Sold! Just on how adorable Liu Yi Hao and Puff Guo look together making their first appearance as a couple for the upcoming SETTV Friday night drama, I’m totally checking these two out no matter what. If the story turns out good then I’ll stay for the long haul. The cast of the currently airing Friday night drama In a Good Way has been finishing filming one-by-one with the supporting characters done first while the leads are filming their last scenes as we speak. I think there is three more episodes of IAGW left which means it’s follow up drama will be airing in late May and has just started filming. The drama title used to be Love Meets Cupid (爱情遇见邱比特) but has since been changed to To Like One Person (喜歡‧一個人). Both drama titles are kinda cute and either works for me. Puff is best known for playing brash and plucky heroines like her character in Just You though she has also rocked out playing the uber-bitch villainess like her character in Miss Rose. This time around she’s playing a very aloof and quiet character, a woman who works as the manager of a French restaurant and her only two interests in life are cooking and mangas. LOL, she’s my type of girl. Other than those two things she likes to be left alone. Liu Yi Hao also plays against his usual big jolly boy-next-door type and sheds his trademark broccoli mane for more mature locks as he transforms into a Paris-trained French chef who returns to Taiwan and ends up working at the same restaurant as Puff where they have a dislike-turned-to-love relationship. Dang it, this is sounding more and more tasty and might be just what the doctor ordered for IAGW withdrawals. Continue reading
There are so many K-entertainment shotgun marriages over the years it’s such a rarity to see the super reverse happen. Long time couple Han Ga In and Yeon Jung Hoon have been married for nine years now and are finally expecting a baby! Yeon Jung Hoon’s agency confirmed the happy news and said Han Ga In was currently just seven weeks along and the baby is due right after the new year. This pair married very young back in 2005 when Han Ga In was just 23 years old and Yeon Jung Hoon was 26 years old, and also defying convention which said that pretty young rising talent needs to keep their personal romance life under wraps to preserve the image for their fans and oppa and noona are single and available. Over the years Yeon Jung Hoon has steadily garnered praise for his improved acting and has picked a diverse range of projects that challenge himself such as in the hit cable drama series Vampire Prosecutor.
Han Ga In had one great career year in 2012 with the hit drama The Moon Embraces the Sun and the hit movie Introduction to Architecture, though one can argue that the success of both those projects were not due to her but was in spite of her limited acting range. It’s not surprising Han Ga In hasn’t acted since 2012 as she’s well-known for taking acting breaks such as a three year break after the much maligned K-drama Witch Amusement. She was almost cast in writer Kim Soo Hyun‘s Thrice Married Woman but writer Kim publicly nixed her casting and other potential female actresses before deciding on Lee Ji Ah. Now that Han Ga In is expecting, I’m also expecting her acting hiatus to continue on indefinitely while her hubby will likely continue to be a workaholic and hustle more projects before the baby arrives and he takes a well-deserved time off to be a new dad. I do love how openly and naturally affectionate they always are in public, contrast with more posey stiff couples or ones that never step out together. Congrats to the expectant parents! Continue reading
The somber mood in K-ent continues this week even as dramas have gone back to regular programming. The Sewol ferry sinking has dominated news headlines in South Korea and with it the entire nation is in an emotional state of mourning even as unaffected people continue on with their daily lives. The drama wrap parties for this week’s two ending SBS dramas God’s Gift: 14 Days and Three Days were both cancelled and instead the money donated to relief efforts. On the other hand, upcoming dramas have to toggle the usual promotional machine fanfare with a more low key atmosphere these days so it’s not surprising that SBS has announced that it’s scrapping the usual press conference circuit for You’re All Surrounded. I don’t see press conference success or failure ever an indication of whether a drama ends up a hit with the audience so this isn’t a big deal for the cast or the fans. YAAS has also pushed back it’s premiere date to May 7th so circle that date on the calendar instead. The official drama website has opened for business and released official character stills, some of which have already been released while others for the supporting cast are new. What interested me the most was reading the character description for Lee Seung Gi‘s Eun Dae Gu. He has a high intellect and passed the bar exam only to suddenly transfer to the police academy and graduated top of his class. He is no nonsense and has a biting tongue that cuts people down if they can’t move at his mind speed. He doesn’t care about being a cop or fighting crime, his sole motivation for becoming a police officer is to catch his mother’s killer. Ah ha, finally we get the back story! Even with a bad temper and a caustic tongue, he still sets hearts aflame since he’s got the looks that makes the ladies swoon, except when he butts up against Go Ara‘s character. Cha Seung Won plays the police captain of the criminal affairs division and had a separate love line with Oh Yoon Ah who plays his ex-wife. I’m really looking forward to this drama. Continue reading
Today God’s Gift: 14 Days wrapped up in what amounts to a giant slap in the face to its small but loyal group of viewers. This drama never garnered ratings but generated a good amount of buzz due to the best thing about it – the performance and character of male lead Jo Seung Woo. The unnecessarily twisty and turny plot was actually its crutch but was made bearable by the sheer pleasure of watching Jo Seung Woo blaze a path through the drama filled with plenty of other good actors like Lee Bo Young and Kim Tae Woo. I loved the first gripping episode but it went downhill fast for me once the plot overly relied on red herrings, shock tricks, and plenty of Lee Bo Young doing stupid things. Her leading lady character was godawful, a workaholic mom who turns into a raving mother hen lunatic once she gets a second chance to save her daughter Saet Byul.
It didn’t help that I also found Saet Byul beyond annoying, not saying even dramatically I wanted her character to die because she’s done nothing wrong, but goodness half the problems in this drama would have been avoided had Saet Byul obeyed her parents and used her brain before running off all the time. I kept watching because it was easy to watch once I stopped taking the story seriously and just wanted to see how the time-travel back twist got resolved and also see the bad guys get their comeuppance. In the end it was thoroughly deflating with a side of “let’s cram all the final exposition and revelations into ten minutes and thnxbai suckers!” I spent the last ten minutes with an expression best described as a cross between “da fuq is this?” and “you gotta be kidding me!”. This post is devoted to venting about how bad this drama ended without delivering any narrative satisfaction. My takeaway is Jo Seung Woo and a stinging reminder that K-dramas are not to be trusted until the very last credits roll. Continue reading
When the Gods live so long in Lost You Forever, months is really days and years really months and hundreds of years merely a year the way we experience it. Hence waiting has less duration and more a feeling of holding onto a hope. Jing’s fifteen year promise with Xiao Yao is long over since she’s slept thirty-seven years in a clam shell with Xiang Liu already, but that promise no longer matters as Xiao Yao will wait for Jing. She tried to walk away many chapters ago, when Jing first disappointed her and she was actually ready to excise him from her life and end the promise. But she loves him and is clearly putty in his hands, anytime Jing steps up he finds a way to keep holding onto Xiao Yao. Will his intelligence and ability to quietly plot finally break through his grandmother’s insistence that he marry Fang Feng Yi Yang? One of my favorite parts of this story is seeing four very capable and confident and powerful characters all working their best to achieve their goals. It’s hardest to read Xiang Liu while the other three are like open books.
Xiao Yao’s goal is a happy simply life with a man who loves her, Jing’s goal is to be with Xiao Yao, and Zhuan Xu’s goal is to make the world a safe place for Xiao Yao and give her whatever she wants. Xiang Liu’s goal in life is probably like the way he lives as both Xiang Liu and Fang Feng Bei, he has two goals with one personal and one his day job as the General of the Sheng Nong resistance army. His life would be so much simpler if he didn’t run across Xiao Yao and her mouthful of lies in the mountain that day, but just like Xiao Yao ran across a half-dead Jing outside her medical clinic, sometimes fate is one tricky and elusive beast that brings people together only to plunge them into the sweetest kind of angst. Everything is starting to come a head and the Jing and Xiao Yao ship will make a clear turn in one direction soon. Xiao Yao will also be given a huge clue to what kind of voodoo bug is linking her with Xiang Liu, but before then she gets a gift from Xiang Liu that she won’t even know is a gift from Xiang Liu. And what a gift it is, tailor-made for her forged from the wonders he scoured from the ends of the world, how much more devastating would it be if she ever found out who made it for her? Continue reading
With all the drama preemptions in the last few days, start getting used to the next batch of upcoming dramas getting pushed back premiere dates. Triangle won’t be one of them since Empress Ki airs on Mon-Tues so last week’s episodes aired prior to the ferry tragedy while MBC elected to not preempt this week’s episodes. That means we’ll be making the acquaintance of the Jang brothers come May 5th and yesterday gave us the first glimpse of what to expect. The first teaser for Triangle at least looks good, even if it also looks like the mashing together of East of Eden with Giant. I still can’t get over how Lee Bum Soo is styled exactly (hair and wardrobe) the way he looked in the early adult sections of Giant. His character in Giant was a henchman of sorts in the beginning hence the jeans and leather jacket look, making it all the more hilarious that his cop character here has the same dress code.
This time around Jaejoong gets to try out being a gangster for size and I have to say he needs to eat a whole lot more for me to believe that he doesn’t get his ass kicked in every street fight. I do find the older two brothers a whole lot more interesting that Im Shi Wan‘s maknae rich boy gambler. He is already coming across as young and smarmy making me itch to punch him in the nose, and it doesn’t help that he has that split part hairdo in some scenes which gives off the image of a suited schemer. Lest we forget this drama has ladies in it, the trailer gives us a glimpse of Oh Yeon Soo looking smart and sharp as Lee Bum Soo’s love interest while Bae Jin Hee makes a blink and you miss you appearance as the woman both younger brothers will fall for. Apparently the boys get separated after their parents die but will reunite in adulthood and then deal with the fallout of their conflicting paths in life. Continue reading
I find myself increasingly interested in the upcoming SBS drama Dr. Stranger genuinely because of the plot. It sounds so wacky but might be wacky enough to work. Lee Jong Seok plays a South Korean born but North Korean educated genius surgeon who escapes the regime and ends up working in a top notch hospital in Seoul. He’s been recruited there by top heart surgeon played by Park Hae Jin, though his educational path is less gritty and more Harvard-grad. I initially thought it would be a straight up medical drama about a fish-out-of-water doctor stranger from North Korea trying to ply his craft in the fast-paced South Korean medical field. Sorta like Good Doctor but substitute the autistic Joo Won doctor for the North Korean Lee Jong Seok one. Then the first previews dropped and now it seems like a spy thriller complete with torn apart first loves. Dare I call it a spy medical drama? The character descriptions for the two female leads have come out and shed more light on what sounds like a potential messy love quadrangle.
Jin Se Yeon plays two characters – one is the firsy love of Lee Jong Seok’s character who is torn from his side and he does not know where she is and what has happened to her, the second is the first love’s doppleganger in working at the same Seoul hospital as an anesthesiologist. She is a Korean raised in China and described as cool and capable, but no one knows anything about her background which leads Lee Jong Seok’s character to keep trying to determine whether she is his first love. It’s a fifty/fifty K-drama probability she’s the first love and/or the twin sister of the first love. Kang Sora‘s character is also a heart surgeon and works in the same cardiothoracic surgery department as her fiancee who is Park Hae Jin’s character. She is the illegitimate daughter of the hospital managing director but she grew up confident and elegant, a woman at ease in scrubs during surgery or wearing name brands at black tie events. She’s engaged to Park Hae Jin but her heart starts to waver when she meets Lee Jong Seok. Check out the character stills and first poster for the drama featuring the pretty quartet. Continue reading