Saturday, December 23, 2017

Because This Is My First Life

Episodes: 16
Yoon Ji Ho is a single woman in her early thirties struggling to be a drama writer. She hardly earns enough to get a place on her own yet she is forced out of her home when she discovers that her little brother got his girlfriend pregnant and was married. Living in a patriarchal family, the house was under her brother's name and Ji Ho was forced to find a place for herself away from the married couple. Her two girl friends helped her look around for a house to live in and found one that was within her budget and also required her to move in as quickly as she can (as the landlord needed a tenant). Ji Ho moved in expecting her landlord to be a woman and after a few days she came to discover that she was living with a male landlord and not a female one.
     This was also shocking to the landlord, Nam Sae Hee, who thought that his new tenant was a man the entire time as well. He is also in his thirties but he has a stable job and he bought his own house. However, the house has mortgage and he spends most of his life living a mundane lifestyle and calculating how much he has to pay back and how he will live his life paying the debt back. However, living with Ji Ho and getting into a contract marriage with her would lead him to experience new things and help him open up to love again.
      This story also follows the careers and love lives of Ji Ho's two girl friends. This is a drama that shows a realistic take on life, love, and all the obstacles one must face.

           This drama is definitely the best Korean drama I've watched in a while. I have slowly started falling out of love with many of the cliche love stories seen in dramas. However, this drama gave a very refreshing take on romance, friendship, and family. I enjoyed this a lot because I saw similar relationships and stories reflected in those around me. This is definitely a great drama for those to watch in their early twenties to thirties. It makes you reflect so much on yourself and the life you have led up to this point and it makes you want to do better. 
       I loved the relationship dynamic between all the couples. It showed healthy, supportive relationships and it also showed the selfish side of relationships. Everyone has to learn to grow with another person and at times you have to learn to forgive certain situations because everyone is just human. I loved how it allowed people to see stories from both sides in a relationship and it showed how every relationship is different. Just because relationships differ from one another doesn't make one better or worse. The relationships in this drama showed the importance of understanding and compromise. I loved the support seen in romantic relationships, in friendships, and also between women in this show. No one tried to tear one another down and everyone tried to help one another rise to the top. The women were all so different from one another in this drama as well and it was great to see the diversity in character and interactions. It was really enjoyable. 
           Great show about working toward your dreams/careers, dealing with different relationships, and growing into a better person. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS DRAMA! 

Favorite episodes: 
Ep 5: The Mom's letter made me cry
Ep 6: The conversation between the mom and Nam Sae Hee was really touching, modern, and realistic.
Ep 7: The marriage issue between her friend and bf is so funny; realistic and interesting relationship dynamic
Ep 8: The dancing scene was so funny
Ep 11: The kimchi scene and also the way he lit up when he saw her. The kiss scene was also so cute.
Ep 12: I love how he admires her and supports her and is genuinely impressed if shes better than him at certain things
Ep 14: The interactions between the ex and Ji Ho was so refreshing. I love seeing women build one another up instead of tear one another down.
Also Sae Hee meeting Ji Ho's sexual assaulter and piecing the situation together was really refreshing as well.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

While You Were Sleeping

Episodes: 16
          Nam Hong Joo is a young woman who started having dreams that predicted the future at a young age. She is constantly haunted by these dreams and struggles with her moral compass as she has never been able to stop any bad event from happening. Forced into a shell, she lives at home with her mother and the two of them run a small restaurant together. Things start changing in Nam Hong Joo's life when Jung Jae Chan moves into the home across the street. Jung Jae Chan is a rookie prosecutor who is just learning the ropes of his new job. The two do not get along at first due to Nam Hong Joo's bad attempt to avoid a future event she saw in her dream. However, when the dreams start to affect Jung Jae Chan's life, the two are forced to work things out together. 
         One day, Jung Jae Chan had a dream about an accident involving Hong Joo and her boyfriend at the time, Lee Yoo Beom (a manipulative and ruthless attorney who knows Jae Chan from when he was younger). Feeling strange about the dream, Jae Chan decides to interfere with the events that would happen and ended up saving the lives of Hong Joo and the young police officer, Han Woo Tak. After this incident, Jae Chan, Hong Joo, and Woo Tak begin to have dreams about each other and future events that would affect them and they begin to work together to prevent bad events and to help one another.

         This was an enjoyable drama and it actually made me cry at the last episode. Any drama that can bring me to tears now is often considered a good drama to me. I like things that make me feel and that ending was sad, happy, and beautiful all in one. There were however moments where scenes dragged in the middle and there were times where I questioned the chemistry and compatibility between the leads. However, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Lee Jong Suk's acting, without a doubt, is still amazing. The prosecutor's acting was also amazing in this drama and it was great to see him take on more serious roles (he was the comedy relief in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon).
          I love how fitting the OST was to the drama and the concept for this drama was really interesting. I just wish that this could've expanded further and explore the concept a bit more at times. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I just wish our cute second lead could have found someone who would love him back the same way he loved Hong Joo. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pretty Li Hui Zhen

Episodes: 40
This is the Chinese remake of the Korean drama "She Was Pretty." The story follows a woman named Li Hui Zhen who is clumsy, messy, and unlucky in life. As a child, she was very beautiful but after her family went through bankruptcy, it took a toll on her physical appearance greatly as she struggled to support herself and help her family. One day her childhood friend Bai Hao Yu comes back to China and attempts to find Li Hui Zhen. When Li Hui Zhen saw that the childhood "fatty" friend became an extremely attractive and successful man, she suddenly felt ashamed of her current state. Hoping to leave only beautiful memories and impressions of herself with Bai Hao Yu, she asks her stylish and attractive best friend, Xia Qiao, to take her place. At first, it was supposed to be a white lie where Xia Qiao meets him and then tells him she's going to study abroad so they can't meet in the future. However, things get complicated when Xia Qiao becomes touched by Bai Hao Yu's love and when Li Hui Zhen gets an internship at the company Immortal only to find that Bai Hao Yu is her new boss. As Hui Zhen continues to try to hide her true identity, she has constant interactions with a fellow coworker Lin Yi Mu who is interested in her and with Bao Hao Yu who constantly berates her for incompetence. 

    I actually enjoyed watching this drama because it was fun, light-hearted, and also fairly realistic. I love watching characters who are all good at heart but struggle internally with their moral compasses. It is also refreshing to watch characters manage to balance life, romance, and their careers. The support everyone showed one another and the constant idea of having to work for what you want was constantly seen throughout the drama. The main reason I enjoyed this drama was probably because it made me want to be a better person and work harder for the things that I want.
     I also love the friendships in this drama. Every decision and action the characters made, no matter how selfish, were all somewhat rooted in good intentions. It was hard for me to hate anyone in this drama and I heard that the friendships in this drama felt more realistic in comparison to the Korean version. There are many people who really like the Korean version and I have not watched it yet. However, I did enjoy this drama despite many complaining about the similarities, differences, and character/plot changes.
      This drama gave me a severe case of second-lead-syndrome. I really couldn't see the first male lead be the actual love interest. He was so biased toward Li Hui Zhen and I didn't like how he could treat someone like trash the moment he finds out they aren't Li Hui Zhen. Throughout the entire drama, the redeeming point for him was that he fell in love with Li Hui Zhen without knowing that she was his childhood sweetheart. However, it doesn't change the fact that he treated her poorly before that and it doesn't change the way he treated Xia Qiao after finding out she had been lying to him about her being Li Hui Zhen. I loved Lin Yi Mu because he treated Hui Zhen well from the beginning and liked her for who she was, not how she looked and not because of what her identity meant to him.

Favorite episodes:
- All of the scenes with Hui Zhen and Xia Qiao being close friends because they are actually friendship goals and it's actually fairly realistic to how a lot of girls love/treat their best friends.
Ep 15: Bai Hao Yu following Hui Zhen because he starts piecing things together
Ep 24: Wasn't that spectacular of an episode but this was when Hui Zhen gets a transformation
Ep 26: Lin Yi Mu went out and bought Hui Zhen a bag and he shopped for days just for her. I found this so sweet and at this point I was already suffering from second-lead-syndrome hard.
Ep 31: Bai Hao Yu drinks one glass and passes out. It's so comedic.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Once Upon A Time (Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms) (Movie)


       For those who have seen my previous post about the drama version of this, you will know that I loved the complex plot and characters. I absolutely love the story behind Three Lives, Three Worlds and would recommend that drama to anyone who wants to get into a new historical-fantasy drama. So when I heard about the movie version, I was excited to see it and I finally got around to it! This movie was actually not bad but I would definitely not recommend this to people who do not know the story of Three Lives, Three Worlds. I would only recommend you watch this after watching the drama so you can understand the plot. When I first watched the drama, despite all the details and extra episodes that allowed me to catch on, I was still confused every now and then. This movie obviously had to cut down on a lot and improvise scenes to fit in with the scenario and I feel like if you watch this before knowing the story, you'll be left very confused and staring at all the gaps in the story.
       This was very beautiful still and I thought the actors and actresses in this movie were gorgeous (they had some of my favorite people on the cast -- Liu Yi Fei and Yang Yang). They did a great job conveying their emotions and were very professional in their acting. However, despite loving the actors, I still preferred the drama version more. Mostly because 1) It was the first one I watched, 2) it had more details to the story I love the most, 3) the ending was way more satisfying and on a happier note (the movie was more of a cliffhanger left for you to imagine what happens next--but would be very confusing if you didn't understand what was going on with Mo Yuan and Ye Hua looking alike).

The King's Woman

Episodes: 48
       Gongsun Li (aka Li Er) is the granddaughter of the military commander Gongsun Yu. Taught how to fight at a young age, Li Er grows up with the other disciples of her grandfather. Eventually, she falls in love with one of the boys she grew up training with. However, their romance is not as simple as they would have hoped it to be. When Li Er was a little girl, she meets and rescues the young Ying Zheng from assassins. Ying Zheng forever held that childhood memory to heart and when he coincidentally runs into Li Er again, he uses his power and authority to make her his. In a world of revenge, romance, passion, and politics, the characters slowly weave the threads of their fate  together as they navigate through obstacles with caution and emotion. 

        I enjoyed this drama for the most part but I also had problems with it as well. I felt that the beginning of this drama kind of dragged and there were a lot of times you have to sit through information dumps or story buildups/political buildups. However, as the drama went on, it started picking up and you start enjoying the characters a lot more because of their distinct personalities, life goals, and dilemmas. At the end, however, the characters that you come to like (the emperor in particular) seems to change and become filled with rage and trust issues. For both the audience and for Li Er, it was like having the rose glasses removed on the "improved" Ying Zheng. While I didn't like how inconsistent and shady the characters felt toward the end (where's the loyalty? where's the trust? you can't trust anyone!!), I did feel the ending was perfect. Many people hated the ending because it was unsatisfying and depressing. However, I expected this kind of end and I actually couldn't see it ending in any other way. At that point, happily ever after truly did feel impossible. 
          I loved the cast because they all did a great job playing their roles. Dilraba Dilmurat is such a gorgeous woman and I've seen a few of her previous dramas already. This is the first drama I'm watching where she is the main lead and I believe she did a fairly good job (although the voice pairing in some crying scenes and stuff did not do her justice). Vin Zhang is also very attractive. It was certainly nice to see these two actors work together after appearing as side characters in Three Lives Three Worlds. Out of the three love interests that Li Er had in this drama, I preferred Han Shen over everyone (and he wasn't even the second lead! He was the third lead!). I feel like Han Shen truly loved Li Er for who she is and was willing to sacrifice all that he wants or has to keep her happy and safe. The emperor's true feelings toward the end of the drama showed that he didn't wholeheartedly love, trust, and support Li Er. He was good at acting like he did when he was actually filled with jealousy over the fact that Li Er loved Jing Ke before him and had a child with Jing Ke. As for Jing Ke, his inability to sacrifice the goal of revenge and assassinating the king for Li Er's needs of a quiet lifestyle show how incompatible they would've been in the long run. His reaction and anger toward Li Er after being lied to about Tian Ming being the Emperor's son also said a lot about his character. Both the emperor and Jing Ke loved Li Er for what she meant to them and what she did for them---but none of them ever considered what they could do for Li Er that is actually what she wants. Han Shen, on the other hand, risked his life time and time again to protect Li Er from harm's way. He supported all of Li Er's decisions and risked his life for her child regardless of whose child it was. At the same time, he was always worrying about Li Er's safety and happiness above all things. Even at the very end, it was still about what more he could do for Li Er and how to protect her child, Tian Ming. I loved Han Shen the most out of the three men and I was very sad about it the entire drama whenever he was there for her as she focused on either the emperor or Jing Ke. 
        The OST of this drama was also very beautiful. I don't know the name of it yet (I will update when I do find out), but there is a very sad-feeling song sung by a woman and it is my absolute favorite song so far. 

Favorite Episodes:
Ep 10: Feeding dates
Ep 22: The King watched her sleep and comforted her from her nightmare all gently.
Ep 23: When she accepted the kiss
Ep 48: epic last episode (may be disappointing to some but I enjoyed it)

(There were also a lot of other scenes I enjoyed but I didn't list them out so this will have to do :) )

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Beauty Inside (Movie)

       This movie was very strange and I don't really know how to feel about it. It had a cute ending and there were some good actors featured in this movie. However, the plot and romance didn't strike me as that interesting. It certainly had a good concept but I feel like the execution may have been a bit poor and not very realistic. This movie is about a man named Woo Jin who suffers from a condition in which he will always wake up as someone completely different--sometimes an attractive man, sometimes an old man, sometimes a woman, and sometimes even a foreigner. Falling in love and forming long-term relationships with anyone is difficult for him. However, one day, he comes across a beautiful woman named Yi Soo and he reveals his secret to her in hopes of them working out. After taking some time to accept the situation, she eventually accepts it and falls in love with him. Every day she wakes up to a different person and every day she must realize that she may never know who he is the next day. Eventually, Yi Soo's mental health is severely strained by the relationship and Woo Jin's constantly changing physical identity. This movie shows what it is to fall in love with a person for who they are and not what they look like. It also shows how their relationship was hard for Yi Soo because she never knows which person it is she loves because she can't identify his personality based on one's outer appearance. 
       While this movie was cute and had a cute ending, I did feel a bit upset about how they didn't dive deeper into how they are going to have others accept their relationship. How do they explain this to the people around Yi Soo? How are they going to work out? Is there any way to stop this weird thing? The movie sort of ends on a note of them figuring it out and working it out with the situation. But I couldn't help but feel like it is only a matter of time before more complications come up when people around Yi Soo question who her boyfriend is, when Yi Soo once again struggles with who he is and what she feels, and so forth. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Eternal Love

Episodes: 24
        Qu Tan Er is the second daughter of the Qu family and is in love with the First Prince, Mo Yi Huai. But instead of marrying the love of her life, she is being forced to marry Mo Yi Huai's younger brother, Mo Lian Cheng, the eighth prince of the Dong Yue Kingdom. Unwilling to accept her fate, Qu Tan Er attempts to commit suicide. When she wakes up, she finds out that another soul is also taking residence in her body along with her's. This other person is the modern day Xiao Tan.
       From the modern times, Xiao Tan is the complete opposite of Tan Er. Qu Tan Er is everything a lady ought to be during the time--quiet, reserved, and obedient. Xiao Tan, on the other hand, is loud, boisterous, strong, and assertive. As she tries to find her way back to modern times, she has to learn to deal with Qu Tan Er's family and her relationships with the princes as well. At the same time, the two girls have to learn to live with one another. Whenever one of the girls tells a lie, the other personality would take over. Things get complicated as Xiao Tan falls in love with Mo Lian Cheng while Qu Tan Er is still hopelessly in love with Mo Yi Huai.

     This drama was so lighthearted and comedic. It was funny, romantic, and it had me hooked from the first episode. I binge watched this drama while it was still airing and I loved it. There are definitely scenes where it is a bit fake or a bit childish. Xiao Tan's personality was sometimes a bit obnoxious as well but she was definitely more interesting and funnier as the story went on. The plot is not the strongest, in my opinion. However, this drama held a unique charm to itself that made it more and more interesting.
    The concept behind this drama was also so funny and interesting to me. I certainly enjoyed Modern Xiao Tan's interactions with the eighth prince more than the actual Qu Tan Er's interactions with the first prince. Qu Tan Er is everything a noblewoman would've been like in historical times but with a modern Xiao Tan to compare and contrast to, she is very boring. While Qu Tan Er and the first prince had a love story going on as well, I often looked forward to Xiao Tan and eighth prince's scenes. I even loved watching Xiao Tan act out on behalf of Qu Tan Er because I found Qu Tan Er too quiet, too weak, and too sad to do anything to change her situation.
         I loved watching Xiao Tan bicker with the eighth prince, befriend her servant, and fight back to those who tried to bully her. While Qu Tan Er would've accepted being hit by her family and bullied by concubines, Xiao Tan is the complete opposite as she fights back and defends herself in her own way. It was very refreshing to watch. There were times that I wished Xiao Tan would've been a bit more reserved because she tends to be always loud and always doing something far from ladylike. I wanted her to try to fit into the historical times the way Ruo Xi did in Bubujingxin. That being said, this drama did remind me of BBJX/Ryeo because of the concept of a modern soul put into a past incarnation of herself. However, the interesting twist in this drama is that the actual soul of the body is still present. I loved watching the personalities switch on and off whenever they lie.
         I wish the plot revolved more around the personality concept and the souls concept. I felt that it would've been interesting to watch how the two love stories progressed, how the interactions played a role in politics and at home, and so forth. I thought the magic and fantasy concept that was going on in this drama was a bit confusing and also a bit weird. I was especially disappointed with the last few episodes where they focused on the magical aspect of the story and it made me feel like I was watching a completely separate drama. The ending was alright but it felt like such a different world from the world we started falling in love with the characters in. I was a bit disappointed with the last few episodes and the ending but I still think that this drama  is worth a watch simply for the relationship and funny moments in the beginning and in between.
          The OSTs are very pretty and I really enjoyed listening to the lyrics. The actors in this drama are also fairly new and although their acting wasn't perfect or the best, I still enjoyed watching them. The eighth prince did a good job portraying a warm, caring prince to the woman he loves. I look forward to more of their work in the future as they continue to improve as actors and actresses. 

Favorite Episodes:
 Episode 3: I love how the 8th prince thinks shes playing mind games and scheming so he's trying to figure her out. Also the kiss at the last scene!!
Episode 4: When he tries to get her to push away the princess by kissing her but she doesn't play along. And then he helps tend to her wounds :)
When she was showing him her old scars and he kept saying he didn't see them because he was looking at her and not at her scars.
Episode 5: It's so funny when she fights with the other concubines.
The scene where the servant had to try to translate modern slang was so funny.
Episode 6: I love the interactions between Xiao Tan and 8th prince & that kiss
Episode 7: 8th prince is so good to her, I'm in love with his character
Episode 8: 8th prince was so happy when she yelled at the 1st prince. It was so cute.
Also: "Anyone who hurts you will become my enemy."
And I couldn't stop laughing at the part where they encountered assassins and the 8th prince ran with Xiao Tan while telling her "I'm their target." It was so funny when she said "If you're they're target, why are you dragging me?" and proceeded to argue with him while running from the assassins.
Episode 9: "I won't ever let you go again."
-when Xiao Tan finds out she's the only woman he's been with (despite having concubines)
Episode 10: 8th prince protecting Xiao Tan
Episode 11: 8th prince taking care of her
Episode 12: the pond drowning scene
Episode 20: The scene where she's giving birth and said that in the next life she's going to make the 8th prince give birth. And he willing said he'd switch with her.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Noble, My Love

Episodes: 20
    Lee Kang Hoon is a wealthy and attractive heir to one of the world's largest companies. After escaping an attempting kidnapping, Kang Hoon finds himself at the animal hospital owned by the veterinarian Yoon Seo. Yoon Seo tends to his injuries that night and Kang Hoon finds himself fascinated by her sweet nature and character. He ends up offering her a loan to open up her own veterinary practice in a better location in exchange she would have to play her part in a contract relationship. The two begin to fall in love and the story begins to unfold. 

      This drama was not that impressive to me. It felt a bit cliche and the acting was a bit amateur. It wasn't believable and the chemistry between the actors seemed a bit off. There was nothing in this drama that gave it it's own charm, in my opinion. There were many times that I wanted to stop watching this drama in the first five episodes because it felt off, uninteresting, and forced. It did get better as the episodes went on but simply because the story will always eventually grow on you but it was such a struggle to force myself into this particular drama world.
      A reason why this drama wasn't that interesting to me was that the main male lead didn't have much of a build up to the way he acts toward Yoon Seo. It felt like he got injured, she helped him, and suddenly he was interested in her. Thankfully he was also rich and handsome and that qualified him to be the main lead. There was no in between and no character build up for him. I liked the girl slightly more simply because they gave her some backstory, but even so, it wasn't enough for me to love these characters and feel for their story. It was too cliche. Spirited, struggling female bumps heads with rich, attractive male who helps her and fights for her throughout the entire drama.
       Seen too many well-done dramas of this sort to truly appreciate this one. Would not watch again and would not recommend this to my close friends. But feel free to watch it (after all, to each their own). I did hear about this drama from a girl friend who really liked it. 

Favorite Episodes:
Episode 3: When Kang Hoon goes to visit her but because he's so out of touch with his feelings and stuff, he creepily acts like a stalker
Episode 6: The short interactions between Yoon Seo and Manager Kim were so cute, funny, and friendly
Episode 7: When Kang Hoon helps out at the lunch meeting Yoon Seo had with all those catty women. And he said: "From now on, don't see such mean friends." Like thank you! Why was she even meeting those snooty women to begin with?
Episode 10: That kiss haha
Episode 12: That kiss
Episode 14: Yoon Seo getting scared of the thunder

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The First Half of My Life 我的前半生

Episodes: 42
      Luo Zi Jun thought she was set for life after marrying Chen Jun Sheng. Everything she wanted, she got. Zi Jun spends the day waiting for her husband to return from work while being a devoted housewife and mother. However, one day, that happy life ends when her husband suddenly files for divorce and leaves her. Zi Jun's life completely changes as she is unprepared to face the world as a single mother. Thus, she turns to her best friend Tang Jing and her long time boyfriend, He Han, for emotional support. He Han has always looks down on the life Zi Jun has led as a rich, spoiled housewife. He is a successful businessman and Tang Jing is a career-focused woman. The two help Zi Jun get back on her feet, get back into the work face, and strengthen herself up. As time passes, He Han slowly starts to develop feelings for Zi Jun. This is a story about empowering women and also brings up many controversial issues in life such as cheating, divorce, child custody, and facing single life once more.

         This drama is very real to life. However, the beginning of this drama annoyed me greatly. I hate it when people are not loyal to their girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse. It was such a struggle for me to watch Zi Jun try to be a loving wife to Chen Jun Sheng while he was cheating on her with Ling Ling. I hated how they all played Zi Jun for a fool by giving her a false sense of security while slowly pulling the rug from under her feet. Zi Jun's character development shines a lot of light into the societal standards women are put against. Her inability to work or be an active member of society is greatly due to the fact that her husband told her to stay at home and become a devoted housewife and mother for years. She follows him willingly and does everything in her power to be the perfect housewife he returns home to every day. Yet despite all this, he falls for a woman that is exactly the opposite of his wife--she's not as pretty, not as young, and definitely more career oriented than Zi Jun--and with the change of taste for women, he dumps Zi Jun leaving her behind like a fish out of water. 
        This is a very good drama and many middle aged women really love watching this drama. I feel as though this drama is a little above my age because it was hard for me to fully connect with the situations that were happening. It had a lot to do with life during your mid-30s with divorce and finding your way back into the workforce. However, the acting was phenomenal and I did enjoy how all the relationships and interactions are very human. This drama is extremely raw and it really pulls you into the shoes of every character in this show. This drama was fairly depressing in the beginning but as I continued watching, the episodes got increasingly better (the acting as well).
        Very well-done, beautiful, raw, and empowering drama. It truly shows off the good and bad in life, marriage, and careers.

Favorite Episodes:
Episode 9: I loved watching Zi Jun finally yell at Chen Jun Sheng when he was requesting child custody over their son. Her anger was so palpable.
Episode 14: When He Han helps Zi Jun out via text message when she's talking to Ling Ling
Episode 17: It irks me so much that a family is just split like this because of the divorce. It is pretty sad watching how it affects the child.
-The scene in the rain where she's running with Ping Er while her own husband is taking care of someone else's child.
Episode 22: That business rivalry Tang Jin has--you go, girl!
Episode 27: He Han picking Zi Jun up in the rain
Episode 32: He Han and Zi Jun's acting is no joke.
Episode 35: Ling Ling is so annoying...
Episode 39: Zi Jun's mom is always a busybody and nagging everyone. But she does it all out of love...just like a mother does. This is such a sad episode.

One More Time

Episodes: 8
       This is a Netflix original. Tan is the lead singer of an indie band. Broke and struggling to stay afloat, Tan is increasingly frustrated with his situation. He takes it out on his band mates and on his girlfriend, Da In. On October 4th, Tan experiences a change in his life as a big entertainment company offered him a spot in their company. Ditching his friends and girlfriend, he rushes to experience this new life of fame and fortune. However, when he woke up the next day, he found himself living the same day again. This continues over and over again as Tan is stuck on October 4th. 
       Tan begins to make use of the loop as he wins gambling games, flirts with multiple women in the entertainment industry, and drives fancy cars. When he decides to check on his girlfriend and friends, he understood why he was stuck in this loop. His girlfriend is fated to die every evening at 8:23 PM on October 4th. No matter what Tan does and how he tries to save her, Da In dies. This story follows Tan as he attempts to save his girlfriend from this fate and to keep their love strong.

      This was a simple mini series that reminded me of the story "Before I Fall." I loved the concept of having a day constantly on repeat as you try to find a way to fix the situation. I didn't like Tan's character at first because he was so rude and so mean to his girlfriend. It made their cute memories together seem so temporary and fake because as a viewer you know that he went from being a sweet, caring boyfriend to a man who is constantly annoyed at his girlfriend. I did not like how he constantly took his personal stress out on Da In and try to bring her down by insulting her or neglecting her.
      It made me feel a bit better when Tan begins to appreciate Da In more with each repetition of the day after he discovers her fate. It certainly was an interesting concept and I loved watching the characters interact with the young grim reaper. This isn't a drama that I'd rewatch in the future but I did enjoy the concept (although it reminded me of other books, shows, and dramas). 
      I liked the song he made for Da In in the end. It was really pretty and it fit their situation well. It was simple but I wouldn't recommend this to people to watch. But if you want something short to watch that involves concepts of time and space...then here's a mini series for you. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms 三生三世十里桃花

Episodes: 58 
       This drama starts off on Kun Lun Mountain. Bai Qian is the youngest child of the Fox King and is the female monarch of Qing Qiu. She is always very sassy and naughty growing up and was thus sent to Kun Lun Mountain to become the disciple of the God of War, Mo Yuan. Disguised as a male and using the name of Si Yin, she trains for many, many years. During that time, Mo Yuan showed her great favoritism among his students and developed a strong bond with her as well. Only Mo Yuan and the second prince of the Ghost Realm, Li Jing, knew that Si Yin was a female. Si Yin and Li Jing fall for each other  during her time on Kun Lun Mountain but were separated after Li Jing betrays Si Yin's trust. A war breaks out between the Immortal Tribe and the Ghost Tribe. In an attempt to seal the Ghost Lord, Qing Cang, Mo Yuan's soul is shattered and lost. Si Yin tries many different methods to bring her teacher back to life but to no avail. She ends up bringing her teacher's body with her to Qing Qiu, hiding her teacher from the world for 70,000 years as she tries to find out a way to revive Mo Yuan and returning back to her identity of Qing Qiu's Bai Qian.
          The disciples of Kun Lun Mountain slowly dispersed over the years. Many have tried to locate where Mo Yuan and Si Yin have gone. And for 70,000 years, Li Jing spends the rest of his time wondering where Si Yin had gone to. Li Jing ends up spending the rest of the drama still longing for Si Yin while maintaining peace in the Ghost Realm and dealing with an extremely jealous wife.
         Many years later, the ghost lord tries to break free from the Dong Huang Bell where he is kept. Immediately, Bai Qian attempts to reseal the Ghost Lord but as a result, her memories and goddess identity were sealed away by the Ghost Lord and she was sent to the mortal realm to undergo a trial to become a High Goddess. In the mortal world, she meets Ye Hua. Ye Hua is the spitting image of Mo Yuan (later on revealed he is the twin of the God of War but was born later due to circumstances). Ye Hua is the Crown Prince Black Dragon of the Nine Heavens. Being the future ruler, he is extremely mature and constantly sacrifices for the benefit of others. When he becomes injured one day and is unable to return to his human form (stuck as a little dragon--but mistaken for a snake), he is taken care of by Bai Qian, who is given the new name of Su Su. Over time, the two begin to fall in love. In order to prevent a tragedy from happening that would prevent their relationship, Ye Hua attempts to fake his death while hiding Su Su from the Nine Heavens. However, his plans were eventually thwarted and Su Su was brought to the Nine Heavens for trial.
     Su Jin, who is jealous of Ye Hua's love for Su Su, intentionally creates a series of misunderstandings between them and eventually causes Su Su to lose her eyes. After giving birth to their son, Su Su jumps off the Zhu Xian Terrace in devastation of Ye Hua's "betrayal". Upon jumping from the terrace, Su Su finishes her mortal trial and returns back to her goddess status. At her request, all her memories of what happened during the time she was Su Su were erased and she forgets Ye Hua. She spends the next three hundred years enjoying herself in Qing Qiu and continuing to devote her life to find out ways to revive Mo Yuan. Ye Hua, on the other hand, holds on to the memories of Su Su for those three hundred years as he tries to create an incarnation of the woman he loved. At the same time, he devotes his love and attention to their child, Ah Li, and is constantly seeking for ways to bring back Su Su.
        Three hundred years later, the two meet again as deities at a gathering. Ye Hua recognizes Bai Qian as Su Su but she does not have any memory of him. Thus, Ye Hua begins to pursue Bai Qian for a second time to regain her affections despite the new obstacles arising. Since the beginning to the end, their fates have passed through thousands of years and through different worlds and incarnations. It truly is a story about a love that passed through three lives, three worlds, and a road of peach blossoms. 

        I heard a lot about this drama because it has been extremely popular in China and other Asian countries. I was a bit reluctant to watch this drama at first because I knew it was going to be a long series (58 episodes!!!). However, a friend of mine could not stop raving about this drama and she said it was worth the time. Thus, I decided to watch this drama and form my own opinion about it. Going into this, I had high expectations for this drama because of the many good reviews and high popularity this series had. I'm very pleased to say that this drama did not disappoint. There are pros and cons to this drama though.
         This drama is a very long drama but it is packed with romance, magic, and action. It is so beautiful and feeds into all my historical fantasy needs. The characters were so pleasant to watch and everything tied into a bigger plot. Their fashion and hair in this drama was absolutely amazing and detailed. It also had great cinematography and some very famous celebrities that acted in this drama. The plot of this drama is very complex but it was explained so well with each episode I watched. I certainly think that this is a drama that is better the second time you watch it because you understand the world more and the characters more as well. The first time watching it may be confusing to some because each scene holds a lot of details that may be crucial in later episodes. I really enjoyed the plot, the costume, and the characters in this drama. Everything was so beautiful and well-done. This drama also hit me in my feels a couple of times throughout the drama and left me in tears. It also made me laugh and blush as well. This drama made me feel a thousand different emotions which is a big reason why I enjoyed this drama.
             There were some cons as well. I felt that some of the scenes dragged or were slow when I first watched it. But when I watched it the second time, I clung on to every word because I knew they were important to the world-building and character development as the drama progresses. But for those who only watch this one time, some of the beginning episodes where Bai Qian is training as Si Yin may get boring or confusing. While the ending was very happy, there were still some things that left me unsatisfied. For instance, I wanted Bai Qian to interact with Ah Li a bit more toward the end. Especially after she regained her memories from when she was Susu. But then again, she never really truly showed affection toward Ah Li as a mother so I guess it makes sense in a way. I loved how Bai Qian and Ye Hua's story ended. But I was left with regret for Bai Feng Jiu and Di Jun's romance (despite knowing that they couldn't be together because if they did, then the entire world would become chaotic). Bai Feng Jiu was one of my favorite characters from this show and I found that her romance with Di Jun was also beautifully sad in their own way as well. I loved watching Bai Qian and Ye Hua interact as much as I loved watching Feng Jiu and Di Jun interact. They were the two couples I shipped with all my heart. It was a bit confusing when I learned how Mo Yuan and Ye Hua were twins. However, it made me feel kind of bad for Mo Yuan because he also loved Bai Qian but didn't get that love reciprocated because Bai Qian only admired him as her teacher. Instead she loved Ye Hua who just so happens to be the crown prince of the celestial heavens and also Mo Yuan's twin brother who was born later on (and who was also that golden lotus that Si Yin used to look after when she was still training on the mountain). Like I said, everything in this drama ties into the bigger plot and feeds into the fated romance between Bai Qian and Ye Hua.
        I was also a bit regretful that the princess from the Ghost Realm could not be with the Sixteenth Disciple. While I liked how the evil characters got what they deserved, I wanted Li Jing to have his own happy ending as well. I felt that his character was brought down because of Xuan Nu's actions and in the end he is left longing for what he can't have and regretting his past. But I guess this could be a good and a bad thing because this drama made the characters very real. They were all good people yet all flawed in many ways as well. The OST of this drama are also so beautiful to listen to and they fit the scenes perfectly. The lyrics are also very touching and meaningful as well.
              Either way, I enjoyed this drama. It made me cry. It made me obsessed. I would recommend this for those who enjoy historical fantasy dramas. This was a well-made drama with a complex plot and even more complex characters.

Favorite Episodes:
Episode 12-13: The scenes where Su Su and Ye Hua are spending time together and falling in love!
Episode 26: That epic scene seen in the trailer where she jumps from the skies back to being Bai Qian. This was so sad and the acting was so heartfelt ugh :(
Episode 28: Ah Li wishing his mom a happy birthday while Ye Hua wonders when he'll see her again (SO SAD AND TOUCHING)
Episode 29: Ah Li is making me cry because he is so heartbroken that Ye Hua tried to tell him that his mother wouldn't come back because the Soul-Gathering Lamp broke.
Episode 30: They meet again! & that recognition moment!! This episode is probably my favorite episode. The first scene where she purposely falls from the tree to just flirt around with Ye Hua (since she forgot her past as Susu) was so beautiful and deep. Ye Hua was wearing his heart on his sleeve and the emotions were pouring out of his eyes when he saw the love of his life in his arms again.
&& it was so nice when he finally recognized her as Susu when he saw her habitual finger tapping and how she liked to tap fans against her nose and also the scar that she got from her time as Susu which can't be erased by all means. That was such a wonderful moment for me.
Also, I love that Bai Qian keeps calling Ah Li "riceball" and how Ah Li keeps trying to get his parents together. He's such a cute child!
Episode 33: Ye Hua trying to win over Bai Qian
Episode 39: Bai Feng Jiu and Di Jun's mortal romance is so cute
Episode 41: When Bai Feng Jiu takes an arrow for Di Jun and only asks for him to remember her because she knows their mortal romance starts and ends in the mortal realm
Episode 43: When Di Jun returns back to the celestial heavens and the other princess goes down to the mortal realm to be with him but his mortal self has already deceased  and she goes "No way I just got here!" HAHAHA that was so funny
- Also, damn that kiss between Ye Hua and Bai Qian (why is Ye Hua so sexual LOL)
Episode 44: When Ye Hua says he only wants Qian Qian (once again, why is Ye Hua so sexual?)
Episode 47: The scene where Bai Qian says he doesn't have enough stamina was so cute and funny. Ah Li is such a precious child. Also, the scene where Bai Qian says that she loves Ye Hua and is willing to go forth with the marriage.
Episode 52: Bai Feng Jiu and Di Jun's love story is so sad. I felt so bad for them when she wasn't able to carve his name into the stone.
Episode 53: When Di Jun went to visit the injured Bai Feng Jiu and shows her his affection one more time before walking away (I'm still so sad that their story ended with just Di Jun saying that he would like her if his name was on the stone that lists fated couples)
Episode 56: I cried so much this episode because of Ye Hua. This episode hit me too hard.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Train to Busan (Movie)

    While I enjoy reading about apocalyptic situations, I hate zombies with a passion. I would never want to live in a world overrun by zombies because that it just terrifying to me. Thus, I've always struggled to watch shows such as The Walking Dead because I just don't like zombies. I do enjoy watching zombie movies/shows for the survival aspect and how humans deal with this new situation. This movie obviously has zombies but I've heard a lot about Train to Busan since it came out and everyone said that it was more sad and touching than scary. After watching it, I have to admit that it is true. It is very touching and sad and it made me sob at the end. It is a show about human survival and what people do in critical life situations. However, I was still scared nonetheless. 
     There weren't many jump scares in this movie. At most, it was a bit shocking whenever the zombies came toward people because they all moved at fairly fast rates. It did make me feel a bit better that the zombies only attacked based on sound and what they could see. They were not very smart with realizing that the train doors couldn't lock and they stopped banging at the door once the humans put something in the window to block the zombies' view. 
      This movie follows a man named Seok Woo who is a fund manager and a divorced, single father. He is never able to be there for his daughter, Soo An, due to constantly working. When Soo An demands that she wants to go to Busan to see her mother for her birthday, Seok Woo obliges. On the way to the station, they see many ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks speeding toward a burning building. Not thinking too much of it, they continue to the station and board the train to Busan. 
       On the train, we are then introduced to the other characters. They include a tough but loving husband Sang Hwa and his pregnant wife Seong Kyeong; a high school baseball team; a rich and selfish man named Yon Suk; elderly sisters In Gil and Jong Gil; and a traumatized homeless man who already witnessed the zombie attacks. The passengers on the train are all unaware of the current zombie outbreak as the train departs the station. They are more so unaware that a bitten young woman had run on to the train and was turning into a zombie. As the train speeds down the tracks, the fates of everyone on the train is sealed. 
       The woman turns into a zombie and attacks a train attendant. Soon the infection begins to spread throughout the train as more and more passengers turned into zombies. The survivors quickly rush into a safe train cabin. Sang Hwa tries to figure out how to lock and barricade the door when they realized that the zombies did not know how to open the door and they also would not have the urge to attack when they covered the windows. Temporarily safe, the survivors begin to figure out what was going on. They learned of the zombie outbreak through their phones and through the news broadcasts on the train televisions.  
        From there, the survivors have to struggle through many dangerous situations to try to get to safety. With no safe place to hide and with many people turning on others due to fear or feeling hopeless, everyone has to learn to use their strength, wit, and fast instincts to survive. This movie was so beautiful in showing moral compassion and strength in a time like this. It was touching and sad. It also highlighted the reason why this outbreak happened--and it just so happens (SPOILER ALERT) that Seok Woo may have been indirectly responsible for the outbreak caused by unsafe measures and leakage problems the company he funded had. 
         All in all, this was a great movie and it made me cry at the end. I would highly recommend this movie.    

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Love O2O

Episodes: 30
        Bei Weiwei is the prettiest girl in the computer science department who excels in her studies. She loves playing an online game called Dreaming of Jianghu and aspires to be a game designer one day in the future. Through the game, she is approached by the number one player who goes by the name of "Yixiao Naihe" who suggests that the two marry in the game so that they could join couple competitions and complete missions together. The newly formed pair begin to go on many adventures together in the game and are the envy of many.
        However, the virtual world slowly bleeds into the real world as Wei Wei and Xiao Nai begin to develop feelings for each other through the online game. When the two finally decide to meet in person, Wei Wei is shocked to find out that her virtual husband is actually the very attractive and successful college senior, Xiao Nai. Xiao Nai is the most sought after male in their school and he is also the CEO of a starting gaming company he started with his college roommates. The two end up falling for each other more in person, building on what they already had developed through the game. Together, the couple work together, as they do in the game, through many hurdles and obstacles.

This drama was enjoyable but not the best. It was such a positive and light-hearted watch and all the characters grow to be more mature and happy with each episode. It was so satisfying to see everyone find their own equilibrium by the end of the drama and the ending also met my expectations. None of the characters are perfect and they are all flawed characters. However, that is what makes them so great because it feels human as they learn to recover from jealousy and drama. 
    This drama is good because it covers almost every aspect that I enjoy watching. There is bromance, friendship, romance, school life, and also life outside of school. There is also a lot of eye candy in this drama (especially Yang Yang who plays Xiao Nai). I loved the positive vibes this drama gave off and I truly enjoyed watching it. The OSTs also match the moods very well because the songs are gentle and upbeat. I really liked the video game aspect and how we would enter a virtual world and then exit back into the real world. From that you can see the similarities of the characters in the virtual game and in real life. The virtual game plays a big role in the drama as it was very popular among the college group and a lot of drama that happens on there often echoes into the real world. It also helps the viewers get a glimpse into the world these characters are obsessed with and also allows us to follow along with Wei Wei and Xiao Nai as they push forward in their romance and careers.
        There were times that the main couple felt a little awkward but I guess it played into the cute first-love category. Some of the kiss scenes felt forced, especially on the girl's end. There were also times that I wished the main lead would act more cutesy with one another. However, they played a very career-oriented and school-oriented innocent couple. It was nice to watch them support each other but I wanted some more interactions! (I did greatly appreciate the scene they threw in this drama where she is covering up a hickey...but like I didn't even know when or where she got it!)                While I did enjoy watching the actress who played Bei Wei Wei, I was also a bit thrown off by her character at times. She portrays a good, nice, and popular girl who is also intelligent and strong. However, I find that there are times her character feels distant from her "best friends" and there are times where she's stingy toward other characters as well. It felt like everyone was revolving around the perfect Bei Wei Wei which was kind of odd because I feel like none of the other girl characters were inferior to her in any way (especially her best friends). I felt that Wei Wei's character was also not the type to expect that kind of treatment but it did give off the vibe that the world revolves around her in a couple of episodes. I did like Wei Wei's girlfriends a lot because they were so happy and supportive all the time. The bromance Xiao Nai had with his friends was even cuter to watch because they were so sincere and loyal to each other and the company they started together. 
     I would recommend this drama to anyone who wants to watch a light-hearted, positive school/career based romance.
         Another thing that I want to point out that is not important to the whole review of the drama but the main female lead is extremely skinny. Although I am not 100% sure and would not like to be quoted on this, I feel like she has an eating disorder of some form. I say this not because she's just skinny but because I had watched her on a reality show where she hangs out with her father and they do missions together and she would hardly eat on that show. Her own father had used to try to coax her to eat something and she had a belief that it was part of her job to maintain her figure. The actress who plays her has always been very pretty and slim and I've watched in Meteor Shower before. While this may be an issue (or it isn't because usually actresses do take care of their figures very well), I don't think anyone would be too triggered by this as the character often wore fairly modest and pretty clothes. 
Favorite episodes:
Ep 8: That smile he gave Wei Wei before getting on his car
Ep 9: Bromance be real.
Also the part where they decided they were going to meet made me just as excited as Wei Wei.
Ep 10: When he basically said they were dating omg
Their entire date
And the last scene where he went up to her in the basketball court in front of everyone omg
Ep 18: That rain scene
Ep 30: That kiss scene when she's dressed in the ancient red bridal gown

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lion (Movie)

  This was an absolutely amazing and touching film. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something touching and real. This film is based on a true story which makes it more incredible to me. The story starts back in 1986 in India. A five year old boy named Saroo is fairly happy with his life despite the dismal conditions at the time. He is extremely close with his older brother Guddu and often helps in taking care of his younger sister and mother. Guddu and Saroo often go to steal coal from the freight trains to trade for milk and food for the family. One night, Guddu goes off to look for a job and Saroo insists on going along. However, upon reaching the nearby train station, Saroo decides to stay behind and take a nap. Thus, Guddu tells him to stay where he is and that he'll be back for him. When Saroo wakes up, the train station is empty and his brother was still not back. Saroo looks for Guddu and eventually boards a train and falls asleep in one of the compartments. When he wakes up, the train was already heading toward its next destination with no way for Saroo to get off. 
        After a few days, he arrives in Calcutta. Without knowing his surname, his mother's name, or the correct name of the location where his family is located, Saroo is lost. For a while he wanders about not able to communicate with anyone for help because he spoke Hindi and the people in Calcutta spoke Bengali. In the following days, Saroo encounters many different experiences and dangerous situations. Eventually Saroo goes to the police station and after being unable to trace his family, he is put in an orphanage. Saroo eventually is adopted by an Australian couple. The couple treats Saroo extremely well and eventually adopted another child named Mantosh, who struggled to adapt to his new home. 
          Twenty years pass and Saroo is now a young man who is heading to Melbourne to study hotel management. He has forgotten a lot about his past and his culture over the years and is an extremely happy and healthy male. During a meal with some Indian friends, he came across a delicacy called jalebi. This sparked a childhood memory that he shared with his brother and confides to his friends about the story of how he was lost and then adopted. His friends suggest that he use Google Earth to look for his hometown and to find his family again. With that, Saroo dives into searching for his past and disconnects himself from the people around him as he focuses on the past and how much his family must have grieved for him.
        After years of fruitlessly searching for his hometown by following the train tracks, Saroo comes across a familiar rocky landscape where his mother used to work. From there he finds the water tank and the roads from his childhood memory until he found his hometown Ganesh Talai (which Saroo had been pronouncing Ganastalay the entire time). He eventually returns to his hometown and is reunited with his family but learned that Guddu had been killed by a train the same night that Saroo got lost. The film ends in a warm reunion with his family and also segments of the actual people arriving in Ganesh Talai. It was also during that reunion did Saroo learn that he had been mispronouncing his own name growing up and that his name was actually Sheru meaning "Lion."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Vampire Flower

Episodes: 6
This drama is based on a web novel that closely resembles to the Twilight Saga. This is a story about a vampire romance between the vampire Louis and a girl named Seo Young. With a golden-scented blood, Seo Young is dragged into the vampire world to help Louis look for the long-lost Vampire Flower.

      I did not enjoy this drama that much. Usually for short Korean dramas like this, it is often light-hearted and compact. I never expect much out of it but I do want to look for some light-hearted fun. I came across this drama through a FMV but it failed to meet my expectations. The acting is extremely bad and the chemistry between the actors were also off. I found the plot childish and meaningless. It had great potential to dive into the plot but instead it wasn't the main focal point of the drama and everything was very confusing. It also had an unsatisfying ending and left me with many questions. (Like what was even Reika's goal? And was there no flower or what?) I would not recommend this drama.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How I Met Your Father (Movie)

        This is a movie about two college lovers who were instantly drawn to each other the first time they met eyes. The two work together very well but like every couple, they face many ups and downs along the way. You can say that their problems are often caused by life in general but the way they dealt with it was often not the best way. Thus, it often led to misunderstandings or long breaks in their relationship. This wasn't a very entertaining movie in my opinion. I found that it dragged and lacked a sensible plot. As a matter of fact, the plot itself is quite bland. The chemistry between the two actors also wasn't quite there for me either as they often seemed awkward around one another. It didn't help that the characters they were playing also sucked at communication.  I personally think that this movie could've been a lot better and more sentimental. Instead, it seemed to miss all those points and focused a lot on the miscommunication between the two characters and how badly they dealt with problems.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Bride Wars (Movie)

        This is a Chinese movie that is a remake of the movie Bride Wars that starred Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. I have never watched the original Bride Wars so I can't offer a comparison between this version and the original. Thus, I will only give my review for this movie. This movie is about two best friends who become rivals when they schedule their own weddings at the same place and on the same day due to a mistake by the wedding planner. The two begin to fight to see who would get to marry at this dream location on that day because instead of booking two weddings on that day, the wedding planner had only booked one.
       I felt that this plot was pretty annoying to watch because it was frustrating watching two grown women let something like this get in the way of how they actually feel. I found Ma Li super annoying simply because she is used to getting her way and is used to He Jing giving in to her. I think she was very immature in a lot of the scenes. I did like He Jing more but it does not excuse her immature actions either. The two obviously care about each other but let this wedding war tear them apart. The ending was expected but still cute nonetheless. Not a personal favorite as it was pretty cliche and annoying to me.
       (Nice Huang Xiao Ming cameo in the beginning, by the way, especially since he is Angelababy's husband in real life--the actress who played He Jing)

Twenty (Movie)

I really enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a coming-of-age comedy. This movie is absolutely hilarious and I have heard that most of this movie was improvisation (which is very impressive by the way). The comedy is not only funny but also very relatable for young people who are growing up and turning into adults. This movie follows three friends as they go through challenges growing up and it shows how they all deal with things differently and how their relationships with other people develop as well. I liked how there was so much diversity in the relationships and backgrounds because it allows many young people to relate to this movie while getting a good laugh out of it. This movie definitely shows what it is like to be young and struggling, happy and sad, and so forth. Highly recommend! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Secret Romance

Episodes: 13
     Cha Jin Wook is the heir to a very successful underwear company while Lee Yoo Mi is a nutritionist. The two meet on one fateful day at a Gangwondo resort and have a series of misunderstandings and accidents. The two end up enjoying each other's company and the two have a one night stand together. However, Lee Yoo Mi is terrified of appearing too "easy" especially since she grew up with the trauma of having an erotic actress as her mother. Thus, she disappears in the morning, leaving Jin Wook confused, angry, and embarrassed.
     Fast forward to three years later, the two meet again when Lee Yoo Mi gets hired to become a nutritionist at his company's cafeteria. The two pretend to not recognize each other as Jin Wook tries to make Lee Yoo Mi's life harder by making her his personal nutritionist. However, the feelings they developed and their attraction to each other can't be denied. The two begin to pick up from where they left off.

      This drama was totally cliche. It is the stereotypical Korean drama which is also partly why it feeds into every girl's guilty pleasure. The male lead was extremely attractive. I've only ever seen him act as side characters (as seen on Oh My Venus) so it was refreshing to see him play the lead. Although I feel this his acting could improve, I was very happy watching him as eye-candy. He is extremely attractive and reminds me of a book character from the series A Court of Thorns And Roses (Rhysand). The female lead's acting was not that great, in my opinion. It makes sense considering she is actually an idol pursuing an acting career. I'm sure she can improve with time but I was not impressed by the acting in this drama and at times it was cringe-worthy (especially the hiccuping scenes).
         The OST was very cute. The drama was very simple, cliche, and just a guilty pleasure. It wasn't anything phenomenal but it feeds into my need for the "same old same old." I remember wondering if Jin Wook was the kid's father before watching this drama. However, by the first or second episode, I ruled that out myself because the way Lee Yoo Mi treats the kid is not motherly at all. She acts like a big sister who is annoyed half the time. Thus, I immediately just went along with what they were saying in that he was just her half brother. However, I did want the kid to be from the one night stand simply because it would give Autumn Concerto vibes (which, by the way, is an amazing drama that I highly recommend). But I was glad he wasn't the father because his character was the kind to start to focus on only the kid and not the woman. I wanted it to be like Autumn Concerto where the romance was equally as important as the child. Hence, Jin Wook not being the father made me a bit relieved when I saw that he was neglecting Lee Yoo Mi's feelings just for the child.
        I did enjoy the message at the last episode where the mother tells Yoo Mi that there is nothing wrong with a one night stand. I felt it was a good message to sort of mention how the stigma behind one night stands and hook ups doesn't define a person. Love can occur through any means and nothing is wrong with a one night stand, even if it doesn't work out.

Favorite parts: 
Ep 8: The playful pool scene

Ep 9: Jin Wook trying to be Dad to the kid

Ep 10: When he wouldn't let Yoo Mi go

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ugly Ducking Series: Down

Episodes: 7 
Maewnam is a girl who is traumatized from showing her face to the world. When she was a young girl, she confessed to a boy she liked and was rejected and called ugly. After that experience, Maewnam avoided mirrors and resorted to putting paper bags or boxes over her head. She refused to go to school and leave the comfort of being hidden behind a box. Three years later, her father decides to push her to have a social life and start to lead a normal life as a teenager. He sends her back to school after three years of homeschooling her. With the help of Minton, a friendly boy who becomes her best friend at school, and Zero, the bad boy of the school, Maewnam faces some of her biggest fears and comes out of her shell as a beautiful swan. Drama ensues as the two boys vie for her and her beauty begins attracting more troubles than just boys.

I found out about this drama through a fan made music video. It looked really cute and lighthearted so I decided to give it a try. This was also an extremely short drama as it is a mini series. However, while it was cute and cliche, I found myself not feeling it for this drama. It got too cheesy or too predictable. It was even annoying at some parts. Especially the scenes where the girl would call out the guy for his violence, when he wasn't even using it for bad things anymore and was even getting injured for not fighting back. It was a cute watch and I did finish it. I thought the main leads were all very good-looking however it was the plot that did not have any substance to it. Also, I found it weird that she didn't know who Minton was till the end of the drama considering she confessed to him as a child. How do you not know your crush's name before you confess to him? That just makes no sense to me. As there isn't much for me to talk about here and I was fairly unimpressed by the plot line, I don't have much to say about this drama.

Friday, June 23, 2017

UPrince Series: First Class (The Single Lawyer)

Episode: 4 
Firstclass is the first student in the last ten years to have straight A's at the Faculty of Law. He is very serious when it comes to things like emotions, relationships, punctuality, and so forth. His biggest hobby is collecting watches and clocks. Minute, on the other hand, is a self-centered, spoiled rich girl. She overspends on brand names constantly. However, one day, she receives a call saying that her family has filed for bankruptcy forcing her to sell her luxuries and lower her quality of life. When her best friend, Firstclass's gay half-brother, offers a deal for her to pretend to be his girlfriend in exchange for money and a place to stay, she immediately goes for it. Minute and Firstclass are constantly butting heads with each other and their differences often clash. However, with time, the two begin to develop feelings for one another.

This was a very cute and fast watch. It wasn't anything serious or emotionally moving. It can't even be considered one of my favorites. But I really enjoyed watching this despite the awkward moments and the way this drama was filmed. It feels like an extremely cliche drama in the span for four episodes. However, it was a guilty pleasure watching this (because seriously, the guy is really cute.) There isn't much for me to say about this watch other than that it was lighthearted and fun to watch. Very cute love story. I would suggest watching this if you're extremely bored or if you just want to watch something short and simple.

The K2

Episodes: 16
Kim Je Ha is a highly-skilled mercenary soldier known as "K2." After being wrongly accused of killing his girlfriend Raniya, when he was serving in Iraq, he becomes a fugitive. He finds his way back to Korea and eventualy gets a job as a bodyguard for Choi Yoo Jin, the owner of JSS Security and the wife of presidential candidate Jang Se Joon. Thus, Kim Je Ha is thrust into a world of politics and mind games as he uses his new position to plan his revenge on Park Gwangsoo, whom Je Ha believes ordered the killing of his girlfriend. Park Gwangsoo is the leader of the current ruling party and Jang Se Joon's rival for presidency. Throughout the drama, he is constantly butting heads with Choi Yoo Jin and scheming around to use people against her.
      When Je Ha is assigned to guard Go An Na, the illegitimate daughter of Jang Se Joon, they begin to develop feelings for one another. Go An Na is also planning her revenge against Choi Yoo Jin as she believes her mother's death was not suicide but that Choi Yoo Jin was behind it. As An Na and Choi Yoo Jin plot against each other, Je Ha is stuck between his job and his love. At the same time, Choi Yoo Jin finds herself falling in love with her beloved guard, K2.

      I was not sure if I was going to enjoy this drama because this kind of drama isn't usually my style. It was very dramatic in my opinion and at times, so dramatic, that the actors (ahem Yoona ahem) couldn't really pull them off as realistically as they would've liked to. I was very concerned when I watched the first episode because it didn't feel like a drama I would be particularly in love with. There was too much going on and I feel like I only got to meet this characters through a surface-level basis. I also feel like a lot of questions were left unanswered as the drama went on. 
     I still do not know if I like Yoona's acting. I can see that she's working at it and in some scenes, it really isn't too shabby. However, it also feels kind of forced coming from her. It's hard to get a natural feeling when watching her acting. I got a bit annoyed with An Na's character because she seemed so useless and also has a very quiet role despite her being the love interest of the male lead. I did enjoy Choi Yoo Jin's character because she reminds me of some of my favorite book villains (shout out to the Lunar Chronicles--Levana). She is a very complicated character and you can't say that she's a good person, but you also can't call her a bad person. She's just a very cold queen who has hardened against the obstacles thrown her away as she holds on to her power. Her relationship with Go An Na reminded me of Snow White and the Evil Queen. This reference is shown throughout the drama in the fact that they are stepmother and stepdaughter, the person she loves doesn't love her but instead he loves her stepdaughter, her favorite companion is a digital system she calls "mirror," and whenever she appears the soundtrack has songs basically about the Snow White story. I actually felt extremely bad for Choi Yoo Jin in the end and honestly enjoyed her cold, badass moments in the drama.
         This was certainly an interesting drama in some aspects but it wasn't my cup of tea. It took me a while to actually finish this and even then I only enjoyed some scenes. This wasn't a bad drama but it wouldn't be a drama I'd recommend to people simply because it didn't have a certain appeal for me. However, if you are the type of person who enjoys political games, mind games, lots of action and fighting, and revenge-based story lines, this drama is probably up your alley. 

Favorite scenes:
Episode 2: The encounter between An Na and Choi Yoo Jin as the OST music plays. I enjoyed this not because of the scene itself but just how well the OST lyrics matched to the situation. The lyrics talked about the story of Snow White as the stepmother plots against her to be the fairest of all. I thought it was interesting.

Episode 4: The fighting scene in the shower is absolutely ridiculous to me. I thought it was so funny because of how stupid it looked. It was definitely an intense scene and all. However, I found it hard to take it that seriously when you have a bunch of censored, naked men running around at each other in a shower. But a lot of fans probably enjoyed this scene because...well, you know.

Episode 5: The ramen scene was cute though.

Episode 6: Strawberry allergy

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Diamond Lovers (克拉戀人)

Episode: 68
Mi Mei Li is an obese, young woman working at a jewelry design company. Due to her obesity, people use her for her passion and talent in designing and often mock her for her appearance. No one takes her seriously. Her love life, social life, and work are all affected by her appearance. She has big dreams of marrying the young and attractive CEO of a diamond company named Xiao Liang but she thinks of it as only a fangirl's heart. Mi Mei Li keeps up an optimistic attitude as she tries to give her best work. With the support of her childhood best friend Lei Yi Ming, Mi Mei Li pushes through life. However, after a series of bad events, Mi Mei Li gets into a car accident and is forced to undergo cosmetic surgery. Suddenly Mei Li turns into an acknowledged beauty with a slim body. She changes her name and identity so people in her past wouldn't come to bother her. She also ended up getting hired to work at the very diamond company owned by the man of her dreams, Xiao Liang. Things start looking up for Mei Li in both her career and love life. Through many challenges and setbacks in her career and relationship, Mei Li comes to learn that her physical appearance can't be used to lie to everyone to get what she desires. 

      I watched this because Luo Jin and Tang Yan acted in this together and I wanted to see their chemistry again after watching their brilliant performance in Princess Wei Young. This drama gives off "200 Pounds of Beauty" vibes but it was also very different at the same time. While I enjoyed "200 Pounds of Beauty," I wished things went differently for this drama. This drama did not have to be 68 episodes long as the plot wasn't that interesting to have such a long series. A lot of episodes felt like fillers and many conflicts seemed to be dragged out longer than necessary. Things started to feel tiring as the same motifs were being played out over and over again and the same emotions were  being set on repeat. I found myself not enjoying the plot or the main characters as much as I would have liked. This is the one drama that I feel angry that the main lead is getting the girl and will fully stand in support for the second lead, Lei Yi Ming (played by Luo Jin). 
        The person the main character, Mi Mei Li aka Mi Duo, falls in love with is someone I feel isn't the best person to help her grow nor give her the love she deserves. Rain's character is everything the ideal Asian Drama man should be. He is a rich, handsome, young CEO with a troubled childhood. However, he doesn't like her for who she really is but for who he thinks she is. He's in love with an illusion of her and doesn't try to know more about her and that bothers me so much. Meanwhile, second lead Lei Yi Ming loves her for who she is because he was childhood friends with her and watched her go through all her phases. He loved her when she was overweight and he loved her when her appearance changed as well. Not only does he have romantic feelings toward her, he puts her comfort and safety first. He also cherishes his friendship with her and only wishes for her to be happy even when it goes against his own personal desires.
          I also felt like this drama was weird in the sense that usually the girl falls in love with the man that saves her continuously and helps her constantly. They also fall in love with the person who accepts all their quirks. As Mi Duo faces numerous challenges and dangerous situations, the person who always swooped in to save the day was Lei Yi Ming and never Xiao Liang. So it bothered me that Xiao Liang got to be the main love interest simply because Mi Duo is as enamored by his appearance as much as he is by her's. Their love strangely feels superficial to me and it is hard for me to accept their touching moments and how they understand each other that well when they don't even know each other's true feelings and the truth behind each other. I also felt like Mei Duo tried harder to make things work and be okay with Xiao Liang's flaws more than Xiao Liang was with her. Xiao Liang would always tease her when she showed too much affection and even stood her up a few times because of "work duties." However, he didn't really redeem himself by going to go look for her. It was still Mi Duo coming for him. It was really hard for me to fall in love with Xiao Liang's character, in my opinion. 
          I completely fell in love with the "second" love interest in this drama and I believe that all those who watch this drama will agree with me on this opinion. As much as I appreciate Rain, his character is a bit useless and unnecessary. Lei Yi Ming supports her, helps her, and loves her despite all her flaws and mistakes. He's the kind of man you want to find in real life. I feel like he's both a realistic expectation for a good man and an unrealistic expectation for a good man. He's just perfect in many ways but also very human as well. I feel like he would've been the ideal man of choice to be the main lead. Every woman he encountered in this drama, he adjusted to make them feel comfortable and he didn't let his love for one person waver when he set his mind on it. 
          I also feel like it took too long for Mi Duo to tell Xiao Liang her true identity from before her accident. She wants him to wholeheartedly love her but yet fails to let him in on one of the biggest things about her. She let him fall in love with an illusion of herself. She views it as keeping him safe from emotional harm but I feel like this goes father than that. It's manipulation and lying. I understand her fear and reluctance to let him know the truth because she might lose everything. But how she dealt with this situation (along with many others) was an extremely bad way. I found myself not liking the main character for her logic in solving problems and with how she dealt with many things as well. I feel like this drama would've went a lot better had we focused on Lei Yi Ming with the actress girl. I felt like Gao Wen was a refreshing character who loved Lei Yi Ming as much as Lei Yi Ming loved Mi Duo. 
          I did enjoy the beginning of this drama but it really did drag and I didn't really like the direction the story was going. Nothing I wanted to happen was happening and the couples weren't even ideal for me to keep watching. I did get the ending I wanted but the process of getting there was too slow, long, and tiring. It was one of those situations you wished would start dragging out. I would not recommend this drama for people to watch. However, props to Luo Jin for amazing acting skills. His acting did not disappoint here and definitely didn't disappoint Princess Wei Young. I felt like Tang Yan's acting in here was a bit too "whiny" for my liking but she executed her role very well for Princess Wei Young. If you watched them in Princess Wei Young, do not watch this. You'll be severely disappointed. Even if you didn't watch their previous works, this is a series I would not recommend.

Favorite Scenes:
Episode 1: 
- The scene where Lei Yi Ming takes Mi  Duo to a night club to get her accustomed to life as a beauty. She gets excited when a man finally looks her way and he tells her to not fall so easily. It was so funny when he scolded her to close her legs properly.
- When Lei Yi Ming tells Mi Duo (at the night club) that she will not find love in this setting because they are all scum and she immediately asks him if he's scum. Cute friendship.

Episode 2: When she drunk kissed Lei Yi Ming.

Episode 3: When he waited for her when she worked overtime and when he went to bring her food when she was working overtime and helped her study/review material for work.

Episode 4: When Lei Yi Ming called another girl he used to flirt with "Fatty" because he couldn't stop thinking about Mi Duo. (Fatty is an affectionate nickname he uses for Mi Duo)

Episode 5: When Lei Yi Ming piggy backed Mi Duo.

Episode 6: When Lei Yi Ming worries about Mi Duo not coming home for the night.

Episode 14: The actress and Lei Yi Ming hanging out together was so funny because she's a fallen celebrity who's spending like she's still hot shit. And he made her return all her goods when her credit card wasn't working. My Love From Another Star vibes.

Episode 15: LOOOL when she's crying in the hospital (the actress) and Lei Yi Ming is blocking the security cameras. It was so funny when she glanced at the cameras and then went back to hiding behind his hands and crying.

Episode 26: You could tell Lei Yi Ming is better in every aspect. The fact that she only complimented Rain's character on his good body and face shows a lot. He's not there to understand her at all whereas Lei Yi Ming can keep her genuinely happy and understand her.

Episode 16: Lei Yi Ming finally confessed

Episode 31: Lei Yi Ming's second confession. True love is loving her no matter what she looks like & accepting her for all that she is even when he knows her so well.


Episode 36: I like Luo Jin's character so much. Why is Rain's character so annoying and so prideful ugh!