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

Homemade Love Story (2020) Eps. 1-12

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Drama: Homemade Love Story / Oh! Samgwangvilla (오! 삼광빌라)
Network: KBS2
Release Date: September 19, 2020 – 2021
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 19:55

Plot
This is a weekend drama about the residents of Samgwang Villa – the mother and her 3 adopted children, her sister and various people coming in and out of the villa.

Main Cast
Jin Ki Joo – Lee Bit Chae Won
Lee Jang Woo – Woo Jae Hee
Jeon In Hwa – Lee Sun Jeong
Bona – Lee Hae Deun
Ryeo Un – Lee Ra Hoon
Jung Bo Sook – Woo Jung Hoo
Jin Kyung – Jung Min Jae
Hwang Shin Hye – Kim Jung Won
Han Bo Reum – Jang Seo Ah
Kim Sun Young – Lee Man Jeong
In Gyo Jin – Kim Hwak Se
Jeon Sung Woo – Hwang Na Ro
Kim Si Eun – Cha Ba Reun
Eom Hyo Seop – Park Pil Hong
Dong Ha – Jang Jun Ha

Review (Episodes 1-12)
This is a long weekend so thought I’d share my thoughts and favorite scenes and characters by parts.

Definitely my character is Lee Bit Chae Woon. I love Jin Ki Joo’s super cute smile and tough character. Although sometimes she is frustratingly stubborn, I can understand why. She has a big heart and feels responsible for everyone in the family as the first born. And Sun Jeong raised her well to become a good person.

Of course, Koala and Headbutt/Moong are my favorite couple! From the very start, they had this instant connection/chemistry and just understood each other. And Chae Woon is awesome and warm, no wonder Jae Hee fell for her. I mean, if you compare Chae Woon to the very manipulative and bratty Seo Ah, it’s no contest, Chae Woon is so much better (and low maintenance) compared to Seo Ah.

The main conflict/storyline is that Sun Jeong “kidnapped” Bit Chae Woon from her real birth mother, who seems to be her old friend, Jung Won, who thought her daughter is dead. And since this is a kdrama, Bit Chae Woon ends up working at Jung Won’s fashion company and they hit it off well, which makes Sun Jeong very anxious. What will happen once they all find out the truth? I’m thinking stubborn Chae Woon will have a major meltdown soon!

Right now, I’m torn between the 2 mothers – Sun Jeong is super nice, but she’s too nice and hides a secret from Chae Woon. She took someone else’s daughter and is still being selfish not telling the daughter the truth. Jung Won is the real victim here, but sometimes I hate when she is in work mode – she is a boss b*tch, no wonder Seo ah is so bratty. But when Jung Won is with Chae Woon, she seems nice, and she deserves to find her daughter.

My second favorite couple is Man Jeong and Hwak Se!! They’re so cute together!! Man Jeong has her bad luck in meeting men. Hwak Se may not be handsome or rich like her exes, but he is a good man and very sweet, which is the perfect foil for the prickly doctor.

The character I’m most looking forward to see some growth by the end of this drama is Jae Hee’s father, Woo Jung Ho. The actor made him so awful to everyone around him and it will be fun seeing him change for the better. I also love Min Jae but I hope she will find a better man who will love her for who she is because she deserves to be first and not second best. and I’m also looking forward to Jae Hee’s having a close relationship with his dad.

The story mostly focuses on Bit Chae Woon and not much on her two siblings – Hae Deun and Rahoon. Right now, I don’t really like Hae Deun – she is a spoiled brat who dreams of being a Kpop idol but is not good at it. She is whiny and insecure, and is very different from Bit Chae Woon. I also hope she reaches her dream by the end of this drama – probably not as a Kpop idol but something else that she will be passionate about.

As for Rahoon – everyone thinks he is a student at a university but he is really working as a delivery guy. I was scared that Rahoon and Hae Deun will have a love line because of their chemistry together, but i remembered this is a family drama so it won’t happen. Instead, we get Rahoon being chased/stalked by a pretty girl – and I currently dont like her!! I hope she will have a better back story but Rahoon is a nice guy to fall for a bad girl.

The character that i thoroughly dislike (aside from Seo ah) is Naro!!! Yuck!!! I dont know what kind of havoc he will cause, but I dont like him and I wish he disappears. and I hope he is not the loveline for Bona!!!

So far, not a bad show, sometimes it reminds me of My Golden Life especially the part of the switched daughters, with one daughter from a poor family finding out she is actually from a rich family. But that’s the only similarity, since the main ML and FL are so different. I also like the story of the older couples – Sun Jeong, Jung Won, Jung Ho and Min Jae.

Posted in jdrama

Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu (2017)

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Drama: Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu / Everyone’s Getting Married (突然ですが、明日結婚します)
Network: Fuji TV
Episodes: 9
Release Date: January 23 – March 20, 2017
Runtime: Monday 21:00-21:54
Country: Japan

Plot:
A girl who wants to get married falls in love with a guy who doesn’t want to get married. And another guy comes in and proposes a loveless marriage but fulfills all the requirements of the girl. Who do you choose?

Main Cast
Mariya Nishiuchi – Asuka Takanashi
Ryuta Namamura – Ryu Nanami
Ikusaburo Yamazaki – Akihito Kamiya
Anne Nakamura – Rio Kiriyama
Yukino Kishii – Momoko Makise
Kanro Morita – Hiroki Ono

Review:
Once in a while i break away from watching kdramas to watch a Japanese drama. I love how realistic most Jdramas are especially on stories dealing with single lives, relationships and marriage. And the episodes are short, it’s easy to binge watch the entire day 🙂

I like how the story tackled different views on marriage. There’s no right or wrong answer. You decide what makes you happy. Be it married or single. You never know, you or your partner might change your mind.

Another critical question that the drama raised, do you continue to be in a relationship knowing you may not end up in marriage? Is it better to stop now before you waste more time? Is it right to hope that the other one changes his mind or will you regret or blame him if he never did?

Asuka wants to get married and be a professional housewife. Until then she works hard in her career so that when she gets married, she has achieved her career goals and can be happy staying at home. When she falls in love with Ryu Nanami and found out his anti-marriage stance, instead of backing away, she held on, convinced that one day he will change his mind. I think in real life, this can really go either way: the guy or girl falls in love so much and will have a change of heart and wants to get married OR the guy or girl will never change his/her mind and the one who has been waiting will get tired, disappointed and angry. There’s no easy answer here, except to trust your heart and love each other well so that there are no regrets in case you break up. And be ready in case you really break up.

On the other hand, Kamiya thinks one doesn’t have to be in love to get married but a win-win situation. We both like each other, Asuka fulfills his requirements of a smart and sensible housewife, and in turn, he will give her dream of becoming housewife. they work well as a team in the office, so why not at home? I think marriage of convenience, arranged marriage or marriage done not out of love is also not bad. I think as long as you have good communication or at least like each other as friends or colleagues is a logical beginning. At least you don’t get easily burdened my emotional issues. And I think once you start living with someone and being with that person 24/7, you will end up loving that person. Or at least get used to him/her and you will be close. So this can also work. Then again, it can also go the opposite way where you end up hating each other and break up. And as you can see, Kamiya ended up with Asaka’s friend, who wanted a cute husband and was okay with the loveless marriage arrangement. and their marriage is working well.

The third couple is the reverse of Nanami and Asaka. The guy pursues the girl through his good efforts and eventually wins over the girl even though at the start she only saw him as a friend. He was even able to convince her to move in with him even if the girl opposed marriage. And they were also happy. So it really depends on what works for the couple.

People shouldn’t judge other people just because you have different views. I loved their friends and family for being supportive and listening to their problems and offering different words of wisdom. Feels like there are so many people who love and care for them.

Something I didn’t like about the show is too much noble idiocy from Nanami Ryu although i understand his hesitation to get married and his reasons for breaking up with Asuka. I appreciated that he really thought about his decision but i hated that he decided on his own thinking he knows what’s good for Asuka.

“There are two types of stubbornness. The cool ones and the lousy ones. Lousy stubbornness is the action of those who are self righteous. Which one are you?” – Mama Kama

“You dont break up with the girl you love by hurting them!” – Yuko

Rating: 8/10

Posted in kdrama

Record of Youth (2020)

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Drama: Record of Youth (청춘기록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 7 – October 27, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot
The story of men and women in their late 20s, and their struggle to find a balance between their dreams, relationships, family, friendship and career.

Main Cast
Park Bo Gum – Sa Hye Jun
Park So Dam – An Jeong Ha
Byun Woo Seok – Won Hae Hyo
Kwon Soo Hyun – Kim Jin Woo

Review:
I was really looking forward to this drama because this is Park Bo Gum’s final drama before he heads to the military. The premiere lived up to its expectations and I loved the first couple of episodes. The scenes were riveting and heartbreaking and you really just want Hye Jun to succeed. I really loved Park Bo Gum in this show. Extra special because it is almost like him and not Sa Hye jun reminiscing about his 20s and saying goodbye to all the fans.

The theory is all about money. The emotional stability I inherited from my parents. Honesty and sincerity. It completely overlooks such values as well as my motivation for success, which I cultivated while watching my parents struggle.

From the title and from the narration, I already felt like they were talking about the past and the romance was always about making good memories so I already braced myself that they were going to break up. I also expected the time jump. I honestly think they are better off as friends. There was something off about their relationship. It was too fast and surreal. And i felt that Hye Jun loved Jungha more. But it’s not bad, I think it was a prefect way to sum up their 20s.

Fangiring over you was therapeutic. I believe fans and stars shouldn’t have real-life relationships. On top of that, we forged a new friendship out of all relationships. I will stop fangirling over you! I won’t do it. – An Jeong Ha

Gosh, I just lost a fan when I dont have a lot of being with. – Sa Hye Jun

The romance fell flat in the middle. Most of the time it felt like Jungha was never 100% in the relationship. She distanced herself as soon as Hye Jun became successful. Most of the time i didn’t really get her issue. Actually, her character didnt get a lot of screentime and there wasn’t growth as a person. I know it must be difficult to be the girlfriend of an idol and be subjected to a lot of hate comments, maybe she just wasn’t ready for the relationship like she thought she was. Maybe she needed to be successful and be validated before she can be happy with someone else.

I really loved all the scenes with Hyejun’s family. Esp loved how much Gyeong Jun, Grandpa and Yeong Nam matured by the end of the drama. And how they grew closer as a family. It did took a long time for me to warm up to Hye Jun’s drama. He was just so vicious and typical Asian father. I could understand him though. He just wants his son to succeed and be tough. But it couldn’t hurt if he just showed it a little more without having to hurt Hye Jun repeatedly.

Who will believe in our children if we don’t believe in them? Look outside. There is a long line of people waiting to criticize them. – Hye Jun’s mom

Why is it only a man’s job to provide for his family? Are you saying that you provide for me? I work for a living too. Have you lived your life doing what pleases you? No one can live by only doing what they want. – Hye Jun’s mother

You should be the one encouraging him, not the other way around. – Hye Jun’s grandpa

You as my dad, have never encouraged me once. You’ve never supported the things I do. None of it matters unless the support is visible! – Sa Hye Jun

It was only to guide you down the right path. Am I a joke to you now that you’re a hotshot? – Yeong Nam

I super loved Minjae! I was hoping we see her get more clients after 2 years and be more successful but it seems like she only had Hye Jun as a client. haha. Realistically speaking, i think Minjae will not survive the cutthroat showbiz life. She is too soft and not too competent. I feel like Hye Jun wouldn’t have to endure such rumors and scandals had she been better at her job. But I do note that it’s Hye Jun who is calling all the shots and as the artist, he gets to be the one to tell Minjae what to do.

One of the things I really loved the start were the friendship of the 3 guys. They used to hang out every time near the playground. Felt sad that their scenes together, dwindled in the middle and we barely saw them together. I guess that’s also realistic. There are times we don’t get to speak or hand out with our old buddies like we used to because we become busy with our lives. And with the tension between Hae Hyo and Hye Jun, it was bound to happen. At least in the last two episodes they were back to almost normal and are close again.

Why does everyone compare me with Hye Jun? – Hae Hyo

That’s nothing new. – Jin Woo

Really? But it didn’t bother me back then. Why does it annoy me so much now? – Hae Hyo

Because you were ahead of him then and it’s the other way around now. – Jin Woo

Was he also bothered by how people compared him with me? – Hae Hyo

No, he didn’t have the time because he was busy making ends meet. – Jin Woo

One of the center themes of this drama is the parent-child relationship. I appreciated the ways the drama tried to portray different relationships between parents and children. Hye Jun’s father is the type that doesn’t communicate their emotions well and is tough on the children while the mother is the nice and supportive one, though she is also passive. On the extreme side, Hae Hyo’s mom is the “helicopter” parent while his dad is the largely not very hands on but expects the best. Jeong ha’s dad was the loser who ended up becoming richer while her mom was the clingy and selfish parent. We saw how each parenting style affected the outlook and personalities of their children. In the end, parents just wants the best for their children. I realized it is crucial for parents to understand their children and find that balance where you can support them but also “parent” them. On the other hand, children should learn to appreciate their parents more and not take them for granted. They are older, not necessarily wiser, but they can give good advice based on their experience. It is still up to us to make the final decisions.

I want you to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s because we’re well off. You have no backbone. Doesn’t seeing Hye Jun make you want to work harder? It looks like he’s on the rise. – Hae Hyo’s mother

What about me? Am i going downhill? – Hae Hyo

No, you’re stagnant. Your graph is drawing a straight line. – Hae Hyo’s mom

The show really started strong. I loved everyone and all the possible storylines, but after Hye Jun hit big time, the story slowly went downhill. Just like how Hye Jun’s life became complicated, the writing also got confused. We were seeing less Hae Hyo and more useless scenes with his mom and the slimy agent, long scenes of the mothers trying to one up each other. I ended up fast forwarding some of the scenes because I wasn’t interested in them. The story focused so much on Charlie Jung (poor guy) and the endless scandals that are false. I hated Suman and Taesu, they never paid for their misdeeds and are still working in the industry without being exposed for being terrible people. I guess that’s how scary media can be and how they can ruin a person’s life.

This is my room. I wanted my own room for years, and I finally have it. I needed a room where I can cry alone. Because in this room, I can cry all I want without being interrupted. – Sa Hye Jun

Are you happy right now? You have everything you wanted. – An Jeong Ha

Hae Hyo was supposed to be the second lead but he didn’t really get a lot of story lines other than always having to look broody and sad that his mother was doing everything on the background. i thought it was so naive of him to think that everything was because of his own efforts. I felt like as someone with that kind of advantage, he should have appreciated it more and worked harder to prove that he is more than his money. And i didn’t like how he almost (but thank god he didn’t) tried to steal Jungha away from Hye Jun. I mean for most part of the show, they were trying to hint that he will do it, but then took a 360 and he never confessed and he was really trying to be a friend to Jungha. C’mon i thought it was “bros before hoes” (sorry for the expression). And i wish the show explored and showed more the rivalry between the two guys and not just tell us it is happening.

Took me some time to think of my final rating because I really loved the first few episodes. But after writing down all the likes and dislikes, I think it’s not as good as i thought it was.

Life is like a race. You never know who’s going to win until it’s over. – Hye Jun’s mom

You and I shine in our own way. – Sa Hye Jun

Rating: 7.5/10

Posted in kdrama

KDrama Update

Hi sorry for now updating my blog. I’ve been watching ongoing kdramas so i post my weekly episodic reviews in my IG (@kdramadreaming) instead.

Kdrama i’m currently watching:
1. Record of Youth – loving Park Bogum as Sa Hyejun. I just wish they stop focusing on his family. The scenes are getting repetitive with Hyejun always being scolded by his dad without any development in the story or character. Also it’s weird that Haehyo’s mom gets more screen time than Haehyo. I want to know more about Haehyo, him breaking away from his suffocating mom and making his own mark. I also want more storyline for Jungha. I dont want to see the jealous colleague anymore and want to see her succeed in the salon and in her vlogging.

2. 18 Again- beautiful story about family. There’s equal screen time and development for The 4 main characters, although i love Dae Young the most. Super impressed with Lee Do Hyun -he is an amazing actor!! Having 2 other guys vying for Dajung’s attention is too much though. They should have just focused on one main guy -either Ikjun or Jihoon that will rival Dae Young. And i know in the original 17 Again movie, Deokjin will have a loveline with the pretty principal, but right now their story is too comical so i dont like it yet.

3. Flower of Evil – i was planning to binge watch this in time for the finale last week but i couldnt because i found the episodes to be really gloomy and slow. The story is intriguing but i just cant watch more than one episode a day. I will continue to watch this until the end but will probably take some time for me to finish.

4. Alice – woot! The first few episodes were terrific but then the weird mother-son romantic vibes in the middle, esp in eps 8-9 has me fast forwarding some scenes. Also getting frustrated with how the main lead is too dense to put the clues together. At episode 10, he still doesnt know what’s happening that i just want to help him!! Likewise, professor Taeyi is also too slow when Doyeon already told her she looks like  his mother and she knows there’s time travelling happened. Two reasons why i havemt dropped this is because i still want to know what is really happening and i want to see more of Minhyuk.

5. Lie After Lie – i loved the first episode!! It was hella crazy but the next 7 episodes have significantly mellowed down the level of crazy. Im bot complaining though i wish there were more twists and revelations in every episode. I do like that the drama is taking its time to setup the romance between Jimin and Eunsu and building the relationship between Eunsu and Wooju. I definitely think these 3 need a solid foundation because once Chairman finds out about Wooju i have a feeling all hell will break loose and Eunsu needs a lot of help to protect her family. I’m still not sure how adding the golfer into the story will help Eunsu aside from having a love triangle which isnt necessary.

6. Homemade Love Story – i wasnt able to watch Once Again so i started this instead. So far there’s nothing special about the kdrama, just the usual soap opera plots of birth secrets but i’m staying because i love Jin Ki Joo and i want to see her romance with Woo Jaehee. The side stories of her siblings are so-so, as long as they dont make Hae Deun and Rahoon fall in love with each other then i’m fine with them. I dont like Jaehee’s famil except for Minjae who i want to see more. And i also dont like Seo ah and her mom (who is Bitchaewoon’s real mom) but im willing to see how the story goes and how Chaewoon will succeed over Seo ah. I also dont like the aunt but i love uncle Hwak Se so still waiting and see. This is a 100 episode drama and im only in ep 12 so i know lots more things will happen.