Friday, December 22, 2006

Lovers 여인

I'm still trying to sort out my 700+ photos..wondering how and what to write about. Hopefully I'll be able to settle everything over the festive season...provided I'm not too drunk.

Anyway, I wanted to write about this before I went off to kimchiland but didn't have the time. So I guess I'll do it now, even though it's still airing in Korea. I caught 3 episodes of it whilst I was in Korea and it was really thrilling to watch it live, despite me not understanding 70% of the conversation and had to guess some of them.

Back to my story. I wasn't going to watch Lovers....not seriously anyway and certainly not whilst it is still airing in Korea. I'd have to wait for a whole week just to watch 2 episodes. These stressed-fill, anxiety-filled, nail-biting moments are only reserved for 'hot kimchi dramas' (meaning kimchi men) on my list. And I must confess I didn't think Lovers would be one....Lee Seo Jin was not on my list, even though I quite like him in Phoenix. No, I didn't have high hopes mainly because of Kim Jung Eun. Ok, fans of KJE, please don't kill me but in her last 2 dramas, she was just a little OTT.

Anyway, I sneaked a peek at the thread on soompi and downloaded one episode out of curiosity.

And then I saw this man...----->

And the next thing I know, I found myself downloading the rest of the episodes, reading all the reviews and analysis.

And now, each week, I wait impatiently for kind souls to upload the latest subbed episode (there are many kind souls out there). Sigh... this is not good.

'Lovers' is the 3rd in the 'Lovers' series by the same PD and writers.

Lovers in Paris
I enjoyed Lovers in Paris, though I was rooting for Lee Dong Gun. But Park Shin Yang was quite funny.

Lovers in Prague
Have yet to watch this. There have been mixed reviews for this. But it stars Jeong Do Yeon, a very respectable and versatile actress, so I guess I'll try and find time someday.

This is the latest installment and originally, Kim Ha Neul and Kim Seung Woo were casted in the drama. It was changed to Kim Jung Eun and Lee Seo Jin later. Coincidentally, the storyline is based on a 1998 movie starring Park Shin Yang.

I must say that the story so far has been quite interesting though I can't quite say why. It's the usual story of 2 men (who are probably brothers...this being a Korean drama) fighting over a woman. Of course, there's also another woman on the scene. And of course the 2 men are not on good terms. To know more about the storyline, go to soompi

Shheesshhh... how 'unpredictable'?

In short:
Kang Jae (Lee Seo Jin) is a gangster, with a long-time girlfriend, You Jin (Kim Kyu Ri). Through various situations, he got to kow Min Joo (Kim Jung Eun) and of course they both fell in love. At the same time, Sae Yeon (Jun Jang), through a forced matching making date, became interested in Min Joo too. Sae Yeon and Kang Jae have been living together since they were teenagers. They have also been rivals since and hated each other guts. You Jin and Min Joo (who is a plastic surgeon) happened to be neighbours. And oh, Sae Yeon's first love was You Jin. Really amazing how everything ties up.

And yet.. there was something in this drama. Besides the fact that the script writers have not allowed it to become too wishy-washy, I must say the 'dimple' man has quite a bit to do with it. Like Park Shin Yang in Lovers in Paris, (also a dimpled man), Lee Seo Jin has this rather straight face look that is absolutely priceless in moments of comic. And there were some funny moments. Hehe! Just look at these pictures...


But better than Park Shin Yang (a gf of mine just described him as a typical Korean ajussi yesterday. PSY fans, don't kill me) is his physical attributes (read = 'body') and his 'fighting' scenes. Ok, well, he is supposed to be a gangster in this drama, so I guess he should be able to fight well.


Kim Jung Eun, as I've said before is perfectly ok when she doesn't try to act cute. In fact, I would even go as far as to say she is good when she is 'normal'. She is incredible when she has that watery-eye sad look. But when she tries to be innocent and cutsie, that's when I go ...aarrgghhhh...and I roll my eyes over.

And me doth think the make-up people have put a touch too much make up on her. I really quite like her in 'All About Eve'. (which I just blogged about here)

Another surprising fact is that I'm actually beginning to like the 2nd male lead, Jung Chan. To be more precise, I like his deep voice. But he's rather good in his acting too. I thought he was new but my friends pointed to me that he was in Papa (yes, the drama starring Bae Yong Joon and Lee Yong Ae. Not the best BYJ drama, unless you want to watch him which he was pretty good and cool looking). Anyway, Jung Chan was LYA's brother in the show...a very young man at that time.

The 2nd female lead, Kim Kyu Ri is pretty though I'm not too familiar with her works. So I guess the cast is at least ok.

And the background is quite interesting as well with all the gangster stuff, internal gang politics etc. Very much like a HK drama.

But so many of these Korean dramas started off great and then went downhill halfway through, so I was waiting breath with episode 8 onwards. Would it become a soggy kimchi drama? So far...thankfully, it still retains its full flavour albeit with some typical scenes. So I'm crossing my fingers and toes.

Lee Seo Jin had another drama on cable tv recently called 'Freeze' where he's a vampire. Now that sounds really interesting to me. You can watch a short preview here

I have to admit that the dramas that so far, all the Lee Seo Jin dramas that I've watched, have impressed me.

In Damo, he mersmerised many with his portrayal of Naeuri Yoon. I've wrote about Damo a few times in my previous bloggings, and if you haven't watched it, I strongly recommend it. Unfortunately, my heart went out to Jang Seung Baek (Kim Min Jung) in the drama. Btw, Kim Min Jung was also in Lovers in Prague and is now in another cable drama called 'Someday'.

If you are really keen about Lee Seo Jin, then you should watch Phoenix as well. It has another hot kimchi guy in it- Eric of Shinhwa in his first full drama. But personally in Phoenix, I think it was Lee Eun Joo who stole the show. Not only was she good in her acting, she was also beautiful. Unfortunately, it was also her last drama before she committed suicide in 2004.

Anyway, it seems that Lovers has only 16 episodes (unless that's changed), which means gasp! there's only 2 more episodes to go! Can't believe they can wrao everything up within 2 maybe it will be extended.

Meanwhile, enjoy the MV

You can also get the ost here


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why do I like Kimchiland? Let me count the ways...

Well...after 2 weeks in Kimchiland, I'm back in satayland/chicken riceland..

There are many reasons why I enjoy going to kimchiland..and well, the following are just 16 of them....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In Kimchiland

It may take me awhile to least for this week...


It's great to be back again...

Unfortunately, the hotel that I'm staying at now has no internet connection in the room...


But I should be able to post more over the weekend when I change hotel. :)

Meanwhile, it's really nice to be here...



Monday, November 27, 2006

New blog on the block

Not another blog???

Yes, another one.

But this will be different as it's meant to showcase the various publications and products that I sell. They are mostly from Korea at the moment...books, magazines, posters etc.

Eventually, who knows, it may be extended to other areas.

I've only just put it up over the weekend, so bear with me whilst I slowly, slowly put up the products on the site.


My new blog:
Tiffany's Attic

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Korean Music Videos

I was going to write about Beautiful Days as my next posting but I got this beautiful new song and mv by SG Wannabe/ Kim Jong Gook. This is the song that you are hearing on this blog. Unfortunately, it is a digital release – which means you can only buy it off the internet. But where and how the %$32*&6 *76$# do I buy it? Arrgghhhh!!!

Apparently, this song, 'Paramman, Paramman' was recorded by Kim Jong Kook before he went into the army but SG Wannabe only recorded their part recently.

I like both of them. It's such a great combination. Sigh... And I defintely like Dennis O more than Daniel Henny. He is soooooo good looking in the mv..Sorry for the drooling. Aigoo...

The song's mv is also a confirmation of the excellent works that Koreans are capable off. These mvs are almost always like a mini story and indeed, I think I read once somewhere that it's a honour and privilege to act in a mv..especially if the singer is well known.

'Paramman, Paramman' I'm in love with the song and the mv.

One of my best buy was this item- 'Missing You- The Sorrow of Parting- History & Hit Music Clips 1998- 2003'

It has a total of 6 discs and contains some of the best mvs from around those years...including classics like Jo Sung Mo's Goodbye My Love (BYJ!!!!) and Position's I Love You.

And oh...there's Korean, English and Chinese you can sing along to it. Hehehe!

Anyway, back to mvs. It brings so much enhancement to the total enjoyment of the music when you have a beautiful mv...even better when you see someone that you recognise. Don't you agree. Sometimes, I get so distracted by the mv that I miss out on the song. And then I have to rewatch it again just to listen to the song.

Here are some mvs that I like. They are by no means the only mvs but then I can't really name all those that I like right? Hehe!

Kim Bum Soo
BoGo Shipta”. Yes, it's that famous song used in the drama, Stairways to Heaven. But this is the original mv-without Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo.

'Memory' You can drool over Hyun Bin in this mv. Although I'm still trying to understand the ending...hmm...

'Once Upon a Day'. This came out shortly after the 'Autumn in My Heart' drama and for many of us then...who were not familiar with the world of Korean mvs, we thought it was a movie. Hehe! So we were going around trying to find out about it and where can we buy it...till we realised that it was a mv. But what a beautiful mv!

Jo Sung Mo
'To Heaven'- Lee Byun Hun!!!! ok..and Kim Ha Neul and that Manager Wu from Hotelier as well. LBH really does look cool..reminds me of Tony Leung Chiu Wai. This song was from JSM's first album- To Heaven

This is the mv for 'Mr Flower'. It was So Ji Sub's last mv before he went into the army and was filmed in Japan. Must say both Kim Eun Jung and So Ji Sub look good in here. But another mv with sad ending. From JSM's last album, 'My First'. Sigh...We wouldn't be hearing from him for awhile as he's in the army now.

Kim Jong Kook

'Loveable'. I love this's so how shall I put it...snap-your-fingers-and-sing-along song. Hehe! And he's so cute...half dancing/ half walking. From his 3rd album- 'This is Me'

Starring the very loveable Yoon Eun Hye, this beautiful song, 'Saying I Love You' is from his album, '4th letter'. Kim Jong Kook is also in the army...double sigh....

SG Wannabe
'Slow'- featuring Kim Dong Wan!-> Ok, stop salivating. He doesn't strip like that in the mv. I wonder if he feels strange acting in another singer's mv? From SG Wannabe's album, '3rd Masterpiece'

This mv, 'Crime and Punishment' is in their '2nd album'. It was this album that got me mersmerised about them. Their voices are so great and powerful. Hard to believe that these 3 guys are all very young, with 2 of them only in their early 20's.

Lee Soo Young
I don't know why so many of these singers like to have 2 part series mvs..with a 'to be continued...' at the end of the first mv. Maybe it's because you're already paying the artistes to film a might as well film another one right? But Lee Soo Young has a 3 part mv series. Not that I'm complaining..coz Lee Jun Ki is in it. From her latest album, Grace

'Grace 2'

Most dramas and movies have a mv and strangely, the ones that are memorable for me are mostly period drama/ movie.

'Damo'. Gosh..I still have goose bumps whenever I watch this. And for the record... I like the rebel Jang Seong Baek (Kim Min Jung). But boo-hooo-hooo, I can't get hold of the album anywhere anymore!

King and the Clown
'King and the Clown'. Don't think I need to say anything more... But err... strangely, I can't seem to find this song in the ost leh.....

Hwang Jin Yi
'Hwang Jin Yi'. For some strange reasons, Ha Ji Won does better in period drama than in contemporary ones. At least in my opinion anyway. But this is also another sad drama...haizzz

The Classic
'The Classic'. I like the song. In fact, I like all the songs in this ost. And yes, I like the movie too. I watch Cha Seung Woo for the acting and Jo In Sung for eye candy. Ok lah...Son Yeh Jin is pretty ok in here too. The fact that this album is still available for sale in Yesasia and is shipped out within 1-2 days says something about its popularity. ^^

I read there's probably a part 2 for SG Wannabe/ Kim Jong Kook's collaboration. Can't wait to watch it but I would still like to know how do I buy the album????

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Classic- All About Eve

Whilst writing about Autumn on this blog recently, I looked through my pile of cds and found some 'treasures'. These are know, those "Best of Korean dramas" etc. One of them had songs from All About Eve.

I remember when I was just stating out on my Korean journey, I asked around about the 'must-watched dramas'. Often, these 3 titles would come up:
"Winter Sonata"
"Beautiful Days"
"All About Eve"

Depending on whose fan you are, the order would be different but I do think they have sort of become classics- each of these drama has become synonymous with the its main actor...Bae Yong Joon, Lee Byun Hun and Jang Dong Gun respectively.

All About Eve

"All About Eve" aired in 2000 on MBC, starring Jang Dong Gun, Chae Rim, Han Jae Suk, and Kim So Yeon.

From what I remembered reading, Jang Dong Gun was actually reluctant to be involved in this drama initially. He wanted to concentrate on movies as his last 2 dramas, “Ghost” and “Youth” didn't do well.

But this drama become one of the highest ratings in 2000 and made stars out of new comers like Kim So Yeon and Chae Rim. It also made Jang Dong Gun very popular in Korea and beyond. I guess because his character, Hyong Chul was such a gentleman and perfect lover. So much so, that he reportedly said such characters do not exit. Hehe! No matter, the women loved it. "All About Eve' was also his last drama (but there's been rumours going around that he may do a drama. That would be nice!)

I think one of the reason for the drama's popularity was also because it portrayed women as working professionals instead of the usual damsels in distress. The focus was on the women. Evem though there were some unbelievable scenes (this is Korean drama, remember?), there were still interesting insights into the workings of a TV station and the people in this industry.

Interestingly, Kim So Yeon, as the "evil woman", Young Mi, outshone Chae Rim. She was 'bad' but yet managed to bring out that vunerability and in fact, you even sympathise with her for the hardship she has been through.

I could not bring myself to hate her and yet, she was good at being bad. Chae Rim as Sun Mi on the other hand, was supposed to be innocent and kind. However, there were many times I actually wanted to shake her for being so wishy-washy.

Han Jae Suk....unfortunately, has never been on my list......Don't know why.. and in this drama... I wanted more than ever to stranggle him. Sorry...

And then there's Jang Dong Gun...

Well, that was the first time I saw him and I was captivated by him, espeically in the beginning when he was a student. He had such a charming, little-boy-next-door-look. But hor... I really couldn't stand his hair style when he became the Director of the TV station. So ajutshi.. 아저씨...

I guess one of the most memorable scene for everyone was when he knelt down to put on that anklet for Sun Mi...Now, that's a scene that will melt every girl's heart.

And I still love the songs in the drama.

True Love
U Can't Say

Jang Dong Gun is a great actor and from what I read, a very nice guy. He is also good looking, despite or because of his 'goldfish eyes', depending on how you look at it. ^^
I especially like his looks in the movie, "Lost Memories 2009"

But the one drama that really stayed in my mind was a little known drama called "Love". This aired in 1998 and was a 16 episodes drama. At that time the content topic was considered quite radical as it was a love story between an older woman/younger man. Of course, that's all the rage now but then it didn't do well and the viewers complained. So they killed off the older woman (Kim Mi Sook) after 10 episodes. From episode 11 onwards, Choi Ji Woo and Song Yun Ah came onto the scene.

One of the most memorable scene for me was JDG singing and playing on the piano. I hunted everywhere and asked people at the forums about the song. I was absolutely thrilled when I found JDG's album with this song in it.

Here's the mv for the drama, "Love"- I Only Love You mv. I love the voice!

His last movie was "Typhoon", which I have yet to watch. I did watch "The Promise" which didn't hold much of a promise, I'm afraid.

Chae Rim has since concentrated on the China market and has acted in a couple of dramas with Alec Su, including the period drama, "The Yang Warriors". She also appeared in the drama, "Oh Pilseung Bong Sun-Young" with An Jae Wook In 2004 (which I heard was quite funny).

Han Jae Suk was in trouble for escaping miltary service and was enlisted in 2004. I think the last drama he did was a Taiwanese drama, "Amor De Tarapaca". I wonder if he's been released from the army yet. He should be, as Song Seung Heon has been released.

Kim So Yeong strangely...has not really appeared in any major works except for the movie, "7 Swords" last year. I didn't realised it till I made a check but she was in the recent drama, "Fireworks" (which bombed). However, she wasn't the main lead. Wonder if SG fans know but she was in Singapore years ago, unfortunately the Korean wave wasn't as strong then and I'm afraid she didn't caused much of a ripple.

But the most surprising of all..for me anyway... was Kim Jung Eun. She was Sun Mi (Chae Rim) and Yong Mi (Kim So Yeon)'s senior and loved Hyong Chul. 4 years later, she starred in the drama, Lovers in Paris, which propelled her to stardom. I almost couldn't recognised her in LIP as I think there were..err...a few cosmetic changes.

Anyway, she's now in the 3rd Lovers series- "Lovers" together with Lee Seo Jin. Frankly, I think she's too old to act cute and her expressions have remained unchanged from LIP to Princess Lulu to Lovers now- she's perfectly ok when she acts 'normal'. But Lee Seo Jin is to die for in the drama. Hehe!

And as I listen to the theme song now, it still brings back fond memories of the drama. It's certainly one that I would watch again.

(Not sure where I got some of the photos from but thank you to whoever it is who did this)

He's quite cute hor...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Music scene in Korea

Finally I can relax alittle. The last couple of weeks have been crazy. There were nights I slept at 4.30am in the morning. I was so tired that I didn't have any energy to write, nor did I have the time to read much. Thank goodness it's over now and I can finally breathe. Whilst I have been busy with work, it seems the Korean entertainment music scene has been busy too.

Besides Rain's much anticipated album, quite a few singers have also released their latest or new album.

Se7en Vol 4- Se7olution, Kim Jung Hoon Best Album, Sung Si Kyung Vol 5- The Ballads, Jun Jin First Single- Love Doesn't Come, SS501 Vol 1- S.T. 01 Now, Dong Bang Shin Ki Vol 3- Repackage version, SG Wannabe Best Album- History... the list goes on...

I bought Kim Jung Hoon's album sometime ago but just never got around to writing about it. It was released hot on the trail of his Goong popularity. Consisting of a cd (12 songs) and a dvd (9 MVs), of which half are his own hits and the rest are hits as UN.

Personally, I think the bonus is in the dvd disc, which included their first song, “ Voice mail” and the “Waves (파도)”. Boy, do they look young....and strange 'dancing away'. But I like the mv for “가지 말아요” most of all... as it is sort of their goodbye song, as UN.

Glass is one of Kim Jung Hoon's solo hit which I like. It's in the cd, but not in mv disc. Remember is also another solo hit of his and is recorded in the dvd disc but not in the cd. Luckily I have his other cd.

The following 2 songs are UN's early hits and it's only in the MV disc. It was quite funny and weird to see them in their early stage.
Waves (파도)
Voice Mail

Frankly speaking, as much as I like Kim Jung Hoon and his songs, I think the songs where he was part of UN are better.

Of course, his latest Japanese album has also been released. Here's the full mv version of the song, Sirius. Like I told someone this morning...very Japanese feel...

By now, most of you would know that I'm totally in love with Sung Si Kyung's latest album. Well, it's hard to miss the point when I keep playing songs from the album on my blog. But many if not all of the people I know are also in love with his album, especially the song On the Street (거리에서). The tune is unusual because of the way it's been arranged. You will know what I mean when you listen to this beautiful song.

Together with Cho Sung Mo, Sung Si Kyung is considered as one of the King of Ballads. I love both of them and having heard them sing live before, I'm totally bowled over. Many singers can record a album and with the power of the techonology whizz, they can sound pretty good in a disc. But not all of these singers can sing live. The difference between a good singer and just a singer.

Sung Si Kyung was in SG about 3 years about. He was probably one of the first singers to come here to promote his album. He had a mini performance at one of the clubs. There weren't many of us then... maybe about 100 people? I must admit I wasn't a fan then... I went along because I was kaypoh. But after hearing him..I've bought nearly all his albums.

Sung Si Kyung's voice is like warm marshmellow and one plus point is the fact he can sing both slow and fairly fast, jazzy songs. It really puts me in a good mood when I listen to this album.

Track 4= 그 길을 걷다거
Track 13= 살콤한 상상
Track 16= 오, 사람

I'm just bought Se7en's latest album and have been listening to it. Though I've heard some of his songs in the past, somehow his songs were never really for me. Is he too young for me? I think it's more like his style is not really to my taste. However, I know he's changed his style for this latest album and I was curious. Do I like it? Though he's not high on my list, I must say I was actually surprised to find that I quite enjoy some of the tracks.

They are laying it big for his song, La La La but I'm more keen on the following songs:

Track 2= Girlfriend
Track 8= 닮은 사랑
Track 14= Promise

I wonder how is his preparation for Goong 2

And last of all, before I end off.... Jun Jin's latest single is out on 18th November. Some of his publicity shots were filmed here in SG... ^^

This is the mv for his single, Love Doesn't Come..aigiooo.. he's so cute...and his hair is long now like BYJ. Actually, the way he ties up his hair reminds me of BYJ.. hehe!

I guess that's about all for the moment.

Oh... Shinhwa will be releasing their State of the Art concert in Seoul next week, on the 25th November and Min Woo will also be releasing his new album at the end of the month.

Anyone thinking of what present to buy me for Christmas, I have a long list of cds I would love to get. Hehe!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Korean advertisements

I like Korean advertisements. I really do. I can't understand why I feel excited whenever I see someone recognisable in the advertisements. I know it's not only me. Once, Jos rushed out of the bathroom just so she could see Kwon Sang Woo's The Face Shop advert on TV. And Tigger and I both got so excited when we saw BYJ's Manstar ad on the big screen. I don't even want to embarrass myself by telling you how we snapped photos on train stations, but-stops, fact, just about everywhere really. ^^

But seriously, what makes Korean advertisement so fascinating is that not only are the advertisements interesting but the actors themselves endorse such a variety of products... from fast food to cosmetics to phone to clothes. Many of them are also not afraid of 'spoiling' their image by being silly in the adverts. And surprisingly, many male actors advertise for cosmetics....including Bae Yong Joon!

Funny advertisements
Lee Jun Ki is hot in kimchiland now. It seems that his Anycall adverts have high viewship hit....hmmm..will that translate into sales, I wonder? There are 4 versions, but I like the cafe one best...hehe

Some people find him a little 'feminine' (though I beg to differ), especially when he did the pomegranate drink. But at one time, almost everyone knows how to sing the song- 'A pretty girls likes pomegranate" : )

And no one could be more feminine than Choi Ji Woo, so I was really surprised with her ad for Evas cosmetic. It's so much more interesting than her Dior ad.

Food advertisements
Food adverts are normally funny and interesting, like Shinhwa's Lotteria burger. And have you seen Cho In Sung's pastry ad? Or Hyun Bin's KFC ad? How about Lee Byung Hun's Dunkin' Donuts ad (How did squeeze the whole donut into his mouth?) And Song Hye Kyo makes that ice cream looks so delicious in the McDonald ad

By the way, have you ever seen Bae Yong Joon dance? No? Don't think he was very comfortable with it either. Hehe! Taster's Choice Ice Coffee

Somehow, after seeing all these food adverts, I got all hungry too!

Telecommunication ads
And everyone seems to do at least one of these related ads. Sometimes, I get really confused as they could be advertising for different phones/ services at different times.

Jang Dong Gun's Samsung KENOXshap and Kang Dong Won's Pantec & Curitel. Which do you like?

And there are tons of Anycall ads.
Jeon Ji Hyeon's Anycall Slim and More Lee Hyo Ri/ Eric's Anycall Video phone vs Se7en's Anycall vs Moon Guen Yeong/Kim Hyun Joong's Anycall Blue

Noticed that most of the artistes in Anycall ads are young? That's because Anycall is targeted at the younger crowd.

But I still think Lee Dong Gun's neospot ad was one of the coolest.

Often though, these are enough... hehe! Drool at your own risk...










My Favourite Korean man...