Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 10Asia's Awards: SKKS and Chuno

Remember the table I had so much troubles to fit all letters there?
No? That's ok.
And because I love 10Asia, an article from their website.
Articles on: drama, director, actor, writer and "Thank You" list. There was also "No, Thank You" list, but I don't see it somehow, keke...

Just like the results on year-end awards ceremonies, no choice will be supported by everyone. A drama cannot be considered 'better' just because more people have seen it nor can it be considered 'proper' just because more people like it. The drama, director, writer and actor of the year picked by the reporters and critics of 10Asia are strictly based on personal taste. The value of KBS TV series "The Slave Hunter" will not diminish just because KBS drama "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" beat it out by one vote to take the title of drama of the year. And the fact that while last year, actress Ko Hyeon-jeong received an overwhelming number of the votes for her role in MBC's "Queen Seon-deok" for best actress, but that this year Jang Hyeok and many other names were mentioned, may be proof that the Korean drama industry depicted on a larger variety of people. But one thing 10Asia can tell you for sure is that our writers have observed and loved Korean dramas during the past year like no other. So please, just sit back and enjoy.

―― TV Series of the Year: KBS "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" ――

KBS TV series "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" may be "not the most well-made drama but most meaningful drama" (Yoon Hee-seong) of the year. It was "a drama which poised the most fundamental questions about attaining one's dreams in times when it was not easy to speak of dreams without taking the detour of dysphemism through naiive hypocrisy or coolness and that too with a rarely seen balanced and clean, unmade-up face" (Beck Una). And like the expression that it "repeatedly asked about principles, the times, revolution and intellect while presenting itself as romantic up-and-coming story on the outside -- 'the discovery of the year' that nobody had anticipated" (Cho Ji-young), Kim Yoon-shik, no, Kim Yoon-hee, was a blow not only on the Confucian scholars at SungKyunKwan Academy but also to viewers and critics. Of course, it is true "the latter half was shaky and the story not in a homogeneous state at moments" (Kang Myung-seok) among other flaws the show had, but the assessment that it was "that heterogenous energy that created a space amidst its structure of being a young, historical and political drama" (Kang Myung-seok) also holds valid. More than anything, the fact that the drama poised sincere questions about the way we live the world, and that too at the younger generation through young people, was an attempt that for a change enlightened the lethargic times. That is why the most honest opinion on "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" may be that "many dramas make the viewer laugh or cry but rarely do they make the heart beat with such passion". (Yoon Hee-seong)
▶ Other opinions
KBS TV series "The Slave Hunters"
Wee Geun-woo (Reporter) A one-of-a-kind creation made up of one-time incidents likely to occur once every ten years. Without question, there will be a drama which is better than "The Slave Hunters" but none will be able to replace it.
Yoonina (TV Critic) A script which goes best with the year 2010 where only sarcasm about current day politics remains.
Jang Kyung-jin (Reporter) It announced the start to the year 2010 through its meaningful narrative and high-quality of execution which captured both ratings and topics.
Lee Seung-han (Reporter) The most intense manifesto on the world and politics that has been written by media.

MBC "Pasta"
Kim Kyo-suk (TV Critic) Of the shower of dramas this year, the drama in which the acting, emotions and details harmonize the best. More than anything, a drama which expressed everyday life most naturally.

SBS "Life is Beautiful"
Jung Suk-hee (Columnist) There is nothing much to be happy about in life, let alone think it's beautiful when you're actually living it. But "Life is Beautiful" was good because there were people who put in an effort to make life beautiful.
――――――― Director of the Year: Kwak Jeong-hwan ―――――――
The appearance of KBS TV series "The Slave Hunters" was "an important event in Korean drama history". (Lee Ji-hye) This drama, which was "a big and strong hanging picture drawn by a brush made of hairs of various size, color, texture and quality" (Beck Una) was able to become complete through numerous elements but director Kwak Jeong-hwan has to be considered the most valuable contributor. Through "The Slave Hunters" he proved that he was a director "with the ability to tell of the subject and issues a drama will draw on even with the esthetic mise-en-scene itself". In the scene in particular where Tae-ha, Dae-gil and Chul-woong compete each other amidst fluttering pieces of paper, director Kwak created "a moment which is both esthetic but also visualizes how people with different principles and goals clash" (Wee Geun-woo) and the action sequences in "The Slave Hunters" gained the reputation that they were "good enough to be called the best action scenes of the year alongside those seen in film 'The Man From Nowhere'". (Kim Kyo-suk) "The director's perseverence to go for the impossible created a drama that is unlikely to come about -- a historical drama that is stylish yet researched well enough to reflect reality" (Yoon Hee-seong). And in times when dramas have become commercial products instead of artistic works, Kwak manages to achieve both with "The Slave Hunters". It is true that he failed to meet up to expectations with KBS "Fugitive: Plan B" where he collaborated with writer Cheon Seong-il again, but it will still be worth looking forward to the next move taken by Kwak -- he who "reached what TV dramas had never reached and moved viewers to a new world where power and beauty coexist".
▶ Other opinions
Kwon Seok-jang of MBC "Pasta"
Kim Sun-young /TV Critic The acting and script may have played a big role in allowing "Pasta" to casually unravel the issue of balancing work and love but it was the director who mediated everything in a natural way.
Choi Ji-eun/Reporter The show's director is the reason that "Pasta" was able to go beyond being just a simple melodrama and portray the kitchen as an intense battlefield while reflecting on organizations and

Actor and writer:
────── Writer of the Year: Kim Su-hyun ──────
It is still Kim Su-hyun. Her SBS TV series "Life is Beautiful" may have seen slightly lower ratings than her previous works and the various controversies surrounding the show for the fact that it dealt with homosexuality, one of the hottest issues of debate in Korean society, may have left little space for it to be evaluated properly. But paradoxically, this showed that Kim, who has been a symbol in Korean TV writing history for over 40 years now, is "proof that she, headed into her seventies, still makes dramas that have an actual impact on reality, are controversial, and are 'real'". (Yoonina) Kim, who in the past had "tried as best as she can to understand and find the answers to various propositions existing within the realistic structure of Korea's traditionally patriarchal system including the clashing of values (MBC "What Is Love"), generational gap (KBS' "The Bathhouse") and middle-aged women discovering their selves (KBS' "Mom's Dead Upset")", (Lee Seung-han) "used the power she holds as a writer, accumulated throughout her entire career, in the most meaningful way" (Choi Ji-eun) in "Life is Beautiful" by accepting the fact that the issue of sexual minorities is just another 'difference' that can be resolved within a household. Her method of accepting every issue with rationality and resolving each one through conversation and debate "is sometimes stifling because of how overly idealistic families seem" (Lee Ga-on) and at moments there was space for improvement on how she describes the younger generation but one cannot help but sincerely agree to the confession that "it is unimaginable to think of life without writer Kim Su-hyun". (Jung Seok-hee)
▶ Other opinions
No Ji-seul of SBS "Doctor Champ"
Kang Myoung-seok/Reporter A consolation to those who make a living by working day and night. This story about how adults mature, does well in mixing a drama about romance with a drama about the workplace while it also shines for the simple yet sincere thought regarding life put into it.
Jang Kyung-jin/Reporter With a story that could have easily turned ideological and fantasy-like, the writer has each and every character experience meager and general emotions to make it seem like the story is about me.

Seo Sook-hyang of MBC "Pasta"
Kim Kyo-suk/Critic 'Trashy' dramas dominate the small screen these days but every character in "Pasta"
Lee Ji-hye/Reporter Different from expectations that it would only go as far as talking about romance in the kitchen, the drama depicted on the average romantic relationship which maintained a warmth by slowly accumulating on memories instead of being plastered with tragedy and setbacks.

Oh Seon-hyeong, Jeong Do-yoon of KBS "Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho"
Beck Una/Editor-in-Chief While retaining its role as the kind storyteller, Oh and Jung's writing went by the standard method of writing to give the realization that in the end, it is the viewers and critics who own a drama.
Cho Ji-young/TV Critic A sadness was able to be drawn from the cliche exterior that horror stories take on and reflected on coexistence and the rights of minorities, as well as being different, while calling attention to Now and 'here'.

Jung Ha-yeon of MBC "Flame of Desire"
Yoon Hee-seong/Reporter Kim Su-hyun taught us how to forgive. But Jung Ha-yeon makes us understand those who you think you may never be able to forgive. The depth at which she reveals the hideousness of capitalists, her imagination which chases after the mind of humans whose souls have become encroached with uneasiness, and her technique of amplifying on tension merely with dialogue, shows the level of expertise she has reached through experience. That is why the viewer may feel uncomfortable, but that is what literature is about.

Cheon Seong-il of KBS "The Slave Hunters"
Wee Geun-woo/Reporter A depiction on men who face off the world physically in times when not even the most rational questions were allowed to be asked. The desperateness, more than anything, was felt straight at the heart.

──────── Actor of the Year: Jang Hyeok ───────
KBS TV series "The Slave Hunters" was director Kwak Jeong-hwan and writer Cheon Seong-il's drama as well as the drama of Lee Dae-gil who was perfected through actor Jang Hyeok's body. In "The Slave Hunters", Jang Hyeok "simultaneously showed spectacular scenes from afar and pathos up-close while also doing quite a good job with the romantic and witty elements. He created the action sequences by moving about on the screen diligently and established the drama through deeply thought-up expressions. But Dae-gil moved in a way that can only come from living experience and his face shone with his instincts". (Yoon Hee-seong) Jang Hyeok, who "is a brilliant action star in that he approached us -- used to seeing action scenes where the main character alone, while wearing a suit, will fight several gangsters at an empty warehouse -- with the very rawness that was seen in his image in 'The Slave Hunters'", (Kim Kyo-seok) was "the very style 'The Slave Hunters" was, beyond him acting the role of Dae-gil" (Kang Myoung-seok) and "an actor who seemed to have embraced the drama's large and complex layout". More than anything, "an actor who works hard is a good actor but an actor who acts out his character perfectly enough to rid the traces of the efforts he made to play his role is a great actor" (Yoon Hee-seong) and that was who Jang Hyeok was. He just was Dae-gil.
▶ Other opinions Kim So-yeon
Jang Kyung-jin/Reporter The Ma Hye-ri in "Prosecutor Princess" could have easily come off as a highly unrealistic character but Kim turned her into a character that one simply cannot hate by using the details about her as her weapon and she moved a step forward in "Doctor Champ" as the Kim Yeon-woo who is exhausted from everyday life.
Lee Ga-on/Reporter While last year's "IRIS" signaled the fact that Kim So-yeon will see the second height of her career, "Prosecutor Princess" and "Doctor Champ" were dramas that proved it did not come about by chance.

Park Yoochun, Park Min-yeong, Yoo Ah-in, Song Joong-ki
Jung Suk-hee/Columnist Such a heartwarming combination could not have come about had even one person failed to harmonize with the others but the four dispelled all concerns by putting up a good fight. If I had to pick one person, it would be Park Yuchun who showed a surprisingly high level of focus in his role despite the various unfavorable situations he was met with.
Choi Ji-eun Their synergy cannot be described merely by the phrase 'The F4 of the Joseon era'. In the Korean drama industry where there is increasingly less opportunities for younger actors to take on new challenges, the perfect harmony and growth that these four showed on the screen was a breath of fresh air and showed youth's most shining moment.

Yoon Si-yoon
Yoonina/TV Critic In the year 2010 where not a single drama can be represented by a single actor, Yoon Si-yoon is one of the few who will be remembered for a drama not by his actual name but his character which is worth more than the award for best new actor he may win at a year-end awards ceremony.

Kong Hyo-jin
Lee Ji-hye/Reporter She was silent yet strong. Of all the main female characters who are troublesome, behave tactlessly, or are passive, who else could have portrayed the average working and maturing woman in such a loveable way?

Kim Yoo-jeong
Kim Sun-young/TV Critic While appearing actively in a number of dramas this year, Kim played a different type of person with each and every role. Through "Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho", she marked a new era in child acting by successfully playing her part as the mature main character who tells of the theme while pulling off the melodramatical element to the story. She then reaffirmed her strong presence by pulling off two roles -- the younger versions of actress Sin Eun-kyeong and Seo Woo's characters -- in "Flame of Desire".

Sin Min-ah
Kim Kyo-suk/TV Critic The reason I picked her as actor of the year is not that her acting has reached a height but because I finally know who she is. She has gone from being a celebrity with a mere 'image' to an actress who has succeeded in displaying her appeal on camera. This single fact will be the reason that many viewers will be looking forward to her next project.

Thank You list:

Eye-Cleanser of the Year KBS2 TV "Sungkyunkwan Scandal": Jalgeum Quartet
There is a fairy tale in Korea in which a filial daughter volunteers to sacrifice herself to a sea god in order to cure her father of his blindness. She requests 300 sacks of rice from the sea people which would be used as an offering to Buddha who was believed to be powerful enough to grant her wish. The viewers of KBS2 series "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" are by all means, not blind, but had a similar eye-cleansing effect the blind father in the fairy tale must have felt, while laying their eyes on the four fresh youths attending the Royal Academy of SungKyunKwan dressed up in the noble's attire in 18th century Korea. The halo that practically beamed from behind their heads made the monthly TV license fee of 2,500 won absolutely worth it. First there was Gu Yong-ha (Song Joong-ki) the boy with a fair complexion and milky skin who hides his face behind the fan only to tease you with a wink and Moon Jae-shin (Yoo Ah-in) who knows how to leave young ladies lovesick with just his captivating eyes that showed through disheveled hair. And when Lee Sun-joon (Park Yoochun), the perfect example of a young scholar with well-chiseled looks and graceful features, gazes down at Kim Yoon-hee (Park Min-yeong) beneath his long eyelashes to make playful gestures, Kim would respond to it with brilliant smile and reciprocate with "cute" acts. All that is enough to make one want to rush to the front gate of SungKyunKwan with 300 sacks of rice for that eye-cleansing effect once more. But do not take this the wrong way. It is just another way of saying how grateful we are, as viewers, to be able to live under the same sky as the adorable quartet.

Mirotic (/Magic Spell) of the Year KBS2 "Cinderella's Sister" : "Eun-jo', KBS2 "Marry Me, Mary!": "Darling"
The beginning was ordinary. All Ki-hoon (Cheon Jeong-myeong) did was call out "Eun-jo" but it somehow unlocked Eun-jo's (Moon Geun-yeong) tightly guarded heart and left her cooking for him and even taking off his socks for him when he falls asleep. Such scenes made young ladies fly to the mirror and whisper that same spell to themselves, even when they were not her. Some replaced it with their own names but of course, there would be no answer (duh). The beginning was sweet. When Mary (also played by Moon Geun-yeong) from KBS "Marry me, Mary" said "Darling" in a ringing tone as she ran, Moo-gyeol (Jang Geun-seok) responded "Oh Mary". But there could be trouble if the magic words of love go beyond what viewers can handle. After all, how much could the poor "single" souls watching TV alone take?

Some-nam (Something About that Guy) of the Year SBS "Prosecutor Princess": Park Si-hoo, MBC "Queen of Reversals": Park Si-hoo
There is something about that guy that you cannot quite put your finger on -- hence drama watchers in Korea coined a term to refer to such characters: 'Some-Nam', a combination of 'Something-about-him' and 'Nam' for guy ('nam-ja' in Korean). Going into more detail, Some-nam is a guy you are not in relationship with but you keep coming across through one weird situation or another. 'Some-nam' is a guy who appears like a knight in shining armor whenever you need help or are in danger but will shake it off as not a big deal after resolving the crisis. He moves somewhere between the lines of 'cool' and 'romantic', leaving female viewers to swoon and that man is Park Si-hoo who in SBS drama "Prosecutor Princess" shows up as lawyer Seo otherwise referred to as "Seo-byun" for short, the one who skillfully melts the heart of female lead Ma Hye-ri (Kim So-yeon) through his gifts like an alarm clock in which his voice is recorded. He then concludes everything with a kiss. In MBC drama "Queen of Reversals", his status was upgraded as chaebol Gu Yong-shik vied by young female employees but continues to be "Some-nam" for the female lead Hwang Tae-hee even though she is married. Of course, it was Im Ji-gyu his secretary, the "Some-Nam" of "Some-Nam" who changed the wheels of Hwang's car.

Love-flu of the Year SBS "Prosecutor Princess": Seo-byeon, SBS "Life is Beautiful": Tae-seop, KBS "Sungkyunkwan Scandal": Geol-oh  
If according to Kim Joo-won (Hyeon Bin) from SBS "Secret Garden", love is a useless "hormonal disease", the lovesickness felt toward drama characters can be described as a new influenza that leaves viewers overwhelmed to the extent of helplessness. Actually this may be the only disease that patients would rather dwell in rather than be cured of. "Seo-byeon flu", "Tae-seop flu" and "Geol-oh flu" were the notable love flus of the year which proved to be far worse than the actual flu that went around. Their sources are Lawyer Seo In-woo (Park Si-hoo), the Korean version of a perfect man who, despite all the little pretenses and pranks, always takes good care of Ma Hye-ri, the female lead of the story; Tae-seop (Song Chang-ee), the pretty boy from SBS "Life is Beautiful" who seemed to be the very embodiment of innocence and frailty; and Geol-oh from KBS "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" who usually shies away from girls but always watches out for Yoon-hee (Park Min-yeong) from afar even if he cannot confess to her. Whoever you fall for among those three, that will be the day you will develop a chronic illness. There is no cure for it either.

Foxy Girl of the Year MBC "Pasta": Seo Yoo-kyung
She pretended to not notice when chef Choi Hyun-wook (Lee Seon-gyoon) openly flirted with her. But then she made physical contact with him by asking him to take out a key from her coat for her. She pretended she knows nothing about relationships. But it was she who surprise-kissed him in the elevator, not the other way around. She pretended she did not know anything about pushing buttons. But when Choi asked her to choose between him and her cooking career she replied with glee, "You of course, chef!" only to turn around later to speak up with confidence "I can see right through you and can tell how much you like me!" Yoo-kyung (Kong Hyo-jin) of MBC drama "Pasta" (2010) was the shrewdest fox in disguise. The skills of seduction displayed by female leads in the drama seem to improve every day. There should be some kind of lecture set up for this.

Rich Arrogant Guy of the Year SBS Secret Garden: Kim Joo-wonThe rich guys in the drama always end up getting fixed in some kind of situation with the penniless girl. It seems that they cannot help falling for them instantaneously because having been pampered all their lives, they have never had a bucket of water dumped on their heads or received a nice, stinging slap on their faces. Joo-won (Hyeon Bin) from "Secret Garden" is different in that sense, insisting that his love for the poor girl is just part of noblesse oblige. When La-im (Ha Ji-won) gets hurt he rushes her to a hospital because it is all because of his excellent upbringing that taught him well of the ethics of the upper class. But given how the ethics of upper class in society is established through a baseball bat there is much to doubt about his remarks. You sir, seem to take relationship ideologically!

Jewelry of the Year MBC "High Kick Through The Roof": Jeong Bo-seok, SBS "Giant": Jeong Bo-seok, MBC "Hurricane Couple": Jeong Bo-seok'Bo-suk' is a homophone to the word 'jewelry' in Korea. When actor Jeong Bo-seok who played "Jewelry Jeong", a pitiful excuse of a man who desperately searched for someone who would listen to him and competed for a higher position in the house with his housekeeper Se-gyeong in the MBC sitcom "High Kick Through The Roof", was set to play the role of the villainous Cho Pil-yeon in SBS epic drama "Giant" most people were doubtful. Their doubts proved to be false though as Jeong successfully turned himself into "Pil-yeon the Reincarnate of Evil" who would easily see blood for those who defy him and was ready to do just about anything -- threatening or blackmailing -- to gain power. In the new MBC drama "Hurricane Couple" Jeong will once again, appear as cold-blooded businessman Yoo Dae-gwon who will stir up the mood of the drama. Of all the shiny jewelries around the world, Jeong was the shiniest of them this year.

Couple of the Year SBS "Life is Beautiful": Kyung-soo & Tae-seop, Producer & Writer: Kwak Jeong-hwan & Cheon Seong-il, Producer & Writer: Sin Woo-cheol & Kim Eun-sook
 There are couples all over the place, inside and outside the drama. When Tae-seop (Song Chang-ee) asked, "Did I tell you how thankful I am?" Kyung-soo (Lee Sang-woo) replied, "Did I tell you that I love you?" The advertisement saying: "SBS should compensate if my son turns gay after watching the drama and dies of AIDS!" may actually be an expression of the jealousy felt toward this beautiful couple. Then there is the director Kwak Jeong-hwan and writer Cheon Seong-il duo who worked together for a whole year for two blockbuster KBS dramas "The Slave Hunters" and "The Fugitive Plan B". But nothing can beat out director Sin Woo-cheol and writer Kim Eun-sook who have worked on a total six projects starting with SBS drama "Lovers in Paris" in 2004 and now SBS series "Secret Garden". Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that 2010 was a bountiful year thanks to these three couples.

Reincarnation of the Year KBS "Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho" Kim Yoo-jeong, MBC "Flame of Desire" Kim Yoo-jeong, SBS "Pumpkin Flower": Kim Yoo-jeong
Kim Yoo-jeong was a sweet, obedient child named Yeon in a history drama "Grudge: Revolt of Gumiho". Then she died only to return as a restless soul that possessed Cho-ok's (Seo Sin-ae) body. In MBC drama "Flame of Desire" she appeared as the child version of Na-young (Sin Eun-kyeong) who showed unusual obsession for money. Then she appeared again as the child version of In-gi (Seo Woo), the daughter of Na-young who happens to look exactly like her mother when she was young. She left her hometown lashing out, "In my next life I'll be born into a family with respectable father, not the murderer I live with right now!" She was then reincarnated as the child version of Soon-jung in another drama SBS series "Pumpkin Flower". To top it off, her father (Jang Hyeon-seong) also happened to be the same guy who played Lord Yoon Doo-soo who killed her in "Gumiho". Death becomes her, literally.

Safety Net of the Year tvN's "Rude Miss Young-Ae Season 8"Anyone can be in a relationship. But how could 'she' of all the people do this to us? Young-ae (Kim Hyeon-sook) from tvN's "Rude Miss Young-ae" was the hope and other ego of all ordinary, single women in Korea who could easily chew on pork hocks, beat up a street pervert, mutter about bad luck for continuously meeting Mr. Wrong but never letting that put her down no matter how much the world she lived in sucked -- up till season 6. The show, in its 7th season had Young-ae finally begin her relationship with chief Jang Dong-gun (Lee Hae-yeong-I) which we "try" to understand because she might deserve that after going through so much hardship and heartbreaks in the past series. But Young-ae holding Jang's hand while listening her handsome colleague San-ho's (Kim San-ho) confession?! Seriously people! Stop reaching out for back-up plans when it comes to romance! How will you convince us now that you have ended the day with a beer and nighttime duty after this! This is traitorous! There are people who spend night after night writing deadlines and we are certainly not waiting for season 8 to see something like we saw on season 7!

Reporter : Lee Ga-on, Lee Seung-Han fourteen@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Jang Kyung-Jin three@
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