Monday, April 30, 2012

news: I'm back... well... sort of...

A sincere bow and apology conveyed through Bo the Chicken

And we won't know for how long this will last; however, my desire to continue blogging is quite strong. I'm just going to take it easy because I completely overwhelmed myself. I admit that I went into K-Drama overload like a crack addict and overdosed a little (or a LOT) and so I needed a holiday (or rehab). I sincerely apologize for going absent for so long and I understand that I may have lost the few readers I DID end up procuring. So if you're reading this, thank you so very much for staying with me and having faith that I would return.

For the past month (or two? three?) I actually spent reading books. It was actually pretty nice and kind of refreshing. For some of my book reviews, hop on over to my personal blog (which is slowly becoming a book blog).

After that, I then discovered something interesting: I hadn't completely given up on TVB yet. Well, to be fair, I don't think I ever assumed that I'd given up on TVB (my mother ship). I just started becoming disappointed in them and the fact that I couldn't even finish one series since 2010. But lo and behold, I picked up a medical drama starring my favorite Hong Kong actress in TVB (not depicted in the photo above) and watched the series until its disastrous, bitter end. I may or may not include a short review of the series as well as a separate post about the ending that hadn't quite satisfied, but at the same time wasn't at all THAT horrible (terminal illnesses and couple curtain calls and all included).

Following, I decided to indulge in some recent Hong Kong series from TVB that I had actually enjoyed (questionable endings and all). The thing about TVB series is that they aren't perfect and even if the series have great build-ups, awesome acting and attention to detail, there is always a point where the series will turn for the worst -- usually either half-way through when the writers get into a "writing blockade" or nearing the end where a "trend-setting funk" takes over. And so either the series doesn't know where its going, or the series decides to head straight into angsty K-Drama territory on weed wherein it involves the right elements, but is executed completely (and unnecessarily) wrong.

But I digress.

I think I maybe watched three TVB series before I ended up leaving town for vacation and couldn't seem to get back into that "reminiscing" stance anymore. So I spent another day or two in that floating "I don't know what I wanna do" period until I stumbled across the Taiwanese Drama savior to my boredom as well as renewed interest.

Ti Amo Chocolate, which I will talk about in more detail after I finish watching the series, had the elements for my cure-all of all things entertainment: cross-dressing girl as boy, let the romantic comedy and sticky situations ensue! There is nothing that grabs my attention more than this particular cliche and to be totally honest, I don't know why I love this plot device so much, but I do and there's no changing that. Yes, I was a wee bit more excited that I am willing to admit, but upon the viewing of episode number one, I think I hooked myself just for the sake of the girl-disguised-as-boy basis (which doesn't always work, but is usually one of the best attractions -- I will refrain from bad-mouthing such series as Taiwanese Drama called Boy and Girl). If anything, I may or may not throw in a first impression post soon even though I'm probably already half-way through the series. But who cares, really?

Ti Amo Chocolate gave me that flare I had for beautiful men, romantic comedies, and all things fluffy all over again. Or maybe I just needed a reprieve from angsty K-Drama tropes for a while.

And so my new obsession? Vanness Wu, Wu Jian Hau. He's so lovely that I just want to squeal. And the funny thing is, he's not particularly THAT good looking, but he's got some sort of charm about him that MAKES him extremely attractive. I don't know what it is (Eyes? Style? Onscreen charm? It might be the eyes, really.), but it's there and I love it!

And so on with the romantic comedies of Taiwanese Idol Drama galore. I finally managed to finish Love Keeps Going (painfully) and jumped back into the Skip Beat! wagon, finishing that series with a bit of amusement and some hard laughter that I never thought I could find in the comedy of Skip Beat!. It was quite shocking actually, especially after I totally dismissed Taiwanese Idol Drama's penchant for comedy in the first impression post of Skip Beat!, saying that they just don't know how to do comedy correctly and saying that it all just ends up being awkward and tacky. SOMEONE must have been listening.

I have plans to also watch Material Queen (90% because of Vanness Wu; 10% because of romantic comedy faithfulness). I may or may not continue hovering the Taiwanese Idol Drama scene.

I managed to marathon Autumn's Concerto, picking it up 80% because of Vanness Wu and 20% because of the story, which is started to change ratios to somewhere more around 50% story after the story started to pick up a bit more half-way through the series. Watching this series is a total shock to myself, because if I had to place a label, I would call this series a melodrama with all the right cliches, executed quite reasonably. I'm not saying they're the best tropes nor is the story line really that great. But I like where the story is going and I like the pacing and the developments (despite how predictable a lot of it is), and there's this sincere feel to it that just makes it hard to stop watching. It also doesn't help much that the entire basis of the series has already been laid out in the summaries found anywhere as well as from the short cut-scenes for commercial breaks, and so while watching this series, you know exactly what's going to happen from day one until the end. HOWEVER, you still direly want to know how it gets there because you get to watch two people fall in love, separate through angsty cliches and then reunite somehow.

I'm enjoying it a LOT. It's a sweet love story with a LOT of feel. And I usually DON'T like melodramas. Or maybe I'm a clost melo-romance fan. Hard to say.

More on that series after I finally finish it, however.

I have no definite plans for the moment right after posting this particular news article. I have the desire to simply write the short reviews (the intro info pieces) for everything I've been watching lately. Alongside those will also be the less "spoiler" friendly discussions (which I call discussions even though I'm the only one doing the discussing of) of those series. Such articles may or may not end up being posted:

Dream High 2 -- thoughts and final verdict -- wherein I will be doing a LOT of criticizing and will explain why I ultimately dropped this series for good.

The Hippocratic Crush -- thoughts and intro info -- I just feel like I have some things to say about this one.

Ti Amo Chocolate -- first impression and final verdict -- because I can.

Ode to Vanness Wu -- this might just be a squealy picture-fest as well as the officially banner changing ceremony wherein this blog's banner finally gets a new look after I come around to creating a new look.

As for the rest of those Korean Dramas that I had started and haven't quite finished yet, well, just to be sure no one is disappointed in me, I DO have a desire to finish those series. I'm still recovering from my K-drama overdose and will just have to take things slowly. It's not that I don't want to finish them, it's just that I don't know where to start. And now with some really good looking new series out in a winning line (Lee Seung Gi as a prince in The King 2 Hearts; a quirky time-traveling romance piece that seems to be making quite the hit) as well as others that are coming into the light soon (Gong Yoo's comeback in a Hong Sisters' production anyone?; Lee Jun Ki's comeback with the lovely Shin Min Ah in a historic setting?; Song Joong Ki and Moon Chae Won, together, as a main couple?), I'm almost afraid that I might go into overload again and have to take an even longer holiday to recover.

On top of that, TVB is finally ushering out the one series I've been anticipating since the first time I saw the promotion clips, Return to Three Kingdoms, which has been renamed Three Kingdoms RPG (which works with the series' basis, but still sounds tacky no matter how hard you try to make it work, to be totally honest). But given the premise of the series, my two favorite TVB stars Raymond Lam and Tavia Yeung, as well as one actor who grows on me if his character is agreeable... I've been in this tent for a long time coming already.

But anyway, life in the Asian Drama world is thus and I really DO hope that I can continue to enjoy as well as share my thoughts while I'm at it. It would be pretty awesome to be able to continue blogging and watching drama series as well. There are also some really nice Korean movies I'm interested in partaking in too. Blogging movies, however, has always been a bit hard for me depending on how I manage to NOT spoil anything (since I plan on having NO intro info posts for movies at all).

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