originally published at http://crayfisher.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/escape-hollywood-by-reading-subtitles/
I’ve started watching more foreign streaming videos instead of Hollywood shows, because, really, their politics & indoctrination is so annoying. Grrr. The problem is I have no one to discuss it with here! So I’m gonna fix that by occasionally reviewing some favorites and hoping that gets a bunch of you all hooked *evil laugh*.
I’m liking a lot of kdramas (South Korean dramas). Kdramas are typically serialized novels that run twice weekly and have a beginning, middle, end all plotted in advance. You can watch them for free legally – all you need is the internet and a willingness to read subtitles. I’m going review one I just marathoned through and really enjoyed. I think it’s probably a good first drama for Westerners for reasons I’ll explain in a bit.
Faith is a historical time-travel fantasy set in 1351, during the Goryeo period, when Korea was a vassal state of the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty. The main characters in the drama are all real historical figures: King Gongmin, Queen Noguk, General Choi Young are names that Korean kids learn about in school. The twist is that mortal need makes King Gongmin order Choi Young into a legendary heaven’s portal to bring back Heaven’s Doctor to save his Queen’s life. The portal is actually a time portal, and he enters 2012 Seoul (which he thinks is Heaven) and kidnaps a plastic surgeon from a medical conference to take back with him.
This drama has some of my favorite elements – historical fantasy, time travel, swords, characters who act true to their period, court intrigues, political and literal backstabbing, humor, over-the-top villains who are still sympathetic, and people who are facing inner conflicts that mirror their external struggles. I’m actually not a big romance watcher, but I ended up totally buying the love story that slowly unfolds between the captain & the doctor. I won’t lie, I was reaching for the tissues by the end.
One of the reasons I picked Faith to be your gateway drug to kdrama is that the time-travel set-up means that Goryeo is just as alien to the surgeon as it is to us, Americans, and we discover it through her 21st century eyes. Another reason is that the story could be seen as a variation of one of my favorite books, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Maybe the biggest reason I picked Faith is because it has wonderfully strong women characters. Damsels can be a failing in kdramas and I so love that Faith beats this stereotype.
I watched Faith for free on DramaFever. DramaFever has a huge collection of subtitled Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish/Latino shows, including ones currently airing in their countries of origin. So if Faith is not yoru cup of tea, there are hundreds of others to try.
I actually watched via the DramaFever android app (they also have iOS, Google, and Roku apps, and I think you can get them via Hulu.) The app worked well once I figured out that there is a menu button and that keeping my finger down brings up a pop-up list of actions. I signed up for a free account; supposedly they are ad-supported but I haven’t really seen any ads yet. I think it might be that newbies get the first week ad-free or something like that.)
So, thanks for reading my review. Talk about what shows, foreign or Hollywood, books, anything.