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Drama critic

Drama Review

Review: Crazy ‘First Love’ Indeed

The thing with high school rom-coms or any story focusing on the days of yore when we had sticks for limbs, zits on our noses and inexplicable haircuts is that they hold the master key to time travel. Those frightening 90 minutes or more have the power to pull us from the cynicism, dark circles and belly fat of our adulthood back into the innocent world wherein exams were the heaviest yoke on our shoulders and love is a silly, all-consuming monster. These stories remind us of the friends we shared our lunchbox with, teachers we laughed at but secretly cherished, and always, the first boy that summoned the first flush on our cheeks, that first wild thumping of the heart. Alas, crazy first love indeed.

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Theater Review

Review: The Phantom is Inside my Mind

Anyone who has spoken to me long enough for me to bore them knows that I have the weirdest dreams, from the classic falling off a building into nothingness to ninja terminators and a bevy of dramatic eclipses. Last night’s REM episode was no exception, albeit it was the welcome sort of weird. Apparently the Phantom of the Opera is so deep inside my mind that it has invaded my active subconscious.

Suffice it to say that it was a version of the classic love-triangle scene, but the drama has extended from the stage to the real lives of actors Claire Lyon, Jonathan Roxmouth and Anthony Downing. Life has imitated art. I offer no deeper interpretation than the fact that I loved the show and I miss the actors, and yes, like a teenage girl I am completely shipping Team RoxLyon. Thank you Twitter.

I woke up with a wistful smile on my face and a tugging in my brain that I have not given this awesome show its much earned review. The Phantom in Manila run has ended and the actors are back in their hometowns, the mask retired. I am still clinging to the haunting story, but as they say, no better time to write than the present.

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Drama Review

Review: Now I Know Why It’s Called ‘Skip Beat’

Donghae, Siwon and a Happy Yellow Chicken

Donghae, Siwon and a Happy Yellow Chicken

It’s a Taiwanese drama, and after not watching one for a long time, I am reminded that they like toilet humor, physical comedy, and in-head monologues that can extend as long as an entire scene. It’s relatively faithful to the manga plot, as most fans agree, and as said manga is still unfinished, you should know what to expect from the ending. But seldom do dramas end all happily-ever-after now anyway, which I guess is a good trick to keep the audience hanging on to the story, leaving a sliver of an opening for a sequel. Or they are maybe just being considerate of the ELFs who have been both dying and squealing inside.

Overall, this take on Skip Beat was ridiculously funny, at times heart-tugging, and admittedly, overall an enjoyable watch. Props to Ivy Chen who carried the weight on her thin shoulders, and Siwon for actually being able to follow her lead. Donghae was sadly underused, so I hope they paid him well for his efforts too.

P.S. to Siwon: After more than 3 years of not falling for your charms, I actually went in and done it. Tsk tsk. So much for being a non-conformist.

Drama Review

Review: Juui Dolittle–of Cats and Dogs and the Morality of Euthanasia

Nothing beats the tedium of the daily grind like the basic happiness of loading a choice episode over free streaming. Since I felt like going back to basics, in the search bar went ‘Oguri Shun wiki.’ I thought it better to be updated in his fictional life than dwell on the fact that he is, finally, dreadfully married. Fan girls cope that way.

Veterinarian Dolittle, or Juui Dolittle was Shun’s J-drama offering for 2010. Based on the manga of the same name (figures, Japan), the drama sees Shun reunited with Hana Yori Dango playmate Inoue Mao. For fans who were brokenhearted that Shun’s Hanazawa Rui didn’t end up with Mao’s Tsukushi Makino, this is a dream reunion come true. But if you are looking for a dose of the high school romantics, this is not the show for you. Chemistry between the friendly actors is natural and apparent, but sweet and lovey-dovey, they were not.

But I am getting ahead of myself, as well as revealing the first reason I got pulled into this drama, the second being that it featured a lot of bewilderingly cute animals.

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Drama Review

Review: Oh! My Lady

It updated my iTunes, and more, so I guess this is an Oh! My Lady review.

I only watched the Korean drama because the trailer on ANIMAX showed Siwon with his trademark snarky grin, standing with his shirt open, chocolate abs in full view. Such a compelling persuasion, I tell you, even for someone whose Super Junior bias is not Simba (I’m so sorry Donghae!).

So I was prepared to finish it purely on fan-girl energy, but other hooks got to me. It is not a stellar, first-of-its-kind love story. The cougar romance has been played out often enough, by Demi andAshton and in Asian shores too, do not doubt it. But bias aside (I hope), Oh! My Lady offered a distinct charm. It was a very warm story.

It tells the humbling of the actor Sung Minwoo, who was looking down on us all–despite his bad acting–from his pedestal of pretty boy looks (and yes, yes, the chocolate abs), until the surprise baggage of an unknown child was dropped on his door. The adorable, face-full-of-cheeks, five-year-old YeEun. Enter ChaeRim as Yoon GaeHwa, the divorcee, desperate enough for means to feed her own daughter to resort to in-house housekeeping/nannying and innocent blackmailing. The moment she learns this secret before he does is the first critical moment of trouble.

And so the story goes. The chemistry between 24-year old idol Siwon and 32-year old popular actress ChaeRim was not instantaneous. I cringed at their first kiss, it felt as awkward as watching just that — a househelp and his actor master pucker up. Until the episodes go by and I believed it. ChaeRim carried Siwon well, little YooBin as YeEun was a ball of precious cuteness, and other than Park HanByul‘s flat delivery (her acting is as superficial as her character), I had nothing to complain about in this drama. Siwon has a long way to go before being the acting-dol he wants to be (and by God, HanByul even more), but he was endearing to watch. Though of course, the role of a bratty rich worshiped actor may not have been a long shot for him to internalize.

My take-aways (and these are such because I am still a fan-girl after all), 1. Siwon can act, 2. Siwon can sing (I was seriously doubting that, you see. I mean, isn’t he the Super Junior equivalent of Choi Minho? Not so, apparently)

And, 3. my updated iTunes. Drama OSTs can be as reliable as death and taxes, I’ve noticed.

And with that picture of epic familial cuteness, I look forward to drama Skip Beat with a shaking heart.