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Vincenzo (2021)

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Drama: Vincenzo (빈센조)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: February 20 – April 26, 2021
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A lawyer for an Italian mafia goes back to Korea with a plan.

Main Cast
Song Joong Ki – Vincenzo Cassano
Jeon Yeo Bin – Hong Cha Young
Ok Taecyeon – Jang Joon Woo
Kwak Dong Yeon – Jang Han Seo
Yoo Jae Myung – Hong Yu Chan
Choi Young Joon – Cho Yeong Un

Review
I was looking forward to Vincenzo because I loved The Fiery Priest and this one did not disappoint! This drama reminded me why I loved Song Joong Ki during his Nice Guy days and pre-army (I didn’t like him in DOTS). He is more than just a pretty face – he is an amazing actor, esp. when he goes on his mafia rage. His cold blooded looks and lifeless eyes were scary!

At first I found it hard to believe that he is the consigliere considering he looks young, he’s not Italian and he’s scrawny. But by the end of the show, I now know why he is the consigliere. He is compassionate yet ruthless, he is precise and he thinks ahead. I honestly didn’t understand why Babel and the 2 lawyers were not scared of him and his threats. I guess, they didn’t think it was true until they faced death.

The most memorable character after Vincenzo is Jang Han Seo. From the start, I already thought that one day he will side with Vincenzo and go up against his brother, but did he really had to have a sad ending? When Vincenzo said “you deserve to be my brother!” I cried too.

I wasn’t that keen on Hong Cha Young at first, I thought the actress was overacting (or maybe trying hard to be like Lee Hanee’s character in The Fiery Priest, who was effortlessly funny and cool) but I eventually warmed up to her (or maybe I got used to her OA-ness?) I like the little team of her, Vincenzo and Lawyer Nam. She was one of the main drivers in the first half of the story, but I also felt she took a backseat when the story focused on Vincenzo and his taking down Babel. The romance between them was also subtle, maybe because it wasn’t the highlight of the story, and also because it would be hard to have a happy ending when Vincenzo can’t stay in Korea. I still loved where they ended up though.

Speaking of Lawyer Nam, I absolutely adored him!!! Very different from his character in Hot Stove League. He is so cute here, and such a fan boy of Vincenzo (him, President of Vincenzo fan club Ahn Gi seok and cutie curly haired Bye -Bye Balloon guy). I was worried that something bad might happen to him along the way, but I remembered that no one died in The Fiery Priest so was happy.

It took some time for me to get used to the Geumga Plaza gang. IMHO, they were not too memorable individually, but together they were a great team! Aside from Lawyer Nam and Bye Bye Balloon ahjussi, I also liked the Scissorhands guy.

I know, some people didn’t like the humor, but I loved the humor (as always from this writer though less laugh out loud like The Fiery Priest), and I loved that the BGM is always perfect for the specific scene. The final episode showing the winery named Vincenzo Cassano 1+1 was perfect (though I don’t think I want to drink wine fertilized by Jung Woo’s remains)!!

Now on to the not so nice part. Hanseok as the main villain wasn’t that engaging to me, mostly because I thought he was no match for Vincenzo. He is a psycho, but the minute his life is in danger, he runs away like a lame bully. The only reason he can get away with it is because of Myunghee, who is the more evil one. She is despicable and I hate her but she was a great character! Their brutal deaths were well deserved.

I wondered how the writer will end this show. Will Vincenzo get exonerated from his crimes? Will he become a consultant to Ahn’s organization? But I think, the ending was just right. Vincenzo stayed the same as an anti-hero, but he gained another set of family and more purpose in life.

Looking back, there wasn’t a meaningful lesson to be learned in this show. It just felt like a mafia guy on a personal vendetta against one corrupt company. Nothing really changed with society. He came and left and everyone moved on with their lives.

Oh, and the most tragic of all — what a waste of gold!! They didn’t even get to spend it!

Rating: 8.5/10

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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim S1 (2017)

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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



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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:
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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Scripting Your Destiny (2021)

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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)