Monday, May 5, 2014

The Second Annual Dramafever 2013 Awards Review


Dramafever, one of the most prominent online Korean drama streaming services decided to host their second annual Dramafever awards live in New York at the Highline Ballroom. Special MC, Arden Cho, was set to host the awards as well as special guests: Taiwanese actor Chris Wang (Love Me or Leave Me) and Korean actress Park Shin Hye (Heirs). There was also a mystery guest at the Dramafever awards. Special guests, music group, Magnetic North and Taiyo Na also performed at the event.

I must admit that I wasn't initially interested in seeing the Dramafever awards live because it wasn't exciting enough for me. Besides, I had to pay a ticket just to see it live. When Park Shin Hye was announced as one of the special guests, I bought my tickets early. I think it would be fun to see her semi-up-close.

As for the nominees, I half-heartedly voted because the nominees aren't particularly the choices I would pick as the best of Dramafever. The drama Heirs was noticably nominated for a lot of awards, but I expected it since Dramafever has a co-production deal with the Heirs production team, which is why Dramafever held the special Dramafever screening event in New York City.

I voted only once, but each person can vote up to once a day for his and her favorites. I believe the actual voting system itself is biased and flawed so I treated the winning results with a grain of salt.

The awards show is from 7:00PM-10:00PM in the evening, but I think even around 7:30PM, I was still standing on line waiting to get inside. Traffic was crazy that day in New York City and I wished that the Dramafever event wasn't held on a weekday. I even ran over a deep pothole, which I believed damaged my new car. I also bought standing-only, cheap tickets so I had to scarf down some tacos before I even attempt to show up at the awards show. I am pregnant after all and there is no way I would last through the awards without having a bite.

I was surprised that a lot of Dramafever vloggers such as Mister Popo and Nutty Nomads were invited to be guests at the Dramafever awards and even Dramafever staff presented the awards, but the Dramafever writers were largely ignored. I haven't reviewed any dramas for Dramafever in a long time, but at least the Dramafever veterans such as Tanya from Hallyu Know, who bought a ticket and came all the way to the Dramafever awards should also have a shot at being a presenter. It would have gave Dramafever writers the hope that writers also important too in the Dramafever community.


While I waited on the line outside, Colleen from Dramafever gave us a #DFAwardsToyota paper so that we would get some kind of special photo cards from Dramafever if we participated in hashtagging our photos of ourselves on social media. Check out the Dramafever Gallery for a collection of all pictures with this hashtag.


A man checked IDs to make sure my husband and I were over 18 years old and then stamped our wrists with a star. Later on, I had to give my ticket to the staff before entering and upon checking my star upstairs, another staff member gave me a drink ticket. Honestly, I would really prefer a non-alcoholic drink so my ticket went unused. I would have gave away my ticket to anyone who wanted it.

 

Before I move on, let's talk about my outfit. It was simple and I did not wear a dress. I really wanted to, but my pregnant self cannot fit into any of my existing dresses. Therefore, I chose my Von Vonni dress shirt paired with simple black leggings. I didn't see many people wear red carpet style dresses, but being simplly dressed is enough because it was so dark and crowded inside the ballroom. I doubt anyone was paying attention too much to what everybody else was wearing. I wore glasses instead of contacts simply because I forgot to bring my contacts. Again, I wish the event was on a weekend so I could actually prepare instead of rushing over to the event after work.

Once upstairs into the "ballroom" (I say that because the venue does not look like an actual ballroom), I picked up some Korean tourism books while passing by and they were one of the sponsors at the event. To my right was Dramafever merchandise for sale and in front of me is a picture station with a DF background. I didn't have time for that since the show already started and I was late.


To my left was the ballroom and it was packed and full of people! Arden Cho was already MCing the event and sadly, I didn't recognize her at first glance. I realized that Arden Cho is a beautiful woman and perhaps, dare I say, more beautiful than Park Shin Hye herself, though Arden looked more like a mature, beautiful person, who looked pretty in all of her dresses that night.

Sorry all, I was so far in the back that I didn't get any good shots of the presenters, VIPS, or anyone else. As I mentioned, the pictures in the Dramafever Gallery are way better than my pictures.


Before I move on to more presenters, let's take a break with a Secret song: Movie Star. Let's set the mood minus what negativity this song might bring (as the lyrics speak of the pressures of being a movie star).

Presenters:

Arden Cho, MC


Chris Wang, Taiwanese Actor

Because of Chris Wang's slick hair that night, I am reminded of HK entertainer Aaron Kwok.


Dramafever Staff Presenters

Sorry, I didn't remember their names. Sorry for such bad pictures.

Jeremy Oppa, Dramafever Staff Member, and Arden Cho

Jeremy Oppa says that one of the most common questions that he gets for his "Ask Oppa" column is people requesting Lee Min Ho's personal phone number.

Mystery Guest: Kang Gary, Korean Entertainer

Actually, Stephanie, blogger from Crazy for Kdrama tipped me off with her Instagram photo at the Dramafever awards show. I really thought she was joking, but she wasn't. Here he is, very cool and all, surrounded by pretty ladies. He promises that he will try to win best kiss next year and will work hard so that he can be at the Dramafever awards again.



Guest Musical Group: Magnetic North

I liked their music video for Home:Word, but I went out to buy some Dramafever merchandise when they were playing. They sounded good though from afar.

Mister Popo, Vlogger, with a Dramafever Staff Member

Sorry, I didn't catch the name of the staff member who presented and even interpreted for Park Shin Hye.

Nutty Nomads, Vloggers

I'm surprised that they came all the way to the east coast for the Dramafever awards. It would have been fun if they covered the "red carpet" event. I'm not sure if there was one since I came late.

Park Shin Hye, Korean actress

I feel bad that I did not capture any flattering pictures of her. At least I have videos!

Now, it's time to talk about the winners:

I don't remember the award sequence so I will just pick the category order myself. Acceptance speech videos may be found on the Dramafever's Youtube page.

Hottest Eye Candy

Song Seung Hun, When a Man Loves 
Kim Woo Bin, Heirs
Chris Wu, Substitute Princess 
Lee Joon Ki, Two Weeks
Kwon Sang Woo, Queen of Ambition 
Hwang Chan Sung, Level 7 Civil Servant

WINNER: Kim Woo Bin, Heirs


Personally, I would have voted for Song Seung Hun any day. He's just too hot to handle in my opinion. I didn't watch When a Man Loves yet, but everyone seems to be say it's a really bad drama.

Most Feels

Good Doctor 
That Winter, the Wind Blows 
The Suspicious Housekeeper 
The Master’s Sun 
Two Weeks 
Who Are You

WINNER: The Master's Sun


Another problem of the voting process is that I never watched all the dramas that were nominated. I voted for That Winter, the Wind Blows because that is such a sad drama overall. The whole drama gave me a hopeless feeling. I do understand that The Master's Sun would give the viewer all different range of emotions including a lot of scary ones. I am not brave enough to watch this drama yet.

Best Variety Show 

Running Man 
Infinity Challenge 
Barefoot Friends 
2 Days 1 Night 
Hwasin: Controller of the Heart 
We Got Married (Global Edition)

WINNER: Running Man


I love how Kang Gary is our mystery guest of the night. His acceptance speech at the end signals his entrance onto the Dramafever awards stage accompanied by two pretty ladies. Honestly, I love the variety show Running Man a lot and it's the only variety show that makes me laugh so hard that I can't breathe.

Best Ensemble 

Nail Shop Paris 
Dating Agency: Cyrano 
The Suspicious Housekeeper 
Answer Me 1994 
Flower Boy Next Door 
Good Doctor

WINNER: Flower Boy Next Door 



I really thought it was going to be Answer Me 1994, because the cast was so strong. I have a suspicion that a bunch of fan girls must have voted for Flower Boy Next Door a lot to have the cast win for best ensemble. Honestly, there was a lot of eye candy, I guess, but I don't think the cast was as strong as Answer Me 1994.

Best Bromance

Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin, Heirs 
Jo Yoon Woo and Hong Jong Hyun, Dating Agency: Cyrano 
Kim Bum and Jo In Sung, That Winter, the Wind Blows 
Wen Sheng Hao and Xue Shi Ling, Substitute Princess 
Kang Ui Sik and Park Kyu Sun, Monstar
Lee Kwang Soo and Kim Jong Kook, Running Man

WINNER: Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin, Heirs 


There doesn't seem to be any competition in this category. It's almost a sure-win for Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin. Actually, they don't have much of a bromance in the drama, Heirs, because they are busy fighting each other until almost the end of the drama. I really wouldn't call that a bromance, but a frenemy of sorts. Sadly, I don't think I would pick anybody else to win though.

Best Bad Boy

Kim Woo Bin, Heirs
Kim Nam Gil, Shark
Jung Kyung Ho, Heartless City
No Min Woo, Sword and Flower
Yong Joon Hyung, Monstar
Yamada Yuki, Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo

WINNER: Jung Kyung Ho, Heartless City



I'm really looking forward to watching Heartless City because Jung Kyung Ho seems to play such an intense character. I am definitely not going to dispute Jung Kyung Ho's win as the best bad boy.

Best Couple Not Meant to Be

Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary, Running Man
Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin, Heirs
Jung Yong Hwa and Yoon Eun Hye, Marry Him If You Dare
Lee Yeon Hee and Choi Jin Hyuk, Gu Family Book
Lee Bo Young and Yoon Sang Hyun, I Hear Your Voice
Miki Honoka and Yamada Yuki, Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo

WINNER: Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin, Heirs


After watching and reviewing I Hear Your Voice, I have a soft spot for the Lee Bo Young and Lee Sang Hyun pairing. The drama, I Hear Your Voice, was a deal breaker for me because the two never ended up together. If I didn't have to review this drama, I might have stopped watching. The fans, however, picked Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin. While I do feel that Kim Woo Bin's character liked Park Shin Hye's character, I don't think Park Shin Hye's character ever considered his character as boyfriend material. At least, I felt that Lee Bo Young and Lee Sang Hyun's character could have had a relationship if Jung Woong In's character, Min Joon Gook, didn't interfere in their lives.

Best Couple

Bae Su Ji (Suzy) and Lee Seung Gi, Gu Family Book
Krystal Jung and Kang Min Hyuk, Heirs
Takei Emi and Matsuda Shota, A Clinic on the Sea
Lee Bo Young and Lee Jong Suk, I Hear Your Voice
Miki Honoka and Furukawa Yuki, Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo
Annie Chen and George Hu, Love Around

WINNER: Krystal Jung and Kang Min Hyuk, Heirs



I didn't watch most of these dramas, but it seems like our best winning couple is appropriate. I did find the Krystal Jung and Kang Min Hyuk pairing cute and fun. They weren't the main couple, but I enjoyed all their scenes in Heirs. If there was ever a side drama, they both should star in it.

Best Kiss

Shin Se Kyung and Yeon Woo Jin, When a Man Loves
Moon Chae Won and Joo Won, Good Doctor
Lee Ji Eun (IU) and Jang Geun Suk, Pretty Man
Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary, Running Man
Bae Su Ji (Suzy) and Lee Seung Gi, Gu Family Book
Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun, My Love from Another Star

WINNER: Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary, Running Man


Actually, I'm not sure who to pick in this category because I don't consider any of these kisses worthy of being nominated for an award. I think the audience voted for Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary because they enjoy seeing what could have been between them. I think it's cute and entertaining (for us).

Best Actor

Lee Min Ho, Heirs
Joo Won, Good Doctor
So Ji Sub, The Master’s Sun
Jung Kyung Ho, Heartless City
Jo In Sung, That Winter, the Wind Blows
Matsuda Shota, A Clinic on the Sea

WINNER: Lee Min Ho, Heirs


Video at the awards with crowd reaction:


I am not surprised that Lee Min Ho won since Dramafever was promoting him like crazy. There is no doubt that Lee Min Ho is a great actor, but I honestly don't think his role in Heirs is enough to give him the win. His character, Kim Tan, is so helpless and impulsive that it could be off putting for the audience. I think die-hard fans simply voted every day to make Lee Min Ho a winner. Of the dramas that I have seen, Joo Won and Jo In Sung are very worthy to win this award as well. Joo Won played a difficult role of a autistic doctor with savant syndrome. I think about all the times Joo Won had to act with one shoulder higher than the other with a vacant expression on his face and I think he's a winner. For Jo In Sung, I am still falling for his crying scenes where his character is deep in desperation to live and save the one he loves. I think his performance is very memorable.

Best Actress

Lee Ji Eun (IU), You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin
Im Yoon Ah, The Prime Minister and I
Michelle Jenner, Isabel (Season 2)
Bae Su Ji (Suzy), Gu Family Book
Jeon Ji Hyun, My Love From Another Star
Park Shin Hye, Heirs

WINNER: Park Shin Hye, Heirs


As I mentioned before for best actor, I also feel as if Park Shin Hye won for the same reason that Dramafever was promoting her and the drama, Heirs, like crazy. Her role in Heirs wasn't that awe-inspiring and I thought it was forgettable. I think of all actresses, I think Jeon Ji Hyun is worthy of winning of the award for her role of Chun Song Yi. I think it's a talent for Jeon Ji Hyun to act pompous and conceited to the point where she annoys me. She certainly got my attention in My Love From Another Star. Though, from another standpoint, if Park Shin Hye didn't win this award, would she come to the Dramafever awards? I'm thankful that she came out to meet her fans in New York.

Best Cinematography

The Prime Minister and I
A Clinic on the Sea
Isabel (Season 2)
The Master’s Sun
Shark
IRIS 2

WINNER: The Master’s Sun



The Master's Sun seems to appropriately win for this category. I haven't seen a lot of these dramas, but from the footage that I have seen so far for this drama, I think it's very creative and scary.

Best Drama

Heirs
Good Doctor
The Master’s Sun
You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin
Gu Family Book
Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo

WINNER: Heirs



Park Shin Hye's live acceptance speech for Heirs:



Why am I not surprised? As I have been mentioning, Heirs has been promoted by Dramafever like crazy since Dramafever is co-producing the drama. My favorite 2013 drama is Nine: Nine Time Travels with its many plot twists and turns but that drama isn't even nominated for an award. I didn't enjoy watching Heirs that much even though I watched every episode as it became available. The plot was going nowhere and the characters were very helpless and boring. Lastly, I had a hard time believing that this is what high school life is about. It's surreal.


After the ceremony awards was over, Park Shin Hye appeared on stage once again for an interview with Arden Cho. During the first part of the Q&A, Arden asked some general questions about Park Shin Hye's life as an actress. I honestly think Park Shin Hye can understand English because she reacted to Arden Cho's questions right away.


Then, we all watched an Heirs clip where Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sung were running away from some thugs in California. They also watched the sun set in Los Angeles. Arden Cho continued to ask questions afterwards.




Afterwards, some lucky fans get to come up on stage to personally ask Park Shin Hye a question. I'm not sure what happened, but all the fans who came up were female. I would have liked to see a male fan come up to ask a question. It was also funny that Park Shin Hye didn't know where Puerto Rico is located as one of her fans is from Puerto Rico. Park Shin Hye thought that Puerto Rico was part of Mexico. Each fan who came up on stage gets a unique gift from Park Shin Hye as well. Personally, I would have loved to receive the Heirs script book that Park Shin Hye gave to one of the fans.

Park Shin Hye ended up singing twice at the event. During the awards ceremony, Park Shin Hye came out to sing her song, "Story," from the drama, Heirs. I still have this song in my head now.


To conclude the event, after the Q&A session ended, Park Shin Hye sang "The Day We Fell In Love" from the Heartstrings soundtrack. I love both these songs from Park Shin Hye.


In between moments, I tried to go to the merchandise area to buy some Dramafever T-shirts, but nobody took action to help me and I couldn't identify the staff. When I finally identified staff members who wore badges around their necks, they were all helping other people and I couldn't wait because I didn't want to miss what was happening in the ballroom. Within this time, I overheard that if a customer buys two shirts, the customer would receive a poster for free.


I came back later on and wanted to buy couple T-shirts: one for my husband and one for me. I asked a staff member for a medium size T-shirt in men's size and he took forever to locate men's shirts. I stepped aside to watch the event while he looked for it, but he forgot about me afterwards. When I asked him again if he found the shirt, he said that he did and thought that I left when I was still standing relatively close by. Another female staff member rang me up and I gave her a credit card. I picked the Running Man poster as my free gift because it was all in rainbow and I love Running Man. What I didn't know was that the male staff member gave me two female shirts instead of one men and women's shirt. When I got home, my husband couldn't squeeze into his medium shirt and I was pretty upset and disappointed. I wonder if they even sold men's sizes in the first place. The shirts were $25 dollar each and if I had the physical receipt instead of the emailed receipt, I would have immediately saw the error of buying two women's shirts.

Dramafever Friends!


It's nice to meet my Dramafever pal, Adell, once again at a Dramafever event. I was actually standing behind her in line, but since it has been a long time since we've met, I kept wondering if she was Adell. Adell's English accent sounded familiar, but she didn't seem to recognize me so I wonder if I'd make a fool of myself if I assumed that she was Adell. Anyway, she was Adell! Adell went around taking pictures with all the VIPs. She had a lovely outfit on as well. Very dressy.


Even though my feet were swollen from standing more than three hours, I couldn't leave the Dramafever event without seeking my reviewing partner, Tanya from Hallyu Know, who recently attended the L.A. K-Pop Festival as a special Dramafever guest at the event. Tanya then introduced me to Martina and Gina, both who are also Dramafever writers. It's a Dramafever live drama club meetup! So exciting.

I'm sorry that I couldn't stick around longer to meet more people because my legs were killing me. I look for another opportunity to meet you all in the future! I honestly never saw an awards show where people stand around. I had to look over everyone's heads and I think Dramafever should have seats next time so that everyone can have a good view. I felt bad for those who paid seats to see the event because their views were obstructed by people who were standing. I heard some people who were up on the balcony complaining because they claimed that they couldn't see the stage very well. I'm also not a fan of the Highline Ballroom in general, but I wish Dramafever the best in growing the Dramafever awards into something even bigger every year.

To conclude the review, I now have two Dramafever T-shirts. I feel like I can play duel roles in a drama like Bride of a Century.

Smart Karen
Frazzled Karen