Tomorrow’s Cantabile First Three Episode Ratings Each Drop Double-Digits

Hate to have to say this, but maybe K-dramas really shouldn’t attempt another Japanese manga adaptation for the foreseeable future. Or at least hold off until it figures out how to delicately flesh out the source material in a Korean aesthetic without butchering it wholesale. I haven’t written about Tomorrow’s Cantabile (Naeil’s Cantabile), the Korean adaptation of the shoujo manga Nodame Cantabile, since it premiered last week. I honestly don’t have a single good thing to say about it after watching the first two episodes so refrained from piling on or raining on the parade of those who do like it. It’s not for me doesn’t mean it’s not for somebody out there.

Sadly for production coming in with high expectations, it’s now looking more and more like a whole lot of people may not find it a palatable either despite the big name stars and big budget. TC premiered on KBS with a decent 8.5% ABG rating for episode one but since then it’s been on a fast track downward spiral, dropping to 7.4% in episode two and now to 5.8% with yesterday’s episode three. Ouch. Every previous Joo Won drama on KBS has been a massive ratings hit from Baker King Kim Tak Goo, Ojakkyo Brothers, Gaksital, and Good Doctor but it looks like his KBS hit streak has finally come to an end. Continue reading

Park Shin Hye Singles Out Former Costars Jang Geun Seok and Lee Min Ho as Working Best with Her

Park Shin Hye is currently filming the upcoming SBS K-drama Pinocchio and as a fan I’m looking forward to what she delivers this time around. I’m sure plenty of viewers are waiting to see if she’s back on top after being so lackluster in her last drama Heirs, and especially checking out whether she has romantic chemistry with leading man Lee Jong Seok. She’s featured in a Star 1 spread this week that is fall floral centric and quite lovely actually with a good balance of flowers and feminine allure.

A minor quibble would be Park Shin Hye having the same look in every picture but otherwise she’s connecting with the camera nicely. During the accompanying interview, she humbly denied any kudos for helping turn her previous leading men into Hallyu stars, instead only allowing that perhaps she helped them to shine more. When asked which of her costars she worked best with, Park Shin Hye specifically mentioned Jang Geun Seok from You’re Beautiful (both child actors, they understood each other well and got along wonderfully on set) and Lee Min Ho from Heirs (she complimented his great personality and felt they had great chemistry together). Continue reading

My Spring Days Episode 12 Recap

Dong-ha speech to Bom-yi about wanting her to live for herself, to go out and do what she wishes and go wherever she wants intrigues me. It certainly doesn’t mean he will allow her to venture out and ne’er return. By admitting his love for her, he put his claim on her even knowing the risk of further distancing his brother . She is his and he wants her by his side. What exactly does he envision for his Bom-yi, then? Her job prospects are good, as she has skills and smarts, which means we don’t have to suffer through any study abroad baloney. God, I hope not! Maybe he is countering the fear Oma voiced to his mother earlier.

If she were to marry Dong-ha, that she wouldn’t inherit all the duties attached to running a household with children. While she would be integrated into the family, it would not become her full time job to care for them — which makes sense. No need to stop working outside the house, as Oma instructed earlier, no need to be a stay-at-home mom/cook/laundress/maid/tutor/chauffeur. Her life should be enriched by the change in status to wife, not diminished by it. Dong-ha’s biggest regret with Soo-jung was that she never finished school, never became an independent person before marrying him. Not that he believed Soo-jung was unhappy being his wife; just that she missed reaching her full potential as a person. Continue reading

Jang Nara Visits Healing Camp and Meets Face-twin Sung Yuri

This is news to me but apparently K-ent has long seen same age K-actresses Sung Yuri and Jang Nara are face-twins. Really? They’re both ridiculously pretty and don’t seem to age one whit from their late teen debut days, but for some reason I’m not seeing the resemblance much. With that said, Sung Yuri has been hosting the candid discussion show Healing Camp this year and recently Jang Nara made a guest appearance now that she’s much more active in K-ent again. Jang Nara wrapped up Fated to Love You this summer and is diving into yet another K-drama filming with Mr. Baek costarring Shin Ha Kyun.

Right now everyone is still loving Jang Nara’s chemistry with Jang Hyuk so it’ll be interesting to see how her pairing with Shin Ha Kyun is received. Sung Yuri has also worked with Jang Hyuk before in the K-movie Rabbit and Lizard so I can imagine the two lovely ladies sharing stories about working with Hyuk oppa. On a more serious note, Jang Nara opened up in Healing Camp about the stresses of being an entertainer which led to her suffering from bulimia and panic disorders leading to agoraphobia. She is much better now after treatment and that’s a relief to hear. Continue reading

Kim Ji Hoon and Oh Yeon Seo Go From Weekend Drama to Hotel Room Romp for Singles Magazine

Did anyone watch the just ended weekend drama Come! Jang Bo Ri (also known as Jang Bo Ri is Here)? I’ve only seen ten minutes of a random episode when I was recently at the jjimjalbang and watching whatever was on TV while lounging on the warm floor waiting for my massage. It happened to be Jang Bo Ri and I honestly would have no way to identify said drama other than Kim Ji Hoon showing up and I immediately made the connection to his being part of a currently airing weekend fare.

Kim Ji Hoon and his Jang Bo Ri leading lady Oh Yeon Seo graced the pages of July’s edition of Singles Magazine and it’s a photo spread that immediately reminded me of Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ah‘s risque spread for Vogue Korea while they were promoting Secret Love Affair. It’s sexy enough to share as a retrospective – Kim Ji Hoon smolders wonderfully while Oh Yeon Seo’s hairstyle is occasionally distracting. The lounging in a hotel room post-romp vibe is sexy but I wish there was more oomph between them. Continue reading

Yoon Eun Hye Wows with Her Killer Curves at the Cartier 100th Anniversary Event

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen Yoon Eun Hye look this va-va-va-voom at a media event. 2014 was a quiet year for Yoon Eun Hye, since wrapping Marry Him if You Dare (Mirae’s Choice) she hasn’t done a lead acting project aside from a cameo role in the upcoming Ha Ji Won-Ha Jung Woo movie Chronicles of a Blood Merchant. She has intermittently released photo spreads or CF pictorials, but for a fan like me who really want her to act more this year felt like it just slipped by. She attended the Cartier 100th anniversary event this past week dressed to kill in a skin tight Herve Leger navy off-the-shoulder dress paired with print Christian Louboutin pumps and ruby red lips. She was clearly going for the femme fatale look and I’m of the opinion that if she’s got it then go ahead and flaunt it. Yoon Eun Hye has been a spokesmodel for Cartier in Korea for a number of years so her attendance at this event was to be expected. With the year end straight ahead and all the upcoming winter dramas having its main cast booked already, fans of Yoon Eun Hye will have to look to 2015 for the next opportunity to see her back on television, if she even does a drama next year. Continue reading

My Spring Days Episode 11 Recap

I imagine a Hae Gil Hospital planning meeting 5 years ago: “Guys, guys, listen. Word on the street is the owner just made a deal with the devil. That’s one hostile takeover we need to avoid. Half of our admissions and sixty percent of our revenue come from the operating room, so let’s brainstorm on ideas to be more profitable.”  “We need to do a better job optimizing the performance of the perioperative department,” Ops advises. PR suggests they create a customer satisfaction index and publish it to attract more patients. Accounting proposes, “How about we offer long-term profit sharing with the surgeons to attract and keep the most talented?” IT recommends investing in state of the art technology and improving efficiency in the OR. The team members high five each other and play with their animated slides, preparing to present to the powers that be.

From the back of the room, however, someone silences them with a “Fools!” It’s Larry, the scary Sales guy everyone avoids, but they can’t fire because either he has pictures or he knows where the bodies are buried. “You’re so stupid. Why waste our time with actual planning when I have a better idea?” He throws up a slide of a pretty young 22-year-old heart patient. “See? All we have to do is get Doctor Kang to fall in love with her and have her fall in love with Doctor Kang. As long as they get married, all our problems are solved.  Does anyone have any reasons this won’t work?” The intern whispers,”What if she — ?” but gets shushed.  Nope, nobody can think of any. It’s foolproof. Everyone cheers! Future success secured, they go out to eat to celebrate. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

TW-media Singles Out A-list Actresses that Make their Costars More Popular

This is an interesting article that taps into a popular Chinese cultural myth and might have some nuggets of anecdotal truth to it. A Taiwanese newspaper recently wrote about four of the most popular actresses in the Chinese-speaking entertainment world in a different context beyond their own popularity and acting successes. There is a commonly held belief that a man should marry a woman who “brings prosperity to her husband” (wang fu 旺夫). It’s the opposite of the Chinese superstitious fear of a man marrying a women who brings bad luck to him.

And yes, I know how sexists these old cultural concepts are but it’s fairly ingrained in Chinese folk beliefs even today. Taking this concept over to the acting world, the media loves to compliment actresses on being 旺夫 if acting opposite her makes the male costar become more popular. This recent news article pointed out that Ariel Lin, Rainie Yang, Chen Qiao En, and Yang Mi are not only popular in their own regard, they are each even more sought after as leading ladies because they have a track record of making their male leads better off career wise after acting with them. Continue reading

Eric Comes Out on Top of Korean TV Critic Assessment of Recent Idol Acting Performances

This is a worth reading commentary from a veteran Korean television critic on the recent batch of idols acting in K-dramas. Published in entertainment news MBN, the critic rated the performances from the August-September dramas where veteran to newbie idol-actors were given roles of varying prominence. To now one’s surprise, and I’ll even argue there can be no disagreement here, Eric‘s performance as the male lead in Discovery of Romance was a tour de force of acting as good if not better than an professionally trained actor could have delivered. The critic wrote he’s no longer Shinhwa‘s Eric, he’s now also Moon Jung Hyuk the actor.

Coming in second was the surprise of the summer for me in Do Kyung Soo’s memorable debut in It’s Okay, It’s Love. Going by his idol stage name of D.O. when he’s performing with EXO, whether it was the right role or he simply is a natural, D.O. was fantastic in a supporting role in IOIL and worthy to grace the screen surrounded by a phenomenal cast. Rounding out the top three is a new fave of mine in Park Hyung Sik and his first main role in the weekend drama What’s With the Family playing the central family maknae brother. He wasn’t bad in Heirs but he was also unmemorable and got lost in the huge cast. Given the right role and with a crackling costar, Park Hyung Sik proves that he has an acting career ahead regardless of whether he stays in idol group ZE:A. Continue reading