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Thursday, May 21, 2015

[K-Variety Show Review] KBS' Fluttering India/ Exciting India (2015)



I can’t stop admiring Korean broadcasting station staffs. It seems like they are never having shortage of ideas and their brain always working brilliantly. I wonder is it because of their food or something. I hope I can be born again as Korean in my next life or – if that is too ridiculous to proceed – I can study broadcast in Korea (AAMEEN to that!) because (once again) their program has made me in awe. It’s KBS latest variety show, Fluttering India or Exciting India or Bounce Indo. What I love from Korean TV programs is that they always showed the reason or the background of one program. Why they decided to make that program, what the program aimed at, why  they chose certain people to host the program, everything is clear from the start and it makes the viewers understand their purpose and want to know whether they will succeed or not. It is mind-blowing, right? So once, again, thumbs up for Korean TV programs!

CONCEPT:


Fluttering India is the latest KBS variety show where five K-Pop stars, namely Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, EXO’s Suho, CNBlue’s Jonghyun, SHINee’s Minho and INFINITE’s Sunggyu, turn into KBS newsroom’s correspondent. Five of them were chosen by the KBS News Department team to be the station’s correspondent in India. They have to write news or anything that have news value about India and report to the newsroom. Their report will be presented during the KBS 9 o'clock news program, which considered as the leading news program in the country.

COMMENT:

when they arrived in India
Jonghyun's Performance in Gateway of India

First of all, I would like to say that the concept is brilliant. I didn’t really understand the reason why KBS staff chose India as the location, but after the first episode, I knew that India is the perfect place. During the first episode, the show tells that the reason why they chose India is because the so-called Hallyu wave has yet to touch the market of Indian entertainment industry despite the fact that Hallyu has spread to all of Asian countries and even Europe and America. Therefore, they send the best of the best k-pop idols to India to gather information whether people in India know about their existence or not as well as to spread the Korean wave to that country. 

KBS Field Reporter, Captain Giheung or Giheung hyung

It is quite funny though because the KBS newsroom staffs have no idea how popular these idols are. The time when they asks their junior whether these idols they sent to India are quite popular enough is hilarious.
Fluttering India looks like the variety show version of SBS’ Pinocchio. Because in this show, the members – considered as rookie reporters – are working with KBS field reporter who they called Captain. Every night the members will report what they found in the field to the Cap and discuss what will they dig on the next day. 


As much as I love the idea of the show, the execution somehow is unsatisfying. It seems that the execution is still raw. It can be seen from the uncertainty of where the members would go during their trip in India. I don’t know if it because of the show wants to emphasize the fact that the members were supposed to be reporter and search for their own news or something. Or maybe because they want to emphasize the “reality” factor in this reality/variety show.

Nevertheless, I still love how the members looks puzzled as they have to search something that has news value in the country they never visited before and also with lacks of English-speaking skill.

Now, let’s review each member’s performance.


First is the leader of the pack, the sunbae-nim Super Junior’s Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun looks really insecure and burdensome even before their departure to India. As the oldest member, he felt that he’s responsible for what happen to the other members and how good their work is. In spite of all the so-called responsibility, Kyuhyun is one adorable tourist and senior when he step his foot in India. With his minimum English-speaking skill, Kyuhyun willy-nilly relies on other member who can speak English well. Yet, he still able to scold other member and act like a boss. 


The second member is SHINee’s Minho. Honestly, I don’t really like Minho. I thought he’s too competitive and has no fun at all after watching a number of his appearances in Running Man. However, I like him in this show. For no clear reason, I see a different side of him in this one. He seems less competitive and more playful. Maybe it’s because he’s in the same show with people he’s comfortable with? I don’t know. But Minho is really funny in this show and I see him as a smart idol rather than the strong one in this. 


The third member on the list is the cheerful CNBlue’s Jonghyun. Is it just me or is Jonghyun really adorable until every time I thought of him, his cheery smile will always pop up in my head. Jonghyun is the jolliest member in Bounce India’s gang. He always smiles and accepts everything the production team gave to them. He is the one who truly enjoy their trip to Korea and also the one who has no problem with their task. Thanks to his vitamin and supplement supplies, Jonghyun always get his stamina in check and never looks tired. 


Fourth member is the irresistible INFINITE’s Sunggyu. I never knew that Sunggyu is a neat- and hygiene-freak until I saw this show. Apparently, this odd ball was bringing three bags of bottled-water for his stay in India. Amazing Peculiar, right? But, that’s not all. Sunggyu is the vitamin of the pack because everything he did will always make other member or even the Indian people laugh. Unfortunately, this eccentric fella seems to too concern about his looks. It can be seen from how frequently he checks his hair, snapback, or even his bang.

the front seat student, always taking a note

The last member on this trip to India is the maknae EXO’s Suho. Suho is definitely the brain of the show. He and his roommate (on the show) Minho are the smartest member. Yet, Suho seems to be more serious than Minho. He’s too ambitious. He’s the perfect example of a front-row seats student, student with high curiosity and student who always feel bad when he got a B+ because he want an A. That’s exactly Suho’s character in the show. I feel bad for this handsome pal when other members scold him and laugh at him for being too serious when all he wants is to do a good job. Poor Suho. Yet, I love that character of him because on some point it is hilarious seeing his ambitiousness and awkwardness at one fell swoop. And the editor also put special SFX for him, which makes his scene even funnier.

sweet farewell with Changmin at the airport

TVXQ’s Changmin is actually one of the show’s members. However, for some reasons he can’t join other member to go to India despite his love for the Indian beauties. But, the viewers can see a glimpse of his appearance on the show. Such as his prophesy when he talks about the other member’s particular characters and personalities. He also probably will join other member on their next trip to another country.

the members' togetherness

Regardless of the humor aspect, the show also has the enlightening portion. During watching it, I’ve receive a number of new information I never knew before and the show has broaden my knowledge about India. As expected, Korean variety shows are always entertain and educate its viewers. 

SCORE: 8.5/10 




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

EXPECTING: PRODUCER a.k.a THE PRODUCERS!!!




Have you ever dreamed of a drama that have all of your favorite cast, your dream storyline, the production team you adore and respect and the cameo that can steal the spotlight from the lead? I have and my dream is finally about to come true. I don’t know about anyone else, but Producer or The Producers is definitely the k-drama I’ve been waiting for. Even just for reading the article about it – before it airs – I’m already possessed with my excitement. My lips can’t stop smiling from ear to ear when I read the bill of the cast. My heart can’t stop thumping when I saw the teaser and the stills. My mind can’t stop counting till the days the drama will finally air. Therefore, this short-of-an-expectation-post will probably full with my praise and admiration to the drama, so pardon me (in advance).

SYNOPSIS:


A drama showing behind the scenes of what happens on a variety show!
Baek Seung Chan stars as a variety show PD who needs to make the next big hit. He costars with Cindy, who plays a pop star, Tak Ye Ji as a music show PD, and Ra Joon Mo as another veteran variety show PD.

Cast
Cha Tae Hyun as Ra Joon Mo
Kim Soo Hyun as Baek Seung Chan
Gong Hyo Jin as Tak Ye Ji
IU as Cindy
Kim Jong Kook as Kim Hong Soon (open concert PD)

Production Credits
Director: Seo Soo Min, Pyo Min Soo, Park Chan Yool, Lee Dong Hoon
Screenwriter: Park Ji Eun, Kim Ji Sun
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2015-May-15 to 2015-June-20

[taken from Koreandrama.org]

EARLY THOUGHTS:


The Producers is like a perfect four tier wedding cake – with attractive and out of the ordinary plot in the bottom/ fourth tier, strong and genius production team in the third tier, the popular and fun cameos as well as supporting casts in the second tier, and the hit maker as well as cream of the crop main casts – every k-drama enthusiasts (or at least me) ever dreamed of. As big fan of Korean variety shows and Korean dramas, the plot of The Producers is certainly receiving a direct approval from me. Like I said in the introductory passage, it is everything I’ve ever dreamed of. With Korean variety shows as my breakfast and Korean dramas as my lunch, I can finally enjoy the two of it together in the form of The Producers for my dinner. This drama is picture-perfect. I hope my big expectation will not change into big disappointment after it aired.


Anyway, the plot is marvelous. I’ve already mentioned about my passion in media and how I love watching every single thing related to it in my at-a-glance-review for Pinocchio. The Producers’ plot is pretty much the same. The different is if Pinocchio take journalism and the news department’s life as its theme, Producer is taking entertainment department or what we call here in Indonesia as production department – the place where all variety shows, music shows, quizzes, hence in-house programs are born. I hope The Producers will answer my soaring curiosity of how the Korean TV’s production department looks like. Because, as we all know, they always come up with genius programs; either it is insanely funny variety shows or amazingly spectacular music shows or even a heart touching talk show. And now, (once again), they will repeat their genius work (hopefully) with The Producers.


As much as I love the lovey-dovey side of one drama, I must say that I’m not expecting too much romance from The Producers. What I hope is that the drama will bring out healthy and interesting competition and the behind the scene story of how these producers maintaining their programs and jobs. I also want to see how each producer, from different department and programs, bonding with each other and how is the process-making of one program. Yet, a little bit of romance won’t hurt too much. I just hope that romance will not interfere with these producers’ work performance and the drama will be as real as how the producers in KBS used to work.


How the producers dealing with their artists and K-Pop stars also something interesting to watch since I want to know who respect who. Not to mention a bunch of interesting and prominent cameos that will be some kind of vitamins to the show. Ah, can’t wait!


Oh and with all of the Gong Hyo Jin-and-Kim Soo Hyun-should-not-be-a-couple commotion that are going on right now, I must say that I’m ok with it as long as they can pull it off, and seeing both of the stars’ competence, I think they can pull it off perfectly. FYI, Kim Soo Hyun has romanced Jun Ji Hyun – which is way older than him – in My Love From another Star and he still can depict his love for her flawlessly. So another romance with a PD-noona is definitely right on his alley, right? Their interaction on the teaser below is also way cuter than his interaction with IU.

Cha Tae Hyun as Ra Joon Mo

Enough with the plot, now let’s move on to the cast. First on the list is the irresistible and genius actor, Cha Tae Hyun. I can’t think of another actor who will be a perfect match for Ra Joon Mo role except from Cha Tae Hyun. Aside from the fact that he is the real cast of variety show 1 Night 2 Days, which will be his program in the drama, Cha Tae Hyun is among other versatile actors who can play any role and pull it off perfectly. He can make people terrified, laugh their ass off or crying out loud just by playing one character. Honestly, this is the first drama from Cha Tae Hyun that I’m about to watch. I never watched any of his drama before. I’ve always admiring his acting through his successful movies. So, I’m a bit exciting to see what he will be like in a drama. A fusion of how he is in movies and how he is in variety shows will certainly be something enticing to watch.

Gong Hyo Jin as Tak Ye Ji

As for Gong Hyo Jin, I’m forever her fan. As I mentioned in my review for her latest drama It’s Okay It’s Love here, I wrote that I’m finally putting her on my topnotch actress list after watching her performance in that drama. And now, I’m probably will put her on the top of my topnotch actress list if she can pull of the role of Tak Ye Ji flawlessly. By seeing the teaser and the stills, I know I’m halfway there. She can’t give a bad acting because she’s a brilliant actress. And the role of Tak Ye Ji fit her perfectly. Her strong aura and figure will unquestionably support her role as a fierce music show senior PD. And by looking at the drama’s stills and teasers, it looks like she will also be as fashionable as she can be like she always did in her previous dramas. I’ve already loved the top she wears in the teaser!

Kim Soo Hyun as Baek Seung Chan

Hot guy alert! It’s Kim Soo Hyun’s comeback appearance on weekly dramas! He is undoubtedly one of the top of the line actors today in k-drama world. His presence only will make the drama rating-darling. Adding a genius and interesting plot and remarkable character for him to play is another thing that will definitely launch the drama into popularity. Just like Cha Tae Hyun, Kim Soo Hyun also known as one of the versatile actors. He can play almost anything; whether it’s a King, a country bumpkin, a secret spy, or an alien. Playing the role of rookie PD Baek Seung Chan is certainly not a difficult job for him. From what I see in the teaser, Baek Seung Chan will be short of a clumsy and optimistic rookie PD who still has yet to know the cruel world of television and his innocence as well as his passion for broadcasting will be his unique charm. Dazzling smile and dorky looks of Kim Soo Hyun will fit perfectly with the character. Seeing the plot, it looks like Producer will be a fun drama with less crying scene, so I’m not sure if we can see a glimpse of Kim Soo Hyun’s first-class crying act in this drama.

IU as Cindy

I’m so thankful that the production team landed their choice on IU instead of other idol-actresses in the industry today. I always think that IU is the best idol-actresses today. Compared to other idol-actresses, she always give me such a promising performance and make me forget that she start her career as a singer and not an actress. Her role as a starlet Cindy also looks interesting. It will be 360 degrees different with her previous characters. You know, IU always plays the role of cheerful and jolly girl who never stop to dream and always optimistic in any situation. From the articles about the drama I read, Cindy is one cold and snob top starlet. You can see what she looks like in the teaser. If other characters seem to bond with each other, Cindy looks like she can’t handle Baek Seung Chan’s passionate story and ignore Ra Joon Mo’s flirting, even at the end of the teaser she seems to have fun with Ra Joon Mo. I don’t care who she will romance in the drama, both of the male leads are ok for her.


And on top of these amazing things, I finally can see how Kim Jong Kook will act for the first time! His appearance in the drama is among other things why I’m so excited with Producer. It’s so exciting to see Mr. Capable will act alongside his true best friend, Cha Tae Hyun. Kim Jong Kook’s character as Kim Hong Soon, an ambitious senior producer who will compete with Cha Tae Hyun’s character Ra Joon Mo, also interesting. I hope there will be some romance between him and anyone who is pretty in the drama.


The production team is also as outstanding as the cast. The screenwriters and directors are top tier screenwriter and director in TV or even film industry.  I don’t know about Kim Ji Sun screenwriter-nim, but Park Ji Eun screenwriter-nim is the one that brought us the lovely fictional story of how an alien fall for a human in My Love from Another Star while the directors:  Seo Soo Min, is one of the directors of the insanely funny show Gag Concert, Pyo Min Soo is the man behind the successful story of Full House and the recent popular k-drama Fool’s love, Park Chan Yool is the producer of a blockbuster movie Snowpiercer and the screenwriter of Korean movie Old Boy, and Lee Dong Hoon  is the man who direct last year’s hit k-drama God’s Gift 14 Days. Pretty Truly promising production team, right?



So, with those amazing plot, casts, and gifted production team, it is not a sin to put my big expectation for The Producers, right?

BONUS TEASERS:  


 




Friday, May 8, 2015

[MV Review] BTS – I Need U





I can’t get myself enough of these beautiful youngsters. I adore BTS. I do. BTS is like the second boy band I devoted to after Big Bang. The fact that BTS has the same vibe and feel like Big Bang is probably the reason behind my love for these Bangtan Boys. And now, they made a comeback only few days before Big Bang, which make me even more excited! But it’s not their comeback or their awesomeness that I would like to write about this time, but my perspective on their latest MV, I Need U. 

Shall we start?



I’m so proud of these boys, I feel like I’m their older sister who can say that “Lil bros, you made it!” This MV is the proof that BTS has finally step up their game and leave the studio-concept or dance-concept MV they used to do before. It’s a perfect metamorphosis from a hurly-burly rookie to a strong young idol. It showed that tough figure, powerful dance and strong rap are not all that they can do. They are also a sensitive teenager who has a broody side and a beautiful ballad feels. I can really see the talent of each member in this MV. The song gave special treatment to not only one member but everyone. Anyway, enough of this lovey-dovey passage and let’s get into the review.



First I would like to talk about the music before getting into the MV. From the music side, I can’t complaint no more, because it’s perfect for me. A strong rap as a prefix, followed by a sweet and tender voice and repeat that pattern all over again is just what the doctor ordered. I also love the melody it played after the reff, it somehow addictive and make me want to hear it over and over again. And I don’t know that V is having a beautiful voice behind his powerful and husky rap. It’s such a pleasure to hear it. 

Now, let’s talk about the real deal, which is the MV itself. I must admit that in line with the music, the MV is started strong. An opening door to somewhere or someone as an opening of something is simply among other things that will attract the viewer to know more about it. I love the coloring of this MV. The bleakness perfectly portrayed the sad-confuse-frustration-happy feeling of these boys in the MV. 


However, I don’t find the suitability between the story of the song and the story of the MV. The song, I Need U, and the reff “I need u girl” is obviously portrayed the frustration of these youngsters and how they really need a girl they love. But the MV is not portraying it. Instead, it portray the title of the boys’  latest album, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt.1, in which they seems to struggle and upset with their life but forget about it all once they meet their friends and fool around with them.  But after all, it’s just my perspective and interpretation. I don’t know if the director put something that relates to the song that I don’t understand. 

Yet, I still love the MV. The fact that they don’t involve a dance in the MV is showing how they want to break out from their old habit and stick to its new concept (even though they still portraying their magnificent dance in the music show). The selection of the set and the cinematography are other things I adore from this MV. 
 
A.DO.RA.BLE

The ending in which the member fall asleep after partying hard the night before is such a perfect ending. Jin’s sleeping looks is so adorable! I can’t help myself but repeating that scene over and over again. His angelic sleeping looks is definitely will stay for a long time in my mind as one of the most gorgeous sleeping looks ever! 

RATE: 8.5/10