Monthly Archives: August 2010

Finally Airing! My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

The wait is over! The new Lee Seunggi/Shin Minah drama finally started airing and is on its third week now. I was so psyched last week because this is a drama that I had been anticipating so much and followed every news even remotely relating to it. But really, with all the casting mindfuck happening a few months ago, it’s hard to remain ignorant about this drama. The good news is that all the media attention created a buzz leading up to the premiere, but it also made for some high expectations. Another drama about to air, Playful Kiss, also undergoes similar situation, but while I am not placing much hope on that one, I was revved up for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. And I was so glad (and also relieved) that the start was a strong as I had hoped for.

I was thinking of doing a full recap or review, but I think the drama has been discussed enough and to be honest, I don’t have a lot to add to the mix either. The drama is fun and entertaining but at this very early stage, we don’t have much on hand, in terms of statements or plot points, that can be a source of hefty arguments or discussions.

One qualm that I must voice however is that I hope the Hong Sisters keep the tandem like this. They have a tendency to lose steam after 4/5 of the drama, leaving painfully corny last episodes and quite often half assed endings. Actually, from all of Hong Sisters dramas I’ve watched (Hong Gil Dong being the sole one unfinished), I have never truly liked their endings. Chunhyang’s was pretty good, but My Girl’s, Fantasy Couple’s and You’re Beautiful’s endings, despite satisfying enough, left a lot to be desired. Most often, by episode 13 or 14 the drama would descend into doom and gloom. The main couple would be separated, usually by an external force, until some big declaration of love reuniting them in the last stretch of the final hour. I’m not sure if it’s pointless to even hope anymore at this point, but who knows? Improvements always come in progress.

That was one thing to hate about the Hong Sisters, but there are a lot to love. For one, I LOVE their male lead characters. It is one thing they do best and their male leads always end up being a highlight. Sometimes the female leads are equally strong like Anna of Fantasy Couple, or other times, they just totally pale in comparison a la Go Minyeo of You’re Beautiful. One way or another, you ALWAYS remember the male leads. Childish but charming Lee Mongryong, the cool and guillible Seol Gongchan, the loud and stingy Jang Chulsoo, and the prickly pig-hating Hwang Taekyung.

This far in the game, I’m glad to say that the level of playing field between Gu Miho and Cha Daewoong of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is more equal. Hell, if I can be honest, Shin Minah is totally stealing the show with the unassuming portrayal of the 500 year old Gumiho. Lee Seunggi showed a lot of improvements from last year Brilliant Legacy. He’s still mired with overacting and underemoting, but nothing so unbearable to watch. He’s got expressive eyes, and he excels in scenes that shows his character’s disappointment and vulnerability. Lee Seunggi is cute as Daewoong, but Shin Minah is downright ADORABLE. I don’t really follow her career, but the general opinion on her is that she’s gorgeous but not a strong actress. So I was surprised at how much I like her Gumiho portrayal. She seems to really throw herself into her character. Not a good cryer from what I’ve seen so far, but great in everything else. With Hong Sister’s previous track records with female leads, I just think it’s fantastic that now they are paying more attention to their female leads.

Hopefully, not only this trend is continuing, but they will also start humanizing their secondary leads and actually breathe them some lives. The second females in  Hong Sisters dramas usually go by the name Stuck-up Bitch and the second males usually Wimpy Prick. They just change face. One time it was Park Siyeon, now it’s Park Soojin. Then Jung Yonghwa, presently Noh Minwoo. But who knows, now that main lead Lee Seunggi is so deliciously wimpy, maybe Noh Minwoo will go back to Hong Sisters’ First Gen Secondary Male: Mastermind Eeeeviiil (remember Uhm Taewoong as the creepy ahjussi in Chunhyang?).

I have to admit tho that I am actually liking Noh Minwoo, which is a first. I don’t usually go for charming second leads and I thought Noh Minwoo was crapping all over Pasta. And true, his acting needs a lot of work, his line delivery is pretty painful to watch. But he’s got great chemistry with Shin Minah and I find myself enjoying their scenes immensely. Although it’s not possible, I think I wouldn’t mind if the Gumiho and the Slayer end up together. Ah, it’ll be kinda sad when the OTP’s getting closer and he’s getting all left out.

Anyways, I’m out to watch episode 6 now! May My Girlfriend is a Gumiho prove to be a solid romcom till the end.

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Lettuce Love, part 5b

This recap comes in the heels of Hyunjoong changing management agency and possibly destroying the future of SS501. On top of that he managed to score a lead (which in my opinion is not deserving) in yet another bubblegum drama Playful Kiss So I probably would be pretty negative with the dude. However, it also comes right after pictures of said drama circulating about the internet and hell, dude is looking smokin’. So I’m gonna sprinkle that bit of positivity here.

Also, I’m sure, you’ve seen the hotass bikini photo of Hwangbo. THAT is the body I will dream about when I am running on the treadmill. As if Hwangbo wasn’t already so awesome.

Anyways, on to episode 19!

We start with Hwangbo waking her husband up. Which proves to be a daunting task! If you’ve seen other SS501 variety shows, then you’d know that waking up Hyunjoong can involve elaborate plans (including and not limited to lipsticks and noisy dogs) and yet he would still not wake up. Such is the sleeping god. Apparently sleeping god was playing games until late last night.

But Hwangbo is a picture of patience and she lets her hubby go back to sleep while she is preparing breakfast. And breakfast in Hwangbo’s dictionary is not just measly bread and jam, it consists of actual main dish with other side dishes and rice. Oh, how I love the asian breakfast!! She is cooking a Fried Chicken Soup (I had this before but it came out totally different than what she was making, so I don’t know what the real dish is like) with egg rolls and ham. As I haven’t eaten in hours, right now this sounds effectively heavenly.

She goes back to waking SS501 up. Hubby remains in bed so she opts to wake the two other members, Kyujong (luubbbbhhh) and Hyungjoon. They let her in on a secret. Hyunjoong is real ticklish. Thus, they teach her the most successful way to wake Hyunjoong up, by tickling him. Even though Hwangbo is nervous because tickling him would involve a more intimate body contact, she ends up doing it anyway. And finally, hubby wakes up. It’s about time anyway.

What follows is Hwangbo being tested if she is a worthy wife for Hyunjoong. First part of the test is to prove herself in the kitchen. And it is judged directly by the ever strict mother in law, Jungmin. She totally nailed it. Second part is to show her level of fun during breakfast. Hwangbo is in charge of providing entertainment, one of them being a live circus performance. LOL, I swear to god, Hwangbo’s level of commitment is something to be admired. Which non-comedian female celebrity would do this?

Then Hyunjoong and Hwangbo head out to the recording studio that SS501 is producing their japanese album. Today, Hyunjoong is going to record his parts and Hwangbo decides to tag along before she has to leave for Korea. Turns out, what Hyunjoong is doing right now is merely recording about 3 lines of rap for a beginning of a song (title escapes me at the moment). The lyrics go like: Let’s hug, let’s kiss, let’s melt into each other.

Earlier Hwangbo wonders if maybe she should do a little featuring since she is here anyway. And later on, Hyunjoong wonders the same thing. He explains that she can just do some background voices. All he needs is just a sexy sigh, which he demostrates, which makes the director turn her head around and look at him weird, lol.

They ask the director if that’s doable, just for recording. She is free to erase that after. So off to the recording booth Hwangbo is. And Hyunjoong becomes her director today. She is delegated the lyrics of: “Yeaahhhh, ahhh, and baby come on” hahaha.

The first try is disastrous, lol. Apparently, Hwangbo can’t do sexy voices easy.

Hyunjoong likes the second try, so much that he slips up and calls her ‘Yeobo’, which is an intimate way a married couple calls each other. I guess it’s akin to ‘Honey’, or perhaps more intimate because that little slip up actually made them uber embarrassed. It was adorable.

Hwangbo nails it on the third try and it actually sounds really good. I’ve heard the end product, and I actually think Hwangbo’s add on would’ve made the song a lot better, but that’s just me. Hyunjoong even asks one of the directors to burn it to a cd for him.

In the end, Hwangbo has to catch her plane for Korea. There is no big goodbye moment or anything shown, Hyunjoong just takes her out and sees her leaving.

I rarely recap any interview part cos I think interviews are merely talks. It is not to say that interviews are lies, but I notice the tendency, especially in the newer couples nowadays, that interviews can be used to magnify or justify something people do on screen. For example participants usually justify their lack of action or reaction on screen by saying that they feel really nervous inside but are too shy to express it. Sure, that might be true for some people, but I think we see enough of the show already to be able to tell if it is true or just a lot of crap.

However, in this episode, I was intrigued by Hwangbo’s last interview. Unlike her bright recounts earlier, she turns somber and reflective as she is explaining her feelings of her overall visit. I’m trying to understand what she was saying. Was it merely the ‘farewell effect’? Was it hinting that her trip to Japan had made the show too personal because she ended up thinking a lot about not just Hyunjoong, but also the rest of the group, after the visit ended? Or there’s the third alternative, was it simply talk? I don’t know. I can’t really tell with Hwangbo.