Spellbound by Tamra, The Island


K-drama has never been so crack-like addictive.

That’s what I have to say about Tamra, The Island, a saguek-fantasy Korean drama which I’d just started watching 2 days ago.

I was quite hesitant to start on this drama in the beginning. I read the synopsis in Soompi thread and it didn’t appeal to me at all.  It’s a fantasy fusion saguek, that I could tolerate. I didn’t know much about the actors, not a good sign but still acceptable. But the worst thing that it’s all about a chamber pot and some funny people living in an island called Tamna (didn’t know it was Jeju back then, I thought it was some made up fictional island)! How ridiculous right? It cannot get worst than that, RIGHT?

But boy I was SO WRONG.  Am totally eating my worlds right now.

Thanx to the overwhelming and over-zealous recommendations in Dramabeans, I caved in. Gave the first episode a try. It was good. That led me to the second episode, which had me hooked. And then the 3rd, the 4th….

There was no turning back after that.

I’m only on Ep 4 right now, so I can’t really say that this drama is GREAT or BRILLIANT or anything.  But Tamra, The Island is just about the most innovative and creatively unique Korean drama I have seen in ages.  And it has me thinking about it 24/7.  No joke.

What sets Tamra apart from other Korean dramas? Well, it has an interesting setting, a fantasy-like background never seen in Korean drama before (well save for Legend, if you wana count that). It has a mix of characters from different and diverse cultures (English, Korean and Japanese) with them having a considerably good grasp of the languages (phew, finally!). The characters are quirky and charming in their own ways. Acting is decent and solid. And most of all, the music/OST just gets me into a trance.  I just immediately stop in my tracks to indulge myself in my own fantasy world whenever the songs start playing. It’s like I’ve entered into a world that I can only reach in my dreams. The combination of those elements just weave into one seamless and beautiful picture… so fairytale-like and romantic.

You know how Beo Jin’s always so cooked up with going outside to explore the world with William? How she wants to stop being a diver and be confined to Tamra her whole life? All that somehow resonates with how I feel about myself.  You want to break free but yet cannot because you are confined to how and where you were brought up. You want to tread miles but cannot afford to because you have responsibilities to bear. So, seeing Beo Jin and William go dive together under the fantasy like ocean – it makes me really happy. Happy because I know whilst I cannot break free, at least I can feel it whilst watching them dive without any worries or burden.  It’s something unreachable and virtual, but it makes me feel really really good.

Don’t want to spoil the drama for anyone here… but let me just grace your ears with these 2 songs from the drama ~~~ see if you get the feeling I was trying to explain before…

And oh yes,  before I forget.. need to rant about this newfound crush I found in Tamra..

It’s none other than….



…Park Kyu played by actor Im Joo Hwan.

He plays a Yangban from Han Yang (Seoul now) who was expelled and exiled because of his flirtatious ways with married women. Sounds like the typical rich and arrogant cheabol you always see in Korean dramas right? But again, that’s the reason why I always love K-drama cheabol characters. They make me fall head over heels for them… because when we strip off their outer layers, we see a different person within. Same like Park Kyu here. He may seem aloof, distant and arrogant, but deep inside,, there is a different side to him (which I have yet to fully discover). That makes the whole viewing experience all the more fun, because I want to know who is he, why is he acting this way, why does he act like he doesn’t care but yet does harbor concern when the people in the village are in danger…etc. A character so intriguing that I could not help but be drawn to.

The actor Im Joo Hwan does a wonderful job with his character Park Kyu. I’ve seen him act in other not so prominent projects before (and wasn’t exactly captivated by his acting or anything). But in Tamra, he’s the shining star. Totally overshadowing the rest of the actors.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the other actors are doing a considerably decent job too. Seo Woo comes close to becoming the next Yoon Eun Hye (her physical comedic acts are on spot, and when she cries, she becomes an emotional wreck) whilst Pierre Deporte (or Hwang Chan Bin?) is doing an okay job as a newbie.  But when Im Joo Hwan comes in as Park Kyu, he just takes over. Word.

His mannerisms, gestures, facial expressions and his voice…everything, just draw me in like nothing. When he speaks, I go GAGA – because his voice is just to die for. When he goes into deep thoughts, I get spellbound – because his eyes make it difficult for me not to stare twice, thrice or even longer. When he starts elaborating on his theories, I get so engrossed that I don’t notice anything other than him. Now I’ll just have to wait until he cries his eyes out…


So there goes another long-winded rant. Just needed to get that out since it’s all I think about all day. >.<

I hope to write another entry on the drama when I finish the whole thing.  It will be ending its run in Korea in a week’s time and I hope to marathon all the episodes before the grand finale.  Hopefully it would still hold its steam by the end.

I heard about the major editing which MBC decided (curse THEM!! cos I know I won’t have full 20 eps of Park Kyu/Im Joo Hwan) because of low ratings or over-budgeting reasons? I really hope they don’t butcher the whole thing… because there’s nothing worst than having to live with the regret of not having a good ending to a great drama. MBC, please do it right this time. PLEASE.

Lastly, an additional picture for laughs…


credits:  video/pic uploaders


3 thoughts on “Spellbound by Tamra, The Island”

  1. I enjoy watching each episode Im Joo Huan,he portrait his role perfect,he is cool good in acting and Seo Woo she is good in acting she can really cry with emotion and if she wants to be happy you really can see in her face and the French actor William, though he is new he is good too.

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