Archive | August 2012

Currently Watching Update

Arang and the Magistrate Episode 1-4

  • Wow is all I can say about the scenery, filming, and special effects.  I feel like I am watching a movie on the silver screen.  It’s so breathtakingly beautiful!!
  • Can Shin Min Ah get any cuter?  I mean I really love and hate her at the same time for being simultaneously infectiously adorable and kick ass.  She’s definitely good at the mischievous supernatural roles.
  • This show is really well balanced.  There’s enough light humor to offset the melodrama (and not to mention the morbid subject matter), a lovely little romance story going on, and some really well executed action scenes.
  • So I wasn’t really on the Lee Joon Ki is super hot train *ducks* until this drama.  I think I’m starting to get it now.
  • I really want to know what they are sacrificing virgins to and whether or not it was her creepy fiance that killed her like they are kind of making it seem.
  • Can’t wait for Wednesday!! (Thank you Viki for being so fast!!)

To The Beautiful You Episodes 1-4

  • While I am not usually one for the sugar coated teen dramas, this one is as cracktacular as pixie sticks (God I haven’t had one of those in so long!!)  It is oozing with cuteness and is has had some spectacularly cheesy scenes, but for whatever reason it works for this show and I am loving every second of it.
  • I heard that the ratings were low, I hope this doesn’t make them do stupid hairbrained things to get them up like they did in Big.
  • I’m sorry, but in no way is she a convincing boy lol, all these guys are so gullible.
  • I feel like such a creeper and I am hoping they are at least 18, but both the male leads are super cute in different ways.
  • Amanda, I read your comment on your sidebar about the second lead being a giant Choi Han Gyul joke and I laughed so hard because I had just said the same thing to my husband.  He has a similar name, has used similar lines, and had a similar boy wedding dream (though I must say the two men living together married and the kid asking who gave birth to him was priceless lol).  But he is the cutest little goofy second lead ever and I already feel so bad for him.
  • I don’t know what it is about girl dressed as boy dramas but they are so good, of course CP will always be the best by far 🙂
  • In no way does that girl look like a good runner.  I could kick that girls ass at a marathon and I am not a talented runner by any means.
  • Why does the doctor look like the same age as the kids?

The Painter of the Wind Episodes 1-3

  • How did I not know that Moon Geun Young was in this?  I love her!!  Such a great actress and so pretty in such a unique way, like a little asian elf…
  • I think she is the most convincing girl as boy I have seen since YEH in CP.
  • The male lead looks SO much older than her, talk about robbing the cradle lol, but hey older guys are hot.
  • This drama is a little more melodramatic than what I usually watch, but I really like it.  It has a lot of good quotes too because they talk all poetically lol
  • They like these sort of brother sister romantic relationships in kdramas don’t they?  Awww poor hyung, going to lose to the cradle robber.
  • How do they drink so much in these dramas?  How do they not all die of liver failure at age 40?
  • I am really surprised Hulu had this drama, but I’m really glad that it did, I was starting to give up hope on finding a drama that would hold up against TTBY and Arang because I am so addicted to them right now.
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Jdrama Number 2-Absolute Boyfriend

“Love is the start of all things miraculous.”  This is a quote from the drama that definitely sums up the heart of it.  I am familiar with several of Yuu Watase’s mangas, and to date she is my favorite manga author because man can she tell a love story.  I have not read Absolute Boyfriend yet, but when I saw that there was a drama based off of it I knew it would be good because she is such a great writer.  I have had great luck recently and have watched a string of dramas that turned out to be exceptionally good, and this one definitely continued the streak.  It started out as an adorably funny rom-com about a girl who got roped into buying an “ideal boyfriend” robot and was not sure what to do with him.  The robot whom she dubbed Night, was much like students I have worked with who are on the autsim spectrum, incredibly socially awkward, honest and literal to a fault, but completely adorable and lovable.  He kept me laughing through every episode.

Then inevitably because it was Japanese after all, the show suddenly became much more serious and the ethical issues of “Is it right to produce a lover robot?” and “Does a robot who has developed his own will have a soul?” and “Is it right to have a relatinship with a robot?” come to the forefront.  I have seen movies such as Bicentenial Man, A.I., and the anime/manga Chobits that deal with this same issue and it always gets me.  I’m such a sucker for philosophical issues like this.

I was in such a quandry because I really loved both Night and Soshi’s characters (but I must say that Soshi was so dang attractive to me for some reason even tough I’m not usually one for the lanky type) and I wished there was some way she could be with both.  Well I sort of got my wish, but definitely not in the way I had hoped.  The ending made me cry and cry and cry, so if you decide to watch this be prepared because it came out of nowhere for me, I was not expecting it in the least.  So now that I am finished with this amazing emotional roller coaster I am left wishing it hadn’t ended so soon *sigh*.  I give Absolute Boyfriend 5 out of 5 stars, damn you Yuu Watase for making me cry evey time I read/watch your works!!

I apologize for making a big mistake and pasting the info for the Taiwanese show the first time around, I am reviewing the Japanese version, sorry about the confusion.

I got the following information from http://asianwiki.com

Profile

Plot

Robot maker, Kronos Heaven, finally develops “Night Tenjo”, the perfect male humanoid programmed to be devoted and completely loyal to his lover. The company chooses temp worker Riiko Izawa to take part in a 5-day free trial. At first, Riiko only sees Night as a household appliance. But when she finds out how deep Night’s devotion to herself is, Riiko finds herself falling in love with him.

Joining the “love triangle” is Soshi Asamoto, an executive of Riiko’s company. Other characters surrounding Riiko are Gaku Namikiri, the sales representative of Kronos Heaven, and Fujiko Wakabayashi, a cafe owner who gives romance-related advices to Riiko.

Notes

  1. Related titles:
    1. Absolute Boyfriend | Zettai Kareshi (Fuji TV / 2008)
    2. Absolute Boyfriend SP | Zettai Kareshi SP (Fuji TV / 2009)
    3. Absolute Boyfriend | Jeoldae Geuyi (MBC / 2012)

Cast

My first Jdrama-Nobuta Wo Produce

I watched this drama on http://www.dramacrazy.net

Watching a Jdrama was interesting because I grew up watching loads and loads of anime.  It was nice to hear the Japanese language again and to see Japanese humor.  One thing that was kind of funny for me is that Nobuta Wo Produce was very much in the style of an anime (it was probably based on a manga, but I haven’t looked that up yet), yet it was with live people.  In an anime there are always some wacky and really over the top characters that are greatly lacking in what we would consider normal social skills.  But anime is animated, so it’s easier to accept it because they are cartoons.  It was very different  and a little hard to get used to at firist to see these kid of wacky cartooony characters portrayed by real live people.

Nobuta wo produce was very different from a kdrama in that its central focus was not a romantic story.  It was about a very different kind of love, friendship.  It focused on three teenagers and how their lives changed for the better because they met each other and formed an unlikely bond.  There were times when the show was so profound that it left me speecheless, which I did not expect originally with it being a teen drama with goofy cartoony characters.  But I should have known from my years of watching anime, that the Japanese give everything their own artistic flare and can make something as small as a falling leaf profound.

As a teacher I work with preteens and teens on a daily basis.  I see the everyday struggle to fit in, to feel loved, and to be accepted.  It is a dog eat dog world, and without the right friends who truly support and love you it can be hell on earth.  I thought this drama was very touching, and a refreshing change from some of the more superficial romantic plots I have seen in more recent kdramas.  I give Nobuta Wo Produce 5 out of 5 stars!!

I took the following information from http://wiki-d-addicts.com

Details

Synopsis

Kiritani Shuji is the popular guy who gets along with everyone, from the jerks to the nerds to the just plain weird. The one person Shuji cannot stand is Kusano Akira.  To Shuji, Akira is just plain annoying. He laughs, talks and acts funny. Things heat up when a new student comes to school.  Her name is Kotani Nobuko, a girl who has no self confidence at all and is content at being made fun of and bullied in school.  Shuji and Akira come to an accord that in order to make use of their youth they will produce Nobuko as the next popular girl. One of the conditions, however, is that nobody should find out that they are working together as a team to make this concept possible. Unveiled here is the story of true friendship between three unlikely candidates who would not have been friends if not given the special circumstances.

Cast

Correlation Chart

Class 2B (name register order)

What to watch next, that is the question…

I feel like I am experiencing an awesome drama hangover having just finished my first jdrama, Nobuta Wo Produce (I will get around to reviewing it eventually lol, but just know that it was amazing), and having started To the Beautiful You and Arang and the Magistrate all in the same day.  To the Beautiful You and Arang and the Magistrate mesmerized me with their first 2 episodes.  They could not be more different, but they were both so unbelievably cracktacular in their own ways.  I am slowly dying inside now waiting for the next episodes to air.  So now I have the issue of finding a drama that will not pale in comparison to these blaringly shiny gems.  I am trying to resist the urge to watch the Japanese version of TTBY, Hana Kimi, because I really want to watch another jdrama, but it would ruin TTBY for me because then I would know everything that’s going to happen before it happens lol.  So, if anyone has any good suggestions I am all ears.  I am just not in the mood for your run of the mill stuff since I am still in the wake of pure awesomeness…

A Gentleman’s Dignity

I watched this drama on Hulu

I know it’s been a while… I cannot even describe how crazy my week has been, but I did manage to finally finish A Gentleman’s Dignity.   Much of the appeal for this show for me was the unbelievable camaraderie and beautiful bromance between the four men.  I have no sisters, only 2 older brothers, so I guess I can relate.  I loved that when they got together, they were still the same young middle school boys that they were when they first met so long ago.  Ageless friendship is a beautiful thing 🙂

I really loved the male lead’s odd (even though prickly and stand offish) personality.  He hardcore reminded me of Johnny Depp with the way he had that kind of brooding vampire yet intriguingly intelligent and odd thing going on, plus he just kind of looks like him to me in general.  He wasn’t maybe my first choice of the 4, but he made a good lead.  I personally was a huge Yoon fan.  He was so gosh darn cute with his vampire pale skin and huge bush baby eyes, he always looked so innocent yet sad at the same time.  He was the nerdy little mother hen of the group, but he’s the one who ended up with the hot 24 four year old trophy wife lol.  God has a sense of humor 😛 (or in this case the writer has a sense of humor)

While I’m not sure that I was so crazy about the ending… it was a little too campy and overboard for even a show with this much goofiness and light hearted fun, I really still loved this drama overall.  It was very fun and humorous, but still enough of a balance of melodrama to make it interesting.   The flashback anecdote mini skits they did about the four men at the beginning of each episode were a really great touch.  It helped you to get to know the characters a little better and made their friendship feel even more real.  I also discovered Big Baby Driver because of the 2 awesome songs they used by her in this drama, what a great musical artist!!  As a whole I loved it and give it 5 out of 5 stars!!

 

I got the following information from http://wiki.d-addicts.com

Synopsis

A drama about the careers and love lives of urban professionals. It will tell the story of four men in their forties as they go through love, breakup, success and failure.

Kim Do Jin, an architect with a scathing tongue have romantic relationship with strict high school teacher Seo Yi Soo, who moonlights as an umpire at amateur baseball games. Im Tae San is dating a cold-hearted woman but wonders if there is someone else out there for him. Choi Yoon tries to heal his heart after losing his wife four years ago. Lee Jung Rok marries an older woman for money but may lose his comfortable lifestyle in a divorce. —viki

Cast

Extended Cast

Cameo

  • Cha Hwa Yun as Seo Yi Soo’s mother (cameo, ep 16,19)
  • Kim Yoon Seo as Kim Eun Ji (cameo, ep 2,4,6)
  • Ahn Hye Kyung as Choi Yoon’s client (cameo, ep 2,10)
  • Sa Hee as Kim Do Jin’s seducer in the bar (cameo, ep 1)
  • Choi Sung Jo as Min Sook’s fitness trainer (cameo, ep 3)
  • Kim Kwang Gyu as high school teacher of Do Jin, Tae San, Yoon, and Jung Rok (cameo, ep 4)
  • Choi Soo Young as herself – Soo Young of Girls’ Generation (cameo, ep 5)
  • Kim Dong Gyoon as Na Jong Seok (cameo, ep 11)
  • Jung Yong Hwa as himself – Jung Yong Hwa of CNBLUE (Yi Soo’s former student) (cameo, ep 13)
  • Juniel (주니엘) as street performer at Hongdae playground (cameo, ep 13)
  • Kim Sung Oh as Private Kim / President Song’s son (cameo, ep 15)
  • Jang Joon Yoo (장준유) as Tae San’s blind date girl (cameo, ep 16)
  • Hye Jung (혜정) as daughter of Na Jong Seok (cameo ep 3)
  • SBS ESPN Announcer Bae Ji Hyun (배지현) as reporter (cameo, ep 20)

I Need Romance 2012

I watched this drama on Hulu

I wasn’t too sure about this before starting because when I tried to watch Dream High 2 it was an utter disaster, but INR 2012 is just as good and in some ways better than its predecessor.  It was a much more serious drama, and had less goofy womance and random sex scenes and make out sessions than the original.  The main plot was more intricate and better executed, with both the male and female leads being very interesting characters.  I honestly missed the more goofy womance scenes and did not find myself getting as a attached to the supporting female characters (new Charlotte and new Samantha).  I feel that they really spent a lot of time developing the main plot and the lead characters so the subplots and supporting characters suffered a little, but it was okay because the main storyline was so good.

The main character Joo Yeol Mae is the woman I wish I could be.  She is artsy, talented, free spirited, intelligent, honest, and strong willed.  I think that I always prefer the stronger female characters, because I myself tend to be a people pleaser and end up as a doormat so I feel frustrated while I am watching characters like that because I see myself in them.  But it is fun to watch characters like Yeol Mae because they are what I aspire to be one day and I can admire them form afar until I one day reach my goal (I sound like such a creeper right now lol).  I would watch this show over and over again just to see her in action, and she has some really amazing lines, in fact the entire dialogue of this show is just much better written than a lot of the newer dramas out there that are just oozing with cheese and recycled chivalry.  Though I find her to be a little odd looking (but definitely more normal in this drama), Jung Yoo Mi blows me away as an actress, and damn does she know how to pick her roles.  The 2 dramas and the one movie I have seen her in have all been winners (Maybe YEH needs to take some lessons from her in drama/movie choice so she can show her potential again).

I was also really into the male lead character Suk Hyun.  I am a sucker for the broody bookworms.  I love that they didn’t make him the cliche kdrama talented artist who is a prickly, conceited, jackass, he was actually very warm and caring most of the time, just very secretive and you could tell he was masking a lot of pain and trying to keep people at a distance.  I thought Lee Jin Wook did a really good job portraying him as well.

Overall, I feel like this drama definitely had the formula for success great plot+well developed characters+great actors=awesome drama.  It’s as simple as that, I give it  5 out of 5 stars!!  I am so relieved to have watched a few good ones recently after a string of kind of boring and mediocre ones!!

I took the following information from http://wiki.d-addicts.com

Details

  • Title: 로맨스가 필요해 2012 / Romaenseuka Pilyohae 2012
  • Genre: Romance, comedy
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast network: tvN
  • Broadcast period: 2012-Jun-20 to 2012-Aug-??
  • Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 23:00
  • Related TV Shows: I Need Romance

Synopsis

Joo Yeol Mae (Jung Yoo Mi) gets entangled in a love triangle between her long term boyfriend, Yoon Suk Hyun, (Lee Jin Wook) and a new love interest, Shin Ji Hoon (Kim Ji Suk).

Cast

I Need Romance

I watched this drama on Hulu.

So this show is supposed to be Korea’s version of Sex and the City.  I laughed when I first started watching it because even the theme song was blatantly a rip off of Sex and the City’s theme.  And though it definitely followed the Sex and the City format of womance and sitting around talking about relationships and sex, it wasn’t a carbon copy and it definitely had its own unique charm to it.  My husband laughed because I was like “Well, they’ve got Carrie, and Charlotte, and Samantha but they left out Miranda, I guess because nobody liked her in the first place.  Poor Miranda…” lol.

I felt like this drama was the perfect balance of humor and melodrama.  The relationships in the show actually had meat to them as well, so they kept me engaged and interested.  Plus the men were totally gorgeous!!  I was so surprised to see the second lead from Goong (Kim Jeon Hoon), because I haven’t seen him in anything else and was not a huge fan of his character in that drama, and I actually didn’t think he was all that cute (I think partially because they dyed his hair weird colors and dressed him in clothes that were way too metrosexual for me lol).  But time served him well because he was super attractive in this drama with a few crows feet around his eyes and dressed in normal manly adult clothes.

Of course there were lots of steamy scenes, nowhere on the soft core porn level of Sex and the City, but nonetheless super racy for a kdrama.  That was kind of fun to see because I am American after all ha ha.  I feel like it really showed a more realistic side to love and romance that most kdramas do not address.  They dealt with the fact that people fall in and out of love and lust for each other, but that real love is commitment to a person who you trust and are comfortable with, and you choose to stay with that person even if it isn’t always easy.  Having been with my husband for 7 years (and being very young when we first got together) before we got married I could relate to the main relationship story more than I have to any relationship in any kdrama.  So I was really touched and really cried hardcore in the last episode.  So needless to say I really LOVED every second of this very well made drama and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I took the following information from asianwiki.com

Plot

“I Need Romance” depicts the love lives of three 33-year-old single women ….

Sun Woo In Young (Jo Yeo-Jeong) is a 33-year-old concierge manager at a hotel. She isn’t married, but has a boy friend named Kim Sung-Soo (Kim Jeong-Hoon) who is a movie director. They have been dating for 10 years. Sun Woo In Young hopes her boyfriend will propose to her, but he doesn’t seem to have any plans for marriage. Meanwhile, In Young happens to kiss Bae Sung-Hyun (Choi Jin-Hyeok) at a nightclub. Sung-Hyun works at the same hotel as In Young. She later learns that Sung-Hyun is the son of the hotel’s president. When In Young learns her boyfriend Sung-Soo is slept with actress Kang-Hee, she informs him that she is breaking up with him and will date Sung-Hyun.

Park Seo-Yeon (Choi Yeo-Jin) runs an online clothing store named Y style. She has a freewheeling lifestyle and is active in pursuing her desired.

Kang Hyun-Joo (Choi Song-Hyeon) is a lawyer specializing in divorce. Her life has been controlled by her mother. From a distance, Hyun-Joo appears as a cold, arrogant woman with a perfectionist mentality, but actually she has a a cute personality and frequently makes mistakes. She is dumped by her boyfriend Kim Tae-Woo (Heo Tae-Hee) at the their wedding. Although they dated for 3 years the couple only has kissed. Kim Tae-Woo later tells Hyun-Joo that he only kissed her because he did not want to have sex with her.

Notes

  1. Related titles:
    1. I Need Romance 2 (tvN / 2012)

Cast

I Need Romance-Jo Yeo-Jeong.jpg I Need Romance-Kim Jeong-Hun.jpg I Need Romance-Choi Yeo-Jin.jpg I Need Romance-Choi Song-Hyeon.jpg I Need Romance-Choi Jin-Hyeok.jpg
Jo Yeo-Jeong Kim Jeong-Hoon Choi Yeo-Jin Choi Song-Hyeon Choi Jin-Hyeok
Sun Woo In Young Kim Sung-Soo Park Seo-Yeon Kang Hyun-Joo Bae Sung-Hyun

Additional Cast Members: