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Reviews on Korean and Asian Dramas

Korean Drama August/September 2017 Reviews September 20, 2017

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The first drama that I finished was Bride of Habaek/ Bride of the Water God. This is a fantasy/romance drama that was loosely based on the Manhwa of the same title. The story line is that a Water God Ha Baek (Nam Joo Hyuk) comes to Earth as part of a mission of finding some stones that that he can become King and he meets Yoon So-A who is a psychiatrist and unknown to her she is a his servant. He loses his powers without warning and he has to rely on So-A to help him fulfill his tasks.

bride-3-e1505943462970.pngOkay first of all I am so disappointed about this drama, I was really anticipating the manhwa come to life with the fantasy of the water god and otherworldly story lines happening. I haven’t read the whole manhwa but they pretty much ignore the entire premise of the manhwa they shouldn’t have even bothered using the title of the manhwa because it is pretty misleading. I thought that well if they do the story well that it wouldn’t bother me but I found the storyline kinda boring and I didn’t find myself cheering for the couple.

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I did like some things in the drama and that was the acting was pretty good from the cast. I especially thought Lim Ju-Hwan did an excellent job of acting and liked watching him on screen. I also liked the side story of Shin Ja-Ya and Secretary Min and how she would go to him for help and he was so cold to her. It was maybe the best story line of the whole drama for me! I think the beginning was a bit more interesting to me, I liked it also when the plants started talking to So-A . Of course Nam Joo-Hyuk is a good actor but I found his character really flat and boring and didn’t find him terribly appealing to me but I don’t think it was really his fault. Not much else made an impression on me.

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The things I did not like about this drama is how where they took the story, the whole point of the having him be a god is that he has powers and they took them away for the entire drama, what a waste to me! Frankly I was a fine if the two of them were separated I didn’t really feel the love between them? not sure if it was a lack of chemistry or what but I really didn’t care that much! Even the other hardships for So-A I found I wasn’t that touched or really cared a whole lot. I found myself not getting that emotionally invested int this drama. I really think the original story would have been much better or if they would had the story play out in the world of the gods instead of on earth. I know that people were really annoyed by Krystal and they thought she was annoying. I didn’t mind her that much as an actor but seriously she was always pulling up on some long dress to even walk which started bothering me for some reason!

This is a disappointment of a drama to me, I really expected more and so I wouldn’t recommend this drama to watch.

School-2017-05

The second drama that I finished was School 2017. I wanted to watch this drama because it is kinda a part of a series and I watched Who Are You: School 2015 and I really enjoyed it and I thought that this would also be an interesting one. This drama is about a school that is full of corruption from the top starting with the Director to even the bottom with the teachers and students. It is about Ra Eun-Ho (Kim Se-Jeong) who is actually from a girl group Gugudan and is her debut into acting. Ra Eun-Ho is on the bottom of the grades and she struggles with wanting to get into university. The principal plays dirty by posting every one’s marks and only lets those with higher marks have privileges and the family of rich students are treated differently by the teachers. A mystery person called X comes and starts making things right by unveiling all of the corruption done by the school and Ra Eun-Ho gets swept up into the trouble and has a hard time convincing others of her innocence. Hyun Tae-Woon takes pity on Eun-Ho and he tries to help her.

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If this is how Korean schools are actually like that is really sad and scary for students! I think it is odd to think that people could own schools because where I am from that is not really done. I guess there are some private schools but I would think that it would be owned by more than one person. Anyway first of all there is a lot of talk of expulsions and that made me wonder why they just didn’t transfer to another school and maybe go to a public school owned by the government rather than an individual.

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What I enjoyed about the drama is first of all I really enjoyed  Eun- Ho (Se-Jeong’s) performance, I wouldn’t have guessed that she had not acted before, I really found her loveable and adorable. Secondly I really liked Tae-Woon (Jung-Hyun) as a character and I could totally fall for a guy like that! The whole tough guy that really wants to protect his girl! I liked that they are addressing the problems of corruption in schools and how intense the student’s feel about their grades. The school culture in Korea seems really unbearable and I hope that it will change for them. I think it was a pretty good coming of age story that shows the struggles of friendships, love and loyalty.

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What I didn’t like about the drama was that the whole X thing got a bit boring and uninteresting. The unfairness of the school just gets frustrating after a while and a bit redundant. It felt like they revealed the mystery too soon and then it lost some of the suspense of the drama.

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Overall it was a pretty decent school drama and it was pretty enjoyable.

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The third drama that I finished was The King Loves. It stars Won (Siwan) as the crown prince of Goryeo and Wang Rin(Hong Jong-Hyun) who is is best friend that are inseperable. They witness a horrible event and that is where they meet Eun-San (Yoona) who is daughter of the richest merchant in Goryeo. This is the start of the love triangle that could finally split up the two friends.

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First of all I feel like even though it is a historical drama again I felt like it was bit different than the usual struggle for the throne. I don’t think I have watched a drama based on Goryeo and how there was a struggle between the Yuan dynasty and Goryeo. It was an interesting conflict of the King of Goryeo was so affected by Yuan and that he had less power then his son because Won was the grandson of Yuan’s emperor. It was just an interesting dynamic that I felt was a bit fresh. I also really liked the clothing from this time period and thought it was interesting with Eun-San (Yoona) would wear men clothing, it just was interesting and I enjoyed seeing a different kind of heroine.

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I was also pleasantly surprised with Yoona as an actress because I haven’t watched her in a drama before but I thought she did a decent job in this role. I feel like they portrayed most women with a bit more fierceness and character than most dramas. They were not women that needed to be saved but they made their own choices and mistakes and were going to live with them. They were not living as women that needed to be saved all the time, I mean it does happen but they were fierce and demanded more from the people around them. Of course it is a typical love triangle that happens in the drama but at the same time everything seems up in the air all of the time of who is going to end up being the couple. It was a lot less obvious then some dramas of who is going to end up with who which I liked because I like to be kept guessing in a drama. But I feel like this drama was really not trying to glorify falling in love and actually it felt like falling in love was actually terrible because someone is always going to lose. It seemed like Eun-San didn’t want to pick anyone because she knew she would break up such a beautiful friendship and probably would have avoided it if she could have.

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Some things that I didn’t like about the drama was first of all the ending, not sure why it had to end that way and it seemed unclear about what really happened. I guess I prefer to have a clear ending instead of an ambiguous one. The whole political side of it gets a bit hazy like not sure why this is happening and not really sure what is trying to be accomplished. It annoyed me that Wang Lin always had to be the one to sacrifice things like I feel like that type of character is unrealistic. I don’t think I can say to many bad things about this drama I feel like it was satisfying enough. For a love triangle story that showcases a great friendship I think it did the story justice. I think some people may not like that San doesn’t seem to clarify her feelings throughout the drama leaves viewers wanting more of a commitment to either of the men. I think at the same time that was the point she was valuing friendship and cherishing those feelings first, to me I can understand those sentiments.

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I didn’t expect to much from this drama and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Man-Who-Dies-to-Live-04

I finally finished Man Who Dies to Live which has been hard to find with English subs. It might be easier to find now but it was sure delayed for subs and there has been the outrage because it was considered to be appropriating Muslim religion and culture. The biggest problem seemed to be in the first episode with Muslim women wearing something like a head covering and then wearing bikinis and there seemed to be other problems with how they portrayed the clothing of women. I agree this was completely a ridiculous representation of Muslims country but I don’t think they were trying to be malicious and evil by doing this. It was just a lack of sensitivity and they responded by pulling the scenes in repeat broadcasts and said they would makes sure to be more careful. Watching American television religion is made fun of a lot and I don’t agree with that being made fun of either but I personally would stop watching it if I felt offended and that is fine. I just don’t think you can force companies from stopping it from being made because that is taking away rights from people and forcing them not to have freedom of speech, but again this is just my opinion.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to watch the show because no one wanted to sub it either because of the outrage. The thing is that this drama is also a comedy so I think people would have realized that this isn’t going to be a super accurate representation of anyone or anything. I really wanted to watch it because of the cast, Choi Min-Soo always puts on a good show and I was excited to see Shin Sung-Rok in a drama again. The premise of the show also was interesting it is about Choi Min-Soo went to the Middle East Bodantia a fictional country and became a Count and became very rich. He finds out he has a daughter that he never knew about so he goes back to South Korea to find her or else he will be in trouble. Lee Ji-Young (Gang Ye-Won) has been struggling with trying to start a writing career and not to mention her unhelpful husband Kang Ho-Rim (Shin Sung-Rok) who only confuses things by getting involved with another woman.

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This drama I really didn’t expect much from and was just thinking that it will be a light-hearted comedy and I was pretty much correct. It feels like more of a sitcom feeling and it had an exaggerated acting feel to it. I was really surprised that Choi Min-Soo had to overact so much in this drama and the foreign language of the drama was kinda painful. I thought that it was a bit over the top the characters and I didn’t care for that too much. Also I didn’t really understand how the Abdallah character was supposed to be from the Middle East, he looks very Korean to me. The story seemed like it was going to be going somewhere for a while but then the ending was really bizarre. It seemed like they may have left it open-ended in case they would get to do a second season but I doubt that because it had so much trouble already and wasn’t well received from it’s international audience. So I can’t figure out why they ended it the way they did because it was neither funny nor did it seem to fit the mood of the drama. I was also sad that Sung-Rok had to play a character that was so frustrating.

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Even though Choi Min-Soo seemed to be over the top I still thought he had a really strong presence and played the part of a Count pretty good. It was still fun to see him in a drama again, I still remember when he was on Running Man and scared the pants off of the members because he was such an intense hunter for name tags! He is just fun to watch on the screen and I think he was the one that saved this drama. There were a few touching moments and funny moments that were fun to watch. I am happy that it was subbed and that I did get to watch a funny drama that was focused more on the family story line instead of only a romantic one. The best thing about this drama was the cast.

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I wasn’t the worst drama but it definitely wasn’t the best, it was unique in it’s own way.

I also picked up a variety show called “It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets”. I have to say I loved this show, it is only 3 episodes so I think it was a pilot program that was testing the waters. I think with the MBC’s strike even if it does get picked up it won’t be continuing for a while. I still really enjoyed the few episodes that have aired. The premise that these group of celebrities are considered homebodies and introverts and they go on vacation together and even pick up a hobby or two. They don’t tell them what they should do or say, it is up to them but they do set up things for them if they want or try to help them try new things. It stars Lee Sang Woo, Yong Jun Hyung, Park Jae Joung, Kang Daniel, Xiumin. It is hilarious how awkward they are and how much they don’t want to do things. I find it so relatable like how anxious they are to meet each other and how they have nothing to say to each other. I found myself smiling and laughing a lot in the episode. It is just interesting to see them do things together and even if they are not the best at breaking the silence they don’t give up. I highly recommend this show if you are looking for something funny and different from other variety shows!dangerous-3.pngdangerous2dangerous.png

I am watching a few dramas right now but it seems like most of them have ended and there doesn’t seem to be many that are catching my eye right now. Let me know what you are watching right now and think is a good drama or show!

  1. Deserving of the Name- I am currently loving it right now!

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2. Borg Mom- Haven’t started but I am planning on watching it now!

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3. Hospital Ship- Seems like it is having conflicting reviews, I think people are expecting more from it because of Ji-Won but I watched her last drama and this one is more interesting. I don’t mind it because I find doctor dramas interesting!

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