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Historical Kdrama Bingo (2016-2019)

There is always something about watching historical dramas. Everything looks so beautiful.. from the colors, costumes, scenery and food. i love that historical dramas are all about love for country and people, love for family and friends. Sacrifices and bravery. Sometimes we take these for granted because we are in the modern world and everything seems to be well and good. while i hope we do not go back to war, i wish that we all remember that we need to treat people better and the world may somehow be a better place.

i created a kdrama bingo featuring historical kdramas from 2016 to 2019. Don’t worry, i will be releasing another sets of historical kdrama bingos featuring the earlier years so please watch out for them in the next couple of weeks.

Posted in kdrama

Extraordinary You (2019)

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Drama: Extraordinary You (English title) / Ha-Roo Found by Chance (literal title)
Hangul: 어쩌다 발견한 하루
Network: MBC
Episodes: 32
Genre: Fantasy-Romance
Release Date: October 2 – November 21, 2019
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursdays 21:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
Dano is a student in a prestigious high school who has a heart disease. For the longest time, she has been in love with her fiance Baek Kyung, who doesn’t like her back. One day, she became self-aware and finds out that they are all characters in a comic book called Secret and she is just an extra. She also meets a boy who she named as Haru and they agree to try to change their fates together. Will they succeed or will they get written off by the writer

Main Cast
Kim Hye Yoon – Eun Dano
Ro Woon – Haru
Lee Jae Wook – Baek Kyung
Jung Gun Joo – Lee Do Hwa
Kim Young Dae – Oh Namju
Lee Na Eun – Yeo Juda

Review
I keep seeing a lot of tweets gushing over this drama so i tried watching the first episode.. and couldn’t stop. Lol. As i previously said, I’m not a big school kdrama fan because i feel that I’m too old to watch them but this was a nice and emotional drama to watch. i also loved the fantasy part about them being comic book characters. We get to see the characters interact in the stage (as part of the comic book story), the shadow (like the regular lives) and some of them in the sageuk world (in their previous lives).. whew!! sometimes i do get a little confused if i’m watching the shadow or stage. I guess this is how actors feel when they are acting. In the movie or drama, they act following the script but once the director says “Cut!”, they go back to the normal lives. This isn’t your typical high school drama because the stakes are high for them, especially for Dano and Haru. They can be removed from the comic book if they do something wrong because they are extras and especially for Dano, she has a heart disease and she can die anytime.

The best thing about the drama is the relationship between Dano and Haru. Baek Kyung didn’t even stand a chance. In the first place Baek Kyung is such as a$$ to Dano in the stage, which is something he can’t do, but when he became self-aware, he didn’t change. He was still an a$$ to Dano. I know they said that when a boy likes you, he is mean to you, but Baek Kyung took it one notch higher and was just hateful. On the other hand, Haru was the sweetest, cutest boy. He always has a smile on his face and has a calm voice. He waits patiently and loves deeply. this is Dano and Haru’s first love but i’m surprised that their love is real. Really felt for them when one disappeared and reappeared with no memory. and it happened to the other one. and yet they always find a way to each other. I also loved their ending when both of them became extras with no name. That means no one will bother them, and they can go about their ways without the “writer” interfering.

Back to Baek Kyung, it’s a good thing that i watched Lee Jae Wook and totally adored him in Search WWW, otherwise, i wouldn’t be able to stomach the character and the actor. I think there were some parts where I’m confused as to what Baek Kyung is feeling, because he always came out angry. I tried to look for some vulnerability so that I can somehow understand him and feel pity for him, but i just couldn’t. Even in the end when he finally realized it was him to killed Dano and he eventually gave up his feelings, i still didn’t feel sad. I just thought, “finally he did the right thing.”

The next character that i really loved is Do Hwa. Oh, he is such a cutiepie and so funny! he kept complaining that he keeps on playing the violin and crying. LOL. On one hand, I feel so bad that he didn’t get the girl but after how Juda acted, I was relieved that he didn’t get the girl. He deserved so much better than her. I also can’t understand how Namju, Kyung and Dohwa were friends in the stage when they didn’t really have a lot of interaction, except for the cliche high school runway walk they do (haha! i can’t help but laugh everytime i see this scene with the background music).

On to the supposed main leads of the comic book, Namju and Juda. i guess this is how the writer was making fun of the heirs or boys over Flowers and all the silly school dramas. Namju’s attitude was too much. No excuse for him acting like such a jerk to Juda and expecting her to fall in love with him when he treats her really bad. and he doesn’t even look like Lee Minho!!! As for Juda, I thought i liked her at first, i was excited for her to be self-aware then when she did, i was so disappointed because she became as much a big bully as her bullies are. Which is not a good thing or lesson. I know we should stand up for ourselves but Juda was just too much. it totally made sense for Juda to end up with Namju because they matched well together. and Juda is right, Namju needs her. Do hwa wouldn’t be able to handle shadow Juda, he will probably be horrified once he finds out how Juda is.

I loved the sageuk story, because it gave the background and whole meaning of what happened between Dano, Haru and Kyung. There were some parts of the drama but was repetitive from the stage and shade and trumpet flower, which dragged the show a little bit but it’s okay, better this than rushing the story. One thing I didn’t understand is if Dano is really an extra then why does she have a big story with Kyung, who was a side character? and why she gets special treatment by the writer? I didn’t feel like she was an extra. her 2 best friends and the bullies are extras i understand, but not Dano. whatever moves she make doesn’t even impact the main story of Namju, Juda and Dohwa. this is the only confusing part for me.

Overall, i loved this drama, i recommended it to my friend who also loved the show. Like what Dano said – She may be an extra in someone’s life, but that’s okay because in her relationship with Haru, they are each other’s main leads. I also loved what Haru said, “Two extras who were living normally have met and are making their own special moments”. The symbolism of the writer for me is Life. Yes, we can live the life we want but also be careful because one extra or wrong step can result in different consequences and we need to be accountable and responsible for our actions. But life moves on and forward and we just need to learn how to coexist in this world.

Rating: 7.5/10

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My Holo Love (2020)

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Drama: My Holo Love (나 홀로 그대)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 12
Release Date: February 7, 2020
Plot:
So Yeon is a woman who has problems recognizing faces, thus is lonely and keeps distance from others. By chance, she finds the unique HoloGlass and meets Holo. Holo’s owner, Ko Nando tries to retrieve Holo but ends up letting So Yeon become a beta tester and moves in next door. Soon, So Yeon is torn between Holo and Nando. Can you really love an AI or is it better to love a human?
Main Cast:
Yoon Hyun Min – Holo / Ko Nando
Go Sung Hee – So Yeon
Choi Yeo Jin – Ko Yoo Jin
Chansung – Chan Sung
Review:
The whole premise reminded me of I’m not a Robot where there’s a love triangle between 2 humans and AI. of course we all know how it will all end up because it’s really not possible and realistic for a human to choose AI over a fellow human, but it’s the journey of how they get there is what interests me. I loved the first couple of episodes of My Holo Love, it was both exciting and at the same time emtional to see Nando, So Yeon and Holo interacting. But the middle part of the drama got too boring and dragging that i was almost itching to fast forward the episodes to the end. I really wanted to see how the story ends and I read various reviews that the ending was worth it. And I’m glad I stuck to this drama becausee indeed, the last 2-3 episodes saved this drama from being bad.

I think the best character is Holo. he was so much fun to be with and sweet and smart. There was a time i thought, you know what, I wish I had my own Holo. He was a little creepy though because he is everywhere, sometimes even when So Yeon hasn’t worn her glasses. and he also gets terrifying when he unleashes is power. Something i learned from the show was being surprised that AI can learn how to feel, and care like a human. It’s a sad and scary thing because lonely people like So Yeon may really start depending on AI instead of humans for affection and you realize how much power machines can be, especially when it is used in the wrong way. I didn’t expect the ending, but it made sense that he has to “die”.

I also liked Nando, he may look and seem cold and distant, but he is really a sweetheart, and i think that is why Holo is like that. He projected his true nature through Holo. So in a way, So Yeon may have fallen in love with Holo, but it is somehow falling in love with Nando too, although not directly. I think my only complain about Nando is that he got the noble idiocy thing in the middle part of the show, which was annoying. I just wanted him to get the girl.

I have mixed feelings for So Yeon. I liked her at the start but then as she starting relying on Holo and crying when he was gone, I felt that she was either pathetic or sad. Does she she have no friends and no life that she clings on to AI and even fall in love with him? What is wrong with her? But then looking back, she had a tragic past and traumatic event that kept her from opening up to others and being herself. Then I started understanding her actions and feelings. I’m happy that she got over her trauma. I think the lesson learned here is that nothing beats human companionship. We really need to open our hearts and we will see how wonderful life can be to have great support from friends and family.

The childhood friends trope was something I thought was overdone, but this plot actually tied up/connected the 2 leads with one another and added a mystery/twist to the show. I think this is the one that stood out and saved the ending.

I have seen Chansung in 3 dramas and he always plays this lazy or arrogant guy but ends up being nice. I think it’s his face. his face looks like someone who can be a jerk. I knew from the start that he is going to be bad but i also can’t help but feel bad for him. he is scared of his grandpa and is forced to do things he doesn’t want to. Speaking of the grandpa, this is one person i felt was badly written. he is too evil and we dont even know his motivation other than wanting power (and why?). His actions like murder just didn’t make sense. While i cheered that Chansung finally got the balls to fight back and break grandpa’s formidable cane (i was itching to grab his cane and break it too), the whole scene was laughable because all it took was breaking his cane before he was defeated.

Of course, the ending was beautiful, with everyone having their happy ever after. I think overall, this was a quick and light show to watch at 12 episodes.

Rating: 7/10

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Time Travel Kdrama Bingo

For this week’s Kdrama Bingo challenge, i bring you some of the popular historical and fantasy dramas about time travel.. whether going back to your younger self, travelling to the olden times or even reincarnation.

You can also share your thoughts on your fave scenes in the comments section below or if you have other recommendations.

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Crash Landing on You (2020)

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Drama: Crash Landing on You (사랑의 불시착)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 14, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00
Plot:
Heiress Yoon Seri has a paragliding accident that took her to North Korea. She meets Captain Ri Jeong Hyuk, a North Korean soldier who tries to hide her and help her go back to South Korea.
Main Cast:
Hyun Bin – Ri Jeong Hyuk
Son Ye Jin – Yoon Seri
Seo Ji Hye – Seo Dan
Kim Jung Hyun – Gu Seung Jun
Review:
This is currently the talk of the town! Even non-kdrama fans are watching CLOY and are falling in love with Hyun Bin! I think this is one of the best dramas that has come out in recent years. I read somewhere that the writer took 12 years to write this, maybe that’s why the story was so developed and perfect.
Top things I loved about CLOY:
1. Captain Ri and Yoon Seri. Hyun Bin and Son Yejin. Their chemistry was crackling on screen from the very first time Seri descended from the tree and landed in Captain Ri’s arms. Whew! The romance was so beautiful and solid. It was really destiny that they meet each other again after all those years. And I would love to believe that they lived happily ever after, even if it’s just 2 weeks every year.
2. Captain Ri’s team of 5. Every kdrama fangirl knows so well how Ju Meok feels because we have all felt that way every single time. Pyo Chisu may look like a downer but he is loyal and sweet. I loved his dog-cat bickering with Seri. Maknae was the cutest, even if he is young, he was very brave. The scene where he beat Captain Ri in an online guy was funny. The handsome silent soldier who looks like a mini Kim Soo Hyun was Captain Ri’s trusted guy and helped Seri during the first few times. I can understand why all the big companies tried to “scout” him when he came to Seoul. and Manbok. He may have done wrong with Jeong Hyuk’s older brother but he has totally redeemed himself this time. His wiretapping skills were so useful and I love the last scene where he because a sound editor for movies. He finally looked peaceful and happy. I loved all the scenes where they hilariously navigated Seoul, and scenes with Seri, whether they are having fun or they were saying their goodbyes, and those scenes with Captain Ri. They were loyal and brave and never left Captain Ri all alone. What true friendship and family is like.
3. Seo Dan and Gu Seung Jun. I honestly didn’t care much for their story. I thought they were just filling in the gaps until Seri and Captain Ri gets together. But somewhere along the way I started rooting for them too. An unlikely couple that didn’t make sense but their impact in each other’s lives will be forever ingrained in their hearts. I felt bad that Seung Jun had to *spoiler* die, but I thought it was the best way to end his story. That somehow he became useful, that someone loved him and wanted him. I loved the ramen scene and the proposal scene. I cried when the orphans starting singing the sad song, and I cried with Dan when Seung Jun passed away. Seo Dan seemed to cold and unfeeling and b*tchy but as she thawed and open her heart, I realized she was just waiting for someone to love her. I applaud her decision to stay single. With his fiancé cheating on her and another guy dying on her, it was time for her to live her life in her own terms. She was hot and beautiful and smart. I am sure there will be another guy who will rock her world in the future.
4. Special shoutout the parents of Seri, Jeong Hyuk and Seo Dan. I loved Captain Ri’s father. He may look serious and doesn’t say much but he loves Captain Ri and was there when he needed. That’s why he is the military general. EVen when he hasn’t talked to his son, he knows how to come up with smart strategies and was brutal to the other director when needed. Seo Dan’s mom I thought was an airhead, but she turned out to be super sweet. When helped Dan get the marriage going on with Captain Ri, but she saw Dan was hurting, she cried with her, and comforted her. When she heard about Alberto, she also encouraged her. and when Dan decided to stay single, she didn’t force her or pressure her to get a man.
5. The whole on North Korea life – not sure how much is real and how much is fiction, so I wouldn’t say much but I loved the ahjummas in the village. I’m sure everyone was as curious as I was to find out how Seri goes back to SK, how the boys will go to NK, and how they will go back. The stories were as realistic as it could be given the hypothetical scenario and I was satisfied with how everyone’s stories ended. Even the evil Cho Cheol Gang and the mean brother and sis in law got their dues!
6. The OST album is so so so good! I especially love Crush’s “Let Us Go”.

This drama is one for the books. A few years later, this will be one of those “iconic” KDramas that everyone knows and has watched.
Rating: 9/10
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