Thankful and…

There might not seem to be many things to celebrate this year, but I know that, in spite of the challenges we face, I do have things to be grateful for, and to anticipate.

I’m grateful that I still have the resources to create a holiday meal, though I’m aware that I am fortunate in this regard; many do not. I’m grateful that I have interests that keep me mentally engaged and positive, even when there are some days that blur one into the next. I’m grateful that I have the inner resources to find things that bring me joy and stimulate my brain, and that I’m never bored (and <i>that</i> is saying something!)

One thing I’m particularly grateful for is having stumbled on <b>The Untamed</b> and the world of MDZS and its authoress, and the talents of its young cast. This was the year I discovered just how many talented people are out there writing fan-fiction, and holy-moley, there are some amazing fics out there inspired by this work! I’ve read some that I would hold up to many heavily-touted and praised published works (and if you’re looking for recommendations, hit me up).

And above all, I’m grateful for you, my friends, who share your enthusiasms and interests (and disappointments, because let’s be frank, not everything will be a winner), even when I’ve been less active on this site this year. I’m making a very late new year’s resolution (or very early one) to do better — scout’s honor!

Here’s hoping that we all have many things more to be thankful for today, and all the days to come.

#thanks

Down memory lane..

So exciting to see that they just had a reunion of our beloved Coffee Prince gang and I was all set to watch it but then I thought…wait..it’s time to see it again before I do that..so I started up again and am enjoying it just as much..love these guys..it’s a bit sad to know that one young man is gone but honestly..seeing these future leading men at the beginning is so interesting..seeing a younger version of My Mister with his sexy voice..btw..the man has one of the sexiest walks as well..just saying..and of course Gong Yoo and Kim Jae Wook…sigh…how can anyone doubt that these guys were going to be around for a long time?? And..looking not much older??

These kinds of dramas are the ones responsible for our kdrama obsession…that’s for sure!!

Remembering Yuko

More distressing news out of Japan: it was reported yesterday that Takeuchi Yuko (40) was found dead, an apparent suicide.

Her work made us laugh, cry, she was gifted at making us fall in love. However many of her dramas and movies you’ve seen, no doubt each title you’ll think of you’ll say to yourself, “ahh… she was sooo good in that!” It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, but I’ll leave you with this song…

#in-memoriam, #takeuchi-yuko

Remembering Ben

I received news yesterday that our dear Phorum web guru and friend Ben Spade passed away last Tuesday.

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Ben worked tirelessly to keep our Telenovelas website Phorum site, were we spent many hours and formed many friendships, long after it was easy to do so — browser and platform updates made things break if you looked at it cross eyed! But he faced health issues that had him retiring all too soon.

Over the past few years I’ve thought of him often. He was a joy to know and I hope you’ll understand how much I’ll miss him.

#ben-spade, #foro-de-telenovelas, #in-memoriam, #phorum

Oh My Baby

I can never pass up a Jang Nara drama of course!

As you might know this is a familiar story of a 40 something woman who is fighting the biological clock and decides that she really wants a child.

I did enjoy it at the end of the day. I thought it was quite balanced in that it touched upon various issues relating to..not only this specific issue..but also to related issues. It was almost as if the writer said..ok..we will have one character representing a working mother..one character representing a divorced mother..one character representing a single mother..etc..this enabled us to get different points of view and also served as a lesson to say that NOTHING is perfect..that choices have to be made..that we must all live by our choices. THe three men did a great job I thought..one a childhood friend..one an irritating one and the last a young, purehearted guy who honestly seems much too good to be true.

Probably one of the strongest relationship in the drama was between Jang Nara and her mom..lovely moments between them. I was also super excited to see that Go Joon was one of the potential fathers. I had never even heard of him before until I saw him as a very minor secondary character in Save Me – noticed him right away..but had no idea he was in this drama!! Let me just say that Mr. Voice has a very serious contender..lol..his low voice is awesome..as is the rest of him of course….

Thumbs up!!

Save me….Please!!

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I was really charmed by Woo Do-Hwan and I wanted to see more of him. Many people have mentioned Save Me as one of his earlier dramas so when I accidentally came across it I decided to check it out. My heart sank when I saw that the lead was Taecyon..as you know he is not one of my favourites..though he might be a sweet boy he’s a terrible actor in my view and I just can’t understand why he keeps getting such plum roles..but nevermind..I decided to overlook it. One other thing that made me hesitate was that I saw that it was about a cult and all it’s  activities in the small town..didn’t relish watching such obvious manipulation but I do really like the actor who plays the cult leader. First thing to stand out was that they gave him totally white hair and it just visually shocks the eyes and gives you warning that this isn’t an ordinary villain. He says and does all the “right” things but you can just see (unless you have already joined his cult) that there is something dark behind those eyes…

Back to our main characters..the group of highschool friends who like to hang out..who obviously care about each other but who carry different baggage as well.. Do-Hwan’s father being the town drunk..Taecyon’s father being the governor..each with their own pressures but basically good guys..

Then we meet the main family…consisting of the parents and a teenage son and daughter.down on their luck..scammed out of their savings and left without even a home or job..they come under the radar of the cult and little by little..in the most innocent of ways..especially after the suicide of the son who is bullied..the family falls apart and are at their most vulnerable..perfect victims to unscrupulous villains.

But..it’s not only about the obvious villains..it’s about others who aren’t above putting ambition and their own well being above justice and aren’t afraid to corrupt anyone who will help them do it.

I’ve only watched three episodes but I’m not sure I will continue..it’s toooooo creepy for me right now..and it’s unbearably sad and I know there is more to come before..hopefully..things get better…It’s not the first time of course that we see the rich man getting  away with murder but it’s especially hard to see it here!!

 

Everything is good about The Bad Kids

I’ve not posted much recently because I’ve not been watching much recently (and we can blame The Untamed for this because I’ve fallen down the fanfic AU rabbit hole in great part for this), but I have watched some very good dramas lately. Top of the list has to be The Bad Kids, a Chinese drama that is dark, well-written, and definitely for those who loved My Ahjussi and dramas of that type.

In fact, I committed to another streaming service subscription in order to watch it (thank you, IQIYI), and I’m not sorry that I did so. Now if they only had a Roku app…

But I digress. And this is a series that deserves your full attention.

The series starts off with a bang, or should I say a push; just some guy committing a little murder. You could call it a reverse cliffhanger because the background to that and the introduction to the titular bad kids is revealed in slow, incremental pieces, and the tension builds sequentially. Oh, and not only do we have that opening stunner, the ending of each episode is a true cliffhanger. This is a drama where the tension at the end is so tight you do not want to watch it when you’re trying to relax at the end of an evening. Just saying…

I mentioned the acting being superb; it is, and I want to know how they find such talented child actors to play roles like this. You have the highly intelligent bookworm raised by his divorced mother, Chaoyang; his best friend, a runaway from a state run orphanage, Liang; and fellow runaway Pu, who needs to find money to pay for her brother’s leukemia treatment, and together they are involved in one drastic moment after another. These kids will break your heart because they are so much on their own, must be so self-reliant on each other because there is no one else they can fully rely on. Only model student Chaoyang has a parent in his life, but she’s employed at a resort and often stays away in the dorms there as part of her work, whereas Liang’s father is locked up and Pupu is an orphan. Especially in the case of Liang, you see the resilience born of need, the unwarranted self-confidence that he can make his own decisions, and it creates nothing but worry when watching him. The little actress who plays Pupu is a heartbreaker with her luminous eyes and fragile figure, but she’s the glue in this threesome.

Without revealing too much of the plot, the three come across information that leads them into a dangerous course of action. In lesser hands, and in other worlds their decisions would come across as implausible, but because they’ve been thrust into a world in which they must be self-reliant and feel that they have few alternatives, those choices are not far fetched (even if you shout at them across the screen, “don’t do that!”)

The adults in this drama do their fair share too, from the math teacher antagonist Qin Hao, to the two policemen who have the power to change the course of the story (Lu Fang Sheng, who plays Ye Jun might look familiar to those who’ve seen The Longest Day In Chang’An where he played another investigator). And, when you have children who’ve fallen into these desperate situations, you have those adults who have let them down, either intentionally, or due to their own circumstances. Chaoyang’s mother is a case in point; as a divorced single parent it’s clear her life isn’t an easy one, but her actions in raising him and trying to do the right thing contribute, albeit indirectly, to what transpires.

With all this being said, I encourage you to check out The Bad Kids. IQIYI allows for trial free watching for newcomers, so take advantage of that. (Also, they’re bringing out content I’m not seeing on some other sites, so it will be worth keeping an eye on them.) The steamy, almost palpable tropical setting in Ningzhou is the perfect setting for a drama like this one this summer.

#dollar-rong, #iqiyi, #lu-fang-shen, #qin-hao, #shi-peng-yuan, #the-bad-kids, #wang-jing-chun, #wang-sheng-di, #zhu-chao-yang

Sad news out of Japan today…

I’m sorry that my first post in a while is prompted by very sad news, but it has been reported that Haruma Miura, at just 30 years of age, has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

There will be many who are as shocked as I was upon hearing this news, but we can never know what someone else is going through to lead to this drastic step. My only hope is that someday all communities will embrace counseling and the treatment of mental health issues fully, and without shame.

I will treasure his work and think of him as that delightful High School Samurai, and I wish that his loved ones are supported in their grief.

#haruma-miura, #miura-haruma

Mystic Pop Up Bar

Watch: BTOB's Yook Sungjae, Hwang Jung Eum, And Choi Won Young ...

Had no intention of watching this but I needed some reprieve from the disappointment of the King and this one was short and sweet at only 12 episodes.

Enjoying it so far – half way through..I love the main characters..each one is doing a great job of keeping me entertained..you have your sweet innocent young man who is cursed with the fact that whenever he touches someone they immediately need to share their thoughts..then you’ve got the two supernatural beings..she is able to go into people’s dreams  and fix their problems (he does all the grunt work) but she is being punished and must fulfill a quota of clients – that’s where our young man comes in..he brings them in and she fixes them..sounds like a yawner but each case is interesting and as they work with each other they become closer too. Think a condensed version of Hotel de Luna without Iu’s wardrobe..lol..

King: Eternal Monarch – half way through…

Sigh….so disappointed so far..I can totally see why the ratings were so low..I’m up to episode 7 right now and the one and only highlight is the eye candy that our King provides..he’s never looked better in my eyes..but that’s not enough to last through 16 episodes!! I like the main actress but they have no wow factor during their scenes at all..I think it’s suffering from very bad writing..the love story just has no real substance and definitely no progression..the plotline is convoluted and hard to follow (at least for me)..and to tell you the truth I don’t  care about following it at all. It’s not the first time that I gave up on trying to understand the twists and turns but I was always compensated by the rest of the positives but I can’t say the same for this one. There are quite likeable secondary characters (like Woo Do hwan in a duo role for instance) but I keep nodding off while watching this…not a good sign..I hope that it improves..fingers crossed!!