Substantial: Subbers on Secret Love Affair and the craft of subbing

Subtitles are the key that allows international viewers entry into the world of Korean drama. I didn’t fully understand this until my first rewatch of Coffee Prince. Before that, I blindly followed along with the words flashing across my screen without really critically evaluating them. Han Gyul and Eun Chan were fighting. What more did I need to know beyond that?  But stumbling across fan-created subtitles for my favorite drama chang…

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House of horrors, Kdrama style

…ge would offer classes in Korean, and our entertainment media would actually feature news and review coverage of the shows I watch. With recent coverage in big press outlets like USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, why couldn’t a Korean show be a big hit in America? Then again, maybe I wouldn’t want this to actually happen. I haven’t conducted any research on this, but I suspect that Korean drama changed in response to Japan’s post- Winter S…

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Drama Review: Miss Korea (2013)

…ell them to go fuck themselves and then kick them in the shins. Sincerely, Amanda —Lee Sun Gyun is pretty much the only active male lead who’s so old that even I could call him Oppa. I worry that this drama is the beginning of the end for him—from here, it’s off to playing someone’s hot young dad, and then maybe a sageuk king. There’s a lot of discussion about a lack of good roles for older women in American entertainment, but on Korean televis…

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From zero to hero (and back again)

…It was glorious to watch her spar with other actors, and she quickly became my favorite thing about the series. That’s really saying something—Lee took a character that could have been incredibly annoying and imbued her with such humanity that I didn’t even mind Can We Get Married’s lumpy, repetitive second half.   Noh Hee Kung, screenwriter Padam Padam (2012) That Winter the Wind Blows (2013) As is often the case with dramas w…

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Drama Review: I Need Romance 3 (2014)

…one about its three female leads, friends who supported each other and had relationships that existed outside of their romantic lives. Maybe I would have liked this show if I hadn’t spent the past three years watching the best that Kdrama has to offer. It’s light and easy, and there are some cute ship moments. If you’re a drama newbie, give this show a try. It’s a Cliffs Notes version of many of the common themes you’ll find on Korean television…

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