Monday, January 31, 2011

Korean Drama - Secret Garden Finale & News

LadyJan: I have finished watching the final episode of "Secret Garden" and loves its happy ending :) I also watched its special which is available online at ( for those who are interested. It is a must watch for fans of the drama as it has alot of fun stuffs about the drama and interviews of the cast. I have managed to find alot of news about the drama online to share with fellow fans who are still missing the drama like me ;)

China is also "Secret Garden" aching! Netizens flood comments


China is also '"Secret Garden" aching'.

Popular SBS TV drama series "Secret Garden" (script by Kim Eun-sook, directed by Sin Woo-cheol) is the center of attention for Chinese netizens.

There is an average of 2000 comments being put up in the "Secret Garden" related bulletin.
Netizens who have seen the drama anticipate and comment, "I can't sleep because of Joo-won and Ra-im", "It amazing what Korean dramas can do".

Some also show interest in the Korean culture beside the drama saying, "I wish China would make a drama like this" and "I want to see other Korean dramas".

In the recent movie "Late Autumn - 2010" showcase, Chinese actress Tang Wei who plays along side Hyeon Bin, has also said she likes "Secret Garden" and proved the popularity of the drama in China.


Ha reflects on the success of "Secret Garden"

Actress said she wanted to bring viewers into fantasy world and fall in love with characters

Korean actress Ha Ji-won touched hearts across Korea with her character Gil Ra-im in the popular drama series "Secret Garden", which came to an end on Jan. 16.
The popular television show "Secret Garden" may have come to an end on Jan. 16, but actress Ha Ji-won's character - heroine Gil Ra-im - still lives on in viewers' memories.

The show is centered around Gil - a poor but talented stunt woman - and Kim Joo-won, a department store owner (played by Hyeon Bin), who does not believe in love. Their souls swap after drinking a love potion and they eventually fall in love.

Since production of "Secret Garden" ended Jan. 16, the day of the finale, Ha has had only one day off.

"It feels like I just woke up from a dream", Ha said during an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo. "I'm still waking up".

She also said it was stressful shooting the show.

"I was tired and tense during production", Ha said. "Until the director yelled 'cut' and the tension melted away, the stress became sickness. But the tension still lingers.

"I need some time away. A trip would be great. I like being in unfamiliar places and looking at unfamiliar skies".

"Secret Garden" ended with Kim Joo-won and Gil Ra-im getting married and having three kids, despite strong objection from Joo-won's mother. The ending could be considered rather flat for a fantasy story, but weeks after the finale, the show still has people buzzing.

"If "Secret Garden" didn't have a happy ending, I would be in even worse condition. Thank God", Ha said.

"I related to the character so well that my friends even texted me saying 'Gil Ra-im, you have been making my life bright lately'," Ha said. "From 80-year-old women to 5-year-old children, people recognize me on the street. I get big smiles everywhere I go - like how Kim Joo-won smiles to Gil Ra-im in the show. I went to the sauna a couple days ago and people there told me how much they enjoyed the show. Then I realized how popular it was".

In "Secret Garden", Ha Ji-won (right), and Hyeon Bin, fall in love with each other after their souls are repeatedly swapped. 

Ha immediately fell in love with the story when she read the script.

"I like fantasy movies like the 'Twilight' series and 'Alice in Wonderland'," Ha said.
The plot of "Secret Garden" was unrealistic in every sense of the word - but viewers seemed to relate with the characters.

"I worried at first if middle aged women would like the story. I wanted to bring them into a fantasy world and have them fall in love", Ha said. "I thought if I acted real enough, I could blur the boundary between fiction and reality".

To prepare for scenes when the characters' souls get swapped, she would listen to recordings of Hyeon Bin's voice for hours on end. She studied him endlessly. She observed Kim Joo-won - everything from the way he sits to his peculiar smile.

"Every time I looked into a mirror, I Hypnotized my self, 'I am Kim Joo-won'. I don't know if people noticed, but I tried to imitate Hyeon Bin's eyes", she said.
Viewers connected with the down-to-earth actress.

"It was exactly what I was going for. If a female character is too perfect and pretty, viewers will be jealous and they wouldn't have sympathized with Ra-im as much as they did. So I tried to be as ordinary as possible. If I wanted to look pretty and gorgeous, I wouldn't have picked this character", she said. "People say I make the male character more likable when he makes my heart ache".

Television viewers are envious of her, often telling her that she "must have saved the world" to have the opportunity to work with Korea's top actors.

"When I'm in front of the camera, I only see the character, so I don't see it in terms of working with famous and beautiful people. Only after I see the end result do I realize how lucky I was to work with them", she said.

Looking at her filmography, it is clear that everything Ha touches turns to gold. She was involved with hit television shows on all three major broadcasting stations, MBC's "Damo" (2003), SBS's "Something Happened in Bali" (2004) and KBS's "Hwangjin-i" (2006).

Ha said she is carefully picking out her next role.

"The script is the most important thing for me when I am picking a role", she said. "I choose what I can really enjoy. I never have second thoughts after I make up my mind".

Ha's best attribute - the reason directors seek her out - is her character versatility.

"She is a tomboy type but has sexy eyes. She can play anyone", said director Yoon Je-kyoon, who worked with her on three movies.

Ha said she likes the action involved in acting, setting her apart from many other actresses. She even does her own stunt work, which she had a lot of opportunities to do in Secret Garden because the main character was a stunt woman.

"My ideal female role model is someone who is not fragile - someone who is independent and charismatic. I want to keep doing action scenes like Angelina Jolie".

(Source: )

 Hyeon Bin : Advertisement King


His face and name are plastered everywhere: newspapers, television, radio, the internet. Though many may already be sick of hearing the two syllable word, here's another bit of news just proving this young actor's popularity. Hyeon Bin is rising the ranks to establish himself as the "CF King" -- CF being what Koreans call commercials.

After the drama "Secret Garden", Hyeon Bin has scored at least another six endorsement contracts. One of these contracts include being the model for Duty-Free which ensures that he'll get coverage not only in Korea, but in other Asian countries as well.

Other companies that are trying to bank on the "Hyeon Bin Syndrome" include clothing ware, beverages, and home appliances. In fact, one clothing brand only worked with international models up until recently, when they signed Hyeon Bin as their new face.

One men's cosmetics brand quickly created a new commercial when they saw the popularity of "Secret Garden" and its character of Kim Joo-won. The commercial features a man with an icy exterior with the caption stating "A rude and arrogant man. Secret Garden's Kim Joo-won".

If you combine his new additional contracts with existing ones, and the re-signing of old ones, the young star is estimated to have earned about 4 billion won in advertisement alone! This is quite notable because Hyeon Bin faces his looming military service. However, rather than having a detrimental effect on his career, his mandatory hiatus is serving as a positive factor. This is because he has decided to enlist in the most challenging sector of the Korean military: the marine corp. This has improved his image as a star with a sense of duty and responsibility. Thus companies are that much more hungry to lock in Hyeon Bin as the face for their products.


"Secret Garden" leaves fairytale love story


Poster of SBS drama "Secret Garden" symbolizes the magical, soul-switching love story of Kim Ju-won (Hyeon Bin), left, and Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won). 

Viewers were invited to a secret garden where a magical, soul-switching love story of a rich but arrogant president of a department store Kim Ju-won (Hyeon Bin) and a brave stunt woman Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won) was told through SBS drama "Secret Garden".

Viewers were glued to the small screen for two months as they fell in love, exchanging souls whenever it rained. Though its last episode was aired last week with Kim and Gil living happily with three children, the impressions the drama instilled seems to linger in the viewers' minds.

Magician with words

Scriptwriter Kim Eun-sook created the modern version of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".

She created many hit phrases in popular dramas such as the "Lovers" series - "Lovers in Paris" (2004), "Lovers in Prague" (2005) and "Lovers" (2007) - and "On Air" (2008). She is the winner of the 41st Baek Sang Arts Awards in 2005.

The most famous line of "Secret Garden" might be Kim's "Is this the best? Are you sure?" As he was the CEO of a department store, Kim often asked his junior employees if what they were doing was the best and the phrase soon became popular.

Kim wore training gear sparkling with spangles or in leopard-print and that clothing also became a big hit. In the drama, Kim says they were "sewed on stitch by stitch by Italian masters" and the line produced many copies.

Scene stealers
A good script was not all "Secret Garden" offered. In addition to the excellent acting of Hyeon and Ha, the supporting characters played important roles.

Hallyu or Korean wave star Oscar played by actor Yoon Sang-hyeon, was one of them.

Lee Sang-mi, 27, an office worker, said she became addicted to the comic lines and situations of "Secret Garden".

"My favorite character in the drama is Oscar the singer. Though he is set up as a celebrated singer dominating Korea, Japan and other Asian countries, he is somewhat careless, but unchanging", Lee said.

"He constantly says he is a competent singer, but in his personal life, he breaks up with his lover, Yun Seul, played by actress Kim Sa-rang, because of minor misunderstandings. Such episodes made Oscar's character more human".

The drama also created a craze for the books that appeared in the drama.
Lee, the 27-year-old fan of the drama, said she was amazed that the author made a poem out of the title of the books.

"Not a line was meaningless. At first, I did not pay attention to the books, but when I later understood what they meant, I was impressed", she said.

Five collections of poems on Kim's bookshelf are zoomed in on. It read "An indifferently clear day", "Someone walking in my mind", "Once I depended on coincidence", "My melancholy, precious person", and "You flew over wrong". When read together, the titles create a poem by themselves.

Economic effect

"Secret Garden" was a big success financially. It is estimated to have an economic effect worth 20 billion won.

All slots for commercials of the 20 episodes were completely sold out, making some 8.2 billion won.

Its soundtrack was also popular. Singer Baek Ji-young's "That Woman" and 4Men's "Here I Am" gained popularity. The hottest song would be "That Man", a version of "That Woman", sung by Hyeon himself.

A concert featuring the drama's soundtrack was also a success, making about 200 million won.

Various merchandise based on "Secret Garden" has also been produced including comic books based on the story and a calendar with scenes from the drama

It even released applications for smartphones, available both at Apple's App Store and Android Market. The application featured previews and full clips of the drama and has been downloaded more than 60,000 times.


Hyeon Bin bed scene with Ha Ji-won... turns out...


Hyeon Bin during the bed scene, turns out...

Ha Ji-won spilled the beans in the behind story episodes of "Secret Garden" on the 22nd. "Everyone lacked sleep in the serious shooting". However Ha Ji-won revealed the scene where Hyeon Bin fell asleep during the shoot. This scene was the one where the two main characters play around on the bed and hold each other close. Ha Ji-won was really acting but Hyeon Bin actually fell asleep.

"This is the scene where my heart flutters. Hyeon Bin slept while I was acting". She said.

Meanwhile the special episode of "Secret Garden" recorded 17.9% this day and ranked first.


 "Secret Garden" Hyeon Bin "Don't forget like foams"


Drama "Secret Garden" actors and actresses left words of request to viewers.

Hyeon Bin said, "Carry on the afters of Secret Garden" in the behind story episode on the 22nd.
"I was so happy as Kim Joo-won for 109 days. Thank you for all your love and attention. Don't disappear like a mermaid" said Hyeon Bin.

Ha Ji-won said, "I've been in a coma, in love and sick in such a short time I'm still giddy".

Yoon Sang-hyeon said, "I didn't know it was going to be this good but I'm happy about the results. Thanks you for your love". Kim Sa-rang said, "It's been a while since I was in a drama and I thank you for your love".

The next drama following "Secret Garden" will be "New Gisaeng Story" first airing its first and second episodes on the 23rd.


 Success of "Secret Garden" Continues to Grow


The massive popularity of the SBS hit drama "Secret Garden" is still reverberating even after the weekend series came to an end. Deals have been worked out to export the drama to several countries, and it is expanding its reach to other fields including music, film and theater.

SBS Contents Hub said on Thursday that it has sold broadcasting rights for 13 countries so far, including Japan, China and Thailand, at record-high prices for a combined US$3.5 million. It also recently signed a contract with a U.S. website which will offer the series as video-on-demand.

"We expect more profits once exports of merchandise such as dolls, comics and diaries begin sooner or later", an SBS Contents Hub spokesperson said. "The Japanese terrestrial channel that will broadcast the series expects the same blockbuster success as 'Winter Sonata' there".

Meanwhile, the soundtrack of "Secret Garden" is sweeping the pop charts here. The album has sold more than 30,000 copies, and a song from the album by main actor Hyeon Bin has topped various online music charts.

The film industry also hopes to see ripple effects, as the movies "Late Autumn - 2010" and "Come Rain Come Shine" starring Hyun and "Sector 7" with the series' lead actress Ha Ji-won are soon to hit cinemas.

"Secret Garden" may be heading to the stage as well. "We had thought about making it into a musical, and thanks to its great popularity we've been inundated with proposals", said an insider at Hwa & Dam Pictures, the series' production company.


"Secret Garden" best 3 scenes? Sit ups number 1


What is the best scene for popular SBS drama "Secret Garden".

SBS "TV News At Night" on the 20th revealed the best 3 scenes from the drama.

The third scene was the elevator scene where Hyeon Bin cries in sorrow. His body had to go through a lot for that scene. The second scene was the foamy kiss scene. Assistant Kim even asked the staff to make him a foamy kiss scene.

Lastly and finally the scene that came first was, the sit up scene where the line "Since when were you this pretty?" was born. Ha Ji-won and Hyeon Bin caught viewers breaths through this scene.


Hyeon Bin OST 'The Man' "It's not even my song, I'm embarrassed"


Actor Hyeon Bin spoke of the behind story about singing the OST himself for the SBS drama "Secret Garden".

Hyeon Bin spoke about the song that's number 1 in all music charts and causing strong popularity on the tvN program "Taxi".

Best mate Kong Hyeong-jin mentioned, "I know you like music and sing well but what happened?" Hyeong Bin replied that he was embarrassed and even re-recorded in the middle of the night because he didn't like how he did it.

Hyeon Bin explained, "If it was a song nobody knew maybe it wouldn't have been that bad but because everyone knew this song already I didn't want to cause a public nuisance".

He added, "My personality doesn't like causing inconvenience to people and regretting. So many staff go through a lot with me at first".

He chose Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" as his favorite song.

Meanwhile in this program, Hyeon Bin speaks about questions regarding the drama and even mentions Song Hye-kyo.


[Spoiler] "Secret Garden" Ha ji-won, Gil La-im mother pose "lovely mom smile"


Actress Ha Ji-won's pictures from the last episode set are drawing attention.

Ha Ji-won and Hyeon Bin had a happy ending in the drama "Secret Garden" last 16th.

La-im ache had gained Ha Ji-won a lot of popularity. The disappointment was replaced by her pictures from the set.

In the picture, she was holding the child in her arms like a mother and felt like a mother with her warm smile. The way she smiled at the child was like she was looking at them like a mother.

Those who've seen the picture say, "La-im ache will continue", "Gil La-im mommy pose! Warm mommy smile!".


"Secret Garden" SBS Special Award... First drama this year


Drama of big issue SBS "Secret Garden" is going to get the SBS Special Award.

SBS Drama Center Kim Yeong-sup Commanding Producer announced that weekend drama "Secret Garden" was going to get a special award for the first time in 2011.

"Secret Garden" ended on the 16th with a rating of 35.2% (AGB Nielson Media Research average) besides marking an average rating of 24.4% and creating mass issues. Lead actors Hyeon Bin and Ha Ji-won also gained popularity as big as to creating new expressions like "Joo-won ache" and "La-im ache".

Last year SBS dramas "Definitely Neighbors" and "Giant" got the special awards. The Special Award is given to most popular dramas according to the SBS standards.


[Spoiler] "Secret Garden" Hyeon Bin, Ha Ji-won 'happy ending' happy couple life


SBS weekend drama "Secret Garden" came to a happy ending with Joo-won and La-im enjoying their happy couple life. 

The last episode of "Secret Garden" was on the 16th. Joo-won and La-im legally became married after registering their marriage in spite of the rejection from Joo-won's mother Boon-hong (Park Joon-geum). Oska (Yoon Sang-hyeon), Yoon Seul (Kim Sa-rang) and everyone from Action School congratulated them, but Boon-hong took away everything from Joo-won except his president position at the department store where she acknowledged his ability. 

Joo-won and La-im had a happy married life. Joo-won became better friends with director Park (Lee Byeong-joon) and still showed superior ability at running the department store. La-im continued as a stuntwoman.

Oska and Yoon Seul confirmed their love for each other, and Sun (Lee Jong-seok) left as he blessed their love.

After 5 years Joo-won and La-im became parents to three children. Boon-hong still didn't want to acknowledge them but as a grandmother she was loving towards her grand-children.

Oska proposed to Yoon Seul and promised marriage, and secretary Kim (Kim Seong-oh) and Ah-young (Yoo In-na) also continued on their love.

Director Lim Jong-soo (Lee Philip) started being recognized as a real movie director. Cameo actress Son Ye-jin offered to star in his movie and caused a miracle.

"Secret Garden" finalized itself on the 20th episode with all the couples living happily ever after. Viewers say, "It's so nice to see it end like this", "Their love is so pretty", "Now I can't watch "Secret Garden" anymore".

(Source: )

[Spoiler] "Secret Garden" last episode, 35.2% best out of best, ratings too 'happy ending'


Issue weekend drama SBS "Secret Garden" had its highest viewer rating at its end.

According to AGB Nielson Media Research, the last episode of "Secret Garden on the 16th recorded 35.2%, exceeding its own record on the previous day of 33%.
After many speculations as to what was going to happen in the ending, "Secret Graden" ended with Joo-won and La-im becoming parents to three children. Also, when Joo-won went to find La-im 13 years ago as she cried herself to sleep at her father's death shows their love was destiny.


Relaxing Lunch @ Bakerzin

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Karaoke Fun :>






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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Japanese Drama -Hotaru no Hikari 2 DVD Set

I just bought Hotaru no Hikari 2 DVD set (English, Malay and Chinese subtitles) for only S$13/- at TS Video Yishun Northpoint after discount. For those who loves the drama and have been wanting to get its DVD set, better go buy it soon  as there was only 1 set left ;)




Getting Ready For Chinese New Year :)




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