Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Korean Mini Series Capture more Attention

Interest in Korean tv series is increasing.  Netflix must find them rewarding as they keep offering more and more.  There is quite a variety.  Here are some I have watched in the last months.

 "Our Blues" (2022) A series of relationships on Jeju Island, which had been presented to me as a sort of honeymoon destination, but here is a fishing enterprise.   Based on co-workers in fishing boat and fish mart.  There are 14 or so characters who appear in most episodes.  Two single fathers (who don't like each other)whose young children become pregnant.  Old resentments and disappointments  misunderstandings.  A woman been through several relationships with a Down syndrome sister who she keeps secret and then abandons relationships when it might be revealed.  There is a jarring relationship between a mother and her son.  In the end most of the conflicts have been resolved.  As with many Korean dramas the action is slow and complicated.  This one was very satisfying.  Among the cast were at least two that have made an impression on the American market:  Lee Jeong-eun appeared in "Okja" 2017) and the Oscar winner "Parasite" (2019).    Check:   And Lee Byung-hun who appeared on "The Squid Game, " very popular series on Netflix.   Check:

Some other series of interest seen during 2022.

"Misaeng" (2014) was recommended to see an early quality series.  About  a business internship with a group of young people and their adventures.  The main protagonist was relatively disadvantaged, but eventually wins acceptance by his humble persistence.  The character playing a mentor role, Lee Sung-min shows up in a more current  "Juvenile Justice" (see below).  Part of film was filmed in Jordan.




"Thirty-Nine" (2022) gets its title from the age of three close female friends.  They are all single and in different kinds of romantic relationships--one with a married man, another with a business partner and one with a younger man.  The romances proceed predictably, but one of the women learns she has a fatal disease and that disrupts the relationships.  One attraction for me was Son Ye-jin who was the female lead for a very popular series, "Crash Landing on You" (2019).  She is now married to her co-star from that series, Hyun Bin.  Check:


"Twenty Five Twenty One" (2022)  is a sweet story involving maturity, friendship, failure,  A young woman has a dream of being a top fencer.  The older man (4 years) is the son of a bankrupt .  We follow her fencing career and his media career.  There are a few satisfying romances, but not everything works out the way your might predict.  

My Liberation Diary (2022)  When told how difficult a task would be one character says "I beat the odds (100 million to one) when I was conceived."  Three siblings, all somewhat introverted and all of them long distance commuters.  A stranger enters to work for the father of the three siblings.  He is not talkative, drinks to excess after work, but is a very good worker.  His background does play a role, but there are other elements.   The dialogue and a strange plot keep the viewer engaged, but it is a slow moving story.



 Some other series that had been blogged about earlier this year.  

My Holo Love   science fiction/romance

Science fiction appeals to those of us who like to fantasize about inventions, but it can also be a tool to better understand human behavior.  People represented as holograms with artificial intelligence (plus emotional feelings) is exciting and forces humans to look at ourselves.

My own experience regarding science fiction went through stages and I now appreciate that it can be a very useful tool.

 My "Juvenile Justice" thoughts at: 

Courtroom dramas are popular, but juvenile cases are rare.  This series takes a look at how juveniles get involved.   Some of those in the justice system become hardened and others look for excuses.  The public is resentful that violent juveniles can get away literally with murder.   Topics include test cheating, bullying, prostitution, blackmail, and of course murder.  Kim Hye-su, a veteran actress plays the main tough judge who also provided one of my favorite laughs, "Hyena" (2020).

I have overlooked the category of action, but Koreans are pretty impressive when it comes to tension and violence.

Just started watching on a weekly basis.  (2022) "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022) that has caused me to do something I have never done before.  I have never rated an episode of any series, but was so overwhelmed by the third episode that I felt compelled to give the episode a 10.  One of the best I have seen.  Autism is being a subject for more films as we better understand (still a long way to go) and the Asperger is drawing attention.  Hans Asperger was an Austrian doctor who got involved with Nazis, probably for practical reasons and diagnosed the condition we identify as Asperger's syndrome. Amusing in many parts as autistics lend themselves to be laughed at, but also shows what it is like to live on the other side of the derision.  Her father and her fellow lawyers make adjustments as they are forced to deal with an autistic.  Eun-bin Park plays the autistic lawyer, making her a realistic human.  Last year I watched her as the lead in "The King's Affection" (2021) where she portrayed a woman masquerading as a man who was the king having to hide her emotions in an historical drama.

One of the best explanations of how autistic people fit in the world comes from an autistic comedian--yes you read it correctly:

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