Road No. 1

In my first post on this blog I mentioned my love for Korean dramas, so I’d like to tell you about a new one starting this week that I’ve really been looking forward to. It takes place during the Korean War, and the title “Road No. 1” refers to the road that served as the main passageway from North Korea into Seoul, and from Seoul into Pyeongyang, during the war in 1950.

The story centers around three main characters; two friends, Lee Jang-woo (played by So Ji-sub, uber hottie), Shin Tae-ho (played by Yoon Kye-sang, another cutie pie), and the woman they both love, Kim Soo-yeon (played by Kim Haneul).

Here’s the trailer:

This is the reason I love Korean dramas, because American television seldom gives us anything like this any more. Back in the 70’s and 80’s American television was all about the epic historical miniseries such as Shogun, Lonesome Dove, North and South, The Thorn Birds, or the granddad of all miniseries, Roots. There were wonderfully trashy ones like Lace, Master of the Game, and Rich Man, Poor Man, along with ones adapted from every Judith Krantz book ever written. We devoted hours of our lives to grand, sweeping sagas and characters we could love to hate (or hate to love), and they were so good that we couldn’t wait to talk about them the next day at work or school (and no one thought we were crazy, which I get a lot).

More recent offerings such as HBO’s Band of Brothers or John Adams are brilliant, but sporadic. What if you’d really like to watch this type of series all the time, rather than just once a year or so, having to fill your evenings in the meantime with inane reality shows or formulaic/episodic crime dramas? Just imagine my delight to find that my favorite kind of television programming is alive and well and becoming more and more mainstream every day! Don’t believe me? Check out this recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

So often when I try to convince someone to watch a foreign film or drama, their chief complaint is subtitles. The fact is that after about 10 minutes (maybe less), you don’t even realize you’re reading. It’s pretty effortless, and before you know it you’re engrossed in a compelling story, an hour (or six) have flown by, and you lose sleep because you’re thinking “Oh, just one more episode won’t hurt!”

Y’all can thank me later. 🙂

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