Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Truth be told, when I first heard that this was an upcoming drama, I was excited. Personally, I had the thought that this was going to be like Boys Over Flowers..WITH A DIFFERENT STORY LINE. So admittedly, I was curious and excited. I got to say that this drama did meet my standards and I enjoyed it (especially in terms of character depth) but I have to say that there were also parts that I wish could have been changed a little. I'm going to get into the good and bad right now. 
1. Park Shin Hye is amazing at crying scenes. I have known that from all her past dramas...not to mention she played the child part in the sad Stairway To Heaven. As good as she is at crying scenes, her personality in real life is very lively and bubbly and carefree. But throughout the drama, I couldn't help but feel that her character really needed more spirit or strength. Cha Eun Sang seemed to always be crying and crying and crying. She's crying when she faces a dilemma, crying alone in a room, and  so forth. I understood some of her tears but I really thought it would've been amazing where she faces a really heart-wrenching situation and just grits her teeth and raises her head high and gets past it while we're all on the verge of tears. I mean how awesome would that be to see that amount of strength in a character? 
2. I love Lee Min Ho. But his character in this drama annoyed me. I'm not saying all the time...because there were many scenes where I was like: "Oh my gosh, this is so cute" and " romantic." I was shipping them together at the very beginning when Eun Sang was in the US. But as it slowly went on, I found myself edging to Choi Young Do more and more. (Kim Tan shippers please don't hate me on this. I'm not saying in any way that I'm not satisfied with the ending, it's just my personal opinion on his character) His character felt really clingy to me. Like...without Cha Eun Sang, he couldn't live. And he constantly spoke of wanting to prove his worth and capability to take care of her to Cha Eun Sang...but time and time again, I was not impressed by his actions. I felt that he was all big talk and no action. It makes sense too. He's a teenager under the rules of his father. I just didn't like how he gave Cha Eun Sang a lot of empty promises. Also, I didn't like this about both the characters of Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sang. What is up with the wrist grabbing? And what is up with allowing him to lead you away? A lot of situations had to do with Cha Eun Sang and she should have been there to take care of it and finish it cleanly herself. But almost every time, Kim Tan came and grabbed her wrist and just dragged her away or outside before going back and dealing with it and not letting her deal with her own problems and stand up for herself. Not only that, I felt that he used a lot of sympathy. It was constantly about how his brother was cold and indifferent to him..but the truth is, the brother actually cared for him...only silently. And he always made it seem like his problems were much more bigger than any other character's on this drama. And to put this out there, they all had problems...whether we saw them or not.  
BUT. I will praise him for maturing throughout the entire drama. He learned to stand up for himself and he had a lot more courage and did things that would actually make an impact. And because of that, I applaud him of that. 
(And I do want to ask his stylists...why they made him wear such strange looking clothes throughout the drama. and the amount of make up in that scene where he confronted his father all worn out and all...he looked like he could have been Edward Cullen's best vampire friend or something.) 

3. Choi Young Do. I do admit I was leaning toward him through the entire drama. I liked his character depth a lot and I'll explain. But before I do that, I want to point out that he also used some sympathy points too with his mom who just abandoned him to a father who constantly had affairs. His father was only focused on winning and getting to the top at all costs (even if you have to use underhandedly methods and cheat). His father would hit him/slap him if he didn't meet the expectations. He was also marrying Yoo Rachel's Mom for a business alliance. 
But I felt that his character depth was stronger than Kim Tan's. 
One, because of his father's pressure and how he treated him, Choi Young Do was a feared bully at school. He brought people down. And because he wasn't sure how to react to Cha Eun Sang who he liked, he teased and kind of bullied her also just to see how he would feel for her. 
Two, he began to change from the bully he was. You could literally see him slowly improving himself as he opened up more to Kim Tan and his feelings and worked hard to find a way to beat his father at judo without cheating. And by the end, he was completely focused on finding what brought the best out of him, becoming a better person, and asking for forgiveness. 
Three, he was humorous and easy going. It's really nice to see that in a character. His sarcasm and remarks were some of the many highlights in this drama. 
Four, he treated Cha Eun Sang well most of the time. Other times, he was kind of mean like keeping her from falling in the pool and then just letting go. But he always said something to tell her to take warning. Like for the pool incident, he warned her saying that that was what Kim Tan would do to her, pretend to hold on to her and eventually let her go because of his engagement. 
Five, his own personal emotions and the amount of pain he had to go through knowing that no one really understood him. The best friend he once had is no longer as close as they once were. The girl he liked fell in love with his ex-best friend. The people around him at school are just scared of him. And he missed his mother's love.
4. Chan Young and Bo Na: This couple was another reason to keep watching because of their humor and Bo Na's personality.
5. Myung Soo (acted by Hyung Sik) appeared to be happy and carefree throughout the entire drama...but you see at the end that he might have had more to him than we (as an audience) know and we probably will never know what it truly was. 
6. I felt that they had a lot of potential on Kim Won's love life. The repressed relationship could have had a lot more going on and I felt like I wanted more from that couple and to know more about them because they were similar in some ways to Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sang. 
7. They had a lot of great OSTs in that drama. I think a lot of them would have fit a bit more and made the scene more sentimental than the epic: LOVE IS THE MOMENT. I heard that so many times that I couldn't help but just sing along to it even if it was a really touching scene. 

Special shout out to my friend with the initials C.L. who helped write this synopsis along with my help:

          Whether you are an heir to a large business corporation or an heir to poverty, your worlds will collide with each other and create chaos. Cha Eun Sung lived in poverty with her mother in Korea while her big sister was studying in the United States. Cha Eun Sang takes jobs as a chicken delivery girl and a barista to help her mother pay the bills and she has a dark brooding hatred for the rich. Eun Sang’s sister, Cha Eun Seok calls their mother to tell her she is getting married and needs money for a wedding. Eun Sang takes this chance to go to America to start a new life with her sister but is sorely disappointed when she learns that Eun Seok is not getting married or going to school. Instead Eun Seok is a full time waitress living with an abusive man and is infuriated to find that Eun Sang has discovered her secret. Coldly treating her little sister, she digs through Eun Sang’s suitcase and takes the money. She then runs off telling her sister to go back to Korea, leaving Eun Sang shouting and crying after her.
All the while Kim Tan was sitting in the cafĂ© looking at them from an open window and becomes acquainted with Eun Sang after he sees his American friend pick up a bag of bean powder from Eun Sang’s bag and his friend becomes hospitalized. This causes a run in with the police and Eun Sang’s passport is temporarily confiscated and she is forced to stay in Kim Tan’s house until it is returned. During her stay she has an unpleasant encounter with Kim Tan’s fiancĂ© Rachel Yoo who demands that Eun Sang leave Kim Tan’s house immediately. Eun Sang eventually returns to South Korea with the help of her friend Chan Young and leaves a love struck Kim Tan behind.
            Kim Tan is one of the heirs to a large business corporation know as the Jeguk group and his fiance Rachel is the heir to a large fashion company, they’re the perfect couple…or is it just an alliance? After his encounter with Eun Sang, Kim Tan starts to have second thoughts about his marriage because he has completely fallen for Eun Sang. He was pretty nonchalant about his marriage before as he wasn’t concerned with it. He was more focused on his cold older brother.
            Eun Sang begins to attend a school full of heirs to large businesses, and upper middle class jobs thanks to Kim Tan’s father who wants her to realize that she and Kim Tan can never be together by observing the school’s high class environment. He wants her to realize that she and Kim Tan come from two different worlds and they can never be together. Kim Tan holds on tightly to Eun Sang and even breaks off his engagement with Rachel to be with Eun Sang. He follows her around in the school which makes it hard for her to avoid him. At home, he is unavoidable also. Her mother works as a maid for his household and they were allowed to live quietly and out of sight there (since the sister took the money away). When Kim Tan came home, she was really shocked to find out he was the second son of the Jeguk Group she hated so much. In school, the classes and groups are very well-distinguished. At home, lines are drawn. It just shows Eun Sang just how different her world is from Tan’s.  
            Rachel Yoo may seem like the worst person in the world but in a few parts of the drama you have no choice but to sympathize with her. Her mother is marrying a man for his money/alliance and she has gained an unwanted sibling, Choi Young Do. She hates Eun Sang for stealing away Kim Tan and she thinks that she is also seducing Young Do which is why during a camping trip she slaps Eun Sang but Young Do interferes and protects Eun Sang. Once she finds out that Eun Sang is actually poor she decides to expose Eun Sang’s lowly life by ordering a delivery of coffee to a party filled with their rich classmates just to let them all see Eun Sang come and deliver it. Kim Tan also reveals himself as an illegitimate son so in a way Rachel’s plan backfired.
            Choi Young Do is the heir to his father’s company and Kim Tan’s former best friend. After finding out about Kim Tan’s illegitimacy (when they were younger), he is infuriated and breaks off their friendship. Young Do falls in love with Cha Eun-Sang also. He’s in love with her but is not sure how to express it. So he does everything he can to grab her attention by tripping her and pushing her into a pool. But he also protects her and helps her when she is trying to let go of Kim Tan’s hand. At times he may seem like a jerk but he is actually the sweetest. He keeps many secrets for others and when he wants something he will use it as leverage but he will never tell another soul.
            Kim Won is Kim Tan’s older brother who doesn’t acknowledge his younger sibling and is indifferent towards him. His relationship with Jeon Hyun-Joo is very rocky because of his driven attitude towards the top and deep down he knows he is hurting the one he loves but he has no choice but to put it aside. As the drama goes on you see him warming up to Kim Tan and envies his courage in trying to make his relationship work with Eun Sang despite the pressure put on by their father. Kim Won realizes too late that it is lonely at the top.
            Lee Bo Na and Yoon Chan Young are the cutest couple because Bo Na gets jealous very easily because of Chan Young’s relationship with Eun Sang. Chan Young thinks it’s very cute and likes to tease her but Eun Sang gets annoyed because she has to constantly hear Bo Na tell her to stay away from her man. When she finds out that Kim Tan has returned from the U.S. she gets anxious that Chan Young might find out they were once in a relationship and she thinks that Kim Tan is back to win her heart so she keeps telling Kim Tan that she doesn’t like him and he should get over her. Kim Tan and Chan Young find this amusing. Though they seem like the perfect couple (and they are, to be honest), they also had their ups and downs just like any couple and they dealt with them all in their own ways...which is adorably. 

            The heirs are not as special and perfect as we think they are. In fact, they have a lot of pressure upon their shoulders. And the one who wears the crown will bear the weight of the crown. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lan Ling Wang

Episodes: 46
Okay, so I know it looks like a lot of episodes. But trust me, this drama is definitely worth watching. I highly recommend this because the character development, the plot, the chemistry between actors, and the acting were all amazing. The actors that acted in this drama were amazing and I have to say I truly enjoyed the antagonists' (king and Zheng'er) performance in this drama, absolutely amazing acting. The OST was also very beautiful and it kind of reminded me of BBJX's OST in some ways. 

        General Lan Ling, according to history, was a very good-looking man. His face was so beautiful that he had to hide his face during battles. He was a great general and was basically a legendary war god of some sort. He was well-loved by the people which caused the crown prince (General Lan Ling's brother) to feel threatened. He is acted by Feng Shao Feng.Yang Xue Wu is the last priestess of her clan and lives with her blind grandmother. She's lively and is ostracized by the girls in her village and not many people liked her because she was always so wild and causing trouble. She is acted by Ariel Lin. 
        Yang Xue Wu's grandmother had warned her about General  Lan Ling and how she may have a tragic fate with him. However, time and time again, the two keep encountering one another and helping one another. Unconsciously, the two fall in love and Ariel Lin is caught in the war between  Northern Qi and Northern Zhou. She saved a man called Ah Guai who turned out to be the Zhou emperor Yuwen Yong. By saving him, he fell in love with her and their fates became tangled together.
         General Lan Ling also loved Yang Xue Wu but she kept rejecting him because she had saw a fate where he is with a woman named Zheng er. When it was time to select a bride for General Lan  Ling, it was very comedic as he constantly showed his affection more and more toward Yang Xue Wu. It was extremely cute and interesting to watch how she actually was quite well-loved and got chosen as the bride. Zheng er, one of the candidates, tried to get the General Lan Ling to fall in love with her. Zheng er had a crush on General Lan  Ling since she was a servant at the palace. He had helped her avoid getting in trouble with the guards for sneaking out of the palace and she forever remembered him. Now that she's recognized as the god daughter of some official, she is given the opportunity to marry General Lan Ling. However, the plan to get General Lan Ling backfired and she was sent to get punished. 
         Yu Wen Yong who liked Yang Xue Wu backed off when Yang Xue Wu clearly liked General Lan Ling. For the sake of her happiness, Yuwen Yong stepped aside promising that he will come and take care if she is mistreated in any way. Yang Xue Wu married General Lan Ling (aka Fourth Prince). They lead a very happy life together. They faced some hilarious moments and were very loving toward one another. Their servants were also loyal and faithful. His grandmother, the Empress Dowager, was an extremely kind, old woman who favored Yang Xue Wu. Fifth prince was a good friend to have around also (he was a bit of flirt; played by  George Hu). However, trouble occurs when Zheng er comes back to the manor saying that she will be a servant to pay off her debt towards what she had done. However, she had another get General Lan Ling. 
        Because she lived in the palace, she was very sly and knew to cover her tracks. She was very smart too and quick to catch on to things. She was also quite ruthless. She pretended to be innocent as she purposely did things and caused scenarios to have the Fourth Prince have arguments with Yang Xue Wu. As Yang Xue Wu and the Fourth Prince continued to fight, misunderstandings continued to build up and it made Zheng er seem like the innocent one. The last straw was when Zheng er set up a plan to catch bandits with Yang Xue Wu but then acted as if Yang Xue Wu was accusing her of being dirtied and so forth. Upset, Yang Xue Wu ran off heartbroken. However, when the fourth prince found out about the truth behind what Zheng er was trying to do to his relationship with Yang Xue Wu, he abandons her in the middle of nowhere.
         Zheng er got raped by two men passing by and then tried to commit suicide by hanging herself. However, she was discovered by the crown prince (who had a crush on her since they were younger) and is saved. She tells him that the reason she was like this was because of the fourth prince and Yang Xue Wu and she seeks revenge. The two work together to get revenge and also for the crown prince to successfully inherit the throne. Zheng er marries the crown prince (who later became the emperor after murdering his own father unwillingly). Zheng er was very ruthless, scary, and evil. She had the emperor in the palm of her hand. The emperor was just a bad ruler without his priorities sorted and he had bad judgement about things.
          Based on history, the emperor gets scared of General Lan Ling's power and influence over the citizens who love him so dearly. He ends up sentencing him to death by poison. In this drama, there was a twist to the situation which was really nice to see. I won't reveal too much because I feel like this drama is best watched when you find out things yourself. 
          The crown prince and Zheng er are supposed to be our antagonists. Though I was very annoyed with Zheng er's sly ways and how she tried to manipulate situations, you could still connect with her in some way. She liked a guy so much that she did stupid things and it lead to a point where she couldn't go back. You feel bad for her at times too and you realize she's not that bad of a person. But she's so ruthless as she tried to maintain her cold image, that you would get scared of her only to find herself struggling internally also. As for the crown prince, I had trouble bringing myself to hate him. Every time he did something bad, he felt conflicted and scared and he was told to do a lot of those things by his adviser and Zheng er. He felt very guilty and it makes it hard for you to hate him.  
         The Zhou emperor, Yuwen Yong, time and time again, proved he was a great man. Not only was he on good terms with General Lan Ling (only fighting because they are at war), he was also very caring towards Yang Xue  Wu. He was a great ruler who cared about his people and balanced everything quite well. He was a great character and  I adored him. Another character I absolutely adored was Xiao Dong. I thought I would hate him at first because he sold her to a brothel in the beginning (he needed the money because his grandmother was sick). However, he felt guilty about it and they got close afterwards. He worked in the manor as a servant and was totally loyal. I think he had a crush on Yang Xue Wu also but he said that he knows his place and will only watch over her. He was the best friend and most dependable person Yang Xue Wu had (other than Fourth Prince and Yuwen Yong). 

         All in all, this drama was amazing. It had a great story line, a very touching love story, and great acting and chemistry. The characters all had depth and some background. They all had flaws and their moments of vulnerability which made this drama so perfect. I highly recommend this and I think you will all fall in love with this drama and the characters. The acting was amazing and I have to say this is one of those dramas where you hate the antagonist but you understand/feel bad for them. Great drama!