Showing posts with label Kdrama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kdrama. Show all posts

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Surprising Spreadshirt Design Sale

Funny surprises around every corner.  I just wanted to share this Spreadshirt related post to remind those who partake in its use to never give up.  And to also remind one another that anything can happen, so don’t underestimate your designs and products.
It’s really interesting; I recently sold this particular design on Spreadshirt’s marketplace–times two.  I say “interesting” because I dislike the design out of all available.  And, literally, pulled it up from scratch just to find another means to fit the theme of my Kdrama/K-Pop store.  I weighted and weighted whether to keep the design, and just left it alone.
And here it is the one sold first off the marketplace–twice.

You just never know.  Which is why I always suggest those starting a Spreadshirt store to try different things out.  Even the most ludicrous (but tasteful) ideas deserve a go.  You just never, never know.  I'm beyond grateful for the surprises.
Any surprising Spreadshirt stores you want to inspire others with?  Please share the details below.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kdrama Factor: Incomplete Life

Now the second Kdrama I’m watching is Incomplete Life.  The Korean word, per its Korean title, is misaeng.  Apparently the drama is based off a web comic by a Korean cartoonist named Yoo Tae-Ho.  The comic ran from January 2012 to October 2013.  As for Incomplete Life, it aired from October to December of 2014.  Twenty episodes even.
So what’s it about?  Twenty-something Jang Geu-Rae was once a thriving and prolific baduk player.  From his childhood forward he dedicated himself to the game.  So as an adult he stood on the threshold of becoming a professional.  He even forfeited completing high school and earning his GED to continue his passion, by sliding up in rank.  
Now this next part of his story I think I understood correctly.  Anyway, somewhere in the mix Geu-Rae's father dies, leaving just him and his mother.  Now the man of the house, Geu-Rae gives up baduk and starts working odd jobs to keep the house running.  He works as a delivery boy, bathhouse cleaner, and a convenience store clerk simultaneously.  His dad is gone, and now baduk and his education is sailing by him.  With what remains as a stream of dead end jobs, Geu-Rae is left disappointed and hurt by life. 
Then a secret–and unconfirmed as far as I’ve gotten–consociate recommends Geu-Rae into an internship with One International trading firm.  Pushed by his mother, Geu-Rae walks into the offer.

But with absolutely no education or credentials to back him up, Geu-Rae faces bullying taunts once his background is found out.  And the more he insist on pushing forward with his internship, the more he suffers navigating his way through what’s deemed the “real world.”  Yet, he has a little help along the way in the form of warmer friendships with other peers.  And when situations get too tight, he employs his strategic thinking skills developed from excelling at baduk.  This allows him to chess piece his way in and out of trouble, as he finds acceptance in the office.  As well as in himself.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kdrama Factor: Heaven's Garden

I suppose this post is somewhat aligned with my recent take of Kevin Kwan’s second novel, China Rich Girlfriend.  Anyway, I wanted to continue writing about my current Kdrama delights.  Mostly because I took some time from watching so many dramas back to back.  And recently refreshed my viewing taste with something new to spoon 'n' sip nightly before bed.
I watch Kdramas between Hulu and Netflix–via the PS4.  Me watching dramas on the computer feels like my eyes are being cooked ten minutes into my attempts.  Nonetheless, I prefer Hulu as my main source.  Mostly because they update with new shows and episodes weekly.  Whereas Netflix gets shows all in one serialized lump a while later.  However, Netflix has ad-free benefits.  Which works for me sometimes, despite it having a smaller library of titles.  Nevertheless, Hulu recently had a ton of Kdramas (and sadly the Japanese dramas as well) streaming licenses expire.  So their library recently switched around and is now kind of pitiful compared to those glory years where I lay absorbed in all they had available.  Even most of my favorite dramas were extracted from the roster.  And some future viewing prospects simply vanished from my Watchlist que.  
Slowly, a few older and recent dramas trickled in as replacements, but no one can ignore that blunt gap left in Hulu’s catalog.  I looked at it one day, and the once seemingly endless scroll of titles was marginalized to a quarter's worth of remnants.  Yet, out of the process, here is one survivor I consider my latest obsessions.  
I should go ahead and disclaimer how this post is probably geared toward those who’re familiar with this genre of entertainment.  You know, Asian-centric melodrama to the ninth degree.  So if the story sound hooky, it’s the norm.  Although I honestly think this drama lean more toward a conceivably, realistic batch of scenarios.  (Except for the grandmother who was spirited away.)

Monday, December 8, 2014

The KDrama Factor

Boys Over Flowers.  The obsession begins!
I've wanted to share this for quite some time, especially because next year I want to use this blog to step a little further outside of books and more into my other interests.  So it’s probably a known fact by now that I absolutely love Korean dramas, or Kdramas.  I became transfixed by them about four years ago when I watched Boys Over Flowers on Netflix one summer.  Despite a frustrating and sluggish middle area within its 25 episodes span, I loved and adored its spin on the Cinderella story involving a less fortunate girl gaining the attention of a super rich and popular schoolmate.  From there I alternated between Netflix and Hulu to get my fix (mostly Hulu because they have some currently running dramas as well as a large library).  And I've seen plenty these past years; found favorites and hated only a few.  

Already having a general (well, a lot more than general) interest in Asian culture, it just seemed appropriate that these dramas of love, corruption, bitch-slapping-mothers, and fine manners had the power to effortlessly yank all of my time and attention.  After all, I am convinced that I was an Asian woman in one of my past lives, somewhere bent over in a rice paddy field decking a bamboo hat.  Furthermore, that conviction kind of ties into my affinity for stories/books featuring Asian protagonist, written under the thumb of a writer with matching ethnicity and experience.  Nonetheless, most of that is neither here nor there when I forgot to mention the load of beautiful (dang near flawless, if there were such a thing) Korean actors and actresses featured in these dramas.  Of course, plastic surgery is a supremely high percentage and considerable factor that can't be denied as it pertains to their looks.  Nonetheless, beautiful looks are sometimes enough to keep watching as I revel in being in many of their characters' romance situations.  

Saying all that, on to the Top 4 Favorite Kdramas currently (that's currently–as in now) airing.

1.  The Greatest Marriage
Cha Gi-Young, a highly admired and self-sufficient top dog Korean anchorwoman for a popular news station, develops a brief and steamy relationship with Park Tae-Yeon, a handsome heir and son of a news corporation head. Partly unlike the driven and determined (and even callous) attitude Cha Gi-Young employees, Park Tae-Yeon is slightly her opposite as he’s a little less focused and mellower. With his family’s fortune, he can afford to take a few chances, and he has proven so by leaving business school to pursue his dreams of culinary arts and food reporting. 

While working on adjacent sets, one where Cha is delivering the news and the other where Park is featured on a cooking show, the two eventually cross paths (however highly confrontational) and begin their relationship. Neither seems interested in marriage, but when the couple accidentally becomes pregnant, Park’s immediate reaction is to wed the mulish Cha in order to save face (remember this is an Asian drama). Uninterested, and further discouraged after a vile altercation with Park’s powerfully rich and upper-echelon parents, Cha decides to go her separate way and raise the child on her own as a single mother. This soon brings her a batch of criticism, humiliation and hate from her peers and society as a whole. Suddenly, Cha is no longer on top, but refuses to cave in to a quick marriage nor place her dwindling career before her child.

Why you may want to watch it? Because with all the drama and comedy (and there is plenty also) aside, it’s the story of an accidental feminist flipping society and cultural norms by deciding that she would much rather be a single mother than marry. All of this very much announced to the Korean public. The criticism and backlash she receives is startling. In one instance her company peers yanks her off the set.  They continue to sabotage her career as a means of both saving the face of the news station, but also as a means of them expressing their own dislike of her. Even the higher ups comes for her. Furthermore, the actual hospital where she has her child gives her crap. While in labor, she couldn't even be admitted without the written assent of a man! And even further, she has to legally protect herself and her child from the likes of the father's family because they are within their rights to take her child away from her–especially because it’s a boy heir. Oh, damn. I also forget to mention how Cha's mother threatens to commit suicide to save her own face. Currently 12 episodes out of 16 in, I’m hoping this drama ends well.  Other than that, I drop everything once The Greatest Marriage updates.

2.  Birth of a Beauty
A sweet, overweight woman named Sa Geum-Ran finds herself conspiratorially murdered and later resurrected as a bombshell Korean-style beauty (re)named Sara. However, before this incredible transformation, Sa Geum-Ran lived a painful life as the wife and daughter/sister-in-law to the Lee family–her husband being Lee Kang-Joon. While Lee Kang-Joon is away in the US for seven years, and keeping up an affair, Sa Geum-Ran is busy taking care of his mother, sisters, grandmother, and father. While the latter two actually treated her decently, Sa puts up with a lot from Lee’s spoiled and nasty sisters and mother. Horrible comments aimed at her looks and weight, and passive displays of abuse are the most common. 

However, these do not deter Sa’s loyalty and love for Lee. So, while he’s far off in America, she plays her role without a hitch; swallowing her anger while always presenting her good Korean manners. Then Lee shows up after those seven years away, and Sa discovers his affair. Upon that discovery, an upset Sa flees in her car only to be ran off the road and into deep waters. Later, the assumption is that she committed suicide, but the truth is that she was murdered. Well, not so much murdered as she manages to swim out of her death and seek out a plastic surgeon (he’s featured on a reality show) who completely transforms her with a full-body makeover. One in which she uses to seek revenge and take down several members of the Lee family.

I was up late watching another drama when Birth of a Beauty popped up. Sure it was two in the morning when I decided to forget about sleep and watch those first two available episodes. I've been hooked ever since. Now, the drama was confusing in the beginning. It almost drops you in the middle as you're introduced to Sa Geum-Ran’s other, Sara, initially. Slowly, the hyper-unusual back story fills in, and after that first episode you're kind of good to go. The drama blends comedy, romance (which is always my favorite ingredient), melodrama, and that not so unordinary requirement that you suspend your disbelief regarding its events and Sa Geum-Ran's transformational lease on life.  There’s also the conspiracy behind her death, and a secondary running story that ties into her vengeance against the Lee family. I'm still not quite sure how concise focused the show is, seeing that it takes on the subject of beauty standards and acceptance.  All that aside, I find the actress who plays Sara incredibly adorable in her role–especially when she pulls into a karate stance.   So it's not to be taken too seriously, I suppose.

3.  Mr. Baek
Another Kdrama that ties in the subject of transformations, vengeance and second chances is Mr. Baek. 70-something-year Choi Go-Bong is tenacious, greedy, egotistical, and just plain ole mean. He’s been this way most of his life, so some can deal and some can't. Nonetheless, his obsession consists mostly of building his wealth–which he has done (and continues to do despite his age) by successfully manning a powerful hotel corporation. The price, however, comes in the form of an irresponsible and spoil son who’s impartial to the hotel business’s future. And if that wasn't enough, Choi has to tend to a few of his shifty, money-grubbing siblings waiting to attach themselves to his position and deep pockets.

Almost by accident, Choi ends up meeting a young woman name Eun Ha-Soo. At a retirement village, they stumble upon one another where her kind words deflect and disarm his normally mean spirit. And they find themselves crossing paths once more during a meter shower where both of their vehicles tumble into a sinkhole. In a last stance for survival, Choi reaches for his spilled medication and unknowingly swallows a piece of a meteor. This, in turns, reverts his body to that of his 36-year-old self. With a few more lessons to realize and learn, this gives Choi the chance to fall in love, rescue his company from inside corruption, and, perhaps, find a relationship with his son and heir.

I found myself enjoying Mr. Baek right away. As I mentioned, some dramas I have to warm up to. Thankfully, that didn't happen here. I think what drew me in the most is how it hit home with me regarding parents and their relationships with their children. Parents often wish they could turn back time to be there for their kids, or correct some of the mistakes they felt they'd made. Watching that unfold in Mr. Baek–in its own way–rings familiar to me. We're all the product of our childhood in a sense. We all wish our parents done at least one thing differently that we feel may have empowered us to lead better adult lives. Now that's despite owning the grown-up ability to make decisions based off whether or not we'll allow that "disempowerment" from the past to hurt our present and future. So yeah, Mr. Baek is about second chances and making wrongs right, and also honoring our responsibilities. But while all that is true, I also love the comedy and conspirator elements of the show. As for the romance....  I'm a sucker for the romances involving a girl who manages to capture the heart of a man and change him for the better. The twist with Mr. Baek is that Choi's having his heart changed by the girl whom his son longs for to change his own. I have yet to tell who will she stick with at the very end.

4.  The Perfect Insider (Jdrama)
Based off Japanese mystery writer Hiroshi Mori’s novel All Becomes F comes the Jdrama The Perfect Insider. The show takes on a crime-of-the-week format (to be exact, each crime span two episodes). However, the protagonists are unchanging. One is an architect student at Jinnan University named Moe Nishinosono. The other, Saikawa Souhei, is an associate professor and mentor within the university’s engineering department. These two are the active sleuths, in which their intelligence combines to crack each case. At the same time, they get a hand or two from the local police and a few other associates who stumble through.

As for their first case, the two head to a research institute on the suggested request of a professor in the same department as Saikawa. The research institute holds a laboratory where low temperature -20 degree experiments are conducted. (Don’t ask me what for, as I'll have to rewatch the episode to actually understand the science so heavily involved in this series.) A final experiment is underway, and a host of students and professors are present to watch their research come to a conclusion. Two of those students–who happen to be lovers–launches the last experiment by donning protective gear and stepping into the multi-room depths of the laboratory. The two seemingly come out of the lab one-by-one, as others monitor their progress from the outskirts. But when neither shows up to the celebratory party, questions naturally arise and a search party is formed. Behind one locked door the body of the female student is discovered, having been stabbed in the back. She lay inches from another door in which the male student is also found stabbed in the back. An emergency exit is unable to open from the outside, and a steel service door has a blown motor. This, in turns, creates a locked room double-murder mystery.  Stamped with science, physics, a touch of romance, and creepy murders Japanese style, comes the 10 episode series The Perfect Insider.

So many places I can start with how excited I get watching this drama. The immediate thing I want to share is that I love the music composition so much that I recently ordered its score straight from Japan. Like, I needed it. There’s a specific melody that plays when Nishinosono is theorizing a case of events that strokes the writer in me. I get excited when the beat plays, and boot up my laptop to see if I can construct my own scene. I'm hoping once I get the score I'll actually get back into writing, though. The second thing that comes to mind is how I absolutely love watching Japanese actors at work. Their acting is so aligned with the hard cuts, beats and blunt ends of their spoken language. There’s a certain staccato-ness in Japanese speech that I adore watching in motion through acting. 

As for the actual show, I love it because it’s about puzzles and how to unfold one with a basis in subjects such as science, computers and physics. There’s another level of consideration to the murders beyond just the deduction of the suspects. Elements such as room temperatures, air pressurizing, and what I think are called key frames, all play a part in one case or another. And with all that said, I just love the characters.  Nishinosono has this innocence, bravado, and curiosity for puzzles and murder.  Seeing a beheaded body did anything but cause her to scream, as her mind immediately snaps into unraveling the cause.  And Saikawa is one of those saggy intellectual Japanese babes that stay calm, cool, and trustworthy under pressure.


And this concludes my Top 4 Favorite Currently Running Dramas.  Maybe once they're complete  I'll review them.  Wait.  That'll take forever.  Like this post.  Nevertheless, if you've watched them, please share your take on them below.  Chime in! 

Next I want to do a post about a few currently running Kdramas that I’m on the fence about.  These are the dramas I'm into–but not into.  And I'll tell you why.  Hopefully, I'll get to that soon.  

Don't have an Hulu account?  Well, should you decide to try out Hulu, I'll pass on my referral link here: 

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