Weekly Roundup // 6-16-19

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Lots of things happened this week. I’m going to start trying to keep up with enlistments/casting news that I come across in their own sections.

The video, if you’d rather watch, is at the end of the post.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: None

Music I’ll be checking out: Yesung (18), Red Velvet, Stray Kids (19), JeA (20th)

ENLISTMENTS▹▹

-Chansung left and it was super adorable and Jun.K, Taec, and nichkhun were there as proud parents.

-Park Hyung Sik, ZE:A, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”, officially enlisted on the 9th.

-Actor Kim Soo Hyun (“My Love From Another Star”) will be officially discharged on the 1st of July.

-Taeil (BlockB) enlisted on the 10th.

-Lee Won Geun (“Jugglers”) enlisted on the 12th.

CASTINGS▹▹

-Goo Won & Kim Seul Gi in talks for “People With Flaws”

-Choi Kang Hee (“Queen of Mystery”) in “Miss Casting”

-Kim Tae Woo (“Black”, “Romance is a Bonus Book”) and Jung Joon Ho (“Sky Castle”, “Iris”) cast the drama, “The Joseon Romantic Comedy Tale of NokDu”.

-Kim Hye Yoon (Sky Castle), Ro Woon (Sf9, “Where Stars Land”) and Lee Jae Wook (“Memories of the Alhambra”) in the coming of age drama, “A Day Found By Chance.”

-Song Jae Rim (“Clean with a Passion for Now”) and Kim Seul Gi (“Oh My Ghostess”) cast in JTBC surfing reality show.

-Lee Min Ki (“Beauty Inside”) and Lee Yoo Young (“My Fellow Citizens”) for the OCN drama, “Everyone Lies”.

-Jisoo (BlackPink) and Nichkhun (2PM) in “Arthdal Chronicles”.

LINKS▹▹

-Sulli Solo

Sulli (former member of fx) has announced that she will be making a solo comeback. I don’t follow Sulli closely, but she has been targeted with a lot of unnecessary hate and I’m glad to see she is picking up new projects.

-BI of iKON

I don’t want to talk much about this, but this whole situation is a mess and if you need to learn more I urge you to do so.

-Yoo Jae Suk Variety

Yoo Jae Suk is confirmed to star in variety show on YouTube called “Relay Camera”. I’m a Youtube person, so I find this super interesting as it will be airing on YouTube. And I’m a fan of Jae Suk.

-Kim Go Eun in Film Musical

Go Eun will be starring in a film musical based on the play Hero. Although all reports say that this is the first film musical Korea has produced, I don’t think is accurate. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Kim Go Eun sing, but hopefully this will be subbed somewhere that I can watch it.

-Misery

The main posters for Misery are out, and I’ve never wanted to see a show more.

-Aggretsuko

Aggretsuko season 2 trailer is out, and the show is officially up on Netflix. I highly recommend this show, it’s adorable and touches on things that you wouldn’t expect. Can’t wait to find the time to watch the second season!

-Season 2 of First First Love

Netflix is finally releasing the (not really season but a forced break that was entirely not written into the show so seemed abrupt) two of My First First Love on July 26. It had already been reported that they had filmed the entirety of the show, and I’d love to see the numbers for the second season vs the first, because I’m positive the not needed break hurt them. Thanks Netflix, I hate it.

-On Netflix

The article talks about some of the Asian content you can be looking forward to on Netflix, it doesn’t explain why Netflix is purposefully forcing a weird model of breaking them into seasons if the shows have not been set up to be that way, just for their Asian content. Also more news can be found here.

-YG

Well, would you look at that. Stocks are still plummeting, it will be interesting to see how YG the company will be able - if they can - to comeback from these controversies. YG and his brother were trash, but their artists and workers still there that depend upon their salary to live and who have nothing to do with what happened and I feel for them. Vote for CEO Dara. More info here.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Sorn from CLC reacts to…CLC:

-Ken Kamikita’s released a tracklist teaser for his album “Arche” dropping on the 26th:

-U-KNOW “Follow” is out and I love it:

-ATEEZ came out with new music, I’m enjoying “Wave”

-Been really into this new-to-me jrock group, The Winking Owl. Here’s their music video for “君のままで (Stay with You)”

-Nine Chen ft Shi Shi “北京的夜晚 (Beijing Night).” I really enjoy this song (and of course Shi Shi!) and now want to listen to more Nine Chen:

Here’s the news in video form:

♢♢♢

Weekly Roundup // 6-10-19

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Hello friends! Sorry that I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, life got in the way and I’m hoping to jump back into doing consistent posts, and I have a lot of other projects that are in the works.

One of those projects is to do a video to accompany these posts, I won’t talk about all of the links that I post here on the blog, but will expand upon them some more. If you are the video type as opposed to the reading type, this might be for you:

I’ll be back to more updated news next week.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: None!

Music I’ll be checking out: Ateez (10), TVXQ’s YunHo (12), Monsta X (14)

LINKS▹▹

-Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun

This is old news, but I do want to briefly talk about the casting of Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun in Kim Eun Sook’s new drama. I think it’s interesting that both actors have worked with her before (Lee Min Ho in Heirs, Kim Go Eun in Goblin) and speaks to them agreeing to work on a show again. I’m excited to see what is in store with this production, even the if the drama itself doesn’t sound like something that I would be into initially. I’m willing to give everything a try.

-Pristin Disbands

While Pristin wasn’t a favorite of mine, I had been following them to see what they were going to do after what seemed to be a great debut. It’s sad that issues behind the scenes has forced this, but honestly I had been expecting this for a while. At least the girls are finally free from that tie and can start pursuing other projects.

-Enlistment News

Another lot of enlistment news: Chansung (2PM) will officially enlist on the 11th of this month, Junho (also from 2PM) made a surprise enlistment announcement and went at the end of May, and D.O. from EXO surprised everyone by announcing he was going to enlist in July. While Chansung and Junho were to be expected (they have to enlist this year no matter what), D.O.’s was a surprise. I think it’s a smart move, and that he’s in the perfect spot in his life to leave now and not only guarantee acting projects afterwards (which looks to be his main career goal), but also be young enough to be able to get a variety or roles.

-Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin

In other casting news, Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin look to be joining the writer from Legend of the Blue Sea in a production. I’m super interested in this decision, because I feel it could be a powerhouse coupling. Not only are the seasoned actors even in the drama world, they also had great chemistry in The Negotiation and think it’s a solid and wise move for the drama and the actors.

-SS501

I’m a fan of SS501, or at least what it once was, they were my first kpop boy band that I followed and enjoyed, so I figured I would leave this link here so you can see a bit of their history. I will say, it’s not the best list, as it ends abruptly and almost like it’s supposed to have a second part (they are missing some much of the newer stuff that the members have been doing since they all have gotten out of military), but they will always have a place in my heart.

-Joon Lee Comedy

If you didn’t see it, you have to check out Joon Lee’s Instagram for a ton of really great and funny videos. His kdrama that was done entirely on Instagram with filters is a work of art, honestly.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Donghae and Eunhyuk are my favorites of Super Junior:

-Xcalibur the Musical made this really great behind the scenes video where they interviewed the creative team that is worth a watch:

-I love React to the K (it’s the only reaction channel I follow). Here they are reacting to Henry’s newest song:

-I’m one of those people who tend to favor Girl’s Generations solo music more than group, and Yoona just came back with a good song for the summer:

-I found this MV off of another site, I wasn’t a fan of t-ara, but I’m digging this new Japanese single from Eun Jung:

-Young Saeng also came out with a new mini album:

-CL was also featured on a song by PKCZ with Afrojack

-And Lee Hi is back (!!!!)

Next week I’ll be back to normal and talking about some more recent news. Check out my channel if you are interested!

♢♢♢

Certified Genres: Variety

We were a little bit loose this week and didn’t have anything planned to watch, so we ended up with a new monthly feature. We listed a bunch of genres, picked one out of a jar, and discussed our favorite show from the genre. We drew variety shows this week:

We also spent some time discussing what we have been watching. Happy listening!

Time Codes:

:00 Intro

1:23 What we are watching

42:36 Genre game #1: Variety

1:18:00 Outro

Like our content and want to help out? Check out our ko-fi page for bonus content, or by rating/reviewing/sharing the podcast. Everything helps! https://ko-fi.com/certifiednoonas

Natalia’s fan goods can be found at: https://sojunights.threadless.com/

As always we you can find us on the social medias under CertifiedNoonas or you can email us at certifiednoonas@gmail.com. We are also on all of your favorite places to listen to podcasts.

Weekly Roundup // 5-19-19

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Not a lot of links this past week, but a ton of great music was released!

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: Angel’s Last Mission Love (22)

Music I’ll be checking out: GOT7, Kyuhyun (20), Hyolyn (23)

LINKS▹▹

-Lee Dong Wook

Lee Dong Wook is confirmed for the upcoming drama, with Im Siwan. The teaser looks amazing.

-We Bare Bears

The Cartoon Network show, We Bare Bears, announced an appearance of the group Monsta X and it’s just as adorable as expected, and surprisingly spot on. The creators have done the fans right.

-Chungha

Chungha confirmed a June comeback. I love her voice, and her music so I’m excited to see what she puts out.

-Disney x Hulu

Disney made a deal with Comcast to take over Hulu. I don’t know much about what Hulu has in the Asian entertainment market, but I do know that I had seen previous articles about the second season of the jdrama Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa which was attached to Hulu. Maybe they are gearing up as a competitor to the upcoming AT&T-Warner Bros streaming service?

-Taecyeon

Taec was discharged from the military this week, and Chansung came to see him and they are just adorable. He’s also already set up fan meetings, and started work with his new agency, 51K.

VIDEOS▹▹

The YouTube series, React, is always pretty good but they’ve started doing videos where they get the subject of the video to react to the reactors. This time, it was the jpop group Perfume, and it’s great.

Kyuhyun (Super Junior) officially releases music this week, but this past week released this adorable video that has all his favorite things. I’ve missed his voice since he’s been in the military.

Always on the hunt for new to me music, this song by Wetter is great:

Ladies Code’s comeback song is fantastic and I love every second of it. The part in the MV where they are sitting in the theater watching a clip of So Wonderful? Beautiful and perfect.

And because I can’t get enough of how great it is, here’s their first official comeback stage:

Soyou also came out with a new song with Ovan. I love her voice, and the music video is the perfect song for a rainy day.

Seriously, it was the week of awesome female comebacks, EXID was no exception:

And to round out the week of girl groups, Bom, Dara, CL, and Minzy of 2NE1 got together to celebrate their 10th anniversary and live streamed. I miss them so much, and didn’t expect to hear them say “What’s up we 2NE1” again.

♢♢♢

books. dramas. wine.

One thing that may not be known about me is that I’ve had a Youtube channel for a very long time. It has gone through it’s ups and downs of times of activity. My channel started as a weight loss channel, and even though I added some other things along the way (vlogs, and a few attempts at different content that never stuck), I just couldn’t get back into it like when I first started it. For the past two years, I’ve done little to nothing on the channel. I just stopped making things.

I focused more on the wkd twitter account, sometimes this blog, and then the majority of the rest of my free time went to the podcast. Inherently, it takes a lot of time to keep up with the podcast. We have shows we watch for specific episodes, and top that with the other shows I watch along with editing episodes, a lot of my time has gone to that. I’ve stopped doing some of the things I love in favor of it. Which was fine, for a while, but I’ve been wanting to find a way to do the podcast but also work on my creative things. I wanted to make videos again, I just didn’t know how. Weight loss videos were not my thing anymore. They didn’t help me creatively, and were slightly negative to my mental health. But there was this nostalgia attached to the channel only being about that for as long as it has been that was preventing me from moving on.

Until after one random chat with the Noonas where we were discussing Pride and Prejudice, it clicked. Along with not doing videos, I’ve also stopped reading as much as I used to. Reading has always been a love of mine, but it is always the first thing that I will give up in favor of other interests. Throughout the years I’ve wanted to get back into finding myself lost in a good book and being able to incorporate times of reading even while doing other things. So I suggested a book club. It was something that I wanted to do, but knew that the other ladies were already into reading I thought suggesting it would be good. I get to read more, and it can be combined with the podcast, it seemed like the perfect way to mesh what I wanted to do together.

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And then, as most random plans do (and our moment of collective motivation to do everything), I was thinking about fun things that this book club meant I mentioned a fun bookish video idea. In reality I’ve been wanting to incorporate book videos into my channel for a while, but it just felt weird if they weren’t on topic or it being the sole purpose of the channel. I watch a lot of booktube, and I’ve always thought how much it is similar to the drama watching community. We all have dramas to be watched, books to read. We all have our favorite genre, we jump at giving recommendations to anyone and anything. That’s when it kind of clicked.

So, here I am officially introducing my new channel direction where I combine my love of dramas, the want to make the time for books, and the need to work on videos again. It feels nice to have finally found something that I’m excited for. It just seems like I’ve been throwing ideas at a wall for such a long time, and having none of it stick, and then this happened so naturally and seems like so much fun. I had a good time with my old videos (10 years!), but it’s time to do something different.

So, if you are like me and really love Asian dramas and also books follow along here. Here’s to new and fun projects!

Certified Wandering Earth

This week on the podcast we talked about the Chinese movie, The Wandering Earth, a sci-fi/end of the world/destruction film that was a mega hit when released in China, and did well in the screenings internationally. It currently sits at #3 on the top grossing movies of 2019.

Netflix acquired the rights to the movie, yet released it quietly. In the episode we talk about why we liked the film, why Netflix is promoting it the way they are, and talk about the author of the book it was based on:

This episode is under an entire “spoiler alert” so go watch the movie and come back to listen!

Weekly Roundup // 5-12-19

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Happy Mother’s day!

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: Absolute Boyfriend, Angel’s Last Mission: Love (15)

Music I’ll be checking out: EXID, Winner (15), Ladies Code (16), Davichi (17)

LINKS▹▹

-How Netflix is Reshaping South Korean Entertainment

Interesting article on how Netflix is continuing to pursue content coming from South Korea, but begs the question as to how it will effect us as already long time viewers of the content.

-Remake of “The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil

Ma Dong Seok is having a pretty good year: the Hollywood remake has confirmed he will be reprising his role.

-Hyolyn’s New Single

Keeping up the tradition of being a queen of summer bops, Hyolyn has a new single coming out towards the end of the month and I can not wait.

-Lee Min Ho Comeback

I have been waiting to see what Lee Min Ho would pick up since he left the military, and he’s finally settled on a project. He’ll be working with writer Kim Eun Sook on her new drama: ““The King: The Eternal Monarch”. They last worked together on “The Heirs”.

-“Angel’s Last Mission: Love” Poster

I can’t get over how gorgeous the posters are for this drama.

-Military News

Super Junior’s Kyuhyun is finally back and 2PM’s Taecyeon has days left. Xiumin is the first member of EXO to enlist, and has started his training.

-Lay at Met Gala

Lay attended the event in a really awesome UFO blazer by Valentino.

-Puppy Adoption Variety Show

Is there any question Jessie would not be watching this show?

-EXID Japan

Last week I talked about EXID’s Hani and Jeonghwa leaving their company, but it looks like we’ll have at least one more year with the group in whole, as their Japan contract doesn’t expire until 2020.

-Won Jin Ah in “Melt Me”

I very much like Won Jin Ah’s acting, and while I’m not super interested in the drama, I think this would be a good project to pick up considering Ji Chang Wook is already confirmed. I guess this will be officially added to my “Planning to Watch” list.

-"Love Affairs in the Afternoon”

We got confirmation that “Love Affairs in the Afternoon” will be airing July 5th. I enjoy Lee Sang Yeob,. I wish I had finished the Japanese version of the drama before the DramaFever demise.

-Kang Daniel

After a legal battle, it looks like Kang Daniel (Wanna One) has finally gotten his contract with LM canceled. Judging by how LM has handled things, this probably won’t be the end of the legal battle, but it seems like this is headed in the right direction.

VIDEOS▹▹

Jun.K and Wooyoung are doing fine in the military.

I’m not going to lie to you, I really don’t think I’ll watch this movie, but here’s an nice interview about Henry’s role in “A Dog’s Journey” (looks like leaving SM was really good for him)

Epik High completed their North American tour and put out short clips in each city. Here they are in one glorious video:

The trailer for the movie “The Farewell” looks amazing.

Eric Nam’s new MV:

And might as well end with the MV for Nichhyun’s Lucky Charm in honor of his successful concert this past weekend.

♢♢♢

Podcast: Certified Trot

The first week of the month we dedicate our episode to music, and this week we chose to talk about trot.

If you aren’t aware of what trot is or just haven’t dived into it, hopefully this episode will spark your interest in this music genre. Kpop isn’t the only music coming out of Korea that you should be listening to.

For all the music episodes I make a massive Youtube playlist to accompany it. Any video that we talk about (that is available to find) is in the list, in order. It really helps if you want to see the clips we are referencing, or the music we individually like. I also threw in some extras at the end:

We also have a Spotify playlist:

Time Codes:

:00 What watching/news/coming up

25:07 Game

27:52 Trot talk

Weekly Roundup // 5-5-19

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The Weekly roundup is baaaaaaaaaack! These are just a few things I’ve found around as I start back up the series.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: The Secret Life of My Secretary, Abyss (6), Save Me 2 (8)

Music I’ll be checking out: Eric Nam (8), Henry, Xiumin (9)

LINKS▹▹

-Ji Chang Wook

Ji Chang Wook is out of the military and has accepted his first role: Melt Me, a sci-fi romcom. I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably watch the first episode, even though it sounds super weird.

-Death Note the Musical

I grew up performing, and currently work professionally in theatre, so it will always be an interest of mine. I’m trying to make more of a conscious effort to find Asian-entertainment theatre news. I created a hashtag #wkdtheatre on twitter to keep all of it in a central location. I’ll be adding what I find around the web (whether it be news or random videos) on a semi consistent basis. It’s a little harder to find because of the language barrier, but I’ll try to keep it up.

-Pop Culture

Interesting read about the effects of pop culture and how it has become something that is a chore just to be able to be part of the conversation and feel included. It relates heavily to us as drama watchers and how you can feel ousted when you aren’t watching (or don’t like) what the popular show is and it’s effects on their ability to be part of true conversations.

-Fin.K.L Variety Show

There’s probably no way I won’t be watching this variety show. Fin.K.L has a place in my heart with Forever Love. Let’s also be honest, there is very rarely a time I’m not down with watching a variety show.

-MBC Mon/Tues Dramas

MBC has decided to get rid of the Monday/Tuesday (as well as the Saturday) drama slots after seeing drops in viewership. This effects us less as International viewers (who already have delays on airings because of subs, etc), but could lead to unexpected effects.

-Ladies Code Comeback

I love, love, love Ladies Code. Sure, we got a Christmas song and I loved both Sojung and Ashley’s solos, but I’ve wanted more, 2016’s Myst3ry was the last comeback. IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING.

-EXID

And in news that I knew would happen but still breaks my heart, Hani and Jeonghwa have decided not to renew their contracts with Banana Culture, putting EXID in “hiatus” after their May comeback. I’m excited for the future solo releases, but will be sad to not see them together. I don’t have any strong hope in them producing anything past this comeback together.

VIDEOS▹▹

Epik High did a video with Buzzfeed about “Their First Times” and it’s just as amazing and hilarious as you would expect from them:

Heechul finally has a solo out, Old Movie. He legitimately has a great voice, I just don’t understand why it’s taken this long.

Slightly obsessed with Reol’s song, Gekihaku:

I also became a huge fan of Band Maid (seriously, where have I been??). Here’s their newest song, Gion-cho:

Park Bom’s new song, 4:44 came out a couple of days ago:

♢♢♢

May 2019 Dramas

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May 4 Different Dreams-이몽 // MBC Saturdays (Kocowa, Viki)

Espionage drama set during the Japanese colonial occupation. Looking forward to this one because it looks intriguing and the costume design is gorgeous. I also have to support Kim Kyu Jong.

May 6 Abyss-어비스 // tvN Monday-Tuesdays (Netflix)

Supernatural drama where the two main leads die, and are revived in a different body from a soul-reviving marble called the Abyss. With Park Bo Young and Ahn Hyo Seop as leads, this one is probably going to be entertaining. I also love a good supernatural, and with this being on Netflix it’s a safe bet that I will be trying this one out.

May 6 Secret Life of My Secretary-초면에 사랑합니다 // SBS Monday-Tuesdays (Kocowa, Viki)

No one knows what this one is about. Does he have facial blindness? Is he actually blind? Did he kill someone? Who knows. Not super interested in this one (it doesn’t look to be my type drama) but I might check this out just to see what’s going on. I absolutely loved Jin Ki Joo in Come and Hug Me.

May 8 Save Me 2-구해줘 2 // OCN Wednesday-Thursdays (Godspeed)

I have not watched the first season of Save Me, but was told that it wasn’t needed. Thriller/psychological drama about a town and their connection with an over zealous religious group. As long as I can find a place to access subs, I’m 100% down with this one.

May 11 Voice 3-보이스 3 // OCN Saturday-Sundays (Godspeed)

Third season of the Voice series that follows an Emergency call center. As far as I know, this one is a continuation, and I have not watched the other two seasons so I probably won’t be watching this one, but may check out the first season this summer.

May 15 Absolute Boyfriend-절대 그이 // SBS Wednesday-Thursdays (Viki)

Romcom about a girl who falls in love with a robot, based on the Japanese manga. Honestly, I’ll probably watch this one. The cast looks pretty great with Yeo Jin Goo, Bang Min Ah, and Hong Jong Hyun.

May 15 Angels Last Mission: Love-단, 하나의 사랑 // KBS Wednesday-Thursdays (Kocowa)

An angel recieves a mission to find true love for the main character, but in turn falls in love. Hands down my most excited drama of the bunch. The teasers look great (which I know is iffy because it can go a different route), but I’m hoping for a semi-dark melo.

May 22 One Spring Night-봄밤 // MBC Wednesday-Thursdays (Probably Kocowa, Viki)

Jung Hae In and Han Ji Min star in a story about a couple’s relationship. It seems to be a noona romance that isn’t the central premise? Not much is out, and there isn’t a teaser that I can find. Honestly, not super interested in this one.

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May 29 The Wind Blows-바람이 분다 // JTBC Monday-Tuesdays (Viki)

A married couple divorces after one finds out they have Alzheimer’s and the reunite years later. Pretty sure this is a remake of a Japanese drama. Probably another show I will not be watching.

May 31 Aide-보좌관 // JTBC Friday- Saturdays (No word if Viki has it)

Political drama about a chief aide and young lawyer. Not super into political dramas, and this one might be harder to find subbed.

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Podcast: Certified First Loves

I promised myself that I would start updating this blog once I got off contract and can dedicate more time that is usually spent doing my actual job, and here I am. Success!

As you probably know, I’m part of the podcast The Certified Noonas. We post an episode once a week (on Mondays), and we’ve been working hard on it for the past 6 months. It’s a lot of fun, but a good bit of work (even with four of us total), so naturally I want to share that work. I’m going to try to remember to post about it every week.

This week we watched and discussed the first 8 episodes of My First First Love on Netflix, starring Jisoo, Jung Chae Yeon, and Jung Jin Young. The rest of the cast can be found here.

Along with talking about those episodes, we also played a game of MASH but with a twist. I was cracking up while editing that part, it’s probably our best game yet (even though I’m obviously biased).

Listen to the podcast here (spoilers are listed in the time codes below, but we do talk about all 8 episodes):

Time Codes

:20 What looking forward to in May

15:09 MASH

29:17 First First Love talk

38:12-38:41 First Time spoiler

1:17 Outro

Kdrama Newbie

I rarely post anything in this blog, so it’s not surprising that I haven’t made an actual announcement that I am on a podcast, but chances are you are coming here from twitter and already know that I’m part of the podcast Certified Noonas. Our last episode we strayed from our normal content and decided to do an episode dedicated to being a kdrama newbie. We talked a bit about some of our own personal tips and tricks with navigating this new world you may have found yourself in.

In the episode we discuss a ton of different things and figured that a sole blog post dedicated to all the links that we mentioned might be easier than just looking through the description on the episode.

The Certified Noonas massive list of all our specific links (including our personal twitters and social media for the podcast) can be found here.

Places to track your drama viewing: My Drama List, TV Time

Podcasts Mentioned: Drama Kandy, Noona Ya Business, The KThree, Fall for It. All of those podcasts are active on twitter, so make sure to check them out for more content.

Drama Current’s website and their twitter for the monthly #kdramachat.

Immy’s Daebak KPOP Radio and their twitter. The radio show happens every Sunday, but she uses twitter to get requests in, so follow both!

Youtubers: Outspoken Artistry and React to the K

After doing the podcasts, we realized there were some people and sites we left out, but I think this is a good initial introduction into some things that people may not have known about. Who knows, a part 2 might happen in the new year…

Watch List of Doom

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It’s the beginning of November, and seeing as how I haven’t done a currently watching post since this summer, an update felt needed.

To be honest, I am a bit behind on some of the airing shows. Between the demise of DramaFever (and subsequent discussions on twitter), the start of the new podcast I’m in (Certified Noonas, check us out!), and getting sick (to the point that I couldn’t even watch anything), I’ve been playing major catch up. I sadly have to spend most of my day at work so it’s been slow, but this past week I made a huge dent and I’m sure I’ll be caught up by the end of this week.

-CURRENTLY AIRING-

Where Stars Land - 여우각시별

Despite this past weeks direction into a territory I don’t want, and the fact that everyone seems to hate this drama, I am really enjoying it. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it’s a fluffy pretty drama with actors I like and hidden moments that I am really enjoying. I might do a full review on this one once the show is completed, because I have a lot to say on it.

The Beauty Inside - 뷰티 인사이드

This is the surprise drama for me. It has taken my heart. I was not in the mood to watch this when it first aired, and figured with the plot that it would be an okay show but not something I would fall in love with. I was wrong. The characters relationship’s are fantastic, and I’m in love with the moments they are taking with the two leads just enjoying each other’s company. Episode 10 had me tearing up; it was a beautiful episode.

The Smile Has Left Your Eyes - 하늘에서 내리는 일억개의 별

This show is so good. It is by far my favorite of the group. The writing is fantastic, the acting outstanding. I am intrigued and it’s always leaving me wondering what is going on and why. The whole tone of the show is fantastic. I’ve been really good and haven’t spoiled myself from the jdrama version, because I am loving the feeling of being on the edge of my seat every week.

Terius Behind Me - 내 뒤에 테리우스

I have no clue what is going on with this show. It isn’t a good show. At all. It doesn’t know what it wants to be and changes every single episode but I find myself not being able to look away. I’m more intrigued by it’s existence than anything else.

The Player - 플레이어

I’m fairly far behind on this show and it ends next week, but it’s still on the list because I really loved it and have every intention on catching up (maybe before the finale? A girl can dream). The cast has some killer chemistry and they are having fun which shows. And Krystal. I liked her before, and now have a crush on her.

Ms Ma, Nemesis - 미스 마, 복수의 여신

This best way to describe this show is a great weekend afternoon watch. I’m not an Agatha Christie fan so I don’t know how closely it is following to the Miss Marple stories, but I am a mystery/crime fan and this one is fun.

Twelve Nights - 열두밤

I started this drama purely because we wanted to discuss it on the podcast and liked it much more than I thought. I probably wouldn’t have even picked it up if I didn’t have to talk about it, but it’s a nice quiet show.

-EVERYTHING ELSE-

100 Days Prince - 백일의 낭군님

I’m really not a sageuk fan, so I tend to not even attempt any of the ones that air, but too many people were talking about this one, and I’m definitely one to be moved by peer pressure. I ended up marathoning a ton of episodes one weekend…and then DramaFever was killed. I haven’t really picked it up again, and I fear it might end up in that “on hold” hole that I like to put things that I know the ending to but hope that I can watch it.

Love Myself or You/Pleasantly Surprised - 喜歡·一個人

I feel like I always want to have one non-Korean drama on my watch list, and this one came on because of that. And Jasper Liu’s smile. He has a very nice smile. It’s been sort of sidelined - have you seen that airing watch list I have accumulated? I still pick up an episode here and there and need to finish it soon.

Sassy Go Go/Cheer Up - 발칙하게 고고

This was also a show that I picked up before this crazy round of shows, and now that Ghost Detective is done I’ve moved it back to the watch list in hopes to get me to watch it again. I’m about half way through the series, but it is a high school drama and I just have to be in the mood to watch it.

I also watch my same variety/reality shows pretty much weekly: Running Man, Home Alone, and Happy Together.

I try to be fairly good about updating My Drama List, so if you find you really want to check out what I’m watching, that’s a good spot.

Netflix List Updates 10/20/18

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When I first got into kdramas and spent a lot of time watching them, I noticed that Netflix would take off something without warning only to have it appear again months later.

Seeing as how I love lists (like, a lot), I decided to keep a list of kdramas that they had and try to update them every month or so to keep up with what was changing, and figure out what I was missing.

The past couple of months I’ve been falling out of the habit of keeping up with the list religiously, and figured that with DramaFever’s demise there is strong possibility that Netflix will be adding more shows in the coming months, so I have updated the list.

I have a page on the site dedicated to it here, that I will try to be better at updating. It currently also has a less-than-updated list of jdramas, which are a little harder to update because of the lack of category on the site. It takes much more detective work to officially say a title is Japanese over say a Chinese title. But, at any rate, a small list is there. As I get more into Taiwanese dramas I might end up adding it as a section to the list as well, but again - they share the fate that Japanese dramas have without a dedicated category link.

There hasn’t been much difference to the list since the last update, but I figured that dedicating a post every time I do an update so you can see the movement would be beneficial. A note: I live in the US, thus you’re list might very slightly than mine if you live in a different country.

Adds:

YG Future Strategy Office

Switched (jdrama)

Drops:

Real GOT7

Weekly Roundup // 10-7-18

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It’s like throwing darts at a dartboard and hoping one will stick with my sporadic posting. I’m sorry it’s been over a month since my last post, but let’s start the week with a few links and videos, shall we?

NEWS

-New(ish) JDramas!

We finally have some new jdramas to watch on DramaFever, both being released this month. Black Leather Notebook was just released this past Friday, and Wise and Foolish will be released on the 12th. Both dramas were released last year, but at least it’s something. As a lover of jdramas, but not wanting to watch them on sketchy sites, I’ll take whatever I can get.

-God’s Quiz Teasers

I’m so excited for this fifth season, which starts in the beginning of November taking over The Guest’s spot. It’s an OCN show, so it’s going to be hard to find but it’s one that I can’t miss. The first four seasons are on Netflix if you haven’t seen them. The show is a procedural, and if you loved shows like Bones or Castle, this is right up your alley.

-Epik High Parts from YG

I’ve been a fan of Epik High for a while, and hope that this decision helps them continue to be successful in the future

-Solji is Back!

Ok, so this is slightly old news, but Solji is back with EXID and it makes me so happy. I’m unapologetically a huge fan of her, and she has been dealing with health issues for the past two years causing her to sit out of activities with the group. I was worried she wouldn’t be able to come back, but not only is she participating in recording she’s also doing promotions.

-Namie Amuro Retires

Namie Amuro has been around for such a long time, that it’s crazy to think that she is actually retiring.

-The Rose Comeback

If you haven’t listened to any of the Rose’s music you are missing out. I love their voices, and their newest song is worth a listen.

-Jackson is Great

To highlight some great humans in the kpop world, Jackson of GOT7 defended a fan who was holding an umbrella for him when a photographer pushed the girl because she was blocking his shot.

-YG Future Strategy Office

This show is FANTASTIC. If you are any bit a fan of YG go watch it now.

VIDEOS

YoungSaeng just released a new Japanese single, After the Rain

I’m in the middle of watching a Taiwanese drama called Love Myself or You, and the lead, Jasper Liu, is adorable. I found out he plays guitar in an indie band called Morning Call that is really great.

Amber is going on tour here in the States, and just released some more new music and it’s just fantastic. I’ve been loving all the music she’s been putting out lately.

I’m kind of in love with Tiffany’s new song.

And finally, those SuJu boys just won’t stop and are gearing up for a new comeback. Here’s their newest song, Animals.

Weekly Roundup // 8-26-18

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Listen. I know it's been two months since I've written anything and I'm very sorry. I'm back at work, and I am going to do my best to find a good schedule to stick with this site because even though it might not seem like it, I really enjoy it and want it to grow more than just a couple of posts. If you really want to know what's going on with me, I am most active on Twitter and it's the best way to know what I'm doing and what I'm watching, but am hopeful that I can stop procrastinating and write more.

I figured to get back into the swing of things I would bring back the Weekly Roundup posts. They were fun to do because it made me focus more on what's going on besides just watching shows or listening to music. Obviously a lot has happened in the past couple of months that I can't talk about it all nor remember any of it (I'm old, leave me alone) so here are a couple of news bits and pieces in the past week or so that I wanted to talk about.

NEWS

-Park Bom in the Studio

I still haven't gotten over 2NE1 going away and I am so excited about this. I need Park Bom back in my life, and it looks like my prayers have been answered. I'm hoping that with this we get to see her more, because if you have watched any of the old interviews or 2NE1 TV you know how crazy awesome this girl is.

-Korean Military Rules

I admit that I really don't keep up with a lot of the non-entertainment news coming out of South Korea, so even though I'm aware when someone leaves to fulfill their service that is the extent of my knowledge on the rules and regulations. Thankfully I have really awesome friends doing the work for me! Check out Drama Current's explanation of the new rules with military service that can effect males in the entertainment system and the way their year shapes up. This is especially important because it's leading to some very sudden shake ups in productions and entire groups being forced into fulfilling their service much sooner than expected.

-Yoon Doojoon Enlistment

This is one of the biggest (and most recent) effects the new military rules have created. Yoon Doojoon has been forced to enlist immediately (as in 2 days ago), even though he is currently in production as the lead in the drama Let's Eat 3. The production has been forced to shorten the show from 16 to 14 episodes to account for his sudden absence.

-BoA 18th Anniversary

If we are being technical about things, BoA is the reason I got into KPop. Granted, it was her Japanese music that brought me to her (I loved Inuyasha in high school and "Every Heart" was my belting out loud song). Congrats on 18 years in the industry! If you don't know much about her, you should really read up on her influence on Korean popular music as it is now. She had a significant impact on the popularity and spread of Korean music especially in other parts of Asia.

-Hyuna/E'dwan Drama

You know how when you are little and you do something bad, your parents will tell you that it's bad and teach you that so you don't do it again? Then you'd go to school and there would be that one kid in class that it was obvious that they didn't have the same upbringing so they didn't know what was right from wrong. When you don't teach people properly they feel that they have superiority over anything they don't agree with. The outcome in this instance is people being kicked out of a group.

-Crazy Rich Asians Sequel

Not really drama related, but congrats on the team for CRA! This is phenomenal, and as a white person who is trying to be conscious in promoting and putting my money towards the groups that are underrepresented I'm happy to see this news and am hopeful that not only will this create change in how Asians are represented in Western media but other underrepresented groups.

-Kim Jung Hyun

Kim Jung Hyun has stepped down from his role in the drama Time due to health concerns. I am not watching Time, but know that it must be hard on the viewers as they still have half the show left but I think that this is the best decision for him and hope that his health issues improve.

VIDEOS

I loved SISTAR and am really loving everything that Hyolyn is putting out since going solo. As a side note, her backup dances are not only talented but I love that they are so diverse. This song is also super catchy and a great summer song.

I have been gently nudged into the land of Taiwanese dramas and I'm afraid I'm not going to turn back. I've been watching Behind Your Smile and while I'm enjoying the drama, I'm obsessed with the opening song by Shi Shi. Good thing, since I hear it every 20 minutes in the show.

And lastly, what kind of Super Junior D&E fan would I be if I didn't make you watch their newest song?

Look out later this week for an updated currently watching list!

Weekly Roundup // 7-1-18

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I can't believe that it is already July!

My summer is wrapping up this month, and to finish off this month with a bang I have decided to do a massive drama marathon. I am going to watch as many dramas as I possibly can, and also catch up on my watchlist - hopefully. I'm sporadic and jump around a bit but my main goal is to watch as much as I can and focus on that.

Now, onto the news stories of the week that I thought were interesting!

Kim Hyun Joong Drama Casting

Last week I talked about how KHJ resigned with Key East and this week we get news that he has been offered lead in a new fantasy/romance drama. I don't know how to feel about this, I just keep thinking about how Sungmin from Super Junior was ousted from participating in the newest activies with the group just because he got married, and yet...

Ashley Choi Solo Debut

I'm a long time fan of Ladies Code, and when I saw this article I was excited. I loved all of Sojung's solo stuff from early this year and am excited to hear Ashley's. Ladies Code is so deserving of more love and attention. They had to go through such a tough time for a while, but they are all so talented and put out really great music.

Alter Boys Cast

Most probably don't know this, but I work in theatre and when I get to talk about that and Korean entertainment I'm excited. I'm assuming this Japanese version is from the musical of the same name and features a list of people that I already love, especially Yesung from Super Junior and Chansung from 2PM.

Mr. Sunshine on Neflix

The drama Mr. Sunshine will be premiering this month on Netflix, and will be airing at a normal simulcast with Korea here in the States. I probably won't watch the show, but this is huge considering Netflix has a great record of snagging dramas and then waiting till they are already to complete to put them up (I'm looking at you, Age of Youth Season 2 and Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food).

One Piece Joining Soccer Fans

After the Senegal/Japan game some fans came together through their mutual love of the Anime, One Piece. I just love this so much, I love when people come together through their love of something.

Utada Hikaru New Album

Utada Hikaru released her newest album, Hatsukoi, this week and it's just as amazing as I expected it to be. I've been a fan of her since high school (and that was a really long time ago) and get excited when I see new music from her!

Debunking Factory KPOP Article

This is a great and interesting read for everyone to read about the KPOP industry and invalidating others because we latch on to one story about the industry and how females are portrayed (and their subsequent real contributions are overshadowed)

Wooyoung Enlistment

All my 2PM boys are leaving :(

Jung So Min and Lee Min Ki Cameo

They are going to be in Secretary Kim! Ahhhhh!

Videos of the Week:

I love SHINee and their new stuff is just so great. They just released their newest MV for "Our Page" and it's great.

Also, the Epik High/Sekai No Owari collab is out!

I can't leave without sharing Amber's new collab on Justin Park's new song "XL Uber"

Summer Friday Movie Nights: Red Carpet

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Okay, listen. I had dreams to be a consistent human being and write one of these movie reviews every Friday, but apparently I’m not good at those things so here we are after not posting last week with a new review. It’s been a week since watching this one, so while it isn’t super fresh in my mind I might miss some things that I could have expanded upon. I try to jot down notes while watching things, but even in the best situations I miss stuff.

Today’s movie is Red Carpet - 레드카펫
Release Date: 2014
Director: Park Bum Soo
Starring: Yoon Kye Sang and Koh Joon Hee
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Platform: Netflix

Director/writer Jung Woo has dreams of producing his works in the film industry, but ends up working for porn films to pay the bills and to stay in the field while he tries to find his way in. Eun Soo is a former child actress who is trying to find her way back into the world of acting away from her former self. The two meet one night and develop a relationship.

Non-spoiler review: When going into the film, I didn’t expect it to turn into the movie that it was and was surprised how much I ended up enjoying it. The movie’s premise is simple: it’s about finding what you love to do and not letting the world’s assumptions tell you that you aren’t worthy of having your voice heard just because you went about it a different way. It has some funny moments, and a great supporting cast of quirky characters and I overall enjoyed it.

Now onto the more in-depth spoiler filled review!

There is one reason, and one reason only that I decided upon this specific movie when I was searching for a movie to watch: I saw Chansung from 2PM in the thumbnail.

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I am a weak person and sometimes I only pick things because it has a Kpop Idol I like in it. If you think you can outgrow some things, I’m here to tell you friends it doesn’t matter what age you are. You can revert back to a 13 year old in an instant. However I am pleasantly surprised to have actually given this one a shot, because I came to like the movie much more than I ever would have if I had gone by the synopsis or even the very few reviews that are out there. The movie is admittedly a little silly, and has it’s moments that aren’t the best, but has such a great heart and message that I just really got into it. It also has Yoon Kye Sang from g.o.d in it. Double the idols!

The two leads meet because of the good old “renter-got-both-our money-for-the-same-place-and-bailed” switch. I should say at this point in the review: this film is pretty good at subtly smashing the assumptions you make based on things that are happening, and also within the world of that characters itself. This scene kind of kicks off that by playing up a standard trope right off the bat so that you are forced into an assumption of how things are going to play out. The two became close as she learns he is a screenwriter and enjoys his work, and he starts to fall for her as he learns that she is a pretty decent actress (they also have to do that share the same place thing for a while, so that kind of helps with the tension). They share a night together, and she ends up getting a gig after all of his coaching.

She goes to give him a gift as a thank you, but ends up visiting him while he’s shooting. She doesn’t know he’s shooting, nor does she even know he works in the porn industry, and assumes he’s cheating on her. She leaves him there, without saying a word and without him even knowing that she showed up. I kind of love this plot point as it relates to the assumptions theme in the movie. She leaves because she thinks he’s cheating on her. When she leaves you realize that the porn director - who one might assume is fine with one night stands because of what he does for living - is pretty devastated by it. Assumptions!

The second act of the movie is spent with him slowly crumbling, while she’s flourishing. She gets her break, while he starts to slip out of the sight of what he really wants to do. He stops trying to find someone who will take his script, and while we had seen previously that working in porn and the fallouts of that wasn’t too hard on him, the negatives start to hinder his ability to continue his journey of his dream. He finally gets the courage to meet her again, and she agrees. While they meet at a coffee shop it is only then that she finally learns that he works in porn because her director for her current film (drama? I can’t remember. Thing she’s acting in) is at the same place.

At this point, you the viewer might assume that she might be disgusted by this revelation of news. Or decide that she can’t be seen with him because it will ruin her reputation as an actress and that its going to become the new obstacle of the movie…but that’s not the case. She actually doesn’t care all that much finding out what he does for a living. If anything, it just makes her finally realize what was actually happening the day she left, and she’s ok with it. Oh, if people would just talk then we wouldn’t have these assumptions! They form a friendship again, and she agrees to work on his film, the one he’s been writing, because she believes in his work. She goes into this knowing what it can do to her career and the way that she is perceived, but she believes enough in him and his work that she doesn’t care. For her, she’s never actually cared about those things.

There is a scene where Jung Woo is at Eun Soo’s agency to talk about what they are going to do with the bad press that’s coming out after she’s been spotted working on this movie with a porn director. Jung Woo is having a hard time, as he knows that because of who he is Eun Soo is getting the negative outcome. As Jung Woo is leaving, there is a painting behind him. It is of three people, nude from behind. It’s abstract enough to be a little less visible, but still clear enough to know what it is. The blocking played really well with what they were trying to accomplish for this movie. Here he was, the porn director who’s work is deemed morally wrong and not artistic, in the same room as this other work of nudity in a different medium that is fine and acceptable art.

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The movie ends how you kind of expect: the movie they are working on is finally finished and ends up getting picked up at a tiny film festival where the reaction to it is positive and genuine. Eun Soo leaves a major film festival to visit the small one and Eun Soo and Jung Woo are finally together.

I didn’t talk about them, and don’t really have the time, but I do want to touch quickly on the minor characters in the movie. I’m a sucker for good minor characters. I love an array of background characters that aren’t just there to hold up the mains but to have their own life and heart and this movie has that. You genuinely start to love this group of colleagues that have become friends. Their roots all tied to the porn industry gives the laughs, but they really hone into the insight of people being made to feel bad about themselves. We see this in the fight scene at the bar where the girls are reduced down to just beings the patrons think they can grope; but you also see the rise of them becoming their own and defending who they are as people and standing up for each other. They fight for and support Jung Woo’s vision of his movie. I really loved them. They were quirky and fun and really added to the movie.

One of the things that I dislike most of the time about dramas, or really any entertainment for that matter, is the use of overplayed tropes. They are used as a crutch. A way to get the viewer into the script with familiarity, and a way to write something a little bit easier with those prompts. I understand why they are done, and I’m not one to hate something because they happen to be used, but sometimes they can be exhausting when you just want something a little bit different than you expected. This movie kind of took me on that journey. Albeit, it still has it’s tropes and the ending is very predictable, I really enjoyed seeing the movie start to pick up on these overused plots and were aware and ever so slightly change them to something you may not have expected. In a way, that was my own assumption of the movie on whole when I started to watch it: I assumed the movie about a porn director would be campy and cheap humor and in the end it wasn’t about that. In fact it had very little to do with that. It was about people who were being ostracized because they were doing something they loved in a different way than society assumed they should be doing. And in the end, I really liked what this film did to focus on assumptions that are made, and I loved that they went about it in such an off-the-wall way of telling that story. This movie isn’t going to be for everyone, and has it’s share of campy and not so great writing and acting, but in the end the movie had heart. It was funny and enjoyable…and isn’t that what a movie should be?

Here's the trailer if you are interested. I couldn't find an English sub, but I think you can pick up on things fairly easily:

Weekly Roundup // 6-25-18

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I'm trying to get better at a schedule with posts, but I'm terrible with that sort of thing and it's been going slow. I still have a month left of my summer vacation (aka, off-contract at work) and so I'm hoping by the time I go back I have a better schedule and am not missing weeks of not posting things, so please bare with me.

I've been really impressed with the people who are on top of current events in Hallyuland, and I thought it would be fun to have a weekly post where I write about some of the things I saw during the week that I wanted to discuss more, and in turn make myself know more of what's going on, so each week I'll try to do a round up of some of the stories that I saw and comment more about them. I'll never be able to have the dedication to be so on top of current events, but I think it will be a fun exercise (and show you more about what interests me).

Let's get started!

-God's Quiz Season Five

I just heard about it this news through the newest Kchat Jjigae podcast, and I need to discuss it. I'm currently in the middle of season four of the show and have a love/hate relationship with the show. I really loved it the first two seasons, it's the type of show I normally lean towards, but season three threw me off with it's betrayal of characters and turned into a super campy mess that was terribly written. Season four is trying to make up, but the supporting characters aren't where they were in the first seasons. I have mixed feelings about having a season five purely because of that reason, and can only work if they don't do what they did in season three and definitely if Ryu Deok Hwan isn't in it (he's not confirmed to be in the show yet).

-Epik High/Sekai no Owari Collab!

I found out about this last night and may have freaked out slightly. I am a HUGE Sekai no Owari and this just feels like a dream. And while I'm not a super fan of Epik High, they are great and am beyond excited how this collab is going to turn out.

-G Dragon Treatment

I'm not really into looking into these "scandals" because there is more to care about in life if someone got a private bedroom or not, but when I saw this secondary article I just felt disgusted. This highlights the reason why someone as big as G-Dragon needs to have a private room because someone felt the need to describe every little speck on his body to send to his girlfriend who then put it online. I don't care who you are, that's disgusting behavior and scary. Also, what about the soldier who did this? If he doesn't get any repercussions from this, isn't that special treatment?

-Bad Boy in English at KCON NY

This past weekend was KCON NY (and Vidcon!) and I'm slightly sad that I couldn't go so I've been finding everyone's post on it, and stumbled upon this one about Red Velvet singing Bad Boy in English, which I think is a really great move on the team for them to do that and I really liked it. I'm always a fan when entertainers are tuned into their audience and play to that.

-Super Junior on Good Day NY

In other KCON-kinda-related news, Super Junior was on the New York morning show Good Day New York. Does anyone else get super excited to see Korean entertainment on American shows? Because I do, especially groups that I'm a fan of. My age is showing, but I get so proud of them doing well and winning over new audiences.

-Kim Hyun Joong Renews Contract

I will forever and always originally be a Triple S. I love SS501 to this day, they are my Korean Backstreet Boys and there is something about your first group that you fell in love with that will stick with you forever so I'm always looking for more information from the boys. While my love has wavered from Hyun Joong because of probably obvious reasons, I still peek to see what's going on. I still am waiting for a reunion once Kim Hyung Jun gets out of military, at least with the other four.

-Yunho Return to Home Alone

Home Alone is one of my favorite variety/reality shows and I loved Yunho the last time he was on the show (and how different he was from Changmin) so I'm excited he's returning.

And to end this post here are two videos that I feel you need to see:

I'm not a fan of NCT 127, I literally can't even tell you if I've actually listened to any of their songs, but this video they did with BuzzFeed is just too adorable not to share.

I'm sure everyone has seen it by now, but this behind the scenes video of the cast and crew watching some of the cringy moments of What's Wrong with Secretary Kim is probably the best thing I've seen all week.

Five Reasons Why I Love...What's Wrong with Secretary Kim

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As I try to fill the void in between new episodes, I thought I would talk about the really-great-fantastic-show that is What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim. As of writing this, there are only four episodes out and while things could change as the series progresses, these are some of the key things that has made me fall in love with the show so far.

Excellent character writing.

If you need to know anything about me in terms of written stories I am 100% a character driven viewer. I live for character development and complex characters that show what it’s really like to be a human but still portrays what the specific character projects to others. I can not stand when writers make their characters do something that they would never do to move the plot around. With TV, I’m a bit more lenient since there are time constraints for scripts, but I won’t let everything pass.

Secretary Kim has some really brilliant character writing. How could you fall in love with an over the top narcissist without that writing? We see Young Joon as an arrogant narcissist, to the point that by all accounts you should hate him but as the character progresses and we see him interact with different characters (along with finding out more of his backstory) he changes and we see how his negatives aren’t as terrible as they are on paper.

A strong female lead that is not only smart and capable, but human.

Oh, the drama trope of the female lead being incapable of doing some things or over the top annoying and still being labeled as a “strong female lead” is something that annoys me. Mi So is anything but that. She is good at her job, she has proven this in several points in the series where she will take charge of a situation to change the outcome into a positive without much thought. She is sweet, kind, and patient with the new secretary she is helping train and is genuine about what she does. She’s not showy, she doesn’t expect attention or accolades for the things that she does at work, and she still is grounded knowing what she wants in life. She also doesn’t see what other see: Mi So is constantly talking about how she is not the best secretary, even though we see through her actions that she is more than qualified in her position. She is all-around a genuinely strong female lead.

A mother who isn’t a jerk.

The moment Secretary Kim and the mother came into the same shot during the show I was sure that she would make some off-handed comment. And then she didn’t. I don’t know if this will continue, or if at this moment she is only doing this because of her wanting Mi So to marry her son, but it’s so nice to not have the evil mother-in-law trope.

Well written campiness.

I very much dislike campiness. I know what you are thinking, I actively seek asian dramas as my source of entertainment and it’s one of the most common types of genre there. I get it - it was really hard for me in high school trying to find an anime that I liked, and not being able to watch the ones all my other friends did because they were just too much for me. Or end up forcing myself to watch one and hating every second (I’m looking at you, Fushigi Yugi) but Secretary Kim is a ray of sunshine. The writing helps ground the campiness. It’s there for added comedy and to help facilitate the other characters interactions with the main two. I don’t cringe when I watch it, I just enjoy it - which is how that campiness needs to be executed for me to not drop the series.

Well acted.

I think one of the most important things that an actor needs to be able to pull off to convince me that they are the character they are portraying is being able to keep up with little nuances that we as human’s have that aren’t necessarily things we realize or notice. If they are done too flashy or too stiff, it can come off as a disservice to the character and throw off the whole vibe and tone of the scene. Park Seo Joon’s acting subtly shows how Young Joon is slowly falling in love with Mi So through small looks and tone paces and is not forced. Park Min Young’s portrayal of the confidence that Mi So has while around coworkers, but switching it off to do the things she needs to and her life afterwork is not jarring and she’s able to keep Secretary Kim and Mi So’s traits the same. These subtle things help create characters that are more developed and rounded.

Honorable Mentions

-The new Secretary Kim is (so far) not conniving or mean. There is no ulterior motives with her.
-Great minor characters who provide a lot of the comic relief.
-When the older brother asks for her number, Mi So just types random numbers just to make him think she was actually adding her number
-Mi So’s older sisters are genuinely apologetic that she helped their education and their family’s debt.
-Park Seo Joon broody shower scenes. I mean. Yes.
-Mi So is quitting to find herself, and in turn making sure she’s the star of her life.