Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review (Spoilers Free): The King’s Daughter Soo Baek Yang (제왕의 딸, 수백향)

I’m not a big fan of sageuk but it doesn’t mean I hate it. What I love the most is the fast paced, fun, quirky and fluffy contemporary dramas that could make me giggle and laugh out loud. Dramas where I could ogle the male lead in a mandatory shower scene or just admiring him in an expensive suit.

But now and then I do watch historical drama. The real historical drama not the fusion kind ones. 

What I mean by real historical drama is the like of Dae Jang Geum, Song of the Prince/Seo Dong Yo and Queen Seon Deok.  

I don’t count the fusion dramas as historical drama because although the characters are appropriately dressed in historical wardrobes, the tones, the atmosphere, the background music and sometimes even the language are completely contemporary.

Now, I finally watch another sageuk, The King’s Daughter Soo Baek Yang. Call me shallow, but my one and only reason for watching this daily historical drama is Jo Hyun Jae (조현재).


I’m prepared to endure a boring and horrible show just to see my man. To my surprise The King’s Daughter Soo Baek Yang turns out to be really good.

I love how the story is written. I love how the characters are shown. I love how the conflict is built. But what I love the most is how the strength of love is being shown very early in this show.

What I hate the most besides hateful characters (you wish all the ills in the world to fall upon them and that hell is reserved solely for them) is when the people in power – read the King/Queen – turn evil in their attempt to clench to that power.

I HATE it when the king/the queen turn against their own children because of their suspicions that their own flesh and blood covets their throne.

The emperor in Bu Bu Jing Xin (Startling by Each Step) is a good example of the king I hate because of his actions against his own children. Another perfect example is the queen in Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun (Female General). I abhor her. I loath her.

She’s another reason why I don’t get Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun. She’s not one of those characters you love to hate. In her case I simply hate her.

I guess that’s why I love the main characters in King’s Daughter. Yes, King Dongsong has no love for his cousin Japyung. But Japyung really loves him. He never once covets the throne that is rightfully his.

But then there are Crown Prince Myong Nong and Jin Mu plus Seolnan and Seolhi. I can see the recipe. It’s mouth watering. All I can do is fervently praying that there’s no poison in it.

Watching a sageuk is a difficult commitment for someone who loves a happy ending. Particularly if the male lead is the King (future King) or the female lead is the Queen (future Queen). More often than not the male and female leads don’t end up together.

Jo Hyun Jae does end up with Lee Bo Young in Seo Dong Yo but sadly the show shows us how she dies early after their marriage.

If I could ask two things from the King’s Daughter – I did get my first wish for a strong female lead – but it’s a natural thing for a human to be greedy, I want:

1. Jo Hyun Jae to stay alive.
2. Jo Hyun Jae to be with the woman he loves.


In case you don’t know, I LOVE it when writers do some twisting in the historical drama that makes us the audience happy. I watch drama not to learn about history but to be happy so please I beg you make me a happy fan.

ps:
Millions thanks to all great subbers of King’s Daughter. Without you we wouldn’t be able to enjoy this great drama.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Frenemies

No, unfortunately, I’m not talking about frenemies in drama land. I’m talking about frenemies in the political land.

Despite trying to avoid news, sometimes there are news that are simply impossible not to notice. E.g. that polcom (or is it makjang?) in Toronto, which by the way is hilarious, and then the not so funny one right here at home.

At least, it was’t funny until that comment about a bloke who looks like a 1970s Pilipino porn star and has ethics to match from Mark Textor.

It’s at a moment like this that I realize that there isn’t much difference between drama land and real world. It is when I realize that the life we live in is just another drama where the actors are real people or real countries.

Talking about countries – I think they suck as actors – the relationship between Indonesia and its closest neighbors could only be described as frenemies.

For despite professing a close relationship with Malaysia and Australia Indonesia regularly bickers with them.

And now we know for sure that despite saying it considers Indonesia as friend, Australia hacked our President’s phone.

Yes, definitely frenemies.

If I’m writing a thesis I’m sure I could easily find data to support the bickering pattern between these countries. But it seems to me that Indonesia gives the limelight to Malaysia and Australia alternately.

And strangely enough, there is always something that ruffled the feathers of either Indonesian politicians or the people at large. And perhaps vice versa because you could not bicker alone.

So far, it’s just war of words. The toughest action ever taken by the Indonesian government is calling its Ambassador back home, which is exactly what it does in the latest bickering with Australia.

Will Indonesia stop its diplomatic relationship with Australia over this latest issue?  Very unlikely.

There were issues in the past where a large number of Indonesians were demanding the government to break diplomatic relationship with Malaysia, some even urged the government to declare war, but the government never did.

What is different this time is the fact this latest issue is directly related to people who sit in the government. They run this country. They represent this country.

It’s utterly embarrassing for a President to learn that his phone was hacked. And it’s equally humiliating for a foreign minister to be likened to a porn star and to be called without ethics.


Will the friendship stand? I think it will but only after some major steps being taken by both parties. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Hua Mu Lan (花木兰), a Romantic Perspective


Besides Jin Yong/Louis Cha’s Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, there is only one other series that could make me watch all its remake. That series is Hua Mu Lan.

Hua Mu Lan is like an answered prayer for the haters of damsel in distress and her ilk, an extremely attractive heroine who is impossible to resist.

A girl who doesn’t cower in front of daunting prospects? Check. A girl who kicks ass? Check. A girl who lives in a man’s world and climbs to the top of the hierarchical ladder? Check.

It doesn’t matter whether Hua Mu Lan is a real historical figure or not. It doesn’t matter if she is only a myth/folklore. What matters is the fact that her story stays and withstands the passage of time.

For me Hua Mu Lan’s biggest appeal lies in its romantic prospects. I want to see her love story that is just as epic as her bravery. Or half epic. Or a quarter epic.

Alright, I’ll stop asking for the moon. Let’s leave epic alone and just give me good.

If asking for a good love story in a supposedly war drama is too unreasonable I want to see chilling war scenes, lots of strategizing, jaw dropping martial art skills, and memorable war theme songs.

Still too much to ask?

In that case at the very least I want my female general to be badass. No? *sigh*

Honestly, I don’t understand why the most famous female general China has ever had couldn’t be an awesome badass.

With all those not happenings what do I have left? Let’s see there’s still cute and funny. Okay, just give me cute and funny so I could giggle and laugh out loud. That should be enough to keep me happy.

What? No cute and funny thing in a war zone?

Okay, I’ll take silly and bad (NOT that bad) as long as there is a happy ending. That’s all I want. No, on second thought, it’s not a happy ending but an ending that makes ME happy.

I’m very easy to please. Why some drama still fails to deliver that very low requirement is beyond me.

Let’s have a look at some Hua Mu Lan’s adaptations.

There are quite a few Hua Mulan’s adaptations for the big screen, but to my knowledge there are only four Hua Mu Lan’s adaptations for the small screen. Two in the late 90s and two more quite recently.

The oldies are a Taiwanese’s Hua Mulan in 1999 and a Hongkong’s TVB’s A Tough Side of a Lady in 1998. The newbies are a mainland’s Female General (帼大将军) or Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun and a Taiwanese’s Legend of Hua Mu Lan/Hua Mu Lan Chuan Qi (花木兰传奇)

Out of these four I’ve only seen the 1999 CTV’s Hua Mulan and the mainland’s Female General Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun (帼大将军).

The 1999 CTV’s Hua Mulan casts Anita Yuen (袁咏) as Hua Mulan, Vincent Zhao Wen Zhuo (赵文) as General Li Liang, and Vincent Jiao En Jun (焦恩俊) as Yu Cheng En (Mulan’s childhood’s friend).

For you who are not familiar with Hua Mu Lan’s story, particularly on the romance side, the most common version of the story is that there are two significant men in her life.

The first one is of course the general (the one she meets in the army) and the second one is the childhood friend (the one she has known long before she joins the army).

Mind you that the producers, directors or writers could create their own version regarding the men in her life but this is my favourite version.

For the sake of fairness, I have to let you know that my biggest bias towards this series is my love for its casts.

I love Anita Yuen a lot. As an actress I don’t think she is that beautiful but every time she appears on the screen she outshines other more beautiful women.

And as if her presence alone is not enough, the show has two Vincents in it. The two guys who are also my favourites.

At the beginning I was torn between rooting for Vincent Zhao or Vincent Jiao. Both of them are great actors and have enough presence to burn your screen, especially Vincent Jiao.

He has something that makes me want to cheer for him in whatever role he takes. And as I look at his old photo I just notice something about him and Mike He.

If there is no generation gap they could be brothers or twins with their uncanny resemblance.

This is Mike He:

Don’t tell me I'm the only one who sees the similarity.

My first instinct when I watch Hua Mu Lan is to ship Vincent Jiao. I want him to be the man who gets the girl.

The problem is, although I want to root for Yu Cheng En the story doesn’t allow me to because he doesn’t love Hua Mulan. Not the way she loves him.

His jealousy when Mulan starts to side with Li Liang doesn’t stem from love. It comes from his jealousy of Li Liang himself and perhaps from a sudden realization that he is no longer the number one man in Mulan’s life as he used to be.

I can understand why he doesn’t like Li Liang. He hates people who use their connection to get what they want, and he thinks Li Liang is one of them. But deep down inside I think he is jealous that Li Liang could become a general at such a young age.

But the thing is Li Liang is great without even trying to be great. I fall in love with him long before Mulan does. I jump from Vincent Jiao’s ship to Vincent Zhao’s ship.



I never jump ship before. Had I not like the OTP that a show is forcing on me I simply stop watching.

However, there are shows that don’t show you right away which guy is the Mr. Right. Sometimes you end up watching it just because you want to know the answer.

The Female General Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun is one of them.


If I knew about the final OTP in the Female General, I won’t waste my time finishing the series.

I may sound like I’m pissed because my heart is broken when the heroine ends up with the wrong guy. The irony is I’m not in love with the other guy either.

But what worse is that I don’t love the female lead.

Considering the fact that this drama is touted as the large scale period drama with a year long preparation, how could I not love the three main characters in this show?

How could I not love Hua Mulan?

Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun is directed by Tian You Liang and supported by Ellane Kong as Hua Ruo Lan, Chen Si Cheng as Prince Yang Jun/The General and Yuan Hong as Zhao Yu (Ruo Lan’s childhood friend).

The big scale screams big budget. The year long preparation promises greatness. What I get is a disappointment.

The first time I saw Yuan Hong as Zhao Yu I was asking myself whether they really want to set him up as Hua Mulan’s, oops, Hua Ruo Lan’s husband for real.

Yuan Hong is very easy on the eyes but Zhao Yu is definitely not the kind of guy I envision for the great Hua Mulan. However, since the Hua Mulan in this show is not that great either perhaps I should give them my blessings instead.


I find it hard to fall in love with Hua Ruo Lan. Not because I have such high standard for my female warrior – well, actually I do –  but I would already be in heaven if she has the slightest clue of how to do a decent kick and throw punches.

But, this girl.....this girl cowers and hides like a genuine damsel in distress. And although later on she gets a great martial art teacher she still sucks at fighting.

While watching Female General I secretly wish for a scene where a sword or an arrow would strike and mortally wound her.

How a girl that weak could survive years of fighting a horrible war is a question that the director/writer of this show needs to properly justify.

Anita Yuen’s Hua Mulan doesn’t duck when she sees a sword or a fight coming her way. She doesn’t run and hide from a villain. She chases and fights the great General Li Liang one on one when she thinks he is a law breaker.

Her fighting skills are at a level that would make any male soldiers under her leadership proud. Nobody would raise their eyebrows when they learn that she wins battle after battle for regardless of her gender she’s a good warrior.

Although unfortunately despite its very capable Hua Mulan CTV’s also attributes her successes to the interference of Su Ji Lie the kitchen God.

Unlike Ellane Kong’s Hua Ruo Lan who is clueless of the goings on around her (apparently her little sister is the one who is blessed with the wits and the guts), Anita Yuen’s Hua Mulan is wise enough to see what’s behind other people’s actions.

When she leaves the war zone and marries General Li Liang, she uses her wits in a domestic battle against Li Liang’s mother who hates her guts. She makes me laugh and proud just watching how she deals with things that come her way.

Hua Ruo Lan? She makes me want to stop watching the moment I saw her. But you know how it is with your favourite series, you keep praying that it’ll get better, so you keep on watching until the bitter end.

Okay, I know it has a happy ending. If that’s what the director wants to call it. But I beg to differ.

I want Hua Ruo Lan to end up with Prince Yang Jun. Not because I’m madly in love with this couple but because he loves her and she loves him. Or at least I think she does.

And that my friend is another bone that I have with this show.

CTV’s Hua Mulan doesn’t fill with cute romantic scenes where we could see a lot of skinship. The chemistries between the characters are not sizzling either but compare to the Female General’s what they have is perfect.

If you want to ask me about the romance in Jin Guo Da Jiang Jun I’ll say what romance?

And as a sucker for a romantic story, that’s the final blow against this show.

ps.

If romance is the least of your concern you can enjoy so many other things in both dramas. CTV’s Hua Mulan is quite funny while Female General has more court’s intrigues. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Time Traveling (Rooftop Prince, Nine Times Travel and Mirae's Choice)

Time travel is one of my favorite themes be it in dramas or novels. But the problem with most of the time travel dramas I’ve seen is they don’t really satisfy. I find most of their endings unsatisfactory.

A good ending is the most important thing for me. I won’t complaint much about less than coherent storyline in the beginning or in the middle of a drama or both as long as they don’t give me a crappy ending.

But for time travel’s theme besides a good ending it is mandatory for the writers to sell the logic that is being used in their story to the viewers. I need to believe in, agree with or at the very least not fully against what is being shown to me.

Compare to time travel dramas, time travel novels are definitely better. Dared to Dream by Tammy Hilz Mc.C and A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereux are examples of time travel story that is beautifully and cleverly written.

Perhaps that is what is wrong with time travel dramas. They are not strong enough in the story department because they probably don’t have enough time to write stories that are captivating and making sense.

Delivering a time travel story that makes perfect sense is not an easy thing to do since time travel itself is an illogical theory.

Fortunately for the writers, I don’t need to be convinced that time travel is possible because despite knowing that it’s one of those things that will never be no matter how many people say ‘nothing is impossible’, I love the idea of time traveling.

But loving the idea doesn’t mean I buy it.

If we could move backward in time or move forward to the future things will continuously change and as a result we’ll lose the present as we know it. We’ll be trapped in a never ending circle.
However, I think the biggest argument against time travel is death.

If time travel is possible we could cheat death with our time machine. We could either go backward ten thousand years (giving ourselves extra ten thousand years) or go forward a thousand years (escaping the time of our own death).

If time machine exists it will become the hottest stuff on the market. Everyone wants to escape death. Everyone wishes to undo something in their pasts. Everyone is eager to know what awaits in the future.

We’ll have people traveling back and forth from the future and the past changing this and that. Time will lose its meaning. Even life itself will lose its meaning.

Mistakes are not something to be regretted and undo but they are valuable lessons to be learned. Death is not something to be feared and played with but it is something to be used as a reminder that time is priceless and that we should be prepared for what’s to come.

Time traveling is the most selfish and destructive act a person could do to other fellow human beings.We might not know how our decision to turn left instead of right at a cross road affects the life of others but they do. Everything is interconnected. So, changing one little thing in one’s life will also change the life of others.

One of the best time travel dramas I’ve seen so far is Nine Times Time Travel. I love almost everything about it. I love the way it shows how the past relates to the present. And I love how it shows that time traveling changes the lives of those around the male lead.


Despite its happy ending (sort of), Nine Times Time Travel could be used as arguments why time travel is something that should not be done (the lead travels back in time to bring back his dead big brother to life).

Just imagine if some evil genius billion years from now decides to bring back Hitler or Sadam Hussain or whoever the evil figures in a distant future to life and creates an Evil Forever Club. *shudders*

In a zero chance that time machines could be invented, time traveling should be outlawed now.
Having said that, no matter how illogical and dangerous it is, time travel is a fascinating idea. Nine Times Time Travel does an excellent job at delivering a good story. It is also succeeded in ending the story in a good way.

Ending a regular drama is a tricky thing but ending a time travel drama is even trickier. The Rooftop Prince is a good example of the messed up ending. I love that show but watching its ending I once again experienced the WTF moment that I experienced when watching the end of Lovers in Paris which by the way I also love.


I’m not a fan of reincarnation thing (personally I think it’s the easiest way out for lazy writer) but since it is the most common tool used in a time travel story I never complain. But what happens in Rooftop Prince is not even that.

The final OTP is not the one we watch and root for the whole series. The OTP is not the ones who fall in love with each other.The heroine ends up with a guy who happens to have the same face with the guy she falls in love with. While the hero ends up with the corpse of a woman who has the same face with our heroine.

Not exactly a happy ending.

Now, let’s talk about the latest Korean time travel drama, Mirae’s Choice or Marry Him if You Dare airing on Monday-Tuesday. It’s too early to say whether I’m going to love this show or not but so far (Episode 3) I totally love it. 


Unfortunately, this show brings forth the biggest problem that I have with time travel: Future Mirae meets the current Mirae saying that I’m you.

I is I. You is you. When I meet you it becomes us. You get what I’m trying to say? For me to be me, there should only be one me. For I to be I, there should only be one I. If there are seven  Is, say Monday I, Tuesday I, Wednesday I, Thursday I, Friday I, Saturday I and Sunday I who have a meeting in a room, they should have the same feeling on whatever issues being discussed and they should also think alike.

If they don’t have the same thoughts, don’t have the same feelings, don’t know what’s inside the minds and hearts of the other persons, they are not the same person.

Okay, I’ll stop now because I can feel the headache is coming. I just hope you understand that for me I is I. Although there are people who look like I they are not I.

In Nine Times Time Travel, the male lead who tries to cheat his own death by traveling back in time and ends up dead anyway leaving his bride at the altar broken hearted and me crying like a baby is the ‘I’ who I watch and root for.

That’s it. This talking about I meeting I drives me crazy. I’ll go and watch Marry Him if You Dare Episode 4 to cure my headache. Hopefully, it won’t give me another ache to talk about Is.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Belated Happy Birthday to My Other Man Song Seung Hun (송승헌)

I’m late again for the birthday of my second love. I was a day late for Jo Hyun Jae’s and now five days late for Song Seung Hun’s. So, I can understand if you start to wonder whether I really love them.

But in my defense I didn’t even remember my own birthday until a colleague congratulated me.

Birthday is not a big thing in my family. We never celebrate birthday. I’m sure my brother doesn’t even know our parents’ birthdays. The only birthday that every one remembers is my nephew’s.

Therefore, not remembering my men’s birthdays doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I love them with all the love and passions that exceed my love for other actors.

Hence, allow me to convey my very best wishes to one of the most gorgeous Korean actors ever graces the screen, the perfect 송승헌.

‘Dear Song Seung Hun, Belated Happy Birthday. May you get all the things that you want in life and be happy with the life you live.’

My personal wish:
I wish for a day when I can fall head over heel in love with his character, be that in movies or dramas. I want to love that character as much as I love his other ‘character’, The Hand Towel.

I think I might get my wish with his newest project Human Addiction.

People, okay, I mean ladies, are already raving about how that project suits him, how perfect it is for him and wonder why nobody ever thought about it before. They are even deliberating on giving him a new name, The No Towel. Saying that it’s about time to say good riddance to that damn towel of his.

Needless to say that I’m really looking forward to his new movie and applaud him for his bravery and generosity to share God’s best gift to women kind. For, he’d be generous in that movie, right?

Wait, does it mean that I would fall in love with yet another character of his that’s not even in the movie?

*Need to check out once again how beautiful my Song Seung Hun really is. Looking at him always gives me inspirations and light bulb moments*

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jo Hyun Jae (조현재) Returns with MBC’s King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang!


This is the best news ever!

I feel like jumping up and down, hugging and kissing complete strangers just to share my excitement.

Thank you so much MBC for giving me the chance to see Jo Hyun Jae once again on my screen. How I miss him!  

Now I understand why he didn’t join Empress Qi. This King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang is so much better than Empress Qi!

I love that once again I get to see him in a leading role as the future King (he got the similar role in his last sageuk Seo Dong Yo/Song of the Prince those years ago – the role that made me fell in love with him).

My only concern for this drama is whether it’ll get subbed considering that it’s a daily drama – translation: a long one probably 100+ episodes.

Not that I’m complaining, how could I?  It’ll give me a very long time to drool, moon and swoon over my man.

I think I never love October as much as I’m going to love this October.

*SQUEEEEEEE*

ps.
- have to confess that I don’t care for the female leads though

- praying that the Princess’s character Soo Baek Hyang will be an interesting one and not a meek, pushover, damsel in distress kind.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Loving the Master’s Sun


At first I’m not quite sure that I would fall in love with this show.

But how could you not love the Master who always says: ‘Get Lost!’; ‘Don’t touch me! I don’t like to be touched!’ but then always lets his Sun to touch him or ending up touching
her of his own free will.



How could you not love the guy who says he doesn’t want to fall in love when it is obvious to us all that he’s already so deep in it that he couldn’t even tell that he’s the stupid goat?


How could I not love him when he is so endearingly adorable?! His scowling, his pouting, his little smiles when he is happy…..swoon.




I don’t know about the Master’s wolf but this wolf is going to die starving.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jo Hyun Jae (조현재) Joining Hwatu/Empress Qi/Gi? Yes, Please!

I could watch anything with my man in it. Although admittedly I haven’t been able to bring myself to finish that Ad drama where he played the second lead. What irk me the most is that I’m watching lots of dramas but I don’t have the freaking idea who the male lead in that drama is. I was like, ‘Who is that’? ‘Huh’?

So, I’m dying for a new drama where I could root for Jo Hyun Jae and the female lead in earnest. Then I learned the happy news from Ms. Koala that Jo Hyun Jae might be joining the cast of Hwatu as the second male lead.

I know it’s another second lead role but this time around the male lead is Joo Jin Mo. Yes, Joo Jin Mo!

You don’t know who Joo Jin Mo is? Okay, in that case I don’t think explaining his resume will help you to get the picture. No matter how much I love Jo Hyun Jae I think I have to be objective enough in saying that Joo Jin Mo is the bigger name here.This is him in all his rugged glory:

And since this Hwatu is about the Empress Qi/Gi, I know for sure that Jo Hyun Jae’ll get the girl because he’ll be the Emperor, the Toghun Temur Khan, right?

I don’t know how the script will be written or how will they play the love line between the leading lady (Ha Ji Won) who will play Gi Jao a Korean girl who is sent to Yuan Dynasty then later become the Empress Qi/Gi and Joo Jin Mo who will play one of the worse Kings in Goryoe, King Chunghye.

Seeing how the Emperor made this nobody into his Empress it meant that he loved her dearly. Definitely more than any women in his palace even his own first Empress.

That’s what I want to happen between Jo Hun Jae and Ha Ji Won in this drama. It goes without saying they are the OTP that I want to see on my small screen.



Although Joo Jin Mo/King Chunghye is the male lead, I more than welcome him to all the women in his palace – and leave my OTP alone. And the history does say he did indeed welcome himself to every woman there.

I find this drama is interesting – okay, I do find it interesting now after hearing the rumour about the possibility of Jo Hyun Jae joining the casts – because I want to see how will they portray these three historical figures who are not loved by the Korean people. What twists are they going to use to make viewers root for them.

I don’t mind the twisting in the historical drama, as long as the major facts remain. For example Lady Wu, the First Empress which I watched because I love the leads.

In this drama they turned Alyssa Chia into a bubbly, innocent, nice girl which is totally absurd because in reality nobody like that could become an Empress.

You need some one who is shrewd, tough, and brilliant enough to defeat their enemies and not balking at the thoughts of killing few dozen people to get to the top. Or powerful men behind you like an Emperor who loves you more than anything else.

But with the team that produced Giant (which by the way I totally love, gosh what an epic beautiful giant that drama is) behind this drama I have a high hope that they will not turn Ha Ji Won into a sweet bubbly thing. Nor Jo Hyun Jae into a loved sick Emperor although he loves her dearly.

On the other hand, Joo Jin Moo the male lead could be as villain as imaginable. Hopefully, even more evil than our villain Jo Phil Yon in Giant. I’m looking forward to seeing another epic journey like Giant.

*praying that it’ll be epic and not a giant disappointment*

ps.
To those who have power in this drama please give Jo Hyun Jae if he takes the role as the Emperor some hair. Please, please, please. You need to create your own hair style for the Yuan Emperor here. This is the twist that I’m sure the future viewers of this drama are praying day and night. It would be pure torture to see one of the male leads with hideous hair do for 60 episodes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Playing Cupid

This is probably not one of my better ideas. Liking romance and rather good at writing stories are not the same with trying to pair real people in real life.

When writing I have full control over my hero’s feelings. I could create events that would bring my hero and heroine together. I get to decide when and where they should have their fateful encounter that would seal their fates together.


But life is not a fiction. This cupid wannabe have no resources to back up her new vocation. I don’t even know this guy!

I’m trying to match this potential Mr. Right to my best friend simply because she is crazy about him. I reckon from her story that he is keen on the internet and things computer/IT related thus I decide to send him this top secret intelligence praying that he somehow reads it.

This blog is read by over a quarter of the United Nations member States where most of the readers are from the United States, South Korea, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, France, Poland, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

But the latest trend shows that a large number of Indonesians start to read this blog too. And who knows he might be one of them.  Hey, I’m an optimist and wishing for the best is my motto.

So, Mr. Right, in the very slim chance that you read this blog I want to let you know that if you start to listen to the advice freely given by those busybodies around you, you won’t be disappointed.

She won’t say no if you dare to pop the question. No matter what those questions are. You get my drift?

Just a friendly suggestion though, don’t pop the question in the office, you might give her a heart-attack along with everybody else in that floor with her scream of joy.

She’s already in the moon when you stop calling her Ma’am and use Nuna (it’s how our Korean male lead calls their older heroine) instead. Can’t even imagine how she would react when you start calling her by name.

If you want to know whether it’s you and her I’m talking about you could start sleuthing. I’m an open book. And if you have half the brain she tells me you have it’ll be a piece of cake for you.


A clue: she mentioned me once in the middle of your conversation with those ladies from Australia.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gong Hyo Jin’s The Master’s Sun


Although I love all her works I’m not really a fan of Gong Hyo Jin. But that could change.  

Just like Lee Bo Young who was also not my favorite despite watching almost all of her dramas which I really loved – okay, it’s Sodongyo/Song of the Prince – with just one role (Jang Hye Sung in I Hear Your Voice) she has successfully turned me into a fan.

I have a feeling that with her role in The Master’s Sun, Gong Hyo Jin will turn me into her fan as well. 

I like how she plays Tae Gong Sil. I totally see the similarity between her character and the cat that she is being likened to by the other male lead. She doesn’t do it intentionally but just like a cat she charms her owner with her coyness.

I love the way she refers to herself as The Sun and I love how she tries to constantly keep the body contact – just like a cat that keeps swirling around your legs – with Ju Jong Won (Soe Ji Sub) who of course totally hates how she sheds on his impeccable person.

Despite seeing the chance that I could fall in love with Gong Hyo Jin here, I haven’t fallen in love with The Master’s Sun yet. I like it enough to watch it as it airs but it hasn’t gripped me in a death trap that I can’t escape like I Hear Your Voice. 

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Time to Enjoy Jakarta


Starting next week we’ll have a long holiday. I don’t know the exact number but from around 13 million people who are in Jakarta during weekdays and 9 millions who actually live in the City most of them will be leaving it for their hometowns.

It’s time for us who considers Jakarta as our hometown to enjoy its roads. To actually drive and not just sit behind the wheel for hours stuck in the most horrible traffics one could imagine.

If you plan to visit Jakarta and you hate traffics please plan your timing around the end of Ramadan (a week before it’s ended).


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Favorite Month


There are many reasons why I love the month of Ramadan. But what I love the most is how I could go home at 15.45 at the latest – provided there are no emergencies (praying there’s none till the end of the month).

This is made possible by the fact that I live in a country with the most Muslims population in the world (we’re not an Islamic State though), and that we (all the Head of Divisions and even our Bureau Head) conspired to stick to that time and conveyed this very important message ‘very politely and tactfully of course’ to our Secretary General.

The magic mantra is ‘this is the month of piety’. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Kind of Kiss

I think I rant enough about how I dislike most kissing scenes in drama land.

My reactions after those kissing scenes range between blegh, stop watching, glaring at the screen or pretending (a long with the drama itself) that it never happens.

But there are few kissing scenes that make my heart sing, that make me swoon right where I am, that make me scream YES from the top of my lungs. All of them happen between characters that capture my love in dramas that totally worth my precious time.

This time I Hear Your Voice delivers that perfect kissing scene. It breaks my heart so beautifully….which is the first time ever.



O, show how I love thee!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

After the Second Episode of I Hear Your Voice

I have to say that I love the show!

Er……perhaps I shouldn’t say it out loud for I might end up jinxing it and myself as it’s still too early and kdramas are rather fickle and treacherous.

But, there aren’t that many dramas that can capture my full attention and love this soon, usually I have to grant them my patience – lots of it – before I get my reward.

I Hear Your Voice gives me that reward right from the start. All I have to do now is praying that the reward won’t turn into a curse just as quickly.

I love fast paced drama that is fun and entertaining. Drama that could make me laughs and smiles because of its silliness or cuteness.

And I love them even more if amongst all those silliness and cuteness there are tensions that could grip my wandering attention and characters that could make me root for their happiness or in some cases downfall.

In this case although I don’t really love Lee Bo Yong, I love her character Jang Hye Sung. (Admission: I always have a thing for a bad heroine).

I love seeing how her bad manners and mouth automatically make people assume that she is a bad person.

I love seeing how uninterested she is in doing normal things that normal people would do just to maintain a good image in front of others.

And I love seeing how totally wrecked her house is after she dressed her self up so sharply for her first day at work. There is something so endearing about it.

Now, about the male lead.


I love how he could be so mature on occasions while at other times he acts even younger than his age.

He could be brooding like a thousand year old vampire and just as quickly he could be dancing like a happy toddler.

Our hero and heroine are more similar than what their ages might suggest. I love watching the interactions between them. It’s like seeing my beloved kittens playing among themselves.

I love seeing how our hero automatically assumes that our heroine is a goddess of all that is good only to be totally shocked when he found out how rude and harsh she actually is.

I love seeing that despite his disappointment in the woman that she has become (although she was exactly the same when she was younger, it’s just him that didn’t know how horrible she actually was) he finally decides to believe his guts in trusting the brave little girl who risked her own life just to help him those years ago.

I love how our hero chooses to see beneath our heroine’s unappealing facade to look deep down into what really matters and decides that she is a good person without using his power to hear her thoughts.

By the way, do you know that Korean dramas have their own language?

They send their messages through gestures that would be unacceptable in our real world.  And could be received in a completely wrong way if the real men do that to the real women.

But, it’s drama land we’re talking about. They have created their own bizarre language.

And I find myself understanding that language and interpreting them just like what those drama gods probably want me to.

In this show, the fact that our hero is so familiar with our heroine and doing all those gestures that other male leads do to female leads makes me swoon with happiness.

Call me crazy but I love it when he acts like a caveman and carries her on his shoulder. I love it when he tells her directly about his ability to hear other people’s thoughts.

They tell me that he is totally comfortable with her. They tell me that he trusts her completely.



And I love seeing how our heroine believes him.

I love seeing how she looks to him to gather up her courage to once again stand up and do what is right.

Love it.