Posted in kdrama

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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True Beauty (2021)

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Drama: True Beauty (여신강림)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 9, 2020 – February 4, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30

Plot:
A high school girl bullied for her looks learns how to use makeup and transfers to another school where students are nice to her. She gets caught in a love triangle between silent but strong Suho and cool guy Seo Jun. Who will she choose? And what will she do when everyone finds out her real face sans makeup?

Main Cast
Moon Ga Young – Lim Jukyung
Cha Eun Woo – Lee Suho
Hwang In Yeop – Han Seo Jun
Park Yoona – Kang Soo Jin

Review
The best thing about this drama is of course Jukyung and Suho 🥰 I think even without the childhood connection they could have still worked the relationship. I love that Suho loved Jukyung for herself and Jukyung helped Suho come out of his shell. They were there for each other in good and bad times and they didn’t have to pretend to each other. they can just show their true selves – like how they both love horror comics.

Cha Eun Woo as Lee Suho is perfect!! I think his stint in All the Butlers is helping me grow and mature into a better actor. He’s getting exposed to different challenges and experiences and meeting various people. Plus i’m sure he is getting tips from his fellow cast mates Seunggi and Seungrok. He’s only 23 years old – I think give him a few more years and we will see an even better actor

Poor Seojun, he really is a good guy, but just not the right one for Jukyung. I was hoping for a cameo of someone pretty at the end so that Seojun will have his own happy ever atfer but i liked that he was able to debut! I know a lot of people loved Hwang In Yeop in True Beauty, but I honestly liked him more in 18 Again.

It’s hard for me to watch the bullying scenes but I love that Jukyung was able to stand up and accept herself with or without makeup. And I’m glad she found real friends like Soo Ah. School violence and bullying must really be prevalent in Korea. Is it because of the pressure that the kids face from society and their parents? I really hope they do something about it.

Jukyung’s family is weird but fun! I love the softhearted dad and the cute younger brother. The mom is a tiger mom and at first I didn’t like her for always not listening to Jukyung and putting her down because she is not “pretty” enough. Good thing she finally learned the truth and supported Jukyung. One thing I find weird is that the first thing that she thought of was to go to a plastic surgeon. I mean, she saw how pretty Jukyung can be in full makeup — she just needs a good dermatologist to help her with her skin care.

I loved the bromance between Suho, Seojun and Seyeon. Not just loved, but it was heartbreaking. I feel so sad that Seyeon killed himself after the false bullying accusations. That is why everyone and especially the media needs to be careful with what we post and write. it’s not always about the power, fame and money. We need to love and respect more.

I loved all the cameos from Extra You cast.. but why is Kim Young Dae’s cameo so short? (Maybe he was busy filming Penthouse). I love Gun Joo’s cameo is the longest. He is so cute!

The makeup PPL and the OST! I almost added to cart all the colorgram cosmetics in Lazada last weekend 😁 but restrained myself. But i bought the OST! the background music was a little distracting though because it was always loud.

The story was almost finished by episode 14 so I didn’t expect the time jump. The last two episodes felt like fillers, although they were able to wrap everyone’s story neatly. It did feel like it was more of appreciation episodes for Seo Jun as he got a lot of screen time.. he had a date with Jukyung and confessed his feelings, he still maintained his friendship with Suho and he debuted and sang twice.

I appreciated seeing the gang all grown up and living their lives after school. I didn’t necessarily hate the breakup, I thought it was the most sensible reason at that time. Suho didn’t know when he will be back and he didn’t want Jukyung to wait for him. I hoped instead of Suho breaking up with Jukyung like that, and going silent for 2 years, they could have mutually agreed to hold off the relationship until he was back. I think Jukyung would have understood it.

I missed Soojin and I was hoping she had a better ending than volunteering overseas. It felt like she was trying hard to atone for her past behavior. She can go back to school, do what she wants and be her badass self again.

I’m prolly the only one who didn’t like Hee Kyung and Mr Han’s romance. I mostly fast forwarded their scenes. I think it was too cute for their age, but it wasn’t bad.

I did wish to see more reconciliation scenes between Suho and dad.

Rating: 9/10 (8.5 for the story +0.5 for Eunwoo)

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KAIROS (2020)

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Drama: Kairos (카이로스)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 26 – December 22, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:30

Plot
Kim Seojin lost his wife and child due to a kidnapping attempt. Han Aeri loses her mom in the hospital. A chance phone call between the two makes then realize that Han Aeri is living one month in the past. They strike a deal: Han Aeri will help Kim Seojin prevent the kidnapping in her timeline while he helps Han Aeri find her missing mother in the future. Will they be able to change the future by changing the past? Or are they doomed to meet the same fate?

Main Cast
Shin Seung Rok – Kim Seojin
Lee Se Young – Han Aeri
Ahn Bo Hyun – Seo Do Kyun
Nam Gyuri – Kang Hyun Chae
Shin Goo – Chairman Yu
Kang Seung Yoon – Im Geun Wook
Lee Joo Myoung – Park Soo Jung
Hwang Jung Min – Kwak Song Ja
Cho Dong In – Lee Tae Kyu
Ko Kyu Pil – Kim Jin Ho
Lim Chul Hyung – Park Ho Young

Review
This was one of the better and tightly written Kdrama about bending time! Every episode was tense and fast paced. I didn’t know what I was expecting at the end of each episode as they try to change the past which results to a new future. How many times did Han Aeri and Kim Seojin die or get arrested? LOL! I loved the idea that no matter how much they try to change or react to the current situation, it will still repeat until they address the main issue, which is who is trying to kill them and why?

One of the toughest thing to do in a time travel or time bending kind of drama is making sure the story and the rules remain consistent all through out the show and not changing the rules in the middle or at the last part to drive the resolution or actions of the characters. I’m happy to say that the time bending rules in Kairos were mostly consistent. If there were any plotholes, (i can’t think of any), these were trivial to the overall story. I appreciated that they put a date mark every time they switch the months so we don’t get confused, esp in the last 4 episodes when every day of both time lines were crucial and we kept switching from past to present. Sometimes i would forget what has happened because the past is being changed every other episode.

Terrific acting from everyone, esp Shin Seung Rok and Lee Se Young. Shin Seung Rok was amazing as the cold Kim Seojin (in August) slowly transitioning to the nicer Kim Seojin (in Sept). While Han Aeri’s raw emotions whenever she cries after losing her mom or finding out what happens to herself and Kim Seojin in the future was so gut wrenching to watch! I don’t know which is worse — Aeri who is in the past knowing people will die in the future if she doesn’t do anything in the present, or Seojin who is in the future knowing what happens to everyone and having the burden of telling everyone who dies or lives while desperately choosing which past action they need to change to make it right.

I thought we’ll see a better future if we changed the past. Do you regret getting a peek of the future after meeting me? – Han Aeri

In the past, present and future, I never expected to live my life without any pain. However, there won’t be any hope unless I face the truth. That’s one thing I do know. -Kim Seojin

Episode 29

There was a lot of trial and error because every time they change something in the present, it triggers another bad change in the future. That’s why I love the team work between the leads, plus Aeri’s friends, her mom and Kim Jinho because everyone is crucial to their success. They were only able to communicate once a day at 10:33pm for 1 minute, and it took a lot of effort for them to both investigate and share clues from both sides, all the while convincing their other selves to listen and cooperate.

I was frustrated with Aeri’s mom at the start. She was not talking and not telling Aeri what is really happening because she wants to “protect her daughter”. Keeping information from Aeri was the worst she could do given that it’s a life or death situation. Good thing she realized that later on.

The main bad guy is the Chairman, and I already made that guess early on because (1) old chairmans are always bad in kdramaland and (2) he was too nice to be true. He was so evil to intentionally kill people just for his company to flourish and to hide his crime. His answer to everything is: KILL THEM. Kill Kwak Song Ja, Kill Kim Jin Ho, Kill Kang Hyun Chae, Kill Han Aeri, Kill Kim Seojin. LOL. How did this guy become a CEO when he wasn’t that creative? It’s so creepy that he knows where everyone is at anytime of the day.

Explosive demolition is only for abandoned buildings like this that are vacant. How could you deliberately blow up a building that was full of people? – Kim Seojin

Everyone’s bound to die. I just helped them not die in vain. That building may have collapsed that day, but Yujung rose. Compared to the number of lives lost at Taejung Town that day, countless more have been able to make ends meet thanks to Yujung. And even more have found safety in the houses we’ve built. The moment I feed those people who accuse me of being immoral is when I become their savior. That’s the way of the world. – Chairman Yu Seo Il

Episode 30, confession scene October 15

I also hated Lee Tae Kyu from episode 1, his hunching walk, his smirk, his evil laugh was so annoying. And he was getting away with all his misdeeds with no one catching him and reporting him!!! Argh!!! His only redeeming scene is when Lee Tae Kyu told Seo Do Kyun that Kang Hyun Chae is playing him and he should drop her.

Speaking of Seo Do Kyun, I both hated and pitied him. He made the wrong choices because of his obsessive love for a selfish woman. I didn’t feel bad when he died, Lee Tae Kyu and Kim Seojin both told him he will die and he should stay away from Hyun Chae but he loved her too much. I didn’t like how his death became “hero” like because he definitely did not act like one the entire show. He was sabotaging Aeri and Seojin at every turn. Honestly, i thought he will be the bad guy who will become good in the end. But somehow he became an unnecessary nuisance in the latter part of the show. It felt like he and Hyun chae has a separate story on the side that didn’t necessarily jibe with the main story (more on this later). Which i thought was unfortunate and disappointing. I didn’t like him, but I kept on hoping his ending will be to let go of Hyun Chae and start anew. Because he deserved a better woman.

What would you do if you could foresee the future, and the ending wasn’t what you wanted? Would that make a difference? Don’t you regret your decision? – Seo Do Kyun

I don’t. – Kang Hyun Chae

Episode 30

As for Kang Hyun Chae – where do I start? She was equally evil b*tch. I have to say, the whole premise of the kidnapping was very misleading, since Hyun Chae and Do Kyun’s plan was actually not related to the main story after all! I also think that Hyun Chae’s story with her father was unnecessary. Hyun Chae was so bad, I’m not sure if anyone pitied her when she was being harrassed or killed by her dad. Yes, she was beaten up by her father, but she still tried to burn their house down at 7 years old, used a guy’s love for her for more than 10 years to manipulate him, married a guy for his money and privilege, tried to kidnap her own daughter, hired someone to kill her husband, and tried to blackmail Chairman Yu (something that was way over her head). Whew! Truly rotten. I’m surprised she survived instead of Do Kyun. On one hand, I thought she deserved to die after all that she did, but on the other hand, maybe living but losing everything she has is even worse than death.

It was all because of my greed. You see I was only there in the university to drop out. As I was getting sick and tired of living with a poor guy, that’s when you came into my life. You looked like a savior who’d help me retrieve everything that I had lost. I tried so hard not to lose anything. But I lost everything that was dear to me. – Kang Hyun Chae

You have no right to pity yourself. People who are in worse, no, not everyone who’s in the same situation as you would make the same choices. You ruined yourself. Now take responsibility. – Kim Seojin

Episode 32, prison visit scene

Overall, the ending was satisfying because they were able to neatly wrap all the characters’ stories. I loved that Han Aeri and Kim Seojin’s family became one happy family. Kim Seojin has always been alone since his father died. So it’s nice to see him and his daughter have a mother like figure of Song Ja, and good friends like Aeri, Soojung and Gun Wook. Both Aeri and Seojin also learned to cherish their present and the appreciate the people around them. Still laughing at Gun wok becoming rich because Kim Seojin gave him the lottery numbers (haha). At least they won’t have to worry about money anymore. and I’m sure Kim Seojin will be generous to them.

What would you wish for if you were to make contact with the future again? – Kim Seojin

I’m done with that kind of wishful thinking. I learned that turning back time isn’t the key that solves all. I now know that changing the past has its consequences. – Han Aeri

I’ve lived my life only going forward. Doing so, had me take for granted those precious in my life. – Kim Seojin

Then we both have no need to know what the future holds. – Han Aeri

I don’t know what awaits me in the future, but I’m no longer afraid of what’s to come. – Kim Seojin

For the last few months, I spent my days only waiting for the time to tell 10:33 pm. So I wished that I can cherish every minute of the day now. – Han Aeri

Episode 32, campsite scene

Rating: 9/10 (Story is 9.5, but minus 0.5 because I didn’t like how Dokyun and Hyunchae’s story ended)

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KDrama OST 2020 Playlist

My playlist of my favorite KDrama OSTs in 2020! (credits of the owners of the videos – thank you for the lyrics!)

These songs are coming from the following Dramas:
The King: Eternal Monarch
Oh My Baby
When My Love Blooms
Sweet Munchies
Dinner Mate
My Unfamiliar Family
Backstreet Rookie
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
The Spies Who Loved Me
Flower of Evil
Homemade Love Story
Tale of the Nine Tailed
Alice
Record of Youth
Lie After Lie
18 Again
Chocolate
Crash Landing on You
Kairos
Hospital Playlist
Itaewon Class
Woman of 9.9 Billion
Find Me in Your Memory