I Miss You Ep. 1-4 Review

So this drama has gotten a lot of press, both bad and good. But hey, bad press is still press, right? From finding a female lead to starting the adult portion shoot 1 week before its original premiere date, “I Miss You” had some trouble from the start. Now let’s be clear about one thing: I shamelessly admit that I’m one of those girls who watches drama for the pretty faces. Despite Yoochun’s mediocre acting skills, I still move my faces 6 inches closer to the screen whenever he comes on. I don’t even have to start on my obsession with Yoo Seung Ho (and his ability to kiss). And come on, Yeo Jin Goo playing little Yoochun? Who can resist that?

The premise of the drama is abut two teenagers from different worlds falling in love. Jung Woo (JW) is a chaebol, complete with an evil stepmother to boot. Soo Yeon (SY) is a poor girl with a father who was wrongly convicted and executed as a murderer. And overcoming all the odds, the two bond when they are being bullied by their classmates. The chemistry between Jin Goo and So Hyun is clearly there. Both portray the innocence of a first love exquisitely. When JW fixes the lamp and reaches over SY, a scene that will be mirrored by their adult halves, I can literally see the electricity shooting between their eyes. It’s all great and everything, BUT (and it’s a big but) I can never see Jin Goo with anyone else but Kim Yoo Jung from “Moon That Embraces The Sun.” I feel bad for So Hyun b/c she’s a great actress and I definitely see her as one of the top stars in the future, but that one drama will always cast her in Kim Yoo Jung’s shadow. Anyways…

So after some angry adults with inheritance issues wreak havoc upon our couple, we get to see some really emotional and gut-wrenching scenes. JW’s step-grandma and her son (aka Yoo Seung Ho’s role – Hyung Joon) had to escape from JW’s evil money-snatching dad and stepmother, and in turn for JW’s dad kidnapping Hyung Joon, the step-grandma orders JW to be kidnapped. Still following me? Basically, it’s an eye for an eye – kidnapping style. When SY gets kidnapped along with JW, one of the kidnappers rapes SY in front of JW’s eyes. WTF? I know…it’s pretty drastic for a kdrama. It goes to show the progress of entertainment and the degree to which it reenacts our society. The rape scene isn’t shown and all the viewers see is JW’s reaction to such a gruesome crime. This scene was another shining moment for Yeo Jin Goo. The mix of desperation, anger, and hopelessness in his eyes are conveyed SO effectively on screen and I gotta give him major props. I bet every single viewer was screaming along with him. It was also a great choice made by the director to focus this scene on him and have JW convey the moment when his whole life changed and would be determined by this act.

The drama started off weak, with lower ratings than expected, and I wasn’t really surprised. The first episode started off slow, with a lot of adults fighting and not enough cutesy love scenes to pull me in. Then in episodes 3 and 4, we were thrown into this angsty ocean where our lovers struggle to stay together and all the problems come rushing in at once. I’ve read the basic plotline – JW grows up to be a tough cop who chases down every single criminal to make up for his inability to protect SY in the past while SY grows up with Hyung Joon and Hyung Joon is eventually friend-zoned because we all know our leads will end up together. Hyung Joon and JW will probably fight at first to continue their parent’s revenge but then make up in the end because they realize they’re not that different after all. It’s very typical, I have to say, and maybe this is because there has been so many dramas lately that challenge the conventional love triangle/revenge plot like Arang and the Magistrate, 49 Days, and Princess’s Man. The angry adults are the generic plot devices made to drive a wedge between our leads and really have no functions other than that so far. I mean it’s a solid foundation so far and the kids have set everything up nicely. But I’m more looking forward to seeing what our adult counterparts will bring and how many obstacles they must overcome to play out this love triangle.

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Currently Watching: Arang And The Magistrate

The perfect Korean couple has been born: Shin Min Ah and Lee Jun Ki are the perfect combination of romance, wit, and comedy. Seriously, can these two get any cuter? I’ve never watched Lee Jun Ki in a drama before (Shocking, right?), and now I’m starting to regret it. He’s the bad boy, the gentle guy, and the rambunctious little rascal that you can’t get enough of.

Shin Min Ah is beautiful as always. And I love her in roles that are spunky and empowering. The evolution of k-drama couples have shifted from the shy girl-gentle guy to the spunky girl-spunky guy pairings. It’s awesome and a testament to our society that as women, we do not have to be the submissive shy girl waiting for the guy to approach us first. Roles that Shin Min Ah pulls off are a great examples for us girls to follow. *Hint: Be as mean as you can to the guy at first, and pretty soon he’ll fall for you.

I’m not going to do a recap since every other blogger and their mothers are obsessing over this drama and writing the same things. I’ll just share my thoughts on the plot (which is excellent so far) and the actors. Can’t wait for Wed. and Thurs. every week 🙂

Love Actually (爱的蜜方) Midpoint Recap

This drama really exceeded my expectations. First off, I’ve never watched anything with Joe Cheng (I know! Do I live under a rock or something?) and I was really doubtful of yet another dubbed Korean actress in a Chinese drama. But these two leads have really knocked my socks off. And plus, the plot is quite good.

So we left off with Xiao Xia (Lee Da Hae) with no choice but to lie her way into the Chen family. Xiao Xia feels guiltier and guiltier as Hao Feng (Joe Cheng) discovers her secrets. Hao Feng does some sneaky investigations, including taking her nephew’s hair to get it tested for DNA to see if he’s really Hao Feng’s older brother’s son. Of course, the results come back negative but Hao Feng has already become smitten with Xiao Xia. He lets her stay and continues to lie to his family. When Xiao Xia’s brother comes to the restaurant and steals money, that’s when the lid blew off. The whole family came to know her secret and she and her nephew leave in shame.

The family totally lost their spirit without her and her nephew. And with Hao Feng’s approval, they set out to find them. Hao Feng manages to bring them back (literally carrying Xiao Xia on his back…haha) and the family is whole and happy again! But it turns out that the youngest brother (Li Yang 立扬) really likes Xiao Xia and wants to confess to her. (At this point, I’m in awe and a bit jealous of her ability to make all the Chen men fall for her). His confession gets sidetracked by a girl (Xiao Xiao 潇潇) that liked him from childhood. So that’s one part of the love rectangle…

After some ups and downs, father Chen gets sick. In order to recreate the delicious soup base that is the core of the restaurant, the four leads go off to the villages to find ingredients. Xiao Xia and Hao Feng spend the night together, getting drunk, and eventually kissing and sleeping on the same bed. Li Yang comes in to see this and he’s devastated. After successfully making the soup, Hao Feng tells Xiao Xia that he likes her and wants to give her her first dating experience. Embarrassed and happy, Xiao Xia agrees. SOOOOOOO CUTE!!!

But here comes the plot twists and love obstacles. Hao Feng’s ex-fiancee comes back to find him. Apparently, she left him because her father objected and then forced her to leave the country. Oh no. How will Hao Feng decide? Will he go back to his first love or will he choose Xiao Xia? Arghhh…I can’t wait a whole weekend!

Currently Obsessing Over: Love Actually 爱的蜜方

I’ve revived my passion for TW/CH dramas again! I’m currently watching Love Actually with the ever-so-young Joe Cheng and Hallyu star Lee Da Hae. First off, I have to say that I love/hate foreign pairings of my OTPs. There’s been tons of Korean actors and actresses making their way across to Taiwan and China…Park Jung Min in Fondant Garden, Goo Hye Sun in Absolute Boyfriend, Siwon and Donghae in Extravagant Challenge…and the list goes on. Now while I love watching my favorite K-actors with my favorite CH/TW-actors get together and all that lovey-dovey stuff, the dubbing of their voices is just killing me. Seriously, at least get voices that matches what they would actually sound like. Some K-actors and actresses make an effort in at least learning lines in Chinese and mouthing it. This makes it a little better, but then I think to myself, why would you need dubbed voices then? The actor clearly knows his line, and if he mispronounces a word or two, isn’t that what the captions are for??

Lee Da Hae does a great job in her first Chinese drama as Xiao Xia (小夏). Well, then again, she has learned Chinese for more than 7 years. Seriously, I watched all her interviews and BTS, her Chinese is on par with my Chinese. She plays a poor girl with a son nephew and a good-for-nothing brother (the nephew’s dad) who comes to her whenever he’s in debt. So she’s the typical Chinese lead girl – she’s poor, she’s quirky, she’s a hard worker, she makes everyone fall in love with her with those big big eyes of hers. Yup. Nothing much else to add here.

Joe Cheng as Hao Feng (皓峰) plays a cool yet warm-hearted guy who hates Lee Da Hae at first, but of course, grows to love her. His nickname is the Arctic Man….cause he’s so cold and heartless…hahaha. He slowly opens his heart and does cutesy little actions to show her that he cares and when he does, he’s wondering why he does care. Cause you secretly love her duh! And then they fall in love and have beautiful babies. Yes. This is the ending to every Chinese drama.

The premise of the drama begins with Xiao Xia working hard to support her and her son. With no money, she turns to her last hope of pretending to be the girlfriend of a guy she knows. He brings her to meet his family with the exchange of helping her find a house and giving her rent money. And lo and behold, his family consists of his dad and his two younger bros – one of which is our main lead – Hao Feng. So the older brother introduces her as his fiance and then skips town to avoid debt collectors. With an 8-yr old kid and no place to live, Xiao Xia reluctantly goes along with the lie and stays in their home. And the story goes from there…Hao Feng, being the smart cookie that he is, eventually finds out the truth. But he lies to his dad and younger brother to protect her and keeps her in the house. Accidental hugs and almost-kisses occur as our leads fall for each other.

The drama is airing on Chinese TV right now (although I’m guessing it’ll debut in Taiwan soon as well). The great thing about Chinese TV is that they air 3 episodes in one night. So I get almost 90 minutes of adorableness and secret love tension.

Operation Proposal Review: Yoo Seung Ho is officially my latest crush

Operation Proposal is an adaptation of a Japanese drama (and maybe anime too) of a similar title. The whole story revolves around a guy who travels back in time to get the girl he loves. Since he’s not successful during his first (or second, third, etc) try, he goes back in time almost every episode, learning what he did wrong and yet still missing the girl by this much. Yoo Seung Ho, or Korea’s little brother, plays Kang Baek Ho, a washed-up baseball player. His childhood best friend is ham Yi Seul, played by Park Eun Bin.

He is actually hugging me...can't you recognize the back of my head?

My thoughts:

  • First of all, I never watch any drama not on the major networks (SBS, KBS, MBC) but I am pleasantly surprised that I ventured out of them to discover this cute and preppy drama. The drama so far (12 episodes have been aired) is light and sweet. We get to see the characters transform from young junior high schoolers to mature adults. The two leads have good chemistry (I say good, and not great because I am biased for Yoo Seung Ho and think that he does a great job in conveying his dreams with those longing eyes of his, but Park Eun Bin’s scenes have not fully convinced me yet). The drama is funny and keeps me on my toes. I know that he won’t get the girl until the very end, but when he accomplishes something (even if it is as small as buying her movie tickets), I get my hopes up that this is the time that he will actually succeed. But alas, he fails at the end of the episode and I look forward to the next week when he drinks that weird yellow potion, screams Yi Seul’s name and goes back in time.
  •  How old are these actors again??? I could not believe my eyes when I read that my beloved Yoo Seung Ho is only 18 (and yes, a minor). Park Eun Bin is 19, but seriously these two leads are unbelievably great actors for such a young age. This is what I love about kdramas, there’s always someone who’s younger and better, and that way, fans will always have someone to love.
  • As usual, kdramas always start to disappoint me towards the end. The first 5 or 6 episodes of this drama was great. The story was fast-paced – he went, he failed, he came back, and there was humor and suspense built into it. Towards the end of the drama, it was less entertaining (maybe appropriately so because they all grew up and became adults), but I still would’ve loved some of that cuteness and spunk Yoo Seung Ho brought to his younger counterpart. The one thing I do like about it is that the story is predictable. Yes I know, usually you don’t want dramas to be described as predictable, but in the case of Operation Proposal, it was done right. I look forward to a new chapter every week, just like reading a book. Even though I know what’s to come, I still sit at the edge of my seat rooting for Baek Ho to not mess things up this time.
  • OMG the kiss scene. How can I even begin to explain?? This is a serious kiss people. And they’re both like 18-19!!! And it wasn’t even just 1 kiss, it was multiple!!! And all of them had the same intensity and heart-fluterriness!!! It was this kiss that Yoo Seung Ho won me over with, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. All you noonas out there, admit it. You were imagining yourself in Park Eun Bin’s position. There are no words to describe…just watch!!!

Big Bang Comeback: “Bad Boy” Review

Ovaries explosions galore!! Yes, today is the day when fangirls and fanboys all over the world crash YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and basically all social network servers by watching and downloading Big Bang’s new mini album – ALIVE. Along with the album release, Big Bang has updated their YouTube account with the “Bad Boy” MV. Let me have a NYC-girl moment here and get excited that I recognize the places they’re filming at and somehow believe there’s a special connection between me and Big Bang. (For all who don’t know, this was filmed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – as you can see on the street sign in the beginning – Broadway and Keap St.)

The song is a fast-beat R&B-type number. The chorus has a catchy hook complete with English phrases that I can sing along to. I feel like this is a classic GD song – it’s very street-style and the chorus  fits him perfectly. Of course, following the “Bad Boy” theme of the song, the MV portrays our five iconic idols romancing a “good girl.” Boy, am I glad that they actually found five DIFFERENT girls to pair up with the guys. Enough of those one girl, five guys stories. It’s a simple MV, with Big Bang walking around at most 2 streets, and climbing some subway stairs as well. But the camerawork was amazing. It wasn’t the “BLUE” type of camera with its gray-blue filter and panoramic shots. This MV got up-close and personal with the boys and made the viewers feel as if we were in the MV itself.

Raise your hand if you're cold.

The thing that bothered me was the weather. Yes, that’s a weird and completely off-topic thing, but seriously you can see the boys’ steamy breath every time they opened their mouths! And ok, GD has his furry coat, but Taeyang’s wearing a sleeveless vest!! Not that I’m complaining or anything, but the whole look was just thrown off by me realizing that it was effin’ cold during the shoot. Maybe it’s because I’m from Brooklyn and I was amazed at the surrounding and trying to recognize the area, but I noticed every little detail. Like how there’s a Jewish guy who was walking then turned away cause he probably saw a white-hair dude named TOP rapping his heart out (at 2:09). And how the construction workers were giving GD the “Dude, your girl’s hot” look at 1:05. I literally laughed out loud when I saw how typical New Yorkers reacted to Big Bang.

Anyways, I won’t take up more time with my rant. I love love love this song and I’m gonna dance to it when I’m walking, when I’m sitting, when I’m showering…you get the point. Check out Big Bang’s “Bad Boy” MV below!

Review: Big Bang “BLUE” Comeback

Fangirls rejoice! The iconic group that made kpop what it is today has finally returned and THIS is a comeback. Big Bang drops their latest mini album (their 5th to be exact) with the title song “Blue.” Already, their comeback album has sold over 250K in pre-order sales. All this hype is well-deserved, as the group took a year break (filled with drama and controversy) and fans had anticipated this album for almost as long. As of midnight today, their “Blue” MV was released on YouTube, already gaining more than 50K views in less than 12 hours.

The song, a mid-tempo pop number, is reminiscent of Big Bang’s traditional music style. It’s not as catchy as “Lies” or “Haru Haru” but it has the potential to be stuck in your head. As of this moment, I’m repeating the chorus in my head (as it’s the only English part and part that I remember). It has surprisingly a lot of Daesung in it, which I am pleased with. There’s the breathy GD parts, the rapping TOP parts, the Taeyang chorus, and Seungri has a verse or two in it. My favorite part is TOP’s verse (of course I’m biased) but TOP kills every rap he does and this is no exception.

Oh TOP we could've had a date under the Manhattan Bridge...

I can’t wait to see the dance and performance for this MV. In my head, I can imagine kind of a grungy look (maybe a little bit of GD guitar bashing). It’s a very sad blue song, and it just makes you wanna hang your head and do some hipster stuff. It’ll be interesting to see what dance they pair with it. As for the MV itself, let me first and foremost express my regret and anger for not being a stalker-paparazzi when Big Bang was filming in New York (particularly Brooklyn and within 10 miles from me). It’s so cool to recognize iconic landmarks like the Manhattan Bridge and Coney Island and yet at the same time, it kills me to see them there knowing that I could’ve been there too. The MV is a perfect fit for the song. It has that kind of blue-ish wash over the film and sad cloudy skies that totally emphasizes the “blueness.” Now I get that the members are depressed so they’re hanging around, moping in cars, and running to random places, but the white girl I don’t get. Is she one of their girlfriend? Or maybe all the members are pining over the same white girl? Anyways, the random flashes of the girl is depriving me of more Big Bang time, which is a no-no.

Big Bang comeback ftw!!

Big Bang’s official comeback is February 29th! In the meantime, check out the music video below and tell us what you think!

The Moon That Embraces The Sun’s Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung – Best Kids Actors Ever

I’ve always been a sucker for child actors. They kill me with their adorableness and intensity all rolled up into one tiny package. Baker King, Kim Tak Gu is an excellent example. Every time Oh Jae Moo cried, I bawled alongside him. He carried the drama…*lost in my reminiscing daydream*

And now, The Moon That Embraces The Sun is no exception. On the premise that this was a historical drama, I was hesitant to watch it, as I assumed the first few episode would be slow as heck and totally incomprehensible with all those traditional conversations. But boy, am I glad I gave this drama a shot. The story basically revolves a crown prince, his looked-over brother, and the girl they both pine for. There’s a F4 element thrown in to appease fangirls with the girl’s hot older brother and his best friend-turned warrior.

They really took the term "flower boys" literally...

Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung, who play the crown prince and the would-to-be princess, are the protagonists of the story. And they are perfect in every way. Jin Goo plays the line between mischievous yet devoted prince so convincingly. I laughed at the funny moments with his aide and cried along with him as he wept for his princess. This boy sure can cry and boy, did I cry a lot. It was mesmerizing to watch the extent to which he played his role. I’m soooo going off on a noona-dongsaeng relationship here. Yoo Jung is the perfect balance of cuteness and elegance. I admit at times it was a bit weird to see her character act so mature for a 13-year old. I’m pretty sure that when I was 13, all I cared about was N’Sync and Pokemon. But she made it so believable; she took full control of the character and showed us what a strong independent “woman” of the 14th century would look like. The chemistry between the two, although they’re both young and I would imagine them to have a more brother-sister relationship than one of lovers, is certainly there. I rooted for them (even though they’re both only 14 or something) and is it so wrong of me to hope that when they grow up, they will get married and have beautiful babies?

How cute are they? Answer: No words can describe my love for them

After episode 5, the kids were switched out for our adult actors – Kim Soo Hyun and Han Ga In. I think that they’re doing a good job in carrying the drama so far, but I can’t help but to reminisce about the kids. I’ll keep watching the drama because I’m curious to see how this two suns-two moons rectangle turns out. Stay tuned for our next updates!

And we’re back!

Your mouth is watering, isn't it?

So we’ve got some fan letters during our break and we wanted to share one very special one.

Hi Ladies,

I am very aware that you two keep a blog that reviews various Asian dramas. On my latest excursion, I walked past this place called “Grace Street”. It just opened three days ago so the menu is still a work in progress but there was this one thing on the menu called “ho dduk.” It’s REALLLLLY good and I was hoping you could put this place on your blog and write a review about it if you ever have to time to go there to eat. According to the guy who works there, ho dduk is a street food and a dessert that Koreans eat during the winter because it’s really hot. It’s a Korean pancake with a walnut filling. Try it out and write about it if you can! Here’s the facebook face for it:http://www.facebook.com/byGraceStreet.

Ok, so usually I don’t eat at places and tell you guys how amazing it is but the owner (or at least I’m guessing he’s part owner) is super enthusiastic about this place. It’s a cafe that likes to specialize in desserts. BUT… the interesting part is that the shop is legally organized as a nonprofit business. I asked the girl behind the counter why the place is nonprofit and apparently it’s because the proceeds help orphanages around the world so the proceeds from its business goes to that cause. Also, they are eco-friendly. The plates are legit pressed bamboo leaves.

I plan on checking this place out as soon as I get back to the city (btw, this is located in Koreantown, NYC) and will definitely give an update on this what sounds like a  great place. I really admire the cause that they’re supporting and this new charitable concept of restaurants is the hottest trend nowadays. So if you’re the area, give this place a  try and tell us what you think!