Monday, April 13, 2015

Korean television invasion

Today's NPR's Planet Money hit close to home.  They talked about K-pop, Korean hip-hop, that is getting more and more popular.  At our house Emily hasn't been listening to K-pop, thank goodness, but she has been entranced by Korean television shows.  It started when she and I were on Netflix looking at international television shows.  I mocked the Korean dramas because they recycled the same plots over and over.  In three shows in a row, a girl decides to dress as a boy and either attend a boy's only school, join a boy band, or whatever.  Hijinks ensue as she falls in love with one of the boys and the boy falls in love with her, although he doesn't usually know she is a girl at the time.

To the Beautiful You

Can you find which character is a girl? This was the first show that Emily started
watching. The main character is a girl that enters a boy's school to help motivate an Olympic high jumper.  Somehow no one on the show ever guesses till the very end.  I must admit though the characters are very likeable and the plots are funny.  Even funnier is listening to Emily laugh, groan, sigh, moan, and burst out with the show.

You Are Beautiful

The girl has to impersonate her brother who has won a spot on a K-pop band.  She falls in love with the guy in a tie.  Apparently it was good.  That is what I am told.

Kpop Extreme Survival

Larger band.  She just wants to be in the band.  Her uncle knows but most of the band does not?  I couldn't sit through this one, but Emily and Leila watched every minute.

So if you are hunting through Netflix and looking for something that is kind of soap opera lite with mistaken identities, girls that dress like boys, and fancy prep schools, Korean television has what you are looking for.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

NYU Abu Dhabi

I stayed with our close friends at NYU's Abu Dhabi campus. 
I went to a piano recital on campus and tried to pay attention to key landmarks so that I could make it back without getting lost. 
The pianist was superb, but the music was difficult to connect with. Modern sometimes means really weird   

I got so lost on the way home. All of my landmarks I watched for repeat throughout the campus. 
It is a beautiful campus, but seems like it was designed by MC Escher with stairs everywhere that look identical. The balcony levels seems like the ground floor because it is all beautifully landscaped with olive trees, grass, bushes, and flowers. 
There is even a patch of sugar cane on the upper level. Each of the buildings has an atrium that opens up to the upper landscaped balcony.