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 movies

The Princess and the Matchmaker (2018)

The_Princess_and_the_Matchmaker-P1.jpg

Profile
Movie: The Princess and the Matchmaker (궁합)
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Runtime: 110 min.
Genre: Period / Romantic-Comedy
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Plot
Princess Songhwa (Shim Eun-Kyung) refuses her fate of marrying someone who matches her marital harmony. There are 4 men on her future husband list with different fate signs. Refusing her fate, she decides to leave the palace and find her husband by herself.

Seo Do-Yoon (Lee Seung-Gi) is a person who interprets marital harmony signs. He is very skilled at his craft and, consequently, selected as the one to read the marital harmony signs between Princess Songhwa and the 4 men on her husband list.

Cast
Lee Seung Gi – Seo Do Yoon
Shim Eun Kyung – Princess Songhwa
Yeon Woo Jin – Yoon Shi Kyung
Kang Min Hyuk – Kang Whi
Choi Woo Sik – Nam Chi Ho

Review
I watched it after i found that that Lee Seung Gi is coming to Manila for a fanmeeting. I’m not a big fan of LSG but i find that i always end up watching his dramas/movies/shows. On the other hand, I only know Shim Eun Kyung because of Miss Granny and i actually feel like her character and mannerisms are similar to Miss Granny. I guess it’s the actress’ style where she speaks loud or make witty retorts. (kind of like how Park Bo Young annoys me with her tiny cute voice)

I liked the first half the the movie when Princess was trying to meet the 4 husbands to be. They were hilarious and the love/hate between the princess and Seo Do yoon was funny. You just know they will end up together. But then the second half of the movie got dark and too rushed. Yeon Woo Jin is handsome but he is really good at being and looking evil. The movie didn’t really explain why the consort or Shi Kyung were colluding (are they lovers? i wasn’t sure what their relationship was).

But i did like the ending and how they were able to find a good way to resolve the story that makes sense during that period and still have the princess and a normal guy together. i think this is Lee Seung Gi’s first movie after he got out of the army and he wasn’t that cute here (he didn’t wear makeup and his face looked dark and rough). and this kind of helped me make up my mind that i’m not going to LSG’s fan meeting (boohoo!) I realized i’m not really a fan and i may not have a good time watching. (but if i get free tix i will go haha or if my friend who is a big LSG fan will go, i might accompany her to watch).

Posted in kdrama

Hwayugi eps. 15-20 (end)

Took some time for me but f inally finished watching the show. I think the ending was alright for a lot of the characters, but I have mixed feelings for the ending of Samjang and Son O’gong.

All through out the show, we were told that one will have to eventually kill each other and I was wondering if they will ever find a way to break free of their destiny or not. I mean, most korean dramas get a happy ever after right? This time, they did escape their fate – because they didn’t have to kill each other.. but.. someone still died and I’m not sure how I feel about that, even one week after i’ve finished the show. In a way I felt letdown. I mean, what’s the point of escaping their fate if they wont end up together and one will die?? then i would rather have had them have a big showdown and go all dramatic as one of them kills each other. I would probably cry and be happy with that ending than the one we’ve got. Plus, the last episode felt more like an epilogue just to tie up loose ends and have O’gong tell Samjang he loves her even without the geumgango – i was expecting O’gong to show her as he cradled her in his arms before she dies – that would have been a fantastic ending too, without having her come back as a ghost. To be fair, even though Samjang died, there is still hope for them to meet each other – and yes, i guess it made more sense for her to die than Ogong coz then she can be a spirit and they still have a chance to be together, rather than Ogong dying.

Though i’m sad Ogong left the gang, i’m also excited for him to embark on a journey to find Samjang and bring her back but i wished that’s what they showed in the last episode – go out with a big bang. But wait, i’m a little confused – why did Samjang end up in purgatory? She sacrificed herself, i think she deserves automatic admission to heaven or maybe become a honorary deity.

As for Samjang, I don’t think it’s the actress’ fault – i briefly watched her in Come Here Mister and she seems like a good actress (though a bit overacting), but Samjang’s character wasn’t that developed. I felt like she was used as a tool the whole time and she just has this unemotional face all the time that i found her boring – not even sure what Ogong saw in her. The only time i was impressed with Samjang was during the last 2 episodes, when she was finally showing initiative and showing disgust at Kang Daesung. I thought, finally, Samjang is showing her own fire. I could never understand why the gods chose her as Samjang – and we will never know. But i felt bad for her – like she existed solely to sacrifice herself in the end – and she didn’t even lived a full life before dying.

I loved Devil King finally meeting his own son. I feel dumb as the kid has been there since episode 1 but i never thought that he could be Devil King’s son until ep. 18. i thought he was just a side character. I find them both so cute, esp liking the same food and walking the same way. I just wished there was a way for Queen Mother to have met Devil King in the present time so that i hope Queen Mother will show him how much she loves him.

As for PK and Richie/Asanyeo, i didn’t like PK – he’s annoying, ruins everyone’s plans all the time. The only time i liked him was when he was with Richie. I was confused with Asanyeo’feelings because sometimes she comes off as nice and submissive to Ogong, but other times she is just a bitch. I find the end fitting her – we all know Richie needs to be burned, and i’m glad it was PK who did it, not Ogong. it’s a good way for them to say goodbye, but did PK like Richie only as a sister or more than that? Asanyeo’s last words from Richie said “i like you” and I’m thinking it’s not just Richie who feels that way – also Asanyeo. I cried a little bit watching this scene.

The same way I felt anguished by the Jade Dragon sacrificing himself to save PK. What the heck. Jade Dragon is supposed to be a guy right who so happened to enter Alice’s body? Why did he end up liking PK for real? it just felt off and weird. and did he really have to kill himself? what’s the point? they could have just called Devil King or Son Ogong (arent they supposed to be able to teleport wherever they want to?)

Kang Dae Sung — argh he deserves to be inside that coffin and buried alive under the sea. really.

SAmjang’s assistant – aww he’s such a sweety and great idea to give the whole company to him (but still find it weird it’s just the two of them running a profitable company). I just hope he will be able to sustain the company as he can’t even see ghosts. hehe.

Overall, i loved the show. It had some dragging parts and plotholes, but i liked the overall feel of the show – at times hilarious, serious when needed, some action and fantasy, different episodic storylines that kept me interested to finish the story.

Posted in kdrama

Hwayugi eps. 12-14

I was wondering how they can continue showing Richie’s character given that she is a zombie and every episode we see her getting worse that it is just a matter of time before she decomposes. But im happy and surprised to see her take on a new character.. as Asanyeo..a high priestess powerful enough to change the stars of a person. Now we know why theres a connection between Richie and Kang Dae Sung coz it looks like he is ambitious enough to want to be the president. I can already see how this one plays out.

The main goal of Asanyeo is to swap souls with Samjang so that she will be more powerful. She was awakened by Richie, who was awaken by Samjangs blood. As always,Samjang is clueless and always the last one to know. The second goal is to marry Ogong who is the great sage, so that will make her super powerful. Ogong and Devil king is trying to think of ways to bring Asanyeo back to the ground but Asanyeo has found Devil kings weakness.

The other half of the story is centered on Devil King and his love. All throughout the show he has been racking enough points to become a deity so he can rescue his love from her punishment. Now we finally get to see them interact in the present world but how exactly can he help her? So asanyeo tricked Devil king to persuade Samjang to help him by putting her blood on Asanyeo’s incese burner. Mixed with her own blood,they can swap souls,kind of how Asanyeo helped General winter years ago (a surprising twist!)

For a high priestess,i find Asanyeo to be a bit dumb as she keeps getting fooled and outsmarted by Ogong. Or maybe is it how the actress is playing her character? It is definitely different from how she portrays Richie but i dont feel threatened and scared of Asanyeo except when she sneers.

Since Ogong was able to stop Asanyeo, they encouraged samjang to help devil king,since if Samjang is more powerful than asanyeo then Samjang can do what Asanyeo can. Im in awe with devil kings unwavering love for the queen Mother, enough to want to endure 10,000 years worth of pain so that he can stop her punishment.

At this point im not sure how the story ends. It still looks like Asanyeo will continue to play a big part esp with kang Dae Sungs story. We still dont know what is Samjangs mission or how she and Ogong is supposed to fight (and only one will come out alive).

Posted in kdrama

hwayugi eps. 9-11

Just when they finally admitted their feelings go beyond the Geumganggo, we get another roadblock, this time it’s deadlier.

O’gong, Ms Ma and Devil King realize that Seon Mi has the death bell and it has rung – which means one has to kill the other in the end. I’m quite curious how they will resolve this main conflict. While O’Gong loves Seon Mi, it seems like he is not yet so fully committed that he is willing to die for her, which makes sense since he has lived and so long being ruthless when it comes to survival. I’m not sure how he thinks he can get Samjang killed given the circumstances since based on the rules of the Geumganggo, he will feel as much pain as Samjang feels – just like how at the end of episode 11, when O’gong was so angry at the 2 goons for killing Zombie girl and Seon Mi rushes to stop him, his heart was suddenly squeezed so tight by the thorns that he actually bled blood. I feel pained seeing O’gong’s look of astonishment and Seon Mi’s look of horror as they try to decipher what has happened even though they dont know how. I really hope they can complete the storyline in a good way coz i will feel totally let down if they just skirt away from this issue a few episodes from now.

On the other hand, these 3 episodes gave us a glimpse of how much Seon Mi finally appreciates the special skill that was given to her, even though it may also cost her the love of her life. All she wanted since she was young was to feel ordinary and not see or interact with any ghosts – and when the bookseller took her child’s soul away, she was able to live and try how it is to be normal. The first few times she felt sad, coz suddenly from being a special and doted by the monsters, she is now a nobody and useless. I dont know exactly how long she spent living an ordinary life – but i’m disappointed that it felt too short though – probably just 1 day for her to realize she wants it back. I think it’s a combination of wanting O’gong back to her side, to helping Zombie girl and feeling special again by helping other people get rid of the evil spirits. it’s like saying you quit smoking for a day or you will start dieting then go back to your habit a day after. And honestly right now, she is getting rid of evil spirits – but these are mostly the little monsters – she hasn’t dealt with the big ones that can really wreak havoc to the world and make a difference – though i think we are gearing up for that.

Another interesting storyline is the sacred tree – i dont know what the Professor saw when he touched the coffin – all we saw is a glimpse of a woman wearing a veil. I dont know how powerful she is or how she is important to the monster’s group world and Samjang – but definitely another storyline that is interesting.

finally after several episodes, Zombie girl finds out her identity but she gets tricked by the 2 goons and pushed from the rooftop. I am so so so angry now. I like Zombie girl and i really wished she lives longer – but i also dont know how. It seems like her storyline has ended. and i love her she was so brave to say goodbye to everyone and make a decision to ask Ogong to burn her before she rots away and become an evil spirit. I really really wish she comes back! and I’m sure PK will feel totally devastated once he hears what has happened to Zombie girl. As for Jade Dragon, right now i feel like he/she doesn’t really do anything to the storyline except argue with PK. I hope we see his/her power later.

I also feel like Devil King has become more of a side character without any real storyline aside from helping Ogong and Samjang, which is kind of disappointing coz i was really looking forward for him to complete his own mission of rescuing his love (which i dont know if she is still alive or dead). At this point, he is a big ally to the team, and i’m not sure if he will ever betray them for his own interests. I love the bromance between Devil King and O’gong, i guess they have lived long enough to like each other and even talking about forming a hotel or restaurant together. hahaha. face it Devil King, despite you trying to get away from Ogong, you will always protect him, the way i’m sure Ogong will protect Devil King when needed.

I’m not sure how long the drama series will be since i’m already in episode 11 – but i still feel like we’re just in the middle of the whole story and there’s still a lot to tackle.