Life! Reviews and Recommendations

A Little Braver

I don't even know why I bothered with a pingback.


So I’ve had this New Empire song rolling around in my head today because I knew I needed another post to stay on track for my goal. I don’t know what I’m supposed to talk about, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

Warning: This post doesn’t have very much to do with fragility. 

So back in April or May, one of my close friends introduced me to Korean dramas and my life was immediately ruined. I have a criminally dangerous amount of free time, so it’s nothing to swallow 10-12 episodes in a night because a show is so damned good. I am the queen of bingeing when I’m really into something, but this tends to come and go depending on how I’m feeling.

In any case, I get into Korean dramas and I started to pick favorites. Lee Min Ho has a great face and a good grasp of the ability to cry on demand, so I followed him from Boys Over Flowers (a must watch for anyone beginning Korean dramas) to The Heirs (the pinnacle of high school K dramas, in my opinion). With Heirs, I found out just how great a Korean drama could be when I realized that the soundtrack and the acting talent was ridiculously good. It was also my introduction to Kim Woo Bin.

Kim Woo Bin is a bit like Lee Min Ho – great face and the ability to cry on demand – but better. Kim Woo Bin plays a jerk really well. And, as I’ve said in this post for Fandom Following, the Male Lead is Always a Jerk. In this case, Kim Woo Bin was not the male lead, but he was so much of a jerk that I didn’t feel bad about wanting the main character to choose the First Male Lead over him. I did, however, feel bad about Kim Woo Bin’s character not finding love (because he’s also really good at making you sympathize with his characters), but, as the Second Male Lead, he only Gets To Reconcile His Family Issues.

In any case, I’ve spent too long on The Heirs. 

I decided to follow Kim Woo Bin to Uncontrollably Fond (also called Lightly, Ardently), but, because it didn’t start until the middle of the summer, I ended up following another character to Emergency Couple first. It was definitely a great watch, and I highly recommend it. I also took in Falling in Love with Soon-Jung/Falling for Innocence/Beating Again (it literally depends on where you watch it), My Love From Another Star (which introduced me to Shin Sung Rok’s gorgeous face), and, the sociopath/gaslighting primer, Cheese in the Trap. And then July came, and I was finally able to watch Uncontrollably Fond.

Listen, if you’ve seen enough Korean dramas, Uncontrollably Fond is pretty predictable as far as everyone’s roles. The Richest Parent is the Meanest Parent; the Female Lead is Resilient, Gets A Makeover, and Goes On Vacation; the One Good Friend’s life is Eternally Unbothered. (Seriously, the best role in a K drama is the main character’s best friend; you get all of the benefits without any of the struggle) And there are definitely Levels To This Stuff, but you’ll be terribly blown away by them. I think that that’s the strength of Uncontrollably Fond: the twists and the acting.

But what I’ve also noticed was this: none of these shows between The Heirs and Uncontrollably Fond had very notable soundtracks.

(We’re finally getting to the point of this post!)

So, something that both The Heirs and Uncontrollably Fond like to do is take a particular song from the soundtrack and have it play during a particularly romantic moment in every episode. I guess that’s what we would call the romantic theme, as opposed to the actual theme song – that no one ever really remembers.

In The Heirs, it they chose to use two songs, one of which would usually be played a third time in a capella because they seemed to want to drive home how great that song was (it’s pretty damn good). In Uncontrollably Fond, they did something interesting by deciding to go with an English (American) song as the romantic theme. And, while I personally think that this was an intentional move in order to further break into the American market, it has actually done a lot to highlight a relatively unknown American band.

So I am 720 words into a post about a song that I am only now talking about, and can finally tie this piece back to the daily prompt that somewhat inspired me to write it. Wow.

When I think of fragile, I think of New Empire’s song “A Little Braver” which plays at least once an episode, every episode, on Uncontrollably Fond. The song is really about moving on from an old love, but it’s largely romantic. I particularly like the line, “we moved together like a silver lock and key”. That would have been the title for this post, but I ultimately felt like it would have been too much.

Since listening to this one song for 12 episodes straight – I haven’t finished Uncontrollably Fond yet – I’ve taken the time to listen to New Empire’s discography on Spotify. They’re pretty okay, but I only like one other song from them. “A Little Braver” sticks out to me because it’s so terribly relatable in it’s vagueness.  It starts off very mellow, then builds into something dramatic, then finishes softly. Uncontrollably Fond takes advantage of that and tends to use it for scenes that are terribly vulnerable and filled with declarations of love.

So this a really long post for just saying that I really like one song, but sometimes we need context in order to explain ourselves to others. I didn’t know where I was going to go when I started this post. I legitimately thought I was about to spend the whole thing writing about Korean dramas at one point. That’s the nature of writing though, isn’t it? We don’t actually know what we’re going to get until we’re done with it.

Apparently, I got this piece of randomness.

If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating all kinds of things, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about this particular topic, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

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