Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HK Artist Spotlight: Ella Koon

Beautiful and talented, the lovely Ella Koon spent years working hard without much recognition.  Today, she is experiencing more critical and commercial success than she ever had before.


Ella Koon was born in the French Polynesian island of Tahiti on July 9, 1979.  She was raised in Hong Kong (she is of Cantonese descent) and went to high school in Birmingham, England.  She is multilingual, and knows how to speak Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and French.

After finishing her studies, Koon returned to Hong Kong in 2000 and started a modeling career.  It became her full time profession.  She landed a movie role in "I Do" in 2001, then continued to model.  In 2004, she was invited to attend a singing audition.  Seeing she had musical and singing potential and talent, she was signed by Boombeat Music.  Her debut album, titled "Original", was released that same year.  In addition, also released "Ellacacdabra" (2005), "Losing Sanity" (2006), and the EP "Stages" (2008).  However, none of the albums were acclaimed nor did they generate much buzz.  Despite her talent, Koon had yet to be recognized as a musical artist at the time.

Ella with Kenneth Ma in "Survivor's Law II"

Koon experienced a rise in popularity in the moderately successful TVB series "Revolving Doors of Vengeance" (2005) and "Survivor's Law II" (2007).  In "Revolving Doors", she played "Hoi Sum" (which literally translates to "happy" from Cantonese), a sweet and happy go lucky girl and the love interest Ron Ng.  In "Survivor's Law II", she starred opposite Kenneth Ma as "Lilly", a smart and sassy lawyer.  Viewers became very fond of her and reacted positively towards both roles.  She possessed strong potential as well as a certain level of sweetness and endearing factor in her acting.  She was also invited to guest star in several TVB game shows and also served as a host for two food travel shows. 

Koon arguably became more popular and well liked for her acting, but 2010 was her year to finally shine as a singer.  She performed "Endless Love" on "The Voice".  The performance immensely impressed audiences and made them finally see her stunning capabilities as a singer.  The vocals and emotion shown in the performance propelled her to popularity and made her a hot topic. She was asked back to perform on the show again several times.  She released her mini album "Being" that same year, marking a strong comeback to music.  The album was a reasonable success and garnered Koon much praise.

Koon released another mini album titled "Take A Shine To..." in 2011. The album was also successful and well-received.  For the first time, Koon took over creative duties of her music by composing and writing her song "Yi Yi".   At the 2011 JSG Awards, Koon took home the bronze for the "Outstanding Performance Award".

In 2011, she guest starred on "Only You" and "Super Snoops".  She is currently filming "Thunderous Drug Raid" opposite Michael Miu, Elaine Ng, Raymond Lam, and Kate Tsui.  She will star opposite Asian icon Raymond Lam.  This will be her first series as a main cast member of a drama series since "Survivor's Law II".

Koon is multi talented in music, being able to sing as well as play the piano, guitar, drums, and the gu-zheng, a traditional Chinese instrument with 21 strings.


I have been a fan of Ella since seeing her in "Survivor's Law II" a couple months after I started watching TVB series, which was in 2008.  I have yet to see "Revolving Doors of Vengeance", but have heard from my dad that it's a great series and Ella is also lovely there.  Upon getting into C-Pop, I learned Ella was also a singer.  I quickly fell in love with her voice and musical talent.  People are always looking for that multi-talented star who is attractive and can sing, dance, and act.  For me, one of those people is definitely Ella.  With her beautiful looks, decent acting abilities, and strong voice, I questioned why she wasn't more popular.

She doesn't have an absolutely showstopping voice, yet I love it and she still has great range, much more than most female singers.  Her voice boosts this very natural, raw, yet sweet sound to it that makes it very soothing and pleasant to listen to.

Her career background reminds me of Niki Chow.  They both started off as models and achieved moderate success as singers as well as occasionally film TVB series that makes audiences fond of them.  Although Niki is arguably more popular and I like her too, Ella is so much more talented and versatile than her in both aspects.  Ella has this amount of musical talent that makes you forget that she simply branched out to music and acting from modeling.  The one flaw I've seen in her singing so far though is that she could improve on her breathing.  When singing some songs like "Thousand Sails", she becomes out of breath.

What I love most about Ella is her passion for music.  Before writing this spotlight, I loved Ella as a singer and actress but didn't know much else about her.  After spending a significant amount of time watching videos on YouTube to gather to put on this spotlight, I took little things from them and started to love her even more.  She seems very sweet and friendly in real life.  Even more so, unlike many singers, she is also musically trained and genuinely has a passion for music.  Coupled with her musical talent and beauty, Ella has this aura about her that makes her look so ladylike, sophisticated, yet youthful and fun.

Ella Koon Essentials

"Hide and Seek" - "捉迷藏"
Ella's first single.  I'm not too crazy about it and as a debut single it failed to show her capabilities as a singer, especially since there are several verses where she simply has to say the lyrics.  However, it is still a catchy song with a great beat.  I love the concept of the MV as well, where Ella is a celebrity that is constantly being hounded by the paparazzi.

"Movie's Got Atmosphere" - "戲中有氣"

A beautiful ballad full of emotion that starts slow and becomes fast in the chorus.  The song has an air of sadness that comes off sounding so lovely and passionate.

"Losing Sanity" - "失常"

Although I don't understand the lyrics, I can feel the song is full of intensity.  The song is full of different emotions, and definitely matches with the theme of "losing insanity".  

"Beautiful Revolution" - "美麗革命"

I absolutely love the fast beat of this song.  It gives off a very energetic and sounds different and "cool".   Very catchy and upbeat.

"Thousand Sails"

The music and the vocals of the song is so beautiful, peaceful, and soothing.

"Yi Yi"

The song Ella composed and wrote herself.  Arguably my favorite song from her, it starts off slow and gradually builds.  "Ay yi yi" is an expression to show frustration, hopelessness, sadness, and annoyance.  There is so much emotion in the song, and it overall sounds beautiful.  Doesn't she look so serene and pretty while playing the guitar?

"相對時空" - "Relative Time"

Her most recent single, released at the beginning of the year.  Love the rhythm!  The song sounds very lovely with all the instruments, which include an orchestra and drums.  Altogether, a very solid track and a promising preview of what Ella has in store for everyone this year.  As always, she looks beautiful in the music video.

Other Song Recommendations

  • "Ashore" - "上岸" 
    The feel of the song is very serene and peaceful.  Yet, it ties in R&B beats and even a subtle use of electropop in the chorus when Ella's voice is electronized (excuse my trouble describing this) in a clean cut and catchy way.
  • "地平線" - "Horizon"  http://youtu.be/izTUkxPQ-r8 Sweet, soothing, and relaxing song.  The pace of the song is nice, as it is neither too fast or too slow, though it does reach a climax.
  • "Time to Play" http://youtu.be/8MyBsvl1BWULike the title suggests, it is a very playful and slightly flirty sounding song and a whole lot of fun.  Also, Ella looks incredibly gorgeous in the MV.
  • "Dare to Be" ft. NYCCA http://youtu.be/QPPmN8-CUlY
    Following her phenomenal performance on "The Voice", Ella finally released a new single, her first English one.  The song is simple, fun, and gives a great message.  With lots of high notes, the song also showed her range while still being upbeat and catchy.
  • "Coral Island" http://youtu.be/jLzA1ntjVKk Far from her best song, but still sweet and dreamy sounding.  The MV is also quite cute and whimsical.
  • "Charged By This Matter"- "由他去" http://youtu.be/xIkhFN3Yto4A more playful and upbeat song that manages to be catchy yet still has a good composition with great vocals.
  • "Moment of Induction"- "一刻感應" http://youtu.be/e5UKWzYfbd4
    The sound of this song is much different from her other songs.  Also upbeat and fun, but more experimental production wise.  Love the presence of the whistling and drums.

Watch Ella Live


The performance of "Endless Love" on "The Voice" that finally shot Ella to fame by shocking everybody with her vocal capabilities.  Meanwhile, I had already known for sometime about them.  ;)

Ella's performance of "Yi Yi" on Music Cafe, where she plays the acoustic guitar as well as sings.  You'll notice her voice sounds exactly the same live as in the studio versions, extremely natural and sweet.

Acoustic and Raw

A short excerpt of "Yi Yi" completely acoustic, with nothing but Ella and her guitar.  Again, still the sounds the same, and arguably even better.

Here, Ella performed a cover of Ne-Yo's "So Sick" on the piano.  She sounds very soft, gentle, and beautiful in this performance.

Instrumentally Talented

I found it very cool that Ella knows how to play the gu-zheng, and was hoping to see a video of her playing it.  I managed to find this short video of her playing it on her YouTube channel.  Aw, how talented!

In yet another one of her YouTube videos, Ella uploaded a series of videos of herself practicing singing and playing the guitar.  The man who shows up and sits near Ella is her guitar teacher.


I simply love Ella.  She is so lovely and gifted, and has come a long way.  Her last two mini albums have been superb and her music has matured so much.  With her talent and passion for music, Ella has become one of my favorite Hong Kong artists and musical inspirations.  Since her skills come from natural talent as well as training, I hope to become just a portion as musically talented as her.  :)  I can't wait to see her in "Thunderous Drug Raid" and what else her music has in store!

Ella's YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/queenmeanbee


Author's Note: This spotlight was much more longer and detailed than my previous spotlights for G.E.M. and Eric since I had dived more in to the research and video searching portion of writing this post. I ended up having a lot of fun finding out more about Ella and seeing all she could do.  Hope you enjoyed this spotlight and that it proves Ella's talent to you instead of boring you!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A.E. Insights: Good Guys in the Asian Entertainment Industry

In today's society, good people are hard to come by.  It's even harder for women to find a good guy.

In an attempt to connect Asian entertainment to everyday life, we bring something different for the second installment of our feature "A.E. Insights".

TOPIC: Who are the good guys in the Asian entertainment industry?  What makes a good guy?  And who is your ideal guy?

Everybody is unique, and everybody has their own opinion.  While the topic of guys could simply be a gossipy and girly one, it can also spark interesting discussion over personalities and people in general.

First off, what makes a good guy?

Niki: In today's materialistic society it's hard to find a a person who is honest and reliable. For me, a good guy doesn't depend much on looks as opposed to personality. Looks can easily be changed, while a good personality is hard to come by.

Iris: I'd like to start off on a lighter note.  How many times do you think we're going to use the word "good" in this post?  Haha.  I agree that a good guy depends on, as cheesy as it sounds, what's inside.  I'm also the type of person who would look for someone based on their personality, although good looks would be the cherry on top!

In my opinion, a good guy should be like you said, honest and reliable.  They should give girls a sense of security while still respecting them.  I like sincerity too.

Niki: Probably a lot, since we have it in our title and we're using it as our topic. And of course, I wouldn't mind a good looking guy who has a nice personality either.  I agree with what you said, most guys tend to be chauvinist and I can't stand someone like that. For me, the guy has to be mature on top of sincere and reliable. Since I tend to be a bit childish it'll be nice if there's someone who can take care of me. I also can't stand immature guys who makes careless and stupid remarks without thinking.

Iris:  I can't stand immature guys either, so imagine how I feel in a high school full of them.  I like mature guys.  What traits would your ideal boyfriend have then?  On top of the traits that I mention make a good guy, I would also like them to be sweet and have a sense of humor.

Also, I like people who are ambitious but not so much they're self absorbed.  It makes them admirable.  I want someone who wants to do something in life, and I've found that I don't get along too well with underachievers.  While I'm not the type of person who thinks guys should be smarter than girls, but I'd like them to be on the same intelligence level as me.  Communication is very important, and I'd have to talk to my partner as myself and not have to "dumb myself down", if you know what I mean.

Niki: I think of myself as a pretty simple person, so I don't ask much in a guy (or at least I don't think I do). My ideal boyfriend would have to be someone who's understanding and easy to get along with. I also want him to be an upbeat person, because I'm the quiet type I want someone who's upbeat to spark the conversation. But when it comes to work he should take it seriously. He should strive for the best, but shouldn't be so ambitious that it makes him lose his integrity. He should also be intelligent, but he doesn't have to be a genius. We should be able to carry on a conversation well. When it comes to relationships, I want something long lasting and serious, unlike most relationships that happens at our age. Therefore, the most important thing for me would be honesty and the chemistry between the two of us.

Iris: Completely agree.  I can see why you want someone upbeat, they would compliment your shyness very well and make you come out of your shell!  :)  The most important thing for me in a relationship would be trust.  You can't have a lasting and successful relationship without it.  And then of course, chemistry.  Now to tie this post back to Asian entertainment.  In your opinion, who are the good guys in the Asian entertainment industry?

Niki: Well, once I get close to a person I can be pretty loud as well. x
Ah, trust, of course.

In the entertainment industry, it's rather hard to tell a good guy to one who's fake. But there are some that I do respect and think are genuinely nice. The first celebrity who comes to mind would be Super Junior's Shin Dong. K-pop is known for its "perfect" idols who are slim/fit and good looking. Shin Dong, being slightly chubbier than the average idol is sometimes mocked for his appearance. He does not let his appearance affect his love of performing, however. He constantly works hard to improve himself for fans and let them see the best of him (which is sort of hard since his screen time isn't much). As I slowly learn more about K-pop, my respect for Shin Dong grows.

Shin Dong, who is a dancer, rapper, producer, and business man, never fails to impress me. He is an amazing dancer and is one of the lead dancers for his group. He also raps fairly well and composes some of the rap lines for the band's songs along with his bandmate Eunhyuk. Lately, he has taken up producing and has come out with several self-made videos. His personality is also very unique. He is known for his comedic style and playful nature. Besides performing, he also established his own online cafe. What really makes me respect him is his sincerity towards love. He has been committed to his non-celebrity girlfriend and even proposed to her through the "Thanks to" section in the band's album in 2010. It's hard to find such a well rounded and sweet guy. 

Iris: Shin Dong sounds awesome! Very versatile in his entertaining skills it seems, and an all around good guy. Now THAT sounds like an idol! There are so many cookie cutter idols around, so it's nice to see something different. But before I end up rambling too much about the cons of K-Pop (I'll save that for our future Insights posts on the subject), for my pick for a good guy.

Warning, I'm about to put all my love for Ruco Chan into one place. Beware of excessive praise! I may appear like I'm in love with Ruco (I guess I am), but it comes with so many reasons. Not only do I like him as an actor and for his handsome looks, but I genuinely respect and admire him. He is ambitious, professional, hardworking, and mature. Despite his ambition, he is also very humble yet determined.

Some people become popular and recognized right off the bat or within a couple years. Although talented and handsome, he worked hard for 17 years before finally getting his breakthrough and experienced multiple setbacks and failures. He came so close to giving up, but he didn't. He strived, and he made it. He is now TVB's latest leading man and the one with the brightest future ahead of him. His life story inspires me to not give up because hard work will pay off eventually, you just have to be patient. He exhibits his humbleness by telling people about his failures and flaws. This is something artists try to avoid at all costs, yet he lets people read and hear about it like an open book to let them learn from it. He is honest and sincere, yet straightforward. He possesses so many traits that I love in people. He's also proven to be a bit shy, especially around female co-stars. Being a little shy is something I find cute in guys.

For this and many more reasons, he is both a good guy and overall fantastic person with an interesting dynamic. Who said being good had to be boring? :) Sorry for going on for so long! However, bias aside, Ruco is still definitely my first pick for one of Asia's good guys. Now how about other good guys? I have a couple honorable mentions as well.

Niki: Haha, don't worry Iris, you're still far from crazy fan girl. xD I also admire Ruco very much, he's one of the few artists that I truly respect and look up to as an entertainer and person. Even though, I doubt I can love him as much as you do.

Another good guy I think would be Raymond Wong (I think I stole one of your honorable mentions didn't I, hehe). Raymond has proven to be a sweet, charming, hardworking, and humble guy. I love how he calls his wife to notify her before doing intimate scenes. Now that's honesty and loyalty! It's clear that he has been working very hard for TVB. He's both lovable onscreen and off. I've always seen him as a dorky, but cute guy. Who else would you pick?

Iris: Aw, boo!  You did steal one of my honorable mentions! :P Haha.  As much as I love Ruco, Raymond Wong comes close as my second favorite TVB artist and another one of my "good guys".  He is just too cute and talented.  I find a certain level of dorkiness to be endearing and cute, so coupled with his sincerity, sweetness, and work ethic, I absolutely love him.  His dedication to his wife is also "aww" worthy.  :D  I have another three honorable mentions, which I will try to keep more brief than my speech about Ruco, heh.

Oscar Leung also comes to mind.  He has underwent a lot of maturing, change, and self-improvement.  He proves that people can always turn over a new leaf, and a good person doesn't unnecessary have to be someone who's always been admirable.   He has said about himself that he used to be a delinquent and hateful.  Growing up in a rough neighborhood, he was a rather rebellious and tough guy who constantly got into trouble.  He had to learn to fend for himself and became extremely arrogant.  After hitting a new low and not getting work for months, he matured and decided it was time to live a practical life.

Oscar has had financial and personal struggles all his life, but has changed for the better.  Today, he possesses a maturity in his real life personality and acting many other artists don't have.  He caught my eye as a solid supporting actor early on, and I'm thrilled he's finally in the limelight and using it to his advantage by telling others his far from perfect but raw and realistic life story.

Wong Cho Lam is a special one.  He certainly was not born with the good looks or height other celebrities have, but makes up for it with his talent and lively personality.  Despite being known for dressing up and performing as a girl (due to his short and skinny stature) at various variety shows, he somehow manages to have the most integrity out of a majority of TVB artists.  He has shown versatility in so many fields of entertainment including acting, singing, comedy, songwriting, composing, production work, and soon, script writing.  He has a much stronger behind the scenes presence than I thought.

His relationship with 5'9 Leanne Li stroked me as odd and a terrible mismatch at first, but now I find it extremely sweet.  He acted as a mentor, friend, then finally boyfriend to her.  Their relationship, which began six years ago, had started off very slow.  At only 5'4, it was only natural that the two would feel uncomfortable about their different physiques.  Knowing Leanne originally felt unsure and questioned her feelings for him, Cho Lam continued to care for her while giving her space and patiently waiting for her.  The two have since accepted it and not let it get in the way of their feelings for each other.  Today, they enjoy an open and healthy relationship.  They are too sweet, and an example of a relationship of true love that's gone through countless obstacles.

My last mention is Bosco Wong.  Different from the other guys, he's an example of an overall good guy without being completely innocent and wholesome.  Sure, the guy likes to party every once in a while, but knows to associate with the right friends and control himself.  In long time girlfriend Myolie Wu's darkest time, he has consistently given her support and love.  He is attentive and caring towards her.  In Myolie's acceptance speech for Best Actress, she fondly reflected on how through all the times where she was hard to deal with, he never left her side and was always there for her.  My favorite real life TVB couple ever!

Alright, there are my three honorable mentions!  I just gave everyone a ton of information to process, haha.  I'll shut up now.

Niki: Haha. You're too cute Iris. Most of your mentions are mine as well so I don't have much to add besides one last guy.

Being a fan of Fahrenheit, it is no surprise that my choice would be Calvin Chen. I admit that despite being their fan, I don't know much about Calvin. But I do know how much and why I love him, hehe. When I first came to like the band, Calvin had not been my first choice. Compared to the others you can say he is the least good looking (does not mean he's ugly though). His voice is also not as strong as Jiro or Aaron's, but I admire his charisma and energy. You will always see Calvin smiling even through the worst of times. He is able to brighten the mood with his witty and charming remarks. His personality is also very down to earth and is not afraid to do silly things that would "affect" his image. What impresses me though, is the fact that you can see his maturity even though he is constantly joking around. He is very hardworking and always trying to learn and improve himself. It is said that besides performing he is also interested in economics and is very smart in his investments. His co-workers call him Dr. Chen as a result. Even though I still think of him as just an idol, he definitely has a special place in my heart and I think of him as one of the good guys. His not too handsome looks make him approachable. Again, I don't think Calvin is perfect, but this is why I've come to love him so much.

Wow, I wrote a lot.

Iris: It's fine, it's cute watching you "excessively praise". ;) From the videos I've seen of Fahrenheit, I can see why you like him so much, especially from interviews and other appearances. He has a unique fun yet witty and mature personality. I know Calvin has a special place in your heart. :)

Niki: Aww, thank you. Calvin does have a very unique personality. And yes "excessively praising" is nice to do, but I was squealing inside haha.

Iris: Good guys aren't supposed to be perfect or ideal. However, their virtues outshine their flaws, no matter how many they have. They'd make great boyfriends, but are also in general just wonderful people.

Shin Dong, Ruco Chan, Raymond Wong, Oscar Leung, Wong Cho Lam, Bosco Wong, and Calvin Chen are our choices for the good guys in the Asian entertainment industry. That's not to say there aren't more, but these shine out to us in particular for who they are, which are genuinely awesome people!

Niki: As Iris has said good guy aren't perfect, but that proves you don't have to be perfect to be great. The reasons these guys shine is because they are confident as well as true to themselves. They clearly show that being famous should not be just about acting cool on stage. They WOULD make great boyfriends, but I don't think we'd get a chance to experience that ourselves haha. Hopefully we will find more of these good guys in Asian entertainment.

This post has been both fun and different for all of us. It was also a very personal post as well. I suppose it let us embrace our inner fan girl while justifying out feelings.

P.S. to answer Iris's question in the beginning, we've said "good" around 30 or more times in this post ;)

Who would you name the good guys of the Asian entertainment industry? In your opinion, what traits does a good guy have? What traits would your ideal boyfriend have? Share us your opinion! We hope you enjoyed this post and it managed to offer some insight as opposed to just teenage girls gossiping about boys! :P

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Segments!!!

Hi, everyone!

For this post, I would like to introduce our new segments and give my opinion on some things.

So, we haven't been doing this blog for too long, but we already have some feedback that we would like to address. We have been recommending this blog to our friends, but our usual comment is, "It's nice, but I don't know a lot about Asian entertainment, so I didn't really read into it."

Well, that's sort of the point! Besides wanting to voice our opinion, this blog is a way for everyone to get to know something new and different. If you still don't like our posts after reading them or find them annoying or disagree, then leave. But please, at least give it a chance. ^^

Now, without further ado, Iris and I would like to present our two new segments: Newsworthy and Broaden the Horizon!

Newsworthy is a segment where Iris and I will comment on a certain news article or event. Most news that come up in the entertainment industry is basically event updates or scandals. The big part of it is mostly gossip and can be annoying sometimes. So, we would like to turn it into something more constructive and enjoyable. Every now and then we will choose an article or event to write about. First, we will post the original article, then we will write our opinion and comments on the bottom. This segment was inspired by JayneStars.com, whose interesting and insightful comments on the usually ridiculous news worth reading.

Broaden The Horizon is ideally a place where the staff of A.E. Experience talk about how we've broaden our own horizons. We also hope that by doing this we can broaden the horizons of our readers as well.

Both of these segments will be interactive ones. Just like our A.E. Insights, which people seemed to have enjoy.
We're really excited for what's coming and hope you guys are too! Thanks everyone!

P.S. I hope I didn't sound too mean on the top half of the post. I was just a bit hurt that people won't give something new a chance.

Iris: Isn't A.E. Experience's creator like a star shining brighter and brighter?  While we thought of these two features together, I'm very proud of what Niki's done with the blog and impressed by her vision and creativity! :)  Please continue to support!  We've got a lot of great stuff coming up and I'm very excited for it! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Banner ft. K-Pop's Soulful Solos

Hi guys!
As you guys might have notice, we have a new banner and layout up! Since I feel like we've been mostly focused on TVB for our posts I decided to do something for K-pop. I also wanted to focus on some of the amazing and talented solo artists in k-pop instead of the usual focus on girl/guy bands. 
On this banner is some of my favorite female artists. 
I've put extra emphasize on Boa because she is said to be the pop queen of k-pop. She debut at such a young age and there's no denying her talent. 
The banner also feature Baek Ji Young, Lim Jeong Hee, and Go Younha. I love these three ladies, because of their strong and beautiful voices. 
As usual the banner and layout will be up for about a month before being changed. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Hey guys! It's Valentine's Day today!
Niki: I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Whether it's from friends, family, pets, or a significant other I hope everyone has received lots of love today as well as for the days to come! Because today is Valentine's Day I thought it'd be fun to share with you guys some random pictures of cute Valentine pictures.

The most beautiful things come in nature ;D

I got these mini cakes today and they were adorable so I took a couple of pics. (The quality and pictures look bad, but the cakes were so good! :P)

Well that's it! Hope you guys like them. We'll also be changing our layout soon (probably tomorrow) so please look forward to a new fresh banner as well ^^

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Ferris Wheel Affair (爱情的摩天轮)

People say that love can last forever; that it can defy space and time. But can it defy even life and death? Stories such as Romeo and Juliet, Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Ying Tai says it can. Those stories were passed down from long ago, so who knows if they are true. Can such a tragic, but moving story happen in our materialistic world? If we can look into a modern day story of love separated by death, what would it be like?

Rosie Li Rei Xi has always been a dreamer who believes in fairy tales and magic. She wasn't beautiful, but she wasn't homely either. She never excelled, but she's never failed. She was just an average girl, a simple girl. All she wished for was to be happy, and all she wants is to find her "prince charming" and live happily with her family.

Aaron Yu An Ji was also a very "normal" guy. He lived alone in a small apartment and takes the bus to his college every day. He has a passion for photography however, and wishes to travel the world taking pictures of the happy moments in the world.

These two strangers crossed paths on a fateful ride on the Flying Ferris Wheel. It was a cool autumn day, both were attracted to the grand opening of the Happy Together Amusement Park. Upon entering the two of them received a coupon for 5 free ride on the ferris wheel.

Rosie went in and indulged in her inner child with candy, snacks, and various games. While Aaron went around capturing pictures of happy scenes. The two of them both decided to end their trip with a ride on the ferris wheel. They ended up in the same cubicle and started a friendly conversation.

Rosie: Wow! The scenery is so beautiful, don't you think?
Aaron looked up from his camera and smiled
Aaron: Yea, sure is.
Rosie: You're a photographer?
Aaron: I'm just an amateur, but I want to become an established one soon. Then, I'll travel the world and take pictures of all the priceless moments in the world.
Rosie: That's great! I hope you'll be able to get your dream soon. As for me, I just want to fall in love and settle down.
Aaron smiled at her.

Just then, a shooting star shot across the night sky.
Rosie: A shooting star!
Rosie's eyes brightened as she clasped her hands together and turned towards the window. She closed her eyes and made a wish. Aaron took a quick picture of her before she noticed. Rosie opened her eyes to see Aaron smiling and chuckled softly.
Rosie: What?
Aaron: Nothing, you just looked so into it. What did you wish for?
Rosie: If I tell you it won't come true.
The rest of the ride was filled with laughter as the two of them exchanged interests.
When the ride was over, the two exchanged their goodbyes and went their separate ways.

At home, Aaron developed the film and went through the photos. He was especially fond of the picture of Rosie. He flipped to the back and named it "A Dreamer's Wish". On Rosie's side, she was also reminiscing about her day. The moments between her Aaron kept playing in her head. It was so funny how she could talk endlessly with a guy she just met.

The alarm clock rang at 7:30, waking Rosie up from a deep sleep. She rushed to get ready and bolted out of the house. It was her first day of college and she was already late. She stumbled into her English lecture and caught the eyes of the students. Embarrassed, she kept her head down while the teacher gave her a scolding. She then quietly took her place. Coincidentally Aaron was the next to stumble into the door.  Aaron took the seat next to Rosie and nodded at her.  The professor blew his top and gave everyone a lecture about tardiness. Rosie took out a post it note and passed it to Aaron.

Rosie: You too huh?
Aaron looked confused, so Rosie took the note back and wrote one more line.
Rosie:You were late too?
Aaron smiled and nodded, blushing.

And that's how they met. Out of coincidence, or maybe was it fate? Whichever it was, the two were inseparable after that. They were seen together everyday. At first, it was just because of their compatibility as friends, but it gradually grew to much more. They promised each other that every year, to celebrate their anniversary, they would go back to the ferris wheel and use the punch cards as proof of their time together.

Year in and year out, it was now their senior year in college. They were soon to graduate and the two had big, big plans for their future.

On their fourth anniversary, they had their ferris wheel date as usual. But this year, Aaron was planning to do something more. When the ferris wheel stopped at the very top, Aaron suddenly got down on his knees and held out a small heart shaped box. Rosie's eyes widened. Is this what she thinks it is? Aaron smiled and continued.

Aaron: Rosie, we've known each other for four years now, and every year I love you a little more. I don't know what will happen after graduation, but I do know that what ever happens, I need you by my side. I love you so much. Will you marry me?

Rosie was speechless. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she smiled brightly. She didn't know what else to do but nod. Aaron gently slid the ring onto her finger and came up to hug her.  

That night Rosie admired her ring. The ring was simple and plain. It didn't have any diamonds on it, just a small carved out heart in the middle. Even though it was plain, to Rosie, it was the most expensive and beautiful ring in the world.

The next morning Rosie was running around frantically making sure everything was ready for graduation. She ran out the door and called Aaron. Aaron answered saying that he was just around the block. Rosie looked across the crossroad to see Aaron running up. She smiled brightly and waved, motioning him to hurry. As he ran across the intersection, Rosie's smile disappeared into a distressed face. A car had suddenly came swerving and hit Aaron. Rosie runs, crying, to his side.

It's been two weeks since Aaron's death now. Rosie can't seem to pull herself together. Every where she looked or went, she would see Aaron. After Aaron's funeral, Rosie had stayed in her room and had not gone out since. Concerned, her mom tried to console her.

Mrs. Li (Rosie's mom): Honey, please eat something.
She entered the room with a tray of food. Gently she laid the tray down and sat next to her daughter on her bed.
Rosie: I'm fine.
Rosie said in a weak and monotonous voice. Her eyes didn't leave the window. It had been raining since Aaron's funeral last week.
Rosie: It's crying...
Mrs. Li: Who's crying?
Her mom asked in a concerned voice.
Rosie: The sky...it's crying....it knows he's gone.
There was a long pause. Mrs. Li still doesn't understand.
Rosie: It's crying for him....it misses him, just like I do.
Rosie continued. Her voice got softer and softer as she talked, by the end it  was nothing more than a whisper.
Mrs. Li: Sweetie, I know you're sad, but you can't keep torturing yourself. The truth is that Aaron's gone.
Another long pause went by before Rosie replied.
Rosie: The truth...the truth is that....it's my fault. It's my fault that he's gone! If I hadn't rushed him...then...
Rosie said struggling to hold back her tears. She laid her head down on her knees and wrapped her arms around her knees, trying to block out the world.
Mrs. Li: It's not your fault. You can't think like that. Aaron's death was just an accident....
Seeing no response from her, Mrs. Li retreated.
Mrs. Li: I'll just leave the food here then. Keep warm honey.
She said as she took Rosie's jacket and draped it across her shoulders. With that, she quietly went out of the room.

After emptying all of her tears, Rosie looked up. She tugged at the jacket and pulled it to her lap. It was the jacket she wore on the day of the accident. Suddenly, she remembered something. She reached into the pocket and pulled out the heart shaped box. It was the box that held Aaron's proposal ring (which Rosie was still wearing). Rosie opened, the now empty box, and stared at it. She could remember that night perfectly, it was like a dream. A very beautiful dream that is now nothing more than a memory.  As she pulled back to reality something caught her eye. There was a small tab on the roof of the box. Slowly, Rosie pulled back the tab and out fell a photo.
She unfolded the photo and realized it was a picture of her. "A Dreamer's Wish" was written across the bottom. She noticed the date, it was their first meeting. *So that was what he was smiling about.*  She turned the photo over and saw a short letter written on the back.

The letter read:

Dear Rosie,
Since the day we met you've been my source of happiness and inspiration. Your smile is the brightest thing in my life. I've never doubt about my feelings for you, it is what I am most confident about in my life. No matter what happens in the future, I'll be there for you, protecting you. I am writing you this letter, and you may never read it, but I wanted to express my feelings before I propose to you. As my last secret confession before we start our lives together. 
                                                              Love (and forever love), Aaron

Rosie closed the letter and wiped her teaars that were drowing her. Without thinking she grabbed her jacket and ran outside.
Rosie: I'll be going out for a while!
She told her mom.
Mrs. Li: Ok...Be safe !

Outside, she walked slowly, observing the surrounding around her. Everything looked alien to her, as if she had just came here for the first time. After a long while of walking, she finally arrived at the "Flying Ferris Wheel." Rosie reached into her pocket and took out the punch card. *The last one* she thought to herself. She went into the pod, alone this time. Rosie rode the first half in silence. When the pod stopped at the top of the wheel, Rosie looked up to see a shooting star. It was like the one Rosie and Aaron had seen on their first meeting. Rosie clasped her hands together, closed her eyes, and made a wish. Her wish was the same as the last. *I wish, for the same wish 4 years ago. I wish for Aaron's happiness.* Just then, she felt a tingling sensation against her cheek and a warm feeling enveloping her.  The warm sensation felt just like when  Aaron used to hug her. She opened her eyes and smiled gently. *You're here aren't you? Looking over me...* Rosie thought. Feeling much better, she closed her eyes and started to reminisce about all of their memories. At the end of the ride she opened her eyes and said towards the sky:

Rosie: I'll move on now, I'll get back up and make you proud of me. So you won't have to worry about me anymore. But do watch over me from time to time, ok?

Just as she had finished she looked to her right and saw a rose next to her. She picked up the rose and held it close. The pod's door opened and Rosie stood up. Before leaving, she turned and whispered, "Thank You".

Being on the ferris wheel made Rosie realize something. Her feelings for Aaron hasn't changed and they won't ever change. No matter where she is in her life, Aaron is a special part of her. She shouldn't wallow in misery, it'll only make Aaron's love for her worthless.

After that day, Rosie had gotten back to her old self. She decided to live Aaron's dream for him. Now she's traveling the world as a freelance writer and photographer, capturing all the beautiful and happy scenes around the world, just as Aaron had wanted to do. She even started a blog titled, "Aaron's Journey" in which she posts daily about her journey to different countries, and each posts are dedicated to Aaron.

Author's Note: I typed this up a while ago and I'm finally posting it. It was supposed to be published near Valentines Day, but I kept postponing it. I came up with this story based on a Fahrenheit song called "Lonely Ferris Wheel". I loved the song and especially the lyrics, but I was really disappointed with the MV. So, I kind of made my own storyline based off of the concept of the song.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wish and Switch Drama Review

**Beware of Spoilers** 

Wish and Switch was a lighthearted comedy as well as supernatural themed drama. When the drama had first been introduced, I had some doubts about it. The idea of body switching was peculiar and hoped it wouldn't turn out ridiculous or far fetched. But after it had aired I was pleased to find out it was engaging and enjoyable. The plot was easy to follow with nice comedy relief whenever it was getting dramatic. I was very fond of the drama until the last 5 episodes.


Myolie did a great job as the caring and thrifty housewife, but the character itself irked me. Suk Heung's personality, while kindhearted and innocent, was stupid and easily manipulated. My irritation of Suk Heung grew as the series went on, but her sincere and selfless personality prevented me from hating her. On the other hand Myolie's was able to showcase her comedic talent, which I've always enjoyed.

Selena also did a fantastic job in her role as Hailey. I loved Hailey throughout the entire drama, especially in scenes where her clever personality shined. She was able to handle her emotional scene as well as comedic scenes well without over reacting. I've always liked Selena, but I've never noticed her that much. However, after watching Wish and Switch my liking for her has definitely grown.  Hopefully she'll get more chances to shine in the future.

Johnson Lee was probably the most dislike-able character in the series. At first, I rather liked his character Ka Yan for his innocent and loyal personality. However, as the series progressed I became more and more agitated by his character. It was obvious that his character was messed up badly. Johnson's performance was stable and convincing, but that couldn't make up for his poor character.

Vincent Wong's character was hard to bear and a bit scary at first, but after a couple of episodes his character became better and even sweet. One of my favorite scene has to be during the costume party. It was adorable how Wayne was able to pick out Hailey out of all the "princesses." By the end of the series I was rooting for him and Hailey to finally get together. Vincent is a decent actor and did well as the rich and prideful young master. But I felt he was still unnatural in expressing his emotions during some scenes.

The Story: 

At the beginning of the series it focused on Suk Heung and her family. It didn't take long for me to feel sorry for her, but soon my sympathy turned to irritation. I didn't get how a person can take care of so many people who show her no gratitude and even uses her for their own selfish reasons. During the entire series I was waiting for Suk Heung to take a stand and defend her pride, unfortunately that never happened.
The middle episodes where Suk Heung and Hailey switched bodies has to be my favorites. As they try to get used to each other's lives some interesting and funny situations develop. The two also showed off some nice chemistry. The scene where they went to the convenience store and used the drink bottles to cool each other off had me laughing out loud. The confessions and realization of their feelings between Wayne and Hailey was endearing as well.

The Ending:
After the first 15 episodes however, the drama starts to hurdle off track and became hard to bear. Johnson becoming a last minute villain was both ridiculous and unnecessary. It was funny how they blamed Ka Yan's drastic change in character on the website, yet he still ended up stealing money and causing Suk Heung's death after the machine was destroyed.
Lately TVB has a knack for killing off the leads an episode before the ending, so when I found out Myolie was going to die I thought to myself, how typical.  I was half expecting that she would die, but how she died was just ridiculous. If she had managed to hide Ka Yan from the gangsters, she could have thrown the money away and hide some where instead of saying, "Here I am with the money!" And finally the appearance of a doppelganger is once again, very typical. Of course he would find another girl exactly like his wife....
The ending for Wayne and Hailey was a bit weird for me as well. It seemed rather random that Wayne would suddenly come back with a new personality and propose to Hailey. Even though they justified it by saying he took a soul searching class, it was still too spontaneous. I was glad to see that Wayne and Hailey had a happy ending though.

Overall Wish and Switch had exceeded my original expectation. The two leading actresses did very well, performance wise. The story was interesting and had a nice balance of comedy and drama. But the drama would've been much better without the irrelevant episodes at the end.

Author's Note:

This is my first drama review! I was so excited to write this review since I had a lot to say about this drama. I tried to keep myself from rambling on and on about my confusion and agitation for the ending. This was also to keep my promise to Iris; I had promised her that I would try writing reviews for TVB (of course mine can never be as good as hers ;D). I hope you enjoyed reading. ^^
P.S. I loved Hailey's dog Rocky! I was so sad when he died. He was so adorable, but his "son" Souffle was cute too of course.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Respectable Rookies of 2011 Part 2: Boy Band Edition

During 2011, there weren't many rookie boy bands (sadly v.v). 2011 was mostly focused on the comebacks of our sunbaes (seniors), but there were three rookie bands that stood out and were popular.

BOYFRIEND: Boyfriend is a six-member, Korean boy group that debuted from Starship Entertainment. The members are Kim Dong Hyun, Shim Hyun Seong, Lee Jeong Min, Jo Young Min, Jo Kwang Min [Young Min and Kwang Min are twins *o*] and No Min Woo. Boyfriend debuted on Mnet’s: M!Countdown on May 26, 2011 with their single "Boyfriend." They instantly got famous for their cutie boy looks and by August 10, 2011 they already had an official fan base, "Best Friends” and “GIRLFRIEND.” After their promotions of Boyfriend they came out with “You & I”. Soon after their first two debut songs, BOYFRIEND and You & I. Their second single teaser, "Don't Touch My Girl," came out on September 2011. Then Boyfriend came out with another single showing their “prince” look ^^ on December 2011, Boyfriend came out with their third single album "I'll Be There". Their music video features former T-ARA member Yang Ji Won >w<. 

Dani: I really love boyfriend I one of those “best friends” I'm pretty sure that I am one of those fan that are into those “prince/flower boy” look Cx But what I think really makes me love them even more is theirdance moves. I was used to U-kiss and BEAST's dances moves, but when I first saw “Boyfriend” their dance choreography totally surprised me. I mean it was totally awesome!! They all had their own different moves for each part, but then they were soooo in sync and the timing was perfect. When the chorus came they all somehow came together as one, so I was especially shocked at that. Their dancing and singing were awesome, but something had to be wrong. Sorry, but…I didn’t like the MV for Boyfriend. It was confusing, at first I thought it was Young Min who was giving the present, but I thought it was Kwang Min. Then in the end it was Min Woo who was giving the present to the girl. I’m not sure if I was the only one that was confused, but that didn’t get to me; it just the MV bugs me that’s all ^^ Then Boyfriend surprised me in “Don’t Touch My Girl” with their awesome dance moves, but this time I equally liked the mv and their dance moves ^^ It was cute how all the guys had their special moment with the girl. [It kinda reminded me of Fahrenheit song “Only Have Feelings for You” ft. Hebe from S.H.E] The dance was what I expected and I was happy. ^^ There also was a plus in the MV ;D Did anyone but me totally love their prince like outfit *v* [Young Min especially looked like a prince ;3] Then Boyfriend come out with “I’ll Be There,” I was really happy that Boyfriend came out with another single, so I had high expatiations. I liked everything about “I’ll Be There” except two things. One, the beginning where Kwang Min was with the girl. Yeah that part…to me it had nothing to do with the music video -____-; they could have had a little part in the end or something, but to me it was useless. Secondly, I liked everything from their dance moves except for one part when they go down and rub something off their knees. Again it was unnecessary and it looked awkward with the rest of their dance moves. Also there were some awkward pauses in the song where they do some weird dance movement. I don’t know how to explain it, but if you see the MV you will get it.. -__-; Overall I think Boyfriend is the most successful rookie group of 2011.

B1A4: B1A4 is a five member Korean boy group that debuted from WM Entrainment. The members are Jin Young, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, and Gongchan. The reason for their name, B1A4, is based on their blood type. Baro is the only one in the group that has Blood Type B. so the where B1 came from. The other four Jinyoung, Gongchan, CNU, Sandeul have Blood Type A and that is where A4 comes from ^^. Other than it standing for their blood type, it also stands for "Be The One, All For One.” [B1A4 also has another cute nickname, “countryside-dolls” it’s all because they are all from different places in the Korean countryside.] B1A4 debuted on April 2011 with their mini album "O.K." Then soon after the promotions for “O.K” they came out their second single “Beautiful Target” on September 15, 2011. B1A4 was placed number 22 on the Hanteo Charts! That made them the only rookie bands that debuted in the same year, to make it to the top 50. Soon after that, they debuted in Japan with Pony Canyon Entertainment. After debuting in Japan more people were interested in them and in their showcase they sold out tickets in one minute!

Dani: B1A4 is actually on my top favorite rookie bands of 2011. It’s a tie between BOYFRIEND and B1A4, it’s just I favor BOYFRIEND more. But I still love B1A4; they are more of a playful boy band. Their dance moves aren't in sync like Boyfriend, but they are more fun. I love their energy and they seem to be very entertaining. When I first heard "O.K." I love it, it was so cute and it was very catchy. The MV was in a cute set, I didn’t have any problems with it. I thought it was nice how there was so many cute colors and it wasn’t all black. The only problem I had with the song was with their English. For a long time I thought they said “OH, K-POP” I thought they were saying how awesome k-pop is.But then I found out that they just said “OK, GIRL” -___-; I don’t know if it was me that had the same problem But then “Beautiful Target” came out, and it didn’t take me a long time to fall in love with it. I think it’s my favorite song from B1A4. I love song and the dance. I’m not sure if there are definite dance moves, but it was so cute. Their outfits for Beautiful Target …well I thought they looked so cute with the tiger suit and that big kitten paw. During the music video they were interactive with their fans, which I didn’t mind. ^^ The only problem I had with “Beautiful Target” was the first 15 seconds. I didn’t get the monkey man in the lab and then a random girl came out of nowhere. Yea...That was weird…. All in all B1A4 is an awesome band and so far they are doing good for a rookie band.

Block B: Block B is a seven member Korean boy group that was created by Cho PD under his label Brand New Stardom Entertainment. The members are Zico, Tae Il, B-Bomb, Jae Hyo, U-Kwon, Kyung, and P.O.  Block B is mostly known their rapping and hip hop. Their first single was “Freeze!” which came out on April 13, 2011.“Freeze!” had a lot of problems when it first debuted. Korean television thought that their moves where inappropriate to air on Korean television so they couldn't air it before 10 PM. After “Freeze!” Block B came out with their first mini album “New Kids on the Block” on June 23, 2011 with their second single “Tell Them.”
Dani: I actually didn’t like Block B at first, but slowly I grew to like them. I think the reason why I didn’t like them at first was because the first song I heard from them was “Tell Them,” I didn’t like the setting on the MV and I thought they were trying to act gangster. Gangster and K-pop don’t go together and I hate it when k-pop try to act like American gangsters. There is a reason why people love k-pop more than American music. The MV just bugged me, but then the song was catchy so I ended up liking the song. I actually liked the dance in the MV. Later on “Tell Them” became more popular so I decided to watch it again and I actually liked the music video. They reminded me a lot of B1A4 and so I started to love them. After listening to “Tell Them” I found out about “Freeze.” I liked the MV for “Freeze!” more than “Tell Them,” but I still think that “Tell Them” was more catchy. Their outfits for “Freeze” reminded me of “I’m the best” by 2NE1 and a mixture of TVXQ and Big Band. [Hard to explain] They had a very edgy look and their dance moves were awesome.

Conclusion (by Niki): Even though 2011 was not the best year to look for rookie boy bands, there were still some shining stars. In K-pop, girl groups make up the majority of idols making it hard to focus on boy bands. Especially in 2011, where over 20 girl groups debut and the rush of comebacks from well-respected seniors, it was amazing how these groups pulled through. Proving that boy bands are not fading in K-Pop.

Author's Note:

Niki - Sorry it took so long to post the second half of the rookie post. Since I'm not very fond of boy bands and I don't know that many, I had our guest writer Dani write this post. It took me a while to remind (bug) her about writing it. I also want to take this chance and thank everyone who checked out me girl group edition.
If you haven't checked it out then click on this link ---> http://ae-experience.blogspot.com/2012/01/respectable-rookies-of-2011-girl-group.html
Remember to comment about your favorite boy bands in 2011. I hope you guys enjoy this post as well as the rest of our blog!
P.S.: This post probably broke the record for the longest time it takes to proofread something. T^T

Dani - Hello~
Okay so first of all sorry for being so late. The reason why it took me so long is because first i had to study first for my finals then when they were over i wrote but then my sister deleted it and then i finally post it @o@ anyway this post is my first but more will come since I finally have free time ^^ it was fun writing the post because I learned little more about each band while writing more about them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

K-Drama Review: You're Beautiful

You're Beautiful also know as He's Beautiful, A.N. Jell, and You're Handsome is a Korean drama about an idol group A.N. Jell. The band A.N. Jell is in search for their fourth member which happens to be Mi Nam. However, when Mi Nam is injured, Mi Nyu, his twin sister is to step in his place until he recovers and be the fourth member for A.N. Jell. At first she refuses but to fulfill her brother and her own dream to find their mother she agrees.

Main Cast:
Jang Geun Suk: Hwang Tae Kyung

The leader of the group A.N. Jell. There are lots of confusion about his real mother in the drama. He is a very stubborn character and thinks of himself as a great person. He has night blindness and is very concerned about cleanliness.

Park Shin Hye: Go Mi Nam (Male)/ Go Mi Nyu (Female)

Go Mi Nam (Male)/ Go Mi Nyu (Female) are twin brothers and sister. They both grew up in an orphanage. Mi Nam the brother was chosen to be the fourth member for A.N.Jell, but since his accident, his sister Mi Nyu had to take his place. She tries her best to be a good member in the group. Having to spend time with the group leader she starts to have feelings for him. However later on her true identity unravels.

Lee Hong Ki: Kang On Yu/ Jeremy
Jeremy is an English-Korean member in the group. His father is a English noble man. He is bubbly and has a bright personality. He always believed that he could never be friends with a girl. However that all changes when he meets Go Mi Nyn.

Jung Young Hwa: Kang Shin Woo

Shin woo is a very calm and solemn person. He never has feelings for anything. He is a prince with no heart and he never smiles at anyone.

Extended cast:

UEE: Yoo He Yi
Yoo He Yi is known as the fake fairy. She is really jealous of Go Mi Nam getting all the attention form the other members of A.N. Jell, especially Hwang Tae Kyung who she has fallen in love with. She is constantly causing trouble fro Go Mi Nam and trying to interfere with her and Hwang Tae Kyung's relationship. When she finds out Go Mi Nam's secret she wants to revel it to the press.

Bae Geu Rin: Sa Yu Ri
Fan club president

Kim In Kwon: Ma Hoon Yi
Mi Nam's manger

Choi Ran : Choi Mi Ja
Mi Nam's and Mi Nyu's aunt

Kis Sung Ryung: Mo Haw Ran

Jung Chan: President Ahn

Choi Soo Eun: Wang Kko Di

My Thoughts:
You're Beautiful was my first Korean drama. This drama is really fun and interesting to watch. I recommend this drama for anyone who is into romance and comedy. There are so may comedic scenes that made me laugh so hard. After watching this drama I watched other dramas and before I even noticed I was in love with Korean dramas. I give this drama full stars.
I LOVE this drama.