Category: Films & Television

Reunited Worlds – KDrama Review

Reunited Worlds poster

Reunited Worlds – KDrama Review

I have just started watching this drama and I have to admit totally enjoying it.

It somehow reminded me of an old favourite French drama Les Revenants (The Returned).  It has a hint of the French drama where someone who was dead returned one day as if nothing happened.

Probably Reunited Worlds is indeed Korean’s version of the French Les Revenants.

Sung Hae Sung (played by Yeo Jin-Goo) was a revenant.  He died, having been hit by a car, when he was 18 years old.  He left behind four siblings and his grandmother.  This was sad and rather ‘inconvenient’ for his family as he was the man of the house, the breadwinner.

There were flashbacks when he was still in middle school (high school) and he had a very good friend, who would have been his girlfriend had he lived.  The girl was Jung Won (played by Jung Chae Yeon as the 18 years old and Lee Yeon Hee as the 31 years old Jung Won).  He also had a posse of male friends.

Anyway 12 years on after Hae Sung’s death, a flying disc greatly intrigued lots of people, especially students at a high school.  They watched the disc falling/flying from the sky.  But there was one student sleeping on a ledge of the rooftop who turned out to be Sung Hae Sung.

The next scene was that students poured out into the rooftop to get a better look of the flying disc only to see him.  Hae Sung was a stranger to them as he was wearing a non-standard uniform.  He also felt confused himself as they were all unfamiliar faces.

He run to his old school room and found a teacher who said that the uniform he was wearing used to be what the students wore 12 -10 years ago.

Poor Hae Sung was so confused.  In his mind it was still 2005 not 2017.  He run all the way to his old house to check on his family but another family lives there now.  He had a run in with the new owner who struck him on the head with a wood.  He ended up in the police station all bruised and battered.  When he was asked his age he gave them his date of birth but they won’t believe him as he obviously looks 18 rather than 31.  The police did hit on his record and showed his photo which looked exactly like him and the date of birth he gave matched.  But it also said that he was deceased.

In the same police station, he met an old school friend who fainted right away upon seeing him.  He was eventually updated on what had gone on.

Hae Sung has powers.  He heals quickly and he has super strength.

It was lovely when Hae Sung and Jung Won finally met.

In the background there was a man who watches him.  He asked Hae Sung whether he had just ‘returned’?

I can’t wait for the next episodes.

Highly recommended

The Masked Lover (Taiwanese Drama Review)

The Masked Lover

The Masked Lover (Taiwanese Drama Review)

After the end of the drama, Love ’til the End of Summer, I have decided to watch this drama next.

I have just watched the first episode and it is a cracking good hokum.

It is about a rather maverick police officer, Gu Lei Jun (played by Weber Young), who infiltrated a large corporation, Yi Qing Group, managed by a powerful Mafia boss, Wu Ping An (played Mini Tsai).

Wu Ping An met an accident that put her in a coma.

Her mother called Wu Ping An’s twin sister, Wu Ping Fan (also played by Mini Tsai), who lives an independent and rather innocent life in America to return back to take the place of her sister on an important deal – her sister’s pet project – a resort.  She has to act like a sister and will have battle of wills against another mafia overlord.  The meeting ended up in a fight and Gu Lei Jun was there, ready to save her.

As a reward Gu Lei Jun requested to work with her, which she granted.

Anyway, the first episode is full packed of action sequences and a bit of romance already.

Episode 2

They have just introduced the second male lead,Chao Tien-Hsing (played by Kurt Chau, and I must say he is drop dead gorgeous.  And his wooing of the nurse, Ku Ching-Hsuan (played by Genie Chen) is just the sweetest.

The drama became extra watchable because of these two.

…….

I have just binged watched up to 17 episodes of this drama, which is apparently ending towards the end of this month.

I have to admit that I have fast-forwarded a bit, concentrating mainly on the second lead characters, who have  a cuter, sweeter story line.

I love it and can’t wait for the next episode.

Princess Hours: Korean or Thai Version?

Korean Version

Thai Version

Princess Hours: Korean or Thai Version?

Princess Hours or better known as Goong, being the original Korean version, is a classic story of an ordinary girl marrying into royalty.

Goong was based on Korean’s manhwa, which is similar to Japanese’s more famous manga.

Goong, the series, was shown in 2006 starring Yoon Eun-Hye and Ju Ji-hoon.  It was widely popular throughout Asia.  Why wouldn’t it be?  Now and again we need that feel-good factor of a rags to riches fairy tale story.  It gives us hope that it could happen to us as well. 🙂

Thai’s version is being shown right now.  I must say it is a very watchable as the main characters are very likeable.

Though this 2017 Thai version added a few twists and turns here and there, the framework is still basically the same as the Korean version.

Korean actress, Yoon Eun-Hye made the role, Chae-Kyung, hers and is an outstanding actress.  It was, therefore, extremely hard for the young Thai actress, Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha, to better Eun-Hye.  But having said that Ungsumalynn delivers a likeable performance as the crown princess, Kanning.

The wedding in the Thai version was believable as a royal wedding, Ungsumalynn was so beautiful and Phiangphor Sarasathapheng was drop-dead gorgeous crown prince, and there is that splendour to it.

Anyway the story is about an old fashion arranged marriage. 🙂

The previous king once promised an old friend, who saved his life or kingdom, that they should marry their respective heirs to one another.  As the promise was made a long time ago, the current royal family could have ignore it but the present king was the upright and honourable sort and rather ailing.  He wanted to see that the succession to the thrown is fully established should anything happen to him.  He, therefore, ordered through emotional blackmail, his son to marry the daughter of the old king’s friend.

The story is more complicated as the prince was in love with another girl who was a ballet dancer in the Korean version, while an Olympic level archer in the Thai.

Minnie, prince’s ex,  played by Jongjaiphar Suthada, has flaring nostrils and combatant facial expression,  was easy to dislike.  She gets all the ire.

For the Korean version the role was played by Song Ji-hyo, who has since become a very popular actress.  She plays Hyo-rin and was rather charming.  Therefore, the anger for the unhappiness of the  Korean crown princess, Chae-Kyung, was directed to the crown prince for his indecisiveness. LOL

The acting and script in Goong is better written.  There is a seriousness about it.  While the Thai is more of a mild caricature of the original.  Thus both provide their own respective charm.  A modern day Cinderella is always a welcome watch to break the humdrum of everyday routiine 🙂

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

Love Till The End of Summer

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

In this world, there are no geniuses, only lazy fools. – Fu Xiao Si

The first 4 episodes of this Chinese drama have just been subbed (subtitled in English).

I have watched the first episode and I am hooked.  Love the characters, who are of course, shiny and bright, well they are still pure and innocent, afterall it is only the first episode. 🙂

The drama started on how the main characters met in high school and from then on will forge a life-long friendship, according to the blurb anyway.  Apparently this drama is based on a spectacularly popular novel by Guo Jingming, Rush to the Dead Summer.  The novel chapters ten years in the lives of the friends from high school to when they spread their wings into the world and make and put mark into their own destiny.  (From 1995 – 2005.)

The friends were Li Xia, Xiao Si, Lu Zhi Ang, Cheng Qi Qi & Yu Jian

Apparently even if life is being rather shitty 🙂 all hardships are surmountable if love is present in your life!  I would like to see more of that!  🙂

Sounds interesting.

So far so good.

……

Li Xia, the leading female is supposed to be ultra sweet, pure and innocent.  But sometimes I find her rather annoying.  Her innocence goes beyond being sweet.  She is either a consummate flirt or stupid.  Fancy over-pouring chemicals into a beaker! She just wanted Xiao Si to hold her hands.  There are times also that she is lifeless, spaced out!!! You just want to shake her from her stupor.

Li Xia has pouted her way to episode 38.  Why can’t she be more animated?!!!

……

Updates:  Do not read if you do not want to know what is going on!

Just watched episode 38.  It is much darker than the sweet high school life of Li Xia, Xiao Si and Lu Zhi Ang.

Cheng Qi Qi is now a famous singer in a very cutthroat business and she was behaving like a tigress protecting her domain even from her friends.

Cheng Qi Qi saw Yu Jian as a potential rival that she personally ensured Yu Jian does not progress into her climb in the ladder of musical success.

The cute Lu Zhi Ang is still hung up on Li Xia but has found a cute girl, Yan Mo, who was a bit of a stalker.  She was too full on but she does grow on you.  She is feisty and spunky.

Xiao Si has been diagnosed with colour blindness, which is rather fatal to his career as a painter.  In fact he was being sued for fakery because his previous works were different from his current ones.

We all know that when the main characters have promised to be together forever no matter what during the course of the drama, it can only mean one thing, a nail in the coffin of their relationship.

And it comes in episode 41-42.

Qi Qi called Li Xia to ‘confess’ who the supposed father of her unborn baby.  It turned out it was Xiao Si from a drunken one night stand about 2 months ago.

Li Xia sought a break from her relationship with Xiao Si, she up and left.

Xiao Si then went to see Qi Qi, who was only too happy to meet up.  She said she wants to start over and raise a family together.  Xiao Si said that he will take responsibility for the baby( he does not remember if he did sleep with Qi Qi) but nothing else.  He then left immediately.

Behind the scene, Zhi Ang still played the protector to Xian Si, who was having trouble with a vengeful hard-done-by painter.  Unfortunately Zhi Ang half killed the painter resulting in Zhi Ang to run and be  fugitive from the law.

 

Episode 43

This is a sad one. I thought Yu Jian was going to get her forever happiness with the lovely Duan Qiao.  But on their way to their registry office wedding, Duan Qiao said he had to leave Yu Jian for a brief moment to get a surprise for her.  You are shouting no, don’t do that. You can see a mile off what was going to happen!  He was going to get run over!  And he did. Yu Jian was ‘widowed’ before even married.

…..

There are those who say that there are 48 episodes altogether but there those who say that there are only 46 episodes.

Anyway 45 & 46 have nicely concluded the drama, though some might say it is an open-ended one especially on the relationship between Xiao Si and Li Xia.  Earlier on, it showed Li Xia with a new man and looked like there were engaged and shopping for their new house.

Qi Qi is shown looking rather forlorn and all alone, no sign of a baby (I am not sure whether she made up the whole pregnancy thing as I can’t watch episode 44, it was a broken link).

Thank goodness, there is some sort of a happy ending with one of the couples.  Lu Zhi Ang, after his release from 3 years incarceration, and Yan Mo got married.

There was a rather poignant scene between Yan Mo and her father on the eve of her wedding, which is a very nice touch.

The last bit of episode 46 showed Xiao Si catching the wedding bouquet and the next scene was seeing Li Xia in front of him.  Awww Does it mean they are going to get it together again?!!!

Noodles for Longevity

Spaghetti Bolegnase, Photo by PH Morton

Noodles for Longevity

I was watching an episode of Father is Strange last weekend when there was a scene where the family insisted Joon-Young, who finally passed his civil service exam after many tries, to slurp the whole of the noodle strands rather than biting into it.

I was intrigued enough that I googled what it meant.  🙂

Apparently it is a Chinese tradition (or superstition), which seems to have a widespread effect that neighbouring countries had adapted it.  I know in the Philippines, eating noodles is a must during birthdays.  The long strand means longevity of life.  I was not aware though that you had to slurp the whole thing into your mouth and then chew, rather than biting a bit of it as you chew.

Anyway, it is encouraged to slurp the strand in all its length so that one does not cut off one’s span of life.

Thank goodness, this superstition is applied only on birthdays and other milestone celebrations.

I couldn’t be going to restaurants, especially posh ones, and slurping my pasta down my throat. It would be unethical and extremely embarrassing.  LOL

 

Love, Timeless – Taiwanese Drama Review

Love, Timeless poster

Love, Timeless – Taiwanese Drama Review

I love this drama. Love it, love it!

It is a time travel, going back to ten years ago when the characters of the story were in their sophomore college.

(By the way, as per time travel studies and research, it is impossible to go back in time but it may be possible to go into the future.) 🙂

The drama posed the question “What would you do if you can travel back in time?”

Would you change the course of your life?

Would you repeat it as it is?

Would you approach that goddess you had a huge crush on in the past?

Would you cherish that someone, who’s always been there for you?

Zhao Yu and Kai Jia lived together back when they were in college. Zhao Yu’s family looked after Kai Jia as her mother had passed away whilst her no-good of a father was in prison.

Kai Jia had secretly love Zhao Yu for more than 10 years.  She thought her love was  finally realised when a drunken Zhao Yu slept with her at present time.  Zhao immediately put her in the right that he had only ever looked at her as a sister and their sleeping together was a mistake – a big mistake, a drunken one-night stand.  He does not feel anything for her.  Kai Jia was absolutely heartbroken.

Back when they were younger in college, they had a little group of friends comprising of Zhao Yu (Nick Chau), Kai Jia (Summer Meng), Ruo Bi (Huang Wei Ting), Li Jun Ren (Chang Chieh), Hai Meng (Johnny Yang) and Zhi Ni (Lan Ya Yun)  who always meet at the clock tower.

At this time, Ruo Bi and Jun Ren had gotten married but the marriage is an unhappy one with infidelity and misunderstanding involved.

Zhao Yu is having problems in his workplace and Kai Jia was pining from unrequited love.

Out of the blue, Zhao Yu and Kai Jia received a message from Chen Ruo Bi, the goddess, the girl everybody ( including Zhao Yu) was in love with in college.  The message was to meet up at the old clock tower, where they used to meet and share happy memories.

Anyway, they found Rou Bi Li by the edge of the top of the tower with her guitar and was poised to jump.

Out of a sudden, Kai Jia and Zhao Yu were transported to when they were in college.

From all the confusion of having history literally repeating itself, Kai Jia resolved to start over and get over her one-sided-love with Zhao Yu.

For some reason Jun Ren had taken quite a shine with Kai Jia.

(I thought Jun Ren and Kai Jia had such a good chemistry.  I actually like them to get together!!! 🙂 )

But Zhao Yu is suddenly behaving like a dog in a manger, though he wants a chance with Ruo Bi, his college crush, who incidentally returns Zhao Yu’s feelings as well, he doesn’t want Kai Jia taken away from him.  He was besides himself when Jun Ren and Kai Jia decided to have a weekend away for just the two of them.

Episode 9 also showed that Zhao Yu and Kai Jia are not the only time travellers.  Jun Ren was one as well.  He was trying to change the course of his life, ergo,  being more attentive to Kai Jia as he said he was not really in love with Ruo Bi.  Their marriage was a business transaction between their families.

That is the gist of the story.

I love it and it was quite hard to wait for the next instalment.  It is a 90 minutes each of 15 episodes.  Can’t wait for next week.

………….

18 July 2017

Episode 13 has just been shown and it is a cracking good one.

The pairings are finally being realised properly.

Can’t wait for next week, the penultimate episode.

I am going to miss this drama.

Must See Japanese Dramas (JDramas)

Must See Japanese Dramas (JDramas)

Japanese dramas have their own niche.  It is as popular as the Korean dramas internationally.  Some say that Japanese dramas are the best among the lot. 🙂

Well having watched various dramas from South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand and even the Philippines, Japanese dramas I think are the most cerebral and the most arty.  When you are watching a Japanese drama, you’ll find the ending as not as predictable as its counterparts from the above countries.

Perhaps this is the reason why many of Japanese dramas are remade by the other Southeast Asian countries.

Anyway, my list is not complete, a work in progress, and not in any order: –

  • Hana Yori Dango
  • My Boss, My Hero
  • Age Harassment
  • Papa to Musume no Nanokakan
  • Nobuta wo Produce
  • 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made

  • Nodame Cantibile
  • Attention Please
  • Fragile
  • Seisei Suruhodo, Aishiteru

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Love, Timeless poster

The Masked Lover

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Taiwanese dramas are very dear to my heart 🙂

They make soap operas that are believable.  They are funny one moment then melodramatic the next.  They have also lovely stars.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order whatsoever 🙂 : –

  • Murphy’s Law of Love
  • It Started With A Kiss & They Kissed Again
  • Love, Timeless
  • Love 020
  • In Time With You
  • To The Dearest Intruder ( 🙁 cry, cry, cry)
  • Bromance
  • I Do, I Do (I Do 2)
  • Behind your Smile
  • Inborn Pair
  • Love Me or Leave Me
  • Aim High
  • Love By Design
  • Refresh Man
  • Office Girls
  • Be With You
  • Swimming Battle
  • In Between
  • Boysitter
  • Devil Beside You
  • The Masked Lover

 

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDramas)

Destined to Love You

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDrama)

I love Chinese drama.  Of all Asian dramas, Chinese dramas have the most ‘feel’ of its Western counterpart.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order:

Must-See Thai Dramas (ThDramas)

Must-See Thai Dramas (ThDramas)

I have to admit I came late to watching Thai dramas.  It was only when I felt I have watched all the choice Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese and even a few Filipino dramas that I braved myself to see Thai dramas.  The reason was that I find the accent rather flat, whiny and loud. But after watching just one, I got used to their accent and found I quite like it and was rather endearing.

I love their lakorn, soap opera.  It would twist you like no other.  The lakorn is often one misunderstanding growing into a gargantuan proportion, which is then divided into 10 or more episodes which will keep you watching with extreme irritation and yet addictive.  🙂

To newbies of Thai dramas, there are things that you have to get used to.  They are different from Korean.  They are not too sanitised.  The accent is the first one on my personal list of Thai drama quirks, also the character names often end in porn, which from a westernised person’s point of view is rather strange. :).  There are plentiful of romantic lakorns that are classified as slap/kiss, which mean the lead actress is kissed and sexually abused by the lead actor in order to tame her.  This genre is popular, I am afraid.  I supposed they make this acceptable by making the lead actor macho and drop dead gorgeous!  Whatever!  Political correctness has not reach Thailand, the Land of Smiles yet!

Be that as it may, they do provide romantic dramas that would resonate to one’s aching, empty waiting heart.

They do have lots of BL (which I assumed to be boy love), same sex young love stories, which are rather cute.

My list of favourite lakorns which is a work in progress and not in any order: –

  • Cubic
  • Princess Hours
  • Punya Chon Kon Krua
  • Rang Pratana
  • Ton Rak Rim Rua

  • Ab Ruk Online