November 27, 2007

Going to Hollywood

Another Korean star is crossing the Pacific Ocean for the bright lights and glitz of Hollywood. Song Hye Gyo, of Autumn in My Heart and Full House fame, will star in an 'indie' production titled "Fetish".

While I am not a big fan, yet, of Song Hye Gyo, I have always appreciated her performances in Autumn in My Heart and Full House, which I happen to be watching now.

Based on what I have seen so far, Song Hye Gyo is a versatile actress who has handled roles ranging from the melancholic to the hyper-active well. See the contrast between her roles in Autumn in My Heart and Full House and you will understand what I mean

Her delicate features and sweet good looks should give her some headway in making her presence felt on American shores. However, language may be something which could trip her budding Hollywood aspirations, if that's what she's aiming for.

Having seen enough Korean stars stumbling over their English one-liners in various dramas, I sincerely hope that Song Hye Gyo gets enough language coaching as about 80% of her lines in "Fetish" will be in English.

Think I need not talk too much about this as readers can read all the related articles on this below.

Related articles:

Cheaper flights from Southeast Asia to Korea soon!

Oh, I love competition!

The competition between budget airlines in the Asian region is heating up to the extent that Korean Air is setting up a budget unit - Air Korea, to compete with Singapore's very own Tiger Airways.

Air Korean is expected to fly to destinations in China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

Wait a minute... where's Singapore???


Ok, I guess I can always put on my patriotic hat and ride on Tiger Airways since it has (intelligently) already inked a deal to fly to Incheon International Airport. For Hallyu friends in Malaysia and Thailand, it is a moment to rejoice as we all can get our kimchi fix for a fraction of the costs we now pay to fly to Korea.

Long live capitlism! Long live competition!

Related articles:

November 26, 2007

Poll Results - Which is Your Favourite Yoon Eun Hye Character?


With a total of 14 (yes, now that's what I call an improvement over the first poll!) votes, readers were spilt down the centre between Yoon Eun Hye's characters Chae Hyung (Princess Hours) and Go Eun Chan (Coffee Prince).

Sadly, not a single vote was cast for Yoon Eun Hye's -Lee Ji Hyun in the Vineyard Man, a character which I thought was well brought to life by the actress.

Anyway, there's no such thing as a tie-breaker in HelloHallyu! Being the writer here gives me the final say in such situations.

So, Teddy's vote goes to. . . . . .


Go Eun Chan

And there you have it! Coffee Prince's Go Eun Chan is the 'readers' Favourite Yoon Hye Hye character.

November 21, 2007

Korean dramas and historical fact

The fight between Jumong and Chinese imperialism in the drama Jumong is now fought in the academia as Korean historians assert that a region currently controlled by China actually belongs to Korea.

Using historical maps, Korean historians showed that the disputed region of Gando belonged to Korea. More interestingly, the Koreans believe that the Chinese are apparently trying to claim that the ancient Korean state of Goguryo was a Chinese kingdom.

K-drama fans will recognise Goguryo as the kingdom founded by Jumong.

So, who says one cannot learn anything from watching K-dramas.

Disclaimer - Hello Hallyu is in no way encouraging reader to chuck away their history texts. :)

November 19, 2007

New Poll: Which is your favourite Yoon Eun Hye Character?

You know that I am a fan of Yoon Eun Hye when so many of my posts are about her. Anyway, here's Hello Hallyu! latest poll:

Which is Your Favourite Yoon Eun Hye Character?

(a) Go Eun Chan (The First Shop of Coffee Prince aka Coffee Prince)

(b) Lee Ji Hyun (The Man in the Vineyard aka The Vineyard Man)

(c) Chae Kyung (Goong aka Princess Hours)

Polling starts today and lasts for 1 week! Do cast your votes on the poll widget on the right of the blog!


Bae Yong Jun hurt while filming

Who says stars have it good?

In what seems to be a freak accident, Bae Yong Jun apparently hurt his neck while filming a fight scene on the set of The Legend. It is reported that Bae Yong Jun ruptured a cervical disc and sprained a shoulder ligament.


And these are on top of a ligament injury on one of his fingers.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

All banged up, Bae is now on a diet of painkillers and tapes to hold his body together so that he can finish filming the drama. As a Korean drama fan, I can only say a big "thank you" to hardworking Korean stars, e.g. Bae Yong Jun, who hangs in there, through pain and injury, to bring the best of Korean dramas to our screens.

Here's wishing Bae Yong Jun a speedy recovery. In the meantime, try not to hold your great sword with your injured hand.

Hello Hallyu's Favourite Period Drama Poll Results

Based on a grand total of 4 votes, which I consider a good start, readers overwhelmingly voted "The Legend" as their all-time favourite Korean period drama.

Here's the poll results:
Daejunggum - 1 vote
Jumong - No votes
Seodongyo - No votes
The Legend - 3 votes (readers' choice!)

(Source: MBC's official site)

MBC's The Legend or The Story of the First King's Four Gods (currently on air) stars Bae Yong Jun who takes on 3 characters, the main being the Great King Kwang-gae-to (Damdeok). The storyline of this drama is similar to Jumong in that it has a mythical spin to it. In The Legend, the story is about the Four Gods looking for their true master - Damdeok.

Based on what I have read, The Legend is a hugely popular series with viewership averaging 30% in recent weeks. Hitting the big three-O is a target for all Korean dramas, and to hit and maintain such high ratings mean that either Bae Yong Jun is pulling in the eyeballs or the story must truly be well written.

I am looking forward to catching this drama on the telly once the cable operator here obtains the rights.

Update on KBS drama series Flowers for My Life

Many people have been asking if KBS' drama - Flowers for My Life will be released on dvd. Like so many other who have enjoyed this drama, I also wondered if I will be able to obtain its dvd release for collection.

Rather than waiting around and surfing through forums, I decided to write in to KBS on this. And since I am not an industry insider, my only point of contact was KBS World's website. From there I wrote to Mr Woo-min Kim, who's the Senior Sales Manager handling KBS' Southeast Asia's account.

And here's my email correspondence with KBS below.

Hello Hallyu's email to KBS

KBS' reply to HelloHallyu

The local (Singaporean) media company BlueMax has apparently purchased the rights for this drama here. Naturally, the next step for me is to check with BlueMax on the release date.

Would like to say a big "Thank You" to Mr Kim at KBS again for the prompt reply. Frankly, I was mentally prepared to receive a template corporate email reply from KBS. Their prompt and useful reply really made my day.

For fans who would like to check on the probable release of titles in home countries, you can check the regional KBS sales manager contacts here.

November 17, 2007

Santa's new helper - Yoon Eun Hye

Why do I feel so 'Christmasy' when there's 38 more days to go before Christmas? Perhaps it has to do with Yoon Eun Hye's photos below.

I would readily trade Santa Claus for "Santa-rina" Yoon Eun Hye to deliver my christmas presents anytime. Wouldn't you?

(Source: via soompi forums)

November 16, 2007

OST - The Snow Queen

Think a lot of people are looking for the Snow Queen OST. Not surprising given the high quality of the OST. The opening theme is so poignant yet graceful. Enjoy!

Timeless Beauty - Lee Young Ae

Looking at the pictures of Lee Young Ae below gives a whole new meaning to the term "timeless beauty". Since her debut in the early 1990s, Lee Young Ae has not visibly aged. Can anyone tell that she's already approaching the big "four-O". I seriously doubt so.

What's different in her looks between the photo taken in 1995 with that of 2007 is the added grace and sophistication in her features.

Wonder how many other female Korean stars will be able to age as gracefully as this classic beauty.

Timeless beauty of Lee Young Ae
Timeless beauty of Lee Young Ae


November 15, 2007

Stressful day in Korea for 600,000 kids

You know exams are around the corner when fellow colleagues start taking leave enmasse and attendances at temples and churches start to increase phenomenally. But nothing beats what the South Korean government is doing for their future talents.

Was watching the evening news on the telly earlier when it ran the story of the college entrance exam now taking place in South Korea. The news clip showed images of kids trooping into the examination halls while parents looked on nervously outside.

What's even more interesting is the actions that the government took to 'assist' the South Korean kids. Civil servants are asked to reported for work 1 hour late to reduce traffic. Even the military are avoiding 'loud', read 'live' firing etc., activities near the examination halls.

When the government pulls its weight behind the exams, they way it did in South Korean, you know that the exams must be a big deal over at Korean.

Doing well not only determines the career prospects of the kids, it apparently determines one's marital prospects in the future. Talk about a 'pressure-cooker' society. And I thought we have it bad in Singapore.

Anyway, here's wishing all the exam-takers "행운! (haeng un)", or good luck! Hmmm... "haeng un" sounds deceptively like the Chinese words 好运 (hao yun), which also means "good luck"!

Read on for a news article from Yonhap News Agency on this:

Students take state-run exam for college entrance

SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 600,000 high school
students and graduates took the yearly state-run college entrance exam Thursday,
as government officials reported to work late to reduce traffic for exam takers
and military flights were halted to minimalize noise near exam

Public workers were advised to come to office one hour later than usual to ease traffic
congestion during the early morning rush hour for exam takers.

Police mobilized motorcycles to help transport some late exam takers, and the military halted flight operations and banned shooting drills near the test venues for fear of distracting the students taking an English language listening comprehension test.

"More than 584,000 applicants took the College Scholastic Ability Test at 980 test venues across the nation," a spokesman for the Education Ministry said.

Composed of listening and written tests on a range of subjects including language, mathematics, science, and economics, the one-day exam runs though 6:05 p.m.

Applicants are mostly high school third graders with some high school graduates and college students taking the exam again this year to enter more competitive colleges and universities.

November 14, 2007

OST - The First Shop of Coffee Prince

The music in The First Shop of Coffee Prince really conjures images of cafes and hot cups of coffee. Track 10 - Polly, is one of my favourites.


DVD Boxset 2 for The First Shop of Coffee Prince is now available!

Somebody must be listening to the grouses of Korean drama fans in Singapore. If not, what can be the reason for the sudden influx of the latest Korean drama titles on the shelves of dvd shops? Well, I am definitely not complaining!

Today, with my purchase of the second box set of the dvd for The First Shop of Coffee Prince drama series, I can finally declare that I have the full collection. Yay!

Frankly, I can't wait to start watching the whole series again! Just got to make time for it though.

A gripe I have is that HMV 'overcharged' me by $7! If you look at the price tag in the picture below, which is a scan of my dvd box, the box set is going for $25.90 per set at the shops. So, Hellohallyu recommend all Korean drama fans to play their smart money on non-HMV shops, such as TS and Poh Kim, to get your Coffee Prince dvds.

The First Shop of Coffee Prince DVD boxset 2
If Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo are not incentives enough for you to buy this series, than perhaps the free coffee that comes with each box set may loosen the purse strings a little. Yes, TS is actually giving a packet of Super Coffemix 3 in 1 (containing 10 satchets) for the purchase of each boxset.

Now you can catch Go Eun Chan and Choi Han Hyul in action while sipping on a hot cup of aromatic coffee. What a wonderful way to enjoy a Korean drama.

Free Coffee!!!

A cuppa to go with the drama!

November 13, 2007

Song Hye Gyo's advertisement for Reom

Here's something which I found in Soompi Forums today.

It's a video clip showing the "making of" an advertisement for the Roem winter clothing line starring Song Hye Gyo. The accompanying music has a nice beat too.

Here's a still picture of the site and video which I took with my trusty "printscreen" button.

(Source: - printscreen by HelloHallyu)

November 10, 2007

DVD for The First Shop of Coffee Prince is now available in Singapore

Imagine my joy when I saw the dvd boxset for The First Shop of Coffee Prince on a shelf in HMV Citylink Mall last weekend.

Nine to 12 months is, or used to be, the norm for dvds of the hottest Korean dramas to reach Singapore's shores. Being able to get my hands on Coffee Prince in Singapore, barely 3 months after its screening in Korea, definitely qualifies as a hugely wonderful experience.

For fans who are itching to watch this drama, head down to HMV Citylink Mall and head for the section for dvd-drama. The boxset, 1 out of 2, costs S$32.90 and comes in the Code 3 version. I will be keeping a lookout for the release of the second boxset. I will update again once I get my hands on the second boxset.