Tag Archives: korean romance

What I’m Watching: The Last Empress

the last empressI’ve made a decision. No, it’s not anything drastic! In fact I think fans of romantic dramas will be quite pleased. This year, I plan to reserve this column just specifically for K-dramas that I’m currently watching it.

Now, you’re probably wondering how did I even get into K-Dramas. It all happened by mistake. When my best-friend urged me to watch my first drama Boys Over Flower, I bet she didn’t know that she was leading me into a rabbit hole she was leading or how deep I’d walk in on my own. I don’t think a day ever goes by without me watching an episode of something K-Drama-like.

I’m in deep, people. Real deep! Like a junkie with his coke! And I’d like to drag you in with me – cause I’m generous like that (kekekeke).

All right – now onto the drama of the month – The Last Empress! This is one of those dramas that Koreans call makjang. What is makjang? If translated literally it means a drama that is extremely sensational and that has an outrageous premise, exaggerated characters and exciting (and often ridiculous) events to heighten viewer emotions beyond their normal bounds.

Where a regular drama may focus on revenge, or rape, or birth secrets, or adultery, a makjangdrama will throw all these plot twists and more into the same story. Every episode is a train-wreck but you can’t stop watching it because it is so overwhelmingly exciting.

That’s exactly what The Last Empress is! A melodrama on crack!

 

*SPOILERS AHEAD

The drama is set in present day South Korea, but under the premise that the country is governed by a constitutional monarch, Emperor Lee Hyuk. I haven’t quite met an antagonist like Lee Hyuk. The man is trash! He has no problems murdering or torturing people if they don’t do what he wants (even the people he claims to love). After a hit and run accident where he kills an old woman, he is more pissed off about the fact that his gold car is dented rather than because of the body he’s hidden in his trunk. When he kills his grandma (who was the only one who truly supported him), he quickly lays the blame on his mother. On the first day of his marriage, he sleeps with his mistress in the same room where his new wife is getting a massage. Like I said – trash!

Interestingly enough, it’s easy to kind of like him because the writers have shown every life event that led him to being the monster that he is, and it’s quite obvious that he was a created monster not one by choice. Worse, they keep playing our emotions by showing us the other sides of Lee Hyuk. His playful side, his funny side, his childish side… Ugh! Most of the time you don’t know whether to hate Hyuk, pity him or ship him with his wife (who he’s already tried to kill too – Of course!).

Now onto the wife, Sunny. When she first married Lee Hyuk, Sunny was genuinely in love with him, not knowing that he’d married her for his own nefarious purposes. Then he tried to kill her! That’s when everything went sideways for Lee Hyuk. For one, Sunny believes in an eye for an eye and refuses to take his shenanigans lying down.

Plus, she refuses to die no matter how many times he and his mother try to take her out. Worse, the more Lee Hyuk gets to know her, the more he’s attracted to her pluckiness. Unfortunately, Sunny thinks of him as a serial killer (which he is).

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from here onwards. Does she fall for him too? Is she already half in love with Lee Hyuk’s bodyguard who was always sneakily protecting her from Lee Hyuk when he wasn’t in love with her? Will Lee Hyuk change? Can he change? And do we care?

The makjang goes on!

 

FIND IT HERE: https://www.viki.com/tv/36241c-the-last-empress?locale=en

 THE VERDICT: 8/10 for a despicable antagonist who makes me question my morals, a hero who’s dreamy, and a heroine who is as bad ass as they come. Bring on the Makjang!

 

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good K-Drama, C-drama or J-Drama that you think I should check out; let me know below.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Love Contract

TLC Website CoverI’m done writing the Sizzle & Burn series. *sigh. It was a great ride. A great, great ride. I hope you enjoyed reading the three books in the series as much as I enjoyed writing them. Greyson, Roman or Orion? Who was my favorite virtual boyfriend? I’m not sure. Can’t I have them all? But I will admit that I loved writing Orion the most just because I’ve never written an Asian man as the lead. He was… an adventure.

Vina wasn’t too bad either. She comes off as this strong woman when people see her on the outside but they don’t know the double-life she’s leading. What was I thinking when I wrote The Love Contract? Read on…

1. OF COURSE IT WAS INSPIRED BY KDRAMAS

Duh! If you follow me on social media or read my newsletters then you probably already know this. Kdramas are life! Every time I finish a book, I take a week to binge watch kdramas. I watch them all from romantic comedies to crime thrillers. Sometimes, I even think that I might have some latent Korean genes. lol. The reason I’m so into them is because unlike Western series, they don’t drag you through season after season of angst and drama. 16-24 episodes and they’re done… Next!

2. IT TOOK THE LEAST TIME TO WRITE

Orion-Vina PhotoOne month. That’s how long it took me to write it. Though I put it on a two-month pre-order, I spent the first month in Procrastinator City just trying to get my head in the game. But once I was in, man, my fingers were just flying over the keyboard. I think it’s because I really enjoyed writing Orion and Vina, plus Vina’s family kept pissing me off so I kept coming back to the manuscript just so I could glare at her dad.

3. DAD’S LIKE MIN-KYU EXIST

Yes! Yes, there are. Min-kyu is based on a high-school friend’s dad. The daughters’ used to call him Saddam just because he was such a terrorist. Those daughters were also the most rebellious teenagers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Lesson: If the leash on your kids is too tight, be careful. They might end up biting you.

4. NA-RI WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOLD-DIGGING PARENT

You remember Na-ri (Vina’s mother) and Doo-shim (Vina’s grandmother), right? Initially, Doo-shim was only going to be a nagging mother-in-law and indulgent grandmother. Na-ri was supposed to be the one pushing Vina to get a wealthy husband just so that she could have something to hold on to in case her husband turned out to be as bad as Min-kyu. However, as I was writing the two just somehow evolved. Somehow, Na-ri lost her backbone and Doo-shim became witchy. What can I say? These characters have their own mind.

5. DO’S ‘WE’RE IN HEAVEN’ WAS ON REPLAY

2002 is a long time ago, but I still remember ‘We’re in Heaven’. Do’s voice was just so haunting and when I listen to her version of the song, what I can say… romance. Just check out these lyrics.

Oh, once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you’re feeling down
Yeah, nothing could change what you mean to me
Oh, there’s lots that I could say
But just hold me now
Cause our love will light the way

 

How is that not romantic? Ms. Dominique kept me company most of the time when I was writing The Love Contract.

Have you read The Love Contract? Learn More About it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE.

Is there something you really want to know about The Love Contract? Ask away. Drop a comment below this post and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda