Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cougar Barbie and the Northern Virginia Barbies

They all live here.

Barbie NoVa I1. " Loudoun County Barbie "
This princess Barbie is sold only at the Dulles Town Center or Tysons Corner II. She comes with an assortment of Louis Vuitton Handbags, a brand new Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a way overpriced house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken in High Tech/Attorney/CPA/M.D. Attire sold only in conjunction with the augmented Barbie version.

Barbie NoVa II

2. " Fairfax County Barbie "
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. She's currently taking Spanish lessons to get along with her neighbors. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

Barbie NoVa IV 3. " McLean Barbie"
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Barbie NoVa VI

4. " Ashburn Barbie "
This Botox Barbie comes dressed to impress in leopard print pants and bleached blonde hair . She comes ready to party with a cosmopolitan in her right hand and a bottle of Valium in her left. Overpriced condo sold separately.

Barbie NoVa V 5. And finally : " Woodbridge Barbie "
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

Credit where it's due: the Northern VA Barbies, though I saw them online a few years ago, I found again at X Curmudgeon's blog.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Terroir; or How Drunk Do I Have To Be To Like This?

Tip #1 – How can you tell that the writers and the producers didn’t terroire03kor081208hdtvyb1-1care a whole lot about this series? If they can’t get something as basic as “Bordeaux” right in WINE poster in a WINE series…bless me - I should have stopped watching at this point.

I hit a trifecta of craptacularity in some recent samples of Korean entertainment. While it hasn’t put me off the genre, to the dismay of family and friends, I realize that some shows just suck and I don’t have to finish watching them. No I do not.

I made no secret of my disappointment in “Kingdom of the Wind”. Being a firmly grounded fan of Song Il Guk, and still feeling the guilt for never having finished the equally craptacular “The Lobbyist”, I forced myself to finish that particular saeguek. The film “100 Days With Mr. Arrogant” was just insipid. But I finished it. I find I just can’t finish “Terroir” and it’s a shame.

I wanted to like it. I thought highly of Han Hye Jin in “Jumong” as Soseono and I 081125_p14_sipwanted to see her in a different role. In “Terroir” she played the irrepressible Lee Woo Joo. Playing opposite HHJ was Kim Joo Hyuck as Kang Tae Min.

Now when I first read the premise, I smelled marketing. I could hear Korean guys in a room saying, “Yeah, see, Coffee Prince, see,” all plotting guys in a room sound like Edward G. Robinson in my head , even if they are Korean, “Yeah, that Coffee Prince, did a lot for the coffee industry. Yeah, yeah. Let’s make one up for, wine, yeah, wine, see? “ and so they did. Indeed, promotional stills showed everyone raising their wine glasses in joy, toasting each other – mmmmmm, wine is so goooood! Yum! Let’s go to France! Let’s dress up in black! We are so sophisticated! Sadly, this was no Coffee Prince andterroire04kor081209hdtvuy1-1-1 any wine I wound up drinking was only to make the series slightly more palatable.

Tip #2. We are supposed to be in a restaurant, presumably to sell food and wine. It would help to be able to read the specials on the menu.

I had a difficult time at first believing that Woo Joo and Tae Min were supposed to be our love interests. Tae Min was cold and cruel with a face carved out of wood, Woo Joo was immature. loud, brash and quite frankly, annoying. I’ll admit, as the series progressed, I began to enjoy the characters and their development as a couple more and I was optimistic. It was poetic in some ways, really, that Kang Tae Min and his old girlfriend Ji Sun – their relationship was like the wine “Chateau Margeaux” - having not been kept carefully it spoiled. The relationship between Tae Min and Woo Joo, was represented by the the “Chateau Mouton Meyer”, getting better and more precious with time.

Then, I don’t know what happened. It was like they took all the good writers away and replaced them with chimps. The last third of the series had all sorts of plot twists thrown at the viewer without warning – like angry chimp poo. Sweet sweet Joey (played by Ki Tae Young - Dr. Whiny Crybaby from “White Tower”) turning all evil because no one would forgive him for setting Auntie and Uncle on fire when he was a kid and killing them so he decides to go psycho and take over Grandfather’s company to PUNISH THEM ALLLLLLLLLL.

WTF? I mean, seriously, WTF? Do you think I’m an idiot? Obviously the writers did, because that was only one of the ridiculous plot devices used toward the end to beef it up. It lost me. I didn’t want to finish. I realized today that I don’t have to finish it. I decided to keep the few sweet moments in the series and just let go of all the rest. I still like Han Hye Jin and am willing to watch Kim Joo Hyuck in something else, I simply can’t bring myself to finish this series.

No enthusiasm. No review. Too bad. So Sad.

The good news is I am watching “When it’s At Night” with Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Gun. This series? Not a chimp-poo fest. Not yet. So far – fabulous.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Palette Cleansing

100-days-with-mr-arrogant-poster ….is usually a good thing.  Then you mistakenly ingest poo and are left with a nasty ass taste in your mouth.

I really wanted to see Ha Ji Won in something less intense.  I watched Hwang Jini a few years ago and she was superb, stony when she had to be cold, freaky when she went nuts.  I think she’s a tremendous actress with a lot of range, and really needed something to make me laugh after the cry fest that was Damo. 

I didn’t want to commit to another series and thought to check out the Korean film 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant (2004).  The premise was a typically formulaic bad Korean drama; poor girl does something to offend rich guy, rich guy forces her into indentured servitude, which she accedes to by signing a form, she has to clean his nasty apartment, or wash his car, blah blah blah, she finds out he lied to her, she gets him back, they fall in love, they kiss by a body of water, the camera spins as their unmoving mouths are glued together forever and ever and ever and ever. 

Maybe it wasn’t a bad if you were a 14 year old Korean girl.  It is likely that that was the demographic the screenplay and director were targeting.  Reactions were overly dramatic (as 14 year old girls can be) and the situations ridiculous.  There was really nothing redeeming, no deeper message a la “S-Diaries” to give the film any meaning. 

Ha Ji Won certainly has range, as she capably played a silly 18 year old high school senior.  I think it is likely she did her job, and the movie was what it was meant to be; a poorly written, poorly conceived silly piece of fluff. 

Mission accomplished though.  The tears from Damo lubricated the sockets to accommodate all the eye roll activity from this film.  Please don’t bother watching this ever.  Please.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Last Little Damo

"Relationships are not solidified when people meet, but when they end. Thanks for letting me be with you until the end." - Hwangbok Joon

"I missed you, Jae Hui." - Jae Mo
One can tell from the start that Damo is a tragedy - credits begin with our first image of Chae Ohk, the edges are sliced and the entire pictorial becomes skewed.

If you don't want to be spoiled for the end, don't watch this. It's a high def version of the end scene of the series. The subs are in French - because I couldn't find a high def version in English. This is Jae Hui and her brother Jae Mo.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Damo; A Review

 damo5 Recognizing that my review process is more than a little tongue in cheek, I think it might be difficult to lump Damo in with so many other k-dramas.  I remember feeling similarly about “Thank You” after having watched that show.  Damo has been the only k-drama that I’ve put my head down in my arms and out and out wept wracking sobs.  It was unlike anything I have seen to this point and it almost feels wrong to apply my typical k-drama review formula here. 

But my reviews are my reviews.  Let’s see what I can make of it.

Ponder Angst – There was a lot of ponder angst in this series.  Our characters went back in their minds and pondered over moments of each other pretty frequently.  It may have gotten a little tired, but I never rolled my eyes.  I’m giving it the full 20 points.

Love “ – “ Angles – Woof.  Chae Ohk loves Hwangbok Yoon, Hwangbok Yoon loves Chae Ohk, Chae Ohk also loves Jang Sung Baek, and he loves her back.  Nan Soo, the daughter of the police chief sincerely loves Hwangbok Yoon and another guy really loves Chae Ohk, “Marry me and I will spend the rest of your life making you smile.”  Maybe she should have picked him in the end.  Six angles makes 24 points.

Sizzle – The lead actors in this series Ha Jin Won, Kim Min Joon, and Lee Seo Jin were exquisite from the first scene to the last.  Whenever they were together in any combination, heat came off the screen.  Hwangbok Yoon struggling with his love for Chae Ohk, her desire to serve him and not to love him, her struggle to do her duty as a Damo and arrest Jang Sung Baek or to give in to her growing feeling for him.  Jang Sung Baek and his love of his people.  They all had sizzle and I’m giving them 30 points for it. 

Physical Intimacy – The most we ever get of physical intimacy for any of our protagonists is an embrace.  No kissing, no baby making.  There was enough intimacy when Yoon tended to the wounded Ohk and whenever Sung Baek looked at Damo for me to give this 20 points.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – Not a lot of disease, aside from leprosy, in the series.   There are so many scenes where someone is wounded, infected, bullet-ridden, or slashed with a knife.  The intention of the metric is for cancer, anorexia, or constipation, but I’m giving it 10 just for all the wounds.

Tazza Factor – The Tazza factor is about being spellbound from the first episode of a series, as I was with Tazza.  Tazza, I watched in just over 24 hours.  I was absolutely held in this series’ thrall, though it took me a week to watch all 14 episodes.  10 points.

Going to the Beach – Jae Hui and Jae Mo’s dad offs himself, a bad cop kills himself by butting his head against the wall, a Japanese killer for hire commits hari kari.  If there is more, I’ve forgotten it, but there was no suicide at the waterfront.  15 points in the bonus round for Damo. 

Damo6So Damo gets a 129 on the E-scale, the highest any series has gotten to date.  It was a neat 14 episodes, the sound track was at times sad and gentle, at others, filled with energy and action.  The look and feel of the series was wonderful, and even I got some of the more arty and beautiful shots. 

The kung-foo was very “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” but didn’t take me out of the story at all, indeed, was very much a part of it.  Many k-dramas boast a tragic ending, few are as worthy of Shakespeare as this one. 

Will I watch it again?  I just don’t know.  I’ve said no before; particularly to “Thank You” and “Coffee Prince” and I wound up buying the box sets for both those series.  I’ve had to go back already to get a couple of quotes correct and I burst into tears again. 

I’ll have to let you know.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Damo; An Attempt To Organize My Thoughts

mae hwa bat [A Grove Of Ja -

Damo I just finished this drama and the tears are still streaming down my face as I listen to part of the official sound track to Damo: Adagio and A Song of Sorrow.

Damo was another of those Korean Dramas I thought would be important for me to watch like Stairway to Heaven, Winter Sonata and Full House. I was no where close to being as touched by any of those three dramas as I was with Damo. I’d been putting off watching for a while; I had read the summaries, the plot had a little of a disturbing twist that I think I was avoiding, but I decided last weekend to give it a go. It was only 14 episodes, after all.

Damo is the story of Jae Hui (played superbly by Ha Jin Won)– a seven year old girl whose nobleman Damo3 father, after a government scandal, kills himself rather than be taken in by the royal guard. Jae Hui and her brother Jae Mo (played by Kim Min Joon) ride off together so they are not captured by the guards and taken away. This attempt is for naught, they are captured and cruelly separated.

Damo1-1 Enter Hwangbok Yoon (played by Lee Seo Jin), teenage son of a nobleman and his mistress, he is shunned by a society that favors noble purebreds. Jae Hui becomes his slave girl, but as they grow a familial bond forms between the two that cannot be broken. Jae Hui is no longer called so by society, since she is a slave, her name becomes Chae Ohk, which aptly means a colorful marble.

Damo2 Chae Ohk becomes a damo – a female police officer. Not quite what we in the west consider a female police officer, she is also still considered a servant girl, less than nothing, used as a female police officer when a woman dies so she can investigate where no men can go. This position is suitable to both Chae Ohk and Joon, she is able to serve him and he is able to keep an eye on her and keep her near.

As time goes on, we sense his confusion as Joon becomes aware of and begins to acknowledge deeper feelings for Ohk but because of his rank, he is unable to express them. We sense that Ohk may have feelings for Joon as well, but she will not give them any purchase because she is a slave and unworthy to even have thoughts of loving him. It is enough for her to think of him as family.

Chae Ohk goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of counterfeiters/Damo4 rebels in the mountains and meets the very charismatic Jang Sung Baek, leader of the rebels. As a part of the gang, Ohk begins to see that Sung Baek is not just a foul law breaker, but a leader of people who love him, who loves them back as a loving father would. She is drawn to Sung Baek and his mountain people – and begins to develop feelings for him.

She knows her duty, but her instinct will not allow her to kill him. Jang Sung Baek knows that Chae Ohk is a damo, knows she has infiltrated his camp, but his instinct will not allow him to kill her or give her up to his men.

We learn pretty early on that Jang Sung Baek is Chae Ohk’s brother and are a little creeped out that they are falling in love. While we are trying to cope with that, we watch as obsession begins to overtake Hwangbok Joon, as he gives in to his love for Chae Ohk and has to find her.

Watching the irony, as Chae Ohk pushes away Joon, saying she loved Hwangbok Joon as her brother, but drawing love nearer as a woman to her blood brother Jang Sung Baek.

Hwangbok Joon, laments throughout the series that he has never done one thing for Chae Ohk, all he now wants is to take her into the mountains to love her and care for her forever. Jang Sung Baek no longer wants to live the life of a rebel, wants to take Chae Ohk to the mountains; “I used to dream about the “good” life where I could hold a shovel instead of a sword, and till a field, and find a wife and raise a child. My "good" life is the treason and the conspiracy”.

I was pulled in every direction possible with this series. What was right? What was wrong? Characters manipulated by evil power hungry nobles, trapped in a cruel society that discriminated based on birth, based on perceived scandal, who fought to hide the love they felt for fear of disgracing themselves and their families.

In the end, I understood that Chae Ohk truly loved Joon as a man and the pull of love she felt toward Jang Sung Baek was the love of a sister for her brother – they had both confused the attraction of their blood for something more earthly.

There were so many moving moments I can barely enumerate them. The final scene at the beach, the scene at the cliffs, Joon cleaning Chae Ohk up and brushing her hair in the temple when she is in a coma, when Jang Sung Baek realizes he just missed Jae Hui in the temple and runs out to find her, but cannot.

I thought the ending was as it had to be. Hwangbok Joon was finally finally able to do something for his beloved Chae Ohk. Jang Sung Baek understood that his movement of the people would continue, that his steps simply forged the beginnings of a new road for those he loved. He as at last able to shed his pain and look upon his sister. I wept and wept the last 15 minutes of the series and for some time afterward, in fact, as I type now, I am still crying.

I will be haunted by those words, “I missed you Jae Hui.”

“A far off mountain, a mountain with a deep green forest.
A destiny that could not foresee that divide
A love I could not measure
A love that tore apart my heart
Not again, never again
Do not live for me”

He Vas My Boyfriend

“Young Frankenstein” is among my favorite moviefeldmans of all time. Like “Pride and Prejudice” and reading that book once every twelve months or so, “Young Frankenstein” is one of those movies I try to watch every year. Of all the Mel Brooks movies that I’ve seen (and granted, I have not seen them all) this is my favorite. It’s smoother, classier, the performances are more subtle, the writing is slightly less in-your-face-bawdy, though its got plenty of bawd.

Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr – what a wonderful cast. I could go on and on – I don’t think there was a stand out – it all worked so well - the self absorbed Elizabeth by Madeline Kahn, Frederick von Frankenstein’s (that’s Franken-steen) growing desperation, Teri Garr and Inga’s lovleachman bluchering sensuality, the beautiful Marty Feldman as Igor (“Well they were wrong then, weren’t they?”)

Cloris Leachman as the outwardly cold and repressed but her passion burning with the heat of one thousand suns as Frau Blucher and her longing for her beloved Victor.

I was listening to my Sirius satellite radio yesterday and fell on the Broadway Channel and got a load of Andrea Martin singmartin frauing “He Vas My Boyfriend” from Broadway’s rendition of “Young Frankenstein”. I loved it, ran home and shared it with my daughter and wanted to share it with you.

“I'll never forget the first time I met Victor. It vas on the village green, at the annual bock beer festival, where every beer -- cost a bock.”

He Vas My Boyfriend - Andrea Martin

[Frau Blucher]
Love comes when you least suspect it,
love dances in on a whim,
I thought maybe I could direct it,
But I never expected...
A guuy like him.

He was a bully und a brute,
he vas as crazy as a coot,
still I didn't give a hoot,
He vas my boyfriend!

With ev'ry voman he vould flirt,
He alvays treated me like dirt,
But I vas happy to be hurt,
He vas my boyfriend!

I vas as pure as a virgin meadow,
lying with Vicotr in the gloam.
Then he turned to me, that charmer, whispered, "Let's play farmer."
And plowed me 'til the cows came home!

He vas a monster and a beast,
His midnight bangings never ceased,
it didn't faze me in the least,
He vas my boyfriend!

I'll never forget the first time I met Victor. It vas on the village green,
at the annual bock beer festival, where every beer cost a bock.
I vas an innocent young lamb and he was a dirty old goat.
Ve vere made for each other.
All of a sudden, he took out his paraphernalia and shouted,
"Let's play croquet!", and off to the field ve vent.
He carried his hoops and mallets and I carried his balls.
What a festival! Fun and games all day long. Archery, badminton, potato sack.
Victor won the three-legged race...all by himself. It vas love at first sight.

He vas the one I gave my heart to,
but ve never wed even so,
If I mentioned wedlock,
he'd put me in a headlock!

Vhen I asked to be his wife,
he stabbed me with a kitchen knife,
Ach, where did the good times go?

If he had an angry fit,
I vas the first thing that he'd hit,
but I didn't give a shit...

He vas my boyfriend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Good News!!

geese When I was a kid, I’d watch geese on either end of winter – flying south in the autumn, or coming back home in the spring.  Occasionally, listening to their distinctive call on the way out of upstate New  York, I would wonder, “Where’d geese go in the winter?”  Everyone knew they went “south”, and I imagined South America, or at least as far as the warm climes of sunny Florida.   

I came to love the sounds of their honking, the distinctive V shape as they made their mad way wherever they were going.  I’d stop sometimes and just listen until I couldn’t hear them anymore and I’d smile at what was being ushered in, or what had just left.  Precursors to spring, or leaving winter in their wake.  It was homey, it was time immemorial, it was good.

golf course geese Three years ago, when I moved to Northern Virginia, I finally got an answer to the 40 year old question, “Where’d geese go in the winter?”  When geese fly south, they land in Northern Virginia and settle onto water traps on golf courses.  It’s a big mess.  But see?  One of life’s mysteries…solved!  Yet another benefit of uprooting myself and living in this godforsaken land of traffic. 

It was freaking cold today, too freaking cold, and like the rest of the winter weary world, I thought to myself that I was sooo done with the cold and soooo ready for springtime.  Then driving home from work today, I saw several flocks of geese making their way north. 

Good news for my friends and family still in upstate New York.  Spring is winging its way northward. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Doctor Morning

I am nothing if not self-absorbed and so you get to peek into my day today.

highbp I had a couple of doctor appointments this morning; first was a follow up to my blood pressure with the GP.  Eff-stick nurse’s aid took my blood pressure and squeezed my arm so hard I had to hold my breath.  Then when the numbers kept changing, she squeezed some more, “Just to double check….oh, that’s a little high.”  Ran out to get the doctor.  I’m sure they were ready to cut my head open to find the aneurisms.  Turns out it was like 180/108.  Pretty effing high. Well crap.  We chatted a few minutes, asking me pointed questions to see if I was stroking out.  I told him quite directly that his employee was squeezing the sh*t out of me via my arm, so he took it again.  It was a LOT better; in fact, my blood pressure is good (considering I’ve forgotten to take my medicine since the appendix removal) and overall, I’m remarkably healthy.  I made sure to refill my prescription for the blood pressure medicine and I took a pill before I came in to work.  Good thing, since the only back up I have in the office told me today that she’s leaving. 

Yes, gooooood thing I started taking that medicine again.

Before arriving to the office, however, I had another follow up eye doctor appointment.  Just to see if that darn ocular pressure is behaving itself.  Turns out it was as high as Jeff Spicoli – pressure for a normal person should be 20.  In me, on average I run 27 so that’s normal for me.  Today, I was running 35.  That’s bad.  I got a visual image of my ocular nerves curling up like burnt hair and smelling twice as bad, so I expressed concern.  My very cute and married doctor doesn’t want to put me on medicine yet, but he does want to do a more comprehensive visual field (cereal bowl) test. 

I didn’t realize that I needed a referral from my GP for the bitchy appointment, so I called to see if I could get one.  They need 72 hours notice and the cow on the other end of the line refused to help me out.  I muttered “Thanks for nothing.” and hung up.  I’m sure my spike in blood pressure at that moment wasn’t helping the ocular pressure any.  Cute married doctor told his receptionist to bill a certain way so I didn’t have to pay so much out of pocket. 

There is goodness still left in the world. 

As I say, I got into the office to several telephone messages, emails, a little boss drama and the happy news that the woman acting as the other secretary in the department is leaving and her last day is tomorrow.  I haven’t taken any time off of work since the appendicitis.  I think maybe I need to and not worry about everyone having to deal in my absence.

I suppose sometimes God just likes to toss a few spitballs my way. “Let’s see how she likes this one…” in his low rumbly thunder voice, “Ohhhhh, she swears too much.  Tsk tsk tsk.” 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sounds Like Hope

donbosco I hadn’t slept well again Saturday night. So I got up and watched a good Italian movie on EWTN about St. John Bosco ~ yesterday was his feast day. St. John Bosco has fascinated me for many years – he had prophetic dreams, which held me spellbound for a while; but now I know that he became a saint, not because of his dreams, but because of his love. He had faith in the goodness of the young boys of Turin, Italy and spent himself in an attempt, through works of charity, educating and catechizing the youth of Italy. He was the founder of the Salesian Society.

Anyway, it was a good movie and put a little whisper in my ear to give a nod to Don Bosco as I went to mass.

But poor Buddy. He likes his walks regular, needs to do his business,budman and as I was nodding off on the couch at 6am…he came over to sniff me. He didn’t complain. He didn’t understand that I hadn’t slept, he just trusted. 6:30 am rolled around and so did Buddy, wondering when I would get up. 7:22; I finally got up, put on a pot of coffee, donned my “outer wear” for his morning constitutional. He can always tell when it’s time; I think sounds of hope for Buddy is me putting on socks and sneakers. He starts to prance around my legs – he’s a big old dog and prancing isn’t so easy anymore (noooo kidding).

You’d be righteously horrified if you saw me some mornings on my walks with Buddy. My glorious mane of curls was in hazy bunches on my head sticking out askew of my hooded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sweatshirt and with the lack of sleep…well, I look like crazy lady.

But wasn’t I treated to my sounds of hope this morning! It’s a shame, I think, that the sunrise doesn’t come with music. I imagine it would have the resonance of a cello with a long clear note starting low and bursting to crescendo as it tipped up. Probably piss a lot of people off though; best that it’s quiet. But as I walked outside, I got a face full of sunshine and heard birds chirping; a sound that is potent as the cup of coffee I now have sitting beside me. Birdsong wakes me up, puts that Buddy prance in my step, and cheers me.

Cherry_Blossom_fs There was still snow on the ground from the slammering of ice Virginia got last week, but sunshine and birds. Spring is just around the corner.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kingdom of the Winds; Review

Kingdom_of_the_Winds I’m really struggling to write this review. I think it’s primarily because I didn’t like this series and I really wanted to – clearly I'm a poor person to write objective reviews. Whatever. It was a shame that I thought it sucked; no, it's a shame the show sucked. Anyway, a review was promised, so a review is what you’re getting.

Ponder Angst – I have to say that the ponder angst in this series didn’t bug the doo out of me. But there was a lot of annoying crap; like all the shots of horses riding in to war, horses riding away from war, horses thinking about riding into war, and horses thinking about what it would be like to get burned at the stake. 5 points

Love “ – “ Angles – It’s a quad. Muhyul loves Yeon, Yeon loves Muhyul, Dojin loves Yeon, Lee Ji loves Muhyul. Maro’s love and devotion to his King and his friend was particularly moving. Though his end was manipulative, I liked the character enough to dole out extra points here. 16 for the angles, 5 more for Maro.

Sizzle – Song Il Guk had some moments where I was honestly moved by his performance as I was with Yuri and Haemyeong. I can say something really funny about Maro sizzling (HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!) and give it more points, but I’m not. Gets 5.

Physical Intimacy – Technically, we get a kiss between Yeon and Muhyul and they make baby Hodong - 10 points! Goeyu and Seryu are absolutely adorable and we get some nice scenes there - another 10 points! But then we deduct 15 for Maro and Yeonhwa. 5 points

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – I got really tired early on with Muhyul’s death defying illnesses, and Yeon’s white cloth of life that saves him from arrows to the heart, poison in the arm, hanging upside down blappity blah blah. No constipation though, so too bad. 5 points

Going to the Beach – Even though its on a frozen body of water and its gonna take a long time for her to drop, there is a suicide at the beach. And oh hell, Dojin, in the depths of his despair (YAWN) throws himself from the Cliffs of Insanity. Since we get not one floater but 2, count ‘em 2, it gets a 40.

I’m not going to measure the “Tazza” factor yet since I started KotW before I started Tazza.

In total, Kingdom of the Winds gets a 81 on the E scale which is way way higher than it deserves and is solely due (40 points worth) to my curious fascination with beach front suicide. There have been series that I liked more that didn’t even make the scale so KotW lucked out. Had it not been a Song Il Guk vehicle, it certainly would not have made the review, crap – I wouldn’t even have finished watching the frickin’ thing. When an actor’s feet and another actress’ eyebrows are the only things that amuse, the show stinks.

Yeah, and I was delighted when Yeon bit it. “I have a favor your majesty…” (oh for f*ck’s sake). Not ~ “Can I see my son?” or “Will you tell me you love me? “ or “Will you bang me for old time’s sake?” No. It’s, “Can you call me by my name please?” WTF. Uh, yeah – let me use the last of my life’s energy by telling you that was super cool. And I’m sorry I sucked so bad, by the way. Song Il Guk was beautiful during all that crap, if you care. He was beautiful while he told her that she was so awesome with her white cloth of life and how thoughts of her were just bitchin’ when he was having a bad day.

“Heaven has been cruel,” says Yeon ~ (not a sentiment I want to be spouting just before I’m thrust before the gods, FYI), “…but at least I get to see you again…ow, ow, ow, ow”. What? Did she die? I couldn’t tell. She emoted the same way throughout the whole series.

So yeah, happy thoughts, happy thoughts. I liked Maro, I liked Queen LiJi’s eyebrows, I loved Goeyu and Seryu, (aside from the highly amusing and underwhelming, “I must let the whole world know my heart…and date you with pride.” from the pregnant Seryu), I liked Kim Jae Wook (my cutie from Coffee Prince), Yuri, Muhyul and Haemyeoung – terrific performances, and I liked the music. Mostly, mostly, I liked Song Il Guk and I liked naked Song Il Guk feet. Will always have something of a soft spot for him. It’s what kept me coming back.

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