March 26, 2014
밀회

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I got bored and started looking for something to watch—and then I remembered 밀회 was already airing, so I gave it a shot, with no expectations whatsoever.

I just finished episode 2 and it is so good. Kim Hee-ae (such a goddess, ugh) and Yoo Ah-in has so much chemistry, they sizzle. In episode 2 they performed Schubert’s Fantasia, and I honestly felt like a voyeur watching two people have passionate sex, it was that intense. (The poster above gives a taste of what it’s going to be like, but I just ignored it, as I’ve learned from experience that promotional posters for Korean dramas can be wholly misleading.)

I can’t really say much more as it’s already past 3 AM and I have to be somewhere really early tomorrow (or today?). Just. Watch it, watch it, watch it. If you’re looking for a drama about romance (the sizzling and passionate yet still subtle kind that no one seems to make these days), this is it. The acting’s really good, the story (so far) is executed really well, the camera angles are treated with such love and care, and there’s excellent music to boot! Recommended.

March 14, 2014

Pretty interesting talk about language learning. While I still find it absolutely beyond me to learn any language in six months and be able to speak it “fluently,” there are some really good points in this video that should be considered when learning any language.

March 4, 2014

별에서 온 그대 감독판 에필로그

February 8, 2014
I am going down the spiral

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…the EXO spiral, that is. Who else is with me?

In all seriousness though, while I liked EXO-M from their History and MAMA days (I don’t think I paid much attention to EXO-K and did not like any of them…oops), it wasn’t until curiosity got the better of me and went to watch the music video for 으르렁 sometime late last year that I got hooked. That video is golden with sparkles and glitter and made of absolute wonder *ahem* I just liked it a lot, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, because of my growing addiction to this group, I finally gave in and watched their variety show, Showtime, until I could find no more new episodes. Episode 7 was when I caught up to the show and began waiting for subs to come out. And then episode 8 was when I couldn’t care less about waiting for subs and just downloaded the raw and hoped for the best, and then re-watch the subtitled version to see what I missed, just like what I would do for Korean dramas these days (although tbh I don’t re-watch Empress Ki with subs; MBC takes a pretty long time to release the subtitles on Hulu, so I just don’t bother).

It was only after I got to episode 10 that I realized something—the things I didn’t catch while watching the raw episodes were very small details, but I pretty much understood what everyone was saying the entire episode without needing subtitles. 

!!!!

Granted, EXO’s Showtime has a ton of captions on them that makes it wholly easier for those tuning in to understand the conversations—this is especially true for some of the Chinese members, like Lay (Yixing~~~~) or Tao, whose Korean sounds very Chinese (and very cute) to my ears.

Still. This is something worth celebrating, yeah? One of the reasons why I was pushing myself to learn Korean in the first place was to understand Korean variety shows without subtitles. Back during my first few years as a Super Junior/DBSK fan, subbed videos weren’t uploaded as quickly, and some fansubbed videos don’t really translate everything that’s in the video. This is not to say anything bad about fansubbing groups, though; I have a huge respect for all those who continue to sub videos for the mere love of it—heck, I even joined one myself back then (only as a Clubbox downloader/encoder/uploader, though, since my Korean skill at that point was next to nil).

Anyway, I’m just really happy to report that I still see small progress in my Korean language learning despite halting any form of structured self-studying. Small, yes, but it’s there. I still wish I’m a more active learner like some people out there—maybe if I were, I’d be better at speaking Korean!—but at this point I’m not complaining with my progress. XD You only get as much as you put in, and for the amount of effort I’m putting, this is already a success.

(…Wait, is watching Korean variety shows without subs my ultimate Korean goal? LOL I think back then it was. XD)

December 7, 2013
On being Team Chilbong, Binggeure’s choice, and other dramas

1. On being Team Chilbong: I’ve been seeing a lot of anger and irritation in the internet directed to Chilbong and Chilbong fans (for being delusional), so I decided to post my two cents. Granted, I say this with full disclosure that I am Team Chilbong and have been since he started gaining more scenes in the earlier episodes, so I do hope no one bricks me for coming out and saying this.

I loved Oppa-yah’s character from the very beginning. He was a scene stealer and his affection towards Najung from the start, brotherly or not, was sweet. But then Chilbongie comes along with his smiles and his kindness and sweet endearing eagerness to spend time with Najung. The way he so obviously liked Najung, with his little fleeting looks and small smiles was what won me over. Unlike Oppa-yah, there was no conflicting emotions—he liked a girl, period, and it was so refreshing (and sweet) to see. Oppa-yah’s feelings for Najung were in no way inferior to Chilbong’s, but because of the storytelling and the way the limelight was so focused on Chilbong’s crush, there was no way for me to gauge whether Oppa-yah had any real feelings for Najung, or why he was so torn up in the first place. Still, I liked him enough to think that if Najung were to end up with Oppa-yah, I wouldn’t complain.

Then last week’s episodes happened and my. heart. broke. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still fine with Oppa and Najung—and maybe at this point I don’t even care if they end up getting married. So why did I feel so much hurt? Because with Oppa and Najung getting together, Chilbong is hurt. And right now the character I care most about is Chilbong, and because of that, I want him to be happy, in whatever form that happiness takes. If he were to move on and find another girl, then I would be happy for him. But this drama just piles on the pain for him, so it hurts me too. Like I said above, I’m Team Chilbong, not Team Chilbong-Najung; it doesn’t matter to me if they don’t end up together so long as Chilbong ends up happy. I think more heartbreak is in store for Chilbong (and me) in episode 15; the only thing I hope right now is they don’t end up giving him another heartbreak (in the form of early baseball retirement) because I will end up killing the scriptwriter if that were to happen.

(Sorry for the possible incoherency of the post above; my Chilbong feels have been in pain since last week)

2. On Binggeure’s choice: I said this once before and I’ll say it again: Of all the characters in the story, Binggeure is perhaps the one I can relate to the most. His struggles in finding the thing he wants to do, his problems with his major and not feeling up to doing the thing his parents want him to do were things that I’ve dealt with (and are still dealing with) that his storyline just hit so close to home.

The recent development in episode 14 with Binggeure finally going back to med school continued to resonate with me, and I like that in this case, he wasn’t being forced upon doing something—he chose. It was his decision to follow, to obey, to be a good son, knowing that it will make his parents happy. I know this doesn’t sound like a nice path to take—and it really doesn’t. In reality, it hurts. Which is why that little voice over of Najung regarding Binggeure’s choice, that the reason we do so is because the people we love has as much importance as our dreams, was very comforting (though still somewhat bittersweet), and I couldn’t help but tear up a bit over that scene.

3. On other dramasHeirs is still airing but I stopped watching, I think, after the 10th episode? At some point I couldn’t see any reason left to continue watching the drama, so I stopped. The same happened with Mirae’s Choice—I think I stopped thinking this one had any logic when Shin dreamt of what happened in the first timeline (without any real reason as to why he dreamt those dreams in the first place) and started having feelings for Mirae because of said dreams. How stupid can a plotline get?

Empress Ki is my new crack drama right now, after being heartbroken over Chilbong’s heart breaking, haha. I think I’m bound to be even more heartbroken in this one, as I’m in a ship I knew from the start would sink. Still, this drama is worth watching—the acting is great; the plot, despite veering too far from history, is pretty good so far; the costumes and sets are splendid—all in all, I’m just really hooked. Hooked enough to watch it live, hah. Yes, I stay awake until 5 in the morning just to watch this live (technically until 6, since it’s an hour’s worth of programming). It’s that good. I can’t wait until Seungnyang becomes a concubine and (finally) the Empress, eek.