“Countdown to Le Min Ho” Drama Review: “Personal Taste”

The “Countdown to Lee Min Ho” continues. My second confirmation e-mail has arrived with more details regarding the event. My guest must be at least 18 years of age, which takes daughter #2 out of the running. Sorry, Ali. Cameras allowed. Gifts allowed. Suggestions anyone?

So, on to another fun Lee Min Ho drama: “Personal Taste” aka “Personal Preference”, a hilarious romantic comedy where Lee Min Ho is mistaken as a gay man. As if!

Storyline/Synopsis: My rating 8/10

personaltaste1Rife with misunderstandings of every sort, “Personal Taste” is a romantic comedy with a different twist. Jeon Jin Ho is a talented architect with a fastidious, difficult personality and a tragic past. Park Kae In is a sweet, naive and rather awkward woman who also sports a tragic past and has a knack for attracting people who use and continually abuse her trusting nature. The two meet multiple times under less-than-friendly circumstances and shenanigans ensue when Jin Ho finds himself in need of Kae In’s resources – namely her home.

Script/Acting: My rating 8/10

Lee Min Ho and Son Yeh Jin worked quite well together to create a captivating and likeable couple. Her warmth coupled with his stoicism, her innocence combined with his worldliness, her happy-go-lucky nature meshed with his driven personality create a yin/yang pair that works remarkably well from the beginning as they befriend each other.

taste3Jung Sung Hwa as No Sang Joon is an absolute riot as Jin Ho’s business partner and “lover”. His overplayed ‘gay man’ act steals many a scene. He and his “Unni” buddy, Young Sun, Kae In’s best friend played by Jo Eun Ji fashion an off the wall couple that add the requisite comic relief.

2AM’s Im Seul Ong pulled off a great debut in his first drama as part of Jin Ho’s staff. As Kim Tae Hoon, the goofy, love-sick office boy, he ardently pursues Hye Mi (Choi Eun Seo) who is equally ardently chasing Jin Ho.

While the script is an original departure from the standard drama formula, many customary clichés remain intact. Included is the requisite drunken piggy-back ride, the accidental shirtless (and more – oops!) viewing, the Kpop idol cameo, parents who have died, people who think with their emotions instead of their brains. Sigh.

Less well-developed was the character of Jin Ho’s mother’s, who’s sympathies swing dramatically to and fro with little to substantiate the  histrionics.

Cinematography: My rating 7/10

The artistic style of the opening scenes fading out into watercolor stills was a pleasing addition. The director also made great use of non-traditional camera angles for a few conversations. Other than that, the cinematography was standard, but adept.

Oh – and Lee Min Ho’s wardrobe rocks. Really.

taste10Music: My rating 8/10

The music for this drama was especially well chosen and enjoyable.

Can’t Believe It – Younha   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzILD68udIA

Dropping Rain – Kim Tae Woo  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcVXZTohyx8

My Heart is Touched – SeeYa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5zdC1mZrC8

You’re My Wings – Kim Tae Woo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIAt6bF5HBQ

Making Love – 4minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ_SA4zLsZE

And my personal favorite:

Like a Fool – 2AM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-fX9JMbLTU

Overall Charisma: My rating 8/10

personaltasteMistaken intentions are the norm throughout the drama.  Angst, unavoidable pain inflicted on people who trust in you, a bitchy woman that you really love the hate – all elements present and accounted for.

The real charisma lies, for me, in the sweet love that develops between the central couple. The romance is delightfully engaging, if somewhat implausible at first. The characters are developed with the complexity of a woven tapestry – each thread leading skillfully to the next detail, meshing with each other to create colorful exchanges and eventually, a couple-picture. The acting skills of Lee Min Ho and Son Yeh Jin played no small part in this active weaving! Oh, and this drama also sports my very favorite marriage proposal.

Alas, if only real life were more like the dramas. But gorgeous, perfect men who bring home the bacon, kiss beautifully and tenderly, and do the laundry really don’t exist, do they?

Happy Drama Watching!

PersonalTasteWhy we watch

Friday Drama Review: Lie to Me – Anytime

Lets return to 2011. There were several really great dramas that year including Tree with Deep Roots, 49 Days, Dream High, The Princess’ Man and Heartstrings – all of which are review-lieworthy, by the way. While listening to some exceptionally epic ballads issuing from my iPod, I was reminded of (and had to watch yet again) another 2011 favorite: “Lie to Me” with Kang Ji Hwan and Yoon Eun Hye.

Storyline/Synopsis: My rating 8/10

Who wants to be forever under the foot of the woman who stole (and married!) your first love? Intolerable taunts lead our heroine to tell a little white lie (“I’m married”); the gargantuan snowball that lands on her head as a result provides episodes loaded with comedy and romance galore.

Enter a demanding, handsome chaebol bachelor whose orderly life is suddenly disrupted by the hardworking but free—spirited, somewhat scattered Yoon Eun Hye. Following obediently along the proscribed path set before him, his life is suddenly turned upside down and inside out by rumors of a “secret” marriage to an unknown civil servant. Mix in an ex-fiancé and a runaway brother and the possibilities for confusion and trouble are endless.

Script/Acting: My rating 7/10

Eun Hye

 

The role is perfect for Yoon Eun Hye who is delightful as a sweet, scattered, lovable Gong Ah Jung. The role fits her acting style perfectly.

ji HwanKang Ji Hwan as the cool, dispassionate, turned passionate, Hyun Ki Joon was also a perfect choice. Kudos to the couple for passionately convincing embraces and smooches. (Not your standard fare in K-dramas to be sure! LOL)

sung joon

 

Sung Joon (fabulous in Shut Up Flower Boy Band) was a credible, lovable and oh so pitiful Hyun Sang Hee. Excellent performances were put in by a number of veteran actors and actresses. The script held a few interesting surprises in what could have been a relatively predictable storyline. Especially gratifying was the evolving relationship between archrivals Gong Ah Jung and Yoo So Ran. Too often, ex-friendships remain one dimensional and static, but the storyline between these two women remained a compelling feature of the drama.

Drama Cliches: Taking care of him when he’s sick, carrying her piggyback, requisite hospital scene, a second male lead who won’t get the girl (sigh), running into each others arms on the beach. Let’s not forget really dumb mistakes that lead to obvious misunderstandings. (The jewelry box near the end.)

Cinematography: My rating 7/10

The drama has some great scenery, filming on Jeju Island as well as Seoul proper. As in many SBS dramas, the SBS building was used as the business office building, having failed to mask the sign in at least one scene where Ki Joon is racing into the building. There were places minor sound distractions were not masked well. Minor issues to be sure.

Music: My rating 9/10

Unbelievably sweet ballads prevail throughout drama. As I said previously, said ballads on my iPod provoked a second viewing of this drama! My personal favorite is “Walking on a Cloud” performed by Cho Kyo Chan. Sadly, nothing is available for purchase on iTunes, but the following tracks can be found online if you’d like to listen to them: “Shameless Lie” (4 Minute’s Heo Ga Yoon), “If This Night Passes” (SS501’s Kim Hyung Jun), “I Belong to You” (MBLAQ), “You are my Love” (Kim Yeon Woo), and “Are You Still Waiting” (Hee Young). Here’s a fan-made teaser set to my favorite music:

Overall Charisma: My rating 8/10

One of the best features of this drama is not so much the storyline, as the characters themselves. The evolution of each person was a drama in and of itself. Too often, characters evolve, if at all, in predictable ways, but in “Lie To Me”, personalities grew and changed in a somewhat realistic fashion.

I’m thinking twice is probably not going to be my lifetime viewing limit on this drama.  If you haven’t seen it at least once, it’s worth a try – at the very least for the music! (If not for the PDA… :-p)

Happy Drama Watching!

lean in

 

[KKonnect Lost Article] The 2012 SBS KPOP SUPER CONCERT in America: What Popped and Did Not Pop

The 2012 SBS KPOP SUPER CONCERT in America: What Popped and Did Not Pop

PREFACE

The opinions written in this article may not represent the views of KKonnect or most of the world.

-November 10th,2012

It is 11:00 PM on an unusually chilly Southern California night. Tired,bemused, ears ringing from hysterical women screaming at possibly every musician on stage,  and nestled in a warm blanket burrito (blanket burrito: being double wrapped in a blanket from your toes to your head), I shall try to comment on the SBS KPop Super Concert in Irvine.

Organizers:

  • What Did Not Pop:
    • Multiple delays of concert dates
    • Lack of advertising.
    • Pricing of tickets ($400.00 for premium seating)
    • Not having any Korean food available at a KPOP concert
    • The dismay of audience members who purchased orchestra seating when crowds of people who paid for $60.00 lawn seats were able to sit next to them
  • What Popped:
    • Organizing a stellar marquis of artists including: SISTAR,4MINUTE, BEAST, KARA, CNBLUE, 2NE1, GIRLS GENERATION
    • Addition of KARMIN who performed respectable covers of American Pop Songs with passion and enthusiasm.
    • Choosing a venue that is fair for both Los Angeles and San Diegan fans (Yes, I too can be biased), and located next to the large Irvine Spectrum Center Mall.
    • The ebullience of audience members who had lawn seats and were given the opportunity to sit in $400.00 orchestra level seats.

Artists:

  • What Did not Pop:
    • Poor emceeing.  Conversations between artists in Korean left much of the audience perplexed.  Californian Native Tiffany from SNSD was neither charismatic nor creative in emceeing the event with her colleagues, obviously reading from a script throughout the event.
  • What Popped:
    • Electric and flawless performances from all artists, truly displaying why they are the apex artists and consummate professionals in the KPop Genre. Each were excellent, but a few stood out:
    • BEAST:
      • Not my cup of tea in terms of artists, but no other group received more adulation from the audience than this group. Lady folk apparently have an affinity towards boy bands for some reason.
    • 2NE1:
      • 2NE1 were master class in their performance, orchestrating fan interaction during songs, had backup dancers,  showed unique dance moves, and did a shout-out to the audience.

It’s 11:45 now, Cartoon Network is transitioning from Adult Swim to Toonami, SNL is ending on NBC, and the temperature of the blanket burrito is just right…strained eyes shutting uncontrollably… time to go to sleep… entering dreamland…zzz

(Next Article “A Journey through Dreamland”….just kiddnig)