Monthly Archives: October 2010

Various K-Popness Fangirlism

I was looking at pictures of my stay in Korea and realized that I went to some other fangirling events that I haven’t really posted up here before. Mostly cos I didn’t take a lot of pictures at these events, but anyways, I’m just gonna post them up in one go.

2PM for Newton Filming – You can barely see them, but yeah, it was 2PM. SOOO freaking many people. Whew, it was crazy, man. I remember being yelled at by so many of their bodyguards cos we weren’t supposed to stand there or something, lol. But people ended up ignoring them anyway.

Shin Sekyung Brewing Coffee – I came across this by chance. Was just walking and saw the setup for the event. SSK was not interactive at all, she barely mustered up answers when the MC asked stuff to her. All she did was shield her face from the sun and looked down. The MC, btw, was an extra in Chuno, if you can spot him.

Actress Bae Doona and Wang Bitna – Bae Doona came to a Hot Potato’s concert. She was taller than I expected, probably the heels factor, but she was really towering, lol. People were whispering her name, but I wasn’t very familiar with her so I just looked and left. Wang Bitna, I was walking and literally just passed by her and realized that was her. I think she probably had a shoot in Everland. There were lots of kids that day and she was like ‘aww, they’re so cute’. Honestly, she looks better on screen. In real life, she’s a bit caked up.

Tiger JK, DJ DOC, Beast, Bada, 4 Minute, After School, 2 AM Jinwoon etc – This was a school event on campus and they invited lots of singers. One of the best memories I had in Korea. Tiger JK and Psy (not pictured), were fucking fantastic. They were true performers, it was so much fun. Beast, DJ DOC and  4 Minute were also great. After School was really meh (but they made up for it in Dream Concert). 2AM Jinwoon was there to promote his variety show along with Lee Hwijae, Park Hyunbin, Lee Eunyoung, and Kim Minjoon.

THE Dream Concert – Well, there were about 20 acts present, but our seats were like miles away from the stage that I had to use binoculars to see the SCREEN. It was so far and it was raining almost the whole time. Some pics of crowds during SS501, Kara Gyuri, Lee Hyori, and 3 of Super Junior that I managed to snap, in between wiping my face from the rain and screaming my ass off.

Shinhwa Andy, Jo Insung, etc at Military Concert – I was gungho that I would  not leave Korea without seeing at least one of the Shinhwa members. Lucky for me, they were holding an army concert and one of the performers was Andy! The bad news was that it was the one army concert that Lee Dongwook didn’t attend even though he usually was present at this kind of event. But yeah, Andy, Jo Insung, and Lee Junki (who just got into the army that time) received the loudest cheer, oh us fangirls. Kim Jaewon, Boom, HOT Tony, and Epik High DJ Tukutz were also present. Kim Jaewon was dreamy, yo.

SS501 Surprise Fanmeeting for Newton – Tears were abound here. Fans just started crying the moment they showed SS501 History slideshow. Everyone seemed like they already knew that it would somewhat be the last event the band would have. At least this year. I’m holding on to Hyungjoon’s promise that SS501 is NOT done, but if they end up on an infinite hiatus like GOD then at least I have a memory of being present for their very last activity as a group.

Mate in Eumak Changgu Taping – I followed a couple of friends to the taping of a show called Eumak Changgu (Music Hatch??), a music show for indie bands. It was supposedly hosted by Clazziquai Alex. Unfortunately he wasn’t actually there during this taping. But it was a lot of fun, to listen to something other than mainstream K-Pop. Mate got popular with their song Longing, but has hatched other albums, if I remember correctly. I need to listen to their newer stuff.

Alex at World Cup Concert – LOL, so after the failure of seeing Alex in the music show above, a few days later, I actually got to see Alex. It was exactly one day before I left Seoul and I was just walking around the Cheonggyecheon with a friend when I saw the concert being set up. Lo and behold, Alex started rehearsing. Horan was supposed to come as well, but she came later and I didn’t get to see her. Alex was pretty nice, he started talking to the audience about the World Cup prediction (Korea lost later that night). Most of the audience were older people so the situation was really quiet. I, in my fangirl glory, screamed out ‘I love you, Alex!’ and he looked at me amused, and was like ‘Haha, I love you back’ LOL

And that concludes my madness in Korea. Ah, those good times.

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Hwangbo’s New Single: I’m Still Beautiful

I was going to make a post of this yesterday, but I ended up being too pumped up for Eric’s return last night. But I just want to post this today.

Hwangbo came out with a new single on Friday in Korea titled I’m Still Beautiful. I was keeping an eye on it and was really excited to see the music video being released along with the single. Can I just say I’m SO happy that she didn’t go with the current trend of heavy autotuning? I was sort of expecting that cos everyone does it these days, but it’s really nice to see a ballad from Hwangbo. While she’s not a really strong singer, I love that she’s experimenting with different types of music everytime she releases a song.

She did Pop RnB with her first album Lady in Black (which I LOVE!!), then of course the tectonic Get Hot, the euro trance Arisong, and now the slower track I’m Still Beautiful. Get Hot and Arisong are two catchy numbers, but you could barely hear her real voice. This time, not only the song is really catchy (definitely more catchy than Mature, which admittedly I thought was a little bland) but you actually hear her voice.

The fact that the video is so beautiful is the icing on the cake. The video itself is really simple, it’s basically just Hwangbo erasing her make up and putting them again. But I don’t know why, it’s just so compelling, Hwangbo’s facial expressions makes me transfixed till the end. I’ve embedded the video below if you want to see the MV. Hope she’s doing rounds of promotions soon! Can’t wait to see her out and about.

THE Leader is Back!!

OMG, you guys, I literally raced home for this!!

Move over, baby idols, THE original idol is coming back. Eric Moon aka Moon Junghyuk aka ET aka Shinhwa Leader is finally back to the public’s arms after 2 years of army service. This means PARTAYYYYY in the Shinhwa fandom world. FINALLY, one out of 5 of them currently in the army is actually back! Eric was released from the army earlier today Korea time and held a little fanmeeting as well as signing for the lucky fans (grrrr, lucky bitches!!) who were there.

FYEAHEricMun has a whole bunch of pictures of Eric’s glorious return. So does Nate.Com (where I got these from) and if you search up other Korean news agencies, you would see many pictures as well.

God, I still vividly remember the day 2 years ago when Eric first went to serve in the army. We cried buckets (okay, perhaps not), threw tantrum (not if you’re sane), but bottom line is we as fans were heartbroken (this part is true) cos not only did that mean Eric would have to be away for 2 years, but that also meant Shinhwa effectively went on hiatus as Eric was the first member to enter the army. Soon after, the others started serving as well, and currently, 4 out of 6 members (Shin Hyesung was exempted for knee injury) are serving in the army, due out in a year and two. Next up to expect is Kim Dongwan’s return sometime in November, I believe.

In the mean time, I am off to make new banner. I’m sorry, Kim Jaewook, but this is Eric’s day!

Video of his little interview has been uploaded. He’s so fucking purrrfect.

Random News I’m Interested In

A little pimping. A new Yoo Ah In-centric blog has been opened under the name Yoo Ah In Preventorium. This, I hope will be a good source for people looking for a consolidated body of information, spazzes, and everything else with regards to Yoo. Plus, it’s a way to expose Yoo to international community, albeit smaller ones. At least we don’t need to go cross-eyed reading the blog, heh. Yours truly is one of the contributors over there, although seeing as I barely even update my own blog, I don’t know if I can be of help over there, lol.

So anyway, this was the HUGE K-Pop news yesterday, one that actually crashed All Kpop. Apparently Shinee Jonghyun (who I know almost nothing about) is dating actress Shin Sekyung, who played one of the dead ones in SITCOM High Kick Through the Roof (if you can’t tell, YES I’m still bitter -___-“). Furthermore, I read that Shin Sekyung was named as Jonghyun’s ideal type early on, before they started dating.

Well well well, according to a friend who knows more about the Shinee fandom, Jonghyun has quite the passionate fangirls. This ought to be interesting. I just read that their respective homepage crashed from too many traffic. I’m surprised actually that SM is peachy about this, as far as I know, they both don’t have a project together, so this can’t be a promotional stunt. Oh and fangirls, we better pay MORE attention to who celebs mention as their ideal types. Apparently, some of them are not lying, lol.

1 Night 2 Days production team has announced that it would finally recruit an additional member to fill the void left by MC Mong.

On one hand, a new face would balance out the current 5 member ratio for bokbulbok competitions and stuff. Plus, with Jongmin still half comatose (and heck, I WAS one of the super excited ones for his return), the show does need another member to be noisy and funny.

On the other, it’s disappointing that it seems like the decision to kick MC Mong out is pretty final. Even if he’s proven not guilty, can he even come back to the show? The show that he has contributed SO much. I’m not an MC Mong stan here, I still watch the show without him and I do like it. It was a good decision to let him off filming because we don’t need to see him being the quiet, odd one out and watch the rest of the members trying to make up for it. But gosh, this is MC Mong we’re talking about.

He was the one who coined the Variety Jungshin aka the Variety Mindset, the Sup Sup Hae/You’re Making Me Sad, Na Man Animyun Dwae/As Long As It’s Not Me, he was part of the Low Quality Pingpong Team, the Wild Monkey, THE Mong Janggeum for his great cooking skills. If I can be honest, MC Mong breathed the wild element into 1N2D and without him, they are just a bunch of funnymen traveling around the country, occasionally whining about not being fed. Kang Hodong is the glue, Lee Sugeun is the witty comedian, Eun Jiwon does the whining, Kim Jongmin acts as a backdrop, and Lee Seunggi is the poster boy. Think about it, nobody does misdemeanour and imopromptu mess as well as MC Mong. And that was one of the reasons 1N2D was so winning.

True, 1N2D can’t possibly let Mong on the show right now (public fury and all) but they are losing big if they don’t let him come back after his scandal is done.

Antique Family of Tomorrow

Sorry, that was lame, but I couldn’t figure out what to title this post. I wanted to simply say “Screw you, this is a YOO AHHHHHHHHHHH IN post”, but that seems a little unbecoming for my reputation. Hehehehe. Also, I just love the picture above, to heck with what he’s wearing. Is that even a top???? But whatever, don’t you just love the eyebrow action?

Well anyways, thanks to Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I have officially admitted Mr Yoo Ah In into the League of Flower Boys of My Heart. If you must know, existing inhabitants are: Jung Ilwoo, Kim Hyunjoong, and Lee Seunggi. But hey, I am merely one of the thousands fangirls who are currently under the Guhro’s spell, because of that one freaking drama. Likewise for Yeorim’s Song Joongki and Garang’s Mickey Yoochun. Plus there are probably a few of us and fanboys who are mooning after Daemul’s Park Minyoung.

If I am being brutally logical, Guhro is such a typical character. The bad boi on the outside, but a total softie on the inside. Scruffy look, deep voice, the ‘I’m Against the World’ attitude, the ‘I’ll Die for You’ attentiveness, Moon Jaeshin is THE quintessential romantic hero. Girls just LOVE this type, it seems, that’s why they keep churning out a mold and we just keep showering them love. The difference in that in SKKS, he’s not the main lead and thus not getting the girl. But who cares about that when we are all swooning at the sight of him and secretely happy that he’s NOT getting the girl.

In this respect, I must say that Guhro is also NOT my favourite character. Strangely, despite this, Yoo Ah In is actually the only one that I gravitate to. He’s the one who appeals to me the most that I wanted to see more of, beyond SKKS. Thus started my quest for his earlier projects.

At 24, Yoo Ah In has quite a resume for his age. I mean he’s no Dakota Fanning or Shim Eunkyung, but his resume certainly goes for more than 4 lines. Which actually took me by surprise. While researching for his movies, I didn’t expect him to have had this many projects. I have seen him before in the movie Antique Bakery and drama The Man Who Can’t Get Married prior to Sungkunkwan, and I knew he was in Strongest Chilwoo with Eric which I haven’t watched. But apparently, he has a few other movies and dramas that go back to even 2003! Heck, he was already holding fanmeeting in 2004. So he’s been around the showbiz longer than I had previously thought.

I recently got to watch some of Yoo Ah In’s earlier project. First one I watched was the 2006 movie Boys of Tomorrow/There’s No Tomorrow for Us , which according to the world wide web, won quite some accolades. If you want to watch, it’s in Veoh. It’s even English subbed over there! To be honest, this movie was a bit trying for my faint heart. It was kinda depressing and some scenes were disturbing for me. This movie was thick of teenage rebellion, I liked how the title really captured the essence of the movie. The movie about barely mature boys who have neither the time nor the qualifications to plan their lives. These people can only dream and in the mean time, try to survive their day. It was almost obligatory to have a hopeful ending, otherwise the movie would’ve been too depressing.

Then there’s Shim’s Family/Skeleton in The Closet in 2007 where Yoo Ah In got to work with actors like Kim Hyesoo, Jung Yoomi, and Jeon Hojin. You can watch this at Yellow Cinema with english subtitles as well. I’m a sucker for family movies, so this one was right up my alley. Yoo was one of the central characters and I really really liked his character. He was a total dork, a teenage on the brink of adulthood, questioning his identity and the people around him. But they played it off in a funny way, rather than a somber thing like Boys of Tomorrow. Didn’t have chemistry with Jung Yoomi who was supposed to be his ‘love interest’, yet he had lots with Kim Hyesoo who played his aunt and Hwang Bora as his sister.

Before the F4 rage courtesy of Boys Over Flowers, Yoo Ah In was part of an earlier F4 movie, Antique Bakery in 2008 with Joo Jihoon and Kim Jaewook. I guess this is his most popular movie with the mainstream audience and one you can find everywhere. I remember when I first watched this, I watched it for the two main leads above. But I ended up focusing more on Yoo’s character, the hot tempered ex boxer with a weird obsession for cakes, lol. I loved the whimsical tone of Antique, which they used to contrast with the darker plot, plus I love that Kim Jaewook’s character is gay but so unabashed and proud of it. Although I don’t know how believable Yoo is as a boxer, given that he was still on the scrawny side, hehehe.

And more recently, Yoo was in that mega flop movie called Sea and Sky with Jang Nara. The trailer actually looked interesting, but whew, it’s HARD to find that movie. No luck so far. Hopefully it’ll be available soon. I’ll keep looking for sure.

He also had a little part in a Drama City episode called Shieun & Sooha (kiss scene, WOOT!). I was just watching it the other day (thanks to Hanjae at Soompi!) and it was okay, nothing special. His character name was Minsuk I think, but he might as well just go by Sulky Boyfriend. He barely had ANY lines, lol. Sometimes he was just there, standing and sulking. The drama had a typical terminal illness story, surprisingly quite touching. But again, it wasn’t anything special.

An observation from the movies and dramas I’ve seen. Yoo seems to be at the risk of being (or already is?) typecasted as a rebel. It’s true that none of the characters he’s played are complete copy of each other, but many of them have a common thread, a hotheadedness trait. Even when he was playing a happy go lucky guy in He Who Can’t Marry, there was still that element of, I don’t know the word, agressiveness?? Of course, I haven’t seen ALL of his projects, but that’s an observation from the ones I have actually watched. As a younger actor, this translates into that teenage rebellion, whereas now that he’s more mature, that role becomes a rule breaking heartthrob.

There are two sides to this. I love that he doesn’t take lukewarm characters, those that are pretty to look at but ultimately meh. I can’t deny that his roles tend to be the more interesting one and certainly grab your attention. On the other hand, I do wish to see him in a more laid back, mature character like his role in Sharp 1. I only caught bits and pieces of his scenes there, but I thought it would be interesting to see this type of role  played by Yoo Ah In, almost a decade later.

Current Events, part 4

The Big 2: Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Doctor Champ

Basically, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is dictating my life right now. I am completely and irrevocably in love with that drama. It’s an addictive crack. I can guarantee that once you actually get into it, there’s go getting out until the drama ends (which is soon, bohoo!!)

When I first started watching in September, it was pretty quiet. Not much fanfare, except maybe Mickey Yoochun’s fanbase anticipating SKKS, but now, it’s awesome to see that the reactions only have been super hot lately. Even though they don’t do too well in ratings, at least they have gained the Mania Drama title. I know it sounds sentimental bullshit, but I’m really happy for them. Normally I don’t really care about ratings. My general view is that if rating is deserving then I shut up. But sometimes, when you happen to come across a fantastic, yet underrated drama (especially one you never expected to like so much before), you just feel this overwhelming feelings to root for the said drama. And as Sungkyunkwan is my IT drama at the moment, I just wish everyone would take notice of this hidden gem.

To give a brief background on the ratings, the drama started at around 6% and has just recently broken the double digit ground. Currently, the best rating is at 13% for the newest episode, 15. I know the doubling in size becomes less spectacular when you see the base as 6%, but keep in mind that Sungkyunkwan’s Scandal’s competitors have been 2 heavy-weight dramas, Dong Yi and Giant, both garnering around the 2os% each. So this is quite a feat for SKKS that its ratings actually go up. It’s a testament to its enduring quality.

By now, some are probably sick of my over the top praise of SKKS, and by no means I think the drama is perfect, but it’s pretty great. It’s one of the best school dramas I’ve seen in a while, if maybe ever. Not since Brilliant Legacy last year I have been this obsessed with a drama. I’ve liked quite some dramas in between (Harvest Villa, Oh My Lady, Sons of Sol Pharmacy, etc)  but with those dramas, I was content to just… watch them. I didn’t try to join the discussions happening in Soompi or Youtube behind the scene videos or read up spoilers, but with SKKS, I am displaying the usual symptoms of drama obsession. Bottom line is, get your ass to whatever you can get to watch Sungkyunkwan Scandal. You’ll thank me later.

Can you believe that they got away with showing BUTT on national tv during prime time in KOREA?? This scene was hilarious by the way.

Doctor Champ is also another drama I didn’t expect to watch or like before it aired. I heard about the new Kim Soyeon project with Uhm Taewoong but that was it. So Doctor Champ is a medical sport drama. The story centers around the doctors and athletes of Taereung Athlete Village in Korea, which houses the nation’s best athletes. The drama takes a closer look at the Judo team. In a nutshell, we’ve got sweaty abs, testosterone, and hot ass wrestling each other.  Honestly? That’s like 50% my motivation in watching.

Deciding to try it out, I literally fell in love with the first episode, like SO BAD. I thought the chemistry was abound, the pace was exciting, and the acting was full of heart. I immediately took to the hot tempered doctor Yeonwoo, the goofy judo athlete Jiheon, even Jiheon’s cute nephew.

As things progress however, that initial excitement has died down a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still like it and I continue to tune in week after week, but the drama just turned out to be different than my impression and expectation in episode 1. I thought Doctor Champ would be the thrilling medical drama, with frantic sports emergencies. Turns out, it is a more laid back, slice of life drama. The drama portrays the daily activities around the athlete village and while there are exciting things happening, they are not the BIG! CRAZY! PLOT! TWIST! kind of thing. Which is fine by me, but in all honesty, I wish to see things picking up a little. And judging by the newest episode, 7, it has started to.

The rest: Playful Kiss, Fugitive Plan B, Joseon X-Files

I’m sort of amazed that I’m STILL sticking to Playful Kiss when I dumped My Girlfriend is a Gumiho just shortly after the halfway point. Playful Kiss is easy to get through, especially if you don’t hesitate to fast forward. I watch a one-hour episode in probably 15 minutes, stopping to see the occasional interesting scenes. In general, PK continues to be silly and crappy and messy. The messy part is probably credited to the manga cos I saw similar issues in It Started with a Kiss as well. Although, I will say that PK is a lot more enjoyable than ISWAK. If you were watching this frenchise for the first time, I will recommend watching PK. It’s more digestible, with better acting all around and fewer episodes (that makes me wonder, maybe the Japanese, with 9 episodes, would be the MOST enjoyable version!). I like most of the supporting roles in PK while I found their Taiwanese counterparts to be really lacking.

Fugitive Plan B started really really meh for me. I didn’t understand WHAT they were getting at, so I was horrified at the first episode. But once I read around reviews from other people, I started to appreciate it more. It’s funny, snazzy, and zippy. Visually, it’s a feast. Although sometimes I wonder if I’m watching a drama or a tourism ad, with so much vanity shots. I love Lee Jungjin and Yoon Jinseo, they’ve got FANTASTIC chemistry. Which is too bad because main leads, Rain and Lee Nayoung are seriously lacking exactly that, chemistry.

I had been meaning to watch Joseon X Files for a while, after seeing so many people raving about it. I’m 3 episodes in and I love it, it’s really gripping, in times a little scary actually. Plus I love seeing a capable non-gisaeng single woman earnestly working and kicking ass in Joseon time.

I’m pretty happy overall with the current crop of dramas. I love that right we now have a wide variety of themes and genre. We’ve got action and thriller, good ol romantic comedy, fusion sageuk, political drama, medical sports drama, the usual family oriented dramas, and so on. After the lackluster first half of 2010, it’s fantastic to see a rise in the second half.