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[BEDA] Blog Every Day In April: Day 16 – Most Likely to Cast the Avada Kedavra Incantation

The idol most likely to cast the avada kedavra incantation on her group members and possibly her management is T-ara’s Jiyeon so that she can finally pursue her acting career full time. She doesn’t look too enthused about being a pop star so it’s only a matter of time before she turns her group mates into dust. So long suckers!!

She's preparing the incantation there.

 

Her contribution to this drama’s soundtrack is half decent. Good luck!

[Korean Drama Review] Twelve Men in a Year, 일년에 열두 남자 (2012)

Director: Oh Jong-Rok

Writer: Hwang Jo-Yoon

Network: tvN

Episodes: 16

Main Cast: Yoon Jin Seo, Go Jun Hui, On Joo Wan

**contains spoilers**

Our protagonist Na Mi Roo, writer and editor of a women’s magazine, is forced to take on a sex column  in order to keep her job when the original writer whom she is responsible for goes rogue. Fresh from her breakup from her only boyfriend Cha Jin Oh, Mi Roo uses this new opportunity to meet men and in the process learn about her own sexuality, much to the dismay of Jin Oh. Guided by best friend Park Tanya, Mi Roo dates men according to their zodiac signs in order to write the column each month while keeping her identity a secret for the column under the pseudonym Sophia.

Some serious eye candy in this drama. Was much appreciated.

What started off as a smart and sexy drama veered off into familiar kdrama territory when jealous girlfriends and violent ex-girlfriends were thrown into the mix. When the ex-girlfriend of the Aries man threatens to and nearly assaults Mi Roo in order to keep her away from him, she later claims that she did it in order to protect Mi Roo from the sleazeball’s ways which made no sense and was thrown into the plot to create tension where it wasn’t needed as Mi Roo was already uncomfortable with Aries’ advances and was working her way up to a confrontation with him on her own.

I also had an issue with the way the series ended with the main characters ending up with people they didn’t really care about, with our protagonist ending up with a man who she could not stand in the first half of the last episode. Had they explored this pairing throughout the series, it would have made more sense, but the series focused her feelings for her ex-boyfriend and so seeing that story arc end abruptly in the last episode made no sense. The only thing that seemed to be rooted in any logic in this drama were Jin Oh’s lingering feelings for Mi Roo and his confusion between holding on to a past that may have a future, or a future prospect that involved more than love. On Joo Wan portrays Jin Oh in a way that caused  me to empathize with him, even when he seemed to choose his best interests over the feelings of the women in his life.

Cha Jin Oh (On Joo Wan)

A redeeming factor was the friendship between Mi Roo and Tanya who teach each other to examine their misconceptions about love, romance and sexuality. We see some great moments between the two, as Tanya manages to have Mi Roo’s back, and call shenanigans when needed.

There is nothing like the love from a great friend.

What attracted me to this drama initially besides the premise was that the main actress had a look that was unconventional as producers seem to love the long-haired, doe-eyed look. I did enjoy watching this drama, loved it in the beginning, but with Jin Oh’s new love interest added to the mix it all went downhill from there. Twelve Men in a Year, I lament at the thought of what you could have been.

TtoT Rating: 6 / 10

Writer Hwang Jo Yoon must be a MBLAQ fan boy: two main characters are named after the boys!

[BEDA] Blog Every Day In April: Day 9 – Idol Who Doesn’t Give a Sh*t

Today’s entry writes itself, as this idol has been called out for her apathetic behaviour before. She’s about as excited about her work as I am which either speaks volumes about her taste in music or her work ethic.

She looks pretty dead in the Roly Poly video (from 5:03 onwards):

To be fair, she could just be under nourished and lacking the physical energy needed to perform on stage and act in a drama. She must be putting in 60+ hour weeks so I am willing to cut her some slack.

#BEDA Blog Every Day In April: #Kpop Superlative Challenge, Day 4 – Hobo

For today’s post I think that I will deviate a little from the list and choose someone who has had an active career as a musician/singer but isn’t necessarily an idol. I chose an idol yesterday, so I think it is okay to go with a celebrity/entertainer this time. This individual is insanely popular, has been credited as being a celebrity that has advanced Hallyu and is the Prince of Asia, at least according to his twitter handle. I loved him back when he was sporting the fade in Beethoven Virus and am waiting for the day he goes back to it, but I doubt it is any time soon.

4. Idol Celebrity/musician/actor/Hallyu-spreader most likely to become a hobo

When you think hobo who else would come to your mind besides the Prince of Asia, Jang Geun Seok? If you watched Mary Stayed Out All Night then you know what I am talking about. Some may call him a hipster but JGS is crossing that fine line between hip and hobo-chic.

Exhibit A:

If you aren’t convinced, check out what he wore to an awards ceremony, Exhibit B:

Hobo Chic

Runner Up: Taemin

Toronto to Tokyo’s Spring Playlist, Part 1

It’s that time of the year when we shed our layers and welcome whatever the world has to bring. Here are some of my favourite songs that I have on endless loop. I’ve included a mix of pop and indie folk/rock from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. What are your favourites? Any you would like […]

Why #kdrama What’s Up’s is So Great

Alternate title: My love for Lee Byung Gun.

***WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS (OF A DRAMA YOU SHOULD WATCH)***

When I think of how this drama almost never saw the light of day, it makes me love this little gem of a drama even more. Why? The (Korean) drama universe is saturated with average fare, pretty people but very little else in the acting, writing, and/or directing department. They are the drama equivalent of background noise, on when other tasks are at hand, to fill in that dreadful silence that sometimes creeps up around you.

And then every so often, a drama comes along and offers happiness in a 45 minute bundle and continues to do so for the duration of its run. What’s Up was this kind of drama.  From episode one, I had a huge goofy grin plastered on my face while watching it. It was funny, there were multiple plot threads that fed into the main storyline, and they could sing! And not just blurt out some notes and call it a day- they were really good at it.   Usually in a musical kdrama, we’re told that __X___ is an amazing singer, the best they have ever heard. All this anticipation builds up and then we hear them sing. And, boy, would it anticlimactic to say the least.

For once, the level of talent blew me away. Each and every one of them. Except Daesung. We know how great he is and his vocals are highlighted beautifully in this drama. But then there’s this precious little thing (Park Tae Yi portrayed by Kim Ji Won) wandering the halls, lost and can’t find her away around campus. She sings… and my mouth is wide open. Beautiful voice. So pretty it hurts. And then I have this huge grin on my face, because she can sing, and my day is all the more better because I got to hear it.

 via MiaGranger1992 

Then there is  this guy. Looks ordinary at best. Serious case of the stage heebie-jeebies. That’s a word, right? Heebie-jeebies? A compound word? Lee Byung Gun’s (portrayed by Jo Jung Seok) problem is that he can’t sing in front of others, but (as we expect) he eventually gets over his stage fright . It is the voice that comes out of him hits me by surprise. Wow, I’m thinking, wow! Such strength and control in that voice. And I’m grinning ear-to-ear. The casting agents/producers knew what they were doing when they cast this drama.

via MiaGranger1992 

Sure this drama has its familiar tropes and story lines.  They even have an idol in its cast as is all the rage in Dramaland these days, but they cast an idol with one of the best voices, I would argue, in KPop. However, as a musical drama it delivers because, surprise, all can carry a tune, even tertiary characters.  Even Im Joo Hwan’s got a moment where he sounds pretty good. Like I briefly mentioned there were multiple story threads that all lead to the main story of this group of underdogs who realized their talent and potential (reluctantly, at first) by their lackadaisical professor. Along the way they learn to love and support one another but not without struggle and adversity, even the disgruntled professor.

Ultimately this drama had (mostly) solid acting, writing and direction. Conflict between characters and significant actors in their lives moved the plot along and the characters acted in a plausible manner. I could have done without some scenes like the ones between the has-been starlet and her oh-so-ambitious manager during the last episode and I wish Daesung’s character Do Sung (teehee) had been explored further. The last two episodes made sense within the drama but was also rough in its editing. Overall, you can imagine why I was/am excited, thrilled, loved this drama. Most importantly this was a drama of musical students and they could sing (unlike that other musical drama that aired a little while ago, you know which one I am talking about. Okay so they could carry a tune, but they did now have What’s Up cast-member pipes, but I digress).

The drama also has a great soundtrack (which they need to release, dammit!) and earnest performances by the cast. I will be watching Im Joo Eun & Kim Ji Won’s careers closely, as they have shown great promise (IJE already has some buzz surrounding her).

Im Joo Hwan, Im Joo Hwan! Where have you been all my (kdrama watching) life? You were so great and so convincing. I cried with you, I smiled with you. I seriously cannot wait until this guy gets back from the army as I am highly anticipating his future projects.

But most of all, thank you Lee Byung Gun, or I should be thanking the actor Jo Jung Seok. Your voice was such a treat for the ears and you portrayed Byung Gun in such an endearing way. An effortless performance and I cannot praise him enough.

 via MiaGranger1992 

What’s Up (2011): 9/10

Painter of the Wind (2008) – Beautiful, Moving. #kdrama

Starring: Moon Geun Young, Park Shin Yang, Bae Soo Bin, Ryu Seung Ryeol, Moon Chae Won

Episodes: 20 (Could have watched 20 more!)

Genre: Period, Romance

Much has already been said about this drama, so all I will say about it is that it was beautiful and I got lost in the world created for this drama with MGY. She is an amazing actress, and I remember seeing her in Autumn in My Heart and being blown away by her performance. She draws you into Yun Bok’s world and it’s a wonderful ride. Bae Soo Bin also gives a stellar performance as the King. He gives a moving performance with his eyes alone. I had heard much about Park Shin Yang but had not seen any of his work, and now understand what the big deal his. He steals many scenes (though no easy task given MGY’s talent). I hope these two are paired together again- they were an absolute treat to watch.

This drama moved me in a way that rarely occurs and will forever be in my heart. The OST is hauntingly beautiful.

Rating: 9.5/10

***The reason this drama does not get the full 10 is only because it took me a good 5 episodes to get hooked. Though really I would give it a 10. Drama, I love you!

04/10/11: Watch this drama again, and give it a solid 10/10.

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