TvN is having the time of its life this year. They have produced and are still producing some of the most underrated Korean drama/series so far. Underrated shows as they are, I found them made of better of quality, heart and story than most of their mainstream counterparts from KBS, SBS, and MBC.
My affair with TvN started last year with Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Though I didn’t entirely love that show because of the cheesiness of the script and I can hardly stand Jung Il Woo’s Cha Chi Soo, it provided a such a good laugh. Most of the cast were not yhet A-listers but they had such good camaraderie and I had loads of fun watching them.
I thought that it was the last TvN show I would watch but then Dramabeans recapped Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I tried reading the first episode, watched it, loved it and the rest they say is history. I often end up disliking Korean youth-centered shows (e.g. Boys Over Flowers, Heartstrings) because most of the time that the shows become too focused on the love story of leads and the conflicts are larger than life. However, Shut Up has the atmosphere of Japanese youth-centered shows like Gokusen and Hana Kimi where the teens/kids themselves, their dreams, their friendship, the realistic conflicts they encounter at such age are the focus of the story. And I loved it. Learn from Shut Up (and also Dream High to a certain extent) Kshows, during teenage years, not everyone is too concerned about love. Give the kids a time to discover their dreams and their selves before they go on proclaiming their undying love.
After Shut Up, I tried watching Queen Inhyun’s Man. Again, I’m hooked. I don’t think I don’t need to explain anymore how much I loved the show because I dedicated an entire post for it. See here.
I was depressed when Queen Inhyun’s Man ended and the new shows (except for A Gentleman’s Dignity and Gakitsal) on the other Korean channels were too bland for my liking. I tried watching the show the replaced QIHM, I Need Romance 2012, and again I was on the boat. The show is centered on the lives of 30 something people, their friendship, their lost loves and new loved ans the dilemmas of the 30 something people in general. There’s a lot of talking on the show especially among the three female BFFs which sometime ruin the show but other than hand, watching it is such a breeze. I love how that I Need Romance 2012 is not melodramatic and it’s not afraid to touch topics which are still considered taboo by the conservative Korean public—sex, adultery, etc. The show is also doing a good job in portraying the differences among people and how this could affect their relationships. For instance Yeol Mae is very straightforward, Seok Hyun is very reserved and close-minded, Jae Kyung is an alpha-female, Ji Hee is a typical girl next door, while Ji Hoon is carefree and expressive. The audience can relate to one them, feel attached, and eventually like or fall in love with them, just like what happened to me.
I won’t be surprised be if after I Need Romance 2012 finishes, I would extend again my Solive subscription, and then watch again the show that replaces the INR2012. I keep asking myself why I still watch Korean shows when they are becoming so predicable already. Plots are being recycled, less effort is being put on the quality of the cinematography and music, etc. Thankfully every now and then I still find some gems. Some have recycled plots but thankfully the show production still manages to inject good quality and HEART—the most important aspect that makes me love a show. Case in point: Dream High, The Women Who Still Wants to Marry. I can say the same thing for TvN produced shows. They are not entirely ground breaking but maybe because they are not pressured by sponsors and advertisers (as in the case of the mainstream Korean channels), they still retain a certain level of artistry and freedom that wonderfully translates into the shows they create.
Before I close, let me add that TvN also introduced me to the Swiss indie singer Lasse Lindh and now I scourging the Internet for his songs. Love, love his music! Here’s a sample. The title of the song is I Could Give You Love and the song is used in INR2012:
Try watching these show if you’re looking for some feel-good eye candy to watch. 🙂