Review – Personal Taste

Review – Personal Taste

I just rewatched Personal Taste, after several years, and have to admit… it’s still a funny, cute, and charming K-Drama.  Sure, it’s a bit dated.  Sure, it’s over the top and almost laughably preposterous.  Sure, it’s full of gay jokes that are just thin layers hiding serious homophobia.  “You were born as a man but unable to fully live as one.”   Jeez.  You’ll just have to accept the icing on the cake is homophobia and let that go to enjoy the humor.  Though on the flip side, it did feature one of the coolest gay dudes in K-Drama history, the classy Director Choi of the Art Museum.  Anyways, despite the chips on the veneer – it’s so freakin’ adorable.  Full of sex jokes and innuendo, this show knows how to have fun with its context and its subtext and pull you along for the ride.

First of all, Lee Min-Ho has never been better cast as the fussy heterosexual everyone easily mistakes for a flaming homosexual.  This is one of his best roles, in my opinion.

Secondly, the female lead is absolutely lovable and adorable.  The frumpy furniture designer living comfortably in her father’s badass house while her personal and professional life flounders.  She’s such a “good girls come in last” stereotype, but instead of being pathetic – I really admired her and wanted to be her friend.  I mean, I really, really wanted to be her friend.  Why can’t I have friends like that?  Why can’t I have friends like her friend?  No, not the boyfriend stealing one or the money stealing one, but her bestie girlfriend, the humorous and loyal companion who will have your back for life.  I loved her best friend.  She’s the type of friend who will key the car of the person who hurt you and then buy you ice cream and say you look beautiful when mascara is running down your cheeks.

I will kill for you, bitch!

I love stories where the couple fall in love while sharing a house.  I mean, it’s hard not to really get to know someone when you are co-habitating.  That goes triple when you are sharing a house with paper walls.  Literally, rice paper walls.

To me, one of the best staples of a classic K-Drama is the arch nemesis who has no conscience.  Personal Taste provided an ice queen who knew no boundaries in her villainy.   Combine her with a flaky, weak man who also stirred up trouble wherever he went, and you have a deadly cocktail of foils for our main couple.  There were a lot of plot points – relationships, work, family, and friends – and they all worked well together.  It also had one of the greatest first episodes in K-Land… a lot happened.  Reminds me of She Was Pretty… another show with a great first episode.

Overall Rating – 8/10.  A Prudish Virgin Finally Gets Laid.

More… including shop talk, gay musings, sex and spoilers follow…

Continue reading

Review – Shark / Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus

Review – Shark

Shark is the third (and final) installment in the Revenge Trilogy by director Park Chan-hong and writer Kim Ji-woo.  This drama varies greatly from its predecessors,  Resurrection and The Devil.  Shark is a moody, elegant revenge drama that indulges in gorgeous scenery and slow plot progression.  It’s like watching a Sofia Coppola film.  Everything is filtered down – the action, the romance, the mystery and the suspense – and yet its easy to bask comfortably in this dark emotional pool and allow yourself to sink to the bottom.

Kim Gam Nil is well suited to the careful, calculating man robbed of his father and young adulthood who returns for revenge.  Son Ye Jin does an excellent job portraying a woman who lost her first love – and in order to find him again must face the terrible secrets of her own trusted family.  Though it’s not as sexy and brooding as Bad Guy or as twisted and compelling as The Devil – Shark is an excellent series for a rainy weekend when you’d rather get lost in beautiful visuals, a slow simmer romance and a interesting mystery.

It’s a beautifully crafted drama.  Meticulously crafted, in fact.  Every shot, every detail, every lingering camera angle and detail hint at extra meaning.  Like a Hitchcock film.   Though a lot longer.  It’s long.  It’s 20 episodes.  And there’s a great deal of “sins of the father” theme going on in this show… and more than once you will find yourself thinking, “Wait… doesn’t he/she already know this/that?” and you probably won’t be able to answer your own question and it probably won’t matter cause everyone has secrets and secret identities and everyone is lying to everyone and they can’t keep their stories straight so why should we, as viewers, have to?  I absolutely LOVED this drama – and have rewatched it several times over the years (okay, okay, maybe not all of it… but probably 70%)- loving it more each time.  But of course, long convoluted crazy  romantic revenge melodramas are generally my favorites.

It also has one of the best love theme songs I’ve ever heard in drama.  Lovely, haunting and passionate – I never got tired of hearing this song.

Overall Rating:  10/10

EXTREMELY MILD SPOILERS AND MORE

Continue reading