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K-Drama School

K-Drama School

By Grace Jung
K-Drama School is hosted by comedian and media scholar Grace Jung who analyzes a new Korean TV drama every week and contextualizes it according to its social, cultural and historical significance. K-Drama School is a fun and intellectually stimulating podcast for K-drama fans everywhere. Let Grace school you in K-dramas!
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K-Drama School - Ep 2: Goblin/Guardian and Huevos Rancheros with Lizzy Cooperman

K-Drama School

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K-Drama School - Ep 73: When the Camellia Blooms and a Lily Pad with Marisa Llamas
[Spoiler Alert] Grace discusses the show When the Camellia Blooms (2019, KBS). She discusses her adoration for Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul and Kim Kang-hoon and their performance. She is impressed by Im Sang-choon’s writing and his feminist sensibility as a writer. She also discusses the unfortunate stigma that single Korean mothers face. She also discusses the history of sex work being tied to bar culture in Korea that predates modern times. Grace’s guest is a LA-based actress and improv comedian Marisa Llamas (@dapplegreen on Instagram). Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:17:14
May 23, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep. 72: Oh My Ghostess and 100 Squats with Suwon Weaver
[Spoiler Alert] Grace discusses the show Oh My Ghostess (2015, tvN). Grace’s guest is a SoCal-based comedian Suwon Weaver (@suwonweaver on Instagram). They talk about exercising to bring down the post-stage adrenaline, lying down on the floor, wooden Korean pillows, how dogs reset one another’s mental disturbances, unlearning learned behaviors and traumas, how change takes choice and a willingness, that reactions are not just external but also internal, the love and beauty of bombing, and how positivity does not have to be fake and just start with a small bit of gratitude. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:03:50
May 16, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 71: Hotel del Luna and a Red Eye with Kazu Kusano
[Spoiler Alert] No monologue in this episode. Sorry. Grace is busy with rehearsals for an acting gig. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Kazu Kusano (@kazu_kus on Instagram). They discuss Kazu’s comedy beginnings in Japan, training in SF, and her one woman show which she recorded in Canada. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
53:52
May 09, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 70: Twenty-Five Twenty-One and Thirty-Nine Recap Marathon with Walter Hong
[Spoiler Alert] No monologue is necessary in this episode. Grace’s guest is SoCal comedian/hardcore K-drama fan and discussant Walter Hong (@yellowsheki on Instagram). Grace and Walter have a deep discussion recapping Twenty-Five Twenty-One and ­Thirty-Nine. They also share some excitement over the latest new dramas by Noh Hee-kyung and Park Hae-young like Our Blues and My Liberation Notes. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:11:33
May 02, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 69: Lovers in Paris and Salsa Verde from Del Taco with Joe Mezeraani
[Spoiler Alert] Sorry—no monologue in this episode. Lovers in Paris (2004, SBS) is a drama written by writer Kim Eun-sook who wrote many influential shows such as Secret Garden, Descendants of the Sun, and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. Lovers in Paris is arguably the show that became Kim’s career shifter. It stars Kim Jung-eun, Park Shin-yang and Lee Dong-gun. It is set in both Paris and Seoul. Grace’s guest is Los Angeles-based comedian Joe Mezeraani (@joemezeraani on Instagram). They talk about salsa, obscure online videos, comedy in San Francisco, straightening one’s back, and younger siblings. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:01:30
April 25, 2022
K-Drama School - Ep 68: Fashion King and Android Pariahs with Zach Stein
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Fashion King (2012, SBS) starring Yoo Ah-in, Shin Se-kyung, Lee Je-hoon and Kwon Yuri of Girls’ Generation written by the same creators of What Happened in Bali. Grace compares how Fashion King treats domestic products to how Now, We Are Breaking Up which explores the fashion industry in a very different way. Grace critiques Fashion King’s extremely passive female protagonist. Grace’s guest is Los Angeles-based comedian Zach Stein (@hack_stein on Instagram). They talk about auditioning for a commercial directed by an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, studying law, performing stand-up in Michigan, managing a hair salon in Santa Monica, working as a private eye, love for comedy, managing nerves, hiking in a snowy mountain for four days and spotting a wolf. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
50:18
April 18, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 67: Twenty-Five Twenty-One and Scorpio x Gemini with Sophia Zolan
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022, Netflix) starring Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, and WJSN’s Bona written by Kwon Do-eun—the creator of Search WWW. Grace analyzes Twenty-Five Twenty-One as a queer feminist text that celebrates lesbian kinship coded as female friendships. Grace declares Kwon Do-eun as a queer feminist showrunner/auteur, and admires the writer’s choice to focus on female fencing athletes. Grace is a big fan of the fencers’ victory screams. Grace’s guest is Los Angeles-based actress, writer and comedian Sophia Zolan (@sophiazolan Instagram). They discuss creative control, their dreams, how to date without dating apps, horoscopes, Tina Fey and Judd Apatow as career goals, how Hollywood makes TV shows and movies driven by anxiety and stress, getting a Greek citizenship and living in Europe. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:17:21
April 11, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep. 66: Thirty-Nine and Sweet Tarts with Neeraj Srinivasan
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Thirty-Nine (2022, Netflix) starring Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do and Kim Ji-hyun. Grace’s guest is Los Angeles-based comedian Neeraj Srinivasan (@mynipsdontlieon Instagram). They discuss being on the road, their love for stand-up, trial and error, being self-taught in animation, and overcoming fears when pursuing something new in life. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:07:11
April 04, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep. 65: The Silent Sea and Hating Myself with Blake Hammond
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show The Silent Sea (2021, Netflix) starring Bae Doona, Gong Yoo, Lee Joon, and Kang Mal-geum. Grace discusses the multiple intertexts that The Silent Sea has of canonical films like Contagion, Armageddon, Train to Busan, Blade Runner, Tarzan and more. Grace believes Netflix’s demands forcing Korean filmmakers to turn their scripts into TV shows is hurting the quality of the content. Grace also wonders aloud if she should continue the podcast on a free platform anymore and is considering transferring it onto Patreon. What do you all think? She’s open to your feedback. Grace’s guest is Cincinnati-based comedian Blake Hammond (@bigradmachine on Instagram). They discuss taping his latest special, being a working comic based in Ohio, the upside of TikTok stars at comedy clubs, their disdain for small talk, nightmares, and self-destructive habits. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
55:23
March 28, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 64: Now We Are Breaking Up and A New Reality Show with Julia Stone
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Now, We Are Breaking Up (2021, SBS) starring Song Hye-kyo and Jang Ki-yong. Grace examines this show’s modernist take on female sexuality which conflicts awkwardly with the reality of romantic/sexual expectations and politics. Grace analyzes how this show does not overly fetishize white countries as much as some of the earlier K-dramas by placing Korea’s domestic pride at the forefront. Grace also notices that the building that Mr. J uses as his studio is the same building that Mi-do’s family’s bookstore ran out of from When a Man Loves (2013, MBC). You heard it here first! Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Julia Stone (@akajuliastone on Instagram). They discuss feeling like a loser whether one is employed or unemployed, being a twin, being an expectant aunt, being from New Zealand, conspiracy theories around the war in the Ukraine and the US’s involvement, dreams of writing for late night TV, and coming up with an entirely new game show. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:18:33
March 21, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 63: Dinner Mate and Batman Over Superman with Tatenda Mbudzi
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Dinner Mate (2020, MBC) starring Song Seung-hun and Seo Ji-hye. Grace wonders if Seo Ji-hye has the qualities of a lead actress and debates what sets apart a lead from a supporting actor using the metaphor of power divas versus pop singers. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian, actor and filmmaker Tatenda Mbduzi (@tatendambudzion Instagram). They discuss their favorite super heroes, why Batman is better than Superman, meeting Ben Affleck, love for Jennifer Garner, growing up in Zimbabwe, London and Upstate New York, doing a one-man show, growing up with a hybrid-Christian religion, indigenous religions, witch hunt, and how comedy helps us or hurts us. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:22:51
March 14, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 62: Truth and Ten Percent Off with Kevin Chu
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Truth (2000, MBC) starring Choi Ji-woo, Ryu Si-won and Park Sun-young. Grace sees the show from a new perspective with greater empathy for the villain’s character whose qualities are spoken for by her abusive father and fiancée. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Kevin Chu (@kevichu on Instagram). They discuss overcompensation, the art of slurping noodles, dating profiles, Chinese school, and Asian community disciplinarians. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:23:46
March 07, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 61: Producers and Crystal Dildos with Kate Cheka
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Producers (2015, KBS), and the K-drama-hits-churning writer Park Ji-eun (My Love From the Star, Legend of the Blue Sea, and Crash Landing on You) whose writing career includes sit-coms, variety shows and talk radio before dramas. Grace gets into how Producers is self-reflexive in its critique of the music industry’s treatment of K-pop stars and its intense work hours behind the scenes of a variety show. Grace’s guest is London-based comedian Kate Cheka (@katecheka on Instagram). They discuss growing as comedians, the Woke Panties Show in Berlin, managers, vision boards, burning out, education, writing a book, and crystal dildos. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:21:44
February 28, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 60: Misaeng and Olivia Dinners with Olivia Hill
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Misaeng (2014, tvN), and how it exhibits a poor man’s vision of capitalism, and how Yoon Tae-ho struggled in his early years as an artist. This was recorded on Grace’s birthday, and she talks about how she feels being in her mid-thirties, reflecting on her past and present, and how she feels about herself today. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Olivia Hill (@freesampleolivia on Instagram). They discuss comedy and COVID-19, makeup tutorials, content creation, being intentional, singing karoke while tone-deaf, not drinking alcohol, the private funny memories we carry in our own minds, confidence, creating an oracle deck, The Artist’s Way, and the catharsis of taking a friend out to a fancy dinner each month. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:26:52
February 21, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 59: Winter Sonata and Hivemind K-Drama Characters with Willie Simon
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Winter Sonata (2002, KBS) and how it catapulted Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo into hallyu fame. Grace wonders how it was possible for Bae Yong-joon to retire from acting. Is there such a thing as retiring from art? Is that possible? Where does the love for that art form go when one retires their career? Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Willie Simon (@williesimon_ on Instagram). They discuss growing up in Maui, college and comedy in Seattle, witnessing aging, Louie Anderson, witnessing comics who bomb but are oblivious to it, and how to write a K-drama like Stars Wars. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:00:42
February 14, 2022
K-Drama School - Ep 58: Our Beloved Summer and Nights of Mikey Saber with Mike Rose
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Our Beloved Summer (SBS, 2021-2022). Grace talks about Kim Dami and Choi Woo-shik’s acting careers, their awkward romantic chemistry on the small screen, and how K-dramas today are exhibiting “first” world problems as opposed to more developing-nation problems seen in dramas from 20+ years ago. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Mike Rose (@themikerose on Instagram), and their discussion is a deep textual analysis of Sean Baker’s latest film Red Rocket (2021), Santa Clause and reindeers’ pagan mythology being associated with amanita mushrooms’ hallucinogenic properties, how Red Rocket is comparable to Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, the time Mike corresponded with Sean Baker, how marginalized people live off the “edge of industry,” Simon Rex’s Hollywood history as a teen movie celebrity with a past in porn, Rex’s gorgeous penis, his past as an MTV VJ, male body image issues, how Red Rocket exposes useless masculinity that justifies its presence by emphasizing stereotypical female weakness, the stigmatization of sex workers, the extent of Mikey Saber’s rationalizing for his own survival, the “nerve” of the filmmaker to use NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” in the opening of the film, and their great love for the performances and explorations in this film. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:19:28
February 07, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 57: The Lady in Dignity and Pee Pee Stains with David Ayala
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show The Lady in Dignity (JTBC, 2017), which as of January 2022, is in the top 20 highest viewed cable K-drama series of all time. Grace talks about Kim Hee-sun’s second wave in her post-marriage/child birth acting career, Kim Sun-a as the anti-heroine and how K-dramas need to make more anti-heroine shows without killing them off or punishing them. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian David Ayala (@davidayalasok on Instagram). They talk about David’s auteurship on his new variety series which is currently in production, how one should always get fired or laid off from a job—never quit, prioritizing play for creativity, almost throwing up in midst of positive affirmations, wetting the bed, edging, how Pineapple Express made David want to be a comedian, anime and manga fandom, how our bodies renew completely every 10 years, and doing stand-up as a thirteen-year-old at a jazz club to dead silence. This episode has cameo appearances made by Bing Bong (Sofia Coppola) the cat and Cammy the dog. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:27:26
January 31, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 56: When a Man Loves and Taking Art Personally with JP Puthenveetil
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show When a Man Loves (MBC, 2013) and the show writer Kim In-young’s zany, bold and risk-taking choices in her career. Grace also admires Song Seung-hun’s radical choices as an actor to play bizarre, complicated, and camp characters on TV and film. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian JP Puthenveetil (@jpputhenveetil on Instagram). They discuss comedy writing, working for the Disney Channel, how production companies and networks trap artists in one lane, growing up in North Carolina as Indian but without racism, a cat named Baz, shock-value comedy, some jokes that age better with time, performing in Nashville and doing Zoom comedy shows during the height of the pandemic. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
56:25
January 24, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep. 55: Hospital Playlist and Professionally Asshole-ing Up with Magda Mihaila
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Hospital Playlist (tvN, 2020-2021) and the writer Lee Woo-jung’s career as a variety show writer into a K-drama writer, and how hospital dramas tend to write themselves because death and disease always keep the episodes’ stakes high. Grace’s guest is France-based Romanian comedian Magda Mihalia (@magdulicious on Instagram). They discuss being born into communist Romania to elderly parents in the countryside, being raised by her older sister, abortion rights, doctor-patient relationships and their ethicality in the context of human rights, doctors who sexually assault young girls, the myth of globalization, and getting her video shown on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:25:09
January 17, 2022
K-Drama School - Ep 54: That Winter, The Wind Blows and DNA Semen Sample with Nick Borsellino
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show That Winter, The Wind Blows (SBS, 2013) and how it brings some insight into what it is like to live a differently-abled life. Grace also discusses the importance of a good reset while she vacations for a week in Carmel, California. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Nick Borsellino (@nickwithnothingbetter2do on Instagram). They discuss siblings, rollercoasters, comedy, and collecting semen for the sole purpose of getting a DNA sample. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:02:36
January 10, 2022
K-Drama School – Ep 53: Hellbound and Not Caring What Others Think with Tobias Hauser
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Hellbound (Netflix, 2021) by Yeon Sang-ho—the director of Train to Busan. Grace analyzes Hellbound as being allegoric of social media cancel culture and the spread of panic, blame and paranoia. She links Hellbound’s plot points to 18th century Christian revivalist tactics that emphasized guilt (sin) and the threat of hell to induce moral panic and keep societies under top-down control. Grace’s returning guest is Berlin-based comedian Tobias Hauser (@hahahouser on Instagram) as they celebrate the one year anniversary of K-Drama School podcast. They discuss drinking culture in Korea, the ubiquity of alcohol, how the iPhone can’t recognize calloused fingers, how we are the worst critics of ourselves, reflecting on achievements and improvements the past year, caring less about what others think, the questionability of cancel culture, what goals they have for 2022, and chlamydia in the throat. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:07:49
January 03, 2022
K-Drama School - Ep 52: The King's Affection and Cinephilia with Liam McEneaney
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show The King’s Affection (KBS, 2021) and its trans gender queerness, incisive critique of patriarchal greed, as well as Park Eun-bin’s robust acting career which dates as far back as 1998, Rowoon’s impressive acting chops, and more. Grace’s guest is comedian Liam McEneaney (@radioliam on Instagram and @HeyItsLiam on Twitter). They discuss New York in the 90s, Mars Bar, Taylor Mead, Bikini Kill, Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver, Steve Buscemi, The Big Lebowski, the Beatniks, Korean stand-up comedy, the war in the Middle East, inherited and intergenerational trauma among Koreans, the Irish, the Jews and Indigenous Peoples, abuse in the Korean church, sobriety, masculinity, Agnès Varda, and many more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:55:50
December 27, 2021
K-Drama School – Ep 51: I’m Sorry I Love You and the Rules of Improv with Viet Nguyen
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show I’m Sorry, I Love You (KBS, 2004). Grace’s guest is Orange County-based comedian Viet Nguyen (@vietspeekenglizh on Instagram). They talk about District 12 in Vietnam, comedy, writing fiction, and the rules of improv. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:08:16
December 20, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 50: Because This Is My First Life and What I'm Meant To Be Doing with Susan Song
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Because This Is My First Life (tvN, 2017) and topics like the 880,000 won generation, urban-modernism versus traditionalism, marriage, real estate, inflation and more. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian and actress Susan Song (@sujjang012 on Instagram). Susan is trained in improv at The Groundlings and UCB. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox's 9-1-1 and TruTV's Adam Ruins Everything. Grace and Susan discuss acting, crying on cue, comedy, perfectionism, quarantining in Korea for 2 weeks, meeting Jung Kwan sunim, being present, financial trauma, and living the dream. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:18:04
December 13, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 49: Reply 1994 and Plugging Holes with Todd Kushigemachi
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Reply 1994 (tvN, 2013) as an impactful 1990s nostalgic text, Seo Taiji and Boys, Korea’s 90s moral panic, the history of banana milk and Melona, Reply 1994’s homophobia, and others. Grace’s guest is Dr. Todd Kushigemachi. Grace and Todd discuss the importance of labor unions and strikes among lecturers/adjuncts, the cancel-fear that gen-Z lives under, a teacher’s responsibility around self-care, Wes Anderson movies, Fight Club, systemic injustice, and more. Los Angeles comedian Nick Borsellino (@nickwithnothingbetter2do on Instagram) answers Grace’s flashcard questions based on Reply 1994. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. This episode is dedicated to beloved Los Angeles/Valley comedian Jonathan David who we lost on Dec. 1, 2021 just a few days before his birthday. Rest in peace, Jon. We love you and miss you. 
01:35:41
December 06, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 48: The Sound of Your Heart and It’s a Feeling with Wendy Wilkins
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show The Sound of Your Heart (KBS, 2016), Lee Kwang-su’s versatility as an actor and the underrated queen of K-dramas—Kim Mi-kyung. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian and writer Wendy Wilkins (@wendyjean on Instagram). Grace and Wendy discuss bad friends, life transitions, self-care, emotional support, brothers, and food. Pepper the dog makes a guest appearance which you can hear through her panting and squeaky toy. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:14:57
November 29, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 47: No K-Drama and Becoming Who I Always Wanted to Be with Fred Stoller
In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace doesn’t discuss any K-dramas at all. (She will resume next week.) Grace is feeling the breeze in her life because of some winds of change. Her guest is comedian and actor Fred Stoller (@fred_stoller) who was in Dumb & Dumber, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Rick & Morty, and countless others. Fred is also the writer and producer of the feature film Fred & Vinnie. Grace and Fred talk about his book Maybe We'll Have You Back, and the intense tapestry that is show business in Hollywood. They get into self-help books, meditation, heroes, and more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:22:04
November 22, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 46: No K-Drama and Ancestral Guidance with Helen Hyunkyung Park
In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace doesn’t discuss any K-dramas at all. The drama for this week is just from being Korean American. In this episode, Grace talks to video artist, filmmaker, educator, and therapist Helen Hyunkyung Park (@parkhyunkyunghelen on Instagram). Grace and Helen’s relationship dates back to 2009 when they were both Fulbright scholars in Seoul. This episode of K-drama school is meant for recharge, reset, reflection and reassurance. As you listen, remember to be present. Check in with yourself. How are you doing? What do you need? Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:30:49
November 15, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 45: One Spring Night and the Fullness of Life with Kristal Adams
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show One Spring Night (MBC, 2019), and its critique of patriarchy, domestic abuse, and status/image-obsessed parents who forgo their children’s safety. Grace also mentions how Jung Hae-in and Han Ji-min lack chemistry in One Spring Night as opposed to how well Jung Hae-in meshed with Son Ye-jin in There’s Something in the Rain. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian Kristal Adams (@thedarkkristal on Instagram and Twitter). Kristal has been on JFL and Laugh After Dark on Amazon. She won “Best of Fest” at the 2019 Big Pine Comedy Festival. Kristal hosts Black Card Rehab and produces her own show Overdue Comedy in Glendale, California. Grace and Kristal discuss bedtime story apps, introversion, energies, how men don’t like women who know themselves, family trauma, a performer’s need to shut off their brain, and what it’s like to be a comedy nerd. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:34:26
November 08, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 44: Navillera and Julia Styles's Shakespeare with Tim Murray
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Navillera (tvN, 2021), and dives into its queer theme, existential exploration on pursuing the arts in one's 70s, and being there for one's artistic self. Grace's guest is the very funny LA-based comedian and actor Tim Murray (@tmurray06 on Instagram) who is on HBO's The Other Two and the film Swan Song (2021). Grace and Tim discuss tennis, Oprah, 1990s movies and TV shows, childhood trauma, and Amanda Bynes. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:24:37
November 01, 2021
K-Drama School: Ep 43 - Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha and Bob Balaban as Foucault with Leah Steuer, PhD (c)
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (tvN, 2021). She addresses Kim Seon-ho’s scandal, and how to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of #MeToo to find healing. Grace’s guest is Leah Steuer, PhD Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in television audience studies and affect theory. Leah is also Grace’s old friend from back in the UCLA master’s degree days in Los Angeles. They start out by discussing The Many Saints of Newark (2021) (spoilers ahead) and The Sopranos (spoilers ahead), then dive into academia and graduate school stresses, adjuncting, the impossibility of capitalist expectations, meaningful living, affect theory, charting new research terrains methodologically in audience studies, Foucault’s acid trip in Death Valley through the help of Dr. Simeon Wade, Bob Balaban, Ray Liotta, self-doubt, imposter syndrome and mental health. Comedian Ai Yoshihara (@aiyoshihara3 on Instagram) closes out with some hilarious answers to Grace’s flashcard questions based on Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:45:35
October 25, 2021
K-Drama School: Ep 42 - Till the End of the World and Elephant Vibes with Misho Shakur
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the campy narrative of the show Till the End of the World (MBC, 1998), and how Ryu Si-won was a 1990s K-drama hottie who met his downfall after getting marred in a domestic abuse scandal. Grace’s guest is the very profound and funny New York-based comedian Misho Shakur (@misho.shakur on Instagram). They talk about trust, fear, tools, love, Jesus, cults, elephants, psychedelics, Syria, trauma, Dumbo, and so much more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:41:42
October 18, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 41: Squid Game (Pt II) and the Failure of Capitalism with Dr. Suk-Young Kim
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Squid Game (Netflix, 2021) for the second time. (For her first take on Squid Game, check out episode 39 of K-Drama School podcast.) Grace finds the arguments on Twitter over Squid Game’s subtitle translations ridiculous given the high subjectivity of language interpretation. She asks why critics are not questioning Netflix’s impossible expectations and demands out of laborers who work under high pressures and strict time deadlines which are not conducive to ideal translation work. Furthermore, all media goes through a great deal of mediation via many different hands and minds; the perfect encapsulation of an auteur’s vision is impossible. Grace emphasizes the importance of working less and stressing less. Happiness does not equal money. Happiness is attainable without a cent but the mythology of capitalism dictates otherwise and most people buy into its beliefs. Grace analyzes the character Ali’s position in Squid Game and the plight of migrant workers in South Korea who come from parts of South Asia, China, North Korea and Eastern Europe. Grace dives into neocolonialism and Korea’s subempire status over developing nations under the shadow of America’s global empire. Grace’s guest is Critical Studies Professor at UCLA’s Theater Department—Dr. Suk-Young Kim who authored K-Pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance, Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film and Everyday Performance in North Korea and DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border. Dr. Kim and Grace discuss Squid Game and the failures of capitalism, the horrific reality of our neoliberal existence in developed societies, Netflix’s neocolonial demands and expectations out of South Korea (cheap labor, low production costs) and how that is costing lives on underfunded Korean productions while draining Korean creators of their physical, mental and emotional well-being, South Korean netizen’s impossibly high expectations, the illusions of capitalist systems, the under-appreciated black humor of Squid Game, and the increasingly harrowing circumstances of recent PhDs in the current arts and humanities job market. Berlin-based comedian Tobias Hauser closes the episode out with hilarious answers to Grace's flashcard questions based on Squid Game's scenarios. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:47:01
October 11, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 40: Autumn in My Heart and Catcallers’ Ignorance with Elbert Danger Kim
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Autumn in My Heart (KBS, 2000)—the show that launched Song Hye-kyo, Song Seung-hun and Won Bin into international hallyu fame. Grace breaks down the show’s highly camp dramatic theatrics that threw her into a pit of adolescent despair for a full year, how Y2K K-dramas ruined beaches for her, the intense fire of K-drama netizens of South Korea, and the significance of affective attachments between viewers and television characters. Grace then has a discussion with LA-based comedian Elbert Danger Kim (@elbertdangerkim on Instagram) about death, tuberculosis, fear, Zen retreats, why Elbert has “Danger” as a middle name, the importance of tending to the inner child, and the late Norm Macdonald’s deep sensitivity to art. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:42:26
October 04, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 39: Squid Game and Neoliberal Mommy Issues with Mai My
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Squid Game (Netflix, 2021) which is streaming exclusively on Netflix. Grace predicts an Emmy and/or Golden Globe nod for Netflix next year due to Squid Game. She then breaks down Squid Game’s critique and deep analysis of neoliberalism, the show’s sexism (a common problem caused by most male Korean filmmakers), Lee Jung-jae’s stardom, Hwang Dong-hyuk’s sly way of exposing his filmography on the show by inserting Gong Yoo and Lee Byung-hun as cameos, and Squid Game’s critique of global hierarchy, capitalist patriarchy and white supremacy. Grace’s guest is Hamburg-based Vietnamese German comedian Mai My (@maimycomedy on Instagram). They discuss bad living situations as teenagers, massage requests used as sexual assault, friends who saved their lives, media as trauma-bonding and reliving trauma, and mother complexes.
01:48:04
September 27, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 38: Dear My Friends and How to Be a Good Man with Glenn Bolton
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Dear My Friends (tvN, 2016) which is streaming on Netflix in non-South Korean territories. The show features veteran Korean actors including Oscar-winner Youn Yuh-jung, Mother (2009, Bong Joon-ho) actress Kim Hye-ja, Na Moon-hee, Go Doo-shim, Shin Goo and Go Hyun-jung. Grace mourns the death of comedian Norm Macdonald and celebrates having met comedian Bobby Lee at the Comedy Store. Grace talks about the progress she’s made with CBT, and the importance of triangulating therapy with spiritual work and meditation for self-improvement. Grace’s guest is LA-based comedian, musician, and rapper Glenn Bolton (@g_rillah) whose EP We Eatin Out Here is available now (link is on his Instagram bio). They discuss barbeque, being supportive to friends with substance abuse problems, Glenn’s music career, getting bullied as a child, how lousy Hollywood can be as a neighborhood, and what it takes to be a good man. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:41:39
September 20, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 37: Record of Youth and The Uncanny Valley with Duckie L'Orange
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Record of Youth (tvN, 2020) which is streaming on Netflix in non-South Korean territories. Grace is still on the road. She discusses disorganized comedy festival runners, the US Open Women's Championship game between Leylah Fernandez (19) and Emma Raducanu (18) who broke all odds and expectations, giving women inspiration and hope everywhere. Grace then talks to Berlin-based clown, puppeteer, performance artist, cabaret and comedian Duckie L'Orange. Duckie's act "popohund" or "bumdog" appeared on Das Supertalent (Germany's Got Talent), and has over 3 million views on YouTube. She also showcased her work at the Sydney Opera House and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Grace and Duckie discuss the importance of artist residencies, performing drag king, Duckie's philosophy behind puppets and clowning, and how COVID-19 has turned every individual on earth into a woman by being told to stay in the house and what to wear. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:13:03
September 13, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 36: DP and In Support of Dissent and Desertion
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the Netflix-exclusive K-drama DP (2021, Netflix). Grace pays tribute to late LA comic Fu. Rest in peace. Grace does a deep-textual analysis of DP, Korean masculinity, militarism, South Korean military’s homophobia/transphobia, what desertion means in the face of dehumanization, corruption, cronyism, bullying, hazing, assault, the perpetual cycles of toxic behaviors, and consequences of standing up for one’s beliefs. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
28:15
September 06, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 35: Coffee Prince and a Good Feminist Man with Dr. Mark Hussey
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Coffee Prince (MBC, 2007) as a queer text for both queer pleasure and queer upset. Grace cites Jack Halberstam's theory on female masculinity and Judith Butler's theory on gender as a performance in reference to Go Eun-chan's tomboyism. Grace’s guest is Dr. Mark Hussey who is a Virginia Woolf scholar and now professor emeritus of Pace University's English department where Grace earned her B.A. Dr. Hussey is the author of Clive Bell and The Making of Modernism: A Biography which is newly published by Bloomsbury Press. He and Grace discuss what the purpose of reading a biography is, how to harness anxiety for productivity, what the English major is, why theory and jargon are necessary, how the fear of the future never stops, and what it takes to be a good feminist as a man. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:43:25
August 30, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 34: It's Okay, That's Love and Pushing Our Limits with Conner Shin
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show It’s Okay, That’s Love (SBS, 2014). Grace’s guest is Los Angeles-based comedian, writer and actor Conner Shin. Conner is a UCB alum who also writes for the animated show Harley Quinn which is on HBO Max. They discuss learning how to skateboard as an adult, expanding our comfort zone, the meaninglessness of the word “stupid,” how to cope with depression, how to deal with late people, how to deal with people who ignore messages, and how the fact that people with penises can pee anywhere makes them less considerate individuals. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:42:49
August 23, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 33: My Princess and RealFeel with Dr. Bambi Haggins
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show My Princess (MBC, 2011). Kris Jones, PhD Candidate at the UCLA film school kicks us off with some hilarious answers to Grace’s flashcard questions, which Grace recorded on UCLA campus on her graduation day—June 11, 2021. Grace’s guest is Dr. Bambi Haggins who is a media studies professor at the University of California Irvine and the author of Laughing Mad: The Black Comic Persona in Post-Soul America [https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/laughing-mad/9780813539850]. They discuss the character development of orphans, Lovecraft Country, Insecure, the pressure of being from a working-class family, intergenerational wealth and privilege, Black joy, white fragility in the face of basic difficulty, “affluenza,” the craft of writing, why Louis CK does not get the n-word pass, Tony Hinchcliff and Gary Gulman using the c-word in reference to Asian American comics, their admiration for comics like Maria Bamford, Margaret Cho, Jackie Kashian, the systemic and structural impediments that marginalized individuals suffer from, the reminder of our individual freedom and self-worth in the face of neoliberal powers that be, and our gratitude for the real influencers who are teachers we remember best. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Grace added 3 upcoming shows in Los Angeles on her website: https://aechjay.com/2021/08/15/shows-this-week/
01:40:16
August 16, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 32: Reply 1988 and Open Carry Sandwiches with Joe von Hutch
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Reply 1988 (2015-2016, tvN) and the significance of late 1980s student demonstrations for the democratization of South Korea, the Seoul Summer Olympics, and her love for Lee Dong-hwi. Grace then has a chat with Joe von Hutch (@joevonhutch on Instagram) is a comedian, writer, activist and attorney based in Berlin who co-founded DADDY Media. Joe talks about growing up in New York, going to Berlin for the first time as a teenager, the love and ubiquity of German beer, aging during the pandemic, racism in New York public schools, how to read the American Constitution, gun safety laws, how the British royal family members are aliens, systemic issues that bind British and American history of slavery to this day, and white supremacy’s willful disconnectedness from humanity and utilizing our affect and feeling to navigate in the era of “woke” economy to manifest diversity, equity and inclusion in our lived realities. (For context, the bulk of this interview was recorded in April.) Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:08:39
August 09, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 31: Secret Garden and Marguerite with Kelly Ryan
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Secret Garden (2010, SBS) as a queer text in how it depicts gender fluidity, and compares it to Korean shamanism. Grace also discusses her journey towards fearlessness, bullying in the Korean church, cleaning out house (the mind) of misconceptions and misperceptions of the self through self-compassion exercises. Grace then talks to comedian Kelly Ryan (@thisisKellyRyan on Instagram) about chihuahuas, diets, feminism, Texas, dating a fellow comedian, and navigating passive-aggression and pretense in Portland and LA as a Tri-State chica. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:18:25
August 02, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 30: Miss Korea and Drugs and Fireworks with Van Jazmin
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Miss Korea (2013, MBC), its depiction of the 1997 IMF Crisis, Korean masculinity in “crisis,” Lee Chang-dong’s Peppermint Candy (1999), the film Mulberry (1986) starring Lee Mi-sook, Lee Sun-kyun, and Lee Yeon-hee. Grace then talks Van Jazmin (@vanjazmin on Instagram)—an LA-based visual artist, clown, and filmmaker. His film Hollywood Home Video won Best Documentary Short at the Berlin Underground Film Festival in 2020, and you can purchase it as a VHS tape on his Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VanJazminArt?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=952801544. Van is originally from Pennsylvania who spent some time in Florida before moving to California. He worked with musical artists like RiFF RAFF which opened doors to major events such as Space Yacht, and Brownies and Lemonade. Van also worked and toured with Skrillex which brought him to places like Notch Minecraft mansion and (almost) to the Full Flex Express Tour. Van also went on a West coast tour with Kill the Noise. Van has so many stories, experiences, visuals and philosophies in him that bring people amazement, wonder, and thrill. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:25:04
July 26, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 29: The Choe Show (최쇼) and The ABC’s with Julieta Degese Pt II
[Trigger Warning] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses The Choe Show (FX, 2021) hosted and produced by Korean American artist and former DVDASA podcast host David Choe while processing and working through her life events. Grace then continues her talk with guest co-host Julieta Degese (@dgcjulieta on Instagram) who shares a very vulnerable fact about herself. They go into Grace’s contentious relationship with her sibling, and Julieta talks about grieving her father while balancing that with her daily life. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.
01:49:54
July 19, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 28: The Choe Show (최쇼) and You are/I am Enough with Julieta Degese Pt. 1
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses The Choe Show (FX, 2021) hosted and produced by Korean American artist and former DVDASA podcast host David Choe. Grace invites David Choe to be a guest on her podcast, then dives deep Choe-style and opens up in the most raw way about where her abandonment issues began, molestation, rape by boyfriends, gaslighting from a Korean American church, gaslighting from Korean immigrant parents, why han (한/恨) is contested by Korean studies scholars, how similar The Choe Show is to Korean variety TV shows, psychedelics, therapy, why Grace loves comedians, how Choe is reconstructing/reimagining American masculinity, The Choe Show’s multidimensional multi-media experience, and how Choe is redesigning the way to consume media. Grace then talks to her guest co-host Julieta Degese (@dgcjulieta on Instagram) who admits that she once considered not being friends with Grace, about how insane men behave when they are full of hormones and women reject them, and about the importance of communication. (They continue their discussion in part II of this episode which drops next week.) Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we continue the discussion on the Korean American drama The Choe Show (FX, 2021).
01:48:53
July 12, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 27: All About Eve and the Easy Way with Rachel Abrahams
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show All About Eve (2000, MBC), and the theme of orphans, and Kim So-yeon from Penthouse. Grace also talks about feelings that came up after reaching her GoFundMe campaign goal, self-worth, a dream she had recently that taught her a lesson about judgment, leveling up, and her obsession with David Choe and The Choe Show on FX. Grace then talks to LA-based comedian Rachel Abrahams who drops knowledge on how to take the easy road in life and win, going to film school, getting back into the comedy grind, why online shows suck, and how to enjoy Hawaii better. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss the Korean American drama by artist David Choe—The Choe Show (FX, 2021).
02:03:26
July 05, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 26: Master's Sun and Allergies with Alexis Bradby
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Master’s Sun (2013, SBS). Grace talks about how So Ji-sub tried to emulate Cha Seung-won’s persona from The Greatest Love (2011, MBC) in his role as Joo Joong-won in Master’s Sun but failed. Grace also processes some lousy news she received her alma mater UCLA; although they said they were going to pay for her postproduction costs ($2,000), they told her last minute that they will not. If you’d like to donate to her documentary short film J&S Auto, please go to her GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/ucla-film-school-screwed-me-so-go-to-usc-insteador visit aechjay.com to learn more. Grace straight up believes you’re better off going to USC for your film degree than UCLA, and her conversation with LA comedian Alexis Bradby (@alexisbradby on Instagram)—a USC alum—will explain why. They discuss dealing with family deaths, the American south, navigating one’s 20s with uncertainty and hope, Euro-trips, VR/AR technology, allergies, takes on joke-writing versus TV-writing, and Alexis’s brilliant idea for a spin-off of Master’s Sun. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss another old school show called All About Eve (2000, MBC). Grace’s show dates for July are on her website now: https://aechjay.com/2021/06/25/grace-jungs-show-dates-for-july-2021/
01:01:40
June 28, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 25: Thank You and Contrasts with Jackie Monahan
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Thank You (2007, MBC). Grace talks about being in Idaho and the sights she's seen then has a chat with comedian and screenwriter Jackie Monahan who is the co-writer of The Foxy Merkins (2013, Madeleine Olnek) which played at Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and the Moscow International Film Festival that same year. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Jackie’s comedy special “These Lips” is available on Amazon Prime for streaming. You can also listen to the album on Spotify and Apple Music.Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss another old school show called Master's Sun (2013, SBS).
01:38:14
June 22, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 24: Stairway to Heaven and a Good Dad with Christoph Schmid
[Spoiler Alert] Grace discusses Stairway to Heaven (2003, SBS) and the show’s director Lee Jang-soo’s directorial imprint on the “heaven trilogy” shows he helms. Grace breaks down the meaning of “makjang” drama in the context of televisuality and political economy which affected Y2K socio-cultural habits such as spending and consumption in South Korea. Grace then has a chat with her dear friend and hilarious Berlin-based comedian Christoph Schmid (@topf52 on Instagram) about fatherhood to a toddler, how much they hate online comedy, Christoph’s pilot, why Grace turned down a Fox TV offer, addiction to disrespectful men, questions we wished we could’ve asked our angry yet mysterious fathers before they died very suddenly, and how to process grief. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Thank You (2007, MBC).
01:29:26
June 14, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 23: Fated to Love You and "I am the Pudding" with Zack Chapaloni
[Spoiler Alert] Grace discusses Fated to Love You (2014, MBC), and the nostalgic intertexts and callbacks the show includes from Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara's careers as singers and actors for nearly two decades as the Jang couple reunites 12 years after their first small-screen appearance together on Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002, SBS). Grace talks about how she was mistaken for a medical doctor by another comedian in her scene, as well as the doubts her parents had of her abilities which makes her an atypical figure when it comes to AAPI stereotypes; the "model minority" is very much a myth, and one that not even her own family upheld when it came to her. Grace then has a chat with comedian Zack Chapaloni (@zackchapaloni on Instagram) who co-hosts Hesby Street Pod. They talk about their upbringing by immigrant mothers, the gift of difference, roommates during a pandemic, and so much more. Zack then answers some flashcard questions based on scenarios from Fated to Love You and Grace nearly blacks out from laughing at his brilliant answers. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Stairway to Heaven (2003, SBS).
01:43:48
June 08, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 22: Reply 1997 and Never-ending Learning with Julayne Lee
[Spoiler Alert] Marisa Llamas (@llamedycentral on Instagram) makes a guest co-host appearance to answer some flashcard questions based on Reply 1997 (2012, tvN). Grace discusses Reply 1997, and how wrong it is that Netflix and Kocowa remove or replace music cues in certain Korean dramas they distribute. Grace then has a chat with Julyane Lee (@julayneelle on Twitter) who is the author of Not My White Savior. They talk about South Korea's adoption issue, racism from white adoptive parents, Mia Farrow, Soonyi Previn, diversity work, poetry, education, the act of "calling-in," and the importance of freeing Black bodies from injustice. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Fated to Love You (2014, MBC).
01:51:09
May 31, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 21: Hello My Twenties! and Cannabis Kimchi with LJ Kim
[Spoiler Alert] Tobias Hauser (@hahahouser) makes a guest co-host appearance to answer some flashcard questions based on Hello My Twenties! (2016, JTBC). Grace discusses Hello My Twenties! and the representation of believable female protagonists, as well as Minari (2020, Lee Issac Chung) and why Brad Pitt should kiss Youn Yuh-jung’s feet in addition to the polarized reception between Korean audiences and Korean American audiences. Grace reflects on her trip to New York, and the return. She trashes Iris.fm and Riverside.fm, and their terrible customer service. Grace then has a chat with musicology PhD candidate LJ (Il-jung) Kim (@iljung.kim on Instagram) who is at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They discuss Buddhist chants, sacred rituals, shamanism, stigmatization of addicts and empathy for them, hip hop, Korean hemp, pansori, channeling the bodhisattva, being a contemporary philosopher, and more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Reply 1997 (2012, tvN).
02:03:07
May 24, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 20: Live and The Artist's Mind with Shinho Lee
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Live (2018, tvN) and Noh Hee-kyung's impressive career and mother-obsession. Grace is still in New York as she reflects on her life as an artist and intellectual living in the United States where both careers are under-appreciated. Grace then has a chat with screenwriter Shinho Lee (@shinholee77 on Instagram) who co-wrote The Chaser (2008, Na Hong-jin) and teaches at NYU Tisch about the Korean television industry, patriarchy in the workplace, overcoming self-doubt and feelings of victimhood to marginalization, and the joy of writing strong female protagonists. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Hello My Twenties (2016, JTBC).
01:26:04
May 17, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 19: Personal Taste and Giving Our Mothers a Childhood with Moni Zhang
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Personal Taste (2010, MBC) and its LGBTQIA+ theme. Grace continues to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month as well as picture-locking her film while in New York. Grace talks about acknowledging the celebration of mothers on Mother's Day but also being mindful and respectful of those who have contentious relationships or no relationship with their parents who might feel uncomfortable with such holidays. Grace then has a chat with comedian Moni Zhang (@moni.zhang.comedy on Instagram) about growing up in Wuhan, China and its famous hot-dry noodles,  her latest LSD trip and her big realizations about her womanhood and beauty, self-love, and self-appreciation, Confucian patriarchy and its extreme misogyny, and how she wants to give her mother the childhood she never had. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Live (2018, tvN).
01:32:52
May 10, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 18: All In and the Single Tear Strategy with Walter Hong
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show All In (2003, SBS). Grace celebrates the first week of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. All of May will include interviews from Asian American and/or Asian guests. In her opening monologue, Grace discusses the pachinko business run by Korean gangsters, male-centric narratives, passive female characters, and more. Grace then has a chat with comedian Walter Hong (@yellowsheki on Instagram) about Clubhouse, the Atlanta and Boulder shootings (recording date May 23, 2021), gun control, the importance of vulnerability, capping CEOs' salaries to 40x their lowest paid employee's, Descendants of the Sun, and Song Hye-kyo's masterful and playful side-eye. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss an LGBTQIA+ themed show Personal Taste (2010, MBC). 
01:56:29
May 03, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 17: Successful Story of a Bright Girl and the Power to Change Your House with Esra Karakaya
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002, SBS). Grace talks about Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk’s careers, their onscreen chemistry, South Korea’s desperate need to create labor unions for the entertainment industry, and the amazingness of Youn Yuh-jung (Oscar winner as of April 25, 2021!). Grace then has a chat with Berlin-based journalist and activist Esra Karakaya (@ms_blackrock on Instagram). They talk about Koreans’ obsession with weight loss, the importance of grassroots activism, how to manage anxiety, Esra’s talk show Karakaya Talk, as well as the benefits and beauty of Muslim prayer. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss another old school show called All In (2003, SBS).
01:06:26
April 26, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 16: Beautiful Days and Noble Things with Jaren George
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Beautiful Days (2001, SBS). Grace goes into depictions of toxic masculinity, Lee Byung-hun's sex scandals, why leukemia is such a common trope in K-dramas, and another fan letter she received. Grace then has a chat with comedian Jaren George (@jaren.george on Instagram). They talk about IT, Oregon snow, Valentine's Day jokes that get too real, beefing up resumes, game life, Christianity versus magic, and more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss an old school show called Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002, SBS).
01:24:12
April 19, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 15: Itaewon Class and "Don't Kill My Dad" with Ai Yoshihara
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Itaewon Class. Grace goes into representations of Black-Koreanness and transgender identity on this show, as well as issues of diversity that South Korea has trouble addressing in mainstream television such as that of migrant workers from Southeast Asia. Grace then has a chat with comedian Ai Yoshihara (@aiyoshihara3 on Instagram). They talk about how Grace got stood up by her initial guest, pandemic-anxiety, meditation, love, self-improvement, systems rigged against international students in higher education institutions, money-management, and many more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss an old school show called Beautiful Days (2001).
01:15:55
April 12, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 14: Something in the Rain and Black Hearts with Ji-yoon An
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Something in the Rain starring Son Ye-jin and Jung Hae-in. She goes into complex characters like Jin-a's mother on the show and what her significance is. She also talks about Son Ye-jin's chemistry with Jung Hae-in which she shares with Hyun Bin (in Crash Landing on You). Grace then has a chat with Dr. Ji-yoon An who currently teaches at the University of Tübingen. They talk about Korean history, "compressed modernity," how to improve or adjust expectations in pedagogy, Korean films, Korean diasporic living, and so much more. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss the hit Netflix K-drama series Itaewon Class (Netflix, 2020).
01:43:60
April 05, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 13: Kingdom and Hot Baths with Dan Telfer
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the original Netflix series Kingdom (2018- ) written by Kim Eun-hee. She breaks down the zombie allegory in the context of South Korean history, politics and culture framed around the Cold War, while also citing films like Train to Busan, Seoul Station and The Wailing. What is a zombie supposed to be in South Korea? What about ancient Choson Dynasty Korea prior to the Cold War and the dividing of the Kingdom of Korea? Grace then has a chat with comedian guest Dan Telfer (@dantelfer). Dan was the senior editor of MAD Magazine. He also wrote for The Onion. He co-hosts the Dungeons and Dragons podcast. You can listen to his most recent comedy EP The Greater Chaotic Good. Grace and Dan talk about feral cats, why nerds are bullied in society, and what works and doesn't work when it comes to Kingdom. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week we discuss Something in the Rain (JTBC, 2018).
01:25:35
March 29, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 12: Star in My Heart and Deep 1990s Korea Nostalgia with Hye Yun Park
#StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate. Stop Killing Asians. To all the people who were silent around this issue, open your eyes, ears and hearts. To all my Asian and Asian American family members, I love you. You are not alone in your pain, fear, anger and grief. Solidarity. [Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show Star in My Heart (aka Wish Upon a Star) starring Choi Jin-sil and Ahn Jae-wook. She discusses Choi Jin-sil's tragic life story and career, Ahn Jae-wook's hair, and the world's initiation into K-drama hallyu hype through Star in My Heart. Go listen to Ahn Jae-wook's song "Forever" right now and you'll understand why. Grace then has a chat with writer, director, actor, clown and burlesque performer Hye Yun Park who created the webseries Hey Yun! and BKPI. She was also an actor and staff writer on HBO's High Maintenance. Grace and Hye Yun talk about what K-dramas meant to them growing up, Youn Yuh-jung's bad-ass status, Korean films, trauma and poop.  Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.  Next week, we discuss the hit Netflix K-drama zombie series Kingdom (Netflix, 2019- ).
01:45:25
March 22, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 11: It's Okay to Not Be Okay and BDSM Daddies with Kristen Lundberg
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the show It's Okay to Not Be Okay (tvN, 2020) starring Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Yeji. Grace goes into representations of disability on K-dramas especially PTSD stemming from the Vietnam War which South Korean mercenary troops were hired to fight in by the hundreds of thousands. Grace then has a chat with Los Angeles-based comedian Kristen Lundberg who sings a song on BDSM gay daddies, talks about her former roommate who broke into the bathroom while she was in the shower, and why she incorporated the violin into her stand-up act. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more.  Next week, we discuss a classic old school K-drama called Star in My Heart (MBC, 1997).
54:22
March 15, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 10: Search WWW, Power Lesbians and Maseratis with Saundarya Thapa
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace’s guest sidekick Julieta Degese (@dgcjulieta) makes a quick early visit to answer flashcard questions. Grace discusses the 2019 show Search WWW—the debut work of Kwon Do-eun. Search WWW is a solid queer text showcasing a lesbian love-triangle disguised as business affairs with a thin veneer of heteronormativity. This show reunites Im Soo-jung with Jeon Hye-jin from their I’m Sorry I Love You days but as strong female characters with deep complexities and greater agency. Grace then has a chat with former PhD candidate of Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA who now works at a talent agency in Los Angeles—Saundarya Thapa (@saundaryathapa). They have a deep-dive discussion of K-dramas, IU, Hyori, why there’s so much eating in Korean film and TV, why Instagram ads are so accurate, and how to overcome an impasse. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (tvN, 2020).
01:31:18
March 08, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 9: Full House and a Golden Doodle with Natisha Anderson
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the hit 2004 drama Full House starring Song Hye-kyo and Rain when they were super young and adorable. Grace breaks down Full House's subtle critique of domestic labor shaped by Korean patriarchy, and how K-drama stars originally got their start in sit-coms. Grace then has a chat with Los Angeles-based actress, comedian and clown Natisha Anderson (@natishaanderson) who you've seen on Lady Dynamite, All That, CSI and Angie Tribeca. They talk about golden doodles, stand-up comedy etiquette, crying inside cars, and murder. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Subscribe to K-Drama School on YouTube. Next week, we discuss Search WWW (2019, tvN).
55:54
March 01, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 8: My Lovely Sam Soon and Costco Muffins with Ben MacLean
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses My Lovely Sam Soon and its feminist protagonist which marks a shift in female character development for Korean dramas in the early 2000s which were notably different from heroines of 1990s shows. Grace talks about the pressures that Korean women face in society to conform to patriarchal heteronormative standards that determine what is acceptable in terms of weight, looks, and age. Grace then has a chat with Berlin-based Canadian comedian Ben MacLean (ben__maclean) and his past life as a diplomat, seeking a healthier life, and Costco muffins. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Full House (2004, MBC).
53:59
February 22, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep. 7: The Greatest Love and “A” Minuses with Kimberly Clark
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses The Greatest Love (2011, MBC) written by the Hong sisters. It is a romantic comedy starring Cha Seung-won and Gong Hyo-jin. Grace breaks down the K-pop ecosystem and where variety shows fit into the equation, cradle-rocking-perverts of Korean show business, and Korean models. Grace then chats with comedian guest Kimberly Clark (@clarkkimberlyl) who's been on NBC's Last Comic Standing and Lopez Tonight with George Lopez. They discuss Syracuse's snow, Arizona's state law against a house occupied by solely women, people who hate getting an 'A' minus for a grade, microaggression in the workplace, joke writing advice from Drew Carey and the time she almost met Steve Martin. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss My Lovely Sam Soon (2005, MBC).
59:33
February 15, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 6: The World of the Married and Getting Stabbed by Your Girlfriend with Dante Chang
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses The World of the Married. She goes into the declining number of South Korea's marriages, increase in divorce, negative stereotypes of single working women, and why Kim Hee-ae is the queen of K-dramas. Grace then has a chat with Los Angeles-based comic Dante Chang (@dantechang) who is originally from DC. They discuss girlfriends who get revenge by stabbing, self-care, emotional health, and violent Asian American and Korean masculinity. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss The Greatest Love (2011, MBC).
58:28
February 08, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 5: My Mister and Great Practicality with Erika Ratcliffe
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses My Mister (2018, tvN) which stars K-pop starlet IU and Lee Sun-kyun of the Oscar-winning Bong Joon-ho film Parasite (2019). Grace goes into the #MeTooKorea movement's impact on My Mister's initial reception, sonic/auditory voyeurism, female agency, the "spycam" problem in South Korea, and fallen male K-pop stars like Jung Joon-young. Grace then chats with comedian guest Erika Ratcliffe (@erikaratcliffe) about noisy neighbors, school bullies, Japanese television, filmmaking, and what makes a good director.  Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss World of the Married (2020, JTBC).
50:55
February 01, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 4: Crash Landing on You and Un-Tweeting with Will Hines
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the hit K-drama Crash Landing on You (2019-2020, tvN, Netflix). She talks about the show's intertexts, Kim Soo-hyun's return from his military conscription, the chemistry between Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin, the Korean War, orphans, Pretty Woman, and how this show turns gender tropes on its head. Grace is then joined by Los Angeles-based comedian and actor Will Hines (@williebhines) who you've seen on Brooklyn 99, Between Two Ferns, Broad City and loads of other shows and films. They discuss Will's book How to Be the Greatest Improviser on Earth, Twitter, cancel culture, "calling in," and why so many actors follow Eastern religion. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss My Mister (2018, tvN, Netflix).
01:16:06
January 25, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 3: What Happened in Bali & Voodoo Handj*bs with Erik Escobar
In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses a 2004 SBS winter classic What Happened in Bali starring So Ji-sub, Jo In-sung and Ha Ji-won. She links the young working-class female protagonist in K-dramas to its origins in modern Korean "factory girl" literature from the 1920s and through the Korean industrialization period from both the pre and post-Korean War eras. Grace is then joined by Los Angeles-based comedian guest Erik Escobar (@erikescobar). They discuss Erik's 100-pound weight loss, decolonization through food, and the benefits of graduate school. Erik gives some hilarious answers to Grace's What Happened in Bali flashcard questions. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Crashlanding on You (Netflix, 2019-2020)!
01:02:19
January 18, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 2: Goblin/Guardian and Huevos Rancheros with Lizzy Cooperman
[Spoiler Alert] In this episode of K-Drama School, Grace discusses the 2016/2017 "mega-hit" show by Kim Eun-sook called Goblin or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God which she contextualizes against the backdrop of the Sewol Ferry tragedy and other ghost/supernatural K-drama narratives. Grace then has a chat with comedian Lizzy Cooperman (@lizzycooperman) who you've seen on HBO's Crashing and Lights Out with David Spade. Her album Organism is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and GooglePlay. They talk about New Mexico, George RR Martin, huevos rancheros, and re-freezing ice cream. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss What Happened in Bali (SBS, 2004).
58:14
January 11, 2021
K-Drama School - Ep 1: SKY Castle and Korean Siestas with Tobias Hauser
Welcome to episode 1 of K-Drama School podcast! Meet your host Grace Jung (comedian and PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA) who is here to school you in Korean dramas every week followed by an interview with a guest comedian or scholar. [Spoiler Alert] In this episode, Grace analyzes the hit JTBC show SKY Castle (2018), the Korean school system, suicides, helicopter parenting, Christianity and decoloniality with her sidekick Julieta Degese (@dgcjulieta). Berlin-based Austrian comedian Tobias Hauser (@hahahouser) is the special guest. They discuss original sin, Newton's laws of motion, maple syrup fetish and high kicks by Christina Baranski. Follow @KDramaSchool on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Visit kdramachool.com to learn more. Next week, we discuss Goblin or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God!
01:30:56
January 01, 2021