Monday, December 16, 2013

Noona Has Moved!

Greetings all you lovely denizens of the Asian Drama blogverse!

I've been debating moving my blog for awhile now (yes I know it isn't even a month old yet!), and finally decided to make the move last night.  Why you ask?  Well I've had some issues with spam comments and spam sites affecting the page and it has cause some frustration.  Additionally, blogger and I at times don't see eye to eye and it takes so much longer to get a post or page to look how I want it.  I'd rather spend time writing blog posts or reviews or watching dramas than struggling with blogger.  Also, my story Heart Murmurs is house elsewhere already because blogger wouldn't present the story as I wanted it viewed.  So with some helpful advice from Kfangurl and DDee over at The Fangirl Verdict I made the choice to move.

The new site is a copy of what I currently have here.  I was expecting a battle with blogger to export my information.  In actuality it was extremely easy!  Which was fantastic.  I won't be updating this page anymore.  Please, please, please come and join me at my new home!

The Drama Noona

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ilyoil Dongsaeng - Park Shin Hye

This week's Dongsaeng is the absolutely gorgeous and graceful Park Shin Hye.  I first saw her in You're Beautiful, she was portraying identical twins Go Mi Nam and Go Mi Nyu.  That show was about her thirteenth she'd been in, but it was my first introduction to her.  

I have since seen her in Heartstrings, Goong S, Running Man, and Heirs.  However, she always makes me want to hug her up.  I do believe that she is the queen of the pouty face, if not the queen of tears.

It is a definite talent that she is able to do sad so well and so convincingly.  Whatever place she goes to mentally to portray that sadness really does the trick.  I mean in nearly every episode of You're Beautiful I wanted to hug her because she was just so sad.

By the time I watched her in Heartstrings I already wanted to protect her as her Unni, but her sad face and crying just made it worse.  I wanted to make everything alright for her.

Look at those tears!  It broke my heart seeing her cry, which just means she is a good actress in my opinion.  Then I saw her on Running Man, she is too adorable for words!  Very opposite of the characters she plays, during the crazy stuff they do on Running Man she was often laughing and giggling and generally having a good time.  Which just made me adore her even more.

Then I started Heirs, after having seen her be so adorable and happy on Running Man, it broke my heart all over again to see her so sad all the time!  I mean like every episode she was sobbing and enduring hardships and I just wanted to dive in there and take her away from everything that made her upset. 

Let's have a round of applause for the utterly adorable dongsaeng Park Shin Hye!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Princess

I both really enjoyed this show and was really frustrated with this show.  It took me a really long time to complete this drama.  Halfway through I just couldn't find that spark to want to watch the next episode.  I kept finding myself watching Running Man instead, always telling myself that I just needed a break or I just wanted to laugh today.  But, I finally did get back to finishing this one.  It was a little painful there at the end.  I don't think this one will be in the re-watch list.

I'll start with a few things that I really did enjoy.  I felt that the chemistry between the two leads was very real.  The expressions they exchanged, their playful banter, and the way they touched one another all made me believe that they were falling in love.  I had a good time watching them fall in love, it was adorable and cute and well written.  I also truly appreciated the chemistry of the palace cook, Geon Lee, and the maid, Shin Mi So.  They were totally adorable with Lee Seol and with one another.  They were fun to watch throughout the entire show.

Lee Seol's adoptive mom, Kim Da Bok, was excellent.  Though I do really like the actress, Im Ye Jin.  The way she reacted to all the ups and downs of what was happening to Lee Seol and what Lee Seoul was causing to happen was amazing.  It really felt like a loving mother-daughter relationship.  Some of my favorite scenes are with Lee Soel and Kim Da Bok.  They were just great together.

Some things that confused me with the family in general was Lee Dan.  I realize that the writers were attempting to show that Lee Dan and Lee Seol did not have a good relationship in the beginning of the show, but it just felt forced.  Towards the end as Lee Dan tries to provide a reason for her actions to their mom Kim Da Bok it just didn't feel real to me.  It didn't flow with the story, I couldn't really believe that Lee Dan was that angry and that hateful.  Also, they could not talk enough about Lee Seol's real father.  However, I'm pretty sure that they never once mention her mother, at all.  Did the Emperor's wife die in childbirth?  If not then where was she?  It was obvious that Lee Seol and her biological father were alone together in all the flashbacks.  I suppose I wanted something more definitive in regards to her mother.

The political intrigue with the President, Senator, and Yoon Joo at times felt like it was just too much.  I understand that they were heavily opposed to reinstating the royal family, however, for this show it felt like to much.  A lot of the scenes played like a romantic comedy, and then something with the political intrigue would occur and it would feel like a melodrama.  It was just too heavy for me and too much for the way the show had been written in the first few episodes.  I did like story of the last Emperor, his hidden son and granddaughter.  I also liked the twist in how Park Dong Jae earned his wealth and built his empire, all of that was very well written and done.

I want to take a moment to talk about the clothing, costumes, and outfits of this show.  On one hand you look at the men and they are all amazingly dressed.  The suits were sharp, well tailored, and of high quality material.  Each character had their own look and it fit him well.  Their hair and accessories were excellent too.  Then... oh man you look at the ladies.  I mean come on, what was with Yoon Joo's hair?  And even worse than that, her clothing especially hurt my eyes.  Lee Seol was also a victim of terrible outfits.  I have no idea what the designers were thinking, but the ladies looked terrible.

My last point is Hae Young.  For the first part of the show it felt like he had a separate set of writers than the last half.  In the first eleven episodes he was somewhat broody and moody and a little angry.  Though he was working through these issues and trying to accept his feelings for Lee Seol.  Then all of a sudden he was overly sweet and cute.  The actor was the same, but it was a completely different part he was playing Hae Young became like a fifteen year old young man courting his high school crush.  That made it very hard for me to enjoy the end of the show.  It was such a sudden shift in the lead character.

It wasn't a bad way to spend sixteen hours, but it wasn't one of my favorites.  I did enjoy the story and I liked a lot of the elements, but there were more things missing for them in the end.

For a full synopsis of the story click this link

Noona's Ratings
Overall: 7 (rated this 3 stars on
Story/Writing: 7
Cast Actors: 8
OST: 7
Sets Costumes: 6
Feels: 7   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Omo Oppa - Kim Jong Kook

I first watched Running Man after watching City Hunter.  I had been swept away by the utter adorableness of Lee Kwang Soo and saw that he was a main cast member of Running Man.  So I rushed over to DramaFever and started watching.  I was utterly hooked after one episode.  Though it wasn’t just because of my dongsaeng Kwang Soo or how much the show made me laugh like I was insane.  If I’m honest, I kept coming back because I just could not get enough of watching Kim Jong Kook!  Omo… what a gorgeous man.  This Oppa definitely had me squeeing like any good fangirl should. 

The more that I watched the more I found to enjoy about watching him.  I mean come on look at that man.  I really, really liked just watching him. 

However, the more I saw the more I began to adore the man’s personality.  Even though he’s built like Adonis, he seemed humble and shy even about his body.  Every time another cast member made a joke or comment about his buff frame he’d laugh and look away demurely.  Guh, that just made me squee all the more.

To add to that adorableness he has such a respectful nature about him.  Even when they are in the middle of a fierce competition he can always be seen taking care of Song Ji Hyo and the other female guests.  And it isn’t about screen time or the gag, it is just to be sure they are doing alright with all the physical and zaney stuff the show makes them do. 

And then add to that his friendship with Kwang Soo!  Guh be still my heart!  On the show they are often at odds, however, in real life they are often seen attending events and weddings together.  And in many interviews they’ve both stated that they are very close friends even spending the night at one another’s houses!  I mean come one how cute is that!

So here’s in honor of my very first Oppa!  Three cheers for Kim Jong Kook!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Read All About It

It's been awhile since I posted about the Fan Story that I was starting.  I wrote the dust jacket synopsis and then the preface, but then it took me a very long time to finish chapter one.  It is completed and posted on the Heart Murmurs page, so please go and read and give me feedback!

My concept is that each chapter would translate to one episode of a show. I have no idea how many chapters there will be, though I hope to keep it around twenty-five.  At least similar to the number of episodes that are average for a Korean Drama.  I do  have a plan, though it has already changed several times with the writing of the first chapter.  I hope to solidify my outline while writing chapter two.  So that way I feel a bit more confident while creating the story.

This is the first story that I've written that I'm actually sharing for mass consumption.  I do write a lot, but I've never shown those stories to anyone, not even my husband.  I just love to write, it is like a form of stress relief.  With that being said I am a horrible editor so there are bound to be grammatical and continuity mistakes.  If you, my amazing and lovely readers, find these errors I beg you to please let me know so I can fix them.  The only way to get better is to listen to honestly provided feedback and critiques and I most assuredly do want to get better.

Because I am also a visual person I thought it would be fun to cast the characters of my story.  So there is also a cast page with the actors and actresses that I think best fit the roles.  Some of them have yet to be introduced in the story, but I wanted to get them all posted there so as they appear it is easy to visualize who they are.

So without further ado... here is Heart Murmurs

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ilyoil Dongsaeng - Jeremy

This week's edition will be a little different than last week's.  And as I plan out the next few dongsaeng's I think it will be a lot more like this.  What's the difference you ask?  Well this week my dongsaeng is a character from a drama not the actual actor who plays the character.  There are loads of characters that I've seen in my short time in drama-land that I just want to squeeze and cuddle because they are just beyond adorable.

Which brings us to this week's dongsaeng.  Introducing Jeremy from You're Beautiful!

If you're seen the drama perhaps you shared my absolute adoration for him.  In fact he was my favorite part of the band.  I loved his fun attitude, zest for life, and innocence.  He was the little brother to the band as well and I was glad to see Shin Woo take care of my dongsaeng throughout the show.  

As he gets to know Mi Nam/Mi Nyu Jeremy doesn't trust the newest band member.  His attempts to get Mi Nam/Mi Nyu to talk are childish and silly, but they made me love him even more.  I also loved his relationship with his dog Jolie.

When I really wanted to swoop in and take care of Jeremy is when he begins to trust and like Mi Nam/Mi Nyu, but doesn't understand his feelings.  The poor boy doesn't know that Mi Nam is really Mi Nyu and is afraid of how he feels for another man.  I just wanted to cuddle him and tell him it was ok.

But what really kicked in my Noona sensibilities was after he found out that Mi Nyu was a girl.  He realizes that he's fallen in love with her, but she's fallen in love with Tae Kyung.  Holy cow my heart broke so badly here and I cried more over this moment than any other moment in the whole show.  Then he has to go and cry while singing that song... yeah I was a goner.

So this week's dongsaeng is adorable Jeremy!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


After Playful Kiss I vowed not to watch a drama just because a bias or crush was in it.  I failed that vow almost immediately with Hearstrings.  My second favorite part of You’re Beautiful was the chemistry between Jung Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye.  My favorite part of You’re Beautiful was Jeremy.  So once I finished You’re Beautiful I saw that Yong Hwa and Shin Hye had been given leading roles together in Heartstrings and I really just couldn’t resist.

The first thing that I want to mention from the list of pros for this show is the fact that the two main leads enter into a relationship fairly early in the episodes.  Which was an oddity, at least to me when I watched this show seeing as I’d only seen four dramas before Heartstrings.  It was a breath of fresh air for me, I loved that the drama was about maintaining that relationship instead of fighting against having a relationship at all.  They had to overcome a whole different slew of obstacles compared to the other dramas that I’d watched.  I enjoyed that journey and thought it was very well done.

However, the chemistry between Shin Hye and Yong Hwa felt completely different than it did in You’re Beautiful.  I’m not sure what it was, but it sure didn’t feel as passionate as it had in the previous drama.  In You’re Beautiful they had some truly amazing interplay.  You could see the connection between the characters and it really had me rooting for them, even though I knew already that I would be crushed since Yong Hwa was the second male lead.  I just wish that the relationship didn’t feel as wooden in Heartstrings.  For me there was definitely something missing.

The music for this drama was amazing.  I had the songs stuck in my head for weeks even after I completed watching the drama.  I’m sure it helped that the band members were actually playing their instruments.  Not to mention Yong Hwa and Kang Min Hyuk are in CN Blue together.  For me the music really stood out and I even bought the OST because I wanted to be able to listen to it whenever I wanted.

In my limited experience with drama-land the supporting cast has to really gel and standout on their own for a drama to work.  The only two characters outside of the leads that really captured my heart was Min Hyuk’s portrayal of Yeo Joon Hee and Shin Hye’s grandfather.  I cannot even properly convey how utterly adorable Joon Hee was throughout the entire show.  I loved him, probably more than I liked Yong Hwa’s character.  The grandfather cracked me up, he was hilarious.  I also really enjoyed how he lived-breathed-ate traditional music and a traditional lifestyle.  I found him wonderfully interesting.  Beyond Joon Hee and the grandfather, the rest of the cast just didn’t really shine for me and that hurt the drama overall.  I wanted to be pulling for the side stories, but more often than not I found myself plodding through all of that to get back to Joon Hee, the grandfather, or the two leads.

Towards the end of the drama I really felt that we finally got to see some character growth.  For the majority of the show the characters were static in their maturity and personalities as they dealt with the obstacles which were put in their way.  However, the last fifth of the series I enjoyed the way the story moved.  Shin Hye’s character showed amazing maturity with how she handled the play and the drama surrounding being the lead actress.  Both Yong Hwa and Shin Hye’s characters moved towards a natural progression of fulfilling their dreams.  Even the supporting cast seemed to finally bloom and I enjoyed seeing how they evolved towards the end.

However, the ending of the show felt rushed.  I’m not sure if it was cut down in the number of episodes, or that was how it was originally planned.  But, things just felt a little choppy in the last two episodes.  It made the character growth that had been occurring seem as if it weren’t important.  I wish that they would have taken more time with the ending, perhaps another episode to have made it feel a little smoother.

Overall, I enjoyed the show.  It was a feel good journey with some nice happy messages within it.  I am glad that I watched it, but it just never quite captured me in the feels.  Still it is a cute watch and a pretty story.

For a full synopsis of the story check out this link.

Noona's Rating
Overall: 7.6 (I rated this 4 stars on
Story/Writing: 8
Cast/Actors: 8
OST: 9
Sets/Costumes: 6
Feels: 7