Japanese Actor: Kimura Takuya

This is the first time I will write a blog entry dedicated solely to an actor. Even though I found out actors (mostly Hallyu stars) that is worthy of fangirling, it never gotten to the point I have to write their awesomeness and their brilliance as an actor. And so I wondered to myself, why and how did it got to this point when it comes to Kimura Takuya?

Yes, yes. I am super late with this KimuTaku syndrome. He is a Japanese icon and every drama he is in always received a massive high ratings in Japan. A few information about him:

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Profile

  • Name: Takuya Kimura
  • Japanese: 木村拓哉 (きむら たくや)
  • Birthdate: November 13, 1972
  • Birthplace: Chiba CityChiba Prefecture, Japan
  • Height: 176.5 cm
  • Blood Type:O

Notes

  1. Former member of J-pop group “SMAP”

(source: asianwiki.com)

Holy wow! I am stanning a 46-year old ahjussi and I am liking it!! There is really something about in him that just stands out everytime I watched him in J-doramas. I’ve only seen him in three dramas and so far I was able to endure the drama experience in spite of it being old, in plot and in style, because he really exudes charisma that feels so good and giddy. I always search about him everyday about his latest news, his popularity in Japan, even his scandal or controversy. I would love to see more of him through variety shows but I can’t find a lot and if there is, there’s no english subtitle (poor me!).

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He really was at his peak in 90s and early 2000s, and I’m quite frustrated that I wasn’t able to witness him during those times. I’m just three years old when Long Vacation aired and the frenzy during 2000s in our country was a different Asian drama so I hardly know him back then.

I came across his name while searching for the Jdorama version of Hundred Million Stars Falling from the Sky because of its Korean remake. He is the leading man but since I don’t have interest in him yet, I did not even bother watching that drama.

Dramas

On as to why I got to know him, it is because of Long Vacation which I totally love and I also made a post about it! I love all the cast in that drama that I searched everyone’s name, their age and how they are now in the industry; but it is with Kimura Takuya I truly stayed. Maybe because he has a lot of popular and iconic dramas under his name and with the few blog entries and write-ups I read about him, every show is actually a delight and worthy of watching.

Don’t get me wrong though, because I’ve only watched him in three dramas so far but look where it got me now! I am so enthralled and I’m craving for more!! 😀

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Now, let me talk about him through the dramas that I’ve watched. Maybe I’m just being biased because I’ve only seen him in romance but he truly shone in that genre. And what fascinates me is that, his character is really fresh because I’m quite used with a leading man being either a chaebol, doctor or a prosecutor. In Long Vacation, he is a piano instructor (which upon my search, due to its popularity that time, most of the males actually took up piano because of that drama). In Pride, his 2nd drama that I watched, he is an ice hockey player. And in Love Generation, he is an ordinary salaryman.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I love Korean dramas and will always be. I am also aware that good K-dramas doesn’t always have a chaebol nor a lawyer leading man. I would just like to point out that Takuya-san has different characters, based on the dramas of him that I’ve watched, which is actually fresh in my eyes.

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I already talked about why I love Long Vacation. I also love him in Pride because he really owns his character, Halu. I also love the romance between him and Aki that my heart is leaping of joy because of their chemistry. Can I just mentioned the ending scene of episode 6!? That is one scorching heat and I love every detail of that scene! Too bad that the succeeding episodes was full of angst that I found myself fast forwarding just for the scenes of Halu and Aki. Next drama that I watched was Love Generation which aired a year after Long Vacation and reunited him with Takako Matsu, this time as his love interest. I so love Takako Matsu in here! Her character is very far from his character in Long Vacation. I am close to giving up watching this drama because I am not a fan of 1.) the leading lady falling in love first with the leading man, and 2) love triangle with the second lady running back with the leading man. Okay, enough of too much explanation. 😀 However, I still managed to finish the series, with lots of fast-forwarding because I just love to see Takuya on screen.

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Okay, that was it. I LOVE WATCHING KIMURA TAKUYA on screen, especially in his younger years. THE MAN IS TRULY HANDSOME! His long hair and his expressive eyes, plus his different expressions of fascination, love and anguish in his character. Wow, he really looks good on screen and I am obviously enchanted.

He is the only Japanese actor that I can actually say, wow, he’s really handsome even before I got to watch his drama. I have this prejudice when it comes to Japanese actors wherein I opt not to watch the drama if I don’t find the actor handsome or if I don’t see him in a previous Jdorama.

I was able to watch those dramas because of Kimura Takuya even though it’s not of my interest and some conflicts, plots or character development was a meeh . He made these dramas full of impact in my part because of his presence and chemistry with the female lead.

I am also planning to watch more of his dramas but foolish me for accidentally reading the ending of Beautiful Life! I feel like watching that drama with me knowing how it ends will just make it less impactful. Then in Sora Kara, I also knew the major plot twist because of searching it in the past. I am interested to watch Hero because it had high ratings and his role is a prosecutor but I feel like at this point in my life I should not devote my time in watching Asian dramas all day (quoting Minami “What am I doing with my life? I played panchiko all day.” with me replacing it with, “What am I doing with my life? I am just watching Takuya Jdoramas all day.” LOL — this is, of course, a different and personal story already. :D), and also with the fact that I like watching Takuya in a romance drama. Some would say he always play the same characters but I actually disagree. I see Sena, Halu and Teppei as all different persons with different struggles and personality. I am actually curious now how much of his characters are based in his character in real life. Imagine, a popular actor playing as an ordinary man. That in itself is already considered as a wonder and amazing.

Fangirl heart solely for Takuya-san

Sometimes I am forgetting that he is not in his 20s or 30s anymore that everytime I am searching for his images, I can already see him aging (but in a good way) and feel so sad ‘coz I wasn’t able to be part of idolizing him in his peak (wait, I’ve mentioned this already. HAHA!)

I am not sure where this entry will lead me but I just really want to write the awesomeness and love with this actor. I hardly come across with an actor that will made me watch some of his dramas  and still want to see more of him, even just in variety shows.

Some blogs about him and his dramas are also a delight to read ‘coz even though it was in the past already I was able to know a glimpse of him during those time and the depth and height of his popularity.

I’m not sure on when this fangirl inside of me will last long but certainly, Kimura Takuya is now a part of my Asian drama memories as I grow old and one day decided to take a trip down the memory lane. The oldness of his dramas doesn’t diminish the fact that all of those were bearable to watch because of him.

Oh my, oh my. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!! I know this is slightly absurd but I hope to see him again in a romance drama, with a mature content and a character that match his age of course. It’s possible, right?!!

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His gaze in this picture, I AM MELTING!!!!

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EEEHHHHHHHHH… LOVE HIM!!!!! /hearts all over the air/

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Omo.. omo.. So adorable and hot!!!! Help!! I’m drowning with his charisma and sex appeal!! lol

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Still oozing with sex appeal in spite of age!

I would love to add more pictures but I really need to stop myself! All pictures are found in google and I give the credit to its rightful owners.

Now, please excuse me, I have to fangirl more of Kimura Takuya!!

Inner self: Baka! Go out and work!! 😀 😀 😀

 

Japanese Drama: Long Vacation

I was a bum for two months now and I am losing every ounce of hope I managed to muster for a time. And in rough times like this, I always drown myself in series that I can relate to; a series that will make me feel alive even for a short while. Guess what, I found it in a 23 year-old drama.

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I am actually remembering how I came across with this drama considering it’s a really old drama. It aired 1996 and Kimura Takuya’s youthfulness in here makes me even harder to resist.

Okay. I give up. I really can’t remember how I found out this drama. My initial impression upon watching the first episode is nostalgia. The resolution of the video itself will make you know that it’s an old drama. The scene started with a lady in a traditional japanese gown running on the streets of Japan, seemingly hurried, worried and pissed of for an unknown reason that is yet to be revealed. Later, we found out that she went to an apartment looking for her supposedly husband because their wedding is on that day and few minutes before the ceremony starts, her husband doesn’t arrive yet. What she saw is a different, confused man, not sure what was happening as he just woke up by a loud knock on the door. And this, my folks, is where the riot and blooming love starts.

Our main gal is Hayama Minami, a 31-year old woman who was left off by her fiance before their wedding ceremony starts. She is a model but after the incident, and because of her age as well, she is struggling to get new gigs as a model. She’s broke because she invest most of her money for the wedding and for her fiance. She decided to live in her fiance’s old apartment together with his roommate, Sena Hidetoshi.  Sena is a 24-year old piano instructor for kids who aims to won in a big piano competition. His life begins to changed when Minami started living in his apartment.

My most favorite scene in this drama is at the end of Episode 2, where Sena explains to Minami that they are in a long vacation which is also the title of this drama. He said that amidst the struggles they are in right now, better things are coming even if they won’t do anything. That they are in a long vacation and soon it will end; something new will arise.

WOW. Those words got sucked into my heart as if I am the one being comforted by Sena and not Minami. I am always engaged in a drama that speaks to the very depth of my soul and I feel like Long Vacation reflects the season of my life right now. I see myself in some parts of Minami or Sena or even in the supporting characters. Everyone is struggling; everyone wants to be in the light. Here’s the conversation of Sena and Minami in the ending scene of Episode 2, which resonates in me:

Sena: There’s no spotlight on the supporting role. The cameras don’t even go after the supporting role. What rigid rules.

Minami: The movie?

Sena: No, life.

Minami: When will it be my turn? What am I doing? I played panchiko all day.

Sena: Why don’t you think of it this way? It’s a long vacation. 

Minami: Long Vacation?

Sena: There’s no reason to rush. There are times where no matter what you do, it doesn’t work out. No matter what you do, it’s no good. At times like that, it may sound strange but.. Why don’t you think it’s a vacation from God? Don’t force yourself. Don’t rush. Don’t try hard. Just let everything to take is natural course. 

Minami: Then?

Sena:  Things will improve.

Minami: Really?

Sena: Probably…

Minami: Probably…

I felt the comfort and ease on a very personal level. I empathize with the characters, knowing the pain, worry and frustration that feels like a domino effect. The feeling that no matter how hard you try, nothing good is coming out of the situation. Maybe that’s why I can relate – because I am currently experiencing it right now. Somehow, this words of Sena gave me hope. It gave me an assurance that soon everything will fall in its proper place; and that I just have to believe that things will improve, no matter how blurry it seems in the present.

This is the series that mirrors mine; and I am happy I stumbled upon this drama.

Romance

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If we talk about their individual characters, both actors managed to make their roles come to life. Tomoko Yamaguchi as the badass, sassy lady Minami is a character I hoped I could be in the future. Sure, she has flaws but I saw growth in her throughout the course of the drama. She’s a strong, free-spirited woman but with emotional baggages too.

I liked how meek, cool and reserved Sena is which is also wonderfully portrayed by Kimura Takuya. You could say I am hypnotized by the “Kimutaku Charm”. I don’t usually watch jdramas but his charisma on-screen is really evident.

I like their rapport as a couple, and their chemistry both as their characters and actors sizzle on-screen. I like that even though this is an old drama, it’s not a statue kissing. Overall, I can’t say anything bad with their romance. Everything is fast-paced, there are no unnecessary scenes or heavy conflicts. They also have nice rapport with the supporting characters.

More than the romance, I am merely drawn with their journey while they are on long vacation. I feel sad when Sena decided to give up playing piano because nothing good is coming out of it. I also like it when he went back to his passion because there is one person who believes in him and wants to hear him playing piano. Of course, that person is Minami.

There are areas of this drama that might seem cliche already because we can see a lot of this used in romcom dramas. But to be honest, I don’t have problems with it. I still found this drama light, enjoyable and feel-good. Something you can watch whatever emotions you’re in – whether happy or lonely.

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I would highly recommend this jdorama. If you could see pass its oldness then you are in for a good ride. I am actually writing an entry about this drama because it’s been eating me up for days now. I am just so addicted. When I wake up, I would remember the characters. In my idle moments, I would see some scenes in my mind. Whenever I feel like this way in the dramas that I watched, I just have the need to write about it so I can release the love I have for the drama. And for me to go through my life as well, I have to let go and realized that I’m not living in their world. I have my own and I have to deal with it too. Wow, that’s a severe post-withdrawal symptom I got there.

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And so this is it. As hard as it may seem, Show, I have to let go of you now. You will always have a place in my heart. The impact you made in my drama-watching is so severe but in a good way. Someday, I would also like to experience seeing the end of this long vacation that I’m in right now. Yes, I am in a long vacation; and soon, everything will be alright. Everything will be good again.

Oh, did I also mentioned how La la la love song plays in my mind the entire time? 🙂

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Korean Drama: Just Between Lovers

It’s 23:21 on my clock and I just recently finished this drama “Just Between Lovers”. To be honest, I don’t know why I decided to binge-watch this drama. All I know is that I want to watch a completed K-drama while waiting for Misty and Radio Romance’ new episodes to come out.

I already have a list of dramas to marathon in my mind and Just Between Lovers is not a part of it. However, I saw it was on the list of completed episodes and I started it without any hesitation (usually I would look up some reviews before I watch it.) Maybe it’s because I don’t have high expectations at all that I just found myself craving for the next episodes.

Some episodes are painful to watch that sometimes I ask myself, should I continue watching this? But I stayed. It’s because Ha Moon Soo and Lee Gang Doo’s story was hard to miss. There’s something about their characters, whether as individuals or a pair, that makes you wanna watch as how they deal with the greatest struggle of their life.

Forgive me as this entry might be very incohesive for I don’t really know what to say. All I know is that I’m feeling all sorts of emotions as soon as I reached the last scene of the last episode. I’ve cried bucket of tears for all the characters, for their hardships and milestones, for finding a reason to live after all the bullshits Life threw at them. I am not writing a review for this drama, I just want to let it all out. All characters are plain and simple human beings trying to survive in this world. I can’t think of any antagonists in this drama ‘coz everyone is hurting no matter how illogical or bad their intentions are.

I’ve learned through this drama to love my life and appreciate even the little moments because we’re only given one life. It doesn’t matter if we reached the highest ladder of success, what matters most is that we don’t forget what it really means to be a human – to love, to endure, to sacrifice, to live. The core of this drama is not just being in love with someone or how to forget the pain of the past. It’s about healing and loving and taking care of the people and things that matter the most.

I don’t know where this words will be headed to and I don’t want to talk about my favorite scenes or some plot holes. I just want to remember the feeling while watching it. It makes me have hope that true and authentic love is still attainable no matter how fucked up this world is right now. I want to remember the love between a child, a mother and a father, the love of some stranger you’ve met and becomes a family you want to protect, the love that is patient and kind, that will sacrifice everything for the sake of the other.

Humanity. Where does humanity takes us? Can we still consider ourselves loving to one another? Can we just wipe away all the sorrows with genuine love? How wonderful the world is if we just love one another.

Love. The main focus of this drama is love. Again, it has a formula of a cliche drama but the execution, the actors, the directors, they breath life to this drama. I hope they were able to get a lesson out of this that they’ll bring to their future productions.

Let me wallow this whirlwind of emotions for a while.

Spoiler ahead:

It’s a happy ending but the emotions this show gave me still lingers. The pain and the heartache still resonates. Wow, what an impact it gave me.

Watched this drama and brace yourselves and I hope that you’ll be able to reflect about the reality of life after watching Just Between Lovers.

NOTE:

Not edited and I hope I will be able to write a cohesive one tomorrow that I can post in Instagram. This underrated drama deserves more popularity.

 

Japanese Drama: Rich Man, Poor Woman

Love. Friendship. Trust. Betrayal. Next Innovation.

I don’t even know if I can coherently express the love that I felt for this drama. I’ve been too occupied and bombarded myself with so many K-dramas that I feel like I just need to take a short break. I’ve thought of re-watching Hana Yori Dango but my mind is craving for something new and fresh (I still love HYD, no doubt about it). And so “Rich Man, Poor Woman” came into the picture.

I actually have a thing for personal growth in every drama that I watched. It feels more sincere whenever a character is facing a tough problem first before he/she blossomed into a much a better person. This Jdorama gave me that and it was better than I expected. What a good “welcome-back” Jdorama it is for me.

The first few episodes was hard for me to watch. Then the plot went full circle and I just found myself in it for a roller-coaster ride. I love the romance. I love the friendship. I love how everything went downhill with the characters. I love the redemption of the characters. I.LOVE.THIS.SHOW.

(By this time I’m having a hard time formulating words so just bear with me)

Romance

Okay… The first thing I thought of is that, why does Asahina (girl) have a freaking two kiss scenes with Hyuga while with Natsui, I have to wait for 10 episodes for it to happen!! Hahaha! But then kidding aside, I love the built-up of relationship between our two leads. I love their rapports. They weren’t physically attracted with each other. They saw each other flaws first before seeing the beauty inside them. I think that was a good foundation of a relationship. I love how they supported each other, even in the lowest points of their lives. There was this saying that “behind a successful man is a woman who believes and supports him in each phase of his life.” That’s what Natsui did with Hyuga. She believes in him. And in return, Hyuga slowly learn to see life in a different perspective. She managed to let Hyuga out of the zone that he knows and show him that there is a different world aside from what he knows. I love how each episode gradually shows the growth of one another through the cheer and love they receive from each other.  Hyuga learns a lot and the change really showed especially in the last two episodes. I just love these two. There are minimal kiss scenes and skinship but what makes this couple lovable is the deeper understanding they had with each other’s personality. She became his strength and constant reminder that everyone may abandon you but there will always be one person who will believe and trust you. There will be one person to accept your weakness and help you arise in the downfall.

I also love the growth in Natsui. She has become a woman who is willing to stand on her own. She doesn’t want to stay like that and has a desire to grow as a person. Hyuga taught her to dream big, to make a difference and to be a world-changer.

These two is just a perfect match!! I love their dynamics and their sizzling chemistry. They don’t even have that much skinship! What more if they have, then that is just WOW!

Asahina Kosuke

I don’t want this post to be lengthy but I just want to talk about this character. Among the four, I sympathize him the most. I love these type of characters. The kind who has a potential to be something great but then choose to be the bad one because they’ve been eaten up by their desire to be the best. They’ve been eaten up by insecurity, jealousy, self-pity to the point wherein they’ll do worst just so they can prove themselves. Only they chose to prove it in a wrong way. (I always think of Anakin Skywalker as an example to this kind of character).

Going back, Asahina is a good friend. His dynamic with Hyuga led them to make Next Innovation a top company. It’s because of the TWO of them why they managed to be successful. But then he thought he was being overshadowed by Hyuga (because of the people who keep on praising Hyuga and comparing them with each other), and so he was manipulated by his emotions. He wants Hyuga to fall just so he can rise on top. He doesn’t realize that it’s not just Hyuga who made the company successful. It was their joint effort. He was a part of it. So I just feel so sad especially in the latter episodes because it’s not just Hyuga who fail; he, himself, crumbles. When he let that evil desire entered his mind and put it into action, he was doom to crumble.

I seriously don’t want to have his redemption. Hyuga has a soft heart for forgiving him that fast! I thought that he can forgive him but never trust him again. However, that’s the beauty of forgiveness. The moment you forgive, you restore what was lost. It automatically heals what was wounded. It was a good thing to see him back on track at the end. And hope that he learns from this big mistake. At the end, I’m happy he got himself back and continue life. We make mistake and fail, but with that, we grow up as a better person. No matter how many times we fail, we get back on our feet and continue what must be done.

It’s the same with Hyuga. Let’s admit it he doesn’t have the best attitude, right? Maybe part of the reason is he got his success so fast that he thinks everything is simple. He doesn’t treat his employees and even the board of directors with respect. He thought highly about himself. His downfall made him a better person as well.

They were pressed and crushed but the extract was beautiful. It was fragrant. It brought out the best in them. And that’s what I dearly love about this drama. It’s not just a story about a man and a woman falling in love with each other. It’s a story of friendship, of dreams, of life. In life, we have to be crushed first in order for us to understand different facets of what we want to achieve. We have to get out of our comfort zone and experience pain. Only in pain we will realize that there are beautiful and wonderful things happen. Only in pain we will find out who will stay and remain. Only in pain we will realize that we are not perfect but we can change.

I love this drama for the message it gave me. This is just my interpretation but the way I interpret is very personal. It was a story about each person’s lives. It’s a story of our everyday lives. Romance is a plus point. There were forgivable and irrational scenes but my overall watching experience is sufficient to love this show.

Now, the post-withdrawal syndrome will heavily starts now.

(Not proofread and edited, sorry for the grammar lapses)

Korean Drama: Jealousy Incarnate

Disclaimer: Listening to Jealousy Incarnate’s OST while writing this.

I hereby claim that this drama is now officially included in my TOP 5 favorite K-dramas of all time. It hits all the humor and poignant aspects that I rarely found in a drama. I actually started watching this show as soon as it airs in Korea (last November 2016). I planned to watched it every week together with my other ongoing K-dramas. But then I was fully consumed with a different drama that I felt the need to drop it and focused on the other one. I was also getting bored in the first few episodes which led me not to watch it at that time. However, drama gods really has it way to let me watch this brilliant and wacky drama and so last week, I decided to binge-watch it. I started at 1st episode even though I’ve watched it already just to refresh me of the premise of the show. It has the same feeling. I felt like this show is not the right drama for me but there’s something in it that keeps pushing me to watch it. And as I progressed in each episode, I GOT HOOKED. Deeply-rooted hooked.

I’ve always loved how Gong Hyo Jin act this kind of characters. ‘Coz I feel like on paper these characters are dumb and stupid. It’s her magic to transform this silly character into something likable. She has the same character in The Best Love and Master’s Sun which I both love as well. I think that’s one of the reason why I gave this drama a chance. I like Gong Hyo Jin and find her acting superb. But then Jo Jung Seok and his brilliant comedic timing and acting chops comes in… and now I’m completely sold.

This is the best rom-com korean drama I’ve watched in such a long time. It raised my expectations and now I want other rom-com to be as good and brilliant as this show. I am not a fan of too much love triangle and jealousy but I am soooo looking forward with Lee Hwa Shin’s reaction everytime he gets jealous. Some sad and heartbreaking scenes became so funny and hilarious but when they really made some as sorrowful, it really is sad that I get my eyes bawled out because of too much crying (cue in: Lee Hwa Shin’s impotency scene).

Another reason why I love this drama is because of the chemistry between Pyo Na Ri and Lee Hwa Shin which is perfectly acted by Jo Jung Seok and Gong Hyo Jin. They are the heart of the show. I knew Jo Jung Seok because of the other dramas (that I don’t get to watch) and this is my first time really seeing him act and, oh boy, I now have a high respect with this oppa. He owns Lee Hwa Shin’s character and made me root for him to be happy until the end. Even though he is a jerk, arrogant and self-centered, I still want him to be with the girl until the end. It’s all because of Jo Jung Seok’s performance. When he is doing the comedic antics, he is sooo good and when he does the dramatic part, he is so good as well. He is such a surprise here and I never thought that he acts so brilliantly well.

I am honestly not that much interested with the side characters but they also gave some good LOL moments so I think it’s fine as well. The romance here is what makes me ride all along until the end. Thinking about all the actions that led to the love triangle and jealousy is cringey but it was so well-executed and became humorous that it became a very important aspect of the show.

I guess there is really a different feel between binge-watching a completed K-drama and having to wait each week for a new episode of an ongoing K-drama to watch. They are giving a different level of post-withdrawal symptom that I can’t really explain specifically. And that’s what I’m feeling now with Jealousy Incarnate. I am having a seriously post-withdrawal symptom. Same feeling that I got after I finished Healer (w/c is my TOP 1 fave K-drama of all time).

Thank you drama gods for not letting me slip this awesome show. Thank you drama gods for introducing Jo Jung Suk and his brilliant acting. Thank you.

Off to watch clips of Jealousy Incarnate!