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Monday, February 25, 2013

Love Is Reel: Or The Case Of The K-couple ♥ Part 2

Well, well, well...

Looks like I am not gonna stop unless I had confessed all the K-drama couples / K-couples on my list. Without further ado, let's begin.


You're Beautiful

Park Shin Hye was said to have her first onscreen kiss with Se7en. As her career matured, she became an endorser for different products, and got to be paired with hot guys such as Kim Hyun Joong and Jang Geun Suk.

The latter became her onscreen partner in this delightful drama by the Hong Sisters. Because of their great chemistry on the set and onscreen, many fans adored them and followed their career--together! If you use search engines, Park Shin Hye's name would often be paired with Jang Geun Suk. 

In the series, Naive Girl has to please Insensitive Guy to get by, but challenges along the way made Insensitive guy realize that he had feelings for Naive Girl. At the end of the drama series, the GeunShin fans delighted for the two ending up together in the reel. And who would not love Pig Rabbit?

And here again is a typical naive yet charming girl and the insensitive, hot-headed guy. While the other heroines in the other dramas are downright annoying for not being clever, Shin Hye's role as Go Mi Nyu is more understandable. As she grew up in a sheltered cloister, she would be very ignorant to most of the things outside her shell. Go figure. As for Hwang Tae Kyung (Jang Geun Suk), there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an OC. It's just annoying sometimes...

Well, how do I call TaeNyu pairing? Lots, lots to describe this couple. Pig Rabbit couple, Hairpin couple, Star couple, Don't-Go-Where-I-Can't-See-You couple.

Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Seok

This drama intensified my love for K-dramas all the more because of its charm and alluring nature. Anyway, this is another drama which constitutes of a pretty girl amidst handsome guys, but this also belongs to gender bender dramas. I am pretty sure that Mi Nyu, who was set to be a nun, is totally overwhelmed in having to act as a guy in lieu of her twin brother while being learned of the things that she has to know, like love!

Because Mi Nyu is surrounded by guys, it will be a given that the other guys in the group are fascinated with her.

Kang Shin Woo (Jung Yong Hwa) is your typical prince charming who is also secretly acting as Mi Nyu's knight in shining armor. I partly blame Shin Woo for not getting Mi Nyu's heart because he had all the chances, but he always acted too late. Up to now, I still want to hit Mi Nyu's head to make her realize that there is someone loving her and looking after her from behind. I wish I can rewrite the script! I was one of those viewers who were heartbroken whenever Mi Nyu rejected (even unintentionally) Shin Woo's silent acts of love. One of the things that made me cry was the chapel scene in Japan.

I don't know how you call the pairing, but I can call them the Phone Date couple, the Secrets couple, the Autograph couple, or the Shoe couple.

Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa

Wait, wait, wait... Let us not forget dear and sunny Jeremy (Lee Hong Ki)! He totally balances the atmosphere in the drama, created by the moody Tae Kyung and the kind-hearted Shin Woo. It broke my heart when he sang "Good Words" while crying inside the bus. Such a contrast! A happy song sang in heartbreaking tears.

I dare call them the Secret Bus couple, the Apple couple, the Hose couple, or the Jolie couple. Darn, I miss that cute golden retriever Jolie!

Park Shin Hye and Lee Hong Ki

Last but not the least. I know some of you will hate me, but I also adore Tae Kyung and Yoo He Yi (Uee) together! ^_^ Ohhhh, I wish to see another drama of these two!

How do I call them? Hmmm... The Bickering couple? ^_*

Jang Geun Suk and Uee


This drama is also one in my list. Who would not? Because of this drama, I got to understand the life of the members in an idol group, the challenges that they face with the people around them, and their struggles with and against each other.


Heartstrings


Because Kang Shin Woo did not get the girl, the man behind the role got to have another chance to confess...and to get the girl!


Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye starred together for the second time in the college romance drama, "Heartstrings." The drama, which was to have 16 episodes, was cut an episode short due to Shin Hye's vehicular accident. Nevertheless, there are things in this drama that I found lacking in substance, like how Lee Shin (no, not Crown Prince Lee Shin of "Princess Hours") could have managed before, during, and after his hospitalization. I think I would have to forgive that. There are also some annoying parts in the drama, but these are not related to the main couple... It has something to do with all the love angst of all the teachers.

Because Yong Hwa and Shin Hye shared the same surname in the drama, they were termed as the Dooley couple (which means, "two Lee"... "Two" in Korean is "dool", and "Lee" is sometimes romanized as "Yi" or "I." Hence, Dool I ==> Dooley).

This is another drama wherein the girl is the perky one, while the guy is the insensitive one. But unlike Shin Hye's role in YAB, her role as Lee Gyu Won is someone who is clever (streetwise), though she is really not aware of some things outside her studies like The Stupid band. And in this drama, Yong Hwa showed the real him as he was always made to drink coffee. Uhm, maybe, Americano again?

YongShin fans rejoice because these two, who did not end up together in YAB, ended up together as a couple! What I like about these two is that Yong Hwa and Shin Hye seem to act as themselves, not as Shin and Gyu Won respectively. I also adore the chemistry that they exude offscreen and onscreen. Just check out their BTS. If you're a Doolier like me, you will see what I mean.


Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa's Kissing scene at Episode 15


There are also other cute couples in the drama, but I would like to make a special mention of Kang Min Hyuk and Woori. We most often get to see the perky girl and the moody guy, but this pairing is the other way around. Min Hyuk sported two personas here, the nerdy and unkempt ordinary boy and the hot drummer of The Stupid. And I applaud Woori's acting as the female opposite of Goo Jun Pyo minus the three other friends and the ominous red card. I like to see these two act together again.

And I call Yeo Joon Hee (Kang Min Hyuk) and Han Hee Joo (Woori) as the Choco Bar couple, or the Beauty and The (Cutie) Beast couple.


Kang Min Hyuk and Woori



God of Study

"God of Study" is a high school-based drama based on the Japanese manga, "Dragon Zakura." If you check the Japanese live adaptation, you will see that the love angles are not that obvious compared to the Korean counterpart.

Park Ji Yeon's role as Na Hyun Jung gets entangled in a love triangle between Yoo Seung Ho's chara, Hwang Baek Hyun, and Go Ah Seong's chara, Gil Pul Ip. Hwang Baek Hyun himself also gets a rival for Pul Ip's affection in the form of Hong Chan Doo, played by the adorable Lee Hyun Woo (who appeared in another K-drama, "To The Beautiful You"). Thankfully, the fifth student, Oh Bong Goo (Lee Chan Ho), is not included in any love angst whatsoever.


Go Ah Sung and Yoo Seung Ho


Go Ah Sung and Lee Hyun Woo


Park Ji Yeon and Yoo Seung Ho

The love stories do not affect much of the fact that the genre of the story is all about school and student life. Though there are conflicts between the four students when it comes to love, these do not hinder them from helping each other in achieving the goal of getting high grades for the June examination and the CSAT. In fact, after Hyun Jung and Baek Hyun's closure, the story is already concentrated on their studies and efforts to get to Cheon Ha University.

And who had noticed that this is actually Yoo Seung Ho and Park Ji Yeon's second time being together? Go check T-ara's MV, "Lies." And speaking of T-ara, have you noticed the "Bo Peep, Bo Peep" choreo in "I Have A Dream" song? And have you noticed T-ara girls being the old posse?

And oh, this may not seem much, and Han Soo Jung (Bae Doo Na) and Kang Seok Ho (Kim Soo Ro) were just being professional despite their bickerings, these two can actually have a spin-off drama... that is if the Japanese mangaka had also made a story of these two!

Kim Soo Ro and Bae Doo Na


Jungle Fish 2

This is another drama with Park Ji Yeon in it, but it will look like she is some kind of a villain that needs understanding. And again, this drama is all about studies and student life, though the topics being tackled in the drama are the serious things that a Korean high school student will face, such as suicides, the rigid educational system, teen pregnancy, heartaches and first loves, cheating, bullying, among others. Unlike the sunny "Dream High" and the perky "God of Study," "Jungle Fish 2" has a rather serious tone. I have yet to see the first Jungle Fish, though. 

This story involves six friends who had been through middle school to high school. However, the pressures in the academic battle and the attention for Min Ho Soo (Hong Jong Hyun) have two friends, Baek Hyo An  (Han Ji Woo) and Seo Yul (Park Jiyeon), getting their friendship on the rocks.

I guess I now understand why my parents ever forbade me to be in a relationship while being a student... because mixing love and study is too damn difficult! And yes, if your boyfriend dumps you and you are getting burdened with your studies, what do you do? Study even harder, that's what.


Hyo An commits suicide. Maybe it has something to do with Ho Soo dumping her, or that she was tired of being the star student (which I doubt). But the suicide is more on the corruption of the high school system that Hyo An saw as being unfair to deserving students. When she felt that no one was helping her with her crusade, she decided it was too much... and the rest is history. I won't tell you what happened because it would be no thrill. And I challenge you to go watch it! It's just 8 episodes, after all.

My OTP here is, of course, Baek Hyo An and Min Ho Soo. I found the pairing sweet not only because Han Ji Woo is pretty, but also by the fact that Hong Jong Hyun looks extremely cool being the cold guy. And had I mentioned that I love his eyes? What makes this pair different from all the other K-drama couples is because even if Ho Soo dumped Hyo An, he exerted all his effort to investigate why his ex-girlfriend committed suicide to begin with. After all, they had been friends too. Are there instances of any other guys trying to help their exes?

Han Ji Woo and Hong Jong Hyun


Though the story is mostly about investigating on the suicide with the series of clues given by a mysterious online persona, the unrequited love can never be lost in K-dramaland. While Yul is pining over Ho Soo, Ahn Ba Woo (Lee Joon of MBLAQ) is also pining after Yul. And when one heart goes for what it feels, can it decide the right thing to do? There are times in the drama when Ho Soo's search for the truth are hindered due to Ba Woo trying to protect Yul. Oh, you poor boy. No matter how bad a girl can get, there will always be a guy to take her side... And this drama is one of the reasons for the Ji Yeon x Joon shippers to jump for joy.


Dream High 1 and 2

Okay, so I am just putting them in a single thread. You know why? Even if the two stories have different plots, they are still about the students at Kirin High.

To begin with, let us start with Season 1. Primadonna-wannabe and Julliard-bound Go Hye Mi (Miss A's Suzy) finds her family bankrupt, thanks to her debt-filled father. Instead of heading for Julliard, she is forced to enter Kirin High by the loan shark, Ma Do Shik. Hye Mi's pride goes far as to even insult her bestie Yoon Baek Hee (T-ara's Ham Eun Jung) during the audition. Thus, when the two enter Kirin as students (though with many thorns along Hye Mi's path), they meet as enemies. Along the way, Jin Guk (2PM's Ok Taecyeon) and Song Sam Dong (Kim Soo Hyun) befriend Hye Mi until both guys fell head over heels for her. Another student, the fat girl with the golden voice, Kim Pilsuk (IU), gets infatuated with Korean-American Jason (2PM's Jang Wooyoung). How come Jason does not have any family name? Can he, at least, be given one? Like a Kim, Lee, Han, Jang, Jung, or Park?


Anyway... underdogs will never remain underdogs, for if you believe in your dreams, time will take you there when it is right. In the end, these six students are able to reach a good spot in the future, though not something that they had dreamed of in the past.


I like Dream High 1 for the philosophies imbibed within, which makes this drama a favorite. Though it also tackles certain sensitive issues in the Korean show business, like sexual harassment in exchange for fame, the things I always remember about the drama are the quotes that one can learn and reflect. I will consider myself a hypocrite if I say I do not appreciate the songs because I really, really do.


There are people who consider "Dream High" as the Korean version of "Glee," but I don't know. Please don't call me lame, but I had never seen an episode of "Glee." For me, the songs that the characters sing hold meaning to their hearts, matter to them, and are applicable to their present situation.


Favorite OTP, here I come!


I was confused as to whether Hye Mi should end up with Jin Guk or Sam Dong, but like the flow of the story, I begin to insist on Sam Dong for Hye Mi. There is this chemistry that I love, like they, though with different moods and characteristics, blend along well enough for them to teach each other on how to grow. Jin Guk looks good with Hye Mi, though I prefer him with Baek Hee. Thank goodness that no other person is a third wheel to our Milky Couple! ^_^

Ham Eun Jung and Ok Taecyeon


Milky couple: IU and Jang Wooyoung


Bae Suzy and Ok Taecyeon


Kim Soo Hyun and Bae Suzy

Season 2, here I come.


The students from Season 1 had long graduated, and it is Sam Dong who gets paired with HershE's Rian (Park Jiyeon) in a drama--though it was a flop on Rian's part. Wait, this is the third time that I had consecutively featured Jiyeon! Yey! Anyway, because of the laws imposed requiring underaged entertainments to study for some time, the talents from Oz Entertainment are sent to Kirin High. A sly move for Oz Entertainment's CEO. It is also a move to revive the bankrupt Kirin High...though according to Oz Entertainment's whims.



Different losers for students are also featured: such as the ugly duckling Shin Hae Seong (Kang Sora), a girl with an awful singing voice but with a flair for songwriting and music composition; Jin Yoo Jin (2AM's Jung Jin Woon), a rockstar-wannabe who is not interested in his classmates' shallowness; Park Soon Dong (ex-After School Yoo So Young), a shaman-wannabe with a nasal voice; Jung Ui Bong (JR), Id:n's backup dancer; Park Hong Joo (Kim Ji Soo), another mediocre student, and others. With the coming of the entertainers from Oz, the worlds of the original students stand on rocky ground. Why not? They are up against students who themselves are already stars: Rian and her fellow HershE members, Nana (Sistar's Hyorin), and Ailee (surprise, surprise, Ailee!), the I:dn boys Jang Woo Jae aka JB (Im Jae Beom/JB) and Shi Woo (Park Seo Joon). 

Water and oil never mix, and so do these students. Competition arise because the originals want to keep their place, but the newcomers want to overpower the students they deem losers. Even the teachers have their own petty quarrels as well.

As always, when it comes to gorgeous girls and hot guys, love will always bloom. And you can never be sure when it comes to love because someone famous just might fall for a commoner, like the way JB eventually falls for Hae Seong. They are what fans call the Rubik's Cube couple. Surprising at it may seem, Rian will not put up with this, as she and JB are ex-lovers. Sneakers place some importance to their relationship, hence they are nicknamed the Shoe couple. Yoo Jin has a one-sided love for Hae Seong, but I love the test of their friendship, especially at times when Hae Seong would sulk away after Yoo Jin "puts her down." Netizens call them the Button couple, but I call them the MP3 couple. Jin Woon has a fetish for G-minor, thus his tagline was "G-minor!!!!!" while pretending to strum his electric guitar in a harsh way. In one episode, while the Audrey Hepburn-like Rian and the seemingly uninterested Yoo Jin are having their pictorial, they, nevertheless, make pictorial fun with "G-minor!!!!" Hence, Rian-Yoo Jin couple became the G-minor couple. Nana is Shi Woo and Hong Joo's object of affection, and the guys constantly fight over her. I do not know how to call them, maybe, the Tug-of-war Threesome? As for Shi Woo and Hong Joo, I will call them "Jack and Rose" or Titanic couple because of one instance of them doing a parody of the said James Cameron movie. Last student to come in is the CEO's daughter, Lee Seul (Jung Yeon Joo). She and Ui Bong get into some occasional fights, but they end up together at the latter part of the series. Too bad, I had always thought that Ui Bong has a crush on Ailee because he seems to give some motivations at the early parts of the drama. As for the JBxHaesung vs JBxRian vs HaesungxYoojin vs RianxYoojin, the pairing got so complicated that I was a bit irritated and bored later on during the drama. Heol~~

Even the lame duck teacher, Yang Jin Man (JYPE's CEO, Park Jin Young) gets in a love triangle himself, thanks to vocal teacher Ahn Taeyeon (Choi Yeo Jin) and dance instructor Hyun Ji Soo (former leader of After School, Park Kahi).

Here is the gallery of main DH2 love teams. I decide not to put all because it is too complicated already.

JB and Kang Sora


Park Jiyeon and JB

Jung Jin Woon and Kang Sora


Jung Jin Woon and Park Jiyeon

The songs, yes the songs. Dream High will never be Dream High without the songs. What I love about the sequel is that the songs speak more about the feelings that each character has at a certain point. Three of my fave songs happen to be "Hello To Myself," "The Covered-up Road," and "You Walking Towards Me."


Anyhoo, photo credit to all owners!

Whew! Had I made this longer than I thought I should????

My list is not yet done, and I still have a lot of K-couples to confess. So, I better not let your eyes dry and tired, my dear. Until next time!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love Is Reel: Or The Case Of The K-couple ♥ Part 1

K-dramas.

Who does not like them?

The proliferation of the Hallyu wave made it possible for people of different nationalities and races to appreciate the culture of South Korea. One of the blessings that come with the Hallyu wave is the presence of K-dramas. Some would sit in front of the tube and wait for each episode for every day that it will be aired. There are some who buy DVDs or stream episodes of the latest dramas online. And there are some folks who go back to watch dramas from ten years back.

One of the things that appeal to us viewers is the presence of the K-drama couples. A story without any love plot would be useless and boring. Even action dramas like "A Love To Kill" or "City Hunter" thrive on love stories as well. There are different categories of K-drama couples, but it all depends on what factor is being considered. Is it according to the age of viewers? Or is it according to the genre? 

I know, I know. There are a lot of ajummas watching K-dramas, but there are also a lot of young people addicted to K-dramas for the some reasons, like a member of an idol group or a fave actor starring as main lead.

I had seen some K-dramas way back 2003, but I did not pay too much attention due to the fact that I was burning the midnight oil. In one entry of my other blog, I mentioned that the K-drama which officially became my first favorite was "Gumiho Oejeon." Others followed that.

Much as I want to present all of the couples in this entry, I am unable to for two reasons:
* Readers get bored easily, especially for long blog entries (or any long pages off the Internet)
* I am one who does not have the luxury of the time to sit down and watch dramas the whole day... which means that I do not watch K-dramas too often. T_T

The K-drama couple or K-couple that I will be elaborating are among the most memorable for me. Some that I will be including in the list are those which my friends tell me about. Without delay, let's commence!


Forbidden Love

Jo Hyun Jae and Kim Tae Hee 

"Gumiho Oejeon" (also known as "Tale Of the Nine-tailed Fox" or "Forbidden Love") was shown here in the Philippines way back in 2006. During the spoiler, I found it rather dark and depressing. However, there was also shown a part where Kim Tae Hee's character, Yoon Shi Yeon, appeared in her ordinary human cover. I was intrigued because the drama seemed like one with a "sleuther story" hint in it. The extreme opposites of the dark warrior side and the light love story in the drama also piqued my interest. So I watched. 

Another reason why I watched this drama was because of Jo Hyun Jae. This soft-face cutie was enough to drive me peanuts! Anyway, I adore this K-couple a lot because their roles as the fox and the human lover are intriguing and sad... like, worlds apart kind of thing, and you-and-me-against-the-world kind of thing.


My Girl

Just when I thought I would never watch K-dramas...

At first, I found Lee Da Hae's role somewhat irritating, with her facial expressions and all. Indeed, she got into my nerves. It was my sister's constant chatter and my damn curiosity that got the best of me...

...and I ended up watching "My Girl."

Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae

I did not find anything unusual about the drama except for the character's facial expression...until I got used to it. And one entity that got me watching this drama was Lee Dong Wook, who, for me, is the pioneer of all the cute guys in K-dramaland (har har har)! 

Yoo Rin (Lee Da Hae) is the usual perky heroine, but what makes her stand out from among the others is her clever mind fit for a con artist. And I love Gong Chan (Lee Dong Wook) because he really has that I'm-strict-so-don't-bother-me aura of his that perfectly matches his handsome face.

I also love Lee Jun Ki as Seo Jung Woo in this drama for all his cuteness, flower boy aura, and crying parts, but I stuck to this drama due to the cuteness exuding out of Yoo Rin and Gong Chan. Up to this day, this remains one of the K-dramas in my list.


Princess Hours


This, I had not seen, but had been wanting to see until now. It was my friend who told me that the drama was supplying her with lots of butterflies inside her stomach. The one thing that I love in this drama is the theme song "Perhaps Love," which was sung by Howl and J. Up to now, I still like the song.



Yoo Eun Hye and Joo Ji Hoon

As we all know, dramas on the television reflect the reality of a certain culture. In Korea, fixed marriage is common especially among people with better social status. There are also certain cultures practicing fixed marriages. And "Princess Hours" is one drama that depicts fixed marriage. Though it can be another case of a naive and sweet girl mixed with an insensitive guy, viewers still watch these kind of dramas for being light and heartwarming. I will not psychologize as to why people want to watch these dramas because I am not a psychologist, but this is one drama that my friend said that I will regret if I do not watch. Sadly, she is telling me the truth. T_T

Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but true love can still bloom even in fixed marriages.


Prince Hours

No, this has nothing to do with "Princess Hours." It has a different plot, but more or less tackles the same issues about love and marriage between social classes. It is a romantic comedy, but I hung on to the drama for a bit because of the hint of politics. Anyway... I had not started watching this, nor had I finished this. If I have the time, I am so gonna watch this. This show had garnered low ratings in Korea, though it had been sought after overseas.

The original pair in this drama is Prince Lee Hoo (Se7en), who was brought up a commoner but ended up as the rightful heir to the throne, and the commoner Yang Soon Ae (Heo Yi Jae), the crown prince's bestie and love interest.

Heo Yi Jae and Se7en

Weird as it may sound, I did not root for the OTP. The one thing that I liked for Prince Lee Hoo was the Prime Minister's daughter, Shin Sae Ryung (Park Shin Hye). This was the first time that I saw Shin Hye, and I thought she was pretty. It was also said that Se7en was Park Shin Hye's first onscreen kiss (I will safely say this because I do not know if she had her first off screen kiss...). So it goes without saying that I was rooting for Sae Ryung to be noticed by the Prince. But noooooooo.... she was not!


Boys Over Flowers

Many are still rooting for Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai up to now (even me!). At first, I was a bit not receptive of the Korean BOF when I watched "Pops In Seoul" in Arirang Channel way back 2009. When the show finally came to the shores of my country, I decided to give it a chance. Being a person who forgets faces easily, I could not distinguish Lee Min Ho from Kim Hyun Joong from Kim Beom to Kim Joon. And I could not even remember Goo Hye Sun's face at that time.

Because BOF is from the original Japanese manga (Hana Yori Dango), it has a rather common plot that is typical of Japanese stories. If you watch anime, you will get to see a single lady amidst handsome guys,  or a cute guy amidst a bevy of girls, with love conflicts among the members in the bunch. "Boys Over Flowers" belongs to such genre.

I think that the Korean version justified what it means to be chaebol. I like the Taiwanese version, and I had yet to see the Japanese version (so lame of me T_T), but I absolutely love the Korean version much. If Goo Jun Pyo is a rich spoiled brat, he embodies that term with so much ease. And not to mention, his expensive clothes and the ritzy house do make one believe that he really is spoiled.

Goo Hye Sun and Lee Min Ho


Geum Jan Di also harbors a crush on Yoon Ji Hoo, who also falls for her in the long run, but Geun Jan Di loves Jun Pyo in the middle parts of the drama. Basically, the love plot revolves around these three people. But, but! There's another subplot. It is a love story revolving around Chu Ga Eul (Jan Di's bff) and So Yi Jung, Jun Pyo's casanova friend. 

Kim Beom and Kim So Eun

The story may have winded like the Great Wall, but I watched it till the end (except for some parts where I was a bit busy with work). Up to now, along with "My Girl," "Boys Over Flowers" remains one of the K-dramas in my list. And Goo Jun Pyo and Geum Jan Di still remain one of my favorite OTPs.

And oh, photo credits to all owners.

I think that the post is getting too long, so I'm gonna post it bit by bit. Hang in there, and see you all soon!


So long!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hi Everyone! ^_*

Hello to the blog dedicated to anything K-pop, J-pop, anime, and whatnot...

And hello to any visitors who might stumble upon this blog of mine.


I hope we will all get together very well.