Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Day in Astoria, Queens NY



I'm starting a travel feature on this blog, as I've been making it a goal of mine to visit more spots across the US and sharing my real thoughts and itinerary. Hope this is helpful!

This past Labor Day, in the pursuit of a local and affordable day trip around NYC, I paid a visit to Astoria, Queens. Inspired by this post, I wanted to share my itinerary and experience for others planning a day here. Overall, while I was glad to have explored the neighborhood and broaden my familiarity with the different districts across NY, I wouldn't necessarily rate Astoria as a must-visit. It is a mainly residential area with older buildings, and the few visitor-friendly sites are fairly spread out, necessitating lengthy walks without much to see in between.


Monday, August 5, 2019

The Bachelorette: Season 15 Review & Reactions



I've been quietly watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for years now, and have seen so many of the tropes and dramatics that it's rare for any particular season to keep me engaged through its run. I dropped the franchise for a bit after the horrible bore and pointlessness that was Nick Viall's season (he couldn't even stay together with his finalist for a couple months), but then fell back in when I heard of the change-decision drama with Arie's season. After that, I sat through the retrospectively PAINFULLY BORING Becca season, the overhyped and very annoying Colton season (sorry, but never liked him or Cassie and never will, especially after seeing their very immature and fame-hungry Instagrams), which brings us to the just-completed season with Hannah Brown.

I have to say upfront, I was a believer in Hannah's potential as a lead from the very first rumors of her being the next Bachelorette. I don't understand how people could judge her so much for her toast mess-up with Colton, when she proved so real and entertaining the rest of his season (a bright light in a sea of rather superficial characters). I have certainly fumbled my share of speaking events, and related very much to the pain of it all. And as expected, her season didn't disappoint, though as with any season there were some draggy points in the middle when the Luke P drama overstayed its welcome. While I wouldn't call it the most watchable season ever (that honor belongs to either Chris Soules or Kaitlyn Bristowe), it was refreshing and pushed very much against the tropes that this show too commonly suffers from. The ending was certainly unexpected and Hannah was such a perfect lead for it all.

Monday, July 29, 2019

What to watch this summer: My Top 3 K-drama rom-coms

 
There are few better feelings than cozying up on a warm summer evening to a really good rom-com for hours on end. Since it's been so long since I've done a K-drama review, I figured I'd round up my top three rom-coms of the last two years into one post, for folks to watch (or re-watch) and enjoy while the air is hot and we are in the mood for heady summer romances.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1: Broadway Play Review


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been on my to-see list since the play came out in New York last year. I'm a longtime fan of the books (aren't we all) and was curious how a stage adaptation of a sequel years set over a decade later would work. Note this review is only for Part I, as given the length of each part (3 hours each, 6 hours total) I haven't yet seen Part II. Overall, while I was entertained, I would put this into the same category as the Fantastic Beasts movies - entertaining, but missing much of the magic of the original series.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Man in the Window: Podcast Episodes 1-4 Review


If you're a fan of true crime podcasts (think Dirty John and Doctor Death, both by the same producers), Man in the Window definitely deserves a listen. But be warned this one takes the terror level up about 10 notches, recounting in spine-tingling, paranoia-inducing detail the crime history of the Golden State Killer. Scariness aside though, this is a tremendous piece of audio journalism, managing to not only guide us through the events that unfolded year by year in the horrific decade from the 1970s to 1980s, but also weaving in the political and legal backdrop that enabled a man to get away with over 100 rapes and a dozen murders for half a century.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Go Back Spouses: Severe second lead syndrome as of episode 9


I've been enjoying Go Back Spouses a surprising amount, and it's one of the only shows I'm watching among the current pool on-air. It started off because I enjoyed the sense of humor and wanted to see the relationship rekindle between our time-traveling couple, played very fittingly by Jang Nara and Sohn Ho Joon. But the more I watch, the less enamored I am with the romantic story behind our main leads and the more I'm watching purely for the heartfelt family moments. In fact, despite the title of this post, I'm really not in it for any of the romance (especially given the high likelihood of my current ship not winding up anywhere). What I want to see more of is the tragic past between Jang Nara's Jin Joo and her mother, whose storyline never fails to bring me to tears, as well as any of the many thoughtful family relationships depicted.


Monday, July 3, 2017

The Bride of the Water God: Episode 1 First Impressions


This wasn't a show I was even remotely interested in watching, until I learned that it comes from the director of Nine and Queen In Hyun's Man, which are two of my favorite shows ever. With that said, episode 1 completely won me over, and really made me believe in the power of a good director in making a show go from middling to grand. I love the combination of quirky yet majestic that Bride has managed to seamlessly combine, and I even find myself surprisingly won over to both lead characters. They're not actors I would ever pick to watch, but Shin Se Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk seem to really be putting their weight into their roles here and are a winning pair so far. All in all, a very solid first outing for Bride, which has me excited and eagerly anticipating what's to come.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Queen for Seven Days: Halfway Review



The only recent drama that I'm live-watching right now is the tragic sageuk Queen for Seven Days. A large part of why I initially watched was because I'm still trying to find a romantic sageuk that can top The Princess's Man. So far, I give credit to Queen for having a similarly fast-moving pace, a strong heroine and some epic lovers-separation and reunion scenes, but ultimately for me it doesn't even come close to matching TPM. I'm just not on board the OTP ship, and my sole reason for continuing to watch is the riveting Yeonsangun, whose character and performance have me completely swept up and wishing against history that he could face a better ending.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair: Series Review


Image result for this week my wife will have an affair poster

It's rare to find a show that balances a likable and intriguing set of leads with an equally interesting and surprising plot. But that's what This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair artfully achieved, which explains the fair amount of positive reviews it's garnered. This Week hooked us with the did-she/ didn't-she humor-filled premise, but then pulled out something more meaningful, which was a balanced look at marriage and human relationships. As someone who went in with zero expectations, I was very pleasantly surprised by what I got, and this stands as one of the few shows I completed in 2016 and enjoyed all the way through. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Legend of the Blue Sea: Halfway Review



Unlike its predecessor You From Another Star, Legend of the Blue Sea isn't the sort of drama to immediately hook you in. It's more reminiscent of the writer's previous works (Queen of Reversals comes to mind), which take a handful of episodes to fully drop in its narrative and work its characters' magic on the viewers. Thus, while I remained ambivalent on the show at episode 3, at episode 10 I can say I'm fully 100% invested in watching Heo Joon Jae and our resident mermaid Shim Chung (and even more so their Joseon counterparts) get the happy ending they deserve.