Posted in kdrama

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim S1 (2017)

Profile
Drama: Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim (낭만닥터 김사부)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 20 + 1 special episode
Release Date: November 7, 2016 – January 17, 2017
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00

Plot
This medical KDrama is about the everyday lives of the doctors and nurses in Doldam Hospital, which is led by the great Doctor Kim Sabu.

Main Cast
Han Suk Kyu – Kim Sabu / Bu Yong Ju
Yoo Yeon Suk – Kang Dong Ju
Seo Hyun Jin – Yoon Seo Jeong
Yang Se Jong – Do Il Beom
Jin Kyung – Oh Myung Sim
Im Won Hee – Jang Gi Tae
Kim Min Jae – Park Eun Tak
Byun Woo Min – Nam Do Il
Choi Jin Ho – Do Yun Wan
Jang Hyuk Jin – Song Hyun Chul
Seo Eun Su – Woo Yeon Hwa
Joo Hyun – Chairman Shin

Review
Heard so many wonderful reviews about this show and season 2. I finally had the chance to catch this drama this year (it was in my bucket list for the longest time). Maybe I’m really not a fan of medical Kdramas (i only watch 1 medical drama a year) or I just kept comparing this to Grey’s Anatomy (i know i shouldn’t but that’s the only medical drama I avidly watched for most of its run until they killed off McDreamy), but I didn’t loved it as much as everyone did. I mean, I liked it, it just took a week or two for me to finish the 21 episodes (while simultaneously watching 3 other dramas), but this drama wasn’t a big WOW-i loved it so much-why did i only watch it now.

I think the main reason is I didn’t like the majority of the characters. Yes, even Kim Sabu. I loved Nurse Oh, Yoon Seo Jeong and Dr. Nam from episode 1 but the others? Kim Sabu and Kang Dong Ju I only started really liking them around ep 13. Do Il Beom? Ugh! Probably episode 17 or 18. He was too whiny. Jang Gi Tae was too dramatic and corny. Absolutely detested Dr. Song and President Do. Everyone else is just okay.

There were not a lot of dramatic or unusual cases in every episode. The whole squabble about who gets to do Chairman Shin’s surgery went 2 episodes too long. There were a lot of repetitive plot points. The young doctors do something wrong or they’re too whiny, Kim Sabu gets all grumpy and angry while teaching them, they learn a bit, then they do another mistake in the next episode. President Do comes and goes as he pleases to stop Kim Sabu, Kim Sabu finds a way to one up President Do and show his brilliance. Rinse and Repeat for 21 episodes. I only started to really enjoy the episodes and the cases from episode 15. And after Chairman Shin’s surgery storyline was over, we finally get to see a lot of scenes showing each of the doctors perform surgery, which I was waiting for.

I couldn’t understand the reason for the intense hatred of President Do against Kim Sabu. President Do was already VP at that time and wasn’t doing any surgeries. Kim Sabu was the star surgeon. How can they be rivals when they have different positions? Was Do scared that he’ll get overshadowed by Sabu? That Sabu will try to take his place? But Sabu never wanted his position in the first place. He is so popular and gets so many VIP clients to the hospital, shouldn’t Do be happy that he is raking in the profits without taking credit for himself? I get that they have different views about running a hospital, but I don’t think it merits ruining someone’s career. I think this was my second main issue why I couldn’t enjoy the intense scenes between the two. Plus, the final showdown in episode 20 during the celebratory party was LAME!!! They just kept talking back to each other without anything significant happening — until they had a fist fight! YES! Finally! Sometimes they just need to get physical and get all the anger and hurt out. And I like that after the fight, President Do came over and they had a good talk/truce.

So what did I like about the drama? I liked the growth that each doctor had during the course of the show. It took a long time though.
– Kang Dong Ju only had closure around episode 18 (or 19). I loved that he was grown so much from being a bratty top student to a real doctor. Plus his amazing stitching skills after practicing so many times got me clapping and cheering for him. He is a good student, he just needed a chance to be himself after getting rid of all his past hurt and prejudices.
– Do Il Beom, for the most part i didn’t like. He kept lying about his experience, he was arrogant and selfish. But i liked that Kim Sabu finally got through to him, and that he finally had the guts to confront his father (again too late, around episode 19 or 20) and be Do Il Beom, not President Do’s son. I still don’t like how he mistreats Yeon Hwa repeatedly. I get that he is trying to teach her, but shouting at her in front of everyone is not the right way.
– Yoon Seo Jung had some sort of closure, but not fully, which I’m sad. She got her dream of doing a collaborative surgery with Kim Sabu. She fell in love and finally got together with Kang Dong Ju. But how she got over her PTSD was not fully explored. She didn’t even talked about it with Kang Dong Ju. Even the coffee with the other nurse wasn’t satisfying. Is it just “let’s leave the dead guy” alone? He was a cheater but Seo Jeong never found out and it’s okay because she is over him?
– Kim Sabu, yes, he was a coward back then. He didn’t want to be a teacher, he just happened to be so good that students followed him. He was kind hearted but he was passive. He had a lot of regrets about what happened to his former student. And I loved that he finally embraced himself as a teacher to the young doctors. That he finally found the confidence to fight back and not run away like he did before. And i loved that he remained true to himself and will keep on staying at Doldam Hospital.

Life is about turning into different roads. Whether you want it or not, you have to face the reality which is placed in front of you. You can’t find the right answer every single time. But Teacher Kim always said this, “We need to keep asking questions about why we live and what we live for. The moment you give up on that, the romance in life ends.”

Kang Dong Ju narration, episode 20

I’m thinking if I should go straight to season 2 and break my 1 medical drama a year rule (haha!). But the April and May dramas are too overwhelming, so many good dramas are ongoing that I need to catch up very quickly!

Rating: 8/10



Posted in kdrama

Navillera (2021)

Profile:
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:
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

Posted in kdrama

Once Again (2019-2020)

Profile
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

Posted in kdrama

Scripting Your Destiny (2021)

Profile
Drama: Scripting Your Destiny (당신의 운명을 쓰고 있습니다)
Network: TVING
Episodes: 10
Release Date: March 26, 2021
Runtime: Friday 16:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A diety of destiny falls in love with a human.

Main Cast
Ki Do Hoon – Shin Ha Yoon
Jeon So Nee – Go Chae Kyung
Park Sang Nam – Myung
Kim Woo Seok – Jung Bareum
Kal So Won – Sam Shin
So Hee Jung – Mi Soon

Review:
This is a short web drama (10 eps at 25mins each) so the story is fast paced. We don’t get the full setup of the characters or the god of diety rules but enough to understand the story. The plot is interesting, actually I feel like the material is good enough for a full fledged drama. However, because the story is so short, there is not much time for the viewers to really think of the main theme of the story or how it really translated in the execution of the story. I honestly wasn’t sure how I feel about the destiny written by god should be followed versus this is your life, you make your own choices (aka free will).

I mean, I love Hayoon and Chae Kyung. Somehow they’re destined to be with each other, that’s why they keep meeting so many times. But who wrote it so as Chae Kyung will be destined to be with Hayoon (was it Myung who was in-charge in writing Chae Kyung’s life)? But why would you do that knowing full well that Hayoon is a god and you can’t pair a god with a human because as soon as the god feels human emotions, he disappears? It’s just so cruel, not just to Hayoon but also to Chae Kyung who will have to suffer that same fate and most likely stay forever alone in her lifetime.

The ending wasn’t satisfying. *Spoilers ahead*

I thought it could have ended at ep 9 and I would be happy. Because that’s what we were made to understand. That as soon as Hayoon feels emotions, he will disappear, and dieties are only given 3 chances then they disappear forever. If that’s the case, what the heck happened in episode 10??? Hayoon is back with no memory of Chae Kyung, he is now Myung, leading the newbie dieties. He ends up meeting her again (Chae Kyung wished for it) it was weird, like we’re back to square 1. Are they going to repeat the cycle forever? See how awful that is? Hayoon even said I may not remember you but I hope she never forgets him! So selfish!!!

They also sometimes bend the rules of diety elimination to suit the story. There was one diety who disappeared as soon as he defended a human but it took some time for Hayoon to disappear. He even kissed Chaekyung, they hugged etc and he was able to say goodbye to her. Plus, why does Hayoon get to be back on earth as a diety while Myung disappears because he altered the will of life? And Sam shin went to school to meet with the cutie student, why is she still on earth?

Lastly, why do they have to make Chaekyung wear ugly curly hair?? It doesn’t even impact the story or her character other than make her look different from high school.

Rating: 8/10 (8.5 upto episode 9 minus 0.5 for the terrible ending)


Posted in kdrama

Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Sisyphus: The Myth (시지프스)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 17 – April 8, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot:
A young female from the future goes back to modern time Seoul to protect a genius engineer from enemies who won’t stop at nothing to get his time travel machine. They work together to try to change the future and to prevent the destruction of Seoul.

Main Cast:
Cho Seung Woo – Han Tae Sul
Park Shin Hye – Gang Seo Hae
Tae In Ho – Eddy Kim
Jung Hye In – Kim Seo Jin
Heo Joon Seok – Han Tae San
Kim Byung Chul – Sigma
Choi Jung Woo – Hwang Hyun Seung
Sung Dong Il – CEO Park
Chae Jong Hyeop – Choi Jae Sun

Review:
I really liked the first half. The premise was so interesting, the visuals were flashy and story was action packed. The middle (around ep 8-10) dragged because the story focused on the budding romance between Taesul and Seohae and it felt like nothing was happening. Then after that, the story stopped making sense. Probably the reason why I didn’t stop halfway through because I love Taesul and Seohae as a pair. I’m not exactly rooting for their romance (Park Shinhye still can’t kiss well on screen) but I loved them together, as friends, as comrades. And Taesul always has great ideas, like he makes the world as his own science experiment! haha. He may not be good at fighting or guns (that’s why I love badass Seohae), but he is so smart and plans ahead. But just like the story lost focus in the latter episodes, I thought Taesul’s actions also started getting conflicted when he fell in love with Seohae. He kept choosing the girl vs the world. Or as my cousin says, he tries choosing both because humans are greedy, but in the end, we know that we can’t have it all.

Another story line that I loved was the relationship between Seohae and her dad, both in the future and current time. As early as episode 1, we see future Seohae and her dad navigating the future bleak Seoul and we only find out the whole story and how it links to when Seohae first arrived in current Seoul in the last 2 episodes. While the parallel story was interesting, i felt that it was revealed too late and it didn’t have as much impact to me. Or maybe because I just want the drama to end and put me out of my misery. *spoiler* Still doesn’t make sense to find out it was Taesul who built their shelter all along. That reveal came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense to me considering the timing of the events.

Okay, Taesan and Taesul’s bromance was sad. Time and time again Taesan protected his brother and Taesul ignored him when he got rich. That part when Taesan gave him the injection so Taesul can go back while he remains stuck in that dreamland made me cry buckets of tears. Made me wonder if Taesul invented the time machine, why didn’t he get on it to save his brother? Is it because he died before he can do it? Oh no, i’m getting confused again!

I also liked Park’s story and the Asia Mart team. At first I thought Park was that annoying character that won’t stop bothering the main leads, but turns out he was one of the most pivotal allies that Taesul can have. We also get a reveal of Park’s story, which is that he was the one sending money to his current wife, which actually made the current Park furious and beat his wife (the irony of it!). What I didn’t understand is in the end, he didn’t have any regrets anymore so he should no longer exist in the future right (and we see him glitching but he never actually disappeared because later on, he was back to his normal self helping Taesul). I didn’t want to overanalyze anymore because the story is already crazy by this time.

Now on to my rants — I have so many questions and not enough answers!! First off, in most kdramas, they at least explain the time travel rules in the first few episodes and slowly reveal the twists. But this drama decided not to explain anything, except for people being able to travel back using the uploader and downloader. I guess the writers assume we understand the rules. My biggest confusion is when did the time loop started and who started it? Is it Sigma? Is he the first one to ever time travel? But how did he know about the time travel from Taesul? And how come he doesn’t remember anything? Is it because his old self died so his memories were gone? And how long has this been going on? I’ve lost count of how many possible Seohae has come and go, as well as the bureau that kept running after them.

Second biggest rant — Sigma as a villain is too lame. I think the actor tried to look as sinister and villan-y as he can, but his reasons are not enough to blow up Korea in that big scale. he just looked like a loser who is complaining of just wanted some love. If we had known that all it takes is for someone to pat him in the back and ask him if he’s alright (like what Seohae’s dad did), then the whole thing wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I thought he was a psycho like when he was a kid, he was angry at his dad beating him so we blew up their house, but seems like he just wanted to be noticed. Similarly, Eddy as the last minute bad guy felt forced, like you think the story is over? Nope, let’s make Eddy the bad guy this time and let Taesul suffer again. I get what they’re saying though. That no mater what happens, there will always be someone who wants Taesul’s time maching. But really? Taesul being a genius and all he can think of is sacrificing himself? That’s like a coward’s way out. His final decision just wasted everyone’s efforts of trying to keep him alive and change the future (and our 16 hours of watching and hoping the ending is fantastic).

There are also lots of unnecessary or wasted characters like Jaesun — instead of just being the guy that keeps sticking to Seohae’s side like an unwanted admirer, I was hoping he has more purpose to the story, but he seems to just be there when Seohae needs to be rescued. And also that guy that keeps chasing after Seohae — i have zero interest in this story because his anger at Seohae is so unwarranted. I thought that part where Seohae told him off that he is angry at himself and it’s the guilt that is eating him up inside will make him stop and be Seohae’s ally. But it seems like nothing happened and he just kept pursuing Seohae even in the end.

Watch at your own risk!

Rating: 7/10