Okay, amidst the tough wait for new episodes, I resumed watching The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry...yet I'm left slightly disappointed. Frankly speaking, I just feel disconnected with the lead characters and their approach to love and relationships. It may be an issue of cultural upbringing or it could simply be the fact that I'm at a different stage of my life compared to the ladies of the show, and whilst that doesn't usually impede on my viewing of a drama, their age does play a significant role in this drama so to speak. As shallow as it sounds, so far I'm only attracted to Kim Bum's character because he's such a cutie and he's such a womanizer.
Shin Young... I connect with her the most, yet she still boggles me for some reason. I'm prideful as well, however, I don't get why she lets her pride get in the way of confronting Min Jae when she hears about the bet... so they can sort out their damn misunderstanding. It seems like everyone in K-drama has issues with confronting others, just so these misunderstandings can conveniently boil into something bigger and more dramatic. However, it makes these dramas so much more tiring to watch because it's just frustrating to know that they're holding back on their feelings over some itty bitty pride issue they have. Another thing I can't understand is why she would get back together with her ex and just 'settle for reality' when she herself knows that there is no spark between them. It's just... strange. Why wouldn't you want to explore your options with a younger guy who makes your heart race instead of settling with an ex who you barely have feelings for? Yes, it's the safe choice, but she's spent her whole life sacrificing for her career and taking risks.. you'd think she would apply that same mentality to her love life. But no, her love life is always on the back burner because career comes first. It'd make more sense to me if she decided to stay single instead of going back to Sang Woo.. hmm.
Da Jung annoys me. She's the type of friend I would loathe. She seems rather self-absorbed and just instigates all the time. There is so much jealousy between her and Shin Young which appears typical of so many K-drama friendships. Considering they've known each other for so long, why can't they care for each other a tad more than being bothered about who has it better or who gets the better guy etc. Also, I don't really care about her romance with the doctor because... it was so ... sudden to me.
Min Jae's mum has also met Sang Woo and hearts are set aflutter. Meh. I can't seem to care about her either, and it's so weird seeing her all gushy when prior to that she was playing the role of the overbearing mother. Gah...
I get that this drama is exploring many different relationships and trying to reflect the love lives of those women in their 30s.. but I just can't seem to connect with it.
Posted by LYCHII on Saturday, 26 January 2013
Posted by LYCHII on Monday, 14 January 2013
There’s something so painful about the last few episodes of BBJX. Just as we bask in the happiness of the main couple, with the emperor trying to coax Ruo Xi to forgive him and make peace. We get cute glances, an emperor who claims he doesn’t know how to cajole women and the cuteness overload from the trio that resulted from the emperor’s sore arm. Alas, there’s always a calm before the storm and well, happiness doesn’t last long in the paradise aptly named the Forbidden City. Ruo Xi’s mirage has been shattered and reality sets in when she finds out the truth about Li De Quan and the role the emperor had in his death. Like she remarks, the heart of an emperor is infinitely unfathomable… there is never complete disclosure no matter how much close you are to an emperor. His destiny is beyond any other human, in that, most people simply dream about happiness and love, but an emperors’ dream is to rule and keep ruling.
Before we know it, we are reintroduced to the king’s … crueller side when he sentences Yu Tan to death by cooking her. And Ruo Xi finds about it and witnesses it herself, gagging in disgust. She faints and awakes with the emperor beside her and she screams at him in hatred. My heart just breaks because… I don’t know how I feel about it all. Let’s be frank, no one would want to be Ruo Xi right now because her world is basically shattered. The fact that he sentenced Yu Tan to death in such a cruel way is unforgivable, because he himself knew how close they were. Yet, we knew that Yu Tan was not so … innocent. But seriously, when someone essentially murders someone close to you, I don’t think any motive if justifiable when there are so many other means to the same end. It’s just cruel and my heart breaks that the drama had to take this turn. It’s realistic and understandable but it’s heart-wrenching nonetheless. If I were Ruo Xi, I would be so tormented because despite her love for the emperor and vice versa, she is reminded that love cannot conquer all. Love cannot change the fact that she is who she is and he is still the emperor. In this moment, my only solace is the unchanging friendship between the 13th brother and Ruo Xi.
I feel so sad watching Ruo Xi wanting to push everyone around her away, because she’s scared they’d get hurt. The pain and isolation she must be feeling. It’s like when the emperor reminds her that he’ll always be her 4th prince… yet he’s also the emperor. I’m really impressed though, at how tight the writing is and how everything ties in together so well with hints being dropped so meticulously. Except, Ruo Xi is really bearing the brunt of all the pain isn’t she? Nothing is going smoothly for her and even the supposedly pleasant news of her pregnancy is marred with the revelation of her role in all the palace schemes and all the things that have unfolded. Gosh, I feel for her when she miscarriages amidst all the stress and the fact that she can’t have any children in the future. I feel like so much has happened, and everything has truly reached a point of no return… therefore, the ending is near. My heart hurts for everything that’s happened and I don’t know… I just don’t feel happy with the way things have turned out not that my feelings can change anything haha. I think this is where I can see how Ruo Xi’s character fleshes out, because I can sense her modern viewpoint through my very own sentiments. The fact that I probably feel just as betrayed as she does, just highlights the fact that she’s an embodiment of what us modern women would feel in her shoes. Unlike, the 8th prince’s wife who understands the scheming and the mechanisms of being part of the royal family, who accepts all wrongdoing and cruelty because that’s the way things are and the way things have and will continue to be. Ruo Xi doesn’t understand this because her morals derive from our time and in our time, murder is the greatest sin. Back then, killing people in the name of loyalty or revenge was understandable.
The love stories in the drama are definitely a major plot driver, but in many ways, characteristic of that time period I’m assuming, everything is much more subtle and understated. There aren’t many grand gestures of love or romance, but their feelings drive their actions and I think this is why we can feel that their love is so painstaking and real. I personally feel that Nicky Wu was able to bring out the best of Liu Shi Shi because I think it’s rather obvious that she’s not the strongest of actresses, but every scene with the emperor she came alive. You could understand how affected she is and how much the reality has crushed her. I know that many people want her and the emperor to have many more romantic moments, but I think I preferred their interactions and their intimacy compared to the fleeting romance that she had with the 8th prince. Theirs felt more real and more heartfelt. Oh with the pain that the emperor must’ve felt when the 14th asked him to bestow Ruo Xi to him. This drama makes me sigh and I can’t even… I want to say I’m annoyed at how everything has to be so tragic, but how can I say that when the drama has delivered something so amazingly logical and well thought out? That if even one thing were to have been different, the whole darn drama would possibly fall apart and it would become one of those dramas that had potential but let one slip of logic ruin it? Everything just makes sense here, but by following the course of logic, everyone’s lives have to fall apart because that is the cruel reality of life in the Forbidden City.
When the emperor lets go off Ruo Xi and watches her horse carriage leave the Forbidden City, and he’s crying… I just want to console and transport him to modern time so her can continue his love with Ruo Xi. When she hugged the 8th prince, oh how my heart longed for her and the emperor to have that final chance too. Her farewell with the 13th prince and his daughter kills me because they’ve got this amazingly understated friendship that every girl craves. That said, I still enjoy the marriage between the 14th prince and Ruo Xi because he’s cute and he is not forceful with his love for Ruo Xi, and he treats her so courteously, especially in her final days. I’m probably repeating myself for the hundredth time, but this drama delivers heartbreak after heartbreak and it’s so damn frustrating. It’s so depressing that she wants to see the emperor in her final days, yet he can’t say no because he loves her and wants her to live out her final days in happiness. His heart is probably breaking, but he still complies and by trying to maintain their reputations, he ends up causing more harm as the emperor doesn’t want to read any correspondence from the 14th prince. Thus, Ruo Xi and the emperor are unable to meet one last time, and Ruo Xi believes that the emperor doesn’t want to see her because he doesn’t love her anymore and doesn’t forgive her. She’s dying guys, WHY CAN’T YOU SPARE HER SOME HEARTBREAK?! Gosh, I’m bordering on anger at the tragedy that plagues this drama. It kills me that when he asks her what if they met in another life, and she just says she wants to forget everyone. WHY? Unrequited love is always so depressing and so is death. Man, I so feel for Lin Geng Xin and despite being excited for his next drama, Drama Go Go Go, the fact that he’s second lead has me apprehensive. Let the guy get the girl for once. He’s too hot for this shit. Gosh I love everyone in this drama, and it drives me crazy. After her death, the emperor has a mental breakdown and Nicky’s performance here is once again, amazing. He seriously is a wonderful onscreen crier. And I hate how they must remind me of how beautiful their love was, how deep it was and how much they loved each other. IT KILLS ME. I hate how he only gets to read this after her death and I just wished they had that last meeting. It’s way too cruel for our main couple that separation is all they’re left with. STOP CRYING, NICKY, YOU’RE MAKING ME CRY TOO, F MY LIFE. I HATE THIS DRAMA. I HATE HOW IT KILLS MY HEART. THIS SUCKS. SO MUCH HEARTBREAK GOSH. Why is it that even after Ruo Xi’s death, they can’t be in peace? Why can’t they just agree to free her ashes together? Why must they continue to torment each other. I just want this drama to deliver a tiny ounce of happiness but it just keeps getting me down. I think cremating Ruo Xi makes it even more depressing because there is something for the emperor to physically hold onto, to cling onto. That is, until he finally releases her ashes as much as he doesn’t want to, but it was her final wish and he complies.
Knowing the impending doom, I had emotionally checked out during the final few episodes to numb the pain, yet still I swept away with the sad desperation that was the ending of this drama. The fact that no one had a happy ending and everyone was left so broken kills me inside. God damn it, why do I choose to invest in dramas instead of something that can’t hurt me as much as these characters and their stories do? The 13th prince remains forever the most admirable person in this drama, with his wisdom and the fact that he just understands and is amazing. I think I’m in love with this man. In an alternate universe, I wish Ruo Xi would have just fallen for him instead and been happy with him instead of being embroiled in the calamity that ruined everyone’s lives.
I really think after I’m done with this drama, I need a light-hearted watch (possibly Answer Me 1997) and that I need to stay away from ancient palace dramas for a while. All this scheming has my head and heart in shreds. That being said, I’m pretty excited for the modern sequel to BBJX because I’m expecting an epic love story minus the inhumane capital punishments and ruthless scheming between brothers. I’m not saying there won’t be any scheming but there’s that comfort that regardless of how much scheming goes on, their lives won’t be the wager. I literally got shudders when the emperor realises that Ruo Xi was not from their era. It only makes me crave the second part of their beautiful love story even more. MAN, SO MUCH TEARS, SO MUCH HEARTBREAK. WHY NO HAPPY ENDING? WHY?! As great as this drama may be, I don’t know when I will ever be ready for a rewatch, knowing how much heartbreak I would be in. Honestly, I would love to recommend this drama for everyone, but big beware: it is heartbreaking, and that’s an understatement.
Posted by LYCHII on Monday, 7 January 2013
Without any shame, I’d be the first to admit that I’m watching this purely for Lin Geng Xin fresh out of my newfound adoration of him in Bu Bu Jing Xin. Apart from him, the cast doesn’t really appeal to me. I’d always seen Ruby as more of an ancient/period actress and Jiro has never appealed to me, especially post-plastic surgery. However, with my completion of the first episode, I can see myself warming to the series.
There is still a very distinct Taiwanese Idol drama flavour to the series, and that’s expected, though I’ve thought myself to have outgrown those. However, with our lady protagonist well into her 30s, we hopefully won’t be getting any teenybopper high school romances because I can’t stand how Taiwanese dramas portray those (I much prefer how Japanese dramas approach them, and hopefully, how School 2013 will tackle them). Ruby stars as Ming Ming, a scriptwriter who is unlucky and slightly inexperienced in love. Jiro takes the male lead role, a fallen idol that ends up being a street vendor before being whisked back into stardom thanks to Ming Ming’s recommendation. She is emotionally attached to him because during a tough break up, she turned to HE (his idol group) and their music for consolation. They run into each other a couple of times prior to becoming properly acquainted, and this sends Ming Ming all over the place with her fantasies. Despite her experiences, she still optimistically (or naively?) believes that one day a Prince Charming will whisk her off her feet.
Now, enter the breath of fresh air – Lin Geng Xin as the second male lead Shao Tian (sigh!) who has known Ming Ming since young because he’s the son of her writing teacher. The reason why he’s a breath of fresh air to me is because he’s already carved out a bit of a character already – he’s OCD, he’s snarky and he has no qualms with “accidentally” kissing guys. There isn’t much background on him so far, except that he seems to take care of Ming Ming and is probably going to end up being one of those second leads that make you feel extremely torn over. Already kind of hoping this series will break out of the mould and let him get the girl already because I love the jabs he and Ming Ming take at each other. The second lead actress rounding out the love square is Maggie Wu. This is the first drama I’ve watched her in and she’s quite pretty, though rather stiff at times. Her first official appearance (as Pei Ni, not the lead actress of Ming Ming’s drama) sees her confronting Ming Ming over the plausibility of the script of the first episode. Her remarks are rather reasonable, but it makes me question why she signed on to the drama when she already has so many problems with it. Don’t they have synopsis and scripts written well before embarking on drama productions at the very least? It just seems like they’re trying to establish that she’s an actress who is strict with her craft and strives towards perfection.
The episode leaves us with Ming Ming’s encounter with one of her jerk ex-boyfriends who used the “I don’t believe in marriage” card to get out of his relationship with her. The twist is (can you call it a twist when you can see it coming though?) that she meets him when he’s preparing for his wedding… to someone else. She’s gutted and Shao Tian watches in the background. Or does he? We see someone punching or slapping the ex-boyfriend, but don’t find out who yet.
Whilst retrospect usually means I’m able to deconstruct different elements of the drama I found unappealing, the feeling when watching the drama is usually different. In other words, this is one of those feel-good and light-hearted dramas and is an easy watch. Ming Ming is somewhat typical, yet to her favour, she remains likeable. Jiro and his mother are rather comical yet genuine. Lin Geng Xin is natural in his role and moves the story along. So far, Maggie Wu is just pretty, but it’s the first episode so I don’t expect her to be stealing the spotlight yet anyway.
I adore the interactions between Ming Ming and Shao Tian because they are so comfortable with each other, their shared history and their understanding of each other means they are much more natural. Conversely, the interactions between Ming Ming and Eason are a bit grating to me. There’s something off about the transition between the dramatic romantic tension between their almost kisses to the “reality” and it’s a bit off-putting so far. I guess it’s commendable that they’re being upfront with the romance and Ming Ming’s crush, but that usually means there will be leaking faucets towards the end of the drama.
I have heard good things about the drama, but I have increasingly found it difficult to buy the romances that Taiwanese dramas sell viewers. It seems a bit unrealistic and contrived once you’ve actually dated. However, since I want something fun to watch and this seems headed on that path, I’ll stick with it. Besides, I enjoy it and am probably not as disappointed as I’m coming across. Going completely off-topic, I feel it’s a pity that Jiro got plastic surgery, not because I’m strictly opposed to plastic surgery but because it’s so obvious and didn’t turn out that great. It’s so obvious whenever he wears sunglasses because once you cover up his eyes; he’s barely recognisable as Jiro. It looks a tad unnatural, but I guess I’ll just have to get used to it because he’s obviously not going to get surgery to appease my insignificant complaints.
Posted by LYCHII on Friday, 4 January 2013
Since my last post regarding School 2013, I’ve gotten up to episode 9. Yet, I’m still in love with this drama… if not more than I was then. I don’t know how it does it, but this drama remains refreshingly different. What amazes me is that whilst it is still a drama, it doesn’t feel like a drama (or K-drama, really) because the conflicts are much more realistic and practically handled than well, a lot of other dramas.
Episode 9 has become one of my favourite episodes to date because there is just so much bromance. It makes me squeal like crazy and giddy like no other. Sadly though, in dramaland there cannot be too much happiness, so there is trouble on the teacher’s front. Horrible I know, because I adore Se Chan and In Jae together – which means I abhor the parents and the principal (probably, a bit more annoyance at the parents who not leaving the school to operate). On that issue, it really frustrates me and boggles my mind because it is so farfetched compared to my schooling experiences. I would obviously be annoyed if a couple of domineering parents were running around, making decisions that the administration are meant to make, when it will affect the whole student body or cohort. Grr.
|Yes, believe it, Heung Soo is SMILING! WITH TEETH!|
There has been a whole lot of revelation regarding Heung Soo and Nam Soon’s shared history and it’s so exciting. We now know that Nam Soon was the cause of Heung Soo’s leg injury because he was scared of being left behind, and that just reveals so much about Nam Soon’s personality and fears. The scene where Nam Soon was going to drop out and give up on Heung Soo brought tears to my eyes. I just sit there and scream at them through the screen, for them to kiss and make up already. Like seriously, you know you want to! Anyways, thanks to Jung Ho’s irritating attempt to ruin things for Nam Soon and Heung Soo, ironically, it brings them together through fighting together as one again – albeit, very briefly. However, that’s definitely enough to get on my heartstrings and make me soooo pumped for their reunion… and it’s epicness. More awesomeness unfolds as they are paired with Se Chan to carry out school service for having too many absences which results in all sorts of cuteness.
|Our lost little lamb on his way back to the herd. And he's a cutie too.|
Another thing I’m grateful for is that the writers of this show has truly developed characters which are relatable; to the extent where everyone is fleshed out, or at the very least, has a purpose or personality. In the recent episode, In Jae advises Ji Hoon (one of Jung Ho’s sidekicks) to think for himself and understand that having strength and bullying others cannot solve problems when you enter the real world. Teacher Jo chips in and hints that between a gangster and police officer, he should aim for the police officer because his palm readings indicate so. This gives Ji Hoon some inspiration to find a path for himself, and he ends up wanting to enrol into vocational school. In Jae is so delighted (my heart melts for her!) yet she has to let him down (and herself) when she tells him that his absences render his hopes to basically nil. He is so distraught, and it’s etched on his face, with the realisation that his change of heart came too late. He laments that he thought if he was willing to change, to start putting in the effort, there would be a glimpse of hope and he can achieve anything. Thus, In Jae pleads with him to hold onto that determination for a little longer while she seeks other options for him to strive towards his goal. Jung Ho (the bully) overhears the conversation and is furious at Ji Hoon for … having a dream. It’s sad, yet it’s realistic… when someone doesn’t have a dream themselves, it seems almost natural for them to want their friends to be dragged along with them because once they reach their dream, they’re afraid of being abandoned. In the same way that Nam Soon didn’t want to be left behind by Heung Soo. The very root of their insecurities is their own lack of motivation, of not having that passion that drives them and their attachment to the idea of just bumming with their friends forever and being content with that. However, Ji Hoon is determined to change for the better and confronts Jung Ho, which ends up with a beating. Things escalate and Jung Ho grabs a piece of wood, but before hitting Ji Hoon with it, Ji Hoon taunts him: asking if Jung Ho wanted to cripple him like Nam Soon had done to Heung Soo. He falters but we know that he won’t relent because he’s a bit of a stubborn mule.
|At least the setting was pretty...|
In Jae, Se Chan and the principal are in trouble because the parents meddle way too much, without realising how annoying they are. Yes, let’s toss around the words “for the kids” when really it’s all because they want to feel in control. Basically, because the teaching styles of In Jae and Se Chan clash and the principal made the kids choose, forcing them to cut class, the parents have some ‘dirt’ to blackmail the principal with. Of course, they choose Se Chan because they’re controlling parents hence they probably don’t want someone else teaching their kids about ethics and morals anyways. Honestly, this part frustrates me because the teachers seriously need to step it up. They’re inconsistency is only confusing the kids and isn’t productive. I understand that In Jae wants a class where everyone is and can engage in. However, they should combine their wits and teach the RELEVANT MATERIAL in an ENGAGING manner aka group activities. I don’t understand why she has to teach them poems if they aren’t relevant to the college exam at all; in the same line of thought, if there is any hope in the education system in Korea, the college entrance material would have something that they can learn from as people. They really should just learn to collaborate and compromise.
That being said, I’d rather that conflict than say… some makjang fest. And gallons of tears.
Posted by LYCHII on Saturday, 22 December 2012
I felt it was appropriate to jot down some thoughts regarding this episode because it’s such a turning point in the drama. It’s slightly disconcerting, the fact that the drama points to a usurpation of the throne in order for the 4th prince to become the next emperor.
I’ve mixed feelings on this, much like Ruo Xi (see! I’m totally becoming her! Lol if only). Because she knows how history ends up and the devastation that awaits the 8th, 10th and 14th prince, yet she is in love with the 4th prince/now emperor so she is torn. While it is necessary for the 4th prince to become emperor to release the 13th prince, yet he faces so many political opponents. The drama subliminally makes us question whether the 14th prince would be a better emperor, which divides me. So far from what I perceive, the 14th prince is righteous and has a strong sense of brotherhood (though there is uncertainty – at this point - whether he played any part in the 8th prince’s downfall, I’m leaning towards a no), and I feel that he may have possibly released the 13th prince if Ruo Xi asked him earnestly because he himself had begged for the 13th prince earlier. If he were to become emperor, his allies would’ve had a more comfortable lifestyle. Yet, the fate of Ruo Xi and the 4th prince would be uncertain, though I have an inkling that the 4th prince would be in the background trying to orchestrate something else so peace may not prevail anyways. However, the 4th prince is undoubtedly worthy of being emperor if we’re simply looking at his capabilities. He is intelligent, thorough and is not an inherently bad person; if anything, he’s a circumstantial baddie. It’s saddening though, to see him punish those who wronged him or threatened him, no matter how reasonable and necessary it is to silence the claims against his legitimacy as emperor. I’m just sad that everything had to come to this. I know, I knew of it but I went forward with watching the drama, and I really have no one to blame.. So lament I shall.
Okay, Ruo Xi just uncovered that 4th prince is behind the 8th prince’s downfall. Aww, my feels. Now the 14th prince is even more pitiful. Really, we need to transport the 14th prince to modern day so he can meet me and I will console him hehe. Gah. No but really, when he comes back and I see his face, my heart will probably break for him. WHY?!
Something that I’ve come to appreciate with a more acute awareness, thanks to BBJX, is the loneliness and troubles that goes on inside the Forbidden City. I’m going to be completely honest: as much as I love TVB, they don’t delve very far below the surface with palace dramas - most likely, because they don’t need to. Kang Xi’s worries of the brothers making political allies to oust each other, and his ruthlessness towards those who try to break the bond may seem extreme yet it’s questionable how we went about that. I mean, by leaving the crown prince role unassigned meant that there will be an even fiercer battle between the brothers. Also, I do feel sorry for the 8th prince because while he is ambitious and orchestrates a lot of the political schemes, he seems to do so to bring glory to his beloved mother and finally receive his father’s approval.
After the 4th prince becomes emperor, the loneliness of being an emperor is even more blatant. It’s sad that the only two people he trusts are Ruo Xi and the 13th prince, yet even now, the 13th prince has placed some distance between the two. His only comfort is Ruo Xi. Being an emperor, he can’t open his heart to others because then he can easily lose the authority and respect of his subordinates. His mother favours his brother, the 14th prince, and it’s obvious he will never gain her love. The role of an emperor is one which is filled with emptiness, all your worries are internalised, and at times, you must shut your heart off and do what your brain dictates is right for the bigger picture. I guess the quote, with great power comes great responsibility rings true.
It’s so painful seeing the 13th prince after 10 years. He looks haggard and soulless, no longer that fun-loving gentleman I remember. I don’t know whether it’s being back in the kingdom where life is run by rules and the power struggles are imminent. Maybe he enjoyed that life banished from the politics, with his loved one by his side, living day by day. It’s so tragic when she is coerced to leave him, and then ends her life. I feel so pained for the 13th prince, he’s suffered so much already and there was so much hope for them, to build their family. It’s sad how background is everything, and she is looked down upon for working in a brothel back then, however, I just want to scream injustice at those jealous wives that she was the one who suffered the hardships alongside their beloved husbands whilst they hung around at their nice abode. I just want to hug him seeing him so shut off from everything. He deserves so much happiness, yet ironically, his release saw his happiness stripped from him.
Honestly, getting to the depressing stages of this drama is getting me down and I’m trying to emotionally disconnect myself from the drama so I don’t end up feeling hurt and depressed myself. Trying to numb myself makes this a bit of a tiring watch at this point, but caring about the characters too much will make it harder later. Oh, the dilemmas of watching melodramas. At the end of the day, this drama is really well done and leaves me melancholic yet moved. MELODRAMAS GAH! I really need a lighter drama to follow this (aka not the drama I had planned aka Nice Guy lol. That would be an overdose of melodrama). I might look towards Answer Me 1997, because I’ve heard great things about that one.
PS. I don’t really want to be Ruo Xi anymore, at this point LOL. Actually, HELLS TO THE YEAH Ruo Xi, smash that bitch.
Posted by LYCHII on Thursday, 20 December 2012
Something must be terribly wrong with how stars have aligned for my day today because all three dramas that I am currently immersed in have delivered immense heartbreak. Sigh, can a girl’s heart get some rest?! Cue, rant from a heartbroken lady.
First heartbreak of the night. I’m currently up to Episode 13 of King of Dramas and just as I got comfortable with the idea that the annoying Empire guys have relented… the people behind King of Dramas decide to drop a bombshell on us all. And it was horrific.
As I’m now used to, King of Dramas almost always ends with some kind of cliff-hanger that is meant to leave us anxious and worried for the cast that they’ve made us fall in love with. Grr, how dare they toy with my emotions! This episode, we briefly meet an extra who comes up to thank Anthony for giving him the opportunity to act in numerous productions and says that his family is also grateful for the income. Aww, I think deep down a part of Anthony must be feeling pretty proud of himself that he was able to provide someone else some comfort through making dramas in the same way that he found comfort through dramas. However, when shooting resumes and the extra coughs and covers up the main actors on screen, he is replaced. Aww. He asks for another chance, explaining that they had waited so long in the cold hence the cough. Man, I feel for him. I know, I fell into this trap. Chance denied in the cold, cruel world of dramas. The extra who replaces him is concerned for his condition and tells him to find a place to rest. Which he does… only it is the shooting location for the next scene. A fire scene.
By now I’m holding my face in my hands and trying to avoid the inevitable. A hint of hope is granted when Hyun Min walks into the shed to privately talk on his phone, and notices the ill man. Only to be distracted again by his clingy girlfriend. Sigh. Out he walks and then the scene cuts to Anthony asking PD Joo whether he confirmed with the fire fighters that they would be on call. PD Joo apologises and says he forgot because he was out looking for Go Eun and Anthony yesterday when they got lost. More sighing my way. Anthony scolds him slightly then tells him to confirm it first before allowing shooting to go ahead. Nice call, Anthony. Once it’s confirmed that the fire fighters will arrive 10 minutes later, shooting starts. The shed is lit on fire, and we see the man coughing and next we know it, he’s unconscious. Aww. Hyun Min begins filming the scene where he’s supposed to be desperately looking for Min Ah, until he belatedly realises that the shed was where the extra was resting earlier. As the Director asks what’s the matter, he screams that someone is in there. My heart is shattering, because I know that Morning in Kyungsung has come so damn far just to get here and if there is a death on set, there will be crazy outrage and netizens will go berserk. Not to mention that extra was so … endearing despite only being featured for a tiny while. His enthusiasm and gratefulness is so heart-warming and sincere.
With Hyun Min’s alarm, everyone rises from their seats and surrounds the shed. Anthony asks PD Joo about the firefighters, and he replies that they are on his way. At this point, I’m trusting in Anthony and literally begging for him to storm in there and save that poor old man. Which we end the episode on Anthony storming in. AND THEN WHAT? I don’t know. Sadly. I can only assume that Anthony is safe from the previews but I don’t know about the old man. I can only hope he is safe, but in hospital. The previews also show Director Goo quitting, probably from the guilt (of not checking that there was no one inside, not because of his death I’m praying). Hyun Min being the genius that he is, is going to fabricate some reel to real love story for the media to buy into featuring himself and Min Ah. Of course, who else would he care about apart from himself? Min Ah, on the other hand, tries to one-up her love rival Go Eun by telling her that she and Anthony are planning on “doing well” together. Yet, Anthony is seen to be asking Go Eun about something wanting an answer “from the other night”. Despite the romantic undertones, I’m assuming this is in regards to the contract renewal because I can’t see Anthony’s feelings develop to that point yet.
Honestly, I’ve been meaning to type up my preliminary thoughts for this drama earlier on, but I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve also tried twice to recap some episodes but failed because I don’t enjoy it as much, for some odd reason (read: I’m lazy).
I love this drama for everything that is has been so far. Which is an awesome-sauce concoction of meta, amazing comedic timing, off-the-charts chemistry between the producer-writer couple and the actor-actress couple (which has me wondering how many real life couples are there behind the scenes on these dramas hehe), the quality of acting that all four leads bring to the drama, the logical flow of events attributed to the amazing writing and the wonderful execution that keeps the pace of the drama ever so suspenseful and intense, yet light.
I adore the actors and love how they just embody their characters. Kim Myung Min is a definite stand out and leaves me wondering if I’ve seen any of his other dramas (a quick Dramawiki search reveals I haven’t. Oops). However, now, I think it won’t be the same because I will just see him as Anthony Kim. Amazing Anthony Kim… with the three piece suits, occasional fur trimmed. I love the little nuances that make Anthony Kim so unique from his steely glares, to his slight smiles and all those little moments where his façade is shaken. His portrayal of Anthony Kim as someone who tucks his heart away underneath all that bravado is so enamouring. Go Eun is a slightly less complex character on the surface. She is the persistent, righteous and idealistic writer whose efforts are rewarded with a loving mother who always supports her, a team of adorable colleagues who are ever so considerate of her, Anthony Kim who believes in her (even though he sometimes doesn’t even believe in himself, *squeals*) and um, Hyun Min… who gifts her whenever she yields to him, or so he assumes.
Hyun Min is the classic and marvellous comic relief, who I adore. I’m no SuJu fangirl nor was I ever crazy about Si Won but damn he brings Hyun Min to life with his wacky expressions (which I’ve caught glimpses of on Running Man, but that was like 1% of what he exhibits with Hyun Min). I hope I don’t become too much of a convert because well, his next project is seemingly another … sappy romance. But it’s ok, I’ll probably watch it for Yuan Hong as well *swoons*. Min Ah is a bit of a … perplexing character. I adore her with Hyun Min but I don’t like her story arc with Anthony. It’s a bit cliché that she has to Go Eun’s love rival and Anthony’s ex. But I can see how her character is meant to bring the ‘inner conflict’ to the set when y’know the Evil Empire stop hassling these guys. For once and for all. One day…. Director Goo is another underrated favourite of mine, with every appearance, though short, speaks tons of his principles as a director. I love how he’s considerate of the staff yet understands the nature of actors; his boldness and wits with trolling his leads and his overall awesomeness as a director.
Anyways, I’m really enjoying this drama and have read that an extension is confirmed. I trust the guys behind this awesome drama enough to make it work. I don’t follow writers or PDs so I don’t know much about them, but fingers crossed. I’m really glad that I serendipitously gave this drama a shot because I’d never really considered this drama when I first read the synopsis. I just remember seeing Jung Ryeo Won posting a pic of her being all cheerful (as Go Eun is) in front of the poster as I was downloading Nice Guy and next thing I knew, I was like “hmm let’s give this a chance”. One episode in and I was hooked. And every episode that followed just kept reeling me in. This is shaping up to one of my favourite K-drama comedies because I just love the dry humour and how well it keeps the drama light despite the endless conflicts.
SIGH SIGH SIGH. Confession: I started this drama for Lee Jong Suk because I adored him in Secret Garden. So naturally, I love Go Nam Soon as well. But beyond that, he is truly a worthy character to love because he is just so layered and complex, with his brooding and mysteriousness. Not to mention I have a weakness for those quiet, mysterious types.
Which means I was bound for a mess of heartbreak and tears because as we left off from last episode, Nam Soon was caught in a “little scuffle” with the schoolyard bullies Oh Jung Ho and co. as they were trying to establish who was the school ‘jjang’ between him and Heung Soo. Due to their ambiguous past, Nam Soon became aggressive when Jung Ho was threatening to permanently damage Heung Soo’s leg. How evil. I keep hoping to see some good in him, but seriously, he really crosses the line in so many instances – hitting his female who is his teacher, and now trying to intentionally cripple someone? Gosh. Regardless of whatever underlying issues he has, he needs to get himself sorted out before I throw something at him via my beloved computer. Though I probably wouldn’t enjoy that too much. Or the aftermath of it anyways.
Anyways, due to the fight and how good Nam Soon was at beating Jung Ho to a pulp, Jung Ho guesses that he was Tsunami aka the best fighter at his old school. And that he’s a year older and thus, a hyungnim. Though no added respect here. Instead he uses the knowledge to blackmail Nam Soon into doing some shady business for him: steal the maths exam so he can cheat. The episode actually ends where Jung Ho’s posse turns off the electricity for the school (so the surveillance camera will be switched off) and we see Nam Soon’s hand reaching for the door…
Man, please don’t do it. DON’T GO DOWN THAT PATH MY BELOVED NAM SOON. As you may realise (or not), I hate drama and conflict in dramas. I just want to see my favourite characters being awesome. And in this case, untainted by the pressures of schoolyard bullying and evil blackmailing and manipulation. It’s all the more depressing because Nam Soon seems to really want to just stay out of trouble and deep down, I don’t think he wants to let In Jae down.
I love how the drama has set up this conflict in this episode so meticulously though. From the little mention of ‘dilemma’ in their literature studies, to In Jae telling them to tell her when they face such situations to the bigger breakdown where the ‘class’ is punished when they bully Ha Kyung by soaking her books and for stealing Teacher Yoo’s USB with the exam papers on them. She tells Nam Soon to bring the broom, but instead she throws that on the ground and starts slapping them with her hands. Every single one, until her hands are red and Se Chan steps in, arm-grabbing her, and leading her out of the room to chide her for being so stupid. Hearing of the commotion, the principal rushes there and asks if the teachers really hit the children (it was prohibited) and Se Chan raised her red hand and said it was the teacher who was punished. Sigh, this scene was so darn heartbreaking because I just felt the realisation dawning on In Jae that raising these kids will be an uphill battle. It hurts when she says they can muck around, not care about studying and fight but for them to think that stealing and distributing the answers and sabotaging another classmate’s study is just wrong. You can tell how disappointed she is in them, and my heart sinks along with hers; as my tears fell when hers did as she punished her kids. They say it hurts a parent more to hit their own kids, and I think that was exactly how she was feeling. So heartbreaking.
Another thing that broke my heart this episode was learning more about Min Ki. I felt so sad for him whenever his mum is on the scene. My parents were never that intrusive or involved with my studies, so I feel embarrassed for him when his mum keeps rocking up to criticise the school or teachers whenever things don’t go her way. It was so sad when the whole class was actually having fun playing dodgeball and she appears, and he just freezes, the smile wiped off his face. Ah, man. Way to kill the mood. I hate how she tries to mask the intensity of her need for control with a gentle smile and a gentle tone. I felt so bad for him when he said he wished he was 20 because it’s as if life doesn’t exist before then. It’s so depressing, because he seems like such a genuinely nice bloke and sensible enough on his own without an overbearing mother micromanaging him. I am clutching my heart with joy that I was blessed with a mother who is so supportive, adorable and warm. Heck, she supported me through exams by cooking for me and making me warm beverages, not demanding my teachers to re-grade my papers!
This was another drama that I was planning on writing up my initial thoughts on, though I was hesitating because last time I started I was only two episodes in and that seemed a bit too early though I was thoroughly impressed already, by that stage. I am still continually impressed by the drama and how everything is set up – from the way we are introduced to the characters, to the way we are suddenly thrust into their conflicts and are swept away into their lives and thoughts.
I think what sets this drama apart from other Kdramas is that it’s so realistic and has stripped away all the unnecessary theatrics. Every little arc so far has been plausible and complicated all the same. I really like how the drama depicts the troubles teenagers go through – that although the problems may seem like nothing to adults, it means a lot to the kids who are going through them because they are still growing and still paving a way for their own future. This is why I love In Jae, because she’s so idealistic and she’s so passionate about helping these kids. She genuinely cares and she wants to help them turn their lives around and get them on the right path. Each and every one of them.
BU BU JING XIN
Hot damn. I can’t really complain because I knew going into this drama that heartbreak would be inevitable. But why does it have to be one of my favourite brothers first up? I ADORE the 13th prince, and by extension Yuan Hong, and so it hurt to see him take one for the team when the 8th prince and co.’s people badmouthed the crown prince as if under the 4th prince’s instructions (because they were seemingly allied – on the surface, though they were working for the 8th prince all along, or so Ruo Xi explains). It broke me when the 13th prince bowed to the king and accepted his banishment. But it killed when the 4th prince just silently cried, because that was just how darn strong their bond was. Honestly, the 8th prince and co. may have their little foursome, but there’s something lonesome and hollow, yet in its own way beautiful, how it’s always only the 4th and 13th prince side by side. I just sense this sort of dependency and closeness between the two, whereas on the 8th prince’s side it feels slightly strategic. Though on the surface it may seem like the 8th prince is very kind in taking in the 10th prince who is a little less ‘wise’, however, I feel there is too much ego and clashes of personality. Especially after the crown prince has been denounced, I feel like there will be a lot more scheming on the 8th prince’s side though I haven’t gotten up to that bit yet.
Onto the interpersonal goodness now. Gosh, I love Ruo Xi and her relationships in this drama. I just wish I was her. I love how she has the courage to speak up for the 13th prince and I love how she’s standing up for her fellow sex. I mean, we know she isn’t that close with the 13th prince’s lady friend, yet she knows how much their bond means to her and she doesn’t want her to be looked down upon by the other. Respect, Ruo Xi. My heart went berserk when the 4th prince shows up in the rain and holds her, in front of the 8th and 14th prince. Honestly, I never really liked her with the 8th prince, there was always something… unsettling about him. He was calm, yet it’s like his hunger for power would creep up anytime. I don’t know if that’s only the vibe I’m getting from Kevin Cheng’s portrayal or if the writers have written the character this way so we can root for the 4th prince… but that’s just my impression. Anyways, by this time, I’ve stopped caring about the sinking ship that is the 8th prince and Ruo Xi… I don’t care if he still loves her or looking out for her, as long as he doesn’t screw things up for the others.
If there is a silver lining to this episode, it’s the 14th prince. Hallelujah boy! I love how he stays behind regardless of the 8th prince’s little words of advice, and then he sneaks her food. DAMN BOY, ALL THESE FEELS. Why? Because, truly, the way to win my heart is with food. So you know, if I was Ruo Xi, I would’ve married the guy. Haha, jokes aside, it was amazingly sweet and practical. I mean, girl’s been kneeling there for ages, why hasn’t anyone snuck her any food?! Anyways, it’s so cute how he asks her if she would’ve done the same for him if he was the one who was banished and she said she would’ve done it for any of them (aka, YES YES YES!). His face lights up and I just want to hug him, because he’s like a little puppy who needs some validation and loving. I know he feels insecure that she’s closer to the 13th prince, because they’re both free-spirits (though, she’s become pretty restrained in my opinion, but that’s probably realistic considering the setting of the drama and the predicament she’s in) and just get each other whereas he sometimes is a bit of a nitpicker and well, has other motives. Anyways, when he went to the emperor and was begging on the behalf of the 13th prince, I was all gooey inside. Argh, more feels.
Later, Ruo Xi unearths the tiny mystery that the emperor was behind the spreading of the news about her being punished, probably to test the reactions of the princes. And the 14th prince was the boldest to come begging him, yet he was punished. However, after the crown prince was denounced, he was the one who the emperor came to trust and discuss political issues with. It appears that by standing up for his brother (alliances aside) he really won the emperor’s favour because the emperor loves all things brotherly and that. It’s cute to see him get some loving from his father, though his mum obviously showers him with love already. It’s just the emperor was all caught up in his love for the crown prince (WHY?! The guy was a jerk!) that he basically neglected all his other sons. Anyways, I’m just really dreading the downfall of the 14th prince, whether it be by a fallout within the alliance or by schemes of the 4th prince (who is now being all peaceful and Zen.. on the outside, presumably). By the way, the 14th prince helped resolve the whole 13th prince ordeal, so his lady friend was adopted by some official and taken to the place the 13th prince was to become his maid (which was their whole aim).
Beloved princes, please don’t fight. Just don’t. Because my sad little heart will not be able to take it. And gosh. I can feel that the ending will be somewhat tragic.
Another random thought is that I kind of wish there was some more context around Ruo Xi’s 21st century character, because all we saw of her was her fight with her lousy boyfriend and her telling him off and pow, we’re here. I think what bothers me is that she seemed like such a .. sassy loudmouth there.. and seeing her so restrained and quiet here.. it’s strange. It’s like two different people really. AND I STILL WANT TO BE RUO XI. If this end of world things really happening, please let me be transported back and be Ruo Xi haha. Except, I would not fare as well as she did because .. hell, I don’t know half the stuff she does and I’m definitely not be able to bite my tongue on a lot of issues that arise. Still, all that eye candy…
On a side note, I’m lining up a bunch of dramas from Lin Geng Xin and Yuan Hong to watch because they have won my heart. Hehehe.
Posted by LYCHII on Sunday, 16 December 2012
I am really starting to fall deeply for this drama. It has everything you could ask for in a drama - beautiful cinematography, well-rounded characters with actual motives (thus, aren't simply plot devices to create drama for drama's sake), interesting and intense story line coupled with appropriate lighter moments and mesmerizing chemistry between the whole cast. And eye candy, everywhere. ALL DEM BOYS.
Apart from the cute interactions between the cast, things get a bit more serious on the power struggles side. The 9th prince, who is on the 8th prince's side, has been receiving bribes and embezzling funds that were meant to be for the civilians in need. The 4th prince was put in charge of investigating corrupt officials. He warns 8th prince, essentially for him to pass on the message to 9th prince to put a halt to his unlawful activities. Note, this is not only to 'save' his brother but a strategic move on his part as well. The crown prince in the meantime, also puts a stop to his illegal activity. The 9th princes' subordinates spur him to continue, mocking him for listening to orders when he himself is a prince. Provoked, he ends up continuing to embezzle funds. Thus, put in a tough position, the 4th prince confronts the 8th prince of this matter and asks him what he should do. The 8th prince tells him to do what he has to do - report everything to the emperor; as he knows the emperor is unlikely to cause a commotion or severely punish those involved. However, this ruffles feathers on both sides, as the 9th prince (who is rash and cocky) takes revenge in the form of harassing the 13th prince's close lady friend, because of her 'lowly status'. The 14th prince interferes and rescues her, because he was thankful for the 13th prince's prior help, and the fact that he doesn't want to cause a fight between the two brothers.
Due to Ruo Xi's good relations with the Mongolians, and the emperor's fondness of her, as well as her prestigious background the crown prince requests her hand in marriage to the emperor. He is hesitant and does not promise the crown prince anything because he wanted to carefully consider since Ruo Xi has become someone he trusts and cherish and thus, her marriage is an important decision to him. The news hits Ruo Xi with a bolt of shock, as she never anticipated the move (though she understood his motives) and she loathes the idea of having to marry the unworthy crown prince. The 14th prince was present at the time that the news was relayed to her, and he immediately informs the 8th prince of this. The 4th prince also becomes aware of the situation. In order to 'rescue' her, they join forces to bring attention to the crown prince's misdeeds. With the pressure and attention on the character of the crown prince, focus is removed from his desire to marry Ruo Xi for the time being.
Due to the realisation dawning on Ruo Xi that she has no control over who she will be betrothed to and that eventually, in the near future, she will have to be married off, she is forced to confront her feelings. Her insistence to cut ties with the 8th prince leaves him suffering. However, she slowly opens her heart to the 4th prince (cue hella cute interactions!) and we see them revealing their feelings for each other subtly. The 8th prince is somehow aware of their feelings for each other, as he has always paid attention to her closely and notices the tense atmosphere between the two whenever their gazes meet. The 14th prince relents on his pestering of Ruo Xi for 'toying' with the 8th prince's emotions. I feel as if their friendship is deepening, so that with the risk of her marrying the crown prince, he realises that all that he wants for her is to be happy. The 13th prince becomes aware of her past relationship with the 8th prince, but does not mind (because he is so damn cool) and promises her not to tell the 4th prince because if he does... shit will hit the roof.
I am so damn jealous of Ruo Xi and find myself imagining how I would fare if I was magically transported to that time. Let's just say ... it probably wouldn't be as good as BBJX. But damn, I so wish I were her. I mean, she's surrounded by these cute, righteous and chivalrous men. I love her cute interactions with the 4th prince, and I feel bad for the 8th prince. But it's her friendships with the 10th, 13th and 14th prince that has my heart all gooey. Can I please have the 13th and 14th prince to myself? They are so good looking and ... loyal. Whilst the 14th prince can be a bit annoying with his forcefulness and belief that she should be with the 8th prince, he obviously cares a lot for her well-being and genuinely wants the best for her. It's just what he thinks is the best for her, may not be the best for her The 13th prince is just so ... easygoing and chill. I would so want to watch a spin-off drama with him as the main. He is so handsome, yet righteous and free-spirited. It rings so true when Ruo Xi mentions what a pity it is that he was born in the royal family, pit between his brothers and caught in the numerous power struggles and restrictions when he is a free spirit. I totally agree, and I believe he should transport to our times. And meet me. And fall in love with me. If only.
I'm scared of falling too deep and getting too emotionally attached to these characters and their amazing friendships because like Ruo Xi, I know what's going to happen. And it kills me inside. I don't want to see MY BOYS fight to the death over the throne, and I don't want to see them turn on each other and betray and scheme against each other. I JUST WANT IT TO BE ALL HAPPY LA LA. But in dramaland, that will never happen. WHY?! I can sense the impending doom and I dread it ... I'm scared that by the end of the drama, I will be in tears and my heart will be shattered, leaving a hollow emptiness. I so should've waited till the sequel was to be released so I could just marathon it instead of having to pine after it now. Oh and I have seen a glimpse of the ending, so I know it will be sad already. Sigh. My heart cannot take this!