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Reviews on Korean and Asian Dramas

October 2017 Korean Drama Reviews November 7, 2017

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The drama Save Me rounded off the september dramas. This drama was from the OCN network and I think one thing to remember then is that there dramas are not usually romantic and more story and mystery driven. I have noticed that there dramas are more mature and deal with strong issues. It stars TaecYeon and Seo Ye-Ji and Woo Do-Hwan as some of the main characters that are more well known. The story is basically about a Seo Ye-Ji as Im Sang-Mi whose family gets involved with a religious group without realizing that it is a cult. TaecYeon as Han Sang-Hwan and Woo Do-Hwan as Seok Dong Cheol want to try to save Sang-Mi and stop the cult.save 3

So first of all this drama made me feel very uncomfortable because what was first depicted seemed like any other religious function but more intense then most churches. Every time they showed their church rituals or practices it made me feel like it was mocking religion somewhat but you slowly understand why they are considered a cult. The drama seems to unravel the fanaticism of the cult very slowly because at first you think they aren’t that terrible. There is no evidence from what is shown on screen that they are doing something terrible, since it is freedom of religion. It shows dark undertones throughout and is shocking as they unravel all the mysteries. I would not watch this before bedtime since it was very intense and more of a thriller like feel of a drama. I also found myself becoming so frustrated with the drama with Sang-Mi and how she would try to run away without being that smart about it. Also with the police involvement, if that is how actually police act that would be horrible! especially about not getting involved in family struggles, that is horrible for the victims of abuse from families.

save2To be honest I am not that much of a fan of TaecYeon and I didn’t love him in the drama either, not sure if it his character or if it was his acting? So I am glad that they didn’t really have a love line because I don’t really get the chemistry coming from him. I did like Seo Ye-Ji and I thought she did an awesome job with her acting and found it really believable when it came to her struggles of dealing with a cult. I really became a fan of Woo Do-Hwan and I really found his character loveable and really loved when he was given screen time! I have to also compliment Cho Seong-Ha as Baek Jung-Ki who played the cult leader and he was amazing in his part and was really spooky. There is one scene that I skipped over where they visit a shaman on some kind and try to talk to the dead even though it is obviously a money making scheme I don’t care to watch that.

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I feel like the ending was a bit rushed and I wish they would have had more time to wrap up the show and showed the characters a bit more in the end. It just kinda felt like it left it a bit incomplete but overall this was a crazy, intense and a pretty great drama. It felt like it was a complete different genre of a drama! It felt like there was a lot of themes in this drama and I am not sure if I was able to catch onto all of them or they seemed to change through out the drama. I think the focus was on second chances, even though if you messed up there is a second chance for you. Even if you did something wrong but learned from that mistake it was okay, but if you don’t learn you will have to pay in the end. It showed that family and friendships are complicated and sometimes you have to rely on one and not the other and that it is okay to ask them for help. This drama has made me reflect and it will probably stick with me for a while. I have to say OCN has been making quality dramas this year, they are darker, more intense and somewhat disturbing. They seem to be pushing the boundaries but at the same time they are intriguing and they are being well done.save4

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The second drama that I finished is Deserving Of The Name/ Live Up To Your Name which ended on October 1st. This is a medical drama with a twist it focuses on an oriental Doctor Heo Im who was considered one of the greatest doctors from the Joseon time period. He is considered the best and people come from all over to see him but he can’t seem to rise in position because of his low status in society. Heo Im is then transported to modern day where he meets a heart surgeon Choi Yeon-Kyung how doesn’t believe in acupuncture and they end needing and learning from each other.

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I really enjoyed this drama, this is one of the best romantic comedies I have seen for a long time. It was so interesting and it kept me on my toes about what was going to happen. I really enjoyed Heo Im (Kim Nam-Gil) I have never seen him in a drama before but I thought he really carried the show and did an awesome job of being comedic and then serious and tsundere in the role. I really loved how he had a makeover! I think one of the best makeovers in a drama I have ever seen. Choi Yeon-Kyung (Kim A-Joong) who I have never seen in a drama before did a good job but I didn’t think she was my most favourite actress and for some reason I found that people’s faces were really shiny in this drama and especially hers which made her face look a little odd? not sure why?

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I really loved that they focused on acupuncture and I find it fascinating to learn more about it especially because in North America we don’t seem to accept anything like that. Not sure if what they showed was accurate and if it is possible to have those results from acupuncture but it gave me a different perspective on the practice. Again a drama also focuses on time travel which for some reason never gets boring and I thought that it gave a few twists that I wasn’t expecting either. I really enjoyed the story line and for a comedy there a few sad and tear jerking moments.

name1I think this drama has a bit of everything and makes it somehow fresh and interesting. The ending really takes you for a loop and keeps you guessing on how it is going to end and you really don’t know until the end. I really hope that they would make another season because it is so interesting and fun! I recommend this drama to everyone that loves a romantic comedy or time traveling or medical dramas because there seems to be a little of everything thrown into this drama which makes it a great one!

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The third drama that I have finished is Hospital Ship. I wasn’t expecting this drama to have 40 half an hour episodes, I thought it was going to be shorter. This drama starred Ha Ji-Won as the female lead and I watched her last drama “The Time We Were Not In Love” and found it to be disappointing so I was hoping for something better this time. I did not really care for her character she plays in this drama, she is a cold talented surgeon that has strong sense of right and wrong. She goes to work in a hospital ship that visits smaller communities and islands to give them medical treatment. It also stars Kang Min-Hyuk who is the drummer for CN Blue, he has been in other dramas but this felt like the first major role he has gotten.

ship1I did not really feel that attached to him as the main lead, his character was somewhat boring or lacklustre. I kinda felt like the whole nice guys finishes first this time and did not have the chemistry that makes you heart beat that I like to see in a drama. The story of the drama is that there is a Hospital Ship that travels to the islands to treat patients and there is a doctor, dentist and an acupunturist /oriental doctor along with some nurses that sail together and live together. Song Eun-Jae (Ha Ji-Won) joins the crew as she has had some trouble at her past job and is taking up the role of surgeon on the ship.

ship3What I did like about this drama is that it was a nice ensemble cast that added some warmness and humour to the drama. I wish they would have let us get to know more about them and if any were going to get together in the end. It was interesting when Kang Min Hyuk’s ex-girlfriend came aboard and made it tense although again we never saw a resolution to that situation either. There were some interesting situations like finding out about Eun-Jae’s Dad and brother. It had some interesting parts to the drama that it was sad it wasn’t written better.

ship2I think the problem with the drama was that the story line kinda jumped all over the place, especially toward the end. It felt like nothing was being resolved and they just kinda left a lot of thing open-ended. It just felt like it was thrown together without much thought and it just felt somewhat ridiculous with what they did to Eun-Jae I feel like if they were going to go with that route properly they should have allowed more time and explained what she would have to go through and how she could make it through and come back. I don’t want to spoil the ending at all but there was something off with it. I didn’t really get what they were trying to do with these drama, I feel like it was disappointing and was expecting more than what I got. Even though I do love medical dramas and there were definitely some interesting parts to the story as a whole it did not make me very happy.

There were some heart warming moments that did make me feel things but the romance was really boring. Even the love triangle could have made it more exciting but they even dropped the ball on that one. Maybe I am slightly jaded but this drama just did not do much for me. There was not much chemistry between the leads and I didn’t find it very believable. Also this drama just seemed to long if they were not even going to tie up the loose ends. I know that MBC is having a strike right now and that could be why the drama feels like it was rushed and it did not live up to it’s full potential.

Dramas I am Currently watching are:

  1. While You Were Sleeping- This has been a great drama so far, it is a fantasy drama where Suzy has dreams that become reality. I love fantasy dramas and it has been so interesting so far. It also stars Lee Jong Suk as a prosecutor who I have loved in his dramas!!

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2. Witch’s Court- This drama is also about prosecutors. The main female lead is hilarious in this drama and is so refreshing to watch!

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3. Revolutionary Love- This drama is more of the common type of dramas with a love triangle and a rich guy who is taught how to live a normal life by a poor girl. It kinda reminds me of Shopping King Louie at moments but does still have a different story line.

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4. Black- Again this is an OCN drama, so it is a thriller about a grim reaper and girl who can see the grim reapers and see the death before it happens. This is more of an intense drama again and I am somewhat uncomfortable with subject matter but at the same time it is really interesting. Although it can be confusing at times but I think it will be more understandable as the story progresses.

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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.

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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.

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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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End of July 2017 Korean Dramas August 16, 2017

Filed under: 2017 Reviews — sighilovekdramas @ 2:59 pm
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I finished two dramas at the end of July and I am getting around to reviewing them now.

The first one is called Queen for Seven Days/ Seven Day Queen. The story is based on some historical figures but I am assuming that most of the story embellished. So right off the hop you get to pretty much see the end. It’s in the title that Shin Chae-Kyung is going to be Queen for only seven days but what happens to her after that is unclear. The pretty much show right away that she is being dragged off and the drama starts with a heavy heart knowing that it will be a painful ending. But you soon forget that as it then starts with Shin Chae-Kyung and Prince Jin-Seong as children. I have to say that the child actors to a fabulous job of acting and I really enjoyed them. As adults Yeon Woo-Jin takes over the role of the Prince and I have to say that his transition was more jarring to me. I have seen him recently in “Introverted Boss” and maybe that is why I found it hard? I don’t know it’s not like I don’t like him, I just found that his personality didn’t seem to be quite the same as the earlier version of the prince. Lee Dong-Gun plays the King who does a good job of portraying him I was really surprised and almost didn’t recognize him from “Supper Daddy Yeol”. A part of me always wanted to root for him in this drama.

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The story is about Chae-Kyung who lives in the countryside because her parent’s don’t want her getting involved with the Royal family as her dad is the right hand minister to the King. Chae-Kyung as a young girl goes back home and meets the Prince and the King through strange circumstances and becomes entertained in their lives. It is a complicated story and is really easy to get hooked into the story.

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The story seemed really interesting to me even though it seemed to be sad and I was always rooting for a good ending. This drama always kept surprising me and I really enjoyed it even though the ending was so sad. I cried really hard at the end and for reasons that I wasn’t even expecting. I think the last drama that made me cry that much was “Goblin”.

74I wasn’t expecting too much from this drama but I was pleasantly surprised of the journey that I went on with this drama. I guess the heart ache is more interesting to me than the easy love stories that don’t seem to exist in real life. So I would recommend this drama as a great historical drama that always kept me on my toes and my emotions on a roller coaster.

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The second drama I finished was Stranger/ Secret Forest. I wasn’t expecting to watch this drama as I am not the biggest fan of crime and police dramas but it seemed to have some interesting elements. It is about a prosecutor Hwang Shi-Mok who as a child had brain surgery because he couldn’t handle all the stimulus around him and know is left him lacking in the area of emotion. This also allows him to stay righteous and not partake in corruption and bribery. He one day comes across a murder scene and he gets involved with what becomes one of his biggest cases ever. In the process he meets Police Lieutenant Han Yeo-Jin who becomes kinda like a partner to him in solving the case.

secret2The acting is very good in this drama I really love watching Cho Seung-Woo as Hwang Shi-Mok, his intelligence and his acting is so good, I felt like I could watch him forever. The actual case that he has to solve seemed to get a bit confusing for me at times especially when they would say a lot of names and trying to get them all straight. Also I really know nothing about prosecutors and how they work, so that part can get a bit dry every so often. Also there pretty much no romance in this drama, but I love how the characters interact regardless of that. Also the ending felt like there needs to be a second season so I don’t know if it is possible?

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This is a great drama with some great plot twists so I always seemed to find myself waiting every week to watch the new episodes. Although I wish they would have delved deeper into his condition of his brain and what exactly happened there? I feel like there needs to be another season to develop the characters some more. Same with the Lieutenant Han Yeo-Jin it feels like I need to know more about her and why she loves drawing. I want to know more about her past and how she has ended up where she is, I feel like I am still curious about the characters which is why it feels like the characters are not done with yet.

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I would recommend this drama if you love any crime and mystery stories that delve into the human condition.

The Dramas I am currently watching are:

  1. Bride Of The Water God: This is nothing like the manhwa and so I am disappointed with it. I was expecting more from this one.

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2. School 2017: Typical school drama and lots of mystery and intrigue to go with it.

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3. Man Who Dies To Live: Well hopefully someone will actually sub this drama. I would still like to check it out. I think the controversy over it is so blown out of proportion.

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4. The King Loves: Pretty good so far even though it is the typical love triangle.

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5. Deserving of the name: Okay I have watched two episodes and I think it is funny and interesting!

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6. Save Me: Oh this is an intense and crazy drama! I don’t know if I will be able to make it through!

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