[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 31-32 Final 2017/07/18,
The final clean-up takes place pretty quickly. Really, once it's established that the right people were digging in just a little deeper, and that most of last time's cliffhanger was just a matter of dramatic license, there really isn't any direction for Gi-joon to go except for straight down. There is, naturally, also the gratification of seeing all the other villains brought in one by one and punished for their transgressions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 29-30 2017/07/17,
Now that enough of the conspiracy has been brought to light, the only real outstanding question is whether Ji-hoon will be brought to justice. Ji-hoon has always enjoyed the most protection because of all the people who have benefited from the allegations against the former Queen, Ji-hoon's boons have been the most subtle and obscured. All the same, Queen Jungjeon needed some sort of high level ally. And attempts at making Pil-yeong and Woo the fall guys run into some obvious logical problems,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 31-32 2017/07/11,
The backstory revelations end up going down a lot better than I was expecting, because the emphasis is less on the danger child Woo's actions have on adult Woo's relationships, and more on the central character flaw both Woos possess- arrogance. I was somewhat surprised to see that even as a child Woo was considered an all-star at the royal court, but this is consistent with what we've seen from the very first episode. Woo may well have been thought of as a good potential match for Princess Hyemyeong even at that time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 25-26 2017/07/10, Yoon Se-ah is very good as Queen Jungjeon. She's striking a very difficult balance- Yoon Se-ah is playing someone who is being a very fundamentally bad actor. Queen Jungjeon isn't using to anyone talking back to her, and is in constant panic mode, for all her bravado, that someone is going to find out that she is a fraud. Queen Jungjeon does manage to slow Princess Hyemyeong down a little bit with some key revelations, but we can tell just from the nervous way her haughty noblewoman laugh sounds that internally, Queen Jungjeon is freaking out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 23-24 2017/07/04,
Even the romantic action in "My Sassy Girl - Drama" is light, as Woo makes a breakthrough in the investigation and proceeds to try and avoid telling Princess Hyemyeong about it. This predictably leads to a brief interruption in their giddy love affair, as she is mad at him. But don't worry- slowly and surely, bit by bit, they come to another understanding as Woo makes it clear that he is one hundred percent on Princess Hyeomyeong's side and isn't going anywhere,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 21-22 2017/07/03,
The larger conflict is once again put on the back burner. Prince Darhan has gone home, leaving Woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong to swoon over each other privately. I like Woo's sense of diplomacy. He can ask for pretty much anything from royalty right now, and rather than getting greedy, Woo is sensible and basic in his desires. Woo, and Princess Hyeomhyeong for that matter, are quite patient and more than willing to live life a single day at a time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 19-20 2017/06/27,
By the end of episode twenty we get to the big exciting climax where Woo has figured out a way to expose a conspiracy. It's satisfying as expected, because even if there's no direct evidence implicating Gi-joon, his participation in the broader scheme can definitely be used to put his credibility into question somewhere down the line. But why did we need four episodes to get to this point? The conspiracy only had minimal exposition, and the remaining screentime has mostly just been about the love triangle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 17-18 2017/06/26,
Prince Darhan (played by Chris) is the main dominant presence here, and the man's bad news. He's really nice. Really, I just can't get enough of the guy smiling good-naturedly and engaging Princess Hyeomhyeong with all these corny pick-up lines. Best of all, Prince Darhan tends to just ignore Gi-joon, and doesn't especially care about the pomp and circumstances of royalty. Prince Darhan is quite the charming guy, save for the problem of Woo being Princess Hyeomhyeong's actual love interest,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 15-16 2017/06/20,
While Woo and Princess Hyemyeong have made great progress in terms of finally discovering that Gi-joon is behind the conspiracy, there remains one glaring problem. They can't do anything about it. All concrete evidence of Gi-joon's activities has been successfully destroyed. While Princess Hyemyeong is right that she has to do something, Woo is also right in pointing out that their position is far too weak to actually challenge Gi-joon on anything right now,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 13-14 2017/06/19,
Woo and Princess Hyemyeong are largely sidelined for these two episodes. Indeed, the big climax barely even features them at all. Instead, Choon-poong (played by Shim Hyung-tak) pops out of nowhere to helpfully identify what's going on at the butcher shop. It's pretty clear Choon-poong wants us to think that he's an idiot, when he is in fact one of the more competent characters in a drama where nearly everyone is at least of above average intelligence,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 11-12 2017/06/13,
It was only with these episodes that I noticed that the parents of the lead characters are also the principles in the related royal conspiracy plotline, and the parallels are noteworthy. King Huizong, like Princess Hyemyeong, is oblivious to the real threat facing the royal family, only seeing the surface level. Gi-joon, like Da-yeon, is very good at seeming nice and helpful when in fact his every action is mean-spirited and destructive. Pil-yeong (played by Jo Hee-bong), like Woo, is a smart guy with a good reputation who is struggling to figure out how deep this rabbit hole goes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 9-10 2017/06/12,
So I appear to have misread Joon-yeong's character. Apparently he's not Princess Hyemyeong's love interest at all, but rather the protagonist in the parallel storyline about trying to figure out who kidnapped Princess Hyemyeong and why. Joon-yeong has his work cut out for him. Not only is he dealing with an elaborate conspiracy far beyond his pay grade, but Princess Hyemyeong, the person who Joon-yeong is supposed to be protecting, isn't aware of the danger because as far as she knows the pawnbroker was acting alone,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 7-8 2017/06/06,
One of the better clarifications "My Sassy Girl - Drama" has been making lately is that there are in fact two Princess Hyemyeongs. The first one, the one that exists in the real world, quickly gets vindictive about perceived personal slights. But once the conflict is resolved, she is mostly willing to forgive and forget. By contrast the second Princess Hyemyeong, the one that exists in Gyeon-woo's imagination, continues her personal grudges forever, driving Gyeon-woo completely mad,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 5-6 2017/06/05,
The opening of the fifth episode is an extended replay of the last scene of the fourth episode- and it really is a perfect example of how good editing can turn a borderline unwatchable sequence into a genuinely entertaining one. We get a lot more exposition about why the pawnbroker is a bad dude who got what was coming to him. More importantly, Princess Hyemyeong gets some badly needed positive personality traits. She made the mess here, not as a consequence of her being a fickle psychotic, but out of a genuine concern for justice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 3-4 2017/05/30, Oh Yeon-seo's central expression as Princess Hyemyeong is very appropriate. Even in pictographic form, she looks horrifically sinister. So all the time Gyeon-woo is talking about his efforts to try and meet her again, I'm just thinking to myself, do you really think that's a good idea? And predictably enough, upon finally actually finding Princess Hyemyeong, Gyeon-woo once again faces peril and disaster for no apparent cause,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 1-2 2017/05/29,
The first half of the first episode of "My Sassy Girl - Drama" consists entirely of an elaborate royal conspiracy. It involves nighttime, massive swordfights, escapes, a perilous childbirth scene, and is generally completely indistinguishable from a serious historical drama prologue. Then we flash forward ten years later and scholar Gyeon-woo (played by Joo Won) is trying to maintain balance on a boat while narrating about how cool and beloved he was back in China,...More
[Funcurve Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" 2016/11/26,
"Cinderella and the Four Knights" is a modern day Kdrama based on a book of the same name. While it draws certain plot devices and characterization like the step mother and pseudo maid lifestyle of our heroine from the original fairy tale premise, there is the feeling that it's an original story. This is mostly due to a mix of good actors and some great on-screen chemistry. I must commend the female cast of this drama in particular as they're all convincing in their various roles. The female lead Park So-dam stood out in particular considering the fact she's a relatively new face in the drama scene,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 14 2016/09/28,
Truths and lies whittle away at the happiness of our main characters, but not as much as the failing health of CEO Gramps. His lack of consciousness is a trigger for many to try to usurp power including his new wife, those in his company, and potentially our Kang cousins.
First, the CEO's wife digs her claws into the company and into Yoon-seong in order to attain her goals: money and power,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 13 2016/09/28,
The adorable manifestations of a mutually shared love never last long and that between Ji-woon and Ha-won lasts the length of this episode before its conclusion promises big changes on all fronts. Ha-won has quite conveniently forgotten her contract with CEO Gramps that contains the "no dating" clause, and now it comes back to get her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 12 2016/09/22,
There was a lot of progress in episode 12 and we have Ha-won and Ji-woon to thank, but especially Ha-won. The traits that the CEO hired her for came through for her again: her faith and tenacity. Her influence causes a waterfall effect in the behavior of the Kang cousins, making them problem solve and take charge of their own lives. As Ha-won deals with her own problems, although she wants someone to lean on, she proceeds to take care of things on her own,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 11 2016/09/21,
As anticipated, Hye-ji moving into Sky House causes problems, especially because her passive aggressive behavior towards Ha-won is rather viperous. The Kang cousins have trouble adjusting to her presence and the awkwardness makes Ha-won not only feel self-conscious, but lonely for the first time since she entered Sky House. That loneliness is such an interesting twist in her story,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 10 2016/09/19,
Feelings are starting to escalate to a point of high tension because there is still a lot of denial even more deception running amuck. Tricksters lurk around those with money, and those with money are dealing with problems of their own. Luckily for us, our heroine is forthcoming with most things besides the emotions she doesn't quite understand. Ha-won chases after Ji-woon in the best way she knows how: with a mixture of third grade antics and brutal honesty,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 9 2016/09/17,
Love is in the air and with that love comes jealousy and complicated love lines. In a story as cute as this one those love lines aren't heinously annoying - just a tad annoying. The pairings of the Kang cousins and Ha-won are charming, and I like how Yoon-seong is slowly being integrated into the texture. Ha-won hurts herself this episode, which inspires a lot of reverse harem servitude and stirs up a lot of feelings,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 8 2016/09/09,
Well, I just have to say it. This show is ridiculously cute. Jung Il-woo brought out the aegyo and Ha-won manages to soften up the Kang family and friends even more with her honesty and sincerity. Again, the episode really focuses on Hyun-min and his introspection, but it also focuses on relationship development and tossing in a few more obstacles for our heroes to surmount. The utterly horrible step-mother and step-sister are still scheming to hurt Ha-won as much as possible and plan to foist Ha-won off on a man who may or may not be her biological father,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 6 2016/08/31,
Now that it has been established that Ha-won is an important person in the Kang family we get to see how the boys go out of their way to protect her when school-aged kids turn mean, and when jealousy incites terrible behavior. As of yet, the Kang cousins haven't yet gone head to head romantically, but a declaration from one of them makes such an occurrence a bit difficult. The perfect stuffs of K-drama. The step-family has stepped in to meddle with Ha-won's life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 5 2016/08/31,
Love is in the air and it is Ha-won's earnest desire for the Kang cousins to live well that really touches them and makes their hearts flutter. Not only is she working for their benefit, but she also draws very clear lines with them, speaking her mind and keeping it real. This is a quality not found in the cousins' parents, grandfather, or any other people in their lives - its a winning quality that keeps their attention and makes it difficult to follow the "no dating" rule,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 4 2016/08/21,
The mission continues as Ha-won tries to get the three cousins to sit down for a meal. It proves a challenge as each cousin's wounds prevents him from giving the Kang family a chance. Ha-won eventually figures out that she has to get to know them in order to try and bring them closer together. In the process, they get to know her as well. It's not the smoothest "getting-to-know-you" that ever was, but that's what gives this show it's conflict. The three cousins are showing interest in her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 3 2016/08/21,
This is the episode where Ha-won and the three princes of Sky House are thrown together and forced to get used to each other by sheer proximity, and because of a mission passed down by CEO Kang. The princes flesh out their stereotypes, but still are not much more than their textbook definition. Where progress is made is in how Ha-won slowly learns about each prince. "Cinderella and the Four Knights" still very much seems like a live action shoujo/girl-aged manga, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's light-hearted, cute, and is a great way to pass the time. A character I haven't given much attention to is Yoon-sung, CEO Kang's right-hand man who executes his will and attempts to help Ha-won manage the rogue cousins,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 2 2016/08/16,
"Cinderella and the Four Knights"'s second episode is more introduction because we need to get Cinderella into the palace. In order to do that, the story beats to the ground with birth secrets, money woes, and contentious interactions with the three Kang cousins of Sky House. The cousins have no easy go at things either as their CEO Chaebol Granddaddy uses his money to buy their obedience. This is most likely going to be a theme and I have a feeling Cinderella will not only change the hearts of the cousins, but of their grandfather as well,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 1 2016/08/16,
Pre-produced, manhwa-based "Cinderella and the Four Knights" is everything one would expect out of a fairytale inspired drama. It's a mix of the classic Cinderella, a bit of hardworking Candy, and a whole lot of typical drama tropes with chaebol grandfather's, monster inheritances, some fine acting, and some mediocre acting. I come at this drama not having read the source material, the manhwa by Baek Myo begun in 2011. HanCinema readers, if you have, please chime in and let me know what you think!,...More
TTS-Girls' Generation, CNBLUE Added to KCON 2016 LA Line-up #KCONLiveChat 2016/05/01, Source,
KCON 2016 presented by Toyota revealed today that the Billboard-topping girl group TTS and the pop-rock boy group CNBLUE will be joining the KCON 2016 Los Angeles lineup! Celebrating its fifth anniversary, KCON USA is the world's largest Korean culture convention and music festival. KCON NY is returning to the Prudential Center and will expand to two nights of concerts running June 24-25. KCON LA kicks off a month later and takes place July 29-31 at the Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center,...More
[HanCinema's Korea Joa] Lisa's Diary - M! Countdown 2016/01/09,
Music shows are one of K-pop's most important forms of artist exposure and fanservice. They showcase the new acts, the returning acts, and give fans one more way to connect to their idols. There is a music show every day of the week and artists often hit many of them in order to promote new singles, mini-albums, and albums. Internationally, they allow fans to see their idols live on a weekly basis. In Korea, attending music shows is an involved process that gives fans many opportunities to see their bias groups live. I was lucky enough to attend a live broadcast of Mnet's M! Countdown episode # 446 on October 8, 2015,...More
CNBLUE to Release New Album in Mid-September 2015/08/31, Source,
Boy band CNBLUE will get together again in mid-September for the release of their second full-length album, after their mini-album released in February last year.
Recently, the four members have been focusing on their individual careers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 11 2014/08/21, "Temptation" is snowballing into a massive knot of churning emotions and erasing any clear line between right and wrong. Everyone is in an agitated state of mind and not thinking very clearly. This is when the fallout from the divorces can truly be seen, in the aftermath of the emotionally messy affair. It can best be seen in Hong-joo who is no longer a meek flower who never defends herself,...More
CNBLUE to hold arena tour in Japan 2012/07/19, Source,
Korean rock band CNBLUE will undertake an arena tour of Japan in October. The four-member group is to give nine performances in six cities including Niigata, Osaka, Hiroshima and Saitama. According to their agency FNC Entertainment on Wednesday, the tour is to start at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya on Oct. 2 and run through Oct. 21. Some 100,000 are expected to attend the concerts,...More
Juniel tries to make girl rock mark on K-pop scene 2012/06/08, Source,
Can a teen girl rocker make a dent on the music scene dominated by dance pop troupes? Nineteen-year-old Juniel thinks so. "I have my own identity, my own style, my own voice", she told a room full of reporters at her debut showcase Thursday in Seoul. "I don't' have to compete with girl groups".,...More
World grows smaller for boy band CNBLUE 2012/04/17, Source,
Members of the four-strong boy band CNBLUE pose for the camera at a gallery of the Korea Foundation in downtown Seoul. The popular group have recently released their EP titled "Ear Fun". / Courtesy of enewsworld
This is the first of a 15-part series on the stars and trends in "hallyu", or the Korean Wave, which is gaining global popularity particularly in Southeast Asia and Latin America. The Korea Times produces this special project in cooperation with the Korea Foundation and CJ E&M. - ED.
By Kwaak Je-yup Since their 2009 debut in Korea, CNBLUE have been one of the few rock bastions in the ultra-competitive local music scene dominated by danceable electro-pop,...More
CNBLUE to open Linkin Park's concert in Japan this weekend 2011/09/07, Source,
Korean rock band CNBLUE have been chosen as the opening act to Linkin Park's upcoming concert in Japan, according to the official website of Linkin Park and CNBLUE's official Japanese website.
The respective websites revealed on Wednesday that CNBLUE will warm up the crowd before Linkin Park takes the stage at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan on September 10 as part of their nationwide tour titled "A THOUSAND SUNS JAPAN TOUR 2011".,...More
[10ASIA EXCLUSIVE] K-pop idols' Wants & Hopes for 2011: CNBLUE & FTIsland 2010/12/17, Source, [** This will be part of a series of weekly interviews to be published throughout December on what Korea's hottest idol stars want and hope for in the year 2011.]
CNBLUE and FTIsland [FNC Music]
Two of Korea's hottest rock bands, CNBLUE and FTIsland, have several things in common: they are both managed by talenthouse FNC Music, they won their first award on a televised music show in just two weeks into their debut, they are known for their pretty looks and are widely popular throughout Asia. Start with CNBLUE, the four-member idol band composed of Jung Yong-hwa, Lee Jong-hyun, Lee Jung-shin and Kang Min-hyuk, who in 2009, kicked off their singing career in Japan first. They then received a boost to their debut in Korea when leader and main vocalist Jung starred in popular TV series "You're Beautiful" through which he shot to fame just a couple of months before CNBLUE officially appeared in the local music scene,...More
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