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The Best Show You’re Not Watching: HUMANS

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While perusing through my DVR’s On Demand catalog for a new show to try, I stumbled upon a real gem. When it comes to good entertainment, once I hear, “android” I’m on board almost immediately. I was a huge fan of the FOX show “Almost Human” and was so disappointed when it was cancelled. And of course, I’m a huge “Transformers” fan.  So, yeah, I’m all about robots in the fictional world.

So when I found out that this show centers around a time in the world when androids or “Synths” to which they are referred, are a normal part of everyday life and used as helpers for humans, I was very intrigued.

The main story centers around Laura, Joe and their family.  One day when Laura is away on a business trip, Joe, struggling to tend to the family makes the impromptu decision to purchase a Synth to take care of them.
Laura seems to be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of Synths in general so when she arrives home to a house-tending Synth, she is a bit in shock.
After a bit of convincing to try her out, as the rest of the family seems on board with the idea, Laura concedes.  They name their new Synth “Anita”.

Meanwhile we find out that Anita was taken from a group of Synths that appear to be on a different level than the others – they actually have feelings and are autonomous.  The group consider themselves family and once they get split up, they struggle to locate each other while keeping their true identities under wraps.

Even though she’s accepted it, Laura still can’t shake the feeling that Anita is more than she appears. One moment she is interacting in the precise and calculated way that one would expect an android to interact, but the next moment she’ll say something so ominously that Laura starts to believe that she’s losing her mind.

A sort of sub-story in the show is that of Dr. George Millican, a retired scientist who had a hand in creating Synths but is now having memory issues.  His faithful Synth, “Odi”, with whom he intersects like a son, helps him to remember his faded memories.  It’s for this reason that he refuses to upgrade Odi for a better functioning model.  He constantly and defiantly rejects his social worker’s insisting that he upgrade his “appliance” as the one he has is outdated and even malfunctioning.

This show, which airs on AMC Sundays at 9pm, is brilliantly cast.  Anita, played by actress Gemma Chan is absolutely stunning and she captivates every scene she is in.  She and the rest of the actors portraying Synths interpret their characters in a way that would have you questioning whether they were indeed artificial beings.

HUMANS is the type of show that with every episode has you intrigued and asking yourself the age-old question, “Could Artificial Intelligence eventually become self-aware?”

I look forward to finding out, but only in this fictional world.

Are you watching, “HUMANS”? What do you think of it? Share in the comments!

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First Impressions: We Broke Up

It’s been a few months since I’ve watched a good Korean drama. The last drama I watched, ‘Temptation’, left A LOT to be desired in my opinion, so I took a break. Watching dramas takes a time committment that I don’t always have, so when I found out that my favorite Korean male vocalist was in a web drama, I was very excited. At around 15 minutes per episode, this little web drama is perfect for getting my Korean drama fix met without taking up too much time!

“We Broke Up”「우리 헤어졌어요」is a YG Entertainment-produced web drama based off of the webtoon of the same name starring WINNER’s Kang Seung-Yoon and 2NE1’s Sandara Park.  It tells the story of the characters who were once in love but have since broken up and are forced to remain living under the same roof.

The drama has the typical Spring drama feel with fresh outside shots, an enjoyable soundtrack and a good cast.

Sandara Park and Kang Seung Yoon’s characters are clearly established in the first episode – you get a sense of their personalities right away. It will be interesting to see how they grow from this point. Also, by the way they set up the story, you’re curious to find out the fate of the relationship as the story progresses, despite the drama’s title.

And to much of the fan’s delight, the drama is released already containing English subtitles – something that is just unheard of! Thank you, YG!

I was pleased with the first couple of episodes so I will be contiuing the story to see what unfolds. I’d definitely recommend it!

Have you been watching “We Broke Up”? What do you think? Share in the comments!

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The Syrupy Voice Of Kang Seung Yoon

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Very rarely will you hear me say that I have a favorite of something.  I can never use that “f-word” when discussing specific songs – I love too many types of sounds and genres for that to be possible – but for some reason, I can do it when it comes to voices.

I’ve discussed my favorite Japanese male singer in a past post so it only makes sense to share my other favorite voice.  That honor goes to Korean male vocalist Kang Seung Yoon.

I discovered Kang Seung Yoon, or KSY as he’s sometimes affectionately referred to online, when watching the Korean singing reality show, “WIN: Who Is Next”.  In the show, two groups compete in dancing, singing and composing and the winner of the competition signs on to YG Entertainment, one of Korea’s “Big 3” music labels.

I was initially drawn into the program just for the sheer talent of all the competitors but after a few hours of binge-watching the series, one person started to stand out for me.  I found myself wanting to know more about the talented young man with the accented cheekbones.

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I learned all I needed to that night and also discovered what the whole “WINNER buzz” online had been about. “So THIS is the infamous WINNER that people keep bringing up.”  I could now understand what all the chatter was about.

Kang Seung Yoon was not new to the spotlight, though.  Before being on the reality series, he had been on a previous reality singing series, participated in a tv series and also released a few singles as a solo artist. And although he defintely has the talent, charisma and presence to be a solo act, I dare say he shines even more in a group – and as a leader of said group, no less.

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And his voice. . . his voice, his voice.  The best adjective I can come up with to describe it is just plain syrupy – such a mellow, calming and overall warm, classic sound and feel.  I feel calm, relaxed and just happy when I hear him singing – whether he’s belting out a series of notes or softly conveying emotion.  People often joke about being perfectly content with a beautiful voice singing the most mundane of things – say, entries from a phonebook (yes, they still exist), and I never felt that way about anyone until I heard his voice.  And I’m being literal here – I would gladly hand him the book and he could start with Aaron, work his way through Peterson and on through Quincy.

I’ve been happily following along with the WINNER journey so far and I love what they’ve been doing.  Their style is very classy and different from what some other groups are doing right now.  I eagerly await their comeback and look forward to more of their smooth sounds – especially those of the talented KSY.

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Top KPop Songs of 2014 – Top 3

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This is it – the final part of my countdown!  These are my top songs of 2014!

 

3 – Purfles – “1, 2, 3”

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The only female vocals that could overpower Mamamoo last year is fellow rookie female group Purfles.  Where Mamamoo lured you in slowly with their fantastic charm and class, Purfles let you know from the very. first. note. that they mean business.
This song is so powerful and that bass line in the chorus is fierce! That’s all I need to say.  Definite headphone with proper bass support is needed for this one.
If they continue with this type of sound and power, they will be extremely successful.

 

2 – Taemin – “Danger”

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This is the one solo artist that really impresses me.  I have to admit, I started off as a SHINee fan, but dropped off after a few songs and when I heard that Taemin was going solo, I thought to myself, “The dancer?! Can he pull off a solo tack??” I soon after discovered that he very well could, and then some.

This is such a great track.  The sound is strong, crisp and clear.  The arrangement is near perfect and my absolute favorite part – 2:12-2:30 – I can put on a loop and never get tired of it.

This song, video and choreography (along with the subtle MJ influence) is top-notch.

What impresses me so much about Taemin is the fact that he’s extremely hard-working.  He never seems frustrated, annoyed or tired, he’s always working hard to get things done. And when he’s on the stage he is WORKING IT! He gives so much and puts out so much energry during live performances, it’s fantastic. He remindes me a lot of EXO’s Kai (she’s talking about EXO again!!) who has the same hard-working-dance-like-a-boss demeanor.  Kudos to the choreographers who know how to make Taemin shine and kudos to him for making that choreography look BOSS! The music video doesn’t give the choreogrpahy ANY justice in my opinion.  You’d have to watch a live performance to truly appreciate it.

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So, after that glowing review, what could possibly top it?

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1 – Seo Taiji – “Christmalo.win”

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For me, there was no competition.  When I first heard this song – I was literally transfixed.

Seo Taiji is the actual pioneer of KPop music.  It was because of him and his group Seo Taiji & Boys, that KPop was born.  Recently there was word of his comeback and it was quite anticipated.  This comeback was hyped so much that I had to take a peek at what all the talk was about.  And when I watched the video, I was SO impressed.

The sounds that I was hearing, the feelings I was feeling, I had never felt before.  Yeah, I know, it sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  I stared at this video in awe and amazement.  This was truly one of the best songs I’d ever heard. . .

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Which songs did I miss? What songs are on your 2014 list? Share them in the comments!

Next week, I gush about my new favorite KPop male vocalist!  See you then!

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Top 10 KPop Songs of 2014 – Honorable Mention

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Not to be a tease, but before I unveil my top 3 songs of 2014, I feel it necessary to highlight other tracks that defined the year for me but didn’t make the main list.

Here they are!

Royal Pirates – “Love Toxic”

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I love the distinct sound that Royal Pirates has.  It’s this great fusion of rock and pop with an overall feel-good vibe.

This is my favorite song of theirs so far.

 

Zhoumi – “Rewind”

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I knew I’d like this song as soon as I saw the screen capture of this video.  Yes, the screen capture – I could just tell that it was going to be a light and fresh-feeling video.  And it is.
This video has both a Chinese and Korean version.  Both versions are great, but I have to say I prefer the Korean rap to the Chinese rap – but my love for EXO’s TAO and Chanyeol are the same respectively 🙂 Speaking of EXO, I love how they tried to appease me with these two as guest rappers thinking that it would give me the EXO fix that I’ve been needing – but it doesn’t.  I need a comeback. . . like tomorrow. 🙂

 

GOT7 – “A”

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Going back to EXO for a minute – I promise we’ll get back on track in a bit – but the one thing that I have come to appreciate from my lack of EXO for most of 2014 was the fact that it forced me to discover other equally talented artists.  GOT7 is one of the artists that I discovered during the EXO dry-spell.
I find this track light and refreshing and just an all-around easy-going song.  Also, the piano chords that accentuate the bass line is a nice touch.

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Tune in for the Top 3 songs of 2014 this Friday!