Tag Archives: TV show

Her Private Life (Korean Drama Review)

It has been a while since I reviewed a Korean drama! But if you’re looking for something to stream with all your free time…it is free on Viki. I’m giving it 4/5 stars. Solid, but not solid enough to get me to finish. 

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Her Private Life follows art curator Sung Deok Mi (played by Park Min Young, you might know her from What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, Healer, or even City Hunter) and her new boss, painter Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook, who I know as the guy who should have gotten the girl in Mary Stayed Out All Night). Sung Deok Mi acts mature at work, but she carries a secret: she is a huge fangirl of K pop celebrity Cha Shi An (Jung Je Won). And she will go to any lengths to keep her two worlds from colliding. Her new boss, Ryan Gold, also has an interest in Cha Shi An and keeps showing up to the same events. It won’t be long till he realizes her secret…

I love Park Min Young and I think this drama especially demonstrates the much healthier direction K dramas have taken in recent years. Instead of the typical dense schoolgirl with a heart of gold, the heroine of Her Private Life shows brains, ambition, and self-confidence. The main love interest acts with the traditional cold-heartlessness of a male lead, but quickly redeems the stereotype with some truly heartwarming acting and delightfully memorable scenes. And the secondary love interest is…ah…forgettable enough. So no secondary lead syndrome here. 

The plot clicks along at a strong pace until episode 9, which unfortunately displays the K Drama tendency to keep the couple apart with stupid misunderstandings. I stuck around for episode 10 and with the resolution of most of the plot…don’t feel inclined to watch another 6 episodes. I don’t care enough. 

But what I did see impressed me. Besides excellent acting, Her Private Life shines in two ways that don’t traditionally stick out to me: music and costumes. 

The choice of music is interesting mostly because of how often it is lacking. Particularly intense, romantic scenes that you would expect a sweeping score to accompany get acted out int total silence. At first it threw me. But I came to appreciate how much it makes the viewer hold their breath and just appreciate the tension and drama of the moment. 

The costumes are also delightful and very well coordinated between the main leads: lots of linen suits and loose fitting, professional clothing. It ties the main couple together almost from the start because their clothing matches so well. Only when the heroine goes crazy fangirl and wears her fangirl clothing do we see a change. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, which also features Park Min Young wearing a lot of professional, business clothing, does something similar except in that drama the heroine favors pencil skirts and silk blouses. (Also beautifully contrasted with how she initially dressed at the beginning of the drama.)

In conclusion, Her Private Life is artistically quite beautiful, very well acted, and far too long.  But if you don’t mind lots of scenes with the main couple being lovey-dovey while the side stories get wrapped up, I’d recommend giving it a shot. 


Some More Thoughts on Sanditon

Well, PBS Masterpiece officially aired the last episode of Sanditon tonight. What a journey it has been. If you’ve kept watching, you’ve probably found a way to divorce the story from your beloved Jane Austen’s works. Or perhaps you think she’d like this adaption. 

I am not sure how I feel about it. 

I knew going in how it ended so I was braced for the less than Austen-like ending. I was pleasantly surprised with how it worked out for a few side characters. And no spoilers but…Bethany in particular was invested in the Lord Babington story line. (She says he ranks just below Mr. Tilney for best Austen guy. Mr. Tilney!) 

I will say the Babington story line did redeem a lot of the more unlikable characters. I’m still not sold on Sidney Parker–the supposed hero. He is still something of an ass. 

I’m curious enough that I would watch another season if they made it. But much to Bethany’s chagrin, I’m still refusing to sign the petition for one. 


BBC’s Sanditon

With three episodes now on PBS, BBC’s new mini-series finishing Jane Austen’s Sanditon has officially made its debut in the United States and the result has been…explosive. 

For those of you who do not belong to half a dozen Facebook pages devoted to Jane Austen, the story goes something like this: Jane Austen began working on the novel in 1817, wrote 11 chapters, and then died. Though family members hinted at its existence, the actual text wasn’t released to the general public till 1925. If Wikipedia is to be believed, at least 9 different authors have since “finished” the story, including the creators of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (SO THAT IS WHAT THAT YOUTUBE SERIES WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT.)

Enter BBC. Not only do they decide to make a mini-series finishing Sanditon, they hire screenwriter Andrew Davies who is most famous (at least in the Austen world) for the BBC Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth. (Aka, lake-jumping-wet-shirt Mr. Darcy.)

Fans are ecstatic. We’re getting more Jane Austen, we’re getting new Jane Austen, we’re getting a beloved Jane Austen adapter. What could go wrong? Well…

Rumors begin circulating about certain liberties being taken with the plot. Andrew Davies says he wants to connect with modern viewers and tackle social issues. The appearance of a black heiress (actually in Austen’s original manuscript) got people excited about more representation. But then there is also hints of nudity and sex and the Austen community went….wait, what?! 

It airs in England in 2019. And England revolts. I’m sure some fans enjoyed it but those of us on the other side of the pond were told not to get our hopes up. And then there was the ending after 8 episodes which (no spoilers) did not thrill people. Andrew Davies says a second season will likely depend on how America reacts to it. 

It released in the United States via PBS roughly two weeks ago. Yesterday we got episode 3. 

I don’t know what official pollsters are finding but here is what the posts on the Jane Austen groups I belong to look like:

View 1: BBC’s Sanditon is the BEST THING EVER MADE. Jane would love it. There has never been anything so glorious since Collin Firth’s lake scene in Pride and Prejudice. Lovely to get some new stories.

View 2: BBC’s Sanditon is the WORST THING EVER MADE. Jane Austen is turning in her grave. How DARE they add nudity to Austen? THE SHADES OF PEMBERLY HAVE BEEN POLLUTED. 

View 3: Who cares?! We get more hot Austen men!

And then there are all the poor moderators begging people to keep the noise down and agree to disagree because up until this point the greatest controversy facing Janeites has been whether Collin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen makes a better Mr. Darcy and so the moderators are just not equipped for this level mass hysteria. 

MY VIEWS

I’ve tried to keep an open mind and keep my expectations low going into Sanditon. Obviously, there are still 5 episodes to go so I will post “final thoughts” once I’ve seen them all. I was unimpressed with the first two episodes. I do think the third one was better. 

While I lean toward the negative views about the series, I do understand why some people enjoy it. Jane Austen would probably roll in her grave with all the nudity, politics, and implied incest now permeating her story. At the same time, I love anything to do with the Regency era and even a bad rendition is in some ways better than no rendition. 

The only view I entirely do not agree with is the third one lauding the new Austen hero, because the tall, dark, and brooding Mr. Parker is a complete ass. Bethany and I have spent most of the show so far baffled by his horrible behavior and calling him rude names. Nothing about him charms. He is the anti-Mr. Tilney. If his character doesn’t shape up soon, I don’t know how this story redeems itself. 

 

So, have you seen Sanditon? What are your thoughts? The first few episodes are available on PBS for 6 more days so do check them out: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/sanditon/episodes/

While there, check out Howard’s End. It stars Matthew Macfadyen and Bethany and I are enjoying it way more than Sanditon. We suspect his character might prove villainous, but since we love him as Mr. Darcy, we’re hardcore shipping him with one of the heroines. (And I know it came out in 2017 so NO SPOILERS if you have already seen it or read the book.) 


Wrap Battle

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My sister got me hooked on this TV show: Wrap Battle. 

Basically, a bunch of people wrap different gifts under a time constraint and get eliminated one by one until only one wrapper remains! 

Now my idea of gift wrapping is to use so much wrapping paper it looks like a pillow. 

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But these people are seriously obsessive and detailed and I quickly got sucked into the drama. Wrapping paper! Who would think!


Miraculous Ladybug

After writing a contemplative blog post yesterday, I felt inspired today to write about something equally deep and thoughtful today. However, that was before I discovered Miraculous Ladybug. Hopefully you will bear with me because I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS TV SHOW I FOUND!!!!!!!!!!

I’m going to do that thing they tell you never to do in writing…quote Wikipedia for the description of the show. Miraculous: Tale of Ladybug and Cat Noir is:

“Set in modern-day Paris, the series focuses on teenagers Marinette Dupain-Cheng and her classmate and crush Adrien Agreste. When evil arises, Marinette transforms into her secret superhero persona Ladybug, while Adrien transforms into his superhero persona Cat Noir, using powerful objects known as the Miraculous. Oblivious to each other’s true identities, the two work together to protect Paris from the mysterious villain Hawk Moth, who covets and attempts to steal their powers by using his akuma, butterflies infused with black energy, to influence and transform everyday citizens into supervillains.

Yes, this is a children’s TV show about a superhero who has ladybug powers. But it is so fun! The characters are really creative and fun and the villains are zany and different. The show is set in France and uses CGI animation but you can feel the anime/Asian influence. The horrid/corny/fantastic puns thrown in each episode are entertaining on every level and the real chemistry between Ladybug and Cat Noir keeps the teenybopper drama at bay.

I really love Cat Noir. 

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While this show is lighthearted and slightly formulaic, it brings originality and just good fun to a creative idea and I’ve enjoyed watching it in the same way I enjoy watching Barbie Life in the Dream House and Word Girl and Legion of Superheroes. Am I the intended age demographic? Nope! Do I enjoy every moment of it? Absolutely. 

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The theme song is one of the best parts. I’ve had it stuck in my head all day. 

Check out the first ten episodes dubbed English here! – 

 

 


Reuniting with the Legion

My Dad got Amazon Prime a while ago, but it wasn’t till today that I discovered how many movies and TV show he has access to through it! (And by he I mean me.) Old movies, new movies, chick flicks, even Korean movies. I’m pretty excited. Best of all, Amazon Prime has Legion of Superheroes! This was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Just looking at pictures brings back ALL THE FLASHBACKS! I’m pretty psyched to re-watch a few (*cough* all) of the episodes.