Kim Young-kwang and 2NE1’s Sandara Park will be starring in the upcoming Chinese-Korean web drama Dr. Mo Clinic, according to Star News.
Dr. Mo Clinic follows the story of a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist named Mo Ian, who specializes in helping his patients heal from painful memories of love. Throughout the web drama, Dr. Mo treats a woman named Lee So-dam, who seeks his counsel to help cope with her devastating breakup. In the process of treating her, the therapist finds himself healing from his own traumatic experiences.
Kim Young-kwang will play the titular role of Dr. Mo while Dara will portray the eccentric Lee So-dam. This is the first drama Dara has been cast as the female lead, according to YG Entertainment.
“I’m taking this as my first challenge in acting, so I want to steadily learn and grow as an actress, taking things one step at a time,” Dara said through an agency representative. “I think web dramas are a new genre with great merit because we can share our work online and meet fans overseas.”
She added, “I was intrigued by the character because she seemed so similar to me. Although I feel nervous and pressured, I want to work hard, focus and do my best.”
Dr. Mo Clinic is also generating buzz for being directed by Kwon Hyuk-chan, the director of the wildly popular series Secret Garden, A Gentleman’s Dignity, and The Master’s Sun.
Filming will commence in February. As a Chinese-Korean joint project, the web drama will be air simultaneously on Korea’s Naver TVCast and on China’s drama website Youku in March.
America has been a tough market for K-pop acts over the past decade, even with the success of “Gangnam Style” back in 2012. Leave it to the ladies of 2NE1 to “crush” that precedent.
Last week, Rolling Stone named 2NE1’s Crush, the quartet’s first full album since 2011, No. 6 on their list of Top 20 Pop Albums of 2014. Crush beat out some stiff competition, including Ed Sheeran’s X, Pharrell’s GIRL and Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour.
2NE1 was the only Asian artist to be featured on the list after Crush quickly jumped up to No. 61 on the Billboard 200 list after its release and became the highest-selling K-pop album ever in the U.S.
“The album itself was no stiff,” Rolling Stone wrote. “In fact, it’s a canny downshift from the wigged-out ‘I Am the Best’ maximalist mash-ups of the past.”
In particular, Rolling Stone praised Crush for “Happy” and “Good to You” while singling out “MTBD,” CL’s solo track that sparked some controversy for its use of Quran quotes.
2NE1 has had a busy year in America. Since releasing the album back in February, they’ve made appearances on The Bachelor and America’s Next Top Model. 2NE1 and their fellow YG labelmate Big Bang have been consistently among the most recognized Korean artists by Western media for the last few years. G-dragon and CL, for example, recently collaborated with Skrillex and Diplo’s track “Dirty Vibe.”
Back in March, the streets of Seoul were filled with excitement as Tyra Banks landed in South Korea to film a segment of Americas’s Next Top Model. We were even more excited when we discovered that ANTM chose popular K-pop group 2NE1 to make an appearance during the highly-anticipated fashion show for designer Lie Sang Bong.
A source revealed, “2NE1 was asked to be on the show because they are a representative K-Pop group and they are also well-known to be fashionistas.”
After 9 long months, the waiting is finally over. Americas’s Next Top Model aired its final episodes of Cycle 21 this past Friday. The segment included a photo shoot for GUESS at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, as well as Korean barbecue and even more Korean barbecue.
Most exciting of all, 2NE1 went to wish the the remaining contestants good luck before heading out to the runway to perform their popular song, “Crush.”
Check out the performance below as well as the behind-the-scenes footage of the girls interacting with the ANTM contestants.
YG Entertainment, the company that brought big names like Big Bang and 2NE1 to international audiences, is now taking on the cosmetic scene! Coming from one of the pioneers that put K-pop at the forefront of music, the line can only be appropriately called “Moonshot.”
The concept of Moonshot draws inspiration from Apollo 11’s successful landing on the moon in 1969, when a dream became reality. They line is intended for those who aim for the moon and for those who strive to be trendsetters — that’s quite apparent in the collection. The line’s bright, vivid colors boldly standout in comparison to the soft pastel colors that have been trending lately in South Korea.
Moonshot currently has their Flagship Store open in Seoul, but recently they released their online store. However, for those of us who can’t read Hangul, we’ll have to wait until Moonshot debuts their English website in January 2015. We can’t wait for Moonshot to start shipping internationally!
2NE1’s Dara becomes Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun’s girlfriend in a hilarious a comedy mini-series titled, “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?”
Produced by Be FUNNY Studios, the mini-series follows a fictionalized version of Yeun, who leaves his girlfriend Dara behind in L.A. and travels to South Korea in an attempt to break into the country’s acting industry. However, upon arrival, Yeun is coerced by his new manager to start his career in Korea’s most recent viral craze, Mokbang aka “broadcast eating.”
The skit series celebrates the launch of Be FUNNY Studios, a digital studio based in Seoul and L.A. The studio was created in a partnership with Funny or Die, CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and Korea’s largest PR firm PRAIN. According to Koreaboo, the studio will feature more collaborations between Hollywood and Hallyu celebrities, and all content will be available in English and various Asian languages.
This is not the first time Be FUNNY Studios has produced a Hollywood-Asia collaboration, Soompi reports. The studio had previously teamed up with Funny or Die to create a video featuring Anna Kendrick joining SM Entertainment’s girl group f(x) as well as a walk-off between singer Rita Ora and K-pop star HyunA.
You can watch all three episodes of “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?” here. To learn more about Be FUNNY Studios, follow them on Facebook and twitter.
K-pop’s “baddest female” and 2NE1’s leader CL is prepping for a U.S. solo debut with the help of Scooter Braun, the famous talent manager behind Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and CL’s label mate PSY.
According to Korean news outlet Star News, the female rapper has already completed recording various tracks for the album. YG Entertainment confirmed the news earlier today and announced that CL will be releasing a U.S. single in the spring of next year.
Braun reportedly met CL in April last year and noted her high market potential due to her rapping skills, fashion sense and English proficiency.
Since their 2009 debut, 2NE1 has been blazing a trail in the international music scene, topping charts and breaking records. According to Billboard, 2NE1’s most recent album Crush is the highest-charting K-pop album ever. The group was also the first female Korean act to hold solo concerts in American arenas.
In May 2013, CL debuted in Korea as a soloist with her song “The Baddest Female,” which achieved an all-kill on South Korea’s major music charts just three hours after its release and its music video reached over a million views in less than 24 hours.
CL has been steadily rising in popularity overseas as a Fashion Week Regular, thanks to her designer friend Jeremy Scott along with her appearance on Skrillex’s new album. Maybelline New York also signed a modeling and endorsement deal with the starlet earlier this year.
In an interview with Billboard last year, CL expressed her solo ambitions and said she would like to express a different side of her as a musician, apart from her image with 2NE1.
“I want to represent Asian women,” she said. “I want to break that typical Asian female stereotype. There’s this standard where they’re all calm. I want to break that. I want to tell the world that there are some badass Asian female girls.”
In a music video that’s already raked in more than 2 million views, Malaysian YouTube darling Joyce Chu sings about what it’s like when everyone assumes you’re Korean when you’re not.
The fresh-faced, ukelele-playing 17-year-old, who lives in Johor Bahru (often called JB) in southern Malaysia, bemoans getting hit on by Korean dudes (“I beg you, oppa, oppa, oppa, stop bothering me”) and the fact that people think she’s had plastic surgery (“I know you’re actually criticizing me about my face, nose chin, eyes and dimples”). She believes that “Korean dramas are fake so stop being crazy about [them].” Oh no, she did-n’t.
Chu does love kimchi and K-pop—she’s done covers of Crayon Pop and her “idol” 2NE1. She just wants to proclaim that she’s a “Malaysia Chabor” (woman)—and proud of it. Fair enough.
Prepare for War in 2015, Kim Jong-un Tells Officers Chosun Ilbo
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has mentioned the possibility of a war breaking out on the Korean peninsula in 2015, it was revealed Tuesday. According to a source, Kim told military commanders earlier this year that an “armed confrontation could take place on the Korean peninsula in 2015″ and ordered them to stock up on strategic supplies and remain combat ready.
The comments were made at about the same time that Kim spoke about improving relations with South Korea during his New Year’s address.
At a loyalty rally in Pyongyang on Feb. 25, Kim also spoke about an “all-out war with the enemy in the name of revolution and final victory.” Last year, Kim told key officials his aim of “reunification through force within three years.”
North Korea demonstrated its ballistic missile capabilities by launching two midrange missiles on Wednesday, after the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea gathered in the Netherlands to discuss the North’s nuclear threats.
In North Korea’s first tests of midrange projectiles in nearly five years, two Rodong missiles blasted off from mobile launching vehicles from Sukchon, north of Pyongyang, early Wednesday and flew 403 miles before landing in the sea between North Korea and Japan, said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman of the South Korean Defense Ministry.
“By launching them from mobile vehicles which are difficult to monitor and allow North Korea to fire missiles from anywhere it wanted, the country appeared to show off its ability to attempt a surprise attack,” Mr. Kim said. “This is a serious provocation against South Korea and the international community.”
North Korea marked the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan by repeating its assertion that it wasn’t involved in the incident and demanding Seoul lift related sanctions.
North Korea said Wednesday that South Korea was “beating the worn-out drum of escalating confrontation” with the issue and was hindering the improvement of bilateral ties.
The comments came hours after North Korea launched two mid-range ballistic missiles into the sea east of the Korean peninsula.
On March 26, 2010, the Cheonan was sunk in the Yellow Sea near the inter-Korean maritime border, leaving 40 dead and six missing, who are presumed dead.
For South Koreans, Ahn Jung-geun is a “national hero” – the independence activist who in 1909 assassinated the Japanese colonial governor of Korea. He struck at the embodiment of a hated imperial power and sacrificed his life for national independence.
To the Japanese, he is a criminal, the man who killed a seminal figure in their nation’s history, a leading light in the modernization of Japan, a four-time prime minister who ensured Japan’s survival in a hostile world.
Those views reflect the opposing historical perspectives that are deeply tied to Japan’s and South Korea’s national identities – and that stand in the way of a needed warming of ties. As two key democratic powers and US allies in an increasingly tense region, their rapprochement would shore up neighborhood stability and present a united front to an assertive China and unstable North Korea. A new kind of statesmanship is required to heal such entrenched divisions.
Wartime Sex Slaves Ask Abe to See Scars to Prove Japan Abuse Bloomberg
Yi Ok Seon, an 86-year-old survivor of Japan’s wartime use of sex slaves, rolled up her trouser cuff to reveal the scar that she said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should come to South Korea to see.
“I still remember vividly what they did to me,” says Yi, describing how military police slashed her right foot after she tried to escape from an Imperial Army brothel.
Yi, one of a handful of former “comfort women” residing at a shelter near Seoul, says she was abducted in 1942 at age 18 in the southeastern city of Ulsan while running an errand. “Beatings would follow if I resisted the rape,” she said. “I was helpless. When I look at my scars now, I am reminded how lucky I am to have survived those years.”
State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested on public corruption charges Wednesday morning in a federal investigation that also targeted Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a notorious former San Francisco gangster, officials said.
The arrest of Yee, who represents San Francisco and a part of San Mateo County and is a candidate for California Secretary of State, came amid searches of his office in Sacramento and his home in San Francisco.
Sources told The Chronicle that the predawn, multiagency raids involving hundreds of federal agents and local cops stemmed from a fatal shooting about five years ago.
FBI spokesman Peter Lee in San Francisco confirmed that Yee and Chow had been arrested. Both are to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon.
A fire that destroyed a Mountain View home this month was set by teenagers that had been hosting parties in the unoccupied house for several weekends, Mountain View police said Tuesday.
Twelve juveniles and two 18-year-old men were arrested on various charges of arson, burglary, car theft, drug possession and drug sale, according to police.
More arrests, investigators said, are expected.
Downtown New Haven deli shut over alleged wage violations New Haven Register (Connecticut)
A downtown deli was shut down Tuesday by the state Department of Labor after an investigation found alleged wage violations by its owners.
The Labor Department said two people worked at J&B Deli Grocery, 1147 Chapel St., for about 60 hours a week without being paid at least minimum wage or overtime.
The business is operated by John and Cheong Rhee of Hamden. A stop-work order was posted on the store’s door.
The department alleged in a press release that the deli owners were paying workers in cash, were not keeping required payroll records, failed to make legal deductions and could not show proof of carrying workers’ compensation coverage, which is required in Connecticut.
U.S. Warns Seoul Of Exporters’ Concerns About Free Trade Deal — The Ball’s In South Korea’s Court Forbes.com
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, a Korean-American who visited North Korea 13 times for negotiations before his current appointment, likes to warm up relations with influential South Koreans over games of tennis on the spacious grounds of the ambassadorial residence.
It was on one such occasion that he and Korea’s finance minister, Hyun Oh-seok, talked over grave problems surrounding the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 2012 after several years of arduous talks that showed deep, enduring problems on both sides.
Hyun didn’t reveal the outcome of the tennis game but did say he and Sung Kim had “met frequently” to try and arrive at “an effective outcome” to troubles over KORUS. “It may be a natural force to have issues over trade,” he said in response to my question after he gave a luncheon speech at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club on March 25 that omitted any mention of trade problems.
2NE1 to Appear On “America’s Next Top Model” soompi
Exciting news! The fabulous ladies of 2NE1 will be appearing on the final stage of the American reality survival program “America’s Next Top Model” season 21.
“America’s Next Top Model” is filming in Korea for Seoul’s fashion week, and according to broadcast and fashion industry sources, 2NE1 will be appearing on the final stage of the show’s activities in Korea. The final fashion show of the program will take place on April 2 at Banpo, and 2NE1 will be guests at that show. One source sated, “2NE1 was asked to be on the show because they are a representative K-Pop group and they are also well-known to be fashionistas.”
Don’t diss “Banshee” star Hoon Lee on Twitter, even if you’re just kidding.
Lee had tweeted about an upcoming guest appearance on an episode of “The Black List” and I replied, tongue in cheek, “You’ve been on my black list for years.” I was rewarded with a fan of Lee’s telling me to “Back the fuck up!”
After I assured the tweeter that I was only kidding and that I was writing a profile about him, she gushed, “Mr.Lee is an awesome actor! He takes you into the heart of the character.” She added, “and he’s CUTE as hell!” Others had similar thoughts.
After watching two seasons of Cinemax’s hit show “Banshee,” it’s easy to see why Lee has so many fans. Apart from his ample acting chops, Lee is the most imposing Asian male presence ever in an American series. The man is as muscular as an action figure and can hold the menacing gaze of a panther. Lee’s cut enough to go shirtless, but for “Banshee” he takes it to another level: He squeezes into tight skirts. Job, Lee’s character (pronounced the biblical way), is a cross-dressing hair stylist and genius computer hacker who snaps lines like, “Suck my tit!”
A documentary meant to dissuade at-risk teens from buying into the false gang life promises of quick cash and eternal loyalty premiered last week at the Edwards Stadium Theater in Santa Maria to a packed house of lawyers, judges, teachers, and city councilmembers, along with community leaders, area residents, and nonprofit groups. The 40-minute film, titled Life Facing Bars, was commissioned by the Santa Maria Police Department and created by Matt Yoon, a 2013 Cal Poly journalism graduate. It’s been uploaded to YouTube, and had attracted more than 25,000 views as of Monday afternoon.
Yoon said he was producing videos for his church last year when he was approached by Lieutenant Daniel Cohen. Interested in the prospect of interviewing ex-gang members — and needing to complete a senior project for his major — Yoon agreed to join forces for the unique crime-prevention venture and was soon headed to Kern Valley State Prison and Santa Barbara County Jail for notably unrestricted access to the facilities and their inmates.
LG Electronics has released fresh photographs of the G Watch, in an effort to sustain interest in the device that it hopes will help it make inroads into the steadily expanding market for smartwatches.
The South Korean smartphone maker is co-developing the smartwatch with Google and has said earlier that it expects to launch the device in the second quarter of this year. Google also has another smartwatch in the works dubbed the Moto 360.
While both LG and Google hope their smartwatches will be better than earlier offerings, it remains in question whether the G Watch will have a much bigger appeal than existing devices such as Samsung’s Gear watch and Sony Smartwatch, as it will function as an accessory to smartphones rather than as an independent product.