I just finisheded watching a J movie shown in 2006, Nada Sou Sou. It is a real tearjerker with a sad ending–the 25 year old stepbrother (Youtaro) of Kaoru (20 yrs) dies after wearing out his body trying to make a better life for his stepsister. The setting is in Okinawa, and the background of Okinawan folk music is really beautiful. He stopped going to school at 16 years and worked for realizing his dream of owing a restaurant. At 21 years, he was able tor ealize his dream and thus asked his young sister to join him in Okinawa after she passed a good senior high. However,on the eve of the blessing of the restaurant, Yotaru found out that he was swindled and that the property was never really sold by the rightful owner. At the same time, he also broke up with his rich girlfriend upon realizing that the big gap in their backgrounds was not going to work out, especially so when the father of the girl had plans for the girlfriend to take over his hospital later.
February 2007 marked my first year of watching Asian dramas. The very first one was “My Girl” (SBS 2005), a Korean drama, comedy romance. I received a DVD copy as a going away gift from my officemate, Mitch. Fortunately, the DVD copy she gave me had good subs and quality picture so I had the incentive to watch. From the first episode, after seeing Lee Dong-Wook as Gong Chan, the grandson heir to a hotel chain) , I was hooked. I found him really attractive and quite handsome, compared to other Korean actors. I couldn’t stop watching the video. I thought Lee Da Hae (as Joo Yoo Rin, the interpreter/tourist guide whom Gong Chan asked to pose as his long missing cousin for the benefit of his ailing grandfather) was reallly pretty, I found the clothes she wore here cute, I also found the fashion style of the lead guys here, one of them Lee Dong Wook to be really “interesting”. (You know, hot pink tie, waist suit, etc). The OST was also superb. To top it all, there were so many internet sites dedicated to it that I was able to download for the first time the whole OST, including the lyrics, plus the scripts. I had watched the drama twice; but I try to avoid the scene with the con-dad of Yoo Rin. I also found out that Lee Dong Wook had visited Manila and guested in the noontime variety show Wowowee in February 2007, but I didn’t know it because I don’t really watch local free TV (Was his coming ever covered in the news?) I also learned thru internet sites that among Lee Dong Wook’s dream is to go on a honeymoon to Boracay Island (but he added that this won’t happen until ten years later).
After My Girl, I watched Full House (which I didn’t quite like because of verbal abuse of lead star Rain to his beautiful Korean co-star). My third DVD was Goong or Princess Hours, which was really good except for the bad subs of the DVD , which was also a gift from Mitch. I can’t remember if my next K drama was Kim Sam Soon. This is also one of my all time favorites, and although the lead star Hyun Bin isn’t handsome, he was so good here that I found him really “hot”. I also watched Winter Sonata (2002) starring Bae Hyoon Jun, even though it wasn’t a comedy, when I found out this was THE K drama that started the interest in K dramas worldwide, even in Japan.
It’s been a while since I last wrote my thoughts about Asian drama. So far, I’ve written about Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas that I have seen, but not about Philippine dramas. I have not seen any Philippine dramas because they have not interested me until “My Girl–Philippine version.” When I heard that the TV station ABS CBN made an adaptation of the Korean hit drama (and one of my all time favorites)-My Girl- I became curious and watched it. I was hooked! The lead Philippine stars (unknown to me until this drama) –Gerald Anderson playing the hotel executive Julian in the Philippine version (that is, the role of Lee Dong Wook as Gong Chan in the Korean version) and Kim Chiu playing the “fake” cousin of Julian (that is, the role played by Lee Da-Hae as Joo Yoo Rin in the Korean version) are great actors. At first I thought that they were too young for the roles (Both are not yet in their 20s; they were winners in the Philippine version of Big Brother–first Teen edition in 2006) but they are so good they could get away with it. And both Gerald and Kim are so cute together.
I am so glad the Philippine version was able to adapt the drama to Philippine culture and situations. Julian (Gong Chan in the Korean) belongs to an aristocratic Spanish family while Jasmine (Yoo Rin in the Korean) is a street smart Chinese-Filipino girl. Julian’s lost cousins parents were victims of landslide vis the Korean version where the parents were victims of the Kobe earthquake.
I thought the Philippine cast is far good looking than the Korean cast, but I prefer the Korean OST than the Philippine OST. There are new songs composed solely for the Philippine version like “Sabihin Mo Na” (Tell Me Now) by Philippine singer Yeng Constantino. Moreover, Philippine dramas are usually dragging, but this one is fast paced. And just like their Korean counterparts, the lead actors here are also “fashionistas.”
I don’t know how many episodes there are and until when I would be glued to the TV daily during weekdays; but I do look forward to being at home by 9pm so that I could watch my latest favorite drama.
I have been watching lately movies or T-dramas starring Vic Zhou (n1981) of F4 fame, although I have not completely watched Meteor Garden 1, his debut drama. He starred here as HWa Zhi Lei, which in the Taiwan version is an autistic guy (??). He was supposed to be 19 years old then.
I have finished watching Silence (2006)and Mars (2004). I have not finished watching Sweet Relationship (2007) and Love storm (2003) since I am awaiting the subs on Mysoju. I find Vic hot, although I don’t understand why because the Filipino comedian whom he reminds me of (Vic Sotto) was never my idol, nor did I see any of his film or watched his TV shows continuously. But there is something about the guy that appeals to me–maybe his soft voice, or his hairstyle, his eyes or his smile (he has a dimple). I thought he had lost weight in Sweet Relationship (which I don’t find appealing at all) and had caused his cheeks to become sallow. Fanblogs say that he had just broken off with Barbie Hsu last January 2008, whom he had dated for two and a half years, after filming Mars (Barbie was his co-star). I don’t know how popular he is in Taiwan, but he is one of the most prolific in terms of making dramas among the Asian stars whom I consider hot (think Mike He, Lee Dong Wook, Joo Ji Hoon, Lee Ji Hoon). On the average, he has at least one drama a year;not to mention several recordings. He has a recent drama (Wish to See You Again, 2008) which was recently subbed and uploaded on MYsoju (episode one, that is).
Vic/Zaizai’s (his nickname) profile from Wikipedia
- Name: 周渝民 / Zhou Yu Min
- English name: Vic Zhou
- Nickname: 仔仔 (Zai Zai)
- Profession: Actor, singer, model
- Birthdate: 1981-June-09
- Birthplace: Taiwan
- Height: 180cm
- Weight: 66kg
- Star sign: Gemini
- Blood type: O
- Music Group: JVKV (formerly known as F4)
*photo of vic zhou from http://www.chinatownconnection.com