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Please click on the image for a clearer view. (Image credit: kiss the rain.)
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The Appeal of Korean Dramas

Top 10 Reasons

10. It’s a new and exciting form of entertainment (at least, for me)

9. There is more variety of actors and actresses so it’s difficult to become bored from watching the same people over and over again.

8. Good production values

7. Gorgeous cinematography
– You’d want to tour the filming locations because it was shown so beautifully.
Examples: The “four seasons” dramas (Spring Waltz, Summer Scent,Autumn In My Heart, and Winter Sonata)

Spring Waltz
(Those houses in the beautiful background are not the result of photoshop or special effects. This scene was filmed on location in Austria.)

6. Awesome soundtracks
– The music matches well with the drama and enhances viewers’ experience.
Examples: Winter Sonata, I’m Sorry, I Love You

5. Strong character development and uniqueness of the characters
– Korean dramas usually focus mainly on their leading actors and actresses and have very few subplots. Hence, there is ample time for character development. Also, the characters would have a certain aspect of their personalities and/or behaviors that is only unique to them.
Examples: Goodbye Solo, My Girl, Full House, Mr. Goodbye, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon

4. The hot men, with 6 ft.+ stature and washboard abs
Examples: Lee Dong Wook, Bi, Hyun Bin, Daniel Henney, Lee Ki Woo…

3. The amazing chemistry between the actors and actresses
– Not only between romantic couples, but also parent and child.
Examples: Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook, Kim Sun Ah and Hyun Bin (romantic); Mi Joo and Joon in Rude Woman, Yoon Hyun Suh and Yoon in Mr. Goodbye (parent and child)

2. Well-written scripts
– They make you laugh until your tummy hurts, cry because you symphatize so much with the characters, angry that you’d want to throw heavy objects at the TV screen, and optimistic because of the newly discovered life lessons and perspectives.
Examples: Goodbye Solo, Alone In Love, My Girl, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, Rude Woman


Goodbye Solo                                                            Alone in Love

and the number 1 reason is…

1. Talented actors and actresses
– Not only from veterans, but also from young stars and child actors. Honestly speaking, you can look great but if you can’t act, then I can’t help you because my attention will soon wander to something better.
Examples: Lee Da Hae (Green Rose, My Girl), Nam Sang Mi (Sweet Spy, Bad Family), Kwon Sang Woo (Stairway to Heaven), Jung Ji Hoon (Bi)…


Lee Da Hae                                                            Nam Sang Mi

Image credit: various sources

Nude Face

Going Makeup-free – Expose Your Face in All Its Natural Beauty

Makeup seems to no longer be in fashion. A makeup-free face has come to symbolize natural beauty, emerging as one of the latest cultural trends. The word “ssang-eol,” meaning “nude face,” became popular after several celebrities used it on TV shows. The fervor for not using makeup stemmed from the rising consciousness about healthy living, as people nowadays seem to prefer natural beauty more than artificially created beauty using makeup and plastic surgery. Adding to the “nude face” boom is people’s growing interest in the photos of celebrities’ makeup-free faces that have been circulating recently on the Internet.

Nude face trend on TV and in commercials

As if keeping pace with the “nude face” trend, many celebrities are appearing makeup-free on TV these days or at least use as little makeup as possible to underscore their inborn beauty. The “nude face” trend even rules TV commercials nowadays, with top stars boldly showing off their makeup-free faces and eliciting a favorable response from young viewers.

Nude faces everywhere

Celebrities are not the only ones who are deciding to forgo thick makeup these days. Interest in skincare has surged recently even among ordinary people, as a nude face has emerged as a symbol of natural beauty and a way to show off one’s perfect complexion. A growing number of women are frequenting beauty salons these days to receive facials and all kinds of dermatological surgeries. First of all, they remove spots and discoloration from their faces using lasers to make their complexion look flawless. Some women even draw permanent brows so as not to “look like Mona Lisa” after they remove makeup, while others have a red color injected into their lips to make them constantly look attractive. The only purpose of all such efforts is to look perfect without makeup. The clientele of wrinkle treatment, which in the past was the exclusive domain of people in their 40s and 50s, has grown to include people in their 20s as well. As interest in removing wrinkles has soared among young people, the number of wrinkle treatment patients younger than 30 has skyrocketed recently. Dermatological clinics have seen the number of their patients rise 30 percent this summer from the same period a year ago as a result of the “nude face” boom.

Cosmetics transformation

The “nude face” trend has also brought changes in women’s choice of cosmetic products. As a result, cosmetics companies are now focusing their business on developing skincare products rather than makeup products. Multi-functional cosmetic products that combine several functions in a single product, such as “lotion plus foundation,” or “makeup base plus foundation,” have hit the market in succession recently. Such multi-functional products create a clean, flawless look easily without having to put on thick makeup. Sales of concealers, which hide spots, freckles and discoloration, have been on the rise as well. Recently developed cosmetic products for the eyes and lips tend to contain pearl these days to underscore a clean, makeup-free complexion. Also popular are sunscreen and whitening products.

Going makeup-free

It takes continuous effort to create a flawless look without using makeup. Here are a few tips on how to achieve that look.

Sleep well

Getting enough sleep is essential if you want to have a beautiful complexion. Don’t miss the timeslot between midnight and 2 a.m., when skin cells regenerate.

Relieve stress

Stress not only accelerates the aging process but also causes dark circles under your eyes. Relieve stress through exercise and keep your body fit.

Drink lots of liquids

The lack of liquids in the body causes the skin to age. Drink at least eight glasses of fresh water a day to stay hydrated.

Apply sunscreen

Ultraviolet rays not only tan your skin but also cause spots and freckles. They also deprive the skin of elasticity and cause wrinkles. Apply sunscreen marked as “double plus” and SPF 15 or higher before going outside and reapply every two hours.

Eat nutritious foods

Green-leaf vegetables, egg yolk, fish and other foods containing vitamin A help prevent the oxidization of skin cell membranes, while vitamin E contained in nuts, vegetables, corn and beans helps prevent skin cell damage.

No smoking and drinking

Quit smoking and drinking for the sake of your health.

The “nude face” trend is the reflection of women’s rising interest in healthy skin, and that interest will only continue to rise in the future. But concerns are also rising that the obsession with “natural beauty” will only aggravate “lookism.” The “nude face” boom has emerged as a widely used commercial strategy of celebrity management agencies, beauty parlors and cosmetic companies. Let’s hope that the pursuit of natural beauty will translate into the increased expression of women’s self-confidence.
Source: KBS Global

doozy: What an interesting article! I remember seeing a thread that has pictures of Korean actresses with minimal or no makeup on, but I couldn’t find it at the moment. I’ll post up the pictures if I do find them.

Full House to Be Exported to Japan

Full House to Be Exported to Japan

The KBS hit drama Full House starring Rain and Song Hye Kyo will be exported to Japan for Japanese viewers across the island country, KBS Media said.

The drama has already gained great popularity in many Asian nations such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In some southeast Asian nations, it recorded viewing rates as high as the popular Korean drama Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace). In Thailand, its viewing rates for its last episode posted a staggering 64 percent.

The export to Japan is expected to serve as an opportunity to show the true value of the drama’s two Korean stars, especially at a time when Rain is already enjoying great popularity as a singer and Song is also quite famous in Japan for her role in the drama Autumn in My Heart and the film My Girl and I. Insiders believe that the fact that the drama features the two stars will produce great synergistic effects.

“Compared to Winter Sonata, which received a rave response from middle-aged Japanese women, Full House may potentially be loved by young people in their teens and 20s,” KBS Media said. “We expect that the export of the drama may help spread the Korean Wave or Korean pop culture craze among the younger generation in Japan.”
Source: KBS Global

doozy: Yay! Full House is on a global domination quest..heehee. Full House was the show that introduced me to Korean drama and Bi. I wish it much success in Japan. Aja aja, fighting!

Kim Tae-hee Becomes Highest-Paid Cosmetics Model

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Kim Tae-hee has signed the cosmetics industry’s highest-paying long-term contract, reaffirming her status as one of the nation’s most bankable beauties. The star’s agency said the contract stipulates she will model the HERA brand of Amorepacific for the next five years — a rare vote of confidence in a model’s enduring allure. She will be paid highest sum in the industry.

Amorepacific explained it conducted an opinion poll in which Kim’s special brand of intelligent beauty and feminine grace won her the most votes. When she was working over at rival firm LG Household & Health Care representing the Ohui brand — virtually unknown at that time — she played a key role in bringing about a sharp increase in its brand recognition.

Besides Kim’s contract, previously the most lucrative was signed by Lee Young-ae with LG Household & Health Care for “The History of Who.” It spans two years and will bring the actress some W2 billion. As luck would have it, Lee Young-ae started out at Amorepacific before moving to pastures new at LG, while Kim Tae-hee took the opposite course.

Amorepacific has been working to build up a top-of-the-line image for its premium HERA line and plans to unleash a marketing blitz not just in Korea but all across Asia.
Source: english.chosun.com

doozy: What is this “obsession” that Koreans have for Kim Tae Hee? I mean, okay..I agree that she is pretty and intelligent, since she recently graduated from Seoul National University (the Harvard-equivalent of S. Korea), but I just don’t understand the tremendous craze that they have for her. I just don’t get it! *scratch head*

Son Ye Jin’s New Project

Son Ye Jin and Sol Kyung Kyu is going to co-star together in a 24 episodes, 2007 new drama Agent Zero. The drama is said to be the korean version of the American police drama CSI. Famous movie writers of ShilMiDo, Public Enemy, Old Boy, Crying Fist.. are going to work together for this drama. The station airing it is still unknown at the moment.
Source: WITH S2 and purpletiger86

doozy: Woot woot! I’m really excited about this piece of news! After watching Alone in Love, I have officially become a fan of Son Ye Jin and have been waiting for news about her next drama. The drama looks very promising because not only is the outline based on one of my favorite American TV shows, but also because of the talented writers that will be working on it.

The Host

Monster Film Success Soothes S. Korea’s Worried Cinema Industry

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A rare monster film is blazing a trail in South Korea’s cinema history, drawing record audiences and bolstering a local movie industry being weaned from decades of a protective screen quota.

The Host, directed by a daring 37-year-old producer Bong Jun-Ho, pulled in eight million viewers as of Friday last week after it was released 16 days earlier at 620 cinemas across South Korea, according to the film’s distributor, Showbox.

The film slashed nine days off the previous record time to pull in eight million viewers which was set by Taegukgi, a 2004 big-budget domestic film featuring two brothers whose lives were ravaged by the Korean War.

When director Bong announced plans for the monster film, his third release, his colleagues were “shocked and dismayed,” he said.

Bong, who shot to fame in 2003 with Memories of Murder, a feature about the unsolved case of a serial killer in 1986, was considered by some to be selling out his art-house roots.

“I don’t care whether my film should be an art movie or a commercial movie. I just make a film because I want to see it myself as a viewer and because others don’t make it for me to see,” Bong told journalists.

The Host revolves around an ordinary family who are forced to struggle against great odds and non-cooperative bureaucrats to rescue their daughter, kidnapped by a monster living in the Han River that flows across Seoul.

Starring Song Kang-Ho, who played the leading role as an eager but hapless detective in Memories of Murder, The Host is a far cry from Hollywood monster films in terms of budget and spectacle. But its solid storytelling, blended with director Bong’s particular brand of humor and satire, has proved its main draw.

The film has no obvious hero, focusing on weak individuals struggling against formidable odds to rescue their loved one from the monster. This creature, which never overwhelms the screen in a way such as other monsters such as Godzilla, is a mutant spawned by toxic waste released from a US military morgue here.

Bong said he got the idea from a 2000 incident in which US military officers released toxic waste into the river, sparking anger and stoking anti-US sentiment.

But he denied the film was intended to deliver anti-US or environmentalist messages.

“I wanted to make a different monster film which has no superhero but weak and ordinary people struggling to protect those who are weaker than themselves,” Bong said.

The Host received favourable reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May and has been exported to 11 countries including the United States as well as elsewhere in Asia and Europe.

So Jung-Hyun, a 29-year-old math teacher, said she was moved by the film, which she said had broken new ground for local films.

“I was overcome with family love there. I’ve never seen a film like this. My brother also saw it the day after I saw it,” she said.

But other viewers said they were disappointed.

“I was disappointed. The format was not so thrilling and computer graphics were flawed,” said a 22-year-old biology student as he and his girlfriend were leaving a cinema in downtown Seoul.

“I think the film’s box office success was largely due to the tendency of South Korean viewers who blindly follow the crowd, relying only on mass opinions,” said the student, as his girlfriend, locking arms with him, nodded her consent. (Agence France Presse)
Source: The Seoul Times

MBC’s Rude Woman

MBC’s Rude Woman is my current must-watch! This show is hilarious! To tell you how “obsessed” I am with it, I’m actually watching the episodes without English subs, which is surprising because for me, doing that requires alot patience. I’ve tried to watch other shows before but would give up after 5-10 minutes into it because it was too boring for me to not understand what the heck is going on. However, Rude Woman is keeping me hooked. That’s how exciting this show is! If you have some free time and are looking for a good show to watch, what are you waiting for? Go check out its thread at soompi.com! There is a lot of information about the show and resources on where you can download the episodes. Currently, there are English subs for episodes 1-2 from WITH S2.

Lee Ki Woo (the actor on the left) is a hottie!
Well, stop reading this and go check out Rude Woman! Go!