So Ji Sub Releases New Rap Song Dedicated to His 18 Years in K-ent

There are various feelings that So Ji Sub‘s just released new rap single elicits from me. The track is called “18 Years” and is a So Ji Sub rap ode to his eighteen years in the entertainment industry. The lyrics were self-written to express thoughts and feelings he’s not able able to share during his long tenure as a K-actor and occasional rapper. I really am floored by a reminder of how long So Ji Sub has been in the limelight starting from his modeling days in the mid-90s. His rise to fame actually mirrors his real life BFF Song Seung Heon since both were models for Storm and did then the sitcom Three Guys and Three Girls. I wasn’t totally offended by So Ji Sub’s last rap and hip-hop album but that was likely the Yoo Seung Ho effect since So Ji Sub got his mini-me to star in the title track MV “6 pm” along with Park Shin Hye. His sing effort even prior to that is the one seared into my brain, the so-bad-so-so-bad “Pick Up Line”. Even the song title is bad.

With those two extremes lurking, “18 Years” actually falls somewhere in between. It’s not bad but still comes across as So Ji Sub’s vanity project, i.e. he really likes to rap so he released a rap song that isn’t memorable or necessary in the musical world. It would even merit a second glance but for it coming from popular actor So Ji Sub. The MV is equally inoffensive and unmemorable, part of me thinks he either needs to do something as headdesk worthy of “Pick Up Line” or tap into his acting friends to star in his MV and amp it up that way. Last year So Ji Sub had The Master’s Sun lined up around this time and he usually does one drama a year but this year there is nary a peep out of his agency on any acting project. He was in Taiwan this past weekend for two sold out fan meetings and during the Q&A session he stated that he would only date openly if he was seriously considering marrying the girl. He’s actually someone with very eclectic tastes and personality in real life so I’m not sure what kind of girl will eventually snag So Ji Sub’s heart but when the times comes it’ll definitely be huge news. Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 31: Chasing Past Memories, Empty Hopes and Disappointed Visage

Ugh, I love this slow and delicate chapter of Lost You Forever way too much. So little action but so much richness in important details. Xiao Yao moves back to Sheng Nong Mountain and finds her true calling after a walk down memory lane. She reads the former Flame Emperor’s medical journals and really understands what being a healer means and that motivates her to become a doctor in spirit as well as in skill. Xiao Yao will never know that her own mother actually met the Flame Emperor in the last days of his life and he passed on his life’s work to her. Not to mention the former Flame Emperor being platonic best friends with Xiao Yao’s grandmother Empress Lei Zhu as well as Xiao Yao’s master the Royal Mother. It’s so apropos that Xiao Yao carries the mantle now. Medicine becomes also her distraction from the surreal quality of her life, engaged to Feng Long but doesn’t love him, recovering from Jing’s broken promise which felt like pouring salt on her lacking in trust heart, and wondering what the heck is really between her and Xiang Liu.

Okay, she doesn’t ever wonder but she does something that I’m so happy to see from a girl who never ever wants to take the first step and make the first overture. She sends Xiang Liu the most obvious and undeniable message of what is in her heart towards him. She pleads wordlessly for him to take her hand, for him to take her away from it all, for them to forget that he’s the General of the Sheng Nong resistance army and she’s the cousin of Emperor Zhuan Xu. Even with everything she went through with Jing, he was always the one who made the effort, the one who bared his heart to her, the one who extracted a promise from her. For the first time we see Xiao Yao dare ever so little to hope. My heart bleeds for her as it does for all the male leads in this novel. Who will be the one to break free of their fate and find long lasting happiness? I don’t know but can’t my woobies stop hurting me so much with their inner angst? I don’t know how I can translate through the tears to come. Continue reading

Supernatural MBC Sageuk Records of a Night Watchman Releases First Official Drama Stills

The first drama stills are out for the upcoming MBC Mon-Tues drama Records of a Night Watchman, the supernatural fusion sageuk that’s going to take over for Triangle once these three brothers finish hashing out their issues in another month. The first stills are from the parents generation before young leads Jung Il Woo, Go Sung Hee, Yunho, Seo Ye Ji, and Yoon Tae Young show up. There are also gorgeous looking stills of Choi Won Young playing the daddy King to Jung Il Woo’s Crown Prince-turned-Night Watchman. Both father and son have the same ability to see ghosts and the King in the main section of the story is a different man than when we first see him in the stills below leading his country bravely. His ability of sight is slowly driving him mad and he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to his son. Yoon Tae Young plays the powerful leader of the Night Watchman brigade and will take Jung Il Woo under his wing as the Crown Prince joins ghost wrangling.

Yunho plays another Night Watchman and hilariously all I ever read about his character is that he’s cold and aloof. I’m not sure if it’s purposely done to reassure everyone that Yunho will be fine in his first sageuk since his character will just stand there with a poker face on most of the time. The two female leads have Go Sung Hee as the descendant of the mountain priestess and grew up in the wilderness while Seo Ye Ji takes on the two-faced bitchy role as a rich girl scheming to become the crown princess. Apparently Seo Ye Ji and Yunho’s characters are cousins. There will also be a battle for the crown as Kim Heung Soo plays the older half-brother to Jung Il Woo’s Crown Prince and wants to get rid of him to be the next King. MBC really loves its sageuks and despite Triangle being the first non-sageuk in the Mon-Tues slot in the last two years, the disappointing ratings must have the network itching to get back to its ratings bread-and-butter with Night Watchman. Continue reading

Song Seung Heon in Shanghai to Promote Obsessed and Preparing for Romance C-movie with Crystal Liu

This post contains Song Seung Heon, various beautiful actresses from the Chinese-speaking entertainment world, and some explicit and steamy stills. If any or all of that is not your cup of tea, then I suggest you skip it rather and click more and then walk away with eyes wide open and tsk tsking about how inappropriate it is. I guess this is my way of saying this post has zero nutritional value and lots of guilty pleasure. Song Seung Heon was in China last week attending the Shanghai Film Festival to promote his racy K-movie Obsessed (Korean title Human Addiction). The title could be apropos for a stalker movie or one of those torture porn films but this one goes straight for the jugular in focusing on an extra marital affair that is extra steamy. I purposely used extra twice, for extra emphasis. Song Seung Heon made the most of his China trip and was seen happily snapping pictures with a bevy of actresses that the Chinese-speaking media love to call screen goddesses.

Above is Song Seung Heon pictured with Crystal Liu, who might have picked up a few Korean phrases recently since she just wrapped up filming of an upcoming C-movie with Rain. I tease that Rain made a movie with the C-version of his real life girlfriend Kim Tae Hee since both ladies have the reputation of being the prettiest flower vases in their respective industries. Song Seung Heon’s most popular onscreen pairing was also with Kim Tae Hee, so whaddya know about all those coincidences getting more coincidental as rumors have leaked that Heon oppa’s next project will be a romance movie costarring Crystal Liu. What. A. Small. World. Song Seung Heon also took pictures with Gong Li and Ady An, vastly disparate on the talent spectrum but both lovely as ever. The C-media is tittering about Obsessed as the bootleg copies have leaked over the Chinese interwebs and holy bejesus is it as steamy as expected. The K-media have taken plenty of screenshots of the movie from the official uncut (i.e. uncensored) trailer so if you have a hankering for what Song Seung Heon’s steamy side might be like onscreen, check it out below but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Continue reading

Written Preview for Episode 17 of Dr. Stranger

This has been a head-scratching last few days for Dr. Stranger viewer. First there was the bizarre creative decision to repackage the drama into a two hour Chinese movie, with even the consideration of dubbing the voices since the Chinese audience hates subs and are totally A-OK with dubbing. Then the PD gave an interview where I swear he basically shat answers out of his nostrils and gave everyone a collective migraine afterwards. Apparently the original outline for DS was a straight up medical drama where the characters of Soo Hyun and Hoon were the leads. The initial outline was junked once SBS intervened to order the original concept juiced up on steroids with spy and romance elements since straight up medical dramas were in a ratings slump around the industry. So the screenwriter went to work and came up with the drama we saw in the beginning where Jae Hee is the lead and the first love the central premise of the spy story with a side of medical stuff.

The casting didn’t come until after the revised concept was presented as the first few scripts, so the casting choices weren’t affected by whatever the original outline was since that never saw the light of day. Park Min Young was offered the first female lead role of Jae Hee/Seung Hee, she considered for a bit during which time Kang Sora accepted the role of Soo Hyun. Eventually Park Min Young passed and went off to do A New Leaf and that role was offered to Jin Se Yeon. If anyone wants to argue that the Soo Hyun offered to Kang Sora was the lead over the Jae Hee offered to Park Min Young, I’ll have to send you to a corner. PD Jin Hyuk wanted to work with Min Young again after City Hunter and really tried to land her for the role here. The DS we saw go off the rails in the mid-section was due to another last minute rewrite when SBS saw the audiences weren’t responding to the spy stuff and all the secretive plotting so told the screenwriter to go back to emphasizing the medical aspects. I swear even the behind-the-scenes stuff in this DS is as ridiculous as what passes for plot onscreen. Continue reading

Jay Chou Announces Impending Nuptials to Long-rumored Girlfriend Hannah Quinlivan

I think every single person in the Chinese-speaking world placed a bet against these two making it all the way to the altar when news first broke four years ago that they were dating. Of course it was never confirmed, but goodness the tabloids are fantastic at being relentlessly persistent to grab any confirmation detail as possible. The two in question are none other than King of Mandopop Jay Chou and his quarter-Chinese/quarter-Korean/half-Australian model-actress girlfriend Hannah Quinlivan. They started dating when Hannah was just 17 years old and Jay was all of 31 with a hefty fourteen year ago difference between them. Eyebrows were raised, of course, and no one expected it to last considering the laundry list of Jay Chou’s famous and non-famous ex-girlfriends probably stretch across the Taiwan Strait. Jay is an undisputed musical prodigy and songwriting wunderkind and luckily for him his list of musical hits stretch way longer than his conquests so at least the personal life doesn’t overshadow his profession achievements and accolades. I love Jay Chou’s music but his personality isn’t all that winning.

Jay had announced a few years back that he would definitely get married by 35 years old and that age came around this year so last week at a press event he was asked about marriage plans again. The media always ask him but this time he answered with a bombshell – Jay candidly told the media to take it to the bank that he was going to do good on that vow and was planning to marry Hannah before January 18th of next year, which is his birthday before he turns 36. That’s probably going down as the least romantic marriage proposal in history if he hasn’t already asked Hannah and put a ring on it. This news prompted his long-rumored ex-girlfriend the Queen of Mandopop Jolin Tsai to tearfully confess on a recent talk show about how Jay broke her heart (and the reason for their breakup) was that he really did cheat on her with anchor-actress Patty Hou. Worse yet was Jolin finding out by reading the tabloids! Yeesh, so much drama! She followed up by explaining she and Jay are friends now and get along spendidly without the volatile conflict that came with top stars dating. Congrats to Jay and Hannah but I’ll believe it when I see them actually walking down the aisle. This post nevertheless gives me the the perfect excuse to post some of my favorite Jay songs woo hoo! Continue reading

Popular Fantasy Wuxia Novel Hua Qian Gu Gets Drama Adaptation with Wallace Huo and Zhao Li Ying

There’s a new C-drama filming based on the adaptation of a very popular fantasy wuxia novel and it’s already getting readers and netizens abuzz with excitement and concern. Excitement over their favorite C-novel getting to the small screen mixed with the usual concern that the casting of iconic characters is all wrong and the plot may be tweaked for the television audiences and ruin the story. I’ve been there before but this time I’m watching from afar since I haven’t yet read the book. Without being personally invested in the characters or the story, I’m actually quite pleased with the casting of Wallace Huo and Zhao Li Ying as the leads for the drama version of Hua Qian Gu. The full novel title is Xian Xia Qi Yuan Zi Hua Qiang Gu 仙侠奇缘之花千骨 (Chivalrous God Destiny of the Flower Thousand Bone), but everyone just calls it Hua Qian Gu which is the name of the leading lady. The story is part fantasy part wuxia, with the leading lady the last descendant of the gods and is trying to make her way in the world now inhabited solely by humans.

Hua Qian Gu learns martial arts under her master Bai Zi Hua who is played by leading man Wallace Huo, and apparently there is angst aplenty as they fall in love but also get separated due to misunderstandings. The drama synopsis submitted to SARFT for approval apparently eliminated all the fantasy elements and made it a political battle story with Hua Qian Gu now an orphaned child of a battle torn country. Novel fans are furious about that as well as some are not pleased with pixie Zhao Li Ying cast as Hua Qian Gu. I adore Zhao Li Ying, she’s the cutest thing ever and manages to be adorable without ever overacting. She’s plucky without being yucky. Her pairing with Wallace rubs me in all the right ways so I’ll let the novel sticklers be mad while I gush over all the pretty drama stills from the currently filming production. An additional treat for me will be cameo roles by the stunning Jiang Xin as the villainess as well as Hu Ge in a small but important appearance. Me likes! Continue reading

Pleasantly Surprised Continues to Be Sweetly Awesome with a Side of Fashion Pants Disaster

If I had more time I’d definitely recap the Friday night SETTV drama Pleasantly Surprised (Love Myself or You). There is just too many wonderful elements in it and not a single thing I dislike in the story line or the characters. Episode 6 just aired this week and the story continues to get more interesting as the leads head into a cooking competition while Ah Jie’s family situation starts to intrude on his undercover life as a kitchen intern. This drama is lightweight without being silly, like a warm Summer breeze beckoning that carries a sincere message. I appreciate that Kai Qi is warming up to Ah Jie slowly but surely, not that her desire to be left alone is inherently wrong, but the impetus was due to familial strife and disappointment which makes it clear she wouldn’t be this way if her dad wasn’t a grade-A bastard. This drama manages to showcase people with positive virtues along with different points of view and addresses how that can lead to better things to come. With that said, this post isn’t intended to solely extol the virtues of the drama without touching upon the one glaring visual blunder present since the beginning and appears to be getting worse and worse. I’m talking about male lead Ah Jie (Louis) and his wardrobe. The pants are 95% the problem with the occasional shirt hot mess, but goodness what pants disaster occurs every episode plastered tightly to his lower half. I adore Liu Yi Hao but this fashion disaster is one for the ages and adds another layer of viewing purpose. I wonder each week what flower or print abomination shall appear on his derriere? Check it out for yourself below and enjoy the snerk. Continue reading

Discovery of Romance Finalizes Main Cast of Jung Yumi, Eric, Yoon Jin Yi, and Sung Joon

After three successive I Need Romance K-dramas on cable network tvN, the PD is heading over to the big leagues and shaking up the title a little. While Lovers of Music (Trot Lovers) just premiered on KBS Mon-Tues this past week and it’s a tad early to discuss the drama taking its place, the main cast has been finalized and that’s worth a mention. The INR franchise is graduating to being called Discovery of Romance and will reunite Jung Yumi and Eric seven years after they did Que Sera Sera as well as throw in Sung Joon and Yoon Jin Yi to muddle up the love lines. I quite enjoyed Sung Joon’s male lead character and performance in INR3 and it does feel like a step back for him to play the perfect second male lead this time around. At least it’s not for a male lead that I’m lukewarm towards, I’ve loved Eric since the early days of Phoenix and idiotic stuff like Super Rookie and Strongest Chil Woo. I merely want him to wash the stench off Spy Myung Wol and this might just work.

I’m glad he turned down the lead in Lovers of Music because the male lead character reminds me so much of his character in SMW whereas this time he plays a confident and successful interior designer who is quite romantic in relationships but can’t settle down with one woman. Years later he runs into ex-girlfriend Jung Yumi who is now in a happy stable relationship with her plastic surgeon boyfriend played by Sung Joon. Eric’s character realizes his failings of the past and finds himself falling for Jung Yumi again, and his return to her life also shakes up her current relationship with Sung Joon. Jung Yumi’s character is a furniture designer and will end up interacting with Eric time and again in a professional setting. Yoon Jin Yi changes up the typical second female lead in love with the male lead trope and this time she’s totally in love with second male lead Sung Joon’s character. They grew up together and she’s been crushing on him for his calm rational demeanor and consistency in love. This one looks like a must watch with a very intriguing cast in the hands of a PD with lots of experience in the romance drama genre. Continue reading