[Orion's Drama News] From Rags to Mega-Riches 2016/06/25,
This week I talk KCON New York and HanCinema's attendance there. I also take a look at the super rich, super smart, super talented and all around perfect character of Lee Jong-suk in "W" and what he might mean in terms of how we write and experience fiction and Korean dramas. Before my upcoming drama goodies and personal watch list, I talk Dramaland ladies and introduce upcoming drama "Lady with Class",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Super Daddy Yeol" 2015/05/16,
Adding comedy to a story about someone's terminal illness and last attempt at leaving their own in good hands does not sound like a wise move. Life is of course complicated and joy co-exists with sadness. In fact, one gives the other more impact. It is therefore not a wise move, but also not impossible to pull off well. Sadly, 'Super Daddy Yeol' does not succeed with this approach and the rest of its issues drag its good potential down,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Super Daddy Yeol" 2015/03/28,
Creating a heartwarming story about human pain, desperation and the bonding between strangers is no easy task. When the plot devices which bring the people in question together are also outrageous, it takes extra effort to really solidify the motivations, emotions and troubles of the characters in order to make those outrageous devices feel human. 'Super Daddy Yeol' is not such a show at the moment. In fact, it has achieved the exact opposite through its clumsiness and mishandling of its important points,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Super Daddy Yeol" 2015/03/07,
After 'Hogu's Love' and its 'odd couple plus child' start, tvN is following with a similar premise for its Friday and Saturday slot. This time, the child is older and father-to-be less than capable of handling her. This twist of family themed romantic comedies is one with potential and being tvN's choice of topic for the season, both of these shows need to play their cards well. It is now 'Super Daddy Yeol's turn to shine,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 16 Final 2013/12/03,
It turns out future Mi-Rae was wrong this whole time- just not for the reasons we would have guessed. The time traveler is a non-entity throughout most of this episode, too broken down and irrelevant at this point to have much influence on the storyline directly. But everything about her, from the warnings she gave about the future, to the romantic meddling, to the very fact that time travelers exist at all who will try to warn their past selves against misdeeds, all of this is essential to the drama's final resolution.
We had been taking it for granted this whole time that the reason why Mi-Rae and Kim Sin's lives fell apart in the original timeline was due to a lack of financial security owing to a poor employment situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 15 2013/12/02,
Several conflicts come up this episode, from the somewhat suspicious nature of Kim Sin's new job, the strong opinion Mi-Ran has about the potential future of the relationship between Mi-Rae and Se-Joo, to Joo-Hyeon's surgery. There's a surprising lack of urgency about any of these events, though- as if the drama, essentially realizing there isn't enough time left to turn any of these into a serious crisis. Consequently, here we only seem to be only lightly touching on the fact that a lot of the problems these characters face haven't really been resolved.
Even last episode's cliffhanger comes off as pretty irrelevant. Granted, it felt that way at the time, too. If future Mi-Rae is, in fact, completely unaffected by her actions in the past, well, that really only affects her personally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 14 2013/11/26,
This episode makes a much more convincing argument that the drama really is all over, that everything has resolved for the better and it's just leftover feelings and nostalgia for the past that's slowing things down. Mi-Rae and Kim Sin make their final goodbyes, and the emotional pain is blunted by Kim Sin's insistence that the choice he's making is a good one that will be better for him in the long term. Especially since he's probably right.
Probably. I liked how the flashback of Kim Sin's time at the station starts out with him doing all that career stuff that's so important to him, then quickly merges to the career stuff that he was doing with Mi-Rae, then mostly just becomes about Mi-Rae exclusively,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 13 2013/11/25,
The drama hits a weird pace this time, as for the most part all the conflict has been resolved. Kim Sin has been thoroughly put off from Mi-Rae, and moves forward with his plans to avoid the rather nasty future that the older Mi-Rae warned him of. The other characters by contrast, have very little to do. There's another plot about the latest news-team related drama, but this storyline is fairly subdued and there's not much sense of a dramatic sense now that all the loveline stuff has apparently been resolved.
Apparently being the key word. The cast as a whole is rather lethargic here, which seems rather at odds with this being the future Mi-Rae's supposedly good outcome,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 12 2013/11/19,
It's Christmastime in "Marry Him If You Dare", and this episode goes into all the emotions associated with the holiday. Exisential dread and despair at taking stock of relationships past and present and suddenly realizing that horrific flaws lurk just beyond the surface, and that they're never seen until it's too late. That's not very Christmas-y in the general sense of the term, but for anyone who's ever had that kind of nasty holiday this episode hits pretty close to home.
Future Mi-Rae finally explains in full detail exactly what happened with her and Kim Sin in the future,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 11 2013/11/18,
Kim Sin tried to shake up the status quo in the last episode's cliffhanger and, well, the scheme didn't really work that well. The drama gets in a good gag at the start of this one to mostly defuse the tension of the situation. And from there, it's right into the thick of a complex plot designed to get in a really great news story. That involves Mi-Rae going undercover because...um...
All right, remember the subway plot from earlier in the drama?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 10 2013/11/12,
We start out with a flashback- which is kind of confusing because when future Mi-Rae does a flashback, she's actually looking forward to an alternate version of the future, just with a brown pastel. There's a funny moment when the shading changes from alternate present to real present, as if it were changing from past to present, but no, this is all pretty much present day Korea, so don't get too choked up.
Finally getting an actual look at the world future Mi-Rae is trying to prevent goes a fair distance to explaining her actions- although it doesn't exactly justify them, especially when she starts having memories of the good times,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 9 2013/11/11,
I find myself questioning the accuracy of "Marry Him If You Dare"'s portrayal of the broadcasting industry. I know that broadcasting companies produce a ridiculous amount of content, and that not every minute of it is going to be a part of a high-class production, but pettiness really should be avoided. This episode sees the creation and abrupt solving of a villainous subplot involving writing credits.
But since the drama is polite enough to quickly move on from this, so will I,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 8 2013/11/05,
If the last episode went too far with its romantic plotting, this time around "Marry Him If You Dare" makes a concerted effort to avoid showing off any kind of convincing chemistry between the leads at all. It's nice seeing that Mi-Rae's actions have consequences in terms of the way other characters feel about her. Kim Sin and Se-Joo both clearly pull away from her, suddenly a lot more uncertain about how much they really like the woman when she seems to be playing them off each other.
Mi-Rae isn't actually scheming- she's just not thinking through her actions very well. The older women on this drama, however, very much begin plotting in earnest here,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 7 2013/11/04,
The emphasis shifts straight back to the love triangle this episode- unfortunately it's not really a quadrangle, at least not yet. There's been no hint of any romantic interplay between Kim Sin and Yoo-Kyeong for some time- which is disappointing, since that would seem to be a fairly important part of future Mi-Rae's plan. There is, at least, a hint of this being acknowledged here, as future Mi-Rae tries to work behind the scene to get her past self in line.
The present Mi-Rae is not being particularly cooperative,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 6 2013/10/29,
Almost immediately after future Mi-Rae's apparent clairvoyance is discovered, she makes another shocking prediction that forces the entire cast into crisis mode. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I wanted the characters in this drama to exhibit more agency, but I'm not going to argue with what works. There's excitement and action galore here, and best of all, none of this overshadows the characterization.
For starters, the fact that future Mi-Rae has been keeping this information to herself this whole time, and only appears to be bringing it up now to further her own plans, really seems to obviously put into question her motives,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 5 2013/10/28,
At the beginning of this episode the elder Mi-Rae gives a shocking revelation that clearly threatens to change the dynamic of the entire series. Unfortunately, it isn't until the end of the episode that anyone's actually able to confirm what's going on. So this time around "Marry Him If You Dare" centers mainly around filler- until this plot thread is resolved, the main characters simply aren't in much of a position to decisively move the story forward.
We do get to see some interesting relationship dynamics,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 4 2013/10/22,
Jeong Yeong-hwa and Han Chae-ah have really good chemistry as the beta-couple in "Marry Him If You Dare". There's a deliberate give-and-take in their interactions that's absent when either of these actors are on-screen with any other characters. When their characters meet up in a bar, and end up talking for basically no reason, this conversation goes on a long time even when the perfect excuse comes up to ditch it.
Likewise, we get a taste of how Kim Sin and Mi-Rae were able to get together in the original timeline,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 3 2013/10/21,
The merits of Kim Sin (played by Lee Dong-Geun) as a human being are on relatively dubious footing. He turns cranky at the slightest provocation and clearly enjoys starting fights- a part of his personality that's in bizarre conflict with his squeaky clean demeanor as a broadcaster, though it doesn't at all conflict with Kim Sin's hard-hitting passive-aggressive journalistic style. His swearing is a crude, but effective exemplar of this. Especially since this part of his attitude doesn't go away just because he has a moment of softness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 2 2013/10/15,
This episode features an extended look into the exciting world of TV broadcasting. Which, surprisingly enough, isn't really that interesting. The main charm from the first episode was in the general zaniness of the proceedings. That sense of imagination is largely missing here. Aside from a few basic points of motivation, all the focus here is on relatively mundane events that could have (and maybe did?) happen in the original timeline.
I won't be too hard on this episode, though, since it does set up a lot of important motivations. We get a glimpse as to what the future Mi-Rae's plan is, primarily in the way she meets and interacts with all these people in the past who are not her earlier self,...More
"Marry Him If You Dare" drops 2013/10/15, Source,
KBS 2TV drama "Choice of the Future" dropped in percentage and fought for second place.
According to Nielsen Korea on the 16th, the second episode of the drama rated 8.6%. This is 1.1% lower than the previous episode and makes it come in third,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 1 2013/10/14,
Time travel stories often have this frivolous air about them, that our heroes are using this amazing plot device to accomplish rather mundane feats. I don't hold it against the concept- time travel narratives would be pretty boring if every last one of them just boiled down to a plan to assassinate Hitler. "Marry Him If You Dare" makes the interesting narrative choice, though, of making us question the wisdom and discretion of the person messing around with history in the first place.
Even in the present day Mi-Rae (played by Yoon Eun-hye) isn't exactly the most sympathetic person,...More
Rain Under Fire for Bunking Off Military Duties 2013/01/03, Source,
Singer and actor Rain, who is serving his mandatory military service, has provoked controversy over the privileges enjoyed by star conscripts by taking unusually frequent holidays. The star attracted the latest unwelcome publicity after it was reported that he is dating actress Kim Tae-hee. Rain began his service in October 2011 as an assistant instructor at a boot camp on the front line but was transferred to Seoul in March last year to serve in the Army's entertainment corps. According to the Defense Ministry, Rain got 17 days off as a reward and took another 10 overnight vacation days since March. He spent another 44 days outside his military base on official business such as morale-boosting performances, recording sessions and dance practice for military events. In July, Rain spent four days at one studio in Gangnam,...More
2012 MAMA To Feature B.o.B. & Adam Lambert 2012/11/21, Source,
Both recognized internationally, pop singer Adam Lambert and hip hop singer-songwriter-producer B.o.B. will both be attending the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA). According to the Director of MAMA Han Dong-cheol, the entire world will be able to enjoy performances by these two acts at the awards ceremony which will be taking place on November 30th at the Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Center (HKCEC),...More
Lee Dong-geon parts ways with agency 2012/10/08, Source,
Actor Lee Dong-geon closed contracts with his current agency and is looking forward to coming back as a free man.
Lee Dong-geon and his current agency Mask Entertainment are discussing contract cancellation matters right now. An entertainment spokesperson revealed, "The two decided to end it here for their future. All the contract procedures will be taken care of within this week",...More
[special article] He's in the Army now, but not out of sight: Rain's commercial ads & projects shine on. 2012/03/03, Source,
- Written by: Stephe Thornton, Cloud USA Managing Editor ^@@^
Earlier this month, on February 11, South Korean singer, actor, and mega-entertainer Rain (a.k.a. ROK Army Private First Class JiHoon Jung) completed four months of service in the Republic of Korea military. In those four months, he has established himself as a serious super soldier at one of the toughest training camps (near the DMZ), as more physically fit than recruits ten years his junior, and as a loyal squadron leader and top sharpshooter of the 5th Division. No one can say he has used his celebrity and taken the easy road when it comes to doing his duty for his country.
Rain has never taken the easy road at anything. He's always taken the one he knew was right, worked very hard, and weathered whatever storm it may have entailed,...More
Stars Being Released From The Military In 2012 2012/02/17, Source,
Following the discharge of actor Lee Joon-ki from the military, much attention is being focused on other male stars expected to make their returns this year.
Lee first enlisted back on May 3, 2010, having served in the public relations department in the Ministry of National Defense. He was recently discharged on February 16th, and has already been busy with a fan meeting on the same day at Sang Myung University. 2,000 of his fans came out to greet him,...More
2012 discharges and comebacks 2012/02/13, Source,
There are several stars who are being discharged from National Service this year.
Lee Joon-ki is first. He is going to be completing his duties at the National Public Relations and is being discharged on the 16th. He will start working in Korea as soon as he is out.
There is going to be a fan meeting in Seoul Samg Myeong Art Hall on the day of his discharge and he is going to release his new single "Deucer" in Japan next month. Another fan meeting titled, "Coming Back Lee Joon-ki" will be held in Japan,...More
Weekly star scene 2011/08/17, Source, It's time for "weekly star scene" our selection of the top 5 stories that rocked the world of entertainment in Korea for the past week!
: Hold onto your seats because we have our one and only Dami in the studio with us! Hello Dami!
[Reporter : ] : Hey guys!
: What do you have for us today Dami[Reporter : ] : Well, I'm pretty sure you guys have noticed, but many people these days have been out on vacation enjoying their summer! And I was wondering, have you guys thought about where you'd like to go:
[Reporter : ] : Well, with K-pop fever these days, many international fans have chosen Korea as their vacation spot! On August 13th, there was a huge concert held in Incheon and about 6,500 fans attended from 10 different countries! The power of K-pop is growing day by day and today we begin with news about the concert that drove hallyu fans wild over the weekend!! Let's go!!,...More
South Korean Actress and Model Han Ji-Hye 2011/02/19, Source,
The South Korean actress and model Han Ji-hye was born on June 29, 1984. She made her debut in 2001 in dramas before taking up a lead role in Sweet 18.
Born Lee Ji-hye, she used the stagename "Han Ji-hye" upon learning that her real name would cause confusion among fans with an older actress, Lena Lee, who has the same Korean name as Han,...More
Lee Dong-geon appointed celebrity military officer 2010/07/23, Source,
Korean actor Lee Dong-geon [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean actor Lee Dong-geon, who entered the military last month as part of fulfilling the country's mandatory army duties, will be working as a celebrity military officer for the remainder of his serving period.
According to Korea's Defense Media Agency on Friday, the actor was recently assigned to the PR department in the agency after receiving five weeks of basic training at Chuncheon's 102 Reserve,...More
Lee Dong-geon: 'I Will Return After Fulfilling My Military Duty' 2010/06/16, Source, Actor Lee Dong-geon (30) Joined the army at the 102 Reserves located in Chuncheon, Kangwondo province on June 15. He arrived at the training camp two hours and fifteen minutes before the time that he was supposed to enter, wearing a short-sleeved shirt and jeans and stood in front of news reporters and his fans.
▲ Actor Lee Dong-geon is answering for reporters' questions before he enters the training camp in the afternoon on June 15,...More
Lee Dong-geon enters military Korean military 2010/06/15, Source,
Actor Lee Dong-geon speaks to reporters ahead of entering the 102 Reserves in Chuncheon of Gangwon Province of South Korea on June 15, 2010. [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]
Korean actor Lee Dong-geon entered the military today as part of fulfilling the country's two-year mandatory military services.
Lee, 29, bid farewell to scores of reporters and fans who showed up at the 102 Reserves in Chuncheon of Gangwon Province although news of his military entrance broke out just the previous day,...More
[ChanMi's star news] Hot news! New star couple! 2009/03/03, Source, Lee Dong-geon and Cha Ye-ryeon are dating!
The two have been good friends since last Fall and have developed into dating relationship! Last month Lee Dong-geon's surprise appearance in the drama "Celebrity" has been a big help in their relationship.
They have known each other mutually through friends but recently, they have been seen in coffee shops together more often!
Congratulations to the new couple!,...More
When National Treasure No.1 Namdaemun burned down in a fire in February this year, Koreans emotionally fell down with it. Although the government vowed that it will restore the beloved treasure, it was evident that cultural assets needed more attention. Followed b,...More
BUSAN _ The Korean Peninsula is sizzling up with not one but two hot spots. Deep south in Korea's largest port city, the 12th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF) turned into a cinephile's playground as the festive opening event unrolled Thursday night.,...More
'Forever, Asian Star Culture Expo In Japan' Opens in Tokyo 2007/08/02, Source, The opening ceremony for the second FACE In Japan:Forever, Asian Star Culture Expo In Japan, was held in grandeur on the 1st at the Tokyo Dome City Freedom Hall. This expo is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, and the Korean National Tour,...More
Korean Stars To Visit Japan in August 2007/07/25, Source, Well-known Korean stars with large fan bases in Japan will travel to Tokyo in August. The Japanese sports daily Nikkan Sports reported that a number of famous Korean stars are scheduled to appear at the two-day "FACE in Japan Premium Event" at the Tokyo Dome on August 14th and 15th. The event is par,...More
Young and glamorous stars in a typical "Cinderella-like" love story that have spurred hallyu, or the Korean Wave, are struggling to hold onto the viewers. Instead, soap operas targeting the older crowd, especially the "ajumma", a,...More
Bae Yong-joon, a Korean actor who is popular in Japan, announced his opinion on the worsening territorial row between Korea and Japan through his official Internet Web site on Monday, after showing reluctanc,...More
It's 6:00 a.m. on November 13 in the lobby of the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel. Over 100 Japanese women in their thirties and forties fill the lobby despite the early morning hour. They are waiting for "Dongon-sang", better known as the Korean actor Lee Dong-gun.
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