Film + TV, Geekiness

My first impressions on a bunch of new shows

With the amount of things I try to fit into a day I don’t exactly have much time on my hands to watch a lot of television. I have to look through TV.com’s articles on network lineups just to have even the remotest idea of what’s new and what’s hot and all that. I wish there was a good blog to follow that talks about US TV shows in the same fun way that Dramabeans does for Asian dramas so I can be on the loop. In any case, here are my first impressions on shows I’ve been considering putting on the regular rotation of my very precious TV-watching time. Let’s go with Asian dramas first:

I’m sure K-drama fans have already witnessed the amazing that is Liar Game. After the fourth episode I didn’t think I could be an even bigger fan but I am! In fact I am inclined to name this as my favourite Korean drama of the year if it continues to be this way. Please please please drama gods, let it be as good as I follow it through to the end!

It comes as a bit of a shock to me how much I liked the first two episodes of Pride and Prejudice. Okay, not too much of a shock since I am generally drawn to legal dramas, but I have not seen one like this. None of the prosecutors in the show go to court and all of them are more like detectives really. (Is this how they do it in Korea?) However I am enjoying the main characters quite a bit, especially because the chemistry is unmistakable especially with the leads (as well as the potential love triangle). The show also has great dialogues and fun banter, with the mysteries involving each character backstory strangely deepening the more pieces they reveal. So far I’m very inclined to follow this through. Plus, Lee Tae-Hwan is such a cutie! I love the whole cast actually so bring it on!

Can’t find a decent promo picture anywhere! Anyway, Kyo wa Kaisha Yasumimasu (Today I Take A Day Off From Work) is the only Jdorama I have watched in the year and it is super adorable. To be specific, Ayase Haruka is adorable. I’ve loved her since Hotaru no Hikari. I don’t find it hard to believe two hot guys have fallen for her because she is gorgeous and charming and I wish I had her skin. Seriously. The drama is a bit of your typical ugly duckling blooms into a rose story, but with enjoyable quirks. And Tamaki Hiroshi. (Yes, THE Chiaki from the original Nodame Cantabile, kyaaa!) For the cast alone I am going to follow this.

I have been looking forward to Constantine since laying eyes on its trailer, but by jove was I disappointed with the pilot. I guess it’s always that way when expectations are so high on something that fails to hit the mark. I wish Live could teach me how to suspend my disbelief as fast as she did when Constantine told her about her true identity. It just feels so disjointed and rushed, and as good as Matt Ryan was as Constantine, even he could not save the pilot from being all over the place. I’m sorry to say that I will probably just drop this though I’d give the succeeding two episodes a chance if I have the time.

The CW seems to have found its niche in these types of superhero shows. Arrow is a pretty fine example of that. What makes this show work is pretty much the same formula that makes Arrow work: good casting choices, great effort in special effects, a decent storyline. And the fact that it is based on an existing superhero mythology that already has fans. The first four episodes have been solid and highly enjoyable. This is definitely something to follow.

I love Maggie Q. In fact it’s the only reason why I started watching Stalker in the first place. Otherwise, the subject matter creeps me out. The trailer was superb in its creepiness so I thought the show had much promise. I watched the first two episodes and thought they were pretty okay, but halfway through the third one I kind of started losing real interest in the show. I can’t really relate to either of the leads, especially McDermott’s character. I don’t know. As a procedural it’s decent, but as far as latching onto my empathy and emotions as a viewer it’s not happening. I think I’m just going to drop this thing but I’m happy for Maggie since this got picked up for a full season.

What did not make the list: my general disdain for the Nodame Cantabile Korean remake; the inexplicable reasons why I keep watching Blade Man despite it going around and around in circles; how much I find Batman-less Gotham not so exciting.

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Film + TV, Geekiness, PICTURES

On my telly, lately

I admit I don’t watch a lot of traditional television. Apart from the sports programs I follow, I don’t actively open the telly to channel surf and stuff. I don’t watch the news because I prefer to read about in since my memory has a tendency of recording random things I’ve seen with HD quality. I don’t want to run the risk of having nightmares more terrifying than any horror movie could ever cause me.

Most of what I watch is either streamed, DVR-ed, or downloaded to my hard drive. The great thing about that is how you can watch whatever you want whenever you want, and you can go back to the old stuff you might’ve missed from years ago. I especially love catching up on old Asian dramas, but I watch a well-rounded mix of things: American dramas, British dramas, Japanese, Taiwanese, or Korean dramas, I watch them all. Typically I watch dramas in languages that speak to me, I want to learn, or those I have some knowledge of. And much like with books, I get inspired by watching TV shows too.

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Geekiness

I’ve been busy chronicling my favourite memories in HeyDay

Well it seems like my blogging habits haven’t improved. I’ve been so busy running the food blog I’ve been neglecting this space, which technically is more important since it’s supposed to house all my personal musings. Lately there have been a lot in fact; things that have to do with growing up and growing old, about walking out into the world on my own and facing my fears… That kind of stuff. But there’s time for that I suppose, in the future, when I find a bit of solitude to delve back into my thoughts and write about them at last. At the moment I’m utterly obsessed with this new app called Heyday.

Heyday has been sitting in my iPhone for months but when I finally opened it I was surprised to find that it was actually quite a delightful little photo diary. (Now this is not a paid advertisement or any of the sort. I am simply sharing something I am absolutely loving lately and I think many people will love too.)

I am as much a visual person as I am a textual one, but there is nothing quite like a photo to speak the thousand words found in every curve and line of that memory. A photo allows you to suspend a single moment in time forever. I think it’s why I love Instagram so much as well, because it’s just like this app in that it allows you to remember where you were exactly when you took that photograph, plus the context of the photograph as well. The only difference is while Instagram can be quite a public place, this app is your very own private photo-journal.

HeyDay

And the thing that really impresses me (though it can be quite buggy at times) is that this app allows you to record the locations of your photos alongside the time they were snapped. Now that is proper chronicling. It also appeals so much to the OC side of me. Sometimes I spend so much time getting the names of places I’ve been to just right. I think this app can be especially great for travellers as it is the easiest way to write a short but sweet travel entry. I know it’ll be largely helpful for my travel notes-taking in the future. I just started using it for that over our Easter vacation (see below, left!) and have been fixing my entries on my previous travels (on the right, this time).

HeyDay1

Oh and it’s pretty easy to use. The interface is very crisp and user-friendly, though I admit I wish there were more options to customise the app. For instance, I want to turn off the feature that automatically creates an entry even if I didn’t take a photo on that day. Whenever I stop at a gas station or any place with WiFi it gets recorded on the app, including the location of the sidewalk where you stood waiting for the bus! On my part I have to manually erase each and every one of those useless entries. It can get annoying because I can’t turn it off! That aside, I absolutely adore this app.

Here’s a sneak peak of how you create each “Moment” that appears in your timeline:

HeyDay how

Basically you get to choose the number of photos that will make up your Moment collage, and then you get to pick a lay-out. The lay-outs are different depending on the number of photos you drag and drop into the collage, as you can see above. There are also some pretty good filters (whoops forgot to photograph that!) for photos provided in-app.

I just think this is a really really cool app. I only hope that when the next improvement is released they would add an option to import MULTIPLE pictures at a time to a newly created Moment. It’s such a pain to have to go back to the camera roll and scroll up looking for the photo you want to include in the set. But all in all, I sooooo love this app. I’m currently trying to fix up my year 2012! 🙂

[Added on April 30th: I just got tweeted by one of the people behind this app and they asked for my feedback. I think that is a very very good attitude for all app developers to have.
Added again on July 17th: They have added the multiple photo feature I was complaining about for their new update. Thumbs up!]

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