Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kiss&Cry Domino Game


How's the song? 

I was so ready to talk about Sunny Hill this week. I have recently been getting more and more into them so of course I was excited to hear them come back as a five member group. I really liked the song and the video was plain, but pretty and it fit with the vibe of the song. Then I went to this video which came out the same day as Sunny Hill and as soon as I heard it I immediately thought, where have you been all my life? I also watched Gain's teaser video and I'm a little uncomfortable now. I know that's the name of her song and all, but I was not expecting it in the video. I'm not sure what I was expecting, I think I'm just going to pretend that it never happened.Yeah, that sounds good.

My first impression of Kiss & Cry is that they are an older group, not that they are OLD or anything one member I found was born in '92, but they seem to be more of a woman group rather than a girl group. Maybe that is what I need in my life: more women and less girls. Does that mean I'm maturing?

This song has a really cool Spanish flair with all the brass and percussion. It starts off strong and it stays strong throughout the whole thing. I haven't mentioned this yet, but this is the debut track of this group but they aren't all rookies in the business. More about that here. I had no idea they were a rookie group and if they continue to put out amazing things like this, they could be a new favorite group in the making.

As a side note, what is with the word "leggo"? I feel that it was all over the place last year or was I just paying more attention to things last year and it has been around for longer than that?

How's the video? 

Sexy is the hot concept lately and I can't say that I like it, but if I was to be asked what I think that girl groups should be doing I wouldn't have had an answer. I have an answer now though! This is my answer! This video shows that these women are good singers and dancers, but they are also pretty. They are sexy, but in a way that makes them appear like powerful women rather than pieces of meat. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but that is really how I feel about a lot of recent music videos and I hate that. 

How's the styling? 

Before I start talking about Kiss&Cry again, I just want to mention that I really liked Seung Ah's long grey sweater in the Sunny Hill video. Hi, my name is Alora, and I have an addiction to sweaters.

Anyways, there were a lot of nice outfits in this video. The first outfits being the group outfits, my favorite ones are the white, gold, and blue ones.


Maybe it's because this set of outfits are brighter than the other ones, but they really caught my eye. Also, with things like this I wonder how much the clothing reflects the singers own style. Is the one in the skirt the "girly" one or did she just happen to be put in the skirt?

As for the individual outfits I don't really have a favorite, but I think we should look at those stripper shoes that were going around.


Those things are monsters. I tried on a pair of crazy heels, but not quite that high at DSW once just for giggles, and I had to stay on my toes when I tried to walk. If I tried to put any pressure on my heels I felt like I was going to die. That's probably why she's laying on that counter top, she can't actually walk in those.  

Is the dance super amazing? 

The dance is pretty simple, but there are two moments that are pretty cool. The first one, and my favorite in in the beginning when the four member make a clock. I think SHINee and their helicopter have some competition; especially Onew since he was the propeller.


The second dance was more your usual dance break down, but it was still well done. They also have the fabulosity that comes with dancing with long hair.


Which member owned it? 

The person in this group that caught my eye was Dia.


Her voice was killer, not that everyone's wasn't though, and she is really cute. Something about her nose is weird though, I can't put my finger on it though. I only notice it when she is in the red dress though, maybe it is the lighting. It just looks really slim and straight. Is it weird that I noticed that?

Does the English make your ears bleed?  

After looking at the lyrics I realized that there was more English that I originally thought, but it was only an occasional word rather than a whole phrase. They also didn't really enunciate the "away" in "I will go away" so it sounds like "I will go way".   

~ Alora

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

K-pop Tag

So, just for giggles, I thought that I would do the K-pop tag, not that I have been tagged by anyone. It would be cool to be tagged, but alas, I'm not that cool.


1. Favorite guy group 


This was actually a hard decision because I also really like VIXX, Block B, and B1A4. These four groups are my favorite collectively, but I chose these guys because they are my first love. They got me into K-pop and no matter what happens, they will always have a special place in my heart.

2. Favorite girl group 


I'm going to be honest, I don't really listen to girl groups. Right now I am really liking G.I and Heyne, but I can't really say that they are my favorite since I don't know a lot about them. The reason that I picked 2NE1 is because I have all of their music except their most recent songs because I haven't really liked them. What I do like about 2NE1 though is that they are a powerful group of women who sing powerful songs. It is different than the usually sexy, cutey look that most girls go for.

3. Ultimate guy bias 


I think that this macro speaks for itself.

I love me some Heechul.

4. Ultimate girl bias 


Can we all just agree that  Dara is perfect? Please? It makes me sad that she is overshadowed in 2NE1 because while she is talented, CL, Minzy, and Bom are more talented so Dara's position is confusing sometimes. She's the director of communications of 2NE1 though and she has talent for variety. She has talent, but it isn't something that can be conveyed in a music video.

5. Favorite K-pop performance 


Super Junior's "No Other" is probably one of my favorite live performances. Why? Because these boys are a bunch of weirdos. That, of course, could be said about many groups, but with this performance, I feel like SM just told them to have fun and do whatever they wanted to do.

1. Leeteuk is way too happy looking, flipping his hair, but he's not constantly yelling things during this particular performance, only occasionally
2. Leeteuk's insanity causes Heechul to give him stank face
3. Ryeowook also gets in quite a few hair flips as well
4. The insanity that is Eunhyuk, Shindong, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Sungmin at the start of Shindong'srap
5. Lastly, every performance is different, in this one Heechul has a balloon, Sungmin retaliates, and it is wonderful

6. K-pop dance you would want to learn 


Yeah, we're talking about Super Junior again, deal with it. Maybe because this was the first K-pop song that I really liked, but I have always enjoyed this dance. It has that one key part and it isn't incredibly difficult, not that it is easy either though.

7. First K-pop song you ever heard 


This isn't the song that grabbed me by the throat and dragged me into K-pop, but it was the first song that I ever heard. It was a complete accident as well, I think that it was a add on the side of my Facebook that I randomly clicked. I thought that the concept of the video was cool, but I didn't love the song.

I actually ended up forgetting about the song which was a problem when I wanted to look it up again so that I could learn more about it. The video that helped me find this one was actually The Fine Bros "Kids React to K-pop" video.

 8. Favorite interview 

I'm having trouble posting the video because it's on Daily Motion, but this is an interview with Block B. The reason that I like it so much is because, I like anything that has to do with Block B and they are so natural in their interviews. They don't just sit there stiffly and read things, they destroy the area that they are in. No joke, they are hitting each other, dragging one another out of the shot, and there is a little booth type of thing that looks like it went through a hurricane by the end of the video. It's great. 

9. Favorite picture of your favorite group 


Okay, so I know that I said that my two favorite groups are SuJu and 2NE1, but this is one of my favorite pictures of Block B. It's not a picture of them being derp monsters, it's their comeback picture. This was one of the greatest comebacks ever because they were able to tell the industry to suck it and came back and then won an award.

10. What do your friends and family think about you watching K-pop  

My family has come to accept it. They do think that it is really weird, but after being all about anime and manga in high school, to say the least, they're not surprised. 

11. Favorite cover by a K-pop song by a K-pop artist 

I'm going to cheat here and put one funny cover and one serious cover. I do what I want!



When it comes to K-pop groups singing other groups' songs, I normally prefer things that are done for fun rather than for seriousness. It is also amusing - and terrifying - when guy groups go full out and put on a skirt to do a girl group number. I'm looking at you VIXX.

For this category though, I have chosen a group of covers, and that word is being used loosely. BTOB have a collection of videos of them in the Cube practice room jamming on the karaoke machine to various K-pop songs and it is...... interesting.....to say the least. 

You rock that tambourine Peniel.

 
This song makes me feel a lot of feels. It would probably make me feel more if I knew who Kim Sung Jae was, but I can still appreciate the sadness that is felt when someone leaves us too soon. VIXX does a beautiful job at capturing the feel of this song while also making it their own.

My favorite part though is that note that Ken hits in the beginning. Holy crap, that was amazing.

12. Favorite cover of an American song by a K-pop artist 


Well, that just happened.

13. Favorite video of your ultimate bias 



This is more of a group thing that a solely Heechul thing, but it is still awesome. For those of you who haven't watched Super Junior's Intimate Note, you are missing out on life. In this particular cut, some of the SuJu boys decide that Heechul and Eunhyuk are particularly awkward with each other so they decide that they are going to stand on a roof and insult them. Heechul of course cows the members into saying that they love him instead.

I'm pretty sure that Heechul could ruin almost every famous person in the Korean entertainment industry if he wanted to.

14. Favorite dance battle 


There is quite a lot going on in this video, but the important part is the first half. The idol groups all send out their best dancer to show off their moves. The only two groups that I care about though are Block B and BAP who send out B-Bomb and Jongup respectively and the two of them do pretty well. Jongup also makes everyone fear for their lives as he gets his b-boy on.

But then, it gets real. The female host, whose name I can never remember calls out Shindong and everyone else in the room become dancing peasants. He kills it and it's amazing. He puts all the other dancers to shame and they are all aware of that.

Shindong has always made me really happy because he is the "chubby idol". He doesn't look like any other idol because he is heavier and I think that is great. It shows that you don't have to have abs and be conventionally good looking to be successful in the business. Get it Shindong.

15. What is your favorite album? 
 

I don't buy a lot of albums because I don't want to buy the whole thing if I don't absolutely love it. Why would I spend money on something that I don't want? After saying that though, I have to be honest, "No Joke" isn't my favorite song I have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. Linking that video was the first time I looked at the translated lyrics and Holy English Lirycs Batman, where did all that come from?

For other albums that I really like, they are Super Junior's second album, it's a shame that it is overshadowed by "Sorry Sorry", and B1A4's new album Who Am I.

So there you have it, the K-pop tag. If I had someone to tag, I would, but I don't. So who wants to do this? Anyone? Anyone?

~ Alora

Monday, January 20, 2014

Word of the Day: Second Male Lead

Second Male Lead n. 1. The supporting male character in a drama. 2. The man who is a lovely human being, but ultimately looses to the jerkish male lead

There will, without fail, be a second male lead in a drama. He is there to create conflict for the main couple so the male lead will eventually step up his game and confess to his lady love. He is also there to break the hearts of the audience. They sit and wish futility that some how, some way, he can win the female lead and live happily ever after. It is nine times out of a ten a wish that will only bring heartache and the fangirls out there are well aware of it.

I have felt this pain a few times, though not as much as the rest of our group. The main one that comes to mind is Cha Chi Soo from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. I like Cha Chi Soo, okay? I liked him better than Kang Hyuk and that's just the way it is. I'm looking at you Kris.

 
Not all male leads grab me by the heart and don't leave any room for any one else though. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the second male lead weasels his way into my heart and no matter how I fight it I continue my love affair knowing that, in the end, I will probably end up hating everything and/or crying.

So, in no particular order, these are the second leads that left me with a broken heart.

Oh Jin Rok in Flower Boy Next Door


I can't really say why I liked Jin Rok better than I liked Enrique, I just did. Maybe it is because he had a personality that was closer to my own as opposed to the ADD puppy that was Enrique. 

It might have also been that he didn't push at Dok Mi like Enrique did either. That is what she needed though. I even think that about myself sometimes. It is nice to be around other quite people, but that can get weird, it's nice to be around loud people sometimes. 

Master in Dating Agency: Cyrano 


I've mentioned before that I liked Chun Hee's character better than Jong Hyuk's, I didn't believe the Sooyoung and Jong Hyuk pairing. I think that it had a lot to do with the fact that he was so much older than her. Their personalities were too different and it just felt awkward. Especially that kiss at the end. It actually creeped me out a bit, is that wrong? 

She and Chun Hee seemed a lot more natural when they were together. He still had eleven years on her, but their relationship didn't make me uncomfortable. 

Kay in Nail Salon Paris 


It's no secret that I hated this drama. I watched it because Song Jae Rim was in it and because he was my reason for watching, he was the one that I wanted to get the girl in the end. As the drama progressed I slowly became more and more unhappy because he was the second male lead and he was going to have his beautiful heart broken.

This was one of the beautiful rare occurrences though that allows the second male lead to rise above all other second male leads. He is one of the second male leads that other others aspire to be like. It is possible! If only the pairing wasn't such a backhanded victory.

Park Se Joo in Mi Rae's Choice 


When I think about liking Se Joo more than Shin, I wonder if I was tricked into liking him. Future Mi Rae came in talking about how Mi Rae needed to marry Se Joo rather than Shin so I automatically think, okay, let's root for Se Joo. But then again, Shin just was kind of a sucky person. Not that there were really any great people in this drama. Those characters.......

Lee Hyung Joon in Who Are You? 


Why are you dead!? Why!? The chemistry that you had with Shi On was beautiful and so are you. Even though he was wasted in this drama, he was the star, at least for me. Like in Dating Agency: Cyrano I didn't believe that Shi On and Gun Woo really liked each other. I would believe it if they went for a noona donsaeng relationship. I think that fit them a lot better, especially because there wasn't a lot of romance. It was a lot of him letting her have her space while she dealt with her issues.

I guess that this would mean that in the end she would end up alone and that is terrible, but I stand by what I always say about Hyung Joon pulling an Arang or Shi On could just die and then they would would live happily ever after.  

 David in Beautiful Man 


Anyone who says that they didn't like David is a liar! A liar, do you hear me? He was absolutely wonderful and quirky and his character was a nice anti DokGo Ma Te. The second he walked on screen my heart was overcome by his lovely smile and kindness that he showed to Bo Tong. Then, the next time we saw him when he was actually wearing that hat/wig definitely sealed the deal for me. Where can I find myself a David? 

Choi Young Do in Heirs 


Yes, that's right, I liked Kim Woo Bin better than I liked Lee Min Ho. I liked his tragic character better even though the writers could have done so much more with him than they did. He was so sad because his whole life was about fighting back against people and he thrived on negative attention. That is all he knew so that is how he treated Eun Sang.

I'm just strangely attracted to characters like Young Do. If someone treated me like that in real life though they would get a swift kick to the balls.
 
Well, there you have it, all the second male leads that have made me really sad because they don't get a girl, except for Song Jae Rim, and I guess the writers did give David and Jin Rok potential girl friends at the end of their dramas. It's not the same though!

So, what are the second male leads that left you sad at the end of their dramas? Even better, who are the second male leads that were able to rise above the odds and win the girl of their dreams at the end?

~ Alora 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

B1A4 Lonely


How's the song? 

Before talking about just this song, I want to say how much I enjoy this whole album. It's really cohesive and the fact that Jinyoung, CNU, and Baro basically wrote/arranged/composed everything makes it even cooler.
  
If I was to categorize B1A4's songs, this one would match up with "Tried to Walk". It's not that the songs sound like each other or anything so much as the feel that you get from them. Both songs are mid tempo and just make you feel good.

Something that I tried to pay more attention to in this song is Baro parts. The reason is that I think I have been taking him for granted. I know that he is talented but I've never thought of him as this really amazing rapper and that is probably because he is in B1A4. Maybe someone knows what I mean by that because that's the only way I can think to describe it. I know that he can rap, but when thinking about rappers, my mind doesn't immediately jump to him.

But recently SBS had their Gayo Dejun and Baro was part of this giant thing with MFBTY, Bang Yong Guk, Zico, Rap Monster, and Eun Ji Won and I was watching thinking, "Princess Squirrel, why have I never seen this side of you before?" I have learned my lesson.  

How's the video? 

I am Zuul. I am the Gate Keeper. Are you the Key Master?


Jinyoung and his girlfriend should probably get their house checked out, that gravity problem they seem to be having could be dangerous.

How's the styling? 

Whenever I see face shots of  Jinyoung, I always think, "and this is why you played Gong Gil in The King and the Clown." That boy is a little too pretty.


With the exception of Taeyang, CNU probably has some of the most static hair in all of K-pop. The most drastic transformation that he ever had was for "Baby I'm Sorry" with the shaved side, but his hair never really changes except for slight length and color variations. 

I wonder if they will ever chop his hair off, but I feel like the fandom might explode if that happens. I'm pretty sure that his hair is magic.


He also needs the hair because he is secretly a rock star. Get it CNU. Get it.

Is the dance super amazing? 

B1A4 got their Motown on in this video what with their 1-2-steping and pointing.


Even though really intense dances an acrobatics are cool, it is nice to see a group that doesn't do those things. It makes them different and being different is important when you are trying to gain people's attention.

Which member owned it? 

Little maknae Gongchan is growing up *wipes tear*. With the maknaes of groups, I feel like one day they are this cute little thing and then all of a sudden they're grown up and turning women everywhere into pedonoonas. Not that Gongchan isn't still adorable, but he is maturing.


Did the English make you ears bleed?  

Yes and no. The important parts of the song sound good. "Lonely" and the "lalala" parts sound good and they use a whole sentence "Baby, I just wanna spend some time with you" and it is all good. It's actually amazing considering this is B1A4 we're talking about.

It's all the little things in the song that are weird. Sandeul says "Every day, every say" which doesn't make any sense. Gongchan also has some English which is bolded "My memories scatter like smoke, you're right girl, it hurts a lot, sick my heart." You're getting there B1A4, keep working.

~ Alora 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Beautiful Man


Do you hear that? That is the sound of my heart being cut into bite sized pieces and then placed gently on a pillow. My heart, of course, is crushed because I fell hard for David even though I knew that he was ultimately going to loose since he was the second male lead. The pillow is there because he did find a pretty girl who also likes glamping at the end.

Even though the tone of the drama changed quite a bit in the second half, I generally liked it. It didn't make me want to throw things and I never had the thought to stop watching it. I think that right now I am just very easy to please since my last few drama choices have been huge letdowns.

The Plot

DokGo Ma Te (Jang Geun Suk) is a pretty boy who uses his looks to charm successful women. Side note: I really wish that Jang Geun Suk would surprise me with his choice in characters. He is always playing this same character and while he is good at it, he isn't really going anywhere.

While Ma Te is going around and seducing the rich and powerful women of Korea, he meets a woman named Hong Yoo Ra (Han Chae Young) who is the ex-daughter-in-law of a very powerful company. She tells Ma Te that he is the illegitimate child of the Chairman of this company and that she wants his help in bringing the company down. She gives him the task or seducing ten of Korea's top women to gain the knowledge that they have.

This was the plot line that was followed through the first half of the drama, but by the second half, it changed a little. The ten women that Ma Te had to meet became less of a driving factor after the fifth one. They just popped up for a short while and then they left without leaving the same kind of mark that the previous five did.

Women Six and Seven were also a little odd. Number six did help with the court case but woman seven left me a little confused. What did Ma Te learn from her? She also just generally confused me as she floated around and seemed to know everything that was going on. Especially at the end when she called David to save Bo Tong.

Speaking of which, that was the weirdest kidnapping/threatening message ever. What was the point of putting Bo Tong in that room/box thing? Hong Ran couldn't have done anything aside from that? It just seemed so messy, kind of like the writing out of Myo Mi. She just all of a sudden wasn't there any more.  

Plot holes aside, there was a lot of posing done by Jang Geun Suk, but then again, would we expect anything less from him? Look at those skinny legs.


The Characters

Jang Geun Suk as DokGo Ma Te  


Is it wrong to say that I am not on the Jang Geun Suk Express? He's a talented guy and he is very pretty, especially when he smiles, but I feel like he might be a jerk in real life. I can't really make that assumption because I don't know him, but that's how I feel. Maybe it's because he always plays the same character so that's how I see him.

The character of Ma Te was a good one though, it was interesting to see him change throughout the drama from a gigantic useless jerk to a person who understood the need of hard work and how the world actually works.

IU as Kim Bo Tong


I fully enjoyed Kim Bo Tong. Yes, she was desperate in the beginning and at the end as well, but she also grew as a person. At the end of the drama she was only stumbling every once in a while instead of falling all over herself when it came to Ma Te.

She was also able to give some good advice to Ma Te as well and I liked that she knew that he was lying and that Hong Ran had something to do with his noble idiocy at the end. I am always for the female leads knowing that they are not useless and that some outside force is the driving factor of the guys angst and not just themselves. 

Lee Jang Woo as David Choi


Why did you have to be the second male lead, why? He was like a male Bo Tong and was everything that Ma Te wasn't. You don't need Kim Bo Tong, come to me, I will love you. But only if you change your hair back to the way it was in the beginning instead of that frizzy look you were rocking at the end.

Han Chae Young as Hong Yoo Ra 


I was a little confused about her character. I liked her, she was a large driving factor of everything that happened, but she also wasn't very consistent at the end. I guess that just plays into what I was saying about the last half of the drama being different from the first.

The reason she wanted to destroy MG was because of what they did to her in separating her from her daughter. I forgot about the daughter though, and when I did remember it confused me because no one seemed to remember her either. Then at the end, she picked up and left. She did come back, but it just seemed weird.

Final Thoughts

Weird plot issues aside, I really liked this drama. It was very quirky and that was probably because it was based off a manwha and things are always weirder in comics than they are in "real life". It was something that didn't require any brain power really which is something that you just need sometimes.

This drama also brought the reign of Jang Geun Suk's hair to an end, and may I say, I am okay with that.

~ Alora 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

TVXQ! Something


How's the song? 

Last year SM placed their stamp on January 1 and they have done it again this year. Granted, they didn't have someone like Rain to compete with last year, but this song is pretty good, so I think they'll be fine. Now go let Super Junior do something. I know that SuJu M put out a a fantastic album last year, but it's not the same!

Back on topic, this song is awesome. I don't really know anything about TVXQ other than "Mirotic" and I've just never really been able to get into them and I don't know why. Their music just doesn't speak to my soul. It's okay, but it's not for me.

The big band sound that this song has is so fun and it was a good way to start the new year. Everyone was partying and that is what this song brings out. The blaring brass and the heavy drum and the bass at the beginning, all of this is okay in my book.

Maybe this just proves that I am secretly a five year old, but I was waiting for Scat Cat and his band to come out and start playing with the rest of the band. 

How's the video? 

Did you notice anything missing? Like maybe a few oddly lit rooms?

Is this SM's New Year's Resolution to be more creative in their sets? Or is this just a special TVXQ thing since they are celebrating ten years? Speaking of which, I like the X in the middle of that room. 


There was one of SM's usual rooms for the dance break, but this entrance and the set that looked like the outside of a building were the big two. Keep doing this SM, it's far more interesting.

Then, maybe the video directors were about to crack from the stress of using real looking sets though and broke out the green screen. All those swirling floating instruments were a little weird.


 
How's the styling? 

What is this new fascination SM has with body art? When Henry made his solo debut, that boy was covered from neck to waist with all those crazy drawings and now Max and U-Know have them too. They always seem to be such random or over done images. Are they really necessary?

Something else that I take issue with is U-Know's sweater?. It looks like someone cut the bottom of it off before he went onto set.


The only reason that I can think for it to be like that is because it matches Max's shorts, but really, that's the piece of clothing that you are going to cut? You couldn't have rolled up his sleeves of anything?

He manage to redeem himself in the Leopard print outfit. I liked his better than Max's shiny Leopard jacket.


Is the dance super amazing? 

This video wasn't centered on a dance like most of their other songs. This doesn't sound like the normal song either though does it? Unless they want to start doing the swing, this isn't really what they usually dance too.

There were some cool moments though like at the beginning when they were playing their "bass"


Aside from the dance break in the middle and some random dancing throughout, the video is more about the singing than the dance.

Which member owned it? 

The screen time was pretty even and I should hope so seeing as there are only two of them. I did pay more attention to Max though because, let's be honest, he's kind of adorable.


Did the English make your ears bleed? 

After watching the video with subs, I have found that there is a lot more English that I originally thought. The English all makes sense though with the exception of "She's just a beautiful" at the beginning.

It's kind of like two steps forward, one step back. Once I knew they were saying English words, I knew what they were saying.

~ Alora

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Drama List of 2013

Dramas are quite different from K-pop because even though I know that I have probably missed a lot of music, I feel good about the amount of things that I have been able to listen to. Music videos are normally over in a matter of minutes and then you can listen to them on repeat afterwords in you like it enough. Dramas take a considerable more amount of time so there are only so many dramas that a person can watch, and it feels like you are playing a continuous game of catchup which you know you can never win at.

After that happy note, there are quite a few dramas that I heard were awesome that I didn't watch this year and hopefully in the future I will be able to watch them. There are also dramas that I have heard I shouldn't go near with a ten foot pole, unfortunately, I watched some of those ones.

So here are all the 2013 dramas that I watched this year from best to worst.

I Hear Your Voice


You know the feeling you get when you are presented with a puppy that just wants to love you? That is what this drama makes me feel, it gives me the warm fuzzies, that is until people start trying to kill each other and then the puppy isn't so cute anymore.

I seriously loved this drama and would totally watch it again and tell everyone I know to watch it as well. There was the giant question that was never answered: where did Soo Ha's powers come from and why did they appear and disappear? but aside from that, it was a very well written drama. I didn't even mind when they threw us the amnesia card because that gave us more opportunities for cute puppy moments and it actually moved the plot forward. The resolution of the amnesia was a little sudden, but I have definitely seen worse.

This is also the first thing that I have seen Lee Jong Suk in other than Secret Garden because I started watching School 2013 and then didn't finish because like got in the way. I know, I'm terrible. I'll finish it eventually.

The Master's Sun


Like I Hear Your Voice, this drama also had a few weird plot moments, but was otherwise amazing. I know that there are a lot of people in the drama community who have been watching dramas for years and have seen all the Hong Sister dramas and they are only content with this drama. I have only seen You're Beautiful and there are a few others that I want to watch as well, Big is not one of them, I've heard stories.

If the chemistry in I Hear Your Voice was cute and made you squeal with joy, this couple's sexual tension was almost tangible through the screen. Gong Hyo Jin and Seo Ji Sub acted off each other so well and you could tell that the actors liked each other too which made their relationship that much more believable.

The one main issue I have with this drama is that the ghost stories were sometimes boring. I really liked the episode with the ghost children but then others like the cheating husband were a little bland. Then there was the whole "sell your soul" to the creepy ghost marriage lady just to have it ended suddenly by Joong Won. I'm still scratching my head over that one. 
 
Dating Agency: Cyrano  


One of the main reasons that I started to watch this drama was because Jo Yoon Woo. I really liked his character in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and I thought that it was funny that he was cast in another Flower Boy drama in a similar role. It did make me sad that his story ended in a similar way though. You'll get the girl someday. I also really liked Hong Jong Hyeon's character and he was one of the reasons that I decided to watch White Christmas. My friends and I all affectionately named him Roppa (robot/oppa) because that's what we do.

I really liked the story too and the theme that is brought forth about can a person be tricked into liking another person and what happens in the figure it out. I was always interested in the stories too I liked that they were their own stories, but they were also used to bring the main couple together. It was cute.

Now about that main couple. I wasn't really feeling it. I think that Lee Jong Hyuk was just too old for Sooyoung and when they kissed at the end, it didn't feel genuine and it made my skin crawl a little. I mean, he is 15 years older than her! I was rooting for Lee Chun Hee through most of the drama anyways. He still had 11 years on Sooyoung, but I felt that they had better chemistry and she seemed to like him more that Jong Hyuk at times.

Gu Family Book 


This drama was pretty good, but it wasn't amazing. I thought that it was going to focus more on Kang Shi's journey to become human and the battle with his dad and less about his love story with Yeo Wool. Not that I didn't like their story and their chemistry was fantastic but the drama did turn into a giant love story rather than a story about finding yourself.

One thing that I absolutely loved unconditionally though was Wol Ryung and Seo Hwa. That was beautiful and I might have cried a little. You know a drama has some good writers when you cry about some characters you see for a short time at the beginning and then for an equally short amount of time at the end.

But then there was that ending. What was that? Like, seriously. What the heck? Unless there is going to be a part two, there was no need for any of that. I just like to pretend that the last ten minutes didn't even happen.

Flower Boy Next Door 


To be perfectly honest, I don't remember a lot about this drama other than the fact that I did like it. It was cute and playful and didn't require too much brain power. I have really liked all of the "Flower Boy" dramas as well, the best, of course, being Shut Up! Flower Boy Band, wow was that good.

One thing that I do remember is that the second OTP was fantastic. They were so funny and such an odd couple you can't help but root for them to get together. I also had some serious second male lead love for Oh Jin Rok and his stupid pants that occasionally made him look like he was wearing a diaper.

I am also always down for a retold fairy tale, this one being "Rapunzel", kind of. It took that general idea and used it in it's storytelling. I also liked that this drama would be used as an example of a lot of people's lives. How many of us live in a neighborhood, whether house or apartment, but don't actually know our neighbors? Why do we coop ourselves up when there is so much out there to live for?

The ending did slow a lot compared to the zippy pace of the beginning and the ending was a lot like Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, but this drama has the most natural kiss scene that I have ever seen Park Shin Hye give, like ever. Good job Yoon Shi Yoon.

Who Are You?


And the award for worst use of an amazing actor goes to *drum roll* Kim Jae Wook's role as Lee Hyung Joon in Who Are You. Congratulations! Now go sit in the corner and think about what you did. Seriously, he was the best actor in this drama and he spent 90% of it staring longingly and looking mournful.

I would also like a rewrite of this drama that either involves Yang Shi On dying so she could be with Lee Hyung Joon or Hyung Joon pulling a Arang and becoming human so that the two of them could live happily ever after. I don't know what the writers were thinking in making Hyung Joon's character so likable and sad and showing us all those wonderful flashback of the couple before his death. Taec's character didn't stand a chance with me, maybe next time.

All that being said, I didn't love this drama. It wasn't bad, but if someone asked me which ghost drama to watch, I would direct people to The Master's Sun. The story line was a little weak and so was Shi On who supposedly was this honored graduate of her academy, but she was always taken down pretty easily. The ghosts also disappeared from the story and all the energy was focused on Hyung Joon. Not that I'm opposed to that, but it was suppose to be a ghost drama right?

The end was also a little weird. I understand why the writers made it the way that they did in a kind of open ending, "what will the future hold for them?" but I didn't totally buy it.  

Nail Salon Paris 


Thinking about this drama makes me want to weep anew. I'm trying hard to forget that it ever happened. It started out with a good idea, a girl dresses like a boy to get a job and then there is also a dash of fantasy with the gumiho element. I was excited for it to begin, and then I was excited for it to end.

This drama just tried to be too many things at once though and it was it's downfall. There was the easy nail salon, secret girl thing, but then there was also therapy sessions, birth secrets, magic, love triangles, and some near death experiences all within ten episodes. The only thing that kept me watching was that it was such a train wreck, I had to find out how it all ended and Song Jae Rim and to a lesser extent, Thunder.

I had only seen Song Jae Rim in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, where he sits in the background with his hair and cheekbones and The Moon that Embraces the Sun where he also flaunts his hair and cheekbones but he also gets to do a little acting. He was also the shinning light it a sea of bad acting. It's not even like it was this phenomenal performance, he just didn't suck.    

The only thing that this story did that brought me any joy though (SPOILERS) was that Song Jae Rim, our second male lead, got the girl in the end. It was kind of a backhanded victory with the whole "is he or isn't he" angle, but at least I got something for my pain.

Mi Rae's Choice


This drama had so much potential to be awesome, but unfortunately the writer got tangled in his own web which caused this dramas web to become unsalvageable.

This dramas one saving grace is that everyone got to see that Jung Yong Hwa's acting skills have vastly improved. Even though he has gotten better, his character was not a great character. But let's be honest, nobody's character was that great with the exception of Yoo Kyung. All the characters were so indecisive and annoying and because of that, the plot never really went anywhere.

Something else that left me scratching my head was, what was Mi-rae's choice? She never made one! Future Mi-rae goes back to the future and somehow receives the box that Present Mi-rae buried (which breaks the rules that they set up). Then Present Mi-rae never chooses a man! It is left annoyingly open! After all that time and all that set up, nothing happens! I think I need a drink.
  
Heirs 



Yes, Heirs is last. Why? Because I didn't even finish it, I read recaps for the last four episodes. I was bored to freaking tears and it became a waste of my time to watch it. I was sad about that too because the acting was good but I didn't like all the characters which also added to the boredom.

Everyone in this drama, especially our main trio, were always being acted upon instead of them making decisions on their own. This resulted in the same situations happening over and over because they didn't know what they wanted and even if they did, they rarely did anything to remedy their situation.

With all of that, there was a lot of wasted talent in this drama that was filled to bursting with some fantastic actors and actresses, namely Choi Jin Hyuk. Hopefully, in his next drama he can be given a roll where he actually does something.

~~~~~~~

As for what I am watching right now, Beautiful Man is going to finish up next week and I have been fully enjoying that. The way that the writers wrote Myo Mi out was sloppy, but whatever, I can deal with that. I am really sad that I will probably have my heart broken though because I am totally in love with David. I will go down with my ship!

I am also watching My Lover From the Stars which started recently and that it also fabulous. I will not be suffering from Second Male Lead love here because I totally love Kim Soo Hyun and the second male lead is a little desperate and annoying.

The last thing is Golden Rainbow which is a weekend drama and will have, by the end, a whopping 50 episodes. I will not give up on this one like I did on Cruel Palace though, and I would like to pick that up again. I like the family angle that is being played along with all the intrigue that is going on within the Golden Fisheries. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top and who comes out dead, because I feel like a few people might come out dead in the end. Hopefully it's not our main people.

Well, I had a bit of a mixed bag this year, but there were a lot of good dramas that came out and I know there are a lot more excellent dramas that I need to watch. Drama watching is seriously a never winning battle or catch up.

Here's to another great year!

~ Alora

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

K-pop End of the Year Show 2013 Solos and Subunits

The soloists, the people that don't have to split their paycheck with their 50 other band mates at the end of the day. There are quite a few people in here that use to be in a group and struck out on their own for various reasons and there are also others who are going for the time being and then they will return to their family.

I wonder what it is like to be solo after being in a group. I would think that it could give you that sick to your stomach feel when you are excited but also terrified about something. You hope that it goes well, but at the same time there is potential for it to all go wrong. These people definitely didn't get it wrong though, whether they have always been alone or they are making a name for themselves outside of their usual group activities.

Comebacks         Debuts         K-pop Half Time Show 2013


Solos

Girls

Lee Jung Hyun "V"


This video is ten times of crazy and so is the song. After watching this video I looked into Lee Jung Hyun more and she seems to favor this creepy doll fashion motif, it totally works for her. In music videos, when they try to tell a story and they end up being really long, it's a hit and miss for me. I don't like it when my song is interrupted by the story because then I don't feel like I really know what the song sounds like. This video tells the story in and around the video and I have watched it quite a few times because it is so ridiculous and fun to watch. The music also works with the haunted house set because it does sound like a song that ghosts would be dancing to when no one is looking.

Lim Kim "Goodbye 20" 


I had a really hard time deciding what song to pick for her because I'm kind of love with everything that she has done this year so I went with the most recent one. Her voice is just so unique and ethereal sounding I could listen to her all day which I feel really weird saying. I am not a huge fan of female singers because they are always just so freaking sexy and I don't like it. They if they aren't painfully sexy they give me a cavity with their cuteness. Lim Km does neither of this things so that is a plus. I'm also not a huge fan of ballad type songs and she does have slower songs, but I love those too. What is happening to me? I also found out that she is the girl that had a crush on L in Shut Up Flower Boy Band and that drama was one of the best things that happened ever.

Insooni "Beautiful Girl"


I've decided that this woman is my new hero, she's like a Korean Annie Lennox. They are both older female singers that are still being awesome in an industry that is dominated by skin and youth. This song and video also makes me really happy to watch and listen to which is the whole point behind it. I am definitely going to have to find some more music by her.

Boys

Jay Park "I Like 2 Party"


This is the Jay Park sound I like rather than the profanity laced raps that he puts out. I know that there are a lot of different sides to him, but that is just not a side that I enjoy. What I like about this song is that the title tells you exactly what the song is, it's a party song and it makes me want to get up and dance. Unless I missed a whole chunk of music that came out this year, there wasn't a lot of dance tracks that came out. The only other one that really stands out in my mind right now is Xia's song "Incredible" that came out earlier this year.  

Kim Hyun Joong ft. Jay Park  "Unbreakable" 


Kim Hyun Joong has come a long way since his Boys Over Flowers days and he has done a very good job in transitioning from the flower boy Ji Hoo to the super legit Kim Hyun Joong. I'm not sure what else to say right now as I type because I think that I am starting the new year with a head cold and I have a pounding headache between my eyes and I can feel it creeping to my neck as I sit here and write. Just go listen to the song, you won't be sorry. 

Kim Jin Pyo "Zombie" 


Even if you don't like this song, you can't tell me that you didn't like this video, I refuse to listen to you and I'll just make you watch it again because this was amazing. I think that the difference between Kim Jin Pyo's voice and LYn's voice also fit in well with the feel of the video. In all the horror that is going on around these two people they still have each other and then the ending is heartbreaking and LYn's clear voice is used perfectly at that point. I am a little confused about that white boy though. Where did he come from?  

Seung Ri "Gotta Talk to You"


I was afraid to watch this video when it first came out because of the scandalousness that was the teaser.This video didn't burn out my eyes though and it was actually quite good. It had a sexy, loungey feeling, but at the same time it had the electric pan pipes (yes, the electric pan pipes, I just made it up) in the background which gave it a modern and exciting sound. And like Kim Hyung Joong, that is all I can say.   

Lim Chung Jang "Open the Door"


This video is just one ball of crazy, and I love it. I don't listen to a lot of trot music, mainly because I don't know any trot artists, but I do like listening to it once in a while. The songs are so upbeat and fun, is there such a thing as a trot ballad? Probably, but trot seems to happy for that. All the cameos in this video made it that much better too from the simple ones like Daniel Choi to the funny ones like U-KISS and Heechul. Overall, this song and video are a total win.

Yoo Seung Woo "U Who?"


This kid is seriously too cute and he definitely gets a place on my list of Idols I Want to Give a Cookie. He's just so little and he plays the guitar and that bowl hair cut is the final straw. I also love that he lip syncs San E's rap part and he's all done up in his "hood" clothes and he's acting as gangster as his cute little frame will let him. 

~ Alora

K-pop End of the Year Show 2013 Debuts

As always, there were a lot of groups that debuted in the second half of the year. Some were good and some were......not so good. You would think that in a industry where there are people debuting practically every day, a company would want to make sure that their group was really good and had legitimate potential to become big in the future. When a group comes out with a crappy video and generic song it makes me sad because with so many big groups, those little groups are going to be forgotten after the three minute music video. 

In that sea of debuts, these are the people that caught my eye. Some of them aren't exactly newbies though, and I hope that they can do well on their new ventures! 

Comebacks        Solos and Subunits       K-pop Half Time Show 2013

 

Debuts

Girls

Queens B'z "Bad"


Girls doing the dark concept, I approve. I also think that this is a good example of sexy done well. They aren't portraying themselves as a side of meat, they are being sexy and powerful and that is something that I think that should be used more. That is why I like BEG's brand of sexy because they are sexy, but I also feel like they would kill anyone that tried to take advantage of them, this is what I am getting from this group right now.

TINT "Love at First Sight" 


This is one of those songs that I really like and cannot for the life of me figure out why. I'm not really into girl groups or cutey concepts and this is both, yet I love it. It's like when Heyne came out with her debut song and I really liked that too. This song and video are just so catchy and happy and colorful that I can't help but love it and I just talked about Queen B'z and their concept is a 180* difference from this one. Don't make no sense.

Boys 

 

Kang Seung Yoon "Wild and Young" 


I was a little sad to hear that Kang Seung Yoon was going to be put unto a YG group because I wanted him to have a rocking solo career. He has a really nice rough voice and it was perfect for this type of song and YG is more of a hip hop label than a rock label.

Say Yes "It Feels Good" 


This song does kind of have a CNBlue and that doesn't really bother me because I think that this group does have a lot of potential. This song is also pretty catchy and after I listen to it the chorus is stuck in my head for a while. I'm standing, minding my own business and the next thing I know, I'm moving my hips and "doo doo dooing" and I am not ashamed! Something that I like about bands is that I don't know very many and it is hard to find something when you don't really know what you are looking for so this is like a gift. It's always nice when the group has a good sound as well so hopefully these guys can put out more music, and maybe get some haircuts, because there was a lot of hair in this video.

Royal Pirates "Shout Out" 


If you haven't managed to figure it out yet, I love a good rock or alternative band and this is doing just that for me. This was on of the songs that when I first heard it I didn't love it, but now I'm berating myself for thinking that because it's really good. For shame self.

ICON "Rockstar" 


I love everything about this song. I like alternative and rock music so this caters to that and I also have a soft spot for electric and techno music so this song also fills that quota. I also leaned that No Min Woo was also a member of TRAX back in the day, but I don't really know anything about them unfortunately. I have listened to a few of their songs and I have "Oh! My Goddess" but I feel like that is a song that almost everyone has on their iPod. This video is also one giant acid trip which I love because it totally fits the sound of the song. No Min Woo is also probably one of the most androgynous people that I have seen in a while and he looks like if he stood sideways he would disappear, someone get that boy a sandwich!  

~ Alora

K-pop End of the Year Show 2013 Comebacks

Another year has ended and this later half has been just as busy as the beginning. Some people are making their millionth comeback of the year and others are making comebacks after what feels like a painful amount of time. For the half time show back in July, I chose songs I liked whether I had already reviewed them or not, and at the end I felt like I had become rather redundant, so I'm going to just stick with the artists that I liked but didn't review this time around.

I'm going to only slightly contradict myself now and mention B1A4's "What's Going On?", Block B's "Very Good", and VIXX's "VooDoo Doll" because they all won their first award with these songs and I have a great love for all of these groups. It was even better because they were all up against really big groups so the wins were that much more incredible. The only thing that would have made this better is if U-KISS had won something for "She's Mine" because seriously, why can't those guys catch a break, they're awesome.

Debuts            Solos and Sub units            K-pop Half Time Show 2013

 

Comebacks

Girls

 

Tiny-G "Miss You"


When I first heard this song, I didn't really like it. I felt that it was too repetitive and I was still grooving to "Minimanimo" because, let's be honest, that song is awesome. I think what threw me was how different this song was from "Minimanimo" and I obviously wasn't ready for that. This song has a more mature and sexy feel to the candy colored before mentioned song. They also kept it in the realm of classy/cute sexy and there can always be more of that and less of the overt sexy that was the trend this year.

Miss A "Hush"


Whenever I think of this song all that comes to mind is jji jji party, Block B what have you done to me? It's also recently been ruined again since Min got punched by a back up dancer during a performance. I'm not a huge fan of Miss A but I do like that they have a powerful image. I was really impressed with this song because it did have a different sound than usual since it wasn't written by JYP and I wouldn't be opposed to them continuing with this sound for a while, nothing against JYP. The video was also interesting and kind of creepy. All the head shots of them singing and staring into the camera was so haunting looking and then at the end when their faces changed from one to the other was a cool effect.

SPICA "Tonight"


This is one of the videos and songs that grabbed me the moment that I hit the play button. I didn't really know anything about SPICA before this song, and I still don't, but they have song amazing vocals. This song is so fun and the video represents that too. The whimsy in the video and the bohemian style of the shoot fit perfectly with the song. The video also seems really candid even with all the obviously staged parts of it. These girls look like they are genuinely having fun during this shoot and seeing this I hope that they can get some more followers in the future. 

 

Rookies

Ladies Code "Pretty Pretty"


Ladies Code debuted in March 2013 with the song "Bad Girl", because everybody this year was a bad boy or bad girl of some sort it seemed like. This was their comeback song and I think that I like it a little more than their debut song. I'm still not totally sure how I feel about them but they have killer vocals and they have a definite style. I am looking forward for what they put out in the future. 

GI "Gi Yeuk"


So, I'm kind of in love with these girls. I'm also glad that they put out a MV for this song because I like it better than "Don't Lie". This song has a really cool Bollywood sound and that isn't something that you hear everyday. GI is also a group that you don't see everyday. I like that in their videos they are dancing and wearing baggy clothing and looking fierce rather than being super aegyo and sexy because there is more than enough of that going around.

Boys

MIB "Master"


This is one of those songs that within the first ten seconds of hearing it, I went to iTunes and bought it. I think that the reason that I liked it so much it because it has such a smooth sound. This song also came out about the same time that Kangnam made a cameo on I Hear Your Voice as the guy who stole Soo Ha's bag, so when I watched the video I had the "why do I know you?" dilemma. They have also put out another video which I didn't love right off the bat like this one, but now, I also love their new song. What I don't love is Sims little goatee thing. It's kind of creepy and it makes his chin looks dirty.  

SHINee "Everybody"


When I first heard this song I was a little underwhelmed because it was so dubstepy.......no wait, it's actually compextro. Yeah, whatever. I have come to love it though. It is a fun song and SHINee hasn't done anything that sounds like this before. This was predominately a dance video though, let's be honest, that dance was freaking amazing and Taemin is a beast. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. 

Drunken Tiger "The Cure"


Okay, so technically this is a solo thing, but Yoon Mi Rae and Bizzy are in it, so I am making the executive decision to put it here. Tiger JK is one of those people that I only occasionally listen to since he is a rapper and I have never been one to listen to rap, this song is fantastic though. Even though it is a rap song, it has a melody line since Yoon Mi Rae is in it and instead of a "normal" rap beat, it has a reggae feel to it. This is one of those songs that makes you feel good while you are listening to it, and then it sticks with you as you go on with your day.  

Rookies

Airplane "Give Me a Chance"


I'm so glad that these guys are finally back because I fell in love with them when they debuted earlier this year with "You Are Pretty". Something that I mentioned about them before is that since they are a trio, I can hear all the members and they are have a sound that is their own. I don't know their names, but I think that I am in love with the member that sings the "kajima~" part. It's so clear and wonderful and I always have to sing along at that part too. I say that anyone who doesn't also jam to that part as well is a liar, because how can you not? 

24K "U R So Cute"


When I heard this song in July, I really liked it, but I didn't take the time to actually look into this group because if I looked into every group that I thought was interesting, I wouldn't get anything done, ever. While going back over the things I liked I found this one again and looked into the group more. They debuted as 4K and then added two more creating 24K and I think that it is pretty safe to say that I am hooked.

~ Alora