Damned Love

Day 09: Your Favorite Line/s by a Male Third Wheel

I’m tearing up just thinking about Lee Cheon Hee‘s delivery of this line “The fact that this damned love of mine… is the most shining light kindling my path.” His character Yang Man Oh spent his entire life working towards pulling himself up out of the place that society set for him, earning riches he never would’ve been able to acquire if he hadn’t been inspired by his love for his Assi to redirect his path in life. Some would call his love dogged, the way he continued to look straight ahead despite all odds in pursuit of the woman he loved for all his life, but I thought it was one of the most beautiful displays of love I’d ever seen in my entire life. Lee Cheon Hee was fabulous as Yang Man Oh, and this line sums up how strongly he cared for Kim Ha Eun‘s Lee Na Young perfectly. It’s no coincidence that Conspiracy in the Court is sweeping so many of the categories for this challenge… if y’all haven’t seen it, what the heck are you waiting for? Just know that you’ll be blown away by the awesomesauce of CitC and take my word for it.. you won’t walk away unchanged.

Another One for Conspiracy in the Court

Day 08: Your Favorite Line/s by a Female Lead Character

I had a really hard time choosing a line by a female lead character. There were two that stuck out at me because they both struck me, but for entirely different reasons so I’ll include both and explain why I chose the one I did as my favorite.

Although Cinderella’s Sister was a terrible drama, Moon Geun Young‘s “He called me Eun Jo yah” still resonates with me even to this day. I don’t know what it is about that simple line of dialogue that grips my heart so tightly, but that scene from episode 3 between Moon Geun Young and Chun Jung Myung still remains one of my favorites to this day and probably will always stay on my list. With just a few syllables, MGY expresses a world of pain that her character Eun Jo has had to endure all her life and the fact that someone cares enough about her to call her by name is what begins to open up her heart to the man she’ll eventually fall in love with. I love its impact.

Kim Ha Eun‘s character Na Young said, “If you never aspire for them, how could you ever fulfill your wishes?” The magic of Conspiracy in the Court is that once you watch it, you can never erase the remnants of it from your mind. While going over the review I wrote for it once I finished watching, I started tearing up again looking at the screencaps I took because the sorrow I felt during CitC’s scenes is still present within me. Although the quote from CS is one of my favorites, this has to be my ultimate because it encapsulates so perfectly the essence of Conspiracy in the Court. All throughout the drama, the main characters tried to ignore their desires (with the exception of Lee Cheon Hee‘s Man Oh who ironically is the only one who survives… woo-hoo symbolism!) until the very end. When Sang Gyu and Na Young decide to succumb and pursue their dreams, they are killed. This was the biggest heartbreak for me because they had to live lives of such turmoil and they weren’t allowed happiness even ’til the end. Although they didn’t survive, I thought this quote expressed the sentiments of CitC flawlessly and that’s why it has earned the title of my favorite line from a female lead.

Shining Light

Day 07: Your Favorite Line/s by a Male Lead Character

“If you never abandon it, never give it up until the very end, is not hope what shall never leave your side?”

I was seriously considering a lot of different lines from many different dramas that I love but I couldn’t recall another that made my eyes well up with tears and my heart constrict as much as this one. The fact that it was a piece of dialogue from one of my favorite dramas of all time is even better. I’ve gushed enough about Conspiracy in the Court on this blog but I had to gush one more time because this line in its simplicity yet limitless depth just about kills me. Park Sang Gyu (Jin Yi Han) tries to convince his beloved Na Young (Kim Ha Eun) to run away with him before she’s discovered and killed, and he speaks of hope, something that she’s long since lost along with every ounce of light she had within her. I’m tearing up just thinking about the exchange. Damn it, now I want a Conspiracy in the Court rewatch. 😦

Parallel Lines

Day 6: Your Favorite Song from a Kdrama OST

Although the entire soundtrack of Conspiracy in the Court was amazing, this one particular song was spot on. The lyrics so perfectly conveyed how the OTP felt throughout the entire span of the drama and every time I heard the familiar opening riffs of this song my heart would start beating more rapidly involuntarily. I wanted to embed the song into this entry but I haven’t upgraded my blog for media so I’ll just include a link to it from youtube. Here it is.

A Newbie Reviews: Dramas of 2010

As the year 2010 comes to a close, I feel a little shell-shocked at how quickly time has passed by. Pretty soon, I’ll reach one year since I first become a fansubber/translator and since I started this very blog. By extension, this is the first year-end review I’m writing so please bear with me as I try to be as objective and impartial as possible. Not only will I be reviewing dramas that aired this year that I watched, but a few that I watched for the first time this year although they aired in previous years. Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one.

Continue reading

Beauty in the Broken

During the two and a half months I’ve been a translator for WITHS2, I’ve met lots of new people and been exposed to many new dramas that I would’ve never thought to watch before. One of the dramas that got consistent raves from every single person I heard from was Conspiracy in the Court, most counting it among their top favorites. When thunderbolt put up the download links on her lovely blog, I downloaded them and saved them onto my external hard drive, thinking that one day, I might just give CitC a try.

I knew very little about it except for the fact that it was a sageuk that was watched by precious few when it aired, and that relatively unknown actors/actresses took on the lead roles, one of them being Lee Cheon Hee whom I’ve adored ever since Family Outing. The thought of him starring in a sageuk was a bit odd to me because I was used to seeing him as Chunderella, awkward and silly, but that side of him appealed to me so I wasn’t opposed to seeing him in a more serious role. As for the other actor and actress, I caught the first episode of Who Are You? and dropped it because Go Ara annoyed the heck out of me with her shrillness, and I was aware that Jin Yi Han was the supporting actor in that drama. Other than that, he was a fresh face to me as well. Kim Ha Eun was even less familiar to me because I knew she was acting in Chuno, but I wasn’t watching it so I had no idea what her acting was like.

Knowing that CitC was a sageuk, I downloaded the subs that wonderful MisterX translated for WITHS2 because although my Korean isn’t bad, I knew I didn’t know enough to fully understand the Korean of old. And so, for a few weeks, I had the eight episodes of CitC and the subs for them sitting on my hard drive, just waiting to be watched. Because of all the raves that I heard about it, I was almost afraid to start watching it, because I knew it’d be an intense, almost otherworldly ride. I wanted to mentally prepare myself before I dipped my toe into the rich, sensuous experience of watching CitC.

One night, I think it was a few weeks ago, I sat myself down having finished all my homework and translating duties and not having anything else to do, I thought to myself, Why not watch it now? There’s no reason to keep putting it off. And so I plugged in my hard drive, sat back, and began Episode 1. As the opening credits began, I found myself being swept away in the fast-paced scenes that were flashing before my eyes, and I almost felt like holding my breath, afraid I was going to miss something if I blinked or looked away for just a moment.

As I watched the first episode, I gasped, laughed, covered my eyes, and just reveled in the beauty that was unfolding in front of me on my laptop screen. Lee Cheon Hee was transformed into someone I almost couldn’t recognize. Fire and passion blazed in his eyes and on his face, and he radiated an intensity that I could never have imagined from Chunderella. Kim Ha Eun left me in awe, wondering how she could act out so perfectly a character who has such a tough shell on the exterior but is perpetually crying on the inside, her heart bottomless with sorrow. And Jin Yi Han… he embodies his character so well that he’s not acting, but living out Park Sang Gyu’s resentment toward his father, bitterness at being stuck in a position he doesn’t want, and longing for his lost love.

The montage of scenes that was shown in Episode 2 of Sang Gyu and Na Young’s past reduced me to a sobbing, squealing mess, and Na Young’s unendurable, excruciatingly painful suffering after her father is accused of treason made my heart constrict for her. I can’t remember when I last felt so deeply while watching a drama. CitC is masterful at making its viewers feel a myriad of emotions almost on a personal level, that’s how profoundly I wish its characters happiness, but the fact that I know they won’t get it hurts me more than words can express.

I’m only on Episode 3 so far, and yet CitC has already left an impression on me that I know will be everlasting. Thinking about the drama brings tears to my eyes, and listening to the songs of the OST make my heart thump as if I was watching its glorious scenes. I can’t watch more than one episode in a certain period of time (I’ve been giving it a week in between watching each episode) because I want to give myself time to savor and reflect on what I had just seen. Some people devoured the whole drama all at once, but for me, I can’t even fathom doing that. There’s so much intensity and sorrow that if I were to watch the episodes in a whole chunk like that, I’d be depressed for weeks, maybe even months after I finished watching its last moments.

I’m so grateful for MisterX’s impeccable subs because if it weren’t for him, despite the raves of my fellow WITHS2ers, I probably wouldn’t have began watching this absolute gem because I wouldn’t have been able to understand everything. CitC is a raw, hard-hitting, emotional roller coaster that I’m not even halfway through with, but I’m in it for the whole ride. I’ll write another entry when I’m done watching the drama because I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about when it’s over. See you then~ 🙂