Before any of you proceed to read this post, let me warn you that this may contain spoiler and my obsession to James Spader will somehow make you guys want to vomit. Anyway, I don’t care. This is my post. I can write whatever I want. This Ahjusshi (Korean word for ‘Uncle’) really turned me on. He may not have a hotness level like Mads Mikkelson but damn, his character got my attention in the blacklist. The way he portrayed his role (mhhhhmmmmm) is just so evil-ish sexy. I know I watched this drama series very late considering I am a TV series maniac but guys; I hate to wait every week for a new episode to release. When the pilot episode is released on september 2013, I made a decision to wait until season 1 is over. When the last episode, episode 22 is released last week, I already set up my things for drama series marathon. A cup of ice coffee and an instant noodle is suffice for me to do ‘The Blacklist’ Marathon. Not that kind of running marathon (please dont be confused with that), It is the back to back marathon of episode by episode and I only stopped when I felt sleepy, tired and hungry. Otherwise, I was hooked on my laptop screen. In ‘The Blacklist’, James Spader portrayed his role as ‘Raymond Reddington’ who recently surrendered to FBI as he already on the list as ‘The Most Wanted Fugitives’ in FBI. He was brought in and been put in the secured location known as ‘The Post Office’. Reddington or Red as people called him claimed that he shared the same interest with the FBI. They wanted to catch the criminal and he can assisted them to do so. He reveled to the FBI that he has a list of criminals and terrorist names that FBI does not even knew they existed. He called it as ‘the blacklist’. However, in exchange of his information, he wanted an immunity from FBI and the channel of communication that he will using only through one rookie agent named Elizabeth Keen.
I just finished the whole season yesterday and the feeling to to write my thoughts on the series is just exploding. First of all, the character of ‘Raymond Reddington’ is just awesome. Awesome maybe an understatement but well, if audience and critics love his character, you really cant deny the character’s awesomeness. He is vicious when he needs to be, he has a business-like mind and he does not associate with the concept of ‘good citizen’ or ‘loyal to the country’. For him, it is all about business. He takes good care of his people but when one of them deceived him, death will be their answer. He showed no mercy as he wanted to set example that nobody should never cross him ever. What I like about ‘Red’ is he’s being true to his character but he has his human being side. He knows he is a bad person but that does not necessarily mean he should kill people all the time. When there is a time he is being confronted to help people, he help them. I could say that almost all episode of the blacklist, the episode revolves around ‘Red’ and the rookie agent known as ‘Agent Keen’. He did what he saw necessarily fit to protect ‘Agent Keen’. I still cant figure out what are their relationship is; part of me said Red is Agent’s keen father (but when the last episode 22 is broadcast last week), i just stunted. I am not sure anymore.
I don’t love ‘Agent Keen’ role but I also don’t hate it. My feeling floats in between. At first, I thought Red is sexually attracted to Agent keen. I mean, she’s hot and woman with a gun can be a major turn on to some guy. However, when the show proceeded, those feeling change to the affection of a father to a daughter. I wanted Agent Keen to be stronger, more focus and women with a drive and determination. It turned out that whenever any problem arises or she failed to find solution, she turned to Red for a help. I mean, come on, you are a trained agent, graduated on top of your class, you supposed to show your charismatic side and how you can handle the problem without asking for any assistance. I can’t believe I said this but Agent Keen should have more ego. It would be great if she can be deadly good as ‘Agent Annie’ in the ‘Covert Affair’ drama series or like ‘Nikita’ in the ‘Nikita’ Drama series. When she found out that her husband in not a school teacher but a spy, the perfect marriage that she thought she had crumbled. Actually, i felt sympathy towards her. I know she totally in love with his husband. The fact that his husband confessed that he is just doing his job and how he knew that she fell for him on their third date is just plain cruel. Part of me wanted Tom Keen confessed that he did love Agent Keen but that would be totally cliche. It didnt happen anyway. The rest of the blacklist casts like those who portrayed as agent Meera Malik, Aram or Ressler; I don’t have any problem with them. They did a good job being a supporting cast. Their role, on the other hand is suffice to say can sustain the story line.
There are some episodes that are memorable but there are also some which is just ‘mehhh’ and not really grab my focus when I am watching it. I will definitely remember episode 10 and 11 when a group of criminal succeeds to infiltrate the FBI facility and taken down the entire building with the agents in it. The whole scene still clear to me because to break into FBI building and managed to take the agents as captives, it will take an organized criminal gang with meticulous plan to do so. One particular scene still lingers in my mind is when Dembe and Red praying together in Arabic before they shoot him. That scene is so touching and it makes me cried. I already knew about the scene because Ruby told me. It would be awesome if I didn’t know about it and watch it myself. The other episode that I remember is ‘The Good Samaritan’. I have a thing with vigilante. I don’t know why but I think they are necessary tools to repair the system that sometimes couldn’t provide fairness and justice to the citizen. This episode showed a paramedic who randomly choose his hospital, subbing for staff and find the victims who have been abused by their husband/wife/parents. When he found one, he investigated the case and he will drugged and kidnapped the perpetrators of those domestic violence cases. He inflicted the similar pain and injury that they did to their wife, husband or children. If you hurt your child and he has a minor fracture, this Good Samaritan will do the same to you. It was like ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’. Other episodes like ‘the stewmaker’ and ‘Ivan’ should not be skipped.
Overall, this show is a ‘must watch’ series. With a fast paced plot, thrilling and enticing story and a great casts, you are not going to feel that your time is wasted. If you are hoping to see any sexual scenes in this series, let me tell you that there are none. I am a bit disappointed actually to find out that almost to zero of any bed or sex scene between agent keen and her husband but the writers of the series do know more. Maybe they find it is not that important to include any. On the other hands, there are some eye candies featured in the series. You can check out Agent Keen’s Husband, Tom Keen (in my opinion, he is so cute) until I found out later that he was a spy. Suddenly, I find him so hot and fuckable (Oh My!). Agent Ressler and Aram is good looking too but they are just not my type. Anyway, I am looking forward to ‘The Blacklist’ season 2. I hope that there is no change of writers for season 2 since I felt comfortable with their writing style. It’s not too drag-ish and you can fathom the rationality why such incidents or events occurred.
Last but not least, I found one episode where James Spader said my name. I know some of you might have a very common name and you just dont give a fuck when you find out that there is character in tv series that used similar name with yours. It’s totally different thing with me. Having an arabic name means there is no chance that my name will appear in any TV SERIES (Until ‘The Blacklist’). I even screen captured the scene. Don’t be Jealous. Miahhahahahha.
This was a 2012 drama, so I was 2 years too late. During its airing, it enjoyed a massive high ratings and stand on the top of the drama rankings for 25 consecutive weeks! After reading so much praise and favourable views from drama lovers I decided to give it a watch. The plot was far from being too insane and mundane instead it filled me with laughs and enthralled my heart with the cutest love stories from all the siblings. Gosh I feel so good after watching this!
I got to warn those who wishes to marathon this drama to spend at least 4 days since there are 58 episodes in total but I promise you every second spent is worth it. Though I have to admit I did fast forward some scene because I don’t feel the need to go through ’em.
Cha Yoon-Hee (Kim Nam Joo) is living a perfect life. A steady career, a loving husband and no in-laws. Well in Korean society being the daughter in law will consume your life as your in-laws would literally take over your life and truth to be told its nothing less than being enslaved to your husband family. Her friends envied her for being so free and she enjoyed gloating on her fortune of marrying a man and a man only.
And the man she marries, Terry Kang (Yoo Jun-sang) is a doctor graduated from John Hopkins and the husband that every women would die to have. He’s kind, romantic, love putting up events for her, can cook, good looking, considerate, oh my god the dimples *dies*, etc etc etc. I WANT TO HAVE A HUSBAND LIKE THIS.
But what is a drama without a cruel twist of fate? It turns out that Terry Kang isn’t an orphan as his real family was living right next door! And his real name is Bang Gwi Nam which means “fart” in Korean. Yoon-Hee’s husband just got himself a family! Her ideal life comes to an end and the nightmare begins. Hello in-laws!
Heart warming and beautiful. That is my exact description of this story. Along the way I cried but most of the time I was feeling happy and amused by the antics of the family.
This 20-episodes drama has ended a couple weeks back but it would not leave me. How I miss my weekends waiting for new episodes to come out and when they finally out I’ll be all giddy and have my snacks and drinks ready for another enjoyable ride and entertaining story of a divorced couple rekindling their romance amidst of the hectic ER.
The premise revolves around broken marriage/bitter relationship between the leads which draws me into watching this drama.Especially when this drama is the follow-up of the ever successful Reply 1994, making the expectation so much higher .It’s a romantic comedy but like all k-drama I’ve watched for the past years, it would not be a complete set without a few depressing episodes that dry your tear ducts and emptied a box of tissue just to wipe my snorts.
Let’s do a quick recap shall we?
When your family disapproves your relationships, what do you do?
and run in the middle of busy streets to have everyone taking pictures of you in your wedding dress.
After a year of marriage…
Due to unstable income and continuous pressure from the families, they succumbed to stress and pressure hence ended their marriage….
But it seemed like their path crosses once again… as interns in the same hospital.
The hate still lingers…
but somehow the love never left
and the lovers accepted each other as they are…
and when they woke up the next morning…
In short, this is a cute drama. The kind that makes your endorphin gushing out throughout your system.
Here are the pictures & gifs of my picks of favourite moments in the drama..
Oh Jin Hee woke up beside Chief Gook because Oh Chang Min left her in the male on call room after she ended up drunk.. Hilarious (credit to owner)
Mission: Seduce Oh Chang Min (credit to MissMongji@tumblr)
and teasing Oh Chang Min with the sexy night dress.. LOL (credit to owners)
Oh Chang Min’s cute parade (credit to owners)
The boob poke.. aiyoo so naughty (credit to owner)
The back hugs..Feelssss (credit to owners)
Gary of Leesang (also her Monday Boyfriend)
(credit to owner)
Narsha of Brown Eyed Girls (credit to gianthelove@tumblr)
This is Choi Jin Hyuk’s first lead role. *seal clap*
I’ve grown tired from watching him sitting on the sidelines instead of gracing the stage as the lead man. He was amazing in Gu Family Book playing the tormented supernatural being who fathered Lee Seung Gi—- like a legit-demonic-sexy -not aging- charming-charismatic lover boy that have lead man qualities all over his gorgeous self.
The Heirs was a huge disappointment to me because his character only have a little exposure and development that shadowed his charms. Or maybe I just hated the story. Well to be frank The Heirs is not my cup of tea. Not even Lee Minho could make me love it.
Plus, his character in this drama is different from his previous project. Acting alongside Song Jihyo, I have faith that both of em makes a good pair. And my intuition proven to be correct,they were picture perfect and leave a tasteful aftertaste.
*WARNING! THIS DRAMA HAS 76 EPISODES. THEREFORE, THE REVIEW BELOW IS GOING TO BE SUPER LONG!!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!*
I came across this 2011 C-drama whilst browsing around the internet for a good Chinese drama. Even though internationally, C-drama is not as well-spread as the (overrated) South Korean dramas nowadays, I think very highly of them due to their superior productions values and more developed plotlines. And my childhood had always been filled with memories of watching a great many C-drama and Hong Kong dramas, especially the historical and wuxia ones. Naturally, as I grow older, I try to reconnect with my childhood passion once more.
Huo Gong Zhen Huan Zhuan or The Legend of Zhen Huan or officially known in English as Empresses In The Palace is a no-joke drama. It may seem all glittery and glamorous with its many concubine-related settings but trust me, this drama involves a great deal of bitterness, revenge, blood and pure satanic evil. The concubines might be donning themselves with make-up and were all smiles throughout the episodes but the slogan that generally was echoed through my head was “Kill or Either Get Killed”.
Which is kind of true.
Like all concubine-centered drama, this drama’s main concubine is a young noble lady by the name of Zhen Huan. In the beginnings of the series, she was an okay girl – pretty, not that talkative, generally polite and rational. Unlike all typical concubine heroines, she did not have a boyfriend prior to entering the palace. Indeed, she was not that sad or that happy about her selection. She was kind of okay with it. She was initially hesitant because being a concubine in the Imperial Harem would mean that she would lose her freedom but she also desired the honour that comes with the title she was to receive. Thus, she, along with her friends, embraced their fate quite easily. All the young ladies dreamed about being concubines. They trained to enter the palace since they were young. They took special classes in walking, gracefulness, literature and many more in order to impress the officials during their selection processes. So why would one say no if one got selected?
She was quite wary of spending time with the Emperor, who was technically her husband, not because he was kinda old but because of the stiff competition she witnessed amongst the concubines in gaining his attention. There were two main ladies in court who were involved in this battle of wits – the Empress and Hua Fei.
Before I continue, it is vital that I list down all the concubines’ titles in order from the lowest ranking to the highest. FYI, titles, for concubines, were super duper importance. It signified her superiority, her importance and the Emperor’s love for her. The rank starts from Daying, Changzai, Guiren, Pin, Fei, Gui Fei, Wang Gui Fei and Huang Hao (Empress). Only the Empress Dowager ranked higher than the Empress. Fei indicated the rank of a Consort, which means that once a concubine gained the title of Fei, she was pretty much settled for life and everyone in court had a valid reason to be scared shit of her, like our fabulously vicious Hua Fei.
Zhen Huan entered the palace with the rank of Changzai, which was pretty low. So, people did not notice her much and bullied her at times, though she was smart enough to ignore them and make herself invisible. She was cautious to be known at first because of the tension in the harem anyway and managed to avoid ‘serving’ the Emperor on the pretext of being ill. (Serving here means having sex and spending time with him). However, a number of ever-so-famous-and-fortunate coincidences occurred and she met with the Emperor anyway, not knowing that he was an Emperor and ended up falling for him. Once she knew his identity, her invisibility and non-importance immediately vanished and in a short time, she became his favourite concubine. When her importance increased, so did her rank. From Changzai, she became Guiren and then, Pin. Her looks also changed to that of a more mature woman.
The Emperor loved her sooooo much and had made it quite obvious. However, unlike other historical dramas, delusional romance/love story did not have a place in this story. The Emperor duly served his duty to his other wives as well and spent his time with them, though he did spoil Zhen Huan a little bit more than the rest. After living in such happiness as a favourite concubine for some time, Zhen Huan was knocked over by a huge reality check after she miscarried her baby due to Hua Fei’s evil undoing. When that happened, she naturally expected her beloved husband to punish the bitch. Instead, the Emperor looked at her lovingly and said he could not do such a thing because the bitch was the sister of the empire’s most powerful general. Zhen Huan pleaded with him, telling him that “she killed our baby.” All the Emperor could do was look down in regret.
At that moment, I think, Zhen Huan stopped loving her husband and she could never be as happy as she was again. Crimes went unpunished and no one would avenge the fate of her innocent unborn child.
Since then, the romantic side of Zhen Huan faded radically. Instead of a devoted wife and lover, she focused more on becoming the concubine – albeit a powerful one – she was meant to be – intelligent and always a step ahead from her enemies. The greatest thing about our heroine is that she refused to trust anyone completely except for her soul sister, a fellow concubine, Shen Mei Zhuang. When everyone else was kissing the Empress’s or Hua Fei’s asses, Zhen Huan did no such thing and focused solely on concentrating her source of power from the Emperor’s affection, which worked wonders because the Emperor’s guilt made him more attached to Zhen Huan.
As the competition unraveled and many people died including servants, concubines and fellow innocent and not-so-innocent victims, Zhen Huan grew tired of it all. By then, her relationship with the Emperor was already strained, for she had always made it clear that she could not forgive the Emperor for not punishing Hua Fei for her baby’s death. Also, Zhen Huan was also severely punished by the Emperor after wearing a dress which once belonged to the Emperor’s first love, the late Empress Chun Yuan (due to a trick by the Empress. Smart smart bitch!). She was locked in her palace for many weeks and when she fell ill, her servant sacrificed her life so that the guards would allow the doctors to see her. All of these dramatic events in the palace sickened Zhen Huan physically and emotionally to the point of no return.
She told the Emperor she wished to be a concubine no more – and she meant it. Note that by now, she was already a Fei (Consort), meaning that her rank was second only to the Empress. However, she hated the palace and a concubine’s life so much that she was willing to leave her newborn baby girl under the care of a fellow trusted concubine. Seriously, who could blame her? She wanted only some peace and she deserved it. However, after a love affair with the 17th Prince resulted in her pregnancy, she knew she had to do whatever it takes to protect her unborn twins. Thus, she seduced the Emperor once more (though she had stopped loving him ages ago) and returned to the palace as the transformed, more powerful and ambitious version of Zhen Huan. Say bye bye to the naive endearing Zhen Huan that we knew.
And hello, Zhen Huan with a far luxurious costume set!
Since her return to the palace, the only thing that mattered for her was survival as she needed to secure a good future for her children. Royal children’s future lives often correlated to that of their mothers. If their mothers were high-ranked, their future would be more secure. She also wanted to beat the hell out of the Empress, whose cruelty increased after Hua Fei’s death. With one bitch’s death, come another bitch and another and another. The cycle of blood never ends.
The ending was quite a realistic one for me. No happiness, no sadness. Just a reality of life in the Palace. Those who worked hard and worked smart stayed in power, those who did not were defeated.
NOW!!!!! TIME FOR MY FAVOURITE ELEMENTS OF THE DRAMA!
God, there are so many! One great thing about the drama is that it has so many interesting female characters. From Zhen Huan to Hua Fei to the Empress and also tons of other concubines with interesting characters. The storylines also never really falters halfaway and stayed solid. And the costume! Need I say more? The costumes are fucking gorgeous, goddamnit that I feel like crying each time I lay my eyes on those beautiful dresses.
1 – THE CHARACTER OF SHEN MEI ZHUANG, OR HUI PIN AND HER STEADFAST SISTERHOOD WITH ZHEN HUAN
My favourite character in this drama is not Zhen Huan but her soul sister, Shen Mei Zhuang. I think many fans of this drama have the same thought as me. Shen Mei Zhuan, or later known as Hui Pin, was the most consistent character in the series. She was the only concubine whose personality remained untainted with the immorality of the palace, only that she grew more pessimistic. She entered the palace as an intellectual graceful lady with a kind heart and a mountainous patience and elegance. Despite the evils people had committed against her, she remained that person she once was. From the Emperor’s early favourite, she fell from grace due to a heinous plan by our fabulous Hua Fei and was accused of faking her pregnancy. Since then, she had a reality check and realized the true value of a concubine and how temporary and uncertain the Emperor’s love could be.
As Zhen Huan was rising in ranks, our Shen Mei Zhuang contented herself by being the unimportant lady in the shadow. Due to Zhen Huan’s immense grace, Shen Mei Zhuang was somehow protected from further harm and never really escaped the notice of the Emperor, who was still quite fond of her. However, Shen Mei Zhuang resisted his affections, her heart never really forgiving him for believing the accusation thrown at her. For her, he had failed at his duty as her husband (poor Emperor, so many wives’s expectations to meet. Hahaha!) As the Emperor began to let her to herself, Shen Mei Zhuang lived quite a peaceful life, accompanied by her servants. She had more time for herself, engrossing herself in her intellectuality and also serving the Empress Dowager. At the same time, she began harboring feelings for her personal doctor, the only court official who treated her kindly as others ostracized her during the fake pregnancy scandal. She had a baby girl with him and died after the childbirth.
Dear Shen Mei Zhuang, you deserve so much more! I pray to God that your character can be reborn into another drama as an Empress, for an intellectual mind like you deserves to be on top!!
Another great aspect about Shen Mei Zhuang’s character is the sisterhood between her and Zhen Huan, which is actually the core part of who Zhen Huan was.
It was also the only relationship in the drama to stand the test of time. They met as young girls and Zhen Huan addressed Shen Mei Zhuang as ‘jie jie’ or older sister from the beginning to the end. Indeed, they were truly sisters in life and death. Nothing could come between them and when the rest of the world was against any of them, they always knew that they could rely and support each other. As an audience, I was always looking forward for an initially kind character to betray Zhen Huan sooner or later, like An Lin Rong, who was in their close-knit circle but later switched sides to serve the Empress . But when I saw Zhen Huan with Shen Mei Zhuang, I always knew that the they would never betray each other. Is it just me or their chemistry as sisters and best friends are so much better than the ones with their respective lovers?
The breakdown scene of Zhen Huan crying over Shen Mei Zhuang’s death has to be best scene in the drama. She did not grieve that much for the Emperor or even her lover, the 17th prince. But for Shen Mei Zhuang, she felt as if her life had been taken away from her. Maybe because she finally realized that she was left alone in this world, no one else she could rely on. Even though Zhen Huan had already amassed herself support from many concubines, nobody was able to fill in the void Shen Mei Zhuang left. Nobody could become her best friend, sister and trusted advisor as well as she did.
*cries* SISTERHOOD FOREVER!!
2 – THE REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF ZHEN HUAN’S MARRIAGE TO THE EMPEROR
Zhen Huan’s relationship with the Emperor could be described in one word – rocky! In the beginning, it was a sweet happy marriage like any other newlyweds. Zhen Huan genuinely fell in love with the Emperor. How could she not? He was a gentleman, a patience wise man who never really got angry. When he loved her, he expressed it clearly. And he was a supporting and attentive husband, too. For a brief while, their love was the only thing that kept her happy. However, do keep in mind that this is an Emperor we are talking about, with more than ten wives living together in a big fat palace.
The main event that transformed their relationship was of course when the Emperor failed to punish his former favourite, Hua Fei for being the cause behind Zhen Huan’s miscarriage. It was her first pregnancy and she was very heartbroken to lose the baby. When the baby died, a part of her died as well. Seeing how her husband remained silent over the cruelty of Hua Fei only added salt to her wounds. Who could forget the disbelief look on her face when the Emperor told her to “let it go and move on”?
From then on, their relationship deteriorated greatly. Zhen Huan’s distance from the Emperor allowed more space for other concubines to step in, such as An Lin Rong. However, Zhen Huan always knew that she had a special place in the Emperor’s heart. The sad thing was, however, that the reason the Emperor was attracted to her in the first place was because she looked a lot like his first love. Nevertheless, I do believe that the Emperor also genuinely loved Zhen Huan. Their relationship might have its ups and downs but Zhen Huan had the great and revered status that she had due to the Emperor’s love for her. Whatever Zhen Huan wanted, she got them. Her each desires were fulfilled by the Emperor even when she asked to leave the palace. Ever since the Emperor raised her rank to that of a consort, I think the whole palace kind of knew that Zhen Huan was to be the most powerful woman in the palace below the Empress Dowager and the Empress. By the second half of the drama, it was obvious that their marriage involved the pair more as a ruler and his consort rather than lovers. The passion and romance had faded away completely by the time Zhen Huan returned to the palace as Fei after her stint at the monastery. Their love, at least on Zhen Huan’s part, had completely broken down. She had no feelings left for the man she used to love so greatly. The marriage was a necessity for her survival, a representation of her status and the key to her glory.
Therefore, she remained loyal to the Emperor though she did not love him. Even though the 17th Prince returned to the palace, she did not elope and resumed their affair. She stayed at the Emperor’s side as a devoted wife and advisor, being there for him so long as he needed it. She performed the duty of an Imperial Consort impeccably, which speaks volumes to any long-term marriage, modern or otherwise. We all know why people get married in the first place – love, family arrangements etc etc. But when all love and passion is gone, why do people stay married? Image? Power? Money? Security? Or just the fear of being lonely?
The marriage of Zhen Huan and the Emperor were symbolic to the institution of marriage in so many ways. She did not love the Emperor but she needed him. Whether she liked it or not, her identity and whole status relied on his grace. By the end of the series, it was not him that she wanted, but the life he could give her.
THINGS THAT I THINK COULD’VE BEEN BETTER BUT WAS NOT PRESENTED THAT WELL
1 – ZHEN HUAN’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE 17TH PRINCE
Forgive me for saying as such because I know there are so many of you fans of this couple here. This is only my personal view. Even though Zhen Huan and the 17th Prince knew each other for a long time, it was only after Zhen Huan left the palace for the temple that she began to love the Prince and vice versa.
Okay, let me just put it out there – THE PRINCE IS INCREDIBLY HOT!! Our prince was a hot emotional mess of a sentimental lover. A man fated for a doomed end. A man who fell in love with one of his brother’s wives and that brother was not just any brother – that brother was the Emperor. But he did not care, he gave his all to Zhen Huan. He knew he could die for treason but he loved Zhen Huan anyway without an inch of regret. Now tell me how can one not fall in love with this stupid bastard???!! I mean, my prince, I will love you forever!!
So, with this devoted and dreamy of a character, why the hell don’t I feel for their love?
Well, because our 17th Prince himself. He was a man you’d meet in your dreams – a devoted handsome man who would die for you. Now, prince baby, you don’t fit in this bloodthirsty drama. The drama does not deserve your grace. Our Prince’s general goodness was often drowned by the awesomeness of the concubines in the series. He was not the main lead and was obviously so, though I suspected several efforts by the writer who tried to represent his character as something bigger than he was. No, he was not that vital, in my opinion. More than often, I do think that he seemed out of place amidst the competition for the Emperor’s attention. So many times I thought his character was merely an accessory to develop Zhen Huan’s storyline and the Prince never really stood out to own his own story as well, unlike Hua Fei, the Empress and Shen Mei Zhuan.
Yes, he was, of course, Zhen Huan’s lover. But at that point of time, any good kind man could appear in Zhen Huan’s life and became her lover. Also, I would not go as far as to declare that he was Zhen Huan’s true love. I do not believe as such. I do think that the Emperor was the love of her life and when he betrayed her, she slowly transformed into another woman. The 17th Prince, however, succeeded in offering Zhen Huan an alternate life that she could never dream of – a life of simple happiness, purity and joy. A life without the glory she was used to. I think that is why Zhen Huan fell for him – aside from the fact that he was practically available EACH TIME Zhen Huan needed him.
I mean, my dear prince, don’t you have a fucking job other than to chase after your brother’s exiled concubine?
However, the end to their love affair pained me a little even if I’m not a fan of this couple. Zhen Huan, who was already pregnant with the Prince’s children, thought that the Prince had died in war. She had no other choice but to return to her life as a concubine by serving the Emperor once again and making him believe that the children belonged to him to save their lives – or else they would be executed along with their mother. By the time the imperial decree had came out for Zhen Huan to return to the palace, THEN THE PRINCE CAME HOME. FUCK YOU, WHY DIDN’T YOU COME BACK EARLIER, YOU BASTARD?!! It all seemed to cliche of a plot, does it not? But it worked quite well with Zhen Huan’s struggles.
Which is basically what I’m trying to say. Everything that the Prince was in the drama was too reliant on Zhen Huan. His existence in the series depended on Zhen Huan’s storyline. I do wish that the Prince was a less-than-perfect character. Make him a bit evil, bad-boyish and competitive. Or mischiveous. Not the heavenly prince that he was presented to be. If only he was a bad-boy prince, then, damn!!!! It would spice up the drama real nice, haha.
Other photos of the drama….
Overall, this drama is a must watch drama for you drama lovers out there. It is, by far, the best costume drama EVERRRRR!!! EVEN INTERNATIONAL-WISE!!! Where else can you get a myriad of characters and the storylines so unpredictable? Where the women control the show by their intelligence, patience and manipulative traits? I won’t say that this drama is an ode to feminism, because it is not but it is a great realistic drama about flawed human characters. No one is perfectly nice and kind and happy all the time. If he or she is, most likely he or she ended up dead or living life very miserably like our 17th Prince and Shen Mei Zhuang, two of our most morally upright characters in the show.
If you are an avid of follower of American/British drama series, you usually noticed pattern of story would be somehow similar in each season. That’s why when some of series ended up producing more than 5 seasons, I will stop watching them. They will become sort of drag-ish, predictable and mundane. There is no element of surprise in the plot and we kind of know how the characters will respond and react. You can’t find any flaw in Scandal. Every single season, they increase the thrill, suspense and plot twist. You’d think you can figure out the story but well, never in a million century that would happen. Remember in the 2nd season when we found out that B613 Commander is Olivia’s Father? Everybody gasps. Twitter almost blew up that day with that shocking twist. I wanted to write about plot twist taken in Scandal but I am consuming by my work lately. Thanks to the recent episode of scandal, here I am eagerly to spill the bean. Cyrus and James will always be my favorite couple in Scandal. The first reason is the portrayal of married gay couple is not tainted by the evil media. They both are pretty much average looking. There is no hot 6 packs gay guy with a softy-girlish gay guy. They embodied the standard of gay couple in the world. When James Novak died in the recent episode of Scandal, I was like ‘What the Fuck!’ What have you done, Shonda Rhimes? Why did you do it? I can’t accept it.
This episode brought tears on my eyes. The way Cyrus reminisced back to the day they first met, the day James confess to him and the day Cyrus took James’ hands and dance in the president party is just heartbreaking. Truth be told, they loves each other so much. I didn’t say that their love is perfect because trust me, no one can stand or be loyal to Cyrus. He did so many horrible things that even I lost track of how many. However, James stays with him till the end. Even after betrayal and deceit by Cyrus ate him alive, James keep on believing that his husband will change. James previously wanted to betray Cyrus by revealing the BIG secret to David Rosen whom he believed may help him to do so. He then backing out from doing so when he saw Cyrus is terrified of being exposed. I don’t know how James did it but if I were James, I will not forgive and forget the incident with Vice President’s Husband. Once Cyrus knew that Daniel Douglas is a closeted gay, he’s pretty much pimping out James to seduce the VP husband. Cyrus created this scheme with Mellie (The First Lady) to ensure that the VP won’t resign and declared that she intended to run against the president. The plan made by Mellie and Cyrus of course, is working. The thing is their marriage is beyond repair. When James knew about it, he was devastated. This episode ended with Cyrus in the White House Press Conference crying in the middle of it because he could not get over the fact that he just lose the love of his life. The memories of both of them flash in his head uncontrollably that he couldn’t keep his emotion intact.
This episode also reconciled Olivia with his father after so many fights and arguments between them. When Olivia knew that Jake Ballard is behind the killing, she was devastated. She knew that B613 will ruin Jake Ballard and change him into cold-blooded killer. She seeks answer from her father, who is a former commander of B613. Her father said that being a second hand to God is already a punishment. He asked Olivia not to make a big deal out of it. He admitted of being responsible to killing more than 150 people in doing his job and not a single day passed that he didn’t think about it. In Scandal, B613 (pretty much similar with CIA and FBI) is considered higher than the president authority itself. Only a few people in the White House knew about. Their establishment is to ensure that the republic is sound and safe. Any threat will be eliminated right away at any cost and deed. Jake Ballard confessed to Olivia that he didn’t send any of his officers to do the dirty work. He himself did it. He told Olivia that he’d never use the same method like Olivia’s father did. He even told that Olivia that he stayed with James until he draws the last of breath. He have to make James died due to Carjacking went wrong. The murder has to be sloppy in order to remove any suspicion. The scene when James gasping for his life is really disturbing. He managed to say a few words like Ella, his daughter’s name before Jake assure him that his daughter is safe and will not be harmed.
It’s about time Mellie deserved some happiness too. This woman is blinded by spotlight and power that she can close her eyes and ears whenever she found out that his husband is fucking another woman. She knew about it but she didn’t do anything about it. She confronted Olivia Pope but not because of her screwing his husband but to make sure nobody knew. It will be terrible for Public Relation to undo the damage if people know the infidelity of their leader. There are many episodes of showing Mellie threatened to go public about his husband’s scandal. She tried to gain her husband’s affection but it failed because they are too far apart. When there is a new character who will be President Fitzgerald’s old friend and it appears that Mellie did have a history with him, I was so excited. I rooted for her to find her own happiness. If President Fitzgerald happy in Olivia pope’s arm, why can’t she be happy in other man’s arm. Andrew Nichols appears as a man who did his job brilliantly but also a man who couldn’t keep his hands off another woman. He is known as a ‘serial dater’ or playboy among politicians. He did say in the interview that he will not settle down because he already found the right woman to him but he let her go. Is that Mellie? Of course it’s Mellie, Silly!
Why I didn’t worship a straight couple in Scandal? I know so many people go crazy with Olivia Pope and President Fitz. The biggest thing that turns me off is Fitz still married to another woman. No matter how passionate their love is, I could not get past of that fact. Second thing is I love ‘Olivia Pope’ Character so much. She displays a strong and resolute woman for her age. The thing that ruined her is Fitz’s love. Fitz is her kryptonite. Whenever Fitz is around, Olivia will waver and weak. Is it love? Is it lust? Because every single time they saw each other, they fuck. There is a moment when Fitz ready to divorce her wife and retire from politics just for Olivia. It almost happened until Fitz heard about the news of election rigging done by Olivia, Cyrus and others. The second couple in the story is Abby Whelan and David Rosen. They are just kinda okay together. They didn’t have that kind of spark to be the OTP. Even when Abby breaks up with David, I couldn’t care less. I am just not into them. They are supposed to ignite my interest since both of them are not married, pretty much in love with each other and work in totally opposite field. Maybe James and Cyrus overpowered them a bit.
I like Jake Ballard with Olivia Pope. They have their own moment but of course with Fitz interference, the relationship ended. They remain friends with benefit (they occasionally fucking and kissing whenever Olivia tired of Fitz). Maybe, because Jake did open up about his feeling and told Olivia that he loves her. He knows Olivia will not choose him over Fitz but at least he’s being honest about his feeling. Actually, I missed how Olivia’s gladiators (Huck, Quinn, Abby and Harrison) did their work. The first season, the story pretty much center around them. They didn’t ask much whenever Olivia hands them the order. They stick around with Olivia because Olivia saved them and gave them a second chance. That is why they are called a gladiator. They fight for their master without any second thought. In Season 3, the series still show how the gladiators did their job but it is sidelined by White House Scandal, B613 and Olivia’s Parents. It is there but not that much.
There are some people said Scandal is a bit dramatic but hey, I rather this series being dramatic than turn into 15 years old cheesy love story. It’s perception regarding duty, honor, democracy, freedom, loyalty blending together perfectly with the plot and character.
“Of course we can survive this, we are Gallagher for fuck sake”
That is what Fiona will say if her family met with any unfortunate incidents especially on regards of her useless-drunken-jerk father and her lesbian mother with bipolar disorder. I always love shameless. It is the epitome of how strong family can remain together despite facing so many hardships and problems. The word ‘stick together’ forever fixated in the Gallagher dictionary. I know that many will say that Shameless UK version is so much better, entertaining and fun. It is undeniable fact that people said Shameless UK version brings more enjoyment and excitement to the table. However, I had my fun with Shameless US version and I am not ashamed to admit it. This post might lean a bit too much on Fiona (by Emmy Rossum) but hey, i like her. She’s the reason why i still watching this show.
I don’t know how I could survive my life for having someone that I could call father but does not has any credibility to act like one. Frank Gallagher is that kind of father. You don’t know how many times I wish I can kill him because of what he had done to his children especially Fiona. He’s a burdensome, drunken, worthless and manipulative man. He is just someone that some people can’t stand of. I know that he loves his kids but sometimes his behavior does not reflect that value at all. He is loved by his much younger kids like Debbie, Carl and Liam but despised by the older one. He does not work. He forged the pension money from his deceased aunt just to buy booze.
Fiona really earned my respect and admiration for working her ass off to support her younger siblings. She even took GED exam to improve her resume so that she could look for a better job. Being an older sister/father/mother to her 5 siblings is not that easy. Each of her sibling problems is her problem too. She had to manage her time and pay attention to each of them carefully. However, she’s not being a strict guardian to them. She’s a friend in need and a parent when any situation occurred. She had a boyfriend in season 1, 2, 3 and she thought she was lucky to have him. Little did she know that her boyfriend had 2 identities and even married to a certain girl. Let’s just say, Fiona did not had much luck in love department.
Phillip or known as lip is a fucking genius in the family. Everybody look up to lip and hoping he would go to college and made a lot of money with a permanent job. He, himself had another plan and not planning to go to college at all. He is sometimes irresponsible and reckless in his own way. Even at high school, lip already took a part time job as ‘someone who would sit in SAT examination for other person and give them a perfect score’.
Ian Gallagher is the only children that not fathered by frank. Ian is the son of his mother with Frank Gallagher’s brother. According to frank, Ian are most likely resemble to his mother compared to rest of his siblings. Ian Gallagher struggled a bit as a teenager because he was a bit confused of his sexual orientation. Later in this show, Ian Gallagher coming out as a gay but he’s not doing it publicly. He only told a few people in the family and close friends of his. In the recent season, Ian enlisted in the military but using lip’s social security number as he still considered underage at that time.
Debbie is a sweet little girl in the family. She loves her family and always tried her best to help her sister. I pitied her a bit because sometimes she is forced to choose between her older siblings and her father. She knew her father is a good for nothing person but deep down, he will always be her dad. I don’t really like the recent change that made in ‘Debbie’ character. I mean, I get it all teenager will get through all the ‘rebellion and I hate this world’ phase but make Debbie mixed up with a slutty teenagers just does not add up. She is a smart girl for goodness sakes.
Carl is like an evil twisted kind of kid among the Gallagher siblings. He likes to play around violently and does not like to follow rules. He has a tendency to hurt and injured people and animal. Although his father seldom paid attention to Carl, he always managed to help him whenever he needed Carl to. In this season, Carl tries to help his father finding a donor for his liver. Carl may be a psychopath kid but he doesn’t abandon his father behind.
At first, I thought Liam Gallagher is adopted. Pardon me for thinking so but after reading a few articles in the article on regards of genetic or recessive gene, yes it is possible for a fair skin parents to have a children with darker skin. Well, I don’t know what to write about Liam, he’s pretty much a baby and all of his siblings love him. He may grew up with a very little of his father’s love and mother’s attention but Fiona make sure that he feels adequate with her love.
Why ‘Shameless’ might be one of the best TV series I’ve ever watched?
It is not a blue collar or white collar film. It does not defined by what job a main character had and how awesome his/her love and relationship could be. It is just a family based story to survive live using whatever things they might have left. It is just a moving story of a family that led by a strong-minded older sister with so many difficulties that need to be overcome. Emmy Rossum as Fiona is unbelievably good. She displayed various emotions from being an insecure girl to strong-willed sister. She captured me with her story. If someone offered 1 million to me in exchange to be Fiona for a month, I would say Hell to the No. I can’t be like Fiona. She is basically a sister (that we could never have) with a great and extensive compassion, patience and kindness. If this character is based on true story, I would salute this girl for sacrificing her life to raise her brothers and sisters. Hey, everyone is a selfish human being! If it is up to me, I would dump all of my siblings in foster care and get on with my life. We all love our siblings but not that much. Nobody wanted to quit school and take cares a bunch of little kids. Why would I want to parent kids that not even mine in the first place? That is why I had this notion in my head that if parents are not ready to be parents in the first place, then don’t produce kid for fuck sake. You will end up make other’s life in hell. It goes same with Fiona situation. Because of her parent’s incompetency, she ends up be a parent to them.
In the recent episodes after Fiona screwed up her relationship with her boss, she was so sure she will get fired. Finding out that she can keep her job, she tried to shake her tense and party a bit by doing a little bit of cocaine. She was joined by her neighbor, Kevin and Veronica at that time. She forgot that she left the cocaine in the kitchen. Unfortunately (but not so surprisingly), Liam got a hold of that cocaine and snort the rest of it. Liam was found unconscious in the kitchen by Debbie in the kitchen. Liam has been hospitalized and put in the intensive care unit for detailed observation. Lip at that time just returned from finding Ian was so furious and mad at Fiona for not being careful. Fiona was detained by the police and her siblings may in risk of returning back to foster care as Fiona had signed to be their guardian. On the other hand, Liam might suffer brain damage due to the excessive amount of cocaine in his body.
This episode is fucking crazy dude. It is not crazy in a bad way but in a good way. It showed that even a perfect and caring sister can slipped up and bam! Something bad happened. However, it also showed that once you did a big mistake, people judge that mistake for so long that you can’t even get past of it. It happened to Fiona. She’s being a perfect sister for so long and people forgot that she’s a human being. She makes mistake too. I know that Lip really has a trust issue with Fiona after the incident but dude, you got to move on. Due to being a first time offender, Fiona managed to avoid jail and will only be facing home detention. Lip was struggled to divide his time from college, part time job and taking care of Liam after he got out of hospital. He doesn’t want Fiona anywhere near Liam after that incident even to the point he’s bringing Liam to his dorm and workplace. Fiona was left alone at home. She confessed to Veronica that she missed being an elder sister who had all her siblings clinging and depending on her. Now she don’t matter to them anymore as one by one is growing up and already move on from her.
Overall, Shameless is a story of the dysfunctional family. All the drama, conflict and tragedy tangled in one depiction of Gallagher’s family.
The staffs and actors of The Following Season 2 have a massive responsibility on their shoulders to continue the psychotic greatness of the series’s season 1. How many episodes can you write about an obsessive pursuit involving a former FBI agent and a serial killer? Since the show is pretty much centered around Joe Carroll, I was worried that I’d be sick of the character soon.
However, the excitement continues on for season 2, MAJOR THANKS to a number of super interesting and equally (if not more) psychotic characters in the show. Season 2 has progressed up to Episode 5 by now. Safe to say, ‘BORING’ will not be in my dictionary for this show anytime soon. Here are the characters that keep me tuning in to the show every week:-
1 – Lily Gray
The formidable matriarch to a small cult that admires Joe Carroll. Lily was introduced in the beginning of the season as a victim of a mass murderous rampage in a New York Subway. At first, all of us thought that Ryan Hardy was going to develop a love-line with her. How could we not – Lily is beautiful and graceful. She is an art dealer and looks, in every way possible, a harmless human being.
Damn, how wrong we were!
For Lily is actually quite a serial murderer herself. She adopts a number of children who are, in nature, killers as well. Calm and collected much like Joe himself. For the first time ever, Joe Carroll has a counterpart that can match his charisma and strength. If Joe utilizes his charisma as a teacher to woo his followers, Lily uses her softness and motherly charms. As Joe begins to come out of his hiding, Lily is the one responsible to providing him a safe haven. Unlike his past followers, Lily Gray is not just someone who wishes to be accepted by Joe Carroll. She is more like a protector. I can notice that she also wishes to maybe put Joe under her control. Her ulterior motives are still vague to me – if you are a serial killer as so fuckingly rich as Lily Gray (she’s a billionaire), why would you want to let another leader into your cult? Therefore, she might be genuinely a follower and she might be not. Who knew?
But damn, Lily and Joe looks so hot together!!
2 – Mark Gray
One word – AWWWWW!! I mean, awwwwwwwwww. Isn’t Mark Gray the cutest cutie pie you have ever seen in The Following? That puppy eyes, that innocent smile….. Again, awwwwww…. Ignoring the fact that he’s also a psychopathic serial murderer, Mark is a demure sensitive young man. He’s also the twin brother of the masculine tough Luke. Why do I love Mark so much? Because he looks submissive. And he reads. And he’s quiet most of the time. And he’s careful. And he seems to be a nice guy when he’s not killing anyone. His niceness, though, makes his character a tad bit unpredictable. I can’t really say what’s going to happen to his character. Is he more demonic than his tough brother, Luke? Or is he more (though unlikely) human? I don’t know but I am sure excited to see his development. His character, so far, is the only character capable of make me feel all giddy and girly…. Hehe
May I just spazz on the greatness of Sam Underwood? I mean, he’s playing two completely different characters, Mark and Luke, and totally nails it. Even my sister can’t believe that the characters are actually played by the same actor. I LOVE YOU, SAM!! I LOVE YOU! I SWEAR I’M GONNA HUG AND KISS YOU IF I EVER SEE YOU IF YOU EVER COME TO MALAYSIA (PLEASE DO!!) The characters are so complicated yet he plays it with confidence that keeps me in awe. In every episode, mind you. He’s the sole reason I am tuning in every week to watch the show. He makes this second journey all worth it.
3 – Detective Max Hardy
Max’s appearance in the new season gives our main character, Ryan Hardy, a side we’ve never seen in him before. With Max, Ryan is a caring uncle with a fatherly concern. Max shares many traits with her uncle – she’s firm, smart, kick-ass, brilliant and highly courageous. Her youth also means that she is less emotionally-damaged than Ryan, which makes her the ultimate babysitter to Ryan’s crazy obsessions towards Joe Carroll. Without the knowledge of anyone, she assists Ryan in his pursuit of Joe, which could lead to her expulsion from the force.
I have a feeling that she did not participate the pursuit because she was really interested in it. I think she did it because she is worried about her uncle. Rather than letting him handles things on his own and keep her out of the dark, she would rather stay by his side (within all that chaos) so long as she can watch out for Ryan. This uncle-niece relationship is so fresh, I am loving it!
Aside from the characters, I am also terribly excited to see how the story in Season 2 will unfold. I have a few predictions in mind – Joe Carroll would want to re-establish his cult again. I think he still has many followers that have yet to be exposed to the FBI. The followers we saw in Season 1 might only be a small percentage of his following, to be honest. He had his eight years in prison. He was also allowed access to his mails and internet correspondences. To think that there are so many serial killers worshiping him creeps the hell out of me but that is what makes the series so enjoyable. Psychotic in its baddest form, hehehe. Thank God it’s only a freaking series.
Even though they share an amazing sexual chemistry at the beginning of Season 2, I have a feeling that Joe and Lily will have a fallout. Joe is the established leader of the following – he’s the God and supreme focal point of all these psychopath people. Lily is the woman who brought him back and provides him with protection, money and shelter. I think Lily is going to be pretty much as what Roderick was in Season 1 – the power behind the Carroll throne. But then, Lily comes with a twisted cult of adopted children/killers of her own.
Hahahahaha. I am seriously praying for an episode where Joe’s cult and Lily’s cult go against each other like in a big fat war. The followers protecting Joe, their father and the adopted children protecting Lily, their mother. It is going to be super epic – and disturbing – but epic.
As for Mark and Luke – I am sure they are also going to have misunderstandings of their own. Then, we have Emma, Joe’s number one follower who still, regrettably, cannot get over her obsession over Joe. At times, I just wanna shake that bitch’s shoulders and scream at her – “MOVE ON, BITCH!!” Why would you obsess over a leader who had left you when you have someone like the puppy-eyes Mark who obviously has a crush over you?
Please, Emma. FYI, Emma is slowly becoming the character I dislike most in the series. Maybe because I am so used of seeing her in Season 1. I have this habit of differentiating the followers in the past and the followers in the present. I also dislike how Emma does not seem to have an individuality of her own. I am sure she’s an amazing killer but I really wish to see her not clinging to Joe. I mean, she’s real attached to Joe as a I don’t-know-what. Does she look up to Joe as a teacher? A dad she never had? A god? A brother? A lover? A husband? A protector? What? What? Be clear, bitch!
But it’s okay, Emma. I have faith in you. Promise me you’ll return to your interesting self at the beginning of Season 1. And please please please…. don’t repeat the stupid mistake of choosing Joe over the men who genuinely love and care for you…. Please don’t waste anymore cute guys in the show. We can’t survive on the awesomeness of Joe alone.
P/S – Am still upset about NBC’s silence about Dracula’s continuance. Are they or aren’t they continuing the show? Please say yes…. Pleaseeeeee….. I need more Alexander and Mina lovin’!!!!!