Saturday, July 1, 2017

K-drama: The Legend of the Blue Sea

Synopsis: The television series centers on the love story of Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min-ho), the son of a rich businessman who becomes a handsome and clever con-man after his parents' divorce, and a mermaid named Shim Cheong (Jun Ji-hyun).[3][4] Focusing on rebirth, fate, and unrequited love, their tale is juxtaposed with the parallel story of their Joseon era incarnations, town head Kim Dam-ryeong and the mermaid Se-hwa.
My thoughts: I wanted to do this review a lot sooner, but I couldn’t find the time to it. Anyway… This K-drama is LIT! It’s adorable, well-thought, romantic and on-point. The story is about the relationship between a Mermaid and a human. Se-hwa is a captured Mermaid in the Joseon Era and she is presented to the town head Kim Dam-ryeong as a gift. However, because of her condition, he decides to release her in the ocean, back to where she belongs. They then start a romance.
In the modern days, conman Joon Jae is about to score big. Kind of like a Robin Hood, he takes dirty money from rich people but, instead of giving them to the poor, he takes to himself. With his last pillage, he travels to another country, where he meets Shim Cheong. They spend some time together, but he doesn’t know that she is a mermaid. She then erases his memory, and he returns to Seoul.
Well, this was a blast. I’m noticing that the trend in Korea right now regarding k-dramas is the reincarnation romance. A couple that met in the past hundreds of years ago, get split, and find themselves in the present life. These calls for a double work: not only is necessary to fabricate a wardrobe for the present, but also for the past, which can be very challenging: traditional clothing in Korea is a very intricate thing, so you have to be very careful when creating them, as far as I could see. Also, there is all the scenario and script adaptation.
Lee Min Ho FINALLY delivers to me. I’ve seen a few of his dramas, but he never stuck to me. ESPECIALLY after his role in HEIRS. It was a garbage role, I’m sorry, but it’s the truth, even a true fan (and a friend of mine) has watched it and said it was garbage. In Legend of the Blue Sea however, we see a more complete and mature actor, with more natural and truthful reactions (in Heirs he looked like the Asian and male version of Kristen Stewart) and a lot funnier and amusing. And he FINALLY learned how to kiss properly. FOR PETE’S SAKE, a kiss is about moving lips, not sealed-shut mouth. You have a jaw, USE IT! They still need to perfect this VERY SPECIAL point in Korean drama, but at least in this one he moves a little bit more and make it look like he actually wanted to kiss her.
Jun-Ji Hyun has become my favorite female actress. Her role as Sim Cheong is witty, funny, adorable and quirky. She is a mermaid after all, and she portraits that role perfectly. The scenes where she is swimming in the ocean are majestic AF and the importance of her character is very well-played. She is innocent and pure, specially to the human world and their greed. Cheong doesn’t see any of that, especially when she meets Joon Jae. To her eyes, he is something close to a prince charming, and is drawn to him like a fly to a lamp.
 The mythology they created for the mermaids is very interesting. I don’t know how mermaids are portrayed in your country, but where I come from they usually sing to drown men. In the Legend of the Blue Sea, they show them as someone who can fall in love and give their heart away but, if they don’t get loved back, they can get sick and even die. Also, their touch can erase memory, as well as their kisses if they want to and when they cry, their tears become pearls; if it is tears of joy, they can be pink pearls!
Oh, and let’s not forget the soundtrack. It’s GORGEOUS! You really get into the vibe of under the sea and mermaid world. 
Finally the plot is very interesting. As I said above, the story is about rebirth and love through the eras. They show not only the struggle of the main couple to survive, but also showcase the greed of humans, our bleak thoughts and our capability to overstep anyone for what we want. Also, the tv show show how all this gets projected to your fate. The villain is like that because he never lost his grudge against the main couple; so he returns bad, and destiny makes them see face to face once more.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

K-Drama: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Synopsis: Lee Joon Ki (Arang and the Magistrate) and Lee “IU” Ji Eun (Dream High) star in a dangerous romance across time in what sure to be one of the biggest historical epics of the year. Hae Soo (IU) is a 21st century woman who gets caught in a solar eclipse and is transported to the Goryeo Dynasty, which ruled Korea from the 10th century for nearly 500 years. Suddenly, Hae Soo finds herself in the royal palace, where she comes across Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Ki). A man as feared as he is handsome, Wang So is based on the real-life fourth king of the Goryeo Dynasty and makes others tremble but wins over Hae Soo’s heart. However, he is not the only one in the palace with eyes on the throne, and a political battle of deception, secrecy and lies ensues between Wang So and all the other princes. Adding to the drama are Eighth Prince Wang Wook (Heirs star Kang Ha Neul), who is less than willing to wait in line behind seven other members of the royal family, and Third Prince Wang Yo (Beloved alum Hong Jong Hyun), whose right to the crown actually precedes Wang So’s.

Also known as Moon Lovers - Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, the drama is based on the Chinese novel Bu Bu Jing Xin by Tong Hua, which also inspired the 2011 Chinese hit Scarlet Heart starring Cecilia Liu and Nicky Wu. 

My thoughts: MY FAVORITE K-DRAMA OF ALL TIMES! BY FAAAAR! It has everything: romance, action, history, drama, comedy and adventure!

It’s about a 21st century girl who gets transported to the Goryeo Dynasty (around the 10th century and lasted about 500 years) because of a solar eclipse. She gets caught up in the royal family, having to live among the fourteen princes of the King Taejo. In between, there is the arrival of the 4th prince Kang Wang So, who was “adopted” – more like living as a hostage – by another region and returns home. But, because of his looks – he has a scar that is covered up by a mask that resembles the one of the Phantom of the Opera – and the rumors surrounding him, is feared by everybody.

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE HISTORICAL SERIES. That’s because they have to put more effort than the series that happen today. Not that the present-time series aren’t good, but historical need to do a lot more research in order to be accurate, from social structure and behavior to the wardrobe. With that being said, this show is very historically accurate, at least for me who am not very familiarized with Korean History. The series is all history based, so their way of moving and talking is completely different from today. Even the alphabet at the Goryeo Dynasty was distinct: they seemed to use the Chinese symbols rather than the Hangul, which is the alphabet used today. So the series made sure to show that.

Also, the reason I liked it so much was because it resembled me of Outlander, by Diana Galbadon. A girl is transported to the past and has to try to survive in there, without knowing when she was going to come back.

Second, the acting was ON POINT. Lee Joon Ki (that plays Wang So) was amazingly good, as well as all the other actors – Baekhyun (EXO’s main vocalist) as the 10th prince, IU (singer) as the protagonist Hae Soo, Kang Ha Neul as the 8th prince, Kim Ji Soo as the 14th prince, and everybody else. I screamed and cheered throughout this TV show, and the last episodes made me cry, because their acting was SO GOOD, that I couldn’t help but suffer WITH them. As you all know, it’s VERY hard for me to cry when watching something: be it a movie, a TV show, you name it. So to be able to actually make me cry, make my nose run and my tears fall is a HU-GE deal for me. I hated Yeon Hwa – she is the 8th prince’s sister, a b** who wants the throne and the power that comes with it – with all my heart, as well as the 3rd prince Wang Yo, the 9th prince Wang Wook and the Queen Mother Yo – mother to the 3rd, 4th and 14th prince. The queen specially because she was the one who scarred her son for life, and was such a fake person, rotten inside and manipulative toward her sons, that I questioned myself if she ever loved one of them, or if she was only trying to secure her place as one of the most powerful people inside the palace.

A thing that I realized in Korea is that looks REALLY matter over there, and apparently in the past that also applied. The 4th prince was condemned to live apart from his family for years because his mother couldn’t LOOK at the face that she herself scarred. He used a mask for most of his life because he knew that people would be disgusted and afraid to look at him! Only when Hae Soo appears and sees him as a NORMAL BEING, not a monster or a demon because of his looks, that he first experience affection. The actress that played Hae Soo was very good: she isn’t like Outlander’s Claire, strong-headed lass, but she isn’t a plant either. Soo is, after all, a 21st century woman, and even in Korea things have change since the 10th century. It was very pleasant to watch her.

Third, the soundtrack was AMAZING. I liked it so much midway through of the series I already knew how to sing most of them – in a broken Korean, but no matter. They were so soft, beautiful and heartbreakingly adorable, as well as some were melancholic AF. The OST has to be good in order to complete the context of the scene that is shown and boy, they killed it!

The only ONLY thing that really irritated me was the ending. Don’t take me wrong, it was beautiful and touching and all that, BUT I WAS PROMISED A MEETING, A RENCOUTER, AND THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! For Pete’s sake, the way they ended it was so maddening that I couldn’t function after a few hours and even when I lied in bed to sleep I wasn’t believing my eyes. They created such a beautiful love story, a kind of transcendental love, that would last centuries and ENDED LIKE THAT?! C’MOM PEOPLE YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT! The alternative endings I created in my mind were FAR BETTER. It was a good ending, but not up to the level of the show.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

K-drama: Cinderella and the Four Knights

Synopsis: After losing her mother in a tragic accident, Ha Won feels distant from her new family and after a series of fateful events winds up living in a mansion with four handsome men.

My Thoughts: well… meh. It was fun to watch, and it was adorable in a many moments, but it isn’t a drama that would stick to me as a favorite.

We begin with Ha Won, a girl that lost her mother at young age and lives with her stepmother and half-sister. However, she is frequently mistreated by them, being forced to live in a kind of deposit room and work as a slave, since her father is always away working and the money he gave to them would go to her half-sister’s and her mother’s whims. So she is our Cinderella, obviously.

Then one day, when her father comes home, she gets kicked out all of a sudden, and has nowhere else to go but the place where her mother is resting. In order to survive, she takes a job to help a playboy ruin his grandparent’s wedding, but it goes all wrong when she discovers what it was all about, and makes the guy pays for his disobedience in front of the invited. The grandfather, that is the owner of a huge company in Korea, was so impressed by the way Ha Won handled the situation that offers her a job: she would have to live in the family mansion and make his grandsons into a family of sorts. So she goes to this mansion – that looks like a modern castle, because it’s HU-GE – and finds out that she would have to live with three super-rich guys, that kind of hate each other. How to make a family out of that?

Well, that’s it. Every time the grandfather wants her to do something, he would assign her a mission that, if she accomplished, would grant her enough money to allow her to get to the university – her biggest dream. The three grandsons are Hyun Min, the playboy that “hired” her first; Seo Woo, a famous musician in Korea; and Ji Woon, the rebel that couldn’t accept his new family because of his past. They are the knights (the fourth knight was the butler and right arm of the grandfather, named Yoon Sung).

Although it was funny and all, the guys weren’t NEARLY close to what a cute prince/knight in shining armor would be. Comparing them to the actors that I’ve watched so far, between the cousins, only Ji Woon was reasonable – and to me he was more charming than handsome.

Also, I JUST COULDN’T TAKE HYUN MIN SERIOUSLY. I mean, he wore LIP BALM the entire show. IN THE NAME OF THE GODDESS, WHAT?! He was very weird indeed, and he and the protagonist had no chemistry whatsoever.

Seo Woo was cute. He didn’t stand a chance against his other cousins, but he was charming and adorable and very romantic – he even wrote a song or two to Ha Won. He would be the safe choice for her, if she were to choose any of them.

Yoon Sung was the kind of “knight” that fit every aspect: he was handsome, stylist, hard-working and very respectful. But he was the same as a plant, their chemistry was as good as dead. OBVIOUSLY if Seo Woo had little chance with Ha Won, Sung had NONE, he was too stiff toward her! I shipped them nonetheless, because he was the only one that FOR ME filled what was necessary for a “knight” and was what would match the protagonist best.

Last, but not least, Ji Woon. In these dramas, they usually get the rebel and bad boy to fall for the girl, and vice-versa. I liked their chemistry – it was faaaaar better than with the others – and he was kind of cute, especially when he smiled – that was his best. And they make a cute and funny couple. Their moments were the funniest for me: for example, when Ha Won breaks her leg and tries to wash her hair, but fails completely and fall inside the bathtub, Ji Woon goes there and helps her out, and even washes her hair for her, which was cute. Also, he wore no lip balm whatsoever, which was a VERY IMPORTANT thing (I seriously couldn’t handle that shiny lip for a guy, judge me, it was too strange! Even I don’t use lip balm as daily basis!).
I liked the actress that played Ha Won. She was cute, funny, clumsy and adorable, and was very true to her character. She was effortless, and we could really feel her pain and her joy when she was playing.

Anyway, as I said above, it wasn’t memorable. The soundtrack also wasn’t the big of a deal, and the sound effects used were – to say the least – laughable. I cringed every time the goddamn angel song came when something “romantic” happened: whether it was an embrace by her waist, or a brush of hands between her and one of the knights. You know when you are in front of the man/woman of your dreams, and you say you “can hear the bells ringing”? It was like that. I think it was too forced and unreal: it was like as if they were trying their best to create an ambiance, but honey IT WAS NOT HAPPENING!

Also, I didn’t like the grandfather character. His attempt to control his family choices, for the sake of the family, was horrible and very mean. I tried to understand his reasons: he lost his three sons because of his controlling behavior, so I believe that he was trying to redeem himself by doing whatever he could for his grandsons. But he shouldn’t – and ought not to – control their lives. First, because they are already of age, so they can make their choices by themselves. Second, because it won’t redeem yourself: at the very least, you’ll drive your loved ones away from you. And Third, he was just repeating his mistakes by trying to again control his relatives decisions. As a grandparent – and as the only reference his grandsons have/had – he should support and counsel them, first and foremost.  

Overall, if I could give a word to this drama, it would probably be cute. And if it was a sentence… Best luck next time. I watched until the end, and near the end it was veeery cute and adorable, they finally got the hand of it. There were no sex scenes, however, but the number of kissing was higher, so you can say that got balanced in that point specifically.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

K-drama: Oh my Venus!

Synopsis: Kim Young-Ho (So Ji-Sub) is a personal trainer for Hollywood stars. Even though he comes from a wealthy family background, he suffered a devastating injury during his childhood days. Now, he overcomes his problems with patience and stubbornness.
Kang Joo-Eun (Shin Min-A) is 33-years-old lawyer. She has struggled to support her family. Now, Kang Joo-Eun is overweight and not so attractive.

My thoughts: This was the first real melo-K-drama I’ve ever watched. And it was really interesting! The story is about this lawyer who was once the most beautiful girl in her region, but after the exams and the stress of adult life, she becomes "careless" and gain weight. On the other corner there is this rich guy who suffered a lot during his childhood because he had a knee cancer, and went through a lot of surgeries to cure it. One day they meet on an airplane going back to South Korea, when the girl is feeling sick for taking pills, coffee and wine all together, and he is a doctor that goes to the rescue. Here is what I thought about it.

First of all, the soundtrack was – wait for it – LEGENDARY. Yes, truly. The songs that were picked were cute and adorable and romantic, and used in the right moments, they gave the perfect atmosphere for those who were watching. Yes, they were Korean – so I couldn’t possibly understand it – but the rhythm was so beautiful that you can surpass the language barrier.

Second, it was the first “spicy” K-drama I watched. As far as I’ve seen, the scenes where there is some sensuality are very rare, and sex scenes aren’t shown at all – they just hint the idea that they are going to sleep together and that it. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing – actually I think that it gives the chance to explore the characters and the story, rather than showing sex scenes here and there. But this one was different: Oh my Venus was the  K-drama with the most references and subliminal messages to sex I’ve ever seen so far – and I liked it! Because the characters were older – around their thirties – it’s expected that they already experienced sex – that’s my theory – so it was ok.

Third, they talk about a lot of import issues our society faces, fat-shaming and domestic violence being the highlights. Just because someone is fat, that doesn’t give you the right to go and insult this person; You don’t know what they’ve been through, they already suffer for “not fitting” into the social pattern of blond, thin and “beautiful” that society imposes to them, and still you go there and mistreat them?! What kind of sick human being are you?! As far as I could see, Korea has this body pattern of a petite girl with delicate proportion and smooth skin. Not everybody can achieve that, you know? There are some people who are fat and have no health problem whatsoever; there are skinny people who have more issues than my great grandma. You never know. So it was interesting to see how society affects the way people think, as concerning a “sexy body type”: you can only have a boyfriend, a big house and lots of money if you are skinny and survive by eating dew and universe’s juice. Well, let me break this down to you: you can have all that and still be fat if you want to (as long as it doesn’t harm your body or your health, obviously).

The same goes to domestic violence: although we look from outside and clearly see the violence going on, is not up to us. We can help and support the victim, open their eyes for the issue – “hun, if he hits you, or mistreats you, or make you feel less, he doesn’t love you! And it’s not your fault for all that, he is a douchbag that doesn’t deserve an ich of what you are!” – but in the end it up for the victim to stand up and scream for themselves. Unfortunately a lot of people think that the victim gets beaten up and doesn’t go to the authorities, so “well, she/he likes it”. NO! No one likes to get beaten up; being called bad names; Most likely that person doesn’t have the courage to go because they don’t believe the system can protect them – which it can’t, so it’s true – or because they are afraid of what their partner can do if they find out or get released; some are afraid of never seeing their kids again. So just don’t. It’s NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER ther victim’s fault. LIKE EVER. And the show really shows that, so it’s very nice!

And finally, the only thing I didn’t like was the almost non-existent acting of the male character. Don’t take me wrong: he was cute in his tough way, but a surprise expression once in a while never killed nobody, right? His biggest expression was to goggle his eyes, or give a tiny-tiny smile. His other friend was just like that. The only male actor with reeeal expression – and that was adorable and funny most of the time – was Ji Woong (and Korean-american guy with perfect and no asian accent at all when in English-mode).

Overall it was very entertaining and fun, and very touching and almost too dramatic (in one scene I almost broke out in tears hahaha I usually don't like overly dramatic things), all part of the show right?


Monday, July 18, 2016

K-drama: Coffee Prince

Synopsis: One of our most popular dramas, this romantic comedy tells the story of Han Kyul, the handsome son of a wealthy hotelier family who is set in his bachelor ways and constantly deflects his family's attempts to make him commit. The constant pressure to get married drives him to hire a goofy young delivery boy Eun Chan to pretend to be his gay lover to scare away his family's set-ups. Trouble starts when Han Kyul begins to get to know the hardworking and lovable Eun Chan, and begins to develop real feelings for him—only to discover that "he" is actually a girl disguised as a boy. A rare drama that deals with homosexuality, this controversial series received multiple awards, such as the 2007 MBC Acting Awards for Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo, as well as Best TV drama award at the 2008 Korean Producers' Awards.

My thoughts: Before I start talking, I have to say that it’s a 2007 dorama. So pleeease don’t kill me for knowing about it just now, I was in seventh grade at the time! Hahaha

It was nostalgic I have to say: the clothing style, the flip cellphones and the slide ones (remember them?), the cars that used to look alike… Just for that was already something enjoyable.

But it was not all: this drama was heart-breaking all the way through. We start with Eun-Chan, a girl that doesn’t care about her looks – and actually doesn’t have time for them since she has to support and provide for her whole family because her father passed away when she was young. So most of the time she actually looks like a boy. And thus, when Han Kyul – one of the most beautiful asian guys I’ve ever seen – appears in front of her and offers her money to pretend to be his gay lover so that he could escape the blind-dates his family set for him, she doesn’t contradict him at all.

Han Kyul is a playboy and a bachelor in his 30-something. He doesn’t want to get marry and assume the family business, nor run an almost-closed coffee shop as a condition to return to America. But he does it anyway, and hires Eun Chan as one of the employers.

As their relationship deepens, both start to like each other. But, while for her is easy, for him is completely insane, because he thinks “she” is a “he” – and he doesn’t understand why this is happening. Was he gay all along and didn’t know? And she doesn’t reveal herself at all, because she’s afraid of being rejected as a woman.

Having said that, I start my review: I wasn’t joking when I said it was heart-breaking. We watch these two adorable characters as they suffer and try to work their way out, as they try to deny their feelings and so on. Every scene they had together – until he finds out her identity – is gut-wrenching and gives you butterflies in the stomach. I felt tense whenever they appeared together, because I could see their suffering and their effort in hiding it from one another.

I really like the fact that they show man crying. In our western side of the world, to see a man crying is usually taken as weakness and that he should “man up” and “stop being a pussy”. Guys have tear-ducts as well as everybody, so what’s the big deal?! We have that entire macho-man thing in such a way that when a man does cry, we prefer to mock him instead of trying to help him solve his problem. I don’t know if Korean man have that issue in their country – hell, I don’t even know if Korean men are like the ones portrayed on the TV-show – but by showing a guy crying in national TV, because he is sad or in pain, I like to think that you are trying to say “it’s ok to cry, guys!”, and that’s awesome.

I noticed a pattern in these dramas, more specifically towards the end: the female protagonist often does an exchange program or goes away for a few years and then returns all beautiful and gorgeous – and with a hottie waiting for her with goofy eyes. It’s not that I don’t like it – heck yeah I would like to travel abroad and return all gorgeous just to find a beautiful man waiting for me in my doorstep! – but it would be cool to see a different ending. In this topic, I’d like to add that the guy usually doesn’t want his girlfriend to go away, but he understands that it’s her opportunity to see the world and grow in the process, and by stopping her from going you’re just being selfish. It’s her chance, he had his, so why create a fuss and stop her from chasing her dreams if that’s what she wants to? – Western guys, please take note, your girlfriend will love you even more if you respect her wishes! ;)

Also, Korean guys – well, at least that’s what the SHOW shows; Korean girls, correct me if I’m wrong – seem to be a lot more considerate and participatory in household chores: they know how to clean, wash and cook, and don’t seem to look for a second mom in their girlfriends. Thumbs up and kudos for them, they’re absolutely right!

Finally, I didn’t like two characters: Eun-Sae – the protagonist sister – and Yoo Joo – Han Kyul’s friend and his cousin’s girlfriend. I thought both of them were too dramatic and full of bull. Eun-Sae seemed like a spoiled brat that mistreat her sister and the guy who likes her, just because; and Yoo Joo seemed to be inconstant and two faced – she cheated on the cousin for two years and nothing: the cousin kisses another girl, the world falls apart. Come on! Get your shit straight, he is not that guilty if we compare what you did to him – I don’t approve betrayal, doesn’t matter who did it.

And now to really end it: the actor that plays Han Kyul was so hot that it was almost offensive to watch him. Broad shoulders, sexy lips, cute smile, tall AF, not pumped up – his body was normal actually, at least in this show, I’ll attach a pic for you - , some hunk, I gotta say. And the way he grabs her closer to the end… I’m impressed. HAHAHA *EDIT: I found a more updated pic of him, and daaaaamn (actually it's a gif <-- Click here to see it!)*
Anyway, an award-winning show and a must-see!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

K-drama: Oh My Ghostess

Synopsis: Na Bong Sun (Park Bo Young) may be a skilled chef, but she lacks the self-esteem to shine professionally and socially. Beyond her cooking talents, however, is an uncanny ability to communicate with ghosts. One day, her mystic senses go out of control when the seductive ghost of Shin Soon Ae (Kim Seul Gi) possesses her. Imbued with a fiery new "personality," Bong Sun starts turning heads, including that of Kang Sun Woo (Jo Jung Suk), the hottest chef in town and Bong Sun's secret crush!

My thoughts: Let’s try something different this time, shall we? It’s been a while since I last saw a K-dorama – or for that matter a dorama at all – but this one caught my heart so strongly that I just couldn’t leave it behind.

This was the CUTTEST, MOST ADORABLE dorama I’ve ever watched! Oh my, where to begin? It’s funny, witty, dramatic and heart-wrenching!

We start off with Na Bong Sun, a shy, low self-esteem girl, with great cooking skills, but too shy to show them. She works in the restaurant Sun, in Seoul, with the famous Kang Sun Woo, a great Korean chef, handsome and skilled – and she has a crush on him too, but too scared to even look at him. Beyond her skills, Bong Sun-shi has the ability to see and talk to ghosts – due to her bloodline, because her grandmother is a shaman.

So, one day, she gets possessed by one of these ghosts. But not just any ghost: a virgin girl, that died too young for her age, and never experienced a love life before – and well, since she is a virgin… you guys get the point. Her virginity is her grudge apparently, and she has three years to solve it before turning into a bad spirit. And Soon Ae has a target that may have the vitality to do it: chef Sun Woo!

This dorama was swell! Oh sweet Jesus, its twists and turns… The actress that plays Bong was very gifted, for she had to be two different characters in the same tv-show: her shy self as Na Bong Sun, and the bright, bubbly personality of the virgin ghost Shin Soon Ae when she was possessed. Although all the actors were very good, in my humble opinion, due credit must be given to Park Bo Young - who plays Na Bong - because her perfomance was very good, and she was responsible for the theme song of the show - that is so sweet that I downloaded already to my cellphone.

The actor that caught my eye - besides the protagonist - was one of the chefs that worked at the Restaurant. His nickname was Cordon, because of the culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, and he was a gentleman. I must confess that, even though I liked the main couple, I internally prayed that Na Bong would go for Cordon, because he always treated her kindly, was an honest guy, hard-worker, polite... A true gentleman!

I noticed how well played it’s dorama nowadays: the producers are very strategic, the played the characters very well! Usually in occidental tv-shows, kisses and romances happen with ease, and kiss-scenes become commonplace after sometime – because they are always happening. In k-drama, on the other hand, they build up the atmosphere so that when a kiss actually happens, your reaction would be as it follows:

a)    Not believing;

b)    Fangirling all the way through;

c)    Hope that it would happen more often, just to watch with suffering as nothing happens for some time;

d)    Even a hug makes you flicker and, obviously, fangirl;

e)    Whatever the guy does – even playing a fricking guitar wrong – becomes adorable, and you obviously fangirl.

They are little geniuses! They make smaller Tv-shows – with 16-20 episodes – but longer in duration, so they can really explore its characters and develop the plot, as well as its characters - for example, we see how shy Na Bong turns into a more confident woman, how the chef changes his manners and becomes more humble. Even the secondary characters – such as the restaurant staff, the shaman that chases Soon Ae around, the Woo family – are clever and funny!

I loved the ending: it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be, so I really appreciated! It was well-made, interesting and gave me a desire to watch more dorama, more than ever!



(It's in Korean, and I couldn't find a version with english sub - sorry guys!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Scandal of the Season by Sophie Gee

Synopsis: London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families ll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair. Alexander Pope, sickly and nearly penniless, is peripheral by birth, yet his uncommon wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Once there, privy to every nuance and drama, he is a ruthless observer. He longs for the success that will cement his place in society; all he needs is one poem grand enough to make his reputation.

As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations -- even lives -- are imperiled. In the aftermath, Pope discovers the idea for a daring poem that will catapult him to fame and fortune.

My thoughts: It’s been a while huh? Because of my university and exams and all that, I didn’t have the time to sit down and properly write something. Buuut, anyway, here is my review on this amazing book.

This book was a joy to read. Since nowadays historic novels are a thing, it has become even harder to find a good book in this genre. The Scandal of the season is one of these good novels that are extremely well-written, very detailed – but not in a way to disturb the reading; the details just complete what the writer is trying to portray – and very amusing. Many of the questions that are raised during the readout are accurate to what society today represents: to live by appearances; to be left alone by those you once thought were your friends; how man can make wrong choices and still find a way to not feel guilty about them.

What I liked the most was the fact that this book is based in real people; Alexander Pope did exist, as well as all the other characters, and the author wrote in such a way that it seemed as if she was a part in all of that. It seemed as if she was in the room when Arabella was humiliated, for example. The dialogues are extremely rich and complex, with deep morals behind it. A few times I had to stop and really think through what they just say, because it rang so true to my ears that it blew my mind.

Finally, the period of time is very good: it’s during the jacobite revolution, right after the Catholics were persecuted by the Protestants, and the jacobites were trying to win the throne for king James III, exiled in France. A few years later there would be the Cullodeen battle in Scotland, when the clans would be massacred and their culture forbidden throughout the land.

As “The Economist” said in their review, this book will please those who liked “Shakespeare in love” and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”, from Laclos, and I agree with them: it has drama, a rebellion, nobility, betrayals and a very accurate and true portrait of the XVIIIth century society.