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Kdrama watchlist

Currently watching:
Hospital Playlist – final episode this Thursday
Fix You ep 10
Oh My Baby ep 4
When My Love Blooms ep 10

The King Eternal Monarch ep 12
My Fellow Citizens 31-32

To start/Premiere watch this week:
Kkondae Intern 1-4
Mystic Popup Bar 1-2
Sweet Munchies 1-2
Dinner Mate 1-2
Team Bulldog 1-2
Wind Clouds and Rain 1-3

Posted in kdrama

Find Me In Your Memory (2020)

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Drama: Find Me in Your Memory (그 남자의 기억법)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 32
Release Date: March 18 – May 7, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)
Plot
T
his is the story of a news anchor who remembers everything in his life and an actress who has forgotten a part of her memory.
Main Cast
Kim Dong Wook – Lee Jeong Hoon
Moon Ga Young – Yeo Ha Jin
Review
I didn’t have a lot of expectations for this drama, mainly because I wasn’t familiar with the main leads. I only watched moon Ga Young in Live Up to Your Name and I only watched Kim Dong Wook in Along with the Gods (and he wasn’t swoony there!). There were 2 other dramas that premiered at the same time. First is I’ll Go To You When the Weather is Fine. I don’t like Park Min Young and I have never watched Seo Kang Jun. Second is A Piece of Your Mind starring Chae Soo Bin (who i love) and Jung Hae In (who i also never watched). But somehow, the poster of Find Me In Your Memory and the plot interested me a lot and that’s why i took a chance to watch this. I don’t know if it’s due to instinct after watching Kdramas for almost 20 years but I’m so glad my instinct is right! This is an underrated gem!

I think the main thing that pulled me into watching this drama episode after episode is the amazing chemistry between the main leads. Lee Jeong Hun looked so sad and weary and Yeo Ha Jin looked so innocent and fresh that I thought they looked so well together. Of course, there were a lot of heartbreaks, crying, sadness before they finally got together, but it was worth it because it made the couple stronger and gave them the reason for being together. I didn’t expect them to separate for a few years (i thought at first it didn’t made sense, they can continue to see each other while in a LDR) but then seeing them after 2 years apart made me realized they needed time apart to heal from the past and to decide how to move forward in the future. Fans and the general public have always revelled in other people’s misery and gossips; it’s unfortunate but it’s part of our daily lives. LJH and YHJ had the right to decide what they want and who they want to be with. I think it would have been bad if LJH and YJH knew each other even when LJH was dating Seo Yeon, but since they only met and fell in love years after, for me, it was just fate, and not because they betrayed the dead best friend/girl friend. Seo yeon in heaven must be happy looking over them now.

I also loved the second lead couple – Ha Kyung and Reporter Jo. I also didn’t expect the love line between the two – i thought they were just for comic relief but happy to see their relationship blossom and remain as strong as the main lead.

There were a lot of things happening in this drama – i think in some cases, this can turn bad for the drama because then the there will be too much information and not a lot of developed characters but i’m glad to say that this drama was written well enough that all the stories were interwoven and drove the stories forward. Let’s see, we have

1. the dead girlfriend story + stalker murder which ended well

2. best friend story + finding out your dead best friend is your new boyfriend’s ex girlfriend + feeling guilty for unintentionally telling the stalker where your best friend is so she got murdered

3. Ha Jin’s stalker + finding out the stalking was copycat following what the stalker murderer did to your dead best friend

4. Ha Jin’s journey from a second lead actress hated by fans to instant stardom then falling from public grace after nosy public found out about her relationship with her dead best friend’s boyfriend then becoming a world star and finally going back to korea

5. LJH’s peculiar illness of remembeing everything + meeting someone who has forgotten a piece of her memory only to find out that forgotten memory is the memory you can’t forget

6. the heartless doctor who took advantage of his patient’s illness for his research + intentionally antagonizing the stalker + telling Hajin that LJH will never forget his dead ex so that his book isn’t ruined. and the side story between the heartless doctor and his son who happens to be LJH’s best frind and Hajin’s doctor friend.

See so many stories and yet they were so well connected and written that the drama never got boring. it jus kept me watching and wanting to find out what happens next.

Also want to take time to say that Moon Ga Young as Yeo Ha Jin was so beautiful! she was always impeccably dressed (even at home) and her hair is always perfect. I also loved the beautiful scenery, maybe because it’s spring time but the flowers were pretty and the colors were just popping out on screen.

Overall, this was a lovely melodrama. I savored the quiet moments and conversations and all the emotions the characters felt. i was seriously rooting for them in the end!

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted in kdrama

Haechi (2019)

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Drama: Haechi (해치)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 48
Release Date: February 11 – April 30, 2019
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
This drama tells the journey of Lee Geum/Prince Yeoning from crown prince to king of Joseon.

Main Cast
Jung Il Woo – Prince Yeoning / Lee Geum
Go Ara – Yeo Ji
Kwon Yul – Park Mun Su
Park Hoon – Dalmoon

Review

Yes! Finally I got to watch a great historical drama! I have watched a few and I could never distinguish which dynasty and king the show is all about. This drama is all about King Yeongjo who reigned for 52 years as the 21st king of the Korean Joseon dynasty. He is supposed to be a great and compassionate king, and made various attempts to improve Joseon. This is a long drama with 24 episodes and the drama was written based on historical facts and events. I kept pausing the show because I got so interested in his life that I kept googling King Yeongjo and trying to identify which characters and events were real (Prince Milpung, Park Munsu, Lee Jin Hwa) vs fiction (Yeoji, Dalmoon).

Jung Il Woo did an terrific job portraying the titular role — from the prince with low self-esteem and not a lot of dreams, to the confident crown prince and eventually the decisive and caring king. Must have been tough to play such a great person – if the drama really showed King Yeongjo the way history has written him, I must say that King Yeongjo is truly impressive! a bit idealistic and almost unbelievable, but then the show only focused on his early days in the throne so he probably made bad decisions in his later years (I’m reading all sorts of stuff about his son’s murder).

Of course, Prince Yeoning would not have made it far had it not been for his great support system – from Park Munsu, Yeoji, Dalmoon to even Yun Hyeok, Jong dal, Abong, Cho Hong and his right hand man. I loved that he had a natural charm and leadership skill – no wonder people can’t help but follow him once he made the decision to take the crown. He is strategic and empathetic — he comes up with radical solutions and always finds the way to convince people to join him because he knows what makes them tick.

Kwon Yul as Park Munsu was also great. I’m used to see him playing bad scary guys that it was so nice to see him play a happy and upstanding man. At first I thought he was acting a bit excessive and overzealous but later on I realized that was what his character was supposed to be. a bumbling and honest guy who later matured to be an amazing and relentless Saheonbu. Even though he was the new joiner in the team, people later followed him and became the team leader. I also want to give a shout out to Han Jeong Suk – he was also an amazing guy – I wish he was alive to see all the changes that we dreamed of but his death was what triggered Yeoning and Munsu to fight back. Yun Hyeok, also was strong in his convictions – I kind of missed him when he was gone after he became the minister of personnel and even after he came back to Saheonbu, they didn’t give him enough material aside from joking with the lazy inspector.

Yeoji, on the other hand was disappointing. I think it’s largely due to Go Ara’s unfortunate injury that the team probably was forced to rewrite her role. She started off really badass as a female inspector. She was a fearless and brave fighter and I loved the funny interactions between her and Lee Geum. But after her injury, she disappeared for the next 6 episodes — crucial episodes for me and to be honest, I didn’t even remember that she was gone. When she eventually came back, her character and acting felt lifeless. Where was that brave girl who willingly goes on disguise to catch info and the bad guys? I understand she became a court maid to protect the King in her own way (which she did lots of times) but I was disappointed that her protecting was more on taking care of Yeoning when he is sad or worried. Is that what women are supposed to do? just be behind the back of men comforting them and not being able to shine on her own? (Don’t get me wrong, Yeoji did what she had to do and I know that famous saying that “behind every successful man is a woman” so maybe that’s what’s more important to her and being successful. I honestly didn’t mind their romance but I thought it was unnecessary – they could have been great friends (like Cho Hong) and I wouldn’t have cared.

Another great character is Dalmoon – the more I watch Park Hoon the more I get excited whenever I see him in a drama. he may have been bad in Memories of Alhambra but how I love his character. The only thing I didn’t like about him was his tragic love for Yunyeong. I thought he could do way better than her but it gives Dalmoon an emotional story and I felt bad (and happy) for him when he had to bury Yun Yeong. At least now he is free from their past.

Before I go to the bad guys, I want to first talk about the palace officials – Associate Initiate Cho, Lee Kwang Ja, Minister Min and Minister Jo. I really hated them at the start. I felt that they were so stuck up and traditional corrupt officials. They don’t even know Prince Yeoning and yet they just kept putting him down and telling him he is unqualified to be king. On what basis? Just because they are chief ministers and Yeoning was born from a lowborn mother? They haven’t even given him a chance. But knowing Prince Yeoning, he was able to gain the respect and support of these four senior officials just by being him. Lee Kwang Ja and Cho became the first two officials who sided with him and was with him till the end. Like wise, I almost cried for Yeoning when Min and Jo finally supported him — Jo’s smile and Min’s deep bow was so moving. I realized that they are not really that bad – they just did what they had to do because they thought they were protecting the country and in the end, they moved to Yeoning’s side.

Okay, Prince Milpung. where do I start? Argh!! I think he was a great villain at the start of the show all the way to around episode 16-17. I seriously could not understand him, he is a bit mad, killing everyone who got in his way. Was so angry at Yeoning for being lowborn. Assuming that the throne was robbed from him and he should be the king without even thinking if he actually is qualified to be one. Then around episode 15 or 16 they showed a little flashback of him getting abused by his own father. He was a bit stupid, how can he even be king. then he got captured, sent to exile and death. That should have been the end of his story. But nope. he escaped with Lee In Jwa’s help and got he more deranged. I couldn’t find any sympathy for him. The writer did a great job of giving him a great ending for drama’s sake, though how he was able to see a couple more sentences before he died was funny and I really just want him dead. I loved the final conversation between King and Milpung when King said, had you made these great decisions earlier on, maybe you could have been the king. So true.  Yeon Yeong is just like Milpung, she just won’t die!! Dalmoon even helped her escape!! and when she had the chance, she went and saved Milpung!! Argh! I seriously wanted to go hunt them both and kill them just to end my misery of seeing them on screen.

Wi Byung Ju was another character that was sickening. Instead of being the better person, he kept making excuses to justify why he went evil – okay I did feel bad for him because even though he was the top of his class and did everything well, he was never rewarded because he was a Namin. But like Munsu said, he didn’t have to turn bad, he could have persevered and sided with Yeongjo, then maybe he would still be alive and getting his well deserved promotion. Until the end, he was in denial and a coward.

Overall, I really loved this drama. I have been looking for a historical drama to binge watch and i’m glad I picked this up.

Rating: 8.5/10
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Posted in movies

Extreme Job (2019)

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Movie: Extreme Job (극한직업)
Release Date: January 23, 2019
Runtime: 111 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Plot
A police undercover mission takes a delicious turn when the chicken restaurant they are using as a stakeout becomes popular because of their chicken!
Main Cast
Ryu Seung Ryong – Squad Chief Go
Lee Honey – Detective Jang
Jin Seon Kyu – Det. Ma
Lee Dong Hwi – Det. Young Ho
Gong Myung – Det. Jae Hoon
Shin Ha Kyun – Lee Moo Bae
Oh Jung Se – Ted Chang
Review
Yay another Ryu Seung Ryong movie that is fun to watch! He has been a consistent box office hit year after year! I love that this movie mixed action/cop genre with a little comedy. It was too funny seeing these detectives become so busy running a fried chicken store. I actually wished that they continued the fried chicken store. I mean, Chief Go used his money to buy the place. So it just makes sense for him to continue it. He can put the wife in charge and share some of the profits to Det. Ma who invented the recipe.
All through out the show, it seemed like the team were losers but turns out they were so good at fighting! Laughed at the “zombie” monicker of Chief Go and the full fight scene with Shin Ha Kyun on the boat!
This movie is available in Netflix so try to watch this movie during the weekend! Be prepared to get hungry at seeing all the fried chicken though! Yummy!