Tag Archives: tv general

Let’s talk about drama romances!

24 Feb

In my previous post on ‘Manee Dan Suaan’, I talked about how I couldn’t care for the main couple because I didn’t understand how they came to supposedly love each other. That got me wondering, what makes in you tick in a drama romance? Some people go for fairytales complete with rainbows and stardust while others prefer watching the trails and tribulations of star-crossed lovers and then there are those who like unwinding to a light-hearted romcom. I enjoy all those stated above but I prefer those where characters overcome issues/problems within themselves and become better/more complete persons because of the relationship, in contrast to ones who keep the OTP apart with circumstances. A good makjang drama complete with manipulative exes, domineering parents, unfortunately coincidental accidents and terminal illness for good measure is tons of fun too but it takes a rare one (like 2001 Kdrama Beautiful Days) for the romance to stick after the drama finishes its run.

A couple of my personal ‘classic’ drama romances:

Aishiteiru to Ittekure (Say You Love Me) 1995
This Jdorama taught me what heartbreak was at the tender age of 12. At my first watch, I cried for poor Koji who got his heart trampled by Hiroko and couldn’t understand her betrayal. It was only with subsequent re-watches when I got older that I appreciated this drama for its realistic portrayal of the older man/younger woman and handicap/healthy person relationship. Young and vivacious, Hiroko brought vitality into the silent world of Koji but at the same time, her immaturity worked against their relationship and ultimately led to her impulsive betrayal of the man she so loved. Koji also had his share of emotional baggage from the rejections he suffered from those dearest to him when he was younger due to his deafness and that exacerbated Hiroko’s insecurities. I guess it’s not 100% realistic since I have yet to run into anyone resembling Toyokawa Etsushi drawing and being contemplative at the park in front of my house damn but it’s close. If anyone is thinking of checking this out, it does end on a positive note.

Sood Sanaeha (Recipe of Love) 2009
I wouldn’t say lakorns are the place to go to for realism and there are exaggerated comedic elements in SSH but despite the larger than life set up, the romance is most wonderfully grounded. As romcoms go, the main couple starts off on the wrong foot but the initial conflict isn’t drawn out and they are given a believable reason for sticking with each other. It annoys me to no end when romcoms have the couple bicker from start to end then have them fall into each others arms for no apparent reason in the finale. Din and Alin learn about each other’s strengths and flaws through friendship first and later when they grew fond of each other, they were ‘kept apart’ believably by Alin’s blind pursuit of the perfect husband and Din’s own insecurities. My favourite part of SSH is watching Alin learn that you don’t love someone because he/she is perfect. The person is perfect to you because you love him/her.

What are your favourite drama romance tropes and what on-screen romances do you still remember years later?

Looking back on 2012

20 Dec

My first thought when getting ready to write this post was ‘meh, what a lackluster drama year’ and it certainly feels so with me stuck in this drama slump with no apparent end in sight. However when I skimmed through my lj entries as well as my written journal, I realised that while dramas didn’t consistently deliver through 2012, there were quite a few entertainment highlights that got me merrily obsessed. There will be a separate post on lakorns which should be coming this weekend.

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Drama status

12 Apr

Rak Ok Arkad [ep watched 2/total ep 14][lakorn]: This sounds like a reverse ‘Poo Yai Lee Gab Nang Mah’ which I enjoyed tremendously and I wanted to like this for Cherry but the laughs were too slapstick and Om’s acting too stiff for me to carry on.

Forensic Heroes III [6/30][HK drama]: This one went for the CSI route but didn’t match up and it didn’t pull me in on the character front either so bye bye it was. Random observation: Age is really catching up with Maggie Cheung Ho-yee!

Too Late to Say I Love You [15/36][Cdrama]: Wallace Chung as Murong Feng charmed my socks in this one and I also loved the strong-willed heroine Jing Wan but after skimming through the novel on which the drama is based on, I couldn’t bear to watch the betrayal that I knew Jing Wan was going to suffer later. I did catch the last two episodes and the drama version white-washed Murong Feng to give him and Jing Wan a happy ending when in the novel, Murong Feng engineered an accident to kill Jing Wan's husband and daughter and to revenge him, Jing Wan carried her dead daughter to Murong Feng and lied that she was his biological daughter, then proceeded to kill herself with the gun that Murong Feng gave her years ago. How fun. I might finish this one day when I’m in the mood for angst.
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tv news

16 Mar

Yet another adaptation of Louis Cha’s novel is in the works. This time Yu Zheng has gotten his hands on Smiling Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) and the casting of Chen Qiao En as Dong Fang Bu Bai is enough to make me facepalm forever. To be sure, DFBB is not an easy character to portray and will be a challenge for any actor/actress but Chen Qiao En … just no. I don’t watch Cdramas that often and I have no idea who Yuan Shan Shan is but judging from Koala’s reactions, I’m starting to feel glad that this isn’t my favourite Louis Cha novel.

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Lakorngods has got a new post on the historical epic lakorn ‘Khun Seuk’ which I have been waiting for since last September! Looks like more waiting is in order and I sure hope when it finally airs, it lives up to the hype and expectations or it will be one expensive flop.

What’s on my drama plate now

21 Oct

I’ve been marathoning HK drama The Other Truth and the past few episodes have been so tense and rage inducing (we have bad cops in cahoots with the triads killing a good cop and framing innocent people) it gave me a headache. I want to continue watching to see how the bad guys get their asses busted but I think my head might burst first.

I’m also trying to catch up on Roy Mai because I know the good, angsty bits are coming up but first I have to get past the draggy parts with Bua Ngern which is not helping with the motivation.

Kdrama wise, I’ve been following Choi Ji Woo’s Can’t Lose through dramabeans’ recaps and the strange thing is, though I thoroughly enjoy reading the recaps, it never made me want to actually go watch the show until ep 16. The last two episodes are out so I’ll be getting to them soon.

I spoiled myself for the ending of Material Queen and it was rather disappointing how the scriptwriters chose the resolve the difficulties between Jia Hao and Chu Man. I’ve watched up till ep 17 and I might breeze through the remaining episodes since I’ve already spent so much time on it but guess it’s sayonara to MQ for now. Replacing MQ for my tw drama slot is the beautifully understated In Time With You. It doesn’t put me in the can’t-wait-for-next-episode mode (which is why I’ve only watched 2 episodes!) but when I do watch it, it moves me tremendously.

Also loving Burn Notice as usual but I’m having trouble dl-ing it. Hopefully I can get that sorted out soon.

other currently watching lakorns

25 Sep

I’m totally in love with the Mart/Cherry pairing after ‘Tard Rak’ and ‘Mae Ka Khanom Wan’ so I decided to give ‘Pla Lai Pai Daeng’ a chance even though the story doesn’t attract me.

Short summary: The men in Pei’s (Cherry) family are all playboys and the women are constantly battling to keep their husbands in line so Pei is put off by flirty men. One day, Parit (Mart)- a straight laced religious man- becomes the consultant for her family’s lingere company and Pei falls for this boring but naive guy. Trouble starts after they got married as the men in Pei’s family wants to get Parit on their side and tries to make him a playboy too.

I watched the first episode yesterday and while the OTP is very pretty and very cute, I find it unconvincing that all the men from grandpa to grandsons have such little regard for their wives and would not hesitate to cheat at any opportunity. Won’t the grandpa feel sorry for his daughters or the sons feel sorry for their moms? I suppose it’s just a lakorn exaggeration to turn the husband/wife battle into something funny but it’s not working for me because the men’s philandering ways are too ridiculous. I’ll try to hang on for a few more episodes for Cherry’s gorgeousness and Mart’s hotness but I’m not having high hopes for this.

Another lakorn that I’ll be taking up is Plerng See Roong (Rainbow Flame) by Mart and Susie. I’ve watched some clips previously but I can’t remember much. It’s a slap/kiss lakorn that sounds like Sawan Biang (detailed synopsis) what with the stepmom (played by the same actress who played Leela in SB) trying to get the stepson but minus the rape and insanity. ookkkk… I apparently need to do more research before posting because there actually is a R scene and lots of insanity.

An unrelated OST of ‘Fai Rak Arsoon’. I love this song and had always been curious about the lakorn but it hasn’t been subbed in eng or chinese. I don’t think I’m missing out much though since I’ve read that it was only a so-so lakorn. Anyone has actually watched it?

I’m not just watching lakorns though! I’ve been catching ‘Material Queen’ faithfully every week and will start on ‘In Time With You’ after a few more episode airs. I’m also intending to marathon ‘Ouran High School Host Club’ live action after it’s complete and new seasons of my favourite American procedurals are also starting soon!

re-watching Suay Rerd Cherd Sod

1 Jul

I suddenly realise it’s not that I haven’t been watching tv lately, it’s just that I’ve been spending most of my evenings after work watching crime dramas since getting paid tv a couple of months back. CSI: Las Vegas/Miami/NY, Criminal Minds, Law & Order:SVU/Criminal Intent, The Glades, Numb3rs … heck, I even watched the episodes of Sherlock and White Collar which I’ve already seen.

I love crime/detective shows but I guess I’d been overdosing on them and I finally hit saturation point last night. I cut short Criminal Minds and was looking for something funny when I remember ‘Suay Rerd Cherd Sod’. It was one of the funnier lakorns in recent memory so I re-watched epi1 and it got me laughing in no time. It’s not without its flaws and I’ve mentioned them in my previous posts on the lakorn but now that I know how the drama progresses, I simply skip to the funny bits. There are a lot of typical slap-kiss lakorn scenes, like being trapped in the lift, guy tying up girl, guy throwing girl in the pool, girl slapping guy but we get the funny version here instead of the usual melodrama. The nang’ek KhuanUma is a spoilt and bratty Hi-So model and it’s hard to root for her in the beginning but she does learn and get better later on. If anyone is looking for some light hearted stuff, you can head to wishboniko’s channel on yt and check out SRCS.

I’ve also finished ep2 of Material Queen. The production crew has spared no expenses on the clothes, the jewellery, filming in Paris etc and they all translate beautifully on screen but I’m not yet feeling a connection with the main characters. The first 2 episodes seem to be setting up stage for the main couple and the real stuff happens when they return to Taiwan and end up living near each other. Hopefully I can feel the spark by the next couple of episodes if not I might drop it.

28 Jun

This space has taken a backseat ‘cos I had been buried under a mountain of work for the past month. I catch up on whatever tv I can but there’s no motivation to write lengthy responses anymore. Hmm, let’s see what I’ve covered since my last post …

Sherlock (BBC series) – I love this modern take on the famous detective and the London backdrop is certainly a refreshing change since I don’t watch many British productions. A second season is apparently in the works and I can’t wait for it!

White Collar S3 – The last season was a tad ho-hum for me but the new season is looking good. Still not digging Neal/Sara but Sara is bugging me less now and El! No one beats the awesomeness that is Elizabeth Burke.

Kehas See Daeng (The Red Mansion) – Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get beyond epi7. The relationship between Rud and Nong kept going in circles and every time it seemed like they managed to further their understanding of each other, they end up right where they started. Too much screen time was also spent on the bajillion side characters who are annoying or boring. I really like the look of this lakorn, pity about the poor story telling.

Tas Ruk (Slave of Love) – I had been looking forward to this but episode 1 didn’t quite grab me like I had anticipated. Might give it another shot when it’s fully subbed.

BOSS S2 – Ep2 of s1 was so silly I almost stopped watching but I ended up loving the rest of the show so when s2 got off to a lacklustre start, I kept thinking it’ll get better on the next episode and even persevered up to ep8 but I end up disappointed each time. Some gags are funny and I enjoyed the banter between Eriko and Nodate but overall the humour feels forced and the team just isn’t as fun anymore. If they had a strong plot that might at least help to satisfy the mystery buff in me but nope, each case-of-the-week ranged from blah to outright inane. Kimoto (Toda Erika) is coming back for the last couple of ep though so that’s a bit of motivation to complete this drama.

Material Queen – I liked the first episode and I do intend to continue but it doesn’t make me wait in anticipation for the next episode.

The only show that’s getting me anything close to excited is White Collar and I need more!! Recs anyone?

Lakorns to look out for

11 Apr

Tard Ruk (Slave of Love) is done filming and Roy Mai seems to be coming along fine but does anyone know when either lakorn is airing?? Sigh, I need something to entertain myself with after Love Never Dies ends tonight. I think there will be a 30min extra tomorrow that was filmed later due to it’s popularity but still, I had been hoping for something along the lines of 14 episodes. Even The Fierce Wife is ending next week! Speaking of that drama, it’s been doing more telling than showing in recent episodes but it does give its audience a lot to think about. Hopefully I’ll be less busy next week and get time to finish writing my episode recaps for LND and a review for TFW. T___T

what I’ve been up to

17 May

I’ve gotten lazy with updating, but I’ve not been slacking on the tv watching front. Haah,

So, I have finished “Chaleuy Suk” as promised but sadly it never got any better and I accomplished the feat only after lots of fastforwarding. The only bright spots in the lakorn was… no surprise, Khun Atisak who was the fine gentleman to the very end. I especially loved how Atisak dealt with JKF after that man-whore got caught in bed with Seebo. I doubt the audience will be sorry to see Atisak shoot JKF like he had earlier threatened to (the if-you-make-my-sister-cry threat that big brothers are fond of making) but realistically I guess he couldn’t exactly kill the prince of Chiang-rat. Anyway, Atisak returned JKF’s family ring to him and JKF tried the stupid line of how he would only accept it back if Alisa returned it to him personally (seriously, this line is overused in dramas) and our wise and pissed off Atisak places the ring firmly in JKF’s hand and said something about how Alisa will not give him that honour (my memory’s hazy on this). That scene really made an impression on me because it shows how honourable and in-control Atisak is, able to deal with JKF appropriately without ever lowering himself to be on JKF’s level.
As for the actual lead characters, Yothin and Alisa … I can’t remember much about their love story! I checked out a bit of Ken’s new lakorn “Weewa Wah Woon” and it looks alright, but it hasn’t been enough to hook me in. Might get back to it later if I’m bored enough. Meh, that wraps up lakorns for now.

Other stuff that I’m following
-「新参者」(Shinzanmono), a Japanese detective drama starring Abe Hiroshi as the eccentric new detective in town with a penchant for taiyaki. Abe Hiroshi really works such offbeat characters and though I wouldn’t exactly term the show ‘lighthearted’, there are enough funny moments to keep me entertained.
-「さらい屋五葉」(Saraiya goyou) , a new anime set in the Edo-period about a fumbling ronin who gets reluctantly involved with a gang of kidnappers. The drawing style is different from what you’re used to see in animes but I love this style of art and the characters, the background, the details, they’re all gorgeous to behold. The pacing of the story is slow, with attention given to everyday activities like preparation of food, smoking a pipe etc, but I like the leisurely, almost lazy feel of the anime … watching it always reminds me of watching the sun set while sipping a cup of hot green tea.
– “White Collar” You’ll need to stretch your imagination a little for each case-of-the-week, but hey, pretty boy Matt Bomer as Neal is enough of a distraction and I’m totally digging the bromance between Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal. The trust issues, the bickering, the I’ve-got-your-back moments, the seamless teamwork … and it helps to have funny lines too. 😉