“Moon that Embraces the Sun” (해를 품은 달)

A sweeping dramatic series set in Korea’s Joseon era, the “Moon That Embraces the Sun” is a love story that at times is painfully heartbreaking. But, it’s also filled with hope and humor. That combination makes for an addictive series that will leave viewers hungering for more.

“Coffee Prince” (커피프린스)

On the surface, “Coffee Prince” is your standard boy-meets-girl romantic comedy with a few roadblocks thrown in for good measure. Thanks to the chemistry shared by the attractive leads (Gong Yoo and Yoo Eun Hye), the series is highly watchable and I understand why so many fans are repeat viewers. But beneath the cute exterior, the series deals with issues such as sexual confusion, gender roles and poverty.

Chicago (My Kind of Town)

Our kid likes to travel. He has taken high-speed KTX trains in Seoul, played in New York City’s Central Park and fed dolphins in Paradise Island (Bahamas). All of that was amazing. But it’s wonderful having a first-rate destination with skyscapers, museums and all the dining choices right in our own back yard. We’ll be back, Chicago, because we can’t quit you.

Korean cuisine beyond barbecue and kimchi

When I was young, I went through a phase where I hated Korean food. My mother would make fresh, home-cooked meals from scratch. And instead of realizing what a treat that was, I would ask why we couldn’t just eat TV dinners like all my friends. But these days, there’s no cuisine I enjoy more than Korean. And if someone else is willing to cook it for me, all the better! So when my family and I traveled to South Korea this fall, eating well was a top priority.


One of the privileges of being a citizen of the United States is enjoying the rights that were fought for by those who came before us. I know. I sound a bit ridiculous stating the obvious, right? But, really … Get out there and vote. If you’re worried about the anticipated long lines on November, get out there and vote early.

Go Away With … Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff says that until “West Wing,” most people couldn’t pinpoint who he was or why they recognized him. Those days have changed. In the past year alone, the Emmy Award-winning actor has worked on multiple films and television series. Schiff just ended a run as an attorney on DIRECTV’s “Rogue” and can be seen in BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

“Ode to My Father” (국제시장)

In a review that ran in the New York Times, film critic Jeannette Catsoulis gave “Ode to My Father” a big thumbs down for being “syrupy” and for having “packaged pain … likely to leave Western audiences cold.” While there is no doubt that director Yoo Je-Kyoon would’ve loved for American audiences to embrace his movie, it’s also undeniable that this film was not made with Western moviegoers in mind. It was made for Koreans.

Go Away With … Tamlyn Tomita

“After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a TV station in Japan raised funds to send over cherry blossom trees to Berlin,” says “Berlin Station” actress Tamlyn Tomita. “I was lucky enough to witness the first pink-and-white blossoms in Berlin and to see so many Berliners underneath the beauty of these flowers. It made me proud to view this sight as an American whose father’s parents were from Japan, a former axis country, extending a grand gesture of peace toward another former axis country and showing the world how true progress and partnership can be nurtured and sustained.”

Go Away With … Randall Park

When Randall Park was a student at UCLA, he thought about pursuing a career in academia. Thanks partially to some creative writing classes — in which he wrote a part for himself in a student production — he decided to try acting instead. After playing a governor on “Veep” and North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un in the controversial film, “The Interview,” Park landed the role of family patriarch Louis Huang on the ABC sitcom, “Fresh Off the Boat.” The third season premiere will air on Oct. 11.

Go Away With … Christy Turlington

Best known as one of the most famous supermodels of the ’90s, Christy Turlington Burns is the founder of the nonprofit organization Every Mother Counts, which is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for mothers. After experiencing childbirth complications herself, she directed the documentary, “No Woman, No Cry.”

When your child “loses”

As we were walking home from school, I listened as some of the children voiced their opinions as to who should (and should not) have been elected to student council. According to my chatty informants, one little girl’s older sister wrote her speech for her. Another boy’s father re-wrote his. Gleefully, they named names. “How do you know this?” I asked. And the kids said that the winners told them so. (You have to love children’s honesty!)

“Running Man (런닝맨)”

The combination of slapstick humor and witty banter makes “Running Man” a fun viewing experience, even for those who don’t understand Korean. For instance, there is a recurring game where participants will stand in front of mike stands that are rigged to blast air in their faces if they answer incorrectly. My son, now 8, has no comprehension of what’s being asked, but he will search these episodes out to laugh at the slo-motion expressions on the cast members faces when they are “punished.”

“Doctor Crush” (닥터스)

“Doctor Crush” is full of bad characters full of bad intentions: the money-hungry father-son duo trying to take over the hospital; Ji-Hong’s uncle, who steals his inheritance and then dumps him off at an orphanage; Hye-Jung’s father, who abandons her; and even Hye-Jung’s raison d’etre for much of the series: revenge.

Go Away With … Piper Perabo

An avid traveler, Piper Perabo credits her trips for getting her involved with the International Rescue Committee. “I was working in Istanbul and there were so many Syrian refugees there,” she says. “Until then, it hadn’t hit me how far many of them had walked with their families to try to find safety and work. That was an awakening for me.”

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