Sunday, September 29, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 10

Your Favorite Drama Song?

The Melody "Paradise"

      Coffee Prince has my favorite OST of any drama that I have yet to watch. All the songs are great, varied, and unique. Unlike most dramas that seem to just play the same songs over and over despite the situtations (I'm looking at you Boys Over Flowers), the soundtrack to Coffee Prince is full of wonderful songs that match perfectly to the scenes in which they're used. 

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 17th Movie


Score: 6/10

2013 K-Drama Challenge: Genre Edition-9th Genre


Bang Ja Chronicles

Friday, September 27, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 9

Your Favorite Taiwanese Drama?


       Meteor Garden is my favorite Tdrama but as with the previous question, I'll discuss my 2nd favorite.  Again, it's based on a manga which was actually the first manga that I ever read. Vic Chou and Barbie Hsu have amazing chemistry in this and they were actually a couple when this drama was filmed.  This tdrama is mature and has a more serious tone which I really enjoyed-I tend to not like the overly comical and cheesy tdramas. 

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 15th Movie


Score: 9/10

Thursday, September 26, 2013

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 14th Movie

Farewell, My Concubine

Score: 8/10

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 8

Your Favorite Korean Drama

Secret Garden

     I've already discussed my favorite Kdrama in a previous question but I will talk about a close second - Secret Garden. SG is one of the most popular Korean dramas and one that always pops up on lists and drama mvs. It was the second drama that I ever watched and tits the reason that I am so addicted to Asian dramas today.  SG did so many things right and remains one of the few dramas that I can re-watch and never get tired of. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

52 Week Drama Challenge: Weeks 32-37

Week 32

Let's Go Watch Meteor Garden!

Score: 7/10

Week 33

Adolescence Medley

Score: 9/10

Week 34

School 2013

Score: 9/10

Week 35

Samurai High School


Week 36

Volleyball Lover

Score: 9/10

Week 37

Fondant Garden

Score: 8/10

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 10th Movie

Evil Twin

Score: 6/10

Monday, September 16, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 7

Your Favorite Japanese Drama?

Love Shuffle

      Love Shuffle was a unique jdrama and one of the more mature dramas that I've watched in terms of content and plot. Besides great characters and lots of humor, there were also lots of  plot twists in this drama that I really enjoyed.

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 4th Movie

Art of the Devil

Score: 6/10

Sunday, September 15, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 6

Your Least Favorite Asian Drama

Devil Beside You

     Devil Beside You is a really popular Taiwanese drama and one of the few I've watched. I loved Meteor Garden but DBY really didn't cut it for me. Mike He was fine was Rainie Yang really bothered me-her overacting and comical facial expressions were a real turn off, like Jan Di on crack. I have since learned that that the ultra comical female leads are more common place in Taiwanese dramas hence why I haven't watched a lot more.

Personal Taste

     Lee Min Ho is a decent actor and he's quite handsome but that's not enough for me to suffer through this torture. Besides the boring script and glacial pace, the female lead was one of the worst I've ever seen. She was stupid, annoying and acted like a 5 year old (which made it even creepier when Min Ho starting treating her like one).

Delightful Girl, Choon Hyang

       Another super popular drama that I ended up not liking. This drama was really frustrating and I didn't like any of the lead characters which is always a bad sign. The male lead in DGCH is incredibly annoying and stupid, making me dislike the main couple and the drama entirely.

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 3th Movie

  Doll Master

Score: 7/10

Saturday, September 14, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 5

Your All Time Favorite Asian Drama?

The Princess' Man

          There are a lot of dramas that I love and continue to re-watch.  Funny enough my favorite drama is one that I don't plan on re-watching for at least a couple years due to the emotional roller coaster that it is. The Princess' Man set the standard for a great drama in a lot of ways-intriguing plot, great acting, interesting characters, strong female lead, passionate kiss scenes, good action sequences and a solid ending. TPM isn't perfect but it comes pretty close.

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 2nd Movie

The Cat

Score:  7/10

Friday, September 13, 2013

100 Asian Movies Challenge: 1st Movie

Now and Forever

Score:  7/10

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 4

Your First Taiwanese Drama?

Meteor Garden

     Meteor Garden is my favorite Hana Yori Dango adaptation and one of my favorite dramas of all time. It's from 2001 so the fashions and hairstyles are quite jarring but the drama itself is great and definitely worth watching.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 3

Your First Chinese Drama?

Palace Lock Heart Jade

     Okay, so this question was actually supposed to be about my first Korean drama but I felt that I answered that pretty well in the first question so I changed it-I might do that if I feel the questions get too repetitive or I think of something better. Palace is a historical drama about a girl from this century who travels back in time to the 1700's. Her vast knowledge of history and her quirky personality gains her the attentions of the royal family and she finds herself falling for two of the princes while searching for a way home. Although this is a historical drama it is also a loose adaptation of Hana Yori Dango (I told you I have a problem). It is a long drama at 39 episodes but I really loved it-it was funny, sad, romantic and intriguing.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 2

Your First Japanese Drama?

Hana Yori Dango

     You might begin to notice a pattern and that's because the first dramas I ever watched from Korea, Japan and Taiwan were Hana Yori Dango adaptations (kinda obsessed). Contrary to popular opinion, this is actually my least favorite version right after Let's Go Watch Meteor Garden. If I hadn't read the manga beforehand I think I would have enjoyed it more but I just didn't care for how condensed the story was. Important plot points were either left out entirely or combined with other story lines that just felt out of place. I loved the Makino and Domyouji in this version but the F4 wasn't as good as I'd hoped for. The second season was more enjoyable and I do think that this is a good drama, just not an amazing one.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

60 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 1

  So basically I found a few different Asian drama challenges and instead of choosing one to do I decided to combine both because I'm obviously crazy and have a lot of free time. I like this challenge because I can discuss a lot more dramas.

First Drama You Watched?

Boys Over Flowers

     It's been over a year since I first watched BOF and I've rewatched it countless times since. I've watched some really amazing dramas over the past year and some pretty terrible ones but BOF will always hold a special place in my heart as my first Asian drama and ultimate guilty pleasure.

Top 13 Favorite Korean Dramas

Top 13 Favorite Korean Dramas

I decided to list my favorite Kdramas because it has been over a year since my obsession began. I like dramas with solid stories, interesting characters and strong female leads. All the dramas below are ones that I really loved and rated a 10. 

The Princess’ Man

      Princess Se Ryung is the headstrong and forward-thinking daughter to Grand Prince Su Yang, who is determined to be King. She falls in love with the son of his mortal enemy, and their romance gets caught in the crossfire of her father's quest for the throne.

     The Princess' Man is a beautiful drama and one of the dramas that actually deserves every bit of it's popularity. A Joseon Romeo & Juliet, this drama is filled with revenge, murder,
palatial politics, romance, action and bits of comedy. Park Shi Hoo and Moon Chae Won are superb as the star crossed leads and the supporting characters are equally as good. I love this drama but I would have trouble re-watching because of how emotionally taxing it is. This is the best Korean drama that I've seen and I highly recommend it. 

Secret Garden

     The drama tells the story of Kim Joo Won, an arrogant and eccentric CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection, and Gil Ra Im, a poor and humble stunt woman whose beauty and body are the object of envy amongst top actresses. Their accidental meeting, when Joo Won mistakes Ra Im for actress Park Chae Rin, marks the beginning of a tense, bickering relationship, through which Joo Won tries to hide a growing attraction to Ra Im that both confuses and disturbs him. To complicate matters further, a strange sequence of events results in them swapping bodies.

      Where do I even begin to describe how I feel about this drama? It was the second kdrama that I ever watched and it cemented my addiction to Asian dramas. It's not a completely perfect drama but it does so many things right and I've come to appreciate it even more after a year and 100+ dramas later. It had great characters, the leads had amazing chemistry, it was funny, it was romantic, it had great kiss scenes, the story didn't drag, the second female lead was awesome and most importantly it ended beautifully with all the story lines neatly tied up. 

Coffee Prince

     A tomboy is mistaken for a young man, but maintains the deception for the sake of employment. The situation is complicated when her male boss begins to develop feelings for this "boy".

     My first gender bender which made me love the subgenre. It's kind of a running joke that most of the time the female pretending to be a boy completely fails at looking anything close to masculine. Go Eun Chan however, manages to actually pass off as a believable male. Besides being the best gender bender, Coffee Prince is pretty great in many other areas as well. The soundtrack is amazing, Gong Yoo is fantastic, the kiss scenes are passionate and the side characters are interesting.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

        One day after Cha Dae Woong runs away from his grandfather, he accidentally frees a nine-tailed fox who was trapped in a painting for about 500 years. He didn't realize what he has done, until the Gumiho (nine-tailed fox),who took the form of a beautiful woman, appeared in front of him. Dae Woong was so frightened that he ran away from her and became severely injured. The Gumiho saved him by giving him her most precious bead to share with him the mystic fox strength, as she owed him her freedom. The Gumiho then asked him to help her become human and teach her how to act like one. As time goes by, their mutual relationship grew deeper as they start to fall for each other.

     One of the cutest kdramas but with depth. I fell hard for Shin Min Ah as Mi Ho-she was a great female lead that was upfront about her feelings which is quite rare in dramaland. Lee Seung Gi was also great and equally adorable as Dae Woong and No Min Woo sizzled as the mysterious Dong Joo. 

Me Too, Flower!

     A tough female police officer who suffers from depression falls in love with a young multimillionaire whom she initially believed was a parking attendant. Instead of counting her lucky stars, she is taken aback by how rich he is. Officer Cha Bong-sun is a peculiar woman who defies the rigid social hierarchy and rails against it. And Seo Jae-hee, the millionaire boyfriend, is an eccentric man who falls in love with this quirky police officer. 

     Me Too, Flower was a drama that didn't do well ratings wise but that I really enjoyed. I'm always a big fan of strong and unique female leads. Bong Sun isn't perfect by any means but that's what makes her so relatable-she suffers from depression as well as issues with anger and trust. This doesn't make her an unlikable character but rather a realistic one. Yoon Shi Yoon's character is so opposite from her yet they fit together so perfectly.

I Hear Your Voice

     A drama about public defenders who take on the toughest cases with less than 1% chance of winning. Jang Hye Sung is a bold, sassy, and comical female lawyer. She has a sharp tongue and finds it hard to be enthusiastic about what she does. Cha Kwan Woo is a serious, passionate and macho former police officer who becomes a government lawyer. Meanwhile, Park Soo Ha is a 19 year old boy who has the ability to read people's minds. Together they will team up to solve the cases no one else wants, cases that only have a one percent chance of being found innocent.

      2013 is turning out to be a great year for dramas and here is another prime example. I Hear Your Voice was really hyped on the net so I decided to check it out and was surprised by how fantastic it was.  There are a lot of courtroom cases and legal proceedings but they were interesting and well paced. The story was good, the characters are great and the drama was all around superb.

That Winter, The Wind Blows

       "The Winter, The Wind Blows" is a story about a man who is known to be the best gambler in Cheongdam neighborhood. He lives a meaningless life after being abandoned by his parents and failing at his first love relationship. In order to pay his debt, he starts living with a rich girl who is the heir to a large corporation. However, he falls in love with the girl, who is also as lonely as him. She has also lived a difficult life. She has lost her eyesight and her father has passed away. She will have to protect herself from those around her.

       A great melodrama and one of my favorites of the year. The thing I really love about TWTWB is that all the characters are flawed-they all are a mixture of good and bad traits making them more realistic. I was glued to the screen while watching and I'm pretty sure that I cried at least once every episode. 

Shut Up! Flower Boy Band

      Byung Hee is the crazy, free-spirited leader and vocalist of the popular underground rock group, Eye Candy. Joining him is mood-maker Ji Hyuk, chic Hyun Soo, playboy Ha Jin, silent Do Il and baby-faced Kyung Jong. These boys rule their school until a redevelopment plan forces the delinquent-ridden school to close down. They're all assigned a transfer to Jungsang High, but debate whether it's even worth returning to high school at all. However, due to an outside confrontation with Jungsang's current ruling band, Strawberry Fields, Eye Candy decides to attend Jungsang out of spite and rule the school once again.

     Bromance rules in this drama and I loved every second of it. Besides the unique focus on friendship, SUFBB also has one of the best soundtracks of any drama I've ever watched. 

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

       Sungkyunkwan Scandal is set in Sungkyunkwan University in the late Joseon era during the reign of King Jeongjo, revolving around the exploits and love stories of four youths. When her younger brother's illness worsens and their family is in danger of being evicted from their house for lack of money, Kim Yoon Hee enters the school under his name, disguised as a boy in her desperation to support him. There, she becomes friends with the intelligent and upright Lee Sun Joon, the playboy Goo Yong Ha and rebellious Moon Jae Shin.

     Being a historical drama and a gender bender, SS combines two of my favorite genres in one.  Although the main story line is good, it's ultimately the supporting characters that make this drama amazing. 

Reply 1997

     "Reply 1997" will focus on the extreme fan culture that emerged in the 1990's when idol groups took center stage and K-pop was blossoming. Moving back and forth between the ’90s and today, the story centers on the life of Seong Si Won, who idolizes boyband H.O.T, and her 5 high school friends.

      My favorite drama of 2012, Reply 1997 was quite a surprise in the fact that it had so many twists and turns. It is funny and sad, heart-warming and heart wrenching but well worth the roller coaster of emotions that you endure. 

Can You Hear My Heart?

      The love story of Cha Dong Joo, man who's been rendered deaf after an accident but pretends he can hear, and Bong Woo Ri, a woman who's intelligent but pretends she's dim-witted to protect the dignity of her mentally handicapped father.

    Can You Hear My Heart is another melodrama that had me in tears for the majority of it's 30 episodes.  CYHMH is full of angst, tears and secrets but manages to rise above it's cliche ridden plot to become something more than the sum of it's parts. The two male leads (Dong Joo and Ma Ro) are amazing and more than enough reason to watch this one.

Unexpected You

     This drama tells the story of a TV series director Cha Yoon Hee and a surgeon Bang Gwi Nam after they get married. Things become complicated when Yoon Hee meets her unreasonable mother-in-law Uhm Chung Ae and all of her in-laws.

    The longest drama on this list and still the longest one that I have to complete (58 episodes). There are a lot of characters but each one has an interesting story and personality. Out of all of the relationships in this drama the one between tomboyish Bang Yi Sook and eccentric Chun Jae Yong is my favorite.

Smile, You

     Seo Jung In is the second daughter of a chaebol family, whose family suddenly meets with financial ruin. She is dumped by her husband, Lee Han Se, after their wedding ceremony when his family finds out about her family's financial problems. Her family is then left with no other alternative but to move in with their longtime chauffeur's family. The once rich and spoiled daughter and her family must now learn how to adjust to life as commoners in the Kang household.

      I am a huge fan of love/hate relationships and they don't get any better than that of Jung In and Hyun Su. The progression of their relationship from hate to love is both hilarious and romantic.  Smile, You is a longer drama (45 episodes) but just as all the dramas on this list, it is well worth the time. 

*The plot synopsis for each drama was taken from great site to find, rate and discuss Asian dramas.