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Penthouse S2 (2021)

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Drama: Penthouse 2 (펜트하우스 2)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 13
Release Date: February 19 – April 2, 2021
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00-23:10

Plot
Season 2 of the fabulous and crazy lives of the families living in Hera Palace.

Main Cast
Uhm Ki Joon – Joo Dan Tae
Kim So Yeon – Cheon Seojin
Eugene – Oh Yoon Hee
Yoon Jong Hoon – Ha Yoon Cheol
Shin Eun Kyung – Kang Mari
Bong Tae Gyu – Lee Kyu Jin
Yoon Joo Hee – Go Sang A
Kim Young Dae – Joo Seok Hoon
Han Ji Hyun – Joo Seo Kyung
Choi Ye Bin – Ha Eun Byul
Kim Hyun Soo – Bae Rona
Jin Ji Hee – Kang Jenny
Lee Tae Vin – Lee Minhyuk
Park Eun Seok – Logan Lee

Review:
If you’d like to read my review of Season 1: https://kdramadreaming.com/2021/01/29/the-penthouse-s1-2020/

Season 2 goes right into the story since we only have 12 episodes and we don’t need any more introductions to the whole gang. I loved that every episode was fast paced, there’s something happening in every scene that you can’t stop watching.

The group dynamics changed from season 1 to season 2 — Ha Yoon Chul is not the guy who couldn’t do anything anymore, in fact, he did a lot of terrible and pivotal things in this season. On one hand, I hated him for betraying Yoon hee again, but I can’t blame him, because he was forced to do it given the situation and he was repentant of his actions by end of the season. I still want him to end up with Yoonhee, when this drama is over.

I have a love and hate relationship with Yoonhee, mostly because she keeps making bad decisions after another. And she is so noisy — crying, shouting, hysterical. This time, Yoonhee is more subdued and mature, which I liked because I feel like she learned her lesson and she is more patient in her plans.

Kang Mari and Jenny — they actually became nice in season 2. After realizing they’re not as rich as the others, I thought they were evil for acting as if they’re above Yoonhee/Rona when they’re just the same level as her. I loved that Yoonhee had some friend in Mari. But of course, Mari and Jenny went back to their own selfish evil selves by end of the season. I’m still curious what kind of havoc Jenny’s father will do in season 3. All we know is that the husband went to prison instead of Joo Dan Tae, so definitely he will want to seek his revenge. Did he used to be the wealthy one before Dan Tae took over? Secretary Do seems to be under him. Is he going to be the bad guy in Season 3 or will he be the one to help Yoonhee and the ladies bring down Joo Dan Tae once and for all?

Cheon Seo Jin absolutely love her. Even when she is being terrible, i pity her. Especially in Season 2. Seojin’s fall from grace and the power struggle between Seojin and Dantae were the main plot points in season 2. They were such a great evil team in Season 1 and I just know that once they start fighting with each other, it will be fantastic! Joo Dan Tae eventually “wins” over Seojin. Locking Seojin in a room and the implied scene that he tortured her were absolutely horrifying!

Oh Joo Dan Tae. I loved him even when he is the devil himself. But he’s went too far in season 2 that even I can’t stomach all the bad things he has done. Murdered his wife, cheated on his wife with 3 other ladies, trying to steal Suryeon and Seojin’s money, tortured his children and current wife. The worst for me was killing Rona – that was too much. How the ladies were able to work together to take down Joo Dan Tae was one of the most satisfying scenes! I was laughing at Seojin’s acting the whole time!

We finally got the resolution to Min Seol Ah’s case. Everyone got what they deserved. The Hera Palace group all went to jail. Yoonhee got 3 years. I think 3 is too low although I understand she was forgiven and was repentant. She still killed someone so I thought she would get at least 5 years. Seojin got 7 years (even though she didn’t kill anyone but she still did a lot of other things too). The best is Dan Tae getting life is prison. I wondered how we will get out of prison considering he has to be in season 3. And honestly, the surprising twist at the end is both shocking and “unfair!”

About the kids — Rona is still a brat, I was somehow relieved that she was the one who got “killed” in this season because I don’t really like her that much. I’m just tolerating her because I want Yoonhee and Seokhoon to be happy. I still love Seokyung – she is just like her dad who is crafty and manipulative but with Suryeon’s charm. Eunbyul — I also don’t like her and I wouldn’t mind if she doesn’t return to Hera Palace anymore. Unfortunately, Seojin and Yoonchul will probably find a way to get her back from the psycho nanny (too bad!). It’s hard to take pity on her because she is never nice, even when she knew she almost got Rona killed, she wasn’t repentant and was still very self-absorbed.

I think Penthouse is one of the best makjang dramas in the last few years. It’s not as stress inducing and high blood pressure raising as The World of the Married but it’s more fun and crazy.

I’m probably one of the minority who doesn’t like Shim Suryeon, Na Ae Gyo and Logan Lee. Especially Suryeon – she is the main lead and the “good” person in the entire story, but I find her boring. Even Logan Lee – i don’t understand why a lot of viewers love him. I feel like we dont know anything about him, and he is just there to have someone help the “good” team. Definitely do not like the weird romantic relationship between him and Suryeon. He is definitely younger than Suryeon right? and he is the adopted brother of Suryeon’s daughter! Super odd!

As for Na Aegyo, it’s highly unbelievable that no one found out that she was impersonating Suryeon. I mean Suryeon didn’t even know until 2 years ago! I feel like Na Aegyo was just written in to make a fabulous twist to Suryeon’s story, which I have no problem with. I just hope that the writer will stop fake killing characters and bringing them alive by the end of the story in season 3. I definitely am looking forward to the new characters!!


Rating: 9.5/10

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The Penthouse S1 (2020)

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Drama: Penthouse (펜트하우스)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 21
Release Date: October 26 – January 5, 2021
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00-23:10

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The story about 5 families living in Hera Palace and the lengths they will go to protect their power and family.

Main Cast
Uhm Ki Joon – Joo Dan Tae
Kim So Yeon – Cheon Seo Jin
Lee Ji Ah – Shim Su Ryeon
Eugene – Oh Yoon Hee
Yoon Jong Hoon – Ha Yoon Cheol
Shin Eun Kyung – Kang Mari
Bong Tae Gyu – Lee Kyu Jin
Yoon Joo Hee – Go Sang A
Kim Young Dae – Joo Seok Hoon
Han Ji Hyun – Joo Seo Kyung
Choi Ye Bin – Ha Eun Byul
Kim Hyun Soo – Bae Rona
Jin Ji Hee – Kang Jenny
Lee Tae Vin – Lee Minhyuk
Jo Soo Min – Min Seol Ah
Ha Do Kwon – Ma Duki
Park Eun Seok – Logan Lee / Gu Ho Dong

Review
I put everyone one the main cast because each and every character was important to the show. From the trailers and promos, I already knew this drama will be an intense rollercoaster ride and I was right!!

At first I thought the over the top luxury feel of the show felt cheap, but later on I realized, it just fit with all the makjang craziness. I loved that the story was predictable yet unpredictable. Like I can already second guess what will happen next to the story and yet it still managed to surprise me with a twist that I didn’t expect and a reveal that just kept the stakes higher and higher.

I absolutely loved the deliciously evil tandem of Dantae and Seojin. I never knew I needed Uhm Ki Joon and Kim So Yeon together until Penthouse. Is it weird that I was half rooting for them to win over Su Ryeon and Yoon Hee and half wishing they get all the karma from all evil things they’ve done? I’m sure they’ll continue to wreak havoc until S3. They can kill everyone else as long as they don’t kill of Dantae and Seojin. If Namgoong Min didn’t make an amazing performance as Baek Seung Soo in Stove League, I’m so sure that So Yeon would have easily gotten the Daesang. But not too worry, she has two more seasons (and chances) to get the Daesang. That scene where she was playing the piano after her father died was just brilliant acting.

I loved that everyone is so bad that they’re so good. It’s like everyone has their bitchy or evil side, even Suryeon and Yoon Hee were terrible people and parents. Suryeon is the “good guy” in the show but for me she is the worst. I get that she is hurting. I get that she wants to avenge her daughter’s death. But no one knew Seol Ah was her daughter when that happened. Okay , still not an excuse to bully a young girl, but I thought Suryeon just went too crazy. Maybe it’s her guilt talking and putting the blame on everyone else. This drama also just shows us that “Revenge is never the answer”. In the end, she got herself killed (and what a lame way to die!) and the “bad guys” are still living free.

Likewise Yoonhee is pitiful but she can only blame herself for always choosing the wrong side and making poor decisions. Maybe because there’s no one who guides her and supports her, but she is too clueless to survive the cutthroat life in Hera Palace. I think the smartest thing she could have done is to leave Hera Palace, take Rona away from Cheong A and just live a simple normal life. Her main problem is her bratyy daughter Rona. I’m sorry but Rona is as dumb as her. She doesn’t appreciate all the sacrifices her mom did for her and just kept whining that if she can’t go to Cheong A, she will just die. I hope that in season 2 she will be more bad ass coz right now, I just can’t root for her, well, except that she ends up with Seok Hoon.

The kids were such bullies!!! At first I thought Seo Kyung will be the main bitch but turns out it’s Eun Byul! I can only blame their parents for not raising them right. Parents think that by always defending them even if they’re wrong and covering up their mistakes are about “protecting” their children, but that’s just making their children weak and not able to stand up for themselves, and not learning the difference between right and wrong. And just teaching them to be awful people.

Logan Lee — to be honest, I didn’t like his character!! and I wished he really went back to the US and we get introduced to a new mysterious character in season 2. But looks like he will be back with Yoon Hee to avenge Su Ryeon’s death.

Rating: 9/10

I’m hoping there will be new characters in season 2 so that the story will remain fresh and fun (and intense!). I think the lady reporter and the detective will be useful in Season 2. I didn’t read any additional casting news so it looks like it will be the same characters (or maybe they’re keeping every thing secret for now as to not spoil the story). All I’ve read so far are cameos like Junjin and his wife, Lee Sang Woo.

I was also hoping that Yoon Hee will meet a hot sexy lawyer who will help prove her innocence (Okay, maybe I’m reminded of Reporter Jimin from Lies of Lies haha) but the detective was also cute. But I think Yoon Hee will never get a romance line. Not while she is hell bent on revenge. Will she end up like Su Ryeon by end of Season 3?

Speaking of Su Ryeon, she is definitely dead right? She can’t still be alive and it’s impossible to just switch her body (like who will do that??). But she is obviously still in season 2, so my guess is she will probably be Dantae’s elusive first wife (how with the same face? I have no idea). In the first season, I heavily adjusted my viewing lens to fully enjoy the show so I have a feeling I need to double my viewing lens and get ready for another rollercoaster ride this February!

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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!

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Defendant (2017)

250px-Defendant_(피고인)

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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.