Monthly Archives: November 2009

Invincible Lee Pyung Gang, Ep 1-5

So, with this drama, the story goes as this: I was interested. Then lost that interest. Got bored and got interested again. Therefore, voila.

Nam Sangmi is Lee Pyunggang a rather lowly resort employee. Woo Ondal is played by Ji Hyunwoo as the male lead, fulfilling the obligatory chaebol character. In the previous life, however, the roles were reversed. Pyunggang was a princess whereas Ondal was the…nothing. I can’t even say that he was a beggar because that would imply he had an occupation, while it doesn’t seem that Ondal worked at all. Don’t worry tho, he worked his way up to become the general.

What makes it special? Nothing really. Except for the fact that it goes back and forth between the ‘olden’ days and the modern story. The more prevalent side is the modern day story as the olden day story is only shown at the beginning and/or at the end of the episode. The general setup is all familiar, down to the evil plotting stepmother, the first love, the bickering main couple, and the Daddy Long Legs. The direction is equally uneventful, visual is okay, story is pretty predictable.

So, why watch it? There’s just some comfort in knowing that the drama is common. It’s something we’ve seen. I doubt that the next 11 episodes will provide surprises (the good kind, not the kind that makes you want to wrangle your laptop screen) that would shock me beyond belief, yet I feel good when I’m watching Invincible Lee Pyung Gang. It still makes me laugh. I still clench my teeth when the annoying characters come out. I find the familiar and silly little things to be more entertaining than irritating.

The music is also a lot of fun. The scores have that playful tone that I sort of associate to music in children’s classic. The more contemporary, singing songs are catchy and full of energy. I like how just listening to the music makes me smile.

As well, I like the actors. None of them is a high profile actor, yet I’ve seen most of them before so they’re not completely strangers. There’s something fresh about the actors. Sure, the characters are pretty saturated if you’ve seen enough K-Dramas, but I have faith that the actors would give different colours to their roles.

So far, Nam Sangmi is as pretty as ever and I’m liking her spunky Pyunggang a lot. Ji Hyunwoo is just hilarious as the rude Ondal with almost zero manner. Seo Doyoung hasn’t had much impression on me other than how dashing he looks. And unfortunately, I still can’t bring myself to like Cha Yeryun.

But that’s okay because we have Park Kiwoong and Yeon Mijoo in supporting roles!! I’m particularly keeping my eyes on these two. Yeon Mijoo’s a pretty much unknown actress at this point, but her last role in Just Looking/That Fool was one of the best things about that drama. Funny can’t even begin to describe it.

And honourable mention must be given to Kim Hwanhee (in the above pic) who acts as Lee Pyeongeon and whose cuteness is just endless! Two years ago, she was Lee Dahae’s daughter in the drama Robbers. And even though I didn’t manage to finish it, I still vividly remember a scene where she was wailing and rolling on the ground, being a generally bratty kid. Gawd, that was SO adorable.

Continue watch it? I think so. I watched these first 5 episodes in less than a day. And unless it goes totally bonkers, I would still love to see how things pan out. I can tell how things would end, but hopefully that wouldn’t take away my enjoyment in watching it. So far, it hasn’t.

Reminiscing on Coffee Prince

In anticipation for Gong Yoo’s return from the army (in less than 2 weeks!!!!), I started watching the 2007 drama Coffee Prince again yesterday, just for the heck of it. I was full, having gone to an All You Can Eat dinner, and couldn’t sleep. What’s a girl to do? Rewatch a favourite drama, duh!

When the Coffee Prince craze hit during Summer of 2007, I was back home, where there was limited internet access. Downloading the episodes was out of question. Streaming took forever (plus, there weren’t many streaming outlets then). So pretty much the only alternative was to wait for the fake DVDs to come out before finally getting back here and downloaded all the episodes, complete with subs.

Coffee Prince was/is such a wonderful drama. It was very well executed with great music, believable developments, all around fabulous acting, and chemistry flying all over the place. I think the attention, the high ratings, and the general fever thus created was mucho deserving. Of course it’s not perfect or anything, but it’s pretty close!

For Gong Yoo’s part, this is the drama that catapulted his profile. I have always liked him and he’s got fantastic flair for comedy, but his choice of roles doesn’t seem to go for the popular ones. I have enjoyed most of his movies and I also did enjoy his drama with Gong Hyojin, Biscuit Teacher, but damnit, I’m still trying to forget that he had any dealings whatsoever in the mess that was One Fine Day.

I really do think that Hankyul is a revelation tho. He’s natural and seemingly just at ease as he moves within the character. He’s cheeky to his granny, sweet to his mom, cool to his ‘habit’ Han Yoojoo, tough to his employees, and all of the above to Eunchan. Gosh, I really can’t wait for Gong Yoo to start doing projects again.

I won’t praise Gong Yoo without of course, praising the leading lady. Yoon Eunhye was successful in throwing herself into Eunchan. She shed off whatever celebrity vanity she had and just knocked Eunchan right out. Watching her mannerism as Eunchan; the way she walks, talks, eats; if her face had had just a tiny bit more masculinity, he really could fool people into believing that he is a guy.

I was watching the Coffee Prince Special and the extent of Yoon Eunhye’s attachment to Eunchan is huge. Off screen, she even cried because she didn’t want to ‘break up’ with Eunchan. With her hard work this is easily the best acting she’s displayed. I don’t know what she was thinking when she picked up My Fair Lady and where all this goodness she’s accumulated from Coffee Prince was. I think she’s got promising talent, but she really needs to practice it. Take roles more often and diversify. Stop doing all those CFs and modeling and get to the real acting work. Last time I check, Yoon Eunhye’s main title is still an actress, not a model. So then, the logical thing would be to do some acting.

It’s been such a fun weekend, reminiscing on Coffee Prince. I was so immersed in the drama that it wasn’t until I watched the behind the scene at the end that it hit me that Lee Eon’s gone. The burly but lovable Hwang Minyeob is so bright on screen that it’s hard to remember that Eon has died. They showed the real taping of Lee Eon’s audition for Minyeob and at one point he broke into a grin (the cap above) and I felt really sad to see that. I haven’t seen any of his other projects, but without a doubt, Hwang Minyeob will be a character I forever remember. May he rest in peace.

I’m sort of tempted to do like a marathon review for all my favourite dramas that I haven’t really blabbed on here. I’m not sure if I’m going to do that, but maybe as things slow down during the winter break, it can be realized.

He’s OUT!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

OHMYGAWD! Just read this from Dahee Fanel’s blog!

After a string of stars getting INTO the military, I am so doubly happy for those that are getting out.

My awesome Park Chulsoo aka Chun Jungmyung is out! I literally screamed when I read the news. I did read that he was getting out SOON, but I didn’t realize it was THIS soon. Gosh, I am so over the moon.

I admit that other than What’s Up Fox and the first few episodes of Goodbye Solo, I have not really followed Chun Jungmyung’s projects. It was just that one fantastic drama and one fantastic character that got me head over heels.

So, I watched What’s Up Fox around last year, about 4 days before my final exams started. I didn’t expect anything from it and was just flipping around a drama streaming website out of boredom. Imagine my panic when I found out that I JUST could not stop watching. And I believe that it was between failing and passing the course. I had done so badly in the midterm that I needed to boost up the final to pass. It was the biggest dilemma between finishing the drama and actually studying for the exam.

In the end, the drama won. I am weak like that.

What’s Up Fox is about this unlikely pairing of two people with a 9 years age difference. She has known him since he was born and he had always known her as his much older sister’s best friend. Yep, it’s a case of Noona love.

Chun Jungmyung and Go Hyunjung had SO much chemistry that the premise worked. Of course, Go Hyunjung rocked it, it’s just a given with her, seemingly. I really enjoyed the drama and one of the reasons is Chun Jungmyung’s portrayal of Chulsoo. Chulsoo was such a fun loving, cute guy. He’s sometimes childish, but other times he shows profound maturity. Sometimes, I would just randomly remember the way Chulsoo grins and that would just lift up my day.

Bottom line is, I’m so happy to see Chun Jungmyung out of the army. I sure hope that we’ll see him on screen soon. Maybe he can guest in Strong Heart!! OMG, just the thought of it makes me antsy in anticipation!

Another one who’s coming out of military service is Gong Yoo, who’s like my first ever Korean crush, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. WOOOOTTT..

Guess the Abs

Does that picture above match the picture below??

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So, one of my biggest misteries in life has finally been answered.

I’ve watched a whole bunch of 1 Night 2 Days and we’ve been given glimpses that underneath his clothes lies a built body. I even asked, to my embarrassment, on his thread if there’s any ANY picture at all of Seunggi being topless to pretty much no avail. I’ve seen view from the back, but really, it’s the front part I want to see badly.

Therefore, on this day, I’m having a hard time picking my jaw from the floor after seeing this interview.

What a beautiful body. I wish I can smear some honey on it.

I need to neutralize myself for a bit.

Back to cutie Lee Seunggi..

You’re Beautiful, Ep 13-14

General Summary: Taekyung ‘allows’ Minam’s feelings for him and declares, to save face, that because he’s a star, he’s used to receiving a lot of love from people. But simple Minam perceives this as Taekyung accepting Minam as his fans. LOLs, to say it simply, it backfires in Taekyung’s face. But the nosy reporter finds Minam’s picture dressed in a girl’s clothes and is chasing for the real truth. Manager Ma reveals that the girl in the picture is merely Minam’s twin sister Minyeo and that she is dating Shinwoo. Meanwhile, thick bitch Mo Hwaran finally meets her beloved Lyricist Go’s child, who is of course, none other than Minam. But she can see that this child is not Minam, but Minyeo. If only she can use her sense of perception to see how she has hurt her own blood son!

Minam and Shinwoo are scheduled to go to Busan to meet Shinwoo’s parents as their charade. Shinwoo tells Minam that he wants the relationship to be real, not just an act. He says that she can board the plane when she’s ready to do that. On the other hand, Taekyung is not willing to send Minam alone with Shinwoo and chases them to the airport, worrying that if Minam goes to Busan, she might not like him as much anymore when she gets back. Minam, decidedly not accepting Shinwoo’s proposal, prepares to go back home, which is how Taekyung finds her.

Overcome with joy (that she doesn’t go with Shinwoo), Taekyung tells her he gives her 100% score. Minam doesn’t get it the first and Taekyung ends up hitting her square by saying ‘I..you.. I like you.’ So, we’ve established that they both like each other. Jeremy finds out that Minam likes Taekyung. Heartbroken, he gets all emo and sad, asking her why she doesn’t like him instead. He is the one who liked her when he thought she was a boy and continued to like her as a girl. He is the one who got on the bus with her and sang a song for her, etc.

Now, for some Mo Hwaran bitch time. Minam overhears President Ahn talking about the true relationship between Mo Hwaran and her dad and is shocked to find out they were lovers. Even more, she is shocked to realize that her mother gave birth to her and her brother alone and died alone after being abandoned by her father. Minam prepares to confront Mo Hwaran, but bitch knows her game. She calls Taekyung and reveals that the child of the man she loved is someone Taekyung knows and is close with, Minam. Seeing that Minam knows about these secrets all along, Taekyung is pissed. It’s the combination of ‘Why did you lie and not say anything?’ and ‘How can you be the child of the man I hate so much?’ that gets Taekyung worked up. From afar, Shinwoo watches this exchange.

OMG, the 2nd last week!!! I don’t know how to feel. I cannot wait to see how things wrap up, but I so am not looking forward to having nothing to look for on Wednesdays and Thursdays, gawwwd. I almost wish that it would be like Smile You who just got an extension on 16 episodes. Man, 16 more episodes of You’re Beautiful would rock my world! So anyways, on to this week’s episodes.

There are some moments I really liked and some that I find are just bleh. Like the whole Mo Hwaran thing, I tend to skip them because not only I don’t like Mo Hwaran, this thing seems to be developed just to present the main couple with some external conflicts (so, they are finished with their internal conflicts and now need to stand up together to withstand the external conflict and go ride to the sunset together). Basically, just to buy us one full episode of angst, ‘We can’t be together a la Romeo and Juliet’ and the whole nine yards. We already know that Minam and Taekyung are going to end up together, so it annoys me that Hong Sisters continue to follow their usual pattern of separating the main couple two episodes before the end just for a short time.

Tho I admit that this thing is not developed at the last minute, but instead stewed over the course of the drama, so it looks more legit as THAT elephant in the room that will be revealed sometime towards the end and create uber shock!! But still, in the end, this is just plot device. It’s so much like the usual Hong Sister’s Romcom drama structure. And I’m not impressed.

One more thing is Jeremy’s emoness this episode. I was like, HUH??? We have seen Shinwoo harbouring such deep love for Minam, so it is understandable when he is sad and heartbroken over the fact that Minam likes Taekyung. But Jeremy? What the hell? I do not see the logic why he expects Minam to like him. Just because he does all those things he lists doesn’t mean that Minam must return the favour by liking him. Geez. Again, it seems that this is just thrown in this episode to put some closure in Jeremy’s feelings. But still, I didn’t buy his supposed feelings.

The redeeming quality is however Lee Hongki’s acting!! Even if I didn’t buy Jeremy, I was totally sold on Hongki’s acting in that scene. He immerses himself into Jeremy and watching him in that scene, it feels like he really believes in Jeremy’s setup. Jeremy in the real world is supposed to be fun and full of laughs. But inside his own world, i.e the bus, Jeremy can pour his real feelings, his anger, his sadness, his real emotions out. Something that I don’t think even Shinwoo and Taekyung have witnessed. Once he’s out of the bus, he needs to resume being Jeremy, the Fun guy.

So for me, even though this scene was ‘eh’, it was worth it just to see Hongki’s best acting yet.

Another revelation is Uee’s acting. True, she was in monster drama Queen Seondeok, but yeah, I didn’t see that. So I was surprised to see that she’s quite the natural in acting. I’ve seen her in variety shows, but this is the first time I see her acting. I was hesitant and unsure at having two idols in one drama, but they prove to not be a let down. I enjoy Yoo Heyi when she’s being a straight up bitch and orders people away. I totally had fun watching her invading the A.N.Jell’s abode and create havoc.

And Taekyung and Minam have been SO CUTE!! Save for the sad part in episode 14, they were the cutest thing in the world! Throughout watching episode 13 and 14, I probably squealed like 20 times. The ‘Fanclub Test’ part was adorable, yet also funnny to boot. The airport scene where Taekyung told Minam he liked her was also super super cute. Minam gets all flustered and started hiccuping whenever the word ‘Like’ is mentioned. Realizing this, Taekyung takes full advantage, lols.. Taekyung also drags Minam to the theatre saying that he needs her eyes in navigating through the dark room and they end up sleeping throughout the movie (which is Jang Donggun’s Good Morning President, lols, not a good publicity for the movie, now is it??). And Taekyung steals a kiss, once again, hahaha.

I have lost words trying to describe them. They’re just TOO CUTE!

Oh, and there’s hinting that the real Minam, the boy, is going to come back!! From the preview, it seems that Park Shinhye plays the boy Minam as well, so it’s going to be interesting to see Park Shinhye portraying the actual boy Minam, not the girl who pretends to be a boy, Minyeo.

As usual, I can’t wait for next week! Wohoo!

You’re Beautiful on the Second Half

yb3

Whoah, now that we have passed the 10th episode mark, You’re Beautiful only gets better. I didn’t expect to watch it, let alone totally and absolutely loving the drama. So, You’re Beautiful has become this little sensation in the K-Drama land. Viewers rating is mediocre at best, but it is THE talked about drama with tons of passionate fans, locally and internationally. Its competition, Iris is the one getting high viewership, but You’re Beautiful scores some really die hard passionate fans.

With funny and fresh writing, great acting, and addictive music, You’re Beautiful is my current IT drama (I still follow Iris and Smile, You but nowhere as dedicated as following You’re Beautiful). Without fail, every Wednesdays and Thursdays, the moment I wake up in the morning, I think about the time I can finally watch the drama in the evening (boo school and work taking up my mornings). Will Taekyung get himself in yet another trouble because of Minam? Will Heyi be bald the next time I see her (lol, if you watched every episode, you’d know what I mean)?

For me, I feel like this is Hong Sister’s best drama so far, in terms of writing that is. Delightful Girl Choonhyang was so tiring in its angst and the ridiculous conflicts coming from all fronts. It was a lot of fun for the first several episodes or so, but the majority of the 2nd phase was depressing. I ended up fast forwarding so many episodes. My Girl, still a favourite, had better mix of comedy and angst, but not only some aspects were pretty much directly copied from DGCH, there were some far too stretched out stuff.

On the other side of the extreme, Fantasy Couple was so far from angsty. It did have some of that melodrama moments, but it was mostly funny and quirky. I would categorize it more on Comedy rather than Romance or Romcom. But I really had a lot of fun watching it because I thought it was so different than the preceding dramas which were banking on romance and melodrama 80% of the time. Hong Gildong, I couldn’t even stand past episode 12, so I’d better not comment.

So now, You’re Beautiful has the perfect mix of melodrama, romance, and comedy. It’s like somewhere between My Girl and Fantasy Couple. This is what I feel so far anyway. I don’t know if the next 6 episodes will be disappointing. The leads have awesome chemistry, but what I really like is that they have a great sense of camaraderie. Part of it is because there’s that Hyung/Dongsaeng/Bandmate relationship going on, but also the main couple is given scenes and moments where the underlying vibe is not romantic at all. I felt that while watching Delightful Girl Choonhyang and My Girl, the main couple is shoved in our face. It’s like every single scene reminds us that THIS is the couple and they belong together forever. Whereas in You’re Beautiful, we know that Taekyung/Minam is the prescribed couple, but not every scene is of romantic vibe.

yb4

So, You Are Beautiful is now on the double digit episode. Episode 11 came out today. I am actually watching it as I’m typing. After a couple of angst driven episode, this is a fresh and light offering. At the end of episode 10, Minam (Minyeo) intended to reveal that she was a girl. But Shinwoo jumped in to save her. This marks the first episode that I actually like Shinwoo. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Shinwoo, I just found that his sudden feelings for Minam were not convincing and that he was pretty bland as a character and due to amateur acting. But in this episode, I finally felt Shinwoo as a value adding entity in Minam’s life. He’s ready to help her, but Minam doesn’t depend on Shinwoo.

I also am liking Jeremy A LOT. Jeremy may not be a deep and profound character, but he is such a source of energy that I feel is necessary in the group. Taekyung is all prickly while Shinwoo is too much of a softie, but Jeremy is cute and plushy. He’s like the Energizer Bunny actually. Or you know what, I think Bugs Bunny is a more apt analogy. He can chatter non stop and is all over the place. But unlike Bugs Bunny, Jeremy’s not the brightest crayon in the box.

But enough about the main guys. The supporting act also needs a mention. Manager Hong, Stylist Wang, and President Ahn are part of the management. Ahn Sajang, particularly, is a total HOOT! He keeps spouting random english phrases and it is hilarious. In episode 11, he was drinking with the other two when suddenly he got up and was all like ‘Excuse me, nature calls me.’ in English. At the blank look of his subordinates, he clarified ‘I said I’m going to the bathroom.’ LOLS..

Manager Hong is the one behind Minam’s pig nose and he’s had so many hilarious moments in the series. I love his Harry Potter glasses by the way, haha. And last, who can forget Stylist Wang and her luminous balls. I remember sipping a carton of barley tea or something when I watched that scene, and it literally burst into my laptop screen. I’m not kidding, the man balls scene was definitely one of those unforgettable moments in You’re Beautiful.

I’m a little disappointed in Choi Ran’s role here as Aunt Go. Moneygrubbing, vain, and I felt that her importance is diminishing by the minute. And I kinda wish that we have some scenes with Aunt Go and Minam together as a way to develop some bond and connection. But it seems like now, Minam and Aunt Go continue to be strangers who just happen to live in the same house.

So, 5 more episodes of You’re Beautiful and 2 more weeks. I’m impatient to see how things conclude, but arrrgggh, I’m going to be pretty sad having to say goodbye to this drama.

Kim Hyunjoong in Kimi Wa Petto

What an interesting career choice. And here I thought we wouldn’t see him acting again for a long long time. Not so lucky, apparently.

According to Javabeans, Hyunjoong has been cast in the Korean remake of the Japanese drama Kimi Wa Petto. I have criticized Hyunjoong’s active extensively here and while I made some excuses for him while I was watching Boys Over Flowers simply because I am a fan, this is going to be hard. I don’t watch a lot of Japanese dramas, but Kimi Wa Petto is one of my favourites. I actually like it better than the Hana Yori Dango series and will be sorely pissed if this drama is butchered in the Korean version.

Kimi Wa Petto inherently is not a quality drama anyway, I admit to that, but the chemistry between Koyuki and Matsujun was so explosive and that was the one that carried the drama till the end. I shall wait to see if Hyunjoong can make this connection to his leading lady. Rumour is swirling around the name of Su Ae, who I find interesting. I like her, but can’t make the connection yet. Actually I have someone in mind to possibly be the Korean Sumire: Kim Hyunjoo, coincidentally also in Boys Over Flowers as Junpyo’s older sister Junhee. Now, SHE, I can see being Sumire.

But let’s get to the point. Hyunjoong acting? What the heck? I was super super happy that SS501 finally made their comeback with a great album and a bunch of variety show guesting. It is time for them to prove that they are a strong group who can compete with the other overly synthethized singers. And it seems that this time, they are actually making some noise on the comeback. Naturally, I thought the focus would be on SS501 as a group, and less than on the individual member. This is a very disappointing news because once again, I see the spotlight going to one person only.

Also, let’s be honest here. There is no way in hell that Hyunjoong can measure up to Matsujun’s Momo/Takeshi Goda of Kimi Wa Petto. The cheeky man child, who is cute, yet has a strong sex appeal and charisma. Lee Minho might be able to potray Domyouji better than Matsujun, but Hyunjoong to portray Momo? Nowhere near. I don’t need to reiterate any more how hideous Hyunjoong’s acting skill is because I got quite some flak for doing that last time.

The thing is, as a fan, I want him to have lots of projects, but projects that are actually highlighting his talent, not his shortcomings. But alas, who knows? Maybe Hyunjoong has been attending intensive acting classes? Maybe he will surprise us with great acting? Let’s wait for that day.

On a last note, Hyunjoong’s been looking so delicious lately. I’m loving the current hairdo and the darker colour. Just saw him in Champagne and Chocolate, and yum yum yum..