sigh i love kdramas

Reviews on Korean and Asian Dramas

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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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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February/March 2018 Korean Drama Reviews March 27, 2018

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The first drama that I finished was Mother/Call Me Mother which a Korean drama remake of the Japanese drama also called Mother. The premise of the story is that there is a young girl named Hye-Na (Heo Yool) who is being abused by her mother and her boyfriend and she meets her temporary teacher Soo-Jin (Lee Bo-Young) who gets involved with another teacher when they see signs of the abuse. They follow the book but Soo-Jin does not seem interested in getting involved since her position is only temporary but she starts seeing Hye-Na wondering the streets alone and she decides that she will become Hye-Na’s mother.

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When I first started watching I didn’t have many thoughts on this drama I thought it will be pretty straightforward a woman and child running from the law and did not think it was going to have so much depth. I have not watched the Japanese version so I have no idea about the differences in the drama but I really enjoyed this drama. The acting is amazing in this drama and all the characters feel so authentic and I never got to the part where I thought it was boring. There are many times where I was shocked that the child actor could act that well it really blew my mind. She was dealing with such serious issues like abuse and abandonment and all the emotions she had to portray, she really stole the show in this drama. It is such an interesting drama the way that it made you think about right and wrong and the grey areas in life.

The focus is also on mother and daughter relationships and sometimes you can really only understand the love your mother has for you until you become one yourself. Sometimes you also get to choose who your mother and that an adopted mother is no less a mother than the one that gave birth to you. It tackles the mother daughter relationship in such an interesting and through provoking way. It also highlights the difference between a good mother and a bad mother and that you don’t need to be stuck even if your mother was not a good one. It also focused on the idea of adoption and what that means which is a good lesson for anyone to learn about! I thought it was going to be mainly a mystery/suspense drama and I really didn’t expect the emotional side and I basically cried my way through the last two episodes. I really think you watch any drama this year that this would be one to watch!

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The only complaint is the strange love line in the drama, I don’t really understand what they were trying to accomplish with it and it seemed unnecessary if they didn’t want to really want to have a love story in the drama. I felt like embrace the love or don’t have that in there and in the end they wanted to highlight the relationship of Soo-Jin and Hye-Na. Other than that I really liked the twists and turns of this drama and I am happy that I watched this drama.

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The second drama that I finished was Cross and the plot of the drama is that it stars Kang In-Kyu (Ko Gyung-Pyo) who is trying to solve the murder of his father 13 years ago when is father was harvested for his organs. Kang-In Kyu wants to take revenge on the people who are running the illegal organ trade and starts with taking a job as a doctor at the prison where the murderer Kim Hyeong-Beom(Heo Sung-Tae) is imprisoned.

 

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I can’t say that I am a fan of Ko Gyung-Pyo not that I dislike him for any reason but I do not like him as the lead in this drama. To me it always sounds like he has his mouth full when he talks or he has like a sad, lost puppy dog stare when his upset and he is for pretty much all of this drama. I do not like him in a serious role I think happy go lucky characters would better suit him. I decide to watch it because it is a medical drama and I thought the revenge genre could be interesting but I was wrong I did not enjoy it that much. It just seemed like an odd drama they had have an eye condition that gave him almost supernatural sight and it just seemed like this weird added thing that you would forget about. Then there was this thing where he was trying to take revenge but the way he was doing it was so obvious and they always made him into a reckless “hero” where he kept trying to get the bad guys but it was stupid because he was trying to do it alone. Then there was the controversy with Cho Jae-Hyun the actor who played Go Jung-Hoon who was the adoptive father of Kang In-Kyu and his mentor. In real life Cho Jae-Hyun is accused of sexual misconduct or assault in his past and he was pulled from the drama and I think they did okay resolving it in the drama but for sure it had impact on the overall story of the drama and they had to change things around in the story.

cross2At times I found myself bored and I really not caring about all the issues. They also tried to do some romance and it was just kinda weird and it feels like don’t bother if you don’t want to commit to it but I don’t the audience will really care either way. Also they really pushed their coffee sponsor and I am sorry but you do not look cool drinking coffee out of a can, it is just didn’t look good and really took you out of the story when they show that coffee. I feel like there was just a lack of depth with the characters and it just feels like all the characters where superficial but I just found myself not connecting with the characters or the story. The bad guy even felt strange the way he acted it just didn’t seem to really hit me the way it should have. I feel like there have been better dramas who deal with revenge and this was not one of them.

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I did like that this drama did work on the issue of the illegal organ trade which I am sure does exist and that I hope that it brings more awareness to this issue. I wouldn’t recommend this drama unless you love some of the actors in the drama or you love revenge dramas. I think there are better revenge or medical dramas to watch then this one.

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The third drama that I finished watching was Radio Romance which stars Song Geu-Rim (Kim So-Hyun) who works as an assistant radio program writer and she gets pulled into PD Lee Gang’s (YoonPark) crazy scheme to try to get a top star Ji Soo-Ho (Yoon Doo-Joon) to become the DJ of his new radio program he is putting together but the catch is that Song Geu-Rim has to convince a top star to do a daily radio program and then she would get to be the main writer. Geu-Rim has loved the radio since the time her mother became blind and it became something that they would enjoy listening together. The problem also is that she is not the most talented when it comes to writing but she has the passion to keep pursuing it to become better.

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So this drama had a strong beginning it looked like it was going to be a fun drama but somehow the story became a bit boring around the 10th episode where it just kinda lost steam. I wonder if it was because the love line developed too quickly and then it is hard to keep it interesting if the love is developed. Also I felt like there was a lack of chemistry between Geu-Rim and Soo-Ho, I just didn’t feel the butterflies between the two of them. Their kisses were also mainly pecks and that just made it feel like chemistry was lacking and I mean I think even in the last episode they were still just pecking each other on the mouth and looking surprised. I wish they would have focused more on creating the radio program and having more special guests and just giving the story more than just the love story. I think this drama was having trouble finding a balance with the love story and adding other characters to the drama. I wish they would have done more with the crazy PD, I think he was the most interesting character and they just didn’t use him to his full potential. I think the only thing that kept it interesting was the backstory and the mystery with that.

 

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I did enjoy getting to watch Doo-Joon I didn’t realize that he was in Highlight or used to be Beast Idol group. There was something about his voice that I could just listen to forever so he kept me watching. There were great parts in this drama when they highlighted different people on the radio show and I have to say I really enjoyed Jin Tae-Ri (Yura) in this drama, she played an awesome nemesis in the drama and honestly I think she would have been a more interesting if she was a lead character. The other side characters looked interesting as well and I wished they would have let others shine in the drama more.

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I think this was a decent romance drama that is not super complicated this drama fits the bill. It has the fluff and romance and the handsome rich man that will sweep the commoner off of her feet!

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The fourth drama is Welcome to Waikiki/ Eulachacha Waikiki which I currently haven’t finished yet since it was supposed to be 16 episodes but was so good they have changed it to 20 episodes. I don’t think anything in the last couple of episodes could change my mind about how awesomely funny this drama is! The storyline is that there are three friends who run a a guest house in Itaweon and they are having trouble getting guests and face bankruptcy. One day they find a mysterious baby and decide to take care of her until her mother comes back. It stars Kang Dong-Goo (Kim Jung -Hyun) who wants to become a film director one day and takes photos for a living. It also stars Lee Joon-Ki (Lee Yi-Kyung) who wants to become an actor and takes jobs being extras and other small roles. The third friend is Bong Doo-Sik (Son Seung-Won) who is the scene writer. They all want to make a film together one day when they would have the money.

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This drama is pure comedy and has only gotten funnier as the episodes go on. Their is some romance between the characters but that really isn’t the highlight of the drama. It is the funny scenarios and misunderstandings that happen to them that really make it hilarious. It kinda reminds me of The Sound Of My Heart, it has the same feeling of comedy which was also a great comedy. It just has so many clever moments and I mean who doesn’t enjoy laughing.

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The first episode I was questioning the humor a bit like it took time for me to adjust but after the second episode I was completely hooked on this drama and I am sure I will be missing this drama when it is over. All the characters are so funny but I know Kang Dong-Goo and his facial looks can get a little bit old after a while but he is still so funny and I don’t really mind. I would really recommend this drama if you like to comedy. Even if you don’t this drama will make you enjoy comedies! It is just so relatable to the average person when nothing will go right for you and you get stuck in a bad place! It has warmth, comedy and honesty at times and I highly recommend this drama!!

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Also Baby Sol is soo adorable and I love how she smiles at everyone! I think this could even be a good drama to introduce to people that don’t watch korean dramas because everyone likes to laugh!

The dramas that I want to check out next:

  1. Live: This drama is about the lives of police officers. I have watched the first episode and it looks really interesting. It is being aired on netflix so I think it is affecting the subbing in this drama and the subs are not coming out very fast.

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2. My Mister: Honestly this drama seems weird and I am checking it out because of IU to be honest. It is about three middle-aged brothers who are having a hard time and somehow they are going to help each other heal each other’s wounds.

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3. A Poem a Day: It is about the lives of people who work at the hospital who work as physical therapists, radiologists, nurses etc. It is about a physical therapist who wanted to become a poet but due to her poor family background she studies to become a physical therapist and also about another trainee in physical therapy who wanted to become a doctor but because of his grades he had to change.

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4. Switch: Change the World: This is a legal drama about a man who is a swindler who is smart enough to pass the bar exam but he couldn’t become a prosecutor so he decides to make criminal pay for crimes that prosecutors did not.

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Korean Drama Reviews January 2018 February 7, 2018

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So I finished some dramas and the first one I want to talk about is Meloholic which is an older drama since it aired in November/December but I just didn’t have time for it then. It is a shorter drama from OCN and it ran for 10 episodes. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to check this one out because I tend to not like shorter dramas but I thought it could be a lighthearted drama but then I forgot it was an OCN drama. They tend not to have light-hearted dramas but this is one of the lighter ones that I have seen although they of course you can’t forget the murder, I don’t think they could do a drama without murder. It is based on a webtoon so I thought it would be an interesting drama to check out. It stars U-Know Yunho which I am sorry but is a silly name to choose and he is of course from TVXQ(DBSK). It also stars Kyung Soo-Jin who I haven’t watched before. So the story is that Yunho was in an accident and he develops the ability to read minds. He one day meets Han Ye-Ri and he reads her mind and discovers that she has another personality. He is able to use his unique skill to help her and unravel a mystery that surrounds the both of them.

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This drama has an interesting plot in theory about the split personality and the psychology around the ability to mind read. I did enjoy the acting of Kyung Soo-Jin and the ability to become a different person with just her acting. I mean I think this drama could be compared to Kill Me, Heal Me because of the split personalities and not be able to win against the acting in that one. But I think her acting was still strong with changing the personalities. I have to say some episodes really drew me in with the mystery and plot twists. The story is pretty solid and by the end I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure it all out but I have to say the last episode felt like it had diverted from the rest of the story and felt like a plot device and didn’t care for since it was so rushed. I also thought the villain did a good job in portraying his role and I really thought he was crazy. I thought they did a good job of delving into past problem that Ye-Ri had and did an interesting way of showing it to Yunho.

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I did have some problems with this drama for some reason I didn’t care that much for Yunho’s acting I don’t know why but when he was trying to woo Ye-Ri it just felt kinda fake and like he was being too sweet. I don’t know this just might be my personal preference but I don’t really care for his acting. I feel like this drama was unrealistic with how to deal with a split personality I mean they are psychology majors and even their professor didn’t suggest that Ye-Ri go to counseling to deal with her split personality. To me that seems really bizarre like split personality would disrupt your life and would be something that you would have to work on to even like a semi normal life. I don’t think this drama did any favours to Korean society by basically saying you need to fix your psychological problems on your own or meet the right person that will be able to fix you.

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I thought it was an okay drama I wasn’t especially excited about it or upset about it either.It is nice if you just need a short drama to tide you over until the one you are waiting for is airing.

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The next drama that I finished was Dr. Storks/Kounodori 2 which is a Japanese Drama. I was so surprised that they had made a second season of this drama since the first season aired in 2015 and I had not heard that they were doing a second season. The drama is set two years after the first season which is what happened in real life. The story is about Sakura Konotori who is a obstetrician that is also secretly a famous piano player. The story follows him and the other doctors and midwives that work at the hospital. This time the story focuses on the growth of the doctors and the struggles of the ordinary person getting pregnant, staying pregnant, having babies, and caring for babies basically all issues around pregnancy.

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I really like this drama I feel like I even learn when I watch it and find it an interesting and unique topic that is not often highlighted in a drama. I really like all the characters and how they are learning and growing. I find myself finding something to be tearing about in every episode either because of the sadness or warmheartedness of the drama. I think it an inspiring drama and the way they cheer others and each other on that I just feel happy. It is a more serious drama and it more focused on the individual cases that come in every episode or so.

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Some things that I wished I could change was that there was a real lack of love lines in this drama which I get they are more focused on working together but I really want to so see Sakura Konotori have some personal growth in the romantic lines it wouldn’t have to be much I just want him to be to have some happiness and maybe some of them could have their own babies and enjoy it as much as the people that they see everyday with babies. I also didn’t care for an episode where a couple gets an abortion, but again that is just how I personally feel and it made me feel really sad.

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I really hope that this drama will get a third season but from the feeling of it ending it seemed like it really was the ending which is sad but I recommend this drama if you like medical dramas that are heart warming!

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Jugglers was another drama that finished in January which about  Yoon-Yi (Baek Jin-Hee) who is a secretary and a very good one that that. She becomes a scandal and her job is taken away from her and is put on a waiting list realizing that the company is trying to get rid of her. Chi-Won (Daniel Choi) who gets a new job as managing director in the video business department at YB Ad department. He is need of a secretary even though he doesn’t realize it and Yoon-Yi becomes the women for the job and they learn how to work together.

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So this drama is really more of a cute and silly drama that is supposed to be light-hearted. I have to say that I have never watched a secretary and boss love story. I feel like I should have but I don’t know any other ones, maybe I have avoided them or it just feels cliche so they haven’t aired dramas like that for a while. I found it was sweet and interesting most of the time and I really like their characters and how different they are from each other and yet they make it work together. It is interesting because they do with the idea of divorce which I think is not often addressed in a drama. I also liked the dynamic of Lee Won-Geun (Hwangbo Yool) and Kang Hye-Jung (Wang Jung-Ae) as secretary and boss in this drama which I found to be cute. This drama has a lot of interesting characters and I never found myself bored watching it. I really like that it kept with the silliness even thought there are more than a few serious moments but it didn’t take away from the lightheartedness of the drama. I thought it was really cute and the acting was well done!

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I do have some issues with this drama though, I really don’t like how they brushed off Chi-Won’s mental distress and that his fears would just go away with Yoon-Yi around him which is not accurate of people’s traumas that they face in their lives and that is was just the easiest fix. I think it sends a bad message to people that are struggling with their fears that again all they need to do is find the right person and all your traumas will just go away on their own. I just feel like that is false idea that can affect people’s perception of their own problems. I also feel like this drama makes women seem like there only role can be is serving men and that they need to be a certain age and have a certain look to be important. It would have been more ideal if Yoon-Yi would have moved up in the company and been able to get a job that allowed her to use her skills that she has learned and work as a peer instead of a secretary.

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Overall it is a cute drama that is more light-hearted but it doesn’t go to deep and stays on the surface of love.

 

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The next drama that I watched was Just Between Lovers which stars Lee Gang Doo (Lee Joon-Ho) from 2pm who was in a  accident of a mall collapsing and lives with the mental and physical pain of the accident as an adult and is just trying to get by on his own strength. It also stars Ha Moon-So (Won Jin-A) who has also survived the same accident and makes architecture models she suffers the guilt from surviving the accident and her younger sister didn’t she lives suppressing the accident and things start to change when she meets Lee Gang Doo and she starts opening herself up to him. They both start working for the company that is going to rebuild on the land and they both get caught up with other characters that were affected by the collapse of the mall.

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So this drama is very emotional I think I probably cried in most of the episodes it is just so heartbreaking dealing with the aftermath of such a tragic event that changes everyone’s life. I found it a really realistic portrayal of how people deal with grief and that is not always a pretty picture. I could find myself within these characters and it really spoke to me. I really like Won Jin-A I have not watched her before but I found her to be a character that was more relatable. She wasn’t the typical heroine who had the bright personality that can fix all problems either relationally or emotionally. She is just a person and not a over the top kind of girl which I found refreshing in a lead. I thought Lee Joon-Ho did amazing in this drama as I don’t think he was done too much acting and really found him to be a realistic character. I appreciate a drama that was made that dealt with this type of subject matter because not many want to deal with the idea of grief and what it means to live on in midst of a disaster in such an honest way. The ending was almost too much to handle but I am satisfied with how everything turned out.

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There were some issues that I found was that it didn’t feel quite complete because we never get to see the remembrance garden that they spend most of their time working on in this drama that I think would have tied the ending together for me. I also found it hard to be convinced that Sang-Man was socially or mentally disabled, he seemed like he understood everything. I am not sure what was supposed to be wrong with him but he seemed almost normal to me. I also didn’t really like Seo Joo-Won character story line in this drama I feel like they were going strong with his story and then in the middle they just kinda dropped him and it just felt unfinished and even his connection to Moon-So felt somewhat weak and not that believable that he liked her. Also they drama plays on your heart strings and I think at times it felt really depressing but I still felt like it was a worthwhile story being told.

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I really thought this drama was underrated and I felt like it was an important story that was being told and at times it wasn’t always comfortable but that it had a lot of realistic moments and will have some honest truths about dealing with grief. There were some loose ends at the end of the drama but nothing that really took away from the story.

 

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The fifth drama that I finished was “I’m not a robot” which stars Min-Kyu (Yoo Seung-Ho) who is the largest shareholder of a finance company but is unable to be around any people because he has a human allergy. His life becomes in danger if he comes into contact with any person. It also stars Ji-A (Chae Soo-Bin) who works as a personal shopper and is an aspiring inventor and her life becomes involved with Min-Kyu’s because Ji-A’s ex-boyfriend invented a robot that he shaped after her and after an accident he needs Ji-A to pretend to be his robot for a short time so he doesn’t lose his investment money.

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I first thought this is not going to be a very good drama because I had just finished watching Borg Mom which is about a robot and I did not enjoy it very much and thought it was going to be similarly cheesy. I was pleasantly surprised and found that it was much better than I thought it was going to be. The characters were well developed and the actors were pretty good and I starting becoming attached to all of them. I think it was an interesting story because Ji-A had to pretend to be a robot and all the things that could go wrong were pretty fun. Min-Kyu is such a loveable character because he is so pure and unaware that it was hard not to smile while watching this drama. I thought it did a good job finishing the drama as well since there have been dramas this year that do not know how to finish the story.

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The one thing that bothered me about this drama was the way Min-Kyu treated Ji-A after he found out that she wasn’t a robot. I don’t think I would be able to withstand the way he treated her even though it is true she did something wrong I found it a bit harsh. I just think is this how he is going to act every time he gets angry and I would feel uneasy. Also the robot was not terribly realistic since not much changed when she pretended to be the robot vs Aji 3.

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Overall this was a pretty good drama and I was impressed with it more than I thought and I am happy that I watched this drama.

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The last thing I want to talk about is a korean variety show called “Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast/ Hyori’s Homestay”. I just finished watching the first season and this might be old news to everyone but it aired in summertime but I am a little behind and finally finished the first season. Just as I winding down this month I found out that they are filming the second season and will probably be airing pretty soon which has made me very happy. So this variety show is about Lee Hyori who started out in a girl group Fin.K.L but has been a solo artist for a while now. I watched her previously in Family Outing which is one the most hilarious variety shows to ever be aired! I loved her in that, her personality is just so great so I knew I had to watch her in this show. She is married to a a guitarist Lee Sang-Soon, which I don’t really too much about but they live in Jeju Island and they opened their house up to guests and turned it into a bed and breakfast.

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I thought it was crazy because their house doesn’t seem to be that terribly suited to having guests since it has one master bedroom and I was like okay they are just having one set of guests but it was crazy and had multiple groups staying at their house. It really made me think differently about life and how they just opened there home and life up to the world. There house just seems to be full of love and especially because they have a good variety of cats and dogs it just makes me want to smile. It is such a positive show as you watch Hyori interact with her guests and she tries to help them as they seem so willing to open up to her as she tries to teach them about yoga. I also realized how Hyori has such a wonderful husband that loves her so much that I really found it to be inspiring. Also IU comes and joins the cast as she becomes their worker that helps clean and cook for the guests.

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I always thought IU was cute but this candid show of IU made me think she is so adorable with her funny fashion sense and how Hyori teases her. Not much happens in the show and yet it feels so rich and full of inner hidden gems. I am excited for the next season where Yoona joins them as the worker and I am sure that will be filled with lovely moments again.

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The Dramas I am Planning to Watch Next:

  1. Radio Romance: This drama is about a struggling radio program writer and obviously must have romance in it

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2. Mother: This is about a girl who is abused and her temporary teacher finds out about the abuse and decides to become the girls mother.

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3.Eulachacha Waikiki/Laughter in Waikiki: This is about 3 men who run a guest house in Itaewon and are facing bankruptcy and then a new guest with a baby appear.

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4. Cross: Which is about a man who becomes a doctor in order to avenge his father who was brutally murdered 15 years ago and so he volunteers at a prison medical office to get at the murderer.

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