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Jugglers (2018)

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Drama: Jugglers (저글러스)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 4, 2017 – January 23, 2018
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
The story mainly revolves around 3 ladies working as secretaries in one company. Yoon Yi works for a playboy boss and was mistakenly thought to be having an affair with him by the boss’s wife. As a result, she got waitlisted from the secretary pool and was hit by a bad reputation/rumor of sleeping with the boss. She ends up working with straight laced no nonsense Chi Won who is so independent and does not seem to need the help of a secretary. Pretty soon, they end up falling in love. On the other hand, Bona is a great secretary to Sang Moo, who is corrupt and arrogant. Chi Won is trying to uncover Sang Moo’s corruption, which strains the “friendship” between Yoon Yi and Bo Na. Bo Na has to decide if she will side with her long time boss or with her friend. Lastly, Yool is the son of the company’s directors and is an immature guy. He may have ideas but no one seems to be listening to him, thus, he tends to just slack off. Yoon Yi recommended her friend, Jung Ae to be Yool’s secretary. Jung Ae got married young and has a kid but now has to find work to help pay off her husband’s debts and raise her son. She hides her marital status from Yool and is able to turn Yool from a slacker to a hard worker. What will happen if Yool finds out the real truth about Jung Ae?

Main Cast
Baek Jin Hee – Jwa Yoon Yi
Daniel Choi – Nam Chi Won
Kang Hye Jung – Wang Jung Ae
Lee Won Geun – Hwangbo Yool
Cha Joo Young – Ma Bo Na
Jung Hye In – Park Kyung Rye

Review
I think story-wise, there was nothing really new. there has been so many kdramas about companies and uncovering corruption, secretary and boss living under the same roof and eventually falling in love. What i loved about this drama is the sincerity of the characters, esp Yoon Yi. The show also made me appreciate secretaries even more. They are not just assistants who fixes the boss’s schedule. They help their boss become better by making sure everything runs smoothly. They also help keep the team morale up and supports the team through various admin stuff. I love howthe 3 secretaries’ lives were all different because it gives flavor and reason to why they decide things and why they act a certain way.

I also love the romance/relationship between Yoon Yi and Chi Won. They were total opposites, yet once they worked together, they were a perfect match. I also liked the side story about Yoon Yi living in Chi Won’s old house. It must really be fate bringing them together. I love how they support each other, esp with Chi Won’s trauma.

The corruption story I didn’t like that much, mostly because it took too long to build the story. Bona’s boss was so annoying, all i want is to expose him and get him kicked out of the company but I had no clue what he was supposed to be doing bad until the last 2 episodes. and it felt like Chi Won worked too slow and Bona’s manager was just too powerful (when he is not that high up in position). I loved the conflict for Bona’s character. She needs the money, she needs the promotion plus she has been working for his boss for a long time. He hasn’t treated her badly and she rightfully shares her loyalty to her boss, but when you know your boss is doing bad things, aren’t you supposed to report him? Bona can always be assigned to a new boss if needed though with what happened to Yoonyi, i’m sure other bosses would not want a secretary who cannot be trusted with secrets.

As for Yool and Jung Ae, I wasn’t really sure why they had to hide her marital status (is it because Yool will not hire her)? and they should know that is not acceptable and can be reasons for termination. Plus, Yoon Yi helped change Jung ae’s CV, which is also wrong and i dont remember that she got penalized or suspended for it. Yool seemed like a cute son to Jung Ae. He obviously needed someone who will treat him with respect and guide him.

Overall, the story is simple but I had a lot of fun watching the drama. It was lighthearted but had good lessons to learn from.

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Queen of the Ring (2017)

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Drama: Queen of Ring (반지의 여왕)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 3
Release Date: March 9 – March 23, 2017
Runtime: Thursdays 23:00

Plot
The story is about a plain girl (Mo Nanhee) who has a crush on a handsome guy but shallow guy (Park Segun). Nanhee’s mom gave her a ring that is supposed to have powers where if the guy she likes slips the ring on her finger, he will see her ideal girl. They start dating, however, Segun keeps seeing a beautiful girl instead of plain Nanhee, and the beautiful girl turns out to be her friend, Mijoo. When Segun finds out about the ring, will he choose Miju or Nanhee?

Cast
Kim Seul Gi – Mo Nan Hee
Ahn Hyo Seop – Park Se Gun
Yoon So Hee – Kang Miju
Lee Tae Sun – Byun Taehyun

Review
I love Seulgi that’s why i watched this drama. At first I could not understand why Nanhee likes Segun. Apart from his good looks, he just seemed so shallow and always talking about looking for pretty girls. When they started dating i couldn’t really feel happy for Nanhee, and is probably the way she feels – because she knows he does not like the real her, but the pretty version of her. I partly also cannot understand Nanhee. I know she thinks she is not pretty enough but how can you be confident of yourself if she always look that way. She is actually looks alright, even cute, but her hair is awful (why does she keep wearing her hair up and her bangs are too creepily curled) and her clothes are so boring. let’s face it – not everything is about personality, you need to have both looks and personality to succeed in today’s society. I actually like Taehyun – he is not as cute as Segun but he sees the real Nanhee and likes her the way she is, without the ring and pretty looks and clothes.
On the other side, Segun started off as really shallow but as the episode progresses, i realized that he isn’t really that shallow, he is just looking for that connection, which he thought was the looks but as he dated Nanhee, he realized that what he was looking for was a girl he can be with – who he can talk to and supports him, and the other way around. I loved that when he started dating Mijoo, he realized that and started looking for the real Nanhee. and he is the one who was able to bring Nanhee out of her shell and told her she is beautiful and she should be confident. that’s what love can do to both people, they bring out the best in each other. i love what Nanhee said to Segun about model vs girlfriend. Model is someone you bring in front of everyone, but girlfriend is the one you can cry to backstage (or something like that).
I also love how we also saw Miju have a panic disorder. So it turns out even pretty people have their own problems and insecurities. and We need friends who will be there for you and support you – gives you the strength to go on with your life.

I loved the overall message that this drama tried to show, and it’s a great reminder for everyone to not just look at external beauty but also look at inner beauty, or you might miss out on a good thing.

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I’m Not a Robot (2018)

 

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Drama: I’m Not a Robot (로봇이 아니야)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 32
Release Date: December 6, 2017 – January 25, 2018
Runtime: Wednesdays & Thursdays 22:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
A girl (Ji-a) pretends to be a robot (Aji-3) as a favor to her ex-boyfriend scientist (Baek Gyun) who is trying to get a rich guy Min Kyu to invest in his AI. The guy happens to have a rare allergy with human contact due to his tragic past and has no friends. Through his daily interactions with Aji-3, he is cured of his allergy and falls in love. But what happens when he finds out that Aji-3 is really Ji-a? Will he forgive her?

Cast
Yoo Seung Ho – Kim Min Kyu
Chae Soo Bin – Cho Ji-a / Aji-3
Uhm Ki Joon – Hong Baek Gyun
Park Se Wan – Pi
Song Jae Ryong – Hoktal
Kim Min Kyu – Ssanip
Kang Ki Young – Hwang Yoocheol
Hwang Seung Un – Ye Ri-el

Review
What a wonderful and heartwarming drama! I can’t believe I almost didn’t watch this one, just because i didn’t like Yoo Seung Ho. I never watched his dramas but i look at him and feel that his dramas are boring. lol. I’m regretting it now. He is a fantastic actor!

Favorite character / favorite couple – Min Kyu and Ji-a. I like them when they are together more than their individual characters. They are just so perfect and so in-sync with each other’s thoughts and feelings. and i love that Ji-a met someone who can totally understand and appreciate her quirky inventions and Min kyu found someone who he can trust and let his guard down.

Favorite scene – those 2 heartbreaking scenes where Minkyu was ranting to Jia and she just took all the hurt and pain and cried. I was crying for both of them coz you can really feel how much hurt they caused and how much they still love each other despite everything that has happened. Likewise, the next episode where they went to that mountain to catch the comet. another amazing scene that had me crying buckets of tears.

Favorite bromance /team – The whole Santa Maria squad. Well, Baek gyun is a bit frustrating at time because he seems so insensitive but i love that he cares for Min Kyu like a brother. Pi was always this grumpy girl but i love that she is so smart and so caring of Baek gyun. Ssanip and Hoktal were too funny. I love Ssanip’s random english lines, it just made him funnier. the unexpected romance between Hoktal and Seonhye was too cute.

I didn’t exactly like Jin Bae – he was so mean to Ji-a and he just looks too bland as Minkyu’s right hand man. I’m not even sure what he did that’s so amazing that Min Kyu had to beg for him to stay and he even got a huge promotion. But at least we get to finally see him acknowledge her sister’s talents at the end.

My favorite cute daughter is back! the kid actress is just so cute in every scene /drama she’s in. the two guys in black coats were such a pain all throughout the show, i can’t believe they were actually useful in the end.

I didn’t really like the whole KM financial story – i hated the two fathers, i think the worse one is Ri-el’s father who i thought was nice but was actually the traitor – at least Yoocheol’s father had the guts to fight Minkyu to his face and not be sneaky. I am so glad that the second generation (Min Kyu, Yoo cheol and Ri-el) are way better than their parents and I am so sure that together they will take KM Financial even higher. I am so used to seeing Kang Ki-young as the goofy and funny sidekick so seeing him here wearing a pained expression almost every scene was a bit odd for me. I like him more as the funny best friend, but he wasn’t bad here – he redeemed himself at the end.

The most worthless character is the doctor!! seriously, after 15 years he wasn’t able to cure Min kyu – he knows it’s partly psychological yet he did not ask Min kyu to see a psychiatrist. and the treatments and advice were so wrong! Dont tell Minkyu or he’ll die.. go on lying to him. Omg. Minkyu should sue him for being so useless.

Underrated character – the groundskeeper – Butler Sung. he stood as the somewhat father figure to Minkyu and did not leave him.

Seonhye – she’s a kickass best friend to Ji-a and love her style and her advices.

finally Ji-a / Aji-3 what can i say? Chae Soo bin did a great job portraying the 2 characters. She looks so cute as a robot and so pretty as Ji-a. I think Ji-a has been misunderstood because of her inventions and for not having a real job, but not everyone has to have a career. Tehre are some people who are just better as entrepreneurs or as artists and I commend them for their effort and hard work. the heart ball seemed too odd for an invention (like if i saw it in Kickstarter would i have bought it?) and yet it totally made sense when she explained it. and i super loved how they used that in conveying how much Minkyu missed Jia and it became their signal. and that umbrella — where can i buy that?? it was just too ingenious!

Add the amazing soundtrack – this was a winning drama for me.

Note: last night i even dreamed about being a robot too! hahaha! that’s how much it impacted me!

Posted in kdrama

Witch at Court (2017)

 

250px-Witch's_Court-poster 2017

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Drama: Witch at Court (마녀의 법정)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 9 – November 28, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
A materialistic female prosecutor who does not hesitate to use personal attacks, fabricate evidence, and incite perjury in order to win her case is assigned to special task force for sex crimes. A newbie prosecutor also joins the task force, and together they solve crimes with a grudging chemistry.

Main Cast
Jung Ryu Won – Ma Yi Deum
Yoon Hyun Min – Yeo Jin Wook
Jeon Kwang Leol – Cho Gap Soo
Kim Yeo Jin – Min Ji Sook

Review
I would describe this drama as frustratingly convenient, yet enjoyable to watch. The legal cases during the first few episodes are real, but i feel that they focused on the criminal too much that they didn’t equally focus on the victims. Also the legal cases were not written well, it felt like the writers just needed to conveniently write a few sexual assault cases then quickly resolve them and move on to the next plot. It also felt frustrating that the villain seems to have magical powers to know each and every thing that is happening with the leads. He can pop up anywhere, kidnap anyone, steal anything, kill anyone. I dont think anyone is that invincible in real life. But if you dont take the whole case and story seriously and just focus on the 2 main characters and enjoy the ride, then like me, you will probably finish this show in 2 days. Lol.

Favorite character – to be honest, i didn’t like Ma Yi Deum that much, but i love that she is a flawed heroine. I dont like how she is unethical most of the time. It’s different when you’re smart enough to circumvent the law legally vs breaking the law. And i agree with Min Ji Sook when she said that you must be incompetent if you need to resort to underhanded tactics to win. While i also felt frustrated that a criminal may get away because of lack of evidence, but a competent prosecutor can find another way, another time (or maybe the writers just needed to polish the story better). More than Ma Yi Deum, my favorite is the actress herself, Jung Ryu Won. I watched her previously in History of Salaryman and King of Dramas and she is just as amazing in this drama. She seems to act well as a smart and tough lady. I also liked Jin Wook, he maybe a little soft which is reasonable considering he is new to his role. But i like his integrity and empathy to the clients and as a prosecutor.

Favorite pair – Yi Deum and Jin Wook works well together because they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Aside from that, they seem to jibe well and knows how each other is thinking and feeling without having to say it directly. I honestly wished there were more kisses and less teasing but it’s okay, the romance level was just apt for the drama that is focused on taking down Gap soo.

Hatest character – Of course, Cho Gapsoo. Character was not really developed well for the audience to have sympathy for him. All we see is a guy who is hell bent on becoming mayor through lobbying and blackmailing other people. We dont even know his background or why he wants to be mayor. And he is willing to risk everyone around him just to reach the top. So that scene where he was crying and seeing Sang Ho at the mountain was pure BS to me. I dont even feel bad for him. and Yes, excecution was the best for him. i wonder how long it takes from the time you get convicted for execution to the actual execution itself? The final court scene where Ma Yi Deum was shouting that Gapsoo has shown no remorse and should be given death penalty, i felt was also too dramatic. Plus the mom suddenly gaining her memory back in the court room was too contrived. Did I feel satisfied with ending? Yes but the feeling is more “it’s about time. i’m exhausted. finally it’s over because I can’t stand Gapsoo suddenly winning his hand again”

Most underdeveloped character – Lawyer Heo. I look at her and all i see is opportunistic lady. for someone who is supposed to be the best lawyer in H&J law firm, and ending up losing every single case in the drama is just laughable. No wonder she has to use her tricks or switch alliances to move up because she is not that good.

Bravest character – i would have to say, it’s Jin Yeon Hee. She could have been killed had she been discovered in Kingdom, but she was willing to risk her life to catch Gapsoo.

Most undeserving death – Baek Sang Ho. Sure, he has been Gapsoo’s right hand man and may have done lots of bad things, but i dont think he deserved to die. I mean, his brother, Minho is not even worth saving – he is also a bad guy and he deserves to go to jail (not probation) and even after he got out, he even dared to set a condition for Yi Deum before he hands over the journal when he should be helping and repenting for what his actions did to his brother.

Favorite scenes – two scenes when Ma Yi Deum was crying. First while she was sleeping and she was holding Jin Wook’s hand to her cheek was seriously touching. And another scene where she went to a place and couldn’t find her mmom or seomthing and she started crying again. oh and the cute drunk banter between Jinwook and Yi Deum is gold.

Most confusing part of the story – is how Yi Deum and JiSook can just become special investigation team handling Gapsoo’s case. First of all, they are no longer prosecutors so how the heck were they given the special case? Second right after they finished the case, they just went back to being lawyer (though Ryu Won became a prosecutor again). This is one of those storylines that makes the story feel so contrived and convenient. Another thing is how Ryu Won is not able to handle the case of her mom’s abduction, but Jin Wook is handling the case where his mom is involved?? Again, doesn’t make sense and i feel like it was just written into the scene to be dramatic and evoke some story for Jinwook.

Other questionable storylines – How the HJ group was able to pass off and change all possible evidence from Taegyu to Minho. Too much fakeness. Oh, and when Gapsoo’s eyeglasses fell and got crushed, and you see him struggle to see, yet the next scene we see him driving his own car and kidnapping the mom. See what i mean? too convenient.

But seriously, despite the semi-rant and listing all the things wrong about the drama, i still enjoyed watching it. Maybe because i just came from watching the superbly written Defendant that i am unintentionally comparing the two. But you can try watching this show just to see Jung Ryu Won in action.

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Because This is My First Life (2017)

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Drama: Because This Is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 9 – November 28, 2017
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 21:30

Plot
Sehee is a single guy in his late 30s, who has a good job and a house and he has no intention of marrying. Jiho is a single girl is her early 30s, who just lost her job and house. She meets Sehee through her friend and moves in with him.

Cast
Lee Minki – Nam Sehee
Jung Somin – Yoon Jiho
Esom – Woo Sooji
Park Byung Eun – Ma Sanggoo
Kim Ga Eun – Yang Horang
Kim Minsuk – Sim Wonseok

Review
This is one of those rare kdramas that is almost perfect, in terms of casting, acting, storyline and even the soundtrack. Pacing was slow and yet it fit perfectly with the whole theme and setting. There was no character that i hated, and each of the couples’ struggles were different and relatable.

Favorite character – Nam Se Hee. From the outside people probably thinks he is weird and geeky, with his mostly expressionless face and toneless voice. But i think he is such a sensitive and great guy. i would say, he best epitomize the phrase “Action speak louder than words”. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Lee Minki in a drama — actually the only drama i remember watching is Dalja’s Spring, which was way back in 2007. I think it’s because he has this pout on his face every single time so i feel that he is so boring. He fit his character very well. As Sehee, i could feel every emotion just by looking at his eyes, without him even saying much.

Favorite couple – it’s hard to choose which couple i love the most, because i liked the 3 couples a lot, so i’ll just brief say something about each couple.

Sehee/Jiho – from the beginning when they met, there was this instant chemistry between them. then when Jiho moved in with Sehee, they just perfectly matched each other’s moods, lifestyle and thinking. I think it’s because they’re both quirky. I remember reading an instagram post saying “Find someone who matches your crazy” and i think this quote describes Sehee and Jiho’s relationship really well. They may have started their marriage without love but that’s where they ended up, which i feel they both deserved. Esp Sehee. Episode 15 when Jiho initiated the divorce, of course i was sad af, but i thought it was necessary for them to stop the contract. and never thought for a second that Jiho was being a martyr by leaving the house. I was actually expecting her to knock on Sehee’s door the next day, asking him to start the relationship as equals, as lovers. But i also liked how the show put them together.

Sanggoo/Sooji – wah! their story is the exact opposite of Sehee/Jiho. while the former was loveless and calm, Sanggu and Sooji started their relationship as a bickering couple, well, mostly a resistant Sooji. and it wasn’t because she wasn’t attracted to Sanggoo, it was more on her own self-guilt/punishment. I love Sanggu, where can i meet someone like him? He may be older than Sooji but he treated her equally and with respect. he didn’t patronize her but he supported her and wasn’t afraid of facing Sooji’s wrath or scolding her when she has gone too far. Sooji is so cute when she smiles, you can just see how much Sanggu has affected her life and she has grown up more mature because of him.

Horang/Wonseok – i love Horang as the cheerful friend, but not as the clingy and marriage obsessed girlfriend. this is the couple where i could say one is at fault or the other. I think both were equally to blame for the slow decline of their relationship. Horang was focusing too much on herself and on getting married that she forgot to think of Wonseok. On the other hand, it’s unfair for Wonseok to lead her on after seven years and asking her to wait for 5 more when he knows how much she wants to get married. I was expecting them to get back together at the end, though i also wouldn’t have minded if they ended up getting married to other people. The accountant was okay and he seemed as cheerful as Horang, though i think he pushed it too fast and too early. I think had he took his time and slowly got to know Horang, he may have had a shot at Horang’s heart. Likewise, i dont think Bomi really liked Wonseok, but it would have been fun to see them end up together.

Favorite group – i heart the girls and boys’ group equally. Both group showed support and friendship when each one is having problems. when one girl is having a tough day, they also have time to meet up, talk it out and have a drink. Likewise, when the guys are having love problems, each had a wise advice to tell the other guy. and the best part is when the boys tell the their girlfriends what is happening to their friend and vice versa. What a solid friendship these couples have with each other.

There were too many scenes that i loved and these are some of my favorite moments:
Top 2 most heartfelt scenes – first is on episodes 11 when Jiho and Sehee were along the beach. I loved what Jiho said to Sehee – it is probably one of the main reasons he was maybe to move forward with his life. She said something like, you may have looked at something before (eg. watch the sea with friend A), but it doesn’t mean it’s the same thing that you are looking now (eg. watch the sea with friend B), because the same thing is different because it’s with someone else so it’s the first time for you. and she also told Sehee not to worry because just because you knew or lived it yesterday does not mean you already know it today (or to that effect). Jiho’s words almost stuck with me and i thought that was a brilliant thought. and Later when Sehee told Jiho their first kiss wasn’t a real kiss and he then he kissed her good.

Second is on episode 5 when Sehee saw Jiho crying on their wedding day and he read Jiho’s mom’s note to let Jiho write again if she wants to and not to give her trouble.

Top 2 saddest scenes – first is episode 15 when we see Sehee crying so hard after Jiho left. Second is episode 16 when again, we see Sehee crying in his sleep, thinking Jiho is in his dreams

Top 2 most bad-ass scenes – first is episode 14 when Sooji finally punches Mr Park in the elevator. he really had it coming. plus that scene when Sooji arrived in a motorcycle to pick up Sanggu in front of Sooji. Sanggu must feel really really proud and lucky to have his cool girlfriend.

Second is also on episode 14 when that sleazy assistant director met up with Sehee to try to drop the charges. while we didn’t see Sejoo actually beating up the guy, his fierce face when he stopped him and said, Sit down and tell me everything is all i needed to see.
Runner up is on episode 8 when Sehee got so mad, he kicked Bok nam’s motorcycle just a few hours/days before he got hurt trying to dodge the motorcycle.

Top 2 most heartbreaking scenes – First is episode 14 when Sehee was building up the courage to propose to Jiho, but Jiho said she wanted a divorce. I felt Sehee’s heart break into millions of pieces.

Second is on episode 13 when Wonseok broke up with Horang. i could feel the anguish from both sides. Wonseok knows he couldn’t make her happy so he let her go. Horang angry at Wonseok for not having the confidence to standby her even after telling her to wait for him.

Cutest scenes – anytime the Kitty is in the scene! the kitty was so calm and adorable!

Lesson learned – Although the three couples ended up marrying, for me, the lesson I got from this show is that every relationship and marriage is different. What works for one couple may not work for the other. marriage is also not easy, as Jiho’s mom said, there will be a lot of ups and downs and be sure to have plenty of stars in your pocket so that every time you are having a difficult time, you can just look back at all the stars (good moments) and then you can survive. It’s also about being able to find the relationship that works well for you and your partner. It doesn’t matter if you get married or just dating or living in, marriage is not the ultimate goal. It is not the validation that you have “arrived” or you have settled down. What is important is the quality of the relationship that you have with your partner. And even for the singles, it’s more important to find yourself, to be happy with your choices and to live your life by your own terms.