Archive | December, 2012

End of Year Drama Review – 2012

31 Dec

Another year down and another end of year post – Thanks for everyone that dropped by and read our fangirling, ranting and rambles this year. We thought this post would be short and sweet but by the time we had gathered all of our thoughts on 2012’s drama offerings we had somehow created this mega drama post that sort of took on a life of it’s own, so we hope you enjoy it and of course, please feel free to add your own thoughts, it’s always more fun with company!

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2012 was a really busy year for us. We didn’t watch as much as we wanted and certainly didn’t blog as often as we wish we could. Which is a shame because we adore nothing more than sitting down and fangirling our way through dramas. Having less time to dedicate to our habit and becoming more picky over the years has meant that we have physically watched fewer dramas this year and have found that we have shelved more dramas than ever before.

This years offerings have been a lovely combination of the good, the bad and the dramas you wish you could erase from your memory. With cable dramas holding their hold and giving the mainstream networks a run for their money, we’re pleased with the vast number of options we’ve had this year as well as a positive shift towards dramas pushing the boundaries in terms of genres and plots on offer, which is always a good thing in our book. With two of our favorite dramas of 2012 coming from cable networks, we certainly look forward to see what they can offer us next year, so come on cable give us some goodies in 2013!

Below is our list of noteworthy dramas we’ve assembled from everything we’ve seen and shelved in 2012.

Completed dramas in 2012:

Korean dramas:

Answer Me 1997 – The jewel in our 2012 drama crown

Despite completing this drama very recently it still finished off the year as our favourite drama of 2012.

For us Answer Me 1997 felt like it was made with so much love. The writing is heartfelt, seamless and by the time it ended we knew we had finished something special. Something that would stay with us for a very long time. As drama viewers we watch plenty of dramas throughout the year all in anticipation that it will be ‘the one’ and guess what folks, Answer Me 1997 is it!

Funny, romantic, sweet and old school in the best way possible. Watch it, you will love it.

Wild Romance – the prize for the worst hair cut goes to….

Okay, this drama was all over the place. At first it was pee your pants hilarious. It was wacky, zany and so much fun to watch. We didn’t know that Lee Dong Wook was capable of being so funny and more importantly who knew that he could work a porno moustache but he did! Sadly, the drama took a dark, moody twist where the lead lost her spunk and became all needy and pathetic and the story went from silly fun to downright creepy with a crazy stalker.

The genre change gave us a little whiplash but despite that, the drama is well worth checking out especially if you’re a Lee Dong Wook fan.

Me too, flower – Our messy pick of the year

Technically this drama was a mess. The plot fell apart towards the end and the characters lost their spark. However, the OTP kept us coming back week after week. We loved them, they felt like a real couple to us. They were two very screwed up characters that came together and were somehow functional as a couple. When everything else was a mess in this drama, this couple somehow made it alright. Both actors were brilliant, especially Yoon Shi Yoon. He was all wrong for the part but  he managed to carry this mountain of mess and made it work.

If you’re looking for an unexpectedly good OTP then look no further.

Nice Guy – The prize for the most screwed up couple goes to…

This drama was dark, depressing and intense. The writing, the acting and the way it was filmed was brilliant. That said, what was wrong with every single character in this drama???!!! Our heads hurt trying to rationalize their insane actions and there were multiple times when we wanted to punch a few of these characters in the face.

Reasons to tune in: Song Joong Ki

We’ve waited for so long to see him as a leading man in a drama and he delivered in spectacular fashion. Of course he was all kinds of hot but his acting was also wonderful. We look forward to his future projects where hopefully he doesn’t annoy the hell out of us.

If you like your dramas dysfunctional and screwed up in perfect Kdrama style, this one ticks all the right boxes.

Queen In Hyun’s Man – A nearly perfect moment in time

Nearly but not quite there.

2012 is most certainly the year of the time travelling drama and this drama is definitely up there as one to watch. We loved everything about this drama, it was beautifully executed, the OTP owned us completely and the plot was excellent throughout its run and then came that ending. Sighs* It was almost too good to be true and we were hoping that this would be that rare drama that was perfect but sadly the ending left a distinctly bitter taste in our mouths.

A lot of people loved the ending but for us it felt like a cope out. It was far too convenient and it killed some of the magic for us.

Don’t get us wrong, we gave this drama 9.5 out of 10, so we’re not going to complain that much, it’s just that it was sooooo close to being that perfect drama for us. The rare gem that we would love forever and having seen so many dramas of the years now, it’s no easy challenge to fall in that category.

Watch this drama, you won’t regret it, in our opinion it is one of the best romantic dramas to come out in a long time.

A Gentleman’s Dignity – Overgrown boys, bratty sisters who needed a slap and the realisation that we have no idea why we bothered tuning in…

Seriously, thinking back now, we don’t know what drew us to watch this Ahjussi drama where pretty much nothing happened across 20 episodes.

All we can really remember about this drama is our very strong desire to murder Im Me Ah Ri. She was a freaking grown woman that acted like a spoilt brat that cried and stomped her feet throughout the drama’s run. Groan*

The drama has left no real impact on us as viewers and there are no real moments that stick out from the dramas run.

Would we recommend it??? We’re not sure, we can’t actually remember.

Japanese Dramas:

Rich Man, Poor Woman – Our unexpected crush goes to…

This was our favourite (and only completed) Jdrama of 2012. It reminded us exactly why we love Jdramas and that maybe we shouldn’t give up on them just yet.

As well as being our favourite Jdrama, it also opened our eyes to Oguri Shun – why, why have we failed to notice this guy before???

The winner for unexpected crush of the year most definitely goes to Oguri Shun. He oozed chemistry, charm and strangely worked dodgy haircuts. Trust us, this drama has made fangirls out of us. heheh.

Back to the drama – the story was a simple love story between a socially awkward millionaire genius and a smart graduate who happened to end up working together and of course falling in love. The plot and the execution of the story was nothing to write home back but it was a pleasure to tune into every week. We were comfortable in the knowledge that the drama would make us smile and satisfy our  fluffy drama needs in the best way possible.

If you’re looking for a decent Jdrama look no further, this one will steal your heart.

Taiwanese Dramas:

Skip Beat! – Our surprise delight of the year

Who would have thought that this would be the only Tdrama we completed in 2012? Definitely not us!

The drama had so much going against it – a very loyal and obsessive fan base for the manga, two Korean actors in a Tdrama – wtf?, terrible dubbing and our expectations in the gutter before we even began.

The drama wasn’t a ratings winner but we adored it. Once the drama fixed the dubbing issue and found their feet, this drama was great fun. Ivey Chen was fantastic as the crazy but lovable leading lady and Siwon made us even bigger fangirls after his brilliant performance as Ren/ Du He Lian. He played cold and damaged so well. Considering he could only act using his facial expressions, he was pretty wonderful.

When a drama has a broody Siwon and Donghae looking hot being bad – what are you waiting for?

Shelved Dramas:

Miss Rose – Another Roy Qiu drama we just couldn’t finish..

We know, we know, what is wrong with us? It’s not you Roy, it’s just everything else that ruins it for us!

Why are all of Roy’s leading ladies so hesitate to fall in love with this HOT HOT man? Why do we have to sit through so many episodes watching these annoying leading ladies cry over past loves or cry over the fact that they are scared/ poor/ stupid???

We were so excited by this drama but it got draggy so quickly. We wanted to love it but we just couldn’t.

We have no doubt we will one day finish a Roy drama but until then we’re more than happy  to keep watching perving our way through all of his dramas until we find one. heheh

Shut up flower boy band – The best cameo in a drama goes to…

Oh, Lee Min Ki you came and went so quickly but we’re pretty sure that you made everyone that watched miss you just a little bit.

Not completing this drama is strictly an oversight on our part. All of the ten episodes we completed were brilliant. The drama was so good we made a freaking GIF out of the famous hug scene and considering we’re incredibly technically challenged that’s definitely saying something!

Life happened and we just never got around to finishing the drama. Maybe this drama will be in next year’s review or may be not…

I need Romance 2012 – When love rivals make you switch off

We switched off for one reason only – the loval rival made us want to vomit into the nearest waste basket. He was so sickly sweet and was such a soppy puppy that we just wanted to kick him. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he shared ZERO chemistry with the leading lady. How is that possible – two attractive, young actors and still they failed to generate any chemistry between them- none, zero, zilch, how???

The King 2 Hearts – We know what you’re thinking, are we mad???

Yes, yes, we hold our hands up and question our sanity and poor taste in dramas for not having the desire to complete this drama. It just didn’t click for us. We didn’t have that emotional connection with the characters and as a result didn’t really care what happened to them.

Plus, watching the leading man shot his OTP in the chest sort of kills the romance for us. Just saying…

Big – The biggest disappointment of the year?? Possibly, maybe, yes…

How is it possible that the Hong Sisters could make such a boring drama???

Why did Gong Yoo  have to look so damn hot in this drama?

 (you’re welcome)

For that reason alone, we’re gutted this drama was a complete waste of time. Sob*

Other notable dramas for 2012:

Rooftop Prince – The other time travel drama

 

What is with his horrible hair???

It was a toss up between this and Queen In Hyun’s Man at the time and we picked the latter. Frankly was there any point starting another time travel drama after you’ve completed something that was so nearly perfect? Anything we watched after that epic, romantic drama would have just been crap.

Gaksital/ The Moon that embraces the Sun – When leading men turn you off…

Sorry Kim Soo Hyun and Joo Won, we’re just not fans.

 

 

– We’re sorry!!!!!

It’s the strangest thing. Pretty much everyone loves these guys with a passion but we just need to know their name is attached to drama and it’s a pass from us.

Maybe we will grow out of it like we did with Hyun Bin but until then it will take something seriously special to make us tune in or a shiny sequined tracksuit…

Time Slip Dr. Jin – We found the car wreck of the year

Thankfully we saved ourselves from this nightmare. We confess that it was endless fun reading the hilarious bitching and disgust at this poor excuse of a drama. Muhahah.

Final rambles for 2012

As you can probably tell from this post, this year hasn’t treated us too badly but of course heres hoping 2013 gives us a few more drama gems worth fangirling about.

Thanks for popping by and joining us in our rambles this year, we hope you return in 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

Love,

The Musthavesubs girls, xoxo

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Cheongdamdong Alice: episodes 7-8

29 Dec

We really didn’t enjoy episodes 7-8 and we definitely didn’t like Se Kyung’s behaviour!

We’re confused by her tears and her list. She was always herself in front of Secretary Kim and not this gold digger/ ‘Candy’ character that Yoon Joo coached her to be, so whats the problem???? Secretary Kim turns out to be the guy she wanted and more importantly he likes her for her, no fake charades needed, she has indeed won the lottery, so what the feck was with the tears and her stupid list???

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She doesn’t need to act or be this horrible manipulative character that she feels she needs to be because he already likes her and she likes him – end of story and they live happily ever after.

Why did she write that hideous letter to ‘the president’ and why did we have to listen to her inner monologe where she’s faking it to make it? Don’t the writers realise how unpleasant it is to watch the leading lady go from kind/ harding working girl in a romcom to this horrible gold digger in a melodrama, especially when they make the leading man so damn lovable?

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Seung Jo’s character is such an innocent and his feelings for Se Kyung are so earnest and sweet that it makes her treatment of him  harder to watch. The poor guy has already been through this situation once before, he doesn’t deserve this treatment again, especially when he’s been nothing but lovely. Ggggrrrrr.

Other thoughts:

Watching Tommy Hong make sense of the situation was so much fun, especially when he dresses as the Devil himself! Seriously, what is with this outfit?? Also it’s great to see a secondary character that isn’t a complete dumbo.

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We always liked Yoon Joo but this week really made us see her in a different light. What will she do when she finds out that Se Kyung and Seung Jo like each other? She caused an accident to avoid a dinner date, so we’re scared of what she might do next. Shudder*

Is it bad that we wouldn’t mind Yoon Joo and Seung Jo getting together now??? Yes, we realise it is. Hahah

School 2013 – episodes 7-8

29 Dec

We loved episode 7!!!

Oh, Nam Soon just when we thought we couldn’t love you any more, you had to go and give up school for the sake of your friend.

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For the last two minutes of episode 7, we sat there with a lump in our throats as we watched perfect angst and heartbreak play out right before our eyes. We knew that school would be the thing Nam Soon gave up but we thought it would be for something else like his future, his education ect but for him to state so sadly that what he was really giving up was Heung Soo broke our hearts a little bit. Seriously, these guys are nailing their OTP moments. Their relationship is so fascinatingly complicated and fractured  that you wonder how the hell will they be friends again? Then you see how they just can’t keep away from each other and that they care far too much when they claim not to and you know that it will all be alright in the end…hopefully. Damn it, episode 8’s cliffhanger was so great, we can’t wait to see what happens next!

Nam Soon’s speech in front of everyone in class was so somber and heart achingly sad as he confessed to what really happened between them all those years ago. Heung Soo’s silent response was just perfect. The atmosphere in the room was so tense with shock that his response or lack of a response had a far greater impact than if he shouted and screamed his way through the scene.  You could see his pain and rage plastered across his face as he silently listened to Nam Soon speak frankly about his actions. We like how the writer didn’t sugar coat his actions. Nam Soon was angry and immature and he did something that he would regret forever and regardless of what he does now there is no way of rectifying the results. It was one of those great OTP moments that you wait for in the drama. The drama had been leading up to this moment for weeks now and to finally hear the brutally harsh circumstances that broke them up and clearly see how hard it’s been for both of them was brilliant viewing and certainly didn’t disappoint in any way.

We still love Teacher Jung especially because she’s old school and burdensome!

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Another week and another chance for Teacher Jung to be treated like shit by her boss and half the school but she still hasn’t given up on these rotten kids. It’s hard not to root for a woman so resilient.

We loved the scene where Teacher Kang turned the tables on the Head teacher and blackmailed her into allowing Teacher Jung to keep her tutor role. Yay for someone sticking up for Teacher Jung for once!

We like how Teacher Kang hasn’t completely reformed his selfish ways yet as highlighted in his decision to expel Heung Soo from school but you can see shades of improvement. We liked how he intervened to keep Nam Soon in school and he tried to make Heung Soo and Nam Soon make up. His scenes with Nam Soon always make us smile because you can clearly see how they don’t like each other but keep getting entangled in situations together. It was nice to see Nam Soon get a pep talk from someone other than Teacher Jung for once.

Other thoughts:

We still want Jung Ho to die – Please drama don’t redeem this pathetic excuse for a character!

We loved Ha Kyung’s scene with Heung Soo when she told him to stop being a idiot and stop smoking. The girl is fearless and so damn cool.

When are Nam Soon and Ha Kyung going to make out already!?

School 2013 – General thoughts up to episode 6

23 Dec

It took six episodes but we finally get all the fuss surrounding this drama.

We would literally sit there groaning and moaning our way through each episode. We were frustrated by everything and everyone on screen and yes,  before you ask we haven’t a clue why we stuck around all this time!

Have you ever watched a drama that frustrated you to no end but still you kept coming back for more? For us it’s the potential of what the drama could offer and our stubborn nature that kept us coming back for more and it looks like it’s finally paid off because we thoroughly enjoyed episode 6. The previous episodes had slowly drip fed us information about the characters and the plot which we found really annoying. However we found that we could finally appreciate the technique as the plot and characters all came together perfectly in episode 6, allowing us to relate and engage with the drama in a way we haven’t before. 

At first we were thrown by the darker nature to this school drama. It felt like it wanted to be a Japanese ‘human drama’ crossed with your typical crazy Taiwanese teen drama (think: Mars) but unfortunately it wasn’t quite hitting the mark. It felt at times flat; none of the characters were interesting enough to carry the drama on their own and neither the writing nor the acting was strong enough to keep us engaged. The thing is, it wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t great either. We knew that it could offer more and we didn’t want to give up on it too soon and regret it later. Also, we confess that we’re on holiday now and so have a little more time to indulge our habit. Trust us, if we tuned in a couple months ago, we would have dropped this drama like a hot potato and moved on without any hesitation what so ever.

Things that worked for us and keep us tuned in every week:

The real OTP of this drama is actually a bromance.

Heung Soo and Nam Soon forever.

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Their relationship is probably more intense and damaged than your average OTP in other Kdramas. Like all the best OTPs, they have excellent chemistry together and their feelings for each other are intense and written all over their faces. Naturally like any good Kdrama, the OTP have saved each other from a couple tough situations. Nam Soon has put himself on the line to ensure that Heung Soo doesn’t get in trouble and of course the OTP’s parents disapprove of their relationship as we witnessed with Heung Soo’s sister giving Nam Soon a dressing down and warning him to stay away from her brother. It just wouldn’t be a Kdrama if one of the OTP’s parents didn’t hate them.

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We like how their relationship is so complicated and has that secretive nature to their shared past. What happened to make Nam Soon leave behind his bad boy days??? Their relationship is one of the main reasons why we keep coming back for more. We want to know what happened and how they will be friends again, like right now!

Teacher Jung – we love you.

Sure, she’s no Gokusen and all the kids and staff take advantage of her but we love her.

She’s one of the few characters in this drama that has layers to her personality. She follows her heart and her ethics to ensure that she does the best she can by these rotten kids that don’t know how good they have it with a teacher like her. We like how the drama constantly highlights the fact that the majority of the teachers don’t actually care about the kids but instead think of them as a statistic. We love her because she clearly suffers but never gives up on the kids.

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She’s so small and you can clearly see she’s intimidated by some of the kids (Jung Ho) but the woman never backs down. She’s got guts and always sticks up for her kids despite being vulnerable and at risk of getting sacked.

The scene that cemented our love for this character has to be the scene where she physically punished the kids by slapping their hands and then Teacher Kang drags her away and calls her an idiot for caring so much. It was just such a horrible scene to watch. She was so hurt and upset by the kids that she totally lost the plot. Jang Na Ra has done such a great job of portraying such a likable but complicated character.

Teacher Jung and Teacher Kang – a OTP in the making.

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At first we spent quite a few episodes hating Teacher Kang and his arrogant, carefree way. Also we hated the fact that he came in and made Teacher Jung look even more pathetic. However, the slow development of his character has allowed him to grow on us. We like how Teacher Jung has rubbed off on him and he’s found himself caring about the kids and taking her side when others take advantage of her. We love how they’re co-tutors and spend the majority of the time bickering like kids. We look forward to them teaming up and rescuing the kids in upcoming episodes and of course falling in love. Heeee.

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Nam Soon – can we keep him?

A bad boy trying to make good… a drama troupe we love.

When so much of the drama failed to work for us, this character never failed to keep us engaged. He’s complicated and vulnerable, with a shady history and a good heart – what more does a girl want? He manages to evoke a number of feelings from us as viewers. We are at once confused and a little disturbed by his past but at the same time we wish life would give him a break. We want the bullies to leave him alone, we wish that Heung Soo would forgive him and (make out) make up.

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He just wants to graduate school in one piece, leave the poor guy alone!

Things that keep us groaning and moaning every week.

Most of the characters in this drama drive us nuts.

Yep, there are so many 2D characters in this drama. The smart but pressured girl, the bully with the family issues, the silent rebel that wants to be good and the nerdy geek that needs protecting… the list goes on.

Frankly we spent 6 episodes cursing like an angry sailor every time Jung Ho was on screen. How has that kid not been thrown out of school yet? He attacked a teacher and is generally a piece of crap that needs to be sent to jail. We have a feeling that the drama will try and manipulate our feelings but we’re sorry, we don’t care that he has a rubbish home life, he needs to go immediately! – Rant aborted.

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Bad acting: The majority of the actors in the class room have terrible acting skills. They over act their way through most of their scenes and we find ourselves sitting there rolling our eyes at how terrible it is to watch. The actors should take notes from the cast of Shut up Flower boy band because they are failing miserably.

Unbelievable scenarios: The importance of cram schools is something that is completely lost on us and our education system but seriously the fuss that was made surrounding Ha Kyung lying to attend that elite cram school was ridiculous. The kids and the school turning on her was so stupid. Who really cares????

Do we even need to mention how any story revolving around Jung Ho is frustrating?

As you can guess from this post, this drama is a mix bag of potentially awesome and downright terrible. However after completing episode 6, we found that the characters have grown on us, we can look past some of the negative elements that drove us mad a couple weeks ago and we actually look forward to seeing what happens next. 

Heres hoping we haven’t spoken too soon…

Cheongdamdong Alice: episode 5-6

22 Dec

Okay, until we watched episodes 5-6 we didn’t get the hype surrounding the OTP. Se Kyung was completely indifferent, if not a little freaked out by Seung Jo and he was frankly crazy but we all knew that already! This was the one element of the drama that gave us doubts as to whether this drama would be a keeper or not. We don’t care how good the writing is or how amazing it looks, if the OTP don’t click for us, its goodbye drama. So you can imagine how excited and happy were after finishing episode 6! Heeeee.


We love the fact that Se Kyung is falling for Secretary Kim despite her better judgement. We adore the fact that we spent four episodes wondering how the hell Se Kyung was ever supposed to fall for this complete weirdo and more importantly how we were supposed to buy it as viewers. However it appears to be working and we’re loving it.

The slow but realistic change of opinion by Se Kyung is refreshing. Kdramas love to go from 1 to 100 in the feelings barometer, so to see it subtly develop across six episodes was a delight to witness. They have nice banter between them that makes it easy to believe that they have become friends and that they could be more. Also how is a girl to resist a guy when she finds out he poured Soy Sauce over an idiot that humiliated her in a crowded room? Then there is that mega watt smile and his general sweet persona… okay we admit it, we judged them too quickly but we’re more than happy to be proven wrong once in a while.

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Having read posts in the blogosphere, it appears that we are strictly in the minority who actually liked Tommy Hong after completing episode 4 and viewing the famous Soy Sauce attack. Yes, yes he was sleazy and offensive but we loved their instant spark and who doesn’t like watching the reform of a bastard? Episodes 5-6 had limited airtime between Se Kyung and Tommy but what little we saw was as expected great viewing.

In our opinion the main element of their relationship that sets them apart from the OTP is the fact that their relationship is formed on honesty and doesn’t have that fake charade surrounding all of their conversations like Se Kyung and Seung Jo’s does.  Watching her return and asked for an apology was unexpected and then to watch him turn the conversation on her was even better viewing. We really hope that the upcoming episodes have more airtime between these two characters and that they remain as awesome as they have so far. We would be gutted if Tommy suddenly turned into that annoying, soppy love rival after all of their heated exchanges.

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Favourite moments:

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The hospital scene was hilarious! Seriously, Park Shi Hoo is killing it with his comedy acting. The whole scenario was crazy but so funny. We loved PSH facial expressions as he tried to keep his identity a secret. Don’t get us started on Secretary Moon, his facial expressions are brilliant viewing. The poor guy has to put up with so much madness thanks to his crazy boss.

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We can’t forget the accidental hug/ almost kiss between the OTP. Whoop, whoop for progress.

We loved how the scene felt real in the sense that it was awkward and unexpected but you could sense the tension and the confused feelings radiating off them both. Yay.

Other thoughts:

It’s going to get so damn messy isn’t it? We’re going to be drowning in angst by the time Seung Jo finds out Se Kyung is a gold digger and she finds out that the whole time she’s known him he’s been lying to her. We’re scared. We were literally biting out nails when Seung Jo was holding her gold digger’s manual.

Who else loves Papa Cha and Seung Jo scenes?  Their moments make us laugh every week with their juvenile bitchy remarks to each other and the fact that deep down you know they love each other deeply.

What are the other two crises that Se Kyung will face??? Surely, love would be the hardest one to overcome. Or is that just our hopeless romantic hearts talking crap again?

Big Bang concert – just when we thought we couldn’t love them any more…

20 Dec

What an awesome night!

Our absolute highlight of the night was when the boys sang Haru Haru.

It was epic. 

It was one of those performances that will stay with us for years to come and listening to the audience sing the song back to them was just magic. 

The musthavesubs girls are off to see Big Bang on Saturday night – Whoop, whoop!

14 Dec

This is not quite a classic but boy did it make us laugh a lot! 

 

Cheongdamdong Alice – General rambles

13 Dec

After two episodes we were ready to throw in the towel and declare this drama a strange bipolar creature that didn’t know exactly what it wanted to be. Did it want to be a wacky/ crazy comedy or a serious and frankly depressing drama about poverty and the hardships that life throws at people??? The strange combination of both wasn’t working and we were getting ready to regrettably say farewell to the lovely Park Shi Hoo and Moon Geun Young. However somewhere between the leading lady saying goodbye to her ex boyfriend and the leading man getting his revenge on his ex girlfriend, we found ourselves totally engaged and eager for more. Yep, we’re still recovering from the shock of it all as well.

As much as we utterly love Nam Goong Min (yum, yum) his character in this drama was completely wasted and out of place. The writer failed to strike the right balance of his hardship with the rest of the drama and instead veered down the melodramatic root. His departure from the drama was more than welcome from us as it will allow the drama to move forward and give us some much desired OTP time.

Farewell our darling Nam Goong Min, we look forward to seeing your beautiful man pain in a Kdrama in the hopefully not so distance future.

Okay back to the drama – while watching it, we realised that it’s quite reminiscent of Kdramas of the past. It’s got the traditional components that you get; rich, prickly chaobel leading man meets kind, thoughtful but poor leading lady. Their worlds collide due to a series of coincidence (of course!) and after lots of bickering and misunderstandings they fall in love and live happily ever after. Sigh*

Naturally as Kdrama lovers, we’re all for something old school and this one ticks all the right boxes. Park Shi Hoo is brilliant as the completely insane leading man. He has the right balance of portraying a character that is utterly nutty but still manages to maintain the small amount of humanity for us to connect with him and hope he gets a happy ending. Plus, he made us laugh a lot. Seriously, we didn’t know he was capable of being so funny. Who would have thought that watching a man try and cry would be so hilarious?

Moon Geun Young is as always excellent. We love watching this genuinely good person’s journey down the dark, slippery slopes to wealth. Her antagonistic friendship with So Yi Hyn’s Seo Yoon Jo is fascinating. We love how they have this strange friendship where they openly hate each other but at the same time are each other’s confidants in a world that they desperately want to be part of or remain in. At first we feared that Yoon Jo would be that annoying, frustrating secondary lead that we want to punch in the face as she gets away with far too much and makes the leading lady’s life miserable. So you can imagine how pleased we were when we realised that she was going to play Se Kyung’s guide and mentor. Their conversations are refreshingly frank and we never really know what to expect when they are together. Their relationship was definitely an unexpected highlight for us.

The other major highlight for us is Kim Ji Suk’s role as Tommy Hong aka Se Kyung’s White Rabbit. How great was episode 4??? We’ll be honest Kim Ji Suk annoyed us to no ends as the love rival in ‘I need Romance 2012’ but we’re loving him as Tommy Hong. Oh, we can’t wait for him to fall head over heels in love with Se Kyung! Their interactions have been awesome so far. They have a lovely sizzle between them and we like the way he looks at her, it’s a hot combination of intrigue/ lust.

We loved the scene where she threw the glass of water at him and he immediately threw soy sauce right back at her. We literally gasped and cheered at the same time. It was so unexpectedly brilliant. Watching him immediately retaliate made us sit up and take notice and yes, we were impressed. We’ve never been fans of the passive secondary lead. At least now Se Kyung and Tommy have a nice level of hostility between them. As they say, there is a thin line between love and hate and we look forward to watching their relationship develop further. Is it wrong that we look forward to this more than the OTP’s romantic development?

In our opinion we think the drama is currently all over the place in terms of content and delivery, so we’re not sure what to really expect for the remainder of the drama. For now we’re happy to go with it and hope for the best. If anything, mocking a drama is just as much fun as loving it. Muhahaha.

Answer Me 1997 – Series thoughts

12 Dec

Three words to sum up our thoughts on this drama: WE LOVED IT.

This is by far our favourite drama of 2012.

We gobbled it up in a week and half; happy to say goodbye to our social life and farewell to sleep because this drama rocked! It made us laugh, cheer and fall in love with every single character on screen.

As much as we love Kdramas, they can be sloppy, rushed and the writing can suffer due to live shooting and ambitious producers riding on popularity. However this drama achieved the rare feat of remaining awesome all the way through. The writing was so tight. Every action had a purpose, every speech had an impact and the quality of the script remained outstanding from start to finish. Dramas are a dime a dozen these days and they can feel like you have seen the same story told a million times over but with this drama it felt like we were watching something special. This script was so well thought out, planned to perfection and it felt personal. It achieved the lovely balance of remaining heartfelt, humorous and engaging without ever dragging. It never got bogged down in the details or killed us with angst, which is frankly a rarity for a Kdrama and one we are thankful for.

The plot could have easily been complicated, messy and confusing to follow what with the multiple time jumps back and forth throughout the drama but it was handled seamlessly. The script made us feel like we knew these characters. We had watched them grown up and find themselves both  individually and romantically as people.

After we had finished the drama it felt like we were saying goodbye to long standing friends who we had grown to love over the course of the drama. How many times have you watched dramas over the years where the leads, love rivals or random sides characters annoyed the hell out of you??? Too many times is our short answer. However, this drama managed to develop a really rich selection of characters that were all very human. None of them were perfect and they all made mistakes but we think we rooted for them more because of those flaws. We’re totally over watching the perfect, kind, selfless leading lady that sacrifices all for the people around her. Sure, she’s great and we wouldn’t mind being more like her but as a person can we relate to her on that basic level? No chance. This drama’s leading lady owned our hearts like no leading has in a long time. She was just so freaking awesome! She was that girl you would want to be friends with, get smashed with at a bar and get into a shit load of trouble while doing something completely mental. We loved her crazy fangirl ways, her sharp, poison tipped tongue and the fact that she always followed her heart. Once she knew what she wanted she went for it. Sung  Shi Won is by far our favourite leading lady of 2012.

 

Our favorite moments: Too many to be honest but…

Yoon Jae’s love confession:

Oh boy, we loved this scene so much. We sat there with our hearts in our throats as we watched him bare his soul to Shi Won so honestly. They shared such wonderful, natural chemistry leading up to this moment that we eagerly waited his love confession. It was going to be the moment that changed the dynamics between the OTP and allow us to see their relationship development into something more. The build up to the scene was just so brilliant. So much tension, so many unspoken feelings between the two characters and then Tae Woong destroyed all of Yoon Jae’s plans in one simple sentence. We adored how the writer had built up such a warm, supportive relationship between the two brothers by this point. It added such a wonderful layer of angst and conflict for Yoon Jae as he chose between loyalty for his brother and his love for Shi Won. You could feel the whirlwind of emotions going through Yoon Jae as he simultaneously confessed his love and let her go all in one moment. So perfect and completely heartbreaking. Loved it.

 

Yoon Jae rescues Shi Won:

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The majority of the drama was heartfelt with lots of humour throughout but the snippets of drama scattered across the show was brilliant. The scene where Yoon Jae rescued Shi Won was intense. We loved how he ran on pure adrenaline to save her. For us this was one of the major turning points for thickheaded Shi Won to realise Yoon Jae loved her. The scene could have been over the top and predicable with the leading man swooping in and rescuing his OTP. Maybe with him shouting at her/ beating up her would-be attacker ect ect but it was the muted intensity of the moment that made the scene more intense. He held her close as he walked her to her door, made sure she was okay and then left. She needed few words to realise that he had run out like a mad man when she called or that he had obviously hurt himself badly trying to save her. All she had to know was that regardless of whether they were talking or not, he would come immediately if she called. Sighs*

HOT fangirls VS. Sechs Kies fangirls:

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How funny was the face off between the two rival fangirls in the rain??? Who else loved the childish, petty fangirl trash talk between the two leaders. The whole scene was so over the top dramatic that we sat their laughing our heads off at how silly it all was. The thing about that scene that got us most was that we’ve all obsessed over stuff when we were younger or even now and so you can relate to how seriously they all took it all and reflect back on our actions and cringe.

Joon Hee secret crush on Yoon Jae:

Ahhhhh, we adored Joon Hee so much. He was such a sweetheart. His character was portrayed so realistically and sensitively without stepping into stereotypical territory. We loved the scene where the drama revealed when he started crushing on Yoon Jae. Watching the smartest guy in the school stand up in front of everyone and start a fight with the teacher over the elitist results system was so good. We turned to each other and said; we too would have a serious crush on Yoon Jae after that scene. Smart, good looking and brave, what more do you want? heheh.

Critiques…okay but only if we must:

As you may have guessed for our endless gushes, any criticism for this drama is minimal and trivial because frankly it’s been a very long time since we watched such a well assembled drama. 

Guessing who Shi Won’s husband was in 2012 got old really quickly. At first it was exciting to guess who it was but after we watched the OTP declare their feelings for each other, it was game over and really unnecessary to keep up the charade in the future scenes. Also this would have been a angry rage post if Shi Won got together with Tae Woong! They shared NO chemistry together and he was too old for her. 

Our only other criticism of the drama was that the second half wasn’t as tightly scripted as the first half, which was simply outstanding.

Overall thoughts:

This drama is our favorite for 2012 for lots of reasons but for us, it was the wonderful way the writer had captured reality so well. Obviously, not the two brothers fighting over you scenario (we wish) or the crazy fangirl business (we draw the line at blood pledges!) but everything else was spot on.

The relationship between Shi Won and her family was portrayed so authentically. The crazy, screaming fights over petty matters have happened in our house a million times. The friendship was also a major highlight for us. Fighting over something as stupid as liking a rival band happens. It’s trivial and not at all dramatic but it’s realistic and something we can relate to.

Then there was the romance. Oh the romance owned us completely.The OTP’s scenes oozed chemistry and made us giddy like the worst type of fangirls. We love the fact that they knew each other so well and were best friends even if they fought like cat and dog all the time. We loved how Yoon Jae hesitated for so long because of that friendship and his love for his brother and that Shi Won didn’t automatically realise that she loved Yoon Jae. She took so long to realise her feelings for him and yes, it drove us mad and broke us hearts when he was rejected but it was realistic! We can totally understand why she wouldn’t want to leave her comfortable bubble of friendship with him and risk losing it completely but seriously how awesome was she when she declared her feelings? For once we get why two smart/ good looking brothers would fight over one girl, we would too.

Generally we fear drama endings. It’s often disappointing or leaves us sad to say goodbye. However, this drama was so damn satisfying and ended on such a high, that we could happily finish it and say goodbye to a drama that will remain fondly in our memories for a very long time. 

How much we liked it: 10/10 – that was as obvious as finding out who Shi Won’s husband was!

How good it is technically: 9.99999/ 10

Nice Guy: Series thoughts

12 Dec

This is the only drama that we have successfully managed to complete in the last month or so. We’ll be honest we’re completely surprised that we endured so much melodrama and still found ourselves coming back for more. Let’s be frank this drama is low on laughs and it’s been awhile since we watched so many dysfunctional people in one room. However strangely enough it worked for us, even when we knew it shouldn’t. It had the right combination of crazy and drama quality to keep us hooked till the end and now that it’s over, we’re glad we stuck around for the ride.

Read on at your own risk – major spoilers alert

We had a horrible feeling that we might need to invest in a jumbo pack of ultra durable tissues to get us through the drama finale. Surely, this wretched, very unlucky couple wouldn’t get their happily ever after?  Come on, this OTP had the worst stinking luck ever and frankly we were prepared and ready for the worst, so why do we feel like the rug has been pulled from under our feet with this unexpected drama finale? It must be the first time ever where we would have been more satisfied with a tragic ending and considering how damn sappy we are, that’s really saying something! The ending felt disjointed, far too convenient and yes, disappointing.

What the feck was that last minute stabbing all about????

You’ve been stabbed badly and you still managed to walk around inconspicuously and yes, make out with your OTP without:

  1. Your OTP realising that you’re seriously hurt
  2. Or more importantly not passing out from the loss of blood
  3. Buhahahahahaha
  4. How stupid.

Yes, it added a dramatic turn of events in the 11th hour but surely it would have been more effective if they showed him having his surgery and maybe not surviving? Just saying…

The ending was…sweet. It was shiny and happy but after 19 episodes of dark and moody it felt like the writer had chickened out and decided to give us a happily ever after to satisfy fan demand. It failed to have that impact that the rest of the drama delivered and for that reason alone we were left unsatisfied. Sure, we’re happy that the OTP survived and got together but it felt like we were watching a different drama’s finale. Not the depressing and insane ‘Nice Guy’ we had grown to love.

Nice Guy’s OTP – A complicated relationship for us.

We loved and hated them in equal measures. They had some really beautiful, memorable scenes that kept us tuned in every week but they also had a strange relationship which made us groan and moan A LOT.

Our favourite scene in the whole drama has to be Eun Gi’s love confession in the rain.

It was just such a heartrendingly intense scene that was both tragic and so very romantic at the same time. We saw the best sides of Eun Gi’s character and were reminded why we rooted for this leading lady. She stood there with her heart on her sleeve, totally vulnerable but so brave at the same time as she honestly confessed her feelings to a guy that used her in the worst way possible. We love the fact that we intensely hated Ma Roo but completely adored Eun Gi in that one scene. It’s a real testament to the quality of the script that in that one scene we felt so many different emotions and were so moved by it all.

Let’s talk about THE KISS.

We remember watching the OTP’s first kiss in the first half of the drama and we felt angry with Ma Roo, annoyed by the context and the how fake it all was. We kept wondering what the feck was the writer thinking. Were we really supposed to root for this couple, the deceptive leading man that was clearly taking advantage of a naive  innocent woman??? Hell no. Sorry. So you can imagine how excited and happy we were when the drama flipped everything upside down and gave us a real couple with feelings and heart. We adored the scene in episode 15 where Ma Roo really kissed her. EEEEEE!

‘Remember this, this is our first kiss.’ – Oh yes, this was so worth the wait.

As much as we loved the romantic development between the OTP, was it just us or did the OTP lack that crack factor that makes a great couple? Ma Roo used kid gloves with her; he was too protective and always had such an edge of guilt to all his actions that it was hard to envision them as a real couple. They needed more passion; they needed crazy screaming fights which ended up with them making out violently against the nearest wall. We wanted to believe their love but it all felt so lukewarm that our hearts weren’t 100% in it and that was probably why we weren’t that devastated by the idea of a tragic drama finale. We remember watching ‘A Scent of a Woman’ and dreading pretty much the majority of the drama. That OTP had insane chemistry and we cared so much for them that just the idea of the leading lady dying had us crying our eyes out for multiple episodes straight. We may have damaged our tear ducts after that experience but for us, ‘Nice Guy’ just didn’t do it for us like it should.

Amnesia – a cliché which we didn’t surprisingly hate.

The role of Eun Gi’s amnesia was handled so well. It was like that giant pink elephant in the room that threatened to reveal itself and ruin everything. The prospect of Eun Gi getting her memories back added such a delicious layer of tension that we sat there at the edge of our seats waiting for the bubble to burst at any moment and ruin their temporary happiness. Like the majority of the drama, we couldn’t really allow ourselves to emotionally invest in their temporary joy because we knew that it would be bittersweet.

When Eun Gi lost her memory the OTP were given a second chance to really be a couple and yes, they were sweet and happy at times but it was also very fake. He was once again lying to her, manipulating her feelings on a daily basis. What’s the difference between the way he treated her pre-amnesia to post amnesia? Yes, he did actually care about her but the way he went about it was wrong and his feelings consisted of  that selfless, martyr love that we HATE with a passion. Why couldn’t he be selfish, why couldn’t he love her so intensely that he confessed his love, his intentions and checked himself into hospital ASAP because he didn’t want to risk even the smallest chance of leaving her??? Yes, all of the above would have been too practical for these crazy characters but it would have saved us a lot of groaning and hair pulling.

Also were we really supposed to believe that a character as inquisitive as Eun Gi wouldn’t have found out as much as she could about the accident that transformed her life so drastically? Yeah right.

We wanted the revelation of Eun Gi’s memory returning to have more of an impact than it did. There was such a build up with excellent tension but it all fell flat at the last hurdle. We wanted her cool, crazy self to return with vengeance but instead it was wishy washy and half arsed in it’s delivery. We remember watching ‘Autumn’s Concerto’ a couple years ago and utterly loving the impact of the leading man’s memories coming back. It was like a tornado had arrived and made a huge mess and we loved every second of it. All of the lies, the sneaking around throughout the series were unmasked and we were left with a satisfying conclusion. What did we really conclude in ‘Nice Guy’? The baddies luckily handed themselves in and everyone got themselves a reasonable drama ending. We hoped for more. Sigh*

Character Thoughts:

Mar Roo – Looked oh so good in clothes but frustrated the hell out of us with his martyr actions and general outlook to life. He made a bad choice years ago and he paid the price. Boo Hoo, deal with it. Who honestly asked him to leave behind his seriously sick sister to rescue his Noona and then take the blame for her actions?? It was obviously an accident! Any reasonable person would have convinced her to go to the police station and explain the situation properly. Arrrghh and he’s supposed to be the smart one.

Eun Gi – She was the only reason why we stuck around. She was at first kick-arse cool, sassy and very much an anti leading lady. She lost a lot of her spark when she lost her memory but she redeemed herself in the last quarter, so all is forgiven.

Joon Ha – We want him for Christmas! He was such a perfect love rival. Generally we don’t like the sweet/ kind love rivals as they tend to be boooorrring but we’ll make an exception for this sweetheart. He was hot, had a good job, shared chemistry with the leading lady and his love for Eun Gi was so selfless and pure that it’s impossible to not to care for him. He just wanted the best for her even if that meant she was with another guy. We loved him!

Oh his tears got us good!

Jae Hee – Frankly we didn’t like her as a person but we loved how complicated, screwed up and damaged she was. She was the essence of a desperate woman and because of that, we could understand and relate to her actions. We really loved the scene in the park where Ma Roo apologizes for ruining her. It was such an emotional scene and so brilliantly acted by both actors. Loved it.

  

Side note: what the feck was up with her terrible fashion and multiple mirror scenes in this drama??

Manager Ahn – Groan* – What a stupid character.

Jae Shik – We actually liked his character a lot. Another character that was complicated and unpredictable. We like how the writer had created so many characters that were neither good or bad but very human. It’s a nice touch of realism in a crazy drama world.

Choco and Jae Gil – Cute. We’re pleased that for once a drama had surrounded one of the OTP with a good support network to get them through the hard times. At first we thought they would be fecking annoying as the writer tried to make them the ‘light relief’ of this drama but they grew on us really quickly. They truly cared for Ma Roo and just wanted the best for him.

Overall thoughts:

As you may have gathered from this post our feelings for this drama are a mix bag. There was plenty to love and hate but that only adds to the fun of it all. It had managed to hold our attention this year when so many other dramas had been shelved. Sure, it wasn’t perfect and at times it drove us mad but it evoked an emotion in us. We cared about the characters and wanted to know what happened next. In our book that’s all that counts and for that reason alone, the drama was a winner for us.

Would we watch it again?? Not likely.

Do we regret tuning? Absolutely not.

How much we liked it: 8.5 /10

How good we think it is: 8/10

Great acting, writing and totally screwed up in the best Kdrama way.