Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Season 1: The Human Condition Pilot Episode Review - 리얼체험 프로젝트 인간의 조건 (KBS)

It was a boring Saturday night or is it morning (since it airs at midnight in Singapore) when I came across this reality show with a twist of variety: a bunch of six comedians with different characters were set to live together for a week, and these comedians have to carry out a specific mission for that whole week (which basically meant of life without necessities). The pilot program started with the withdrawal of their mobile phones, and basically no usage of technology for 7 days (no TV, computer and mobile phones).

With six comedians, there’s bound to be some drama and lots of entertainment (especially when two of the eldest have unresolved issues with each other). They would be...

Kim Jun-Ho (김준호)

Man-child comedian and CEO of an entertainment company and boss to some if not most of the other comedians on this show, except for frenemy... Park Sung-Ho (박성호).

Park Sung-Ho (박성호)

An awkwardly unsociable individual (he’s really bad at expressing his feelings but he starts to warm up episode by episode) with a wacky sense for comedy.

Next up are comedians...

Jung Tae-ho (정태호) 

Infamous for his role as Madam Jeong on Gag Concert. Tae-ho is the more sensible one and considerate towards others' feelings. He even tried to get the above two comedians to resolve their differences.

From the skit of 4 Men on Gag Concert we have

Kim Jun-Hyeon (김준현)  

Resident fat guy with a slim heart and a big appetite.

Heo Gyeong-Hwan (허경환)

Apparently the shortest member with height issues, but confident of his looks.

Yang Sang-Guk (양상국) 

 The sophisticated country bumpkin.

The voice-over narration and wording throughout the show, gives it a documentary-like presentation with a twist, there is heart in this show as the comedians interact and strive to successfully accomplish their mission. It is also something more than that – it makes the viewer actually think how the various things in life we have taken for granted and how they can actually become hindrances in our daily interactions with the people around us.

It was intriguing to watch the comedians being placed in a real life situation where they have to carry on their lives without the use of technology. It was painful entertaining watching them suffer from their ‘withdrawal’ symptoms and trying to find alternative things to keep them entertained and occupied. Their solution was simple – to go old school:
  • want to take a photo? Ok sure, just use an analog/film camera and get the photos processed instead
  • want to call someone? Try finding that almost non-existent pay phone where you have to slot coins and have a time limit. They eventually had a landline installed at the place they were staying at.
  • No TV to entertain? Try getting a radio to listen to songs or play the guitar and sing along. Or better yet get some DIY toy models you can build yourself to spend the lazy weekend afternoon away.
  • no mobile phone on hand to check the latest news? Simply read the newspaper – paper stye

The results were not only hilarious at times and entertaining (at the comedians expense), but also very heartwarming upon their afterthoughts and reflection.

With no mobile phone or technology on hand, this show made me realize how much we rely on technology as a smoke-screen to (un)intentionally avoid interaction with others (especially when it gets awkward or there is nothing to say) and how we actually take the people around us for granted. Without technology, you are actually “forced” to interact and get the opportunity to bond and foster a friend/relationship. Technology is there to make our lives easier and more comfortable, but relying on it too much makes us ‘lazy’ to even bother interacting properly with others; missing out on bonding and interacting with the people around us, and making us distant and ‘cold’ individuals.

A trip to Running Man - Haha barbecue restuarant (Pal Ja Mak Chang)

This is a stop where all Running Man fans would certainly want to visit in Seoul. I am one of those fans that really wanted to visit a celebrity restuarant run by my favourite artise. I suggested to iceprinxess to visit this restaurant and we can settle our dinner at the same time. Coincidentally, Hongdae is also one of the place we wanted to visit and do some shopping.

The picture was taken at Ha Dong Hoon Mak Chang (Pig intestine) restuarant in Seoul, Korea. Haha and his friends invested in this barbeque restuarant and they mainly sell pork meat and pig intestine. (Fortunately, we can go in without any issue with the foods) LeeSang Gary also open a Mak Chang restuarant and it is at the KonDae Branch which we did not get to visit the place due to our tight schedule. Nonetheless, we still go ahead with our plan to visit this place which is mainly run by HaHa friends.  Although I read online that HaHa may drop by the restuarant when he is free, unfortunately we did not see him when we visited the restuarant. I did some research before going  there and this is the address - Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu 395-17, operate from 5pm to 5am. It is located at Hong dae, near Hongik University ( Hongdae station ) and a mall called Sang Sang Madang

Being the first time going to the BBQ restuarant, we had some difficulty finding it since it was not located in a very obvious area. We actually need to walk about 10-15 minutes from the subway station exit 2 or 9 to reach the destination. Thanks to the GPS and Iceprinxess great sense of direction, we managed to locate the restaurant. I find that the signage was cute and it totally represents Haha personality. It is obvious that was Haha restaurant when I first saw the layout of the restaurant. The concept of the restuarant is reggae with a little hip hop style. I was immediately  attracted by the graffiti on the wall once i stepped into the place. The wall painting and the lighting matches the atmosphere of the restaurant too. I particularly like the wooden brown furniture which matches the background and the Celebrities signatures which attracted my attention at the entrance. 

Soon, we were greeted warmly when we stepped into the restuarant. We were urshered to a table immediately and given the menu. Surprisingly, this place was already crowded with people on a Thursday night. We decided to have some food sampling as we were pretty full due to the heavy lunch. There are english and Chinese translation on the food menu beside the Korean words. Therefore, it is easier for tourists like us to choose from the menu. 

We ordered two set of pork meat, a pig intestine and a bowl of spicy noodle soup. The waiters were in uniforms and interestingly two of them have nametags at the back. At a closer look, the waiter is wearing Gary nametag and the waitress has a HaHa nametag at the back. They work swiftly at every table helping to flip the barbecue meat and they took down orders very fast. The barbecue table was set up within minutes after we ordered and we do not need to wait long for our foods to be placed on the table.

The pork meat was good and chewy and it matches the fresh vegetables, garlic and special gravy sauce. Like any Korean meal, they serve side dishes such as white raddish to go with the barbeque foods. I am the only one that help myself to the pig intestine and i managed to place some of it into the vegetables before popping it into my mouth. However, I am not used to eating the pig intestine especially without any vegetable left. Therefore, I did not finish the pig intestine which I think look like a big portion even after they cut it into bite size. We managed to clear the pork meat which were quite filling and we were left with some pig intestine on the barbecue table. The spicy noodles was a little too spicy for my taste bug but the portion is just nice for the both of us. We should be able to finish the noodles if we are not too full. Nonetheless, the foods is at affordable prices and i finally got to taste some barbeque foods in korea. Ya!

Before we settled the bills, I requested to take photo of the signatures placed at the entrance and near the television. The cashier whom I recognized as one of HaHa friend readily agreed to let me take pictures of the signatures on the wall. Overall, the staffs are pretty polite and friendly. I observed that the staffs work  pretty well in this environment, serving their customers promptly. HaHa tweeted on his tweeter  account before that if any of the staffs are not friendly, we can tear the nametag off.  We left the restaurant contented that we had visited a celebrity restuarant. :)

Celebrities signatures

 Can you spot these?

Kim Jong Kook Signature

JYP Signature

Yoo Jae Suk Signature

Boyband - 2AM signature

 Gary Signature

Sulli signature

Lee Kwang Soo signature

Boyband - Beast signature

Girl group - Kara signature

Saturday, May 18, 2013


金钟国特别专栏 (Special feature)

1) 音乐人

在九十年代的时候,钟国以双人组合Turbo领导韩国偶像市场。这个组合发行了许多舞曲,例如:我的儿时梦想 Twist King. 他们的专辑销售成绩理想, 随后这个组合解散后,国儿便独自单飞以抒情歌手的形象攻占市场。他独自发行七张专辑,其中有许多名曲,例如: 原地踏步, 星星,风,光茫和爱,和一个男人。 经典歌曲讨人喜欢更在韩国音乐榜表现出色。 最近,他带着最新专辑:回家的路程,独特柔美的嗓音唱出‘男人都这样。大众公认了他的才华,并与此同时各大电视台KBS,SBS, MBC 颁发了‘年度大赏’和 ‘年度最佳艺人’奖项给他。

2) 从另类到帅气

金钟国在Turbo巅风期时,他的帅气青少年形象就如现今的偶像一样。 然而,他当时的发型土气,穿着也怪气。他既然穿着和伙伴一样的 服装,衣服和裤子都穿大号的, 并且戴着一副奇怪的墨镜。最终,只能用舞曲和舞蹈掩盖潮流另类的选择。随着时间的流失,金钟国抛开过去的形象,并以健壮的体魄现身。他拥有性感的发型和充满魅力的个性,尤其在跑跑人中能人的形象出众。幸好如今金钟国变得更帅气了,并摆脱过去的造型。

3) 保持样貌需要花费不少工夫



4) 怎么有蚊子的声音?

很多人认为以金钟国的体魄,他的声音应该很沉厚。但是,其实钟国的音色偏高并喻为‘蚊子歌喉’在节目中,钟国也开玩笑表示他的歌声是因为儿时候不小心喝下了一瓶杀虫剂,并送进医院。正因如此而伤了喉容造成如今的- 蚊子歌喉。毫无意外的,资深歌手金钟国总是能掌握自己的音调和歌声并且把歌唱好。

5) 长劲鹿+ 老虎 = <3

国儿(老虎) 光舒有着猎人和猎物的关系在跑跑人的节目中。 如果你最近才看跑跑人会误以为他们的关系很差。光舒总是想尽办法在适当的时候报复国儿,他甚至在节目第一百零八集中以钟国害怕的崔民秀为借口赏国儿一个耳光。他也把国儿的名牌卦在墙壁上。 但其实在镜头后面,他们的关系很好甚至是好兄弟。在访问中光舒感谢钟国“欺负”他才有今日的长劲鹿这个角色。虽然钟国知道自己批评还是继续欺负我,所我很感激哥。

 6) 想读法律 

在以前的访问中,钟国透露自己的梦想是念著名的大学修读法律科。据说他拥有高智商(136) 属于全世界少数的比例,达到理想应该不难。这位聪明的歌手或许是少数得到硕士学位艺术表演的演艺人员。他最终放弃修读法律,我不知你的看发但我庆幸这个梦想没有实现否则跑跑人就没有能力者了。和光舒争吵也是很好的训练阿!

7) 感情线

金钟国是著名的对女生很尊敬的绅士。他也曾经有许多诽闻,最令人印象深刻的是和尹恩惠的感情线。还记得当时两人还是新人在X-Man时候,当国儿问到是否爱着尹恩惠时,国儿用双手捂住尹恩惠的耳朵说,“当然”如今这对银幕恋人仍然在跑跑人节目中被提起。有趣的是尹恩惠为了不愿提起过去的感情线而不肯参与节目。然而在第114集的跑跑人中出现了文瑾莹,钟国在躲避球的是候奋力保护她。甚至比腕力的时候故意输给文瑾莹以免伤害她而跌破大家的眼镜。 更有趣的是钟国说文瑾莹是他理想的类型,并不介意和她约会。 这将是一对新情侣吗?

8) 重情重义

老虎习惯独自生活,然而这鬼马的综艺前辈曾经上过许多节目例如:X-Man,梦想组合和家庭外出是个重家庭的人。 他替哥哥还医科补习费也经常带母亲到处玩,是时常陪伴母亲的孝子。他甚至同侄女Soya 合唱歌曲,钟国不常参与别人的歌曲可真是莫大的荣幸阿!希望跑跑人来太阳岛拍摄。

Monday, May 13, 2013

JTBC Hidden Singer - Kim Jong Kook

I watched one episode of jTBC Hidden Singer when i was in Korea and they were featuring Baek Ji Young at that time. After that, the preview showed Kim Jong Kook in the next episode of Hidden Singer. Unfortunately, i will miss this episode since i will not be around in Korea to watch this show. Nonetheless, i managed to watch this episode of Hidden Singer through the website. Thanks to KJKGlobal facebook that announced the link before the premiere of the programme. The technology is so advance nowadays, we can even watch the show about the same time as it was shown in Korea. For your information jTBC Hidden Singer is shown at 11pm (K.T) every Saturday and a repeat telecast on Sunday.
For those who are not familiar with the format of this programme, the main purpose is to identify the original singer (guest of the show) in the midst of the singers featured. The 1st round is to gather 6 singers behind the screen that include the singer himself. The audience were given a remote controler to vote for the singer whom they think is most probably not the guest singer. There are a total of 4 rounds and the audiences have to listen carefully to the signature songs in order to identify the singer. Each round, they will gather the most number of votes and the contestant with the most votes will be eliminated. In the final match (Round 4), the singer will compete with two finalists and stand behind the door to sing his or her song. The votes (scores) will be determined by the audience and the winner will be the one who has the most number of votes. The contestants in the programme are usually talented people who is able to sing as well as the singers.

We begin the show with the MC Noh Hong Chul introducing Kim Jong Kook as Mr Capable. After that, the guests begin to talk about their impression of Kim Jong Kook and how they get to know him. One of the guest is Kim Jong-Min, who is Kim Jong Kook long time friend. I am not surprise that he is able to identify Kim Jong Kook voice. Not to forget this bald bespectacled guest - Hong Seok Cheon who is a big fan of Kim Jong Kook. Being the first open homosexual celebrity, he was rejoicing at the mention of Mr Capable.

Anyway, back to the show and  Kim Jong Kook appeared in a grey jacket and he was wearing a white V neck shirt underneath. He politely greeted the audience and the guests begin to tease him about his voice which sound like Micheal Jackson. He was also remembered as part of idol duo - Turbo and during the show he revealed that Mikey is living in America now and he is doing well selling insurance. He added that Mikey wants to be a insurance king. After that, Kim Jong Kook turned around and revealed his name tag pasted at the back. Adopting the idea of Running Man, the eliminated person will have his name tag removed. MC Noh was tempted to remove his name tag just like Kwang Soo. The audience spurred MC Noh to remove spartakook name tag, however as hard as he tried, he just could'nt remove it. lol. That is spartakook. :)

Kim Jong Kook and Mikey

We move on to the the first round and the familiar tune of Turbo hit song - December was played. The six singers were hidden behind the door and each of them sang a few lines of the lyrics. It was interesting to see the confused facial expression of the audience as they tried to guess where is Kim Jong Kook in the midst of the sound alike voices. Wait a minute, did i hear a familar voice in door 5. Anyway, i think all the singers did well, especially the singer in door number 4 . Even though i am a 100% Kim Jong Kook fan, i am still struggling to identify Kookie voice.

Finally i decided on number 3, and is there 0 vote on the door? It seems that the audience agree with me that Kim Jong Kook is at door number 3, although i doubt my listening skill. The most number of votes is at door 1 with 47 number of votes casted to this singer. Subsequently, door number 1 opened and  revealed a sound alike kim jong kook singer, so where is our kookie? In the end, it was revealed that kookie is at door number 3! Yay! The contestant that have the most number of vote was eliminated in the first round.
The next song to be sang was taken from Kim Jong Kook This is Me album titled - Walking in one spot. MTV flashes of Kim Jong Kook taking off his shirt and showed off his six pack abs were shown onscreen. A female guest wondered can they still see the abs now? Kim Jong Kook was embarassed by those remarks and smiled awkwardly. Although i do not understand Korean very well, i still can grasp what is happening. The MC challenge Kim Jong Kook during the second round if the audience could not identify his voice, he have to show his muscular abs to the audience. Kim Jong Kook panicked and rejected the suggestion, while the rest of the audience were supportive of this idea. MC Noh really knows how to bargain and 'benefit' the audience with that deal.

During the second round, there were 5 challengers including Kim Jong Kook standing behind the doors as they belted out - Walking in one spot. Likewise, their voices were very silimar but i eventually identified Kim Jong Kook distinctive mosquito voice. I am sure Jong Kook is at door number 1! Hey number 5 sound familiar too. The voice sounds like K.Will who is also one of my favourite singer. The door opened and i did guessed correctly but there is a greater surprise in store for me - door number 5 opened and K.Will stepped out! Wow! I can see everyone jaw-dropping when they see K.Will. Interestingly, all the contestants wore their name tag at the back. Kim Jong Kook will personally eliminate the person with the most number of votes. Haha. That was hilarious..
The guest spotted that Kim Jong Kook changed to a black tuxedo and he had buttoned up his suit. Does it mean that he does not want to show his abs? Anyway, it was the singer at door number 4 that won this round. Omo! Is Kim Jong Kook going to keep his words about showing his six pack abs? Trust that this man really did honor his promise as he turned around to unbutton his shirt. Look at Hong Seok Cheon expression! Some people looked on with wide open eyes while some of the female audience were shy but could not stop themselves from peeping through their fingers. Kim Jong Kook showed his abs to the camera but the audience at both side complained that they can't see. Therefore, he had to relunctantly remove the buttons again and show his abs to the audience at the side too. Scream! chocolate abs!
Kim Jong Kook accidentally drop his name tag on the floor amist all the excitment and he bend down to pick it up. Hmm, that bending position was a little awkward because of those muscles and the tuxedo seem to be too tight for him. MC Noh did not let go of this opportunity to tease him as he took the name tag from him and threw it back before asking Jong Kook to pick it up again. I like Jong Kook reaction as he sat down on the floor and picked up the name tag. Haha.. I was reminded of the famous phrase by Yoo Jae Suk saying,"You build up those muscles to pick up the name tag?"
The next song is Kim Jong Kook classic hit - Loveable. 3 contestants and Kim Jong Kook stood behind the doors and they sang the song remarkably well. This time round not only did i managed to identify Kim Jong Kook voice, i was able to identify K.Will voice too. I am so glad that my two favourite singers were featured in the same music programme. K.Will proved to be a cute comedian with his funny antics and expression. He is trying to impersonate Kim Jong Kook!
The first contestant told Kim Jong Kook that he like his character in Running Man as Spartakooks and that his favourite song is - Letter. He requested to sing the song with him. Wow! That was a really good collaboration and i was blown away by their voices. It was funny how they skipped K. Will turn and talk to the other contestant beside him. This Kim Byung Man look alike contestant said that he is strong like Kim Jong Kook in Running Man. He claimed that he is able to lift Kim Jong Kook and he did exactly that as he bend down and carried Kim Jong Kook up by his legs. Now it was left with K.Will and MC Noh said that he is going to dance. Back to the dance floor as Kim Jong-Min, Kim Jong Kook and  K.Will stood infront and dance to Turbo hits - Black cat and Twist King. Woohoo! bring back the old school!
They finally introduce K.Will as one of the contestant and MC Noh begins to bicker with him again. I like it when K.Will imitate a few singers and a cartoon character very well. Then, he challenge MC Noh to sing like him and the latter failed terribly. Ha. Finally, time to announce who will be eliminated from the final round. MC Noh asked Kim Jong Kook who will be eliminated in this round and he jokingly replied, "Contestant number 2 (K.Will)." Indeed, K.Will name tag was removed just like the rest and he went back to his seat.

Hong Seok Cheon

Finally, the fourth round to determine who is the winner and there were two contestants competing with Kim Jong Kook. The last song is - Han Namja (One Man) which is a meaningful song for Kim Jong Kook as this is the song which helped him gained popularity after he became a solo singer. Kim Jong-Min was asked to comment and he accidentally made a mistake when he called Jong Kook hyung by his name. Angered by the mistake, Kim Jong Kook walked towards Jong-Min but was stop by Hong Seok Cheon. Look at where you place your hand! That was sneaky of you to place your hand on - Jong Kook oppa chest!

I have absolutely no problem in identifying Han Namja Kim Jong Kook when he sang this song, especially only three of them were left. The heartbeating moment came as we need to announce the winner of the day. MC Noh interrupted those tense moment and beat about the bush with the result. The winner is, "Jong, jong, jong, jong...KIM JONG KOOK" Finally , Kim Jong Kook heave a sigh of relief as he won the competition with 79 votes. However, it was not over for MC Noh as he need to receive his punishment. (One of the guests suggested to have him punished for keeping them in suspense over the result.)
Kim Jong Kook readily agreed and pretended to take out his black suit. Omo! did Kookie hold the microphone in an upside down position after all that hype? Jong Kook realized it the next moment and he immediately flipped over the microphone. MC Noh was grabbed by the other guests as he get ready to pay the price for his naughty antic. Jong Kook lifted up his index finger amist the anticipation and get ready to hit his forehead. Ouch! That was a loud sound and soon we saw the red bruise on MC Noh forehead. Kim Jong Kook immediately hugged him and the show ended with a finale song - Loveable, presented by Kookie and all his lollol. :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rich Man, Poor woman Episode 4


Chihiro accidentally let slip that she has been using a false identity. Her actual name is Matoko Natsui.Hyuga was angry with her for being a liar woman and told her not to come back to Next Innovation again. Clearly affected by the incident, Natsui was mopping at the university when her friend ask her to do something to amend for the mistake. Natsui did a part time job at a petrol station under her friend recommendation. Coincidently, Hyuga drove his car to the petrol station and Natsui was flustered when she saw him and tried to hide from him.
Hyuga was busy with the operation of the data and there were things he had yet to figure out. He met yoko while taking a break and they spent time together. Yoko revealed that they met each other a few years ago and they make a pact to meet again. However, Hyuga does not seem to remember anything to Yoko disappointment. On the other hand,  Makoto was busy doing survey and getting information for the project.

Asahina had a hard day at work and had some conflict with Hyuga about work. Yoko noticed that he had a hard day at work and casually commented that, "brother, you are the best number 2." Yoko asked about Hyuga illness as he did not remember anything about her. Asahina explained that Hyuga is suffering from a medical condition and he can't remember people names and faces.

It was late at night, Makoto was wrongfully arrested for stealing an elder bank book. She called Asahina to bail her out of the police station, but Hyuga came instead. He explained that nobody is in the office at 1am. Hyuga was testing the usability of the system that he created and he asked Makoto to test run the system in the office. Makoto has problems in accessing the system and Hyuga figured out that the high technology system may not work well with the general people. He decided to change the system into a simpler version to cater to the abilities of people who are not good in technology. Makoto stayed with Hyuga in the office while he did the changes for the programme. They discussed and modified the system to a simple way through Makoto help, they finally succeeded.

In order to market this system to the public, they need the help of big companies to promote the personal files. Hyuga was annoyed with the attitude of those big bosses and refused to make a deal with them. Because of that, Asahina and Hyuga had an argument and Hyuga remarked, "Asahina, this is the first time i am disappointed in you." Makoto was called back to Next Innovation the next morning. Hyuga offered her to be a temporary staff till the launch of the personal file interface. He re-introduced to the staffs that her name is Makoto Natsui.

Hyuga met Makoto at the lift and gave her a stack of name cards. Makoto was overjoyed to receive her own stack of name cards with cute pictures printed on it. She mentioned about meeting Hyuga mother at the country side but she was asked not to reveal that to anyone. She had been bothered by the fact that she did not help the two of them to meet, however, Hyuga had no recollection that they met on that day. Makoto was disappointed with his reply and tried to hide it. Hyuga tried to explain his medical condition but could not as the lift door open and he went in.

Yoko and Hyuga met in the restaurant and they talked about that time they met and their promise to meet again a year later. Hyuga suddenly remembered something about them. Delighted, Yoko gave Hyuga a kiss on the lips and Makoto happened to be outside the restaurant and witnessed the scene. On the other hand, Asahina seem to be planning something in his mind.

     Episode Guide