Sunday, April 7, 2013

King Flower: Episodes 1-2 Review

I gave in and started this after hearing how good it's become. But two episodes in, I feel like I've just melted off half my brain cells. This is about as stupid as they come for Taiwan dramas and although I'm sure it gets better, I'm not sure my mind can take anymore of the suffering to get there.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

When a Man Loves: Episodes 1-2 Review

Winter sadly wound up being a big dud, but luckily there's plenty of premieres up to take its slot. I'm not sure why I chose this of all things considering its underwhelming promo materials and streak-of-bad-dramas cast, but I'm now glad I did. I'm really liking it so far. The characters and fast-paced story hit the spot for me, and overall I think it's off to a solid start.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Hundred Year's Inheritance: Early Impressions

I don't think I've ever finished a drama with more than 24 episodes before (Taiwan's Fated to Love You and ISWAK are the longest ones that come to mind). I've started lengthy sagas like Giant before, but inevitably at some point I get disengaged and never see it again. I'm pretty sure Hundred Year's, at 50 episodes, is going into the growing category of "started but discontinued", but for what it's worth I'll share my thoughts as of episode 5.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Book Reviews: The Casual Vacancy & The Heavy

I've been on an audiobook kick lately, which is how I finished JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. Together with The Heavy, these are some of the more recent best-sellers that interested me enough to draw me out of drama viewing. Here's my quick thoughts in case you're considering:

Level 7 Civil Servant: Early Impressions

Part 2 of Early Impressions is the spy drama that's received quite a bit of attention lately (mostly not very positive). Shockingly though, this is so far my favorite of the trio, and probably the only one that I want to finish 100% of (as of episode 6 at least). Low quality it may be, but this story, or rather our main guy, has captured my interest, and I find myself eagerly anticipating how things will progress from episode to episode. I'm sure this might change once I get further though (based on all the complaints of story stupidity), and it's unfortunate that it's 20 rather than 16 episodes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flower Boy Next Door: Early Impressions

The recent large batch of drama releases certainly hasn't escaped my attention, so I wanted to go ahead and share my thoughts on the three I've made enough progress on to form an opinion. They are: Flower Boy Next Door, Level 7 Civil Servant, and Hundred Year's Inheritance. We'll start with FBND:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Most Unfortunate Non-pairings

Sometimes, a story will flirt with a pairing to such an extent that you think it might just happen, and hang on desperately to that thread of hope. But sadly, in the end it decides on a different path, painfully deflating your balloon of hope and often leaving a black mark over your memory of the show. I'm not talking mere second-lead syndrome, I'm talking cases where a story appears schizo and not too sure itself as to where the end lies. These are the shows, going back pretty much to when I first started watching TV, that hit me the hardest, and ones that still give me a rush of disappointment.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episodes 4-7 Thoughts

I'm making this post mainly to state I've decided I like fauxcest. Yes, it's oddly perverse and I don't care to see it in real life, but in a drama it adds just that extra oomph factor that sucks me into the onscreen relationship. It makes what would otherwise be just a cute almost-kiss or hand-holding into something temptuous and forbidden. I know some people are weirded out, but for me? I'm interested in seeing more, and hoping the deception goes on for as long as possible.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episodes 1-3 Thoughts

I'm feeling really great about this show so far. It's beautiful and thoughtful, with a stunning cast and a lovely soundtrack. Having seen the movie-version of the story, Love Me Not, my verdict so far is that this is definitely the stronger and more picturesque telling. For one, we actually get the time to flesh out the backgrounds and motivations for our two leads, so it's not quite a random "I'm your brother" appearance. And two, Jo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo have far better chemistry and are completely age-appropriate compared to Moon Geun Young and Kim Joo Hyuk (who had a squicky 15-year age gap that sold the siblings part but not the romance). The visuals are amazing in this drama, which completely enrobes itself in the winter theme, and seriously I would kill for some of Song Hye Kyo's coordinated outfits.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Carrie Diaries: Episodes 1-3 Thoughts

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of high school dramas, I was sucked in by The Carrie Diaries' pretty, colorful previews and blatant tie-in with Sex and the City. Somewhat embarassingly, I've also listened to the audiobook (one of those sporadic in-car book choices), so had an idea of what was coming. The novel was all sorts of juvenile and silly, but the show luckily has a bit more character sensibility and fanciful fun to it. It's not great, but it's amusing enough that I feel inclined to continue tuning in.