Unforgettable historical K-dramas: Round 1

If you haven't already experienced the addictiveness of historical (or "sageuk") Korean Dramas, now is the time to start. With epic battles waged by fearless warriors, hidden spy plots, and scandals inside the royal court, learning history has never been more exciting. Of course, these dramas are only loosely based on historical facts -- but that shouldn't stop us from enjoying them to the fullest!

A Tree with Deep Roots (뿌리깊은 나무) was a huge hit in 2011, with its final episode capturing a #1 rating across South Korea. It tells the story of the great King Sejong, a kind and brilliant ruler who struggles to improve his kingdom while under pressure from the royal court. A palace guard, played by Chuno (추노) star Jang Hyuk, plans to avenge his dead father by killing the King, but is recruited to investigate a series of murders inside the palace gates. With intense fighting scenes and suspenseful mystery, this drama bring the Joseon era to life; and it is available to viewers in the North and South America.

A Tree With Deep Roots

The Great Merchant Kim Man Deok (거상 김만덕) is a sageuk drama with a smart and resourceful female hero, played by Lee Mi Yeon. Kim Man Deok was a lowly citizen of Jeju island, a place for exiles during the Joseon era. Using her sharp mind and business skills, she became not only a successful merchant, but a noble lady of the court. This is a classic rags-to-riches story that should not be missed. It's also available to viewers in the Americas.

The Great Merchant Kim Man Deok

If you already know what all the sageuk hype is about, "성은이 망극하옵니다" ("Your grace is immeasurable," a phrase I learned on Viki!) And stay tuned -- we'll be bringing you more historical K-dramas soon!

Don't watch these movies in the dark!

Have you had a good scare lately? For this week's Saturday Movie Marathon, we've picked out some Korean horror films that are sure to make your skin crawl.

Red Eye (레드아이) is about the night train that runs from Yeosu to Seoul, the same train that ten years ago crashed and killed everyone on board. On the night it was scheduled to retire, the Red Eye train takes on a mind of its own, possessed by the ghosts of the crash victims, and heads for disaster once again. Will the train stewardess, Mi Sun, and conductor, Chan Shik (played by Song Il Guk) be able to save the passengers from the revenge of the dead? This 2004 horror film is available worldwide, except in select countries.

Red Eye

Still not scared? Imagine waking up one day to discover that three of your best friends have died, and that you can't remember where you were the day before. Dead Friend (령) is the story of how high school student Min Ji Won, played by Kim Ha Neul, tries to solve the mystery of her friends' deaths and the events that caused her memory loss. This movie, also from 2004, is available worldwide, except in select countries.

Dead Friends

Stay tuned for more movies next week, and let us know if you'd like to help with subbing or segmenting!

Introducing Stephanie from the Viki Community Team

Hey everybody! My name's Stephanie and I'm a new Community Manager here at Viki. I've been a Vikier and a K-Drama fan since high school, and I look forward to sharing the love of Asian entertainment with all of you! I've previously worked at the K-Pop forum Soompi, which some of you may be familiar with. :)

Viki has helped me learn new languages like Korean & Italian, enjoy my favorite dramas, and meet new friends. I'm excited that I have the opportunity to give back to this community by supporting it, and communicating through the Viki Blog. Message me if you have any questions about Viki or just want to chat about K-Pop (my username's catchlight)! I look forward to hearing from you!

Why do we love Bad Boys?

Nothing says K-drama like romance between a bad boy and an innocent girl -- is it the way he playfully teases her one moment and ignores her the next? Or how he leaves her waiting at a date but would fight off a gang of 20 guys to protect her? For this week's Tuesdays with Korean Stars, we've chosen three dramas featuring the baddest leading men in the business. These guys have dashing good looks, and a cold unforgiving heart -- so check them out if you can't resist the bad boy charm!

Bad Boy (나쁜 남자) is exactly what its title says, a story of revenge carried out against a wealthy family by a cold, calculated man named Gun-wook. He's played by Kim Nam Gil, who rose to fame after playing the ambitious Bidam in Queen Seon Deok (선덕여왕). Bad Boy is available to viewers worldwide, except in select countries.

Bad Boy

Boys Over Flowers (꽃보다남자) is one of the most famous dramas of all time, featuring not one, but 4 bad boys who rule over their entire high school. Millions have fallen in love with the wavy-haired leader of F4, played by Lee Min Ho. Find out if Jun Pyo's mean streak comes to an end when he meets the new girl in school, Jan Di. You can watch this drama if you're in Canada or the United States.

Boys Over Flowers

Heartstrings (넌 내게 반했어) is for the fans who can't resist a bad boy with an instrument. In this drama, Lee Shin is a talented rock guitarist, played by Jung Yong Hwa of CN Blue. This aloof and arrogant character is the opposite of what we're used to with Yong Hwa, who played the sweet, caring Shin Woo in You're Beautiful (미남이시네요). But the girl he loves is once again played by his You're Beautiful co-star, Park Shin Hye! This drama is available in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Australia.

Heartstrings

There's plenty more where that came from, as the "bad boy" theme is present in the majority of Korean dramas. Stay tuned next week for more drama and movie recommendations hand-picked by the Viki Team!

Announcing the winners of the Love Rain Photo Caption Contest!

Congratulations to the winners of our Love Rain photo caption contest! Each of them will receive a copy of the official Love Rain soundtrack. And thank you to all who entered and voted! We received so many fun entries.

Here are the three winners that were chosen by our Facebook fans. Make sure you follow Viki on Twitter and like our Facebook page to keep up with all the great new things coming to Viki and for more fun contest in the future!

First place:



Caption: "We must love art very much access to paint this."

Second Place: 



Caption: “I’m praying she can draw as nice as Yong Tae Yong!”, he thought while trying to cover himself.
“I wish my hubby would look like that!”, she thought while trying to get another glimpse at the freshmint standing in front of her.

Third Place:



Congratulations to the winners!

Mouthwatering Korean movies

Weekends are always a great time to catch up on movies, and this week, we've been bringing you dramas about an important part of Korean culture: food. And now it's time for some movies about food!

Le Grand Chef (식객) is a Korean movie about a young chef named Sung Chan, who competes against his rival for a place in cooking history. But when new information about his family's past is revealed, Sung Chan must make hard decisions about his future in the competition, and as a chef. This movie is available worldwide, except in select countries.



Gourmet (식객) is actually the 2008 drama based on the above movie, Le Grand Chef! This show stars Kim Rae Won as a modern Sung Chan, who runs a small food truck and has a passion for traditional Korean cuisine. Nam Sang Mi and Kim So Yeon also star in this delicious drama, available to viewers in North America and Europe.



Join us again next week for some more movies to fill your weekend!

Hello from Viki's new Social Media Manager

Hello everyone!

My name is Victoria, and I'm Viki's new Community and Social Media Manager. Going forward, I'll be leading Viki's social media efforts, as well as working with all of you in the Viki community.

There are lots of new things coming to Viki, and I'll be sharing all of them through our blog, Facebook page and Twitter. I'm really excited about getting to know the community, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Victoria
Community and Social Media Manager

P.S. Hammy now has some competition for Viki's cutest dog.

Taste the flavors of Korea with these dramas!

We hope you've worked up an appetite, because this week we're bringing you Korean dramas that are all about food! As one of the most cherished and unique aspects of Korean culture, food is at the center of many Korean dramas and movies. So enjoy this week's delectable featured dramas on Viki!

Jewel in the Palace (대장금) is one of the most popular K-Dramas of all time. With the beautiful Lee Young Ae playing the lead role of Jang Geum, this is the story of how a common girl can rise through the levels of Korean society and become the royal chef in the King’s palace. This drama is available to viewers in the US and Canada.



Feast of the Gods (신들의 만찬) is an exciting story about two young women competing for the chance to take their place in the culinary dynasty of Korea. In true K-Drama fashion, the real "heir" to the dynasty was lost as a child, and must later prove her cooking skills against the girl who was adopted in her place. This drama is currently airing in Korea, and episodes will be available to viewers in North and South America about 1-2 hours after they finish airing!



Pasta (파스타) is a romantic comedy starring Gong Hyo Jin as an aspiring pasta chef in a restaurant run by a ruthless, sexist head chef, played by Lee Seon Gyun (the nice guy in Coffee Prince). With mouth-watering Italian cooking scenes and chemistry in the kitchen, what's  not to love? This show is available to viewers in the US and Canada.


Immortal Classic (불후의 명작) revolves around the iconic dish of Korea, kimchi. One family has kept the secret recipe for the best kimchi safe for hundreds of years, but a small restaurant claims to serve an even better version. Watch this show to find out whose kimchi will prevail in the end! This drama is available worldwide, except in select countries.


We all know that Korean Dramas would not be the same without the great food, so enjoy these videos and tell us which Korean dish is your favorite! And be sure to check in again next week for another installment of Tuesday with Korean Stars!

Enter the Love Rain Photo Caption Contest!

Do you love the new romantic Korean drama, Love Rain? Then get excited, because you now have a chance to win a copy of the Official Soundtrack from Love Rain!

On our Facebook page, you can now enter the Love Rain Photo Caption Contest. All you have to do is write a caption for a still from the show and tell us what you think these characters from Love Rain could be thinking or saying at that very moment! You must go through our Facebook page in order to enter, so don't leave your entry as a comment on this blog post. Once all the submissions are in, we'll open the polls, and voting will begin. Anyone can vote, and the first, second and third place winners will win a copy of the Official Soundtrack from Love Rain!

You can submit your entry now until April 16, 2012. Voting will be open April 16 - 19, and we'll announce the winners on April 20! Enter the contest now! And don't miss Love Rain on Viki!

Caption this image. What could these Love Rain characters be thinking or saying at this moment?

Laugh until your sides hurt with this week's Korean Movie Marathon!

Welcome to another installment of our Saturday Korean Movie Marathon! This week, laugh until your sides hurt and tears stream out of your eyes with these hilarious Korean comedies!

Let's Play, Dharma (달마야 놀자) is a movie about a battle of wit and skill between a gang and a group of monks. A gang takes refuge in a Buddhist temple after losing a bloody turf war against a rival gang. The rowdy gangs is soon asked to leave after they start disrupting the temple’s rituals. The gang answers by challenging the monks to five competitive matches for the right to stay. Will the gang out-skill the monks or will the monks be able to hold their own? This movie is available worldwide, except in Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, USA and China.

Let's Play, Dharma

A Bold Family (간큰가족) is a film directed by Jo Myeong Nam, about two brothers, Myong Sok (Kam Woo Seong) and Myong Gyu (Kim Soo Ro), and is about the lengths that the brothers go through for money. Their father, played by Shin Goo, owns a piece of property that's now worth 5 billion won. But if North and South Korea aren't united by the time of his death, the land will go to the Unification Ministry! So, in order to get a hold of the property, the entire family will try to make him believe that the two Koreas have unified. This movie is available to viewers worldwide.

The Bold Family

Vampire Cop Ricky (흡혈형사 나도열) is a hilarious sex comedy about a man who becomes a vampire whenever he gets an erection. It all starts when a mosquito from Transylvania makes it's way to Seoul and bites Na Do-yol, a corrupt police officer. This movie is available worldwide!

Vampire Cop Ricky

Be sure to check in again next week for another Korean Movie Marathon!

Friday the 13th - a scary day

It's Friday the 13th! In western superstition, today is an unlucky day. In modern culture, it's a popular day for horror and paranormal stories, so today, we're bringing you movies and shows about the paranormal!

Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho (구미호: 여우누이뎐) is a Korean thriller TV show, set in feudal Korea. Gumiho is, according to legend, a nine-tailed fox who transforms into a beautiful, seductive woman, who feasts on the hearts or livers of men to survive. This show depicts the Gumiho as a mother, Goo San Daek (Han Eun Jung), who's only a day away from fully becoming a human. This show is available to viewers in North and South America.

Grudge: The Revolt of Gumiho

Evil Nurse (Suster Keramas) is an Indonesian horror comedy movie, directed by Helfi Kardit, released in December 2009. It tells the scary story of Kayla (Herfiza Novianti) and her friends, who go to a secluded village to work on school assignments. Kayla's 6th sense tells her immediately that the place is haunted. Meanwhile, Michiko (Rin Sakuragi), a Japanese tourist, is looking for a woman who used to be the nurse of her late father. The movie stars Rin Sakuragi, Herfiza Novianti, Rizky Mocil, Zidni Adam, Shinta Bachir, Alex Abbad and Yadi Sembako and is available to viewers worldwide!

Evil Nurse

Raines is an American TV show about detective Michael Raines (Jeff Goldblum), who solves murders in a very unconventional way. He partners with the murder victim, who appear to him as figments of his imagination! This show is available to viewers in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei.

Raines

Paranormal State is an American TV show follows a group of college students from Penn State University as they to delve deep into terrifying real life mysteries and ghost stories across the country. Follow the students as they attempt to explain paranormal phenomena including sixth-sense experiences, ghost sightings, demonic disturbances, and brushes with the darkest areas of the unknown. This show is available to viewers in South East Asia.

Paranormal State

All these scary movies and TV shows just might give you a case of friggatriskaidekaphobia (a fear of Friday the 13th). At least you won't have to face another one until September 2013! Until then, good luck!

New reality TV shows & documentaries!

Here's a taste of some new American shows that are now available on Viki!

The Two Coreys
Corey Haim and Corey Feldman started acting together when they were children. The two starred in several movies together, including the 1980's hit "The Lost Boys" and became close friends. However, over the years they drifted apart. This show aims to help fix their relationship through a series of tasks. Expect lots of honesty and candor as they delve deep within their friendship to rediscover that bond. Will they be able to rediscover their friendship? If you'd like to be involved in subtitling, segmenting, moderating or even managing this channel, please let us know!

The Two Coreys

Watch as a group of college students from Penn State University form the Paranormal Research Society to delve deep into terrifying real life mysteries and ghost stories across the country. Follow the students as they attempt to unravel inexplicable paranormal phenomena including sixth-sense experiences, ghost sightings, demonic disturbances, and brushes with the darkest areas of the unknown. If you're interested in being involved in subtitling, segmenting, moderating or even managing this channel, please let us know!

Paranormal State


Have you ever wondered what people really think of you? How far would you go to find out? In the show Spying on Myself, participants go through makeup, acting classes, and learn disguise techniques to transform into different looking people in order to find out the truth about themselves. How will they handle what they discover about themselves? Let us know if you'd like to be involved in subtitling, segmenting, moderating or even managing this channel!

Spying on Myself



Hang out with fashionable Korean stars!

It's time for another installment of Tuesday with Korean Stars! This week, spend some time with Korean idols as they show off their sense of style in Style, Inspire Now, and the new K-Drama, Fashion King.

Style, nicknamed "the Korean Devil Wears Prada," is a 2009 Korean Drama based on a novel by Baek Young Ok. It follows Lee Seo Jung as she starts a job at the fashion magazine, Style, and tries to work for the terrible Editor Park. She soon learns that the fashion industry isn't the pretty place she imagined. The show stars Lee Ji Ah, Lee Yong Woo, and Ryu Shi Won. Watch the drama from the beginning, or select a different episode now! This show is available worldwide, except from Asia.

Style

Inspire Now is a Korean variety show that talks about the trends, culture and lifestyle in the fashion and beauty industry. Each episode paints a vivid picture of the lives of those in the fashion industry. You'll also get tips and tricks from designers, fashion editors and stylists! Watch it from the beginning! This show is available worldwide, except from Korea.

Style
If you're looking for a drama about the lives of those trying to break into the fashion industry, don't miss Fashion King. The show follows Kang Young Gul who aspires to become a famous fashion designer one day. He gets the support he needs from Lee Ga Young, a confident young woman who shares his aspirations. Will they be able to go from their humble beginnings and achieve success in the dog-eat-dog world of the fashion industry? Fashion King is available to viewers in North and South America.

Fashion King

Join us again next week to spend another Tuesday with Korean Stars!

"Nothing's impossible" with Korean movies

Welcome to our second installment of Saturday Korean Movie Marathons! This week our movie theme is "Nothing's impossible." All of these movies are based on true stories, and are about people who have achieved their dreams against all odds. These will make you cry, and will grab you by the heartstrings. So curl up and enjoy!

Take Off (국가대표) is partly based on the true story of the trials and triumphs of Korea's first national ski jumping team. As a small Korean town prepares for the Winter Olympics, a local committee realizes that, although they're preparing to host athletes from all over the world, they don't have a ski team of their own. Korea's first national ski team is born. Watch as the five men overcome their fears, and bring great pride to Korea as they compete. Take Off is not available to viewers in Korea, USA, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Turkey.

Malaton (말아톤) is an inspiring independent Korean movie based, in part, on the true story of a young marathon runner named Bae Hyong-Jin. Bae is a factory worker who ran his first marathon at age seventeen. While Bae's time in the race is nothing exceptional for marathon runners, it brings him great attention because Bae is autistic. Malaton is a compelling window into how Bae's autism affects his life, and family.  Malaton is not available in Korea, USA, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and France.

For Horowitz (호로비츠를 위하여 ) is about Kim Ji-su, a 31-year old single women who dreams of becoming a world famous pianist like her idol, Vladimir Horowitz. When her dreams are shattered, she continues to share her love of piano by teaching children. One of her students, Gyung-min, is a musical genius. But, as Kim prepares Gyung-min for competition, she learns that Gyung-min has a secret that will change her life forever. For Horowitz is not available to viewers in Korea, USA, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand.


See you next Saturday for another Korean movie marathon!

Just launched: a new Viki.com!

We've been talking about it for weeks and working on it for many months; the new, improved viki.com is finally here! The redesigned site has an updated look and feel, improved navigation, long-awaited community features and much more. Check out Nadine's blog post, which goes into more detail.

A great big "thank you" goes out to all the community members who helped us with beta testing and detailed feedback along the way. And of course all the Viki engineers and everyone else on the Viki team who worked tirelessly to make this launch happen. But the work isn't done yet -- we'll have more improvements for you in the coming weeks and months. Please continue to send us any thoughts and feedback in the meantime!

Redesign Sneak Peak, New Features

Hi, everyone!

My name’s Nadine, and I manage product at Viki. A few weeks ago, we announced our upcoming redesign, and I wanted to first give you a preview of what to expect with the launch later this week.

Many of the changes are based on results of a site-wide user survey we ran back in November with responses from thousands of users from around the world, requests from content partners, and most importantly, detailed conversations with community members over the last year. Many of you have been and are testing the beta version of the site as we speak, so thank you again for all your great feedback!

A fresh look

  • The first thing you’ll notice is a new look and feel -- new logo, color scheme and layout. The site should be much easier to navigate, which will help everyone find exactly what they’re looking for, faster. This is only the first of many steps toward making the Viki experience smoother for everyone, including content owners and brand partners, who have also provided a lot of feedback along the way.

Video performance

  • We want the video-viewing experience to be fantastic. The new video page will be “lighter” and load faster, which will allow videos to start more quickly.

  • You’ll soon have a “report problems” button on all videos, which will automatically send us a report with important information that will help us resolve any issues quickly. This is just one of several mechanisms we’re testing to detect performance variances.

New community features

  • The new community page will be a place for fans to learn about Viki through links to the Viki Help Center, blog posts and more; and it’s where Channel Managers and other contributors can post and see open subbing and segmenting projects. You can see the community page here:


  • Need someone to subtitle a Korean show into Arabic, or a Turkish show into English? The new projects board will allow Channel Managers to “advertise” open segmenting, subtitling or moderating projects on their channels; and anyone can browse and find projects they’d like to work on.

  • We want to do a far better job in surfacing and recognizing the efforts of the community. You’ll see more attribution of individuals and channel teams integrated into the product, including on the featured titles that appear on the home page. This is just the beginning -- there’s much more to come.

  • You’ve been asking for the ability to co-manage channels for awhile, and I’m happy to let you know that we’re rolling this feature out, too. Now two people can manage one channel at the same time.

  • In order to maintain the quality of completed, subtitled episodes, Channel Managers will now have the power to lock subtitles and prevent further edits on select languages. This feature will is scheduled to be released shortly after everything else that is listed here.

  • Currently all segmenters are appointed by the channel staff, but going forward, we’ll award Power Segmenter status to dedicated, seasoned and high quality segmenters who will be able to segment any video without having to be first appointed. The program will be similar to the Super Segmenter program that was retired in December 2010. More details on this coming soon.

These are just a few of the many updates to come. Unlike the December 2010 release, a lot of the tools and functionality of Viki will remain untouched. We also now have a person who’s dedicated to testing the site, many more Viki staff members checking the site before launch, and many of you, who have been giving us feedback regularly.

Despite this, please keep in mind that there’s no way to have a 100% bug-free launch, especially for a release this big. However, we’ve been working very hard to minimize them as much as possible. We hope you like the changes, but of course we welcome all and any feedback.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll have even more updates and features coming your way. We hope you stay tuned. :)

Travel the world with Tuesdays with Korean Stars

Another week has gone by and so it's time for Tuesday with Korean Stars! This week, see the world with Korean celebrities with It Travel and Star Velo. Both shows are available to viewers worldwide!

It Travel is a travel show that shows you the world through the eyes of a Korean celebrity guide. And not only do you get to see the amazing things that the world has to offer, you'll also get it with the point of view of your guide. In the first episode, follow actor Jang Hyuk around the USA as he travels to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more! If you're interested in segmenting, subtitling, or even being the Channel Manager for this show, let us know.

It Travel: Jang Hyuk in San Francisco

Star Velo is a two-episode bicycle travelogue that follow actors Ha Ji Won and Kim Myung-min through Amsterdam, and Song Joong Ki through Australia. Follow these celebrities as they aim to relax and connect with the local people and cultures. If you'd like to segment, subtitle, or even being the Channel Manager for Star Velo, let us know!

Star Velo: Ha Ji Won and Kim Myung-min

Love Rain is now on Viki!

We're very excited to announce that the new Korean Drama, Love Rain (사랑비), is now available on Viki, to viewers in the Americas.


Love Rain is a love story that runs through multiple generations. In the 1970s, Seo In Ha, an art major at University, passes Kim Yoon Hee on campus and falls in love instantly. But their love wasn't meant to be. Years later, In Ha's son, Seo Joon and Yoon Hee's daughter, Jung Ha Na, meet and fall in love. Will their love be as ill-fated as that of their parents?

It'll be fun seeing the lead actors playing two parts! Jang Keun-Suk plays the young Seo In Ha as well as his son, Seo Joon, and Yoona, from Girls' Generation, plays the  young Kim Yoon Hee, as well as her daughter, Jung Ha Na. The present-day, older In Ha and Yoon Hee are played by Jung Jin-Young and Lee Mi-Sook.

If you're interested in helping subtitle or segment this drama, please contact the Channel Manager, Bonie!