Zico and Seolhyun's relationship revealed 2016/08/11, Source,
Zico and Seolhyun are two of today's hottest idol stars. They have recently admitted that they are seeing each other.
Their managements announced that they were dependant on each other during hard times and eventually evolved into a relationship. They are only just getting to know each other,...More
Hallyu's two face in China? 2014/12/14, Source,
50 million, 120 million and 200 million won per episode; this is the cost of the Korean drama publication rights in China.
The entertainment industry is smiling at the breeze of Hallyu in China. The enormous Chinese market is no doubt an attraction compared to the limited Korean market.
The more Hallyu enters the Chinese market, the dependence on Chinese capital is rising. When the breeze turns into a chilling wind, no one will know how the situation will turn out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 20 Final 2013/12/12,
I don't think I've ever been this frustrated by a happy ending before. A certain amount of schmaltz and contrivance is appropriate to get a story to end on a positive note, sure. But nearly every single conflict solved here quite literally appeared only one episode ago. And even in those cases where there was a bit more foreshadowing, we're talking extremely brief glimpses from several episodes ago.
The most annoying part about is that Kim Tan, our alleged main character, barely has anything to do with any of this. Yes, as usual, the scenes about the love story between him and Eun-Sang predominate,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 19 2013/12/11,
There's lot of cuteness here as we get a bright cheery look at Kim Tan's birthday party, where all his friends have shown up and are having a gay old time taking pictures and doing basic teen stuff. Even the abrupt ending of Kim Tan confronting his father with Eun-Sang in tow is pretty fun. When the drama loses its pretensions and just lets its teen characters act like real teenagers, it can be fairly successful as light entertainment.
However, the more of this cute stuff that we see, the more the question comes up of how appropriate it is for the only apparent conflict in this drama to be deflated so close to the end,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 18 2013/12/05,
It would seem that the immense effort tha previous episode made to convince the viewer that yes, the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang separation really is serious this time, was actually just an elaborate trick so that the drama could do the same plot, again, without it feeling too repetitive. I have to admit that it worked- there simply isn't enough time left at this point for "The Heirs" to try and stir up drama by separating them again. And I did have that brief optimism, for one episode.
But that's pretty much entirely gone now. This episode is immensely exhausting in the way it just keeps going on and on about the Kim Tan / Eun-Sang connection, wringing its hands about awful the situation is, until finally we get to a climatic moment where they finally resolve to do something to finish off the drama's issues once and for all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 17 2013/12/04,
Most of the episode's runtime is dedicated to searching and pining about Eun-Sang. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually take that long for anyone to find her. The main conflict ends up being, all right, provided that we know where Eun-Sang is, then what? The barriers preventing her from getting together with Kim Tan are, as has been thoroughly noted, a lot more dense and problematic than just her staying in a different physical location.
Unfortunately there isn't really much going on here in the way of attacking those barriers. Personally, I have no big stake in Kim Tan and Eun-Sang getting back together soon, or even at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 16 2013/11/28,
While the romantic storyline in this drama is fairly repetitive, I have to give it credit for managing to pull a fast one. Eun-Sang has been doing the pouty face thing for so long it genuinely didn't even occur to me that there was something more to it this time. In one sense, the episode really just repeats its own plot all over again- but thanks to the changed context and the way Kim Tan is typically the focus character, the ending manages to sneak in very effectively.
The corporate intrigue plotline manages to sputter out with comically little fanfare. We get a clear sense that, in the end, the balance of power really is pretty horribly one-sided,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 15 2013/11/27,
I really don't like Kim Woo-bin's new haircut. The one he had before was really slick and sharp- it showed off the rough, smart edges of Yeong-Do, and the way it played off of his eyebrows was just great. But this new haircut is almost exactly the same as Lee Min-ho's, and while that kind of hair works for members of the Kim family, it lacks the sneaky smugness that the character of Yeong-Do really needs. It's also slightly confusing having so many unrelated cast members with similarproblems. In a me-looking hair.
Anyway, aside from the hair, there's some still some good stuff here. The episode starts out the same place we left off at the party, and we almost immediately delve into a hilarious bit of tit-for-tat,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 14 2013/11/21,
The ostentatious displays by our lead characters have managed to get really nauseating. I knew when I started watching "The Heirs" that this was going to be a drama about the extremely rich and well-connected. What I liked about the early episodes was that there was this clear indication that being rich and well-connected is not necessarily a good thing for a person with lousy emotional attachments. The picturesque cityscape of beautiful Los Angeles was consistently tempered by the dark side of life there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 13 2013/11/20,
It's pretty inescapable at this point that, if one were to describe the things that Kim Tan does to a neutral observer, he would come off as a really awful person. Technically speaking I don't think he actually breaks into the apartment, but the very fact that he takes Eun-Sang there alone against her usual resistance, coupled with his subsequent actions, make it difficult to play any of this off in a sympathetic light. Granted, he acted the same back in Los Angeles- but that was when I thought these were characater flaws he was going to overcome,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 12 2013/11/14,
The mixed metaphors this drama is putting out are starting to give me a headache. We're still doing the whole will-they-or-won't they thing with Kim Tan and Eun-Sang, and on a literal level, the drama seems to be making the statement that they should totally be together. We didn't even get a single episode of full separation out of the cliffhanger from last time and already we're back to teary romantic stuff.
But let's pivot around and look at the main subplot this episode, where big bro Kim Won ends up getting in trouble with their dad Nam-Yoon about a situation that is, in many ways, almost identical to the relationship between Kim Tan and Eun-Sang,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 11 2013/11/13,
Yeong-Do has finally shown what he can offer Eun-Sang in terms of a romantic partner. Hatred and spite toward fellow human beings. That probably doesn't sound like a good thing- but the argument he makes is surprisingly persuasive. Eun-Sang has, for pretty much the entire series, been living in fear of constant disaster and has had to act in a placating way to try and avert it. But these attempts always fail and this episode is no exception to that rule.
As if inspired to prove Yeong-Do wrong, for example, Eun-Sang tries to head off Kim Tan's latest romantic advances by being more affectionate and kind in her rebuff this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 10 2013/11/07,
It suddenly hit me this episode that "The Heirs" is a drama, not about ambitious young adults, but high school students. This would seem obvious, given how much of the action lately takes place at a high school. The trappings of wealth, however, consistently give the misleading impression that these characters have clearly defined goals and a coherent narrative trajectory. In reality, they're impulsive, selfish, and resentful.
Kim Tan, for example, is now explicitly trying to manipulate EunSang emotionally in very childish ways,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 9 2013/11/06,
I'm pretty sure "The Heirs" is trying to make some sort of statement about traditional masculine gender roles in a courtship context, but I'll be darned if I have any idea what. The imagery this time around is too inescapable. This episode Eun-Sang receives come-ons, not just from leading men Kim Tan and Yeong-Do, but extras. And there's a strong frustration underscoring her reactions to these events that emphasizes the importance of diplomacy in her responses- she'll only go as far as she can without risking damage to her long-term prospects.
What makes this especially nuanced and difficult is that it's explicitly confirmed this episode that she does like Kim Tan,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 8 2013/10/31,
Up until now I wasn't completely convinced that Yeong-Do's intentions toward Eun-Sang were romantic ones. This episode lays that doubt to rest, but not in the way I was expecting. It's extremely clear that Yeong-Do's aggressive cornering behavior bares a lot of similarity to when Kim Tan does the exact same thing, and Kim Tan's motives have never been in doubt. Especially since he helpfully engages in similar behavior this time around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 7 2013/10/30,
The adults in this drama are pretty easy to spook. On multiple occasions in the Kim household we see characters panic just because some unfamiliar person shows up. Never mind that in both cases, the unfamiliar person has every possible reason to be in the house. It says quite a bit about their quilty consciences that even in their own extremely safe homes they panic at the thought of the unexpected happening.
This takes on depressing dimensions when taken in the context of Kim Won. Kim Tan wants to reconcile with his big brother so badly it hurts- I'm impressed at the little bro's tenacity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 6 2013/10/24,
Now that Kim Tan and Yeong-Do have finally met, and presumably we're going to get into an actual plotline instead of just metaphors, it occurs to me that the narrative structure of "The Heirs" isn't particularly strong. I'm not totally sure what any of these characters want, how they're going to get it, and what, to them, will constitute a happy ending. The drama being difficult to predict is normally a high point, but there needs to be some sort of baseline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 5 2013/10/23,
This drama has a really weird take on romance that I'm still not totally sure how to compartmentalize. Multiple new romantic subplots manage to pop out of nowhere, and we even get a moment to remember that, hey, technically, the parents of the two crabbiest heirs are in a romantic subplot, too. It's just not something that comes up that much because for the most part this drama is, appropriately enough, about "The Heirs",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 4 2013/10/17,
It turns out that, almost as soon as she gets back to Korea, Eun-Sang discovers that her life is once again ruined thanks to money. At this point it seems like Eun-Sang getting put through the ringer on this should be getting tiring- but I find it works really well with the overall theme of the drama being the impossibility of escape. Having to live in the house and be an apprentice maid is the ultimate indignity for Eun-Sang. Fortunately, it's also literally the ultimate indignity, as once she's adjusted the bad stuff finally stops happening,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 3 2013/10/16,
Ah, the American road trip. A long, boring drive into the middle of nowhere that quickly loses its novelty. Meeting up with people who probably don't actually want to see you. That empty feeling inside realizing an entire day was wasted on a pointless sentimental gesture. Vast open space of poorly maintained roads, easy accidents, and no cell phone reception to call for help. Truly a feature of the culture worth idolizing.
I have no idea how much of the metaphors "The Heirs" is using are intentional, but I'm just plain astonished at how striking they are. This entire episode is a wake-up call to Kim Tan that he is not, in fact, as cool as he thinks he is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 2 2013/10/10,
Eun-Sang (played by Park Shin-hye) sticks out in this drama as being the token teenager of a lower economic class. Kim Tan spends a lot of time deliberately needling her about her various peculiar attitudes, and this is all played for laughs. It's obvious to us, the audience, that this is a romantic drama where these two are supposed to get together, so it's funny. But "The Heirs" takes the bold, discomforting step of showing us why Eun-Sang's excessively non-confrontational attitude is probably the correct one.
There's even a line here that explicitly spells it out, when Eun-Sang mentions she wants this trip to have at least one (rather pitiful) positive memory. Kim Tan doesn't get this at all- he's been having lots of fun,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Heirs" Episode 1 2013/10/09,
This drama starts out highlighting a rather ambivalent attitude toward the United States. On the the one hand, this is the country of awesome surfing, gorgeous scenery, and a crazy party atmosphere. On the other hand, the very name America appears to be synonymous with exploitative interaction between the sexes for ill-advised financial reasons. And this appears to be true for both the richer and poorer members of the cast.
I was not expecting "The Heirs" to take such an ambivalent attitude to Korean-American cultural interactions. But I have to admit- I'm really enjoying the creative direction. Cha Eun-Seok (played by Yoon Jin-seo) has a very interesting role here as the older sister who escapes conservative Korean society,...More
Ji Seong VS Kwon Sang-woo VS Lee Min-ho 2013/09/25, Source,
A new battle has begun between the three broadcasting companies now that Chuseok is over. Fierce new dramas take over Wednesday and Thursday nights with different genres.
The first drama to be mentioned is the KBs 2TV drama "Secrets".
"Secrets" was pre-sold to Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and other Asian countries even before it was shown in Korea and it tells the story of a man who falls in love with the woman who kills his lover,...More
Go! f(x) - Mnet America Releases Original Documentary 2013/07/26, Source,
Mnet America has just released an original documentary Go! f(x), which follows KCON 2013 artist, f(x), when they came to the United States earlier this year to perform at SXSW and prepare for their comeback (Rum Pum Pum Pum) in LA. The entire documentary can be viewed on Mnetamerica.com, through Mnet America's YouTube page or when Go! f(x) makes its television premiere on July 31 at 7pm ET/PT,...More
Yoo Jae-seok wins grand prize once again at MBC Entertainment Awards 2010/12/30, Source,
Korean variety show host Yoo Jae-seok [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean entertainment show host Yoo Jae-seok won the grand prize for the second consecutive year at the MBC Entertainment Awards held last night.
At the awards ceremony held at MBC's Dream Center located in Ilsan, Gyeong-gi Province, Yoo was awarded the top honor for his role as emcee for MBC's variety shows "Infinite Challenge" and "Come Over", making it his seventh award during a year-end program,...More
Girls' Generation, SHINee and f(x) calendars to be released 2010/11/22, Source, Girls' Generation (left) and SHINee (right) [Danal]
A 2011 calendar featuring the photographs of SM Entertainment artists Girls' Generation, SHINee and f(X) will become available for preorders tomorrow.
The calendar's creator Danal announced on Monday that they will release a desk top and wall version of the calendar featuring individual and group pictures of the popular K-pop stars. It will also be available as an application for smartphones,...More
SM artists attract 15,000 fans to LA concert 2010/09/06, Source,
SM artists performing at the "SMTOWN LIVE '10 WORLD TOUR" held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles [SM Entertainment]
The artists of SM Entertainment made their second stop of their "SMTOWN LIVE '10 WORLD TOUR" in the United States over the weekend, drawing some 15,000 fans to the Staples Center in Los Angles,...More
SM artists kick off world tour in Seoul over weekend 2010/08/23, Source,
Singers and actors of SM Entertainment at the "SMTOWN LIVE '10 World Tour in Seoul" held at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea on August 21, 2010. [SM Entertainment]
Artists of top talent agency SM Entertainment kicked off their joint world tour over the weekend, performing a total of 78 songs for over six hours at their first venue in Korea's capital of Seoul,...More
After Stevie Wonder wowed fans with his popular tunes, powerful vocals and unforgettable stage presence, local K-pop groups are following suit with a festival to keep the musical w,...More
"SMTOWN LIVE" concert to be six hours long, says SM 2010/08/05, Source,
Official poster for upcoming "SMTOWN LIVE" concert featuring SM artists [SM Entertainment]
The upcoming "SMTOWN LIVE '10 World Tour In Seoul" concert featuring numerous SM artists including BoA, Girls' Generation and Super Junior will be one of great scale and length.
Agency SM Entertainment (SM) announced in a press release on Thursday that the joint world tour, which includes stops in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and other major Asian cities, will be about six hours long and feature a total of some 80 songs by the artists,...More
Kang Ta and f(x) to promote Together Day 2010/05/06, Source,
Korean singer Kang Ta and girl group f(x) [SM Entertainment]
Korean pop idols Kang Ta and f(x) have been appointed honorary ambassadors for the third annual Together Day, a day aimed at fostering understanding between Koreans and foreigners living in Korea.
SM Entertainment stated in a press release on Thursday that the Ministry of Justice had chosen Kang Ta as an ambassador due to the leading role he plays in promoting the Hallyu, or Korean Wave, and f(x) for the active singing career they have been pursuing both domestically and overseas,...More
Epik High, f(x) perform at Cannes music showcase 2010/01/28, Source,
Korean band Epik High performs at "K-pop Night" showcase at MIDEM 2010 [Korea Creative Content Agency]
Korean hip-hop group Epik High and girl band f(x) performed as representatives of Korean pop music at a global music showcase in Cannes held this week, according to a press release by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA).
Epik High and f(x) performed for about 90 minutes on "K-Pop Night" event -- held January 26 at Hotel Martinez in Cannes, France -- in front of music and media industry executives at MIDEM 2010, KOCCA explained in the statement released yesterday.
"I felt a connection with many of the attendees despite our different nationalities and age", Tablo of Epik High was quoted as saying. "It was an amazing, entertaining performance".,...More
[FOCUS] 10 Awards - Top 10 Entertainment News of 2009 2009/12/30, Source, Top 10 News of 2009
Two former presidents and a king passed away. One wrong remark during an entertainment show took the entire country by storm. Such unbelievably enormous incidents were played out in unbelievable directions during 2009. Thus, the top ten news of 2009 selected by <10 Asia> may seem like the ten most incredulous news of the year. But one could say that what these ten news stories have in common is that they carry the flow of Korea's pop culture. Can you really believe that all these things happened within a span of one year?
News 1. Actress Jang Ja-yeon commits suicide
Actress Jang Ja-yeon [KBS]
On March 7, one little known actress wrote in her suicide note, "I am a weak, powerless actress. I want to be free from this pain" and killed herself. It was actress Jang Ja-yeon, who was appearing in KBS TV series "Boys over Flowers" at the time. The suicide note, which was 12 pages long on A4-sized paper, explained that she had been physically abused by her agency, forced to drink and provide sexual services. It also listed names of high-ranking executives in the industry, including a head of media company, television drama director and owners of business companies. People started calling the note "The Jang Ja-yeon List". The incident brought to surface how badly aspiring actresses and female celebrities in general have been violated and the ugly power of the media. But due to slow, passive investigation by the Korean authorities, the truth never came to light. Of all people who were under investigation, only two people involved in the incident -- former head of Jang's agency and former manager who exposed Jang's suicide notes -- were indicted and the suspects whose names were listed in the documents were all cleared of charges and let go. Was the death of Jang Ja-yeon a suicide or a homicide?,...More
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