WELCOME, I created this blog with the intent to reach out to other Asian drama and music lovers like myself. I intend to use this platform majorly for reviews but with time other fun specials will be added, so feel free to give suggestions.
The chosen song for this week is Run For Your Life by Tiffany Young. Stephanie Hwang, professionally known as Tiffany Young, is a Korean American singer. I am sure that many of us in the Kpop community know her as a member of the famous pop group, Girls Generation. Although Tiffany remains a member of Girls Generation, she left SM Entertainment in 2017 and moved to Los Angeles to focus on her solo career. After moving to the States, she has released an EP titled Lips on Lips and eight singles. “Run For Your Life” is her latest single.
I really love the electronic sound of this song. It gives me a strong lady gaga vibe. From what I heard, it was made by the same producer who worked on lady gaga’s early stuff. So that explains the similarity in sound. That aside, Tiffany nailed this song. She came on fierce, and her voice sounds great. According to Tiffany, this song is for the ambitious and passionate dreamers that never stop… run towards life like your LIFE depends on it. She hopes that RFYL inspires everyone to run, fight and shine.
I have been listening to this song on repeat. It is groovy and also has a great message. My favourite part is when she sings, “I’m ice cold, baby on an ocean of glitter.” My only problem is that the song is way too short. It is not even up to three minutes.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoy listening to “Run For Your Life” and also check out more songs from Tiffany Young. “Magnetic Moon” is another fantastic single from her, so maybe start with that if you have not listened to it already.
I cannot believe that I have not written a drama review since July. Honestly, sometimes dramas become too repetitive or similar, so I usually take a break and then come back when I find something interesting. Currently, I have a good list of dramas that I plan to review.
For today, I will be reviewing Before We Get Married. Also known as Wo Men Bu Neng Shi Peng You (We Cannot Be Friends). It is a 2019 Taiwanese drama that stars Puff Kuo and Jasper Liu as leads. The drama’s plot is adapted from an original novel of the same name, written by Fang-Yun Tsai (pen name – Ayamei).Sypnosis: Zhou WeiWei is about to marry her long term boyfriend, Li Hao Yi. Chu Ke Huan has been dating his girlfriend Gao Zi Yuan for ten years but has no plans of getting married. After a coincidental meeting between WeiWei and Ke Huan, everything changes. They begin to develop romantic feelings towards each other, and although they try to stay friends, fate has other plans for them. This is a romantic drama about love, betrayal, and friendship.
Before We Get Married has a total of thirteen episodes. It is 18+ restricted because of some mature scenes. Although I bet that most people will not follow that rule. Going into this drama, I was definitely expecting infidelity. I also knew that this was a more matured concept compared to the regular romantic comedy storylines. And although I was not pleased with the idea of them cheating on their respective partners, I decided to give the show a chance mainly because of Puff Kuo and Jasper Liu. I also hoped that since the story was focused on such a delicate topic, then the entire team must have put in more effort into creating a standard series.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
One thing that really threw me off was the forceful actions of Chu Ke Huan in the first two to three episodes. I am glad that he was not portrayed like that throughout the entire show because I dislike watching such scenes. It reminded me of the forceful wrist grabs in Korean dramas. Honestly, there is nothing romantic about those slow motioned wrist grabs, absolutely nothing. That aside, the chemistry between the leads was electrifying. Of course, this is not their first time working together, so that is expected. They previously starred in the 2014 Taiwanese drama – Pleasantly Surprised. And they have also maintained a good friendship outside of their work scene, so I definitely expected their chemistry as a couple to be intense.
Before We Get Married is the first Taiwanese drama to have caught my attention in a long time. It was refreshing to watch, and the actors did an excellent job of bringing their characters to life. I was frustrated at who I was supposed to be frustrated at, and I also came to love the characters that were meant to be appreciated. So kudos to the actors and the entire production crew for a job well done.
This drama’s main plot is settled around two couples and betrayal. But before judging based on the infidelity involved, try to take into consideration that these two couples were already unstable from the start. And although cheating is still in no way justifiable, the drama really does well to show what caused both couples to drift apart.
In Chu Ke Huan and Gao Zi Yan’s case, they were both aware of the lack of love in their relationship, but they left things vague for too long. That made everything harder to untangle when Ke Huan decided to break off the relationship. And in Zhou WeiWei and Li Hao Yi’s case, one partner was always going along with the other’s decisions and plans. In the long run, it caused the opinion of the overcompensating partner to be disregarded entirely. Both couples were already ticking time bombs waiting to go off. I do not condone cheating, but I can clearly see how their situation led them to make mistakes.
Now, although it was a refreshing drama to watch, I must admit that the story got a little bit slow towards the end. I am happy that the episodes were kept short because if the drama had run any longer, it would have lost its quality. Also, there are a few issues that remained unresolved by the end of the series. The first is the sudden disappearance of Chu Ke-Huan’s best friend, Yang Bai Yang. I know that he was transferred, but after that incident, he was utterly erased from the drama. Even his role as Han Ke Fei’s potential boyfriend was written off. So I guess the writer had to boost up Liu Da Wei’s character to fill up the void. I just felt that his disappearance was abrupt and could have been handled better. The second issue is the abortion case of Gao Zi Yuan. So we got to know that the relationship between her and Ke Huan began to deteriorate after she aborted their baby without his permission. But what was never mentioned was her reason behind doing so. Maybe they decided to skip that because they felt it was irrelevant. But in my opinion, they should have included it as a way of giving her a fair judgement.
For a more detailed review, let us talk about the main characters –
#1. Puff Kuo – Zhou WeiWeiRight from the first scene with Zhou WeiWei and Li Hao Yi, I could tell that there was something off about their relationship. But from WeiWei’s perspective, her relationship was perfect. Honestly, when you become accustomed to a pattern, you can hardly tell if it is wrong or right unless you take a time-out and check yourself. So, in this case, the reality check that WeiWei needed came from Chu Ke Huan. Then later on in the drama, her best friend Han Ke Fei also played the same role. Once she realized what was wrong, the need for change became a frustrating battle for her. I love that she tried all she could to save her relationship with her fiancé, but unfortunately, Li Hao Yi was not ready to accept his faults and make the necessary changes. So I support her for breaking off such a toxic relationship. Here is a clip to show how far wrecked the relationship was, and whenever she tried to resolve things, it all landed on deaf ears –
Personally, I wanted WeiWei to be on her own for a while, and I am glad that she actually did so. Going straight into a relationship would be taking past baggage and negative auras into a new phase of life. She needed time to heal and rediscover herself.
#2. Jasper Liu – Chu Ke Huan The major mistake he made was staying in a relationship for ten years when he clearly knew that he no longer loved his girlfriend. I know he stayed to fulfill his promise to her late mother, but by doing so, he enabled Gao Zi Yuan’s obsession over him. He then started using WeiWei as an escape from his reality. So even though he played a significant role in getting WeiWei to see the wrongs in her relationship, he had a hard time dealing with his own issues. Thankfully Zi Yuan’s younger sister helped him realize that to ultimately be free, he needed to cut Zi Yuan off completely. Forget the promise and just leave her alone.
And although his forceful actions at the beginning of the series were unpleasant, he managed to show many redeeming qualities as the story progressed. He became a good friend to WeiWei whenever she needed someone that could understand and comfort her. He also learnt to be patient with her and give her space. He was willing to wait for her to achieve her goal of becoming WeiWei 2.0 before starting a new relationship. I really love Chu Ke Huan’s character because after the final confirmation that he was emotionally invested in another woman, he broke things off with Gao Zi Yuan immediately. Now concerning his relationship with WeiWei. It started out as lust, but it developed into a good friendship, which involved mutual love and respect for each other.
Pardon me because my next statement is a bit off-topic.
JASPER LIU IS HOT🥰. Okay, NEXT!!!🗣…
#3. Steven Sun – Li Hao YiYes, he over plans and puts way too much emphasis on saving up money, but that does not necessarily make him a horrible person. Li Hao Yi’s main flaw was his pride and inability to listen or make changes. A relationship involves two people, so how can one person make all the decisions without consulting the other party. That is simply disrespectful.
Such a flaw can be worked on, but when nothing is done, it becomes toxic and unbearable. After the breakup, Li Hao Yi’s character took an extreme 360 turn, and he lost all his redeeming qualities. He became more stubborn, violent, rude and still did not want to listen before jumping to conclusions. And even though he calmed down at the end, I feel that he still did not learn anything. I say this because of the statement he made to Wei Wei before leaving Taipei. I quote – “You always make me watch you leave, now you should be the one to watch me leave.” To me, that statement proves that he took no lesson away from the breakup but instead felt that it all happened because Wei Wei fell in love with someone else. Maizi really summed up what I wanted to tell Li Hao Yi. She said – “Comparing yourself to others or blaming others for all your problems is never the right way to go about things. First, look within yourself and find out if you also hold some blame.” Hao Yi, unlike Gao Zi Yuan, had a chance to make things right, but he let his pride shoot him in the foot before finishing the race.
#4. Nital Lei – Gao Zi YuanShe was such a one-dimensional character; even till the end of the series, she remained the same without any glimpse of hope. Her character’s issues should have been resolved faster. But I really love the actress because she did an excellent job showing all of Gao Zi Yuan’s flaws.
Zi Yuan is manipulative, selfish, inconsiderate and obsessed. She continuously used the excuse of doing things for Ke Huan’s good to get away with her excessive lifestyle. Also, trying to guilt-trip him with the promise he made to her late mother was terrible. She was fully aware of how bad their relationship had become, but she decided to remain in denial. Watching her actions was like trying to pour water into a broken jar. Even when her younger sister advises her, she shuns her sister’s words and continues on her path of destruction. How does one come back from all these? There was no character development for her at all. That is why I wish they provided the reason for her aborting the baby. Maybe that would have made this character have more depth.
#5. Pheobe Yuan – Han Ke FeiI started out this drama not being the biggest fan of Han Ke Fei, but by the end of the series, I appreciated her presence. She sincerely wanted the best for WeiWei and was always ready to defend her no matter what. She also calls WeiWei out on her actions by asking her the right questions. Some examples include – Are you satisfied? Do you really want to get married? Are you sure you have no feelings for Chu Ke Huan? Questions like these are essential before jumping into marriage.
I know most people did not like how thirsty how her character was, but if you ask me, her behaviour was quite realistic and straightforward. She did need some toning down, but who am I to judge. I also saw comments of people slut-shaming her, which was unfair because where was that same energy when Chu Ke Huan was going after an engaged lady. Double standards😒. I am glad she found the right partner and settled down. Here is my favourite scene from her –
Overall I really enjoyed this drama. Most of all, for its complexity. The final result was not just to arrive at someone being right or wrong but rather to realize that everyone was in some way at fault for the demise of their own relationship. And by acknowledging your mistakes, you can move forward. Like I already mentioned, the acting was great and believable.
The background scores for this drama were always perfectly placed. Here is a good example –
I also loved the original soundtracks that were used. My favourite OST is the ending theme song by Bii. If you do not know about my intense admiration for Bii yet, then you must be a new reader. The song “I Miss You More” is from Bii’s latest album, which was also released this year. It is such a soft and calming piece, so it naturally became one of my favourite things about the show.
Another worthy mention is “I’d Like To Hear The Details” by Fang Wu. I do not know much about the singer, but the chorus on this song really caught my attention. It is also very relaxing.
To end this review, let us discuss the ending. A lot of people had mixed feelings towards the finale. The writers trolled all of us big time. From the previews, I thought it was going to be Ke Huan and WeiWei’s wedding, but it was not. Personally, I think the ending was perfect and realistic. Getting married at the end would have been too predictable.
After the one year skip, we know that they both resolved the issues with their previous partners. They are now free from anyone’s control and can date whoever they please. Also, WeiWei asking Ke Huan if she could buy him a coffee tells all the attentive viewers that they plan to start dating officially. In episode one, Chu Ke Huan asked her the same thing, and he said when someone says that, it is code for wanting to start a relationship. With all this knowledge, I am assured of them ending up together. Therefore, I have no problem with the ending.
Before We Get Married was everything I expected and more. Yes, there were a few unresolved issues, and the story became a bit slow towards the end, but none of these strongly affected my viewing experience. Plus, I would not mind rewatching it, so my rating for this drama is an 8/10.
The chosen song for this week is Beautiful by Dawen Wang. Dawen Wang is an American singer-songwriter. He gained popularity through making Chinese covers of popular songs on YouTube. Dawen currently resides in Taipei, Taiwan. He has released four studio albums so far and also has a good number of OSTs for Taiwanese dramas.
“Beautiful” is the opening theme song for the 2013 Taiwanese TV series, Deva Ju. The series stars Mandy Wei and How Yao as leads.
I totally forgot about this song, but thankfully I got to listen to it again while doing a very quick rewatch of Deja Vu. I finally added it to my personal playlist, and it has been on repeat since then.
The instrumental on this track is astonishing. The arrangement of the piano, violin and cello is so perfect, it really reaches out for the listener’s heart. Also, Dawen’s voice is incredible. The entire song is just what it claims to be from the title, Beautiful.
Here is the English translation:
First Verse –
Apart from this, I have no other way to describe you.
The other words are inaccurate,
Not even a million words would suffice.
Though these words, don’t sound creative,
but please trust these pure feelings of mine,
as I would like you to understand the desire of my heart.
I want us to fall in love with each other
To watch the sunset and sunrise together.
To breathe your breath, and to look forward to you looking forward to me.
The only one that I can love is you, even when I am left with nothing.
Let us fall in love with each other,
and never ever to tell one another to depart.
To also feel perfected only when I have the beautiful you in my life.
right from your eyes to the bottom of your heart.
How long is this lifetime
That it allows us to understand what love is?
The whole world becomes meaningful
Because of your one single response.
My favourite part of this song is definitely the chorus. I feel like I have been sleeping on Dawwen Wang’s music, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I cannot continue to neglect such a fantastic artist.
I hope you all enjoy listening to “Beautiful” and also go check out more songs from Dawen’s discography.
How is everyone doing? I hope you are all adapting well to the change of season. Please wear warm clothes to avoid catching a cold. Your health is important💕💕.
For today’s post, I will be sharing a few of my favourite webtoons/webcomics. I absolutely love reading webtoons. The fact that I can see the characters and scenes in colour really pleases me. I could spend hours reading different webtoons, so far as the chapters are available.
Currently, I have two comic apps that I regularly use – TappyToon and WEBTOON. Both apps allow logged-in users to save their favourite comics and also keep track of their reading progress. With TappyToon, the first few chapters are free, but the rest are locked and can only be opened with purchased tokens.
WEBTOON, on the other hand, provides free access to all chapters expect you the reader feels the need to fast track. A few of the comics have what they call Fast Pass, and you will need to buy coins to read them. This is not compulsory to do unless you just cannot wait for the regular update time. Another bonus for WEBTOON is that some comics have lovely background scores attached to specific chapters, so that makes reading even more fun.
Note: both apps do have desktop versions available.
Now in no particular ranking here is my webtoon/webcomic list –
Summary:What would you sacrifice to save your family? How far would you go to protect your people? For Clove, the last princess of a near-extinct Dragon clan, the answer is unthinkable: MARRY your greatest sworn enemy to bring peace to your land – source: WEBTOON.
This is definitely one of the best webtoons out now. The art is impressive, and the background scores are beautiful and well suited to their assigned chapters. From the summary, you can tell that it falls under the romance genre, but the storyline adds in the needed intensity that keeps the reader intrigued and always wanting more. So far, I have spent some coins to get the Fast Pass for this webtoon because the writer loves teasing me with cliffhangers. I really like Clove’s character. I admire that she is not just a damsel in distress but rather fights for herself and her people. SubZero is available on WEBTOON, and new chapters are posted every Monday.
Summary: You think your ghost stories are scary? Try listening to these stories from the ghosts themselves – source: WEBTOON.
Another awesome webtoon. The concept of ghosts telling horror stories about humans is fresh, and it definitely makes this webtoon stand out from other horror-themed webtoons. I absolutely loved reading season one, and I am excited to get right into season 2. Although this is categorized as horror, I personally do not think there is anything super scary about it. So no worries, you will be able to sleep well after reading it 😂😂😂. The primary purpose of the storyline is to prove that some humans can be scarier than ghosts. Ghost Teller is available on WEBTOON, and new chapters are added every Sunday.
Summary: She’s a hopeless romantic who’s turning 30 – and is not super happy about it. He’s a reclusive billionaire who’s hired her to be his assistant – and he’s not too pleased about that either. Together they rewrite the rules of friendship, love, work and the BEST way to clean someone’s apartment – source: WEBTOON.
This webtoon is perfect for anyone who loves a good and well written, slow-paced romance story. Now when I say slow-paced, I do not mean the crawling and tiring kind. Basically, what I am trying to say is do not expect the lead characters to start dating by chapter twenty. It takes a while for them to get into the romantic phase of their relationship, but the chemistry and possibility can be felt from the first few chapters. Age Matters has excellent characters and some mystery to the storyline, so anyone can enjoy reading it. It is available on WEBTOON. Currently on hiatus but will be back on the 9th of October, which is tomorrow.
Light and Shadow
Summary: It’s a rude insult when lowly and headstrong servant Edna comes to marry Duke Eli, instead of the noble daughter he expected. But the ambitious maid hides an even bigger secret behind her obvious ruse – one that could change the kingdom’s history. Can the two find freedom, redemption – and love – without drawing their swords on each other? – source: TappyToon.
This is one webcomic I always go back to read. I am obsessed with it. It is a regular romance and drama comic, but I admire the love and trust that develops between the lead characters. Warning – there are a few mature scenes in the beginning. I also love that we get a strong female character. So yes, when I have romance, a reasonable amount of drama and strong-willed characters, what else do I need. That is why I always go back to read it again and again. The complete chapters of Light and Shadow are available on TappyToon.
Summary: A sexy supernatural story about being out on your own. Imagine finding your dream apartment and discovering that your new place is haunted by a handsome spectral stranger from another dimension. Sure, HE can’t see you and YOU can’t touch him, but who said every relationship starts out perfect? – source: WEBTOON.
This almost reminds me of the Korean drama W: Two Worlds with the two different dimensions, but the only difference here is that they are both real humans. The art on this is stunning, and the colours really stand out. From the title, you can expect a weird romance story with funny but very relatable characters. From the chapters I have read, there is still a lot of mystery around why these two dimensions exist, so I am interested in finding out more. Freaking Romance is available on WEBTOON, and it is updated every Sunday.
Summary: 17 years after her own reincarnation, Adelaide hears that a dimensional traveller has suddenly arrived at the imperial palace. Just the jolt of excitement my boring life needed, she thought! Attending the debutant ball to meet this new Susanne. Adelaide ends up making a deal with the handsome duke Felix: become his “fake” fiancee so he can keep the gold-digging Susanne away from him! As Felix warms to his companion. Can Adelaide win this battle for his heart? – source: TappyToon.
I have noticed that this storyline of reincarnation and being reborn in the past is quite rampant on TappyToon lately. But Adelaide happens to be the only one of such stories to have piqued my interest. I love Adelaide and how she handles things. She is so laid back, smart and fearless. This webcomic is categorized as romance, fantasy and comedy. It is a cute love story that guarantees a relaxing read. All released chapters are available on TappyToon, with new updates every Tuesday.
Summary: Her ability to detect lies has made her an outstanding officer of the law. Despite being haunted by her inability to save the ones she loved from a gruesome fate many years ago. Now, she uses her powerful gift to defend the defenceless at any cost. Even if it means teaming up with a deadly assassin to fight evil in a world gone mad – source: WEBTOON.
This happens to be one of my recent discoveries. Even though I got into reading it quite late, I am glad I gave it a glance because it turned out to be a good webtoon. The background scores on this webtoon are pure genius. Kudos to the creators for putting in so much work. Also, the artwork on this is another masterpiece. This does not have many chapters out yet, but so far, it is a promising story to follow. Purple Hyacinth is categorized into the drama genre. It is available on WEBTOON and updates every Tuesday.
Summary: What would you do if you are given a second chance to turn back time and relive your past? Would you repeat what you did in the past for fear of the butterfly effect? Or would you take a different course of action and let the future speak for itself? – source: WEBTOON.
I just started reading this. It seems to be a great fantasy/sci-fi series. This webtoon is centred on the survival of a family after some form of zombie apocalypse takes place. It is something different from my regular reads, but so far, I am enjoying it. I find it funny that I do not mind ghost stories, but zombies kind of creep me out. Anyways Rebirth is available on WEBTOON, and new chapters are added every Wednesday.
Summary: Rising sensation Maha joins the new girl group Tea Party, after videos of her imitating other singers go viral. Ryoc, a member of the boy band Shax, is skeptical of her talent at first for being a fake. But as they keep crossing paths in the hectic music industry, they soon become a couple that must hide their relationship from the prying eyes of fans and fellow idols. Can ‘imitation’ Maha find it in herself to become a real star? – source: TappyToon.
This centers around the life of Korean Popstars and how hard they have it maintaining romantic relationships. I have finished reading season one, and I am almost done reading the second season. I really pray that the relationship of the main couple stands firm through all the trails. Fighting!!!. Imitation has three seasons, but there is a side story still running for it, so new chapters are added every Thursday. Another great romantic-comedy, and it is available on TappyToon.
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim
Summary: Handsome, loaded, and arrogant Young Joon is the VP of a major corporation. Miso has been his perfect secretary, practically legend for surviving her narcissistic boss for 9 long years. But now that she’s quitting, is there really nothing — or no one — that can stop her from walking away? – source: TappyToon.
I am sure that many people have seen the Korean drama version of this webtoon because It was quite popular. I started reading the webtoon before the drama version was announced. I really enjoyed the drama. I think they picked good actors and did well in bringing the story to life. The webtoon is complete with all chapters available on TappyToon. So if you really loved the drama, you might want to check out the webtoon.
That is all I have for this post. I know not everyone who visits my blog is interested in webtoons, but I still wanted to share. I enjoy doing a lot of things, so why not reach out to others like me who love dipping their hands into so many things at once 😂😂😂😂.
This one is dedicated to my people who jump from dramas to anime then to webtoons/manga and finally chill with some good Kpop or Cpop. I SEE YOU ALL
The chosen song for this week is Best Actor by A-Lin.
Huang Li-ling or Lisang Pacidal Koyouan is popularly known by the stage name A-Lin. She is a Taiwanese singer and songwriter managed under Sony Music Taiwan.
A-Lin is the first artist I ever wrote about on this blog. I wrote a review for her soundtrack to the famous Taiwanese series – Memory Love. I remember being so nervous about that post because I was uncertain of how to express myself adequately. And honestly, it is not the best review I have written, but it was a good starting point. To check out that post, use this link: A-Lin Ft. J.Sheon – THE SONG YOU PICKED SAVES ME: Music Review
Ever since discovering A-Lin, I have come to really enjoy her music and her soulful voice. This week’s song is one of my favourites from her discography. It was released in 2017 as part of her self titled album A-LIN.
“Best Actor” is a very emotional song about the pain of being in a relationship with an unfaithful partner. It really hurts to discover that the one person you trusted with all your heart has just been putting up an act and not really giving their all to you. I could feel the pain and power in A-Lin’s voice. My favourite part of this song is the entire song 😂😂😂.
This is a beautiful and well-delivered song from A-Lin, Kudos to her. If you read my previous post before this, then you know that sad songs tend to help me relax. I listen to such songs when I want to be in my head a little or right before bed. Even though you might not be weird like me, you could still come to love this song because of A-Lin’s voice. Also here is a live version for anyone interested –
This is what I have for you all today. Feel free to check out more songs from A-Lin.
Today’s post is a review of AKMU’s latest release. If you follow my blog’s Facebook page, you will know that I have been looking forward to AKMU’s new album. I tried my best to stay away from the teasers because I wanted this review to be solely based on my initial reaction.
AKMU or AKDONG MUSICIAN is a South Korean sibling duo. The duo consists of Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun. They just released their third full album titled SAILING.
“How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love” is the title track of this album.
Reaction to Official MV of the title track:
It starts off very smooth, so I am already in love.
I forgot how much I loved hearing Su-hyun sing. Her voice is so beautiful.
And those distinctive AKMU harmonies. I really missed them.
Chan-hyuk is such an incredible songwriter and producer, and his voice has matured so much over the years. He is really great at blending his voice into Su-hyun’s at the perfect time.
This is such a calming song, it soothes me. I was not in the best mood today, but this definitely helped. I know it is weird because it is a sad song, but sad songs tend to have that effect on me.
Yes and Amen to those soft runs from Su-hyun.
I really love the instrumentals on this song.
My first listen, and I am already sold. AKMU NEVER DISAPPOINTS.
The simplicity of the music video was an excellent choice because it directed my full attention to their voices. Also, simplicity does not take away from how artistic and well-directed the music video is.
From what I got, this song is about striving through a relationship and making things work because you really love your partner, and you know that a breakup will make you lose that love and only feel pain. But at the same time, you are also aware that with the way things are going in your relationship, a breakup is inevitable.
My take on it is that such a relationship is very similar to sailing. You keep on trying to stay afloat and admire all the beauty around you, but at some point, you will hit dry land.
I really love this song. The lyric and the emotions are very sincere and heartfelt, so it has been added to my personal playlist.
I hope you all enjoy listening to this song as well.
Here is a live performance of “How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love” from AKMU –
Before I start, let me put this out there. When I listen to albums, I do not shuffle or pick particular songs because I want to follow the given arrangement. I believe that every singer has a reason for why they place certain songs at a certain point in an album. So if you just shuffle it on your first listen, you might miss the beauty and message that the singer was trying to send.
With that said, let us get right into it –
Chantey – Su-hyun’s voice gave me a nice surprising feeling at the start. Love the mix between the guitar and the classical instruments accompanying her voice. This is such an appropriate opening song. It gives you some insight into the theme of the album and also leaves you anticipating how the next nine songs will sound. I really needed more time with “Chantey”, but I can understand the artistic decision behind making it that quick.
Fish in the water – It starts out being a bit more upbeat and quite country like with the instrumentals. Chan-hyuk’s voice on this song really stood out to me. I found my self just swaying my head from side to side, and I think this might end up being one of my favourites from the album.
How can I love the heartbreak, you’re the one I love – I already wrote about this, so nothing to add here. It still remains a soothing song for me.
Moon – The beginning of each song so far is really captivating. Usually, some songs take a few seconds or a minute before really getting into the groove. But for this album, each song just gets to me from the instant it starts playing. ‘Moon’ is a lovely song. It seems like something I might hear at a coffee shop because it has that perfect balance between a soft and upbeat sound.
FREEDOM – I knew “Moon” was leading up to something even more surprising because the pre-chorus on this is divine (the part right before the instrumental chorus is what I’m referring to). I love the singing style they used here. It is incredible, and I just found another favourite.
Should’ve loved you more – WHAT?!!!😮. The rock intro and chorus goes hard on this one. Another song on this album that made me want to dance. I love how their voices get higher towards the chorus section. Amazing arrangement. One reason why I really admire AKMU is that they make the choruses of their songs very memorable. Another favourite, and at this point, I might end up adding the entire album to my playlist.
Whale – The rhythm for this song is so groovy, and the whistling chorus just took it to another level. “Whale” definitely has an Rnb/neo-soul feel to it, and then at some point, we have some Spanish influences on the instrumentals. Every aspect of the song fits so well together. I think that this will be an excellent song for ballroom dancing. So far, I think this album is my favourite for the year.
Endless dream, good night – This seems to be the only song that took me a few seconds to really get into. By the 0:43 minute mark, when they started singing together, I began enjoying it more. The arrangement for this is quite simple compared to the other songs on the album. It is still a beautiful and soothing song because simplicity always works. Can I mention again how much I love their harmonization? Their harmonies are always tight.
Farewell – I see what they are doing here. We are at the end, so the songs are getting softer now, and we are getting that standard AKMU sound. I am not sure of how else to explain it, so go ahead and listen to a good number of songs from their discography to get what I mean by the “standard AKMU sound.” Also, Su-hyun’s voice on this is breathtaking, and the harmonica section in this song gave me chills (I think it is a harmonica, but correct me if I am wrong). “Farewell” is a perfect lullaby. The only problem I have with this song is that it ends. Another song where I needed more time😥😥😥. I guess I will have to overuse the replay button for a while.
Let’s take time – This is a perfect song to close the album. It has an uplifting and hopeful feel to it. Chan-hyuk and Su-hyun sound incredible on this track. I no longer have words to describe how perfect the entire album is, so just go ahead and listen to it.
Here is a video of AKMU discussing their album and Chan-hyuk’s book called Fish in the Water. They also performed some of the songs. The video has English subtitles, so just turn on your CC button. Enjoy –
34 MINUTES AND 58 SECONDS OF MY TIME WELL SPENT WITH NO SINGLE REGRET. THANK YOU, AKDONG MUSICIAN.
Yes, I ended up adding the entire album to my playlist. I could not live with the idea of not having such a masterpiece accessible to me at all times. AKMU always does this to me because so far, I have all their albums, singles and OSTs downloaded on Spotify, and I am not complaining. I am happy that they are already dominating the Korean charts with this release because they deserve it, and I wish them more success.
My Rating for this album is 10/10
That is it for this post, loves. Here is another lovely song from AKMU to check out after listening to SAILING 💕💕💕.
Here are my thoughts on the fourth episode of Heart Signal 2 (Chinese Version):
We still have Jia Lun on the panel, so that means he is a permanent addition.
Huang Zheng Xuan and Zhang Tian really do get along well. Right from when he first entered the house, they started chatting very quickly. Yi Chen will have to put in more effort from now on because Zheng Xuan is coming on strong.
This show can be quite awkward to watch because of the tension between the male housemates. Of course, we always had William Vs. Qi Jun to deal with, but now it looks like Yi Chen and Zheng Xuan are also at that stage. These men need to calm down because my heart and eyes cannot take these awkward situations any longer😂😂😂.
It was lovely of Qi Jun to wait for Kai Wen before eating. Good move, he has definitely stepped up his game. Now can someone please help my sad babies, Yi Chen and William😂😂😂😂.
So it looks like in this episode, they were given the freedom to go out with whoever they want. Nice
The casts of the panel are always on point with their comments. I agree with what Raine said about Kai Wen, she seems to fit well with both William and Qi Jun. In the end, it will all depend on who she chooses, but I feel she likes Qi Jun more. I also agree with what they said about blending the personalities of both guys to create the perfect balance of approach towards Kai Wen.
LOL, everyone on the panel is so funny, but as I mentioned in my last post, Zheng Kai just gets me with his commentary and jokes all the time.
Thank you, Wu Pei, for helping William, and Yi Chen relax a little. Honestly, Wu Pei is a gem. She sings and plays the ukelele so beautifully. I really wish she and William could go for each other😥.
Text Messaging Results –
– Qi Jun and Kai Wen texted each other.
– William texted Kai Wen.
– Wu Pei sent a text to William.
– Chen Yi Chen sent a text to Wu Pei.
– Zhang Tian sent a text to Chen Yi Chen.
– Huang Zheng Xuan sent a text to Zhang Tian.
I expected some of the results, so it was not too surprising to me.
This episode was definitely intense. There were a lot of awkward moments and jealousy hovering around the Signal House. From the preview, I can see that Wu Pei has a new look, and I love it.
Also, the next episode will have a new housemate to add more heat. I am looking forward to that because I know that IT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN😂😂😂😂😂😂😂.
I am back with my thoughts on the third episode of Heart Signal 2 (Chinese Version). It is time to find out who that mystery man is and what he has to offer.
So we have an extra panellist. According to Viki’s subtitles, he is a guest. I wonder if he is going to be a permanent addition because we need someone to keep balance with the number of housemates in the Signal House. So our new panellist is Jia Lun.
Our new housemate is Huang Zheng Xuan. My first impression – He seems to be easy-going and relaxed. He is also confident and easily adapts with his new environment.
Zheng Kai is honestly so silly. Him trying to imitate Zheng Xuan was so hilarious.
Kai Wen is always so smiley. I love that about her, but I must admit that it confuses me sometimes. I cannot pinpoint who exactly she is going for because she seems pretty okay with both William and Qi Jun.
If I were to go on a date, I would start with what William and Wu Pei did. Basically, outdoor activity and then lunch or dinner depending on the time. Then I would go on a boat ride just like Yi Chen, and Zhang Tian did.
So definitely my favourite dates were that of – William & Wu Pei and Yi Chen & Zhang Tian.
I will always say this – Yi Chen and Zhang Tian are already a fixed couple to me. They are cute, adorable and very fitting for each other, so there is not much to discuss for them. I loved how simple, romantic and relaxing their date was.
William and Wu Pei actually seem like a good match. They are both around the same age and seem to understand each other. I never really pictured them together, but I do see a possibility if they try.
The other two dates were okay, but I have do not have much to say about them.
So my predictions for this episode’s texts were as follows –
– Yi Chen and Zhang Tian will definitely send text messages to each other.
– Qi Jun and Kai Wen will also send text messages to each other.
– Zheng Xuan will send a text to Wu Pei.
– William might stubbornly still send a text to Kai Wen.
– Wu Pei might text William (fingers crossed on this one).
The actual results –
– Yi Chen and Zhang Tian texted each other.
– Qi Jun and Kai Wen also texted each other.
– William sent a text to Wu Pei.
– Zheng Xuan and Wu Pei texted each other.
I am glad that William texted Wu Pei, but I am sad that he did not get a text😥. I seem to have a soft spot for William recently. He is a great guy, so he just needs to meet someone who truly understands him.
Also, I really love William’s message to Wu Pei. He said, “life is short, why not be greedy sometimes?”. That really says a lot because, as an introvert, I understand what he means. Sometimes we give up so much for others and end up neglecting our own desires. Now that is not to say that we should go overboard and feed into all our desires but simply just learn to maintain the right balance between personal satisfaction and pleasing others.
Finally, Wu Pei is on a good comeback with two text messages in this episode. Good for her.
I am really looking forward to what the next episodes will bring, and I also know that we are going to have another female housemate to equal them out.
I know I skipped last week, sorry about that. I just had to focus on school projects for a while.
The chosen song for this week is 追尋年少的光 by Yoga Lin and Yisa Yu.I believe the title of the song translates to “Chasing Youth”, but I am not 100% sure. I just know that if you type in Chasing Youth by Yoga Lin & Yisa Yu on YouTube, the music video will pop up. This song is an original soundtrack for the 2019 Chinese drama River Flows To You, which stars Ma Tian Yuand Zheng Shuang.
It was a random recommendation on YouTube, and I was captured from the first listen. To me, this song has a trance-like feel because, by each minute, it gets more enticing to listen to. I believe that the instrumentals play a massive role in that aspect. Another great thing about this song is Yoga Lin and Yisa Yu. They are both remarkable vocalists. I know that I always praise the singers for my featured songs, but this is different. I am even uncertain about the right word to use in describing how they sound, so all I can say is that their voices literally melt into each other.
My favourite section of the song is the short harmonization they do at the 1:47-minute mark of the video inserted in this post, right before Yisa starts her verse.
I could not resist the temptation to share such a beautiful piece with you all. So I sincerely hope that “追尋年少的光(Chasing Youth)” by Yoga Lin and Yisa Yu will meet the taste of many readers. Also, feel free to let me know if you enjoyed listening to it, and even if you did not, that is fine. Just leave your thoughts. 💕💕💕
The Taming of the Shrew, also known as Taming the Tomboy, is a Korean webtoon written by Biai. It falls under the drama, historical, romance and shoujo genre. It has a total of forty-three chapters.
This is my first webtoon review on this blog, so I am going to make it short and straightforward.
Summary: Bianca, the daughter of a wealthy family, announces her desire to get married but is forbidden to do so on the condition that her cold and stubborn elder sister Katherina must be married first. Bianca then schemes up a plan to have someone seduce and propose to Katherina in less than a month. She chooses the playboy Petruchio for the job.
For those who might not know, this webtoon’s story is actually based on a play of the same name, which was written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1592. The original storyline is now considered to be quite controversial, but I will not go into detail on that. This webtoon is simply a non-controversial and fun version of the original play.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
Overall this was a great read. The storyline was great, the characters had substance and were actually developed nicely. Another good trait of this webtoon was the excellent comedic timing. Also, when reading a webtoon, I really take note of the art because I might not be able to get to the end if I do not like the art style. So I was pleased with this webtoon because the art for it is stunning.
Now onto the main characters:
Katherina – behind her cold and stubborn exterior, she is actually a really caring person. She is very straightforward, and I loved her savage replies to Petruchio whenever he tried to show off his skills. She is brave and goes for whatever she wants, but because of her selfless love for her sister, she decided at a young age to remain in the shadows and let Bianca have the spotlight. Thankfully by the end of the webtoon, she deals with Bianca by letting her know that what she did was wrong and selfish.
Petruchio – the playboy who hopelessly lost to the game of love. He really thought it was going to be easy, but he fell in love with Katherina first. I wanted him to fall in love first so that he could have a test of his own medicine, but then it hits him even harder when he could not be with Katherina because of his past deeds (no need to worry, they still end up together).
Bianca – The least she could have done was to get a proper man to court her sister, but I guess we needed Petruchio to fulfill the plot. Her jealousy, selfishness and fake attitude almost cost her to lose her fiancé. But I am glad that she apologized and changed her ways.
By the end of the webtoon, a few lessons should be noted –
Do not encourage bad behaviour, call it out before it gets too far. Katherina gave up a lot just to please her sister, but Bianca got more selfish as the years went by. It would have been better to discipline her on how to share the spotlight equally with her sister. This is why I loved it when Sir Lucentio broke off his engagement with Bianca after finding out that she paid Petruchio to seduce her sister.
Karma always hits. Your wrongdoings will catch up with you. Petruchio’s wayward ways came back to bite him when he finally found someone that he genuinely loved. In real life, we might not get a happy ending like Petruchio. So try to be kind to others because you never know who might pop up in your life again.
A mistake does not prevent you from redeeming yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, but what really matters is what actions we take when we realize our mistakes. Do we just cover them up or try to own up to it. This can be really hard because it takes a matured person to say sorry with ease.
I really enjoyed reading The Taming of the Shrew. Feel free to leave your opinion of the webtoon if you have read it. If you have not read it yet, then go check it out. I promise you a really delightful read.
From the title, you can already tell what this post is about.
Now, Why Do I Care?
Well, because they were my number one go-to site. I also use Tappytoon and WEBTOON, but Manga Rock was a staple site for me. I also have a few webtoon reviews that I am currently working on, and I planned to use links from Manga Rock. Lastly, I recently used a link from their website on my blog, so I feel the need to inform my readers about the shutdown. To know why they are shutting down, check out this link – Reasons for Manga Rock’s Shut Down
To support their redemption plan, I will no longer link illegal manga pirating sites on my blog. I understand that the original writers put a lot of time, dedication and passion into their work, and it is unfair that they are continually being ripped off. So with my little platform, I am trying to support their hard work. Honestly, as a reader, it is somewhat unpleasant to pay for every single manga I read, but when I think of how much the writers are loosing due to pirating, I also feel bad. So I will not link such sites to my blog any longer. Now according to Manga Rock, their systems will still be running for a while even after the shutdown. So you can still finish anything you are reading before it all disappears.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused to my readers, but once they get back with their new site, which will be known as MR Comics, I will be back to adding the available links that I can find. For now, I plan to find other legal manga sites that will not cost me much because I am sure that most of them will require payment.
The chosen song for this week is Kalank by Arijit Singh. It is the title track for the 2019 Indian Hindi-language period film, Kalank. The main stars of the film are Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt.
I have not seen the movie yet, but I have listened to the entire soundtrack. Every song for the film is impressive, but the title track by Arijit is too beautiful to describe with words. Arijit Singh has one of the most enchanting voices I have ever heard. Every song from him just blows my mind. Recently, whenever I feel like listening to Indian film songs, “Kalank” is always my first pick. And my continuous replay of the song is quite unhealthy😂😂😂. In my head, I am just like this girl better listen to something else right now, is this the only song you know?😂😂😂
My favourite part of the song starts from the 3:47-minute mark of the video I inserted on this post. The continuous singing of “Main tera, main tera” till the end of the song is what makes me replay it. I cannot just listen to it once and be satisfied, I need to take it in a few more times before I let go. It is such an emotional and divine piece.
I know that it might seem odd to some that I am featuring an Indian song, but just to clarify, I intended to include Indian films and songs from the beginning. I started watching Indian movies way before I even knew about Korean dramas or Kpop, so it definitely has to be included on my blog. I hope that everyone can take some time and listen to this song because you will come to love it. Also if you need the English translation, here is a video I found –
I am back with my thoughts on the second episode of Heart Signal 2 (Chinese Version). This is going to be a short post, so let us get right into it.
Qi Jun was a bit frustrating in the first few minutes of this episode. I know he meant well, but the tension between him and William was just unbearable to watch. Yes, it was kind of him to help Kai Wen prep dinner, but once William got into the kitchen, he should have just left.
Currently, in the Signal house, the cooking period seems to be the only time they get to be alone with their person of interest without interference from other housemates. So to me, him being all up in their space was quite unfair. I know that he was trying to fill up the water jar, but still, the whole situation was awkward to watch.
William really caught my attention in this episode. I watched this with a friend and every time he gave those “smart remarks”, we laughed so hard. I can definitely see his effort to connect more with the other housemates, most notably, Kai Wei. He is more relaxed now but still the confident Wiliam from episode one. Good for him 👍👍👍.
In this episode, we got to know the occupation and age of each housemate, a few were surprising for me, but the majority of them were expected.
I really thought that Kai Wen would be a student, and I was not expecting Chen Yi Chen to be the youngest in the house.
At this point, no one can tell me that Chen Yi Chen and Zhang Tian are not going to be a couple by the end of the show. I can see stars shooting out of their eyes whenever they see each other. And anyone who stays in between their conversations just seems out of place. They are too cute for words 💖💖💖
So far, I love all the panellists for this season. Yang Chao Yue is definitely my favourite. Her comments are always so real, unfiltered and funny.
Texting Results:– Chen Yi Chen and Zhang Tian texted each other.
– Wu Pei texted Chen Yi Chen but did not receive a text from anyone.
– William and Zhan Qi Jun both texted Yang Kai Wen, but only William got a text back from her.
I felt sad for Wu Pei. I honestly do not want her to feel burdened by the fact that she is the oldest in the house. I do not think that her age is the reason for her not receiving a text. Because from what I have seen so far, she is yet to really connect with anyone in the house. She is a nice and capable lady, so there is nothing to worry about.
Also, it is the second night, and Qi Jun has not received a text. Not good, not good at all.
Anyways, it looks like we are going to be having a seventh housemate to stir up some drama. I LIKE😊😂 , but he better not try to sink my ships😒.
That is all I have to say about episode two. I am about to watch episode three now, so I might be making a new post very soon. I am really looking forward to the upcoming dates and the mystery man.
The chosen song for this week is The First Night by Ben featuring Kim Won Joo of 4MEN. Lee Eun Young, known by the stage name Ben is a South Korean singer. She was initially a member of the South Korean band BeBe Mignon from 2010 to 2011. Her first solo album – 147.5 was released in October 2012. 147.5 was a compilation of sad ballads with string and piano arrangements. She has also recorded a good number of soundtracks for South Korean films and drama.
The chosen song for this week is a single that was released in 2018.
I really love Ben, she always serves vocals on all her songs and also never fails to get her listeners to emotionally connect with her music. Currently, she is one of my top OST queens. Another plus to this song is Kim Won Joo. 4MEN never disappoints. Apart from them all the members having great voices, they are also really great at blending their sounds perfectly well with other singers.
“The First Night” has been on my Spotify playlist since its release, but it became a more recurring play this week. It is a lovely song, and I really love the melody of the chorus. Ben and Kin Won Joo voices blend beautifully to create the perfect harmony. And even though this song is about the emotions felt on the first night of a breakup, I still love listening to it before going to bed because it calms me.
I hope that you all enjoy listening to “The First Night” as much as I do.
I know that I have not made a post for the past two weeks, sorry about that🙏. I had weddings to attend, family gatherings and also friends to meet up with. Sometimes I wonder if anyone really cares when I go ‘MIA’😂😂 but oh well.
So I just started watching the second season of Heart Signal (Chinese Version), and I wanted to share my thoughts on what I have seen so far. I plan to continue doing this for each episode I watch.
Now for those who have no idea what Heart Signal is, no worries, I got you. Heart Signal is originally a Korean variety show where six to eight strangers live together in the same house for a month. The house is known as the Signal House. Basically, the primary purpose of the show is to discover if these six to eight individuals can find love and even build a relationship in the Signal House. Their mission is to send an anonymous text to the person they like every night. The show also has panellists with various experiences in dating and love. The people on the panel are placed in a separate studio where they can observe, comment and even attempt to predict the potential lovers in the Signal House.
I am not the biggest fan of reality shows because I know that not everything I get to see in the final cut is the real deal. A lot of editing has been done to make things look a certain way. But yet, I just have a soft spot for romance, so here I am😊😊.
So before I begin throwing out my thoughts, here is a formal introduction of the panellist and cast members for this season. There are six individuals on the panel and also six housemates in the Signal House.
(Pardon the picture quality, I just had to stick with screenshots).
– Victoria Song
– Yang Chao Yue
– Zheng Kai
– Rainie Yang
– Du Hai Tao
– Liu Xuan
Signal House Cast:
– Chen Yi Chen
– Zhan Qi Jun
– Yang Kai Wen
– William / Wu Xiang Wei
– Zhang Tian
– Wu Pei
My Thoughts on Episode 1:
My favourite moment is when Qi Jun tells Yi Chen that he is handsome. Yi Chen’s reaction was so funny and the way Qi Jun said it was what made that moment even more amusing to me. Here is a little clip of that moment.
So far, my favourite housemate is Chen Yi Chen. This is not just because he is handsome or because of his resemblance to Chen Kun, who happens to be one of my favourite actors. What I actually love about him is that, although he seems shy, he always says the right things at the perfect time. Timing is crucial in this show, and so far, he has that down. Also, I love how attentive he is. I am really rooting for him and Zhang Tian to be a couple at the end.
I love how confident William is, but I also feel that he needs to be a little bit more relaxed. Because so far, he comes off as someone who you cannot really connect with and is also very hard to approach. But from the previews, I see some improvement. So all the best to him.
Qi Jun is very straightforward, and I admire that. The only problem is that he is not the most attentive person in the room. This was very evident while he was cooking with Wu Pei. There were a lot of signals thrown at him, but Qi Jun was too focused on cooking and missed his chance to form a proper connection with her.
It was so awkward when all the guys were in the same room waiting for a text, and then all three ladies decided to text only Yi Chen. That was not fun to watch.
Among the girls, Wu Pei seems to be more straightforward. She was very comfortable once she entered the house. She had her eyes on Qi Jun and just went with it, but unfortunately, he could not keep her attention. I love her personality, and I wish I could be like her sometimes.
I will say I am more like Zhang Tian, the shy type, but I always find a way to make sure that the person I like stays in contact with me. Zhang Tian is definitely attracted to Yi Chen, and she did all her best to get Yi Chen’s attention. So far, she succeeded in getting a text from him on the first night, but who knows what might happen in the upcoming episodes.
Kai Wen has not really made an impression on me so far, but I hope to see more from her as the show progresses.
So that is all I have to say. Keep an eye out for my thoughts on Episode 2. That will be a much shorter post since I have already done all the necessary introductions in this post. Feel free to leave your predictions and thoughts on the housemates so far.
It has officially been summer for a while now and just like I did during winter with My Winter Playlist, I have created a summer playlist. On a regular, my favourite genres of music are RnB, soul, neo-soul, hip-hop, but occasionally I do dabble into trap, country and rock. During summer, I practically listen to anything, so far as it is groovy and upbeat.
So here is my summer playlist created for you all to enjoy, and as always I added short previews for each song.
#. Mamamoo – gogobebe
I absolutely adore Mamamoo, not just for their music but also for their quirky personalities. They are a fantastic group, and I always look forward to their comebacks. If you do not listen to Mamamoo already, you should because they are a vocal powerhouse that never disappoints on both upbeat and ballad tracks.
#. LAY – Bad
I already mentioned the EP – Honey by Lay in a previous post. If you have not read that post already, go check it out – Song Of The Week: LAY – HONEY. ‘Bad’ is my second favourite song from the EP, and I have been listening to it on repeat. So hopefully, you all enjoy it like I do.
#. WayV – Take Off
WayV was the group I wrote about in my most recent star showcase. If you have not read that post already, here is the link – Star Showcase: WayV. They are currently my favourite male pop group. “TakeOff” is a great upbeat song, and so I had to have it on this playlist.
#. I.O.I – Whatta Man
I discovered I.O.I’s version of “Whatta Man” while searching for the original by Salt ‘N’ Pepa. Usually, I am very skeptical about remakes, but this was done so well, and I like that they brought their own originality to the piece. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song and also check the original version by Salt ‘N’ Pepa if you have not heard to it before.
#. MOMOLAND – BAAM
So far, this is the only song from MOMOLAND that I have listened to. This is because I do not really enjoy overly cute concepts. But once in a while, I make an exception for amazing songs like “BAAM”. My favourite part of the song is definitely the rap section.
#. BTOB – Blowin’ Up
I LOVE BTOB. They are currently on the top of my list for Korean boy bands. Every single member brings something unique to the group. Their rappers are amazing, but my main man is Ilhoon. Also, this is another vocal powerhouse because all of the vocalists could be mains. Their voices are so beautiful. I groove a lot to “Blowin’ Up”, so it has to be on this playlist.
#. VaVa, Ty., Nina Wang – My New Swag
I am so glad that this song was featured as a soundtrack for Crazy Rich Asians. I would have been missing out on a rare gem if I did not watch that movie. It is a perfect case of the old and new coming together to form a fantastic blend. The entire song scream genius. Of course, I love VaVa and Ty.’s rap, but Nina Wang blessed my ears with the Chinese opera section, that for me is the best part of this song. Also, it has a great beat, so what else do I need in a song? Pure Perfection.
#. Ailee – Room Shaker
Ailee did not come to play with anyone on her recent album: butterFLY. “Room Shaker” is such a great party song. She is such a vocal queen, and I am always here for her. Currently, she is having issues promoting her album, but I sincerely hope that everything works out well for her because she deserves the best.
#. G.Soul – You
Honestly, Korean agencies need to manage and promote their solo artists better because people keep on missing out on such gems. I am okay with the fact that he left JYP Entertainment to join H1GHR MUSIC. Other similar artists like Crush, Dean, Sam Kim, Zion.T are out there, but he seemed so hidden (sorry I just had to rant a little). I am glad that I discovered him because he is a beautiful vocalist.
#. BANG YONGGUK – YAMAZAKI
No words can describe the epicness of this song. I am so sad that I cannot find it on Spotify but no worries, I will just continue listening to it on YouTube. Fair warning: the music video for this song is quite graphic, you will also get a notice before the video starts. With that said, let me just state the fact that BANG YONGGUK is AMAZING. The beat on this goes hard🔥🔥. Guys, please listen to this song in 8d, I promise that you will love it even more.
#. NCT 127 – Simon Says
Most people tend to feel that NCT 127’s music is too trippy, but I personally think that their sound is very futuristic. Once I hear a song from any NCT group, I can tell that it is them because of how distinct their music style is. Sometimes it takes me a few listens to really get into the groove of the song, but after then, it becomes a steady bop. I love “Simon Says”. This song never fails to energize me, and I find myself playing it on repeat for a long time.
#. Triple H – Feel
I was really into this group, and I am so sad about the messed-up situation that went down. But that will not stop me from enjoying their music. I love every single song that Triple H released, but for this playlist, I decided to stick with “Feel” becauseit never fails to hype me up.
#. SUNMI – Heroine
The first song I ever heard from Sunmi was “Full Moon”, and I have been in love with her music since then. I decided to add “Heroine”to this playlist because of how perfect it is for a summer road trip. It is such a perfect sing-along song.
#. ITZY – DALLA DALLA
For me,”DALLA DALLA” is the perfect balance between the cute Vs. the hardcore concept. I really love it and plus it promotes an essential message, which is to love yourself and that it is okay to be different. All the members of the group really shined throughout the song, and I am looking forward to checking out their comeback song “ICY”.
#. EXO – Ko Ko Bop
Summer is not officially summer without EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop”. I really love when Kpop songs add in some trap or EDM elements because it guarantees a sick beat. Anyways, EXO never disappoints, and this is just one of their long list of songs that are perfect for summer.
#. CHUNG HA – Gotta Go
Chung Ha was born to be a star. She just has something about her that draws in the viewer’s attention. “Gotta Go” is my favourite song from her. The chorus for this song is very addictive, so I always attempt to sing along.
#. KARD – RUMOR
K.A.R.D is the best group to play during summer. Almost all their songs have that standard summer groove vibe to it, and even their latest release “BOMB BOMB” is lit. I showcased it recently as a song of the week, check out that post here – Song Of The Week: K.A.R.D – BOMB BOMB.”RUMOUR”made this playlist because I wanted to go with a more laid back tune from them.
#. Gen Hoshino – Family Song
This is another great road trip song or a perfect tune to end a gathering with friends. I discovered this song from the Japanese drama: Overprotected Kohoko. The song speaks about wishing happiness and smiles to everyone and praying that such feelings last for a long time in their lives. Even though they might be feeling sad now, it is only a bridge to their coming joy. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song, and I wish that everyone reading this post will have a reason to smile for a long time.
#. Millic, Fanxy Child – Paradise
This is one of the grooviest songs I have heard in the longest time. I just cannot help but to sing along to the chorus and also attempt to mouth some of Penomeco’s part because his verse is straight FIRE. Millic did his thing with the production of this song. Also, the other members of Fanxy Child (Crush, Dean and Zico) brought their A-game. In conclusion, the entire song is TOO GOOD.
#. Jackson Wang – Papillon
Aite Aite Aite Aite Aite, You got me feeling like a, Feeling like a Papillon. Only one word can be used to describe this song – LIT🔥🔥. Jackson just has this deep voice that does wonders for my ears, and he blessed me with this song. So that is all I have to say, NEXT.
#. Bii – Be Your Light
AWWW BII. I already spoke about my love for Bii in my first ever star showcase on this blog. Here is the link to that if you want to check it out – Star Showcase: BII. I just love the progression of this song. It starts off very soft with just Bii singing, but then you get a full choir for the chorus. That perfect build-up creates a hopeful feeling. Bii’s vocals on “Be Your Light” is beautiful, he always gives me the best music. I might be doing a short review of his latest album, so keep an eye out for that post.
#. Jay Park, Cha Cha Malone – Feature
Every playlist to me must have at least one or two impressive RnB tracks for it be complete. And who else could provide that perfect song? “Feature”by Jay Park & Cha Cha Malone is such a smooth song, and both singers served vocals on this track. So I hope you guys enjoy it.
#. HA SUNG WOON – BLUE
While reviewing the drama Her Private Life, I mentioned that “Think of You” by Ha Sung Woon is one of my favourite OSTs. I also stated that although I did not know much about him, he is a great singer. So recently, while doing a little research on him, I discovered “BLUE.” It is a great song, so I just had to have it on this playlist.
#. DEAN – Bonnie & Clyde
This song is such a masterpiece. Dean always releases excellent music, and that is why the music video for “Bonnie & Clyde” deserves way more views than it has currently. He is a vocal king, so people need to stop taking naps on his music and fully get on the Dean train.
Now I know I listed hip-hop as one of my favourite genres, but honestly, I was not always into rap music. I just could never get into the grove of Western hip-hop. I only started listening to rap music after I discovered the Korean hip-hop scene. And then from there, I was able to find one or two American rap artists that actually suits my taste. This song “EUNG FREESTYLE” is on the top of my list for Korean hip-hop songs.
#. SOMI – BIRTHDAY
SOMI really did great on this song. For a debut song, it actually slays. I really love whenever she says “oops, you’re not invited, yea you’re not invited”. I also think the bridge towards the end of the song is lovely. Even though I do not really follow her, I am happy that she was finally able to debut. I hope you all enjoy listening to “BIRTHDAY” as much as I do.
#. DAY6 – I Wait
Day6 is definitely one of my top Korean bands, and “I Wait” is a very addictive song. I love how the song starts out with a very soft tone and then keeps building up towards the powerful chorus. That just made the entire track more appealing to hear. Also, Day6 has an impressive set of vocalists. I really feel that they are an underrated group and totally deserve more exposure. I hope that with time, more people will discover them because they make fantastic music.
#. HEIZE, Dean – Shut Up & Groove
Here is another addictive song. After hearing it for the first time, the chorus was stuck in my head for days. I found myself singing “shut up & groove” EVERYWHERE I WENT TO😂. For real, the song goes hard. Heize is a fantastic artist, and of course, Dean always slays me with his vocals. So yes, it has to be on my summer playlist.
#. BAEKHYUN – UN Village
Okay BAEKHYUN, I see you. This song just makes me do that grovy sway from left to right while nodding and snapping my fingers. Like for real, this song is legitly too good. The music video should have more views by now but who knows what drug YouTube is on again😒. Anyways I really love “UN Village”, it is a beautiful song, and the album: CITY LIGHTSgets an A+ from me. Excellent solo debut.
#. Taemin – Want
Are words even needed to describe the awesomeness that is LEE TAEMIN? He is a full, packaged artist. From his dancing to his voice and even his looks. He gets a solid 100% in all departments, JUST SAYING. “WANT” is another one of his great releases. Also, the video for this song is pure art, plus the choreography💕. Like DAMN, HE DID THAT.
#. BOBBY – HOLUP!
Another song that goes hard. Bobby is an amazing rapper, and he really did great on this song. “HOLUP!” is such a party song. I love that included the other IKON members in this track. You can hear their voices towards the end of the song.
#. Red Velvet – RBB (Really Bad Boy)
I might not be the biggest fangirl of Red Velvet, but I still love them. And I also know that a good number of people feel that their songs are not always the best, but I am not of their opinion. I really really love all the songs they have released so far including their lastest comeback song “Zimzalabim”. It is definitely not my favourite song from them, but it is still good. Anyways I chose “Really Bad Boy” for this playlist because I have been listening to it on repeat.
#. BLACKPINK – Don’t Know What To Do
This is the ultimate summer song. “Don’t Know What To Do” is actually my favourite song from their latest album: Kill This Love. I have to render some well-deserved praise to Rose and Jisoo because they both sound beautiful on this track. I also enjoy listening to “Kick It” and funny enough the title track “Kill This Love” is not my go-to on the album.
#. Simon Dominic, ONE, G2, BewhY – Who You?mon Dominc
I need ONE to release more music. I am glad that he decided to leave YG Entertainment and has plans to set up his own one-person agency. At least now, he can focus more on his music. I still love Jung Jae Won the actor, but I have been missing One the rapper for way too long. Anyways, Simon Dominic, G2 and BewhY also went in on this track, everyone brought their A-game. Try listening to this song with a speaker because the beat on the chorus section is legit🔥🔥. Also if you guys have not watched Show Me The Money, then go check it out because it is actually a cool show.
#. Eric Nam – Honestly
As always, Eric Nam brought his perfect vocals and blessed me with a great summer song. My best part of “Honestly”is the section right before the chorus, he just sounds beautiful. No words can describe what his voice does for me. I hope you all enjoy listening to this song.
#. Gallant, Tablo, Eric Nam – Cave Me In
Yesss, another song with Eric Nam. His voice on this is so smooth. In fact, the entire song is too groovy. Gallant did well when choosing artists to feature on this track. Also the genius rapper Tablo. His verse is so real on this song. The choice of words in all his songs are always so brilliant. It makes me feel like he is reciting a poem.
#. Lu Han – On Fire
Okay, we are heading over to China again. Random thought – I feel Luhan and Bii look alike in a way. Back to the main topic – Luhan brought the heat on this song, it is a complete BOP. I am glad that all the Chinese members that left EXO have been doing well for themselves. Luhan has been killing both the music and the acting game, and I wish him more success.
#. TVXQ – The Chance of Love
The OGs, TVXQ. They are just two, but they sound better and even dance better than most groups with a vast number of members. “The Chance of Love” is an excellent song from them. That “oooh oooh oooh” is so soothing to my ears and the rest of the song also showcases impressive vocals. So I just had to have it on my summer playlist.
#. Jun. K – THINK ABOUT YOU
Like I mentioned already, every playlist to me must have at least one or two impressive RnB tracks for it be complete. And here is my second top on the list after ‘Feature’ by Jay Park & Cha Cha Malone. Jun. K snatched my wig and threw it all the way to Mars with this song. Vocals, dance and visuals, everything was 100%. My favourite section of this song is the bridge, he really took it up to another level there. The music video for “THINK ABOUT YOU” definitely deserves more than 4.2 million views. People need to stop sleeping on such incredible artists.
#. Song Bingyang – U Make Me Strong
This is such a beautiful song from Song Bingyang. I discovered it while watching the Chinese Drama: Moonshine and Valentine, which I listed as one of my top 10 dramas for 2018. If you will like to see that post, here is the link – MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018. “U Make Me Strong” is a great song with an excellent beat as well and it always gives me an uplifting feeling whenever I listen to it. So I decided to end my summer playlist with this song.
Of course, there are many other summer songs, but these listed songs were chosen according to my personal preference. Also, I am sorry about the length of this post. I had way too many songs in mind, and I just could not shorten it be less than this listed 40.
Feel free to leave me your own summer song suggestions in the comment section. Also If you were intrigued by the previews and would like to hear the full versions, here is a link to the YouTube playlist I created – YouTube Summer Playlist
The King’s Avatar (Quanzhi Gaoshou) is a light novel written by Hu Dielan. Sypnosis: Ye Xiu, a professional e-sports player for the online game Glory. He is considered by others to be the best player in the game. However, due to some reasons, Ye Xiu is kicked out from his long term team and made to leave the pro-gaming scene. He later takes up a job as the night-shift manager at an internet cafe where he meets Chen Guo. She is the owner of the cafe and is also interested in forming a new e-sports team. While planning his return to the competitive scene, he keeps playing to develop his skills and find talented players for his team.
The main reason for my post today is to share my excitement💃🤗💃 for the current ongoing live-action series and the upcoming second season of the anime version for The King’s Avatar.
The anime version of The King’s Avatar was first released on April 7, 2017, by the Chinese internet streaming platform Tencent. It got a lot of attention and love internationally, and so three special episodes were released for fans on April 27, 2018. Currently, there is a season 2 of the anime series in works, and it was set to release this summer. Unfortunately, the release date has been pushed back a lot, so I am not sure if it has been released yet, but I am looking into that. So far, I have completed season 1 and the OVA (i.e. the three extra episodes), and I can guarantee that it was intriguing from start to finish. I loved 😍😍 everything about it, and that is why I am so excited to see season 2.
There is also an upcoming anime movie called The King’s Avatar Movie: For The Glory. It is set to premiere on August 16th of this year. It is a prequel to the storyline of season 1. The focus will be on Ye Xiu’s beginnings before he became the pro-player that we all know and love. I am also hyped 🙌🏼 for this. Hopefully, they stick to the announced date. For The Glory – trailer 1:
– trailer 2:
– Behind the scenes:
Now for the live-action version. The main cast includes Yang Yang as Ye Xiu, Lai Yu Meng as Su Mu Cheng, Daisy Li as Tang Rou and Maggie Jiang as Chen Guo. It premiered yesterday and will run for 40 episodes. This series is also produced by Tencent. I loved Yang Yang in LOVE O2O, so I really hope that this version does not disappoint. Here is the trailer:
Episodes of the live-action can be found on NETFLIX and WeTV App with English subtitles.
Anyways, that is it for this post. I just felt the need to share how excited I am for all the upcoming and ongoing TKA projects.
The chosen song for this week is Honey By Lay. Zhang Yixing, known by the stage name Lay or Lay Zhang, is a Chinese singer-songwriter, dancer, music producer, and actor. He officially debuted in 2012 under SM Entertainment as a member of the Kpop group EXO. His career as a solo singer began formally in October 2016 with the release of his song – “What You Need?”. He then made his official solo debut with his first EP – Lose Control on October 28, 2016.
“Honey” is the title track from Lay’s third EP. The EP, which is also titled Honey, has a total of four songs, including a Chinese version of the title track “Honey.”
I had seen the teaser for the music video of “Honey” randomly while scrolling through YouTube, and I planned to check out the full MV once it dropped. But of course, me being me, I totally forgot. Thankfully a channel I subscribed to posted a reaction video, so I finally remembered to check it out. After listening to “Honey”, I was hooked and also found myself in awe of LAY’S BEAUTY😍😍
My favourite part of the song is whenever he says, honey. He says it so softly, but it hits hard. Also his dancing, like damn son. He did not come to play, as always. He is such a fantastic dancer. So I have been watching the music video on repeat because I cannot get enough of the song’s beat, visuals and dance.
I also really like the song “Bad” from the same EP, but “Honey” still remains the best for me. I hope you all enjoy listening to this groovy track.
Hello everyone, recently I made the decision to try my best in posting more often. So to stay on track with that, I am bringing back the star showcase segment. For today’s showcase, I will be introducing you all to the Chinese pop group WayV. Now I know a few of you might already know about them, but I still wanted to put this on here for anyone else that has not heard about WayV.
WayV is the fourth sub-unit and China-based unit of the Hallyu localization project group NCT (Neo Culture Technology). The group was first introduced on August 13, 2018, as NCT China. On December 31, 2018, SM Entertainment announced that the group will officially debut with the name WayV /WeiShen V. WayV is managed by SM Entertainment’s Chinese label called Label V. The group made their official debut on January 17, 2019, with the release of a digital EP – The Vision, which had three songs. They then released their first official album – Take offon May 9, 2019.
WayV consist of seven members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery and Yangyang.
Stage Name: Kun
Position: Leader & Main Vocalist
Groups: NCT U, NCT & WayV
Birth Name: Qian Kun
Born in: Fujian, China
Date of Birth: January 1, 1996
Height: 176cm (5’9″)
Blood Type: B
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Spoken Languages: Mandarin & Korean
Nicknames: Kun-ge, Little Kun Kun, Xiaodan, Dandan
Education: Beijing Contemporary Music Institute
Kun was first introduced to the public through S.M Rookies, and he featured on the Chinese version of NCT U’s single – “Without You.” He officially debuted in 2018 as a member of NCT. Jason Mraz’s song “I Won’t Give Up” was what inspired him to become an artist. He is also an excellent chef.
He really does a great job leading the six other extra dorks in WayV. I also live for the bickering between him and Ten. Ten and the youngest member, YangYang, never fail to remind of his status as the oldest in their group. I just find their interactions to be downright hilarious.
Stage Name: Ten
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper & Lead Vocalist
Groups: NCT U, NCT & WayV
Birth Name: Chittaphon Leechaiyapornkul
Chinese Name: Li Yong Qin
Born in: Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality/Ethnicity: ethnically he is Chinese, but his nationality is Thai
Date of Birth: February 27, 1996
Height: 170cm (5’7″)
Blood Type: A
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Spoken Languages: Thai, English, Korean & Mandarin
Nicknames: TNT (Ten), Dandy, Ten on Ten, Cute Devil
Education: Shrewsbury International School
Digital Singles: Dream in a Dream & New Heroes
Ten officially debuted in 2016 as part of NCT U with the single “The 7th Sense”. He also participated in the dancing survival show Hit The Stage. The song that inspired him to become an artist is “Blue Lights” by Jorja Smith. FUN FACT – he has a fear of fruits, so he never eats them.
This is my ultimate NCT bias right here. I JUST LOVE HIM. I did not take notice of him when he first debuted, but after watching Hit the stage, I was attached. I really want him and every member of WayV to gain success in their careers.
Education: Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy & The Central Academy of Drama
WinWin specializes in Traditional Chinese Dance, he is the most flexible member of NCT. He has a fear of heights and dislikes skinship. He made his official debut with NCT 127 in 2016. He was inspired by EXO’s “Growl” to become an idol.
I noticed that he is freer and talks more while promoting as a member of WayV. I guess that he feels more comfortable promoting in his own country, and plus, he can now speak in a language he is more familiar with. Also, thankfully, with their first album, he got more lines and screen time than he usually got while in NCT 127 or NCT U. I really want SM Entertainment to put him out there more because he has the potential.
Stage Name: Lucas
Position: Main Rapper, Sub-Vocalist, Center & Lead Dancer
Groups: NCT U, NCT & WayV
Birth Name: Wong Yuk Hei
Born in: Hong Kong, China
Nationality: Chinese-Thai (His father is Chinese, and his mother is Thai)
Date of Birth: January 25, 1999
Height: 183cm (6’0″)
Blood Type: O
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Spoken Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean & light fluency in English / Thai
Nicknames: Lucas Bieber, Fitness King, Foodcas, Kaka, Bowcas
Education: TWGHs Yow Kam Yeun College
He is known for his cheerful and happy-virus personality. He appeared in Ten’s “Dream in a Dream” MV and was inspired to become an artist after listening to Dean’s “I’m Not Sorry.” He made his official debut with NCT U in 2018. He also debuted as a model in October 2018 and walked the runway for Kye Brand.
When I first saw him in NCT U’s song “Boss,” I was like okay he is good looking, and that was it. But thankfully with WayV, I got to see a different side of him. He is really caring and very supportive of his members and the management team that takes care of WayV.
Stage Name: Xiaojun
Position: Main Vocalist
Groups: NCT & WayV
Birth Name: Xiao Dejun
Born in: Guangdong, China
Date of Birth: August 8, 1999
Height: 173cm (5’8″)
Blood Type: A
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Spoken Languages: Mandarin & Korean
Nicknames: Childish Kid, Junjun
Education: Shanghai Theatre Academy
His life motto is “Being complacent will result in loss, being humble will bring benefits.” He is a very emotional person and always full of positive energy. All his favourite foods are green tea flavoured. He writes and composes his own songs, and he made his official debut in 2019 with WayV. He also participated in the Chinese survival show X-Fire.
He is definitely my bias-wrecker in the group. His voice is just so soothing, and he is occasionally the only normal one among the extra dorky individuals in WayV. He still shows his silly side once in a while. I just love the vibe he gives off.
His life motto is, “Work hard to create the future.” His favourite colour is pink. He made his official debut in 2019 with WayV.
The first thing I noticed about him is that he seems to really admire Ten and they also look-alike. He is also Ten’s one and only Chinese teacher. Hendery and YangYang should never be left in the same space for too long because their silliness combined is unstoppable.
Stage Name: YangYang
Position: Main Rapper, Sub- Vocalist, Dancer & Youngest Member
Groups: NCT & WayV
Birth Name: Liu Yangyang
Born in: Taiwan, China (lived in Dusseldorf, Germany for most of his life)
Nationality/Ethnicity: ethnically Chinese but his citizenship is Taiwanese-German
Date of Birth: October 10, 2000
Blood Type: O
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Spoken Languages: German, English, Mandarin, Korean & light fluency in Cantonese/Spanish
Nickname: He does not have a nickname because everyone assumed that YangYang was actually his nickname. He likes to be called YangYang or Xiao Yang (which means Little Sheep)
YangYang’s favourite colour is Red. As a kid, his dream was to become a racer. He made his official debut in 2019 with WayV.
Although being the youngest, he seems to be really confident and bold in whatever he does, and I love that trait. He loves teasing Kun-ge about his age, and he is also a dork. It seems like all NCT members are always extra, but I still love them.
That is my brief introduction to each member. To see a more detailed profile with some fun facts about each member, use this link: WayV Members Profile / Detailed
I also follow a fan channel that uploads English subbed videos of all their other activities that are not posted on their official YouTube channel, so here is the link to that channel: WayV Subs – fan channel
Okay, now that I am done giving out all the essential links, it is time to tell you all how I came to love WayV.
Initially, when I heard that NCT was going to be having a Chinese sub-unit, I was super excited because of the group’s line-up. I was really looking forward to their debut. Unfortunately, their EP – The Vision, which had two new songs – “Dream Launch” and “Come Back,” and a Chinese version of “Regular” did not grab my attention. Because there are already two versions of Regular (English and Korean), so I felt that another version was not necessary. That aside, the boys did great in all songs, but the repetition of Regular killed the excitement for me.
Later on, I stumbled upon Ten and WinWin’s Performance of “Lovely” by Billie Eilish, so I decided to actually spend some time and watch all the videos on WayV’s official YouTube channel to form an actual opinion about the group. So I began with the Rainbow V project. Now I have always loved Ten because he is a fantastic dancer, singer and just a very talented individual altogether, but by watching Rainbow V, I got to appreciate the other members as well. By the end of all the performances, I was drawn to their talent, dedication and hilarious personalities. Finally, the initial excitement was back. I was pumped and ready for their first album release.
Below is a little teaser of the final performances from the Rainbow V project. To see the full Rainbow V project, simply go to their official YouTube channel. All the clips come with English subtitles. Here is a link: WayV Official YouTube Channel
Currently, my favourite songs from this group’s minimal discography are: “Take Off”, “Dream Launch”, “Let Me Love You” and “Come Back.” And that is all I have for this showcase. If you already listen to WayV, then please continue to show them your love and support. And if this is your first time hearing about them, then go check them out with all the links I have provided.
Her Private Life is a 2019 Korean drama series that aired on TVN. The story is based on a Korean novel called Noona Fan Dot Com. Synopsis: Sung Deok Mi is a talented chief curator at Cheum Museum Art Gallery, but in private, she is a fanatic fangirl of White Ocean’s Cha Si An. Ryan Gold is an artist who can no longer paint due to Stendhal syndrome. After the current boss of Cheum Museum gets involved in an embezzlement case, Ryan becomes the new Art Director of the museum. Due to a sasaeng fan’s post, rumours about Deok Mi allegedly dating Si An begin to spread. To ward off Si An’s fans who threaten to harm her, Ryan suggests that he and Deok Mi pretend to date. Unfortunately, the same sasaeng gets a job as an intern in the museum and vows to prove that Ryan and Deok Mi are a fake couple. Both now have no other choice but to continue the couple act even at work.
Going into this drama, I was not expecting much because this “fake to real couple” plotline has been overused. The only difference here was the fangirling aspect. So I went in with the mindset of “I just need some lighthearted romance story to refresh myself.” The drama also had a promising cast, so that was a plus. And like many others, I was super excited to finally see Kim Jae Wook in a lead role.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
I absolutely enjoyed watching this series. It was exactly what I needed, not much suspense, just some feel-good romance. Although I feel that some parts of the story could have been omitted and also a few questions are still left answered. So I am going to make a little paragraph on that.
Okay, time to officially get into this review.
As I already mentioned, Her Private Life is nothing new plot-wise, but it felt fresh and exciting to watch because of how well the drama was executed. I fell in love with almost every character as the story progressed. The entire film crew and actors really brought their A-game on this one. I really enjoyed watching the comedic scenes, the extraness of it all gave me a good laugh. I also love how animated the depiction of the fansite world was made to look. It was a little bit “cheesy,” but I think that is what made it funny to me.
Now I am not sure if I should be giving praise to the director or the writer for what I am about to mention, but anyways Kudos to whoever came up with the idea. There are some particular scenes between our main leads where no music or background score is used, the entire scene is just completely silent. I LOVED IT. The use of silence to show the tension between Ryan and Deok Mi was the best idea they could have come up with because it just makes it feel more real. Some people might not like the awkward feeling it gave, but I enjoyed it. Here are the scenes where I noticed that use of silence –
Another thing to comment on is the fantastic dialogue, most notably during heartfelt scenes. In the last episode, there is a scene where Deok Mi’s mom and Ryan’s mom sit for a while and talk with each other. The dialogue from Ryan’s mom was absolutely beautiful. She said, “A woman who has lost her husband is called a widow. A man whose wife has died is a widower. A child who had lost his or her parents is called an orphan. But a parent who has lost a child…the sorrow is so great that there is not even a word that can be used to describe the person”. I am not sure if these words are directly from the writer or from another source, but they really touched me. If anyone knows the original source, please let me know in the comment section. For a more detailed review, I will go ahead and analyze a few characters.
First, our main leads – Kim Jae Wook as Ryan/Han Yoon Jae and Park Mi Young as Sung Deok MiThis drama portrays a very mature romance story, so the chemistry between Ryan and Deok Mi was intense and beautiful from start to finish. Their relationship felt more real and natural as the drama progressed. I also discovered that most of the intimate scenes towards the end of the series were actually improvised by the actors themselves, so I guess that’s why it felt very natural. I loved how understanding and considerate they both were to each other. There was hardly any misunderstanding between them, and anytime they had an issue, it was resolved very quickly. I honestly hate when little problems are dragged and dramatized for many episodes, so it was nice seeing that change here.
I also like that the secret about her being a fangirl was not hidden for too long after they officially started dating. The writer did a great job in making Ryan smart enough to figure out that Deok Mi was the fansite manager for Si An is My Road. And because Ryan already knew, the reveal was not a big issue for them. Although I still wish Deok Mi revealed it to him personally instead of hiding all the time. That aside, Deok Mi is still a very lovable character, she is an amazing daughter, a very supportive friend. I love that she could always tell if Ryan was not in the best mood and what exactly was bothering him without him actually saying anything. Also, Ryan had one of the most admirable traits ever. He was always quick to apologize whenever he realized that he was wrong.
I appreciate the wardrobe choices for the lead characters. My favourite outfit for Ryan is definitely the three-piece suit he wore in episode 13. Also, Deok Mi outfits were great. Her clothes, shoes and jewellery were always well put together. But I wish they had blended her hair extensions properly like they did in the last episode. All the same, I would love to have her wardrobe for a week at least.
To close the chapter for our main leads, please permit me to fangirl a little. KIM JAE WOOK, no words needed –Alright, alright, I am done. LOL, I had to respect myself and not add all the screenshots I took.
Next on, the second leads – Hong Seo Young as Choi Da In and Ahn Bo Hyun as Nam Eun Gi Honestly, I feel that these two characters should have been introduced just as friends or family to Ryan and Deok Mi because it would not have made much of a difference for their roles in the drama.
I initially found Nam Eun Gi annoying, and I knew that because of the brotherly relationship he had with Deok Mi, they definitely could not end up together. So the fact that he tried to control what she was doing with Ryan on the claim that he knew her better than Ryan was annoying to watch. Growing up with her or knowing a lot about her does not automatically give you the right to a relationship. Love is really not a first-come, first-serve matter. Towards the end of the drama, I noticed some significant character development with him. He really surprised me and made me love him as a character. He is a fantastic friend and brother to Deok Mi, and I was happy when he found someone that loves him as well.
Now onto Choi Da In, I honestly do not have much to say about this character. It felt like the writer just used her as a catalyst to make Ryan realize his true feelings for Deok Mi. But after that, I did not see the point of her character any longer. At first, I thought it was going to be the usual troupe were both second leads fall in love with each other, but it did not turn out that way. I feel that she did not have to be presented as a second lead because she could have made Ryan realize his feeling just by being a friend and saying something. If anyone has a different opinion on her character, feel free to do so in the comment section.
To close the section for the second leads, I will put it out there that I am a bit biased against second leads because I am tired of Korean dramas and their dead-end love triangles. The only show that ever made me love the second lead more was School 2015.
Deok Mi’s One and only idol – Jung Je Won as Cha Si AnAt first, Cha Si An did not stand out to me. It felt like he was just there as the idol that Deok Mi loved, but by episode 14, I had a big realization of the importance of his character. His talk with his mom after the discovery that Ryan was Heo Yoon Jae (her lost son) showed how much of a loving and caring person he is. I realized that right from the beginning, he has been the bridge connecting our main leads, and he also served as the bridge for Ryan to meet their mom. I remember in the very first scene between Ryan and Deok Mi, she kept on staring at him because he reminded her of Si-An, and they start the fake dating because of Si An’s scandal. Many other instances of such connection come to mind, but I cannot list all. His character definitely brought tranquillity, knowledge and understanding for other characters around him. He always seemed to know about things that you would hardly expect him to know of. I guess it took me a while to notice Si An, but I am glad that I did. I find it funny that somehow he was always on the elevator with Ryan or Deok Mi. At some point, I wondered if he was living on that elevator. Also, I knew right from the start that Si-An and Ryan were brothers, so the reveal was not a big surprise to me. Here is one of my favourite scenes of him on the elevator –
Kim Bo Ra as Cindy/Kim Hyo Jin and Kim Sun Young as Uhm So HyeBefore I even start to go in on these two characters, I would like to share one of my favourite scenes which happens to have both characters in it. Here it is –
Kim Sun Young is such an amazing actress. I first saw her as one of the mothers in Reply 1988. She really did a great job as Uhm So Hye. In scenes where I was supposed to hate or be irritated by the character, I definitely was and also in the scenes where I was supposed to laugh, I did. The entire look for her role was funny, from the hairstyle to her outrageous outfits and her personality, I just could not take her seriously. Thankfully she became less hateful during the few last episodes.
Cindy really started off as the annoying sasaeng fan, but I am grateful for the addition of her character. Her character portrayed how disturbing actual sasaeng fans can be. I mean, there is a difference between being a fan and fangirling over your preferred kpop groups, but when it gets to the point of invading their privacy and stalking them during their personal time, then that is just wrong and uncalled for. Honestly, the stories I have read about a few kpop idols and their sasaeng fans are alarming. That aside, Cindy grew on me. I like how her obsessive passion was channelled into something more productive in the long run. I was actually surprised that she ended up with Nam Eun Gi. She developed into a great character, and one of my favourite scenes from her is when she confronts her mom about the celebrity collection exhibit that the Art Gallery was planning for. Here is that scene –
Finally, here is my little paragraph on what I felt could have been excluded and the questions I still need answers to. First of all, did they really have to make the leads know each other as kids? I mean do not get me wrong, I absolutely love how maturely that part of the story was handled, but this is just an overused cliche. I am not a writer, so I try not to be over judgemental with a storyline. If I do not enjoy it, I just drop it and start something else, but this time around, I just have to point it out. It is getting old and tiring because a lot of Korean dramas are using the same plot, I need to see something new. PLEASE.
Another thing, the drama is called Her Private Life, but it did not really focus on her private life. Now that does not bother me much, but I was hoping that they would reveal to her co-workers and even Si An that she is the manager for Si An is My Road fansite. I cannot believe that it was not made into a big reveal. Also, what happened to the people that adopted Ryan. Are they alive, dead or even still in contact with him? I would love to know.
Okay, l am going to leave that and end this review on something else that I enjoyed, which is OSTs. When watching any drama, the one thing that always draws my attention is the soundtracks. There are two specific songs that I really love from Her Private Life. The first is “Maybe” by Lee Hae Ri of Davichi. Davichi always has the best drama OSTs, their voices are so beautiful. The second song is “Think of You” by Ha Sung Woon. I do not know much about Ha Sung Woon, but he is also a great singer. Here is the link to the music videos for both songs – Official MV for Lee Hae Ri – MaybeOfficial MV for Ha Sung Woon – Think Of You.
Overall I will rate this drama an 8.5/10. It was a good watch, and I would not mind rewatching it again. So before I go, I will leave you all with two more clips of my favourite scenes with Ryan and Deok Mi. ENJOY, and until my next post, take everyone.
Finally, I have woken up from my long slumber. I am back with my review for the 2019 zombie-themed Korean series, Kingdom. I know that this is a late review, but I really wanted to take my time to do this properly.
Kingdom is a 2019 Netflix Original Series set in the Joseon period.
Synopsis: The king has fallen ill, and rumours start to spread that he has actually died. Crown Prince Lee Chang is labelled a traitor by the Haewon Cho clan, which is the clan of the current Queen. Due to the political plot against him, he embarks upon a mission to investigate the spread of the mysterious undead plague that has beset the king and the country’s southern provinces.
Honestly, the main reason why I kept stalling on this drama was because of the zombie theme. I am not the biggest fan of the undead. So, going into this series, I expected some horrid scenes. I knew that I would be getting a well-written plot and delivery from start to finish. I hoped that since the series had only six episodes had to have been well planned out because of the short time provided to develop the story.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
My review on this is going to be very short and precise. Because the drama only has six episodes and ended with a cliffhanger. So there is not much to conclude on for now. I need the second season to be released as soon as possible because they cannot just leave me hanging with such an epic plot twist.
With that said, I have one word for this drama, INTENSE. This was such an action-packed series. A big thumbs up to all the actors for the fantastic range they showed throughout this drama. Their acting was very believable, most notably from the zombies. From the way they ran to their reactions, every move was made to look as real as possible. Their acting really sold this story for me because I usually do not enjoy zombie movies, but I was glued to my screen throughout the six episodes.
I noticed immediately from the start that there was a shift from the usual Korean drama series style of storytelling. Typically with Korean dramas, the audience is provided with some sort of back story to better understand the characters, but this drama did not have much of that. So my initial reaction halfway through the series was that the characters lacked depth. This caused me to be unclear on why precisely the Crown prince decided to rebel against his father for the throne. I know that he had enemies and therefore needed to do anything within his power to survive, but I still want to know more about the relationship between him and the king. Even with that lack of depth, I have nothing against the writer for not providing a backstory for the characters. This is because, as I watched to the end of the series, I realized that the main focus was on the zombie epidemic itself and not necessarily the characters. So on that note, I concluded that this drama was not too concerned with character development and in-depth storylines. It had a definite plot, which was Zombie apocalypse, and it was well executed.
As already mentioned, I expected a good number of horrid scenes, and from the very first episode, I got it. Not even ten minutes into episode one and someone’s head was already on the floor. Now since we are discussing horrid scenes, let us look into how the epidemic began to spread in the first place. I get that the people were starving, and the need to stay alive can make anyone take drastic measures, but did Young Shin really have to cook a dead person as meat for sick people to eat. I was so grossed out by that. Did he not think about how unhealthy that will be. He started the entire zombie apocalypse. If he did not serve them that meat, they would not have been infected. I still want to know what his story is because, as of now, I am not his biggest fan. He might have helped keep people alive, but I just cannot seem to overlook the fact that he escalated the situation due to his rash decision.
That aside, I enjoyed the comedic scenes that we got to see in the first half of the series. Especially the bickering between Crown prince Lee Chang and his royal guard. But by the end of the series, I began to suspect his guard. I hope to be proven wrong in season two because if he is really a spy, it will be a big blow to the prince. In episode six, it was revealed that the Haewon Cho clan had planted a mole on the crown prince’s side, and the only person who had been with Lee Chang from the beginning was the guard. So who could this mole be?
Now a little talk about the Queen, I had a strong feeling from the start that she was not pregnant, and I was right. I also feel like she cares about the crown prince. As of now, her character seems quite mysterious and complicated to me. So I really want to see more of her story in season two in hopes of understanding her better. My radar might be wrong about her feelings towards Lee Chang, but one thing I know for sure is that she does not enjoy being controlled by her father. I feel like she might even betray him to keep her position and power intact.
Finally, I would like to discuss the cinematography for this series. It was simple, detailed and fitting to the Joseon period. The landscape shots throughout the series were breathtaking. I also noticed in episode one that the lighting indoors at night was executed perfectly. It was actually portrayed like they had only lamps and candles on set. My reason for mentioning this is because most historical kdramas tend to fail in the lighting department. They make it so evident that they are using electricity to film, but this drama was an exception, so props to the director for that. Also, the background scores really helped in creating the right effect for each scene. I believe that each instrumental piece helped the audience stay more intuned with the intensity of the show.
To wrap up my review, my rating for this series is 8.5/10. I am willing to give the remaining 1.5 points once I see the definite ending for this drama and some character depth. Overall, Kingdom was perfect. I did not find much fault with it because it was so well produced. I really hope that the second season provides answers to the few questions that remain unanswered for me. Also, I am praying that season two lives up to the hype of its predecessor. If you have not seen this TV series yet, you need to go check it out. If you have seen it, please let me know in the comment section if we share any similar opinions and what you noticed that I might have missed. That is it for this review.
I know I did not do my usual character analysis and notable scenes for this review. Here is my reason – I currently do not have enough information on each character to do that, but hopefully, by the end of the second season, I should be able to do my character analysis. As for the notable scenes, I simply could not decide. It was such a short drama, and almost every scene was essential and captivating.
Across The Ocean To See You is a 2017 Chinese TV show that tells the story of Su Mang, an executive for MG, a global tourism company. After failed attempts to have a child and dealing with an unfaithful husband, her marriage ends in divorce. To get a fresh start, Su Mang transfers to the company’s headquarters in Shanghai as a director. Unfortunately, rumours start to fly among the employees about Su Mang’s life overseas, and Zheng Chu is the unlikely employee who steps forward to protect her, despite the rocky start to their working relationship. This leaves a good impression on Su Mang and the two become friends, but how will the rest of their story play out?
#1. Zhu Ya Wen as Zheng Chu#2. Claudia Wang as Su Mang#3. Julia Ye as Tang Guo Guo#4. Wang Yan Lin as Su Chang#5. Denny Huang as Tang Ming #6. Gao Yang as Yan Xiao Qiu#7. Ma Qiu Zi as Chen Shan Shan#8. Xie Gavin as Tony Okay now that I have the necessary information listed out, it is time for the main course. Going into this drama, I expected romance, drama, comedy and some form of character development because I had a strong feeling that I was going to be dealing with a few immature characters.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
Review: Well, I got some of what I asked for, romance, very little character development and LOTS OF DRAMA. Honestly, this drama frustrated me to the point that I had to drop it for a long time, cool off and then somehow find the courage to complete it. Now, this does not mean that it was terrible all through. It started out great, but it got draggy and repetitive towards the end. What I have to give to this drama is that the comedic scenes were always on point. I was really excited to start this show because the synopsis seemed promising, but the execution was not the best. To explain my loves and hates for this drama, I have decided to break down my review according to character groups. Firstly let us discuss our main leads.
– Su Mang and Zheng Chu: The drama opens with Su Mang visiting the hospital for her IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatments. She later realizes after her divorce that she is pregnant. Now right from the start, I knew that her sperm donor was going to be our male lead, and I WAS RIGHT. He is the baby’s father, but this is not revealed until the very last episodes of the show. I found this to be the usual fate troupe, so I had no issue at all. I only wished that her pregnancy was depicted more realistically. All pregnant women develop baby bumps at some point, but here we are at about 3 – 4 months with an extremely flat stomach. Is that even possible? That aside, the leads had chemistry, their bickering was fun to watch at the beginning. The woman being the boss was a nice switch up from the usual male boss vs female employer and plus Su Mang had a strong personality. But what I did not enjoy was the way their relationship progressed. The push and pull game with both of them was excessively done. Zheng Chu is a very caring character, but he seemed to be a pushover and super clingy with Su Mang. Like if you keep on asking a lady out and doing everything to please her and she still does not want you, GIVE HER SOME SPACE. Also, in this situation, he could clearly tell that the other party felt the same way. She just was not ready to commit. Bugging her all the time and receiving all the nasty treatments from her was honestly frustrating to watch. Due to this small issue I had with their relationship, I was not exited even when they finally got married. To me, it was more like good riddance to excess drama. All the same, I still have a few moments I enjoyed from the leads, so here is a good one.
– Tang Ming and Yan Xiao Qiu VS. Chen Shan Shan:Now, these three characters were the biggest problem I had with the entire show. This has to be the most annoying love triangle mess that I have ever watched in my life. Xiao Qiu and Shan Shan are sisters, but they have been separated for years due to their parent’s divorce, and their relationship is not great either. Shan Shan also happens to be Zheng Chu’s ex-girlfriend, and Tang Ming is Zheng Chu’s best friend. MY LEVEL 1 FRUSTRATION – Tang Ming clearly knew that Shan Shan broke up with Zheng Chu because she did not want to date someone who was not rich enough to cater to all her needs. Any average person would have the common sense to keep away from such an individual and plus she is your best friend’s ex, what happened to BRO CODE? The heartbreak for your friend was still fresh, not even a week old, like for real? Tang Ming is supposed to be a doctor. But throughout the show, I kept on wondering if he was ever using his brain. How can you misunderstood someone’s good intentions but yet keep on falling for another person’s schemes? Even when his family was against it, he still stubbornly went along with Chen Shan Shan. MY LEVEL 2 FRUSTRATION – I absolutely adored Yan Xiao Qiu as a character. She is a sweet and loving friend. Although I must admit that she lacked a backbone. I get it that not everyone can be outspoken about their feelings, but there has to be a breaking point. When you are always pushed to the wall, it gets to the point that you have to speak up. No matter how many times her sister lied, threatened and insulted her, she just took it all in silence. It became too tiring to watch. MY LEVEL 3 FRUSTRATION – What was the writer, director, and producer thinking when they made the decision to kill off Xiao Qiu. She died so unexpectedly, and to me after her death, the happy ending for the other characters became meaningless. Like I already said, I did not like that she could not speak up for herself, but I respected her decision to give up on Tang Ming, go back to her hometown and stay away from all the drama her sister was creating. I feel that her character could have been given a chance to maybe travel abroad and focus more on her career because her death proved nothing to me. AND FINALLY MY BREAKING POINT – What gave Chen Shan Shan the right to blame Tang Ming for her sister’s death. EXCUSE ME but what drama have I been watching, am I still in the right show? Suddenly she is now a changed person and has reconciled with her dad. Excuse me?, this is not adding up because I do not feel that she deserves that happy ending. I know that in life, the unexpected always happens, but did Xiao Qiu really have to die. I rest my case on these three.
– Tang Guo Guo and Su Chang: This was one couple that I did not really care about. Both characters were super annoying at the start, but they were actually the only ones to show some form of character development. Although, at first, I was not the biggest fan of Tang Guo Guo, she actually grew to be the saving grace for me in this drama. She was funny and straight forward with everyone. I just did not care much about her romantic relationship with Su Chang. The only scene from them that really stood out to me was when Su Chang finally spoke some well deserved harsh truths to immature Guo Guo. So here is that scene.
– Tang Guo Guo and Tony:Like I mentioned already, I really loved Guo Guo’s character as the story progressed, and I was even more invested in her relationship with her manager, Tony. They had more chemistry together compared to her and her boyfriend Su Chang, JUST MY OPINION. I admired the trust, loyalty, and friendship that both characters showcased and their incredible comedic timing. They had this little funny song and dance that they do, it was so adorable to watch. I can state for sure that they were my favourite part of this drama. Here is a clip that shows exactly why I love them.
Although I did not really enjoy this drama, I must give credit, where credit is due. The cinematography for this drama was stunning. Each scene showcased vibrant colours. Also, the actors did great in portraying their characters as directed, and their emotional and comedic scenes were top notch. I will be looking out for other projects from them. That concludes all I had to say about Across The Ocean To See You. I will rate this drama a 6/10. Will I be giving it a second watch anytime soon? The answer is NO. I would not mind watching the funny clips or the first half episodes of perfection, but I will definitely not be rewatching the entire show again. If you will still like to check out this drama for yourself and form your own opinion, here is the link: Full Episodes Of Across The Ocean To See You
The chosen song for this week is Bomb Bomb by KARD. KARD is a South Korean co-ed group managed under DSP Media. The group consists of 4 members: J.seph, BM, Somin and Jiwoo. KARD officially debuted on Jul 19, 2017, with the EP Hola Hola. “Bomb Bomb” is KARD’s latest single, which was released on March 27th of this year.
This song is my new party anthem. I have been jamming to it on repeat. My favourite part of the song is the pre-chorus. I love how smooth that section of the song is because it really works as a nice build-up into the super upbeat chorus. Thumbs up to Somin and Jiwoo for their stunning vocals on that section. I also enjoyed the energy that was put into the actual chorus, shout-out to BM for that. He was the centre, and he really brought his A-game and killed it.
To me, this is just a simple feel-good song, and that is why I wanted to share it with everyone.
I really hope you all enjoy this song as much as I did. Till my next post, BYE
So I finally decided to bring back my weekly music specials.
The chosen song for this week is Stars and Moon by Ivy Shao. The music and lyrics for this song were written by Victor Lau, and the singer is the Taiwanese actress Ivy Shao. “Stars and Moon” is an official soundtrack for the Chinese drama Sweet Combat. The show stars Luhan (former EXO member) and Guan Xiaotong as leads (fun fact: the lead actors are actually a real couple).
From the very first time I heard this song being played in the drama, I was intrigued. “Stars and Moon” is a very emotional song. It speaks about hope and the zeal to never retreat. This was the emotion I got from the song even before searching up the English lyrics. Here is the English translation:
The star is scared that once she blinks, the moon will disappear and be gone
The moon holds her hand and promises to stay by her side
The star and the moon agree to always accompany each other
Illuminating the world together
Until the day that the moon suddenly goes back on his promise
The star hangs on the horizon. The moon is no longer there
She does not wish to cry and chooses not to fall
The star no longer yearns. She decides to illuminate the world alone
Shining in the night without the moon
On dark nights without you (I’ll keep on shining)
My favourite part of this song is definitely the chorus. I just love the message that no matter what you go through, you have to believe in yourself and keep on moving. Ivy always impresses when she sings. She might not have the most powerful voice, but she sure knows how to spark emotions from her audience.
I look forward to hearing more songs from her because she is astounding both as an actress and a singer.
That is my short write-up for this song. Till my next post, take care
May I Blackmail You? is a 2017 Japanese drama series that tells the story of a man named Kanji Senkawa and his private blackmailing business.
Kanji Senkawa takes up cases that cannot be handled by the police or private investigators, and he solves them by blackmailing people. While doing his usual business, he meets the wealthy university student Mio Kanesaka. Kanji and Mio get involved in various situations, including voice phishing and kidnappings.
Going into this drama, I expected a short and sweet romance story. I also had a strong feeling I was going to enjoy it because I love the lead actor Dean Fujioka. My first time watching him was in the Taiwanese drama series Just You, and he was entertaining to watch, he brings his characters to life. I did not know much about the lead actress before watching this drama, but I had faith in the Japanese drama formula. Japanese dramas tend to have very few episodes, so everything is fast-paced. Also, character development and growth is a sure thing by the end of the show. So I was entirely sure that I would not be too disappointed.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
This was a concise and straightforward drama. It had only nine episodes with each lasting for a maximum of one hour or less. Also, the main characters had great chemistry. Although there were hints for something to bloom between them in the future, it did not happen. Maybe if they do decide to make a second season, then there might be some romance. So do not expect any romantic scenes from our leads. As I mentioned already, this series has nine episodes, so it was obviously fast-paced and straight to the point, and I enjoyed that a lot. But I still feel that essential background information for a better understanding of each character was omitted due to the number of episodes.
An excellent example of this is Mio Kanesaka and her grandfather. Right from the beginning of the show, it was made clear that Mio was not on good terms with her grandfather, but the reason for it being so was not clearly stated. They did show how their opinions differed on various occasions. I would have preferred if they gave us a flashback on the actual event that caused the hack to their relationship.
Another thing I really enjoyed from this drama was the timeline setup. The series started from the present and then flashbacked to the past to provide more depth to the characters. Now back in the present time, we are at this critical point where the characters have to make crucial decisions based on past experiences and their current learnings. I really enjoy it when this style of timeline setup is used in dramas. Because it leaves me guessing, which means the series is not entirely predictable from the start. That little mystery left by the timeline setup really made this drama more interesting to me. Plot-wise, this was a well-written drama. When I read the synopsis, it came off as the usual cute romantic-comedy, but I was wrong. It started out light-hearted and filled with dry humour, but towards the end, the characters became darker and had more depth to them. Just to clarify on the “dry humour” statement, I do not mean that the comedic relief moments were not funny enough. But rather such moments were quite mellow and sarcastic in nature, so not many people might pick up on the jokes.
Also, this drama gave me the number one thing I always desire, which is character development. Every character showed some essence of growth by the end of the show. So let’s discuss a few of the characters that really stood out to me.
#1. Dean Fujioka as Kanji SenkawaThe one and only blackmailer, Kanji Senkawa. Kanji at first seemed like a very nonchalant person without much to worry about except getting his assigned contracts completed. He is cunning and very money-driven, but there is more to Kanji. He actually harbours great regret regarding the death of his girlfriend. We later come to know that Mio Kanesaka is very much alike in behaviour to his ex-girlfriend, and that is why Kanji always disagrees with her. He feels that she is too naive and that her belief in the good nature of people is very unrealistic. At some point in the drama, I could tell that Kanji was hiding his anger and regrets behind the nonchalant attitude. There was definitely something hunting him because he would sometimes go very dark with his words and actions. What I really liked is that at the very end, he understood that revenge is not always the best option. But people who do wrong deeds still deserve to be punished.
#2. Emi Takei as Mio KanesakaShe starts off being way too naive and unrealistic with her belief in the good nature of people and their want to redeem themselves. At first, I was really thrown off by her behaviour. Gradually I came to admire her because she did something that many people fail to do when they hit a breaking point. And that is having the ability to stand by an initial decision. After a few fails, Mio Kanesaka realized that images portrayed by others in public cannot always be trusted. But she still held on the idea that everyone should be given a chance to redeem themselves. So in a way, she remained the same. But by the end of the drama, she definitely was not the same naive Mio Kanesaka from episode one. She admitted to her flaws but stood by her belief. To me, that makes her a really confident character, and I LOVE HER FOR THAT.
#3. Kasahara Hideyuki as Takanomi Nami Takanomi Nami, a politician and uncle figure to Mio Kanesaka due to her grandfather being his mentor. Takanomi played a significant role in making Mio realize how fake someone’s public image could be. In the public eye, he was a righteous politician and a hero. To Mio, he was also like a family member, but she was greatly disappointed when she discovered the monster behind the perfect face. He had her kidnapped and almost killed her grandfather just to make sure he won the upcoming election.
#4. Ozawa Hitoshi as Fuwa TetsuoFuwa Tetsuo, is the major gang leader in the neighbourhood. He is corrupt and capable of many wrongs, but his character stood out to me for two primary reasons. Number one is that his role was a big contrast to that of Takanomi, the politician. Here is a gang leader who the public clearly fears, but he was willing to help Kanji and his team on many occasions. Secondly, his character was also a good show of odd friendships. The friendship between him and Kanji was fascinating to watch. They were initially against each other due to a case Kanji had taken, but the truth is that friends can come from very unexpected places. Also, an extra bonus to his character is that he was an excellent comic add to the drama.
#5. Maya Kyoto as Tominaga Ayako Tominaga Ayako, is the founder and leader of a very influential charity organization in the town. She uses the members of her organization to commit various crimes, including murder. For her defence, she claimed that she was helping the less fortunate to get rid of the people that once tormented them. So anyone who stands in her way will also be killed. She was the one who adopted Kanji’s girlfriend and nurtured her till she was old enough to be on her own. Unfortunately, Kanji’s girlfriend found out about her wrongdoings, so she had to be killed. This was an unfortunate character to watch because she honestly started her organization for a useful purpose. But over time, she had lost her way and failed to admit her wrongdoings. It just means that no matter who you are, it is possible for you to lose the essence of yourself at a certain point. Once you realize the problem, try to deal with it immediately. THE EARLIER, THE BETTER.
There were many other characters in the show, but these were the few that really stood out to me. As always, I have a few of my favourites scenes to share with you all.
Kanji and Tominaga Final Confrontation
This was the final confrontation between Kanji and Tominaga. Tominaga killed Kanji’s girlfriend, and he plans to kill her as well. I really love this scene because of how well I could feel their anger, regret, and self-realization. The emotions were vivid.
Mio’s Initial Reaction To Being Blackmailed
Now, this scene is the perfect example of the dry humour I mentioned at the very beginning. It was a moment of shock and disbelief that somehow amused me. Mio’s initial reaction to being blackmailed was way too calm and unusual. Although this clip does not show it, she actually calls the blackmailer to negotiate the ransom for someone who has no connection to her. She also sends him a selfie just because he asked for a picture. I mean, who sends their picture to a blackmailer?
Kanji and Fuwa’s Game For Information
Here we have the iconic duo. A gang leader and a blackmailer betting important information on a game of building bricks. Not exactly what you will expect from such people. It was a hilarious scene to watch.
Mio Faces Her Parent’s Killer
Mio has the opportunity to kill the person who caused the death of her parents, but she does not believe in revenge. She admits that she hates him and likes the idea of getting rid of him for sure, but that will never bring her parents back to life. I already mentioned that I love how she stands by what she believes in, and this scene really sums up Mio Kanesaka’s character.
Alright, that is all I have to say about this drama. Overall, May I Blackmail You? is an excellent drama and my rating for this is a 9/10, VERY SOLID. I recommend that you all take some time to check it out. It has only nine episodes, so that makes it a fast watch and I guarantee a delightful series from start to finish. It is available on Viki, here is the link: Full Episodes Of May I Blackmail You?
My very own winter playlist created for you all to enjoy, and I also added short previews for each song.
#. 1415 – When It Snows
This song was recommended by a friend, and she got me to quickly watch the music video for it because Nam Joo Hyuk features as the main character for the video. It was my first time listening to 1415. After my first listen, I went on to check out their other releases. It is a very calm and soothing song, so I wanted to share it with you all. Hopefully, you enjoy it like I did.
#. 1415 – I Am Blue
Yes, another song from 1415. They are amazing, and I hope that they get the recognition that their music deserves. “I am Blue” is a more upbeat song compared to “When It Snows” and the instrumentals on this song is absolutely beautiful.
#. Zion. T, Lee Moon Sae – Snow
Hands down, this is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever listened to. I expect nothing less from Zion. T, he is an amazing artist. Also, the fact that he featured Lee Moon Sae, a well recognized older generation singer, made this song even more beautiful. If you have never listened to anything from Lee Moon Sae, I recommend the song “Whistle.”
#. Primary, OHHYUK, Lim Kim – Gondry
Ohhyuk’s voice in every song I have heard from him continuously takes me by surprise. When I first listened to “Gondry”, I was completely in awe. No matter how many times I listen to this song, I keep on asking myself how someone can be blessed with such an amazingly rich set of pipes. It is not really the notes but rather the emotion that his voice adds to each song. I honestly hope that you all come to appreciate his voice and music just like I do after listening to this song.
#. Yang Da Il, Hyolyn – And Then
Yang Da Il caught my attention with his soundtracks from Korean dramas like Hospital Ship and Bride Of The Water God. But I was still never compelled to check out his actual songs. I came to know of this particular song through Spotify radio, and I was so mad at myself for such a late discovery. Also, with a feature like Hyolyn, who has a really enchanting voice, this turned out to be such a tasteful and relaxing song.
#. Primary, OHHYUK – Island
This is such a laid back song for me. Whenever this song plays, I find myself just snapping my fingers and rocking my head from side to side. It is quite an odd dance if seen in person, but that is just me being me. So do let me know what sort of moves this song ignites from you.
#. John Park – Thought Of You
The only song I knew from John Park before this month was “My Best”, which features Huh Gak. I never dived further into the discography of both singers until this month. So this song is one of my recent findings. I absolutely enjoy every minute of listening to “Thought Of You.” It is such a feel-good song, and it lightens up my mood.
#. MISIA, HIDE (GReeeeN) – Ainokatachi
This happens to be one of the first Japanese songs I listened to that was not from an anime. Sometime last year, I decided that I would like to hear what Japan’s music scene had to offer. So with my search, I came across Mika Nakashima and then she led me to discover MISIA. I really love this song because of the hopeful and uplifting atmosphere that it exudes. I have since then discovered other Japanese songs that I enjoy once in a while.
#. Jia Jia – Happiness Coming
“Happiness Coming” was featured in the Taiwanese drama Rock ‘n’ Road. This is a very calm and steady song, it gives off the feeling of not wanting to give up and hoping for the best no matter what. When I first heard this song, I was in a bad place, so I really needed that message. I am so happy that I discovered Jia Jia through this song because she is an awesome singer and really great at conveying emotions.
#. John Park – Smile
Another John Park song that soothes my soul, it is so soft and cozy. The way he starts the song with such a low register is really captivating. It is the perfect winter song to play while warming up by the fireplace with a cup of warm french vanilla. I specifically stated french vanilla because I do not drink coffee, and I am also not the biggest fan of hot chocolate. Anyways “Smile” is a great cafe mood song. I hope you all enjoy it.
#. Eddy Kim – When Night Falls
“When Night Falls” is the first soundtrack for the Korean drama While You Were Sleeping. I hardly know anything about the singer Eddy Kim, but I acknowledge that he has a lovely voice. I really love the slight whispering/falsettotone that he uses during the chorus of the song. It felt like he was speaking directly to me, and I always enjoy that personal feeling in any song.
#. Akdong Musician(AKMU) – Way Back Home
I absolutely adore Akmu. They have their own unique style. I tend to appreciate such stand-out artists more. I have listened to all their albums, but Winter is my favourite season-themed album. So if you have not listened to this album already, do check it out, and I promise that you will not be disappointed. I decided to add the song “Way Back Home” to this playlist because it is one of my favourite songs from the album.
#. Bii – I Will Miss You
I already wrote about my love for Bii in a previous post, and if you have not read that, here is a link – Star Showcase: BII. “I Will Miss You” perfectly showcases why I love Bii. His songs are so soothing and very easy to remember. All his songs have very catchy melodies that stay stuck in your head for days. Plus, he has a beautiful voice to back that up, so I cannot help but love this artist.
#. Ra. D – Just Missing You
Now the drama for which this song is associated with is quite gloomy. When I first watched the drama Just Between Lovers, I was too focused on the story to notice any of the original soundtracks. I only came to realize the beauty of this song just recently. This is such a well-arranged piece of music, most especially the chorus. I could not help but sing along with the few English lyrics I could understand, and I plan to check out the artist because I AM REALLY IMPRESSED.
#. Akdong Musician(AKMU) – Live
Another great song from Akmu. “Live” is my number one song from the album Winter. I sincerely admire the brother and sister duo, Lee Chan-hyuk, for his songwriting skills and Lee Su-hyun for her vocal talents. Right from the time I saw them in the Korean audition program, Kpop Star, they have never produced a bad song. Like I said, their style is unique, so not everyone might get right into it, but that aside, they are amazing together.
#. Park Hyo Shin – Beautiful Tomorrow
If you do not know of the vocal prowess that is Park Hyo Shin, please waste no more time. I advise that you start with his song, “Wild Flower.” This guy is a vocal beast and never fails to wow his listeners. His music is really touching. He tends to release songs that reflect his life experiences, so that makes it more relatable. This particular song, “Beautiful Tomorrow” is a powerful and smooth ballad, and the entire song is accompanied only by a piano.
#. South Club – Hug Me
Right from his time as a member of the Korean pop group Winner to when he became the main singer for the Korean band South Club. Nam Taehyun has always been one of my top vocalists. He has such a soft and smooth voice. This song “Hug me” is really comforting, but you can still feel the hint of sadness in his voice. I am not certain about the kind of guitar that was used in this song, but South Club definitely has great talents among them.
#. Park Hyo Shin – Breath
Another great song from the master himself. His album I am A Dreamer has a great set of songs to enjoy. My favourites, according to preference, are “Wild Flower”, “Breath”, “Home”, and “Beautiful Tomorrow.” This is another solid ballad from Park Hyo Shin. The message of the song is amazing, so I hope you all enjoy this song, as well.
#. Paul Kim – Me After You
I seem to always find the good songs so late. I need to get my game together and seek out more treasures like this song. This is another beautiful and well-produced piece. Paul Kim’s delivery on this song is charming. “Me After You” is a great love song, and I absolutely enjoy listening to it.
#. Noel – How About You
If you are not aware already, Noel is actually a ballad group consisting of four equally amazing singers. Their voices are so alluring, and I always find myself playing their songs on repeat. They are quite older in the Korean music scene and have earned the well-deserved respect and recognition from other artists. “How About You” is a great release from them, so I hope you all enjoy listening to this song as well.
So there it is, this is the end of my list, but I am sure there many other songs that ooze coziness for this cold winter season. So feel free to leave me your song selections in the comments. To hear the full versions of any of these listed songs Here is a link to the YouTube playlist I created –YouTube Winter Playlist
Expectations: I expect to see very relatable life experiences from this drama because the story plays around two characters who are at that critical career point, and I know that life hits like a storm for many people during that time. So I expect some tear-jerking moments. Rather than romance, I am looking forward to the personal growth of all characters, and once I see the potential for that, I will be sold. I am also hoping for great acting from the leads. I know that Han Ji-Min has been in the acting game for a while now, but not all her projects impressed me. The few that I loved absolutely showcased great acting prowess from her, so I am hoping for the best.
On the other hand, Nam Joo-Hyuk is relatively new in the game, but he has the potential to perfect his skills with time. So since this drama seems to have a good storyline and the lineup for the cast are majorly veteran actors/actresses, I believe he will showcase excellent acting. With that said, here is my review for the opening episodes of The Light In Your Eyes.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
Review: The first thing that I noticed is that the characters in this show are “raw.” That is the only word that came to my mind to describe how the characters came off to me. By “raw,” I mean that there is so much growth needed for each character to get to their best self. I sincerely hope that the room created by this said “rawness” has been fully utilized by the writer to create some well deserved and grounded development for each character as the story progresses. Now the characters being raw does not take away from their complexity. For example, there is a scene where Hye-Ja tells Joon-Ha that she is fully aware of the fact that she is not fit to be an announcer, but she is also too scared to let go of her dream. She also talks about feeling inferior to the other applicants once she enters the interview room, so that is why she no longer sees the need to apply for any announcing positions. Life puts a lot of expectations on us. These expectations may be from our family, society and even our own dreams. Now, if by chance we get to that point where we cannot achieve what we hoped for, we find it so hard to let go. Letting go at this point does not even have to do with disappointing others. But instead, it has to do with stepping down from the pedestal that you once placed yourself on. It feels like you have been stripped of your pride, and you are always at a fight with yourself. Change is hard. So that scene really renounced with me because it showed how fragile and complex we are as human beings.
Along with that, I also loved the simplicity of the drama. I think it had to do with the way it was filmed because every scene flowed so naturally. It felt real, no super flashy cars, dresses or houses just a simple neighbourhood with relatable individuals. Now, this is not to take away from the effort that is put into the more flashy productions. But I mentioned it to point out how this drama felt like a walk on a chilly night away from the norm of Korean dramas. I also loved that we got a really close insight into the family dynamics of both leads. I enjoy whenever families are actively showcased in shows because it gives me a good background of why each character is the way they are. This is one of the reasons why I absolutely adore the TVN Reply series, most notably the recent one. Also, the chemistry between the leads was easy going. I like the approach of letting them become friends first before crossing into the relationship phase. And from what I have seen so far, they both represent strong support and realization grounds for each other. This is great as it is the necessary foundation for every relationship, but I am not really sure of how it is going to play out from episode three since Hye-Ja is now much older in appearance compared to Joon-Ha. I am excited about how the writer plans to deal with this change. Will she let him know who she is or will they just come to be friends along the line and then he finds out some way or another, who knows? No matter how it plays out, I just wish for it to be done in a well-explained manner. I am not going to be accepting any extreme form of drama logic this time around. I know it falls into the fantasy genre, but it still needs to make sense.
Now about things making sense, I still cannot seem to understand how the watch works. Because in episode one, when the watch is introduced, we are just shown how Hye-Ja was able to change a few minor things over the years and how it led to her ageing faster than she was supposed to. At least I know a factual consequence of using the watch at this point, but I am still not clear on how far back in time it allows her to travel. In episode two, this is seen as a problem for a few viewers because they expect her to just go back to the night before her father’s accident to save him, but can she really go back that far in time? I am not sure, so I am waiting to get more explanations regarding the watch in the upcoming episodes. I need to know the origin, how exactly it works, why was she the one who got it, and why does it age the user faster than usual? There will be severe loopholes if these questions are not answered.
Another major thing I have noticed with a lot of Korean dramas is the constant drinking. I understand that the drinking culture is very different based on each society, but I fear for their livers. I also wonder if this is what they want to continually promote. Drinking is not harmful, but I personally believe that it should be kept at a minimum and not every day. Honestly, being drunk is not the best feeling, and I am saying so from experience, so when I see them drink almost every day, I sincerely question how they feel waking up in the morning. JUST SAYING.
Okay, back to the drama. So far I am enjoying the presence of a good number of the characters shown at this point and here is my take on them:
Notable Characters Introduced So Far:
#1. Han Ji-Min as Kim Hye-Ja She is someone who really cares about her family. I love the self-awareness of this character, she knows her strengths and weaknesses. I feel she has yet to gain the self-confidence to excel. I can also tell that she is a determined person from the scene where she tries to save her father. The only flaw is that she falls in love too fast, but I can validate her emotional actions for her. I mean, we have quite a handsome male lead, he is also cute, caring and he listens. Now, who would not fall for such an adorable person? So I will cut her some slack in that aspect.
#2. Nam Joo-Hyuk as Lee Joon- HaAt first, he came off to be quite insensitive. Most notably, during the scene where he questions Kim Hye-Ja for wanting to become an announcer. I know that it was a needed reality check for her, but it could have been said less arrogantly. Anyways, later on, that misunderstanding is cleared up, and we get to see his more caring and considerate side. I love that he is straightforward and also opens up to the female lead, so it a two-way conversation and not just one person pouring out their heart.
#3. Son Ho-Jun as Kim Young-Soo (Hye-Ja’s older brother)So far, I see him as the comedic relief for the drama, and I love that, but I have a feeling that his character has been set up for so much more than that. At some point, he might need to get his act together and find a job or start up something of his own. I would not mind if he even starts helping around the house instead of merely sitting at home all day and asking for meat. But for now, he is a great comedic character.
#4. Ahn Nae-Sang as Hye-Ja’s father He is a taxi driver and a loving father. Right now, I see him as the good cop towards his children, unlike his wife. He is their protector, constant supporter and the one who always catches them in case they backslide a little, but I can tell that he has a softer spot for Hye-Ja. I guess that is why he had to be the catalyst for Hye-Ja to use the watch again, although this caused her to age so suddenly, I am still happy that she was able to save him.
#5. Lee Jung-Eun as Hye-Ja’s mother She is a certified hairstylist and the “bad cop” parent in the family. I still love her. There has to be someone in your life to provide a well-needed reality check, and she executes it on a timely basis. She is also the harsh encourager, she pushes you to see the best in yourself and not settle for less. I know that her expectations for Hye-Ja are very burdensome, but I like that she does not want her to end up as a hairstylist. At the same time, I see nothing wrong with being a hairstylist because, in this generation, everything can be capitalized on if done correctly.
#6. Kim Ga-Eun as Lee Hyun-Joo (Hye-Ja’s friend)First things firsts, I have a feeling that she might still end up dating Hye-Ja’s brother again. I do not have much to say about this character for now. I am waiting to see more of her before I decide on how relevant she is to the story.
#7. Song Sang-Eun as Yoon Sang-Eun (Hye-Ja’s friend)Now she is another comic relief to me but a very laid back type. The scene where the girls were discussing her contract with the management company is just funny, and I hope that as the story progresses, she also gets smarter with her decisions. And just like the other friend, I have nothing much to say about her for now.
#8. Kim Young-Ok as Lee Joon-Ha’s grandmother. Grandma is one of my favourite older actresses, she really shines in every other drama I have seen her in. She is the captain of our leads’ ship, but unfortunately, she dies by the end of episode two. I was saddened by her death because it meant that Lee Joon-Ha was now alone because his father is not reliable. I was also really disappointed in her decision to side with her alcoholic and abusive son over her grandson with an actual future, but I guess that is the unconditional love of a mother.
Most Memorable Scenes:
#1. Brother Rides The Ambulance.Now, this was pure comedy. The brother is simply a character, and I am here for it. At first, when he began taping the door, the first thought that came to my mind was if he was going to be able to breathe with no air coming in and out of that room. But I guess he was too hungry to think it through. And the fact that even when he was being carried away in the ambulance, he still reminded the paramedic to help him flip the meat was pure gold. Like excuse me, sir, but you nearly died, is your meat really that important at this point? He also did not seem to learn from that experience because the next day, during breakfast, he still had the guts to speak about grilled beef. He got a good beating from his mom. He is definitely the comic relief, but I also need to see him adulting up at some point.
#2. Friends in UnisonThis was a funny and cute scene for me. It has been stuck in my head for a while now. The fact that they simply just analyzed the flirty announcer’s character in a few seconds was utterly hilarious and doing so in unison made it even better. I love Kim Hye-Ja’s friends, and I hope to see more of them. I know that she had her mom tell them that she left for Germany after her sudden change in appearance, but I really want her to let her friends know and see how they deal with it. I honestly feel that they will help her relax a little bit more throughout this ordeal.
#3. Lee Joon-Ha’s Drastic Move Against His DadOkay, I was really shocked when Joon-Ha came back into the room, all bruised and bloody. The first thought I had was on how long he must have held in that resentment towards his dad for him to make the decision of injuring himself to that point. That was a really drastic move, but I could understand the drive behind his decision to do that. Honestly, no one wants an alcoholic and an abuser for a father and the fact that his grandmother encourages such behaviour really disappointed me. Joon-Ha made that move to get his dad away from the peaceful space that he had living with his grandmother. Unfortunately, all his effort was ruined by the very person he was trying to protect. I get that a mother’s love for her child is undying, but at what expense are you willing to support such a son like Joon-Ha’s father. By helping her son, she might have just jeopardized the career of her grandson. I just hope Joon-Ha finds someone to talk to soon because, by the end of episode two, he was alone and lonely.
#4. Kim Hye-Ja’s Race To Save Her DadThis part of the drama really proved the determination of Kim Hye-Ja’s character. Although she might say, she has given up and feels inferior to others, this scene showed that there was still this little fighter in there waiting to exhale. I love that she did not give up, no matter how many times she fell, she was quick to stand up and try again. This was an empowering scene because it shows that sometimes life throws things at you that you cannot seem to unravel in one go, it takes time, but you just have to keep on moving forward and not looking back. Even if you lose something along the way like Kim Hye-Ja lost her youth. Suicide, like she might be thinking of in the next episode, should not be your only option. I remember a quote from my favourite animation series ever, Avatar: The Last Airbender. It goes like this “when we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”, but it all boils down to if you have the faith and the patience to fight for your situation to change and I know that Kim Hye-Ja’s character has just taken the first step towards her most significant change.
Overall, The Light in Your Eyes exceeded my expectations to a certain level. It was at the very bottom of my list for the dramas I was looking forward to watching in 2019. If you need to see that list, here is a link to it: My 2019 Drama List. It showcased the real-life situations I desired, and I love how it was done. I also got to see very emotional and fragile moments from our leads and their respective families, so Kudos to the actors and actresses for doing a fantastic job with their characters. Like I mentioned already, the characters are quite raw to me, so there is a potential for growth, which gives it another check from me. But since there is still a lot of information that I need to fully understand the time travel and ageing aspect of the drama, I will have to give this some time before I can be entirely sold on this storyline. As usual, I got my fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
My rating for this premiere will be 9/10. I will continue watching, and by the end of the show, the final verdict review will be posted for you all to know my thoughts on this drama. If you have not seen the first two episodes of this drama already, go check it out and tell me if we have any similar views. Till my next post, take care.
So I had to take some weeks off blogging to focus on school, but I have next week free, so here I am. I will be making a good number of posts this coming week and schedule as many as I can for the upcoming weeks. This semester has been quite hectic, and I just cannot wait for it to end. That way, I can have more time to myself, but I am also not looking forward to the final exams. On that note, please stay tuned because a few overdue reviews are coming up.
Artist Info: Code Kunst is a South Korean composer and music producer signed under AOMG. His music fits within the Hip-hop, Rap, and Rnb genre. So far, he has released three studio albums and has two songs that feature Lee Hi. The one I am reviewing today is titled “X”, and the other song which was released just recently this year is titled “XI” (they both seem to enjoy playing with roman numerals).
X by Code Knust(featuring Lee Hi) is a track from his third studio album Muggle Mansionwhich was released in 2017. It tells the story of a lady who is fed up with her boyfriend’s lifestyle and all his broken promises. She is sure that it is time to move on and be with someone else but still finds herself attached to the relationship. Her boyfriend later realizes his mistakes and tries to apologize, but it might be too late.
Review: Lee Hi is one of my favourite soloists, so when I see her name on anything, I know that there is a high chance of me loving it. She really has a beautiful soulful voice, and over the years she has grown as an artist. I just wish that she was given a chance to release more music. Anyways she really did great on this track. I enjoyed the subtle changes in her vocal tone during certain parts of the song.
I really love the beginning of the song, it is quite trance-like. No hard beat was introduced at the very beginning, so we get to enjoy Lee Hi’s voice for a full minute, and then we get a super groovy beat throughout the rest of the song. I also enjoyed the pre-chorus section and the background notes by Lee Hi during the chorus. Music-wise, I believe that this song is a well-produced piece, so a big thumbs up to Code Kunst.
The only thing that threw me off a little bit was the structure of the English lyrics. I am not too sure if it was a style Code Kunst was going for, but most of the English words to me did not seem adequately structured. It all just felt like random phrases, so the connection between sentences was off. Now I read a comment under a lyric video for this song that said they were using African-American Vernacular. I could still understand the lyrics, but I always felt off.
Other than that, It was a well-produced song, with a fantastic melody and Lee Hi mesmerized me with her vocals as usual. So I will recommend you guys to give it a listen. Unfortunately, I cannot provide a link this time around because there is no official music video for this song. So try searching for an audio version on Youtube, Spotify or Apple music. Hopefully, you enjoy it.
(The story of how I started watching Korean dramas.)
If I can remember correctly, I started watching Korean shows in 2012. At that time, I was actually in a boarding school and was set to complete high school the following year. It was during a school break, but I had to be in school to take extra preparatory classes for an upcoming exam.
A little background information: I attended high school in Ghana. I was in a boarding school, so students were not allowed to have any form of an electrical device on the campus. Also, in West Africa, during the third year of high school, every student has to write what we call WASSCE. WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination) is a type of standardized test in West Africa. It grants students admission into universities and is administered by the West African Examinations Council.
With that said, I definitely should have been studying instead of watching dramas, but a girl needed to relax a little. A friend of mine happened to sneak in a mini CD player into campus. So she invited a few of us to watch movies with her. On getting there, I noticed that it was not an English film. So I asked her what country it was from, and she said Korea. Oh well, it did not really matter to me because I just wanted to hang out. So that was how I began watching Boys Over Flowers. I remember watching an episode each day because we all did not have that much free time due to the upcoming exams. As each day passed, I became more intrigued by the story and the actors. I was eager to know what next was going to happen between Gu Jun-Pyo and Geum Jan-di. After completing Boys Over Flowers, I went on to watch Playful kiss, You’re Beautiful, City Hunter, Personal Taste and many others. At this point, I had lost all control because the kdrama obsession had long begun.
In 2013 after completing high school, I came straight over to Canada to study. With access to drama streaming sites like Dramafever(it was great while it lasted, sad to see such an abrupt end). And also, Viki, I began to watch not just Korean dramas but also Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas. I had a whole new world in front of me. I was mesmerized by the amount of work and dedication that went into each of these productions. At first, I simply watched kdramas because of the actors I knew, but with time, I became sure of what I liked and what I did not enjoy. It no longer mattered to me if you were my favourite actor or actress because I am not going to sit through anything that stresses me. Honestly, when I watch something that does not sit well with me, I easily get irritated by how the story or characters have been portrayed. All the same, my favourite actor starting out was Lee Min-ho, and my favourite actress was Park Shin-Hye. Currently, I have many actresses that I really admire, but my all-time favourite actor is Lee Joon-gi. I mean, the man excels in all that he does (there is no room for argument here).
I also stumbled into the kpop world through kdramas, I remember that the first kpop group I ever listened to was Infinite. I discovered them through the drama High School Love On, which starred two of their members, Nam Woo-Hyun and Lee Sung-yeol. Over the years, I have listened to numerous Korean pop groups and solo artists from various genres (indie, hip hop, folk, neo-soul, RnB, etc.). I also listen to some good old Korean classics. Basically, when it comes to music, I listen to whatever I like, I do not restrict myself based on groups or favoured artists.
So there it is, my first Korean drama was Boys Over Flowers, and the first kpop group I listened to was Infinite. I just wanted to share what factors led me to this beautiful space. I will like to hear your stories as well, so do share.
Until my next post, take care, and if you’re in Canada, please try not to get swallowed in the snow.
As promised, here is my review for the first episode of The Crowned Clown.
My Expectation: Going into this drama, I definitely expect intense scenes and well-planned execution of the proposed plot. I believe I can trust the chosen actors to deliver an entertaining show from start to finish. Plus, I love historical dramas, so I sincerely hope that this does not turn out to be a letdown.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
Review: As expected from the stunning young actor, Yeo Jin-Goo. He really impressed me with his portrayal of two completely different characters. I have followed him for a long time as a child actor, and I know that he is going to become an even bigger star as he grows. The very first scene of episode one showcases the death of the previous king. To me, this was a brilliant way to start the drama because the intensity of that scene immediately solidified my approval of the show. From the dialogue during this scene, I could predict the troubles that were about to come, and I knew that the little prince’s life was in danger. At this point, I honestly had no strong feelings concerning Lee Hun’s character, but as I watched to the end of episode one, I discovered that our king was quite bloody. He seemed too confident in his ability to manipulate others for his benefit without having any setbacks. Also, he refuses to listen to people that are actually looking out for him. In conclusion, he is a weak and muddled King. I mean, do not kill someone, if you cannot deal with the guilt and consequences, period. Anyways, throughout episode one, we get introduced to many characters. I love the balance between the new actors and veteran actors for this drama. This gives me great hope for future episodes to come. Here are few of the notable characters:
–Yeo Jin-Goo – Ha Sun(the clown) / Lee Hun (the King): Like I mentioned, this actor does an excellent job in portraying the bloodiness of the King and the naiveness of the clown. It will definitely be hard for the clown to be a perfect imposter of the King right from the start, but I have a feeling that at the very end, it will be hard for anyone to point out who the real King is.
–Lee Se-Young – Yoo So-Woon (the Queen): So far, the queen seems like a calm and reasonable person. She is fully aware of what she desires and does not settle for less. I like that she can see through the petty tactics of the royal concubine and also stand up to the King.
–Kim Sang-Kyung – Lee Kyu (King’s trusted aide): He’s trustworthy and always has the King’s best interest at heart. I predict that at a certain point, he might switch sides and support the clown fully because the King seems like a letdown so far.
–Kwon Hae-Hyo – Shin Chi-Soo (War Minister): A very dangerous individual. At first, I thought he was controlling the King, but then I realized that the King actually used him as a weapon to get rid of his competition. Although the fact remains that a well-sharpened knife can also hurt its owner, if not handled carefully. The king’s recklessness in pushing power towards the wrong person will cause massive frustration for the viewers. Because we will be stuck watching such an annoying character for a long time.
–Min Ji-A – Court Lady Kim: Honestly, I have concluded that she is a spy. I do not know who she works for yet, but I have a strong feeling that she has a purpose for being placed so close to the King. There is a scene where she hands him a pipe to smoke, and right after that scene, we cut right to the King’s bedroom. We can see that he deals with hallucinations. I feel She might be drugging him.
–Shin Soo-Yun – Dal-Rae (Ha Sun’s sister): She is part of the performance crew and also a little sister to Ha Sun (the clown). I know she will be a significant factor in him taking his position as the King’s replacement more seriously, and this has been proved in episode 2. Since I am just doing a first episode review, I will not reveal the upcoming events.
– Seo Yoo-A – Sunhwadang (King’s concubine): She is definitely a sly one but does not seem too smart about her plots. She is the niece of the War Minister and of course, aspires to be queen by conceiving an heir to the throne. She gets to spend the night with the King and gets caught using charms. She then tries to put the blame on the queen. That particular scene was really intense but also funny. I honestly did not know if to laugh at her failure or be angry about the way the king treated her.
– Jang Young-Nam – the King’s mother: Honestly, she is the most justified villain I have seen in a long time. She lost her son and wants revenge, quite simple. But I do not think that she was utterly a saint even before losing her child. There is definitely a back story to this mess, and I am looking forward to it.
Most Memorable Scenes from this Episode :
#1 –Little Prince’s Death
I honestly did not expect his death. I know that he was accused of treason, but I did not expect our King to go through with the killing. When he decided to send him away, I had some hope that he was actually protecting his little brother. Sadly, I was left disappointed. It was a shocking scene for me. It broke my heart to see the little prince dead.
#2 –Killing Of Assassins
The King is attacked by assassins, but he manages to escape, and the killers are captured by his guards. Now during the questioning, the king gets agitated and decides to kill one of the assassins. His facial expressions at this point gave me chills. I was lost for words, and the only conclusion that I could come to was that he was psychotic. Clearly, it looks to me like he was enjoying the slaughter of another human being, and that is very scary. I honestly do not know how the writer plans to redeem this character. That is if there is even a plan for such a development.
#3 –First Shown Interaction between King and Queen
I found this scene very interesting because it represented to me a glimmer of hope for a change in the King’s personality. I can tell that he sincerely cares about the feelings of the queen, but because of all his other bloody and violent actions, the queen has refused to have any form of intimacy with him. This also shows that she’s a woman with her own values and opinions, even though she always seems calm and collected. I predict that the future relationship between the queen and the clown will be the wake-up call for our wonderful King to act more appropriately.
#4 –The King and The Clown
A well-executed scene for the first meeting of Lee Hun and Ha Sun. I just simply loved the way it played out, starting with the king getting closer to see for himself, to the transferring of ropes and the perfect imitation of command by the clown. The writer and director showcased excellent skills in setting the mood with the use of dim lighting. Once again, a big thumbs up to Yeo Jin Goo for an extraordinary performance. I honestly look forward to seeing more great works from him.
Overall, the first episode definitely met my expectations. I got the intensity I desired, and I was immediately pulled into the world of these characters. The cinematography was perfect for me, I really enjoyed the simplicity because it fitted well to the story. Also, the background instrumentals for each scene were well placed. So far, the chemistry between all the characters seems natural and kudos to all the actors for that. I also watched episode two, I like that it started out with some comedy as compared to the intense first scene from episode one. It was an excellent strategy to relax the watchers and make the show more inviting because life cannot always be dark, there should be some light moments. I have not been able to keep up with all the released episodes because of school, but I will do so by this coming weekend. So if you were looking forward to the show as well, please feel free to share your opinions with me. I need some discussion partners to keep me going.
My rating for the first episode is 10/10. I will continue watching and see how things turn out, so stay tuned.
So recently I haven’t been able to post as frequently as I would have loved to, because I fell ill. I caught a cold, and I have been experiencing severe headaches. This is very normal for me around this time of the year because of how cold it gets towards January. But all is well now because I feel better, and I’m ready to complete and schedule all my drafts. So please look forward to my upcoming posts.
Also, I have officially resumed school, so I might skip a few weeks of posting due to assignments, midterms or final exams. But I will be trying to make at least 2-3 posts each week. To my fellow students, good luck to you as you begin this new school year. Hopefully, we all finish it with grace and success.
Till my next post, take care and make sure you stay warm.
Hello guys, so for today I will be introducing you all to one of my favourite Taiwanese artists ever, Bii. Initially, when I planned this segment, it was called Artist Of The Week OR Actor/Actress of the week, depending on the content. But after much thought, I decided to simplify it as Star Showcase.
Anyways back to Bii.
Bi Shu Jin, popularly known as Bii, is a Taiwanese singer-songwriter, and actor. He was born on July 7th, 1989, to a Taiwanese father and Korean mother. His Korean name is Pil Seo Jin. He was born and raised in South Korea and only learned how to speak Mandarin after relocating to Taiwan. Bii was always interested in music and in high school, he was the lead singer for his school’s band. At age 17, he was scouted by one of the biggest Korean management companies(SM entertainment), but his mother rejected the idea of him being a singer. Later on, he relocated to Dongguan, China, to stay with his father and pursue his musical career. The stage name Bii stands for “Be, I, I,” referring to his dual personas.
I discovered Bii through the Taiwanese TV series Love Around. The opening song for the series is the title track from Bii’s second album, which was released in 2013, and this was the song that shot him to fame. I absolutely fell in love with his voice on first listen, and he broadened my music horizon. Because before hearing him sing, I only listened to Korean songs outside of my regular English songs, but he became an exception. After gaining much popularity in 2013, many of his self-composed songs have been featured as soundtracks for various Chinese and Taiwanese TV series. A few of such dramas include Someone Like You, Bromance, Prince of Wolf, Sweet Combat, Better Man, Princess Jie You, Love Cuisine, Memory Love, etc.
So far, Bii has released 1 EP and 5 albums. The EP titled Biiand the first album titled Bii Story featured Korean and Mandarin songs and were both released in 2010. The second album Come Back to Bii was released in 2013, the third album Action Bii was released in 2014. The fourth album I’m Bii to the Double I was released in 2016, and his latest album Bii Your Light was released in 2017. He also released a single in 2018 titled “Scars.” I love the fact that he adds his stage name to all his album titles, I wonder what the next one will be called.
As for his career as an actor, he is entirely new in that department. He had a few guest roles in Taiwanese TV series Someone Like You, Love Around and Zhong Wu Yan. His first primary role was as a supporting cast in Taiwanese hit series, Bromance and last year, he got to be the lead for the Taiwanese movie, About Youth.
I am looking forward to how he grows his acting skills with time, but currently, I am more attracted to him as a singer.
My most listened songs from him are -“You’re gone”, -“Bii You Light”, -“Back In Time”, -“Love More”, -“I Wanna Say”, -“Epochal Times”, -“I Will Miss You”, -“Come Back To Me”, -“I Know”, -“All You Did”, -“I Will Be By Your Side” and -“A Fearless Tomorrow.” These are just the few that I always replay. On a regular, I listen to every song on all his albums.
If you would like to have a listen of the songs I mentioned, simply search on YouTube, Spotify or any other international music streaming app. If you would like to know more about Bii, then go ahead and watch some of his interviews and shows. I will attach a link to an international English fan channel on YouTube, where such videos can be found.
So there it is guys, that was just a little intro to my favourite Taiwanese artist, Bii. I will be doing more of this star showcases on a bi-weekly schedule, so stay tuned to find out about the other actors, actresses, and artists that I love.
“Tempo” was released by Korean pop group EXO, as part of their 2018 comeback album titled; Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. I am not really into EXO, so I only check out their title tracks, and I definitely have the specific songs I love from them. When I first heard this song, I did not take any interest in it, but I recently watched a reaction video for it and decided to give it a second listen. I guess the second time was the charm needed to allow me to appreciate the song more.
My favourite part of the song is the little Capella (Acapella) section they had towards the end of the track. I felt that their voices really shined throughout that section. It also made the song more groovy. So a thumbs up to EXO for blessing my ears.
Since it is the first day of 2019, I decided to share a list of my most anticipated dramas for this year. When these dramas are released, I will be posting a first episode review. So that way, you all can know if the drama met my expectations and if I plan to continue watching it.
(For the dramas that do not yet have posters, I have attached an image of the currently confirmed cast or referenced work)
#1 – The Crowned Clown / The Man Who Became KingJoseon is currently in a state of disorder due to uprisings and a power struggle surrounding King Lee Hun. A clown named Ha Sun is brought to the palace to pose as King Lee Hun. That way, the king could escape assassination. Ha Sun is identical to the King.
#2 – The WolfTowards the end of the Tang Dynasty, Zhu Wen usurped the throne and established the Liang kingdom. He then encounters a young wild boy who accidentally fell from a cliff while being pursued saving wolf pups. The boy is rescued and adopted by Zhu Wen and is renamed Zhu Youwen. Ten years later, Zhu Youwen has been conferred with the title, Prince of Bo. He meets and falls in love with Zhaixing, the daughter of a governor and the two become involved in a struggle for power.
#3 – KingdomSet in Korea’s Joseon period, the drama tells the story of a crown prince who is sent on a suicide mission. He is to investigate a mysterious plague spreading across the country. But he later discovers that the plague is actually an atrocious epidemic in the form of zombies.
#4 – Welcome To Waikiki 2 / Eulachacha Waikiki 2This is the season 2 of the popular series, Welcome to Waikiki. It is set to air during the first half of 2019, but no cast member has been confirmed. I wrote about Welcome to Waikiki season 1 in a previous post, if you have not read that, here is the link (MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018).
#5 – Tears In HeavenReporter Du Xiao Su falls in love with Doctor Shao Zhen Rong. Zhen Rong, unfortunately, meets an accident and dies, leaving Xiao Su in grief. All her suffering is being witnessed by Lei Yu Zheng, who decides to help her silently. This sparks hatred from the second female lead (Lin Xiang Yuan). Amid ongoing schemes, Yu Zheng loses his company, but Xiao Su helps him make a comeback.
#6 – Touch Your Heart / Reach Of SincerityTop actress Oh Yoon Seo has a scandal that damages her career, leaving her with any job for two years. To get a role in an upcoming series, she agrees to get experience at a law firm while working as a secretary to a lawyer named Kwon Jung Rok. This marks the reunion of the secondary couple fro the popular Korean series, Goblin.
#7 – Dear Citizens A comedic criminal drama that tells the story of a con man who gets married to a police officer. From then on, he gets involved in a series of unplanned incidents and even ends up becoming a member of the National Assembly.
#8 – Romance Supplement / Romance Is A Bonus BookThe series follows the lives of employees in their 30s who work at a publishing company. Cha Eun Ho is a genius writer and the youngest chief editor at his publishing company. Kang Dan-Yi used to be a popular copywriter but is not anymore. Due to her impressive career and educational background, she struggles with finding a new job. Finally, she gets a job at the same publishing company where Cha Eun Ho works by lying about her background. The two begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.
#9 – My CountryThis drama is to be set during the Korean Goryeo period to the early Joseon period. It will tell the story of two friends who come to aim their swords at each other due to their different opinions about “my country.”
#10 – Asadal Chronicle / The Chronicles Of AseudalThe drama revolves around the power struggles, love, and growth between the people of the fictional ancient city of Aseudal. Eun-Sun was born with the fate to bring disaster to Aseudal. Ta-Gon is a war hero and dreams of becoming the first king of Aseudal. Tan-Ya was born with the same fate as Eun-Sun, and she is the successor of the Wahan tribe.
#11 – ItemA criminal profiler and a prosecutor determined to save his niece, work together to decipher the secrets behind various objects with supernatural powers.
#12 – When The Devil Calls Your NameThis drama tells the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil ten years ago for youth and success. As the soul collection day draws near, he begs the devil for an extension of their contract. The devil agrees on the condition that he will find three other people who have promised their souls and take their contracts.
#13 – Queen DuguA Chinese historical drama about the first emperor of the Sui Dynasty (Emperor Wen of Sui). He is known for having the fewest concubines due to his love and respect for his empress, Empress Dugu. They met during their teen years, and he promised that she would be the only woman to carry his children.
#14 – Empress Of The Ming: Legend Of Sun RuoweiSun Ruowei’s entire family is killed on the orders of the Yongle Emperor in 1402. She manages to escape death after being secretly adopted by Sun Zhong but later on becomes the concubine of crown prince Zhu Zhanji by chance. She decides to use the opportunity to investigate the truth behind her family’s death. Touched by Zhu Zhanji’s kindness, she later decides to drop her personal goals. She resolves to become a virtuous empress who can support him through his rule. Unfortunately, Zhu Zhanji dies a decade after ascending the throne, and Sun Ruowei is honoured as Empress Dowager once her 7-year-old son became emperor.
#15 – Spring Must Be ComingKim Bo-Mi is a TV news anchorwoman who only cares about herself. On the other hand, we have Lee Bom, who was once a popular actress. She is now married to a lawmaker and focuses on being a housewife. Somehow both women switch bodies, giving them a chance to live their once forgotten dreams and gaining new experience.
#16 – Dazzling / The Light In Your EyesKim Hye-Ja dreams of becoming an announcer, but suddenly she transforms into a 70-year-old woman with the ability to manipulate time. Lee Joon-Ha hopes to become a reporter and has worked hard to achieve his dream, but he now lives life hopelessly. These two somehow get involved with each other.
So this is the end of my list. Of course, there are many other upcoming dramas this year, but these are the few that I am really looking forward to watching. I will still be keeping an eye out for all the other dramas, so stay tuned for the reviews.
As promised, here is the review for the Taiwanese drama series, MEMORY LOVE.
Memory Love tells the story of Qiao Jia En (our female lead) and her boyfriend, Wang Xiu Kai’s return to Taiwan to reunite with her estranged wealthy father after her mom’s death. Unfortunately, they both get involved in a car accident, which causes Jia En to lose her memory, and her boyfriend is declared brain dead. On the other side, we have pastry chef Xing Shao Tian (our male lead), who collapses during a bakery banquet and requires an immediate heart transplant. Of course, he ends up receiving Xiu Kai’s heart. Now Jia En’s best friend, Zhoa Ai li takes advantage of the current memory loss situation and poses as Jia En.
(Warning – spoilers ahead)
The elements of this drama include amnesia, switched and stolen identity and fictional organ cellular memory transfer. Honestly, this is a drama that you will either love or hate. I say this because the story is nothing new, but it will all depend on how the execution of the plot comes off to you as the viewer. From the start of the drama, I enjoyed the way the characters were introduced at fast speed. This means that whatever back story to be told was placed throughout the upcoming episodes, so we got straight to the actual plot. Overall the drama was light and straightforward, so it made an easy watch, apart from some unrealistic developments. For example, I cannot seem to understand how Zhao Ai li was able to get away with the switching of identities. It is the 21st century, DNA tests do exist. If I was the father and someone comes up claiming to be my daughter, I will definitely ask for concrete proof and not just some keepsake. But no worries, I decided to accept the drama world logic and let that slide. Also, I am no medical student, but the way the transfer of cellular organ memory was portrayed in this drama was a bit over the top but once again ‘drama logic.’ This series also showcased some super cringy scenes. Now I have admitted my love for cheesy romance, but when it gets to that cringe level, I cannot help but feel embarrassed for the characters. I was able to cope with the cringe because the chemistry between the leads was electrifying.
The interactions between them felt fresh and real. They were both supportive and loving to each other. Kudos to the Mandy Wei and Andy Chen for creating such sizzling chemistry. Because most onscreen couples can sometimes feel heavily scripted, and that makes the pair really unbelievable for the viewers. There were a few moments when I wished the male lead was not written to be mean at the beginning. I would love to see more dramas where the male lead is actually a nice person from the start. Because I find it hard to believe that any lady would easily fall in love with someone who has been continuously harsh to her. All the same, their chemistry was legit, so it helped.
I also loved the bromance that came later on between the first and second male leads. They are also stepbrothers and love rivals (honestly, my head hurts from such a complicated relationship). It was fun to watch their bickering, and the little moments of them getting along was cute.
I did not really care for the side characters or their stories because I felt that they were not as well developed as the main characters. I think the writer decided to add them in for comedic effect. Also, I noticed that a few random characters were thrown in at odd points of the story to push the relationship between the leads to the next level. I do not entirely hate the idea, but it was not properly planned, so these characters always felt out of place. Now one person that really annoyed me down to the last episode was our female lead’s best friend. The writer thought the audience could be persuaded later on to feel some pity for this character by making Jia En forgive her so easily. After all the pretending, stealing and lying for so long, it came off quite unrealistic. I mean, yes, she has to forgive at some point but not that fast. I must say I WAS SHOCKED because I felt it did not allow for the friend to learn her lesson as well deserved. Let me be real, the friend and her super annoying fiance had been crossed on my list, there was no going back. Apart from these two characters, I absolutely adored every other character in the drama, whether random or not.
Now we have a pastry chef as our lead, so there were some baking skills showcased throughout the show. I enjoyed how the drama incorporated the stories behind the creation of these pastries and connected them to the emotions felt by the characters. This made the show more interesting. Another reason why I loved this drama was due to the original soundtracks used. I already did a review for the opening track. If you have not read that already, use this link (Opening song review) and check it out. Most of the other songs from the drama came from the album Bii Your Light by Taiwanese singer Bii. My favourite song titled “You’re Gone” was actually the closing track. If you would like to have a listen, here is the video –
Lastly, let’s discuss the execution of the plot. Like I said earlier, the plot is nothing new in the drama world, but I still gave the drama a chance. It definitely had the potential to gain a 10/10 rating, but it fell to the ongoing problem of many Taiwanese dramas. I honestly cannot tell if the writer got too relaxed towards the end or if the number of episodes should have been cut short. Recent Taiwanese dramas tend to be draggy towards the end. By draggy, I mean, there was a point when I felt that the last episode had already been aired because the events from then on felt like fillers. This could have been avoided if the drama had ended sooner. Memory Love had so much potential, but I have to admit that the episodes towards the end felt like compulsory fillers required to reach the already announced number. Overall it was still a relaxing drama to watch. The main couple was sweet and amazing together, so I will give it a 7.5/10. Will I be watching it again? Yes, but not every single episode, maybe I might go back to watch my favourite moments. Also, I will be following future projects from both leads because they were the rock that held my interest throughout the show.
If you would like to watch this drama for the sweet moments between the main couple, that is great. It is available on Viki (Asian drama/movie streaming site), just use the link below.
Hello everyone. First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance. I am hoping that the holiday season brings you great joy and may all your heart’s wishes be fulfilled.
So for today, I will be sharing a list of my top 10 Asian dramas that aired in 2018. I definitely watched more than 10 dramas, but these are just the few that really stood out for me. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me. I will be listing from last to first because I want my #1 to be anticipated.
#10 – A Korean Odyssey/HwayugiSon Oh- Gong, the monkey king, finds himself bound as a protector for Jin Seon-mi. She is the little girl he had made a contract with 25 years ago. In exchange for setting Son Oh-gong free, Jin Seon-mi will be able to call on him whenever she needs help. Now, this was a highly anticipated drama for me, and it had a great start to it. The characters were funny, I also loved the way the story progressed, but the ending episodes were slowly paced with a few unnecessary scenes. The fact that I still enjoyed it on my second watch is the reason for it being on my list.
#9 – The Ghost DetectiveLee Da-il is a detective who has promised to help his assistant Jung Yeo-wool, investigate the bizarre death of her younger sibling. While doing this, he runs into a mysterious woman in red called Sunwoo Hye, who somehow appears at every crime scene. This was a very intriguing drama, but the reason for it being #9 on my list is because of the horror aspects which I am not the biggest fan of. I had to keep my lights on whenever I watched it because somehow I always watched it late at night
#8 – EncounterFate threw a large dice for these two. A woman who seems to have everything and a young man who seems to have nothing. As things unfold, they have to choose between wealth and authority or an ordinary life together. I always enjoy a very well produced cheesy romance, and the cinematography is a plus for this drama, really amazing. The only reason for it being this low on my list is because it is still airing, and my feelings might change if the story flops. So I got my fingers crossed for this one, but so far I love it.
#7 – Moonshine and ValentineGuan Pipi lived an ordinary and peaceful life until she met Helan Jingting; then, her life took an extraordinary turn. Different from humans, Helan is actually a fox. He cannot see during the day but has great vision at night. Their unique relationship begins when Pipi faces betrayal from love and friendship. A check for romance, another check for fantasy, which I go crazy for and the last check for amazing chemistry. I really enjoyed this drama, and I am actually hoping for a second season. But at the same time, I am not sure if the second season can be executed as perfectly as the first.
#6 – What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?The drama revolves around a narcissistic vice chairman of a major corporation, Lee Young-Joon and his very able secretary, Kim Mi So. The catalyst for this drama is Kim Mi-So’s intention to resign from her position, after working for Lee Young-Joon for nine years. Like I said earlier, I love a good romance, and this also had comedy to offer, so I loved every minute of it. It was also nice to see the vice-chairman begin to pay attention to someone other than himself. The pace was also on point from start to finish.
#5 – My ID is Gangnam BeautyKang Mi-rae decides to get plastic surgery after being bullied in high school for her looks. Yet she ends up being nicknamed as the “Gangnam plastic surgery monster” of her university. The drama follows her story of recovering self-esteem as she gets to know Do Kyung-Seok. Really awesome drama from start to finish, there was never a dull moment for me. I absolutely loved the fact that the male lead could see through the second female lead’s tricky acts and plus the main leads were so cute together. LOVED IT
#4 – Welcome to WaikikiThe story circles around three friends who run a failing guesthouse called Waikiki and the mysterious appearance of a single mother and her baby. If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend this drama. It was pure comedy from the beginning to the end. I enjoyed every minute of it. The characters bonded so well together, and there was a lot of personal growth going on for every character. I will definitely be watching this again.
#3 – Story Of Yanxi PalaceSmart and witty Wei Yingluo enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor as a seamstress to investigate the truth behind her older sister’s death. Upon discovering that the imperial guard Fuca Fuheng might have a hand in her sister’s death, she purposely attracts the attention of his sister, the Empress Fuca. Over time she learns about the honesty and kindness of both siblings and also develops romantic affections for Fuheng. Can we please have a moment of appreciation for a strong and resourceful female lead, which is rare in Asian dramas. Wei Ying Luo outsmarted all her rivals without any major support, and that made me enjoy this drama.
#2 – The Rise of Phoenixes Ning Yi is a calculating and ambitious sixth prince of the ruling Tiansheng kingdom. He disguises his talents behind a carefree personality after corrupt officials charged his older brother with high treason. He establishes a secret information network with Qingming Academy’s headmaster Xin Ziyan and waits for the perfect time to strike down his enemies. Once again, a moment of appreciation for an amazing and well-written male lead character. The actor Chen Kun who played as Ning Yi, deserves every award possible. He did a fantastic job of convincing the audience to accept every emotion displayed by his character. Also, the chemistry between the leads was 10/10. Honestly, Chinese dramas shined this year.
#1 – Mr. SunshineThe drama focuses on a young boy who is born into slavery, but after a traumatic event, he escapes to the United States during the 1871 U.S. expedition to Korea. He later returns to Joseon as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. During his stay, he meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and also discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea. There is only one word to describe this drama, “PERFECTION.” From the directing to the cinematography, chemistry between characters and beautiful soundtracks. It had it all. I laughed, smiled, cried and felt so attached to all characters throughout the series.
If you also enjoyed any of these dramas, please let me know what exactly you really loved about it. Even if you have a favourite that did not make my list, leave the title in the comment section because I will check it out. Now, if you have not seen any of these listed dramas, please grab some popcorn and have yourself a merry Christmas movie night.
There is only one word I can use to describe this song, and that is – Smooth.
First of all, I was never a big fan of Eric Nam, but recently he has been serving me sweet vocals on various tracks, and I am here for it. This particular song from him just served as a cherry on top of all his other releases. I have replayed this song numerous times on YouTube and then added it to my playlist; and repeated it some more. Since the official publication of the song, I have listened to it every day. YES, I AM OBSESSED.
My favourite section of this song is the chorus, the way he sings. I am no music expert, so I can not point out the exact technique he uses during the chorus. I give him a 10/10 for blessing my ears.
The Song You Picked Saves Me by A-lin and J.Sheon is an original soundtrack from the Taiwanese TV series Memory Love, which starred Andy Chen and Mandy Wei. The drama on its own was quite cute and fun to watch. I am not going to discuss the show because I will be posting a review soon.
“The Song You Picked Saves Me” was featured as the opening soundtrack for the TV series. If you watch Taiwanese TV series, you would know about the lengthy openings. Some could last for 2 minutes or more, so I skip such parts. But in the case of Memory Love, I never once skipped it because of how good the song was.
The song begins with a light introduction of the beat and A-Lin singing the main melody for the first 0.32 seconds but without any lyrics. She starts singing with actual lyrics at the 0.33 seconds mark. While she sings, J.Sheon breaks in a few times. The chorus then brings both their voices together in sweet harmony. The second verse goes over to J.Sheon and just like the first A-Lin breaks in once in a while. What I really enjoyed about this song is that it was not just about the featured singer doing their verse and then disappearing. The way J.Sheon came in and out of the song really gave it a unique flavour, and both singers shined vocally.
The melody for the chorus was easy to pick up and fun to sing along to. It was my first time listening to anything from A-Lin and J.Sheon, but I absolutely loved it and immediately added it to my Spotify playlist. The track really has an old school r&b vibe to it. So if you’re down for that kind of music, then you’re going to loveeee it. And even if you’re not into RnB, you should check it out and see if it piques your interest.