Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Young Men/ 네 젊은남자- Part 2

To continue on the young men on my list...which seems to be expanding all the time...
Part 1 here

Kim Min Joon - 24 July 1976
First contact: 'Damo'
For those who have watched this drama and like it, you would have known that there were big discussions and debates on a couple of forums. This became a cult drama even though the rating wasn't high. Whilst most people were rooting for the gentle officer, Hwangbo Yoon (Lee Seo Jin), I was cheering for the wild rebel, Jang Sung Baek (Kim Min Joon). It's hard to believe that this was his first drama and he won the best new comer award for this. His latest drama in 'Surgeon Bong Da Hee' has good response too, unlike some his 'weirder roles' in other dramas.

Kim Rae Won - 19 Mar 1981
First contact: 'My Love Pattzi'
This was another case where the second lead stole the limelight from the main lead. Kim Jae Won was better known and was the main lead as the perfect gentleman who loved Jang Na Ra unreservedly. But errr...most of us got distracted by the seal trainer instead and was asking around about him. He's since improved on his acting and looks better too..especially in 'Which Star Are you From?'

Lee Byung Hun - 12 Jul 1970
First contact: 'Beautiful Days'
What can I say? Lee Byung Hun and his unbuttoned shirt. He has such electifying eyes (some would call it bedroom eyes. haha!). He's a brilliant actor too and I like most of his movies except for 'Everyone has a Secret'. But aiyoh..he was so suave in it.

Lee Dong Gun - 26 Jul 1980
First contact: 'Lovers in Paris'
He bowled me over in this drama instead of the dimpled, straight faced ajusshi Park Shin Yang. I think I have a thing for rebellious guys. He had tremendous chemistry with Han Ji Hye in 'Sweet 18' (are they still together? Or have they split?). But he was absolutely handsome in 'Stained Glass', which was an interesting drama right up to about episode 8, after which it went downhill. He was a singer (which didn't quite take off) before becoming an actor. I was pleased to see him in the MV for Position's latest album. He also has a 2 episode music drama, 'If in Love, Like Them' with Lee Hyo Ri. Alamak...he's looking all unshaven again in this. Why????

Lee Jun Ki - 17 Apr 1982
First contact: 'My Girl'
Again, almost everyone was going ga-ga over Lee Dong Wook but I only had eyes for Lee Jun Ki. And he does not, I repeat, does not look 'girly'. Lee Joon Ki just happened to have sharp features but his eyes speaks volume as they can become cold and mean or warm and tender. Of course 'King and the Clown' propelled him to fame. If you had watched the movie, you would know why. Waiting for his new drama out this year, 'Time of the Wolf and the Dog'.

Lee Min Ki - 16 Jan 1985
First contact: 'Dalja's Spring'
This is my latest addition and is also the youngest of the whole lot. Hehe! Doesn't he have a goofy look? Like so many actors, he was also a model before becoming an actor. On my list to watch next, 'I really, really like you'. And you must really watch his attempt to err... dance.. at least I think it was an attempt to dance. Wahahaha!

Lee Seo Jin - 30 Jan 1973
First contact: 'Damo'
Had absolutely no feelings for him in 'Damo'. Zilch. Was ok with him in 'Firebird/Phoenix' but wasn't zapped..till I watched 'Lovers' recently. Then the dimples got to me. Glanced through 'Freeze' and I really like what I saw.

Lee Wan - 3 Jan 1984
First contact: 'Let's Go to the Beach'
Strictly speaking, I gues my first contact with him should be 'Stairways to Heaven', but alamak, he was way too young at that time lah. I'll be really cradle snatching if I say I like him then. Watched 'Let's Go to the Beach' because of Jun Jin (who again wasn't the main lead despite him being older. Bleah!) But was only electrified by him in 'Tree of Heaven', which was sort of a sequel to 'Stairways to Heaven'. I rather enjoyed the drama even though I think Park Shin Hye is way too young for this role. He didn't like that short, crew haircut of his but I thought it was really cool.

Dennis O'Neil - 29 Aug 1981
First contact: 'Sweet Spy'
Ok, this is not the greatest drama. It's quite silly for most parts and yet at the same time, midly entertaining enough if only because of Dennis O's assistant, who kept sommersualting. Like Daniel Henney, he didn't know a word of Korean, so he spoke in English throughout the drama, which was rather weird. How to have a relationship like that? But hehe... he's good looking I managed to finish watching the drama. Currently in the same drama, 'Witch Yoo Hee' as Jae Hee, Kim Jung Hoon and Han Ga In. In the new drama, he's a chef.. and he speaks decent Korean (better than mine anyway) and in my opinion, much better than Daniel Henney. But I don't think he's going to have much 'meat' to his character..if you know what I mean. Btw, if you haven't watched his MV with Han Ga In, here they are.
Only the Wind, Only the Wind
New Shoes

Seo Do Young - 14 Apr 1981
First contact: Spring Waltz
Also an ex-model. He was quite unknown when he was casted in PD Yoon's 4th installment of the Season series, 'Spring Waltz' ('Autumn in my Heart', 'Winter Sonata', 'Summer Scent'). There's a certain quiet charisma about him. Unfortunately, the drama didn't really do very well, even with Daniel Henney (who in my opinion, was too sauve and smooth). Ani just did a review of the 4 seasons series. You can read about it here. But Ani ah... I like Seo Do Young leh...

These 2 gentlemen below are in the midst of being added to my list. Both are in the drama 'Hello, Miss' showing on KBS on Monday/ Tuesday. Shall comment more on them and the drama later when I've watched enough..hehe! But hor..they look cute lor..

Lee Ji Hoon

Ha Suk Jin

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Young Men/ 네 젊은남자- Part 1

In light of all the nuna/dongseng (older sister/younger brother) relationships that's going on in the Korean drama world, I thought I'd take a look at my affair with my young men as well. Unfortunately or fortunately, the guys in my list seems to be getting younger and younger.. (ok, ok, it could be that I'm getting older shh.....) So as much as I would love to call these guys, 'oppa' (오빠), I'm afraid they are all my 'dongsengs' (동생) and they have to call me 'nuna' (누나). Hmm....actually, that doesn't sound too bad.....


Bae Yong Joon - 28 Aug 1972
First contact: 'Winter Sonata'
This was the young man that started it all- my kimchi fever. Captured my heart in Winter Sonata. I have never cried so much watching a drama or so mersmerised by an actor. The rest, as they say, is history. One of his best performance was in 'Have we Really Loved?' His first movie, 'Untold Scandal' caused a near scandal as it was a complete change from his last character in Winter Sonata. Personally though, I admired his daring decision and I enjoyed the movie, not just because of him but the rest of the cast and the costumes and setting as well. His latest drama, 'Great Kings Four Gods' (태왕사신기) is looking pretty good. Hopefully, it will go as planned and air in May. Watch a short clip here. Thanks to Flower of


Chun Jung Myung - 29 Nov 1980
First contact: 'Fashion 70's'
Watch 'Fashion 70's' recently and was captivated by the rebellious Jang Bin. Still watching 'What's Up Fox?' But he looks much younger in this drama.

Hyun Bin - 25 Sep 1982
First contact: 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon'
The runaway hit 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon' brought him much fame and many fans. One them was me. How to resist those dimples? He was really funny in the drama and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, Snow Queen is still waiting somewhere in the cupboard. There's not much urge to see him all sloppy and unshaven leh. His first movie, 'A Millionaire's First Love' was just so-so, unfortunately.

Jang Dong Gun - 7 Mar 1972
First contact: 'All About Eve'
It was through 'All About Eve' that I got to know about Jang Dong Gun. The actor with the goldfish eyes has also been praised as a handsome man by fellow actors. He's acted in mostly 'men's movies' ever since like Takeguki and Typhoon but in my opinion was the most handsome in 'Lost Memories 2009' but really quite silly in 'The Promise'. Rumours swirling around that he will be in a hollywood movie with Zhang Zhi Yi soon.

Jo Han Sun - 17 Jun 1981
First contact: 'Temptation of the Wolves/ Romance of their Own'
This movie gave me 2 sides dishes- Jo han Sun and Kang Dong Won. But I like his character in the movie better. Spurred me to watch April Kiss. Really good looking but terribly boring drama. Fast forward most of it except his parts, just so that I can drool over him. Have yet to catch his latest movie, 'Now and Forever' with Choi Ji Wo. Not sure I want to either....

Jo Hyun Jae - 9 May 1980
First contact: 'Love Letter'
He was so angelic in this drama. I remembered there was quite a bit of discussion in the forum. His first movie was in 'Untold Scandal', together with Bae Yong Joon, Lee Mi Sook and Jeon Do Yeon. Recently caught glimpses of him in 'Suh Dong Yo', his latest drama and I was impressed.

Ju Ji Hoon - 16 May 1982
First contact: 'Princess Hours'
There was so much controversy when he was casted. Tall and lanky, I think he was perfect as the distant, cold, cooped-up crown prince. Thousands of fans agree with me. I'm afraid I will forever remember Shin goon whenever I have a bowl of Shin rameon. Verdict is still out for his role in 'Ma Wang/Devil', which surprisingly did not do as well in ratings as the other 2 dramas. But then, it's only 2 episodes so far, so let's wait and see.

Joo Jin Mo - 11 Aug 1974
First contact: 'Fashion 70's'
He is one of those manly guy....Especially when he stepped out of the helicopter with those sunglasses. I guess he's one of those who gets better as he gets older because I simply cannot remember him in 'Musa' or '3-Iron'. Recently just wrapped up the drama, 'Queen of the Game'. But I'm more interested to get my hands on '200 Pounds Beauty'.

Jun Jin/ Park Joon Jae - 19 Aug 1980
First contact: 'Legend of 9 Tail Fox'
Although I know the group, Shinhwa then, I was not really into their music at that time. In fact, it took me awhile before I could finally recognise the 6 guys. But this was the drama that got me interested in Jun Jin and also Shinhwa eventually. This was a really interesting, unusual drama..all about 9 Tail Foxes (who looked like human), who needed to eat human's liver to stay alive. Hmm... all these 'foxes' looked so cool in their black leather wear. A 'fox' never looked so good....sigh..they look better than human....Not fair.

Kang Dong Won - 18 Jan 1981
First contact: 'Temptation of the Wolves'
It was a toss up between him and Jo Han Sun in the movie. Jo Han Sun just managed to win, though that is not to say I didn't like Kang Dong Won in the movie. He's not really handsome per se, but there is a certain edgy look about him. Heard good reviews about his movie, 'Maudy Thursday' together with Lee Na Young.

Kim Jung Hoon - 20 Jan 1980
First contact: 'Princess Hours'
I guess I knew him first as a singer, as part of the group, UN. I saw them performed live in Music Bank. But then of course, I didn't know Kim Jung Hoon as an individual then. When watching 'Princess Hours', I was flip-flopping between Yul Goon and Shin Goon. Kim jung Hoon has such nice watery eyes. They really can melt you. He's now in the drama, 'Witch Yoo Hee', fighting for the same time slot as Ju Ji Hoon. So far his drama seems to be slightly in the lead for ratings. Unfortunately, he's again not the main lead.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Que Sera Sera, Eric

If you're in tune to the Korean grapevine, then this would be old news already.

STB is working really hard to promote our little island.

After the filming of Kim Jae Won and Eugene's 'Wonderful Life' in Singapore, we now have another Korean drama being filmed on this tiny red dot.

Eric, Lee Kyu Han, Jung Yoo Mi and Yoon Ju Hye, the cast of the new weekend drama, 'Que Sera Sera' has been in Singapore since Saturday. I received 2 smses from my chingus that day informing me about it. ^^

The Shinhwa site, Shinhwa Jangjo has been on an ovderdrive with the latest infor on his schedule here, photos etc.

Seems they've been filming all over the place. Well, I'm not complaining. Hopefully, the next time a filming crew comes, it will be one of my side dish. hehe!

Heard he's staying here:

There are photos of him relexing at the pool. He seems happy enough. :p

Anyway, here's one photo of him at the airport. I really cannot comprehend how people can go onto a plane wearing only slippers. Don't they get cold? Hmmm.. On the other hand, good to know that he's so relax about coming to Singapore. Must say he looks like a little boy like that.

Photo is from Rachal of Singapore and edited by Jade. Posted on Shinhwa Jangjo.

'Que Sera Sera/케세라세라' aired on the 17th March and is a weekend drama. More infor on soompi here

Monday, March 19, 2007

Older woman/ younger man

'Dalja's Spring' ended its run on KBS this week, scoring a fairly respectable ratings of about 18%. It's yet another drama pairing an older woman (Chae Rim, in her first drama come back after her divorce) with a younger man (the adorable Lee Min Ki).

This age difference pairing is not new though it seems to be on the increase recently, starting with the runaway hit 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon' in 2005.

This was followed by another drama in 2006 with 'What's Up Fox'.

And this year, we have 'Dalja's Spring', with a similar pairing-up in terms of age.

In all 3 dramas, the female leads are in their 30's and have never been in a 'proper' relationship. They feel that youth is slipping by and though they dream of meeting the man of their life, they also feel that at their age, they should just settle down with anyone who are suitable as a husband. The male leads in the 3 dramas are all in their 20's and are more matured than their age.

So how does the 3 compare?

'Dalja's Spring/달자의 봄'
Cast: Chae Rim (Oh Dal Ja/오달자), Lee Min Ki (Kang Tae Bong/강태벙봉), Lee Hyun Woo (Uhm Gi Jeong/엄기중), Lee Hye Young (Wee Son Ju/위선주), Gong Hyun Jin (Shin Se Do/신세도)
KBS: Official site
MV: Fan made mv
Ost: Spring of Dalja
Thread on soompi

Dal Ja is a MD in a Home Shopping Network channel. She has worked her way up since her early 20's and now is a pro at what she does. She has her own place and her own car, and is comfortable financially on her own. She dreams of the perfect relationship with the prince charming who will sweep her off her feet but at the age of 33, she thinks that it will never happen. She started going out with Se Do because..well, even though she doesn't have that kind of spark with him, he was comfortable to be with and seemed interested in her. He could be good husband material. However, on Christmas eve, (why is it always Christmas eve?), she was dumped by him. In revenge, she engaged the dating services of Kang Tae Bong for a month, to get back at him.

This dating contract is also not new, having been used in both 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon' and 'Full House'. One does wonder if the Koreans actively engaged in such 'dating contract'.^^ Anyway, of course they fell in love.

Dal Ja is probably typical of most working woman. As a working professional, reality meant that you have to be on cordial terms with your colleagues, even if what you really want to do is bash their heads and at times, you have to compromise. I like her clothes and of the 3 dramas, hers were the most interesting. However, I'm not too sure about her heavy make-up.

Her relationship with Tae Bong was believable and there was a certain chemistry between them. Maybe because their age difference is not great. Though I must say they still managed to add in that little touch of 'cinderalla' syndrome with Tae Bong being a disillusioned but rich ex-lawyer.

I also enjoyed the secondary story between Son Ju and Se Do. It was nice and refreshing to see a romantic story revolving around a more matured couple. Though both of them were 'undersirable' characters in the beginning, I grew to love them as I see them as normal people, with their own flaws and strengths.

(credit: soompi)

What most of us enjoyed in the drama was the parodies being used throughout the drama.. from 'Kill Bill' to 'Hwang Jini' to 'In the Mood for Love' to 'Casablanca'. The other interesting aspect was the drawings used at the end of the a sort of sum up (similar to the use of teddy bears for 'Goong/Princess Hours').


You can watch some of the parodies here.

There were many insights as Dal Ja 'grows up'. I like the one at the end of the drama:

As long as a person is living, there is no ending. Although one cannot say that one will be happy forever, BUT each day is a another new day."

I think the one thing that I did not agree was when Dal Ja went off to the States to study for 2 years and did not stay in contact with Tae Bong, leaving it all to fate. Although I firmly believe that fate, timing and circumstances play a large part in whether a relationship will work out, I also believe in being proactive if you believe that person is the one for you. But then, this is Korean drama right? So anything is possible.

Dal Ja's men... this was really funny....hahaha!

With this drama, I discovered another side dish...Lee Min Ki. He isn't a handsome or good looking actor per se... compared to many others. But there is a certain something about him... a charisma... an x- factor. And when he smiles.... he is really quite adorable.


I wasn't interested in this drama initially because I wasn't too keen on Chae Rim. BUT, she has proven me wrong and I like the fact that she was acting 'her age'. It's actually quite a change NOT TO SEE female leads acting cute (whether they're young or matured).

'What's Up Fox?/여우야 뭐하니?'
Cast: Gong Hyun Jung (Go Byung Hee/고병희), Chun Jung Myung (Park Chul Soo/박철수), Cho Yeon Woo (Bae Hee Myeong/배희명)
MBC: Official site
MV: Fan made mv
Ost: Fox, what are you doing?
Thread on soompi

Byung Hee is a writer/ reporter in a 'Men's adult' magazine. It is a third rate magazine and she dreams of working in a great company one day. Though she has a vivid imagination and writes sexually charged stories for the magazine, she has yet to be in a proper relationship herself and is still a virgin. (Hmm.... how do you write such stories if you are inexperienced yourself?) Chul Soo is the brother of Byung Hee's good friend. He is a happy-go-lucky 24 years guy, working as a mechanic in a car repair shop. He is happy doing what he does and does not think money is everthing. Travelling and backpacking has made him more 'worldly' than Byung Hee, even though she is much older than him.

Byung Hee was devasted to realise that her senior, (whom she has had crush for a long time) was actually more interested in men than women. In her drunken state, she had her first sexual experience with Chul Soo.

In the days to follow, though initially confused, but with Chol Soo actively in pursuit, Byung Hee finally accepted this relationship.

In all fairness, I cannot possibly comment much on this as I've only just watched the first 2 episodes. I was told that it gets better and with a final ratings of about 16%, I guess it couldn't have been too bad. This is the same writer as the immensely popular 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon', so I guess there was a certain expectation.

However, I was not quite convinced with Byung Hee's character in the first episode. How is it possible for a woman of 33 years to be so naïve about a woman's medical conditions and procedures? The way she was crying in the clinic... aiyoh... so drama...

And this scene... is definitely not suitable. It's a little too err... crude.

I do find Chul Soo a little too young for Byung Hee. In both real and reel life, there is an age difference of 9 years, and this difference is really obvious. It doesn't help that Chun Jung Myung has a boyish look that makes him look younger than he actually is.


The one reason for watching this show was because of Chun Jung Myung. He absolutely bowled me over in 'Fashion 70s' with his cool dressing and rebellious air.


I'm really looking forward to this drama. But I still prefer his style in Fashion 70s leh.

'My Name is Kim Sam Soon/내 이름은 김삼순'
Cast: Kim Soon Ah (Kim Sam Soon/김삼순), Hyun Bin (Hyun Ji Heon/현지헌), Jung Ryeo Won (Yoo Hee Jin/유희진), Daniel Henney (Henry Kim)
MBC: Official site
MV: Be My Love & She Is
Ost: My Lovely Sam Soon Vol 1 & My Lovely Sam Soon Vol 2
Thread on soompi

In 2005, 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon' was the second highest ratings drama after 'Daejanggeum'. It created a mania/ cult for its unusual female lead character, funny storyline and of course cute guys.

This drama striked a chord with many woman because Sam Soon, the main female character was intelligent with a good professional skill but she wasn't very pretty or very young. She was also lightly on the plump side, which is the realistic normal figure for many women, especially in their 30's. And with an unglamorous name like Sam Soon, I guess most of us feel that for once, maybe meeting that someone special isn't too far fetched a dream. If it can happen to Kim Sam Soon, then it may happen to us too. This drama was also called the Korean version of 'Bridget Jones' Diary'.

Kim Sam Soon is a pastry chef, a graduate of the world famous Le Cordon Bleu and is passionate about baking. She is very direct and not very polished. She feels the clock ticking away and worries about being left on the shelf. On Christmas eve, she lost her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend as well. In one of the most hilarious scene for a first episode, she cries her eyes out in the toilet, complete with running mascara and messy wild hair, only to realise later that she was actually in the gents.

Ji Heon is the son of a hotelier and also the owner of a rather hip restaurant. He hired Sam Soon as his pastry chef and in a situation that could only happen in a Korean drama, she was 'contracted' to be Ji Heon's girlfriend.

Of course they fell in love eventually.

<---- The other couple.

There were really many hilarious moments in this drama and one of them was this. I remembered watching this scene in the middle of the night at 3am and I had to really stifle and control my laughter.

But besides the main couple, I was really ticked pink with the romance between Sam Soon's sister and Sam Soon's colleague. And the 2 formidable mothers (Ji Heon's and Sam Soon's) were absolutely brilliant. The faced off in one of the scenes was to die for as they eyed each other.

Of course, who could forget the Sam Soon pig? Hehe! It tormented Ji Heon so much.

And the friends and I always felt hungry after watching the drama. Those cakes looked really, really, really delicious.

Daniel Henney, an Korean-American model made his first appearance in a Korean drama and created a stir. The rest they say, is history. Daniel Henney has since appeared in 'Spring Waltz' (drama) and Seducing Mr Robin (movie).

Hehehe! The toilet constipation/piles scene was so funny.

Of course, Hyun Bin got really, really popular after this drama as well.


Amongst the 3 dramas, I would say 'Dalja's Spring' is most probably the most realistic but 'My Name is Kim Sam Soon' is the funniest (even if it is rather unrealistic). And I guess 'What's Up Fox?' would probably be in between these two. Though as I've yet to watch this drama completely, I may be wrong.

So really, what is the draw of these these dramas? Besides the fact most viewers are women who are probably in the same situation, I think the underlying message is one of the biggest draw.

That a woman should be confident and proud of what she can do. That she should live each day to the fullest. That love will eventually come one day..but even if it doesn't, it is alright, she can still live a fulfilling life and be happy with herself.

I love this poem that was used in the drama:

춤추라, 아무도 바라보고 있지 않은 것처럼.
Dance like no one is watching
사랑하라, 한번도 상처받지 않은 것처럼.
Love like you've never been hurt
노래하라, 아무도 듣고 있지 않은것처럼.
Sing like no one is listening
일하라, 돈이빌요하지 않은 것처럼.
Work like you don't need the money
살라, 오늘이 마지막 날인 것처럼.
Live life every day as if it were your last

(posted on soompi)

Ladies- 화이팅!