Tag Archives: korean drama

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! 

Reply 1994 – A risk we dare take?

30 Sep

We’re super excited but scared at the prospect of watching Reply 1994

We remember watching Answer me, 1997 last year and loving it so much. As many of you may know we picked that drama as our favourite for 2012. It just owned us completely. It was funny, sweet and most of all we felt like we were watching a drama that was made with real heart. It felt like a script that was really thought out and written with care and love and like complete suckers we were sold – hook, line and sinker. As a result the idea of tuning in and watching a drama from the same makers makes us want to do a happy dance and cheer in excitement.  

The big question is: can they strike gold twice? Will we be sitting there disappointed because it’s just not as good and also what’s with the basketball??? Okay that was three questions. Hahah. 

We’ve noticed that quite a few people aren’t pleased by Go Ara being the leading lady. We’ll be honest we’ve only ever seen her in Who are You? and the girl made us cry our eyes out when her father passed away, so obviously she made us connect. Personally, we think she has massive shoes to fill after the wonderful performance by Jung Eun Ji in Answer me, 1997 but frankly whoever took the lead would have their work cut out. Jung Eun Ji did a great job acting the part but it was her character that everyone fell for. She was just awesome. Considering Answer me, 1997 had a cast of mostly unknowns, we’re hoping that the producers know what they’re doing and have selected their new cast for a reason. We’re got confidence, so fingers crossed that Go Ara does a good job and makes her haters find something else to moan about.

We want it to be good sooo much…but

We’re scared by the fashion, the sports, Go Ara’s hair and most of all our expectations.

Seriously, what is up with Go Ara’s hair? She deserves props for that alone! 

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 – 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!

Musings about Joo Won (Shockingly)

25 Mar

So it wasn’t a shiny blue tracksuit this time but instead a face full of noodles and multiple kicks to the family jewels that made us go from being indifferent to suddenly appreciating Joo Won as an actor.

Frankly we thought this day would never come. For ages now, it felt like everyone had been fangirling about this actor and we just didn’t get it. He found him shouty and infuriating in Baker King and subsequently since, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to watch him overact his way through his later projects.

However, we had come to a dry patch in our drama viewing and this drama seemed right up our street. After finishing School 2013, we needed something light, fluffy and on the stupid side. We found Flower Boy Next Door far too lightweight for our liking and so we dubiously tried out Level 7 Civil Servant. With no expectations what so ever we found ourselves enjoying the setup and most surprisingly Joo Won as the most endearing but stupid leading man on screen. The more we watched, the more we found that we liked him. He soon became the only character we liked as he was the only sincere, honest character in the whole drama. Everyone else was lying or using him and well, we admit we can’t resist an underdog and Joo Won’s character was in a league of his own.

We watched up to around episode 8 before we went off to Malaysia and found that the drama was already waning. The plot was moving super slowly and the cute spy school set up had disappeared and had been reduced to the usual spy setup full of clichés and repetition. We had every intention of watching more but then we returned from our trip and it felt like everyone in the blogosphere had trashed the second half and had written the drama off. 

The combination of our own hesitation and reading other bloggers thoughts has completely turned us off and it seems like another one bites the dust. 

It’s a shame about the drama, as it was good when it was good but at least we managed to get over our Joo Won aversion and can officially remove another actor off our black list. Now if only we could get Kim Soo Hyun off the list, today would be a great day. 

Come on 2013, give us drama lovers a winner! Yes, it’s only March but we need our drama crack. We need a drama that keeps us up all night, makes us obsess over it and yes, inspires us to fangirl about it on a blog. 

We’ve shelved far too many dramas this year, we need a keeper. 

Is it just us feeling like this? Does anyone have any recommendations for current dramas worth checking out?

Sometimes all you need is an old school drama to keep the doctor away…

7 Feb

The Musthavesubs girls are all sick and unfortunately for us it isn’t pretty! We’ve abandoned school/ work and found ourselves wrapped in blankets sneezing and coughing our way through the last couple of days.

What is a girl to do when she is hurled up in bed unable or unwilling to do much?

Yep, you guessed it – watch a drama!

However when you’re this sick, it’s hard to focus on the subtitles, the plot or appreciate the cool/ breezy style the director is trying to portray, so times like this provides us with the perfect opportunity to raid the back catalogue and go all old school. Yay.

Sometimes all you need are your favourite drama tropes to make you feel better. It’s familiar and safe but still has the ability to make you turn into the worst type of fangirl around. Sickness be damned.

Here are our top five favourite old school drama tropes that remind us why we love dramas so much:

1. Poor girl meets super rich chaebol – Come on, it’s a classic!

Okay it’s been done to death over the years but who doesn’t love the idea of Lee Min Ho, Roy Qiu or some other hot actor stepping up and falling madly in love with some poor but brilliant girl that could be you!? Who doesn’t want to see them defy all odds – crazy parents, jealous ex girlfriends and their own stupidity to win the girl and get their happily ever after? Sign us up, we’re sold.

2. When hate turns to love – watch out for the fly kicks, death threats and other delightful pre-romantic interludes

We love when writers have the OTP hate each other at the start of a drama. Sometimes we love this more than the HEA. This is where you see all the magic. Their verbal sparring, their unspoken hot sexual tension and the anticipation of what is to come – the romance! The slow but obvious build up of friendship and romance is always a pleasure to witness. We love watching their insane and often hilarious interactions as they keep finding themselves at odds and somehow thrown together in ‘random’ situations. Of course they are, it’s a drama!

We really hope that this drama trope never becomes unpopular because we sure would miss all that fun, silly banter between the OTP.

3. The perfect love rival – the leading lady never had it so good!

Yes, yes, we have a ridiculous soft spot for love rivals and we need help but we can’t help ourselves. It’s only because we know that they get their hearts broken and lose the girl by the end of the drama. How can we not feel sorry for them?

 

What is a drama without that secondary character waiting in the wings to sweep in and take care of the leading lady when she needs it most? For us, a drama without a love rival isn’t a true drama. Yes, they can be annoying, frustrating and make you want to punch them in the face but they’re a necessity that you need to accept comes with the package. They are like Brussels spouts at Christmas, not to every ones liking but a must nevertheless.

4. She has twelve jobs, goes to school and doesn’t take your shit – Give us an old school, tough leading lady any day.

We adore old school leading ladies of yesteryear with their multiple jobs, unreliable parents, tough attitudes but kind personas. Yes, she’s dirt poor but has the latest mobile phone and  really cute clothes/ accessories but she’s earned it. Plus  the poor thing will suffer so much more before she gets her happily ever after, so leave her alone.

As much as damaged, silent leading ladies are interesting. Or ambitious, smart ones make us appreciate them. We would happily watch a good old fashion fighter that never gives up and uses her courage, sarky wit and lovable charm to seize the day and get her man.

5. If you looked that good as a boy, wouldn’t you try it? – Cross dressing your way to a HEA

You would think watching a girl dress up as a boy and lie to her OTP would get boring after a couple dramas but no, it hasn’t and we have a feeling it won’t.

It’s all about the delicious angst and the conflicting feelings running through the leading man’s head. This particular drama trope works so well for us because it’s one of the few genres where the writer really develops the friendship between the OTP before it moves onto the romance. The leading man falls first and foremost for his friend – a person, rather than a pretty girl and isn’t that lovely for us fangirls to witness? Sighs*

Classic dramas = the best form of medicine for drama junkies

We feel better already 🙂

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

School 2013: 12 – 15

28 Jan

One episode left and we’re gutted!

Oh Drama you sure have been good to us. We’ve seen so many lovely scenes between Nam Soon and Heung Soo that it’s hard to pick a favorite.

school episode 15 - 1

We have no time to post today but we just had to screencap and gush about the scene where Heung Soo asked Nam Soon to stop blaming himself for what happened to his leg. So much man pain, angst and such pretty, pretty tears from our favourite bromance.

School episode 15 - 3

school episode 15 - 2

Guys, you own our hearts completely. We sure are going to miss them when this drama ends. Sob*