The Great Big Amazing World of Podcast

Not wanting to go back into the same routine of listening to music all day long, I started to search for things to listen to while I’m at work. I needed things to perk me up so I decided to listen to episodes of Ghost Adventures on YouTube. While it was pretty entertaining audio wise, I did find myself wanting to see the reactions whenever Zak Bagans exclaims loudly. So needless to say, the idea of enjoying a television show through audio mode wasn’t going to work out.

Hence, my Google skills were put to the test and I digitally stumbled upon lists of mystery and paranormal podcasts to try out. While I had come across my fair share of podcasts before, it would have been the first time I was listening to those of the paranormal genre. It was daunting to try them all out but I narrowed them down to a handful to try; which surprisingly turned out to be my favorites so far!

1. And That’s Why We Drink

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Genre: Paranormal & True Crime
Hosted by: Christine Schiefer & Em Schulz
Duration: Approximately 60 to 80 minutes
Episodes come out weekly.

Listen – this is by far my favorite podcast that I’ve kept up-to-date with. These two girls are a lot of fun! They not only dish out facts but they lighten the mood while they’re at it. Every episode is like having a get-together with the friends as they chat about life, true crime and the paranormal. Each hosts’ reaction to one another’s story is genuine and relatable. There is absolutely no pretense to their camaraderie; which makes the entire podcast a pleasant experience for the listener. Alongside their weekly episodes, they’ve also got a Listeners’ Episode where they share interesting paranormal and true crime stories from their listeners.

Aside from the content, structure and hosts of the show, it is an additional plus point for me that they often coo about Christine’s dog, Gio. As someone who treats her dog like a brother, it is validating to hear someone else talk about their dog the same way.

Find them here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site
To support them, visit here.

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphonesheadphonesheadphones

2. Darkest Night

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Genre: Drama & Horror
Narrated by: Lee Pace
Voice Cast includes: Denis O’Hare, Maynard James Keenan, Missi Pyle, RuPaul, Michelle Visage and Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman
Duration: Approximately 25 to 35 minutes
All episodes are out.

This isn’t your ordinary podcast. This is an audio drama with a pretty star-studded cast. The main plot of the audio drama centers around a research lab and its memory-recall program for the dead called Project Cyclops. Each episode opens with two doctors uncovering the last memories of a deceased that is delivered to the lab for the day. While the episodes can be enjoyed as a standalone, they do all tie back to an eventual reveal which is cleverly weaved together.

I like that each episode doesn’t hold back on the gore factor. Even though I can’t witness it visually, the sound of a machete going into somebody’s head is so vividly clear that I could picture the imagery in my mind.

Unfortunately, Darkest Night has gone on an indefinite hiatus since the end of Season 2 in July 2017. Till then, there are still 20 good episodes to binge on!

Find them here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphonesheadphoneshalfheadphones

3. Deadly Manners

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Genre: Drama & Mystery
Narrated by: LeVar Burton
Voice Cast includes: Kristen Bell, Denis O’Hare, Alisha Boe, Michelle Visage, Jason Sklar, Mark Berry, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Timothy Simons, Anna Chlumsky, Alona Tal, David Cummings, RuPaul, Marlene Forte
Duration: Approximately 25 to 35 minutes
All episodes are out.

This is another audio drama in a whodunnit format that makes the listener guess who the killer is. Voiced by yet another star-studded cast, every episode has the nuances of an old radio drama as they lead the listener through a seemingly innocent dinner party that went horribly wrong. Guests start dropping like flies and there’s absolutely no way of guessing who the killer is until the very end.

Trust me when I say it really is like a murder-mystery experience for the ears. Each episode transports the listener into the dining room where the hunt for the killer begins. While I had enjoyed the show immensely, the final reveal left me a little unsatisfied as I had expected more simple reasons for the murder.

Deadly Manners just ended their first season so that might be a bit of a wait till season 2. Till then, there’s 10 episodes to listen to with no cliffhangers!

Find them here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphoneshalfheadphones

4. Jim Harold’s Campfire

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Genre: Paranormal
Hosted by: Jim Harold
Duration: Approximately 60 to 65 minutes
Episodes come out weekly.

As you’ve noticed, I enjoy my fair share of paranormal stories so, this podcast is right up my alley. Every episode is made with paranormal stories from listeners who call in to the show. It pretty much seems like a gathering round the campfire without the Smores. I particularly like this format as it creates new content for me to listen to each week with no repetition (unless it’s a special). Jim does a great job of hosting though sometimes he does interject the callers mid-sentence, which gets a little annoying.

Jim Harold’s Campfire currently has only the recent handful of episodes free. The past episodes are only available to members of the Paranormal Plus Club for a fee.

Find the free episodes here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site
To be a Paranormal Plus Club member, click here.

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphoneshalfheadphones

5. Anything Ghost Show

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Genre: Paranormal
Hosted by: Lex Wahl
Duration: Approximately 60 to 80 minutes
Episodes come out monthly.

This is another paranormal podcast that I tried out after reading a number of good reviews. Similar in part to Jim Harold’s Campfire, every episode is made with paranormal stories sent in from listeners. While listeners are given the option to do their own recording for submission; about 90% of the time, Lex does the narration of the stories instead of the listeners themselves. Each episode also has a music interlude arranged by Lex himself, which acts as a break. I favor this show a little more than Jim Harold’s Campfire but I do occasionally get annoyed with some of the episodes where the story doesn’t seem to end properly and it just goes straight to the music break.

Anything Ghost Show currently has only the recent handful of episodes free. The past episodes are only available to members of the VIP Ghroup for a fee.

Find the free episodes here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site
To be a VIP Ghroup member, click here.

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphonesheadphones

6. Lore

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Genre: Mystery & Paranormal
Hosted by: Aaron Mahnke
Duration: 20 to 30 minutes
Episodes come out bi-weekly.

This is a pretty interesting podcast. Void of any fancy audio magic, each episode consists of only the narrator and music accompaniment as he tells well-researched tales befitting the topic or theme. Although it may sound a little boring, I liken each episode to a Haunted Mansion ride. Slow and steady with plenty of frights in between.

Lore has also been adapted for the small screen by the producer of The Walking Dead and is available for stream on Amazon Prime Video. Aaron Mahnke has also published The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures & Wicked Mortals; an illustrated collection of stories heard from his podcast.

Find the podcast here: Stitcher / iTunes / Official Site
To stream Lore Season 1, click here.
To purchase The World of Lore, click here.
To support Lore, click here.

Rating: headphonesheadphonesheadphonesheadphoneshalfheadphones

I’m currently trying out two other podcasts (and might add them to the list):
(a) Homecoming – An audio drama with Oscar Issac, Kathryn Hahn and David Schwimmer.
(b) Haunted Places – A bi-weekly paranormal podcast about different haunted places all over the world.

Try these podcasts out and let me know what you think! Feel free to leave me any podcast recommendations too – I’m all ears! 🙂

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Becoming Hulk for 30 Minutes with No Consequence

Everyone has a limit when it comes to dealing with people. But what do we do when it hits a maximum?

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I, for one, would internalize this rage, cussing under my breath while mentally punching the person in the face.

That was until my sister introduced The Fragment Room to me; Singapore’s very first rage room where you can let loose; smashing and throwing things to your delight.

After having hit the maximum on my tolerance quota, I hurriedly made a reservation with The Fragment Room. While I had wished I could head to the rage room immediately, I was still stuck at work and prior commitments had me holding onto the rage within me till Sunday.

Sunday eventually rolled round and I was psyched for the first trip to my smash-a-thon.

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Once the administrative stuff got sorted at the reception area, it was time to suit up. While the original idea was to wear the covered shoes I had on, that ship sailed when I realized that I was accident-prone. So, my crew and I spent an additional $1.50 to rent the room’s heavy duty shoes to keep our precious toes intact.

The end result of the pre-rage room prep is a well-protected me. (Don’t worry – The Fragment Room will provide you with all the gear you need to keep safe.)

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I’d have to say that upon entry into the room, it was intimidating. Glass shards littered the floor and bent-in baseball bats lined up against the wall. A huge mountain of glass took up one-third of the room and the walls were stripped of paint. It was reminiscent of an abandoned building which definitely added to the atmosphere but made me clam up for a bit. I suddenly lost all my rage and was wondering what the heck I signed up for.

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The friendly staff went through the room rules with us in a short 2 to 3 minutes before leaving to the shelter of the reception. Each participant was entitled to one crate of breakables which largely consisted of beer bottles and several fine china. And, since there were 3 of us, we had 3 crates.

To get us amped up, we played Taylor Swift’s Reputation using the speakers provided in the room. It surprisingly sets the mood for the room.

My mom was a little hesistant to start thrashing the place so we had to coax her into it. Soon, she had a dish in her hand and was smashing the tiny dishes like it was nobody’s business. While it was all fun and games with the small stuff, I wanted to smash something with the baseball bat.

Mi familia left the room, leaving me, the baseball bat and a glass bottle alone.

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With Look What You Made Me Do playing in the background, I swung with confidence… and basically sent the glass bottle on a free ride. My aiming was so off, the entire bottle just flew off the pedestal.

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Yes, embarrassing.

Nonetheless, I tried it again; this time the bat and the bottle collided satisfyingly!

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We all took turns with the baseball bat; smashing bottles and other big glass pieces that were not broken up into bits. During the process of picking up ’em glass, the accident prone me cut myself even with the gloves on. It was a scary moment as I saw lotsa blood coming from a small cut. Not gonna lie, I was freaking out a little even to the point where I thought I might need to visit the emergency room but it turns out I’m just paranoid.

This is how the wounded area looks like now – 5 days later.

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All in all, we had a darn fun time at The Fragment Room and I wasn’t even sure I was there to rage. Most of my rage had disappeared by the time we went to the room so I’d say it was just an activity to do. It counts as a work out too cause swinging that bat ain’t easy!

So, if you’re looking for something to do during the weekends or perhaps an activity for date night; The Fragment Room is a place to check out! Do note, little kiddos aren’t allowed as you do need to be 18 years old and above to participate in the smashing.

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The Fragment Room
3 Balestier Road, Singapore 329671
Opens daily from 1pm to 10pm
Packages available:
Single – $38
Double – $75

To find out more or make a booking, visit https://thefragmentroom.com/

 

Travel Maketh The Woman

 

It is true that seeing the world does change you and it is no different for me whenever I travel especially when these self-discoveries have led to the way I shape my travels.

I was born a Disney kid.

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© Jasmine Ong

Back in 2012, upon entry into the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I found myself skipping in pure joy as I soaked up the atmosphere. I had tears in my eyes when I first stepped onto Main Street, sniffing in the air deeply like it was really made of magic. I was browsing the different shop windows in awe; making a mental note of the merchandise I was going to buy and mentally signing an agreement with Disney to surrender all my monies.

The Disney culture was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced but it felt innate. People often describe it as The Happiest Place on Earth and it truly is. Seeing the different Disney characters and park goers just made me feel like I was finally home. Since that first trip to Disney World, I’ve now made going to a Disney Park an annual tradition.

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© Jasmine Ong

Sometimes you’ve just got to woman up, woman up~

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© Jasmine Ong

Having heard brilliant things about Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Orlando, it was on my travel wish list to experience it at least once in my lifetime. While it would have been ideal to go with a big group, I figured it wouldn’t be so bad with the other park goers around.

I was so wrong.

Since I was holding onto the Frequent Fear Pass, I was allowed in to the haunted houses that were in my lock-down area. Being the kiasu Singaporean, I decided to clear The Purge haunted house first – since it was rather popular. I had expected a few people before and after me but, as I passed several HHN staff (who happened to be engaged in their own conversation), I began to realize that this is not going the way I had expected.

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© Jasmine Ong

And, boy was I right. I was the ONLY person heading into the house!

As I neared the house of horrors, I had two options: (a) Be a wuss now and come back later when there are more souls around or, (b) Woman up and go in alone.

I chose (b) and survived… barely.

Do or do not… There is no try.

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© Jasmine Ong

During a random walkabout at Rockefeller Center, I stumbled upon people queuing in cordoned off areas. Though I had a rough idea what these people were here for, I decided to confirm my suspicions with the NBC page who was standing guard.

True enough – these people were in the standby line for the NBC talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. Hoping that there was a queue for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon next, I asked to join after. To my surprise, the NBC page told me that standby tickets for his show had already been given out that morning and if I wanted to attend the next show’s taping, I had to join the queue tomorrow morning at 9. As an added tip, he told me to queue earlier to avoid disappointment.

While I’m usually a spontaneous person, getting up early to queue in the cold New York morning was not the epitome of a vacation. But, since this is for a rare opportunity, I decided to do it.

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© Jasmine Ong

I started my day at 6.30am, secured my standby tickets at 9am and thought that was it. But, no, this is not even half of the long standby waiting game. After collecting theses standby tickets, we were told to be back at the NBC lobby at 3pm where they will call out the number of people that they’ll require. Following that, it was another waiting game for the producer to come down with the number of available seats that they have left.

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© Jasmine Ong

I collectively waited for about 11 hours (including hanging around Rockefeller Center) and only felt the benefits of having great patience when I high-fived Jimmy Fallon at the taping.

Always be ready for surprises

After a tiring day out at Hong Kong Disneyland, I returned to Causeway Bay to grab dinner before heading back to the hotel. Surfacing from the MTR station at SOGO, I was greeted by a make-shift stage that was surrounded by a rather huge crowd.

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© Jasmine Ong

Immediately, I knew it must be a promotional thing of some sort. As I moved closer to the stage, my deduction proved accurate as it was indeed a mini press conference for a Hong Kong film, Always By Your Side. Taking notice of the cast on the poster, I was skeptical that these actors were going to make an appearance… especially when you’ve got the movie king, Louis Koo as your lead. Despite my doubts, I still waited with a camera for the possible appearance of Louis Koo.

Then, at 8.30pm, the smartly dressed Louis Koo graced us with his presence.

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© Jasmine Ong

Needless to say – I was shook.

My parents enjoy my misery

A day out in Ocean Park should be filled with joy and laughter, yes?

Not quite.

While I had the joy and laughter part, I also had a scared-stiff moment that ruined the entire day for me when we took the cable car ride.

You see, aside from my obvious fear of heights (something the parents are aware of), I do often playback similar scenarios that I’ve seen in Nat Geo’s Seconds from Disaster; which were quite worrisome in my situation. Adding to the fact that the cable car stopped quite frequently and the wind was pretty strong, I think my fears were warranted for a good reason.

While I thought my parents would understand upon seeing me cling to the pole for dear life, I learnt that my misery is their enjoyment. Instead of attempting to console me, their phones were whipped out the moment the cable car left the station.

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© Doris Tan

Lesson learnt – I’ll never take funny pictures of them ever again.

Just One of Those Days

I’ve always been a pretty happy person. More often than not, people tend to describe me as having a happy-go-lucky personality. But, what people don’t know about me is that I do have my off days.

Today just happens to be it.

 

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Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t an emo post.

I just figured it probably do me good if I penned it out instead of keeping it bottled up inside.

You see, I’m currently employed in a soul-sucking job that is literally not what I dreamed of. The working hours are superbly odd and the pay is average. Heck, even the increment is from 0 to 2% – which amounts to a pay increase of just $60 or less. Sure, I don’t get called in on weekends but I do get the frequent texts from colleagues that I have to respond to. Given the pay I’m getting, I still can’t justify the need for my attention on the weekends or even holidays.

I often joke that going to work felt like me clocking in hours at a labour camp in North Korea. I had to report to work at an odd timing and leave work at an odd timing. Oh, and I’ve only got 47 minutes for lunch. Am I a retail assistant? No. I’m an executive, working at a desk with a limited timed lunch. If I used up more than 47 minutes, I ‘OWE’ the company time and if I didn’t pay the time back, my pay gets docked.

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It’s 2017 but I’m working in a 1980s company.

I’m currently seeking a complete job change to an industry that I’ve longed to enter. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had tried to pursue job opportunities in the media industry (what I wanted to do after graduation) but I’ve always gotten rejected. Even as a fresh graduate, I got turned away for a role that was meant for a fresh graduate! It’s suffice to say that the issue lies in the country I reside in; which prides itself in being a ‘paper-chasing’ nation. Though I didn’t have an elitist education, I still had a diploma and a degree but clearly, that wasn’t quality enough. So, I did my internships in roles that I didn’t particularly enjoy and ended up in my current job which has sucked a good portion of my aged soul.

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With that said, here’s why today is just one of those days.

I’m 26, and when I look at other people my age, I see accomplishment and joy.

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But when I look at myself, I see despodence and failure.

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I see someone who is trapped in a monotonous routine.

I see someone who didn’t try harder in seizing the opportunities that were available.

I see someone who didn’t fight for their passion.

I see someone who didn’t fight for their dreams.

I see someone who gave up and settled.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not feeling sorry for myself.

I’m just feeling stifled by the decisions I’ve made this far in my life.

I’m just feeling frustrated with the system in place in my country.

I’m just feeling trapped in a life I created with my decisions.

I just want to break free… Like, literally.

But I don’t know how.

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I wanted to go back to school but that costs money; which, given the walnuts I’m getting will only get me enrolled as a student in 2040.

So that left 2 other options: (1) Continue the never-ending search for that one job in the media industry or, (2) Take up a job that pays peanuts in the media industry.

I’ve been doing the first option for more than half a year and so far, no interviews for any that I’ve applied for. I’m seriously considering the second option though my mother isn’t so pleased with the idea.

But what’s a girl to do?

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There are so many times when I wished I could just go: ‘Fuck this company – You’re stuck in a fucking time loop. I’m not going to be chained here anymore. PEACE OUT, BITCHES!’

It’s an ideal scenario but I can’t do that without a back-up plan.

So do I continue living in misery or continue to diligently send out the thousands of job applications hoping for one God-send response?

Sigh… Like I said – today is just one of those days.

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Criminal Minds USA vs Criminal Minds Korea: The Comparison

I’ve come a long way as a Criminal Minds fan ever since my 14 year old self stumbled across an episode of the first season airing on my local channel. In most ways, I consider the BAU team a part of my family so, when I heard that Korea was doing a remake of the series for their own network; I immediately went, ‘Oh, hell nawwww.

It’s not that I have anything against remakes. Some remakes are wonderful but there are some that just kinda seem to have miss their mark. So, after having seen the first 3 episodes of Criminal Minds Korea (which is currently airing on the cable channel tvN), I have a sufficient feel of the series to deliver my verdict.

I. STRUCTURE & PLOT.

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Credit: tvN

As Korean dramas go, we are rarely treated to a continuing series of a particular title. Almost all of the Korean dramas produced are based off a one-time story line that plays out in 50-60 mins spanning a 20-30 episodic run. The time duration that the Koreans had was looking good for a possible replication of the American ‘one case per episode’ scenario but it wasn’t the case. Instead of wrapping up the case in one episode, it was dragged into the next episode; taking up about 3/4 of the episode duration.

In terms of the cases, they were similar. CMK’s first investigation was into The Seattle Strangler. However, in place of the FBI, we have the NCI – National Criminal Investigation. Unlike the usual protocol whereby the BAU needs to be called in to assist, it seems like the NCI picks up cases that cross their radar and comes in to take the case from the local police station.

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Credit: CBS

Now, to fans of the original CM like me, CMK is a lot more dramatic with dull moments that added to the already slow build-up of the series. While I can understand that it may have been done intentionally with the idea of properly introducing the concept of criminal profilers to a culturally different audience, I felt that they could have followed CM’s structure in delivering the summary of the concept before the introduction of the characters. Their effort in trying to introduce the characters amidst the plot felt unnecessarily long-winded which often overshadowed the situation at hand. It somehow seemed like time wasn’t a key factor for their team – something that the BAU in CM takes priority in.

Another thing that was jarringly present in the series was the lack of proper character development. While my initial thought was of CMK being a remake of CM’s season 1, I was pretty surprised when The Reaper made an appearance, becoming the next major development in episode 3. Since there wasn’t a proper lead-up to this big fish, the introduction of the Reaper felt lackluster and a tad bit rushed.

It’s alright to pick and choose cases to replicate for CMK. But it isn’t right to jump to one of the most antagonizing unsubs in CM history this quick.

II. CHARACTERS.

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Credit: Criminal Minds Fanatic Blogspot

CM’s characters are the heart of the show. Alongside the cases they encounter, each tend to have a sort of personal connection with the victims and unsubs they face. And what really worked with the characters was the unity they bring whenever they all share a scene.

While it had been fun trying to guess which were the Asian counterparts of the BAU, it was disappointing to see the disjointed feel of the team and how some portrayals didn’t live up to the traits of the original characters.

*The following are my guesses of which personality they are assuming from the OG Criminal Minds. May or may not be accurate.

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Credit: tvN

Kang Ki Hyung aka Asian Jason Gideon / Aaron Hotchner

It was pretty obvious from the get-go that Kang could be our unit chief, Aaron Hotchner. From his calm demeanor to the eyebrows game, we were looking at a pretty decent Asian counterpart. But, it turns out that he seems to be a blend of two characters (Gideon & Hotchner) in one.

Similar to Gideon, Kang suffers PTSD after dealing with the Korean version of The Boston Shrapnel Bomber where he assumed responsibility for the loss of 4 men from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He goes off sabbatical (or medical leave) to teach Criminal Profiling. He is asked to come back to the unit when their version of The Seattle Strangler surfaces. Kang’s embodiment of Hotchner comes in his role as the unit chief (or team manager as they call it in Korea), and his seemingly happy family life (Hotchner had that in the beginning).

Portraying Kang, Son Hyun Joo, who had been cast for this role seems to be the best out of the rest of the team. Perhaps it’s to do with him being a seasoned actor in Korea but at least his expression and mannerisms were on-par with the character he was playing. His dramatic moments were not over-the-top and felt just right to elicit the reaction needed from the audience.

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Credit: tvN

Ha Sun Woo aka Asian Aaron Hotchner / Elle Greenway

This is the only character that still has me baffled. While Ha seems to embody the bad-assery we’ve seen in Elle, she’s also portrayed the mannerisms of a calm and serious Hotchner. I’m not sure if this was what CMK was aiming for but if it isn’t their intention, then the character is lacking some serious personality.

Portraying Ha, Moon Chae Won seems to be the only one that almost always uses the same sort of expression. She felt a lot like the Kristen Stewart of Korea with her few expressions that always seems hard to interpret. While she may be another seasoned actress in her own right, it seems like the complexity of this role may be hindering her performance in one way or another.

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Credit: tvN

Kim Hyun Joon aka Asian Derek Morgan / Elle Greenway

Despite the basic similarity of Morgan’s explosive expertise and being employed by the police before the big leagues, Kim’s character had more striking character traits with Elle especially with the rash behavior. And, similar to her situation, Kim is also given the chance to join the NCI team, filling the remaining spot on the team.

As a widely renowned actor, Lee Joon Ki’s portrayal of Kim often sees him stealing the scenes from his fellow co-stars; which leads it into a rather precarious position of becoming an idol drama. In scenes like these, the
disjointed feel of the team can be felt which definitely loses the ‘team effect’ that CMK is trying to replicate. At one point, I felt like it was Kim Hyun Joon and the NCI team.

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Credit: tvN

Lee Han aka Asian Spencer Reid

Lee Han, or ‘Korean Reid’ is almost similar to Reid sans the personality. And I feel that this is very much to do with the actor portraying Lee. Often, instead of delivering his lines with depth and the endearing awkward mannerisms of Reid, Go Yoon portrays Lee like an automated fact robot devoid of feelings. His understanding of the character seemed very much a surface thing which gave an annoying vibe instead of an endearing vibe. The Dr. Reid that we know and love definitely wasn’t a nerd with a blank expression – which Go seemed to think was how the character functions 99% of the time. I particularly disliked the scene where he used his gloved hands to touch his chin while they were at the crime scene. No one in the BAU does that. No one in the real police force does that unless they want to contaminate evidence.

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Credit: tvN

Yoo Min Young aka Asian Jennifer ‘J.J’ Jareau

While Yoo and JJ were similar in most ways, I felt that Yoo wasn’t really given much time to shine. As I’ve mentioned before, the characters seem to find a very hard time coming together as a team and in most cases, characters like Yoo become overshadowed by the other characters. Even when they did give Yoo a somewhat featured role of importance in the remake of the case on the train (aka Derailed, S01E09 – which was originally meant to be Elle), she once again blends into the background.

I’m not really sure how I feel about their choosing of Lee Sun Bin to play Yoo but as my assumption is leaning towards the ‘just-another-pretty-face’ reason. Yes, J.J. is super pretty but there is more to her character than just being pleasing to the eye.

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Credit: tvN

Na Na Hwang aka Asian Penelope Garcia

Loud accessories ✔
Colorful glasses and brightly colored clothing ✔
Decorated computer room with personality ✔
Quirky personality ✘

I applaud CMK for their attempt at the very fun-loving and quirky Garcia. But they definitely fell short in the personality department. Her Korean counterpart, portrayed by Yoo Sun, definitely tried her hardest in recreating the speech identifiers of the OG Garcia but it all came out differently. Instead of the endearing aspect, I get the overcompensating ditsy effect. I can see that Yoo is trying her best to do justice to Garcia but her portrayal could stand to gain if she dropped the over-excited reaction by a notch or two.

III. THE ISSUE WITH DERAILED

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Credit: tvN

Like I’ve mentioned before, the heart of the show is essentially the BAU team which I’ve come to love over the course of the series. And, with Reid being my favorite character, I was particularly peeved with the remake of ‘Derailed’ in CMK which lasted less than 30 mins of the 1-hour episode.

Aside from the alarmingly short duration of the case, they had changed the agent who went onto the train to assist in defusing the situation. What was meant to be a case that led to a better understanding of Spencer Reid in CM;
became an opportunity for the newly-minted NCI agent to show off his skills in CMK. The switch-up made the case feel very much like a filler and I was utterly annoyed with the lines they gave Korean Reid to recite after the apprehension of the unsub.

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Credit: CBS

Reid didn’t tell anyone about his mother or his worry about becoming a paranoid schizophrenic until Season 2, Episode 1 where he confides in Garcia. So the decision to summarize Korean Reid’s mother and mental health worry into just 3 lines in CMK was frustrating to me. They managed to take a complex character and downplayed it so much that their version of Reid seemed like an awkward block of wood with a high IQ.

Kudos CMK. You managed to make me dislike a character that I would have otherwise loved in this remake.

IV. CONCLUSION

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Credit: tvN

Despite the many glaring differences that would make any CM fan (like me) grimace, CMK does have elaborate settings that isn’t confined within the studios; which had me wondering what was the budget for the series..

Ultimately, CMK still pales in comparison with the slow pace, poorly constructed episode structure and almost non-existent character development. While CM provides the excitement and anticipation in every episode, CMK loses these essential factors which made Criminal Minds the success it is today.

As I mentioned previously, Korean dramas rarely have a case-by-case episode and I guess they are not going to start that trend anytime soon. With that said, it’s pretty clear that CMK is not my bowl of kimchi. I’ll continue to watch the upcoming episodes though they’d have to work doubly hard to impress me.

Until then, my profile remains as it is – Criminal Minds USA for the win.

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Credit: Criminal Minds Fans

5 Things I Should Have Said

Job interviews – Love it or hate it, we’ve all got to go through it at some point in our lives.

Sitting in the interview room, there’s always a moment of silence where we all pray that whoever comes in through that door next would be a pleasant interviewer. The last thing we want adding to our already anxious situation is a nasty interviewer that is out to make your following 20 minutes or more a living nightmare.

Well, sometimes life hands you a punnet of sweet, juicy strawberries only to stomp them into pulp right before your eyes.

Yes, ladies and gents, I sat through the worst job interview of my young adult life to which I felt like an unknowing participant being critiqued by a very catty RuPaul panel. While I can’t say that I had defended myself like I wanted to, I now know that I should have just stood up and quote Katy Perry – ‘Swish Swish, bish.’.

Now, before we begin, here’s a little background. The job interview I went for was for the role of a Digital Marketing Executive. It was with a tourism board for a country that rhymes with a long gong. Though my respect for this tourism board was thrown out of the 34th floor window they’re set up on, I still love the country they represent and it will still remain my ideal vacation destination. There were 2 interviewers who conducted the interview. One was a fairly neutral representative while the other thought she was a real housewife interviewing a lowly person for the position of housekeeper.

Though I can’t re-do what’s already passed, here are the 5 things that had me wishing I had done something instead of being afraid to offend them (since they clearly had no mutual respect).

1. She enters the interview room with such an unhappy expression that I thought someone stole the last donut she wanted.

What I wanted to say: Well, look who woke up the wrong side of the bed. I’m sorry hunny, am I making you waste precious time to interview me? Don’t take it out on me – take it up with your HR executive.

What I should have said: Hi, is this a bad time for the interview? Perhaps I could come back another day that is suitable.

2. Wrongly states my duration at my job to which I politely corrected her. She condescendingly replies: Oh-so you’ve been with your current job just 2 years… well, it’s not like it’s 20 years.”

What I wanted to say: How ’bout that! You CAN count! If anybody stays in their job for 20 years, they won’t be looking around for an executive job. Besides, isn’t it your responsibility to state the facts from the resume correctly?

What I should have said: Though 2 years isn’t 20 years, an enthusiastic attitude is not something that can be defined by time.

3. After I explain the similarities between my current position and the position that they’re hiring. As if I annoyed her a GREAT deal, she replies: “Yeah, yours is just 1 market. Ours is 5 markets in the region.”

What I wanted to say: Yes, I think I heard your colleague loud and clear. Calm yourself lady. I am not saying that your ‘5 markets’ are so small that I can handle it easily. I’m merely saying that I have experience in working with in-house teams. It’s not my fault you’ve already created your own judgement before actually interviewing me with an open mind.

What I should have said: Yes, I understand that. But I am merely stating the similarities in the process.

4. Frowning is the new black, or at least for the entire time she was interviewing me.

What I wanted to do: Stand up from my seat and say, “Bye Felicia.”

What I should have done: Look at her directly and said. “This obviously isn’t a good time to conduct the interview and I feel that whatever transpires here will not be treated seriously. As such, I think it’s best that we continue this at a more preferable time.”

5. Condescending tone whenever she talks to me. Disrespecting me as a human being with her incredibly judgmental descriptions. Wait a minute – am I here for an interview or here to be critiqued by someone who doesn’t know me?

What I wanted to say: Hey miss, I think you better check your attitude at the door. If you think I am SO under-qualified for this job, you could politely inform me. Or, better yet, screen my resume AGAIN before calling me down for the interview! Don’t make it seem like I dragged you out from your cubicle or office and forced you to interview me. It is highly unprofessional on your part as your higher than thou personality is not for your place of work.

What I should have said: I’m sorry but I would like to end this interview. I do not appreciate being talked down and disrespected as a candidate. I will withdraw my interest in this position.

With that said, this is definitely an unpleasant lesson that I learnt which did open my eyes to certain companies and their interview procedure. Though some might argue that this isn’t the worse they’ve heard about, this definitely threw me off my game.

If you talk to me like a haughty rich lady would to a Chanel retail assistant during an interview, you can keep the position and shove it up where the sun don’t shine.

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Thoughts on the Manchester Arena Explosion

After reading about the horrifying incident in Manchester, I needed to get this off my chest and apologies to anyone who might get offended or annoyed with me for this!

Going to a concert is meant to be a fun thing to do with your friends and family.

When have events that were meant to be memorable become a weapon against humanity? What has made the human race so hateful against one another that devious ideas such as these are thought up to bring harm to people? At the end of the day, what is achieved? Instant vengeance? A few weeks of notoriety? A supposed acceptance of superiority?

While there are a million excuses a hateful human being can come up with to defend their actions, one thing is certain – innocent lives are taken and ruined in the process.

Knowing that majority of the concert-goers were pre-teens, teens and young adults, it got me thinking about how the young ones would handle this traumatic experience.

I’m a 26 year old living in Asia and I cannot even bring myself to imagine how it would have felt to be 12 again in a horrific scenario such as this. What had meant to be a fun night to remember is suddenly turned into a night that can’t be forgotten. I’ve seen photos on Twitter of young concert-goers who had blood on their shirt and hair. The amount of shock and fear these young ones had to experience is simply unimaginable.

I love attending concerts as they’ve always been a magical and memorable experience. To see experiences like this taken as a target of attack for hateful beings to radicalize their beliefs makes me absolutely disgusted. No child, woman or man should have to have their experience sullied by another human being who values the right to hurt others.

My heart goes out to all who have been affected in this horrifying incident.

Recuperate and stand strong.

Do not let a person or group’s reprehensible actions forever change the way you experience life.

Do not apologize or be guilty for having fun on a night out.

Do not let the perpetrator’s dastardly deed be the barrier between you and life’s offers.

Stay strong guys; the world is with you.