[KS] Korean Serial Dramas

Lucas Hüsgen lhusgen at kirogi.demon.nl
Sun Nov 6 12:16:50 EST 2005

On Sun, 06 Nov 2005 09:25:44 +0100, <johnfrankl at yahoo.com> wrote:

> This disconnect between music and setting is not limited to TV and  
> cinema. It is widespread, but absolutely unidirectional. If one goes to  
> a "traditional" drinking establishment (¹Î¼ÓÁÖÁ¡) here in Seoul, for  
> example, one has a very good chance of hearing nothing but rap music,  
> with no patrons seeming to notice, let alone complain about, the  
> disconnect. On the other hand, one will absolutely never get p'ansori in  
> a wine bar.

I know of at least one traditional drinking establishment which plays  
p'ansori. Or at least, it still was there during my last time around in  
Seoul, which was in 2002. It's on Tonhwamunno, I believe it's called,  
being the road leading up to Ch'angdoggung from Chongno 3 ga. This  
teahouse is somewhere on the second floor, about halfway from Chongno 3 ga  
to the next crossing on the right hand side, if I remember correctly. But  
then again, what does 'traditional' really mean, when talking about a  
teahouse on the second floor of a concrete building, let alone, about  
playing p'ansori from a cd...

Have no recollection of any other such place in any part of Korea I  
visited, except for this traditional teahouse at Bogildo, run by the poet  
and local chroniquer Kang Je-Yun, which didn't play any recorded music at  
all. That would be actually be most appropriate.



> John Frankl
> Charles Mark Mueller <bul2mun at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Steven D. Capener wrote:
> ... What I mean by this is the mesaage that under a certain set of
> circumstances, we will usually see similar reactions or situations
> vis-a-vis characters in the drama. For example, the ad naseum tropes of
> jilted or disgruntled men drinking themselves into oblivion in a 'soju
> tent' . . .
> There are certainly recuring themes (after the success of Gyeoul
> yeon'ga, for example, there was a whole spate of films that virtually
> replicated the plot). And there are some similar components that are
> odd. A handful of films now have used a key character who is a
> "patishie" (a French-trained baker). (I still have a hard time
> believing there's an "art" to making frosted cakes.) And yes, the
> amount of drinking that goes on in films is staggering and a bit
> disconcerting. The entire genre could be seen as an ad for liquor
> companies.
> Even so, I applaud the genre for its achievements. Unlike American TV
> fare, the shows frequently show characters that are in moral shades of
> gray. Those with character flaws are often shown in a sympathetic
> light. (One of my favorites in this respect was the first Yongseo
> series.) The serials also blend comedy and seriousness, which is rarely
> done well in the U.S. (Hwaryeohan Shijeol, a personal favorite, did a
> great job of this).
> As Korea becomes more prosperous, much of the economic and class
> tensions that previously drove serial dramas (and in my opinion, made
> them interesting) seems to be giving way to plot lines involving
> wealthy kids with rather trivial problems. This probably reflects the
> current zeitgeist, as Korea shifts from an extremely serious to a more
> relaxed and affluent society.
> In a previous post, the widespread use of Western music was also
> mentioned. One interesting aspect of its use is the painstaking work
> done to make the lyrics correspond to what's happening in a particular
> scene. Some of the serials do this for pretty much every song.
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When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone, in the air. You can never  
capture it again.

(Eric Dolphy)

Perhaps we suffer unknowingly from an unrecognized mass disease: chronic,  
pernicious beauty deficiency.

(Richard Heinberg)


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