Super Junior Returns with Delightful First Single and Entertaining MV for “Mamacita”

I’m an easy listener to please when it comes to my K-pop which invariably filters to my consciousness through whatever track is on a drama I’m currently watching. Then comes when K-pop idols transition to acting and I have to decide on yay or nay when it comes to their potential. With that said, Super Junior is one of those original behemoth kings of modern K-pop that everyone ought to at least heard of even if you can’t name the members. They’re of the Big Bang and original DBSK time period and while the former is laying low without a comeback in sight and the latter has splintered into two groups, it’s nice and reassuring to see SuJu return with a full album with pretty much the entire contingent intact. Other than Han Geng who sued and left along with Kibum who is on what is still called a hiatus, 10 of the boys are back to dance and sing their way back to their loyal and patient fans’ hearts. Oh right, Yesung is in the army now so he’s not on this album.

The ones I pay attention to in Siwon, Donghae, and Heechul are all there, and Leeteuk is back from the army looking insanely handsome while Kyuhun is in fine form with his amazing singing chops. I haven’t listened to the entire album yet but the lead single “Mamacita (Ayaya)” is as entertaining and addicting as the teaser suggested. It’s described by SM as “an Urban New Jack Swing genre song, with drum sound based on rhythmical Indian Percussion and piano melody”, which is overly florid but I did hear all those elements fused nicely together in the full track. The MV is equally as fun even if overly nonsensical what with Eunhyuk as a bullfighter who shows up in the Wild Wild West not to mention the most memorable storyline ended up being the brokenhearted love affair between Kangin and his watermelon. Check it out below and be sure to not miss Shinding saying the most gutbusting lyric in the entire song “Just close your lips and shut your tongue.” LOLOLOL. Continue reading

Filming Starts on C-movie The Third Love with Beautifully Stiff Song Seung Heon and Crystal Liu

Filming has started on the upcoming C-movie The Third Love starring Song Seung Heon and Crystal Liu based on a popular C-novella. Every time I look around there is some C-novel getting adapted into a drama or movie and it’s probably good that China is so vast that there is probably a deep pipeline of new novels coming out to keep this going. I can’t complain because a book-to-drama adaptation has a slight stamp of literary approval, even if the novel is just chick lit or fluff, and has a preexisting outline so the production can’t go too far wrong with it. The picture above is Song Seung Heon showing off his script and his usual perfect flair for wearing a suit. He also took a picture (below) with leading lady Crystal on the set of the movie while both are in character. That’s really a stretch since he’s too good looking to pass off as the chaebol heir while she’s the most gorgeous lawyer I’ve ever seen. The story is pretty makjang though I have hopes that with a movie version, rather than a drawn out drama, the overwrought elements can be kept to a minimum. Crystal plays a capable young lawyer with a lovesick younger sister who works for the company owned by Song Seung Heon’s family and harbors an intense crush on him. She attempts suicide and ends up in the hospital after her crush is spurned and Crystal’s character hates the rich guy who broke her sister’s heart. Crystal ends up working alongside Song Seung Heon when his company hires her law firm to handle a major case and she’s assigned as the lead attorney. Of course they fall in love after spending time together but that devastates Crystal’s younger sister even more to have the man of her dreams fall for her own sister instead. Song Seung Heon also has an unwanted rich fiancee that he also needs to handle before he can be with his true love. If you want to be spoiled on how the novel ends then I’ll share it after the jump. Continue reading

First Teaser of Iron Man Shows Lee Dong Wook Climbing a Building Using Body Knives

JAW DROP. I have no words. Really, this cannot be happening. But if I were to give my two cents, I would advise Lee Dong Wook to run for his life and not look back. KBS dropped a teensy weensy teaser today for its upcoming Wed-Thurs drama Iron Man airing in two weeks after Joseon Gunman wraps up. JG needed to conjure up an extension so that IM could finish casting after multiple delays with leading men like Ji Sung and Park Shin Yang declining the role. This drama also needs a lot of CGI which means more post-production time than your usual K-drama. The first video teaser snippet is mere seconds but honestly it delivers a punch. Maybe not a good punch but I’m definitely awake and alert after watching it, wondering just what the hell KBS is thinking to green light this project and how an audience is supposed to react to it.

A standard superhero movie has its audience and trajectory, we want to see things blow up and heroes being heroic as the bad guys are dispatched. To transition the superhero to a K-drama based only on his emotional pain sounds sooooooo absurd, and now that I’ve seen the first teaser it looks as absurd as it sounded. Lee Dong Wook channels his inner Spiderman and climbs a building using only the knives that sprout from his body. The sound effects absolutely slay me on top of the image of Lee Dong Wook digging his body knives into the building exterior as if he’s rock climbing. Then Shin Se Kyung shows up looking as morose and chinless as she always look, like she just rolled right over from Fashion King and When a Man Loves to come here and just do whatever it is she does that sucks all life and energy from the screen. Continue reading

Kai Ko Released From Drug Arrest Detention and Holds Tearful Apologetic Press Conference

Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko has been released from a 14-day administrative detention in a Beijing holding center after testing positive for marijuana at a police bust that went down at a private party two weeks ago. His release was the hottest Chinese and Taiwan media topic all week and over 100 reporters waited outside the detention center to catch him leaving but came away empty handed since he was released through either a private exit or by covert police escort. The media didn’t have to wait long to see Kai as there was another batch stationed at his parents hotel in downtown Beijing and the media storm erupted when he was spotted entering the premises. Thankfully no one got trampled or injured in the melee and Kai and his parents safely made it back to their rooms. The next day Kai attended a scheduled media apology event down in the hotel ballroom where he delivered as heartfelt a mea culpa groveling apology as can be expected. There was so much crying one would think Kai was involved in a deadly hit-and-run and someone actually died, as opposed to him getting arrested for smoking pot.

I fully understand the Western perception that this is overkill and much ado about nothing, but in the Asian culture all drugs (even marijuana) remains a social taboo on top of it being illegal. The reaction of the Asian media and fans is understandable in that context, though it’s also undeniable that Kai Ko (and Jaycee Chan) were just unlucky enough to be busted while many of their pot-smoking entertainment brethren simply missed being at the scene rather than holding a holier than thou mentality of never touching pot. But being busted means Kai has to deal with the consequences and fall out and I must say he’s handling it the best way possible by being forthright and apologetic. During the press conference he bowed low at the waist three times, and his parents joined as well to apologize for not raising their son right, and Kai fully accepted all the responsibility for the mistake and bad decision he made to do drugs. He also made clear that Jaycee was not to be blamed for being older and leading him astray, so to speak, Kai said it was his choice to do pot and no one else is responsible for him breaking the law other than himself. Good for him not throwing a friend under the bus. Continue reading

Lee Min Ho Shows Off His Fine Form as the New Guess Jeans Model

A long time ago I thought Lee Min Ho has this edge about him. A bit of an edge when he was in Boys Before Flowers, when he played the character of Gu Jun Pyo there was rawness and unpolished intensity that really captivated me. He hasn’t been able to show that since and has actually gotten more and more safe and smooth if you will. Now when I see him trying to project a darker or bad boy image I just chuckle and want to pinch his cheeks. He is the type a girl takes home to the parents because there is nothing objectionable about him from head to toe. That might change after he tackles the gangster noir movie Gangnam Blues, but for now I’ll always remember moody emo Kim Tan and how not dangerous he is despite all claims to the contrary by the drama. Lee Min Ho did a motorcycle CF earlier this summer and now he follows up with a Guess Jeans ad that would be perfectly paired with the biker shoot. Lee Min Ho does look mighty fine in denim but why the photographer insists on overly photoshopping his face to a glossy (and unnatural) sheen annoys me. The man looks great in real life, just stick in him jeans and some mud and call it a day. The two pics with his hair gelled back is classic Lee Min Ho but I quite like another two where he has a Japanese rocker chunk of hair hanging over one eye. That actually changes his image up a bit but sadly still no frisson of danger anywhere in sight. Continue reading

SETTV Daily Drama Love Cheque Charge with George Hu and Yuan Ai Fei Releases Cute First Teasers

I always welcome a good daily drama which feels like an unassuming watch that takes nothing out of me. Commitment is not needed since one can stop and go without missing much, and it’s perfect as treadmill fodder. In the last few years, the best SETTV daily is probably still Inborn Pair while Love, Now started off promising but that didn’t last long. Two Fathers was cute but I liked neither female lead so the romance fell flat. Ti Amo Chocolate was a dull dud and both Sweet Sweet Bodyguard and Lady Maid Maid drove me insane within the first few episodes. I hated Second Life‘s entire cast and story concept while Love Family would have worked with a different female lead actress. I didn’t even bother with either Fabulous 30 or Tie the Knot, which leaves me quite excited that the upcoming Love Cheque Charge (Chinese title 幸福兌換券 Happiness Voucher) looks all sorts of up my alley.

I like leads George Hu and Yuan Ai Fei not to mention Kun Da works best as a second male lead as he does here. Supporting alterna-couple Smile Wen and Jay Shih bring back all my In a Good Way feels even if their characters are totally different. The drama is arriving faster than I expected with a premiere date next week on September 3rd. The bickering leads have been done to death not to mention George plays the arrogant ass while Yuan Ai Fei gives off the plucky Candy heroine vibe, but for some reason watching the first teasers made me smile even if I’m watching nothing new. As long as it’s charming without being too silly then this might just be my ticket back to daily drama land. I do wish the English title was less of a mouthful, plus its frustrating that even when the Chinese title doesn’t have the ubiquitous “love” in it the network finds a way to wedge love into a clunky English name. Continue reading

Pleasantly Surprised Goes Melo with a Kai Qi Kidnapping Coming Up

Was there a writer change in Pleasantly Surprised (Love Myself of You) or what? Otherwise how can one explain why there is a freaking kidnapping plot point coming up based on the just released new stills? Kidnapping? You have got to be kidding me. No offense to an event that does happen in real life and happens frequently in dramas without incurring my ire. But in PS, a drama that is about as eventful as a puppy discovering its tail for the first time and chasing after it, a kidnapping storyline is just so far out of left field. Maybe Kai Qi’s scumbag dad owes money and the debt collectors kidnap her to make her dad pay up, a plausible if improbable development, but from the pictures it doesn’t look like she’s the target and instead poor Ah Jie is being messed around by his older brother again. Why oh why can’t the guy just let it go by now? That is also hard to fathom, that he’s still harboring a grudge against something that happened when Ah Jie was a kid.

I’m beyond amused/appalled that their parents apparently live in LaLaLand to the extent they don’t know their eldest is mentally and physically tormenting his brother. Oh right, the parents also don’t know demon son is a raging alcoholic and somehow thinks fashion-impaired dimpled son is the one with the drinking problem. Oh Fu parents, you two are benignly sweet and what not but are epic fails when it comes to proper parenting. I have been getting a major kick out of Kai Qi predictably taking the hard line approach with bitter Zi Xiang, he deserves to be called out for all his shitty behavior in the past and present and stop blaming his lot in life on Ah Jie. Looks like Ah Jie is going to get beaten up in the kidnapping rescue attempt and hopefully it won’t come with an injured hand that will then present itself as ending his cooking career. I can’t believe the relatively angst-free PS is hitting the angst button for the first time dialed up to full throttle. In that case, can the drama dial up the passion as well? I need more of the hot wet kissing from episode 12. Continue reading