The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happiness On the Wind

Baram Buleo Jongeun Nal



February 1 to October 1, 2010 Korean drama with 173 episodes that aired every Saturday afternoon and starred a few, hot guys - JIN LEE HAN for starters ...



Dude may be a tad on the short side, but he's smokin' in the face and voice departments.

You'll note his name is spelled correct with Lee and incorrect with the pronunciation Yi - either way, he's a great actor and I can't wait to see what else he has to offer in the way of more, entertaining drama spots.

Funny thing is, he's even a KEN DOLL, and I still got a thang for him - which speaks volumes of his excellent portrayal of a dutiful, eldest son (Jang Dae han) caught between two chicks and his magnetic charms.

Dae han lives with his parents, a paternal grandmother who thinks she knows everything about everything yet has no clue about reality and modern-day ethics, a younger brother, and a baby sister.

Min guk is played by Lee Hyeon jin, another Ken doll but with that cute, Korean boy lisp, nice hair, height, and an okay bod.

He's an inventor of sorts who got into a lot of trouble in high school, and who now causes his overbearing omanee endless heartache and worry since he hasn't got a job, and because his snob gal-pal dumps him in the very, first episode, omanee also has to worry about his getting hitched so she can have an extra pair of hands around the house.

Min guk seems like the center of the story, but he's not ... Dae han is, yet Min guk receives plenty of air time for those of you interested in staring at him for 173 half-hour episodes!

Min guk threatens to toss his tall, dark, and handsome ass off a bridge if his girl doesn't return to him, and unbeknownst to the throngs and media standing by awaiting the inevitable, mousy but pretty Obokshi enters the fray, climbs up alongside Min guk, and on national television, she threatens to jump if her shiftless and thieving appaji doesn't return the rent money she saved up.

Now, in the images of the water below, it was quite obvious it was frozen - which, in reality, would make for one, nasty fall and a pretty big OUCH upon impact ... but, fear not!

Yea, Obok-shi has to fumble for her purse, taking her and Min guk to the depths of the sea, miraculously surviving and ... um ... there wasn't an ice floe or even cubes anywhere near them when they were rescued by the police.

You'd think, after all that, that Obok and Min guk would come together but no!

They become friends and he takes her to his friend's place: a cute girl named Ha Sol-Ji (Jeong Da-Yeong).

Obok has no money, but she's a terrific graphics artist and likes to slap kawaii things together that she ends up selling on a street corner for pocket change when Dae han flies past in his car, splashing Obok with water and then backing up over her laptop, crushing it.

It's at this point in the show when we realize the story is about Obok and her budding relationship with the dashing but confused Dae han.



See, seven years prior, he was madly in love with another woman, whom he met in college and helped to pass her exams and stuff when they had sex, created a baby, and then her parents devised this evil scheme to rid Dae han from their precious, wealthy daughter's life.

I hated Miran from the very start, and mainly because I was so head-over-heels in likey with Dae han it wasn't funny.

He grabbed me from the word go, he drew me in without any effort at all, and he had me rooting for him, shedding tears for him, and screaming at him from the sidelines, begging him to find happiness!

Miran's wealthy father heads this big dairy place, and after she gives birth to a boy, he tells his only daughter that the baby was still-born and that Dae han didn't want anything to do with her anymore, so she dutifully leaves for America to marry another guy, leaving Dae han with the infant.

Now, Miran is back in Korea and she wants to make a fresh start with Dae han, only he's been working at a rival Dairy place for seven years, under the spiteful and witchy guidance of the woman in charge, who happens to have an only son who just happens to be falling deeply in love with Dae han's baby sister, Man se.

Kang Ji seop plays Kang Sang jun, a playboy under his omanee's thumb who hasn't got a clue about reality or what it means to actually work for a living, yet she intends to make him the head of her company because she has this sneaking suspicion that Dae han is out to take over her precious company.

Sang jun is sucked skillfully into Man se's arms by her interesting, if not hilarious antics - she even used Dae han's son to chase away a potential bed-mate of his after she caught him flirting yet again.

Ji seop has a great name along with a terrific bod, nice face (amazing bone structure), and oh, how I love his black hair!

Anyway, Sang jun becomes interested enough in Man se to want to marry her, but it'll have to be over his bitchy omanee's dead body, so the two immature souls concoct this scheme to make believe she is pregnant so they have no choice but to get their way.

Eventually, omanee finds out the truth and literally kicks Man se to the curb, forcing her to return, bag and baggage, to her already leery parents.

It is around this time when Dae han and Obok are starting to heat up in the relationship department and there is talk of marriage, though Dae han's overly cautious parents aren't, quite sure what to make of Obok - especially since they still bear the scars of Miran on their minds and don't want to see their adorable, first-born suffer anymore.

Meanwhile, Min guk is beginning to experience feelings for his old high school teacher and his mother's good friend.



Yea, she's about 20 years older than he is, and at first he hated her guts because he assumed she was the one who turned him in to his parents when he got into big trouble in school.

Min guk starts up this 'Husband for a Day' business working as an escort, a handy man, and so-forth to earn a living, and he's employed Sol ji to help him.

Sol ji has always had a thing for Min guk, yet he sees nothing in Sol ji but a tom-boy good friend, so that relationship hangs in the balance for a majority of this drama.

I wasn't, exactly grossed out by Min guk's antics, but I will say THANK YOU to bits for not showing us any kissing or even hugging scenes that would have bordered on the extreme.

Personally, I think Min guk's character got lost somewhere in all the 'drama' if you'll pardon the pun - and the writers felt this need to drag that storyline out for the duration despite its dead-end run about half-way through the show.

Okay - so Dae han eventually gets to marry Obok-shi, and they start out their lives together on a pretty, happy note.

Obok met Dae han's son first, and the two become fast friends after she helps him to thwart the cruel teasing of his kindergarten mates, who have nothing better to do than to taunt Dok lip about the fact he has no mother.

Dok lip (seven) refers to Obok-shi as Spicy Rice Cake girl, and the two exchange phone numbers so they can stay in touch.

When Dae han finally grabs her hand in marriage, Dok lip is more than happy with the arrangement, which helps his grandparents and great grandmother to warm up that, much quicker to Obok (whom they think is too young for Dae han or marriage).

WORLD-SHATTERING CRISIS!

He's thirty and she's twenty.



By now, y'all know my feelings on that topic, and again, what the heck is the big deal if they're truly in love, obviously made for one another, and are honestly happy together?

And, if you're going to refer to the Min guk / teacher relationship, well, that's something different.

The age gap there is 20 years, and it is she who is the elder while Min guk is still a bit on the immature side to know what is best.

I still say it is probably best for a girl to marry a man older than she is by a minimum of five years or more if she expects to find true happiness in that particular line of work.

It is more likely that he has settled down, is serious about the relationship, and he has more than just free or legal sex on his mind - he's been there and done that at least a thousand times and now wants a bit of stability in his life.

BACK TO THE SHOW

Obok has a childhood friend who happens to be working in Seoul, who happens to have enough money to keep her ass out of trouble and her father out of jail - and who happens to be carrying a life-long torch for Obok-shi when he finds out that she's dating her 'superior' from work.

Kang Eun tak as Han Ki chul


Anyway, long about half-way through the show, all hell suddenly breaks out in Seoul, and at about the same time for all the characters involved.

Miran charges into Dae han's life like the thoughtless, bullheaded twit she is - and, GAWD how I cringed every time she opened her mouth.

"Go away, Obok, he's mine now because we had sex first."

And, how many times did she saunter into the Jang residence with that pathetic smile on her face, even after having done something so blatantly vindictive as to wish she might, just evaporate into thin air??

How asshole does one actually need to be (in Korea) before the proverbial brick wall crashes down upon them?

"Appa-ga, I plan on destroying Dae han's marriage and taking my kid back. You'll help me, won't you?"

"Oh, but of course, dear! I've got the money if not the brains to succeed."

SO LOVE THE KOREAN cold shoulder treatment!

Made me giggle with every 'harump' and show of the back she or her appaji received.

So, Obok feels duty-bound to walk away after her conniving father takes hush money from Miran's father with the promise to encourage a divorce.

Man se is now working as a janitor at the Well-Being dairy where Sang jun is the executive director or something unrealistic like that.



His mother has arranged to have him marry this snobby betch with as nasty a personality as her face.

Gawd, was she homely.



Anyway, Sang jun isn't happy about it, but he keeps going along with everything his power-insane mother tells him to do until the glass ceiling crashes down on them and they end up losing their Well-Being Dairy.

Dae han is out of a job, and he can't find any work because of his involvement with Well-Being, and then Miran's father steps in to supposedly save the day, and that is when the demise of his marriage truly begins to occur.

Dae han is forced to have to work with Miran, and she begins to tell him things about their past he wasn't aware of, which forces the big-hearted guy to feel sorry for her and want to do things for her that he knows are jeopardizing his marriage.

mu gaw?!


I was so angry with him at this point in the show that I wasn't sure I wanted to watch anymore.

He made me SO angry, in fact, that I stuck out my tongue at him, I cussed him out, and I grinned despite the tears as I watched him crumble after Obok walked away.



Seriously.

I cried like a fool, and I knew I would, because even as upset as he made me when I thought he might, actually be rekindling some old feelings for dip-shit Miran, I still wanted to wrap my arms around him and just hold him close.

Then omanee Jang finds out that her Min guk is in love with her friend the teacher and HOLY SMOKE the fireworks!



Min guk got his ass kicked in nearly every episode, but it wasn't like he didn't ask for it.

So, with Obok out of the way and the Kang's empire destroyed, Dae han is spending more time with Miran and her family while Man se is re-entering the lives of Sang jun and his estranged parents.

Sang jun and his omanee are forced out of their mansion and into a basement apartment in a 'less desirable' part of town, and Man se is there to help them adjust to their new lifestyle.

Again, I thought that the writers could have done something more poetic with this twist in the plot, but perhaps for the sake of time, they just had Mrs. Kang realize that her son needs her, so she suddenly snaps out of her bitch denial phase and immediately sets out to make money.

She also realizes - rather quickly - that Man se isn't the conniving, money-grubbing woman she wanted to believe at first, and that she is actually quite a good catch for her precious, only child.

Of course, she can't forget how the betch snob she arranged to have marry Sang jun so quickly turned her back and high-tailed it out of there the minute she found out the Kang's weren't wealthy anymore.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

I won't say anymore so as not to spoil the outcome of this upheaval and chaos, but I will say that it was well worth the 173 half-hour episodes and all the BS aznv.tv put me through for more than a month, until they finally got their act together and I was able to watch complete episodes without incident.

HATED, and I mean H.A.T.E.D. the sound-track to this drama!

Ugh, what a schmaltzy, bubble-gum chewing tune that was, and how desperate I am to get it out of my head!

Can't WAIT to see Jin Lee han in something else!



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Haven't Abandoned Ship!



It isn't that I stopped blogging, and for awhile, I was actually juggling three dramas at once, which kept me busy compiling notes for my latest blogs when suddenly ... aznv.tv just went kaflooy on me.

By kaflooy, I mean ... the site just, stopped working.

There are certain files I am able to open, but even those tend to up & quit a few minutes in or sooner.

aznv.tv is still there, they are still uploading material, and I have no trouble accessing the main page, but no matter what file I click on, it will either not load at all, or like I mentioned, it starts and then freezes or 'ffft' disappears into thin air.

To say I'm pissed off about it is putting it way beyond mildly, and even though some of you might think I'm a raving b*tch who hates everything, this was the FIRST TIME that frustration led to my writing to the 'so-called' devs to ask what was going on.

Ironic or not, they have had advertised on their main page for weeks now a POLL asking us to please take the time to fill out the (lengthy) questionaire about what would help to make aznv.tv better - and naturally, MY list of complaints aren't jiving with the list of perks they offer in the form of 'what would you prefer we do' questions in the poll.

Anyway, in response to my 'what the hell is going on?' query, I received replies more snarky, smart-ass, and unhelpful than anything you've ever read here - but wit is something I have plenty of, and the b*st*rd whom I will presume to be a hacker and not someone who actually runs the show received more than enough from me in reply.

Funny thing was, the last thing he said to me about why I was having such a hard time enjoying my movies & dramas at their website was that '...losers like me who don't pay for the service have no right to complain'.

I know, right? BIG, gaping hole for me to jump through and grab the little sh*t by the throat, eh?

"I see," began my last response. "So, you're suggesting I pay someone as belligerent and rude as you are so that I can experience hangs, freezes, or nothing at all? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're asking me to fork over hard-earned money for something that is broken, and this makes me a thousand times smarter than you are since I refuse to go along with the idiotic plan."

Okay, so I was on episode 48 of Happiness in the Wind (on, actually, but why quibble at this point?), otherwise known as "A Nice Day for the Wind to Blow" (literal, and more stupid) - but, lawdy the man-candy in this one!

It's one of those predictable, Saturday afternoon things that take 178 half-hour episodes to explain, but even without seeing the last episode, I'll bet everything works out just fine in the end.

Believe it or not, I started watching Fugitive: Plan B back in October, and even before aznv.tv decided to take a nose-dive on me, their uploads were sub par, the timing was off in nearly every episode, and it took WEEKS for each to be uploaded. I made it as far as 14 when the website took a sh*t, and I haven't found anywhere else that has better, more stable videos, either.

'Mary Stayed Out All Night' (or, "Marry Me, Mary!") has so, much potential, it isn't funny, but alas, I never made it through the first episode thanks to aznv.tv, and I know it is available on YouTube, but that is a last-resort for me since you know how I feel about that ten-minute cut-off thingy that drives me nuts and makes me tune out regardless of the eye-candy factor, the storyline that sucks me in, or what-have-you.

I can't, even watch anymore Two Days, One Night or Let's Go Dream Team! now, even though aznv.tv continues to send me e-mail updates about both TV shows from Korea - but, if I can't watch it there, why are they bothering?

Yes, I updated winamp, I deleted and reuploaded vlc, and even tried using an older version of both video players, but to no effect whatsoever.

I tried watching them on campus, on a laptop, and at someone else's house, and still NOTHING.

I miss my daily dose of unrealistic, campy silliness stuffed with gorgeous guys, stupid chicks, and hilarious dialogue!

I will say, though, the one thing that sticks out more than anything else now that I have more time to dwell on past watches, and the simple fact that my mom is as addicted to black & white movies on TCM than I am to Asian Drama, is that I believe the Korean script writers WATCH them old movies and get their ideas from them.

Koreans canNOT be that backwoods, that dark-age to make me believe they think, act, and even talk like they did over here back in the 1930's and 1940's - yet, the resemblances between them old movies and the dramas I watch today are uncanny if you ask me.

So, the Japanese are on par with 1950's America, and Koreans are at the same level as pre-post WWII America.

Go figure.

Now, if I could only figure out some way to get aznv.tv into the twenty-first century ELECTRONICS-wise, that'd be awesome.

UPGRADE YOUR DANG SERVERS ALREADY!

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