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South China Morning Post
  1. The year 2020 was a powerful one for K-dramas, not least because an increasing number of them began premiering worldwide on Netflix. The fact that most of the viewing population was stuck at home only helped to amplify the global K-drama craze.The good news is, at the same time K-dramas have also gone beyond stereotypical romance-centred plots, adding meat to their storylines by weaving in themes and issues that genuinely deserve attention – from tackling feminist themes to focusing…
  2. Every first lady in modern times has made it their priority to carve out a niche for themselves; Michelle Obama chose to get young people moving as part of her push for healthy lifestyles, while Jackie O pushed the “just say no” to drugs campaign. Both sought not only to change the mindset of Americans, but to get policies implemented to create the conditions for real change. For Melania Trump, it was her Be Best initiative – which focused on opioid abuse, well-being and the online safety of…
  3. Nearly a month after making its debut on Netflix, Bridgerton has already swept more than 63 million households off their feet, and counting. Set in London in 1813, during the Regency era, this period drama chronicles the lives of debutantes as they come out and meet eligible bachelors. All the while, an anonymous gossip columnist unveils the scandals behind all the glitz and glamour.How does Bridgerton showrunner Shonda Rhimes spend her fortune?One reason that Bridgerton has captured viewers’…
  4. The branded residence juggernaut continues unabated, bringing more privileges to the well-heeled in ever more diverse locations around the world.A new report from Savills shows that the branded residence sector has grown by 170 per cent over the past 10 years, and that in spite of the wider economic turmoil, 2021 is poised to be another record year with more than 100 new schemes opening.By virtue of sheer numbers, cities like New York, Miami and Dubai still reign supreme, but Riyan Itani, head…
  5. The numbers are nothing short of astonishing: figures from Hong Kong’s government statistics department reveal that 678,000 tonnes of beef and beef products are imported into the city every year.That translates into every adult and child in the SAR consuming the equivalent of two quarter pounders per person per day – every day.These remarkable consumption figures naturally pose multiple questions. It’s important to acknowledge that in the normal years before Covid-19, Hong Kong’s huge number of…
  6. Luxury goods company Louis Vuitton has raised prices for its products in South Korea – again – just eight months after the last increase.And unlike other luxury brands like Chanel or Hermès that adjust prices simultaneously across all of their global stores, Louis Vuitton has previously been known to increase prices only in Korea.Are the Louis Vuitton Horizon 2.0 earbuds really worth US$1,180?Perhaps unsurprisingly, the increased prices mainly affected local bestsellers. The price of the brand…
  7. Crash Landing on You, Itaewon Class, Extracurricular, Record of Youth and, most lately but definitely not least, Start-Up – these Netflix-distributed series all clocked up impressive international audiences over the past 12 months, cementing 2020 as the year that K-drama officially went global.With themes ranging from the sociopolitics of North and South Korea – the backdrop of Se-ri and Captain Ri’s chemistry, now at last known to be replicated in the romantic leads off-screen – to unravelling…
  8. Celebrities are today more accessible to their fans than ever before – thanks in large part to social media, as well as the proliferation of reality TV shows, another way to get a heavily curated glimpse at how the rich and famous really live.In the past few years, reality shows have blossomed in mainland China, with ratings hits such as Super Mom (媽媽是超人) and Viva La Romance (妻子的浪漫旅行), giving local celebrities a chance to show what they are made of, and also sometimes offering audiences a…
  9. American first ladies have traditionally played a delicate, understated, tightrope-walking role – supporting their spouses while trying not to steal the spotlight, focusing on philanthropic efforts, and in recent decades playing the role of fashion icon, too.Melania Trump has ticked all those things off the list, and then some … and not necessarily in a positive sense. While we don’t yet know her plans for after she leaves the White House, the headlines she sparked over her four-year stay in…
  10. A passport from Japan opens more doors than a passport from anywhere else in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.The index is an annual power ranking of passports determined by the number of destinations a passport holder can enter without a visa.A Japanese passport promises uncomplicated travel to 191 other countries and territories in 2021. That’s the same number of countries it allowed visa-free access to in 2020, the year it pulled ahead from its tie with Singapore to become…