Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

Archive for January, 2009

CSI versus NCIS

Posted by MAaP on January 30, 2009

I’m fond of watching crime investigations and solving puzzles, which is why I’m a fan of crime series such as CSI, NCIS, Cold Case, even the tough-softy series The Closer. The two most popular crime series are unarguably NCIS and CSI. Which one tops the other?

CSI and NCIS

CSI and NCIS

CSI franchise

CSI franchise

CSI Crime Scene Investigation began in 2000, and has been so successful that it has spawned spin-offs and franchises. NCIS began when the original cast’s appearance in JAG prompted some interest to make a series on them. It is now going along smoothly with its sixth season and does not appear to be slowing down.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

It started with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and became CSI: Las Vegas when its two other franchise, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami, also became hits. Among the three, though, it is still CSI: Las Vegas that has the upper hand, mostly due to the fact tht it was the first and has already established some ground among TV audiences.

CSI: NY and CSI: Miami are running their 5th and 7th seasons, respectively. CSI: Las Vegas goes on their 9th season, even with the departure of the show’s main lead, William Petersen, with two other main characters, Jorja Fox and Gary DourdanCSI: Miami also had their share of main characters leaving the show, but nothing as dramatic as William Petersen’s departure.

The majority of the main cast are still on the show, though, and the show still delivers thrills and suspense. There’s no sign that the show is stopping, with the many unsual cases and mysteries presented.

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service

NCIS is also doing great with its sixth season and still has increasing popularity. The series was spawned after a spin-off of the series JAG. While NCIS is also a crime series, what makes it unique is that it only focuses on cases involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.  This would get us into looking how investigators handle high-profile and sometimes highly confidential cases.

NCIS focuses on only one team and one case at a time. The show also incorporates lavish humor with the investigations. There is a trend in which each season has one major case building up throughout the episodes, and this has especially added up to the thrill and suspense.

Which One Is the Better Crime Series? I love them both, but I think NCIS overtakes the CSI franchise. For one, NCIS has a smarter and more humorous lines along the seriousness of the situations they’re in. Another reason is because of the growth and development of each of the main characters in the series. CSI doesn’t dwell deeply unto the lives of its characters. In NCIS, you can really see how each of the agents has gone through emotional abyss. CSI also had their share of dead agents, but NCIS has suffered more. Not that having agents killed off makes the show more fun, no. It’s because it highlights the danger of the job, and shows how it affects the investigations. The CSI franchise has also somehow become a little static in their style; always with two or more cases, with only a surprise here and there each season. NCIS, though, can still surprise us even when it’s already on its sixth season.

The Cast of NCIS

The Cast of NCIS

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HYD Cast: Taiwan versus Japan versus Korea

Posted by MAaP on January 27, 2009

You guys didn’t think I was going to abandon this blog, did you? I haven’t written anything for more than a month, after all. But that’s just because I’ve been keeping tabs on new topics to discuss in here. Alas, I have something new!.. But it’s about something old; old in a sense that the original was made years ago and there’s just this new version today that has brought up the addiction for the series to new heights.

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango still remains as one of the most popular manga serials of all time. Since the Asian audience have been pampered with live action versions of the manga, brought out by Taiwan first and Japan second, it was only a matter of time before South Korea brought out a version of their own.

I once made a post comparing Meteor Garden‘s and Hana Yori Dango‘s cast. South Korea has brought out their HYD cast counterparts, though, and there has been a lot of talk on which country has got the best cast for the Boys Over Flowers TV series.

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Xian Cai versus Makino Tsukushi versus Geum Jan Di

Ladies first. Who among the actresses represented the manga’s heroine the best? Taiwan’s Barbie Hsu played it well, and Korea’s Koo Hye Sun acted a little exaggerated at the beginning of the series. Both progressed in acting out as the willful Makino Tsukushi as the series went on. But it was Japan’s Mao Inoue who really made a lasting impression on the HYD fans. From the beginning of the series till the end, she was constantly the weed known as Makino Tsukushi.

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Dao Ming Si versus Domyouji Tsukasa versus Goo Joon Pyo

As for the arrogant leader of the famous F4, I’ll have to admit that while he’s a very prominent actor, Japan’s Matsumoto Jun is the last of the three. This is mainly due to the physical appearance. Don’t get me wrong, he really did great in his acting. But comparing him to the bigger Taiwanese and Korean Domyouji Tsukasa, he’s been overpowered. Taiwan’s Jerry Yan and Korea’s Lee Min Ho also didn’t lose out on the acting skills so this would leave us to base our verdict on their charm as the male lead of the series. And when it comes to this, I think Lee Min Ho wins — the looks, that air of arrogance, that masculinity, even Domyouji’s stupidity.

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Hua Ze Lei versus Hanazawa Rui versus Yun Ji Hoo

For the silent bishounen and the third end of the love triangle, all three actors managed to mix well with their role. There’s the silence, the stare, the clipped words, and the awkwardness. All three actors really showed smooth awkwardness. Acting-wise, I also can’t compare them much. There is this line between acting awkward and real awkwardness, though, that can sometimes be seen through the acting. Japan’s Oguri Shun has the advantage here because Boys Over Flowers was a first in acting for Taiwan’s Vic Zhou and Korea’s Kim Hyun Joong. Taking that into consideration, I can only surmise that all three are just about on the same level. I have to say, though, regarding physical appearances, Kim Hyun Joong is the perfect Hanazawa Rui.

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Xi Men versus Sojirou Akira versus So Yee Jung

To act as a playboy, you should also have the looks of a playboy. Taiwan’s Ken Zhu was a little mature-looking to be one. His acting was also a little dry. Nothing about him sparked to me as a playboy. Japan’s Shota Matsuda focused more on his tea ceremonies than on his playboy charms. Korea’s Kim Bum, though, is being brought out to be both. His love story with the Korean counterpart of Matsuoki Yuuki is also being built more in the Korean series, so there’ll definitely be some growth to the character. We can conclude then that Korea’s Kim Bum wins the battle over the Sojirou Akiras.

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Mei Zuo versus Mimasaka Akira versus Song Woo Bin

Now this is hard, mainly because this character doesn’t really have a lot of airtime in the series. How can we deduce who’s the better among the three? I have yet to see Korea’s Kim Joon‘s performance. Japan’s Tsuyoshi Abe didn’t really have that much of an impact. Taiwan’s Vannes Wu, among the three, looks to be the best for the part. He went along with the character’s happy-go-lucky attitude and at times also brought out some maturity. As the Korean version continues on, i might be able to see more of Kim Joon’s performance. But for now, Vannes Wu stays on top of the three.

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