Top 10 Korean actors

I haven’t watched 100s of Korean dramas and movies yet, but whatever I have watched until now has made me draw this list. If you disagree with the order in which the actors are mentioned, feel free to raise objection.

1) Choi Min-Sik
If it’s a villain, it must be like Choi Min-Sik. I tell you, he will crawl under your skin and invoke such hatred in your heart that you will become someone you aren't. He is one of the finest actors alive today.
‘I Saw The Devil’ and Oldboy are my favorite movies of him.

2) Lee Byung-hun
I have watched a few movies of him and also, the drama Iris (I didn't like the drama much). He is a good actor. I particularly liked him in ‘I Saw The Devil’ and 'A Bittersweet Life'. I see that he does mostly action movies. I hope he explores his potential by trying other genres, too.

3) Kim Myung-Min
Though he had similar roles in both the dramas - Beethoven Virus and King of Dramas - I have watched in which he has acted, I must say he pulled them off extremely well.
I look forward to watch more of his works - older and newer both.

4) Gong Yoo
The first ever Korean drama I watched was Coffee Prince and it was Gong Yoo who perked my interest and made me want to watch more Korean dramas and movies. He is an actor with great potential, but he ain't taking many projects these days. I guess it is because the industry is flooded with new faces.

5) Zo In-Sung
He is one of the actors who got both looks and skills. I have watched quite a number of movies in which he has acted - starting from Classic. I know, he was kind of overshadowed in that movie, but his talent has brought him much acclaim.
6) Won Bin
He is clearly one of the most good-looking Korean guy and he is a good actor, too. Unlike other actors, he has always chosen movies with serious characters - be it 'A Man from Nowhere' or 'Mother' or 'My Brother'. Also, he is known for sharing screen with women with large age gap - either younger or older. His 'A Man from Nowhere' is my favorite movie.
7) Jung Jae-Young
Have you watched Castaway on the Moon? If you have then you know he is a good actor. He did disgusting stuffs on screen and still had the audience applaud for him. Actually, I haven't watched too many movies of him. I plan to watch, though.

8) Rain
I don't think I have to tell much about how good an actor he is. If you have watched his movies and dramas then you know about his talent. He is a singer, a bloody brilliant dancer - so good that everyone wants to dance like him, and, on top of everything, he is a hallyu star. He pulls off roles concentrating on either action or romance and also comedy with equal ease. And have you seen his body in Ninja Assassin? Oh, we are going to see more of him in Hollywood movies.

9) Kim Soo Hyun
This young star stole audiences' heart in the drama 'Dream High' and he became the most talked about actor after 'My Love from the Star'. Though he has a baby face, he has carried every role he has played until now extremely well. From a struggling singer to Jaeson prince to an alien, whatever he played, he made audience go gaga with his performance.

10) Seo In-Guk
Seo In-Guk could easily be the next big thing in the Korean Drama industry. He is handsome but so unlike the other actors. And the mole on his face adds to his good looks. Even though he has played a very few dramas as the protagonist, he has already made a place for himself in the industry. He was especially praised for his dual role in King of High School conduct. I wish he gets many good roles and get a chance to explore his acting prowess.

I had a hard time making this list. There were few other names that almost made it to te list like Hyun-Bin, Jang Geun Suk, Kim Woo-Bin, Lee Seung-Ki, Lee Jun-Ki and Ju Ji Hun.

K-Food

It was indeed the Korean dramas/movies that introduced me to the Korean food, but there’s more to the story now. In the coming years, I may even stop watching the dramas, but there’s no way I’m ever saying ‘no’ to their food.

You may ask ‘what about their food that I like so much?’ You know, there isn’t just one reason, and whatever they are, my interest in the Korean men isn’t one among them. In fact, it is the other way around. Though it started because of their good looks and their gentle nature that their media portrays, now I like them more because of their food, which is not only delicious and healthy, but it also makes me crave for it as much as I crave for chicken.

Anyway, here are few things about the Korean food that you will recognize if you are into Korean dramas/movies, or you like the Korean food like I do:

Chopsticks: It is so much fun to eat with chopsticks. Though I don’t do it properly, every time I eat at a Korean restaurant, I pick chopsticks, not the spoon.

Number of side dishes: The first thing about the Korean food that will strike you is the number of side dishes. Being a South Indian, I have seen too many side dishes on my plate during weddings and other celebrations, but the numbers on a Korean’s table during her/his everyday meal will leave you dumbstruck.

Soju: As wine is to Italians, soju is to Koreans. Do I need to say anymore?

Spicy food: I am a sucker for spicy food - be it Andhra delicacy well known for its spiciness or Korean.

Combination of veggies and meat: Korean food is like American chopsuey – there’s fair amount of both veggies and meat, but it is a lot healthier than the latter. Now, I know why most of the Koreans are so fit.

Grilled meat: Unlike the rest of the world that grills their meat in the kitchen, Korean (also Japanese) do it at their dining table. I haven’t had it yet, but it’s something I am really looking forward to.

Lettuce Wraps: They stuff their mouth with lettuce wraps – lettuce leaf, some seasoned sauce, a spoon of rice, sesame oil and a piece of grilled meat. Trust me, it’s really delicious. Every time I see them do this in the dramas and the movies, I literally drool at the food.

Kimchi: Pickles are not healthy because oils are used as preservatives, but kimchi is fermented and there’s no oil whatsoever. Too much spice may not be all that healthy, but it’s definitely way healthier than our mango or whatever pickles. I usually ask for refills. There are different type of kimchi – cabbage, raddish and cucumber. Oh, they also use the kimchi juice in almost all their dishes.

Sticky rice: Both Koreans and Japanese make sticky rice, which is either eaten separately (with clear soup) or used to make rice-cakes.

Kimbap: Kimbap looks similar to Sushi, but instead of rice vinegar (also called as sushi oil) they use sesame oil to make Kimbap.

Seaweed Soup: Almost every Korean eats seaweed soup on her/his birthday. That’s what makes it special.

Bibimbap: What do Koreans usually eat when they aren't in the mood to cook? They mix rice with kimchi, eggs, cooked meat and vegetables, some kind of sauce – basically whatever side dishes they can find in their refrigerator. They thoroughly mix all the ingredients before eating it.

Cold noodles: They eat cold noodles during summers. I didn’t like this dish much. For the records, I don’t like ice-creams either.

Octopus: Koreans eat raw octopus. Haven’t you watched the movie Old Boy? Remember Choi Min-Sik trying to gulp a live octopus? I know, ewww! I tried cooked ones though – in a seafood noodles and it was quite good. By the way, Koreans are suckers for seafood – oysters, crabs, fishes are important part of their meal.

Ramyeon: They cook noodles with vegetable and eggs. Yum! Yum!  I can eat ramyeon every day.

Pork: Pork is the most preferred snack with alcohol in Korea, especially belly, intestines, skin, ribs etc. They eat so deliciously in the dramas/movies that it makes me forget that they are eating intestines and bellies, and my mouth waters incessantly.

Street food: They are usually seen eating spicy rice cakes and fish cakes in skewers. I haven’t had this yet, but I want to eat this whenever I go to South Korean; perhaps, next year.

Rice porridge: Oh, whenever someone is sick in the dramas/movies, the protagonists make rice porridge for them. I definitely want to eat rice porridge made by a Korean.

Hangover Soup: I want to get drunk just to have some hangover soup made by my partner. Now, you know why I want to be with a Korean man.

Football match: In almost all the dramas and movies I have watched until now, whenever they are watching a football match, they order fried chicken and marinated chicken; yes, they order them both.

I am sure there are a lot of things about Korean food that I haven’t mentioned in this article. Well, I am still learning about them. So, if you want to add something then mention in the comments. 

Movie review - Shaolin

I like watching Jackie Chan movies. You see, he is one of my childhood heroes. No, this is not a Jackie Chan movie, but I still picked it because he had a special appearance.

The movie is set during the early year of Chinese republic, when feuding warlords were waging wars among themselves in the name of power, when the British were yet to invade the country. General Hao Jie (played by Andy Lau) returns home after his grand victory against Dengfeng. He is welcomed by his sworn brother Sung, who also suggests that they should betroth their children. Hao Jie doesn’t refuse him outright, but he isn’t happy with it either.

When the British present Hao Jie with an advanced weapon – a machine gun (advanced for those times) in return for his permission to build a railroad in his territory, he sends them empty handed. He understands what that really means – British wants to control their livelihoods and he also swears to make sure that he wouldn’t let that happen. He accepts Sung's suggestion and gives his daughter Nan’s hand in marriage with Sung’s son.

However, Hao Jie has other plans. He suspects that Sung wants to kill him and keep all the riches of Dengfeng for himself, so he plots a murder. Sung opens up his heart over the meal and that's when Hao Jie realises it was foolish of him to doubt Sung's intentions. He had only changed his mind when one of his subordinates Cao Man (played by Nicholas Tse) betrays him. Cao Man tips Sung that Hao Jie is scheming to murder him. Sung doesn’t respond the way Cao Man had hoped him to, so he sends his own men and tries to kill them all. But, Hao Jie escapes with his daughter and even his wife is rescued.

Before all this, during his fight for Dengfeng, Hao Jie had been to a nearby Shaolin temple, where his enemies were taking refuge. Though the General of Dengfeng surrenders and begs for his life, Hao Jie kills him and belittles the temple and its Abbot.

Hao Jie lands on the door of the Shaolin temple, begging for her life. Even his wife was being nursed there. Though the monks try to help the child, she takes her last breath there. But, before dying, like she always did, she asks her dad not to be mad at anyone because she is alright. It was heart wrenching to see Nan die, see Hao Jie’s wife blame her husband for everything – she rightly did so - and see Hao Jie hit the rock bottom. One moment, he had everything – a beautiful wife, a lovely daughter, the throne, the power and the riches. Another moment, everything was taken away from him under his nose.

He meets Jackie Chan after that, and decides to stay at the temple and becomes a monk. He even become Jackie Chan’s disciple and learns the joy of giving. His heart transforms and he starts walking on the path of Dharma.

When everything was going right, Cao Man begins to works with British and smuggles treasure from China, and accidentally Hao Jie bumps into a group of soldiers who were forcefully making the commoners digs the treasure. They would kill the labourers after the work to keep the whole affair a secret.

Lastly, Cao Man confronts Hao Jie and the temple, but for the monk he is now, Hao Jie shows mercy towards Cao Man and even saves his life repeatedly. Now, it is Cao Man’s turn to transform. By then, too much blood has been spilled. Most of the monks are dead and even the Abbot dies saving the people.

My personal favourite from the movie is – after Hao Jie dies, his body is thrown towards the giant statue of Buddha, and then he falls into Buddha’s hand. It looked surreal but somehow it touched my heart. My eyes filled with tears.

Now, I am going to end this review here, but after saying ‘IT IS A MUST WATCH’.

WHAT ALL DO FANS HAVE TO REMEMBER??

Fan girling is a tough job and I am not talking about only kpop fangirls or fanboys, but about all the fans in the world – whatever they are fans of. A fan’s mind is no less than a dictionary. If he or she falls for a bias, he/she is permanently etched in their minds, and then, the details follow. We end up knowing everything about the person we love. So, here goes the list:-

Name: Yes, name. It is difficult to remember Korean names, right? But, once you get the hang of it, you become an expert. First, you learn the screen name. Most of the times it is so that, one has a screen name and another real name. Anyways, we have to remember both. Example- T.O.P’s real name is Choi Seung Hoon. And then, we learn to identify the characters and how to write the name.

The band he/she belongs to: Many artists are there who have similar names but are in different bands so, you need to remember their faces properly and differentiate who belongs to which band. Example- we have SHINee Jonghyun and CNBlue Jonghyun, but SHINee Jonghyun is Kim Jonghyun and CNBlue Jonghyun is Lee Jonghyun.

The other members in the band: Knowing only about your bias is not enough, you should know the other members as well. We fans are proud that we remember the names of each member in different bands, irrespective of the number. All new ELFs will agree to this, 13 members’ names to remember and then there is Top Dogg who has 12 members. We have SNSD with nine members and we remember all without ever getting confused.

Fanclub name: Shouldn’t you be knowing what you are called when you fall in love with a band?Are you a SHAWOL or an ARMY, or a Bestfriend, a Beauty, an ELF, or a Boice, or V.I.P? Then, some artists have names for their own fans. Minoz for Lee Minho fans, Fishes for Donghae fans.

His/Her History: Knowing the history is very important. Well, for me it is mostly for inspiration. Details like how long did one train, and when did he join the band, how was he like a child, his sleeping habits, eating habits, etc... This is mostly guided by variety shows.

His/Her position in the band: You got to know what your bias does in the band, right? Whether he is the lead vocalist, rapper, main dancer, side vocalist, or someone with multiple talents or just for the visual- you need to remember that.

His/Her age: That is a compulsory detail. How old your bias is: is he younger than you or older than you or very older than you? Lately, with so many young bands debuting, most fangirls are noonas, who fall for artists who are younger than them. It applies for actors, too, not only idols.

His/Her birthday: We think idols to be our boyfriends and our husbands, so it’s really wrong to forget our loved one’s birthday. We celebrate our bias’ birthday with so much joy.

The debut date of the band: It isn’t necessary that we follow all the bands since the day of their debut. We often fall for them later on. But then we always want to know how long has this band existed in the industry. While talking of this- Happy 9th anniversary to Super Junior.

OTPs (One True Pairing):  A little bit of skinship and a little bit of loving attitude between the members give rise to this thing. Calling all the fanfic writers here, OTPs are the most fun thing one can do out of the member names. Right now the most famous OTPs are from EXO- Kaisoo(Kai and Kyungsoo), Baekyeol(Baekhyun and Chanyeol), Xiuchen(Xiumin and Chen) and then Hunhan (Luhan and Sehun).

Moles on his/her body: Funny thing when it comes to this, but we actually notice such details. I myself know the idols and where all are his moles. For example: Kris has 2 moles on his ears, Luhan and Sehun have a mole on their necks but on the opposite sides. Sungyeol has a mole on his face and his neck. Fans found out from the mole on Zhoumi’s hand that it was Zhoumi who was going to release his solo, from his mysterious teaser image.

Insta or Twitter IDs:A new catagory. With the idols socializing more and more, we need to remember their instagram and twitter ids too. And then ine more thing adds to it- to confirm that we are actually following our idols and no one fake.

Your idol’s pets: It’s a new category. Most of the idols have pets nowadays and therefore they have their own set of fans. Kai’s Jangu, Mongu, Jangah, Suho’s Byeol, Junhyung’s Hyungnim and new in the list is Tao's Candy.

Food they love to eat: All like to know what their idols love to eat. Kai and Onew like chicken, Sehun and Luhan bubble tea, Jackson’s intolerability for spicy food. If they have featured in some variety show and liked the food in the show, immediately we too want to try it.

His/her talents: Another thing variety shows help us in is knowing our bias’ talents. Right now, Girl group dances are the most trending thing among male idols.

Everything catering to his/her songs: The music video he was there in, his songs, his OSTs, his lines in the song, his singles, featured songs so on and so forth.

Expert level fangirls and boys are even good at identifying their bias from their hands, legs, toes, fingers, only eyes. So this is the list I made of the things fan girls and boys have to remember.Well, this is all I can remember. If you have anything to add in this, you can surely post your comments in the comment box and also tell us what else do you remember about your bias or band…

MV Review- Zhoumi- REWIND

After Henry’s and Taemin’s solo albums, here comes Super Junior M member Zhoumi. Well, this was a total surprise for all SM stans and other ELFs. No one knew Zhoumi would be going solo. He released the album Rewind.

The song is addicting and Zhoumi is looking very sexy. His height and handsome features make fangirls swoon over him outright. The dresses make him look hotter, not helping at all. In the middle, he wears a leather costume, where his long legs stand out so bad. The music video has a grim feel to it.

The song has a beautiful jazzy feel and a very nice and addicting beat. His voice too suits the music. The lyrics talk about his beautiful past and he wants to rewind and relive that time when everything was alright between him and his girl. Where the song and the lyrics are good, the storyline in the music video is bad- simply bad and unnecessary. It was better that he just sang and danced around, giving sexy expressions.

In the story, the room they stay is pretty bad, with paint coming off. When the song starts the girl sprays foam around him- I mean seriously? However much you love your boy, who sprays foam? We then see the girl fixing the light-bulb. She could have easily taken a stool to fix it or just told the tall Zhoumi to do it. She waits for Zhoumi to see her, and come and hug her after fixing the light-bulb. It wasn’t even a romantic moment. The story did not impress me at all.

But then there is a scene near the end, where he is wearing trousers and an open bath-robe. His abs look so good. In the end, he gives us a proper sight of his body, hence killing us with his looks. The Chinese MV features Tao and the Korean one Chanyeol, for the raps, who look equally hot. The MV is not that bad, apart from the crappy storyline. I would also recommend the album because the song in there are good, too.

Drama Review- LET'S EAT

This drama caters to all food lovers. I mean, this is one drama that can actually make you go crazy over food. And bonus, there is also a murder mystery going along with it.

Lee Soo Kyung, a divorcee, lives in an apartment all alone with her dog. Since, she is single, she is a little annoying and of a very suspicious nature. She is a major food lover and followed a blog called “Shiksha” - she was pretty much in love with the blogger. She is a monstrous eater, but she can’t eat alone. Then, there is Goo Dae Yong (Yoon Dujoon), her bachelor neighbor. Soo Kyung in the beginning thinks he is a playboy and therefore maintained her distance.

There was a series of murders inflicted on single women going on in the neighborhood when another single girl, Yoon Jin Hee (Yoon So Hee), shifts to the apartment beside Lee Soo Kyung’s. She was a rich spoilt brat previously, and now wants to live alone. The hard life of people excites her. She finds her new neighbors exciting, the utility bill excites her and so on and so forth. Although insane, she adds fun to the drama.

Soo Kyung works in an attorney firm and a new set of characters are added to the drama. We have Lawyer Kim (Shim Hyun Tak), who was once an ugly fellow, but always was in love with Soo Kyung. He annoys Soo Kyung to a level where she keeps on eating chocolate bars to keep herself calm. Practically, he is taking revenge on her, because she had rejected him back in high school, but Soo Kyung still does not know who he is. And finally we have Oh Do Yeon(Lee Do Yeon), who thinks she is very pretty, although she is nowhere near it. She has a crush on her boss.

All these single people are brought together by food. Goo Dae Yong adds comic to the drama. Initially, he is seen with suspicion, and Lee Soo Kyung even thinks him to be the murderer, but then she gets to know more about him and slowly the two fall in love. There is another story, which has Yoon Jin Hee and a delivery guy. Even that is pretty interesting.

Now the food- the camerawork is great in the drama. Since, it is food that we are talking about, we are shown each and every dish they have so deliciously that it will get your mouth watering just by looking at it. And then, we have Goo Dae Young’s description about how to eat that particular dish, to savor it and get the best flavors; he does not even spare ramyeon. His expressions and the way he describes it is just too good. Being a Korean drama, do not mistake the food to be only Korean. There are pastas and other delicacies across the world, too. The blog is also a different kind of blog. Where other food blogs posts pictures of the food, the writer posts empty dishes in the blog, showing how delicious the food is, that he did not leave even a bit of it.

The drama is not even a bit of a bore, and the ending too is simply perfect. It has not been dragged even a bit, ending exactly in 16 episodes. I would 100% recommend this drama and it will make such a place in your heart that you won’t forget it ever. 

Movie Review - Psychometry

This movie is about a boy Kim Joon (played by Kim Beom) who is gifted with some psychic powers and Yang Choon-Dong (played by Kim Kang-Woo), a policeman who uses that power to trace a kidnapper.

One day, a woman goes to police station to report about her missing daughter, but the policeman in charge don’t take her seriously and send her away saying that her daughter isn’t kidnapped, as they didn’t receive any calls from the kidnappers though it has been 10hrs since she went missing. They hope she will be back home within 24hrs and continue working on cases that needs their immediate attentions.

Choon-Dong isn’t all that efficient. He is always overshadowed by one of his colleagues, who wants to move up the ladder stamping on Choon-Dung. However, his superior gives him a chance to solve the case all by himself after Choon-Dong suggests that she may have really been kidnapped. He fails, though, and they find the girl’s body is found in an abandoned building.

A few days before this incident, Choon-Dong would have bumped into Kim Joon – who is a graffiti artist. The graffiti he had been making resembles the crime scene and another building in the painting is where the kidnapper is hiding. Choon-Dong connects them both and pursues Kim Joon only to arouse the ghosts from his past.

Choon-Dong learns about Kim Joon’s abilities, then goes about earnestly wooing and emotionally manipulating Kim Joon. Even Kim Joon falls for it and helps the detective. He gives some leads.
Then comes a twist in the story. Kim Joon surrenders himself saying he is kidnapper after Choon-Dong sells him out to his colleagues. But, they somehow make up and go behind the kidnapper together.

Now, talking about the loopholes, this movies has plenty of them.
1.)    The characters lacked depth. I couldn’t empathise with any character, except the last girl who got kidnapped (played by Kim Yoo-Bin).
2.)    There’s nothing much to talk about either Kim Beom or Kim Kang-Woo’s acting prowess. They are completely lacing.
3.)    The kidnapper (played by Park Hyuk-Kwon) failed to invoke any feelings of hatred in me. If it is a villain, he has to be like Choi Min-Sik.
4.)    I am guessing the director and the writer meant to make a thriller, but the movie evidently lacked thrilling elements.

Anyway, you can watch the movie once – for the child actor Kim Yoo-Bin and the eye-candy Kim Beom.

Drama Review- EMERGENCY COUPLE

Divorces seem to be in trend among the young couples these days. Same thing happens to Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Ho), and Oh Changmin (Choi Jin Hyuk). Jin Hee was a dietician and Chang Min, a medical student- they fall in love and get married at a very young age. After that he gives up his internship and becomes a medical salesman. Soon, life becomes too hard for them, both start hating each other, finally get divorced.

After 6 years, they meet as interns in the same hospital and the same team in the emergency room. They have to work together for three months. They start fighting once again, over things in the past, trying to ignore each other as much as they can. But slowly, breaking all boundaries, they start respecting each other. Many circumstances come before them that bring them together, joining all broken ties.

Divorce is a bad thing, but here it is represented in a very comical way. In the beginning, all the hatred towards each other is just at its heights. They hate each other like hell, and even when they work together, still they hate each other. When Oh Jin Hee gets closer to her team-leader, we see Changmin getting altogether jealous.

Then comes the episodes where Changmin’s mother falls ill. Well, mother-in-laws are forever bad, and the mother-in-law here is no exception. However, Jin Hee tries to save her and be good to her, but MIL is as usual rude and bad towards in Hee. Later, she learns her own lesson.

Apart from Changmin and Jinhee there are other interns. We have Park Sang Hyuk (Lim Hyun Sung) and Lee Young Ae (Chun Min Hee), then Han A Reum (Clara) and Im Yong Kyu (Yoon Jong Hoon). These interns make the hospital drama fun in their own little ways. Han A Reum is the girl with whom his mother had set up Changmin’s second marriage.

The drama does have clichés, but then the medical background makes it both exciting and adds romance. We might also want to change our view towards divorced people, whom we treat indifferently and act rashly. Oh Jin Hee adds cool moments of fun in the drama- when she gets jealous of Han A Reum’s fit body, when she puts on make-up to look sexy and also her weird and funny imaginations. Oh Changmin has the power to swoon you. From Choi Jin Hyuk’s voice, him getting jealous, he dressing up coolly and he being the protective doctor - ohhh, soo cool!

When things get better between Oh Changmin and Oh Jinhee, the writer puts in a touch of romance and little cute moments in the story by bringing in Oh Jinhee’s sister’s family into the drama. Her little son charms you like hell, he is so cute. Choi Jinhyuk in those moments sure gives out those good-father vibes.

Overall, the drama was good, with heart wrenching and also fun OSTs. The moments of romance and jealousy, mixed with work makes it exciting and not boring at all. You crave for the next episode as soon as one gets over. But, the ending could have been better. It’s a drama for one time watch, but then there is no harm in watching it again. It is fun.

MV Review- Epik High BORN HATER

What happens when the best rappers and hip-hop artists come together? An awesome song like Born Hater is born. This is clearly the best music video I have seen and song I have heard this year. It is just too good. Epik High has done too good a job.

So what is the song about? It’s a message to all the people who hate the artists who are rapping in the video. All have a message for their haters. Where Tablo leaves a message for his haters from his scandals in the past, Beenzino tells his haters that he isn’t famous because of his looks. Mithra Jin, who was fat before, tells that he is least bothered about people’s comments, and then Mino sends out his message that he is not famous because of his company, but because of his hard work. The lyrics are very bold, with lots and lots of slangs. But, still, the song sounds so perfect and cool.

The music video is an exceptional one. It took me a little time to decipher it, but when I did it, I had no words to say in praise of it. The MV is based on the 7 sins of man, namely- Lust, pride, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath and envy. There is also a cleaner of the sins in the video in white. Also, the video is set in a washroom type set, a dirty place.

The members of Epik High and the featured artists all play the role of sins. Tablo is pride here, where he directly calls out to his haters. He mentions all the famous artists and how he is better than them. Tajinyodo are people who hate Tablo and want to know the truth about him graduating from Stanford University. He mentions them, too. There are many cockroaches around him, most probably his haters, whom he is trying to kill. Many are dead, too.

Then we have Beenzino, who is envy. People envy him since he is so handsome and hence the hatred. His message are to all the online haters he has, who are jealous of him. He clearly mentions that his haters’ exes are his fan. He says he has to be envied because he has a foreign car and his girlfriend is a model.

We have Verbal Jint, who represents lust. He is seen with pornography books. And then, he also corrupts the cleaner of the sins, adding a comical moment to the MV. He tells that irrespective of their background, people are born haters. He mentions two types of people- ones whose careers have ended and the second group who have forgotten about their own unsuccessful lives and then interfere in other people’s business. Then, the remaining are mere mosquitoes and he wants them to go.

Mithra Jin is seen eating to his heart’s content. He represents Gluttony. Mithra, before going to the army, was healthy. He was told to be a bad rapper, just because he was fat. (Huh??) He is seen eating and pooping to his pleasure, least bothered about people’s comments towards him. He just keeps on doing his work, ignoring them.

Mino is wrath. He keeps on hitting and smashing things with his golf-stick and his baseball bat. He even glares at the cleaner, sitting in the corner. We also get a glimpse of his past. He was first about to debut with Block B, but then he did not and entered a ballad group- talking of Winner. His haters are like he is famous since he is from YG, but he clearly tells them it’s because of his skill. He proudly tells his haters to look at themselves before criticizing him, and if he comes on TV, to quietly turn it off - no need to watch him.

Bobby represents riches, hence greed. He is shown throwing money all over the room, wearing a costly garb and chains and all. He has greed not only for money but also for fame. Since he is young and already so successful, he tells his haters that seniority doesn’t matter anymore, and it is the skill and talent.

Finally, we have DJ Tukutz. He comes right in the end of the video, with his music kit. He plays Sloth. His message to the haters- screw the world and keep working. He represents sloth because people criticize him for not doing anything in the group. But the great, groovy music we get is all due to him. In the end, when the cleaner tries to touch his disc, he hits him. That scene was plain hilarious.

Well, then we have a cleaner, cleaning all the scenes and also the toilet. B.I. represents purity, who wants to get rid of the sins. But, he too leaves his own message to the haters. He tells them not to complain about his cleaning or they should just do it themselves. Even when they are nice, the haters complain.

This is the first time I am listening to B.I and Bobby, and clearly, I am too impressed. I got new biases from YG now. It’s a must watch music video and a song you have to listen. If you don’t hear this song, being a kpopper...well, then I got nothing to say.

Movie Review - Paradise Kiss

The movie is about a high school student Yukari Hayasaka (played by Keiko Kitagawa), who is tired of her school and exams and her mother’s expectations for her. Even the movie starts by showing how contrasting her life is compared to the other girls of her age. While she is studying and writing exams, others are grooming themselves and having fun with friends.

One day, she meets a group of people - Isabella (played by Shunji Igarashi), Arashi Nagase (played by Kento Kaku), Miwako Sakurada (played by Aya Omasa) and Jouji 'George' Koizumi (played by Osamu Mukai), and they take her life on a roller coaster ride. In her own words, George was someone who made her feel ‘if this person’s around, he’ll wreck my life’, and so he does.

How they meet each other? Arashi scouts Yukari to be their model in an upcoming contest for fashion and design – to be precise, he chases her until she passes out on the street. She not only refuses to do it but also degrades their occupation. However, after George and Isabella go looking for her at her school, she starts frequenting their studio quite often and eventually agrees to become the face of ‘Paradise Kiss’. She even runs away from home just to participate in the fashion show.

George lets Yukari stay at his place, and also makes her realise that nobody is forcing her to study or do anything, and whatever barrier she has created around her in the name of expectations other have for her, it is all her doing. If she wants to pursue something, then she must try it, instead of blaming others.

Yukari, forgetting her long term crush Hiroyuki Tokumori (played by Yusuke Yamamoto) and that too when he was starting to respond to her feelings, loses her heart to George. However, it was love at first sight for George – she was his muse.

On the D-day, Yukari steals the show, but the piece George designed gets second place. And then, they share a steamy kiss backstage. After that, anyone would expect them to live happily ever after, but he goes to Paris and she continues modeling in Japan. With time, she becomes a super model and goes to shoot abroad. I know that you already guessed. Yes, she meets him there and they get back together.

It’s a cute movie with an ‘overly-told’ message to youngsters – especially, highschoolers who are still deciding what to do with their lives. It asks you to pursue your dreams and not just execute the plans other lay for you.

Keiko Kitagawa as Yukari has done a really good job. I liked the cinematography and direction very much. The movie had a manga/anime feel to it. If you watch the movie, you will know what I mean. It is definitely a MUST WATCH.

Drama Review - Creating Destiny

I picked this drama for Eugene – I really like her as an actor. After the movie Heartbreak Library and the drama Can We Love, she became one of my favorite actors. She is beautiful and she is full of life – at least she plays such roles.

Eugene plays a Korean woman (Han Sang-Eun) immigrated to Australia (English name: Victoria), who goes back to Seoul after her father opposes her relationship with an English guy, Alex. She is supposed to live in Korea for a year and that too with Kim Yeo-Jun’s (played by Ki Tae-Young) family. If she doesn’t fall for a Korean man in that period, then she can go back to Alex: that’s the deal she makes with her father.

Yeo-Jun is a doctor and he is also her betrothed, but he has no interest in her whatsoever. However, their feelings are mutual. They fight with each other like cats and dogs at the drop of hat. But, they later open up to each other while they are trying to help Yun-Hee – Yeo-Jun’s sister (played by Kim Jung-Nan).

Even though I started watching the drama for Eugene, it was Yun-Hee who kept my interest. She is a single mother and she’s living with her parents, and her heart is seen juggling between her brother’s friend Shim Hye (played by Jung Suk-Won), who has been with her when she needed someone the most and her ex, Hae-Seong (played by Byeon Woo-Min), who left her in the name of social status.

The storyline is clichéd – yes. She forgets all about Alex and falls for Yeo-Jun, and they live happily ever after. I have watched so many dramas and seen so many clichés, but there are many things about this drama that were just not right:

1.)    I couldn’t understand why San-Eun’s father was against her relationship with Alex. In which century was he living? And even San-Eun succumbs to his tricks and flies to Korea. You know, she is supposed to a law student and all.
2.)    Yun-Hee chooses her ex over Shim-Hye who has always been there for her and her daughter, because she thought it would be best for her daughter to be with her biological father instead of someone who really cares for her. This one didn’t make sense at all. I was literally mouthing the words, “What the fuck is wrong with people in this drama?”
3.)    When they found out who San-Eun’s real parents were, suddenly everyone was against her relationship with Yeo-Jun. An adopted daughter is a daughter, too. You will definitely end up asking what’s with this drama and blood relation thing. Totally nonsensical!
4.)    Yeo-Jun’s mother has a daughter living with her, who got pregnant before marriage and who is a single mother now, still she judges San-Eun just because she hugged someone who was giving free hugs for a cause or something like that. Talk about hypocrisy, now.

I know, you may not want to watch the drama after reading this review. Sorry for pointing out only the negative things. I will assure you that there are several cute moments in the drama – like the Noona romance between Yun-Hee and Shim-Hye, the bonding between Yun-Hee’s daughter and Shim-Hye and other such things.

Drama Review - Dal Ja’s Spring

These days my heart has been leaning towards younger men and watching so many dramas with noona romance isn’t helping. Dalja’s Spring rotates around this concept as well, almost all of 21 episodes.

Dal Ja (played by Chae Rim) had a clear cut agenda in her life. She would work for a few years, then find true love and marry before she turns 30, but fate had other plans for her. She turns 33 and becomes a successful career woman but there’s still no trace of men in her life. She is 33 year old yet a virgin. She has no experience of dating whatsoever.

One day, out of the blue, she ask her long time crush Shin Se-Do (played by Kong Hyung-Jin) out. They start seeing each other for a while, but the inexperienced Dal Ja fails to keep his interest for long. While she was still in a relationship with him in her mind, he moves to another woman - Wi Sun-Joo (played by Lee Hye-Young) – who works as a show host in the same company.

Before she turned 33, on a Christmas eve, Dal-Ja decides to spend a night with Se-Do to save her relationship with him, but after seeing Se-Do and Sun-Joo together, she invites Kang Tae-Bong (played by Lee Min-Ki), whom she had encountered on the streets earlier, to play her boyfriend in front of them. The same night, she gets drunk and gets into a verbal and a month long contract with Tae-Bong. She even pays him 3000 dollars on the spot.

Next morning, Tae-Bong shows up in her office and that’s when she recalls what she did last night. She wants to call the contract off but Tae-Bong makes it clear that she can either forget about the money she has already paid him or make the most of their contract. She decides to go ahead with it, but loses interest after she makes up with Se-Do and decides to become friends with him.

Later, Dal Ja starts making Tae-Bong run errands for her. He is there for her almost all the time she wants him. Even when she develops feelings for Uhm Ki-Joong (played by Lee Hyun-Woo), he is there to teach her ways of dating. The drama that began with a love triangle, becomes a quadrangle but with a different set of people in it – Dal Ja, Tae-Bong, Ki-Joong and Ki-Joong’s yet-to-be-divorced wife.

From ‘I won’t break the terms of the contract’ to ‘I want to date you’, this noona romance is like a roller coaster ride. Fighting the barriers that the society puts forth and the barriers that’s inside their minds, their relationship grows strong. Yet, the insecurities lingers and comes back to bite them at wrong times and at wrong places.

To me, the drama was fun. I remember being all smiles even after finishing watching the drama. Lee Min-Ki was handsome and charming – I couldn’t help but drool at him. Chae-Rim was beautiful – I really couldn’t understand why everyone was complaining about the age gap between Lee Min-Ki and her, when she looked so much better than all the young girls around him. And, even the chemistry between them was adorable.

Drama Review - King of High School Life Conduct

Ever since I watched Replay 1997, Seo In-Guk is one of my biases and I had to watch King of High School Life Conduct because all the drama-related forums I am a part of were gaga about his acting skills in this drama.

Seo In-Guk is a high-schooler, who knows nothing else other than playing ice hockey. He is an ace in his team and has potential to play at the national level. One day, he receives a call from his older brother, who also happens to look just like him, and after that he had to juggle between his school and his brother’s work. Yes, his brother wanted him to take his place at Comfo – a company that is into real estate and consulting.

Jung Soo-Young (played by Lee Ha-Na) is a temporary employee at Comfo, and she has a huge crush on her boss, Yoo Jin-Woo (played by Lee Soo-Hyuk). After confessing and getting rejected by him, she gets drunk and creates a scene – in the bus and on the street – all by herself. That’s when she bumps into Seo In-Suk – the highschooler. She doesn’t remember a thing, though. But Seo In-Guk learns about her interest in Jin-Woo.

Once Seo In-Guk starts working at Comfo, unaware of the complete situation, he tries to push her to pursue her interest but ends up hurting her.

Yoo Jin-Woo is Comfo’s CEO’s illegal son. He starts off as a mean bastard, but as the story progresses, he becomes someone warm. He has father issues, mother issues and women issues, and he plays the role of someone under extreme stress very well. There are moments where he behaves childish just to get back at Seo In-Guk, which he has pulled off nicely. Though you root for Seo In-Guk, at the later stages of the love triangle between Jin-Woo, Soo-Young and the highschooler, you will really feel sorry for Jin-Woo.

Jung Yoo-A (played by Lee Yeol-Eum) is Soo-Young’s younger sister and Seo In-Guk’s schoolmate. She follows Seo In-Guk everywhere calling him Hubby Lee. You will find her as someone annoying in the beginning, but the way she deals with Seo In-Guk and her sister’s relationship will change your opinion about her.

The highschooler’s older brother and the mystery behind his disappearance, his relationship with his father and grandfather, and his hockey teammates – everything about this drama is good, except one thing. I really wish they had someone else play Soo-Young’s role instead of Lee Ha-Na. I am not denying she is an extremely good actress, but even with her good acting skills, she is an eyesore. And, even the chemistry between Seo In-Guk and Lee Ha-Na was not all that great.

One other character that I liked the most in the drama is Seo In-Guk’s grandfather (played by Kwon Seong-Deok). He was just too cute – his forgetfulness, the way he followed Soo-Young calling her Pretty Unni, his gluttony, and his playfulness – everything about him was cute.

Other than the love stories and the family dramas, the way Seo In-Guk – the highschooler pulls off as Comfo’s retail team’s director is really admirable. My jaws dropped when I saw his first ever presentation. Also, the way he related sports and strategy to his work at Comfo was remarkable.

On the whole, it is a good drama, something you can go back to. If not for Lee Ha-Na, I may have considered rewatching it sometime.

Drama Review - Surplus Princess

I really like watching dramas with 10 or fewer number of episodes – they are entertaining, but not dragging. Surplus Princess with its clichéd storyline but nicely executed and fewer episodes makes a good watch.

The drama is about a mermaid (played by Jo Bo-Ah), who wants to become a human for the sake of love - Kwon Shi-Kyung (played by Song Jae-Rim). She somehow gets her hand on a magic potion that will fulfill her dream, i.e., to become a human and live happily ever after with her apple bottomed chef Shi-Kyung, and in the heat of the moment, she consumes it without checking the instructions. One of the instructions that comes back to bite her later is ‘whenever her legs gets wet, they go back to be a fish tail’.

Mermaid becomes a human, and takes up a new name (Kim Ha-Ni), too, and also finds a place in our world with the help of another-merman-gone-human An Ma-Nyeo (played by Ahn Kil-Kang).

Ha-Ni starts living in a shared house with her new homemates - Lee Hyun-Myung (played by On Joo-Wan), An Hye-Young, Do Ji-Yong, Big & Lee Sun-Kyu, and continue to pursue her quest to find true love. She has to find it before 100 days otherwise she will disappear into thin air – it is a ‘do or die’ situation.

The first one to find out Ha-Ni’s little secret is Hye-Young (played by Kim Seul-Gi), but instead of freaking out, this food-porn enthusiast decides to become the mermaid’s guardian. She also helps Ha-Ni in her pursuit of true love.

One day, one of her homemates, Hyun-Myung, overhears her conversation with Ma-Nyeo, and assumes she is terminally ill, and starts worrying about her. Even though the misunderstanding is eventually cleared, his feelings for her lingers. Then, he starts spending more time with her. First, because he thought she was ill. Later, to work on a project for a contest that would change their status from job-hunters to working class people. In the end, they had to fall in love and they did so.

Yoon Jin-A (played by Park Ji-Soo) plays an important role, too. She breaks up with Hyun-Myung because he isn’t successful, and then, she chases Shi-Kyung, who is also her boss. She tries really hard to mess things between Shi-Kyung and Ha-Ni, and even succeeds to some extent. And, she is also one of the triggers behind how Ha-Ni realises who her true love is.

There are various other love stories in the drama – small ones but cute enough to bring a smile on your face. Hye-Yong, who crazily admired Sun-Kyu (the Surplus House’s owner) in the beginning of the drama but falls in love with one of her other homemates, Big. Their noona romance was really cute. Ma-Nyeo, for the handsome and hardworking ajusshi he is, has his own share of romance.

One thing that made this drama fun is the adaptiveness of mer-people. Whenever a writer introduces some fantasy elements into her story, the characters from the other world usually belong to some other century – be it their dressing style or their speech, but Surplus Princess stands apart as the mer-people seemed to have progressed along with the humans. For example, Ha-Ni owned a cellphone even when she was a mermaid and that too a water proofed device.

All in all, it was a fun show - a good, one time watch.