I give a concept thumbs up to Bazaar Korea for thinking up an Audrey Hepburn homage and pulling it off beautifully with a twist. My problem is that it’s so good I wish the magazine did more rather than three pictures. Bazaar features one actress from each of the age brackets of 20-30-40 styled in an iconic instantly recognizable Audrey look. Go Ara does Audrey with the black turtle neck and classy makeup, Jo Yeo Jung is vacationing Audrey in Roman Holiday, and Chae Si Ra is Manhattan chic Audrey for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This spread was done for the holiday issue of the magazine to coincide with charitable giving and all the outfits worn by the actresses will be auctioned off and proceeds donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. I really love how all the actresses are so different than Audrey’s gamine style but pull off the warm homage with the same graceful spirit. Continue reading
Early promotions have started for the upcoming C-romance drama You Are My Sunshine based on the novel Silent Separation (He Yi Sheng Xiao Mo) by writer Gu Man. The novel is on the short side bu Gu Man does a great job of delving into the central romance between nearly perfect male lead He Yi Chen and sunny girl Zhao Mo Sheng, making readers fall in love with their college era meet cute falling in love and follow up reunion 7 years later with a much more adult angst-filled reconnection. The first posters are out featuring leads Wallace Chung as Yi Chen and Tang Yan as Mo Sheng in bed in three different poses which capture the different stages of their relationship.
The first has them staring with a smile lovingly into each other’s eyes, the second has them facing away while nestled against each other, and the last as Yi Chen protectively spooning Mo Sheng. Wallace and Tang Tang look fantastic together with a palpable but restrained chemistry, which is exactly what the two characters share in the drama. The production also released a few teaser videos, two of them featuring the two leads discussing their respective characters and what makes Yi Chen and Mo Sheng unique and a treat to play. I’m so looking forward to this it’s not even funny as long as the adaptation stays true to the novel and doesn’t not add in extra angst. Continue reading
Man, I’d watch these three sitting around eating donuts and shooting the breeze for eleven hours. Lucky for me, I get to watch Ikuta Toma, Oguri Shun, and Ueno Juri do something together way more interesting, star in the upcoming winter 2015 TBS dorama Ouroboros (tagline Kono Ai Koso, Seigi). I can’t complain that Oguri Shun is basically a workaholic this year, making Ouroboros his third headlining dorama after Border and Nobunaga Concerto, on top of releasing one hit movie Lupin the Third and making a baby girl with wifey Yamada Yu. More Shun! I will not look a gift Shun in the mouth.
Ouroboros doesn’t premiere until January 16th but the cast is already hard at work filming which always bodes well for quality output. Not that I’m worried, Shun, Toma, and Juri are three of the most acclaimed acting talents in their generation, equally at ease playing intense or comedic and everything in between. Ouroboros might have a love line, not sure because I skimmed a few episodes of the source manga, but mostly it’s about the two-headed duo of cop Toma and gangster Shun who pick the two sides of the law in order the investigate and avenge the death of their beloved sensei. Check out the first teaser below and get excited! Continue reading
KBS is making an effort to promote the next Friday night K-drama rather than let float aimlessly in the wind like Hi! School: Love On. HSLO has been airing one episode a week since July, which is almost as long as those 50 episode weekend dramas except nothing ever happens in HSLO and the drama got preempted a few times due to sporting events so I’m so over it by now and can’t wait to have some new blood in that time slot.
With HSLO toddling off, up next is a change of pace and mood with Spy starring Jaejoong as the titular genius South Korean spy, who probably got his spy genes from his own mom played by Bae Jong Ok, who unbeknownst to him is a deep undercover North Korean spy. Go Sung Hee is Jaejoong’s love interest playing a tour guide and Yoo Oh Sung is the deadly rival North Korean spy who is sent to make sure Mommy does her job and brings in her sonny boy. Continue reading
Television boxtop ratings are still important but less so now that online streaming of television shows, not to mention the ease of DVR recording and other alternate forms of consumption. The changing landscape means the unlikelihood of K-dramas garnering 50% ratings ever again, and honestly most are now averaging in the low teens to high single digits during its run. But the proliferation of social networking means shows may have greater, or just alternate forms, of impact.
CJ E&M partnered with AGB Nielsen in Korea to assess the CPI (Content Power Index) of all the 2014 K-dramas and the top two most influential dramas were alien-actress love story You From Another Star on SBS followed by tvN‘s realistic office drama Misaeng. The CPI number calculates viewer response to a show to determine influence based on: topic of interest (how many news articles), audience response (search rankings), SNS involvement, and the like. I actually agree with the full list for the year and CPI remains the intangible yet powerful other gauge for a show’s success. Continue reading
I can’t believe SETTV has managed to excite me for its upcoming Sunday night drama again. That time slot has been four massive duds in a row starting with Love Around into Deja Vu which begat Fall in Love with Me which yield the most current stinker Say Yes Again I Do. Some have leads I don’t like and others stories lines that are terrible in an unentertaining way. SETTV has made qualitatively bad dramas that are addicting to watch, such as the ridiculous King Flower (Substitute Princess), which gets me to this upcoming drama Hearing Happiness which will follow Say Yes Again I Do. If it sucks at least be fun about it!
It’s basically a remake of King Flower but with the rich chaebol character (TERRY!) as the male lead. Hallejuah! Even better is the infusion of a new pairing that I already love on sight – Kingone Wang finally gets his due as a SETTV male lead pairing up this time with Kristen Jen. King Flower is one of my guiltiest TW-drama pleasures ever and doing a similar concept with different take is right up my alley. Kingone plays a chaebol who loses his sight and his fiancee to a coma after an accident right before their wedding, a year later he then meet her face and voice twin in Kristen (playing both ladies) and she comes to live with him as his assistant. Cue falling in love. Continue reading
I was pretty nonchalant about the news last month that So Ji Sub was doing web drama filming in Jeju. I’ve enjoyed his dramas in the past and The Master’s Sun was definitely yet another career high point for him, but he’s notoriously unpredictable when it comes to picking his acting projects so it’s no surprise that he followed up TMS by releasing a mini-album instead of another acting role. I wasn’t chafing for his followup project but his fans will be happy that he is doing the web drama One Sunny Day since it’s better than nothing.
The web drama will be produced by LINE, the same messaging app brand that did the Lee Min Ho-Bea Hayden web drama earlier this year with Love Line. Even though LINE PPL was everywhere, the execution and story was breezy enough to make it an easy and enjoyable watch. The first teaser is out for OSD costarring Kim Ji Won and gives off the same vibe so I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m always amused these dramas make it seem like it’s so easy to randomly run into hotties who look like Lee Min Ho and So Ji Sub and voila a connection is born! I so wish. Continue reading
What an unexpected and lovely MV as the year winds down and people start reminiscing, maybe more willing to seek and give more warmth and affection. Taiwan’s top female pop star Jolin Tsai, basically the Hamasaki Ayumi of Mandopop for the last twelve years and going strong, released a new album this month and in her second single she once again pushes the envelope in a positive way. Jolin brought in her wellknown face twin that is Taiwan A-list actress Ruby Lin as well as veteran Gui Ya Lei (soon to play the grandma in the C-version of Miss Granny) to tearfully portray a woman who is about to lose her same sex partner to illness and still isn’t given any recognition by the world. “We’re All Different, Yet the Same” hits the best of both worlds – the song is fantastic (and I rarely like Jolin songs) and the story told hits sincerely in the gut without preaching. It’s just about love and the courage to love. Such a wonderful four minutes to share in bringing something positive in this world. Continue reading
While it’s wait and see for what the first batch of K-dramas hold come January 2015, the same goes for K-movies and one of the first to arrive feels a bit random for the winter season. Love Forecast (Korean title Today’s Love) starring Lee Seung Gi and Moon Chae Won drops January 15th which is too late for the Christmas lovers season and too early for Valentine’s Day. The movie appears to be set in the warm spring summer months so it’s going to be a warm respite or really weird to watch it in theaters in Korea when bundled up three layers deep.
At least the production company is lavishing promotional attention on the movie, after releasing two adorable movie posters featuring the two leads, this week two more have arriving showing the odd couple in awkward moments. One shows Moon Chae Won force kissing Lee Seung Gi and the other has her hollering while getting a piggyback ride. I hope this movie doesn’t turn into a one-trick pony, in which case it’ll need to rely on how warm and likable the two leads are to sell the romance. Continue reading