The Liar and His Lover: Duet

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Music dramas are tough and go for me. Some of them really capture my interest in Monstar, while others slip off my radar. I am not quite sure about Liar and His Lover yet. Based on a Japanese manga, this drama features the relationship between a young music producer and a high school student who loves to sing. The Liar is the young music producer, Han Gyul, who only cares about making beautiful music while being tactless and heartless about other people’s feelings. He used to be part of a band called Crude Play until he decided that writing the songs were more important. His band and him ended up being extremely popular and successful. However, he hides his identity from the public. Meanwhile, the lover is So Rim, a cheerful high school senior who loves to sing, but experienced trauma in her childhood that prevents her from singing in on stage. While her band and her audition for many companies, she always freezes up on stage when she remembers what happened in the past. Her parents had died in a freak subway accident during her singing recital. One day, she coincidently meets Han Gyul who was looking for inspiration on a new song. He ends up recording his song on her phone because he didn’t have his with him. She ends up loving this song and falling in love with him. The song made her feel special and happy. She decides to play by the Han River everyday with her band until her meets him again. By luck, she does meet him again, but doesn’t recognize that he is a producer. He lies to her and says he is a inexperienced composer while trying to get her to delete the song. This song was suppose to be the title track for his band and had not been released yet. These two become entangled in a messy web lies. So Rim has a sincere heart towards him while he is just trying to accomplish his goals.

The premise is cute and the music attracts me, but it doesn’t have quite the pull for me yet. I enjoy watching child actor Lee Hyun Woo grow up and getting more main lead roles. He has such a baby face still that sometimes its still hard for me to picture him in older roles. However, he is a decent actor who is able to emote well. As for Joy of Red Velvet, I quite enjoy her breakout performance. Even though she is an idol actress, she is pretty good and even better than some idols who have been acting for a while. It is still two episodes in so I look forward to seeing her grow in her acting skills. Furthermore, I would really love to hear her voice in more songs. Red Velvet is one of my favorite girl groups and all the members have really lovely voices. On an appearance and age level, the main leads definitely fit each other. I think the drama will be a cute and fluffy experience.

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Entertainer – Tantara

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Entertainer, does it entertain me enough to continue watch? Yes, it does. After Ji Sung’s last drama, KMHM, I of course wanted to try his new work. In Entertainer, Ji Sung plays Suk Ho, a director who manages successful groups under a large entertainment group called KTOP. His pride is a group called Jackson, which he hand fed and raised to the popularity they enjoy now. However, his type of management is very “the ends justify’s the means”. He is willing to use whoever and whatever he can to promote his group. With his successes, he decides to make his own entertainment company and back out of KTOP while taking the most popular boy group, Jackson with him. He had set everything up and was ready to go, until two unfortunate things happened to him. He had used a songwriter without giving him credit which made the songwriter commit suicide. On the way to the funeral, he gets into a drunk driving accident to which the other party would not settle. This lands him into prison and his once loyal assistant backstabs him and pushes him out the KTOP door before he was ready. With his name blackened and Jackson resigning with KTOP, Suk Ho has a hard time reviving himself. He even goes to Busan to ask a colleague to borrow money, to which he was coldly rebuffed. However, there he by coincidence hears the voice of Ha Neul singing an academy jingle which he was in his most depressed state. Ha Neul, a young boy who had just been convicted of sexual assault (questionable circumstances…) in court, was enduring his own torment. With his named blackened and his poor sister, Geurim struggling to make ends meed with their parents gone, his outlook was bleak. It was even due to his love of singing that caused his parents accident. However, that one jingle pulled Suk Ho out of his stupor and he began to pursue Ha Neul. After some convincing of both siblings, he manages to convince Ha Neul to come sing under him. He finds a Juliard-grad guitarist who seems to be struggling for a career to play instrumental to his new vocalist. As things are starting to look up for this small new group under Mango, some more bad news is gunning for Suk Ho. What comes around goes around.

While I wasn’t impressed with the first episode, the second one gave the show much more potential. Like the newbie band and entertainment group, I am looking forward to seeing if the drama will gain momentum. Ji Sung has a way of saving shows and I really enjoy the real life talents of Min Hyuk and Hye Ri who play budding musicians. Especially, Min Hyuk, who has a heavenly voice which is downplayed by his real life band CN Blue with Jong Hwa. This drama was will a stage to show off his talents independently. I also couldn’t help, but see many of Ji Sung’s past personalities form KMHM in his new character Suk Ho. This just goes to show how much his performances stick with you! All in all, I am a big fan of musical dramas and really hope that this understated drama will gain more popularity!

 

My Paparotti – A TENor

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After watching Lee Je-Hoon’s fantastic role in Signal, I became interested in his other projects. Thus, I watched, My Paparotti, which is based on the true story of Kim Ho Joong, an opera singer who moved his audience to tears through his voice and troubled upbringing. Adapted into a film, Lee Je Hoon plays Jang Ho, a teen who is part of/head of a large gang, but dreams of becoming a tenor. Every since his grandmother died, he had wanted to fulfill her wishes of him singing on stage. However with his troubled lifestyle, he had been kicked out of four schools already. Finally, a fifth school decided to accept him into their music program. He meets Teacher Sang Jin, a past tenor who had a promising opera career before a vocal cord tumor shoved him out of performance forever. Both Sang Jin and Jang Ho have prickly personalities and of course they butt heads. Sang Jin thinks of Jang Ho as the trash of society because of his gangster lifestyle. Jang Ho doesn’t respect Sang Jin as a role model or teacher. However, slowly they begin to understand each other and compromise. Sang Jin becomes like a father to Jang Ho to the point where Jang Ho is almost integrated in his family. Jang Ho’s beautiful voice is molded carefully into performance standards by his new teacher. Sang Jin even tries to make Jang Ho’s Boss let him out of the gang by offering his own foot for exchange. Jang Ho is very moved by his teacher’s efforts and feelings. Thus, he decides to give up this lifestyle and not fight any longer. We see a real change in his attitude when rather than fight his attackers who trapped him before his concours, he only defended himself and focused on rushing to the competition as soon as he could escape. Although the competition itself was finished, his teacher fought for a chance for him to sing on stage.

I am very impressed with Lee Je Hoon’s acting. He is able to convey conflicting emotions very well. Furthermore, he does a great job lip syncing the opera parts which are sung by another artist. This is the second time seeing him play a “gangster” or “rough and ready” type role, with the other being Signal. I also enjoyed the touching dynamic he had with his mentor. The way they sang the non-opera duet was quiet moving and really conveyed their dreams and hopes for one another. Overall it is a great feel good movie with comedy and warmth.

 

 

 

Page Turner: Another Chapter of Life

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YAAAS. That is how I feel about this drama special. Not only do I get to be treated to Kim So Hyun, but I also get Ji Soo as a package. Kim So Hyun plays Yoo Seul, a piano prodigy who is number one at her art school and bitter rivals with another pianist, Jin Mok. Her mother, a piano teacher, used to teach Jin Mok who plays precisely, but with no feeling. However, through an incident while teaching Jin Mok, Yoo Seul’s genius is discovered. Thus her mom decides to dedicate her life into making Yoo Seul the best pianist ever, living vicariously through her talent. Yoo Seul is not just a bag of hot air, her talent is quite amazing and she always trounces Jin Mok soundly in competitions. Jin Mok hates her arrogance and even prays that she will get retribution. Unfortunately, said prayer seems to be heard and Yoo Seul gets into a tragic accident that takes away her ability to see. She damaged her optic nerve to which there seems to be no recovery from other than perceiving light/darkness. Meanwhile, Ji Soo plays Cha Sik, a talented pole vaulter who can’t take being looked down upon. He is playful and even a bit on the crazy side. However, he too, endures a tragic moment in his life where he aims for a vault a little too high. As a result, he acquires fractures in his back vertebrae that renders him useless in sports because extra stress would make his fractures worse. Now both Yoo Seul and Cha Sik has lost their major purpose in life. Yoo Seul, who actually doesn’t like playing piano, sees this as a opportunity to be free. Yet, her mother doesn’t want her to stop playing. She even tries to commit suicide. This makes Jin Mok feel guilty as he believes he is the cause of this. He also begins to see Yoo Seul in a different light. Cha Sik, who becomes depressed for while, finally finds his purpose in life too. After learning about his piano prodigy father from his mother, he decides he wants to do music as well. Meanwhile, Yoo Seul breaks the news of not wanting to rely on her mother 24/7 as well as stopping piano, to the horror of her mother.

Solid, solid acting by all three of our teenagers. Once again, Kim So Hyun plays that spunky, even a little arrogant teen to a tee. She never fails to garner my attention and even makes me feel sympathy for her unlikable character in the beginning. I am looking forward to how this life changing disability will affect her and how she will grow from it. Plus, I also hope she does not give up piano. More so, I am interested in how Ji Soo’s character will affect her outlook on life as well as how she will tutor him. I adore Ji Soo and his mom’s relationship in the drama. It is a high contrast from So Hyun’s and her mom’s relationship. Ji Soo’s bond depends on communication while So Hyun had repressed all her own opinions. And finally we have Jin Mok, who feels like the third leg into a probable love triangle here. I wonder if he will be able to infuse feeling into his piano playing after interacting with the new blind Yoo Seul. You know that the line between love and hate is really thin, right? We can already see that he doesn’t “really” harbor ill feelings towards his rival. He just wants her to be nicer, and now he feels extra guilty for what has happened. I am actually sad that this lovely set up will only be 3 episodes long!