White Tower – 2007

19 03 2011

I just finished the 1st eight episodes of White Tower and was totally into this heavy medical drama.  It was at times riviting and at times a bit slow, but overall I am enjoying it!  Basically any series that has Kim Myung Min (of Beethoven Virus) and Lee Sun Gyun (of Pasta, My Sweet City, & Coffee Prince) as the leads is a winner for me.  I love both of these actors and if you have read my comments on any of the series they are in I have no trouble going on and on about them.  I have only seen Kim Myung Min in Beethoven Virus so I have a lot of respect for him after seeing him in another role and completely embodying it.  He was more dynamic in White Tower but just as commanding.  Lee Sun Gyun was more muted and this wasn’t my favorite role for him.  Even his glorious voice made little impact here.

In the first 8 episodes they complete an entire story and left me very satisfied, but just at that moment of comfort they flip the script and make my Dr. Jang the arrogant bad guy.  Noooooo, I don’t want him to be the bad guy.  Oh you writers, how could you do that and then you want to flip the script again….. argh!!!!

Overall, this was a good medical/legal drama; almost no romance, and very little humor but gritty and enthralling.  I would give this a solid B.

So here is my big complaint though!  argh!  I hated Dr. Lee’s daughter, I was annoyed by her political activism, basically a spoiled rich girl that wants to fight for the poor.  boo hooo, whatever.  She pushed that girl into the lawsuit but herself had nothing to lose if they failed, which you know initially they did and it tore up that family.  She kept pushing and kept pushing Do Young, Dr. Yeom and Nurse Yoo.  The victim should have settled, she would have won a monetary settlement and everyone else would have been spared the emotional distress of the courtroom battle.  I know – maybe it isn’t right to feel that way because her husband did die a horrible death and it was completely due to negligence, but oh I wanted to hit her and her stupid hair and tooth.  argh!

Here’s an adorable clip of KMM with his family, his son is beyond cute!

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Beethoven Virus 2008

29 08 2010

Beethoven Virus starring Kim Myung Min, Jang Geun Suk, and Lee Ji Ah

A different type of series, more about the story as a whole, and less relationship based.  If you love Classical music or any of the leads this is probably worth watching.  Kim Myung Min was amazing as the lead and his performance excellent.   The series undulated for me in the sense that it would build and then wrap up and then start again, build, and wrap up.  I was  disappointed with the ending, as it left a ton hanging.  I was so glad to see Kim Myung Min and he commands the screen when he wants -that was the best part of this series and fun to watch.

Ep. 7 had a good “almost kiss” and by episode 9 I was ready to take up the violin and join an orchestra.  Unfortunately, this series didn’t come to more of a peak for me.  I loved the feel of the world this series created and was really into it for awhile, but it just never got going beyond the middle of the series.

Though I loved Jang Geun Suk in You’re Beautiful and though I casually like him in Beethoven’s Virus, I would hardly notice him in comparison to Kim Myung Min.  It is weird to see how much he paled in any scene to Kim Myung Min.  KMM’s Kang Gun Woo was so powerful and perfect.  He actually reminds me a lot of the role Jang Geun Suk played in You’re Beautiful and anyone would by lying to say JGS didn’t take some inspiration from KMM for YB.   Basically hard and arrogant on the outside, yet warm and yummy inside.  It has been said that Kim Myung Min created a sensation in Korea referred to as Kang Ma Eh Syndrome and earned him fresh acclaim from critics and viewers.  I can believe that and will definitely look forward to seeing him in a different role in future (*update – just started White Tower and am enjoying KMM in the role of a surgeon).

Here are my complaints –

  1. Jan Geun Suk’s Kang Gun Woo started out distant, was not friendly or warm.  But as the series went on he was a total pussy cat.  This seemed like a pretty big inconsistency.  I can’t believe he would ever reject Du Ru Mi in the beginning if you look at his character through the rest of the series.
  2. No payoff – (spoiler alert) Basically there was no big payoff romantically or a showdown between the Gun Woo’s.  Yes, we saw the transformation of Maestro Kang Gun Woo and his performance as I have said repeatedly was amazing, but he never really gave us a payoff with Du Ru Mi, Gun Woo or “the little orchestra that could”.  The scene in the studio where she is laying on the floor was nice, but he didn’t really admit his feelings for her.  This was a bummer, I really liked when he had that moment with Young Kang Gun Woo and hugged him, but they left me hanging with Du Ru Mi she was still losing her hearing and she wasn’t getting any love from the Maestro.. wtf?
  3. Once again I was unfortunately disappointed with the ending.  Though I get the deeper meaning that no matter the adversity the love of the music is the greater purpose, but still I am left feeling like I missed the main course.  I kept thinking that the whole series would lead up to something big that never came. Other than Maestro’s transformation everyone was left in limbo.

So I would give this a grade of B- only because Kim Myung Min’s performance outweighed everything else about this.

Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the ending or why in general K dramas often have disappointing endings or if I am just missing something I didn’t get.  Thank you!