Archive | September, 2011

The Musical: 1-2/ First impressions

19 Sep

Reasons we tuned in:

Daniel Choi- yep, Baby faced Beauty made fans out of us for this Kdrama actor. Plus if he’s half as lovable in this as he was in his last drama- we’re game.

Who doesn’t like a drama where people are striving to make their dreams come true? A bit of cheese is never bad for the soul.

It’s only once a week and its pre -recorded.  A Kdrama that is pre-recorded is a rare thing but one we hope proves to be a winner. Seriously, it can’t be just us that find major production changes mid recording a nightmare to stomach. We hate drastic personality changes for the leads, a bright cheerful drama suddenly becoming a weepfest and who likes watching the actors looking like zombies by the end of it….? shudder*  We’re hoping that The Musical manages to survive some of these issues and maybe just maybe other dramas will follow suit and take the risk with a pre-recorded drama.

 
First impressions:

The first episode was rather slow if we’re honest. It’s understandable as it has the enormous challenge of establishing the storyline, introducing the characters and most importantly making a viewer want to tune in the following week rather than the next day like most Kdramas. Despite it being a tad slow, we liked it and we tuned into episode two without much hesitation. We have to say that episode two was much better.

For us to like this drama we needed the following things to happen in the first couples episodes:

  • We needed to care about the leading lady- her desire to be an actress was the key factor that would make or break this drama for us.
  • We needed to like the OTP together and apart.
  • We needed to see the potential in the storyline.

We’re happy to report we got all of the above and more!

Go Hye Sun as the leading lady is quite endearing, we worried that she would be unbearable and overact but actually we like her as this character a lot. Unlike other Kdramas where the lead is incredibly talented and just hasn’t got her chance to shine yet- Eun Bi could be you; her story is so much more relatable and realistic than the typical Hollywood story. This girl has a lot going for her already; she’s smart and from a loving family- she could be a doctor if she wanted, it’s not the case that her talent is all she has. We really like the fact that it’s not come easy for her. She is neither outrageously talented or had the chance to show what she’s got. She’s been rejected in every audition that she’s had and her singing is nothing to write home about but the thing that makes us root for this character is her desire. She wants it so much and despite risking everything that she has she’s going for it and we really want her to do well.

Daniel Choi is a refreshing change in this drama. We expected him to be all cute and adorable like he has been in the past but actually we like what we see.  He has this air about him that makes him intriguing- he’s smart, talented and has an honesty about him that’s interesting because you just don’t know what he might say next.

 

The scene we knew we wanted to continue watching this drama was the first real scene with Jae Yi and Eun Bi at the piano. They bounced off each other real well and despite being in a strange and unexpected situation you can already see the potential chemistry between them. We like his reason for helping her; the idea that she feels the same way he does/did for musicals.  Also the fact that he knew straight away that her love for musicals was pure and not sullied by money or fame.

We also felt that the scene where she explained her love for musicals was great. It felt natural and honest and it felt like something that we would say if someone asked us a random question about something we loved. A little embarrassed, unsure and half hoping that they don’t laugh at your explanation. We liked the look in his eyes as he listened to her talk. You could see him relate and connect to this person he didn’t know because they share the same love, even if he’s unwilling to admit it just yet.

Random thoughts:

Why did GHS take sheers to her beautiful hair?? She looked so pretty at the start of episode 1 and then she decided to literally become a boy. It’s such a shame!

We wonder if Yoo Jin will be a love rival- we’d love that. His character has a heart of stone and so far he’s come across as rather stereotypical but we’re hoping that he has more to show and that maybe he will surprise us.

Kang Hee is such a tart! Please tell us that she’s not going to be that annoying love rival you want to watch get run over by a truck?

Final verdict: So far so good.

My love by my side: episode 21-25

12 Sep

It was all about episode 23! It’s as simple as that. Seriously it was sooooo good. Yes, it was nuts and Seok Bin has totally lost the plot but hell who cares when it’s this good?

Seok Bin currently holds the prize for the character you love to hate. Getting in the heavies to beat up So Ryong, while warning him off Mi Sol is so wrong. Especially when you consider the fact that his lovely wife is sitting at home waiting for his sorry arse to return. We love how the more we watch the more despicable his character becomes as his obsession with Mi Sol gets that much more twisted. Considering this drama has decided to throw caution to the wind when it comes to presenting any form of reality, we must confess we’re really excited to see how dysfunctional it will become.

The best part about Seok Bin’s transformation into a crazy stalker love rival is the fact that we know exactly where he’s coming from. We saw his innocent romance with Mi Sol, we saw how he was manipulated by his mother against his will and ultimately we know that his love for Mi Sol came from a good place. We hate dramas where you get insane love rivals that are irrational for no good reason at all. Love rivals that hardly know the lead but feel the urge to do nutty things like bankrupt their romantic rival (Scent of a woman) or frame them for a crime they didn’t commit (Delightful Girl). It’s just groan inducing and the whole time they are on screen you just want them to get hit by a truck already! From all the dramas we’ve watched in our time, it’s a definite rarity to find a solid love rival that is compelling and adds to the overall experience of a drama. Usually they’re 2D and annoying but when they are done right its great viewing- look at the love rivals in: Thank You, Baker King and Hana Yori Dango. 

 

Poor So Ryong- the guy proposes to Mi Sol, only to be given the biggest shock of his life. You could literally see his heart break into a million pieces. We really liked his response. It was harsh, honest and most of all realistic. Despite So Ryong being a really nice guy, it’s completely understandable that he would want nothing to do with her.  That said how glad are we that we only got an episode and a half of angsty So Ryong. The idea of him wrestling his conscience with what is practical against what his heart wants was really lovely viewing.  We’re also glad that he’s decided to man up and protect Mi Sol against sleazy Seok Bin. At first we questioned whether So Ryong would be a strong enough lead to compete against Seok Bin but as the weeks have past, we’ve really fallen for his gentle, considerate character and the very sweet romance that has subtly bloomed between him and Mi Sol.

It’s a shame that there is bound to be trouble ahead to ruin all the happy smiles and love confessions- can’t wait! Hehehe.

How crazy will it become when Seok Bin works out who Yeon Hoon is?

Other thoughts:

-We love how long family dramas cram in the romance from all angles- it’s even better when it’s a romance we actually care about. We’re loving Mi Sol’s mother Seon Ah and Jin Gook’s romance. We’re so glad that she’s got herself a romance with such a nice guy, who happens to be instrumental in potentially ruining all of Seok Bin and Mother dearest’s greedy plans. We also like how their romance incorporates every Kdrama love scenario imaginable – disapproving mothers (in-law), manipulative friends/sisters in law, class divide- you name it this couple have it, but in this case it’s for a couple in their 40s!

-Poor Ju Ri- what an embarrassing way to find out what your OTP does for a living, especially with her judgemental mother right there to witness the shame of it all.

Protect the Boss: 1-4/ first impressions

12 Sep

We’ve only seen four episodes but so far we’re pretty smitten by this adorable drama. We laughed so hard while watching the first episode- seriously we were so pleasantly surprised by how much we liked all the characters and their various relationships.  Also our appreciation of a light/ fluffy drama with a healthy dose of comedy is doubled by the fact we’ve been in melodrama central between Scent of a Woman and My love by my side. We think we may have damaged our tear ducts from the amount of tears shed from our drama viewing over the past couple months!

Ji Sung is completely unrecognisable in this drama as the lovable but screwed up Ji Heon and we’re not just talking about his outrageous perm. Previously we’ve only seen him in serious, straight roles like Save the last dance for me and we doubted his abilities in playing the funny guy but how wrong were we!  We love how he’s neurotic and sweet and between him and Eun Seol, we found ourselves laughing along happily through all four episodes.

 This scene was so cute!

How great is No Eun Seol as a character- she’s like a grown up Makino- a fact we utterly love because Makino rocks. Eun Seol is tough, smart but at the same time completely relatable as a leading lady. We’re glad that her relationship and loyalty to Ji Heon was formed really quickly and that we can move swiftly onto the good stuff like her saving him from doing stupid stuff all the time and him getting jealous of her relationship with his love rival. We also appreciate the fact that she’s not a ditzy girl that needs saving by her leading man  like so many Kdramas we’ve seen in the past but in this case she’s the one doing the protecting. She’s also far from perfect, something that is pointed out in the drama but for us this just adds to her appeal of being a leading lady you want to root for.

Speaking of love rivals – Excuse us while we swoon all over Hero. Despite him being rather perfect, he still has layers that make him interesting. Plus we love his healthy dose of chemistry with him and Eun Seol as well as Na Yoon. Also how’s a girl to resist that smile and those come-hither eyes?

Na Yoon is great as well. We feared that she would be a downer to all the quirky fun especially after her somewhat dramatic entrance but we’re pleased that she’s just as nutty as everyone else in this drama!

Quick thoughts:

-We LOVE Ji Heon’s father- he’s crazy, funny and so sweet.

-How is it that Ji Heon is so cute with every single character in this drama?

-Someone tell us that this drama stays this good all the way through?

Drama rambles and realisations

3 Sep

Recently we introduced the world of dramas to our brother- strictly for selfish reasons of course. Bringing someone else over to the dark side means one less person moaning about our unhealthy obsession! Clearly a practical and smart move on our part. Hehehe.

His first drama was Boys before Flowers, perfect drama crack in our opinion. Sure, it was a mess but it was fun, addictive and had all the best elements that make up a great Kdrama. Naturally, he loved it and so we found ourselves with another drama fan in no time.  He followed Boys with Dream High and You’re Beautiful– two dramas that were good but lacked that crack factor that you got with Boys.

When you start off with such a heavyweight drama, where do you go from there to satisfy your new found obsession without feeling disappointed?

How glad are we that we started off with Full House, a rather average drama on the grand scale of things. At least with an average drama, the only way is up –for us it was anyway. Honestly, new drama viewers in 2011 must read all the hype around Full House and think:  ‘yes, this is going to be good’ – how disappointed are they going to be when they realise how dull and repetitive it is compared to recent dramas!  Before people point out the fact that FH is older, there are plenty of older dramas that still outclass newer dramas today- take: Hana Yori Dango, Mars, My name is Kim Sam Soon to name a few.

Anyway, we desperately wanted to find a drama that he would love. Not only to justify our drama habit but also to prove that it wasn’t just a onetime anomaly, where he too turned into a drama obsessed addict that needed to see Lee Min Ho’s perfectly formed curls and hot…ok that was just the girls then! Heheh.  We thought we could try Spec 2 – which is hands down AMAZING or Pride= LOVE but realised that the first was too different for a newbie and Pride was at times too grown up for a viewer that has only really watched youth dramas. So we thought long and hard and decided to watch Baker King.

What a mistake…for us! Honestly, watching Baker King the second time around made us realise two things:

1. We must have been obsessed, easily impressed viewers watching with fandom goggles. –We HATE drama viewers that watch with fandom goggles!

Fandom Goggles: similar to beer goggles but instead your judgement is clouded by being intoxicated by fandom all claiming that something is good/bad and as a result you too believe the masses and fail to form a realistic opinion of your own.

2. What were we thinking????

 

Don’t look at us like that Tak Gu, we still love you!

Of course our fandom goggles weren’t as bad as others but watching Baker King the second time around made us cringe when reflecting on all our gushes and praises from last year. *shudder
Why didn’t we realise that there were large chunks of the drama that was repeated over and over again in every single episode?

Why didn’t we switch off the moment we realised that the father was going to ‘sleep’ his way through 6+ episodes as a way to lure his enemies to the surface? Seriously???

Why didn’t we switch off when we realised that Yu Kyung wasn’t going to pick Tak Gu but instead go for Ma Jun- a stupid idiot of a character that we would have happily seen be killed off after episode 2???

So confused. So very confused. Half a nation of viewers + the musthavesubs girls couldn’t all have been wearing fandom goggles, could we?

We comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we really can’t stand anything that is overly hyped as a rule. As soon as something is crazy popular a switch in our minds goes off and suddenly we dislike it and anything related to it. Take: Twilight, Glee and Jennifer Aniston. So we’re hoping that we haven’t been swayed too much by irrational fandom but still… it makes us wonder how many other dramas we’ve watched wearing the dreaded fandom goggles?

Oh dear.