here goes my second post of the night.
studying for the cfa at any level takes its toll on you. the stress and pressure is something new altogether, not even close to the stress i felt when i sat for my Certified Public Accountant board exams. cfa level 1 is a requirement in my job, and failure not an option: no trainee has failed it before.
to start with, i found myself lacking for time to prepare. i used the cfa institute books that came with the registration fee, started with ethics and realized that by the time alternative investments rolled around i had completely forgotten everything i just read. (read: stick to schweser notes) then there’s the fact that work gets in the way, unlike cpa boards where we had a whole six-month review to pump us up for d-day. granted, fra was easy for me, but i made a lot of stoopid mistakes in all the other subjects (especially in the AM session). at this point i’m just wishing that a lot of people who took l1 help “curve the curve,” if you know what i mean. *sigh*
anyhow, it was on one of my uber-stressed days that i decided to check out a koreanovela (out of the blue! woot) by way of a break, and watch a few episodes. (or so i thought.) googled it up and found out that http://www.mysoju.com/ hosts streaming korean, japanese, taiwanese and even HK TV shows and movies on their site. so, totally at random, i clicked on a promising looking k-drama called “boys over flowers,” found out that it was korea’s version of taiwan’s “meteor garden” and decided to check out episode 1.
a bit of background: i can’t exactly call myself a k-drama or j-drama or what-have-you drama fan–the asian dramas i’ve watched in full i can count on my fingers (i.e. 2).
first there was “meteor garden,” which premiered on philippine tv when i was in my freshie year at the state university. special memories, that show. i stayed at an all-girls’ dorm on-campus, and every day at 5PM on the dot the TV area was FILLED (and i mean filled–it was standing room only and effing hot) with students ready to watch and swoon over MG. watching with a crowd like that is double the fun, i think. all the kilig / cheesy parts always elicit a reaction from the audience. fell in love with dao ming tse and shan cai, but got tired from the endless commercials and the torture in the TV area so decided to drop the series altogether. my then-bf gave me the series in CD as an 18th birthday gift. didn’t finish it though, as CD#17 kept skipping and it didn’t seem right to watch MG out of order. so that’s that.
then the “lovers in paris” craze set in sometime when i was in junior year. i stayed away from the fan-girling in class, but inadvertently got to watch the first two episodes at the dorm when a roommate borrowed the whole CD series from her friend. was immediately hooked on the drummer boy angle, burned my ate and i copies of the series, and continued watching at home. this was the first asian drama i actually finished, and liked. the older brother (is it ki joo? gah, forgot the name) is totally believable and lovable–and even though i liked drummer boy first he eventually won me over. tae young is likewise nicely cast, and her facial expressions, quirks (photos of feet! woot) and perpetual tenacious “Aja!” are perfect for the part.
so back to “boys over flowers.” i knew the story (based on MG). i knew that it was based on a japanese manga, hana yori dango, which to date is the biggest-selling manga of all time. so to me the series wasn’t exactly new. still, my curiosity got the best of me and i decided to check out what the koreans’ version of dao ming tse was. i watched episode 1…then got curious about episode 2…hmm, that’s not how i remembered it, what’s gonna happen next?…gah cliffhanger! better watch just one more episode or else won’t be able to sleep…
in short, i ended up speed-watching all 25 episodes in 1.5 days. gah-ness and weird-ness. what the heck was its appeal?!? to me the answer came down to three syllables: gu jun pyo.
i’m not going to say it’s lee min ho that kept me watching. (though admittedly, he’s the best-looking version so far, and a pretty good actor too for a newbie.) i know that because i saw some friends circulating a photo of a half-nekkid min ho via office email waay before i watched BOF, and i recall it elicited a “WTH! eeew” reaction from me. back then, he looked like any other half-nekkid korean guy. but now…!
i loved how jun pyo could be so frigid one minute, and a total softie the next. i marveled (and seriously doubted) at the existence of a guy–a hunky, chiseled, curly-haired (always loved ’em curly-haired guys), RICH guy that could be so impossibly, single-mindedly devoted to one “normal” girl (to the point that it was borderline creepy). really, it was cheesy stuff but i lapped it up like mad and looked past all the plot loopholes and cliches. jun pyo is the stuff of every girl’s dream–and by extension so is lee min ho. i ended up googling his name, downloading my favorite BOF OST song (Ast’1 Yearning Heart–love it! reminded me of all the happy moments in the series), reading and re-reading dramabeans’ BOF recaps (http://www.dramabeans.com/tag/boys-before-flowers/) and visiting the dozens of fan sites and LURV-ing his dunkin donuts’ CF below. must’ve watched it a dozen times (or fifty, no one’s counting.)
“ROSTING!” aside, the guy can be reaalllly cute when he wants to.
so, to continue, i tried to get my ate to watch the series as well, but she told me she was too busy with internship, so give her one good reason why she should watch BOF? i showed her the dunkin CF, thinking min ho’s sex appeal was clearly evident in the vid. she still didn’t get it.
that made me wonder what exactly the appeal of guys like jun pyo/dao ming tse and ki joo was. watched “you’ve got mail” the other day and it struck me that even tom hanks’ joe fox kind of fit the bill: rich, aloof, cold, distant, haughty and with the singular “weakness” of falling in love HARD — dingdingding!!! the description rang a bell somehow…
of course! they’re all reincarnations of jane austen’s timeless heartthrob: mr. darcy of pride and prejudice!
even edward cullen *cough cough* seems like a mr. darcy rehash!
ever since reading pride and prejudice in grade school i’ve fantasized about being elizabeth about a million times, especially on my love angst-emo days in high school. i must not have been the only girl to get caught up in mr. darcy’s mysterious attraction, given the volume of films/books/dramas written about him or men like him.
an entertaining and totally addictive spin on the novel is “lost in austen,” a four-part mini-series aired last year in the UK. i chanced upon the first episode on cable a couple of months back and loved the first episode so much i watched the rest that same night via streaming. (try http://www.tvokay.com/old/tv/lost-in-austen.htm) the series is about a totally-modern mr. darcy fangirl, amanda price, who inexplicably discovers a portal to the world of pride and prejudice in her bathroom. (before you cringe, stranger plots have been known to happen in k-dramas.) she and elizabeth bennett “switch places”–but what’s p&p without lizzie?! find out and watch. bonus points for the hilarity (she brought paracetamols with her and attempts to cure jane with it in the first part) and the pond scene. lol.