Be forewarned—spoilers scattered throughout.

(For those of you who are just interested in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN,
go towards the middle of this post, right above the little blurbs about BUFFY and DARK SHADOWS.)

. . .
My web addiction is not just with Asian dramas. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the chance to submerge into my inner darkness (not the DEXTER-esque dark passenger type of darkness) by viewing vampire flicks online.

Bromance is brewing in DEXTER.

. . .
For the life of me, I cannot stomach the undead in the form of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, nor the TWILIGHT movie franchise.

I liked Kristin Stewart in SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN because waiting for some Prince Charming to get the ball rolling is just so… 50s. So yeah, I had no problem with Snow—taking a page from Joan of Arc—leading her troops to take back her kingdom (same grrrl power vibe when Dexter’s little sis, Deb, made lieutenant in charge of her police unit).


. . .
It was the first time I’d seen Stewart (not counting when she played Jodie Foster’s kid in PANIC ROOM) and I liked her so much that I tried the TWILIGHT movies. Two-thirds of the way in on the first one and I just couldn’t watch it anymore, despite the ample eye candy flickering in and out of every scene.


. . .
Then I tried the TWILIGHT SAGAs. I pretty much fast forwarded all of the first one. I get that a human-vampire mutt is unprecedented but a whole movie of her coming to term? No matter how visually startling it was to see Stewart morphing into a near death state, a story would’ve been nice. Even just flashing back to how similar but failed scenarios might have occurred in vampire history would’ve done it, but no, we’re stuck with staring at Stewart all film long. The second part of the saga looks promising because it seems they’re letting her lead the pack but again, it seems based on the flimsiest of story lines.


. . .
I figured vampires deserved the more drawn out television format so that their history or myriad levels of hellish existence could be fleshed out. I took a peek at THE VAMPIRE DIARIES because they have a bunch of seasons, so it must be good, right? Wrong. I could not get past the first episode—heck, I couldn’t even get to the end of the first episode and it’s not the first time I tried to do so—enough said.

Well, vampire lovers, fear not, because there is good vampire viewing to be had in the form of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. It’s a Swedish flick that is “sweet” but not shy in showing the savage ferocity and ugliness of a vampire kill. It also gives you an idea of how “reality” can affect vampires in their day-to-day lives. Human fallibility comes into play. There’s no false justification that makes it okay for humans to coexist with certain vampires if they attack or kill just the bad and evil people who deserve to die. The vampires in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN don’t have the luxury to make that distinction, which of course, makes it all the more heart wrenching.


. . .
I didn’t watch BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER this weekend because I’d seen it all when it aired so long ago, but you can’t talk vampires without mentioning BUFFY. It has the look and sound of a stupid teen flick and then it dawns on you how absolutely brilliant the dialog is. BUFFY has a way of highlighting social issues (bullying, peer pressure, GBLT, domestic violence, addiction) that’s not shoved down your throat. It’s not just your typical cute gal falling for a cute guy/vampire (which is so VAMPIRE DIARIES and TWILIGHT).


. . .
I also didn’t watch DARK SHADOWS this weekend, again because I’d seen enough of it some time ago. I vaguely remember it as a TV soap from way back when. I don’t remember if I liked it but it’s certainly more interesting than your average daytime soap. I didn’t realize it until writing this post, but the vampire, Barnabus, didn’t even show up until one year after the soap aired when all I had remembered was him.


. . .
Likewise, I don’t remember if I liked the movie version with Johnny Depp. What I remember is that it was kinda fun and had great 70s music (the TV version was set in the 60s) but after seeing LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, everything pales in comparison. You could say SHADOWS (the movie) is a different genre because it’s comedic but so was BUFFY. The thing that elevated BUFFY to a similar stratosphere as LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is how it tackled social issues. I think SHADOWS attempted that but didn’t make as deep an impact as the other two.


. . .
There’s actually a whole lot of other vampire movies I didn’t even touch on like the film adaptations of Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES, THE LOST BOYS (which was wicked good), BLADE (great comic-y take on vampire killing), UNDERWORLD (great grrrl powered vampire/werewolf flick), not to mention all the vampire movies from other countries, but then this post would just go on and on, eternally, like some vampire wearing out its welcome, so I’ll just put a stop to it now…


_____________________
[0]DEXTER/Dexter : I Just Want to Talk, Published on Nov 19, 2012 by SHOWTIME: The trials and tribulations of a man with a darkness who tries to assimilate into society

[1]Snow White and the Huntsman/Snow White and the Huntsman Full Trailer 2, Published on Mar 19, 2012 by FilmsActuTrailers: a feminist take on the old fairy tale that casts Snow in the light of Joan of Arc, battling her stepmother, brilliantly evilized by Charlize Theron

[2]Panic Room/Uploaded by lookforalaugh: A mother and daughter fend for each other in a high tech panic room against two very persistent home invaders

[3]Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2/Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trailer 2 (HD), Published on Sep 8, 2012 by FilmsActuTrailers: newly minted vampire, Bella, protects her new clan when a misunderstanding brings on the wrath of the Volturis

[4]Let the Right One In/Let The Right One In – Official Trailer [HD], Uploaded by trailers: This 2008 Méliès d’Or “Best European Fantastic Feature Film” is about a young boy having problems at home and at school, comes of age when he meets a vampire

[5]Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Trailer, Uploaded by vampirechuck: Writer/director Joss Whedon’s unparallelled, award-winning TV series about a high school teen chosen to slay vampires, demons and other creatures of darkness

[6]Dark Shadows (TV)/DARK SHADOWS—Some favorite moments, lines and flubs, Published on Mar 27, 2012 by marquisdd: Long running TV soap that ran for five years with 1,225 eps featuring werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe

[7]Dark Shadows (movie)/DARK SHADOWS – Official Trailer 2012 [HD-1080p], Published on Apr 5, 2012 by OHtrailers: Horror comedy based on the TV soap of the same name, directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight


Be forewarned—spoilers scattered throughout.

A blog can be like a diary. Or if you’re Doonesbury’s Rick Redfern, it’s your non-paying, disrespected gig after being tossed out of the hanging-by-the-skin-of-their-teeth traditional news outlets. Either way, you’re blogging to reach the masses (if not, your posts would be all private, which indeed, some of you may be doing—not me, though).

So in looking at my stats, even though the comments area is still a vast, wasteland yet to be explored, it seems it’s my previous post about Korean drama that gets the most hits, and pretty much one of the few posts where anyone bothers to click outgoing links.

In any case, watching online kDrama is one of my biggest web addictions, so I’m pleased as punch to blog about a new series that tickles my kDrama addiction with no end in sight because it only just started airing in Korea…

So without further ado, I bring you: THE KING OF DRAMAS (this post is writing itself)


. . .
Disclaimer: my previous excitement over ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE proved to be premature—it started out with a glorious, bright, beautiful bang that about a third of the way through, petered into a hiccup making me sadder by each subsequent, excruciatingly deflated episode. It was definitely watchable but the latter part of it most certainly didn’t match up to the beginning part.

Maybe KING OF DRAMAS will go down that same route, but for now, I am wearing my ear-to-ear silly grin seeing KIM MYUNG MIN (김명민) sparkle like a sharply cut diamond, with his seething, snarling delivery that’s as razor sharp as it was back in the day when he played the sadistic conductor, cut-you-at-the-knees, torturer role in his other starring kDrama, BEETHOVEN’S VIRUS. (Hard to describe his anti-hero charm; you have to see it for yourself.)


. . .
In KING, Myung Min plays the egotistic, arrogant producer, Anthony Kim, of a Korean entertainment production company who eventually must go against a seemingly sweet, mild mannered, assistant writer, Lee Go Eun, played by JUNG RYU WON (정려원), who’s proving to be a pretty good comic actress. She had a hysterical scene in her previous kDrama, HISTORY OF A SALARYMAN, where she’s talking on her cell in a coffee shop and her sweet, innocent face suddenly contorts into a non-stop tirade of coarse, street gutter swearing you usually hear coming from big, tough cops or gangsters (she’s anorexic petite).


. . .
In KING, Go Eun has a job that’s on the lowest level on the totem pole in the entertainment industry. When Go Eun tries to get an extension on a bank loan, the bank employee sneers at her insisting an assistant writer (transliterated as secondary writer) was as good as being jobless doing no more than gopher type tasks.

The beginning of the first episode gives a nice—albeit brief—overview of kDrama segue-waying into an actual shoot in progress (for those of you who know PARK SHIN HYE (박신혜) from YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL (silly fluff), she does a hilarious cameo in a boring scene that has the director snoozing, not to mention the leading guy who’s so bored, he falls asleep while holding Shin Hye dripping drool on her face while she plays dead, a burning car wreck in the background).


. . .
I salivated over the scene between the CEO and his minion about a production’s main screenwriter who, right before the final filming of a series in progress, balks over the ethics of having to write the final scene with a product placement: (the subtitling is not professionally done but I leave it as is since I don’t know Korean, ergo I don’t know the intention of what’s being said)

Anthony Kim (CEO): So how much percent of a probability to miss the broadcasting time?

minion: Well, I’m not so good at math… I majored in Literature, so…

The scene immediately cuts to the crazed screenwriter (not naming her because she has a short role), a 20-year veteran, who gets paid 20 million won per episode. Over the phone, she verbally spars with Anthony, who insists she write in a segment where orange juice in a carton is the drink of choice just before the main star of the drama dies.

In the end, the screenwriter refuses to compromise her integrity as a writer and submits the screenplay of the hero’s death sans the orange juice in a carton.

Without a hint of scruples, Anthony concocts a whopper of a lie on the spot convincing the assistant screenwriter, Go Eun, to revise the crucial death scene adding in the orange juice (that’s helping fund the drama production). To the low-on-the-totem-pole assistant writer, the authoritative figure and demeanor of a very convincing CEO plus the temptation of writing an important scene is too juicy to pass up.

Anthony is a hands on CEO; he changes bits and parts of the scenes as Go Eun feverishly envisions and types out the drama finale on the fly, typing on a laptop in a van en route to the production site, minutes away from the actual “lights, camera, action.” When she questions his direction, Anthony spits out specifics and statistics of the ever important ratings (in kDrama, screenwriters change elements of the plot/script on a daily—if not minute-by-minute—basis to boost ratings) that has the CEO’s majored-in-Literature minion looking up at the ceiling trying to comprehend the math. This is a devilishly delightful turn for JUNG MAN SHIK (정만식) casted here as the bumbling minion when most folks will remember him as the k-pop girl band’s evil manager in THE GREATEST LOVE.


. . .
It’s an adrenalin rush to see screenwriting in action as Go Eun is pushed and pulled by Anthony’s spur of the moment scene changes, the corresponding ripples of change reflected in the hectic, running around like headless chickens of the production crew and actors filming the up-to-the-moment revised scenes while the background music swells with the sounds of church choir music you hear in satanic horror movies.

The brazen absurdity of the hero walking along the beach towards the ocean, waves lapping near his feet, a gun in one hand and a carton of orange juice in the other, is ridiculous yet satisfying.

It’s a wrap.

How the CEO negotiates with an oblivious, earbud plugged, head bopping courier to get the tape into the studios in time for the show’s last broadcast compounds the consistent notion that everyone’s dealings with Anthony is like making a pact with the devil.

By all appearances this is a comedy, but a kDrama is not a kDrama if it doesn’t have its gut wrenching moments. Anthony is not just a devil stand-in, nor is his verbal bile simple excesses of Machiavelli—he shows a hint of a soul that understands human pain although we are not clued into the specifics of it yet.

KING is absolute wicked fun. Whether it will continue to have high caliber writing and acting remains to be seen but the first episode has been a heart pounding rollercoaster ride that leaves a suspicion of trouble brewing for Anthony; whether you hate him or love him, it’s motivation to see more of KING.

Myung Min didn’t get the girl in BEETHOVEN’S VIRUS but neither did the other lead guy, heartthrob JANG GEUN SEOK (장근석 wasn’t the lead in HONG GIL DONG but I liked him best in that kDrama where everybody was rooting for the bromance between Geun Seok as Prince/King and Hong Gil Dong); it didn’t matter because the spectacle of watching Myung Min chewing up the scenery in that gargantuan way of his is more than satisfying.


. . .

Getting the girl may be equally elusive in KING seeing as Super Junior boy-band idol, Choi Si Won (최시원 of ATTACK ON THE PIN-UP BOYS, a super fun movie where the boy-band makes fun of themselves), is set to make his appearance in episode 3, playing himself as a male diva (divo?).


. . .
If Go Eun ends up being Anthony’s eventual love interest (more satisfying since they’re intellectual equals and watching them work together is intense) that’s just icing, if it comes to pass; right now, their tenuous partnership/enmity is enough cake to keep this kDrama addict satisfied.

__________________

[1]THE KING OF DRAMAS/[Teaser] The King Of Dramas – Korean Drama 2012, Published on Oct 22, 2012 by Jungryeowon Yoana: A drama about the entertainment business that revolves around the life of Anthony Kim, a brilliant CEO of a drama production company who does everything and anything for money; Lee Go Eun, an aspiring assistant screenwriter; and Kang Hyun Min, the egoistic and arrogant top star of the series Kim produces

[2]BEETHOVEN’S VIRUS/Beethoven Virus Trailer – Korean Drama starred Jang Geun Suk, Kim Myung Min and Lee Ji Ah, Uploaded by Vindy Defansha: Kang Gun Woo is a world renowned orchestra maestro, a perfectionist feared by all his players; his world is changed when he meets first violinist, Du Ru Mi, and a young cop who turns out to be a musical genius without any formal training

[3]HISTORY OF A SALARYMAN/샐러리맨 초한지.wmv, Uploaded by SBSNOW1: One night, Yoo Bang enters a dark, mysterious villa with nothing but a flashlight, only to find an executive of the Chunha Medical Group, Jin Ho Hae, slouched in a chair, dead, and his niece, Yeo Chi hiding behind a curtain; this is a whodunit, whose cast of characters revolve around rival pharmaceutical companies competing for a formula for eternal youth

[4]THE GREATEST LOVE/The Greatest Love – Preview 11, Uploaded by Veronica Fernandez: Ae Jung, once the most popular member of girl-band, The National Treasure Girls, is now blamed for the group’s demise at the peak of their popularity; while trying stay in the entertainment industry, Ae Jung meets up with Dokko Jin, a top movie star at the height of his career, and Yoon Pil Joo, a popular oriental medicine doctor who is persuaded to do a dating show—both men fall for Ae Jung, on and off screen

[5]YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL/You’re Beautiful – funny clips, Uploaded by LittleAnny94: The management company of boy-band, A.N.JELL, adds a new singer, Go Mi Nam, to the group as lead vocalist but just before signing the contract, he goes missing; his agent persuades Mi Nam’s twin sister, nun-in-training, Mi Nyu, to stand in for her brother until he is found; initially an outcast by the band’s original members, they each end up falling for Mi Nyu as Mi Nam, the guy

[6]HONG GIL DONG/Hong Gil Dong DVD teaser (Jap Ver), Uploaded by coogoocoogoo: Hong Gil Dong, the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister, fights against the injustice that divides people into the upper and lower classes of nobility and ordinary citizens; Gil Dong encounters free spirited Heo Yi Nok, who makes a living on the streets, and Lee Chang Hwi, rightful heir to the throne usurped by his half brother, and the three are entangled in love, hate, loyalty and betrayal where only one side can win

[7]ATTACK ON THE PIN-UP BOYS/Uploaded by mimzZ89: High school flower boys (heartthrobs or pretty boys) are the target of poop attacks; student Kibum decides to investigate the matter, covering the attacks on his blog which becomes a hot topic at one high school, causing the next potential victims: Siwon, president of the student body, Heechul, president of the dance club, and Kangin, the captain of the Judo Team, to vie for the prestigious poop windfall



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight



. . .
I recently read a “Dear Abby” letter a 13-year-old girl submitted. The girl was all over the moon about a 13-year-old boy she met over the internet. She wondered if she was too young to be in love with the boy who was different from the other boys she’s known. She was won over by the sweet things he wrote back to her calling her an “angel” and saying she was “gorgeous” instead of saying she was a “babe” and “hot”; he also had a way with words when she poured out her problems to him.

“Abby” responded by saying [not in so many words, of course] young love was cool but to hold up because the “boy” was using words that adults–not 13-year-old boys–use, so in other words, it’s a no-brainer there’s a predator in the house.

I thought about the double-edged sword it was to write about this because on the one hand, you’re telling the predators what not to do, but then what are the odds they’ll come over to this neck of the woods? On the other hand, if by chance one of the naive little red riding hoods stops by and learns a thing or two here, then the odds may stack up in favor for the hoods.

The reason I’m getting on this bandwagon is because I just recently got my email hijacked. I go too far on the web and as a consequence, I’ve compromised my online space and took my friends along for the ride. My friends are getting bulk spam email sent from my email that I did not send. I used to get spam from my friends that they said they didn’t send. I used to be all high and mighty thinking that that would never happen to me. I’m now eating a truckload of crow.

I did the changing of passwords and other things and so far, so good but it’s only been one day, so we’ll see; I might just have to shut the email down but I hope not.

I’m not sure if this is going to make me be less web friendly. I actually think it might be good to step away from the web some but I don’t really want to do that. There’s so much stuff I could do offline but there’s so much stuff online I haven’t done yet. As you can see, I’m doing battle with myself on this and I can’t feel the win-win situation in this. I don’t wanna talk about it anymore.


_________________
Funmoods’ Online Safety Kit – Little Red Riding Mood/public safety animation from Funmoods, a free add-on for social networks Chat with smileys, winks, text effects and other stuff you use to enhance your chats



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight


Disclaimer: be forewarned–spoilers scattered throughout.

jDorama feeds my web addiction in a different way from kDrama. kDrama sinks its fangs into the jugular of emotions; you end up craving cliffhanger after cliffhanger episodes of the k-series. jDorama goes for experimentation: different plot lines, unexpected characters, out of this world silliness–you just don’t know what to expect which makes for a mind rousing time spent. The only thing you might count on is a reasonably happy ending and a moral lesson learned. Enough said–I’ll just get to the review of a jDorama I’m currently watching.



. . .
Iki mo Dekinai Natsu 息もできない夏 / trailer (a Polish commercial preceeds the trailer)

The premise of this kDorama is the Japanese family register (koseki 戸籍) which may seem weird to western eyes. How can something as innocuous as a family register wreak havoc? Well, for Tanizaki Rei (Takei Emi 武井咲), a young budding patisserie chef wannabe, it becomes a harrowing journey when she finds out through an unfortunate chain of events that she’s not in her family’s register. It means she can’t apply for full-time work, access medical services (unless she pays full price on her own), get loans; she can’t even claim citizenship of her own country. All sorts of everyday existential amenities are now no more than pies in the sky for Rie.

I like this dorama because I get to learn new things about Japan–the bomb that drops on the koseki in this jDorama is an antiquated Civil Code 772 enacted in the Meiji Period in 1898, that says any child born to a woman within 300 days of her divorce, legally belongs to the ex and consequently, his family registry even if the woman remarries and her new husband is the biological father. In order to get the child entered into the new family’s register, the divorced woman has to go to court with the ex’s blessings to make this request.

Domestic violence perpetrated by the ex, Ayukawa Hiroki (Kaname Jun 要潤), drove the mom, Tanizaki Yoko (Kimura Yoshino 木村佳乃), to flee; she never told Hiroki about Rei, birthed after the breakup. She never registered Rei because the birth fell within the 300 days and keeping Hiroki out of the loop was crucial to Yoko’s new life, but now she has to get him to agree to come to court or waive his paternity “rights” beforehand?

Yeah, right…

Japan’s controversial Civil Code 772 has bounced in and out of the courts with plaintiffs trying to take out the discriminatory practice propagated by government old fogies that deter women from divorcing; the code attempts to constrict women into a narrow and unrealistic concept of sexual morality that preserves patriarchal order (shades of Confucianism!). I’m always hating on the predominant portrayals of meek Asian women but apparently, you can’t get away from it–not only is it deeply ingrained in the culture, it’s institutionalized.

Like I said earlier, I can’t stomach meek Asian women so I really can’t stand Rie at first but she adds sprinklings of spunk to the mix, increasingly so, as the story goes on so I’m slowly appreciating her character. Yoko plays right into the stereotype and more so under the brutal hand of domestic violence. It’s hard for anyone to know how they will react under violent circumstances but you can’t help to want so much for Yoko to face her fears for the sake of her daughter.

For those of you who know Kaname Jun, it’s intriguing to see him villanous (the only other time I’ve seen Jun play bad boy was in Ashita no Kita Yoshio, あしたの、喜多善男, a really good dorama about a man on a journey to meet his maker). Jun’s scenes of actual physical violence seem awkward but he pulls off the bad guy scheming/sneering/I’m-gonna-get-you-my-little-pretty personas as needed (still, I prefer him playing fun and frivolous).
. . .

. . .
Another victim of the Civil Code 772 debacle, is Kusano Kota (Nakamura Aoi 中村蒼). He pops in and out of this dorama playing the darker, pessimistic flip side to Rei’s more optimistic take on their off-the-koseki-radar status. He gets just enough screen time at strategic points of the story–bowing down to the darker side of his tenuous existence in society–that makes you think that he’s gonna have some sort of impact when things are bound to go south for Rei.
. . .

. . .
A lot of the blurbs about this jDorama mention the May-December romance but that’s neither here nor there for me, since that’s so prevalent everywhere, not to mention the guy, Kiyama Ryuichiro (Eguchi Yosuke 江口洋介), doesn’t look that old and Rei doesn’t look that young (despite her babydoll dress in the dorama poster). Speaking of the guy, Ryuichiro is supposed to have some mysterious background as a top notch journalist gone wrong; you only know this when his previous colleague brags about it but so far, we see him only in the role of the government paper pusher who helps Rie through the family register process and ending up as the apple of her eye (did I mention Rie’s specialty is apple pie? By the way, there’s more to the apple than meets the eye as you will see if you watch this dorama). I haven’t finished watching the whole series so I dunno if his previous life resurfaces or if the two really get it on but honestly, his story and the romance don’t do much for this dorama. The more interesting angle is Civil Code 772’s impact on koseki, but since Iki mo Dekinai Natsu is only 11 episodes long, I’m not really complaining.


_________________
CREDITS:
[1]Philip Brasor, “LDP fuddy-duddies’ social engineering hits women and the birthrate,” The Japan Times
[2]Yoshio Sugimoto, “Gender Stratification and the Family System,” in An Introduction to Japanese Society, 159
[3]not_shikibu‘s photobucket still photo of Kaname Jun
[4]boonorbane‘s tumblr photo of Nakamura Aoi

VIDEOS:
[1]Iki mo Dekinai Natsu 息もできない夏 / trailer (with the Polish commercial)
[2]Ashita no Kita Yoshio, あしたの、喜多善男



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight


The continuation and last episode of a story told through YouTube videos…

. . .

RECAP from previous Episode 7b:
When I rip the freakin’ thing off of me, I think I’m free of it–Free at last! Only…

Episode 8: LAYING IT ALL OUT (FINALE)

Only when I rip it off, I come off too. Whaddaheck you saying… YOU may be saying. Well, like Super Glue, the s/he/it is so stuck on me that when I rip it off, I’m all ripped up too.

If I want to do harakiri, I would’ve time transported back to the Edo Period, but since not–again, whaddaheck?!

Well, du-uh–I didn’t have a choice. So off with the s/he/it meant off with the me.

So I’m all ripped up and make a beeline straight to hell because, finally, I’m out of the picture; I’m outta here.

And nobody can resurrect me from the dead. Nobody.

Thank you for watching once upon a time in YouTube.

(For the finale, I figured whaddaheck! Let’s just embed the YouTube videos instead of linking to them like what I did on the previous episodes. Below, you’ll still see the extensive info about the vids. Enjoy!)


_______________
[1]Super Glue/Super Glued – Uploaded by OMFGItsJackAndDean

[2]Edo/Edo Maajka – Rek’o sam joj (feat. Sky Wikluh) (ORGINAL SPOT), Uploaded by LoPoV86: Edin Osmić, aka Edo Maajka, is a Bosnian rapper, record producer and songwriter whose rapping technique is described as having a perfect flow, varied subject matter that connects with his audience, carrying a concept over a series of albums using brilliant lyrics; The The Edo Period (江戸時代), or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 to 1868 in the history of Japan when it was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate, a period characterized by economic growth, strict social orders, isolationist foreign policies, increase in both environmental protection and popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868

[3]off/Vampire Knight Guilty ON/OFF – 輪廻-ロンド-, Uploaded by klwing: ON/OFF is a Japanese Jpop duo comprised of twin brothers, Naoya Sakamoto (坂本 直弥) and Kazuya Sakamoto (坂本 和弥), who debuted with “Eien no Setsuna” (永遠の刹那 “Eternal Bond”), which was used as the ending theme song the live-action adaptation of the manga Fūma no Kojirō, for which they were also a part of its cast; Vampire Knight Guilty is the second season of Vampire Knight (ヴァンパイア騎士), a shōjo manga and anime series written by Matsuri Hino (樋野 まつり)

[4]outta here/8 Mile (7/10) Movie CLIP – Greg’s Outta Here (2002) HD, Uploaded by movieclips: 8 Mile, an American hip-hop drama film starring Eminem as a young white rapper attempting to launch a rap career in an industry dominated by African Americans; Marshall Bruce Mathers III, aka Eminem, or Slim Shady, is a Grammy Award winning American rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor,and is the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LPs

[5]Nobody/[Clip] Wonder Girls – Nobody Internet Submissions! Uploaded by wondergirls: Wonder Girls (원더걸스) is a South Korean girl group comprised of: Yubin, Yeeun, Sunye, Sohee, and Hyelim, whose hit single “Nobody” made them the first South Korean group to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart; “Nobody” is a dance-pop song that was released as a digital download single sampling the Italian trio La La’s “Johnny Johnny” that became popular within hours, becoming a top search term and ranking #1 on various digital music sites; the song produced by Park Jin-Young, a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, record producer and the CEO and founder of JYP Entertainment, the talent agency that represents the Wonder Girls



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight


The continuation of a story told through YouTube videos…
(click on the green video links)

. . .

RECAP from previous Episode 7a:
So I couldn’t get the dang thing off my chest; its head was flopping in my face.

Episode 7b: FREE WILL

Anytime I take a step, the head smacks me in the face. Really?

In the meantime, all the other s/he/its were zipping around in the air oblivious that one of their brethren is stuck on me, dead to the world. The heck with it–this is worse than claustrophobia. I gather all my inner chi/chi and make like I’m gonna strangle myself but instead of my neck, it’s that s/he/it’s neck I squeeze and with thoughts of Popeye on a spinach high in my head, I rip the freakin’ thing off of me.

Free at last! Only…


(Final episode(s)* coming up…)

_______________
*it’ll either be Episode 4.8 as a whole or with parts a and b, depending…

[1]step/There She Is – Step 1: “There She Is!!” – Uploaded by Madamegato: There She Is!! (떳다 그녀!!) is a Flash cartoon series produced by a three-person team and hosted on the Korean website SamBakZa; the series about a romance between an anthropomorphic bunny and cat, in a world where such relationships are taboo, generated a large amount of positive feedback from its online audience, including fan art, which drove SamBakZa to produce more cartoons in the series, which won the 2004 Anima Mundi animation festival in Brazil, and first place in both the Web Animation – Professional Jury and Web Animation – Audience divisions, as well as winning the Special Award Anima Mundi Web
[2]face/Doll Face – Uploaded by andrewhu: Andrew Huang is a commercial and music video director living in Los Angeles whose career started when his dark sci-fi short film “Doll Face” went viral on YouTube, earning him attention from J.J. Abrams, William Morris Endeavor and numerous international festivals and galleries
[3]zipping/Closeup: Water Striders Zipping Along Guadalupe River – Uploaded by fmims, Forrest Mims is an electronics author whose writings have been honored for excellence by the Computer Press Association and has appeared in magazines and science journals, including Nature, Scientific American, Science, Popular Photography, New Scientist, Sky & Telescope, Popular Mechanics, Physics Today, Electronics, PC Magazine, and IEEE Spectrum; Forrest’s consulting clients have included the National Geographic Society, the National Science Teachers Association, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; he teaches experimental Earth science once or twice a year at the University of the Nations at their campuses in Kona, Hawaii, and Lausanne, Switzerland; he was named a Laureate in the Rolex Awards for Enterprise competition for his efforts in establishing a global ozone measuring network that used instruments of his own design
[4]stuck/”Stuck!” 2010 Movie trailer HD – Uploaded by pipistrello2004: STUCK! is director Steve Balderson’s homage to film noir women-in-prison films, faithfully re-producing the genre with a modern, tongue-in-cheek twist but with all the hallmarks of a classic prison movie: wrongly accused heroine, hard boiled dames, diabolical alliances, forbidden love, cat-fighting cuties, a sadistic warden, and corrupt prison guards; STUCK! stars Karen Black, Susan Traylor, Jane Wiedlin, Mink Stole, Stacy Cunningham, Starina Johnson and Pleasant Gehman
[5]claustrophobia/Claustrophobic’s Nightmare – Uploaded by theGetRealGuy: Hinkle Horn Honking Holes are flowstone squeezes that are the only way through for the Nettlebed Cave, a limestone cave located in the Mount Arthur region of the northwest South Island of New Zealand; due, primarily to the difference in air pressure and temperature of the top entrance at approximatley 1100 metres altitude and the bottom at 300 metres, the airflow through these holes literally “honk” with a sound resembling a raging waterfall
[6]chi/Star Wars Tai Chi – Uploaded by maraizon: In traditional Chinese culture, qì (aka chi or ch’i) is an active principle forming part of any living thing, frequently translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow, the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts; concepts similar to qi can be found in many cultures, for example, Prana in Vedantic philosophy, mana in Hawaiian culture, Lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, and Vital energy in Western philosophy with elements of the qi concept also be found in western popular culture, for example The Force in Star Wars
[7]chi/Fausto Leali-“A chi”1967, Uploaded by anncage: Fausto Leali is an Italian singer, famous for his rough and aggressive voice, in sharp contrast with Italian melody conventions; His first real success was “A chi” in 1967 (an Italian version of an 1954 American song “Hurt”, written by Roy Hamilton, which was also issued years later by Francesco De Gregori), which sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc
[8]spinach/Ultimate Spinach – Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess, Uploaded by agata44poison: Ultimate Spinach comprised of keyboardist/guitarist Ian Bruce-Douglas and singer Barbara Hudson was a psychedelic/hard rock/blues band of Boston’s alternative scene in the second half of the 1960s, but since 1970, the band has largely abandoned the psychedelic sounds and have (since at least 1975) dropped all of the 60s songs from their setlists (with the exception of ‘Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess’ and a few from the third album)
[9]freakin’/LFO “Freak”, HIGH QUALITY VERSION – Uploaded by ImperialPimp: LFO, comprised of Gez Varley and Mark Bell, is an English electronic music act who pioneered the bass-heavy techno, IDM, and acid house music of the late 80s to mid-90s; the group’s name is derived from the abbreviation for the term low-frequency oscillator, a synthesizer function widely used in electronic music
[10]last/ DeniseVlogs Presents : Last Visit, Uploaded by DeniseVlogs: Denise Kass writes, produces and acts in thriller videos she uploads on YouTube




00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight


The continuation of a story told through YouTube videos…
(click on the green video links)

. . .

RECAP from previous Episode 6b:
The s/he/it/idiot died on impact, its dead carcass of a body flopping onto my chest. When I got it off my chest…


Episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING

…well, the thing is–I couldn’t get the dang thing off my chest. It stuck on me like a DUI charge on a Hollywood tartlet. How sick is that? And I’m not talking sick/good but sick as in: oh gawd, not me–not in all of heaven’s creations, me!

Ever seen a Korean drama (modern/period) where the guy (or gal) gives their love-to-be a piggyback ride? Well, picture it on your front side instead of back, and you’ll get my drift with its head flopping in my face. NOOOOO!!!



_______________
[1]get/The Guild : S3 Ep4: Get it Back! – Uploaded by watchtheguild: The Guild is an American comedy web series created and written by Felicia Day, who also stars as Cyd Sherman (aka Codex), who vlogs about her life as a gamer priestess of a fantasy MMORPG video game entitled The Game; other Guild members are Warlock Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh), Guild Leader Vork (Jeff Lewis), Rogue Bladezz (Vincent Caso), Frost Mage Clara (Robin Thorsen), Ranger Tinkerballa (Amy Okuda) and temp Hunter Mr. Wiggly (Brett Sheridan); Joss Whedon credits The Guild as one of the inspirations for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which also starred Felicia Day.
[2]my chest/Kevin hart Say it with your chest – Seriously funny (uncensored), Published on Apr 14, 2012 by Hammym70: see Kevin Hart’s info from 04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b
[3]DUI/Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys! – Weird Nature – BBC animals, Uploaded by BBCWorldwide
[4]Hollywood/FREE HUGS IN HOLLYWOOD – Uploaded by supricky06: The Free Hugs Campaign, started in 2004 by an Australian man known only by the pseudonym “Juan Mann,” is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places, meant to be random acts of kindness performed to make others feel better; Hawaiian musician, Israel “IZ” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, aka Bruddah Iz (“Brother Iz”), sings “Over the Rainbow” in the background music
[5]sick/How To Be Sick – Uploaded by evmoneyTV
[6]talking/Ultimate Dog Tease – Uploaded by klaatu42: According to Variety, Ultimate Dog Tease could become a feature film, to be produced by Paramount’s genre label Insurge, with the help of two comedy writers to work on the script, Alec Berg and David Mandel, who have worked on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm
[7]not me/[LIVE/RQ] B2ST/BEAST(비스트) – It’s Not Me, Published on Aug 12, 2012 by KPopsubber4ever: Beast (비스트; stylized as B2ST) is a six-member boy band from South Korea, formed in 2009 by Cube Entertainment, comprised of Yoon Doo-joon, Jang Hyun-seung, Yong Jun-hyung, Yang Yo-seob, Lee Gi-kwang, and Son Dong-woon; the group initially lacked industry success with media outlets referring to them as “a group of recycled material” but achieved significant commercial and critical accolades with time, winning the Bonsang award at the Seoul Music Awards in both 2011 and 2012, the Artist of the Year (Daesang) award at the Melon Music Awards and Gaon Chart Awards for the second quarter of the year in 2011
[8]heaven’s creations/Santana – Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile), Uploaded by D1nnak1lla: Carlos Augusto Alves Santana, winner of 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards, is a Mexican and American rock guitarist, who with his band, pioneered rock, Latin music and jazz fusion with a sound that featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms featuring percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock music; in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 15 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
[9]modern/Winter Sonata -From the beginning until now (KoreAn verSion), Uploaded by koreanaddiction: Winter Sonata (aka Winter Ballad/Winter Love Story, 겨울연가) is a South Korean television drama series broadcast by KBS in 2002. It is the second part of the Endless Love installment directed by Yoon Seok-Ho, starring Choi Ji-woo and Bae Yong Joon–the series became so popular, it was adapted into an anime series and musical
[10]period/Jewel in the Palace – Deutscher Trailer, Uploaded by MagicAsianDream: Based on an actual historical figure, Jang-geum, of the Joseon Dynasty, Jewel in the Palace, aka Dae Jang Geum (대장금) is an epic South Korean television series directed by Lee Byung Hoon starring Lee Young Ae, an orphaned kitchen cook who went on to become the king’s first female physician in a time when women held little influence in society; the show garnered a precedent setting 57% viewership in South Korea, pulling in $40 million worldwide since it first aired in 2003, spawning an anime, musical and theme park
[11]piggyback ride/Korean Drama- Piggyback Ride Moments, Uploaded by kdramageek
[12]front side/Best Lift and Carry – Part 63 ( Girl lifting guy ), Uploaded by MrCrazyCarries
[13]drift/Blackmill – The Drift, Uploaded by tatarbazar: Blackmill started of producing music at the age of 8 when he received his first musical instrument, an acoustic guitar which he still plays to this day; at the age of 15 he produced trance, uploading them to youtube under the alias “Robert J.C.” and as Dubstep grew throughout 2010 Blackmill took a shine to this new genre, quickly producing his own version of Dubstep, Melodic Dubstep; Blackmill is the name of the house where his grandparents used to live; Mouches à feu is a short French animation film
[14]NOOOOO/Ultimate “NOOOOOOOOO” Compilation (ORIGINAL) – Uploaded by iiAFX



00 – introduction
01 – pick your ePoison
02 – plug in or be obsolete
03 – eJunk in the trunk
04.1 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 1: IN THE BEGINNING
04.2 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 2: STRANGE MISSILES
04.3 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 3: HUNGER
04.4a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4a: ANOTHER DIMENSION
04.4b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 4b: SPOTTED!
04.5a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5a: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
04.5b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 5b: SEE WHAT I SEE?
04.6a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6a: DARKNESS
04.6b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 6b: LIFE AND DEATH
04.7a – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7a: LIFE IS SUFFERING
04.7b – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 7b: FREE WILL
04.8 – once upon a time in YouTube/episode 8: LAY IT ALL OUT/FINALE
05 – kDrama: Arang and the Magistrate/Reply 1997/The Great Doctor
06 – jDorama: Iki mo Dekinai Natsu
07 – the evil that lurks behind the web curtain
08 – back to the future: The King of Dramas 드라마의 제왕
09 – of turkey and vampires: Let the Right One In vs Twilight