2010 Best Korean Drama

The year 2010 is almost over. It’s few more days and year 2011 is waiting! And it’s the time now to choose and vote which of the Korean Drama is the best for the year.

As a fan, you have the right to choose. You may not only vote one drama but more than one. Vote for your favorite drama of the year 2010 now!

To vote, visit http://www.koreandrama.org/?p=5818

Vote NOW!!

The Legendary Police Woman

SYNOPSIS:

Long time ago in Korea, during the time of Cho-Sun Dynasty, there was a group of women called “Damo”. “Damo” is the name of the job meaning the police woman. Damo was regarded as thd low class but they had the privilege to investigate lady’s private room and interview ladies of the high society where no man could approach. Damo who are working in the Palace were even exposed to undergoing political intrigue.

But Damo, being the low class and women, they were treated no better than the humble servants in the society. They were not free from the suffocating society full of prejudice on class and sex.

This drama depicts one life of Damo name Chae-ok(Ha Ji-won). She possesses the advanced idea for living which could not be accepted by the convention of the society and this is where the touching story of the drama “The Legendary Police Woman” comes.

Hwang Jin-i

Synopsis

The story of Hwang Jin Yi, the famous 16th century Gisaeng.

This story is about the life of Joseon-era dancer, musician and poet, Hwang Jin Yi, who seeks perfection in her art relentlessly and the hardship facing women due to their lowly social status.

Hwang Jin Yi (Ha Ji Won) is the illegitimate child of a noble and Heon Keum (Jun Mi Sun), a noted musician gisaneg. The story centers on the four men in her life and her pursue in the art of dancing. Her first love with a nobleman’s son Kim Eun Ho (Jang Geun Suk) ends in tragedy. Her love affair with Kim Jung Han (Kim Jae Won) does not have a happy ending either. Byuk Kye Soo (Yoo Tae Joon) is the Emporer’s relative who are obsessed with her and tried every trick but still could not have her. Finally there is her devoted bodyguard Yi Saeng (Lee Shi Hwan) who never deserted her in times of need. Meanwhile, there is Bu Yong (Wang Bit Na) who not only is Hwang Ji Yi’s rival in dancing but also in love.

Cast

Be Strong, Geum-soon!

Be Strong, Geum-soon! is a South Korean drama produced and broadcast by MBC in 2005.

synopsis

The drama starts off with Geum-soon in the midst of a hairdressing exam in a hairdressing school, but failed after suffering a high tide in her bladder. Geum-soon later married Song-hwan, who died in a car accident within days of their marriage. She later gave birth to a boy, Hwi-seong and lived with her in-laws.

Geum-soon took on various jobs to earn her keep, from a nutritional drink seller promoting her products in the Korea University Hospital but later went on to be an apprentice in a hair salon, after much pleas from her mother-in-law, who initially insisted that she should stay at home for another year to look after her son.

Once, Geum-soon encountered an accident after her scooter crashed onto the car of a young, fastidious doctor, who reported her to the police and picked up every tiny little fault from a broken finger to a sprained ankle…However, later, much to her surprise, when she signed up to be an apprentice in a hair salon, she realized that the man was the son of the salon’s owner. The assistant manager of the salon, Eun-ju, initially rejected her application on grounds that the salon had more than enough staff, but a decision was made after Jae-hee and Mi-ja find it better to employ her.

Geum-soon was placed under the guidance of a colleague, Hae-mee, but found herself to be bullied by her. Around this time, Geum-soon changed her hairstyle from a “cabbage-head” hairstyle (which became her nickname for Jae-hee) to her normal straight and curly hairstyle and eventually she managed to leak out Geum-soon’s secret that she was a mother shortly after she revealed her past to Miss Yoon after being late one day. When the secret was discovered by the assistant manager, she was rapidly fired.

[edit] Cast

damo

Details

  • Title: 조선 여형사 다모(茶母) / Joseon Yeohyeongsa Damo
  • Also known as: Female Detective Damo (KBFD-TV) / Damo: The Undercover Lady Detective (DVD) / Damo, the Detective in Chosun / The Legendary Police Woman
  • Episodes: 14
  • Genre: Historical, Crime, Romance
  • Broadcast network: MBC
  • Broadcast period: 2003-07-28 to 2003-09-09
  • Air time: Monday & Tuesday 21:55

Synopsis

A long time ago in Korea, during the time of the Chosun Dynasty, there was a profession for women called ‘Damo’. The Damo were regarded to be of the lowest class status and work as policewomen but they had the privilege to investigate ladies’ private room and interview the ladies of the high society whom no man could approach. However, due to their low social status they were treated no better than the humble slaves in the society. They were not free from the suffocating society that is full of prejudice towards their class and their sex.

This drama depicts the life of a Damo named Chae-Ok. She was of noble birth, but was downgraded to be a slave due the downfall of her family when she was seven. Her father committed suicide due to the persecution of the court, and she was separated from her brother and mother when they were trying to escape the imperial guards. She was captured and assigned to serve in the Hwangbo residence as a servant, and specifically to look after the young master Hwangbo Yoon. They were put under the tutelage of a highly skilled master.

She is undefeatable when it comes to using the sword. She is straight, honest, courageous and upright. She possesses the advanced idea for living that could not be accepted by the conventions of the society. She finds herself trapped by the injustice of the world and the prejudice of society, which makes life unbearable for her. Her only motivation in life is to assist her young master to achieve his ambition. She shares a complex relationship with Yoon, who is also the superior of the police team that she works under. Yoon is her closest kin since she was separated from her brother and mother.

Yoon’s mother was the concubine of an honorable man and this has been his scar since he was small. He adores his people like his own brother but would not outwardly express his feelings. He yearns to achieve more than what society has assigned him. He is in love with Chae-Ok. But they are from two different classes, and his father had instructed Yoon at his deathbed never to choose Chae-Ok as his partner as she is the daughter of a disgraced family.

While working undercover on a counterfeit case, Chae-Ok finds herself drawn to Jang Sung-baek, the mysterious and charismatic leader of a gang of bandits she has infiltrated. Sung-Baek is also an outstanding swordsman. He takes care of his people but he also has a ruthless side that would never forgive anyone who does not share his thought. He feels himself falling for Chae-Ok and tries to convince her to join him. Chae-Ok cannot betray her loyalty to Yoon and turn against the law for Sung-baek, yet she is not able to arrest Sung-baek during the crucial moment of the police attack. This eventually leads to dire consequences as the rebels, in their plot to topple the Emperor’s rule, use Chae-OK as a pawn to double-cross Yoon and his team during their investigation of the counterfeit ring.

Chae-Ok and Yoon eventually realise that Sung-baek is not a common thief/bandit, but the leader of a guerilla army training to overthrow the Emperor. Sung-baek’s gang is protesting against the the prejudice brought about by the caste system, which is suffocating the people.

Sung-baek decides to forget Chae-Ok as he knows that loving her will ruin his big dream of destroying the old world order and to set up a new justice to the world. Chae-Ok also resolves to arrest Sung-baek to redeem herself for her betrayal to Yoon. Yoon on the other hand, seeing Chae-Ok slipping away from him because of Sung-baek, unleashes his feelings to her with heart-breaking consequences as well. How will it all end for Yoon, Chae-Ok and Sung-baek who are entangled together by love, loyalty and betrayal?

Cast

Production Credits

Review

Before writing a review for a drama, I usually allow my obsessive streak settle down first. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’d be far too swayed by the present emotions at the time, writing a biased, slightly exaggerated (only slightly) review. It’s surprising how, in retrospect, how many dramas that seemed amazing at the time, seem a bit stupid and a bit dragged out a few months down the road. So after I watched Damo, I decided to let my hyped-up emotions take a breather and watched several other dramas after it, including all of Mianhada Saranghanda (Sorry I Love You) and random episodes of other dramas. Yet, 3 months down the road, I am -still- as much in love with the drama as I was then. That must say something.

One of the most impressive things about this drama was the ability for the director to make the audience fall in love with both of the male leads. Too often there is a distinct separation between good or bad, powerful or wimpy. The audience can usually draw a clear-cut attachment to one character only, and you are left often feeling little pity for the other (eg. ….every single korean drama out there.) There is always a character that is a wimp, who holds onto the girl for dear life; the one you want to strangle. The line is usually so evident: black & white, not much of a challenge. Yet in Damo, the two male leads are equally righteous and passionate, equally perfect in their own right. Hwangbo Yoon (Lee Seo Jin) plays the commander who upholds the law and government; Jang Sung-baek (Kim Min Joon) is the rebellious leader who fights for the people. Both work for a better society and both strive for the same ideals, through different means. In that way, they clash viciously, but both have a vision.

This grey area that exists between what is right and wrong brings out the conflicted feelings of Chae-Ok (Ha Ji Won) who, against her intent, falls in love with Jang Sung-baek. Ha Ji Won is extremely successful in bringing out the raw and utterly pained feelings of Chae-Ok, a lowly Damo who cannot fall in love with Hwangbo Yoon because of her status in society. At the same time, she cannot fall in love with Jang Sung-baek because he is the enemy that she seeks. This constant fight and battle between two sides, neither of which are exceedingly wrong, causes the pain and torment that vibrates throughout the drama. She truly shines as the strong, intelligent, and beautiful heroine in this series. The integrity and the strength Chae-Ok finds in herself immediately draws the attention and admiration of the audience; although she is eternally confined to the status of a servant, she is able to garner the respect from officers much higher than her through her cunning detective abilities, and her fearless (and sometimes reckless) personality.

Furthermore, the beautiful cinematography distinguishes Damo from other dramas. It serves to heighten the raw and incredibly touching emotions present in the most subtle of ways. There is no dramatic spinning camera-work during a particularly heated kiss, nor a slow motion scene where the two main characters just miss each other, setting off a chain of misunderstandings. Each scene in Damo is significant to the plotline, but unlike many other dramas, it is used not to further the plotline, but to deepen it. Damo demonstrates the loyalty, the passion, and the heartbreaking pain of impossible love. It is undoubtedly my favorite drama to date.

Musical Accompaniment: The entire OST is absolutely incredible. Although I have heard some complaints that the “poppy” music is out of place for an ancient drama, I found it fitting to the drama. The mixture of ballads and fast pop music perfectly complemented the mood and scene changes. Just the other day, I was listening to the soundtrack again, and it brought tears to my eyes triggering a few extremely memorable moments. It was then when I knew I had to write a review about this one-of-a-kind korean drama.

Han Hye-jin

Profile

  • Name: 한혜진 / Han Hye Jin
  • Profession: Actress
  • Birthdate: 1981-Oct-27
  • Birthplace: South Korea
  • Height: 164cm
  • Weight: 45kg
  • Star sign: Scorpio
  • Blood type: A
  • Family: Sister
  • Talent agency: Namoo Actors

TV Series

Movies

Awards

  • 2006 MBC Drama Awards: Best Actress
  • 2005 MBC Drama Awards: Best Actress
  • 2004 KBS Awards: Best New Actress

Trivia

coffee house

Title: Coffee House
Genre: Romance
Episodes: TBA
Director: Pyo Min Soo (In Soon Is Pretty, Worlds Within)
Screenwriter: Song Jae Jung
Broadcast network: SBS , Monday & Tuesday 20:55
Broadcast start : 2010-May-17 (replacing Oh! My Lady)

Main Cast
Kang Ji Hwan as Lee Jin Soo
Park Si Yeon as Seo Eun Young
Ham Eun Jung as Kang Seung Yeon
Jung Woong In as Han Ji Won
Ahn Kil Kang as Seung Yeon’s dad
Kim Ji Young as Seung Yeon’s grandmother
Jung Soo Young as Oh Hyun Joo
Park Jae Jung as Kim Dong Wook
Jin Sung  as Park Young Chul
Lee Soon Jae
Heo Tae Hee
Jung Joon Ho (cameo, ep1-2)


Cast Character
coffee-cast-1Lee Jinsoo (32years old/Author)/Kang  Ji Hwan

Succeeded author who writes several best-selling books in his early ages.
Everybody likes him as he has good manner. Of course, he has good manner, kind, humorous. But, Just a few people know that he makes more smile if he feels bad, shows more courtesy if he doesn’t like some person, spends more money if he want to leave place more early. Actually, he is very hard to please, for example even a cup of coffee, there is no café to make him satisfied with. So, he studies himself how to make coffee, then, he only drinks his own coffee.
Why this kind of difficult person keep contracts with just one publishing company?
The reason is Eunyoung who is difficult to deal with just like him. When Eunyoung, who is workaholic and perfectionist, push him to finish the job early, though he shows temper, he still believes her ability. That’s why their relation can continue.

By chance, he happens to enter some shabby coffee shop in suburb. The name of coffee shop ”Palace” also makes him uncomfortable. It’s amateur name. Surely, the coffee shop is far from professionalism including ballista. The ballista looks like jobless person at first sight. But, by some absurd reason, Jinsoo happen to hire her as a secretary. Frankly speaking, he doesn’t need secretary. At first time, he doesn’t expect anything from her. Only thing he expects is that she doesn’t bother him. But, this country girl want to be real secretary of him. Do you want to be real professional person? Then, I will make you.

coffee-cast-2Kang Seungyun (25 years old. Daughter of coffee shop “Palace” /Candidate of test for 9th grade local governmental official)/
Han Eun Jung

She say modestly “ I am a average Korean woman in twenties”. But, to say frankly, she is under average. There is no sign that her life turn to be bright. But, she still doesn’t know the real world. So, she doesn’t know there will be no sign of good news to her life. But she lives positively while dreaming that some day she can pass the governmental official test.

She has spent life like that before Jinsoo appear in front of her at the coffee shop “Palace” which is falling down. The only person who can make “Espresso” in this shop, Seo Eunyoung, happen to feel attractiveness to Jinsoo’s kindness, then without deep thinking, directly become a Jinsoo’s secretary by friend’s recommendation.
At the first time, she taught she can start her career as a right hand of famous author, but, Jinsoo has extra-ordinary personality which she never met before.
“If you can’t, devote yourself to the last energy. That’s the way of professional” That is Jinsoo’s sophistry. But, anyway, why I must do this? Without any chance of protest, her life is already involved with Jinsoo. Get into the mud together with me, it’s not my fault. It’s you who hire me. She thinks she is academic girl, but actually, it is not. She acts first before thinking. She always regrets after accident happen. One good thing for her is that she catches the meaning of happening after she takes hard time.

coffee-cast-3Seo Eunyoung (31 years old, President of publishing company/Owner of “Café Page One”)/Park Si Yeon

President of best publishing company in Korea.
The publishing company which was established by her grandfather inherited to her after her father died. She enlarged the company size, and entered book-café business, then made it to nation-wide franchise. Indeed, she is now on the way of success. She is sexy also and frequently visits foreign country. She smiles herself while dreaming her picture is showed in Time magazine cover page as a most success woman in the world. She has a few things to hate-cat, exercise, ex-fiance and Jinsoo. Jinsoo is representative author of her company. Then, they work together. Both have same thinking, that is, only kind but incapable person is most hatred. So, even though they don’t like each other, they believe each other’s ability.
But, Eunyoung always think this is unfair – both has bad personality, then why other person think Jinsoo is good man while Eunyoung is some kind of bad witch.

Now, their uncertain relation-friends or enemy? – faces extra ordinary situation.
The first thing, the ex-fiance of her whom she hates more than Jinsoo moved to next building to ‘Café Page One”. Then he talk non sense ‘ Let’s start our love affair again” The second thing, Jinsoo’s new secretary, something strange, her presence make Eunyoung uncomfortable. Now, Jinsoo’s boring humor sounds funny and his working style becomes curious to her.

coffee-cast-4Han Jiwon (36 years old, Consulting company director / Ex-fiance of Eunyoung) / Jung Woong In.

He think himself that , though bad fate disturbed their relation, his soul partner is Eunyoung. Fatal love between them must be finished as a happy ending.
As a born rich person, good appearance, he feels the world move around him. The break-off with Eunyoung is actually that he showed interests in a friend of Eunyoung. But, he still think that Eunyoung is too jealousy and doesn’t understand male’s inner feeling. So, after break-off, he stayed Hongkong to earn time to smooth his wounded mind, then, he decided to forgive Eunyoung, then back to Seoul.

As he is a management consultant, he sees everything as a efficiency and figures. That means, he is very realistic and conscious man. So, he doesn’t understand Jinsoo, the style of artist. He doubts Jinsoo maybe gay. He is sure Eunyoung still love him, so he usually approaches Eunyoung directly and he doesn’t know how she hate that style. He only thinks it’s why Eunyoung is too shy. His style to approach Eunyoung is like this : After he inspects “Café Page One’s financial status” secretly, then makes 10 page reports, then gives presentation to Eunyoung saying Café will bankrupt next year if her management style is not changed.
Of course, Eunyoung hate this style. It’s very strange for him that Eunyoung doesn’t thank to him and accept. The more strange thing is that, why Eunyoung smile to Jinsoo while frown to him. Before, it was me whom Eunyoung love, and Jinsoo whom she most hated.

Synopsis
“Coffee House” covers the life of young & successful Seo Eun-Young (Park Si-Yeon). Eun-Young is the owner of a successful franchise cafe “Coffee Page One”, as well as the CEO of a publishing company. In the romantic-comedy, Seo Eun-Young encounters Lee Jin-Soo (Kang Ji-Hwan), a successful writer. Jin-Soo has published consecutive best sellers. The pair enters into a strange relationship.