m a r k a n d e y a


Posted by Brian on April 13, 2006

Warning: there are a few minor spoilers at the bottom. 

If you haven’t seen Lost, I highly recommend it as worthy of your time. The DVD came out in Korea and you can pick it up for less that 40,000W; it gives you all 25 eps of the first season as well as a lot of cool extras. It’s smartly written and just oozing with mystery. Where are they? Who, or what, is sharing the island with them? But one of the aspects I enjoy the most about the show is the portrayal of the two Korean characters: Sun and Jin.

Living in Korea, a foreigner will see plenty of one-dimensional foreign “characters” in Korean TV shows or movies. They come in three types… there’s the rude, arrogant American soldier, the English teacher, and the befuddled tourist who requires a helping hand. The former is shown in an overwhelmingly negative way, while the latter two are usually foils for a poor Korean character forced to speak in broken English – cheap laughs abound.

The two Korean characters on Lost, however, are the real deal. They’re both fleshed out just as much as any other character on the show, and their actions and behavior make sense considering thei cultural background. Obviously, the writing team is doing their homework and making sure the Korean characters are authentic, rather than just two Americans with slanted eyes.

Sure, the language gap is used from time to time for some laughs – of course there are going to be some communication issues –  but it’s not the only reason they’re there.

In particular, I enjoyed the teary farewell between the two at the end of the first season. It struck me as very Korean, but also more authentic than a hundred similar partings from any number of cliched Korean dramas. For once, a Korean couple saying goodbye with tears in their eyes didn’t make me wince from the sheer here-we-go-again corniness of it all. I truly felt their jung. I applaud actors Kim Yun-jin and Daniel Dae Kim for their work.

It really is a great show and further evidence of a rise in quality programming on American TV. Check it out…


4 Responses to “Lost”

  1. GI Korea said

    I don’t know about a rise in quality American programming because there is still so much junk out there, but like you I enjoy watching LOST and the Korean characters Sun and Jin are great characters to watch.

    I actually saw an interview with Kim Yun-jin where she said that she had to really help Daniel Dae Kim with his Korean since he is an American and as the series has progressed his Korean has gotten much better. Also she has made a number of changes on the script in regards to the characters when the writers write something that is not Korean. She said the writers have been very accomodating in helping keep the characters “Korean” instead of the stereotypical Asian character you see in many Hollywood shows.

  2. Nomad said

    Highly agree, an excellent show. I don’t know if you use newsgroups (usenet) a all but in the group alt.binaries.dvd, someone posts the latest three episodes in DVD format, excellent quality. Of course you can use one of the P2P services to keep up with each episode as it gets shown and subsequently put up for download. That’s what I’ve been doing with the show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ – I’m hooked on that show. As for ‘Lost’, I like what the writers and producers have done with it so far – my daughter and i wait for each DVD to get posted then we take a Sunday afternoon and watch all three episodes one after the other, even though we always say we should only watch one, to make them last. Never quite works out that way 🙂

  3. scott said

    Let’s be honest here. Name one Korean TV show that comes even close to Lost, Arrested Development, Seinfield, Sex and the City, Southpark, Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, The West Wing, CSI, Malcom in the Middle, the Sopranos, or even the dozen or so TV shows that form the next level of quality shows.

    Sure, a lot of other shows suck, but it is just silly to imply that American TV is generally bad. There will always be a large number of bad TV shows and movies from any country because the bulk of any society is composed of simpletons who need to be spoon fed something they can understand. And do we really want there to be MORE quality shows anyway? Don’t we have other things to do in our lives anyway?

    The same argument can be made for movies coming out of America (or anywhere, for that matter). Some really good ones sprinkled among shit. That’s how it is Korea, that’s how it is in America.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys…

    Nomad, A friend of mine uses some p2p program for DLing and supplies me with episodes from the second season of Battlestar Galactica and Lost.

    Does anyone watch Desperate Housewvives? My GF loves all the sex, good looking people, and mystery on the show. Every weekend we strive to make it through 4 more eps of the first season.

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