Archive | Drama Recaps RSS feed for this section

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?!  

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! 

Monstar: episode 8-9

14 Jul

Frankly episode 9 of Monstar was  torture to watch. We know *gasp*, how could we say that?? Trust us, we’re surprised as well…

The episode just felt so damn long, the characters spent the majority of the time moping around miserably. No one really voicing their thoughts or feelings, no one really doing anything. It felt flat and painfully boring to watch.

Se Yi spent the whole time either crying or saying ‘hmm’ or ‘oh’. The girl needs to expand her vocabulary and remind us why she has two guys fighting over her. At the moment, she’s coming across as this wet, dull girl and nothing like the quirky, confident girl of episodes past. Se Yi, come back please!

Sun Woo/ Se Yi moments are completely cringe worthy. They have no chemistry together at all. We wish the writer would just kill their ‘romantic’ link and focus more on the OTP and Sun Woo with Kim Na Na. Who else had the strong desire to roll their eyes at the hospital scene? Sun Woo couldn’t be more of a kdrama secondary love rival if he tried. School president – check, rich- check, smart/ talented- check and most importantly spends his spare time volunteering in the hospital where he sings to sick kids who adore him – check. Come on, really?

Also Sun Woo’s pathetic excuse of a love confession is right up there on the list of ways not to confess your love to the leading lady. Seriously, when you’re back is turned to her and eyes are on your rival rather than the girl you’re confessing to – does it really count as a love confession? For us we hoped for more, obviously nothing too romantic to sway us away from the OTP, but something better than that!

monstar 9

Seol Chan wasn’t much better, when is he going to man up and tell her how he feels? How is a girl supposed to know how her OTP feels when he blowing hot and cold all the time?

Okay, so we’re calling episode 9 a write off but we’re glad that episode 8 had a few goodies tucked away in it.

At the end of episode 8, all we could think was: now really, is this how you end an episode? We thought this was supposed to be a fun, teen, musical drama –  having one of the characters pushed to the point where he’s ready to jump of the school roof is a little harsh?

Don’t get us wrong, it was emotional, intense and captivating viewing  and we thoroughly loved it.

The last song was amazing. It broke our hearts, it was just so sad. This was a scene that summed up exactly how horrible bullying can be and how alone a person can feel in such a situation. It felt terribly realistic. Like this situation could happen to any of us. The build up of Do Nam and Kyu Dong’s fractured relationship has been an on going subject through the drama and to finally know the reason why they fell out is welcomed. We’re glad it had enough of an impact to warrant Do Nam’s anger towards Kyu Dong, anything less would have felt anticlimactic.

Aside from our hearts breaking a little when Kyu Dong sang, we also loved Seol Chan and Se Yi’s date/ guitar lesson!

The writer finally decided to move in the right direction and gave us some cute OTP action. Horray!

Their moments sparkle with chemistry and feel so refreshingly realistic. They have the perfect amount of awkward, unspoken (teen rated) sexual energy to make their moments work so well. Their scenes are like night and day compared to Se Yi’s moments with Sun Woo. We wish the drama had a few more sweet moments between Seol Chan and Se Yi. In reflection they spent an awfully large amount of time fighting and making up. Yes, we know, that’s how OTP’s usually act but this particular couple lacked more cute moments than most dramas, which is a shame because they are adorable together. After episode 9’s kiss, we’ve got our fingers crossed that this OTP stop fighting long enough to actually fall in love.

Other thoughts:

We’re so glad that Ji Woong Ahjussi got a haircut! Finally, that wig was so distracting.

What’s with Eun Ha’s bruises? Oh man, domestic violence/ bullying ect is just too much. She’s such a sweet, likable character. She often has funny, sweet one liners that make us smile. She’s a character that everyone knows in real life. She’s not particularly amazing at something but incredibly likable.

When is Sun Woo going to look at Kim Na Na and fall head over heels in love?? Are we really asking for too much?

Cruel City – thoughts up to episode 9

3 Jul

This drama still owns our souls completely. At this point we’re those girls wondering around blurry eyed due to sleep deprivation. Do we really have to try and function when this drama is so damn addictive, it’s really not fair?

We could quite easily go off on a rambling gush about everything that we loved from episode 2 until episode 9 but then we realised that could take a while, so we’ll stick to some general thoughts and personal highlights.

There is very little chance we can gush without spoilers and conspiracy theories. It’s just impossible!

We really didn’t think that the drama could top the brilliance of the first two episodes but we’re happy to report we were so wrong. Episode 3 was just wonderful viewing. It was intense and so exciting, it felt like a giant cat and mouse game where we didn’t have a clue what was going to happen next and we loved it.

The thing we loved about that episode was the drastic difference between Shi Hyun and Hyung Min’s behaviour. On one hand we had a frantic, emotional and scared Hyung Min running around like a lunatic desperately trying to keep those around him safe while chasing the bad guys. Then we had Shi Hyun calm and super cool as he also tried to keep himself from getting killed and maintain his position. We loved watching the difference in their personas and then watching their feelings and actions slowly unravel across the past few weeks’ worth of episodes until suddenly it’s like they have switched roles.

Hyung Min is now cold, broken and possibly damaged beyond repair after the death of Kyung Mi and his unborn child. The guy has had it rough and this desire for vengeance is the only thing anchoring him from probably topping himself. Once again we can’t stress how pleased we are that the police/ ‘good guys’ are right in the thick of it and are aware of everything that is happening. We hate it when dramas stereotype the police as the stupid, useless counterpart that are always one step behind.

Shi Hyun has gone from being in control and calm to slowly losing his grip on everything and everyone around him. He can’t even keep those closest to him from killing each other. He too has found himself on a mission desperately trying to work out who killed Kyung Mi and in the process clear his name of the crime. Honestly, the moment we found out he was an undercover police officer, our jaws dropped! The first thought we had was he might get a happily ever after – yay. Then we realised that this drama isn’t afraid to kill or hurt anyone and so we shouldn’t get our hopes up.

Cruel City episode 4
Cruel City episode 4 a

We loved Kyung Mi’s death. We knew she was going to die from the awesome trailers we watched before we started the drama, so it wasn’t a real shock but her role in both men’s lives is a surprise. We love how the writer has built in a whole back story between Shi Hyun and her and suddenly her role and subsequently her death is not only the driving factor for Hyung Min but for Shi Hyun and Soo Min as well. We just love how all three major characters are all working towards the same goal and don’t even know it. The scene where both men are paying their respects at the graveyard was particularly poignant. Their hurt and anger was the same and us as the viewer saw exactly how similar they were as people and that their worlds weren’t as far away as they think. We like how the writer has kept Kyung Mi in the drama despite her being dead. We like how she plays the part of Hyung Min’s moral conscience and plays a constant reminder of why these characters get up every day to fight.

cruel city episode 4b

Aside from the general awesomeness of this drama, we love the family dynamics of the drama. It took us a moment to work out why we liked this drama so much (aside from the obvious) and then we realised that this drama is very family orientated and we love us a nice, complicated family drama. Sure, they are unconventional, deranged and most importantly lethal but at the same time – these people are all they know and have as family.

In our opinion Jin Sook, Safari and Shi Hyun are like a family unit and their dynamics just fascinate us. They mistrust each other and wouldn’t hesitate to kill but underneath all of that, they care about each other. They have a rich history and share memories. This makes their actions all the more powerful and personal.

cruel city episode 8

cruel city episode 8 a

cruel city episode 8 b

We utterly loved the scene where Shi Hyun was beaten up in his attempts to rescue Soo. The personal flashbacks to his past with Safari and the regretful, pained look on Safari’s face when he thought that Shi Hyun was about to be killed is a perfect example of a moment that had a far greater impact on us viewers because of their personal connection. The writer has managed to successfully transform this drama from being a typical gangster/ crime drama to something more. Their actions have meaning, a consequence and will leave an impact on one another and for us that’s perfect. We want to feel invested, feel obsessed and care deeply for these characters and far we do.

Moving onto the leading lady. Soo Min, oh Soo Min – sleeping with a guy on the first date was not a good move and frankly we’re a little disappointed by her.

Yes, Shi Hyun is HOT, we mean really HOT but the girl should have controlled herself. Other than that, we’re really liking this leading lady. Her character has a lot of parallels with Shi Hyun in the sense that they’re both undercover cops and left to fend for themselves. They are both vulnerable in a way that no other character is in this drama and despite everything they are both innocent characters thrown into a world that they can’t escape now.

It hard not to feel sorry for such a character, she has no one now and the one person she thinks she can rely on treats her quite poorly. Sure, Hyung Min has his own demons to deal with but he really doesn’t need to be such a bitch to Soo Min. Damn it, she’s grieving as well.


jin sook

Her relationship with Jin Sook scares the living hell out of us. Considering how crazy/ faux-cestrious her relationship with Shi Hyun is, we can’t imagine she will take Soo Min and Shi Hyun’s budding relationship well. The woman is deadly and has shown that she has no loyalties to anyone except Shi Hyun. We seriously hope our leading lady stays smart and doesn’t get attached to Jin Sook because we just know that Jin Sook will try to destroy her at some point in the future and she won’t have anyone to blame but herself!

Although the romance is in its early stages, we’re hopeful that it will be epic (no pressure then!). Despite sleeping together, their interactions have been limited and so we don’t really have a feel for what they are like as a OTP. The scenes we have seen, consist of her acting ‘cute’ and being dazzled by his looks (can we really blame the girl?) and him staring at her like she’s a strange alien species that he’s trying to make sense of.

Random thoughts:

-Who else squealed like a fangirl when he rescued her and told her his real name??? Oh please let this OTP be ammmmaaaaazinnnnngggg. Pretty Please.

-Hong Ki is going to turn out to be Shi Hyun’s father isn’t he??

-We kind of like the Reporter girl / possible love interest for Hyung Min… she’s funny and smart.

-Who else thought that Hong Ki and Jin Sook’s interactions are super hot? We do, we do, we do. Heheheh

Monstar episodes 6-7

30 Jun

While watching the last few episodes of this drama we came to the realisation that this drama is the Korean version of the Disney TV movie Lemonade Mouth. There are so many parallels it’s unreal – misfit, damaged kids brought together through music while taking on the mean popular kids. 

Like Lemonade Mouth, we waited in anticipation for the ‘big performance’ where everyone is proven wrong and are pleasantly shocked by the band who everyone thought would be rubbish. However, we’ve got to say we were left rather disappointed by the end of episode 7 and the band’s big show piece.  For several weeks now, the drama had been building towards this one moment and frankly it was poor. Okay, the band hardly ever got through a whole practice without someone running off crying or having a tantrum but still… we hoped for so much more. These guys have talent and what we watched was half arsed and dull. It really did look/ sound like something you would see in a school assembly. 

Before you say anything, we’re aware that the drama and their performance wasn’t actually about the music but about them evolving and healing through teamwork blah, blah but couldn’t they have done that along with giving us a great musical number???

Aside from hating their performance, we’re loving almost everything else. At this point in the drama, we think we’ve jumped ships. Se Yi and Seol Chan are okay but it’s all about Seon Woo and Kim NaNa.

She’s a gangster’s daughter with a bad reputation and he’s the school’s golden child. We do love when dramas bring opposites together! Their duet in episode 7 was just fabulous viewing, so touching and lovely. He’s gently pushing her to be herself and not be ashamed of where she comes from and she’s blatantly just falling more and more in love with him as each episode passes and frankly we can’t blame her! heheh

Other random thoughts:

  • There has been no real progress on either bromance fronts, if anything the antagonism has become worse than ever. sigh*
  • Who else saw a hint of jealousy in Se Yi’s eyes when Seol Chan was fangirling over Kim Nana after he found out she could sing? One word – finally!

Monstar: First impressions /episodes 1-5

24 Jun

This is what we’ve been waiting for all year.

Although we may not have watched anything for several months; we still kept tabs on what fandom were watching and blogging about. Come on, we couldn’t go cold turkey altogether, it would be too hard to cope!

Since we returned to dramas, we decided to check out Monstar and fell in love pretty much straight away. The story manages to encompass everything we love about dramas and was just the thing we wanted in our return to dramaland.

A story of a group of misfit kids taking on the popular kids at their own musical game is an old story told a million times in dramas but one we seem to return to time and time again. We can’t resist our underdogs fighting their way to the top. Plus when the characters are so lovable, can you really blame us?

The storyline may be simple but the tone and feel of the drama makes it so easy to get swept up and carried away in the drama. The characters are what transforms this drama from being just another school/ musical drama and makes it something special. They’re an odd group of characters that seem to blend well together despite the unlikelihood of them ever being grouped together.

We’ve got the arrogant superstar as the leading man who lacks social graces and often puts his foot in it – Seol Chan

Sure this character has been portrayed a million times before, we can list at least a dozen characters just like him but we still love him.  We concluded that his characterisation is more Jdrama that Kdrama. Jdrama romcom leading men are often more emotional, goofy and you get a deeper impression of their thoughts and feelings under the gruff exterior. Whereas Kdrama leading men can often come across as idiot bastards that need to suffer before they are redeemed and get their HEA.

We like how in this drama the audience is given an insight to his inner thoughts and feelings. Seol Chan may not voice his feelings for the leading lady but as viewers we know exactly what he really thinks. We are given the chance to see that he’s not just a heartless, thoughtless brat but does in fact care about things and people. We like how he’s a musical genius and is often driven by his instincts and feelings rather than rationality. He’s not shy to voice his thoughts even when he should maybe put a sock in it but that’s just another side of personality that we like.

Then we have the beautiful, considerate and tough leading lady — Se Yi

She’s just such a lovable character that it’s hard to believe that a viewer wouldn’t like her. She’s got this quietly strong persona while appearing incredibly delicate and sweet.

She comes across rather quirky in this drama as well. Frankly we’re not fans of the ‘quirky’ leading lady character as it’s usually overacted and becomes quite cliché. However, she’s such a well rounded character that her ‘quirkiness’ doesn’t overshadow the other sides to her character.

Our most favourite scene so far from the drama and from the leading lady is definitely the scene where she sings along with Kyu Dong when he’s forced to sing in class. It was quite a hard scene to watch. He’s just so helpless and sad as he sings and you’re watching it desperately wishing that someone would help him and then Se Yi starts singing. It’s just so unexpected that our eyes were glued to the screen. The scene was transformed from this desperate, pathetic moment into something powerful and hopeful. Her joining in changed the meaning of it all. It went from a bully’s punishment to something amazing to witness.

The love rival and possible bromance with Seol Chan is Seon Woo. Once again, the writer didn’t really deviate away from the norm when creating his character. He’s smart, handsome, popular and incredibly kind to the leading lady. He’s practically Ji Hoo sunbae from Boys before Flower.

We like how he’s witty and doesn’t allow Seol Chan or others to take advantage of him. Also he has the capability of winning the leading lady. For us that is a major must for any creditable love rival.

We really don’t care about his role as a love rival, for us it’s all about his potential bromance with Seol Chan. Their banter is hilarious and you know that they just want to make up and be best buds again. What made them stop being friends?? Why are there always misunderstandings in Kdramas?

Another scene we loved was the scene where they played the piano together. It was just such a sweet moment for the group. Their bromantic chemistry really shone through and made us smile.

The thing we like about this drama is that these characters may differ in circumstances but when they are together they draw strength from each other’s company.

Although the drama is mostly light and fluffy there are moments between the characters that are filled with pathos and a desperate sense of despair that are just wonderful to watch. The characters may be stereotypical to an extent but their feelings and issues are all very human. The feeling of betrayal, confusion and longing is all very apparent in this drama and is conveyed really well in these characters that we’ve grown so fond of. We understand them on a deeper level than we thought we would have when we started the drama. We’re thankful that the writer isn’t shoving the message down our throats that these kids are hurting but instead manages to get the balance just right.  

For us the musical battle is simply a backdrop and the real show is the small moments and conversations between the group as they all individually try and get through their own personal demons. Without fail each episode has managed to make us smile, cheer and hurt for these characters. As each episode passes, it just keeps getting better for us as viewers. We’re just gutted that it only has 12 episodes! 

Cruel City – first impressions / episodes 1-2

22 Jun

This drama knocked our socks off.

We heard positive murmurs about it but certainly didn’t expect much of it. Then we tuned in and we were hooked. We loved how dark, intense and smart the drama was. We sat at the edge of our seats from start to finish and now we want more!

If you’ve ever stumbled across our blog before, you may have noticed that we often stick to the light and fluffy. We admit it, we love us some romance and a happily ever after, so we tend to avoid genres that involve crime squads and drug dealers that love to kill people with golf clubs. However we’re happy to make an exception on this occasion. Yes, we know that we will probably regret it and be crying our eyes out because we rooted for a character/ OTP that are doomed to die but we’re hooked. Sleep be damned.

Thank goodness we’ve got six episodes to work our way through. The idea of having to wait to tune in would drive us mad.

The plot is shown from two perspectives. First the crime squad that have been assembled to bring down a massively successful drugs ring headed up by a crazy lunatic called Scale (he’s the golf club welding killer). The second perspective is from Shi Hyun aka The Doctor’s Son, who is trying to overthrow Scale and become the big boss in charge.

Ultimately their target is the same but for two very different reasons.  The pace is fast with plenty of twists and turns along the way. We love how the writer has made these characters smart and not dumbed them down for the audience’s benefit. They know exactly what is going on and why things have happened. It’s such a pleasure to watch a drama where we’re not waiting in frustration for the characters to realise what the hell is going on. It makes it easy for us to respect them and eager to see what they do next.

For us the best thing about this drama is definitely Jung Kyung Ho:

What a pleasant surprise.

We have a thing for flawed characters that often lose out in dramas but our love (obsession) for this character is on another level. We tuned in knowing there was no chance for a happy ending for this character but still we couldn’t help but get attached. He is just such a fantastic character to follow. He’s bad, a killer and oh soooooo hot. Wow, who would have thought that the adorable Jung Kyung Ho from Smile, you could be this damn sexy??? Certainly not us.

We love how he gives off this dangerous, untouchable aura; add the sharp suits and the 1920s hair- we’ve got a winner. Despite appearing calm and cool, you can see the dark undertones of pain and fury in his facial expressions and actions. He is one man we wouldn’t want to mess with… Maybe just make out with. Hehehe.

We love how he’s smart and ruthless but at the same time you see glimpses of his humanity through his friendship with Soo and his ‘Aunt’. Maybe it was his horrible upbringing in the Whorehouse or the desperately sad look on his face but we just want to take care of him and hope he lives happily ever after. Damn it, we’re just asking for heartache with feelings like that!

There were two major scenes that made us sit up and take notice of his character. The first scene was one where he and Soo were walking down a street and were attacked by hundreds of gangsters. Soo was naturally fighting them off to clear the way but Shi Hyun just walked through the violence like it was a normal sunny afternoon through the park. All we kept thinking was what is he capable of that no one is daring to touch him? Why does he look so calm and collected despite the madness surrounding him? The way the drama slowly presented the different facets of his character was just genius. At the beginning we got cold, calculating and super smart and then we got this:

OMG – honestly we sat there slack jawed in amazement at the scene above. Deadly and smart is a lethal combination and one we could happily watch.

We can’t wait to see how his character develops throughout the drama and don’t get us started on how excited we are about his romance. Please let it be epic, tell us we’re going cry like giant babies when they end?? Surely there is no other way but a tragic ending – he’s a killer and a baddie. Do we care? No, we’ll take it any way we can – gimme, gimme now.

The other leading man – Lee Jae-yoon as Ji Hyung-min

Considering we’re strictly team Shi Hyun, this character isn’t doing too badly as our obsessive cop tasked to bring down the baddies for the police.

We like how his morals are flexible and he’s got this deep rooted hunger to bring down the baddies at any cost. Also he’s just as smart as Shi Hyun. He was always at the forefront of the action and was completely aware of what was happening. The idea that he’s just as smart as Shi Hyun and is just as driven to destroy Scale and co is fantastic. We just love the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen or who’s going to win in this battle of wills.

We like how his character is more emotional than Shi Hyun. He’s already lost his brother to drugs and his girlfriend is always at risk by being a part of his team. He has a lot to lose and that makes him a risk. He’s more than capable of just completely losing the plot and killing a string of people in his need for justice and revenge. We just know it’s going to be great viewing watching this character walk the thin line both morally and ethically in this drama.

Other thoughts:

We’ve seen very little of Nam Gyi Ri’s leading lady character yet. This actress has her fair share of haters but frankly we don’t mind her too much.  Once you get past the plastic face, she’s alright. Also we actually really liked her in the terribly disappointing 49 Days.

When Soo was stabbed, who else gasped?? Seriously we thought he was a goner. We loved how Shi Hyun carried him out and took him to the hospital. Please drama, give us a good bromance if all else fails.

Who else is loving the musicality and cinematography in this drama? We remember watching City Hunter ages ago and loving its visuals and use of music. It truly looked amazing but we failed to connect with it on an emotional level. The characters just didn’t matter to us and as a result we couldn’t be bothered to tune in every week. We care about all of the characters in Cruel City and fingers crossed, we have a feeling it might be a keeper.

If you’re looking for something dark and exciting look no further!

School 2013 – episode 16/ overall thoughts

3 Feb

We feel sad that this drama is over. 😦

 Aside from finding and loving Answer Me, 1997, no drama has really captured our attention the way we hoped for in recent months. This drama filled a void that reminded us why we tune in to Kdramas and why we keep coming back for more.

Sure the drama was far from perfect. There was some seriously dodgy acting from a number of actors and there were a couple plotlines that were executed quite poorly but as drama lovers for a number of years now, we know that some of our favourite dramas are not always technically the best. Ultimately the good far outweighed the bad in this drama and that is why we returned every week.

We were quite pleased with the way the drama ended. The drama could have gone down the obvious path of trying to please everyone with the perfect, happy and convenient ending but instead we got quite a realistic but hopeful conclusion to a refreshingly honest portrayal of school life.

The teachers realised that they can’t save everyone but they won’t give up trying and the kids learnt that in life some things don’t come easily but at the same time nothing is impossible.

The drama took a gamble by not having any romantic links and as the worst type of type of romantic, we were at first disappointed by the idea but after a few episodes we realised that maybe the introduction of romance would have complicated an already structured and plot driven drama. There were hints of romance between Ha Kyung and Nam Soon to keep us satisfied and of course we adored Teacher Jung and Kang together! Yes, we admit it we would have loved a bit of teacher romance but we’re not going to complain too much.

Reasons to tune is:

1. Bromance

Of course it’s all about the most perfect bromance we have seen on TV in forever!

Yes, Nam Soon and Heung Soo are the main reason why we returned every week. This is a great example of a friendship that is both believable and heartfelt. They represented misunderstood bad boys like no other drama has done in a very long time. Their relationship was fractured, had depth and made us fangirl like lunatics. They captured our attention and we were completely and utterly invested in their story. We cared so much for them as individuals but we couldn’t wait for them to get back together and be happy. We loved how the writer unfolded their story slowly and brought them together in a realistic and authentic way. It was far from easy and their reconciliation is one we feel will take time to heal completely but like the rest of the drama, we are left hopeful that everything will work out one way or another.

Boys – you will be missed, we loved your broody, angsty ways. Who needs romance when these boys loved each other this much!?

2. Jang Nara and Daniel Choi – please, please can you just get together in real life!

This is the second drama we have seen them in now and they remain as cute as ever.

Okay, now we’ve got that out of our system, we have to say that these two actors did a wonderful job of keeping the drama on the straight and narrow. As we mentioned earlier the acting is at times quite poor but these two characters did a brilliant job of portraying complicated, passionate individuals that are tested time and time again by rotten kids and horrible senior staff. We appreciated the fact that the writer didn’t make them super heroes that fix everyone’s problems and are worshiped for being pure awesome at the end. Instead we got two characters that tried their best and had to really earn the respect and support of the kids. At times the lack of support from the kids was frustrating to watch but it was realistic. Not all kids appreciate how much work the teachers put in or even realise how much they care. That is life.

The hopeful ending where the teachers are waiting for Jung Ho was a really sweet way to end the drama.  It was an open ending that highlighted the best in both of them. Teacher Jung will never give up on the kids but now knows that you can’t fix all of them and Teacher Kang realised that there is more to being a teacher than their end results. The ending presented the bittersweet reality of school for a teacher and kept true to the feel and message the writer wanted to present.

3. Friendship

It was nice to see a number of friendships portrayed in various characters in this drama. We’ve touched on this before in other posts but we love a good friendship as much as a OTP. Sometimes dramas get obsessed with the OTP that they forget to give depth to friendships in dramas or don’t even bother to present any at all. As a result it’s nice to see the power of friendship and how you can get through tough times with the support of good friends rather than just your OTP.

The drama highlighted that friendship isn’t always black and white and they can be hard work at times but they are worth fighting for in the end.

4. Angst

Tune in for some lovely, lovely angst! The drama had some epic scenes that often come out of nowhere and reminded you exactly why you tuned in every week. We promise you won’t drown in the angst but there are some scenes that will make your heart ache in the best way possible.

“Do you think what I just gave up right now was school? What I threw away wasn’t school. It was you, you punk.”

Overall thoughts:

The drama takes a couple episodes to find it’s pacing but stick around you won’t regret it.

How much we liked it: 9/10

How good it is technically: 7/10

Flower Boy Next Door – Fluff Lite

23 Jan

This drama is cute, quaint, so fluffy it barely constitutes as a drama. For us it’s perfect Sunday lunch viewing. It’s hardly taxing to the brain but instead a pleasant way to pass a couple hours every week. Frankly, we would have liked a little more substance but you never know maybe it’s easing us into the journey…

Wishful thinking? Maybe?

Despite everything we actually like how small scale the drama is. The characters are all well rounded and likable without ever becoming overbearing or unrealistic. Their interactions are so every day that we often forget exactly what happened in each episode because rather than a couple major scenes that drive an episode like most Kdramas, this drama is made up of lots of very small moments that piece the drama together. We think that the more the leading lady comes out of her shell, the more action and the bigger the scenes will become. It’s quite refreshing to watch a drama from the prospective of quite an ordinary/ shy character rather than the usual larger than life drama martyr.

Park Shin Hye is great as Go Dok Mi. She feels real and relatable as this recluse that is so shy that she barely speaks. She could have easily overplayed this character and alienated the audience but instead we get her fears and her distance.

Sometimes you need some random hot neighbour to get you out of your funk and we definitely look forward to seeing her get her HEA.

We’re sorry Yoon Si Yoon – we love you, we really do but you have been totally overshadowed by Kim Jung Sun.

Hello – where have you been hiding all this time?? How hot is this guy? No wonder Dok Mi spends her days spying through the window. We don’t have social or emotional issues stopping us from living our lives but we too would happily purchase a pair of binoculars and check out the view if it was that good.

fbnd

Superficial thoughts aside:

Leading lady – We love her. We can’t wait for her to become stronger and take charge of her life.

Leading man – SOOOOOO CUTE. What a darling. We just want to keep him and play all day at the beach with him. It’s a shame he’s more cute than hot. It would have been nice to see Yoon Si Yoon bring his sexy on screen. Oh well, there is always next time.

The OTP: Enrique and Dok Mi are strictly giving off the ‘friends’ vibe  and haven’t really excited the shameless romantics in us at all.

The love rival: Welcome back Kim Ji Hoon! We love his portrayal of the lovesick neighbour next door. He’s a complete sweetheart and we maybe second lead shipping already. Oh dear.

First overall impressions:

Our expectations are rather low but hopeful for this drama. We hope it surprises us and that we can hang in and finish it with big silly grins on our faces. If not, hopefully the producers find an excuse to get Kim Jung Sun topless at least a couple times before we lose interest in the drama.   

How funny ( and right) is this photo? Hahah.