Posted in kdrama

Oh My Baby (2020)

Drama: Oh My Baby (오 마이 베이비)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 13 – July 2, 2020
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:50

Jang Hari is a 39-year old single woman who wants to get married and have a baby. Unfortunately, she has not dated in 10 years and the doctor told her she has endometriosis and needs to get surgery. Running out of time with no prospects, she is thinking of ways to have a baby without getting married. Suddenly 3 potential men come into her life. Who will she choose to love and marry? Will she decide to have a baby or not? Can she have it all?

Main Cast
Jang Nara – Jang Hari
Go Joon – Han Yi Sang
Park Byung Eun – Yoon Jae Young
Jung Gun Joo – Choi Kang Ee Ddeum

It’s been a long time since i’ve watched a Jang Nara drama. Mostly because when i tried her more recent dramas, i find it cringey that they are trying so hard to make her look cute and young when she is not. Yes, she is baby faced and looks young for her age, but not enough to pass for a 20s lady. But once i saw the promo, I got so excited. I mean, look at the 3 main leads – Go Joon (who i super loved in The Fiery Priest), Park Byung Eun (who I liked in Because This is My First Life) and Jung Gun Joo (who was super adorable in Extraordinary You). So it was a no-brainer that I will watch this drama.

And it was such a good decision because this drama was a little gem! The first 2 episodes were a bit weird – it wobbled between comedy and drama and the transition from one side to the other was a bit jarring. But it slowly balanced itself in the next couple of episodes.

On the surface, I can see myself in Hari. I’m just like her, single, almost 40, not married. the difference is I’m not desperate to have a kid and knock on wood i dont have a reproductive issue. However, I have friends in similar situations so I can totally understand her issue. The only thing I didn’t like was that her dream was to be a “mother”. That she will only be happy if she was a “mom”. I thought that was not a good reason to be a mother and to live a life. I think first and foremost, you need to be happy by yourself to be able to be happy for your family. That the possibility to just get pregnant and raise a child as a single parent (without the getting married or having to deal with the father/husband) is something me and my single friends have also discussed in the last few years. So i can really relate to her. That’s why I was interested to see how this drama will unfold. I already have an idea how this will go – she will end up realizing that she doesn’t need to be happy to be a mom and she will be pregnant by the end of the drama. (Of course, i was right haha!)

And i know that because that’s the same thing me and my friends have realized in the last few years. It’s great to be married and have a child, but it’s also great to be single and living a happy life. That having a kid on our own is a bit selfish – it may fulfill your dream to be a mom and not to be lonely when you’re older, but the child may suffer from unintentional hardships and hurt because the child doesn’t have a regular family and might get bullied for it. Thinking about that, i realized that having a child is really a gift and a very big decision to make because it will impact not only your life but the child’s.

I applaud Hari for remaining true to herself during the course of the drama. That she didn’t give up on her principles and she learned to be happy – with her family, her partner, her colleagues and her friends beside her.

As for the 3 baby daddies – while i was rooting for Go Joon, i didnt expect that the show will single him out so early in the drama. I thought there will be a big love triangle between Yisang, Hari and Jaeyoung, and i will have a hard time choosing which guy Hari should end up with — the hot single photographer or the childhood friend divorced guy with a kid. Good thing the show made it clear that Yisang is the end game and i loved it!

Yisang is like one of the best kdrama boyfriends this year. What’s not to like? He’s handsome, sweet, sensitive, good at his job and sexy! The only problem – he has reproductive issues too, just like Hari! OMO OMO! This was the storyline i totally didn’t expect but loved because it brought a whole new issue to the story. Would you choose love or baby? Would you still choose to love and marry someone even when you know there’s a high chance you wont have a child together? For someone like Hari who dreams of having a child, that is one tough decision to make!

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It really depends on the person on what the person values more. Just need to be sure of your decision and stick with it. You dont choose love then start blaming your partner when you can’t have children. Likewise, you dont choose a child and neglect him/her.

I also felt bad for Yisang. He just wants to be with his girlfriend and have a family of his own, but his girlfriend left him! and now Hari almost left him too! I guess that’s what made him so gunshy of relationships and have crushed his dreams of ever having his own family to love. I was super happy that Yisang and Hari were both able to talk through and overcome the hardships as one. They are right. There will always be ups and downs in any relationship. And what’s important is that they are working and solving it together.

While i loved how the story between Yisang and Hari was developed and resolved, i thought Jae Young’s character and story was such a lost opportunity! I mean, Park Byung Eun is such an amazing actor and he can totally give Yisang a run for his money. We also saw his character growth, from being so down after his divorce and being a single dad, why can’t they just make him as sweet as he was from the start? Did he really have to be such an a$$ to Hari and Yisang? i disliked it every time he tried to come between the couple. C’mon, if you want to win Hari’s heart, you do so at your own merit, not at the expense of your rival. And he didn’t have the right (at all) to interfere. He is a family friend, not a family. I mean, even Hari’s mom let Hari decide on her own, so why make Jae Young’s character so bad? Ugh! Too bad really!

I loved his story line of moving forward and growing to be a better dad to his daughter, and to making peace with the ex-wife. I just think his loveline with Hari could have been handled better – and it shouldn’t have been the focus of his story. He can continue to be the nice silent supporter/friend of Hari while realizing that his bad decisions have cost him his chance to be with Hari and he can never have it back. (on a side note, i still dont think he really loved Hari – i think he loved the idea of it – instant mom and friend. i mean he was such a jerk to her when he fell in love with his ex-wife, that i dont think he really loved her. maybe a crush, maybe a what-could-have-been).

On the other hand, the young guy, i think from the very start he was not a contender. I dont know if he was just brought to the story because of the other alternative – have yourself a younger guy who is the “king of sp*rm” and have a kid. We know it definitely wouldn’t work and it is so-not Hari’s personality to do it. but still he gave us plenty of laughs. His story arc is a bit different – although he started as clueless guy (i mean if a younger guy kept calling me auntie in the office, i would probably do the same thing that Hari did to him!), he ended up becoming mature as he learns how to work in the office and dealing with clients and coworkers. I honestly didn’t like the story between him and the selfish girl. I thought he deserved a way better girl than her and i’m glad they didn’t end up as a couple. Likewise, the selfish girl also learned a lot during the drama which was nice.

I honestly didn’t care much about the The Baby closing down as a storyline, mostly because i can’t really relate as I’m not a mom, but i thought the storyline was very real – I’ve seen local publishing houses stopping the print releases and going digital. and it impacts a lot of people. but while one opportunity closes, there will also be plenty of new opportunities that will open up. As long as we keep our heads up and think of what we want and like to do, then anything can happen. I loved that Hari opened her new company (Oh My Baby) although it’s not very clear what it supposed to be. (It is like her own webzine?) It still stayed true to her character since she loves kids so much and knows so much about them. She was able to give her best friend work and give Jae Young a site to continue reaching out to potential patients/clients.

Lastly, what i loved about this drama is that it not just focused on Hari’s story about a single woman wanting to have a family. We see so many other characters that are relatable — Her former boss who had to quit her job because she is struggling on working while taking care of her child, while her best friend wants to go back to working after taking care of her twins but is not having luck because she was out of the job market for years, taking care of her kids. We see a couple struggling to have a child, but we also see a childless couple happy without having any kids but being pressured by family members to have one.

I also realized that it’s not just the females who have it hard. Yisang is single but wants to have a family. Jae Young is a divorced single dad trying to work and manage his daughter at the same time. We see Yisang’s best friend working on various jobs to provide for his family and we see Ee Ddeum’s boss trying to create a loving relationship with his teenager by getting into the kpop groups that his daughter loves. These are all so well written and makes me realize that everyone has their own problems. We all have different issues in life and we should all try to understand and accept each other without judgements.

Overall, i loved this drama so much. The OST was beautiful and the cinematic visuals were stunning! I recommend to anyone because i think everyone can relate to at least one of the characters.

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted in kdrama

Old School Intern (2020)

Drama: Kkondae Intern (꼰대인턴)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 24
Release Date: May 20 – June 25, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:00

Ga Yeol Chan used to be an intern at Ongol Foods and his boss is Lee Mansic. A tragic event forces Yeol Chan to resign from Ongol. Now a successful manager at Joonsu Foods, he was surprised to discover Lee Mansic joining Joonsu as a senior intern. Yeol Chan vows to seek revenge on Mansic.

Main Cast
Park Hae Jin – Ga Yeol Chan
Kim Eung Soo – Lee Man Sic
Park Ki Woong – Namgoong Joonsu
Han Ji Eun – Lee Tae Ri

I started watching this drama as it was promoted to an office comedy type of drama. I imagined kind of like “The Intern” movie. But the first 4 episodes were actually hard to watch. This is because the show started with showing the dark past between Lee Mansic and Ga Yeol Chan. The way Lee Mansic treated Ga Yeol Chan was really terrible that you would root for Yeol Chan to seek his revenge on Mansic. But when they finally met at Joonsu foods, I was surprised how much I sympathized with Mansic instead of Yeol Chan! Which is weird because Yeol Chan was supposed to be the victim and Mansic the bully. I think this is partly because Kim Eung Soo did an amazing job playing Lee Mansic. Second because I thought, “Ga Yeol Chan should know better than this!”

I’ve been in the workforce for almost 20 years and I’ve seen different personalities in the work place. And considering that my job sometimes makes me at odds with my stakeholders, I always thought of myself that, I should always try to understand them and think of how i would feel if i were in their shoes. That way, i can anticipate how they react and also think of how to make the relationship better. Likewise, me and my friends have always said that when you’ve been treated badly at work and you get to be on the other side, there are 2 things people usually do: (1) to seek revenge and be as awful as how you treated previously or (2) be the better person and make sure the other people wont feel the way you did before.

And i put this same principle to Ga Yeol Chan. and that’s why I was mostly disappointed in him for the first half of the show. He knows what it felt like to be bullied, to not be respected and to treat others unkindly. Yet that is what he was doing to his team. On the outside, he comes off as super nice, great boss, compassionate but when no one is looking, he puts them down, thinks that they are all stupid and he’s the magnanimous boss. Grr! Irritated me a lot!

And i compare him to Lee Mansic. He’s so experienced in dealing with people, even when he knows Ga Yeol Chan is treating him like trash, he stood up for himself and treated work as work. Yes, he has done so many bad things in his work life, but as he said during the last few episodes to the board of directors when he was trying to defend Ga Yeol Chan — who hasn’t done things because the boss told them too? It is hard to do it but someone’s got to do it and they become the “bad guys”. And what’s good with Lee Mansic is that he actually reflects on his actions. He knows when he’s done bad things, and he knows when he needs to back down and apologize. He tries hard to grit his teeth and move forward even when things are terrible.

To be honest, i almost dropped the show around episode 5 because I didn’t like Ga Yeol Chan and i didn’t like his team — i thought they were so incompetent – the 2 permanent employees were slackers, the lady contractual had b*tch face everyday, the girl intern was so weird, and the guy intern was creepy and vindictive. The only person I liked was Lee Mansic. And it was enough for me to continue watching, because I couldn’t wait for the day when Ga Yeol Chan wakes up and he and Lee Mansic teams up to take down the bad guys. At this point, i thought the “bad guy” was Namgoong Joonsu, who i can’t understand why he is so intent on pulling Yeol Chan down when he spends the whole day just talking and plotting inane things with the manager. I dont think i even saw him work once!

But i’m glad i stuck it out with the show. I loved all the office drama where they have to fix various issues that happens, like angry consumers, developing new ramen product. And i liked the slow growth and maturity of the team. Well, mostly the gradual realization of Yeol chan of how he judges too easily and puts down people so much (although i thought this should have happened early on).

I especially loved when he said, “That’s when i realized that I had been too quick to judge based on my own standards, without remembering how clumsy I had been in the beginning. I looked down on them just like the people who had looked down on me. You shouldn’t judge a person that easily. They were never useless from the get-go.” I agree with him. Everyone brings something to the table, and sometimes, it is the diversity that makes life interesting because that’s when you learn so much more and you appreciate the people around you.

Likewise, this drama also showed the maturity of Mansic too. He has spent most of his life thinking he’s the older one, but it’s also nice to listen to the young people too. They have new creative ideas that older people dont think of, partly because we are stuck to our ways or we never thought of it. I loved the scene between his daughter when she said, not in an angry tone, but in a loving way, “That’s why you need to stop saying things like ‘back in my days’. You should humble yourself when you approach younger people. And hear them out on their ideas instead of asserting only yours.” I do note that this should go both ways. Younger people also should listen and respect the older generation too.

I still didn’t like the guy intern that much and i didn’t really care for his romance with the lady contractual, but the story wasn’t bad. I also still didn’t like the two slackers.

I did like the girl intern – like i said before, she started really weird and i thought she is immature, but she eventually grew on me. I wished they showed how nice and smart she is early on. and I’m happy they didn’t pursue the loveline between her and Yeol Chan because it felt off from the very start. And the unexpected surprise, learning that she is Mansic’s daughter was so funny, and somehow they earlier episodes finally started making sense. and I loved the father-daughter team/relationship. Again, i wish this happened earlier on.

As for the “bad guy”, I’ve always had some niggling feeling that Joonsu wasn’t the villain of the drama, and I was right. It was the lady! Ugh! *Side note: she seems to be all over kdramaland nowadays, she needs to be careful not to be “too much” out there or people might get fed up with her

Oh, and i want to give a shout out to the 2 other senior interns – they were both kickass! (Especially Anastacia – wow she is so beautiful and elegant!)

Overall, this drama was not bad, it had comedy, action (the warehouse gang fight scene was one of the funniest i’ve seen in a while), drama, lots of food (mostly ramen), lots of lessons learned about life and about work. And of course, the bromance between Yeol Chan and Mansic!! It felt like Mansic became part mentor, part father to Yeol Chan, which i loved.

Rating: 7.5/10

Posted in kdrama

Sweet Munchies (2020)

Drama: Late Night Snack Man and Woman (야식남녀)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 12
Release Date: May 25 – June 30, 2020
Runtime: Mon & Tue 21:30

A struggling chef agrees to be on a show about a gay chef dishing advice while serving delicious food. What will happen when people find out he has been lying and he isn’t really gay?

Main Cast
Jung Il Woo – Park Jin Sung
Kang Ji Young – Kim Ah Jin
Lee Hak Joo – Kang Tae Wan

I was really looking forward to watch Jung Il Woo cooking in his new drama but sad to say, he has to learn to choose his scripts better! This drama had so many unrealized potential! Or maybe because the direction of the story wasn’t what i was hoping for. Plus, Jin Sung made so many bad decisions that I can only roll my eyes at him.

Let me back up a little. The original setup of the story is Jinsung’s dad had an accident and Jinsung needed money to pay for his hospitalization. Then his friend bailed on him and sold his restaurant. He was barely able to convince the landlady to let him keep his restaurant and pay his deposit. In short, he needs cash asap and the banks turned him down that he ended up going to a loan shark. Then he finds out one of his regulars, Ajin, is a TV producer looking for a gay chef to star in a cooking/advice themed show. So he ended up pretending to be gay and he got the role. Interesting right? Unfortunately the story went downhill after.

It was for a pilot episode, the ratings were high and the viewers loved Jinsung! So now Ajin finally gets a chance to direct her very first tv show (after working hard for the last 4 years as a bullied and often looked down contractual employee). She tries to convince Jinsung to join the regular season. At first Jinsung adamantly refused to do it because he knows it’s wrong and he doesn’t want to further deceive the people involved. But soft hearted Jinsung, so how tough it is for Ajin, that her career may go down if she doesn’t cast Jinsung, eggs were thrown at her in front of the tv station, and he is started to feel something for her. So what did he do? He agreed to help her out and took the offer to continue to star in the show! Ugh!! Big mistake!

I thought Jinsung should have told Ajin right then and there that “I’m not gay. I only did it because i needed the money and you needed a gay chef for the pilot season. I’m not going to do it again.” I thought that this way, the decision is on Ajin – if she still wants to cast him knowing they will be lying, or let Ajin find some other gay chef to do it. Or, if she really thinks that Jinsung is the main reason it was a hit, then create a cooking show around him. Viewers are quick to forgive so i think they can always say, gotcha! it was just a character acting. Now, the real show will start or something. I think whatever Ajin decided, it would still be a great drama to watch because it will be interesting what happens

Next up is the love triangle. I honestly didn’t feel the chemistry between Jinsung and Ajin. I thought they were better off as friends rather than as lovers. It just complicated the things and if you think about it, Jinsung wouldn’t have continued lying if he didn’t fell in love with Ajin. It’s because he wanted to protect her from getting hurt. And in the end Ajin realized it too when she thought of all those times – Jinsung did reject her so many times and she kept pestering him and telling him of her work problems that Jinsung couldn’t help but help her. Yes, i would say it is also partly her fault.

And not just Ajin. It’s her b*tchy boss’ fault too! She was pressuring everyone to create new shows and she just sits there and do nothing. Instead of motivating and supporting her team to be more creative, she would threaten them, like she did to Ajin, to come up with a gay chef in 24 hours or you’re fired! I also thought it was unfair. And when Ajin is having a hard time to persuade Jinsung to join the second season, the boss again pressured her by saying she will get a permanent position if she can do it. I don’t think it was the right way to encourage your staff and when it turned out that Jinsung was a fake, i’m glad the boss had the decency to take responsibility for her actions. Yes, she may not have known and she wouldn’t have agreed to this had she know, but her decisions and initial actions helped create this problem.

and what i dont understand is the lack of background check and validation done by Ajin and the team on Jinsung. I know, how do you validate or ask the guy if he is really gay or pretending? but i thought the fact that there are already rumors about Jinsung, they should have investigated, rather than trust Jinsung fully.

I hated Gyu Jang’s character but he was the only one who actually thought of investigating the rumors, although I think it’s partly driven by wanting Ajin to fail. I think he is such a homophobic, chauvinistic bully and rather than take responsibility for being part of the show like what the boss did, he escaped the wrath and was even proud enough to spread malicious stories about Ajin. I also hoped that he be given some kind of reprimand too because it’s as if he was the only one who didn’t get impacted by the issue.

The only thing that made me continue to watch this show is Kang Tae Wan. From the minute Jinsung and Tae Wan bumped into each other at the stairways, i was hooked. Their stares and sizzling chemistry onscreen was amazing that i wanted them to end up together. It made me rethink the whole drama. The plot was a girl (Ajin) and a guy (Taewan) will fight over a guy (Jinsung). Since we already know from the start that Jinsung is not gay, then it just felt so terrible knowing that Taewan was being lied to while he is slowly falling in love with Jinsung.

That’s why it made me think – wouldn’t it be more powerful if Jinsung was instead bisexual – that he actually likes both of them and can’t decide who he wants more? That knowing that there’s no way Jinsung will love Taewan just feels like a fakeout – especially when they kept showing a lot of scenes between Jinsung and Taewan – holding his hand, looking so close to each other as if there’s something going on but there’s nothing but just teasing the viewers! or if Jinsung is really straight, then at least give Taewan the dignity of a one-sided crush without Jinsung unintentionally leading him on.

In addition, i loved Tae Wan’s story about being afraid of coming out to people and esp. his father, who he respects the most. That it was Jinsung who gave me the courage to come out and be happy with himself was beautiful and that final conversation with the dad was also touching. I also thought Tae Wan could have been the main character in a different drama and it would also worked so well because Lee Hak Joo gave a memorable performance as Tae Wan. I absolutely detested him in A World of Married Couple but i loved him here!

Another expectation that i had that was not met was that thinking this was a show within a show. That every episode we will see the cooking show with different people’s problems and Jinsung dishing out advice to them, all the while showing great food shots and the stories somehow connecting with their off the record lives. So i was really disappointed because aside from that one episode where the girl hated to eat tripe, there were no other cases shown. Instead, everything happened offline — they went on a overnight trip together – which didn’t really make any sense at first. I thought they just threw the story out the window and gave up on episode 3 (haha). But looking back, the trip was important to bond the group together – that Jinsung ended up having actual friends.

And i also felt weirded out by the side love story between the writer and the rookie. I didn’t like the rookie, i thought he was rude and the fact that he followed Gyu Jang and bullied Ajin was terrible. And again, i thought, where’s the story about Jinsung and his cooking show? Why are we focusing on these two people that are secondary?

Another missed opportunity is giving Jinsung’s brother, Jinwoo more screen time. They spent too much time on Jinsung who was pretending to be gay, and Taewan, but what about Jinwoo’s struggles also a gay person wanting to be accepted in the industry too? I thought they should have focused on his story rather than the writer’s love story. And Jinwoo only showed up during the time when he found out Jinsung’s lie! And he and his dad barely got screen time or one last scene after the press found out about Jinsung.

By the end of the drama, when everyone finally found out the truth, I honestly agreed with all of them. Keep the show at 8 episodes and just stop. Or.. make the big reveal on national tv before the press finds out the truth! at least they would have gone in a big bang! And it’s now up to the viewers if they continue to like Jinsung as himself or just develop another hit show.

And looking back, i wondered why people weren’t as angry at Jinsung as i thought they would be. and i think it’s because aside from lying, Jinsung wasn’t really a bad guy. He didn’t do it for fame or money. He did it to help his dad and to help Ajin. And he continued lying because he didn’t want them to suffer because of him. Yes, misguided but you can’t really get angry at him. And they already know his real personality – which is very nice and warm and simple. I just wished that Jinsung chose himself over the others too, that way he didn’t have to sacrifice himself all the time.

Overall, i dont know how i was able to finish this drama. I think it helped that this was only 12 episodes and i watched it 2 episodes a week so i didn’t feel the time pass until i realized it was the final episode. Also the ending wasn’t so bad – it wasn’t super happy – they all faced the consequences of their actions – yet there was a silver lining after all the hoopla died down. In the end, the story taught us about getting back up even after falling.

As Ajin said in the final scene, “Like morning always comes after night, when you think it’s the end, something else begins, like a miracle. Even if it’s one step at a time, we just have to move forward. Toward the bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

Rating: 6/10

Posted in kdrama

Team Bulldog: Off Duty Investigation (2020)

Drama: Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (번외수사)
Network: OCN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: May 23 – June 28, 2020
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 22:50

A detective unintentionally teams up with a gusty TV producer, an ex-NFS turned funeral director, a profiler slash networking sales agent, and former gangster turned bar owner to solve homicide cases.

Main Cast
Cha Tae Hyun – Jin Kang Ho
Lee Sun Bin – Kang Moo Young
Jung Sang Hoon – Lee Ban Seok
Yoon Kyung Ho – Teddy Jeong
Ji Seung Hyun – Tak Won
Park Jung Woo – Min Dae Jin

I’m a big fan of Cha Tae Hyun, so I try to catch almost all of his variety shows, dramas and movies. After his unfortunate (and unfair!) scandal last year, I was excited to see him back and active in kdramaland. And i think Team Bulldog was a fantastic choice for a comeback.

First off, this wasn’t his usual role. He always plays the nice guy and family man so seeing him play a reckless and relentless detective was so much fun! And it helped that this drama perfectly balanced seriousness with light humor/sarcasm that was perfect for Cha Tae Hyun! I didn’t even realize he could do action! haha! i mean, he doesn’t have a lot of suave action scenes but he did a lot of running and beating up some guys that i thought okay, he looks good too! I loved his banter with his boss – like he can just talk so rudely at him but it was so funny and true. good thing his boss is nice (and lazy), and he actually is so good at solving crimes that he gets away with his rudeness. I also loved his character’s funny scenes and rapport with the rest of the cast (i will mention them later). I thought the group was such a ragtag team of misfits and experts yet they worked so well together.

Another thing i loved about this drama are the cases. Instead of episodic cases, they decided to just have 4 cases, so each case took around 2-3 episodes to solve. So there was enough build up of the tension, a lot of investigations and clues that made the cases interesting. The cases were also not the usual affairs or murder cases, but tackled transgender, twin brothers, street kids and a few serial killers. Some of them are also close of the heart of the team which makes the cases important and gives the team more reason to be closer and understand each other.

So the main premise is there’s this reckless Fact Check PD (Kang Moo Young) who likes to solve crimes before the police does and air it on her show for the ratings. And most of the time, the cases she choose coincides with Kang Ho’s current cases. I love that despite the different ways they investigate the clues and evidence, they still end up with the same leads and conclusion, and it’s with sharing the knowledge of the cases that they are able to solve them completely.

To be honest, i didn’t like Moo Young character that much. She was too condescending at Kang Ho, kept scoffing at him and calling him lazy cop when he is so competent at his job! I think she has a lot of hang ups and thinks she is better than the police in solving crimes, which I thought was too arrogant. Plus, most of the time, she ignores the rules and goes into so much lengths just so she can get ahead, all for the ratings.

And i dont understand why she wont share information with Kangho when he is a detective and he can help her? Kang Ho has been quite fair in his dealings with her. He also doesn’t care about protocol and rules, as long as he gets the job done, so i dont think he would turn down Moo Young’s help, esp if it would hasten him to solve the crime. I especially did not like episode 11 when Moo Young enlisted everyone’s help in solving the Lockroom murder, even kidnapping the actual killer – without letting Kang Ho know all about it!! So i super agreed with Kang Ho in episode 12 when he found out and he was pissed off. he said, i can’t believe you kept him when you already know a detective! i could have helped you!! But the good thing with Kang Ho is he doesn’t hold grudges. He didn’t like what happened but he still worked with them to catch the killer.

Aside from Kangho, Tak Won is my second favorite character. Maybe because i have a soft spot for the actor. I loved his role as a NK soldier in DOTS and the husband in Search WWW. And he was deadpan funny in this role! He is an intelligent profiler and his analyses always make sense and are accurate. I dont remember if they ever revealed the reason why he stopped teaching profiling to the police and decided to set up his own (failing) detective agency. and the endless ribbing and jokes about the Good life networking products were so hilarious! I guess it is also very rampant in Korea!

Oh Teddy Jeong! i love this guy and his 2 Red Zone employees! They always arrive at the scene a little late but is always ready to beat up the bad guys! I love that they always have a fantastic grand entrance, with Teddy looking so cool while inhaling his asthma inhaler (haha!) and proceed to punch, slap and kick the guys like they’re nothing. And when asked, he always say, no worries, i have nothing to do because the bar hasn’t opened. LOL.

The other person is the ex-NFS turned funeral director Ban Seok (and his deep dimples). I loved that they used his area as their office, although there are a lot of dead bodies in the freezer (like one of them said, there’s always aircon haha). I just wish he had more opportunity to display his talent other than a few analysis of blood samples here and there. His story about her daughter was also very touching.

Overall, i thoroughly enjoyed this drama and felt that 12 episodes were not enough at all! They spent 12 episodes working separately and only working together in the last leg of the cases. then on the final episode, they finally admitted that they make a great team (Fact Check and Kangho and the others) and decided to name themselves “Team Bulldog” then they find out the serial killer they caught escaped. GAH!!!! I really wish there is a season 2!!! it really felt like season 1 was just an intro on how the team got together but the real action has not started! I wish Netflix picks this up for a few more seasons and I will definitely follow this show! Actually, i wish OCN inks a partnership with Netflix so every one can watch all the awesome OCN shows! Side note – i hope if they ever decide on season 2, that they include Dae Jin into their team! 🙂

Rating: 9/10
Posted in kdrama

The King Eternal Monarch (2020)

Drama: The King: Eternal Monarch (더킹:영원의 군주)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 17 – June 12, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00

Imagine there are two kinds of Korea in a parallel universe: One is the Kingdom of Corea and the other is the Republic of Korea. One day Lee Gon, the king, was able to cross the universe to the Republic and meets Jung Tae Eul, police detective. Can their relationship even survive?

Main Cast
Lee Min Ho – Lee Gon
Kim Go Eun – Jung Tae Eul / Luna
Lee Jung Jin – Lee Rim
Woo Do Hwan – Jo Yeong / Eun Seop
Kim Kyung Nam – Kang Shin Jae
Jung Eun Chae – Koo Seo Ryeong

I had high hopes for this drama because it’s Lee Minho’s comeback drama and the premise of a parallel universe sounds so interesting! However, i was also wary of this drama because I don’t really love Kim Eun Seok’s dramas. They are always grand and visually pleasing with stellar cast, but i usually find them boring or lacking chemistry between the leads.

So did I like this drama? Hm, I have mixed feelings after watching this. I think for the most part, I was fine with the show, it made me look forward to it every week, but it wasn’t as spectacular so i hoped it would be. I think it’s the execution that failed.

First off, it took a long time to set up the 2 universe, and all throughout the drama, i would get confused if we were in Republic or in Kingdom. With the double characters that look the same, i dont know if they have jumped from one side to the other and back. The plot of Lee Rim swapping the characters were so interesting but we never got the reason for the swap, and he was never really able to utilize them so i felt like he just wasted his time building his team/army all these years, coz in the end, the fight was just between him and Lee Gon, and the minions and the swapped characters weren’t important to the overall story. I thought the only swapped characters that Lee Rim did that made impact were Shinjae and his mom.

As the story builds on the eventual battle between Lee Rim and Lee Gon, the writer decided to bring the romance piece early on in the story (i guess so we can focus on Lee Rim/Lee Gon in the latter part), but the problem is it came too early and too fast. They met in Republic, with Tae Eul mostly ignoring Lee Gon and telling him to get lost. They didn’t even had any serious conversations about themselves other than Lee Gon keep staring at her and telling her he has looked for her for years. Then Lee Gon went back to Kingdom, Tae Eul starting missing him, and the minute he came back to Republic, Tae Eul was already almost in love. Like what?? Lee Gon brings her to Kingdom, he kisses her with no warning or permission (and it was’t heart melting) and Tae Eul was okay with it and they’re now together and dating. What the heck! They still dont talk much. The next week they part and meet again, Tae Eul was sobbing so hard, you’d think they had one big love and it was life or death.

I dont know. I could never get into their romance because there was no build up, there was no reason why they fell in love other than, they have to because it’s part of the story. But i think with the proper viewing lens, which is, accepting that they are together even if it doesnt make sense, helped me somehow appreciate the second half of the episodes. i wasn’t as touched or invested in their relationship though, i admit Lee Gon’s grand gestures like announcing to everyone she is the future queen, and all their cutesy time travelling dates were cute!

The tricky parts in creating a whole new universe like parallel universe is trying to ensure the rules make sense and doesn’t get too unbelievable as the story moves forward. In The King’s case, aside from parallel universe, which was complicated already, they further included time travel into the rules and it got messy.

The first half was so boring, introducing the 2 worlds and the double characters that the real story and action only started around episode 12 when Lee Gon finally met Lee Rim on New Year’s Day. and with only 4 episodes left, there wasn’t enough time to lay out all the rules and answer all the burning questions from the previous episodes.

The good thing with this show is that it left a lot of curious clues along the way that me, my cousin and friends had a fun time trying to solve the puzzle and think of the possible scenarios. But while the drama answered most of them, some were left with the viewer’s minds. If you’re fussy about this, you will probably be really disappointed with the story because there are several scenes and rules that didn’t make sense from a bigger picture. However, I took the story as it is and just followed the logic (just like i did with W or MoTA) so I was happy with the overall way the show wrapped up the story. I still think they could have extended 2 more episodes to fully answer the rest of the questions.

Another revelation about this show is discovering Woo Do Hwan! I’ve never watched his dramas before, and at first i didn’t like Jo Yeong – i prefered Eun Seop who was so cute and charming! That he can create two distinct but equally memorable characters is amazing! Esp since it’s his last drama prior to enlistment. I’m looking forward to see him back in a few years!

I also thought that Lee Minho’s acting became more mature compared to his previous dramas. I just hope he takes on more challenging roles, other than the usual roles he does. He can do more than just the arrogant rich guy who seem cold but is actually nice! And he continues to have such magnetic presence on screen! Just his beautiful face on tv is enough to watch The King, despite its flaws.

Kim Go Eun is so-so for me, i didn’t like her in Goblin but she was okay here. She knows how to cry, but sometimes her cry doesn’t feel natural or she over-cries. Or maybe because i wasn’t too invested in their relationship so i couldn’t feel the intensity of her feelings for Lee Gon.

Overall, this drama was quite ambitious but faltered along the way. Good thing they were able to save this show by wrapping up the story quite nicely in the end.

Rating: 8.5/10