Saturday, July 10th, 2010
While browsing DVD shops in SF’s Chinatown the other day with forum moderator, Wongsaurus, I noticed a stack of Korean dramas, each in snazzy packaging and selling for an impossibly cheap price. I rifled through a number of familiar older titles, but of the newer stuff, I only recognized the Lee “Storm Shadow” Byung-Hun drama, IRIS. Despite seeing a familiar face, I refrained from purchasing the show.
Why? Well, I made a personal vow awhile back not to buy Korean dramas anymore — largely because a) I’d feel obligated to review them, b) they are a huge time commitment, and c) they are rarely rewarding in the same way that my favorite American television shows are. Frankly, I’d rather watch Dexter, Supernatural, LOST, Glee, et al.
To preface my discussion, I should mention that before starting Ronin on Empty, I used to write an irregular column at LoveHKFilm.com entitled A Man Called Sanjuro. I named it after a novel idea I had (a rough draft of which I just finished), which in turn was named in the tradition of movies and books like A Man Called Hero, A Man Called Horse, A Man Called Django, A Man Called Trent, and The Man Called Noon. Well, while browsing that huge, largely disorganized stack of Korean dramas in Chinatown, I noticed the newest installment in the unofficial “A Man Called…” series.
A MAN CALLED GOD!
No, not Him.
South Korea is the second largest supplier of Christian missionaries in the world, so you might suspect that with a title like that, this show would be about some amped-up Korean Jesus or something. But it’s not. Here’s the official English synopsis:
Michael King vows to revenge his parents’ death. He believes that he can use his power as head of an underground drug kingpin to punish those who hurt him. However, his beliefs are shaken when he falls in love with a reporter named Jin Bo Bae.
I don’t know what any of that has to do with God, but whatever. In the posters for this K-drama, lead actor Song Il-Gook likes to adopt quasi-Christ-like poses, and I suppose he does have the oddly eroticized abs of a supernatural carpenter:
God is back, and he’s been working out.