Category Archives: Reviews

Fated To Love You: K Episode 8

Gun has been slowly falling in love with Mi Young and when we left them last, Gun looked like he was about to take things in a whole new direction.  Come join Firnlambe and I as we discuss just how brave Gun is willing to be even when his world turns upside down….again.

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Fated to Love You: K Episode 7

Last episode left us with unexplained emotions starting to well up in our leading couple as well as  an intense staring contest between our leading men. Well brace yourselves dear readers, because this episode will have you *Squeeeing* your way through most, if not all, of it. Join Wendilynn and myself (firnlambe), as we watch Gun start to finally recognize the budding feelings that have started to grow deep down inside his heart and attempt to cope in the best way he knows how….

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Fated To Love You: K Episode 5

Finally!! Emotions have finally started to shift, even though the involved parties have yet to notice their respective change. Join Wendilynn and myself (firnlambe), as we watch episode 5 put our newlywed couple to the ultimate test. Keeping up the illusion that they’re your typical happy couple. Can they successfully fool the Lee family all while trying to continuously keep each other at arms length whenever they’re alone?

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Fated To Love You: K Episode 4

Gun is in shock and locked in a room. A decision needs to be made and thanks to Mom, Mi Young and Gun have to talk it out.  I only wish people would stop making unilateral decisions.  Come join Firnlambe and I as we discuss developments in episode 4.

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Drama Club: Trot Lovers Episode 5-8

Our Dramafever Drama Club has been having a lot of fun together.  Here’s the recaps for episodes 5 – 8

 

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

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Fated to Love You : The Korean Version Ep 1-2

Hello Peeps.  I hope you’re able to stay cool during these summer months.  July has been insanely warm for Oregon.  Dare I even say hot.  Thankfully an angel gifted me with an A/C unit and so for the first time, I’m surviving nicely.  Although, to get the best circulation for the apartment I put it in the window near my computer.  The apartment feels great…..but I need a sweater to blog. *chuckles*

For those of us who are fans of the Taiwanese show Fated To Love You, there is now a Korean remake for us to watch and enjoy.  This is one of my favorite shows out of Taiwan and I watch it regularly.  This may put an unfair bias towards the Korean remake simply because there is so much that is awesome about the Taiwan version such as our male lead, for example. Ethan Ruan set the bar high for the confused but adorable Cun Xi.  Jang Hyuk has some big shoes to fill as our lead Gun.

Joining me on this quest will be Firnlambe from Soju-Like-Kdramas:   “Greetings!! I suppose you can call me the counterbalance to Wendilynn for this series. I’ve only seen the Taiwanese version once. I loved it, don’t get me wrong–but I don’t have nearly the same attachment to the characters, so I should be able to provide a little less biased opinion on each episode” ^-^

So then…lets get started.

We start out with a model shampooing her hair for a CF.  She freaks out that this unknown product will damage her pampered locks.  In saunters our company president, full of confident arrogance and gifts us, the viewers, with some gorgeous, over the top shampoo porn.

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Wendilynn:  Its quite an introduction for our male lead, Lee Gun.  He’s gorgeous without his shirt on and this show does seem to try and keep him shirtless at every opportunity.  That laugh though… *shakes head*   Its uncomfortable to listen to. I had a hard time warming up to him because he came across so smarmy.
Firnlambe: Oh God….this…..this was hard to watch. As glorious and gorgeous as Lee Gun is shirtless, the over the top cheesiness to this scene was a tough pill to swallow.

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Next comes our Post-it girl, Kim Mi Young.  She has the coolest opening sequence ever.  Who wouldn’t want Pentatonix singing your introduction. 

Firnlambe: I like this casting…..this version of the Post-it girl is just as good as the original.

Wendilynn: I have to agree with you.  I like Jang Na Ra.  So I was really happy to see her as our Post-it girl.

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Here’s the jerk she takes on her winning vacation to Macau.  I’m only including him because they actually keep him around for a few episodes.  This guy is a total sleaze.  As soon as she wins the vacation, he starts schmoozing her so he can go along. 

Firnlambe: Personally….I didn’t like how Korea went about introducing this couple. It was waaaaay too rushed. And because of that, the coming events didn’t have nearly the same impact on my sympathy radar for our leading lady as I had in the original.
Wendilynn:  I also felt like part of the story was missing leading up to the morning after.

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Here’s our prime candidate for SLS.  Daniel is gently played by gorgeous Choi Jin Hyuk.  Looking for his lost sister who was adopted out to strangers unknown.  We are greeted with him at an orphanage playing soccer with children.  Can he steal our hearts any more completely?

Firnlambe: I foresee much more heartache in my feeling towards Korea’s Daniel than I had for Taiwan’s Dylan. Granted……..that maaaaaaay have to do with how gentle Choi Jin Hyuk is portraying him.
Wendilynn:  He’s playing him much more warm than Dylan was played. Dylan didn’t get warm till much later, where Daniel’s warmth is evident from his first words.

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Enter trouble in the bodies of the Island company President and Kim Mi Young’s brother-in-law. These two have hatched a plan to catch Gun In flagrante delicto so that they can save their doomed company.  Their comedy of errors is funny and sets everyone up for the inevitable. 

Firnlambe: Mixed feelings are mixed on these two. I can’t decide if I’m going to like them or not yet.

Wendilynn:  One of the joys of the Taiwan version is the cheesiness of the islanders.  Although these same characters were more redneck in the T version.  Here they are just sort of dumb.

Firnlambe: Agreed…and that’s too bad. I’ll take cheesy rednecks over bumbling idiots any day.

Wendilynn:  I think the difference in story length plays a role here.  Taiwan shows get far more episodes to play with  then Korean shows do.  Although, this K version is supposed to have 20 episodes.

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Gun’s first love, Se Ra.  Prima Ballerina who has lost the audition to be Odette in Swan Lake. She is willing to let Gun propose to her because she thinks she has nothing else. One phone call is all it takes to change her life as well as Gun’s and Mi Young.

Firnlambe: Begin the hate cycle!!! Se Ra is just as selfish and self-centered as An Na.
Wendilynn:  I didn’t like this character in either story.  What really made it worse is that we get far more backstory  on how much Gun has loved and ached for her.  Its a counterpoint to his overwhelming smarminess when he’s being a jerk.

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Yes, lets thank the hapless morons who get you jacked up on sex juice.  Really, does Gun absolutely need to wear clothing?

Firnlambe: He can keep the shirt off…..as long as he changes his hairstyle. This floppy mop needs to go.
Wendilynn:  Yeah, it adds to the smarmy feeling. lol

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Our couple has both consumed the drink that will make sex inevitable, however, unlike the Taiwanese version that actually gives you a clean love scene.  We get a hokey cartoon euphemism about making rice and then a snuggle wake up scene. This show has no problem getting Gun shirtless at any opportunity, but heaven forbid we show people kissing.

Firnlambe: Well….in their defense it’s not a cable show…or a weekend drama

Wendilynn:  I was just dumbfounded that they didn’t even kiss.  Not even a chaste one before switching to the cartoon. And after the shampoo porn scene, what’s to be worried about?

Firnlambe: True….maybe they’re wanting to save the kisses for later?

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Mi Young, upset after finding out that she not only slept with the wrong person, but that her sleazy BF was sleeping with someone else as well is left upset and feeling low.  While scumbag refuses to take any responsibility for her emotional state, enter Gun to play the white knight.

Firnlambe: So you know how I said my feels for the coming events were not as strong this time around. Yes….I felt sad for Mi Young, but it wasn’t neeearly the same level of devastation that Xin Yi experienced. Although I did love that Gun was there to pull her up when she reached her lowest point.
Wendilynn:  Agreed.  I don’t think they played it to the same level as in the T version.  Although, that conversation about whose the noble and whose the commoner was amusing to watch.  Lawyer scumbag thinks he’s all that and Gun shows up to show him otherwise.

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Both Gun and Mi Young have been hurt by the people they liked. Ditched unfairly.  Gun, despite his bravado at other moments, had a heart of gold and listens to her sad story.  Fighting tears, he decides to champion her cause and embarrassment and maybe, get a little payback.

Firnlambe: I wholeheartedly LOVED this scene….no qualms whatsoever.

Wendilynn:  I had serious.. and I mean serious misgivings about Gun as our lead up until this scene.  Even when he’s practicing for his proposal, I had a hard time buying that he could be gentle.  Those tears in his eyes dispelled that worry.

Firnlambe: I blame his hair stylist.

Wendilynn:   LOL!! Maybe they went and borrowed whoever ruined Full House: Take Two’s hair and make up?
Firnlambe: It all makes sense now…..

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Enter the polka-dot twins.  Why are male fashion designers always played as being gay?  In this case, they are way too funny to not give a shout out to.   They are responsible for turning our post-it girl into a goddess. 

Firnlambe: ooooooh Polka-dot twins…..I loved these two
Wendilynn:  They were funny, but a bit too much for me.  When they were complaining I kept wanting to say, “Is this all your skill is good for?  Wimp out at the first challenge because she hasn’t been spending 20K a month on plastic surgery and spa treatments?”

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Enemy spotted.  Gun is taking Mi Young out to slay the troll under the bridge.  They are both dressed to kill.

Firnlambe: Seeee!! Swept back hair looks much better on Gun than the floppy style he was sporting earlier.

Wendilynn: Yes, he’s very handsome here.

Firnlambe: I also preferred this makeover….it felt more dramatic for some reason.

Wendilynn:  I’m with you on this one, this Post-it girl makeover was much more the thing and fit her better then what Xin Yi got.  She looked like a goddess here.

Firnlambe: Lady Luck … goddess style!!

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There is nothing more humiliating then realizing you had a crush on a coward. While some people would take pleasure in their enemy on their knees before them.  Mi Young knows that this was the guy she thought was “worth it”.  To see him groveling so he doesn’t lose his gambling money makes her realize she had picked a loser to start with.  That’s never a good feeling.

Firnlambe: Jerks will always be jerks….no matter how much they tell you otherwise.
Wendilynn:  I understand how she feels though.  My last boyfriend was a train wreck and it made me feel terrible that this was the type of guy I was attracting. What did it say about me?  I haven’t really dated seriously since.

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Gun truly is a gentleman. He may not be in love with Mi Young, but he respects her courage and kindness.  He gives her the gambling chip and tells her that as long as she’s got one chip, she has a chance to change the game.  This was also a running theme in the Taiwanese version. Its nice to see it here too.

Firnlambe: Agreed…. I’m also glad they kept the chip theme running. Here’s hoping she puts it on her key chain…..although this chip is a tad bit larger–so that may cause some problems.

Wendilynn:  Maybe she can turn it into a charm necklace?

Firnlambe: Ooooo, I like the way you think m’dear.

This wraps up our first two episodes of this new series.  As you can see we have mixed reactions to the set up of our leads and the pacing felt a little off.  We have much hope for the next episodes where things start getting serious for Gun and Mi Young.

 

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Drama Club : Fall In Love With Me

While I have been sick with the hurt arm this last month or so I have been taking a break from this website BUT, thanks to DF and my friend Firnlambe, I have not been absent from blogging about asian dramas that I like so much.

I’ve joined Firnlambe and Aunnie  on Soju-Like-Kdrama to recap/review  Aaron Yan’s newest drama  Fall In Love With Me.  I’ve been an Aaron Yan fan for awhile.   I first saw his drama KO One when I was following up on his band mate Jiro Wang work.  I then watched Just You and loved him in that.   I was excited to see him in this new drama and boy oh boy has it been crazy.   I can honestly say the last few episodes have been hard to watch because of the emotional train wreck we the audience have to wade through.

 

Past Episodes

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Here’s the revamped video for the song that makes up the ending credits to this drama.

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Drama Club : Trot Lovers

I’m part of my third Drama Club on Dramafever.  I cannot describe how much fun I’m having.  Yes, its a lot of work trying to get 3 ladies together to comment on an episode, and thank you Google docs.   Boy, does that make it easier.

The first 6 episodes are out.   I’ll be adding the links for Episodes 5 and 6 when they post this week, so here are the links for the first 4 episodes.

Episodes 1-2    3-4

Now,  just a little review so far.   I fell in love with this series with the first episode.  Our two male leads took on characters that were polar opposites from their last projects.   Let me explain.

Joon Hyun:  Self professed god of music, petty, selfish and a colossal jerk.  Oh the stuff this boy pulls….   *shakes head*

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Entertainingly played by actor Ji Hyun Woo.  This is Hyun Woo’s first role since his discharge from the military.    Now what made this great for me was that this character was NOTHING like his last one.   His last role was the strong, almost silent protector of  Queen In-Hyun’s Man.  He was everything a girl dreams about in her fantasy white knight who over comes time and space for love.   The chemistry he had with his leading lady was amazing and I really like watching this boy kiss.  Joon Hyun is NOTHING like Boong Do and I’m so happy about that.   I hate when actors gets type-cast.   Hyun Woo does a great job of bringing to life this egotistical asshole who believes anything is okay as long as he’s right.   This drama takes this character on a roller coaster ride in just the first 4 episodes and its a humbling experience for him.

Geun Woo:   Son of the music company president who contracts with our lead actress.   He’s flaky,  a bit klepto and doesn’t take himself seriously.  He knows he’s a spoiled rich brat and has the humor and insight to laugh at himself.

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This character is what sold me.  Shin Sung Rok last played an evil psychopath in My Love From Another Star.  This guy was so evil that anytime he smiled you knew someone was about to die.  He was brilliantly evil and Sung Rok was compelling.   We nick named him Scary Oppa.  Geun Woo is anything but.   We go from scary and evil to goofy and light hearted….and you buy it.  Completely.  He comes across as a flake but you soon learn that that is a cover for someone who is very very observant.

These are but two of the very entertaining characters in this delightful drama.

 

 

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Catching up. Two drama recommendations

I’ve been asking my body this question for a month now.

Gotta love nerve damage.  Not really, but its now a part of daily life for this cancer survivor.  What really sucks though is when you screw up your shoulder and set off the damage nerves in your arm  to new heights of burning and torture.  Oh yeah… the last 3 weeks…  um…. we don’t really need a whole arm…right?   I hadn’t felt this bad since the original surgery.

One benefit of my nerves from hell was that I spent a lot of time in bed.

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I wish.  lol!

I am single and dateless and that meant that I had plenty of time to catch up and discover some new dramas that I hadn’t had time to get to know.  Even some new faces to drool over and appreciate.

Lets start with A Witches Romance.  Now,  I had mentioned earlier that I didn’t care for the site  Viki.com because I felt it was confusing and hard to navigate.  That is true for the desktop version.   Being stuck in bed, I was forced to try the Iphone app to watch this drama since Dramafever didn’t have it yet.  Oh my gosh….SOOOOO much easier to deal with.  Now, on to what is probably the cutest of all the Noona romances I’ve seen so far.

Noona romances are a fun genre.  Most try to take themselves pretty seriously giving some validation for those May to December romances that happen in real life.   Korea is pretty traditional and these stories help get people more comfortable with these situations.  A Witch’s Romance, however,  pokes fun of itself and the genre as often as possible while giving you an adorable story to watch.

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With Uhm Jung Hwa as our witchy noona and Park Seo Joon as our young dedicated lover, these two play off each other well.   Its a Korean remake of the Taiwanese drama My Queen.   Where I couldn’t finish My Queen because it took itself a little too seriously in the beginning, this version keeps a light hand and a good sense of the ridiculous the whole ride.   While the hottest and possibly funniest scenes in the entire series happen in episode 2, don’t let that turn you off.  The whole story is funny, adorable and loveable and you will absolutely fall for the chemistry between our lovers as they try to navigate the problems of these type of relationships.   This is on my favorites list and I will happily re-watch this over and over again.

The other new drama I marathoned was last years Panda and Hedgehog.

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I don’t know how I missed this one last year considering I love Super Junior and Choi Jin Hyuk is a favorite.   The girl, Yoon Seung Ah,  may be more familiar to those who have seen I need Romance 3.    This was another good drama.  Lee Dong Hae plays a pastry chef with no memory before age 11.   Jin Hyuk and Seung Ah play childhood friends with a tragic past.   All three come together to find their place in the world of high end desserts while solving the mystery of missing memories.   The love story is sweet, but not what compels you to keep watching.  It’s actually the bromance between Dong Hae and Jin Hyuk that pulls you in episode after episode.   They start out as love rivals and quickly become best friends.   They are adorable together, even when the story becomes heart breaking.

Be warned, those suffering from food porn addictions will not find these episodes easy.  Don’t watch on an empty stomach or you’ll be heading to the nearest bakery to stop the flow of saliva from all the delicious desserts you’re going to see made.

So there ya go,  two recommendations worth watching.  I know I used the word adorable way too many times, but there really isn’t another word that better suits these two dramas.

 

 

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MIMI – A Review

A short 4 part mini series, Mimi is about a young web comic artist  who is struggling after losing his memory.   Shim Chang Min plays our struggling Han Min Woo.   He brings a beautiful nuanced performance to Min Woo who is a loner.  He’s a sad character whose only source of warmth is the occasional visit from his mother.

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Min Woo is working on a new comic and its just not going well.   His forgotten memories are trying to come back and they are putting him through hell.  The real problem?   He doesn’t know he’s got forgotten memories.

He has found an old calendar that he doesn’t remember writing in.   Its the genesis behind his newest web comic.  Unfortunately, he’s run into a serious case of writers block.  He knows the story is supposed to go somewhere, but he just can’t think of what comes next.  The mystery calendar leads him on a journey to find the answers and maybe finally set his mind at rest.  As he struggles to find answers to questions he doesn’t know he’s joined on this journey by a few people.

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Meet Jang Eun Hye.  She’s the manager of the company that is producing his web comic.  She has a forward vision about the importance of web comics and wants to actually have a gallery opening showcasing the talent.  Min Woo is one of her picks for that presentation.  As she gets to know him, she develops a crush on him, but as she tries to move forward, Min Woo is too busy looking back for answers to a past he doesn’t remember.

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Meet Mimi, our title character.   Its clear from the beginning that she is infatuated with our artist.  She follows him everywhere, but there is something out of kilter.  Min Woo apparently can’t see her.   He might sense that she is there…..or he might not.   She is the keeper of his lost memories.  A ghost who is looking out for her Min Woo.

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Meet our grim reaper.   He is keeping a close eye on Mimi and Min Woo.   He is both guide and guard.

This short series, not only having a moving love story, also talks about the importance of our memories, good or bad, to our overall happiness.  Good or bad, our memories help define our lives and gives us grounding.   When Mimi dies, she requests that the Grim Reaper remove all memories of her from Min Woo.   In my opinion this is an incredibly selfish request.   I’ve seen people make requests of “just forget me”  when things don’t work out or go their way or if they are dying.   Sorry peeps, we humans don’t work that way.   I don’t know what it is with Asian culture that puts so much emphasis on not burdening people.   It gets to the point in these stories that people do incredibly stupid things to avoid burdening anyone with any type of emotion.  In the process, they deny so much that both people need in the relationship, whatever the dynamics are.  I guess having the understanding that the challenges of caring for others who are going through hard times and also dealing with the suffering of bad memories are part of what makes us grow into better people makes it seem silly to deny a person their memories.  It is the height of selfishness to me.  Its not really about the sadness or happiness of the other person, its the responsibility the leaving individual feels that they want to get rid of.  Life doesn’t work out that way and as Mimi shows so beautifully,  memories of good and sad times can be beautiful things that allow for forward movement in our lives to other good things.

I’ve had my share of nightmare experiences.  Things I’d probably rather forget, but I can’t forget what I learned from them.  Those lessons are invaluable and that means that I can’t even really regret the hell I went through.

Mimi is a wonderful story of first love and dealing with the pain of death.  I highly recommend it as its a very well told story.  The way the story is laid out to you in pieces takes a little bit of getting used to, but you catch on quickly.   Since Mimi always looks the same, you have to watch for Min Woo’s hair.  Sometimes that’s your first clue one is in a memory scene.   The ending is realistic and wonderful for a show that has a supernatural edge to it.   While its not the happy ending you might be expecting, its still a happy ending none the less.

Worth watching.

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