Tag Archives: Kdrama

What I’m Into Recently: Jimmy Fallon, Million-Dollar Chocolate Bar, Voluspa Goji & Tarocco Orange candle

Nicole Kidman informing Jimmy Fallon that she was into him that one time she visited him apartment is one of the most adorable things I’ve seen in weeks.

Barton’s Milk Chocolate Million-Dollar Bar. How adorable is this?? A sweets shop just opened close to where I work, and while I rarely eat candy, I did of course check out their chocolate selection and found this. How Willy-Wonka is this? Unfortunately the quality of the chocolate isn’t great, but this is a great stocking stuffer or fun/prank gift. I can tell you, some small part of me expected to find a Golden Ticket in this as I unwrapped it. Never stop living in dreams, kids. Note: you can buy these at World Market.

23965-Bartons-Million-Dollar-Milk-Chocolate-Bar-2-Oz

Voluspa Goji & Tarocco Orange candle. Have I mentioned before how obsessed with Anthropologie’s Voluspa candles I am? It’s really really hard to find candles that are long-burning and have a strong, lasting scent, but these are scent magic, the perfect candle. I gravitate toward citrus scents in all candles and perfume so it’s no surprise that my favorite is the Voluspa Goji & Tarocco Orange with notes of goji berry, ripe mango and tarocco orange. It’s an incredibly deep, rich, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, heavenly smell. These also burn forever and the scent, while not overwhelming, distinctively floats over the entire space, unlike every other candle brand I’ve ever tried (Luminesccence which Sears sells comes in second, but has a much more bland scent range).

voluspa goji tarocco orange candle review

 

And finally, this music video for Kdrama Pinocchio is gorgeously romantic.

 

Favorite Asian Dramas: #1-5 – Mars, Coffee Prince, Nobuta wo Produce, Thank You, Tsuki no Koibito Reviews

 

2)The First Shop of Coffee Prince(Korean)
Coming in at #2 is much-loved, wildly famous Coffee Prince, starring Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun-Hye.

Eun-chan (Yoon Eun-Hye) plays a girl who’s had to grow up quickly in order to keep her family going after the death of her father. When a wealthy, irresponsible coffee-shop owner mistakes her for a boy and hires her to pretend to be his boyfriend so that his family will think he’s gay and let him off the marriage hook, a whole series of events are set in motion. When Eun-chan later goes to work at his coffeeshop, an intense attraction springs up between the two – but he still thinks she’s a man.

My take: Coffee Prince is just standout in Korean dramas – it’s well-written, well-acted, well-directed, with a lovely soundtrack featuring indie artists and stellar performances from both Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun-hye; it’s funny, offbeat, and romantic, doesn’t drag until perhaps the very end, has a cast of charmingly quirky(and good-looking!) supporting characters, has an unconventional romance trope(guy falls in love with girl whom he thinks is a guy), and even more importantly has that extra spark of magic that just pulls a whole drama together and makes it out-of-the-world amazing.

When it gets good/Got me! moment: end of second episode

Fav scene: it’s tied between The Kiss(you know the one;) and the bumping-into-each-other on the street as they’re both picking up what she dropped

Watch online

3)Nobuta wo Produce (Japanese)

nobuta wo produce

Popular, good-looking Kiritani Shuji (Kame) has it all – the unofficial king of his high school, he’s loved by everyone from the cool kids to the nerds. There’s just one person Shuji doesn’t get along with – Akira. The quick-talking, hyperactive Akira rubs Shuji in all the wrong ways. When odd, reserved new girl Nobuko enters the school, she is immediately, viciously bullied. Shuji and Akira agree to work together to transform her into the school queen. An unlikely friendship springs up between the trio.

My take: I came late to the Nobuta fanwagon late, but when I did I fell hard. It was universally recommended to when to try when I first tried Jdramas, and while I liked it then, I just didn’t get it, and stopped after a few episodes. Two years later, with 9 other jdramas under my belt, I tried it again…and magic happened. It instantly shot past all the other jdramas I’d seen to become, not just my favorite jdrama, but one of my favorite dramas ever. And this for a show with very little overt romance!

It pitch-perfect, superbly acted (Kame as Kiritani Shuuji is basically a cross between Ferris Bueller and Jim Stark and won the Japanese equivalent of an Emmy for his lead role), well-produced and directed (light and dark are often interestingly played with and there’s just some lovely shots peppering it throughout), and completely funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and completely heartwarming. A love story, a coming of age tale, a romance, family, and friendship epic. It’s brilliant. It has something for everyone.

When it gets good: I already loved it by the end of the first episode, but the second episode solidified that

Watch online

 

 

HONOURABLE MENTIONSProsecutor Princess, Brilliant Legacy Aishiteiru to itte Kure, Hana Yori Dango 1 &2,  Yamato Nadeshiko Shiche Henge, My Lucky Star, Silence, Wish to See You AgainToGetHer, and Smiling Pasta. These are all dramas which are well-written, compelling, and hugely enjoyable, which I definitely recommend watching if you haven’t seen yet, but just didn’t quite have that spark of consistent magic that I require in my top dramas, or just don’t have my heart in the definitive way the others do.  

NEXT: Favorite Asian dramas #6-9

Korean Drama Review: Pinocchio starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk

pinocchio drama

Wikipedia | Watch online on Viki

Pinocchio is a currently-airing Korean drama starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk.

Ha-myung (Lee Jong Suk) has a photographic memory (he has to see something only once in order to remember it) and a happy family – his father is a firefighter captain, his mother a loving parent, and his brother shares his gift. One day, however, his father leads his squad into a terrible factory explosion, and when it’s over, most of the squad is dead and Ha-myung’s father has disappeared. The media, grasping hold of the story, sensationalize it as an irresponsible captain killing his squad and then disappearing out of fear, and Ha-myung and his family become nationally despised.

Ha-myung’s mother decides to kill herself and jumps with him into the sea, but Ha-myung is rescued, miles away, by the kindly, elderly Gong-pil. Gong-pil, who has a few screws loose, decides that Ha-myung is his oldest, long-dead son Dal-po, and adopts him. Ha-myung gladly accepts the identity, and is raised alongside Gong-pil’s other son Dal-pyung and his daughter In-ha (Park Shin Hye). The two grow up together and ultimately enter the world of journalism as newbie reporters.

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I can’t say enough about how deeply lovable Pinocchio is. I had a good feeling from the first episode, when it started out quick and charming and assured…

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Korean Drama Roundup/Review: Birth of a Beauty, Pride and Prejudice, Liar Game, Iron Man

korean drama reviews

It’s a dark season for new television. On both sides of the pond – and in this case by “pond” I don’t mean England and the United States but Korea and the United States – the new series that have debuted in the fall have almost universally been disappointments. Here in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of good (and highly-rated television) currently on is the returning favorites, and among the few new successful shows are How to Get Away with Murder and The Flash. The dramas that have premiered and aired in the past few months have also almost all been disappointments, and at this point I’m just impatiently waiting for Pinocchio (starring my love Park Shin Hye!) later this month, Healer in December, and Jekyll, Hyde (starring Hyun Bin!) in January.

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Kdrama Review: Iron Man/Blade Man starring Lee Dong Wook and Shin Se Kyung

ironmankdramareview The most puzzling thing about this slightly odd drama is that it’s not based on a manwha. It seems tailor-made to have been based on one of the melodramatic, romantic manwhas that are so often the rage in Korea and Japan. And yet it’s an original creation from screenwriter Kim Kyu Wan – to which all I can say is, you got grit, to break from the tailor-made drama template most screenwriters use in this way. Kim Kyu Wan tends to write problematic dramas with a lot of potential, like Cinderella’s Sister and Robber. Iron Man centers on Joo Hong Bin (Lee Dong Wook), the oddball CEO of a hugely successful game company (video games, not board games). A chance encounter with Son Se Dong, an aspiring game designer, and the unexpected appearance of a young son he didn’t know existed, turns Hong Bin’s world upside down.

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Recommended Kdrama: Marriage not Dating

MarriageNotDating21
I am very charmed by Marriage Not Dating. One of my favorite things in rom-coms is when both leads are, from the start, very genuinely good people, a little quirky or neurotic or rough around the edges, but with kind hearts.

And both are quickly established as such – Ki Tae is an arrogant, careless rich boy, but when he sees someone in front of him who is genuinely devastated – Jang Mi – who has just been ruthlessly dumped by one of his best friends – he repeatedly, and immediately, comes to her rescue and supports her instead of his friend.

She’s a complete stranger, and yet her pain clearly does reach him. I haven’t seen Yun Woo Jin in anything else but he is that great blend of charismatic cool and yet able to convey concern, longing, attraction etc. with just a glance. Largely because of him, the two (Jang Mi and he) have great chemistry from the very first episode.

Also? The plot is adorable. Jang Mi is a retail assistant and hopeless romantic who decides to propose to her boyfriend of a year. When he walks into the lovenest she’s created in a hotel room, he panics and calls his friend Ki Tae. From there, he decides to break up with her by completely ignoring her. Jang Mi, determined, tracks him down and gets the truth from him, and her heart broken along with it. Meanwhile, Ki Tae’s grandmother has spotted Jang Mi arguing with Ki Tae and thinks that she is a current girlfriend that he is treating badly. She blackmails Ki Tae into announcing an engagement or else moving out of his childhood home where he now lives alone.

And thus –  hijinks! Contract engagement/marriage storylines are some of my favorite because they force a lot of domesticity and constant interaction between the lead couple, and it’s pure deliciousness watching feigned feelings turn slowly into real ones.

Check it out!

City Hunter – “Please Don’t Go”

Gorgeous City Hunter MV.

Favorite Asian Dramas #6-8

Continuing the series as we count backward, see the previous post Favorite Asian Dramas #9-12

6)Devil Beside You (Taiwanese)

I know some people who love the other Mike He/Rainie Yang drama Why Why Love a good deal more, but for me this was the first drama I saw them in and one of my first Taiwanese dramas ever, and while it could be argued that WWL has a more consistent plot, DBY has my heart. It was love at first fight when Qi Yue(Rainie Yang), after gathering all her courage to hand a letter of confession to her long-time crush Yuan Yi(Kingone Wang), hands it by accident instead to bad boy Jiang Meng(Mike He), the school troublemaker known as “the Devil”. The exchange sparks the Devil’s interest and he begins pursuing her, to her horror, which becomes even greater when she realizes that he’s the son of the man her mother’s going to marry and that they’ll be living in the same house from then on…

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Boys Before Flowers/Korean Hanadan quotes

 “Just because you’re gone doesn’t mean chaos will erupt in South Korea”-Goo Jun Pyo

Episode 2:

“The moment I see your face, it feels like bugs are crawling all over my body” – Jandi

Episode 4:

“Since I was with you for one whole night, tell them that I’d take responsibility of you.” – Junpyo

Episode 5:

“How can a tiny and skinny person have such a loud voice? Did you eat a train’s heart?” – Jun Pyo

Episode 6:

Episode 7:

“The type of guy I hate the most?” – Junhee
“A disgraceful guy, A stingy guy, A guy that can’t let go of the past.” – Junpyo
“A guy that brags about himself? – Junhee
“A disgraceful guy.” – Junpyo
“A guy that never forgives his friends? – Junhee
“A stingy guy.” – Junpyo
“A guy that can’t accept his defeat? – Junhee
“A guy that can’t let go of the past.” – Junpyo
“Okay, then.” – Junhee
“If you were the friend who remembered that we watched this 11 times, then it wouldn’t have gone this far.” – Junpyo

Episode 8:

“Just once…tell me that you like me. Then all of this will be over.” – Jun Pyo

“If everything can be settled by the word sorry, why would then law and police exist?” – Ji-Hoo

Episode 9:

Goo Jun Pyo: “What are you, the little match girl? why are you without your gloves?”
Jandi: “I have gloves!”

“There’s no such thing as Jun Pyo’s world or Jandi’s world. Just like you and I are of the same world.” -Ji Hoo

“I liked him better when he was messing up proverbs.” – Yijung

“I’m so busy that I don’t even rememeber that you didn’t call me for 3 days and13 hours!” -Goo Jun Pyo

“You.. you get touched by such trivial things!” – Goo Jun Pyo

Episode 11:

“Does she have an ancestor who died on a date?” – Jun Pyo

Episode 12:

“What’s this?” – Jandi
“Can’t you tell? It’s a necklace.” – Junpyo
“Hey, this won’t do. I know you have weird taste, but this is a girl’s!” – Jandi
“You dummy. It’s yours.” – Junpyo
“What?” – Jandi

“I said it’s yours. There’s only one in the world, so if you lose this one, I’ll really kill you.” – Junpyo

“You do this every time. Whenever I try to get closer, you trample my heart like it’s nothing. Do I still mean so little to you?” – Jun Pyo

“I came to find your heart. I didn’t lose it on purpose.” – Jandi

Misc:

Jandi : “It’s strange. “
Ji-hoo : “What’s strange?”
Jandi : “Whenever the emergency bell rings in my heart, you always appear. “
Ji-hoo : “Then let me be.”
Jandi : “What?”
Ji-hoo : “Let me be Geum Jan Di’s honourable firefighter.”

Episode 20

“Just let me stay like this for five minutes…then I’ll get up” – Junpyo

I Need Romance 3

Teaser for the upcoming Kdrama rom-com I Need Romance 3 (stand-alone, not a sequel) and wow, the sexual chemistry between Kim So-Yeon and Sung Joon is crackling. Kim So-Yeon is among my top 5 Korean actresses so I think I’ll be checking this out. 

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