Entertainment

5 Things We Loved About Netflix's New Zombie K-Drama Kingdom

29 Jan 2019 by Jasmine Ong

Since the explosive success of the 2016 zombie flick Train to Busan, it is clear that love for the living dead has become a global, if not Asian phenomenon. From the animated Seoul Station to recent box office hit Rampant and now Kingdom, it seems like Koreans just can’t get enough of the undead genre.

While we all know how the use of zombies can result in a repetitive narrative, this new Netflix original actually does the opposite. Set in the medieval Joseon period, Kingdom infuses the elements of history, politics, mystery and horror to bring you a thrilling drama about a crown prince who despite getting caught in a power-grabbing conspiracy, embarks on a personal mission to investigate a mysterious plague that threatens his people and his kingdom. If that doesn’t pique your interest, perhaps our list of five things that we loved from this debut series might change your mind. Oh, and did we mention it stars Ju Ji Hoon and Ryu Seung Ryong?

#1 The fast-paced plot that surprises

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Though there may be some similarities between the 2018 Korean film Rampant and Kingdom, the latter actually holds its own in terms of its ability to intricately weave the undead element in with real details from the Joseon era such as their belief in Confucianist ideologies, which almost threatened to ruin any hopes of survival for the characters. In addition to that, we really enjoyed the fast-paced storytelling which kept us at the edge of our seats. The limited use of zombie appearances also helped to keep us from predicting what comes next, and allowed us to experience the surprise twists without disruptions.

#2 The relationship between the crown prince and his royal bodyguard

5-Things-We-Loved-About-New-Zombie-K-Drama-Kingdom-02-Bromance

In place of a non-existent romance in the debut season of Kingdom, viewers are treated to a brief but present bromance between Lee Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) and his royal bodyguard Moo Young (Kim Sang Ho). When Lee Chang first appears, it is pretty evident that the crown prince stays rather isolated from others due to political reasons since he holds the least amount of power despite his title. As such, the only person he can turn to for aid is his bodyguard whom he also treats like a personal friend. Having seen a glimpse of what the crown prince has been through, it’s nice to see that he has someone in his corner who not only banters with him but still provides support when it matters.

#3 Character-building 101

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It’s not easy to substantially develop characters in just one season with only six episodes, but this Netflix series made it possible to evolve their characters within each episode using time-sensitive situations which elicits certain qualities in a person. We particularly loved the obvious character development for Lee Chang, who was first introduced as a haughty person with a privileged attitude but eventually becomes a humbler version of himself after witnessing the loss of innocent lives first-hand.

#4 The ambiguity of Young Shin

5-Things-We-Loved-About-New-Zombie-K-Drama-Kingdom-04-Young-Shin

If there’s one character that continually mystifies in the entire first season, it’s the enigmatic lone wolf Young Shin (Kim Sung Kyu). Since his appearance in the first episode, not much is known about this agile, sharp-shooting young man who was the first to encounter the living dead together with Seo Bi (Bae Doo Na). The uncertainty behind his character creates an air of mystery about him, which works in the show’s favour as he continually surprises with his useful skill sets. It also presents a world of possibilities to his real identity where he might just be the beneficial ally that the crown prince needs to take back his throne.

#5 The overtly talented cast of characters

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What makes a brilliant Korean drama if not for its actors? Helmed by a stellar cast of hard-working veterans and seasoned actors, Kingdom has an incredible mix of talent that all play an integral role in this newly created world. From Ryu Seung Ryong’s quiet and intimidating villain Cho Hak Jo to Jun Suk Ho’s bumbling magistrate Beom Pal, every actor seemed to embody their characters seamlessly, allowing viewers to suspend their beliefs as they go on the journey with them. It also helped that the cast had such great chemistry with one another, as this gave each person the ability to share the spotlight without the worry of overshadowing their scene partners.

Photo credits: Netflix Singapore

Catch all episodes of Kingdom starring Ju Ji Hoon, Ryu Seung Ryong and more on Netflix now!

More related stories: 5 Reasons Why Rampant is the New Zombie Flick You’ll Love, 14 Upcoming Blockbuster Korean Dramas To Watch In 2019

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Wanna One’s final concert Therefore was held from 24 to 27 January at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul – and it was a bittersweet affair filled with a massive outpouring of support from not just their beloved Wannables, but also some of their close celebrity friends.

Wanna One Therefore

Emotions ran high throughout all four days as the boys poured their hearts out for their last performance as a group. While Wanna One’s farewell concert caused a truckload of waterworks from fans, it turned out we were not the only ones grieving – a few familiar faces were also spotted in tears amidst the crowd.

From Produce 101 alumni Jeon Somi and Jeong Sewoon, to popular idols like BTS’ Jimin and EXO’s Xiumin, to even big-name actors like Park Seo Jun and Ahn Jae Hyun, here are all the celebrities who showed up in support of the Wanna One members.

Jeon Somi

 
 
 
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Jeong Se Woon

 
 
 
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2017년을 웃으며 추억할 수 있게 해준 워너원 고마워요! 안녕, 나의 2017년.

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Kim Sang Bin

 
 
 
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흠🎉

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Seong Hyun Woo

 
 
 
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Jeong Si Hyun

 
 
 
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20190127 저번에 찍은 사진이랑 구도가 같네옄ㅋㅋㅋㅋ고생많으셨습니다😄😄

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Heize


BTS’ Jimin


EXO’s Xiumin


BIGBANG’s Seungri


MOMOLAND’s JooE


Park Seo Jun


Ahn Jae Hyun

 
 
 
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😎

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Baek Min Hyun

 
 
 
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Kim Sae Ron

 
 
 
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Rhymer

What a heartwarming sight to witness! Even though we’ve come to the end of Wanna One, it’s really just the beginning. We wish nothing but success for the rest of the members as they continue to pursue their dreams on a different path.

All the best, Wanna One!

A trip down memory lane: Wanna One Puts On A Show To Remember At First (And Final) Solo Concert In Singapore13 Things That Only Happen At A Wanna One Fanmeeting101 Facts You Need To Know About Produce 101’s Wanna One

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What happens when you put five boys with an average age of 20 and energy levels equivalent to a hyperactive bunny in the same room together? Chaos ensues.

Take one glance at Why Don’t We and you might be instantly smitten by their heartthrob-worthy good looks and irresistible all-American charm. And it doesn’t hurt that these young lads are immensely talented musicians – just their pitch-perfect vocal harmonies alone are enough to get you hooked on them at first listen, which explains why this rapidly-rising outfit already boasts such a strong following despite being relatively new to the scene. Musical cred aside, it’s also their playful personalities that make them seem a lot more approachable beneath their boy band status.

When we first stepped into the interview room, we were immediately greeted by an incoherent string of decibel-shattering screams that we soon became well accustomed to. Although the band has been busy with interviews since early morning, they hardly showed any signs of fatigue and gamely entertained everyone with their side-splitting antics. From wresting one another to doing their best impressions of each other, the boys of Why Don’t We served up plenty of laughs during our segment where we challenged them to a hilarious game of ‘This Or That’.

Watch the full video below – we dare you to try not to laugh!

Special thanks to Warner Music Singapore for the interview opportunity.

Be sure to show Why Don’t We lots of love for their debut album 8 Letters as well as their latest single ‘BIG PLANS’!

More related stories: The Next 1D? Meet The New Generation Of Rising Boy BandsEverything You Need To Know About K-pop’s Newest Boy Band Sensation TXT

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Mention Big Hit Entertainment and global phenomenon BTS would come to mind in a heartbeat. Six years after thrusting their first ever boy group into the spotlight, the South Korean record label has finally unleashed their new glossy pop act onto the scene – and these new kids on the block look set to take the K-pop industry by storm.

But with the burgeoning success of their sunbaes, we couldn’t help but wonder how Bang Si Hyuk’s budding flagship act is going to follow that up. But it seems like we have little to worry about, seeing as TXT has already built up a solid empire of dedicated fans for themselves.

Since the unveiling of their individual introductory teasers, ARMYs and fellow K-poppers on stan Twitter have been exploding with excitement over these fresh-faced boys, resulting in the members’ names as well as the hashtag #TOMORROW_X_Together dominating the recent top trends. In the span of two weeks, their official Twitter account has already garnered over 1.17 million followers, while their Instagram page boasts a rapidly-increasing 1.4 million follower count – an impressive feat for a group that has yet to make their debut.

So who exactly is TXT?

For starters, TXT stands for Tomorrow X Together (pronounced as Tomorrow By Together like how it’s written in Korean 투모로우 바이 투게더). Made up of five members with an average age of 17, the different members come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow.

Unlike BTS’ winning formula of dance-heavy tunes and hard-hitting moves, TXT is described as a “bright and youthful boy band where each member is different from one another, shining in their own way to create a synergy”. From what we’re hearing in the teaser videos, we’re expecting feel-good electronic pop combined with lighthearted choreography. It’s a stark contrast from BTS’ brand of music, but we’re certainly liking what we hear so far!

Here are the members:

Yeonjun

If V and Jimin had a lovechild, it’d probably be Yeonjun. Despite his baby-faced looks, he’s 19 years old and is the oldest member in the group. His glorious visuals aside, it’s also worth noting that he has superb dancing skills so we can’t wait to see him in action. Here’s another fun fact: Yeonjun was actually a former backup dancer for V’s solo track ‘Singularity’. Try spotting him in the music video and live stages!

Soobin

The second member to be revealed in the lineup, Soobin is 18 years old and is TXT’s leader. According to sources, he’s said to be towering at 184cm – that’s even taller than BTS’ leader, RM!

Huening Kai

With his unique name and exotic visuals, some fans speculated that Huening Kai is mixed – and they’re right! Born in Hawaii, the multilingual lad is known to be able to speak a total of four languages fluently, which makes him the first ever international artiste in the Big Hit family. While not much is revealed about his current position yet, the 17-year-old is rumoured to be the maknae as well as visual/main vocal of the band.

Taehyun

Part of the maknae line along with Kai, Taehyun is the fourth member to be unveiled and is rumoured to be the rapper in the group. Word has it that he’s fluent in English and used to make educational videos that taught children how to speak English when he was a little kid. What a talented chap!

Beomgyu

Finally, we meet Beomgyu – the fifth and last member that will complete the TXT ensemble. Hailing from Suga’s hometown of Daegu, eagle-eyed fans discovered that Beomgyu actually attended the same private academy as the BTS member and was even part of a rock band during his school days.

When can we expect their debut? 

Now that we’ve gotten acquainted with the members, the most important question is: when will we get to see TXT on stage? No exact date has been officially announced yet, but we’re thinking it could be anytime soon now. In the meanwhile, check out their adorable dynamics in the group introductory film!

For the Twitter peeps, you can also get your daily dose of TXT via their newly-launched group Twitter account (not to be confused with the one associated with Big Hit). Just from their swoon-worthy selcas alone, it’s not hard to see why these charmers are the talk of the town lately. With impeccable talent, top-notch visuals and hopefully a good concept in the making, TXT pretty much has the success formula down pat; it’s only a matter of time before they take over the charts.

Future icons of K-pop? Very likely.

Are you excited for TXT’s debut? Show ’em some love in the comments below!

More related stories: 11 Rising K-pop Acts That Are About To Wreck Your Bias List In 20195 Up-And-Coming Local Acts To Put On Your Radar In 2019

Entertainment

10 K-Drama Male Leads We Wish Existed In Real Life

24 Jan 2019 by Jasmine Ong

It is no mystery that men in Korean dramas often have viewers falling head over heels for them – not just based on their dashing good looks, but also their charming personalities. From a bad boy like Choi Young Do in The Heirs, to the handsome yet narcissistic Lee Young Joon in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, we’re all guilty of daydreaming about these fictional heartthrobs as actual people. Since this is a judgement-free zone, here are 10 K-drama leading men that we hoped were physically real to further fuel your imagination.

#1  Na Won Deuk in 100 Days My Prince

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Credit: tvN

After experiencing an attack that causes him to lose his memory, crown prince Lee Yool (EXO’s Do Kyung Soo) unknowingly transforms into Won Deuk, a man of low status who enters a marriage of convenience with a peasant spinster. Despite his initial hesitation about his engagement, he soon proved to be a swoon-worthy lead when his feelings start to develop for his partner, and he begins to be a lot more romantic and protective. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a way with words, especially when you’re in need of comfort and he leaves you with a sweet promise to be with you forever. Aww!

#2  Jang Sun Kyul in Clean With Passion For Now

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Credit: JTBC

Falling in love with a germaphobe can result in a trying relationship, but Jang Sun Kyul (Yoon Kyun Sang) is able to prove otherwise when he falls in love with the part-time worker of his cleaning company. Due to forces that had them going back-and-forth about their feelings for one another, Sun Kyul’s determination to get the girl pushes him out of his comfort zone, culminating with a genuine confession towards the object of his affection. Despite struggling to create a sense of normalcy due to his extreme fear of germs, it’s the effort that he puts into the relationship which makes him such an ideal man.

#3  Choi Gun in Clean With Passion For Now

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Credit: JTBC

Though he is the second lead of the show, Choi Gun (Song Jae Rim) is still capable of holding his own when it comes to romance. Known as the mysterious neighbour with a hidden identity, he shows no signs in letting his secret lord over the way he behaves whenever his love interest is around. His quiet, caring personality also manages to waver hearts because who can resist a guy who’s always there in your time of need? Unlike the male lead, Choi Gun is a lot more straightforward and honest with his feelings which is something every girl can appreciate in a growing relationship.

#4  Do Kyung Seok in My ID Is Gangnam Beauty

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Credit: liveasbutterflies.tumblr.com

Compared to most K-drama male leads, Do Kyung Seok (ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo) is a very different kind of character who does not fit the usual mould. Gifted in reading a person from the way they behave and react, he never makes assumptions about anyone unless there’s proof that he has seen for himself. And his unique personality doesn’t just stop there – receiving his affection is not a difficult task either, as he priorities a person’s personality over their looks which means his love isn’t based on superficial factors. What a gentleman!

#5  Kang Bok Soo in My Strange Hero

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Credit: SBS

There’s nothing quite like a high school romance that sets your heart aflutter. Kang Bok Soo (Yoo Seung Ho) is the shining example of a first love who returns to his high school after being wrongfully dismissed nine years ago. Though he may be on the path of revenge because of what had happened in the past, Bok Soo is able to balance his vengeance with the amorous, goofy side of him while he continues to court his former crush with sweet gestures and lovey-dovey expressions that are just too cute to handle!

#6  Ji Soo Hoo in Radio Romance

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Credit: Kocowa

As an actor, it is often difficult to navigate through any personal relationships given the scrutiny from the public. Despite his struggle to overcome this hurdle while fighting off being controlled by his mother, Ji Soo Hoo (Highlight’s Yoon Doo Joon) is adamant on changing himself to become a man worthy of his name. Although prideful, there are times when he would let down his guard to show his vulnerabilities and insecurities in front of people he cares about. His ability to step back as the stereotypical dominant male of the relationship to give his other half the reigns, is what helps to make a relationship better.

#7  Hwang Woo Joo in SKY Castle

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Credit: JTBC

In comparison with the rest of the characters from the competitive SKY Castle world, Hwang Woo Joo (SF9’s Kang Chan Hee) is the opposite of all the uptight youngsters who receives top scores without professional tutoring. Apart from his smarts, Woo Joo is also extremely good-natured and wholeheartedly devoted to whoever has his heart. His determined adoration creates a sense of stability, which ensures an unlikely situation where his feelings would waver – pretty much everything a girl can ask for in a guy.

#8  Seo Do Jae in The Beauty Inside

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Credit: JTBC

Seo Do Jae (Lee Min Ki) is a man who takes unconditional love to a whole new level. In addition to him having a successful life, he unfortunately also suffers from prosopagnosia which leaves him unable to recognise people’s faces. But he doesn’t let his disability hinder his daily life, including his pursuit for the woman he loves. He is also an exemplary gentleman who sees pass the flaws of his romantic interest, and always goes above and beyond to ensure her happiness.

#9  Lee Yoon in The Last Empress

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Credit: SBS

Regardless of his royal status as a prince, Lee Yoon (Oh Seung Yun) has a lovable and carefree personality that makes him different from similar noble roles in Korean dramas. Unlike his counterparts, he doesn’t conform to the rules of aristocracy and instead chooses to live like an ordinary person. Apart from being down-to-earth with an adorable disposition, Lee Yoon’s impishness is also what makes him such a joy to be around. Just look at that smile!

#10 On Joon Young in The Third Charm

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Credit: JTBC

Before he became the flawless and handsome On Joon Young (Seo Kang Joon), he was a goofy nerd with braces, glasses and a bad hairdo. On top of being a clumsy sweetheart who seemingly faces many internal struggles about his self-worth, Joon Young is someone who dedicates every fibre of his being into a relationship. Though this can be viewed as a stifling quality, it can also be seen as a courageous trait since it isn’t easy for a man to wear his heart on his sleeve, and any girl should be so lucky to have such an honest partner.

More related stories: 14 Upcoming Blockbuster Korean Dramas To Watch In 20198 Oppa-Approved Pickup Lines That Will Win Over Your K-Drama Obsessed Sweetheart

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