Drama ramblings

First Impression: One More Happy Ending

OMHE

Mimo: Even after getting torn and exhausted through endless relationships, I turn my head and notice someone new. My heart flutters and I get excited. I should learn how to let it age within myself, but I spit it out right away, and it scars me once again.
Soohyuk: I’m jealous. I envy how you spill out your emotions, instead of holding them in. They’ll feel happy when you let them free. My emotions always rot inside me. I end up regretting it later.                                                                                         Credit: Tumblr

Be still, my heart! Yes your eyes are not deceiving you. I am writing about a drama in after what feels like forever (has it been two years?). And it was an impromptu decision to do so too. I’ve talked about this with a friend of mine just this afternoon about feeling in a rut when it comes to drama-writing, and to be honest with the over-saturated drama blogosphere I hardly feel like I’ll be able to contribute anything new to the ongoing discussion which is why I barely talk about shows that I am actually watching these days. And yet I can’t shake off this nagging feeling that I HAVE to write about this particular show for some reason. For those who’s been around for long, you probably already know that I have a penchant for underrated gems (be it for music, drama and other things) and especially when it comes to rooting for the underdog.

One More Happy Ending, to me is one such case. Well yes, this drama has been very well-received by the international viewers (see Soompi thread HERE). It’s just a shame that this sentiment wasn’t shared by the Korean audience because god damn this show just owns my heart and soul. I did NOT see this coming. Week after week I find myself craving for the next episode and what I’d do after each episode is to rummage through the Soompi thread and read every single commentary on it because I am just dying to find people who adore this drama as much as I do…which must mean something right?

Now that I’ve gotten this out of my chest…I can finally breathe. So…what made me pick this show? At first it was simply out of curiosity as I was intrigued by the Jang Nara-Jung Kyungho pairing. Then I watched the first two episodes and was pleasantly surprised by how much it left me cracking up like some crazy person in the middle of the night. Confession: This is my first Jung Kyungho drama and I have NEVER seen Heartless City before (yes, people like us do exist *narrowly dodging bullets from left and right*)  and you know what…I abso-fucking-lutely love him here (those who’ve watched the drama will recognise the reference *winks*). His hairstyle here may not be everyone’s cup of tea but who cares when he’s doing such an amazing job with his character?

Some viewers were all ‘oh wait but Soo-hyuk’s so indecisive and all’,’Hae-joon is so prefect and swoonworthy’,’why did he tell his best friend that he wasn’t interested in Mimo just to eat his own words later?’… oh come on, Soohyuk (that’s Jung Kyungho’s character by the way) is just another human who’s incredibly flawed, just like any other person. I don’t think it is fair to expect someone who’s been out of the dating game for eleven years to realise and act upon their feelings immediately. Yes he can be childish at times (ooh I just love it when he is being deliberately petty!) and yes his dillydallying can be frustrating but I think that’s what sets him apart from his best friend Haejoon, who might appear to be oh-so-perfect on paper at first sight. I’m sorry to say this, but I find his ‘so-called’ perfection frustrating. I don’t care if this is going to offend some of the Haejoon shippers but I’m just going to say this…I can’t stand male leads who are all self-centred, egoistic and a bit of a control freak (nobody in their right mind would use a kiss to stop his girlfriend from talking about another guy…omg if this is a real thing then shame on those who actually do it). For pete’s sake, this is not a competition but a woman’s heart here that we’re talking about! Okay…enough of my rant. Let’s get back to the drama itself.

Objectively speaking, this drama is far from perfect. The writing is hardly what you’d call amazing but what the drama lacks in depth it makes up for character development in the form of Nam Dajung (one of the most compelling side characters that I’ve seen in awhile…someone give Yoo Da-in a tag on Dramabeans!) and of course Song Soohyuk, a male lead that feels more like a second male lead rather than THE male lead (now isn’t that refreshing?). Soohyuk possess the qualities that we’ll usually see in second male lead characters (i.e. the guy who perpetually pines after the female lead and looks after her from a distance) and even though you could already tell that he’s going to be the end game it still broke my heart to see him getting his heart all broken into piece. Show, please don’t let me down I’ve been Jungpal-ed once and I don’t think I can deal with another one heartbreak. Writer-nim, you’ve been doing a fantastic job with Jung Kyungho’s character so far…PLEASE STAY CONSISTENT. Or maybe it wasn’t the writing but just Jung Kyungho being his awesome self.

Also, can I just mention how I absolutely LURVE how Soohyuk and Mimo are both bursting from all that chemistry together??? Childhood friends to lovers is one of the most overused tropes out there but it works really well in this context because it is so obvious that these two old friends know each other inside out so being together as a couple is simply a natural progression because they complement each other so well: one needs someone to love her for who she is and show her that she deserves to be treated as a princess well another needs someone to tell him how amazing he is as a person and that he deserves a second chance at happiness no matter what other people might say (ignore the busybody naysayers!).
tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o5_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o1_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o3_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o4_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o2_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o6_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o7_r1_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o8_r2_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o10_r2_400tumblr_o24qbhefka1uq4zv4o9_r2_400
These GIFs from tumblr are everything ❤

Haejoon is likely to be in love with his concocted image of Mimo is like but Soohyuk  is the one who actually knows the real her. I mean, he’s seen in her absolute best and he’s also seen her in her absolute worst (oh drunk Mimo is the best, you feel so much secondhand embarrassment for her and yet you cannot help but to root for her) and he loves her all the same so this is why he is the perfect one for Han Mimo.

No review on this drama would be complete without mentioning my favourite side couple who’s been (slowly and steadily) stealing the show, namely Geunhak (Kim Taehoon who blew me way in Hidden Identity!!!) and Dajung (played by the amazing Yoo Da-in). I started out the show not caring much for them but after episodes 7 and 8 I can safely telling you that this couple is one of the most compelling couples that I’ve seen on the TV for a really long time. I really really want to see them get back together because it is plain as day that the both of them are clearly still very much in love with each other despite the fact that divorce is just looming around the corner. The pictures below show how this couple met and fell in love with each other. Honestly just look at Geunhak’s dimples!
OMHE7.jpg
OMHE7
The thing about this couple is that their portrayal of marriage is so realistic to the point that you’re actually hurting together with them. It just makes me wonder why and how they’ve gotten to this point where they’re at the brink of divorce (and the show has been doing a fab job and showing us just that). Also, I found the breast cancer scare really relatable since it’s something that’s very close to my heart since it’s something that’s affected someone who’s really dear to me.

If I had to describe this drama in one word, the word would be ‘onionlike’. You wouldn’t really think much of an onion in the sense that its appearance isn’t something to write home about at first sight but as you peel off the layers further you get to slowly see what is really inside. Likewise, this drama may not be one that commands your attention right off the bat but it’s one of those that really grows on you after a while as you slowly start to warm up to the characters that you probably didn’t think you’d care for (like Dajung and Mimo, for example).

BOTTOM LINE: Go watch this drama if you haven’t already! (Spoiler alert: There’s one amazing confession scene in EP8 HERE and I’ve been rewatching it multiple times)

I’m just going to conclude with these GIFs from tumblr with some of my fav lines from Han Mimo.
tumblr_o1bcy2ecgd1tjk2bjo3_r1_500tumblr_o1bcy2ecgd1tjk2bjo1_500tumblr_o1bcy2ecgd1tjk2bjo2_r1_500
PREACH.

Disclaimer: Images and audio belong to respective owners.

P.S.: This is a one-off drama review. I don’t think I’ll be able to write an extensive review of sorts but I’ll be happy to discuss about this drama here anytime. :)))

Watch the drama with Chinese subs HERE or English subs HERE.
You can check out the discussion on the Soompi thread HERE.
DramabeansDramajjang and Couch Kimchi have written some fantastic recaps/reviews about this drama if you’re interested.

Mr. Right Wanted (徵婚啟事) – Review

I have sooooo many things to talk about this drama,  in fact I’m so overwhelmed with feelings to the extent that I don’t even know where I should start with. It’s just so unlike any other T-drama that I’ve seen before. This heart tugs at my heartstrings in more ways that you can ever imagine. To say that I really like this drama would be an understatement of the year, because love isn’t even good enough to cover it, I am absolutely smitten with this drama. One would argue that the premise is ridiculous. I mean, who would actually advertise a notice to seek potential suitors the old-fashioned way at this time and age? Note that the book was first published in 1989, and the movie adaptation of the book, The Personals was released in 1998. Technology was not as advanced back then as it is now, and society wasn’t as accepting of the idea of a female putting herself out there in the open by marriage-seeking through a newspaper advertisement (almost unheard of in fact). I read about how the idea for the drama came about in the first place. The original author of the book was actually the real life Lee Hai-ning (under another name, of course) as she was the one who actually placed a personal ad on the newspapers looking for potential marriage candidates (how gutsy of her O.O), because she was really curious to find out how other people view love and marriage at that time. Moving back to the present time, Mr. Right Wanted plays on this very same idea  with a slight twist, with the advertisement to seek potential suitors to be placed through Facebook instead of it being done through the newspaper, it is set in the 21st century after all.

10856583_697645476999377_1234450344356395349_o

Lee Hai-ning is a successful thirty-something female editor for a publication magazine who doesn’t want to get married, neither does she crave for marriage. This is something new even to Sonia Sui, who has admitted in the BTS videos that most of the female characters that she’s portrayed actually really wants  to get married deep down inside despite claims to the contrary. Hai-ning is afraid of marriage, she doesn’t believe in marriage because she feels like it’ll never last, and people will break up in the end so why risk it? She’s very rational, as evidenced in her determination to not let her personal relationship (her break-up with ex-boyfriend Cheng-hao) affect her work which is both a plus (now that’s true professionalism) and a minus, and I say it’s a minus because you know sometimes being in love requires you the suspend your brain for a little bit and just let your heart take over. The scriptwriter once described Hai-ning as 工作上的強者,情感上的白癡, which is true for a lot of 30-something females today who are fearlessly bold when it comes to work but are unable to see their blind spot when it comes to love.

What started out as a mere research project for Hai-ning’s new book evolved into something more than that as she slowly learns more about love and marriage along the way as we get to know about the various attitudes and perceptions  towards love and marriage in today’s society through her dates with her potential suitors. We get to see Hai-ning reflect upon each and every one of her encounters through her inner monologues (as well as the letters she’s written to the various people that she’s met along the way) in the process of obtaining material for her book. The best part though, is how us viewers get to learn something new with each passing episode, which means that we are in effect, maturing and growing together with Hai-ning.  After seeing Sonia as Hai-ning it seems to me that her previous role as Ji An-lei in The Pursuit of Happiness just pales so much more in comparison to the richness of character that is Hai-ning. Character-wise I feel like I can relate to Hai-ning the most. Hai-ning feels so real and convincing to me as a character because I actually see myself in her,  especially her fear and lack of trust towards the institution of marriage that is widely prevalent in today’s society.

10409690_668676616562930_3752464510705724036_n

I absolutely love how she ends up being best friends with her first blind date, Yu-zhou (Universe) who completes the BFF-trio: Hai-ning, Tian-xin and Universe. You can always count on him to be completely honest and straight-forward. He only speaks the truth. The things that he says may not be what you want to hear but you know that it’s all for your own good.  Zhang Shao-huai is freaking awesome as Universe (he’s a super loveable and adorable oddball) while Tian-xin is a breakthrough role of sorts for Yao Yao (my first reaction was ‘omg I didn’t know that she can actually act’) and I actually quite like how her materialistic side contrasts with Hai-ning’s attitude to love, in the sense that if Tian-xin was in Hai-ning’s position, things would’ve been decided differently. I really appreciate the dynamic interaction between them and how they’re not just friends but also family.

10501680_656623331101592_9154754541677667461_n

Oh and let’s not forget about Hai-ning’s amazing colleagues who are practically her extended family and her best support system. Even though it may seem that they have minor roles in this drama all of them are really engaging and interesting to watch, and they make you care about them. I love how they’ll get defensive over anyone who tries to hurt Hai-ning. One of the most memorable scenes for me is when they showed up at Hai-ning’s doorstep in their Superhero attire (right after they found out about her break-up) with the intention to help her with the cleaning up of the mess from the renovation work that she did (when she was still with her ex-boyfriend Cheng-hao) , but I think the scene is significant because of the unspoken message  which is “we’ll always be here for you no matter what, we’ve got your back girl”.  I totally dig their rapport together, and you can clearly see that they truly regard each other as family.  The casting for Hai-ning’s colleagues is so on point. In fact, they’re so convincing to the extent that you’d never for a second doubt that they’d fit right in even if you were to place them in an actual publishing office. Another notable mention is also the director’s conscious decision to cast new faces – the girl who’s acting as socially awkward Bei Bei is a newbie, and the amazing actress who plays cheerful ahjumma Ah-Feng is originally a musical actress – which is always a plus in my book.

I also find it impressive how the director sought to bring his vision to life by using an unconventional method of filming that is relatively unheard of in the production of T-dramas by filming each episode with the scale of production that is comparable to filming 20 movies (as we have 20 main male characters  – one for each episode), the stand-alone episodic format, …the list goes on and on. You can feel that there’s so much effort put into perfecting every single detail, and this is reflected in the wardrobe (trivia: Universe all-in-one-tone wardrobe was meant to reflect his feelings), the various mannerism that is unique to each character,  the little titbits the drama production team has left for loyal viewers of the show – for example, they’d release a letter that Hai-ning has written for her date(s) on Facebook and their official app after each episode, which in my opinion just enhances the whole drama-watching experience because you really get this feeling that the guys that she’s met are people that actual exist in real life who might very well be anyone around us and not just mere caricatures. You feel like the lives of characters still goes on offscreen. This show has done such a good job of bringing us into Hai-ning’s the world and allowing us to view things differently through Hai-ning’s eyes that I sometimes forget that I’m just watching a show.

I know that the title says Mr. Right Wanted but honestly, I am soooooo glad that the show is not just about a girl finding her Mr. Right. In fact, I think this show focused more on her personal growth and development as opposed to just finding her Mr Right. The main point was about how her perspectives on love and marriage has changed and evolved through time, how she’s matured as a person and whether she’s found the answer to the question that she’s asked herself at the very beginning of the episode “What is it about marriage that makes it so attractive to others?”. I love how this show doesn’t try to be all like “oh because finding Mr. Right is the only way for her to find true happiness”. (*COUGH*THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.) I was a little disappointed at TPOH because I feel like the huge takeaway from the show for me was ‘so you’re saying that the only way for her to gain true happiness is to be married’  as if females should be shunned if they are not happily married after a certain age. In Mr. Right Wanted, Hai-ning shows us that it is okay to be thirty-something and not want to get married. The show could’ve taken the easy way out by delivering the usual ‘so they got married and had their happily ever after’ (as if being married automatically solves everything), but they didn’t.

Instead, what we got was that Hai-ning has finally mustered enough courage to try her hand at love again.

10897981_698442216919703_3420965211354078496_n
Spoiler Alert!

We know that she ends up getting into a relationship with cute delivery guy Zhong-wen, but they didn’t go so far as to show us whether they did end up together as husband and wife…which, YAY. Yes, even if she ends up together with him there’s no denying that they might eventually break up due to various factors like their age difference, the vast gap between their financial capabilities etc, it doesn’t really matter to me at this point of time because so what if their relationship didn’t last? The whole point of the show wasn’t to get her married to someone in order to find her happiness, but simply her daring to love again (her answer to the question she’s asked herself in the first episode is “courage”). It’s not about who she ends up getting married to, it’s about how she got there. So I have no qualms whatsoever with her choosing to date Zhong-wen but not ending up getting married to him.

End of spoilers

When I first watched this drama I thought that even if she ends up with no one I would be completely fine as long as the drama made sure to focus on her self-discovery and personal growth, and the show delivered!

I love how the writers made a nod to the typical tropes seen in 总裁小说 (CEO-themed romance novels) – I think the female scriptwriters are trying to live out their fantasies on-screen. :p Both Zhong-wen and Lun Zhe-ming are pretty much complete opposites but they both represent the two ideals: a guy with financial stability that treats you like a princess whereas the other guy hasn’t really got anything against the former guy but you’d be sure that he’ll love you wholeheartedly. Zhe-ming is like fine wine that only gets even better with time. Zhong-wen on the other hand…represents another ideal. Zhong-wen is not as suave and financially strong as the former and is far from perfect, not without flaws but I prefer his somewhat brash confession because it felt way more raw and genuine, all he’s got is his heart and sincerity.  When Hai-ning asked Zhong-wen what she is to him, he responds her with this:

妳對我來說 是不管你發生什麼事 我都希望陪在你身邊的人。

(To me, you’re a person that I’d always want to stay beside no matter what happens.)

This is his way of saying that he’ll always accompany her and stay by her side no matter what happens, be it good or bad. This one sentence truly encompasses what every girl truly wants. What this sentence means to a girl is this —  regardless of whether I am a successful career woman or just a plain ordinary woman without any special achievements or accomplishments, I can seek comfort in knowing that you will be there for me in good times and bad times all the same, and that you are willing to look past my imperfections and accept me for who I am. I mean, how many girls can say no to that? (Resistance is futile.)

When Zhong-wen got into a fight with Lun Zhe-ming the latter told him that he’s willing to be more accepting towards Hai-ning’s insistence to keep her career (he said it rather begrudgingly in a way that makes me feel that he’s thinks that he’s doing her a huge favour by granting his permission for her to pursue her career)…and once again Zhong-wen delivers yet another awesome line:

可以接受,為什麼是可以接受? 她本來就擁有自由 誰都沒有權利干涉她。

(What do you mean by your statement that you’re willing to accept her decision to keep her career? She’s always been entitled to exercise her right to freedom to do whatever she likes. No one, not even you, can interfere with that.)

Spoiler Alert!
That moment, it dawned on me why Zhong-wen was the right person for her. It was because he never tried to control or change her, not even once. Instead, he gave her the freedom to be herself around him. He saw Hai-ning for who she truly was and accepted her all the same, unlike Lun Zhe-ming who claims that all that he’s done is for Hai-ning’s benefit but the truth is he’s just plain selfish by imposing his standards on her (he told her to quit her job after marriage like UGH that’s just a huge no no when it’s obvious that Hai-ning treasures her job so much because it gives her a sense of purpose as an editor). He thinks that what Hai-ning needs is to be protected in a fancy castle but really, girl doesn’t need a castle, all she needs is someone to support her and give her enough space to allow her talent to truly shine. Come on, not every girl is a damsel in distress waiting to be saved by her shining knight-in-armor or Prince Charming y’know, our Hai-ning is more than capable of doing her own saving thankyouverymuch. Zhong-wen knows how much Hai-ning values her job, understands her passion and prompts her to be the best version of herself. He doesn’t sugarcoat things – he calls Hai-ning out for tricking others into divulging their personal stories to her under the guise of an ordinary female looking for potential suitor for marriage when in fact she was in fact researching (and getting material) for her new book. He knows her inside out, sometimes even more than she knows herself.  Look, Zhong-wen may not be as rich as CEO Zhe-ming but he’s got something even more important than that, that is heart and willingness to understand her, which is what matters the most for Hai-ning. No doubt Lun Zhe-ming is extremely charming but character-wise he’s just too unrealistic.

End of Spoilers

1658227_651087444988514_1019682853081759874_o

If Lun Zhe-ming was to be played by another person wouldn’t have bothered watching but because it was Christopher Lee working his magic and bedazzling us, I actually quite enjoyed the super-charismatic performance from him. As for Hans Zhong there wasn’t that many scenes of him so I can’t really say much about his acting but he was pretty decent. As for the music selection I think I did mention in my First impressions post about how I really enjoyed the nostalgic vibe I that get from the some of the songs featured in the background (oldies but goodies!),  and I just love how they fit the relevant scenes like a glove.

Now let me make this clear for you. Mr Right Wanted is not a perfect drama. It never set out to be one. Yes, it is highly unlikely that a dashing Prince Charming as charismatic as Lun Zhe-ming (I feel as if he just came straight out from a 总裁小说 lol) would actually exist in real life, nor is it that possible to meet a delivery guy as gorgeous as Hans Zhong who just so happens to have a massive crush on you (assuming that you’re Hai-ning HA). But hey, a girl can dream can’t she? Certain parts are dreamy in a ‘too good to be true’ way but even so I’d say that the drama is still realistic and very relatable for most parts. This is well-produced drama, with lotssssss of heart in it. What I like the most about this drama is that every single character counts. I know that from the cast list people would think ‘oh so Christopher Lee, Jerry Huang, and Hans Zhong are the three main guy characters’ but no,  they couldn’t be further from the truth. The answer is – there is no one main guy lead. Believe it or not, all of the potential suitors that Hai-ning encounters are effectively, male leads as each of them have an entire episode devoted to them respectively. Although it’s true that some potential suitors have made a recurring reappearance in the drama it doesn’t mean that the ones that hadn’t are less important. 徵婚啟事 is not just about Hai-ning, it is about their stories. It is theirs as much as it is hers.

Final verdict: Watch it if you’re looking for a refreshing take on the dating scene.

(Images are taken from Mr. Right Wanted’s Official FB Page, Audio and Video belong to respective owners.)

First Impressions – Mr. Right Wanted (徵婚啟事)

Image taken from Mr. Right Wanted official FB page HERE.

Image taken from Mr. Right Wanted official FB page HERE.


First things first, let me make it clear that this is supposed to be a relatively spoiler-free short review of Mr. Right Wanted (formerly known as Notice of A Bachelorette). I don’t want to spoil it for people who hasn’t watched the drama so I’ll be making minimal references to what actually happens beyond the introductory episodes. Now that we’ve gotten that all sorted out and done with let’s talk about the drama itself, shall we?

I’ve been dying to talk about this drama for AGES now because I’ve barely seen any coverage on the drama, let alone any reviews or discussions of sort which baffles me because this drama is shaping up to be a really good one. It’s unlike any T-dramas that I’ve seen before. Why…you ask? Directing is done by Patio Lien who’s presenting the story in an episodic format (that is frequently seen in American TV shows), with episodes filmed in a way that feels more like a light-hearted comedy movie than a drama and it also has this slight musical sort of feel to it (you’ll have to watch it to get what I’m talking about, really). I like how certain scenes are depicted in a ‘musical stage’-esque way which is great because it really helps deliver more impact – the audience can actually feel the character’s inner turmoil together with them. The best part about the stand-alone episodic nature of this show is that you can just dive into any episode without having to worry about losing your footing simply because you’ve not watched previous episodes (but of course I really do recommend watching the first two episodes just to establish a bit of groundwork) because the episodes even when watched separately, are in fact as qualitatively good as watching a movie.

The premise of this story is simple. Sonia Sui plays Hai-ning, a 33-year-old publishing editor goes on dates with men from all walks of life who respond to her personal ad in the newspaper to find out more about what makes marriage so attractive to the rest of the world. This drama gives us a honest and humorous view of the dating scene through the stories told from each suitor’s perspective. I’m not gonna lie, the only reason why I decided to check this drama out was because I heard Sonia Sui and Christopher Lee was going to be in it. I liked Sonia Sui’s last role as Ji An-Lei and I’m more than pleased to inform you that I actually like her as Hai-ning way more than Lei-Lei because she just doesn’t give a shit about keeping her image HA. Honestly where else would you find a drama where the female lead actually rips off her wig in public? Yes you heard me correctly, she actually DID that for realsies. Apparently she was supposed to meet up with blind date while in disguise to keep her identity safe (hence the wig) and when the other guy who goes by the name of Universe (Yu-zhou) didn’t show up (OR DID HE? – you’ll have to watch to find out!) for the date she rips off her wig in frustration and it was there and then, that very moment that I knew right away that I was sold. I no longer see Hai-ning as another mere character of Sonia’s, but a real person that anyone of us could easily’ve encountered in real life. She is Hai-ning, and Hai-ning is her.

While I have to admit that one of the biggest reasons why dramas appealed so much to me when I first watching them was the fact that it provides a good distraction from my troubles or woes (even if it means accepting ridiculous drama tropes that’ll almost never happen in RL), over the years just mere superficial eye candy or try-and-tested plot devices are no longer good enough to satiate my ever-growing expectations. I crave for something that’s more realistic and true to life, a drama that offers an insight of what’s going on in the lives of real people without coming across as too mundane and/or overly bleak. I want something that I can relate to, a character that continues to live on in my heart even after the show’s concluded and done with. Something that makes me question myself, reassess my values, break my preconceptions and walk away with something to ponder about.

Guess what? Mr. Right Wanted is one such drama. I went in with minimal expectations half-expecting the drama to be a fluffy rom-com which I hope won’t be too cringeworthy (given how dramas are often rife with illogical coincidences and predictable plot twists) but Mr.Right Wanted more than exceeded my expectations because I wasn’t expecting such an honest portrayal of the dating scene. When I first read about the characterisation for Li Hai-ning (who’s also a career woman in her thirties) I was worried that it would bear similar resemblance to Sonia’s previous role as Ji An-lei – I couldn’t be even more further from the truth. After seeing Sonia as Hai-ning it seems to me that An-lei pales so much more in comparison to the richness of character that is Hai-ning. It felt as if all of her previous roles were merely in preparation for this drama, for her to be perfect Hai-ning in this drama. Hai-ning is strong, independent, sensible and level-headed, practical and fearless when it comes to making sure that her job is properly done (even if it means using unconventional means to do it). What started out as a mere research project for her new book (aptly named The Personals) evolved into something even more as she learns more about love along the way, be it responsibility, promises, missed chances, betrayal, passion and more more. Her potential suitors somewhat act as a mirror by reflecting the various attitudes and perceptions towards love and marriage. We get to see Hai-ning reflect upon each and every one of her encounters through her inner monologues (I’ll expand more on this later), which is fantastic because us viewers too, can learn something new with each passing episode, which means that we are in effect, maturing and growing together with Hai-ning. How’s that for depth and character growth?

This drama has also managed to achieve the triple trifecta of having good directing, writing and acting. Not only the directing is stellar, but the writing is also done with such care and finesse (!!!) and to top it off the drama is well-acted as well – in fact, I think it’s not to much of a stretch to say that we have one of the most well-rounded cast that I’ve seen in ages. You know how there’s usually a weakest link in dramas but nope, even the minor characters are perfectly spot on (one such example is suitor number one, Yu-zhou – what a precious oddball he is!).If there’s one for sure, it’s that we are in safe hands. You can honestly tell that this drama is carefully crafted and well-thought out in its execution. I, for one hate it when things get draggy or when the editing is a bit iffy (more drama time doesn’t necessarily equal to better quality) so the fact that we have swift plot developments at the right pace means that issues get addressed and resolved promptly. It’s low key, impactful and unabashedly honest.

And gosh the cinematography is amazing! The overall background, lighting and even the choice of wardrobe perfectly reflects the mood of every single character at the moment. The attention to detail is unbelievable – if you actually watch the BTS videos you’d be impressed by how much thought in put into every single detail, even the most minuscule ones of them all. I’ve not even talked about the brilliant selection of background music by the music director in the drama! Most of the songs aren’t recent releases (oldies but timeless goodies!) BUT it really works in this case because it really helps in evoking the emotions in the viewers, not to mention the pang of nostalgia that comes along with it. My favourite thing about this show though, is the little extra titbit given to viewers after the conclusion of each episode in the form of Hai-ning’s letter to her suitors (which is released through the drama’s official FB page) which offers us an exclusive insight of what’s going on inside Hai-ning’s head and a better view of how each character has affected Hai-ning in some ways or other. This is ingenious! In my opinion, these letters should’ve been included at the end of each episode because it just adds an extra layer and depth to the storyline as well as offer us viewers a better understanding of Hai-ning as a character. It’s the little things like this that makes me feel that the characters are actually still living out their lives beyond what’s shown on screen. SERIOUSLY CAN THIS DRAMA BE EVEN MORE PERFECT?

Oh wait…did I mention Christopher Lee? (pretty sure I did but a kind reminder wouldn’t hurt heh) 😀

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 9.17.27 PM
BOTTOM LINE: WATCH IT.

P.S.: I really really love the whole idea behind the letters and I really really wish that someone would translate them but if no one wants to do it I’m thinking of actually doing it myself. Now that’s a testament to how much I actually love this show.

**Now I’ve been informed that the show’s behind on English subtitles (only the first episode is completely subbed while the subbing for the second episode is still in progress when there are already eight episodes out) on Viki at time of writing but fret not, English-speaking audience for I’ve found a lovely blog who’s currently recapping Mr. Right Wanted (and very promptly at that too!) HERE so you won’t have to worry about missing out on the show simply because the subtitles are slow or because Viki isn’t accessible from your region.

Goodies:
Soompi thread HERE.
Official Youtube HERE.
Official website HERE.
Official Mr. Right Wanted FB page HERE.
Director Patio Lien’s fan page HERE.

Super Short First Impressions: Joseon Gunman

joseongunmanOTP

Song of the moment: Soul Cry  – From Friends to Lovers

I’m back on the drama wagon yeorobun! I’ve found my new drama crack in Joseon Gunman.
It usually takes about 2 episodes to decide whether I’m going to follow up with a drama so I’m really happy that Joseon Gunman made the cut. Now I’m not even a huge fan sageuks (in fact I usually steer away from them…just to give you an idea my last sageuk was The Princess Man which was in 2011?) so yay~ I mean I did watch Queen In-Hyun’s Man in 2012 (which I LOVED btw omg has it been more than 2 years already?O.O) but that wasn’t even like proper sageuk since it’s mostly set in the modern time anyways.

So far all I can say is that Lee Jun-ki and Nam Sang-mi are pretty much killing it with their stellar chemistry (didn’t watch Time Between Dog and Wolf but I knew it was a reunion after 7 years) and before I even know it I was giggling, laughing out loud like some rabid obsessed fangirl, crackling with delight with their cute banter and basically…I’m just in love with even the littlest interaction between the both of them. You know how there’s usually a preference for the male or female lead but I think both leads are doing equally well…I don’t prefer one over another yet thus far. This is going to sound crazy but I’ve not seen any of their previous work. I didn’t watch The King and the Clown (which basically placed Lee Jun-ki on the radar and catapulted him to fame), My Girl (I must be one of the rare ones who hasn’t watched the drama lol), Iljimae, Time Between Dog and Wolf, Arang and the Magistrate and Two Weeks even though I knew Lee Jun-ki was a solid actor because there was nothing to hook me on. Maybe I should now? *ducks to avoid rotten eggs and runs off to hide in a secluded corner* I knew of Nam Sang-mi (I knew that she dated Mr.Cute dimples Lee Sang-yoon) but again, just never felt compelled to watch any of her works, y’know?

I was so ready to write off this drama since I typically don’t do sageuks because I just find them so dry and boring (don’t shoot me for saying this! Sageuk speech and Joseon-politics aren’t my kind of thing) BUT DAMN THE STILLS WERE AMAZING. SO PRETTY! And when I heard that the director of The Princess Man was behind this I was like omg I need to check this out pronto (how can anyone forget the rich and gorgeous cinematography?). I have to admit that the quality of the production and the securement of the leading OTP was what drew me in so I had high expectations for the drama but I’m still pleasantly surprised by how engaging the first 2 episodes were. Also, I hate it when dramas get draggy but I’m really happy to see how fast-paced the drama is to give us just the right amount of development and suspense without coming across as too rushed – it’s brisk, straight to the point and engaging enough to make us want more. I don’t know much about the writing since it’s only been two episodes but hey, at least we can rest assured in knowing that the acting, directing, cinematography and story-telling are in good hands. We’re definitely in for some angst, tears and revenge (so much foreboding which I’m kind of dreading but at the same time am super excited about because there’s nothing I love than a show that gets me in the heart in all the right places) but I’m so ready for this show. BRING IT ON!

**I haven’t done a proper drama reaction post in ages so this post probably won’t make much sense at all HAHA with so much spazzing going on.

FT Island Jjang~~

I used to be a full blown Primadonna (that’s the name of their fans) but over the years I’ve become more of an occasional fan instead. It’s no secret that FTi will always hold a special place in my heart for being the impetus to igniting my love affair with Hallyu. It’s shame that they barely get to play live on music shows because they’re actually, contrary to expectations, very capable of performing live. Can you even believe that they’ve already been around for 7 years? O.O It’s amazing seeing how they’ve grown and evolved so much as a band from barely being able to hold a conversation with the fans until how they’re able to interact seamlessly with their Japanese fans. (And I know this because I’ve seen DVDs of their other concerts) I think FTi is still quite underrated compared to say…their label mates CN Blue, so I really really do recommend you check them out. My personal favourite J-release from them HAS TO BE Raining. Love them!<3

Recommendations: Drama + Music

For those of you still wondering why I’ve disappeared into oblivion lately…it’s a long story. What I’ve been up to lately? I went on a trip to Scotland (Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands) last week, which I absolutely LOVED so much that I’m even thinking of going back there again this summer around June. It’s crazy how I’m at the end of the academic year and all that’s left is my finals. Also, I cannot believe that my spring break is overrrrr. Okay the fact that I haven’t really done much during the break which makes me feel super guilty so I’ve (tentatively) decided to take an extended hiatus from blogging, which means this is pretty much the last you see of me until early June next month so yeah.

I honestly thought I was going to swear off dramas for good (which I kind of did seeing how I pretty much dropped SLA promptly despite all the love that it’s been getting) but mannn I just couldn’t resist when I’ve heard glowing reviews about Angel Eyes from not one, but two of my favourite bloggers gushing over the drama. Jan of blogphilic (HERE) and pinkblossom (HERE) gave thumbs up for the first two episodes (which focuses on the younger counterparts of our OTP), which I prompted watched and fell in love with, and those two episodes could even be watched as a standalone story because they were simply just that good. Kang Ha-neul and Nam Ji-hyeon shone in their roles so so much that I was afraid that the adult counterparts wouldn’t be able to live up to the brilliant characterisation set up earlier on. I mean…what if there’s no coherency between the adult and younger counterparts? Would they be able to make the transition of the characters believable? Would Goo Hye-sun make me cringe over her character like how she did in BOF? ALMOST PARADISEEEEEEE~

By the way, I personally think BOF is an atrocious drama. I can see why it makes up for good fluff material but it makes me cringe so bad whenever I see it. I’ve watched enough bits and pieces to piece up the storyline and the plot mechanisms behind the drama but somehow never managed to last more than 10 minutes because I really just couldn’t stand it- I mean, it’s one thing to be ladened with predictable tropes, but to see how outright ridiculous and untactful the execution is…I just can’t. I think I’m going to get slayed by so many BOF fans…I know it’s the gateway introductory K-drama for  most people *braces self for attack before hiding behind a shelter* but yeah, I stand by my view that I will never ever love the drama, or feel compelled to watch it in its entirety, let alone spaz about it

Okayyy, wait I think I’m digressing from the main point. Where were we again? Oh…Angel Eyes. I was initially intrigued when I heard that Seungri was involved (because I like Big Bang lol, yes I can be shallow too *dodges thrown eggs*), but not too strongly since it’s being promoted as a melodrama (which I don’t love…and watching That Winter, the Wind Blows has made me surer that melodramas are just not my thing) and it’s a weekend drama, so I left it at that thinking I won’t be watching it. And then I see glowing first impressions coming in, and I thought to myself, why not only check out the younger counterparts, since they are usually the best thing in certain dramas anyway. And so I watched it, LOVED the episodes, but decided against checking out further episodes since I’m a bit allergic to Goo Hye-sun (I blame it on BOF). Apparently that wasn’t the end because soon after their first impressions post I saw jan and pinkblossom posting about the drama again (HERE and HERE) talking about how much they loved the later episodes as well, and my determination started to waver just a little bit.

I then decided to persevere on without checking it out despite Ms. Koala’s recommendation (HERE), which I successfully did for a few days. But yesterday was a really rough day for me, and I decided…screw it I’m going to check out the rest of the episodes anyway since I deserve a break (A-class procrastinator in-the-making haha) and boy oh boy was I impressed. Admittedly, it was the first 30 seconds of Lee Sang-yoon’s appearance that did me in, that moment he started speaking saturi (dialect/accent) I was sold, that he transitioned from Kang Ha-neul portrayal of his younger counterpart to into a maturer Dong-joo, and that they were the same person all along. Now thattt is an impressive feat because very more than often, we’re forced to accept that the younger and adult counterparts are the same person (even if we don’t really buy it due to the inconsistencies in terms of character portrayal) just because we have to. Also, did I mention how LSY looks absolutely good-looking? I’m not gonna lie, I might or might not have been roped in by his cute dimples and dazzling smile. HEH. The thing is, Dong-joo has always been (and still is) my favourite thing about the drama, because he just exudes this warmth and glow from inside him, you can feel that he genuinely cares for Soo-wan…and I swoon a little bit whenever he goes ‘Soo-wannie~~’ I just can’t. HE HAS LOVED HER ALL ALONG. I’m actually skeptical about the ‘I’m in love because she’s my first love’ trope but it’s done so well here in Angel Eyes you just can’t help but to root for the OTP to be together.

Goo Hye-sun, on the other hand, did took me some time to warm up to, as her transition in growth as Soo-wan wasn’t as effortless as Dong-joo’s, and I still think she could’ve done better but…I do think she’s improved leaps and bounds from her BOF days. I mean, can you even imagine my surprise when I discovered that she’s learnt how to emote properly and even managed to do a nuanced portrayal of Soo-wan’s pain instead of just trying so damn hard to emote everything on her face like how she used to? I can actually understand and feel for her! GHS’s performance isn’t exactly prefect yet but she’s getting there. And also, I think VIPs are going to kill me for saying this but I find Seungri’s character a bit redundant. YES. I think he’s supposed to be there for comic relief but likeee, that’s not useful at all in showing us whether he’s got the acting chops, y’know? His portrayal of the Texas/saturi accent was so awkward I just can’t help but to cringe for him. Was it even necessary for him to have a Korean American background when English is it fact, not one of his best languages? No. I would’ve liked it better if he used his Gwangju background to his advantage and sticked to just saturi. And even when I think about the existence of his character…was Teddy Seo even necessary in the drama? Would the storyline be heavily affected without him? The answer is ‘no’. Taking Teddy Seo out of the equation wouldn’t have impacted the drama even one bit at all, in my opinion. Let’s hope that both of the YG artistes GHS and SR will be able to live up to expectations (although admittedly I don’t really expect much from SR anyway haha).

The drama is surprisingly fast-paced with swift developments (which is refreshing, considering it’s a weekend drama we’re talking about here) which I love, but I’m worried about what the story has in store for our characters in the remaining episodes since they’ve pretty much used up most of the drama tropes that I can think of (and this drama is an illustration of drama tropes done right in terms of execution). One thing that’s troubling me though is the fact that we have the same person (Yoon Ji-ryun) who wrote BOF behind this drama too and well…I’ve afraid that the writer-nom will go into full-blown makjang territory and plummet in terms of writing so I’m wary to committing to this drama yet. I don’t really care for the rest of the characters (not even compelled to second-lead-ship Kim Ji-suk at all) and I hate the doctor parents (BLERK…can’t we have lovely K-drama parents for a change?) and I do think that Soo-wan’s dad is teetering on the edge of going bonkers (screw him for using Dong-joo’s loyalty to his advantage). I lovedddddd Jung-hwa-sshi so I was devastated that they had to kill her off sobs (using a very predictable drama trope btw, which I didn’t like ugh). I do love Soo-wan’s friend, Hye-joo who is feisty in her very own awesome way and I hope they won’t do the predictable by making her fall in love with Kim Ji-suk’s character…Ji-woon (had to pause to search for his name ’cause I forgot his name lol) but I have a feeling it might happen. Granted, the drama isn’t the most unpredictable one out there, it’s quite predictable (as with most weekend dramas, which is okay since I reckon the targeted audience thrive in watching makjang or predictable tropes anyway) but it really is a treat seeing our OTP on screen together. I really am loving the chemistry between both of our leads, which is supplemented by the all-around decent acting, the beautiful cinematography, as well as the fantastic background music choices. SO MUCH PRETTY, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE IT?

Bottom line: WATCH IT.

And that’s all I have to say on the drama front. Angel Eyes has exceeded my (super low) expectations and convinced me that weekend dramas might be watchable, after all. Moving onto the music front…I’m going to recommend some of my favourite YT videos that I’ve stumbled upon while searching for more good music.

You guys already know that I absolutely adore Yoo Hee-yeol so today, I’m going to share a couple of my favourite Sketchbook-related videos with you. Also I’ve been liking esteemed finger-style guitarist Ham Chun-ho (he’s made an appearance in numerous shows – 1) in a recent KPS 3 episode where he tells Sam Kim that he’ll lend his guitar to him if he gets into the finals, which he did, 2) in the Lee Sun Hee special (both episodes) on Healing Camp in which he lent his music accompanying skills to show support for LSH 3) and in most of the YHY Sketchbook episodes – in which I will show you shortly.

Yoo Hee-yeol and Ham Chun-ho playing my favourite OST song (I think it was featured in Secret Garden? Not sure, but it sounds so familiar I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard it somewhere) LOVE.

And here’s an introductory video for those of you who are curious about the artists under Antenna Music (Yoo Hee Yeol, Jung Jae Hyung, Lucid Fall, Peppertones, Park Sae Byul), you can see them having fun on stage, so at ease in each others’ presence, supporting each other like a true family. I would love to join Antenna Music if I could. I love how we actual get to see YHY sing, which isn’t something we get to see very often. And that butt pose at the end? EPIC. XD It might also have something to do with the fact that they’re performing my favourite YHY (or TOY, for that matter) song Passionate Goodbye. But seriously, check them out.

This one hasn’t got YHY in it but it shows Ham Chun-ho playing for John Park (another one of my favourite singers, heard he’s coming up with new material soon!) who did a pretty good cover of Stand by Me.

Last but not least, this video that I’m about to share with you is not YHY-related but it’s a song that I’ve been looping the heck out of it because I love the lyrics so much. The best part? I think anyone who’s watched a decent amount of Korean dramas or variety shows will be able to understand the contents of this song without needing translations (I can’t read Korean or speak it properly but I could understand like 90% of the contents of the song from all the guessing so yay for simple lyrics!). It talks about how they really want to be a R&B singer, like how you can sing a song in so many different ways with the same melody and singing techniques that we are familiar with (with references to ‘the half air-half voice’ technique that JYP often talks about, as well as ad-libs) and tells us what it takes to be a successful R&B singer, and even if they’re starving hungrily without money, they still practice really hard because they really want to be a R&B singer. I just think that the lyrics represent a very frank and accurate portrayal of musicians who are struggling to make it in the music scene, that coupled with the singers showing us that they actually do have the singing chops as illustrated by their lyrics, against the simple acoustic background really did it for me. Plus, the song is super catchy as well!  The song is aptly named R&B and I find it cute that it’s sung by a group called 소심한 오빠들 (Sosimhan Oppa-deul) which literally translates to ‘careful/timid oppas’. I wonder if it’s the same persons behind this K-indie duo called Sosimhan Boys that I’ve found on YT. I think it is since the Hangul used for their group name is the exactly the same.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my last post before my hiatus. Do let me know your thoughts and please feel free to leave down your drama and/or music recommendations in the comments section down below if you have any. 🙂

Mini Update

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I have added a ‘Currently Watching‘ side widget at the side, for quick updates and commentaries. This works for me because I don’t really have the luxury of churning out detailed posts anymore what with my finals coming up but I still do want to talk a bit about the things that I’ve watched on the side (mostly variety shows since they relatively require a lot less commitment). I haven’t been watching any dramas as of late. I think it’s no news that I’ve been in a deep deep drama slump (that I am not too bothered by, surprisingly). I still read drama blogs to check out recaps, reviews and drama commentaries from time to time but I’m afraid that’s just it. This post is just to draw attention to the existence of my side widgets and for me kind of go through what’s in my side widgets.

Currently watching:

Running Man – the Angel Eyes cast episode was really really good, haven’t had so much fun laughing out loud in awhile. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

We Got Married (Global Edition) – I really like the Key-Arisa pair a lot more than the Heechul-Puff pair. Key has pretty good English pronunciation & speaks fluent Japanese.

Secret Love Affair (pause) – Well apparently everyone loves SLA. I hear praises all over while I’m just like…eh? Not that it’s bad but I think it’s a tad underwhelming. And then when I see that there are so many blogs out there analysing and dissecting the scenes ever so meticulously I’m like…’whoa!’. I mean, everyone else is pretty much ‘it’s freaking Ahn Pan Seok directing here, this drama is perfection asdfghjkl…’ while I’m like…’yeah it is pretty good, I quite like Yoo Ah In (he’s pretty good in his role here!) and also Kim Hee Ae is quite amazing herself but…I don’t really care for the work politics at all and it kind of fell flat for me at some parts (I keep thinking ‘do we really need to know this?’ to myself).

I don’t know…I love seeing our OTP together, and the piano duets between YAI and KHA are really quite something but it’s just that, all things considered, I just don’t love this drama. It’s not that I can’t deal with heavy dramas because clearly I’ve seen some pretty engaging ones out there (J-dorama Woman is one good example of such drama).I don’t know if the fact that I’ve not seen any of Ahn Pan Seok’s works has anything to do with my failure to connect to SLA or the fact that I have no musical background whatsoever has diminished my ability to appreciate the drama more.

I must be the only one in the whole wide world that isn’t blown away by the show. Not that the show itself is bad per se, no, it’s pretty good but somehow I still feel a bit underwhelmed because I had really high expectations for this one. I wonder if it’s just me who’s on the fence with SLA. Maybe I’m a shallow viewer? A picky viewer? Is there something wrong with me? I fail to see the magic that everyone else seems to talk about. I think it’s just another classic case of ‘show, it’s not you, it’s me’.

K-pop Star 3 – TOP 4 Highlight: Bernard Park’s performance of Richard Marx’s Right Here Waiting (I AM A BER ‘PIE’ THROUGH AND THROUGH. HIS VOICE <3)

Also  I have added some of my favourite sounds to a playlist to an aptly named ‘My Favourite Sounds‘ side widget so you can have a rough idea of my musical preferences. There aren’t a lot of tracks in the playlist at the moment (that’s just me being super picky and particular about what goes on and what’s left behind) but I do listen to a variety of genres in different languages (although the playlist is most likely to be Korean dominated) and also you’ll notice that I’m not that much of a K-pop fan (hence the lack of current K-pop releases in the playlist). I really dig indie sounds but I also like clean acoustic sounds, a bit of soul and R&B…basically anything that is easy to listen to. I loveee creative reinterpretations of existing songs (case in point: Jinbo’s Nabba and Damn).

Currently Listening To:

Jinbo – Let’s talk about the interlude track. How cool is it that Jinbo chooses to open with Nat King Cole’s Too Young? It feels so vintagey, it actually reminds me of songs from my parent’s era, which I really like. The thing about rearranging and making little tweaks to an existing song is that it’s difficult to change other people’s existing ideas/perceptions of how the song should be interpreted because most of us would think ‘it should be sung in this way’. Jinbo’s Nabba still retains the essence of the original ‘It Hurts (Appa)’ by 2NE1 but somehow it has this old-school-esque vibe to it. This song is a response to ‘It Hurts’, in that we get to hear things from a guy’s perspective. I love how Jinbo’s managed to capture the bittersweet emotions of a man after breaking up and also show the difficulty of moving forward from the past.

‘Damn’ starts with a conversation where Jinbo asks the other person if she’s heard of the R&B version of Girl Generation’s Gee and how he’s renamed his version ‘Damn’ and then it slowly progresses into an entirely different song altogether. I like how there’s bits of random conversation here and there because it really gives off a very ‘home-produced’ feel. In short, ‘Damn’ is a salacious re-interpretation of the Girls’ Generation hit ‘Gee’. The amazing thing about these reinterpretations of 2 very famous K-pop tracks is that I actually like them a lot more than the original (oops…GG & 2NE1, tough luck eh?) and when I listen to them it feels very much like they were Jinbo’s songs to start with, which is something I look for in covers really, I love it when people own songs by adding in their own twist and flavour to it.

Forty (포티) is a R&B singer-songwritter that I’ve discovered just very recently. His voice reminds me a little bit of Moon Myung Jin but they’re not entirely similar. I guess fans of Moon Myung Jin would love 40’s voice as well.

I don’t usually dig electronica but I really really like (스페이스카우보이) Space Cowboy‘s latest effort, Falling. Actually I love every single track from his mini album Extremely (you can check Seoulbeat’s review of his album HERE).

Phantom (팬텀) did a medley arrangement of songs titled “19 Song (Love Songs That Teens Cannot Listen To) which contains lyrics by banned songs. Notable songs that I’ve managed to identify: TVXQ‘s Mirotic, Seungri’s Strong Baby, Vibe’s Alcohol, 2PM‘s Hands Up, GD & T.O.P‘s Knock Out and Don’t Go Home and 10 cm‘s Americano. I especially like how they rewrote the lyrics of “Americano” to say, “Elementary, junior high, and high school students, don’t listen to this!” as a cheeky jab at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) for banning the songs.

I also have a soft spot for Ulala Session (I have talked about them extensively HERE), Brown Eyed Soul and Acoustic Collabo.

Crowd Lu (盧廣仲) does acoustic really really well. My first introduction to him came through Beautiful Morning (早安晨之美) when I was in high school (omg this song is so old!) and it’s still one of my favourite songs from him. The Person That I Miss (思慕的人) is a famous Hokkien sentimental pop song by Taiwanese singer Hong Rong Hong (洪榮宏). I honestly thought this was his own song heh. I’ve never heard of Hong Rong Hong before but I really like how Crowd Lu has managed to bring out the message of the song in his way. He’s done a few covers of Taiwanese Hokkien songs but this song, in particular is my favourite one from him.

If I have to name my favourite soul and R&B singer in the Chinese music industry, it would hands down have to be Khalil Fong (方大同). Love Love Love (爱爱爱) is one of his earliest songs that really appealed to me when it first came out. It was like a breath of fresh air in the Mandopop music scene at that time (it’s not generic or boring at all), and I still think that this song is one of his best works even now. His soulful voice is fresh, compelling and easy to listen to. Song I Wrote For You (为你写的歌) is also another favourite of mine. There’s also an English version of the song that I actually slightly prefer over the Chinese version called Sing A Long Song.

(정키) Jungkey‘s MAMA features vocals from Koo Yoon Hee, Han Ye Seul, Shin Jong Wook and Kim Na Young is a song for all mothers. DAMNNN WE GOT SOME PRETTY POWERFUL VOCALS RIGHT THERE.

I’ve also added Shin Yong Jae and Yoon Min Soo‘s cover of Lee Sun Hee’s Connection on Immortal Song 2 (which I spazzed about a little bit HERE) to my playlist because it’s just that good.

Also, I will be on a mini hiatus for a little while as my finals are coming up, which means I won’t be able to update very frequently so don’t be surprised if I’m a bit outdated on the dramas front. I seriously can’t wait for my finals to be over and done with so that I can finally do some serious travelling around in the UK. I can’t believe I’ve not been to Paris yet (T.T) and I really really want to visit as many European countries as possible. Also, I still have so many places that I want to check out in London – I really want to explore places that are less well-known to tourists. I also want to visit as many vintage/flea markets as possible because I loveeeeee thrifting.

Thanks for reading! 😀