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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Korean Dramas -- Discussion and Resources

Anyeong Haseyo! Please comment on what you're watching, what you've heard about, and resources related Korean Dramas!

3 comments:

Sharon Allerson said...

With Antionne's permission, I copied his comment on Korean dramas to the Hallyu Surfers' blog:

hey Sharon and everyone, i have a small but very good issue when it comes to watching the korean dramas. that issue is that i cannot tell you which is my favorite. I have watched a total of about 4 series in the past 3 months and absolutely enjoy each on their on merits so much that i either cannot say which i like the most or maybe it's that i like them all the same. i have watched in this order: sweet spy, my lovely samsoon, my girl and ruler of your own world. each series is so good that i can watch 4-5 episodes in a sitting. there is very little western television that i would even want to do this with, but the k-dramas are so very different. after i watch the dramas, i actually have a smile on my face from the experience that i have partaken of. and i usually think to myself, this is how television is supposed to be. i have watched 4 series, i am presently watching "the palace"; i have "all about eve and princess first love" ready to go next. this is not to mention that i have 2 more ordered from yesasia ready to be shipped out next week. so am i addicted? this entry in sharon's awesome blogsite should answer that question. so to end my k-drama rant, i will say this is the way tv should be: dramatic, funny, excellent story and actors, and any other thoughts of expressiveness that can be thought of. Thanks Sharon for giving me a place to express and rant on the awesomeness of this dose of korean culture.

October 1, 2007 1:00 AM

Sharon Allerson said...

Here's my response (copied from other blog:

I agree with Antionne! I hardly watch any American television -- why bother? Korean dramas are what television should be like - engaging, touching, funny, intense -- I run out and buy the DVDs because I cannot wait for the next episode!! Addicted? Yes, happily so. I'm getting my friends hooked, too!

My only problem is that I had to find "My Lovely SamSoon" by accident. There should be better marketing: advertising on non-Asian stations, listings in TV schedules, co-productions with HBO. I hope Korean production companies realize the American audience is OK with subtitles and hungry for great stories!

Thanks, Antionne, for getting the dialog started! --Sharon

October 1, 2007 10:55 PM

Sharon Allerson said...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 (From Sassalon)
What's your all-time favorite Korean drama?
Maybe you've done it? Stayed up to the wee hours of the morning just to see a few more episodes - out of 16, 20, 24, 54 - and maybe finish another disk - out of 8, 12, or more in the set?

I watched DVR recorded episodes of Dae Jang Geum during AZN's marathon last fall ('06). They ran 4-5 episodes every Saturday and Sunday for weeks! Talk about tying up your week-end! Hence, the new DVR! I watched the recorded episodes late at night to be ready for the next week-end!!

So, tell us....what dramas have you loved, gotten addicted to, stayed up till 4 or 5 a.m. to watch????

Posted by Sharon Allerson at 1:38 PM

Labels: Korean dramas discussion


4 comments:
antionne said... (already copied above)
hey Sharon and everyone, i have a small but very good issue when it comes to watching the korean dramas.....

October 1, 2007 1:00 AM
Sharon Allerson said...
I agree with Antionne! I hardly watch any American television -- why bother? (copied above)

October 1, 2007 10:55 PM
Yonah said...
Hi Sharon,
Thank you so much for setting up this wonderful blog. You truly are an honorary Korean. :)

I love all Korean dramas, but my all-time favorite is the "Sandhour Glass." It was made in the early 90's and it was my first Korean drama I watched... I was in college back then, and believe me, instead of studying, I was hooked on those videos. :)

Thanks again, Sharon, for all that you do...

October 3, 2007 1:07 PM
Sharon Allerson said...
Hi Yonah! I'm honored!!! I am so glad to be an honorary Korean! My life is enriched because of the people I've met and the things I've learned! Even if the poetry I posted on the blog is only so-so, it still shows that I've been inspired -- and Korean dramas opened a door to all that lovely inspiration! :-)

I will have to watch Sandhour Glass! Thank you for the recommendation! And thank you for your lovely comments! (I am really having fun blogging!)

October 3, 2007 11:13 PM

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Favorite Restaurants (mostly Korean)

Just adding now: Tender Greens (9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City): http://www.tendergreensfood.com/

Banchan a la Carte (141 N. Western, LA): http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/45654877/?brand=smx_restaurant-nc Enjoyed their delicious chap chae with grilled veggies!

San Ya (2897 W. Olympic Bl. between Normandie and Vermont - exact cross street is Fedora): They have an 'unlimited' special for $14 right now.


***ChoSun Galbee Korean BBQ : http://www.chosungalbee.com/

***BCD Tofu House:
http://www.bcdtofu.com/
http://local.yahoo.com/details?id=20356598&stx=bcd+tofu+house&csz=Los+Angeles+CA&ed=UFP_y6160Sx1inwP2dQ8W6ZGaFQ8Mk4mhSG6pxsXess8XIZH2cLNGMbsASrAarFdzdqex9XZwMNS8Q--

***Dong Il Jang Restaurant (3455 W. 8th St., LA): http://la.foodblogging.com/2006/01/21/korean-bbq/

***Bon Juk Porridge Shop: near Kingsley and Wilshire

***Mu Dung San Restaurant: http://www.ktownsearch.net/details.asp?id=230

***Cafe MAK: See link below in "Sweet Spots"

Recommended Sweet Spots:

***Union Bakery in South Pasadena (1138 Fair Oaks at Monterey Road): http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3711088944

***Bulgarini Gelato in Altadena: http://www.bulgarinigelato.com/

***Vanille in San Marino: http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3710358077

***Perfectly Sweet in Alhambra: http://www.cityofalhambra.org/about/dining/Sweet.html

***Cafe MAK in LA: http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/42539398/?brand=smx_restaurant-nc

***Jin Patisserie in Venice (recommended-can't wait to go there!):http://www.jinpatisserie.com/

YA Entertainment's Essay Contest Winner Announced

I received Aryf's email with his entry and agreed with him -- he should have won! (I could have borrowed the DVDs he would have won!) His entry is posted above. I thought I'd also post mine. I have to admit that, even though I didn't win, it was a lot of fun to write!

A Persistent Passion
Episode Two
By Sharon Allerson

Episode One (Re-Cap):


Two summers ago, our heroine found “My Lovely Sam-Soon” while channel-surfing, and “tiny” Korea jumped off the map and into her life! From “Sam-Soon,” she went on to “Winter Sonata,” and moved from awareness and fascination to…..love, not just for Bae Yong Jun, but for Korea itself! During that year, she watched dozens of Korean dramas, sharing her newfound love with her family and friends. Most got hooked, staying up till 4 or 5 a.m. to watch DVDs she lent them. (You’re reading this, so you understand!)

She made new friends, too: Choonhee, the librarian at her college, and June and Wally (aka Yun-Suk), owners of a neighborhood bakery. They tried to teach her to say “Anyeong Haseyo” and “Gamsahamnida,” but her tongue tripped badly on the new sounds. Given our heroine’s bigger, better world view, she wanted to learn more. When Choonhee recommended the Korean classes at the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center (KCC), our heroine’s addiction was about to lead her way beyond her TV……

Episode Two:

Close-up of our heroine, during break at Korean language class, awkwardly picking up kimbap with chopsticks.

“But how did you become so interested in Korean dramas, Sharon?” That was Jenny, a communications major from Singapore, just finishing her degree in L.A.

“I don’t know. I just started watching and knew,” I replied as I grabbed a napkin, “knew that true love still exists somewhere in Korea.”

“Oh, Sharon,” she said, evidently concerned about my delusional state. I shrugged, smiled, and we both laughed.

They say that something is love made visible. I don’t remember. Maybe it’s Korean dramas. I do remember another thing people say about love - that it isn’t just a feeling; it’s an action. This past year, I know I moved past the feeling part of loving Korea to the action. As I summarize all of these changes, I will probably amaze myself!

A year ago, when I started studying Korean at KCC, people asked, even KCC asked on the application, why I wanted to learn Korean. All I could say was that I wanted to know more, to understand. In just a few weeks, I was amazed - I could read! I went from not knowing if a storefront sign was in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, to knowing it was hangeul, and I was able to sound it out. I didn’t know what it meant – but I could read! Now I have some basic conversation skills and am building my vocabulary. I can say: Hangook drama-reul sarang hamnida! (I love Korean dramas!)

Korean language classes were just the start! This spring, I attended KCC’s Korean Entertainment lecture series and learned more about Korean dramas, film, and animation. At the last lecture, I got the names and contact info of people who wanted to keep meeting to discuss Korean films and dramas and to explore other avenues of Korean culture – especially those avenues in nearby Koreatown! I’ve organized several gatherings for the “Hallyu Surfers” to have dinner, see films and attend cultural events – surfing the Korean Wave together! I now have my favorite Korean food – bibimbap – and favorite places to go – Chosun Galbee and CafĂ© MAK, where Elisa helps me with Korean! This new leadership role has been good for me – and so much fun! I’ve made some wonderful friends! I’ve also delved deeper into Korean film, doing some research to help prepare for a possible lecture series, even contacting scholars about participating and being delighted by their positive response! Perhaps they, too, crave more opportunities to talk about Korea!

I’ve attended KCC’s art exhibit openings, tea ceremonies, and musical performances. Images related to my experiences with Korean culture now appear in my writing. I hadn’t realized that the connection being formed was so deep. Several poems later, I was writing one screenplay about a kidnapping in Korea and another about a young woman who leaves Jeju Island in the 50s for Seoul and meets a young American soldier – someone like my dad, who actually served in Japan. That story, entwined with my own family’s history, further deepens the connection with Korea.

As I’ve continued to learn more, I’ve gained the wisdom to know that this “Persistent Passion” is not a five-episode drama, like “Freeze.” It’s an epic, like “Dae Jang Geum,” that will have more twists and turns than I can imagine. In fact, just this week I started my first blog, where I share some of my Korean-inspired poetry. I foresee a serious addiction to managing the online discussion on all things Korean!

Back when I was just “in love,” not actively loving and courting Korea, I had this fantasy: Bae Yong Jun would thank me for writing such a great screenplay for him, and I would – oh so eloquently thank him for touching my heart in “Winter Sonata.” Adapting that drama’s metaphor of finding your home in the heart of your true love, I would say something like, “Invisible walls were knocked down as I watched ‘Winter Sonata,’ and my heart grew and grew! Now my heart isn’t just your house, it’s your summer palace, big enough to hold all of Korea – North and South! – and even most of Asia! You can come visit whenever Seoul gets too darn hot!”

Since that fantasy, when an eager fan waited in a breezy, elegant, empty palace for her Yonsama, things have changed. As you can see, I have less time for all my dramas – though I still watch them and continue to get my friends addicted! Now I am busy with a real connection to Korea, one that started out in stories about love, loss, family and friendship in a culture I knew so little about. Once I watched, however, I understood, and it became a part of me. I am so thankful. I wasn’t bad before, but now I am so much better! And if Bae Yong Jun comes to visit his summer palace, he will have to wander the crowded hallways to find me among all the people I’ve come to know and love. When he finds me, of course, I will give him a big hug – one of those “Korean hugs,” when usually the guy pulls the girl close to him, and suddenly they know how much they mean to each other. Then, I’ll say “gamsahamnida, oppa!” - - and let him go....

Bae Yong Jun watches as our heroine walks over to the TV in the palace living room and turns it off so her friends can talk. He is suddenly grabbed by Auntie Lourdes, who looks like she’s going to faint! “When I watched you in ‘Untold Scandal,’ I – I – can’t breathe!” She collapses in his arms! A beautiful young Asian woman, Michelle, rushes over to help. Bae Yong Jun looks on as Michelle revives the older woman. Michelle looks up, and Bae Yong Jun gives a start as he gazes into her eyes. A look of recognition? His long lost sister? A reunion of souls destined to meet? Be sure to watch Episode Three of “A Persistent Passion”……