Now Watching: April 2017

I watched an insane load of stuff when I should be beauty sleeping/dreaming of beauty.

Kleun CheeVit/ Life’s Waves

When nothing else fills my gluttony for guilty pleasure crack, I watch some lakorn OTP cuts, what is there to write about but an unapologetic fix of very pretty people with specific skills to say the darnest romance novella/rapey/slapkiss smutty lines yet action-wise, coming across pure as playful puppies thus makes it less WTF unrealistic an escapism?!  Even if I have to bang my head on walls like Mark’s Sathit here (so whimsically nicked by C cuties as ‘dumbo’ hit (傻/sa is stupid in mando) .

Weird Jdoramas work usually, but I’m fed a rec for this with a special mindful, strong, almost gender reversal befitting a hero construct of a lakorn heroine. And YaYa did a headturning vast improvement showing kickass acting chops like never before. There are still the nec evil when her character slips into wicked lakorn tropes, but it is true, there are ample time she is one competent young lady speaking and acting her mind I cheer for.  The premise makes enough sense for all the tsunami of dog blood angst throughout 14 of the 15 eps (or OTP cut I am watching) but the reward of a happy ending is SO CRACKY SATISFYINGLY SWEET.  Then there is Mark Prin, squarely my aesthetics.

Have some delicious spoilerish fanvids:

I think their chemistry here is off the roof, more so than YaYa’s Koo-Jin Nadesh, but they are too adorable for words in RL whatever they wanna be:

I am one of those flailing CN fangirls insisting Mark is some perfect child of a young LuYi mashing with young JinDong.

And needless to say I checked out LuYi’s In the Name of the People /人民的名义 and JinDong’s Surgeons/外科风云.

In the Name of the People is a very solid show… but is it in the name of the people?!  I dare ask, I have such a tuggling war in my mind watching because while everything is done to a good precision, it is void of little inconsequential slips of human blemishes that made characters true flesh and blood, not saying there is no leagues of good cops never a hesitation another thought to sacrifice for the good of the country or ‘people’ but I want to see more greys, the in-betweens, where corruption cops are just making do, taking it all in as a wage paying job.  Somehow I just need that here, in the midst of a feast of great acting veterans seriously at work.  It is a well controlled show, it has a good script (not great), but I am not in the mood, lethargic being fed some calculated nicely done anticorruption propaganda.  BBC wrote this political genre is never seen in mainstream C television, not true.  There was Black Hole/黑洞(2001).  This broke 6 in ratings when a show is considered a solid hit with 1/3 of its rating, which is insane a national mania atvm.  I am watching it my pace, and doubt it would ever swell into an addiction.

Surgeons is the last straw on a camel’s back, I am no longer giving 正午阳光/Daylight Production led by PD Hou/侯鸿亮 another chance.  Yes, if you care very little about drama production done with earnesty and heart, this is some GrowUp2 but it is exactly the aping of GrowUp, yet missing all its care in touches of spunk and upbeat pacing and crisp aesthetics, bogged down by patronizating indulgent preachy speeches underlining, exclaming all things unnec about the profession here, hammering of gratuitous ‘professionalism’ done wrong.  If you are going to be lazily cliched, setting up the character is some brilliant surgeon by slow-mo-ing a minute plus of surgical hand washing, do it properly!!!! There are youtube tutorials darnit!

Surgeons, on the way to some patient or some surgery.

Grow Up was smart on zooming in all the right places, skimming most of the nitty gritty doctoring, fine-tuning the priority at hand, an adult romance set in a hospital setting, period. You do not advertise show being seriously essaying lives of surgeons, best researched, with sparkling consulting MDs on board and let JinDong be the butt of the joke with his bare fingers touching outside of gloves.  There are a million of these tiresome distracting dgaf bugs screaming nothing but these big shot PDs know too well they could get away with slacking mediocre because the audience is used to be fed their patented glossiest sugarcoated molten lava shitcake without the demand for any detailing crucial in any cohesive character building, or drama’s true worth withstanding time.  The obscene amount of self-congratulatory pats in fan-whoring calculations with a fine actor LYJ rewatching himself in Nirvana in Fire, for what reason now?!  Or with JinDong, and Liu Yi Jun regurgitating exact lines from Disguisers, total trap of luring fangirls to squee and screencap, and hype up the social media hoopla, yet missing the crucial point of scene being necessary… all turning me off to the point of rage at every scene.   It pains me I am rubbed wrong with JD’s Dr. Zhuang Shu (which reads off my tongue a slip as befittingly 帅/try-hard handsome) doing the Disguiser coat flip…at least talk me some sense he has a wonky side of a MingLou stan.

At the end of the day, when I expected it to be a better Grow Up, yet it could just decently hits the beat aping it, and I have seen it fresh in Grow Up already….itis way less lustrous a regurgitation. Instead this ramps up draggy tangents of their megalomaniac preaching of this is some best made shit.  I want nothing to do with it.  The actors are doing fine fine jobs, loud and clear, but I am more than satisfied with licking JinDong’s gifs or the fans screencaping the good bits, OTP cuts instead and so be it.

母になる/Haha ni Naru

Almost everyone in this drama is in my ridiculously gorgeous pedestal.  I never imagined a day I could see the ship I secretly hid from 1L of Tears to be a married couple:

How do they find this pretty boy who looks exactly like Erika’s child?!!

I would have stayed miles away if not for these actors, Erika is most effective in robbing me of tears, liters and liters of them, and when she is at her perfect game, like talking about hot ramen with high school friends, I wept a bowl of tear soup.  Drama is not the best it could be, teetering between melodramatics, and authentic blows at the center of gut. It is a messy ride for everyone involved, no longer right or wrong how to savage together lives shattered.

兄に愛されすぎて困ってます/Ani-koma

This sure looks like some middle section on my CV to a residency in hell.

This is Shou!Jo!, crazy ridiculous so fluffy it is wrong wrong wrong shoujo done with charismatic boys and girls who can act.

Premise is OTP is a pair of siblings, older bro knows of the secret they are not DNA related and kept it from younger sister on pur-po-su.   He plays topless sweaty soccer by himself in the perfect sunset glow in their oceanview front lawn right when she gets home from school, evry freaken day.  She has made love declarations to 12 crushes thus far in her young life, and none reciprocated.  One guess what’s in the mix meddling.  Tao Tsuchiya is a young actress I like, solid, dependable, does what is necessary for her characters.  I do not know a thing about Ryota Katayose the actor, obviously he can make good use of the idol charisma here marvelously.  There is the always fun to watch Yudai Chiba as reappearing first love with something wicked going on.  Unrelated, How the hell is our Hunny-chan 28 years old?!?!?!?!?!

小さな巨人/Little Giants

‘…My intuition’

From the producers of Hanzawa Naoki, here, proving again, the worth of Sakai Masato.  Not saying Hasegawa Hiroki is not doing his job, but I miss that amusing larger than life facial kinetic acrobats between Sakai and Kagawa filling up the voids of cliched cop procedural.  It is not bad at all, just not terribly exciting a dorama we have seen every other season.  I keep myself busy gazing the men in suits left and right.

Chicago Typewriter

I am sorry, and I love you.

MISA~~~

This is put on hold after 2 episodes, I am not in love with it.  I was stretching for a surprise this could be better than expected, but I get some frustrations rearing head amidst a potpourri of plots spillage messily all over the place, within my sad expectation.   I am no longer a fan of YAI’s acting, he indulges himself in uncontrollable showy hamfisted rampages and directors let him, loving his own performance more than he or anyone should.  He is by no definition bad, I just can’t stand it, when it was first rearing head in Jang Ok Jung and ever since, praying each project he could snap out of it. I do not care about this writer’s past work, but jesse’s post in soompi on the meanings of ‘Chicago Typewriter’, invented in Chicago, the Hangul typewriter delivers words which can be powerful to lethal, it is also the nick for machine gun, delivering physical blows to kill, got my interest piqued…yet too bad reading reviews and thoughts do more for me than watching the drama.  I was yawning at the predictable Misery homage afterall end of episode.  I did not feel smooth transitions, it is not quite effective a storytelling.  There was a doggie, very cute in the beginning plot device bonding hero and heroine/creepy stalker and it went for too long for my interest to stick. And the biggest blow is I promise myself not to tolerate 30ish ladies forcing the Cute aegyo as if it is the only way to portray attractiveness in a grown woman.  I will see and binge if it seems worthy at the end.

Quartet

What did your husband say, when asked whether he loves his wife?

-Of course I love her, he said.  

‘I love her,

but I don’t like her.’

I jumped back in at ep6, forgetting where I left it to hang and dry a few weeks after it ended just out on a whim…and it ends up being amazing.  Takako and Hikari, tour de force, the actors are not as impressive.  Ep6 was so wonderful I dare not expect from Mr. 坂元裕二 anymore.  But in hindsight, we see clearer the full picture always, I realize, the masterful exercise Mr writer is challenging us, piling on the mundane excess flourishes in dialogue in loosest tangents seemingly going tediously nowhere too interesting, then stripping it layer by layer revealing the marination of character building, of the ‘code’ of adults, how we communicate piling on distractions, falsehoods, often out of good intentions leaving the rawest simpliest truth at the darkest innermost hollow, what’s said is build of what’s left out untold, like a doughnut hole, notes are played by imperfect humans into music, of the yearning for the most humdrum, tedious, frustrating of bonding and companionship…often it is just sharing lies we have to shelter in, sharing the pleasure of expression through instruments, of humming a tune together in a ride, an unlikely, neat, perfect coda.

Doughnut Hole -おとなの掟 /Adult Code

滚石爱情故事/Rock Records In Love

It has been way too long a while I mustered enough interest checking out a TWdrama intentionally, let alone in love.  This is it.

Rock Records must have a grandest library of hit songs under its label, and we pick our own songlists, own them by heart, at a time when nothing speaks more but looping a song while the mood hits, some long forgotten but as soon as the intro starts, I am ready to pick up that karaoke mic and sing my hearts out to that memory of a time, the nostalgia.

They pick 20 classics for this project, like rocks that stood by time, and shaping tides, never one exactly identical, basis for a story, paying an homage, then asking an interesting collection of actors of varied caliber, many I have almost forgotten, some shining more than others on pure talent, and just let them breathe in characters they could each work with, stripped from TWidoldrama’s overstylized trite tropes, down to love in its simpliest forms, perhaps of you and me.

Makes no fking sense.

Songs rhyming, stories knocking that soft spot, there is trying hard but not cohesive whole, coming across more a hr long tedious MV, not unlike essaying love’s ennui, but then there are episodes casting new glow to old songs, an alternative take on lyrics etched in our memories.

This is singing to me, in drama form, why Taiwan is uniquely lovely in its culture, its food, its people, an unadorned slower pace authenticity that directs to the soul a subtler warmth, an imperfect tug at a gentler way of life, at times crude and homespun, it is not larger than life stories of gilt and grandiose, but of plain necessities bread and butter, soy sauce and rice in ordinary love, like how we feel picking up that mic, in the comfort of abusing your besties, breathing life, reaching inward, belting out a favorite song our take at a karaoke.  Sometimes it flagged a friend with ears what’s bothering, at times it just a self release of knots and snags of life, or what exactly the mood hits at happy times with close pals, old tunes.

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9 thoughts on “Now Watching: April 2017

  1. Wow you watched Kluen Cheewit (didn’t expect to come across it here). Have you watched Game Rai Game Ruk? I feel like young, cutesy Yaya fits better with Nadech while mature Yaya fits with Mark. I think Yaya did very well here. The “evil” lady character was played excellently as well.
    Did not know that you watched lakorn! I started watching them last year and was shocked at how rapey they are (Jam Loey Rak made me feel sick); and how dumb the “sweet female,” characters are. They’re strangely addicting though even if frustrating.

    1. Oh GRGR was my first lakorn, I mean I watched the island bits w lotsa FF , NY is so cute! I rem it was around the same time I watched J ItaKiss, which I was absolutely batsht.

      I watched some here and there since but I usually dropped them, there were always plot/side chars/hero I just couldn’t. It is my godsend now there r CP cuts, or else it is too time consuming 4 some guilty pleasure.

      Somehow KC clicks, no idea if it is particularly gd (do u have rec’s?) OTP could make enough (lakorn) sense 4 me to hang on and the acting is great…but who am I kidding, it is mostly YaYa and MarkP being crazy gorgeous. XDDD

      1. I think Kluen Cheewit is the only lakorn I watched without skipping (probably due to the fact that I watched it as it came out, and subbed in parts). I usually skip the bits without the otp. Judging from the reactions of the international viewers, it IS considered good. If you only liked the island scenes from GRGR I assume you would want to avoid slap/kiss. Seriously, in the majority of the lakorns I’ve watched there is a rape scene. And if there isn’t, the female lead is harassed by the male lead throughout the whole thing. The leads HAVE to have chemistry in order for you to stomach it.

        I have watched some that are light hearted and fluffy though – Ugly Duckling Perfect Match (the male lead looks like Ji Chang Wook) and Duang Jai Akkane (NadechYaya, this one is okay storywise). Padiwarada is another lakorn which doesn’t have harassment if I remember correctly (this one is slow but I liked it). Tawan Tor Saeng (there was a r scene randomly in this one too, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be slap/kiss). The Ugly Duckling one mentioned above has a series of different stories (I just watched the perfect match one) that are all light hearted. There is also the U-prince series which I haven’t watched but has a similar feel. Two Spirits Love – I’ve seen mv’s of this one, looks cute but I can’t find the subs on Youtube.

        For the slap/kiss ones I enjoyed (and feel guilty about enjoying, female character quite dumb in all of these), Sud Sai Pan, Roy Leh Sanae Rai 2002 version (there is also a 2013 version, which was the first lakorn I watched) and Tang Parn Kamathep 2000 version (female lead is extremely dumb in this one, but I liked the male lead’s acting style, very natural). There is a popular one called Sawan Biang that I only watched a bit of (multiple r-scenes, beware). But people on the english forum were saying how they wanted MarkYa to remake it, so maybe it’s similar to KC?

        1. You are such a darling! I’m jolting. I think I’ll try Padiwarada next, I savor slow but steady gdness.

          You have nailed what is precious with lakorns methinks, there is some wisdom picking very great matches for screen couples time and time again, hit rate much higher than any other dramalands combined. I’m not much a RLshipper, actually it is more fun 4 me IFFF they hate each other’s guts but can deliver delish sparks on screen.🤣 To think the whole machination of CPs/koojins is adding more ‘fun’ to the slapkiss murking the lines this is just make-believe yet so many desire them reel to real… so addictive a pasttime lol

          I have actually seen TangParnKamathep and Sawan Biang way back when, w/o subs, w some Thai friends lol can’t say I could follow much w all the outrageous ‘wth is going on now?!?!’ Those r pretty much seminal classics of genre, huh?! It was such guilty pleasure seeing those smutty novellas to be live action unfiltered. XDDD

          Now I kinda want MY to revamp it and maybe do some nice nuances like they did w the KC remake (I’ve heard, I didn’t watch the original myself). I’m opposite of prissy, Ch3 stuff is so tame all talk no action anyway it doesn’t bother me as much the r trope… I mean say GRGR, it just stopped making enough sense 4 me to carry on, wo THAT arc, NY still r naturally clicking and adorable as SaichunNengfah it is just so unnecessary imo.

  2. Hello ! I sent you message on Twitter ! You fuck.ng watched KC ! The lakorn where Yaya showed vast improvements and gave me sleepless nights ?? Wow 😀 Now I am all giddy for Matt Peeranee and Andrew in them airing lakorn now Meuan Khon la faak ka ! There is a rumor they want to remake You from another star with Nadech and Matt Peeranee as leads

  3. I don’t think Mark is a strong actor but his look enable him to have chem with loads of his actresses except Kim I just can’t stand as an actress. Some of my fav lakorns are :
    Botun Gleep Sudtai with Aum and Aff
    Kah Badin with Matt and James Ma
    Supa burut Judtatep gentleman series

    PLern ruk Bpa puen Tak with Sammie and Porshe Saran

    Sud sai paan (my 2013 guilty pleasure) with Vill and Toomtam

    Song Naree with Ann and Johnny

    Fah krajang Dao with Matt Peeranee and Boy

    Bodyguard Sao with Sammy and Es

    My fav actresses are :
    Matt Peeranee
    Sammy Bunthita
    Now Tisanart
    Patricia Good (still green but so pretty)
    Aff Taksaorn (Not great but so lovely and classy!)

    1. I am pretty sure KC has the only lakorn heroine I could follow all the way thus far… I have also watched GRGR on and off thus I like Yaya enough as a naive angelic doll thing but can’t say the same w the lakorn

  4. Totally agree with you about Surgeons vs. Grow Up.

    Surgeons has a great cast and Bai Baihe and Jin Dong are great actors, but the script is definitely inferior to that of Grow Up. Grow up has better developed characters and a more emotionally fulfilling story. The Grow Up cast was also excellent because their characters so unique and the actors brought their character to life. The character interactions were so alive and the story made me marathon all 38 episodes in a few days (although the ending of Grow Up pisses me of so much OMG I will NEVER forgive what they did to Liu Zhiguang and the way the left Zhou Ming’s fate open-ended like that WTF).

    I also think Ye Chunmeng and Zhou Ming had way more nuanced but sizzling chemistry than Zhuang Shu and Lu Chenxi did, and again I put most of that on the script. Also, Surgeons feel like it’s pandering and taking advantage of the Shanying nostalgia, while Grow Up was more realistic and nuanced in its storytelling and the camera language was so well done. The cast of Grow Up were also really natural and subtle in their portrayals of their characters and I absolutely LOVE all the characters’ own stories. The main OTP of Zhou Ming and Ye Chunmeng were also much more addictive – I was internally screaming for them to get together since episode 1 while in Surgeons I actually cared more about the side characters’ romance (like Chenxi’s friend and the head nurse) than the main OTP of Surgeons…

    I also got much more emotionally involved in the characters and story of Grow Up than in Surgeons. Surgeons felt emotionally empty/cold to me even though it was well packaged and glossy. Like, in terms of marketing/gloss/glam, Surgeons wins over Grow Up but I think Grow Up had more substance than Surgeons.

    As for the things you mentioned, where random bits of Nirvana in Fire and Disguiser would pop up, I think they actually took me out of the story of Surgeons (even though I like Nirvana in Fire and Disguiser very much) and felt very jarring. The constant mugging of previous Shanying hits felt really out of character and nonsensical in the world of Surgeons. The way the Disguiser soundtrack pops up every now and then was so jarring and the whole slow-mo coat thing with the white lab coats made me go WTF so many times (because no one in their right minds working in germ-filled environment of a hospital would fling their lab coats like that WTF … well at least from my own experience anyway…). It’s just like the thing with the gloves like you mentioned…

    Ah I can go on forever about comparing the 2 drama series and I hope I don’t sound like I’m bashing Surgeons or something … it’s just I really like watching medical dramas (well-made ones, anyway) and I think Surgeons is worth a watch but nothing great. I honestly expected better and with the exception of the gripes I have with Grow Up’s ending, I think Grow Up is better-made than Surgeons and as you rightly said, Surgeons feels like it’s just aping Grow Up but in a more fancy way so that it’s more glossy and attractive…

    I watched a little bit of In the Name of People (since it’s so famous and has such rave TV ratings and has so many people watching it AND it’s got Lu Yi in it LOL) and call me ignorant, but I found it kinda boring and quite communist propaganda-ish… So many continuous scenes of old guys sitting down and talking… I dunno, maybe it’s just too political for my tastes…? I can sit through old guys talking if there’s more action or emotionally engaging stuff happening but somehow People’s slow pace is so hypnotic to me (I literally fell asleep watching some episodes of this drama LOL)…

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