My Lovely Girl Episode 1 Recap

It’s too bad that My Lovely Girl (My Lovable Girl) didn’t premiere on a Thursday because this K-drama fairly screams a perfect fit for Throwback Thursdays. There is absolutely nothing/zero/nada about MLG that hasn’t been done before and probably done better. This is the most benign and unimaginative work to arrive in a long time, yet it has one thing going for it that will either make or break this drama for each viewer. It is completely easy to watch. It’s like pressing play and for an hour there will be the exact same rigmarole that we’ve come to expect for a K-drama romance except this one has an additional cute canine. Episode 1 flew by for me in watching and recapping and barely put a dent in my thought process. Even the wide swath of bad acting, some absolutely cringeworthy and others simply not up to par, doesn’t ruin the delivery of brisk entertainment. There is the niggling feeling like Rain is babysitting an entire drama worth of youngsters to develop their acting careers rather than showcasing his own, but if this is his comeback drama in four years then so be it.

I was expecting the drama to be lovely to behold since it comes from the PD behind Scent of a Woman and Dr. Champ, but oddly even the visuals are uninspiring and the story telling herky jerky with narrative jumps aplenty. Krystal feels way more suited for her character than Rain does in this whole drama, her age and relative inexperience pairs well with her character’s career and life struggles, not to mention she does make her Candy less saccharine and more edgy. This is probably the weakest Wed-Thurs line up in a long time with MLG going up against two newly premiered dramas in Iron Man (Blade Man) and My Spring Days. You can pick your poison/treat but I’m throwing the dice with MLG for being the one that kept my attention and/or sanity intact the most. If you’re game for yet another Candy heroine, rich talented and prone to yelling male lead, unexpected death and upcoming cancer, daddy disapproval issues, clingy second female lead, wise best friends who show up just to help out the leads, and the only happens in dramas almost fell in the swimming pool but the guy catches the girl in time twirl, then MLG might be the right drama for you. Continue reading

Domestic Violence Charges Withdrawn Against Kim Hyun Joong After A Receives Personal Apology

For both sides in a legal dispute the common element is the sense of relief and closure when the litigation comes to an end. Regardless of the outcome, closure brings the chance to pay penance or move on. With Kim Hyun Joong offering a very public apology to his ex-girlfriend for his actions leading to the assault allegations, his ex-girlfriend “A” has now officially filed a withdrawal of her complaint with the police station. Her lawyer made it clear last week that she wanted his sincere apology first and foremost, and reportedly Kim Hyun Joong also met with A personally to apologize this week, so with that A has decided not to continue with the lawsuit. In cases where there is a living victim, the cooperation of the victim in pressing charges almost always dictates whether the prosecutor will pursue the case.

A living victim that refuses to press charges and won’t testify pretty much makes the case DOA but an overzealous prosecutor could still go ahead with the case. In cases where the victim is dead such as murder or manslaughter charges, that’s when a prosecutor makes the sole determination whether to charge the accused since there is no victim alive to weigh in on the case. A’s lawyer issued a statement that A’s withdrawal of her complaint was completely voluntary and there was no financial settlement with Kim Hyun Joong or money changing hands in any way. She really just wanted him to apologize for beating her up. Key East has stated that Kim Hyun Joong will enlist in the military next year and will continue with his prior entertainment activity commitments until then. Kim Hyun Joong released a statement that he’s thankful this matter is behind him now and credits the support of his fans for getting him through this tough time. Continue reading

My Secret Hotel Episode 8 Recap

The pleasure of My Secret Hotel stems from the characters and situations both capturing my fancy so that I care what happens to them. The story line is all sorts of haphazard and preposterous but works nicely as a murky backdrop filled with secrets and danger. I just realized the drama is basically the game of Clue transplanted as a K-drama setting with intrepid Detective Kim as the player trying to solve the murder. So far we have Manager Hwang with an ice pick in the ballroom followed by Young Mi with a brass candle stick in the bathroom. Clearly the murder spree is nowhere near over but hopefully none of the endearing or bratty characters like Soo Ah or Eun Joo bite it. A few lesser hotel employees can be sacrificed in this fictional realm to up the stakes for Detective Kim and drop more clues as to the big secret the deaths are all trying to conceal. Episode 8 was as wonderfully entertaining as the last episode when Hae Young and Sang Hyo got married again. He thinks it’s for real while she is insisting it’s just for show, but what’s undeniable is how the whirlwind marriage gives them ample opportunity to spend time together.

Too bad every time they get close to an important discussion or to hash out issues then someone will interrupt. I don’t find Sang Hyo’s attitude with Hae Young annoying or too extreme, she has every reason to want to keep her distance from him and to question his motives and actions. This is a man who was about to walk down the aisle with another woman and then turned around and asked her to marry him. On top of it all remains their break up 7 years ago and all the unresolved baggage that still haunt them both. Sung Gyum has returned to being inscrutable for me despite displaying all signs of being a lovesick swain when he thinks about Sang Hyo. There is an underlying authority to him that skews towards menacing at times, and whatever the connection is between his mom and Manager Hwang, it does not bode well for writing him off as the murdering mastermind at this point. It was a refreshing change of scenery to get the action out of Secret Hotel and over to the resort setting, and hopefully with it Hae Young and Sang Hyo keep chipping away at their complicated attraction for each other. Continue reading

Joo Won Meets Shim Eun Kyung on the Set of Tomorrow’s Cantabile

It’s Korean Nodame and Chiaki together! More accurately it’s Seol Nae Il and Cha Yoo Jin together at last in the first stills of the leads filming Tomorrow’s Cantabile. KBS continues to pace the release of new stills for its upcoming Mon-Tues drama, which might be a good thing if it succeeds in whetting the appetites of the viewers since the current drama in that time slot is the low-rated Discovery of Love. KBS needs a hit but I’m skeptical that Tomorrow’s Cantabile will deliver. It might but bear in mind that manga or manhwa adaptations have been a series of epic fails in K-dramas for the last few years in terms of garnering domestic ratings. Group 8 keeps on churning out such adaptations and this one is also coming from that very company which produced Boys Before Flowers, Playful Kiss, Pretty Boy, Tamra the Island, and Goong.

Luckily for KBS Joo Won is a pretty reliable hit maker when it comes to dramas and his dramas on KBS have been rollicking successes for the network. Pair him up with current acting queen Shim Eun Kyung and the K-viewers may actually tune in come October 13th when the drama premieres. The first OTP stills have this interesting lens filter effect of making it feel like a rainy green-tinted afternoon, maybe with a lot of mold around. Don’t get me wrong, the color scheme is actually quite pretty albeit hard to place. Joo Won does have one leg up on J-counterpart Tamaki Hiroshi in looking the age of a musical college student the way he strides around campus. Despite Hiroshi being only 26 when he did Nodame he always looked older than the character’s age. Shim Eun Kyung continues to look just perfect for the part of a oddball piano prodigy with her shining eyes and endearing smile. Continue reading

Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Jin Wook’s Short Romance Ends with Confirmed Break Up

When celebrities start dating there are only one of two outcomes – marriage or break up. And even the marriage option can later end with break up. I doubt we’ll be around for the til death do us part to arrive but it is still sad when the break up of two lovely celebs happens on my watch. Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Jin Wook are both busy as all out with recent K-dramas and in the news quite frequently these last few months. It’s easy to assume things are going swimmingly in their four month long dating relationship since the early honeymoon phase isn’t even over with, plus Gong Hyo Jin is known for going the distance in her relationships as her dated her last boyfriend Ryu Seung Bum for over 10 years. Sadly it’s not to be as representatives for both Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Jin Wook have confirmed that the couple quietly broke up recently. It’s actually less sad if considered as a summer fling of sorts with two very attractive and quirky individuals

Relationships take time to nurture and both Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Jin Wook have been filming their respective K-dramas since news broke of their dating. Gong Hyo Jin has been immersed in It’s Okay, It’s Love since early spring and the drama just wrapped filming last week right before the last episode aired. Lee Jin Wook’s current K-drama Three Musketeers is still airing once a week on tvN and is reportedly a three season project. That hardly leaves the couple time to just spend with each other so sadly the break up is likely nothing more salacious than not spending enough time together. Now fans of Gong Hyo Jin can go back to shipping her with her numerous costars, a phenomenon that intrigues me since I can’t for the life of me ever see her falling for a leading man on set through acting as a couple in love. That’s totally not her “style” as to borrow a phrase from her Hae Soo in IOIL. With another couple I like biting the dust, hopefully happy news will come out soon to balance out the drama verse dating karma. Continue reading

My Lovely Girl Holds Press Conference and Releases 10-minute Long Preview

With It’s Okay, It’s Love signing off with a satisfying flourish last week, tomorrow SBS welcomes lighter fluffier fare in the Wed-Thurs time slot. The arrival of My Lovely Girl (My Lovable Girl) marks leading man Rain‘s return to television after four years as well as Krystal‘s first turn as a leading lady. I’m cool with their 12 year age difference in real since since Krystal looks older than her 19 years of age and it’s better to go in with an open mind since I welcome a easy to watch rom-com. But I just have to point out that when Rain was spreading Hallyu K-drama love through Full House with Song Hye Kyo in 2004, Krystal was 10 years old that year. Oh my how time flies. The cast attended a rather low key press conference earlier this week sporting a variety of outfits that range from burn it ugly to thanks for my hurting my eyes decent. Rain must’ve gotten dressed in the dark, or maybe borrowed his Full House top star alter ego’s dreadful sense of style.

From his sweater to pants to shoes, the man is a walking fashion disaster. If Krystal wanted to look older then she failed miserably by going for a dress that looks like a Victorian maid’s uniform crossed with an elementary schoolgirl’s outfit. I still like L‘s new blond locks but wish Hoya was playing the second male lead in this drama since he’s by far the better actor. L wins on being a better smirker. The production released a super long 10-minute preview which really consists of only 6 minutes of plot since the first four minutes are to showcase an outdoor performance by the idol group within the drama called Infinite Power. Did’ja get the so witty reference of calling the group Infinite Power since two of the members of played by L and Hoya who are members of the real life Kpop group Infinite? I hope SBS merely picked low hanging fruit for the set up and the actual drama delivers on the emotional resonance even if the story is all sorts of been there-done that. Continue reading

Valid Love Completes Main Love Triangle of Uhm Tae Woong, Lee Shi Young, and Lee Soo Hyuk

On the upside the casting for the leads of the upcoming tvN cable drama Valid Love is complete. On the downside there won’t be a reunion of two time costars Uhm Tae Woong and Han Ji Min for a third go around. Bummer. Instead Uhm Tae Woong will be pairing up with Lee Shi Young as a married couple that has overcome one taboo only to be tempted with another. Uhm Tae Woong plays a professor who married his former student from when he was teaching high school and she was his pupil. The age difference and teacher-student taboo is overcome when the drama begins, but soon his much younger wife finds herself tempted into an affair with a handsome young man played by Lee Soo Hyuk. I’ll glide over the Lee Soo Hyuk deserves a leading role and/or is perfect to play a vampire comments and just say that he’s never done anything for me so far in terms of either acting or appeal. But conversely he’s also not rubbed me the wrong way so that’s a plus already.

Same goes for Lee Shi Young, she’s always just serviceable but I’m never spurred to watch a drama or movie just because she’s in it. I feel the same way about Jung Ryeo Won, solid but uninspiring leading ladies. Sadly I really can’t stand second female lead Choi Yeo Jin but she’s not really playing a third wheel in the OTP marriage since her character is Uhm Tae Woong’s character’s younger sister. I like to see her fall for the second male lead and then try and break up the affair that’s threatening her older brother’s marriage. Valid Love is getting a major head start as the drama airs on tvN Mon-Tues following Liar Game with Kim So Eun, Lee Sang Yoon, and Shin Sung Rok, which itself will following the currently airing My Secret Hotel. Valid Love is described as a warm cheerful story despite the story synopsis sounding like a total downer. Go ahead and surprise me, drama. Continue reading