This is actually a response to my own post from October 2008. For one thing, I’d like to edit some inaccuracies and update the post – the online landscape has changed since then. And frankly, I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I was still pretty new to the community and the post was for myself as much as for anyone else.
For one thing, if I were writing the post now I wouldn’t title it Non-Koreans Online. The online community I was referring to is more accurately discribed as “English speaking” rather than “non-Korean”. Kpop Culture Online would have been a better title.
Soompi remains the hub for much of the Korean pop culture community. In the Soompi forums, threads for kpop artists in the music forum are very popular as are the threads for dramas and movies. They’re often a great entry point to larger fan communities. If you’re interested in an actor, a movie, a musician, here’s where you go.
While the Soompi forums maintain a fan-filled atmosphere, allkpop is all about the latest celebrity gossip & news. With its exclusive interviews, lightning-fast updates, and fan-forum network, allkpop has emerged as the no. 1 source for kpop news.
Dramabeans keeps its reputation of a quality blog. Comprehensive recaps, thoughtful reviews and critical discussion makes this one of my favorite Korean pop culture destinations. Check out her post on Western actors on Korean TV or the 2009 Editors Picks.
Other good sources of Korean pop culture & fun:
Where to Watch
MySoju is still a useful site for watching Kdramas (and Jdramas and Tdramas and…) but after countless times having to halt watching a series because links are broken, I’ve grown frustrated with it.
Instead I recommend DramaFever, a free and legal video streaming site for Kdramas. There are some downsides – you have to sit through a couple of 15-second commercials per episode and the site is only available to those in the United States or Canada. However, DramaFever’s selection is wide – from the big hits to the hidden gems – and growing every week.
Other sources of Kdrama:
♦ Dramacrazy.net – Essentially the same as MySoJu through slightly more Jdorama-centered.
♦ aja-aja and WithS2 – These two might have made the list accept for the fact that aja-aja has be shut down. It was a lovely partnership – aja-aja provided the raw videos and WithS2 did the subs. But with one out, the system breaks down (And hamstringing my drama-watching ability!) However aja-aja may reopen in the future so keep an eye on it.
Sources of other Korean television aren’t so easy to locate. Korean talk shows and variety shows are scattered across YouTube subtitled by various fan subbing teams. Only rarely is a particular show covered by a sub team (ex. RSS for Family Outing).
The best way to find subtitled variety and talk shows is not with a simple search. Since YouTube has gotten faster at suspending copyrighted material, fansubbers have had to become more elusive with their video titles; a search will often not bring up what you’re looking for. Instead, get to know the subtitling teams. Appearances by idol groups or popular actors will be subtitled without fail – just find the corresponding fan teams.
If you know the date of airing, all the better. Simply search with the date format “YYMMDD”. For example January 8th, 2009, you would search “090108”. You’ll be sure to come up with something that way 🙂
I started this series because I decided Changmin needs more air time. There should be more Changmin love in the world!
Here are some of my favorites:
Changmin expresses how delicious it is “with his whole face.”
DBSK is asked what character they would be if they were in “Boys Over Flowers.” And then Changmin says something extraordinary…
Changmin says it how it is.
Tohoshinki is doing face exercises to make their faces appear smaller. When asked whether they think it worked…
The DBSK members discuss what they want for Christmas and Changmin is as practical as ever.
It is hardly a secret that I am a die-hard fan of DBSK. And I’m real sucker for their acapella.
But even objectively, DBSK is one of the best singing groups in Asia.
I think I can safely say that Junsu and Jaejoong are the most talented singers in DBSK. Jaejoong takes his singing seriously. His range is impressive (have you heard that high note in Tonight?). He has the most versatile voice, traveling from R&B to rock to trot with ease. He knows how to throw his voice or tone it down for the occasion.
Junsu, however, can’t claim such versatility. But when Junsu shines, he really shines. And lucky for us, that’s most of the time. I love his strength and his staying power. The bridge he sings in Love in the Ice still makes me shiver. I think something should be said for his showmanship too. He truly draws the audience into his performance with his fervent sincerity and passion. And no one can hold a note like Junsu can.
Jaejoong made his first venture into rap last year with Wrong Number and pulled it off reasonably well. I’d say he does even better in his recent cover of m-flo’s Been So Long.
There are times when Changmin really does overdo the “screaming.” (Wild Soul? Ouch.) To his defense though, I think he’s actually gotten better at singing this song. (Or maybe it’s those hot guitar riffs. Or is it just better live? Anyway it sounds good.)
I was rather surprised when Yoochun was ranked #9 best singer among Korean males. Personally… I don’t think he’s that great. When singing live he often loses control of his voice, cracking and breaking in some places. And when a singer can’t sing live, I’ve got some serious doubts about their singing ability.
Here are all the nicknames that I could think of:
- Kamo butt/Duck butt
- Jun-jjiang (준짱)
- Orange Junsu
- Candy Junsu
- Angel Junsu
What nicknames can you think of?
I haven’t made an update since January. However, I have a good excuse. The reason is because I joined DBSK Sleepless Nights!
I’m actually one of the admins, so come and visit me! I love talking to our readers!
I think I’ll still update this blog occasionally. This is a place where I can post anything I want. Probably make more lists. Pretty sure nobody reads them but I just like making lists, haha~