Dream High (Korean Drama 2011)

Dream High (11)

Drama Rating: 8/10

Go Hye Mi is a talented singer who attends in a prestigious school that focuses in Dream High (18)classical music, however she had to quit her dream because her father could no longer support her high class education. As her life turns upside down, she was forced to enter Kirin Art High School to pay off her father’s debt along with several conditions: she has to convince two other students to attend the same school. One of the student is named Song Sam Dream High (7)Dong, a country bumpkin who knows nothing of the real world but has a gifted voice. The other student is Jin Guk, a problematic child who seeks the acknowledgement of his father, the Mayor of the district. Hye Mi has one female friend, Yoon Baek Hee – she also dreams of being a musical artist but due to her low self esteem and timid personality, she tends to be overshadowed by Hye Mi who is brash and outspoken. They became rivals due to an Dream High (3)audition which caused a rift in their friendship. Along the way, they encounter Kim Pil Sook – a shy girl with a beautiful voice and a big body. She usually tries to blend into the background due to being self conscious of her body weight but Jason, a boy who used to live overseas tends to put her in the limelight.

Amidst the struggle of these students, they all have the same dream and that is to become a successful artist in the entertainment industry.

 

This is a musical drama in which I dared myself to watch to see if I could stomach in a couple of kids singing pop songs and dancing around some stage. To my surprise, it wasn’t the crappy show that I expected. The pilot episode starts off with showing a top artist who is called “K” by the crowd. Of course the face and body is not revealed but a simple detail such as a necklace is the only clue as to who this person could be. Thus, a mystery factor and a guessing game is ensured throughout the drama. I liked this bit, because during the show’s run – that necklace was passed from one person to another. I had my own biases and bets as to who K actually could be and though I ended up being wrong, it was fun until it lasted because not knowing who’s going to end up being the best was part of the thrill in watching the show.

Dream High (10)Some of the acting may have been a bit off with some of the characters which I presume is their first time to be cast in a drama, but still, the overall delivery and concept of Dream High was far from what I anticipated. It was better than what I imagined and was a heartwarming show after all. I grew to love the main characters and their quirks. My most favorite would be Pil Sook who was acted by IU. I can’t believe that her career would skyrocket after this drama because she has become such a big star now that she gets to snag lead roles. I feel like a mom who’s proud of her daughter’s achievements.

The colors and cinematography all throughout was eye catching and the characters were as colorful in their own life story that it brought out the goodness of the series.

I have more thoughts about this drama but it’s not going to be much fun of a watch, if I pinpoint every detail. I am definitely recommending this for those unbiased people who want to check out the pop-culture-industry of Korea. Music wise, it was alright since I’m not much of a K-pop fan BUT I love IU’s rendition of Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles.

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

 

Skip Beat! (Taiwanese Drama 2011)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

Gong Xi grew up with Bu Pu Shang’s family who managed a traditional inn by the58C country side. During the time she spent with his family she learned a lot of things and also fell in love with Bu Pu Shang, that’s why when he announced that he was running away from succeeding the business to pursuing the path of being a musician and a top idol instead. Gong Xi, being the naive girl that she was dropped everything including her chances of getting into college to follow the person she loves when he asked her to come with him to the city. She started working multiple jobs to support Bu Pu Shang’s goal and maxresdefault (1)when he was finally able to reach it, he discarded Gong Xi when she caught him with another woman. That’s when she found out that she was only used to help out with the living expenses and housework. As the realization dawned onto her that she had wasted her youth to a scoundrel like him, her whole world seem to crumble and love was replaced with wrath. Feeling betrayed and heart broken, she vowed to rise in the industry as a top actress who can surpass Bu Pu Shang and get the acknowledgement she had always wanted from him.

With a lot of effort, she was able to become part of LME talent agency which was the rival of Bu Po Shang’s company. When the president saw potential in Gong Xi he was amazed by her skills and honesty but was sad to learn that she has vowed never to love again – when in fact the president is a romantic guy who lives and breathes love, that’s why to turn things around, he gave Gong Xi a chance at being an actress. Gong Xitumblr_m08145tiDO1rqy5cqo1_500 who had zero experience in acting was given several conditions so that she could stay in the company. First, she had to join the “Love Me” department in which she was the pioneering member and she had to wear bright pink overalls during her work. He also assigned her to do all sorts of things for the company to help her grow as a person who can survive in the industry and at the same time learn about love all over again. Despite the menial tasks Gong Xi had to do to prove herself, she was winning the hearts of the people around her little by little and started to slowly become the top actress that she can be. In the process she also meets the famous actor Dun Helian whom Gong Xi was able to get close to due to work and for some certain reason, he starts to fall in love with her.

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Skip Beat Taiwanese drama version has a lot to offer. I initially watched this solely for Choi Siwon and no one else. I don’t even know who Donghae or Ivy Chen was prior to watching the show. This drama is based on a popular Manga which is still an on going series up to this day. Adding to this… I’ve also never heard of Skip Beat anime and manga at all when I started this drama!

*Ducks in a hole*
No flame throwing from fans please! I’m just being honest here.

What surprised me though, was how much it worked for me. I guess it’s a good thing that I have no idea that this was an adaptation – hence I had nothing to compare it with. Although, I did hesitate a bit when I learned there were a lot of CG effects where in F14things were faked. I have a bit of aversion in those things, but it wasn’t that bad and the story really hooked me up. The story line was awesome and it hit that funny spot in my brain. Not to forget those heart warming moments with regards to friendship and all those special ties with other people. I’m happy that the focus was not too much on the love story between a man and a woman but was more focused on friendship.

The actors were good in portraying their roles, it wasn’t that hard to be absorbed in their LoRhHDX7_o“acting within an act” that’s why it was really fun to watch. The drama made me appreciate the entertainment industry even more. The comedy was really funny as well and Ivy Chen’s character as Gong Xi was hilarious. She brought out unexpected fun in the whole duration of the series. I loved her special relationship with one of the girls, namely Jiang Nan Qin, whom she initially had a bad encounter with but due to circumstances they were able to work together and become friends. As for Siwon… I love watching his facial reactions and his hot choco-abs whenever it’s shown but what turned me off was the fact that his voice was off. That’s when I learned that when Taiwanese or Chinese dramas import actors, they usually dub their voices. In this case, Siwon’s voice was dubbed weirdly, they should at least have looked for a voice over who sounds like him. The same goes to Donghae. I do understand that both guys are Korean and they had to do this… but the least they could have done was do it nicely, right?

Setting that aside, this drama has become one of my favorite despite the mixed reactions from other people. Music wise – I got addicted to it and still listen to it up to now. I recall my favorite scenes inside my head whenever I hear the OST. As for re-watching, I have no idea how many times I have re-watched this show since 2011, I just don’t get tired of it and I am always hooked with watching my favorite scenes again and again. Over all this drama was fun fun fun. I would recommend it to people who liked the manga and anime. It had a lot of difference but at the same time, the essence of the story is still there that it didn’t leave me disappointed.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Cinderella’s Sister (Korean Drama 2011)

Drama Rating: 10/10

Song Kang Sook is a single mother who has a daughter named Eun Joo. She married a rich widower named Goo Dae Sung who also has a daughter called Yoo Sun. The two girls became step sisters during their teenage years. What Dae Sung wasn’t aware of was that Kang Sook had a difficult past with a bad reputation and she is also a gold digger who simply wants to improve her way of living and social status. However, she seem to genuinely love Dae Sung and Yoo Sun, probably even more than Eun Joo, her very own daughter. This is the main reason why Eun Joo resented her mother, adding the fact that she hated their way of surviving in the harsh world by leeching off from someone else’s money. Aside from her mother, Eun Joo also detested her step sister’s sunny personality who didn’t know what being poor and unloved meant since Yoo Sun grew up from a rich family with a lot of love from the people around her.

Eun Joo became cold to everyone due to moving from one place to another, never settling in. That’s why she tried hard to live unattached to the people who gets involved with her because she knew that she and her mother would have to leave sooner or later. The only thing she didn’t expect was that the Goo household was different. Her step father Dae Sung has shown her fatherly love and compassion which she never even dreamt of experiencing. For the first time in her life, she felt comforted from knowing that she finally had a legitimate father figure to look out for her despite her stubborn personality. Then one day, a tragedy happened triggered by lies and deceit which caused chaos in the family and threatened to tear each member apart.

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The title says “Cinderella” because it was depicted from the fairy tale’s premise of step sisters but the drama was very much different in every aspect. This drama was somewhat similar to Cinderella’s story but with a big twist, there was no glass slipper and Cinderella was not the highlight but instead, it was the step sister who shined

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through the whole series even though she was too sardonic to be understood by anyone. Plus there was all the makjang that the drama could offer – it was a big roller coaster ride of emotions. So what exactly made it similar to the original fairytale? There’s the not-so-evil step sister Song Eun Joo who was acted by Moon Geun Young and Cinderella who’s known as Goo Yoo Sun which was portrayed by Seo Woo, but aside that, nothing else is. These two characters are so vital in this drama since the story mainly revolved around them. Then insert the male lead and second one namely Chun Jung Myung and Ok Taec Yeon, things gets more interesting and complicated at the same time with these two men involved in the pretty ladies lives. There’s also Lee Mi Sook as Song Kang Sook and Goo Dae Sung as Kim Gab Soo.

These two characters who posed as the parents held so much meaning for this drama too. Without them, there wouldn’t be Eun Joo and Yoo Sun to begin with. Their lives would never have crossed in the twisted fashion that the writer had thought of if not for them. The parents had their own story to tell so as to pave way for the step sisters and that’s one part of this drama to look forward to.

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To be honest, what made me watch this in the first place was Moon Geun Young. I am biased like that when it comes to actresses I like. Then adding up how the writer depicted Eun Joo’s character, though dark and gloomy, the character held so much promise. Setting my bias aside – Geun Young did great justice acting as Eun Joo. Due to Eun Joo’s
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family history and social back ground, her bad personality simply justified her outward bitchiness. I really love the tough exterior that she exuded all throughout even though deep inside, she’s all marshmallows. Oh, and I’m not forgetting Hong Ki Hoon, the man who moved her heart and made her do things she don’t usually do. My favorite scene is when Ki Hoon asked Eun Joo to call his name because he loved hearing
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her say it. The way I write it here may seem nonsensical, but in the drama, it was a very moving scene worth replaying again and again. Another highlight scene about these two is when they firsts met and Ki Hoon pulled at Eun Joo’s hear pin making her beautiful lush hair fall dawn behind her as she ran away from him. There’s also Han Jung Woo, the second lead who is always lurking about Eun Joo, in a good way, since he had good intentions for her. It’s just too bad that the other guy had already marked his
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way into Eun Joo’s heart because Jung Woo would have been a great guy for her if not for Ki Hoon. Lastly, Goo Yoo Sun, she’s the type of character who gets too annoying because she’s the ultimate goody two shoes. It’s not that she’s pretending to be one but she’s innately like that and that’s pretty tiring to watch especially when I have invested myself in feeling all sad and melodramatic because of the main protagonist.

The music was also lovely especially in those very melodramatic moments in which I couldn’t help crying and say to myself, “Please please please stop hurting so badly already so I could stop crying for you”. This was my internal dialogue which ran through my mind all through out every episode for Eun Joo. Do take note that it has been 7 years since I last saw this drama but still… by far, this is one of the best melodramatic Korean series I have ever seen. I rated it 9/10 because though I loved it, there were some turn out in the story line which I disagree with and would have changed if it was up to me. That aside, I’m definitely recommending this to those who are into a cry-fest makjang drama. It’s probably best to prepare a bucket for those incoming tears if not, a box of tissue would do.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.