Hello all! It’s been quiet on the blog front these past couple of weeks because well, I’ve been busy gettin’ hitched! Yep, the noose is now firmly around my neck. The dude who wrote this is now stuck with me (and by extension, dramas) for life.
I guess that’s my biggest news this week, but other stuff did happen such as….
1. Lee Seung Gi and his noonas returned to Korea this week after filming Noonas Over Flowers, a new take of tvN’s hit variety show Grandpas Over Flowers. I looked forward to reading the re-caps of the latter each weekend over on Dramabeans, and I loved it way too much for a show I didn’t regularly watch (foiled by lack of subs, pooh). So I’m thrilled that Seung Gi is taking on the role of luggage boy for these veteran actresses in their travels to Croatia. What little I’ve seen of his legendary stint on 1 Night 2 Days makes me think that he’s ideal for the role of hapless porter. He just seems like the guy every noona would love to bully and mother in equal measure. He’s the guy your grandma dotes on, while your little sister kicks under the table. But I must say that Seung Gi is looking mighty handsome and all growed-up these days! NOF airs on 29th November.
2. Samsung has launched a webseries called Infinite Power, based on a popular webtoon. It stars 2AM’s Seul-ong, Dal Shabet’s Woo Hee and Kim Seul-Gi, whom I last saw as Kim Ji Hoon’s manic publisher in Flower Boy Next Door. It’s a premise that sounds like it would be relevant for today’s twenty-somethings in Korea: a guy struggling to find a good job alongside his similarly penniless housemates. Samsung is sparing no expense, with a production budget for the 6-episode series being reportedly the equivalent of a regular TV drama. Catch the first webisode here, but be warned, there don’t appear to be any English subs so far. Samsung in Malaysia launched a similar effort earlier this year in a bid to promote their flagship phone which has racked up over half a million views on average so far. Not bad for an untested platform.
3. The Grand Narrative posted a reader request for advice on trying to win over the disapproving family of her Korean boyfriend. It’s a common story, one we’ve heard of many times before, but I found the story of her relationship moving and could be straight out of a drama. Jess is uncommonly empathetic too, understanding the family’s point of view without any bitterness. Here’s a snippet:
“I’ve spent a long time pondering, reading, and learning, trying to find a way around the problem. It’s not really about who I am as a person. I feel no pain from the absoluteness of how they look at me. It’s what I am. I’m not Korean. I have children. I am not at all what they would want for their son, their family….Usually, racism is full of hatred and cold-hearted callousness. I have found MANY instances of couples overcoming and succeeding despite situations like that… but I haven’t been able to find many stories about families like H’s–just enough to have hope; not enough for a thorough understanding. Their disapproval isn’t like that. They aren’t hateful. They aren’t callous. This causes them pain. I have a lot to offer, but to say that I’m not what they expected… that’s an understatement of epic proportions.”
If you have any advise, do help a sister out!
4. The entire nation of the ROK was engulfed in exam fever as students sat for college exams this week. I’m fascinated by the forms of enthusiastic encouragement youngsters receive, as if the whole country is invested in the success of every student. Netizenbuzz has some pictures of the chaos of the season, and this was my fave: the oldest test-taker at age 77 being cheered on.
5. And this may be unrelated to dramas or Korea, but while I was enjoying my wedding, a devastating typhoon wrecked havoc in the Philippines. Some friends in Manila are organising relief efforts specifically targeting women’s needs, sent me this note:
Manila has been busy packing relief goods but alas there is an urgent need to pay attention to the specific needs of women in times of such calamities. We, along with some other friends have began collecting donations to address this gap. We hope to be able to send panties, sanitary napkins, feminine wash/wipes and other toiletries that women in severely affected areas are urgently in need of. If you or your friends would like to help, kindly let us know. We have friends who will be leaving for Leyte in the next week to deliver aid, and have contacts both in Iloilo and Capiz, waiting for whatever we can send them. An airdrop indie effort is pushing thru this Saturday with 400kilos of relief and anther friend is going with a team on Monday.
As activists and NGO-workers with whom I’ve worked, I know my donation is in good hands. Plus, although big aid agencies are on the ground, smaller scale outfits often have more success in terms of direct access and being immediately response. I do love my feminist friends.