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  1. Based on the true events of the Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan. A group of Korean tourists is taken hostage by an extremist Taliban group in Afghanistan. The Korean government dispatches Jae-ho (Hwang Jung-min), known as one of Korea’s most skilled diplomats, in order to handle the situation. Once he arrives, he asks for the Afghan government’s cooperation and uses every means possible to free the hostages. However, his efforts go in vain. Due to his failure, he’s forced to work with Dae-sik (Hyun Bin), a special agent who is an expert on the Middle East. As they begin making their move to get to the Taliban, the first hostage death occurs. With nowhere else to turn, the two become unlikely allies in a race against time to save the rest of the hostages. [Source: Hancinema] “The Point Men” stars Hyun Bin and veteran actor Hwang Jung Min. This is the first time that Hwang Jung-min and Hyun Bin are meeting in a film. Both are also close friends. Hwang Jung-min, known for his roles in Ode To My Father, Veteran and Violent Prosecutor, will portray a diplomat, Jae-ho, working alongside Hyun Bin’s character, Dae-sik, a national intelligence service (NIS) agent. Hyun Bin was hugely successful in his roles in Crash Landing on You, Confidential Assignment and Secret Garden. The movie is helmed by director Yim Soon-rye (Little Forest). In an interview with director Im Soon Rye for “Women Film Makers”, she mentioned that “Bargaining” focuses on the conflict between Christian faith and Islamic faith. She hopes that the audience will be able to feel what religion is for humans. This is also the first time that such a huge production (20 Billion Korean Won) is being done by a female Korean director. [Credit: hyunbin.english.global.fanclub] The movie is based on the 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan. Production of the movie has begun, with cast and crew shooting on location in Korea in late April 2020. Initially, the movie production was scheduled to begin by end of March, on location in Jordan, where filming will primarily be located. However, like many other projects, production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following travel bans across countries. (Credit: Naver) “The Point Men” is the first Korean film to film overseas since COVID-19 hit. The cast and crew left for Jordan in July. They completed filming and returned to South Korea in September 2020.
  2. Juvenile Justice English Title: Juvenile Justice Literal Title: Juvenile Judgement Revised romanization: Sonyeonsimpan Hangul Title: 소년심판 Genre: Law, Crime, Drama Director: Hong Jong Chan Writer: Kim Min Seok Network: Netflix Official Website: Netflix Episodes: 10 Release Date: Feb 25, 2022 Aired On: Netflix Synopsis A tough judge balances her aversion to minor offenders with firm beliefs on justice and punishment as she tackles complex cases inside a juvenile court. [Source: Netflix] A judge who is infamously known for their dislike towards juveniles becomes the newly appointed judge of a juvenile court in the Yeonhwa District. A victim of juvenile crime in her youth, she faces various cases involving juvenile delinquents and other youths, which helps her discover what it truly means to be an adult. [Source: whats-on-netflix.com] As crimes committed by minors get more violent and cruel, the offenders usually escape any serious types of punishment. Sim Eun-Seok (Kim Hye-Soo) is an elite judge with a personality that seems unfriendly to others. She hates juvenile criminals. Sim Eun-Seok gets assigned to a local juvenile court. There, she breaks custom and administers her own ways of punishing the offenders. [Source: Asianwiki]
  3. Sources: Wikipedia, My Drama List @NiteWalker @Lynne Moderator tag for adding in the directory
  4. Basic Information | Cast of Characters | Trailers | OST | Episode Guide and Ratings | Behind The Scenes | Review
  5. 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
  6. Second to Last Love / 끝에서 두번째 사랑 Director: Choi Young hoon Writer: Choi Yoon Jeong Main Cast: Ji Jin Hee as Go Sang Sik - a Level 5 civic official and head of Woori City’s Regional Tourism Kim Hee Ae as Kang Min Ju - an executive producer at SBC Broadcasting Kwak Si Yang as Park Joon Woo - lives with Go Sang Sik and his family as GSS’ little brother Supporting Cast: Jung Soo Young as Go Sang Hee - GSS’ little sister who has a husband and son Kim Seul Gi as Go Mi Rye - GSS’ baby sister, webtoon writer who eventually goes to work for SBC as a writer Lee Su Min as Go Ye Ji - GSS’ daughter Kim Kwon as Cha Soo Hyuk - a Level 7 civic official who works with GSS Seo Jeong Yeon as Goo Tae Yeon - KMJ’s friend who is single and a writing teacher Kim Na Yeong as Shin Ae Kyung - KMJ’s friend who is divorced and unknowingly becomes involved with Go Sang Hee’s husband Background and Comment about the English Title: K-dramas will sometimes make interesting choices for their English titles, but the English title for this drama is actually very confusing and possibly misleading. The Korean title translates to “In the End, a Second Love” which speaks directly to what the drama is about, namely 2 people who have both lost their true loves, but who go on to find each other and fall in love when they had basically thought not to love again. This drama is a remake of a J-dorama called Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi which has been translated to English as My Second Last Love. I think that’s a better English title frankly, even though I don’t have any opinions about the translation of that title since I don’t speak Japanese. This drama is an adult love story, and a bit of a throwback to older k-dramas. Summary: Kang Min Ju and Go Sang Sik are both in their 40’s and un-partnered due to the deaths of their loved ones. Min Ju had been about to get married when her fiancee died in a work accident. Sang Sik had been happily married and expecting their first child when his wife had a complication with her pregnancy, ultimately dying while delivering their daughter. Min Ju had remained single since the death of her fiancee, focusing on her work rather than forming any new relationships. Sang Sik is also alone as a widower, having resolved to focus on his daughter and family instead. He lives in his home with his daughter Ye Jin, his younger sister and her family, their younger baby sister, and a young man whom he considers to be a younger brother. Like any good romance, MJ and SS are at odds when they meet, however, they are thrown together a number of times by coincidence and through their work. Also by coincidence, MJ moves into the house next door to SS and his family in their township when she decides to move out of Seoul for somewhere smaller and less hectic. They slowly come to appreciate each other over time and form a friendship. This friendship does become romantic, but there are numerous obstacles in their way. For one, Joon Woo becomes interested in MJ and asks her out. They date for awhile, but eventually MJ realizes that she’s trying too hard to be in a relationship with JW, so they separate, but remain as friends. There is also some history between SS and MJ that neither was aware of, namely that MJ’s fiancee had been working with SS when the fiancee died. SS had tried to save him, but failed, and thus carried the guilt of that with him. That accident also had the knock on effect that SS is late to meet his wife as he was supposed to that day, and it is while she was waiting for him that she has her accident that leads to her death. SS’ family are also initially opposed to SS and MJ dating. However, they come around, and eventually, MJ and SS confess their feelings for each other. However, MJ’s family is then opposed to MJ marrying a man who already has a daughter. There are some side stories of note, namely MJ’s friend Goo Tae Yeon who would like to be in a relationship but not having much luck going on blind dates finally meeting up with Cha Soo Hyuk who used to be a student of hers and who used to have a crush on her. Also, MJ’s other friend unknowingly gets involved with SS’s sister’s husband, though it never crosses into a full blown affair. Review: This drama focuses on finding love later in one’s life. Even though for both MJ and SS, they find their second true loves in each other, the other side stories explore finding love whether it’s within an existing relationship which develops problems or trying to find a first love or even a love between people who are so close that they don’t even realize that they love each other. It explores the stories with a range of very relatable emotions, frequently taking a wryly humorous tone as it looks at the situations and reactions of each character, but always conveying a sincerity in its emotions rather than being played for effect. As a drama about relationships, it works very well, mostly because of the amazing cast. Consisting mostly of veterans, they are the ones who convey the sincerity that is required for each character to be empathetic no matter how flawed they might be. This drama is also not a makjang fest full of histrionics. Rather, it’s a drama about people living their lives, trying to do their best, and recognizing love when it comes to them. The story itself is not the most original, with many echos of older romantic dramas, but because it’s executed so well and because the characters make you care about them, it’s worth taking a look. It’s actually worth a repeat watch even for the realistic and yet healing way it shows the relationships in various stages. Even when a love doesn’t work out, the people move on, living and making the best of it rather than swearing to make everyone miserable. Ratings: Story 7 Cast 9 Production Value 7 Re-watch Value 9
  7. Beyond Evil (Korean Title: 괴물) Director: Shim Na Yeon Writer: Kim Su Jin (Mad Dog, Special Investigation Team) Cast Shin Ha Kyung as Inspector Lee Dong Shik, Team Leader of Dangerous Crimes Division at Manyang - Lee Do Hyun as young Lee Dong Shik Yeo Jin Goo as Inspector Han Joo Won, son of the Deputy Commissioner for Police Han Gi Hwan Choi Dae Hoon as Inspector Park Jung Jae, son of Councilwoman Do Hae Won Kim Shin Rok as Inspector Oh Ji Hwa, Team Leader of Dangerous Crimes Division at Munju Cheon Ho Jin as Chief Nam Sang Bae of Manyang Police Substation Choi Jin Ho as Deputy Commissioner Han Gi Hwan Hae Yeon Gil as Councilwoman Do Hae Won Heo Sung Tae as Lee Chang Jin, a property developer and ex-husband to Inspector Oh Ji Hwa Lee Kyu Hoi as Kang Jin Mook, a friend of Lee Dong Shik, Park Jung Jae, and Oh Ji Hwa who has mental challenges Plot Summary When Lee Dong Shik was a young man, he was accused of the murder of his younger fraternal twin sister Yoo Young, though they never found her body, just her cut off fingers. He didn’t go to jail, though, because of an alibi provided by his best friend Park Jung Jae who had an abnormal fascination with deer. The murder is never solved. Both Lee Dong Shik and Park Jung Jae grow up to become police officers. Lee Dong Shik becomes the Team Leader of the Dangerous Crimes Division in Manyang while Park Jung Jae is a senior detective on his team. Their best friend from their childhood, Oh Ji Hwa becomes the Team Leader of the Dangerous Crimes Division at Munju. A new member, Inspector Han Joo Won, is transferred to the Manyang Police Station and paired up with Lee Dong Shik. Han Joo Won is an unusual transfer in that he comes from International Crimes Unit, has excellent credentials and reputation, and is the son of the Deputy Police Commissioner Han Gi Hwan who is assumed to become the next Police Commissioner. Han Joo Wan is young, idealistic, and has himself transferred to Manyang, determined to catch a killer. He suspects that LDS has killed his twin LYY. In Manyang, another murder is discovered, and a serial killer is suspected, one who may be linked to Yu Young’s death. Despite a lack of trust between Han Joo Won and Lee Dong Shik, they suspect everyone, and are able to finally determine the serial killer. However, once jailed and having confessed, the serial killer claims that he did not have anything to do with Yoo Young’s death before he commits suicide. LDS and HJW now have the new mysteries of how the serial killer was able to commit suicide from within a secure jail as well as who really killed LDS’ sister. The question ultimately involves politics, ambition, and money that caused various people to cover up various crimes, creating a conflicting mess of circumstances and actions. For instance, Councilwoman Do Hae Won wants to become the next mayor of Manyang so she is cooperating with Lee Chang Jin who wants to build a brand new expensive complex of buildings there. Commissioner Han Gi Hwan wants to become the next Commissioner and so mentors a Prosecutor to get info and do things for him, including keeping tabs on his loose cannon of a son Han Joo Won. Review While this drama purports to be about catching a serial killer, it is ultimately a psychological drama about trust and relationships, but especially a drama about family relationships, even when they are twisted and hurtful. This drama is a bit of a JTBC specialty as it combines crime with psychology and a commentary on society and the human nature. There is the relationship that Dong Shik has with his family and how the family ultimately crumbles after the death of his sister and he falls under suspicion as the culprit. Both his mother and his father ultimately die with things unresolved, and Dong Shik ultimately left alone, still with the desire to bring justice to his sister’s killer. Not to mention, not knowing where his sister’s body is and so not entirely certain that she was dead or not. There is the relationship between Park Jung Jae and his mother Councilwoman Do Hae Won who is extremely protective and tries to be controlling of her son. When he was younger, Jung Jae allowed her to control him for the most part, especially because he has fey moments where he is obsessed by deer and becomes frightened. Except for his friendship with Dong Shik. His mother was vehement about Jung Jae retracting his alibi for Dong Shik, but Jung Jae stuck to his story which ultimately freed Dong Shik from being a suspect in his sister’s disappearance and presumed death. There is the relationship between Han Joo Won and his father, the Deputy Commissioner, with his father keeping close tabs on Joo Won, but not quite respecting each other. There is also the young prosecutor whom the the father is cultivating and is allowed to almost act like a member of the family. Joo Won’s mother died a long time ago after being confined to a psychiatric facility. Except for Dong Shik whose story about his relationship with his parents ends once they’ve died, the other stories unfold over the episodes as we see the strain of the relationships, flashing back to incidents in their childhoods. Additionally, a number of the other characters also have issues around their family which are explored. Even the serial killer is seen to be motivated in part by family issues. In terms of the story, it is tightly plotted and one has to pay attention because of how dense the material is. While it is primarily about the various characters and their interactions with each other, a some of the scenes end up being a twist on itself as it reveals more about an incident that may have happened or an assumption that was wrong. In terms of the acting, this drama was really terrific all around with an absolutely stellar cast. Shin Ha Kyung deserved his acting Baeksang Award for this drama for a mesmerizing performance of a cop who isn’t beyond bending some laws in order to catch criminals and yet walks the edge for the most part rather than going straight into breaking laws, though he does ultimately break laws in order to catch the serial killer. He’s a flawed person with a temper who is loyal to his friends, but isn’t beyond suspecting them as new information turns up. And, even while he is doing the job that he has, it’s clear that the unsolved death of his sister is still very much alive in his mind. The bromance between Dong Shik and Joo Won takes quite awhile to develop, and honestly, Yeo Jin Goo was a weak point for me in the earlier episodes. Yeo Jin Goo just didn’t feel old enough to play his role, and I found myself wishing for an older actor to have played the counterpart to Shin Ha Kyung. Yeo Jin Goo’s portrayal of Joo Won was a lot of bravado and idealism without the maturity to temper them to produce better decisions and actions. It ultimately worked, but against Shin Ha Kyung’s gritty portrayal of Dong Shik, Joo Won didn’t quite match up and I was left wondering about Joo Won’s actions and motivations which sometimes felt more stereotypical millenial angst. Having said that, I’m probably being too harsh on Yeo Jin Goo’s acting in this drama since he is normally a very good actor. I think he was just a shade too young with his casting for this role. Final note about the Korean title of this drama. The Korean title is actually "Monster', and it speaks to several things, the monster who is the serial killer as well as how he got that way, the monster of greed and ambition that can cause humans to act in such horrific ways even if it's not readily apparent on the outside, and how sometimes the monsters are those who are closest to us, or even ourselves. Ratings Plot 9 Acting 10 Production 8 Re-watch 10 (Have to rewatch it at least once more to see everything you missed the first time.)
  8. M I N E Broadcast station: TVN Schedule: May 8-June 27, 2021 / Saturday-Sunday / 21:00 (KST) About the Show: The story tells of strong ambitious women who have to overcome prejudices in this world in order to find their true selves. Seo Hee Soo (Lee Bo Young) is a former top star who gave up her career and married the second son of Hyo Won Group. Jung Seo Hyun (Kim Seo Hyung) is her sister-in-law from the first son of Hyo Won Group. She is from a chaebol family herself. Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama
  9. 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.
  10. Basic Information | Cast of Characters | OST | Trailers | Episode Guide | Ratings | Behind The Scenes | Review
  11. ①⑧ AGAIN Broadcast Station: JTBC International Broadcast: iQiyi, K+Asia (Astro), VIU, Netflix Director: Ha Byung Hoon Writer: Kim Do-Yeon, An Eun-Bin, Choi Yi-Ryun Release Date: September 7 - November 10, 2020 Number of episodes: 16 Genre: Drama, Fantasy Runtime: Mon & Tue 21:30 Website: Official Plot: Jung Da-Jung (Kim Ha-Neul) is married to 37-year-old Hong Dae-Young (Yoon Sang-Hyun). They have have 18-year-old son and daughter. Jung Da-Jung works hard as a rookie announcer and she has a warm heart. She becomes completely fed up with her husband and is unable to deal with him anymore. Hong Dae-Young got fired from his job and he is looked down upon by his family. Jung Da-Jung hands him divorce papers. Meanwhile, Hong Dae-Young looks at himself as an ordinary jobless middle-aged man. He regrets his life. At that moment, his body changes into that of an 18-year-old year old person, while his mind is still that of his 37-year-old self. Back in his teenage days, Hong Dae-Young (Lee Do-Hyun) was an excellent basketball player and also popular. Now, with his regained 18-year-old body, he changes his name to Ko Woo-Young and begins to live a new life. 18 Again is a remake of 2009 US film, 17 Again. source: AsianWiki Character Chart/Casts || Videos || Soundtrack/Rating/Recap || BTS Making/Others
  12. Basic Information | Cast of Characters | Trailers |OST | Episode Guide | Ratings | Gallery | Review
  13. Broadcast Starion : TVN Schedule: 2020-08-15 to 2020-10-04 Saturday & Sunday, 2100 Airing: NetFlix Nationwide & TVN Duration: 60 minutes About the Show : The prosecutor's office and the police find themselves on opposing sides. The prosecutors, including elite prosecutor Woo Tae Ha, want discretionary power over investigations. Meanwhile, the police, including Choi Bit, tries to get complete investigative authority that is independent of the prosecutor's office. Under this tense situation, Prosecutor Hwang Shi Mok and Detective Han Yeo Jin chase after the truth in a hidden case. Source : Asianwiki Genre: Thriller Drama Investigation Drama Crime
  14. Director: Park Shin Woo Writer: Jo Yong Cast: Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye Ji, Oh Jung Se First off, the premise. A young man Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) who is the sole carer for his developmentally retarded older brother Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) works as an attendant at psychiatric wards and hospitals. Due to the murder of their mother when the two brothers were just boys, and the resultant trauma to the older brother, they frequently move when the older brother enters a traumatized state triggered by the thought of butterflies. They nominally move so that the older brother will be able to feel safe. There is also a beautiful, quirky, emotionally stunted author Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) who writes modern fairy tales that are not Disney at all, but hearken back to the original Grimm tales with their darkness and their morals. This drama is the story of their relationship both when they meet as adults, but also a slow reveal into how they had been entwined as children. There are also more episodic stories about the patients at the OK Psychiatric Hospital where MKT works for the bulk of the drama which deal with different psychiatric conditions. I didn’t expect to like this drama particularly. I know it’s Kim Soo Hyun’s comeback drama and he is an impressive young actor with a specialty in emoting, but his projects have been a bit hit or miss for me pre-army. Plus, post-army movies tend to be long on abs (which I’m not protesting), but not necessarily the actors’ strongest work. And this drama was presented with the difficult topic of mental health. While it was pitched as a healing drama, I had my doubts. However, I loved the idea of a Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji pairing. I feel that Seo Ye Ji has come a long way from her “Moorim School” days, and I was really impressed with her performance in “Save Me.” So, going in, I think it was really the strength of the dramatic talent of the OTP that got me to start watching. The supporting veteran cast, including the versatile Oh Jung Se playing the developmentally challenged older brother to Kim Soo Hyun’s lead and Kim Mi Kyung (Hacker Ajumma!) was only a bonus and provided more reassurance on the acting front. I have to admit I was completely blown away from the first episode. The production values are fantastic! And the drama manages to maintain the right mood all through the series, evolving as the story and characters themselves grew and evolved along with the POV regarding the mental health issues that tackle. In the early episodes, the drama maintains an unsettling atmosphere as it combines beauty, quirkiness, and eeriness, so appropriate to the introduction of all of its disparate elements including a murder mystery, an odd and chilling little girl, a normal little boy with the burden of a brother who seems to take all of their mother’s attention, his brother who seems to be a simple character, and more. Towards the end, the whole production takes on a lighter, brighter vibes as the characters open themselves up to each other and the mysteries and odd elements are explained. The acting was even better than expected. Both KSH and SYJ can emote and cry so beautifully and painfully that it caused my heart to ache, and I will admit that I could feel my eyes welling up from time to time just watching them. Fortunately, though, it wasn’t all angst and tears. They were able to bring their light moments and absurd moments to the screen as well, without any overacting to distract from the story itself or to cause me to break from believing that I’m watching the characters rather than actors acting. The entire cast was strong in bringing their respective characters to life and showing interactions and reactions that felt realistic and human. I didn’t feel I had to fast forward through anything or multi-task while watching to get through “slow” parts. The most engrossing scenes for me were actually the ones where KMY was interacting with both brothers, even more than the OTP progression itself. The only slightly weak point was in the storytelling itself. Unfortunately, like a lot of other kdramas, the set up of initial premise and mystery was engaging and intriguing, only for the denouement to be not quite satisfying. The most unsatisfying element was in how it handled the question of KMY’s mother. The more encapsulated stories of the patients at the OK Psychiatric were handled better. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this drama, and would recommend others to watch it. It may not crack my all time Top Ten of kdramas, but it was a satisfying watch, one that I may watch again sometime in the future. One final note about the English title. The Korean title for this drama is actually "Psycho, But It's Okay" which I think worked really well with the evolution of this drama. Given that it had a scary vibe at the beginning that softens to one of a being one of a loving, extended, if a bit quirky family. I mean, really, most families are quirky anyway, and we hope that we have a loving one. I feel that the English title of "It's Okay To Not Be Okay" is perhaps more palatable than "Psycho", but it felt too diluted for me. Plot / story 7/10 Cast / acting 10/10 Production value(aesthetics/OST/cinematography) 10/10 Re-watch value 8/10 Overall 8.5/10
  15. 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
  16. Love Is Annoying But I Hate Being Lonely! 연애는 귀찮지만 외로운 건 싫어! Director: Lee Hyun Joo Writer: Jo Jin Guk Broadcast station: MBC every1 Air Date: August 11, 2020 Run Day: Tuesdays Those of us who are taking a break from dating, should we live together? Dating Is Annoying, But I Hate Being Lonely! Outwardly confident, well spoken, and with many things they want to accomplish, the modern youth of today. It seems that they would be dating with gusto, but that isn't that easy. “It’s hard enough to live like this these days, so who would want to take responsibility for another person?” “There is no reason to waste my time and money on pointless emotions.” “I don’t want to date, I just want to flirt.” “I don’t have anything, and I have no idea what the future will hold.” In order to sincerely date someone, one has to give all of oneself, but in a reality like this, dating is not easy. So phrases like ‘It’s so bothersome, so how can dating really be dating. Just being alone is more comfortable.’ is easily said. Here, they want to date, but it seems overwhelming. They are youngsters who want to be free, but they don’t want to be lonely, living in the co-Living House “Happy Together”. With their individual reasons for taking a break from dating, their stories of living from 2020 to 2030 will be told in a realistic way.
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