Monday, September 10, 2007

Taewang Sonata

I just checked out Episode 0 of TAEWANGSASHINGI (aka LEGEND, aka THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS), the latest series starring Bae Yong-joon.

I know it is trendy to bash everything Bae Yong-joon (and I am as guilty of that as anyone)... but I must admit, I rather liked the pre-episode MBC-TV broadcast tonight. Sure, a lot of the effects look like something out of FINAL FANTASY, but for an Asian TV drama, I think they looked pretty good and quite inventive. In general, this is a good looking television series (especially on my HD television set).

The fighting and effects look pretty exciting, for the most part. The story is fresh, different from what we usually see on TV these days. The sets are just short of amazing. The monsters have some pretty good potential, too.

Best of all, it stars Moon So-ri, one of my favorite actors in Korea. Is this her first time acting in a television series? Well, in TAEWANGSASHINGI, she really kicks ass, killing people all over the place. Blood flying. I highly approve.

I know there has been a lot of negative talk about this series, a lot of sniping. But I cannot help but notice that a lot of the bad talk started way back in 2006, long before a single frame had been shot. And usually by people who had the least access to the story. I think there are a lot of Bae Yong-joon haters (not for no reason) and a lot of people who hate independent TV producers ... I think that explains a lot of the bad vibes surrounding the series so far.

I guess we will see beginning tomorrow. But so far, I have some hope this might be a fun series. The only people I know who have seen any episodes or read the script like it. I have hope. I doubt this series will redefine television or anything so grandiose, but it looks like it could be a fun 24 episodes.


Anonymous said...

I am dying to know why Bae Yong Joon is so hated (is it just in Korea? He's pretty popular in Japan). I'm not a fan per se--I'm more of a fence sitter--but I have seen some of his work and I like it. I loved April Snow, for example. I truly thought he was amazing in that. But I thought Untold Scandal was just "okay". He seems like a decent person based on the minimal I have read about/by him. I know he gives to charities and stuff like that. How can this be a bad person? Is it political--are Koreans mad that he's popular in Japan? I just can't figure out the sort of mysterious comments that always pop up which are not given any explanation (they are just assumed to be understood by all readers?). Being that I'm in America, I really am not at all in touch with Korean media or how celebrities are portrayed in the media and why. But I am very curious as to what the valid gripe is against Bae. Any thoughts on this?

Anonymous said...

to anon1: I dunno myself - I'm kind of ambivalent about BYJ; not my fav Korean actors even as a Korean but I don't hate him and to tell the truth I never got the impression he was 'hated' anywhere. The latter impression might come from the fact I'm in America - but yeah, I was a bit surprised about the statement "trendy to bash everything Bae Yong-joon." Perhaps it's a bit of a Paris Hilton phenom, everyone loves to hate her and she sure as hell is popular for it (in a media/publicity kind of way).