The Exorcist’s Meter

the-exorcists-meter
icdrama.se

TVB’s best idea, although doing it on the cheap, was rewarding HKD$10,000(~$USD1,280) to anyone with new ideas for screenplay. Hence the screenplay for the Exorcist’s Meter (降魔的).

Supernatural stories are nothing new, but when you add some local flavors,
i.e. Hong Kong cab driver with supernatural capabilities, you have yourself a show with lots of potential. There are award buzzes for Kenneth Ma after years of not breaking into top ranks.

Kenneth Ma? Vincent Wong? This TVB awards season should be interesting.

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Legal Mavericks Season 2

legal-mavericks
icdrama

I am surprised TVB and iQiYi decided Legal Mavericks should divide into two seasons. Usually TVB would produce a series 2 long after series 1 is over and got excellent feedback. A completely produced series only splits because of logic, and usually would be labeled with named parts, such as the The Legend of the Condor Heroes was split into three parts: The Iron-Blooded Loyalists, The Eastern Heretic and Western Venom, and The Duel on Mount Hua. The words “Season 2” is never used in completely produced series.

I need to go back to re-watch a few episodes because I’m more or less on iQiYi’s schedule, and the time split was a little long for me to regain my watching momentum. But, this is one of the shows in recent years where the writing is thoughtful and thorough, the actors are putting in serious effort. I am hoping TVB would be kind to this drama during awards season.

My thoughts on: Doctor Who, Season 10

pearl-mackie-peter-capaldi-doctor-who-bbca
ScreenTV.com

This is a rewrite of the post.

I declare Season 10 of Doctor Who Revival to be the best season. I am serious. Christopher Eccleston started the revival, David Tennant brought the series to UK popularity, and Matt Smith brought the series to US audience.

Honestly, I think Seasons 8 and 9 was a little lost, as if the writers don’t know what to do with Clara. So the writers got really, really smart about Bill and her story line in the finale (no spoilers) and I really like writers’ treatment for her.

Season 10 is different from Seasons 8 and 9, and it is not just about the new companions. The writing is much tighter and the story arc is actually the entire season. You can have great actors, but the script…the script sets up everything. BBC, whomever the writers are you brought on board this season, keep them.

I’m gnawing my teeth until the Christmas Special.

Legal Mavericks

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Cosmopolitan HK

To be honest, I’ve lost faith in TVB drama years ago. I lost interest in watching TVB dramas back-to-back some time around 2003, and some time around 2007 I’ve lost track on what’s TVB’s newest offerings, only down to one drama every other year. This is in contrast to the 80’s and 90’s when I know every show like the back on my hand. I will dig around and share the first show I ever watched on TVB.

So I was cautiously optimistic when I saw Legal Mavericks. Vincent Wong was pretty good in Over Run Over. Sisley Choi was hard to watch in Speed of Life, but it was probably her first or second drama, so I consider this checking back in to see if she made progress.

I like the back stories so far. Hope Man is a litigator who is also blind. Vincent Wong did his homework and make sure his portrayal of a blind person as a sighted person is convincing. Sisley Choi is better, though I think she’s not taking advantage of how much room she can work with Deanie, a buck tooth, scar-faced paralegal who has feelings for Hope Man.

I will keep watching this show.

Medium Raw

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I must confess, I have a few guilty pleasures when it comes to books. Most girls have Danielle Steele. I have Anthony Bourdain.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, I enjoy reading things that are honest. Bourdain is as honest as writing can get. His emotions are raw (all puns intended), he gave away a piece of himself between the lines. The epilogue that came after the credits reads like an 80’s movie epilogue with updates on whatever happened to people he wrote about in Kitchen Confidential.

Maybe it’s time to go back to re-read Kitchen Confidential and write about it…

P.S. I’m so proud of myself finished reading this as an eBook via public library within the borrowing period. Yay!

Tunnel

tunnel-poster-1
KoreanDrama.org

It’s really weird where things go. I swear up and down I’d watch more K-dramas and ended up watching none, now I swear up and down I’d watch less TV and ended up watching my 4th drama this year already.

My #1 complaint with Korean shows in general is, the premise is fantastic and promising, and ended up flaming out towards the end of the show. The running joke is, the writing is enough to fill 12 episodes of plot but need to stretch out for 16 episodes. Honestly, Introverted Boss is one of those dramas where it leaves me wonder without the drastic rewrite in the middle, would it have been a better show. Do Bong Soon has her own plot holes but not enough for me to question the writing philosophy behind the show.

I just finished watching Tunnel. It is up there with The Goblin as one of the well fleshed-out, well thought-out dramas on the screenwriting front. The pace is tight and adrenaline-filled in the necessary spots. The emotions and relations are well explained and well used as plot devices without feeling too odd of how people are related on the timeline. It slowed down just a little at the end, but not enough for me to call it dragging out and milking things at the end.

I am not surprised that this is one of the highest rated shows on OCN. I don’t think there’s going to be a season two with this original ensemble, but…I’m all for a spinoff or sister show with similar plot devices should OCN want to plan for season two.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

strong-woman-do-bong-soon-poster-5
KoreanDrama.org

2017 has been a good year so far for Korean Dramas. To be honest I watch very few dramas in the last three years, so to watch three in a row before March is over is quite a record.

The actor to watch in this drama is actually Park Hyung-shik. Ji-soo and Park Bo-young brings their A game as always, but Park Hyung-shik really takes the cake with all his swooniness and craziness to the show.

I hope the subplot of stolen brides will add and not hider the show’s tone. That is something hard to do.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Goodreads

I took up running in the last six months as part of a physical requirement of a test I was taking. The process was long and slow, but my aim was a slow and steady pace of 5 or 6 miles per hour, or 10-12 minute mile.

I had this book in possession for a while. You’ll be surprised that I never read any of Mr. Murakami’s famous books such as Norwegian Wood or 1Q84. I wanted to read a book about running, and was surprised that Mr. Murakami wrote one. His writing is warm, funny, and makes me feel that we are not that different as runners: the struggles, meditation, the journey. I highly recommend this to all runners.

Introverted Boss

Introverted Boss
KoreanDrama.org

(Edit: WordPress informed me that this is the 100th post. Yay!)

Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. – Vocabulary.com

In my mind, introverted is quite different from shy. One can overcome shyness, but a person cannot suddenly become an introvert or extrovert overnight. The factors of making a person an introvert and extrovert are both internal and external, with external influences magnified what’s already internal.

I’m picking apart words because the title of this show is also called My Shy Boss, but when you look at the Korean title, 내성적인 is translated from the word introverted, so while the alternative title is less challenging for people whose first language is not English, there’s a loss of flavor with that particular translation. Ok, I’m done with my take on the title.

I’ve been watching fewer Korean dramas in recent years because I’m more strapped for time with my current commitments, so I tend to choose carefully what to watch and tend to not start watching when the premise is not interesting. Honestly, Protect the Boss had a similar premise where the male lead was a beta male learning to step up to become an alpha male, but there are some differences

  • Different backstory of female lead
  • Larger ensemble with richer stories for secondary characters
  • Less likeable second male lead
  • Yeon Woo Jin is the boss this time

Yeon Woo Jin has caught my attention since Arang and the Magistrate. There is something about him that attracts my eyes. He definitely hit the ball out of the park with his introvert interpretation of the boss. I look forward to having him as one of the A-list Korean actors along the lines of Gong Yoo.

I hope I have time to update this when I’m done watching this drama.

Update: I wish to join the rest of K Drama community and say, Le sigh. This drama has so much promise, especially the premise of an introvert coming out of his shell. There were wonderful signs of that, but there are so many good plot devices going to waste, the writers and editing board decided to rearrange a few things, which really killed the show’s mojo. We can only wonder what happened before the fateful rewrite.