Posts Tagged korean drama
I’m not sure I’ll stick all the way through this, but Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is both fun where it’s trying to be funny, and intriguing where it’s starting to line up it’s conflicts…
Of course, you can blame DramaBeans.com reviews for my watching it at all–I wasn’t interested initially. But they drew comparisons to Hello My Teacher (and it’s quite apt, I’d say this is like a reboot) and then were enthusiastic about some of the viewpoint-contrasts between the main characters, and I needed to check it out.
Of course, Chaebol Boy’s always superlatively well-dressed…
And do you see that? Yes, characterizing…bracelets.
With a sort of childish blocky look, in fact, which I think is to cue us to the fact that he’s actually underage while all the footage before a certain point makes it seem as though he’s quite independant and adult. (Maybe not mature, but acting under his own power.)
He’s pairing them with suit jackets and sweaters and school uniform, all themselves with severe lines such a slim frame carries off so well. It adds a playful note necessary to really perceive him correctly.
Of course, he also has to have his cadre of Flower Boy lackeys. I don’t know if they’ll be the Beauties of the ramyun shop (long-haired one, yes, plz) or if that’s going to be more a One-Man-Show (if this is the straighten-up tactic of his father[‘s secretary] I will be so pleased.
I like that already the shop has a certain honor-code and reverence, that it’s a neutral ground for the gangs and has a heavy significance to both the heroine and her dad.
I also like that they seem to be going to the extra effort of finding new ways to film familiar settings.
I don’t have high hopes for this show, exactly, but it’s a fun thing to have in my queue of things to watch when I need something lighter. And I’m open to changing my mind, too.
See what I mean about the high-tech, cool blue of this show?
have a gratuitous art-shot from City Hunter, may it live forever:
This whole scene was about the unspoken, things we know and the characters don’t, and so the open-ended focus and back-profiles are just good cinematography as far as I can tell…
The space is both obvious, but not awkward. And I notice, that the scenes of the president are all very uncluttered but not high-style, either. The only really exciting place in the Blue House is the security room, actually. This choice, to not glorify or stiltify the national headquarters, is one that both makes the tension not about lifestyle but moral code, and makes the accessibility of these places to our main characters much smoother.
And stuff. Probably.
Last: gratuitous art shot of Himself.
Zany, is the word for the set-up on this show.
(Isn’t it curious how many excellent words for varying shades of crazy we have in our language?)
JavaBeans and girlfriday of DramaBeans.com were discussing how it’s an unusual note for a K-Drama to strike, this intentional-camp-and-pastiche with over-the-top plot points being integrated into a coherent plot. The craziness they love of the Hong Sisters’ dramas is similar (You’re Beautiful, with it’s meta-awareness at points, was pretty fun) but not quite the same.
Does it make sense that the North Korean spy-girl, who is so conservative and military-issue she’s never had a crush before, wears the cutest shorts with her button-up shirts over tees, and schnazzy (but not stiletto-heeled) boots?
Not really. And yet…yes.
She’s so clueless, she’s cute in a way that can be conceived as accidental.
I’m pretty sure this is why “top star Kang-Woo” can’t get her off his mind.
He’s the one *I* can’t get off my mind. With half his clothes, I want to avert my eyes (it’s like seeing someone trying to mimic G-Dragon’s fashion sense without access to the actual designers)
one begins to wonder why he doesn’t spend MORE than a quarter of the show in that classic jeans-and-wifebeater combo he works like a boss.
And then you remember it wouldn’t be so hot EVERY TIME, if absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder.
But really now.
This guy’s charm is not like Lee Min Ho, and suits may look cute on him, but they’re never going to fit his actual personality.
One of the things about City Hunter that I’m surprised to actually support is that while the love-line between Na-Na and Yoon-Sung took the fore in a mini-arc, once it was kind of settled, the actual mission came again to the front. Na-Na was still a major player, because she was set up as a character involved with the whole package, not just his solace in a nasty storm…
though very good at that, too.
The focus of the drama was all about relationshipS, a network of them, where no connection came without a couple of knots with others. Even though the action was hot, it was the pieces of this network falling together that was the primary suspense.
And so, what was the best love-line? All shades of love are involved in this drama…
appropriate since the denouement conflict is over choosing between the love of loyalty, blood, and altruism, too.
So then, we have Jin-Pyo, who made him who he is, and who is his harshest enemy. His mom, who he has the sweetest, bitterest reunion with. Young-Ju, with whom he has a rivalry that pushes both of them to excellence…and the funniest dominance games.
But who brings out the best in him? The human flaws and virtues?
Not Na-Na, actually. She heightens his conflict as City Hunter, and throws him into the hyper-reality of romantic love. No, this honor goes to everyone’s favorite ajumma…
I mean, look at these guys.
They have the sweetest exchanges, in terms of every-day back and forth in a friendship. The credit-cards arguments?
BEST THING SINCE COCOA
They’re the kind of besties that usually you only see in US chick-flicks. Lee Min Ho’s other best pairing notwithstanding…
It’s so cute, because while Yoon-Sung still feels the emotional lack of a mother, and all the ugly pressure of a swarm of fathers, Ajussi is the one who makes sure he’s living well, who gives him someone to take care of (who’s not a burden emotionally, but a real motivator to stay alive) and also a buddy who can help with whatever he’s up to.
Na-Na can keep up with the action, but Shik-Joong can be talked into doing the grunt work…
How cute is it that he’s the opposite of Yoon-Sung’s suave, plausible con man, and yet, he ALWAYS succeeds, too?
Aw. I will miss you.
This is a show set firmly in the 2kteens.
In a way, it must be horrible for actors to have to be on-target facially to such a high definition. Lee Min Ho does not have to cry over this, though.
I mentioned toward the beginning of the series that costumers know they have a good thing when he’s under their hands. I notice, in my screen caps, that there’s a lot of black, of course … and also hues of baby blue. It’s kind of in metro fashion these years, but it’s also definitely a good color on him.
Since there is almost no softness to his figure and features, the gentle colors don’t take away any masculinity.
EVEN if you put him in lace-texture blouses, too.
(I noted how they didn’t cop out on his sick-pallor makeup for several episodes after he got shot, and then again after being gassed. In looking back over the recaps I’m reminded how awesome that little detail is.)
Something else I’m seeing even more clearly from my screencaps is the introduction of warm, pinkish tones when NaNa is on the scene. I noted at the time the strong, but romantic light in this scene:
It’s true to the very high-intensity light of the rest of the show, but softened by the contrast of red phone and bright blouse, and a small diffuse effect.
But it’s not just in warm moments that this is true, actually.
Even if it’s Lee Yoon-Sung wearing maroon in the shot, can you deny it?
It’s a color that looks well against the sky and steel blues of most of the rest of the show, yet has a very distinctly different vibe.
You may also note (in upcoming photos, and previous ones) nature colors of wood and greens are the others to temper the black and glass-clear tech of this show’s 2011. Sky blue is noticeable in lightening the mood, because it has more green and yellow notes in it than the powdery or clear colors elsewhere.
So hot it BURNS.
…of course I’m talking about that jacket, what else?
That’s how many screencaps I have of this show. Usually it’s more toward 30 total, but you know…
this was just a gorgeous show. The shots, the sets, the people. Any time the beats of the scene were going to be a little slow, they plopped it in a place with visual energy.
It’s really not surprising me at all that I took that many without really trying too hard. This is probably only a handful of episodes worth. The story is so absorbing I plumb forgot most times.
Just as Myung Wol the Spy (my new favorite flavor of crack) is working the rebellious energy of the Eric/Han Ye-Seul pairing, Nana and Yoo Sung are both eager-to-please, dedicated people with a taste for danger. It’s not just chemistry of their clear-lined looks. Their characters, and the actors behind it, have rapport.
I’m going to be so sad when this show is over. Since it’s never for a minute bored me, though, I’ll probably be rewatching it someday.
Anyway, fair warning: thematic posts on City Hunter to turn my mourning energies to productivity likely to fill the next week or so.
Do they know how to dress this boy or WHAT?
I mean, he’s wearing the Color of Hate and Filth, and I screencapped this before I even realized it.
I mean, I feel a little bad for the boy, the moment his wasp-waist goes he’ll no longer be the beloved pet of the wardrobe designers…
But I say, live in the now. As the Patron Saint of SuitFetishers everywhere.
Oh yes. And of hairless Asian chests in scoop-neck tees. That, too.
We’ll save characterizing detail posts for other days. I’ve got more City Hunter to watch…
and screencap, for your pleasure. As always.
So I mentioned these doors right? Which, btw, you haven’t seen the half of.
The plant’s green to offset the different tones of gray even makes sense: he has a maid to water it, unlike most bachelors who would need plastic grass in their desktop Zen gardens. (Love how he holds Ah-Jung to her promise to clean up after the party DESPITE this fact. It works to show us the developing crush.)
Also, you can’t have a boring scene coming through those doors. And it says everything that needs to be said about this guy’s social status and level of taste.
Similarly, how much more hilarious is an ankle-kicking scene where the victim has to sit down in front of a wall of flowering bushes? Three times more hilarious. Let’s call them azaleas, because the caption “Taking Refuge on a Curb Among the Azaleas” is even more funny.
Of course “location” may, indeed, be someone else’s prerogative, which is the territory we’re straying into here, as is some of the more situational set-up to follow, but they mesh together to create the ambiance of the show. And whoever the storyteller is involved in putting these things together, they’re doing their job.
Pardon the screen-cap sloppiness on some of these–my focus on the sets means sometimes there are heads rolling.
Okay–this is a prime example. (Of both points X]). Raquetball as the angst-emotive sport of choice? AWESOME. First of all, it’s much more fun alone than basketball (Sang-hee’s angst-sport). It’s also the kind of upper-class elitist sport that’s just what he’d pick out. From a filming point of view, it makes a very interesting space, and that satisfying thwack resounds of anger.
Previously, he showed his snob-taste by drinking something probably quite tasty because it has color like brandy, scotch, wine, RUM (okay, probably not that) with a…plate of fruit. Somehow that looks both super aristocratic and actually fantastic.
Again, we have splashes of cobalt, the fruit’s color enhanced by the flower arrangement of white and red in the foreground. Contrast: we have some.
Food related ingenuity actually has struck me several times. Sure, we see people eating ramen all the time, but what about this cozy and enviable set-up?
I completely use books I’m not reading right now for bed-desks. Mostly coffee, but sometimes snacks, too. This and the actual work scenes are pretty much the only ones that establish Ah-Jung as kind of awesome beside the appeal of Eun-Hye-ssi herself. This shot to me says “AH-HAH, we are kindred spirits.”
Now we’re about halfway into the show I’ve accumulated a lot more looks I like to post about but for now let’s finish off with a Vulnerable Ji-Hwan Pin-Up:
See, even more color in this house by daylight! And see that kitchen set up? 1, that bar is awesome; 2, those doors are also worth noting; 3, he’s so boooored without you, Ah-Jung! The ex has practically no chance because she didn’t help him invent Cola-Kissing.
I was a bit dubious of these pins on Ki Joon, I’ll readily admit. Little felt bow ties and flowers, as decoration on his lapel? Are we sure he’s not running a Queer Eye boutique, rather than a business-class hotel?
But with the advent of these slightly less Play-Skool variants (again, nice plaid [you’ll bear hearing more on that later. Plaid, that is]) I finally understood.
They’re a kind of unperishing boutonniere. This feathery-texture still seems to be wandering into “who but a wardrobe designer–?!” territory…
But that’s all right. It’s kind of pretty. I also like that he is reusing them, not always in a new one.
And it does add a touch of contrast where this character is otherwise not flashy.
I mean, talk about an entrance, right?
We won’t go into raptures over the double-rows of buttons, or the subliminal texture of the color on that coat…or maybe, we don’t even need to.
(Got bored during the caught-cheating walk with Yoon Joo, screencapped the suit, tho. I like the way they broaden him.)
Okay, but that flower’s just a little too smug.
“Oh yeah, I’m a flower Kang Ji-Hwan’s wearing. You know it.”