly sweaters, couple sweaters and sneakers, California coastal scenes, and some Park Shin Hye awkwardness.

We spoke about a whole slew of dramas — from recent ones such as Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Goblin to Secret Garden and Queen In Hyun’s Man. Because, hey, we’re all k-drama fans and how can you not talk dramas for hours on end? I assure you, it’s much easier than it looks!

Recap:

They spoke a lot about their book and the challenges they’ve encountered. Some of these have been mentioned on their blog previously, but I’m just going to reiterate some of that information as I’m sure they’ll be telling you all about it.

Incorporating Korean (as in the romanization of Korean) into the book posed a few challenges. Luckily, they had the help of a South Korean college student, (who is currently in school to become an English teacher) to help with some of the phrases. So, yes, we do see romanized Korean in the book, but only sporadically. Nonetheless, it’s really fun to read. But as I’m not an expert, I did google some phrases for help.

Originally, Devon and Cornwall wanted to go the published route instead of the self-published route. Unfortunately, trying to explain k-dramas and what they were trying to do just left publishers confused. What genre did K Love fit into? Was it similar to a Telenovela? Maybe they could make it New Adult and spice up the content? (No, no, and more no. What blasphemy!) What exactly is a K-Drama?

These were just a few of the questions Devon and Cornwall faced. Ultimately, as we all know, they chose to go down the self-publishing road. And while that’s harder and poses more challenges, I believe they are helping pave the way for future writers who are interested in writing the same kind of content. Much like new adult didn’t exist until self-publishers such as Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Jessica Sorensen and Abbi Glines arrived on scene, it eventually exploded and books started to come out of the woodwork in that genre.

My sincere hope for the K-Rom genre is that we see a similar explosion.

Word of mouth is really going to be key here. The k-drama community is quite large and we’re a passionate group. I think we can do it together. What do you say, k fans?

Verdict:

Devon and Cornwall are great and very humble people in real life. Their passion for dramas mirrors my own, and it’s great to share something you’re passionate about with others. It is something that helps break me out of by shell and they have no idea just how exciting it was to meet them. You kind of get starstruck there for a while. What was really cool and unexpected was being recognized by mentioning this blog. (For those of you who don’t know, I actually started this blog three years ago as a personal effort to keep track of the dramas I was watching. Slowly, over the years, it’s morphed into what it is now. And a huge part of that is thanks to my loyal and growing group of followers. I adore each and every one of you. And ISWAKD wouldn’t be half as special without all of you.)

Anyway, back the story. I think we talked about K Love and k-dramas for almost two hours. We’ve watched and enjoyed a lot of the same k-dramas, so that kept conversation flowing. I felt a bit guilty for spending so much time with them, but we were just so excited to gush over K Love. Yes, that was my main reason for attending NerdCon.

In an effort not to take up all of their time, we left at 12:30 to get some much needed lunch. I’m sure if time permitted, we could have talked dramas even longer, but alas, we needed to let these ladies promote their book and hand out bookmarks. I wish we could have stayed longer and chatted some more about their book and k-dramas, but who knows where the future may lead? If they ever have book events or signings somewhere in PA, I may just pop up and cheer them on.

By the way, I binge-read K Love this weekend. I am currently doing some re-reading and jotting down a few additional notes. I hope to have my review up by 5/4/17 when the book officially releases. There will be two styles of reviews I’m doing: one for the k-drama fan and another for the general public. I figure that’s the best way to review K Love. The k-drama-centric version will be posted exclusively here at my blog where I will delve deeper into tropes and all of the little Korean bits and bobs I picked up on. The more standard review (that doesn’t break into too much k-drama fanfare) will be posted on the likes of Amazon and possibly Goodreads.

Teaser: I stopped reading many, many times to have little fangirl moments at the beginning. Oh the sweet, sweet anticipation I felt reading this book. Stay tuned! 

P.S. I may have missed a few things, so there could possibly be a part 2 post. 

P.P.S. Here’s a little teaser of the book and the bookmark I received. FYI, like the dork that I am, I got excited and hung up on the dedication for at least five minutes. That’s when the nerves kicked in… (Sorry for the poorly lit and low quality pics. Nicer ones will be in the review, I promise!)

NerdCon!

Guess what? The day has almost arrived!

I have a date with NerdCon tomorrow at 10:00 AM sharp.

I will be sure to tweet throughout the day on my k-drama twitter. If you want to stay up to the date on the latest, that’s the place to check. My twitter is also on the sidebar of this blog, which you can find if you scroll down and look to the right. It will show some of my recent tweets. I will be posting about my day at NerdCon in general and, of course, sharing details related to my experience with Devon, Cornwall, and K Love!

And a random gif spam because TGIF! (P.S., I just started getting into EXO, so you might notice a bit of a theme here.)

Seeing how the event runs until 10 P.M tomorrow, and judging that I do stay that entire time, it will be nearing midnight until I get home. My hope is that I can do a nice little recap of my day and experience, so please stay tuned. I have an early and long day on Sunday, but either way, I will bring you something this weekend. Thanks guys for all of your support and interest in my blog. I promise to do my best to keep it interesting and current.

As for K Love, if you have any requests, please let me know by filling in the form below and I will do my best to ask a few things if they don’t mind me asking. I want to show these ladies that they have a strong following of readers that support them and wish their book nothing more than every success. (And even that sequel they’re working on … *wink wink*)

K-Drama: ‘Suspicious Partner’ Teaser & Thoughts

A forgetful killer can be a dangerous thing. Noh Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook) is a prosecutor who changes jobs to become a private attorney at a powerful law firm. Eun Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) is a prosecutor trainee who works with prosecutor Cha Yoo Jung (Nara), Ji Wook’s ex-girlfriend who desperately wants to win him back. Attorney Ji Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon) is a longtime family friend of Ji Wook’s but harbors some resentment about their different family circumstances. When a murderer strikes, Bong Hee suddenly finds herself as a suspect in the murder. But it appears the real killer has amnesia, and the killer keeps coming after Bong Hee and Ji Wook. Can the two team up to catch the forgetful killer? “Suspicious Partner” is a 2017 South Korean drama series directed by Park Sun Ho.

Source: Teaser: Suspicious Partner

I’m adding this drama to the list mainly for Ji Chang Wook. Look at that pout in the picture on the left. Oh. Em. Gee. Who’s ready to see Wookie back on screen? I know it hasn’t been that long since The K2, but I’m anxious to see Ji Chang Wook in a non-action role. Yes, I loved Healer to death and The K2 had it’s moments, but Wookie in a rom-com? Yes, please. Where can I sign up?

Also, Nam Ji Hyun was such a great, expressive actress in Shopping King Louis that I’m anxious to see what kind of personality her character will have here.

The only thing that’s slightly off putting: the title. Devon and Cornwall have talked about bad titles and titles that just don’t make sense or don’t sound good. The title Suspicious Partner sounds a bit bland and obvious. It’s not particularly a selling point for me, but if there’s anything we’ve learned in dramaland, it’s that a title doesn’t hold much stock in the grand scheme of things. Here’s to hoping this is a solid drama because I have pretty high standards after seeing Healer.