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Archive for January, 2009


mingtian

Cast:
韩雪 Han Xue as 石秋果 Shi Qiu Guo
杨雪 Yang Xue as 陶鶯 Tao Ying
朱泳腾 Zhu Yong Teng as 高雁翎 Gao Yan Ling
馬文龍 Ma Wen Long as 姜渔舟 Jiang Yu Zhou
尹鑄勝 Yin Zhu Sheng as 成玉民 Cheng Yu Ming
安澤豪 An Ze Hao as 車雲飛 Che Yun Fei

Genre:
Drama, Romance, Angst

Plot:
At the start of the story, Gao Yan Ling is driving along a countryside road, carrying an envelope containing important company information. It is apparent that there is a plot to get rid of him and possible the contents of the envelope as well. Yan Ling is cornered in the forest and hit by one of the pursuers and he falls down a steep ravine. Here, a young woman shows concern and saves him. He tells her to take the documents and destroy them and also offers her money. She refuses and goes to find help. When she returns with the other villagers, he is already gone.

In the rural village, the young woman is Shi Qiu Guo and is about to be married to her fiance when all of a sudden, he runs away with the fiance of the village gangster boss. In retaliation, the gangster boss sees Shi Qiu Guo’s beauty and decides that he can settle for her. If not, her father would have to five up his cow. This seems like an easy enough decision, but considering Qiu Guo’s father’s financial situation, he agrees to trade his daughter. At the same time, Shi Qiu Guo decides to run off with a group of people who claim to be recruiters for a large factory in the city.

What if the group claiming to be recruiters are actually slave traders? Will Shi Qiu Guo ever escape from her wretched life? Will she ever meet the mysterious Gao Yan Ling? Before her mother let her run away, she told Qiu Guo that she has an older sister but who could this be?

This is just the surface of the story, but revealing more would give away too many spoilers. I will tell you this though, a lot of the remainder of the drama is about a battle between Qiu Guo and Tao Ying over business related matters in the city.

Review: BEWARE SPOILERS
It is really hard to give a good review of this drama without spoiling anything, so I will just spoil everything. If you wish to read on read at your own risk.

mt

I can’t say that this drama is one of my favorites. It’s not, but it does have its own appeal. The story line is pretty far-fetched, but it is kept quite interesting. There are way too many coincidences and lucky meetings. Some scenes just aren’t realistic, but the whole time the storyline is like this, the drama is well put together. The locations, the costumes, the whole mood of the drama stays true all the way. The production did not feel “fake” at all.

I have to say that the acting was superb by the leading actresses. Yang Xue once again shows her skill and talent as the dark character like she did in Pure White Love. A lot of times she reminds me of Chen Zi Han from Burning Blood. Yang Xue and Han Xue make an epic duo. Han Xue is both beautiful and well casted. Although she really didn’t act too much, her calm emotionless expressions really was her character and it played out very well. If you watch this drama, you will understand why I love her so much. The writers put her as a victim to countless misunderstandings and sufferings, but she always rises above her pain and injustice and continues to live with her head held up high. Over the entire drama, she maintains her kind heart and also her own upstanding morals. Her character is just so perfect and elegant.

I really don’t have much to say for Zhu Yong Teng, but he plays his complement role pretty well. I simply didn’t like him since he never really showed a clear character throughout the whole drama. He always seemed to be confused through the first great many number of episodes. The actor for Chen Yu Ming was well chosen and he really helps to create the whole mood of the drama.

The music and supporting cast were great too. I found a couple things questionable to this drama though. In the first few episodes I was really angered by the actions of Che Yun Fei. I felt that the excess number of scenes and his outrageous actions were a little overboard. It is such a good thing that he fades out of the drama after awhile but I was abhorred that he returned later on to cause more pain. Some of the story line just doesn’t make sense but all in all this is a pretty solid drama.

Rating:
4.4/5.0

mt2

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wu xia

Cast:
李小冉 as Yu Wu Xia
應采兒 Cherrie Ying as Yu Zi Lan
劉愷威 Liu Kai Wei as Huo Dong Qing
劉交心 Liu Jiao Xin as Huo Wan Cai
李姝 Li Shu as Yu Hong Yu
譚凱 Tan Kai as Luo Zhi Xiang
李子雄 Li Xi Xiong as Huo Wan Hong

Genre:
Period, Romance, Drama

Plot:
dq

The tale begins when a young nun escapes her temple, accompanied by her Master as well as a horde of soldiers. On the run, the young girl, Yu Wu Xia, meets Huo Dong Qing for the first time. Little did they know that they were destined to meet again.

Yu Wu Xia always thought that she was an orphan, but with a little help, she finds her birth mother and father and discovered that they were actually a family of renown weavers. Wu Xia had also learned how to weave when she was at the temple and her skill is on par if not better than that of her father’s. Her father sent her to the temple as a baby because a wise man had told him that Wu Xia must live separated from her family for eighteen years otherwise she will bring calamity. The day she returns back home is not quite eighteen years and behold, ill fortune befalls her family.

From then on, things spiral out of control. Wu Xia’s younger sisters Zi Lan and Hong Yu both feel distanced and hateful towards Wu Xia for destroying the family. Misfortune after misfortune come their way and eventually, Wu Xia and Dong Qing meet again. An arranged marriage between the two saves the Yu family temporarily from financial troubles, but this is not the end. What if Zi Lan fell in love with Dong Qing? Will Dong Qing and Wu Xia ever come to love each other? What will befall the remnants of the Yu family? How far will the Huo family fued escalate?

Review:
This drama is one of my favorite Chinese period dramas up to date. There is a lot of character development and we come to understand that all the characters are human, if not full of flaws and personal ambition. Although there are a lot of sub characters, everything falls into place nicely near the end and we get a very solid and complete drama. We can definitely applaud the great acting by the leading ladies Zi Lan and Wu Xia. Cherrie can really pull off the evil sister and Wu Xia is plays her role as the kind and sacrificial sister very well. Throughout the drama we really feel sympathy toward Wu Xia and a dislike for Xi Lan. All of the supporting cast were really great and the mood was setup very nicely. The leading actors from the Huo family were very good as well. Wan Hong and Dong Qing really played their parts well and drove the story very nicely. I would say that the music is decent as well.

There is something else to mention as well. Although it is not a major issue with me, I would say that this drama is pretty pro-Chinese. It’s filled with patriotism and humanistic themes on how people should live their lives. I think there are some really great messages. A lot of the things that Wu Xia talks about in relation to Buddhism I couldn’t really understand because I am not a native Chinese speaker but the general gist was pretty good. This type of drama is pretty common in mainland China so if you watch of a lot of Chinese dramas you won’t be too surprised.

In ending, I would like to praise the plot once again. You all probably know by now that I’m a sucker for beautiful women who act as the sacrificial lamb while their closest people misunderstand their actions and continue to show hostility toward a very pure and kind lead actress. Wu Xia was the epitome of the perfect woman and understood sacrifice for the family. I would like to point out however, that the ending was a little fast for my liking.

**SPOILER**
I wouldn’t have minded if Wu Xia died in the end. It would have made such a nice impact to her family but I guess it would have ruined the whole pro-Chinese theme they had going on.
**END SPOILER**

Anyhow I really enjoyed this drama. It is very well made and the cast was really great.

Rating:
4.8/5.0

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eoe

First off I’d like to thank any people who comment a lot or just check out what I write about the dramas I’ve seen. I usually flip over to JavaBeans once in awhile to see what’s going on in the kdrama world. This time I managed to read the year in reviews by the 3 avid drama fans. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I myself do not watch dramas to nit pick everything that happens or pay attention too much to critique the scripts or directorship of any drama. I usually rate my dramas on my own enjoyment and then pick out the details of each that I remember most. I really try not to be judgmental since I know that every production is always compilation of the hard work and effort of both the production crews and the actors and actresses.

The major dramas that they talked about were:
Iljimae
Beethoven Virus
On Air
Robbers
Gourmet
Stars Lover
Hong Gil Dong
Tazza
Strongest Chil Woo
Love & Marriage
Three Dads One Mom
Who Are You
When Night Comes
World’s Within
General Hospital 2
Happiness
Kingdom of the Winds
Spotlight
My Sweet Seoul
Fight
Painter of the Wind
Scales of Providence
My Woman
Before and After Plastic Surgery
Bichunmoo
Single Dad In Love
Powerful Opponents
You Are My Destiny
Women in the Sun
Lawyers of the Great Republic
East of Eden

Let me roughly go down the list.

The first on the list is Iljimae. My first impression of this drama was that something was off. It did not give me the feel of an authentic Saguek like Damo or Hwang Jini. I didn’t bother to keep watching after the first few episodes. This is not to say it was a bad drama. I understand that it did incredibly well in the ratings but it just wasn’t for me. My mom bought the DVDs maybe I’ll finish it sometime.

Beethoven Virus really got me excited that it would be like Nodame Cantable but I was sadly disappointed. I was expecting to follow a nice drama with Lee Ji Ah but the story just killed me. I had hoped they’d make Lee Ji Ah into some great musician but I didn’t like what she turned out to be. I really loved her in her first drama Saguek but I just couldn’t watch her in this one. It’s alright though I will still watch your next drama Lee Ji Ah!!!

On Air is a very interesting drama and I started watching about the first six episodes. Song Yoon Ah from Hotelier and My Older Sister is one of the most talented and beautiful actresses that I have ever seen. The acting core in the drama way surpassed my expectations. Perhaps this is also why the ratings were so high. I was so impressed with the overall production and casting chemistry. One tick. I didn’t really like how the plot was progressing so I stopped watching it for the time being. I may probably (90% chance) go back to watch this just to see how great the acting gets later on.

Robbers was similarly dropped by myself. I love Lee Da Hae and her acting is superb. She has her touching moments. I can’t really say I enjoyed the drama and plotline. I kind of skimmed through the last 10 episodes simply because I had them downloaded already. I think I have watched so many dramas that one of my most weighted enjoyment factors is acting and plot. (music comes in third!)

Gourmet was a nice drama as well. Solid cast and iffy plot. The story has been done before in different cultures so it is nothing new to me. I just love Nam Sang Mi so I had to check out the drama. Sadly the subs have not been quickly released so I have not really paid attention to the rest of this drama. If it is completed I will definitely finish it, if only to see Nam Sang Mi.

Stars Lover I consider a drama suited for more mature audiences. I find Choi Ji Woo a little too old for my enjoyment but I did decide to see how it goes. Nothing much to say about this yet.

I did enjoy Hong Gil Dong no matter how un authentic or wack it appeared to be. I admit I watched the drama for Sung Yuri and the plot was pretty interesting. It was just the overall feel of the production did not give me a perfect feeling. People say that Yuri’s acting improved and I have to agree. Anyhow, I don’t really have much to say about this other than the fact that I actually enjoyed most of it and watched the whole thing.

Tazza is waiting for me. Will get to it when I have time.

Strongest Chil Woo was dropped even before I finished watching the first episode. I started watching it and just found it kind of weird. I wanted to try watching it for Hye Sun from Pure 19 but I just couldn’t keep watching it.

Love & Marriage was decent but something just didn’t click for me. I watched probably the first 8-9 episodes and then skimmed through the ending. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been married yet or even plan to in the near future so it just wasn’t for me.

Three Dads and One Mom with Eugene was a fun ride. I loved her in this drama as well as all of the supporting cast. I finished the drama and felt that it was pretty enjoyable. A lot of critics said it was a failure but I’d like to differ. No matter how many faults people find about it I think that overall it is still an enjoyable drama. It is well mixed with touching moments as well as comedic moments.

Who Are You has been on my hard drive all this time but I haven’t had the courage to start it since I think I might have an adverse reaction to seeing a young man suddenly turn into her father somewhere during an important moment. Since so many people enjoyed this drama I may take a look at ep1.

I started When Night Comes and then stopped. I guess that’s all I need to say. You can just watch ep1 on your own and tell me your thoughts haha.

World’s Within was just not my type of drama. I hear that things get better after ep5 or 6 but I haven’t had the time to watch the rest since there are many more dramas out there that I need to finish.

I was looking forward so much to General Hospital 2 but after the first episode I felt disappointed. Kim Jung Eun, well, I really can’t stand the character that she plays. It was pretty humorous though so if comedy suits you you might find this drama entertaining.

Happiness started out well and I thought I finally found a drama that I could follow through. Alas, after the first five or six episodes, I didn’t feel like I could finish it. Just too long. This made me think about watching Golden Bride. I loved the first twenty or thirty episodes but as it dragged on, I started getting annoyed. Long dramas (that aren’t Sagueks or Wu Xia) tend to do that to me.

I’m just waiting on Kingdom of the Winds to finish airing and subbed and I will start. Really looking to another great Saguek with Jumong.

Spotlight is surely an interesting drama. When watching the first seven episodes I really felt the rush and that there was always action going on. I just felt maybe if they added a little more romance or what not it would have been better. Anyhow, I must find time to finish this great drama. I don’t understand how the ratings were so low. It must have been the other competing dramas at the time. Son Yeh Jin is an amazing actress and I find it sad that people did not pick this drama up. There are rumors that the last few episodes slightly differ from teh previous episodes but I think Son Yeh Jin makes up for this.

Nothing on My Sweet Seoul as I decided to not even watch the first episode.

I started watching Fight just streaming online and I think its a really great drama. I will finish this sometime I hope.

Painter of the Wind absolutely blew me away. The music, acting, and feeling of the drama just washed over me like honey water. Everything was beautifully done. Enough said this is a must watch.

I’m looking forward to watching Scales of Providence if ever the subs finish. I have high hopes for this, but also because Jun Hye Bin is in it.

My Woman seemed to be a pretty solid drama. Although I didn’t know if it was accurate, the summary said the main female lead would betray her old lover. I’m sorry but I can’t really deal with evil leads. It’s just my own quirk but I’m sure it was a great drama. The cast seemed solid but it just seemed too evil for my liking. I could foresee a lot of evil and sadness!

Nothing to say about Before and After Plastic Surgery.

I have to say I have a strong connection to Bichunmoo. It’s really not as bad as people make it seem. Since I worked on the subs, I was able to view the drama in its complete and abridged form. I loved Park Ji Yoon as Sul Ri. I was really excited to work on the project and I ended up loving the drama and waiting for each new episode. My only dislike was the character playing the other male lead. A lot of viewers complained about the dubbing but since I watched the drama in both Chinese and Korean, I have to say it doesn’t detract too much. Although it can’t compare with Wu Xia from China, it does try and it does do a good job capturing many of the scenes.

Single Dad in Love, no thanks.

Powerful Opponents was another rare drama that I found the will to finish. Although I did skim a little, I felt that people had concerns that the actors acted a lot like children? Well it is a drama and there is definitely room to exaggerate. It’s what makes dramas dramas and not reality TV. I don’t think that it was outrageously overdone. I think the drama started out really well but somewhere along the way I felt disappointed. I still did finish since I wanted to see who Chae Rim would end up with. Lucky I did follow through because the ending was kinda cool.

You Are My Destiny continues to enchant me although the story is getting a bit dragged out and annoying. Im Yoon Ah does a wonderful job and Hose seriously needs to grow a spine. Su Bin is pure evil but she is still human. Anyways for a daily drama it is really nice. I have yet to watch the remaining episodes but I probably will finish it sometime, if only to stick around for a happy ending.

I’m quite sure that Women in the Sun was a great drama but once again as I said before, it makes me squirmy to deal with evil leads. Abandoning a sister? I might watch it for the acting and plotline but it’d probably make me uncomfortable. It kind of reminds me of Fashion 70’s where I fell in love with the evil lead Min Jung instead of Ye Won.

I’m surprised I even finished Lawyers of the Great Republic of Korea. I started watching it because I saw Lee Soo Kyung. It was probably a mistake because I hated both male leads and I simply hated the plot, but darn it Lee Soo Kyung is just so beautiful that I stuck around.

As for my finishing drama, I’d really like to stick up for East of Eden. As you might already have guessed I’ve been watching East of Eden in the last three days and I’ve been hooked. No skimming and no frowns. I love this drama. Lee Dong Chul is just cool and Lee Yeon Hee and Lee Da Hae are just amazing. There are complaints about the acting, which I could possibly agree to, but the drama is just awesome. The story keeps me tuned, (although I can guess everything that will happen) I still think it’s a solid drama and I will definitely watch it to the end. The sacrifices of Dong Chul and his loyalty is just beyond this world. Don’t be swayed by the critics who say they hate East of Eden. It is definitely a drama worth starting, and if you like it, finishing.

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