[Review] Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2

So, I just watched the sequel of Ada Apa dengan Cinta. The prequel was so huge and memorable for me.

Tbvh, I didn’t have prior expectations as I think sequels can never exceed the original.

And true to that.

It didn’t.

I’ll try to avoid giving spoilers…but here are things that could’ve been “more”
1. Many characters are kinda just “there” for the sake of it. Even Cinta’s relationship with her fiancee isn’t explored and explained. Rangga’s family too…they seem to just appear out of the blue and don’t add depth to the plot/story (God “I’m your stepsister” got me “wtf” lol).

2. Too many cliches (scenes and lines)…and God damn it…when did Rangga’s lines become so cheezuh? =]]]

3. The background music… Some are too loud. Some don’t fit the scenes.

4. Some of the scenes are kinda just “there”…add nothing to the plot/story development or whatever… Just like for the sake of “we filmed here” (tho some of the street signs shown are quite funny =]]]]). I also notice some Jakarta street scenes are being re-used repetitively.

5. I’m no production expert but I find the camera work is rather making me uncomfortable to watch….

As a movie, frankly, it’s not good and doesn’t live up to the original. But I still enjoy it for nostalgia sake (Nicholas Saputra still got me and my friends giddy hhahahha)…and the chemistry between the main casts are still so good (Milly is uber cute… XD).

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[DOWNLOAD] Audio Rip WE_SHINHWA DVD (17th Anniversary Encore) + 2 Clips of Concert Making

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Audio Rip (the whole setlist, excluding ments and vcr)

Concert Clips (I won’t be uploading more dvd cuts)

Download the full concert making (both files above as one file) here

 

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These are uploaded long time ago, but in case anyone wants it.

Audio Rip for “WE” concert (MARCH 2015)

Audio Rip for 2013 Grand Finale Concert (AUGUST 2013)

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When I feel the proudest of Shinhwa #ShinMoments #Shinhwa18th

ShinDependence Day

15.05.29

It is the ultimate prideful moment as an SHCJ.

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12 years, since Shinhwa left SM. They obtained the permission to use their name and sing their songs, but not the actual trademark.

10 years, since Shinhwa’s trademark was actually registered officially by SM and sold to Open World Entertainment.

12 years, Shinhwa was never able to use their name freely.

Shinhwa has never really said anything about what restrictions or obstacles they had to face without their actual copyright. As fans, we only knew it was hard for them to gain permission from Open World to establish Shinhwa Company. We only knew they needed to pay for using it somehow (some said they also needed to pay for singing their old songs from SM). We only knew they needed to share the profits for their activities with the copyright holder. We only knew they had a legal problem in 2013 when they sued Open World on the right of use of their name.

Then in 2013-2015, they couldn’t even put SHINHWA’s name on their merchandises and albums/DVDs. They even had to change their company name to SHINCOM Ent for a while. But finally, on May 29th, we got news that they own SHINHWA legally and rightfully TTT___TTT They don’t have to pay anyone to be SHINHWA… T_T

It was pure pride and joy, that day. We knew how hard it was for them in the legal battle (though not the extent) and guessed how much they must have spent to finally obtain the name. I actually thought they didn’t have to go to that extent…since they’d been able to use SHINHWA for years even after leaving SM. It’s been 15 years for them, anyway… My pessimistic self even thinking, ‘how much longer they could go on anyway’ (not that I don’t believe they can…I know very well they can. It’s complicated to explain here lol). But it’s never been enough for Shinhwa.

One more time, Shinhwa left me in awe of how much they actually treasure SHINHWA. How much it must have meant for them to put that much effort. How precious it must have been for them. Really, Shinhwa loves SHINHWA more than SHCJ will ever do.

Establishment of SHINHWA COMPANY

I don’t have to repeat what I said in my previous post (ShinHappiestMoments).

Shincom and ShinDependence are the road no idols have ever taken before.

It got me thinking, many idol groups are actually more successful than Shinhwa in terms of album sales (if they want to make a statistically true fact) or popularity. To the point those people say “Shinhwa only has their longevity to offer”..like wtf man, it’s pissing me off so much lol. But it also saddens me that their hard work is so under-appreciated.

Any groups they can sell millions of album, top digital charts #1 (regardless company backup or whatever) and make multiple comebacks in a year, but people overlook that Shinhwa is the only one consistent making a new music every fucking year (the only time they really didn’t release anything was 2009 and 2010 and 2014-when Andy was on hiatus). Full album every fucking year. FULL ALBUM. Not minis or singles. FULL ALBUM. And they have never disbanded (no, reuniting after a very long indefinite hiatus then acting like you have never left does not count). Moreover, since The Return, they needed to take care/oversee of everything by themselves. From picking concept, picking songs, producing, promoting, and running the frigging company. They have been balancing solo and good activities very well, on top of that. They are still promoting on TV, competing with much younger juniors, and holding multiple concerts overseas. They only offer longevity, you say? Eat my foot. It’s okay if you don’t like them, but disregarding their efforts is a big no. From this perspective, they are a highly successful idol groups, too (it is not only about statistical sales).

Anyway, back to the road not taken. Shinhwa also has been working with the members under different agencies since 2007… I’m thankful that individual agencies are willing to cooperate (surely the members wouldn’t even sign with anyone who don’t? =p). It’s not easy, though. It takes a lot of efforts and willingness. Any successful idol groups may make so much money, “why can’t they open company like SH/leave together like SH?” perhaps because they don’t want? Perhaps they don’t think it’s even worth the efforts (idol groups’ lifespan is not that long, especially Korean). It’s never just about money, really. For this alone, for the efforts Shinhwa has spent only to stay together, I’m so proud of them.

Appreciation to fans

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It’s not a moment, I know.

But it always gets me every time they did this.

The notable moments where they did this were: the first fanmeeting after they left SM, when they got Daesang, when they won so many on This Love, and the pic above was taken at their concert after they won 9th trophy in Inkigayo.

They didn’t have to, really. We did what we could as any fans would, to repay them for their efforts (though, yes, we always jokingly grumbled while voting and streaming for losing sleep LOL). A thank you and a 90 degree bows are enough, for we know they are genuinely happy to win (competitive boys as they are lol). But they did deep bow… I remember got choked up at the concert last year when they did this…I was like “You don’t have to TT____TT”

Moments like this, I feel so proud of them, because Shinhwa has never lost their rookie mindset and humble attitude despite being one of the most senior singers/groups in the industry.

Overall, thank you, Shinhwa-ya…for everything.

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Most Memorable Shinhwa Quotes #ShinMoments #Shinhwa18th

They said a lot of cheesy, touching, wtf, and inspiring things these past 18 years. It’s rather hard to pick 3… but here it is.

Eric’s quote

Man..he rarely speaks up. But once he does, it’s either WTF DOES HE EVEN MEAN (*too alien-ish LOL) or something very inspiring. Like this one he said during Shinhwa The Return’s post conference.

It takes time to build a masterpiece. That is why we want to show everyone that when something is old it doesn’t make it shabby, proving the sophistication and tradition in our group.

WORD.

Bonus:

One his wtf word…as it’s so absurd(ly hilarious) LOL

(pic by shitshinhwasays)

Shinhwa

Universe has google translator

We still don’t know who was behind Shinhwa’s official account..and who said this, though we highly suspected it was Eric.

It cracks me up so bad…esp because the ‘admin’ really takes his own word seriously and used google translator to reply fans… =))))))) Ahh..I missed those days when they fool around on SNS LOL.

Dongwan

Shinhwa is not responsible for your lives.

boooo

Who said rookie couldn’t say such thing?

It was during Shinhwa’s first fanmeeting in 1998 he said this. It’s legendary and kinda set our boundary as a fan.

During their guerilla date in 2012, he was asked why he said this..he said, it was because he didn’t want fans to lose their goals while chasing them (as Shinhwa themselves is also running toward their goals/dream).

Every time you want to abandon your school/work for Shinhwa, please remember this.

Every time you want to fly to see Shinhwa, please remember this.

Every time you want to buy their goods, please remember this.

It saves you lots of money HAHAHAHA

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With Shinhwa, Secondhand Embarrassment is Real (/_\) #ShinMoments #Shinhwa18th

 

Picking secondhand embarrassment moments is even harder than picking happiest moments……. There are too many moments I felt like “Why am I stanning these people…why (/________\)” The moments I pick here are the one broadcast/seen by people.. They hv lots of WAYLT moments off screen (FAs/Vapps, for example)…but the secondhand embarrassment for things that are on screen are multiplied HAHAHAHA.

After thinking hard…….it’s probably rank first:

Farting Moments

Shinhwa has been known as the pioneer of variety-dol. There was countless of embarrassing, shocking, and WTF moments in their numerous variety shows… But the one that made me completely dumbfounded was them farting shamelessly on TV (/_\). I don’t know what else I should say about this LOL #nuffsaid

Weekly Idol 

The random dance play part #enoughsaid HAHAHAHA

Shinhwa The Return Press Conferences

They said many things that got me facepalmed (/_\). Like…”They are back after a long time..but they’re still the same Shinhwa that said embarrassing thing without shame” LOLOL

The press conference was broadcast LIVE in multiple countries (/_\)

Some transcripts:

From all the members, who’s vocal skills improved the most?
Jun Jin
: It is Jun Jin.

Eric: Jun Jin, would you like to sing for us?

It has been 14 years since you made your debut and time has passed. What do you think is your secret to still being able to work together even after all members signing with different agencies?
Kim Dongwan
: The decisive factor is Jun Jin. Jun Jin, how about singing a song for us?

Or:

What if you were given a chance to switch members?
Eric: I was thinking about Dongwan!
Jun Jin: I think Dongwan can be the manager.
Dongwan: And I will be paid the same…
Hyesung: Our press conference is being broadcasted globally. (faces cameras) We are joking.

Or

The current music scene is a lot different from four years ago when Shinhwa was active. Does the group have some kind of secret weapon to dominate music scene?

Dongwan: Ah, our secret weapon is Minwoo.
(All members become quiet)
Jun Jin: I apologize!

(/_\)

Full transcripts and you can find on youtube for the whole conference…the transcript didn’t really cover all.

Bonus:

It didn’t happen during the press conference in Seoul..but it happened in Singapore prior to their concert.

You can hear Eric said “PLUG OUT OF HIS MIC” when Dongwan was being uncontrollably lame and Minwoo did it for real LOLOLOL.

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The Saddest/Most Disappointing #ShinMoments for #Shinhwa18th

…actually, rather than saddest/most disappointing, it might be more apt to call it as “Shinhwa members’ decisions/deeds I didn’t agree with.” I could understand/accept these decisions/deeds back then, I still do, now… But my little fangirl heart still felt a little pang of sadness/disappointment/disagreement… Although, now and then, it never has never made me feel like “I hate them/I should unstan them *seriously*” After all, for me, being a fan doesn’t mean we should always agree with whatever they say/do…but I don’t think disagreeing with them justifies any hatred or curses directed toward any of Shinhwa members. Though some might think differently.

Before I start, I want to disclaim I don’t mean to re-ignite old debates/arguments over these issues, nor I want to attack or crucify the members’ decisions I didn’t agree with. I know and understand if some people may take whatever I say/write differently (or completely 180 degree of what I really meant), though. You may stop reading here if you don’t think you agree with me (I don’t ask you to and after all, I only do this post for personal commemoration of me being a shcj and Shinhwa’s 18th Anniversary)…or if you think you can’t accept whatever I might write here…or if you start reading with pre-determined judgment that you’ll not like whatever I’ll write.

It’s not written in order, by the way. The top doesn’t mean the thing I disagree the most.

You have been warned >:)

Andy’s gambling

When I read that there was an investigation on gambling among celebrity, I was dreading and praying that any of the members weren’t involved. Particularly after what happened with Hyesung. I wasn’t a fan when it happened. But I was a fan when he solemnly apologized prior to his Japan activity…how he looked and sounded at that time…and what the netizens said about him. I’d rather any of the members would never go through the same thing again.

But as you knew, Andy’s name was mentioned and he needed to pay fine. Regardless why or when he did it or how much did he bet or even why the hell they investigated something celebs did years ago, but Korean law still saw it as a crime. What entails…Andy had to withdraw from every activities (including Shinhwa Broadcast and Shinhwa’s concert) and went on reflection to stay out of public’s eyes for a while. Shinhwa couldn’t make any comeback during that time, as well (I didn’t mind and I agreed, really… since knowing Shinhwa, they wouldn’t release any album without complete members-that 4th album was exception, ok?).

What I didn’t agree with was why Andy even did it..the deed was done around the same time with Hyesung’s case (when it was blown up, not when HS did it). I kept thinking, “Oh, maknae, you should’ve known better T_T” Maybe there was peer pressure or whatever..but regardless the reason, I could never agree on why he even committed such deed…it is considered a crime in Korea T__T But then again, at that time, I was also worried how he coped with it…(he didn’t look good on several occasion he was spotted/seen ;;;)

Andrew Jackson

Why do they keep using him? LOL.

I trust RicMin on Shinhwa’s music production. That they’d never release anything less than perfect (in their pov) for Shinhwa’s music.

Venus, This Love, and Sniper were good. It did sound different though it has similar feels. It did well on music program (guys, I’m dreading for 13th jib…can we even get more than 10 trophies? LOL). Those kind of music are not really my usual taste, but whatever, because I still like listening to it sometimes and it suited Shinhwa.

But every time they mentioned Andrew Jackson’s name for title songs..I always go “WHY AGAIN??” Is he Shincom’s Yoo Youngjin or 2AM’s Hitman Bang now?? I kinda want them to use another composer..for I am dreading that they would have the same sound/feels over and over again… that they’d get into a ‘comfort zone’ because they did well with those songs.

I think they knew fans were worried about this… because they addressed it on one of the interview and assured us it wouldn’t sound the same. They are veterans anyway…so I think they’d choose wisely.

But I didn’t agree they kept using him and still hope they would not use Andrew Jackson’s work as the title song again in 13th jib.

Dongwan’s withdrawal from ShinBang Season 2

Season 2 is the one with kind-variety concept.

I didn’t mind with the withdrawal around Mr.Kim and The Classic comeback. Mr.Kim was a daily drama with live shooting method until it ended around mid-April. They had concert in March then album preparation+practices back to back. It might kill him if he didn’t withdraw. Even after the drama filming ended, it was perhaps not possible for him to join in the middle of a season/new format due to legalities/contract thingy (we never knew but let’s not re-ignite an old debate here LOL).

But I didn’t agree with his decision not to participate in Season 2, to be honest. I understood (I still understand) every consideration might come with it: clashing schedules, him liking the project, etc. I understood ShinBang was never meant to be a mere promotional tool for Shinhwa (aka it’s going on for the whole year regardless album release or not), nor it was a promotional activities he must (or obligated to) attend. I don’t know how to explain it…but maybe there could’ve something to be done with the schedules? ShinBang was only filmed once a week and musical practices/stages could be done for the rest of the day [unless they really couldn’t? Cause I remember musical practice time was at the same time with ShinBang filming]? I don’t know how to explain..I just felt at that time “ah what a pity…Shinbang is something we treasure a lot. It is something that we hope would be going on for a long time and it’s not complete when one of them was absent…” It just doesn’t feel the same. I really felt it was a pity. I kinda understand why he made such decision, I do (to some point, I tried to justify it, somehow… even though I could never fully agree on this). But I can’t help feeling a little pang of disappointment…’did it really have to be this way..’ kinda feeling? Though I never agreed with the hate he received because of this. Thus, I was really angry at whoever called him names over this decision/kept cursing on him.

At the end of the day, no matter if I agree/disagree with his decision (or any of Shinhwa’s decision), I thought “The members agreed. Why should I make fuss or even crucify him/them on this? LOL” Prior and after that, even if there are decisions I did not agree with, I always keep the mindset that Shinhwa members always talk to/discuss with each other before making any decisions influencing their group activities. They know the line between solo and group activities. So I’m like “fine, whatever” at the end XDD

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The Most Hilarious #ShinMoments for #Shinhwa18th Events

Shinhwa Taipei 2013 “Your hearts, our hearts are the same”

Taiwanese fans called it “beansprout song” because they pronounce “dou yi yang” like “dou-ya” (beansprout) LOL.

This moment is unrivaled. They have countless of hilarious moments on screen and during concerts. But this one is the most memorable for me. It happened in 2013 during their Taipei concert leg. At that time, their most-said tagline is “your heart, my heart is the same.” They did it in Chinese and made an impromptu song from it. It was really comical. Shinhwa has a knack of repeating and laughing over their own jokes (or things they think as funny) over and over again. It also happened with this song. It was so funny I remember Minwoo fell down and laughed so hard because of this song LMAO. The song, the way the members sang it, the way they reacted to it were the funniest shit I’ve ever witnessed…one of the moments I laughed so hard I could cry =)))

In 2015, when they returned to Taipei, they sang it again…they asked whether the audiences remembered it or not… I guess the song was as memorable for me as it was to them❤

2003 Interview

Their interviews are mostly hilarious and disorganized. But this one is the most hilarious for me. I’ve been watching it countless time XDD It was one of the first interviews I watched as a new fan 6 years ago. I felt very sorry to Nayoung who did it…felt even sorry when I found out it’s her first interview as a reporter and she cried after that T_T

But it’s hand down still the most hilarious…the randomness is unrivaled. Eric’s acting like bodyguard, the boys act like M’s fanboys, the boys threw things around, etc..so many things happened in one interview XDDD

YSMM Shinhwa 2004

So many inside jokes.

So many funny stories.

So many gold moments (like Hyesung describing how firm Junjin’s ass is *coughs* LOL…).

For me, YSMM is still one of the most hilarious shows.

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3 Happiest #ShinMoments #Shinhwa18th

It’s quite tough. As they make me happy lots…lots of time. For many of us, fangirling do provide some sanctuary or shelter from whatever happenings in our real lives. People might judge us “it isn’t real”, “why are you liking people who don’t even know you exist?”, to “why are you befriending your internet friends? Get a life in real world.” From one point of view, what they said is not really wrong. It’s hard to comprehend why we come to like anyone we only encounter via screen…or even befriend our virtual friends.. Those people might be apprehensive due to many criminal cases nowadays start from virtual world. Some might worry that virtual world takes too much of our lives, that we neglect the real one, the one we actually live in. But on the other hand, they would never comprehend that such happiness does exist, that friendship beyond fandom does exist. Even if one day I won’t chase Shinhwa around anymore, I can be sure that some friends I’ve met during my fangirling will stay as my friends in real life. That one day, I could look back on these days and said “I was thankful that they gave me such joy in my life…”

So here are my top 3 happiest moments with Shinhwa, both virtually and directly.

The Birth of Shinhwa Company

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It’s rather ‘mainstream’, isn’t it? Who weren’t happy when it was announced? But as a new fan at that time, waiting for Shinhwa to return was a bit hard. No one in K-Pop sphere really knew about them. No news were released about them. Only Eric and Dongwan were discharged from the military service, but even then, the news on them (let alone news on Shinhwa) was very scarce. I remember it was Dongwan’s blog that became the only source to know what’s going on with the members.

As we all knew, their contract with Good Entertainment had ended years ago. SHCJs were talking about which company they’d choose once they were back. Some joked that they’d make new one…because Eric did say, once, that they’d make one if no company wanted them. But we knew it was totally unprecedented for an idol group to make one…and Shinhwa members’ solo agency were also different [they were already in different agencies in 2007 due to Good Ent’s financial turmoil, but the situation post-military discharge would be different].

Then, suddenly, on May…the news broke out that Shinhwa would make Shinhwa Company to shelter their group activity. It was one of the proudest and happiest moment for SHCJs. “OMG THEY’D MAKE ONE!! THEY REALLY MAKE ONE!!!” we screamed in disbelief. After the scarcity of news for many months…though the members repeatedly assured SHCJs that they’d be back for sure, but this news provided us a rock-solid assurance and proof, that Shinhwa would really be back and under their own company.

But because of the copyright issue, we got the news that Eric (I never quite know how to express my gratitude to this man T_T) had to negotiate with that scumbag of Open World CEO to use “Shinhwa” name for the company, as well as profit and management distribution. So, we apprehensively waited. Thankfully, the CEO let them to use it as long as they stay as ‘Shinhwa’ (I was thankful to that bastard, at that time LOL), for free (so the news said..but I didn’t believe. HA!). Around June, it was confirmed. Then, if I remember correctly, it was formally established around August. No fans were as happy as SHCJs at that time. 

Having their own company would be hard, as they have no power to back them up or promote them. But at least, it ensured their creative freedom and the running of group-solo activities simultaneously.

Meeting Shinhwa-Andy

I went to their concert a few times. Picked them up or sent them off at the airport several times. But I guess, the first meeting always lasted and left deep impression. It was the closest and happiest moment I have with Shinhwa. I GOT A HANDSHAKE FOR FREE!!!!!!! OMMGGG😄

It was when I met Andy in 2010. When he came to Indonesia with his military unit. It was the first time I chased a celebrity around and did some crazy things just to obtain the tix to meet him LOL. I didn’t even know how to “find” him properly. If it weren’t for some other SHCJs, I wouldn’t be able to catch him. 

The event was held by Korean government/embassy in a mall. I managed to discreetly entered the shoe stores where Andy, Mithra, and Lee Junki shopped (it’s not actually the official event, they were just there to shop haha). Then I called Andy and he shook my hand (I shouldn’t have washed it T_T #jk). 

The next day, I went to the mall to find him again and managed to catch him after he had breakfast. Gave him some fan letters (for Shinhwa members HAHAHA). He laughed when we shouted the members’ names (especially Dongwan’s-dunno why). He refused to give signature (probably because he was there as a ‘soldier’), but he let us to stand near him and took pictures TT_TT

When he got on the bus, me and a SHCJ friend went around the bus’ side where he was seated to wave…then he waved back, mouthed and pointed at something. We just thought ‘HOMG HE WAVED BACK AND NOTICED US OMGG’ but actually he was pointing to a car near us, perhaps worrying we’d get run over while busy waving HAHAAHA (but awww Dydy <333).

I was really, really happy at that time TT___TT

ISN’T HE CUTE?? 

Shinhwa’s “We Keep Our Promise” + The Return Press Conference

I was torn between those two..but I think I was equally happy during those times.

THEY’RE BACK.

THEY’RE REALLY BACK.

It was not their Venus release or the concert that was first brought me to tears..it was their “We Keep Our Promise” banners their plastered in some places in Seoul. Small, but meaningful gestures. SHCJs’ answer “We also keep our promise” was equally meaningful.

A promise can only be a promise if its kept between two person.

That was Lee Jangeon wrote on his Twitter. The promise did exist, as they said it in 2008. And it was kept. Their return might not be as meaningful to others in K-pop spheres. But for us, it was the happiest moment…a simple thing like a kept promise in an entertainment world where idol groups are notoriously known to give false hope and promises. But Shinhwa returned to keep their promise to us.

Then the press conference happened to announce their return officially to the K-biz… It was the first time we saw them together, 6 of them, on a moving videos, talking and joking around as if they never left for military. They were still as messy and playful..still couldn’t get their greeting right..Dongwan was still being lame and Hyesung still needed to apologize like a mamabird he’s always been😄

Shinhwa never changes. That was the message they seemed to portray to fans, to me at that time. I might never knew them prior to their military hiatus…but I saw their videos and all (it might not be the same, okay..but still..).. and they were still the same people that I fell for, that I decided to become a fan of…

To this date, the rock-solid Shinhwa still gives an assurance for me that they’d never leave… the ever-reliable Shinhwa still makes me run to them for comfort and a moment of joy…the unchanging Shinhwa still provides me a ‘home’ to return to. For those things, being a Shinhwa Changjo is one of the happiest time for me. For those things, I’ll be forever grateful Shinhwa exists.

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6 Years with 6 Men in My Life #Shinhwa18thAnniversary

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This year marks the 6th year of me becoming a SHCJ…rather than thinking “it’s been 6 years”, it’s actually “It’s just 6 years” considering how much I missed their early days… #foreverregret T_T

Because 6 is an important number for Shinhwa and SHCJ, so this year, along with their 18th Anniversary, I’m thinking of doing kind of ‘birthday celebration’…

It’s simple… Let’s reminisce our Top 3 moments with Shinhwa as a SHCJ…no matter how long we’ve become a fan…

Top 3 of 6 moments:

  1. The happiest moments
  2. The proudest moments
  3. The saddest/disappointing moments
  4. The moments when you feel extreme secondhand embarrassment (don’t lie they have never ever embarrassed you LOL)
  5. The most hilarious Shinhwa moments
  6. The most memorable Shinhwa quotes [it can be the silliest shit they have ever said…or the most touching one…or the ones make you think “Oh, shut up, oppa. I don’t wanna hear it.” (most probably it’s Dongwan’s LOL)]

Rules:

  1. It can be taken from your direct experience with them (concerts, fanmeetings, random meetings).
  2. It can be taken from their shows, news, interviews, tweets, etc.
  3. Let’s do it until March 27th, the last day of their anniversary concert.
  4. Post using #Shinhwa18th and #ShinMoments tags (on tumblr/wordpress/twitter). It’s not the best hashtags I know, I run out idea LOL
  5. You can post whichever moments first
  6. This isn’t a giveaway, so there won’t be any prize ((I’m too bankrupt for that LOL))
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Cheese in the Trap (or Inho Cantabile) – Viewers are the Ones Got TRAPPED Till the End #MassiveTrainwreck

It’s been so long since I update this blog. Sorry if the once time I update it, it’s not a Shinhwa-related post (though my blog is a Shinhwa-centric one). I just have to let it out somewhere… (ok, I did ranting at some SNS.. but I TRIED to make it as short as possible elsewhere, while what I need is to write an ESSAY on this lol).

*cough*

So I began the drama as a webtoon fan. I know adaptation never lives up to the original material, but I’m such a sucker for adaptations!! You name it: from Harry Potter, LoTR, to Nodame Cantabile and Love, Rosie. I’m not a quite movie-goers (short-attention span problem) but I make sure to watch ANYTHING if it’s an adaptation. Began as a reader, of course I have a set of expectation on the drama. Though I don’t have it too high, since it’s one of the most complicated story I’ve ever read with the most complicated male lead’s character, and one of the most unusual relationship for the male and female lead. It’s not your usual romance.

My first impression on the first week was really good. I was instantly hooked. I was right when I thought Park Haejin will nail Jung’s character (keeping an eye on him since YWCTS but his follow-up dramas are not my genre #roncomforever lol). Kim Go Eun’s acting is very good, subtle but on point. Though she’s arguably CUTER than webtoon Hong Seol (that girl has so much sass). Seo Kang Joon is good too (improvement since his Cunning Single Lady days), though In Ho is pretty much white-washed in the drama (why he is depicted so nice? Lol. Anyway INITIALLY, I don’t have any trouble with this. But let me get on that later). The only one annoys me was Lee Sung Kyung. I ff-ed her scenes, to over the top and I can’t stand her expression+voice. But she grows on me (later on this).

My satisfaction rate was quite high. Yes it happened so fast. But I only thought, ‘this is drama..the fasten things up.’ Even Jung-Seol’s relationship here so LTE. The drama doesn’t show how they got /really/ close even before they started dating. They cut a whole lot. But I wasn’t complaining. Thinking that maybe the drama was going to add their dynamics post dating. I was fine with it (watched a lot of adaptations, I really was OK if it takes different route, as long as they maintain the characters and main plot line. I could even swallow Tomorrow Cantabile rather happily)

1

(rather pity they didn’t include Jung’s “my girlfriend” line in the drama. But oh well XD)

…until the thief arc when I began to question several things:

  • Where is Jung’s childhood story with ahjussi neighbor? Isn’t it necessary to show it? Viewers won’t understand why ahjussi said those things to Jung.
  • Why is Seol made to swat his hand? When in the webtoon, she’s gladly being piggy-backed by him to the hospital? And why she accepted Inho’s hand and went with her (and her brother) to the hospital?

2

(too bad they didn’t show how much Jung laughed after she did this…)

I realized Jung is depicted so much darker in the drama (what’s with that creepy BGM when he appears?! haha). Beside “I’m not strange”, we can’t see through his perspective. But we were still early on the drama, so I thought they’d it later, in ep 8-10ish, maybe?

3

We only get this flashback to explain why/when he started to like her. While it’s so much more in the webtoon. They could’ve explained more through a little flashbacks.

But in ep 9, it has started to go downhill for me. Too many In Ho. Yes, the main couple were on a break. Yes, Jung was interning. It was understandable and justifiable for the lack of Jung in ep 9-10. Though they started to shove us non-existent love triangle in our faces, I was still thinking “it’s a K-drama… Love triangle is a must… So, fine.”

But I also began more questions:

  • Why do we still not get any Jung’s background story?
  • Why Jung and Seol aren’t explained more? Their relationship is more than just misunderstanding-fight-make up (but maybe they do it later…maybe they wanna show how much they need to work out their relationship… I keep making excuses LOL)
  • Why the hell did she call In Ho “oppa” with that flirtatious tone albeit she’s joking? She called her bf “sunbae” for God’s sake.

I started questioning really HARD this direction of this drama when they gave the scene of Jung tending Seol’s wounds to In ho in ep 10. Some said “it’s ok it’s just minor”. IT IS NOT OK. Jung seems to be never there for Seol. I’d rather they changed things up (Jung giving a medicine, yes. He said he’d wait, yes…but him applying on her by himself, though she was MAD at him, has more impact, imo), than giving Jung’s scenes to In Ho or In Ho to Jung. Little things could mean so MUCH more, ya know?

4

The supposed-to-be

By that point, I looked back and realized, they make Jung and Seol relationship a really really hard work for both. Relationship is hard, I know. Jung and Seol are both introverted and never speak their thought, mostly (particularly JUNG). But in the drama, they show a huge discrepancies between SeolxJung and InhoxSeol. InhoxSeol seems very easy. She has no ‘filter’ if she talks to In Ho. Granted, she might not really confide to him about anything, or lean on him about anything. But the EASE… and why does In ho revolve around her soo much? He’s working at her family shop, she tutors him for GED, and he studies piano at her school…were all in the webtoon. But she doesn’t commute every single time with him, nor does he try to badmouth Jung every time he sees her, nor he even starred at her with those puppy eyes. He’s doing all these when they’re on a break and Jung is interning.

More questions as ep 10-11-12 were aired:

  • So much time wasted on piano and useless scenes involve Baek Inho following Seol around.
  • Where is Jung? Where is his character development? Where is his background story?
  • Where is the TALK between the main couple? Seol is supposed to talk and tell him about her family problems. But here, zilch. I love cute moments, I do (though why on earth they have to add In ho’s watching and sighing at the reunion hug, again??). But at this point, so much depth of Jung and Seol’s relationship are taken away. They talk a lot in the webtoon, even about trivial things. Granted, they don’t really talk about Jung’s past…but they talked about their friends. But, Seol confides to him about her family problems, her problems with people at her English course, and even about Minsoo/Younggon. Their lack of growth in this department bothered me by ep 12. Seol is somehow still tip-toeing around him, he’s still so rigid and putting his wall up high. Jung laughed and being cute and teased her a lot in webtoon. Again, I’m not saying it has to be 100% synchronized, but show has demonized Jung’s character too much and never explained him at all, at this point.

567

The talk

I was thinking to drop the show in ep 11. Cute scenes can’t help my bitterness that JungxSeol’s (together and separately) growth being degraded so much. Jung’s still not explained. But the last 10 mins in ep 12 gave me hope (BUT DO WE NEED MORE IN HO WALKING AWAY SIGHING IN SADNESS AT THE END?). Finally Jung and Seol talk… Finally Jung shares with her about his past. Finally, she fully accepts him and understands him. Though I don’t think she’s quite forgiving about his little “tricks.”

Finally we got insights on their past. Though I’m left a little unsatisfied about the reason of their fight. In the webtoon, Jung and Inho were having dinner with Seol’s family and it went well (in drama, nope. Jung is the never-present-bf for her family AND always-at-fault-bf). It reminded In Ho so much about their good time. They fought and talked about their past, mostly. Not “You’re playing with Dog Fur. I don’t like it cuz I LIKE HER.” #uhm. But at least ep 12 got some insights of their past.

So I held on. Maybe, in 13-14, they’d start working on Jung’s character development and we finally see why and how he’s become like this (drama has done very little…only some glimpse of flashbacks of dad ignoring him in favor of Baek siblings, him talking about dad put much expectation that suffocate him, him “thinking” Baek siblings reported him to his father, etc); his relationship with his father and mother; with Baek siblings, etc.

But in 13-14 we got another Inho’s arc. Some cute moments that show Jung has gradually opened up at ep 13. But at ep 14, he’s pulling strings again with Sang Chul without telling Seol. Where’s his scene with his father post-fight shown at previews? Where’s his scene with In ha that was in the preview too? Some huge chunks of explanation are missing, again. Why do I feel like the cut scene with Inha explains his behavior of not opening up to Seol about Sang Chul? Why do I feel like the scene with his father is important enough to explain why suddenly the father are “mad” at Baek siblings? It was later confirmed about the fiasco broke out…that those scenes are indeed important but got slashed -_-

I grew increasingly uncomfortable with this drama. I didn’t even bother to watch the whole episodes for 13-14. I read the recaps on dramabeans and ff the unnecessary scenes.

More beef with the show post ep 14:

  • Seol is “still” fooling around with In ho without telling Jung (She draw a clear line “I SEE YOU AS A FAMILY” to Inho in the webtoon when she sensed he might hv feeling for her –> Seol is not THAT obtuse in the webtoon. Inho even quit his job at the restaurant when he started to realize his feelings. Now, that what I call RESPECT from  In ho to Seol), fully knowing WHY Jung asks her to stay away from In ho and WHY is he so insecure about her closeness with Inho. Though she did assure him /nothing/ besides studying and he was understanding when he said “I’m not OK but you have promised to keep tutoring him.” Seol said “nothing besides studying” but still commute with In ho, worry about him for the whole ep 13 (she wasn’t even /this/ worry about Jung), and agree on his ‘one month’ at ep 14 (???????).
  • In ho confessed to her and expected her to stay friend. People said “he just confessed not trying to take her from her bf!! Poor him getting hurt” etc. A friendship is ruined once another person confessed that s/he likes another party, for me. Getting hurt is an absolute thing to happen in a one-sided love. It’s understandable if Seol tries to put some distance and don’t wanna be his friend anymore. Moreover, she got a boyfriend and her bf got some major bad blood with this person and she freaking KNOWS it (it’s really more than Jung is being unreasonably jealous and controlling boyfriend). But Inho asks for one month, stay friend, and reject a call from Jung to Seol?? Which part in the world ppl say “he respects Seol”? If he respected her at all, he wouldn’t ask to stay as friend (give her concour excuse for ‘avoiding’ her, don’t revolve around her, don’t commute with her, just stay away and respect her when she said indirect NO by returning the scarf), won’t revolve around her KNOWING her obvious discomfort (take note from Soo Hyuk in OMHE ‘putting her feelings above mine’), and definitely won’t dare to reject a phone call from her bf (stop butting in their r/s, please).
  • Seol is somehow depicted as a crazy girl who just accepts whatever Jung does because she’s blinded by ‘love’. That she lets him “off” too easily. That she has the lose-end of this relationship. That the relationship is toxic and Jung is abusive. Viewers never GET why we shall root for the main couple and the reasons why Cheese in the Trap is revolved around them (though, obviously, the drama is more about Inho Cantabile). While Jung was mostly only shown when he is on his creepy mode. And how, despite Seol’s warning, he keeps pulling strings to “punish” YG/SC.
  • Jung is demonized too much. Unexplained. I’m not saying I agree with his “method” or even condone it. Nope. Never. I want to strangle him so bad when he did what he did to Young Gon (indirectly send him to Seol via Inha and pulling strings to get rid of him via Inha). I accepted that’s he is operating differently, thinking differently, etc. That’s what makes his character compelling (I don’t even think he’s WEIRD or SICK psychologically… he’s just operating differently. Though I do wish he’s becoming more relaxed and not so-guarded towards people and looking down on them. To think through of the consequences before pulling  strings. To feel some more empathy towards others’ feelings). How he’s grown while he’s with Seol…to show him (rather than her always telling him “not to do that”) and stop him when he’s like this (THIS IS WHY I’M SO MAD THEY CHANGED THE SCENE WHERE JUNG PROTECTED SEOL FROM SANG CHUL TO INHO.IT WAS A TOTAL WTF MOMENT) “Oh, there’s another way to navigate in this world… That a person who’s so similar with me yet operate differently.” While Seol is contemplating on why she accepts him and realizes how they’ve grown more similar to each other (she contemplates whether she’s originally like that, thus, can accept and understand Jung’s methods; or is it just because she comes to know him…)

89

Jung saves Seol

Look, a little deviation from webtoon is fine. A little change here and there to suit the drama’s limited time is fine (do you see me complaining why Young Gon’s arc is shown very late? Nope. OR Jung-Seol’s LTE dating? Nope. It was just rather surprising). But it’s a whole different thing when the plot and story and characterization (and their growth) are lost somewhere in the mountain and deviating TOO MUCH from the webtoon. I was wondering…if SOONKKI did involve in the writing…why did she let this deviation happening? Why she let her characters being butchered and main plot got lost like this?

The viewers have expressed their discontent since ep 9. The production team played deaf. It’s grown increasingly apparent there must be something going on (that’s what I feel)…why the male lead is side-lined too much. In Ho’s story is central in the webtoon particularly during Jung’s interning, it’s true. But by that time, Jung’s side of the story have been explained (except some high school part and those involve Inho—not just hand, but Inho’s bertrayal). We understand Jung at that point. We can root for Jung and Seol at that point. In drama, Jung is just disappeared without being explained and they threw out pity card for Inho too much. Inho’s story in the webtoon revolve around him reflecting on what went wrong, why, how; him contemplating about his current life and how he tries to get his life together; him thinking about his degrading relationship with Jung. Those were all fine for me (it’s still going on in S4 now).

While the drama is focusing on him too much on his less necessary stories. So much filler scenes. So much unnecessary scenes of In ho. Look, I am all for him to find a family in Seol’s and him finding his dream back. But I’m not in for him moping around and hogging the screen time with “oh pitiful me, oh miserable me..oh how Jung ruined everything for me now and then” without even once contemplating whether he did some share of mistakes, too. His useless scenes can be used to tell more about Jung and his father, Inho-Inha, Joon-Ahyoung, even JUNG-INHO themselves. So much things were sacrificed for Inho’s moping around, taking out garbage, playing piano (WE GET IT THAT HE’S PRACTICING HARD, OK? It’s not Nodame Cantabile, so excessive piano scenes are annoying), and walking around in angst.

Even for the former boss thingy, it’s not taking too long and taking up the story (it’s untranslated so I’m grasping the gist and rely on available English reviews/summaries). Jung even knew first-hand when they came to the university looking for Hong Seol (the boss thought she was In Ho’s gf) and Jung went all scary “what do you want with my gf?” lol. Iirc he then warned In ho about his boss endangering Seol (without “I gave you the money, so get lost” thingy in the drama).

What the heck going on with this drama. I can’t help but questioned it’s either blatant favoritism toward SKJ or PHJ did pissed the PD off somehow. I was glad it was blown up post-ep 14. Soonkki has nothing to do with the deviation, I sighed in relief (well…she wouldn’t have wanted her story got butchered like this). You can read the whole fiasco in here.

Episode 15 feels like it is back on track. We got more Jung’s story and Jung x Seol’s relationship development (couple ring, yey. Noticing his obvious discomfort, she saved him from those ass-lickings college ppl, yey). Even Joon and Ahyoung’s story!! But it all feels FORCED. TOO LATE. That’s what I screamed in my mind. Seems like they squeezed on what should have been in previous episodes. Jung’s childhood story feels forced to be inserted because PHJ complained. It’s supposed to be told from Joo Young ahjussi’s POV (the one that told him to SMILE, the kid that Jung saw pouring wine inside the glass), not his father’s. Finally we got that conversation with Prof. Baek, but it’s incomplete (Prof. Baek diagnosed Jung with “excessive victim mentality” without even examining Jung directly and Dad just took it).

I love how Sang Chul told Jung that “we’re watching you too.” If it’s done sooner, perhaps we can also see Jung’s growth as a character…that he’d be more trusting to the people in the university. A pity they totally sidelined Kyung Hwan here and making Jung a total loner. Kyung Hwan is Jung’s bff…they’re close enough for Jung to tell him beforehand that he is dating Seol (before he told everyone at the class). Jung was even there for him when Kyung Hwan lost his mother.

The last parts turned into a total makjang. It is convinced me they did change the ending to be different from the webtoon, as Soonkki wouldn’t have written a makjang drama like they present us in episode 15 and 16.

  • Jung’s father took Inha’s story without listening to Jung’s side. Chaebol parent’s objection ☑
  • Car accident for one of the leading character ☑
  • Noble idiocy to complete a Holy Trinity of makjang drama ☑
  • Spiced it up with a time skip ☑

THE ENDING – I’M NOT OKAY

*disclaimer* I haven’t watched it…I only peeked at the last part in soompi. I read the whole recaps in DB. Now that I know about the /WHOLE/ ending, I don’t feel like watching. I STILL DON’T FEEL LIKE WATCHING #INEEDAVACATION

If only they didn’t waste too much time on piano and Jung’s issues are explained, open ending will be okay. Heck, even there are other ways to make a satisfying open-ending.

But why do I feel like Jung is being ‘punished’ until the end. Viewers never get enough explanation/insight about his side of the story. He is still being misunderstood until the end. He didn’t get his happy ending while even Inha and Inho got. He has to be separated from Seol. He has to live alone and being lonely, again. What happened to him during those years alone, we never know… His happiness with Seol is very short-lived. Even until the end, Jung never got his justice and happiness… Even Seol family is seen him as the “never present boyfriend” and blamed him for everything, but accepted Inho whose sister caused Seol to be hit at the first place (THIS IS WHY THE DINNER SCENE IN WEBTOON WITH THE SEOL’S FAMILY IMPORTANT.. T_T).

Why separation is needed I also don’t get it.

Jung and Seol have gone so much hardship and obstacle and finally they could reach a thorough understanding and acceptance of each other. Jung’s reason for leaving “to find himself” is acceptable (he’s been judged as weird his whole life… and he realizes he’s judging people too. he realized how it could harm others without him knowing/empathizing. I get it if he wants to find “himself”). But why they need to break off their relationship, I don’t get it. With their level of understanding, shouldn’t “long distance relationship” enough? Why must there be noble idiocy? Jung could’ve gone for years, while still in contact with Seol. They can develop to be better people, separately yet together. Seriously, a break up is not even necessary at the level of their relationship. Seol can still be /there/ for Jung while Jung is trying to find himself away somewhere. Jung can still be with her and be happy, not alienated like this. Then he could go back and show her what has changed… Seol can show him how much she’s grown. But they chose to go into cliché tropes instead… it’s extremely disappointing.

Every other character besides the main couple got their happy ending. Why? Don’t they deserve that after all those shits they have been through? Just one minute, just one minute that shows they meet again, it’s fine. NOT SOME FREAKING READ-EMAILS. They could’ve filmed a decent ending (since it’s pre-produced)…they could’ve extended it for ONE FRIGGING MINUTE to show us they met.Heck, even the last scene and the voice-over seemed to be put there…JUST BECAUSE.

I feel Inception-ed.

I’ve had my share of disappointing endings previously from so many years watching drama, but CITT is the most unforgivable. I have watched a lot of unsatisfying adaptation, but CITT is a downright disappointment (maybe also because the first half DID deliver one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in my life). What’s the use of it being semi pre-produced if you butchered it half-way and finished like this?

On characters (drama vs webtoon):

  • JUNG. WASTED. BUTCHERED. He’s made as if he’s a total psycho. I left it at that. I ranted enough about Jung above.
  • SEOL. Lack of sass and backbone. Particularly obtuse if it’s about In ho…making her looking like a two-timer. I’m sad they’re making her like this in the drama.
  • IN HO. I don’t really like webtoon Inho, to be honest. Simply because he has blabbermouth, rather rude, and fist-first attitude. I have a major problem with people like this in real life. Initially, I was ok with whitewashing drama-Inho (SKJ is an adorable puppy so it’s hard to imagine him as rough as Baek In ho in webtoon)… But the second half of the drama has made me despise drama-Inho completely (not the actor) and also the PD. They don’t even show what happened really to his hand. They don’t show that Inho did report Jung to his dad (in the webtoon). That his big mouth caused a nasty rumor to spread about Jung during high school. That in some ways, he did betray Jung (The hand incident isn’t resolved in the webtoon, so idk much what happened). I wish they mend the relationship between Jung and Inho…instead of putting all the blame to Jung until the end. The bromance is not repaired. #ohbitterme
  • IN HA. Oh Inha…what have you done to her character development, drama T_T The actress annoys me at first (I mentioned way above), but her interpretation is growing on me. She’s so meme-able lol. She’s a biatch, batshit crazy, malicious, leech, gold-digger, etc. But I like her being honest about it. Even with Jung, she is just honest “I use you (his money), but you can use me, too.” She never tried blaming Jung and his family for every wrong turn of her life (which drama-Inho does a lot), as she acknowledges it’s her own doing/decision. I was waiting for this character to be developed. In the webtoon, she’s attending school, trying to change (somehow). I’d love her mending her relationship with Inho step by step (their sibling banter was so cute). But it never happened. It’s a pity to see her ends up in psychiatric ward. But at least she got her happy ending.

Disappointment is an understatement.

“What could’ve been” will haunt me forever.

-additional rant-

I was tweeting last night (just after the recap) that I highly suspected the read-email was a second-thought/forced ending… that it’s supposed to end at the crosswalk.

I was right.

“According to  CJ E&M -the producer of CITT-the ending was supposed to be the scene when our jung n soel were crossing the road. They chaned it 4 times before airing the email version. All casts except PHJ were called to re-film the ending” (soompi)

gdi richard simmons for the ending and not calling PHJ

#$#%#$%$$%