Posted in kdrama

Misty (2018)

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Drama: Misty (미스티)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 2 – March 24, 2018
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 23:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A story of the life and loves of a popular anchorwoman – how far will she go to reach the top and the many men who are willing to do anything for her (even in death), and her enemies who are willing to do anything to bring her down.

Main Cast
Kim Nam Joo – Go Hye Ran
Ji Jin Hee – Kang Tae Wook
Jeon Hye Jin – Seo Eun Joo
Im Tae Kyung – Ha Myung Woo
Go Joon – Kevin Lee

Review
After watching the last episode, I know why they called this Misty, but I think “Misery” is more appropriate and probably how I can describe this drama. I would also describe this as Tragic but it doesn’t sound as good as Misery.

What I loved the most (and really the reason I couldn’t stop watching) is hands down the twisted relationship between Go Hye Ran and Kang Tae wook! Their palpable chemistry whenever they’re on screen. The way they look at each other was so full of sexual tension. And most especially, Kang Tae Wook’s angsty eyes were so sexy yet so sad. After 7 years of pain, and all the difficult things they went through to get to each other, I just wanted them to live happy ever after.

Ji Jinhee just went straight to my oppa collection. OMG! I cant believe i’ve been sleeping on him for years!! (Most probably because his dramas weren’t my cup of tea, but now I’m looking forward to his succeeding dramas).

Go Hye Ran is one of those amazing female characters in Kdramaland. She is so powerful and successful. I loved what Han Ji won said to her, “I dont know about respect, but I know Go Hye Ran always win.” She is not the nicest female character, but you will empathize with her in some way, that’s why despite the tv station being scared of her, when she retired, you can see the admiration in everyone’s eyes, and how much they loved her.

Oh I can’t not mention the fashion. Go Hye Ran’s pantsuits and her different shades of lipsticks screams powerful and sexy. Kang Tae Wook’s gorgeous coats and turtlenecks made him more mysterious and protective.

Director Jang! I normally hate all the characters that Lee Gyun Yeong plays but this time he was amazing! One minute, I’m scared he will throw Hye Ran under the bus, but the next minute, he is all bad-ass, defending her and the reputation of journalists. I really wish that media people are like him. Not manipulating the news for their own (and some powerful corporation’s) interests, but also not withholding the truth from the people. Like he said, FACTS. Give the facts, let the people decide / interpret.

The whole murder-Kevin Lee affair at the start got me so hooked with the story. It was short but Go Joon nailed the playboy Kevin Lee. It was fun to think of who killed Kevin, how and why. About halfway, I was already dreading the truth after I was eliminating each suspect from my mind. I was right — but I didn’t want to be right!!! I also hated Kevin Lee’s wife!!! It’s not Hye Ran’s fault she is amazing, but for Eun Joo to keep insisting she killed Kevin without enough evidence was both infuriating (I wanted to scratch her eyes out for hurting Hye Ran) and pathetic (Eun Joo also led a sad life, but she made her own choices, she knew Kevin’s infidelity, she lost her baby through her negligence, she should just move on and forward).

The downside of this drama is the way the writer handled the murder investigation. For one, I disliked the super incompetent Detective Kang. I can’t believe he has worked as a detective for 20 years and arrests people based on bias and circumstantial evidence. Second, the trial was a big mess. Third, the prosecutors were too dumb. I loved it when Taewook’s assistant shouted at Kang to do his job properly. Like, finally, someone told him what all the viewers must be thinking all this time!

There were also some plotholes and other questions that were never fully answered, but it was okay, because in the end it didn’t really matter to me anymore. I just wanted the case to be closed and put everyone out of their misery.

The last 2 episodes lost focus of its original intention. I was disappointed that Hyeran let go of her principles. I already knew this will never have a happy ending and I would have been happy up to the second half of the last episode. Ha Myung Woo’s sacrifice didn’t make sense and was all for nothing because of the last 10 mins. But I understand why the ending was that way. That final scene when Kang Tae Wook said, “Are you happy?” And Hyeran was crying. SO SAD. SO TRAGIC. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ending even days after watching the show.

Rating: 8.5/10 (8 for the story +0.5 for tragic lives of the leads)

Posted in kdrama

Oh My Baby (2020)

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

Plot
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

Review
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

The Fiery Priest (2019)

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Drama: The Fiery Priest (열혈사제)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 40
Release Date: February 15 – April 20, 2019
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00
Plot
A priest seeks answers when his old friend gets murdered by corrupt officials. His investigation leads him to team up with an apathetic police squad and an ambitious prosecutor.
Main Cast
Kim Nam Gil – Kim Hae Il
Kim Sung Kyun – Gu Dae Young
Honey Lee – Park Kyeong Sun
Go Joon – Hwang Cheol Bum
Geum Sae Rok – Seo Seung Ah
Review
This is one of the best KDramas I have ever watched and it didn’t have any romance in the story! this is my first time watching Kim Nam Gil and I am impressed!
The entire cast was amazing!  Each of the characters were distinct and full of life. Watching the drama, it felt like all the actors had so much fun giving it their all and it really showed on screen. I can’t even decide who is my favorite character.
  • I’m leaning towards Kim Hae Il, but Phoenix Seon was so gorgeous and crazy, I loved her!
  • Detective Seo was also so great as the rookie detective.
  •  The comedic timing of Detective Dae Yong was also on point.
  • And who can forget Songsak and the chubby guy? they made quite a pair as the town misfits.
  • Cutie father and the nun too!!! I cried when Cutie father got hurt and I thought he would die! and the nun as an ex-gambler was so out of character and she was badass!
  • Even the “bad guys” like Hwang Cheol Bum, I can’t even hate — well partly because I find the actor so hot and also because his character may be shady but you can’t help but root for him to change. He may beat his men but he didn’t seem like the person who can murder someone or had evil intentions. and I think it’s because he still somehow has his faith and he liked the old priest. I also felt bad when also gets scolded by the four evil people and I also wished he can outsmart them and get their money.
  • The hilarious Jang Ryung with his funny bob hair and awful gaudy suits. I laughed out loud when he and his men had a bad case of diarrhea. a bit childish of me to love toilet humor but that was perfectly done!
  • Kim Won Hae, who is my fave supporting character, as Goyajev had a small part but he was still funny! and that fake cult leader was annoying but served his purpose. Woota!
  • The evil 4- the prosecutor Kang i hated the most because he was just so bad, the lady mayor easily fold when she got blackmailed, the congressman was a loser and the chief of police was too stupid, i dont know how he became the chief in the first place
  • The scarface guy and his merceneries were so bad. i hated hated them. he is the only person that I couldn’t understand his motive. why does he hate Father Kim so much? It doesn’t make sense but argh! i wanted to pull the trigger too.
The entire story was different from what I normally watch! The first couple of episodes I wasn’t sure where the story was going. I know Father Kim is going to try to find out who killed his old friend/mentor but I felt how the story later unfold was original. There were a lot of twists and turns, a lot of action and surprises that I didn’t know what to expect. The last minutes of each episode turns out to be so pivotal that I end up hitting the “next episode” button every single time. (and it made me late for work too lol).
I loved that everyone started as “sinners” – the entire police squad was so used to the corruption and felt that they can’t change it so they just became apathetic. they turn a blind eye on the wrong things and justify it with their actions. Kyeong Sun was an ambitious prosecutor who was willing to bend a few rules but still within the legal limits. She just follows what her superiors wants and does just enough on high profile cases. Songsak and chubby guy are just average people trying to go on their lives and not doing anything significant. Cutie father and the nun are too sheltered in the church and didn’t know what to do.
Then came Father Kim and their worlds were forever changed. Father Tsunami was the perfect nickname to describe how he just stormed into everyone’s lives one day and was able to slowly change their hearts. Father Kim was not a perfect guy. He is battered, bruised and doubtful in his self but he used prayer whenever he feels lost and whenever he needs encouragement. He also prayed for everyone to change hearts. Even when the scar guy got killed, he even had time to pray for him and hoping he doesn’t go to hell. What a great guy! This drama made me reflect on my life too and made me realize I should pray more and gain courage when i’m feeling down.
Overall this is indeed a very fiery kdrama! I recommended this to my friends and they also enjoyed it!
Rating: 9/10
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