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About Me

Found 6 results

  1. Curtain Call 커튼콜 Korean Title: Curtain Call: Namuneun Seoseo Jookneunda / 커튼콜: 나무는 서서 죽는다 English Title: Curtain Call Director: Yoon Sang Ho (Previous work: River Where the Moon Rises) Writer: Cho Seong Geol Network: KBS Episodes: 16 Release Date: October 31st, 2022 -- Monday/Tuesday English Subtitles: Official Website: KBS Synopsis Ja Geum Soon (Go Doo Shim) is an elderly woman who doesn’t have much time left to live. She is a defector from North Korea who was separated from her husband and child. She established Hotel Paradise, a hotel chain in South Korea. Yoo Jae Heon (Kang Ha Neul) is an unknown theatre actor who will act as Geum Soon's grandson to fulfill her last wish. (Credit)
  2. Insider 인사이더 Director: Min Yeon Hong (previous work: Missing: The Other Side) Writer: Moon Man Se (previous work: Priest) Network: JTBC Episodes: 16 Release Date: June 8th, 2022 Air Time: Wednesday and Thursday English Subtitles: Official Website: jTBC Synopsis After going undercover for an investigation, Kim Yo Han experiences a crisis and ends up struggling to try to obtain a hand of cards that will change his fate as he gambles in prison. Kim Yo Han is prudent and always thinking a few moves ahead, and he keeps a poker face on. Although he gets into a dangerous situation when he becomes embroiled in an unexpected incident during the investigation, he’ll continue to fight to survive and manage to grow with his ability to turn a crisis into an opportunity. (Credit)
  3. KANG HA NEUL Name: Kang Ha Neul 강하늘 Birthday: 21 February 1990 Height: 1.82m Education: Chung Ang University (Major in Theatre) Agency: TH Company
  4. 2nd Place Winner - JangHaven's 2021 Most Anticipated Drama River Where The Moon Rises/The Moon Rising River 달이 뜨는 강 Note: Following bullying allegations, Ji Soo (main male lead) was removed from the drama after episode 6. Actor Na In Woo replaced Ji Soo as On Dal starting from episode 7. Victory Contents, the production company, has plans to re-edit episodes 1-6. Director: Yun Sang Ho (Previously directed King Maker: The Change of Destiny) Writer: Ha Ji Hoon Network: KBS2 Episodes: 20 Release Date: February 15th, 2021 - TBD Air Time: Monday and Tuesday @ 9:30PM KST English Subtitles: Viu and Viki Official Website: KBS Drama Synopsis The drama series is based on the 2010 novel Princess Pyeong Gang (평강공주) by film director and screenwriter, Choi Sagyu. It is a love story between Pyeong Gang and On Dal, who are characters in a classic Goguryeo folktale. Pyeong Gang, also known as Yeom Ga Jin, is an ambitious woman who dreams of becoming the first female to lead Goguryeo, and she uses On Dal’s feelings for her to achieve her goals. Cast Kim So Hyun as Pyeong Gang She is born a princess and raised a soldier. She is clever and level-headed. Na In Woo as On Dal He is a peace-loving, pure man who goes against his principles in order to protect Pyeong Gang. Kang Ha Neul as On Hyeop (On Dal's Father) He is the chief of the Sunnobu tribe and a general for Goguryeo. Lee Ji Hoon as Go Geon He is an elite general, who is perfect in every way. For the first time in his life, he longs to make Pyeong Gang his and dives into an intense fight for her heart. Choi Yoo Hwa as Hae Mo Yong She is determined to control Goguryeo and play with it as she wants. She is a woman with a beautiful face, a meticulous personality, a special power to foresee the future, and a big secret of her own. Hae Mo Yong falls in love with Go Geon and adds to the excitement of the drama. (Drama Information Credit)
  5. When the Camellia Blooms 동백꽃 필 무렵 Director: Cha Yeong Hoon Writer: Lim Sang Choon Original Broadcast: Sept 18 - Nov 21, 2019 Original Broadcast station: KBS2 Genre: Romantic Comedy, Thriller Main Cast: Gong Hyo Jin - Oh Dong Baek Kang Ha Neul - Hwang Yong Shik Kim Ji Seok - Kang Jong Ryul Kim Kang Hoon - Kang Pil Gu Notable Supporting Cast: Son Dam Bi - Choi Hyang Mi/ Choi Go Eun Oh Jung Se - No Gyu Tae Yeon Hye Ran - Hong Ja Young Some background: Anticipation was high for this drama since it was Kang Ha Neul’s first drama on returning from his military service. Kang Ha Neul’s return was eagerly anticipated as one of the leading men of his generation, truly comfortable on stage, musical theater, screen, and film, having both an exquisite timing for comedy as well as the acting gravitas to draw you into the darkness of a pained or flawed character, and an amazing singing voice. Gong Hyo Jin is a veteran actress who has been playing female leads for quite some time now, and is famous for having amazing chemistry with her leads and helping them shine in their roles. Kim Ji Seok has been steadily building his resume in a number of supporting roles as well as a few leading roles, going from strength to strength. The true revelation in this drama, however, may be the young actor Kim Kang Hoon who plays Kang Pil Gu. While having acted in quite a number of projects, this drama turned KKH into a star, and for a child actor, he receives significant screen time with all three leads as well as having solo scenes in this drama. The set up and review: Oh Dong Baek (Gong Hyo Jin) is the attractive single mother of Kang Pil Gu (Kim Kang Hoon) who is in elementary school and shows talent as a young baseball player. DB had PG with her first love/serious boyfriend, a professional baseball player Kang Jong Ryul (Kim Ji Seok), but had left him before he was even aware that she was pregnant. JR went on to marry another woman much later after DB had left him, but has never been able to forget her. Hwang Yong Shik (Kang Ha Neul) is a police officer who had grown up in the town that DB and PG now live in, and had moved to Seoul to work, but was recently transferred back t his home town. YS falls for DB as soon as he sees her. DB and PG live in the fictional small coastal town of Ongsan where DB runs a bar, which leads to the other townswomen’s disapproval as both an unmarried mother of a child who also runs a bar. She is shown as being very nice and has an inferiority complex about herself, accepting most disapprobation directed at her, though she’s not spineless when it comes to the people she cares about. This leads her young son PG, though, to fight on her behalf with his friends and coming to her defense whenever he hears of his mother being under attack, having a fiery temper of his own. There is a rather heartbreaking scene in the second act where PG demands of his mother why he, a first grader, should be protecting his mother when his mother should be the one to protect him. When his flabbergasted mother asks him why he does that, he responds that it’s because he’s the only one in the world who likes his mother, and everyone else dislikes her. This scene speaks to the relative isolation and loneliness of DB which is also affecting her young son, though she wasn’t quite aware of that before. PG also has no interest in knowing about his father, because as he says, it’s better to not ever have one than to have one and then get him taken away from him. Back during their first love days, DB and JR had been crazy in love with each other. They had been planning on getting married until DB left JR with a note and no way for JR to find her. The drama shows us the details of why they separated throughout the drama to explain how this passionately in love couple ended up separating, and it’s really a question of immaturity and a lack of self confidence with both DB and JR. Their relationship is such that it left its marks on both of them, though in different ways. JR has gone on to marry a young woman who married him for his popularity than anything else. The wife is shown as being very immature and narcissistic rather than truly evil. JR and his wife have an infant daughter whom JR takes on a popular variety program modeled after Return of Superman which is about dads taking care of the children. So, due to JR being a popular professional ball player as well as on a variety program, DB is aware of how JR seems to be doing and where he is, but has no plans to contact him. However, DB, when she left JR, had run to a town that JR had lived in as a child, and it’s JR’s elementary school that PG now attends and one of JR’s old school buddies who is now the coach of the elementary baseball team. JR comes back to the elementary school to film his segment for the show and meets PG and reconnects with DB. YS is the most straightforward person ever. And, he admits that thinking is not his strong point, that rather he prefers to go with his instincts. Thus, when YS sees a crime in progress, he can’t help but tackle the criminals without thoughts of any costs or damages to himself. It was a nightmare for the police to have YS as a private citizen capturing criminals in the act, but when YS finally became a policeman, it turned out to be a mixed blessing since YS has no idea about politics and being accommodating to his superiors, nor can he restrain himself from teaching perpetrators “lessons” in having manners. It’s his straightforward nature that causes him to recognize that he’s fallen for DB as soon as he sees her, and then being extremely obvious that he likes her to everyone in town. Unfortunately, that also includes his mother who had been hoping that her son will settle down and get married to a nice woman, but her relatively progressive attitudes are put to the test when she realizes that YS likes DB who has a son by another man. Especially since previous to YS falling for DB, YS' mother had taken both DB and her son PG under her wing. YS is also the son of a single mother, albeit a widow who had a total of 3 sons. YS had also spent his formative years defending his mother, so he’s quick to recognize a kindred spirit in PG. YS demonstrates a special affinity with PG even before YS finds out that PG is DB’s son. However, PG is highly suspicious of any man who comes sniffing around his mother. So, some massive spoilers from the first couple of episodes, but the beauty of this drama is in the story of how these characters interact and how their interactions lead to growth and development not just between the main characters, but also their various neighbors and relatives. At heart, this is a family drama which explores various couple and family dynamics as it follows the relationship course of the three main leads plus PG. There are some notable side stories. The most engaging is actually the relationship progression of the relatively not smart optometrist and momma’s boy No Gyu Tae (Oh Jung Se in a very different role to his role in IOTNBO) and the razor sharp lawyer Hong Ja Young (Yeon Hye Ran). No Gyu Tae obviously feels intimidated by his smart wife and has an inferiority complex which leads to some interesting behaviors from him. Because he comes from a wealthy family and is a landowner, GT does like to swan around being the Big Fish in the little pond. The townspeople let GT get away with his puffery because GT is an easy touch when someone needs money and is actually very generous. JY is no nonsense and has become fed up with her husband’s silliness as well as his mother’s attempts to put her, JY, down. It’s not until JY becomes suspicious that GT might be cheating on her that she starts doing something about it, though. GT, for his part, is irritated that DB doesn’t give him the respect and preferential treatment that he feels he deserves, but that causes him to give even more attention to DB and demonstrate suspicious behaviors to his wife. GT is acted by the talented Oh Jung Se who most recently played the intellectually challenged brother in It's Okay To Not Be Okay, and is a bit of a scene stealer. Then there is the issue of the townspeople of Ongsan who are initially shown as almost caricatures of small town people with their pecking orders and narrow points of view, but eventually are shown with a more realistic light of having both good and bad traits. There are also a number of mysteries in this drama. It opens with a serial killer, dubbed the Joker because he leaves notes saying that the victim shouldn’t have joked with him, who has been uncaught for many years, and now seems to have set his sights on DB. Plus, Hyang Mi who helps DB in the bar is rather mysterious though we eventually find out about her tragic past. This drama was a lot of fun to watch, with very few weak points. (A subplot regarding JR’s marriage to his wife being one of them.) The plot itself isn’t the main thrust of this drama either since it’s a rather straightforward rom-com with a bit of crime suspense twist to drive the story. Rather, it’s the various relationships that are formed, broken, strained, but are made resilient that is at the heart of this story. With characters who have flaws and only 1 true villain (the serial killer), it was fun watching their interactions evolve over the course of this drama. And Pil Gu is just adorable in his fierceness and love for his mother, fighting with his instincts to just be a kid. One other note: K-dramas like to title their dramas after their lead characters. So, the Camellia in the title is not only the name of the bar that Dong Baek runs, it also refers to Dong Baek herself since a "dong baek" is a camellia, and this drama is about Dong Baek blooming and finding love, but also claiming her own sense of self. Ratings: Plot/story 8 Cast/acting 10 Production Value 8 Rewatch Value 8 Overall 9
  6. Midnight Runners Director: Jason Kim Screenplay: Jason Kim Cast: Park Seo Joon, Kang Ha Neul, Park Ha Sun, Sung Dong Il Genre: Action comedy Midnight Runners was billed as an action comedy and there are many comedic parts, but it’s really also a coming of age movie. Park Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Kang Hee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) are two freshmen at the Korean National Police University. From the day they are inducted into the class, the two find themselves to be very different from each other, and don’t get along, mostly because of Hee Yeol. Ki Joon is a cheerful, light-hearted guy who is friendly towards everyone. He’s very athletic and physical, and so tends to act first and think later since he’s more reliant on his strength while he struggles with his studies. He’s the best fighter of their class, though not the best student. He makes his usual friendly overtures to Hee Yeol when they first meet only to be rebuffed by him. Hee Yeol is presented as being very book smart. Having done well in his studies, he could have attended KAIST (formerly the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, basically Korea’s version of Caltech, MIT, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton all rolled into one), but had chosen to attend the Korean National Police University because he wanted to do something different from his friends and they were all headed towards KAIST. However, HY is not the most physically gifted in his class. Thus the two keep a wary distance from each other, until the day that they have to do their timed final run to pass their physical fitness test. In order to pass, they have to run a cross country course through a mountain and make it back to campus by a set time. HY trips and twists his ankle during the run, but none of his classmates want to help him since failing the run would mean being dropped from the program. KJ is the only one who even stops to see if HY is okay, and HY is able to get KJ to carry him the rest of the way on his back by promising to buy him beef for dinner. KJ piggybacks HY all the way back to the school where they explain what happened and asks that they be passed anyway and not be dropped from the course. The instructor, played by Park Ha Sun, asks who else saw HY down, and at seeing that everyone else had passed HY by, she yells at the students in disgust that they are supposed to protect the citizens, but how could they do that when they won’t even stop to help an injured mate. She punishes everyone else, but sends KJ and HY to the infirmary after passing them on the course. Thus, KJ and HY finally become friends. Being friends, when KJ and HY have a day off, they go together to a trendy, swanky club hoping to meet women who might want to be their girlfriends, but they are rejected as potential partners for not being rich playboys basically. They both decide they have had enough and go to an arcade instead. As they are calling it quits for the evening, they see a pretty girl walk by and become curious about her. When they go to catch up with her, they realize that she's being kidnapped. Witnessing the kidnapping leads KJ and HY to first report it, but when that fails to get any action, they decide to do the investigation themselves, and are able to catch up to the kidnappers and also find more female victims. However, rather than rescuing the girls, they end up being beaten and locked up. After escaping, they return with reinforcements to find the kidnappers gone and girls gone. Being students still rather than active police, they are told to let it go. However, they come up with a plan to continue the investigation themselves, getting some help from their former drill instructor while preparing themselves for the eventual fight. One of the consequences of their actions, though, is that KJ and HY ultimately have to face a disciplinary committee. However, it’s their desire to save the girls that cause them to affirm that being policemen is what they really want to do. Rather than going to the Police University because he couldn’t think of anything else to do as KJ did, or because he wanted to be different from his friends as HY did, they both realize that being a police officer is a profession and a calling that they both want and respect. This drama is pretty much a two hander that asks for a lot from Park Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul, and succeeds based on their chemistry in their opposites-attract bromance. Fortunately, both PSJ and KHN have charm and more to spare. They make a classic odd couple pairing as they struggle with this environment of the Korean National Police University that they’ve chosen to be in, but aren’t quite convinced of their desire to be police officers for most of this movie. The screenplay isn’t terribly novel nor the dialogue that profound or fresh, however, PSJ and KHN make the most of what they are given with and manage to flesh out characters who are given minimal back stories so that we viewers stay interested in what they get up to. The screenwriter is also the director, and this was his directorial debut. So some of the pacing is uneven, and the cinematography is pretty obvious. For instance, in the scenes where KJ and HY are trying to find the kidnappers, it tries for a dark, jaded landscape to contrast against KJ and HY’s still young and idealistic doings. It also felt as if there were a lot of tight shots being used. And the comedy which takes up a lot of the first part of the movie is more physical comedy without much subtlety. Having said all that, it is an excellent cast, with a strong if minimal supporting cast. This was also Park Seo Joon’s first leading role in a film. The acting was definitely the highlight of this drama, and the reason to watch is to see PSJ and KHN becoming buddies. Plot/Story 7 Cast/Acting 9 Production 6 Re-Watch 10 if you’re a fan of PSJ and/or KHN. Otherwise a 4. Overall 7 Ending spoiler for anyone who really wants to know
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