Archive for the ‘What Drama!’ Category

Trip to KC for an outdoor concert (KC Crossroads) along my route down south.  Haven’t seen Blue in eons, not since they released Foiled for the third time… Wasn’t particularly enamored with Approaching Normal, which came out while I was in England doing my MA.  But now here’s Any Man in America, and whoo!  Finally!  Back to their roots.  Justin does the angry-man stuff best.  Ryan’s been flung around too many instruments, rather than spending most of the concert playing rock violin with his spectacular horns atop his head. 

The venue was nice, though the standing room only near the stage made it tough for short folks once the booze started to flow.  Being outdoors, it cooled off fast, but there were enclosed bonfire pits up top to help folks warm back up. 

The concert kicked off with solo artist Ashleigh Stone.  She tried hard… a solo pianist at a rock venue.  Wasn’t my thing.  The guys probably found her sexy, though.

The second opener was I Am Dynamite, which, for being a two-man band, I was enamored.  High energy, great vocals, catchy tunes.  Chris #1 caught my attention as he was coming on stage, dressed as a 1950s ice cream man.  Swoon!  And Chris #2 had the fun tie-bandana thing going on.  Whereas Ms. Stone was too minimalist for me, the Chrises just didn’t need anything else to detract.  Tight playing, great harmony, one of the best bands I’ve seen.

And then Blue came out, and I was so so so so so so hopeful that, like back in the old days at the Music Box in Omaha, they’d play a wide range including their old tunes, maybe let Ryan play PNR.  But alas.  I see… now that they’ve hit it big, no one knows anything pre-Foiled.  The tunes were primarily from Approaching Normal and Any Man in America.  I was glad to hear Any Man in America live finally.  Yay!  But I ended up being a crowd watcher during most of the Approaching Normal songs.  The teeny-boppers practically swooned, they got sooo excited.  And the two songs I thought were decent on the album… weren’t so hot live.  Oh well.  And, poor me, the oldest tune they did was their first video: Calling You.  And I’m not sure most of the youngers knew it.  Too bad.  They don’t know what they’re missing.  I’d have swooned if we’d have had an Italian Radio moment, and gone to Heaven for Balance Beam.  Or had a single down-on-the-edge-of-the-stage to play Blue Sunshine and have a private quiet moment with several hundred people…

Maybe next time… ???  Please????




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Re-watching Mars.  Episode 4 gains the award for the Worst Choreographed, Lease Elaborate, Most Realistic Fist Fight in a prime time drama.  Congrats! 

Usually the choreographers get all beautiful.  People go flying.  It takes about one punch.  You take on ten guys.  This one, I hit you, you hit me, I hit you, you hit me, I hit you, you hit me, I hit you, you hit me.  Over and over and over.  Exactly.  Even in dirty street fights, dudes pretty much just want to beat each other, beat on each other, let out steam, prove they’re strong enough to “take it”, and then bleed a little. 

Cheers and applause and all that jazz.



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Best use of a statue in a prime time drama award goes to Love Storm!  Yaaaaayyyyy!  (Big Kermie arm waving yell.)

Okay, I’ve gotta admit, these dramas drive me crazy.  And yet… there’s something endearing and hopeful in them.  I think that’s the point.  They offer us hope that life isn’t so bad, even when you’re constantly getting kidnapped and held at gunpoint.

Love Storm: He’s the godson of the mafia (and yet another orphan, so you gotta feel sorry for him), and she believes the meaning of “wo ai ni” is “I’ll stop traffic for you at risk of my own life”.  So Zhai Le stalks poor old Lu Ying Feng.  Poor orphan boy has never had love thrust upon him, and so he eventually falls for it.  But nothing is ever simple when you live in a soap opera, so of course, it takes 21 episodes for them to get a quiet moment together.

My loyalty actually lies with Wan Bao Long, the ex-fatty-turned-hunk, who has always loved Zhai Le, and yet has always been transparent to her, and her best friend.  If you have to count the amount of times he stopped traffic and risked his own life for her, and ended up in the hospital for her, well, I think his love far outstrips that of Ying Feng.  So Bao Long is a goofball.  So he has a dreadful laugh.  So he has a subplot that keeps him busy much of the time.  He’s still the first one to always be there to make Zhai Le smile.  That’s what’s important.  Saves her life, makes her smile.  What more do you want?

But the award for this show is not in the soap opera plot or the bubble gum world.  It goes to the random statue.  Makes me laugh in every scene where it is so randomly placed in the background, and its final denouement moment at the end is priceless.  What a random statue of Ying Feng stopping a truck, arms spread like Jesus on the cross, hair blowing back, jacket open, plain white statue.  Ever present.  When it finally returns to the Shopping More place for its final home, that’s a nice moment.

The final subplot/complication?  Man who thinks Shopping More Channel exists solely to break up his marriage.  The subsequent news clips of what happened are also priceless.  “It’s all his fault.”  “If he’d spent more time with his wife, none of this would have happened.”  “It was a misunderstanding.”  A misunderstanding?  Three people got shot!  But even I have to admit that the strongest plot was not the initial stalking, was not the show of ultimate friendship, was not the cheesy mafia theme, was not the cheesy way the mafia hitmen tried to kill Zhai Le, but this commentary on our present consumerist society and the people who are addicted to the shopping channels.  Lovely.



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Eppie 10, Meteor Garden.

“I chose his limpid eyes.”  Ack!  You fool!  You thought Daoming’s eyes were evil fish eyes, or something like that.  Nothing pleases you!

Besides, during the tournament, Lei said he would protect you no matter what.  Put his hand on your head and said he would be your guardian angel.  How can you not fall for that?!?!  Le sigh.

But now the boys have locked Lei and Shancai in the spare bedroom, not to be let out until morning.  Uh oh.  Daoming Si has just returned home.  Let’s put them in a pot of boiling water, stir, and see what we come up with.

Nothing?!?!  You let them go???  Since when have you been Mr. Mature, Pineapple Head?  Ohhhhh, they talked all night and both slept on the floor, Lei with his head on the bed.  Awww.  Because Lei will not betray his best friend.  And Si cried (waaah! that was nicely played!) when he saw Shancai down in the living room from the balcony.  Si has decided to let her go to his friend, and Lei has decided to play up the Jing in his heart and let her go back to Si.  What a mess you boys live!

Gaaah!  Why do they always end at such inopportune times?!?!  If there’s nothing else I learn from Meteor Garden, I MUST learn how to hook someone.  9am, I haven’t been to bed yet, and here I am going to watch another eppie. 



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A Fickle Mistress

Aye, what a fickle mistress Shancai has turned out to be! 

Eppie nine: After losing Lei in eppie six to follow Jing to Paris, he has returned, and the group heads to Okinawa for a short holiday.  I totally understand her feelings for a while there, because she didn’t like Pineapple Head, he was too overbearing, and even though he loved her in his own right, he was forcing that love on her without giving her a chance to choose.  She also seems to be a total sucker for the perpetual puppy dog look, the quiet contemplation, the sweet smile, the Lei who lets her choose what she wants.

But then Pineapple Head goes totally ballistic when he catches her on the beach kissing Lei (okay, went a step too far there… but they were both crying at the time, so emotions run rampant, forgiveable offense–Lei is depressed and Shancai is overwhelmed–plus, she’s always harbored a special place in her heart for Lei’s happiness), and breaks up with her.  Lei, even though he admits that he’s in love with Jing (and his personality totally changed when he returned from Paris, and even I kept going: Who is this strange boy!?!?!?!), and says, “Why aren’t you the one I’m in love with?”  Awww, nice moment. After he begged her to hug him the night before, just so he could have some comfort.  Double awww.  Sigh.  So PH breaks up with her, and Lei, being sweet, holds her hand and says, Don’t worry, you still have me.  Sheesh, what a nice guy. 

Okay, so maybe they should have remained friends, in those quiet strange moments up on the rooftop of the school.  But they’ve given it a stab at dating, his first serious date, he doesn’t know what to do… she sort of takes the reigns.  He’s still spacey (yup), and he falls asleep on her shoulder while flying a kite (cute).  So they don’t have a lot to talk about… and you can have those quiet moments for a while… but for an entire date?  But!  Shancai should have been aware of this after that night they spent on the rooftop for like 12 hours alone not talking! 

So now she seems to be getting all depressed.

Pineapple Head’s sister is a stitch.  She totally beats him up, then when he roughly grabs Shancai, sis hits him hard and tells him never to hit girls.  Hee hee. 

Shancai, darling… PH has given you leave to be with his friend.  It’s eating him up inside.  You darn well better not get back together with PH and think of Lei the entire time if you’re going to be like that!  Sigh.  I’m still not sure you should leave Lei at all… Although I must admit the love triangle has been well-drawn, because I’m a sucker, I can see the merits of both.  I totally feel I’d rather see her with the other one when she’s with one… although I liked the kite flying date, and didn’t care so much about PH self-destructing.  So I think I did choose Lei.  But until then, I was a sucker stuck in the bermuda triangle of all relationships.

And yes, I’m still the girl who doesn’t believe in love.  I don’t think this’d happen in real life to anyone but a drama queen.  And I don’t think it’d be so easily summed up.  Besides, PH is sorta violent, and in real life, I don’t think I’d be one of those women who “walks into doors” constantly and makes excuses for the man.  Conversation may be important… but I’d know right away if I felt comfortable enough with someone… and I’m probably the one with the vacant expression on my face most of the time. 

La la la (walks into a wall and idly wonders where it came from, then continues to skip off into the hills, staring at the clouds).  Let Meteor Garden continue!



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The Love Manual

Episode 3, Meteor Garden.  Starts with the Bully taking a test out of an entire book of love quizzes, just like those cheesy little quizzes in women’s magazines.  The answer points out that Shancai was right about him all along.  (Basically: his behavior is detestable.)  Lei is awaiting the return of his lady love, who cured him of autism (aw, sad, that his standoffish characteristics are due to mental failings…). 

Hmm, intriguing.  Lei has this thing for Jing’s poster.  He keeps staring at it (did so in eppie 2 as well).  Jing calls to say she’s coming back.  He smiles.  Aww.  Turns around, there’s Shancai, he’s so overcome with happiness (at which??) that he calls her beautiful and kisses her cheek.  Kawai!  But once Jing returns, Miss Famous Model, Lei becomes withdrawn and moody.  Pourquoi? 

“We were so poor, I had to sell my blood!”  “Her father is head of a major company, while mine sells his blood for money…”  Yes, truly, how can you compare with that?

“You hardly talk.”  “I can be quieter.”  Ah, what nice moments.  Some beautiful quiet film shots, too–Lei looking at the sun with his hand in front of his face.  Shancai and Lei up on the rooftop all night in silence, in the dark.  Wahhh!  Lighting fireworks to attact the attention of the angels of the almighty dawn in order to get your wish heard and answered!  Oh, how lovely!

Ha–the one with the “pineapple hairstyle” is obviously a “bad egg”.  Gotta love it.  And he is, too!  Bad boy!  (Am I hoping that he will be reformed, or show a true color that is kindhearted beneath the pineapple exterior?)



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Meteor Garden

“You belong to the most detestable group of psychological tests!”

Now there’s an insult for you 🙂 

So I’ve finally gotten around to watching a little of Meteor Garden, and I’m kinda interested.  There’s a lot of these drama programs that are just too… soap opera.  I do like the cool character types… the ones that always surprise you by either being harsh when you think they could be sympathetic (and thus drawing out a realization in the other character to whom they’re being harsh) or by being helpful and standing up for the weak.

Within the first two eppies we already have a bar fight over the honor of a new girlfriend, who isn’t a girlfriend by the end of the week.  But how she must have felt at the time!  Four guys beating the crap out of her ex-boyfriend just to give her the freedom to choose!  We also have Lei (Vic Zhou), the dreamy cool character in this one, the one who likes to stare at the sky and ask how many hours’ difference it is to France, the one who advises Shancai to stand on her head if she feels like crying (I might try that one myself–not only would the tears be confused as to which direction they should flow, but a silly gesture, a gesture of defiance in the face of adversity, not a bad way to be). 

So the initial set-up goes something like this: There’s a uni set up by the richie-rich parents of four “young masters”, who have always had everything in the world.  At least one of them believes that he is perfect, the bestest, most handsomest.  He’s also a bit of a bully and always says, Why apologize? If apologies worked, why would we need the police?  Which basically means, if you need to apologize to him, he’s going to hound you out of school.  I don’t know why his three friends stick by him–one’s a megane character, seems unruffled, one’s a laid-back body-building type, one is the head-in-the-clouds.  Maybe they all stick together because there is power in numbers, and they all believe themselves to be Perfection. 

Into this mix let’s then throw a girl who used to be chivalrous (but whose mummy wants her to marry into the celebrity classes, perhaps a Senator?), who finally has had enough of the bullying, of people being forced to drop out because of the F4, and upon yelling at them (really, what does mere yelling solve, when people don’t listen? it doesn’t matter if you’re louder, they’re still not going to listen), finds herself the target of the bullying. 

It’s sort of the poor vs. the rich (only there’s only one poor person, so it’s the mob vs. the individual as well).  A bit of a set-up like Ouran High School Host Club, that, only instead of being a comedy where the Host Club becomes enamoured with the ways of the common folk, this is more of a drama against the problems of bullying… sort of.  It seems to be a comedy, as well, because the things they do to her are silly, and yet painful (gluing her trousers to the bench and then lighting a bunch of fire crackers off in her face). 

It’s going to turn into a Love Quadrangle, I think, just because the one dude is like, I’m going to possess you, and then one is all, I’m going to have to save you…



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