Monday, February 11, 2013

Arang and the Magistrate

Rating: *****

Genre: Fantasy, period, mystery, comedy, romance, action, melodrama
Episodes: 20
Cast: Shin Min Ah, Lee Jun Ki, Yun Woo Jin, Kwon Oh Joong

"The beautiful Arang, the daughter of a magistrate during the Chosun Dynasty, is brutally murdered. The woman returns from the dead as a ghost, still full of light-hearted mischief and spirited fun. When she meets a young magistrate, Eun Oh, she discovers that he has the unique ability to communicate with the dead. She convinces him to help her uncover her killer and bring the person to justice. Can a ghost and a magistrate team up to solve a murder mystery and punish the wrongdoer? --KimchiDrama"

Simply "daebak."  Original plotline, great cast, and very humorous.  This drama was addicting from start to finish, and it left me wanting more.  I loved the secondary couple.  They are so funny together.  I seriously wouldn't mind a spin off of just those two characters.  As you know, I'm a big fan of this sort of period drama.  So, when a fantasy drama like this comes along, I don't know why I wouldn't recommend it.  It's a must see!

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Wedding Scheme

Rating: ****

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Family
Episodes: 16
Cast: Kang Hye Jung, Lee Kyu Han, Lee Young Eun, Lee Min Woo

"A mother of four daughters and the president of a kimchi factory decides to embark on a grand marriage scheme for her children... by having them cohabitate with four eligible bachelors."

After getting multiple people telling me how wonderful this show was, I decided to finally take a gander at this show.  Funny, cute, and addicting, this was well worth the watch.  When I first read the synopsis, I though that it was two people that were plotting a marriage scheme for their children, but I later realized that the president of the kimchi factory and the mother were the same person.  That kind of made it a little less fun, as I would have liked to see two scheming parents, but it was still fun.

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rich Man Poor Woman

Rating: *****

Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 11
Cast: Oguri Shun, Ishihara Satomi, Aibu Saki, Asari Yosuke

"Oguri Shun plays Hyuga Toru, an affluent man whose personality is on the contrary, speckled with flaws. A CEO of an IT firm who is published on Forbes as a billionaire, Toru attained his fortune through chance and pure luck. A woman who meets Toru and eventually becomes attracted to him is Sawaki Chihiro, played by Ishihara Satomi. Chihiro is a hardworking college student at Tokyo University who has prepared for her future as much as she possibly could through studies and obtaining licenses. Despite her efforts, she has yet to land a job. Upon meeting Toru, she begins to unravel a genuine pureness inside him and solitude resulting from such pureness, which eventually draws her closer to him. The two repeatedly conflict each other, but little by little learn about one another to grow and develop together. Despite the worldwide recession and financial difficulties, there are people like Mark Zuckerberg who began work from merely an apartment room or a garage that end up growing to be companies generating over ten billion dollars revenues after merely 10 years or so, embracing their new found wealth by living the dream life. Whether it's a game or application software, Ecommerce, or other IT related firm, there are more than a few who rose in fame to such status in recent years. On the other hand, Japan's unemployment rate for new grads dropped to a record low and those who want to work are unable to, or their wishes to work at their company of choice is not granted.  A Cinderella story of the real world. Will the two be able to compromise their values and lifestyles to become a happy couple? -- Fuji TV

When I first heard about this drama, I wasn't impressed.  I thought, "What, another Cinderella story?  Isn't it kind of old?"  But then I watched and I couldn't stop.  This drama is extremely addicting.  I wouldn't recommend  watching this if you are about to go to bed.  There were some problems, like all dramas have, but it was very good.  A must see! :)

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you.  I'm sorry I haven't posted my normal reviews these last few weeks.  The holiday season is always crazy.  I hope to release some more reviews once the new year starts.

Until then, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being A Student in America

Since I enjoy talking about myself as the narcissistic person I am, it is time to talk about the school system in America and how I "enjoyed" it.  As you may know, I am a bit of a nerd.  My IQ is about 130, which basically means that my logical thinking is ahead of about 98% of my peers.  Thus, I was pretty nerdy.  My love of the computer, anime and electronics, however, pushed me over the edge into Nerd-ville.  Even though my brain was okay, the American school system pretty much failed me.

I grew up in Florida where I moved many times and went to many different schools.  Because of that, I saw many different ways of teaching first hand.  None of them worked out very well.  My first school was a Christian private school.  I believe I was four when I started kindergarten.  My birthday was right at the cut off date, and my mother was too busy to take care of me.  So, she sent me to school right away.  I was too young to understand religion, so I wasn't aware that the day a person went to church mattered.  So, when my teacher handed out a worksheet where we would have to put in what day our family did certain things, there was some issues.  Six of the tasks were things that my family never really did such as cleaning the house and cutting the grass.  The last was what day we went to church.  In my family, we went to church on Saturday, so I wrote in Saturday.  The last six were lies since my family never did the other things.  However, the teacher marked the "Saturday" wrong since the affiliated church went on Sunday.  It's funny, because that's the only time she ever spent time to help me with my work.  Teachers in all the schools I went to would not even speak to you unless you asked them.  And even then, sometimes they wouldn't be able to answer your questions.  I once missed a few days of school in 9th grade and asked my math teacher what the negative before the squared symbol was and how it affected the equation.  He said that I didn't need to know.

When a pretty girl says she is being bullied, teachers generally don't care and neither do your parents.  Even if you are harassed daily, they are always brushing it off like it is nothing.  "He just likes you."  "She's just jealous."  You could come home with bruises and they'd just say "boys will be boys."  Traumatized at a young age by kids that the teachers deemed as "innocent," my bubbling and outgoing personality became plagued with phobias such as social phobia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia.  Because of the phobias created by the initial events, I was bullied even worse in the future.  After all, predators can sense fear and always attack on the weakest.  It didn't matter what school I went to, though.  No matter the school, the teachers never did anything to prevent or stop bullying.  If there were no physical wounds, teachers would pretend there was nothing going on.  Even if you asked a teacher to change your seat because a bully, they wouldn't even bother.  This one bully would push my desk into the middle of the front of the class during a lecture, and the teacher wouldn't say anything.  After all, "boys will be boys."  When I did the same thing when we switched seats to get him back, though, I got detention.  The more pretty you are, the more discrimination you get.  If your family was relatively well off, however, a pretty girl could be popular.

In America, evil girls are supposed to be pretty.  All the television dramas will have the most evil girl be what they refer to as the most beautiful.  Being brainwashed into such things, people don't really believe a pretty girls' words as easily.  Most will say "a pretty girl always gets her way" and treat her rudely.  Let me tell you something, I've never gotten out of a ticket or out of any trouble. In fact, I would get into trouble for the smallest of things.  I would get detention just for forgetting my homework.  I passed a note by tossing it to my friend when I was on the bus, and I got detention for "throwing things."  The other kids would do it all the time and I never heard her give a detention to anyone else for anything.  I'm not even kidding.  Because of the media, pretty girls are often treated as idiots.

When I was at the end of first grade, there was my first end of the year test.  This test basically told teachers what class you should be in.  If you should be in a class with smart people, average students or with remedial students.  Unfortunately, due to my mother not believing me when I said I was sick, I puked all over the test.  I never was able to retake it, though, as I was then sent to home school.  Home school is basically for when parents would teach their own children.  However, my mother was too busy to check our homework.  And, after 3 years, I was pretty far behind due to lack of a teacher.  Luckily, my IQ was good and I was able to successfully pass the end of the year tests by guessing.

When I went to another Christian school for 6th grade, after begging my parents to send me to a real school, I was treated like a retard.  I was immersed in remedial studies where the teachers treated me like I had the reading capacity of a five year old.  I was still getting F's in most of my classes, though, as I didn't learn a thing for three years.  The teachers were of no help.  They sent us about twenty worksheets a night, and I would get detention if they were not all turned in on time and completed.  The detention consisted of cleaning the classroom, so I would have no time to complete the homework that was to be turned in the following day.  Thus, more detentions.  Because my mother was too "busy" to check my homework and sign it, so my grade was also lowered about 10%.  After all, if the mother doesn't sign it, it is seen as if the child just didn't show it to their parent.

After a half semester of being treated like a moron and being bullied for being "stupid," I convinced my mother to let me go to public school.  My mother is one of those christian mothers that were brainwashed into thinking that public school would corrupt their child, so it took a long time to convince her.  However, I found that a Christian school just prevented myself from believing in Christianity.  I went from failing in a private school to getting an average grade in public school.  I guess that really speaks about the quality standards of the public school system.  Truthfully, I'm still amazed that I wasn't held back.  However, because I was originally thought to be a stupid person in the eyes of the teachers, I was never able to get rid of that stigma.  I was stuck in the class for slow learners for the most of my school career.  In high school, the honors teacher for English had taught me previously when I was still catching up, so she denied me entrance into honors because of my past.  Even though I was acing English by 9th grade, the stigma of my ignorance a few years prior was still valid.  Because I was constantly stuck in boring classes, I would sleep through them and still pass.  I had to beg my teachers to let me into more challenging classes.  However, due to my need to challenge myself, I was taking college courses at my local community college instead of high school classes by my last semester of high school and doing very well.  I hoped that English teacher found out.  She would've been embarrassed to treat me like a moron.

There was a test that showed that Americans were becoming more intelligent over the generations.  However, I think that's a lie.  The standard tests are a joke.  I have a pretty good memory, so I would remember questions from the standardized tests.  They frequently repeated the same stories and questions.  Even the math problems would have the same exact pattern to them.  It's not we that are getting smarter, but the tests getting stupider.  When I did the standardized tests, I spent most of my time contemplating whether I should put in the same answer as last year or not.  Most of the time I just put the same answer from last year.

All in all, American schools are bad.  No matter how smart you are, they will fail you.  Once you are labeled, the label will prevent you from succeeding unless you are aware of what is happening.  The American school system doesn't announce publicly which classes are for remedial students so that there isn't any embarrassment, but the classes will go into your records.  Those classes will decide the curriculum you are roped into.  If you are ever forced into an American public school, beware of what classes are for what students.  They will try to force you into classes that don't challenge you, and then (because the classes made you fall asleep) they will force you to continue on that same curriculum path.  If you can ace a class without touching the book, you need to ask the teacher if there is a harder class.  If not, you will end up working for minimum wage the rest of your life because the school didn't teach you a thing.

PS: Don't eat the food.  I've seen roaches, caterpillars, hair, and other random objects in their food.  When you complain about it, the staff just cover it up.  Even if its' not in your food doesn't mean it wasn't picked off before it was served.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

US Culture

As you know, I talk a lot about other countries cultures in my blogs.  However, today I would like to talk about American culture.  You may see American films and think you know all about American culture, but television isn't reality.  I see a lot of comments online from Europeans who tend to say negative things about Americans when they've never even met one before.  To an American, this is the worst form of discrimination.  The problem is that most Americans can't define our own culture very well.  Each state has varied forms of food, weather, traditions and common practices.  I recently moved from Florida to Connecticut, and some of the words people used I still have yet to understand.  Do people from Connecticut really use "spooks" to talk about critters in the attic?

As part of a country that holds citizens from every nation on Earth, we are told since birth to not discriminate based on appearances.  Although some Americans may be misguided and have racist views, it is generally looked down upon.  Our ideal country would be considered a melting pot which combines all cultures to create one cohesive culture, but (for now) it's more along the lines of a salad.  Since Americans are all immigrants, many families take a while to become fully integrated into the American culture.  Most will surround themselves with people from their homeland country, which ends up creating subcultures.  The government has set up many laws in order to help speed up the mixing of cultures, but it is a slow process.  Most humans are afraid of unfamiliar things.  America, as a whole, may never completely forget our ancestors grudges.  In retrospect, that may be why the US government tends to stick their noses into other countries' business.  In other countries, they may see the US as foreigners, but we think of other countries as our family.  Since our citizens come from all over the world, we see all countries as our relatives, and sometimes we feel compelled to meddle with things that look unfair.  I'm not condoning my countries questionable actions, but I hope you'll understand the reasons why Americans may think that way.

Free speech is very important in my country.  In our society, we should be able to voice our opinions.  However, people who force their views on others are looked down upon.  Many times people will act as if being an American entitles you to scream your views at others.  However, doing so will most likely get you hit.  Respect of all opinions while still being able to have your own opinion is important in US culture.  "If you want respect, you must give respect."  Not all people are like that, but that's America for you.

Hard work is one of the key principles of our culture.  There is plenty of opportunity, but you have to put in the effort in order to take that opportunity.  Although the recession has dulled down the dirty looks, most people are looked down upon if they aren't financially independent after college.  If you don't go to college, you are expected to get a job and move out of the house.  If you do not pay your car insurance, rent, utilities and food yourself, but mooch off of your parents when you are fully capable of supporting yourself, it is considered selfish.  Parents raise you until you are able to fend for yourself, so we think that it is selfish to use their money if you are able to work.  If you go to college, most middle class families expect their children to work part time to help pay for their college education.  Many children as young as sixteen juggle part time work while going to highschool.  There are even on the job training programs in highschools where students can get highschool credit for working. 

Americans are generally very competitive if they want something.  The culture is all about working hard for what you want, and sometimes it can be a bit egocentric.  However, if an American doesn't want something, they won't bother.  Our country has free education to highschool, so most parents send them to a public school.  I went to about 9 different schools, so I have a broad knowledge of how Florida schools are.  They were all pretty bad.  The teachers don't like teaching, they are only in it for a steady job.  The food served contains such protein as cockroaches, hair and spoiled milk due to the cafeteria staffs' negligence.  Teachers do not challenge students, nor do they explain why the subjects are relevant to the students futures.  Since our culture is geared to working to what you want, most students don't pay too much attention in class as they think the subjects aren't relevant to what they want to do in the future.  Sometimes teachers will pass a student that deserves to fail a grade, which shows how horrible the school system is.  I never studied in school, and I passed in the honor roll.  However, you cannot say that Americans are stupid.  Even though the schools are that bad, many students do very well for themselves.  They may not be able to point out Washington D.C. on a map, but you probably couldn't either unless you wanted to visit their someday.

American culture is also about taking parts of many different cultures and finding what works for you.  You don't have to be a certain race to take part of the subcultures.  Personally, I am Native American, English, Irish, German, Dutch, Swiss, and possibly French.  However, for some odd reason, my cultural identity has always leaned towards the Japanese culture and way of thinking.  In our government, we test out different methods.  Sometimes what we use from different cultures fails, and sometimes it does really well.  However, we learn from the past and we try to right our ancestor's wrongs.  We are an imperfect government.  No American has ever said (that I've heard of) that we have a perfect system.  However, no government is perfect.  We just try new things and hope they work.

When I see people review "American" food on Youtube, it always makes me laugh.  Especially in the twinkie department.  People have somehow got it into their heads that a twinkie is the end all be all of American delicacy.  I'm still not understanding how anyone can think that.  A common joke in America is that, if there is a nuclear explosion, the only thing that will survive will be twinkies and cockroaches.  This is not because the twinkies are so good, but rather that they are so horrible for  you.  Secondly, don't buy a ton of food from one company and then base your opinion of American food on that one company.  Companies generally gear their products towards a certain type of consumer.  Most companies will use the same base ingredients and the same way of making certain items.  If you don't like one of their products, it's rare that you're going to like the others.  I saw one person review a whole box of hostess products, and then say how bad our food was.  What do you expect?  I mean, hostess is the epitome of fat.  To me, they are completely horrendous!  A burger is considered American food.  However, McDonalds is not considered a real burger.  Don't make the mistake of thinking McDonalds is some kind of standard of the American burger.

I've heard that we "murder" other countries foods.  Yes, Americans tend to "Americanize" food, but every country does it.  Companies alter their products to the average consumer's taste.  Have you ever seen Korean pizza variations?  It's very different then what most would consider Italian.  You can find authentic food from all over the world in the US if you know where to look.  As far as what I eat, my diet usually contains Italian food as it is my favorite.  Penne, spaghetti, pizza, and ziti are the most common for me.  Many Americans do not eat heavy breakfasts because they believe that (if you are not fully awake when you eat) you will end up eating more.  Most eat a small meal in the morning, a medium meal in the afternoon, and a full meal at dinner time.  Traditional breakfasts usually include eggs, toast, orange juice, and fruit.  Sometimes it includes bacon or sausages and grits (which is a type of hot cereal made from corn).  Grits are of Native American origin, so they are as American as you can get.  However, the average person usually eats some sort of cereal in the morning.  In the summer it is usually a dry cereal that milk is poured over.  In the winter, hot cereals such as oatmeal or grits are commonly eaten.  Lunches and dinners vary greatly depending on your families culture and your taste preferences.  In my family, we ate sandwiches for lunch.  For dinner we would eat some kind of meat (usually chicken), vegetables, and a bit of rice.  We never had mashed potatoes, turkey or stuffing except for on Thanksgiving.  However, once a week, we would usually have tacos, spaghetti, or steak and vegetables to spice things up.  Other than that, my family's table was pretty boring.  They didn't even bother putting any seasonings on the chicken.  I still find it funny that other countries think we live off of fast food.  I've only had fast food once this year.

In any case, what kind of culture and ideals does your country have?  Let me know in the comment section below!  I'd love to hear about your country's culture!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bridal Mask

Rating: ***.5

Genre: Period, Action, Drama, Romance
Episodes: 28
Cast: Joo Won, Jin Se Yun, Park Ki Woong, Han Chae Ah

"Gaksital is a famous manhwa set in the 1930s, during the Japanese occupation. The hero, Lee Kang-to, is known as 'Gaksital' because he wears a mask to hide his face — one of those traditional play masks, specifically the rosy-cheeked one reserved for the female role, aka the bride. He's an unassuming young man in real life, but when he dons his superhero mask, he fights injustice and rights wrongs during one of the darkest periods of Korea's history… "

When I first heard of this drama, I ran very quickly.  To be honest, the period this drama is in scared me pretty bad.  You see, the drama was in the 1930s, which was the time of the Japanese Occupation of Korea which lasted from 1910 to 1945.  This means that the drama would most likely have a bad ending.  Since the drama is supposed to be about ten years before the end of the occupation, that means that the Bridal Mask will not be able to really make much of a difference during the time that the drama shows.

Against my better judgement, I dove in and try it.  It was really addicting in the beginning.  The only problem is that I think they shouldn't have extended the drama to more episodes.  The drama kind of got a little boring toward the end because they extended it too much.  Bridal Mask is one of those dramas that you like, but probably wouldn't want to take the time to watch again.  Tread carefully~!

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Gentleman's Dignity

Rating: *****

Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 20
Cast: Jang Dong Gun, Kim Ha Neul, Kim Soo Ro, Kim Min Jong

"A drama about the careers and love lives of urban professionals. It will tell the story of four men in their forties as they go through love, breakup, success and failure.  Kim Do Jin, an architect with a scathing tongue have romantic relationship with strict high school teacher Seo Yi Soo, who moonlights as an umpire at amateur baseball games. Im Tae San is dating a cold-hearted woman but wonders if there is someone else out there for him. Choi Yoon tries to heal his heart after losing his wife four years ago. Lee Jung Rok marries an older woman for money but may lose his comfortable lifestyle in a divorce."

This is not my normal drama to say the least.  I usually go for dramas that have characters around my age, and that have funny plots.  However, I somehow got sucked into watching this drama, and I was unable to get away from it from the very first episode.  Funny, interesting and extremely addicting, this drama really got me by the nape of my neck.

I have no issues with this drama, and I wholeheartedly recommend this drama to anyone wanting a good laugh.

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ma Boy

Rating: *****

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Youth
Episodes: 3
Cast: Kim So Hyun, Sun Woong, Mih Hoo, Kim Ha Yun

"Jang Geu Rim (Kim So Hyun) is a student at an arts high school who dreams of becoming a pop singer. At school She gets a new roommate, Irene (Sun Woong) who’s actually a boy. Irene’s persona is a pretty Female CF star and his actual name is Hyun Woo. "

I officially hate you guys. T.T

"Ma Boy is great!  You didn't watch it??"  People kept saying.  So, I decided to watch it.  I watched all three episodes straight, only to find out that it was only three episodes.  Wei?????   Why didn't you tell me this?  Huh?  Think it's funny?  Drama?  This isn't a drama, it's a movie that was cut into three parts!

In any case, it was fun to watch.  Although completely ridiculous, I can't say I didn't enjoy it.  I just wish it was longer.

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mop Girl

Rating: ****

Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Comedy
Episodes: 10
Cast: Kitagawa Keiko, Tanihara Shosuke, Asami Reina, Takaoka Sousuke

"Kitagawa plays the part of the slow but hardworking Momoko, a low-ranking employee at a funeral services company who carries a mop as part of her job. However, Momoko happens to possess a strange ability. Whenever she comes across the corpse of someone who has left strong feelings behind, she travels back in time to save that person from his or her fate."

As you may have guessed, I'm not a huge fan of Japanese dramas.  The few television series that I've watched that were not anime are few and far between.  That is mainly because of the "flower boy" style that I hate.    What is the flower boy style?  Well, I'll explain.  What I mean by flower boy style is those weird haircuts that are feathered and dyed a vomit orange or yellow.  This picture is of Oguri Shun, who is is an award-winning Japanese actor.  

Oguri Shun
Although he is handsome, that yellow hair makes his skin look horrible.  In dramas, people cast actors and dye their hair in an attempt to make them "handsome", and then the script says how handsome the main character is.  However, in my opinion, this orange hair makes them look ugly.  I mean, extremely ugly. In my opinion, Japanese like Tanihara Shosuke (the male lead in Mop Girl), who do not dye their hair weird colors, are much more handsome.                            Tanihara Shosuke
So, when I find a Japanese drama that doesn't include bad actors with orange hair, I'm very excited.  Mop Girl has probably been my first Japanese drama in a year that I actually enjoyed.   The only problem with this drama is that I seriously think that the drama was too short.  Japanese dramas are the shortest series I have ever seen.  They tend to be about 10 episodes.  I kind of feel that they should have extended the story, as the characters never got any kind of conclusion.  However, in the end, I found the story very funny and I enjoyed it very much.  I definitely recommend this drama. :)

What did you think of this drama? Comment below!