Posted in kdrama

Monthly Magazine House (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Monthly Magazine Home (월간 집)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 16 – August 5, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot: A guy with a house falls in love with a girl who dreams of a home.

Main Cast:
Kim Ji Suk – Yoo Ja Sung
Jung Somin – Na Young Won
Jung Gun Joo – Shin Gyeom
Kim Won Hae – Choi Go
Chae Jung Ahn – Yeo Ui Joo
Ahn Chang Hwan – Nam Sang Soon

Review:
Watch this if you like the classic romcoms kind of Kdramas. For newbies, you might get annoyed with how Jasung treats Young Won.

I think without a great cast, this could have been really bad. Yoo Jasung is an a$$hat at the start but somehow I couldn’t get angry at him because how could I when he is played by Kim Jisuk who has effortlessly hilarious and handsome. I like Jasung. He wasn’t being a jerk because he is a jerk. It’s just that he had a bad childhood and decided to focus all his energy into making money. So much that he has forgotten to live. I wouldn’t mind having a generous friend like Jasung hihi.

Somin’s character is a more upbeat version of BIMFL character. She is wonderful and charming. When Young won, who maybe poor but also still very warm, came into his life, he couldn’t help but thaw his ice cold heart. After all, what’s the use of having too much money when you can’t share your life with someone? I believe Jasung was drawn by Young won because like her, he understands how it is to be poor and not to have a home. And he was also impressed how much Young won was trying hard save up to have her own house. So much that he started helping her in his own little ways. Soon, he was spreading his goodwill to everyone in his team.

I knew that when he falls for Youngwon it will be hard. HAHA. I love Kim Ji Suk’s expressions like he was always so stunned by Young Won’s beauty and how everything she does is like so amazing. And everytime she gives him a compliment, his frown turns into a big humongous grin that makes him want to dance to Bboom Bboom. And I love that he never nagged her or looked down on her just because she didn’t have money or expected her to grovel at his feet because he is rich.

Jasung who was so obsessed with money never had a chance to date or have a relationship. Just like how he deals with money, he was determined to succeed in being the best boyfriend to Young Won. Of course being a newbie, he made a lot of mistakes, and I like that he was quick to say sorry or learn how to be better.

Of course, like everyday Kdrama, after getting together and being cute, there will be this defining moment where the couple argues and break up. In this case, Jasung broke up with Young Won for Shin Gyeom, the second lead. For me, Shin Gyeom was cute but boring. He was no match to Jasung’s charisma and energy. And he never had a chance with Young Won because she never liked him other than as a friend. So I feel like his character was a waster or was just there to have some sort of conflict. When Jasung found out that Gyeom likes Young Won too, he decided to break up with Young Won because of his loyalty for Gyeom. Some said it was a noble idiot move, but for me, it was more than that. Jasung have known Gyeom for years. It’s bros before hoes. And it’s his first time to be in love and didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe he should have talked to Young Won about it. Gave Young Won an opportunity to decide what to do since she is part of the relationship. Jasung could also have confronted Gyeom about it and talked about it like a man. Or maybe they didn’t have to break up, just lie low and not rub his relationship in Gyeom’s face. After all, love’s fair in love and war.

When Jasung finally realized what a fool he was and begged Young Won to take him back, i love that Young Won didn’t easily bend and made him worked hard for it. You go girl! He can’t just dump her ruthlessly and think he can come back as if nothing happened. She eventually learned that again, Jasung wasn’t being an ass and realized that all this time he has been there for her and cheered for her even if it’s hard for him to sometimes express how he feels.

As for the Wolganjib team, everyone was funny esp the second couple Sang Soon and Ui Joo. I also liked their story from being a bickering colleagues with different lifestyles to falling in love. Opposites do attract! Of course my fave Kim Won Hae was both annoying at times when he’s trying to be a “good” boss but I love him more as a better friend and confidante to Jasung, Ui Joo and Sang Soon.

I love all the houses that got featured in every episode and all the tidbits about home and money saving. My favorite was the beach house in episode 8 because I also dreamed of retired in a beach front property.

The OST is so nice, especially Imagine and Here I Am. Yup I just bought my own copy! Will do an unboxing video once it arrives.

Now to the worst thing that almost ruined the show. I hate when the writer thinks he/she needs to make an explosive or out of the box twist to end the show. I watched Drinking Solo and the ending was a disappointment, but this was worse than that. Up until episode 15 the drama was so nice and happy. I thought they were going to get their happy ever after. I even liked the twist with the connection between Young Won’s father and Jasung’s past. I thought, hey, that’s so perfect! The writer even found a way to close their childhood traumas and bring the story into a full circle!

But dang what the F happened?!? Young Won got so guilty and disappeared for 3(?) years. Okayyyy maybe we needed the time jump where Young Won works for someone else and not under her boyfriend’s company and where she can heal. Maybe when they meet again they will be “equal” and they will find love again. Their eventual meetup was so nice, at the same place where they had a day trip together, with the crowds blurring and centering on the couple. I remember the exact same scene in Drinking Solo when the couple was also eating at a restaurant and saw each other from the other table. Exact same thing. They could have ended MMH like this and I would have been satisfied. But no, we see Young Won showing Jasung her own big house that she built on her own in just 3 years. Like where did she get the money to buy a land and construct a big house? Where did she even go for 3 years? Turns out she was just working in another magazine. What??? Then how come Jasung never found her? She never even went overseas. And the biggest question of all.. are they getting back together? To me, it felt like they ended up being exes turned good friends. Or worse, like Jasung was just a mentor/big brother to Young Won. Awww.. I’m not happy with the ending but overall, I still loved this drama.

Rating: 8.75/10

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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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So I Married The Anti-Fan (2021)

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Drama: So I Married The Anti-Fan
Network: Naver TVCast
Episodes: 16
Air Dates: Apr 30, 2021 – Jun 19, 2021
Runtimes: Friday and Saturday
Country: South Korea

Plot
Whojoon is a top star and he mistakenly thought that Geun Young is a fan/stalker. Geun Young, who is actually a reporter, got so angry and threw her high heel on Whojoon’s head. The video became viral and she was dubbed as Whojoon’s anti-fan and got fired from her job. A TV PD decided to cast Who Joon and Geun Young in a reality show where a top star and an anti-fan tries to get along.

Main Cast
Choi Tae Joon – Who Joon
Choi Soo Young – Lee Geun Young
Hwang Chan Sung – Jae Joon
Han Ji An – Oh In Hyung

Review
Here is the podcast link if you prefer to listen:

I love love stories where one is a celebrity so reading the synopsis alone I was interested to watch this. Turns out, this is one of the best surprises this year! I really didn’t expect to love this as much as I did!

At the start, Whojoon was just ok for me. He seemed two-faced, super nice in public but a jerk in real life. I really could feel Geun Young’s anger at Whojoon. I instantly liked Geun Young and felt bad that she kept getting embarrassed and humiliated by Whojoon, his fans and the media. But i think it was also partly her fault and her rash actions that put her on that spot.

The show got 100x better when the couple started “living” together and getting to know each other. The more you hate the more you love right? I think Whojoon and Geun Young were perfect for each other. They’ve come a long way from being bitter enemies to lovers and it was worth the wait. I savored each and every scene they were in together. I loved how they can have a good laugh with each other and be comfortable talking about their past and issues. I especially loved how they discussed their relationship as adults. Whojoon is a big celebrity and kudos to Geun Young for understand that part of his life and not pressuring him to reveal their relationship or to choose her over his career. That Whojoon didn’t ghost her and told her he will fix his issues first and he will come back to her. That Geun Young waited for him and didn’t lose faith in him.

Geun Young’s parents were also funny especially the dad.

Just a little bit more on Whojoon. I am definitely nominating him as Kdrama boyfriend of the year! He was cool and smooth with his lines and subtle actions. It is so funny and charming that I also fell in love with him. I didn’t like Taejoon in Suspicious Partner but he was so cute here, I can’t resist him! Whojoon has a way of being loveable without sounding like an arrogant narcissist. And when he put down is public face, we see the real Whojoon who is a sweet and sincere guy.

The main reason I didn’t rate this higher is because I didn’t like JJ and Inhyung. The entire time I ignored JJ’s rants and punchy face because I know he will make up with Whojoon in the latter half. But I can’t stand Inhyung. She was lonely, I get that. But she decided to choose JJ over Whojoon. I don’t know if she cheated on him, or if she was still in love with Whojoon all this time, or did she really love JJ. But i felt like she always blamed others for her life. Like she is a damsel in distress that needs help from the boys. JJ is definitely terrible at stopping her career and I get her desperation, but having a secret phone with the no. of your ex boyfriend that your current boyfriend hates was totally wrong. I think Inhyung never showed that she loved JJ or that she chose JJ, that’s why JJ always felt insecure and jealous of Whojoon (plus the betrayal). The nonstop fight between JJ and Inhyung was also repetitive and tiring. I wanted Inhyung to die or go far away and leave the two guys alone. I also felt relieved when JJ lost his voice LOL.

The last episode felt rushed. Instead of the multiple flashbacks i wished they spent more time completing the little plotholes. Like what happened to Whojoon during the time he was away? Where did he go? (back to Alaska? with his mom?) How long was he gone? Also, I would have been happy with Whojoon publicly admitting his relationship with Geunyoung, coz the proposal was too fast. But still overall enjoyed their happy ending. “it’s not Yama (punk), it’s You are My All (YAMA) 😍”

I also loved the OST. Unfortunately I missed the deadline to buy through the Makestar funding project. huhu. I hope they make more copies because I know 2 people willing to buy the OST album!

One last bit, I also loved Manager Jihyang 🥰🥰 He is so handsome and patient with Whojoon. He protected him from JJ, Inhyung, the CEO. I didn’t know if Whojoon went back to Shooting Star after paying for CEO’s loans, or did he put up his own one man agency and Jihyang is the CEO/President though that’s what I imagined.

Rating: 8.75/10 (9 minus 0.25 for JJ Inhyung)

Posted in kdrama

Mouse (2021)

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Drama: Mouse (마우스)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: March 3 – May 19, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Are psychopaths born or bred? This drama follows two guys with the psychopath gene. One is the son of a well-known serial killer called Head Hunter, the other is the son of a scientist researching about psychopath genes. When a series of murders start happening again, a detective (who is a victim of Headhunter) tries to uncover the killer before it’s too late.

Main Cast
Lee Seung Gi – Jung Bareum
Lee Hee Joon – Ko Moo Chi
Kyung Soo Jin – Choi Hong Ju
Park Ju Hyun – Oh Bong Yi
Kwon Hwa Woon – Sung Yohan

Review
This drama was one hell of a ride! It took the basic question of ‘nature vs nurture’ and put a lot of interesting things along the way. Just when you think you know who the killer is and why, the writer comes up with a sudden twist that makes you rethink what you know. I appreciated that the writer was able to explain a lot of the small clues and questions we have (although most of the ideas were unbelievable).

I loved Bareum and Moochi. I wish they were more scenes of them working together like the first few episodes and in the middle when Bareum suddenly became a genius who can predict the serial killer’s mind. I really like Moochi but sometimes it feels like he is always too late. He is always drunk or away whenever something major happens or cant be reached. And he ends up with people dying on him. He became a detective to kill the Headhunter so when everything ended, he left the force and became an average guy. At least he is at peace.

I liked Bongyi at the start even though she was a brat. But in the latter episodes her character was just there when it was convenient for the plot. And the romance between her and Bareum was weird. She is too young for Bareum and she was mostly annoying. I feel bad for her and what she went through but at least, she ends up having a great guy like Moochi taking care of her.

Never liked Hongju. She was a mystery. How can she not call her parents after all this time? Because of guilt? And i find it hard to believe that the father never recognized who she was when she is a famous tv personality. And she grew up with this huge guilt on her shoulders but was silent the entire time until Yohan was killed. She also had a sour face the whole 20 episodes. What did Yohan like about her? But at least better late than never. She went to jail for what she did years ago, and when she got out of prison, she was finally surrounded by loving parents, here son and Yohan’s mom. I think she deserved happiness too.

The whole government conspiracy was interesting but the big reveal wasn’t too impactful. Or maybe it was rushed. The drama was hinting about this huge OZ operation for so many episodes but all we got in the end was the lady also getting out early (but secretly assassinated).

I feel bad for Sung Yohan. He was misunderstood but he was the softest genius who cared for everyone around him. I thought he deserved more public recognition than just exonerating his name as a killer.

And of course, Jung Bareum as the main lead was sympathetic. He really tried hard, he wished very hard not to become a monster. He was doing well until the stupid OZ triggered his psycho mind and he starting killing people. The brain transplant and Yohan’s emotions blending with his is puro science fiction. I read an article that most of the psychopaths do not always act on their tendencies so it made me wonder, the fact that Bareum has been consciously suppressing his psycho-ness – did it mean that he could have not become a psychopath? or was it going to happen eventually and OZ just triggered it early? And I know Bareum did kill a lot of people but to people who knew him like Chi Kook, his friend, Hongju, Moochi, Bongyi, i knew although they were angry at him, also felt bad for him. I wished there was a better farewell between Moochi and Bareum and not just that one visit. The part where Bareum fulfilled his promise to kill Headhunter was a nice touch, but was too little too late too. The ending was sad but it was the most appropriate ending given the circumstances.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted in kdrama

Sell Your Haunted House (2021)

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Drama: Daebak Real Estate (대박부동산)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 14 – June 9, 2021
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 21:30
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Daebak Real Estate specializes in selling haunted houses. Jia will exorcise the ghosts and her secretary Hwa Jeong will sell the house. Inbum and Jichul scam people by creating fake ghosts to scare them and selling machines to detect these ghosts. Jia and Inbum meet while working on the same case and start to work together to find out what really happened 20 years ago.

Main Cast
Jang Nara – Hong Jia
Jung Yong Hwa – Oh In bum
Kang Mal Geum – Jung Hwa Jeong
Kang Hong Suk – Heo Jichul
Ahn Gil Kang – Do Hak Sung

Review
This drama reminded me a lot of The Master’s Sun – episodic cases with an overarching story, the girl can see ghosts and needs to touch the guy for support (in Master’s Sun, the ghosts disappear whenever she touches him, here, she needs his warmth to bring up her temperature after the exorcism), but the tone and the story is different.

I love the perfect combination of badass Jia and cool In Bum 🥰 They complemented each other well. I didn’t mind that they didn’t end up together as a couple, because although it felt like Inbum liked her, it also felt more like kinship because they understand what the other is going through and are supportive of each other. Also, they are like Kdrama version of ghostbusters with the giant stapler, the needle and Inbum’s fake electro-something machine!

No matter how many times they show it, I can’t get enough of Inbum whenever he is possessed by the spirits and Jia stabbing them. I didn’t have a “favorite” case (i’ve already forgotten the cases now that I’m writing this). I wished they continued with the episodic cases but towards the middle the main story was taking over and it was losing a little bit steam. I think it’s because Do Hak Sun as the main villain was boring. There was no motivation at all why I should care about him or why I should be scared of it. He was just annoying and I wanted him to go away. I’m not sure if I like how his character ended – did I want him to pay for his crimes in prison, or did I want him to die immediately without fanfare? Either way, I’m just glad that he’s gone and burning in hell forever.

As for the main storyline, I don’t know if I should feel sad for Inbum’s uncle or angry. He did set fire to the village that killed people, but all this time he just keeps shouting, Give me my apartment, without really reflecting on the death he created. His grudge why he remained an unrested spirit is because he felt unfair for not getting the apartment, and not because he killed people and feeling remorseful.

I have mixed emotions about Jia and Jia’s mom, and I think that’s exactly how Jia feels. On one hand, she is angry that Jia’s mom chose to kill herself than stay with her, making her an orphan. But once the real events were revealed, we realized that Jia’s mom sacrificed herself for the better good, and it was Jia who stabbed her mom. I think Jia needed people to tell her that she didn’t really “kill” her mom and she should stop feeling guilty about it. And I loved that through her exorcism, she was able to understand her mother’s actions that night, because faced with the same situation, she will do the same thing. The exorcism of the egg ghost wasn’t as spectaculas as I expected it to be though. I loved that Jia’s mom had a nice sendoff. I thought they were going to give her a fantastic goodbye but what we got was beautiful and perfect.

The brightest thing about the show is not just Jung Yong Hwa looking so handsome as Inbum, but also his bromance with Jichul. They are too sweet! Even that scene where they said I love you to each other was both poignant and funny.

I knew somehow Hwa Jeong has a secret but I’m glad it wasn’t that bad. She also had a burden of taking care of Jia at a young age. Maybe she should have trusted Jia more but understandable. I also loved Jia’s mom showing herself to Hwa Jeong to say thank you. Hwa Jeong’s face as she sees her mentor/idol made me tear up.

Rating: 8.5/10