Has everyone recovered from Christmas eating and merriment? I have, mostly because it was a quiet celebration this year. I even managed to squeeze in a little drama watching and finished The End of the World (thank goodness for long bus rides) which means I don’t have an excuse for not doing my faves-of-2013 list. That will be up on the 31st, right in time to celebrate new year’s eve. So Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2014 is brighter and better for everybody 🙂
1. Reply 1994 ended with a stunning ratings coup of 10.1% average for the episode. The series has been a bonafide hit for cable channel tvN fuelled by the show’s trademark tone of warmth and humour and bucketfuls of nostalgia. It has also made household names out of it’s cast, particularly Yoo Yeon Seok and Jung Woo. I refrained from watching this as I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to play the who’s-the-husband game which was the element I liked least in 1997. Still, I’ve managed to avoid spoilers (but I have a pretty good idea) which means deep down I do intend to watch it.
2. A massive rally was held in South Korea was held on Saturday as railway workers refused to back down over protests against the government’s plans to privatise the railways. Earlier in the week, the government had arrested union leaders in a bid to clampdown on labour organisers but the move largely backfired as a general strike was called by the country’s second largest umbrella union organisation beginning on 28th December. In solidarity with railway workers, the rally united diverse groups as the Are You Ok movement, lawyers, students and other civil rights groups. It was estimated that 100,000-strong crowd converged in Seoul Plaza (a.k.a. City Hall) on Saturday afternoon. Police downplayed attendance to 20,000, but anyone with eyes can see from photos that no way could this possibly be true. Additional reading here, here and here.
3. The American remake of Boys Over Flowers, Boys Before Friends debuted this week on Viki and by most accounts, it’s atrocious. And not in a so-bad-it’s-good way. I haven’t seen all of it because I treasure the health of my eyeballs but I believe it has some merits, as The Obsessive Dilettante writes,”But it does give me appreciation for Kim Hyun Joong’s acting skills. That’s right — he’s better at acting than everyone else on this show right now.”
4. On the K-pop front, there’s been a flurry of year-end TV specials but I haven’t checked out any save for Eat Your Kimchi’s awards which has given me an eye-full of this one, which got hosts Simon and Martina’s vote for Nastiest MV of the year. I’m not sure what to say about N.O.M and this MV except they look like the K-pop version of the Village People and that I wish the song was better.
5. On a light note, Ask A Korean! posted list of the best worst questions The Korean has received throughout the year. It’s bloody hilarious. Well, I suppose when the name of your blog is Ask A Korean! you can expect people to take that to it’s extreme. It is the internet after all.