Monthly Archives: March 2010

Bad News

It saddens me that I have to bring this into your line of vision. I couldn’t help it because this issue is quite urgent and has to be brought to the table. The pain is unbearable for me to bottle this up inside (dramatic, much?).

*picture taken from Lee Seunggi World*

But WTF is going on top of Lee Seunggi’s head? It looks like he’s got squid sitting and gliding around on top of his head. Or is it that he hasn’t shampooed for a week and sets the curling iron on the loose?? Or is he trying to ugly himself down for fear of the ahjummas trying to marry him off to their daughters?

I saw a picture of Seunggi in the Baeksang award, but that did not compare to what I’m seeing here. Now, Lee Seunggi is one of the Princes of my lil black heart, but that doesn’t mean that I will just sit back and stew over this madness in silence. What in the name of all things holy was he thinking?? Is this supposed to be the new look for the drama he’s preparing? If it is, then I will have to question the credibility of this drama’s costume director.

If you say that Hwan of Brilliant Legacy had similar birdnest hairdo, I beg to differ. Hwan at least looked hot, especially with that scowl on his face. But this, is pretty bad. He needs to modify this look a bit, or he will look like *gasp* Robert Pattinson. The horrors.

Oh! My Lady, episode 1-3

Time for one of those First Impression posts!

My interest for Oh My Lady wasn’t that high. In the horizon, we were expecting a war between 3 dramas, Cinderella’s Unnie (I’m in!), Prosecuter Princess (IN!), Personal Taste (So in!). Cinderella’s Unnie features probably the best casting ever in the history of dramas. Prosecutor Princess has the awesome awesome Kim Soyeon playing a thick skinned ditz. And Personal Taste has Lee Minho and Son Yejin. In my head, I was wondering: HOW SHALT THOU CHOOSE?????

The answer is that no, you DON’T choose. You WATCH everything.

As you can see, this makes for very busy Wednesday/Thursday nights and overall week. On top of it, I still have to finish Chuno and Tamra the Island. Not to mention that I’m also following the sitcom More Charming by the Day. One might wonder how one person can juggle her love for dramas and her obligation as a student? You do lots of procrastination is how you do it.

Even though I admit that I MIGHT not even stick to all these dramas till the end, I have no time to think about even adding another one. That is, until I saw the preview of Oh My Lady.

The preview was nothing exciting. The plot and overall setup are not original or fresh. Noona Love? Check. Hottie Ex-girlfriend? Check. Cool Professional Rival? Check. Yes, it’s a check on all of these and more. But for some reason, the preview drew me. And no, it’s not the Choi Siwon’s Killer Abs factor (which they see fit to flaunt every single episode). But I found that I loved the dynamic between Chae Rim and Choi Siwon.

It also helps that these two people have not headed any dramas I’ve watched in a while. The last time I saw Chae Rim was when I went back in time and watched All About Eve sometime last year. And while I did catch Choi Siwon in Legend of Hyangdan, it was a long time ago and I didn’t even finish the drama. So, watching feels a lot of fun! It’s fun discovering that Choi Siwon is not a bad actor, and it’s fun finally watching Chae Rim again.

What I like so far: Chae Rim, Choi Siwon, Moon Junghee, and Uber Cutie Kim Yoobin.

The last 2 dramas of Chae Rim went unfinished. I thought Powerful Opponent was so boring and heck I fear for the life of the President of Korea if his bodyguards are that childish. Good Job, Good Job also didn’t hold my interest. But now it seems like Chae Rim is back in business. Although it’s kinda sad that 3 out of 4 of her latest works ALL has her as either an Ahjumma or an Older Woman Love Interest. Heck, she’s only 31. This is when she should be blossoming and playing more and more challenging role. But oh well, she IS entertaining and she does have a knack for comedy.

I only know Choi Siwon as one of the many members of Super Junior. At this moment, it’s not clear if his career as a singer is bright or not, but it’s clear that he should definitely do more acting. He’s not breathtakingly good yet, but he’s also not as bad as some other singer turned actor. I remember in a variety show that out of all Shinhwa members (see how Shinhwa creeps in just like that?), Choi Siwon looks up to Eric for his acting career. And even though I think Eric’s acting is still better as of now, I actually think Choi Siwon is more natural than Eric. His mannerism is so much more natural. Like Eric, he also has a good comic timing. I do think he has a tendency to overdo his ‘Frustrated’ and ‘Forlorn’ acting, but that kind of ease would be earned as we go along, I suppose. Also, forgive me, Elfs, but Choi Siwon really has a greasy look going for him. But I love that he utilizes it to the fullest in this drama to portray the greasy Sung Minwoo and it’s hilarious.

As for Moon Junghee, who I think is so due for a leading role, I’m loving her change of look. She’s scary and sexy at the same time, playing the dance instructor who is currently married but might have to kiss that marriage goodbye tomorrow as her hubby caught her cheating today. While I love her character, I’m not a fan of her storyline, which I will explain below.

And Kim Yoobin has got to be one of the cutest little kid in the whole world!!

What I don’t like so far: typicality, irrelevant branch story, Lee Hyunwoo, and Park Hanbyul sitting on the plane.

I remember watching Invincible Lee Pyungkang a few months ago and defending the drama by saying that despite the familiarity and typicality, I enjoyed the comedy and chemistry. But by episode 7, I was tired and jumped off board. I’m afraid the same thing will happen to Oh My Lady. I’ve seen the Younger Man/Older Woman romance numerous times. I’ve seen romance that comes out of Housekeeper/Master relations several times as well. This is crucial for Oh My Lady. The premise of the drama is pretty typical that if it cannot keep the dialogues and the interactions fresh, it will pretty much go down the drain.

Also, I mentioned about Moon Junghee’s character above. So she’s Lee Hyunwoo’s wife who got caught cheating in today’s episode. My criticism is: So What? It is so offtrack from the core story itself and it’s almost irrelevant. I feel like it is only relevant to the drama because it provides excuse for Lee Hyunwoo’s character to break free from his marriage and make connection with Chae Rim’s character over failed marriages and cheating spouses. If it is really the case, then I feel sorry for Moon Junghee who’s only there as a vehicle because she’s playing the cheating wife fantastically.

Lee Hyunwoo always makes me uncomfortable. Probably because he always looks uncomfortable himself. I’ve only seen him in 3 projects thus far and not once do I like his role or root for him to get the girl. It’s not like he’s scary and coldhearted, in fact he’s always pretty harmless but watching him is like watching the wall, so blank and flat. Plus, I don’t know why, but I barely see any chemistry between him and other actors.

Park Hanbyul hasn’t appeared much the last 3 episodes, but I wonder how long it takes from New York (yes, it’s new york AGAIN! I know there is a sizable Korean population there, but must every drama use NY?) to Korea?? She has been on the plane for all 3 episodes! I guess it’s believable and I understand this because the drama is set over a couple of days, but heck, I don’t need to see her sitting on the plane each episode. Will she sleep next? Order Vodka? Go the bathroom? Watch a movie? Oh, the curiosity!

But anyways, overall I’m enjoying the lighthearted vibe and the cute interactions. I have some reservation if the eventual romance between Choi Siwon and Chae Rim could be believable (as say, Oh Dalja and Kang Taebong??), but we will have to see for it to unfold first!

Oh and I so can’t wait for tomorrow when all 3 other dramas premiere!! Gawdness! So many dramas, which one should I pick first??

Play: Beautiful Sunday

Alright, so I admit that my intention in seeing this play is not anything remotely artistic. It’s very much in the spirit of fangirlism.

There are 3 Young Flower Boys who own the flowerboy-loving territory of my heart. They are Kim Hyunjoong, Lee Seunggi, and Jung Ilwoo. I swoon, scream, and squeal for these boys. I was hoping that during my stay here, I would at least get to see these 3 guys. I saw Hyunjoong in action already, and today was dedicated in full to see the awesome Jung Ilwoo.

Beautiful Sunday is the one play that was already in my list to see even before I arrived in Korea. I already heard of the news that Jung Ilwoo would be doing a play long before and had already made it a point to go, to hell with language barriers and all. Thankfully, I was able to coax a Korean friend to come with me so she could translate the play, hopefully live. I was planning to go but I did feel a little stupid if I was to go to the play alone and end up not understanding everything.

But anyways, let me give a little summary of the play. The play is set on a Sunday, a sunday that change the lives of 3 people: Jungjin, Eunwoo, and Joonsuk. On a Sunday morning, Jungjin finds himself in bed with a female stranger, Eunwoo and freaks out. Eunwoo used to live at the place and due to an incident, drunkenly came there last night. She is a pretty colourful personality (reads: quirky and a little psychotic, lols). Jungjin lives with his younger ‘lover’, Joonsuk. Notice that I put lover in apostrope. Joonsuk is as gay as the day and he’s contracted with HIV, yet Jungjin is clean. So theirs is a relationship that is devoid of sex, but filled with much love all the same.

Jungjin however, receives a call from his mother that she would visit today. This puts Jungjin in an even more anxious position as he has not told his mother about Joonsuk. Coincidentally, today is the 3rd anniversary of when Jungjin and Joonsuk started living together and they are holding a party. During this party, secrets are revealed and we will see if these 3 people can get their happy endings.

I went to the play only with the knowledge that Jung Ilwoo’s character is gay and is with AIDS. But surprisingly, I could actually understood most of the play. Some dialogues were totally out of my reach, and some I could only gather the gists. But they weren’t using difficult languages, so it was easier to understand. The volume and enunciation were good even though they were speaking a little fast sometimes. Plus, in all fairness, the storyline is pretty simple and it flows well so it wasn’t hard to understand.

The play itself was in a small theatre. I’m not exactly a play go-er and the only other play I’ve watched is a broadway play and comparing the 2 would be unfair. The venue is really small, probably only 200 people tops and there is only one backdrop that is used throughout the play. But because the play is about the happenings of one day, it made sense. I thought the play was pretty good. It infused a lot of humour and despite a heavier issue being brought up, the vibe was lighter. It was actually funny and had a lot of hilarious moments. It’s great that the play didn’t take itself too seriously. Another thing I liked was that because there were only 3 actors, it felt really personal, like it was really about 3 real people retelling their story.

With the comedy, it doesn’t mean that the play can’t be emotional when it calls for it. This is where I felt the language barriers the most. I could only get the gist of what was being said, but it’s the beauty of the words that really engages your emotions. People cried. But I was sitting there, frustrated at my inability to understand.

Alright, now I’ve done my dues talking about the play, I shall proceed to the fangirl-ing.

JUNG.IL.WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

It’s too bad because picture taking is only possible when the actors do their last bow. It was only for less than one minute and people were clicking their camera like crazy. My camera was freaking slow and is nowhere near the fantastic SLR quality. So pretty much all my pictures are fuzzy and blurry like the one below. Sigh.

But Jung Ilwoo was so cute. The moment he came out, the girls were literally squealing. He’s tall, fair, and oh so handsome. I didn’t think he was gonna be that….breathtaking, but even my friend didn’t expect him to be that good looking. And people, the next scene was him being shirt-LESS! Again, I didn’t think there was gonna be one, but hell yeah, thank you very much. He’s not the most muscular guy, but compared to when he did Return of Iljimae, he is more built now. I was sitting next to 4 huge fans of Jung Ilwoo and they literally SCREAMED when he came out without his shirt on, lols. It was all fine and dandy but then the bitch right next to me actually won a lottery for a gift. GRR.

I can see why Jung Ilwoo fits for this role. He has been noted for his pretty face in the past and with his posture and overall looks, he IS in the Flower Boy category. I don’t know if this is something he studied for the character Joonsuk, but his mannerisms during the play felt feminine as well. I’ve seen some non acting videos of him and he does gives off that happy go lucky harmless vibe, but I would think that some unfamiliar viewers would wave him off as being too girly. Which works, in the context of this play.

I know I’ve said Flower Boy at least twice here. But I think Jung Ilwoo is definitely moving away from that image. He can’t help it if he’s a pretty guy, but I admire how he takes his work really seriously. Without looking at his acting skills, his short resume already has some diverse characters. In this stage play, he’s a cheerful and innocent gay guy. This is in contrast with his previous roles. Iljimae in Return of Iljimae was intense and flawed and I thought, sexy as hell. Taeyoon of disaster drama My Fair Lady was the epitome of perfect guy.

The fact that he chose to act in a stage play instead of in front of cameras is something interesting as well. With cameras, actors are still helped by camera angle, lighting, music, etc to convey emotions. But in stage plays, you gotta connect with your audience right there and then. The play had minimal music and lighting, so it was virtually the actors that were responsible for impressing the audience. Jung Ilwoo talked about feeling awkward acting right in front of audience and to tell you the truth, as a viewer, I felt somewhat awkward as well in the first half an hour or so. But the actors were able to draw me from that initial awkwardness and it was a really enjoyable ride.

I wondered about the extent of Jung Ilwoo’s popularity in Korea. I don’t have a clear picture, but I think that while he’s not the most popular or the most good looking, Jung Ilwoo’s got a solid popularity. So for him to choose to act in a small venue every single day for almost 2 months shows that he is serious about this thing called acting. His acting still needs work, there’s still stiffness issue, IMO, but I am sure he’s getting there slowly.

Jung Ilwoo, right now, might not break grounds with his characters, but he’s already shopping around and looking for more challenges. Who knows, he can be the next Kang Dongwon if he keeps up.

The play is wrapping up this Sunday. As of now, tickets for the last show are sold out, even for the Friday and Saturdays there are only a few left. I want to go see it again, but yeah, I currently don’t have a money growing tree.

Some more pictures:

And last, as I bow out:

Highkick Through the Roof Ends

(The two 86-ers of Highkick)

So Highkick Through the Roof ended on Friday. And it’s a contender for one of the suckiest sitcom endings EVER. Korea should know how to make sitcoms that is funny and character oriented without having to resort to the melodramatics and sap.

Throughout the 125 episodes of Highkick, the sitcom has been a wonderful viewing. Tho characters are not necessarily the most realistic characters, but they are full of little quirks that they are believable in their own little world. There’s the well meaning but annoying son in law, there’s the little girl whose middle name is Bratty with capital B, there’s a boy on the gate of adulthood who is rebellious but is sweet at heart. All these characters were charming, even down to the supporting role like Inna the popstar wannabe or Gwangsoo the jobless sweetheart.

The stories have been really fun as well, helped by many cameos around here and there. From Yoon Jongshin, who stole Jungeum’s kiss in the most hilarious way, to Pierre Deporte as the delusional pastry chef who kept asking Sekyung out on a date. The cameos are not the biggest factor, but they do add a little spice here and there and let’s face it, it’s more fun to see familiar faces on the screen.

Basically, I just want to say that the last 6 months (or 5 for me) of watching Highkick were really wonderful times. I started out hating Haeri, who is played fantastically, but in the end, Haeri was probably one of my favourite character. She was selfish to no end, but pure and honest at heart. I watched the series for Hwang Jungeum and true she is still my favourite, but I grew to like other characters as well.

But the last 2 weeks, as the show was wrapping up its loose ends, it went down the typical route: Angst. A little background here. Jungeum the tutor and Jihoon the doctor have been secretely dating. Jungeum was tutoring Junhyuk under the lies that she’s a student of the prestigious SNU. When she confessed to Junhyuk’s mother, who’s also Jihoon’s older sister, she was naturally fired and earned herself an emotional buttkick. At the same time, her parents’ business went south and she was forced to not only fend for herself but also for her family by doing various oddjobs and part-timing. The peak of this was when Jungeum felt so pressured that she broke up with Jihoon.

On the other hand, Sekyung the housekeeper received news from her dad that they would immigrate out of the country soon. Hearing this, Junhyuk was crushed. Despite knowing that Sekyung liked Jihoon, Junhyuk told her sincerely how he felt but Sekyung was set on going.

This was basically the position of everyone before the ending. There are other stories, but in all honesty, fans are mostly flocking to how this love quadrangle would dealt in the end. At times there have been blurry lines, but there were always 2 couples that were clearer than the other variations. Junhyuk/Sekyung and Jihoon/Jungeum. So far, the built up pointed to this permutation.

Thus, imagine my fury when the PDs/Writers didn’t give me my most deserved happy ending. The ending was the kind of ending that is supposed to be beautiful, haunting, and an open ending where viewers are left to their own devices to conclude what happened. To me, the ending was nothing but a stupid ending.

The series basically ended with the implication that Jihoon and Sekyung died in a car accident with Sekyung on her way to the airport and Jihoon on his way to pursue Jungeum in her home city. But in the car, Jihoon and Sekyung died together. What? Because they can’t be together physically in this world, the production people think it’s clever to let them be together in the netherworld?

I swear to god, it’s bull-fucking-shit.

Not only the ending was so far out of anything we’ve seen until episode 125, it was also an ending that was there just to create sensation. Instead of a sitcom, HKTtR would do better to categorize itself as a Banjun, with unexpected and irrational ending. Who cares about continuity when you can gain high ratings from ridiculous twists??

Another beef of mine is that this is a SITCOM, for god’s sake. Last I checked, the COM stands for Comedy. I see barely any of that in the last 2 weeks of HKTtR and pretty much zero in the last episode. If you want to call yourself a Comedy, doesn’t that entail making people laugh? Making people happy? The only happiness I felt was that I was rid of this sitcom and am ready to forget about the godawful ending.

No, I don’t regret getting through 125 episodes, it was a great fun watching so many of the characters. So, Highkick Through the Roof was an enjoyable sitcom, OVERALL. But it will be remiss if I don’t say it out loud: The ending was shit!

Next up, I can’t wait to see Hwang Jungeum and Jung Boseok in Giant next! Hopefully 50 episodes won’t be a painful journey! And Jin Jihee must must must do something soon. She’s the cutest thing ever!

Watch the last episode: HERE

Otherwise, good night and thanks PDs/Writers for ruining the sitcom for me. Cheers!

Didn’t Mean to..

post about CN Blue twice in a row. But I had to, upon seeing this abomination…

WHO THE HELL DARED TO MESS WITH JUNGSHIN’S HAIR??????????

WHO?

Please don’t tell me this will be Jungshin’s new do. Because if it is, then I will have to resort to kick him to the curb and have Minhyuk serenade to me instead, as Jungshin went from being the cool samurai to a middle age woman.

Guy is 18, why he needs to look like he’s a malnourished ahjumma is beyond me.

Fangirl Failure

Plan was that Sunday would be used to stalk the band CN Blue during a store opening in Seoul. I was hoping for a little performance, but even if they only wave around and look pretty, it would still be fine. I’d just quietly take pictures, scream a little, and be done with it.

I was so sure of myself. Because some people DID get to see them performing in Coex a couple of weeks back. Of course I thought I would be privy to that awesomeness as well.

Sunday was a rainy day. Of course, people would probably rather stay home, wouldn’t they? I mean, it’s raining and all. So I took my time getting there. I let my little friend chat with her little friends she ran into. I also bought a little umbrella first. I let our buss pass by because I was standing too far from where it stopped. It was fine, bussing to the location was a mere 15 minute matter. I got there at exactly 4 o’clock on the dot.

There were SO many people outside of the store, all with their umbrella opened up. Oh, they were still waiting for the band! The bodyguards were already yelling and people were already lining up to get into the store. Crap, I missed the band’s grand entrance. And then they were screaming!!! As much as I craned my neck, I couldn’t see what they were screaming at. Was it a sighting? Was it Yonghwa flashing his pearly whites? Was it Jungshin…being awesome?? WHAT??

And then I was in the walkway and the bodyguards were yelling at me to please keep it moving and get the hell out of their way. There were people on the line and despite the line seemingly not moving at all, I was wondering what the line was for and wanted to be on the line. The line was apparently for autograph. They would be standing for probably an hour in the rain. Uhhh, right, I think I would rather eat.

And that concludes my story of a failed attempt of being a fangirl. This is the only picture I could get. CN Blue is somewhere inside.

Don’t Judge Me….

but I am so addicted to Kara’s new song Lupin.

I’m loving their new all black gothic look. So chic and sophisticated with darker colour. I think the song itself is not especially amazing on the vocal side, in fact I think vocal wise, it’s so lacking. But it is sooooo damn catchy. The first time I listened to it, I didn’t think of much. I thought it was okay. But after hearing the song several more times, it got better.

Definitely, the choreography is its strongest point. It’s got some crazy contagious dance moves and arrangements. What I like about the dance moves is that they’re really high energy and fast paced. The girls must be great athletes to be bouncing up and down like that.

I think I don’t need to go into expensive aerobic classes. I’ll just need lots of hours practicing this routine.