별에서 온 그대 감독판 에필로그
…the EXO spiral, that is. Who else is with me?
In all seriousness though, while I liked EXO-M from their History and MAMA days (I don’t think I paid much attention to EXO-K and did not like any of them…oops), it wasn’t until curiosity got the better of me and went to watch the music video for 으르렁 sometime late last year that I got hooked. That video is golden with sparkles and glitter and made of absolute wonder *ahem* I just liked it a lot, thankyouverymuch.
Anyway, because of my growing addiction to this group, I finally gave in and watched their variety show, Showtime, until I could find no more new episodes. Episode 7 was when I caught up to the show and began waiting for subs to come out. And then episode 8 was when I couldn’t care less about waiting for subs and just downloaded the raw and hoped for the best, and then re-watch the subtitled version to see what I missed, just like what I would do for Korean dramas these days (although tbh I don’t re-watch Empress Ki with subs; MBC takes a pretty long time to release the subtitles on Hulu, so I just don’t bother).
It was only after I got to episode 10 that I realized something—the things I didn’t catch while watching the raw episodes were very small details, but I pretty much understood what everyone was saying the entire episode without needing subtitles.
Granted, EXO’s Showtime has a ton of captions on them that makes it wholly easier for those tuning in to understand the conversations—this is especially true for some of the Chinese members, like Lay (Yixing~~~~) or Tao, whose Korean sounds very Chinese (and very cute) to my ears.
Still. This is something worth celebrating, yeah? One of the reasons why I was pushing myself to learn Korean in the first place was to understand Korean variety shows without subtitles. Back during my first few years as a Super Junior/DBSK fan, subbed videos weren’t uploaded as quickly, and some fansubbed videos don’t really translate everything that’s in the video. This is not to say anything bad about fansubbing groups, though; I have a huge respect for all those who continue to sub videos for the mere love of it—heck, I even joined one myself back then (only as a Clubbox downloader/encoder/uploader, though, since my Korean skill at that point was next to nil).
Anyway, I’m just really happy to report that I still see small progress in my Korean language learning despite halting any form of structured self-studying. Small, yes, but it’s there. I still wish I’m a more active learner like some people out there—maybe if I were, I’d be better at speaking Korean!—but at this point I’m not complaining with my progress. XD You only get as much as you put in, and for the amount of effort I’m putting, this is already a success.
(…Wait, is watching Korean variety shows without subs my ultimate Korean goal? LOL I think back then it was. XD)
1. On being Team Chilbong: I’ve been seeing a lot of anger and irritation in the internet directed to Chilbong and Chilbong fans (for being delusional), so I decided to post my two cents. Granted, I say this with full disclosure that I am Team Chilbong and have been since he started gaining more scenes in the earlier episodes, so I do hope no one bricks me for coming out and saying this.
I loved Oppa-yah’s character from the very beginning. He was a scene stealer and his affection towards Najung from the start, brotherly or not, was sweet. But then Chilbongie comes along with his smiles and his kindness and sweet endearing eagerness to spend time with Najung. The way he so obviously liked Najung, with his little fleeting looks and small smiles was what won me over. Unlike Oppa-yah, there was no conflicting emotions—he liked a girl, period, and it was so refreshing (and sweet) to see. Oppa-yah’s feelings for Najung were in no way inferior to Chilbong’s, but because of the storytelling and the way the limelight was so focused on Chilbong’s crush, there was no way for me to gauge whether Oppa-yah had any real feelings for Najung, or why he was so torn up in the first place. Still, I liked him enough to think that if Najung were to end up with Oppa-yah, I wouldn’t complain.
Then last week’s episodes happened and my. heart. broke. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still fine with Oppa and Najung—and maybe at this point I don’t even care if they end up getting married. So why did I feel so much hurt? Because with Oppa and Najung getting together, Chilbong is hurt. And right now the character I care most about is Chilbong, and because of that, I want him to be happy, in whatever form that happiness takes. If he were to move on and find another girl, then I would be happy for him. But this drama just piles on the pain for him, so it hurts me too. Like I said above, I’m Team Chilbong, not Team Chilbong-Najung; it doesn’t matter to me if they don’t end up together so long as Chilbong ends up happy. I think more heartbreak is in store for Chilbong (and me) in episode 15; the only thing I hope right now is they don’t end up giving him another heartbreak (in the form of early baseball retirement) because I will end up killing the scriptwriter if that were to happen.
(Sorry for the possible incoherency of the post above; my Chilbong feels have been in pain since last week)
2. On Binggeure’s choice: I said this once before and I’ll say it again: Of all the characters in the story, Binggeure is perhaps the one I can relate to the most. His struggles in finding the thing he wants to do, his problems with his major and not feeling up to doing the thing his parents want him to do were things that I’ve dealt with (and are still dealing with) that his storyline just hit so close to home.
The recent development in episode 14 with Binggeure finally going back to med school continued to resonate with me, and I like that in this case, he wasn’t being forced upon doing something—he chose. It was his decision to follow, to obey, to be a good son, knowing that it will make his parents happy. I know this doesn’t sound like a nice path to take—and it really doesn’t. In reality, it hurts. Which is why that little voice over of Najung regarding Binggeure’s choice, that the reason we do so is because the people we love has as much importance as our dreams, was very comforting (though still somewhat bittersweet), and I couldn’t help but tear up a bit over that scene.
3. On other dramas: Heirs is still airing but I stopped watching, I think, after the 10th episode? At some point I couldn’t see any reason left to continue watching the drama, so I stopped. The same happened with Mirae’s Choice—I think I stopped thinking this one had any logic when Shin dreamt of what happened in the first timeline (without any real reason as to why he dreamt those dreams in the first place) and started having feelings for Mirae because of said dreams. How stupid can a plotline get?
Empress Ki is my new crack drama right now, after being heartbroken over Chilbong’s heart breaking, haha. I think I’m bound to be even more heartbroken in this one, as I’m in a ship I knew from the start would sink. Still, this drama is worth watching—the acting is great; the plot, despite veering too far from history, is pretty good so far; the costumes and sets are splendid—all in all, I’m just really hooked. Hooked enough to watch it live, hah. Yes, I stay awake until 5 in the morning just to watch this live (technically until 6, since it’s an hour’s worth of programming). It’s that good. I can’t wait until Seungnyang becomes a concubine and (finally) the Empress, eek.
And here I thought the end-game for Yoon-jin was Haitai. Guess we don’t really know until we see it, eh?
This episode really just reinforces my Chil-bong love. I love Oppa-yah too, but I just can’t help but want Chil-bong to get the girl, you know? (I’m a huge sucker for one-sided loves, okay?) RIght now he’s firmly on friend territory for Na-jung, and it’s going to be really tough to even make an impression on the girl when he’s up against such an awesome Oppa. But I’m crossing my fingers on this one. Oppa seems like he’s always thought of Na-jung as a sister, and I think even before the drunken confession(s) (hah) incident in episode 8, he’s known for a while and doesn’t want to hurt her by saying no. But I don’t know—I could be completely wrong, for all I know. He could be in love with her for a long time and just didn’t know how to express it since they’ve been like family since they were kids. Ugghh this show!
I liked the Oppa-yah-Binggeurae scene because Binggeurae’s concerns really hit home, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate with his story. I don’t know if he’s truly going to be Joon-hee version 2 (and if he is, whether his feelings will be unrequited), but if he is, at the very least I’m happy that from what I see in the 2013 scenes, his relationship with Oppa-yah hasn’t changed at all.
I can’t wait to see more of Yoon-jin and Samcheonpo! It’s gonna be awesome to find out how their feelings developed.
Can’t Friday come any sooner? I’m in need of more 응답! (And from the looks of it, Korea is, too! The ratings are increasing every episode! *claps*)
Answer Me 1994 is doing a pretty good job at making me wonder who the husband is. In 1997 I had a pretty good feeling that Yoon-je was the end game so every single episode where they kept delaying the reveal felt a bit tiring as the show went on. But in 1994 I think the smattering of clues given show that either Oppa-yah or Chil-bong has a fair chance of being the husband. I like both actors and both characters so at this point I’d be happy whoever gets to marry Na-jung.
However, I do have to say that with the awesomeness of this week’s episodes I’m leaning a bit more to Chil-bongie’s side. Not that Oppa-yah isn’t awesome—he is the perfect mix of clumsy and smart and sweet and cool and oh-so-adorable oppa and watching his interactions with Jung is always, always giving me the butterflies—but Chil-bong’s looks of adoration towards Na-jung is just…GUH. The looks are fleeting and sweet and I like watching him look at Na-jung like she’s such a wonder to behold. And that massage scene, whilst totally hilarious, makes me love him even more for trying not to embarrass Na-jung even more, which was sweet. And who else thinks that the scene at the beginning of epsiode 6 sounds like an everyday marital conversation?
Anyway, right now I am loving the episodes and although I can’t wait to find out who the husband (and father of three, heh) is, I am going to enjoy the ride. This is my crack drama right now and I love it.