YOO YEON SEOK & “BLOOD”: A Case Study

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After what had seemed like 10,000 years, Yoo Yeon Seok is purportedly in talks to star as the lead in an upcoming drama on KBS called “Blood,” a show whose main protagonist is a skilled surgeon, who also happened to be a vampire. I know… the background seems a bit sketchy and begs the question… why the hell did a vampire, with all of his vampiric abilities and no doubt immense wealth from living for so long (thanks Anne Rice!), need to work, first and foremost, but moreover, why in a profession that ensured that he come in contact with blood on a regular basis?

The answer of course is simple… Because we would have no show otherwise.

In the wake of the news of this new drama from the screenwriter and PD team who did Good Doctor, what really got my attention was the announcement of Yoo Yeon Seok’s possible casting. As everyone who had ever been on my blog knows, my love for Yoo Yeon Seok is enormous, unconditional, everlasting… etc… etc… and to be honest, I would have supported his next small screen project, because it just is what it is. The drama could be a hot mess and I will still watch, for Yoo Yeon Seok. Such is the power he has over me, and not just because of his good looks either.

However I am aware and understand that some people have reacted to this news a little less excitedly than I and my fellow YYS lovers have, citing that he has no experience, no charisma, yada yada yada. BUT… this post is not written to reiterate what doubts other people have already expressed but to argue, instead, as to why Yoo Yeon Seok should be casted in this role, or any other lead roles in the immediate future.

Stay with me, please. And let me make my argument.

1) Chilbong who?

Before his career changing turn as the sweet lovable Chilbong in Reply 1994, YYS had actually made his career doing roles that have dabbled on the other side. The evil side. His success in his career had been hugely dependent on his antagonist roles in Hwayi, Re-encounter and of course, Werewolf Boy. The man did not earn the title of most hated for nothing.

Exhibit A:
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Exhibit B:

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The fact that he had been depended on in the past to portray such hateful and heinous characters is not only a testament to his commitment to his craft, but also to the dedication with which he throws himself into these characters.

And then to have the same public turn around and fall in love with him as Chilbong without even realizing that it’s the same person, is a true statement as to how versatile he is as an actor. It is a rare sort of talent for someone to be so hated in one second, then loved just as much if not more, the next. This tells me that he would have the versatility to navigate the line between good and evil, and do so effectively and in a believable way.

Taking on a role like this which is not defined as a straight up good guy would solidify YYS’ integrity as an actor who always chooses character rich scripts and roles that would continue to challenge his acting chops and also others’ perception of him. That he had always been this type of performer has always been part of why we, his fans, love him. In all the years he has been in the industry he had chosen projects that were mostly unknown, preferring the growth he would gain from performing the role as opposed to the certain popularity that would result from it.

2) Them shoulders though.

Exhibit C:
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He can rock suits like no one else can. With his recent CF deals with multiple clothing lines, it’s perhaps difficult to decide which one is the best. But… one look at his Trugen photo shoots had convinced me that this man is incomparable when it comes to suits, and as a surgeon/vampire, he would have the opportunity to dress in such a sophisticated and suave manner.

Exhibit D:
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Looks wise he has enough delicacy in his features that vampires are supposed to have, and yet his face and body are masculine enough to still project strength. Considering how hard he worked to attain the baseball player physique to play Chilbong, I have no doubt that he would do whatever was necessary to make himself believable in a role.

And let’s be honest, even I can admit that I would appreciate a deviation from his recent fashion disasters. Hopefully the drama stylist has a better aesthetic than his personal one. Not a criticism, but a fact.

Exhibit E:
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3) Those eyes.

No one does conflicted like YYS. His eyes speak of so much emotion, even when he’s not speaking. Chilbong was only meant to be a secondary character on Reply 1994, and yet the shipping wars that ensued indicated that he was not seen as such by at least half the viewing population. That in itself states very definitively that he did a better job than what was expected of him. What might have been a simple role was transformed into a character that people fell in love with, people wanted to get to know, and people hurt with. Despite his character being shipped off to Japan, despite the plot contrivances, and despite the character assasinations.

Exhibit F:
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Exhibit G:
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4) The charm factor.

Anyone who has seen YYS in YOF or any of the other BTS from anything he has ever done knows that this man has enough charm to sell ice to an eskimo. Did you know that the sale of sanitary pads shot up when he did the promotion with GoodFeel? That the tickets to his first ever fan meet sold out within minutes of them going on sale?

Whether people like it or not, the fact remains that YYS has a huge domestic and international fanbase, and he is marketable. He has done ads for everything, from facial cleansers to sanitary pads, to green tea drinks and clothing. And his fandom follows where he goes, myself included.

At best, those same fans will follow him to KBS, should he choose to do this project. At worst, his fans will form a group of small, but loyal, following, and with some degree of luck, the show can become a sleeper hit, the likes of which had only been seen in cable networks in the recent years.

Exhibit H:

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Exhibit I:
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5) Money matters.

Though he has become popular from Reply 1994, YYS is still fairly an unknown in the drama watching universe. And though most people who have watched him love him, his body is work on the small screen is still fairly limited when compared to other actors in the same age range.

Right now, before he really breaks out, is the time for a major broadcast network to sign him to a project before he becomes unaffordable. Whether we like it or not there is an exodus of K-actors to the film industry… credible, serious actors. When was the last time Won Bin or Lee Jung Jae was in a drama? Hwang Jung Min? It even took Jeon Ji Hyun more than a decade to come back to the small screen.

There seems to be a well-known but unspoken belief that actors don’t gain their legitimacy until they are able to break through Chungmuro, a scene YYS has been more familiar and more prolific in since his Oldboy days. If we were to base his career projection on statements he had made in the past, we could assume that YYS always had his eyes on the bigger picture (pun completely intended).

Should his career take off in that direction before he gains any kind of measurable fame in Korean dramas, I have no doubt that he will use all of his energy in ensuring that his film career becomes successful. Which is sad for us, and even sadder for the networks. To put it bluntly, they should get him while he’s cheap. This seems like an almost obvious point, but it is worth reiterating.

6) He deserves it.

YYS has put a lot in his career. A lot. He has endured anonymity and years without recognition. I think the remembrance of this keeps him grounded and makes him more appreciative of all the good things that have come his way recently.

All of his co-stars have nothing but good things to say about him. He’s humble, persistent, hardworking and just an all around good guy. To this day he has kept in close contact with his friends in universities, surrounding himself with people who knew him before he was a well known name. The entertainment industry is fickle, as are most fans, but luckily for YYS, most of the people that support him support him as himself and not as whatever role he plays.

Exhibit J:
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Exhibit K:
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Exhibit L:
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Exhibit M:
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Any news of casting in the Kdrama world brings opinions ranging from enthusiasm to disappointment. From this fan girl’s perspective, there is no one who needs to go back to the small screen other than Yoo Yeon Seok. As always, he just needs the chance. But whether or not he decides to make “Blood” his next project, one thing is for sure, and that is that whatever project it is, we can expect him to do the best he can, as he had always done, as he always does, and as he always will.

(Credit to original posters of photos and Lunagal for fanmeet picture.)

HOW GIA AND JUNNIE GOT TOGETHER AND HOW AMC CAME TO BE…

014/02/07(Fri)

24:04 Junnie Do you need a beta reader???
24:05 Gia I dont even know what a beta reader is! Lol
24:05 Gia Is that like someone to read?
24:05 Junnie Yeah…
24:06 Gia If this continues then yes lol
24:06 Junnie It’s like someone to read and comment about it
24:06 Gia Ohhhh thats cool
24:06 Gia Then yes
24:06 Junnie Improve grammar/spelling… Provide suggestions
24:07 Junnie All before it is out to the public to read…
24:07 Gia It’s always good to have that before I post anything up
24:39 Junnie Can I volunteer for the role???
24:39 Junnie Haha…
2 4:39 Gia Of course you can
24:39 Gia You’ve been doing that the last two hours
24:40 Junnie Haha… Did not realize that though… It’s so fun to bounce ideas around
24:55 Gia Absolutely
24:55 Gia Two is better than one
24:55 Gia Plus someone else might see things I missed

10:11 Gia Junnieeee I need a title right?!?!
10:11 Gia I’m stumped

10:13 Junnie Yeah…
1 0:16 Gia You sleepy?
10:17 Junnie Nope… Just finish watching an ep of criminal minds
10:17 Junnie Hahaha
10:18 Junnie A turn of events?
10:18 Gia Oh you’re so cute hahaha
10:18 Gia I like that
10:18 Gia A Turn of Events
10:18 Junnie Confused passion?
10:19 Junnie Maybe that is not so good…
10:19 Gia Omghghh
10:19 Junnie Growing older?
10:20 Gia Confused passion sounds like an erotic tale
10:20 Gia I like a turn of events
10:20 Junnie Hahaha… Exactly!!!!! No to confused passion
10:20 Gia Or something along like making a different choice
10:20 Gia Or taking the different direction
10:20 Junnie Haha… A turn of events it is
10:21 Gia Confused passion cracks me up
10:21 Gia Thats like the thing kat posted about T and bing
10:22 Junnie Haha
10:23 Junnie I was initially referring to t and nj.. Then realized I am going the wrong direction
10:23 Junnie Hahaha
10:23 Gia Yeah I don’t care about them hahaha
10:25 Junnie How about the phrase that scp uses??
10:25 Junnie A moment’s choice
10:25 Gia Ooohhhhh yeah
10:25 Gia Perfect
10:26 Gia I love that
10:58 Junnie Your fic is all about choices… Nj choice and CB choice and their choices as a couple…
10:58 Junnie Very apt title…
10:58 Junnie [Sticker]
10:59 Gia Yes girl this is why I love you

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LOVE…

Seeing a gif from a friend (@kepogee, I’m looking at you!) brought back memories of Jim and Pam from The Office and I started reading articles to bring back that loving feeling,  and I came across this article via Hellogiggles.com about lessons the writer learned about love from Jim and Pam. It brought to mind so much of what AMC stood for that I had to reblog.

Hopefully one day when someone thinks of Joon and Na Jeong from AMC they will think the same thing.

Here’s the article (credit to original author)

A boyfriend of mine once told me that I “watch too many movies”. The truth is, I kind of suck at movies — don’t ask me who played so and so in that groundbreaking “Oh, you know what I’m talking about” cinematic classic, because I will respond with, “You mean Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?” and you will be disappointed, and possibly offended. In other words, his comment was really meant as a snarky slight at my apparent silly, head-in-the-rom-com-clouds girly-ness for attempting to pull off a spontaneous romantic gesture. I know, what was I thinking? I mean, really, it should be illegal for screenwriters and directors to even put that “romance” stuff in our heads! Why are violent video games and pre-pubescent boys stealing all the thunder? Chick flicks and Girlz Nights are the real threat to society, my friends.

After letting the comment sink in, however, I soon realized he unfortunately kind of had a point. Like many fallen sisters before me, I sometimes let visions of Kate and Leo dancing in my head get the best of me (I jump you jump, remember?), thus unleashing a dose of The Crazy. But upon further reflection, I also realized that my fundamental, non-negotiable beliefs about love and romance ran deeper than the likes of Noah and Allie in The Notebook and the 37 couples in Love Actually. And after giving it even more thought (as I lay in bed hungover on a Sunday), I soon came to the conclusion that my true pillars of love rested on a much stronger foundation from a slightly smaller screen. For me, those three simple words we all long to hear had long ago become synonymous with another set of three words:

Jim and Pam.

In other words, everything I know about love, I learned from The Office (and my grandparents, and other real life things, but that’s another tale for another time). Watching Jim and Pam’s relationship unfold on the small screen throughout my most formative years made a permanent and powerful impression on my psyche. When I was in my late teens, I remember watching episode after episode in wonderment and awe — I laughed, I cried and I proclaimed, “Yes. this is love! It’s so clear to me now! Obviously this is what happens when you’re in your twenties and you fall in love!”

Many moons later, in my 25th year of life, this thought has changed slightly—it’s not so obvious anymore that J and P kind of love is par for the course. I don’t see it that often, nor have I ever experienced a lasting version of it myself. What hasn’t changed, however, is my desire for it to happen, and my belief that it can happen. Despite the dark clouds of broken hearts and mid-twenties cynicism brewing overhead, I have resolved to remain true to my Jim and Pam love standard. The Office gave me many things in my youth, an unhealthy obsession with John Krasinski being one of them, but most importantly, it taught me the following truths:

Love sees beyond frumpy cardigans and bad hair days. Jim and Pam taught me that when you really love someone, you dig this person even on a Tuesday morning after they just rolled out of bed, threw on some work clothes, and forgot their morning coffee. Despite the fact that Pam displayed about as much fashion sense as my second grade teacher Sister Mary Helen (at least in the first few seasons), Jim still looked at her like she was the only woman on all of Planet Earth. This Jim and Pam kind of love makes one possess a weird yet awesome ability to see inner and outer beauty simultaneously — like looking at stained glass when the sun is shining through it, only with humans. Jim and Pam taught me that when you love with someone in this way, their very personhood is like a tangible force that continually draws you in, to the point where all you see and all you feel is goodness.

Love never tires of witty banter.

Nothing made my weird little 19-year-old heart swoon quite like the awesomeness of Jim and Pam’s banter. Their silly, sarcastic exchanges taught me that love means being with someone who laughs at your jokes when previously only you laughed at your jokes. Love is getting a downright kick out of each other, and fully understanding and appreciating your shared sense of humor. Even more than that, love means wanting to talk to each other. A lot. It means being good at talking to each other, too. A great relationship is grounded in communication — and when that communication includes humor and wit, well then you’ve got yourself a party.

Love is rooted in real, actual friendship.

I’s easy for couples to say “I’m totes in love with my best friend” and not actually mean it. Jim and Pam taught me that the best kind of love is between friends who laugh together, confide in one another, enjoy each other’s company outside the realm of physical intimacy and genuinely want the other person to be happy, even if that means quietly standing by as they date someone else.

Which brings me to my next bit of Officewisdom:

Love is really, really patient.

The Office taught me that love isn’t always an immediate burst of rainbows and butterflies; sometimes the best kind of love is a quiet, enduring and steadfast process. When you really love someone, you know they are worth putting in time and effort. Even if you entertain the thought of someone else during the process, i.e. you get yourself a Karen, you know they can’t compare to your person. No amount of time can make that connection fade, so whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, you wait for your stars to align. It might take your company casually hosting a Casino Night, or a heartfelt post it note attached to an Office Olympics “medal,” but eventually your time comes—and when it does, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Love requires silliness and depth.

I feel like the phrase “it takes real lovers to be silly” has been floating around on social media lately (coupled with a picture of your friend and her boyfriend exhibiting said silliness). While all of that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit, there’s obviously some truth to it. Jim and Pam clearly nailed this: They showed the world that the best kind of relationships have a strong element of silliness. But anyone who hung on for all nine seasons of the show (hats off to you) also knows that there was more to it than that. Love needs to be able to take love seriously, and in order to do that, you need to be able to dig deep and talk about real life, adult things and connect on a real life, emotional level. If that foundation isn’t there, silliness alone won’t get you through marriage, children and big moves to Austin, Texas to start fictional sports companies. There’s the silliness, and then there’s the depth.

Love makes the ordinary feel extraordinary.

Jim and Pam taught me that love has this great way of making things you previously pitied your parents for doing seem like winning the lottery. When you meet your Jim (or Pam), suddenly everything you once deemed lame and unexciting becomes the stuff of dreams. Sit around and do nothing on a Friday night with you? Yes, please. Buy a house in the suburbs of Pennsylvania? Sounds great. Have lots of babies with you? Sign me up. The Officetaught me that love is most beautiful in ordinary, everyday life.

Love just sort of gets it.

My friends and I do this thing where we judge our compatibility with a guy (or girl) primarily based on whether or not he or she “gets it.” And, of course, with a bar as nebulous as “getting it,” most poor souls never stand a chance. When I forget what they hell we’re referring to, I’m reminded of Jim and Pam. J and P basically invented the concept of “getting it”—they understood each other to the core, they rode each other’s brain waves, and they always picked up what the other was putting down. They could pull off pranks and jokes with nonverbal communication, air-fiving all along the way. In short, they just got it. Jim and Pam taught me that if it’s right, it just fits. And if it fits and you both just get it, magical things happen.

Love is effortless, but it still takes effort.

Jim and Pam taught me that while love should feel as seamless as a missing puzzle piece, that doesn’t mean things won’t get hard or that your relationship won’t be tested. It just means you work for it, and you fight for it. Which brings me to my final nugget of Office wisdom:

Love does not give up on the goodness.

If in reading this little essay you were reminded of past significant others and now possibly want to hurt me for summoning unwanted nostalgia, let me just say that you are not alone. I, too, want to hurt me. But when I find myself pining over the seemingly good aspects of my past relationships, the Jim-and-Pam-esque qualities, if you will, I remember the most important thing that The Office taught me: love does not give up. In other words, while you may have dated someone funny, or someone deep, or someone who seemed to get you—the bottom line is, one of you let go. And when it’s really real, when you’ve found a Jim and Pam type of goodness, neither of you will give up on it. When things get rocky, you’ll hold tight to this goodness at the core of your relationship, and you’ll try your best not to lose sight of it. When the going gets tough, you won’t get going, because at the end of the day you’ll know what you have is a forever kind of thing. You’ll know there ain’t no party like a Scranton party, because a Scranton party don’t stop. It’s a metaphor, you guys.

So all in all, do I regret watching romantic comedies that may or may not have disillusioned me with unrealistic expectations of love? Definitely, maybe. Do I regret watching too much Jim and Pam? No, I can’t say that I do.

Big screen romantic portrayals of star-crossed lovers, soul mates, Everything Happens for a Reason, and What’s Meant To Be Will Find A Way bring a little too much cosmic pressure to the twenty-something table. Not even the most stable of quarter life minds can handle that kind of intensity. But the idea that everyone has a Jim to their Pam, or a Pam to their Jim somewhere out there—to me, that’s something worthy of a little extra faith, and, ultimately, something worth waiting for.

YOO YEON SEOK BACK ON THE SMALL SCREEN FOR…

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7/7 seems to be a serendipitous day indeed for fans of Yoo Yeon Seok, who garnered love and a devoted fanbase thanks to his recent portrayal of baseball player Chilbong in tvN’s “Reply 1994”. And it seems our man will be back on television soon… much to all of our collective sighs and relief. He, alongside “Reply 1994” cast mates Son Ho Joon and Baro, were photographed at Incheon International Airport preparing for departure to Laos. It has also been reported that they will be traveling with Shin PD, who directed both of the Reply dramas.

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It has now come to light that they will, in fact, be the part of the next group to participate in travel program “Youth Over Flowers”. Na PD, of “1 Day 2 Nights” fame, as well as hits “Grandpas Over Flowers” and “Noonas Over Flowers,” will be at the helm. The total of 6 cast are divided into 2 teams, consisting of participants in their 20’s and 40’s. The 20’s team will comprise of Yoo Yeon Seok, Son Ho Joon and Baro, and Shin PD will presumably be in the 40’s team.

I, for one, am extremely happy about this news. It will be great to see Yoo Yeon Seok back on the small screen (an even smaller one for me since I have no doubt I will be watching from my tablet or my phone), and to see him participating as himself with his Reply cast mates will be enjoyable to see. He has such a sparkling personality whenever he is in Variety Programs, so I am hoping we see all of that on this show as well. I just hope he has time to get plenty of rest between all his CF and film shootings and promotions.

The first episode is expected to air in August 2014.

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On another note, it’s also a very happy day whenever Trugen releases any pictures of our boy, and this has also been seen circulating around today as well. It’s a great day to be a Yeonizen!

PHOTO CREDITS TO ORIGINAL UPLOADERS.
NEWS TRANSLATION BY LUNAGAL OF YEONIVERSE.

For more Yoo Yeon Seok related news, articles, updates and upcoming projects and how you can participate, please visit us at:
Yeoniverse International Fan Club Official Page

This article just about had me peeing in my pants…

When In Asia, Do As The Asians Do
May 10th, 2010 | 8 comments | Posted by Jen

Do not resist.

Do not fight the urge.

Do not think about how you may reflect back on your actions in the future. Stay in the moment.

Do not second-guess yourself.

Do not look at yourself through the eyes of others. You will become self-conscious, and the moment will be lost.

Take a deep breath.

Relax your shoulders.

Think about something happy, like babies, or unicorns.

Understand that, whatever your race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, or age, you will surrender.

You must surrender…

…to the muthafuckin Asian peace sign.

It’s our version of the Vulcan mind meld–even if you don’t want to submit, we’ll make you. Observe the man in all-black above, lightly touching his new friend in white on the shoulder. Do you really think this is merely a friendly embrace, or do you think maybe, just maybe, the man in black is exerting some kind of mind control on the man in white? (Note how their peace signs are exactly the same angle. Coincidence?!)

And what about the woman in the photo who looks like your mom? Notice how her friend’s peace sign is a direct mirroring of her own. Now look closely at his face. He looks dazed. He looks like he’s under some kind of spell and has lost his free will. Any minute now, he’s going to hand over all his money to the woman who looks like your mom so that she can find the nearest casino, pull up a cozy bar stool, and blow his cash playing slots for the rest of the afternoon while quietly sipping her free non-alcoholic drinks and having the time of her life.

Via Disgrasian

I don’t really know how we do it… but if the presence of Hello Kitty everywhere is any clue, Asians truly know how to exert mental telepathy on unwitting victims. I am amazed. Ang strangely proud.

GIRLCRUSH: Son Ye Jin 손예진 

A very special loveblog (not in a pervy way but more of a you’re wonderful message) being sent out to one of the most beautiful women out there:

Dear Miss Son:

Since you are the only woman in Hallyu land that I can stand making out and being with my Woo Sung oppa, let me take this time to tell you how absolutely fabulous I think you are. You should call me sometime (contact me for my number). I think we should be friends.

감 서 합니다!

Love,
Me


Jung Woo Sung’s car stuck from the floods

by kimchisteve on September 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm

It seems like Lee Seung Chul isn’t the only celebrity suffering from the heavy rainfall over the Chuseok Holiday.

A photo of actor Jung Woo Sung’s car stuck in a flood has been garnering much attention on the web. What makes it even worse is that the car is a high end Mercedes Benz parked inside a condo parking lot, proving that the current rainfall is out of control.

A resident who lives in the same condo complex uploaded the picture on their twitter, leaving a message stating, “I’m looking for actor, Jung Woo Sung. We got our car out of there, but the celebrity’s car, which is worth about $200,000 USD (in Korea), is still stuck.”

As the rain is still going strong, the amount of water could have significantly risen by now.

Unfortunately, Jung Woo Sung is currently in Japan filming for the upcoming IRIS spin off drama Athena. The filming locale recently moved to Japan after filming for weeks in Italy.

Via Soompi

If anyone has Woo Sung oppa’s phone number, I would like to volunteer myself in calling him. I wouldn’t even mind being the bearer of bad news. Seriously. I mean it. It wouldn’t be a bother. AT ALL.