Posted in kdrama

Racket Boys (2021)

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Drama: Racket Boys (라켓소년단)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 31 – July 20, 2021
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
A story of young badminton players vying for the junior sports competition while learning about friendship, family, teamwork, love and success.

Main Cast
Tang Jung Sang – Yoon Hae Kang
Son Sang Yeon – Bang Yoon Dam
Choi Hyun Wook – Na Woo Chan
Kim Kang Hoon – Lee Young Tae
Kim Sang Kyung – Yoon Hyeon Jong
Oh Nara – Ra Yeong Ja
Lee Jae In – Han Se Yoon
Lee Ji Won – Lee Han Sol

Review
Absolute gem!!

I came for the sports themed drama and stayed for the kids! Haekang, Yoondam, Woochan, Yongtae, Insol, Seyoon and Hansol were perfectly casted! I’ll predict they are the new generation Kdrama prince and princesses in the making!!

I love the kids’ friendship and romance.
Haekang – He’s such a typical confident kid “I’m the one and only Yoon Hae Kang”. He sounds like a jerk but you’ll come to love him, especially when he shows how much he is a softie. I love Haekang’s growth from hating the village life and his team and becoming passionate about the sport. And how he had found his real friends.

Yoondam – he’s so handsome, like a young Hyun Bin. And i love his cute love story with Hansol. He is also a nice captain.

Woochan – except for his hair, he is also cute, like a young Jang Ki Yong! I love his friendship with Youngtae, his struggles as being an “average” player. I think in a team, everyone needs to have their own position. We can’t have two stars or two captains. So i think Woochan’s position in the team is the best defensive player, who will back the star, and that’s equally important. I love that he finally got to play badminton and I love his scene with his military father.

Lee Yong Tae is like a mini Hae Kang, always so confident even at a young age. He’s also a crybaby. I like the story where he finally got past his imitation of his idol, Lee Young Dae and came up with his own playing style.

Insol – a great addition to the team. I would say he’s not only the brains, but he also has equal badminton skills as the others. I mean, he almost won against Haekang (the final scene was controversial, given that he gave way to Haekang). A few more years and he will be part of the national team too. And i love the super strict father who ended up being his best fan.

I also loved the two girls – Seyoon and Hansol. Seyoon’s is such an amazing and dedicated badminton player. No wonder she’s the best junior player in the country. I love her love story with Hae Kang, it was slow burn from the very start and finally culminated when Hae Kang won the NJSP. I’m amazed by how mature the kids are in this drama. Maybe because they are athletes.

I love loved Jiwon as Seyoon’s best friend. That episode 14 where the drama highlighted the girls’ friendship had me in tears.

I also liked the interaction between the other kids. They maybe rivals on-court but off-court they are friends and have respect for one another.

The coaches — esp. Coach Yoon, Coach Ra, Coach Whitewolf .. sometimes as adults we think we know it all, but sometimes it’s good to learn from the kids too. Coach Yoon came off as a slacker coach but when he starting putting his heart in coaching, he really did well. Coach Ra is very strict since she is a perfectionist, but the episode where they revealed her back story was also sad, and made me admire how tough she has been all these years.

I also loved the badminton matches. I read they all trained for 6-9 months and it really shows.

It took me some time to warm up to the villagers but they were good people. And accepted the badminton team as their own. I cried when grandma passed away.

I’d like to have a season 2 because i love the kids, but i’m afraid it won’t be as good so i’ll just rewatch this.

Rating: 9/10

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The Lady in Dignity (2017)

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Drama: Woman of Dignity (품위있는 그녀)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 20
Release Date: June 16 – August 19, 2017
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 23:00

Plot
The second daughter in law hires a caregiver to take care of her father in law. The ambitious caregiver seduces the father in law, marries him and takes over the household.

Main Cast
Kim Hee Sun – Woo A-Jin
Kim Sun Ah – Park Bok Ja
Jung Sang Hoon – Ahn Jae Suk
Lee Ki Woo – Kang Ki Ho
Kim Yong Geon – Ahn Tae Dong
Seo Jung Yeon – Park Jumi
Oh Nara – Ahn Jae Hee

Review
Woo Ajin was the only lady in dignity (and her short haired friend) in this drama. Park Bokja was right. They may have millions of cash, but were all trash. I am sure this really happens in real life. I was impressed how Ajin is able to still be so positive and happy (and successful) despite her problems. Must be why Bokja wanted to be like her and didn’t touch her. And she even got a handsome, single, nice lawyer for a new boyfriend and a flourishing business. I also liked that her daughter is smart and sensitive like her.

Very interesting to think that Bokja and Ajin encountered each other one night years ago, but Bokja remembered Ajin and wanted to be like her. What I was wondering is why she chose the chairman of all people. There are other chaebol families she can dupe. Did she intentionally choose Ajin’s family? The first few episodes were so terrible (because everyone was cheating and Bokja was infuriating that I almost didn’t want to continue. I just thought, oh Bokja will die anyways so I will let her wreak havoc and laugh when she finally gets killled. For me, the drama made Bokja so despicable that her “redemption” at the latter half was too late. Her death was really inevitable, someone even told her the same thing. Money really cannot buy happiness and class. I think she was too greedy, moved too fast and didn’t have a long term goal, that’s why she also got duped and killed. Had she bided her time, and slowly integrated herself with the family, she could have lived and maybe the family would have respected her. That’s why I really couldn’t like her the whole time.

I was surprised by who the killer was but it kinda made sense. Some people may not have been happy because the killer wasn’t very prominent in the show but i think it was done on purpose to show how much pain Bokja caused to the people around her because of her greed. And the one who killed her was the one she least expected to do it, and the one that was “collateral damage”.

I also think the Chairman also deserved it. I mean, how could Chairman give all his money to Bokja and leave nothing to his kids? Even if they were stupid, they were still his children and legally the inheritance is theirs. But i cant blame him. He must have felt very lonely that the first person who showed him compassion, he mistook for love and gave his everything. And in the end, he didnt fight to get the money back because no one will inherit the company anyway. The 3 children were incompetent and didn’t even care when he was in the hospital. Only Ajin came and the 2nd son. It makes me think why his children were like that. Maybe the Chairman didn’t do a good job with raising them. That’s why they were spoiled and greedy.

I also hated Ajin’s husband’s story and the mistress. There were too many scenes of them and it was gross. I thought maybe the mistress actually fell in love with the husband, but I think she used him to get some money. First time to see a mistress that was so thick faced including the mom. Wanted to slap her for Ajin’s sake (she is too classy for that). She really deserved her what happened to her. Instead of being grateful for Ajin in introducing her to the art world, she had the nerve to cheat! What a b*tch!!! And she’s not sexy, pretty or smart enough to match against Ajin. Again, it also makes me think about marriage. Maybe Ajin didn’t give enough attention to her husband. Or maybe the husband was just a tool. I normally like the actor but I couldn’t stomach him or his funny scenes in this drama.

Ajin’s 4 friends ‘ stories didn’t feel resolved but more like “life goes on” and they continue to sleep around and cheat on their partners. Their friendship also felt fake — like they had to because they were rich and their children were school mates, but given the chance they would have backstabbed each other if needed. I think the worse was the girl who had an affair with the doctor and the younger guy. I know she was being beaten by her husband, but it’s no excuse to sleep with your friend’s husband, and have a third guy on the side.

I felt bad for the doctor’s wife, but it always takes two to tango. The doctor felt ignored by the wife and thought shedidn’t love him; that he was just the there to make money for the family. The wife was actually nice and didn’t cheat on her husband, but her story didn’t get resolved. We just see her get angry that the cheating friend is happily in love with her boyfriend and is pregnant.

The other lady with a younger boyfriend also had a sad marriage – her husband was cheating on her yet when she is doing the same, the husband got angry at her. Talk about double standards. Also felt bad that she actually was in love with the guy, but turns out the guy was really just in it for the money and sex. I thought them breaking up was the best ending so I didn’t like how she ended up with that sneaky hotel manager.

Overall, I may sound like I was ranting and hating everyone, but actually the story gets addicting around episode 10 or 11. Maybe because I’d love to hate the characters, that’s why I wanted to find out what happens to them.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Navillera (2021)

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Drame: Navillera (나빌레라)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: March 22-April 27, 2021
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot:
A struggling ballerino is forced by his teacher to teach an old man who wants to learn ballet before it’s too late.

Main Cast:
Park In Hwan – Lee Deok Chul
Song Kang – Lee Chae Rok
Kim Tae Hoon – Ki Seung Joo
Yoon Ji Hye – Eun So Ri
Kim Kwon – Yang Ho Beom
Hong Seung Hee – Sim Eun Ho

Review:
For those who prefer to listen to the podcast version, please click this link:

This was a beautiful and heart warming drama! I’m so glad I watched this. I want to commend the efforts of both Song Kang and Park In Hwan for the beautiful ballet shots and moves! I’m sure they worked really hard in their scenes! Their duet performance was so beautiful, I kept re-watching the scenes even days after I watched the final episode.

My instagram post below captures my main thoughts about the show

This is a must watch!

Rating: 9/10

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Once Again (2019-2020)

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Drama: Once Again (한 번 다녀왔습니다)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 100
Release Date: March 28 – September 13, 2020
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 19:55
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Four adult children of a married couple got divorced and went back to live with their parents.

Main Cast
Lee Min Jung – Song Nahee
Lee Sang Yeob – Yoon Gyu Jin
Lee Cho Hee – Song Dahee
Lee Sang Yi – Yoon Jae Seok
Oh Yoon Ah – Song Gahee
Ki Do Hoon – Park Hyosin
Oh Dae Hwan – Song Junseon
Lim Jung Eun – Sung Hyun Kyung
Cheon Hojin – Song Yeong Dal
Cha Hwa Yeon – Jang Ok Bun
Kim Bo Yeon – Choi Yoon Jong
Lee Jung Eun – Cho Yeon / Yeong Suk
Baek Ji Won – Jang Ok Ja
Ahn Kil Kang – Yang Chisu

Review:
What a wonderful story! I’ve watched a few weekend dramas before and this is one of those that didn’t have a lot of makjang storylines! It was just about a family where each member has their own struggles in life, they fight, they misunderstand, they hurt each other. But in the end, they are family and they continue to understand and love each other.

I love the siblings – Junseon, Gahee, Nahee and Dahee! Gyujin and Jaesook too! If i had to choose:

Dahee and Jaesook is my favorite couple. Not only do the actors look alike, they just have this sweet vibe and they match perfectly. I love Nahee and Gyujin but they keep fighting like kids, sometimes I wonder how they manage to stay together. Or maybe it’s really just opposite attract.

Jaesook is the best boyfriend. He supports Dahee 100%, he is very sweet, understanding and romantic. He sings for her!! Brings her food. Meets her after work. Hangs out with her friends. His only flaw is that he is a little bit clingy (well, I think some girls like clingy guys).

Gahee is my favorite sibling. She looks so good in everything she wears. She is a cool mom, she stands up for herself and she is smart. She is caring and sensitive too. No wonder Hyosin fell in love with her despite the age gap, her divorce status and having a child.

Choyeon/Yeongsuk is my favorite ahjumma/market owner. She is smart and tough because of her upbringing. She defends the people who are down, she helps older people. Her flaw is being too nice that she takes care of other people even when they have betrayed her. She is simple and average looking but because of her personality, two guys fell in love with here in the drama, and she eventually dates a much younger and handsome guy! Not bad Choyeon!

Dahee is the best daughter in law, the best daughter, the best sister. She is the sweetest of them all. She may look like a pushover but once she sets her mind to it, she is stubborn. Maybe because she’s the youngest so she gets babied a lot but she knows when it’s time to remind the people that she can make her own decisions. She is nice to everyone, that’s why she can even tame the strictest and scariest mother in law (yes, that’s Yoonjung!)

Jihoon is the sweetest grandchild. He was hurt when his dad kept ignoring him. I felt so bad whenever he gets stood up by his dad. I’m glad he was able to meet and be friends with Hyosin. He needed a stand up adult to mentor him or else I’m sure he would have grown up to be a bad child. Kudos to Gahee for raising a young and mature son. Even at a young age, he is sensitive to his mom’s feelings and when dad wanted to get back together with Gahee, he said no and chose to be happy with his mom. Plus, he also encouraged Hyosin and Gahee.

Rating: 8.5/10

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True Beauty (2021)

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Drama: True Beauty (여신강림)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 9, 2020 – February 4, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30

Plot:
A high school girl bullied for her looks learns how to use makeup and transfers to another school where students are nice to her. She gets caught in a love triangle between silent but strong Suho and cool guy Seo Jun. Who will she choose? And what will she do when everyone finds out her real face sans makeup?

Main Cast
Moon Ga Young – Lim Jukyung
Cha Eun Woo – Lee Suho
Hwang In Yeop – Han Seo Jun
Park Yoona – Kang Soo Jin

Review
The best thing about this drama is of course Jukyung and Suho 🥰 I think even without the childhood connection they could have still worked the relationship. I love that Suho loved Jukyung for herself and Jukyung helped Suho come out of his shell. They were there for each other in good and bad times and they didn’t have to pretend to each other. they can just show their true selves – like how they both love horror comics.

Cha Eun Woo as Lee Suho is perfect!! I think his stint in All the Butlers is helping me grow and mature into a better actor. He’s getting exposed to different challenges and experiences and meeting various people. Plus i’m sure he is getting tips from his fellow cast mates Seunggi and Seungrok. He’s only 23 years old – I think give him a few more years and we will see an even better actor

Poor Seojun, he really is a good guy, but just not the right one for Jukyung. I was hoping for a cameo of someone pretty at the end so that Seojun will have his own happy ever atfer but i liked that he was able to debut! I know a lot of people loved Hwang In Yeop in True Beauty, but I honestly liked him more in 18 Again.

It’s hard for me to watch the bullying scenes but I love that Jukyung was able to stand up and accept herself with or without makeup. And I’m glad she found real friends like Soo Ah. School violence and bullying must really be prevalent in Korea. Is it because of the pressure that the kids face from society and their parents? I really hope they do something about it.

Jukyung’s family is weird but fun! I love the softhearted dad and the cute younger brother. The mom is a tiger mom and at first I didn’t like her for always not listening to Jukyung and putting her down because she is not “pretty” enough. Good thing she finally learned the truth and supported Jukyung. One thing I find weird is that the first thing that she thought of was to go to a plastic surgeon. I mean, she saw how pretty Jukyung can be in full makeup — she just needs a good dermatologist to help her with her skin care.

I loved the bromance between Suho, Seojun and Seyeon. Not just loved, but it was heartbreaking. I feel so sad that Seyeon killed himself after the false bullying accusations. That is why everyone and especially the media needs to be careful with what we post and write. it’s not always about the power, fame and money. We need to love and respect more.

I loved all the cameos from Extra You cast.. but why is Kim Young Dae’s cameo so short? (Maybe he was busy filming Penthouse). I love Gun Joo’s cameo is the longest. He is so cute!

The makeup PPL and the OST! I almost added to cart all the colorgram cosmetics in Lazada last weekend 😁 but restrained myself. But i bought the OST! the background music was a little distracting though because it was always loud.

The story was almost finished by episode 14 so I didn’t expect the time jump. The last two episodes felt like fillers, although they were able to wrap everyone’s story neatly. It did feel like it was more of appreciation episodes for Seo Jun as he got a lot of screen time.. he had a date with Jukyung and confessed his feelings, he still maintained his friendship with Suho and he debuted and sang twice.

I appreciated seeing the gang all grown up and living their lives after school. I didn’t necessarily hate the breakup, I thought it was the most sensible reason at that time. Suho didn’t know when he will be back and he didn’t want Jukyung to wait for him. I hoped instead of Suho breaking up with Jukyung like that, and going silent for 2 years, they could have mutually agreed to hold off the relationship until he was back. I think Jukyung would have understood it.

I missed Soojin and I was hoping she had a better ending than volunteering overseas. It felt like she was trying hard to atone for her past behavior. She can go back to school, do what she wants and be her badass self again.

I’m prolly the only one who didn’t like Hee Kyung and Mr Han’s romance. I mostly fast forwarded their scenes. I think it was too cute for their age, but it wasn’t bad.

I did wish to see more reconciliation scenes between Suho and dad.

Rating: 9/10 (8.5 for the story +0.5 for Eunwoo)