Category: South Korea

Jang Hyuk – Korean Actor

Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk – Korean Actor

Jang Hyuk is a Korean actor, who has the most captivating sexy laugh. His rather guttural throaty way of talking would send chills through your spine 🙂

He looks wickedly handsome as well. A true romantic hero.

He is very versatile.  He is watchable whether in drama, mystery, historical or comedy.

Films & Drama

  • Fated to Love (my favourite); I love this drama so much.  His chemistry with Jang Na Ra is just amazing.
  • The Flu,  I love this film.
  • Beautiful Mind

Korean Perilla Leaves

Korean Perilla Leaves, photo by PH Morton

Korean Perilla Leaves

I often see in Korean dramas that they eat their barbecued  thin pork or beef slices wrapped in the same leaves as above.  Of course they also use the standard lettuce leaf.

Anyway, Peter and I fancied a bit of change for the new year so we decided to create our on table-top barbecue dinner a la Korean. and also a delicious warming hotpot.

But first off, we went shopping for the ingredients.  We went to Seoul Plaza in Golders Green, North London.  I happened to see these leaves amidst the ready made Korean side dishes.  It was about £1.99 for a packet of 20 leaves.

We did our barbecue and duly wrapped pieces of meat with kimchi, radish and sauces into a perilla leaf.  It tasted really good.  The leaf has an aromatic minty scent with a herby taste.  I actually preferred it to the crisp iceberg lettuce.  Peter also love the perilla leaves.  I think we would use more of it in the future.

Perilla apparently is a member of the mint family.  It grows from seed and very easy to cultivate.  But where can you get the seeds?!!!  If you are from the UK  and know when to get them in London, please kindly let us know!!!

bbq pork wrapped in perilla leaf, photo by PH Morton

Hwang Jung-Eum – Korean Actress

Hwang Jung-Eum

Hwang Jung-Eum – Korean Actress

 

Hwang Jung-Eum is a South Korean actress and singer but I have come to know her for her acting in KDrama.  She is in this list because she is of course one of my favourite actresses.  She is a versatile actress with a tremendous range.  She can do comedy and the most tear-jerking acting.

Recommended dramas & Films:

She Was Pretty

Secret Love

Kill Me, Heal Me

Lucky Romance


Snippets:

Hwang Jung-Eum is on maternity leave.  Hope she comes back soon.

Pink Radish Pickles Korean Style

*Side dishes readily available in the fridge to complete a meal can look like a well prepared feast.  Below is a Korean recipe of pickled pink radishes just perfect for the new year.

Pink Radish, photo by PH Morton

Pink Radish Pickles Korean Style-

 

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs pink radishes
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method of Preparation:

  • Wash the little radish, removing all dirts and grits.  Top and tail and them but cutting the stem and the root bits.
  • Cut them into thin circular slices.  Set them aside for the moment.
  • Heat a sauce pan and pour in the white wine vinegar and water.  Stir in the sugar and salt.
  • Bring to a boil under low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolved the sugar and salt granules.  This should take no more than 4 minutes.
  • Put the radish slices in a jar or jars and top up with the hot vinegar.  Leave uncovered for an hour or until the liquid had cooled completely.
  • Put the lid on tightly and store in the fridge.
  • It can last up to 5 days in the fridge with the radishes keeping its crunch!
  • Enjoy!

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Happy Sisters – KDrama Review

Happy Sisters

Happy Sisters – KDrama Review

I have to say I have been totally sidetracked by A Love So Beautiful, a Chinese drama, that I have lost much of my appetite for Korean dramas lately.  I did try to watch a few and can’t really get into them but for some reason this new Korean drama, Happy Sisters, managed to piqued my interest.

Actually I first watched it while waiting for the twit (from Twitter) from Noumi that ALSB has been subbed.  Oh the time I had waited for the English subs!!!  Well worth it.

Anyway, I began to watch Happy Sisters., thinking what is this?!!!  There was that monstrous looking mother-in-law, the lead girls where ajumma (older lady) looking.

I was pleasantly surprised.  But I have to admit that I have fast-forwarded a lot of the scenes from the first 7 episodes and concentrating mainly in the stories of the two sisters.  By episode 8 I am totally hooked and even loving the monstrous mother-in-law.

Main Cast:

  • Shim Yi-young as Yoon Ye-eun – wife
  • Han Young as Yoon Sang-eun – contract marriage wife
  • Oh Dae-gyu as Choi Jae-woong – contract marriage husband
  • Kang Seo-joon as Lee Jin-seop – erring husband
  • Lee Shi-kang as Min Hyung-joo – Handsome jobless
  • Ban So-young as Jo Hwa-young – the mistress
  • Bo Ra-na as Go Da Hong – Grunge lady with two kids

Ye-eun is the younger sister married for seven years to Jin-Seop, who is having an affair with his personal assistant, Hwa-young (Miss Jo).

Sang-eun is the older sister who got into so much debt. In desperation entered into a contract marriage with a prosperous plastic surgeon, Jae-woong, who is not interested with a traditional marriage but just to give a mother figure to his beloved daughter.

In the background at the moment is a young good-looking man by the name of Hyung-joo (Handsome Jobless), who met Ye-eun by accident and taken her to the hospital.  He found Ye-eun rather interesting.

The real fun began (episode 10) during the wedding of Sang-eun and Jae-woong.  Hwa-young gave Jin Seop a final warning of not attending his sister-in-law’s wedding or else all hell will break loose. But Jin Seop attended anyway as he is expected to walk the bride down the aisle.

Hwa-young was a feisty woman, who refused to be thwarted.  So she sent a couple of selfies of her and Jin Seop in bed together to Ye-eun.

At this same moment, Hyung-joo, who happened to be a good friend of the groom spied Ye-eun in the bridal welcoming party.  As he approached her, Ye-eun just walked passed him in a rather agitated mood that Hyung-joo fallowed her.  There he witnessed Ye-eun husband confessing his love to his mistress, while Ye-eun was catatonic in shock in a nearby wall.

OMG, this drama is actually quite addictive once you get into it.

Episode 26:

I have been reading comments on the site where I watch this drama and they are really hilarious.  Most of them are saying that they are going to stop watching because Ye-eun (YE) is so stupid hanging on to her stupid good for nothing husband.   But these viewers are still there with me watching five days a week, every weekdays. 🙂 🙂 😉

The comments are something to look forward to as much as the addictive drama itself.

I can understand their feelings because I think it too but then again, it was also fun watching everyone in the drama squirming in an old cliche situation.  And the chemistry between erring husband Jin-seop and YE is actually on the boil.

There is another man, the handsome jobless (he is not actually jobless, in fact he is the CEO of TShampoo), in the background which is subconsciously attracted to YE.  But the chemistry between YE and husband is really strong.

The ongoing one-upmanship between YE and Miss Jo, the mistress is bizarrely enjoyable to watch.  Miss Jo is a caricature of evilness.

Anyway at this episode, YE decided to have a break from the house because her sister-in-law is adding to her stress.  After she scolded her sister-in-law which was heard by mother-in-law, she was told to leave.  So YE did.  But come dinnertime, they wanted her back.

Miss Jo learned that YE left and took the opportunity to go over the family house and do the cooking.  Everyone noticed that she can’t really cook but they all said that she did well. They don’t want to upset her. Miss Jo bandied about the idea that she comes from a rich family, who are based abroad and they would be likely to invest in Jin-seop business.

(I think there is no rich family in the background.  Miss Jo would run the business into the ground, the way she was spending and bribing everyone from the company account.)

Jin-seop begged YE to come back because he is scared of the consequences of his adultery from his mother and employees of the company; the company that YE helped build.

Ep 27

Hahahaha

This is such a slapstick comedy.  This episode is YEs without a doubt.  She is the hands-down victor.  After Miss Jo insinuated that she did the dirty with Jin seop in YE’s bedroom, YE retaliated by going to Miss Jo’s apartment to cause mayhem.  Hilarious.

They are a bunch of good actor.  I just don’t know what is the point of the woman with the bad hair-do with insane rap/hip-hop pretensions.  I supposed she’s there and her children to bump up time for a 120 episodes.

Ep 28 – 29

Ep 28 is lacklustre.

As to episode 29, the mother-in-law finally found out about son’s affair.  Though she was at first shocked that her son is just like her two timing husband, she finally ordered YE to give Jin Seop a divorce.

Miss Jo enticed the mother-in-law with a prospect of a grandson, which YE can’t give Jin Seop after 7 years of marriage.  To top it all, Miss Jo’s father threatened Jin Seop that he wlll ruin his company.

I think Miss Jo hired professional actors to play her parents.

Poor YE.  But all the initiating forces of a happier time for YE is slowly coming together.  Handsome Jobless is the CEO of TShampoo and again and again YE is shown creating her homemade shampoo. Yey

A for a bit schadenfreude for YE one day, Miss Jo will go through the company money in no time and Jin Seop will go bankrupt.

Episode 32-33

Actually this drama is becoming tedious especially with the introduction of a new horrid character of the ex-boyfriend of Miss Jo who was just released from prison but causing boring mayhem.

I think the scriptwriters should start thinking of divorce for poor YE and be done with it.  Let her start living for herself.  And also the director should tell Han Young playing Yoon Sang-eun to act better.  Her trying to be cute is off putting. Sang-eun must be almost 40.

Episode 34

The last 5 minutes of this episode is the most hilarious and most satisfying yet.  Da Hong found out that YE is being cheated on by Jin Seop with his secretary.  She went to the office and let hell loose.  Sang-Eun also joined in in beating up Jin Seop and Miss Jo.

Episode 36

Once again after another fraught confrontation, YE went to her favourite park bench where Hyung Joo (handsome jobless) found her.  He advise that she has to end her current situation and go for divorce.  He was very motivational.  He said:

The best revenge to those who betrayed you (in love) is to forget them as soon as you break up, don’t cling.

Divorce is a choice not a failure.

Breaking up with someone doesn’t mean you get abandoned.  It is just a new start.

With these food for thoughts, At last YE had decided to divorce Jin Seop but there is a condition.

 

Jugglers – Korean Drama Review

Jugglers

Jugglers – Korean Drama Review

I have just started watching this new South Korean drama and I much say it is very promising.  The lead actress plays Jwa Yoon-Yi (Baek Jin-Hee) is adorably quirky but extremely efficient, while the lead actor is Daniel Choi playing the reluctant boss, Nam Chi – Won.

Jugglers pertain to the so-called office wives, the personal assistants, who would do almost anything for their bosses.  (In some cases, sleep with the boss is not out of bounds, but so naughty especially if the boss is already taken!)

Jugglers are the employees who anticipate every need of their employer. And this is what this drama is all about.

The Personal Assistants are encouraged to get to know their bosses inside and out, his health condition, mental condition, his hobbies, his habits, people nearest and dearest to him, people who want to do him harm, everything.  Sometimes the PA knows more of their bosses than the bosses know themselves.

The only thing is that if the boss is particularly demanding, a PA’s life is no longer her own. She lives and breathes her boss life, including his personal.

During episode 1, Jwa Yoon Yi ended up being fired from her job because her boss’ wife wrongly thought that she was sleeping with her boss.  Unfortunately for Jwa Yoon Yi, the news got around and it was difficult to find another job.  That is until she was made a fait accompli PA to Nam Chi Won.

Episode 5

Yoon Yi is extremely annoying in this episode.  She is so clingy and over the top for a PA.  She is going to ruin her boss if she continues on with her antics.

Because This is My First Life (KDrama Review)

Because This is My First Life (KDrama Review)

This is a rather tender love story.  It stars the gorgeous Jung So-Min and a return to the small screen for Lee Min-ki in a leading role after 10 years.

I would watch anything with Jung So-min in it because she is such a good actress and she has that fresh and bright screen presence, which I like.

I was really pleasantly surprised with this drama.  There are a lot of things going on with the various characters.  But in the middle of it all is a tender and sweet developing love story between two lonely and rather reserved individuals.

Cast:

  • Lee Min-ki as Nam Se-hee
  • Jung So-min as Yoon Ji-ho
  • Esom as Woo Su-ji
  • Park Byung-eun as Ma Sang-goo
  • Kim Ga-eun as Yang Ho-rang
  • Kim Min-seok as Sim Won-seok

Jung So-min plays Yoon Ji-ho, a 30 year old assistant writer of melodrama who is being taken advantage by work mates and family and became homeless.  By sheer coincidence she ended up renting a spare room with Nam-se-hee (played by Lee Min-ki).

Se-hee at 38 had his life planned in minute details.  He owns his apartment by way of a mortgage, which he hoped to have paid in 12 years time and is scrimping every penny to do so.

Nam-se-hee has rented out his spare room but had had bad luck with tenants until he met Ji-ho. She was ideal for him.  She is quite house-proud.  When writing, she would clean and polish every surface in the house to get her inspiration.  She also loves Kitty, Se-hee’s cat.  That’s not all she avidly does the recycling.  And to top it all, she loves football/soccer.  She support Arsenal just like Se-hee and they would spend time watching the game on tv. To prevent any complication they had a contract where they agreed that they can not like each other in a romantic way.

Se-hee’s parents are pressuring him to settle down and get married.  Se-hee asked Ji-ho to marry him but Ji-ho had to turn him down as she equates marriage with love and affection, not just a landlord and tenant in a contractual marriage.  She wants the real deal..

Ji-ho moved out but found that she was lonelier and so does Se-hee.  He was missing her.

I love that Se-hee is beginning to loosen up a bit from being very uptight.  It is very slowly but really rather sweet to watch.

In episodes 3-4, after Ji-ho was assaulted by a drunk actor, whom she had a crush on for three years, Ji-ho was at her lowest ebb.  This finally drove her to accept Se-hee’s proposal of marriage.

It is a sweet love story and Min-ki and So-Min have a good chemistry.

I can’t wait for tonight’s episode. This drama is made up of 16 episodes shown every Mondays and Tuesdays  Yey!

I do highly recommend this drama.  In the first episode there was that conversation about the neocortex.  The neocortex is that part of the brain that gives you memory and sensory. The neocortex is the price humans have to pay for evolution.

Episodes 5 & 6

Woah what happened to the gentle and tender love story developing between the leads?  In these episode they have gotten married but before you can say honeymoon period, the gravity that pulled them together is now putting them asunder. Friction no less.

I supposed you can see a mile off when Ji-ho behaved like a new bride and develop a cute proprietorial affection to her husband, Kitty, the cat and the house, that Se-hee can only pull back.  He doesn’t do affection from a wife or anybody.  He wanted a paying tenant.  His goal is clear to him.  He wanted the marriage to last for 2 years, until then they will go their separate way. still platonic, bordering on being really strangers to prevent any complication.  He wanted to live alone in his little flat where he wanted to die alone as well.  This situation of course saddened the already lonely Ji-oo.  She was so embarrassed that she put back all her defences on high alert.  It is war! 🙂

I am so looking forward to how this story develops next weeks.

Episodes 7-8

After walking out from her writing job, Ji-hoo found a part-time job as a waitress at a nearby coffee shop called YOLO (You Only Live Once) from her husband’s workplace.  It was only time that he sees her.  And he did.  He saw his young missus astride an expensive motorcycle with a young gorgeous man.  He felt a twinge of jealousy but stopped himself because she was a wife in name only.

The young man is Bok Nam, teases Ji-Hoo with “if you have a husband, can’t you have a boyfriend?”  Which concerns her as she feels the loneliness from her pretend marriage.  Bok Nam continued to shower her with time and affection, treating her very well in a touchy feely sort of way, even buying her a hair grip and a book.  Very different from her stoic husband.

The end of episode 8 was very uplifting!  It looks like a happy ending afterall for Ji-hoo and Se Hee.  She thinks that love exists as Se hee extends his hand to her asking her to go home with him.

Episodes 9-10

There was a bit of misunderstanding.  Se Hee, after receiving various misinformation, thought that Bok Nam was the stalker and rapist in a dating site Se Hee’s work have been running. Thus, he thought that Ji-hoo was in danger.  Se Hee, very out of character, kicked the very expensive motorcycle.

Bok Nam actually was quite innocent.  He was a victim of identity theft.

The hand-holding did not last long.  Again Se Hee explained in detail that they can’t be any more than landlord and tenant because after their contract marriage is over, the impact on Ji-ho will be immense as a woman and much younger than him.

He is really getting on my nerves 🙁  He will step towards her and then pull back.  Poor Ji Ho.  Bok Nam teases her that she has a one-sided love for her husband.  Ji Ho was a bit concerned but she can’t help herself.

Bok Nam told Ji hoo that he forgave her husband from destroying his motorcycle because he said something lovely about Ji hoo.  Apparently Se Hee respect her and she is a good defender (as in football).  She knows how to look after herself and their relationship.

But this again did not last long because Se Hee said that she failed her defender role by kowtowing to his parents.  He was very upset when Ji Ho went to help out on the memorial day of his family.  He paid Ji ho for all her effort with 100,000 KRW ($90).  Ji Ho was rather insulted and said that the payment was not enough, he had to work in her family farm in the week and make kimchee.

Episodes 11

OMG this episodes’s last 5 minutes  is the business.  It was so darn cute.  I can’t wait for it to be subtitled when I first watched it raw.  The kissing was terrifically passionate.

Woah Se Hee was  so manly and sexily forceful.  LOL

Thank goodness, I thought from the trailer last week that it was going to be a dream, the seaside kissing,  I mean.  But no siree!  Se Hee said that he had been meaning to correct Ji Ho’s bus stop kiss.  He said that was not a kiss, not even a peck.  It was just momentary touching of lips.  He then proceeded to snog her face.  He then asked if she understood and would she like him to show her once more?  Our good girl, Ji Ho, said yes.  … and more kisses.

It looks like it would be a rather romantic episode tomorrow based on the trailer.  But there was a quick shot of Se Hee ex-girldfriend.  Nooooo

We have only another 5 episodes.  We don’t want heartbreaks, we don’t want misunderstanding.  We want lots of loving, a lot of affectionate activities, plenty more of tonsil hockey and probably some tasteful under the sheets frolicking.  LOL

Episode 12

What can I say?  This is the episode that we have been waiting.  For an hour or so, it packed quite a dramatic, romantic, comedic and at the same time melancholic vignettes.

There were so much kissing between Se Hee and Ji Ho (I like)  It was so hilarious at the start when Ji Ho was really into it while here mobile was ringing.  Se Hee was a good sport, he continued kissing while alerting her of the ringing phone. Phenomenal.

This drama really is of three couples.  Se Hee and Ji Ho of course are in the middle of it.

Ji Ho has a couple of bffs since middle school,  Soo Ji and Ho Rang.

Soo Ji has a high powered corporate job, where she constantly suffers from sexual harassment from colleagues.  Soo Ji puts up with it most times but now and again she strikes back.  She started dating Ma Sang-goo, the CEO of where Se Hee works.  As much as Sang-goo wants to get even closer to Soo Ji, she rebuffs his advances.  She wanted to keep it casual.  She said that she lives in a shitty situation and does not want to drag Sang-goo into it.

I must say that their relationship is fun and romantic.  I love their teasing and being very sexual and yet tender romance.  Esom (Soo Ji) & Park Byung Eun (Mr Ma) have a lovely chemistry.  You actually believe their love affair.  At first I was rather surprised about Park Byung Eun.  I have only seen him playing the shady/baddy characters in dramas in the past.  He was actually fanciable as a leading man.

As to Ho Rang, she has the most heart-rending story.  She is living with her boyfriend, Won Seok, of 7 years on the small top floor apartment overlooking great scenic view of Seoul.

Her raison d’etre was to get married and be a good stay-at-home housewife.  With some manipulation she was finally able to make Won Seok, pop the question.  She happily planned a rather lavish wedding, thinking that they have enough money, after all they have been saving at least a 1000 KRW a month.  Unbeknown to her Won Seok had hardly put anything as his company was not making any money.  In fact he gave up his company and now worked as a salary man with Mr Ma and Se Hee.

Ho Rang, though very sad, won’t say anything, which only troubled and stressed Won Seok.  He knew that they are dancing around the issues of marriage, wedding and money and careful not to go into these as it would lead to a point of no return.

Won Seok had to sadly ask Ho Rang to postpose the wedding for another 5 years.  Ho Rang reminded him that she will be 35 in 5 years and have been together for 12 years.  Won Seok, with breaking heart asked her to break up. hu hu hu  Really sad.

Episode 13 & 14

I have to say I was rather annoyed with how this drama is going as far as Ji Ho and Se Hee are concerned.  Ji Ho is beginning to irritate.  She is so self-obsessed.  Why not give Se Hee a chance.  He is beginning to lighten up and yet Ji Ho seemed not to notice.  He even cooked her omorice for breakfast.

She is now going to ask to end their contract because she thought that she is doing the right thing in giving Se Hee back his freedom to connect with his ex-girlfriend.  Of course Se Hee would only feel rejected… again!

Episode 15 – 16

Lovely ending although I got tired of Ji Ho at episode 15.  She is so self-centred and immature for a 30 year old but then I remember that the title of the drama was Because This is My First Life so it is about hit and miss. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get is so wrong.

I have to admit that they over-use that Room 19 metaphor.  It should be put and disposed to Room 101 because it was so corny.  Ji Ho mentioned Room 19 to everyone as if they would know what she was talking about.

There was that glazed look in Se Hee when Ji Ho was once again going on about Room 19.  If it was real life I am pretty sure he would have said “Shut up,  Ji Ho, enough of this I sycophantic twaddle .”  LOL

There was also that that pocketful of stars that she was talking about.  Her mother said that one should keep all the sparkling moments in one’s  star pocket to use up when the going gets tough.

Ji Ho countered that she is divorcing Se Hee to fill her pocket with stars.  I love her mother’s reaction “you are talking nonsense”.  Despite the wordy excitements of Ji Ho the rest of the drama was fantastic.  I love Se Hee’s romantic and emotional side.

It ended well.

 Mun Seongnam – This Life 

Fated to Love You (You’re My Destiny) Dramas

This drama is so good that it has been remade in Korean and currently by Thailand.

The story is about a timid office girl, who would try to do anything and everything to please her office co-workers, who accidentally slept (apparently this can happen 🙂 LOL) with a CEO of a large company.

Three months later, they met again but at this time, the girl found out that she was pregnant.  After a shotgun marriage, the two learned to live together but it was far from smooth sailing.  There were faced it so much emotional upheaval that the girl lost her baby.

Though they loved one another, they thought it was the unborn baby, Doggie Poop, who was holding them together.  So they decided to go on their separate ways.

But as the title says, they were fated to love.  Three years on, they met again.  This time the girl is now successful in her own right so on par with the man.  They finally got together and had a baby or two and lived happily ever after.

 

Fated to Love You (You’re My Destiny) Dramas

Fated to Love You (Taiwanese Version)

The original version is of course stars the very watchable Joe Chen and Ethan Ruan. It was made in 2008. They have a sweet, very touching chemistry.  Joe Chen was perfect to play the girl, Chen Xin Yi (Elaine).  She showed so much vulnerability that you feel for her.  You can see all the gamut of emotion running through her face.  Brilliant actress.  Ethan Ruan was a perfect foil to Joe.  Love them together.

Also the other characters were also rather adorable.  The story would make you cry and love at the antics of the other characters.

Fated to Love You (2014 Korean Version)

I love the Taiwanese version so much but I got curious with this Korean one.

OmG.  I was so pleasantly surprised.  It is of course the same story but it is still as fresh.  I have to say Jang Hyuk with his evil incessant laughter made me smile.  I think he has never look handsomer than in this drama.  His floppy curls only made him more masculine, a sex on two legs as they say, very fanciable! 🙂

Jang Nara of course is perfect to play the female lead, having the same delicate vulnerable face as Joe Chen.

They chemistry is so hot, rather sexual.  LOL

The opening scene where Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) being the CEO of Chemical industry corp, controls the ads for their new shampoo.  He was not happy with the model who was behaving like a diva.  So he proceeded to show the director and crew how he wants the ads to look by doing it himself.  Woah sexy!  This of course, is the beginning of a very sexy drama.  Fated to Love You (Korean)

You’re My Destiny (2017 Thai Version)

Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

I first heard about this drama a couple of months ago.  I heard it was going to be a Jang Na-ra starrer and I looked forward to it.  Jang Na-ra has a delicate expressive face, which never ages.  I love her, there is always vulnerability to her acting, that gets or speaks to me.

Go Back Couple is a time travel drama, shown on Fridays and Saturdays with 16 episodes. (Correction, 12 episodes).

Choi Ban-Do (played by Son Ho-Jun) and Ma Jin-Joo (played by Jang Na-Ra) are both 38-years-old, and a recently divorced couple.

They got together when they were both in university at the age 20 in 1999.

Fast-forward 18 years on, Choi Ban-Do now works as a medical sales rep, not sure what happened as I thought he was studying civil engineering (civil construction), and Ma Jin-Joo is a housewife with a toddler to look after.

Ban-Do is a hardworking man, who does everything for his clients almost  24/7, that he has neglected his wife and their child.

Due to series of misunderstandings and the hardship of fulfilling their responsibilities, they began to take each other for granted and only ended up bickering when they were together .

During an anniversary that they could not celebrate, in the heat of the moment, due to utter frustration, they both said things that they shouldn’t have.

The last straw for Jin-Joo was finding a credit card statement with hotel bills and then being sent a video photo of her husband holding another woman in front of a hotel (these were all innocent, of course).

Jin Joo announced to her husband that she wanted a divorce.  Do Ban-do was at first surprised, but agreed to it.  Within a month, they were divorced.

They realised that they had married too young and wished they could go back and restart their respective lives.

On the day of the divorce, they both took their wedding rings off.  Jin-Joo dropped hers while aboard a bus and Ban-do threw his outside his bedroom window.  Both rings seemed to undergo something supernatural. Jin-joo and Ban-do experienced an earthquake-like shaking and rattling.

The next morning they both woke up in the bodies of their 20-year old selves.

Jin-Joo’s first scene as a 20 years old was really poignant that it brought tears to my eyes.  She was crying out for her dead mother in her sleep.  But she was being woken up by her mother.  She was so happy to see her.  Throughout the morning she hugged and followed her mother, who said she was beginning to creep out with Jin-Joo’s clinginess.

I love this drama, so much so that I first watched it raw, I just can’t wait for the subtitles. (Of course I can’t understand a word but then action speaks louder than words 😉 lol). And then watched it this morning with the English sub.  The mother scene still got to me.

I am putting a lot of faith in this drama.  There have been so many Korean dramas that I could only watch 2-3 episodes and I tend to give up fairly early on.

I supposed the storyline of this drama is more appropriate to me, being married.  Don’t I wish sometimes that I can go back in time?  Hell, yeah!!! 🙂

Episode 2 is also very watchable. Jin-Joo tried to restart her life but her ex seemed to be everywhere.  On a blind-date where they first met, Ban-do ended up still choosing her but said he did it so he could dump her.  She followed him out of the restaurant only to find him chasing after his first love.  Jin-Joo was heartbroken.  She comforted herself that at least it was a closure but she heard a little voice and saw the figure of their toddler following her.

She ended up in a flood of tears and mistakenly got into the back seat of Jung Nam Gil’s (second male lead) car, thinking it was a taxi.  I actually want these two to get together.

Again her scene sleeping next to her mother made me cry. huhuhu

Episode 3

They are now both getting into the single life.  There was a scene where Jin-Joo in her high-heels running on a slippery slope and being rescued by the handsome Jung Nam Gil (Chang Ki Yong) wearing his ROTC uniform.  I have to admit that was so romantic.  I wanted them to get together there and then.  🙂   Oh the clubbing scene is really nostalgic.  Loving this drama.  I watched it raw and then with subtitle.

Ban Do has a double standard mentality.  He doesn’t stop himself from enjoying his youth but time and again would remind Jin-Joo that she was an old woman with a child.

It is that addictive.

Episode 4

Again I wish that Nam Gil and Jin-Joo get it together in the end because they do have such a lovely chemistry.  It is young and fresh.  I watched this episode so many times, fast-forwarding sometimes on the scene between these two.  I am an old romantic.

Episode 5

This is an interesting episode.  It seems it is repeating what happened in 1999 but completely with different couples.  Jin Joo went to the movies with Nam-Gil instead of Ban-do.  Then Jin-Joo’s father was giving Nam-Gil the once-over as a potential boyfriend/husband for Jin Joo instead of Ban Do.

Jin Joo is beginning to feel something for Nam-Gil and they have some sweet moments too.

Jin-joo:  (In a restopub looking at the menu) Do you like something in particular?

Nam-gil: You.  I think it’s true.  I think I like you!

They were completely mesmerised with one another!  Ah young love!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Ban Do though is beginning to realise that there is more to Jin Joo.  She is actually a very attractive woman, wanted by someone rich, handsome and popular Nam-gil and by that slimy medical student.

Episode 6 ended with a scene inside a men’s toilet cubicle.  How romantic is that? It actually was- romantic!

More updates:

I don’t know but I find the episodes where Nam Gil appears a great deal are fresher and more interesting than when he is not around.

I think they should be together even in the future.

Despite having gone back to the past, Ban do and Jin Joo can’t find that missing synchronicity. Whenever Jin Joo was in danger or needed help, Ban do was nowhere to be found but Nam Gil was there each time.

What I wanted to do if I was in this drama is throw away that half dead cactus.:)  It seems it is a symbol of how Ban Do’s budding new found respect, love and affection for a younger more carefree Jin Joo.  The cactus is beginning to thrive.  Nooo!

No!!! Jin Joo, history would just repeat itself.  Dump him while you still can and go for that lovely Nam Gil.  🙂

Episode 9

This is a cute episode where Ban Do and Nam Gil play one-upmanship against one another to impress Jin Joo.

Instead of Ban Do, Jin Joo ended up having a romantic time with Nam Gil at the Bridge of Fireflies.  Ban Do once again missed his timing.

The episode ended up with Nam Gil sleeping next to Jin Joo.  When he raised his arm as a sign of victory, it was so cute.

Ban do might be working towards his future self by being nice to Kim Ye-rim, heiress to a hospital.  He might end up better off than a medical salesman. 🙂

Jin Joo is becoming more into Nam Gil because of his caring way but she can’t really fully take advantage of the attraction because of her future son, Seo Jin.

Go for it girl.

Fair is fair though, there is a chemistry between Ban do and Jin Joo even if I wanted her to end up with Nam Gil.

The music OSTs for episode 9 are great.

Episode 10

OMG, I have to admit I am a bit fickle.  I have to confess that I quite love Ban Do now.  I really feel for him.

I first watch this episode in a raw form, therefore, hardly understand what was going on, just a slight inkling but I was crying like a baby when Ban Do was crying towards the end.

Anyway I have just watched this now with subtitles and found that Ban Do is just a normal married guy, not the worst.  He did love Jin Joo but admitted that he took her for granted because of work.  And of course, as to most marriages,  you are not into each other as much as you were during the first couple of years.  They should have supported one another more.

I don’t understand why Jin Joo was blaming Ban Do for not being able to say goodbye to her mother, who passed away.  Why did she need Ban Do to take her to her mother?  Why not go by herself.?  Afterall at that time, she did not have Seo Jin yet.

I do feel a bit sorry for Nam Gil now.  It looks like Ban Do and Jin Joo will always be ‘IT’.

Also I have to mention about Dr Park, I know he was a sleazy scumbag but poor him had been pummelled by both Nam Gil and Ban Do plus he lost his meal ticket in Kim Ye-rim.

I did not know that Michael Jackson had such an impact in South Korea. JIn Joo’s mother and father were so good at ‘moonwalking’.  That scene was fun and rather uplifting.

Episode 11

OMG is Ban Do dead?  Is this paving the way for Ma Jin Joo  and Nam Gil to be together?

No!!!

I had a rethink, I want Ban Do to end up with Jin Joo afterall.  Sorry this is not a good review because I just watch this episode in a raw form.  Didn’t really fully understand what was going on plus the fact that I am blinded by tears.  Sad ending to this episode and they cleverly did not give away what was going to happen in the usual trailer for the next instalment.  I thought this series is composed of 16 episodes but actually it may only be 12 and that makes tomorrow’s as the final one. huhuhu

Ban Do did buy the rings, perhaps these are their tickets of going back to the present.  Also they found out that most of their troubles were from misunderstandings.  They did not talk about what was really bothering them.

I have to say there are so much issues which are needed to be solved and I don’t think an hour would fully cross the ‘T’s and dot the ‘I’s if indeed tomorrow is the last episode.

Still crying and can’t wait for tomorrow.  I hope Ban do is not dead.

Probably they both wake up in the present time, having realised that they can’t live without one of the other.

Episode 12

It was rather a shock to the system to find out that this drama was only a 12- episoder.  I was not ready to let Nam Gil, Ma Jin Joo, Ban Do and the rest of the cast to go yet.

There were so many scenes that spoke to me personally.  I always love the interaction of Jin Joo and her mother. They were poignant, especially when she asked Jin-Joo to look after her father when she’s gone. She half-believed Jin Joo was a time traveller who left behind a baby in the present time.

Anyway, I have never waited more excitedly for an episode than this one.

I was crying like mad when I thought Ban Do died.  Thank goodness he didn’t.

You would thought they would reconcile immediately but of course not!  They had to open your floodgate of waterworks first.  Again!!!

Ban Do said to Jin Joo that she will always be in his heart.  As much as he thought of Seo Jin, their son, all the time, he loved Jin Joo more and acknowledged that he can not make her happy so he had to let her go.

The Nam Gil/Jin Joo fanatics were acknowledged!  There was a really touching goodbye between Nam Gil and Jin Joo.  It was not particularly traumatic but I found myself tearing up.  Nam Gil is so lovely to the end.

I think I cried more than Jang Na Ra did just watching this drama.

I felt the ending was really abrupt. I would have wanted to know more how they affected the timeline.

But it was a good conclusion.

Dr Park got his comeuppance.  He can only look on  with regret how loved up Kim Ye Rim was with her husband, who looked devoted to her.

Sul is a travel writer?!!!

Jae Woo and Bo Reum got back together.

The time travel is due to the rings.  Apparently about 50 long years ago, in the land high above the sky there lived a couple of deities who were doppelgangers of Jin Joo and Ban do.  They were unhappily married and in a fit of madness, they both took off their wedding rings and threw them down.  The rings grant wishes.

Jin Joo and Ban Do were drawn to the rings when they were shopping for theirs.  Upon putting the ring on, Jin Joo wished that she will always be with Ban Do.  Thus, when Jin Joo and Ban Do divorced the rings had to do their magic to gluing Ban Do and Jin Joo back together again.

Windsong by Sohyang – Ost

My Korean Jagiya (Philippine Drama Review)

My Korean Jagiya (Philippine Drama Review)

I have heard a lot about this drama from Facebook.  It is made and widely promoted by GMA 7 to cater to the Korean drama obsession of many Filipinos.

I have to say that when I first heard that Heart Evangelista was the lead, I thought they would get a big name Korean actor or rising star like Kim Young Kwan or Lee Soo-Hyuk to play the leading man.  After all, Heart is known for being a bit of a princess who grew up in the lap of luxury and is very fond of designer brand such as Hermes, LV, D&G, Dior, etc.  She demands the best!

Anyway My Korean Jagiya is Philippine Korean fusion and many scenes were filmed in Seoul.  The lead male actor is a Chinese Korean, who I have really never heard of before.  His name is Alexander Lee.

I have just watched the first episode.  The story so far is that Alexander Lee plays Kim Jun-ho, a once popular actor who made classic Korean dramas like Coffee Prince, 🙂  I love you Kim San-sun, 🙂 etc but has gone off the radar in the last seven years.

There is this lady in the Philippines, who was a Kim Jun-ho die-hard fan.  She is Gia, played by Heart Evangelista.  Gia is a tutor at an international school.  She is going out with a man called Ryan, who she had known since elementary school.  Gia was hoping for Ryan would put a ring on her finger soon.

Anyway, Gia is good at her job, so much so that she got an excellent work evaluation.  As a reward, she was sent to Seoul to attend a convention.  She was besides herself with excitement.  She jotted down all the places that Jun-ho had filmed for his dramas before including the Jagiya House.

The episode ends where Gia bumped into Jun-ho inside the Jagiya house.

Based on this episode, it is not like those polished Korean dramas.  It is very rough, rickety and the acting is terrible.  Hopefully the characters would gel soon.

Also the script is terrible with atrocious dialogues.   How possible is it to have your foreign idol to have as his first love a Filipina? Be an uncle to a Korean Filipino boy, who happens to be in your class?  This is obviously what they call in Korea as a makjang.  They created plots which are outrageously absurd and illogical, which is hard to relate to.

I hope this drama improves as between just you and me, I had looked forward to it!  🙂

…..

Episode 2

Jun Ho had a girlfriend called Cindy, a Filipina, a fair-skinned Filipina.  She was a bit of a slapper.  She asked Jun Ho to choose between her and his career as she felt neglected especially when Jun Ho would pose for selfies/groupies with his fans.

Anyway, out of the blue Cindy announced to Jun Ho that she was pregnant.  Jun Ho was actually excited only to find out that he was not the father but his own brother.  🙂

Jun Ho was so traumatised that he cut all ties with his own brother and then left the entertainment industry.  He had been cocooned in a Buddhist monastery for the last five years.

He learnt that his brother who is now based in the Philippines was in a very serious accident.  He, therefore, had to go to the Philippines.  He was expecting to meet Cindy again in the hospital but he was advised that there was no Cindy or any other female that had visited his comatose brother.

By this time Gia is back in the Philippines and found a ring on her boyfriend’s bag.  She was so delighted, at last Ryan was about to propose, or is he?

Why is Gia always wearing that school-girl sock with shoes or even sandals?!!!  True there are Korean dramas where the girls do wear them, but not throughout the whole series.  Is this some sort of racial profiling 🙂  that Korean girls wear socks on their shoes whether they were in high heals of flatties?!!! LOL

Later episodes:

There is not much chemistry (in my opinion) between Heart & Alexander.  Heart does give her all in terms of acting but Alexander is rather wooden.

Anyway, Alexander asked Gia to marry him so he can officially adopt his nephew.  Gia, of course, said yes afterall she was already in love with Jun Ho even before they met.

Gia was so optimistic of their coming union that she signed the pre-nup without even reading it and prepared for the wedding in her Korean hanbok.

Jun Ho was rather aghast thinking that Gia was overly excited with the contract marriage.  He had to tell her in no uncertain terms that Gia does not really love him and he will never love her and the fake wedding was just a way to adopt his nephew.

Gia was finally brought down to earth.

I have to admit this drama grows on you, perhaps because Heart E does try her best.  Also it seems, unlike so many Filipino drama serials, Heart is not stereotyped as someone downtrodden.  She is feisty and, yehey, she does not wear socks all the time now!

She looks lovely in her one-piece bathing suit more alluring than Cindy in her Bikini.

 

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