Upcoming Mainland Series “Princess of Lan Ling”

 

Don’t be mistaken. The series has nothing to do with Prince of Lan Ling (Feng Shao Feng, Ariel Lin) although the place where all the events transpired and the characters are one and the same. This series however is adapted from the 2009 novel with the same title by Yang Qian Zi.

Legend has it that if one possesses the Qinglun mirror, peace will be obtained. But on the wrong hands, will bring chaos. It tells the story of modern girl Yuan Qing Suo/Li Ezi (played by Zhang Han Yun) who was sworn to protect the secret of the ancestral mirror. Her journey takes her deep into the Northern Zhou kingdom at the the time of unrest and war during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. She will be caught in the political crossfire as well as love entangles with Emperor Yuwen Yong (Peng Guan Ying) of Zhou and Prince Gao Zhang Gong (Chen Yi) of Lanling.

Princess of Lan Ling 兰陵王妃 is directed by the famous Hongkong director Yi Yezhao and stars Zhang Han Yun, Peng Guan Ying and Taiwanese cutie Andy Chen.

Comparison to Prince of Lan Ling is inevitable since they have the same theme. It is also a tall order to accomplish what the previous has accomplished in terms of success.  From the cast down to production, one can safely assume that this is a modest series compared to it’s predecessor.

 

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Sung Joon Joins Kim So Yeon for I Need Romance 3

Photo/tvN

 

I was gonna write about this issue last week when news floated about Sung Joon’s possible involvement in I Need Romance 로맨스가 필요해 season 3, but thought against it. I bid my time because I had a feeling a confirmation is not far behind. So was I right or what?

Sung Joon will play the part of a 27 year old genius composer opposite lead female Kim So Yeon, a 33 year old hardworking woman who does not believe in love anymore after her failed relationships (or so she said). But in her heart she longs for love. In real life we know of course that he is actually way younger than his role but with his long limbs he can easily pass as someone older.

The idea of older woman-younger man romance is nothing new. We have seen this over time and quite successfully at that! I remember watching a very funny Ko Hyun Jung falling for her best friend’s younger brother, Chun Jung Myung in Foxy Lady (2006). And who could forget the ratings hit My Queen (Taiwan 2009) which brought together Cheryl Yang and Ethan Ruan. Lately there has been a few dramas with the same theme namely (China) Drama Go Go Go with Ruby Lin and Jiro Wang, (Japan) Last Cinderella with Ryoko Shinohara and Haruma Miura just no name a few.

This drama follows I Need Romance 2011 and 2012. It will air sometime in January 2014 over tvN.

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Cover Wars (Men) – Gong Yoo VS Lee Jun Ki (South Korea)

 

They are two of the most eligible bachelors in South Korea. Both in their 30’s. Both handsome yet  strikingly different. One is a hunk the other is a quintessential flower boy.

 

GONG YOO for Singles magazine December 2013

One of my favorite South Korean actor. He has that boyish charm when he smiles. A perfect specimen of man-boy. It’s probably one of the reasons why many are enamored with this sexy hunk. For this cover shoot he flew to Jeju island looking right at home with nature.

 

 

LEE JUN KI for STAR1 magazine December 2013

He floated on everyone’s radar as the mischievous second lead in 2005’s My Girl almost stealing Lee Dong Wook’s thunder. He was whisked off to the military for close to 2 years and has recently made a comeback starring in 2 dramas Arang and the Magistrate, Two Weeks. He still has that “flower boy” quality with a blend of maturity on full display as he covers for  star1 magazine.

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Aaron Yan and Puff Kuo Spotted Together

 

What is it with celebrities these days? It seems like they are becoming more and more transparent with their personal lives. Before, it was almost close to impossible to spot celebs dating and when the public catch on, everything’s over. But maybe it is due to something else altogether, the thing which everyone has called instagram or weibo or twitter. Blame it on social media. Even celebs have become shutter happy clicking away and posting even very private moments on their personal accounts.

Just last week, Nicky Wu and Liu Shi Shi’s budding romance came to light straight from the horses’ mouth via weibo. This week a reel couple is in the center of the rumor mill once again. The couple in question is none other than “Just You 就是要你愛上我Qi Yi and Liang Liang better known as Aaron Yan and Puff Kuo. I suppose the two got so close during filming for the drama which ran for close to five months! Who wouldn’t get close in that condition? According to eye witnesses Aaron was spotted in Puff’s neighborhood and the two were chatting casually but when they noticed people snapping at them, Puff got into the car. But thanks to technology we could still see some paparazzi shots with them in the car.

Incidentally, today is Aaron’s 27th birthday and two posted a picture of them having dinner. They also exchaged what fans like to call “coded” messages with each other. Personally, I don’t want to read too much into this. After all, friends DO hang out and act sweet especially when you’re comfortable with one another.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sweet Pudding AARON!!! Jiā yoú!

 

 

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Park Han Byul Chops Long Locks for Role in Upcoming Drama “Well Raised Daughter,Hana”

 

Arguably better known as singer Se7en’s girlfriend for over a decade. Park Han Byul recently made headlines when news of their break up leaked but the two kept mum about it. Now, she’s back in the headlines not because she’s starring in a drama for the first time but more for cutting a whole chunk of her beautiful, long locks. When I first saw the stills myself, I had to do a double take. I thought I was looking at an uber cute man-boy or at a member of some of the oh-so-many idol groups that I can’t even recall their names. So I checked and surprisingly it is indeed Park Han Byul masquerading as a high school boy for the upcoming SBS Monday to Friday drama called Well Raised Daughter, Hana잘 키운 딸 하나. What I can say? Wow! She looks young for a 28 year old lady.

Park Han Byul will portray a dual role in the drama namely, Jang Geun Seong and Jang Hana. Hana, the daugher of the Jang family who owns a 200 year old soy sauce empire. She had to pretend as the family’s son Jang Geun Seong to protect the family business from bad-meaning people and business rivals. To keep the secret and make everyone believe the bogus identity, she goes to a school as a boy. The drama is set to premiere on December 2nd replacing Ugly Alert.

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November 18th (Monday) Drama Ratings Result

kihwangho_original

First, full disclosure. I don’t care about the other shows so I am only posting the results for the dramas I watch.
Yesterday, November 18th the Ha Ji Won, Joo Jin Mo lead Empress Ki (MBC) managed to maintain it’s lead among the other programs in its time slot with a 15.5% rating. This is also enough to land on the 5th spot overall ratings. Melody of Love사랑은 노래를 타고 (which is surprising everyone by outperforming others) is lording over the competition as the overall number one with 23.7%.

Meanwhile (SBS) Choi Ji Woo’s Suspicious Housekeeper got 9.5% while (KBS) Yoon Eun Hye’s Marry Him If You Dare is continuing it’s downward spiral with 5%, recording the lowest “ever” ratings since its pilot.

 

Personal Note:

You may have noticed that I stopped recapping Marry Him If You Dare from episode 10. Furthermore, I will not continue with it any longer. The reason is simple. I am heartbroken by how it is faring and last night’s results was another blow to my already broken heart. I have no motivation left in me to continue with that task but will continue to watch the show in support of my Eun Hye. But thank you to those who have read my recaps.

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“Bel Ami” Fashionable Individual Character Posters


I could have included this in the gallery for my previous post here but I thought this merits another post altogether. There’s nothing dramatic about the posters nor are they the best I’ve seen. But for one, it is true to its theme. Hip, young, and current. I was not expecting an artsy poster because first of all this drama is considered to be a teen drama. Oh all right, a young adult drama if I may correct myself. The four main leads actually look like they are just having a casual photo shoot.

Jang Geun Suk in my book is one of the best 20 something’s I’ve seen in a suit. He can defnitely make a statement. The hair suits the description of the character and I think he got the physical essence of Dokgo Ma te. He may not be the most beautiful man per se, but he certainly exudes charm as exhibited in his previous work You’re Beautiful. I think the challenge for him is how to make this character different from that characterization.

IU looks as cute as a button with her short coif and head dress. But her yellow dress looks  too drab for me like she borrowed it from her older sister or her mother. The second outfit however is much better. I especially love the very colorful,printed pleated skirt. I need to get me some of those! The yellow sweats plus minimal accessory makes her innocent girlish personality pop out.

Han Chae Young , one word — “va-va-voom” or maybe that’s three. Those sexy serpentine sandals are so fierce she could give Tyra a run for her money. She definitely knows how to highlight her assets. Check out those gams! She’s not called Korea’s living Barbie for nothing.

But Lee Jang Woo, I can’t even begin to comprehend what he’s wearing.! Whoever convinced him to wear that fishnet should be fired and he better hire another stylist. Okay, that maybe just a tad cruel but his outfit is just too much for my eyes to handle. I don’t know if this was a photo shoot for a costume party of what. Or maybe he’s channeling the early 90’s. Please heavens forbid! Don’t let him go on with this fashion faux pas in the drama.

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“Pretty Man” Press Conference with Jang Geuk Suk,IU,Han Chae Young

Photo/TV Daily

Photo/TV Daily

 

KBS2 TV’s newest primetime Wednesday-Thursday offering Pretty Man예쁜남자 had a press presentation today at the Seoul Palace Hotel. The four leads Jang Geun Suk, IU, Han Chae Young and Lee Jang Woo attended the event. The man behind the “flower boy” dramas (Flower Boy Next Door, Flower Boy Ramen Shop) Jung Jung Hwa is teaming up with screenwriter Yoo Young A to bring to life the most beautiful man in the world’s (Dokgo Ma-te) story to life.

During the press conference Jang Geun Suk was asked how IU is different from former leading lady Yoon A whom he has worked with in Love Rain and if she’s treating her any differently since both are singing idols. IU was also asked how she manages her hectic schedule. She’s filming for this drama and still promoting her new album. She said that she’s having fun shooting and reading the funny script gives her enough energy.On the other hand, Han Chae Young was asked how she maintains such a sexy body having just delivered her baby boy three months ago. She does look smashing in the gold fitted short dress. But I prefer IU’s simple, classic black and white ensemble. She looks both cute and ladylike. Jang Geun Suk is immaculate in his burgundy coat and freshly clipped do while Lee Jang Woo chose a long black jacket, slim tie, white shirt and skinnies. He looks like he missed a band parade or something. I’m also not quite sure if I hate the hair or not.

The drama was previously known for it’s English title Pretty Man or Beautiful Man but has since adapted the title BEL AMI (FR. beautiful friend). Although at times it may have a different meaning depending on the usage. It may also be used to call ones “boyfriend”. Either way, this is probably the reason why the production team chose this English title instead of its literal translation.

In addition to the four main cast, other cast members include So Yoo Jin, Kim Ye Won, Yang Mi Kyung, Kim Yeong Jae, Lee Mi Young, Park Ji Yoon among others. The first episode airs this Wednesday, November 20th.

 

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“I Can Hear Your Voice” Won Major Awards @2013 APAN Star Awards

Lee Bo Young Lee Jong Suk

 

The 2013 APAN Star Awards was held on November 16th at Jeongsimhwa Cultural Center in Daejeon City hence its known locally as Dejeon Drama Festival.Lee Hwi Jae and Soyeon of T-Ara were the masters of ceremonies. The very successful ghost story romantic drama, “I Can Hear Your Voice” took home four major awards including Best Couple for its leads Lee Bo Young and Lee Jong Suk.

This is another one of the many awarding ceremonies in South Korea. Don’t they just love to hand out awards? Most of the major cities have their own drama or movie festivals. It’s probably they way of promoting tourism so can’t really blame them besides most of the people love to see some celebrities in their own turf. Not to mention each of the major broadcast networks have their own drama awards to boot. When you look at the list though, it’s a bit confusing. It seems like they want to accommodate everyone so they give out awards in “hierarchy” as I’d like to call it. So don’t get confused to see so many best actors and actresses. So, what’s the difference between a best actor from an excellent actor to an acting award for an actor? Confusing eh?! Beats me!

 

Here are winners:

  • Daesang Grand Prize – Song Hye Gyo (That Winter the Wind Blows)
  • Best Lead Actor – Lee Jun Ki (Two Weeks)
  • Best Lead Actress – Lee Bo Young (I Can Hear Your Voice)
  • Excellent Actor Award – Lee Jong Suk (I Can Hear Your Voice)
  • Excellent Actress Award – Kim So Yeon (Two Weeks)
  • Acting Award (Actor) – Jung Woong In (I Can Hear Your Voice)
  • Acting Award (Actress) – Kim Sung Ryung (Queen of Ambition)
  • Best Couple Award – Lee Jong Suk and Lee Bo Young (I Can Hear Your Voice)
  • Best Rookie Actor – Choi Jin Hyuk (Gu Family Book) and Kim Woo Bin (School 2013)
  • Best Rookie Actress – Lee Yoo Bi (Gu Family Book)and Kim Yoo Ri (The Master’s Sun, Cheongdamdong Alice)
  • Best Child Actor – Cheon Bo Keun (The Queen’s Classroom)
  • Best Child Actress – Kim Hyang Gi (The Queen’s Classroom)
  • Excellence in Writing Award – Son Hyung Kyung (Two Weeks)
  • Best Director Award – Kim Byung Soo (Nine)
  • Best Performance Award – Jung Eun Ji
  • Best Dressed Award – Yoon Jung Hoon, Yoo In Young
  • All Star Popularity Award – Joo Ji Hoon, Oh Yeon Seo
  • Best Original Song – Winter Story by The One (That Winter, The Wind Blows)

 

Check out the gallery

 

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“Secret” Successfully Ended on Top plus Cast Celebration

 

Secret successfully ended it’s 16 episode run last week with it’s finale episode aired on November 14th. It had quite a steep path, debuting with a single digit but quietly rose to the top of the Wednesday-Thursday block. The final episode got a nationwide rating of 18.9. Although it failed to clitch the 20% mark nationwide, it did manage to pull that feat in Seoul registering a 20.6% rating. It’s closest rival “The Heirs” got a nationwide rating of 15.9% and forget about Medical Top Team because it’s way below the batting average.After the final shoot,the whole cast including its production team celebrated with a simple traditional meal con farewell party.

To be honest I didn’t really follow this drama religiously. Angsty, revenge dramas are not really my cup of tea. I am more of a romance, light drama, type of person. Plus I’m not a fan of any of the leads. Hwang Jung Eum is good actress but she just looks so strange nowadays on TV like she has had too much botox done. I have nothing against the procedure but sometimes it really makes a person look strange than pretty. For his part, Ji Sung fared better here. This was a way better drama than his previous utter mess of a sageuk slash fantasy slash whatever Daepoongsoo or The Great Seer. There wasn’t anything great about it.

I am more excited with the drama replacing this time slot which used to be called Pretty Man but has now adapted the official English tile “Bel Ami”. More with that in another post…

 

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