Hotel King with Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook Release Script Reading Stills

The cast of the sprawling weekend K-drama Hotel King held its first script reading recently and MBC released the stills to the masses dying for the reunion drama between Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook. Let’s not kid ourselves, this thing has nary an interesting thing going for it aside from the My Girl OTP having another go at it. If the two Lees don’t float your boat, there are a bunch of other stars in this cast that you might have a shining for. Im Seulong of 2AM has signed on as the second male lead, which was exactly his role in his last drama The Fugitive of Joseon which also co-starred Lee Dong Wook. Here he plays a fellow hotelier in the same hotel managed by Lee Dong Wook and owned by Lee Da Hae’s dad. Wang Ji Hye tackles the rival second female lead role she’s done so many time before as she plays Lee Dong Wook’s ex-girlfriend and current hotel restaurant manager. Gong Hyun Joo is a highly educated everything done perfectly hotel supervisor and she’s paired up with Alex an overseas returning hotel director.

A few more idols round out the cast of hotel employees including VIXX leader N and AOA member Seolhyun, along with young relatively newbie actors Go Yoon and Ji Il Joo. Holding down the fort as the elders working at the hotel are Lee Deok Hwa and Kim Hae Sook, and I love these two so much so it’s great to have them onboard as well to add the veteran sizzle. Hotel King premieres the last week of March taking over the time slot of Golden Rainbow, which has turned out to be a disappointment ratings wise despite its supremely makjang ingredients. Directing Hotel King will be the PD behind Just Like Today and Life is Good while the screenwriter did Feast of the Gods and Golden Fish. These script reading stills look fine, nothing to write home about, other than it’s undeniable that Lee Da Hae’s series of facial tweaks over the years since My Girl has resulted in her looking almost like a different person especially next to Lee Dong Wook who just seems more grizzled and smexier. I do like her a lot and am looking forward to this high profile reunion, but it’s a shame the cheeky girl from My Girl is long gone. Continue reading

Chris Wu Reunites with What Is Love Co-star Chou You Ting for Sexy Rom-com TV Movie

It’s probably not a stroke of coincidence that recently crowned 2013 Best Actor and Best Actress winners at the Asian Television Awards (hosted by Singapore) are doing a cute rom-com television movie together. Chris Wu and Chou You Ting (Jade Chou) are already familiar costars after doing the critically well-received What is Love together in 2012 where he played a douchebag player and she the noona who still believes in love. He tries to play her and ends up being screwing over his own MO when he falls in love with her for real. I enjoyed the drama but something always seemed off though it was definitely one of the quality SETTV products in recent years. Chris and Chou You Ting had awesome chemistry but it was mostly because they are equally capable fantastic actors that can make anything believable. They are re-teaming for a TV movie called Flat Chested Winnie’s Happy Voyage (小胸維妮的幸福旅程) and the title is a pun on Winnie the Pooh. The first four letters of 小胸維妮 (Xiao Xiong Wei Ni) sound just like 小熊維尼 (Xiao Xiong Wei Ni) which is the Chinese name for the classic Winnie the Pooh. The story revolves around the leading lady who is constantly unhappy with her flat chest despite having a hottie boyfriend played by Chris Wu and always worried that a buxom babe will lure him away. Both leads are not just great emotional actors they are also great comedic actors with spot on timing which they displayed in the early parts of WIL and I’m expecting that to be put to good use here.

The first stills are out for the movie which airs later this year on the channel Videoland Movie (緯來電影台) which is a very popular cable channel in Taiwan. Normally I’d wait to post about this prior to its airing but these stills are too good not to share. Turns out Chou You Ting and Chris are thanking their lucky stars that they have worked together as romantic costars before because their first scene together in this movie is a raunchy make out scene! The scene starts with Chou You Ting’s character having a fantasy that her boobs are huge and she gets totally aroused and seduces her boyfriend. The scene required them to start kissing from the living room, slam open the bedroom door, keep kissing until they hit the bed, and then Chris picks her up and deposits her on the bed. That’s then followed by tearing each other’s clothes off and then continued kissing and more kissing. When asked by reporters afterwards if it was sexy both Chris and Chou You Ting guffawed and said it was the exact opposite. They had to choreograph all the movements in advance and remember it when cameras rolled, Chris banged his head on the door and it hurt like hell, Chou You Ting twisted her wrist when ripping off his clothes, and both of them ended up with chapped and swollen lips from all the kissing. I adore how candid they are and appreciate that what we see as sexy onscreen is really a lot of hard work akin to hard labor more than heated ardor. I do have to admit the stills are hella sexy so check it out below! Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 5: Wish to Entrust Myself to the Mountains and Streams

I’m so happy so many folks are as enchanted by this novel as I am and are following along. It feels like the book club days of Da Mo Yao and Yun Zhong Ge are back, but I understand Lost You Forever plops everyone right into the story so it’s harder to discuss in the early chapters without much information to go by. Poor Shi Qi is forcibly dragged back to his past life, and for him and Xiao Liu, it’s a difficult choice but one both are likely used it since they have’t lived easy carefree lives until now either. The romance parts of the story hasn’t fully gotten underway yet but it’s clear Shi Qi is completely in love with Xiao Liu. It’s love, it’s devotion, it’s gratitude, it’s appreciation, it’s everything he expresses in action and nothing that words enough could convey. Xiao Liu is clearly sad that Shi Qi is gone, but what does that sadness mean? Sadness because of loss or because of disappointment, or a bit of both wrapped in the confirmation that yet again nothing is forever. Xiao Liu’s interactions with Xiang Liu are a lot more fascinating because of how much he talks, and how they say and do things to each other that seem totally bizarre to anyone watching but seemingly fine to them. Xiang Liu sucks Xiao Liu’s blood to heal, but to Shi Qi he only sees the imprint of what looks like a kiss rather than a bite. That’s so telling, and the way Xiao Liu makes poisons and prays for Xiang Liu to die is at odds with how much Xiao Liu lights up in anxiety and fascination anytime Xiang Liu shows up. There is also Xuan, who I can’t talk about yet until his identity gets revealed in this novel, because the connection between Xiao Liu and Xuan is at a completely different plane than whatever Xiao Liu has with Shi Qi. Continue reading

Kang Ji Hwan Goes All Rebel with a Fog Machine for Singles Magazine

The entertainment world promotional cycle is pretty predictable. If a star has an upcoming or current project, it’ll usually be accompanied by photo spreads and CFs and other activities all at the same time. Kang Ji Hwan is headed back to the small screen in April with Big Man on KBS and he’s also gracing the pages of Singles Magazine in its March edition. Big Man has been on a steady casting spree for the last two weeks and the only thing missing right now is a leading lady to go along with the stellar group of Kang Ji Hwan, Daniel Choi, and Jung So Min. Jung Ryeo Won was in talks for the role but has reportedly declined which is a shame since she’s eclectic and quirky and a lot of fun to watch. Since she passed on the role, my repeated nightly chants of “please pick someone great” isn’t getting exhausting in the least, I have to stick with it because if an actress I don’t like is cast then it’s pretty much a no-go for me. It’s getting harder and harder to slog through a drama with an actor or actress that rubs me completely the run way. Big Man won’t start filming for another month so I can’t say whether Kang Ji Hwan’s look for the drama will look anything like this Singles photo shoot. I love the shoot but it’s a little overdone with the fog machine. I reckon the theme is rebel in the mist or something like that. Or maybe emo guy in smoke. I love all the shots except for the one where he’s wearing a giant feminine looking hat, which totally reminds me of Jung Kyung Ho‘s photo shoot last year where he was also sporting a giant hat for some strange reason. I’m glad he’s playing a bottom rung type of character in Big Man, it sounds like a great rough and tumble type of role that I’ve been wanting to see him try out. Continue reading

Empress Ki Sends Seung Nyang and Ta Hwan on a Royal Hunting Expedition in Episode 32

The new stills are out for next week’s new episodes of Empress Ki and I’m swooning already. A royal hunting expedition is organized and we see Consort Seung Nyang and Emperor Ta Hwan dressed to hunt in all their imperial splendor. It’s the first time Seung Nyang and Ta Hwan have gone horse backing riding and shooting since his days of being an exiled prince in Goryeo. I was getting bored of Ta Hwan’s endless magenta colored imperial robes so am excited to see him dressed for a hunt and with his hair in a ponytail. Seung Nyang is lovely dressed like a girly royal consort but she shines way more when she’s on the back of horse and aiming her bow and arrow at some poor helpless target. I’m totally not a Ta Hwan shipper (forever Wang Yoo baby!) but he’s really redeemed himself in my eyes as a character. His capacity for self-improvement and his recent development of a set of balls to go up against Yeon Chul, that was awesome to behold. Watching him snivel and shirk for twenty episodes seriously drove me batty. It was bad for the narrative and terrible for any meaningful love triangle to develop. Ji Chang Wook and Ha Ji Won having nice chemistry means bupkus to me if their characters have zero romantic synergy within the context of the story. That’s all changed and I’m sooooo happy. I love how respectful and appreciative Ta Hwan is now, how much he both loves and admires Seung Nyang.

She seriously is awesome to the nth degree and it’s such a shame that there isn’t two of her to go around so both guys get their own amazing woman. If I look at Seung Nyang, it’s sad that her talent and determination to take down Yeon Chul is motivated by revenge. She would be a talent in any position, but she really just wanted a happy simple life with Wang Yoo until it was all taken away. Now she’s climbing the ladder as Empress and she rocks it like no other, but she doesn’t want it and it doesn’t make her happy. Her relationship with Ta Hwan is really working for me now because it’s one built on honesty and truth. She tells him that she needs him to be the strong Emperor so that she can use him as a weapon against Yeon Chul. There is no promise of love, but you can see in her eyes that she cares for Ta Hwan and is also gradually starting to suss out admirable qualities in him. Once Yeon Chul is eliminated, I can see them living a life together ruling over the Yuan dynasty, she would be a great asset in helping to govern Goryeo in a way that is both respectful and mutually beneficial. I’m just sad that can’t be either since she loves Wang Yoo, and they have their little baby Star to get back. Speaking of which, that witch Tanasiri really seems to love that baby she stole. It’s a relief but dang I wanted to keep on hating her from the tips of her smirky head down to her dainty evil toes. Anyhoo, this drama is still super fun to watch and I’m loving how Seung Nyang and Ta Hwan appear to be enjoying each other’s company at the hunt. Continue reading

Period C-drama Lady and Liar with Hawick Lau and Tang Yan Release Gorgeous First Trailer

I think I’m going to get an overdose of the 1930’s Shanghai era once the one-two punch of period C-dramas Cruel Romance and Lady and Liar when both hit the airwaves. It’s not just the setting that I love, I’m interested in both stories and following Cruel Romance with Chen Qiao En and Huang Xiaoming releasing a teaser last month, Lady and Liar with Tang Yan and Hawick Lau followed suit last week and it’s a winner in my book. Lady and Liar comes with a high price tag and high expectations since its from the production team behind last year’s blockbuster period drama King of Lan Ling with Ariel Lin and Feng Shao Feng. The story is cribbed right out of the pages of a 1980 manga by Hosokawa Chieko called The Earl’s Daughter and has all the ingredients for a juicy romance thriller. Leading lady Tang Yan plays Jiang Xin, a plucky orphan who discovers she the lost long daughter of a rich and prominent family. Her life seems to be on the up and up and she also had a sweetheart Sheng Jian Wen played by Tong Yan, who is blind but had given her his heart. On her way to reunite with her family, she pardons and befriends a female thief Du Xiao Han played by Yang Rong that she catches stealing from her. The train derails and Xiao Han uses the accident to get rid of Jiang Xin and assume her identity. Jiang Xin survives but loses her memory, but thankfully she’s a man magnet and Shanghai gang boss Bai Zheng Zi played by Hawick Lau finds her and takes her under his protection, lying that she’s his fiancee. Jiang Xin falls for her fake fiancee for real while Xiao Han tries to cling onto the rich new life she’s assumed. The four leads get mixed up in a convoluted I-love-you-but-you-love-him-and-he-loves-her love square along with dealing with requisite political intrigue and personal conflict. I loved the first teaser which lays out the story succinctly and shows off a fantastic looking drama with a very pretty cast that fits their roles and appear to have great chemistry all around. I’ve been interested in this drama since I first heard about it last year and now that the first look is out, it hasn’t disappointed me in the least. Now comes the hard part of waiting for it to arrive, likely in early 2015. Continue reading

Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Seok to Play Lovers in Jeju in Mini-movie for Lotte Duty Free

Is there an air of nostalgia lurking around these days? Why else would I suddenly feel like it’s 2009 now and the crazy days of You’re Beautiful have just passed? Last week the leads of YB Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Seok re-teamed for their umpteenth CF collaboration together, this time all the way over in China to shill for an orange juice line. It was cute but nothing to write home about. This week comes the two-fer treat for fans of GeunShin – they are playing lovers in a drama together! Ahahaha, okay that’s maybe the full picture, sorry for trolling you guys but I couldn’t help it. To clarify, they are making an online mini-movie together for as part of the CF model line up for Lotte Duty Free. You know, it’s those line of stores that claims you are buying something totally cheap because you don’t pay tax on it but that’s mostly not true (trust me, do your price comparison research). Lotte Duty Free always has a sprawling cast of Hallyu acting and pop stars to plaster all over airports and this year a few new faces makes the list.

The hold-overs from previous year(s) include Jang Geun Seok, Choi Ji Woo, Kim Hyun Joong, the six guys of 2PM and whomever is not in the army for Super Junior. A few folks are gone like Rain and Song Seung Heon but in their places this year comes Park Shin Hye, Lee Min Ho, EXO, and Eru. All the celebrities will be filming their own CFs as well as being part of the over Lotte concept MV called “You’re So Beautiful.” See, what did I say about it feeling like YB is coming back to haunt me in an overwhelming way. Lotte is also splitting the team up into certain pairings to film a mini-drama set in various famous South Korean locales, The mini-dramas will be a tourist film and be transformed into a brochure as well for tourists visiting those places. Park Shin Hye will be playing lovers with Jang Geun Seok for their segment set in Jeju. Kim Hyun Joong and Choi Ji Woo are doing the Busan edition, and Super Junior will be handling the Seoul portion. I’m wondering if MinShin fans from Heirs will be upset that their man Lee Min Ho isn’t doing the Jeju edition with Shin Hye? I’m personally super curious what the Jeju film will be like since its been 5 years and with how much Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Seok have matured through the years it ought to be something worth checking out. Continue reading