A date with Dating Agency; Cyrano

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First episode of Dating Agency; Cyrano was cute cute cute! I went in expecting to be sorta entertained since I wasn’t all that familiar with the two leads but I think it met all my expectations and even surpassed them a little. You can refer back to this post for a little rundown of what tvN’s latest drama offering is all about. At 45 minutes, it’s both fast-paced and engaging, with characters that are easy to like and root for.

Sooyoung‘s quite a natural for a rookie and I think she’ll only improve even more as the episodes go on. She doesn’t seem to be one of those self-conscious actresses who only cares about appearing pretty on camera but only time will tell. Plus, she has such chemistry with leading man, played by Lee Jong Hyuk. Okay, first of all, I don’t exactly have a taste for the ‘ahjussi’ type but this guy’s kind of really attractive despite not being your typical handsome or 꽃미남 sort. Perhaps it’s his cool, confident (and okay, manly…) character that gets to me but straight off the bat, you can tell that this drama’s gonna be way different from the movie it’s adapted from. I mean, I like Uhm Tae Woong but his character was kinda blah and I totally wasn’t feeling the love story in that version.

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Here, I loooove Jong Hyuk’s dynamic with Sooyoung’s hopeless romantic character, Min Young; I just know we’re gonna get lots of cute moments. Already, there were so many cute scenes in the first episode – like the one where the client was explaining his story and Min Young’s cooing at how romantic it all is, and then you contrast it with Lee Jong Hyuk’s character, Byung Hoon and his stoic face throughout it all. It’s so amusing. And when the two went out undercover at the train station and he berates her for scurrying so quickly and then makes her walk in step with him. These moments don’t sound at all cute written down like this, but they are… I promise!

I like the leads so far and can’t wait to get to know Lee Chun Hee‘s second lead character (I don’t remember him being this handsome???) as well as the other two guys in the agency. If I’m not wrong, it’ll follow more closely to somewhat of an episodic format whereby the agency will work on case after case, which is quite refreshing and easy to keep up with. I only hope the show keeps up the light-hearted energy it has going for it right now, and doesn’t go all melo on us all midway. Watch the first episode here! And you can read Dramabeans‘ recap for Episode 1 here. Enjoy!

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Just follow

VIXX has wrapped up their first week of comeback stages for ‘hyde’ and while the title track and concept are blowing my mind in every way, the live stages seem to be a little… lacking. It’s mostly the vocals that I have an issue with because Ken and Leo sound so out of breath half of the time but I’m 99% sure that can be attributed to the intensity of the choreography because in every shot you can really see the sweat pouring down their faces.

M! Countdown

Okay… this one was pretty perfect. I love how it’s dark and ominous at the start and the lights are flashing to coincide with the rumbling of the thunder. The all-black outfits look so good on them and the boys do sound pretty on-point, with Ken and Leo reaching most of their high notes, even if the backing track is loud enough to drown out all of Hyuk‘s and Hongbin’s lines.

The angles were good too with nice shots of everyone and sufficient long shots during the group choreography. But the fanchants were the best part, they were so loud!!! And I didn’t notice it until someone pointed it out, but Ravi actually dropped his bodypack (I think that’s what they’re called?) after the move where he drops to the floor and you can see him trying to put it back into his back pocket all the while still keeping up with choreography.

Music Bank

The backing track was so loud on here, and it was especially distracting during Ravi’s rap. And oh my god, that black lipstick and the all-white outfits were a terrible combination (Leo and N worked it the best, I have to say). Also, I’m beginning to feel like Ken has to work doubly hard because he’s not the best dancer (and apparently doesn’t have very good stamina) and yet he’s given a substantial amount of lines as a main vocalist, so he always ends up panting through his lines.

That ending shot of Leo is gorgeous though. But other than that, I feel like the person who’s doing the live cutting or whatever you call it (switching???), isn’t really doing his job well because the close-ups on whoever is singing always comes a few seconds too late… and really, they completely missed the opportunity to get a good shot of the fierce glare that N shoots into the camera when Ken is singing the line ‘겁을 먹어버린 그 눈빛 이러지마’.

Music Core

Not a huge fan of the red outfits, and especially so on N since it clashes with his fluorescent hair. And what is Ken even wearing??? The cut-out looks like the top part of a dress. Okay, I know it sounds like I’m picking on him a lot but he’s really most of what I notice when I watch these stages anyway. And by now, I’ve pretty much given up on trying to make out Hyuk and Hongbin’s singing because it’s impossible. Even though it’s apparent that Leo and Ken are struggling with their high notes amidst the choreography, they’ve still kinda hit them here so I’m glad.

Inkigayo

This was such a good stage. I looooove how it finally occurred to the stylists to split the guys into white and black outfits to symbolise good versus evil. It’s pretty genius. And midway, where there’s a sudden halt in the music and you can just feel the tension onstage – so good. And don’t even get me started on that little lip curl that N does… He’s so into character, I just absolutely love it.

I’ll admit the cameraman went a little overboard with the close-ups but there are some interesting angles and shots here and there, and of course, the pan up Leo’s arm was completely necessary. The good thing about the extreme amount of close-ups during this stage is that we’re more able to capture their facial expressions and I do feel like they’re really feeling this particular performance because they’re just smouldering all over the place. Daebak. Can’t wait for next week’s!

Mingling with the starz…kinda

I feel like there’s a ton of things I should blog about but I’ll just get last Thursday out of the way first since it was pretty eventful. Michelle and I attended the press conference for Music Matters Live 2013‘s K-POP Night Out as representatives for Dinoseoul, which saw me waking up at an ungodly hour since it was slated to begin at 10am. I was supposed to meet Michelle at 9am but because I suck and I’m never on time, I ended up having to fork over 20 bucks for a cab ride – and even so, I ended up reaching just ten minutes before 10. I am the worst, I know.

I didn’t really have any expectations since I wasn’t a fan of any particular act – I mean, I was pretty much trying to cram as much information about AOA and SPICA into my brain as possible during the cab ride without puking from motion sickness. I still failed though because aside from the leaders from the respective groups, I couldn’t tell any of the others apart.

But the press conference turned out to be pretty okay, thanks to SPICA and M.I.B for lightening up the atmosphere with their energy and jokes, as well as to a very very eloquent Lena Park who answered all the questions thrown at her with such humility and grace.

Here’s a highlights reel I’ve put together for the site:

I didn’t expect M.I.B to be… thaaat attractive, to be honest. Each time 5zic smiled, my cold, black heart melted a little. But because I’m dumb, even though I lugged along my tripod so that I could record the press conference, I ended up leaving my base plate somewhere at home (which I still can’t find, actually) so I had to hold up my DSLR to record some of the questions and interactions. And if you’ve watched the highlights reel above carefully, during SPICA’s part about their individual appeal, you can see the camera shaking terribly toward the end when Boa grabs the mic from Jiwon. I swear I was groaning internally when she did that because THE GIRL CAN REALLY TALK and my arms were already aching like crazy.

Michelle and I thought we’d call it a day for Dinoseoul, but found out that we were granted access to the closed area where Music Matters 2013 was held! We walked in with our passes and immediately spotted M.I.B giving autographs to a girl so we thought we’d try our luck. In the end, we managed to get pictures with them as well as with SPICA (who were sooo nice and friendly).

Michelle met Simon and Martina (Eat Your Kimchi) the day before but I wanted a picture with the duo so we waited for their livestream to be done before we approached them. And oh my god, they are sooooo tall, Martina had to bend her back so much just to lean down next to me u__u We actually wanted a quick shout-out for the site, but Martina was rushing off to get a dress for the Social Star Awards that was happening that night, so it was a no-go. But we did bump into them again at the hotel lobby later that evening and chatted with them for a bit. I’ll probably never go near another Kpop Music Mondays video but I do really admire what they’ve accomplished with Eat Your Kimchi as well as the easy rapport they have with all their celebrity interviewees. They’re definitely living the lives I’d like to lead *single dramatic tear*

And then the rest of the day was spent waiting for Faber Drive/following them around a bit because Michelle’s a biiiiiig fan (understatement) and I really didn’t mind meeting them even though I didn’t know much about them. I have to say they’re super super nice and it’s kinda awkward chatting with them because WHAT DO U EVEN SAY but I think it’s so great that they make the effort to remember and get to know their fans and I think if I were Michelle, I’d be so proud of calling myself a Faber Drive fan. And I do have her to thank for the kind of interaction I got with the guys since they recognised her from all their Twitter exchanges (even if I did feel like a third wheel 3/4 of the time T__T). They played one song at Music Matters 2013 which was so lame because ONE SONG? But I guess it can’t be helped and they did do a good job and would also perform at MML anyway.

We took some pictures and they’ll never see the light of Facebook so I might as well dump them here in all their……..glory. Oh god, why did I think it was a good idea to do derp faces… /facepalms/

Me looking gorgeous in front of famous people, the usual~

Monstar at a glance

This will likely be pretty short since I have to sleep really soon and also because I’m planning to write up something a little more coherent and detailed over at Dinoseoul (crossing my fingers and toes I go through with it), but I just wanted to jot down some thoughts on Mnet’s first original drama Monstar since I literally just finished the first episode like 15 minutes ago.

Basically… I LOVE IT. Like I want to scream into the sky, that’s how much I love it. There’s not one thing about it, it’s… everything. So just to give a quick overview on the plot, it’s basically about a bunch of flawed characters who find their way towards one another and through music and friendship, they heal themselves and come to terms with their past. …Which is totally the kinda thing I eat up with a spoon. We’re only at the first episode and already it’s got my heart. It’s kinda what I wanted Heartstrings to be and I think vibe-wise, it’s a little more along the lines of What’s Up? except perhaps less dark. Musical dramas are my kryptonite, I swear.

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We’ve got BEAST‘s Junhyung as our lead guy with mummy issues… He’s in an idol group and I guess he also attends high school when his schedule permits, which… isn’t all that often. But he gets into some trouble and ends up having to halt his idol career for a bit and go back to school on a more permanent basis to show the public that he’s changing for the better with his new image as a reformed bad boy/model student. I’m not sure if Junhyung’s done any acting before this but I have to say he’s pretty convincing in this role and he’s generally quite likeable. I don’t sense any awkwardness that often comes with idols acting for the first time and are still settling into their roles. Admittedly, it’s not a particularly difficult role to play since it’s kinda inline with his image as a real life idol but I’m sure there’ll be more scenes further down the road that’ll really test his abilities as an actor.

As for our female lead, Min Seyi, I’ve never seen Ha Yeon Soo in anything but she’s freaking adorable like a real life doll. Her face is so tiny and she’s got this beautiful thick wavy hair and wow I love how her character’s kinda spunky yet serious at the same time, I don’t even know how to explain it. I just know I kinda love her. I’m always so happy when we’re presented with a K-drama heroine that’s actually feisty and whose someone you’d actually root for. When you really think about it, when it comes to K-dramas, there aren’t actually that many female leads I can say that I love wholeheartedly because somehow, they always end up becoming too clingy or too whiney or too shallow or too shrill and they’re never developed as well as the male leads for some reason.

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And then we have what seems to be our second male lead in Kang Ha Neul and babeeee lemme love you~~~ He is so fine, I just- I knew he was attractive in To the Beautiful You but we didn’t get as much of him there as I’d like so I’m really looking forward to more screentime from him. I guess that makes me superficial but I’m not all that different from all those girls who tune in just to see their Junhyung oppa~ I like how his character Seon Woo is developing nicely in the span of one episode even though so far, he seems like a pretty stoic character. I’m intrigued by his friendship with the bully boy (whose smug face I so badly want to slap) as well as his interest in Seyi and I really can’t wait to see how that friendship develops. Second lead syndrome, here I come.

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But if I had to pick a moment, the thing that really sold me to the show was towards the end when the jerkwad class bully was laughing at the nerdy boy he’s always picking on and making him sing in class to entertain everyone and for his own sick amusement. It’s heart-wrenching when the boy started crying as he sang and it was almost painful to watch and everyone’s on their toes to see what would happen next… and when Seyi actually started singing with him after firmly refusing to when the bully asked her to, and there was so much power and so much defiance in her tone, I knew I was a goner. Such a powerful moment – I was really holding my breath. And to top it all off, Junhyung’s character ends the episode by waltzing in and declaring, “Min Seyi, let’s be deskmates.” Ugh, hook, line and sinker, bye.

Sorry if half of this doesn’t make sense, but it’s really worth a watch, I promise (watch the drama here!!!)! I’m just hoping the rest of the 11 episodes live up to the expectations I’ve set after this.

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Greetings from Albany!

I didn’t have the time to post a proper goodbye entry before I left for Perth since I had a ton of things to get done but right now it’s day 5 in Western Australia and I’m really really enjoying this getaway from the blazing Singapore sun. Okay, I’ll admit it’s a little cold here and I pretty much have to live in my thick fleece-lined jacket every single day, but the family time we have together is always good.

I’ll probably get some blog entries up about my time here since I have a huuuuuge amount of pictures (first trip with my D3200 yay!) but for now, here’s a picture of me with an alpaca from today! They’re so friendly and fluffy U_U

A few other things I may blog about in more detail if I get round to it (which is…..90% not gonna happen tbh, knowing me):

  • The photoshoot for WKWSCIFOC ’13 was a success I’d say! I do kinda still regret committing to such a huge project, because why on earth did I think it was a good idea to sign on as head programmer when I’m such a commitment-phobe??? But I’m still hoping it’s a success and that I don’t totally screw up Day 1’s activities (the freshies are so gonna hate me…).
  • LUNAFLY‘s concert last week was such a good experience and it completely surpassed my expectations and I just… Teo… Definitely the best 50 bucks I’ve spent in awhile.
  • VIXX is coming back!!!!! I managed to watch the ‘hyde’ MV teaser on my phone since I got one of those prepaid card things that allows me 500mb of data usage and I’m glad they didn’t suddenly go cute with this comeback (even if ‘Rock Ur Body’ is my fav era 5ever). I think since a lot of people were first introduced to VIXX as the Vampire-dols, they probably need to stay in a darker concept for a little while longer before they slowly ease us into a brighter image. But I’m convinced they can do anything and I’d still think it’s genius though, because that’s just how far gone I am…
  • EXO IS COMING BACK!!!!! This one deserves all caps because it’s only been what, a million years or so??? And I’ve only heard about 100239483 versions of ‘MAMA’? Anyway, I have to say, the concept pictures are super adorable and I’m really enjoying the whole yearbook idea, but since it’s pretty likely their title track is ‘Wolf’ or ‘Let Out the Beast’ or basically something a little edgier, I’m just rolling my eyes at SM because what would it take for them to tease us with pictures that are actually remotely related to the comeback track? XOXO
  • #B1A41STWIN: I’m soooooo happy to see the B1A4 boys get their first music show win! They were the first k-pop group I’ve ever met in real life and even though I lost interest in them along the way, they’ve definitely won me over again with ‘이게 무슨 일이야’ because the entire mini album is just full of gems, I love it so so much I can’t even words. It’s dreamy and a little whimsical and just all round perfect. And to see the boys break down onstage like that, you can just tell how much the win meant to them. Such a deserving win, truly. I’ll patiently wait for the days the few groups I stan get their first win like that too so I can stand by and watch like a proud mother… u_u

Anyway, I’ll be heading back to Perth tomorrow and it’s gonna be a looooong drive back but I’m sure we’ll spend our last two days in Australia well. I’ll finally be meeting up with Rachel for a bit and I’m also looking forward to getting back to more stable Internet >.< See you tomorrow, Rachel! <3