Tag Archives: cruel city

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:

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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

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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!?

Goodbye summer days and hello dramas

28 Sep

We have a confession we want to make.

Over the summer we sort of fell out of love with dramas. We know – how could this happen!? We’re shocked and saddened as well.

Sure, we’ve taken reluctant breaks before in the past due to life and other factors but the desire to tune in was always there. However this summer we found that nothing grabbed our interest. It was like a switch button went off in our heads and suddenly we didn’t care. Our addiction and obsessive ways were over.

Sadly when you have no desire to watch dramas, blogging about them becomes completely redundant, hence the reason for the long absence from the blogosphere.

However now that our London summer days appear to be truly over and we’re back in a routine with work/ college ect maybe it’s time to return to the comfortable embrace of watching dramas and fangirling about the good, the bad and the outrageous.

Oh okay, it may also have something to do with:

Lee Min Hoo -It’s been far too long. Sure he doesn’t have the sexy curls but he still looks fine to us! Come on, look how fugly that suit is but somehow he’s still making it work.

And

Kang Ha Neul may have made us want to vomit into the nearest bin after his super sweet/ nice guy performance in Monstar but he sure is pretty.

And

Oh we love Kim Woo Bin! He is by far our biggest draw to The Heirs. We utterly adored him in School 2013. We loved the brooding, the angst and the hot glaring. Yes please, sign us up for this drama!

So gutted he’s the secondary love interest.

Also

We finished Cruel City recently and appear to be suffering from JKH withdrawal symptoms. Jung Kyung Ho, let us count the ways we love you. Sighs*

Hehehehe, who are we kidding, we can never stay away for long!

If it’s not obvious, we’re looking forward to the potential car wreck that is The Heirs and re-starting I can hear your voice after all the fan love it received.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent Taiwanese or Japanese drama to watch? Its been so long since we’ve watched a good drama from either country.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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

Buhahaha, our eyes burn!

25 Jun

What the feck is this photo all about. How can Jung Kyung Ho look so outrageously hideous in the photo above and look so hot in Cruel City??

Shudder*

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!