Last month was like the calm before the storm. My spring break was early March, and it was wonderful even though I did hole myself at home away from humanity watching Asian dramas for the majority of that week. (It may seem pitiful to some but that was my ideal vacation. #embracetheintrovertlife) In regards to my academics everything went smoothly and was the usual.
(However, this month, April, is going to be quite horrific since I’ll be swamped with exams after exams after exams. Then finals. In fact, my prescription filling compentency exam and Top 300 Rx Drugs final is this approaching Tuesday, which I’m not looking forward to but it’s unavoidable so I’m just going to put my warrior paint on. (LOL, my unease shows because I’m saying ridiculous stuff now.) I also will have several presentations, one of them on tobacco cessation, which will be interesting. But more on all that later when it actually is April.)
Back to March… though everything with school was normal, I had a friend that went through a really tough time and was admitted to the hospital. Subsequently our entire circle of friends weren’t in the best mental state for a while because we were worried about her. Good news is that my friend is on the mend! But that scare really opened my eyes to how crucial it is for one to lead a well balanced life. Guys, seriously, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and relieve as much stress as you can amongst your busy schedules. Remember that your health always comes first.
– What I Read –
Not exactly an impressive reading month, but considering what was going on I’m not too upset about reading three books-especially since two were mini bricks of books. Pachinko is adult fiction. It was nice to finally delve into something non-YA for a change. A Conjuring of Light was a thrilling ride; it proved that Victoria Schwab can do no wrong. And It gave me ALL THE FEELS. Thankfully, I buddy read this with Lois at My Midnight Musing so I had a partner to vent all my feelings. Windfall was a refreshing contemporary that I enjoyed. I was actually part of the blog tour, so feel free to check out my tour stop post if you’re interested.
– March Blog Posts –
- Summing It Up: February 2017 [Wrap Up/Favorites]
- Book Haul: January + February 2017 [Book Haul]
- Happy International Women’s Day + My Most Listened to K-pop Girl Group Songs [Music]
- By Your Side [Book Review] 3 Stars
- Windfall [Book Review] 3.5 Stars
– Favorites –
– Video Favorites –
The most played song in my library at the moment is KARD’s “Don’t Recall,” which isn’t a surprise. I liked “Oh NaNa” a lot, but I’m finding that I like this one even better. I so cannot wait until KARD officially makes their debut. Also, isn’t it cool that they’re a co-ed group? I know of other co-ed groups that are part of the K-pop industry but KARD truly gives off a mixed boy/girl group vibes. Oh and just putting it out there but I think I’m a Jiwoo stan. At first glance, like most fans, I noticed Somin since she’s gorgeous and her voice is beautiful (I actually recognized her from Kara Project when I watched that years ago)… but Jiwoo really stands out to me especially with this quasi-comeback.
I’ve been a part of the K-pop fandom long enough to say I witnessed the era where Exo’s rival wasn’t BTS but actually BAP! They debuted around the same time (Exo and BAP) and there were so many fanwars surrounding the two groups, which is sad since both possess their own unique charms. Anyway, I am so happy and relieved to see this group make a strong comeback in the K-pop scene with all their members. This is such a meaningful return to them, and I love the meaning behind this song itself.
I watched the first six episodes of Produce 101 in March because I was curious of the origins of the members in IOI. (Not to mention I’m a sucker for these K-pop survival shows even though I don’t believe they’re healthy since they can do a lot of damage to young teens, new talents, and rising artists. I’ll never forget the Sojin Ahn incident.) And I’m kind of pumped to see season 2 of this show, where they’ll be male trainees instead. Anyway, the ironic thing about this show is that I re-discovered a gifted vocalist named Sejeong who I coincidently stumbled upon in 2016 and even featured a song by her in a previous Summing It Up. Then, when I was totally in love with that song, I had no idea who she was. Well, now, I know. (She’s the one in the hat of this video.) Her voice is like molten gold and I love the emotions she’s able to convey though her singing. Of the episodes I’ve seen, I have to say I admire her talent but also her character the most on the show. She seems like a genuinely kind hearted person behind the scenes and during the hidden camera segments. I’m glad she was able to debut as part of the IOI girls and I wish her success. But anyway, when I listened to this video I cried… I knew of the original song before but this cover combined with the colorful blends in Sejeong’s voice just did it. It doen’t hurt that this is one of the most meaningful songs out there, in my opinion, if listeners search the lyrics. :’)
Ed Sheeran’s Divide album is great, and then I stumbled upon this amazing artist on Instagram and found this cover.
An older video but a new discovery for me. I think a lot of people compare ALiEN Studio to 1 Million Dance Studio just because they’re both located in Korea… but I hope it won’t continue to live under the other studio’s shadow. Hopefully, this dance company gets the recognition it deserves in the near future without being compared to others.
Jay Park’s Everything I Wanted album is phenomenal; I love nearly all the tracks on it. It’s not a huge shock that I loved this choreo, too. Because, I mean, it’s Sori Na! She always delivers.
I made a video on my Instagram story where I shared how much I adored this remake of Beauty and the Beast after I saw it last Friday (March 25th)! I made a gazillion plans with different friend groups (like some from pharmacy school, some from high school, etc; you know how one has more than one group of friends? I don’t know if that makes sense), but all plans fell through and then I ended up seeing it with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Anyway, we had a blast watching this. I’m a massive BATB fan. (I even have a 1000 piece puzzle of the Thomas Kinkade of “Falling in Love,” which I completed with my dad the summer I started college.) So I went into this with low expectations in case I wouldn’t like it. (Not to mention, the pre-release stills of the Beast didn’t look so hot.) But I ended up loving it. I liked that this adaptation had some semblance to the Disney animation but also to the original fairy tale (with Rose’s father stealing a rose from the Beast’s garden) all the while having its own unique story at times. Like viewers got more background and history on some characters. The diverse cast and humor were also huge bonuses. Emma Watson’s portrayal of Belle was perfect, as expected. And the soundtrack was quite lovely. “Evermore,” hands down, was the track that stood out to me the most.
– What I’ve Been Watching –
I already talked about Beauty and the Beast several times throughout this post so I won’t be including it under here… Instead, I’ll be sharing the many titles I watched when I was on my spring break. (Clearly, by the amount that I watched, I was a total bum in my pajamas eating junk food that blissful week, LOL.)To be completely honest, this one was mediocre at best. The only things I liked were the soundtrack, the acting ability of the leads (in select moments), and certain scenes. There was just so much angst and back and forth between the couple. The female lead was a spineless damsel in distress 90% of the drama and didn’t exhibit much independence even till the end. Speaking of that conclusion, wow, that kidnap scene had me laughing so hard for how tragically executed it was. Also, to my dismay, this didn’t have a fantasy storyline as how the premise suggested on a few drama sites. And it’s not a modern remake of Faust at all. But, despite the heaps of criticism I have, I do give it to the writers for making this strangely compelling to watch. I found myself looking forward to watching each episode release even though it was so bad. The fact that the soundtrack was stellar must have had to something to do with its addictive quality. Close Range Love was, surprisingly, pretty enjoyable. It’s a student teacher relationship type of storyline but it didn’t exactly creep me out as much as Unteachable did. Possibly because in this one I actually did like the teacher and the two characters didn’t reach to the point of physical relationship; it was just based on harmless attraction and companionship. Though a great watch I still found the entire storyline to be predictable. Plus, the fact that there is short-lived love polygon is so unnecessary. And I also thought Yamapi’s teacher role wasn’t his best performance if compared to his persona in From 5 to 9. Normally, the extremely popular K-dramas never live up the hype for me, but this one really deserves the recognition and I would recommend it. There’s a great blend of fantasy in the storyline. There are several romances but, thankfully, there aren’t any love triangles. The cinematography and extra effects were absolutely amazing. I love the Grim Reaper’s tea room! And that scene where the GR and Goblin save Eun Tak, the heroine, in one of the earlier episodes is so epic and dramatic both in a cheesy and good way. My only complaint is that I wish the female MC wasn’t in high school… Why couldn’t she be a college student instead? Gong Yoo is incredibly handsome but it still felt a little weird to have him paired with a character that was so young. I mean his character is nearly a thousand years old in a 30-something year old body. (It does give me some ease to know that the actress isn’t a teen in real life though.) Also, I shipped the Goblin and the Grim Reaper more than I did the Goblin and his bride. 😄 The bromance in this one was utterly fantastic. I hope Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook star in the more dramas together in the future. :’) And don’t get me started on the OST. It’s the best! If I continued this series, I would without a doubt rated it 1. All of the characters aside from the male MC’s friend that had a crush on him was so detestable. I dropped after episode 2; it was too unbearable to watch. It was a pleasant surprise that this was so fun. At first from the premise, I was like, “Is this similar to Twilight?” Because it’s virtually about a guy (well, his entire family) that can read minds. But then it soon becomes apparent that this is nothing like the teenage vampire saga. It’s so humorous especially since the main female lead has the funniest daydreams; I can see why the male lead was attracted to her after he “read” her mind, haha. However, there were some progressions between the main couple’s relationship that left much to be desired. I couldn’t find a proper movie poster that wasn’t too risqué so I’ll just be using what I think is an advertisement for the drama… Second Love is a very mature drama. There is a lot of sex because it’s about a woman who believes she needs physical intimacy with a man in order to feel whole. To be honest, the entire cast is full of unlikable (and considerably sinful) characters that are selfish and inconsiderate. However, what I did about this was how the female lead gradually changed for the better. She was the one that chose to walk away from the unhealthy relationship(s) and I found myself rooting for her by the end. The message of this film was pretty uplifting. I really liked that this was about a woman that found her freedom and identity after losing herself as she grew up and settled with a man that didn’t cherish her enough. I totally commend the lead actress’ for acting two completely different roles so convincingly. However, to my disappointment, I found some moments to not be executed as well and I‘m so let down by what the end suggested. Also, it makes me a little mad that Wallace Huo plays the douchey boyfriend role since I like him so much. I really enjoyed the drama when I watched it last year so I decided I would give the movie a try when it came out. This adaptation definitely brings a different flavor to the storyline since the main heroine, Wei Wei, is more tomboyish and outspoken. I also like that because this is a film the storyline moves at a much faster pace compared to the drama. But, conversely, because the duration is so short there are some scenes from the drama that I wish were included instead of others, which is the biggest reason why I’m rating it a tad lower than I did the drama. The CGI is much better done in this one; in fact, some moments are breathtaking to watch. And the chemistry on screen for this couple is much more believable. (I still cannot get over the fact that Zheng Shuang got to kiss the gorgeous Yang Yang yet she never reciprocated and was pretty much a stone in all those moments. Just because a character is “innocent” and hasn’t had a boyfriend doesn’t mean she’s incapable of feeling when she kisses. LOL. I don’t know why I’m getting riled up over this.) While on the subject of the actors… I do like Jing Boran but I still think Yang Yang is the best Xiao Nai. Happy sigh. This one one blew me away for so many reasons. You can read last month’s rant to get the full spiel… I thought about making a post on this drama (and I might) but I really don’t have time because of school to sit down and write a full long fangirl review at the moment. I guess we’ll see if I’ll create one in the future. Anyway, that ending was so bittersweet and perfect. All Chinese historical fantasies get the most sorrowful endings; I’m glad this one didn’t deviate from that usual formula all that much. I cried so much. (If viewers look at the behind the scenes videos when they were filming the last couple of episodes, the viewers can see how emotional the actors and actresses were when they finished the scene and got out of character. DO NOT OPEN THIS LINK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED FOR THE ENDING.) Also, where can I sign up for a Ye Hua? Hands down, he is my favorite fictional male character of all time. Mark Chao did an amazing job of bringing his character as well as Mo Yuan’s characters to life.
Phew! So that sums up my entire March in a nutshell. Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day ahead! 🙂