HA WON: “Even if you want everything to be cast aside and go away, wait until you have saved your grandfather and he wakes up! And then hear him out, get angry at him! Yell at him! Face this problem with your grandfather heads on!”
The thing about Uncontrollably Fond is that it tapped into those memories of lost and depressing love that people don’t want to look back anymore in their lives. It was not a happy-ever-after kind of romance that appeals typically to almost anyone, instead it delved to the most shameful, most regretful and most painful things anyone can do because of love.
At the height of his career, debonair top actor Shin Joon Young received the news of his terminal illness. To make his fate worse, he met again the only woman he ever loved – Noh Eul, whom he lost a few years ago. Their tragic love goes way back when both of them were still in school. Joon Young was raised by his mother to become a prosecutor to follow the footsteps of his famous biological father who didn’t know he existed. Noh Eul’s father was a victim of hit and run by the daughter of a famous politician – Yoon Jung Eun. Jung Eun’s father tasked Joon Young’s father to take care of the matter and closed the case accordingly, but his son Choi Ji Tae caught up on the evil act his father succumbed to.
When Noh Eul secured the evidence that will bring out the justice she was fighting for, Joon Young chose to be a filial son to his father causing Eul to almost losing her life.
Years later, Ji Tae who was burdened by the wrong-doings caused by his parents played Eul’s daddy-long-legs in shabby clothes alongside Jung Eun’s fiancé when he is on his CEO persona.
Ji Tae and Joon Young worked separately in shielding Eul to the evil claws of the villains. In his dying days, Joon Young decided on a ploy to get a confession that will pin Jung Eun to her sin and giving Eul the ultimate act of love before he faces his death.
STORY AND SCREEN PLAY
Uncontrollably Fond has put me on all the level of frustrating emotions I can ever have as a k-dramafan. When almost all k-drama addicts have given up and turned their backs on it, I remained faithful hopeful of some miracle that might salvage its disappointing run. Down to its finale week I have long accepted that there will be no happy ending. At some point I even begged k-dramagods to stop the writer from her ludicrously hurtful storytelling or to just kill Joon Young and insert an “it has all been a dream” plot, because I have never felt bad for k-drama characters before, until I spent time with this story. That being said except for the temperamental second lead girl who was sketched annoyingly without room for a redeeming dimension, I have praises on the main leads’ heartfelt portrayals even if it drained me emotionally with and without tears.
Limited by its pragmatic approach, the writing did not swerve to a feel good direction to appease the agonizing dying-man-all-willing-to-protect-his-woman setting. And that’s the reason why my forbearance was tested in Joon Young and Eul’s love journey. I have come to terms how we act irrational when we can’t get the amount of love we think we deserve… how the pain we felt to fight for our love does not mean less to the love we gave to stay in a relationship… and how loving in the moment is a lot more times better than worrying about your future together when love might not be there anymore.
At the back of my mind hopeless romantic me was optimistic that the death premise involved will conclude at a bright ending. However, it closed to its original path. Joon Young made me cry big time at the finale episodes that I forgot the dreary side stories because I was crying like an ajumma gloomy and muttering “I waited and I prayed but you still died Joon Young-a!” *chuckles
Nevertheless, it was a pretty ending, especially that Joon Young video scene. It was encouraging and beautiful that I forego all the disappointments I had with this drama.
CAST AND CONFLICT
Less the handful amount of warts I witnessed cheering for Uncontrollably Fond, the rope that tied me here were the crippled ardent characters who got doses of realities that true love is not always a happy thing. True, I got to that point when I questioned why the characters seemed to be either masochist or lunatic, but the erring and awry cast made the ugly tone premise of the painful narrative sealed the lingering after-effect when it finally concluded to a saddening and yet gratifying closure.
I applaud Kim Woo Bin in his portrayal. I hated him with his choices, but I cried big time when I was sending him off. His relationship with the people he loved were shaky and quirky but displayed very well his endearing facets as a character good or bad. Suzy suited up to her character fitting in her sass and stubbornness to Joon Young’s adorable ego. Her indecisiveness to stand up to the bullies and her payback in the culmination of the story eventually went to show how she picked her battles wisely.
Im Joo Hwan who was the only lucid character in the main cast did a great job convincing me that his presence will bring some hope in the table against his power hungry parents and deranged bride-to-be, because hell if our dying hero won’t at least get any help, I don’t know what to do anymore. No matter how effective she was in getting to my nerves, I hated how she was used in the story to make it more even damaged and yet I can’t help but acknowledge that she’s a key piece that set the main connecting conflict in motion.
RATING AND RECOMMENDATION
As Uncontrollably Fond won’t appeal to those who craved light and sweet type of romantic stories you can indulge to this narrative but be aware that you will be put on tormenting spot most of the time. Though deemed to have been badly written, there was a thread that held the loyal viewers and that’s the dying scenario of the lead man. I stayed until the end because I believe that not all love stories are wrapped in kisses and sweet memories. There are those that are melancholic and yet lives on as someone’s one great love. -jediprincess
Images Source: Hancinema
Dear kdramagod, it’s me abby. Just like the Belle Epoque girls, I too have a lot of regrets and dreams when I was in my 20’s.
Coming from a disappointing drama stalking from summer dramas that turned stale halfway their runs, picking up Age of Youth was merely decided by the number of episodes it will sprint. Thank heavens that I got more than I expected from it.
“Age of Youth” is a restrospective youth drama about women in their 20’s. The five ladies promenaded their love inhibitions, self-esteem issues, school worries, what happens after school disappointments and all the rest of typical predicaments, 20’s women usually worry about.
Tailored to show the common faces of women, this honest drama has a melancholic resonance as it progressed to strengthening the bond of the 5 women living together in a dormitory who all have baggages from their past that haunt them in their present lives.
Yoon Jin Myung has been working a lot of part-time jobs to sustain her school expenses and forcedly shouldering his brain dead brother’s medical bill. Dating is a luxury for her as she hurdles herself to whatever unfortunate event relating to money that life usually throws at her. Kang Yi Na wanted to have an easy life. Her near death experience made her settle to an uncomplicated life. She lied to her dorm mates about how she has been supporting her high maintenance self through taking on sponsors who gives her money in exchange of casual dating and sex. Although pretty and having a gregarious personality, Song Ji Won is unsuccessful with her romantic life as men usually don’t see her as a woman. She dreams of what simple things a woman wants, but sadly she hasn’t fulfilled her love yearnings yet.
Jung Ye Eun defined love in the literal manner. She gave all that she has even if her lover is a complete bastard. She overlooked the bad treatment her boyfriend did to her all because she can’t imagine herself without him. Yoo Eun Jae is a freshman in the university and has yet to experience her first romance. Unsure about how to act and express how she feels, her kind-hearted reliable first boyfriend is willing to help her every step of the way.
These sassy girls and their friendship made me spiral down to the recesses of my memory 10 years ago onwards… Those are the years when I also had part time jobs to support my studies and had broken up with a long time boyfriend. After permanently joining the society’s work force I lived like a normal 20-ish woman but not the bar hopping, wine/beer drinking kind of life because of the remnants of the values I had from the religion I was raised. I was more of a bookworm-couchpotato kind of girl. Ouch, yes I spent most of my 20’s like that trying to piece myself up after a painful broken heart.
So this drama really hit home in me. The friendship, the life uncertainties, the magical feeling of being in love, and the regret on the wrong choices echoed clearly on the situations narrated by the characters in commanding vibrancy that made me smile on how everyone of us has different stories, pain and bliss from when we are younger, and when you fast forward to the present, you will be proud of yourself in surviving those life and love complications.
Midway through the drama, I don’t know why some swish of meta physical element was used to delve on the character development though as I am already sold with the realistic approach on how the dorm sisters take on their personal and love issues. But as the story crawled to the closing episodes, it neatly explained the need for that cabinet ghost presence. It was a representation of the ladies’ personal battles from their past that they bravely reconciled in the present.
How the story put together the strong connection of characters through their growing respect, love and friendship to one another was sketched beautifully in a way that I thought of those moments that led me to my very own circle of lady friends. It was drawn in logical detail solidified by the attachment of situations that made use of the girls’ sincere understanding of each other’s vulnerabilities.
Jin Myung, Yi Na, Ji Won, Na Eun and Eun Jae are fictional reminders that we will get to have different kinds of friendship in our life, most of it will be dependent on time. So it is very important to keep friends who shared you a lot of memories because as time changes, you can never go back to it, but if you cherished the memories, it will always put a smile on your face no matter how much time passed by.
Take time to see the girls of “Belle Epoque” and see for yourself how you will also be nudged to reminisce your 20-ish self.
GENRE: Drama, Friendship, Youth, Romance
Hyun Min: “After meeting you, all other women seemed boring to me. And you keep crossing my mind. I don’t like it when you are with other guys especially when you hang out with Kang Ji Woon. I have great looks and brilliant mind and the first in line as the successor of our company.”
Ha Won: “Would you be able to say you like me if you are in front of Hye Ji?”Ji Woon: “Why would I do that?”Ha Won: “You, Hyun Min and Hye Ji have already a complicated love triangle, why would you drag me along in your problem? Is having a complicated relationship a hobby of yours?”
Ji Woon: “You know there are people like me who never met their father.”Ha Won: “Yes you are right. But if, just if in case my dad is really not my dad, I would like to meet my biological father even for just one time.”
Second serving of love has never been this lively until these adorable families connected through marriages and made their family even bigger, wackier and happier. “Five Children” was the first family weekend drama I finished and it was a feat I’m so proud of because it was 54 episodes.
So how did I manage to endure this long running drama? The majority of the credit, I would give to Sang Min and Yeon tae’s love line because it was a refreshing romantic progression that made use of that we-were-not-expecting-to-fall-inlove premise in a delightful kind of way. I’m not saying that the main couple’s romance was not that striking, but because I’m still single I was able to relate more to Sang Min and Yeon Tae’s.
Let’s meet the families first. We have the Lee Family – where Lee Sang Tae, a widow and a father of two children, Bin and Soo, belongs. His parents ran a small restaurant and is the eldest brother of Kim Ho Tae, a striving film director and Kim Yeon Tae, a primary school teacher. He is affiliated to Jang Jin Joo who is his deceased wife’s sister and Yeon Tae’s close friend. Yeon Tae is also friends with Kim Tae Min who is the brother of his boyfriend Kim Sang Min and boyfriend of Jin Joo. We have three elder couples the Lee aboji and omoni, Jin Joo’s parents and Sang Tae’s parents-in-law through his deceased wife and Kim Brothers’ parents – Kim aboji and omoni. Lee Sang Tae married Ahn Mi Jung, a divorcee with three children, Woo Young, Woo Ri, Woo Joo with their father Yoon In Chul who had an affair with Kang So Young who used to be Ahn Mi Jung’s friend.
It appeared like we have a lot of characters in this drama, but once you break it down through families, it’s very easy to track. So the story started with Ahn Mi Jung working with Lee Sang Tae in the same company and they grow feelings over time. Wounded from her first failed marriage, Mi Jung single-handedly raised her children and made her children believed that their father was working abroad when they were already divorced and he was living with another woman who used to be Mi Jung’s friend. Sang Tae on the other hand is torn between his own parents and his parents-in-law in raising his two children. He fell in love with Mi Jung’s countenance in sustaining her career alongside being a mother to three children. They eventually succumbed to romance, and when they were confronted with an opportunity to try a second marriage, they had to consider five children and five elders who might not feel comfortable with the choice they were bound to make. Through honest conversations, the marriage pushed through which joined their families together. The new father and mother had to adjust in breaking in the walls of the new children they got through the second marriage. Mi Jung had to communicate also with Bin and Soo’s grandparents who moved in to the same building they rented, and in the course of time they saw Mi Jung’s sincere motherly heart to their grandchildren and she won over their hearts and lived harmoniously with them.
“Five Children” presented lessons about filial love, parenting, friendship, failed relationship, romantic love, life uncertainties and personal worth. It covered almost all the facets of the common struggles adults face in daily lives and in the long run. I like how the dynamics of an extended family was pictured in the series. It was messy, rowdy and crazy, but at the end of the day, the people interacted, listened and accepted decisions that are beyond their control and that they should not worry about.
There were three secondary love lines that were linked to the four families and those supporting love parts were equally spirited adding sweets and spices to an already amusing narrative. Ho Tae who struggled in his film directing career battled through his slump and eventually married his first love who was working in his parents’ restaurant. Through his dream of becoming a better man to his supportive wife, he got a happy ending on his marriage life and career. Jin Joo born from a rich household fell in love with a man whose parents value personality than money. She was not accepted by Tae Min’s mother initially because of her bleak future having not finished a college degree. She accepted the challenge and showed his parents that she can still achieve her personal dreams no matter how late she starts working on it. Yeon Tae who harbored feelings with her friend Tae Min ended up being together with her first love’s brother who acted as her confidante when Tae Min pursued Jin Joo. Sang Min who was caught off guard when cupid’s bow hit him with YeonDoo virus gave in to the idea that he was really truly, madly deeply in love with the girl that was never in his dreams but virally deconstructed his heart to an unimaginable addiction that made him even more a better person.
In its entirety, “Five Children” presented a glimpse of an everyday Korean family life with beautified love milieus. It taught me a thing or two about the generation gaps when joining a new family. The story was clear with its most important lesson on how communication plays a vital role in empathizing and understanding the situation you have with someone in any kind of relationship. It left a positive encouragement to pursue romance regardless of how many times you might have failed in the past and how much pain you might go through until you finally get it.
It might overwhelm your drama addiction spare time so pace yourself if in case you would want to enter Mi Jung and Sang Tae’s family. For its feel good approach and fetching family and love memories framed each episode, I am happy having been able to sprint my way to see all of the characters smiling through the happy endings they achieved. -jediprincess♥♥♥
On to a modern poor girl rich guys tale for Cinderella and the Four Knights! There’s not just one prince though but four to take care of our female lead. All for my love for Jung Il Woo oppa, so trite and all, I’m all in for this sweet ride.
We have so far established the relationship of the characters and the future love polygons we will be seeing. We even saw a glimpse of a future wealth tug-of-war conflict.
I’m a bit jumping into conclusion but because it’s easy to read what will happen in the next episodes — that being Ha Won becoming the butler of the three brothers cohabiting in the mansion. I’m going to look forward the cutesies and the eventual falling in love, one sided love, fight over one girl kind of love in the future.
With the amount of romance dramas brandishing in KDramaLand 2016, a story maneuvered by a con-artist and his snappy team helping out an employee of the city’s Taxation office in retrieving unpaid revenues from greedy rich people surprisingly caught and glued my attention due to how exciting it propelled a simple premise with its gripping manipulation of the cheats they pulled to complete their missions.
When his family fell apart after his mother’s boss’ Choi Chul Woo pinned a crime to her, Yang Jung Do became a skilled con-artist in preparation of a payback he will pull to avenge his mother’s death and father’s imprisonment.
After his release from the jail, he assembled a team to aid his deceit game. Meanwhile in Seowon’s City Hall’s Taxation office, Baek Sung Il, chief of Division II was put on a hot spot by his superiors in his unsuccessful operations to procure the unremitted taxes from rich personalities who proficiently dodged the attempts by the taxation team. His stress filled life can’t get much better when he was victimized by Jung Do’s trick making him lose hefty amount of his savings. Luckily his detective friend traced the swindler and he was able to secure back his money but his work situation seemed to be going hopeless after failing to knock down Ma Jin Suk who was under the protection of the city’s Mayor – Chun Gap Soo. Ma Jin Suk served Bang Pil Kyu who was the right man of the main villain Chairman Choi who sponsored Mayor Chun. So we have the fiend ring of Choi, Chun, Bang, and Ma Jin Suk against Jung Do, Baek Sung Il and company. It looked crazy in picture but it was told very neatly that you won’t be having problems following the character links.
Left with no option, Baek Sung Il sought Jung Do to claim his initial offer of partnering with him in pulling a scam to the untouchable tax evaders. They successfully hustled Bang Pil Gyu and Ma Jin Suk but the Mayor and his minion Ahn Tae Wook secured an evidence that hooked Jung Do to serve jail time after failing to take down Chairman Choi.
After 2 years Jung Do gets paroled and met with his team to device the final con to bring down Chairman Choi and Mayor Chun in a thrilling twist of betrayal and point of no return.
There was a time when I went gaga over Neal Caffrey in White Collar so I think that’s why I was committed in watching Jung Do and his team plus Seo In Gook is a feast even without topless scenes on this drama. I love the snappy editing. All those small cons they created to push the final trick to tame down the villains were visually achieved while narrating it clearly. There were not moments of indecisiveness on where the story is flowing. From its kick off “Task Force 38” was strict with presenting what they will do and how they will resolve the conflict. Adding a well blended team that explained to me well through their conversations about the new world I was introduced to about the politics manipulated by the tax evaders. On paper and when you get the picture on the premiere episodes, it looked something that will require patience or Seo In Gook devotion to finish but the exciting vibe set each week made me crave waiting on how the reversals will be accomplished.
The story was on spot on establishing the war between the villains and heroes. While it builds the conflict from the greedy intentions of the fiends, the showdowns were always fought through strategy and wits. The writing skillfully incorporated the character sketches and their roles in fulfilling the goodness over wickedness lesson given in the story.
Seo In Gook and Ma Dong Seok suited their tandem very well in their fight against the clever mafia old men who disregarded law by controlling the city mayor. The bromance though awkward was refreshing to watch given the difference between their age. It all goes down to their different reasons but same motivations of making the bad guys pay for their crimes. The supporting team was superb in their back up. I especially noticed rookie actress Mi Joo with her dedication to her role, she even overshadowed Soo Young for me as her role and portrayal was not much striking in the duration of the series. But it was something that doesn’t matter anyway because the 7-man heist team was efficient enough to sustain the story without misplaced plots.
Task Force 38 is straight to the point with the premise, the conflict, and how the people moving in the story resolved and closed it. It helped that even with the serious topic, the protagonists were drawn as suave robinhood and upright citizen who only wanted to make sure that no one is above the law in paying taxes. True it made use of an illegal approach to defeat the baddies by brewing schemes to make them forcedfully pay what they owe which is still technically bad, but it fairly explained the limited options in stopping corruption when the people responsible for it are puppets of organized crime group. Life really has inconvenient realities that can’t be dealt with by justice. So as long as you get to the resolution even if the means defy law as long as there are no life threatened, then just settle with it.
Jung Do and his squad will give you something new in this drama offering if you need a time out from the romcom drama parade this year. -jediprincess
Sadly, in my melancholic attempt to look back on “Entertainer”, there’s nothing much that I remember about it, no matter how much heart Ji Sung oppa gave to the drama. The story as a whole was not something that I would reminisce in the future. Sure there were a little highlighted moments especially those musical performances but they were overshadowed by the lack of the vibrancy of the storytelling. So I’ll be making this a very quick review. Skip it when you have a pile of kdrama on queue to watch. Even if you will watch it for Ji Sung oppa, there’s nothing much oppa-happiness-pill that you would get anyway, so settle with other dramas that would make the most out of your time. I watched it because I was counting on Ji Sung oppa’s choice given that I liked most of the dramas he did, but there’s really nothing much going on.
“Entertainer” tells the story of an entertainment manager who hit a slump on his life and resorted to forming a boy band to resurrect his career and to avenge the bitter betrayal he got from the company CEO he used to work with. There was a backstory that connected him and the second lead playing the lead vocals of the boyband he created and they both relied on each other when they were hit with life’s misfortunes. Entertainer closed to a happy note bringing down the villain and making the dream band famous but in the course of beating the conflicts, the story remained dormant in expounding a stale plot. It failed to add dimensions to a more engrossing actors that would have lifted the given cliches to a more decent showing. Yeah I think the lackadaisical effort of the actors was the main culprit why it failed my expectations.
There’s a half-baked love triangle that involved the boyband lead, the manager-turned-CEO and the boyband lead noona. In the end it was not a fulfilling romance because the narrative was swerving to character centered to conflict centered to resolution centered all in confused same time. Had it taken a patient approach, it would have concluded to a decent ending.
The drummer was the only thing that I liked about this drama and he was taken away in the dying frames so yes, there’s not much reason for me really to prolong this article as I really don’t have much to tell but for the sake of my devotion in kdrama review writing, I would bear it some more.
I don’t know if it’s the chemistry of the cast, the boring storyline, the stoic romance or all of it happening at the same time. Though it’s not as bad as “Big” or that recent Rain oppa drama, it made me emotionless while watching it. It baffled me how my fortitude was at a different level in witnessing it happen, and being okay with how much the story progressed from stagnant to lethargic to not being able to accomplish anything. I can’t help but sigh for all those wasted hours and talent.
“Entertainer” with its highly famous cast is far from the great showings we are so far getting in kdramaland this 2016. It will be overshadowed because it really didn’t accomplish a fairly done production. – jediprincess♥♥♥
I didn’t expect anything from this drama to start with, and I guess that’s the reason why even with the cliche plot, I still like the cute friends-turned-lovers bickerings and antics of Gong Shim and Ahn Dan Tae.
A typical neighborhood love that bloomed from pure trust and understanding between unexpected friends and their journey to acknowledge that they were built so perfectly for each other because it is their destiny to fall in love eventually. Crossing the line between friends and romance requires a courageous stance that you know what you are doing and you are prepared to take a leap of faith. Love is not romance until it is reciprocated. The impeccable sassy and cheesy chemistry of Dan Tae and Gong Shim has had me on laughing fits most of the time. Their comic characters were drawn so well and so compatible to each other that they compensated to the predictable plot of the series. KDramas are known for the weird-looking kisses but the delightful love couple made sure to redefine the awkward kiss scenes and made me giggle a lot with the enchanting build up of their love story.
Lawyer Ahn Dan Tae in his jogger pants and Tom Sawyer attitude appeared to be not a practicioner of law, but he is. He met Gong Shim when he rented out the rooftop place of her family. Gong Shim has always been shunned by the success and physical beauty of her older lawyer sister. She studied horticulture but struggled in securing a regular job. Her good nature poked Dan Tae’s protective instinct, and little by little he found himself helping out Gong Shim whenever she is on a predicament and pushing her to follow her dreams.
Their friendship became trio after Seok Joon Soo from a chaebol family joined their circle. Joon Soo who also noticed the kindred spirit and warm heart of Gong Shim started liking her secretly. Gong Shim was able to enter Star Group owned by Joon Soo’s family as his father’s secretary, but when his mother found out that her son likes Gong Shim, she was fired immediately.
Ahn Dan Tae became close to Joon Soo’s grandmother as he takes on a part-time driver job for her. She asked for his help to find her long lost grandson who was kidnapped on Joon Soo’s first birthday. It turned out that Joon Soo’s uncle was the culprit and he was given to his adopted father who lost his child and was left no choice but to keep him to appease his grieving wife. Also upon learning that Joon pyo was in danger of being killed, he fled with his family and made Joon Pyo assumed his dead son’s identity. Dan Tae eventually stumbled on the truth his father kept him from and revealed to his grandmother that he is her long lost Joon Pyo who lost his memory after witnessing his mother’s death when he was being kidnapped.
Gong Shim and Dan Tae acknowledged their feelings to each other but the latter still hasn’t revealed his true identity. Eventually Dan Tae and Joon Soo pinned down evil uncle and sent him to prison. Dan Tae had to leave for US for his adopted father’s surgery and business management education. Unfortunately he bid goodbye through a phonecall to Gong Shim as their flight was pushed earlier and she was not able to arrive early in the airport.
A year after, Gong Shim no longer wears a wig and is doing great designing covers on Joon Soo’s company, Dan Tae returned and jumped on a conclusion that his cousin and Gong Shim were dating. He was cold on a business meeting but after Joon Soo cleared his weird thoughts, he claimed back Gong Shim’s heart once again.
STORY & SCREENPLAY
I mentioned how “Beautiful Gong Shim” played on trite scenarios but even if it did, it didn’t wear me out because the cast especially the main love couple were so endearing to watch in their comic takes and cutesy moments. It was the kind of love story that I rooted for because the romance built up so genuinely from friendship and dismissed the usual uncalled for love complications present in traditional kdrama romcoms. Gong Shim and Dan Tae left me feeling good after closing the book of their story and in the near future if I looked back on their story, at least there will be something for me to remember because of the refreshing take of the narrative.
There’s nothing fancy in the drama, it followed the basic ingredients of a romcom but leaned on the main leads’ personal struggles while discovering their romance. The quirky vibe of the love couple on their romantic moments were the generator of zest and appeal from the onset till the finale episodes. I was used to seeing Nam Goong Min in his evil roles so his laid back approach here mixed with Gong Shim’s free spirited portrayal compensated to the threadbare setting. Sure, the conflict dragged up until the closing episodes but it did not annoy me much because the series refused to dig on so much negativity. True that the last minute break up plot was not needed but as usual the charming heroine threw her grudges and trust the man he loved right away after learning the reason why he never contacted her. They always talk to each other in quirky and honest kind of way all the time. Their dorky love just make me overlook the technical points and just happily engage on the bright side they always offer.
It was the no dull moment frames captured that made me really like the drama a lot. The comedic notes were always present to Gong Shim and Dan Tae’s interaction as well as the rest of the cast members that you will just find yourself laughing together with them.
CAST & CONFLICT
The strong connection of the main leads and the friendship circle slight love triangle at some point square because of Gong Shim’s sister propelled the hook factor of the story. Nothing much new was presented but the keen commitment to bring out the characters fully on how the writer pictured it was a feat that was successfully notched by the people moving in the story. The story’s goal is for the hero to retrieve his life and memory that was altered by the villain and for the lead girl to pursue a quest in making her dreams come true and making a mark for herself. There was a sad conflict when the truth about Joon Soo’s uncle being the perpetrator of Joon Pyo’s abduction was revealed and thank God Joon Soo was written to be a smart character and didn’t succumb to settling for the worst out of filial love.
That’s what I like about this drama as a whole, it gave me only one villain to despise and there was no redemption for him either which realistically speaking was drawn justly given the crime he committed. I liked that at the end of it all Dan Tae and his family forgave and forgot and remained living in one roof as again. Gong Shim who recognized her weaknesses went through moments of wallowing on her self worth, but never stayed long and went on focusing on things she still have. She walked on the screen in such positive energy that you can’t help but cheer for her optimism. Dan Tae defied the lead man protype by presenting an appealing hero who was amusing and reliable at the same time. He might not framed those sweet moments in classic kdrama romcom trend but his wacky spirit complemented by Gong Shim’s vibrant character was a refreshing spectacle all throughout.
Joon Soo as a second lead crawled slightly in my heart because of his kind demeanor, and I’m happy that when the realization of his one sided love hit him, he didn’t go crazy trying to force the issue. Gong Mi was a character left in the corner after her greedy streak. Not that her character mattered but I think she was placed there to make the heroine stronger by overcoming hurdles like her. *chuckles
Over all this light romcom tackled the main discord and personal conflicts heads on with sure steps and engrossing ways. They went less is more with inserting the conflict and pushed to heartfelt rendition of the characters.
RATING & RECOMMENDATION
“Beautiful Gong Shim” had this unique sense of drawing you and before you realize it, you look forward to the story. It might not be smartly written with out of this world plot or sweetly created with perfect romantic premise, but it was a moving story with engaging characters that worked harmoniously to present a pure, relatable and charming story telling.
How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How much I recommend it: 8/10
The yin-yang love battle between the science oriented lead man and the superstitious heroine started cute, stayed sweet and hilarious but pushed its luck too far in securing a safe ending. That being said, I won’t whine but I won’t give high praises for it. Lucky romance is like your summer fling, it was good while it lasted, but then eventually when it ended, there was no lingering feeling.
Shim Bo Nui has devoted herself to taking care of her sick sister in coma, Shim Bo Ra after her accident which she blamed herself for being the reason for it. She has a strange belief that she is a bearer of bad luck that anywhere she goes, she cast on salt and red beans to protect the people she will encounter. Her out of this world belief sprung from when she sought the help of a fortune-teller in her effort to help her sister survive. The fortune-teller made her believe that she is a curse to everyone she loved and made her follow his crazy ideas to help with her supposed jinx. When Bo Ra escaped death after following the fortune-teller’s recommendation, Bo Nui decided to heed his advices at a cost of living peculiar in the modern society.
Meanwhile the over analytical CEO of a gaming company -Zeze, Je Se Hoo was in distraught after the game they were developing was stolen by Industrial spies and was launched at a different country in a tweaked version. To bounce back from the slump, he promised his investors an amazing game and fortunately stumbled on a game created by Bo Nui. “IF” game was one of Bo Nui’s works from the previous company she worked on and was an RPG game meant to experience the amazing perfect life of the main character that will be programmed in the game.
Bo Nui was tasked by the fortune-teller to sleep with a man born in the “Year of the Tiger” in a full moon to preempt the looming danger of Bo Ra’s demise. When she learned that Se Hoo qualified to the man she was hunting to sleep with, she bargained IF game for him to agree to date her and spare hours to be with her alone in the hopes of something steamy will happen between them. Se Hoo complied to her wish and to her boss’ request to take in Bo Nui in his company and sealed the deal for the possession of the IF game.
Smart Se Hoo soon deduced the crazy “i-have-to-sleep-with-you-to-save-my-sister” plot by Bo Nui and denied his participation to her crazy idea. As Se Hoo is used to believe only to things proven by facts, he was caught off guard meeting someone like Bo Nui who gave high regard to her unfounded beliefs.
When Bo Nui finally settled a one-night stand with a man that will fulfil her sleeping-with-tiger-man delusions, she was put in danger of being exposed to a video scandal but Se Hoo came to her rescue. She soaked herself in soju after her failed attempt to put back Bo Ra to life. Se Hoo dragged her drunk self to his place and slept through the night with her.
After literally sleeping with a man born in the year of the tiger, Bo Nui received a good news from the hospital about Bo Ra lifting her finger, and from then on she marked Se Hoo as her very own talisman. Bo Nui reunited with her childhood friend Geon Uk who was a famous tennis player on vacation in Korea in search of his long lost father. He was initially offered to be the primary player on the game Bo Nui developed but declined the offer, but after hearing how Bo Nui made the game out of her sister’s love for Bo Ra as she wanted her to experience the good things in life through the game, Geon Uk who was also slowly harboring fondness on Bo Nui concedes and signed up a deal with Se Hoo’s company.
Not understanding the concept of love, Se Hoo woke up one day being bugged by thoughts about Bo Nui. He tried digging through books and search engines to the strange emotion he was feeling and finally confronted the evidences thrown at him. He chased Bo Nui with all his geeky might, but the latter refused to admit her mutual feeling worried that she might brought misfortune to him. But persevering Se Hoo’s effort paid off as Bo Nui dismissed her woes and claim the love he offered.
Just when everything is going smooth along with their new found love and Bo Ra’s positive recovery from her coma state, Se Hoo’s company hit another attack when the game they will soon launch was corrupted by a virus leading to casualties as the computers by the people who downloaded the game was also affected by the virus. To make Se Hoo’s situation even worse, he got into accident on the day he decided to propose marriage to Bo Nui. Feeling that her jinx caused all of Se Hoo’s troubles, Bo Nui ran away thinking it will protect the man she loves.
When Se Hoo was left no choice but to leave the business he built, he set up a new company and created an anti-virus program to revive the “IF” game. He tracked down Bo Nui and broke up with her formally leaving a note in her hand. After a year, they met again in a new game presentation conference where they both introduced two games that symbolized the different paths they took on their quest to find love. Bo Nui came back to their old house along with Bo Ra and reconciled with Se Hoo to continue their halted romance.
STORY & SCREENPLAY
“Lucky Romance” had a simple plot of a girl who deprived herself of being in love out of fear that her built in jinx instigated by a quack shaman’s advice would make her pure love turn to a curse to people she cares about. Then she met a man who cured that deluded credence and never gave up on her no matter what even if she kept pushing him away. The narration started well for the story. It threw a hook using the extremity of the love couple’s personalities and how they eventually fell in love with each other. The middle part was a cotton candy festival as delightful scenes paraded before heading to the conflict. However it failed to end with a smooth finishing kick. Lucky Romance made use of cute epilogues that viewers look forward too as an aid to what really conspired to notable moments in the story.
The stride to emancipate the heroine in acknowledging that she deserved to be happy was fueled with redundant scenarios that didn’t help propel a gratifying ending for the story. It would have been nicer if they resolved the industrial spies that they weren’t able to corner while leaving Bo Nui and Se Hoo blissfully inlove, instead of laying a “road to love perdition” for them to conquer in the closing episodes.
CAST AND CONFLICT
Being a pure romance story where the conflict was centered to the main characters’ sensibility, it was a really good showing for the love couple especially the hero. I am suffering from Hwang Jung Eum rom-com drama saturation that I didn’t feel something new on her portrayal as Bo Nui. But Ryu Jun Yeol as Se Hoo was a chimeric bliss with his antics as a grown man experiencing being in love and in a relationship for the first time.
When the lead couple finally surrendered to the idea that they were bound by fate and unrequited love, that for me was the resolution for the conflict having established a heroine that has an insufferable sacrificial lamb nature. So when they pushed to going back to where it all started confusing Bo Nui all over again, when she just had denounced her attachment to her illogical fears, I felt that it did not make any sense.
RATING AND RECOMMENDATION
Mediocrely done with some wacky and sweet notes, Lucky Romance is a rom-com drama perfect for those who still grieved on Ryu Jun Yeol’s Jung Hwan Reply 1988 character. At least his role here was spot on decisive. It had a stable and sunny story-telling but failed to tidily fetter the conflict to secure a satisfying closure. Nonetheless, it notched a safe landing with its last minute tweak of bringing together the unified game developing and lifetime wishes in the finishing frames.
HOW I ENJOYED IT: 7/10
HOW I RECOMMENDED IT: 8/10
Next on my KDrama Challenge are the Best Romance Dramas I have witnessed in the last 10 years. This is no easy task given that this is South Korea’s house special. They may still lack on crime, legal or medical dramas, but they are very creative when it comes to romance dramas. Just like my first post, I only have 3 requirements. First, the romantic plot should be something new and refreshing. Second, it made my heart flutter and squeal like an 18 year old girl or made me cry big time remembering my love failures. Lastly, it refrained from using kdrama love cliches or if it did at least they tweaked it.
Remembering these dramas brought smile to my face as I recall the beautiful love stories and the memorable characters.
P.S I didn’t include the following Kdramas on this list as they already belonged to my best kdrama list, but they sure have amazing love plot fused in the story.
City Hall, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Secret Garden, Dong Yi, The Greatest Love, City Hunter, Queen In Hyun’s Man, The Master’s Sun, You From Another Star, King2Hearts, Healer, Reply 1988, Descendants of the Sun
Theme: Cinderella, School, Palace life
I still get heart flutters on that scene after Lee Shin’s Thailand escapade with the ex-gf when the princess confronted the ex and she fainted and Lee Shin carried her and nursed her back to life. And that love admittance back hug scene after the fire conflict, I remembered how I was holding my teddy bear’s hand and swaying it like crazy because I was so elated that at last they finally realized they love each other for real. *giggles
This is one of those dramas that I watched a few times in a year for my own traditional purposes and if I’m under major emotional stress, typically another failed relationship or when my favorite basketball team didn’t get the championship again.
Crown Prince Lee Shin and Crown Princess Chae-gyung’s love story is the typical I-was-not-meaning-to-fall-for-you-but-I-fell-anyway romance. You will love how the marriage for convenience and ancestor’s promise to marry their future descendants paved the way to one of Korea’s most endeared romantic drama.
What I loved here is I saw how the loved progressed from nothing at all to “I want you to be always beside me” kind of adoration. They matured as the romance grew, and they grew as the romance matured. The heart-felt lines were superbly delivered and left me feeling the pain and the bliss at that moment. There were a few lag time and scenes that were not really necessary and were just there to fill up the minutes, but like a package, it’s so pretty outside, you have to take time to unwrap it and feel happy at what a beautiful gift it was. It’s the same thing with Goong, it slowly moves but then it will leave you breathless.
My Girl (2006)
Theme: Cohabitation Romcom
Lee Dong Wook is one of my calendar oppas. My Girl was part of the drama selections that I watched when I had my first heartbreak and it brought me back to living. *chuckles My Girl is your prototype Korean rom-com in the sense that it targets the viewers’ emotions through the placement of sweet scenes and heart-wrenching i-have-to-forget-you crying frames.
Geol Chan, a son from a rich family took in a con-woman to pretend as his long lost cousin to appease his sick grandfather. He was prepared to deal with the repercussions of the lie but was caught off guard when he started falling in love with her.
All throughout the plot, the characters were bubbly and the story was engrossing even when the love conflict was tangled with equally challenging second leads. My Girl was a very patient drama when it comes to fulfilling the love promise of the story and that’s why it was even more special.
Which Star are you from? (2006)
Theme: You and Me against your family
After the death of his girlfriend, a film director secluded himself only to be reminded of the past he unhinged himself from, by meeting a woman that looked exactly like his dead ex-gf. It turned out that the woman is indeed his ex-gf’s long lost sister and her family is against her connection to him after blaming him for the death of his past lover.
The premise looked crazy on paper and with Kim Rae Wom and Jung Ryun Won’s chemistry, it was a love feast in my eyes where I wept and laughed and also went problematic on the integral conflict of how they can fulfill their romance.
This is one of those pioneering love dramas where the writer was focused in conceiving a resolution for the conflict by propeling the magical power of love even in fiction writing than throwing unnecessary set backs to hurt the main leads. It pushed the love couple to tackle their indifferences heads on and relied on how they trust and love each other.
The First Shop of Coffee Prince (2007)
Theme: Workplace Romance
Hail to the grandmother of kdramas with cross-dressing heroines. This is a follow up hit for Yoon Eun Hye and the drama that made me look at Gong Yoo as an oppa. *wink “Coffee Prince” developed in a feel good manner where the lead man battled out the possibility of his affection to a fellow guy not knowing that the heroine was in disguise.
It was something new when it was aired hence the rave because we saw an unconventional romance between a strong willed heroine who has to pretend she was a man to secure a job in a coffee shop. The scenes where Gong Yoo was trying to reconcile his feelings with a guy come what may were hilarious. It is also one of those dramas where the lead man was presented as someone who wanted to fulfill his woman’s dreams first.
The World that they live in (2008)
Theme: Workplace Romance, First love
This is the first drama where I saw characters moving in a very familiar manner with each other. It was like stepping exactly in a work place where each person was not minding my presence and just doing their jobs accordingly. This is my most heartfelt and realistic portrayals for both Hyun Bin and Song Hye Gyo. It felt like they were acting like how they normally are as a person.
I love the romance plot in the story because it’s what a normal love relationship is… messy, uncertain, sweet. It stepped back to avoid complications but it will eventually realized the mistake of doing so.
Set in tv drama world, the lead couple were both working as PD’s for a tv station. It doesn’t have quirky plots infused but it was very appealing to me because I get to see a story without so much embellishments and just plain emotions of the love couple as they rediscover their love for each other over and over again.
You’re Beautiful (2009)
Theme: Musical, Cohabitation
Another cross-dressing heroine drama in our list but this time with a twist. Wanting to be a nun, our lead girl had to pretend as a man to help her twin brother who will be launched as a member of a hot boy band.
Perky and fast-paced storyline, well written script and fresh sweet moments at it’s best. You have to prepare yourself for a second-lead syndrome, not that Jang Geun Seok was not good but because Jung Yong Hwa was equally sweet.
Looking back this is still my favorite Park Shin Hye drama because she displayed a memorable heroine that was naive but refreshing and vulnerable but persevering. With 3 men battling for the lead girl’s attention and parading their skills regardless if it’s awkward or not manner, it was so hilarious watching the heroes bleed love hearts to get noticed. “You’re Beautiful” is that one drama that would make you realize how beautiful it is to fall in love without any reasons but just pure unadulterated adoration you felt for that someone.
Boys Before Flowers (2009)
Theme: School, Rich-boy-poor-girl
This manga based drama swept my heart when it was adapted by Taiwan TV back when I was in my college days. It was so popular and introduced me to my first fictional love Dau Ming Si. To say that I have expectations of it when Korea took it for their own production was an understatement, nevertheless I say they presented it well and good, that I went back to being in my teens, and even watching it in raw videos every week.
What made it different from the rest of the remakes done was it stayed on the original context of young and sweet high school love as opposed to Taiwan’s college setting. The Japan version I don’t really like that much I only liked the second lead. On that note, “Boys Over Flowers” presented a strong battle between the main and second lead in claiming the lead girl’s heart.
It may not be perfect because of the moments when the drama has to ride its popularity so additional fragments were added but it was definitely one beautiful romance that will remind us of our first love, school crush and being young and full of dreams.
Prosecutor Princess (2010)
Theme: Workplace, Revenge
Hello Again Ma Hye Ri! Albeit the conflict centering to the hero’s revenge to his lead girl’s father, this drama has been one of my favorites with how it navigated to bringing in the love couple slowly and then shattering them into pieces after the revelations.
But in the end though, love prevails and while the hero had his own strong convictions with his retaliation, he let himself be swayed and let go of his pain to be with the woman he loves. The “confrontation-kiss-scene” brought me to the edge of ever after and had me promised myself I will vow to be a single if it’s not Park Shi Hoo that I’m gonna marry with.. *giggles
Given the heavy conflict, it surprisingly started flashy and breezy where character development for our heroine was a back story. Give it a visit if you are tired with the romcoms airing these days. I assure you it will be a nice stay.
My Gf is a Gumiho (2010)
Theme: Fantasy, Folklore
This supernatural spectacle fused with local folklore brought to play a heroine like no other and a lead man who took whatever it takes just to be with the woman he loves.
A rich, lazy college student dreamt of becoming an action star accidentally freed a pretty woman who turns a nine-tailed-fox. The two work on their dreams of becoming an actor and becoming a human and soon enough fell in love with each other.
The fantasy and reality mixture of the story was what kept it engrossing and Shin Min Ah’s gumiho character perked up the drama all throughout. You can never go wrong giving a chance to this drama because it will give you varied emotions leaning to the positive side. The love fulfilment though hindered with the supernatural bead that would sacrifice one or the other from the main love couple gave me a dilemma when it was airing.
Serve yourself chips and soda on a rainy day and be enthralled at this buoyant and bewitching romance story.
Personal Preference (2010)
There were lots of bright tones here which I can say compensated to some dry moments and knots that were loosely conspicuous in a kdrama addict’s eye. The doting scenes melted me and made me craved for more… so scenes that are really unnecessary were left forgotten. “Personal Taste” is your typical I’m-here-to-protect-you-love-story but with a twist.
We had a vulnerable lead girl who was betrayed by her bestfriend after seducing her ex-boyfriend and an architect lead man on a mission to redeem his father’s lost glory by analyzing a house designed by a legendary architect who is the lead girl’s father. Our lead girl mistook her hero as homosexual and let him board in her house but then later on, they both fell in love with each other.
Why it made my list is because even if I refrain from weak heroines, the romance was sweet and fulfilling in the sense that the lead girl redeemed herself through her hero’s encouragement to be a better version of herself while the hero learned to step back and appreciate the people around him instead of keeping all his woes alone.
This is a classic romcom prototype with adorable love couple, easy storyline and a box full of sweetness.
Myungwol the Spy (2011)
Theme: Spy, Enemy turned lovers
The endearing eye-candy Kang-woo and the equally loveable and charming Myung-wol were the source of a few weeks of bliss and cheerfulness for me when I was watching “Myungwol the Spy”.
This dandy show was oozing with cute couple bickerings. The premise of having the heroine protecting the leading man was a relief on the usual vulnerable leading ladies needing a chaebol-in-the-shining-armor to rescue them.
A North Korean spy, Myungwol, infiltrated South Korea in her goal to seduce Hallyu supahstar Kang-Woo. Her persistence will pay off but her true intention will make or break an impossible love affair.
This is one of the perkiest romcoms you will see given the dynamics of a strong heroine for her character as a spy incognito and the top actor with immense hubris falling in love with his protector. It will leave you laughing and asking for more.
The Princess’ Man (2011)
Theme: Vengeance, Historical
This Romeo-and-Juliet-like drama sent me to the edge of a cliff and I got affected so much with the struggles and motivations of the main characters.
The directing and cinematography were captured efficiently projecting a gripping story throughout its conclusion. How they maneuvered the movements of the conflict without making the protagonists looked so annoyingly pathetic was strategically laid which made me admire the writer of the story.
The acting was top-notch. Everyone stepped up and portrayed their characters as they balance their roles to complement and support each other. I was so moved with how the lead couple struggled to claim the love that is rightfully theirs.
The Princess’ Man is a drama so complete and will suffice the addiction you will endure as you gape each episode. It has a conflict that was justified well and was concluded in a realistic manner. It was agonizing and yet a very loving tale that will remind you of the risks in committing yourself to someone, the bittersweet pain of coming to terms that love has always casualties and the reality that until you learn to forgive, you will not be able to feel in your arms that person who defined you what is love.
My Princess (2011)
Theme: Princess Romance
The modern day princess themed drama did not give me the “my-girl-ish” kind of fondness, but there are really moments that I was able to painfully and delightfully relate to the characters.
The long lost princess of Korea will embark on re-claiming the honor of her royal family in the modern times, but it will not be easy owing to her need to prove her worth as a princess to her country and the evident rivals determined to stop the Monarchy’s re-emergence. She has to rely between the devil and the deep blue sea to fulfill the responsibility laid on her hands.
This drama has been Kim Tae Hee’s way of saying sorry to me after I saw her movie Grand Prix. (Pardon me, I’m having a Princess moment here… *giggles) Also, this is my favorite Sung Seong Heon oppa’s performance to date.
Sassy couple fights, well rendered sweet hero display, and the mischievous yet vulnerable princess… These are some of the reasons why this love tale was pleasing and captivating. It managed to give depth to the princess-darkknight love premise without losing the focal character of the story but maintaining the bliss of the romantic element of the narrative.
“My Princess” is that drama you watch with your girlfriends on a pyjama night when you don’t want to talk about work and love problems and just want to rest and feel each other’s presence. Sweetly made for a woman who loves freely as it can be.
I Need Romance (2011)
Theme: Modern romance
It was like watching my very own love story in the television screen (less the ever-after part)… I cried… I reminisced… I laughed and for a moment, I yearned how it feels to be in a blissful, addictive, sometimes-painful-yet-binding and worth taking a risk kind of romance. Before the love month wanes, “I Need Romance” filled me up with so much retrospection and argued with my existing love standpoint and rules of dating.
This love drama was tailored in a sex and the city vibe and narrated the modern love stories of women in their 30’s and how they struggled to keep a romantic relationship and the lack of it.
The funk and the feistiness of the story and characters, the importance of sex, love and honesty in a relationship along with the sassy girl friendship were enough for me to be drawn and stayed peeking at these lovely women who covered the different faces of a relationship love boat.
I Need Romance was a very fulfilling love drama to watch. It drew the depth of commitment and the pain it comes when loving so amazingly and truthfully. It has been bound realistically that the problems and happiness made the story so moving that I was able to relate to it. When a drama can make me sit to finish it in one sitting, that drama is definitely superb and brimming with exciting-real-world love, Sung-soo and In-young’s adoration did it to me. I strongly vouched for this romantic series, women should watch it, and men should learn a lot from it.
Flower boy ramyun shop (2011)
Theme: Cohabitation, rich-boy-poor-girl
It is a definite rom-com drama at its best, full of sweetness, charm and endearing characters that you will surely adore. It was one of the quirkiest-so-pleasing-to-watch-cast-ensembles. You will keep in your heart the love story, the characters in lead and supporting roles, the humor, the wit, the love triangle sometimes love polygon, and the drama moments.
What I loved in this drama was when Chi-soo and Kang-hyuk set to claim the cup on Eun-bi’s heart. It felt like Legolas and Gimli boasting at their orc killing showdown. The kiss scene after Chi-soo snatched Eun-bi while she was on a date with Pillar, was the defining kdrama kiss for me so far. It was like “you are mine” kiss nailed and defined.
I was so puppy faced all throughout my stay at Flowerboy Ramyun Shop. I craved for more and they sufficed me beyond what I expected. I got the closure I hoped for and this will be included in my yearly series to watch tradition.
The Moon that Embraces the Sun 2012
Theme: Historical, First love
This drama opened the year with a grand fireworks display. The ratings stayed up even if there were times that I was wishing for it to speed up. But the production team sure know when they should wake you up when you were about to doze off so I remain positively raving.
The young love which bloomed and defied time, reasons, and political issues were the reasons why the production was applauded immensely, I think. The strong and consistent character portrayals, supernatural seasonings, family issues and brotherly love cemented the viewers’ loyalty, I say.
The series as a whole was creatively conceived, but I won’t say I’m all praises to it compared to what I felt with the recent sageuks I saw (Tree with Deep Roots and The Princess Man). It was euphoric on its strong notes and contemplating on its sad tones.
My verdict? This is a drama full of love and anguish, but you will eventually CHERISH it.
Theme: Fantasy, Historical, Medical
It was not as polished and calculated as City Hunter or Ghost, in fact it was sort of slow moving but it was moving to a direction where it was making the viewers joined the drama production… cheering for them, feeling each of the character’s pain, engrossed with the happy moments and frustrated with the inability to end the villains vile ways. To make it simple, Faith was successful in establishing a connection that will not make it forgettable.
The major conflicts were mainly divided to the political assertions and the save-the-doctor-struggle in the winding part of the drama. The main character Choi Young, weary but bound to his responsibility to the king was always resolved in prioritizing him, and it has pained him that he cannot protect the love of his life. When his inability to wield his sword struck in the home stretch I was so worried that they may not get an ever-after, so when he went back to his nothing-fazes-me attitude and went Kenshin Himura to all the people who has been blocking the road to happiness with his woman, I just told myself that it’s really not a bad idea to be single as long Lee Min Ho will always be there on the TV screen.
Assimilating the action plot with the supernatural spices and decorating it with folklore, having a band of villains equipped with mojos and x-men powers, a sassy and bubbly modern day doctor that was lost cutely to a new kind of thriving she was forced to live and of course the Thor-ish General who made my Kenshin Himura looked so inferior… were the essentials that made this drama such an enthralling TV experience. The provocative plot matches the annoying villain assaults and the firm, arresting retaliation of the underdogs. I know that goodness will prevail in the end, and it was amazing how the protagonists took their final stand considering how smooth the pounces were of the bad guys. A drama moving through governance contention and draped by the traditional settings normally sets a serious tone, but how the heroes and the villains pulled the tricks on their sleeves eased out the ambiance to set an immersing watch.
“Faith” is a remarkably premeditated tale where notwithstanding the consistent dawdling and sageuk clichés it successfully notched the path where it was directing the audience – hope, holding on faith and happiness. Faith’s ability to balance the transcendent elemental nonsense was plausible and cohering to how it mounted to the story’s peak. The back to the future arc linked the primary message and the title of the drama – FAITH. Every essence of it and how a person should have faith to claim the love he deserves. “Was I lacking of my yearning to see him or was I lacking faith?” This was a very strong line I remembered and has pierced directly to my romantic veins.
Cheongdamdong Alice (2012-2013)
Theme: Black Knight Romance
What would you do if you truly love the person but you started not with the right intention?
This Cinderella-like tale brimmed with interesting characters and have splashes of mirth, reality slaps, gold-digging lessons, PTSD nonsense and thought-provoking love arguments. With a rich-girl-poor-guy love affair premise, this was not a case of true love, but a love that was proven to be true.
I had hair-tugging moments when Se-kyung was confused with the lie she started but she convinced me with her tenacity and justifying that even if her love was ugly, it was still love. I love that line she mentioned about how poor girls were looked down because they married a rich man when rich girls who arranged marriages also marry for money. There are a lot of reality check scenes in the drama inferring love disparities and that has made the texture of the story different from your typical you-and-me-against-my-rich-family premise. Se-kyung was blatant with her intentions even if she knew that it will destroy her. She was not your typical “I don’t care if you’re rich I just love you” girl because she’s been through a relationship saddled with financial constraint, and in the real world when you build a future with someone, love will be a foundation but money will sustain it.
Seung-jo passed through 5 stages of grief in overcoming and renewing the love he had and he raised the most important message of the story. There are always reasons why you love someone and you can never ask for a proof of it. When love fails, you can never go back but you can always start again. Alice in Cheongdamdong depicted a typical love story but twisting not just the conflicts and the characters, and in doing so it raised an imbalance that has made the story true. Women dig any Cinderella-story because they wanted the feeling of being rescued. In this love tale, the girl started the conflict, she made the the person who will rescue him part of the conflict, but she found the way to overcome it. Way to go girl!
The daddy-and-first-love-issues, the brave but twisted love of the heroine, the circumstances of why the main love was in a tug-of-war setting, the opposing beliefs in romance were detrimental factors in imaginary and real-life ever-after. Cheongdamdong Alice was able to hit all those considerations of people who are looking for the kind of love they deserve. Sometimes love started because it was meant to be but it has to end because we have to get the love we deserve. If you are looking for a romance, this drama will show you the love at its purest, vilest and fulfilling appearance.
Rooftop Prince (2012)
Theme: Time Traveling, fusion sageuk
Joseon Era – All was doing well with Prince Yi-gak. The empire is smooth sailing and he enjoys afternoon walks with his princess and riddle games with his sister-in-law. Until a morning of surprise when the Crown Princess was found dead floating on the lake. Determined to catch the culprit on the Princess’ death, he gathered 3 of the most useful Joseon men he could find and off they go to uncover the mystery.
In their pursuit to unveil the cause of the Princess’ death, they were transported 300 years after to modern Korea and landed to Park Ha’s rooftop house. From there the real adventure began. They have to face the difference brought about by the time and villains with equally pathetic motivations who failed miserably to their evilness act.
This was the first drama I saw with reincarnation plot in full swing (memory searching… really no other drama with reincarnation plot yet). The adorable 3 Musketeers were a bundle of bliss, a sight to behold, a manna from Heaven. The laughter I got from their modern living transformation supplied enough happiness pills to cover the recent job nausea I’m getting at work.
The cute lead couple exhibited on screen chemistry. Lead couple for rom-coms has a tendency to be so tiring to watch if they get either super-insensitivity attack or overly-loving complex. Yi Gak and Park Ha were smooth as a couple. The romance was not rushed, and with that love-transcending-time premise, excuse me Romeo and Juliet here’s the couple to beat.
It was not your perfect drama technical and script wise… in fact there were a few labyrinth-bound story plots and out of place conflicts, but then again the sweet moments and the laughter were all so worth it, so you would hardly notice the lapses… It’s that love tale that I don’t want to end and I can’t get enough of, and the reincarnation storyline somewhat helped me to move on. I begged that the drama will not end. Honestly, I felt that they could still have made it longer. It made me feel so insatiable watching it.
A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)
Theme: Bromance, Testing Waters
“A Gentleman’s Dignity” tells the story of quadruplet 40+ men who grew up as friends since Highschool and nurtured their friendship since then. The morning breakfast forums, the constant cover ups to survive the feisty wife, the one-sided love, the mischievous-kiss-may-december-love-affair, the now-we-break-up-tomorrow-we’ll-get-back relationship, the opening hilarious anecdotes, the sweetest, heart-wrenching love declarations and love-believe-me’s, and the bromance were some of the reasons why I highly recommend this romcom drama.
For a woman’s perspective, I never thought I would enjoy this so much and I felt that even if Jang Dong Gun was the main attraction among the boys, having them all together were the strongest points of the drama. All four of them were a big pile of mirth and love.
They say life begins at 40, and these men who were friends since Highschool rocked it. Having their own stable life, they have to balance personal, family and relationship issues while maintaining the best bromance I’ve seen so far.
The conflicts mainly focused on their finding and keeping love. Do jin and Yi Soo depicted how sweet a one-sided love can be when it became two-sided. Yoon and Me Ah Ri defied friendship and age to hold on to each other. Tae San and Se Ra had a rough ride before they finally realized they belong to each other. Jung Rok and Min Sook defeated jealousies and discovered that you sometimes have to lose love so that you can find it again.
I have very positive feelings towards this drama. All those minor so-what-situational-supporting-conflict I just disregarded because the story and the characters have such reverberating resonance that has made me reflect on how I’ve been dealing with my own relationship and commitment issues. Come to think of it, they made this to make you remember how vulnerable and how defiant you can come after because of love.
Reply 1997 (2012)
Theme: Young love, First love
Answer Me 1997 sprinted all the way to my heart with its vibrant characters, nostalgic premise, fan girl foolish escapades, friendship we all have at some point and we still have at the moment and of course the crazy first love.
Kdramaland was all out and has maximized the use of time element in the dramas for 2012, and for Reply 1997, they went to nostalgia… I sighed, cried and laughed out loud as I joined the characters in their younger years memory delving. Nothing magical, mythical and supernatural, just a pure trip down to the moments everyone watching can totally relate. Spicing the flashback element, the drama will be switching from present to the later part of the ‘90’s showcasing the trademark of that generation where tamagotchi, flip top phones and the rest of the ancestors of the modern technology in their conceiving stage.
The familiar feeling of first love if given another chance could become a “fated love”. I finished the drama in one sitting, that’s how engrossing and fetching the story was. It was just there sharing a wonderful friendship and love story without hassles and annoying conflicts but the emotions were resonating and striking at the memory veins that it will make you recollect the good old times when you first passionately and recklessly fell in love.
The charming screenplay and story have brought out the best of the newbie artists. The novelty and evasion from the drama rom-com clichés has made the plot a winner. It was like reading a predictable book… you know what’s going to happen but how they made it happen was sweet, comic, beautiful and realistic so you stayed fondly watching them. The story will grow on you without you realizing it.
This is a wistful memoir of that point in time that we first fell in love… and when you finish the story, you might wonder what if you tried to go back.
“The reason why first love is always special is because you kept the memories… since you can never go back”. Answer Me 1997 will prove this quote otherwise.
Operation Proposal (2012)
Theme: Fantasy, Time travel
Once upon a time there was a man who lacked confidence in declaring his love to the woman he adored since they were young so the girl was left no choice but to accept another man’s marriage offer. Realizing too late that he let go of his one great love, the man cried and a bored time conductor was moved by his lamentation over losing the woman she cherished most. So he was given a magical potion to drink and a weird renovation incantation to say for him to go back to the past to correct the wrong choices he made in his life and make room for the love he thought was meant for him and his girl.
Operation Proposal was sweetly and richly narrated that even if I went to a lot of time travelling for 2012, I enjoyed it so much. I love how they moved the romance from young childish love to a taking time to realize kind of love to a love that didn’t understand reasons but felt what’s important and to a love that was meant to have and to give.
I lost count of how many times he went back and forth to correct something in the past to avoid the eventual wedding of the woman he loved, but I was so fond of Kang Baek Ho that even when I was tugging my hair because he can’t do it right when it came to expressing how he felt… I still gave him a chance… actually he’s the only person I’ve given myriad of chances to prove his love, and it paid off… it was such a fetching feeling to be with him in his rollercoaster ride to be with someone who has been with him all his life… to finally own what other people may say to be love written on the stars.
The fantasy element fusing to the reality was layered in such a way that you don’t question the magic pull they put in the drama. In the latter episodes I was also begging for more chances of going back to the past because like most of the people around him Kang Baek Ho grew fond in my heart. All throughout I was feeling what the lead girl was — “there’s this man I’ve loved all my life, I’ve sent signals for him to realize that I like him, but he’s so clueless about it.” Being a lady-in-waiting, I was able to relate to what she was feeling… it’s hard to be in a situation when you love someone all your life, and in that long span both of you are groping if there will be a romantic future that you can both share.
There were a lot of love situations tackled in this drama but it all goes down to two main points: How far you are going to wait for someone for them to realized your worth and that you are waiting? And being brave to fall in love and discarding the what-if’s and saying it at the very moment you are feeling it. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful love stories this year but Operation proposal took me from blushing to crying to understanding that in love someone can run to you that’s why he might have let you wait.
The time-space continuum voyages of Baek Ho was an endearing journey full of twist, oh no’s and romance. It was a refreshing feel to have a conflict that was not evil motivated that’s why I loved the supernatural spike in this drama. The lead character was competing with himself – with his past self for that matter and his forebearance endured his painstaking drive to be with the girl he loved.
The pacing and the timing were injected smoothly in the movement of the time wrinkling happening in the drama. It was neatly done that I didn’t lose interest in it. If you are looking for a complete romance drama with a magical side dish – Operation Proposal would serve the purpose.
That Winter the Wind Blows (2013)
Theme: Fake siblings turned lovers
I pretended to be a long lost brother to a blind heiress because I needed money to continue to live only to find myself waking up wanting to protect my fake little sister every single day” in between anti-histamine and sleeping. Given the drama bucket I’ve piled in the past few years, making me stay sitting on a drama was a feat hard to achieve, and this year, “That Winter, The Wind Blows” was the first one to notch it, and no candy crush nor any other distraction can compete with Jo In Sung oppa for my attention. *wink
This is how a melodrama should be done, enough emotional scenes to stimulate the heart and tear ducts, but not bordering to weep fest. This spectacle was like Innocent Man, but what was half-achieved by the former, was strongly fulfilled by this winter romance show. Loving someone when you are literally blind takes faith beyond reasons, and finding a reason to live because you love someone takes bravery beyond faith.
A tale of not really brothers and sisters who were entangled by fate, unexpected fondness, blind trust, and true love, this drama blew me away on the early episodes and the intense scenes when the revelations were surging up. It took me a while to be convinced on how the lead girl’s firm grasp of things disregarded how her hero abnegated his own happiness because he got infected with the love he was feeling for her, but as I realized, I without disability have insecurities and would really feel awful if I will be betrayed, how much more for a blind girl like her. It always help to step on the character’s shoes to see through their perspective.
It was not a happy-yey!-ever-after closure, but at least they were together. And I’m happy about it. I really loved this drama because it didn’t give me the satisfaction of getting a fairy-tale ending. And because at those scenes that really mattered I was able to feel for the characters and the struggle they were hurdling. It drove to the path of how Oh-soo and Oh-young’s self-contemplation on what they have to offer with each other to be worthy of each other’s love. Oh-soo who has never saw meaning to his life has found it when he met a woman who was also sharing the same sentiment as his. Sometimes it’s really the pain that makes the love so worth it, because without it you can never differentiate if you are willing to let go or to love the person.
“That Winter, The Wind Blows” was a poignant love drama that will make you remember how you were scared to start a love you were unsure of, and how you took the odds to claim it. This was a cure for people with “trust issues” and its delightful and piercing romance take will definitely appeal to people wanting to love… wanting to be in love and wanting to be loved back. It was a splendid romantic drama ride for me. It was not perfect but it was emotionally astonishing.
Fated To Love You (2014)
Theme: Strangers turned Lovers
Rom-coms are as always the main drawers of Hallyu wave followers through the years therefore competition to present a romcom that will stick and hook the audience has always been a tough case… Some may start strong and then dwindle in the end and some may start slow but go frenzily good towards it closure. “Fated to love you” has hit all the bullet points of a typical rom-com, even the cliches and the character prototypes but its endearing lead couple won my heart over even if there were dragging moments in the story.
I think being able to put up strong romance filled scenes as well as the chemistry between the eccentric, suave and winner of the best male laugh ever in the kdramaland and the meek and good-hearted heroine created a venue where audience are reminded that they too once dreamt of a Cinderella-ish romance.
Being able to focus on Lee Gun and Kim Mi Young’s relationship as it build up from perfect strangers to true love drew a connection that all viewers can relate to. It was able to examine how much a person is willing to give because of love.
Fated To Love You invested on the bread and butter of Rom-Com dramas and luck was on their side because they have such endearing couples that made the easily foreseen scenarios still appealing to watch. They worked on the essence of “timing” in romance and remained steadfast with their theme until the conclusion and resolution of the love story.
It’s a comfort drama pill best watch in the rainy days… its romantic magic will soothe your love veins.
Discovery of Romance (2014)
Theme: Second Chance on Love
One of the reasons why I like this drama so much is because it went to the unconventional path of presenting the love story between estranged couple and how they were able to realize that their love was true even then, and even years after.
I wept over the heart breaking dialogues during those “if you only did that” scenes and it honestly ripped me apart because of how truthful those lines are, and because given the situations and dilemmas raised in the storyline, it was really how a normal person would have thrown words at his lost love who presented himself to you again, and just when you thought that you are done and over him, you will realize that he has never left in the first place. It gave us that painful reminiscing of how after losing a love we greatly cherished, it would make us discern on how someone will always remind us that beautiful things change painfully in a moment, and there would be no way for you to prepare.
Han Yo-Reum has a happy life and stable doctor-boyfriend Nam Ha-Jin. Her story looks perfect as she lives quirkily with her two best friends while enjoying woodwork as her career. In her attempt to catch her faithful boyfriend who was forced by his adopted mother to go on blind dates, she chanced upon her ex-boyfriend from 5 years ago, Kang Tae-Ha. Having inherited his family’s interior design company, he commissioned Yo-reum to collaborate in their projects while brewing his intentions in trying to win her back again. And as they meet up in doing the projects, glimpses from their past were narrated in flashbacks while they try to assess why fate led them to another chance in their future.
I barely suffered from a second-lead syndrome because I’m not really a fan of comfortable relationship. Well in this aspect I know that people have different perspectives, but I want a love that will bring me the extremes of pain and bliss. I remembered Yo-reum’s best friend saying how love should be a mixture of emotions, how you fight and make up for the indifferences and understand that it should always lead to a compromise. Moving in a slow but sure path the first half of the love memoir spectacle featured the background story that have made the viewers joined the heroine when she was finally overwhelmed in trying to justify that her stable relationship is what she needed in her life, and not the old flame that kept throwing her to myriad of emotions she can’t process.
Hitting all the realistic elements of what it really takes to be in a relationship was the best part of the love triangle in this roller coaster romantic ride. Diverting to the usual cushioned approach or drama-infused conflicts they usually put on their storyline, they dug to the root of love problems in a coherent world – the strength to let go of a half-baked love and the choice to be in a not so perfect but true love.
It’s okay that’s love (2014)
Theme: psychology explained kind of love
It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama I have ever seen but it has such a very affecting and unique story given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal. Perhaps it comes with me being at my 30’s too that I don’t like being given tailored romantic dramas with the usual illness premise that is sometimes really tiring to watch.
The dots connecting the characters in small groups are as functional as when you view the cast as a whole. The friendship circle of the psychiatrists presenting a utopian human interaction that doesn’t follow bias and excess baggages was a delightful package that has driven the deft writing of the storyline. Jae-yeol’s emotionally wounded family was a picture of how even the most dysfunctional family need one another to heal each other’s wound while Hae-soo’s misplaced hatred with her mother’s infidelity that helped sent her to medical school has created a scar inside her which her professional self can’t even cure
“It’s okay that’s love” is just how relationship realities are translated in a cherished, ardent, unadulterated, lingering, failing, and blissful TV drama scenes. The last 4 episodes has had me at my knees clutching my pillow, trying to subdue the emotional outburst from a beautiful and heartfelt thread of painful and fervid love moments that cut deep in my heart and my very own memories of how it felt to love someone deeply without holding back.
Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me love timeline. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.
Without annoying third parties and excessive misunderstanding scenes, I grew fond of all the characters while enjoying a love narrative which took a different approach to defy rom-com rules by presenting the genuine feel of being with someone… the scare, the heart flutters, the denials and the bliss.
The fate of a successful romance lies not on how much effort each other has to put on to keep the love going because love is always never enough… it is always the choice to love someone that keeps a relationship endure.
Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)
Theme: Multiple Me Love
The complexity of the multiple personality disorder fused with the fated but hindered romance of the main couple has made me ruminative deducting the precepts of the story premise of this smartly and playfully written korean drama. I knew it was all about trauma and I was happy that there was no extreme sacrificial bordering to stupidity acts done by the main leads in avoiding their destined love.
Overall I like the ambitious writing of this drama. It was meticulous in inserting the conflict of the story, although it came to a point when it became too detailed dragging the denouement which they could have used in a few romantic notes in the penultimate episodes of the story. The sending off of Do Hyun’s characters warmed my heart especially that of Perry Park and Se Gi scenes. I don’t know the extent of this psychiatric condition, but I liked that it was explained well how each characters emerged. It was like Voldemort’s horcruxes in a positive way. *chuckles
Typically kdramas with chaebol power struggle plot involved unreasonable conspiracies and surprises so I think since the multiple personality is the carrying story conflict, it was good that it didn’t dwell on the money-filled but problematic chaebol world. With multiple characters bursting in and out, the humor was ever present but not slapstick.
I actually feared that the characters might act stupid once the revelation of their connected past and linked present will be uncovered. Thankfully they sailed all throughout with their rational minds.
Beautiful in its strongest points and faint weaknesses, this is a perfect drama that will leave you happy and intrigued.
Beloved Eun Dong (2015)
Theme: Unrequited Love
If there’s a first love drama that warmed my heart recently, it would be a man’s unrequited romance to a woman who was kept being separated to him by fate. Beloved Eun Dong narrated a love story so blissful and agonizing like it came straight from a classic love novel.
The love couple met when they were young and became each other’s puppy love, they met again in college where they formally entered a relationship, but the girl, Eun Dong who dreamt of being an actress met an accident and left the lead man’s life. He soon became a top actor and in his quest to find his true love commisioned a ghost writer to bring to life his love story. Eun Dong who suffered from amnesia took the job and while writing the book, her memory came back and realized the lies her current disabled husband and adopted father did to her.
The conflict having been Eun Dong already married while the lead man fervently waited for her was mind agonizing. It was a test of justifying what you’ve been through to lose your greatest love and will you be happy if you reclaim your love that is legally not yours anymore. The love triangle were all in a helpless state trying to break out from that suffocating bind.
“Beloved Eun Dong” has a very strong narrative which will put the audience on a trance in finding a solution for everyone to be happy. It taught a lesson that love involves two people loving each other the best way they can and not how the people around them understands it.
Oh My Ghost (2015)
Theme: Haunted Love
Bright, Cheerful and Feel Good have always been the after effect of an episode dose of Oh My Ghostess for me. Supernatural plot is a make or break deal in kdramas. It needs to be flaunting when the plot needs it, and it needs to see reasons when you over expose it.
I like the richness of the father-daughter filial love in the story as it literally transcended the after life. I like how cheeky and sweet Sun Woo was at the same time, his reactions were adorable. I like how Park Bo Young was able to differentiate Na Bong Sun and Shin Soon Ae’s characters to fit in with the way the actual Soon Ae was playing in the story. I like how the romcom elements fused well with the metaphysical plot of the story by making the love leads face their issues straight on and seeing the reasons right away.
Every main character in this drama has his own story that the love line was not the main thing that got me hooked with it. It was how each character’s story along with the conflicts that entwined them brought the love story closer and concluded the conflicts neatly.
It was the most consistent romantic-comedy for me for 2015, yes even with the slight tragic plot. The chemistry of the love couple was impeccable that all the followers of this drama would agree how Bong Sun and Sun Woo made our heart fluttered with their bipolar-disorder-misguided-romance. It’s hard not to drum your feet on your bed and grin when Sun Woo went to his usual i’m-the-man antics and Bong Sun’s pesky man cravings guided by Soon Ae.
If you are needing a love elixir to boost your already blooming relationship of if you just want a perfect romcom drama getaway.. This one is for you.
Another Oh Hae Young (2016)
Theme: Rebound Romance
Dear Another Oh Hae Young,
For the spot on bliss and tears you gave me as a woman and not as a kdrama critic this time, I forgave the extension to benefit some more money for the high ratings. *chuckles For me your story reached its most beautiful place when the heroine, after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies and confusions, still chose to be with the man she loves. She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go. She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up. But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back. She just wanted a love that beats in her heart.
We typically get utopian love stories, but that was not the case for “Another Oh Hae Young”, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner. What drew the viewers is how the angst and confusion of qualifying love was stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.
I think anyone who has loved someone to the point of being drained and crazy will have a weep fest watching the drama. I can only imagine the heartbreak the writer of this drama had experienced in his life to capture the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time. If there’s one lesson Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung’s romance would leave their viewers is that how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way… how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment… and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.
Another Oh Hae Young is not just your typical rom-com drama. It takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre- conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work. It tackled playfully and seriously the kind of love someone can give after learning lessons from a heartbreak.
Dear Another Oh Hae Young,
For the spot on bliss and tears you gave me as a woman and not as a kdrama critic this time, I forgave the extension to benefit some more money for the high ratings. *chuckles For me your story reached its most beautiful place when the heroine, after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies and confusions, still chose to be with the man she loves. She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go. She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up. But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back. She just wanted a love that beats in her heart.
Another Oh Hae Young took me by surprise because I was not hooked on its opening episodes. I gave it another chance because I know how great Eric Moon was in his previous roles and I’m happy I didn’t give up easily. The love progression was realistic and at the same time surreal. It tapped on those moments when we were all left hanging and indecisive to admit that we were in love.
On the day before her wedding, Oh Hae Young told her parents that the wedding will be cancelled because of her change of heart. Her parents who can’t understand why she passed on her wedding when she’s in the ripe age to get married was upset on how everyone they know will think about the current situation not knowing that it was the fiancé, Han Tae Jin, who called off the wedding but Oh Hae Young pleaded for him to make it appear that she halted their marriage plan.
Passing on to the stages of grief, Hae Young’s parents can’t keep up anymore to her craziness and forced her to be kicked out of their house where she ended up renting a space with an unblocked door connecting to a neighbor tenant. The hot neighbor is Park Do Kyung, a sound producer who has been seeing a psychiatrist because of his vivid visions of a woman whom he never met and who turned out to be Oh Hae Young.
In a ludicrous twist of fate, Park Do Kyung learned that the revenge he pulled on his ex-girlfriend’s supposed boyfriend who left him on their wedding day went to Oh Hae Young’s fiancé because they have the same name and attended the same high school. Han Tae Jin was forced to end the relationship with her and provided a crazy reason for the break up because he will soon serve a jail sentence.
Hae Young and Do Kyung started up on a cold start as the latter is confused on the unexplained apparitions of her in his life. He foresees what will happen between them and saw how he will die in the future. After chasing over Do Kyung, and recognizing the reason why his consciousness gave him a peek of what his tomorrow will be, he finally reciprocated and take all the way his love for her unfazed of the premonition warnings he was getting.
Just as everything was settling, Hae Young learned why Tae Jin had to leave their wedding behind and has to confront the truth if her love for Do Kyung was worth the pain she went through when she was ditched in her wedding and if it is fair for her to leave her ex-boyfriend after knowing the reason why he had to hurt her.
In the end, Hae Young chose to follow her heart and embraced Do Kyung regardless of what happened before their romance’ fulfilment as Do Kyung learned how to break the unexplained mirage affecting his relationship with Hae Young.
STORY AND SCREENPLAY
“Another Oh Hae Young” was as prettily written as Descendants of the Sun, but even more heartfelt because of the realistic approach of the love plot. The kisses were intense the arguments were heart-wrenching and the scenarios created were what you really do in a real love world.
We typically get utopian love stories, but that was not the case for “Another Oh Hae Young”, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner. What drew the viewers is how the angst and confusion of qualifying love was stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.
I think anyone who has loved someone to the point of being drained and crazy will have a weep fest watching the drama. I can only imagine the heartbreak the writer of this drama had experienced in his life to capture the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time.
If there’s one lesson Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung’s romance would leave their viewers is that how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way… how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment… and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.
Another Oh Hae Young killed the hype of Descendants of the Sun effortlessly in my heart when I thought it will linger for a while because I can relate so much to the heroine on how she bravely fell in love while in pain and acknowledged that she can’t unlove the person overnight.
I can’t help but admire Oh Hae Young for her fearless understanding and strength of her nothing-left-to-break-but-still-willing-to-love kind of heart and her relying to her family in her moments of vulnerability.
Her love comprehension of her next door neighbor could-be-could-be-not one sided love, tested her unique character if she will love defying reasons or if she will love to understand everything in the process. She is that perfect example of a woman who loves at the moment and will push to it regardless. I was laughing hard when she was begging her parents’ permission for her to live in with her boyfriend. How cool is that. On that note, I love the direct and implied lessons her parents delivered in the story. How they stood up and stayed with her in her moments when she can’t even think for herself.
Park Do Kyung also represented the kind of man, us girls dig. That kind of man that will make it hard for you to calculate his next move or if he is testing the waters because he doesn’t want to complicate things
I love the supporting cast who went to portraying crazily amusing roles. From Do Kyung’s jaded older sister who speaks French when drunk… which is usually every night… to the womanizer lawyer-best friend and easy go lucky younger brother with free spirited girlfriend and to rival Oh Hae Young who didn’t make her quasi villain character looked pitiful. I only have high praises to Hae Young’s parents who supported their daughter as she embarked on all unimaginable things she did for love.
RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
Another Oh Hae Young is not just your typical rom-com drama. It takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre- conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work. It tackled playfully and seriously the kind of love someone can give after learning lessons from a heartbreak.
HOW I ENJOYED IT: 10/10
HOW I RECOMMENDED IT: 10/10
Out of all my fictional boyfriends that change every now and then depending on my mood, Healer is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. *wink I could choose from princes, time travelers, rich guys, military and police officers, doctors and the rest of white collar jobs available to men, but the night courier who takes on highly confidential work commissioned secretly and dangerously by powerful men in the society is who I want to wake up with if it is permissible. *wink
Healer is one of the best dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet. It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation. The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection. It is so addictive, stimulating and amusing — and that one drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover. I’m almost two years late to review this drama but I hope you can find time to watch one of the best dramas on my list.
In 1992, Moon Shik was friends with four other people – Kil Ahn, Myung Hee, Jun Seok and Young Jae. They hang out at a junk yard where his 3 friends Healer’s father and Young Shin’s biological parents ran a pirate investigative radio program tackling society issues that were being hidden to the public.
Moon Ho who has long harbored love to Myung Hee, took on an offer by the Elder, a powerful man that secretly calls the shot on the political and economic control of the country. Later on he married Kyung Hee who was binded in a wheelchair because of an accident.
Meet Joong Ho aka Healer – the best night courier in town. He lives alone without social interaction aside from his partner hacker and a young lady in the team in a wide space dreaming of buying an island for his retirement. He is skilled in avoiding CCTV cameras and can crawl, leap and climb from one building to another. He works with an ajumma hacker in mission impossible courier service of stealing and delivering items ordered to them by clients who are usually from the rich and famous.
We opened the story with Healer being asked to receive a package by JaeIl News, a big news company ran by Kim Moon Shik. He faced another private team hired by Kim Moon Ho, a famous newscaster also Kim Moon Shik’s brother, but successfully completed his mission beating the group of thugs assembled by the private team. After his defeat, Kim Moon Ho placed a mission for Healer to find his long lost niece who disappeared 20 years ago and was believed to be dead. Off Healer to chase Chae Young Shin, a writer from an online entertainment website specializing in tabloid news. She hero worships Kim Moon Ho and dreams of becoming an influential Broadcaster someday. Healer managed to get Young Shin’s finger nail for DNA and Moon Ho confirmed his sister-in-law’s daughter is alive.
Healer was again commissioned by Kim Moon Ho to research about Chae Young Shin so he stalked her all night and day. Young Shin witnessed a woman, Joo Yun Hee being assaulted by a man, Hwang Jae Guk, who turned out to be an entertainment company president while she was stalking on a top actor. When she realized the woman will be taking her life, she rushed to save her and brought her to their house where her father agreed to be his lawyer to plead her sexual assault claim.
But Hwang Jae Guk is under the protection of an influential, top secret group where Kim Moon Shik is also affiliated. Moon Ho who has long confirmed the puzzle pieces he was working on will have to stop his older brother succumbed to even more wickedness.
When Jae Il company double-crossed him by pinning him as the murderer of the man involved in the work he did for them, he found the scenario on how his recent jobs are strangely hitting something inside him. While on the job watching over Young Shin, he saw Moon Ho late at night staring at Young Shin and figured the connection of the client who asked for the paternity test and his connection as the brother of Jae Il company’s president. He followed him and broke into Moon Ho’s house and saw the group picture of his father’s friends which he also had.
Wanting to unveil his recent discovery, Healer assumed a new identity the next day as Park Bong Soo and went to work in Someday News and became Young Shin’s junior for him to get information in processing the mystery of his father’s death and his friends of long ago. Meanwhile Double S courier service teamed up with Moon Ho to do tasks that will cover their organization’s evil works.
Young Shin asked her boss to publish her article related to Yun Hee’s case but the boss refused to challenge the repercussions of the article if it gets bigger since it involved a major political party player and a famous entertainment company president. But after Young Shin got drunk from their team dine out, she published an article without his superior’s permission and caused a ruckus the next day as the parties involved in the story made a move to silence the scandal.
Moon Ho offered to take over the story but Young Shin declined. Soon Moon Ho’s men cornered Young Shin and Bong Soo. Young Shin asked Bong Soo to run and call the police but he suit up to his Healer self and came back to rescue Young Shin.
Healer trapped the leader of Double S affirming the involvement of Kim Moon Ho in almost kidnapping Young Shin, but over Yoon Hee’s case, Moon Ho’s men was able to reverse the situation by naming Yoon Hee as a gold-digger and accusing her of slander so they had to halt on their initial plan. While Healer is getting to the point of finding out how his father died, worried ajumma hacker and his master who has returned from his hiatus asked him to take a vacation but stubborn Healer wants to get to the bottom of the questions in his head bothering him.
He visited Hwang Jae Geuk and secured the saved videos of the women he traded to his clients while Young Shin is being mentored by Moon Ho to her new role. Healer asked Young Shin to go to the rooftop to retrieve the video he got from Jae Guk’s safe. She tried talking to him about the DNA test and the last time he saved her, but Healer held back on the growing emotions he is feeling for her.
Kim Moon Shik and Congressman Kim meet with “The Elder”, the head of their untouchable triangle. The Elder castigated Congressman Kim on his reckless scandal as Kim Moon Ho bought Someday News to build a more compelling online news broadcast site.
Healer paid a visit to Kim Moon Ho to clear his name or he will expose their secret organization, but on his way out Myung Hee was on the door and called him Jun Seok after Healer’s resemblance to his late father. Just as Healer taunted his superior’s to reveal the relationship of the woman who called him his father’s name, his master interfered and confirmed Myung Hee’s identity as the woman in the group picture. Young Shin almost get to the verge of his connection to Moon Ho, but the latter was able to dodge the tough spot he was on.
Sang Soo from double S met with Moon Shik and disclosed Young Shin’s details and we get a flashback on how Myung Hee asked Moon Ho to find Ji Ahn who was left near the garbage bin when their whole family fled after learning they will be chased by the people behind the risky scoop they got. Moon Shik found Ji Ahn, but lost her when he bought a drink for her in a nearby convenience store.
The Elder learned from Moon Ho’s psycho secretary Oh about the latter’s wavering heart out of the guilt he has been carrying from the death of his friends. He ordered Secretary Oh to give a warning to Moon Ho by trapping Young Shin in a broken elevator, but ajumma hacker alerted Healer and saved her from that near death experience. Trembling from the experience, she worriedly thanked him for saving her life again and just as he walked away from her, it dawned on him how the woman he has been protecting has understood and accepted him without asking anything in return. He went back and scoop a sweet kiss under the falling snow.
After Young Shin’s elevator encounter, Moon Ho rushed to warn his brother not to touch Young Shin or he will lose Myung Hee once she learned the truth that her daughter is alive, but the latter doesn’t know about what the Elder commanded his psycho assistant and that Ji Ahn was still alive. Young Shin called Bong Soo from a telephone booth and cryingly confided how she is waiting for someone to meet her but worried that he will not come at all.
Young Shin confided to Bong Soo how her heart fluttered with Healer which made our hero smiled as his protective instinct has long been hooked by Young Shin without him realizing it. Ajumma hacker and Master deduced how Healer/Jung Ho has finally fallen in love with a woman but it gets complicated because she is the daughter of Kil Ahn who was supposed to be the friend his father killed.
It was Congressman Kim’s press conference and Moon Ho’s company can’t get through it so he sent Young Shin and Bong Soo for a make-over and pretended to be attending a wedding on the same hotel of the conference. Young Shin successfully threw in questions that made Congressman Kim felt off guard and was broadcast live on the internet website. Back on the villains’ den, they were left no choice but to drop Congressman Kim as a Seoul mayoral candidate.
The Master met Jung Hoo to clear the things he wanted from his father’s picture only to worsen it by learning that his father committed suicide because he killed someone. The Master challenged Jung Hoo to find out the real truth behind his father’s death by finding the person who took the group picture as he strongly believed his father won’t kill anyone.
Healer went to Moon Ho’s place, revealed his identity and questioned him about the missing pieces of the puzzle he was trying to solve just as Moon Ho found Young Shin’s cellphone on Bong Soo’s jacket. Healer offered Moon Ho his night courier service in exchange of the story from 1992 but he made an agreement for him to reveal himself first after using Young Shin’s cellphone as a bait. Moon Ho made Jung Hoo remembered a memory from his childhood where he played with a young girl. Healer confirmed his identity as Joon Seok son and recalled the uncle who used to baby sit for him. Moon Ho told him about who his father supposedly killed which made Jung Hoo frustrated because he was Young Shin’s daughter. He challenged Jung Hoo to clear the suspicion on his father’s murder accusation.
Healer conversed with ajumma hacker on how he will continue working on Someday News and blabbed about his fondness over Young Shin and his plans to clear his father’s name so that he can like her freely.
Hwang Jae Guk committed suicide after Someday News’ exclusive online broadcast. Moon Ho and Jung Hoo went to the old dumpsite to start unveiling on the what-happened-in-1992 project.
Ajumma hacker told Jung Hoo about Young Shin’s email and intention to go on a midnight movie date with him without him showing himself but just his presence. Jung Hoo and ajumma prepared a candle lit pathway and stuffed toy for their first movie date. They sat silently watching the movie. When the movie ended, Jung Hoo reached for Young Shin’s hand and held it tightly.
Healer went to retrieve Joon Seok’s confession file but found it empty so he used his teue identity to get the information relating to his father’s death. Moon Shik was alarmed of Jung Hoo’s visit for his dead father’s file and went to meet him directly. Myung Hee who has started being suspicious of Moon Shik feigned ignorance when she saw their guest. Jung Hoo learned about Myung Hee’s lost daughter Ji Ahn and confirmed with Moon Ho that Ji Ahn is present day Young Shin. Moon Ho explained that she had to hide Young Shin because he had to protect her. Jung Hoo denied him of involving himself to them anymore even with Moon Ho telling him how powerful their enemies were.
Jung Hoo conversed with ajumma on how she really cared for him thats why she tried to make his connection with Young Shin break. She knew about their fathers’ backstory so she didn’t want him to get hurt but Jung Hoo bluntly revealed that he can’t run away and just want to protect Young Shin because he liked her a lot.
Moon Ho and his Someday team went full throttle in attacking Kim Moon Shik with their online broadcast. Jung Hoo asked Moon Ho to not make Young Shin in the dark and revealed everything but the latter wanted Young Shin to learn everything on her own.
Meanwhile Moon Shik threw a bait to catch Healer by using his mother after ajumma tracker was alarmed that the psycho assistant met with his mother. Healer was disarmed by a poison gunshot but was rescued by his Master. Ajumma hacker called Young Shin to find Bong Soo and took him to the hospital. While tending to sleeping Bong Soo, he reached for her hand and she suddenly realized the feel of Healer’s hand and realized Bong Soo and Healer were the same.
Master Young Jae was transferred from Moon Shik’s Men to the police station. Young Shin pretended that she doesn’t know Healer’s identity yet. The Master was interrogated by cyber police Yoon Dong Won but the poison given by Secretary Oh kicked in and killed the Master after admitting in to all Jung Hoo’s recent works.
Healer went off the radar after his master’s demise so ajumma hacker was left no choice but to bring life to him by sending Young Shin.
Jung Hoo tried pushing her away but he surrendered the idea and let the pain in his heart washed away by Young Shin’s warmth.
Moon Shik finally confirmed Jung Hoo and Healer’s identity and was apprehended on how everything will turn out if Myung Hee the only thing he wanted in life will know everything soon. Healer and Young Shin proceeded to obtaining information to support the news they are working on about Hwang Jae Guk’s suicide. Moon Ho confirmed that his brother paid a man on Detective Dong Won’s team. He made an agreement with Dong Won to get a scoop on the police officer who poisoned Healer’s master. The police officer called Moon Shik’s assistant as he planned his escape route but Healer held him binded until Detective Dong Won’s team came.
Someday News aired the story of Moon Shik’s connection to Ki Young Jae’s death to ruin his Seoul Mayoral candidacy campaign. Myung Hee almost reaching his breaking point wondering about how much lies her husband has been hiding refused to talk to Moon Shik. The Moon brothers had a phone spat and raised war to one another.
The next day Myung Hee called Young Shin agreeing to an interview but Moon Shik quickly get to where the game is heading and asked her to spare some time for him. Moon Shik asked Secretary Ahn to divulge the made-up lies of Healer killing people to frighten Young Shin adding the murder of Jun Hoo’s father to his friend. Moon Ho rushed to Jae Il news and finally told Young Shin who her real mother was.
Jung Hoo worked with ajumma hacker in tracing the interview files needed to absolve his father’s supposed crime not realizing that Moon Shik and his team already placed a bait.
Young Shin called Jung Hoo about the revelation she had that day so he had to rush back to be at her side. While thinking over the events of her day, Young Shin felt frustrated about being kept in the dark. When she mustered to get back at her feet, she picked up the case files and realized Jung Hoo’s father and her father’s connection. Jung Hoo arrived at Young Shin’s room and she trembled at his sight signaling she figured out everything. He reached for her but she can’t help but act cold and stepped back so Jung Hoo had to walk away promising he will find the truth about their fathers. Young Shin ran to catch up on Jung Hoo, embraced him and made him promise to come back even without not being successful with securing evidence.
Jung Hoo met with the police who took his father’s statement. He learned how his father’s statement was fabricated and that how he has a tape recording of the interview. Ajumma hacker thru Myung Hee’s bug information alerted Jung Hoo that Moon Shik’s men tailed them through the police. Jung Hoo fought with Moon Shik’s men but the police got hit by baseball bat causing his death and making Jung Hoo appeared to be the culprit. Before the police faded, he managed to tell Jung Hoo three numbers.
Secretary Oh was released from the jail and went back to Moon Shik’s house on the same day Young Shin visited Myung Hee. Jung Hoo rushed to the location while Secretary Oh reported to the Elder. The Elder ordered Secretary Oh not to reveal it to Moon Shik having known that he will fall apart is Myung Hee left his side. Jung Hoo scared Secretary Oh and while fumbling on things at Moon Shik’s study room, he saw his Master’s charnel house documents and realized that the numbers given to him by the dead police was for a charnel house – his father’s charnel house. Myung Hee narrated the story of what happened in 1992 to Young Shin and suffered an attack in the process. Young Shin finally realized why she wasn’t able to talk when she was young as it was the last thing her mother told her to do.
Moon Shik met with the Elder to proceed with their future plan. Someday News prepared to go on a live internet broadcast uncloaking the events of 1992 as Jung Hoo and Young Shin headed to the field site to support the report. They went to So Jung Seok’s charnel house and went to retrieve the confession tape but acted as a decoy to thwart the men chasing them. Jung Hoo’s junior already emptied the spot before they came and delivered the parcel to Someday News team.
Jung Hoo was captured and was brought to where Elder’s location is. On cue his meeting with the Elder was captured to live online feed through his camera glasses. The broadcast narrated how Kil Ahn and Jun Seok stumbled on a secret group that manipulated politics and laws to suit their taste. Kil Ahn was caught by the men and killed him as Jun Seok fled with Moon Shik from the scene. The same organization – Farmers is led by the Elder who recruited Moon Shik with the promise of making him powerful and letting him live with Myung Hee by his side.
Moon Shik retaliated by doing and impromptu interview to answer allegations about his candidacy and his relationship to the Elder.
He reverted his current predicament by attacking Moon Ho’s irresponsible journalism move and made himself shine by presenting how he has fought for press freedom in the past. Moon Ho received summons from government offices and the office was ransacked following his brother’s attack.
Moon Ho was abducted by Moon Shik’s men so Jung Hoo left Young Shin to rescue Moon Ho. Young Shin was caught by psycho Secretary Oh and held her captive while Moon Shik’s men coaxed Jung Hoo to reveal a tip they got from Russia and to state his involvement in the recent killing of the police witness while Young Shin is on the brink of being poisoned.
He agreed to state the forced confession and went off radar to catch the Elder’s secretary. Myung Hee finally left Moon Shik and went to Someday news for interview. They disclosed a bridge accident that involved Omega Investments where the Elder is also affiliated to present their final story of the illegal venues of where the Elder’s money is coming. Jung Hoo secured the finger prints of the dead police’ culprit and ajumma hacker handed it to Detective Dong Won.
Unfortunately, ajumma hacker took the hidden bait of Secretary Ahn so she had to leave her technology crib just as Jung Hoo penetrated their headquarters. Jung Hoo rushed to help ajumma and they stayed at Young Shin’s place in the mean time.
On the final win or lose match to end the Elder and his men, Someday news had to broadcast an interview with a biochemistry researcher who was a witness on a bacteria research to contaminate the public drinking water so that privatization will take place. The research harmed and killed village people where the tests took place. The company behind the research was also led by the Elder. The villains pulled another shot by publicizing Jung Hoo’s confession so he was left no choice but to join Elder’s camp.
Young Shin was able to lead the researcher to the rest room for an interview but Healer took on his role with the villains and dragged the researcher out. They ran and chased each other and finally Detective Dong Won fired a shot to Healer.
It turned out that the heroes devised a plan to get rid of Jung Hoo and Healer’s identity while catching the last story to put the main antagonist to jail.
STORY AND SCREENPLAY
As a night courier serving privy and expensive tasks, Healer’s routine life changed after his encounter with a woman connected to the death of his father. What made me like the drama a lot is how the story telling was focused and neatly tied up without room to uncalled for sub plots. It moved engrossingly while uncovering the link of the main characters in the past and their children in the present time.
The writing made the audience cheer for the characters and even feel the heart fluttering romance that built up for the lead couple while being excited on how the main conflict will be resolved. I think most girls will agree that Healer’s story just held us breathless and those moments when he kissed Young Shin we felt it leaving the TV screen like we were all kissed by him too. *chuckles His enigmatic charm will make any girl want to be in his arms for protection.
The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love. It aligned to Healer’s character strength to propel the excitement while he did his gripping missions… circled on Young Shin’s character as the focal tug-of-war battle between the Moon brothers’ villain and hero complicated relationship and surged high to the my-father-might-have-killed-your-father-but-i-promise-i-love-you-and-i-will-protect-you love plot of the main leads. Healer justified the superb writing with how the characters went passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling.
While a lot progressed in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together. It made use of the parallel plot about upright journalists in presenting the same events of the characters in the past and the present.
Song Ji Na is a seasoned TV writer but it amused me how she pulled a modern story that will make superhero movie romance plots look stupid compared to Healer and Young Shin’s love line. Even with Faith, she has shown a commanding conception of how each role players would give justice to the shifting of the narration. She was patient in explaining the smallest details without losing the thrill of the conflict.
CAST AND CONFLICT
Having Old Boy’s Yoo Ji Tae on board is already a reckoning force in the cast but the drama has such impeccable main leads and supporting characters that stayed focused and immersed in their roles hence giving such an impressive life to the story.
Healer’s role is one that will sweetly haunt women in their dreams. Ji Chang Wook pulled his kickass character so well I can’t associate him anymore but with Healer.
The bromancenemy between Moon Ho and Moon Shik left me annoyed on how their blood relationship inhibits themselves to go all-kill on their endless battle of their opposing views. The Master-apprentice relationship of Healer and Young Jae although short, brought life to building our main hero’s integral presence as well as tying up the mess of what happened to the friendship circle that he once belonged to. The ajumma-healer partnership was the most amusing connection in the drama, it was even more fun because ajumma who likes making kimbap and knitting wowed me with her acting as an invincible hacker that defies the cyber police and tricks in the country.
There were small problems that were laid along the way to boost the main conflict of how the protagonists will bring justice to their fathers’ death by ruining the villains through innovative news broadcast. In this crime-romantic-drama-thriller premise, the story got so intoxicating because it assimilated Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country. When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit. That is the case for Healer. I would also like to commend how I enjoyed Healer’s theme music on its placement in the drama and how the villains even with their old personas masterfully made the lives of the heroes hard by utilizing their vile ways.
RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
Healer is one of the best dramas of all time in my list. I refused to number them because there’s not much on my list. It’s already hard for me to fall in love with a kdrama so I always go for ingenious plot and how the cast suited up to their roles in bringing out the beauty of the story.
HOW MUCH I ENJOYED IT: 10/10
HOW I RECOMMEND IT: 10/10
Maybe because I like history that’s why I have patience with period and war films. Plus the fact that the plot covered espionage and and it was top billed by acclaimed South Korean actors, those are enough reasons why I enjoyed the swift moving and easy to follow historical movie based on the happenings of Korean Independent movement in the Japanese occupation period.
The story and screenplay were not complicatedly conceived which is good because the film was mostly filled with gun fights and action scenes. But even with the brawling binge, the conversations of the cast flowed naturally in the story explaining what was happening and where it was going. That’s what I first notice, the narration was neat and straight to the point without diminishing the thrill of the plot.
If I am a guy Ji Hyun unni will be my first love. *chuckles Through the years I love how she experimented on the roles she took in the big screen including her role in this film. I think being powered by an amazing cast, the storytelling was achieved quaintly because of the commitment of the actors to their roles. Lee Jung Jae was cold blooded and annoying as a villain but you can also understood his sentiments as a double faced freedom fighter who just wanted to survive in those trying times. Ji Hyun unni looked like a professional sniper not budging whenever she shot those bullets but was also vulnerable in scenes that tested her faith to the cause she was fighting for. Ha Jung Woo was as always cool and collected and slipped in to his character perfectly.
The conclusion was half-sad and half-resolved as the conflict culminated to the freedom army completing their task although losing the hired assassins who helped out in the spur of the moment for that cause. It’s not typical to get happy endings with all your main characters intact on the closing curtains in action films, but at least the closure satisfied the decently written story.
A perfect Saturday movie if you are into thriller action and spy film. Definitely worth the hype and will not disappoint you. -jediprincess♡♡♡
After failing to murder the governor general, freedom fighter Yeom Seok Jin fled with Kang In Gook’s wife and her twin daughters. Kang In Gook is a Korean businessman supporting the Japanese empire.
A traitor to his country, Kang In Gook trapped his fleeing wife and resistance fighter and ordered the death of his wife but one of his daughters escaped with the hired caregiver.
Years later, the sporadic factions of Korean Independence Movement set to motion an assassination attempt and asked Yeom Seok Jin to gather the needed players.
Stubborn resistance members Ahn Ok Yun, Chu Sang-ok, Hwang Deoksam were brought to Shanghai and met Kim Won Bang who gave the details of their mission. They were set to enter Gyeongseong to kill Kang In Gook and a Japanese General Kawaguchi who has mass murdered Korean people including Ok Yun’s adopted mother.
Sniper Ok Yun was appointed as the leader since Won Bong reasoned out that she shot her own leader to which the two men agreed.
Unbeknownst to them Seok Jin sold their plot to the Japanese and Ok Yun was almost captured inside a hotel cafe but was helped by a hired killer “Hawaii Pistol”.
Ok Yun, Deok Sam and Sang Ok entered Gyeongseong and was sheltered by a madam club owner. Meanwhile Seok Jin commissioned Hawaii Pistol to preempt the planned assassination by ordering him to kill the three freedom fighters. Hawaii Pistol wounded Deoksam who fell in a creek.
When the Japanese missed the freedom fighters they threw the wrath at Seok Jin and the wily villain proceeded to Gyeongseong where he can be useful.
His teacher who suspected his double sided blade confirmed his being traitor and ordered the younger freedom movement members to kill him but he was able to defeat them. It was revealed later on that he pledged allegiance when he was captured and tortured after his failed assassination.
Hawaii Pistol and sidekick ajussi rode the same train cart with the General’s son Mamoru who was scheduled to wed Kang In Gook’s daughter Mitsuko. Hawaii Pistol pretended as a navy officer and left a friendly impression with Mamoru.
Seok Jin reached Gyeongseong and saw a picture of Kang In Gook’s daughter. He realized how she looked exactly look like Ok Yun and later on confirmed that Ok Yun was one of the twin sisters who survived and was raised by the nanny.
The team proceeded with their attack plan without Deoksam but failed when Seok Jin notified the Japanese of the assassination plot. They switched cars so while Ok Yun and his team wounded the Japanese army, they weren’t able to kill their targets and sadly Sang Ok was killed in the encounter.
Ok Yun met Mitsuko for the first time and was shot in that moment of confusion. She was subdued together with Hawaii Pistol who was supposed to kill her but was caught in the scene by the army.
They routed their captors and entered a hospital to treat Ok Yun’s bullet shot. He convinced Ok Yun to give up on her mission but she reasoned out that even if everything was seemingly hopeless, it is important to have people like her to carry on the mission.
Hawaii Pistol retreated to his kill mission and left Ok Yun. He was welcomed by an impromptu check up where he posed as a navy officer. The soldier troop ready to question him rushed to accommodate General Kawaguchi’s son, Mamoru, who was set to marry Kang In Gook’s daughter Mitsuko, Ok Yun’s twin sister. Hawaii Pistol witnessed Mamoru brutally shot a young girl who accidentally bumped on him and vowed that he will soon get the poor girl her vengeance.
Mitsuko learned of her twin sister’s address through her prescription glasses and paid a visit to her apartment. Around that time their father learned of the existence of his long lost daughter. They rushed to the address as Mitsuko pushed Ok Yun with her bag and told her that she will deal with her current situation. Not recognizing the daughter she raised, Kang In Gook killed Mitsuko as Ok Yun fled the apartment.
She was offered a ride by a cab driver thinking she was Mitsuko and her nimble mind took advantage of the situation and assumed her dead sister’s identity.
Deoksam survived and his wounds were tended by madam club owner. Ok Yun met Hawaii Pistol when he visited Mamoru and and revealed her true identity to him. She halted his plan to kill his groom on a stand that it was her mission. She reminded him not to miss the celebration tomorrow.
On the wedding day, Deoksam and Ok Yun were posed to fulfill their mission. Seok Jin recognized Hawaii Pistol as a guest and dragged him out of the wedding hall. When the fathers of the couple were called Deoksam showered the hall with bullets.
The bullet chaos were exchanged as Hawaii Pistol freed himself and helped Ok Yun and Deoksam win their battle. When Ok Yun hesitated to kill her father, Hawaii Pistol saved him as Kang In Gook pointed a stuck gun to her. Deoksam unfortunately died as Ok Yun was able to kill the General.
They escaped the scene by holding Mamoru and Ok Yun as hostages. Seok Jin still unaware that Mitsuko is Ok Yun negotiated with Hawaii Pistol to release the hostages. Hawaii Pistol and his sidekick took a tunnel for their escape route and let Ok Yun go in the front door.
Seok Jin and his troop moved to the end of the tunnel and waited for Hawaii Pistol and sidekick ajussi to emerge. Hawaii Pistol stabbed Seok Jin in his heart but the latter survived and attended a trial to his evil doings when Korean Independence was finally achieved.
In the closing seconds, Seok Jin saw Mitsuko and followed her. He was led to one of his freedom fighter brothers, Myeongwoo, whom he thought he killed. Seok Jin was shot alternately by Ok Yun and Seok Jin’s old brother. He ran for his life but fell on the ground lifeless.
Dazed and intoxicated in a fictional one-sided love, I got more than what I bargained for choosing “Descendants of the Sun” as my first pick this year in my favorites and placing it on my all-time-favorite list. And no, it’s not because of Captain Yoo Si Jin’s dashing and magnetic appeal nor the running topless army guys doing their morning routine. It is simply because it deserves all the hype and kdrama addicts’ rave it got because of its superb screenplay and well-executed story.
When a drama is great, I usually am lost on how I can possibly write about it without prejudice, but the case for me now is how I can contain not thinking about Captain Yoo Si Jin and blushing and smiling like an idiot as if we have an existing romantic relationship. *chuckles
I will try to focus with all my might. If I get sidetrack for a bit, forgive my romantic self. *aigoo
I never had a standard pattern when writing on reviews, but since the hallyuwave rennaisance suddenly surged again because of Mo Yeon and Si Jin’s story. I will now patent my flow of thoughts for a more pleasant reviews.
On their break after a successful military operation, Special Forces Alpha Team Captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Major Seo Dae Young were lost like children playing in a bullet shooting range, they got sidetrack when a thief was declared in the area and they used their military skill in stopping the teenager who stole a motorbicycle.
The soldiers hit the wheels rendering the inexperience thief in place on the ground with evident body injuries. He was sent to the hospital after a quick first aid fix done by Captain Si Jin and the two headed to a cafe with stuffed toys as their dates. They soon realized that Sergeant Major Seo’s handphone was missing and they headed to the hospital where they saw the young thief being bullied by a gang after escaping the hospital’s ER. They took back the fleeing stubborn patient after giving some lessons to the bullies but Dr. Kang Mo Yeon insisted on getting Si Jin’s details as she thought they cause the patient’s bruises even when the patient backed up the story.
Soon the growing attraction became evident between Mo Yeon and Si Jin, but Mo Yeon’s personal conviction that a relationship with Si Jin was not workable. They met again after Mo Yeon was forcibly send to a volunteer work in Urk where Si Jin was leading a station. Si Jin pushed for a second try but Mo Yeon still refused to give in. On their way back to Korea, the medical mission team was caught up by reviving lives from an earthquake. The outbreak summoned the Special Forces led by Si Jin for the rescue operation.
Even when Mo Yeon accidentally declared how Si Jin occupied a place in her heart when her last will recording was aired in the camp after almost dying on a car accident, she stuck to being stubborn by not wanting to admit her true feelings to Si Jin. But when they unfortunately landed to an active land mine and have to hitch their ride back home, she finally gave in and reciprocated his emotions.
The second lead has a great supporting love story too. Having been forced to not continue their relationship by Myung Jo’s general father but through their undeniable display of true love, the father finally blessed their relationship.
STORY & SCREENPLAY
Rarely do we get a story in dramaland that is so affecting when the narrative is relying on the love plot. Most of the time it maintains a decent showing but in the waning part of the series it will lose its magic. No romance kdrama has made it to my top favorites basing on the screenplay and the acting. What they all failed to achieve, DOTS casually slayed in a watch-us-this-is-how-it-should-be-done manner.
The drama was pre-produced and raked millions with its budget. KBS really gambled in taking over the drama meant to go to SBS, but the risk paid off a thousand fold because of its success. So why did a drama set in a not so positive environment won over the viewers’ heart? The raves it got can be attributed to how fit the actors to their characters were, the realistic-sometimes-cheesy-most-of-the-time-pure-love of the main characters, the snappy lines and giggle inducing captured frames and how the story depended on the fulfilment of the romance just as the romance bloomed because of the flowing story.
I am a Hong sisters’ fan and I will be a new Kim Eun Sook follower. She was so efficient with how she writes the pictures of her drama. I have lots of favorite scenes but that one scene that I love was when Si Jin rescued Mo Yeon and having left no choice but to kill the villain, he pulled the trigger while covering Mo Yeon’s eyes. It was so beautiful that I cried and I think I’m the only person who cried over it. *chuckles The buoyancy of the lines she wrote suited well to the blithe characters she created. She was very clear on the roles of her characters and she didn’t misplace or misuse all the people that moved in the story.
CAST & CONFLICT
I am still moving on from the fictional separation to my favorite imaginary soldier. I’m sure as of this moment, a lot of kdrama addict girls are still viewing back episodes in trying to cope up with the mass break up we have with Alpha Team and Captain Yoo Si Jin. So far Descendants of the Sun is the yardstick of what to achieve by upcoming kdramas this year. That being said it has one of the best cast ensembles that communicated with impeccable chemistry to grace a superb kdramaland show.
Even the supporting casts who are newbies were not sleeping and did well their homework. The main lead hands down displayed a memorable love couple we can all relate to and we wished we could have. Wolf and Myung Joo’s love affair was equally amusing as the main leads which made me realize why all those past dramas relied on making the second leads hinder the success of the lead couple when they can do it neat like this. I didn’t suffer on a second-lead-syndrome but I was always all smiles to Alpha team’s bromance.
The issues resolved in the story focused on braving the odds for love and the death defying conflict in the finishing kick of the series. The charm of Captain Yoo Si Jin would have not been possible if his lead girl was not as endearing as our clever surgeon Mo Yeon. I have to admit that episode 15 was the weakest episode because it struggled in a denouement or conflict limbo. I was hoping the finale week would just be a fan service but they scared me when I thought it would push an open ended closure or everything-is-a-dream-lead-man-is-dead ending. That’s the only negative point I had in its entirety but it was definitely forgivable given the balanced conception of a drama thriving in a love premise.
RATINGS & RECOMMENDATION
I gave a 10/10 score for Descendants of the Sun for its ingenuity in capturing the heartfelt romance even with violence and disaster plot. It left lessons on patriotism, life, career and friendship. There are stories that need not to be embellished because they can stand alone when you chronicle it without confusion and with a direction.
It was a finale befitting of the beautiful story we all watched from day 1. It is safe to say now that “Descendants of the Sun” will become one of the best korean dramas that ever aired in kdramaland. It defied all the resident kdrama cliches and presented a balanced character portrayals and heartfelt, unscripted romance. I have never seen a drama so beautiful in each chapters and even more stunning as it flows in the culminating closure. I’ve never been so dazed until Captain Yoo Si Jin strut his army uniform looking dapper and manly honoring the call of the country he serves while fulfilling his promise to the woman he loves.
Now I won’t be confused and answer right away when asked for a kdrama recommendation. Not only did the drama nail the romantic notes to an almost impossible perfection, but it created a story where every person who knows how to love can relate to. It left an inspiring message to become the best that we can ever be to the person we love, to the profession we have and to the life we live. -jediprincess♥♥♥
From the moment the film opened to the agonizing and poignant scene of the king who ordered his son to death by imprisoning him inside a rice crate, I was rendered confused on what I will learn and who I will blame on the ill-fated life of Crown Prince Sado. *chuckles
The director achieved a well-executed story-telling even when he started on a climactic point while traversing the past life of the main characters. It was a brilliant switching of character thoughts and development while unraveling the conflicts and the plot of the film. It was an exchange of point of views that were equally battled out making the protagonist turn to being an antagonist and vice versa.
I thought how Joseon era has a really intense and dramatic history in trying to keep up with the challenges of the empire and the changing times. The Royal family through the years have a fair share of inadvertently killing family members to protect the Crown and to claim power. When I was browsing Korean history in preparation of my review today, I maintained a soft spot to Prince Sado, but on the last tearjerking minutes of the movie, I felt how helpless the father and the son were at that situation. King Yeongjo mentioned how he would be remembered as the father who killed his son and his prince will be remembered of all his wrong-doings that were unbecoming of a future King.
All his life Prince Sado lived up to the expectations set to him as a future King. He was forced to focus on his studies and was forbidden to cultivate activities that won’t help him build his character as a future father of the country. His stern father who was pressured immensely by the government officials became even more uptight in raising his son that even the smallest error he committed would anger him. And as the son, who wanted to please his father but was unsuccessful in doing so, he might have been caught up in what we call today as depression but he channeled it through outraged rebellion in his time.
Hands down to Yoo Ah In in another exemplary portrayal of the disturbed Prince who defied and yearned his father’s love at the same time. I was flinching on his head banging scene feeling the pain of what he had to endure in suiting up for that sporadic persona. Maybe because I’m a daughter too that’s why I pitied him, but granted that his communication with his father was off beat and mostly resulting to both of them frustrating each other, at that time it was still not fair and good to have his rage go to innocent lives that served him. The lesson of this movie in simple words is that how parents and children should find ways to communicate well and not allow pride and personal beliefs to cloud their judgments when they are both to decide on life changing situations. If all else fails they should always choose to be forgiving and loving as they are both each other’s life.
Albeit the despondent tone, for me it did not mar the ruminative effect of the film. It was definitely meaning to present the inconsolable truth about the depth of a parental and filial love. In the case of the main characters in the narrative, it was an unfortunate conflict that was not resolved both in real life and the film.
I think this movie would appeal more to contemplative people who like biographies and period films. It is also educational for film majors with its editing and screenplay technique. I would like to say I would let my future children watch this to learn from it, but it would be too cynical. *chuckles
The movie experience despite the forlorn gave a pensive mood after for me or should I say made me depressed I had to eat chocolates after hahaha. It was nicely narrated and superbly acted so the challenge would be how it will be engaging. So placing the climax in the beginning was I think a premeditated move because it will allow the viewers to be hooked on it and subconsciously find themselves immersed in the story. It was also not overly dramatic and yet it moved my heart big time.
If you are into history, biography and drama, choose your favorite tea and enjoy an afternoon viewing the life of a once unfortunate Korean prince – Sado. -jediprincess♥♥♥
Halfway through the drama, I liked what I saw even if I saw it already. The only peculiar thing in the drama was the use of the haunted radio that linked the main police officers from the past and present. But I have religiously watched Criminal Minds, Dexter, The Mentalist and the rest of police procedural hollywood tv series so there’s nothing surprising that I saw with the criminal files they tackled. It was more of me waiting if the writer will niftily tie the loose end and connect the relevance of the supernatural twist as a whole.
While the story conflict was resolved, I didn’t like the open-ended closure. I followed the thrill and analyze the situations like I was also a police officer, and then I was given something to ponder on in the dying minutes of the drama. I was like what was that? You already baked a satisfying conclusion, why cool it down and put it in a fridge? But for the record, that’s my only concern about “Signal”. Over all it was excitingly projected. The runs on how they made the cases simultaneously being solved from different timelines were easy to follow and the main actors exhibited great chemistry.
Signal tells about two police officers from the past and present communicating through a broken radio in solving cases that were happening in the past and were re-opened from cold cases vault in the present. The cases involved led them to discovering the connection they had in the past and the clues from the present to be given, so the future can be changed to save them and their loved ones. It’s a crazy timeline but when you watch it you won’t be lost. Plot like this isn’t supposed to be described in details so I’m just going to warn you that the ending is the only thing that I thought felt lacking, but the narration all throughout was well directed and engaging.
If you are up for quick fix of cop drama with a supernatural serving, plan your next binge-watching activity and set it to the radio frequency of Signal.
Oppa virus (n) – is a virtual addiction caught when someone fictional in kdramaland hits the hearts of a kdrama addict. The affected woman will exhibit dreamy state after watching the episodes, grumpiness while waiting for the next episodes and craziness watching the cute and sweet scenes over and over again.
Because of the recent Yoo Si Jin syndrome, I have looked back on my favorite oppas in the past years. I think they have also covered almost every dream guy character there is. And as a known rule regardless if the character is young… if he is handsome, we call him “oppa”. *chuckles Let’s see if you remember them all and if I missed someone. ^_^
Lee Young Jae/Rain in Full House – The top star who had an everyday bickering session with his lead girl. He was so full of himself, but he sure knew how to nurse his girl when she was sick. The cohabitation plot and the eventual romance was perky and engaging, and I’m sure legit kdrama addicts will agree.
Jung Jae Min and Kang In Wook/Jo In Sung and So Ji Sub in What Happened in Bali – This is my first serving of second-lead syndrome. Who won’t be crossed between them? Albeit the sad ending, I enjoyed the promising portrayals So Ji Sub and Jo In Sung oppa offered that I accepted the let’s-all-die-together closure without any objections. *lol Now that I’m looking back on old melodramas, I can’t help but compare how agonizing they did it back then without so much weep fest compared to how they do it these days.
Kang Hyun Woo/Ji Sung in Save the last dance for me – Hyun woo’s story is now “the problematic chaebol prototype storyline mixed with series of unfortunate events before the love finally gets realized”. He literally went through sickness and defied fate and made my college self swooned over him. Brimming with cliches, the romantic melo’s love story did not wash out its beauty because of the heartfelt love fulfilment.
Kim Hyun Woo/Kim Rae Won in Lovestory in Harvard – Kim Rae Won can fit any dream guy character and make it work. His I’ll-be-your-hero kind of love to his girl while challenging law school in Harvard was just as piercing as when they finally claimed their disrupted love when they became a lawyer.
Choi Seung Hee/Kim Rae Won in What star did you come from – Laid back Seung Hee oppa moved mountains and solidified his top actor who really knows how to act status in this I-fell-in-love-with-twin-sisters drama, but made sure that his girl would not feel that he was trapped in her sister’s memories.
Hyun Jin Hun/Hyun Bin in My Lovely Samsoon – The guy who made all the chubby girls feel happy on the thought that a you-and-me-against-my-flabs-and-pesky-ex-gf is achievable. *chuckles
Gong Chan/Lee Dong Wook in My Girl – With the premise of hiring a fake cousin to appease his rich grandpa and finding himself loving his fake cousin in the process, Gong Chan had a lot of cutesies and refreshing chemistry moments with the con girl he hired.
Lee Shin/Joo Ji Hoon in Goong/Princess Hours – I think Lee Shin is one of my favorites because of how he progressed in the story and how he made me so dreamy on his projection of a crown prince who got in an awkward arranged marriage to a normal girl. He literally came out fresh from a fairy tale book in a modern twist.
Jung Ji Oh/Hyun Bin in The World that they live in – this underrated drama is one of my favorites because of its rawness and spontaneity. I think the reason why I like Ji Oh oppa’s character here is because it was not coated and tailored fresh from a woman’s euphoric state, his being natural in his approach to love was relatable and his interaction with his woman was delightful and soothing.
Choi Han Kyul/Gong Yoo in First Shop of Coffee Prince – Distant cafe boss who struggled thinking he was falling in love with a guy was adorably fun. period. When he was liberated with the truth about his lead girl’s identity, boy he was so smooth in showering the love that he initially denied.
Gu Jun Pyo/Lee Min Ho in Boys over Flowers – Suiting up for a famous manga character, Gu Jun Pyo swept the women of kdramaland with his undeniable charisma and pretty face. His love approach started off bullying his girl and when he realized the girl seemed to be lingering in his heart, he did adorkable things by parading his wealth and protecting his girl at all cost even defying his witch-like mother. He had to prove that rich-guy-poor-girl love affair can be achieved at the right time.
Jo Guk/Cha Seung Won in City Hall – My ideal man is very close to Jo Guk oppa’s brilliant character. He was smart and encouraging to his woman’s dreams. He listens well, contemplative and yet he gives you some charming surprises. His declaration of love in the closing scene of this drama is still my favorite up to this date.
Seo In Woo/Park Shi Hoo in Prosecutor Princess – With his killer gaze and the secret-vengeance-twist-turned-love-wins plot, I liked that In Woo’s pained character chose his emotions than revenge. He was blithe at one moment and then blatant at the next which has made him more interesting and engaging aside from his handsome self.
Hwang Tae Kyung/Jang Geun Seok in You’re Beautiful – In the spirit of presenting how idol stars could be when they are in love, Hwang Tae Kyung and the rest of ANJELL’s fired up a following on how an idol star faced the same dilemma coffee prince did. He emerged victorious even with the second lead’s equally mesmerizing run for the lead girl’s hand. He operated on a stuffed toy, took care of her when she was sick and a lot more little things that melted my heart.
Sungkyunkwan Scholars/Park Yoo Chun, Yoo Ah In, Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal – Before they became established lead men of their generation, they were the righteous, the charming and the dangerously sweet scholars of Sunkyunkwan. I rooted for Geol Ah and this was before I was caught with Song Joong Ki syndrome. If you haven’t seen this drama, please free your time. More than the amazing story, you will be showered with pretty boy faces that will bring you good vibes.
Jun Jin Ho/Lee Min Ho in Personal Preference – He just walks in a drama set effortlessly bringing out the vibrancy of the character with his looks and charisma. Architect Jin Ho not only protected Kae In but has urged her to protect her dreams.
Cha Dae Woong/Lee Seung Gi in My GF is a Gumiho – Going extra mile to provide meaty food for his supernatural dream girl whom he has to protect against the rain, this vivacious love affair was well handed by Dae Woong matching the memorable portrayal of Shin Min Ah. His I-will-be-here-for-you promise was just enough to win every girl’s heart.
Kim Joo Won/Hyun Bin in Secret Garden – His sparkling jumpsuit and the dimples and the thirst to prove to the stunt woman he loved his devotion to be by her side was addictive and took kdrama addicts in frenzy. The curl-up sweet scene still gives a smile on my face.
Dokko Jin/Cha Seung Won in The Greatest Love – The top actor who fell in love with the struggling then-famous actress was so quirky and competitive that it made the drama a superb watch. The crazy antics and the crazy development of love story was a runaway hit and the see how much i love you showcases of the crazily sweet Dokko Jin will sweep you off your feet.
Kang Woo/Eric in Myungwol the Spy – Another top actor who used efficiently a manual to woo a secret North Korean spy. It was no easy task but with heartfelt desire, Kang Woo oppa moved me with his unwavering strength to conquer the divided country conflict.
Lee Shin/Jung Yong Hwa in You’ve Fallen For Me – Served youthful and cute, Lee Shin is every school girl’s dream boy. He reminded us of those days when I have secret crushes and when we I do things so that they will notice me.
Lee Yoon Sung/Lee Min Ho in City Hunter – There’s something appealing to a man with a dangerous job. His enigmatic performance was a high-octane hit and the added bonus of his suave ways of making his girl’s heart flutter was an icing on the cake.
Kang Ji Wook/Lee Dong Wook in Scent of a Woman – All a woman needs is for a man to stay by her side and support her dreams and worries. Ji Wook oppa encouraged his woman who realized too late how she missed enjoying her life that it was not too late to chase dreams. He made sure his terminally ill girlfriend would be loved by a man who knows how to love and stayed with her even if she kept pushing him away.
Cha Chi Soo/Jung Il Woo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – The persistent chasings of Chi Soo on his noona romance were most of the time hilarious but definitely worth the wait. The rest of the flower boys alongside the main lead were also additional perks.
Lee Jae Ha/Lee Seung Gi in King2Hearts – He proved that a man’s pure love can be a driving force to change for the better. In this utopian unified korea story, he was a delightful mix of a man every girl wants to have. Cheeky and charming, not perfect but caring, refraining from complicating things and loving.
Choi Young/Lee Min Ho in Faith – Wielding sword has never been sexy until Choi Young. His suave and manly ways in protecting the time traveling lead doctor made me resurrect those girly dreams of a knight in a shining armour. *giggles That scene where he chew the meds to give to the sick lead girl was oh so sweet.
Prince Lee Gak/Park Yoo Chun in Rooftop Prince – The quirky prince who traveled from the past to solve the murder mystery of his princess-to-be threw me at laughing fits when it was airing. He was so cute that Yoo Chun finally made my list of actors to watch. With an era he was not accustomed to, he was able to do one thing that is constant from the past and present – a sincere love.
Kim Boong Do/Ji Hyun Woo in Queen In Hyun’s Man – My smart dream man swept my heart with his nimble mind and spontaneous ability to melt his woman. He remains to be at my favorite characters’ list along with Healer and now Captain Si Jin.
Kim Tan/Lee Min Ho in The Heirs – What makes Kim Tan different from Gu Jun Pyo is his reckless attitude defying his family and not waiting if time will resolve something. It went out fine with him taking the risk to be with the girl he loved. I think out of all Lee Min Ho’s dramas, it is here where he kissed so well considering his role is a college heir.
Joo Joong Won/So Ji Sub in The Master’s Sun – This highly anticipated romcom deserved a place on my favorites because of its impeccable romcom storyline with a funny supernatural twist. Joong Won oppa falling in love with a ghost seeing woman was hilariously fun and sunny. His straightforward attitude in love cracked me up and drew sigh from me at the same time.
Kang Tae Ha/Eric in Discovery of Romance – Discovery of Romance is a secret kdrama gem you should take time to watch. What I liked about Tae Ha oppa would be his never giving up on love and his realization that just because the first serving in love didn’t go well, it doesn’t mean the second chance won’t be too. He made his first love realized the reason why after all those time fate still kept them bound.
Do Min Joon/Kim Soo Hyun in You Who Came From the Stars – If aliens are really as hot as Do Min Joon then all girls would be permitting alien invasion. The stranded alien who fell in love with a top actress has used his ability to protect his woman at all cost even defying time. His unmatched chemistry with Cheon Song Yi had raised a frenzy addiction through his alien love definition.
Jang Jae Yul/Jo In Sung in It’s Okay That’s Love – Jae Yul’s unconventional character won my heart because of his vulnerabilities. Because he made me think that if I was in that position, I would also become his shield. You see some girls would appreciate more if their men will be brave to admit to something they can no longer bear. That’s what made Jae Yul oppa special.
Seo Jung Ho/Ji Chang Wook in Healer – My 2015 favorite swept me off of my feet because of his manly-McGyver-ish charm. A courier of impossible missions, his dangerous side made my eyes turned to hearts. The Healer hideout kisses left me on trance.
Kim Young Ho/So Ji Sub in Oh My Venus – Coach-nim is women’s solution to weight loss problem. It would be heaven to do sit-ups with him… to feel his hands and body in the workout drills… and before my comment turns rated R, I have to go back to reality. So Ji Sub is my dream guy period so if the drama is bad or good I don’t care as long as there will be topless scenes lol. Thankfully the drama was generally okay so the romantic cuteness was a bonus.
Kang Sun Woo/Jo Jung Seok in Oh My Ghost – When he thought his lead girl is suffering from bipolar disorder because of her ghost-possessed body, I was so amused with his line of thinking on how he resolves conflicts and was happy that he did not linger to sulking and chose love over the absurdity of the situation.
Choi Taek/Park Bo Gum in Reply 1988 – He only knew baduk but he warmed my heart with his gentleness and knowing when to surge forward when it comes to claiming the love he waited for a long time.
Yoo Si Jin/Song Joong Ki in Descendants of the Sun – He is the reason why I came up with this post. haha I was not so much his fan before but when he suited up in military uniform, everything changed. His melting gaze, sweet remarks and soldier bearing are and will be putting me in frenzy right now.
Kang Chul/Lee Jong Suk in W:TwoWorlds – Strutting his dapper look and protecting the woman he loves while crossing two different worlds sent me to varied emotions ranging from a giddy-ish high-school girl, a woman tapping on her inner goddess and a lady who wants to fall in love again.
I think I can now conclude that I’m a secret Jang Na Ra fan because I have seen all her dramas underrated and the famous ones too. I don’t like the male lead in this drama for some reason I also can’t explain but I stayed faithful because of the relatable friendship plot in the story.
So I met Han Mi Mo, a former famous girl group member who owns a marriage match-making company of sort who was also positive that she will be given a second chance in love. She remained friends with her fellow girl group members who were also having love and relationship issues on the side. On the day that Mi Mo learned about her boyfriend’s infidelity she chanced upon a childhood friend, Song Soo Hyuk, who was working on an online showbiz newspaper catching celebrity scoops here and there. He appeased her betrayed heart in soju bottles and they ended up causing ruckus in the city hall trying to register their instant marriage. When they sobered up, they ironed their crazy act and went on to their own businesses.
Mi Mo in her sleeping night gown landed to the hospital where doctor bestfriend, Goo Hae Joon was working and confessed to the handsome doctor her attraction towards him. Yes the characters here were sort of moving in a typhoon like level in their impulsiveness and rational thinking but it was more cute and exciting nonetheless. Hae Joon was revealed to have been a fan of Mi Mo in her girl group days so after contemplating he told Soo Hyuk about his intention to date Mi Mo to make sure that the latter won’t have problems with that. Soo Hyuk gave her blessing and soon enough Mi Mo and Hae Joon became a couple.
Later on Mi Mo realized that the thing she had for Hae Joon was not enough to move her heart and to make the matter worse she was slowly realizing that it was Soo Hyuk that she wanted all along and Soo Hyuk who felt the same way was torn between her and his best friend. Soo Hyuk took a break and left the country just when Mi Mo braved the odds that they can be together. When he returned from love hibernation they finally claimed their love second chance happy ending.
Cooked and prepared like your average romcom, One More Happy Ending was a delightful watch. I would like also to applaud the strong side stories of the supporting characters which were equally vibrant as the main love story. The plot delved on the varying emotions of women struggling to keep up with love and relationship. The marriage camp and relationship board sticker ideas were also some of the cutesies I will remember about this refreshing romcom. This most likely will appeal to singles in 30’s who have failed their marriage once… who are finding the love lost along the way in their current marriage… who are unsure of finally settling down and who have been waiting for the right person to come along.
Love perspectives change as you age and as you learn from your past mistakes. What I learned about this drama is to never give up on love and romance and to understand its importance in sustaining a relationship. Love will take different forms in a relationship as time goes on. It will kick off to adoration, go steady through memories and romance, move to years of comfortability and will stand firm to loyalty… and it is important that in those changing moments you are by your lover’s side.
Nicely blended, safely done and just pure encouraging love and dating narrative. One More Happy Ending was as bright as spring and feel good as summer… perfect to add on your romcom binge list.
Though dwindling in numbers in the recent years, I still go to Korean Romantic movies for my digital source of love vibes. There’s just something piercing on how Koreans do it, and they never run out of stellar ideas to bring out breath-taking sketches of love stories that transcends across different ages. Even now, I still feel giddy-ish when I go to a sudden trip to my Kmovie library and watch films from more than 10 years ago. And since it’s Cupid’s favorite month, if you will be staying home this Valentine weekend, I would like to share you my personal favorites, picked from the bottom of my heart and validated by my fond memories of watching it.
My Sassy Girl – Because every girl secretly wishes to have a Gyeon-woo in their lives.
Il Mare – Because you only need a time warping mail box to exchange letters and eventually fall in love.
The Classic – Because we cannot end up with our one great love.
Daddy Long Legs – Because there will be that one person who will love you greatly with all his heart.
My Little Bride – Because we realized too late that love is there all along sometimes.
Daisy – Because we protect the one we love at all cost.
A Moment To Remember – Because our best love memories are kept in our hearts.
A Millionaire’s First Love – Because we become a better person when we fall in love.
Lost and Found – Because we get confused reading which love is really given to us.
Love Phobia – Because a man has only one first love.
100 Days With Mr. Arrogant – Because we literally do everything for the one we love.
Lovers Concerto – Because a fated love can end due to an un unfortunate chance.
200 Pounds Beauty – Because hell hath no fury when a woman in love got fooled not so nicely.
Heaven’s Postman – Because love can happen even in the most impossible beginning.
Someone Special – Because love happens surprisingly when we stop looking for it.
Always – Because love can spring unexpectedly and truthfully.
Neverending Story – Because two strangers can take on a journey and fall in love with each other deeply.
A Werewolf Boy – Because love waits.
My PS Partner – Because love can be served sassy and sexy.
Love 911 – Because love can overcome the fear of losing someone.
More than Blue – Because we overlook love when it comes from a friend.
Once in a Summer – Because young love is the sweetest and most kept in our memories.
Christmas in August – Because you love in the moment so that you won’t regret it when it’s gone.
Two faces of my girlfriend – Because you have to love your girl in her ups and downs.
Hello Schoolgirl – Because we love even with the discrepancy in age.
Closer to Heaven – Because we love in sickness and in health.
A wolf’s temptation – Because love is being tangled in a sweet love triangle.
The Beauty Inside – Because you always recognize and feel in your heart when you finally fall in love.