used to be a Sewing Blog – Now KDrama

Archive for November, 2012

Intro: Subtitle rating

I’m a word person. And by that I mean, I love words, how they flow together and how just rephrasing a thought can turn it from ho-hum to awesome. I can’t do awesome. I admire people who can. I wanted to be a writer (even studied it in college), but I realized I don’t have the gift. IRL, I’m an technical editor (hard to believe, right?). So I still work with words just with longer syllables then I had planned.
Anyway, this is all to introduce why I’m going to create a new page or feature (I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it), ratings of streaming sites subs. As I rewatch (or even watch) dramas, I’m going to list what I like & dislike about the subs I see. Which site has the subs that make me go “aawww” rather than “oh.”
The sites (at this time) that I’ll be reviewing will be Dramafever, Viki, Netflix, CrunchyRoll (probably) with probably a few fan subs thrown in. Please remember that reviews of subs are typically specific to a particular drama since there is always variation within a site.
Because Korean and English translation can’t be word for word, there are typically lots of ways to translate a Korean sentence into English, especially with the long romantic conversation. My focus will be on which ones are just plain awesome & seem to accurately reflect the words (or in some cases intent) of the Korean.
Please keep in mind that my Korean vocabulary is about 200 words and I know very little of the grammar so I most of the time I’ll be dependent on the subs. However, I’ll try to note if someone translates “like” as “love” and other little things like that.


You’ve gotta have Subs – Kdrama Challenge

Ok – I’m going to issue a challenge to fellow Kdrama fans. Next time, you rewatch a drama, watch it on a different site with different subtitles.

Several reasons for this: the main one is I think we get a better flavor of what is actually said if we see how different sites translate the same line. You may find you really love 1 particular scene better on 1 site then another. Case in Point: In You’re Beautiful (my favorite as everyone knows), TaeKyung tells MiNam something that is translated by various sites “don’t be in the dark” and “don’t be where I can’t see you” among others. I’m a romantic; so when he yells out during the MV screening I like the one where he yells “I told you not to be where I can’t see you.” Perhaps “don’t be in the dark” is just as or even more accurate (I haven’t a clue), but I have my preference.

Another reason, you may find your favorite site is going to take a backseat for certain dramas. My favorite site is Dramafever, but I’ve started watching Netflix (30 day trial – probably will do a month or 2 extra) and I’ve also use Viki a lot more now (mostly for simulcast because it is quicker and I think the subs are more accurate/detailed). Dramafever still wins for ease of use, but in 2013, I’ll be watching a lot less Dramafever and more from other sites.

Another reason, there are certain untranslatable things that just don’t work in English whether because they are puns or Korean cliche’s an exact translation won’t really work unless an explanation is given. So seeing how other sites handled stuff like that is very interesting. Another scene from You’re Beautiful. TaeKyung is in the practice room and HyeYi is outside. In the course of the scene, she writes a note to him and presses it against the glass. She misspells a word (apparently, an easy one – not Antidisestablishmentarianism). So TaeKyung writes the correct spelling in BIG letters on the glass (I hope it was dry erase). My favorite variation of this scene is something along this line (not exact quote).

“I’ll make you pie for this.”
“PAY – No thanks for the pie “(which is awkward – I’d prefer “I don’t want your pie”)

That exchange accurately (IMO, at least) reflects the character of the exchange. An exact translation isn’t required. But some sites do the exact translation, but also provide an 1 sentence explanation of these untranslatables.

There are other reason I’m sure, but I’m too tired to think of them.

So if you are going to be rewatching a Drama anyway, mix it up and go watch on Dramafever, Viki, CrunchyRoll, Hulu (includes Dramafever, Viki & others), Netflix (DVD subs are likely different from the streaming) or download srts from a different site if that is how you watch.

BTW, I’m going to attempt to write reviews of the subbing in shows I rewatch and let you know, which sites have the best subs. But that is only if I can remember where I watched in the 1st place. 🙂

You’re Beautiful – The Musical (뮤지컬 미남이시네요) Recap, Review and General Babble

There will be YouTube Videos sprinkled throughout (I’ve never embedded vids before, so should be interesting). 1 video will appear multiple times because it is basically a clip show. Unfortunately, the videos do not have English subs. I would Love to have them subtitled or at least the English lyrics for the new songs. I also want the OST and to rewatch (over and over and over) The Musical with subtitles. Preferably DVD so I can add to my You’re Beautiful collection, but if one one of the streaming sites got the rights, they would be my best buddy, forever and ever and ever.


In fact, I’ll do this, I’ll make (or probably have made – I’m a bad cook) lots of pig rabbit cookies for whoever provides the whole musical subbed. I’ll even send them to Korea or wherever. So someone who speaks Korean – go tell the Sejong Center & the Hong Sisters & SBS or anyone. I’m fully aware this is a bribe, but I’m OK with that. Dramafever & Viki, how about gingerbread pigrabbits for Christmas? Please work your magic. (Aegyo pout)

Background: (skippable)

As I’ve said many many times to anyone who would listen and many who just want me to shut up, You’re Beautiful is my favorite kdrama and my 2nd favorite TV show (Doctor Who is #1). This year, I got the idea of going to Korea in October (not that I had a passport, plan, or anything like that); but it was an idea in the back of my head.Then one (fateful) June morning, I saw on FaceBook this poster, announcing a You’re Beautiful Musical in August/September at the Sejong Center’s M Theatre.428464_465127603515775_2128487556_n


I went all over the net that morning (was late for work) to get information and then told my boss “hey, I’m going to be going out the country in August/September–I’ll let you know the exact dates.” That didn’t go over very well. There was a big project that they had apparently scheduled for then, and they wanted me to do it. I compromised. I left a week earlier then I had planned – I was off work for 3 weeks, but I really was in Korea only 14 full days. During the last month or so before I left, I watched & rewatched the videos of the musical that were on Youtube. I didn’t have a clue how a 16 hr drama could be condensed into a 2 hr musical, but I wanted to follow along as much as I could when I went. I know the drama practically by heart so that wasn’t a concern.

Fast forward to August 25th, my 1st Saturday in Korea, I was wiped from jet leg, but I went to the 2PM matinee. Side Note: I had seen all the curtain call videos on YouTube, so I thought video recording was allowed (which seemed weird), so I decided to try to tape it for my own personal use so I could watch again and again. I ended up bringing my monopod with me to the theatre, but forgot my camera, which turned out to be OK, since no cameras were allowed. Apparently, it is a thing to video tape curtain calls in Korea (maybe just in general).

I was 2nd row; about 2 seats from center. Score. The girl next to me videotaped the curtain call, but I can’t find it on YouTube. This may have been taped that day.

FYI, I’ve taken pictures of scenes from my playbook from the musical (no infringement is intended). They aren’t very good – I’ll try to get better ones soon. If you want more pictures then do a web search for images “뮤지컬 미남이시네요,” (there are lots out there, but I didn’t know the proper way to use them and still give appropriate credit when many of the sites seem to be no longer live.)

Some interesting photos are here:

Basic You’re Beautiful plot

Trainee nun masquerades as her brother in a boy band. The other 3 members fall in love with her (1 before he knows she is a girl), and then funny stuff, romantic stuff, and angst stuff occurs. Won’t say anymore just go watch it. I’ll wait.

Ok now that you’re back. The rest of this review contains spoilers to either the drama or the Musical. I apologize – I meant to write this while it was fresh in my head after I returned home in September, but real life got in the way. Good thing Raine reminded me.


Go MiNyu/Go MiNam – I’ll just call her MiNam, but that is really her brother’s name. Trainee Nun, kinda dense but very sweet.

Hwang TaeKyung – Lead Singer (1st Lead); Jerk (aka HyungNim).

ShinWoo – Guitar Player; Nice Guy.

Jeremy – Drummer; Overgrown child. Has a difficult time when he realizes he is attracted to MiNam (who he thinks is a guy)

Hye-Yi – Singer. Likes TaeKyung, blackmails him with her knowledge that MiNam is really MiNyu into being her “boyfriend”

Manager Ma – The one who thought up the whole scheme. Liar.

President Ahn – President of their label.

TaeKyung’s Mom – abandoned him because she was in love with MiNam’s dad (I’m really not certain how much this was part of the musical). Major cause of angst in the drama.

The Musical

I’m doing this recap from memory. Unfortunately, I saw in August and it is now November. You do the Math.


Act 1

It opens with Manager Ma running thru the theatre chasing a nun (MiNyu), there is a huge comic chase scene where she blends in to a crowd of nuns going around in a circle and he disappears in the midst & reappears dressed as a nun. He gets her to agree to be MiNam for 1 show (apparently). I’m not sure how, but she does a great job even tho she appears without practicing with the rest.

She meets AN Jell backstage and goes to a big after party, where she gets incredibly drunk. Somewhere in the process, Mgr Ma tells her that she has to be MiNam for a month including live with them. He does the whole he can’t close his eyes thing, and lies a major guilt trip on him.

Eventually, she wanders into the restroom (men/women) where TaeKyung is washing his hands and runs into him literally. She then pukes on him, pulls out her breast wrap triumphantly, and passes out. He freaks out and sings a song about her being a woman, while background singers sing and dance (kinda, more like enter/exit bathroom stalls) in the background. This scene goes from 0:41 to 1:25 in the video below.

I may be missing a scene here because I can’t remember what happens next. And how they get TaeKyung to keep her secret.

TaeKyung is in his room writing a song (I think he dreams this whole scene until he sits on the bed), which sounds remarkably like Without Words (말도 없이) and begins the same, but then is completely different. I really, really want to know what it says because 말도 없이 is one of my favorite songs. I think he fantasizes a version of himself (doesn’t look like him at all – but wears his dance clothes) dancing to it.

As he goes to write it down/wakes up, he says a hand sneaking up. For some reason, MiNam is hiding behind his bed. He tells her to leave and then finds out that they are going to be roomies. This is also when Jeremy finds out that he is attracted to her/him. I’m not sure when ShinWoo realizes or finds out that he is a she. In any case, both want to be roomies with MiNam.

After they leave, Manager Ma makes his escape as well. (Literally.) TaeKyung goes into his bunnies are dangerous speech (because of her bunny tee), and ends up calling her pigrabbit. He writes a new song (and falls asleep holding it), MiNam sees it, picks up some of the sheet music, and ends up trying to sing it because she likes it so much. She wakes up TaeKyung and apologizes – who tells her to sing it. They have a duet (really pretty song) and then he throws a fit and crumples & throws away the sheet music and storms out. She salvages the song and puts it into her suitcase.

This clip goes from 1:25 to 2:40 in the 1st video below. The 2nd video is the complete song

The order of the next few bits are uncertain. I think this is the order i happens, but big grain of salt.

They do a MV where TaeKyung is supposed to be tortured (the whole stick thru the leg thing) (Hye-yi is the love interest) and MiNam freaks out at the torture. The director of the MV decides that MiNam is really pretty for a guy and gives her Hye-yi’s role because “he” is such a great actor. Yep. It is a girl pretending to be a guy pretending to be a girl. Hye-yi isn’t happy (I’m not sure if she knows that MiNam is a girl before or during this bit.)

This may happen before the MV scene, but I think it is later. In any case, there is a press conference/party that everyone is at. Hye-yi tells TaeKyung that she is going to tell everyone that MiNam is really a girl. TaeKyung doesn’t know what to do; and then he literally shuts her mouth by kissing her (real one this time-not like in the drama – I think he wipes his mouth afterward). MiNam is devastated because she is love with TaeKyung. She sings, and ShinWoo watches cause he is in love with MiNam. Then TaeKyung starts singing while ShinWoo watches both, and then ShinWoo sings. and basically it turns- 3 way misery (pretty song tho – I have no idea what it says).

This clip goes from at 2:40 – 3:38 in the next video and includes part of the\song.

I’m really fuzzy on this whole section. I don’t think the exact scenes were in the drama and my Korean is really bad and my memory fuzzy. TaeKyung finds he can’t stop thinking about her to the point where he imagines her as a pigrabbit.

This isn’t a Photoshop. It was really projected

A running gag thru the whole thing is Jeremy’s dealing with his attraction to MiNam and the gay stylist’s attraction to TaeKyung and then ShinWoo. It escalates to the point where Jeremy yells “I’m GAY!!!!” to a crowd of reporters. The Korean was too much for me, and I’m not really clear what happened next – I think they pass it off as joke or being drunk

Another running gag is that the fan girls are constantly being chased off by the security guard, and, yes the one in the pink wig is a guy (there’s a bit about “are you a guy or a girl?” and the character gets all offended, “I’m a girl!!”) (He was an ANJell backup dancer and in every scene where there were women. Even wore the pink wig during the curtain call (he was in his backup dancer role). I’m not sure why they had a guy pretending to be a girl; but I think he drew the short straw.

TaeKyung & MiNam find out about how evil his Mom is and there is a lot of angst and she runs away. I think he may have told her to go away, but in any case, he is surprised when she doesn’t show up for a performance. But the show must go on so they perform (you can see the hole and how they try to recover from it)

This video is a bit weird. Watch the 2nd 1/2 first (start at 2:45). The order is right in the video, I just think that ANJell’s dance number is more important to the plot.

You can also see parts of it from another angle starting around 3:40 in this video. Promise this is the last time.

The 1st 1/2 is Hye-yi’s girl group dancing around in what appeared to be cut up trash bags. Hye-yi’s was the worst because it looks just like a shredded black trash bag. I was so stunned – I just stared it at in wonder the entire scene – it never even occurred to me that they were singing “I’m lonely, sexy…give me money.” But if I had realized it, I would have thought they would explain the outfits (homeless prostitutes). The outfits were much worse in person. Maybe they looked better from a distance, but I was 2nd row center.

Act 2

I’m much fuzzier on Act 2, mainly because there isn’t video of it to help refresh my memory.

There is basically a manhunt on for MiNam (I think). I’m pretty sure she was in the paper. At one point she goes back to the convent to hide.

TaeKyung’s mom sees the light and apologizes for the way she lived her life.

TaeKyung’s mom gives him a CD.

I think this is the point where we find out that President Ahn knew that she was a girl and also when he and Mgr. Ma sang and danced about Ahn being the king of the world. No vid, but here are a couple pics.

(Ahn isn’t double-headed – I just had a hard time taking the photo of the pages)

Anyway, time goes by and ANJell is performing and in MiNam is sitting in the audience dressed like a girl (complete with hair pin). I’m trying to remember if she performed with them or not – but I just don’t. I’m sorry; i’m not a very good recapper. In any case, they kiss and make up and the lights go down as TaeKyung makes the pig nose. and then everyone comes back for the Curtain call. I really really wish I could remember more of this scene.

(Twice as nice, Jeremy)

There are lots of Curtain calls vids on YouTube of varying quality. This is from one of the last shows. You can find more by searching for “미남이시네요 커튼콜.” I’m not sure why some times all 4 are in their white outfits, and sometimes they are in their colored outfits and MiNam is in a dress.

Songs from the Show

As you can tell, there were a lot of songs in this; after all, it is a full on musical. Unfortunately, my Korean is bad so I can’t read this. But there is more then enough for an OST CD.

I keep hoping there will be an OST CD because this music video actually says OST.

Differences between Musical & Show

  • No Cordi Wang (at least I don’t recall her).
  • No Aunt character. (thank goodness)
  • MiNyu 1st appears as MiNam on stage (for 1 show – ha)
  • TaeKyung finds out the 1st day.
  • TaeKyung calls her pigrabbit early – no pig chase scene and I’m not sure why she makes the pig nose. I think it is for the same hide emotions reasons (has to be), but I can’t remember the exact details.
  • I think AN Jell is more like Big Bang then FT Island. Aka – no instruments just big dance numbers.
  • AN Jell now has backup dancers; they are minor characters.
  • A security guard is a minor character (played by the Ahn actor)
  • No Bus Scene.
  • No hair pin, but she does wear one (not the one from the drama) when she comes back as a girl
  • No physical pig rabbit, but he still called her one. (You could buy one at the ticket counter, but I already have one.)
  • I’m not sure if Jeremy ever finds out.
  • The gay stylist character from the Japanese version is incorporated. I didn’t think he helped the plot in that version, and I doubt he helped it in the musical version. He was kinda funny when he did Gangnam style tho.


I thought about going back to see it, but that would have been expensive, and I would have been going home late at night (I was at Olympic Park waiting to go to the FT Island concert during the next matinee). Looking back, I wish I would have gone back anyway. I also wished that I had turned my phone on to record the sound. Ok – that was bad of me, but It is hard trying to remember something you’ve seen once. I relied a lot on the videos to help me with this recap, and looking at google images helped as well.

I remember as I was leaving thinking that it seemed like could be translated easily on to the US stage. And that it would be the best way to make a US version of You’re Beautiful because they couldn’t ruin it to badly by turning into the Real World or something.

No, it isn’t a carbon copy of the drama, but you can’t condense 16 hrs into 2 and do that. They kinda tried that with the Japanese version (it was condensed it into 8), and in my opinion it didn’t work. There were lots of stuff in this Musical I could say “that wasn’t in the drama,” (my fav. line when watching movies based on books), but this was a new version & not a carbon copy, they were extremely faithful to the main plot in keeping with the limitations of the stage. I really want to see it again.

Here is a YouTube play list of all the videos above plus a couple others – in order by time in the drama.

Update: I asked (in poor Korean) the poster of the YouTube videos how to get an OST CD. Their response “미남이시네요 OST CD는 없어요 ㅠ-ㅠ” – in case you can’t read Korean, that says there isn’t an OST CD. I’ve very bummed. But my Bribe is still good, because I know they recorded it all the evidence is on YouTube. Come on; you know you want pigrabbit cookies.