♥ Three Musketeers (2014) ♥

Korean drama reviews

Enjoyment: 10/10. Quality: 8/10.

ttm

Maybe this isn’t the time for a review of The Three Musketeers (or maybe it’s the perfect time for a review of The Three Musketeers) since this projected three seasons epic seems to have landed on a one season prequel – BUT I DON’T CARE. It was still one of my absolute favourite dramas of 2014 and all hope is not lost! It hasn’t been OFFICIALLY cancelled as far as I know. It can still make a come-back! Please?

Plot: Anyone who has read the classic Dumas novel (or seen any of the numerous screen adaptations) is going to recognise both the characters and the overall plot. But for the rest of you:

Park Dal-hyang/our d’Artagnan (Jung Yong-hwa) is a poor country boy determined to pass the military examination and make it as a palace official – all for the love of a…

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Three Favorite Actors, Three Great Shows

It’s been a while…

A long while since I’ve been interested in a drama, much less multiple dramas at the same time. The summer left me feeling underwhelmed with the crop of dramas and even those that I did watch felt tired. Now, that being said it has been raining buckets for days in the Bay Area and there has been little to nothing to do so I said you know what, “I’m going to get caught up on some dramas”.

So, I set out to find some serious eye candy and after giving up on Fated to Love You after the first few episodes Choi Jin Hyuk had me hooked from the first few minutes of his currently airing drama, Pride and Prejudice. This show isn’t the best crime/investigation drama, but it is on par with some of my favorites like I See You and I Can Hear Your Voice. Choi Jin Hyuk makes the show watchable and is supported by a great cast that make him look so much better than his character actually is. His character is a bit boring, but he’s nice too look at…its Choi Freaking Jin Hyuk…whats not to like. Seriously though, the show does have some heart wrenching moments dealing with child abduction and abuse issues that will leave you in tears. Not the most graphic or crime heavy drama, but one that is a nice mix of various styles. Worth a watch.

We all know I love some #ducklips Lee Jong Suk, but after the disaster that was Doctor Stranger I’m still not over feeling betrayed. So when I heard that he would be taking the lead role in Pinocchio I was a bit skeptical as I had though Woo Bin had been offered the role and I would love love…LOVE to see Woo Bin and Park Shin Hye back on screen again together. That combo didn’t happen, but the chemistry between Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye is working out in a strange platonic 12 year old “I like you” kind of way. It’s not believable that this couple will end up together, or even match well, but they’re fun enough on screen to keep my attention. The story also, makes a lot of sense and isn’t convoluted. My only gripe is regarding Lee Jong Suk’s character. Dal Po or Jae Myeong…hell, it doesn’t matter what his name is! It’s the same guy he plays in every drama. He’s an orphaned, well-mannered to a fault, genius with gifts 99% of the world wish they had, but never attain. I hate to say it, but after watching five or more dramas starring Lee Jong Suk he’s becoming quite type cast and I would like to see him take on some roles that add a bit of depth and variety to his character pool. Pinocchio is a great drama though, and one that could make for a great gate way drama for new viewers. It’s got all the great Kdrama tropes…a great cast and a somewhat typical story thats executed quite well.

Speaking of variety and depth…have you peeped Park Hae Jin in Bad Guys? It was this time last year I fell in love with this guy’s charm and demeanor in possibly my Favorite drama of all time, Man From the Stars and he hasn’t been a disappointment yet. I think this is my third fourth drama with him now and He’s shown a different character each time. From charming Chaebol, hot Doctor, and now psycho serial killer…this guy is quickly becoming one of my favorite drama actors with Song Jae Rim. I’m calling it now, in 2015…he’s going to be the hot ticket that Woo Bin and Lee Jong Suk were in 2013 and 2014. Bad Guys is the type of show I love. It’s a crime drama about psychopaths contracted to take down psychopaths in a very DC Comics Suicide Squad style. For each killer they track down they earn a few years off their life sentence. It has the feeling of Gap Dong (but is good) and the quality in writing and action that I cherished in God’s Gift 14 Days.

So there ya have it. Three of my favorite actors in three great new shows. I’m watching Pride and Prejudice and Pinocchio on Viki.com and Bad Guys you can find on the interweb somewhere (I’m not sure if it’s been licensed for streaming in my region)

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She’s So Lovable – Episode 5

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Why do you make a person’s heart beat like this?

Cause Si Woo…she’s so lovable! See what I did there?

So, let me get this straight. Si Woo is falling for Se Na? The cocky rude boy has a heart after all. Seen it before…only, this time I’m kind of interested and maybe it’s because Myung Soo is so darn adorable. The shows given him some decent material to work with and I’m rooting for him. Second male lead syndrome…I see you coming baby.

Krystal Jung…you’re winning me over. I fell in love with your character in The Heirs that evil delicious Bo Na and I’ve got to say. I need, like really need, to hear you say “Oh, my GAWD” one more time. Wait a minute. I think I have a thing for these idol actors who play cocky ride people. First Bo Na and now Si Woo. Oh no.

I’m really liking this show. It’s cute and simple and it’s got lots of idols to watch. The storyline is a bit contrived, but I don’t care I’m having fun!

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She’s So Lovable – Episode 1

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There’s something very lovable about this drama and it so revolves around this handsome guy named Dal Bong. You may have been expecting to see Rain, but no. Oh no no no. The star of this show is the super adorbs Golden Retreiver who is Rain’s baby. Seriously, this guys so cool with his bow ties!

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a drama. This summer’s shows just didn’t hold my interest and after the fiasco that was Doctor Stranger it was time for a much needed break. So, tonight I went to sleep early and grabbed my iPad and loaded up a certain Kdrama app and looked for something new. Something fresh…like a spring rain-fall. See what I did there? I was initially attracted to the drama because let’s be honest what’s not to like about the goofiest cheese ball idol turned actor that’s ever lived? Nothing. Then, the first five minutes hit the screen like a ton of bricks and well, there just wasn’t anything cheesy about the hour of drama I just enjoyed. You’ll have to watch the show, I’m not spoiling anything here folks.

Rain’s acting was pretty good, not so cardboard this time around, which was a nice relief. Aside from the awesome canine actor int he show the sets were gorgeous. I mean, gorgeous. I was impressed with the set design and color choices in his Jeju Island home. I want to live in a house like that.

Spoilers

I do have some questions though…

1) Did she did?
2) Who is this girl who called his cell phone…
3) Was she calling his cell phone?

I guess I’ll just have to watch the next few episodes, but if you just watched this first episode and you were confused too, let me know in the comments down below.

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Fated to Love You – Episode 4

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Well, we sure aren’t waisting any time with this show now are we? Episode four is complete and we’ve already had a wedding. Isn’t that something that you usually have to wait till episode 18 or 19 for if it happens at all? I mean, Emergency Couple gave us a wedding in episode 1, but that didn’t exactly turn out too well. One thing that this light speed pacing the show is taking that I can look forward to is some serious shenanigans now that all the tired and true drama tropes are out of the way.

Here’s what I’m hoping happens. Choi Freaking Jin Hyuk’s Daniel falls in love with Mi Young at some point because Jang Hyuk’s Gun goes nuts with paranoia. Jang Hyuk’s acting alone in that should be enough to satisfy any Dramaland fan, but imagine the possibilities. Oh man, the heartache as Daniel discovers he’s fallen in love with his sister. We might get to see The Hyuk cry. -_- whispers: he’s really pretty when he cries…it’s been compared to witnessing a live birth for the first time.. Personally, I hope to never witness such a thing, but I do want to see Daniel lose his control over Mi Young. Dramas just don’t do that kind of thing, bout time!

How cool was Gun when he was running through the hospital to stop Mi Young from having her surgery? That’s the Jang Hyuk I know. Those stunts were awesome and I think I might have woken up my neighbor I was LOL’ing so hard. I think of him as an action guy. Every drama or movie I’ve seen with him has been high octane and full blown testosterone fest so seeing him in a more comedic role is quite refreshing.

Big ups to a whole hour without #DonkeyFace Lawyer Min. Maybe, if were lucky that trash is on his way to another drama as a doctor, or spy…anything will make me happy as long as he’s not on this show again. Speaking of trash, Se Ra is on my No! I Don’t Like List!” I get and applaud that she had to follow her dream, but come on…the whole black swan thing is so over. Plus, she left Gun at the most inappropriate time. Use your words Ahjumma! That makeup though, made my lovely Wang Ji Won look ten years older than she should.

All in all, Fated to Love You is a hilarious and unexpected drama that I can’t wait to watch on Wednesday. Now, I’ve got to get some sleep or else I’m going to be looking like Gun in the final minutes of episode four.

Good night!

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Henry – Fantastic Review

Henry Lau’s second mini album, Fantastic was released on iTunes today and I’ve got to say Henry has become one of my favorite Kpop solo artists. Two years running he’s managed to create two mini albums of six songs each of pure audio bliss. Sadly, I can’t say that about any of my long time favorite kpop artists like Tae Yang or Jay Park which puts Henry at the top of a very short list. The only other act in all of Kpop whose been this consistent, for me, is VIXX and this folks may just alter my bias list for a long time coming because Fantastic is just that good.

Compared to his debut album, Trap, his second outing is once again consistent. It sounds and feels like the Henry we know as a solo artist and as a member of Super Junior, but there is a more mature and evolved sound in his sophomore effort. The title track is reminiscent of Trap but is a much more interesting single. His use of the violin adds a quality to the song that just makes me swoon. It’s a haunting track that I think for many people will grow on them the more they hear it. I’ve had the album on repeat all day and unlike most title tracks I’ve come back to Fantastic because it is that, fantastic. When it comes to title tracks from my favorite artists this one is going to go down as a favorite right up there with Jay Park’s Know Your Name and Tae Yang’s Wedding Dress. Like the previously mentioned singles, it won’t be my favorite song from Henry. I think that would still fall to 1-4-3 or Ready 2 Love. Like those two songs the new mini album has a song in a similar vein, but nails the kind of songs I love to blast all summer long…especially on Saturdays.

Saturday is by far my favorite track on the album. It’s a fun, fresh, fierce, and funky pop rock track that will have your shoulders shaking, head bopping, and maybe your booty swerving. It’s uplifting from beginning to end is guaranteed to raise your mood if you’re feeling down. Give it a listen, you won’t be sorry.

Overall, the vibe of the album has many layers with funk and electronic being the most notable which are expertly crafted over a classic pop sound. There is a slight R&B feel to the album overall and these various musical styles combine in a way that speaks to Henry’s (and his producers) genius. Which is exactly what he is…

A fantastic genius.

I picked up the mini album from iTunes and you can too, if you click on this link and support one of the hottest solo artists in Kpop today. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/2nd-mini-album-fantastic-ep/id897469808)

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Fated to Love You – Episode 3

Second Lead Syndrome

Ok, so we all know I luuuuuuuuuuubs me some #choijinhyuk something fierce, but I was really not prepared in episode 3 to be suffering from SLS… Second Lead Syndrome. But, I’ve got a bad case of SLS brewing folks and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Firstly, I already fell in love with Gun and Mi Young. By episode 2 I deemed them OTP status. How can I expect to cheat on my OTP when my love for them is just beginning. I just can’t “stand” it!

Secondly, Choi Jin Hyuk didn’t even really have that much to do in this episode. What does it say that I’m already feeling the effects of SLS this early? What am I going to do when I get around to episode four? What about this weeks episodes? Omo…I am not prepared.

Third, is my obsession with Choi Jin Hyuk just that strong that I can’t help but ship him with whichever lead he’s put up with? The answer to that is easily, yesssshhhh!.

SLS aside episode 3 was a heck of a lot of fun. There were so many awkward moments I was literally dying from laughter. The introduction of Gun’s half brother, Mi Young’s revelation to her mother, and Gun meeting #DonkeyFace Lawyer Min take the cake for fun factor and awkward moments. Gun sure knows how to make people uncomfortable…with his words. Let’s use words, ahjumma.

Speaking of Ahjummas. I adore Wang Ji Won and am so happy to see her playing Se Ra in this show, but unless she is Daniel’s sister I feel she needs to go. I’m down for a love triangle, but it can’t deal with a four way love affair between her, Gun, Daniel, and Mi Young. I’m also hoping that Mi Young will end up being Daniel’s love interest and later discover he’s her…nah, no spoilers tonight. BROTHER. I think this show has the guts to pull something like that off. (I’ve avoided all spoilers and haven’t seen any of the precious versions of the show, but come on, he’s got to be the brother of one of the two…right?)

Loving it.

Check out more screenshots from episode 3 over at my tumblr. Sifuhallyu.tumblr.com

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Marriage, Not Dating – First Impressions – Episode 1

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The rules of breaking up? Episode one of this quirky overly dramatic show deal with the three rules of etiquette. I don’t remember what they are, but what I do remember is how nasty one of the men on the show was to poor sweet Jang Mi (Han Groo). We’ve all been in her/his situation. You’ve given a person a chance and for whatever reason it just doesn’t work or they’re just not into you and then they suddenly stop answering your calls or responding to texts. It’s a crappy thing to go through, but sadly, one we’ve all been through at some point, I’m sure. What I’m not sure about is how fun this premise is to start a new drama. I mean…

Han Groo is a pretty good actress. She’s cute and believable. Her voice isn’t annoying and she doesn’t try to be cute, she just is. She got that cute factor, but when you turn her into a crying, sniveling, stalker who wants to get married for love and can’t face the lack of rejection from her really crappy boyfriend. Eh…I’m not buying it. Half way through the episode I wanted to scream at her, “Girl, he ain’t worth it! He’s not into and he’s a fool…get some self esteem and move on!” Plus, that blonde hair is really not his color. Total deal breaker. Amirite?

I did totally dig the sets. From #DonkeyFace Bad Boyfriends cafe to Gi Tae’s swanky bachelor pad the set design was very very posh. It’s what I expect from a show airing in TvN. I always dig their sets.

The highlight of the show for me was hottie Bo bottle 2AM’s Jin Woon making a cameo in the show and hopefully he’ll be back. After Seu Long blew it in Hotel King the 2AM boys could use a decent outing in the idol turned actor arena. I’m sorry….I won’t mention Hotel King again. Shudders. Oh, I wish I could have that hour of my life back.

Not sure if I’ll tune in next week, but Marriage, Not Dating was definitely very cute and while some of the plot was a bit second year of high school I did enjoy Yeon Woo Jin as Gi Tae and Han Groo’s performances.

Anyone else checking out this new rom com?

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Fated to Love You – Episode 2

Don’t think of your name as common, but popular and well liked.

Oh man…the shenanigans didn’t take long to get started with this show! Within the first ten minutes we were witness to creeper status level 1000 and then 1,000,000 and thanks be because we got to see Jang Hyuk shirtless and then…almost nekke. Teehee!

Seriously though, besides Jang Hyuk’s glorious 38 year old body on display this episode had lots of fun moments between the leads and after the second episode I don’t care about Choi Jin Hyuk’s Daniel, #DonkeyFace Lawyer Min, or anyone else! Gun + Mi Young = OTP. These two characters have an incredibly interesting dynamic between them. One is a charismatic rich boy (seen it before) and the other a timid, pleasing, pushover of a woman (oh please, this again?), but somehow Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra take these -tired- tried and true kdrama archetypes and breathe fresh life into them.

I said in my First Impressions – Episode One review that I felt like the show feels like Secret Garden and that still feels true after episode two. There were moments that made you want to cry…looking at you Lawyer Min #DonkeyFace and others that had me screaming at my screen. The show’s got quality written all over it and if you need an example because your not seeing it…I offer you…

Jang Hyuk’s hair. Satisfied? Good.

Strangely, I did not miss Choi Jin Hyuk in the episode at all. He had a very small cameo and we can add futbol to his growing lists of talents, but all in all I didn’t miss him and I’m not even worried if his role is minuscule in the show. He’s only getting in the way as Jill Scott may say and I’ve already chosen my OTP and that’s Mi Young and Gun. No room for you Daniel…go find your sister.

Did anyone else notice a drastically and almost disturbing makeup job in Lee Clara? I was not digging that harsh shading in her jawline. It made her look like a plastic queen ten years her senior. No thank you, please give me Clara all natural. >_<

Tomorrow night…episode three! Whose watching?

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No Game No Life – Episode 1

I’m super excited for Sword Art Online II, like many other fans, but I’m holding back from watching that show because I don’t know if I can stand just 20 minutes of visual joy a week?!?  I loved the first season, both halves, and am totally going to watch season 2.  But, maybe not today because I think I might have found the perfect visuals in animated form…

No Game No Life.

The show just ended last week and had a three month run.   That means it should be a quick little marathon of 12 epidodes.  Those tend to be my favorite shows, quick and satisfying.   I love saturated color.  Bright, vibrant and varied color just turns me on.  If I could live in a Lisa Frank poster from 1995 I’d be eternally happy.  That is just about what the world in No Game No Life looks like.   A Lisa Frank poster.  Heaven.  Visually, I dug this show.

The story caught my interest right away as well.  There is a group of legendary MMORPG players who never lose.  They’re better than the best of the best.  Their skill is unrivaled and unparalleled. The four of them have defeated 1200 other players in a single fight.  Amazing right?  Ha!  Amazingly, this team called Blank is made up of for characters, but only two players.   Siblings Sora and Shira control multiple characters simultaneously.  Totally unrealistic,  but who needs that in Anime?  They look at life as a game…one that can’t be beat because it lacks clearly defined rules.  Therefore, life is actually boring.  Which is where things get interesting.

Tet, a seemingly omniscient diety from some other universe/reality brings the duo to his/her realm where everything operates on six basic game principles.  All of a sudden Sora (the older male sibling) seems to awaken at the possibilities that await him in a game world where he can exploit the rules to his advantage.   I really liked that twist on the Anime set in an MMORPG environment.  I don’t know if they’re actually in a game or not, but the environment they’re in operated with gaming principles.  The show had me wondering if I would leave the reality we live and die in to go to a realm like those in the video games I love.  I’d have to say workout a doubt Diablo is out,  but how cool would it be to travel in Tamriel?  I’d so pick up where my Khajit necromancer vampire left off in Morrowind and head straight for Skyrim.  How about exploring the universe with Master Chief and Cortana.  Oh, that is my cup of tea.

Pretty sure No Game No Life is going to be a fun ride and probably make a nice companion work Sword Art Online once a few episodes have gone by.  Did any of you or there watch this show and more importantly…

Which of your favorite video game world would you want to live in?

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