Final Batch of Spoiler Stills for Last Two Episodes of Bride of the Century

It was a rather mellow week for me despite eagerly awaiting the final two episodes of Bride of the Century waiting for me at the end of the week. This is one drama where all the previews and spoilers and stills for the final two episodes merely confirm that this story has one more trick up its sleeve but it’s not a critical deal breaking. I thought Kang Joo overcoming President Ma in episode 14 was merely by doing what was right, he took the power out of her hands by revealing his own grandmother’s crime. He got to be with Doo Rim and President Ma was vanquished, but it felt too easy and pat. I’m glad the ghost showed up at the end of the episode to drop kick this story back to the very beginning where there was a curse, a scared runaway bride, a haunting that may or may not be benevolent. We’ve been dealing with so much living people tricks that it’s easy to forget there is still a ghost lady out there and no one knows who or where she came from.

Now that we know she died at the hands of past live President Ma, and past life Doo Rim witnessed it, it’s even more important that what happene in the past be revealed now so that Kang Joo and Doo Rim can actually have a life together that has a greater purpose for themselves and everyone around them. They are the key to breaking the curse and she is the titular bride of the century. The PD posted the picture above of a sad Kang Joo supposedly from episode 15 but I’m worried since sad Kang Joo is always delicious to watch plus I know it’s just a prelude happier times ahead. Below are the final batch of spoiler filming stills I’ve gathered up that likely form a reassuring road map that the final two episodes may have some bumps and bruises but everyone will end up stronger because of it. I still think Yi Kyung and Doo Rim are twins so that is one major question I’m excited for the drama to finally answer. Continue reading

SETTV Schedules Love Meets Cupid to Take Over in May for In A Good Way

It’s finally here, confirmation as to the end of In A Good Way. The wonderful breezy Friday night TW-drama is ending in the end of April or beginning of May and will be following by yet another SETTV stock idol drama that I will probably end up watching anyway. Yeah, I’m predictable and easy like that. It doesn’t hurt that it’ll start two actors I enjoy watching even if neither are favorites of mine. In a funny twist of being off my a mere month, after Puff Guo had to pass on her reunion Sunday night idol drama with Aaron Yan called Fall in Love with Me (and was replaced by her Dream Girls group mate Tia Li), she’s taking on the leading role in the upcoming Friday night bickering enemies fall in love drama called Love Meets Cupid. That is actually the literal translation of the Chinese drama title of 愛情遇見邱比特 which isn’t a bad drama title all things considering. I’ve just seen so much worse this one actually sounds relatively unique.

Her male lead will be tall and effervescent Liu Yi Hao, who I swear does not ever have a bad day in his life. He has a bad hair day every day, but the man was born to shine rainbows and smiles on everyone’s lives. Last year two of the Taiwan dramas I watched to the end were his dramas, namely the lovely Amour et Patisserie with Sandrine Pinna and the frustrating IUUI with Chloe Wang. Neither made me want to write about it but both are worth a watch, and Liu Yi Hao is reliably good as he’s gotten these days. I think Liu Yi Hao and Puff would be a great refreshing pairing, and immediately Love Meets Cupid vaults over Fall in Love with Me in terms of how much I want to watch it because collectively Puff and Liu Yi Yao are way better actors than Tia and Aaron. The drama starts filming in April which is just in time for Puff to wrap her We Got Married Global Edition season 2 stint with Heechul. Girl’s career is on fire and I like her enough to wish her well in picking projects that capitalize on her strong suits. Continue reading

SBS Drama You’re All Surrounded Releases Colorful and Comedic First Teaser

I got an unexpected and early treat today with the just released first teaser for You’re All Surrounded. It’s the upcoming SBS Wed-Thurs drama following Three Days with Yoochun which wraps up in two weeks. I feel like the late Winter prime time dramas have by and large been such disappointments, nothing so dismal to merit ranting and raving, but nothing lived up to its expectations. That may be a reason why I’ve been rather pleased with the teasers for the upcoming Spring dramas, sitting in a place of lowered expectations suddenly everything appears rosy-tinted. The teaser for You’re All Surrounded is by far my favorite of all the Spring teasers released thus far. Starring Lee Seung Gi, Cha Seung Won, Go Ara, Ahn Jae Hyun, and Oh Yoon Ah, this one looks comedic and fast-paced with an underlying brightness about it. I love the comic-book freeze-frame effect as well as how everyone is thrumming with intensity onscreen.

Cha Seung Won plays the Gangnam police station captain who is dedicated and serious about his job, he’s good at it and he doesn’t take kindly to slackers and incompetents. Too bad he’s saddled with an incoming class of rookie cops that is bound to drive him nuts. Lee Seung Gi playing a slacker who never wanted to be a cop and is good for only making sharp quips and being rather blase about everything while Go Ara is a bright and hardworking girl who has finally achieved her lifelong goal to be a cop. Oh Yoon Ah is a detective as well and heads the missing persons department, she is also Cha Seung Won’s ex-wife and they end up working together in a missing persons case. Fast-rising young actor Ah Jae Hyun, who gained a lot of attention playing Jeon Ji Hyun’s younger brother in You From Another Star, will be playing Lee Seung Gi’s cop buddy and quite hotblooded about his job contrary to Seung Gi’s character. Continue reading

Secret Love Affair Episode 7 Recap

This was a very painful episode of Secret Love Affair, painful yet I still managed to chuckle a few times here and there. That’s life, isn’t it? Even in the middle of a maelstrom a person is capable of laughter, the complications of the human psyche deep and unfathomable. We only try to make sense of ourselves, and attempt to make sense of others. Hye Won doesn’t even know herself, she hasn’t ever truly weighed whether she’s willing to pay the price in exchange for the reward. She’s merely gone ahead with it, and part of me feels like she does it because she’s so good at it. That also feels like life, making a choice with the available information but unable to truly see the full scale of the future that lies ahead. Does Hye Won have an inkling that one day she’ll be cleaning up the dirty messes of the uber-rich, selling her authenticity because it brings her proximity to the music she can’t play but also can’t get out of her soul. This is as close as she’ll ever get to the piano, short of just plinking it out at home in a world far far from Seohan Arts Center.

I’m impressed that this drama doesn’t go for cheap thrills to reside in a deep dark place of furtive glances and heavy-breathing embraces. This secret love affair is truly one of the heart and soul, but with it comes the natural physical attraction as well. It’s alluring to watch even if a tad contrived, making it so that Sun Jae and Hye Won are constantly forced into each other’s orbit. I also found Sun Jae’s mother’s death such a cop-out, making him an orphan and removing the inevitable motherly horror at finding out her young son has fallen for a woman old enough to have mothered him. This story moves now from unexpected first attraction to that conundrum of a question “What to do about it?” that plagues Hye Won but Sun Jae pays no heed to. For him it’s so simple – I love you – but for her it’s so monumental and earth-shattering. It’s also happening at the same time her orderly and well-managed professional world is starting to show cracks all around her. I find my heart hurting for Hye Won and wanting her to find a safe haven from the piranha infested musical world she inhabits. If that safe haven is Sun Jae, then so be it. Continue reading

Written and Video Preview for Episode 15 of Bride of the Century

I’m so super stoked about the upcoming ending of Bride of the Century. I feel this story has runs its course and anything more than two episodes left will be overkill. The supernatural elements of this drama have been thoroughly entertaining, at times less crazy than the machinations of the living such as Kang Joo’s mom selecting a sacrificial first bride or President Ma finding a doppleganger substitute bride for Yi Kyung. In between there were plenty of hijinks, an attempted kidnapping, the second male lead got beaten into a coma, and then the second female lead attempted suicide. I wonder if the screenwriter was chuckling while chugging soju while penning the script? I say that in good-natured jest since I find the writing so fantastically loopy and even more astonishing because it all works.

The ending of episode 14 is what merits being called a doozy, sending everyone’s heads spinning in ways less creepy than The Exorcist. I highly doubt anyone suspected President Ma had any connection with the Choi family ghost, must have her former self be responsible for starting the curse or haunting in the first place. Then to see Doo Rim also existing in the past but as a savior of sorts the way she grabbed that baby from her murderous mom and backed out of that room, clearly she’s going to face yet another obstacle perhaps even greater than what she has already conquered to be with Kang Joo. What if she is actually President Ma’s daughter along with Yi Kyung, hence she is also the daughter of a murderer? Would that be the reason Doo Rim leaves Kang Joo and goes back to Namhae? I’m certain they’ll end up together in the end but am curious what would lead to yet another OTP separation so late in the game. Continue reading

Fast-paced and Intense First Teaser Arrives for Doctor Stranger with Lee Jong Seok and Park Hae Jin

I may be anemic to Lee Jong Seok – har har, can’t help but crack a vampire-related joke when it comes to him – but I’m definitely checking out Doctor Stranger when it arrives in early May on SBS. It’s going up against Big Man on KBS with Kang Ji Hwan, who is one of my all-time favorite leading men, but I’m keeping an open mind between the two dramas in terms of which story will be more interesting. Triangle with Lee Bum Soo, Jaejoong, and Im Shi Wan is also joining that time slot but that one I’ll watch on the back-burner since it’s so long. I was so underwhelmed with Big Man’s first video teaser it’s not even funny but I was actually pleasantly surprised by Doctor Stranger’s first teaser which arrived yesterday. Right off the bat I see PD Jin Hyuk‘s directorial flourish all over, skewing more towards his City Hunter action-packed style as this drama also seems more of an intense thriller rather than a medical story.

The first teaser shows Lee Jong Seok’s character, a South Korean-born child who was raised in North Korea and becomes a surgeon for the regime, trying to make a last-ditch effort to escape. The overseas shoot in Budapest, Hungary is featured prominently in the teaser along with Lee Jong Seok already angsting like there is no tomorrow. We only get glimpses of second lead Park Hae Jin (the main reason I’m checking this drama out) and second female lead Kang Sora. The kicker in the plot synopsis for female lead Jin Se Yeon is that she plays two characters, a North Korean girl who is Lee Jong Seok’s sweetheart, and then later a South Korean oriental medicine doctor who was trained in China. Don’t ask if the two characters are twins or merely dopplegangers, or why this drama has to dip into that particular well in the first place. At least Jin Se Yeon looks as bloodless as Lee Jong Seok in the teaser, maybe they are meant to be as an onscreen couple. Continue reading

Major Spoilers for the Novelization Ending of In a Good Way

It’s your choice whether you want to click on this post and be totally spoiled, but please don’t comment in future In a Good Way posts with information gleaned from here and thereby spoil the ending for those who don’t want to know beforehand. The tentative episode count for IAGW now that it’s nearing the end and SETTV has a better idea of how much more story left to tell stands at 24-episodes. That means four more episodes left and I sure hope the network makes the most of it in packing in momentum driving narrative rather then the nice filler that is enjoyable to watch but not very substantive in telling me how everyone will end up. The network released a novelization of the story last week in the Taiwan publishing press and eager viewers scooped up the book. The ending of the novel has been discussed among the readers who have read through the novel and below I’ve summarized the key relationship endings for all the main characters.

A word of caution not to expect the drama ending will be identical to the novel. I think there is still time for audience feedback of the novel to potentially tweak the drama ending, though I do expect the final steps of the journey to be more or less what the novel laid out. I read the novel, and have actually read quite a few SETTV drama-novels that the network has published for its popular dramas. It’s always a light read is never as good as the dramas, and here I think the wonderful cast with their great chemistry has managed to elevate what is just an ordinary story about a particular group of college friends trying to find their future paths. In particular it’s Lego Lee turning a stock nearly perfect male lead into something vulnerable with unique insecurities but bursting with a strong sense of self. All I’m going to say about the ending of the novel is that almost everything works for me expect one major quibble, but I actually think that one thing may be what the drama will do different. Who knows but I can’t wait to watch the final few episodes remaining. Continue reading

Lotte Duty Free Releases Five CFs Featuring Jang Geun Seok and Park Shin Hye in Jeju

The first batch of the Lotte Duty Free CFs for 2014 have arrived and it’s none other than the hotly anticipated reunion onscreen romance between former You’re Beautiful costars Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Seok. I confess to being one of the naysayers who wrote off their casting in YB when it was first announced, only to be thoroughly charmed right off the bat thanks to a crazy fun set up and fantastic chemistry between them. I feel like it’s the exact reverse of Park Shin Hye’s widely bandied about pairing with Lee Min Ho in Heirs where everyone was hoping against hope it would work out but the end result was flat milquetoast. Jang Geuk Seok and Park Shin Hye spent days in Jeju back in February filming these short snippet CFs for Lotte Duty Free, a combination of promoting the brand as well as doubling as Korean Tourism Agency videos. It’s safe to say that one out of five K-dramas have a Jeju shoot and it’s not surprising since the island is the very definition of picturesque ideal vacation destination. Watching these CFs actually make me want to visit Jeju even more than I was satisfied with the Park Shin Hye-Jang Geun Seok collaboration. The CFs don’t really tell a story and are meant to be more visually pretty than emotionally stirring. Check out all the CFs below, all arriving with convenient English subs courtesy of Lotte Duty Free. The CFs were actually released with multiple language subs including Japanese and Chinese, clearly the company knows it’s target audience. Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 22: It Feels Like Such a Long Parting

In all of Tong Hua‘s historical novels, she chooses to write about characters who often have epic identities, but in doing so each is bound by responsibilities and ties that cannot be easily forsaken. What makes Lost You Forever interesting is that we get to sneak a peek at how these awesome characters like Xiao Yao, Jing, Xiang Liu, and Zhuan Xu would be like if they didn’t have their burdens to shoulder. Their alter egos of Xiao Liu, Shi Qi, Fang Feng Bei, and Xuan tease us with how wonderful their lives could be if they could love and live with abandon. Xiao Yao desperately wants that but she comes up against her own true identity in a devastating way in the last chapter. Everyone’s beloved Xiao Yao died, she really did die, and the only hope for her resurrection lays in the hands of Xiang Liu. Even if he manages to bring her back to life, going forward there is no longer any certainty that being a Princess with all the major backing of two Emperors can keep her safe. When Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao planted that pair of bugs in them, neither expected it would actually be so critical down the road. I love this chapter because it feels like a stolen time for Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao, a time they may never have together again. I’m a sucker for the Xiang Liu-Xiang Yao unspoken romance even if I think Jing is by and large the more stable choice for her. But it’s nice to have a demon warrior who tucks you away in his own private safe haven to save your life, yes? Continue reading