Thoughts and review

My Drama List

A collection and brief comments of k-dramas I previously watched.

Reply 1997

Reasons to watch: 

Eunji. Her portrayal of the character was so point.I love her crazy fangirl antics. 

Reasons not to watch:

The fact that the love triangle was between a girl and two brothers

My Girl

Reasons to watch: 

  1. Lee Da Hae was so funny in this one. I love her character!

Reasons not to watch:

  1. As with older dramas, there is little skinship. i.e. not enough kiss scenes.
  2. And also, a fault of the older dramas, some scenes are incredibly static, with just headshots of characters reciting some unnecessarily long dialogues. 

Kill Me Heal Me 

Reasons to watch: 

  1. Oh Ri On. (Park Seo Joon is love <3) Oh Ri On is just the type of character that I absolutely love: closet genius that is dorky on the outside but can absolutely crush you with his intelligence if he decides to do so. 
  2. The seven personalities. You will grow so attached to them you will cry as hard as Ri Jin did in the last two eps. Choding Se Gi FTW~
  3. The OST. Auditory Hallucination has become my favourite OST of all times. It was played so many times in the drama but I can’t even say that it was overused because it fits the drama so well. 

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. The large number of flashbacks. I guess the flashbacks are necessary given the nature of the story being about childhood trauma but sometimes they come in at the wrong timing and it gets repetitive after a while. 
  2. There is less comedy and gets more makjang towards the second half of the drama. 

She was pretty

Reasons to watch: 

  1. The comedy. Every single character was funny in their own quirky ways and their interaction with other characters was even funnier (That’s right, I am talking about Jackson couple and Panty couple, hahah you will know what I am talking about once you watch the drama.)
  2. The sweet. Onion couple ❤

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. She was pretty is pretty tame throughout and the central conflict is not as intense as in other dramas and was resolved quite quickly. So, all in all, SWP is more of a rosy drama and is not those who are looking for some angst and action.

Witch’s Romance 

Reasons to watch: 

  1. The noona romance. The way Yoon Dong Ha made you believe that his love for  Ji Yeon is real makes this drama a must watch. For Dong Ha, since the beginning, age has always been but a number to him and it didn’t take him long for him to fall in love with Ji Yeon. He is always caring and protective of his noona and this makes you want to root for and believe in this relationship.

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. The noona romance. I loved the drama, really I did. But ultimately, because I have this innate dislike for noona romances, at the end of the drama, I couldn’t help but think that I would have loved this drama even more had it not been a noona romance. 
  2. The ex takes up too much screentime. 

I Miss You 

Reasons to watch:

  1. The acting. All three lead actors, Park Yoo Chun, Yoon Eun Hye and Yoo Seung Ho all gave captivating performances.

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. The plot was all over the place. Such a waste of talent really.

Rooftop Prince 

Reasons to watch: 

  1. Josen F4! HAHA the four of them adapting to city life was extremely funny.
  2. The story. Contrary to popular opinion, I thought the story was refreshing and well planned out, I love how there was an explanation to everything and all the loose ends were tied up nicely by the end of the drama. 

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. Han Ji min. I am sorry but I find her acting a bit stiff. 
  2. Hmmmm I was satisfied with the ending for the couples but not everyone may feel the same. 

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Reasons to watch: 

  1. Josen F4! esp Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In. haha the the two of them are perfect together. They even won a couple award at the KBS drama awards. Plus, Song Joong Ki’s character is similar to Oh Ri On from KMHM, goofy on the outside but is actually really smart.

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. I don’t like what happened to Yoon Hee at the end.

Warm and Cozy

Reasons to watch: 

  1. The comedy. The first half of the show was pretty funny
  2. The scenery. The whole show was filmed on Jeju Island so there were lots of pretty sights. Watching this show will make you wanna drop all your work and immediately go for a vacation.
  3. The food. When your male lead is a chef, prepare for some food porn, Jeju Island delicacies style.
  4. The adorable second couple. When your main couple is being difficult and won’t get together, at least there’s still this couple to look forward to. 

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. There is only one reason but for me it was a major turn off. The show gets incredibly draggy towards the second half and for no good reason. It’s just the main leads constantly “pushing and pulling”. 

Master’s Sun

Reasons to watch: 

  1. The concept. I am a sucker for such a fantasy concept and this one was perfect. 
  2. The main leads are so quirky! Normally it’s just one of the leads who’s not quite normal but this time it’s both of them and its adorable!

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. hmm it’s been too long since I watched this drama so I can’t remember what I disliked about it. However, I read somewhere that the story is pretty much stolen from the greatest love, but I didn’t watch that so I wouldn’t know. 

The Girl Who Sees Smells

Reasons to watch: 

  1. A good mix of comedy, action and romance. I initially tuned in because the idea of a girl who sees smells sounded interesting (and coz Park Yoo Chun) but the barcode serial killer mystery was a good surprise and got me hooked. 
  2. Namgoong Min. He plays the villain so well. It’s his gaze. He has the perfect evil villain gaze. 
  3. Cute couple. The story was never about whether the couple will get together. As such, the relationship between Cho Rim and Mu Gak progressed rather naturally from acquaintances to lovers without all the unnecessary angst and I love that. 

Reasons not to watch:

  1. The villain gets revealed a bit too early. As such, it begins to get repetitive. There were a few eps where the last scene was always with Mu Gak and the villian staring at each other.
  2. The backstory of the villain was not explained well. We are just shown how despicable he can be but not told how he got to be that way.

Miseang

Reasons to watch: 

  1. Everything about this drama is gold. The cinematography, the raw emotions, the true to life dialogues and situations. This is definitely a must watch! Every episode will have you on the edge of your seat. 
  2. Lee Sung Min. Every one of the actors in this drama was good but I feel he deserves a special mention. His performance was riveting and really does make you feel the frustrations and pain that his character go through. 
  3. Lots of life lessons. Lots quote-worthy dialogue. 

Reasons not to watch: 

  1. Spoiler alert. There is no romance in this drama but that really shouldn’t be a reason to not watch this.

 

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Thoughts and review

Update: Eternal Love, Because of Meeting You, Goblin, Back to 1989

Drama update time! This time there are more Chinese entries than Korean because the kdrama world has been pretty dry for me lately after Goblin happened.

Eternal Love  (三生三世十里桃花)

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Or the desecndants of the sun China version. This drama got sooooo popular in China.  I wished I had watched it while it was still airing so I could be part of the hype but marthooning it for 2 weeks also had it thrills and rush. This whole drama was so magical. this was my first drama where the main characters were immortal beings and I love the novelity of the whole concept. That fact that the characters themeselves were gods and not mere human beings placed new definitions on things we are already asccusomted to. Things such as death,  injuries etc. Yet, themes of power, faithfulness, love were still all very relevant.

I really loved the overall visual of the whole drama. Each section of the world had their own unique characterics and it was clearly portrayed through the settings. The heavenly realm was very dreamy, pure, untouchable. The demon world was dark and sinister. Qing Qiu, the home of the fox clan , was very earthy, homey, natural. And as the saying goes, Clothes maketh the man. In this drama, the characters maketh the home. You can clearly see the parallels between the characters and their backgrounds.

Most memorable:

That moment when Di Jun realises he has fallen in love with Feng Jiu (and afterwards decides to go down to the mortal realm). He knows love is impossible for him so rather than being a happy occasion, it pained him. Yet, his character would not allow him to just let this go so he finds a smart solution to go down to the mortal relam to create memories with Feng Jiu.

When Ye Hua did all those things for Bia Qian, especially fighting off the beasts and have his arm ripped. It’s so sweet that he’s so loyal to her. I mean it was pretty obvious he is very much in love with her but to go to that extent, that is just on another level. Many belive the three lives between Bai Qian and Ye Hua is 1) when she was Si Yin and when he was Mo Yuan, 2) their time together in the mortal relam 3) their time together as Bai Qian and Ye Hua before he got eaten by the Bell. But, to me I dont think their the 1st life counts because that is Mo Yuan, Ye  Hua’s brother not Ye Hua and so their 3rd life began when they reuited after Ye Hua comes back alive from the Bell. So, really, this love of theirs is truly eternal.

Because of Meeting You (因为遇见你)

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I really enjoyed this because the female lead speaks out to the feminist in me. I realise this is a thing with Chinese dramas ? Like how Bai Qian was sassy in Eternal Love, Guo Guo is talented, passionate and feisty. Her only flaw maybe that she’s too kind hearted so all sorts of crap keep happening to her. Other than that, I love that she makes all the right decision at all the right times (choosing embroidery, keeping Le Tong, staying with Yun Kai, rejecting her misguided biological mother).

Most memorable:

The moment when Yun Kai found out that Guo Guo was in fact Yi Bei. He was so relieved. I feel so happy for them.

And of course all the times Guo Guo slayed with her embroidery works. I loved her very first piece of work, the Black Swan. It just showed how kind and sensitive of a person she was that she was able to see through the mask of a stranger to be able to create a dress that allowed the person wearing her dress to “唱出我心的歌声” (be my true self).

Goblin

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I loved Goblin for its comedy rather than its narrative. I thought the premise was refreshing and the conflict intriguing but as with most if not all Kim Eun Sook dramas, the excitement always dwindles down towards the end as the narrative always fails to deliver. With Goblin, I enjoyed the Reaper-Kim Sun romance more than the goblin-eun tak pairing. Reaper-Kim Sun narrative had a more wholesome ending as compared to the other couple. Their ending made more sense to me based on the rules of their universe.

Most memorable:

When show revealed that reaper’s greatest sin that made him a reaper was that he was not courageous in his past life. Because he was filled with doubt, he trusted the wrong people and was unable to protect the one he loved and his country. I sat on this revelation for some time. On the one hand, I felt it was wrong to call it a sin, I felt that it was alright for us to have fears, I mean we cannot be strong all the time right? So, I felt that it was harsh on the emperor to punish him to be a grim reaper just because of his fear. If anything, he was the victim. On the other hand, I agreed I thought that he has sinned, if he had just opened his eyes a bit more, not be too controlled by his emotions, he would see his true supporters and would not cause so much problems. Concluding, I realise that ideal situation would be if the emperor had been rational but in reality, it is truly difficult to control your emotions, especially when you are the emperor and you have so many people trying to kill you. So, I think he should not have been punished. The universe could have just skipped the whole grim reaper part and onto their reincarnated versions.

Hwarang

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I was so excited for this drama because my beloved Park Seo Joon is in it. But the drama tried too many things and by the end of the drama, many story lines were unresolved. The chemistry between Ah Ro and Sun Woo was also too bland. On the plus side, we have our cute Ban Ryu-Soo Yeon couple. The Sun Woo-Ji Dwi rivalry was good to watch too. I liked the direction it developed towards, how the boys had to weigh their friendship against the throne really puts both their friendship and their leadership to the test. The friendemy between Soo Ho and Ban Ryu was also another plus point.

Most memorable:

When the whole group of them went to the other kingdom to get their people out. When Ji Dwi had to witness his own people being killed because he was being too much of a coward. When Sun Woo had to witness his own country people being killed because he did not have any power.  When both of them decided to finally do something.

Soo Ho , Soo Yeon and Ban Ryu. That’s right #teamprotectbanryu. The entire time I kept yelling at the screen Noo Ban Ryu you are better than this. Ban Ryu was so misguided initially, he thought that he could only get validation from his evil dad so he has always seen himself as the bad guy. But no you dont, Ban Ryu, you can be your own person. I mean you are the only other person who passed the written exam from the first few episodes. Even though they never revealed what he wrote but I think it’s a hint that he too has some formidable political views of his own. And with the Hwi Hwa approving of it, I am sure it’s not anything bad. That aside, I am glad the siblings are there to see through the mask, to encourage him to leave that hellhole of a household.

Back to 1989 (1989一念间)

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I thought that this drama was well written. It reminded me of “Back to the Future” but just an asian version with more family secrets and romance. The retro setting was a treat for the eyes and the chemistry between Ye Zhen Zhen and Chen Che was sizzling. The friendship between the “5 golden treasure” was endearing. Ye Zhen Zhen’s family are the warmest people. It got a bit slow towards the end when they dragged out the part where the couple was bidding farewell to each other. This time could have been better used to develop the time travelling mechanism. The time travel part for Chen Che was pretty clear but it was a bit iffy on Ye Zhen Zhen’s part. It felt more like fan service and did not provide a proper closure.

Memorable moment:

All the sweet moments between Ye Zhen Zhen and Chen Che. Esp when he serenaded her with song and guitar during the thunderstorm and when they turned away from each other so the other person would not see them crying.

Thoughts and review

The Many Sides of OH RI ON

In KILL ME HEAL ME, the main character, Cha Do Hyun suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID) and has 6 other different personalities which protects him in times of distress. However, in this drama that portrays the agony and frustrations of a DID patient and the trauma that he goes through, Cha Do Hyun is not the only character with many sides. The beloved Oh Ri On is also more than meets the eye! He too, like Cha Do hyun, also hides behind many personalities to mask the pain that he suffers.

1.The goofball

I think this could have been Oh ri on’s true self, except only in an alternate universe where he isn’t born into such a position and subjected to such feelings. If Oh ri on has been born into a normal family with a biological sister and the perfect family and if Sung Jin Group did not exist then his goofball, happy-go-lucky, cheerful character would have been his true character. But right now, in this drama, in this universe, it is not. In this world, his goofball character is only a faccade. He knows the importance of not breaking the balance and thus his goofball faccade is to assure everyone else that in that insane world of theirs at least he’s normal and that he is there as a support of pillar.

2.Omega

Omega is the true self of Ri On. Through Omega, he loves, he thinks. Once Ri On assumes the identity of Omega, he becomes blantly honest. He investigates the truth of Ri Jin’s background under Omega and he openly protects Ri jin when he’s omega. Also, the opinions that he gives from a writer point of view are always sensitive and spot on. This is exactly who Ri On is. He is able see things for more than what they are and he knows how people’s hearts work.

However, Omega maybe his true self but it’s not who Ri On wishes to be. His only mission in life is to protect Ri Jin. And since he his unable to fully do so as Ri On the goofball, Omega just became more and more part of him till it ultimately came to define him.

3.The perfect brother and son

This is the person that Ri On is forced to become. However,it’s not just to Ri Jin that he has responsibility towards but more importantly, it had a heavier responsibility towards his parents. As such, just like his goofball appearance, this was crafted to assure those around him.

But, under this is a thick layer of melonchony. The melonchony that he gained from not being able to satisfy his own love. With the introduction of Cha Do Hyun, Ri On has completely given up on ever becoming lovers with Ri Jin. But this does not mean he no longer loves her anymore. This only means that his love will always be buried and from that moment on, he will indefinitely carry with him this melonchony as he silently protects Ri Jin as her “brother”.

4.Oh Hwi

This is an extention of his goofy character. In this KMHM world , I dont think he will ever stop loving Ri Jin enough to go for other girls. But in a alternative universe, yup I can definitely picture Oh Hwi frequenting clubs and bars, surrounded by many many pretty ladies every night hehe.