I didn’t want to post this in the big Lost thread because I’m still playing catch up on Season 1 with the DVDs that I picked up a week back but…whose bright idea was it to hire Daniel Kim to play a guy who can only speak Korean? He’s barely comphrehensible!!!
It’s so bad that I feel like laughing out loud whenever I hear him speak on screen…and I don’t think the guy that plays Sun’s father is Korean either. Funny how it’s Sun who’s fully fluent…
Uh. Daniel Kim is Korean. He’s from Busan and speaks with a Kyungsangdo accent. That makes it difficult for people from Seoul to understand what he says. Yunjin Kim (who plays Sun) is from Seoul and has been coaching him with his accent since they’ve started the series.
Edited because I confused which accent came from where.
"Due to his childhood in America, Daniel knew very little Korean before he did “Lost”. He has said that his co-star on that show Yoon-jin Kim, who is fluent in both English and Korean, has been invaluable in coaching him on his Korean, which has apparently improved. Ironically, to the audience’s knowledge, Daniel’s character knows nothing but Korean.
Meanwhile, no one really cares, since him going one step beyond pulling the flesh at the corner of his eyes out with his index finger tips and saying “CHING CHONG BONG! CHONG BONG!” over and over again is already way beyond what’s necessary for us to figure out he’s supposed to be a dirty, no good foreigner.
I don’t know Korean, but Kim is clearly American, from his other roles (such as Crusade). He speaks without a hint of accent.
I actually kind of like the way they start by making Kim’s character seem like a stereotypical Asian male who disrespects women and treats them as property and then move toward a more sensitive side of him. He seems to fear the others, largely because of the language barrier, but he gets better. And I think he starts to realize that his anger issues with his wife are more the result of guilt about his own compliance with her father. Rather than a typical Asian stereotype, he becomes what many men are…people who are afraid to admit when they are wrong, afraid to admit they need their wives’ help, and afraid to open up to their wives and let them in on their pain.
His wife, however, does annoy me for all sorts of reasons that I won’t get into.
Sure, Sun is shown to come from a wealthy, upper-class background, but they don’t really show examples of her being “snooty”. Besides, it’s implied that she has a lot of time to herself due to Jin’s constant jobs from her father. She could’ve used that time to garden, or meditate, or what-have-you, to explain her current role on the island.
Yeah, how believable is a series that has a rich Korean woman understanding herb medicine? On a show where weird numbers show up everywhere. And polar bears are in the jungle. And people survive unscratched a crash in a plane that broke in half. And a guy in a wheel chair can now walk.
It’s not just the accent. 1/2 my family on my father’s side has a Kyungsangdo accent and I understand them just fine. Daniel Kim’s Korean (although to his credit, it HAS been getting better) was atrocious until the end of the first season.
To make a fair comparison, there’s this show in Korea called “Surprise!” that’s on every Sunday where they show 15-min short-stories in drama form…many of them set outside of Korea. 99% of all actors playing Americans are actually Russians speaking semi-passable English. That’s the same feeling I get when I hear Daniel Kim speaking Korean :P
IT’S AN AMERICAN SHOW MADE FOR AN ENGLISH SPEAKING AUDIENCE
Sort of like the same reason all the nasty teriyaki/sushi joints in America are owned and operated by Koreans… the average honky (read: target audience) can’t tell the difference and those who can tell the difference will seek out something more authentic.
p.s. it totally sucks how Lost plays to all the worn-out cultural stereotypes of Hobbits.
Well, this is all well and good, but, speaking on behalf of My People (in an unofficial capacity), I would just like to ask: Where are the Jews? Not one on this whole plane? Hi, we have money! We travel!
Seriously, how much better would this show be if Larry David were on the island?