From the Queen's Vantage Point:
When you have watched a lot of Kdrama, sometimes you start to imagine who could portray your favorite Kdrama star in America.  Okay, maybe you have not, but I sometimes do.  There are many to choose from and there are many different styles of acting to choose from.  Right now as I watch some series, I think to myself that there are those who make good side kicks and middle men and those that make excellent heros and heroines. From the Queen’s vantage point, a lot of times these wonderful Kdrama stars spend a lot of time wanting to be someone else in the series (not in real life).  For instance one of the funniest people in this type of situation is Byun Jung Soo, Janice in the funny Kdrama, Manny.  Every time she strikes a pose and utters the line, “I am Janice!” it is so funny that you have to just let go with a good belly laugh.  Jung Soo seems taller and thinner than her American role model and is certainly younger.  She has nothing of Janice Dickinson’s persona but attitude and most people can do without this.  Not that there is anything wrong with a positive attitude.  It is just that everyone but her is positive that she is no Janice Dickinson.  Funny stuff, though.
The next comparison that I make is Jang Hang Sun, Detective Jung of Padam Padam.  Every time he appears on screen whether as the mean tempered Detective Jung or sweet natured Master Pal Bong of Baker King Kim Tak Goo, Andy Devine seems to come back to life.  He is only missing the gravely vocals.  Hang Sun is really a twin to Devine from the chubby body to the cheeks that seem to beg for pinching.  When he is playing a role like the one in Crime Squad where he played Team Leader Kwon, you can even see the toughness that Devine showed on the many cowboy movies that he starred in as a loveable but stern sidekick.  The only time he has not shown his softer side is in Padam Padam.  Detective Jung has a chip on his shoulder the size of a two by four.  Maybe that is why he cannot be happy.   He is carrying too much weight on his body and in his heart.
That brings up Lee Han Wie, who is a cross between Robert Young (Father Knows Best, Marcus Welby, MD) and Danny Thomas (Make Room for Daddy).  He does not look like either one really, although if you had to make a pick, he is more Robert Young, but he makes you feel all the comfort of their characters in the shows in which they they appeared.  Han Wie seems to always be the voice of reason and calm.  His characters are clumsy but caring and he always strives to do his best to offer support.  He loses at love as the character he portrayed in Spring Waltz, Lee Jung Tae, a father coming back into his son’s life too late but who still loved him enough to try to make up for all of his years of abuse and absence.  I still cried when he met an untimely end just as he and his son were making amends.
Okay, for those who are waiting for the comparisons to mirror the present day movie stars.  Even though the name Brad Pitt is bandied around some Kdramas from the Queen’s vantage point, there are no comparisons.  Brad Pitt is Brad Pitt and, personally, the stars of Kdrama are better.  Lee Min Ho is no Brad Pitt.  He is far better looking, more sauve, and that killer smile is signature, all his own.  Lee Dong Gun, certainly no Brad Pitt!  Can Brad Pitt sing?  And if he could, could he melt your heart with his voice?  Sarang Hae recorded by Dong Gun is a hit all by itself even if he had not appeared and did a wonderful job as Kim Bum Sang in When It’s At Night.  Dong Gun is stealthy, cute, and convincing as the crook who denies that he is doing anything wrong to Kim Sun Ah, who portrayed Heo Cho Hwi, an art explorer.  This is supposed to be a lighter version of Tomb Raider but there was really no comparison.  After watching the trailers of Tomb Raider, there was no desire to see the film.  After countless viewings of Secret Garden, there is every possibility of a return visit.
That brings this discussion to a close by comparing Angelina Jolie to Ha Ji Won, or the Wonder Woman of Kdrama.   From the Queen’s vantage point (and imagine me shouting this one) there is no comparison!  Jolie pales in comparison to Ji won.  This girl is bad!  I could watch her fly through the air and drop kick her way to victory over and over again.  The stuntwoman deserved top billing in her own film and I even liked her commercial. As Gil Ra Im, she was no shrinking violet.  She is beautiful, strong, and determined.  In the face of a woman who would never let her be a lawful daughter-in-law, she still managed to snag the man she loved, marry him, live with him, and have children with him.  She did not lose her resolve even after producing three heirs apparent to the throne of her husband’s future estate and stood by his side.  She did not take a back seat to mommy. Now, just a note to those of you who are wondering as I am sure some are, when will the Queen have something to say about the man who for sure is a one-of-a-kind wonder, Jang Geun Suk.  Well, keep watching this space and see. To do this one justice takes careful time and planning, just to get it right.  He is such a rare jewel, but the Queen promises that she will do her best to do him justice.  So, faithful readers until next time, I will just keep watching Kdrama from the Queen’s vantage point.
To read more from the Queen, click here!