Posted in kdrama

Sell Your Haunted House (2021)

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

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

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

Posted in kdrama

I Picked Up A Celebrity on the Street (2018)

Drama: I Picked Up A Star on The Road (나는 길에서 연예인을 주웠다)
Network: Viki, Oksusu
Episodes: 10
Air Date: Nov 1, 2018 – Dec 14, 2018
Air Days: Thursday and Friday
Country: South Korea

A drunk girl accidentally knocks a guy unconscious after mistaking him for her awful boss. Thinking she may have killed him, she brought him back to her house.

Main Cast
Sung Hoon – Kang Joon Hyuk
Kim Ga Eun – Lee Yeon Seo
Kim Jong Hoon – Nak Goo

The plot was so ridiculous that I almost thought of dropping this after ep 2. But it was also so intriguing and funny so I continued watching. I think by episode 3 I started appreciating the dark humor. Plus Sung Hoon is so handsome as grouchy arrogant Hallyu star!

The female lead is not too bright but I’m impressed how creative and out of the box she is in coming up with solutions to her problem. (If only she channeled it at work too hehe) Afraid she killed a person? Drag him home and really kill him. He woke up and threatens to report you to the police? Kidnap him and hold him hostage! Worried he might escape? Sign a contract that he agrees to live with you without escaping! HAHAHAHA!!! Totally absurd but the leads are so hilarious and cute together! Of course they will fall in love in the end! Stockholm syndrome kdrama style!

More than the kidnapping, this was also about Joon Hyeok investigating who was trying to kill him. I had an initial guess who it was (I ended up being right) but I didn’t know the motive. The reveal was as dark as the mood of the second half and liked it.

At first I didn’t care about the second lead. He was annoying but harmless. My eyes were focused on Sung Hoon lol. But Nak Goo made a good impression on me when he started becoming a star. He is a nice guy and always thought of Yeonseo first, but nice guys doesn’t always get you the girl.

I also liked how much the trio have grown up so much by the end of the drama. Joon hyuk became softer and nicer, Yeonseo became happier and more hardworking and Nakgoo finally found his passion.

The OST was fantastic! Im getting LSS from listening to swing swing swing baby🎶🎶

The ending came too fast, wish it have added one extra episode or extended 30 more mins, just so we can see more sweet scenes between the couple

Rating: 8/10

Posted in kdrama

Vincenzo (2021)

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

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

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

Posted in kdrama

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim S1 (2017)

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

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

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