Posted in kdrama

Once Again (2019-2020)

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Drama: Once Again (한 번 다녀왔습니다)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 100
Release Date: March 28 – September 13, 2020
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 19:55
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Four adult children of a married couple got divorced and went back to live with their parents.

Main Cast
Lee Min Jung – Song Nahee
Lee Sang Yeob – Yoon Gyu Jin
Lee Cho Hee – Song Dahee
Lee Sang Yi – Yoon Jae Seok
Oh Yoon Ah – Song Gahee
Ki Do Hoon – Park Hyosin
Oh Dae Hwan – Song Junseon
Lim Jung Eun – Sung Hyun Kyung
Cheon Hojin – Song Yeong Dal
Cha Hwa Yeon – Jang Ok Bun
Kim Bo Yeon – Choi Yoon Jong
Lee Jung Eun – Cho Yeon / Yeong Suk
Baek Ji Won – Jang Ok Ja
Ahn Kil Kang – Yang Chisu

Review:
What a wonderful story! I’ve watched a few weekend dramas before and this is one of those that didn’t have a lot of makjang storylines! It was just about a family where each member has their own struggles in life, they fight, they misunderstand, they hurt each other. But in the end, they are family and they continue to understand and love each other.

I love the siblings – Junseon, Gahee, Nahee and Dahee! Gyujin and Jaesook too! If i had to choose:

Dahee and Jaesook is my favorite couple. Not only do the actors look alike, they just have this sweet vibe and they match perfectly. I love Nahee and Gyujin but they keep fighting like kids, sometimes I wonder how they manage to stay together. Or maybe it’s really just opposite attract.

Jaesook is the best boyfriend. He supports Dahee 100%, he is very sweet, understanding and romantic. He sings for her!! Brings her food. Meets her after work. Hangs out with her friends. His only flaw is that he is a little bit clingy (well, I think some girls like clingy guys).

Gahee is my favorite sibling. She looks so good in everything she wears. She is a cool mom, she stands up for herself and she is smart. She is caring and sensitive too. No wonder Hyosin fell in love with her despite the age gap, her divorce status and having a child.

Choyeon/Yeongsuk is my favorite ahjumma/market owner. She is smart and tough because of her upbringing. She defends the people who are down, she helps older people. Her flaw is being too nice that she takes care of other people even when they have betrayed her. She is simple and average looking but because of her personality, two guys fell in love with here in the drama, and she eventually dates a much younger and handsome guy! Not bad Choyeon!

Dahee is the best daughter in law, the best daughter, the best sister. She is the sweetest of them all. She may look like a pushover but once she sets her mind to it, she is stubborn. Maybe because she’s the youngest so she gets babied a lot but she knows when it’s time to remind the people that she can make her own decisions. She is nice to everyone, that’s why she can even tame the strictest and scariest mother in law (yes, that’s Yoonjung!)

Jihoon is the sweetest grandchild. He was hurt when his dad kept ignoring him. I felt so bad whenever he gets stood up by his dad. I’m glad he was able to meet and be friends with Hyosin. He needed a stand up adult to mentor him or else I’m sure he would have grown up to be a bad child. Kudos to Gahee for raising a young and mature son. Even at a young age, he is sensitive to his mom’s feelings and when dad wanted to get back together with Gahee, he said no and chose to be happy with his mom. Plus, he also encouraged Hyosin and Gahee.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted in kdrama

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)


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Love Alarm S2 (2021)

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Drama: Love Alarm Season 2 (좋아하면 울리는 시즌 2)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: March 12, 2021

Plot:

Main Cast:
Kim So Hyun – Kim Jojo
Song Kang – Hwang Sun-oh
Jung Garam – Lee Hyeyoung
Go Minsi – Park Gulmi
Kim Si Eun – Yukjo
Ki Do Hoon – Brian Chon

Review:
Link to my Season 1 review: https://kdramadreaming.com/2019/12/21/love-alarm-s1-2019/


I really wanted Jojo to be with Sunoh in S1 but after watching S2 eps 1-4, I actually felt relieved that Jojo chose Hyeyoung and Sunoh had the closure he wanted (and free from toxic Jojo!! Yehey!!).

There are Different Kinds of Love
I think Jojo made the right choice to choose Hyeyoung. They are both boring and simple (which is not bad) and they worked well as a couple. I felt like that Sunoh was made to look pathetic, stalking Jojo like Hyeyoung did in S1 so I really felt bad for Sunoh and thought he deserved so much better than that. And I felt it was unfair that Jojo never gave him the same chance she gave Hyeyoung.

That shield. It was because of me. To hide your feelings for me. You installed in as you pleased, and hid it as you pleased. You didn’t even give me time to prepare. Look into your heart properly now. I won’t let you go now without understanding why.”

episode 4, Sunoh confronting Jojo

Love is Timing
The story didn’t start from the end of S1 where they all met at the conference, so it felt like a huge chunk of time went by and we didn’t know what happened in between. Suddenly Jojo and Hyeyoung were a couple (bf/gf) and not just “dating”. I mean, Sunoh didn’t have a fighting chance since Hyeyoung has been there for Jojo for so many years and at Jojo’s point where she was ready to let go of the past and move forward. Sunoh’s time has passed.

Did you ever regret installing the shield?

I regretted it every second. But still I think I’d install it again. I learned a lot through that choice. So even if I were to go back in time, I’d install the shield again, regret it again and be hurt again. I’m sorry.

episode 6, Jojo finally apologizing to Sunoh and getting closure

Passionate Love vs Steady Love
From Ep 1-4, it felt like Jojo was forcing herself to love Hyeyoung out of pity. And everyone was so obsessed with ringing each other’s alarm. Jojo eventually fell in love with a nice guy like Hyeyoung. It may not have been the passionate love at first sight kind of love that she experienced with Sunoh, but it’s also a valid and very real kind of love.

When you came to my school, all I could think about was Hyeyoung. Even when that video went viral, the old me would have only thought of running away. But back then, I could only think about how hurt Hyeyoung must be and I knew I had to go to him. That was all I could think about.

episode 4, Jojo finally showing her true feelings

You Can’t Force a Person to Fall In Love With You
On the other hand, I felt bad for Yukjo. Unlike Hyeyoung, she didn’t “get” the guy she wanted. This drama showed that Jojo slowly fell in love with Hyeyoung through his consistent efforts but it may not always work for everyone. Yukjo is such a nice girl and girlfriend, yet despite her efforts, Sunoh still didn’t love her. I did like the open ending where Sunoh told Yukjo that he will make effort too until he rings her bell. Again, it goes back to having the free will and decision to love a person and not putting so much attention on an app.

I actually liked Gulmi here. She probably had the most character growth (although she didn’t really change that much). Lol I didn’t make sense.

The morale of the story didnt really had an impact to me because even though they talked about timing and volition, their actions didnt match the lesson.

Rating: 6/10

Posted in kdrama

Lovestruck in the City (2021)

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Drama: Lovestruck in the City (도시남녀의 사랑법)
Network: KakaoTV, Netflix
Episodes: 17
Release Date: December 22, 2020 – February 16, 2021
Runtime: Tuesday & Friday 17:00 (Kakao TV) / Tuesday & Friday 19:00 (Netflix)

Plot:
This drama explores the stories of 3 couples and the different views on various topics about love, sex, and relationships in the modern Seoul.

Main Cast
Ji Chang Wook – Park Jae Won
Kim Ji Won – Lee Eun Oh / Yoon Se A
Kim Min Suk – Choi Gyung Jun
So Ju Yeon – Suh Rini
Ryu Kyung Soo – Kang Geon
Han Ji Eun – Oh Sun Young

Review:
I had really high hopes about this drama but it was totally not what I expected. This should have been called Heartbreak in the City.

It was really hard to like a drama when I didn’t like more than half of the cast. I only liked Jaewon and Gyeongjun. I didnt like the 3 friends, and definitely disliked Sunyoung.

I’ll start with Jae won and Eun oh — which is the main couple /story line.

I think the best part of this drama were the Yang Yang scenes. It really made us feel Jaewon and Eunoh’s summer romance. Plus the cameos of Lee Sang Woo and Lee Sang Yoon. But when showing the Yangyang scenes against the current times where Eun Oh was being such a horrible woman to Jae Won, it just didn’t make sense or shall I say I felt cheated. It was super hard to like Eun Oh while I still see her break Jae won’s heart cruelly.

Ji Chang Wook as Jaewon is whiny and mopey in love and heartbreak but so cute. How can Eunoh break up with a great guy like Jaewon?? Eunoh was horrible. I can understand her. She was cheated on and lost her job, so she headed to Yang Yang wishing (and acting like a different person). But she made a lot of promises to Jae won. If she really wanted to breakup, she could have just told Jaewon the truth. Even on the phone — say “Jaewon, sorry it was just a summer romance, I had a great time but goodbye.” It would have hurt both of them, esp Jaewon but he would have the closure that he sought for 1 year!!! And she didn’t even have to steal his cameras, just remove the memory card and ship it back to him. I think Eun Oh’s actions were really stupid and hurtful. And very very selfish.

And I hate that this drama dragged the whole story about why Eunoh wont tell Jaewon what happened to her until like almost the penultimate episode. It was so frustrating. Jaewon looked like great guy. I could feel his pain when he finally met Eun Oh and realized she knew who he was all along and just kept breaking his heart. And yet Jae Won kept it a secret from her friends. He kept his distance. He respected her when she wanted to find herself. Until he finally said, let’s find yourself together (or something like that). Can you imagine if Eun Oh told him that same thing one year ago? I’m definitely sure Jae won would have said and done the same thing.

I knew this was definitely going to be a happy ending for them, but I was hoping (and I thought) the better ending was for Jaewon to accept the breakup, have closure, and find another girl who would love him as he is. Meanwhile, Eunoh will regret everything she did but she will be busy finding herself (because as they always say, you can’t love someone if you don’t even love yourself).

The second couple are Gyung Jun and Rini —
At first I thought they were so cute. They are high school sweethearts and have been together for a long time (i think the drama mentioned 7 years). But in the middle of the drama we start to see the cracks in their relationship. For some reason, Rini is too cheap, trying to live simply and seems to be happy with it. She has no stable job, prefer to just have part time jobs that gives her a lot of free time. And she has no plans of changing her lifestyle. That is good, I like that she is living hte way she wants to, but it’s a very different lifestyle from Gyung Jun. He is successful architect, he makes money, is not stingy and doesn’t mind supporting Rini if she needs to. But he hides his real feelings for Rini — he wants her to get a stable job, buy nice things for her, and proudly show her to his family. I honestly this couple wouldn’t last long, that one day Gyung Jun will blow up and break up with Rini. I cant believe Rini broke up with Gyeongjun and not the other way around, and she became the “victim”. I think Gyeongjun was patient and supported her while she was too selfish. Why be in a relationship if she was just planning to live for herself and not think of Gyung Jun? No one can stay stagnant and the same forever. The couple should be supporting each other while they grow as a person and as a couple.

I didn’t really care about Geon and Sun Young. Well, Geon can be there as the 3rd friend, but adding Sun Young to the story didn’t really add value. She was also horrible to all her exes. And her reason is because she wants to feel validated while humiliating her exes in public is a No for me.

They said there’s a possibility of season 2 with Minho’s story (and maybe a continuation of Rini/GyungJun) but I think unless they come up with a better story and a more high profile leads, I most likely wouldn’t watch it. Minho’s short story with the pretty actress was good enough closure to the drama.

Rating: 7/10

Posted in kdrama

The Spies Who Loved Me (2020)

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Drama: The Spies Who Loved Me (나를 사랑한 스파이)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 21 – December 17, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:30 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
Kang Ahreum met Jeon Jihun in Jeju and quickly felt in love and got married within 6 months. They also got divorced a year later and vowed to never see each other again. Turns out, Jihun was an Interpol agent and although he loves his wife, he decided to leave Ahreum to protect her from getting even more hurt. Years later, Jihun and Ahreum meet again as Jihun was chasing Sophie, who turns out to be Ahreum’s friend. Sophie was murdered and Jihun and Ahreum work together to solve her murder. Unfortunately, it seems like Ahreum’s current husband, Derek is one of the suspects and unknown to Ahreum is actually a double agent. Can Ahreum and Derek’s marriage survive once she finds out the truth about her husband? Does Jihun still have a chance to win back Ahreum and solve the case?

Main Cast
Eric Mun – Jeon Ji Hun
Yoo In Na – Kang Ahreum
Im Joo Hwan – Derek Hyun

Review:
I loved this underrated KDrama! This felt like an actual spy drama and had similar vibes with My Secret Terrius. But this one is different because beyond the spy and action, there were a lot of discussions on love and marriage. Actually it is like a relationship drama under the guise of a spy drama.

I loved the 3 main leads. Jihun, Ahreum and Derek had so much chemistry together as a team and separately as couples. The stark contrast of the marriage between Jihun and Ahreum vs Derek and Ahreum were both so beautiful, i actually got confused who she will end up with. I was team Jihun but i wondered how they will get back together without Derek in the way. I liked how they resolved this.

The bromance between Jihun and Derek was also great. They both loved the same woman although they had different ways to show their love. Hated Derek’s character at first but came to also like and pity him in the end. I hope he is having a good life in Malta like he wanted.

Although Jihun loved Ahreum he never crossed the line and waited until the time was right. They were too young when they got married but now they grew up, got to know each other more and found out thy actually worked well together. They looked like the korean Mr and Mrs Smith in the last episode. Really loved the acting of Eric in this drama.

Ahreum is one of the best female leads in 2020. She was smart and tough, yet feminine and compassionate. She fought Tinker and slashed his leg with a pair of scissors, she made a sweet deal with Kim Dong Ran and helped take down Helmes boss. I actually thought she would get out of the wedding dress business to be a full time agent in Jimin’s team but being informant is way better!

I loved the whole team – Chief Ban Jimin (who was super hilarious and harsh), the cute couple Yonggu and Seora, even the sad story of Tae Ryong 😦

The only thing I didn’t like about this drama is how they handled the bad guys. Poor Peter never got justice for his death. No one probably knew he was dead and no one ever found out Doobong killed him. Although Derek did clean his body and put him in a nice box, Derek also used his body to fake his death and no one figured out it was actually Peter. So really felt bad for him.

Likewise I thought Shin Hera got off quite easily, with just some crying (the mother-son relationship was so odd) and I can’t believer Derek let Tinker go. He is probably still out there, spying and maybe killing people.

Overall, I loved this drama, the final episode was satisfying. Can’t believe they were able to squeeze in one spy case in the final episode! I wish we had 1 more episode of Jihun and Ahreum together (or maybe see them walking down the aisle the second time around!)

Rating: 9/10