"Sabo" has been slang in Singapore for generations.
It’s pronounced “sah-boh”.
Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation.
Can we please make Pawnee Today with Ron Swanson a regular thing?
Oh my gosh. This just happened. Crazy! Parks & Rec is so awesome!
@frankranz’s autograph came in the mail today! Feel like a certified whedonite. Thanks, Fran! (Taken with Instagram)
Sometime in the past five years, my parents became Korean drama experts. This past month of being back in Singapore, I’ve spent probably as much as a third of my time just in front of the television, letting my parents fill me in on who’s big, who was in what, which shows are worth watching, which ones are just silly—my Dad can even tell me where the streaming video links are! Definitely not a day I thought would come. I thought it was my job to hole up in my room watching TV bootlegs! I guess the apple truly forgot that the tree really isn’t that far off.
Anyhow, here’s my favorite one for the moment: Phantom, or Ghost (choose your preferred translation from Korean). It’s still on air in Korea! Again, I somehow never imagined that the TV channels available in Singapore would start having such close relationships with Korean networks that their shows would begin airing here before they were completely done airing there. I should’ve guessed really, looking at how that’s the way things sometimes are between the USA, Europe and Australia.
Unlike American/British shows, Korean/Japanese/Chinese shows don’t usually progress in seasons—they are produced and aired as a single intact series, of around 11 episodes (usual for Japanese ones), 20 episodes (I’m coming to understand that this might be standard for big-budget Korean series?), or 30-50ish (epic/period dramas). (Soap operas don’t count, of course; it’s a universal rule that they go on forever.) If they’re very, very popular, and the premise lends itself to continuation, then sequel series get made maybe two or three years down the line, or one/two-time-only “special episodes” for the holidays, but it’s not very common. Viewers are quite happy to simply imagine that the characters really did live happily ever after, and look forward to their favorite stars coming back in a completely different incarnation, thereby proving their acting mettle or their chameleon-esque beauty. Hence, I’d gotten quite used to getting to know of series only after they’d been aired in full in their home countries; following a Korean series while it’s still on the air is a first.
And this instance just happens to be incredibly frustrating, because of how intense and gripping Phantom is. Its focal point is the world of cyber-intrigue: a detective in the police’s cyber investigations division and his police academy roommate turned anti-establishment hacker get embroiled in a rich man’s very complex power-revenge scheme.
I can’t go into detail about it without confusing the crap out of you, so I’ll just say this: every episode is chock full of techie-hijinks and plot twists that will build your hopes up, tear them down again, yet still keep you believing that this bunch of scrappy underdog detectives are going to make it in the end. The writers really went to town on this one.
Oh, and So Ji-Sub, on top of being a very deft actor, is really easy on the eyes.
*Photo from Phantom’s entry on AsianWiki.
How do they come up with this stuff?! In stitches!
The Elephant and The Balloon, from Black Books.
Best. Children’s book. Ever.
The cast of The Office (US) reproduce George Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1884).
This makes me so happy.
I saw the original at the Art Institute in Chicago! Awesome museum.
Political bubbling in Burma/Myanmar. The parliamentarians’ model for democratic politics? The West Wing. A great example of the operation of entertainment in global society.
Hoping to nurture what President Obama called “flickers of progress,” Mrs. Clinton will make the first trip to Myanmar by a secretary of state since early in the cold war.
One senior administration official familiar with the evolving diplomacy said he was convinced that the country’s leaders were embarking on a path of profound change, but that they were uncertain of how to proceed after so many years under an isolated, dictatorial military junta.
He cited a small but striking scene: Seeking to learn something about legislative and electoral politics, some new parliamentarians were passing around a DVD containing episodes of “The West Wing.”
“They’re coming out of a cave,” he said.
Related article: In Myanmar, Government Reforms Win Over Some Skeptics
“When I talk to Aung San Suu Kyi, she says, ‘Forget the past,’ ” Ms. Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein said. “She says have faith in Thein Sein. If she says that, we must have faith in him.”
Ms. Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, who was imprisoned for seven years for opposing the military, has ample reasons to mistrust the government. Her father — a former deputy prime minister who was in power during the last visit by an American secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, in the 1950s — was jailed for seven years. Her mother was detained for three years, and so was her former husband.
But in an interview on Tuesday, she said she was very excited about Mrs. Clinton’s visit and her meeting with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.
“Let the two smart women talk,” she said. “It’s unbelievable that Mrs. Clinton is visiting us.”
Mr. Nay Zin Latt, the president’s adviser, said in an interview that Myanmar was no different from any country undergoing radical transformation.
“I don’t see hard-liners and soft-liners,” he said, “just different points of view.”
“Some people don’t want faster change.” Others, he said, “say we are very much behind other countries, and we should go fast.”