Archive for August, 2011

Scent of a Woman – outsider notes

I’m not actually watching this show–I’m following the recaps at DramaBeans.com zealously, though.

It’s a story with the primary plot-point that a woman discovers she has cancer, so it’s bound to end sadly. There are many tears along the way, too, and stories that BEGIN happily in K-Drama-Land often enough are emotionally wracking toward the middles.

I mean, she's working on her bucket list here.

However, the show looks quite fetching–earnest in its emotions, and pretty in it’s aesthetic. Also, there is tangoing. Which, in a show about life in the face of death, love in the face of anger, and emotional intensity of all kinds… is quite appropriate.

The first encounter between the hero and heroine on the floor escalates, their footsteps faltering with each other, and their grips gradually tightening…

The composition of this scene, the shots interweaving from their faces, the full view of them on the floor, and their hands on each other, is so masterful.

Just the description was enough to send me over to watch it, and then I couldn’t help screencapping it. The way his fingers slowly press into her arms is just fantastic.

and the simple ways they put a glimmer into this shot without it being transformed from the basement dance-studio is also fantastic...

I’m still not sure if I’m going to watch this drama, though I am following the story. It will definitely depend on the treatment of the issues looming up. But I’m halfway convinced just based on the way it looks and the performances by the stars.

For instance, Lee Dong-Wook is a little odd-looking to me, but the captures of his expressions pull you right into the moment. And he looks smoking in his shirtsleeves. I won’t lie to you.

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Icon Watch: TOP in a more subtle than usual style

TOP as an indie

 

I would follow someone in this combo on the street, even if it wasn’t TOP (and his somehow adorably focal nose?) inside it.

The tee, especially a screen-tee, under a jacket doesn’t always work for me, but the monochromatic of this, and the hat, with the indie-style feather and bone-looking necklaces make jazz together while being fairly straight-forward pieces apart.

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PtB Ep 6 review part 2: the Excellence of These Ships

I adore the fun atmosphere of the restaurants in this show...

This show does so well not going in the expected direction, or getting there by unexpected ways…someone needs to hug a writer for me.

I’m apprehensive this wardrobe lightening ‘ship is going to disappear soon, but I enjoyed the dynamic of two people who are out of each others’ realms, and so free to be casual with each other. It’s like the early days of Personal Taste with the gay roommate gig, only without the teasing sexual tension.

I also adore this outfit--the boots make such a statement, and I want them.

Another fun thing is the startling openness Ji-Heon has once he’s chosen to accept his crush on No Eun-Seul.

Eun-Seul's tomboyish comfy clothes when not at work are also just right...

He also is open with her about almost everything–and using his pulse as an excuse for skin-ship but admitting she raises his pulse is some of the cutest flirting ever. It would be awkward if he *thought* he was being suave, but he doesn’t. The (actually mature) candor that seems child-like is more winsome than the hints and implications of a Cha Mu-Won type.

of course, this has complications...

I also love that they’re letting No Eun-Seul stick to her guns without it being a big self-sacrifice thing. She is capable of not falling for him just from proximity and attention, and that’s awesome. It’s more realistic, at least to me…

She wants to help him out, but this is a job, and she’s mature enough to know that it’ll just bring trouble.

and she's adorable when on-task, she obviously feels like a coach-ninja...

And none of the relationships are the paper-doll playtimes that many shows deal in. Mu-Won and Yoon-Ah are a bad couple of a classic type, but you can see why he likes her. When she’s at a loss we get to see the kind of aegyo cuteness that when she was less goal-oriented must have been more charming.

I love the three-way roof scenes. No one saves any face...

She’s got a bad case of evil mother…one who’s a fox in her own quirky way, rather than the usual Chaebol Ice-Princess Special. And the girlish transparency with Mu-Won seems to be good for their long-term, so I’m not too torn. I just wish I knew why she thought he couldn’t love her and be devoted to her…just because he’s got his own ambitions? Telling by her relationship with her mom, she needs someone like that to hang with.

ALL the moms are cheating with Eun-Seul...

And we got a much more tongue-in-cheek meeting between Sis-in-Law and Prez Daddy–where you could actually hear the enemy-agents music playing for their weird little subtext.

Whoa, another whole post not focusing on clothes? SCANDAL

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Protect the Boss – levelling up on Ep. 6

It’s not often that I finish an episode with such an uplifted, excited feeling!

have I mentioned the cuteness?

It’s the way I felt about several of the episodes of Myung Wol the Spy*, especially when they ended on just the perfect cliffhanger. City Hunter, too, though more of the scenes within the episode than the endings had that feeling.

Episode 6 of Protect the Boss was the first to do that to me here. It’s a chemistry between fun tone, loveable characters, and an intriguing cliff-hanger, I think…

what a look, huh? if only he wasn't so distractingly idolpretty - not my fave

I don’t know where this one is going at all. In a way, I feel that he’s decided to not let himself be the pushover that Yoon Ah (…is that really her name? Am I imposing my understanding of second-lead girls here?)  always goes creeping to when she’s feeling a little low.

his conscience kicking in is more photogenic than most...and more intriguing

I’m also only *almost* sure he doesn’t have more than a little affection for No Eun-Seul.

Is it a fake-out, to test her? Is he going to lead into getting her to a different job? Is he going to actually mean it and try to take her as revenge/comfort? Protecting her from Ji-Heon? As long as this isn’t as pathetic as the Down With Love second-lead man…

 

 

 

 

* which I’m still a little burnt about (the messy press just makes me leery–the story itself I’m still sold on) but plan to continue watching when that’s settled a bit more in my mind…

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Quick Look: Big Bang fashion shoot

I’m not sure what this image is from, but I find it fun to see how the individual images come through — someone smart made them up.

(image courtesy Tumblr’s ninja96)

Taeyang, Seungri, TOP, Daesung, G-Dragon

break it down:

Taeyang keeping it classic R&B—black hoodie with low-key accessories. The actual zipper on the jacket cues you in that this is not just a college comfort outfit, and the stone-wash jeans against all that black draw your eyes down after the bracelet’s brought your eyes to his face

Seungri is the most metro—he carries over the layered-chains as jewelry, has a more fashion-forward jacket but all in a basic color scheme of white, black, and taupe. High-tops keep it from getting too serious and mature.

TOP’s face is more focal than his outfit, but the pattern of his blouse is definitely a little odd, in keeping with his iconoclast fusion style. The hair color is edgy (and <bias > wayyy hotter than the superblonde or silver bouffants he’s been sporting, when he can work those, too </bias >) and maturing.

Daesung has a subdued biker vibe going on, but definitely a sports-variant—fingerless gloves in a light taupe rather than the more classic black, and what looks like a more utility-type vest. The texture of the shirt makes it look silky and comfortable, but also grunge-like: unironed. The sneakers are glitzy for the look, bringing it back to fashion while not contradicting the concept.

G-Dragon is carrying off mixed-media as well as is his wont—plaid and a print-tee combined which wouldn’t work unless the jaunty military style cap was defeating any sense of matching. I think I spy shiny vinyl pants, and so as usual every single piece he’s wearing I would like to borrow (but in a larger size). Though I may not put them all together in the same way—something along those lines, though.

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MBLAQ – Cry mv dissection

Okay, I’m frequently posting about ancient history, but I figure I can’t be the ONLY one who’s catching up with two decades of K-Pop after being sheltered for my first 20-some years.

Also, I have an ANGLE.      [suits. if they’re suits, they’re relevant. Right?]

if this counts as a suit, apparently, yes

So, MBLAQ is kind of adorable to me, mostly because Rain and his mini-mes but this MV from BLAQstyle has wormed it’s way into my heart for a different reason…

it's hard to screencap this video, btw, because they are CONSTANTLY MOVING, thank you Rain-oppa's choreographer

Yes. We have the twisted military concept, each modified differently though from the same basic uniform look…

you may note I'm a sucker for intense blue/white palettes? yeah, sorry 'bout that

And as our other main concept, what really looks like a shojo-manga-hero uniform set. I understand that it’s the high contrast of black accented white, which isn’t a trademark of manga? But as someone who’s read Special A, Vampire Knight, and…many others, where the specialness of the school was displayed in the fact that they wear white (any normal mom’s nightmare uniform) it just screams, I am a Teen Dream

just like their faces do

One of the minor details that is interesting is this eyeliner that actually is not lining the eye but outlining it…it has a certain drama that’s not a look you can pull off in person but snaps the attention in a video.

Also, either they worked late before their solo shots, the color-tweaking brings it out, or there was an actual intent to let these guys look older than twelve. In certain shots they all have a sort of five-o-clock shadow. Stunning, considering they probably mostly can’t GROW facial hair to count by Western standards*.

These accessories likewise only work on screen, but they work HARD in the video.

There’s something about high-contrast buttons and fashion accessorized suits that just…grabs me the right way. It tickles my own sense of style which is “choose concept, muck it up”…

lo, the angst

And how can you not love altering a uniform in such a fashion it looks like a kimono when in motion?

The drape. It kills me.

*this may have come to my notice since I know one of the guys grew a bit of a beard to give them a “rough member” that was a little different in vibe from the boy group usual, and I found that idea intriguing.

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JYJ’s prettiest man — and you’re not going to forget it

The meta of this character’s treatment in the drama can be quite amusing.

he has a face for the morning...

Jae Joong, recently voted as Asia’s most attractive star in China, is the kind of idol whose standing as a teen heart-throb is better capitalized than forgotten. This has come to the fore from the second week of airing where secondary characters can take a bit more time to introduce themselves…

"Make you uncomfortable?" "No, I like it...I mean, no! Not like that?"

I love that this show is delivering fanservice…and then pointing it out. This character is written as the kind of polite, attractive guy who the heroine sees as untouchable, like Won Bin or Hyun Bin. I like that dynamic: she’s not going to turn him down when he takes her out to eat, but she knows it doesn’t mean anything. He’s the kind of guy who would just do that…

basically, it feels like a field trip, when it has all the trappings of a date...

I love that when she takes him out to “rebel”, though he gives the same sort of excuses Ji-Heon does about not going into clubs or whatever…it totally sounds like an idol having to not be caught doing something against their image. Ji-Heon’s just fastidious…or agoraphobic.

Note how many of his suits are straight black or navy.

cuz is trying to break up my lunchdate? plz

Just as Cha Ji-Heon is suited up in brighter colors, even primary tones, it’s no accident that this sort of ambivalent character in opposition to him is in monochromatics, even to black-on-black sets like this little number. It appears more than once!

It’s after their adventure at the amusement park (where Ji-Heon starts to feel that he likes Eun-Seul) that he begins to wear some grays and lighter colors. It may be her influence, it may be the return of the girl he really likes, and it may be just that the costumer got bored, but I think it’s interesting. The high-contrast clothes don’t look bad on him, either.

even his room is the chic chaebol stereotype, unlike Ji-Heon's...

And then there are a few moments where it feels a little too tongue-in-cheek, but because he’s adorable, it’s okay…

she is slapping his butt. OK, she's just being childish because his rebellion kinda worked, but still

MOOOM

but that’s not his reaction. He’s the ideal son. I’m betting we aren’t going to see his tattoos in this show…

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