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Archive for August, 2009


conspiracy

Cast:
Lee Cheon-Hee as Yang Man-Oh
Jin Yi-Han as Park Sang-Gyu
Kim Ha-Eun as Lee Na-Young
Ahn Nae-Sang as the King
Jung Ae-Ri as the Queen Dowager
Kim Eung-Soo as Park In-Bin
Kim Gi-Hyeon as Shim Min-Gu
Jang Hyun-Sung as Lee Jae-Han
Kim Myung-Soo as Butler Hwang
Han Jung-Soo as Seo Ju Pil

Genre:
Period, Thriller, Romance

Plot: (Taken from Withs2 Blog)
Yang Man-Oh is an ambitious merchant selling his soul to the devil, with the aspiration of creating a new world for people like him and his loved one. Lee Na-Young is the daughter of a minister executed for treason, abandoning her every emotion to mercilessly rid this damned world of all the people who wronged her. Park Sang-Gyu is a petty officer, the illegitimate son of a powerful politician, still too naive to understand how much of a big shade of gray the world surrounding him is. And then is the king… a reformist loved by the people but detested by those who cannot allow him to bring his fresh ideas into fruition. Enough to gather together and scream to all creation their new mantra: bloodshed will save our nation. Love, blood and conspiracies. All in the same court. How about that?

Review:
Because it was a period drama, I didn’t think I had the background knowledge to write an appropriate summary, and so I took a peak at the With s2 version and just decided to cite that here.

If I had to describe this drama in one sentence, I’d have to say it was gorgeous, deep, and bountifully filled with memorable themes. I’m rarely one to dig too deeply into any drama and dissect what each line of dialogue tries to portray within the drama and in the context of the real world. The political intrigue, the dark twists, and the steadfast determination of its main leads really puts this drama in the top of my love list. In a mesh of the past and present, the drama tells the interwoven story of three characters and shows how they all come to a climaxing clash. I must applaud the director as well as the writers for such a fantastic production.

The drama begins already molded in darkness. Even before the entire plot begins to reveal itself we are dropped in a world of cloak and daggers and also the scheming of politicians, not to forget the struggles of naive and hopeful lower officials. The world seems to be on the brink of chaos, and then suddenly we rewind into flashbacks and are introduced to its main characters.

The acting by all three leads was amazing. Na Young was especially captivating to me. Her hidden pain and inner conflict ravages her through the drama but we see that her true character prevails. As for the men around her, they all struggle for their beliefs and love for her to try and accomplish their vision of the world. On that journey they learn things about the world that show them the true nature of man. This is such a great drama filled with intricate character development through each characters growth and relation to the political plot. Not only do we learn about the main characters, but we learn a great deal about the Empress, the King, his advisers, and even the other scattered minor characters like the bodyguards.

The music, film quality, acting, and also the set preparation truly amazed me. This has got to be the best period drama I have seen encompassing all the factors of a great drama. The authenticity of the production even surpasses that of Hwang Ji Yi and Damo, which I personally rank as the best of all time.

BEWARE MAY HAVE SMALL SPOILER
The ending was absolutely fantastic. It did remind me of Damo and the pursuit, however, although we are thrown into a mournful ending, there is still hope for the future as we see that the survivors are able to move on and see a future. Ultimately we find out that the power of the government and its corruption remained unmoved, but there are still those serving within it that follow the correct path.

Rating:
5.0/5.0

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triple1

Cast:
Lee Jung Jae as Shin Hwal
Lee Sun Gyun as Jo Hae Yoon
Yoon Kye Sang as Kang Hyun Tae
Min Hyo Rin as Lee Haru
Lee Ha Na as Choi Soo In
Kim Hee as Kang Sang Hee
Song Joong Ki as Ji Poong Ho

Genre:
Romance, Drama, Skating

triple2

Plot:
The story starts out when Lee Haru, a young teenage girl, wants to skate again and train to become better. She meets Coach Soo In who used to be a professional skater herself. She decides to head to the big city in pursuit of her dreams, regardless of what anyone else tells her.

Her first challenge is to find a place to stay, and the only person she can turn to is her estranged step brother, the son of her new step father. As her mother and step father both passed away in an accident, she and her step brother, Hwal, no longer keep in contact, in fact, Hwal dislikes Haru.

Will Haru be able to convince Hwal to let her live in his house in the city? What happens when she finds out that her coach, Soo In, is actually married to her brother Hwal? Will Haru ever reach her dreams and surpass the many challenges that she faces each day? What happens when Haru begins to feel more than just sibling love for her step brother?

This is the love story of a young girl as well as her brother Hwal, and also the many roommates and friends of Hwal that live in the same house.

triple2

Review:
Triple, hrmmm, I must say that this was indeed a unique drama. Ever since I have started watching Korean dramas, I have realized that kdramas are often very story driven and full of action or plot twists and turns. On the other hand, Triple seems to be a much more slow drama that does not seem unpredictable and action packed. Instead, it is the portrayal of a process, a process of learning and of falling in love, a process of settling differences and starting a family or going separate ways.

I believe that simply with such a premise, this drama did not draw in as many audiences as a typical drama of such acting caliber. After reading comments on other forums, I found that many people found a lot of over acting or some serious issues with the coupling. Also, people had problems with Soo In’s acting. I think you really have to look at this drama in a different perspective. This drama is fairly light hearted. There are no major emotional scenes and yet there are not that many exciting moments. It seems the general trend of this drama is slow paced and really maps out the journey of the characters throughout the drama.

This is the first reason why I think this drama received such low ratings. People got tired of waiting for plot twists and more action to happen. Pretty much when the drama started we could see how it would end. The only reason people would finish the drama would be to watch how things unfolded and how the directors would finish off the series. For the most part I really hoped for a happy ending. If you want to see what happens feel free to check out this drama.

The acting in this drama was above average. I feel that the cast really had great chemistry. Hwal, Hyun Tae, Hae Yoon, Haru, and even Soo In just seemed to mesh in really well together. Soo In often lacked depth in her character, but disregarding that the drama did build her character pretty well and in the end of the drama we find that she comes to many realizations and that there is character growth. This happens to all the characters. Hae Yoon and Sang Hee especially had a special thing going, although at some points I felt they were a bit too exaggerated, but their actions really built up their characters and you could kind of see how each was thinking and feeling. In any drama that I have seen Sun Gyun in, he is an extremely natural actor who really brings out the character through small actions. Simply the way you can get out of a chair or walk through a door can really amplify a character’s personality. This is true for Hwal, Hyun Tae, and Haru as well. They are all very detailed actors and actresses and they really create their unique characters through small actions. We can see they really get into their parts.

I really loved the scenes where Haru skates and I really wished that at the end there was one more skating scene and Hwal would meet her when she won or something, but I guess that is just my wishful thinking.

Even though I did end up loving this drama for its characters, I felt that there weren;t enough plot devices to keep the story interesting. It was predictable at times and the progression was pretty slow. I like the interesting thematic devices in the beginning, kind of like 9 End 2 Outs. Watch if you don’t get bored easily, and you will get a nice, natural drama.

Rating:
4.0

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