I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

A Case of Too High Expectations October 22, 2007

Filed under: kdramas — Raven @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Winter Sonata is the quintessential kdrama, right? The huge hit, the most popular kdrama ever, etc.? I should be blown away by it, right?

I’m not.

Granted, I’m only on Episode 4. And maybe part of the problem is that I’ve already seen bunches of kdramas that were made later and probably copied the classic, so I already recognize the tropes and they don’t seem fresh. But you know what it’s missing? A throughline. Er, aside from the obvious one of Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo falling in love and after many trials and tribulations ending up together, as I’m sure they will. Or else dying in each other’s arms or something. Or another heartbreaking possibility that I don’t want to say because it might spoil some of it for those of you who haven’t seen it. Or one of them getting cancer. I swear, if somebody starts getting nosebleeds I’m turning it off.

Okay, I probably won’t turn it off, but I have to say at this point I’m watching it more out of a sense of duty (how could I not watch Winter Sonata now that I’ve finally gotten hold of it?) than because it’s compelling. And that makes me sad. I had such high hopes.

That was probably the rest of the problem.

P.S. Nobody spoil the ending for me, please.


11 Responses to “A Case of Too High Expectations”

  1. sku Says:

    Raven, do you speak Korean or are you getting dubbed/subtitled versions of these and the movies you review?

    My daughter is learning Korean in school and I’d love to get a movie for her. Do you know of any good Korean kids movies?

  2. Raven Says:

    I watch subtitled versions. I’ve taken a basic Korean class and have picked up some more Korean from watching the movies/dramas, but I’m nowhere near fluent (yet).

    I’m not too familiar with Korean kids’ movies, but I do know that KCC showed Mateo, the Great Pig Pirate in August (link: http://www.kccla.org/html/cinema_detail.asp?CinemaID=65). I didn’t see it, so I can’t say how good it was.

    Here’s a link to an article about Korean animation (not very recent stuff): http://www.koreanfilm.org/ani-history2.html. I know that the two they mention near the end, Mazinga Z and Robot Taekwon V, are pretty much culturally iconic in Korea. But I’m not sure where you would go about getting hold of them over here.

    I get my kdramas from Tiger Cinema, but they don’t seem to have any kids’/family movies. There’s a place in the Koreatown Plaza that rents VHS tapes, but I don’t know what their kids’ selection is like, if they have one. I haven’t visited any other video stores around K-town, so I’m not sure what they offer. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance…

  3. Edward Says:


    Millions of screaming, hysterical Japanese ladies can’t be wrong, right?

  4. Raven Says:

    LOL! Of course not!


  5. sku Says:

    Thanks Raven, I’ll check some of those out.

  6. CW Says:

    lol… I won’t spoil the ending but I must say that I really hated this drama. I liked the first half but the second half was just too much for me to stomach. Blech.

  7. Raven Says:

    Uh-oh, I’m just getting to the second half… I kind of have suspicions about what the deal is with Kang Joon Sang. Will be interesting to see if I’m right.

    I totally don’t buy that she couldn’t move on after so many years. I know it’s romantic and all, but I still don’t buy it, which isn’t helping my enjoyment of this drama at all.

    Oh, and somebody needs to tell the writers of kdramas that when somebody breaks up with you, it’s not cool to say you don’t accept that and then try to act as if the relationship were still ongoing. Seriously, real Koreans in Korea don’t really do that, do they? There’s a name for it. It’s called stalking.

  8. wangkon936 Says:

    It’s more acceptable in Korea to do that because the incident of violent crime towards women in Korea is ALOT less frequent then in the states. However, girls in Korea would be bothered by it, think it’s weird, etc. but they generally won’t fear for their personal safety.

  9. Raven Says:

    That’s something, I guess.

    But it’s lazy writing, and it should be stricken from the kdrama repertoire along with leukemia and longlost siblings.

  10. I think the reason for the popularity of Winter Sonata was that it’s a great first love story that everyone probably had experienced in their lives whether it succeeded or not. I’m quite sure lot of women were reminded of their first loves. I’ll admit that I’m one of them. First love is something very hard to forget.

  11. Raven Says:

    Hmm. You may be right. The problem is probably that I’m simply not a romantic.

    I would have been fine with the story if it had continued to follow the characters in high school. There was some amazing drama going on there. But after the time jump it was all lost, and the story turned into a mess in which the main drama was whether or not she was really over Joon-Sang. It just didn’t work for me.

    Like I said, not a romantic. 🙂

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