walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Gloria] Carry You Home)
I bring the first of two end of the year videos. This one only used dramas/films that aired/that I watched in 2011.


Title: Better Than Love
Song: Better Than Love by HURTS
Disclaimer: I do not own the song or the clips used. I just edited the clips.
Details: 3:39 minutes. WMV format. 28.11 MB
Theme: A look at some of my favorites of 2011.
WARNING: Spoilers for all shows!
Vidder's Note: This video took forever, and I'm not sure I'm totally happy with it. But, I hope its enjoyed. And that the timing isn't messed up.



Links:

Megaupload


dramas used )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Dream High] We're Okay)
I have just finished the first two episodes of the new Korean drama, What's Up?, and I think I'm going to like this drama. The first two episodes are very much a set up of whose who and where the story lines and relationships might be headed. Honestly, why did it take so long for this to find a channel and spot to air on?

about the characters )


The show is off to a great start, and I'm sure it won't happen but

I'm already shipping )


So, yup - loving it. Watch it!
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Chinese P.] Dorks)
I've started this brilliant Korean drama and think it's truly one of the best dramas of 2011. The back story was beyond interesting, and I loved the children/teen actors playing our leads. Song Joong Ki blew me away as the young king, depressingly trying to do what's right. And, the relationship between the young Chae Yoon and So Yi was just so sweet. I especially loved the relationship between young CY and his father.



Also - the little bit we saw of Jang Hyuk playing an adult CY. . .that's just an amazing performance right there. He hides his true thoughts behind humor and acting like a fool. But, inside he's so full of hate and sorrow - all he wants is revenge. And, he's smart enough to pull it off.


I look forward to more.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Dream High] Notice You)
I've just finished the Korean drama Spy Myung Wol. It was a drama with many behind the scenes issues. It was a drama that changed its tone from "spy rom-com" to "melodrama-comedy-romance". SMW could have been a hot-mess, and indeed, it had its weaknesses. But, for all it's faults - and it had some - it was an enjoyable drama. The leads (all four) had wonderful chemistry and that came through.


More spoiler-filled thoughts )




Finally: I'm glad I watched this drama. Yes, it had plot-holes and it had some (okay, a lot of) issues, and the last three episodes dragged - but it was still very enjoyable. I really loved it and I loved the chemistry between Eric and HYS. Overall, I would rec this drama to any fans of the four leads and to fans of rom-coms or darker rom-comes.



I give this drama a 7.5/10. Or a B-.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Me to You)
Firstly, I want to give all my American f-listers a Happy 4th. I think it's become too crazy, but even I ate the hotdogs and the red, white, and blue strawberry shortcake.

Secondly, Myung Wol the Spy has several stills out - it looks like a fun drama with a bit of angst thrown in. Is it July 11th yet?

Thirdly, I'm suddenly looking forward to the weekend drama A Thousand Kisses because of the secondary cast: Kim So Eun (Boys Before Flowers) has been added as the leading lady's (Seo Young Hee) younger sister. She's also in love with Ryu Jin's character (Summer Scent, Loving You a Thousand Times). And Ryu Jin's character may or may not be the ex-husband of Seo Young Hee's character. How juicy!

Fourthly, a new Korean drama has been announced - Forget Me Not and the leading man is rumored to be Song Seung-Heon (East of Eden, My Princess). Also, the drama will be written by Kim Soo-Hyun, who wrote the weekend drama hits Life is Beautiful and Mom Has Grown Horns.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Playful Kiss] You Like Me)
I'm finally catching up with the dramas I'm behind on. I'm terribly behind on Can You Hear My Heart?, so I spent most of Saturday watching the show.


CYHMH is the type of show where you are addicted to it as you marathon, but once you're done. . .it's over and you more or less forget about it for the next week or so. At least that's how it is with me. There are just too many other things to watch. The show is well written and acted and shot well, but. . .it's not super addicting or anything. I think my main issue with the show is that there are a lot of miss chances with this drama. Like, many characters are stereotypes or aren't really developed.

I have some spoiler-filled thoughts )


Also - Jin Chul and Evil!Mom remain evil.

Episode 21 - live watch:

That mom is evil )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Rainbow Romance] Lonely Love)
City Hunter was one drama that looked terrible. Its marketing campaign was all over the place; completely and utterly insane. Was in a romantic comedy? An action drama? Who could say. The marketing campaign was the reason I said I would not watch City Hunter unless I heard brilliant things about it. And, guess what? I heard good things about it!


I gave it a go, and you know - it is a great drama. The characters are complex, the storyline is interesting and could go in a million different directions, and its beautifully shot. I find the revenge plot is keeping my interest, but I'm also rather fond of the romantic bits. Overall, I'm really loving the drama.


I'm thinking of starting the drama, The Duo. It ended a week or so ago, and it is fully subbed. The only thing is I've heard mixed reviews: that it is boring, that the female lead is horrible, etc. But. . .I did hear )

The thing is, if it is a big boring at times, I could deal with it. Most period dramas have a few boring episodes, but I usually just fast forward. However, Dong Nyeo (Han Ji Hye) is apparently full of prejudice against the lower class. ) So, is it worth it? Does the drama expect us to like Dong Nyeo and feel sorry for her, even though she's not the best person in terms of her prejudice.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([PPrincess] Hater Please)
I thought I'd give everyone (including myself) an update on what I'm watching. Since most of the series are half-way over, I thought it would also be a good time to discuss how I'm liking and disliking about the shows and where I think/hope they are going. (Spoiler Warnings for the drama!)


Despite wanting rom-coms, I'm barely watching them )
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] Golden Sparrow)
Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei/The Vigilantes In Masks:

I've finished episodes 1-10 and cannot wait until more subtitles are out. It's such a fun show and I'm loving the chemistry between the four leads; especially Wallace Huo and Liu Shi Shi. The show is presented in a true wuxia fashion, with cuts of comic book-like photos splashed throughout. It's great the way each member of Yi Zhi Mei has a back story and has an important role to play on their time. San Niang is such a great heroine, and I love that she's already fallen for her "Mister Ge". (Plus, she terrified of bugs. lol!)

Romance Town:

Watched the third episode RAW today - its such a wonderful surprise of a drama!


Best Love/Greatest Love:

Watched the fifth episode RAW. DJ is totally going after AJ with full force. And now I really want the secondary leads together!

Lie To Me:

I wanted to love it, but I don't. So, after 4 episodes. . .I'm saying goodbye.

Can You Hear My Heart?:

Episode 13 was such a game changer. But then, I think most episodes of this show are. I'm looking forward to this weekend!

49 Days:

Such a heartbreaking episode! I started this show thinking I wouldn't like it, and truthfully I didn't for the first few episodes. But, it's become such a great and emotional drama. I still don't care much for Yi Kyung, but I've fallen for Kang, Scheduler, and Ji Hyun.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Rainbow Romance] Kiss the Girl)
I've now seen the first episode (or more) of most of the dramas I wanted to see. I thought I'd share some thoughts on each drama. So far I have to say that the drama season is going well.


Romantic and cliched dramas )


So - so far I'm really enjoying this drama season!
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Film] A Rabbit and a Lizard)
Because I was in the mood for major angst.


Title: Please Don't Go
Song: Please Don't Go by Barcelona
Disclaimer: I do not own the song or the clips used. I just edited the clips.
Details: 26.07MB. WMV format. 3:58 minutes.
Theme: A look at some angsty couples or situations in several Asian films and dramas.
WARNING: Spoilers for everything!
Vidder's Note: Dramas and Films used: Cinderella's Unni, Gloria,Snow Queen, I'm Sorry I Love You, Rabbit and Lizard, Tree of Heaven, Zeni Geba, Love Shuffle, Pride, Honey and Clover, Utahime, Taisetsu na Koto, Love Me Not, Giant, and Fly Up


Links:



4 share link (streaming and download)
Megaupload (download)
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Jungle Fish 2] Just a Girl)
It's May Madness!

After months of crime dramas, serious dramas, melodramas, teen dramas, family dramas, etc - trendy romantic comedies are back in full force on Korean television. The month of May is full of new trendy romantic comedies, each more trendy than the last. I've watched three of these dramas and thought I'd give some spoiler filled thoughts.


Cliche after cliche )


The rom-com madness will continue in June. Later this month, some romantic dramas will also appear. It's a great time to be a fan of romantic dramas.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Actors/Singers] New OTP)
Lately I've been thinking about the fact that the Asian Entertainment Industry seems to be relatively small. Or maybe its more that there are only a hand full of truly popular actors and actresses at any given time. Or, to be more correct, people tend to have their moments in the sun, and that means they work with the same people over and over again. Now, granted there are some actors and actresses that have made their living playing the 'Oh, it's him/her!' roles in dramas, specials, and films. And, there are the famous "Love Teams" in Taiwanese dramas - think Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng or Rainie Yang and Mike He.


All of this got me to thinking about the fact that many actors and actresses have worked with each other a few times throughout their careers and there are actors and actresses I'm dying to see work together. I thought I'd make a list and ask you guys who'd you'd love to see work together, either for the first time or the second or third or whatever. Because, with things the way they are in Asian Entertainment, your wish just might come true!


My list )


Though, I think there could be more if I really stopped and thought about it, that's my list. I'd love to know whose on everyone else's list.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Gloria] Waiting to be Alive)
I had this thought the other day: Korean dramas are changing. Now a days, Secondary Guys sometimes get the Lead Girl; see How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor, Beautiful Days, Dr. Champ, Queen of Reversals, among others, for examples. And, Secondary Girls can get their own storylines, too. No longer do they have to be the bitchy and evil woman trying to snag a man that clearly isn't interested. No, she can be her own person with her own story and possibly her own love interest. See IRIS, Gloria, Secret Garden, and Someday for a few examples.


So, that makes me wonder: will there ever be a drama where due to whatever reasons (writers, fandom want, chemistry between actors, etc) the Secondary Female Lead will get together happily and end up with the Male Lead? Personally, I'm not sure that the writers and producers would do this, even if online fans demanded it. Why? Because, the Female Lead is (usually) the bigger star and because we usually met her first. Most Korean dramas seem to be aimed more at females than males. When I watch a Korean drama, I notice that we usually met the female lead first. We get to know her and we are meant to root for her. As viewers we are meant to identify with the Female Lead. It might not work if she doesn't get the Male Lead. . .right?


Well, maybe.


There was that little drama called Style, where Lee Ji Ah was said to be the Female Lead. The average K-drama heroine - a twenty-something working girl looking for success in work and in love. Only, the viewers identified with and rooted for Kim Hye Soo's character - the Secondary Female - who was Lee's character's mean boss. In the end, the drama focused a bit more of Kim's character and she broken K-drama's biggest unwritten rule - she got the man in the end.


Maybe K-dramas are changing more than I thought. And, maybe, just maybe the new breed of Secondary Female Leads can get the Male Lead. Maybe the new breed of Secondary Females are getting to be their own people. I for one, can totally get with that.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([EoE] Love Me)
Can You Hear My Heart? is a thirty episode Saturday/Sunday family/romance drama. On the surface it's a story of birth secrets, revenge, and family. But, at its heart its a love story between two people: a man who went deaf during his childhood and a woman who is searching for her missing stepbrother.

characters )


I've watched the first four episodes with subtitles. It mostly dealt with the main characters as children and laid out all the birth secrets. You really should watch them to understand the remaining episodes. It's an interesting show in that you do know, more or less, who you need to be rooting for and/or against. It's a simple show, but an enjoyable one.


Moon Hee Jung is the writer, and he/she has written other human dramas, so she/he knows how to deal with family and human issues. I've enjoyed several of this writers past projects (Last Scandal, Tree of Heaven, and Smile, You), all of which dealt with family and romances. My one issue with Moon Hee Jung is that he/she tends to have favorite characters that end up with more screen time, so other storylines get ignored or forgotten about half-way through the series. Still, Moon Hee Jung knows how to write good family scenes.


Overall, I would rec this drama to my friend-list, especially if you've enjoyed the writers other works. The drama has a fresh feel to it, and I think it will be a fun watch. It's not a melodrama (yet), but he has some tense moments. Yet, it also has some lovely family moments and some great moments of humor. Watch it.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Dream High] Broken Heart Girls)
A second season of the addictive drama Dream High has been announced. It will air in January of 2012 and will have a whole new cast. My thoughts on this are mixed, because I did love the first season, but mostly due to the characters. I'm not sure if I could take six new Idols coming in; especially as Idols can be very hit-and-miss acting wise. Hell, some of the cast of Dream High only became 'good', acting wise, toward the middle or end of the drama.

Higher-ups from KBS had this to say: “Whether we’ll be casting rookie idols like ‘Dream High’ and ‘Jungle Fish,’, or whether we’ll be going through an audition process is still up for discussion. There’s a high probability that the season will begin airing in January of 2012, just in time for winter break.”

So what might change for “Dream High Season 2″? The representative did not reveal much, but said, “The original format of ‘Dream High’ was great, so we’re planning to carry it over.”



Again, I'm not so sure how I feel about this, as part of the fun of the first season was the misfits becoming stronger and the craziness of their teachers. I guess that the second season will take place in 2012, when the original characters from season one are rising stars. Wonder if they'll cameo?
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Hong Gil Dong] Wedding Night)
A video mix using all the Hong Sister dramas: Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, My Girl, Couple of Fantasy, Hong Gil Dong, You're Beautiful, and My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox.

Title: Lucky
Song: Lucky by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
Disclaimer: I do not own the song or the clips used. I just edited the clips.
Details: 29.11 MBMB. WMV format. 3:06 minutes.
Theme: A look at the OTPs of all the Hong Sister dramas
WARNING: Spoilers for all shows!
Vidder's Note: I've wanted to do this video for a long while. It's basically my ode to the romantic-comedies/romances of the Hong Sister Dramas. Their dramas were some of my first Korean dramas, and I still love them. While I may have mixed feelings on their two newest works, I still hold a place in my heart for all their quirky characters.


Links:


Megaupload (download)
4share (streaming and download)



walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Rainbow Romance] Kiss the Girl)
I've watched the first episode of My Princess today, and I liked it. It's written by the writer of Secret Garden, City Hall, the Lovers dramas, and On Air; whose known for her fast-paced drama, breezy scenes, and witty dialogue, and I think she's bringing all of that over to this romantic comedy. The cast seems very spot-on in their roles as well.



The story is rather simple - though, it doesn't make that much sense in the real world - a normal woman in her mid/late 20s, is found to be a missing princess of Korea. And, the government and Korean people reinstate the monarchy just as she's found. So, it's up to a government official (and Chaebol) to train her in the art of being a Princess. It's a very far-fetched story. But, thankfully, the writer seems to understand that. She focusing - at the moment - on the relationships and slowly building up the issue of an everyday person suddenly being royalty and what that means.


The Korean monarchy ended in 1910, with Yi Cheok. Though, there is Yi Won, Lee Haewon, and Yi Chung - all elderly Korean citizens, who are members of what was once the Korean Imperial Household. So. . .not totally sure how Seol would be the big find, but whatever. It's drama world and there are things I don't know about Korean royalty.


Anyway. . .back to my thoughts on the episode: It's fluffy. Get over it, get over yourself: it's fluff. Yes, the writer is excellent enough to make it good fluff (I'm seeing shades of Prosecutor Princess), but I think we all remember Hello, Miss!. So, as of now - it's speedy, light, fluff with good dialogue. But, I understand that it could turn on me at any moment. I do like that despite the fluffiness of the piece, the writer is already dropping some more serious undertones. So, maybe it can get a bit dramatic without getting crazy.


Character Thoughts )


Overall, I like the characters - especially the chemistry between the two leads. I think the storyline of the lost Princess could be fun, as well as the (angsty) aftermath of Seol taking on the role of Korea's Princess and what that could mean for her relationship with Hae Young. I like the two leads and see potential in the overall story arcs of the series. This is staying on my 'watch list'. Hopefully, this marks a change in the somewhat lack-luster Korean romantic comedies of the past year. (Especially as they seem to be making more and more of them. I'd hate to have to give up Korean dramas all together!)



Episode One: 7/10. With room for improvement. But, a nice fluffy start (with shades of drama) to begin with. I look forward to more.
walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Personal Taste] Happiness is You)
Title: Seasons of Love
Song: Seasons of Love by RENT cast
Disclaimer: I do not own the song or the clips used. I just edited the clips.
Details: 33.45 MB. WMV format. 3:51 minutes
Theme: A look at several dramas (and a couple of films)that aired in 2010.
WARNING: Spoilers for the shows and films!
Vidder's Note: I decided to make this two days ago. I heard the song, and thought it fit very well with the 'end of the year' theme. I thought about it for a long moment and decided to use only dramas and films that came out (or were subbed) in 2010. I focused not only on the romance, but also on the family, friendships, and growth of the characters. This is my Christmas/New Years gift to my Asian-drama lovin' f-list! Also, say tuned at the end, for a very special Outro!


Links:

Megaupload
4Shared




Dramas Used )



walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Roses] Under Our Red Umberella)
It seems countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Mainland China are always using mangas, manhwas, and manhuas as inspiration for their dramas. In fact, it seems like 90% of Japanese dramas in the last few years have been based on mangas. And, how many Taiwanese Idol dramas are based on Shoujo mangas? Too many for me to count, that's how many. Also, many films are based on mangas, manhwas, and manhuas: High School Debut, Usagi Drop, Kimi ni Todoke, Tazza: The High Rollers, Le Grand Chef, Duelist, etc.


Recently, I've also noticed that all four of these countries are adapting each others stories into dramas/remaking each others' works: Old Boy (loosely based on a Japanese manga), Xuan Feng Guan Jia (loosely based on a Japanese manga), Boys Before Flowers and Let's Go Watch a Meteor Shower (based on a manga), Maou (adapted from The Devil), etc.


And, it seems more adaptions and remakes are on the way for all four countries. They'll continue to adapt things from their countries and others, as well as remake others works. This lead me to an interesting thought, that I'm sure I've expressed before: What Manga/Manhwa/Manhua do you want to see adapted for the small or large screen? And what country do you want to make it - I ask this because there are lots of Japanese mangas I like that I know couldn't be told on Japanese television - the country or origin or another country? Finally, do you want any country to remake another drama/film from another country - like Maou did with The Devil?


For me I really do think Honey and Clover would make an excellent Korean drama. It has it all: drama, comedy, love triangles, close friendships, close family relationships. And, it's already been an anime, Japanese film, Japanese drama, and Taiwanese drama. So, why not a Korean drama? I could see it being 18-20 episodes since the original manga is ten volumes. It's set in an art college, so the visuals would be beautiful. I would have worries though: like, well, remember the second half of Boys Before Flowers? But, if the writing was good and the casting was right - I can't think of anyone right now, but I'm sure there are some 20-30 year old actors who would fit the parts - it could work.


There's apart of me that would love to see Nosatsu Junkie turned into a ten-twelve episode Japanese drama. The summary makes it seem a bit weird: Teenage boy cross dresses as a girl in order to model, and must keep it a secret. He befriends than falls for a girl who wants to be a model and knows his secret. But, it works because of the heart of the manga and the chemistry between the leads.


I'm sure I could think of others, if I had the time. But. . .I should get back to studying. Or go to sleep.

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