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Reviews on Korean and Asian Dramas

December/January/February 2020 Korean Drama Reviews March 6, 2020

Well it has been a while since I last did a review, not sure if anyone really cares at anymore, not sure if I should bother to keep reviewing but for some reason it felt like it has hard to finish some dramas and it feels dragged out! I have to warn you that there are spoilers in these reviews so read at your own risk.

The first drama that I finished was Psychopath Diary that stars Yook Dong-Sik (Yoon Si-Yoon) who is a very timid and gentle person that gets picked on for his personality. He one day witnesses a murder and gets into an accident and has a diary in his possession that belongs to a serial killer and Dong-Sik believes it to be his and thinks that he is a serial killer and psychopath.

I think this was an interesting drama because it questions what does our personality really mean, if you lost your memory and was told you were a completely different person would you be able to change or would you still be the same person after. It is almost like a personality experiment and I found the thought to be intriguing since I have always wondered if I would go to this other place with different people would I become different and I have realized that I have a default and nothing really changes me even in a different environment.

I liked the comedy in this drama and thought it really had some great moments when he was acting like could really be a serial killer. I thought the real serial killer had an interesting character and thought it was acted really well. It kept you on your toes until the very end and I think that it was pretty entertaining all the way through. It seemed like it could really be believable that he believed to be a serial killer because when I first read the summary I had doubts whether they could pull it off so it wasn’t completely ridiculous and unbelievable.

The one thing that bothered me was his memory loss, I feel like that was glazed over quite a bit. He didn’t tell people around him but I think it would be pretty hard to hide that from people at work. It would hard to remember all the people he worked with and hard to situate yourself. I feel like you would want to spend the time trying to remember instead of trying to hold onto the job and planning revenges. Also I found the Bo-Kyung detective character to be a bit dull and there was not much chemistry between her and Dong-Sik but it doesn’t go into the romance category at all so it was fine.

Overall this was a pretty good drama and had me guessing to the end. I would recommend this drama to those who like psychological thrillers!

The second drama that I finished was Chocolate. It is about Lee Kang (Yoon Kye-Sang) who grew up poor with his mother who cooked in a restaurant and he wanted to become a chef like her. He then grew up with his father’s family and started working as a neurosurgeon in the family business. It also stars Moon Cha-Young (Ha Ji-Won) who met Lee Kang as a hungry child and spurred her on to develop a love of food and leads to her becoming a chef. They both end up working at an end of life hospice where they clash with their personalities and hard pasts.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start this drama because of the whole hospice part because I knew it would have me in tears and it did, every episode, my eyes were wet with tears every episode. I really did enjoy the show because the stories feel so rich and sad yet somehow they felt memorable. I really liked that it went slow and showed the progress between the two main characters and didn’t mind that. I really think it was kept interesting because of the story lines of the many characters kept it interesting and all the food storylines were also a fun thing to watch.

I had problems with the ending, it really bothered me how Cha-Young just randomly leaves because she needs space, it felt out of character and completely unnecessary for her to do this, they didn’t need to build up any more tension and suspense in that way. It wasn’t a good ending and I am frustrated how they didn’t resolve or even let us know what happened with her disease and how can she cook now, it felt like they forgot about that development. Also it seems wrong that Lee Kang didn’t tell her the truth about his mother and I feel like that would have made more sense for her to run away than anything. Also I didn’t like how she revealed her past to him, I was expecting something more exciting and thrilling or just the reactions were ho-hum. I think I had really high expectations for this drama after watching it for a while and I was disappointed by the outcome of the drama. It was still a good drama but I think my expectations for it made me feel let down by this drama.

I think it was a good drama and I was entertained and comforted by the characters in this drama so I do still think it would be worth watching and enjoying.

The third drama that I watched was The War Between Women. It starred Kang Eun-Bo (Jin Se-Yun) as a women who wants to find her twin sister’s killer and will do anything to achieve the goal even if it means she has to become Queen. It also stars Lee Kyung (Kim Min-Kyu) who is the King who comes back from death with the ability to dream about the future of one woman. The story focuses on the selection of a Queen and the politics that surround the throne and who is going to use their power to accomplish their own goals.

I thought it was interesting because of the whole twin story line and seeing how they select a Queen in deeper detail was also something that I found to peak my interest. I didn’t know before that if you made it to the end of the selection you would still live as one of the King’s women. I thought the chemistry was pretty good between the leads and found that the drama did keep my interest because I didn’t know how they were going to resolve the different issues that came up and thought it did have a little bit more of a fresh take for a historical drama.

There are things that bothered me about this drama, first of all Kim Min-Kyu’s voice and acting did feel very fake, I don’t know if I just didn’t like the tone of his voice or what but it just felt like he when he would have to act nice and sweet it just didn’t feel right and seemed to make me think he was very fake. Also the old men politics trying to bring in a new king is just so overdone that I just wanted to skip over the scheming parts because it just was so boring. I also found the whole meeting as kids and falling in love story line needs to die already, I am so sick of it, they need to invent another one already. I keep thinking about my childhood and I feel like even if something would have happened back then, I. don’t think I would carry a torch for anyone when I was that young. I don’t know maybe that is just me, maybe I am dead inside and I feel like it is ridiculous? Also the whole dead back to being alive feels like a very shaky idea and highly unlikely, also the shaman getting rid of his precognition is just weird.

I think there are interesting and at time had good storytelling but as a whole I don’t think this is the best historical drama that I have seen. It is fine but wasn’t great.

The fourth drama that I finished was Crash Landing On You. It starred Yoon Se-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) who is a heiress to a company that she started. She doesn’t get along with her family and everyone is trying to fight for her father’s company. She goes to test some paragliding equipment and she hits some strong winds and ends up landing in North Korea. There she meets Ri Jeong-Hyeok (Hyun-Bin) who is a North Korean Army Captain and he finds her in a tree. She creates a mess and Jeon-Hyeok feels responsible for her and he wants to help her get back to South Korea.

I have never really watched a drama that focused on North Korea and wasn’t sure what to expect because I don’t know very much about North Korea only that the living conditions there are terrible. This drama was interesting because it showed different classes within North Korea. I don’t know how accurate any of the portrayals are in North Korea but I feel like they didn’t fully show how bad the conditions can be but they did give us a small glimpse into how hard it would be because they showed Se-Ri struggling to live there. I really loved the military ensemble cast and thought they added so much to the humanity of the story. I think that it was good that they tried to go with more of a comedy focus then just action and spies and trying to cross the border.

I love how at the end of the episode they give you an extra scene that is usually funny or adorable. The love story is really heart wrenching because you know it feels impossible for the two of them to be together and every time they say good bye your heart breaks more each time. The episodes were extra long but it never felt like the story was being dragged out too much. They move from the North and South and it keeps it interesting and compelling. Hyun-Bin’s character is so fictional it hurts, I really love him for this role and the strong silent type that actually is super sweet and worried and thinking about her and what she told him is really the best.

I know that people would say for Se-Ri’s escape into South Korea was really too simple and unrealistic that she could just cross over all alone. That there would only be one troop watching the border between countries doesn’t seem likely because people are always trying to leave. Also when Jeong-Hyeok’s troop is taken in South Korea I find it unlikely that all of them would agree to go back to the North. I get some of them had family but I think it was unrealistic that all of them would choose to go back. I also didn’t really understand how Jeon-Hyeok and the bad guy were able to send messages to North Korea but he couldn’t contact Se-Ri when he went back. Why didn’t he just teach her the program to be able to have contact. Honestly the ending makes me sad how little they get to see each other. How are they going to really start their lives together if they only get to meet once a year?

Overall it was a really good entertaining drama that had a pretty good love story with a good amount of comedy.

The last drama that I finished was Dr. Romantic 2/ Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim 2. So this is the second season of Dr. Romantic which I have previously watched. Even if you didn’t watch the first season you would be fine to watch the second season but the story is about new doctors that come to work at the Doldam Hospital. I honestly had trouble remembering everything and I still don’t from the first season but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the second season. It stars Boo Yong-Joo (Han Suk-Kyu) who calls himself a romantic and is known as Master Kim and is considered a risky, eccentric doctor that can fix problematic doctors. This season he recruits Cha Eun-Jae (Lee Sung-Kyung) who is a cardiac surgeon who is a perfectionist but can’t seem to stay awake during her surgeries. It also stars Seo Woo-Jin (Ahn Hyo-Seop) who is a general surgeon but faces problems in the workplace because of his past and his need to always do the right thing.

I was actually surprised that this drama got a second season because it feels really rare that Korean Dramas get second seasons as I have not watched many of them over the years. I can’t really understand how this drama has gotten the special attention, I mean it is a good drama but there have been many great dramas I have watched that never got a second season. I am not complaining, I have enjoyed this second season with the new and old characters. I love Master Kim’s character and the way he is always trying to do the smart and right thing. He knows how to help others but he still lets them find the path all on their own. He seems like a great mentor and I love to see how other characters around him interact and change because of him. I really hope that they will do a season 3 now because it feels like they have more stories that they want to tell and I know I will miss this drama. I love how this drama has different mysteries that unravel over time, or sometimes what you first see isn’t what really happened and they go back and you get to see the whole picture. This drama is good and leading in a direction and then showing you were wrong and it goes somewhere else. It has the touching, comedic, and satisfying moments in this drama.

The one thing I found a bit much was the head nurse Oh Myung-Sim who was always yelling so much, her character started to get on my nerves a bit. I get that she is tough and running the show but sometimes I felt like it was just all too much at times and could have been toned down. Also the ending felt like it wasn’t as finished as it could be and that might just be because they want to leave room for another season which is fine. Sometimes the politics in this drama but a bit boring but it still was interesting but it felt like there was a lot of attention paid to that part which I didn’t find terribly exciting. I really enjoyed this drama and found that I think I enjoyed even more than the first season.

Overall this was a solid medical drama that is worth getting a second season!

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