Category Archives: Favorite Posts

Kdrama Recap and Review: The Big Dipper

the great dipper kbs kdrama special

There is no one righteous, not even one. All have turned away. Their throats are open graves. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Ruin and misery mark their ways.”
                                                                             – Romans 3:9-18 (paraphrased), referenced in The Big Dipper.

Synopsis: A man is on his way home to his sick daughter when a series of unfortunate events occur. A pile of dead bodies is found on the ship and the criminals onboard escaping to China blame the protagonist. Through various flashbacks, the mystery is unraveled.
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Kdrama Review: When I Was the Prettiest

when i was the prettiest

You really shouldn’t watch dramas at two in the morning. You’re in this hyper awake state and your emotions are more volatile. In the quiet darkness, bathed in the glow of your ipad, everything seems a little surreal and unbalanced. And the bittersweet ending of a drama affects you more than it should. And you end up writing a review fueled by the leftover highs of those emotions.

The KBS drama special, When Roses Last Bloomed, is vastly different from what I expected, which was something more maudlin and melodramatic. Instead, it has the feel of an introspective indie film. Despite its melodramatic material, the drama’s modus operandi is slice-of-life. It quietly highlights the mundane and is wonderfully slow paced. The music is minimal, the editing seamless, and the camera distanced, but not detached. And, for the most part, it keeps its grace until the end, though the quality of the writing drops.

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Lyrics Translations: The Breeze – What Should I Say


Translating Korean lyrics can be like fishing in the dark. Without a pole. On top of an Antarctic subglacial lake with several thousand feet of ice between you and the fish. Okay, I jest. It’s highly unlikely a species of fish could survive in such an oxygen supersaturated, oligotrophic environment. So there are no fish. So I was grossly exaggerating.

To get back on topic, my point is that I find translating Korean lyrics difficult, one of the reasons being their propensity for indirectness. Korean in general can be indirect because Korean sentences don’t require subjects. As such, subjects are often omitted if they can be implied by context, which occurs frequently in poetic writing such as lyrics. The problem arises when your proficiency in Korean is middling at best and you fail to pick up on the clues (i.e., yours truly).

For example, in The Breeze’s How Do I Put This I thought the subject of the speaker’s narration in this line was himself, “혼자일거라는 생각은 사실 못했었어” or “To be honest, [I] didn’t think [I’d] be alone.” Continue reading

Music Plug: Leessang


Example Lyrics

“I chew pain like gum”

“Growing closer as a hole forms on an old sock”

“Lingering and dancing to the sad music.
A carousel smiles in a vacant circus lot.
So too do I smile like the dead
Believing you will come back.”

“During Mom’s pregnancy, she slept sitting down.
Because I kicked.
From my mother’s womb, I was a troublemaker”

“Because I love you
I turned off the TV.
Closed the curtains.
Your red lips.”

“In pursuit of happiness, I flew for a long time
So all the shrunken things can smile”

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