Dec. 28th, 2010

walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Gloria] Waiting to be Alive)
Gloria, a fifty-episode Korean drama is entering its final arc this week. It airs on Saturday and Sunday, a day that is usually filled with family-centric romantic dramas. Gloria itself is marketed as a drama; or rather a "an intense tale of people who are fiercely devoted to surviving their rough lives".


Spoilery Character descriptions )



The thing that I really love about this drama (though some people don't love it, and are rather angry about it) is the realism of it. In most Sat/Sun dramas, the class difference comes into play a bit. There may be an issue with a bitchy mother-in-law or a slightly evil/spoiled rich girl/guy trying to get in the way of true love. BUT, at the end of the series (or by episode 34 or so) it's all more or less resolved. Sure, the mother-in-law may be bitchy, but its played for laughs more than anything else by the half-way point of the drama.


Korean dramas are rarely (if ever) totally realistic in the way prejudice and the real world works. Chaebols rarely marry anyone that isn't also a Chaebol or some sort of celeb in the real world, but it drama world they often marry middle-class or the poorest of the poor. And, it is all alright. There is no scandal and no one breaks ties with the family. It's all good. Except in a few dramas, like What Happened In Bali? and Gloria.


During the early episodes, all four of the main characters discussed the hopelessness of being poor and/or the unfairness of being labeled as the illegitimate child of a Chaebol family. In fact, Dong Ah tries desperately to stay away from Yoon Seo because of their class difference; even going so far as to call their realtionship a "festival" that's fun and magical as it happens, but that must end. I liked that realism. That characters had worries and doubts. That people discussed keeping love interests as a mistress or kept man, instead of a wife or husband. That a drama was willing to be so forward and even slightly dark. A trend that has gone on as the drama has progressed. Yes, their is comedy and romance, but also drama and a realism and darkness that is lacking in other dramas of late.


I understand why some are frustrated with the show, but I'm not )



Gloria, may, at times, be dark and gritty, but it's also a marvelously done drama. The writing, pacing, actors - the characters themselves - are perfect. The story stays with you long after it is over. I look forward to the last ten episodes; and even, the realistic ending that is surely coming my way.

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