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Where are we standing?

BJ - The way you look at her
Why should you watch Capital Scandal?

I've been disappointed with most Korean dramas even when they start off with different plots and settings, because at the very core of them, they're built with the same skeleton of a plot. As soon as a character walks in, I automatically know if it's going to be the clingy former female love interest or smug bachelor who participates in the nerve-grating, tiring love quadrangle. Even the main couple of a Korean drama won't even capture my interest because the guy is too hung up on his ex-girlfriend or he's just a jackass who knows the right things to say and do to make a girl cry. Either it's him or the girl who's too weak-hearted to defend herself in a mortifying situation.

stagnated was the one that first picked up the series. She was curious about it because Han Ji Min is one of her favorite actresses, and I just let her do her thing while I was reading Mars. However, within the first 10 minutes of the show, I dropped the manga and joined her because I was too distracted by THE EXCELLENCE of it. So hear me out.






Based on the novel "Sad Story of the Capital (경성애사, 京城哀史)" by Lee Sun Mi (이선미), this drama portrays a love story during the 1930s during the independence movement.

Na Yu Kyung (Han Ji Min) is a book store owner and a lobbyist, as she is a purist of Korean culture. Sun Woo Wan (Kang Ji Hwan), the youngest son of a rich and famous family, is involved in the independence movement with his magazine that records scandals and spreads lewd content to the public. Yu Kyung and Woo Wan meet under strange circumstances, which sets both of them under disagreeable terms with one another. Lee Soo Hyun (Ryu Jin) is a Josenjing who rises amongst the ranks of the government; his connection with Woo Wan goes way back into the past as childhood friends. Then there's Cha Song Joo (Han Go Eun), a famous courtesan of the time who is acquainted with Woo Wan and secretly admires Soo Hyun. Through scandal, bets, and mere coincidences, the four become entangled in a great development of romance and suspense.

I totally stole that from Annie's post at d-addicts, but I helped write it anyway.

Characters

I didn't include all the characters because it might've gotten long, and I wanted to avoid spoilers, but I'm not sure if I could do that successfully. Forgive me! Have any questions? I'll answer them.


Sun Woo Wan is a playboy. It sounds overdone, and it really is overdone, but I'm not sure what is it about him that I just like. I don't favor his sort of character in any other series because these guys usually go running back to their mothers for favors or know how to weasle their way out of any sort of predicaments. Like other playboys, he has a backstory which involves someone's betrayal and another's death. I do like his reasons for loafing about, and he never gives me a reason to smack the monitor. I do smack the monitor a lot when a loathed character comes into a scene. He's adorable and not entirely pathetic.


Na Yu Kyung is a bookstore owner. Also known as Jo Ma Ja ("The Last Woman of Josun" or something like that), she absolutely refuses to conform to foreign ways. She's prude and sometimes a little preachy. Compared to everyone else, she's so little. Although cute when a little peeved, she actually packs a mean knuckle sandwich when rubbed the wrong way. I usually like characters like her because they always put up a front and live by their convictions.


Cha Song Joo is a famous courtesan. Beautiful and well-known among leading politicians, she has an air of independence about her, but that's not entirely the truth. When she first appeared in the show, I was hesitant about liking her because I feared she would become the possessive and two-faced typical Korean girl that plays a rival interest with the leading male character. Instead, I discovered that she's very warm, and she connects very well with all of the lead characters. I want to say so much more, but the spoilers are stopping me! She's a refreshing character, really.


Lee Su Hyun is a policeman working with the Japanese government. He was close to Woo Wan when they were younger, but due to some events that had no proper explanation, the two were torn apart by loss and deceit. Some plot twists had me feeling indifferent about his character. But he's dark. I can't say why or how, but he's dark. I'm not even sure what I can say about him without spoiling anything. I honestly believe that stagnated favors him the most out of the series, but she hasn't admitted that just yet.


Ueda Sachiko is... Psycho Sa. Almost no one likes her. Well, no one likes her, but she's all sorts of crazy fun. But maybe she's just crazy. I included her just because she might kill me for not doing so.


Ueda Mamoru is whipped. Well, he's the head chief in the police department, but no one actually listens to him. He's short, too.


Yamashita Kouji is sort of mean. But Annie and I call him Guppy because we think it suits his face. He's not exactly important; I just posted about him because I like calling him Guppy!




I can't remember all of their names, but they're part of Woo Wan's posse. Just look at those screencaps. Well, the screencaps don't even do them justice.

Relationships





Woo Wan and Yu Kyung

These two? Watching them on-screen with their antics sets me in fits of laughter and squeeage. I don't get impatient when they quarrel because they seem to make up right away, and there's a bond of trust between them that I'm fond of. That bond's tested from time to time, but their relationship seems indefatigable.




Su Hyun and Song Joo

I think it's appropriate to label this couple as the more adult pairing. Seeing as I'm not done with the series, I can't say that it's official... yet. Some people mention it, but not a word is uttered around these two when they're in the same room. The UST is so thick in the atmosphere, and their love is absolutely tragic. I say it every time I see them together. You can tell I'm not the best person to watch anything with. I talk to the screen too much.


Sachiko and Mamoru

I included this one for kicks because they're cracktastic. He's whipped. She's psycho. I think they're adorable. ♥

Style

I'm attracted to most of the hairstyles and clothing in this series. I think the producers definitely took advantage of the time period to delve into an amalgam of style, what with the Korean, Japanese, and Western mesh of clothing and hair.


I primarily like to pay attention to Song Joo's hair and clothing because she seems to dress up the most among all the other characters. She's definitely a foil for Yu Kyung's character. While Yu Kyung sticks with her white top and black bottom about 98% of the show, Song Joo never appears in the same outfit, and her sleek appearance is very sultry as opposed to Yu Kyung's very conservative style.


But I honestly don't get why people slip up with the clothes sometimes. Annie and I call this outfit "THE HIGHLIGHTER" because it's so bright and yellow. Yu Kyung's face? Bahaha! Erk.

Random Screencaps



This is how you handle your drunk friends when they don't shut up!


I want to be Woo Wan's biggest fan. *shot for bad pun*


If you don't watch this series, Yu Kyung is going to make you strip at gunpoint!

I'm sure you can find this series at jdramas, d-addicts, or Clubbox. stagnated got it via Clubbox, but I suck at working the thing. Anyone interested? At all?

Oh, question. Can someone look at this and tell me if the Japanese is backwards? I've been boggled about all the Japanese text ever since the characters started reading the "Shirachi" sign as "Chirashi" in episode one. Then after that episode, the translators changed it to "Jirashi." It seems fine when they read vertically, but horizontally? D:

Comments

( 80 comments — Leave a comment )
ex_overshine14
Aug. 17th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
I really don't watch k-dramas anymore because my grandma ruined the experience for me. She doesn't like tp take breaks and she'll sit and watch a whole series in a day if she could. 8D;

But I went and recommended this to her and so my grandpa is probably going to start downloading and putting it on DVD for her. I might sit and watch it with her. Just might.
ex_overshine14
Aug. 17th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
ARGH TYPOS. D8
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atsumi
Aug. 17th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
I saw the first episode. It's not bad, but.. how to say.. different from what I usually watch. It has the Korean humor that usually makes me laugh, but I've grown so used to it, I don't find it funny anymore. D: It also reminds me of HK drama. I don't know why, but there are tons of time pieces HK has done and I can't see a drama similar to it. Since I see them way too often (due to my mom), the plot seems to be predictable. D:

I think the problem is because I don't really watch kdrama. (even with my fav kdrama I skip a lot of scenes DDDD8) I guess I'm too used to jdrama?
inshore
Aug. 17th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
But that's just the first episode! It really does get better after the first though. I don't think I've seen any HK drama though. Even if some parts are predictable, I have no idea how it'll end. D: You're probably right though. I've seen much more Kdramas than Jdramas, so our tastes should vary. 8D
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lesbiassparrow
Aug. 17th, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
Here from dorama_chat. Thanks for the pictures and the write up. I am looking forward to starting this one, I've just been waiting for a few more episodes to end up on jdramas before I started because I don't deal well with suspense.

Every shot I've seen of this series looks so gorgeous and I'm incredibly interested in seeing a historical dorama as they seem so rare (apart from wuxia, that is).
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
How many episodes are up at jdramas? I'm not a part of the community because I left it a while back.

It's probably the first I've seen that's been set in between a modern and a very old time, so I like the combination of both within this series. It's really the first kdrama that hasn't driven me up any walls, and I haven't seen any hype for it. ♥ When you do start it, I hope you do enjoy it even if it's not to the extent of my enthusiasm. I tend to exaggerate so much when it comes to things I like a lot, and I don't exactly go posting about dramas often. :)
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ryu_no_sora
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
On the Japanese:
Japanese is traditionally read from right to left (right?) so that's what this is. These days horizontal writing is normally read left to right, because of western influences.
In old samurai films or on old buildings you'll see it right to left like this, even when written horizontally. For example in Rurouni Kenshin (Akabeko restaurant sign) or in the Diet building of Japan (the fire extinguishers are written in this right to left manner).

The image you gave as an example means nothing left to right, but right to left says loosely "Please have a fun trip".
ryu_no_sora
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
PS- Will watch if I have time... so probably during this coming semester LOL. Though I'm yet to ever get past 5 episodes of a kdorama.
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dangermousie
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
Oh, how I love this drama. I am hoarding it though, to binge when it is done.
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
I should've probably done the same thing. I can't wait for the rest of the subtitles to come out. ♥ I'm glad to meet someone else who loves the drama.
grey_fuzzy
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
As soon as a character walks in, I automatically know if it's going to be the clingy former female love interest or smug bachelor who participates in the nerve-grating, tiring love quadrangle

Wow, my thoughts exactly! Even kdramas I really like (like Goong, for instance) have this same, tedious set up. I mean, they could at least make it a bit less obvious, you know?

I liked your write up and screencaps a lot, so I'll give this drama a try! Thanks for the rec!
grey_fuzzy
Aug. 18th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh, and I was also won over by the male lead's hat. ;D
(no subject) - inshore - Aug. 18th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
zephia
Aug. 18th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
What kind of drama is this? Serious or like.. sort of comedy?

So Japanese used to be written from right to left too :O
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
It's... I don't know. It's not mainly a comedy. It's got a lot of drama to it, it really does. I can't explain it. XD;

Yeah! Isn't that interesting? I like learning this stuff.
loika
Aug. 18th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Well, I was going to respond to the Japanese question I see that it's been answered already. But yes, it's meant to be read as 楽しい旅行になってください (tanoshii ryokou ni natte kudasai) instead of the confusing jumble it is from left to right.

*sends love your way* ♥
loika
Aug. 18th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
First sentence is missing the word "but". OTL ._.
(no subject) - inshore - Aug. 18th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand
missdeep
Aug. 18th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
I'd been planning to watch this based solely on the fact that it was set in the thirties (and I'm a whore for that time period). But now you've broken it down into various pieces of AWESOME, I'm definitely going to have to chase it up XD;.
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
If you can't download it fast enough, I found this link for chrysa so she could watch it at veoh.com, so I may as well share it with you! But if you actually want the files, there's always jdramas. Torrents tend to be very sluggish. You could always poke me about uploading it too! Feel free to ask me or whatever.

I don't know that much about the thirties, but I just know it's just sandwiched between the Roaring Twenties and WWII. @_@; I'm always up for education, so if you want to tell me about it, I'm here. :D

I'm glad my post did some good work! I was worried I was ranting for nothing. XD; *SQUISHES*
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teko_tenka
Aug. 18th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
*Looks at her list guiltily* Umm ,well I can't say the'Lemonade stand' juice seller that Sun Woo Wan hasn't caught my eye :P
But I'll really have to wait to get a new external, who knew 120G wasn't enough space?
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 06:38 am (UTC)
AHAHA!!! So his names the 'Lemonade Stand' Juice seller now? That's precious. I LOVE IT. Yeah, dramas are really big in file size. Like 700MB each file, so they do eat up a lot of space. If that's too much trouble, you could always watch it here, but I'm not sure if that's part of your preference?
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ex_xue
Aug. 18th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC)
I WATCH IT. IS THAT NOT ENOUGH FOR YOUUUUUUUU?
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
IT'S NEVER ENOUGH. Naw, actually, I think it's great that you watch it. ♥
lisamio
Aug. 18th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
The PUNCHINTHEFACE! shot is priceless ♥
inshore
Aug. 18th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
I love it! ♥ But I think I love the last shot even more with the gun. XD
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lovewls
Aug. 24th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
Stumble upon your LJ from stagnated Icon post. I'm currently watching this one, both from downloaded version as well as from KBS world. I'm up to ep 15 (Kyaaaaaa!!!!!). I love both pairings, esp Kang Ji Hwan and Han Ji Min. OMG Ryu Jin is so hawwwttt these days Lols. Like you, I don't really "connect" with Cha Song Ju, but later on in the series, I'v grown to love her. I'm glad you didn't post the person I loathed most in the series (you know who right!!!) if not I would have smacked my monitor straight away.
inshore
Aug. 24th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC)
Wow, episode 15? I'm still following the subtitles because I can barely understand anything without them. I couldn't bring myself to post any pictures of THAT person... I hate him too much. @_@;
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reapingfolk
Sep. 7th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
This is really a bajillion years too late but I just finished it and

thankyouthankyouTHANKYOU.

This series was a blast and def. one of my favorites now.
inshore
Sep. 7th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Did you read it because of my recommendation? I'm trying to get why you're thanking me. If that's the case, then thank you. It means a lot to me that my recommendations make people happy. I finished watching this series last week. Isn't it just so beautiful and refreshing? ♥
(no subject) - reapingfolk - Sep. 8th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC) - Expand
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st_montmorency
Sep. 30th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC)
Woooow
First of all, I am really impressed to know that people out there (who are not korans lol) actually like to watch K-dramas
As a Korean myself, I've never been much interested in Korean dramas thanks to the exact flaws that you pointed out very well

It has been getting better though, compared to old days and 'Capital Scandal' is one of the new bloods in Korean dramas which bring lots of young people in front of TV. I think that the biggest reason this drama was a success in Korea was that it approached to 1930' which was really,really dark period in Korean history with rather different(seemingly flighty, I guess) attitude but still managed to deliver the important messages.

Okay, enough with the rambling and let me just tell you that I loved your icon when I first saw it in The Office_us! I adore Kang Ji Hwan who is absolutely hilarious in real life XD
inshore
Sep. 30th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
There's actually a huge community of people who watch Korean dramas on d-addicts.com. But you're right; the flaws are tiresome, and I'm sure that there's always some method in making the same story, no matter how different the setting or characters may be.

I personally have made Capital Scandal a favorite series. It's my top recommendation for anyone who likes dramas, I suppose. But I was just disappointed that the ratings were so low in Korea when it aired.

You mean this particular icon? Ha! I felt so bad that I don't have any icons from The Office when I post in that community. I had never heard of Kang Ji Hwan before I saw this drama. Is he really hilarious in real life? I think he's the sort of celebrity I would adore. :)
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fivil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
Apologies for commenting on an ooooold post, just couldn't help myself.

Here via miss_dian (who mentioned your name as why she watched this drama and I immediately came here in search of CS posts). I'm at episode 6 and I agree with this post so wholly. The drama may become my absolute favourite kdrama. Like you, I get fed up with kdrama typical plot lines so much I just gave up on kdramas altogether before this drama came along. Well, I really enjoyed Coffee Prince too but even that had its flaws.

And while the set up sounds somewhat typical (he's a playboy, she's inexperienced, they quarrel to begin with), the way the story actually works is really delightful and fantastically void of kdrama clichés (annoying 3rd wheels, hatable parents etc). I just love it.

I feared she would become the possessive and two-faced typical Korean girl that plays a rival interest with the leading male character. Instead, I discovered that she's very warm, and she connects very well with all of the lead characters.
Gah, agree 100%. I love Song-joo, she's my favourite female secondary character ever, no questions asked.

I am so saving the last screencap in this post. And will so refer to this post as a way to hook people in on this drama.
myhanh
May. 2nd, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
I found this page called KpopVideo.com, they have a big collection of Kang Ji hwan pictures and videos. Check it out yourself
myhanh
May. 2nd, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
I found this page called KpopVideo.com, they have a big collection of Kang Ji Hwan pictures and videos. Check it out yourself
tsuyoi_hikari
Aug. 8th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
Capital Scandal is just LOVE. Kang Ji Hwan is just soo desirable? haha. That's all I can say. ^^
inshore
Aug. 8th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is! That series will probably be my favorite Korean drama, just because it's so exciting and silly. :)
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