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About Me

  1. Teaser Poster. Synopsis: 'Umbrella' tells the story of a Joseon era queen and her four troublesome sons. The series follows the perspective of Hwaryung, the queen of Joseon who spends every moment of her life cleaning up trouble caused by her four sons. Infact, those days are over, because Hwaryung has set her mind to educate these good-for-nothing boys into princes worthy of the royal family's title. Native Title: 슈룹 Also Known As: Shuroop , Syurub Directed by Kim Hyeong Sik (김형식) Script Written by Park Ba Ra (박바라) Episodes: 16 Airs: October 15, 2022 - December 4, 2022. Airs On: Saturday, Sunday. Original Network: Netflix, tvN. Duration: 60 min.
  2. Synopsis Love Is For Suckers tells the story of Goo Yeo Reum and Park Jae Hoon's friendship. They were good friends for 20 years and started to have feelings of liking each other. This was realized by both of them when they met as producers and members of a dating reality show. Also Known As: Love That Will Freeze To Death, Frozen Love, Dating to Death, Icy Cold Romance, Eoleojugeul Yeonae Ttawi Directed by Choi Kyu Shik 최규식 Screenwriter Kim Sol Ji 김솔지 Episodes: 16 Airs: Oct 5, 2022 - Nov 24, 2022 Airs On: Wednesday, Thursday Original Network: ENA Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  3. Synopsis Surviving As A Celebrity Manager is the newest adaptation of the hit French TV series, “Call My Agent!” by Fanny Herrero. tvN’s Surviving As A Celebrity Manager follows the lives of celebrity managers in an entertainment management company, who work professionally in dealing with their top stars’ highs and lows, but amateur when it comes to their personal lives. The agency in the Korean drama is named Method Entertainment. We see how the four agents work together to make sure that they get the clients the right deals while also keeping the competition at bay. The cast, the setting as well as the storyline seem to be created to cater to the Korean audience. Also Known As: Survive as a Celebrity Manager , Surviving as a Celebrity Manager , Yeonyein Maenijeoro Saranamgi Screenwriters: Park So Young 박소영 , Lee Chan 이찬 Director: Baek Seung Ryong 백승룡 Episodes: 12 Airs: Nov 7, 2022 ~ Airs On: Monday, Tuesday Original Network: Netflix , tvN Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  4. Synopsis "Unicorn" is a comedic drama about the CEO of a start-up company, "McCom" and the crew that keeps the business afloat. Directer : Kim Hye Young (김혜영) Screenwriter : In Ji Hye (인지혜) Yoo Byung Jae (유병재) TV Channel/Platform: Coupang Play (쿠팡플레이) Episodes: 12 Airing dates: August, 26 ~ Upcoming Airs On: Friday
  5. On the surface this winner of the prestigious 2020 BaekSang Arts Award for Best Drama might not appear to have much popular appeal. Beyond the baseball backdrop, however, is a profoundly human story that covers a whole gamut of life experiences in and out of sports. The drama has a tremendous amount to offer in terms of storytelling, performances and strong production values even for someone like me who knows next to nothing about the game. It’s the kind of story that grabs you from the start with its universal themes about perseverance, camaraderie, teamwork and loss. Of course it doesn’t hurt that spearheading the narrative is a master strategist. On an immediate level it is a baseball story as one navigates through the industry jargon, the rules of the sport and be utterly bamboozled while the experts crunch the statistics. But if that was all it was I certainly wouldn’t have binged watched it in two days. On another level baseball is the vehicle through which experiences of ordinary folk are played out as they wrestle through a myriad of challenges and decisions that are familiar with anyone from different walks of life. It is certainly no accident that the team spotlighted here is called Dreams. “Hot Stove League” refers to the off-season period in which the professional teams work behind the scenes in preparation for the next season. For a baseball ignoramus and a non-follower of spectator sports like myself, it’s a fascinating glimpse at the complexity of managing professional sports. The delightful Namgoong Min is the outsider here, the newly appointed General Manager of Dreams which has been placed at the bottom of the league table for the past 4 years. Baek Seung-su, a newcomer to baseball, is selected by the acting owner (O Jung-se) for his ability (and reputation) to revive sports teams only to see them dissolved after taking them to a championship win. The parent company Jaesong Group desperately wants to disband Dreams after incurring serious losses and failing to sell it off after several attempts. Seung-su’s primary adversary is the acting owner, nephew of the chairman of Jaesong, Kwon Kyung-min. A good proportion of the drama sees the two facing off in a battle of wits. One wants to build something from what’s left of the Dreams but the other wants to dismantle the entire structure. Crudely put, Seung-su is an all-round fix-it guy who wants to win and knows how to do it. He has his own unorthodox, indomitable way of doing things that see him knocking heads with the departmental team leaders and ruffling feathers everywhere he goes. Very soon after, Lee Se-young (Park Eun-bin) cottons on that there’s more to the new general manager that meets the eye. While he doesn’t know much about baseball, she might just learn a thing or two about managing an organization and people from him. It occurred to me somewhere along the way that he is cut from the same cloth as Mary Poppins. He’s a heaven-sent opportunity to pull this unhappy ragtag of egos… together into something that could ultimately resemble a team or… God forbid… a family. But what I think he really does is give everyone attached to Dreams hope for the future. Little by little Baek Seung-su earns the grudging respect of his subordinates and his rivals. One of my favourite aspects of this drama and what gives it high rewatch value is the way it delves into organisational dynamics. To begin with the right kind of leadership as exemplified by Baek Seung-su, makes all the difference. So what constitutes good leadership? This is explored within the confines of baseball management as Seung-su navigates his way through the minefield and cleans up the mess left behind by others who had all the good-will in the world but perhaps none of the savvy or the ruthlessness. It is immediately apparent that there are benefits to being the outsider. It gives one a different perspective, a set of fresh eyes to see the glaring problems that the insiders are blind to due to long-term relationships and a desire to maintain the status quo. The problems are many. From without and within. Not long after Seung-su’s arrival on the scene it becomes clear that there are systemic internal issues that have undermined the team’s ability to even be moderately successful like prima donnas in the ranks and corruption among the staff. A team is more than just a composite of individuals coming together for a common cause. It has to be built and maintained with the right touches and a proper sense of balance with some acknowledgement of the need for a diverse skill set. Seung-su doesn’t shy away from any challenge. There are minor villains within the ranks and from time to time the razor sharp general manager takes time to bare his teeth to do what’s best for the team’s survival and although not necessarily his own. It never occurred to me until now that recruitment of players in team sports is so much like a chess game-jigsaw puzzle. But I was impressed with the need for strategic thinking in that area. It isn’t enough just to grab the best players in the league but to have the right players for the team. Not only should candidates pull their weight but they should be able to make a significant contribution with their skill set. It’s as much about present needs as it is an investment in the future of the club. Of course skill and experience aren't everything if there are serious character flaws. There’s a key moment between Kwon Kyung-min and his newly appointed right-hand man, Jang Woo-seok, that he poached from the recruitment department that suggests what the fuss is all about. The two men look down from a balcony to see a group of protestors chanting on the unfairness of a recent player trade. Kyung-min looks on in wondering why people bother when there are more pressing matters to attend to. “Isn’t watching baseball just a hobby?” The response he gets is this, “There are some people who bet their ways of making a living on a hobby.” For many, baseball isn’t just a spectator sport, it’s a way of getting through the grind of eking a living. Perhaps an escape, or maybe a pleasure that makes living worthwhile. Baseball isn’t just a national pastime, it’s a way of life. This brief exchange highlights how an activity that’s not work-related can be a source of inspiration to the wider public. I also enjoyed Seung-su’s relationship with the operations manager of the team, Se-young. The two bounce off each other in finely tuned perfection as colleagues who have much to learn from each other about people and running an organization. They complement one another and their collaboration during different crises gives multiple perspectives on how an issue can be looked at and resolved. Namgoong MIn, always a treasure, interacts well with Park Eun-bin who holds her own, more or less as his second-in-command. She supports him where she needs to and pushes back when she has to as someone who has been part of the furniture for some time. The show also does an excellent job of humanising Seung-su with his backstory and via his relationship with his younger brother that he’s overly protective of. There’s no doubt he falls off the tsundere mould but Namgoong Min’s nuanced performance makes the complexities of the character’s personality convincing. This is a man who is driven to create miracles because of the constant weight he carries on his shoulders. He too has lessons that he can learn from Dreams even while he does his darnedest to get the best outcome for them with the resources he has at his disposal. This brilliance of this show lies primarily in its use of the ensemble cast to tell a poignant, heartwarming and uplifting story. In that regard it reminds me of the delightful Prison Playbook. The show runners do a great job with the cast and getting viewers invested in the lives of the administrative staff, the players, the coaches and their networks. Even Kwon Kyung-min is no one-dimensional adversary. It’s unabashedly a feel-good drama with the right mix of intrigue, conflict and humour sprinkled right through the story. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best things I’ve seen in the last 12 months. And honestly, who doesn't love a good underdog-overcoming-adversity story? Plot/Story: 9.5 Storytelling: 10 Acting/Cast: 10 Production Values: 10 Rewatch Value: 9 @SnowBlob
  6. Once Again (한 번 다녀왔습니다) picture cr: hancinema Broadcasting: KBS, 2020 Genre: Family, Comedy, Romance Writer: Yang Hee Seung, Ahn Ah Reum (Familiar Wife, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Oh My Ghost) Director: Lee Jae Sang (Father is Strange, Trot's Lovers, Sol Pharmacy's Son) Episodes: 100 (35 minutes each) Release date : March 28, 2020 ~ September 13, 2020 Lead Actors: Chun Ho Jin, Cha Hwa Yeon, Lee Min Jung, Lee Sang Yeob, Oh Dae Hwan, Oh Yoon Ah, Lee Cho Hee, Lee Sang Yi, Kim Bo Yeon, Lee Jung Eun Drama Introduction (taken, edited and translated from Once Again official website) It might be a miracle for a man and a woman who have lived in different worlds to start a family through marriage. In particular, for young people these days, where individual self-actualization is more important than a sense of responsibility as a member of society, divorce is becoming something that is uncontrollable. However... the parents who lived in the previous era cannot understand the lives of their children. This is because in their days, marriage was a sacred and unbreakable thing that is protected by endurance and responsibility. For parents, the family comes first, but for children, the individual comes first. For parents, a good reason is important, but for children, their own happiness is important. Parents' hearts break because of their children’s divorce. This drama aims to show how everyone completes their search for happiness through the gap between parents and children and for the younger generation who is going through the crisis of divorce. Characters introduction and their background stories: Song Young Dal and Jang Ok Boon have married for many years and they have 4 children, Song Joon Seon, Song Ga Hee, Song Na Hee and Song Da Hee (1 son and 3 daughters). Together with Ok Boon’s sister Ok Ja, they work in a fried chicken restaurant in Yong Ju traditional market, owned by the couple. Song Young Dal is the chairman of the merchant association. Young Dal is quite strict about money, even with his own children, and he has his reasons. When he was young, he was poor and lost his mother because of illness. Taking care of himself and his younger sister wasn’t easy, so he decided to send away his sister to a better place. But, one day when he looked for her, he heard shocking news that his sister was sick and passed away. Until now he always blamed himself. Ok Boon might have grumbled about Young Dal's strictness about money, but she understood because she knew about his past. Ok Boon only has a simple wish for her children, for them to live well and happily with their own family. She had never imagined the day when her eldest son and daughter came to her house bringing their belongings (and son in her daughter's case) and announced that they have gotten a divorce and will move back in to live with her. While she thought she could move on from that pain by celebrating her youngest's wedding, on that same night, her youngest comes back home saying that she wished to annul her marriage. Now her only hope is her second daughter... The eldest, Joon Seon works as a stunt-man, a job that he likes and passionate for. He is married to Hyun Kyung, and they have 2 daughters. Joon Seon is too kind to others and often forgets that he is the head of his family. He tried to open a business but it failed. He even got scammed by his junior who borrowed money from him and caused him to lose his house. Working as a stunt-man with dangerous actions makes him hurt his body and even break his bones. Tired of not being the priority in Joon Seon's life, and not wanting to hate him any longer, Hyun Kyung asked him for a divorce. Joon Seon actually still loves Hyun Kyung and wants to give her proof that he can change and learn from his mistake. But, he also loves his job as a stuntman... The eldest daughter, Song Ga Hee used to work as flight attendant. She's married to a pilot and together they have a son. She retired and now she is just a housewife. One day she caught her husband cheating on her red-handed with her junior stewardess. She immediately asked for a divorce and moved back to her parents' house with her son. It happened in the same year as Joon Seon's divorce. She has been living with the money from the child support that is provided by her ex-husband, however, she can’t live forever by only depending on that money. She needs to find something to do, and at the very least she need to do everything for her son Ji Hoon's sake. The second daughter Song Na Hee is a pediatrician. She is the pride of her family, especially for her mother. She works in a children hospital. She's married to Yoon Gyu Jin, a pediatrician who also works in the same hospital as her. They were a campus couple during their medical school days. To others, Na Hee and Gyu Jin might look great and happy as a couple, but actually their married life isn't doing very well. They constantly argue with each other over every small detail. Also, the constant nagging from Yoon Jung, Gyu Jin’s mother (who also happened a high school mate of Ok Boon), about Na Hee's character that didn't suit her view, and the neutral stance that Gyu Jin took between his mother and wife only widened the gap between the couple and made them almost become strangers. Adding a miscarriage that happened 1.5 years ago to that, Na Hee and Gyu Jin almost never share smiles and laugh together anymore. Na Hee made up her mind. For her and also for Gyu Jin's happiness, they have to separate. Gyu Jin actually wanted to try to save his marriage but seeing the determined look in Na Hee’s eyes and realizing that they almost never shared smiles towards each other anymore, he agreed. Maybe with this divorce, they can find their own happiness again. There’s only one big problem left. How do they tell the elders about their decision? And lastly the youngest is Song Da Hee. She's an intern at a travel company. Being the youngest of 4 siblings, she's kind of shy and finds it hard to say no or show her objections, which make others look down on her. She had been dating with her boyfriend for a while and they decided to get married. Her boyfriend had studied to become a civil servant and finally passed the exam. Da Hee was swamped with work even to just before the day of her wedding. On her wedding night, she found out that her husband of less than a day had been cheating on her with his colleague and that it had been happening for a while behind her back. Da Hee immediately left the hotel but not before getting hurt by her ex's comment. She went back to her parents' house and announced that her marriage is annulled. She also quit her intern job because she’s tired of being a pushover and wanted to start anew. She vowed she won’t get married anymore and will just focus on pursuing her dream. She started it with befriending her brother-in-law Yoon Jae Seok who unfortunately had witnessed her at her lowest. Funnily enough, she keeps meeting him and Jae Seok starts to get involved more and more in Da Hee’s life. Reviews with spoilers: Once Again or the literal translations of Korean title (한 번 다녀왔습니다) ‘I have been there once’ refers to someone who has gotten a divorce. You might find one or two characters who have had a divorce in a drama, but in here, you get 4 characters who have had a divorce and came from the same family, and in fact, they are siblings! You might find that it’s a weird drama because it seems all the siblings had gotten divorces and moved back to their parents’ house. It’s unusual and strange, that’s true, but I feel that is something that would be possible to happen. What are the reasons I watch the drama? The drama teaser. We’re shown that the siblings are giving their divorce papers to their parents, one after another. It looks funny. And another teaser, the main couple Na Hee and Gyu Jin who are preparing themselves to break the news to their respective mothers. Both seems to hesitate because they know their mothers well, and so pretend that they are still happy as couple. I predicted a reconciliation in the future because the broken heart becomes one again at the end of the teaser. The casts. The lead casts are all actors who are already well-known for their acting quality. The chemistry and the realistic acting immersed me in the drama. Together with them, I laugh, feel sad and happy as if I’m a part of the drama itself and not only as a viewer. The story. The plot in the early episodes are quite fast and entertaining so that it made me forget that I’ve been watching for about 70 minutes and couldn’t wait for the next episodes. But I also admit that somewhere in the middle, I felt there are some unnecessary plots for the supporting characters, and it would be better to give the screen time for the lead characters stories. However, that is the charm of family drama that can’t be taken out, I guess. After all every characters deserve to have their time to shine and their development (100 episodes, everyone). For those who are not familiar or never watched Korean weekend-family drama before might find it confusing and overwhelmed. It has several main characters and lots of supporting characters. We have so many problems that happen at the same time or find that a solution of that problem is unsatisfactory. But that’s all part of the charm of family dramas. Things that I love from the drama: The pairings/couples Personally, I love the chemistry between the couples: Na He – Gyu Jin, Da Hee – Jae Seok, and Ok Boon – Young Dal. Both members of each couple have different personalities, different characteristics but together they balance each other. Together, they can grow to become better people. The friendship/brother-ship/siblings-ship The Song siblings might have quarreled with each other or have a siblings fight, but they are always there for their siblings. If other people point their fingers at one of them, the siblings will act fast to protect and show their unity. That includes facing their parents' wrath, which they also endure together. The Yoon Brothers are just one of my favorites. If they had not been doctors, I would have thought that they were comedians because of their antics. Just like the Song siblings, the Yoon brothers would constantly argue over every little thing, but in the end they are there for each other in both happy and sad days. The frenemies between Ok Boon and Yoon Jeong. They were schoolmates in high school and would often argue with each other. They never imagined that their children would fall in love with each other and thus they would become in-laws. When they found out about Na Hee and Gyu Jin's divorce, the relationship between them became worse and even had a hair-pulling fight in the public. But despite all the fighting, they will still be there for each other when they need someone. A great story of how or why two people fell out of love and fell in love with each other at the same time. Every episode has twists, turns and revelations. Uplifting stories that are close to common people’s lives. It also has different and varying stories about many kinds of couples. Family and love. It gives out diverse emotions and messages about life. Things that I can learn from the drama: The meaning of family and the bittersweet reality of marriage. From the drama I learned more about the family dynamics. Generation gaps between parents and the children are always there. What the parents faced when they’re younger can not always be applied for their children because the era has changed. Both parents and children need to be more understanding and think calmly from each other points of view. Of course, parents want the best for their children but they can’t always force what they want and wish for the children. And the children too, they can’t just selfishly think about themselves and ignore their parents' feelings. Parents always want something good for their children, but sometimes the way the parents express that might not always be in the right way for us to understand. Maintaining good communication and heart-to-heart talks can be one of the ways to decrease the gap between parents and their children. The up and down in marriage life. Sometimes there are happy days, sometimes there are sad days, too. Your partner can be the source of your happiness, but also can be the one who makes you upset for many days. Good and clear communication is one of the important things that every couple needs. You can’t expect your partner to know what is in your mind or what you are feeling when you don’t express them. If you are not good with the way you talk, you can express it with your gestures. And marriage is not only between two people, but sometimes it’s also between the two families. You can’t just expect your partner to immediately match his/her way to your family tradition or habits. When there’s a rift or argument, you can act as the guide for both parties so that you can reach an understanding. It’s not too late to start a new path or to fulfill the dream job that you have been dreaming of. Success doesn’t look at your age, it’s all about your effort and determination. Enjoy the process and don’t give up even you’re facing a problem. Your hard work will give you a sweet result in the end. Ratings: Plot/story: 8.5/10 Cast/Acting: 9/10 Production Value(aesthetics/OST/cinematography): 6.5/10 (a little bit low because the shoot mostly done inside a filming set. The OST is ok, one of the actors (Lee Sang Yi) took part in the OST) Re-watch Value: 6/10 (I give this a low score because I know the episodes are quite long and might be too much to repeat every episodes. But, several scenes are memorable and funny and those can be re-watched several times without making you feel bored) Recommend to Watch? Yes! To any of you who like the family drama genre, this is one that you have to give it a try. From family love, comedic actions, sweet couple interactions, life lessons, this drama have all of that for you to discover.
  7. I went into this not knowing what to expect but a couple of episodes in, I found myself thoroughly entertained by the hijinks of a pojangmacha owner (Hwang Jung-eum), her long-suffering manager (Choi Won-young) and a supermarket customer service guy (Yook Sung-jae) in contemporary South Korea. Apart from the usual nagging from Neflix, I had seen/heard next to no press on this. As a rule I’m neither a fan of supernatural fantasies (I must be one of a handful people who haven’t see Goblin) nor of slapstick but I adored this one from start to finish. I found myself rolling around in laughter at the inventive, sometimes wacky humour. At other times the show transitions wonderfully into something unexpectedly poignant and heartwarming. The key to why the juggling act ultimately works is the clever storytelling which more than makes up for some of the show’s production limitations. Because the show locates itself as a supernatural fantasy, it’s obvious that Hwang Jung-eum’s pojangmacha owner is not your usual street bar-owning ahjumma. Weol-ju is a 500 year old ghost/spirit who’s earning credits by helping individuals with all kinds of grievances. It’s her punishment for hanging herself on The Sacred Tree in her Joseon past and causing mayhem. She has been tasked by scary persons in the Afterlife with helping 100 000 humans and when her job is done, all will be forgiven. The tricky part of course is getting the remaining clientele to come to the pop up bar and spill their guts. This is where the customer service guy comes in. This idealistic and unassuming young fellow has the uncanny ability to get people to open up garrulously even when he doesn’t want them to, which is 99% of the time. Although he sees it as a curse, it’s handy skill that Weol-ju is eager to exploit. After some cajoling, bullying and sleight of hand, the young Kang-bae joins Weol-ju and Manager Gwi in what turns out to be a really good cause. The trio have all the makings of a low-key superhero team-up. Each member has their own skill set which come in useful when they meet desperate, helpless individuals… dead and living… who are seeking help to resolve some grievance that they’re lugging around. As they spend more time together, our trio start acting more like a family. As with every superhero show, there is a villain. I didn't mind him even if he was a tad on the cliche side. It certainly didn't affect my overall impression of the drama or the resolution. The story flip flops between two timelines: Joseon and 21st century Korea. No, there’s no time travelling involved in case you’re wondering but the show gradually gives us insight into Weol-ju’s tragic past as a gifted shaman who fell in love with a prince that she helped. It was a romance that ended badly with long-ranging reverberations. In one of her better efforts, Hwang Jung-eum plays up Weol-ju’s cantankerous, shrilly side with no small amount of glee. She is both terrifying and self-righteous. Belying the shrewish disposition, however, is a heart of gold. Her culinary skills are to die for (so we're told) but more importantly she has an awesome fusion wardrobe to match. Choi Won-young was awesome as Manager Gwi, an enigmatic spirit being who has an unspoken agenda for putting up with Weol-ju’s bad temper. He really needs to play these sorts of non-villainous lead roles more often. I don’t remember the last time I saw him play a straight arrow but I can assure everybody that he didn’t sign up for the drama just to play mediator between two opposites. I wasn’t familiar with Yook Sung-jae prior to this but his versatility here impressed me. His comic delivery was right on the money. I especially enjoyed his push-pull with security guard, Kang Yeo-rin who happens to be the only human being who can resist his ability to make her open up. There’s no doubt that he holds his own with his seniors all throughout the drama. Despite the financial constraints, the world building maintained a high level of consistency. It drew on a hodgepodge of various religious and mythological traditions with something of a satirical edge as exemplified in its depiction of Corporate Afterlife. I experienced a reminder or two of Journey to the West. It’s good to see an increasing number of K dramas benefiting from the 12-episode format. So far it’s yielded only good things from the ones I’ve seen. At the end of the day, as is to be expected of a drama of this nature, it is a morality tale encompassing morality tales. Although there’s truly nothing new under the sun, there are lessons to be learnt by everyone, whether they be 500 or 25. Even the higher-ups of Afterlife Inc make mistakes. Plot/ Story: 9 Acting/Cast: 10 Production Values: 8 Re-watch Value: 8.5
  8. Tale of the Secret Royal Inspector and Jo Yi English Title: Tale of the Secret Royal Inspector and Jo Yi Hangul Title: 어사조이뎐 Genre: Historical, Mystery, Comedy, Drama Director: Yoo Jong Sun Writer: Lee Jae Yoon Network: tvN Official Website: http://program.tving.com/tvn/inspectorjoy Episodes: 16 Release Date: Nov 8, 2021 Synopsis: “The Secret Royal Inspector and Jo Yi” (literal title) is a historical comedy investigation drama about a young gourmet who ends up becoming a secret royal inspector (a undercover official who inspects local provinces to expose corruption) teaming up with a divorced woman who is searching for happiness. Together, they set out on a grand scheme to uncover the truth. Taecyeon will be playing the secret royal inspector Ra Yi Eon who wishes for nothing more than to open a small dumpling store outside the capital where the land is cheap. But he has a good brain that gets him through the state examination and even secures him a spot as an official in the Office of Special Advisors—a position normally reserved for only the most elite. Ultimately, he finds himself receiving secret orders to carry out missions as a secret royal inspector. Even though he unintentionally ended up following a career path that others would die for, Ra Yi Yeon’s real concerns are securing lunch time during work and getting off work right on time. When he gets home from work, he cooks dumplings for himself and lazily rolls around his room. However, the life of the lazy homebody changes when he meets Kim Jo Yi. Kim Hye Yoon takes on the role of Kim Jo Yi, a unconventional woman of the Joseon era who thinks that getting divorced isn’t a big deal. Three years ago, she got married with a gambling addict and mama’s boy, and needless to say, she led a rocky married life. She finally divorces the man after several complications, only to be met with another obstacle: the appearance of a secret royal inspector. The moment it seemed like her dream to begin a new life was crushed, her life was actually starting anew. Together, the unmotivated secret royal inspector Ra Yi Yeon and the reckless divorced woman Kim Jo Yi will embark on a journey to investigate and defeat corrupt politicians. The fact that the drama features a divorced female character who dismisses the Joseon era idea that a wife must serve her husband draws attention for its novelty. Source
  9. Inspector Goo / Inspector Koo Drama title: 구경이 / Gugyeongi Formerly known as: A Wonderful Sight Genre: Drama, action, thriller, comedy Episodes: 12 Broadcast network: JTBC Broadcast period: 2021-Oct-30 to 2021-Dec-05 Air time: Saturday & Sunday 22:30 KST Director : Lee Jung Heum (Nobody Knows, Falsify) Writer: Sung Cho Yi Drama Descriptions (JTBC official site) rough translations The almighty God asks you, "Seriously, do you think all living being has their worth for being alive?" You supposed to answer that all life is precious and they have their worth for being alive, but after seeing the terrible news about the society, you can't easily answer it. While you are hesitating, God comes one step closer. In the form of an innocent girl. "You can't answer me? So, can I get rid of all of them now?" At that moment, our main character Inspector Goo appears. She has a sloppy hair that hasn't been washed for days while wearing a trench coat over a t-shirt. "What are you talking about?! Of course they have to stay alive. Because...!" That's the answer that Inspector Goo gave. Instead of lecture from moral book, she answered in her own way. The truth that she found through the pain that she has experienced. 'Nevertheless', humans must stay alive. This drama is a long story that follows after 'the because part'. But before that, she has to play one game first. Go go go! Drama Sypnosis (Asianwiki) Goo Kyung-Yi (Lee Young-Ae) is in her 40's. She is a former police officer, but now works as an insurance investigator and a private detective. With her smarts and excellent intuition, she is able to solve cases. Koo Kyung-Yi tries to catch a serial killer, who is a female university student.
  10. Ever since I saw them in the KBS Special "Came to me and became a star" , I have been hoping hard for the them to reunite in a longer drama, and looks like my wishes have come true. Super excited for this rom-com of two proven versatile actors. More of the synopsis here: “Monthly House” is a home-searching romance story about a man who buys houses and a woman who lives in one. It follows the diverse stories of the editors of a home magazine. Yoo Ja Sung is the CEO of a real estate investment company and magazine company Monthly House who went from rags to riches. By studying during the day, working as a restaurant part-timer and a designated driver at night, and working at construction sites during the weekends, Yoo Ja Sung cut down on his sleep time to self-study real estate, eventually becoming an investment expert and wealthy man owning property worth tens of billions of won (tens of millions of dollars) in real estate. However, when he runs into Na Young Won, the two will begin an unexpected romance. Na Young Won is a magazine editor with 10 years of experience who has been living alone for 10 years at a rented home. She believes her home to be the place where she can truly be herself. However, when she meets her devil-like new homeowner and Monthly House magazine CEO, Na Young Won begins to search for a house of her own and develops an interest in real estate Camping fanatic and professional photographer Shin Kyum is living by the principles of “you only live once” and “work-life balance." Shin Kyum chose to become a photographer over inheriting his father’s business. He’s also Na Young Won’s neighbor and convenience store partner, allowing their fates to be constantly intertwined. Source : My Drama List Director: Lee Chang-Min Writer: Myung Soo-Hyun Network: JTBC Episodes: Release Date: First Half, 2021 Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
  11. Synopsis A comic drama depicting the story of a daughter-in-law who looks just like a chaebol, who looks just like her due to memory loss, and the story of a rogue sponsor, a corrupt prosecutor who accidentally changes her life. Cho Yeon Joo, a rouge prosecutor gets into a car accident. When she wakes up from a coma, her life changes as she is swapped with that of the youngest daughter of a chaebol, Kang Mi Na, also the daughter-in-law of BK Group, who just looks like her. Han Seung Wook is a chaebol, who still cherishes his first love. He left Korea because he felt the savagery of a fight for inheritance. He comes back to find the truth behind his father’s sordid death. When he meets his first love by chance, he does not want to lose her again. (Source: MDL) Director: Choi Hyeong-Hun Writer: Kim Yoon Network: SBS Episodes: Release Date: September, 2021 -- Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00-23:10
  12. Chief Kim aka Good Manager Director: Lee Jae Hoon, Choi Yoon Suk Writer: Park Jae Bum Cast: Namgoong Min as Kim Sung Ryong, a former mobster accountant who becomes head of the tQ Accounting Department Nam Sang Mi as Yoon Ha Kyung, the assistant manager of the TQ Accounting Department Lee Jun Ho as Seo Yool, a former prosecutor who becomes TQ Group’s Director of Finance Jung Hye Sung as Hong Ga Eun, an undercover prosecution investigator Park Young Gyu as Park Hyun Do, the Chairman of TQ Group Lee Il Hwa as Jang Yoo Sun, the President of TQ Group, the daughter of the TQ Group family, and the wife to Park Hyun Do Dong Ha as Park Myung Sik, the son of Park Hyun Do and Lee Il Hwa Background: The writer Park Jae Bum would go on to write The Fiery Priest and Vincenzo where he would bring his fast, witty dialogue to good use there as well, utilizing quirky, unconventional characters to shake up the status quo, and a plot that is full of twists. The director Lee Jae Hoon would go on to direct The Ghost Detective and Run On, where he would demonstrate the same ability to tell intimate, off beat stories with quirky characters without making it feel over the top or frantic. Plot and Main Character Summary: Kim Sung Ryong is an accountant for the local head mobster in Gunsan. He is constantly investigated for fraud and tax evasion, but his accounting is vindicated every time. However, he’s also on the take in a minor way from the mobster, saving up to immigrate to Denmark where he hopes to find a new life. A jealous underling reports KSR’s take and also notes KSR’s popularity to the local mobster who decides to punish KSR. This ultimately causes KSR to apply for a job as head accountant with TQ Group, a chaebol that owns multiple business lines. TQ is going through some problems of its own, however, they need a fall guy in Accounting so that they can cook the books as they need to, so they hire the most unlikely candidate who is KSR, thus KSR becomes Chief Kim, head of the department. KSR starts to work at TQ with the objective of possibly trying to get the money he feels he needs to live in Denmark by hook or by crook, but inadvertently starts becoming both a hero of the people and a defender of employee rights. The majority of the drama deals with KSR’s acceptance into the beleaguered Accounting Department to work with him, and how he comes to decide that TQ is a thief on a much bigger scale than he’s ever encountered before and true to his contrary nature. Yoon Ha Kyung is the assistant manager of the TQ Accounting Department, a woman of ethics and hard work. Initially suspicious of KSR, she ultimately ends up working with him. Seo Yool was a prosecutor with the best track record for winning cases. However, he is also ambitious for both money and power. Coming from a poor background, he is shown as a glutton for both food and money, as he wants to consume it before it can be taken away from him. SY is hired by the Chairman of TQ Group to be the Director of Finance for TQ Group to keep TQ Group out of legal trouble with the Prosecution Service. Initially a villain of this drama, SY is ultimately shown to be an outsider as well, with limits to his willingness to do evil. Hong Ga Eun plays a Prosecution Service investigator who is placed undercover by her superior in TQ Group to find evidence of wrong doing by KSR who is known to be a mob accountant. However, she is ultimately persuaded that KSR is on the side of the angels, and starts working with KSR and the others in the Accounting Department instead. Park Hyun Do is the Chairman of TQ Group, having married into the family. He is an ambitious man whose goal is to have TQ Group making as much money as possible and then to funnel as much money as he can into his personal slush fund, which he is able to do with the help of the Finance Department. To this end, he bleeds some of the business lines completely, defaulting on various creditors, especially the ones who can’t fight back, such as the part-time workers who are owed their wages. Jang Yoo Sun is the President of TQ Group and is opposed to the mess that her husband is making of TQ Group, especially since the employees are so unhappy with TQ. She supports opposition to her husband as best as she can, especially by acquiring the services of the Law Firm of Koo and Koh, one of the top law firms in the country to represent various defendants in cases, usually as identified by either Yoon Ha Kyung who is close to her, or later KSR. Park Myung Sik is the son of Chairman Park and President Jang. As the only son, he lives a spoiled, indulged life, though afraid of his father. Initially an arrogant jerk being schooled by KSR, MS ultimately goes to work underneath KSR and starts becoming a member of the Accounting Department. Review: This is the drama that I rewatch when I don’t want to watch anything. The plot is interesting though perhaps not entirely original, about the underdogs who go up against the so-called elite who hold most of the power and work in collusion with each other. In this case, the underdogs are aided by the unconventional, reluctant hero KSR and a team that is slowly and also somewhat reluctantly assembled in their quest to have TQ become a properly functioning corporation which takes care of their employees, the investors, and the shareholders as well as the executives. The dialogue in this drama is also a lot of fun, frequently spoken at speed and inclusive of word play both witty and cringeworthy. It reminds me at times of a Korean version of the American writer and producer Aaron Sorkin’s work, though with a deeper appreciation of the absurdities of life and the culture that it deals with. It notes them sincerely, wryly, and with a wink and a nod at times. The team itself is formed by people who are initially suspicious, reluctant to get involved, or even directly opposed to KSR and the actions that he brings about, but ultimately they find the courage to take their part in the brewing revolution, especially sweet since really they just want to do their job, support their families, and live their lives as best they can. So, they are ordinary people being challenged in extraordinary ways but not in a grandiose alien-invasion kind of way, but just in trying to set one company right. For instance, the Accounting Department is used to being ignored then blamed for things, especially by the Finance Department, no matter what they do. However, the members of the Accounting Department come on board to do their share to try to change their company to be better. Similar turn arounds characterize a number of the other characters. This drama is one that is driven more by the characters than the plot itself. The fun is watching the characters evolve into better versions of themselves, even if that is done despite themselves. The drama helps in the endeavor by giving each supporting character some back story and/or side story as well as the supporting role in the main story. There are heavy doses of bro-mance if relatively little romance. (There is a sweet romance between a couple of the supporting characters.) However, the scenes of bromance (amongst both male and female characters) are fun and heartwarming. Namgoong Min plays against type as he is not the smooth leading man or villain in this drama. He’s good in his role here because he takes the role seriously, but understanding of the absurdity, not just of his character, but also of the environments that his character operates in. However, it’s his sincere whole-hearted undertaking of his roles that make Namgoong Min such a consummate actor in his roles, and brings that same sincerity to his role here. Lee Jun Ho impresses as the nemesis turned reluctant co-conspirator. His role here alone makes me appreciate him as an actor (versus being an idol actor shoe-horned into a role to take advantage of his popularity). Nam Sang Mi as the female lead anchors all of the quirky, crazy characters, and provides the overall moral compass for this drama as well as the team of avengers. She represents not just traditional responsibility, but also the basic goodness that most people have, and provides a reassuring word and a steady hand as needed. Once she is convinced that KSR intends to do good rather than being a scam artist out for himself, she throws herself into the cause, providing confidence as well as being the liaison to President Jang for when they actually need some power or legal aid. One of my favorite scenes is about getting together for a secret meeting at the Team Leader’s house of the Team Leader, KSR, SY, and YHK. YHK stops off at the market to pick up a few things before heading to the meeting and call in to ask if the guys would like her to pick up anything. All of the guys jump on for HK to buy drinks and snacks for them, at which point HK barks at them that she’s not a shopping service and she’ll only buy what she remembers. The guys mutter amongst themselves about how scary YHK can actually be, only for YHK to yell at them over the phone that she can still hear them since they haven’t hung up. I could honestly go on and on about this drama, but I’ll stop here. I do recommend watching this drama, but realize that it’s a quirky drama which may not be to everyone’s taste. Still, definitely worth giving a watch. Ratings: Plot/Story: 9/10 Cast/Acting: 10/10 Production Value: 8/10 Re-watch Value: 10/10 Ending Spoiler
  13. Racket Boys Director: Jo Young Kwang, Ahn Jong Yeon Writer: Jung Bo Hun Main Cast Children: Tang Joon Sang - Yoon Hae Kang Lee Jae In - Han Se Yoon Son Sang Yeon - Bang Yoon Dam Lee Ji Won - Lee Han Sol Choi Hyun Wook - Na Woo Chan Kim Kang Hoon - Lee Yong Tae Kim Min Gi - Jung In Seol Main Cast Adults: Kim Sang Kyung as Coach Yoon Hyeon Jong Oh Na Ra as Coach Young Ja Shin Jung Geun - Coach Bae Ahnn Nae Sang - Coach Fang Woo Hyun - Village Chief Hong Baek Ji won - Shin Song Hee, protector of the village Cha Mi Kyung - Grandma Oh Mae Shin Chul Jin - Grandpa Jung Min Son - Kim Tae Ho - husband of the couple from the city Park Hyo Joo - Shin Pil Ja - wife of the couple from the city Prologue Another drama about the healing provided by a small town versus the rushing rat races of big cities, this time centering around a village junior high badminton team. While it is a coming of age story about members of a badminton team that come together along with their coaches and supporters, it is also a social commentary about families in these times. It also manages to fit in a recent scandal about hazing and bullying within amateur sports in vying for national placements. The main criticism I have about this drama is that it feels as if it’s trying to do too much, and thus the early episodes drag as it sets up scene after scene of introducing characters and circumstances. And, the introduction of stories don’t ever quite end, with one story really being told in its entirety in the final episodes after only brief mentions in the earlier episodes. The charm of this drama centers more on the characters and their ability to form connections with each other as well as with us viewers. Plot Points Hae Kang is a junior high sports prodigy, currently pitching for a competitive team in Seoul. He is the son of 2 badminton coaches, however, and had been a badminton prodigy in elementary school until he abruptly decided to change sports. Unfortunately, HK’s parents are struggling to make ends meet as coaches, and thus the father Coach Yoon takes a coaching job at Haenam Middle School in the countryside which includes provided accommodations. HK who is aware of his family’s financial difficulties is not happy about the move, but accepts the inevitable. Once in the village, it turns out that there are not enough children to field teams for sports. The boys badminton team has 3 members in it currently, and are desperately looking for a 4th member so that they could attend competitions, a full team being 4 members. HK reluctantly is talked into joining his father’s team, and despite a bad attitude, his natural competitive spirit causes him to become competitive in the sport once again. The boys badminton team of Yoon Dam, Woo Chan, and Yong Tae all have their quirks as well, and readily accept Hae Kang. They are ultimately joined on the team by In Sol, the top student of their region and the son of a wealthy, connected family. The way these five boys become friends and family as well as teammates is definitely the highlight of this drama. It’s also helped that most of the boys end up living with their coach while training, forcing the boys to all share a room. HK’s mother Coach Ra is a respected girls’ badminton coach and a former national athlete having won a gold medal at the Asian Games, but then dropping out before she competed in the Olympics. Coach Ra brings two of her top athletes, Se Yoon and Han Sol, to live in the house as well, while training additionally with Coach Yoon’s boys. The addition of Se Yoon and Han Sol introduces some teenage romance amongst the crew, though due to the disapproval of the youngest member Yong Tae, the relationships as they develop are kept secret. A love triangle with Se Yoon, Hae Kang, and another high ranked player Park Chan also gets some story time, though ultimately Hae Kang and Se Yoon become a supportive unit, both young prodigies who understand each other, even without having to exchange a lot of words. The coaches have their own challenges both with the students and just amongst each other as well. The athletics director Coach Bae was a highly respected coach until he had to quit coaching after allegations of bullying. In the process, though he thought he was protecting his athletes, his best player ultimately ended up quitting badminton entirely over the incident. There is some jostling by other coaches to curry favor with Coach Fang who is the coach of the national team, but ultimately they are put in their place with a comment of how could they be acting like that in these times. This as well as the story surrounding Coach Bae and his best player Tae son are references to the hierarchical nature of Korean society which infuses pretty much every aspect including sports. Unfortunately, this had the historical result of not promoting for merit but rather for favors and connections, and also meant underperformance in international competition. It also led to incidents of bullying and hazing by coaches and senior members of teams, some of which led to serious injuries. Historically, such incidents were covered up and kept out of the press, but in these days of everyone having a camera and being able to upload incidents, that seems harder and harder to do. This drama makes a reference to it, but also takes steps to say that the sports are cleaning themselves up of such behavior as well as trying to field competitions based on ability rather than seniority. Aside from the sports, it also focuses on some of the villagers in Hae Nam. There is the story of the grandparents whose children and grandson live in Seoul and rarely come for a visit. Grandma Oh Mae has even put together a playroom, complete with paying for WiFi access for her grandson. Even though, he doesn’t come to Hae Nam to see his grandparents very often, Hae Kang and his little sister Hae In are able to take advantage of it as well as the grandparents’ delight in having children around. Ultimately, it becomes a de facto playroom for all of the team members. Hae In who would have been lonely with busy parents and a busy brother becomes a special favorite of the grandparents. There is the story of the village chief Hong who is torn between wanting more tourists to come to the area which would bring in more income and wanting the village to be a happy place for the people who live there. He is in constant tension with Shin Song Hee who is fiercely protective of the village and highly suspicious of city slickers coming down and possibly causing trouble. There is also a city couple who move to Hae Nam from Seoul. Their original intent is a double suicide since they feel they are at the end of their ropes, but wanted to die somewhere peaceful and removed from the city. However, the neighborliness of the people in Hae Nam, including from Hae Kang cause them to rethink their situations and start to settle into the village instead. Overall Review Written by the writer of Prison Playbook, this is very much a relationship driven drama. The plotting can be a bit confusing at times and tries to do too much. This drama combines a LOT of storytelling mixed in with some slice of life type events. It would have been better to pare the elements back some that could have given a much stronger story. As it is, the jumping from topic to top and scenario to scenario doesn’t always given enough time for the points to be set up properly or even land. Rather, we are treated to series of vignettes at times so that we can infer what must have happened/ been happening. Having said that, the dialogue is well written and provides for meaningful interactions between the characters, rather for fun or for emotion. Given that this is a relationship driven drama, the cast is excellent. The adult figures are all played by recognized veterans who bring their ease of acting, comic timing, and emotional pull to ground this drama. However, the real revelation is in the younger actors. Aside from Tang Joon Sang who became well known for his depiction of a young North Korean soldier in Crash Landing On You and Kim Kang Hoon who became famous for his role as the precocious son of the female lead in When the Camellia Blooms and is now a reality tv darling, the other young actors are relative unknowns having done the youth versions of drama leads, been in ensemble casts, or are total newbies. Son Sang Yeon as Yoon Dam, Choi Hyun Wook as Woo Chan, and Kim Min Ki as Jung In Sol were able to show a range in their acting talents through their roles, resulting in both laughs and tears. Lee Jae In as Se Yoon touched our hearts with her depiction of an ambitious young athlete who was idealistic enough to want to do it her way and with her friends. Lee Ji Wo as Han Sol, Se Yoon’s best friend and second fiddle on the girls’ badminton team who was as ambitious as Se Yoon, but realized that she didn’t have the talent went from a small supporting role to taking a story line for herself. Even the supporting cast young talents were very good in this drama. Ultimately, it is a feel good drama where people learn lessons, face adversity, win or lose, and then continue. In Hae Kang’s words when asked what he’ll do after losing a match to make the national team “What do you mean what will I do? I’ll turn 17.” Life goes on. Ratings: Plot - 7 Deducting points for the various plot progressions, but the overall writing is actually very good, especially with respect to the dialogues and character interactions. Acting - 9 Excellent cast. Production - 8 Village feels a bit typecast, plus the international competition scenes feel a bit off albeit its from an SK viewpoint. Re-Watch - 10 I’ve already started rewatching episodes of it, so only fair to acknowledge that it’s worth re-watching, even after knowing the ending. This drama is definitely better than its component parts might suggest.
  14. Synopsis: During an undercover mission, post-90s policeman Huang Wei Ping got into an accident and became a vegetable. Twenty years later when he woke up, he still retains his youthful appearance. However, when he returned to the police team, he felt out of place and often create a joke out of himself. Together with his "old" partner Li Ming Feng, he set out to investigate the mysterious case of the past. Title: Retro Detective Chinese Title: 复古神探 / Fu Gu Shen Tan Broadcast Website: Youku Broadcast Date: TBA Genre: Comedy, Crime, Detective, Mystery Language: Mandarin Episodes: 24 Director: Wang Junye Screenwriter: Dai Zhengyang, Chang Le Production Company: Youku, I Do Pictures, Fun High, Golden Shield Television Center Producer: Tao Zhanhai Origin: China Info credit: MyDramaList , Drama Wiki, Chinese Drama Info
  15. Space Sweepers aka 승리호 (Spaceship Victory) Director: Jo Sung Hee Written by: Jo Sung Hee, Yoon Seung Min, Yookang Seo Ae Release: February 5, 2021 Distribution: Netflix Cast: Song Joong Ki - Kim Tae Ho Kim Tae Ri - Captain Jang Jin Seon Kyu - Tiger Park Yoo Hae Jin - Bubs Richard Armitage - James Sullivan Kim Mu Yeol - Kang Hyon Woo Park Ye Rin - Dorothy / Kang Kkot Nim This movie struck me as a bit of a cross between a Star Wars movie and the US drama series Firefly, though there are elements which feel derivative from any number of space movies and dramas. It’s really the strength of its casting that makes this movie worth watching. In a post apocalyptic world, where space is the ultimate escape, our heros are a ragtag band of people who crew the ship Victory salvaging space junk for money. They are not quite a team, mostly keeping to themselves, especially their histories and emotions. Of course, it turns out that their back stories have them falling from various graces, but they are all now just trying to make a living and get by. Captain Jang played by Lee Tae Ri is a bit of an alcoholic when she's not working, keeping any intimacy or romantic intentions by men firmly in their place. Tiger Park played by Jin Seon Kyu is a bit of a savage person who would rather fight than smile, though he turns out to be a marshmallow inside under the right circumstances. Bubs voiced by Yoo Hae Jin is an android with an attitude who also happens to be a card sharp and is pondering taking on a human exterior. Tae Ho played by Song Joong Ki is a bit of a rascal desperate to raise some money in order to try to salvage his dead daughter’s body. Then they happen upon a child Dorothy/Kkot Nim played by Park Ye Rin during one of their salvages. Initially thinking that she was an explosive device rather than a child, they come to learn that instead she is a very special child. They initially try to deliver Kkot Nim to her father played by Kim Mu Yeol for the money he promises to pay them, but it turns out that the villains are also in pursuit of Kkot Nim, and everything goes wrong in the reunion attempt. It’s in caring for the child that the crew of Victory slowly open up to each other as well as to Kkot Nim. The primary villain is James Sullivan played by Richard Armitage who is seen as humanity’s savior without realizing that he’s also slowly further damaging Earth and is planning on destroying it completely. He also happens to be TH’s adoptive father, of sorts. This movie was definitely shot to be shown on a big screen. The space battles particularly needs a certain scale in order for it to be fully appreciated. Watching it on a small screen as I did, I feel that it lost some of its flavor. The multicultural, multi-linguistic approach is also interesting with the two dominant languages being the Korean spoken by the crew and English by most of the non-Korean characters, especially the villains, but with smidgeons of other languages in there as well. I appreciated the attempt, though it means that pretty much everyone who watches this will end up reading some subtitles. The movie also has a bit of a slow start as it opens with a voiceover of the world in decay in 2092, then cuts to Tae Ho trying to use some real rice versus molecular chemistry rice substitute as cash currency to get into what we later find out is a mortuary. It takes its time to build up the world and the crew, so it’s best to watch it when there are few interruptions. Once it gets going though, it becomes engaging as we see more of the crew interactions, especially once Kkot Nim is introduced into the mix. It helps that the adult cast are all veteran actors, so even when the plot starts to feel a bit derivative, they are still engaging and charsmatic. This is particularly important since there isn’t any romance in this movie. There is plenty of bromance, including with Captain Jang, and heaping doses of love of a father for his daughter, but no hint of a romantic flicker other than a crush by Captain Pierre on Captain Jang which is mostly played for laughs. The child actresses in this film are as impressive as Korean child actors tend to be. Both Park Ye Rin as Kkot Nim and Oh Ji Eun playing Tae Ho’s daughter Suni turn in solid, touching performances. It’s deftly directed by Jo Sung Hee (who also directed the Korean blockbuster The Werewolf Boy) who is very good at pulling out the emotions from his actors without going overboard, and manages to balance the comedy with the more serious plotlines and themes. Btw, there is a moment at the end where Captain Jang scoffs at her crewmates for their cheesiness which is a bit of a crack up as it makes a wry nod at cliched emotions and situations. I ultimately enjoyed watching this movie, and will even probably watch it again if I can find a bigger screen to watch it on. I’m not sure that it’s going to become a classic, but it is a lot of fun if you can stay with it. I’m hoping that there will be a sequel “Space Sweepers 2” once the pandemic is over. Space Sweepers is good enough that I would like to watch this cast interacting again. Plot: 7 Cast: 9 Production: 9 Rewatch: 8
  16. Faith 신의 Director: Kim Jong Hak Writer: Song Ji Na Genre: Romance, Fantasy (Time-Travelling), Politics, Fusion Sageuk. Broadcast: 2012.08.13 - 2012.10.30 Episodes: 24 Casts: Kim Hee Sun as Yoo Eun Soo Lee Min Ho as Daejang Choi Young Ryu Deok Hwan as King Gongmin Park Se Young as Queen Noguk Yu Oh Seong as Ki Chul Philip Lee as Jang Bin Plot Summary Review & Thoughts The drama has another title "The Great Doctor"; however, its original title "Shin Eui" is definitely a more fitting title to the story and the characters involved as "Shin" and "Eui" conveys a much deeper meaning. Shin Eui doesn't work on one person and it can only happen when describing "relationships" of two or more people. In combination Shin Eui means "Faith" and "Loyalty" but separately they also have their own meanings. Shin (信) = faith, trust, letter, sign Eui (義) = justice, righteousness Whether it is two words combined or each individual word by itself, Faith accurately describes the underlining message writer wants to convey and what the characters are upholding or working towards. In my humble opinion, Faith disguises itself in a time-travelling fantasy fusion sageuk that may seems like a light fun watch at the time, but it is actually not light-hearted at all. It challenges you to think as it explores the topic of politics, love, honour, faith and what country means to each of us. An old friend summarises her love for Faith beautifully below: Faith was so long ago that I cannot recall most of the events that took place. I just know that no matter the time that has passed and no matter the dramas that came and gone, it remains as something special in my heart. Perhaps it was the complexity of the lonely and sad Choi Young, who I deeply felt and rooted for. Perhaps it was the beauty in the way these two contrasting souls found each other and changed and grew together. Perhaps it was the dying Choi Young who gradually learned the meaning of life and what it feels like to want to live. Perhaps it was the way Eun Soo hugs him and teases him, placing a flower on his hair, laughing and reminding him about the happiness in life. Perhaps it was the way she suddenly came into his life and melt away the ice cold barrier he'd been building and saved him. Perhaps it was the way he traced her shadow or the way she made his heart flutter simply by placing her head on his shoulder. Perhaps it was the sweet, subtle intimacy of their love that was deeply felt without much physical contact. Perhaps it was the way she turned his world upside down. Perhaps it was the way he waited for her, visiting their tree every day in hopes she may return. Whatever it was, they created something magical and everlasting, something that, search as I may, I have never found again in other dramas. Faith is by no means a perfect drama. No, it has many flaws. But Eun Soo and Daejang made it special in every way. The imja couple is dear to my heart and Lee Min Ho as Daejang is still my favorite Lee Min Ho's character. I'm just a sucker for characters with depth and layers. I look forward to the day Lee Min Ho plays a character that replaces Daejang in my heart. But let's be honest, it's probably never going to happen because Daejang was the first and he's left such a deep and lasting impression. Yes to all the perhaps. And I'd add that it all comes down to Song Ji Na's: (1) Writing Her writing challenged our brains and kept forcing us to think. We all know it's killing our brain cells, but we sadistically enjoyed and willingly let her kill our brain cells. She made us question a lot of things thrown in the script. I went into watching the drama for enjoyment purposes but in the end I find myself and others looking up on the history of Goryeo, to get a better understanding of Goryeo's history, King Gongmin and General Choi Young. Another friend even went into deep research on the Goryeo soldier's ranking. (2) Characterisation Faith, is by far, very flawed and poor in terms of directing, editing, action, costume designs and visual quality etc. I'd say it's very bad, especially compared to what we get these days. But then there's that Song Ji Na's magic where she introduced me to her Choi Young—an uptight, but upright and always proper conservative man; a broken and quiet character who has very little words and speaks his emotions to me with his eyes. Yoo Eun Soo, whom she throws into Choi Young's world and mess it all up—was a LOT of fun to watch. I love seeing a flustered Daejang in episode 6, and love seeing him being teased by his Woodalchi puppies. I love Song Ji Na for giving me a sageuk where the heroine is spunky—yes, she is physically incapable of protecting herself, but mentally, she is as strong as the men and she confronts fear head-on. She was written and presented in a way as an obstacle for Daejang, a Healer, a Lover, a conflict, a miracle, soul mate and many more. The imja couple face many tests, but it's not those typical Korean drama gimmicks e.g. amnesia, third wheel, birth secret, noble idiocy or any other makjang. I also love that even though Song Ji Na did not have time to explore further on all the vast characters in Faith, she somehow managed to make most of them memorable and interesting. Ki Chul ended up being a ridiculous villain, but so much parodies were made out of him by the Faith fans that makes him unforgettable. The side characters had little screen time, but they all possess colorful personalities and thus, stand out. I'd never forget Kim Mi Kyung's Lady Choi, the one & only who dares to abuse our Daejang. Yoon Sang Kyung is now a male lead in his own dramas, but I'll forever remember him as the cute and dumb dumb Deok Man. Choong Suk, who disrupted the possible hot kiss imja couple nearly had. Daeman, the puppy with explosive hair that follows Daejang everywhere; Do Chi, the cheeky eunuch that teaches young Gongmin and Noguk's what it means to be husband and wife. Flaws aside, which mainly stemmed from financial and uncontrollable circumstances during production, Song Ji Na gave us a really good history-based story with well written, layered and in-depth character growth for Gongmin, Choi Young and Eun Soo. Like a baby bird, Gongmin was forced to lead a nation corrupted by Ki Chul. To do so, he has to gather his own people, build up his own force and Choi Young played a big part in all of it and by mentoring him into who he later became. Having served many useless kings before Gongmin, Choi Young lost his faith in the kings and the country. Before he met Eun Soo, he was alive but wilted inside, Eun Soo gave him a purpose to live and Gongmin restored his faith. Throughout the drama, he was faced with many challenges and conflicts, forced to make difficult decision and choose between Eun Soo and Gongmin. It was interesting, to watch him juggle and balance between serving the king, fighting for the country and protecting Eun Soo all at the same time. And that makes him a very charming male character because he is not portrayed spending various episodes fawning over a woman and neglecting other things. On top of being in love, romancing Eun Soo, the man has a lot of responsibilities and duties. P.S. I would look out for top-notch excellent performance from actor Choi Min Soo's cameo in episode 4. Plot/Story: 8 Cast/Acting: 9 Production values: 5.5 Re-Watch value: 9* Overall value: 7.8 *Many have rewatched it countless times and throughout the course of 8 years, fans of Faith have done a total of 4 recaps. If you happen to fall in love with Faith, follow up with the omitted script tidbits (link) which Song Ji Na that helps us better understanding story she wanted to tell, and the translated novels (link) to get more insights and details of the story.
  17. Broadcast station : tvN Schedule : December 12, 2020 - Sat & Sun 21:00 About the Show /Plot/Synopsis Genre : Historical, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy In the present day, Jang Bong Hwan works as a chef at the President's Blue House. He has a free spirit, but his spirit somehow finds its way into the body of Queen Kim So Yong in the Joseon period. King Cheol Jong has secrets. He seems like a figurehead, who is gentle and easygoing. In fact, he hides his strong aspects. Queen Sunwon is the late King Sunjo’s wife. She wields the true power in the country and, thus, relegates King Cheol Jong as just a figurehead. Kim Jwa Geun is Queen Sunwon’s younger brother. He is extremely ambitious. (Asianwiki)
  18. Basic Information | Cast of Characters | OST | Trailers | Episode Guide | Ratings | Behind The Scenes | Review
  19. If I Cheat, I Die "..an uncovential and intense story about adults who do bad things with guilt" - http://mksports.co.kr/view/2020/1082179/ Broadcast station: KBS2 Date: December 2, 2020 - January 28, 2021 Schedule: Wednesday & Thursday, 21:30 KST Genre: comedy/mystery/thriller About: A writer (Cho Yeo Jeong) who thinks only about how to murder people for her stories married a divorce lawyer (Go Joon). He wrote a memo to his wife: "If I cheat, I die." Source: Asianwiki
  20. http://img.imbc.com/adams/Program/202010/132470205138721820.jpg Broadcast station: MBC Schedule: October 21 - December 10, 2020 / Wednesday-Thursday / 21:20 (KST) About the Show: The story tells of a wedding dress designer who gets entangled in the world of espionage because of an unexpected event that happened to her best friend. Her ex-husband and current husband are both spies and they have been hiding their secret identity from her. Genre: Romance, Comedy, Thriller Trailers:
  21. I can't decide what intrigues me more...an amnesiac zombie who decides to become a detective or Choi Jin Hyuk wearing eyeliner 🤩. Having been a fan of the man since Emergency Couple , I have not always been 100% behind his drama choices. Nevertheless, thanks to his brooding good looks, towering 186cm height and deep deep voice, I just can't seem to give him up. While initially skeptical of the plot upon hearing his casting in this drama...the second character teaser here, has won me over. The comedic tone has given me assurance that this will not be all horror and gore - a genre that I am usually too chicken to watch. The plot starts with Kim Moo Yoong ( CJH) in the 2nd year of his undead existence. Having no recollection of how he ended up this way, our drop-dead handsome zombie finds a way to stay among the common folks in a small village before moving to the big city to become a private eye. He is keen on regaining his past memories, and I suppose being a detective will help pay the bills as he investigates the reason for his zombie life . Park Joo Hyun is a new face for me. She takes on the role of Kong Sun Ji, who used to write for an investigative journalistic program. An assault on the witness of a case she was investigating leaves her shaken. She quits her job and ends up working at Kim Moo Young's detective agency. This promises to be a fun and quirky watch, if the latest teasers are anything to go by. And if all else fails , there is always Choi Jin Hyuk being a cute and clumsy zombie. That alone should be enough to check out a few episodes eh? - synopsis by @abs-oluteM- Source : Asianwiki MyDramaList Soompi Broadcast station: KBS Schedule: Monday & Tuesday 21:30 , 30 minutes each / 2 episodes per day) beginning Sept 21, 2020 Genre: comedy, fantasy, detective 1st Script Reading credit KBS Links to Info on Cast Trailers/ Teasers BTS / OST
  22. Na I-jae (Namgoong Min) formerly an emergency specialist and surgeon at Taekang Hospital was falsely accused of medical malpractice and served out a three-year prison sentence where he cultivated key relationships and began hatching a revenge scheme against those who put him there. Or so it seems. But as the story unfolds, it is not entirely certain that revenge is all he’s after. The “good” doctor apparently has bigger fish to fry. Using his medical skills, mental acuity and a knack for thinking on his feet, Na I-jae sets his sights on being the medical director of one of the largest penitentiaries in Seoul. Why? According to the premise of this drama, the person who runs the medical facility in the prison wields the greatest power. That person has the authority to control the traffic of prisoners in and out of the penitentiary by exploiting his medical expertise. Not long after his release the ethically flexible I-jae uses his seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of medical conditions to enable well-connected inmates to appeal for stays of execution to take advantage of this particular loop hole in the judicial system. Our introduction to how Na I-jae works comes from his interaction with O Jung-hee a wealthy businesswoman who allegedly took out a contract on her ex-husband’s mistress. She escapes a prolonged prison stay when Na I-jae manufactures an illness which provides her with a stay of execution. This lady is happy but completely unaware that this is merely the start to a longwinded transactional relationship between them. Early on Na I-jae targets the second son of the Taekang conglomerate, Lee Jae-hwan (Park Eun-seok) who figures in the doctor’s past. The youngster is a no-good wastrel whose drug habit makes him an easy prey for his older half brother. As he heads towards prison, he falls into the clutches of the soon-to-be medical director of Western Seoul penitentiary. This marks the beginings of the crafty doctor’s grand plan to deal with corruption between colluding forces in medicine and Big Business. Na I-jae’s primary adversaries are the former medical director of Western Seoul Prison, Sun Min-sik (Kim Byung-chul) and the ambitious scion of Taekang Group, Lee Jae-jun (Choi Won-young). All three actors of course are well-regarded veterans of the screen and they are seem to play up the villainous side of their respective characters with no lack of enjoyment. The main trio are pros in the way they negotiate, transact and play off one against the other with inhuman energy and resolve. Most of the show’s best moments involve these men bluffing like seasoned card sharps in a poker game. At first glance this drama functions as a protracted David and Goliath battle of wits among the the dubious, the devious and the maniacal. Na I-jae, the man is something of a cipher to those around him. One wonders how he managed to transform himself from being a caring ER doctor into a machiavellian power broker almost overnight. One some level he seems rather too eager to walk on the wild side, as someone who is willing to bend the law, play fast and loose with the hippocratic oath to get the job done. His unscrupulous streak is undeniable.All up he's an outlaw, an avenging angel and a glib negotiator. In short an antihero, beautifully played by the immersive Namgoong Min. Namgoong Min has built his career in the last decade playing villains and antiheroes. He does this it seems to me as an actor playing an actor which really suits here. I-jae is a man with many faces and switches roles when the occasion calls for it. A look, a glance, a trademark gesture, a smirk and a death glare. His instincts for the character, in my opinion, are absolutely right on the money. Na I-jae doesn’t exactly have friends. Perhaps a man in his position can’t afford to. But what he has are allies - an interesting assortment of individuals who throw their lot in with him when they are backed into a corner by his machinations or perceive a common cause when he achieves the right results. One of his most important allies is psychiatrist Han So-geum (Kwon Na-ra) who is searching for her brother Han Bit who seems to have disappeared off the surface of the earth. Han BIt is connected to Taekang and was working as analyst there when the former chairman collapsed in his office. Han So-geum does psychiatric sessions with the mercurial Lee Jae-jun and handily provides insight into his character as Na I-jae adapts his schemes accordingly. A reluctant ally in the cause is Prosecutor Jung Ui-sik (Jang Hyun-sung) who is dragged into the fray but bread crumbs fed to him by Na I-jae. He throws fake tantrums about being led around but at the end of the day he has enough a conscience to do the right thing. His push and pull with O Jung-hee is hilarious and they end up having the show’s only real romance. Speaking of Han So-geum and O Jung-hee, the show has a lovely parade of good female characters. It’s the advantage, I think of not having romance front and centre of the interactions. Apart from them, there’s also Lee Jae-in (Lee Dae-in) , the immensely competent sister of Lee Jae-hwan who is a much better candidate to run the family business. Their mother Mo Yi-ra has her moments. Furthermore Dr Bok Hye-soo, a staff member of the prison becomes an important part of the gang later in the story. Despite the high stakes game that’s being played here, the show has a fun vibe with plenty of laughs to be had. It games plausibility with joyful abandon. At times it’s a little bit Count of Monte Cristo, at other times it feels like Ocean’s 11 or The Italian Job. Some might accuse it of being over-the-top and there’s some obligatory melodrama but I revel in the cleverness of the crazy plot. In a way I'm glad that I watched it after its initial airing. It would have killed me having to wait week after week after the nail-biting, edge-of the seat cliffhangers. Even within each episode there are all kinds of nerve-wrecking moments... and they allow for Na I-jae to show off his adaptability and agility. Story/Plot: 9 Storytelling: 10 Acting: 10 Production Values: 10 Rewatch Value: 8
  23. The School Nurse Files About The Show Broadcast Station: Netflix Schedule: 25 Sept 2020 Episodes: 6 Duration: Plot Synopsis Based on the 2015 award-winning novel School Nurse Ahn Eun-young by Chung Serang, The School Nurse Files revolves around Ahn Eun-young (Jung Yu-mi), who has the ability to see jelly-like monsters that are derived from the residues of human desire and greed. Eun-young also has the power to eradicate these "jellies". She is appointed to a new high school where she discovers secrets and mysteries with her abilities. Hong In-pyo (Nam Joo-hyuk) is a Chinese language teacher at the same school. Together Eun-young and In-pyo work together to destroy the "jellies". Sources: Asian Wiki, Wikipedia, Netflix
  24. The hero of the piece, Wu Xie, is successor to a family of former tomb raiders-turned-archaeologists living in modern day China. Hence the spirit of adventure runs deep in his veins. At the start of the drama we catch him in aimless retirement with his best friend and fellow adventurer, Pangzi (Fatty) barely making ends meet from the proceeds of their antique business While the bored slovenly Wu Xie ponders the meaning of his existence, an archaeological-related gig comes up offering a much needed injection of funds. During this job an incident occurs which sees him in hospital where he is diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Not long afterwards, as Fatty clears out the junk they’ve accumulated over the years, he discovers an old mobile phone and a series of secret text messages purportedly sent by Wu Xie’s third uncle, Wu Sanxing whose whereabouts to date are unknown. This galvanises Wu Xie into action and as a man at apparently death’s door, he has nothing to lose by embarking on another adventure in search of his favourite uncle and coming to grips with the latter’s obsession with the legendary Thunder City and its connection with the South Sea King. Reunion is the latest in a series of various iterations derived from the Tomb Raider/Grave Robber Chronicles universe modelled in some fashion after the Indiana Jones franchise. It’s high on adrenaline-pumping action and leap-out-of-the-dark shock factor. More importantly there are genuinely intriguing elements scattered all throughout. Prior knowledge of the universe isn’t really needed to understand the storyline in this production although for some it might add something to their knowledge of Wu Xie’s backstory. But honestly, everything that is needed to follow the drama is given here. The plot although revolves in some measure around the friendship of the Iron Triangle trio of Wu Xie (Zhu Yilong), Pangzi (Chen Minghao) and Zhang Qiling (Huang Junjie), it does incorporate a large ensemble cast (predominantly male) who bring various skill sets similar to a superhero team-up to the table. I was led to this because of Zhu Yilong, who wonderfully portrays the sensitive and intellectually agile Wu Xie but there are other attractions to be enjoyed from wandering in this world of mysteries, mayhem, monsters and murder. Located within the sci-fi fantasy genre, there are a number of good ideas at work here that underpin the world building even if the process of arriving at key moments takes an inordinate amount of time particularly in the first season. The drama is divided into two continuous seasons. The first season is divided into two main arcs which sees Wu Xie and Co. gallivanting off to the South Sea region in search of the secrets behind the enigmatic thunder code that in all likelihood fuelled Third Uncle's fixation. Wu Xie and his second uncle, Wu Er'bai are initially forced to work with each other to gain access to relevant sites and deal with an assortment of villains with differing goals. In the second arc Wu Xie is sent packing back to home turf where he traverses into the underbelly of a mysterious storage facility known as Warehouse 11 to retrace his third uncle’s steps. Here he is aided and abetted by the intrepid Bai Haotian (Rachel Mao), who knows the warehouse like the back of her hand and serves as his tour guide while he solves long-standing mysteries while playing cat and mouse with the director and his dangerous minions. The Warehouse 11 arc resembles an RPG video game with levelling up and increased difficulty features. The second season picks up where the first leaves off. Wu Xie is forced to leave the warehouse with Xiao Bai in tow thinking that he is finished with the place. Both are disciplined for transgressing regulations in an off-limits zone. No obstacles do much to deter his quest for answers especially with the loyal Fatty, Zhang Qiling and Xiao Bai by his side to ensure that he stays alive long enough to achieve his goals. There’s more travelling back and forth which sees Wu Xie back at Warehouse 11 to put the final touches on all the mysteries that have plagued him and his companions for months. While there’s much to like about it, the show does suffer from pacing and editing issues. There’s certainly a correlation between the two in part due to the censorship measures that C dramas are subject to. The problems are far more noticeable in the first season where the pacing is dragged out largely by unnecessary romance plot lines that involve Blind Guy (Baron Chen) and Mute Girl (Maggie Huang). Except for Xiao Bai, I can’t say I was too enamoured with the vast majority of women depicted here. I understand the reason for their inclusion into the storyline to some degree but their antics often serve to annoy and frustrate rather than enhance enjoyment. I adored the camaraderie amongst most of the male cast and it’s understandable why there’s so much love for Wu Xie. Not only is he a modern day Dee Renjie, his “leave-no-one-behind” philosophy ensures that his crew will give up their lives for his sake at the drop of a hat. Whatever respect he gets is earned with blood, sweat and tears. I also enjoyed Xiao Bai’s inclusion into the final adventures. She may be young but she pulls her weight and listens to advice to act or to hold back. Of all the females here she is the one most developed to fit in with the kind of life that is par for the course for men like Wu Xie. I was rooting for her and Wu Xie to end up together all throughout and despite Wu Xie’s seeming indifference, it seems to me there’s some indication at the end that the show leaves room for more development on that front. At the end of the day, Reunion, at its core, is a morality tale about obsession and greed. As Wu Xie and Third Uncle both conclude at different times, one shouldn’t be obsessed to the point of missing or being blind to what one already has around them. Gratitude and contentment keep an avid risk-taker from complete self-destruction. It’s not just a didactic for the avaricious and murderous villains but for the well-intentioned, insatiable adventurer for whom the next big mystery can be a drug that will lead to nowhere and lifelong loneliness. For the most part the roles are well-cast but the performances are a mixed bag. Most are adequate to the task and the standouts would be Zhu Yilong who gives flesh to Wu Xie and Chen Minghao as the ridiculously talkative but often funny Fatty. Their chemistry is undoubtedly great. Huang Junjie is better here as the stoic, reticent Zhang Qiling than I've seen him. I also really liked the versatile Rachel Mao as Xiao Bai. She captured all the different aspect of the character perfectly. Her dynamic with Wu Xie and Fatty is one of the highlights of the second season. Story/Plot: 9 Acting/Cast: 8 Storytelling: 7 Production Values: 9 Rewatch Value: 6.5 (I wouldn’t mind revisiting certain portions especially in season two but I fast forwarded through a lot of the first season) Overall: 8
  25. Summary: When five long time friends are brought back to work in the same hospital as professors, great stories are bound to follow. We get to watch as each of the friends tackles life in their own way. Whether it be through love trials, illness or just general everyday life, these five will show you what true friendship goals are. Characters: Song Hwa is the professor of neurology who loves camping in her free time and makes her pals laugh with her off key singing voice. Next is Ik Jun, the professor of general surgery. He's a goofball who seems to be the most carefree of the group but he is also the most mature. He has an adorable little boy and their interactions are easily some of the cutest in the show. Then we have Jeong Won, a pediatric surgeon who has a weak spot for kids and all things winter. All of his siblings are nuns/priests and it's his dream to join them. Fourth is Joon Wan, the resident professor of cardiothoracic surgery. He appears cold and calculating but truly cares about and gives his all for his patients. Last but not least is our OBGYN, Seok Hyung. Great at his job, he truly enjoys life and just wants to spend time with those he loves. Review: This show has multiple seasons and the first season primarily focuses on character introduction and development. We get to learn the ins and outs of the friendship these five have shared since their med-school days and watch as they grow and support one another. While each episode tends to revolve around a specific set of patients, most of our attention is drawn to the friends and those who work in the hospital with them. The love lines span from quick burn romance that's just starting to a long divorced man who has no interest in love at all. The plot itself is very slice of life with a few memories thrown into the mix to explain the characters' backstories as we follow them in their everyday life. While some episodes, especially at the beginning, are very addictive other episodes barely held my attention long enough to get through the story. I will definitely be waiting to see what happens in the next season as I really love seeing the friends interact, but I don't really think I'll be re-watching more than a handful of scenes from this season. Pros: 1. The friendship is amazing to watch. Any scene with all of them together or Ik Jun with his son is pure gold. 2. Majority of the love-lines are cute but realistic. It's fun watching them unfold. 3. The songs on the OST are lovely, as are the songs the friends sing in their band scenes. Cons: 1. There are multiple seasons so if you're like me and don't want to wait long, this is not a show for you..... at least not until all the seasons are out. 2. Because there are multiple seasons, some of the pacing is really slow and it's hard to stay interested. 3. I wasn't a fan of the first romance that comes to fruition. It didn't feel very genuine to me and I kept wanting to fast forward through all their scenes. Plot/Story: 7/10 Cast/Acting: 10/10 Production Value: 9/10 Re-watch Value: 6/10 Overall: 8/10
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