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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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Romance is a Bonus Book (2019)

 

romance is bonus book 2019

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Drama: Romance is a Bonus Book (로맨스는 별책부록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: January 26 – March 17, 2019
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Plot
Dan-i and Eunho are childhood friends but have drifted apart over the years. When Dan-i got divorced and had no place to go and no money, she met Eunho and applied for his company as a task support team. The drama revolves around the publishing company where they both work, the employees lives and the blooming relationship between Dan-i and Eunho.

Cast
Lee Na Young – Kang Dan-i
Lee Jong Suk – Cha Eunho
Jung Eugene – Song Hae rin
Wi Ha Joon – Ji Seo Jun
Kim Tae Woo – Kim Jae Min
Kim Yumi – Ko Yoo Sun
Jo Han chul – Bong Ji Hong
Kim Sun Young – Seo Young-ah
Kang Ki Doong – Park Hoon
Park Gyu Young – Oh Ji Yool

Review
I loved the overall feel of the drama – it felt like winter/spring – something to watch on a cold day. I love books so it was interesting to see how publishing companies work. I also loved the cinematography, the locations, the clothes they wore and the OST. the story, however, was just okay. I did not grow attach to any of the characters except for maybe Dan-i and Yumi. I love the relationship between Dan-i and Eun-ho as friends and i didn’t think it was necessary for them to fall in love. Like, i would not have minded if they stayed friends the entire drama. I also wished there was more depth to Yumi’s story but i loved that she ended up with Jaemin (who i thought was adorable). the 2 other interns – pushover Hoon was okay but didn’t like airhead Ji-yool (but at least she grew up). I think this is the 3rd time i’ve seen Sun Young in a drama and as always, she makes a great secondary character. I didn’t really buy the love triangle between Dan-i, Eunho and Seojun, and it’s mostly because it was just too obvious that Dan-i feels nothing for him other than friendship. and i hate Seojun’s smirking face. He is too arrogant and no match for Eunho. As for Haerin, i loved her character and her one-sided love for Eunho (i cried with her when she got rejected nicely) but i dislike her for being a bit*h boss. She keeps shouting at Ji-yool and not really mentoring her at all. You can’t expect your staff to suddenly know everything – you have to teach them.

Back to the two main characters. I love Dan-i, i felt bad for her and i could feel her pain whenever she gets rejected. I love that she was still positive and was willing to work hard to move up the ladder again. I feel that it’s unfair that the companies do not want to hire her just because she was out of the work market for several years, but on the other hand, i could understand. the other managers worked their butt off to rise up the ranks and here is this lady who used to be great but too outdated, coming in thinking she can just go back and reclaim her position. I don’t know which role she applied for, but i would expect if she was out for 7-9 years, she should apply for a role that is one or 2 levels lower than she used to be. If she is really good, she can easily be promoted and go up the corporate ladder again. I agree, what she did was wrong – she shouldn’t have erased all her experience in her CV and it was just right that she got fired, but i wonder if they would have still hired her for the Task support team if she was overqualified? Oh and what about her daughter? Even when Dan-i and Eunho got together, there was no mention at all about the daughter and how she feels about Eunho and vice versa. Again, i thought the daughter story was just a plot device to give her an excuse why she needs money to work.

As for Eunho, he was the main lead but he was charming, handsome, sweet,great at his job and yet i felt nothing for him. And i think it’s because his character was just too perfect. Like he was there to be Dan-i’s knight in shining armor. that’s it. even his story about the author wasn’t that interesting. and the twist at the end about Seojun didn’t really make a mark.

Overall, this is still a good drama to watch when you have nothing to do, but it’s not something you would want to watch over and over again.

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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.

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Defendant (2017)

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Drama: Defendant (피고인)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 18
Release Date: January 23 – March 21, 2017
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00

Plot
Charged with killing his wife and daughter, prosecutor Park Jung Woo seeks to recoup his memory and build a case unlike any other to prove he is innocent.

Main Cast
Ji Sung – Park Jung Woo
Uhm Ki Joon – Cha Min Ho/Cha Sun Ho
Kwon Yuri – Seo Eun Hye
Oh Chang Suk – Kang Joon Hyuk
Uhm Hyun Kyung – Na Yeon Hee
Kim Min Suk – Lee Sung Kyu
Jo Jae Yun – Shin Cheol Sik

Review
This show was intense! I finished this in a week. Amazing acting by Ji Sung and Uhm Ki Joon! The story was so good i was gripping the remote the entire time.

Favorite character – Jung Woo! He was so smart that he was able to outwit the psychopath Min Ho. I love that he is a good father, husband, prosecutor and friend. Even when he was in jail, he never lost his integrity and faith. But i have to say, had he worked with his team more and shared his findings, he wouldn’t have been in this predicament in the first place. But i’m glad that he learned to be more open and let his friends help him. The last episode where he was having dinner with his former cell mates seems weird considering he is a prosecutor but it was heart warming to see him be surrounded by friends.

Scariest character – Cha Min Ho is terrifying! His own ego led to his downfall. I think being convicted and put on death row / solitary confinement is the best punishment for him – quick death is not enough to pay for his crimes – he needs to think about what he did and go mentally crazy.

Bravest character – Yeon Hee. She was a great character – at first i thought she was just meek and a side character, but she is one of the toughest – have to deal with Min Ho/Sun Ho, trying to avenge his father’s death, trying to take down Cha Myung Group and protecting her son – she was so cool. Second bravest character is Ha Yeon – for a young girl, she was able to survive the whole ordeal without any trauma and she still remained happy and sweet.

Favorite bromance – i love the whole cellmate crew, but my favorite side kick is Cheol Sik. That first episode where Jung Woo tried to arrest him and Cheol Sik ending up in the same prison, i thought he will be one of those annoying characters, but he surprised me by being one of the best friend Jung Woo had in the show. I also liked Miryang and his story. Mungchi and the doctor ending up together was weird too (i loved the doctor too!). Sung Kyu comes second, for keeping Ha Yeon safe, though i wish he didn’t have to die.

Character i hated so much – Seok. i wished he would have been killed by the Orange truck of doom. Dose of his own medicine. but alas, he has to be alive to testify against Min Ho.

Underwhelming episode – final episode i was hoping for a really intense showdown in the court room but with all the evidences neatly wrapped up in the 16th and 17th episode, the final episode was a bit disappointing. All it took was for Yeon Hee to cry and testify in court and Min Ho went down so fast.

While there were some tough scenes to watch, mostly because the whole plotting inside the prison, and Jung Woo cryign and losing his mind may get a little bit boring after a while, each episode picks up on the last 15 minutes and makes you want to watch the next episode. I ddidn’t fast forward any scenes even though some were painstakingly slow because i thought it helped build the overall tension of the show.

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Fight for My Way (2017)

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Drama: Fight for My Way (쌈, 마이웨이)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 22 – July 11, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
The drama revolves around the lives of 4 childhood friends and how they struggle with love, family and work.

Main Cast
Park Seo Joon – Ko Dong Man
Kim Ji Won – Choi Ae Ra
Ahn Jae Hong – Kim Joo Man
Song Ha Yeon – Baek Seol Hee

Review
Loved loved this drama! PSJ is becoming one of my favorite actors. He can be funny and sad at the same time. and how can he make a simple shirt and jeans/joggings look so hot?

Favorite character – i can’t decide between Dong Man and Ae Ra so i will cheat and choose both of them! They are both strong characters – Dong Man is very caring and supportive and he fights for his dream. Likewise, Ae Ra is tough and she maybe ridiculed by other people, but she never lost faith in herself and her skills.

Favorite couple – Of course, Dong Man and Ae-Ra. i dont really want to compare DongMan/AeRa vs YoungJun/Secretary Kim pairing but DongAera couple is just way better. they have better chemistry, they’ve known each other since they were kids and the relationship feels more equal. they support each other and fights for the other when the other person can’t. Well, except for the last part where Ae Ra was stubborn and broke up with Dong Man for wanting to continue to fight. I think Ae ra is wrong for demanding Dong Man to stop fighting when she knows so well how traumatic it was for Dong Man and how much it means to him to fight Taksu and regain his image, but on the other hand, like Ae Ra said, he is fighting as if he is not in a relationship and is not thinking of how his gf will feel seeing him hurt. I liked the ending – where Ae ra has accepted Dong Man’s profession while Dong Man will still continue fighting but only during fighting season.
As for Joo Man and Seol Hee’s relationship, the first part was boring, and i think it suits them because that’s what their relationship was — they have been together for so long that it’s starting to be routine. Seol Hee seems average and not exciting while Joo Man has been delaying to get married. Their story got better when they broke up. i think it was needed for both of them to think of what they had and decide what is important for them. I’m glad Joo Man didn’t really like Ye Jin, i think he would have been awful if he cheated on Seol Hee. I’m also glad Seol Hee grew a backbone, quit her job and started selling her plum wines. Now if she just cuts her old curly hair, she will be perfect.

Character i hated – Two girls that i hated – Hye-ran and Ye Jin, but i think Ye Jin wins. Hye-ran is awful but she had a relationship with Dong Man so in a way there’s is a little bit of reason why she acted that way – still not right but i could understand her. She’s still a b*tch for trying to put down and steal every job that Ae Ra tries to get and I didn’t really feel bad when we later find out that she got blacklisted and is penniless. She was an awful person and she got what she deserved. Though i dont doubt that she is a fighter and she will eventually land on her feet again. On the other hand, i think Ye Jin is worse than Hyeran because 1) when she found out that Joo Man and Seol Hee are together, she should have tone it down and backed off, and yet she acted like a whiny brat who did not get her favorite toy. I don’t feel a single ounce of pity and i’m glad Joo Man directly rejected her. Seol Hee has been nothing but nice to her and for her to act nice and try to steal Joo Man is low. I’m glad Seol Hee toughened up and gave her a putdown and splashed her face with water.

There were times when the show was dragging, especially the relationship between Joo Man and Seol Hee and the whole mystery about the landlady, but Dong Man and Ae Ra were just too cute that they were able to carry the show. I also liked the fighting scenes and seeing shirtless Dong Man (lol). I think the drama was aptly titled as “Fight (for), My Way” because we see four people trying to push through life to achieve their dreams in their own way and it’s a nice message for the young people. They may not become rich but they are happy with their current lives and that’s what matters.