Monday, June 9, 2014

Foreign Language TV

I know, this blog is for fiction books and movies only but I couldn't resist. One show is good and the other is just plain ugly. 

Let's begin with the good first. 

ROOMMATE is a Korean reality show featuring actors, actresses, a model, a mixed martial arts fighter, young and one not so young idols (band members), and a comedian. They have not lived with other people before. There are 30 year old actors who still live with their parents and some who live in tiny boarding houses together with their fellow actors or band members. It's a 50, almost 2-hour, episode reality (although most likely scripted) TV, one episode shown every Sunday night and is currently on its 6th episode; 44 more to go. I've seen all 6 including the latest one which is still in its raw form, meaning there are no English subtitles yet. Oh, how I wish I understand Korean language. 

I'm not a fan of reality shows, except for Duck Dynasty which to me is LOL hilarious. I got reined in to watch ROOMMATE when I saw that 2 of my faves are in the cast, Lee DongWook, a movie and TV actor, and Park Bom of the girl band 2NE1. That's them on the rightmost.

 Lee Dong Wook, actor                          Park Bom, 2NE1

Although the show is not a hit in Korea, it is becoming a favorite if not an obsession with international viewers. The producers are encouraging the roommates to "fall in love" and the lucky couple will be awarded a trip somewhere after the show ends. Park Bom already has fans rooting for their respective teams, BoDong with Lee DongWook and BoMin with Park MinWoo. Hahaha. 

Me, I just love it specially the funny moments and showing the Koreans just like other Asians are somehow different from American or other western nationals. The very young ones are very respectful of their elders. Except for the annoying comedian, most of them are good people, so far. You can watch the episodes on Drama Fever or other streaming services. 

The Ugly.

THE LEGAL WIFE is a 98-episode Filipino TV drama about 2 female best friends and their love for one undeserving weasel. Ugh! One of the girls is married to him. Her husband and her bestie had an affair producing a bastard. It's a very tired story line but the writing and presentation could have been innovative or improved from the usual. The writers chose a very very very lazy "contrived to the max" way to show the conflict. The dialog is peppered with : "are you okay?" "okay naman ako", maybe 6 to 10 times uttered in a 25 minute episode, it drove me nuts, I fast forwarded most of the episodes; sometimes I just read the written synopsis if the episode is more of the same. I know I didn't miss much because the story goes around and around without moving on. It's ridiculously long drawn-out and utterly bad. It's a lost opportunity for Filipino TV dramas. 

I got interested to watch [from a Filipino website] because almost every day my Facebook feed is filled with posts about it, one from a very religious spinster wishing the bad girl miscarries or dies or has a serious accident and I wanted to know why. There are also numerous links of funny parodies on my Facebook feed. I got hooked in out of curiosity. It is a chore to watch, it's really ugly and I'm renaming the teleserye Gross Contrivances of the Clichéd KindThe 22 -28 minute episodes are shown 5 weeknights. This week is the final week, thank you Lord! 

The infamous confrontation scene

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