Life On Mars (KDrama Vs Brits) Review


Life On Mars (KDrama Vs Brits) Review

  • Genre: Supernatural, Paranormal, Crime, Policing, Serial Killer, Time Travel


UK Tv Version

Date Released: 2006


  • John Simm as Sam Tyler
  • Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt
  • Liz White
  • Dean Andrews
  • Marshall Lancaster

This drama is based on the brilliant original 2006 BBC TV series Life on Mars. The US and other countries copied the format for their  version of the TV series, but in my opinion, never bettered the original.

Summary of the British drama. By Peter Morton an avid fan of the BBC series)

In 2006, A modern, ambitious young Detective Inspector (DI) named  Sam Tyler is investigating a major crime. While driving to a meeting, he has a serious car accident. While he lies on the road losing consciousness, the iPod in his car  is playing David Bowie’s iconic ‘Life on Mars’ song.  Hours late,  Sam wakes up in the road and he can still hear the song. He gets up and looks around but his car has gone and an unfamiliar car is there in it’s place, with an old 1970s style 8 track tape player in the car playing the song.

Sam is confused, puzzled and with a bad headache, he gets into the car and drives to his meeting. The destination and all round him have changed.

He is about to meet and become involved with interesting characters of a bygone era. Political Correctness does not exist and life is played out to different conventions to what he has known in his 21st centruy life.

When he arrives at his destination, he is met by a senior detective, who appears to be expecting Sam and welcomes him to be a member of his team investigating local serious crimes.

The senior detective is named Gene Hunt. For the early episodes, Sam  thinks Hunt is “an overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding” Anger management is unknown to Hunt too.

Hunt’s all male detective team have similar outlooks to him and will use physical means to coerce suspects etc.  Police women (one assists the team) are seen as only generally usefu, making tea and typing up reports etc.  Sam mentions his accident and he learns from a bemused Hunt, who thinks Sam has lost his memory reminds Sam this is 1973. Sam  is of course  quite shocked and puzzled. He goes along with all that is happening, while trying to rationlise what is happening to him.

Gene Hunt & the team think Sam is initially too soft and not hard enough to be a proper detective, let alone a policeman. They get confused and think he is mad  when he tries to explain to them  modern forensics, crime detection and political correctness unknown in that time.

Sam is frustrated by the antics, hard-drinking, sexist banter and lack of modern police methods.

As teh series developes Gene Hunt becomes iconic. The viewer and Sam come to see that Gene Hunt, despite his rough and ready exterior,has in fact, a  caring side, good old fashioned instinctive  detective ability and is a committed good guy as are his team.  Sam, Gene and team get to respect each other and become friends. Romance beckons with the police woman(no female detectives), member of the team too.

The viewer, like Sam himself,  has to workout if he is dead and has either gone to some sort of afterlife, or in a coma and dying with vivid dreams, or  somehow  he has gone back in time.

While his  day-to-day 1970s experience seem all to real to Sam, he also  experiences surreal auditory and  hallucinatory instances, some where  his name being called from a distant place., Is  medical intervention trying to revive him?

Things &  events happen in the background, which intrigue the viewer. One such, is a pub barman, who gives Sam profound pearls of wisdom about existence.

As the story progresses, Sam gets to enjoy and settle into his ‘new life’ as it is much simpler and less complicated than his fast paced and pressurised, goal orientated  21st century modern existence. Sam finds genuine friendship and camaraderie and feels he is doing good. He begins to prefer to stay in this new life.

Is Sam accepting death, or his place in a new time, somehow granted to him?

In the last episode, in hospital, Sam wakes up  from a coma in his real-time. He recovers from his accident and eventually returns to work.  He feels out-of-place and hates the modern complicated world he grew up in. He takes the ultimate decision and jumps off the roof of his tall HQ building, killing himself, to return his preferred existence.

Following the popularity of the first series, a second series was made.

It was called Ashes to Ashes (another Bowie song), with a new lead character.  This time it is an ambitious female detective named Alexandra Drake.  In the first epsiode Drake is shot in the head by a criminal. As Drake lies deeply unconscious, she experiences the same as Sam did in the first series. The same 1970s era, the characters of Gene Hunt and his team. This time with added issue of being a feisty modern senior female detective previously unknown now ‘alive’ in this  male dominated world!

This second series further hints at an idea of an afterlife or existence.

Gene Hunt and his team are gradually revealed to be possibly much more than the routine cops they portray. Are they, along with some other characters  ‘angels’ or ‘guides’?  In one episode, Hunt is talking to Drake and he mysteriously  alludes to another detective who passed through before her arrival.

The viewer can ponder the deeper meaning of this, which in my opinion was an excellent, original and creative piece of drama, with great actors and acting.


Life on Mars poster (Korean)

  • South Korean Drama Version
  • Date Released: June 2018
  • KDrama: 16 episodes


  • Jung Kyung Ho as Han Tae-Jo
  • Park Sung Woong as Kang Dong Chul
  • Go Ah Sung as Yoon Na Young
  • Oh Dae Hwan as Lee Jong-gi
  • Noh Jung Hyun as Jo Nam-sik

I came late to this drama, not because I did not think much of it.

Au contraire, it was the opposite.  The presence of Jung Kyung Ho and Go Ah Sung would guarantee a drama to be of topmost excellence.  Added to the equation is that this is a BBC drama original.

You cannot go wrong!!!

Episode 1

Han Tae-Jo is on top of his crop as a forensic police investigator.  He is very punctilious with his work.  Even if the result is not what is popular, he fights for it.

This made him unpopular to many policemen, who tend to look after themselves with their cronyism.  Some police cut corners to get the result they wanted.

Han Tae-Jo fought this kind of anomalies, including with a rabid policeman who sent an innocent to jail for three years.

Anyway Han Tae Jo was a key witness to a prolific serial killer, who paints the victims nail with red nail varnish.

They got the culprit and it was almost a done deal that he was going to jail.  But Han Tae Jo testified that the forensic evidence was  contaminated.  There were no other evidence and therefore the killer was freed.

han Tae Jo testimony did not sit down well with the prosecutor, who happened to be his ex-girlfriend.

Han Tae Jo himself was very upset with the result. He got home and drank himself to sleep.  He was awakened the next morning with the news that the prosecutor had gone missing.  He noticed that he received several calls from her telling him that there was someone else behind the serial killer.

Han Tae Jo was visibly upset and and scared that the prosecutor has become another statistic to the serial killing.

They search everywhere and finally found the place where the killer was hiding.  Han Tae Jo himself gave chase to the killer.  He was about to get him when someone pointed a gun to Han Tae Jo’s head and fired.

He woke up and under the David Bowie’s Life on Mars song, Han Tae Jo staggered to his car only to get hit by another car.

He then again woke up in a strange location.

It was 1998.  The 1988 was about to take place in South Korea and as a precaution, there was an impromptu war drill.

Han Tae Jo, just stood in the middle of the road utterly confused with the goings on.  And then he spied the serial killer.  He run after him and the police run after Han Tae Jo.

The man Han Tae Jo was running after was not quite the serial killer.

They all ended up in the police station, where Han Tae Jo was roughed up by the police as he cannot show any ID and the fact that he told them that he works at the Metropolitan police, which did not exist in 1988.

In the end an envelop of documents drop out from his leather jacket which notified who he was and that he was the new detective inspector.

In the station, he met everyone of the team, including Kang Dong Chul (Gene Hung equivalent) who has not been visited by political correctness.

There was also a young policewoman, who was more a housekeeper, in charge or laundry and tea-making among other menial task.  The policewoman was Yoon na took him to his new house.

The room was almost bare except for an old television.  When he switched it on, he saw someone talking about him, his body in the present time being in a coma.

Han Tae Jo was rudely woken up the next morning by Kang Dong Chul.  He took him to the site of a murder.

A girl has been killed.  Han Tae Jo immediately notices that her nails had been painted red.





Darren Chen (Taiwanese Actor)

Darren Chen (Taiwanese Actor)


Darren Chen


  • Birth Name: Kuan Hong
  • DoB: 15 January 1995 (23)
  • PoB: Taiwan
  • Height: 1.85 m
  • Civil Status: Single
  • Occupation: Model, Singer, Actor

Dramas & Films:

Darren Chen is such a cute Hua Ze Lei.

Tidbits & Factoids:

  • Darren Chen created a bit of excitement with the twittering public when he photobombed a selfie/groupie of Emma Watson, Tom Holland and Luke Evens at the recently concluded Men’s finals at the Wimbledon 2018.
  • He plays the piano.
  • He loves his dog, Mickey
  • His goddess is Anne Hathaway

Sweet Combat (Chinese Drama Review)

Sweet Combat poster


Sweet Combat (Chinese Drama Review)

  • Genre: Youth, Romance, Sport, School
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • CDrama: 38 Episodes


  • Guan Xiaotong as Fang Yu
  • Lu Han as Ming Tian
  • Shao Ivy as Song Xiao Mi
  • Pei Zitian as Sun Hao
  • Li Mengmeng as Cheng Yanan
  • Zhao Yue as Luo Guan Yuan
  • Ding Cheng Xin as Fang Zhou

This drama stars real life sweethearts Guan Xiaotong and Lu Han.  It is a poor boy meets rich girl kind of thing and they kick and box into a romance. 🙂

Episode 1

Ming Tian did not finish high school because he was left to take care of his two young siblings, who are twins, when his mother up and left because she got fed up with her husband, three years ago.

The husband ended up dead after a while, therefore a teenage Ming Tian had to shoulder the burden of looking after his two young siblings by eking out a living any which way he can.

While on a work errand, he came across a rather arrogant girl, who thought that money is enough to solve everything.  This girl was Fang Yu.

Ming Tian really wanted to go to college and as luck would have it he was accepted into sports university in the Shenzhen City in the Guandong Province of China.

His little family left Macau to be able for him to  enrol at Zhengze University where coincidentally is where Fang Yu is the queen.

The university used to be an all girl school but the director and headmaster were rather sexist.  There were not contented with the trophies and awards won by their excellent sportswomen nurtured by their school.  They reckoned that girls/women’s career in sport are rather fleeting.  They have romance and get married and move on.  They wanted men that would make sport their lifetime career.

For the first time the school offered 10 lucky male students places in the college.  Only one took the place and it was Ming Tian.

Ming Tian was rather self-conscious being the only boy in the school especially when he found out that the school is not really ready for boys in terms of amenities, like boy’s toilet, locker room, etc.

Ming Tian being tall and good-looking became a prize for the girls to fight over.

While escaping from all the girls, he bumped into Fang Yu,who accidentally scratched his arm with her backpack.

Instead of apologising to him, she gave him a wad of cash, which infuriated Ming Tian.   He ended up calling her a monster.

Unbeknown to Ming Tian, the word has a deeper psychological meaning to Fang Yu.

She was six years old before she found out she was a girl.

Being the heir of a conglomerate, when she was  born, her authoritarian grandfather had told her parents that she was to be brought up as a boy, dressed up as a boy.  Even in her primary school she was believed to be a boy.

But her parents had another baby and this time it was a boy.

Suddenly Fang Yu is unceremoniously treated as a girl again.  This did not only confuse the young Fang Yu but also her young classmates, who bullied her and called her monster.

Episode 2

Ming Tian cannot bear to be at the same school as the Queen so he applied for a transfer.  But it was proving impossible to get out of the school, which is determined to hold on to the first boy in their enrolment at all cost.

Ming Tian was working for KFC as a delivery boy.  He has a record to keep of being able to deliver at the shortest possible time.

But during one of his deliveries, he came to the rescue of a young boy being bullied by hooligans.  They then turned on him and brought him to playing field to bit him senseless.

Luckily the three friends, the Queen, Yanan and Xiao Mi were passing through the park and saw what was happening.

Episode 3

The Queen, Fang Yu, finally realised the sad life Ming Tian leads.  He was a poor boy, who needs to work every hour available to be able to bring up his brother and sister and himself.

He thought that if he cannot transfer schools then he would just drop out.  He felt guilty not being able to provide his siblings with better life.

It seems there is a connection between Fang Yu and Ming Tian.  They both love and respect the dead Mr Ji.

Mr Ji was Fang Yu’s uncle.  The only one who understood and supported her transition from a boy to girl in her young mind.

Episode 8

Ming Tian was sent a poisoned cake which his young brother ate and ended up in hospital.  Ming Tian then found out who sent the cake.  It was the bully boy from the rival university to Zhenze.  He went to confront the bully but he ended up almost getting expelled.

Episode 9

This episode is the cutest so far.  Ming Tian and Fang Yu are very tentatively getting closer.

Fang Zhou, Fang Yu’s brother, is the 15 year old CEO of their family business.  He had been trained to take over almost before he could walk.  He is ably assisted by Ming Tian.   Brother and sister have a very filial to one another.

Ming Tian’s problem with the bully has given him the push to seriously learn self defence and he is now being trained by the three lead girls.

Episode 18

Fang Yu and Ming Tian had a really cute ‘date’ at the funfair.  Yanan and Guan Yuan romance is so sweet and romantic but is still yet to end up in misunderstanding as Guan Yuan had been asked by Yanan’s father as one of the three conditions in teaching him the death strike/blow was to date his daughter, Yanan.   The cutest scene so far of the drama was when he told her that she is the apple of his eye.

Episode 19

I have to say the romance between Fang Yu and Ming Tian is very slow boiling.  But at least in this episode, we know that Ming Tian is really into Fang Yu.

Episode 22

Yanan had a confrontation with Luo Guan Yuan about her being just one of the conditions for him to train under her father to learn the death strike.  Yanan broke off from her budding romance with Guan Yuan despite his protestation that he was only humouring her father that he really like her himself.

Episode 23

Yanan, Ming Tian,  Xiao Mi and Sun Huo went to Macau to represent their school and to hopefully recruit more students to attend their school.

While in Macau, Ming Tian was surprised with a visit from Fang Yu, who was on her way to Dubai.

Episode 24

Fang Yu’s grandfather found out her detour to Macau and the reason why.  He categorically told her to break any relationship with him as they were not compatible in any way.

Fang Yu rebelled and run away with her personal chef to Yanan’s house.

Her grandfather withdrew her from the university.

One And Another Him (Chinese Drama)

One And Another Him (Chinese Drama)

One and another him poster

  • Genre: Romance, Teacher/Student, Youth
  • Date Released: 2018
  • CDrama: 24 Episodes


  • Xiong Dylan  as Xiao En
  • Zhang Wendy as Lin Yuan
  • Xia Nita as Na Mu
  • Liu Jian Yu as Ma Deng Deng

This is a Xiong Dylan, the Mr Mermaid and Pretty Man actor.

I just hope this gets subbed in English soon.

Anyway the synopsis in a nutshell is that a girl student, who like really intelligent guys always goes for the really mega brain ones.  One who was just beyond her remit as a student.  She falls for her math teachers.

Apparently she had a bad heartbreak the first time but this did not stop her from repeating history.

Sounded really interesting

Zhu Xu Dan (Chinese Actress)

 Zhu Xu Dan (Chinese Actress)

Zhu XuDan


  • Aka: Bambi Zhu
  • DoB: 15 April 1992 (26)
  • PoB: Qiqihar, Heilongjiang, China
  • Height: 1.65 m
  • Education: Central Academy of Drama
  • Civil Status: Single

Dramas & Films (seen by GG)):


She was so young, feisty and rather sweet in Hi Flower and yet grown up and really mean in Sweet Dreams.  What a versatile actress.

Just Want To See You Smile (Chinese Drama)


Just Want To See You Smile (Chinese Drama)

Just want to see you smile poster

  • Aka: Smile
  • Genre: Romance, Youth
  • Date Released: 2018
  • CDrama: 24 Episodes
  • Based on a novel


  • Li Wenhan as Shu Shan
  • Du Bella as Xiao Xing
  • Hou Jung Chen as Mr Xin

Other Characters:

  • Sis Ye, Shu Shan’s manager
  • An Ge, young new actor
  • Du Nian, ambitious actress and Xiao Xing’s flatmate
  • Director Ye


Episode 1

First few minutes of this drama and I love it already.

Xiao Xing is an actress but with a difference.  She suffers from lens aphasia, which is the inability to talk when faced with a camera/lens.

Due to this condition, Xiao Xing plays mainly roles of a dead person.  When not acting dead, she is an all-around girl, doing props, make-up and in charge of the clapper.

Omigod, this drama is so cute and Li Wenhan is just too adorable.  Du Bella is feisty and appealing.  Really loving this drama.

Shu Shan is a superstar.  He’s a singer but for some reason, he developed haphephobia, the fear of touching and being touched.  This was due to an accident in the past that has yet to be revealed.

He went to the studio with his manager and a budding actress called Shen Xun, who is a superstar product endorser.  In the chaos of the over-excited fans, Xiao Xing was tasked to bring in Shen Xun into the studio.  But Xiao Xing dragged the wrong person.  She took Shu Shan instead, who was absolutely surprised that her touch did not repel him.

Now he had to convince her to be his assistant!

Episode 2

Shu Shan has been courting Xiao Xing to become his assistant but she had turned down his offer repeated.

Xiao Xing is really desperate to become an actress but she just can’t do it .

Her role as an extra in a historical drama was made bigger by the director because she has a great screen presence.  He gave her a dialogue but when the camera started rolling she froze..

It seems she has no choice but to accept Shu Shan’s offer until she can get over her fear with the camera.

Episode 3

Shu Shan found Xiao Xing in a corner looking very upset. Shu Shan told her to go with him and they had a lovely talk.  In addition, Xiao Xing was pleased to receive the designer dress she wanted but can’t afford and nowhere really to wear to.

There was a funny scene where Xiao Xing was storytelling a horror story.  She was standing in a chair with a noose on her neck for maximum effect.  Unfortunately, her best friend accidentally kicked down the chair and she was left hanging hysterically for a few seconds.

Xiao Xing finally accepted that with how things are, she cannot be an actress.  She made a decision to be Shu Shan’s assistant instead.

This episode is a visual treat.  There are lots of half-naked scenes with Shu Shan.  hehehe When he was in bed, after a shower.  yey

Episode 4

Shu Shan is being cast in a drama called Life Target.  Du Nian, a young ambitious actress is trying to get closer to Shu Shan.

Episode 5

Shu Shan finally confessed to Xiao Xing his fear of touching and being touched.

To help Shu Shan get used to his leading lady, Xiao Xing bought online a sex doll, she then pasted Du Nian’s facial photo on the doll.  This scene was hilarious.


Dylan Wang (Wang He Di) Chinese Actor

Dylan Wang (Wang He Di) Chinese Actor

Dylan Wang


  • Name: Wang He Di; aka as Dylan Wang
  • DoB: 20 December 1998 (19)
  • PoB: Chengdu City, Sichuan Province,  China.
  • Height: 1.83 m
  • Civil Status: Single
  • Education: Sichuan Southwest College of Civil Aviation.
  • Career: Model, Singer, Actor

Dramas & Films

Tidbits & Factoids 🙂

  • Debut appearance: Super Idol
  • He studied at Sichuan Southwest College of Civil Aviation (SSCCA) to become a flight attendant.
  • He became the poster boy for admission at SSCCA.
  • He also apparently became a professional image spoke-person for flight attendants.
  • He debuted in showbiz before fully realising the life of a flight attendant.
  • By 2016, he won a singing competition, which became his ticket en route to showbusiness.
  • Shen Yue thinks he is childish.  Well he is only 19.
  • Shen Yue said that Dylan taught her how to kiss, although she is Dylan’s first kiss but of course he is not Shen Yue’s first as the honour goes to Hu Yi Tian while doing the drama A Love So Beautiful.
  • Dylan absolutely cannot stand being compared to Hu Yi Tian.  They are different people.  Full stop.
  • He likes rapping.
  • Favourite food: Sichuan food
  • He doesn’t like lamb (meat) 🙂


Love and Lies (2017) Japanese Movie Review


Love and Lies

Koi To Uso

  • Genre: School, Youth, Relationship, Melodrama, Futuristic
  • Date Released: October 2017
  • Japanese film


  • Morikawa Aoi as Nisaka Aoi
  • Kitamura Takumi as Shiba Yuto
  • Sato Kanta as Takachiho Sosuke

Love and Lies (2017) Japanese Movie Review

This film, I thought, is a bit of a propaganda for arranged marriages. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Anyway, in a future Japan, it became a task for the government to match up their citizen.

As soon as a girl or a boy turns 16, they receive notification from the government of their most suitable partner.

Apparently 80 percent of these match-ups work in the long run compared to just half if individual chooses for himself/herself.  Yap, one is allowed to choose one’s partner and turn down the government recommendation.

Anyway Aoi was only days away from her sixteenth birthday.  She was giddily awaiting her birthday and partner as her friends have settled relationships already from the government match-up.

Aoi has a childhood friend Yuto, who knows her inside and out.  He knew all her idiosyncrasies, what makes her tick and all that.  He was kind and absolutely devoted to her.

On the night of her turning 16, Yuto asked Aoi is she was sure about having a match up partner.  He then confessed that he likes her and why not settle for him.  At that same time, Sosuke, the partner turned up.  He was the son of a hospital owner.

Sosuke was tall,, cool and rather aloof.   Aoi was enchanted.  She forgot what Yuto was saying.

Aoi was really into Sosuke for most of the film.

But she later found out that Yuto was very ill.  He has stage 3 brain tumour.  She realised that she actually loved Yuto and run away from her wedding to Sosuke (with his consent).

There she went to the airport and reconciled with Yuto.

They have a good life. Very happy.

Then the credits started to appear.

But if you wait out the credits, there is a bittersweet ending.

Aoi was laying some fresh flowers on Yuto’s grave.  while she was praying another person appeared and it was Sosuke with a bunch of flowers as well.

They had a stilted mini-conversation and then Aoi said she was going.

As she was walking away, Sosuke shouted if she wanted to go get something to eat.

Ahhh So the government programme works.  Yuto was not paired with Aoi to begin with because he was not healthy.  And Sosuke remained interested with her.




Cheer Dan 2018 (Japanese Drama Review)

Cheer Dan poster


  • Genre: School, Teens, Dance, Competition, Cheerleading
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • Dorama: 10 Episodes


  • Tao Tsuchiya as Fujitani Wakaba
  • Ishii Anna as Kiryu Shiori
  • Sakuma Yui as Sarakuzawa Asako
  • Yamamoto Maika as Shibata Maki
  • Otomo Karen as Enoki Taeko
  • Odagiri Joe as Taro Urushido


Cheer Dan 2018 (Japanese Drama Review)

Fujitani Wakaba is in high school.  she has always been fascinating with cheerleading after having grew up seeing the JETS, a Japanese cheerleading team, winning the championship in America.


Make a Bow & Kiss (Japanese Film)

Make a Bow and Kiss poster


  • Genre: Romance, Shoujo Manga, Archery, Teen, School
  • Date Released: 2017
  • Japanese


  • Elaiza Ikeda as An Kishimoto
  • Masaki Nakao as Yota Mikami
  • Takashi Matsuo as Naoyuki Yoshiki
  • Katsuhuri Suzuki as Arashi Kuwabara
  • Takahisa Maeyama as Katsum Iragashi
  • Minori Hagiwara as Riko Ando
  • Kusei Yuki as Shotaro Endo
  • Hidekazu Mashima as Kaname Mikamai


Make a Bow & Kiss (Japanese Film)

I would classify this drama as a mature teen drama because of two things.

Firstly because of the nature of the leads’  relationship and secondly, the story itself.

An Kishimoto devoted much of the last six years as a member, and currently being the president, of  the  archery club in her school.  She is a third year high school student.

She felt that she cannot give anymore of herself into archery, thus she decided to give up her presidency and retire completely from the club.

There was a second year student, Mikami, who was an up and coming archer.  Though he does not attend much of the training, he always win the archery gongs during contest.

An Kishimoto decided that Mikami should be the next president and therefore passed the honour to him.

Mikami had other ideas.  Though, he accepted the presidency, he would not accept her total retirement from the club.

He roughly seduced her with kisses.  The innocent An was quickly beguiled into staying.  After she agreed, Mikami behaved as if nothing had happened.

Poor An was captivated even more.

She was so enthralled with him that she became jealous of ever phone calls he received.  She followed him one day in a hospital.  She was so curious to know who he visits and found him with a boy, who was his adopted brother.

Mikami saw her skulking and asked her why she was following him.

She confessed to him that she liked him. Mikami then said that he likes her too and that she will be his girlfriend.

Despite their official relationship, Mikami would blow hot and cold and told her that they should break up.

Mikami has so much issues, including his adopted brother’s terminal illness.  He can’t accept it and feels disappointed and annoyed that his adopted father has now resigned to the fact.

He reconciled with An but he made her promised that she needs to stay by his side not only now, next year but for the rest of her life.



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