Nam Do San – The Misunderstood Beautiful Soul

Firstly, I must take off my hat to the creator team of Start-Up series. To the writer, the director, the production team and of course the actors and actresses, I give my big applause to you all. I am happy watching this series because I learned a lot from the characters and the story. Although I must say, the fan-war between Team Do San vs Team Ji Pyeong has put me off too. It was at first the usual taking sides of the first lead or second lead, but later, it became somehow more toxic. In many platforms of social media, I often saw hatred comments from one team toward another. Even some of verified accounts of social media made me disappointed by how they use the words in reviewing the certain characters. I must say that, it is the first time for me to find this toxic behaviors amongst the Kdrama fans. The place that once I thought could be my forever safe and happy place, suddenly turned into a scary place filled with filthy words and disrespects (even towards the actors itself, unbelievable). I have been processing my thoughts for days, asking myself why do I get annoyed by them, why do I feel that something is wrong. Not many people in my surrounding is Do San’s supporter like me. So I have this long conversations between some of my closest persons (you know who you are, thank you for being born, LOL) who thinks and feels like me which got me concluded that what happened so far has been crossing the line. Their comments have somehow underestimated my values in life and that’s when I get offended personally. Just like everybody else in this world, who holds certain values in their life. I believe, I too, have to explain and defend my own values. Not to be validated as the more significant towards the other, rather to be listened, to be understood, and to show the people who might share the same values with me, that sometimes, we have to speak up our mind.

So, this article is fully dedicated to all the people who supports the character ‘Nam Do San’ in Start-Up Kdrama series. To the people who shares the same values with me and Nam Do San, who often feel misunderstood by the society we live with. To the people who feels discouraged by their emotion, or by the thoughts they have, and feel like an alien in this world. I want to say it out loud to you, that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! So please don’t be lonely, and let this my long preach started. LOL.

Below are the reasons of why do I prefer Nam Do San over Han Ji Pyeong all this time (Please be note that in my opinion both actors Nam Joo Hyuk and Kim Seon Ho played really well for their roles, although I have to say that Nam Joo Hyuk nailed it. His acting is so much improved since the last I saw him in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, I believe that he’s gonna be great if he keeps practicing to act. I hope he doesn’t discouraged by the toxic fans who say bad words to him.)

  1. Nam Do San is a manifestation of some of us who often feels misunderstood by our society. Because this society is often ruled by those who are extroverts, who is more vocal, who use their ‘Thinking’ more often than their ‘Feeling’, who believe that their way of life is the most perfect without even try to know or understand the various of perspectives in this life. Being the young ones, we tend to do everything recklessly, not everyone but I believe that when we were young, there was a time when we want to explore ourselves, to try everything we want, to run, to fall, to get up, to fall and to get up again, and finally learn from the mistakes we have made. Not everyone is lucky to find their strength from the very early age. Therefore, to grow and to be more mature is basically a learning process from our mistakes. And this life is indeed a long learning process, even when we became adult, the lesson still keep coming, to achieve our best self. I’m so glad to the character development of Nam Do San that the writer’s made for this story. We could see how that the pure heart is not changed even when he became successful and more confident.
  2. They said that Do San is a crybaby and manipulative sad-boy: For me he is the one who have successfully implemented one of the hardest life lesson which is ‘being vulnerable’. Being vulnerable in Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” is not a weakness, on the contrary it is one of the strengths that a human can have. Vulnerability is defined by her as uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposures. There are so many quotes on her book that really resonates me and encourage myself, and I hope you too.. One of them is “Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.” From here we might have understand, that being vulnerable means to show up at the arena, to do something we believe in even if we might come to fail. Moreover, we can see that after Nam Do San admit his cheating in Math Olympiad, he was actually have started to stepping up his way to embrace his true self, to do what he wants, to follow his dreams, he knows that he might fail, but still he keeps doing it. There is this one of other Brene’s words that resonates me too, “We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us – that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough – and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable.” I believe that we only can learn to feel worth when we are starting to be vulnerable, to know that there are risks embedded but we keep going anyway. Moreover, there is something that always intrigued me in the meaning of “tough love”. Sometimes, to showing our emotion in a right measurement and in the right place, is needed to grow up.
  3. They said that Do San can’t separate his personal feelings with the business: In my opinion, the most perfect job is when we are doing it wholeheartedly, whatever it is. See my keyword here ‘wholehearted’, it means that we are using our heart, our feelings in it. Establishing something (be it a business, a community, a movement, whatevs) is like raising a baby. Especially in the very early stage, we will be required to put our 100% of time to take care of it. It’s a cliché when we say ‘work life balance’ or ‘separating between personal emotion and business’ because in fact, as Susan Fowler wrote in one of the articles that I read in, what a manager said to his individual team member could affect their work, livelihood, opportunities, status, income, mood, health, and/or well-being. So how come it is not personal? Moreover, in a normal condition (maybe not on this pandemic era), we spend 75% of our waking hours to do everything that connected to works – getting ready for work, getting to work, working, returning home from work, and decompressing. We as employees often spend more time interacting with coworkers than family members. “Yet managers believe their actions are not personal and just business? Are you kidding?” yeah, this is what she wrote and I really agree with this. We are not robot, and we shouldn’t try to be. Oh, and recently I listened to one of Pak Gita Wirjawan said in his interview with Putri Tanjung in youtube, that “ should be emotional. Both emotional and rational.” He is a businessman and an educator himself, I believe that he said that because he has spent years in doing business and finally found the core of it.
  4. They said Do San is too immersed in his love and acting like a slave of love (bucin, in Bahasa): In my eyes, he’s just showing his love sincerely with his own way (which is coding), and I think it is very beautiful. He knows when he has to stop being beside his love and go away just like Seo Dal Mi wanted through their break up. He didn’t push his feeling towards Dal Mi, instead he keeps doing what he can to showing his love through coding, through NoonGil apps. That’s why he put his pride down and begging to Han Ji Pyeong to save the NoonGil apps. Because it is the only way he can connect to Dal Mi, to keep him showing his love to her. I imagine by the time he write coding for the apps, he actually write a love letter to Dal Mi. I also noted how he chose Seo Dal Mi to be Samsan Tech CEO over Won In Jae. Not only because he thought he might have a feeling towards her. He is logical enough to compare both of languages they used towards the team. Seo Dal Mi who put the tech team to be equal with her CEO position, not the In Jae’s language who already put the team as her subordinate. Oh, and let me say my opinion about the bad “slave of love” that actually embodied in the character of Han Ji Pyeong. In a couple of scenes, I found HJP with his rude nature forced his subordinate (Mr. Park Dong-Chun, his assistant) to take off his ‘Mentor’ T-shirts in public so that HJP could observe Seo Dal Mi at a close distance. Really in my opinion, his action is way more dangerous than NDS’s. He only thinks about Seo Dal Mi and negating other people feelings and dignity (even his own assistant who have worked with him in a long time). Moreover, the way that he volunteered to work in self driving cars project at 2STO because he thought just in case Dalmi doesn’t forget about their dream to work together with Samsan tech. His love toward Dalmi, I think is not making him a slave. Rather, he becomes stronger and more mature.
  5. They said Do San is a liar and taking what he doesn’t deserve : Back to the moment when NDS was admitting his cheating in Math Olympiad. What I see from his action is that he didn’t mean to steal the answer in the first place. I’m sorry but I have to make a comparison with what HJP did 15 yrs ago, using Halmoni‘s bank account to invest with real money. I, who happens to work in a bank could say that what he did is a fraud. It is actually a crime and he could be sentenced with Jail. Although Halmoni forgave him in the end, the fact that HJP also accused Halmoni taking his money is somewhat still unacceptable for me. Moreover, Do San also punished himself enough and forgetting the fact that he already solved another questions by his own. As a mere child, his heart was too pure that because of one simple line he accidentally say, he thought he didn’t deserve the prize (the line, which could mean nothing or might be not helping other contestant even if they saw it too, but in this case it was the Genius Do San that saw it). What little Do San did in the Olympiad made him down and he already imprisoned himself with his own feeling. But what HJP did for the last 15 years? I saw that HJP didn’t even think that he was wrong, he keeps shining brightly to make more money without feeling guilty. So looking at the both cases, if we have to fairly judge, NDS has already pay for his sin but not in HJP’s case. As for the relationship with Seo Dal Mi, NDS was wrong to use the fake Do San’s letter to start their encounter. That’s why, again, because his heart is too pure, he doesn’t feel comfortable all along. He keeps thinking that he should say the truth anyway. But, his first meeting with Dal Mi, I must say that it could be happened because of his own decision. He is moved by Dal Mi’s letters, he can sense that Dal Mi is a special soul that needed help from “Nam Do San”, he himself believe that he can help Dal Mi in a way (even before what HJP finally did to help him constructing the lie towards Dal Mi, which making it more complicated in the end). In my alternate universe, if HJP didn’t come at that night and helping NDS, I think NDS would tell the truth sooner to Dal Mi, even as soon as telling her the truth in that night. But again, HJP is getting in the way.. And for the Dal Mi’s feelings and actions towards NDS.. Dal Mi herself at first was confused when Halmoni asking her which NDS that she would prefer. However, the fact that the one who stood up for her often, was the real NDS, is something that Dal Mi knew by heart from the very beginning. The main reason that I think NDS is deserved Dal Mi’s heart is because we all know that after years has passed, and NDS was “letting Dal Mi go”, Dal Mi still thinking about him too. So, when we see that in the end Dal Mi choose NDS over HJP, it was because of NDS’s sincere actions after all that successfully moved Dal Mi’s heart. Also it is said that the couple are meant to be when something breaks them apart but they could eventually found to each other in the end. It is a destiny.
  6. They said Do San doesn’t use his brain: Well, for me I think, this comment is purely a groundless hatred from the toxic fan of HJP. Because NDS is indeed a genius who could create such algorithms to solve many problems. Why he makes algorithm to solve a problem itself has shown us the deep and future thinker he is. He choose to approach a problem with a long term solution instead of solving it case by case with a short term solution. Yet, he is so humble that he still say that coding is the only thing he can do to help other, the activity that not everyone is as gifted as him to have a privilege of doing it. This is where I find the old proverbs from my country is so true.. Like the Rice Plants, the more they have contents, the more they will bow down (Seperti Padi, Kian Berisi, Kian Merunduk). In most scenes, I thought that not only Do San used his brains, he also use his compassion towards any event on his life. The thing that I almost miss from HJP character, to be compassionate. The fact that HJP doesn’t apologize to Dosan for whatever shady moves that he’s been doing, or even, I don’t see that he feels guilty at all. Rather, I get to see the scene where Dosan is asking her mother to prepare favorite side dish for HJP in the morning, even after he told HJP that he feels envy because he thought Dalmi has chosen HJP. But what, Dosan still remember this little detail about HJP and kind enough to give him the packed side dish. Can’t you all see how beautiful soul Dosan is?
  7. Whatever, Nam Dosan is just a big failure. Hmm, my heart.. please be still. How should I put this. Nam Dosan is one of the many characters that I’ve met in Kdrama that is very pure and kind. He has so much flaws yes of course. That is why I am more attracted to his character. He failed many times, but he learned, he back to the field, getting stronger than before. Like the machine learning concept that he’s told Dalmi. He showed that we, the humans, we have millions possibility to learn too. So what if we have to fail? He showed us that failing is not the end of the story. Because when we failed, we could learn. Life is a continuous development of ourselves after all.

All in all, I realized that as a Feeler person (someone who might have ‘F’ in their MBTI personality type) would prefer Nam Do San because he showed to us what a Feeler mostly experienced in their life. As a Feeler, we have compassion and a strong empathy towards others. These kind of people exists too in the world. Our feelings are valid, although it might get misunderstood or even get mocked by other type of people. Like I said in the beginning of this article, please don’t be discouraged by your personality and let yourself down. Let’s just embrace our souls, be true to ourselves and showing to the world our mind and compassions. Those people who are mocking our way of thinking is just having their own perspective in life and that’s okay. Every type of personality has its own strength and this world is doing well because we can collaborate with other type of personality as well.

What I also want to highlight is that there is no better between the Thinker and the Feeler, and I want to say it to you out there, the one who often misunderstand others: Stop insisting that your opinion is more valid than other’s. Stop thinking that you are the most righteous person in the world. Because, after all, even though you think you are smarter, more experienced, older, richer, etc. doesn’t mean that you know everything. Not everything you see with your own eyes is right because actually this world already full of deception. And like Little Prince said: what is essential is invisible to the eye.

The phenomenon of people who are team Dosan being bullied in social media platforms is something that made me lost for words too. I could make one long post itself to argue why I think that HJP character is so much flawed. But the fact that HJP fans are failed to see the flaws in this character and bullied the Dosan team mercilessly is way beyond my logic. And it brings me deeper to even the problem in our society. Why was team HJP is so in love with his character but why I think that this character is so no-no? Moreover, there are some of the fangirls of HJP who don’t even think that some of what HJP did is wrong, instead they worshipped him endlessly. Like, it got me more confused too. But, for now, I have to settle with the culprit as being ignorant. It is so sad, to see the fact that this behavior could lead us to the more destructive issue such as violence against women. They who don’t even see that what HJP did are some examples of psychological abusive, are somehow also mind blowing for me. It could also lead to victim blaming if we make this habit grows. And no wonder why this society still have not overcame with this problem, because in the first place, many of the people in our society don’t see anything wrong with the abusive itself, they even support this actions. Many people thought that it should have been left as it is, that we can’t really change much. But I refuse to that belief. Yes, we can change, the first step is to be aware and realize what is the real problem in our behavior. As the final episode has came, I’m so glad to see the reconciliation between Dosan and HJP. In the end, it is Dosan that grab HJP’s hand first and they hugged with each other. It’s not the most ideal like I had hoped for, but with that scene, I really hope the fan war out there is stopped immediately.

Lastly, as Pak Iskandar Waworuntu (the founder of Bumilangit Institute) also said that ignorance means the loss of wisdom. Which I super agree on this. The loss of wisdom is the root cause of a crisis, the beginning of the destruction of our realm. Where we have been exposed and surrendered to the system that established based on financial gain only. We often overlook nature and other creatures that might live even before us born into this world. So let’s together we practice to harness our conscience that might be ignored for all this time. To be an alarm for us whenever we cross the line, or when we are taking something from the nature excessively more than what we can digest, or even when without us knowing, when we are making other people or other creatures miserable. Therefore, I hope, we could make this world a better place than when we entered it.

CLoY (2019-2020)

Photo 25-02-20 09.35.03

Okay, I know it seems too mainstream to review about this series right now. Because, after taking over the highest rating in tvN and defeated Goblin’s rating, Crash Landing on You (CLoY), I think, will be the next most popular drama of all time. It will be legend-(Wait for it)-dary, at least for 10 to 20 years later in the future. Now, where do we start.. let’s see..

So, when I first read this drama’s synopsis I feel this unusual urge to watch the drama. I never watch Hyun Bin’s drama before (yea that’s my loss.. lol) so I don’t have any idea how’s his acting. But I like Son Ye Jin (the female lead), she is pretty and has this tough but kind of vibe that I respect so much. I also watch her several performances on dramas and movies. What I like most from CLoY is the story idea; a love story between two world or background which has this hostile status. Like Rihanna’s song “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place”. I always feel attracted to the concept of finding the good side in every kind of situations. Therefore, I almost can imagine how heartwarming this drama will be.

After watched Be Melodramatic, the korean series about people who works behind the scene in the entertainment industry. I try to get to know these great people that responsible in making the drama touch our heart. I mean, our deepest heart. I think, they are really fantastic and genius! So, I have to start with the Writer, Park Ji Eun. She is a 40-something woman who has already written hits dramas such as My Love from the Star and Legend of the Blue Sea. She is graduated from Korean Language and Literature and has Master degree in Film Arts. With these background, I kinda understand where she got this deep thinking and how she could knit the fragments of small deep moments become the whole beautiful story. I haven’t seen her other works, but I can confidently say that Crash Landing on You is one of her masterpieces.

Next is the Director, Lee Jeong-hyo. I never watch his drama before. But when I saw the interview with him and the main casts, I can sense that he has this high level of patience. Maybe therefore he could wait for hours to capture the best moments out of the good actors and actresses. I believe that in every filming location, the director holds the most important role to set the mood of everyone. I can’t imagine to work in a such extreme weather, for long hours, just to film a couple of minutes scenes. If the moods are bad, it will be harder for everyone to keep such a high performance. I also believe that the director is one of the first people who sense this bedazzling chemistry between the actors and actress, I imagined how excited he was when saw the actors and actress portraying the “fiction characters” into the real world as great as they’ve done.

What I also love from Kdrama is usually its soundtrack. If I like the drama, it is most likely I will love the soundtrack too. After Long Vacation, I rarely watch drama which has piano tunes could stuck in my head. In this drama, the main actor is also a pianist and the song is so calming. Nam hye-seung, as one of the main composer of CLoY soundtrack who’s created most of the songs in this drama actually created some of musics in Goblin. It’s amazing how I hear the resemblance between my favorite song from Goblin with several songs from this drama. Surprisingly, some of the people behind them are the same. I believe that music holds the main important role in creating such a beautiful scenes. Especially  the sad scenes. The mellow music most of time become the main culprit in making us cry seeing the acting. Lol, at least it was for me. My favorites from this drama:

  1. The Song for My Brother (Orchestra Version) – Nam Hye Sung & Park Sang Hee
  2. Same Sky, Different World (instrumental only) – Nam Hye Sung & Park Sang Hee
  3. Flower – Yoon Mi Rae (singer), Nam Hye Sung, Park Jin Ho, Surf Green (composer)
  4. Give You My Heart – IU (singer), Nam Hye Sung & Park Jin Ho (composer)
  5. Like You – so soo bin & Kim So Hee (singer)
  6. The Hill of Yearning – April 2nd (singer), Kim Kyung Hee (singer & composer ), Nam Hye Sung (composer)
  7. Sigriswil (opening title song) – Kim Kyung Hee (singer & composer)
  8. Here I am Again – Baek Yerin (singer), Nam Hye Sung, Surf Green (composer)

woaaa. that’s a lot!

Crash Landing on You producers are Studio Dragon and Culture Depot. Studio Dragon has already produced several great dramas since its establishment in 2016. It was actually a spin off company from CJ E&M. Culture Depot is actually the subsidiary of Studio Dragon, so I don’t really understand their companies structures, but I think all in all they are from the same background/environment. CJ E&M also own tvN as one of the several numbers of media companies that managed under this group. What I also noted is that Culture Depot is also the management company of the writer (Park Ji Eun) and also Seo Ji Hye, who played beautifully as the female second lead Seo Dan.

Now let’s move to the actors and actress. People who watched this drama must be understand how strong the chemistry between Ri Jeong Hyeok and Yoon Se Ri. They have successfully made the viewers wished that they are actually a real couple. If you are in a mood of watching romance with the perfect combination of cute, deep, sad, happy, cringe, but not too much in a way make you want to puke, then you should try watch this drama. I’m sure you will smile, laugh, and even cry.. For me personally, I think the writer has made one character that is too perfect to be true. Yes, it is Ri Jeong Hyeok. He is a compilation of personalities that I think couldn’t exist in one character. He is kind, calm, reliable, competent in what he does, but also cute and can be like a kid, also he’s humble enough with all the features he’s got from elite background to perfect visuals. What I love from this character is that he doesn’t back and forth with his feeling. When he’s confirmed that he loves Yoon Se Ri, he doesn’t hesitate to show it to everyone. Yoon Se Ri also the character that I love in this drama. She’s strong but not afraid to show her vulnerability too. It must be lonely being her, so I was really happy that she’s crashed in North Korea and meet the heartwarming persons in the village. What a great story, writer-nim! Also, I don’t think that other actors and actress beside Hyun Bin and Son Ye jin are suitable enough to play as these two main cast. They are the most perfect actors, like it was fate for them to play these characters.

The second lead story (Alberto and Seo Dan) is the almost perfect one. I never watch the writer made secondary story before. So I kinda have a bad feeling about this. But the development of each character is very heartwarming too. I can see their sincerity in what they’ve done from many scenes. I actually hope more screen time for them, but anyway… I love their story and their acts. Hopefully, there will be another drama with the same characters with these two and the actors would play them, maybe in the alternate universe. I’m really really in love with their chemistry too! They were cute!

The supporting roles such as comrades and village ahjummas are also have the special spots in my heart. They’re not only played their unique characters well, but they managed to create such  heartwarming scenes. I’ve seen the gang of ahjummas in previous drama When the Camellia Blooms, so seeing these kind of pact in another vibe of North Korea actually very refreshing. They can teach us about how strong women actually are, and how precious it is to have friendship in between our difficult life. Another highlight is of course the interaction between the comrades and Yoon Se Ri. The comrades with their innocence attitude could change Yoon Se Ri from previous proud and cold woman into the humble and warm woman. I guess, the comrades hold the important role in Se Ri character development and also the several funny scenes that make us laugh. Each comrades have their own special attribute. From all the comrades, I think Pyo Chi Soo is the one who captured most of attention because of his tsundere character. Well to be honest, Park Kwang Beom also stolen our attention because of his good look (I kinda see the resemblance of Kim Soo Hyun on his face).

Last but not least, the story between Yoon Se Ri and her mother also touched my heart. I cry in some of their scenes. I guess the writer is really great to put such a complicated mother daughter relationship in this drama. I can imagine how frustrating it is to be the mother or the daughter. Very well written!

Besides what I’ve talked above, there are many things that you can appreciate from this drama. I think every character in this series is so strong and memorable somehow. Be it the main roles, supporting roles, or the special appearances (yes, the cameos surprised me too! I love all the cameos). I don’t know how, but I’m sure I can feel the hard works of everyone involved in this drama. Great Job yeorobun!! I really hope to see more of great dramas in the future. And I secretly hope that our country could make this kind of drama. I believe our people can do it too, don’t you agree?

Photo 25-02-20 09.34.47

The Price for a Throne

It takes me a while to process the ending of Game of Thrones. Many fans will agree with me that the last season is somehow butchered and lead to many disappointments. Including me at first. However, as the endings of many movies and series that have grown up with me, I am started to think and what the lesson could be learn from what I see. For me, reading and watching is not merely consumption. It’s an investment. So no matter how bad script we thought the last season Game of Thrones is, I still find the invaluable lesson behind, like every season of that series. So, I applaud for those creators and actors who made GoT a ruthless teacher that force us to process the lesson that we used to avoid.

Let me share who are my favorite characters of this series. From the very beginning, I always like the 3 characters: Jon Snow, Daenerys and Arya Stark. Led me actually afraid too because when my friend’s favorite characters suddenly died, mine are still there till the last season. The reason behind it because as the extreme happy ending devotee, I want them to have their happy ending, really.  Well, if you’re a fan too, we know how the ending for them. Can’t really say it was happy wasn’t it?

But, I remembered of how I thought of the title for the very first time. We just realized why the title using the Game instead of Battle, or other formal word to tell a story about a throne. The definition of winning and losing are blurred here. Can we really say Daenerys win the throne? Can we really say Cersei lost the game? The definition of winning for me is a peaceful heart after fulfilled the goals with a good result. But in the game of thrones, I think we could never achieve both of them. I don’t know why we glorify the taste of being in a throne without the fair explanation of how much blood and tears have fallen in order to obtain that throne. Can one really be peaceful at heart knowing that they become a murderer? Can other’s sin could justify us to make sentence of others? Can one’s misfortune could legalize massacre that they commit?

I somehow think about how could be a Game of Thrones in modern era. Makes me sad that many people still glorify the throne and closing their heart and eyes for the price of it. I think this is what the creators wanna say to us. We could be wrong no matter how smart we think we are. Whom we follow, we give our loyalty to, could somehow change and becoming the evil we want to kill. For me, starting from now being in a throne must be exposed as the most most difficult duty, not because of how hard we have to persuade people to follow us or how high we have to pay to build the undefeated army,  but because of how lonely and restless it is.

Prison Playbook (2018)

Woaaah I’m so head over heels with this South Korean Series titled “Prison Playbook” or “Wise Prison Life”. I never thought that I will someday write about South Korean series, because I never thought they would someday produce such several meaningful TV series. And yes I am not too updated with the facts that South Korean has many many many heartwarming Series!!!!

So my little sister is the one who told me to watch this drama because she said it’s good and she’s damn right. Not just ‘like’ it, I think I am in love with the story and the cast and everything.

The story is about a famous baseball player who hit a guy that tried to rape her sister. The guy had a brain damaged after received many hittings therefore the baseball player is sent to a prison. The tv series mostly tell about prison life and the people in it. What I like about this series that it doesn’t focus only on the baseball player himself but also the people around him got a special stories and beautifully told. The director is the same with Reply 1988 if many of you knows, it is a TV series that has been a hit on a couple years ago. I also like that drama but I must say I like this drama more. It seems that the creator and team are having a good development and I’m so happy to see the progress. Well the writer of Reply series and Prison Playbook is also different, maybe that is one of the point that attracted me more. I think I prefer the writings in Prison Playbook than Reply series. When I watched this, I never get boring why? Because I think the creator is a great storyteller. Rather than having a straight dramatic plot, we get to see mixed between flashback and dramatic in every episode. Makes us sometime surprised to where the story lead us. It was really refreshing and interesting. The most important reason of why I want to talk about this tv series of course because of the many life lessons contained in it. One of them is how we actually could find kindness, even in the most hopeless place we think we’re in. Don’t give up on humanity because every single soul in this world deserves to be treated as a good person.

Let’s move to the characters and actors. The main actors are Park Hae Soo and Jung Kyung Ho. They play as Kim Je Hyuk and Lee Joon Ho, they are best friend and somehow supersweet. I don’t know why but I have a thing for bromance. And they made sugary scenes in this series. In this series, Kim Je Hyuk become very popular because of his charm as a great baseball player, so apparently in South Korea a baseball player popularity is considered almost the same as the popularity of an actors or idols.. so you can imagine how “crazy” people will be when they see Je Hyuk in a mall or a restaurant. Meanwhile Lee Joon Ho grew to be a police officer, eventhough he actually played baseball when he was a kid. Baseball is what make them both getting closer and closer. However, they stopped seeing each other when they got into accident and involving their beloved coach too. However when the destiny finally reunite them both, it was beyond magic. I really wanna have a friendship relationship like them, the one which although you don’t get to meet your best friend everyday or for a long time but when you meet them it’s like time was freezing between them, it’s like nothing’s much changed, and their souls keep connected just like before.

Afterall, what I wanna say is, if you want to see a Drama that makes your heart warm, filled with great actings and (for me) perfect story, you might want to watch this. Yes, it is a must watch korean drama !!

Wonder (2017)

Previously, I don’t think I will write a review about western movie. Because I mean, there will be a lot of reviews for them.. My review will be just a speck of dust in the galaxy. Insignificant. However, there’s always an exception, right? This movie. I really really really really really want to make a review about it. Why? For those who haven’t seen them yet, I hope my review will make you want to see it. For those who already seen it, well.. I want you to give your comments and reviews too! Because I really like to discuss about movies or series. Enough for forewords, I think.

This beautiful movie is directed by Stephen Chbosky, who also a director for the movie The Perks of Being Wallflower, which happens to be one of my favorite. For movies, if I really like it. I always wanna know who the director is. Not only directed Wonder in 2017, he also write for Beauty and The Beast live action! I guess 2017 is his year, right? This movie is based on a novel with same title which written by Raquel Jaramillo (R. J. Palacio). Surprisingly, the novel actually inspired by the actual event when she and her son were waiting in line to buy ice cream and they saw a girl with facial birth defect on her face and the son was starting to cry. Ring a bell? Yes! It is from one of the scene in the movie which involved one of the characters, Jack Will. (A really sweet boy!)

Well, let’s start from the characters because I think the characters are this movies’ strength. This is a story about August “Auggie” Pullman  who has a multiple surgeries on causing him to be homeschooled by his mother, Isabel Pullman. The surgeries not only makes him homeschooled but also makes a couple of scars on his face. You can imagine how hard it must be for a kid right? However, Auggie is very very very lucky to be born on that family. His mother Isabel is … I am speechless. Julia Roberts play really nice in here. A mother who gives almost anything for her family. For his son. She has her own dream but she postponed her dream to take care Auggie. And his Daddy, Nate Pullman, is very kind and funny. He is the type who can handle almost any situation and keep calm. I think what makes the parent is really cool because both Nate and Isabel are very mature and kind and super positive as a person. Auggie has an older sister name Via (Olivia Pullman). In the movie, it is said that Via is the most understanding girl, and I guess this is very true. I mean, I could imagine how to be Via. I think I will sometimes doing the bad things just because. But not Via. Even though Via has her own problems and need someone to really see her, she still think and do something in her control. The family that Auggie is born into, is a super family. They love each other and support each other.

Let’s move to Auggie’s friends in school. The story begins when Auggie who was previously homeschooled is started to enrolled in the real school because it is what he should face anyway, facing the real world. Isabel can’t be forever teach Auggie, and Auggie needs to socialize. He met Jack Will, a super sweet boy who accidentally hurt his feelings by telling something behind his back. Maybe because Jack Will is still a kid, he doesn’t really know what he has to do. But what I really glad is he finally found his true color and he brave enough to tell the world about it. Beside Jack Will, there’s Summer. She’s a really nice girl too. In her very young age, I think she thinks deeply and she already know something that essentials not always “normal” in the eyes.

Via has a best friend, named Miranda. From the early plot I hate Miranda. I mean Miranda is a typical girl who suddenly doesn’t talk to her best friend since kindergarten because of we don’t know why. We will know the reason later on, and this is what makes this movie beautiful because the story has been told by many perspectives. I’m starting to like Miranda too later on. And I have to say, that I almost like every character in this movie. The principal, the teacher, oh but not Julian’s parents! Julian is one of Auggie’s friend in school, but Julian is a bully. We know later on that Julian actually could be good but his parents are the reason why this type of kid are still exist in this world. A kid is pure actually. A kid can be a nice kid if taught well.

I guess almost everyone agree that the important message of this movie is what the principal said to Julian and his parents : Auggie can’t change how he look but maybe we can change how we see him. It is to stop judging everyone and set aside our assumption to anything and start to see with heart. Also, this story doesn’t only about Auggie. He’s not the center of this, Auggie inspire people to do good, but who makes Auggie strong is his family. The family who protect and care about Auggie. The various perspectives also taught me that in every kind of situation, when we can choose, choose to be kind. It is like the precepts that taught in Mr Browne class “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

All in all, I guess many good thing we could learn from this movie. I think I wanna read the novel too. Hopefully I will find the great movie like this in 2018. Simple movie but meaningful and played by the really great casts are the best!!



Priceless (2012)

It’s been two years, I think, since I last watch Takuya Kimura’s series. Actually the newest series of him is called A Life where he (finally) become a doctor! However, I really want to talk about this series made in 2012, called “Priceless”, because I really like the idea and of course the message of this masterpiece. I will write the review of his newest series later, by the way.

Priceless is about how a man, Fumio Kindaichi (played by Takuya Kimura) who worked at a home appliances company (mostly thermos) suddenly get fired. He was a typical of carefree salaryman who doesn’t really think about his future, only think for his present, and living his life at the present. He was rather ignorant with his own life and his surroundings, although he could sense what other’s feel but he takes his ability for his own benefit. The 180 degrees change in his life have pushed him to start thinking and seeing the life from a different perspective. The view which he neglected for all this time. To appreciate his surroundings. To appreciate the hard work and money. But the point is, to appreciate what’s more important than money, that money can’t buy in life.

Takuya Kimura, as usual, played very well. He nailed the character as the cool guy (of course). Moreover, his natural charming aura has elevated the character of Fumio Kindaichi waaay to the next level! The other characters were also attractive, I love the team of three (Fumio Kindaichi, Kengo Moai and Saya Nikado) because their chemistry are just so cute.

What I love about the series is that it taught me how to survive and how to not be afraid to start all over again, even from the scratch. Because sometimes, we never know that God’s help actually are around us. We just need to be sensitive and care about our surroundings. There were moments when the help comes unexpectedly. And it is really really important to keep the optimistic attitude in our mind. From this story I also learn that sometimes we have to go to the rockbottom to learn what we have to learn. It hurts. It is scary. But it will be worth for our life.

The character of Fumio Kindaichi is actually very carefree. He did what he thought he should, even though we might think that he’s not reasonable. He is also sensitive for other’s feel. He is the type of my “dreamy” boss. Because he approached everyone personally. He become to thinks about others first before himself. He carries a typical of startup founder’s attribute who doesn’t stop facing many obstacles because of he believes. I love the message of how one cannot achieve success by his own. One needs a really a good team, the partners who believe at him/her and will do everything to support each other’s back.

It is also interesting because the script writer explain why it has to be thermos that they sell. The one which actually we might think is less useful in modern era. It turned out that the founder of the company has his own reason and his own story with the thermos. I like the small details and insignificant significant story behind the thermos. The fact that we almost forgot but actually has its own unique function and history.

All in all, I consider this series as a fairytale because many events in this drama actually don’t make sense and can’t relate in our real life. But still, the spirit and the message of this drama can be adopted in our real life. I personally inspired of this series to take a very very big decision last year. A decision that not everyone can agree or accept, but turns out for me it was a leap of faith. I think this one good for you to watch when you need a support in your downside. Plus, again, Takuya Kimura san is very charming here!



Long Vacation (1996)

It took a long time for me to write a review of my all time favorite dorama, Long Vacation. The dorama which started everything. I have a deep relationship with this dorama because of many reasons, one of them because this is where I met my first love: Takuya Kimura! Yeah, I fell in love with him as an actor, and I have developed my attraction in tv series and movies because of him and this series. This dorama also became hit in Japan, and since take a role in Long Vacation, Takuya Kimura has become the main lead actor who always bring his series to the high rating program every year. In order to write from a different point of view describing of how I feel about this dorama, I decided to watch this dorama again. Funny thing is, no matter how many times I watch this dorama, it always make my heart flutters in a certain way.

long vacation

Long Vacation starred by Takuya Kimura (as Sena Hidetoshi) and Tomoko Yamaghuci (as Minami Hayama). Takuya Kimura brilliantly portray a passive guy Sena as a charming and to die for guy. I usually don’t prefer the passive guy, but I don’t know why Takuya Kimura nailed it. I’ve never seen Tomoko Yamaghuci in other series, but surely in this dorama she is the Sun. She could make this dorama fresh and warm. Sena is a 24 year old guy who actually is a piano master candidates however stucked as a piano lesson teacher. Minami is a 31 year old lady who face the sunset time of her model career. They both met at the Sena’s apartment when Minami is left by her fiancee at her wedding day. Her fiancee share apartment with Sena, but when Minami came it was too late because her fiancee already gone. It is basically a romantic drama involving a guy and a lady who live together and started to get to know each other, console each other, and love each other as the time goes by. I will review this dorama from the point of what I love most, first of all are the main leads Sena and Minami.

What I love about Sena and Minami interactions is that they inspire each other to live. Not just some random meaningless romantic scenes, but a deeper connection between two humans through their conversations and acts. Sena is a shy guy, really.. he is too kind and introvert, a total opposite of Minami who is really bright and cheerful. However, they are actually could see the world from the same perspective. It is shown by the small moments but deep for me. Like when Minami and Sena laugh at certain jokes of the movie while their partner couldn’t see that funny at all. Sena might be really passive and too cool, but when Minami sad and depressed about her why-everything-goes-wrong life, it is Sena who consoled Minami to take that time as a vacation from God. To not rush, to not try hard, just let everything flow in its natural way. What Sena said was also the meaning of this dorama title. I might not realize it when I watched this dorama 16 years ago for the first time, but this version of me now.. see that moment as one of the touching and deep scene that I love most in this dorama. Another of the sweetest moment was when Minami try so hard to learn piano, to show a miracle to Sena due to his plan to giving up Piano from his life. I think, it is nice to have someone who like Minami in my life everytime I’m planning to leave my dream. They developed to love each other without their realization, but not in a cliche way. They support each other to stand up on their own feet again after their dark moments. I think that’s one side of relationship between man and woman which really hard to find in this nowadays romantic drama/tv series.

Other thing that I love most from this dorama is the soundtrack. La La La Love Song by Toshinobu Kubota ft Naomi Campbell, Deeper and Deeper by Cagnet and all of the piano pieces. I still listen to the songs up to now, I have them in my phone playlist. I read that because of this series, there were many guys want to learn piano. It’s really cool wasn’t it? The effect of this dorama was really huge!  I think the music director of this dorama is a real genius, because the music matched with the mood of every scenes. I used to confuse with the music without lyric; what does the musician want to tell about on their pieces? Somehow, I could get it in this dorama. Every sound of the piano could tell a thousand words and miraculously  moved my heart.

To sum up, I think that this dorama is a must watch series for those who are thinking that their life going nowhere, they have to try to think it as their long vacation from God. Because no matter how hard we try, there always be moments like that. About the romantic relationship, make us think that the strongest reason for man and woman could be in love is maybe because despite of the difference personality we might have but when you can find someone who sees and thinks the same view as you do and could pull you out from the despair sea, you’ve successfully found yourself a home, you’ve found the one who you want to be with forever.

Anyway..if you never listen to it, you should try to listen Close to You and Minami: Sena’s Piece. They are really awesome piano tunes 🙂



Beach Boys (1997)

Beach Boys is a Japanese TV Series that aired at 1997 in Japan. Wait.. What?!! It is almost 20 years ago. OMG. Time sure flies really fast. I was watching this heartwarming TV series approximately in year 2000-ish. It was aired in one of TV station in Indonesia. Talking about the TV shows in Indonesia. I stopped watching TV when I graduated from High School. It is sad how they used to broadcast cool series like Japanese Dorama a long time ago, compared to current TV programs that Only-God-Knows-Why-Everybody-Still-Watch kind of shows.

Back to Beach Boys. I re-watched it again a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know why, maybe I just miss the old feeling of how I used to be simply happy because of watching Dorama. And guess what! I re-fall in love again with it. No matter how megaboom effect of Korean Drama is now, I still have a very special place for Japanese Dorama like this. The series is contained of 12 episodes and 1 special movie episode. The nice thing about re-watch this series, because I feel a different feeling now. Like a mature side of me, could process the message of this series even more. I could interpret and appreciate even further than the previous me.

There are three main cast of this series, Hiromi Sakurai (played by Sorimachi Takashi), Suzuki Kaito (played by Yutaka Takenouchi) and Izumi Makoto (played by Hirosue Ryoko). Hiromi and Kaito are “the beach boys”, they like destined to meet each other and spend the night together at Diamond Head, a Minshuku Inn by the beach which owned by Makoto’s Grandfather. The arrival of Hiromi and Kaito give the fresh and energetic kind of atmosphere at the Minshuku Inn. Makoto, who still a high school girl, is already fall in love with those beach boys in no time. Every episode tells a different story from every cast. What I like about this kind of series is, that we can learn from every cast’s problems. There was a time when Makoto wants to stay in the beach, while his grandfather actually tell her to move out with her mother in Tokyo. Also, there is a time when Kaito back to Tokyo doing his work and then get visited by Makoto and Hiromi because they feel Kaito is more suitable to be with them at the Inn. Or when the cheerful and positive Hiromi has to tell everybody who he really is (a swimmer athlete who ‘run’ from what he supposed to do). Or when Haruko finally met her little boy, the one whose letter she always waiting for.

The story line is simple but somehow it really gets me. It’s about finding your “ocean”. Do something that we really like. Many lessons from this statement, but this series taught me an important thing about what we really like or what we have to do for life. It’s not always about what we’re good at.

The series ends when Kaito and Hiromi has to decide what they will do for next after the Summer has over. It was really emotional because both of them already have a deep connection now with the Diamond Head. Nevertheless, they have to go.

The special movie episode is also very heartwarming. It brings us to the couple of months after the beach boys left Diamond Head living in their own path. The question is, Do they really like what they are doing now? Funny yet smart how the writer suddenly bring the stories back to the beginning again.

This TV series has successfully made Takashi Sorimachi and Yutaka Takenouchi reputable actors until now. They both has their own charms and no one could deny it. I, myself, has fallen in love with Takashi Sorimachi’s character. Moreover, he could sing! This series’s opening song titled “Forever” was performed by Takashi Sorimachi.

After all, I can’t believe that watching TV shows produced from 20 years ago could moved my heart even more than before. This series is really good for you who happens to be at their twenty-something phase, wandering in life, searching for the purpose or whatever you should do. Maybe because of this series, sometimes I really want to run. Just living beside the ocean, far away from the crowded city.  The cast’s acts so natural, that makes me want to be part of them, The Beach Boys and Girls.

PS: The series’s opening clip is nice! You should watch it!