Monday, January 27, 2014


For the past week or so, I haven't been able to watch quite as many Kdrama (or Jdrama) episodes as I would otherwise have. Granted, I had midterms to prepare for in school, but there were other forces preventing me from spending all of my afternoons fangirling over Asian people.

And it's all thanks to these three people here:

The first picture is of Benedict Cumberbatch, the man playing Sherlock Holmes in the BBC drama...Sherlock. I'd been intrigued by how much people seemed to enjoy the show, but it wasn't until Hulu kept repeating the same Sherlock advertisement over...and over...and over again that I finally gave in. Currently (as the other two people pictured above and Kdramas - as well as a tiny bit of Black Butler have kept me from a marathon), I am on episode 3 on Netflix.

Then we have the second and third pictures. These two guys are Dan and Phil from danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil, two Youtube channels that are kind of intermingled...They are roommates, after all. I finished watching all of Dan's videos last week, and I have since started watching all of Phil's.

What ties these three all together? (You know, besides the shared address of Dan and Phil...)


The show and the two channels are British.

In my last post, I mentioned in the caption to the last picture that I've been in a British mood for the past week. Seriously, I've been feeling the urge to continue watching A Bit of Fry and Laurie, a sketch-comedy show from the early 1990's that I randomly watch parts of, as well. Hugh Laurie was in it; what can I say?

Most of my time was devoted to Dan, though...That sounds creepy...Let's just ignore the creepy aspect of that sentence, shall we?

I relate to Dan's mental processes so much that it's scary. Plus, as a result of my sympathy and because he's just really funny, he has caused many of what I like to call "laugh attacks" (I began using that term back in middle's a long, boring story...) over the past month.

Phil's...Phil. I don't necessarily laugh at him as much find him as amusing as I do Dan, but he's still entertaining. :)

Sherlock is one of those shows that keeps you on your toes. The scenes are high in energy, the dialogue is witty, and the title character blows your mind with how swiftly clever he is. There is a lot of crackiness in this drama; I kid you not.

Anyway, these three have been momentarily distracting me from my Asian tunnel vision. I would be so much farther in the Korean dramas I'm currently watching if it hadn't been for them.

Not that I mind.

No, I don't mind, since I now have a name for the miniature
 "existential cris[es]" I go through every five minutes.
And technically, episode 2 of Sherlock was about a case
involving Chinese drug dealers and numbers...
Don't ruin my Asian and British escapes from reality :P
Fun times... :)


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nine Days Until Movie-Watching Anniversary!

I forgot the exact day on which I downloaded my first K-pop song...but thanks to Netflix, I will never forget the day I saw my first Korean movie.

There will be more on that story on the actual anniversary of the day, though, so...uh...

Sad Movie (2005)

Perhaps a second viewing is in order...

Yes, that may be a wise idea...

But I will not allow myself to get caught up in the emotions.

Granted, I won't be watching Sad Movie at midnight on a school night this time, so that will certainly help.

Oh! Maybe on a day when my brother isn't home for a few hours, I can sneak into his room and watch the movie on his TV! He took my Playstation 3 into his room, so it's only fair that I continue to take advantage of the fact that it's hooked up to a TV that is superior to mine...

I've been in such a British mood this week, I didn't even realize that the mood had
pervaded into the blog until ten seconds ago.

Just replace "my" with "my awful yet amazing brother's" and "making no noise" with "attempting to suppress tears and feels" and that picture is totally applicable.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday the First: Flower Boy Next Door

Why, hello there, Drama of Cuteness.

When I decided to watch this in the middle of the year, I wasn't sure whether it would be good or not. The reviews I had read had said that Flower Boy Next Door was difficult to watch (KDramaFighting! compared the drama to exercise) and that it was boring. 

I thought otherwise. I'm part of what I guess is the majority, apparently, as a result. Flower Boy Next Door is adorable (well...not necessarily fangirl-moment-inducing adorable, but laughably so). I found it easy enough to watch to almost ignore the faults in the last few episodes.

Summary (from Viki):
Dok Mi is a young woman with a comfortable routine - every morning, she wakes up and spies on her good-looking neighbor, Tae Joon, from her window and voyeuristically copies his morning routine. Unable to face people, Dok Mi works as a freelance copy editor with as little interaction with the outside world as possible. But her comfortable, predictable existence comes to a halt when her peeping is discovered by Enrique, Tae Joon's younger brother who returns from a year in Spain and moves in with him. Suddenly, Dok Mi finds herself surrounded by a menagerie of young, good-looking neighbors who will not let her live her life in solitute. Jin Rak, a web comic writer who lives next door with his drawing partner, Dong Hoon, is intrigued by Dok Me and develops a new web series about her. Watanabe, an aspiring chef, also moves in on the same floor. Will these pretty boys allow Dok Mi to return to her reclusive lifestyle or will they force her to come out of her shell?

This actually could have been someone's first Kdrama. Back in November, I was talking with one of the sophomores at my school, and she decided that, since I bring dramas into the conversation so often, she might try one. This made it to the final three, but her first drama - when she gets around to watching it *glares* - will probably be Soul...

Anyway, let's move on to why this could still have a chance to be another person's first drama...

1) The female lead is cute.

Even if you don't think she's cute, she's relatable, at the very least. Come on, admit it; deep down, you know you're alike! Loners unite!

2) The male lead is cute.
There are two types of people:
those who laugh at this scene for its adorable humor;
and those who laugh because of how uncomfortable they
now feel.

For some viewers, he is like frosting that has way too much sugar. That's how sweet and adorable he is. Kawaii. To. The. Max.

But there are two male leads, so I might as well throw in a picture with Kim Ji Hoon in this category...

3) Almost everyone in this drama is cute...
...and relatable. (Sleep, must you be so elusive?)
Sometimes nonsensically so. (Hello again, Kim Ji Hoon.)

4) The humor is mixed in with the cuteness to make for natural fits of giggling.
Idiocy and sarcasm make for great laughs.
As do arguments.
5) The female lead curiously spends her days wearing her winter coat, isolated in her locked apartment. Her observations about herself and about relationships are interesting, to say the least.
Metaphor Overload.

6) Honestly, this drama is filled with fluffiness upon fluffiness.

That's really the main thing I have to say about Flower Boy Next Door. Besides the emotional analysis the script brings to the drama, there really isn't much else to say, to be honest...

If you want an overwhelmingly sweet start, Park Shin Hye, Yoon Shi Yoon, and the rest of the cast may be a fitting choice.

Disclaimer: Pamela is not responsible for any arguments, addictions, loss of social lives, increased understanding, or ridicule that may result from this post.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

My First Venture Into Japanese Dramaland: Limit Review

Summary (from gooddrama)
"The protagonist is a girl named 'Konno Mizuki', a typical senior high school girl who is good at studying, knows much about fashion, and is good at reading the situation. She is also fortunate to belong to the cool clique of her class called the "Sakura Group". One day, the class is on their way to a field trip when suddenly, their bus falls off a cliff in the mountains. Only five girls survive the accident. They are injured, lost in the mountains, and no one is coming for their rescue anytime soon. Pushed to their limits, the girls are forced to switch into survival mode and to lay bare their innermost feelings."

Limit is an intense drama. There is murder; there is suspicion; there are lies, truths, and questions.

The inevitable reality of the situation the survivors of a bus crash are stranded in is discussed in episode after episode. No one knows when - or if - a rescue team will come to save the group. Can the survivors trust one another? Can they put their dark past behind them for the sake of survival? Will they survive at all?

Once I saw Morishige, I thought she looked like EXO's Luhan.
These questions kept me watching. Some shows hint at the answers so much that we viewers are able to guess the twists and outcomes far in advance. In Limit, few of the answers were as simple. The quest to endure the tribulations of nature and each other's suspicions was full of intriguing intricacies.

Over the course of the six-hour series, each character had to deal with their own personal demons. There were troubles at home, with each other, and within that were addressed. Some could have been covered more, but the issues didn't suffer from over-coverage. A dilemma was referred to, there were a few flashbacks, there was screaming, and then there was (usually) a resolution (sort of).

Not the best way to go...

One complaint that I read about involved the main character, Mizuki. She had decided in middle school that she would just attempt to get through high school by "reading the atmosphere." When Mizuki realized how much pain she had put her friends through, and that she had never been successful at the analysis, she shifted suddenly. Within the first couple episodes, she already has become a concerned, apologetic teenager who wants to make things right with the people she's more or less stuck with and to get them all home safely.

Meet Mizuki, who looks slightly like a Japanese
Christina Grimmie. Just with shorter hair. And no Grimmie Poof.

And that's where her development ends.

That's it.

If it wasn't for Morishige (who I thought looked like EXO's Luhan) and the students' vice homeroom teacher (or whatever his position is called), the other viewers and I likely would have been much more disappointed. However...I'd say that the character in third place for most-satisfying growth - or regression, depending on how you look at it - is the second male that's in the forefront, Hinata. Other than him, Morishige and Igarashi-sensei, there's not much to say in terms of character growth.

This show pulled me in after the first ten minutes of introduction. Limit was rarely predictable, and it kept me questioning both the characters' and my own motivations throughout its six hours. I took away from Limit new ideas about interaction with others, friendship, and guilt, whether I will ever implement these lessons or not.

I also learned a few tips and tricks that could be useful for survival, should I ever be stranded in a forest after my bus driver dies and drives the vehicle over a cliff.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Okay, the Ship Hasn't Completely Sunk (Empress Ki)

Note: spoilers ahead.

For the past few episodes of Empress Ki (I'm currently on episode 19), I've been increasingly disliking the relationship between two of the leads: Nyang - Empress Ki/Qi - and Wang Yoo, the fictional king of Koryo.

Early on in the drama, I enjoyed them as a couple, as friends. What would it feel like right now if I still shipped them? *sigh* If it wasn't for Mr. Life Ruiner here...

Why must you exist, Ji Chang Wook...?
You're just too adorable.
...then I would have been in love with Nyang and Wang Yoo being in love.

However...then Wang Yoo found out that Seung Nyang was actually a girl named Nyang. (By the way, the beginning is probably one of my favorite gender-bender implementations so far in a drama.) After that, he seemed to treat her more like his obedient subject, even after he was deposed. He began to really act more like a ruler, like a superior figure. 

The fact that she's a girl doesn't mean you can ignore her

For a lot of this drama so far, Nyang has remained loyal and devoted to her king, acting more like the obedient subject he seems to see her as.

Meanwhile, there's the Emperor. Although she is just his maid, and he will sometimes treat her as such, ordering her to do everything for him, he also treats her as an equal. There are even times she seems to be seen as superior to him. He relies on her to read for him so he can sleep. He asks for her advice on leadership, even though she is still just a woman and just a maid. And because he's such a baby - a fatally adorable baby - who can rarely do anything for himself, she looks down on Emperor Togon.

But then all you have to do is put Wang Yoo within earshot or within her peripheral vision, and she becomes a wide-eyed, pathetic mess.

It is because of her pathetic nature, that both parties are blindly fine with, that I have really come to dislike Wang Yoo in his romantic affairs. He's awesome, I'll admit - because the show glorifies those of Koryo descent while depicting most of the Mongols and their allies as unscrupulous mongrels - and I enjoy watching him fight for justice. However, once Nyang is by his side... *thumbs down*

This brings me to the middle of episode 19. Wang Yoo is annoyed that Nyang would even think of picking up a bow and arrow and demonstrating her strength. Granted, she's hurt, but that never stopped her before.

Then, he, Nyang, and his royal posse take a trip to the Koryo quarters of the Yuan's capital city.

Now, maybe it's because Nyang doesn't have any available feminine clothes, as she lived as a man for most of her life, and she doesn't have any dresses now that Wang Yoo took her from the Imperial Palace (and from Life Ruiner :( ), but she's still dressing as a man. It does give me some joy to see that Wang Yoo allowed her to accompany him in men's clothing, despite his restrictions on her non-femininity. He let the future empress dress in robes that were meant for the gender with which she was characterized as exhibiting more strength..

As subtle as this may be, it keeps the ship (you know...that ship) floating for at least another five minutes. Let's see if he screws it up as the episode continues, shall we?

(UPDATE, forty-two minutes into episode 20: Nope, I ship them again. I don't think anyone understands just how much Wang Yoo's theme music, as well as that freaking kiss, affect me.)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Kdramas: PPIF #4

I've been having quite a bit of fun with dramas over the past few weeks. I was focusing on Smile, Dong Hae for the first half of December, and we've just been watching drama specials in Operation: Kdrama Chat - although we're about to start another series next week - but I've watched a lot of episodes of a few other dramas over the course of my holiday break.

I have two weeks off this year; what could be a better time to improve my marathoning skills?

Anyway...ON TO THE LIST! (This reminds me...I should probably update/write some of my online stories at some point...)

Recently Finished (Past):

-Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
(Man, it's been a while since I did the last PPIF...I finished this a month and a half ago...)
"Na Goo Yong Ha da..." 
Cue fangirl squeals.

-Five Fingers (2012)
Can I just say that the music is really good in this? (Well, it was the reason I watched it, so it sure needed to be.)
Excuse me while I pause every two seconds while adding Five Fingers to this post in order to lose more of my sanity to the life-ruining existence of Ji Chang Wook. (I swear, he's probably become my favorite actor.)

-Soul (2009)
These first three dramas I completed in mid-late November...I really haven't been on here in a while...

-Heirs (2013)
I had to take a break from this for a month, but I finished it...

-Limit (2013)
I've been watching anime and listening to J-pop for years, so I don't know why it took me so long to watch a Japanese drama...I watched this in one day (there are only twelve half-hour episodes), and I personally enjoyed it a lot. (Maybe my next mini-review will be about this...)

Currently Watching (Present):

-Smile, Dong Hae (2010)
I'm probably not going to finish this until after May...It's mainly because I don't want to ignore other completed dramas just to finish this...Ji Chang Wook, my baby, you understand, right?
I find it funny that the character of Do Jin is a quasi-antagonist here, and I want to punch him in the face at times, but then I go to Pretty Man and I just want to hug him.

-Pretty Man (2013) (finishes next week)
I started this for IU, but this drama is so full of Second Male Lead Syndrome that Bo Tong isn't even my favorite character...
By the way, this is random, but can I just say that Hong Yoo Ra looks like Lola from Shark Tale?
I can't even...

-Empress Ki (2013-2014) (ends in May)
Ji Chang Wook, your existence is going to be the death of me.
Partially because of my bias, partially because this drama is really good, partially because I enjoy the historical aspect of it (despite its inaccuracies), partially because the instrumentals are amazing, and partially because it makes me cry tears of sadness and of fangirling, this will probably be one of my favorite dramas.
Yeah, I said it.

-Medical Top Team (2013)
Now, I originally put this on my TBW list because of the medical aspect of it (blame House.), but then I watched Five Fingers, and I wanted more of Joo Ji Hoon in my life. Minho was an afterthought.

Up Next (Immediate Future):

This section is a little iffy, as I don't really have a definite "immediate future," in terms of which ones I'm going to watch...These are just what I'm thinking about watching next.

-Age of Feeling (2014)
I have no reservations about starting this one, however. I can't pass up the opportunity to watch my Gangaji Sunbae (my nickname for Kim Hyun Joong) in action!
Also, I recently found out that the female lead from Five Fingers is in it, which I guess I'm okay with. Kim Kap Soo is in it, too, and I've been stumbling across him for months without meaning to, and this both bothers me and elates me. HE'S EVERYWHERE.

-Arang and the Magistrate (2012) or The Return of Iljimae (2009)
Which drama will I end up watching? That all depends on which one gets the most votes in the poll on Operation: Kdrama Chat. I'll end up watching both of them eventually, of course, but there's an intense battle going on in the Facebook group to decide which one the group will be discussing. Voting ends today, though.
(Personally, I voted for The Return of Iljimae, but that's only because I'm not sure if I'll have to force myself through that one for the sake of discussing. I don't think I'll need that extra incentive with Arang.)

-My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010)
It looks cute. Plus, I went to see 47 Ronin earlier this week, so I'm in the mood for a mythical fox. (I spent half the movie thinking about kitsunes/gumihos just because one of the antagonists in the movie is a shape-shifting witch.)

I have so many dramas waiting for me; honestly, the number of dramas on my "Plan to Watch" list on MyDramaList is ridiculous. Ah, the life of a K-drama fan...