Archive | October, 2013

The Heirs: Episode 3-4

20 Oct

Oh, we do love a drama where the hot leading guy falls hard for his OTP first and so quickly. We are surprised by how fast Tan fell for her but hey, we’re not complaining! Out of our favourite dramas, it’s very rare that we have a drama where the leading lady falls for her OTP first. It’s the hopeless romantic in us that can’t resist putting ourselves in the leading lady’s shoes.

We’re really pleased by the progression in the drama and happier now they’ve all returned to Korea. Seriously how annoying are western actors in Korean dramas? It’s like the producers find some random westerners off the street and throw them into a room and tell them to get on with it. It’s just so cringe worthy.

Aside from dodgy western actors, this week allowed us to fall harder for the OTP, squeal like fangirls at the prospect of Young Do and Eun Sang and we got a better understanding why Tan was exiled to America.

Let’s talk about Tan and his crush…

He’s got it BBBBBAAAAAADDD.

TH 4

th 5

TH 6

Just look at his face.

Sure, it appears to be a little irrational and unbelievable after two minutes of knowing her but this is a kdrama and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Their scenes are filled with sweet, realistic moments of; hesitation, romantic awkwardness and unspoken tension of two people that have obvious feelings for each other but really shouldn’t discuss it because as Eun Sang keeps saying – her time in LA was like a dream and eventually everyone has to wake up.

TH 1

TH 2

We loved the moment where she appeared before him after Tan’s brother essentially rejected him again. The moment was an exact mirroring of what he witnessed with her sister. She saw him emotionally stung and defenceless. We loved how they stared at each other for a moment and how he told her honestly that he wasn’t okay. No bravado, nothing. He wore his heart on his sleeve and it made the moment all the more compelling.

Tan’s character just keeps getting better.

We’re surprised that Tan is actually Kim Eun Sook’s leading man, considering her back catalogue of arseholes for leading men. After four episodes, we’ve fallen more in love with this sensitive leading man. All he really wants is to be loved as a son and a brother. The wealth that he has is his major barrier in life. We love how the drama presents his world in America as being big, bright and beautiful that anyone including Eun Sang would envy but in reality it’s a lonely prison where he is punished for something he can’t even control. He never asked to be the second son, rival or threat to the kingdom. All he wants is love. His three years of rejection and punishment has finally come to an end and we can’t wait to see him evolve and stand up for what he wants. His relationship with his brother is quite interesting so far. We love how Tan wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t shy away from talking about his feelings to his brother. It will hopefully make for emotional, honest moments between the brothers. We can’t wait!

Stop being so mean to him- he loves you!

Despite Tan being a nice guy most of the time, we’ve got to say, his behaviour with Rachel has not been cool. The pancake house and the airport scene were examples of true bastard behaviour.  Come on Tan, how are we supposed to root for you, when you act like that? Sure, Rachel was being unnecessarily rude to Eun Sang considering she didn’t deserve it. However, it’s not like she hasn’t been made to feel insecure and threatened by Eun Sang and that is due to the fact her fiancé was acting like a little shit to her. She came across the pond to see him and he could barely bring himself to acknowledge her existence. That is just harsh. The airport scene where he spotted Eun Sang and ran over to get her number was so insensitive to Rachel. As a character that spends his days being rejected by the ones he loves most, you’d think he would be more considerate towards Rachel’s feelings.

Young Do and Eun Sang – we can’t wait!

TH 9

TH 8

We adore a damaged, broken guy in a drama and Young Do is right up our street. Yes, he’s a horrible bully and acts out but deep down inside he just wants to be loved. Please drama, give us some awesome bromance between him and Tan! If it’s anything as good as School 2013’s epic bromance, we’ll be so happy. We’ve loved the semi meetings between Eun Sang and Young Do so far and can’t wait for them to officially meet. Yes, we will no doubt be squealing like fan girls!

TH 7

Also we loved the scene with the two kids and him. It was hilarious and nicely broke down the seriousness of the rest of the drama. We like how this tough, bad boy delivers the comedy in this drama.

Keep it coming, we love it.

Other thoughts:

Despite the fact that Eun Sang’s mother has a disability, she is in no way a victim. Her relationship with Tan’s mother is both funny and smart. They make an unlikely pair who make us smile.

th 10

Who else is thankful for all the fan service? hehehe

TH 3

We’re intrigued by what Tan plans to do now that he knows that Eun Sang and he live under the same roof. Once again, the fact that he’s an heir is standing in the way of his happiness and we wonder if he’s going to carry on hiding his identity and more importantly his proximity and woo her. Or if it’s going to suddenly turn into Boys before flowers by episode 5 and become the standard rich guy/ poor girl story.

Is it nearly Wednesday yet, we need to know what happens next?!  

Advertisements

Cruel City: Episode 10-20/ Overall thoughts

17 Oct

Cruel City was an unexpected treat that allowed us to find our love of dramas again after a dormant summer of indifference.

So good!

We won’t be blinded by the hotness that is Jung Kyung Ho and declare this drama a masterpiece. We’ll be honest, although the first half of the drama was significantly better, the conclusion felt rushed. The script ran out of steam and concluded in a lazy way.

This drama is better than that; we saw it in the first half. We know exactly how tight and well crafted the drama’s script can be, so we’re a little disappointed that it couldn’t maintain that standard all the way through. Don’t get us wrong, the second half was still strong and we don’t regret tuning in or completing the drama. It’s just that when you’ve use to eating steak, it’s hard to go back to spam!

Things that didn’t work for us:

Soo Min and Shi Hyun’s relationship:

As hopeless romantics of the worst kind, we were hoping for something epic, with lots of angst and drama. However, we got a romance that didn’t quite feel natural. They had the potential of having amazing chemistry and despite the fact that they slept together pretty much immediately, the rest of their relationship fizzled out quite quickly. We think that their relationship could have been utilised better but it sadly got bogged down in all the action. In the end, it felt rushed and dare we say it… pointless. The drama didn’t really focus enough attention on them and by the end of it; we didn’t really care about how they felt for each other. We think that if this was a lesser drama in other aspects, we would have been more disappointed and maybe not have even bothered completing it. However, the characters were so well developed and the rest of the storyline was so engrossing that we’re able to forgive and forget.

The Big bad:

cc 2

Oh dear. We had such high hopes for the conclusion and the revelation of the big bad of the drama but instead we were left thoroughly disappointed by the convenient and rushed finale. The sudden and drastic downfall of Hong Ki felt so forced. Literally every episode leading up to the episode 17+ showed him as cool, calm and collected and then suddenly he turned into a complete lunatic out to kill. The writing is better than that. In our opinion, the drama should have slowly shown his character/ actions unravel and built on his villain status but instead it came out of left field and left us rolling our eyes in disappointment. It was like the writer went with the easy, safe option and wrapped the drama up in a pretty bow that aimed to please the masses.

Things we loved:

The complicated relationships between EVERYONE!

The drama did so well in developing so many gray relationships that were complicated, intense and incredibly fascinating. The characters were all unique and well developed in their own right. There were few characters that were pointless or made you want to scream at your TV screen.  Frankly for a K-drama that is quite impressive alone as there is ALWAYS one character that you want to die a horrible death! For us, the ability to build so many relationships and make us viewers care about all of them is a true testament to the quality of the writing in this drama.

We loved being thrown into this very believable and authentic reality of drugs, gangs and of course undercover cops. The bleak but realistic representation of this world was developed so well. As viewers we could see the good and the bad sides of living this type of life. The drama did well in presenting a reality which didn’t just show the stereotypes of violence, drugs and murder but also showed how these people are a unit, loyal and protective of their own. We also like how the drama presented an alternative type of family, love and friendship to what we’re use to seeing. For a crime drama with a dash of romance, Cruel City sure had a lot of heart. The relationships may have been complicated and ugly but we knew that they were important and these characters loved/ hated each other fiercely – sometimes at the same time.

cruel city episode 8

cc - 1

A key example is the epic relationship between Shi Hyun and Safari. In terms of relationships, theirs couldn’t get more complicated. Safari was a father figure that saw Shi Hyun grow up and become a man, they were also love rivals in a twisted, sad way and importantly they were both undercover cops that were in so deep that as viewers we knew quickly in the drama that there was no happy ending for either of them. Safari represented all that Shi Hyun wanted to avoid becoming. We love the fact that they were both on opposite sides of the fence; rivals and enemies but at the same time they had this openly personal relationship that was shown in the drama. They cared for each other on a fundamental level. It hurt Safari to see Shi Hyun get beaten up but this was the world that they lived in to survive. Due to their multi layered relationship, Safari’s death was emotionally charged and really resonated with us. The thing that got us at a gut level was that: Shi Hyun’s life was so pathetic that he loved and grieved for a man that spent the majority of the drama trying to kill him.  We just adored the fact that their feelings weren’t black and white. More dramas need to have relationships like theirs.

Thank you Drama for respecting us:

The drama was complicated with different perspectives, angles and multiple storylines and at no point did we groan because the drama was treating us like dumb idiots that couldn’t keep up with the pace. It’s a rare drama that respects its audience enough to just go for it and tell a story.

We also appreciate the fact that all the key players in the drama were playing on an even playing field. Hurray, for a drama that allows the good guys to keep up with the bad guys. Not only were the police right in the middle of all the action, they even won a few times and we have to say we were so pleased. It’s so stereotypical for the cops to be constantly chasing the bad guys. We like how they were intelligent and efficient enough to keep up and earn our respect.

Yes, we fangirled all over Jung Kyung Ho’s portrayal of Shi Hyun but we also loved Lee Jae Yoon’s Hyung Min. He was wonderful as the the emotional, ethically ambiguous and smart cop out to get revenge of the death of his OTP. Time and time again, we were impressed by how awesome he was in the drama. We cared for him on a gut level. We saw him do a 360 degree transformation as the broken, emotional cop that became colder, smarter and more ruthless.

A woman in a man’s world:

Criticism that we’ve heard about this drama is the fact that it lacks the presence of any strong women. In our opinion we have to disagree. Jin Sook is a prime example of a strong female holding her own in a very male dominated world. She was presented as someone that was feared and respected by her rivals without sacrificing her femininity. In fact her appearance meant that she was constantly underestimated and had to show her worth on a daily bases.

Her relationship with Shi Hyun was ambiguous in the sense that we were never quite sure what she wanted it to be. Was she a mother figure or did she love him in a romantic way? Ultimately she wanted the best for him and was his constant support in a world that had few allies.

A scene we adored most in the drama was the moment where Shi Hyun confessed that he was an undercover cop and she simply held him and acknowledged how hard it must have been for him. Between watching Shi Hyun emotionally break down and seeing the extent of how much Jin Sook loved him, we were left with a lump in our throats. It was such an intense but uplifting moment that was simply wonderful viewing.  

She’s so badass!

Her relationship with Soo Min was also really interesting to watch. It felt like Soo Min was on a tightrope and at any moment Jin Sook was going to push her off if she made the wrong move. We often found ourselves sitting at the edge of our seats wondering exactly how their interactions would play out. Maybe it’s because we’ve been programmed to expect the worse but we kept waiting for Jin Sook to betray Soo Min and when it didn’t happen we were pleasantly surprised. We loved how their relationship slowly developed and even when she realised that Soo Min loved Shi Hyun, she accepted it and put aside her happiness for the sake of those she loves.

Bromance: Come on, it’s not a drama without some!

Shi Hyun and Soo had such a lovely bromance. Considering the OTP’s romance was inadequate and rushed, we felt the writers did well in developing and showcasing a really sweet friendship between these two characters. Shi Hyun loved Soo like a brother; enough to risk his life again and again in the drama. We liked how Soo was his confidant, his support network and his best bud all rolled into one. They had each other’s backs and despite Soo finding out that Shi Hyun had lied to him for years, he still protected him with his life.

Loved them!

Although what was up with Soo’s fashion sense?? 

Final thoughts:

Despite the fact that we could ramble endlessly about how awesome the drama is, we think it’s best we stop while we’re ahead.

For us, this drama was addictive, slick, smart and emotional. We adored the amazing stunts, the acting, and of course the wonderful script. Forget the fact that it’s a revenge/ cop drama. This drama is really about two men that loved and lost the same woman and their desperate desire to ensure her death wasn’t in vain.

This drama is all heart.

How good it is: 9/10

How much we liked it: 9.5/10 – Soooooo close.

Would we recommend this drama? Heck yeah, what are you waiting for!?

The Heirs – first impressions

13 Oct

Yay, we’re so glad to be watching a drama after so long.

Okay, this drama lacks the crack factor that makes us crazy fan girls but after two episodes we remain hopeful.

File:The Heirs - Korean Drama-p1.jpg

After so much promotional material, we’re just glad it’s not terrible. Seriously, we felt like we’ve been hearing about the drama for years rather than months.

Following a rather slow and long first episode, the second episode picked up the pace and allowed us to finally get a real feel for the various characters and their storylines.

So far, so good.

Lee Min Ho is a lovely leading man. We normally love a bastard that is redeemed by his OTP, but we like Kim Tan’s quietly sensitive but strong personality. He’s sweet with Park Shin Hye’s leading lady Eun Sang without being soppy or making us want to vomit into the nearest waste basket.

We’re loving the smouldering stares he’s been giving Eun Sang. For the amount of time they have spent together and the fact that they are supposed to be young, we feel that their chemistry is just right. It’s promising and makes us hopeful for plenty of romance and angst later on in the drama. We also love the fact that he already likes her despite seeing her at possibly her lowest moments. He’s drawn by her strength and her perseverance and for us that is incredibly attractive.

 

Look at his face! – He loves her. 

Park Shin Hye’s leading lady Cha Eun Sang is very likable. She’s not the cheerful, lovable leading lady that is stereotypically portrayed in rich guy/ poor girl dramas. She’s strong, hardworking and a little downtrodden. Life has dealt her a shit hand and she’s just trying to get through it as best as she can. She gets emotional and upset when it’s necessary but overall she stays strong and tries her best to get through her misadventures in America. We like how she’s guarded with Tan. We hate when leading ladies meet their OTP and suddenly they act like they’ve known each other for years. It’s so unrealistic. This OTP’s progression has felt quite natural despite the crazy scenario that brought them together.

Kim Woo Bin as Choi Young Do is what we expected the leading man to be in this drama. He’s a rich, spoilt bastard with daddy issues. From what we’ve seen so far, his character is nothing new to write about. We confess that we look forward to seeing him interact with Eun Sang as she’s unlikely to take his crap. We also think it will be quite nice to see the bad guy lose the girl to the nice guy for once.

We have a horrible feeling that we may ship him with Eun Sang just because we do love a redeemed bad boy. Also Kim Woo Bin is a wonderful actor when he’s playing emotional characters. Please let there be angst! Aside from his bullying and bad attitude, we like how he, like Tan is central to all of the storylines. We look forward to finding out why he and Tan are no longer best buds and seeing him washing more dishes in the kitchen because he looked hot!

Other thoughts:

How unbelievably cute is Kang Min Hyuk’s Chan Young!!!  Despite only seeing snippets of their relationship, we love how Eun Sang has him as her friend. He’s sweet and thoughtful and has her back when not many people do.

We actually like the older generation’s storyline and feel that they might be really interesting.

Kim Ji Won’s secondary lead Rachel Yoo isn’t as annoying as we thought she would be. She’s got a steely attitude but underneath it all she appears to be quite vulnerable. Also you can’t really blame her for being the way she is, especially when your fiancé is being an idiot and you turn up at his house and find another girl there!

 Final thoughts:

This drama really isn’t bringing anything new to the genre and we can pretty much work out what will happen after episode 1.However, it’s got all your stereotypical scenarios that we love – rich man/poor woman romance, spunky leading lady, emotionally damaged leading man, crazy mothers, mistresses, possessive secondary leading ladies and the possibility of lots and lots of angst.

For all those reasons alone, we’re in.

We’ve decided to remain positive and hope for the best. If not, we do enjoy the mocking involved with a drama train wreck!