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!)