Korean Dramas that star anti-heroes seem to be a secret key in garnering the number of Korean viewers. From Vincenzo to Taxi Driver and now with TvN’s newest drama ‘The Devil Judge’. When the trailer of this drama was released, I was already excited because I know that moral conflicts will be one of the central elements and driving forces that will propel the story forward and I love narratives that are heavy on moral conflicts. When I am given the opportunity to question character decisions, I live for it and this drama has that.
Empowerment. Agency. Selflessness. Motherhood. Femininity. Unconditional love. These are some of the major themes presented in ‘Mine’. It was a narrative that pictured women and their shared destinies as well as their individual pursuits. It was a fairly good attempt in shattering the ceilings of the patriarchy. In the entirety of its 16 episodes, different faces of women were showcased, each with their unique motivations and personalities, yet driven by the same force that is feminism whilst experiencing parallel social constraints.
“At a Distance, Spring is Green” is a slice-of-life and coming-of-age Korean Drama based on the webtoon of the same name. With the theme of “Life is a comedy from a distance, but a tragedy up close”, this Korean drama series aims to bring a realistic representation of youth – the colors and grays that those who are in their 20s must go through each day despite the presumed beauty of being young. It centers around the life of the foregoing characters, their personal struggles, and I believe, how they will be able to withstand and survive their adversities in life with the support of each other.
JTBC’s Law School has finally closed its last case with the finale showing the main culprit of the story’s major plot being indicted and imprisoned, affirming the impartial powers of the law and the distributive, procedural, retributive, and restorative scales of justice. Delving into the legal system and court proceedings in South Korea, this drama was able to show that injustices existing in third world countries also happen in a country deemed to be rich and powerful albeit in different dynamics.
Early this year we have seen two of the most popular Korean dramas that employed this hero archetype – TvN’s Vincenzo and SBS’s Kim Do Ki in Taxi Driver. These two dramas are structured in a way that fits perfectly to the definition and characterization of an outlaw hero – a hero that combats social norms and systems by operating above the law. Both dramas picture the current justice system as skewed, manipulated, corrupted, and exploitative. So, to correct this, the hero goes all the way by circumnavigating the law and extracting justice through his own methods and judgments.
My Roommate is a Gumiho is a fantasy – romance Korean drama between a 999 year old nine-tailed fox, who wants to be human, and that of a college student who accidentally swallowed his bead. The story is based on the original webtoon series Gan Tteoreojineun Donggeo or Frightening Cohabitation. The premise of the k-drama is actually not something really new. I have read and seen stories where a character has to complete a certain mission to fulfill his ultimate desire or life goal. However, I am interested as to how this premise extends further beyond the romantic arc…
Mine has been consistent in its attempt to tread on the complicated dynamics of the lives of the ultra rich and the secrets that lie behind closed doors. From all the aired six episodes, the tensions and conflicts within the Hyowon Family build up. We have seen some shocking revelations and some truths to some of the characters as well as the development arcs of each. But there are three things in these developments that I find unsettling, yet, added flavor to the narrative.
The emotional ballistics of Mouse has finally come to an end. I was shocked, pained, emotionally wrought but very satisfied. I couldn’t ask for a better ending and how the showrunners wrapped-up the story. From the employment of the uniquely framed poetic justice for the main character to how the rest of the characters were given the hope and peace to move forward.
The narrative of the charismatic mafia consigliere has ended powerfully. For all its 20 episodes, Vincenzo has stayed number 1 in ratings in nationwide South Korea with its finale episode garnering its highest with 14.636%. It became the 6th highest in TvN history’s drama series, bested only by its predecessors Crash Landing On You, Goblin, Reply 1988, Mr. Sunshine, and Mr. Queen. A powerful ending for a powerful narrative.
When I first saw the teaser of the Kdrama “Mine” on Netflix, I got very excited. From the teaser alone I can definitely say that this drama oozes with strong and powerful women. As a believer of the feminist movement, I was very happy that a drama like this one is again shown on the mainstream streaming platform. The feels of Sky Castle, World of the Married, and Penthouse came rushing in; that alone was a solid enough reason to binge the drama. It’s another drama from TvN replacing the time slot previously held by Vincenzo.