27 March 2013

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The Funny White Bike ...or PPL in IRIS2

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 27, 2013
There is a lot that IRIS2 isn't good at, but product placement (and throwing people off bridges) isn't one of these things. In fact, I am pleasantly surprised by how unintrusive PPL is in general, especially when compared to some other recent shows like Nice Guy or Cheongdamdong Alice (and I hear That Winter The Wind Blows went a liiiiittle over the top as well). Sure, IRIS2 has it all: the cars (KIA, of course), the café/restaurant (Paris Baguette), the electronics (Samsung, Canon, Nikon), a tire company called Hankook who has their logo on the NSS trucks (?) ... 

... and it also has a weird white bike.

I noticed the weird white bike first in a restaurant scene in episode 5, when I still had hopes that IRIS2 could be a really cool show. In that scene, Jung Yoo-Gun (Jang Hyuk) meets with his lover Ji Soo-Yeon (Lee Da-hae). And there are random bikes hanging and standing around. And I mean really random. How many random bikes can you spot?
The next noteworthy scene with the white bike is in episode 8, when dear agent Seo Hyun-Woo (Yoon Doo-Joon) takes one out of his trunk, unfolds it, and starts riding it through Seoul. All totally random, I must add.
Okay, at this point, I want the bike (of course). Hey, after all, I'm the woman who owns a watch that Maru (Nice Guy) wore.

In episode 12, the funny white bike has invaded Jang Hyuk's apartment, too. It may in fact be an alien life form? (Hyun-woo also rides it again sexily, but I already lost about an hour searching for that scene in episode 8, so please excuse me for not watching this crappy episode again). In any case, there even is a picture of the funny white bike in Yoo-gun's study. Definitely an alien life form.

to be continued?

25 March 2013

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Spy vs. Spy, Part II: Know your Idol!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 25, 2013
How far I've come since I started to watch KDramas about 3 years ago. I can read Hangul with ease, I even understand a fair bit of Korean, I love soju and kimchi, and I know many, many, many Korean actors and actresses by face and name. However, I'm a complete beginner when it comes to KPop. I do not own a single KPop CD and if I come in contact with it, it's through OSTs of dramas or some random YouTube video I watch (Or Facebook, where I have a few friends who are absolutely smitten with Onew, whoever that is).

Not surprisingly, therefore, I was majorly challenged by the various idols that appear in Level 7 Civil Servant and IRIS2 combined. Who is this? And this? And this?? Oh, this is perfect! Let them compete with each other! Idol battle!!!!! YAAAAAYYY!

--- However. I have dropped L7CS long ago and try not to suffer too much when watching IRIS2. So, this is the last drama battle between the two shows. Haha, the shortest drama battle ever! ---

Yoon Doo-Joon of Beast in IRIS 2 (as Seo Hyun-Wo)

Yoon Doo-joon is playing an NSS agent in love with the lead girl Ji Soo-yeon (portrayed by Lee Da-hae. I am very sorry for hating, but I hate her. Very much. Whenever she appears on screen, my body tenses and anger rises like boiling water. What I hate about her? Everything! The face, the hair, the voice, the acting, the nose, the clothes, the way she "emotes", the way she plays "frustrated", the way she sobs "oooppppaaa", her attempts to be cool ... *shudders violently and gets ready to rant on * ...  But I'm digressing). Yoon Doo-joon is doing a pretty good job. He has charisma, his character has (limited) depth, there is a certain sadness to him, and I like how earnest he is in everything he does. In fact, this guy comes across as pretty mature - not something I can say about many young actors (*quickly checking age ... wow! surprised that he is THAT young*). His action scenes are also pretty decent, and I particularly liked that he was short of breath after battling Lee Beom-Soo in the humidity of Cambodia. He has a good face for acting and I'd like to see him in more dramas in the future; dramas that do not degrade his character to complete redundancy after a few episodes (I might even go and check out the other dramas he's been in. That's how much I like him). He tried to confess his love to she-who-shall-not-be-named (he even bought her a ring) but then she was all "oooooooppppaaa" about Jang Hyuk, he gave up and took residence in safe second-lead territory: Protective of her and stuff, helpful, but all very platonic. Gahhh, boring... And now he's just one of these NSS agents that stand around with their mouths open, doing nothing much or messing up royally. That's, like, all of them. All the time. God, IRIS2 is a bad show ...

Thanks to episode 12, however, there's some more pretty: 

Chansung of 2PM in L7CS (as Kong Do-ha)

I watched 10 full episodes of this disaster. Where can I get theses hours back!? I seem to have heard somewhere that Chansung barely makes an appearance in the show anymore, which is a shame for those who are still watching - cause he really was the highlight for me. That boy is incredibly cute! He plays a very skilled agent with a traumatic special forces past; and he, too, is the second lead. I'm sure the show had something else in store for his character (like him venturing into evil territory or something), but I really don't care. In fact, thinking of the 10+ hours I lost just makes me angry. I said that already? Whatever. Chansung did a very good job in what I saw - and if I had a choice between him and Joo Won, I'd go for Chansung. Not sure what I like about him the most - I guess it's his soulful eyes and his lips. He does something with his lower lip, something very cute ... it's hardly noticeable, but that is what made me adore him. Or is this all in my head?!

Lee Joon of MBLAQ in IRIS 2 (as Yoon Shi-hyu)

Lee Joon plays a dick, who is bodyguard to the president and then is seconded to the NSS. I guess he does okay, unless this is his real character and he just plays himself? That's as much as I can say about him and all there is to this character. Well, not quite: I am sure there is a saying somewhere about how "ears don't lie"? The mole, the bad-guy at the NSS ... it is ... OMG! (as seen in episode 12)
It's one of these ... how to put it ... "surprises" this show throws at us. Like a guy surviving a head shot with brain matter leaking out. Or the Big Bad turning into a tame grandfather, oh, I'm sorry: father. It's Darth Vader all over.  

Hyeongkon of A-Jax in IRIS 2 (as Song Young-min)


This guy (on the left) looks like a complete derp and he also acts like one. I'm sorry, I meant to say his character is a complete derp. His character is more redundant than redundant and they might kill him soon if their budget is cut due to the low ratings. A-jax seems to be a very new band (2012) and I have never heard of them before. Seeing that Hyeongkon does not have his own Wikipedia entry, I'm guessing many others have not heard of them either. Sorry, mate, can't say more about you - but I hope you're enjoying yourself.

Who Wins?

That's a tough one! Yoon Doo-joon or Chansung? Chansung or Yoon Doo-joon? Hmmmmmm ... hmmmmmm .... hmmmmmm ... okay, it's Yoon Doo-joon! But ... poor baby Chansung! He did so well! Okay, okay, let Chansung win. But .... no! Yoon Doo-joon really act so well! But doesn't Chansung, too? Oh dangnabit, let them BOTH WIN!
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Random Thoughts on ....Inspired by Beautiful Stranger by f(x)

Posted by bcook on March 25, 2013
You're a young trainee. You work your butt off because you know at the end of the day you'll be a star.
 
You'll try stand our from all your group mates...
And your song will be on everybody's lips....

BAD BOY by BIG BANG
BAD BOY by Mighty Mouth ft. Soya
BAD BOY by Wonder Girls
BAD BOY by Son Dambi

BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by Big Bang
BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by Crayon Pop
BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by Nami
BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by T-ARA
BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by U-KISS
BINGEUL BINGEUL (Round and Round) by YB

No! No!

You're not with a company that churns out robo idols
You're with YG!! Where you'll be allowed to show your individuality

and sing original songs

FIRE - 2NE1
FIRE - SHINee

Oops.

No? Ok. You're a musician in the western world, sneering at the kpop music factory. Your industry celebrates the individual and has unique concepts!!

and your songs will stand out for their originality.......

ABRACADABRA - Brown Eyed Girls
ABRACADABRA - Jessie J
ABRACADABRA - Steve Miller Band

DREAMER - Blondie
DREAMER - Cliff Richard
DREAMER - System of a Down
DREAMER - Vanessa Williams

Oops

Lesson: Sometimes things are more alike than you'd think

24 March 2013

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So Ji Sub's Rap Video: 14mins of it!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 24, 2013
It's been a while since the release of the short version (2 months, in fact), but haste makes waste and Rome wasn't built in a day. Plus, Yoo Seung-hoo is now no longer among us (only for two years, fortunately), and Park Shin-hye is busy scuba diving and stuff. If you've missed one or the other, and/or have a crush on So Ji-sub, this is a must watch (just don't worry about the content). And: Yoo Seung-hoo does indeed look a bit like a younger version of So Ji-sub, don't you think?
 This is a partially subbed version (switch on with the cc-tab)

(What is it with Koreans and their fear of letting someone go abroad to work? Long distance relationship sometimes work, too, friends! Just saying!)


Do you want more So Ji-sub? Then watch this:
 (thanks @NewKDramaAddict for pointing it out ^^)

23 March 2013

22 March 2013

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Back soon from RL!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 22, 2013
Happy Friday, dear friends and enemies! (What, I have those?! Impossible!)


I'm still very busy with RL stuff. Yeah, there's a major conference coming up, for which I need to write not one, but two papers (one is done, now on to the next!); there's a special issue I'm editing, and acceptance letters need to be send out PRONTO (i.e. next week); there are 4 reviews to be written (two papers, one research proposal, one book); one master thesis to read and grade; and a 1-pager to be written for a discussion forum.

Yeah.
Sorry if you are not at all interested.

Oh well. Drama wise, I'm slumping. The only current show I'm watching is IRIS2, but not because it is good. I watch it because I promised I would. In fact, this show is one of the worst I have seen in a long, long time. The only good thing about it is watching it with some Twitter friends, like Orion. The stuff that comes out of these Twitter interactions (especially when I'm not there, methinks :) ? I.e. THIS:
Buahaha, this is just perfect. 

The drama slump has positive effects too. While waiting for the new batch of dramas (i.e TEN2!!), I have been watching Kim Ji-hoon dramas. Old ones. Like: Stars Falling from the Skies and Love & Marriage. Oh, I love to marathon. And I am very much in love with this guy. Not as much as I'm in love with my husband, of course, but still very much.

Here he is. He is now Honorary Ambassador for National Pension. Well done, Kim Ji-hoon. And now you will choose your next drama, okay? 
Meanwhile, Kim Ji-hoon is being pretty. Pretty hot.
And he can even cook! Marry me!
I hope to be back soon with some more KDrama posts. Be assured: I plan to.

14 March 2013

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Top 5 ... (Unknown) Shower Scenes, Take 4

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 14, 2013
When I went shower (+ bath) scene crazy and scored big thanks to YouTube, I also found quite a lot of shower scenes that I simply cannot place. But I'm sure that the combined brain power of KDrama lovers will succeed! Who can name these dramas?

Unknown Shower Scene 1  

Identified! by various commentors as Thank You (2007). Jang Hyuk!

Unknown Shower Scene 2

(most likely) identified! by lili as Bae Soo Bin in Temptation of an Angel (2009)

Unknown Shower Scene 3

(most likely) identified! by lili as Park Hae Jin in East of Eden (2008/2009)

Unknown Shower Scene 4

(Probably) identified! by Anonymous and Anonymous (who seems to be enz) as Delightful Girl Choon Hyang (2005). So this would be Uhm Tae Woong.

Unknown Shower Scene 5

Identified! by kopytko (with the help of latteholic) as She is Nineteen (2004). So this is Yoon Kye Sang?

Unknown Shower Scene 6

Identified! by kopytko as Love Story in Harvard (2004/5). This is Kim Rae Won, whom I've never seen in anything. 

Unknown Bath Scene 7 

(most certainly) identified! by latteholic (and confirmed by Mystitith) as Thank You (2007) - again. So, he gets a shower AND a bath scene in this drama? Maybe I should watch it!!!!!

13 March 2013

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Queen of Ambition a.k.a For the Love of Melos

Posted by lafer on March 13, 2013
Someone...not to mention any names....calls me the Queen of Melos.  While I would argue with that description (I would say I'm the Queen of GOOD Melos) there is some truth to it.   Give me a well-written melo that I can sink my teeth into, that causes me to love and hate and cry and long and want to pull my hair out - in essence to FEEL - and I'm in heaven.  And right now my melo of choice is Queen of Ambition (Yawang). For those continuing to read, there will be NO SPOILERS.
I was looking forward to this drama for two reasons - Su Ae and Kwon Sang Woo.  Both are accomplished, mature, serious actors. At at more than half-way through, this show and their acting have not disappointed. Ha Ryu is the good hearted person who supremely sacrifices himself to help the woman he loves, until he can take no more. I believe KSW was once called the king of tears, and it really works to his advantage here. Su Ae is perfect as Da Hae, the woman we love to hate. Characterized as heartless upon first meeting, there is never any question as to her motives or how far she'll go to get what she wants, but the look of fear gracing her face from time to time is priceless. Almost as priceless as the feeling we get when the fall inches closer.
This is a story of revenge, and while some would say this is a clone of Nice Guy, I would say this is like Nice Guy for adults. Believe me, I loved my Nice Guy with it's fast-paced writing and beautiful characters (I'm still pining over Soong Jong Ki).  But there are important differences. Whereas in Nice Guy, MaRu quickly transformed into a cold, scheming person who we couldn't trust, the character development of Ha Ryu is well paced. We have a gradual build up of situations until Ha Ryu finally hits the breaking point. Yet there is no doubt that he has still retained his compassion and basic decency, along with our unfailing sympathy towards him. Oh, and there is one more thing that Ha Ryu trumps MaRu on:
Apart from a few well-developed abs, why do I love Queen of Ambition? There are definitely constant  twists that add suspense to this story, making me question "wait, what are they going to do with THIS?" So far, the tight writing and sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat cliffhangers have really delivered.  Some parts were very hard to watch in the beginning, yet I haven't felt the gratuitous sad for sad's sake type of tears as in the melos that play the leukemia or amnesia card.  (I will admit that one part was almost a deal breaker for me, but after I had to step away from the drama I realized it was very necessary to the storyline.) And it doesn't have the vile, difficult to watch subject matter or constant flow of tears that were so commonplace that they became meaningless that I Miss You had. Yes, there are parts here that require a suspension of disbelief, and no, it is not over so still has time to go downhill (why, Nice Guy, why??) But by the time I got to the revenge portion of the drama, I was fully invested in Ha Ryu's character and ready to volunteer to follow him around and hand him all necessary weapons of destruction that he may need!
Another important requirement for me is that I don't loathe any of the characters. Of course Da Hae is loathseome, but Su Ae portrays her in a cold but understated way. It's also a cast of beautiful people. For those wanting some idol love, there is Yunho of TVXQ who does a fine job as the second lead, along with Kim Sung Ryung as Yunho's sister/mother (this is not giving anything away, as it is glaringly apparent from the getgo).  I am really anxious to see how things progress with both of their characters. Rounding out the cast are Go Joon Hee as the broken-hearted fiance, Sung Ji Roo as an unlikely accomplice you grow to love, Lee Jae Yoon as the "hot step-brother" (to quote a friend), and then there's Cha Hwa Yun, the hardest working actress playing adjumma roles today!
All the beautiful people!
I am eagerly anticipating each new episode of Queen of Ambition and praying it stays as good as it's been until the end. Check back to see if it lives up to my expectations! If not, well, I've been known to write my own endings before. And there is always That Winter, The Wind Blows to start watching.

12 March 2013

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There cannot be enough Kim Ji-hoon!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 12, 2013
You might have guessed that I really, really, really want Kim Ji-hoon to pick his next drama project. Like, yesterday.

Not that I am missing Flower Boy Next Door - the show had its time and it was good but it is also good that it is over - but I do miss the feeling that came with anticipating the show. Two special episodes have aired (or is it one in two parts?), which I haven't yet seen. I'm sure they are sweet and everyone is gorgeous.

And then ... there is Kim Ji-hoon going to a movie premier with Park Shin-hye! OMG! They have always been rather busy tweeting each other and they are keeping this up even after shooting for FBND has ended. It is sweet ... and a little bit suspicious?!
 Oh! This is fun!!! Who can name all the celebrities?! Check your Hallyu-knowledge!

Kim J-hoon and Park Shin-hye are adorable together. I really hope they actually ARE together! 

This is what she tweeted:
 "아 머리아퍼ㅠㅠ 오늘 진락씨랑 영화데이트했어요 ㅇㅅㅇ 3D안경쓰고 신났음"
 (which equals something like: "My head hurts - today, I went on a date to the movies with Jin-rak-shi, wearing 3D goggles")
 
Here's a pic from my favorite fictional couple!
 
And last - but not least - something for the Yoon Shi-yoon fans out there. Sorry dude, but while you're in Japan, your girl is having fun with your drama-oppa at the movies. See, this happens when one leaves!

11 March 2013

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Farewell to ... Flower Boys Next Door

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 11, 2013
Will this do instead of a review? ^.^

Dear friends, I am too lazy (or should I say unmotivated?) to write a long farewell post for this show. So many bloggers have already written reviews, good and excellent ones, so you don't need me to write another good one. I'll just do a bad, lazy one then, ok? 

The +

Let me just say that I enjoyed the show, mostly, for its quietness and its portrayal of normal, everyday people. I also liked it because its episodes were only 45 minutes long. Seriously, KDrama in general would hugely profit from shorter episodes. I liked the way it was shot (especially the subdued colors) and I really liked making gifs, because there were so many funny and cute scenes. It was a veritable gif-fest every Monday and Tuesday! I liked Park Shin-hye's natural beauty and her acting. Though I am nothing like her character, I appreciated the way it was written, and the way she was allowed to change and get over the hurts of her past. I also liked loved Kim Ji-hoon and his acting. I was very sad for him until the end, even though I could not stand a man like Jin-rak in real life for more than two hours. That does not apply to Kim Ji-hoon, of course, whom I'd adopt immediately as slightly younger brother for myself. Or something like it. I also loved Kim Seul-gi (The Editor!) and I wish to see her in more dramas or shows I have access to. If I could, I would marry her. I liked her romance with Dong-hoon best among all the romances in this show. And I liked many other things, like the rest of the cast, their overall chemistry on screen, and about 80% of the script (there were some side-side-stories that were just unnecessary, though nothing major went wrong in my opinion).

The -

Of course, there also were things I did not like. My biggest beef is with Enrique: Not with Yoon Shi-yoon, who did well - but with the character. He annoyed me so much I wished to kick him, from beginning to end. Nothing about this type of kid-behavior was endearing to me. It got better as the show progressed and he became more of a man, but too little, too late for me. When he dropped the kid-act and was serious, his interactions with Dok-mi were intense and sizzling. But those moment were (too) few. Storywise, I could have done without the "almost noble idiocy" plot, which was unexciting and utterly predictable. The crazy panda-hat girl? Oh well, I guess they needed to fill 16 episodes somewhat. The drama could have done with about 10, maximum 12 episodes and would have been much better. I also did not like Do-hwi's character: At the beginning, she was too one-dimensionally evil, and then, she became mellow too fast. And that face ..... o.0 ... Watanabe was another wasted character, as was Dok-mi's initial crush and Enrique's first love. Both characters were boring, annoying, and clearly unnecessary once Enrique and Dok-mi had got in contact with each other.

The Conclusion

The show was a very pleasant surprise to me, because it was different. But in the end, it also does not stick much. I will remember it, hazily, but it never truly and deeply touched my heart. It was always enjoyable, like a summer's breeze, but it was also just as light. But it's biggest flaw: no Kim Ji-hoon shower scene!!!!!

10 March 2013

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My Awesome Birthday Post!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 10, 2013
It is my birthday today! Yaaaaaaaaay! I love my birthday. I used to be one of those people who think they have to be depressed on their birthdays, but that was before I realized that birthdays are definitely not sad occasions. They are here to celebrate: Celebrate life, celebrate yourself, celebrate your friends, celebrate your family, celebrate whatever you can! It is worth it! 
To get even more out of it, I start celebrating my birthday at least one day early. If necessary, I take a day off work. This year, I am particularly lucky because my birthday is on a Sunday. After celebrating for at least 36 hours with very little sleep, I am now beginning to show signs of exhaustion. No wonder, at my age... 

Anyways, his is what I ate and drank on this awesome birthday weekend!
I had Jjajangmyeon for lunch on Day 1 of the celebrations. Oh man, that stuff was good ... I'm going back soon for lunch.
My husband had Maeuntang (or something like it ... it wasn't super spicy, so it probably wasn't. Anyways, it was a seafood soup of some sorts!) He didn't touch the tofu, cause he's adamant he hates it. lol, husbands ...
Then, I went and bought delicious stuff at the Korean store in the restaurant...
... and drank some Makgeolli at the lake.
 These guys were also very interested. But they didn't get any Makgeolli.
 it's spring! I love it.
After having drinks in an Irish pub (we really went multi-national), we went to a fancy Japanese restaurant. If you read German, you know what we had. Or you can also just look at the pictures below!
This is the first course.
 The second course (Tempura)
 The third course (more Tempura)
 Delicious Sashimi (fourth course)
 The best sushi I've ever had (fifth course)
 Why is this upside down? It's the sixth course.
 Dessert! And a candle. d'awwwwwz
 Each course was served with a special sake. Expensive, that stuff ...
When we finally hit my real birthday, the table looked like this

I really shouldn't have stayed up until 3.30am watching KDrama. Anyways, the next morning, I had a date with my family for birthday brunch. This is one part of the buffet ...
  This another. All my lovely sister's doing!
 Delicious!

And now, I'm trying to figure out what I want to watch next. Hmm .... or maybe I'll just go to bed. god, all this celebrating is tiring!!

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