Tuesday, May 12, 2020

12 Best Korean Films and Series on Netflix During COVID-19 Lockdown



During this COVID-19 pandemic, staying at home is a must. And, it became a prerequisite already to find television shows and movies to watch on streaming websites such as Netflix.

Here are the 12 Best Korean films and series that you can watch on Netflix.


  1. 'The Host' (2006) - Before Parasite, director Bong Joon-ho and actor Song Kang-Ho teamed up for The Host. The film is a genre-bending action-adventure-horror about a giant mutant sea monster that is unleashed upon an unsuspecting Seoul. With plenty of social commentary and great creature effects better than in most Hollywood films released today, The Host is perfect if you are looking for an unconventional watch. It has been described as being “on par with Jaws”.
  2. 'Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds' (2017) - Kim Yong-Hwa's epic fantasy action film was adapted from a popular Korean web-comic. It features an all-star cast and is the fourth highest-grossing film of all-time in South Korea. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds follows a firefighter who heroically dies in the line of duty and is taken to the afterlife, where he must undergo seven separate trials to evaluate his life on Earth. His journey is helped by three guardians.
  3. 'Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days' (2018) - Netflix also has the previously mentioned film’s sequel, and which is as good. The second half of the fantasy action film series picks up mere minutes after the first and follows the same trio of guardians as they help another soul through its afterlife trials. However, as viewers learn during the first film, there is more at stake for everyone involved, including the chance for reincarnation.
  4. 'Forgotten' (2017) - This mystery thriller from Jang Hang-jun has quite a few twists and turns. Forgotten follows a young man named Jin-Seok, who moves into a new house with his family. However, after his brother disappears for 19 days, then reappears having lost his memories, Jin-Seok starts to believe this person might actually be someone else entirely.
  5. 'Steel Rain' (2017) - This is an action-thriller from Yang Woo-suk. Steel Rain tells the story of a North Korean secret service agent who fails to stop two top military officers from going rogue and starting a coup against the Supreme Leader (known as ‘No 1’ throughout the film). He heads to South Korea with the injured No 1 in an attempt to keep him alive and teams up with a bureaucratic aide to prevent a Korean war from breaking out.
  6. 'Vagabond' (2019) - The K-drama Vagabond aired in South Korea in 2019 and has 16 episodes. It follows the tale of a stuntman whose nephew dies in a mysterious plane crash while on the way to Morocco. Looking to find out the truth about the accident, he embarks on an investigation that leads him to uncover a bigger cover-up. The spy-meets-thriller-meets-romance stars Lee Seung-gi and Bae Suzy as the main leads.
  7. 'Crash Landing On You' (2019) - The series Crash Landing On You was the second-highest-rated drama in Korean television history. It has 16 episodes on Netflix. Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin play star-crossed lovers in the series, which follows what happens after a South Korean heiress goes on a paragliding ride and accidentally gets blown off course and lands in North Korea.
  8. 'Descendants of the Sun' (2016) - This popular K-drama series first aired in South Korea in 2016 and easily won over fans throughout Asia. It's a love story about a doctor who saves lives and a special forces captain who carries out missions while the country is at war. Since the captain's missions are dangerous and top-secret, this presents a predicament in their budding relationship. An interesting aside: the two leads married in real life after the series aired, but filed for divorce in 2019.
  9. 'Kingdom' (2019-present) - Netflix’s first original Korean series Kingdom currently has two seasons, each with six episodes. However, unlike with other typical K-series, the instalments are much shorter, with some running at a little more than half an hour. The show is set during the Joseon dynasty, with the first season focused on the story of the Crown Prince Lee Chang, who stumbles upon a life-threatening political conspiracy while also investigating the spread of a mysterious plague that seems to bring people back to life as zombies.
  10. 'When the Camellia Blooms' (2019) - When the Camellia Blooms was a hit when it aired in Korea and has 20 episodes, each a little over an hour long. The rom-com follows a single mother who moves to a small town to start her life over again. She meets and falls in love with a do-good police officer, but small-town gossip, social stigma and a plotline involving a serial killer all make things a bit more complicated.
  11. 'Misaeng' (2014) - The hit comedy series became a cultural phenomenon after airing in South Korea in 2014 and also spawned Chinese and Japanese remakes. It follows the story of a young man in his twenties with nothing more than a General Education Development certificate, who gets an internship at an office only to discover the harsh reality of working in the corporate world. Fun fact: it was the first Korean drama to film on location in Jordan.
  12. 'Because This Is My First Life' (2017) - The bittersweet rom-com series follows two roommates in their thirties, who become housemates for financial reasons and eventually enter into a marriage out of convenience to appease their families. However, they soon find unexpected complications in their arrangement. The storyline keeps you hooked, but fans cite the chemistry between leads Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min as another reason why they enjoy the show.
References:

Sunday, April 12, 2020

12 Natural Gargles For Sore Throat



As an official comeback from a very long hiatus on this blog, posts will now be every 12th of the month.

For this official return, here are the 12 natural gargles for soothing your sore throat which is relevant during this COVID-10 worldwide pandemic.

  1. Salt and water - mix 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water.  Note: mix a fresh batch of gargle for every use. Better to waste a bit pouring it out than to leave it in your glass, where it might become contaminated with bacteria. Also, do not swallow the gargle; spit it out!
  2. Hot sauce and water - add five shakes of ground cayenne pepper (or a few shakes of hot sauce) to a cup of hot water for sore throat relief. The capsaicin in chillies helps soothes pain and fights inflammation. Note: Don’t try this if you have open sores in your mouth. 
  3. Ginger, honey and lemon - mix 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, 1⁄2 cup of hot water, and the juice of 1⁄2 squeezed lemon. Pour the water over the ginger, then add the lemon juice and honey, and gargle. Honey coats the throat and also has mild antibacterial properties. 
  4. Sage and apple cider vinegar - Sage has been used as a throat-soother for centuries. One recipe to try during cold and flu season: grind 2 tablespoons each dried sage and thyme into a mason jar with 2 cups apple cider vinegar. Leave covered at room temperature for two weeks, then strain out the herbs. When you’re ready to gargle, mix a couple of tablespoons of the sage mixture into a small glass of warm water. Another herb with cold-busting properties is thyme.
  5. Turmeric and water - This yellow spice is a powerful antioxidant, and the traditional system of medicine called Ayurveda, rooted in Hinduism, has used turmeric to fight pain and inflammation for centuries. To try it yourself, add 1/2 teaspoon of the ground spice to a cup of warm water and use up to three times a day.
  6. Clove tea - Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered or ground cloves to warm water, then mix and gargle. Cloves have soothing properties, explains acupuncturist, Elizabeth Trattner. Plus, they also have antimicrobial properties that can help stop the growth of bacteria, according to research in Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. The spicy mixture can also be used as a mouthwash to help tooth pain, she says.
  7. Spicy tomato juice - For temporary relief of sore throat symptoms, try this tasty gargle: 1/2 cup each of tomato juice and hot water, plus about 10 drops of chilli sauce. Bonus: capsaicin from chillies boosts circulation.
  8. Goldenseal, echinacea, or myrrh and water - Gargling with these herbal anti-inflammatories can soothe swollen and sore throat tissue, says Trattner. Try several drops of herbal tinctures in a small amount of warm water.
  9. Apple cider vinegar and salt - Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar can help a sore throat, and research does show that it has antibacterial properties. Gargle with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours.
  10. Licorice root powder and water - Licorice root may soothe a sore throat and help eliminate cough-inducing phlegm; a 2013 study of more than 200 people found that surgical patients who had gargled with a licorice solution prior to anaesthesia were less likely to develop a sore throat post-surgery.
  11. Green tea - This one is actually a sore-throat prevention measure, since one health benefit of tea is the ability to fight infections. Next time you brew a cup of green tea, make a little extra and gargle with it. A 2016 review of research found that gargling with tea may have a preventative effect against the flu virus.
  12. Raspberry tea - This is an old home remedy for a sore throat because of the anti-inflammatory properties. One recipe calls for pouring one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried raspberry leaves or packaged raspberry tea. Steep for ten minutes, then strain and let cool a bit. Gargle while warm.

References:
Sore throat remedies: 12 natural gargles that may ease the pain
ETH Podcast #COVID–19: Try gargling!