Review – The King Loves / The King in Love
This drama was divine. It took your basic love triangle and raised it up to levels of discomfort, pain and joy that I don’t recall ever experiencing in another drama. Kings are always lonely, isolated people – by design – the people they can trust or count on are few and far between. In this story, our King had one friend. One. So when they both fall in love with the same woman… cue the twenty hours of beautiful agony this show will provide. I think what made this particular love triangle special was that our lady in the middle really loved both men. She just happened to love one of them a little more…
Add to that some outstanding political intrigue – none of the boring filler that so often accompanies historical dramas – and brilliant side characters – and you’ve got yourself a historical drama that stands above others. Let’s not forget how freakin’ sweet this show was! So many sweet moments. And tons of genuine humor, too. There was a great mix of everything, honestly. Gorgeous cinematography, detailed costuming, and a complicated but tightly woven plotline that deeply satisfied. Until the very end. The very bitter end. Cause… only one of these absolutely lovable men is getting the girl, after all. And your heart is going to break for the other dude. It wouldn’t have mattered which one. That’s why this drama was amazing… it was a win-win and a lose-lose either way…
Overall Review – 9.5/10. Love Is A Game That Demands Losers.
More musing on heartbreak, some spoilers, and character thoughts follow… let’s dive in.
Movie Review – Alice: Boy From Wonderland
What a surreal, moody, broody, twisted little movie. I adored it, as I have always been a fan of ghost stories and haunted houses. Especially with tragic tales (but aren’t they always?) as back stories. This was a strange piece of work… definitely not a mainstream film. It reminded me of Werewolf Boy (which is far, far superior in every way), in that it’s so odd, so touching, so horrible, that I know it will stick with me for a long time. It’s basically about a young woman whose nightmares have become so thick they’re blurring into reality – and threaten to take her, and her family, to the grave. With the help of her aunts, she goes to an inbetween-world, Wonderland, an estate that burnt to the ground but is, mystically, available to our Alice for a few precious days while she sorts out her past and the souls lost that are still pulling at her life.
Jung So-Min plays our lead female – and she was perfect as the surreal, beautiful, dreamy girl caught between worlds. Hong Jong-Hyun was lovely as the tragic soul who clings to her side, helping her navigate the strange world she now inhabits.
Eerie. Romantic. Bloody. Confusing. A dream within a dream in a dream world. Not a bad way to spend an evening. If you liked movies such as… The Others, The Girl In A Swing, or Skeleton Key or even something like Virgin Suicides or The Dreamers, you’ll probably like this one.
Review – White Christmas (A Tribute to 90’s Angst)
In 2011, they gathered together all the young stars who could tear down a house with their acting abilities and threw them in a short, creepy drama together called White Christmas. They set the entire thing to late 20th century indie music… Primal Scream, Massive Attack, The Pixies, Alice in Chains, Velvet Underground… like a stolen mixed tape from my formative years. The plot is simple – seven students receive a threatening, confusing anonymous letter saying they’re all cursed and someone will die over the Christmas break. So they all stay behind, as the rest of their peers leave for the holidays. These stragglers linger in a huge empty school building isolated on top of a snowy mountain… desperate to discover what role they have to play in this mystery.
And at its heart, the show is a mystery. But it’s also an examination into a high pressure school system. It’s social commentary. It’s a therapy session. It’s an exploration of natural violence. It’s a story about people… and how they hurt and heal each other. And it is DARK, people.
I’ve had it in my que for months… saving it. Now that summer is coming to an end, I finally treated myself to dessert. And it was exceptionally tasty. Only eight episodes long but jam packed with mesmerizing performances, plot twists, and a startlingly original story. It’s on Viki – go watch it now! (and please when you’re watching it take note of all the bizarre conceptual 90’s-style photoshop artwork all over the walls in every room… cause… wow… so eerie… remember the doll heads?)
Overall Rating – 10/10. REDRUM! REDRUM!!!
Discussion of characters and SPOILERS follow….