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Reviews on Korean and Asian Dramas

December 2018/January 2019 Korean Drama Reviews January 23, 2019

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The first drama that I finished was Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter/Tale of Gyeryong Fairy. The story line is that Sun Ok-Nam (Moon Chae-Won) is a fairy during the Goryeo period and when she came down the waterfall on earth someone stole her fairy dress with wings and therefore could not go back to the fairy realm. She meets a woodcutter who she suspects stole her dress and they get married and have two kids but he meets an unfortunate end and she is left on earth for 699 years.

 

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 She thinks she meets her reincarnated husband when professor Jung Yi-Hun (Yoon Hyun-Min) and his assistant Kim Geum (Seo Ji-Hoon) find their coffee cafe on the mountain. She isn’t sure which one is her husband but decides to follow them back to Seoul to find out since both of them have no memories of their past selves. It is based on a webcomic which I have not read so I can’t really comment on how it was different or the same.

 

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This was a strange drama, the dynamics felt weird with the different age differences. The hypothesized mother, father, and child all seem to be close in age and it feels wrong when she changes to her old person form as fairy. The story is okay I guess, I mean I am so sick of reincarnation being the storyline. I don’t like or believe in reincarnation and I think it is a lazy technique in story telling and been so overdone in Korean dramas. For some reason I don’t particularly like Ok-Nam’s character in this drama, I don’t really know why but I found her kinda annoying with what she would do or act like especially when she can’t figure out who is her husband.

 

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There is some weird backstory with Jung Yi-Hun that felt kinda forced or didn’t come across the best with what exactly happened with him and his past. The ending was okay but I didn’t feel like it had that strong of an impact. They also had some weird other fairy story line that I didn’t really find the characters enduring or have much comic relief. Instead I found them annoying and the love line between the young guy and older fairy was just uncomfortable to me and I felt like their parts where too long. Also I wished that the fairy had more fun powers but it wasn’t that exciting with her just making coffee and talking to plants all the time. The CGI in the drama was far from the most advanced and well done, I did get used to after a while but I am sure they did not have a big budget for graphics. I mean for the cat they could have probably used a real one!

 

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What I liked about this drama was Kim Geum, his character was really enduring and sweet. I loved when he interacted with Jeom-Soon and thought it was really sweet. I also hung in their with this drama because I wanted to see what Jeom-Dol was inside his egg. I think that really was the best part of the drama when Jeom-Dol came out of his egg. Honestly I wanted to see more of the fairy realm because I love the fantasy part of the drama but they only showed a little bit. At least there was not too many plot holes or something unfinished except maybe with the whole Jeom-Dol and his part and the ability to go through time or something!? There is no ambiguous ending where you feel empty after watching so many episodes. It was a relatively good drama for trying to accomplish a fantasy genre with a limited budget.

 

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The second drama that I finished watching this month was Feel Good To Die/ Happy If You Died. The plot of the drama is Lee Roo-Da (Baek Jin-Hee) works under Baek Jin Sang (Kang Ji-Hwan) the manager of the advertising department. Baek Jin Sang is a terrible boss since he only sees life in black and white and doesn’t have any empathy for his fellow workers. He is rude and mean when he finds fault in others. Lee Roo-Da has a lot of anger against Baek Jin Sang and she wishes he would die and later on he gets hit by a truck and she wakes up realizing that she is reliving the same day over.

 

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This was an unpredictable drama it went from plot twists to filler episodes that got boring. I never knew if I was going to be bored or enthralled with each episode I watched. I was really disappointed at times when they had a chance to relive their day and use it to change what happened and try a different option. I feel like the characters did not use the time loop as effectively as I would have wanted them to use it, like if something went wrong why did they not try to solve the problem more efficiently by going back to starting the day. It didn’t always make sense to me why they did the things they way they did! The reason for the time loop and all that is a bit of a stretch with why it happened and how it all worked.

 

 

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Also at the beginning you will probably hate Baek Jin-Sang’s voice it is enough to make you want to stop watching the drama, but as he mellows out his voice also does the same. The whole business end of the drama got boring to me after a while and how to fight a big corporation was a used boring idea to me that felt like it got dragged out. Also the chemistry between the characters was really lacking it felt forced and apparently in the manhwa the love interest is completely different.

 

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I did find the different plot twists interesting and fun and honestly the character of Baek Jin-Sang was kinda fun and how he kept dying and Roo-Da trying to help him even though he didn’t understand what was happening was pretty entertaining. There was good, touching moments in this drama that felt right.

 

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The third drama that I watched was Coffee, Please Do Me A Favor/ Coffee, Please. This drama is about Hyun-Woo (Yong Joon-Hyung) a romantic webtoon writer without actually having any experience in love. His assistant Seul-Bi who is cute and chubby and is made fun of constantly by others about her appearance. She has a long time secret crush on Hyun-Woo. Seul-Bi gets a chance to drink magical coffee that turns her into the stereotypical beauty and takes Seul-Bi’s job with the name Oh Go-Woon.

 

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This drama does not have a good message to me, it does not celebrate body diversity and the harmful belief that you need to look a certain way to receive love. Seul-Bi gets a chance to change the way she looks and the man that she is in love with will finally be able to love her now. The funny thing is that I wanted to keep watching even though I knew it was not going to have an ending that I would agree with mentally. I can relate to the character of Seul-Bi and cannot deny that if I was given a chance to look different I would be able to say no and not indulge in that fantasy of having the perfect body. So I guess I wanted to keep watching to see if the drama would be able to redeem themselves and I found that they did not. The drama did get shortened it was originally supposed to have 16 episodes which is confusing because it was filmed in 2017 so I’m not sure how they could just cut out many episodes and still have an ending that made sense.

 

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What bothered me at the ending was it was a cop out, Seul-Bi “decides” she has to work on herself which is fine but that would be the most important message of the drama and they don’t really show us how miraculously she is supposed to love herself when the whole outside world is treating her like trash. Also it makes me sad that they don’t show her in a healthy, romantic relationship because I think not showing this still makes it feel stigmatized that if you aren’t skinny you can’t get a boyfriend. The more they show women of all types in relationships will bring more change in how people are treated. Another problem was the two different characters of Seul-Bi didn’t seem to match well and they seemed like different people and didn’t feel like they was a smooth continuation of the character between them. I found some of the acting to be over exaggerated but for the most part was fine.

 

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I have to say it was still an entertaining drama and it wasn’t too long since it was shortened, I did find it entertaining and really hoped that the ending would have been good. I enjoyed seeing Joon-Hyung again I really miss him in “its dangerous beyond the blankets” show. I enjoyed the other actors as well and found it funny and entertaining, there might have been a bit of overacting but it seemed to fit the mood of the drama. So if you can ignore the message of the drama I thought it was a nice fluffy drama.

 

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The fourth drama that I finished was Children Of Nobody/Red Moon Blue Sun. This drama is about Cha Woo-Kyung (Kim Sun-A) who is a child counsellor at a children’s centre. At the start she is pregnant with her second child and is content with her life. An accident happens and Woo-Kyung is forced to deal with things in her life she doesn’t understand. It also stars Kang Ji-Hun (Lee Yi-Kyung) who is detective and gets put on a case that deals with the death of a famous child abuser. He believes that even if someone is murdering a child abuser they need to be punished by the law. Through his cases he meets Woo-Kyung and coincidentally she keeps popping up in all of his cases.

 

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This is a dark drama especially because it is dealing with child abuse although I don’t think they really show any of the child abuse happening. It does have graphic scenes but I don’t think they are really with the children. But I don’t think it is overdone or takes away from the story line. First of all I loved watching this drama which is weird to say because it is dark but it was so intriguing and left me wondering all of the time. I was never bored with this drama and I continued to want to keep watching the next episode.

 

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The acting is so well done in this drama as well, I felt like I believed every character that came on the screen. I feel like it pushed your boundaries on what you think is morally right or wrong. There is good and evil in this drama but at times the lines seem to blur and you start to wonder what you really believe when it comes to suffering. I just love the complicated characters in this drama, everyone is complex and far from boring. There doesn’t seem to have all the usual drama tropes that you see in so many dramas. It felt fresh, exciting and the mystery always had me guessing and wanting more. I also found it interesting that there is no love lines, it feels refreshing and at the back of my mind I wanted to start coupling the characters out of habit but I am glad that they didn’t try to do that, because that was not what the drama is about!

 

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The problem that arose with this drama was the lighting, man there were many dark scenes that had me trying to adjust my screen so I could see what was happening. I get that it was supposed to be dark but I still want to be able to see the scene, it was somewhat distracting and took you out of the story. The other problem I had was it felt like I needed more time with Kang Ji-Hun the detective, I feel like he had a background story that was never acknowledged or had time to flesh it out. The ending is good but I feel like I needed more closure with the story and the characters. But overall if you like a good mystery/thriller I would suggest you watch this drama. Of all the dramas I watched this month I would definitely pick this one as my favorite!

 

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The last drama that i watched this month was Memories Of The Alhambra. This drama is about Yoo Jin-Woo (Hyun-Bin) who is the CEO of a large and impressive investment company. He seems to be a guy that is often misunderstood and hasn’t had to lean on anybody since he is self sufficient in every way. He gets a call from a video game creator asking him to buy his video game since he doesn’t want Jin-Woo’s rival and former friend to buy the game. Intrigued Jin-Woo hops on the next train to meet the creator in Granada Spain at an old hostel run by Jung Hee-Joo (Park Shin-Hye). Accidents happen and Hee-Joo and Jin-Woo fates get tangled together while Jin-Woo tries to figure out how to solve everything that has gone wrong.

 

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So when I first started watching I wasn’t totally sold on the story it took a couple of episodes for me to start enjoying this drama. This drama is about playing a video game that in some ways comes to life and stops being pretend and becomes real to the characters. I really liked this drama and thought it built some great momentum and suspense. I enjoyed Hyun Bin of course because he is a great actor and his character was so interesting. I think this drama illustrated some interesting points about mental health. It showed Jin-Woo struggling to keep himself sane inside a lawless and cruel game. I thought it did a great job of portraying struggles that other people may have had a hard time putting to words of how they feel when every one arounds them is telling them they are crazy. Also it does have some beautiful sites since they did go to Spain for the shooting of the drama. This drama felt fresh and exciting and I did enjoy most of it and the ride you go on while watching it.
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I have some complaints and that would be Jung Hee-Joo her character started to drive me crazy. She has very little purpose in this drama, she feels like a side kick and acts like a clueless, confused crying heroine that needs a man in her life to be complete. I simply did not understand her character she is faced with a crazy guy who everyone believes is crazy and mind you he is quite handsome but she choices to just accept him. She doesn’t even question all the weird things she sees him doing and I felt like come on that would never fly in real life. I would have loved it if she actually started playing the game and become a more interesting part of the story but instead she has to sit at home waiting for the guy to call her. The romance in the drama was utterly a waste of time and useless especially because it goes absolutely nowhere.

 

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The ending is so disappointing their is no reunion just left open ended. The logic of the game also is very shaky about where Hee-Joo’s brother is the whole time is never properly addressed. I feel like this drama had so much potential to become a well rounded drama if they would have put in a little more effort into story. They wasted a lot of time in the last episodes watching a scenario from one characters view and then re-watching it from another character, which felt wasteful and super unnecessary. The deaths in this drama felt just shocking like I hoped they could come back to life all the time! The writer made an interesting world for the characters and plot but the ending and love line were disappointing way to end this drama.

 

Upcoming Dramas

  1. Romance is a Bonus Book : It is about a genius writer and an editor who meets a lying copywriter who gets a job working under him. It sounds like a complete typical romance drama but I am a sucker for Lee Jong Suk!

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2. Spring Turns to Spring : It is about two women who do a body swap. This has been done a lot lately so I guess it is a theme this season. Not expecting too much from this but looks okay.

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3. The Crowned Clown: This drama is about a King and a commoner who look identical. The King decides to swap themselves because he feels like his life is being threatened. I have watched a few episodes and I didn’t really like the first one but it did get better but I don’t really care for all the politics that come with historical dramas! with who is going to control the King so I hope it will stay interesting!

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4. Touch Your Heart: This drama is about a lawyer and his secretary who is a former hallyu star who is in hiding after being in some tabloids but she really wants to get back into movies. We get to see Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na reunited from being in the Goblin together. Maybe they will get their happy ending in this drama!

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5. What’s Wrong, Poong Sang/ Live Or Die: I watched a few episodes and I have already dropped this drama. This drama feels so depressing and everything felt hopeless for all the characters. I honestly found all the characters unlikable and did not feel curious about their lives at all!

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October/November 2018 Korean Drama Reviews November 28, 2018

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The first drama I finished was 100 Days My Prince. The drama stars D.O as Won-deuk/Crown Prince and Nam Ji-Hyun as Hong-Shim. The story is about the crown prince and there is plot to kill him. He gets attacked and in the process he loses his memory and meets Hong-Shim and is forced to get married because of a law that he made.

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I feel like this was a decent drama, it had a good storyline and all the characters made sense also the motives were well thought out. There was a variety of characters and stories that were happening in the drama which made it more interesting. I was excited to see D.O. in a drama again and he didn’t disappoint! I think he made a great male lead.

100I found that it was a bit slow, the amnesia part felt long and somewhat dragged out with regaining his memory. I think that the drama had a few cliche moments with the amnesia, revenge and just the whole I want to control the King and choose who I want to put on the throne. The ending was a bit lacking for me, I wanted to see what the two of them together would look like, I feel like I didn’t get a full picture of how their regular life between the two of them was going to feel like, it felt unsatisfying. I mean with the amount of time they had they should have finished better. I felt like the drama didn’t offer me anything that hasn’t already been put out there. It wasn’t the worst but it was far from the best historical type dramas already made.

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I think one thing that stuck in my mind after watching the drama and I enjoyed was getting to see D.O. dressed up as a Crown Prince and walking around being all smart and tsundere ! I thought he was really cool!

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The second drama that I watched was Devilish Joy. The story is about Gong Ma-Sung (Choi Jin-Hyuk) who is a neurologist doctor that meets a woman Joo Gi Bbeum (Song Ha-Yoon) who is a celebrity and they have a whirlwind romance one day and ends with Gong Ma-Sung ending up in a car accident and suffers with short-term memory loss that only allows his memory to last one day. It also stars Hoya from INFINITE who is Gong Ma-Sung’s cousin.

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I enjoyed the first couple of episodes because they were pretty exciting and interesting. I think there was pretty good chemistry between the leads and many kiss and romantic scenes between them which isn’t always the case. The height difference between them was kinda cute as well. The acting was good and believable it had a good balance of sad and happy moments between them. The ending was cute and it was an unexpected ending to what it felt like was going to happen.

joy2I did not really enjoy the storyline that much after a while. Someone had pointed out that the story was very much like Boys Over Flowers with a rich guy trying to help a poor girl especially when she is being bullied. I felt like yes the story wasn’t that fresh to me and I mean even in BOF there is memory loss for a part. Joo Gi-Bbeum even resembled Geum Jan-Di in BOF. I thought I would like this drama more than I actually did but I think what frustrated the most was Gong Ma-Sung’s illness. How could he function in an important job with that bad of a memory loss it would take me so long each day to catch up reading what you wrote every day. You would have to read more than just yesterday’s notes, life is more complex than that, you would have to review weeks and months of materials to get back each day and that would be exhausting. The ending bothers me because there is no rhyme or reason to when his condition worsens or can get better. I also found Joo Gi Bbeum character kinda annoying, her hair also really bothered me, the bangs were terrible and it looked like she was wearing a helmet. I found this drama hard to take seriously and didn’t really feel the pain the characters were feeling. I just found that I couldn’t connect very well to the story and the characters.

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One scene that stuck in my mind in after watching this drama was Gong Ma-Sung lifting Joo Gi-Bbeum up on the counter and kissing her. At least they had good chemistry together!

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The third drama that I finished watching was The Beauty Inside. The drama is about Han Se-Kye (Seo Hyun-Jin) who is famous actress but she has a secret she changes into a different person for a week every month and this has caused her to be misunderstood. It also stars Seo Do-Jae (Lee Min-Ki) who is an executive at an airline company that his grandfather owns. He suffers from a disability where he can’t recognize anyone’s faces and has to work hard to hide this secret. The meet each other and their secrets become revealed to each other.

beauty2I have to say that I really did enjoy this drama, at first I wasn’t so sure since I had watched the movie and thought it was interesting so I hoped that the drama was going to also be entertaining. I really enjoyed Han Se-Kye character and loved how strong and courageous in how she helped others and stuck to her beliefs and her acting was also very good. I actually didn’t mind the changes that they made to the story it actually felt more believable than the movie since she could still be herself for most of the story. I thought it was fun when she would change into different people, I think I would have liked to see her change more in the drama but overall I think it had a good flow. This drama also had some good comedic timing but also had some terribly sad scenes. It had a good range and I definitely was able to feel the emotion and connect to the characters, well at least I was able to connect with Han Se-Kye’s emotions. I have to mention that Lee Da-Hee (Kang Sa-Ra) who is Seo Do-Jae’s sister definitely shone in her role in the drama and I thought she had almost a striking look, I feel like she could have even been the lead role.

beauty1At first I really didn’t care for Seo Do-Jae’s character, he was so stiff and his personality seemed really boring. I don’t know why it didn’t feel like it really fit well in the story. He eventually did start to grow on me but the acting did feel really flat but I haven’t seen Seo Hyun-Jin in any other drama so I wasn’t sure if it was his acting or the character that I was struggling with but eventually I stopped noticing it as much. I was hoping that she would be able to find her Dad and see that he also struggled with the same problem, since it seemed like they wanted to mention him and that they might come back to it but nothing seemed to come of it. It just seemed weird that her mom almost made her father presence seemed mysterious. I mean if they didn’t want to get into what her dad was about, they could have just said he died or that he was a bad guy that didn’t want to take any responsibility. One thing I thought was kinda weird in the drama was the dog King Kang, she was kinda treated like a toy with the weird clothes and the unnatural placement of putting her on counters. It just seemed odd and the dog didn’t really act like a dog.

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I think if I could watch any drama this fall I would choose this drama to watch! I think what will stick in my mind after watching this drama is the friendship Han Se-Kye and how they comforted at the funeral! I thought it was very touching!beauty4

 

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The fourth drama that I finished watching was Fox Bride Star/Where Stars Land. The drama is about Lee Soo-Yeon (Lee Je-Hoon) a mysterious, smart, prestigious guy that keeps people at a distance that recently started working at the airport in Passenger Services. He meets Han Yeo-Reum (Chae Soo-Bin) who just got transferred to Passenger services and is considered clumsy, full of mistakes and lets her emotions overtake her leading to mishaps.

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I enjoyed this drama for the most part it was full of action and relationship focused. The drama had a pretty good pace and it didn’t feel like it was getting boring. It did a good job of giving all the different characters in the drama space to develop them a bit and because they had a lot of characters it was able to jump around without the story getting stale. I also like that there were secrets that we had to unravel as we watched. I think the chemistry was also pretty good, I know from watching Lee Je-Hoon that he is able to kiss well and thought he did a really good job of acting! I also like the whole fantasy part where he is given the power to use his arm and have a super strength that kept the story interesting.

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I have some issues with this drama, I think the biggest problem was the ending, there are issues that aren’t resolved and questions left unanswered. Also people have thought it was really strange why Lee Soo-Yeon’s face wasn’t being shown at the end of the drama. It just felt somewhat unnatural that Yeo-Reum was left out of the loop for so long and it just felt like it was a long way to end the drama. I also didn’t really care for Yeo-Reum’s character, at first they really were trying to make her ditzy and causing problems. In the beginning honestly I don’t know how she could have even solved some of the problems and it felt like unfair treatment. I also have to mention the whole Soo-Yeon not wanting to live his life in a wheelchair and how he would rather die. I felt like this was insensitive and after watching the drama life where Lee Dong Wook’s brother Seon-Woo was also treated badly because he was in a wheelchair. I feel like the Korean culture surrounding people in wheelchairs seems very unfair and disturbing and I am sure it is like this in other cultures as well and I wish dramas would encourage people to see people with disabilities in a better light.

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I think one moment that will stick with me is when Yeo-Reum tried to push Soo-Yeon up against the wall and he turned it around on her. I loved the innocent looks Soo-Yeon could give sometimes and then change it up. I also loved it when Soo-Yeon walks out with some lipstick on his lips unknowingly!

 

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The fifth drama that I finished was Room No. 9. This drama is about Eulji Hae-Yi (Kim Hee-Seon) who is becoming a very good lawyer that seems she will do anything to win her cases and is planning to become senior partner at the prestigious law firm she is working at. She has everything going for her and even a prestigious boyfriend Ki Yoo-Jin (Kim Young-Kwang) who is a doctor and is planning to become a hospital director. It also stars Jang Hwa-Sa (Kim Hae-Sook) who is a death row convict and Have-Yi meets her and through an incident their bodies are exchanged.

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This was a different drama, I wasn’t expecting much from it other than a break from all the romantic comedies. It was pretty exciting for the first couple of episodes because of the body switch. Things got slow and then would pick up again and then would get slow again. The pacing was a bit off for this drama but yet I would still want to keep watching. The mystery and the way it was portrayed was kinda confusing at first and how it could possibly happen and be pulled off. I also didn’t really love it when they switched bodies. I kinda found Jang Hwa-Sa in Hae-Yi’s body was kinda boring and I found myself missing the strong and dynamic real Hae-Yi and was glad when the switch was over. It is somewhat of a darker drama with not much love or romance in it which I was fine with.

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What I liked about the drama was the twists and turns and unexpected events. It was confusing but that probably was okay because it held my interest longer. I think the last couple of episodes and the beginning were better than the middle part of the drama. It was a completely satisfying ending although I think there could have been a bit more revenge for my liking or at least some shouting matches. I really wanted one of the characters to just let Young-Bae have it but no one really expressed their feelings to him directly or at least when they had all the power. I liked how the relationships the drama focused on was friendships and family and the importance of it. At first I couldn’t relate much to the characters, especially with the body switch but once they switched back and they showed better understanding of each other I found I could connect to the characters.

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I think the moment from this drama that will stick with me when Hae-Yi played along with Jang Hwa-Sa’s mother who has dementia and pretended to be Jang Hwa-Sa and reassure her that Jang Hwa-Sa is okay. It was just a great gesture!

The upcoming Dramas that I will be watching:

1. Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: It is about a fairy who came down to earth and her winged clothing were taken and so she hasn’t been able to leave and go back to the fairy realm. Her husband who had them died and she has waited for the reincarnation of her husband to get them back. I have watched 6 episodes already and I am enjoying it quite a bit, I love fantasy dramas!

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2. Feel Good to Die: It is about an office worker who has a terribly annoying boss who has no social cues and she finds herself getting stuck in a time loop and comedically tries to stop it. I have watched a few episodes and I am enjoying it, it has comedy and also some seriousness.

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3.Children of Nobody: It is about a woman whose life falls apart because of an accident and about a children’s counselor who is also affected by the accident and a detective who gets involved. I am not really sure what it is about but it sounds interesting.

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4. Memories of the Alhambra: It is about a man who goes to Spain for business and meets a former guitarist and somehow their lives get entangled. This is a Park Shin Hye drama and I am kinda sceptical about it since I haven’t really enjoyed her latest dramas.

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5. Coffee, Please: It is about a pretty overweight woman who after drinking magic coffee becomes a beauty. It is also about a handsome webtoon writer who doesn’t believe in love and the woman has a crush on him. I hope this won’t be an offensive drama about people being overweight and if it is that I may drop it!Coffee-Please-01

 

August/September Korean Drama Reviews 2018 September 28, 2018

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The first korean drama that I finished this summer was ID: Gangnam Beauty/My ID is Gangnam Beauty based on a webtoon with the same name. I have not read the webtoon so I am sure people that have read it will feel differently about the drama. The story is about Kang Mi-Rae (Lim Soo Hyang) gets plastic surgery before entering college and is hoping to create a new and fresh start among her peers. Unexpectedly she meets Do Kyung-Seok (Cha Eun-Woo) who was her classmate in middle school and he recognizes her despite her plastic surgery. She discovers that College is still full of bullies and obstacles despite her pretty looking face.

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I think this drama started out strong with the different characters and the obstacles that Mi-Rae was forced to overcome and it really hooked people in. I have to say that people seemed to be a bit triggered by this drama of whether plastic surgery is good or bad. I think society feels like plastic surgery is something shameful and something you don’t talk about openly and yet people will do it because it makes them feel better. It is considered shameful because of the vanity of spending that much money on how you look. This must be a very prevalent topic in South Korea since they even have a name for people who get their faces done. By the end I really couldn’t tell if this drama was saying plastic surgery is good or bad. I think that Hyun Soo-A (Jo Woo-Ri) did a good job in acting out her role and was pulled in and got so mad at her. She played the innocent villain so well that it was frustratingly good.

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In the beginning I found it absolutely disgusting how women were being treated in this drama and was hard to watch. It did get better but still it was so wrong and treating women like objects just was unbearable. I found at some point I was getting annoyed at Kang Mi-Rae’s character, she was just so weak and only had a surprised look on her face most of the time. I just felt like her character became so uninspiring and I got bored with her actions and thoughts. I also found Do Kyung-Seok’s character a little boring because he was so cut and dry and facial expressions so stiff. I get that it was probably what he was supposed to act like but I found it odd and somewhat lacking chemistry at times. I also found his character a little unrealistic that he would have preferred her original face, I wish this was true but I just found it unbelievable and maybe because I have a heart of ice and have become a cynical through and through I just didn’t find it believable. The ending was pretty decent but it felt like there did not get to tell the whole story and it felt things were just left without a proper conclusion. This may be because it is originally a webtoon and I am unsure if it has even reached a conclusion.

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Overall it was a cute drama that will feel the need of wanting to watch a fun romantic comedy and still covers some intense topics and isn’t just fluff.

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The second drama I finished was Thirty But Seventeen/Still 17. The story is about Woo Seo-Ri (Shin Hye-Sun) a 17 year old who gets in a car accident and fall into a coma and wakes up 13 years later and has to adjust to becoming a 30 year old. It also stars Gong Woo-Jin (Yang Se-Jong) who is also 30 years old and has faced a trauma and works as set designer and tries his best not to get involved in other people’s business. The two of them become inter tangled into each other’s life and doesn’t know how to deal his feelings.

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I really liked the story line of this drama it felt somewhat fresh dealing with the problem of waking up a lot older and yet still feeling like a seventeen year old. It had a lot of humor and emotional moments that were truly enjoyable. It had a good full cast that really made it fun and interesting. I enjoyed the chemistry and the storyline although I think my favorite character was Seo-Ri she did a really good job in acting and the character was really well developed.

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The only thing was that I wished she would have found out about her past quicker instead of in the last episode I think the drama could have focused more on her and what happened to her friends and family instead of the romantic story line. I think the romance was very predictable so I don’t think it needed as much time as her storyline and past. I wish they would have done a love triangle between her doctor friend and Woo-Jin although that would be pretty predictable as well.

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30.pngOverall I think it was cute and enjoyable drama that had many funny and hilarious moments which was the best!It was a warm drama that made me feel good and satisfied when watching.

20180728_familiar_wife_coverThe third drama that I finished was Familiar Wife/Wife That I Know. It is about Joo Hyuk (Ji-Sung) who is unhappy in his marriage to Woo-Jin (Han Ji-Min). He is struggling at work and he is unhappy with Woo-Jin who is angered by everything he does and he becomes scared of her. He meets a man on the subway who gives him some coins and that he can go back in time and change his life.

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This was an interesting drama and it felt different in the way the story was being told. It feels hard to root for anybody because the characters seem unreliable and you don’t want them to be miserable. Mainly it is Joo-Hyuk that seems to keep making mistakes and you don’t know what he should do, I found it hard to root for him and Woo-Jin. It definitely plays on your feelings and it is confusing because it strays from the norm as the main character is at fault and isn’t blameless but instead is flawed. I guess you could say that it a more realistic version of a character that shows his weak and ugly side such as abandoning his wife and children for someone new. This made me feel very uncomfortable as a viewer. It is harder to see such harsh actions.

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I found it compelling even though there are parts I didn’t like but it is interesting watching someone get a second chance or more. I liked that it was different, and made me think a different way. Also being able to revisit the same story line a couple of times was interesting to see what changed or stayed the same. I did like the ending to the drama, I think they did a good job of wrapping it up and showing us how a relationship should work and how to be partners.

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I think it takes a couple of episodes to get into and it does away from good to less good, it is not really a romantic comedy. The middle of the drama got a bit slow and a bit redundant but it did pick up again.

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Overall it was a pretty interesting drama that seemed to show a unique perspective rarely shown in dramas. I think it was a pretty good ride in the end.

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The fourth drama that I watched was Life written by Lee Soo-Yeon who also was the writer for Stranger which was very good. I first thought that this was going to be about doctors and there patients but it really is not. It stars Ye Jin-Woo (Lee Dong-Wook) who is an emergency doctor and has a brother Ye Sun-Woo (Lee Kyu-Hyung) who is a paraplegic and is a doctor but is working in the health insurance evaluation. There are changes happening in the hospital with a company buying the the hospital and a new President Goo Seung-Hyo (Choo Seung-Woo). The new President wants to run the hospital like a business which is complete conflict of how doctors want to treat their patients. The drama focuses on the politics within the hospital. The power struggle is front and centre within this drama.

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Normally I wouldn’t find this subject matter very interesting or compelling but the writer brings so much depth to this drama. The bad guy is not just a bad guy he is also a good guy. People are not just bad or good. Sometimes bad guys do good things and sometimes good guys can do bad things. I think it focuses on the human condition and what drives everyone. Characters are not just one note they are treated as complex people that they are and some people may be surprised how interesting this drama can be.

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I did enjoy the characters in this drama and found myself being swept away when I would start watching. I sometimes didn’t always understand the fine details of the politics but I did get the gist of what was happening. I was happy that there was some love lines happening although I wasn’t expecting much from this writer. I really enjoyed the cinematography of this drama as well. I think it was well written and acted out wonderfully.

life2I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see Lee Dong-Wook being more of a doctor and treating patients but I was happy to see him act again! At times it was a bit hard to follow with the paperwork and what the politics were all about. I feel like the problems were not resolved so I’m wondering if they are wanting to donate second season since it seemed like a cliffhanger ending. If there is not a second season I feel like it was a bit of a strange ending.

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Overall it was a well written drama with interesting characters and good drama.

The dramas that I am watching next are:

  1. 100 days my prince: It is about a Prince that loses his memory and marries a peasant woman.

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2. Devilish Joy: Also a memory loss drama with a man that wakes up with no memory of the past day after an accident. He reunites with a woman that he loves and he has no memory of her.

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3. The Beauty Inside: It is about a top star woman who lives one week out of the month with a different appearance and a man that is unable to recognize anyone’s face except for hers.

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4. Where the stars land: It is about a man that is smart and mysterious working at the Incheon International airport and meets a clumsy woman also working at the airport.

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5. Room Number 9: It is a body swap drama, a lawyer changes places with a death row convict.

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June/July 2018 Korean Drama Reviews August 9, 2018

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The first drama that I have finished is called Rich Man which is a remake of the Japanese drama Rich Man, Poor Woman in 2012. The story is about a Lee Yoo-Chan(Suho) who is a demanding and programmer with vision for an IT company called Next In but he is unable to distinguish faces which can make his job hard for him. It also stars Kim Bo-Ra (Ha Yeon-Soo) who is recent college grad and is looking for a job and her special skill is that she has a strong memory recall. She gets hired at the company to use this special skill.

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I didn’t have high hopes for this drama because I wasn’t so sure how Suho was going to carry a lead role as I have not seen him act in any dramas. I have watched Yeon-Soo act and I kinda think that her acting is adorable and was happy to be able to see her act again. The acting may not have been the best but I didn’t really find it distracting so it was fine, although Suho was always constantly squinting or pretending to type things on the computer. The storyline did have some lulls that I found a bit boring at times and the relationships that were developing just seemed a bit weird and vague. I have to say there wasn’t that much chemistry between the two leads, it felt like they were more like brother and sister or something.

 

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I did like the mystery that was presented at the beginning and how all the characters were connected and I liked how it developed but once it was all figured out I think that was when I was a bit tired of the drama. I did not watch the Japanese original version but I did hear that people liked it better than this version. It does make me curious about the original but I don’t like watching the same storyline again. I liked some parts of this drama but not all of them so I found it a bit lackluster. I also did care for the whole stabbing people in the back and then try to make it all work together at the end. I also felt like some of the side characters were annoying as well. I wish they delved more into the facial recognition problem, I feel like they could have worked more with that problem and the struggles he faced with it. It is fine if you just want to watch an easy going drama and don’t want to get to invested into it and just like a time killer. It was not the best drama this season but it was fine.
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The second drama that I finished was About Time, not to be confused with the movie about time traveling. This drama is about Choi Michaela (Lee Sung-Kyung) who is an aspiring musical actress that has the ability to see how long people are going to live by the clocks that only she sees. The problem is that Choi Michaela own clock doesn’t have very much time left until she meets someone that has an affect on her clock and finally she has some hope who is Lee Do-Ha (Lee Sang-Yoon) a CEO of a Musical Theater Company.

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This drama seemed to get a lot of hate from the viewers and I really don’t know why, I really liked this drama. This drama played on our emotions very well and it had me crying and laughing. I wasn’t so sure about the male lead since he looks so much older than the Choi Mika but I really started to like him and found him really cute. I feel like the acting was done very well in this drama of all the characters and I really felt myself being emotionally invested in this drama.

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The problem with the drama is the ending since the theory of the clocks is a bit muddled and I feel like they did not explain how it worked and basically just left us with that is a mystery and that we have to just accept it which makes me think they just copped out the ending because they didn’t know how to make it work together. I was at least happy that they didn’t do a tragic ending although that probably would have left more of an impact. The second problem with this drama was that I think there was supposed to be a love triangle with the character Jo Jae-Yoo but the original actor Lee Seo-Won had to drop out because of a sexual harassment claim and Kim Dong-Joon had to fill in and re-shoot all the scenes so I think that character was much weaker than what was hoped for and it lacked the impact.

time4Overall I really enjoyed the drama and it made me feel a lot of feelings and I was always excited to watch it every week. It is a happy ending so you don’t have to worry about a tragic and depressing end. I wish there was a better explanation but I still found it enjoyable and endearing!

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The third drama that I finished watching was Wok Of Love/ Greasy Melo and this drama had very good ratings. This drama is about Seo-Poong (Lee Joon-Ho) who is talented Chinese chef who works at an expensive Chinese hotel restaurant and he expects that he will get promoted but instead he is fired so he swears he will take revenge on the restaurant and decides to join up with loan shark Doo Chil-Seong (Jang Hyuk) who owns a Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel. It also stars Dan Sae-Woo (Jung Ryeo-Wan) who is a young woman who comes from a wealthy family until her father goes to jail and she needs money for the first time ever and she has to take a loan from Chil- Seong and decides she will work in Seo- Poong’s kitchen.

wok1I thought it was a decent drama it had an interesting story line but it felt like there was something lacking, maybe it was the chemistry between the leads or maybe it was just too long. I feel like Seo-Poong seemed to young for Sae-Woo or something. I normally don’t care for Jang-Hyuk in dramas and shows but I thought this was the perfect character for him. The ending was really rushed as well it felt like they didn’t know how to end it properly and just kinda threw it together. It felt like there was no real completion and that made me a bit sad.

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wok3Also I didn’t like the dynamic of the ending, I don’t like that they ended up back at the hotel, I liked the warmth of the little restaurant and the dynamic was just weird at the end. Not to mention he kept on staff all the people that deserted and backstabbed him and even begged them to stay. I just felt like the drama just kinda lost it’s direction toward the end and I just did not find myself getting emotionally involved in the struggles they were having. In the end I just kinda felt like a strange drama and that the characters were also kinda weird. They also had the mother character playing two roles which I still don’t get the point of that?
The acting wasn’t bad and at times it was fun and interesting, but other times the characters could be frustrating to me.

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Overall it is a decent drama, was fun at times, and really made you hungry!

 

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The fourth drama I watched was The Undateables/Handsome Guy and Jung-Eum. This drama is about Hoon-Nam (Namgung Min) who is considered a love guru and is able to solve all things wrong with love but has never been in love and is a CEO of a toy museum. It also stars Jung-Eum (Hwang Jung-Eum) who has been in some painful relationships and ends up becoming a love matchmaker but has recently been struggling and so she tries to turn to the love guru Hoon-Nam but she has to convince him to help her after she has made a bad impression on him from a series of misunderstandings and accidents.

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I was excited about this drama because I enjoy Namgung Min since he always plays great characters but I was disappointed after the first episode but I think it was mainly with Hwang Jung-Eum since it seemed like she was overacting quite a bit and it was hard to watch at first. It did get better since I decided to stick it out and her character does calm down.

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I did enjoy this drama but it was very predictable and there wasn’t that much emotional connection with any of the characters. I would say it was more of a superficial drama that was lighthearted and could warm your heart with the sweetness. I have to say I did enjoy the side stories of the characters that she was trying to match up, they were cute and interesting. This was a good warm hearted drama but very typical and safe.

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The drama is a pretty predictable romantic comedy that wasn’t anything new or different but had some fun moments. It is a good drama for something light hearted and something that doesn’t make you think too much!

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The fifth drama that I finished was What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim/ Why Secretary Kim. This drama is about Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon) who is the vice president at his family’s company and he is considered selfish, handsome, egotistic and narcissistic. His secretary Kim Mi-So (Park Min-Young) has worked for him for years and she knows exactly how to take care of him and she decides she is going to quit her job which Young-Joon can’t figure out why. This drama is based on a webcomic with the same name.

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I wasn’t sure if this drama looked very interesting but it actually was a fun drama and all the characters are interesting. It has a intriguing mystery that keeps you interested and confused for the first half of the drama. I have to say they do delve into more mature parts in relationships that I rarely see in Korean dramas and it does feel realistic that they have feelings of lust but it usually doesn’t get shown to us that clearly. I can’t say I really liked that they had to show us, I feel like it should have come in the last episode after getting married or something. I felt like that would have been more appropriate in the last episode because it just seemed weird for the last episodes. I feel like they did not communicate that well with each other and it seemed like that wasn’t the best way to portray how to take that step together. I understand that it is realistic nowadays but I didn’t really care for it that much.

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I also found that the whole mystery intense scene that I didn’t really connect or have that much empathy with the characters. I did not become that emotionally invested in the struggles that the characters were having which I found strange. I also think they did way too many flashbacks of the mystery intense scenes from the past that it felt very repetitive. So I feel like it had all the ingredients to make a great drama but it felt like something was lacking but it is still a good drama.

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I love the humor in this drama that comes from all the side characters and Young-Joon they had many funny moments that were very enjoyable to watch. I think there were many heart fluttering moments that were enjoyable and the chemistry was really good. There were rumorsA that Seo-Joon and Min-Young have been dating for three years so it does make you wonder if any of it is real. I think if you are looking for a romantic-comedy you will definitely enjoy this drama. There was even a report that came out that Park Seo-Joon and Park Min-Young were dating but later it was just alleged report that they were dating. I think that is a sign of a good drama and chemistry if the audience are trying to find proof that they are dating! No party has confirmed that they are dating, but who really knows!?

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The last drama I watched was Are You Human? This drama is about Nam Sin (Seo Kang-Joon) who is from a rich family that runs a prestigious company and after an accident is in a coma and his mother Oh Ro-Ra (Kim Sung-Ryoung) has been separated from her son for most of his life has made a robot that looks exactly like Nam Sin and so they decide to hide that Nam Sin is in a coma and get the robot to stand in as his replacement unknown to mostly everyone around him. His bodyguard So-Bong (Gong Seung-Yeon) becomes an important part to keeping this secret and they start to develop a relationship.

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I feel like this robot genre has really been done this year a lot and I hope they will take a break from it! Technically this was filmed in 2017 so it was made probably before the other robot dramas. I did not like the first couple of episodes maybe because it was shot abroad in Czech Republic and it was like the story line wasn’t as important as showing off they had filmed abroad. Maybe it was because they were trying to set up the story line quickly but the first episodes didn’t really pull me in or keep me that interested but I decided I would keep watching and gave it a chance. I am glad I did because it did become more interesting and appealing and I started to enjoy the drama. It really made me confused about how they could end this drama as I feel like it was impossible. The ending still didn’t solve the basic question of how can you replace a robot as a love interest compared to a real person.

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I found myself feeling disturbed or just not accepting the fact that she is going to choose to love a robot and instead I found myself looking for love interest in the other characters. I kinda was hoping that the human Nam Sin would somehow have linked up his brain with the android and then was able to live through the robot and therefore he could have become the love interest. Instead they made the human Nam Sin a terrible person and made the robot to be the hero which I think is still strange to me, like are they trying to brainwash into accepting robots into our society! I don’t know this was an overall strange drama and I found all the characters kinda weird by the end. Characters killing, trying to kill and changed personalities. I think it was doing pretty good for the middle with some twists and turns but I felt the ending was lacking and I can’t seem to accept the robot love.

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I did enjoy Seo Kang Joon, I liked him in the variety show “Roommates” and he did a good job in “Cheese In The Trap” and I thought he did a good job portraying two characters so he was enjoyable enough to watch. I of course enjoyed seeing Lee Joon-Hyuk again as he does a good job being a stiff person. Gong Seung-Yeon also did a good job but I found her character somewhat annoying for parts of this drama but I don’t think it was her fault. I think it was interesting how they did try to tackle the robot love subject it was similar to “Borg Mom” which again doesn’t really address the problems of being romantically involved with a robot.

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If you like robot dramas then this drama will work for you! It has love, mystery, rich families, backstabbing and robots.

 

The next dramas that I am watching are:

  1. My ID is Gangnam Beauty-: Based on webcomic with the same name, I have watched a few episodes and it is really good so far! A college student has undergone plastic surgery because she wanted to enjoy her life as an ordinary person instead of feeling ostracized by her looks.

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2. Thirty but Seventeen: A seventeen year old gets into an accident and wakes up from a coma as a thirty year old and has to figure out what to do with her life and find her uncle and aunt. I have watched a few episodes and this is a good romantic comedy so far!!

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3. Familiar Wife- This is an interesting drama so far it is about a salary man who is living a tough and unhappy life and he gets a chance to rewrite his past and be with the wife he wanted.

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4. Life- It is about a businessman who acquires a hospital and he wants it to make some money and so he makes some decisions that make the staff unhappy and so the doctors are trying to expose the dirty business of making money. It seems like a slower paced drama but the acting seems to be really good.

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Japanese Movie Reviews July 4, 2018

I have been watching some Japanese Movies lately mostly ones based off of a manga. They are kinda like their own genre and often tend to be high school dramas. I find it is harder to find subs for movies especially Japanese movies. They are from various years and I just briefly wanted to talk about them.

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The first one I watched this month was called The Anthem of the Heart which is based on an anime with the same title. The premise of the story is about a girl named Jun Naruse who learns that her words have ruined her family so she believes that an egg fairy puts a curse on her and is unable to speak. After that whenever she tries to speak she is plagued by a terrible stomachache. Once she attends high school people seem to just ignore her until she is forced to join a committee by her teacher. She want to refuse but she hears Takumi making music and she feels compelled to join the committee and take part in creating a musical that could express her thoughts and what is stuck in her heart.

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anthem2So there are parts of this movie that are interesting and compelling but it seems super unrealistic. The idea that since she was a child she has not been able to speak and her Mother just seems angry at her but doesn’t deal with the problem by getting her help. I don’t think a school would be able to have a student that doesn’t speak without wanting to get her help. I know that psychological help is taboo in Japan it still doesn’t seem that realistic. Also I don’t really think that she has never tried to sing anything until high school, to me that seems impossible to think you would never sing along to a jingle or song, even by accident. I have not seen the anime so maybe they express things differently and in a more realistic way that the movie doesn’t seem to cover? I did enjoy the characters and the love triangles were interesting. They did not give enough time to really develop the love triangles since the confession at the end was surprising to me since they gave little time to the two of them developing affection for each other.

anthem.pngI did like the music in this movie, it was interesting how it mashed the songs together and I thought the acting was believable. I don’t think this is the best fantasy high school movie that I have seen but it had some interesting thoughts and feelings portrayed in the movie.

 

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The second movie that I watched was Kyo Koi Wo Hajimemasu (Love for Beginners) 2012. It is based on a manga which I did read. I really think it makes a difference whether or not you have read the manga before the movie. When you read the manga you know the story line better and understand the characters better and the movie will feel rushed since it only has a limited time to tell the story. So yes the story was very fast moving and it seemed to feel really rushed but it was a cute movie. I obviously liked the manga better but it is interesting to see the manga story line in a live action version.

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The movie is about Hibino Tsubaki who is considered old fashioned and tends to dress in an unattractive way but she is very good at styling other people’s hair. There is a male Tsubaki that she meets in high school who seems to have a problem with the way that Hibino Tsubaki is acting and declares that she is his and no one else can touch her. So it is a bit of typical idea of a girl going through a makeover by taking off her glasses (Big eye roll) and becoming the perfect girl for the popular boy that could have any girl that he wants. So I don’t think that this movie has a lot of depth but it is more of a fun movie that doesn’t make you do any thinking. It is okay, but not the greatest of movies.

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I think I preferred reading the manga!

 

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The third movie I watched was Sakurada Reset 1 and also Sakurada Reset Part 2. It is two different movies but I will talk about them together they were both released in 2017. It is based on anime and light novel. The plot of the movie is that within the town of Sakurada people are able to possess special abilities and will forget them in they leave the town. It is mainly about Kei Asai who is able to remember everything and works together with Misora Haruki who is able to reset the town for maximum of three days after she saves the time. Kei is able to remember everything even with the reset while most people aren’t able to remember and never know that the town has been reset. They get involved with the Administration Burea that monitors all the abilities and they become a part of a bigger picture where they need to save the town.

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So I found these movies a bit hard to follow because I have not watched the anime or read the books. Some of the abilities were confusing to me but it left me wanting to watch more. I think it is confusing since they redo the same day over and it is hard to keep track what day you are on. I am happy they did another movie which I think a lot of manga turned into movies need to do to tell the story to the best it can. I found the use of the abilities interesting and really made you think about how everything is connected and it really drew me in. I thought the plot was really interesting and wanted to keep watching more! I am starting to watch the anime because I want to understand the story better and usually after watching a movie I have no desire to watch the anime. So I think they did a good job in getting people interested in the story.

 

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I would recommend these movies if you like the fantasy and interesting story lines that mind you can be a bit confusing or maybe that is just me !?

 

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The fourth movie I watched was Orange which again is based on the manga with the same name. I have not read the manga so I don’t know how they compare to each other. This drama is a fantasy school drama. It is about Naho Takamiya who is in high school and on her way to school she gets a letter from herself from ten years in the future. The letter contains details about what will happen to her this year and she wants to make some different decisions so that she can correct some mistakes that the future Naho has made. The events she wants to change seem to be around a new transfer student Kakeru Naruse and about a bad event that seems to involve him.

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I really like time travel type movies and this one is very interesting with sending mail to your past self. I enjoyed the way that the story was developed and found it interesting thinking that past events can have such a profound effect on our future. It is a simple story and yet has some complex thoughts and feelings that come from watching it. I think because we all have things that we wish we could change about our past. I found this movie very moving and I thought the movie was well done and I don’t really have anything negative to say about it.

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I really liked this movie and would recommend it although there are parts that made me very sad!

 

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The Fifth movie I watched was Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei) which again is based on the manga with the same name. This movie is a again a high school movie which is about Suzume a high school girl that moves in with her Uncle in Tokyo because her father is moving to Bangladesh because of his job. She hasn’t lived in a a big city so she gets a bit lost and runs into a man that helps her to her uncle’s house. She later finds out the man is to be her homeroom teacher Satsuki Shishio and she starts to develop feelings for him.

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So this movie is great for those who like teacher student romances! I did read the manga before watching the movie but it had been a long time and I didn’t remember what happened at the end so I still found the ending surprising. I liked this movie it was interesting and the romance keeps you guessing about who she is going to choose. All the actors are cute and I thought the acting was decent. Of course the manga goes into more details and you feel you get a better idea of the characters as the movie is always rushed. So it may not feel as developed as one would like when it comes to the relationships but I think it was sweet and cute movie which was enjoyable.

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I really liked the ending more than I thought originally in the manga!

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The sixth movie I watched was Hyouka: Forbidden Secrets which was first an anime Hyouka. The movie is about Hotaro Oreki who in his first year of high school and his sister writes and tells him that he has to join the Classic Literature Club or else it will be dissolved and that he has to save it. When he joins he meets Eru Chitanda who is a girl who is always curious and she asks Hotaro to solve the mystery of the words that her Uncle told her about the club Hyouka. Hotaro can’t seem to say no to Eru and so he tries to put together the pieces about what happened 33 years ago.The movie focuses on the first couple of episodes of the anime Hyouka except that it focuses and goes deeper into the mystery of Chitanda’s Uncle. I have to say even though I watched the anime it has been a while and I completely forgot about the mystery of Eru Chitanda’s uncle and I really liked how they went deeper into the mystery although it still makes me sad that they can’t really get to the bottom of what happened to her uncle. I wish that they would do another movie and have more mysteries for Hotaro to solve!

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I know that a lot of people didn’t like the choice of actors for the characters but I didn’t think they did a bad job picking them. It is hard to convert from anime to live action because there is a charm with anime and the way the characters can act and then transfer to live action and try not to make it to silly and cartoony. I didn’t mind the actors though and I think they had the essence needed for the characters in the movie. I think if you like trying to figure out mysteries that you will like the movie and it will make you interested in watching the anime.

 

April/May 2018 Korean Drama Review May 23, 2018

Filed under: 2018 Reviews — sighilovekdramas @ 12:17 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I didn’t watch as many dramas this month as I didn’t find many that caught my eye but I will talk about the ones that I did watch. I was planning on watching Switch Change The World but I watched 3 episodes and it did not hold my attention at all and I felt like it was poorly done story line and none of the characters kept my interest. I am sorry if people out there did enjoy the drama and maybe it did get better but I just couldn’t get through it. It kinda reminded of the drama Man to Man which I did not enjoy that much so I decided to drop Switch and not watch it if I didn’t enjoy it.

1. You Who Forgot Poetry/Poem A Day

 

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The first one that I finished was You Who Forgot Poetry/A Poem A Day which is a romantic comedy drama. The plot of the drama is following the story of people that work more behind the scenes in the hospital. It mainly focuses on the physical therapists and the stories of the different patients that they have to help. It also focuses part of the story line on 2  X-ray radiologists.

 

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It stars Woo Bo-Young (Lee Yoo-Bi) who is a struggling contracted physical therapist who really wants to become full time to have a stable place in the working world. It also stars Shin Min-Ho (Jang Dong-Yoon) Who is a trainee and is working under Woo Bo-Young and the staff at her hospital and they have bad past and history together from college together. It also stars Ye Jae-Wook (Lee Joon-Hyuk) who is a new well known physical therapist who has a new technique of treating patients that comes to their hospital to work and shakes up everyone.

 

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So I really loved the comedy in this drama there are many funny moments that made it so enjoyable to watch. It also had some heart wrenching moments that made you feel all kinds of emotions, since it touched on the various human emotions that we feel through the use of poems. Each episode would highlight a couple of poems and some of them really touched my heart. There was one moment when one of the physical therapist was driving his mother back to the countryside and the song that was played was so touching. I really like how the poetry and was included into the drama since it is able to convey emotion that is hard to put into words.

 

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The love line in the story was okay but I don’t think that it really went deep enough to touch my heart. It just felt like they could have done more with the love line and it felt somewhat disappointing for some reason. Honestly the comedy in the drama was enough to keep me watching and the romance was a bit fluffy. I really liked how they used comedy with the character of Ye Jae-Wook since he is very serious. There are just so many great moments that seem to make up for everything else. I found the ending to be very lacking like they started different story lines and didn’t seem to wrap it up very well. It was like they just focused on the love line and forgot about all the other main characters and I found the ending to be jarring to the story line. This makes me sad because the drama had potential to be a great one. I feel like Min-Ho’s story needed something more to say goodbye and how he became a better person or how he could deal with his family. I feel like there needed to be conclusion with pretty much all of the characters.

 

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I would recommend this drama if you want something silly and lighthearted with a bit of few serious moments mixed in. Even what I didn’t like about the drama doesn’t seem to take away from the fun of the drama. I thought it was a fun spring drama and I am sad that it didn’t have enough time to properly end the drama in my opinion.

 

2. My Mister

 

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The second drama that I finished was My Mister and I have to say this is a heavy drama. It stars Dong-Hoon (Lee Sun-Kyun) who is struggling in his life of working for a company and is trying to do his best for others around him and seems to forgo his own happiness for those around him. It also stars Lee Ji-An (IU) who is in her twenties and working at the same company as a temp and is struggling to survive in the world with a loan shark after her and having trouble supporting her grandmother. She sees Dong-Hoon receive a bribe and sees that he puts into his drawer and she goes back after hours to take the money because she wants to pay off her debts. She also finds things out about the CEO of the company that could affect everyone’s future and everyone’s life becomes entangled.

 

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I have to say this is one of the most interesting dramas I have seen in a long time. I feel like there are a lot of deep themes in this drama and many that I probably missed or is unable to put into words. I know this drama shocked the viewers because they thought it was going to be a love story and the age difference is quite large but I think the story is more about the realities of the life and that isn’t always something like a fairy tale and I didn’t really expect it to be a love story and it isn’t in a traditional sense. It was also controversial because there is a scene where the money lender beats her quite badly and people felt it was excessive. It was explained it was done so that Ji-An would never be able to have any romantic feelings toward the lender. I think that Ji-An and how she is living is pretty shocking and her character that has been shown so little love in her life is a complex and fascinating character and IU did an amazing job of acting. This drama allows the ugliness of life to show in this drama and I feel the emotions that are portrayed in this drama was really relatable.

 

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I feel like the love in this drama wasn’t really a romantic one instead it felt like he was being like a mentor or father figure and wanting to help someone in true pain that he knew he could help. Ji-An loved him but I think she loved how such a good person he was and wanted to become a part of his warm world. I think the ending was good and realistic and it left you with hope even though the whole dramas feels like a hopeless situation. I think that the acting was so well done in this drama and I think it touched on a lot of topics that people find hard to talk about like failure/success, affairs, family, friendship, loneliness etc. It really seemed to drive home that their is still kindness in people, even though it feels like the world is cruel. That people do want to do the right thing and sometimes it can only be brought out in other people when they really see another person and their vulnerabilities. It felt like a really human story, like the ugliness and realities of life that were shown but also the beauty and kindness of being human was also portrayed. Like humans were can be really ugly and mean but at the same time we can be kind and beautiful and it seems to live within us at the same time, the irony of being human.

 

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Some things that bothered me in this drama was when Ji-An wire tapped Dong-Hoon’s phone she was always able to hear everything clearly even if his phone was in his pocket and not close to their mouth. She could always hear his breathing which I don’t think would have been possible unless he had put it up to his mouth.

 

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I thought this was an interesting, intense and thought-provoking drama that I would recommend if you want a drama with more substance and need a break from fluffy dramas.

 

3. Live

 

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The third drama I finished was Live which is police drama where it follows the story of police officers who work in a dangerous precinct. The drama stars Sang-Soo (Lee Kwang-Soo) who has become a new police officer along with Han Jeong-Oh (Jung Yu-Mi). It follows the struggles of trying to do the right thing and become a police officer with a sense of duty. They start working in a dangerous and busy precinct and quickly have to learn how to deal with the trials of taking care of themselves and citizens in dangerous situations.

 

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I have watched many police shows and dramas and this drama feels very unique and eye opening compared to the ones that I have watched. It showed the struggle that police officers are having while on the job in South Korea. I don’t know how accurate the situations that were being portrayed were but I found them upsetting and frustrating. The thinking is that the citizens have the right to sue and have complaints against cops if they feel like they have been done wrong. How I have grown up the cops have the power and that even touching a cop in any way you could be charged and be penalized. We don’t have the thinking that we are paying their wage through our taxes and that we have a right to complain over anything and jeopardize their career. I don’t know how accurate the situations they were showing but I have never seen police being criticized for taking action against a criminal. It is such a different situation that is happening in the United States where cops are being more excessive with their shooting that they are starting to come down harder on cops which we have not heard about much until now. It is good to have checks in place for cops but is also good to not penalize a cop for trying to protect others. We need to protect the police just as much as the citizens and it is hard to find the balance. I hope that this drama will help to bring about change to the police force in South Korea and show what cops have to face and how it is never an easy decision to use force but at times it is necessary.

 

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The one thing that I didn’t really get in the story line was the divorce between Yang-Chon and his wife. I thought it was a little weird, I mean I get the idea and what she was trying to convey but I don’t really get it. I feel like they needed to express more to each other in this drama and what she was thinking because she seemed to come across as mysterious.

 

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The filming was really great and it felt like I was watching a movie. The friendship and relationships in this drama were well done and it was always interesting to watch. It was a very emotional drama as it dealt with hard issues like rape, murder and prostitution. It was also interesting to see Lee Kwang-Soo in a drama as I usually watch him on Running Man and it was strange to see him always being so serious but I thought he did a really good job on his character. The focus was more on the stories of the people and relationships and less on the cases, which I think made it more of an unique drama. There is romance in this drama but I think the friendships were more touching. I also love how female cops were portrayed in this drama they were empowered and shown as tough and were simply really cool.

 

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I am sad that this drama is over since I really enjoyed the cast. I would recommend this drama to anyone, but especially to those who like police dramas.

 

Upcoming Dramas

 

These are the upcoming dramas that I am wanting to watch.

 

 

1. Wok of Love

It is about a top rate chef that wants to collaborate with former gangster to take revenge on the fancy chinese restaurant that betrayed him.

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2. About Time

This drama is about a woman that can see how much time people have left and she meets a guy that can stop her time.

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3. Handsome Guy and Jung Eum/The Undatables

This drama is about two people that are trying to understand about love but seem to be failing until they meet each other. I am excited to see Nam Gong-Min even if I don’t love the female lead.

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4. Are You Human?

This drama is about a man who falls into a coma and his mother creates an android that tries to pretend to be him. It seems like robot dramas have been big this year, it seems intriguing!

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5. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim

 

This drama is about a narcissist vice president of a large company and his secretary that has worked for him for 9 years and wants to quit. I feel like there is high expectations for this drama because of Park Seo-Joon.

 

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