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Archive for the ‘Kdrama’ Category

Fabulous Boys Vs You’re Beautiful

As nearly everyone who has ever heard me talk about dramas knows, my favorite drama is You’re Beautiful. 말도없이 (Without Words) is why I started learning Korean.  I went to Seoul in 2012 and the timing was so that I could see a live production of You’re Beautiful. (I’m still waiting for someone to bring it to Broadway or at least Viki.) I also take the photo comic books with me to the dentist as a distraction & a way to practice reading Korean.

I’ve seen the Japanese version (Ikemen desu ne)and the Taiwanese version (Fabulous Boys) as well.  I just rewatched Fabulous Boys on viki and I’d started I’d do a showdown or review or something.  I know very little about Taiwanese dramas so bear with me.  Also, I wasn’t planning on writing this when I watched Fabulous Boys and I haven’t rewatched YAB in a while so I might be fuzzy and skip some stuff.

Spoilers for both.

Main Characters


  • Park Shin Hye as Go MiNam/ Go MiNyu / Cheng Yu Xi as Gao Mei Nan/Gao Mei Nu
  • Jang Geun Suk as Hwang TaeKyung / Jiro Wang as Huang Tai Qing
  • Jung Yong Hwa as Kang ShinWoo / Hwang In Deok as Jiang Xin Yu
  • Lee Hong Ki /Evan Yo as Jeremy

My 2 Cents

I believe that Cheng Yu Xi Mei Nan is just as good as Park Shin Hye’s MiNam. They both have their strength’s and weaknesses. One obvious difference is FB allows you to see the “real” Mei Nan, he even participates in several key scenes. My gut says that PSH couldn’t pull off playing an real man instead of a former wannabe nun pretending to be a man.  Or maybe she didn’t want to do it. But that is something I had wanted to see so in FB you can.

Tai Qing is less arrogant (he’s plenty arrogant – don’t get me wrong)  and more emotionally available then TaeKyung. His emotions are more believable.  He’s also gentler (his eyes especially). I like him better then TaeKyung.

I’m sure acting wise Hwang In Deok could get Jung YongHwa a run for his money, but emotionally, I have to go with ShinWoo/YongHwa.  There is one scene in particular I didn’t like – somehow Xin Yu found out who Mei Nan’s mother was. I don’t see how that is even possible considering he wouldn’t have found out until after the big disclosure/fight. Maybe he’s a gangster/PI in disguise?

Jeremy. There’s only one Jeremy. That is the super adorable HongKi. (Adorable as in: he reminds me of my nephew when he was 6. I def. “don’t think of him as a man” 😀 ) The YAB Bus Scene always make me tear up. But I felt nothing during the same scene in FB. Part of it could be he didn’t sing that well – HongKi’s singing thru his tears is what tears a hole in my heart; every single time! also FB Jeremy didn’t have funny hair styles & clothes 😉



In some aspects, Fabulous Boys is a clone of You’re Beautiful. Some scenes are almost identical. But FB is 20 eps versus YAB 16, so stuff has been added. I don’t think the additions hurt the plot too much (except for Xin Yu being a PI). One of the crucial additions is the Mei Nan helping at an orphanage. It’s believable that she would want to give kids a good Christmas. Tho the compulsive knitting is a bit weird – but sure, fine, whatever.

In some ways, Fabulous Boys is funnier then YAB. For instance, during the fight over the phone – Mei Nan licks it to keep Tai Qing from touching it and then threatens him.  That’s hilarious! She uses his Monk tendencies against him.

Something I didn’t like – the hair clip was even smaller and plainer then the bow. It was also a star. Everything was covered in stars.

I really like that Mei Nan & Mei Nu meet up (at the airport scene) After Mei Nan plays the angry big brother part with the reporter, they get to hug. Mei Nan is even supportive of Mei Nu & Tai Qing’s relationship.  His take was never given in YAB.  However, you’d think that people not in on secret would start wondering when Mei Nan’s hair keeps changing. (when Mei Nu played him again).  Also, the total change of personality (but that applies to both versions).

I like the actual ending of FB boys better – but I don’t like that he sings her dad’s song and announces it’s for the most important person in his life and she is still walking out! It’s also cute that the fans around them when they meet – are the ones you see in the first episode etc.

The music in FB was OK – but I think Still was the only song from YAB – and I love “Without Words.”

I’m running out of steam, but I  recommend watching Fabulous Boys.

BTW – one of these days I’m going to do proper screenshots and maybe even learn to make gifs (used to know how a long time ago) – so, sorry my posts are text heavy.




Hijinks Ensue

Random List of drama Recs – in an assortment of categories.
You’re Beautiful
Trainee nun disguises herself as her twin brother in a famous boy band. Hijinks ensue. Note there are Japanese and Taiwanese versions of this as well. As far as I know, only Fabulous Boys (Taiwanese) is available from normal channels.
Master’s Sun
A woman who sees ghosts meets a man whose touch sends the ghosts away. Hijinks ensue.
Greatest Love/Best Love
A-list celebrity falls in love with a D-list celebrity who wants nothing to do with him. Hijinks ensue.
Queen InHyun’s Man
A man from the past is sent into modern day Seoul. He meets an actress who plays the queen he vows to protect. Hijinks of a time bending nature ensue.
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (9 tailed fox)
Arrogant boy meets mythical creature who says he must be her boyfriend & feed her “cow” or she’ll eat his liver. Hijinks ensue.
A bunch of misfit HS students (including a celebrity) form a band. Hijinks ensue. (Dramafever subs had added vile profanity; it may have been corrected, but I still suggest watching on Viki)
A “night messenger” meets a woman while being paid to collect her DNA. He then hired to protect her and goes undercover as a dork to protect her. Hijinks ensue.
Shan Shan Likes to Eat/Boss and Me (Chinese)
A woman with a specific bloodtype helps out her boss’s sister who was on the verge of death by donating blood. In gratitude, he feeds her and feeds her until he falls in love with her (or was it vice versa). Hijinks ensue. (note – I believe they move in together & hide it from her parents)
The only Chinese drama I’ve seen so it’s the only one I can recommend.
City Hunter
Man raised in jungle (literally) goes to Seoul to take revenge on the people who he believes had his father killed. His adoptive (drug-running) father wants him to kill them but he refuses. While undercover in the Korean version of the White House, he meets a woman in the secret service. Hijinks of a revenge nature ensue. Based on an Anime I believe. But Healer is better. 🙂
Running Man
My absolute favorite variety show. Chinese version is called Run Brother but I don’t know where it’s available. You can watch Running Man on DramaFever or on YouTube (Dramafever uploaded some really good fan subs and then theirs – which aren’t that great). Some eps are available on Viki.
Jackie Chan was on an episode. He’s adorable. You can see his hijinks below.

New Project…Maybe…Potato Star Recap – Intro

I think I’m going to recap the kdrama sitcom Potato Star. I haven’t fully decided yet and even if I start, I make no promises that I’ll finish it. It is at 107 of 120 eps and I’m only on Ep 70.  But I decided to start with introductions of the main characters etc.

Background/Why I Started Watching

Rich man/poor woman, living together, disapproving parents, mustache twirling bad guys, birth secrets, amnesia, poop jokes – it pretty much has all the Kdramas tropes. I don’t drink, but I think you’d get sloshed playing a kdrama drinking game in just 1 ep. (OK, maybe one week of 4 eps)

Why did I decide to start watching this? Well, 1st I didn’t realize it was a sitcom until I was a few episodes in. Else, I think I would’ve said “Pass.” but the real reason was the cast. Some of my favorite actors are in it, so I had to try.

I’ll tell you something, it wasn’t because of the Plot. I knew nothing about the plot (side note: I seem to enjoy dramas more when I don’t know what to expect). I think I thought it was about a metaphorical star (celebrity) and something involving potatoes. Nope, there is a real star (well, asteroid) that is shaped like a potato.  I won’t say anymore about that right now.

Differences between US sitcoms & kdrama sitcoms

This is my first Kdrama sitcom (I’m not counting Vampire Idol cause I don’t think it was a normal Kdrama sitcom), and it really is eyeopening.  I don’t really like US sitcoms (well with a few exceptions, e.g., Hogan’s Heroes), but this isn’t really what I think of a sitcom.

A couple differences:

  • Length. It is almost as long as a US 1 hr show because they don’t have to make it shorter for commercials.
  • Plot complexity.  The sitcoms I grew up with were the ones like “Cosby Show” and “Full House.” You know the kind, all problems are fixed in 30 minutes (including commercials), the kids were also the center of show.
  • Saccharine. I liked “Full House” as a kid, but even I knew how saccharine it was.  My sisters and I would try to guess when the “aww” track would start playing.  The Dad said something touching or the baby did something cute, cue the “awws.”   This fakeness is probably why I don’t like sitcoms, now. There is nothing saccharine (especially involving the kids) in this show.
  • Callbacks/Continuity. I wasn’t expecting how often the past was brought up.  Either a throw away line referencing something, or a plot that I swore had been dropped would get mentioned.  One ep in particular had a 30 minutes & done plot, but a dozen or so eps later, there was a line referencing it. A major plot line got reintroduced many eps later, and then dropped again, but I expect it will be brought up again. This happened continually. US sitcoms would bring people in (or issues) for one ep and then they’d never be heard of again, or “facts” regarding characters would be changed completely to fit a later plot. I’m not saying there aren’t some plot holes; there are, but you definitely feel there is method to the madness/overarching plot.

Stuff I like about it

  • Even tho most of it is totally exaggerated, you can get a feel for some Korean cultural aspects, that you can’t really see in romcoms. Like the importance of New Years bows to kids (bows = money).  I love learning about cultures so I love learning little things or seeing things that fill in the holes.
  • The cast. They are really awesome. I think I’m going to dedicate a whole post to them.
  • MinHyuk. I love him. And the actor (I’ll look up his name later) did such a good job of playing a 6 year old in a adult’s body.
  • The couples. Ok, not so much Julian and Mina – they’re kinda annoying. But HongBerg & JinAh are so cute. (Kinda remind me of the DaGuen DaGuen couple from Gag Concert)
  • It’s fluffy. I like fluff. I know I won’t have to go too long without some funny or cuteness.
EDIT – I will not be recapping this because they ruined the ending.

Sweet Spy – Review…err…Rant

TL:DR = Don’t watch. There is no conclusion. I want my 20 hours back.

actually, maybe I don’t need to say more then that. This is how bad the ending was – I had to verify it was the last episode. It is like they forgot it was the last episode until after they had finished recording.

Oh well, I’ll try to write a proper review. This is a rant, so I apologize in advance for any errors.

I’m trying to avoid writing spoilers, but I’m not sure why because unless you like things so open-ended that they are the Holland Tunnel, you shouldn’t watch it.

Good parts:
Interesting premise – a police woman falls for rich guy’s “I’m a spy” line & resulting hijinks
Unusual lead – he doesn’t speak Korean – pretty much ever. I’ve never heard of a TV show where the main character doesn’t speak the language. He understands it fluently tho.
Acrobatic Ahjussi Minion – he does all these karate kicks & flips all the time. He doesn’t walk across a room – he somersaults.
Kinda funny side characters – one detective is always talking about needing a hweshik (supposed to be spelled hoesik – but I like my phonetic spelling). You’ve seen hweshik’s on dramas many times – those work dinners where everyone gets sloshed. Spoiler – he never gets one. He should have.
Culture insights – I saw a lot of little things I didn’t notice before.

Bad Parts – Ending – or lack there of. Nuff said.
Female lead – She’s too stupid to ask “which side” when he says “I’m a spy” & helps him anyway. (Side note – I still am not exactly sure, but I don’t care anymore.)  Remember: he doesn’t speak Korean – why would she assume he is helping the Korean government.
Male lead – Horrible actor. I think they picked him because he speaks English without a Korean accent and likes to take his shirt off. Seriously, he always gotta take a shower (or he gets stabbed or needs a bubble bath or something). The words that he says are really bad (not K2H calling a laxative an enema bad, tho), but so is the overdramatic school play way he says them. Sometimes he is Ok. (emotionally quiet scenes).
Romance – it jumps all over the place. Spoiler. At one point, they have a very involved kiss and she stops him before it gets too far. (and the ep ends on his “I’m going to kill you ” face), but a couple eps later. They are talking; it switches scenes to a spy meeting in DC and then it switches back to find them in bed – nakey. She’s asleep. I thought I had missed a scene that would explain how that happened.
Bad guys – Most of the time, I had no idea who are the bad guys. and I’m still not quite sure he isn’t one.  Part of it probably has to do with usually CIA = good guys, so it took me awhile to realize that the CIA wasn’t working with the Korean gov.
Inconsistent storyline – or maybe they are just lies upon lies. don’t know.

Kdramas cliches used: Sudden Illness for no apparent reason (he shows up  stabbed – many eps later we find out who/why); Birth secret (lots); orphan; drinking to pass out; stupid female lead; “ugly” female lead male who isn’t; Han River; sit in my car to talk w/ guards outside (need a name for that one); evil mom (step mother); evil dad; evil uncle, being able to understand Korean fluently, but don’t speak a word (need a name), money envelope. There are lots of others, but I’m tired.

Oh and let’s not forget roommates and contract relationship.

My 2nd childhood and 1st FangirlHood

This is the story about how I slowly  became a fangirl.

When I was a teenager, I was never a fangirl. Other girls my age would listen to New Kids on the Block and I would think they were weird for having posters on the wall of a boyband.  (They thought I was weird for listening to the Carpenters.) I didn’t really have a normal childhood in that way, I didn’t obsess over TV shows or actors or musicians. I read books (library), and read books and read books and watched musicals and some science fiction. My family also didn’t have a lot of money, so I never wanted anything expensive (except my Samantha Doll – which I got as an adult – long story) because I knew I wouldn’t get it. (99% of my toys came from yard sales.) As a teenager even tho I loved the Musical Newsies, I knew I couldn’t afford the soundtrack on my $1/hr babysitting money, so I made my own by holding up my tape recorder to the TV. I was an adult before I had anything that I didn’t create related to “modern” popculture. Don’t get me wrong, I was Ok (most of the time) with being a decade of so behind my “friends” in the toy department. I had the public library full of books. Nancy Drew was more important to me then some boy band.

As I became an adult and a geek, I found myself wanting things related to stuff I liked. So I bought soundtracks and science fiction toys. Not too long ago, my bedroom was decorated with Star Trek and (few) Doctor Who & Star Wars toys & posters.  It wasn’t a collection just a few odds & ends.

A long time ago on FaceBook, I discovered an App called Pieces of Flair. I had fun creating virtual pins and was inspired to create real ones. So I went to Zazzle (don’t recommend) and created custom mini-magnets on Zazzle related to my favorite lesser-known shows & books (primarily sci-fi) related. I decorated the cabinets at work with them for a couple years and then moved them to my fridge at home.  I was well on my way to becoming a collector.

I discovered kdramas and through them kpop a few years ago. I fell in love with You’re Beautiful and wanted anything I could find. Which wasn’t much. Shipping from Korea is very costly, so much of the “oh that’s so cool. I want.” stuff that I see online has to stay in Korea.  I was able to go to Korea last year. And between that trip and online shopping, I have been able to pick of a few things, mostly You’re Beautiful with some FTIsland mixed in for good measure.

I even had enough stuff to redecorate my bedroom (well, 1/2 of it – I can’t get rid of all my Star Trek/Doctor Who stuff). Between that and checking off my qualities on Kim JongKook’s DreamGirl list, I have become a fangirl. But with no feasible way to supply my obsession, what’s a girl to do?

Easy. I bought what I had been wanting for years. A Button maker. The 1st day I had it, I realized my printer wasn’t working, so I cannibalized TV Guides for Star Trek, StarGate and other buttons. I also converted various Korea-related stickers into buttons.  Since then, I have designed and created loads of You’re Beautiful buttons and then thrown in my other favorites like Faith, Pasta, King2Hearts, Rooftop Prince, Queen In-Hyun’s Man, Best Love, and of course, Running Man.

I’ve been surprised to see how many things can make very cool buttons. I’ve even created buttons from You’re Beautiful trading card wrappers that I couldn’t bear to throw away. Yesterday, I moved most of my collection to the classic button display – a jean jacket.  I still have lots more ideas for buttons and new dramas come out all the time, so I see no end to this latest manifestation of my new fangirlhood.

Non Kdrama Buttons

ANJell TC Wrapper Buttons

Not bad for trading card wrappers.

Button Jacket


Sub Rating: Greatest Love

Greatest Love/Best Love is one of my favorite dramas. I watched it twice on Dramafever before I decided to do these sub ratings, so what’s a girl to do? I watched it again on Viki. 🙂
Edit: is a new site, so I’m going to be comparing it as well. … Well, that didn’t take long, they use the same subs as Hulu & CrunchyRoll.

Rating Process

Because I didn’t feel like watching the whole series on all available options (well, not at the moment – I’ll probably rewatch it again later), I did a spot check of a scene that could be written so many different ways.

This scene is near the beginning of Ep 6 – when JaeSuk drives to cover for DokkoJin/AeJung with the president. (approximately 12 mins in) JaeSuk asks the president would she would do if she found out that DokkoJin liked a (for lack of better word) D-list celebrity.

These are the sites I checked:

  • Dramafever
  • Hulu, CrunchyRoll & – they use the same subs from “MBCAmerica”
  • Viki


Dramafever used the DarkSmurf Fan subs for Greatest Love.

Here is the president’s response:

“I’d just send Dok Go overseas to do activities, and make it so that the other party wouldn’t ever be able to set foot in the entertainment industry again.”


Viki’s subs were their usual good quality.

Here is the president’s response:

“I would send Dokgo for overseas activities…And the other, I’d crush her so that she couldn’t even step into celebrity status again. ”

MBCAmerica (Hula\CrunchyRoll\

My least favorite of the 3 sites

Here is the president’s response:

“I’d send Doko abroad. And that tramp would never lunch in this town again”

Bonus (WithS2)

For kicks, I checked the WithS2 srts for the scene. I won’t be rating it tho. I just checked because WithS2 has a special place in my heart because it introduced me to terms like subs, raw, & srt. 🙂

Here is the president’s response:

“I’ll send Dok Go to work overseas.  And I’ll make sure the other party won’t be able to step into showbiz ever again.”

KaeKae’s Rating

  1. Dramafever/DarkSmurf – excellent and appears to be very accurate and to me 독고진 = Dokko Jin. It just looks like it sounds to me.
  2. Viki – always a good choice
  3. MBCAmerica (Hulu/CrunchyRoll) – really weak; and at least this scene seemed more paraphrased then translated.

My guest post review of 2012

I wrote this for Stephanie/aka CrazyForKdrama. You should check out her blog if you haven’t already.