Sunday, January 17, 2016

Oh My Venus

Episodes: 16
     Kang Joo Eun is known as the Daegu Venus back in her hey-day. With her beautiful looks and perfect figure, she was extremely popular with the boys and envied by the girls in her high school. Despite coming from a poor family, she is determined to go to law school and become an attorney. Im Woo Sik, a swimmer, professed his love for Kang Joo Eun and the two end up dating.
     Now, at age 33, she is a lawyer and have been dating Im Woo Sik for 15 years. Due to her hypothyroidism and not taking care of her body, she is now overweight and is constantly disregarded and overlooked by society and her coworkers. In a situation in which she had a life-threatening situation, Kim Yeong Ho aka John Kim, helps her. He is a celebrity personal trainer going by John Kim who was involved in a scandal in the United States so has come to Korea until things cool down. In Korea, Kim Yeong Ho is appointed by his grandmother as the new president of the family medical services company and prevents him from returning to the United States.
       Kang Joo Eun's life then changes when her boyfriend of 15 years breaks up with her and is involved with an old friend Oh Soo Jin. Eager to get her life back together, Kang Joo Eun ends up coming to Kim Yeong Ho to help her lose weight. With the help of his two side kicks, the tough coach, and her strong personality, she begins on this journey to lose weight and become healthy. She also learns to rediscover love and happiness of her own.  

     This drama was really motivating as I watched Kang Joo Eun work hard and also accomplish her goal in losing weight. Her optimism and perseverance is admirable. I couldn't hate on any of the characters in this drama, which I am grateful for. True, at some points, I felt upset. However, all the characters did things within reason and also weren't bad people at heart.
      I loved the side characters and the love lines of the minor characters. As for the main leads, I loved their romance. Their friends were extremely supportive of them and kind to them. At the same time, it was a mutually beneficial relationship. Kim Yeong Ho took care of her health and also helped her get her life back. He loved her regardless of what she does or what she is like. Kang Joo Eun adds color to Kim Yeong Ho's life and also offers her support during his time in need.
     One thing that I didn't like about this drama was the fact that they kept passing used band aids around. It wasn't exactly romantic for me but rather gross.

Highly recommend.

Sunny (Movie)

Im Na Mi is a wealthy housewife and mother. She has a daily routine of waking her family up, making breakfast, and then doing the daily tasks of a housewife. Her teenage daughter refuses to share anything to her about her life and her husband seems to be this bore who doesn't really interact with her much other than giving her money. She is wealthy and living a "perfect" life but she is actually depressed with how indifferent everyone around her is. She begins reminiscing about her teenage years and the group of friends she encountered and become a part of. Each had a unique personality and they all contributed to their little group in which they called Sunny. They bonded with one another, shared laughs together, fought in fights with other groups together. They were happy. Until one day, an incident occurs and their little band of friends disperse. Going back and forth from past to present, this movie shows their happy, heart-wrenching friendship and also their current states. Each of them are living a different life and going through a different ordeal. Brought together, they are able to experience the happiness they felt as teenagers and reconnect with one another to help each other. It was heartwarming, nostalgic, and one of the best movies I've watched in a while.

    I really enjoyed this movie because it was so beautifully made. It's a story about a group of friends who were known as Sunny. After a series of events, the little band of friends separate. Years later, as adults, they begin to reconnect with one another and reminisce their years together when they were younger. It was a very nostalgic and heartwarming film. It had a lot of comedic moments in it as well. It felt very raw and realistic. The movie itself felt like it was that passage from childhood to adulthood as it shows the characters growing up and also the differences in their lives as adults compared to their lives as teenagers. I thought it was great how strong their friendship was and it was a really soul-searching journey for all the characters. My heart broke to see how they all had these dreams and aspirations as to what their future will be like that and yet their lives seem to be completely different from what they dreamed of. The young girl who wanted to be an author and used to always be eager to hit someone, is stuck at home tending to a nagging mother-in-law and unable to do anything to be happy. The main character, an aspiring artist, is living a monotonous life as a housewife. It was so sad and yet beautiful to see how they adapt to their current situations and try to help each other out. It was heartwarming, nostalgic, and one of the best movies I've watched in a while. Highly recommend.

200 Pounds of Beauty (Movie)

Synopsis and Review: 
     I really liked this movie because it had a really positive message about self-confidence and it also supports what you want as an individual for yourself. I thought it was comedic, sad, cute, and touching all at the same time as I watched this.
      Kang Han Na is an overweight woman who is unhappy with her career and life. She works as a lip sync vocalist for famous pop singer Ammy and also as a part-time phone sex operator. Her voice is beautiful and is praised despite her appearance. Thus, her life seems to be destined to be behind the stage or hidden from sight while her voice is the important thing above all.
      Working as Ammy's ghost singer, Kang Han Na develops a crush on her music company executive, Sang Jun. When Ammy embarasses Han Na in front of him at his birthday party on purpose, Han Na receives a serious blow to her self esteem and goes to the bathroom to cry. There, she heard Sang Jun tell Ammy that he has to be kind to Han Na because they need her for her voice and they don't want her to walk out on them.
       Realizing that she didn't mean much to them as a person and feeling hurt that her crush would say those things, Han Na attempts to commit suicide but is interrupted by a phone call from one of her phone sex regulars. This man is a plastic surgeon who can no longer touch his wife after performing a procedure on her and so he relieves his sexual frustration through phone sex. Han Na uses this to her advantage by threatening him to help her by giving her a full-body transformation through plastic surgery. The surgeon is moved by her reasons for wanting this and agrees to help her.
        Her transformation reveals an incredibly beautiful and slim woman. Everyone is stunned by her beauty and even her friend doesn't recognize her. With her friend's help, Han Na is able to create a new identity for herself as a Korean American named Jenny. Ammy's career is suffering as she is unable to produce any new songs with the disappearance of Han Na. So she auditions to be Ammy's secret vocalist again and instead earns her own recording contract with Sang Jun. She is promoted to be an "all natural beauty."
          Han Na is unable to return to her normal life and visit her father who suffers Alzheimer's due to her fear of being found out. She continues to work hard as Jenny and starts losing bits of herself in the past that even her friend ends up turning her back on her. As Sang Jun and Jenny fall in love, Han Na is constantly worried about her plastic body breaking when they do something together. Her confidence soars nonetheless because her crush fell in love with her. However, the truth comes tumbling out.
        At her concert, Jenny reveals her true self to her fans and everyone around her. She also apologizes to her friend and father who she had turned her back on to play the role of Jenny. She did get more haters but also more fans as well. And she stayed true to herself despite her appearance and was considered mostly beautiful because of her inner beauty. In the end, plastic surgery did boost her confidence and it was the choice Han Na made for herself. But most importantly, she didn't forget her past and she actually stayed true to herself which is an extremely positive message.

Skip Beat

Episodes: 23
       Gong Xi fell in love with Bu Puo Shang at a young age when her mother left her in the care of his parents. In fear of seeming like a parasite, Gong Xi works around the hotel in which his parents ran and does numerous things and gains a lot of skills. When Bu Puo Shang (Shang) is infuriated and leaves home because of his father's discouragement from learning music and also planning his life to marry Gong Xi, he leaves and asks Gong Xi to come with him.
       Gong Xi agrees immediately to follow him and to help support him as he enters the music industry. She gives up college and does numerous odd jobs to help pay for rent, daily necessities, and to help launch Shang into fame. However, overtime, Shang becomes increasingly cold to her and expects her to do all these different tasks for him. When she comes across him flirting with another woman and talking about how he views Gong Xi as a maid, she seeks revenge.
        Gong Xi auditions for the biggest talent agency and constantly finds different ways to get the opportunities to become famous. She is determined to outshine her backstabbing childhood friend and crush. Meanwhile, Shang's rival and Gong Xi's fellow talent, Dun He Lian disapproves of Gong Xi's motives and tries to find ways to motivate her to fall in love with acting for acting and not for revenge. Over time, Dun He Lian falls in love with her and Bu Puo Shang begins to realize just how much she meant to him.

I'm a bit late in watching this drama as this came out in 2011. However, I enjoyed it nonetheless. I thought the actors all did extremely well and they all showed off their charms and their unique characters very clearly. I'm actually very impressed with Donghae and Siwon's ability to blend into the drama so easily especially when it is a Chinese drama. They did a good job in fitting into their roles and made the drama feel like it flowed a lot smoothly even if they didn't know the language that well. The relations and the humor throughout this drama was really enjoyable. I would highly recommend everyone to watch this.

EXO Next Door

Episodes: 16
Ji Yeon Hee is a young girl living an ordinary life. Then one day the famous Kpop group  EXO moves right next door into the house of one of the member's grandfather and are trying to keep a low profile. She interacts and develops feelings for certain members and they they also reciprocate the feelings to her.  

       This is evidently an idol drama that seemed to follow the fan fictions in which the protagonist lives among a K-pop group. In this case, it involves EXO. The protagonist felt very naive in the beginning and not in a good way. The way she acted over buying some pads was ridiculous especially in such a calm environment. There could've been a lot of ways in which she could handle it if she was embarrassed instead of running around and acting like it was the end of the world. She felt like the kind of person who believes the world revolves around her---perfect for a protagonist as the story does revolve around her but at the same time a little annoying. For example, after she bought the pads and felt like everyone was watching her buy the pads, she started to walk home. EXO was already walking to their home when she pops up randomly in the middle of the road and she then she begins questioning why they were following her and she thinks they are going to try to kill her. 
        As the drama continues, I found it hard to really attach to any of the members or the main lead because it just felt so unrealistic and cheesy. I didn't really like this drama. 

Love Weaves Through a Millennium

Episodes: 22
This drama is a remake of the Korean drama Queen In Hyun's Man.
The Chinese version tells the same love story as the Korean drama. Two people from two different eras fall in love with one another. Imperial scholar official,  Gong Ming accidentally time travels two thousand years into the present where he met the starting actress  Lin Xiang Xiang. As Gong Ming goes from present to the past fulfilling duties to both Lin Xiang Xiang and to his queen, the two must overcome changes of fate, love, and also the changes in history.

       Personally, I still liked the original version more than this version. However, I have to say that the Chinese version did try to capture the essence of Queen In Hyun's Man. I liked the appearance of Nana from Afterschool who played the mean actress in which Lin Xiang Xiang had to work with. The cast was aesthetically pleasing to watch.
      I really enjoyed the changes this drama made to give it its own unique flair. However, for me, Queen In Hyun's man had more of an impact on me. This Chinese version does include its own elements and  I believe that it has its own charm.