Korea and the Short Form


Korea-Canada Blog

Cheese in the Trap.pngThere’s nothing like settling in after a hard day to watch your new favorite drama (unless, of course, you have the whole day to binge-watch it). But sometimes, we don’t always have a ton of time to enjoy a full-length series, or even a full-hour episode. That’s why, for times, like these—in the late-night hours before bed, on your commute to work, when you just want to take a quick study break—web series are the go-to solution! Broken into installments of thirty short minutes (or less!) these web series pack in just as much emotional punch as full-length drama episode, but you can still fit them in your weekday lunch break.
Short-form media has long been a popular feature of Asian culture. From webtoons, to web dramas, manga to graphic novels, and “cellphone novels” (I’d never heard of those before!), Korea has a hotbed of short-form choices to fulfil your…

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Why “Because This is My First Life”‘s Ji Ho and Se Hee Will Make K-drama Couple History


Although Because This is My First Life’s run has ended, its impact is still fresh in our minds. From the realistic, yet sweet storyline, to the dreamy romance, to the quirky array of supporting characters, this drama is not one that anyone will forget soon. More specifically, audiences won’t forget Ji Ho and Se Hee and their sweet, awkward, absolutely adorable chemistry. Here are five reasons why Ji Ho and Se Hee will make K-drama couple history!

1. More. More Kissing.
Although we don’t get a lot of kisses between Ji Ho and Se He over the course of the series, the kisses we do get pack a serious punch. Maybe it’s the fact that there are so few, or maybe it’s the insane chemistry and connection between two lonely people, but all of their kisses (even the spur-of-the-moment smack on the lips that Ji Ho bestows on Se Hee at their first meeting) somehow always feel sweet, emotional, and intimate, proving that less is sometimes, much, much more. It also probably doesn’t hurt that these two have some of the most gorgeous lips ever. Seriously, they need to have a kid soon so that they can carry on the gorgeous-lip gene pool.
1. Their Serious Moments
Although there are many beautifully happy and cute moments between the pair, one of the most heartwarming parts of their relationship is how they help each other grow and move forward. Se Hee never falters in fulfilling his promise to Ji Ho’s mother to help Ji Ho achieve her dream of writing. He also realizes the emotional impact of the assistant director’s attempted sexual assault on Ji Ho—so much that you can see the physical pain in his eyes as he remembers Ji Ho’s state on the night of the incident. Not that this writer condones violence, but it also doesn’t hurt that Se Hee is willing to punch out Ji Ho’s enemies for her!
As for Ji Ho’s part, not only does she reintroduce Se Hee to the joys of being a couple, but she stands up for him in the same way that he does for her. She knows exactly what to say to his family to encourage them to repair the hurt they’ve caused in the past, and isn’t afraid to down a whole bowl of rice wine in one gulp in place of Se Hee after he’s had more than enough, but doesn’t want to cause offense by refusing it.
Even more amazingly, not every drama could handle the gritty and painful parts of Se Hee’s past—namely the catalyst of his and Jung Min’s long-ago breakup being the loss of their unborn baby—but Ji Ho not only accepts Se Hee for exactly who he is, but represents one of the best examples of unconditional love I’ve ever seen in television when she describes what she’s willing to do for him. When Jung Min ponders what Ji Ho’s reaction be if she admitted to still having feelings for Se Hee, Ji Ho unflinchingly tells her “even if it was a real marriage, I would have waited for Se Hee’s heart. A heart is not something that is taken or grabbed.” Not only is the line completely believable and genuine coming from Ji Ho, but it’s also one of the most simple, yet touching, lines in the entire series. Even Jung Min knows how great it is. Cue the happy tears!
2. Their Lighter Moments
One aspect of this series that I’ll always be grateful for is that it doesn’t wallow in too much drama, always providing a healthy balance between comedy and drama. And there are many lighter moments that build up Ji Ho and Se Hee’s relationship just as much as the serious ones. Take, for example, Se He’s smile when he share’s Soo Ji and CEO Ma’s dating contract with Ji Ho. Or that cute look on Ji Ho’s face when Se Hee offers to make her “omurice” again.
3. All Their Hand-Holding
This explains itself, but I’ll say it: the way these two hold hands gives us all the feels. From the way Se Hee takes Ji Ho’s hand to help her down the aisle, to when he forgets to let go after “saving” her from Bok Nam, these two prove that hand-holding is the new kissing.
4. Mine
Of all the many beautiful things Ji Ho and Se Hee are as a couple, there is the sense that the two truly and completely belong to each other. Se Hee’s listing Ji Ho in his phone as “mine” only acts as a (particularly swoon-worthy) confirmation of what viewers already know; that these two, after going through their ups and downs, completely have each other’s hearts. Their life (notice that it’s one “life”!) is one that they’re building together as an “us,” and renewing yearly after the “happily-ever-after.” It’s an ending that was both well won, and truly worth waiting for!

 

The Romeo of Goryeo…or Juliet Empowered? Empowerment in Korean Time-Travel Dramas


Korea-Canada Blog

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March (and sometimes April—I live in Winterpeg ;)) is always the time of year that I start getting a little bored and grumpy. Winter is taking too long to finish up, spring isn’t coming fast enough, and then I’ve been a student for the last six years, so there’s the inevitable end-of-school-year slog (anybody else here feel my pain?). Since I’m normally quite the sunny gal, I try to snap out of it quickly, and one of the best ways to do this is to get lost in a little bit of daydreaming. If spring isn’t coming fast enough, you have to bring it to yourself! Because I’ve been fantasizing about finishing my master’s thesis *very* soon, lately I’ve been dreaming about the PhD dissertation that I’m working on, which has lead me to watching a lot of K-drama. While I love all types of K-drama, my favourite type these…

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2017 Round-Up


I can’t believe 2017 is actually over 😦 I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting older, or if it’s that this has been an exceptionally busy year, but it feels like last New Years was, more or less, yesterday. While I want to write a longer update later on, here’s a quick round-up of my highs points of 2017:

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  1. Best Show (s) I watched on TV: While being a full-time graduate student and part time teaching assistant (and later ESL teacher) with a ton of volunteer gigs didn’t leave me with much time for TV-watching, I re-developed my love for Korean dramas (K-drama) and found two of my favourite TV shows later on in the year when the workload let up a bit. I absolutely adored Goblin and binge-watched it with my family (full marks for being both emotional and good for a variety of ages and genders), and was about to count it as not only my fav show of the year, but also one of my fav shows ever. Then I watched another K-drama, Because This is My First Life. Oh. My. Goodness! I still loved Goblin, so I had to tie the two as my top favourites, but BTIMFL might have to be my absolute favourite ever! The music, nighttime-scenes, chemistry between the leads, plot, and writing were all so brilliant. Ji Ho (female main character ) feels like a kindred spirit, and anyone who’s ever been a writer will totally get her. She and her husband, Se Hee, might even be right up there with my other favourite fictional couple, Anne and Gilbert. Which is a huge feat, since anyone who knows me knows how much I love Anne and Gil.  Technically, Scarlet Heart: Ryeo (aka, Moon Lovers) was pretty high up there too. I still listen to the soundtrack every day and the cinematography and plot are both some of the best I’ve seen in historical dramas. I just wish that they had given the already great ending just a little something extra (those who saw it would know what I mean) to give my poor heart a break, but overall, it’s still a great watch!
  2. Best Book (s). Despite my masters degree being in English, I honestly haven’t had a ton of time to read for fun from last January to 2018. I have really loved re-reading all of my Anne books (several times) in order to write my thesis, of course, but my favourite new books are also related to the thesis. I loved Maud by Melanie Fishbane (it doesn’t hurt that I have an autographed copy either), and while I was on my little L.M. Montgomery  kick, I also really loved The Blue Castle. It’s one of those books that you always mean to read, but never do, but I promise it’s a delightful, sweet story!

3. A Moment Like This…If I was getting a little monotonous with the Anne stuff (Ah, who am I kidding? You can never have too much Anne), I definitely need to store up for June! While I’ve had several good moments during 2017, one of the highest points was getting my abstract accepted for the L.M. Montgomery Conference at UPEI! I am super pumped to not only revisit a part of my thesis, but also to revisit PEI! Plus I love my job, so its exciting to be able to continue on in doing what I love.

That’s my round-up for now!! Happy New Years everyone! Let me know your best parts of 2017!! 🙂

Author Interview: Brittany Nicole Lewis


Hello Blog Readers! I’m Baaaaaaaacccckkkkk! Although I’ve been in hibernation (well, not really hibernation, but it’s a long story) for the past few months, I was lucky enough to have “met” Brittany Nicole Lewis on Facebook a couple of months back, and even luckier when she agreed to do an interview!

Brittany is the author of Finding Freedom and her YA Zion series, and she regularly donates copies of her books to ministries. Today, she talks about some of her favourite YA books, her writing habits, favourite writing snacks (hello, fellow coffee lover!), and her novels!

Check out her interview below!

1. Hi Brittany! Thanks for talking with us today :)! First of all, could you please tell us a little bit about your latest book?

Brittany: My latest novel is the third book in The Zion Series. The other two books, Finding Freedom (book one) and Heir of Zion (book two) were released in 2017.
2. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

B: I had some spiritual things I needed to work out and I have always loved to write. One of my favorite books is The Giver, and my books are somewhat similar to that one.
3. Do you have a favourite character in your book? If so who and why?

B: No, I love all of them 😊
4. Is there something that you’d like your readers to take away from your book?

B: That community is important. Relationships are important. Reach out when you’re hurting, even though you don’t want too.
5. What’s your favourite genre?

B: Young Adult
6. What’s next for you?

B: I started a children’s series and the main character has autism. That’s a 12 book series, I also started a stand-alone novel (YA) and will be producing at least two more Audiobooks in 2018.
7. Favourite writing snack?

B: I don’t eat, but I drink a lot of coffee.
8. Do you write with music on, or like a quiet writing space?

B: I like quiet, but I write with noisy children in the background.
9. What’s some of your favourite books (and why)?

B: Harry Potter, The Giver, To Kill A Mockingbird, Holes.
10. (Since this blog focuses on YA) What’s your favourite children’s or young adult book (you can pick more than one!) and why?

B: My favorite books are the Harry Potter books and The Giver, because I know what it’s like to be an outcast and know you are meant for something greater.

Thanks so much for the interview, Brittany!

 

Cover Reveal! Bellamy and the Brute by Alicia Michaels


Hey everyone!

I know that I’m overdue for a longer post (it will come yet), but right now, I’m thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover of Alicia Michaels’ latest novel, Bellamy and the Brute! It’s the perfect read for fall, just in time to celebrate Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’s 25th anniversary!

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