Life is Beautiful -K drama

So I am watching the Korean drama Life is Beautiful and can I just say this drama is beautiful too. I am up to Ep. 28 and unfortunately don’t have access to some eps but what I’ve seen has been very touching. It is basically a drama about the different relationships in a family. Their relation to each other as well as touching on the love lives of the adult children.

I think the parents in this drama are great and very understanding parents and it really comes across how much they love their kids and want what is best for them. At the heart of the drama (at least in the eps I’ve seen) is the relationship of the oldest son Tae Sub with his boyfriend Kyung Soo. It really depicts how difficult it is in to be in the closet and then how difficult it is to make the decision to come out to the family. There is a good contrast in the reaction of Tae Sub’s and Kyung Soo’s family. It is at times heartbreaking to see Tae Sub’s parents try to be strong and balance their love for him with the news that for them came out of left field.

Can I just say that Ho Sub is the brother everyone would love to have. No matter what is the reaction of people around him you can tell that in his eyes Tae Sub is still his beloved hyung and nothing has changed for him. The character is very cute, not just physically but also in his eagerness and his caring towards those around him.

I think the writer is doing a wonderful job of conveying how even within families people can have very different beliefs of what they find acceptable. Tae Sub and Kyung Soo look good together (some slight awkwardness on the actors’ part but that seems to change over the course of the eps.) and care deeply for one another while at the same time being very much aware of how their relationship is impacting their families.

All in all a drama well worth watching. Though obviously due to the topic if you are a homophobe then watch something else.

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30,000 Miles in Search of My Son…underrated drama

I recently had the opportunity to see this drama (with incredibly sucky subtitles). Unfortunately no fansubbers that I know of have picked this drama up and it’s kind of a shame. I actually decided to watch this drama because Soh Yoo Jin was in it. She was in Bean Chaff of My Life a few years ago which I actually did not get to watch but am intrigued by the concept of musical drama. Because of this, when I saw her in the pics I was curious as to what her latest project was.

Soh Yoo Jin plays a young single mother who has spent the past six years trying to locate her kidnapped son. What she doesn’t know, that the audience does, is that it was actually her then husband who orchestrated the kidnapping. Due to his ambition he wanted to marry another woman to advance his position in the company and had his son kidnapped so that he could blame Soon Young (played by Soh Yoo Jin) and use it as an excuse to divorce her.

Due to a series of circumstances the child winds up in the car of Kang Kye Pil who decides to claim him as his illegitimate child in order to get out of an arranged marriage. Kang Kye Pil is a very interesting character in that at the beginning of the story he is very immature, as evidenced by his decision not to report to the police about this child. As the show progresses you really get to see Kang Kye Pil’s progression to a more mature person and his genuine love for his son. I found this drama also gave real insight into why Kang Kye Pil’s personality developed the way it did.

It wasn’t the storyline so much that caught my attention, in this case it was the acting. Lee Hoon was believable as Kang Kye Pil who is in essence the result of growing up emotionally abused by his stepmother.

The “bad guys” in this drama were really unlikeable and this is actually meant as a compliment. Though I don’t agree with the lack of consequences for the stepmother’s actions it was interesting that they actually chose to have the character basically explain her reasoning and the emotions behind it.

Emotion is a very important part of this drama, not just in the sense of the normal melodrama but in the sense of the long term consequences that result from negative treatment of others.

Big kudos go to the gentleman who plays Soon Young’s ex-husband (anyone know the actor’s name?). This guy was evil personified. The acting was a little too good there, it really made me wonder… :)

The actor did a great job of expressing this character’s greed and contempt of those around him. He feels absolutely no remorse for what he has done to his son and the way he has destroyed his ex-wife’s life.

It’s a drama that no one seems to be talking about, on Soompi at least. I have no idea what the ratings in Korea were like but I think it’s worth a look. Not the greatest plot ever but some fine acting and a really convincing (too convincing!) bad guy.