‘My Love From the Star’ Sweeps Drama Awards

The chemistry between Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun in My Love From the Star’ helped the top-rated series

Was anyone really surprised that Kim Soo Hyun and “My Love From the Star” swept the top prizes at the 2014 Korea Drama Awards yesterday? It seems long after the drama ended at the end of February, Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun continue to ride high on the waves of popularity from their iconic roles in the series. But the fact that Kim Soo Hyun beat out the revered Lee Min Ho from “Heirs for the top prize may prove that there is a new Korean royalty on the rise! Were you surprised by any of the other winners?

Grand Prize (Daesang) — Kim Soo Hyun for ‘My Love From the Star

Best Drama — My Love From the Star

Best Actor — Jaejoong for ‘Triangle

Best Actress — Oh Yeon Seo of ‘Jang Bo Ri Is Here

Best Couple — Kim Sung Kyun and Dohee from ‘Reply 1994

Congratulations to the following additional winners:
The Korea Drama awards is an annual celebration of excellence in television that was established by the Korea Drama Festival in 2007 and held every October. The eligibility period is from October of the previous year to September prior to the October broadcast and nominees are gathered from the three major broadcast networks (SBS, MBC and KBS) as well as cable channels.

The 2014 Korea Drama Awards, hosted by Kang So Ra and Oh Sang Jin, were held on October 1 at the Gyeongnam Culture & Arts Center in Jinju, located in the South Gyeongsang Province of Korea.

Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC.

Meet Evan, Viki's New Social Media Manager

Hiking recently in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania
Hey, everyone! My name is Evan (evan), and I’m the new Social Media Manager here at Viki. I’ll be talking to fans on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media outlets, as well as here on the blog!

I’ve been a huge fan of international media culture and entertainment all my life, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity. I have so many fond memories from childhood of staying up late to watch kung fu movies with my grandfather. And now, thanks to Viki, I can revisit some of these old classics like “Hands of Death” and “The Story of Chinese Gods,” as well as stay current with shows like “Fated to Love You,” “Love Cheque Charge” and “Cunning Single Lady.”

Already, I’ve been really blown away by the incredible passion and activity of this community. I can’t wait to join you to grow it and continue to spread our favorite TV shows and movies to all corners of the globe! Please feel free to send me a message to talk about upcoming shows, trends, breaking news, or just about anything else. I’d love to hear from you!

Girls’ Generation Drops Jessica Amidst Social Media Frenzy

Jessica’s celebrity skyrocketed after starring in 2012’s ‘Wild Romance 

The world of K-pop girl groups was shattered just a little in the past 24 hours when it was announced that Jessica has been dropped from Girls’ Generation following several hours of social media frenzy.

It all started yesterday morning when Jessica, one of Girls’ Generation’s nine members — but possibly the most high-profile — posted on Weibo, a Twitter-like service based in China:
“I was excited about our upcoming fan events only to shockingly be informed by my company and 8 others that as of today, I’m no longer a member. I’m devastated — my priority and love is to serve as a member of GG, but for no justifiable reason, I am being forced out.” 

Initial speculation centered around whether Jessica’s Weibo account had been hacked. But several hours later, SM Entertainment released an official statement that confirmed that Jessica will no longer be a part of Girls’ Generation moving forward. It also provided additional information about her departure that disputed Jessica’s self-depiction as “being forced out” of the group.

In the statement, SM Entertainment claims that Jessica informed the agency last spring that she intended to end her involvement with Girls’ Generation after one more album to pursue other personal projects. She then started her fashion label, Blanc Group, supposedly without securing the agency’s approval. When negotiations broke down between the agency and Jessica over “differences in priorities and interest,” the agency said it had “no choice but to pull up Girls’ Generation’s activities as 8 members earlier than planned.” But while they were discussing how best to announce the news, the statement said Jessica jumped the gun and “posted her words early this morning.”

The statement also said that Jessica is still under contract with SM Entertainment, and the agency will continue to support her “individual activities.”

The news is so momentous for K-pop that even The Wall Street Journal covered the news with the headline “K-Pop Earthquake: Girls’ Generation Member Jessica Jung Ousted.”

The iconic K-pop girl group will continue with only 8 members
Girls’ Generation was first formed by SM Entertainment in 2007 and is now considered one of the most popular and recognized K-pop girl groups. With Jessica’s departure, the remaining eight members are Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun.

Born in San Francisco, California, Jessica and her famous sister, Krystal of f(x) — who is currently starring in the popular drama “She’s So Lovable” with Rain — were both scouted by SM Entertainment in a mall while on vacation in South Korea at the age of 11. After seven years of training, Jessica was chosen to be a member of Girls’ Generation. Since then, Jessica has released several solo songs and branched out into modeling and acting — most notably in the musical theater production of “Legally Blonde” and in the popular 2012 K-drama “Wild Romance.” Earlier this year, Jessica and Krystal starred in their own reality show that followed the famous siblings in their daily, glamorous lives.

It also has been widely reported that Jessica plans to wed Tyler Kwon, a man she has been rumored to be dating for many years. Kwon is chairman and CEO of Coridel Group in New York.

Meet Arif — New to the Viki Community Team

Random women always ask me to take photos with them,
as was the case here in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2012!

Hi, everyone! My name is Arif (arif), and I’m a new Community Team member at Viki. I was born in the United States but from moving around and having family from across the globe, I’ve become a fan of everything from Bollywood to Anime. As a language student (I speak English, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish and French) and a TV fanatic, I’m excited to be working with Viki’s incredible subtitling community.

Some of the shows I’m watching right now are “You’re All Surrounded,” “The World of Narue” and “Black Jack,” but I could definitely use suggestions on what to watch next! I would love to get to know everyone, so please feel free to message me!

How Well Do You Know These Stars Born in September?

September is such a popular month that we had to group all our favorite celebrities together to wish one big “Happy Birthday”! Did you know that the following stars all have September birthdays?

If you’re born in this month, then your zodiac sign is either Virgo or Libra. People born from September 1 to 22 are Virgo, a sign known for being understanding, caring and compassionate. Those born from September 23 to 30 are Libra, a sign identified as being organized and peaceful. 

Check out which stars are born in September below and see if they’re a Virgo or Libra!

September 5 — Mandy Wei, Cyndi Wang and B1A4’s Baro

Mandy Wei only debuted five years ago, but her rise in the industry has been fast! She’s currently starring as the lead actress in “I Do 2.” Her past drama appearances include “Deja Vu” and “Love, Now.”

Cyndi Wang started out as a singer after signing with Avex Taiwan in 2003. She successfully branched out into acting with roles in “Second Life,” “Heaven’s Wedding Gown” and “Smiling Pasta.”

Baro is B1A4’s rapping cutie, but lately he’s received critical acclaim for his acting in “God’s Gift – 14 Days” and “Reply 1994.” Fun fact: While still a trainee, Baro asked TVXQ’s Yunho for an autograph and the message said, “Let’s meet on stage in the future!” Two years later, Baro met Yunho on his debut day and Yunho remembered him. How awesome, right?

September 9 — Jung Il Woo

Even with his military enlistment planned for next year (we’re sad to see him leave!), Jung Il Woo is busy doing as many projects as possible until then. He currently stars in the thrilling historical action drama “The Night Watchman.” As he gets older, his acting also has become more mature and we hope the experience of military service will add more depth to his future roles! Which of his dramas have you enjoyed watching the most — “Golden Rainbow,” “The Moon Embracing the Sun” or “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop”?

September 11 – Leroy Young

With his ‘The Way We Were’ co-star Ruby Lin
Leroy Young can speak English? Yes! He graduated with a degree in information systems from the University of California at Irvine. He’s definitely easy on the eyes with a perfect smile complimented by hot dimples, but he can actually act, too! See his acting skills put to the test in “The Way We Were,” “Two Fathers,” “Love Forward,” and “Marry Me.”

September 16 — Amy Poehler and Lee Jin Wook

Amy Poehler is respected for her comedic chops and memorable sayings. One of her life quotes is “Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.” Well, enough with the seriousness — keep the laughs coming by catching her in “Parks and Recreation Season 1” and “Season 2”!

Lee Jin Wook got his start as a print model for Panasonic in 2003 before transitioning into acting the following year. He’s best known for his leading role in “Nine: 9 Times Time Travel,” which had the same writer and director as “The Three Musketeers.” Fun fact: Lee Jin Wook recently broke up with Gong Hyo Jin (from “It’s Okay, That’s Love”) after dating since May!

September 19 — Saki Fukuda and David Zepeda

Saki Fukuda is a veteran actress with 10 years in the industry, but she’s only turning 24! In her young career, she’s already received a Japan Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Watch Saki in “The Tragedy of W” and judge for yourself how well her acting has developed over the years.

Can you believe hunky telenovela actor David Zepeda is turning 41? We think the native Mexican doesn’t look a day over 30. If you’re looking for more skin, see David in “Trapped”!

September 25 — Hyun Bin

We couldn’t possibly leave out Hyun Bin! The Korean actor is known worldwide for his leading roles in such popular dramas as “My Name Is Kim Sam Soon,” “Secret Garden” and “Worlds Within.” His relationship with Song Hye Gyo didn’t work out, so he’s still on the market, ladies! 

Let’s wish a big Happy Birthday to all these September babies!

Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC. 

10 Must-Watch Dramas/Movies This Fall

Get excited — the seasons are changing and great new TV shows and movies are coming to the fall lineup. We know you’re all busy people (who isn’t, right?), so we’re making it really easy to help you figure out what you should watch next!

G-Dragon can’t wait for these new dramas, too!

Follow our list of 10 dramas and movies you should see this fall. With the weather turning colder, it’s the perfect time to snuggle under a warm blanket and have a video marathon of new fall shows and popular past shows!

If you liked George Hu in “Love Around, watch him in “Love Cheque Charge.

George Hu is switching it up this time by starring opposite newbie actress Yuan Ai Fei instead of Annie Chen. Would you ever promise to marry a stranger just to stop her from crying after a break-up? If he looks like George Hu, then yes, please!

If you liked Puff Guo in “Just You,” watch her in “Love Myself or You.

Puff Guo is on a roll after her first role in “Inborn Pair.” The in-trend Taiwanese actress is so great at portraying realistic on-screen chemistry that it doesn’t matter who her partner is — including Aaron Yan in “Just You” and Jasper Liu in “Love Myself or You.”

If you liked Lee Dong Wook in “Hotel King, watch him in “Iron Man.

Lee Dong Wook isn’t taking any break — immediately following up his role in “Hotel King” with “Iron Man.” We don’t mind seeing more of his handsome face and charismatic acting skills. See what happens in this supernatural action drama!

If you liked Mario Maurer in “The Dog, watch him in “To Each a Flower.

Thai-Chinese-German actor Mario Maurer started his career as a model at the young age of 16 and has slowly made a name for himself, mostly in films with a few dramas here and there. He even won “Best Film Actor” at the Top Awards 2010 ceremony. Check out what all the buzz is about now!

If you liked the music in “Rock ‘n’ Road,” watch “She’s So Lovable.

Just as the storyline in “Rock ‘n’ Road” was about a music producer who gets back on his feet after hard times, Rain’s comeback on the small screen explores the same theme. However, you may be more interested in watching his hot idol co-stars Krystal from f(x) or L and Hoya from Infinite!

If you liked “Mischievous Kiss: Love in TOKYO,” watch “Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in TOKYO.

This series starring Miki Honoka and Yuki Furukawa is the fifth drama adaptation of the original Japanese manga, “Itazura Na Kiss.” A special episode was recently released following the newlywed couple on their honeymoon in Okinawa, Japan. Get excited for the second season premiering later this year!

If you liked the Korean version of “Fated to Love You,” watch the original Taiwanese “Fated to Love You.” 

Sparks were flying for the Jang duo (Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra who played Gun and Mi Young, respectively) in the Korean version of “Fated to Love You.” If you liked the just-ended series as much as we did, you should see how it all started with the original Taiwanese drama!

If you liked the history in “A Tree With Deep Roots,” watch “Secret Door.

Han Suk Kyu stars in another historical drama with “Secret Door.” We do admit that the look does suit him well! Watch as the truth unfolds behind the mysterious death of Crown Prince Sado (played by Lee Je Hoon), which was ordered by his father, King Yeong Jo (played by Han Suk Kyu).

If you liked Marlene Favela in “Wild Cat,” watch her in “Passion of the Heart.

Marlene Favela is a telenovela queen as a veteran actress with 15 years of experience. In “Passion of the Heart,” will she be able to open up to love after being emotionally scarred from a past relationship?

If you like high school shows like Hi! School: Love On, watch “Sixteen.

High school can be a confusing time as everyone tries to figure out their identity. If you’ve been watching Woo Hyun (from K-pop boy group Infinite) in “Hi! School: Love On,” we think you’ll enjoy one of our new Bollywood films, “Sixteen”! It has all the things you want — tension, romance and comedy.   

Which show are you most looking forward to watching? Tell us in the comments!

Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC. 

Learn These 6 Phrases to Help You Survive in Japan!

While watching your favorite drama, have you ever wished you could travel to the same places? Well, here is your chance to travel along with the popular recent drama “It’s Okay, That’s Love”!

In Episode 8 of “It’s Okay, That’s Love,” Hae Soo (played by Gong Hyo Jin) and Jae Yeol (played by Jo In Sung) make a last-minute decision to go to Okinawa, Japan, for the weekend. Luckily, they could use English most of the time, but wouldn’t knowing some helpful phrases in Japanese have been much easier? We think so!

Here are six Japanese phrases that will help you to survive in Okinawa — or any other part of Japan — on your next trip there.

How to Say Hello

“Hello, good morning.”
“Hello” – こんにちは (Kon-ni-chi-wa)
“Good morning” – おはようございます (O-ha-yo go-zai-masu)

This is the standard greeting that is always a great way to start the day. The words are different in every language, but the meaning stays the same. Say it with a smile, and you’ll get one in return!

How to Get a Room

“Excuse me, I was wondering if you have any other rooms. Two rooms please.”
“Excuse me” – すみません (Su-mi-ma sen)
“I was wondering if you have any other rooms” – 他の 部屋 は ありますか (Ho-ka-no he-ya wa ari-masu-ka)
“Two rooms” – 2部屋 (Fu-ta he-ya)
“Please” –  お願いします (O-ne-gai shi-masu)

Upon arrival at the hotel in Okinawa, Hae Soo discovers that Jae Yeol only booked one overly luxurious room. She asks the staff if there is another available, which starts their long search in both the same hotel and at other places for a room fitting her much lower budget. She won’t rest until they’re in two separate rooms at a reasonable price!

How to Pick Up a Guy/Girl

“You’re just my style.”
“You are” – なたは (Ana-ta-wa)
“My” – 私の (Wa-ta-shi no)
“Type” – タイプです (Type de-su)

Note: In this case, it is more common to say “type” instead of “style” in Japanese

Jae Yeol and Hae Soo are the perfect match as they both admit to being each other’s style, or type. They’ve both never met someone quite like the other. Jae Yeol even confesses his love!

Check out their hot makeout session at the beach below!

How to Ask for the Bill

“Excuse me, bill please.”
“Excuse me” – すみません (Su-mi-ma sen)
“Bill” – 会計 を (Kai-kei wo)
“Please” – お願いします (O-ne-gai shi-masu)

Hae Soo is concerned about paying for everything equally with Jae Yeol during their trip. Before the check comes for their meal, she asks the waiter for “dutch pay,” which means splitting the bill in half.

How to Respond to Someone Waiting for You

“Okay, I’ll be right down. Thank you.”
“Okay” – わかりました (Wa-ka-ri mash-i-ta)
“I’ll be right down” – 今 うかがいます (Ima uka-gai-masu)
“Thank you” – ありがとう ございます(A-ri-ga-tou go-zai masu)

Hae Soo calls the hotel staff about the availability of another room. She learns there is one and responds that she’ll be downstairs right away in order to get the key. Little does she know that the room is still a little too grand for her liking.

How to Ask the Price of Something

“Is it really 24,000 yen?”
“Is it” – それは (So-re-wa)
“Really” – 本当に (Hon-to-ni)
“24,000 yen” – 24,000円 ですか (Ni-man yon sen en desu ka)

The happy couple enjoy a fun date and end up painting little lion dogs called Shisha. Hae Soo is starting to loosen up, but we suspect she’s still shocked after learning how much the hotel room originally booked by Jae Yeol cost – for that amount, we would be, too!

Note: $1 USD = 109 yen; 24,000 yen = $221 USD

Which Japanese phrase do you think is most useful? Tell us and share other helpful phrases that you think we should know in the comments below!

Remember to keep the conversation going in the Language Learning category of Discussions! Check out interesting topics, such as Basic words or sentences in your language, Local food and drinks, and Words and phrases learned from watching dramas.

Also, if you haven’t participated in our language-learning challenges before, you can catch up and start earning points towards cool gifts:

Language-Learning Challenge #1: True or False
Language-Learning Challenge #2: One Liners
Language-Learning Challenge #3: Round-Up Quiz
Language-Learning Challenge #4: Combined True or False

Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC.