Dienstag, 30. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: Super Action TV

So it is really difficult to find some information in English about Super Action TV. The South Korean TV channel is owned by CJ E&M as well and is therefore connected to Mnet, OCN and tvN. It rarely airs any series that are produced for the channel itself but tends to rerun action programs that aired in some of its sister channels. It seems, however, that Super Action is most commonly known  for airing any kind of Action series and Martial Art fights.

The most popular TV series that aired on Super Action seems to be Holy Land.

Sonntag, 28. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: tvN

tvN, Total Variety Network, is a South Korean nationwide entertainment network owned by CJ E&M. It was launched in 2006, the current logo came to be used in 2012.

No. 1 Trend Leader

Some of tvN's most popular dramas include the Oh! Boy series consisting of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Shut Up! Flower Boy Band and Flower Boy Next Door. Furthermore, Reply 1997 as well as the I Need Romance series aired on tvN.

Freitag, 26. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: OCN

OCN, or Orion Cinema Network, is a TV channel owned by CJ E&M. It was launched in 1995 and became one of the most popular movie channels in the 2000s.
OCN's lineup is a mixture of movies from several years ago or earlier, particularly during the daytime, with more recent films during evening prime-time hours. They also show episodes of popular overseas television series, mostly from the United States.

 South Korea's Number 1 Movie Channel

As for it's own TV series, it is most commonly known for the crime genre. The most commonly known series include God's Quiz, Vampire Prosecutor, The Virus, Special Affairs Team TEN and Dr. Frost
*I'm in a love-hate-relationship with OCN. Their dramas are awesome but it takes ages until all the episodes as subbed and they keep delaying the next TEN season (there will be a third season.. as well as there'll be a third season for Vampire Prosecutor)..

Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: Mnet

Mnet is the acronym for Music Network. It is therefore a youth oriented music channel owned by CJ E&M.
It was launched in 1991 and is most commonly known for it's weekly music show, Mnet M! Countdown.

Music Makes One

Some of the original Mnet dramas include Monstar and Persevere, Goo Hae Ra. The channel mostly airs dramas that were originally produced for the sister channels like OCN, tvN, and Super Action TV.

Dienstag, 23. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: MBC

MBC stands for Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. Munhwa directly translated means 'culture'. It is one of the four major national broadcasting stations on South Korea. The channel is owned by two foundations that belong to the Korean government.

The regional radio service was launched in 1959, the national radio broadcast started in 1961. In 1969 the TV channel started airing.

Good Friends, MBC

Some of the drama series with the highest ratings include The Moon That Embraces The Sun, Yi San and Queen Seondeok which shows a strong connection to historical dramas.

Montag, 22. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: SBS

SBS or Seoul Broadcasting System operates a huge number of TV and radio stations within South Korea. As for TV, SBS and SBS Plus are the most commonly known channels but the station also operates SBS Golf, SBS E!, SBS Sports, SBS CNBC, SBS MTV and Nickelodeon Korea.

Both, radio and television, were launched in 1991. The formal owner is the SBS Media Holdings company.

See the Bright Tomorrow

Some of the most popular TV series aired on SBS and other channels operated by the Seoul Broadcasting System include Faith, You're Beautiful, That Winter The Wind Blows, To The Beautiful You, The Master's Sun and You Who Came From The Stars. Because of airing many hit dramas it is one of the most commonly known South Korean Broadcasting Stations.

Samstag, 20. Juni 2015

Korean TV Stations: KBS

Another information series. Yes, I know that you do miss the international feeling on here. And I do know that you're waiting for some new reviews.
However, it might be only my opinion but I think that some general information about what you watch is always good.

KBS stands for Korean Broadcasting System. At least two other channels are operated by KBS, most commonly known as KBS2 and KBS World.
KBS World also has a Youtube channel where many shows are uploaded with English subtitles.

The Korean Broadcasting System was founded in 1927. Today, the station operates radio, television and online services.
In 1927 the radio services were launched, television programs started airing in 1961. KBS is owned by the Korean government.

Fulfilling the People's Devotion Through Broadcasting

Some of the most popular drama series aired on KBS and KBS2 include Boys Over Flowers, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Dream High, IRIS, Bridal Mask and their drama special series.

Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Boys Love

Boys Love, abbreviated as BL, is actually another genre that explains itself. It includes all movies with a relationship between two male lead characters. Simple? Well, yes, it is. And actually it was obvious such movies would become popular since there are many manga and anime within this genre. Most movies seem to be from Japan which.. somehow makes sense.

This genre is most commonly connected to romance and melodrama on one side while it goes with comedy and parody on the other.
While in romance and melodrama movies at least one of the protagonists either dies or gets seriously injured (I know five examples just by thinking about this for one minute), the other picks up the stereotypical sassy behavior.
But be careful! As a sub-genre, we also have Yaoi in some movies which means in fact that sexuality is an open topic.

Typical movies of this genre include the Takumi-kun series (which is one of my favorites since the endings are surprisingly not-so-bad), No Regret, Boys Love, Boys Love 2 - Schoolboy Crush and Bangkok Love Story. As for the parody style, I remember Formula 17 and Go! Go! G-Boys.

Sure this genre is a matter of a personal preference, if you don't like gay movies you probably shouldn't watch especially the first type (the second might still be hilarious) but I noticed that I still end up squealing when I see cute scenes.

Dienstag, 16. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Political

Well, this genre actually defines itself as well. Everything that deals with politics, be it through parties or terrorism, is somehow political motivated, involved in politics and therefore deserves this genre.

I can name All About My Romance as an example for a political genre where people within the parliament are involved - it actually evolves around two politicians!
On the other hand we have IRIS. The organization of the same name is definitely involved in politics but it's a secret organization so it's close to an underground group.

Sonntag, 14. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Horror

Horror is a genre that aims to create a sense of fear, panic, alarm, and dread for the audience. It's often unsettling and relies on scaring the audience through a portrayal of their worst fears and nightmares. Horror usually centers on the arrival of an evil force, person, or event. Many horror movies include mythical creatures such as ghosts, vampires, and zombies. Traditionally there's a lot of violence included in horror movies but it goes into the sub-genre of splatter. Usually horror movies create a scary atmosphere.
Horror often works with thriller, mystery and science fiction.

The only Asian horror movie I've watched so far is Death Bell and I think it's pretty accurate. Horror movies should scare the audience? Yes, yes, that worked, though all I did was turning on the lights in my apartment after finishing the movie. Though it does have some splatter elements as well it wouldn't have been necessary.

Freitag, 12. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Action

Action is a genre wherein physical action takes precedence in the storytelling. Typical elements are continous motion and action, physical stunts, chases, races, fights and battles. The story usually revolves around a hero that has a goal, but is facing incredible odds to obtain it.

Do we even need any further definition? After all it's a genre for entertainment purposes only. Sure there are serious movies and series but something that is only an action series won't have a deep story most of the time. It's often combined with various other genres.

As an example I'll mention Two Weeks on here. The hero has the goal to stay healthy so he can save his daughter's life but has to run away from gangsters and the police. In this case, the genre is combined with some family stuff, as well as crime, romance and some melodrama elements.

Mittwoch, 10. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Mystery

Finding a clear definition for this genre is kind of difficult. Usually the genre refers to stories of a person solving a crime without any personal gain and without any supernatural power involved.

I can only explain the way we use the term in Germany - and it actually would make sense if it'd be used in a similar way in other countries but maybe the meaning changed after we adopted the English word into German - but since I'm not sure about this I think I definitely should define this term on here.

The easiest way to describe mystery we use is more like a mix of horror and fantasy, that also works with elements of science fiction from time to time. A differentiation is the easiest if we look at how the series deals with the 'supernatural' phenomena. In the mystery genre, there's usually some kind of ambivalence between description and perception as well as an ambivalence between backgrounds and motives.
Compared to horror, the weirdness is rarely shown or in a different way. The human protagonists are more important, as well as the way they think about the happenings. That's why we usually see a rather subjective perception. That makes the genre seem closer to thriller than horror.

In Asian dramas, I usually use the genre because of 'mysterious' happenings - that works quite well for Secret Investigation Record but also for The Master's Sun. Especially in the latter one we find the subjective perception of the female lead character who's able to see ghosts. Choosing between mystery and simple fantasy is the most difficult in those cases but since the supernatural seems more threatening to the people (at least at first) I'd go with mystery.

I'm still sure it's difficult to define and everyone has to do this on their own since there are no clear lines between genres in general.

Montag, 8. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Thriller

Thriller.. so this one was rather difficult for me to get a hold of.
Thriller is a genre that revolves around anticipation and suspense. The aim for thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is usually set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. The protagonist usually is in danger and that's what is obvious to the audience. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film or the series.

Thinking about this, it's more like a really captivating crime story so that it's hard for me to find a clear line between those genres. Also, because of the danger the protagonist has to deal with, it also has a thin line to share with the horror genre. So where does crime end and thriller start? And the same question works for thriller and horror? In fact this is a perfect example that there are no clear lines separating genres - it all depends on the one analyzing the movie whether it's crime, thriller or horror, and sometimes even all of those genres can go along.

When I was searching for a clear definition, I noticed that I have some trouble finding examples. The first one that came to my mind is White Christmas which is mixed up with mystery and crime as well. The second one that might work for this genre is The Virus since the protagonist has to stop a mysterious disease.
However, as I said, it's hard to figure out whether The Virus would count as a thriller or not in the usual opinion but White Christmas definitely does with the danger caused by a serial killer, a murder case, the characters locked up in a school far away from any kind of civilization and have to deal with the threat on their own.

Samstag, 6. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Historical

Historical, also known as Period, actually explains itself. The drama is set about 300 years back, maybe more, maybe a little less. Though I think we don't see historical series often in the US or in Europe, especially not involving castles or fortresses and the wonderful dresses, it's not that unusual in Korea and I think we see it at least more often than in Europe in other Asian countries as well.
In Korea, those dramas are usually referred to as sageuk which.. doesn't mean anything else in fact.

Giving examples? Well, let's just start with Secret Investigation Record which is not a typical sageuk drama (since it's somehow mixed up with the X-Files). We have for other examples Queen Insoo (starring Baek Sung-hyun, guess who'll watch this?), Chuno, Deep Rooted Tree, Yi San, Jumong, Gu Family Book, The Moon That Embraces The Sun, Faith and many many many more. Those are just a few examples, and the list probably could go on forever. Oh, and I almost forgot about Jang Ok Jung, Empress Ki and Jung Yi, Goddess of Fire. As you might notice, there are dozens and even more sageuk dramas.
Why do K-fans watch those dramas? We study history!

As to why that many historical dramas are filmed.. I have no idea. Even after doing some research I still don't really understand the reasons but maybe I will find out about that someday.

Queen Insoo

Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Family

The genre "Family" has actually two meanings.
The first one implicates that the program is appropriate for children as well. I think we all know some movies and series that would be pretty appropriate for children but usually the genre refers to another type of series in Korea.

The second definition means that the drama deals with the life of a family and all of the members of that family. As well as their friends, so if there's a family with many members - congrats, you'll have around 50 characters.

I didn't watch the drama yet but I think What is Mom is a pretty typical family drama. Just looking at the number of characters and their relationships.

Montag, 1. Juni 2015

Genre confusion: Comedy

Comedy is a genre that uses humor as a driving force. The aim of comedy is to make the audience laugh through entertaining stories and characters. Comedy has the tendency to become a sub-genre because humor can be incorporated into many other genres.

The first drama that comes to my mind? Rooftop Prince. It's hilarious to watch characters from centuries back deal with the modern world.

And then there are movies like Formula 17 (which I didn't review on here yet - I need to watch that movie again first) that are simply hilarious and more like a parody - completely overdone with stereotypes. Parody actually is another genre but we can include it in comedy. It's similar and uses stereotyping to make people laugh, and it actually works as well.