Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

31Jan/082

Nhu Quynh – Xin Dung Trach Da Da

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This song is considered the 'sequel' song to "Tieng Hat Chim Da Da" and I highly recommend that you listen to "Tieng Hat Chim Da Da" before listening to this. It is located here.

Composer: Vo Dong Dien
English Title: Please Don't Blame the Chinese Francolin (1)
Translated By: Gigi

And so, the Chinese Francolin stood blankly,
Staring off into the faraway distance.
It still echoed its song the day she wedded her husband.
A lullaby sounded so vast the day I bid farewell to her beside the river.
As I look at the clouds drifting aimlessly,
I wonder if she is still heartbrokened over where she is?

Time passed by quickly that I often thought it was just a dream.
But life is not like a dream; love is not what anyone would expect.
I rather be like the wandering clouds,
So that I could let the wind carry me to the distant lands.
Don't let me be like the Chinese Francolin,
How could it apathetically caused someone to be sad?

Who was it? Who was it that caused the rain to fall?
Raining on the golden butterfly when it perched on a branch of the ballnut tree. (2)
Just like how birds move from one place to another,
How can I find her after she married a husband from a faraway region?

Finding her is like finding a distant bird,
The bird flew to the northern sea while I'm searching for the southern sea.
Every evening, every evening, I went out to stand by the shore of the river.
During my moment of heartache, I did blame the Chinese Francolin.

Please don't blame the Chinese Francolin.
Please don't blame the Chinese Francolin.

Translator's Notes
(1) Chinese Francolin is a bird species and in this song it is used to symbolize the man who is in love with the girl. He is asking his ex-lover to not blame him for letting her go marry someone else even if they both love each other. He also doesn't want to blame himself for letting her go so easily.
(2) This line links to a Vietnamese 'ca dao' (folk-song) phrase, and it is translated as follows:

A golden butterfly perches on a branch of the ballnut tree,
The earlier a woman weds her husband, the sadder the lullaby.

That folk-song phrase refers to women who marry at an early age. It is viewed as depressing because they married so young, and in the old days, they married according to their parents' wishes instead of their own. So most of these women end up marrying someone they do not love. So Vietnamese songs with this theme, will almost always include a golden butterfly perching on a ballnut tree branch because of the folk-song. This will also indicate as to why a lullaby is mentioned at the beginning of the song.

27Jan/083

Truong Vu – Rung La Thap

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Composer: Tran Thien Thanh
English Title: Jungle of Low-Hanging Leaves
Translated By: Gigi

The jungle of green, green leaves, trees drape over its path.
What kind of dreams does the city behind me hold?
I am a soldier in the middle of a long-lasting war.
That's why I could hear my first dreams sinking deeply.

From the radio, the girl would sing:
"I will love you forever, the worn-out soldier who's away from home."
In the middle of the jungle, her voice would rise.
But I don't see anything in the middle of this jungle.

Why not sing for the soldiers battling enemies on the bridge?
With muddy boots, still wearing their green uniforms.
Amidst gunsmoke at the camp, and tired eyes from lack of sleep.
After a night of combat, all we need is a word of appreciation.

Why not sing for those who are still busy fighting?
All we see are trees hiding the road back to the bustling city.
Why not sing for the mothers who miss their sons every night?
Why not sing for those who recently fell last night?

A worn path snakes its way through the dense, green jungle.
A soldier is accustomed to the hardships of each army mission.
I've heard the nonstop sound of gunshots since the day I was born.
So now I'm fighting a long war to bring peace to my country.

Please let your words touch people's hearts forever.
Do not sing like the birds atop the dense jungle.
Please be sincere about what you are singing.
Just like how a soldier loves the jungle's low-hanging leaves.

Translator's Notes
This song basically talks about the thoughts of a soldier during a war, in this case, the Vietnam War. This is one of the many, many songs about the Vietnam War. A teacher once told me that in order to learn about a country's culture, you must look at its music. Because there are so many songs dedicated to the Vietnam War in Vietnamese music, it just goes to show the huge impact the war has placed on Vietnamese people.

26Jan/080

Nhu Quynh – Tieng Hat Chim Da Da

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This song is a well-known song among Vietnamese, and because it is rooted in Vietnamese culture, it will be hard to understand by non-Vietnamese. That's why I included translation notes like always so that people will understand the song and its symbolism and metaphors, so that they can enjoy the song just as I do.

Composer: Vo Dong Dien
English Title: The Sound of the Chinese Francolin (1)
Translated by: Gigi

Back in the day, you were fifteen years old
You would often hear me playing the guitar
The sound of the guitar stirred up many emotions
As time passed by quickly
You no longer come to hear me plucking the copper strings
And only peeked at me beside the river
Why were you not like before, coming over to hear me play?
Causing the guitar's melody to saddened greatly
You are like the gentle clouds, drifting aimlessly across the sky
And the clouds have separated from me

There's a Chinese Francolin seated on a banyan tree branch
Why must you marry a husband who's so far away? (2)
There's a Chinese Francolin singing a harmonious song
Why must you marry at such a young age?
Causing the Chinese Francolin to reluctantly fly away

By chance, I met you again
We happened to ride on the same ferry boat
An evening ferry boat that guided its guests across the river
By chance, we recognized each other
Stirring up emotions from the old days
Causing the ferry boat to shake as the waves clap
The day the bride crossed the river on a ferry boat adorned in flowers (3)
A small tear fell beside the river
The day the bride crossed over to her husband's house,
Someone sang such a sorrowful lullaby

There's a Chinese Francolin seated on a banyan tree branch (4)
Why must you marry a husband who's so far away?
There's a Chinese Francolin singing a harmonious song
Why must you marry at such a young age?
Causing the Chinese Francolin to reluctantly fly away.

Translator's Notes
(1) The Chinese Francolin (chim da da) is a bird species and in this song it is used to symbolize the man who is in love with the girl. He is asking his ex-lover to not blame him for letting her go marry someone else even if they both love each other..

(2) The literal meaning here is "Why don't you marry a husband who's near you; why must you marry one who's so far away?" And well, even though the Vietnamese phrase is rather short, it becomes wordy in English so I shortened it. The simple meaning is that he doesn't want her to leave him, and if she has to marry someone who isn't him, she should at least marry someone who's near her (ie. in the same village as her) since at least he could still see her everyday. But in this case, she ends up marrying someone far away.

(3) The phrase "sang song" in Vietnamese, which translates to "crossing the river" in English, is a metaphor for "getting married." It is rooted in Vietnamese culture back in the day where most people lived in the countryside, and often villages or neighborhoods would be separated by a river. And so when a girl gets married, she needs to "cross the river" to the other side where her husband's house would be. And usually once the girl "crosses the river," it's hard for her to come back especially if her husband's house is so far away. Since it happens often, the phrase "crossing the river" becomes the metaphor to "getting married."

(4) In the countryside, there are two things Vietnamese people consider to be symbolic of their village: dinh (village hall) and cay da (banyan tree). So the banyan tree is often used as a representation of Vietnamese villages in Vietnamese songs. It's said that tree carries a special meaning, that it is a symbol of longevity and perseverance, because of its near infinite roots.

20Jan/080

Giao Linh- Tam Su Voi Anh

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I love Giao Linh. I love her when I was around eigh or nine and I heard her voice through my father's cassette tape. She is one of the singers whose voice remains ageless. She always sang with all of her heart and with a lot of passion Even though this is an old song, it is one of my favorite songs that Giao Linh has sung because it really showcase her special talent of making a song seems personal. The song is about a girl lamenting over loss love. Although, she has made it clear to her once-lover that she was not trying to blame him. However, when I heard Giao Linh sang this song I could not help but feel that the narrator actually was feeling some resentments toward her former lover, and at last, there is some resentments for her life as a helpless young woman.

Composer: Hoang Trang
Lyrics Translation: Mikki
English Title: Confided with You

Dispassionately, you did not try to understand me during those melancholy nights
Now I am complaining, not because I want you to compensate me, but because I am heartbroken
Because the two of us have two lives that are like one
With a common sadness at the age of twenty-two
While I have yet to completely experience love
That is why I have woken up many nights, fearing and worrying by myself
After falling in love, I often fear that I would lose you in the future
I dream of a day where firecrackers covered the street with redness (1)
But my dream was unfulfilled
Why do you think it is so? Surely, only you will know
You often told me even if our love faces difficulties
You would still remain as my dear love, forever and ever
However, being a girl who has mistakenly falling in love has made me afraid of heartache

I asked the Superior Being to let me marry the person whom I will love for the rest of my life
To let the one I love, love me a lot
Like the betel plant loving the areca tree (2)

My dear, have you realize that I am secretly crying because of our failed love
On the remorseful road, I hope that you will come to understant that I only love you
I am content with accepting to love you in pain and misery
It was like God has already decided the fate of this little life
Why do you think it is so? Surely, only you will know
You often told me even if our love faces difficulties
You would still remain as my dear love, forever and ever
However, because I am confused that is why I confided with you tonight

Translator Notes:
(1) In Vietnamese culture, red firecrackers is usually lighted up when someone is getting married. Thus, this line implies that the narrator is dreaming of the day that she would get married.
(2) This is a reference to a Vietnamese folk tale about how the betel plant, the areca tree and the tradition of offering betel leaves and areca nuts on the wedding day came to existence. The folk tale of "Trau Cau" is a story about a small misunderstanding that eventually led to the death of the two brothers and the wife of the older brother. However, because of the intense brotherly bond and the deep love between the husband and wife that they each turned into a rock, a plant, and a tree after they died. The younger brother turned into a limestone, the older brother turned into the areca tree and his wife turned into the betel plant that entwined the areca tree--always remain by her husband side.

17Jan/081

18 vs. 29’s Memorable Quotes

Episode 1
[After the accident]
Sang Young: You told me to piss off and live my own life, and this is how you live your life?!
Hye Chan: Excuse me…..Who are you?
Sang Young: So now we are strangers?

Sang Young: What is your problem? You said that you wanted to forget my name. Now you want to forget your husband's face?
Hye Chan: Hus….Hus….Are you crazy?

[Hye Chan inside her old house]
House Owner: Darling!
Hye Chan: Who are you?
House Owner: Eh? Sorry… [confused] Excuse me….Is this not number 110-3 Chang Chun Town?
Hye Chan: Yes…
House Owner: Who the hell are you?!! This is MY house!!

Hye Chan: [To a police officer] Ajusshi, ajusshi, help me! These are the organ thieves. AJUSSHI! AJUSHHHHIIIII!!!!
Sang Young: Please don't do this, you'll cause an accident. Hye Chan! YOO HYE CHAN!! Why are you acting this way? Are you determined to embarrass me?
Hye Chan: Why are you doing this to me ajusshi? Why are you kidnapping an innocent person?
Sang Young: Please just stop calling me ajusshi! How am I your ajusshi?! You are older than me by 2 months!!

Hye Won: Hye Chan, please don't cry. I'm here! Your little sister Hye Won!
Hye Chan: My Hye Won had a flat nose and small eyes!
Hye Won: Bloody hell...With my bonus last year, I had my face redone!
[Flatten her nose and makes her eyes smaller]
Hye Won: Look, look. Can you see? Can you see my old face?

Hye Chan: There must have been a misunderstanding. I'm not the person you are looking for. You've got the wrong person.
Sang Young: YOO HYE CHAN!! Your social security number is…770809-2......4......Anyway, you wrap yourself in the blanket when you go to sleep right? You always brush your teeth sitting on the toilet, and I also know that your bum cheeks are uneven. Are you still going to deny it?

Hye Won: [To Hye Chan] Are you deliberately putting on this act to punish Sang Young? [...] Geez I didn't even realise and I was stressing all day! Damn! I got my wrinkles treated yesterday. Repay me for the treatment!

Yoon Oh (Sang Young's Manager): [To Sang Young] You finally decided to show up. Say that you are really sorry to Director Bang. I told him that your wife was suffering from breathing….Put on a dying expression!

[Looking into the bathroom mirror]
Hye Chan: I got my haired permed. I have wrinkles on my face too. Twenty-Nine? Husband? With that man? Ah, impossible!

16Jan/082

9 End 2 Outs (2007)

9 End 2 Outs

A.K.A.: 2 Outs in the 9th Inning
Korean Title: 환상의 커플 (9 Hoimal 2 Awoot)
Vietnamese Title: 9 Cong 2
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Lee Jung Jin, Soo Ae, Lee Tae Sung, Hwang Ji Hyun, Lee Sang Woo
Screenwriter: Yeo Ji Na
Director: Han Chul Soo
Episodes: 16
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
In life and in baseball, you need comebacks!

A poet once said that the party is over at 30 but “Two Outs, Bottom of the Ninth” counters that with the mantra that the party starts at the age of 30. Hong Nan Hee (Soo Ae) has never hit a home run in life, not to mention a single as she reaches 30. She thought she worked hard to get ahead in life but all she has are some small savings in her bank account and a mother nagging her to get married. But she has one thing to be happy about in her life. Her current boyfriend is Jung Joo (Lee Tae Sung), a talented baseball pitcher who is aiming to play in the big leagues in America and eight years her junior. But her mother disapproves of her daughter’s crazy choice.

One day, a childhood friend of Nan Hee appears in her life. And he’s Hyung Tae (Lee Jung Jin). Hyung Tae thinks he got over Nan Hee but is that really true? As a friend tells Hyung-tae that life begins at the bottom of the ninth with two outs, we’ll see how the game of life unfolds.
Source: Hancinema

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: This is one of the underrated dramas in 2007. At first, I almost passed it by because from looking at the promotion pictures I thought this is a drama about baseball. I didn't know that baseball is only a theme to compare the lives of the people in the movie. I think I must have been getting old because more and more I found myself in love with watching dramas about 30-something-years-old people. Needless to say, I really found myself immediately addicted to this drama after the very first episode. From watching this drama, I came to realize what a talented and versatile actress Soo Ae really is. Previously, I only know her through more serious roles in dramas such as Love Letter, Sea God, etc. and like with Chae Rim, I didn't think that she can be funny or can act in romantic comedy drama. However, this drama has helped me changed my mind. Her chemistry with Lee Jung Jin is also undeniable--you knew that the characters that they played have something for each other whenever they appeared together in this drama.

Lee Jung Jin is also very believable in the role of a guy who is torn between the feeling he has for his best friend and the feeling he thinks he still has for his ex. My heart ached whenever I saw Hyung Tae takes a quick glance at Nan Hee because there was love in his eyes and the pain of bearing an unspoken love. This drama is not only about the two best friends who have to risk losing the deep bond of friendship and learn to admit their love for each other, but it is also about the people in their 30s--their lives, ambitions, and regrets. Really, you don't need to be in your 30s to appreciate this drama because there will come a time when we all need/hope for one great comeback in our life, and this drama brings a hopeful light that it can will happen.

16Jan/080

The Worst Guy Ever (2007)

The Worst Guy Ever

A.K.A.: The Worst Man of My Life
Korean Title: 내 생애 최악의 남자 (Naesaengae Choeagui Namja)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Yeom Jeong-Ah, Tak Jae-Hoon, Sin Seong-Rok, Yoon Ji-Min
Screenwriter: Kim Soo-Ah
Director: Son Hyun-Hee
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Ju-eyon and Seong-tae have been best friends ever since they first met each other 10 years ago. But in one night their 10 year friendship comes crashing to the ground after they sleep together. The comfort and security of marriage is a siren call, and the two decide to forego their ideals to spend their first day as man and wife. However, their perfect lover soon appears right in front of them: A sexy editor appears to seduce Seong-tae and an advertising director appears to tempt Ju-yeon. With a single smile they turn the newlyweds’ dream into a nightmare. Even after only a few days, they soon find themselves faced with the worst choice of their lives as they struggle to reach happiness.
Source: Korean Film

Rating: C (Fine)
Rewatch Factor: Low
Comment: I decided to watch this movie after seeing a couple of the movie posters and reading the synopsis because it looks interesting annd funny, not to mention that it has the dashing Sin Seong-rok in it. The first 15 minutes into the movie was certainly promising. However, the movie just stopped there and never did move out of the would-be-great stage and into the great stage. The plot reminds me of the drama "9 End 2 Outs", about two best friends who even though are in love with each other did not want to admit that they are. In this case, the story would be better develop as a drama than a movie because a movie is simply too short amount of a time to detail out the deep relationship between the best friends and really gets the viewers emotionally involve. There are some things in this drama that didn't sit well with me e.g. the advertising director who is madly in love with Ju-yeon enough to try to break up her marriage, yet willing to easily let her go at the end. There are certainly some humorous scenes in this movie, but then again, some of those scenes I have seen before. All in all, this is just a mediocre romantic comedy flick--you won't gain much by watching it and you will not miss much if you don't watch it.

15Jan/080

Jenny, Juno (2005)

Jenny, Juno

A.K.A.: Jeni Juno
Korean Title: 제니, 주노
Vietnamese Title: An Com Truoc Keng
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Starring: Park Min-Ji, Kim Hye-Sung
Screenwriter: Kim Ho-Joon
Director: Kim Ho-Joon
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
The plot centers around the relationship of a 15-year-old couple, Jenny (Park Min-ji) and Juno (Kim Hye-sung), who meet in school. When Jenny discovers that she is pregnant, she and Juno decide against having an abortion, opting for parenthood instead. They try to conceal the pregnancy from their families for as long as possible, but the truth is revealed eventually, and their parents do not approve.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: B (Wonderful)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: Some people have commented on the similarities between this movie and the new American movie "Juno", and I certainly can understand why because throughout watching "Juno" I can't help but thought of this movie, "Jenny, Juno". However, I will refrain on commenting about the similarities between two movies and will only focus on this movie.
Prior to watching "Jenny, Juno", I have heard some criticis raised concerns about this movie portraying teen pregnancy in a sugary sweet light and not very realistic. Those are very valid concerns, and I do not disagree with them. However, I believe because this movie is sweet and does not neccessarily reflects the reality of teen pregnancy which make it so unique and entertaining to watch. I am not sure about other people, but for me I really have seen enough films about the depressing reality of teen pregnancy that it does not excite me to see another one. This movie is unlike many others movies that I have seen about teen pregnancy, in that, I still felt good after I am done watching the movie. Park Min-Ji and Kim Hye-Sung is absolutely adorable playing as the two innocent teens who have to learn to face the consequences (that they are not ready to face) for the decision they made one faithful day. This movie has a nice underlining message about taking responsibility--when it comes to accepting responsibility, anyone can do it. Overall, if you are willing to suspend reality for about 1 hour and 40-something minutes then you will certainly enjoy this movie.

8Jan/080

The Eye 10 (2005)

The Eye 10

A.K.A.: The Eye Infinity
Chinese Title: Gin Gwai 10
Vietnamese Title: Con Mat Am Duong 10
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Starring: Bo-lin Chen, Yu Gu, Bongkoj Khongmalai, Isabella Leong, Ray MacDonald, Kate Yeung
Screenwriters: The Pang Brothers
Directors: The Pang Brothers
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Though the numeral given in the title is 10, this is not an indicator of chronology. The third in a series by the Pang Brothers, film takes place after the events of The Eye and The Eye 2, though probably not much further in time. It chronicles the tale of five teenagers who read from a book titled The Ten Encounters, which details 10 different methods for seeing the dead. Hence, the 10 in the title.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: D- (Very Bad)
Scare Factor: 1 (Hardly Scary)
Rewatch Factor: Very Low
Comment: A visitor have once asked me through e-mail regarding why is it that most of the movie and drama reviews I wrote received good ratings--does it mean that I like most things I seen? Not true, I actually don't like a lot of movies and dramas, but I just don't write reviews about them because I lacked the motivation and interest to even mention them.

However, I have a lot of motivation to write review for this film. Not because it is good, but on the contrary because it is so bad. I started to watch this movie because I like the horror genre and I am also familiar with the Pang Brothers' previous works. Unfortunately, this movie is so far from my expectation that it didn't even registered in my prepare-for-the-worst radar--I simply didn't expect the film to be this bad. So in case this review turns into a rant, I just want to summarize a few things that make this movie unbearable to watch for me. First, it is not even remotely scary--all it did was put me to sleep (literally). Second, the film tried too hard to be hip and different by combining horror with comedy. Needless to say, it failed miserably. While it is not scary, I will admit that it is funny, in a lame joke sense. Starting from the first 15 minutes of the movie and onward, I was expecting for the Pang Brothers to jump out, pull an "Ashton Kutcher" and say "You've Been Punked!"

Another thing that was unbearable for me was the music, music suppose to enhance the mood of the viewers and not destroyed them. Unfortunately, some of the music selection was wrongly selected and wrongly placed in this film causing major distraction and annoyance for me. Finally, what killed this movie for me was the plot (or lacked thereof) and ultimately the bad actings. I don't expect any award-winning acting to occur in a horror/comedy film, but it at least has to be somewhat decent. However, the actors and actresses in this film can't even delivered an ounce of horror or humor--the whole time I was watching the movie I was waiting for all of the characters to die so that I don't have to watch them act.

I don't know what the Pang Brothers drank/smoke while they wrote and directed this movie, but I'm pretty sure it is something questionable. In short, if you don't want to kill your brain cells or yourself for that matter then don't bother watching this movie. However, if you have already seen this movie, and like me have a hard time accepting or admitting that you actually watched this movie then feel free to contact me as to how you can join the group "The Eye 10 Anonymous".

8Jan/080

Couple of Fantasy (2006)

Couple of Fantasy

A.K.A.: Fantastic Couple, Fantasy Couple, Couple or Trouble
Korean Title: 환상의 커플 (Hwansangeui Keopeul)
Vietnamese Title: Doi Tinh Nhan Tuyet Hao
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Han Ye Seul, Oh Ji Ho, Kim Sung Min, Park Han Byul
Original Screenwriter: Leslie Dixon
Adapted By: Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran
Episodes: 16
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
This series is based on the 1987 American movie Overboard. Anna Jo (Han Ye Seul) is a rude, feisty, and audacious American-bred heiress who can never be satisfied. She returns to Korea only to continue being a controlling wife to her already cowardly husband, Billy Park (Kim Sung Min). When her yacht gets stuck for repairs, she hires local handyman Jang Chul Soo (Oh Ji Ho) to fix her shower, but when they have a heated spat over her dissatisfaction and non payment, she pushes him overboard and dunks his tools into the ocean right along with him. Later, after a quarrel with Billy that threatens to end their marriage, she herself gets drunkenly pitched overboard and falls victim to a bad case of amnesia.
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: This is a surprisingly wonderful drama about two people from opposite world--the two people that you would think if the fate of the world rest on the two of them get together and procreate, we all would be doomed. While the story about romance blossoming from an amnesia incident is a very cliché story in Korean drama, this drama nevertheless managed to make this story fun, upbeat, and refreshing. Han Ye Seul fulfilled her character role perfectly in this drama as the snobby and hard-to-please heiress, Anna Jo, and later as the woman who has amnesia. At first, I wasn't convinced whether Ye Seul can pull off this role because she has such a stiff look and strong face, but thankfully all of her strong features all work to her benefit in this drama. Also, both Oh Ji Ho and Kim Sung Mi surprised me greatly in this drama for their great comedic actings in this drama. I have watched a lot of dramas before with Oh Ji Ho and Kim Sung Mi in a more serious role and I didn't think it was going to work when they were casted in this drama, but they proved me wrong.

I especially enjoy the many hilarious scenes that occurred when Kim Kwang-Gyoo and Kim Sung Mi appeared together on screen. All in all, I really love most of the supporting cast in this drama, those people is one of the important reasons why this drama is so fun to watch. From past experiences of watching Korean dramas, I was expecting something major and tragic to pop up from this drama like cancer or another case of amnesia that will separated the main couple apart until some years later. Thankfully, none of that ever happened and the drama has managed to keep me smiling toward the very end. In the end, I came away from watching the drama with some nice messages about the meaning of love and human relationship with each other.

In short, I love this lighthearted drama and I regretted that I didn't watch this drama earlier. So don't let that happen to you! Lastly, this drama has peaked my interest for the movie "Overboard". I need to hunt down that movie and see how it fare with the drama--my expectations are high now that I watched the drama.