What Happened in Bali – 2004 & Dirty Carnival 2006

13 06 2011

Something Happened in Bali, also known as What happened in Bali stars the lead from Secret Garden Ha Ji Won.  I think I would have liked her more in Secret Garden if I had seen this series first, but maybe because I have seen her in that it helped me like her so much in this.  I loved Ha Ji Won in WHIB, she was plucky, spirited and I could relate to her attraction to both men.

This series also stars Jo In Sung, who I recently saw in Dirty Carnival or Mean Street, a movie that was really awesome BTW.   Jo In Sung made that film and in similar fashion his presence here was unspeakable.  He moves the screen with every scene he is in.  He isn’t afraid to show every emotion with skilled acting.  His charisma is like a drug and gives me the same feeling I had toward Lee Min Ho in BOFs.  Jo In Sung displays that same unbridled passion and I can’t help but swoon.

So Ji Sub plays Kang In Wook, though I’ve never seen him before, he was very, very nice to look at and hope to see him in future shows.  Kang In Wook always kept me guessing and was a much more layered character than I originally expected.  Though he often didn’t speak much, he conveyed so much through his slight facial expressions and I felt for him.

Park Ye Jin rounds out the fourth lead as Choi Young Joo and for several episodes I kept wondering where I knew her name from.  I looked up her list of films and none really rang a bell for me – yet her name seemed so familiar.  I finally made the connection that she was one of the family members on the variety show Family Outing.  She was so different here that it took me quite a while to make the connection, but seeing her in this makes seeing her in Family Outing lots more fun.  As a side note, Family Outing is a show I just continue to watch and enjoy as I know more Korean celebs it just gets funnier and funnier.

Overall this show has a slower pace, it can even get a little one note at times, but it also has some amazing chemistry and really made me feel more for the characters than I have in a long time.  I think it is entirely worth the slow moments and the gut wrenching ending.  If you haven’t seen it -watch it, if you have lets chat about it…

I really loved all four leads for different reasons and related to each one and where they were coming from.  For the longest time, I really found a charm to both lead men and wasn’t sure which way things were going to go or who would eventually couple with who.  After the first episode I thought maybe Jae Min and In Wook were going to fight over Young Joo.  It kept you guessing and the writers would just start to show a spark between two of the characters and then they would go the other way with the other two characters.  The first 10 episodes just bounced me around like a shoe in a dryer.  I mean it in a good way because as much as you hate it, you also loved the back and forth. But by the tenth episode I was craving more. Even in hindsight you realize  that Soo Jung and Jae Min were falling in love, but they didn’t really let you totally know.  Even when she was preparing dinner for Jae Min she was thinking of In Wook, but when she was with In Wook she would be drawn to Jae Min.

I don’t have too many complaints about this series, mostly superficial things mostly related to the fact I am watching this 7 years after its release.  My biggest complaint would be that they could have cut out a bit of the back and forth to develop relationships, or better put, to let the viewer enjoy the relationship with Jae Min and Soo Jung, but I know they didn’t want to reveal too much too early either.  The second big complaint would be the weird fashion choices from everyone, but a stand out was Jae Min’s fashion…. His outfits left me wondering if flares were  “in” in Korea in 2004.  In general he just had some really weird, ugly clothing… the jean sports jacket.  ugh! I also felt bad for Young Joo and they never gave her a break.  It would have been nice to see her atleast turn vengefully on Jae Min too and walk away with her pride.

What really worked in this series was the incredible acting of all the leads with a particular nod to Jo In Sung.  I also loved the heat and chemistry between Jae Min and Soo Jung, even though they really didn’t have many physical scenes, just a few kisses, man they were hot not even in the actual on screen action, but you could just feel the heat between them and the heaviness if your chest.  I was telling one of my friends what is wrong with me… Between two guys, both cute, one stoic, but kind, the other wealthy, crazy, abusive with a tendency for psychotic behavior and I am all about the crazy… jeeesh what does that say about women?  or worse yet, me??

If you want to long, hurt, or just feel …than I suggest you try this series, if you aren’t into it by the 3rd or 4th episode you can give it up, but I just loved it.  It is the first series in a long time to crack into my TOP 10 of all time best K dramas.  If you haven’t checked out my list it is in the tab for Best of … lists.  or here is the link…  https://kormerica.wordpress.com/best-of-lists/…. actually it came dangerously close to cracking the top 5.  Although I think someone is about to get bumped because I am 8 episodes in on Greatest Love and am totally loving it!!! Doh!

The ending was a little hard to swallow.  I loved the conversation between In Wook and Soo Jung, loved it, loved it, loved it, but then just boom, boom.  I just wanted to go back a few minutes and tell Jae Min to figure it out.  Of course she loved him, couldn’t he feel it too.  argh!  Heartwrenching.  I just didn’t want it to end, but I guess in the end how was it ever going to be alright between them anyway.   I leave this series, a huge fan of Jo In Sung, he just made this series for me.  I know I mentioned that he actually reminds me of my feeling toward Lee Min Ho, just a different age group and they use the same passion and intensity to draw you in. They aren’t afraid to go for unattractive to be at their most attractive. The thing I am most excited for is that he, Jo In Sung, was just released from the military and to say that I can’t wait to see him in his next project is a huge understatment!!! argh!!! can’t wait to see him in something new.  Overall grade: A-

Trailer for Dirty Carnival…

Saranghae or I Love You 2008

28 11 2010

Saranghae, I love youHo – Hummmm

So I watched this drama because it was available at my local library.  It was good, not great, nothing to write home about, but it wasn’t the worst drama I’ve seen that’s for sure.

Basically it told the story of three couples, two of which are pregnant out of wedlock and the third couple are married trying to have a baby but can’t.

The drama stars Ahn Jae Wook, Seo Ji Hye, Hwan Hee, Park Hye Young, Jo Mi Ryung and Gong Hyeong Jin.  Not much to say about any of the actors, they were all fine, but again, nothing to write home about.

I did like the further insight into relationships because they were told in a more modern way, and there was some funny happenings, but overall I’m glad it was only 16 episodes and it makes me wonder why this is available at the library but none of my top 10 or for that matter top 20 shows are available there.

Overall I would give this a C because it was just middle of the road…

What’s Up Fox? 2006 K Drama starring Ko Hyun Jung & Chun Jung Myung

8 07 2010

This drama is also known as Hey Fox, What You Want To Do? or Foxy Lady.

Anyway, this is a drama I started quite some time ago.  I watched about half of the first episode and it just didn’t grab my attention.  I even went back to it later and finished the first episode but still nothing.  I just finished it after a marathon week and I really enjoyed it.  I would recommend this drama, but be prepared for a slow start.

Each character grew on me as the series progressed and I can only attribute this to some really great acting.  Even the side stories were interesting and I loved the relationship between Jun Hee (the sister) and her fashion President sponsor (they made me cry in the last episode – so good).  Son Hyeon-ju who plays the aforementioned President and sponsor was the secret highlight of this series.  I’ve looked for info on this actor and there isn’t much other than his list of credits and that he likes bowling (ha).  This is such a disadvantage for the American audience, we really don’t get much info except for what’s out there at large for the main actors.

Anyway I digress…  so without saying too much, the other cool thing about this series is that once you know what’s going on it makes it better, so about half way through, I re-watched the first few episodes and they were so much better knowing what was going on.  Bottom line I give this series a B+, really good and cohesive, didn’t have too many slow moments and wasn’t so detailed that you had to catch every frame.  Great acting and really drew the viewer into the characters lives.  I would complain more about the ending, but I’ve found that many of my favorite k dramas have ended with a sigh rather than an explosion.  Maybe it’s too cliche to have wrap up happy endings for every show.   Having recently watched Personal Taste, I hated how they went through like a checklist and tied all the loose endings, (Though I’ve heard that they weren’t sure if they were going to have 16 episodes or more, so maybe they were re-writing the last few episodes as they were deciding/filming… but the last ep was definitely choppy  – Frankly any series that was going to star Lee Min Ho immediately following BOF’s should have had license to do anything they wanted and they should have concentrated more on a really well written script and left it at that.  BTW, I can’t wait to see what he (Lee Min Ho) does next.   Anyway… What’s Up Fox? didn’t do that in fact many of the side stories didn’t wrap up at all and that was just fine with me.

Here is a fun summary clip… enjoy!

Thank You – K drama starring Jang Hyuk & Gong Hyo Jin

28 06 2010

This series had me from Hello.  This was the first truly sad k drama I have seen and I cried 3 times in the first episode.  So good, so sad…

The acting was amazing throughout the series and even the supporting cast were all really good.  Shin Sung Rok as Choi Suk Hyun reminds me of a younger Cha Seung Won (City Hall).  Gong Hyo Jin from Ruler of Your Own World was as good in this as she was in ROYOW, she was excellent in a lead role.  Seo Shin Ae as the little girl, might seriously be the least annoying child actor I’ve ever seen.  She was adorable.  Jang Hyuk as Min Ki Seo was really good, an intense actor, he pulled me in and never let go.  This is the first drama I’ve seen him in, but Chuno just made it onto my must watch list.

Basically this series was an acting showcase.  Definitely not a drama for everyone, it could be slow at times and was what I would consider a quiet drama.

I would have put this up as one of my favorites, but it seemed to fizzle and lose its way a bit in the end.

Major spoiler alert:  Did they have to kill off the grandpa?  Just so sad and I’m not sure that was necessary.  It seemed to distract from the story rather than add another layer.  I also disliked how cheesy they got in the last episode, it just wasn’t necessary.  The ending, seriously that’s it?  They gave no romantic payoff.  I guess it was as subtle as the rest of the series, but I would have liked to see a little more connection with the three of them.  It felt like I had a great meal and then was served jello as dessert.  Maybe knowing it doesn’t have an amazing ending would make the whole ride better.

Here’s a series compilation vid with the music by Hun, love this song, it haunts me….

Overall grade:  A –

My Girl – Episodes 5-16

23 06 2010

My Girl continued…

Episode 5 – things are finally heating up.  Definite chemistry between Yoo Rin and Gong Chan, although I still have 2nd man syndrome and am pulling for Jung Woo.  Plus the Hong Sisters really have us at a crossroads.  Either we will be disappointed that Yoo Rin isn’t really the cousin or we will be grossed out that they are cousins.  I’m guessing we’ll be disappointed rather than grossed out, but I can’t wait to find out…

Episode 6&7 – Love that Jung Woo realizes Yoo Rin likes Gong Chan and how he just passes her off to him at the party.  You can really see the acting chops of Lee Jun Ki here he brings a nice depth to the character.  Still more interested in 2nd man although Yoo Rin and Gong Chan do have cute chemistry and you can feel it growing between them.

Episodes 8-13 – ep13 had me on the edge of my seat.

Episode 14 – I’m sure this isn’t a popular thing to say, but I was pretty ticked with Yoo Rin and Gong Chan.  They were both so wrapped up in their feelings that they couldn’t see how it was going to effect everyone around them.  I can’t see that I will want them together in the end.

Episodes 15 & 16 – Really enjoyed the end of this series.  It didn’t end in typical fashion where you either feel incomplete (Soulmates) or that it was rushed (Boys over Flowers)  or worse that they checklist everyone in the story and wrap it up (Personal Taste).  This was a story on point right to the end.

The only other Hong Sisters show I’ve watched was You’re Beautiful and though I definitely preferred that to My Girl, they each had areas that were better than the other.  My Girl had a better ending, better side stories that weren’t as distracting, and a much better 2nd man.  Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo (2nd man in You’re Beautiful) was fine, I think it was his first acting gig and it showed.  Lee Jun Ki as Seo Jung Woo was awesome (I am biased, he’s just so cute) he stole every scene he was in.  He had me pulling for him to the end and he pulled off the 2nd man role without seeming pathetic.  I loved how they validated his feelings when he encouraged Gong Chan at the end to hold onto her because if not it would make his love pathetic (so right on…).  Can’t wait to see Lee Jun Ki in his others roles especially Time between dog and wolf , I’ve heard really good things about it.

Back to the story, I was really mad at Yoo Rin and Gong Chan, how could they do that to the Grandfather.  I couldn’t even fathom how they could ever get to a point that I would feel bad for them and want them to be together, but it happened.  I think the Hong Sisters were right on with how contrite Yoo Rin was and how far she went to try to avoid getting back together with Gong Chan.  It had to go that far in order to make the audience feel that it was okay for them to get back together.  By the end of the series I was happy they were accepted and I loved that Gong Chan never backed down from trying to hold onto her and I loved that he knew she lied in the end, (Actually I loved how everyone knew her lie was a lie).  Smart, fun series!

Overall I really liked the series, it did have some slow moments, but it really ramped up to the end and gave a good payoff.  Plus one of my complaints was not having a good kiss at the end of You’re Beautiful, but My Girl did have a nice kiss in the elevator and the end scene was so cute.  Han Chae Young as Choi Ha Na, the real granddaughter, who also was Min Seo Hyun in Boys over Flowers is so gorgeous, loved seeing her in this tiny role.  Jae Hee as Lee Mong Ryong, Ha Na’s husband was really cute.  I’ve never seen anything he’s been in, but definitely adding to my list.

I watched a few episodes of this series split between two different websites and each obviously had different subtitles…again, the subs were clearly better from one site than the other.  I know I always say this, but when you are not a Korean speaker this makes a huge difference.  The subtlety of words can change the tone and feel of a character so much.


I am putting up a list of all the series under the Best of Lists tab, https://kormerica.wordpress.com/best-of-lists/ this will include all the series I have watched so far and ranking them, this would be in the top 10.

Overall I would give this series a B.

Favorite Scenes:

  1. Anytime Yoo Rin is in the Tangerine Orchard.  Love her.
  2. Ep 4 – the I’m leaning into you and you see me like a man scene
  3. Ep 4 – end of episode, Gong Chan and Yoo Rin in the car and Gong Chan and Seo Hyun in the drive exchanging niceties.
  4. Episode 15 – when Yoo Rin was going to throw the star and Gong Chan stops her
  5. Any Scene Lee Jun Ki was in
  6. The last 5 minutes of the series

My Girl – Episodes 1-4 + funny scene clip

18 06 2010

Just started My Girl by the Hong Sisters… Good first episode, I’m interested.  What is up with the Hong Sisters always alluding to the romantic leads possibly being related.  They sniffed at that with You’re Beautiful.

Okay – I just finished episode 3 and I’m hooked.  I love the lead Lee Da Hae (Yoo Rin), she is so cute and funny.  She lights up the whole screen.  I cried at the Grandfather scene and then laughed out loud because he wasn’t dead.  The series is so charming.

This is the first series that I have pulled more for the 2nd man (Jung Woo).  I am totally loving Lee Joon Ki (Great hair, so sexy).  This is the first thing I’ve seen him in, but Time Between Dog and Wolf is on my list of must see.

I love the scene in Ep 4 when Gong Chan is lying to Yoo Rin and leans toward her.  Basically, I love anytime a guy leans out his hand over a girl, corners her with his arm and then leans into her (i.e. loved it in You’re Beautiful).

The scene at the end of episode 4 when Seo Hyun and Gong Chan are talking/reuniting, reminded me so much of the scene in My Lovely Sam Soon when Jin Heon gets back with Hee Jin…  I didn’t want Hee Jin back, despite her condition, I still didn’t want them together.  What made that storyline work so well in My Lovely Sam Soon was that it played out the Hee Jin relationship so naturally and was done in such a lovely way.  In comparison, for My Girl, I felt bad for Seo Hyun and didn’t really feel that much chemistry between Yoo Rin and Gong Chan yet.  Gong Chan clearly wasn’t over Seo Hyun, so I am glad that got back together… besides Gong Chan and Yoo Rin still might be cousins – right?  But I do think Lee Da Hae (Yoo Rin) gave a great performance in her last scene looking sad over seeing them together and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

What Planet Are You From? Episodes 7-16

13 06 2010

What Planet Are you From Continued…

Episode 7 & 8 –  I thought we were finally finished with the stupid Pippy Longstocking hair, but nope it has reared its ugly head again (pun intended).  They tricked me!  Argh!!! Now I want to watch the rest of the series, but I’m not sure I can make it with that stupid hair.  I am really enjoying the chemistry between the two leads…

Episode 9 & 10 – Ummmm I like Kim Rae Won’s style…such a good manly kiss.  Love how he grabs her face!  I found it so refreshing how they portrayed Hye Rim trying to keep herself from Seung Hui.  Great tension between them.  Going forward, I’m worried though for all the rest of the people involved, especially Jeong Hun.  He loved Hye Soo and lost her to Seung Hui and now he will also lose Hye Rim.  I just feel so bad for him.  Really it is the same situation with Mi Hyun, but they haven’t shown her as invested in Seung Hui before.

Episode 11 – The first think I want to mention is that the club where he sings to Bok Shil is the same one in Be Strong Geum Soon where Jae Hee sings for Geum Soon.  Funny to see recycled locations.  Though it has been awhile since I watch Geum Soon, I swear they are wearing the same headband as well.  Anyway, I just feel so much tension; they can’t even help but want to be together.  I don’t totally believe that Seung Hui doesn’t just want her because of the whole sister thing, but who could fully get over that type of tragic loss.  Who wouldn’t do anything to stay by this girl’s side?  But you can tell a storm is coming and the havoc they are going to wreck on everyone else’s life will be more than they realize.  I’m putting on my seat belt for fear of a bumpy ride ahead.

Ep 12 & 13

Best Scene!!  Seung Hui and Bok Shil running on the bridge at the end of the episode.  I loved it.  Of course the exhilaration is short lived and the situation slowly escalates up hill the remainder of the episode.  Quite a ride…  I absolutely still can’t stand the Bok Shil hair, but I give credit to Jung Ryeo Won for allowing herself to look so awful for a ton of the series.  She is such a pretty girl that it is refreshing to see the contrast between her as Bok Shil and her as Hye Soo in the 1st episode at the party.

Episode 14 – Wow, get out my box of tissues.  Makes me contemplate destiny.  Is there a destiny written for each one of us?  2 episodes to go… how is it going to end?

Episode 15 – Wow, lots of running and crying in this series.

Episode 16 – I love when they end a series with a montage and a voiceover.  I would have taken a kiss, but it was okay without it.  I’m still not clear on how they ended up doing their engagement party.  Was the last fantasy the actual party?  Please leave a comment or email me if you know.

Overall it was a good series, not great, but good and watch-able.  I still don’t love Jung Ryeo Won, though she didn’t bug me as much in this series I just don’t think she’s a great actress.  On the other side I liked Kim Rae Won, he certainly didn’t blow me away, but I like that he is attractive without being too pretty boy.  Park Shi Hoo is more for the eye candy aspect and he was engaging in the few scenes he was in.  As a side note, Kim Rae Won entered the military in 09 and should be out sometime next year.  I really liked him as a different brand of leading man, a little thicker, a little more masculine – it was nice to see some diversity in the leading man.  Overall grade: C

Best Scenes of What Planet are you from?

  1. Episode 12 – running on the bridge
  2. Seung Hui and Bok Shil first kiss – Ep 8
  3. Seung Hui remembering Hye Soo – Ep 1

Please leave a comment if you had other favorite Scenes.  Thank you!