Flames of Desire and my makjang initiation

MAKJANG (mahk-jang)  

1. Shows that contain complex, twisted relationships, unreasonable and extreme situations and provocative scenes

2. Dramas that frequently feature incidents that rarely happen to a person in a lifetime.

Makjang newbie (mahk-jang noo-bee)

1. a person who has had minimal experience watching makjangs.

2. A person who is inexperienced, a newcomer or a novice when it comes to dramas of the makjang genre

3. AND YES, THAT WOULD BE ME!

Now that the vocabulary lessons are over, let me begin with my review of Episode 1 of Flames of Desire or as ockoala calls it, Flames of Jailbait which is obviously a jab at the age discrepancy between Seo Woo and Yoo Seung Ho who plays the main OTP in this recently premiered weekend drama…

(yes, they will be playing a couple married for convenience even if YSH is all of 17 in real life and Seo Woo is 25… How’s that for corruption of minors?)

I was a little hesitant about starting on FOD prior to trying out episode 1 of this series mainly because, my interaction with makjang dramas had been quite minimal…

Along with saeguks, dramas of this genre was simply not my cup of tea because of its overly dramatic plot lines compounded by the fact that i also don’t have the patience to muddle through 50+ episodes of screaming, crying and scheming while waiting for plot twists and highlights to be revealed… (what can i say? I have the attention span of a goat…)

However, seeing the posters of this drama plus reading through the veritable who’s who of top caliber actors and actresses (Jo Min-Ki! Shin Eun Gyung! Seo Woo! and nosiree… i’m not reading through a list of Baeksang awardees but the shows cast of characters!) playing the main role in this series has compelled me to give it a chance while checking in my (good) expectations and brains at the door…

As i prepped myself to sit in front of my laptop, I was already priming myself for cringe worthy, meandering plot lines and the exaggerated angst that i was about to subject myself to… watching the opening sequence i was laughing to myself how right i was to think that way, because the opening scene alone already had Shin Eun Gyung and Yoo Seung Ho engaged in a scream fest while melancholic violins play in the background as if they were in an intense battle to see who can shout the loudest or who among them first would pop a vein…


It was TRULY over the top… exaggerated… intense and as the seconds ticked past… I was not laughing anymore but i found myself riveted… drawn to the edge of my seat as each scene unfold and by the middle half of it, i was literally craving to see more about what other agenda or secret the characters of the show would reveal as the story progressed…

TO SAY I LAPPED UP EACH MINDLESS, BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION, HEIGHTENED MINUTE OF IT WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!

It was as if i was watching a train wreck about to happen and i couldn’t look away… I was mesmerized, awed and stupefied not because of how fresh or how good the story was but because it is so darned intriguing!

(Kudos however to the BRILLIANT and i mean BRILLIANT actors making up this show! They make it Oscar Worthy even if the plot could rival Days of Our Lives for all it’s worth…

Although i’m still waiting to be surprised since most star bloggers talk about Jung Ha Yeon (the shows writer and La Dolce Vita’s too among others) as if he had the intellect of Nietzche when it comes to writing Kdramas and like he’s some sort of drama GOD!)

This early, i am already imagining myself biting my nails in anticipation for the next subbed episodes to come out like this drama is crack…

If it could talk, it would probably tell me “So, who has the last laugh now?” because the first episode alone had already made me its BISH to the point that even without me knowing anything about the characters yet, it already made me cry…


Being a newbie, i don’t know if all makjangs go this way but seriously, what other genre of drama unfolds complicated story highlights like babies abandoned at birth? Overdosing on sleeping pills just to make a statement? Kneeling and begging as a bargaining tool for your son? Plus the never ending crying (and don’t forget the shouting) all happen in the span of it’s first 10 minutes?

Now, if that does not get you hooked to know more about the juicy details, either you are not a big gossip like me or you simply have better things to do with your life, which unfortunately, i don’t… 

As requisite of dramas such as these, the childhood flashback episodes would never be far behind and they mostly make up the most part of the first few episodes…

I normally find these very boring and draggy, as i am very BIG on romance and can’t wait to get to those parts but FOD was different as i was glued to the screen during these parts…

Na Young is different in a way that she is a heroine that is no pushover… She’s always been feisty even when she was young and in moments when she is ruing the fact that she was born poor with all bitterness, you already get that sense that she will be formidable when she is all grown up and how perhaps that would lead to her becoming selfish and overly driven by ambition…

I have always wondered why a lot of kdrama viewers always have a leaning or an addiction towards makjangs…

Why is it that dramas of this genre are always the ones that make it through ratings of 40 and above (Take, Baker Kim Tak Gu for example) and trendy romantic dramas, compared to them, normally have very modest numbers…

Now, 60 minutes after and two puffy eyes later, i had my lightbulb moment…

Makjangs are a hit simply because they are habit forming…

It is dark, twisty and surreal and it provides an escape to the mundaneness of everyday life… It ensnares you with the complexity of problems sorrounding the characters in its story and even if chances are you’d get struck by lightning more than all of the things happening in the story to happen to you, there is still a part of ourselves that can relate to the underdog that wants to cheer them on as they make it big while seeking revenge on everyone else that had wronged them in the past…

Falling in love with your brother (or step) in this case aside, and having very awkward family reunions notwithstanding, i am now a convert and truly understanding of this guilty pleasure and suffice it to say that i am rubbing my hands together in anticipation of the time when we reach the shows climax and when we can all watch in amazement as these superb actors once again one ups one another in the angsting department…

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About donnapie

Kdrama fanatic, Kim Hyun Joong obsessed, MinSun shipper, closet writer
This entry was posted in Flames of Desire and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Flames of Desire and my makjang initiation

  1. Alison says:

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  2. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming over again to read
    more news.

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