Category: SouthEast Asian Television & Movies

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

Destined to Love You

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

This drama is very underrated.   Destined to Love You has the potential to be popular internationally, if not globally, if only all the episodes are given an English subtitles, allowing wider audience to enjoy it fully.

It has the charm comparable to those massively loved British Carry On films, sophisticated intelligence of the Monty Python and satirical comedy of Mel Brooks, The Producers.

The drama is a corroboration of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I fell in love with Destined to Love You the moment I saw the first episode.  It was so engaging. I wanted to see more.

There were great chemistry between the love triangle played beautifully by Chen Qiao En (aka Joe chen), Jia Nia Liang and Bosco Wong.   The chemistry was such that you would be happy that anyone of the two leading men will get the girl (Joe Chen).

Apparently Jia Nia Liang really wanted to make the drama that he willingly had his pay cut.  He was so good on the drama.  You just fall in love with his antics which are sometimes excruciatingly funny. I have never laughed so much watching a tv program.

Below is a synopsis I cut and pasted.  I just could not put into words what the story is all about from my own point of me; there just too many ‘choice’ scenes that I would like to include and therefore would probably curtail your enjoyment if I give too much away.

Qian Bao Bao is on the run from creditors with her sick mother. She meets Xiao Han on the train, who offers her hope for curing her mother. But when an assassination attempt results in Xiao Han falling off the train, Bao Bao feels she has no choice but to take her place. Thus she assumes the role of a psychology instructor at a prestigious military school, and becomes entangled in a in a love triangle and some dangerous politics while trying to hide her true identity.

Please Chinese translator, kindly complete the rest of the subtitles for the dramas, please, please, please!

Dramacool needs translation from episode 22 – 41.  Please

 

 

Happy Home – Korean Melodrama

L-R: Lee Pil-mo, Kim So-Yeon & Lee Sang-woo

 

Happy Home – Korean Melodrama


I watched this melodrama’s all 51 episodes (75 minutes per episode) over two days (I did fast-forward a bit). It was two days of almost non-stop crying.  Sometimes it was not just free falling tears but actually sobbing.  Hu hu hu.

Happy Home is anything but a happy home. The family is so dysfunctional, you’ll thank your lucky star yours is ‘normal’. 🙂 🙂 🙂

The actors were all magnificent, including the young cast/children but I particularly like the Lee Pil-mo, who played Yoo Hyun-gi, the husband of the eldest child of the Bong family.  He was perfectly matched by the elegantly beautiful Kim So-yeon who played Bong Hae-ryung, the eldest child of the Bong family.  Most of their scenes were emotional rollercoaster. Lee Pil-mo with his controlled acting and often well groomed in three-piece suit spoke to the heart.  I actually like him better than Lee Sang Woo, though he is also gorgeous.

As a brief synopsis the story is about the Bong family who opened a Chinese restaurant.  Bong Sam-bong the family patriarch and his wife had 3 children, twins Bong Hae-ryung & Bong Man-ho and a younger daughter, Bong Hae-won.  The Bong family is a nuclear family where generations of relatives live and eat together.  They bicker and sometimes do each other harm but they pull together when need be.

Bong Hae-ryung was married to Yoo Hyun-gi, happily at first but after the death of their much beloved son, her life became a living nightmare, tortured by her sadistic mother-in-law and largely ignored by husband who became remote and secretive.  For five years after the death of her son, she was alone in her guilty grief as she blamed herself of her son’s accident.

She found her mother-in-law’s secretary kissing her husband in their study and this was the final straw that drove her away, out of the house and marriage.

The character of the philandering husband gets interesting.  He was cheating but he was absolutely furious with his mistress.   They had an understanding that they do not conduct any hanky-panky in the house.  His house is for his wife alone, where he sleeps and where he eats – sacred!

After a time, Bong Hae-ryung had a romance with another gorgeous man, Lee Sang Woo who played Seo Ji-geon.  The romance was so sweet.  After she finally had her divorce, she got engaged and eventually held some sort of marriage ceremony with Seo- Ji-geon.  But this ended too soon as she found out that her ex-husband had only months to live due to a malignant brain tumour.

Her ex begged her to return to him for 3 months,  she did because she felt sorry for him when she found him, looking lost and forlorn, waiting in the rain for their son outside his school.  Apparently one of the symptoms of his illness in temporary amnesia.

I easily cry at melodrama but this drama was something else!  It is a cryfest! I mostly cried for the husband as he had a sad back-story.

A story that you will remember for a long time.  Highly recommend it.

I Have a Lover – Korean Melodrama

I Have a Lover – Korean Melodrama

I love this drama.  There is something about it that pulls me back time and again, so much so that I have watched it several times already.

I told my husband that I love this drama and it is my favourite one.  He did remind me that I said previously that Goblin was my favourite.  Oh yeah.

Well I have a Lover is my second favourite! 🙂

It is a melodrama of marriage, grief and infidelity.

Be prepared to watch it with a lot of hankies as it will tear your heart apart.

The story is about a aesthetically gorgeous couple in their 30s, in the peak of their career, who lost their beloved daughter.  They showed their grief differently.  The wife, Do Hae-gang, played by the stunning actress Kim Hyun Joo, was an ambitious lawyer, who was driven by her grief to focus all her attention to her career.  The husband,Choi Jin-eon, played by the debonair Ji Jin-hee, on the other hand was some sort of a professor in bio-chemistry and was more emotive, sensitive and full of angst.

He felt repelled by his wife’s look of indifference to his grief.  He, of course, found solace with one of his student, Kang Seol-ri, played by Park Han-byul.  He was attracted to her because she reminded him of how his wife was once like.

After Do Hae-gang found out about the affair, even with a broken heart, she did everything she could to get her husband back.  She confronted the young mistress, who cheekily told her that she was not having an illicit love affair with Jin-eon because they are in love.  Love came to her.

The husband was so cruel and was so infatuated with the young mistress that he begged and begged his wife for a divorce.  The wife suffered every kind of humiliation.

Despite emotional blackmail from his wife including trying to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge, Jin-eon knelt down in front of his father, begging him to throw is Hae-gang out and allow a divorce.

The sight of her husband pathetically begging for divorce on his bended knees made Hae-gang was finally realised she was defeated and signed the divorce papers.  If you have not cried over a melodrama, you would on this one.  Jin-eon was so hateful.  By the way, he is obsessed with shoes and shoe laces.  Rather quirky 🙂

In a vast number of Korean dramas, amnesia seems to happen a lot.  This drama is no exception.

Jin-Eon with his young mistress went to America whilst Hae-Gang met an accident and suffered from amnesia and now goes by the name of Dokgo Yong-gi.  She was rescued and cared for by a lawyer.

Four years on, Jin Eon came back from America.  In no time, he met Dokgo/Hae-gang, a more carefree and relax woman who does not recognise him at all.

This is when the fun and romance really begin.  Jin-Eon character had a good and proper redemption.  He stalked Dokgo so lovingly and so dutifully that you forgive his past transgression.  It was very appealing to see how Hae-gang lead Jin-Eon on a merry dance.

His actions were so lovable that this drama goes to your heart and stay there.  It is therefore addicting.

I have watched the drama several times in a month and feels the love of Jin-Eon to Hae-gang.

How can one resist words like:  She was my wife, she is my wife

Another integral part to the drama was the almost subliminal way of playing the sountrack : Years.  You know as soon as it plays, there was a cute or sad moment ahead!  🙂

Love the drama so much.

Highly recommended.

She Was Pretty Vs Pretty Li Hui Zhen

Kim Hye Jin

She Was Pretty Vs Pretty Li Hui Zhen

Li Hui Zhen

It is quite usual to see dramas, especially the popular ones, totally remade and adapted as their own by other countries in Asia.  A good example is a Japanese manga called Itazura na Kiss, which got a Japanese live drama called Mischievous Kiss,  remade by Korean as Playful Kiss, the Thai version is called Kiss Me.  The best version, in my opinion is the Taiwanese version starring Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin called It Started with a Kiss.  The story is the same with just a few twist here and there.

Anyway, last year I watched a Korean drama called She was Pretty starring Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo-joon.  I enjoyed the drama very much.  It was hilarious in parts and full of pathos the next.

The story is about childhood friendship, (who were each other’s first love).  The girl used to be very pretty with long hair and fair face while the boy was chubby who got bullied a lot in school.  The girl used to protect him.  They got separated when the boy immigrated to the US.

15 years later he came back to Korea/China and hopeful to meet up with his childhood friend.

The boy grew up into a handsome slim guy, while the girl grew up with bad hair and skin problem in a pretty face.

On the day of their meeting the guy failed to recognise the girl.  She was so ashamed that she sent her very pretty best friend to pretend as her.  And that would be it, tieing off loose end of old friendship with the boy!

As luck would have it, the heroine started a job as an intern in a fashion magazine.  The boss happened to be the guy she once knew.

To add more confusion and drama to the story, her best friend really fell for the guy and secretly continued to meet up with him instead of the one off thing the heroine asked her to do.

There was a second lead male that brought so much of the hilarity in the drama.  He was so lovely and actually fell for the heroine even before she had her makeover.

When I heard that it was being remade by China, I was excited and looked forward to seeing it.

I started to watch it at Viki.com.  I have to say that it is watchable but not as good as the KDrama version.  Li Hui Zhen was still pretty compared to Kim Hye Jin.  But for some reason, Li Hui Zhen comes out rather as someone with mental problem, low in IQ and with the most annoying and unnatural laugh!!! Ugh!

The Chinese version is longer, almost double the Korean, which comprised of 16 episodes.  For some reason I have finished watching 19 episodes of the Chinese one in 3 hours (so much fast-forwarding).  It also made me pine for the Korean version which I rewatched and throughly enjoyed again.

Best Korean Drama Original Soundtracks

still from Moonlight drawn by the Clouds

What makes a KDrama special?  In my opinion the choice of soundtrack is very important.  Heartstrings, a Park Shin Hye  & Jung Yong Hwa drama is memorable to me because of the songs.  Step step by Suran also made Jealousy Incarnate that extra special!

Here are my collection of original (official) soundtrack of Korean dramas that I have watched. Many of them 🙂  so again this list is a work in progress.

Best Korean Drama Original Soundtracks

You’ve Fallen For Me – Jung Yong Hwa, from drama Heartstrings

Because I Miss You – Jung Yong Hwa of CNBlue, from drama Heartstings

Stay With Me – corroboration of Chanyeol & Punch, from drama Goblin

Run to You – Lasse Lindh, from drama Angel Eyes

Step Step – Suran, from drama Jealousy Incarnate

Beautiful Sad – Han Soo Ji, from drama Angel Eyes

Million Roses – Comeback Madonna, from drama I am Legend

Beautiful – Crush, from drama Goblin

Hallucination – Jang Jae In ft NaShow, from dram Kill Me, Heal Me

Hush – Lasse Lindh, from drama Goblin

That Man – Hyun Bin & That Woman – Baek Ji Young, from Secret Garden

Fool – Kim Jong Kook, from The Man Living at our House (aka Sweet Stranger and Me)

Angel Eyes – Han Soo Ji – from Angel Eyes

Thumping – Kim Min Seung, from She Was Pretty

Years – Ryu, from I have a Lover

I Choose to Love You, from The Rascal Son, sung by Seo in-Guk and Park Hye Soo from Introverted Boss but the original was from the Korean singing Superstar, Hyorin

Oriental Drama Queens

I have to say that I now have more than enough experience to give recommendations of Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipino and Thai dramas as I have been solidly and shamelessly 🙂 watching them for so many hours each days, seven days a week.  So tired.

I have developed favourites and below are the queens of them all. Some of the ladies are included in my list of the most beautiful Oriental actress and some are not but they have so much charisma and personality that are equally admirable that come across on tv.

Films, movies and tv dramas by these ladies are watchable and became firm favourites of mine. And if you want to try watching Oriental dramas I can recommend to start with any work from these queens.

Oriental Drama Queens

Park Shin Hye

 

Park Shin Hye (Korean) was a child actress, who grew up to be a much sought after actress.  She is multi-awarded and must admit, thoroughly deserved, being such a good actress.  She starred in dramas which are amongst my favourites.

Films & Dramas:

Heartstrings

The Heirs

Pinocchio

You’re Beautiful

Flower Boys next door

Doctors

Hwang Jung-Eum

 

 

Hwang Jung-Eum is a South Korean actress and singer but I have come to know her for her acting in KDrama.  She is in this list because she is of course one of my favourite actresses.  She is a versatile actress with a tremendous range.  She can do comedy and the most tear-jerking acting.

Recommended dramas & Films:

She Was Pretty

Secret Love

Kill Me, Heal Me

Lucky Romance

 

Gong Hyo Jin

Gong Hyo Jin is in my opinion one of Koreas real Kdrama gems.  She is not one of the traditional stunningly gorgeous Korean actresses, which they industry is known for.  In fact Gong Hyo Jin can be rather plain in some scenes in her dramas.  What she has is a megawatt smile.  When she smiles, she is breathtakingly beautiful.  WOW.  She has an endearing and contagious glint in her smile which reaches up to her eyes.  Definitely one of my favourite actress.  Most dramas that was in were enjoyable and watchable.  Love her.

Films & Dramas (my recommendations)

The Greatest Love *****

Master’s Sun *****

It’s Okay, That’s Love *****

Jealousy Incarnate *****

Missing Child *****

Joe Chen

 

Joe Chen is a Taiwanese actress who has managed to break through the mainstream Chinese dramas.

I am rather partial to Joe Chen.  She is a good actress but not the greatest.  But she has tonnes of charisma and the cutest toothy smile.  Watching her dramas and movies is like watching Doris Day’s old films.

Films & Dramas (my recommendations)

Fated to love *****

Destined to love you *****

Cruel Romance ***

The Queen of SOP***

The Prince Prince who turns into a frog ***

Easy Fortune Happy Life

Stay with Me****

Jang Nara

Ha Ji Won

Eun Yoon Hye

Eun Yoon Hye is a Korean actress.  She starred in one of my most favourite kdramas with the gorgeous Gong Yoo calle Coffee Prince.

Mirei Kiritani

 

Song Ji Hyo

Song Ji Hyo is a Korean actress.  Another reliable actress, who you know will deliver the goods by starring in decently scripted dramas.

Films & Dramas (my recommendations)

A Frozen Flower (rather a daring role. lots of tasteful nudity) *****

Codename: Jackal (cute action comedy)

Goong aka Princess Hours

Emergency Couple

 

Kim Ha Neul

Choi Ji Woo

Kimberley Anne Voltemas

Song Hye Kho

 

Kim Yoo Jung

Kim Yoo Jung is a Korean actress.  She was a talented child actress who is growing better in her craft.

Films & TV dramas:

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, this drama shows that she has outgrown her child roles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mint Chalida Vijitvongthong

Mint is a Thai actress.

Film & Dramas (my recommendations)

Cubic ******

Most Beautiful Oriental Actresses

song_hyekyo_43581-1440x900

Song Hye Kyo

Fan Bing Bing

Choi Ji Woo

Choi Ji Woo

If the Virgin Mary had been Korean or Oriental, she would have looked like Choi Ji Woo 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joe-chen

Joe Chen

The gorgeous Joe Chen is a Taiwanese actress.  She is apparently known in Taiwanese and  Chinese showbiz as a Wang Fu, a wife that brings good fortune to her husband.  This means that she has brought fame and fortune to her leading men, after having starred with them in various movies, films and tv dramas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marian Rivera

Marian Rivera

Marian Rivera is a Filipina Spanish mestiza.  Mother is Filipino and father is Spanish.  Marian is Philippines’ queen of television, handbags and shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberley Anne Voltemas

Kimberley Anne Voltemas

KC Concepcion

KC Concepcion

Kim Tae Hee

Kim Tae Hee

Han Hyo-joo

Han Hyo-joo

Kim Yoo Jung

Liza Soberano

Liza Soberano

Mirei Kiritani

Mirei Kiritani

Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi

Kitagawa Keiko

Kim So Yeon

Goblin – Korean Supernatural Drama Review

gong-yoo-goblin

maxresdefault

Grim Reaper on the left, Goblin on the right!

ls1Goblin – Korean Supernatural Drama Review

As soon as I saw that Gong Yoo was doing another tv drama, I begun to look forward to it.

The drama he is currently starring on is called the Goblin (Dokkaebi), also known as Guardian: The Lonely and the Great God, and it started airing on 2 December 2016.

As much as I wanted to see it, I thought I should give it time for episodes to file up for an enjoyable binge watching.

But I just could not help it.  It is Gong Yoo, for goodness’ sake!  I have to see him now.  I still miss him as he turned zombie in Train To Busan (sorry, spoiler to the film).

GOBLIN turns out to be totally AWESOME, DAEBAK!

It has everything; a composite of everything good in Korean dramas.  It started with the historical genre where prior to Gong Yoo’s character turning to the Goblin, he was  unbeatable as a fighter, that he became known as the divine warrior.  The fighting scenes were reminiscent of films by Jet Li and also the legend of King Arthur (the excalibur) and ,of course, the Knights Templar.  Beautifully filmed.

Anyway, he was so good as a fighter that the King, Wang Yeo, instead of rewarding him, became envious and jealous of his popularity, much admired by the people.  The king incidentally was a puppet king, practically created by the machination of his minister or was it a eunuch called Park Joong Won..

The  minister/eunuch played mind games with the king manipulating him that there should only one divine being within the realm and that was only the king.  The immature king was only too happy  to execute Gong Yoo’s character which is actually call Kim Shin. As Kim Shin approached the grand podium where the king was taking audience, the guards where ordered to start executing  the nearest and dearest to Kim Shin, beginning with the king’s wife, who happened to be Kim Shin’s very own sister.   He had no other choice but to submit to his death.  He was stabbed by his own sword, given to him by the king, and ultimately  left to die and eaten by wild animals in a field, with the sword still firmly embedded to his chest.

Now the legend begins.  He will lived as the goblin for years to comes in search of the Goblin Bride who will be the only one to be able to pull the sword out from his body, which will turn to dust and give him eternal peace.

As a goblin, he is the guardian of souls.  He works in tandem with the amnesiac Grim Reaper, who of course harvest souls from the dieing.  Their bromance is one of the sweetest, funniest relationship ever. Just thinking about it makes me smile. 🙂  They were both old souls in young gorgeous bodies.  How they deal with modern technology was hilarious.

Anyway, one of the dieing souls was a woman who was a victim of hit and run.  She prayed with all her heart that her baby in her tummy lives.  As luck would have it, the Goblin heard her.  He did not only allow her to live but her daughter in her tummy as well.

The next scene showed the Grim Reaper looking perplexed as he surveyed the bloody snowed in road but empty of a body.

The baby grew up into a  girl able to see ghosts and spirits.  There were ghosts who continued to tell her that she was meant to be the Goblin Bride.

Korean excels from drama making because they do beautifully well rounded scripts and it seems their budget is unlimited.

Goblin is a 16-parts drama.  The first two already shown are so enticing that I can’t wait for the next episode!

…….

Now episode 13 of the crackingly brilliant drama.  I watched it last night just before bedtime.  It was a big mistake, I am afraid because the episode was the climax of the story.  The Goblin, as foretold, splintered into blazing dust after the sword was pulled out of his chest with the help of the faint Goblin Bride, Eun Tak.  No other choice as the sword is be used to put an end to , Park  Joong Won,  who create mayhem and encourages the evil or what Sigmund Freud would call the ID of human nature.

The Grim Reaper’s back story was full of pathos.  He was of course the ` amnesiac reincarnation of king Wang Yeo, who became a broken man after the death of his queen.  He did love her truly that his guilt ate him up leading to his ‘suicide’.

Now that the Goblin has gone, what can we look forward to in the final episodes 14, 15 & 16?

…………

The brilliant series is over.  If you have not seen it, be preferred with some tissues to wipe away those tears.

All I can say is that there is a happy ending for all.  There is also some spiritual enrichment to be had.

It is rather reassuring to know that everyone will be touched by the deity or almighty at some point.

Best Looking South East Asian Actors

Forget about Hollywood.  The best looking men in the celebrity world can be found in Asia.  I know what I am talking about as I have watching Korean dramas, Japanese dramas, Chinese dramas, Taiwanese dramas, Filipino dramas, Thai dramas and other south Asian dramas non-stop from 8 am to sometimes until 2am almost everyday for the last seven months. Hehehe

I can’t believe how many gorgeous men from Asia who can easily eclipse any Hollywood hunks in appearance and aura.

To be honest, in watching dramas the first thing you thing about is who the male lead was.  The actors can easily be prettier than the female lead.  Probably that is the reason why they are paid more than the actresses. Don’t get me wrong, they all work for their money.  Most of them are versatile; they can sing, they can dance and of course good actors.

Best Looking South East Asian Actors

Here are a few of my choices: (a work in progress)

Jo In SungJo In Sung (aka Zo In Sung)  is a Korean actor.  He is so beautiful that even celebrities are blown away and left quivering in delight when he is around.

Apparently he is very choosy of projects.  The dramas and film he made though are thoroughly enjoyable entertainment and he just so visually beautiful.

See for yourselves:

A Frozen Flower is a beautiful film.  My first historical film that I saw, where the men are dressed in intricately embroidered long colourful hanboks and freshly shampooed long hair. 🙂  I did not really read much about the film before I watched it, I just wanted to see more of Jo In Sung film.

http://kissasian.com/Drama/A-Frozen-Flower

Films starring Jo In Sung:

The Winter the Wind Blows

It’s Okey, It’s Love

The King

……..

Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk is a Korean actor, who has the most captivating sexy laugh. His rather guttural throaty way of talking would send chills through your spine :). He looks wickedly handsome as well. A true romantic hero.  He has the sexiest laugh that run through your spine. hahaha

Films:

Fated to Love (my favourite); I love this drama so much.  His chemistry with Jang Na Ra is just amazing.

The Flu  (http://dramacool.io/drama-detail/the-flu), I love this film.

Beautiful Mind

………..

Tomoya Nagase

Tomoya Nagase

 

Tomoya Nagase is a Japanese actor.  He is adorable as a rather illiterate son of Yakuza boss in My Boss, My Hero.

Recently he made a Japanese tv drama called Fragile, as an irascible but brilliant pathologist.  Every sneer, every frown and then every thoughtful look are just so sexy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……………

Godfrey Gao

Godfrey Gao

 

 

Godfrey Gao is Taiwanese born but grew up in Canada.  He was the first Asian male model to work for Louis Vuitton.

He has returned to Taiwan and has been active in showbiz.

Film & Drama: (I have seen)

The Queen of SOP, love him in this drama though he was only the second male lead.

 

 

 

………….

So Ji Sub

Ji JIn Hee

 

Jo Jin Hee is a Korean actor

Films & Drama

I have a Lover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Dong Wook

Lee Dong Wook

Gong Yoo

Gong Yoo

Yang Yang

Yang Yang

Bomb Tanin Manoonsilp

Bomb Tanin Manoonsilp

 

Hyung Bin

Hyung Bin

Fukushi Sota

Fukushi Sota

Ryohei Otani

Ryohei Otani

………

Jung Woo Sung is a South Korean actor who started as a model.

Jung Woo-sung

Jung Woo-sung

Film/Television:

Padam padam

The King   –  Though the film was really a Jo In Sung film, Jung Woo Sung was really what got me excited.  It actually pained me to say that as I am Jo In Sung no 1 fan ;),  there is something magnetic about Jung Woo Sung.

The Good, The Bad and The Weird

(I love this film so much; it is a South Korean western a la Sergio Leone.  Jung Woo Sung was a stand out.  Riding a horse in tight jeans was dreamy!  🙂

Joo Jin Mo

Joo Jin Mo

Huang Xiao Ming

Huang Xiao Ming

Kang Ha Neul

That Winter the Wind Blows


That Winter the Wind Blows

Many tears were shed while watching this melodrama. A real tearjerker! The music only made all the tears to freely fall.

This drama is one of South Korean better or best melodrama starring their own impossibly gorgeous actors Jo In Sung and Song Hye Kho

Jo In Sung pretended as the long lost brother of the blind heiress, Song Hye Kho.

Song Hye Kho’s character is suicidal, which brought the caring side of Jo In Sung’s character.  Of course this is really a love story.

Emotions are wrung over and over which so much angsts given by the side stories.

I highly recommend this drama for a weekend treat, especially on a cold day.