Korean Entertainment: What do we recommend?

July 18, 2014

By Tae Hong

We’ve lost count of how many times Netflix and Pandora recommendations have failed us in our quest to find the perfect this for that, especially when it comes to finding Korean pop culture outside the mainstream.

Whether you’re new to the whole Korean entertainment thing or have a quiet night reserved for TV/movie/music binging and just want to discover something new, welcome — Korea’s got a little something for everyone.

MBC's "H.I.T."

MBC’s “H.I.T.”

If you like “Criminal Minds,” you’ll like “H.I.T.”

Addiction to watching ridiculously attractive people — lookin’ at you, Derek and Reid — chasing down serial killers is definitely not a problem, especially when a just-as-addicting K-drama exists to fill your empty nights.

And especially when that drama stars not just winning queen Go Hyun-jung, but also a pre-superstar Ha Jung-woo.

Romantic comedies and melodramas may be the K-drama norm, but 2007’s “H.I.T” proved it can be just as fun watching a Korean-style police thriller about an emotionally damaged policewoman tracking a seriously disturbed serial killer with the help of a prosecutor by her side. Not the ideal drama for romance lovers, but if darker flicks are more your style, you’ll love this one.


New Entertainment World's "New World."

New Entertainment World’s “New World.”

If you like “The Departed,” you’ll like “New World.”

Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed,” which itself is a remake of the Hong Kong police thriller “Infernal Affairs,” is arguably one of the best American crime pics made in the past decade. Police-rat identity crisis? Yes. Lots of guns, knives and bloodied good-looking people? So much yes.

Enter “New World,” in which (the perfect) Lee Jung-jae pulls a Leo, playing a cop who finds himself a rat years-deep in a powerful crime organization that has just lost its head.

In a brilliant performance that one-ups Mark Wahlberg’s famous maybe-maybe-not-maybe-f***-yourself pottymouth cop, Hwang Jung-min delivers the supporting role of the year as the sleazy head of one of the organization’s branches. “New World” will restore your faith in Korean crime films. Hopefully.


If you like Daft Punk, you’ll like The Koxx.

The colorful, wonderful electronic indie band The Koxx will make you stare but listen in the same way the famously helmeted French duo of Daft Punk did.

Electro-punk-rock is — excuse us — rocking the Korean indie scene at the moment, and The Koxx is at the forefront of it. Listen to “Access OK” or, goodness us, the single track “Love Dance,” and imagine it right at home sitting next to “Random Access Memories.”

Recommendations: Their entire discography, but if you have to pick one, try “12:00.”

One Comment

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