Monday, 30 January 2017

Instagram Updates: Cast of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo 역도요정 김복주 go on group trip to Jeju Island

Although Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo did not lead to a paid trip for its cast and crew, the swag squad still went on a group trip together. For fans, this is even better than a paid trip, because the cast wanted to hang out together after the filming using their own initiatives. They formed super close bonds and wanted to spend some time together.

“Cast members including Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Ji Il Joo, as well as the director and staff went to Jeju Island last week,” Nam Joo Hyuk’s agency confirmed.

When asked why the cast and crew had gone on a trip together, a source added, “Because the cast and crew had such a tight friendship as a team during the drama, the people who were free decided to go on the trip together.” I love the real life actor frienships that form from dramas.


From Ji Il-Joo's Instagram  

Caption: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, I enjoyed our Jeju Island trip

From Lee Sung-Kyung's Instagram

Caption: We went to Jeju Island to have fun. I love our team #Weightliftingfairykimbokjoo

From Nam Joo-Hyuk's Instagram

This was rumoured to be from the Jeju island trip, though Nam Joo-Hyuk is a lot more private, so not entirely sure...but it sure is a beautiful photo!

Articles about the trip

Monday, 23 January 2017

Reunions for drama crews like Back to 1989 1989一念間, Pleasantly Surprised 喜歡·一個人, Bromance 愛上哥們 at Sanlih's End of Year Dinner

What I love about the events that take place at bigger TV stations is that they allow for drama crews, past and present, to have a good time outside of work, as well as reunite with old friends. There's nothing more heartwarming than to see your favourite couples from past dramas taking selfies together or your favourite celebrity friends taking a crew shot.

Sanlih's end of year dinner (as in end of year before Chinese New Year) was filled with reunions from a couple of my favourite dramas over the past couple of years. The highlight reunion was between Ivy Shao and Marcus Chang, who have been rumoured to be dating since filming Back to 1989. They took multiple selfies together (and fans caught photos of this) as well as with previous Back to 1989 co-stars such as Yorke Sun. Marcus, who is on current drama, Behind Your Smile, also took some photos co-star, Eugenie Liu, as well as fellow crew members like Sean Lee.

Speaking of Sean and Yorke, there were a few good crew shots with them and the rest of the Pleasantly Surprised cast minus a few members, including the main couple of the drama, Puff and Jasper. Most of the side cast members (Sean, Yorke, Deyn, Jolin, Stanley, Lene, Ba Yu) have been regulars in SETTV/Sanlih productions since Pleasantly ended in 2014, but Puff and Jasper have recently been doing other projects outside of Sanlih. Good to see that they still enjoy each other's company...but then again they've always had a pretty strong cast bond!

Bromance was also represented with both Megan Lai and Bii performing during the dinner. They would have also seen Sean Lee, who they worked with on the show. Megan is also represented by SatrRitz the same agency as Marcus Chang, who she worked with in the film, Cafe.Waiting. Love as well as Eugenie Liu, Marcus' current on-screen co-star...So they have agency shots together....So many connections! Thanks Sanlih for all these celebrity reunions!

Personal Facebook Photos

Back to 1989 with Marcus and Ivy (Also Yorke and Sean)

Pleasantly Surprised cast shots

Behind Your Smile


(I suspect that this is actually a photo with Sean, Bii and someone other than Megan...but a fan has Photoshop-ed Megan in. I can't find the original, so you'll have to make do with this one XD)

StarRitz (Megan, Marcus and Eugenie's agency)

Professional and official Press Photos and Videos

Star Ritz (Marcus Chang, Eugenie Liu and Megan Lai)

Bromance (Bii and Megan's performances)

Behind Your Smile and V-Focus

Back to 1989

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Instagram Updates: Nam Joo-Hyuk 남주혁 and Lee Sung-Kyung 이성경 Behind the Scenes Instagrams

I always like all the behind the scenes content of a drama - there's something about seeing the connections between leading actors off-screen that makes you love the drama you're watching even more. I find a lot of Korean actors tend to be more private than Taiwanese actors, who tend to carry their on-screen personas onto social media to promote the drama and to tease their crazy fans. I also feel like a lot of Korean dramas are shot in advance, so the stars aren't providing up-to-the-minute updates on shooting like Taiwanese actors.

Since Nam Joo-Hyuk and Lee Sung-Kyung both have instagrams, it's much appreciated that they provided a couple of behind the scenes shots. Lee Sung-Kyung provided some super cute insights into their off-screen friendship with a few videos to boot.

Nam Joo-Hyuk mostly got the cute promotional stills for his Weightlifting Fairy posts. Though he was more private, there's still a shot of a polaroid featuring both leads with his dogs, captioned 'Kim Bok Joo Forever.' Cute!

If you'd like to follow them you can find Lee Sung-Kyung here and Nam Joo-Hyuk here

Lee Sung-Kyung's Weightlifting Fairy behind the scenes and promo instagrams

A video posted by 이성경 (@heybiblee) on

Nam Joo-Hyuk Weightlifting Fairy behind the scenes and promo instagrams

Picture Spam: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo 역도요정 김복주 Cute Couple Stills

In this past week, I've found the first Korean drama that I've loved as much as Coffee Prince. It's probably fair to say that I did take a really big break from Korean dramas (there was a few years where I didn't watch any dramas and then a few where I only watched Taiwanese dramas). With that said, I have also watched a lot of dramas that don't quite hook me the way they could because the story wasn't tight enough, the chemistry wasn't exceptional and the characters were annoying. 

But this drama has a fun and logical story line, relatable issues, lovable characters - a strong heroine and a very endearing male lead, and a super cute romance. Ahhh, I love it so much!

So which Korean drama am I talking about that I love so much? It's Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo! The series finished airing last week, but I only started this week, so I missed all the hype while it was airing :( But who's going to stop me from fan girling? Enjoy all these adorable stills from the drama :)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Morning Call 輕晨電 on indefinite hiatus as Xiao Ying 小英 drops shock announcement that he's leaving

What a sad Christmas 2016 was and I didn't even realise it. I was super busy during December. So busy that I was barely on social media, let alone following celebrity news. But it seems that on Christmas Day, the last Morning Call performance for their '6 years 3 nights' Tour, the groups' synth player, Xiao Ying announced publicly that he was leaving the group. 

This shocked fans, as nothing had been announced prior to the performance and there had been no real trouble between band members. The only difficulties that people knew about were Jasper's struggles of balancing his duties as an indie band guitarist and mainstream actor and model.

Following Xiao Ying's resignation, there were fears that Morning Call would break up with 1 member missing and another tied up in his busy schedule. However, it has now been announced that Morning Call will be on an indefinite hiatus. The members will take a rest and focus on their other pursuits while they figure out their next move and hopefully return (soon) as a 4 person band.

An official statement was released on the band's Facebook page by Morning Call's manager Mimi on the 30th of December:

習慣在這個時間發文 決定還是得說點什麼
其實 輕晨電如果加上尋找團員或躲在練團室練團的那些時光 早已不只六年 
它們匯總了開心幸福新鮮玩樂以及抱怨質疑不滿和暴走 就跟每一個樂團一樣 。
我們從來沒有故意想要裝成什麼樣子 你們看到的就是真實的我們。
其實 在巡迴過後會休團一段時間 是團員們心裡的默契 當時我也在給livehouse的購票文案裡暗示性的寫著:“請陪我們完成這三夜 因為明天 明天誰也不知道”
對呀 誰也不知道小英在台上會說了那番話 迫使我們提早面對。
這幾天分別與團員聊了很多 包括小英 中間過程的許多起承轉合就容許我們自己消化分解然後深埋心中了 能跟大家說的 是團員們仍然非常在乎彼此 對一起走過的時光充滿不捨 也保留了一點空間給未來
小英退團了 我決定暫將他獨立完成的孤獨三部曲及非甜蜜的歌 雨都 這五首歌下架 那是他的心血 他該保有它們!對喜歡這些歌的人 包括我自己 也覺得不捨 期待有一天 我們將一切思緒釐清歸零的時候 它們的發表將更有意義。
讓輕晨電先沈睡一下吧 謝謝來訪過的或從未離開過的人 如果輕晨電曾經在哪一段時間陪伴過你 那將會是我們醒過來的力量 。 


I'm a little rusty on my Chinese since it's been awhile since my last official translation and I'm not entirely sure that I got the later, more metaphoric part of this translation entirely correct... But this is what Mimi has to say:

From habit or custom at this time, should I send out a statement or say something?
Actually, Morning Call, if you add the time it took to look for members or the era that they spent hiding out in rehearsal rooms rehearsing their music, have been around for a long time; not just 6 years. In summary, they have felt truly happy and blessed, been fresh and playful, but have also felt dissatisfied, questioned their path and have been frustrated - just like every other band or group.
We have never deliberately tried to pretend to be anything else, what you guys see is the real us.
So, the period of rest taken after the tour is one that has been mutually agreed upon by all members of the group at the time. The wording to be written on the tickets that I had given to Livehouse (the venue) also hinted at this nature: "Please accompany us, play with us, for these 3 nights because tomorrow, tomorrow, no one knows what it'll be like..."
But yes, no one knew that Xiao Ying would say that type of thing on stage, forcing us to face this situation earlier.
These few days, band members have individually discussed a lot of things involving Xiao Ying and the process in between to  allow ourselves to digest and resolve things, and then to deeply bury it in our hearts. All we can tell everyone is that the band members still extremely care about each other and the period of time they spend together - they are brimming with reluctance to let go and will reserve some of this space for the future.
Xiao Ying has left the band. I have decided to temporarily give him his independence to accomplish his lonely/solitary Trilogy, without sweet song, and to take all 5 songs off the shelf. Naturally, those are his life blood and he should protect them. To those who like these songs, including myself, we also feel a great reluctance to let go and are anticipating a day when all feelings will be clarified and they will return to how they were, that would be even more meaningful.
Allow Mr. Morning Call to sleep awhile then! Thank you to all those people who have supported us, and perhaps have never left us before. If Morning Call has accompanied you at any period of time once before, then that will have been the force that wakes us up.

Band Manager of Morning Call

There has been a lot of speculation as to why Xiao Ying has left with various reports referring to him generally feeling like fans were turning up for Jasper rather than Morning Call's music. There are also reports that he mentioned feeling anxious about Morning Call's music not being good enough and hearing criticism about the band's music being gloomy. There have been reports of tensions between him and Jasper. There's a lot of talk that I don't particularly think is true.

If I had to speculate, I would say that Xiao Ying is dedicated to his music and was worried about selling out, which is a huge change that many indie bands have to face when they gain fame and start make decisions regarding their image/music and profitable activity. It probably didn't help that there were a number of fans who only came for Jasper rather than the music....But I wish that he (and the band) knew that a lot of fans love Morning Call for Morning Call, even if they are huge Jasper fans. I definitely love Asian indie music and I'm sure that I would still have loved Morning Call even if Jasper hadn't been in the band (Having Jasper in the band is just the golden cherry on top...) But that's just my two cents, not fact. I'm just voicing what I think happened - not what I know.

Anyway, best of luck to Xiao Ying and to the individual Morning Call members as they embark on new journeys in music, modelling and acting. I hope they continue to be successful and decide to reunite soon to bring us new music and performances. We'll miss you, Morning Call! 

From a very very sad fan.

Articles about the Morning Call Departure