Hyde, Jekyll, Me Episode 3 Recap

The third episode of Hyde, Jekyll, Me is a charm, fitting that old adage but likely not much help with kickstarting this drama into gaining traction with the audience. If only the first two episodes were sliced of useless too-long scenes and this episode’s much needed narrative information dump happened last week. The drama still has plenty of kinks to get out but the great leap forward improvement in quality in this episode is a sigh of relief for me. It helps my already made decision to recap it so I’m not left trying to squeeze words out for a total bore, and it might be improvement enough to launch more discussion fodder. The story really did get majorly interesting all of a sudden, and with that both leads finally start coming to life beyond just looking pretty onscreen.

The drama got lots of buzz early on around news that Hyun Bin was paid some ridiculous salary for his drama comeback. Star salaries aren’t tied to screen time, but if it was then the salary was clearly earned this time for Binnie. He’s basically carrying 80% of the entire drama in both screen time and narrative importance and delivering masterfully at both. Getting both of his characters into the drama title now feels not enough, it’s a Me, Myself, and I situation where the viewer needs to be a fan of Binnie otherwise this drama is going to get tiresome staring at his face all the time. In terms of reveals, we find out Robins’s backstory and the nemesis gets a face and a name in this episode, answering some questions about the current missing person mystery as well as Seo Jin’s big question of why Robin is back. Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 37: Love Will Grow Old Together with the Verdant Mountains

Chapter 36 of Lost You Forever was a good place to take a breather, a real critical juncture in leading lady Xiao Yao’s life beyond worries over her romantic future. She’s became a drifter by life’s cruel realities but her personality and background would have led her down a different path had she not been separated from her parents. But that path would not have crossed with Jing or Xiang Liu, and perhaps I’m selfish because I think all the suffering made her a better person than all the rich nobles ladies around her and opened up a new path in life for her.

With Xiao Yao’s tearful reunion with her mom over with, she gained a real amazing daddy but lost an adopted equally awesome dad, an upheaval that is easier to deal with because she has Jing back beside her. Jing also got mommy’s approval and that’s gotta mean something, that even Xiao Yao’s mom totally approves of why Xiao Yao is so certain she wants Jing. Will Jing and Xiao Yao’s marital plans finally come to fruition now that danger and secrets have been overcome? This chapter takes the lovebirds into Jiu Li and unravels the true mysteries of the Lover’s Bug that binds Xiao Yao and Xiang Liu. It’s so romantic and bittersweet, just the way those two have always been with each other. Continue reading

Hyde, Jekyll, Me Unleashes the Full Hyun Bin Fanservice in New Drama and OST Stills

Alrighty then. If Hyde, Jekyll, Me didn’t manage to impress in the first two episodes with a weak story launch and uninspired directing, it appears the drama is headed down only upside left to milk which is Hyun Bin in all his leading man glory. The first two episodes already showed us his post-army abs, sent him leaping over the roof, and doing some seriously romantic but implausible unless he’s a mermaid underwater snuggling of leading lady Han Ji Min. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the fan service bits in the first two episodes since that was frankly the only interesting bits so far.

I’m also starting to get the feeling the iants all the comparisons to Secret Garden beyond just Binnie playing a cold chaebol suffering from a mental affliction. Why else would the drama collaborate with Baek Ji Young for the just released second OST called “Because of You”, when any mention of Baek Ji Young and Hyun Bin immediately calls to mind the insanely popular OST single “That Woman” from SG. I overdosed on the track because I played it too much initially but it really is a classic. Too bad this new song is a pale imitation but does have Baek Ji Young’s gorgeous vocals at least. I’m also soaking up the OST picture above which is that straight from the cover of swoony historical romance novels. Continue reading

Suzy Won’t Be The Girl Who Sees Smells While Yoochun Still Considering the Drama

Drama fans who aren’t particularly fond of Suzy can breath a sigh of relief – Korea’s favorite young CF queen is not going to headline the upcoming SBS Wed-Thurs drama The Girl Who Sees Smells. After considering the offer her agency released a statement that she is declining the role due to her upcoming busy schedule with a Miss A comeback. I won’t second guess the reason but much appreciate the decision. I actually like Suzy but she’s really not acting-ready to get such a prime time slot with a drama centering around her convincingly acting as a character with the superpower to visually see scents.

It’s like asking a person who can barely look natural as herself in front of the camera to immediately play a convincing blind person – I may be harsh on Suzy but it partly comes from wanting her to really work on her craft and become an actress equal to the acting roles she’s being offered due to her popularity. She needs to do as Taecyeon does and do cable dramas and loooooong weekend family fare where she can just work on the craft through accumulating acting hours. She’s a hard worker and sometimes more practices makes perfect if one isn’t born with the innate talent. With Suzy out SBS has at least one or two more weeks to lock down another girl who can see smells. Continue reading

Yay or Nay: Recent K-drama Trend of Older Established Actors Supporting Younger Male Leads

I was a little hesitant around the casting of Healer when it was first announced with Ji Chang Wook as the titular character. I wondered what the drama was going to do having Yoo Ji Tae around as well. Thankfully the drama turned out eminently watchable and Ji Chang Wook is fantastic as Jung Hoo/Healer, the first time I genuinely like his role, but the flip side is my reservation has also come true which is Yoo Ji Tae is totally wasted in this particular outing. Moon Ho is important to the story but not worth casting a movie star leading man like Yoo Ji Tae, which gets me to the crux of a trend that’s been ongoing for two years now and shows no sign of stopping.

K-dramas have basically been doubling down on casting leading men by pairing an older establish actor with a younger star from the next generation, which has almost always resulted in wasting the older actor’s talent in a role that ends up being shunted to the side. The idiom that “one mountain cannot have two tigers” has never been more true, and it’s a trend I want stopped only because there should be ways of spreading the love without wasting the all that older leading man charisma on a thankless babysitting role. Healer is actually one of the least annoying examples of this trend, a look back reveals some dramas in the last two years which nearly gave me an apoplexy with the way the older lead’s story line inevitably got crapped all over. Continue reading

Pretty Previews for The Legend of Fragrance with Li Yi Feng and Tang Yan Airing Early February

I’ve gotten my optimism back up with the surge of C-dramas I’m looking forward to as well as a handful of silly but watchable ones recently. Perfect Couple with Tang Yan and Wallace Huo as well as Incisive Great Teacher with Liu Shi Shi and Nicky Wu were enjoyably cute and much better than I expected last year while My Sunshine was cotton candy crack disguised as a drama. I genuinely laughed a lot which hit the comedic side of the rom-com, and the romance bits managed to soar on the great OTP chemistry.

I’ve also grown to like Tang Tang a lot and she’s in a few of the upcoming C-dramas I’m interested in. One of them is the about to air on February 4th early Republic era period drama The Legend of Fragrance. The Chinese title is 活色生香 (Huo Se Sheng Xian) which is a phrase describing something as alive and bursting with fragrant aroma. Starring Tang Tang with Li Yi Feng, Shu Cang, William Chan, Huang Ming, and Sierra Lee (Lee Wei Dong), the drama revolves around an exalted family famous for producing perfumes in a town. Continue reading

Ji Jin Hee is Imposing and Gu Hye Sun Cries Prettily in New Promos for Blood

It’s a reality that sometimes things look better merely by comparison. Like that slice of store pizza turned down at lunch which suddenly looks like a feast in hindsight when dinner is a microwave frozen entree. Ji Jin Hee has been a leading man for over a decade in his even longer acting career and has never ever gotten me interested or excited over him in either dramas or movies. He’s fine and always delivers like a solid but dull clean up batter, and that does not make my toes curl. So it says a lot that the just released drama stills of him playing the vampire doctor antagonist in Blood is the first time I’ve gone “oh, he looks mightily imposing!”

These stills basically proves my gripe with Ahn Jae Hyun‘s stills and teasers so far in the drama, the youngster is very good looking (if one likes slightly waifish flower boy types) but he lacks camera impact and presence. That’s the very thing Ji Jin Hee is delivering in spades in his stills, and the dark turtleneck and blazer paired with the atmospheric dim lighting nicely accentuates it all. A second drama teaser has dropped along with these new character stills and this video is all about Gu Hye Sun‘s character as a non-vampire doctor who works in the same hospital as the two leading men. She’s supposed to be haughty and self-absorbed but the teaser plays up the tearful emo side of her arc in the drama. Continue reading

The Verdict is in for the Movie Box Office Battle of the Heirs Leads

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The recent box office battle of the Heirs leads has a victor! In a resounding victory, Lee Min Ho‘s Gangnam 1970 had the best movie opening (rank and receipts) of all the movies headlining the Heirs three which all opened within one to two weeks of each other. First came The Royal Tailor with Park Shin Hye and the solid cast of leading men in Han Suk Kyu, Go Soo, and Yoo Yeon Seok. It opened weakly in 5th place, dropped to 9th by the second week, and was buh bye out of the top 10 by the third week. Kim Woo Bin‘s The Con Artists opened in 2nd place that same week but also has had large week-to-week drops and by the 4th week was out of the top 10.

The box office numbers have just come out for last weekend’s premiere of Gangnam 1970 and it opened number 1 and managed to dethrone six-week leader Ode to My Father. Congrats to Min Ho-sshi, being a popular Hallyu and drama star does not guarantee box office success at all in the domestic South Korean market. Another indicator for Gangnam 1970’s success over the other films is in the form of decent to good reviews whereas The Royal Tailor and The Con Artists got pretty blah critical and audience feedback. Looks like Chungmuro has opened the door to Lee Min Ho to cross over. Continue reading

Yoon Eun Hye Plays a Chubby Village Girl in Blood Merchant Cameo Role

The good news for Yoon Eun Hye fans is the opportunity to see her on the big screen right now in South Korean theaters with the movie Chronicles of a Blood Merchant. She’s even getting good reviews for her acting and saturi despite the very small cameo role. Bad news is the highly touted movie starring A-listers Ha Ji Won and Ha Jung Woo is basically tanking at the box office. It premiered in third place behind Ode to My Father and Love Forecast, and the second week numbers look even worse as ticket sales decreased over 40% and the movie dropped out of the top 5 all together. I wonder if the problem is the directing or Korean interest in the underlying story based on the C-novel because I can’t imagine acting is a problem with this stellar cast. At least the production released two official stills of Yoon Eun Hye so fans can see what she looks like playing a very chubby (100 kg) peasant girl in the same village as the lead couple. My verdict – she’s so adorbs even in a fat suit. Continue reading