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!