Thoughts and review

Drama update 3/9/16

Overall comments of the dramas I have watched since the end of 2105:

Love me if you dare

Status: Dropped

Comments: I felt rather sad that I dropped this drama. It was one of the best dramas that I have watched. But towards the end, there was just no tension anymore and it just got very repetitive. Plus the feminist in me just could not stand the girl being so whiny anymore. Instead of being a power couple, she was holding him down and I just could not stand that.

Most memorable: The cases. The exploding chemistry between the leads.

Would I recommend?  Yes

Despite not finishing it, I still think it’s a good watch. There is enough wit, gore and mystery which I all enjoyed very much. If only they had developed the lead female character in a different way it would have been a perfect score.

Descendants of the Sun

Status: Completed

Comments: This show. It was the very oasis that the drama desert desperately needed. I have heard criticism against DOTS being cliche. I agree with that but i also feel that it is also this cliche that made it a big hit. The show cleverly put the cliches that we know , the love at first sight, the disapproving father , the bromance and wrapped it up nicely with beautiful cinematography (excellent camera work and scenery), a whole new context (military and doctors, a new foreign country, no longer the USA anymore haha) and captivating OST. So, we get a drama that is filled with all the things we are familiar with that is just presented in a whole new way. And this is why I feel DOTS was such a quality drama. It just shows that kdramas or dramas in generally have so much more potential.

Most memorable: Ep3 when the soldiers and the doctors worked together to save that prince. My heart was literally in my throat the whole time and I worried so much for Yoo si Jin when he decided to disobey orders and go ahead with the operations. It made me think a lot about how the role of the small individual and how tied up one really is. There was also the conflict of values and mission, of the soldiers and doctors and hence their conflicting priorities and actions.

Would I recommend? YES!!!

I feel like this is the drama to show non drama fans and draw them in to dramaland. But first you must first warn them about the cliches and  cringe worthy scenes.

Reply 1988 

Status: completed (in 3 days)

Comments: I hate this show …. for making me cry in every freaking episode. If you are like me and are particularly sensitive to such family dramas, then you might want to prepare like 10 boxes of tissue before you start this. Contrary to what most people might say, I feel that instead of the younger cast, I feel that the older cast ie the ajummas and ajusshis ie the mums and dads were the ones who carried the show. In fact, I think the scenes were 90% older cast and 10% younger cast, which I have no complains about. The older cast were more mature in their acting and showing their emotions so I really appreciated that. I was displeased however, with how they suddenly switched Deok Sun’s partner to Teak just for the sake of having a plot twist. I mean plot twists must also serve a narrative purpose but here the plot twist is so gimmicky it was so unnecessary. What about my poor junghwan huh. The scriptwriters be better watching their backs. He might just come out of the TV screen and at gunpoint, demand that you write him a happy ending. Teehee.

Most memorable:  so many things. This line “Parents are not born as parents. We are also learning.” This episode: dads are not superheros. This sound: Meh-ehh. This couple: sun woo and bora.

Would I recommend? YES YES YES

Especially to those rebellious kids out there. Just make them watch this and all them rage hormones would be tamed. I too watched this at the crossroads of my life and it make me reflect a lot. I would not say it has totally changed me but it has definitely made me appreciate my parents a lot more. LOVE YOU MUM AND DAD.

Let’s fight ghost

Status: Dropped

Comments: I only started this show because I heard my boss talking about it so I decided to take a look. What a huge disappointment it was.When my boss described the drama to me, I thought that it would be those drama where they tackle a different theme each episode through the different ghosts that they meet, very much like many anime series. From the episodes that I watched, I see that they were indeed going for such a format. However, the focus was put on the wrong characters. Instead of giving more screen time for the ghosts and fleshing out their story lines, more time was given for the dumb and dumber duo. Although the two of them did grow on me, I still think it would have brought the drama to a higher level of quality if they had focused on the ghosts instead. All in all, I think it was a wrong directive decision to focus on comedy instead of the untapped potential of the stories of the ghosts. So many themes such as domestic abuse, abandonment, lost love etc, were just briefly mentioned when they could have been explored at with so much more depth.

Most memorable: The dumb and dumber duo. When the show failed to provide what i came for, I had to settle for this. While their jokes were not all hits, they were still enjoyable to watch.

Would I recommend? Know what you are getting into.

As with most things, it’s all about managing expectations. I went into the show thinking I would be getting a show with touching mini stories but instead I got a comedic show. So, the decision to watch this show would be up to your own discretion.

Cheese in the trap

Status: Completed

Comments: This show, similar to reply 1988, came to me at an appropriate time so it holds a special place in my heart. I love this show for challenging all that we know about appearance and reality, for showing us that not humans cannot be clearly put into a dichotomy of evil and good. That it’s more often than not, it’s always conditional evil instead of intrinsic evil. Most characters in the drama, are only pushed to be evil due to the circumstances, and for Yoo Jung, he turns to his evil side only as a way of retaliation or our of good intentions for Seol. However, as we see from the drama, this still does not mean they can be forgiven because at the end of the day, evil is still evil and it can hurt innocent others (Seol) when it gets out of hand.

Of course, i cannot talk about this drama and not mention the behind the scenes saga. Don’t you just hate it when the narrative is destroyed by reality. Actually, in hindsight I would not have notice the flaw if I had not known about the BTS drama. However, since I did know of it, it just brought to light how underdeveloped Yoo Jung’s character and that just raised more questions and the drama just got more confusing and I was unable to appreciate it as much as before.

Most memorable: Ep3 When Seol faced communication problems with her group mates. I loved it because of how it real it was. I kinda disliked how they didnt really find a solution for it though, they did mention it in later episodes but it wasnt the solution that I wanted.

Would I recommend? Yes.

Despite the hiccup towards the end of the drama, the drama is still a very thought provoking drama that looks into intentions and personalities of people. Definitely a good watch.

 

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Thoughts and review

他来了请闭眼 Love Me, If You Dare Ep 13-14

Ep 13-14 marks a turning point in the drama where our main leads FINALLY become a couple. It is also the start of the whole “Moriarty” storyline.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.10.06 AM

I am super happy that BJY and  JY got together but I am also disappointed at the same time. Mainly because it was too jarring. From ep 1 to ep 12, you give up this premise that both BJY and JY are very new at this love game so when they get together as a couple you expect them to be very innocent and the most they will ever do is hold hands. Which I am fine with and actually looking forward to actually (this makes their kisses even more precious) But no, the drama chose to  destroy this image by implying that they made love on the very night they became a couple. I understand the director was just following the book closely. But in the book, the love making did not happen immediately after they got together , so even in the book there was a built up.(the book translations are here) I get that the director also has his restrictions (ie he has to cut down a lot of the romance in order to properly explain the crime bits). But I feel it would have been much wiser to stray away from the book for at least this part. It just totally dampened my mood, especially since I was so looking forward to them as a couple.

Now about the non romance parts. OMG. The entire time I was so freaking worried for XR like holy freaking shit he cannot die! He lost his love to BJY and now he has to die young ?!?!! (side note: I am kinda shipping him with JY’s sister haha they look cute together) I literally held my breadth the entire time, until I saw the preview and saw that he was just taken away by the villain. Wahh, if the show really decides to kill him off I really dont know what I will do ><

I really really like the plot twist with BJY’s sister. Like woah she dated FZY like woah. And she might be the villain’s assistant? Woahhh things just got 10 0000 times more complicated and interesting 🙂  haha and i hope FZY gets together with her after this whole thing blows over He deserves someone too. Speaking of FZY, how badass was he with all his techy skills. At one point when they were trying to uncode the harddisk I was expecting his computer to explode or just be taken over by virus but no nothing happened and that just cemented my respect for this guy.

And I am still waiting for JY to be useful to the investigations. No doubt she has gotten better. But whatever she deduced, BJY has already figured out. So, professionally, she is still not very useful. I especially hated her in the last part of ep 14, during the confrontation with BJY’s sister. I keep waiting for her to say smth since she was the one who insisted that she tag along in the first place. However, till the last moment, she was the last to leave the room, and had a brief private moment with BJY’s sister, but still she did not say anything and just left the room. So yup, to me, JY still has not proven her worth professionally.

(So sorry this came so late and is not as comprehensive as the other eps, I have been a bit busy lately, but I did this w/0 watching the new eps so that my views of these eps wont be tainted 🙂 Now I am off to watch the new eps! eeps so excited for the “Moriarty” storyline!)

Thoughts and review

他来了请闭眼 Love Me, If You Dare Ep 10-12

( I am gonna stop putting the headings with the case names coz I realised this show is more romance than the crime or at least for these few eps but if you must know the case for these three eps is The Case of The Crazy Stalker Girl)

Let me first start off by saying that it was my bad for comparing this with sherlock. This is nothing like Sherlock! Sherlock is 99% crime and 1% romance. This is more 70%romance and 30% crime and I absolutely love it! Esp since the two leads have off the charts sizzling chemistry. They are now on the top of my list of couples with the most on screen chemistry. Wouldn’t even be surprised if news broke out that they are dating hehe.

And I wanna take back my comment on the lack of humor in this show. I think it was just the first 4 eps that were pretty tense because they were trying to build BJY as this menacing character. But eventually that storyline simply disappeared as JY appeared and made him a warmer person 🙂

The case is pretty short, considering it only took 3 eps when the other two took 5 eps. More importantly, this is case is JY’s first case as BJY’s assistant so it’s pretty light and even takes place at the university she graduated from. I wont be talking about the case but the romance is more interesting hehe. But I like the fact that they allowed the viewers to partake in the guessing of the killer. Most detective shows often withdraws key info till the end so viewers have no way of guessing. Also I like the detailed analysis of how they came to suspect the killer haha this show is both informative and entertaining!

Yes! JY finally agreed and I am glad her trigger for agreeing was FZY and her Uni friend. First, FZY, i am so glad he’s getting more depth ~ I absolutely love love love the convo between him and JY. I so wanted to screenshot the entire thing but managed to decide on my favourite parts from the convo: FZY

BJY is so lucky to have such a guy as his friend. FZY can obviously tell that JY means something more to BJY so of course he would step in to make JY stay since he knows that BJY would probably fail with his icy words. FZY said the right things to the right person at the right time. He said all these after he confirmed that JY likes BJY so telling her to be more patient is the right thing to say because he gets BJY and is thus in the best position to say such words.

Untitled

Also, there is the Uni friend. I am gonna assume her and JY are really close coz the show really didn’t establish that well. I love how she didn’t encourage JY to take the job because to follow her passion of solving crimes (she did but only a bit) but more importantly she encouraged her to take up the job because she saw that JY really likes BJY. So with both FZY and the Uni friend as the trigger, I am glad JY not only took up the job because she was following her passion of solving crimes . In fact, if you only consider only her passion, she had agreed long ago. She said so herself. So really, what was stopping her is the ambiguous relationship that she shares with BJY so, the talk with FZY and her Uni friend were encouragement for her to go ahead. FZY encouraged her by telling her it’s not end because BJY is different so whatever he does cannot be interpreted normally. Her friend on the other hand, assures her that whatever her feelings for BJY is so much different from any of her past flings and thus encouraging her to not just let this slip by. So really, JY agreeing officially to be an assistant is really just admitting her feelings and agreeing to take the relationship to the next level.

BJY you adorable little puppy! Took you long enough to find out you love JY! I love how the show kinda pokes fun at his innocence. Like there were a lot of instances when he says something super flirty unintentionally and the whole atmosphere just turns awkward.

I think I could go on and on about how the two of them are so cute together but really I would just be writing down the whole show. If I must must choose one moment, it’s when  BJY keeps coming down to JY’s house for dinner. It’s these little things that show how much you love and need a person. Esp since we all know how BJY complained about her horrible cooking and yet he keeps coming down to eat her food. It just shows how much he has come to depend on her and how she has become indespensible in his life. And she too has become accustomed to his presence, she knows his love for fish and will always use some fish dish to get some answers out of him (or to get him to stop eating the candy). The first time they shared a meal, they sat at opposite ends of the table, now, she sits closer to him and always expecting him for dinner, will remember to prepare his portion. Urgh these two can they just get married already!

LOVE
The moment he realises his feelings

This moment was so precious omg. Gosh his eyes urgh you love smitten puppy. I love how this was toned down. Like it wasn’t some big reaction like omg omg I love Jian Yao Omg I love Jian Yao what do I do? panic panic. Haha Maybe this is the perks of having high IQ, esp since he studied behavioural psychology. It took him a while to recognise what he was feeling but once he did he did not deny it and went about it logically by preparing to confess to her. I cant really pinpoint what made him realise his feelings tho, maybe it happened when he realised that he cannot stand seeing JY getting hurt? Or maybe it was an accumulation, like he has been having all these feelings all along and that day was the day when it piled up enough to allow him to realise his heart? haha but really, I don’t think there will be a concrete answer because the show does not really show. Actually, I think it was more of a narrative decision by the scriptwriters because the couple definitely needs to get together first if “Moriaty” were to be able to inflict maximum damage on BJY (ie by endangering  JY).

Lastly, I think it’s pretty unwise of BJY to hide the truth about his stalker from JY (duh). Coz by dragging her down to be his assistant, he is already making her the target and he cant possibly have his eyes on her 24/7. So, I feel JY has the right to know about the stalker so at least if she does get captured or something she can leave some kind of clue for him to trace her.

Thoughts and review

他来了请闭眼 Love Me, If You Dare Ep 5-9

The Murder of Wang Wan Wei

Okay, the case actually only starts on Ep 6. Ep 5 was more of a break as JY and BJY moves to Jiangzhou. Actually, the case was only about 2/3 of the whole 4 eps. The time was split between JY trying to reject BJY, the romantic developments and all the hinting at the threat of “Moriaty”. The case was pretty simple actually and it’s not about crazy serial killers or any of that sort. I think BJY just took the case coz he wanted to be near JY haha.

Rawr. I was a bit annoyed with JY throughout. Like I get that she does not want to be the assistant coz it’s what killed her father and some other family members but she is not really resisting either? Like her only outburst was that time in the office with BJY after BJY was introduced as the new director. Then after that she did not only resist but also took the initiative to investigate and stuff. I guess it shows that deep down she’s really passionate about solving crimes. But what I would have liked to see is for her to resist first like when she is uncontrollably  thinking about the crime she would catch herself then chide herself to stop. Or like restrict BJY from keep coming over to her house. But no she did not do anything like that and that kinda bothered me. I guess it’s coz the relationship is not clear. I mean I know that eventually she would take up the job of the assistant. But now, she’s making things confusing by doing the things the assistant would do without having agreed to or even rejecting the job of an assistant.

THE.ROMANTIC.TENSION.BETWEEN.THE.TWO.IS.TOO.MUCH. Omg I swear every single time I see BJY and JY in the scene, I wish they would just grab each other and have a hot make out session. Urgh the struggle is real I can’t wait till they become a couple! And I don’t think there will be an ex after all coz the kiss in ep 9 seems to be the first for both of them. haha which means they two of them are gonna be so cute tgt as a couple gosh I love it already ~

“Why do you insist on keeping Jian Yao as your assistant?”

“We worked well together on the previous case … I like her.”

“Yeah .. I can tell.”

I think BJY is just naturally drawn to JY. JY is not exceptionally smart. Like even for this case she needed a lot of  handholding before she got anywhere and even so she came to the wrong conclusion. And also she is not able to provide any expertise like FZY. So to him, she’s definitely more of a liability than an advantage. The fact that he cannot give concrete reasons as to why he wants her as an assistant is just another prove of that. As for JY, I like the fact that she likes BJY because sees the kindness underneath. It shows that she really understands him and BJY needs that kind of love in his life. Poor XUN RAN tho, the fate of the second lead haha it was so sad see BJY taking over the job of protecting JY TWICE when, in the very beginning,the first ep, it was BJY that they were wary of.

I don’t get the deal with BJY though. He knows very well that he is dealing with dangerous criminals so why is he so insistent on dragging JY along with him esp since he knows about her tragic background?  Generally, in many such crime dramas, the genius detective would always try to reject his feelings and push away the female lead because he knows he will put her in danger. So it’s always safety over love. I mean I am sure BJY would have considered such concerns already (right?) , so, I don’t get why he is allowing her to risk her life in such a manner? Hmmm…but whatever the case, deep down, I am glad the character of BJY is one who is cold but also not totally shut off from emotions and relationships so in this way, as viewers, we get to enjoy both the romance and the thrill of the crimes 🙂

 

 

Thoughts and review

他来了请闭眼 Love Me, If You Dare Ep 1-4

The Case of The Killing Machine

This is my first mainland drama so I didnt know what to expect. I just tuned into this because I heard that it was similar to sherlock so I thought that was interesting. Hehe it’s pretty good ~ I watched 4 eps straight coz I wanted to know the killer.

I love how they made “Sherlock” aka Bo Jin Yan (BJY) an adorable little puppy. Like he’s a genius but he also has little quirks like his obsession with fish makes him likeable whereas in the BBC’s sherlock, which I watch, Sherlock does not have any of such childlike features so I thought that was a nice touch.

“Why did you choose me as your assistant?”

“Because I dont know anyone else in the

city…. and also because you can fish.”

JIAN YAO (JY) is pretty plain to be honest I mean I like the fact that they are trying to show that she and only she should be the assistant because she’s observant and is able to be BJY’s emotional guide but I still think she is lacking. Like right now all she is doing is whatever BJY is asking her to do I dont think I will ever come to like her character until she starts contributing more. But I think that will just be a matter of time since we do see her becoming braver.

Can we have more of FU ZI YU pls ??? I really love his character. I am so sad they are turning him into this one dimensional character. He only turns up when BJY needs him to build smth or get some info (or restock his fish inventory) ie he’s the tech sidekick. I really thought there would be more of a storyline from him but I think he will just serve to provide background info for JY esp when the ex storyline comes in. Tis is sad.

And ANDY ( the car ) is so cute hhaha. I was not expecting such a thing to pop up in a drama esp since this is not sci fi or anything but it’s so cuteee. hehe. Cute moment 1: when he complimented JY the first time he met her ~ (lol When the car knows how to treat a lady better than its owner , Andy 1, BJY 0) Cute moment 2 : when he plays music at the right time (the american show theme song) and also at the wrong time (sherlock theme)  Cute moment 3: When he comforted JY Cute/Creepy moment 4: When he was following BJY as he was looking around the investigation site. I actually thought it was the criminal driving and trying to run him off so it gave me the shivers initially but when it turns out it was just Andy it became a cute scene hehe. And wouldn’t it be the cutest thing ever like if and when JY and BJY becomes a couple he gives her the control of the car by allowing ANDY to also recognise her voice and then when they are having a lovers’ quarrel , Andy wouldn’t know who to take orders from

Sometimes I feel that atmosphere in this show is so heavy , there is no break. Everyone is so tense and speaks so seriously and slowly all the time. This is probably the reason why it’s so hard to catch some of the jokes that the show throws in our way. For the first few times I realised the joke late and caught myself belatedly laughing. But in my defence the humour on this show lasts only for like one sentence then it’s back to serious mode. Hmm but I guess there is also a beauty in such a way of storytelling.

Overall, it’s a good show. But if I were to comment on the intensity of the crimes, because I also follow BBC Sherlock and since this is obviously a spinoff, I have to compare the two shows. I feel BBC’s is more exciting, the built up is more suspenseful and there is much more twists and surprises. Nonetheless, it’s still a good watch, I cant wait till “Moriaty” appears!