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!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Princess Weiyoung (锦绣未央)

Episode: 54
      Born a princess of the Northern Liang Kingdom, Xin'er's life is fairly happy and she is loved by all around her. She is blessed with an auspicious sign upon her birth and it is noted that she has two fates seen within her. If things go well for her, the princess will eventually rise from the ashes like a phoenix and soar highly above the rest. However, although her life may be carefree, the kingdoms are warring against each other and power struggles are beginning to ensue. Xin'er's life changes overnight when a general from the Chiyun family clan of the Northern Wei kingdom decides to overrun Northern Liang. Driven by his greed and his hunger for power, the general frames Xin'er's father for treason and kills everyone in the royal family. Xin'er with the help of many loved ones manages to survive and escape.  
       Li Wei Young is the illegitimate daughter of the Prime Minister of Northern Wei. She is forced to live in the countryside away from her family's manor. Wei Young finds Xin'er and saves the princess from harm. The two become friends. However, the Li family's first wife is also sending people to kill off Li Wei Young. Wei Young ends up dying protecting Xin'er from the sword when an assassin comes to kill off Wei Young.  All alone, Xin'er holds on to the promise she made to continue to live on and thus takes on Wei Young's identity. (In my review and the rest of this synopsis, the main character will be referred to as Wei Young as she takes on the new identity).
        Seeking revenge against the Chiyun clan and also to live her life as Wei Young, she heads back to the Li family's manor. Using her beauty, wisdom, and strength, Wei Young gains many allies and many enemies along the way. Although she is constantly framed by others and often mistreated, Wei Young does not lose hope nor does she forget what she has to do. Wei Young unexpectedly falls in love with Northern Wei's prince, Tuoba Jun. Tuoba Jun constantly provides her with love and care throughout the entire drama. His support and love for her never wavered. The two share an extremely strong love that is to undergo many turbulences along the way and with many people trying to ruin their relationship. 

      I absolutely adored this drama and I was hooked a few episodes into the show. I first found out about this drama because I loved the OST (especially the song by A Lin). I watched the music videos over and over again and I loved the aesthetics of the videos as well. The drama seemed to be fairly good and the music touched my heart. The beginning of the drama was a bit slow and cliche for me though. It seemed very similar to many historical dramas about powerful women. However, I think it was a good buildup in terms of character and you can really see the strength of Xin'er/Wei Young who went through so many hardships. The story would not be able to really flow the way it did without the beginning backstory.  
      A lot of the plot throughout the drama are things that the viewer has to watch themselves. As you can see, it is a 54 episode drama so I can't really get into too much detail. Some parts are definitely more interesting than others. However, I liked that this drama didn't seem to drag out certain scenes as much as other historical dramas have done before. It is fairly straight to the point. I also loved how when they were solving crimes or trying to prove that Wei Young is being framed, they make it so that the viewer has to figure it out along the way as well. At times, I was a bit confused when a certain plot is just immediately resolved. However, the drama immediately starts playing flashbacks to scenes and shows the whole story that the viewer wasn't shown at first. 
        I loved the relationship dynamics between Wei Young and Tuoba Jun. They are definitely relationship goals. The amount of trust and love that they have for each other is incomparable. I have yet to see a historical drama with a love that matches theirs. Tuoba Jun constantly supports Wei Young and trusts her time after time. He also reads her very well and knows when she is lying and when she is not. His ability to read her and care for her is what saves Wei Young many times and what allows them to plan out schemes that will eventually benefit many other people. The two are so selfless when it comes to each other and people always underestimate the strength of their love. Their love is so strong that they are able to withstand all the drama thrown their way and also work in sync with one another through trust and by picking up cues. I was stunned at the last few episodes when they were able to plan out a great scheme without once actually planning it out but instead basing their next moves off of how well they know each other. Also, FUN FACT! The main leads who play Wei Young and Tuoba Jun are actually dating in real life (Tang Yan and Luo Jin).
            The acting was also very good. I would like to praise Luo Jin for his great portrayal of Tuoba Jun. I thought his acting was amazing. Tang Yan also did a great job as Wei Young and I felt like she executed crying scenes perfectly. Their level of emotions and chemistry with all the other actors in the drama was impeccable. The rest of the cast also did an amazing job and the antagonists played their roles so well that you really do hate them and pity them for their lack of self-respect. I really enjoyed the acting and chemistry between all the actors in this drama. The costume design was also beautiful and the cinematic experience was enjoyable and high quality. 
           I highly recommend this drama and definitely recommend you all to check out the OST of this drama because it is really good.

I would like to point out that the ending may seem confusing. But it actually takes place over the span of five years and you can see that based on the addition of the little kid. 

Favorite Scenes: 
Episode 13: When Tuoba Jun was trying to get Wei Young jealous by playing a tune with Chang Le. However, seeing her upset, he immediately chases after her.

Episode 14: Tuoba Jun arranged a private meeting with Wei Young. The meeting was so cute and the part where he "kissed" her hand to suck the poison out of her hand from the poisonous bug was so intimate.

Episode 17: The scene where Tuoba Jun saves Wei Young from a scheme arranged by the first wife of the Li family. Tuoba Jun's confession in this episode was also endearing.

Episode 23: The cheek kiss scene

Episode 25: KISS KISS KISS

Episode 27: When Wei Young finally tells Tuoba Jun she is the lost princess of Northern Liang and how even so, Tuoba Jun still wants to love and protect her.

Episode 31: The running hug the two shared and how relieved Tuoba Jun looked to see Wei Young

Episode 33: Jun Tao and Cheng De's relationship that is developing is so cute. I really enjoy their side character relationship because Jun Tao is so tomboyish and Cheng De is like her mini fanboy. Wei Young and Tuoba Jun's mom interacting together was also so cute because you can see that his mom is starting to like Wei Young a lot.

Episode 40: This episode got me so sad because Bai Zhi!!!! And Wei Young is so depressed after that incident and she talks about how she feels like living is pointless because all that she cares about is gone. And it was so sad that Tuoba Jun was watching over her but cannot go to her because he has to pretend to be mean to her as he is trying to help find out who framed her. And it sucks because she doesn't realize he is pretending to be mean to her and is taking everything to heart.

Episode 41: Tuoba Jun trying to knock sense into Wei Young and basically trying to get her to go back to being strong and using her wisdom to overcome difficulties

Episode 43: Tuoba Yu is a shady character but I like the way he protects Wei Young in his own ways.

Episode 44: Wei Young blows up at Tuoba Jun and it is so sad because she doesn't trust him anymore and he can't even tell her he did believe her because he's trying to find out the truth for her. But I love that he finally told her that he is fighting for her and is willing to finally tell her the truth so they could work together.

Episde 45: The flower ocean Tuoba Jun planted for Wei Young! So romantic!
                 Ming De and the Princess's interactions were also so funny. He said something very touching and loving to her and immediately said "Why is that so corny?" before going off to do other things. They are such a playful and cute side couple. I enjoy watching them as well because the Princess is so sincere to everyone and is also so straightforward.

Episode 47: Tuoba Jun and Wei Young go to the lantern festival together and share cute, romantic moments. Tuoba Jun saves Wei Young from lantern fire and is so scared she's gone. When he held on to her and apologized and blamed himself for everything, I just wanted to give him a hug because he looked so scared.

Episode 49: Tuoba Yu says Wei Young is the only woman worth saving and that he only has her in his heart even though she says she only lo Tuoba Jun. The sad life of being the shady second lead (haha)
The scene where three men are trying to save Wei Young from this booby trapped room and the princess also is trying to figure out how to stop the booby trap.

Episode 53: The grand scheme and how strong Tuoba Jun and Wei Young's love and trust in one another is

Jun Tao and Cheng De are so cute and are my favorite side couple!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Episodes: 16 
Do Bong Soon comes from a lineage of women who possess Herculean strength. This strength is only passed down to the daughters of the family. However, this strength can only be used to help other people. If she were to use it for personal gain or to mistreat others, she could lose her strength forever, like her mother did. Do Bong Soon dreams of creating her own video game one day but is struggling with unemployment. 
            When Ahn Min Hyuk, the young CEO of AIN Software, a gaming company, witnesses Bong Soon's strength during her fight against a group of gangsters, he decides to hire her. He hires her to be his personal bodyguard to help him catch a man who has been making death threats against him. As the two spend time together, Min Hyuk finds himself falling in love with Do Bong Soon. However, Bong Soon is still in love with her childhood friend, In Guk Doo, a police detective. As a dangerous kidnapper in Bong Soon's neighborhood runs loose, Bong Soon gets increasingly closer with Min Hyuk as they try to track down both the person making the death threats and the kidnapper. When the kidnapper continuously strikes closer to home, Bong Soon's relationship with Min Hyuk grows stronger. The two fall in love as they try to capture the criminal and protect each other and those they love.  

       I enjoyed this drama greatly. It brought a smile to my face with each episode. I enjoyed how it was both comedic and serious. The drama follows a crime that needs to be solved and also a  romance between a uniquely strong girl and her CEO. Throughout the drama, we meet characters that provide us with comedic relief while a psychopathic kidnapper is on the loose. I would recommend this drama to people to watch because the male lead, Ahn Min Hyuk, is absolutely ideal. He is what I would consider an ideal man because he is independent, intelligent, strong, caring, and extremely supportive. He supports Do Bong Soon in every way possible from her super strength to her dreams of creating and producing a video game at his company. He also doesn't try to minimize who she is. He takes her for how she is and accepts every part of her. He is okay with every part of her and finds himself loving with the things that make Do Bong Soon her. The way he treats her, watches over her, and pushes her to do better throughout the drama was extremely beautiful to watch. Their love story was mutually supportive, respectful, and caring. I think this is a drama worth watching for a romance that is not only extremely cute but also very healthy.
         The two are also entangled in the psychopathic kidnapping spree this drama also highlights. I thought that the crime and mystery added into the drama made it very suspenseful and it gave the characters a lot of purpose in planning their next moves. It also helped bring the characters together as new situations are thrown at them, forcing them to view things differently. A lot of people have also commented that the kidnapper is an attractive actor. I personally think that the kidnapper was a very good actor because he failed to become attractive to me by portraying the character so well. Don't take me wrong. He is a good looking man and if you were to give him a role as a good person in the drama, he'd definitely win a lot of hearts. However, since he is playing a psychopath, I found myself developing an aversion to him because of how creepy his character was. Therefore, I believe that he is a talented actor and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.
          Do Bong Soon's superhuman strength also makes an interesting point in the drama. In the beginning, she views it as a burden and that it hinders her from leading a normal life. She refuses to accept that part of her. As the drama continues, she comes to terms with herself and realizes how useful it is in helping people. She begins to enjoy using it to help others and sometimes she even uses it to help herself. I think this drama makes it a point in saying that we should learn to love and accept ourselves. You may want to lose or change a certain trait about yourself. However, if you were to lose it, would you really be you? Would you really be okay with losing it when it is actually gone? I think that this drama made a good point by giving Do Bong Soon superhuman strength.
             I loved all the side characters in their own way. I loved Do Bong Soon's family dynamic (although I do wish that her mother treated her father a bit better. It was later cleared up in the end that she did not hit him as the drama leads you to believe but it is clear that she is the head of the family and intimidates her father). I also greatly appreciated Do Bong Soon's coworkers and the adult gangsters and high school gangsters. They were hilarious to watch and actually fairly helpful in a lot of ways. I would definitely recommend this to people to watch because it gives me a warm, happy feeling. The vibe that I got (in terms of the romance) was similar to the vibe in "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo." Definitely recommend these two dramas if you want to feel happy watching a realistic love story unravel (even if Strong Woman Do Bong Soon has superhuman elements in it...such as her strength). 

Favorite Episodes:
Episode 7: This was such a cute episode. They got to go to the amusement park, solve the blackmail incidents, and they also started practicing together to control Bong Soon's strength. The scene with the punching bags were so funny to me, I couldn't stop laughing. I love Ahn Min Hyuk so much because he's precious in the way he accepts her just the way she is and doesn't try to lie to himself about what kind of person she is.

Episode 12: The development in the relationship was extremely cute.
-The scenes with the monk were extremely funny. The monk was meant to have a comedic effect and succeeded in making the scenes with the gangsters more entertaining.
- Minhyuk's fanboying for Bong Soon was extremely cute.

Episode 14: The rooftop moment with the bomb and Min Hyuk saying that he would stay with Bong Soon. It was touching and beautiful. It showed the strength in their relationship and their bond with one another.

Episode 15: The piano kiss between Min Hyuk and Bong Soon was extremely romantic and cute. It was also funny how intimate they get in the office after that kiss. Secretary Gong coughing in the elevator saying "Please don't do this in the elevator" while the couple stared lovingly at each other was very entertaining.
- Bong Soon's "Min Min" in the office and Min Hyuk's cute reaction
-The epic scene of catching the criminal--the dynamic trio of Min Hyuk, Bong Soon, and Guk Doo was amazing to watch. Each were able to use their strengths in catching the criminal. It doesn't work with just one strength alone, but together, they succeed.

Episode 16: Min Hyuk's talk with Bong Soon's father was cute and funny at the same time.
The happy ending. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Suddenly Seventeen ( 28岁未成年)


           This movie isnt the best in my opinion but I would still recommend people to watch it for the message this movie conveys. Although the cast is absolutely stunning and made up of actors that have exceeded my expectations in other films, I felt as though none of the actors were able to show off their true potential in the movie. The characters all felt a bit dull and hard to follow at times. However, this movie has a great message about self-love and self-discovery. It focuses on a 28 year old woman named Liang Xia who lost herself over the years. In a series of events, she learns to ocme to terms with herself, find herself again, chase after long-lost dreams, and fall in love with herself instead of with someone else. The idea that who you were when you were younger is still a part of you is very touching  to me and I think people should watch this to remind themselves that no matter how hard life gets, no matter what you're going through, no matter what kind of person you are now, you can still be the person you wanted to be when you were younger. Who you are now can still change for the better and it is never too late because the younger versions of yourself are still within you pushing you forward and cheering you on to be a better person.
         In this movie, Liang Xia and Mao Liang have been together for 10 years and have been living together for 5 years. Mao Liang is a successful CEO and Liang Xia just tends to the house. She has long given up on her dreams of becoming a successful artist just to be with Mao Liang and she has been anticipating the 10 year mark for as long as she could remember. Mao Liang had once made a promise to her that they would get married after 10 years of being together. However, Mao Liang has been more and more invested in business deals and with work instead of in her and eventually ends up breaking up with her. As Liang Xia desperately tries to get Mao Liang to stay, she eats some magical chocolates that she had bought earlier through a television advertisement. These chocolates turn Liang Xia back into a 17 year old mentally while still being in a 28 year old's body for five hours every time she eats a piece of chocolate. 
         17 year old Liang Xia is completely different from the 28 year old Liang Xia. 17 year old Liang Xia is full of life and constantly trying to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist. She's feisty and puts herself first before anyone else. 17 year old Liang Xia and 28 year old Liang Xia begin to communicate via videos they film for each other and constantly make deals to help one another accomplish certain tasks. 17 year old Liang Xia causes a lot of trouble and 28 year old Liang Xia would eventually have to face them and deal with them. However, despite the trouble, the 17 year old version of herself helped Liang Xia find herself again and allow her to return to her passion for painting. This story was heartwarming in it's own way and it really showed the importance of embracing and holding on to your own identity. By doing so, things in your life will fall in place with time. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Taegukgi (movie)

            I was introduced to this film through a friend who told me that this movie is well-acclaimed and extremely touching. Although this movie is a bit old as it is produced in 2004, I think the story and the characters are still extremely interesting to watch and heartfelt. This was also not a cheap production film so the cinematography was pleasing to the eye and easy to watch. This war film takes place during the Korean War and it shows the hardships of the civilians, the struggles the soldiers had to face and endure, and the undying spirit of family as two brothers become pawns on the battlefield of death. 
            The movie starts off at an excavation site in 2003 as an excavation team dug up the remains of a Korean War soldier. Identifying the belongings of the unknown soldier, the team contacts an elderly man saying that they found remains that appear to be his despite him being alive. The old man goes down to see the remains of this soldier as he has been trying to look for his brother, whom he separated with on the battlefield. Upon visiting the site, the movie takes us back to 1950 Seoul as the Lee family's lives are about to be changed by the war. 
          The older brother Lee Jin Tae works at a shoeshine stand to pay for his younger brother Jin Seok's education. Jin Tae's fiancee Young Shin works with the Lee's noodle shop and watches out for his mother. They were very happy and Jin Tae even buys Jin Seok a silver pen to encourage him in his studies. However, on June 25, 1950, their lives are changed forever as North Korea invades South Korea. Jin Seok is forced to become a soldier and in an attempt to prevent Jin Seok from leaving, Jin Tae is also forcibly conscripted. Both brothers are a part of the first Infantry Division and they were to fight at the Busan perimeter and then advancing North. 
              Desperate to send his brother back home to safety, Jin Tae makes a deal with his commanding officer saying that if he can earn the highest award for a South Korean soldier (a merit award), his brother would have to be safely sent home from the battlefield. Thus, Jin Tae begins to volunteer for many dangerous and risky missions to be promoted and to earn his medal. He eventually is nominated for the medal but it came at a cost as well. The brothers began to feel a toll on their relationship because of their different views and the changes Jin Tae was going through. The entire time Jin Tae is trying to earn his medal, Jin Seok has been trying to get Jin Tae to give up on the goal and said that it should be that they both go home or both stay. Jin Seok is unable to view Jin Tae in a possible light as this goes on and finds that his brother seems to be stuck in the clouds of heroism and that he seems to be increasingly cold-blooded toward others after numerous heroic feats.
              Jin Tae gets his medal but things don't go the way he expected them to. They were located at Seoul for the time being and they learned that his fiance was captured by South Korean militia who accused her of treason for joining the communist party. She tries to explain that they were forced to do so in order to be fed during the time they were occupied by the North Koreans. Jin Tae and Jin Seok try to save her but failed to do so and the two brothers were arrested to be further investigated. Jin Seok is locked up in a prison that was later set on fire which led to Jin Tae giving up on everything he was fighting for. He eventually joins the North Korean army. 
           Luckily,  Jin Seok was not dead and was instead rescued by a fellow soldier. Upon finding out his brother joined the enemy side because of the losses Jin Tae experienced, Jin Seok joins to fight in the next battle by joining the North Korean side. He asks to meet his brother but Jin Tae refuses to come to see him, believing his brother was murdered in the prison fire. While the North Koreans take Jin Seok to be interrogated, their base is attacked by American and South Korean forces. Jin Seok takes advantage of the chaos by searching for his brother. However, Jin Tae has completely lost control of his consciousness and failed to recognize his own brother as he attempts to kill him. Jin Tae eventually was able to recognize his brother and the two shared a heartfelt moment. However, the moment was short lived as Jin Tae tells his brother to leave first and that he would soon follow. Jin Tae tries to buy time for his brother to escape by shooting a machine gun at charging soldiers. Jin Tae eventually dies on the spot and the two never reunited. Jin Seok spent years wondering what happened to his brother and if he was alive. 
                We go back to 2003 where the old Jin Seok is standing at the excavation site staring at the remains of Jin Tae. Examining the items and recognizing the silver pen Jin Tae once gifted him, Jin Seok begins to weep and demands to know why promises were not kept. He also blames himself for not bringing his brother with him to safety instead of listening to Jin Tae and leaving first. This movie was absolutely beautiful because it highlighted the horrors of war and the importance of family in good times and the bad times. I really enjoyed this movie and I recommend that everyone watch it as well. Amazing war film with amazing characters and a heart-wrenching plot.