used to be a Sewing Blog – Now KDrama

Archive for the ‘review’ Category

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.
Monstar
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)
Healer
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. 🙂
Bonus
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.

Boys Before Friends (US Remake of BOF) – Review/Rant

A little over an hour ago, I saw that Viki had the US remake of Boys Over Flowers, Boys Before Friends. So I decided to watch it. I tweeted this, “I’m gonna try the BOF remake. can’t be worse then the originals.” How very very wrong I was.

I hope proper drama reviewers/recappers take on this challenge but here is my rant.

Disclaimer: Please note I despise Boys Over Flowers, so this isn’t a “they ruined my favorite show” rant, this is a “How did they manage to make my least-favorite show even worse” rant?

Disclaimer 2: I don’t really know anyone’s name, and I don’t really care to.

Disclaimer 3: This is going to have spoilers, but come on, it’s BOF, you know what is going to happen anyway.

Problem #1:

It is apparently set in a grad school (the best grad school in the entire country). So the characters are mid-20s (at least); therefore, they don’t have the excuse of young & stupid. This isn’t HS pranks (not that it ever was just pranks to me), this is full on “go directly to jail, do not pass go” assault.

Problem #2:

Minor characters make absolutely no sense (or have Stockholm Syndrome – I’m not sure). 6 months ago, a black guy (as I said, don’t know the names) was given an F4 notice by some blonde witch but he doesn’t know why and decided since he had only one year left to put up with being assaulted until they find a new target instead of doing the adult thing and calling the freaking cops. (Come on. You’re in grad school, so aren’t you supposed to be intelligent. Did you use up your brain cells on the GRE?). 4 months later, his friend is now the target and he is the first one to assault his friend. Nice.

Speed up two months, and Zoey (lead girl) gets the notice. And you remember the locker room scene, right? Yeah, he is one of the instigators of the planned gang rape. So in 6 months, he goes from being assaulted for no reason to hitting his friend to rape. What!

BTW, that scene was despicable in the original, (I know people you can say they were HS boys & were just going to scare her), but it is much worse with adult men. Rape isn’t a joking matter, and anyone attempting to rape someone should have their testicles removed, through their throat. Seriously, someone tries anything with you, knee them until you hit brain.

Back to rant: So he has 3-6 months left to graduate and he decides that instead of graduating he should just go to prison. Or were they just going to kill her? And it’s not like the F4 will protect him. Yeah, I know she’ll be saved in the next ep by a request for a pancake or some other type of recipe; but he doesn’t know that. He is intending to commit rape. Or let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, he is only intending to pretend to rape her, but he’s already crossed the line into false imprisonment. Bye bye future.

Then you have the rest of the supporting cast, women fawn all over the F4 and act as their messengers. and the men call them “Master” while fetching them coffee – BARF! At least one person in authority, a TA, participates by calling Zoey trash in class. And then you have the coffee shop guy, who freely doctors people’s drinks. Poor guy. He’s afraid of getting an F4 notice; he should be afraid of going to jail. Doctoring people’s drinks is a crime! and “just a laxative” won’t be accepted in a court of law. People have gone to jail for that. But he didn’t know it was a laxative, it could have been Rohypnol or arsenic, so he could have been an accomplice to rape or a murderer. Nice, really nice.

Problem #3:

F4 are jerks as always, but they are jerks in modern day America, not the fantasy land of BOF. In the US, you assault people, you get arrested. Or if you are famous, then people tell the media and you get trial by media. Even something as simple as “he cut off my ponytail” would result in a ton of bad PR that isn’t easily swept under the rug. Heck, the big black guy (need to find a better nickname for him) could have said “they are assaulting me cause I’m black” and people would have believed it. Heck, it makes more sense then “they are assaulting me for no particular reason except they are jerks.”

Problem #4:

bad writing, bad story, bad acting, bad sound, bad camerawork, bad editing, bad bad bad. Just everything that could be bad is bad.

Bad writing. The writing is awful. Yes, I know the story is awful to begin with, but really, “I grew me some lady balls” – those are called ovaries, and we women are smart enough not to keep ours where they could be easily damaged. There are other lines just as bad.
Bad story. So how did she start in middle of the semester? why did she have to clean a room to dance in? what is her major? why is she only going to be there 9 months? If she is supposed to be poor, why is her apartment so fancy?
Bad acting. Ok, Zoey isn’t a horrible actor, but 99 percent of the rest of the cast is. It looks like they just used kdramas random white guy bad actor list and added other ethnicities.
Bad sound. In some locations, the sound is fine. In others, OK most, it sounds like they are “acting” inside a tin can. There are weird artifacts and sometimes they speak so softly, that you have to read the subs.
Bad camerawork. Most of the time, the camera work is OK, but one time in particular, it was awful. It was worse then home video quality, the camera was shaky. I thought maybe it was part of the plot (a hidden camera was planted in their apartment)
Bad editing. I got so confused at the beginning trying to figure out what was going on with the time skips. well, I got confused, but I didn’t care enough to be extremely confused, so “so confused” was probably an exaggeration.
Bad everything else. continuity for one. Her hair changes from one scene to another, yet she’ll wear the same outfit to her audition and to the first day of school. Instead of fancy time consuming hair styles, she should have kept to a simple (or at least single) style so it wouldn’t be so obvious. Yes, they looked cool, and I was wondering how to do them on myself, but they caused issues.
His wig is awful. Yes, I know; at some point, she’s going to go off on the ponytail & he’s going to cut it off, but couldn’t they have afforded one that at least looks real?
Bad language: Why on earth did they use the F word & other profanities? Come on, it is pretty bad when the subs bleep you.
Maybe the dancing was OK, I don’t know because I don’t dance, so I don’t know what is good or what isn’t.

Good Part #1:

I liked the prank war payback, well, except for the whole doctoring people’s drinks thing.

Good Part #2:

I’ve got nothing.

If you wanna watch it, it is on Viki. but don’t say I sent you and don’t blame me.

http://www.viki.com/tv/22268c-boys-before-friends

Side Note: I had earlier tweeted that this train wreck was beyond words; apparently, I was wrong then too.

Update:

Just learned that apparently, the Zoey character will change actresses sometime during the 2nd ep and they will reshoot the 1st ep & part of Ep 2 with the replacement later. Really? So they are ditching the only one who can act, in the middle of an ep!

I think we are guaranteed that this will be the only US remake of a kdrama. You’re Beautiful is safe.

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.

Sub Rating: Running Man

My new favorite Korean show is Running Man. It isn’t a kdrama – it is a variety show. It is just hilarious. With variety shows, the important part of subs is how the onscreen text is subbed because sometimes (alot of times) crucial bits of information are only text – not audio. I’ve used 3 different subbing sites/groups and here is my review.

Dramafever.com

Pro: Authorized site so I would assume that eventually someone in power will know that people outside Korea love/watch Running Man.
Also, fast subs for new eps.

Con: Only some onscreen text is subbed. Pain in the …neck to find the episode you want because Dramafever numbers eps completely wrong (they don’t have the 1st 2 years or so, so they start with 1). The air date & guests are listed is in the show description, but the new Dramafever UI (hate it) only allows the Dramafever ep number to be shown in the episode picker, so having the date is pointless. It took me at least 5 times to find ep. 118. I’ve suggested that they put the # in the description, but I don’t think they did it.

iSubs-squad.com

Pro: Excellent subs. Not only is onscreen text subbed, but it is formatted to match the Korean text. even the background music is identified. Available on DailyMotion, FaceBook and for download.

Con: Good subs & type setting takes time so it isn’t exactly a simulcast. Also, sometimes they overwrite the Korean text with the English text, so if you want to read the Korean you can’t, probably not a big deal. Unauthorized fan-subs so at any moment a meanie could issue a take down notice.

K-ShowNow

Pro: It is a knockoff of iSubs.

Con: It is a poor knockoff of iSubs. Not all the onscreen text is subbed, and the subs aren’t very good. And when I say it is a knock-off of iSubs, I’ve started watching a episode and thought that iSubs had an off day and then noticed the different logo. Complete plagiarism of iSubs’ typesetting style.

Recommendation

iSubs all the way. Best subs out there. If you have to watch a new ep right away, then use dramafever, but go back later and see what you missed.

If you don’t use the links from iSubs-squad.com (sign up to get access), then google carefully for the ep you want. DailyMotion has a neat thing where you can see what playlists the video you are watching is in so you can watch all the parts one after the other. I’ve done that, and then seen what other playlists that person created. It works well for me.

Be careful on DailyMotion that you don’t get a K-showNow video accidentally. You’ll know in a few minutes. And don’t use unauthorized sites that make money off of iSubs.

Oh warning on DailyMotion, it has started putting ads in the middle of a video and not just between. I’ve had a problem with the picture not coming back afterwards, so I decided to watch on Firefox with a video ad blocker. I’ve no problems with watching ads between videos, but not in the middle where it causes the video to fail.

You’re Beautiful – The Musical (뮤지컬 미남이시네요) Recap, Review and General Babble

There will be YouTube Videos sprinkled throughout (I’ve never embedded vids before, so should be interesting). 1 video will appear multiple times because it is basically a clip show. Unfortunately, the videos do not have English subs. I would Love to have them subtitled or at least the English lyrics for the new songs. I also want the OST and to rewatch (over and over and over) The Musical with subtitles. Preferably DVD so I can add to my You’re Beautiful collection, but if one one of the streaming sites got the rights, they would be my best buddy, forever and ever and ever.

Bribe

In fact, I’ll do this, I’ll make (or probably have made – I’m a bad cook) lots of pig rabbit cookies for whoever provides the whole musical subbed. I’ll even send them to Korea or wherever. So someone who speaks Korean – go tell the Sejong Center & the Hong Sisters & SBS or anyone. I’m fully aware this is a bribe, but I’m OK with that. Dramafever & Viki, how about gingerbread pigrabbits for Christmas? Please work your magic. (Aegyo pout)

Background: (skippable)

As I’ve said many many times to anyone who would listen and many who just want me to shut up, You’re Beautiful is my favorite kdrama and my 2nd favorite TV show (Doctor Who is #1). This year, I got the idea of going to Korea in October (not that I had a passport, plan, or anything like that); but it was an idea in the back of my head.Then one (fateful) June morning, I saw on FaceBook this poster, announcing a You’re Beautiful Musical in August/September at the Sejong Center’s M Theatre.428464_465127603515775_2128487556_n

 

I went all over the net that morning (was late for work) to get information and then told my boss “hey, I’m going to be going out the country in August/September–I’ll let you know the exact dates.” That didn’t go over very well. There was a big project that they had apparently scheduled for then, and they wanted me to do it. I compromised. I left a week earlier then I had planned – I was off work for 3 weeks, but I really was in Korea only 14 full days. During the last month or so before I left, I watched & rewatched the videos of the musical that were on Youtube. I didn’t have a clue how a 16 hr drama could be condensed into a 2 hr musical, but I wanted to follow along as much as I could when I went. I know the drama practically by heart so that wasn’t a concern.

Fast forward to August 25th, my 1st Saturday in Korea, I was wiped from jet leg, but I went to the 2PM matinee. Side Note: I had seen all the curtain call videos on YouTube, so I thought video recording was allowed (which seemed weird), so I decided to try to tape it for my own personal use so I could watch again and again. I ended up bringing my monopod with me to the theatre, but forgot my camera, which turned out to be OK, since no cameras were allowed. Apparently, it is a thing to video tape curtain calls in Korea (maybe just in general).

I was 2nd row; about 2 seats from center. Score. The girl next to me videotaped the curtain call, but I can’t find it on YouTube. This may have been taped that day.

FYI, I’ve taken pictures of scenes from my playbook from the musical (no infringement is intended). They aren’t very good – I’ll try to get better ones soon. If you want more pictures then do a web search for images “뮤지컬 미남이시네요,” (there are lots out there, but I didn’t know the proper way to use them and still give appropriate credit when many of the sites seem to be no longer live.)

Some interesting photos are here: http://blog.donga.com/evasky/archives/5373

Basic You’re Beautiful plot

Trainee nun masquerades as her brother in a boy band. The other 3 members fall in love with her (1 before he knows she is a girl), and then funny stuff, romantic stuff, and angst stuff occurs. Won’t say anymore just go watch it. I’ll wait.

Ok now that you’re back. The rest of this review contains spoilers to either the drama or the Musical. I apologize – I meant to write this while it was fresh in my head after I returned home in September, but real life got in the way. Good thing Raine reminded me.

Characters

Go MiNyu/Go MiNam – I’ll just call her MiNam, but that is really her brother’s name. Trainee Nun, kinda dense but very sweet.

Hwang TaeKyung – Lead Singer (1st Lead); Jerk (aka HyungNim).

ShinWoo – Guitar Player; Nice Guy.

Jeremy – Drummer; Overgrown child. Has a difficult time when he realizes he is attracted to MiNam (who he thinks is a guy)

Hye-Yi – Singer. Likes TaeKyung, blackmails him with her knowledge that MiNam is really MiNyu into being her “boyfriend”

Manager Ma – The one who thought up the whole scheme. Liar.

President Ahn – President of their label.

TaeKyung’s Mom – abandoned him because she was in love with MiNam’s dad (I’m really not certain how much this was part of the musical). Major cause of angst in the drama.

The Musical

I’m doing this recap from memory. Unfortunately, I saw in August and it is now November. You do the Math.

Recap

Act 1

It opens with Manager Ma running thru the theatre chasing a nun (MiNyu), there is a huge comic chase scene where she blends in to a crowd of nuns going around in a circle and he disappears in the midst & reappears dressed as a nun. He gets her to agree to be MiNam for 1 show (apparently). I’m not sure how, but she does a great job even tho she appears without practicing with the rest.

She meets AN Jell backstage and goes to a big after party, where she gets incredibly drunk. Somewhere in the process, Mgr Ma tells her that she has to be MiNam for a month including live with them. He does the whole he can’t close his eyes thing, and lies a major guilt trip on him.

Eventually, she wanders into the restroom (men/women) where TaeKyung is washing his hands and runs into him literally. She then pukes on him, pulls out her breast wrap triumphantly, and passes out. He freaks out and sings a song about her being a woman, while background singers sing and dance (kinda, more like enter/exit bathroom stalls) in the background. This scene goes from 0:41 to 1:25 in the video below.

I may be missing a scene here because I can’t remember what happens next. And how they get TaeKyung to keep her secret.

TaeKyung is in his room writing a song (I think he dreams this whole scene until he sits on the bed), which sounds remarkably like Without Words (말도 없이) and begins the same, but then is completely different. I really, really want to know what it says because 말도 없이 is one of my favorite songs. I think he fantasizes a version of himself (doesn’t look like him at all – but wears his dance clothes) dancing to it.

As he goes to write it down/wakes up, he says a hand sneaking up. For some reason, MiNam is hiding behind his bed. He tells her to leave and then finds out that they are going to be roomies. This is also when Jeremy finds out that he is attracted to her/him. I’m not sure when ShinWoo realizes or finds out that he is a she. In any case, both want to be roomies with MiNam.

After they leave, Manager Ma makes his escape as well. (Literally.) TaeKyung goes into his bunnies are dangerous speech (because of her bunny tee), and ends up calling her pigrabbit. He writes a new song (and falls asleep holding it), MiNam sees it, picks up some of the sheet music, and ends up trying to sing it because she likes it so much. She wakes up TaeKyung and apologizes – who tells her to sing it. They have a duet (really pretty song) and then he throws a fit and crumples & throws away the sheet music and storms out. She salvages the song and puts it into her suitcase.

This clip goes from 1:25 to 2:40 in the 1st video below. The 2nd video is the complete song

The order of the next few bits are uncertain. I think this is the order i happens, but big grain of salt.

They do a MV where TaeKyung is supposed to be tortured (the whole stick thru the leg thing) (Hye-yi is the love interest) and MiNam freaks out at the torture. The director of the MV decides that MiNam is really pretty for a guy and gives her Hye-yi’s role because “he” is such a great actor. Yep. It is a girl pretending to be a guy pretending to be a girl. Hye-yi isn’t happy (I’m not sure if she knows that MiNam is a girl before or during this bit.)

This may happen before the MV scene, but I think it is later. In any case, there is a press conference/party that everyone is at. Hye-yi tells TaeKyung that she is going to tell everyone that MiNam is really a girl. TaeKyung doesn’t know what to do; and then he literally shuts her mouth by kissing her (real one this time-not like in the drama – I think he wipes his mouth afterward). MiNam is devastated because she is love with TaeKyung. She sings, and ShinWoo watches cause he is in love with MiNam. Then TaeKyung starts singing while ShinWoo watches both, and then ShinWoo sings. and basically it turns- 3 way misery (pretty song tho – I have no idea what it says).

This clip goes from at 2:40 – 3:38 in the next video and includes part of the\song.

I’m really fuzzy on this whole section. I don’t think the exact scenes were in the drama and my Korean is really bad and my memory fuzzy. TaeKyung finds he can’t stop thinking about her to the point where he imagines her as a pigrabbit.

This isn’t a Photoshop. It was really projected

A running gag thru the whole thing is Jeremy’s dealing with his attraction to MiNam and the gay stylist’s attraction to TaeKyung and then ShinWoo. It escalates to the point where Jeremy yells “I’m GAY!!!!” to a crowd of reporters. The Korean was too much for me, and I’m not really clear what happened next – I think they pass it off as joke or being drunk

Another running gag is that the fan girls are constantly being chased off by the security guard, and, yes the one in the pink wig is a guy (there’s a bit about “are you a guy or a girl?” and the character gets all offended, “I’m a girl!!”) (He was an ANJell backup dancer and in every scene where there were women. Even wore the pink wig during the curtain call (he was in his backup dancer role). I’m not sure why they had a guy pretending to be a girl; but I think he drew the short straw.

TaeKyung & MiNam find out about how evil his Mom is and there is a lot of angst and she runs away. I think he may have told her to go away, but in any case, he is surprised when she doesn’t show up for a performance. But the show must go on so they perform (you can see the hole and how they try to recover from it)

This video is a bit weird. Watch the 2nd 1/2 first (start at 2:45). The order is right in the video, I just think that ANJell’s dance number is more important to the plot.

You can also see parts of it from another angle starting around 3:40 in this video. Promise this is the last time.

The 1st 1/2 is Hye-yi’s girl group dancing around in what appeared to be cut up trash bags. Hye-yi’s was the worst because it looks just like a shredded black trash bag. I was so stunned – I just stared it at in wonder the entire scene – it never even occurred to me that they were singing “I’m lonely, sexy…give me money.” But if I had realized it, I would have thought they would explain the outfits (homeless prostitutes). The outfits were much worse in person. Maybe they looked better from a distance, but I was 2nd row center.

Act 2

I’m much fuzzier on Act 2, mainly because there isn’t video of it to help refresh my memory.

There is basically a manhunt on for MiNam (I think). I’m pretty sure she was in the paper. At one point she goes back to the convent to hide.

TaeKyung’s mom sees the light and apologizes for the way she lived her life.

TaeKyung’s mom gives him a CD.

I think this is the point where we find out that President Ahn knew that she was a girl and also when he and Mgr. Ma sang and danced about Ahn being the king of the world. No vid, but here are a couple pics.

(Ahn isn’t double-headed – I just had a hard time taking the photo of the pages)

Anyway, time goes by and ANJell is performing and in MiNam is sitting in the audience dressed like a girl (complete with hair pin). I’m trying to remember if she performed with them or not – but I just don’t. I’m sorry; i’m not a very good recapper. In any case, they kiss and make up and the lights go down as TaeKyung makes the pig nose. and then everyone comes back for the Curtain call. I really really wish I could remember more of this scene.

(Twice as nice, Jeremy)

There are lots of Curtain calls vids on YouTube of varying quality. This is from one of the last shows. You can find more by searching for “미남이시네요 커튼콜.” I’m not sure why some times all 4 are in their white outfits, and sometimes they are in their colored outfits and MiNam is in a dress.

Songs from the Show

As you can tell, there were a lot of songs in this; after all, it is a full on musical. Unfortunately, my Korean is bad so I can’t read this. But there is more then enough for an OST CD.

I keep hoping there will be an OST CD because this music video actually says OST.

Differences between Musical & Show

  • No Cordi Wang (at least I don’t recall her).
  • No Aunt character. (thank goodness)
  • MiNyu 1st appears as MiNam on stage (for 1 show – ha)
  • TaeKyung finds out the 1st day.
  • TaeKyung calls her pigrabbit early – no pig chase scene and I’m not sure why she makes the pig nose. I think it is for the same hide emotions reasons (has to be), but I can’t remember the exact details.
  • I think AN Jell is more like Big Bang then FT Island. Aka – no instruments just big dance numbers.
  • AN Jell now has backup dancers; they are minor characters.
  • A security guard is a minor character (played by the Ahn actor)
  • No Bus Scene.
  • No hair pin, but she does wear one (not the one from the drama) when she comes back as a girl
  • No physical pig rabbit, but he still called her one. (You could buy one at the ticket counter, but I already have one.)
  • I’m not sure if Jeremy ever finds out.
  • The gay stylist character from the Japanese version is incorporated. I didn’t think he helped the plot in that version, and I doubt he helped it in the musical version. He was kinda funny when he did Gangnam style tho.

Review

I thought about going back to see it, but that would have been expensive, and I would have been going home late at night (I was at Olympic Park waiting to go to the FT Island concert during the next matinee). Looking back, I wish I would have gone back anyway. I also wished that I had turned my phone on to record the sound. Ok – that was bad of me, but It is hard trying to remember something you’ve seen once. I relied a lot on the videos to help me with this recap, and looking at google images helped as well.

I remember as I was leaving thinking that it seemed like could be translated easily on to the US stage. And that it would be the best way to make a US version of You’re Beautiful because they couldn’t ruin it to badly by turning into the Real World or something.

No, it isn’t a carbon copy of the drama, but you can’t condense 16 hrs into 2 and do that. They kinda tried that with the Japanese version (it was condensed it into 8), and in my opinion it didn’t work. There were lots of stuff in this Musical I could say “that wasn’t in the drama,” (my fav. line when watching movies based on books), but this was a new version & not a carbon copy, they were extremely faithful to the main plot in keeping with the limitations of the stage. I really want to see it again.

Here is a YouTube play list of all the videos above plus a couple others – in order by time in the drama.

Update: I asked (in poor Korean) the poster of the YouTube videos how to get an OST CD. Their response “미남이시네요 OST CD는 없어요 ㅠ-ㅠ” – in case you can’t read Korean, that says there isn’t an OST CD. I’ve very bummed. But my Bribe is still good, because I know they recorded it all the evidence is on YouTube. Come on; you know you want pigrabbit cookies.

My review of streaming sites

This will be my review of 3 legitimate kdrama streaming sites: Viki.com; dramafever.com & crunchyroll.com. I will not be reviewing dailymotion, youtube, dramacrazy etc. However, I will briefly touch on hulu.com. I’ve never reviewed anything so they may be a bit weird because I’m talking about what Kaekae likes and dislikes about them.

Crunchyroll

Full disclaimer: I don’t really use crunchyroll on a regular basis because others have the dramas I want. And that may be all you need to know, crunchyroll has a ton of animes etc., and while their selection of kdramas is pretty good, everything I wanted to see was available at viki, dramafever or hulu. So for me, it was a why bother.

Their mobile app requires a subscription, so I can’t touch on that.

If you like animes, then definitely check out crunchyroll, but for kdramas only – not really worth it.

Dramafever

Full disclaimer, again: I’m a Dramafever premium member – a year’s subscription was my Christmas present to myself last year, and I haven’t regretted it. I like watching without commercials. (This isn’t an ad; just a fact.)

Dramafever has an excellent selection of kdramas, plus other Asian (and now South American) dramas. They have simulcasts of some of the more popular shows (or shows that are expected to be popular). They are very active on Twitter and Facebook, so you feel if you say something they listen. Their queue is very easy to use (I especially like checking off episodes that I’ve seen other places). For some shows, you could give them a break and come back months later to the same episode. I really like using the subtitles to navigate thru a show. It makes it easier to get to the good part – and, no, I don’t just mean scenes like the Cola Kiss. I’ve had a few issues with the subs, but most were minor (worse one was: one show at the beginning of my kdrama journey a character’s name changed 1/2 way thru “who are they talking about”), and usually if I said something they said they would fix it. Their iPad app is pretty good – but I don’t use it that often because away from home I use my phone, and at home I use my Mac.

Ok, enough with the “I likes.” This is what I dislike about Dramafever. I really really dislike the iPhone “app,” which isn’t really an app at all, just a mobile version of their site. If you pause the video or stop and come back, it restarts around the 6 minute mark. This is very annoying. So annoying that I’ve basically stopped using it. Maybe it has improved, but I assume it if has there would be a tweet about it. I’ll be really happy if they come out with a proper iPhone app. (FYI – anyone can watch 1st eps using the app, but after that you have to be a premium member)

Update: Dramafever has a new iPhone app – a proper one. I haven’t used it that much, but it works pretty good. I still prefer hulu except – no ads on Dramafever. You can stop watching a show on your computer and finish on iPhone or vice versa. (couple bugs with that – for items not in your queue)Unfortunately, they appeared to have replaced the iPad app with the iPhone app, which was a shame because I liked the iPad app.

Another major thing I dislike is that for simulcast, Dramafever is always in 2nd place with subs. Ok, dislike may be strong. I know why Dramafever is 2nd because Viki has tons of fans to translate all at once, and Dramafever has paid translators (I think – I don’t know for certain). (I’m assuming 1 or 2 per show). However, there is an upside to Dramafever’s being 2nd; no waiting for the subs to finish before watching. When it is up, it is ready.

Ok – this is an after thought, some of these translators are too literal. They ruin jokes. In My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (on Dramafever as My Girlfriend is a 9-tailed fox), the main character was obsessed with “cow.” (beef). Unfortunately, the translators fixed it and translated “cow” as “beef.” “I want to eat beef” isn’t as funny as “I want to eat cow.” Also, Dramafever seems to err too much on the side of translate titles into names; I would prefer Oppa, Unnie, Manager etc be used more often when that is what the character says. Especially, since sometimes the indefiniteness of what “oppa’s” relationship is part of the joke or story. (49 days had a scene like that)

Bottom line: I recommend Dramafever especially for other/non-simulcast kdramas. but don’t bother with their iPhone “app.”

UPDATE: I’m no longer a premium member & as I learn more Korean, I’m realizing that lots of the subs are Readers Digest Condensed Versions/summary instead of a true translation.
Viki

Viki is unique in that the subbers are fans. That has good and bad points. Good points – fast subs. Bad points – not always good subs – some weird ones can slip in. And since you can see the progress, it is super tempting to start watching a partially subbed show and then be frustrated because you started too soon. (been there done that). Another disadvantage is that people ask for the subs, which isn’t nice because they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart.

For some reason, I can’t get Viki.com to run on Safari (my preferred browser) so I have to use FireFox or Chrome. This is annoying. Also, the commercials are very, very annoying because there is basically no variety. You may watch 3 episodes and see the same commercial over and over the entire time. It is especially annoying when it doesn’t apply to you. Also, there are a lot of commercials. Also, it is tempting to try and fix a typo etc with Viki subs even tho you really shouldn’t unless you’re on the subbing team.
Something unique to Viki – timed comments that show on screen. I hate them & always turn them off. Others love them. Your call.

The iPhone app is very good; it doesn’t have all the shows, but you can come back to where you left off. and no membership required!

If you want quick subs or a free iPhone app, then Viki.

Hulu

Another disclaimer: I’m a Hulu+ subscriber.

This is a bonus. Hulu happens to have a lot of Dramafever, Viki and other shows. So here is a quick review. 1st, use the Kdrama genre page, because the show you are looking for may have a different title. For example, Queen In-Hyun’s man is listed as the “Queen and I.”

There is a desktop app (no subscription required) which is awesome – I’m pretty sure it is still a beta for Mac, but I don’t care. I don’t watch on Hulu.com, I use an app. Subscribing is awesome; I turn on my app and I’ve got a new episode (which I may have already watched.)

Subbing quality depends on the provider, so it varies.

There are commercials, but at least there is variety.

and my favorite thing is the Hulu mobile apps (iPhone and iPad). As a Hulu+ subscriber, I can start a Kdrama on my phone and finish on my computer (or vice versa). Now not all shows can be watched using the mobile apps, but the kdramas I want to watch can be. 🙂

Summary

Here are the winners of the categories I just thought up.

Fast Simulcasts: Viki

Website ease of use: Hulu and Dramafever

Selection: Dramafever

Subscription req’d Mobile app: Hulu

Free Mobile app: Viki

Customer communication: Dramafever

Animes: Crunchyroll

FYI: I don’t plan to change my viewing habits. Dramafever & Hulu will be my go-tos while I’ll watch Viki’s simulcasts (mobile and at home)

I hope this very long post was kinda interesting.