Tag Archives: otp

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!?

Rich Man, Poor Woman – We maybe a little bit in love

27 Aug

It’s solely down to our love of Jdramas of yesteryear that keeps us coming back for more. We’re always hoping to stumble across another gem that we can happily gush about in years to come or at least reflect back on fondly. Sadly, the last few years have left us disappointed and cynical at what Jdramas can offer but we’re hoping, really, really hoping that we may have found us a winner.

Heeeee! Okay we will try to control our excitement, our desperate desire to fangirl all over this post and gush like the lunatics we are. Deep breaths, we can do it. We couldn’t bare it if we got too excited only to be left disappointed by a shitty ending or a WTF twist right towards the end.

Please drama gods – let this be a keeper.

Fed up of being constantly disappointed by recent Jdramas- dramas that lack direction, feeling and a decent OTP? Then look no further, your wait is over

Yes, yes, as always it’s all about the OTP for us.

Why do Jdramas shy away from romance when they do it so well?

7 episodes in and still no kiss, no real admission of feelings or even a wrist grab but we confess to being completely obsessed and utterly in love with this couple. They own us completely with their secret stares, their mutual respect and an understanding of each other that makes their bond as a couple all the more richer. Every interaction between this OTP makes us grin like fools. Their moments are the reason why we tune in week after week.

Despite their relationship starting off on shaky foundations, we love how the drama has slowly developed this couple in a subtle but believable manner. They share this unspoken romantic tension in every scene they’re in together. You know that spark, you always hope to witness in your OTP – they have it. Their chemistry is so lovely to watch because it screams so much promise. We are more than happy to see this OTP move slowly because watching them work out their feelings for each other and then act on them is pure drama heaven for us.

Natsui is so cute, where can we get one?

We love how she lied to get a job at Next Innovation. Who else is fed up of saints and leading ladies that accidentally find themselves in situations? This girl made the calculated decision to take a risk and lucky for her and us, it worked out.

Natsui is quite an easy leading lady to root for. She is outrageously smart but not in that freaky/ geeky way that dramas like to overuse. She’s thoughtful, opinionated and thankfully isn’t a weak submissive leading lady that has to get a backbone as well as win her OTP.

One of our favourite things about Natsui is her honesty (okay after her initial lie!). She is a refreshing character that often wears her heart on her sleeve. The scene that cemented our love for her was in the latest episode of RMPW, where she asked Hyuga if he would give her a job, any job just as long as it was working for him.

The scene was achingly frank, her feelings completely on display to him. Their time had come to an end and she knew that she would lose him soon unless she took a chance. You’ve got to respect a character like her; we know we couldn’t be that brave. The way she desperately tried not to cry and brushed away her tears so briskly made it impossible not to root for this leading lady.

Plus she is so damn cute!

Who would have thought it, RMPW have made fangirls out of us.

It’s like a light has been switched on and now we finally get what all the fuss is about.

Is it strange that we suddenly find Oguri Shun ridiculously sexy??? After all these years of indifference, we’re suddenly looking at him wondering whether he was always this charismatic. Every week we sit back and appreciate his wonderful acting skills. His acting elevates an already great character and makes him more appealing. Yep, we’re sold. Bring on the next Oguri Shun drama, we’re ready.

Maybe it’s our attraction to Hyuga as a character that makes us suddenly see Oguri Shun in a different light, either way we’re not complaining.

Hyuga is such a great character to watch. Who can resist complicated, brilliant leading men that make you want to reach in and hug them tightly? Not us! Oguri Shun manages to present a lovely vulnerability to Hyuga’s character that compels us to root for him. We just want Natsui to take care of him and protect him from two-faced crazies and slaggy chefs.

If we’re honest we were sold from episode 1, we could feel ourselves falling for this leading man slowly but it was the end scene where he rocks up to her university with her shoes that sealed the deal. It was just such an unpredictable, sweet moment that made us sit up and wonder what more will happen between this OTP. Then there is the way he looks at her. His secret stares are enough to make us giggle like outrageous fangirls. As much as he tries, he can’t hide his feelings/ interest whatever you want to call it and for once a slower burner suddenly doesn’t seem like a bad idea to us.

Other thoughts:

Hyuga’s best friend/ partner Kosuke must suffer.

As much as we adore this drama, we’re not blind to some of its weaker aspects. The character development of Kosuke was outrageous. He went from being a realistic second in command with insecurities and envy conveyed really well to becoming a Disney villain that was willing to do whatever it took to bring down his enemy. The drastic character change was a little disappointing as we hoped that the drama was more sophisticated than that.

We are grateful that the drama doesn’t dwell on matters too long. That is one of our major pet peeves about T/K dramas, they sure know how to flog a dead horse!

The deception matter between Hyuga and Natsui was resolved quickly but didn’t feel like it was brushed over. Sure their reasons for meeting were incredibly contrived but come on, it’s a drama so we’re happy to let things slide, especially when it means we get more OTP time.

Also the revelation that Kosuke was the big bad was swiftly dealt with as well. Thank goodness for that. Watching Kosuke walk around with that smug look on his face was enough to make us reach for the sick bucket. Seriously, what does he hope to accomplish without Hyuga?? Hyuga was clearly the brains behind the operation. His brilliance was what made Next Innovation a success. His logic behind his plan is flawed and for a character that is supposed to be smart, it’s hard to understand why he would do what he’s doing. Surely, he would be aware that he will lose in the long run.

Yoko aka Slaggy Chef has a lot of haters but frankly we remain indifferent to her as a love rival. The OTP in this drama is so solid and fascinating to watch that she doesn’t even come into consideration for us. Like her brother, it looks like she doesn’t know when she’s in a losing battle because clearly she hasn’t seen the way Hyuga looks at Natsui! The kisses shared between Yoko and Hyuga have been a source of much frustration for a lot of viewers but for us, it makes her effects appear more pathetic.  She can only manage to get his attention when he is most vulnerable and after he tried to contact Natsui. Thankfully, she doesn’t appear to be that crazy love rival that you hope gets run over (Hong Sisters anyone?) but simply there to add tension between the OTP. We hope that she quickly realizes that her angry chef has the hots for her and she moves on. Who else thinks that they could have a drama on their own?

As you may have gathered from our ramblings in this post, we’re sold and very much loving this drama. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go for it. You won’t regret it! If you have, what do you think? Any ideas on what you want to happen at the end? Who else is praying that we don’t get a lame arse union between Natsui and Hyuga – he better kiss her or else someone will pay!

Day 28: A Drama you judged too quickly

19 May

City Hall

Come on, you didn’t think we’d do this challenge without putting the spotlight on one of our favourite Kdramas, did you?

In reflection we can’t really remember why we watched this drama in the first place. As the title suggests we judged it way before we tuned in but thankfully found out how wrong we could be.

 

Can you really blame us, look how bad this looks?

It’s a political drama dubbed a romantic comedy- does that even make sense?

Plus, at that point we didn’t have a clue who Cha Seung Won was and well we had only seen Kim Sun Ah in My name is Kim Sam Soon and frankly we weren’t fans.

Oh how things changed so quickly.

Putting aside the confused drama genre, indifferent casting and really cheesy promo material, we tuned in and never looked back.

We adored this drama from start to finish. It was one of those rare dramas that had us engaged all the way through. We remember the day that we finished it; we were totally gutted it was over. Maybe it’s just us, but have you ever finished a really great drama and then tried to tune into something else but found yourself totally indifferent to everything? Well that is exactly how we felt after we finished City Hall.

It was just so romantic and funny that it brought our expectations of future kdramas up a notch.

This OTP owed us completely. They shared such intense, wonderful chemistry that we were completely smitten by them. Who would have thought that a political drama could be so romantic? There are so many moments scattered across the drama that will make you smile like a fool at how sweet they are together. Don’t get us wrong, their relationship didn’t come easy and it’s far from a fairytale but we think we liked it even more for that.  When a OTP can successfully make us believe their love and their chemistry is as lovely as this couple, we are more than happy to witness a healthy amount of yearning, angst and pain before they get their HEA. It makes their romance all the more sweeter when they finally get together.

Who else loved the fact that he spent half the time stalking her?

Aside from the romance and the OTP being completely amazing, the script and pace is a complete standout. The storyline moves along at a great pace. You never get a chance to stop and question the drama because everything is put together so well and the script is just so smart and witty. The first half of the drama is also so funny. The OTP’s interactions will have you in stitches and will make you wonder how the hell will they ever get together when she is just so embarrassing?  Then the second half will make you question how you could have ever doubted this OTP when they just so great together. The story thankfully concludes in a really satisfying manner, we were left feeling sad to say goodbye but oh so glad we gave it a shot despite writing it off as just another Kdrama.   

Watch it for…

the laughs, some great acting and most importantly an awesome OTP.

Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.