Drama Review: 2/27/17

I’ve been behind in watching recent dramas, but I’m slowly catching up. As of this post I’ve watched:

Rebel: 7-8

The family is alive although living separately, surviving on their own. Gil Hyeon, dressed as a nobleman fulfilling a dead man’s wishes – although we don’t know what it is, and with the help of an elderly stranger, he’s on his first step in becoming a government official like what him, and Ah Mo Gae dreamed he would be. Ri Ni is alive but is a captive. Gil Dong lost his memories in the beginning, while we saw Ga Ryung and Nok Su fall in love with him. Gil Dong and Ah Mo Gae were finally reunited, as well as the gang. And we see a whole new Gil Dong who’s set out to turn the world upside down.

***Yay! I’m glad everyone is alive. Too bad Gil Dong doesn’t know yet. I was really bummed and almost gave up on the show when I saw Ah Mo Gae lying lifeless on the ground. It’s pretty clever of the writers to still have him alive, but not strong enough in order to spark Gil Dong’s fight with the help of his father’s crew.

Who would’ve thought that Nok Su has a child. I’m glad that they were able to explain her past in order to somewhat justify how she’s treating her child. I wonder if that child will somehow come back again – now that she’s entered the palace?

Ga Ryung – I don’t know where to start with her. I.Just.Can’t. I think this is the first time that I’ve experienced the Second Lead Syndrome with a female supporting lead. It’s crushing and refreshing.

This girl is so smitten with Gil Dong. I giggled when she waited at the top of the stairs and giggled some more when I saw that happiness plastered on her face when he came back for her and she jumped on his back. My heart felt for her when she was helping Ah Mo Gae and serving the rest of them. I’m kind of glad that Gil Dong stopped her, and I’m very sure that he stopped her not because he didn’t want her serving them, it’s because she’s equal to them.

I have a feeling that Ho Tae Hak’s son has Ri Ni captive. Seeing that his father is being used by the Prince, I think he has something else in mind, and that’s why he hasn’t given her up yet.

Finally, I saw the same admiration from Ah Mo Gae when he looks at Gil Dong when he was a kid in this episode. I felt really bad that he was cold towards Gil Dong when he was running the village. I’m relieved that they are now on the same page. It’s bittersweet because their “reunion” is because Gil Dong has changed, and not Ah Mo Gae. I’m not complaining though. I’d love to see this duo team up – Ah Mo Gae’s brains, and Gil Dong’s strength. Next episodes please.

Stong Woman Do Bong Soon: 1-2

We’re introduced to all the main characters right off the bat. Bong Soon inherited her gift of strength which was passed down from one generation to the next. Bong Gi is her twin brother. Gook Doo is a police office that Bong Soon harbors a one sided love. Min Hyuk is a CEO of a gaming company that he built from ground up on his own.
Min Hyuk witnesses Bong Soon beating seven thugs on her own. Needless to say, he’s already smitten with her from the start. Eventually, he hires her as his bodyguard, but not after her beating him in a hilarious arm wrestling game. Trouble starts brewing at Bong Soo and Gook Doo’s neighborhood, when a woman was murdered, and another assaulted and later on gets kidnapped during Good Doo’s shift. Min Hyuk decides/demands but not without his charms that Bong Soon stay with him at his place and they’ll protect each other [SWOON], but Gook Doo will not have it [DOUBLE SWOON].
***This is my first JTBC show. The reason I looked forward to watching mainly because of Park Hyung Shik. Don’t tell me that I’m the only one. My heart skipped a beat when I saw him in Hwarang, [A show I gave up on because I couldn’t connect to it] and I knew I had to watch him again in another show.
I enjoyed every minute of this show. This show is really funny. It’s hard for me to even find a fault in this show because it’s so god damn funny. I’m sure experts will find those flaws in the writing or execution of the directors, and actors. But, not me, not today. Did I forget to mention this show was funny?
I love Min Hyuk right away when he had the guts to complain to whoever was threatening him in the middle of the night. I mean, WHO DOES THAT? Then you witness a really strong woman who beat up seven thugs, and you call her super sexy? WERID MUCH? Not to mention, you hire her as your bodyguard – then you hold her hands like you’re dating her. YOU SHOULD’VE HIRED HER A YOUR PRETEND GIRLFRIEND IF YOU WANT SKINSHIP!!!! I’m sure he didn’t hire her because he’s afraid for his life, HE LIKES HER!!!! YEAH, I’m hooked on this show.
Then there’s Bong Soon, who’s aware of the consequences if she uses her strength the wrong way. Apparently, she’s used it more than she should’ve and she’s still lucky she still has her powers. She has this cuteness that she gets away with, but once you say the wrong thing, BAM! – you can lose all your teeth, or toes, and then more. She also has a way with words that I find hilarious. I do empathize with her struggles that she can’t help on certain circumstances because her strength wasn’t needed.
Gook Doo is probably the only character I haven’t connected with yet. The writing’s in there where he does care for Bong Soon deep down, but he’s unavailable. The moment he came for Bong Soon is because he’s doing his job, I still don’t see him having feelings for her as of yet.
Okay, here’s a critique – I get that this is a rom-com, and because of Gook Doo’s job as a police officer, and the threats on Min Hyuk’s life, and his corporate world background, we need to have some serious tones to the show. I just hope that they don’t go to the darker side and focus on, well – the rom-com.
Here’s to more of Bong Soon beating Min Hyuk in other physical activities.

Drama Review: 2/20/17

As of this post, I’ve watched:

Rebel: 5-6

It’s been 12 years and our kids have grown up to be handsome men, and a pretty lady. Ah Mo Gae’s village is thriving as he looks back thinking he’s come a long way – he survived, his children survived. Both men grew up doing what they wanted to be: Gil Hyeon is a blacksmith, and Gil Dong a famous travelling merchant. During Gil Dong’s travels, he meets Ga Ryung and Nok Soo who asks for his help in being the King’s woman, to which he  offers himself instead – before declining because he has to go home to another special lady – his sister Eo Ri Ni.

Gil Dong and Ah Mo Gae seems to have drifted apart since their views of life differ. But both still worry about each other deep down. Ah Mo Gae’s business is threatened by Ho Tae Hak to which his crew easily beat in a village fight. After learning that Gil Dong lost his strength, he decided to retire . Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, Ah Mo Gae was arrested. Gil Hyeon, Gil Dong, and Eo Ri Ni fight and run for their lives……..Gil Dong gets his strength back.

-This mini recap does not do justice with everything’s that happened in the last two episodes.  Even though the focus of this blog to express my thoughts/questions on the show.

I thought that Gil Dong was lying when he said that he lost his powers, that it was his way to have his father leave with him. He didn’t really lose it after all, he just didn’t have anything to actually use that strength for until episode 6.

I was thinking that Ah Mo Gae has to die in order for Gil Dong to have some sort of motivation to regain his strength back. I was wrong. It was his sister that triggered him, although I’m sure that him worried about his father already added to the emotions, seeing his sister being dragged away pretty much tipped him over.  I’m actually relieved that it was done this way, instead of him knowing his father has passed away and he gained his strength back for revenge, following his father’s footsteps – which doesn’t end the cycle, making the entire story line kind of moot for me.

I am hoping that Ah Mo Gae is still alive, even for a few years just for him to know that Gil Dong got his powers back. After all, he lived the last 12 years waiting for Gil Dong to use his strength. It would be really sad that he didn’t get to fulfill Gil Dong’s wish.

I know that it’s time to have him become a man, and fall in love, and fight for the people. I’m not quite ready to turn this into a love story. I like the way this has been, a family surviving, and protecting each other. Also, I still have unanswered questions: Is Gil Hyeon alive? What happened to Eo Ri Ni? What happened in the forest with the tiger? I don’t think they’ll spend a scene with a tiger approaching young Gil Dong only to be dismissed as a lie he made up.

Voice: 9-10

Gwon Joo and Jin Hyuk both wonder who the real murderer is. The Commissioner managed to take away the Surimdong case away from our Golden Time team under the orders of Chairman Mo. Oh Hyun Ho was accused on their forum that he’s a drug addict, gang member and bullied someone into committing suicide by his stalker. The smae stalker who attacked Eun Soo in the restricted area of the police station. Chief Jang was being blackmailed into doing Chairman Mo’s doing. Meanwhile, Nam Tae Sang ordered a hit on Jin Hyuk’s son. Tae Gu claimed another victim for alerting Gwon Joo that Nam Tae Sang is at Fantasia.

The show seems to still have the same intense vibe given their censorship notice.

So close, yet so far. Tae Gu is a classic serial killer next door. It’s like I want to fall for him, but I know I can’t because he’s the bad guy – but he’s so irresistable, but at the same time dangerous. Oh my heart.

The gloves are off for Nam Tae Sang and takes it up a notch by going after Jin Hyuk’s son. So does Tae Gu. I really do hope that he doesn’t fall victim in their future episodes…..that will make Jin Hyuk a total psycho out for revenge, and it will throw the whole story off. I do wonder what Tae Gu [writers] has in store for Gwon Joo since she doesn’t have anyone close to. This means, that she’ll have to come face to face with him.

I do wonder though what Nam Tae Sang’s or Tae Gu’s for that matter in going after Jin Hyuk’s wife. There has to be something about Nam Tae Sang’s father since he was mentioned by name a couple of times.

I was wondering where the other team members will have their spotlight moment in this show. The writers wrote that in this week. I was relieved, and WRONG AGAIN for thinking that Hyun Ho is related to Chairman Mo, and the murders. Jin Hyuk again is the only one physically fending off every bad guy. I’m beginning to think that he’s the show’s punching bag.

I did watch Missing 9, episode 9 – but I’ll have to re-watch it, and watch episode 10 in order to better review it. It might be the last two episodes I watch for this series. We’ll see.

Stay tuned.

Kdrama News: OCN’s Voice Under Censorship Review

The Korean Communications Standards Commission has recently submitted OCN’s action drama “Voice” for censorship review.
Soompi reported this first. Read the post here: OCN’s “Voice” Gets Submitted For Censorship Review Due To Violent Scenes

I knew cable channels didn’t have as much restriction as broadcast networks. But, given the rise in popularity of cable dramas lately, I am not surprised that this show was sent for review. I must admit, that it did get a little too gory in the last few episodes, that I had to wait for my ten year old daughter to go to sleep before I watch this show.

I do hope that this doesn’t change anything in the writing or directing for future episodes. We were just getting to the good parts.

My Valentine’s Is A Kdrama

Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Single’s Awareness Day

It’s right about dinner time where I’m at, and because it’s a Tuesday, we can’t really celebrate Valentine’s like we normally would if it falls on a weekend. A movie theater experience would be out of the question. Then again, I’m not much of a movie goer, and since I’m still not over Goblin, I’m browsing through the list of Kdrama’s I’ve watched the past 8 years, and I thought – Hey! I should recommend a few dramas for Valentine’s Day, if you’re staying in like me.

***Editor’s Note: These are my favorite kdramas based on the drama’s I’ve watched.  Feel free to recommend your drama on the comments.

Boys Over Flowers

City Hall

You’re Beautiful

SKKS

My Princess

Master’s Sun

Marriage, Not Dating

Kill Me, Heal Me

Another Oh Hae Young

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds

1% of Anything

GOBLIN

Drama Review: 2/13/17

As of this post, I’ve watched:
Rebel: 3-4
This week’s episode connected with me in a different way. This was Ah Mo Gae’s week to shine. From Ah Mo Gae the servant, smuggler, acquitted murderer, to leader of a village, he really is no ordinary servant. Most of all, he did for the love of his children, who grew up becoming what they wanted to be, with Ah Mo Gae supporting them while leading a village.
I’d like to point out first, that I’m not saying that what Ah Mo Gae did was right in any way, that is a crime punishable by law to this day, no matter what country you reside in. I connected with Ah Mo Gae because he somewhat mirrored my situation. Everything I’ve earned, I take the chance to get my kids something they like, even though I’ve been told to spend it on me.  I’ve lived my life to this day at the bottom of the totem pole. With all the things I can do, and actually finish in a workday, I still can’t get that moment of recognition from the higher ups, yet those who sit, play on their phones, nothing but and socialize gets all the praise and recognition. I have two kids, and each one with a different dad, BOTH dads are there for their kids emotionally, physically, not just financially. It’s nice for my kids to have a dad to rely on where I’m lacking.
I really enjoyed this week’s episodes. Okay, I didn’t enjoy the whole trial for Ah Mo Gae and what he and his sons had to go through emotionally. h Mo Gae, he’s just too brilliant to be a servant, who served the same family for 40 years, yet that noble family gets away with all sorts of abuse towards him and his family. I would lose it too, if I was him. S***t, I’d spill all the beans too to bring those who wronged me down, although I wouldn’t go as far as murder in my lifetime.
I loved how he was able to find the master’s wife’s weakness, and used the law on them. I wish it didn’t have to come to murder, but it’s sooooooooo gratifying to see the master’s wife shaking in fear thinking what Ah Mo Gae can really do. It is soooooooooo worth it to see the “nobles” being exposed as to who they really are. It excites me that the rich are scared of the poor. These episodes isn’t just about social class, this is also about how a father will do ANYTHING to protect, and provide a future for his children. What got to me is the part when he painted portrait for each his kids, where Gil Hyeon is an official, and Gil Dong a general, but his kids wanted something else…….and he let them be. That, fatherly love, is a rare gem in this modern age.

I’m kind of sad that the kids’ parts are over, but, I’m looking forward to their grown up counterparts and how things change for the Mighty Child.
Missing 9: 7-8
More twists and turns this week…..
Back in the island, Bong Hee and Joon Oh seems to get closer, Ji Ah, and Ki Joon are in a should we/shouldn’t we really date phase. Another survivor emerged in the form of reporter Ki Won who seems to have evidence that Tae Ho is the root of all the murders, starting from Jae Hyun, to which he admitted before Joon Oh claims Tae Ho’s life. The castaways were rescued.
In the present, Bong Hee reveals Tae Ho’s crimes, and naming Ho Hang as witness. Tae Ho has been revealed that he is alive, and reveals in the press conference that Joon Oh is the criminal. CEO Jang seems to be in the know of Tae Ho’s criminal activities. Ho Hang also returns to Korea, but Tae Ho got to him first and forced him to name Bong Hee as Joon Oh’s accomplice.
We finally get to see the story of Jae Hyun, and why everyone hated Joon Oh.  Jae Hyun just wants to debut, but can’t because the trio still needs him. Joon Oh wants him to debut too, but CEO Hwang had other plans in mind, and he was tasked to convince Jae Hyun no matter what.
Wow, that’s too many revelations in one week’s worth of episodes. Tae Ho is a classic serial killer. Sure, it was unintended with Tae Ho, but we all know once you’ve done it- you can do it again. Maybe it was just as unintentional with Yeol, but there’s definitely intent with So Hee, and motive with Ki Won. But- I still give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he’s doing CEO Jang’s bidding.
I have no theories as to what can happen next week. This is how good this show is, that I can’t predict what’s going to happen next. There’s still a lot that we don’t know, like what else did Tae Ho do?
Voice: 7-8
We’re halfway into the series, Jin Hyuk, and Gwon Joo are closer to finding the owner of the voice who killed his wife and her father. We’re introduced to new characters this week that ties one case to another.
The Surimdong case is underway when they found the real landlord stuffed in a closet as a tenant was threatening who he thought was Bong Soon, only after an interrogation they found that Chun Ok was being threatened, and Yoong Won was not the one that actually killed the owner of their building.  Jin Hyuk received a lead regarding the Hwang Kyung Il case, only to be betrayed by his informant. He then meets Nam Sang Tae who admitted to killing his wife……or did he? Chun Ok was found murdered, and the next targets are Gwon Joo and Jin Hyuk. Lesson for the day, detective work isn’t just thinking skills, it’s physical work.
I like how it starts as a 911 call, but they’re all connected to one case from three years ago. Gah!!!! I have to wait until next week! AGAIN. OCN really has a knack for crime shows, and whatever it is – I keep coming back for the next. We didn’t get a cliffhanger from another call this time which was good. It has worked the last few weeks, but honestly, I don’t know for how long that will work. So it’s good that things changed a bit.
The show is starting to tie the cases together. Lesson for the day, detective work isn’t just thinking skills, it’s physical work. The writers should take that lesson to heart, and give Gwon Joo actual physical detective work that can work for her aside from being stuck in a call center. Her getting kidnapped does not count as physical work. Yes, her skillset involves her hearing skills, and her job is to answer calls. But what happens when that is gone??? Also, Jin Hyuk can’t be the only one who does the physical action scenes. I’m not complaining – since their action sequence was great, but I’d like to see more cops fighting alongside of him.
I didn’t believe that Sang Tae killed Jin Hyuk’s wife, and Gwon Joo’s dad, because he himself is responding/reporting to someone else. In other words, he’s taking orders as well. When I saw Tae Gu, I knew it’s him. He’s the owner of the voice. My question is does everyone in the gang have some dental work done resulting in cracking sounds? First it was Kwang Il, then Sang Tae, and Tae Gu [at least I think it’s him].
I still think Dae Shik, Chief Jang, and the Commissioner are all in this somehow. I did find it a little weird where Hyun Yo was specifically mentioned….is he connected too? They’ve made it known that he’s rich, so why need to work as a cop, or even recommended for the call center?
Stay tuned.

Drama Review: 2/6/17

As of this post, I’ve watched:

Rebel: 1-2

As with any historical dramas, we get to see the childhood events that shaped our characters’ future.

Gil Dong’s family are servants to a nobleman. He inherited a gift of strength from his father, which only his father knows. His father is very loyal to his family and doted on Gil Dong especially. He is too smart to be a servant though, and his goal is to buy their freedom for the sake of Gil Dong and his family. His father who is too smart to be a servant, was able to convince his employer to live outside on their own.

Gil Dong struggled to keep his strength a secret, which once in a while gets him in trouble. Gil Dong loses his mother after giving birth to his sister, and his father ended up murdering his master which Gil Dong witnessed.

The Crown Prince  is questioning why he can’t call his father- Father, and as to why he doesn’t live in the palace. He deduced that he’ll have the same fate as her brother who passed because he lived there. On the political front, there are “talks” to return the dethroned queen back to her place.

We’re still ways away from seeing the grown up versions of our show. We still need to see how the main characters tie together. With the number of years I’ve been watching kdramas, I honestly have not watched any of the previous Hong Gil Dong adaptation/retelling, so I wouldn’t have anything to compare this to. Which can be a good thing because I’d only be focused on this adaptation. For now, I’m interested enough to keep watching.

Missing 9: 5-6

We get more Island time in these two episodes, and we also get more revelations from their time together.As Tae Ho makes his escape with the co-pilot, President Hwang, and So Hee – they were of course thwarted by the rest of the gang. In the process, Bong Hee and So Hee gets stuck on another island, while the others makes an attempt to rescue them. Joon Oh manages to rescue both So Hee and Bong Hee. Only for Tae Ho claiming two lives -Yeol and So Hee in his desperation to live and his secrets to be buried.

In the present time, President Hwang did escape from the island, only to survive a murder attempt that places him in a coma. So Hee’s brother gets a hold of Bong Hee’s confession, and pressures the chairwoman to make a public announcement regarding So Hee’s murderer, but in the nick of time, Bong Hee remembers everything until Tae Ho emerges as another survivor…

Wow. Tae Ho is setting up to be the villain here. It’d be interesting to see how he will manipulate the public because it’ll be definitely Bong Hee’s words vs his. Who will be on who’s side? Are there any more survivors……

Voice: 5-6

We’re almost halfway into the series, and the plot is underway to solve the one case that started it all. Who owns the voice that killed Kwon Joo’s father, and Jin Hyuk’s wife?

As always, Jin Hyuk beat the Serious Crime Unit in rescuing Kwon Joo, and Eun Byul. Jin huyk had made up his mind, and will stay with Golden Time team, while the rest of his old teammates wonder what will happen to them. Kwang Il is connected to the Eunhyungdong Incident three years ago, and he’s the only witness left, until he was murdered while under police custody. Kwon Joo is ever resolute that there is a cop that’s helping the murderer. It turns out it was Chief Jang all along. The police commissioner is too eager to cover up their mistake as well and dared Kwon Joo that her team will be disbanded if it’s proven that her ulterior motive to is to investigate her father’s death.

Jin Hyuk, and Kwon Joo set out to re-investigate this case on their own – trusting no one. Although we get to see the murderer in action, we still have no clue as to his real identity. Unfortunately, he’s been tipped that he’s being investigated. On the brighter side, Eun Soo decided to join Golden Time Team after all.  As usual, the team gets a call and this time they find a dead body.

I get that they need to establish the Golden Time Team and show it by solving the crimes as they get the calls. We’re there now. They’ve solved every crime within Golden Time, can we see them drink at a pochamanga or have gogi now? Can we start showing that they’re getting along as a team? Right now, the only team I see is Gwon Joo and Jin Hyuk, and even then, they’re still not trusting of each other.

I didn’t mention this before. When I first started watching this show, I thought that Dae Shik is somewhat connected to the murderer, and boy was I wrong. I’d like to think that Chief Jang’s involvement is not voluntary, that he had no choice. I’d like to see him redeem himself, as I’m worried that he’ll be a casualty in the upcoming episodes.

OCN has a way of really making me come back for more. I don’t see or feel any chemistry within the characters, yet here I am watching this show as soon as it’s up for viewing. Whatever it is, it’s working and although I can’t say that I’m hooked, I think I’m more curious to see how everything will tie up in the end.

LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAST

Goblin Special 1-2

Yoo In Na, and Lee Dong Wook are the commentators for this special. Lee El provided an emotional narration  of our ShinTak love story. Sunny/Grim Reaper’s love story,and the Bromance between our Goblin/GR were also highlighted.Secretary Kim fulfilled his pledge. We got a behind the scenes look at how Goblin was made. From makeup, costumes, CGI’s to NG’s. Sorry GongEun shippers, we didn’t get what we were waiting for….but I think it’s safe to say that Lee Dong Wook, and Yoo In Na are the captains of this ship. Lee Dong Wook may know more than what he looks.

It’s no surprise that the cast and crew are suffering from withdrawal symptoms as Yoo In Na, and Lee Dong Wook said during this special episode. Just like us, they both expressed an interest in a potential season two. But, all good things come to an end.

Even in the saddest scenes, I was happy. Every moment that I watched Goblin shined. In my next life, I will still remember Goblin.

Flashback Friday: City Hall [2009]

City Hall was a romantic comedy set in the political world. The story follows the political rivalry, turned romance between Shin Mi Rae who was a government clerk, who became a beauty pageant winner, and eventually a mayor, and Jo Gook, an experienced politician who has his own presidential ambitions.

Main Cast:
Kim Sun Ah, Cha Seung Won, Chu Sang Mi, Lee Hyung Chul, and Yoon Se Ah.

My first Kim Eun Sook drama. I became an instant fan of Kim Sun Ah, and Cha Seung Won. At this point in kdrama time, I have only watched at least 20 kdramas. Needless to say, this was one of the dramas that captivated me from the simple aesthetics, local cinematography, script, soundtrack, and the actors’ portrayal – both main and supporting casts. In this drama, I was also “introduced” to Super Junior [which will be featured on another blogpost, someday]. City Hall was the first drama that I actually ordered their Director’s Editin DVD set.

To this day, City Hall remains on my top 10 all time favorite dramas.