It was actually around three yrs ago which i was exposed to the concept of region-free DVD playback, a nearly necessary condition for readers of DVD Beaver. Consequently, a whole world of Asian film that was heretofore unknown in my opinion or from my reach opened. I had already absorbed decades of Kurosawa and, recently, a smattering of classic Hong Kong gangster and fantasy films through our local Hong Kong Film Festival. Of Korean films, I knew nothing. But over the next couple of months, with my new and surprisingly cheap multi-region DVD player, I found myself immersed in beautiful DVD editions of Oldboy, Peppermint Candy, Memories of Murder, Sisily 2Km, Taegukgi, Into the Mirror, Oasis and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance – with lots more following close on the heels. This became another world of really advanced cinema to me.
A few months into this adventure, a colleague lent us a copy from the first disc in the Korean television series, 韓劇dvd. He claimed the drama had just finished a six month’s run as the most famous Korean television series ever, and that the new English subtitles by YA-Entertainment were quite readable. “Maybe you’ll enjoy it, perhaps not.” He knew my tastes pretty well by then, but the thought of a tv series, much less one made for Korean mainstream TV, was hardly something that lit the obligatory fire under me. After two episodes, I was hooked.
I understood my fascination with Korean cinema, but television! It was unknown. How could this be, I puzzled? I wasn’t everything hooked on American TV. West Wing, Sopranos, Buffy – sure. Maybe I had pan-tastes, nevertheless i still considered myself as discriminating. So, that which was the attraction – one may possibly say, compulsion that persists to this day? Throughout the last year or two I have watched, faithfully, eight complete series, in historical and contemporary settings – every one averaging 20 hours – and I’m halfway into Jumong, which can be over 80 hour long episodes! Exactly what is my problem!
Though you can find obvious similarities to Western primetime dramas, cable as well as daytime soaps, Korean primetime television dramas – which they commonly call “miniseries” for the reason that West already enjoyed a handy, if not altogether accurate term – really are a unique art form. These are structured like our miniseries in they may have a pre-ordained beginning, middle and end. While for a longer time than our miniseries – even episodes are a whole hour long, not counting commercials, which are usually front loaded ahead of the episode begins – they actually do not continue on for five, six or seven seasons, like Alias or Star Trek: Voyager, or generations, just like the Events of Our Everyday Life. The closest thing we must Korean dramas is perhaps any given season in the Wire. Primetime television in Korea is pretty much only dramas and news. So Korea’s three very competitive networks (MBC, KBS and SBS) have gotten really good at it throughout the years, especially since the early 1990s if the government eased its censorship about content, which got their creative juices going.
Korean dramas were jump-began in 1991 through the hugely successful Eyes of Dawn, set between your Japanese invasion of WWII as well as the Korean War of the early 1950s. In 1995 the highly acclaimed series, The Sandglass, made it clear to an audience beyond the country that Korea was certainly onto something. The Sandglass deftly and intelligently melded the world of organized crime as well as the ever-present love story against the backdrop of what was then recent Korean political history, specially the events of 1980 referred to as Gwang-ju Democratization Movement and the government’s crushing military response (think: Tienamin Square.) However it wasn’t until 2002, with Yoon Suk-Ho’s Winter Sonata, that what we now call the “Korean Wave” really took off. Winter Sonata in a short time swept over Asia like atsunami, soon landing in Hawaii and therefore the Mainland, where Korean dramas already experienced a modest, but loyal following.
Right about then, Tom Larsen, who had previously worked for YesAsia.com, started his very own company in San Bruno, California: YA-Entertainment (not to be wrongly identified as YesAsia) to distribute the very best Korean dramas with proper English subtitles in North America. To this end, YAE (as Tom loves to call his company) secured the necessary licenses to accomplish just that with each one of the major Korean networks. I spent a number of hours with Tom the other day referring to our mutual interest. Larsen had first gone to Korea for 2 years like a volunteer, then came to the States to complete college where he naturally, but gradually, worked his distance to a Korean Language degree at Brigham Young. He came upon his fascination with Korean dramas accidentally when one his professors used a then current weekly series to help you his students study Korean. An unexpected unwanted effect was that he or she along with his schoolmates became hooked on the drama itself. Larsen has since made several trips to Korea for long stays. I’ll come back to how YAE works shortly, however I wish to try no less than to resolve the question: Why Korean Dramas?
Portion of the answer, I feel, depends on the unique strengths of the shows: Purity, Sincerity, Passion. Perhaps the hallmark of Korean dramas (and, at some level, in lots of of their feature films) is really a relative purity of character. Each character’s psychology and motivation is obvious, clean, archetypical. This is simply not to say they are not complex. Rather a character is just not made complicated arbitrarily. Psychological understanding of the type, as expressed by their behavior, is – I judge – often more correctly manifest than we have seen on American television series: Character complexity is more convincing if the core self is not really interested in fulfilling the requirements of this or that producer, sponsor or target age range or subculture.
Korea can be a damaged and split country, as well as many more whose borders are drawn by powers apart from themselves, invaded and colonized many times on the centuries. Koreans are, therefore, acutely sensitive to questions of divided loyalties. Korean dramas often explore the conflict between the modern as well as the traditional – in the historical series. Conflicts of obligations are usually the prime motivation and concentrate to the dramatic narrative, often expressed in generational terms inside the family. There is certainly something very reassuring about these dramas. . . not in the 1950s happy ending sense, for indeed, you can find few happy endings in Korean dramas. Compared to American television shows: Korean TV dramas have simpler, yet compelling story lines, and natural, sympathetic acting of characters we can easily rely on.
Maybe the most arresting feature of your acting is definitely the passion that is certainly taken to performance. There’s a great deal of heartfelt angst which, viewed out of context, can strike the unsuspecting Westerner as somewhat laughable. But in context, such expressions of emotion are powerful and engaging, strikinmg for the heart of your conflict. Korean actors and audiences, old or young, unlike our own, are immersed in their country’s political context as well as their history. The emotional connection actors make towards the characters they portray has a degree of truth which is projected instantly, without having the conventional distance we manage to require within the west.
Like the 2017推薦韓劇 from the 1940s, the characters within a Korean drama use a directness with regards to their greed, their desires, their weaknesses, and their righteousness, and so are fully devoted to the consequences. It’s tough to say in case the writing in Korean dramas has anything much like the bite and grit of your 40s or 50s American film (given our reliance on a translation, however well-intended) – I rather doubt it. Instead, particularly in the historical series, the actors wear their emotional connection to their character on the face as a sort of character mask. It’s among the conventions of Korean drama that we can easily see clearly what another character cannot, though they are “right there” – type of such as a stage whisper.
I actually have long been a supporter of your less-is-more school of drama. Not too I like a blank stage in modern street clothes, but that too much detail can change an otherwise involved participant into a passive observer. Also, the better detail, the greater chance i will occur on an error that can take me out of your reality how the art director has so carefully constructed (such as the 1979 penny that Chris Reeves finds in their pocket in Somewhere with time.) Graphic presentations with sensational story lines use a short-term objective: to keep the viewer interested until the next commercial. There is no long term objective.
A huge plus would be that the story lines of Korean dramas are, with very few exceptions, only if they must be, then the series comes to a stop. It can do not persist with contrived excuses to re-invent its characters. Nor is the size of a series dependant upon the “television season” because it is in the United states K-dramas usually are not mini-series. Typically, these are between 17-twenty-four hour-long episodes, though some have over 50 episodes (e.g. Emperor in the Sea, Dae Jang Geum, and Jumong).
Korean actors are relatively unknown to American audiences. They are disarming, engaging and, despite their youth or pop status in Korea (as is usually the case), are typically more skilled than American actors of your similar age. For this is basically the rule in Korea, as opposed to the exception, that high profile actors do both television and film. Within these dramas, we Westerners have the main benefit of understanding people distinct from ourselves, often remarkably attractive, which contains an appeal in the own right.
Korean dramas have a resemblance to a different dramatic form once familiar to us and currently in disrepute: the ” melodrama.” Wikipedia, describes “melodrama” as coming from the Greek word for song “melody”, along with “drama”. Music is used to increase the emotional response or perhaps to suggest characters. There exists a tidy structure or formula to melodrama: a villain poses a threat, the hero escapes the threat (or rescues the heroine) and you will discover a happy ending. In melodrama there may be constructed a realm of heightened emotion, stock characters along with a hero who rights the disturbance on the balance of proper and evil in the universe using a clear moral division.
Apart from the “happy ending” part along with an infinite availability of trials both for hero and heroine – usually, the second – this description isn’t thus far from the mark. But moreover, the idea of the melodrama underscores another essential difference between Korean and Western drama, and that is the role of music. Western tv shows and, to a great extent, present day cinema employs music in a comparatively casual way. A United States TV series may have a signature theme that might or might not – not often – get worked in to the score as being a show goes along. Most of the music can there be to back up the atmosphere or provide additional energy on the action sequences. Not too with Korean dramas – in which the music can be used more like musical theatre, even opera. Certain themes represent specific characters or relationships between them. The tunes is deliberately and intensely passionate and may stand on its own. Almost every series has at least one song (not sung by way of a character) that appears during especially sensitive moments. The lyric is reflective and poetic. Many television soundtrack albums are hugely successful in Asia. The tunes for Winter Sonata, Seo Dong Yo, Palace and Jumong are all excellent examples.
The setting for a typical Korean drama could possibly be just about anyplace: home, office, or outdoors that have the advantage of familiar and fewer known locations. The producers of Dae Jang Geum created a small working village and palace to the filming, which has since develop into a popular tourist attraction. A series may be one or a mixture of familiar genres: romances, comedies, political or crime thrillers or historical dramas. Whilst the settings are usually familiar, the traditions and, often, the costumes and make-up are often very distinctive from Western shows. Some customs might be fascinating, while some exasperating, in contemporary settings – in terms of example, during winter Sonata, how the female lead character, Yujin, is ostracized by friends and family once she balks on the engagement, a predicament that Korean audiences can really relate to.
Korean TV dramas, as with any other art, their very own share of conventions: chance meetings, instant flashback replays, highly fantasized love stories, chance meetings, character masks, chance meetings, which all can seem like unnecessary time-stoppers to Americans who are widely used to a speedy pace. I recommend not suppressing the inevitable giggle out from some faux-respect, but realize that this stuff feature the territory. My feeling: When you can appreciate Mozart, you should be able to appreciate the pace and conventionality of Dae Jang Geum. More recent adult dramas like Alone in Love propose that some of these conventions may have already started to play themselves out.
Episodes reach the YAE office in San Bruno on Digital Beta (a 1:1 copy in the master that had been employed for the specific broadcast) where it is screened for possible imperfections (whereby, the network is motivated to send another.) The Beta is downloaded within a lossless format to the pc as well as a low-resolution copy is 25dexjpky towards the translator. Translation is completed in stages: first a Korean-speaking individual that knows English, then the reverse. Our prime-resolution computer master will then be tweaked for contrast and color. If the translation is finalized, it is put into the master, being careful to time the appearance of the subtitle with speech. Then the whole show is screened for additional improvements in picture and translation. A 2017推薦日劇 is constructed which includes each of the menu instructions and completed picture and subtitles. The DLT will then be delivered to factories in Korea or Hong Kong for that creation of the discs.
Whether the picture is formatted in 4:3 or 16:9, generally, the picture quality is very good, sometimes exceptional; along with the audio (music, dialogue and foley) is apparent and dynamic, drawing the audience to the some time and place, the storyline and also the characters. For those of us that have made the jump to light speed, we are able to plan to eventually new drama series in high-definition transfers within the not too distant future.