Heirs to Episode 1, Twitter Real Time Reaction

I’ve decided to change (surprise ;) ) and to do a real time reaction post to Heirs, instead of reviews. I just don’t have the time right now.  I may still do a review at the end or a rating at the end. I can’t really miss out in this… let’s just call it what it is, an attempt to do BOF right. So, let’s see how this works out.

Tangent: Have you seen the previews for Marry Him If You Dare? I am sorry for going off track, I am YEH biased. This looks sooooooooo good. In the same way I am LMH, KSA, HJW, CSW, HB, and GY  biased. However, my love for LMH is waning. So, hopefully my gasp worthy love for LMH will return…

Afterwards

Just finished. Um wow, if anyone thought that first episode was amazing, JUST NO. I mean, Kim Tan, I hope he becomes more interesting. To be truthful, I think my highlight was Rachel vs. Young-Do as far as plot and dialogue. Otherwise, I was literally counting the minutes until something happened. However, the next episode looks better, but as of right now I could easily give this up, at least until the whole season’s over. I’m sorry Park Shin Hye. That’s really all I have to say. Oh yeah, Chan Young is cutie pie.

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Lee Min Ho

Lee Min Ho (Photo credit: aBbYhaLO)

I Can Read Too: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Cover of "Linchpin: Are You Indispensable...

Cover of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Seth Godin’s book Linchpin is about how to distinguish yourself in an indistinguishable world. It answers several questions, such as: if you are a product, how do you sell yourself; why are some people more valued than others; how can you make yourself happy at any point in your career; and where should I go next. Linchpin is insightful and compelling, if you are in the process of determining where you want to go next in your career. Although, beware if you are satisfied in your career, Linchpin might make you feel extremely lazy. Like Who Moved My Cheese, there is no rest for the weary, because if you are not moving forward, then you will be left behind.

10 Things I Learned from Linchpin: Are You Indispensable

1. Talent and creativity are more important than obedience, because scarcity creates value. In order to be an artist, one has to share their art and have a passion for it.

2. There is more competition in the race to the bottom, than in the race to the top.

3. If you do not bring your best to a job that you feel doesn’t deserve you, then it is unlikely that you will ever have a job that you feel you deserve based on your past performance. Transferring your passion to your job is a lot easier than finding a job that you are passionate about.

4. Motivators: challenge, responsibility, flexibility, stability, money, and professional development.

5. Fear prevents people from standing out. The more you want to hide the less safe you are, because you are less likely to be noticed and more likely to fail. Reduce fear by creating multiple paths.

6. When you start, you should finish. So, you have to ship your projects in spite of fear, hassels, and emergencies. Great artists are able to push through the dip. Stop making incremental changes dues to fear, when you know the apocalypse is near. (The internet is the crack cocaine to resistance.)

7. If you find a linchpin, pay him. If you don’t, someone else will.

8. Your tribe is 150 people and beyond that people are strangers. You give gifts to your tribe and do business with strangers.

9. Seeing clearly means the ability to look at all other views.

10. The indispensable job is the only one worth doing and the remarkable product is the only one worth paying for.

11. Linchpins can visualize the future, love that future, live in that future, and then abandon it when circumstances change. Winners are good at losing.

13. Loyalty to your mission and generosity for your work. Few people have your background, experience, or persistance.

14. If you give your gifts enough to the right people in the right way, then you will be rewarded and your gifts will be treasured.

15. Project enthusiasm and get people to root for you. Be aware where your skills are welcomed.

Yeah!

  • References to Lake Champlain Chocolates! They are my favorite.

Upcoming Dramas I’m Really Excited About with Quick J-dorama Recommendations. Ahhhh!!!!

moon-geun-young-100423006

moon-geun-young-100423006 (Photo credit: stylegirls)

Let me apologize and say that for a period I had given up on Kdrama, because even my favorites were in dramas I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. This was mostly due to nonsensical writing and murky plot developments. (I have high expectations). So, I had to keep myself busy with J-doramas, because that seems to be where it is at right now IMHO. Let me take some space to recommend a few J-doramas:

  • Rich Man Poor Woman- yep that’s a pretty apt description. Let me add Oguri ShunSatomi Ishihara, and corporate battleground. Quick rating: Best
  • Hotaru No Hikari- a woman who is perfect at work and shamelessly lazy and uncouth at home has her boss move in with her. Quick rating: Good
  • Nodame Cantabile- two very talented musicians fall in love, one battles the fear of flying and the other battles the fear of success. Quick rating: Better
  • Saikou No Rikon- a neurotic husband and a happy-go-lucky wife ponder divorce, because they’re really not sure if they are in love or not. (I am dying here waiting for proper translations). Quick rating: Best

Anyways, going back to K-dramas…

Goddess of Fire Jeongi:

  • Lee Sang Yoon- awesome.
  • Moon Geun Young- love her and have not been super excited about one of her dramas in a long time.
  • Kim Bum-  I love the boys from BOF, and I think he has done really well picking projects. Still my favorite is the Still, Marry Me.
  • Lee Kwand Soo- no longer watching running man, but still love the giraffe.

Heirs:

  • Lee Min Ho- Mr. Charisma, hopefully this will once again showcase his charisma, acting, and coupling skills, because lately I have been battling to finish his dramas.
  •  Park Shin Hye-I have a weird affinity for PSH. To be truthful, I haven’t finished one of her dramas,  yet I think she is great and one of the best young female actresses, 18-25. I still haven’t seen Flower Boys Next Door. Disclaimer: PSH is better in movies, think Son Ye Jin. Or, another thought, maybe the movies are just better than the dramas.
  • Seriously, I am hoping for a great coupledom, but am also prepared for it ending up awkward. See Suzy and Lee Seungi in Gu Family Book.
  • However, my biggest concern is that they are going back to high school. It may be Gossip Girl High School, but STILL. Aren’t LMH and PSH past this point in their respective careers. Then again, I can never get enough of Blair Waldorf, Serena Van Der Woodsen, and Chuck Bass.

Rich Man Poor Woman 2:

  • Well, Part 1 was amazing! See above.

Korean Drama Review: Scent of a Woman

Scent of Woman Poster

SYNOPSIS:

Lee Yeon Jae (Kim Sun Ah) is a woman in a rut. Yeon Jae is in in her mid-thirties, has not gone college, is sexually harassed and otherwise demeaned by her boss, spends no money on herself, and has been working for more than ten years as the equivalent of an NBC Page at a travel agency.  A new world opens up when Yeon Jae gets the assignment of finding an expensive car for one of the travel agency’s customers. Yeon Jae is almost out of luck, but then she discovers that the President of the travel agency’s heir, who is also a director, has come back to town and owns the exact car she is looking for.

In the process of tracking down this car, she gets into a car accident. At the hospital, they perform several tests and x-rays on Yeon Jae. At the hospital, Yeon Jae’s doctor turns out to be a friend from childhood, Chae Eun-suk (nicknamed poopy pants). Eun Suk (Uhm Ki Joon)is not pleased to see Yeon Jae. First, because Yeon Jae is a symbol of the fatal day when he pooped his pants in school, and second because he has to tell Yeon Jae about her health. Yeon Jae immediately brushes aside Eun Suk’s disconcerting looks, because she is happy to see an old friend and is perfectly content living in her small, predictable, yet unsatisfying world. Next think you know, Eun Suk has is telling Yeon Jae that she has a tumor.

Yeon Jae’s policy is avoidance, so she returns to work. At work she sees the director, her dream man, and wonders how her life would be with Kang Ji Wook (Lee Dong Wook). Ji Wook quickly turns into a symbol of all the things that she has wanted to experience, but does not have the guts to do. However, she is still the same Yeon Jae, so she stares dreamily, eye stalks, and gives herself pep talks in preparation for the inevitable meeting with the man of her dreams.

At work, things are getting worse when a famous pianist, Andy Wilson, comes to town and Yeon Jae is volunteered as his personal tour guide. This tour forces her to miss her appointment with Eun Suk regarding the results of the tests. Everything goes wrong with the tour, from the lack of halal cuisine to being falsely accused of stealing Mr. Wilson’s ring. In addition to being berated by her boss, Yeon Jae gets slapped by Im Se-kyung, whose company is responsible for Andy Wilson’s performances in Korea. Im Se Kyung is another  rich corporate heir. Se Kyung has a sense of entitlement, which includes not abiding by any social graces for those below her economic status. Se Kyung also happens to be Ji Wook’s future fiance.

Since a hungry stomach has no ears, Yeon Jae returns to work wondering if her life can get any more dismal.  And it does, when Yeon Jae gets the first physical signs that her illness is real. When Yeon Jae finally makes it back to the hospital, she is told she has a rare form of cancer and only has six months to live. Her life suddenly becomes more vivid and her race to do everything she always wanted, ensure that the people she loves most will be okay without her, and right all past wrongs is on. Part one is going on a vacation, quitting her job, and getting new wardrobe .(I really like this plan.)

Off to Okinawa, Japan.  While Yeon Jae is on vacation, and looking what can only be described as fabulous, she runs into the man of her dreams, Ji Wook. Ji Wook’s trip to Okinawa is just one more thing to appease his Dad. Ji Wook is there to work on plans for a vacation packages to Okinawa. Ji Wook is jaded and nonchalant, but without angst. Therefore, Ji Wook goes with his father’s wishes in hope that one day his life may become meaningful, but the reality of that happening is weak considering he is waiting for something to happen rather than willing to change his own course.

When Yeon Jae spots Ji Wook, and figures out that Ji Wook is waiting for a tour guide from his company to take him around Okinawa, Yeon Jae pretends to be her. There is a little bit of confusion, given that Yeon Jae and the tour guide have the same last name. However, once Yeon Jae discovers the mix-up, she keeps the charade going. Yeon Jae knows everything about Okinawa from her time at the travel agency and wants to get a shot at seducing her dream man. Yeon Jae and Ji Wook are drawn to each other immediately and end up hanging out and touring for days. Ji Wook finally realizes this is what he has been waiting for, love.

However, things take a turn for the worse when Ji Wook discovers that Yeon Jae is an imposter and an ex-company employee accused of stealing. There growing friendship that blossomed on a house full of lies collapses. Sometime later, Ji Wook sees Yeon Jae in Korea and meets a totally different woman. What Ji Wook doesn’t know is that he is looking at someone who is carrying the the burden of believing that her best years are behind her. At this point, Yeon Jae is bogged down from constant trips to the hospital to receive her treatments.

Yeon Jae has not told anyone about her diagnoses, including her mother who she lives with. Thus, Eun Suk is the only one Yeon Jae confides in and he becomes her rock. Eun Suk tells her that she has to let other people in, but Yeon Jae resists. Yeon Jae also vehemently resists Ji Wook in Korea. Now, times have changed and Ji Wook wants to reunite with Yeon Jae after he finds that he can’t go back to his life before her. Even though, Yeon Jae loves Ji Wook, she doesn’t want him to have to go through the heartbreak of loving someone and then quickly loosing them. But, Ji Wook doesn’t care…

REVIEW:

 1/2

Yeon Jae and Ji Wook (Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Wook):  And I will go down with this ship… (seriously drama character wise it’s this and Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin in It Started With A Kiss. I don’t care if its not real life, just love these OTPs. They give me so much happiness, I could cry. Thank you writers!) The reason why a drama that would normally be a melodrama, is actually just a romantic drama and almost could be a romantic comedy. Don’t be concerned about the sadness, although I did cry. There were really just too many cute and loving scenes to the point I just spent most of the time with a big grin on my face. Don’t even get me started on the BTS, because I try to restrain myself from becoming delusional. Anyways, this drama makes you believe in love at first sight and the power of meet-cute. When Yeon Jae and Ji Wook met, it was a thrilling calm, two characters that were made to be together finally met. Their initial interactions were seamless, in that they exhibited some awkwardness, wariness, disbelief, but all of their reticence was overcome by their enchantment.

Kim Sun Ah as Yeon Jae: Another great heroine played by Kim Sun Ah. Yeon Jae had several great story lines that involved redemption, rebirth, and renewal: finding her niche in the travel industry; figuring out that she is actually quite pretty; telling her teacher who was in love with her mom that she is sorry for falsely accusing him of sexual assault; providing for her mom’s future and finding her a husband; choosing love over comfort; and recognizing that she deserves someone of Ji Wook’s stature. What stood out the most was Yeon Jae’s strength, she went from a weakling to becoming a person that others leaned on when they were attempting to grasp Yeon Jae’s circumstances. All of these story lines intertwined impeccably, sometimes you hated Yeon Jae, other times you felt sorry for her, and most of the time you loved her and hoped that she would find all that she was missing before it was too late.

Lee Dong Wook as Ji Wook: This is my favorite Lee Dong Wook drama character. While there seems to be little on the surface, Ji Wook has a convoluted set of her characteristics stretching from being a recluse to becoming a desperate man searching for meaning in his life, and later trying to hold on to it. Whereas there were many sweet scenes between Yeon Jae and Ji Wook, most of Ji Wook’s development came through his interactions with: his father, who does not want his son to fall in love with a girl that is older, relatively poor, and whose diagnosis will break his heart; his fiance (arranged by his dad), who thinks that she has found the perfect man based on her previous dating experiences with men who use her, who won’t give Ji Wook up because he has been so good to her, and who knows Yeon Jae’s condition; and Eun Suk, who challenges him by showing him the type of dependable man that Yeon Jae needs while she is traveling through a physical and emotional rollercoaster.

Seo Hyo Rim as Im Se Kyung: One of the best written and portrayed evil second female leads I have seen in awhile. Se Kyung is evil in all the right ways. She is mean and not out of no where psycho, meaning that the writer actually found a way to make her actions consistent with plausible motivations. Most of her slapping fury comes from the pain of being mistreated and abandoned by her former lover. Im Se Kyung tries to prove her self-worth and compensate for her low self-esteerm by distinguishing herself from others the only way she can, which is by treating people who are less fortunate than her  like crap. Ji Wook is the only one who sees Se Kyung as a better person than she sees herself, therefore she is determined not to let him go. Once she realizes that this is the same way Ji Wook feels about Yeon Jae, she releases him. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, we all know that a small part of Se Kyung is waiting for him to come back to her.

Ramses, Yeon Jae’s Boss, and Eun Suk, the Other Guys: Ramses, Yeon Jae’s Boss, and Eun Suk play special roles in Yeon Jae’s journey. Ramses, played by Kim Kwang Kyu, and Yeon Jae’s Boss, played by Shin Jeong-Keun, are some of the best character actors in the business and both were also in City Hall. Ramses leads Yeon Jae into the world of tango, finally Yeon Jae has an interest of her own. Yeon Jae’s Boss, who mistreated her in the past, has a hard time acknowledging Yeon Jae’s hard work and dedication to the travel agency, but after she leaves for good he misses her ethos the most. Eun Suk’s relationship with Yeon Jae transforms him from a cynical and aloof doctor to one who engages life, friends, and most shockingly his patients.

Highlights

  • Yeon Jae’s hospital friend who turns into a younger sister (she is so cute and so was her dance with Eun Suk)
  • Eun Suk’s race with Yeon Jae at their old school
  • Vacation in Okinawa was refreshing and I could have spent 5 episodes there
  • “How do you save money: eat at work cafeteria, buy clothes from street vendors, have  2 pairs of shoes, don’t even look at designer clothes or handbags, and don’t dream of vacation” (This drama has several sayings that speak the truth.)
  • Can someone tell me what kind of car Ji Wook is driving, it’s cool
  • Camping Trip
  • Breathless Tango Dance with Ji Wook
  • Post-Intimate Session Back Hug
  • The story of the guy in Okinawa watching his child’s wedding from a distance (so many good stories and good characters)
  • Yeon Jae’s best friend, Hye Won
  • Yeon Jae’s teacher is an old school player when it comes to courting Yeon Jae’s mom
  • Yeon Jae, “I’m rich until I die.”
  • Mother-Daughter Spa Day (watch this with your mom if you can)
  • Ji Wook lonely in Tango class (like a puppy)
  • Spell you’re sorry with your butt
  • Yeon Jae’s cute bathing suits
  • “Does someone like you even have a reputation to be insulted” so mean Se Kyung, but yet you’re so good.
  • The rescue of Mal Bok and his adoption by Eun Suk
  • Eun Suk and Yeon Jae’s performance at the hospital and Yeon Jae’s dress (loved it)
  • Date with personal fireworks, it works every time for me. (It is not even a wedding, just a date.)
  • Yeon Jae’s Mom to Yeon Jae about Ji Wook “Because if I tell him how much I like him, he’ll think you are not precious to me.” (tears)
  • Getting Ramses a new toupee
  • Yeon Jae to girls in the office, “Wish your heart was as pretty as your face.”
  • Cell Phone Ringtones
    • Another Day by Buckshot LeFonque
    • Hawaiian Couple Song by Humming Urban Radio 
  • You Are So Beautiful by Junsu (JYJ)

Ugh

  • Not the greatest performance by Junsu
  • Andy Wilson, you know how to piss people off with your petulance
  • Ji Wook as Captain Save a Vulnerable Girl
  • Yeon Jae skipping out on her appointments
  • Ji Wook’s Dad is just too much
  • The fate of an oncologist is sad
  • Too much slapping

So that is a 4 and a half out of 5. I have already re-watched and can only imagine that I will love it more as I get older. It is great drama to watch with your mom, so if you have time to watch it over the holidays, you will not regret it. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

Up Next: Queen In Hyun’s Man, Answer Me 1997, or King2Hearts (I have been struggling to get to the end, but only have 4 episodes left… yipee!). I have given up on City Hunter for now, because I keep having to start over to keep up with all the information, so hopefully sometime next year.

Too Much Disposable Income: Jos. A. Bank’s Buy 1 Get 7 Free Promotion

To me it would seem like you would only need to shop at Jos. A. Bank at maximum 3 times a year to get a years worth of wardrobe. I am not sure how they get repeat customers, because if things are always on sale, why not just buy a whole bunch in one go. Macy’s doesn’t even have this many sales. Do you have to consistently replace clothes, because they don’t last that long?  Maybe they have crack in the clothing. (Note 1: there was a story about the flame retardant in furniture giving people cancer today, another reason not to sit-down. Note 2: Is the reason why we love money, because of the cocaine found in dollars?) Jos. A. Bank’s buy 1 get 3 free promotion seems to have been going on, since the recession in 2008.

I have always pondered, if I was male would I go to Jos. A Bank or Men’s Warehouse, because I identify with the cool bald guy in the chair that says “You’re gonna like the way you look.”  Jos A. Bank always has male prep school looking models. To be truthful, if I was a male and had that bald guy’s swag, it really wouldn’t matter if I wore Men’s Warehouse all the time. But, I guess that’s the point.

Anyways the debate is finally over, because the crack that JoS. A. Bank puts in their clothes, must have gotten to their marketing team with this new buy 1 get 7 free promotion.

Buy One Sport Coat, and get:

  • 2 pairs of pants;
  • 2 sweaters;
  • 2 sportshirts +
  • Android Smartphone (w/2 year contract).

I noticed that this is not online, so it is probably just in store. I am not sure if it is nationwide either. However, if you were  holding out for the buy 1 get 4 free promotion, hold out a little longer because the apocalypse of Jos. A. Bank sales may soon be coming to a store near you. Although, I am pretty sure, Jos. A Bank will try to outdo itself again.

Why can’t women have these deals!

I Can Read Too: Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski

The World Affairs Council presents Mika Brzezi...

The World Affairs Council presents Mika Brzezinski, May 20, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have ever watched MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, then you are probably familiar with Mika Brzezinski. I choose to blog about Knowing Your Value, because it seems like everyone wants to go around saying that they are fine and present a facade that life is perfect, but in reality we are all troubled with similar problems. This is especially true regarding problems surrounding women in the workplace.  In order to for all of us to move forward, there needs to be more discussion about these realities. (At the very least, you can read the discussion that takes place in the book over a weekend.)

Part of the reason why this book is notable is because it is about Mika Brzezinski and other female leaders. Their background and status might allude to a certain amount privilege, but after reading this book one quickly realizes that everyone has to put up with their own fair share of b.s. Some of the b.s. is created by others, but there is a good amount that is self-created. In an effort to guide readers on how to stop making their lives harder, Knowing Your Value provides lessons drawn from experiences of current women leaders.

10 Things I Learned from Knowing Your Value:

1. Always ask, even if people place limits on questions, ask anyway. Don’t stop asking, because you feel lucky to have the job, have children, or will have children in the future. You will not know the answer, unless you ask for the job, raise, promotion etc.

2. Be prepared, even if you are not currently valued, your value will be re-assessed if you are the only prepared person.

3. Don’t measure value by being liked or flattered, because being liked or flattered does not pay the bills.

4. Authenticity is easily observed. Don’t act like a guy, if that isn’t you.

5. Men feel uncomfortable when women get angry (e.g. “what is wrong with her”), but love flattery (not flirting).

6. Don’t do anything for free. If you do work for free become indispensable, then you will have a place to negotiate from.

7. Ignore labels, especially those that attribute characteristics that would be considered unseemly to a lady. (E.g. “forceful,” “loud,” and “aggressive”).

8. When negotiating, outline your achievements in a clear and concise manner, know what your peers are making, and do not play the victim card (e.g. mother’s ill, kids, etc.)

9. Always have somewhere else to go, so you are prepared when someone says no.

10. Just because there are more women in management, does not mean that women don’t need to stick together or that their issues are any less pressing.

I Can Read Too: Who Moved My Cheese?

Cover of "Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazin...

Cover via Amazon

I always like books that take less than two hours to read. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a helpful reminder that when you are not getting what you want, do something different (change). Who knew that great lessons can be learned through a story about by 2 mice and 2 little people.

10 Things I Learned from Who Moved My Cheese:

1. Entitlement makes you resist change, while pride and arrogance makes you believe that you do not need to change.

2. The more time you spend in shock, awe, and disbelief, the longer it takes you to move on. The same goes for spending too much time searching for the root of the problem; at some point you need to move forward.

3. Fear and comfort make people complacent, but in reality you may be less safe if you do not confront and adhere to change.

4. There is a difference between productivity and activity.

5. Instead of waiting for something to happen, choose what you want to do and do it. Having control over your next step is always better than having nothing.

6. Visualize your end result, because it will help you overcome the first and hardest step when making a change.

7. Question if your fears are rational. Always ask what you would do if you were not afraid.

8.Think about your gains instead of your losses.

9. Keep your ear to the ground, so that you can predict change. Investigate new options while you are happy with you current station. If you accept the small changes, it will be easier to accept the big ones.

10. If you are so smart, then why are all the simple people where you want to be.

If you have an hour and half to spare and are in rut, there is really nothing better to do then read this book. Especially, if you are like me and enjoy spending time wallowing. It reminds me that there is always another opportunity waiting for you, even when you think all you know is over.

Korean Drama Review: A Gentleman’s Dignity

English: Magazine cover of KoreAm from Dec. 20...

English: Magazine cover of KoreAm from Dec. 2010; Jang Dong Gun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Gentleman’s Dignity is available on VIKI.

한국어: 엑스노트 마이클 코어스 에디션 론칭 행사에 참석한 김하늘

한국어: 엑스노트 마이클 코어스 에디션 론칭 행사에 참석한 김하늘 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SYNOPSIS:

A Gentleman’s Dignity follows the longtime friendship between four men in their 40s and their relationships with women. The lead male is Kim Do Jin (Jang Dong Gun), a man who never wanted to get married, but finds himself falling in love with Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul).

Do Jin has two chance encounters with women, he cannot forget. Do Jin becomes the first woman’s prince charming, when her dress begins to fall apart while walking down the street. He sees another woman staring at him outside a coffee shop. As time passes by, he recognizes he has only wanted two women’s phone number in the past year. Then, he realizes that those two women, were actually the same woman, Seo Yi Soo.

Soon, Do Jin finds out that Seo Yi Soo is friends with his best friend, Im Tae San (Kim Soo-ro). In fact, Yi Soo is the umpire for Im Tae San’s baseball team. Unfortunately fo Do Jin, Yi Soo finds out the real reason why she is the umpire for the team, because she wants to see Tae San. Seo Yi Soo is in love with Do Jin’s  friend and business partner Tae San.  However, Im Tae San is in a relationship with Yi Soo’s roommate, Hong Se Ra (Yoon Se-ah).

Tae San’s Younger sister, Im Meari (Yoon Jin-yi), is not pleased with Tae San’s choice in women and happens to support Yi Soo’s crush. Nevertheless, the same repulsion Im Meari holds for Se Ra, Tae San hold’s for Im Meari’s crush on Choi Yoon (Kim Min-jong). Choi Yoon is in the group of the four childhood friends, and as a lawyer, represents Tae San and Do Jin’s architecture firm. While Tae San considers Choi Yoon a good friend and a good man, Choi Yoon is 17 years older then Im Maeri. Yoon is still trying to the deal with the death of his wife, which happened four years ago.

One of the four men is still married, Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong-hyuk), but Lee Jong Rok has more dates than the other 3 men combined. This has become a problem for Do Jin, Tae San, and Yoon. Lee Jong Rok’s wife, Park Min Sook (Kim Jung-nan), is a very rich slightly older business women, who leases the property to Do Jin, Tae San, and Yoon’s businesses. If Min Sook finds out the extent of Rok’s shenanigans, it would hurt them all financially.

Things only get worse for Do Jin, when Yi Soo starts to use Do Jin to cover up her affection for Tae San. Yi Soo is afraid to show her feelings, because Yi Soo introduced Tae San to her roommate Se Ra. Si Yoo is frustrated, because she knows that Tae San loves Se Ra, but Se Ra won’t marry him. Se Ra’s pro-golf career comes first and Tae San comes second. Whereas in Yi Soo’s eyes, Tae San comes first. Do Jin’s angst exacerbates, because he has to come to grips with the fact that he is now an unwilling participant in a fake relationship with Yi Soo. Do Jin gets all of the appearances of a relationship, but none of the real benefits of the relationship, including Yi Soo’s love.

As Do Jin continues to play the role, he wonders if he will ever become the leading man in Yi Soo’s life or will the pain force him to let he go. Even if Do Jin does get to play the leading role, this may all fall apart due to a new young man in town. The young man, Colin, claims to be the son of the four friend’s first love/crush. Colin (Lee Jong-hyun (CNBLUE)) is in search for his father and claims that his father is one of the four friends.

REVIEW:

One of the best K Dramas of 2012 (writing+cast). Note: 2012 has been just an okay year in the world of Korean dramas, but I have not watched Vampire Prosecutor 2, Answer Me 1997, Nice Guy, or Rooftop Prince yet, so we will see…

Top 5 Reason to Watch A Gentleman’s Dignity:

40′s F4 Friendship: The friendship between the four lead males was so cute, especially the skits. My favorite skits were when they saw the good looking girl at the restaurant; when they were in the reserves; and when they were in college, and saw their first love (they all looked like sad bunch of college students). This is like if the F4, from Boys Over Flowers, went 20 years into the future and finally came to the conclusion that they needed to settle down.You have to love the secret hatred Do Jin has for Tae San, because Tae San has Yi Soo’s heart. The contempt and fear Tae San has for Yoon because Yoon is in love with his sister, while at the same time, Tae San is afraid to loose on of his best friends. The outright reckless behavior of Rok, which the other three try to cover up, because they know that there will never be a better woman for him. Then there is the bleak choice that Yoon has to make when deciding between his friends and Meahri.

Jang Don Gun as Kim Do Jin: I have to admit that I thought Jang Dong Gun was kind of creepy at first, but as time went by, his cuteness developed. I don’t know how I found myself liking creepy-weird, but I did. Who gives a girl “come to me” shoes; crashes into a guy’s car to prevent a girl from talking to someone; starts showing up to play sports he is horrible at for a girl (Uh duh, this will not impress her!); pretends to be girl’s boyfriend, so that he can become her boyfriend; and does a kitchen renovation in a few days to spend time in her house. Some people say that is love, but when you have no feelings for the guy…that’s stalking. Kudos to Jang Don Gun for making this behavior seems acceptable and something that you would want.

Kim Ha Neul as Seo Yi Soo: As much as, I didn’t like her for playing with Do Jin’s heart and being in love with her roommate’s boyfriend. As a teacher, Yi Soo really got it right. Sidenote: I could have watched a whole separate drama about how a teacher can make the difference in students’ lives starring Yi Soo. In fact Yi Soo was a little creepy too: she kept the gloves she bought Tae San under her bed, and never returned them; kept Tae San’s picture from college/high school in her bag; conscripted a boyfriend to cover up her feelings for her crush; and decided to wear an ugly empire uniform, so that she could be right behind Tae San, the catcher (again I don’t know if the umpire outfit impressed Tae San). However, with all of her crazy mid-30s woman antics, she was still cool to me. I think she is a role model for what type of crazy is acceptable. Although, to be truthful, if Do Jin never appeared, Yi Soo could have turned into a crazy cat lady too.

Couple Cuteness Overload: If I had to rate the coupling, as far as what couple I enjoyed most, it would go 1-Tae San/ Se Ra, 2-Rok/Min Sook, 3-Do Jin/Yi Soo, and 4-Yoon/Meari, but I loved them all. Tae San and Se Ra express their love through their bickering, knowing at the end of the day no one is going anywhere, because who else would put up with this. At the same time, their cute moments were too cute, like when Tae San showed up at Se Ra’s tournament and when Se Ra showed up at Tae San’s house when he was upset over Yoon and Maeri. Rok and Min Sook, they provided so much laughter to this story. I admit at one point I was getting pissed, because I was like does she really have to put up with this, but by the time they met in the club I was dying of laughter. Do Jin and Yi Soo’s awkward moments were their best moment, like when they were in the car listening to love [making] songs, when he walks behind her when her skirt falls apart, when he claims Tae San’s present as his, and when they were painting together. Maeri and Yoon, were the most trying, because their storyline was filled with so much pain, but they had me when Maeri found out about the young man who was only a few years younger than her. Maeri told Yoon that if the kid was his, she would raise him well (inner giggle).

The OST and the Cinematography:  I slowly fell in love with this OST, I am not even sure how it happened. I mean when the writing is good and their is a good OST and cinematography, my love grows for the drama 50%, because I start to connect the drama to good memories and feelings. Even if I came away from this drama, not being a diehard fan of the main couple or attached to any character, I will remain attached to this OST and the way the scenes were filmed, because it makes you happy. (Cinematography wise, another drama that captured those types of good feelings is Scent of a Woman) So here are a few of my favorites.

Kim Tae Woo, High High

Park Eun Woo, Everyday

Lee Hyun, My Heartache

Big Baby Drive, Spring I Love You

Jong Hyun (CNBLUE), My Love

Jeon Geun Hwa, Beautiful Words

Juniel, Illa Illa

Jang Dong Gun, More Than Me

And My Favorite 가슴이 시린게 – 이 현

Highlights:

  • Rok and Min Sook’s Macarena
  • The ladies at the restaurant, when they need to be covered up by their men
  • Flash Mob (not exiquisitley executed, but good)
  • “Come to me” shoes
  • Betty, the car (Apparently, Betty is the only one that can park right in front of the school)
  • Sexy Radio “Don’t go home tonight baby. I got a present for you tonight, baby.” (I am sure you do)
  • The kid has his own F4 at school now.
  • “All farewells for another person, don’t make sense to the other person.” (summary of noble idiocy)
  • Park Min Sook, love her (I had the same feeling for Lee Min Ho’s Boss in Personal Taste, but at least she has a happy ending)
  • Did you see how fast Maeri was ready, when Yoon offered her a ride
  • Memory Loss worked here, and that is saying a lot, because usually it upsets me
  • Se Ra’s bluntness, she is always like ‘yeah I said it, no you did not misunderstand me.’
  • If you really hate chickens, apparently you can’t eat eggs!

Ugh:

  • Poor execution of Yi Soo’s Mom’s storyline, could have been cut out
  • Rok’s cheating, I mean I still don’t know how I feel about that
  • Maeri Character- I love her, but then I am a little disgruntled by her lack of personal dreams and initiative outside of Yoon. If Maeri could prove her self in the rest of her life, Tae San would be less upset about Yoon. Is everyone ignoring the fact that if Yoon died tomorrow, Maeri would really have nothing… I think this is Yoon’s issue too, but it was never really resolved. I am glad that they showed Maeri working towards her dreams after marriage though.
  • The awkwardness of Yi Soo and Do Jin, kiss already you are 40 and she is mid-30s.

4 Stars, because it was the total package, but I never got really attached. However, I already know now that this is probably going to get a re-watch (because I just watched all the videos–> see the power of a good OST), so the rating will probably go up.

Up Next: Scent of A WomanKing2Hearts (maybe?), or CityHunter (errr)

Korean Drama Review: I Do I Do

I Do I Do is available on VIKI

(Happy Birthday to Lee Jang Woo with Kim Sun Ah, on the set of I Do I Do.)

SYNOPSIS:

Hwang Ji Ahn (Kim Sun Ah) is in her mid-30s and is the director of design at a shoe company. Ji Ahn is one of those women who is a workaholic to the point that she misses out on everything else, like dating and family functions. A trip to the doctor’s office reveals that Ji Ahn is n the brink of early menopause.  Something finally has to give when she misses her father’s birthday party, which she planned and paid for due to a problem at a fashion show. Ji Ahn arrives at her father’s party, after it ends.  Her father is really upset to the point that he cast her off. He is furious, because Ji Ahn no longer seems to value what is important in life, family.  Therefore, what else is there to do when one faces the perils of the world other than get extremely drunk.

Earlier that day, Ji Ahn almost got ran over by a man in his mid-20s on a bike, Park Tae Kang (Lee Jang Woo). If there is a statement that would sum up Tae Kang’s character, he named his bike Beyonce (apparently Betty in A Gentleman’s Dignity is a name used by older bachelors). Fortunately, this meeting was an opportunity for Ji Ahn to convince Tae Kang to give her ride to the fashion show.

As K-drama fate would have it, the two meet later that day. By the time, Tae Kang had also been cast off by his father. Since “abandoned children need to stick together,” they both decided to drown in their perils together.

Then, something happens, that often happens to people who get extremely intoxicated; Ji Ahn and Tae Kang sleep together. When they wake up, they are surprisingly calm about the situation. Tae Kang is actually pretending to be calm, because he just lost his virginity to Ji Ahn. Tae Kang was trying to save it for someone who was worth it, but I guess that didn’t work out in the way he wanted it to.

Tae Kang and Ji Ahn move on with their lives, but they begin to have some hiccups as a result of their encounter. In another chance meeting, Ji Ahn finds Tae Kang with counterfeit shoes and calls the police. Ji Ahn feels personally harmed, because shoes are her life and a one night stand is not going to prevent Ji Ahn from having Tae Kang arrested. Tae Kang accepts the charge, because he is covering for his father. Tae Kang’s father used to design shoes and had a store, but all of that fell apart once his wife, Tae Kang’s mother, left him and a fire burned down his shop. During the same period, Ji Ahn attempts to reconcile with her parents by going on a blind date with the son of one her parent’s friends. Of course, this guy happens to be a gynecologist. The doctor, Jo Eun Sung (Park Geon-hyeong), is the perfect man for Ji Ahn. Eun Sung is not the type that wants to get married and Ji Ahn is not the type to let a man get in the way of her career.

Eun Sung and Ji Ahn begin to believe that love may have a place in their lives, and marriage could be a possibility. However, Ji Ahn begins to feel sick. After,  another quick trip to the doctor, Ji Ahn discovers that she is pregnant with Tae Kang’s child. Just when Ji Ahn started to believe that she could have it all, her heart breaks. Ji Ahn struggles to tell Eun Sung and her parents, who are all very much in love with the possibilities.  When Ji Ahn tells Eun Sung, he also becomes distressed, because Eun Sung does not feel he can become the father of another man’s child. However, Eun Sung is also against an abortion. Eun Sun, not wanting to lose the connection with Ji Ahn, and knowing the strife she has to deal with, offers to be her doctor. Although, to clarify, this is after all the other doctors are “unavailable,” due to the fact Ji Ahn has the type of personality that even doctors don’t want to deal with.

Not only does the baby provide Ji Ahn problems in her love life, the baby is also detrimental to her career. Ji Ahn’s company is seeking a new president and Ji Ahn is currently number one in the running, because she has the backing of the current president’s wife, Madame Jang. Madame Jang has enough shares to control the appointment. However, the daughter of her husband mistress, Yeom Na Ri, just came back to town and also wants the appointment. Yeom Na Ri just graduated from graduate school, and believes that her attitude qualifies her to be president. Yeom Na Ri idolized Ji Ahn in the past, but does not believe Ji Ahn’s experience trumps her family connection. In addition, Na Ri is pursuing the position so that Madame Jang will treat her like a daughter, instead of being treated with contempt.

Ji Ahn is now in fierce competition with Na Ri, and Na Ri attempts to sabotage Ji Ahn at ever corner.  This includes agreeing to hire Tae King, after he surprisingly wins a shoe design competition sponsored by the company. Tae King is high on talent, but low on skills. Nevertheless, things only get worse for Ji Ahn, when the company finds out that she is pregnant. Madame Jang insists that Ji Ahn get married immediately to the Eun Sung, who she mistakingly deduces is the father of her child.  Accordingly, Tae King also doesn’t that he is th father, and begins to get jealous of Eun Sung, because Eun Sung spends so much time with Ji Ahn. This misconception is bolstered by the fact that Ji Ahn has persuaded Eun Sung to keep up the facade for a short period.

As a result of the their deepening connection, and against Eun Sung’s wishes, Eun Sung has now fallen head over heels for Ji Ahn. When Eun Sung starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together, he realizes that Tae Kang is the father. Eun Sung watches as Tae Kang becomes closer and closer with Ji Ahn in their working relationship. Ji Ahn becomes Tae Kang’s mentor, and he grows as a designer by leaps and bounds. Tae Kang’s father is extremely proud of his son, but is unhappy with the growing relationship between Tae Kang and an older pregnant woman. Na Ri is also watching Tae Kang blossom, and thinks that maybe they should strike up a romance. However,  Na Ri quickly realizes that Tae Kang only has eyes for Ji Ahn, as a result, the race for president intensifies.

REVIEW

As much as it pains me to give a Kim Sun Ah drama 3 stars, the drama was watchable and enjoyable, but my personal allegiance Kim Sun Ah is the only thing that kept me on board. I will re-watch Scent of A Woman as soon as possible, so I can get all of my satisfied feelings back.

Reasons to Watch:

Kim Sun Ah as Ji Ahn: Really is there anything more to be said. Well there is. Here, Kim Sun Ah plays a woman that is stuck with the problems of living in a man’s world; if Ji Ahn’s girlfriend was pregnant things would be perfect. The fact that Ji Ahn struggled in deciding whether to keep the baby, may offend some viewers. However, I always give gratitude to a writers and actors who know how to tackle difficult issues without them coming off as taboo or otherwise abhorrent. Kim Sun Ah drew me into her character’s world, Ji Ahn was contemplating whether: she would ruin Tae Kang’s life by telling him he is the father; she missed out on her last opportunity to be happy with perfect man, Eun Sung; her parents would ever forgive her; she is fit to have a baby; and whether all her hopes and dreams will go up in smoke because she got pregnant.

Father and Son: This is one of the best father-son story-lines I have seen to date. Park Yeong-gyu played Tae Kang’s father, he also played the male lead’s father in Protect the Boss. It was intriguing to see a Dad not want his son to fall in the trap of being in love with an older pregnant woman, due to Tae Kang’s one-sided love.Tae Kang’s father was afraid that his son’s future would be ruined , and that eventually Ji Ahn would leave his Tae Kang, like his mother. Tae Kang’s father always wants the best for his son, and makes the ultimate sacrifice, when he says he won’t copy any of Ji Ahn’s shoes. On the other hand, Tae Kang knows his father’s hopes and fears, but still decides to pursue love. Tae Kang has no fear, and that is what Tae Kang’s father fears the most. As the drama evolves, viewers get to see Tae Kang enter adulthood and take more responsibility for Ji Ahn and his father. When Tae Kang’s father observes a more mature Tae Kang, and he releases some of the grip he has on his sheltered son.

What Could Have Been: Ji Ahn and Eun Sung were really perfect for each other. Their demise rested on the fact that they were so clos, yet so far from what they wanted. (Note: If you want to watch a drama with longing, where a perfect pair actually get together, you should watch In Time With You.) Along with Kim Sun Ah, Park Geon-hyeong, who played Eun Sung, does a well executed portrayal of what happens when a man gets a glimmer of a life that he never knew he wanted, and then, in a split second, it all goes away. Since Eun Sung couldn’t get what he wanted, he decides to settle for something that is as close to his goal as possible, so he asks Ji Ahn to marry him. So much angst here. I have never felt like I wanted a 3 person marriage, or, at least if things didn’t work out with Tae Kang, then a second marriage with Eun Sung was okay by me. (This is the preeminent reason why I had to stop watching Take of the Young Lady, yes I do feel that Yoon Eun Hye and Jung Ill Woo owe me a drama).

Major Issue:

I think the main reason why I had trouble buying into this drama, even though Ji Ahn and Tae Kang were exceptionally cute, was that their emotional relationship was far from being promising. Ji Ahn said truly awful things to Tae Kang and about him behind his back. Ji Ahn did not think Tae Kang was worthy to be a father. Tae Kang consistently took her criticism with rare push-back. I think Ji Ahn’s critiques had little to do with Tae Kang’s age, and more to do with his station in life.  Ji Ahn’s treatment of Tae Kang was never really resolved. Throughout the drama Ji Ahn made all the decisions in their relationship, including the decision to let Tae Kang start taking care of her. Tae Kang followed her like a puppy, even after his realization that he should not to go to America. Thus, I never really felt like Tae Kang grew all the way up, because Ji Ahn was too overbearing. This was in contrast to Eun Sung, Eun Sung seemed to be able to easily maneuver Ji Ahn in an unassuming manner, because Ji Ahn had greater respect for him. (But I guess he still did not get her down the aisle?)

Highlights:

  • A 50-year-old uterus in a 36-year-old woman
  • Dad wrestling Tae Kang in an attempt to give him some common sense
  • Doctor Eun Sung’s eyeshadow (and then the girl that thought nothing of it)
  • The harmonica playing of Tae Kang’s best friend at work
  • Pregnant Ji Ahn’s need for pigs feet
  • Lee Jang Woo’s dimples
  • Drunk love confessions
  • Ji Ahn’s Dad’s consistent face of displeasure, except when Eun Sun is around
  • Tae Kang pulling Ji Ahn in a cart, so that she could make it to the bathroom
  • Eun Sung’s self-massage lessons at a restaurant
  • Ji Ahn’s reaction, when Tae Kang picks up Ji Ahn in his friend’s late 80s, early 90s, Nissan
  • Tae Kang’s line of pregnant women and baby shoes
  • Tae Kang’s father’s wig
  • Tae Kang said, “Skinship and kissing is good for the baby.”
  • Ji Ahn’s best friend tells it like she sees it (that’s what best friend’s should do)
  • Tae Kang’s best friend support Tae Kang no matter what, but also makes fun of him in the process (that is also what best friends should do)
  • Kiss in episode 13
  • I can’t say I love Lee Jang Woo after this drama, but he held his own and look forward to more dramas from him

Ugh

  • Jake, irrelevant and annoying, but eye-candy
  • Na Ri’s character also seemed to have lost its way towards the end of the drama
  • Eun Sung’s proposal through stethoscope
  • Eun Sung’s lack of latex gloves
  • Translator who is speaking during the shoe presentation
  • The fashion, seriously someone consult the stylists from Still, Marry Me or Lie to Me
  • Where do Ji Ahn’s clothes go, same issue I had with Gong Yoo’s slide out closet in Coffee Prince
  • Had to wait forever for a kiss, you guys are not spring chickens, like in Skip Beat. (Same problem in A Gentleman’s Dignity). However, note episode 13.
  • Baby saying something about shoes, what? no
  • Grandma licking lollipop
  • Na Ri “I am not stupid Mother” (really it was only bad, because that storyline wasn’t written well)
  • Worst couple outfits ever
  • The guy from the other shoe company, even if what you are saying is a real reflection of others opinions, I am sure you could deliver the message in a nice manner
  • Tae Kang’s acting like a 12-year-old girl after a kiss and other tender moments.At first there is giggle, because Tae Kang is cute, but at a certain point I reverted to ceiling eyes. (Same feeling during Playful Kiss, because some of the kiss scenes were not great or otherwise really awkward, in spite of the cuteness of the Jung So Min and Kim Hyun Joong. I guess I could blame in on the fact that they were supposed to be young, but then I remembered Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin in It Started with a Kiss…. So maybe there is a difference in the way Korea wants to portray kids in highschool? Hmm, maybe I will try to get past episode 1 of Dream High….)

That’s 3 stars, because while I think that Ji Ahn and Tae Kang would date, but I think they need therapy prior to marriage.

Up Next: A Gentleman’s Dignity, King2Hearts (maybe?), or CityHunter (errr)

I Can Read Too: 10 Things I Learned from Reading Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades of Grey #dailyshoot repeating pat...

Fifty Shades of Grey #dailyshoot repeating patterns (Photo credit: Leshaines123)

Lately, the dramas I have been watching have been a little boring. Thus, I went back to reading books. I haven’t read more than 5 books a year in a long time.  I have been forced, for so long, to do large amounts of reading at school and at work, and my eyes are tired. So what better way to get back into reading, than to read the book that has been on the top of the best sellers list forever, only to be pushed out by No Easy Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Everything is about power and control, this book is not so much about sex, but power and control. This book is about how people reassert themselves when they have been deprived of power.
  2. Sex sells, but this book still has a story. Yes, the first book is mostly about sex, but also about a girl becoming a woman and two people discovering who they are and who they want to be. The second and third books are pretty good mysteries. I am not saying these are great books, but they do keep your interest.
  3. Redemption. If you are ashamed of your own actions or if others have placed you into a position to feel shame, you can be redeemed.
  4. A lot of people have interests, which are not considered main stream. However, what is important is not whether something is mainstream, but whether it is within your limits. Know your limits.
  5. SAAB still has open dealerships.  Well, I actually didn’t learn this from the book, but it did prompt the question whether you still can go buy a SAAB.
  6. Know your worth. Do you need a man with a helicopter, a driver, bodyguards, a cook, and who doesn’t treat you like he owns you?
  7. It is easier to get things done when you have help. If I had a driver and a cook, I would be a lot more efficient and excel at my job too. Woe to the persons who have to deal with me when I haven’t eaten breakfast and have been cut off by someone on the road.
  8. Don’t mistake sexual predators as people who love you or are looking out for your best interst. (Cue To Catch a Predator)
  9. Billionaires can do almost anything they want, but escape the woes of their childhood.
  10. Following up on that Brookstone article, there really are a lot of toys out there. Thus, this book is the easiest way to be in the know without being in the store.

Thus, to people who say this book is awful, I say it was a lot better than expected and no where near awful. This was more like a beach book. For those who want to label this as a sex book, I say that the story was bigger than the sex. For those who say that the characters were unbelievable and sometimes annoying, yeah that’s true, but I could not put the book down. If you haven’t read it yet, then I would suggest you read it just to find out what is going on in the world (but not if you are a minor).