Category: South Korea

My Korean Jagiya (Philippine Drama Review)

My Korean Jagiya (Philippine Drama Review)

I have heard a lot about this drama from Facebook.  It is made and widely promoted by GMA 7 to cater to the Korean drama obsession of many Filipinos.

I have to say that when I first heard that Heart Evangelista was the lead, I thought they would get a big name Korean actor or rising star like Kim Young Kwan or Lee Soo-Hyuk to play the leading man.  After all, Heart is known for being a bit of a princess who grew up in the lap of luxury and is very fond of designer brand such as Hermes, LV, D&G, Dior, etc.  She demands the best!

Anyway My Korean Jagiya is Philippine Korean fusion and many scenes were filmed in Seoul.  The lead male actor is a Chinese Korean, who I have really never heard of before.  His name is Alexander Lee.

I have just watched the first episode.  The story so far is that Alexander Lee plays Kim Jun-ho, a once popular actor who made classic Korean dramas like Coffee Prince, 🙂  I love you Kim San-sun, 🙂 etc but has gone off the radar in the last seven years.

There is this lady in the Philippines, who was a Kim Jun-ho die-hard fan.  She is Gia, played by Heart Evangelista.  Gia is a tutor at an international school.  She is going out with a man called Ryan, who she had known since elementary school.  Gia was hoping for Ryan would put a ring on her finger soon.

Anyway, Gia is good at her job, so much so that she got an excellent work evaluation.  As a reward, she was sent to Seoul to attend a convention.  She was besides herself with excitement.  She jotted down all the places that Jun-ho had filmed for his dramas before including the Jagiya House.

The episode ends where Gia bumped into Jun-ho inside the Jagiya house.

Based on this episode, it is not like those polished Korean dramas.  It is very rough, rickety and the acting is terrible.  Hopefully the characters would gel soon.

Also the script is terrible with atrocious dialogues.   How possible is it to have your foreign idol to have as his first love a Filipina? Be an uncle to a Korean Filipino boy, who happens to be in your class?  This is obviously what they call in Korea as a makjang.  They created plots which are outrageously absurd and illogical, which is hard to relate to.

I hope this drama improves as between just you and me, I had looked forward to it!  🙂

…..

Episode 2

Jun Ho had a girlfriend called Cindy, a Filipina, a fair-skinned Filipina.  She was a bit of a slapper.  She asked Jun Ho to choose between her and his career as she felt neglected especially when Jun Ho would pose for selfies/groupies with his fans.

Anyway, out of the blue Cindy announced to Jun Ho that she was pregnant.  Jun Ho was actually excited only to find out that he was not the father but his own brother.  🙂

Jun Ho was so traumatised that he cut all ties with his own brother and then left the entertainment industry.  He had been cocooned in a Buddhist monastery for the last five years.

He learnt that his brother who is now based in the Philippines was in a very serious accident.  He, therefore, had to go to the Philippines.  He was expecting to meet Cindy again in the hospital but he was advised that there was no Cindy or any other female that had visited his comatose brother.

By this time Gia is back in the Philippines and found a ring on her boyfriend’s bag.  She was so delighted, at last Ryan was about to propose, or is he?

Why is Gia always wearing that school-girl sock with shoes or even sandals?!!!  True there are Korean dramas where the girls do wear them, but not throughout the whole series.  Is this some sort of racial profiling 🙂  that Korean girls wear socks on their shoes whether they were in high heals of flatties?!!! LOL

Later episodes:

There is not much chemistry (in my opinion) between Heart & Alexander.  Heart does give her all in terms of acting but Alexander is rather wooden.

Anyway, Alexander asked Gia to marry him so he can officially adopt his nephew.  Gia, of course, said yes afterall she was already in love with Jun Ho even before they met.

Gia was so optimistic of their coming union that she signed the pre-nup without even reading it and prepared for the wedding in her Korean hanbok.

Jun Ho was rather aghast thinking that Gia was overly excited with the contract marriage.  He had to tell her in no uncertain terms that Gia does not really love him and he will never love her and the fake wedding was just a way to adopt his nephew.

Gia was finally brought down to earth.

Korean Drama Catalogue (Mi Lista)

Korean Drama Catalogue (Mi Lista)

Currently, I seemed to have run out of Korean dramas that I’d really like to watch.  It seems I just have to see again my favourite dramas that I have seen previously.  There are many dramas that I would like to see again.

Here is my list of favourites:

Cheese in the Trap

I absolutely love this drama.  It is a sweet romance between Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) and Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun).  Yoo Jung is the heir of a big company while Hong Seol was a hardworking college student.  To start with Hong Seol was rather weary of Yoo Jung as he has a rather psychotic tendency.  He can blow hot and cold and therefore you are not sure where you at with him.  But having said that Yoo Jung was attracted to Hong Seol, he was very romantic but in his own terms.

The development of their relationship was so sweet and at times rather disturbing (if that is the word).  Yoo Jung was so forceful in his chase of Hong Seol.  Before she really knew it was became the girlfriend of Yoo Jung. Hong Seol was not sure whether to fully trust Yoo Jung but in the end she did truly loved him.

This drama is rather addictive.  I have seen it several times and it feels as fresh each time.  Brilliant acting by both leads.

The only thing was that the ending was just to hanging!  Hong Seol was left waiting for an email from Yoo Jung for his return!

 


Coffee Prince

This drama is a good starting point to watch if you have just heard of that ever so gorgeous Korean actor Gong Yoo.

This is about a romance between a playboy, Han Kyul, and a tomboyish woman, Yoo-joo.

Yoo joo had to pretend to be a boy in order to secure a job in an all male coffee shop, which is a project given to the playboy Han Kyul by his family to teach him a lesson for being spoilt and layabout.

Han Kyul treat Yoo joo well like a little brother but he started feeling more brotherly with Yoo Joo.  He started questioning his sexuality.  He was pretty sure he was not gay as he was not attracted to other men.

But he can’t really deny himself any longer and just went for Yoo joo, who at his time had a massive crush of Han Kyul himself.  This is in episode 10.  Gong Yoo is so damn gorgeous!  If you had not seen this drama before, I advise to binge watch in over the weekend!  I just rewatched episode 10 now and I miss them so much I have to rewatch the whole thing.


 

 

 

 

Perfect Neighbour – KDrama Review

How to Meet a Perfect Neighbour, poster

Perfect Neighbour – KDrama Review

I seemed to have run out of new Kdramas that I would like to watch so I thought I should probably go back to the old KDrama catalogue, which is fortunately is immense.

Having just watched Secret Forest, where I liked the actress, who played  the female lieutenant, I searched more on her body of works.  She is called Bae Doo-na.

She actually has a good library of films and dramas under her belt.  I thought I should start with a Perfect Neighbour also known as How to Meet A Perfect Neighbour.

I did not make a mistake.  This Kdrama has everything: romance, comedy, drama and even murder.

Bae Doo-na was so cute

Basically the story is the neighbourhood where the residents are mostly working in a company where Yoon Joon Suk (Park Shi Hoo) had just come back to take over as the president as his father had taken ill and was comatose.

A lot is going on in the neighbourhood.  Various intrigues including murder.  There was a man in the neighbourhood who was much admired and popular with the ladies.  He was Prof Baek Soo Chan (Kim Seung Woo).  He suffered had times and ended up working in the company as well.

Bae Doo-na is a fearless, emphatic and quirky girl.  She is really laid back and does not get upset easily.

She was working as a temp staff in the company’s shopping centre when hooded men came in and frightened the staff and customers, including a little girl.  Without thinking Bae Doo-na rushed in to protect the girl and suffered broken bones from her effort.  Her bravery was much reported.  The old president was so impressed with her that he hired her his own secretary.

When the president got sick his son came back to take over the business. Joon Suk was a brusque man and says little.  Bae Doo-na found him hilarious.

To cut a long story short, Bae doo-na became the love interest of the boss, but the boss is set to marry someone else.  Though heartbroken, Bae Doona agreed to become the boss mistress.

She developed a rather touching friendship with Baek Soo Chan, who was secretly in love with her.

The ending is romantic.  It is a happy ending!

Secret Forest (Stranger) KDrama Review

Secret Forest poster

Secret Forest (Stranger) KDrama Review

I am currently glued to this thriller drama from South Korea.

It has that edge of seat feel to it.

There are so much going on.  When you thought you are ready to trust someone, suddenly, he/she is revealed to have a hidden agenda.

It is so watchable!  It is classy.! It is fine acting! It is intelligent! It is dramatic!

The story is about Hwang Si-Mok, who works as a prosecutor.

The prosecutor office is full of goings on.  Corruption resides side by side with justice.  Old-boys network is prospering; they have a law unto themselves.  Si Mok is the only righteous prosecutor.

He was supposed to have been an aggressive child, so  he was lobotomised, taking away the limbic system of the brain which control the emotion.

Si Mok, the adult, is completely emotionless, thus, he thinks in black and white and very righteous. He does not feel empathy with people and therefore not prone to corruption.

He is aware though of the corruption in the prosecution office and more so when he got directly involved with one of the murder victims who was at the centre of bribery and fraud.

With his investigation, he joined forces with a feisty police lieutenant Han Yeo-Jin.

It has so much twists and turns.

Highly recommend this drama to anybody who wants to watch a good hokum!

OMG!!!

It was taut to the very end.  The anti-hero of the story became a hero with monstrous tendency.

This story is really aching to have a part two.  More adventures for Si Mok and the gang to spread justice where it is needed.

I cannot say it strongly enough that this drama is really cut above the rest.  It is stylish and worth another immediate viewing to just see all those others going on in the side that might have been missed.

I commend all the actors for their brilliant take on their roles.  Daebak all around!

 

Boricha (Korean Barley Tea)

Boricha Tea, photo by JMorton

Boricha (Korean Barley Tea)

Time and again when watching Korean dramas, the characters are often seen drinking water.  Sometimes their drinking vessels are the standard transparent glasses.  I noticed that their ‘water’ is often brownish in colour and I thought that is rather colourful for just plain water. 🙂

Apparently this ‘water’ is a boricha, much loved by Korean as everyday hydration and thirst quencher.

Boricha is brewed from roasted barley.  Pre-roasted barley is widely available in Korean supermarkets and groceries.  Roasted barley tea-bags are also on sale.

Barley tea, apparently, is caffeine free, it is good for digestion, can control blood sugar and most importantly – it can aid weight loss 🙂

How to make it:

2 litres water

3 tbsp roasted barley

Using a large clean pot or pan 🙂 bring the water to a boil.

Add the roasted barley and continue boiling for another 5 minutes.

Using a sieve, strain the roasted barley tea into a heat-resistant jug,  ewer or pitcher.

Let it cool and then refrigerate until needed.

 

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 🙂

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

 

The Greatest Love – KDrama Review

The Greatest Love

The Greatest Love – KDrama Review

If you are new to Korean Dramas (KDramas), there is no better one to start that this classic romance drama.  It is a comedy of manners in the celebworld.  It also shows that celebrities are as important and popular as their fans want to be.  The fans can put you up and they can also bring you down in a heartbeat.

It starts two of Korea’s most charming and most accomplished actors, Cha Seung-won and Gong Hyo-Jin.

Cha Seung-won plays Dokko Jin, a much loved action film superstar.  His character is a caricature of the perceived indulged life of celebrities.  He is egotistical, arrogant and self-centred.  Cha’s height and frame is perfect for his role.

Gong Hyo-Jin plays Go Ae-Jung, who was once the most popular member of a girl group National Treasure Girls until she was involved in a scandal.  Suddenly she lost all her fame and fanbase.  She was still in showbiz but as a C-List, taking every minor role going to make a living for her family.

Dokko Jin has an artificial heart transplant and he wears a heartbeat monitor to maintain a normal 60-90 heartbeat per minute.

He then meet Go Ae-Jung and before he knows it his heartbeat is soaring above the hundred.  He was attracted to Go Ae-Jung and really bothered by the signature song of National Treasure Girls’ Thump Thump.

Despite himself, he did confessed himself to Go Ae-Jung his feelings in a very clumsy way.  He told Go Ae-Jung that he likes her even though she is not worthy and beneath his level.  Go Ae-Jung agreed with him and just laughed off his confession because she did not feel anything for him.

This turn of events only made Dokko Jin more attracted to Go Ae-Jung and started questioning his persona, physical and mental health but ultimately came to the conclusion that he is just too darn perfect!  LOL Cha Seung-won was just too adorable with his Dokko character.  His shower scenes were gorgeous body of work.  Hahaha

The chemistry between the leads were just amazing.

This drama is one of my top 5 Korean dramas and I have watched several hundreds or even thousand of them.

The Girl Who Can See Smell – KDrama Review

The Girl Who Can See Smell

The Girl Who Can See Smell – KDrama Review

I am currently watching this series and I have to say, it is really good.  There is plenty of twist and turn.

It is about a girl who witness the murder of her parents by the serial bar code killer.  He tried to kill her as well by she run away only to get run over by a car.  Her accident made her lose her memory.

During the assault, the bar code killer managed to pluck the girl’s name tag from her uniform.

The male lead shares a common experience with the girl as his beloved young sister was killed by the bar code killer as well.

The story is intelligently scripted.  It is very taut, very exciting.

 

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