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2016-08-21 18.40.18
We went on a shopping spree, a handful of sweet “almost kissing corner her” moments and Hawonrella’s herculean task of making the cousins sit on a table to eat as a family.  Whew!  Who would have thought it was no easy goal?!  
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EPISODE 4 SUMMARY
It was a sweet blissful kiss until Hyun Min woke up from his dream with Ha Won’s curious eyes peering at him.  
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He adjusted back to his god’s-gift-to-women self and teased her of wanting to see him early in the morning, but she shut him up with her breakfast offer.  
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He declined her request as he doesn’t eat at home, but she insisted that she will make him start doing it now.  Hyun Min perceived Ha Won doing a housewife role-playing game, so he tried to grab her hand to lay down beside her, but her quick hand flew and knocked down his hand.  
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She warned him to head to the dining room and marched out of his room.  He went back to reality and remembered the kick that interrupted the almost kiss and murmured how Ha Won is stimulating his competetitive spirit.
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Emotionless Hye Ji was still bothered by Hyun Min’s thoughts and pondered on Ji Woon’s actions the night before.  Ji Woon on the other hand worked out and made some 5 seconds upper body display to keep my heart still and not be swayed by Hyun Min.   *chuckles
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On her Kang-Cousins-Dining-Together mission, Ha Won was having a hard time tracking down the young masters, but remembering Chairman’s face, she set forth to push on her mission.
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Ha Won found Ji Woon swimming in the pool and my heart was beating fast like Ha Won did.  He of course coldly told Ha Won to vanish or she will get to see him naked.  Hah!  Stay where you are Ha Won!  Stay where you are!  
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Ha Won ran when Ji Woon threatened to show his naked body, but she came back with some board to cover her face and told him that his cellphone will be held on hostage and he has to go to the dining hall to get it.
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She moved next to Seo Woo and disturbed his creative moment to reveal her morning breakfast plan.
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As soon as the three cousins arrived in the dining table, big bang erupted and her plan failed as all of them can’t acknowledge that there’s a link that connected them as a family.
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Ji Woon added how they only shared the same address and it didn’t have anything to do about being a family.  Hyun Min and Seo Woo left as Ha Won stood to reproach Ji Woon of his belief that his cellphone is more important than a family.  He replied to stop pretending she knew all of them.  
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His arms circled her waist as he moved his face closer to hers and just like any woman who will be put in that situation, Ha Won’s mind went blank and muttered what he was doing so he sneaked in and got his cellphone back from her hand.  
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Ha Won sunk on a chair feeling hopeless on her first mission as Chairman Kang and his wife came back from the honeymoon trip wondering how Hawonrella was doing.  Yoon Sung spoke on how that task was too much but the Chairman looks forward to how Ha Won’s hardwork will work wonders.
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Ha Won sought her friend’s help for comfort. She learned how rumor has it that the three heirs were famous for their open discord to each other and it’s a miracle that they haven’t killed each other yet.  But Ha Won’s friend cheered her up that her determination will win over the cousins’ stubbornness as it is her best characteristic.
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Ha Won pushed her tenacity and carried on with her “Kang Cousins Eating Together Project”.  
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She went to her Plan A to catch them off guard and threw in variety show games to secure a wish that the boys have to give.  
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She was successful with “dibidibidip” with Hyun Min, “kai-bai-po” with Seo Woo only to receive a get-lost card from Ji Woon when she tried “chamchamcham”.  
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First plan was a complete failure so Ha Won proceeded to her Plan B.  
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She did some research and appealed to the cousins’ favorite food to lure their grumbling tummies.  
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Seo Woo was on trance as Ha Won pulled the yummy ramyun on her chopstick but he stopped his craving right away and scolded Ha Won and Yoon Sung for teasing him with food when he has a photoshoot tomorrow.
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Hyun Min stared at Yoon Sung enjoying his favorite lamb chop and urged Ha Won to stop obsessing on her mission plan as it will be an eventual failure. 
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Ji Woon approached the table and wondered how yummy the samgyupsal was.  Ha Won cheerfully wrapped some with a lettuce and just as she puts it on his mouth, Ji Woon survived his tummy yearning and shut her up again with his get-lost card.
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Ha Won gloomily chat with Ajumma on her first mission problem and she advised her that it was a hard task to begin with.  She narrated how Hyun Min grew up almost alone ergo he was not comfortable sitting  with people to eat as he was used to doing things on his own.  Seo Woo on the other hand as a celebrity has an image to protect so he cannot enjoy food as much as he can.  Lastly Ji Woon belatedly learned he was from a rich household so he is still uncomfortable living his new life much more eating with people he barely knows.
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Ha Won pondered how the rich cousins have so much wealth and yet they have unhappy lives to battle with.
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The next morning Seo Woo saw Ha Won’s breakfast bag and enjoyed the milk she put inside even if he doesn’t usually drink it when he has photoshoot.
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Ha Won went to look for Ji Won in the storage room to ask something but he told her again to disappear.  She complained how he always say that as if there’s some place she can get lost to.  She asked if he was still upset of her moving in and he countered how he doesn’t care about her decisions anymore but she has to leave him alone.
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Unfazed with Ji Woon’s cold treatment, Ha Won responded if he was threatening her because it won’t work on her anyway as she has the mind of steel and she intend to suceed to whatever she puts her mind into.  
Ji Woon told her to play “happy family” and turned his back but Ha Won pushed some life lessons on how he has been restricting himself of accepting the people living in the house to be his family and how he drowned himself with what he feels only that he doesn’t care what other people may feel.  She urged him to step out of the protective bubble he jailed himself in.  She thanked him for getting her mom’s flowers and left him alone.  Go Ha Won!  Go Ha Won!  Teach Ji Woon a lesson!
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Ha Won found Hyun Min playing a quiz game which surprised her as he muttered that his interest is not just limited to girls.  He mentioned how she only thinks the worst of him and never realized the life size charisma emanating from him to which she replied that she hasn’t found the door to that charisma yet.  She picked up a rubix cube on the table and dared for two minutes with him to solve it for a wish he would give her, but she failed to solve it.  Hyun Min on the other hand finished it right away without any sweat.
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Hyun Min broke up with his calendar girlfriend not finding any ounce of interesting to do with her as Ha Won’s evil step mom and Yoo Na sighed in frustration trying to figure out why on earth Ha Won ended up living in Sky House.  Yoo Na decided to confirm it with her own eyes as she stalked on Hyun Min and Ha Won on a shopping spree as Hyun Min promised to help her with her mission.
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Ha Won complained about rich guy’s “pretty woman” shopping complex as she was left obliging to model the clothes Hyun Min bought her for Plan No. 3 of racing their hearts with her birth of a beauty spree.  #aigoo
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Ha Won paraded more than 10 pieces of clothing before Hyun Min stopped on a pretty white casual dress.  He erased her doubts that his plan might not work and pointed three of the clothings not to be included in their shopping but all the rest he picked will be bought.  #hyunminoppashopwithmetoo
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Ha Won bargained on the cost of clothing he just bought but he silenced her protest and dragged her to eat with him so they can discuss how to proceed with their joint plan.  
Ji Woon went to Hye Ji’s place and wrapped his jacket not wanting to wake her up from sleep.  He gazed at her as he recalled the time she put her jacket on him when he was lost and weary after discovering he came from a rich family.
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Hye Ji woke up and Ji Woon took her out to eat.  She teased him of treating her as little sister and decide to order the most expensive food as per his request.  She stated how she was happy that he is a friend and not a boyfriend as Ji Woon turned to when-will-this-girl-look-at-me-differently face.
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Just then Ha Won and Hyun Min walked inside and caught Hye Ji’s eyes.  Hyun Min turned his back to find another place to eat, but Ha Won insisted to just dine together.  
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Hye Ji praised Ha Won’s beautiful look and deducted that Hyun Min bought the pricey dress for her.  She asked Ha Won how has she been coping at Sky House but Hyun Min replied that she is well taken care of since she is his fiancee.
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Hye Ji asked the served clams to be cooked again thoroughly.  Ji Woon replied that she wanted it half-cooked but she explained how Hyun Min was hospitalized then when he ate a not fully cooked clam, but the latter shoved the idea opting not to eat the clams instead.  
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Hyun Min put some meat chop on the griller and Ha Won tried reaching in burning her arm slightly in the process and spilling the juice on her dress.  Ha Won worried about the pricey dress while Hyun Min worried on her being hurt as Hye Ji bit her lips out of pain from seeing the love of her life caring another woman in front of her.  And yay for a new kind of emotional face the second lead girl showed today!  
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Ha Won excused herself and went to the wash room to fix herself.  Ji Woon followed her cornered her on a wall and mentioned how he can also buy her expensive clothes and food like Hyun Min.  He added how he underestimated her ulterior motives but she taunted him back that her grand plan is to make the three of them become a real family.
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Ji Woon warned Ha Won not to mention the word family again, but she spoke of it again so he inched closer to her and threatened her of his diminishing patience towards her.
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Ji Woon remembered an argument he had with Chairman Kang as the latter wanted him to live as his heir and forget the people he used to work with.  He argued how those people were like a family to him when he was nothing but his grandfather pointed out that those people will eventually asked for his money surely.  
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He also overheard Hyun Min and his mother already strategizing his cousin’s company position as Hyun Min assured his mother that Ji Woon won’t ever be welcomed as a family and he will realize that soon enough.
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Back on the dining hall, Hye Ji asked Hyun Min if he really invited Ha Won to live in Sky House.  He confirmed yes and bluntly told her that she is very different from all the other girls he met.  Hye Ji can’t take the pain anymore so she stood up and leave.  
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Ji Woon asked Hyun Min what made Hye Ji leave and he replied that he didn’t say anything bad to her.  
JiWoon: “You are an expert on hurting Hye Ji!”
HyunMin: “You are an expert on healing her pain!”
Hyun Min spoke about how he has been like that to her eversince he came to Sky House and Ji Woon took it like he was not happy about it.  Hyun Min cleared how he never had feelings toward Hye Ji because he just want to live an uncomplicated life and not fixating himself on sincere love feelings.
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Ji Woon looked for desperate Hye Ji who was almost hit by a truck and shook some sense out of her brain.  He scolded her on how she can’t even stand up in front of Hyun Min.  She mumbled how she only wanted Ha Won to leave Hyun Min’s side.
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Ha Won whined on how she could get hold of Ji Woon blaming it to Hyun Min’s temper.  She spoke about how he brought her to Chairman’s wedding to make Hye Ji feel jealous but stopped her overthinking ideas. They stopped by at a house Hyun Min bought for Ha Won as he already calculated her going to be kicked out from Sky House soon enough.  Since he intends to date her he bought something for her even without the break up, but Ha Won’s martial arts skill broke his arm from his egoistic weird plans.
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At home, Ha Won made a futile attempt inviting the brothers on a group chat and courtyard dinner, but all of them left the chatroom.  
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Seo Woo stretched his body and went outside to breathe and notice a coupon from Ha Won’s belongings.  He entered the room where papers and things were still being dried up and noticed a torn paper from her diary revealing her birthday was that day. 
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He kept himself busy searching from party things with Yoon Sung’s help and prepared a birthday dinner surprise in the courtyard.  Yoon Sung told him to inform his brothers of their plan.
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Ji Woon contemplated on the recent events relating to Hye Ji’s suicidal love blindedness towards his cousin and constant Hyun Min’s condescending treatment on him.  He stood up and went to look for his cousin and waged a war by annoyingly getting the drinks he was getting from the fridge. 
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Ji Woon asked him to go to the courtyard if he really is not bothered with sincere emotions and left him feeling annoyed.  Remembering the dinner Ha Won prepared he headed to the courtyard.  Yoon Sung and Seo Woo were almost done with the finishing touches of their birthday surprise and covered it when they heard Ha Won coming in.
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Ha Won got a surprised back hug and warned Hyun Min to remove his hand thinking it was him.  But when she faced the culprit, Ji Woon’s eyes stared at her and rendered her unable to move.  
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He muttered why she had to belong with Hyun Min of all people as he moved her body facing their expected audience who looked not happy on the scene. Hyun Min walked closer to them and asked his cousin what the hell he was doing.
Ji Woon:  “I am trying to steal your fiancee!”
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Hyun Min grabbed Ji Woon’s shirt as rage shot from each other’s eyes in a love war that was raised.  
Ha Won tried stopping the two princes on the brewing brawl while a fireworks display was set on her view which the other two princes prepared for her.
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EPISODE 4 AFTERTHOUGHTS
Dear Hawonrella, 
Your hair is longer than Rapunzel at this very moment.
I still can’t comprehend Hyun Min’s unlimited desire to shield Hye Ji.  It was hinted that she was the first person who showed care to him when he moved in to Sky House, but I’m not liking him circling that path when that girl is in a hopeless one-sided-maybe-two-sided kind of love because Hyun Min’s love line is still drawn vague.
I love that ending scene when the two men were fighting and the two other were busy preparing sweetness for her.  And I love all those scenes when Hyun Min and Ji Woon leaned closer to Ha Won blinding me with a sweet fictional love spectacle.
Ji Woon who decided to challenge Hyun Min, I don’t know if it’s because of Hye Ji’s wish or because he wants to assert his rights as an heir will get to a point when all his fears and bottled up emotion will be cured through his upcoming plan of spending time with Ha Won.
I want to see a definite love connection for Hyun Min whether it will be with Hye Ji or Ha Won because they’ve got to explain where Hye Ji’s pathetic one-sided love is coming.  
It was a safe episode 4 that will propel the resulting love conflict which romcom suckers like really looks forward to.
-jediprincess♡♡♡
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Cinderella
As HaWon-rella gets accustomed to living in Sky House, she flew in from one prince’s arms to another.  Yes sir, she is currently the luckiest girl in kdramaland right now.
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EPISODE 3 SUMMARY
Drenched in water, Ha Won reluctantly entered Sky House with Secretary Kim who offered his jacket to her dripping clothing.  She reminisced the painful secret she just gotten from her supposed father and let the warmness of the water washed her pain away.
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The three heirs were informed that Ha Won will be living with them and Secretary Lee reiterated how dating will not be tolerated in the Sky House.  Seo Woo raised how Hyun Min is dating her and Ji Woon added how he dates myriad of girls, but just as he was to reveal the engagement prank Hyun Min pulled, the latter forced Secretary Lee to not disclose it as it will be risky for Ha Won to have the two believed they were not really together. 
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Hyung Lee countered that he was the most dangerous man for her, but Hyun Min insisted and offered his credit card access to make sure that Ha Won will be protected from his cousins.  Hyung Lee acquiesced but made him promise to make sure he keeps the end of his bargain.
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Ha Won stared sadly at her mother’s urn and placed it beneath a chair for the mean time promising her that they have to wait until her father’s anger subside. Her grumbling tummy led her to find food in the new house she belongs.  Ji Woon roamed his eyes in his room and stepped out where he bumped with Secretary Lee.  
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Hyung Lee:  “You now chose to be Kang Ji Woon!”
Ji Woon:  “It was not a choice, you forced me!”
He told him to make sure to live as Kang Ji Woon and not do anything to upset the Chairman.  Ji Woon replied how he was only there for his mission to understand why his grandfather was so into him and why his father left him and her mother.  Hyung Lee gave him permission to seek those answers.
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Ha Won marveled at the grand dining table when there were only three people living in the house.  She found the fridge but was halted by an ajumma who asked who and why she was there.  Ajumma introduced herself as Bolgyeo and took her away from the mansion before the three Masters find out she was there.  Ha Won was led to a sunny room but Hyung Lee entered and explained to Ajumma that she is Chairman’s special guest.  Ajumma apologized to her impudence as Ha Won claimed that she will be working as part-timer there and not to worry about it.
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Hyung Lee escorted Ha Won back inside the mansion.  She blabbed about how he was so stern with Ajumma earlier.  He responded that she should be respected well in the Sky House as per Chairman’s command.  She was about to argue again but her hungry tummy stopped the protest and broke the silence between them.
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Hyung Lee donned an apron while precisely cutting onions and things here and there.  *swoons  Ha Won admiringly gets puppy faced at the cooking show in front of her and in no time Chef Lee plated the yummy dishes on the table.  Cinderella’s eyes feasted on the magical food in front of her and thanked Chef Lee who smiled at her happily.  She munched the food happily and offered Chef some when she was almost done with it.
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Hyun Min dragged her to talk in secret.
 
Hyun Min:  “Hey!  We are still engaged, okay?!”
Ha Won:  “Hey!  Stop talking trash, okay?!” 
Bwahaha!  You got to give some sassy stars to Ha Won really.  She is unfazed when she talks to people short of understanding logic.  
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Hyun Min told her that it’s for his best interest to keep up on the act, but Ha Won wanted to come clean even if it meant they will learn she did it for money job.  She added how dating is not permissible in the house but he asserted that it was only a fake agreement.  He bribed her for additional money, but she refused that she doesn’t need it and we get to see Hyun Min in his another amusing ego deliberation…
Hyun Min:  “So you want to do it for free, have you fallen for me in that short amount of time?”
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Ha Won shook his impossible thoughts right away and asked him to raise his hands.  He raised it to the level of her breast which made her annoyingly hold her breath one..  She asked him to raise it higher, and then another more…  She threw in a punch but Hyun Min kept her in place in his embrace.   He told her that he only wants to protect her and she responded for him to eat crap.  Ha Won stormed out of the room and saw Ji Woon who stopped and asked her how much money she got this time.
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Ha Won contemplated on her new situation while remembering her encounters with the young masters but ended up convincing herself that she won’t fall for them and dating is prohibited anyway.  Unable to sleep on the comfy bed, she took a spot beneath the study table and finally dozed off.
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Hyun Min and Ji Woon crossed path outside the mansion and they agreed to not mind each other’s existence.  Ji Woon went inside a warehouse room where he picked up and opened a box where his photo with his mom was inside.
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Ha Won woke up to her new room and discovered that it was a see-through kind of room.  She peeked on the room in front of her and got surprised when two playful eyes stared back at her.  Hyun Min sent her a text message that he was not properly dressed yet so he can’t accommodate her at the moment.  Ha Won’s mind tried to process the situation and moved to investigate further on the adjacent room as Ji Woon marched in shoving her out to get lost if she doesn’t have business in someone else’s room.  She added up 1 plus 1 and proved her theory that she is surrounded with Ji Woon and Hyun Min’s rooms and collapsed on the thought of it.
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Ha Won wandered around the mansion while the people get busy taking care of the grounds and household chores inside.  She found herself in the dining room again and was coaxed by Yoon Sung who I’m calling a lot of names so far in this recap.  Let’s call him Yoon Sung from now on.  He urged her to go ahead and eat, but she wanted to wait for the rest of the boys first.  He muttered how the young masters never sit on a table to eat and on cue Chairman Kang called from Hawaii to greet Ha Won and asked how her first night was.  He gave her a mission to have his grandsons sit on a table to eat together.  Yoon Sung laid out Ha Won’s work contract which basically not to date any of the grandsons and to fulfill missions set by the chairman which will entitle her to additional bonus but failing to do so will make her lose her job.
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Ha Won’s father prepared for another job on the road and ordered step mom not to open the door for Ha Won if she crawls back in.  She tried to snoop about Ha Won’s identity some more, but he dismissed it.   He received a phonecall from someone who has a tip on a taekwondo master he was looking for and went to meet the person.  
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Meanwhile Hyung Sun went to pick up Ha Won’s things, well it’s about time to do that I’m tired seeing her in PE uniform, and delivered the news to her step family that Ha Won will be living in Sky House for work.
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On to Operation-Young-Masters-Eating-Together mission, Ha Won looked optimistic to do her first task and sat waiting for faces to show up.  Seo Woo handed the flower bouquet meant for her mom and asked her if she cried last night because she looked so sad but she replied and blamed it to the rain.  He mentioned how he thought something bad might have happened in her family and Ha Won caught up piecing out that he intentionally deleted Yoo Na’s text messages for her not to get hurt.  
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Yes dear he is the only normal person in that mansion and it’s already breaking my heart that you will break his heart eventually.  Seo Woo admitted his act after being cornered and mumbled on the kind of sister relationship she had which she responded to comparing how she at least eat with her family on a table unlike him and his brothers.  On that note, Ha Won took the opportunity and urged him to eat together, but Ji Woon’s perfect timing slammed down her intention by telling her not to look at him.  meh meh!  Seo Woo beamed at her and told her to rest her eating together case.  
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Ha Won followed Ji Woon to the storage room and was warned coldly on her manners of invading someone’s privacy.  He questioned her decision to live in Sky House and if she perhaps has intention to seduce her.  She replied that she moved there to protect something important to her and told him that he is crazy.
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Ji Woon trapped her in his arms and we got a fairy sprinkled magical fleeting moment as Ha Won perplexed with the emotion rush reminded him not to touch her again and marched out of the room.
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 Ji Woon sighed and we flashbacked to how she almost got hit by a knife that’s why he embraced her  and protected her from harm.
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Ha Won still shaking from the encounter bumped on her luggage and spill the contents of it.  She rushed to rescue her belongings and soaked herself in the running man-made creek.  Seo Woo and Hyun Min approached her and asked her to stop what she was doing but she kept on picking up her things.  
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The flower bouquet flowed and was seen by Ji Woon which reminded him of how she pleaded for her mom’s resting place.  Seo Woo got a fish net basket to help with and pulled Ha Won back to the land.  Ji Woon broke their rescue operation and asked if it was the reason why she agreed to live with them… he moved forward, handed the flowers and told her to take care of her own things and not make other people worry about her.  
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Hyun Min and Ji Woon as usual moved to their constant spat as Seo Woo tried to mediate his always fighting brothers.  Distressing even more our damsel, Ha Won told all three of them to stop and dragged her things back in without their help.  She glanced at Ji Woon entering his room as she looked down on her water soaked feet – and we see Ji Woon doing the same thing after going to the water to get the flowers for her.  
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Ha Won was drying her things up when Yoon Sung knocked and apologized for abandoning her things.  He asked her to dress up as they have to go somewhere.  And by that somewhere we mean a patent shopping spree that all girls love to watch in a rom-com.  Dear Show, are we going to start on “the game to win Hawonrella’s heart” now?
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Ha Won teased Yoon Sung on the “Pretty Woman” moment they were having and raised her disagreement to clothes’ shopping, but obedient to Chairman Kang, he only has “It’s the Chairman’s command” to her appeals.  He ended up doing the shopping for her while she rest in a cafe.
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Ha Won accidentally bumped an ajumma who demanded her to pay for the damage on the scratch of her legit bag but Hye Ji came to her aid and pointed out that the bag was a knock off.  They proceeded to the cafe and chatted a bit.  Hye Ji revealed her intention to study fashion design in college and that she is not originally from a rich family.  She also told Ha Won that she grew up with Hyun Min in the same neighborhood.  Ha Won told her that they met in the convenience store where she works.  Hye Ji jealously said how she must be happy being Hyun Min’s fiancee.  Just then Yoon Sung entered the coffee shop and Ji Hye learned that she is now staying in Sky House.  
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Ha Won felt bad not being able to straighten the lie to Hye Ji, but she made a vow to Hyun Min already.  Ha Won complained on how much Yoon Sung shopped for her but she got his robotic Chairman command reply.  She rebut that everything was too much, but he countered how living with the three guys is a handful so he will be there for her to make things easier. #yoonsungoppasaranghae
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Yoo Na ambushed Ha Won’s friend to spill the beans if her step sister is really staying at Haneul house.  She enviously saw the pictures and when she was trying to get the phone from her again, her hand landed on a 3 day old rest room thrash bag.  Seo Woo picked up Ha Won’s bank book and saw the little money she has on her account after paying for the crematorium fees.  
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Hye Ji met Ji Woon at an Art Gallery.  They went for a quick chat as Ji Woon confirmed that Ha Won indeed is staying in Sky House.  Not wanting to believe the truth, she stood up to confirm it with Hyun Min directly.  Can someone please tell girl to deviate her sad face and poker face?  
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Seo Woo greeted Ha Won who got back from shopping and gave the bank book he picked scattered on the floor.  He admitted peeking inside and teased her that he has uncovered most of her secrets lately.  He chided not for her to feel sorry about not having money as Highschoolers usually don’t have money anyway, but she joked on about him and his two brothers then being rich at their age.  She blabbed about how she knew her position and that she won’t linger anyway which made Seo Woo questioned her if she will be breaking off the engagement with Hyun Min soon, but she stopped him from prying too much.
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Ha Won rejected Hyun Min’s phone call and crept on her floor spot to take some sleep.  Hyun Min texted her to go to his room as he will give something to her but she disregarded his request and went to sleep.  Baffled that he was ignored, he knocked on her door and asked her to wait at her doorstep and presented her uniform.  He threatened her that he will cut it if she won’t get it from him.  He held the uniform on hostage as he led her to his room.  And when she entered, he told her that she’s the first ever girl to step inside.
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Ha Won apologized and lectured her on how she returns everything to whatever she receives. She enumerated all that he has been doing to her and stopped on violence.  She move towards him, leaned on a almost kiss and banged her head to his.  Hyun Min gave up with his teasing and raised her uniform for her to reach, but he swings her again and held her body in his embrace.  Are we tracking our score?  It’s 2-1 everyone in favor of Hyun Min.
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“You are becoming more and more amusing!” Ha Won stared nervously at Hyun Min while they were unaware that they have an audience slowly approaching outside.  Ji Woon saw how Hyun Min is about to kiss Ha Won so he blocked her view to shield her from the visual pain as we closed the scene with the two couples locked at each other’s eyes.
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EPISODE 3 COMMENTS
You’ve got to give credit to how suave Ahn Jae Hyun is with his Hyun Min portrayal although I think I figured how he is suppressing his emotions with Hye Ji.  I think it’s more of his strategy on his position as an heir.  Although in the future he will be trapped in the complication if he continuously nurture his mischievous fondness to Ha Won.
As for Ji Woon, he was seeing his past self on Ha Won and that’s why maybe the cold shoulder. But soon enough he will realize how subconsciously he has done little things to protect her and I can’t wait to see him in that mind-boggling situation.
I’m already feeling sorry for Seo Woo just like what I felt with Jeremy in You’re Beautiful, but I’m all in for the sweet moments designed for them to be captured.
I’m still not satisfied to where the animosity between Hyun Min and Ji Woon came in.  I hope it will be explained, I mean is the chaebol world that dark?
I’m actually seeing a you-have-the-riches-ill-have-cinderella ending but who knows who will choose the money and who will get the girl.
Episode 3 was neatly following the narrative while giving us a glimpse of the characters’ nature without losing the romcom vibe and the quirkiness.  So I like where we are heading.  -jediprincess
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Our Cinderella got a dose of reality that hard work and optimism do not suffice when you tackle on life and that you have to take on once in a lifetime opportunity offered to you.  Meanwhile her princes are confronted with the extent of control their rich grandfather has on their lives.
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EPISODE 2 RECAP
Hyun Min picked up some bills thrown by Ji Woon and put it back on his jacket while giving a warning not to mess with his woman.  Ji Woon questioned his claim of Ha Won as his woman, and just as they were going to brawl, Hye Ji shouted for them to stop and walked away.  
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Ji Woon followed but was halted by Ha Won who lectured him that money should not be thrown because he doesn’t know its value for those people who has to work hard for it.  Ji Woon pinned her on the wall and warned her to get lost of his cousin’s life, but she pinned him back on the wall and countered that if he mess up with her again he will be dead.  rawr
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Ha Won returned all the fancy accessories and clothing to Hyun Min and threw a shoe at him.  She hurried to leave the place just as Ji Woon glanced at her with Hye Ji on his motorbike.
The two arrived at Hye Ji’s house and he asked her why she liked Hyun Min that much when he doesn’t even care, but she is determined that she will make him fall for her soon.  
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Meanwhile Hyun Min was castigated by Secretary Lee on the trick he pulled and gave him a picture of his real fiancee which he will be meeting soon.  He  cautioned him to be cordial to her if he wanted to keep his heir position.  
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Chairman Kang sipped on his coffee and spoke about how his fifth wedding was so amusing, thanks to a young woman who seem to know how to disarm his grandsons.  He ordered his secretary to get information about Ha Won.
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Ha Won politely asked her step mom if she could lend her some money for her college tuition and promised to pay back through her wages.  But the step mom took it as a brazen request and blabbed how she might have hoped for Yoo Na all this time to not make it to the colleges she applied for. 
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Secretary Lee reported to Chairman about Ha Won’s tenacity in enduring 10 part-time jobs to support herself.  He added her non-pleasant living situation in the family and her desire to study in college.  
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Ha Won was brought to Chairman Kang and their similarity to slapstick comedy and books hits on right away.
Secretary Lee proceeded to presenting the reason why she was summoned.   He narrated the high-end specs and worth of Sky House and introduced Chairman Kang’s heirs which the latter simplified to a playboy, a thug, and a good-for-nothing.  
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He requested Ha Won to live with them in Sky House and make them turn to decent human beings.  In return he will pay for her college tuition and even send her abroad for her studies.  Ha Won replied how she thought rich guys were not supposed to learn proper decorum im case they end up giving out the family’s riches.  *chuckles  Ha Won was almost swayed but she refused courteously with the reason that she wanted to rely on her own hardwork.  They exchanged a few Confucian principles for bargaining, but she already made up her mind.
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Hyun Min met the potential arranged marriage fiancee but he got pissed about the rich girl’s focus on the business aspect of the set-up.  Just then Hye Ji appeared and he kissed her in front of his date.  The rich girl muttered that his bad reputation is indeed true and left. Hyun Min apologized to Hye Ji and walked away.  Hye Ji followed and told him how he has changed for the worst, but she is still hoping that there’s an ounce of what he used to be when they were friends.
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Ha Won went to the wedding venue to get back her uniform which was already given to Hyun Min, but was not permitted by the front desk person.  Ji Woon saw her and helped her with her problem however her school uniform can’t be retrieved.  She thanked him for backing her up and he replied how she should have asked his cousin to just buy her a new one just like what usually the women surrounding him do.  She hit him on his head to his angry surprise as she told him to mind his rough manners very well.  
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Ha Won tried calling her lost mobile phone which was switched with Kang Seo Woo’s phone who was busy running his idol performances.  Celebrity papparazi was able to know Hyun Min’s supposed fiancee and Ha Won is already called a “National jackpot girl” following the scandal.  They even went to their house and when her step-family learned her fleeting connection with Hyun Min, envious of her just like she always was, Yoo Na, the evil step sister demanded her to leave the house.
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Ji Woon was checked out from the hotel he was staying and his credit card was also cut.  He ended up at a movie house where Ha Won was working and was staring at her sleep while on duty.  She woke up from the quick drift and tried to sneak out when she realized Ji Woon was there but when she looked back, he lunged so close to her face asking if she has some money.  
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They walked out from the movie house bickering as Ha Won mumbled how a rich guy like him doesn’t have $10.  His pride won over her teasings so he decided to leave even when she was about to give him $5 but his tummy felt otherwise so they ended up eating cup ramyun at the convenience store where Ha Won was working.  
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Ji Woon spotted his grandfather’s car and went out for a quick conversation with him.  He told him that he is not interested with his power and money and will live his life on his own.  Why so jaded oppa?  aigoo
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Ha Won finally reached the person who got her phone not knowing it was Kang Seo Woo.  He told her she got a lot of text messages.  She asked him if he can unlock the phone and read the messages from Yoo Na.  He sugar coated the curses and bad text messages she got from her and told her that her father will be coming back tomorrow.  Ha Won knocked on Seo Woo’s car window and the latter was surprised seeing Hyun Min’s fiancee.  He deleted the bad text messages and stepped out of his car.  They exchanged the phones and he worriedly stare at her walked away happy at the thought of meeting her father for dinner tomorrow.
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After work Ha Won was harrassed by the reporters waiting for an ambush interview, but Hyun Min came in to her rescue.  He mumbled about how he was cool rescuing her while she was upset on how he can’t understand her situation all because of the lie he did.  She asked him to clear her name.  
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He obliged and promised her that her online pictures will be washed away in 5 minutes.  He called someone and threatened him to remove all related articles containing his supposed fiancee or they will take out their ads.  
While Hyun Min was consumed on how his recent act was so amazing, he boasted about how there’s no way she won’t fall for that suave act, but she was just baffled on the things money can really buy to which he responded that he can’t buy her smile.  Ha Won smirked, thanked him for taking down the photos and left his car.
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Ji Woon went to the car repair shop but was asked to leave the place.  He learned how his frandfather paid a hefty amount if they will remove Ji Woon from their lives.  Ji Woon met with Secretary Lee and asked him if that was the power his grandfather was talking about.  Secretary Lee responded to put behind his past and should now live as Kang Ji Woon.
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Ha Won learned that her mother’s urn was retrieved by her father.  She asked her father about it the moment she arrived home which her father took as being disrespectful to her step mother. The step mom and Yoo Na switched to kind hearted faces in front of her father and when step mom mentioned the money she save for the daughters’ tuition, Ha Won was surprised why she was saying that now when she told her she wont’t lend her money.  
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Ha Won’s father slapped her face and revealed that she is not her real daughter.  She walked away from the house she thought to be her home and drenched herself in the pouring rain.  Just then she received a phonecall from Chairman Kang about his initial offer.
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The three heirs received a text message to go to Haneul mansion and saw Ha Won standing beside Secretary Lee.  While all the rich, handsome heirs make their move to circle Ha Won, Secretary Lee reminded her that dating is not permissible in the mansion.  
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EPISODE 2 COMMENTS
We are still getting to know the main characters and I don’t think it will give the Boys Over Flowers  vibe at all.  Though using the rich-guy-poor-girl plot, they are strengthening  the heroine’s character and I think grandpa will not spoil the upcoming romance that will happen or if he will be against it because of the whole business marriage rigamaroles, I think at least one guy will get the girl and one will get the company position, and one will just be happy.  Any cohabitation romcom is a guaranteed hit right now for me especially when Doctors is beginning to feel lethargic and Uncontrollably Fond is becoming so agonizingly tragic.  
 
I look forward to cheering on Ha Won as he straighten out the stubborn men she will live with and when these guys fall for her and gave whatever they have to win her heart.
 
I don’t understand why Ji Woon is not happy being rich but I think it will be fully explained in the future episodes along the supposed past of Hye Ji and Hyun Min.
 
I have always been bias when it comes to Jung Il Woo as he is my ultimate crush but I give credit to his ever commitment when suiting up a role making sure it would be different from his previous portrayals.
 
I can’t wait for the cutesies and the bickerings as Ha Won’s feistiness will be  measured through the Kang cousins bullheadedness. I pray that even when following the romcom cliches, this will be an adorable and feel good kdramaland stop.  -jediprincess
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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.

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EPISODE 1 SUMMARY
Hardworking Eun Ha Won tells the children she was baby-sitting not to believe in fairy tale Cinderella basing on her own experiences of doing a lot of side jobs.  She added that they should learn to fend and support themselves on their own when they grow up.  
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Living with her step mom and sister, she has been saving her money through a handful of part-time jobs to fulfil her mother’s dream of her studying in college and being a teacher eventually.  While she lived with her uncaring step-family, she maintained an optimistic life by just moving forward to follow her goals.
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Haneul Group chairman is getting married for the fifth time and he wants his stubborn grandchildren to show their faces in his wedding banquet.  
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So his assistant summoned the stubborn heirs who are not close to each other to deliver the news about Chairman Kang’s marriage.
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Heir #1 Kang Hyun Min is notorious for being a ladies’ man.  He only knows two types of women, those he currently dates and those he will be dating soon. 
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He is not in good terms with cousin Heir #2 Kang Ji Woon who belatedly learned that he is from a rich household and is full of repressed emotions he has yet to conquer. 
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Relaxed, cheerful and the only normal from the 3 cousins would be Heir #3 Kang Seo Woo who is a famous idol singer.
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While Chairman Kang’s new wife is brewing an evil plan on the soon to be riches she will be getting from her husband, the Chairman only worries about how he can make his reckless grandchildren to live harmoniously in their mansion.  When their butler was pinned upside down in the ceiling with a masking tape, he ordered his assistant to find a working butler at all cost.
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Park Hye Ji is Hyun Min’s childhood friend, she has a one sided love towards Hyun Min and a close friend of Ji Woon as well. 
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While she was busy preparing the dress she will be wearing for the wedding celebration, her object of affection made a bet with his friends of bringing to his grandfather’s wedding event the first girl who will enter the door of the party they were enjoying.
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It turned out to be Ha Won delivering a pizza from her part-time job.  When the arrogant customer refused to pay and insulted Ha Won by not following the special instruction of having a pretty girl bring the pizza, she threw in some martial moves forcing the scared rich coward’s friend to pay.  Ha Won apologized to the guests and left the place just like nothing has happened.
 
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Hyun Min tracked her to the convenience store where she was also working and offered her money to pose as his fiancee.  He gave his details in case she changed her mind when she refused his initial offer.
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The next day Ha Won bought a bouquet of flowers to see her mother and deliver the good news of being admitted to college, but was surprised that her urn was removed from the usual spot of the columbarium. 
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The manager told her to pay the 5 Million won dues in order to keep her mother’s place.  Unbeknownst to her Ji Woon was also there visiting his mother and witnessed how she begged to the manager about her situation.  Ha Won wept and debated on whether she will use the money she saved for her college tuition or for her mom’s resting place.
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Ji Woon told Hye Ji how he doesn’t have intention on going to the wedding because he felt not welcome there anyway.  He went to a car repair shop where he used to work and offered his friends a food treat.  He went to the nearby convenience store where Ha Won was working.  He asked her to heat the food but had to go back to the shop as he left his wallet.  He overheard one of his so-called friends blabbing how he doesn’t treat them well and just with food when he had all that money to spend.  Sad about knowing people’s genuine selves when money is involved, he walked away and was approached by Ha Won who demanded him to pay for the food.  He promised to give money the next day as she walked away saying how he can’t even apologize for the trouble he made.
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Hyun Min transformed Ha Won to his beautiful fiancee after she agreed to his proposition.  Little did she know that he was planning to create a ruckus to his grandfather’s event by not telling her of his real intentions of putting up a play meant to annoy the old man and his young bride.
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They walked together from the other side  of the venue’s balcony while the old couple were doing a wedding march of their own.  Hyun Min told his grandfather that his fiancee is his wedding present.  
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Realizing the child play he pulled, she snapped at him with her strength and forced him to bow and offer respect to Chairman Kang who was amused by the young woman’s reign over his grandson as Ji Woon made his appearance and was intently looking at his cousin’s show.
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Annoyed at Hyun Min’s child play, they were still arguing when Hye Ji approached Ha Won and introduced herself.  Hyun Min shoved her away but Ji Woon came to Hye Ji’s rescue. 
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He stepped in and confronted Ha Won over her agreeing to Hyun Min’s ploy just so she can get some money and threw bills on her face. Now that was being rude.
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EPISODE 1 COMMENTS

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.

For now I will just savor the moment of being in another 8-week relationship with my Jung Il Woo. 
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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.

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SYNOPSIS

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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REVIEW

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

RATING:  B

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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. 

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“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.

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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. 

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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.  

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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♥♥♥

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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.

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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.

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SYNOPSIS
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
GRADE: B

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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

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Goong (2006)

Theme:  Cinderella, School, Palace life

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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.

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My Girl (2006)

Theme:  Cohabitation Romcom

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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.

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Which Star are you from? (2006)

Theme:  You and Me against your family

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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.

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The First Shop of Coffee Prince (2007)

Theme:  Workplace Romance

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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.

 

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The World that they live in (2008)

Theme:  Workplace Romance, First love

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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.

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You’re Beautiful (2009)

Theme:    Musical, Cohabitation

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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.

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Boys Before Flowers (2009)

Theme:  School, Rich-boy-poor-girl

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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.

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Prosecutor Princess (2010)

Theme:  Workplace, Revenge

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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.

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My Gf is a Gumiho (2010)

Theme:  Fantasy, Folklore

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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.

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Personal Preference (2010)

Theme:  Cohabitation

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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.

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Myungwol the Spy  (2011)

Theme:  Spy, Enemy turned lovers

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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.

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The Princess’ Man (2011)

Theme:  Vengeance, Historical

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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.

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My Princess (2011)

Theme:  Princess Romance

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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.

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I Need Romance (2011)

Theme:  Modern romance

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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.

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Flower boy ramyun shop (2011)

Theme:  Cohabitation, rich-boy-poor-girl

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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.

 

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The Moon that Embraces the Sun 2012

Theme:  Historical, First love

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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.

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Faith (2012)

Theme:  Fantasy, Historical, Medical

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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. 

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Cheongdamdong Alice (2012-2013)

Theme:  Black Knight Romance

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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.
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Rooftop Prince (2012)

Theme:  Time Traveling, fusion sageuk

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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.  

 

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A  Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

Theme:  Bromance, Testing Waters

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“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.
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Reply 1997 (2012)

Theme:  Young love, First love

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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. 

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Operation  Proposal (2012)

Theme:  Fantasy, Time travel

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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.
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That Winter the Wind Blows (2013)

Theme:  Fake siblings turned lovers

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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.

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Fated To Love You (2014)

Theme:  Strangers turned Lovers

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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.
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Discovery of Romance (2014)

Theme:  Second Chance on Love

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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.

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It’s okay that’s love (2014)

Theme:  psychology explained kind of love

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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.

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Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)

Theme:  Multiple Me Love

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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.
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Beloved Eun Dong (2015)

Theme:  Unrequited Love

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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.  

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Oh My Ghost (2015)

Theme:  Haunted Love

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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.
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Another Oh Hae Young (2016)

Theme:  Rebound Romance

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

love, jediprincess

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.

SYNOPSIS

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.  


CAST AND CONFLICT

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

GRADE:  A+

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aigoo  My head burst in selecting the best of the best from my memories.  I stayed strict to my simple qualifications of breakthrough writing, brilliant directing and beautiful cast portrayal.  This will be my first entry for this kdrama challenge and I’m excited to fill my list on my future posts.

Korean dramas have evolved to the most innovative themes in the past years.  The competition  is stiff and if the yearly trend is set, production companies will make their drama even more superb than the copied idea.  

There are myriad of stories to choose from in kdramaland hence the growing popularity in the world.  My last rule in this list stripped my being romantic self and reminded me to choose the most polished and creatively conceived story and not the main lead that made my heart fluttered.  *chuckles

So here are my picks for the best 20 kdramas in the last 10 years.

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Jumong:  Prince of the Legend (2007)

GENRE:  Period, Action, Romance, Drama, War

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This loooong period drama is the proof of my unwavering commitment to South Korean dramas.  *chuckles  While journeying with Jumong to the endless political wars, rooting for his love fulfilment with Seo So No and his ascencion to the empire he built, I learned about korean history, war strategies, economic principles and winning over people’s greed.  You know that Machiavelli book about politics and governance, skip that and watch Jumong for a more interactive education.  I promise it is more enjoyable.  Jumong managed to maintain the excitement even with its long run.  It made use of detailed and thrilling storytelling that hooked me to connect with the main hero.  True, there will be a lot going on in the story, so you might as well take notes and don’t fall asleep because when you wake up a lot already happened.  *giggles

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City Hall (2009)

Genre:  Drama, Romance, Comedy

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This politics based romance drama crawled in my heart without me realizing it.  It beat the regular favorites Coffee Prince, Goong and even My Lovely Samsoon to get to the top of my list, because it’s not your conventional drama with cushioned and frosted romance.  It is a love story where the prince did not rescue his damsel in distress, but pushed her to be brave and resolve things on her own.  With an uncomplicated premise, the writing was exceptionally thought provoking for women experiencing challenges in finding their worth not in the standard of what the society dictates but on the dreams they have as a woman.  A memorable performance for Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won with a bonus heartfelt love story on the side.

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Dong Yi (2010)

Genre:  Historical, Romance, Drama

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It was beautifully imagined and crafted.  The conspiracies, surprise moves, evil ways, and fighting the evil ways are the reasons why I stayed afloat finishing this 60 episode period drama.  Dong Yi displayed such appealing and stimulating TV drama while presenting the richness and intricacies of Korean culture. More than how they presented the elaborated palace life, power struggles, vibrancy of the culture, I love that the narration was so subtle in its approach and yet so daring on its conviction.  The story was well developed and connected. I appreciate that they minimize the number of villains because I can only hold contempt of three to five people at the same time.  The beginning was dishearteningly good, the ending will make you pull the strings for it to end out of weary, if not for the fact that you so wanted to know what will happen to the bad guys… Now the middle part…. that was the best part of the series.  

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

GENRE:  Period (sageuk fusion), Romance, Comedy

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 I present you “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” – the drama that changed my belief that sageuk presentations are not fun.  A bromance-filled tale incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history and way of living made the series so riveting, you will find yourself insatiable with the charm it has cast upon you.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal was a Hana Kimi-Boys-Over-Flower-fusion set in the Joseon era.  This is where I suffered the most mind-boggling Second-Lead-Man syndrome, in the end the second-lead prevailed.  *chuckles  This is a kind of school life every girl wished for, having three gorgeous men as your friends and even two fighting for your heart. Considering the setting was in traditional times, they were able to execute love melting and love sighing scene while studying in the library, getting stranded inside a wooden elevator, and all the rest of those happy moments shared by the Sungkyunkwan Scholars. Despite the political strain conflict, what I loved most on Sungkyunkwan was that it was full of optimism and the bravery of the characters stood alone making each of their portrayals worth remembering.   The drama gave epic romantic scenes, REALLY EPIC… the kind of sweet love scenes that when you tell your friends, you get transported back to the moment where you were actually watching it. *promise

 

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Secret Garden (2010)

GENRE:  Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

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The sparkling tracksuit, the sweet sit-up kiss and coffee kiss, the hilarious body swap and Hyun Bin’s melting gaze were some of the things that I remember most about “Secret Garden”.  It was a breather from prototype romcoms with its perfect blending of fantasy and romance and with its main love couple’s reversal of roles having a strong heroine and a weak-hearted but charming lead man.

“Secret Garden” is your drama to see when you want a kdrama marathon vacation.  It played well in keeping its excitement stable and hit a love progression where the viewers were left all cheering for it to happen.  The fantasy body-switching plot was a brilliant addition to keep the story bubbly but the strength of how the love couple communicated or should I say bicker along the way eventually realizing they were both rendered by the love bind they threw at each other unconsciously.

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The Greatest Love (2011)

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy

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The love drama staged in the showbiz land exhibited a top actor in his prime and a struggling actress who used to be from a famous girl group but was condemned unfairly by the public’s judgment.  In a series of forming-a-love-story event, their lives sort of crossing their paths every now and then and before he knew it, the cutely egoistic and blithely mischievous Dokko Jin’s protective instinct was awakened by the pure, sometimes vulnerable, but never failing to be optimistic and to trust in life character of Ae-jung.

This is my favorite battle-for-the-leading-lady’s-heart showcase, as the two lead men warmed my love veins with their creativity to let Ae Jung noticed how much they love her. The Greatest Love was like a heroin disarming me from earthly life making me thrive inside my protective romance bubble.  It was done short and sweet with basket full of romance delivered personally by cupid to all of us.

 

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Scent of a Woman (2011)

GENRE:  Melodrama, Romance

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Looking back what I loved most about this drama is how for a change I got the conflict first in one big blow at the beginning of the series and I stayed glued at it all throughout even if I knew the expected possibilities.  I felt that the tears, the smiles, the bright side, the falling flower petals, the optimism, the strong heroine and Lee Dong Wook oppa were all perfectly placed to the finish line.

Knowing that the conflict was initially laid, what I anticipated was how they will reach the climax, and how the characters will play together to achieve it.  Since the conflicts were mostly character-based, the portrayals should be able to thrive in the emotions of the viewers, I say I got affected so much and was moved beyond what I expected of it. 

I did anticipate and prepare myself for the pain because I know that she will eventually die as it was the main premise of the story, and I did appreciate that they were able to come up with an ending that Eun-jae, Ji-wook and I deserve.   It was a conclusion that was so befitting of this death defying romance.

This was one of the most endearing love drama binge I have seen.   It was so love and life affirming.   If you are looking for a drama that will make you laugh, fall in love, cry and be hopeful all at the same time, this one is for you.

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City Hunter (2011)

GENRE:  Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller

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This action-filled series was definitely all business.  The reckless City Hunter left me awe-struck and wanting to be kidnapped and wishing he would rescue me.  Lee Min Ho playing devil-may-care-ass-kicking-casanova was enough not to scroll down the teaser and go straight on board the drama.  I should know.  I did.

With a pinch of romance, gorgeous fight scenes and definitive plot, City Hunter raised the bar to action drama set in modern times.  The nifty plot left life lessons and each episode was done where the tussles did not exhaust the viewers but left them wanting for more.

Directing and editing wise, this is one of those dramas which knew how to pull cliff hangers even to the finale episode where the hate-you-love-you character of Jin-pyo showed a befitting redemption.  I really thought his dark heart will not be swayed otherwise and that finale scene sent me moping reminiscing Vader saving Luke when the remaining inconspicuous goodness in his heart reminded him that he was his son regardless.  

The main character ensembles were so buffed making the story ever moving and exciting.  The show stopper “ajussi” and his online shopping addiction made me look like an occasional shopper.  The other dark apprentice was also oozingly hot orchestrating ruckus for City Hunter.  I liked that Kim Nana was also strong-willed and that he didn’t go to the usual sometimes mopey and always looking for a rescue lead woman.  Overall, this is a drama that will satisfy your cravings and your mind maunderings.  It was exceptionally done and a must see Kdrama delight.

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Ghost (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, Cyber crime, Action

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There were no guns triggered… no swords drawn… it was a battle between heroes and villains equipped with digital powers. It was an enthralling power game that involved, system hacking, all-knowing CCTV cameras, secret bugging, and heroes and villains almost equally genius to take one step ahead of each other.

Ghost/Phantom broke my love drama binge 360 degrees and I was left dumbstruck and on a cliff hanging state all throughout the series. I was like in a trampoline were I was bouncing up and down without the rush hitting the bottom level.  Ghost/Phantom will hold your interest in a very gripping fashion. The cunning power plays and counter measures were ever present to the story as it progressed. The brilliantly done ending emancipated the withheld secrets that were carefully and nifty hidden so as to achieve a closure befitting of this cyber world investigating drama classic.  Be prepared to be stimulated and trust me there will be no give-aways here… so you cannot defocus less you will be lost to the story.

The race on who gets to maneuver efficiently the power of the computers will earn the opposing team an instant digital karma so all the while, the villains and heroes have worked double time to raise the bar in outwitting one another.  If you want a breather from rom-coms, this cyber-crime drama should be on your list. The dexterous cast and perceptive plot will take you all the way to an exciting oblivion where you will feel like you are also part of this buffed cyberspace police officers.

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Queen In Hyun’s Man  (2012)

GENRE:  Romcom, Time traveling

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It’s over and done but Queen In Hyun’s Man now Abby’s man has left me insatiable.  Your drive to bring your viewers to your spontaneous romance binge whilst holding the reign to an incessantly bewitching plot was quenchless and I thank kdramagod for that.  
“Queen In Hyun’s Man” disarmed me each and every episode with the deviant drama pulls and going maverick to what I was predicting so I had me grab my tarot card to check if my seer abilities need a refresher.  It deviated from the typical KDrama conflict norms of unresolved unfinished love issues, family problems, useless vengeance driven characters, personal exhausting battles and all those other tiring fillings they would insert to make the spectators just go with the flow. 
Given the time-voyaging premise of the story, I was amazed on how the production team worked on the smooth transitions.  It was playing at past and present ends without losing the spontaneity and fluidity of the story.  The writer whom I stalked from then on was a delightfully mischievous conceiver who got down to the nitty-gritty of the screenplay and pulling off the conflicts and its deliverance in a make-sense and you-got-me-there kind of vibe.  It was a supernatural rom-com drama at its best, no questions asked, period.

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The King 2 Hearts (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, RomCom, Thriller

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King 2 Hearts was staged in a quasi-utopian Korean world where the North and South Koreans are sort of in peaceful communicating terms.

King 2 Hearts has always been polished, calculated but never failing to entice and push me to my assumed outcomes. That being said, what I applaud about this drama is how it seems predictable but will prove the viewers otherwise.  It met all the criteria for a superb kdrama and ended with conviction.  It has one of the most memorable villain who graced the evil camp land and it broke the struggle on second-lead-syndrome by killing the off the character.  It was an honest story yet tender at the same time.

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Gaksital/Bridal Mask (2012)

GENRE:  Period, Action, War, Romance

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Move over Ajussi, City Hunter, Masked Rider Black, Shaider, Spiderman, Superman, Batman… and all the rest of those superheroes who took the imaginary world by storm… Gaksital has only a  flute and superb martial arts move, but for the first time in my life, I fell in love with a local hero.  A bromance defying all bromance invented… *giggles  Every episode, if not the same intensity as the last, always ended at a very strong note.  I found myself immensely enjoying the gun shots, punch sounds, skin rips, sword slashes, blood spatters, and cat-and-mouse chase.

Gaksital went to this milieu… “I accidentally killed my brother because our mother was killed by my bestfriend’s brother.  So I killed my bestfriend’s brother, but he caught me doing it and because of the circumstances and my family’s past which was just revealed to me when I have already denounced my patriotism to favor the Japanese empire, I’m not sorry I did it.  A test of best-friends-forever pledge.  Yes, that it was.  How’s that for a conflict?  Not to add that they both love the same girl whom they met when they were young.  Avenging the death of their family members, first love duel plus fighting the Japanese regime.  If this looks crazy in writing, it was astonishingly gripping in action.

There are a lot of reasons why I would highly recommend this drama but I’ll start with its strength to depict a stimulating story brimming with facets of history and layered with conflicts and resolutions that disheartened and made me happy at the same time.  It was as if my father’s World War stories came to life, and I can only imagine how life was hard back then.    I’m enjoying period dramas lately, there’s just so much to learn that’s why maybe.  It has so much depth and substance and youth of today will learn a lot from it.  It was an epic tale that perfectly bloomed along with the characters and was so successful in sending out the Patriotic theme where love, loyalty, family and friendship where at stake. 

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Master’s Sun (2013)

GENRE:  RomCom, Supernatural

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Once in a while a surprisingly good love story would remind me why I became addicted to Korean Romantic Comedies.  In the sea of dramas where stories are usually woven from the rich-boy-poor-girl love affair or the male-pretending-lead-girl, a you-and-me-against-the-ghosts love story hit all the romantic nerves in my body even with its comic spooky vibes. 

“The Master’s Sun” has given me a lot of elating moments and back-to-when-I-had-my-first-love heart fluttering scenes.   In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace has made me join the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they were in denial and scared to admit it. 
When you have a stubborn romantic lead man who with-and-without amnesia know how to claim the heart of the woman he loves and a heroine who struggles in confusion to the path on how she is supposed to love her man, it will give you a love tale full of acceptance and understanding.  It will inspire you to trust why your heart fell in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons.  

 It was a nicely blended romance which showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both need each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they will ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

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You Who Came From Another Star (2014)

GENRE:  RomCom, Scifi, Supernatural

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Rarely did a Korean romcom drama approach me and sweep me off of my feet every episode up to the finale, and to say that I was happy throughout my drama-stalking was an understatement, I was so elated with it.  You see, love stories need not to be so big romantic kind of way, not that I didn’t like the “alien-who-loved-me” twist but “You From Another Star” drew a great following because of the vibrant characters who has really brought to life their fictional images to an unforgettable and you-can’t-help-but-relate-to kind of way. I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together gave a gratifying closure for the story.  You see once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying 3rd parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale, you only need two hearts that love bravely and love back deeply.
Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly built up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation on how a drama with typical romcom premise surged a romantic bliss, never looking back and coming strongly and  surely each chronicle episode and seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.
Fate, chance encounters and brave “i-love-you-right-now claims have never been so perfectly achieved until this love story graced kdrama screen and though there were minimal things that I wished was explained fully, I didn’t care less because the love progress moved to a pace where the character’s connection is sensitive to the story they are into, while the story glued out perfect pieces of events that maybe kdrama cliche, but were effectively used and concluded just the same.

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Nine Times Travel (2014)

GENRE:  Drama, Romance, Supernatural

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Notching superbly those climactic cliff-hangers and seamlessly presented the consistent timeline transitions and convergence, this drama would have mocked all the time-traveling stories that graced dramaland.  My Sherlock veins was immensely gratified that I paid less attention to the romantic side which in all fairness was also a satisfying bliss.  It was a balanced fusion of a character and plot-driven tale where its incredulous premise was chronicled unembellished and not leaning to injecting inconceivable trajectories due to its supernatural setting.

It was the story of a man who obtained 9 incense sticks that functioned as a time-trekking machine which helped him leave clues to his past self in escaping his looming death in the future.  His time warping brought him to events of 20 years ago and divulged pieces of information that his future self utilized to change the course of time in the past to protect the people he loved and his soon to be taken away life.  The incomprehensible plot paraded a stunning picture closed to perfection where I was set into constant debate with my thoughts, but Nine Times Travel was always emerging victorious when I’m deconstructing the path and curves on where it was heading.

It was an exceptional labyrinth themed story where the enchanted incense sticks functioned like Ariadne showing proudly the coherent flow of events and the liaison of the past and present time.
With its smart characters, nifty writing and dexterous editing I fell in love with this drama big time.

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Healer (2014)

GENRE: Drama, Action, Romance

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Healer is one of the best korean 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.

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.

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. 

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Misaeng (2014)

GENRE:  Melodrama, Drama

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Without supernatural intervention or genius fusion ideas, I landed on a pensive mode while watching the reflective and heart wrenching workplace drama “Misaeng”. And it’s very rare for me to do so because my excessively diverted mind usually craves for something different and evolving but with Misaeng, I was sent back to ponder on my forgotten dreams, regrets and what-nows?

Misaeng provided an engaging experience for me because of its wonderful cast and their interaction. Though mostly shot in the office premise, the candid pantry small talks, the rooftop heartfelt confrontations, the cubicle power struggles were able to capture in detail and in pure emotions the many faces of employees struggling everyday to get their job done.  It was like stepping to a company’s door, sitting silently in a corner while you watch all of the employees get to their job. For the jobless and people who wish for a different job it would be a great encouraging watch.

It is hard these days to find a human TV drama that follows the fundamentals of how and why storytelling emerged to inspire people.  We frequently have to see stories to escape from the problems we are facing so sitting down upfront a courageous and flaw-filled human nature TV presentation chronicling what is true and happening, what we hide to people relying on us and what we don’t want to admit to ourselves because of too much pride has had me really feel high spirited to surmise that fulfilling personal goals need not be happening in an instant and all at the same time.

With its simplicity and amazing depiction of the daily life of the working class, Misaeng is no frills, never superficial and all heart and a must watch for all of us on board and soon to be boarding on the corporate world. 

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Punch (2015)

GENRE:  Courtroom Drama

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Awed and at the edge of my seat every episode’s finishing kick, I can’t help but wondered how brilliant the writer of this story by bringing out a drama where heroes and villains don’t waste time outmanipulating each other to secure the highest possible position befitting to their greed and wickedness.  With a dying man as a lead hero in charge to intellectually brawl with his superiors in the Prosecutor’s office, the stake was always at the highest as the people involved raced to protect their families, reputations and personal ambitions.

Punch is a literal badass with its scintillating and intelligent writing.  It was full of surprises that will make the viewers grab their hair out of frustration.  I wondered how much hate the writer might have stored in himself to motivate him to write a chronicle that was able to maintain a level of grit all throughout his depiction of the corrupt Korean Prosecutors Office.    It was a nerve wrecking display of shrewdness played equally well by all the characters who was in the running to claim the most cunning of ’em all crown.

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Reply 1988 (2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Period, Romance

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They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

 I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Delving on nostalgic premise “Reply 1988” brilliantly use sweet melancholia by sending the viewers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.

Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare. 

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Descendants of the Sun (2016)

GENRE:  Romance, Action, Drama

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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 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.  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 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. 
“Descendants of the Sun” 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.

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. 

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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.

BACKSTORY

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.

SYNOPSIS

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

GRADE: A+

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Only when you have learned to appreciate Sageuk productions can you really claim that you are a certified kdrama addict because understanding the beauty of period dramas requires patience and total immersion to Korean history and culture.  So it is but a challenge and a path you have to go through in discovering the extent of your kdrama addiction.  *chuckles 
The longer the period drama the greater the struggle so it will be a blessing if it will be a mid length drama that can tackle the story without rushing it.  Unfortunately that was the case for me for Six Flying Dragons so I settled with Jackpot/Daebak as it didn’t tire me out with its 20 episodes.
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Jackpot managed to nail the fundamental elements of a historical drama.  It has a thrilling plot with Joseon gambling scene on the side, birth secret and family issues, conspiracy woven conflicts and the strong showdowns of the villain and the hero. Though it may not be perfect, it presented a solid story that didn’t go astray but focused on the main characters’ discovery of the lessons they have to learn on their own journeys.
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SYNOPSIS
Known to his superb control of the political factions in his era, King Sukjong and the Royal family endured the cunning ways of gambling Lord Yi In Jwa in maintaining the power of the monarchy.  The main villain used a beautiful woman to set a game that he will play with the monarchy out of personal vengeance and more of unexplained problem with his self worth.  
Yi In Jwa successfully sent a married woman, later being hailed as Suk Bin, to seduce King Sukjong and became an official concubine of the King.  When Suk Bin gave birth to her first born, a month earlier than expected, she had to save the baby who has already been doubted to be the King’s offspring upon his conception.   After severing her ties to Yi In Jwa, Suk Bin sacrificed herself to make sure her baby survives with her ex husband, Baek Man Geum.
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He raised him away from the palace and named him Baek Dae Gil.  He later on lived learning his adopted father’s gambling tricks.
 Years later Yi In Jwa came across the father and son and took interest of the role Dae Gil will play  on the grand treason plot he has been orchestrating all his life.   When Dae Gil realized how being powerless caused his father’s death, he vowed to make himself stronger to avenge the hardships he suffered in Yi In Jwa’s hand.  Dae Gil  befriended the King’s second son, who unbeknownst to him was his half brother.  They share the same love for Dam Seo, a woman who works for Yi In Jwa.
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Dae Gil begged a famous swordman to become his master in his goal to become stronger, and soon after he was able to return to the city to challenge Yi In Jwa.  He first took over the gambling houses ran by the villain around the country and cut the hands of people helping out his nemesis.  
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But the sly In Jwa has constantly slip on an escape plan and return even stronger than what he used to be.  
On his last attempt to  overthrown the leading monarch, Dae Gil who was highly taunted to have been more a greater King than his prince brother Yeoning, stood beside his brother in finishing with conviction the rebellion initiated by In Jwa’s personal vindication.
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STORY AND SCREENPLAY
Jackpot opened to the brilliant rawness of the set design of the gambling scene of Joseon.  The antiquated but thriving in excitement ambiance of underground gambling houses more than 200 years ago put me on a hypnosis and before I knew it,  I was religiously watching a drama that didn’t thrive on the romance plot of the story to sail the story to its finish line.
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Jackpot has all the required elements of a period drama but it focused more on the development of the character.  The story was not as shifting when it comes to the outwitting moves of the heroes and villains but it was steady to the protagonists’ goal to defeat the villain and vice versa.  When I looked back to what I recall most about it, I remember most the equally brilliant depiction of the main  cast.   I really enjoyed the gambling scene premise and any story  with master-padawan-ish story arc is sold for me.  I also like that the brothers chose patriotism over love.  lol  The ending scene put tears in my eyes while the OST airs because it made the picture even more poignant and satisfying.
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CAST AND CONFLICT
Period dramas biggest charms are the perfect  unveiling of conspiracies and the quest for the heroes and villains to outwit one another.   Yi In Jwa and Baek Dae Gil were amazing in their yin-yang mind games in trying to defeat one another.   The main story problem was also not messy and just hit straight to let’s-get-this-showdown-and-be-done-with-it spirit for the opposing characters.
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Yi In Jwa is in the running as the best villain for me while Jang Geun Seok earned my respect in his commitment as an actor in his brave and flawless portrayal.  Yeo Jin Goo also expressed evident depth in his character.
It was well and good that they went to just one main conflict as what typical sageuks do with its  endless conflict.
There were hurdles scattered for the heroes to conquer but it ultimately  catapulted to a closure involving the final defeat of the villain who made them suffer all throughout.
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RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
Though it was not perfect, Jackpot delivered and its length didn’t drag me from dozing.  Kudos to Jang Geun Seok.   As always he can do well in romantic stories but even more in drama.  It started strong, sailed steady and closed without any rush and with finality.  
If you like organic historical story,  you would appreciate its authentic drive to present the story without unwanted plot swervings and misplaced characters.
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HOW I ENJOYED IT:  8/10
HOW MUCH I RECOMMEND IT:  8/10
RATING:  8/10
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A perfect Saturday movie if you are into thriller action and spy film.  Definitely worth the hype and will not disappoint you.  -jediprincess♡♡♡

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SYNOPSIS
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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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. 

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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.  PicsArt_04-24-02.57.38

 

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.  

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 

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I will try to focus with all my might.  If I get sidetrack for a bit, forgive my romantic self.  *aigoo

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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.

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SYNOPSIS

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. 

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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.descendants-of-the-sun-song-joong-ki-song-hye-kyo

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. quot-Descendants-of-the-Sun-quot-Episode-16-final_97bbeddb709304e6b91b5137a5f153a00346fede20

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.

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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.photo697049

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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.

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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.  

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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♥♥♥

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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♥♥♥fullsizephoto628593

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

jediprincess♡♡♡

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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. 

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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. ^_^ 

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Lee Young Jae/Rain in Full House – the top star who had an everyday bickering session with his lead girl.  He was full of himself but he sure knew how to nurse his girl when she was sick.

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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?  

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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.images (49)
Kim Hyun Woo/Kim Rae Won in Lovestory in Harvard – Kim Rae Won can fit any dream guy character and make it work.  His shield 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.images (50)
Choi Seung Hee/Kim Rae Won in What star did you come from – Laid back Seung Hee oppa moved mountains in this i-fell-in-love-with-sisters drama but made sure that his girl would not feel that he was trapped in her sister’s memories.images (51)
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.  *chucklesc16bd87a6c814041446e96d7a294cc97
Gong Chan/Lee Dong Wook in My Girl – With the premise of hiring a cousin to appease his rich grandpa and finding himself loving his fake cousin, Gong Chan had a lot of cutesies and refreshing chemistry moments with the lead girl.images (52)
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.images (53)
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.images (54)
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 liberates with the truth about his lead girl’s identity, boy he was so smooth in showing his love to her.images (55)
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 realizing his feelings afterward.  He had to prove that rich-guy-poor-girl love affair can be achieved at the right time.images (56)
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.  He listens well and has some charming surprises.  His declaration of love scene is still my favorite  up to this date.images (57)
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.images (58)
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.  minam16-00053
 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.images (59)
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.  images (60)
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.images (61)
Kim Joo Won/Hyun Bin in Secret Garden – His sparkling jump suit 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.images (62)
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 climaxing to while feeding on the see how much i love you showcase of the crazily sweet Dokko Jin.images (63)
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.images (64)
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.  images (65)
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 runaway hit and the added bonus of his suave ways of making his girl’s heart flutter was an icing on the cake.images (66)
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 away.lee-dong-wook-28th-of-july-1
Cha Chi Soo/Jung Il Woo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – The persistent chasing of Chi Soo on his noona romance were most of the time hilarious but definitely worth the wait.  The rest of the flower boys along side the main lead were also additional perks.images (67)

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.images (69)
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.  images (70)
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.images (71)
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.images (72)
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.images (73)
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.  photo352510
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 doesnt 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.ep1_1
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.images (74)
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.images (75)
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.  That elevator kiss left me in trance.heal9
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 work out 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.images (76)
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 love.9a2c833da6375502589f3ed43c86e207
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.  images (44)

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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.

Happy Love Month everyone!  
Happy Lunar Year too!
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My Sassy Girl – Because every girl secretly wishes to have a Gyeon-woo in their lives.

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Il Mare – Because you only need a time warping mail box to exchange letters and eventually fall in love.

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The Classic – Because we cannot end up with our one great love.

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Daddy Long Legs – Because there will be that one person who will love you greatly with all his heart.

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My Little Bride – Because we realized too late that love is there all along sometimes.

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Daisy – Because we protect the one we love at all cost.

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A Moment To Remember – Because our best love memories are kept in our hearts.

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A Millionaire’s First Love – Because we become a better person when we fall in love.

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Lost and Found – Because we get confused reading which love is really given to us.

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Love Phobia – Because a man has only one first love.

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100 Days With Mr. Arrogant – Because we literally do everything for the one we love.

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Lovers Concerto – Because a fated love can end due to an un unfortunate chance.

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200 Pounds Beauty – Because hell hath no fury when a woman in love got fooled not so nicely.

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Heaven’s Postman – Because love can happen even in the most impossible beginning.

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Someone Special – Because love happens surprisingly when we stop looking for it.

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Always – Because love can spring  unexpectedly and truthfully.

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Neverending Story – Because two strangers can take on a journey and fall in love with each other deeply.

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A Werewolf Boy – Because love waits.

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My PS Partner – Because love can be served sassy and sexy.

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Love 911 – Because love can overcome the fear of losing someone.

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More than Blue – Because we overlook love when it comes from a friend.

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Once in a Summer – Because young love is the sweetest and most kept in our memories.

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Christmas in August – Because you love in the moment so that you won’t regret it when it’s gone.

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Two faces of my girlfriend – Because you have to love your girl in her ups and downs.

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Hello Schoolgirl – Because we love even with the discrepancy in age.

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Closer to Heaven – Because we love in sickness and in health.

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A wolf’s temptation – Because love is being tangled in a sweet love triangle.

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The Beauty Inside – Because you always recognize and feel in your heart when you finally fall in love.

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They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

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Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

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Answer Me 1988 tells the growing up years of five childhood friends living in a same block as they go through their studies, dreams and life. Relying to one another, the friendship circle’s families were also entangled as one big family thriving happily and harmoniously in the changing times. Sung Duk Seon the only girl in the friendship circle belonged to a family of five with a scary sister she always bicker with and a younger brother who doesn’t look young at all. They live humbly with his banker father’s salary which has been immensely diminished due to his kind heart always extending help to people in need even sacrificing the finances meant to be spend for the family. Choi Taek is the son of a clock repair man who is also a widow. They live quietly amidst the crazy families surrounding them. Choi Taek was a Baduk prodigy but since not having a normal life, he was often sheltered by the people around him because he was kind-hearted to a fault and didn’t bother much about the cruelties in life. Kim Jung Hwan grew up not being wealthy but in a stroke of luck, their family won in a lottery and became rich overnight. He has one brother who didn’t run out of a new hobby to try in his life as their parents worried about him not being able to secure a normal career in his prime. Yoo Do Ryong was the easy go lucky and the dancing machine of the group. He craved for his busy mother’s attention and was scared of his teacher-father’s scolding. Sung Sun Woo assumed taking care of his mother and little sister when his father died young. He was a model student and the most responsible in the group. As a trademark of the “reply franchise”, the drama will also give hints on the main love couple that will blossom in the story. But out of all three Reply dramas, ’88 was the most discreetly conceived and it took the last two finale episodes to finally reveal who the lead girl married. 

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One of the many things I loved in this show was the genuine on-screen bond of the cast giving life in the best possible imagination of the sketched characters in the story. There was no passerby among the cast. All have contributed to an almost perfect depiction of how uncomplicated life then. With neighbors living up to become a functioning support group with their fellow parents whose dreams were mainly directed to the well-being of their children and of children who were pressured to chase their dreams so as to make their parents proud. That is definitely not the case today with the internet controlling human interaction. People will choose to just browse on the superficial social media status of their family and friends than to take time to catch up with them in person.

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Another wonderful feature evident to all Reply-dramas would be the building up of the romance which has been fixed in presenting a love triangle and would always break the viewers’ hearts as they want both guys to get the same girl they were chasing. I was Team Taek-i all throughout. Who wouldn’t fall for Taek-i’s puppy face? I just really go for cute nerds who are clueless in life but advances strong when the situation required them to go for their one great love and Taek-i rose to the occasion by waiting for the right time and seizing the moment without looking back. Jung–hwan had his fair share of sweet moments capping up with that heartbreaking love proposal practice which Duk-seon never realized to be what really was in Jung Hwan’s heart.

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But the one great love lesson learned from JungHwan-Dukseon-Taek love triangle is to not blame timing or fate for your one great love to happen. Taek-i braved the odds and defied a 20 year friendship and sealed every love he had for Dukseon in a heart-stopping kiss because he wanted to know right at that moment if there is just not a chance but if love was really there for both of them. It’s not just knowing that love is there, it is being in absolute certainty that both of you feel the same way.Reply_1988-012

I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Reply 1988 was a great spectacle to seal K-drama parade of 2015 and I can only hope that the writer won’t get tired of delving on nostalgic premise like this.

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Reply 1988 is on my top 3 dramas for 2015 because of its brilliant use of sweet melancholia and sending the followers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.

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The ever present humor, the love stories and the amazing neighborhood are surely a quick relief for life stress. Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare. –jediprincess ♥♥♥

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P.S Images Source Asianwiki

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Forget the grueling gym work out, home yoga sessions and sadness inducing diet plans… Just allot 2 hours in 2 days watching Oh My Venus and you will miraculously lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks. It’s true. No hidden agendas, no diet pills, and no aggravating body pains. Sign up for a 14-day trial period at Coach John Kim’s Venus boot camp and see for yourself what the rest of the women who tried the program have been talking about. *chuckles

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Seriously now, if they want a solution to the alarming woes of women struggling to keep up with their weight, they should hire So Ji Sub oppa to be their personal trainer and the world will be a better place. *giggles

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Oh My Venus went to the typical Korean drama rom-com milieu of a rich heir who fell in love with a normal girl but with a fitness program twist. Kang Joo Eun was a feisty Korean lawyer with a steady long-time boyfriend. She was living a calm life and the only concern she has was her weight loss struggle.

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She used to be the high school boys’ dream in her hometown Daegu, but life’s complications took over and she failed maintaining her goddess self. She eventually lost her boyfriend to an old chubby law school friend who managed to discard her old fat self.

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Wanting to reclaim the self-esteem she has been losing, Joo Eun took the opportunity of forcing herself to be coached by a famous weight loss trainer, John Kim, when she chanced upon their identities after retrieving their belongings which was left in her possession. When John Kim’s crew was visited by Joo Eun to impose herself on taking their training, she assumed the manager was John Kim and not Kim Young-ho, the crew was forced to accept her request to shut her mouth in publicly declaring John Kim’s hiding in Korean soil following a scandal he had with a famous Hollywood celebrity. They went on the quest to recover Joo Eun’s Venus body though unbeknownst to Joo Eun, the training was not being done properly.

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Young Ho unfortunately witnessed Joo Eun’s love humiliation with her old flame and has stood by her side to salvage her depleted self-worth. With Joo Eun’s unfailing determination, he corrected her initial understanding of who John Kim was and decided to formally coach her and bring her back to life. Sparks eventually connected them together and just as Joo Eun’s body fats were falling, they too began falling in love with each other.

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I could stare at So Ji Sub oppa’s steamy self all day and it won’t still suffice the sweet craving I feel for him.  He’s my dream guy, a manna from heaven and the only arms I dream being imprisoned with. hahaha Hallyu land is like a big aquarium of hot guys , but So Ji Sub oppa’s cold exterior and warm heart is just a solid punch on why he’s able to pull his cliché character in this drama and trance a multitude of women to an intoxicating bliss. Yup I’m not ashamed that my religious following of “Oh My Venus” stemmed from my undying one-sided love with him and I can’t be any happier when the story enticed me with enough Kim Young Ho’s smoking topless exposure and knees-weakening gaze to keep me from being inspired to the fitness goal the drama was trying to impart. So there drama… mission solved! *giggles

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But seriously, I already outgrew the over-used rich guy-normal girl love story setting, but for the lightness and the girly-drooling moments, I would forgive the shallow conflict of this drama. Oh well and because anything is forgivable with So Ji Sub oppa in it.  But it would have been nice if they push it to Joo Eun’s initial dream to recover her old Venus self. Putting that Young Ho’s family’s company problem conflict was a bit awkward for the plot. It was not fitting.  Since they presented Young Ho’s broken self, I think they should have followed that lead.  There’s a lot of emotional struggles for couples in their 30’s because most tend to not unpack their baggages so they could have circled in their plot.  They could have lengthened Joo Eun’s rally to win Young Ho’s rich family to make the drama even more sassier and feel good.  But anyway, I got what I bargained for, if not for Joo Eun and Young Ho’s chemistry I would have really pouted.

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I want to commend on the show’s drive to encourage women with weight worries to lighten up and push themselves to be even more disciplined in following their fitness programs as it would be a propelling force to reclaim their confidence and to live a robust life.  If you can get a supportive partner/boyfriend with that then you are definitely on the right track.

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With ample cutesy love scenes and charming on screen adorable couple, this rom-com offering will wear out a week’s work stress. If you want an uncomplicated blithe and feel good love drama, this will definitely satisfy your craving. Add So Ji Sub on the side, and boy it’s definitely a winner all throughout. –jediprincess ♥♥♥

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Awed and at the edge of my seat every episode’s finishing kick, I can’t help but wondered how brilliant the writer of this story by bringing out a drama where heroes and villains don’t waste time outmanipulating each other to secure the highest possible position befitting to their greed and wickedness.  With a dying man as a lead hero in charge to intellectually brawl with his superiors in the Prosecutor’s office, the stake was always at the highest as the people involved raced to protect their families, reputations and personal ambitions.

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Punch is a literal badass with its scintillating and intelligent writing.  It was full of surprises that will make the viewers grab their hair out of frustration.  I wondered how much hate the writer might have stored in himself to motivate him to write a chronicle that was able to maintain a level of grit all throughout his depiction of the corrupt Korean Prosecutors Office.

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The characters centered to high ranking officers of the Prosecution’s office were able to propel an amazing cast ensembles that will take your wit all the way to Milky Way.  It was a nerve wrecking display of shrewdness played equally well by all the characters who was in the running to claim the most cunning of ’em all crown.

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At some point, I was already exhausted on how the writer can’t seem to just put every trick he has in his sleeve, but he kept on bouncing up your brain and I was left with no choice but to worry about Park Jung Hwan.  Park Jung Hwan who I believed deserved to be share the best character for me in 2015 KDramaland.  I’m sorry Healer, I liked you but I like him also and I can never go wrong with an insanely smart guy.

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I thought why the drama was titled Punch, and after finishing, it really lived to that name because every episode was a combat spectacle in cleverness and wiliness .  Punch is a story of a dying prosecutor in his quest to clean up the corrupt high officials of the office he belongs to.  His strategic thinking defied the power his superiors used when he was on a spree to reveal their evil doings.  It was a hard and frustrating battle but he managed to expose the truth before his passing.

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What viewers would love about Park Jung Hwan is his ability to bounce back from the oppression even with nothing on his hand to fight off the huge power and walls his superiors built to hinder his outrage.  It’s your classic underdog story but very well polished in a Mafia grit kind of way.  They made phonecalls, afternoon tea and eating jajangmyun so thrilling in my eyes.  hahaha

The antagonists displayed impossible levels of wickedness that even when they got what they deserved at the closing chapter I was still fuming on the inside.

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There’s no fleeting romantic interlude in this drama but it is filled with family love and lessons about choosing the right decisions in your lives. 

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I will definitely pick “Punch” as the best 2015 KDrama story-wise for its remarkable writing and heartfelt character portrayals.  If you want a dose of serious themed dramas, this one is for you.  The thrill and the pace will surely shoot up your mind and will make you crave for some more.  -jediprincess

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I think out of all friendship-turned-romance dramas this year, Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah’s story in Bubblegum is perfect for 30-ish working people who struggled and are struggling to keep up on the sad truth that dealing with a broken heart and learning to accept a new love have different approaches as you age along.   It was such an enamoring narrative that drew strength from the free spirited and natural on screen connection of the lead couple.

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Brought by their parents’ friendship, Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan grew up to be childhood best friends who always rely to one another. Haeng Ah’s mother died early as Ri Hwan grew up not knowing who his father was. His mother, a former daughter of a rich household left her family to raise her son alone, and with the help of Haeng Ah’s father who ran a restaurant she has managed to finish her residency in the hospital by leaving him in Haeng Ah’s father’s care. Unfortunately Haeng Ah’s father passed away early too and so she was taken to stay with a distant aunt. Her uncle came to rescue and asked Ri Hwan’s mother to let her stay in their house while he provides financial support for her. Haeng Ah was taken in but has always been careful in the presence of Ri Hwan’s mother who has mixed treatment towards her because she reminded her of her father whom she used to love.  

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Working as a Radio PD, Haeng Ah got involved in a cold relationship to a Senior/high-ranking officer in the radio station. Though she has loved the man deeply, she got tired of not being able to hit his priorities. When Ri Hwan learned about her new love misfortune, he did everything in his power to help her moved on, and in the process realized that his brotherly love has progressed to a romantic one. Haeng Ah who has learned early that she cannot date Ri Hwan because his mother will not agree to it mustered the right reasons and denied Ri Hwan’s love declaration but soon enough faltered and accepted the love that should have been hers all along. Ri Hwan who was set up to date a chaebol family daughter politely declined the one sided love and also chose to be with the love he had not realized to be there all along. When Ri Hwan’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the couple battled the odds and was initially defeated when Ri Hwan was left with no choice but to give up on Haeng Ah thinking of a future she will have with him if his mother’s disease will be passed on to him. Persistent Haeng Ah refused to be despondent and dauntlessly worked on making Ri Hwan realized that he has nowhere else to go but in her arms. In the end, they both chose to be happy and got back together while taking care and building memories with Ri Hwan’s sick mother.

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It is sadly evident that the conflicts raised in the story were not tied up neatly. It was like probably hoping that Lee Dong Wook princey face can fade away the misses of the drama. It came very strong with how the characters communicated intrepidly and genuinely but fell short because of the wayward movement of the story.  It was a case where the beautiful characters were not justified by a well written fiction.

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Although it got derailed on the closing episodes and the mom-doesn’t-want-us-to-be-together was misplaced and later on forgotten, I have enjoyed the heartfelt confrontations, the peaceful conversations and the life and love realizations. It was a consoling chronicle until the mom-got-Alzheimer’s plot, and less that annoying cliché, it would have been a perfect melodrama as a whole.  It did end up warm and happy for the love birds but the writing was not polished. It was ardent but somehow all over the place. If not for the unfeigned portrayals of the lead couple, I would have given up on it. But because it had me hooked on fast to cheer for the literal written on the stars love for Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan and the blossoming of the romance from the friendship tested through time, I sent them off with a smile on my face. Bubblegum is not a solid offering but it will keep you calm and comforted. -jediprincess ♥♥♥

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Almost each year, a women-empowerment-inspired Korean drama would hook me to become a faithful follower that even hopeless-romantic me can’t understand. Most of the time this type of drama also induce your desire to push harder in completing your bucket list, just like what it did to me. For this year, we have “Twenty Again”, the story of Ha No Ra and her quest to discover and redeem herself twenty years late.

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The premise of Twenty Again is about a woman, Ha No Ra, who married young and has lived her life taking care of her son, Kim Min Soo and husband, Kim Woo Chul. After 18 years, Woo Chul proposed a divorce agreement which will be effective as soon as their son enters college citing Ha No Ra’s inability to be on the same intellectual wavelength with him. Around that time, she learned that she was dying and also chanced upon her close friend in high school, who secretly loved her then. In her goal to match her husband’s intellect, she decided to enter college and landed on the same school where her husband and son are attending. Her close high school male friend, Cha Hyun Suk, a popular theatre producer is also a professor in the university. Ha No Ra has been Cha Hyun Suk’s first love but due to her leaving the country abruptly after high school and not even paying respect to her grandmother when she passed away, Hyun Suk has unresolved grudges towards her. When Ha No Ra accidentally dropped her diary, Hyun Suk learned that she was dying. He didn’t know that the dying diagnosis was a mistake incurred by No Ra’s doctor and started working on fulfilling his first love’s bucket list.

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Later on when he learned that she was not dying anymore, no matter how hard he resisted in not caring for her anymore, there was just an invisible love thread that connected them together. He also uncovered the truth about Ha No Ra’s husband’s (Kim Woo Chul) affair to the daughter of the university’s chairman who was also the person behind his acceptance as a professor in the university. Finally realizing the unhappy life, Ha No Ra has been going through, Hyun Suk decided to be his Black Knight again and shielded his friend and first love no matter what it takes to Woo Chul’s unfairness and urged her to go back to the path she wasn’t able to thread to make herself and her late grandmother proud. Ha No Ra’s kind spirit and self-sacrificing nature has imprisoned her to her husband’s grasp that when she finally learned the truth about his infidelity, she was painfully liberated from a world she has learned to accept because of love. Most Sometimes women are blinded by their innate nature to cushion whatever painstaking emotions thrown at them. They give chances because of their forgiving nature and because they dwell more in the past memories than in the future possibilities. Ha No Ra was a different case because of her functioning support system and because she realized early that she owed it to herself to make and fulfil her own dreams.

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Although the romance was languid until the last 2 episodes, I came to embrace the lack of it because the unveiling of the story focused on the heroine’s choices, failures and strength to move on and to put the past behind. There’s something resonating and encouraging to Ha No Ra’s character that made me stay cheering for her and her story. I’m sure most women who lost their dreams along the way when they were blinded by love and motherly duties would relate to her sweet but tenacious character.

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It touches how intellectual compatibility and sharing the same interest plays an integral part in marriage or relationship longevity and how the strength of a relationship relied on each other’s effort to be each other’s pillar by supporting each other’s weaknesses and encouraging each other’s passion. It was also a very nice presentation of friendship-turned-love story which I noticed was sort of the kdramaland theme this year.

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It is a story of every young girl who enjoyed what made her happy at 15… of a lady who braved the consequences of her wrong choices at 19… and of a woman who in the process of falling in love has forgotten that she once had her own dreams…

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Twenty Again may not be the flashiest drama but it has kept well an evenly tailored story without fusing a lot of negativity in the plot given the infidelity cliche. It is a reminder that you are never too late to set a goal in your life especially if you have regrets on the earlier choices you made when you were young.

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Six Flying Dragons Ep 5&6

The ministers were in chaos after the news of Lord Baek Yoon’s murder erupted. Hong In Bang thought of Jang Do Jeon’s words that killing Baek Yoon would end Goryeo. The ministers were grilling Gil Tae Mi who was Baek Yoon’s nemesis. The search for who-killed-lord-baek-yoon ensued and all of the opposing factions were tracing the identity of the assassin.

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Lord Lee In Gyeom consulted the leader of Hwasadan, an intelligence agency that collates the nation’s valuable information as Hong In Bang sought Jukryong, head monk of Biguk temple who was also clueless about the situation.

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Gil Tae Mi gathered Sungkyunkwan students for interrogation while Yi Bang Won listened to the witness’ account of what happened. Someone blurted dangerous magpie, a skilled sword fighter who comes out when there were abusive Japanese pirates and was a famous storytelling subject in the market.  

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With the information he gathered, Yi Bang Won set off to the market and listened to the infamous storyteller. After the show Gap Boon, the masked storyteller’s sidekick was bullied by thugs asking for additional tax.

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She was helped by a swordfighting student Moo Hyul who was also Gil Tae Mi’s teacher’s student. He took down a fighter from a swordfighting brotherhood Plum blossom and when he told his master his first victory, his happiness deflated fast when his teacher told him that the swordsman came from an infamous group.

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Hong In Bang took charge to calm the rising strife by meeting Baek Yoon’s allies. He asked them to increase the taxes even more and to accept him as the new leader.

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Boon Yi, all grown up led the village people by planting crops in a discreet wasteland, but the governor’s men learned about their secret and killed half of their group’s population. They fled for survival but was captured by Japanese pirates. Yi Bang Won set forth to where the Japanese pirates were and met Moo Hyul who saw what happened to the poor commoners. It was no easy task to rescue the poor abducted village people so Yi Bang Won devised a strategy to take down the soldiers slowly while pretending to be members of a merchant group. But when Boon Yi was released from the sack she attacked Bang Won and Moo Hyul accidentally blurted that they came to free them which put the pirates on their feet to attack the intruders. Moo Hyul rose to the occasion and his fighter spirit saved the day in one flash eliminating and scaring the pirates.

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Bang Won advised Boon Yi that going to the magistrate’s office to complain about the massacre won’t do any good because of the existing law so Boon Yi ranted how he doesn’t have a right to speak his opinion because he has never lived the way they did.

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Worried about her, Bang Won was crossed on what he should do to help her situation and there they saw her walking all dirty from the fire and smoke coming from the magistrate’s grain storage. They bantered with the risky act she did, but she didn’t care anymore and just wanted the deceased people who were deprived with grains be able to take it in the afterlife. Taking a small wooden totem, Boon Yi, the fifth dragon made up her mind to find Sambong who previously visited her and instructed her to make use of the wasteland and to stop dwelling on her sorry life. Left with nothing to do again, she was determined to seek Jang Do Jeon’s advice.

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Boon Yi sought permission to leave their group for the meantime and while they were worrying for the expenses, Bang Won entered with his silk clothes and golden accessories. The village people tied him up naked and took all his things which they can buy. Moo Hyul confronted his swordmaster on why he lied about his ability and left his claw for good. Bang Won was rescued by his protector and after dressing up in shabby clothes saw Boon Yi talking to the owner of the room they were staying. He chased her to the grassy field and when they have pointed out clearly how she is mistreating him with all the kindness he has shown. He saw her wooden doll necklace which was the same he found in the secret room he was exploring.

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The news of unfair taxes from Baek Yoon’s land taken over by Ho In Bang reached General Choi Young and his followers pointed out how he should take action. Ddang Sae and Gap Boon listened to the talk as they were both part of the musical group performing. Ddang Sae was in a serious mode realizing that Baek Yoon being dead was not making any progress to a new world he has been dreaming.

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General Choi Young visited Lord In Gyeom and demanded him to have Ho In Bang stopped his unfair taxes to the people.  The latter upset about the scolding he got ordered to see Hong In Bang fast who was then in a meeting with Jukryong.

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Jukryong explained how he learned about the whereabouts of Sambong through his priest follower Lee Eun Chang who became a merchant at Sogam market. Boon Yi, Bangwon, Ddang Sae and Moo Yul were all at same market to seek Lee Eun Chang who was cornered by Jukryong monks but was freed by Ddang Sae. Boon Yi stepped on Lee Eun Chang’s place and was brought by the monks to their temple for questioning. They hid her as a corpse who died from the plague but Bang Won remembered the mark left when he bit her. They went to the temple but the monks came prepared and just when they will be slaughtered, Hong In Bang stepped in and they spoke about the situation.

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We saw how In Bang forced Bang Won to write a demeaning poster against Heo Kang’s father which forced the older Heo to commit suicide and how through the years In Bang has offered Bang Won to side with him but the latter was tough not to give in.

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While the scholars were debating, Ddang Sae came to rescue Boon Yi but was held up by the monks, Moo Hyul was also on the scene and was able to free and drag Boon Yi.

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Boon Yi brought the letter strip she was asked to decipher and went to the woods to crack the code through the doll necklace. While she was doing it, Bang Won who bumped with Lee Eun Chang got the same paper strip Boon Yi had. After breaking the code both of them set forth to Hamju where Jang Do Jeon was.

Now that the story is slowly tying the characters together it keeps getting better.  I like the contrasting passion of the young characters and the cunning ways of the seasoned personas.  Lee In Gyeom/Choi Young actually feels like Gandalf/Saruman *chuckles.  I look forward to the love lines and to a lot more trance moments with Yoo Ah In. *blush -jediprincess

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Sassy go go Episode 5 & 6

Cheerleading trainer arrived to the drunk high-schoolers floating in alcohol.  They rushed to go back to the school but Soo Ah burdened by the mounting pressure was left behind when they pulled over to rest a bit and pee.  They came back to look for Soo Ah but Yeon Doo hurt her ankle and took the kdrama piggyback chance ride which made me really jealous.  *pout  Soo Ah was found by Ha Joon and they raced through time to beat the opening ceremony at school.

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 Principal and her teacher minion were guarding the gate so cheerleading trainer took charge and performed an impromptu routine to cover the students getting inside the school premise.

Yeon Doo was bothered by her vague recollection of a drunk moment with Kim Yeol at the rooftop so she tried to confront him about what happened and he confirmed cooly that they didn’t.  Later when Kim Yeol was alone he recollected how he almost kissed Yeon Doo but she dozed off right at the moment.

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The cheerleading trainer divided them in two for a task to make a cheerleading routine.  Soo Ah was teamed with the Real King members as Yeon Doo headed the Baek Ho smarties.

Homeroom teacher was put in a predicament by a nosy producer who wanted to scoop about the illegal grading system done in the school and when one of the smarties acted careless and complained Yang Songsaenim brushed through her chest part while doing the cheerleading practice and it was made bigger by the rich mom’s club pushing to terminate Teacher Yang in his post.

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 Supergirl Yeon Doo wanted to help out and almost gave an interview but was dragged by Kim Yeol to lecture her of the repercussions of trying to resolve other people’s concern.  Yeon Doo’s mom also told her the same thing so she decided sadly not to pursue helping Yang saem for the mean time.  Grade conscious Soo Ah conspired with the girl who claimed sexual harassment and with that, Yang saem was ordered to exit the school.

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Ha Joon even begged his father to help the homeroom teacher but bad dad wasn’t fazed with his request.  The girl who overreacted about the sexual harassment regret her rash act and lie.  Yeon Doo talked to the girl to shake out some sense to her and in their festival performance, they raised apology and come back placards to the whole school watching.

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I am only watching this drama because Lee Won Geun is a happy pill but there’s no depth nor lingering effect this drama will give you.  It is not melancholic either but the young characters remind me of when I was not thinking much but just doing what I want.  I just want this to remain balanced with teen angst and filled with Kim Yeol’s face and I’m good.  haha  I think every girl who watches this drama would agree how our highschool prince charming day dreaming moments have Kim Yeol as the prince.  -jediprincess

 

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Because It’s the First Time (Episode 3)
After Tae Oh blurted his surprising “make me crazy” line, he muttered how he wants Song Yi to at least make an effort to appear like a woman in front of him if she has a crush on him.  Song Yi straightened out his crazy thoughts and admitted that she indeed likes someone but not him.  Humiliation poured on Tae Oh’s ego so he pestered Song Yi to spill why she likes another guy.  Song Yi walked towards him placed her hands on his shoulders and re-confirmed straight to his blushing face that he is not the guy she likes.

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Ji Ahn had a slight rebellion spree over the quality of life he had to endure with his father as Ga In and Hoon were together with the latter’s new found dream of becoming a theater actor.

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The next day Sherlock Tae Oh camped on Song Yi’s work places to figure out her crush.  He went to the gas station, school library and dragged Hoon and Ji Ahn to the restaurant where Song Yi does her part time jobs. 

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Song Yi worried about drunk Ji Ahn whose drinking habit is helping out anything moving in the vicinity.  Ji Ahn sobered up and as he returned Song Yi’s handkerchief, he told her that her crush feels the same way too. 

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Ji Ahn and Tae had a quick chat when they arrived at school the next morning about the girls who like them.  Tae Oh saw the blind date he ditched and tried to run after her but she was lost in the crowd.  The classmate who introduced the blind date mumbled how the girl thought he was weird sending text messages when she didn’t meet him and when he confirmed the face of the blind date, it turned out not to be the girl he met at the coffee shop.

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Ji Ahn opened a group chat topic of Tae Oh’s ghost date.  While he defended it to be true the rest of the gang thought otherwise.  Then Song Yi just realized the girl they were talking about was sitting all pretty beside her in the class. 

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The chat concluded with Tae Oh’s analyzation that the girl likes her and she could be the stalker who sends him  gift 3 times a year, but Ga In surprised everyone when she admits that the 3 gifts were her doing and had a ghost filled the chat room in silence momentarily.  Ga In broke the ice and invited everyone in their house for a party.

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Song Yi approached Tae Oh’s girl and introduced herself formally.  She learned a piece of information about her which she gave Tae Oh later.  

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At night as Ga In prepares the food, the guys were debating how to ask Ga In’s stalker confession but bright Ga In made it easier by verifying she was indeed the stalker. 

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Tae Oh asked her why and got another punch when she nonchalantly replied because she liked him since grade school.  Tae Oh explained how he cannot reciprocate her confession since he likes another girl but happy Ga In responded how she doesn’t expect anything but will continue to just like him to everyone’s surprise.

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Ga In bid farewell and asked Hoon to sleep with her father in the room.  Song Yi on the other end seriously talke to the remaining boys on how they were encouraging Ga In to a fault.  How they should make her face the reality that her father is dead. 

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But the next morning Tae Oh and Hoon accompanied Ga In who was imagining her father working out.  Hoon told Tae Oh not to take seriously what Ga In said last night and claimed that he is really the guy he likes while pointing out proof about his claim. 

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Song Yi got annoyed when Tae Oh told her about the morning work out.  Tae Oh explained how them boys believed that Ga In is strong enough to come out of her situation and that they are willing to wait for her.  Song Yi acquiesced to their thinking but insisted that she will bring Ga In to her father’s grave to pay respect on his death anniversary.  Tae Oh noticed that Song Yi used his washing machine and fidgeted when she laundered his underwear but she pulled Miranda Kerr’s (blind date girl) phone number and used it as a bargaining agreement for her stay in his place. 

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Tae Oh skipped his class and attended Miranda’s media class as Hoon’s mother visited her son at Ga In’s house and gave him a ticket to his theater dream. 

Tae Oh cornered Miranda/Ryu Se Hyun and recited the details he knew about her.

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Later he joined the movie club she was in and walked with her in the neighborhood while taking pictures.

Song Yi called Tae Oh and asked him to give her encouragement that it’s okay for her to confess her feelings to her crush.  Tae Oh questioned why she changed her mind when she told him she would only love him from afar. 

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Tae Oh’s mood changed after the phone call  and Se Hyun teased him that either he likes Song Yi or she is his first love.  His phone rang again with weeping Song Yi on the other line and pleaded him to meet her in their old house.  He bid farewell to Se Hyun and rushed to her crying friend.

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When Tae Oh can’t find something to wipe Song Yi’s tears, he took of his shirt and gave it to her while I swooned on the topless body and the gesture.  *chuckles  Tae Oh validated that she was rejected and insisted on knowing the identity of the man who made her cry but Song Yi refused to react. 

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Just then Se Hyun walked towards the bickering friends and they both explained the situation not to be misunderstood.  Se Hyun gave a non committal response and walked in the house when the two realized she lives in the house and they were blocking the way.

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So I’m excited to know the reason why Ji Ahn rejected her.  It has been fun to hang out with these neighborhood friends and they are really making me miss my growing up friends. 
I like the building up of friendship-turned-love premise of the story if this is where it is heading. -jediprincess

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She Was Pretty Episode 10 & 11

Hye Jin spoke with her superior at work when they were settled in Sung Joon’s car afterwhich the awkward moment coming from the dramatic hug lingered on the air as the car music played songs reminding of their very recent embrace.

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Hye Jin pondered on what has been happening with him and Sung Joon as she walked towards home.  Finally mustering her strength to reveal the reality to the man she likes, she headed back to look for him.  When she reached his place, Hye Jin saw Ha Ri talking to Sung Joon and her bestfriend’s betrayal dawned on her. 

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Sung Joon asked Ha Ri to let him rest for that day so she wasn’t able to give the letter she wrote to reveal everything to him.  Hye Jin finally pieced out the situation and opted not to confront her friend about it but went to an endless walk to wherever her feet will take her. Shin Hyuk came to her rescue and listened to her sob story.  He gave her a ride and when he asked her if she will go to Sung Joon once everything is settled, she confirmed that it’s where she is heading since their feelings are mutual.

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Hye Jin saw Ha Ri fixing her shoes to no avail.  Ha Ri told her it’s a hopeless case and that she will buy her new ones to which Hye Jin agreed for the first time.

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Sung Joon and Hye Jin were both sleepless that night contemplating about their feelings.

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The remnants of last night’s episode surged again in the morning when Sung Joon cornered Hye Jin and forced her to drink coffee with him.  Hye Jin was able to evade Sung Joon’s we-embraced-last-night-so-what-now attack and luckily spotted Shin Hyuk who saved her from that hot spot.

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Things get uncomfortable in the office  as Hye Jin tried to hide from Sung Joon’s gaze.  After the staff meeting he ordered her to bring the minutes and had her stay sitting high in front of him until he’s done reading, but just as he was trying to open the conversation again, Hye Jin stopped him and made an excuse of something she has to do.

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The Most People talked about the recent SNS update of famous writer Ten which I think is Shin Hyuk in real life.  Hye Rin came to find Sung Joon and asked him to buy her a lunch meal which he gladly obeyed.

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Sung Joon left the clothes he has to wear for the business meeting and no one wants to bring the clothes so it fell on Hye Jin’s hand.  He finally cornered her and asked her to have some tea before she leaves.  Sung Joon confessed about how he can no longer deny what he is feeling about her even if he tried to avoid it. 

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Nervous Hye Jin fumbled on the teacup after the revelation so her clothes got wet and was forced to change to Sung Joon’s clothing. Sung Joon adjusted the sweater while telling her that he didn’t mean to startle her and just want her to know how he feels.  Hye Jin who chose to wait for Ha Ri’s action even if she already wants to be in his arms opted not to respond to his thoughts.

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Shin Hyuk met with Ha Ri and revealed to her that Hye Jin learned about her lies recently but her kind heart wants to wait for her to say it first and that she believed she has good reasons for doing that.

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Ha Ri entered the house with a heavy heart and saw Hye Jin slumped down on her knees.  She apologized and thanked Hye Jin for understanding her and promised that she will return to her rightful place the next day.

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Hye Jin finished her first interview with the children’s book writer and bumped with Sung Joon in Heyri Art valley.  They went to see some paintings in a gallery and stopped on their favorite painting which I still don’t know what the title is and I’m so overdue to research about it.  *giggles  They were pestered by some nursery students on a field trip and a couple asked them to take a picture and offered to take their own picture too.

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Hye Jin finally learned that Editor Kim came to rescue her the other night and even got hospitalized because of it.  She confronted Shin Hyuk about it and he admits to it and further added how he also wanted her to worry about him.  He pulled the Jackson favor deal recorder and told her he will claim the last favor and took her to his arms.  He told her that he can’t take her as a friend because he likes her.  And yes the best second lead for this year is Kim Shin Hyuk.  ^_^

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Ha Ri and Sung Joon agreed to meet after work and when Ha Ri sent off a VIP guest.  She was about to call Sung Joon who was done with his meeting earlier when she heard someone called her name and she responded to it only to realize that it was Sung Joon who called her name.

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It turned out that Sung Joon saw Ha Ri’s employee of the month poster and Ha Ri confirmed what he just learned when he called her name and she replied.  Frustrated Sung Joon questioned Ha Ri and her identity, and she was left no choice but to disclose her lies. 

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Bewildered Sung Joon left Ha Ri and drove his car to melancholia while his brain finally processed what his heart remembers.  Flashbacks of real life Hye Jin and his memories suddenly coincided for affirmation. 

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Shin Hyuk hugged Hye Jin and told her to just be with him if she is hesitating going to Sung Joon but her phone rang and when she realized Sung Joon already knew the truth, she rushed to meet him leaving Editor Kim behind. 

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They talked and cleared the misunderstanding and had a great time finally freeing themselves from the confusing ties that kept pulling me together.  They agreed to put the past behind and move forward.

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Hye Jin rushed to their home and asked Ha Ri what happened and she revealed how Sung Joon learned the truth accidentally and how she wasn’t able to explain properly.  Hye Jin saw Ha Ri’s torn apology letter she was meaning to give to Sung Joon and ran to look for her.  She found her crying hard and felt sad how she can’t seem to figure out what’s best in their situation.

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Sung Joon was excited to go to work and bump with Hye Jin going to the office.  Hye Jin dodged his hand trying to hold hers and acted like she doesn’t remember their high school memories when he brought it up.

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Sung Joon was perplexed and annoyed at Hye Jin’s drawing of a friendship line so he interrogated her what happened overnight.  She explained how they should maintain a professional and friendly level which baffled him even more as he thought they both see each other as a man and woman.  Hye Jin can’t explain that she had to be distant because in doing so she won’t hurt her best friend.

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Sung Joon got grumpy when he overheard senior editor Kim teasing Hye Jin about Shin Hyuk that when she brought in the minutes of their meeting, he coldly muttered how she can just send it through email and paid for the regular coffee she buys him.  Hye Jin agreed and turned her back but heard him silently pleading that he can’t be just friends with her but she was saved by the bell when her superior entered the room.

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Hye Jin dragged Ha Ri back  to their house who was about to go out with a stranger.  She scolded Ha Ri who has been avoiding her but Ha Ri retaliated how she should be mad at her and pleaded that they stop their argument as she was tired.

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Hye Jin went to her house to sleep and all the family members asked about Ha Ri which irritated her even more.  Sung Joon called Hye Jin and learned from her sister that she was at their house.  Hye Jin who stepped out to catch some air was surprised to see Sung Joon.  Her parents were happy entertaining him and when his father offered him alcohol, he accepted it and just with one shot he fainted.

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Sleepless Hye Jin checked on knocked out Sung Joon and was surprised to see her parents staring at their future son-in-law’s handsome face.  She shooed them away but did the same thing they were doing.  Sung Joon woke up and he asked her if they can talk outside.  Sung Joon asked her again what changed overnight since he is having a hard time understanding it. 

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Hye Jin answered him that Ha Ri likes her so she wanted to take it slow to cushion her friend’s pain.  Sung Joon countered that it is her that she likes even then, right now and in the future.  He added that he won’t push her but he just wanted her not to run away from him.

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The whole office was flustered learning Shin Hyuk might transfer to the opposing magazine company.  Shin Hyuk entered the office and all eyes were on him about his interview but he stepped out to break the craze.  Hye Jin followed him and he denied going to New Look.

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The last magazine edition hiked up in sales so the Editor in Chief threw at them the company credit card to enjoy but warned that she’s expecting no. 1 on the next issue.  Sung Joon met with Shin Hyuk and convinced him to stay by divulging how the company needs him to survive.

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Hye Jin went home to their bare house and was nervous when a neighbor left with a lot of stuff.  She rushed to the airport and cried worrying on how her friend decided to leave when she doesn’t know how to survive without her.

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There’s something about Hye Jin and Ha Ri’s friendship that I found so amusing.  Regardless of the betrayal, each of them acknowledged their faults and knew well what they should be apologizing for and what should be comprehended no matter what.  Hye Jin is a tiringly sweet character but how she responded to what Ha Ri did to her really convinced me that she was a nice character.  She is a kind of girl friend I would want to have in a lifetime. ^_^

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P.S  I will have a separate round up for Bubblegum and The Village (if the village will give nice first 4 episodes) before I include them to October 4th week round up.  Please excuse my delayed recap as the autumn vacation held me exhausted.

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It was light and breezy trips for 2 days to rest our exhausted feet only to get lost in finding Hwaseong fortress and left with no choice but to trail the long wall stretch from Southern gate to Northern gate.  We planned going to Everland but since we woke up and prepared late, we decided to do it another day.

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Hwaseong Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was built from 1794 to 1796 by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty to house and honour the remains of his father Prince Sado, who had been executed by being locked alive inside a rice chest by his own father King Yeongjo after failing to obey the command to commit suicide.  Hence it is also called the walled city of filial love.

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It was a blessing that we visited the fortress because we had a glimpse of what will happen to us if we proceeded with our plan to climb Mt. Seorak.  It will be very gloomy for our already traumatized feet.  *chuckles  Prepare for long treks and some hints of steep ways and uphill efforts.

 

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It may be just an old wall, but my old soul wandered to thoughts of how centuries ago brave soldiers marched on the fortress’ pathways to defend their beautiful country.

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On a bonus note, a pretty resting palace nestled near the fortress which used to be King Jeong Jo’s residence when he’s not in Seoul and also cradled Prince Sado’s remains.

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There you get to have a photo opportunity with costumed people from Joseon era and see performances from Joseon fighters.  You can also dress up hanboks and play archery.  There’s also a 350+ year old tree in front of the palace and a nearby museum chronicling the city’s major historical artifacts.

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Suwon is a very nice destination if you want an enriching cultural experience outside the main palaces in Seoul.  If you have fast paces you can finish Suwon fortress in the morning, eat an early lunch and head to Korean Folk Village in the remainder of the day.

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P.S  Suwon is famous for buffet restaurants so we feasted on Samgyupsal which was a treat of my eonni’s sister and husband.

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Basking in today’s yellows, reds and oranges, our crew enjoyed marveling at Korea’s stunning gardens and foliage.

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Today’s day trip goal required us to be aware of time.  That is something hard to accomplish in the age of selfie/groupie and when the places you visited were just effortlessly teasing us to capture the gorgeous scenic background.

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Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of the Morning Calm challenged our still tired feet today, but it was definitely worth the plan.

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To get to our starting point destination, we took the subway to Gapyeong station and rode the Gapyeong shuttle bus.  The bus is a hopped on bus that will give you a round trip ride to the main tourist attraction.  It only cost 6000KRW.  Since we were ambitious to visit the 3 tourist destinations, we took the bus ride, but if you only need to go to one or two destination, a cab would suffice. 

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If you will take the Gapyeong shuttle bus, make sure to calculate what time you will leave from one destination to another and be at the bus stop early if you want to occupy the seats
Below is the shuttle bus schedule.

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Our first stop is Nami island.  Home to lively maple, ginkgo and some other pretty trees that sprawled neatly in the island, Nami-seom is a perfect place yo set up family picnics and friendship getaways. 

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To get to the island after you get off the Gapyeong shuttle bus, you can take the zip line for the thrill but with a pricey catch or you can take the usual ferry for a reasonable price. 

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There are food places you can stay there for lunch and there is also a museum you can check out, but the main attraction would be the well placed line of trees fitting to beautiful frames for pretty selcas.

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Admission Fee:  8000krw for foreign passport holders

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Our next stop was Petite France, a miniature French village boasting with cheerful architecture and French themed shops and galleries. 

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It is pretty small so you can roam around easily while assuming you are really in a French town.  Famous Korean dramas such as Beethoven Virus, Secret Garden and My Love from another star have scenes shot in this refreshing place.

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Admission Fee:  8000KRW

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Our last stop is The Garden of the Morning Calm.  True to its name, it will really soothe your senses and you will definitely fall in love with the splendid flower garden arrangements, charming topiaries and dazzling juniper trees. 

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The place is just so lovely.  If I will get married, I won’t ask to have a wedding 20151023_16550120151023_16585420151023_170000

but I will definitely have a prenup photo shoot there.  Have I said how the place is just so entrancing?  I will let the photos I took speak for its beauty.  ^_^

Admission Fee:  8000krw

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The Nami-Petite France-Garden of Morning Calm tour in Gyeonggi is a good deal for a day trip.  Make sure you leave early to cover all 3 destinations. 

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Save more time for Garden of the Morning Calm as it is prettier than Nami island.  Make sure you leave early to cover all 3 destinations.  Save more time for Garden of the Morning Calm as it is prettier than Nami island. 

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Be prepared of course for the long walks and make sure you bring a decent camera because you will definitely feast on the sceneries.

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I am no travel blogger, but by virtue of the amount of korean dramas and films I saw, I’m already considered a Korean.  *chuckles  and I would probably give you a very nice tour blog about South Korea.  This will be my 3rd time in the country and by now I’m mostly familiar with traveling through cities.  I have always been fascinated with the vibrancy of the sceneries and the richness of the culture in this country. 

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Though highlighted with modern advancement, they were able to maintain their tradition and heritage well that you can travel back in time in places they have well preserved.  I hope my Korean heart who always yearns to destress in the lively streets and beautiful corners of kimchiland would make you mark this country on your next travel adventure.

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BEFORE TRAVELING TIPS
*For Philippine citizens, secure a VISA at Korean embassy in McKinley Global City Taguig.  Please visit their website for the documents needed.  VISA is free of charge.  Here’s the link for the Visa Requirements page on Korean embassy website.
 VISA REQUIREMENTS

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*I usually book my flights 4-6 months before my actual travel month because that’s the best time to get the great deals.
*It will save you a lot to stay in a hotel/guesthouse near a subway. 
*The more, the merrier.  If you can travel with friends or family, it would save you money too.

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*Hotels are nice but there are myriad of accommodations that are not pricey and very clean and convenient for you to choose from.
*Download jihachul app on your phone for your guide to Korean subway system.
*April-May and September-October are the best months to visit.

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*Accommodations around Jung-gu Yongsan-gu and Jongno-gu areas are great locations for easy access to Korean public transportation system and nearby tourist attractions and shopping districts.
*For pocket money you can exchange dollars from Philippine local banks, foreign exchange centers in local malls or at NAIA.  You can change a small amount first if you want and then transact again when you get to Korea’s money changer station in the cities. You can change it to Korean won when you get to Incheon airport or you may also opt to bring your peso and trade it to KRW at the scattered KEB (Korean Exchange Bank) at Incheon airport.  For better rates, before our leaving I checked BPI and BDO’s buying dollar rate against changing Philippine peso to Korean won, the former won but we decided to change the money at NAIA forex for KRW which was a good choice because it was not much difference if changing at Incheon airport.

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I will share you tips here and there as we go along in this vacation.  For now, Iet’s enjoy the crisp air and fiery colors of Seoul Autumn.

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Day 1 well actually Night 1

Our flight is 3:20 from Manila.  Fortunately there was no flight delay so we landed in Seoul around 8:30 Korean time.  If it’s your first international travel, there will be a usual immigration check in the airport.  You will board a train to get to the main airport building.  From there going to where your accommodation, you can choose from limousine buses, taxis and the subway.   I strongly recommend taking the subway because it’s cheaper.  You can select the no-stop train or the all-stop train.  The latter is cheaper.

Here’s a link for how you will go from Incheon airport to your destination city.
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

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We traveled an hour and a half from Incheon airport to Seoul station.  From there we head to our rented apartment and due to feet coma we all experienced because of walking big time, we skipped the night food trip to Gwakjang market.

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Train choices from ICN airport to Seoul station is for all-stop train and for no-stop train.  We rode the all stop train and it cost roughly 4000+ krw to Seoul Station which will be our nearest subway for the duration of our stay. 

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Our crew are mostly Seoul first timers so they were all exhausted from hauling the baggages.  So the next morning we went to a lighter trip which is to visit the palaces.

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We woke up groggy from the “where is exit 15” trauma so we chose a lighter and nearer destinations.  Seoul is home to myriads of palaces, folk villages, parks and museums and most of them have very friendly rates so feast on the sceneries and experiences.  If you can’t visit all four main palaces then choose Gyeongbok-gung for its majestic appeal and Changdeok-gung for its breath-taking beauty.

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Taking subways and walking a bit is what I strongly recommend if you will come alone or with a companion, but if you will be coming with a group, taking a cab would suffice because you can split the taxi fare at a minimum amount. ^_^

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PALACES SUBWAY GUIDE

Deoksugung Palace (Seoul Museum of Art) Subway Line 1 or 2, Seoul City Hall Station, Exit #2)

Gyeongbokgung Palace (Subway Line 3, Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit #5)

Changdeokgung Palace (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5, Jongno 3-ga Station, Exit #6)

Changgyeonggung Palace (Subway Line 4, Hyehwa Station, Exit #4)

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Please ensure you wear comfortable shoes when going to the palaces… well actually anywhere in Seoul requires walking so consider you are forewarned.  My work friends complained about the long walks which made their feet rosy and stuck together.  *chuckles

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We ate lunch at Samcheon-dong, a neighborhood near Gyeongbok-gung that houses restaurants, cafes, food kiosk and shopping stores.  It was a pleasant and neat neighborhood to visit at any point of the day of you want to get something yummy to eat.

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Then we headed to N Seoul Tower where autumn colors were also evident and where couples usually lock their love.  To get to N Seoul tower, you will ride a cable car which will give you an amazing top view of trees and houses in daytime and sleek city lights at night time.

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N Seoul Directory (Subway Line 3 or 4, Chungmuro Station, Exit #2, take Bus 02 in front of Daehan Theatre)

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Since fall is my favorite season and because I have strange fondness on beautiful trees, I enjoyed watching the colors of the foliage from its fiery red, warm yellow and sunny orange.  It was a tiring day but I can’t wait to see more of autumn in the coming days.

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Quick-paced and great on cliff-hangers, Yong Pal was almost perfect but it faintly lost balance on its finishing kick.

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Yong Pal enticed me with its exciting premise of a Prince charming doctor who saved an heiress in distress medically forced to be on coma by her half-brother who wanted the helm of the big company her father left for her.

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In order to raise money for the expenses of his sickly sister, Kim Tae Hyun was drowning in debts trying to pay a loan shark through administering discreet surgeries and treatment to gang syndicate members almost caught up by the police. He’s a part-time on-call criminal doctor and was also serving his residency at a big hospital where he is well-known to have the hands of surgery god.

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Through his quaint skills, he was promoted to work on the hospital’s 12th floor where the VIP’s are confined and was also set to do house calls for sensitive medical procedures. There Tae Hyun chanced upon the heiress, Han Yeo Jin, that was put to sleep by her evil older brother and when she woke up momentarily, she offered him a solution to his sister’s medical expenses if he will help her escape her situation.

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Pressured from the board members who were questioning the overstaying of the legal company CEO, Yeo Jin’s brother and acting chairman Do Min Joon ordered the doctors to shut down Yeo Jin completely. After careful planning with his trusted friends in the hospital, Tae Hyun managed to deceive everyone that Yeo Jin died after a surgery and had her assumed the identity of a Hanshin group employee the company took under custody to evade public scrutiny.

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Chairman Min Joon relayed the unfortunate death news of her sister and they were surprised when Yeo Jin revealed herself to her own funeral. Min Joon played the guardian card but Yeo Jin has set the back up well by asking Tae Hyun to marry her and be her legal heir and guardian. Min Joon was ousted and Yeo Jin took her throne finally.

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Conspiracies and power struggles are fundamental elements necessary to build up a strong melodrama. The heroine has had her fair share of defiance and strength which made her an interesting character. She had a superb interaction with the lead man though I would have wanted some more sweet moments for them after all the predicaments they had. The hero was oh so cool on the onset of the story but his sparkle diminished after the second half when the story’s focus shifted on Yeo Jin. True, he was instrumental all throughout but there were moments when the heroine overshadowed him which I found weird because the drama was titled after him so I was expecting that Yeo Jin’s story is secondary only to his.

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I think the conclusion was a useless do-over of the main conflict. It should have ended when she ascended to her position and had all the villains get their sad endings. But the over extension with the same scenario of her being destroyed and by something related to medicine again was a useless move. She already had her redemption so it would have been nice to see her and Tae Hyun just enjoying an uncomplicated life which they both yearned to have.

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As a whole I still like the story because it maneuvered with rising excitement as the drama unfolds. It also stuck in the power struggle conflict and the protagonists and villains moved well to the direction of annoying and outwitting each other. The characters were less frills and full of grit. The narrative was simple and yet rich with emotions. Feisty and flowing, all that was missing was a fitting ending. -jediprincess

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I have watched a lot of what-i-did-for-love movies, but nothing has prepared me to the lead guy willing to sell his blood just so he can marry the girl of his dreams.  *chuckles

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Crafted in a traditional post Korean war background, the family featured in the film will leave you affirming realizations on love, family and life.  I guarantee you will love the hero of the story in his bold ways, idiot times and fatally sweet acts.

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The humble and cheerful narration from the onset of the film piqued my interest as the smooth flowing momentum when the main story conflict was inserted convinced me that it was a nice film that followed diligently the essentials of a great family movie.

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There was a scene there when he asked the woman out to eat some buns and chat, and I can’t help but giggle how dating was so laid back and yet so sincere then.  They were happy like that then, strolling in enjoying the night sceneries and just chatting.  These days it’s a different story.  ㅋㅋㅋ

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Anyway going back to the movie I had so much fun watching the love couple and the blithe storytelling of this film.  Ha Jung Woo oppa usually plays those kickass roles so it was refreshing to see him lovestruck and adorable in his character.  It was also a pleasant and nicely done directorial project for him.  The period setting was lively captured and the humor was also well-placed.  I think the simple plot, easy to follow narrative and the blending of the cast propelled the invisible thread that got me hooked with it.

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The initial main character’s dilemma of learning he raised someone else’s son and being petty after the big revelation was taken in a slight comedic approach given Sam Gwan’s established kind hearted character.  Although fighting for the male ego which took the majority of the reality bite, he wavered because of his love for the family.

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The child actor playing Il Rak has so much potential I think eventhough the acting torch was mostly handled by Ha Jung Woo all throughout the film.

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The touching scene of Sam Gwan rescuing Il Rak who was forced to do shamanic spell to call his dying father was the drawer of my first tears in the film.  The captured scene was a real life reminder of how blood relation can never be a validation to prove a family connection.  Sam Gwan showed a father is a father when he is willing to give his life for his son.

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I laughed and cried and felt warm in my heart after watching this chronicle and I greatly recommend it for a weekend family movie night.

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SUMMARY

Heo Sam Gwan has been living a routinary life in a village after Korean war.  He is constantly teased by his work friends into getting a woman in his life. 

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One day, his heart leapt for a pretty woman selling popcorn to the raving male population resting on their lunch break.  Her name is Heo Ok Ran, sadly though she was rumored to have already been spoken for by a rich guy named Ha So Yong.

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Suddenly feeling the urge to get married after experiencing love at first sight, Sam Gwan told his uncle of his plan to sell his blood which then was a lucrative way to earn money. 

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He was directed to seek Mr. Bang, a known blood merchant to help him with it.  After giving him tips of drowning himself with water and holding his bladder before the blood donation process, the doctor in charge agreed to have their blood extracted.

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They went to eat after and Sam Gwan asked Samchon Bang an advice on how he can marry a pretty girl with a boyfriend.  Sam Gwan followed the advice given to him and off he went to Ok Ran’s house to speak his sincere love intentions.  She declined going out to eat some buns as she is already full, but agreed to meet him the next day.

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Sam Gwan paraded his hard-earned blood money and bought Ok Ran perfume, some meat and cotton candy.  They sat down for lunch and Sam Gwan feeling like a king ordered delicious  food for his lady love. 

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They finished with some coffee and Sam Gwan went straight away to his business by enumerating the cost of what he spent for Ok Ran and asking her when she  will be marrying him.  *chuckles 

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Surprised at his sudden question, Ok Ran tried returning the gifts and even when Sam Gwan promised her he will work hard to provide for her each day, she told him honestly that she can’t marry him because she is engaged to So Yong.

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Unfazed of her rejection, Sam Gwan bravely visited Ok Ran’s father to introduce himself and discuss his intentions and thoughts about his daughter marrying a known womanizer.  He further pitched that he will make sure that the 30-year old pop corn business will live through and that his family name will be preserved since they have the same last name. 

 

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Ok Ran’s father liked Sam Gwan’s honest proposition and commanded her daughter to break the engagement with So Yong because she will be marrying Sam Gwan.  Ok Ran obediently followed her father and soon after married Sam Gwan.

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After 11 years, the couple had 3 sons.  They called them 1st, 2nd and 3rd happiness names, Il Rak, I Rak, Sam Rak.  Meanwhile, the townspeople gossiped about how the first child of Sam Gwan and Ok Ran looked a lot like So Yong.  But on the other side Sam Gwan is in deep belief that his first born looked a lot like him.

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Il Rak went to visit his father to bring his packed food and curiously asked his father who Ha So Yong is since he always hear people talked about how he resembled that person. 

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Sam Gwan was surprised and brought him to where So Yong’s house is and told him that he is a pompous man who used to court Ok Ran, but Ok Ran chose Sam Gwan because she loved him.  He further reversed their love story in telling how Ok Ran was pure and innocent and begged him to marry her even if he was not yet ready. 

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The sky got mad at his story so the rain suddenly poured and they went to the nearby store to seek shelter.  Sam Gwan made sure Il Rak will remember not to believe the rumors.  As he was paying the snack he bought for his son, the mailman who sought shelter accidentally gave the letter to Il Rak thinking he was So Yong’s son.

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To stop the rumor, Sam Gwan ordered a blood test and the village people gathered for the result.  He ordered Il Rak to pretend he is So Yong’s son and had him request for his blood type report to know his blood type.  In the age where DNA test was not yet available, people validated paternity through blood test, faith in your lover and facial resemblance to parents. 

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Sam Gwan strut the letter that held the blood result and explained that Il Rak should either have A (from Ok Ran) or O (from Sam Gwan) blood type, but voila!  Il Rak has an AB blood type.  Sam Gwan’s was disappointed since he knew So Yong has a B blood type.

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Sam Gwan raged to confront his wife and they sat down  to piece out the mystery of Il Rak’s blood type.  He asked if she had slept with him and she  confirmed that indeed she had one unfateful encounter with him.

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Sam Gwan depressed on the recent revelation gave cold treatment to his wife and children and leisurely cried his heart out over the unexpected betrayal to his wounded male ego.

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One day the youngest son Sam Rak brawled with one of his playmates.  He was taunted to fetch his older brothers and when he dragged his sleeping second brother, I Rak can only apologize to the big sized brother who fought with his younger brother.  They fetched Il Rak to defend them, and the brave eldest brother didn’t waste time and slammed a stone to the bully and warned him to stay away from his brothers.

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Il Rak damaged the opponent and the family was demanded to pay for the medical expenses.  Still fuming about his wife’s infidelity, Sam Gwan denounced taking responsibility and pointed his friend to go to the true father who also showed the family registry without Il Rak’s name.  Ok Ran was left no choice but to watch her things taken out from the house to cover for the hospital payment.

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Donning her prettiest hanbok, Ok Ran marched to So Yong’s house to demand him to take responsibility of his cheating act 11 years ago, but the vile man and his wife denied her request and after punching the wife, So Yong pushed her to the ground with the village people ogling the humiliating scene.

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Ok Ran went home battered and empty-handed as she pleaded her non-responsive husband to avenge her, but he remained focused on their cat.  When Ok Ran went inside the room, he noticed his wife’s dirty shoes.

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Then we see Sam Gwan back in the river where he started his get-my-first-love conquest and lectured his two sons about the cheating man who went behind his back which caused the family problem they are facing now.  He made him son promised to get So Yong’s daughters pregnant when they grow up.  *giggles

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Sam Gwan ended up going to the clinic to sell blood and bumped with the woman he also considered marrying then.  He helped her reached her house as she has some knee problems and was startled to see Il Rak waiting for him.  He told Il Rak that he is allowed to call him “father” only when his mother and neighbors are present.  They head home after getting back all their things together. 

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Sam Gwan surprised Ok Ran with their things back together when she entered their room and while he was helping her wear new shoes, the husband of the woman Sam Gwan helped earlier caused ruckus accusing Sam Gwan of raping his wife.  Sam Gwan denied it and as the onlookers feasted on the encounter, Il Rak backed up his father to end the issue.

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At night the younger children complained that they were hungry so Sam Gwan and Ok Ran helped their children imagine yummy dishes.  Feeling the urge to provide for his family, Sam Gwan went to the doctor’s office again to sell blood.  He saw his brother blood merchant pale and eating canned food but the latter quickly ended the reunion.
Sam Gwan picked up his wife who was doing the laundry and asked her to prepare the boys because they will eat out.  Annoyed by Il Rak’s happy face, he discreetly called his attention and ordered him to eat sweet potato with his grandfather.

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Il Rak went home still fixated about the yummy buns his family enjoyed.  He even ran to So Yong’s house and bargained that he won’t call him father if he will buy him some buns, but the evil dad just slammed the window.  Ok Ran who was worrying about her son confronted her husband who denied saying something to Il Rak.

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So Yong met an accident and was in coma so Sam Gwan’s family had a picnic.  So Yong’s wife went to see a shaman and his resolution was for his son to offer prayers.

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So Yong’s wife begged Ok Ran and Sam Gwan to get Il Rak for the spirit calling to be done.  She promised them that they will raise him and send him to school.  Ok Ran convinced her husband who doesn’t want to give Il Rak but after some pondering of the child’s future, they had Il Rak sat down and told him about him moving to his biological father’s household.

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Ok Ran accompanied her first born to So Yong’s house and they commenced with the ceremony.  Il Rak was being stubborn which made the wife and shaman mad.  Forced to call So Yong’s spirit, Il Rak chanted the spell given to him with a heavy heart.  He spotted Sam Gwan peeping through the window whose heart was swaying about the decision to let the son he raised go and it made him cry even more.  Sam Gwan listened to Il Rak’s tears and wasn’t able to hold it anymore.  He forced himself inside the house and took back his son and wife.PicsArt_09-25-01.40.50

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While playing in the field, Il Rak suddenly fainted and was rushed to the hospital.  The doctor recommended them to go to a bigger hospital.  Sam Gwan  ran like hell around the village to borrow money from his friends for Il Rak’s surgery. 

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Diagnosed with encephalitis, they needed big money for the operation.  Left with no options, he jumped from one hospital to another to sell blood while heading to Seoul until he fainted from too much blood extraction.

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He finally reached the hospital where his son was confined.  He called Il Rak’s name in his dazed state and miraculously his son heard his call who was at the other side of the building.  He was cast off by the hospital security and when Il Rak saw him being dragged, he rushed to be with his father.

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Sam Gwan who arrived late learned that Il Rak already received surgery because Ok Ran was able to find  a way for that.  (Not mentioned if she sold internal organ or blood, I’ll go for the former).  Sam Gwan embraced his wife and son in tears apologizing for the fate they had to face because of him.

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In the last scene, we see the family together happily munching the food they once imagined eating.

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Time for my quick musings on the highly-anticipated korean drama of 2015 with powerhouse cast who helped surged high ratings even if mostly variety show regulars and loyal hallyu fans are really the drawer of numbers of it.

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The mixture of the inside production world of variety shows and the characters’ stories were nicely blended but it was the diversity and chemistry of the characters pierced my kdramaaddict heart.

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Dorky Baek Seung Chan knew he has brains but opted to use it to follow the first woman who made his heart throb to work  at the variety show department of a broadcasting network.  Unfortunately for him the noona his heart beats for likes another senior PD (production director) Ra Joon Mo who is besties with Tak Ye Jin who accidentally caused a minor bump on Seung Chan’s father’s car.

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The accident caused them to get closer as partial payments of the damage happened requiring them to meet up regularly with Ye Jin using her seniority to make Seung Chan ran errands for him.  Unlucky Seung Chan landed to the dying 2Days1Night team which needed reincarnation to improve the ratings.

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Known for being hot tempered Ye Jin spearheads the Music Bank team where she got an unpleasant encounter with a famous primadona singer, Cindy, but for the show to go on they acquiesce on the proper clothing or so Ye Jin thought, and the show went on with Cindy defying Ye Jin’s wish.

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Baek Sung Chan chanced upon Cindy on a rainy day and let her borrow the company’s umbrella but reminded her to return it to the lobby under his employee name.  Pressured from her busy schedule Cindy’s Sauron’s eyes mostly direct at her oppa  manager who has to take the top star tantrums thrown to him by Cindy almost everytime.
Time is ticking for 2Days1night staff to come up with a let’s-do-this-or-we-will-be-axed plan.  With Seung Chan’s analytical research he scored “lovers themed” format which Joon Mo initially booed but was agreed upon by the higher directors. 

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To proceed with the show’s survival plan they have to notify the current members that the season will end.  The bad news delivery was almost successful but Seung Chan who was tasked to notify the most senior actress wasn’t able to extend the news thus earning a huge disappointment to the veteran actress who felt disrespected.

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After an ugly closing party 2D1N team moved on to hurdling the completion of the new cast.  When the regular team members ran out of ideas they asked Seung Chan, and he cluelessly suggested Cindy to the teams -whats-wrong-with-this-kid faces but they let him go with his plan.

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Seung Chan went to visit Cindy and raised their proposal on how joining a variety show is beneficial for  her because her connection with the viewers will be solidified as she will be seen in images closer to typical people.  While in the middle of luring Cindy, the witch CEO of the talent agency burst in and refused strongly.  Seung Chan’s unfazed attitude towards witch CEO had Cindy saw Seung Chan at a different light and when Joon Mo marched to haul his newbie after learning he went to Cindy’s company and adding icy replies to witch CEO, Cindy has made up her mind that she will join the tv show.

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And yes she did.  Seung Chan piqued Cindy’s interest without him realizing it.  While the pop idol grew fond of him, Seung Chan was also falling in love with Ye Jin who was in a complicated emotion with Joon Mo.

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Feeling her top talent is already raising a rebellion, Cindy’s agency head retaliated and has slowly reducing her top idol perks and eventually ruining her reputation.  But with the help of Joon Mo and Ye Jin who retrieved an old off site interview, they were able to defend the fabricated attempt to ruin Cindy’s  career.

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Ye Jin and Joon Mo also confronted their feelings towards each other and sealed the binding love they mistook as friendship.

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Seung Chan failed another chance at love but he gained valuable friendship that will last for a lifetime.

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For people expecting Kim Soo Hyun being captured in romantic moments, you won’t expect it in this drama so be prepared.  Nevertheless I think for legit kdrama followers you will get what you bargain for in this drama.

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It’s how we root for Alice in Wonderland and love seeking Disney princesses all at the same time.  “Producers” came up in a very interesting format incorporating the variety show world in a drama attack.  To achieve that you have to even out the laughter you get from the variety show and the valuable content you should give to the audience.

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And I immensely enjoyed the lessons focused in every episode which were derived from the variety program production world.  It gave meaningful life lessons and pointed out the challenges and limitations of human nature.

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When joined together the four main leads were a delightful watch, even so in their personal struggles.

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Seung Chan is a reminder of any person who was trying to find his niche in the corporate scene regardless if the motivation is absurd, like in his case to follow his first love.  He is a reminder of the extent on how much we can persevere and how trying a shot on everything is better than being coward to take a chance on it.

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Ye Jin is a reminder of how even a person with the coldest exterior has a warm spot hidden in her.  Of a person who would be patiently waiting for the love she yearned for than waste her time to nonsense. 

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Joon Mo is a reflection of those times when we built our character through standing firm with our principles and defying the norms for change to happen.

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Cindy represented each one of us in our highest peak, when we hit a slump, and when we bounce back from it.

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As I religiously watch 2D1N, I easily grasped the intentions and love the executions all throughout.  True, I might have wished for more love screentime but it superbly fed me stories that I have been on at some point of my life.

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The engrossing 12 episodes will leave you lessons that basic self-help books have already vaguely discussed.  A breather from rom-com and melodramas, Producers will strip any work related stress you are having if you give it a chance.

-jediprincess♡♡♡

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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 quirkily 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.

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Heir to a huge conglomerate company Cha Do Hyun has to face the scrutiny of the company he is bound to lead, but with his DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), his sane self has to clean up the troubles caused by the other 5 identities constantly crawling in his body.  It was no easy task, but with his disposable money and computer-brained secretary, he has been managing to do so.  When Chief Ahn visited Do Hyun to settle a minor setback caused by Se Gi, he also delivered the news that his grandmother summoned him to return to Korea. 

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But with his current monstrous condition, he refused to do so and was surprised to wake up sitting in an airplane because his bad boy identity Shin Se Gi took over his consciousness to force him to confront his role in the company.

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A brilliant psychiatry student Oh Ri Jin has been living a free spirited life with her loving family.  Hiding his identity as a famous novelist, Ri Jin’s twin brother Oh Ri On sat beside Do Hyun on their way back to South Korea while the latter was on his bomb expert persona, Perry Park.  Pestered by the phone calls she was getting looking for the celebrated writer Omega, Ri Jin marched to the airport to give her brother a lesson and had her first encounter with Cha Do Hyun who believed Ri On’s words that she was lunatic.

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When Ri Jin’s carefree patient escaped from the hospital, she traced her to a local club where Do Hyun was also partying with his cousin.  Ri Jin’s patient
asked Do Hyun for help and remembering their previous encounter, he sided with the patient which left Ri Jin no choice and gave a judo move which shook Do Hyun and pushed his badass identity Se Gi.

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Fate has continuously brought Do Hyun and his multiple personas and Ri Jin together and she slowly tamed each characters even the stubborn Se Gi.  As the two gets even more closer, their fated past connection surged bursting from their forgotten memories to make them piece out the cause of Do Hyun’s mental condition and Ri Jin’s traumatic childhood.

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Ri Jin’s basement and fire phobia stemmed from the arson incident when she was young.  Her mother Min Seo Yeon was Do Hyun’s father’s ex wife, and her biological father died early.  Do Hyun’s father harbored hatred towards his father as the latter favored his estranged intelligent wife in running the company’s business.  He left home and was forced to stop his prodigal son act because his son, then named Joon-young needed to have his family name be registered for him to be able to enter school.

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The two children got very close and had been sharing the trauma brought about  by Joon Young’s father’s hatred toward his ex-wife’s daughter who has been kept in the basement when her mother and Joon Young’s grandfather died from a car accident.

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On the day Joon Young’s father was named the new chairman of the company, he sought his son whom he will formally introduce to the public and found him together with the girl he has been abusing.  Joon Young was thrown outside of the basement room and in his helplessness wanting to protect his friend, the first piece of his identity kicked in and perpetrated a fire to stop his father from his evil deed.

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Joon Young struggled after the separation from his friend and took her name subconsciously and lived his life as Cha Do Hyun.  Oh Ri Jin meanwhile was rescued by her mother’s friend who was working in the kitchen at the time in the party and raised her as her own daughter and a twin sister to Ri On.

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Sharing some of the best and worst memories of their childhood, Ri Jin and Do Hyun embraced each other’s pain as Do Hyun’s identities bid farewell after the main leads finally confronted the past that entwined them.  Acknowledging forgiveness to Do Hyun’s father who was consumed by hatred, they let go of their fears and move on together hand in hand promising to share their pain and bliss of their past and future.

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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.

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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

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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.

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With multiple characters bursting in and out, the humor was ever present but not slapstick.  That Do-hyun/Se-gi roulette could be a useful tool when someone is torn between two lovers.  *giggles

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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.

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Beautiful in its strongest points and faint weaknesses, this is a perfect drama that will leave you happy and intrigued.  -jediprincess♡♡♡

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It was the most consistent romantic-comedy for me this year, 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.

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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.

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All her life Na Bong Sun has remained passive and  introverted after taking after her  grandmother’s shamanic powers.  Her ability to see ghosts has made her meek and always yielding to be able to blend in with people around her.

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Gossip-ghost-network has marked Shin Soon Ae as a mischievous wandering ghosts who can’t reconcile the sad truth that she died not being able to sleep with a man.  She frequently hosted on women in search of the man who would fulfil her dying-a-virgin grievances.

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Na Bong Sun and Shin Soon Ae crossed path when the latter was being chased by ajumma-shaman who wanted to contain the man-seeking-ghostess and when Na Bong Sun was drained from work and personal problems.  When Soon Ae tried to leave Bong Sun’s body, she realized she was trapped momentarily, and assumed Bong Sun’s identity.  She later learned how Bong Sun’s body frequency matched with her and that she is the key that will help her find the man of vitality who would deflower her and send her peacefully to the next life.

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Lacking in self-confidence Na Bong Sun frequently cause small accidents in the restaurant where she is working.  And in those unfortunate mishaps, she would always plead apologies.  But when bubbly Soon Ae’s persona burst in, people in her work place felt it was weird how she changed from being meek and kind to being loud and assertive. 

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When head chef Kang Sun Woo inadvertently lip locked with Na Bong Sun/Soon Ae, he pieced out something disturbing happening with his staff. At that same time Soon Ae discovered how Sun Woo is the man she was looking for.  Blaming it to the not so pleasant pep talk  they  had when she caused an accident while trying to fight of Soon Ae’s possession, he had her checked by a doctor and believed the bipolar disorder diagnosis given by the doctor was the reason for the extreme attitude changes she was having.

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After being kicked out from the study-hotel she was staying, Na Bong Sun/Soon Ae ended up staying in the rooftop room of the restaurant adjacent to Sun Woo’s room and little by little they get closer. 

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Soon Ae and Na Bong Sun officially became sisters when jealous Bong Sun who has been having a one-sided love with Sun Woo got scared when she realized Sun Woo’s first love started showing signs of liking him.
They made a pact to claim Sun Woo who by then was already falling in love for Bong Sun.

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Finally freeing himself from his first love who married his deceased best friend, Sun Woo bravely declared love to Bong Sun and the two caught hearts surrounding them in the next days with their new couple status.  Bong Sun overlooked how Soon Ae has also grown to like Sun Woo, and when it finally dawned on her, she was slumped in the idea of between her and Soon Ae who did Sun Woo really fall in love with.

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Mustering courage to fight for her love she revealed to Sun Woo the ploy she and Soon Ae agreed to, which left him disappointed and stoic.  Around that time Soon Ae has also untangled the mystery of her death and has come to terms that her soul cannot find peace because it seeks justice.  Sun Woo also uncovered the dangerous side of his brother-in-law, Officer Choi Sung Jae, but he was quick to uptake and kidnapped Bong Sun when he was pushed to the limit of his wrong doing.  Bong Sun asked a ghost child to push Officer cellphone and was able to send Sun Woo a hint of her location.  He successfully traced the orphanage and rescued Bong Sun while ajumma shaman vanquished the evil spirit haunting Officer Choi’s body.

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Officer Choi was revealed to have been taken by an evil spirit because of his troubled past.  He was also the culprit who ran over Sun Woo’s sister which led to her being paralyzed.  Seul Gi witnessed the hit-and-run accident and she accidentally told Officer Choi what she saw and was late to grasp that she was talking to the exact person who did the crime.  She ran but was later caught and murdered by Officer Choi.

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After solving her death issues, Soon Ae finally move on to after life.  Sun Woo entered Bong Sun to a cooking competition and when she won, she was given a chance to study abroad.   

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Afraid of going back to Sun Woo’s arms, Bong Sun braved the long-distance relationship problems and tried hard to focus on her studies.  When she finally came back, she paid a visit to Soon Ae’s dad and promised him that she will work in his restaurant.  After that, she settled permanently in Sun Woo’s arms.

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Without supernatural intervention or genius fusion ideas, I landed on a pensive mode while watching the reflective and heart wrenching workplace drama “Misaeng”. And it’s very rare for me to do so because my excessively diverted mind usually craves for something different and evolving but with Misaeng, I was sent back to ponder on my forgotten dreams, regrets and what-nows?

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 While bravely showing the downside of a typical salaryman realm, witnessing Jang Geu Rae unfazed and continuously persevering to work on the opportunity given to him regardless of the many hurdles he has to overcome was an encouragement for people who have work-related doubts and challenges. He is a reminder of what most all of us when we were all unsure of entering the professional world. It was also a nudge to leave a job you are unhappy about and go back to what you really wanted to do.

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Misaeng provided an engaging experience for me because of its wonderful cast and their interaction. Though mostly shot in the office premise, the candid pantry small talks, the rooftop heartfelt confrontations, the cubicle power struggles were able to capture in detail and in pure emotions the many faces of employees struggling everyday to get their job done.

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 I got to meet Geu Rae and the rest of One International newbies who underwent a top conglomerate scrutiny of what they can offer if given a chance to become an employee of a successful trading company. I rooted for our underdog main lead who had to stop playing professional baduk because fate played against him and he was left no choice but to squeeze in as many part time jobs as he can to help out with his mother with the house finances. Through his mother’s connection, he landed an internship program with a big conglomerate company.

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Without any famous university diploma and any language fluency, his keen mind, patience and humility has made him proven his worth to the initial sales team who believed he wouldn’t also go far, but he has proven it otherwise when he was offered a 2 year temporary contract employee.  Alongside his fellow newbies who were assigned to their respective departments after passing the internship program, they were set to find their niche by combining their natural talents and efforts. It was a real-life game of withstanding a vile immediate boss who takes the credit over the work you do or letting go of the cold treatment from the team that will push you to think that you are wasting your skills in the company or proving your effort to an elite team who stoops down on career oriented women.

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It was the pain turned motivation that got me connected with each character. Each of them has to stay afloat because more than what is paid for to get the job done, it all goes down to proving their self worth as a person. The depth of friendship you get with people you meet at work will be different from the passing friends especially if you worked together for a long time. Because little by little and through stories and deductions they knew you better as a person. In Misaeng, the implied, direct and disguised friendship established by the characters propelled the predictable conflicts to a flowing narrative because the motivations and struggles of each character were thoroughly presented.  Each triumph won, each business secured reverberates on my TV screen making me feel so happy like I was also a member of the team.

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It was like stepping to a company’s door, sitting silently in a corner while you watch all of the employees get to their job. For the jobless and people who wish for a different job it would be a great encouraging watch. The traditional companies where I live also follow the top-university requirement in selecting employees, sometimes even your base salary would depend on where you studied. But since global workforce are mostly stationed in the Philippines, the American companies mostly put their customer facing jobs here without paying regard to how many diplomas you can present but how you can work as a team member in performing your job descriptions.

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Personally, I knew university educated people who are not so smart and college undergrads who are surprisingly efficient. It has also been my stand that companies would give fair treatment to aspiring regular employees following the results of the scorecards out of an honest hard work they do after their probationary stage, and whether they came from a reputable school should never be treated as an advantage. But in most societies, that hasn’t always been the case.

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It is hard these days to find a human TV drama that follows the fundamentals of how and why storytelling emerged to inspire people.  We frequently have to see stories to escape from the problems we are facing so sitting down upfront a courageous and flaw-filled human nature TV presentation chronicling what is true and happening, what we hide to people relying on us and what we don’t want to admit to ourselves because of too much pride has had me really feel high spirited to surmise that fulfilling personal goals need not be happening in an instant and all at the same time.

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 Definitely the best produced and written drama for me last year with its simplicity and amazing depiction of the daily life of the working class, Misaeng is no frills, never superficial and all heart and a must watch for all of us on board and soon to be boarding on the corporate world. -jediprincess

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This is a brother, a son, and a husband’s journey in giving out all he has for his family. A very endearing and touching film about a man’s sacrifices in his dream to fulfil his promise to his father.

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In present day Korea, a hot tempered grandpa refuses to sell an old store he was tending against the push he’s getting from his fellow store owners and his children who can well provide for him and his wife.

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Spending time with his granddaughter he went a trip down the memory lane and look back to his life in the past. Forced to evacuate their hometown, Yoo Duk-soo and his family painstakingly walked their way to chance upon boarding a ship to escape the 1950 Korean war. He held on to his younger sister but climbing on the ship he lost his sister when a stranger pulled her down while she was on his back. His father went back to search for her as the hurrying ship departed from the port leaving Duk-soo a promise to take care of his mother and younger siblings. They reached his aunt’s house in Busan and has worked odd jobs to support the family.

 

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When a job mining opportunity came and his younger brother got accepted at Seoul University he decided to leave the country with his friend for more earnings.

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Working to exhaustion he found bliss after meeting a Korean nurse woman, Young-ja who agreed to share both the pain and happiness with him as he will do the same to her. A mining accident almost killed Duk-soo and as his working visa expired, he settled to go back home. He tried asking Young-ja but she wanted to stay.

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Helping out his aunt in the store, he was surprised by Young-ja’s visit and news of her pregnancy. They got married and live together with his family.

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When his aunt died, his uncle decided to sell the store and his younger sister wanted to sell the house for her wedding. Pressured to keep the store and the family’s financial difficulties, he set forth to a technician job in Vietnam where a war is on going.

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After being shot in an escape encounter with Vietcong soldiers, Duk-soo came home again to Korea, with a limping leg, and finally owning the store his uncle sold to him.

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When a broadcast station launched a program to reunite the separated families from the Vietnam war, Duk-soo together with his best friend traveled to Seoul in search of finding his father and sister. Unfortunately his father was not found, but his sister was reunited to him and his family.

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Back in present time, Duk-soo led his mother’s annual memorial service and while the children was showcasing their talents, Duk-soo went to his room after his son showed annoyance in him teaching his daughter an old song. In the room he reminisced the promise he gave his father and wept silently holding on to his father’s old clothes. While Duk-soo and Young-ja stared at the nearby port talking about their dreams, he finally agreed to selling the store as his father would be too old to keep his promise to meet him there.

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There were a lot about life that this movie touched. From love to friendship to sacrifices. This will hit straight to the heart of the people who has given so many years of their lives to support their families without thinking much of their own and giving up on their personal dreams. This is a reminder also to children of elderly parents who are so consumed about their family lives they can’t even take 5 minutes of their time to check how their parents are, if they are genuinely happy, if they need something or if they just even want a time with them.

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I cried and felt so good after watching this beautifully written story. It was a movie that will tap someone’s back for a job well done in choosing to bear the pain of giving up the years of his life  to chase the things he really want to do because he has parents to rely on him.

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A reflecting story meant to ask what you can and cannot do for your family.
A film perfect to watch in a family gathering. Splendidly and fluidly written with perfect amount of humor, heartwarming scenes and life lessons.
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Welcome to the psychopath chase where gripping episode endings build up to a long stretch of sweet annoyance and anticipation to a quaintly written story where the characters boarded on a race to outwit each other and the cost of each wrong judgment equates to starting points of a never-ending labyrinth.

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Escaping from the man who murdered her parents, Choi Eun Seol woke up losing her memory and was given another identity by the detective handling a famous serial killer case.  Choi Eun Seol became Oh Cho Rim and along with her new life is her ability to know the smell of people through her eyes.

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3 years later while working hard to become a performer in a comedy troupe, she got entangled in a police operation and met Choi Moo Gak, an officer who has been wanting to join the homicide department to obtain information about a case that involved his sister’s death.

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When their destinies were finally unveiled, they were confronted by the realities that Choi Moo Gak’s sister was killed because the killer thought she was the witness who escaped his claws since they have the same name and the painful truth that the revelation came when they both realized they are falling in love with each other.

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The fiend who cannot recognize human faces, the police hero who lost his ability to feel emotions after losing his sister and the brave heroine who can see through someone with her eyes were characters that fitted an easy to follow but strangely nerve-wrecking story perfect for a weekend drama marathon with your friends and family.

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It was that brilliantly executed plot of the protagonists’ taking advantage of the killer’s inability to remember faces and the latter’s resilience in orchestrating evil ploys that drew my appreciation all throughout. 

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There were no unnecessary hassles and side stories written to confuse or to lengthen the narration.  The plot was very clear on its premise and has always headed to the direction of uncovering clues without making the protagonists appear dumb.  It sailed to a direction of making the viewers go along with the process of pinning the vile psychopath to admit to his crime against the usual dragging guess-the-killer story. 

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The mushy sweetness here and there, the steady writing, the oneness of the cast and the deviation from the usual kdrama plot stereotypes had me resurrected from my gym induced hiatus to break my kdrama/movie review dry spell.  It is a buoyant romcom drama served with a balanced mixture of thrill, comic kicks and romance that I would highly recommend for when you plan a kdrama getaway.

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Taunted as the best Korean Film for 2014, it is only befitting to start this year with the remarkable production and poignant portrayal of one of the best fought battle under the untainted maritime war encounters of Admiral Lee Soon Shin — one of the most revered naval leader in the history.

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I usually munch rom-coms, thrillers and sci-fi movies, so I’m really picky when it comes to watching action films because I normally have those “what am I doing here?” moments when I unluckily get the all-brawly-and-no-story flicks.  With “Roaring Currents” though, I found myself quickly immersed with its nimble narration that progressed in a swift motion whilst covering all the significant details about the characters and the conflict.

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Even with its serious and manly tone, this movie has just this undeniable depth and gripping effect that has made me cheer for the brilliant Admiral and his crew.  I swear I felt like I’m so tired in a heroic kind of way after that epic culminating assault between Lee Soon Shin’s out-numbered ships and the Japanese strong fleets.  It was intensely and vividly captured that along with the exhaustion, I also felt the bliss like I was with them in their quest to claim that victory.  *chuckles

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The challenge for me when I watch a war film is that I get overwhelmed with a big cast and its long and brimming sequences of fight scenes.   So I really like that “Roaring Currents” all throughout didn’t deviate with the focal person of the film without overshadowing the value of the pertinent side characters who even with their minimal screen exposure were able to make their roles meaningful.  The combat scenes were niftily placed and were not overly done to balance the story narration and the message it was trying to impart.

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I didn’t expect I would feel good after my movie experience with Admiral Lee Soon Shin and his men.  I think the film director impeccably established his character as a great strategist and commander but still able to show his frailties as a human.  It was a kind of film where bravery and patriotism were able to outweigh the shown violence and evilness in the movie hence it gave me a generally positive feeling.  Definitely living up to its hype, I found myself succumbing to the movie’s electrifying current and enjoying every moment of it.

-jediprincess ♥

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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. Sure I did enjoy “Fated To Love You” because it followed all the bullet points needed for a rom-com drama, but I’ll be placing Hae-soo and Jae-yeol’s love story as my favorites this year tied with the magical chemistry-filled connection of Do Min-joon and Cheon Song-yi in You From Another Star.
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A famed fiction writer Jang Jae-yeol moved to his house he rented out when his crib required renovation. There he met two psychiatrists and a psychiatric patient with Tourette syndrome living in the most entertaining and reckless fashion that totally deviated from his being neat freak living given his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Plot got meatier when the inevitable connection of Jae-yeol to the virgin psychiatrist, Hae-soo, who just recently broken up with her cheating boyfriend grew so strong and mutual to the surprise of both parties with extreme perception differences.

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Just when both of them surrendered to the idea that yes indeed they were in love, Jae-yeol’s childhood trauma matured resulting to “you-and-me-and my-schizophrenic-self” conflict that has made Hae-soo’s mother revolt on their relationship after suffering all her life taking care of her invalid husband. Jae-yeol while struggling to accept his sickness resorted to pushing his heroine away, but ended up realizing that he needed her while trying to reconcile his life.

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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

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True this might not appeal to hopeless romantics, but I’m sure everyone who has felt that moment when they give everything because of love would surely love this amazing story which I will be happily placing in my all-time favorites.

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“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.

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Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This is definitely one of my favorite dramas for 2014 because of the splendid screenplay and amazing casts that brought to life the story’s simplicity and yet affecting adult romantic life.   -jediprincess

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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.

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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.

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After a blurry one-night-stand, Lee Gun was forced to marry a girl he barely know, Kim Mi Young and turned his back to a long-time girlfriend who prioritized her career than being with him. Soon enough he learned to love his new wife but was forced to give her up because of a genetic amnesia illness which is ever thriving in kdramaland. Facing personal problems and company issues, Lee Gun was left no choice but to push away Mi-young while breaking his heart in the process, and with the pain she was trying to bear, she unfortunately had an accident and lost the baby she was carrying.

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Mi-young was convinced by Daniel to go to Paris and study painting as part of her healing process. Years after she came back to Korea as a budding successful artist. In her first exhibit, she posted her painting in memory of her lost child. Lee Gun who has been tracking her success visited the exhibit and bought the painting. Mi-young who was not meaning to sell the piece tried reaching out to the buyer and in his hope of connecting with her, Lee Gun pretended to be a woman and eventually become Mi-young’s secret confidante.

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The estranged husband and wife got entangled again as Lee Gun’s company hired Mi-young to paint their products’ packaging and hidden sparks that both were trying to hide eventually freed themself up. Mi-young eventually learned why Lee Gun tried to protect her by pushing her away because he was scared that his genetic amnesia will hurt her just like what it did to his father and their family.

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Mi-young realizing all that happened bravely claimed her ex-husband back but a minor conflict arose when her mother refused of igniting their relationship because of his illness, but the couple showed they were willing to take the odds to be together and their sincere love has won their mother over.

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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. Now I have seen the Taiwan version of this drama and although the Korean couple won the heartflutters and bliss category, their Taiwanese counterparts I can say were stronger in the heavy scenes.

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I have a slight issue to the sacrificial move of the hero when he pushed away his wife when he learned of his disease while being pressured as well by the business he has to lead because well it was something that made his character inconsistent to the Prince Charming they pictured him to be early on. That and the obvious unnecessary scenes to propel the story when they should have neatly closed it.

It’s a comfort drama pill you can watch in the rainy days but its romantic magic will definitely wear out after 3 or maybe 4 rerun sessions.

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Rarely did a Korean romcom drama approach me and sweep me off of my feet every episode up to the finale, and to say that I was happy throughout my drama-stalking was an understatement, I was so elated with it.  You see, love stories need not to be so big romantic kind of way, not that I didn’t like the “alien-who-loved-me” twist but “You From Another Star” drew a great following because of the vibrant characters who has really brought to life their fictional images to an unforgettable and you-can’t-help-but-relate-to kind of way. I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together gave a gratifying closure for the story.  You see once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying 3rd parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale, you only need two hearts that love bravely and love back deeply.

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Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly built up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation on how a drama with typical romcom premise surged a romantic bliss, never looking back and coming strongly and  surely each chronicle episode and seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.

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Do Min Joon, an alien from another star came to earth during the Joseon era and has delayed his return to where he came from because he was waiting for a chance to meet a young woman who has made a connection with him in his early days of staying in a new world he’s trying to be acquainted with.  He has managed to mingle with human life for the next 400 years, and in the last 3 months of his eventual departure to return to his world, he met Cheon Song Yi, a famous vivacious actress who resembled  the young woman he has yearning to meet again before his presumed alien stay wanes. What used to be a mundane living for him changed 360 degrees as his connection with the pretty and feisty actress grew within him, and before he knew it, they have fallen in love with each other.  The road to finding love to the person you least expect it to happen and the pain of being hindered of the love they both deserve made Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi’s love story remarkable and deeply affecting.  There you have a girl who is not so perfect and at times have her own way of perceiving things but her ability to express what she feels and her sensitivity to know when to stop made her such an endearing and memorable heroine.   Do Min Joon, on the other hand slowly progressed to a hero worthy of shooting-star-give-me-my-prince-wish as he went from the stoic alien to a loving man all willing to give everything in his power to protect his woman.

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Cheon Song Yi, a Korean top actress who has been a usual target of social media frenzy due to her dumb remarks was forced to enter school again to appease negative rumors that has been chasing her alongside the popularity status she has gained.  She attended the class of Do Min Joon, an alien incognito living on earth, waiting for the dying days of his earth visit who also happened to be her neighbor and was clueless about her immense infamous status.

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Their love thread eventually started as Min-joon’s hearing ability learned of Song-yi’s fears and loneliness which sparked up his protective instinct that eventually solidified when he realized that she looked like the young woman who was his very first friend in the planet and whom he has been yearning to try and meet again through his years of living on earth.

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When Song Yi hit the rock bottom of her career after being involved as a contributor of a fellow actress’ alleged suicide, Min-joon found himself standing up as her hero.  Little by little love blossomed in Song Yi’s heart, and soon enough Min-joon realized the same.

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Fate, chance encounters and brave “i-love-you-right-now claims have never been so perfectly achieved until this love story graced kdrama screen and though there were minimal things that I wished was explained fully, I didn’t care less because the love progress moved to a pace where the character’s connection is sensitive to the story they are into, while the story glued out perfect pieces of events that maybe kdrama cliche, but were effectively used and concluded just the same.

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I love the execution of the characters in this tv delight because the main leads will be able to stand alone even if an eventual story slip might happen, which was never triggered anyway necause of the brilliant writing that calculated the story flow without looking so dragging and predictable as well as staying realistic and amusing. It’s like a mixture of amazing awkwardness, cuteness and honesty… the conservative, recluse, pretending to be nonchalant but truly caring alien professor and the clueless vivacious cute in her self-centered way top actress, have been nourishing their romance in a traditional negotiating way where the girl always wins and the boy ends up giving in. Thus feeding on this premise, I fell in love with how they came to terms that they love one another.

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Less the tears, sob stories and dramatic dialogues, “You Who Came From The Stars” is as crisp, engaging and gripping even without using the heavy and dark emotion inducing drama scenarios. Thriving on the character ups and downs, it etched facets of realities that teaches how people struggled to concede with their insecurities and are always won over by finding faults at something or someone they won’t even have to bother. Cheon Song Yi has had me girl crushing on her proud vulnerable self whose pain all women can relate to – that is pretending something doesn’t hurt when in reality it’s making you sob when you are alone. Her trying to rescue her self regardless of the crazy fix she succumbs to has earned her a charming heroine who would stay strong in the face of her adversities but would not hesitate to ask for help when she can no longer take it.

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Most of the kdrama characters I grew fond of were of the eyecandy-princey-darcy-ish-jackdawson-ish kind of guys, and this will be the first time I am going to place a girl character on my favorite list. Not that Min-joon is overshadowed by his lead girl. Their chemistry is surprisingly impeccable with or without love furtive insinuations meaning to have the other party take notice. Theirs was a tv screen relationship definitely worth watching and undoubtedly addictive because of their extreme personalities and willingness to compromise knowingly and unknowingly to their differences.

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I can say a lot of beautiful things about this drama but to make it simpler, I will just say that it is currently my all time favorite.  I was happy to witness the closure which gave me a happy ending and yet not leaving entirely its supernatural premise.  You Who Came From Another Star’s finale didn’t force the issue and gave a satisfying ending for hopeless romantics and threw a lightsaber party to scifi geeks.    It yielded a make sense ever after dream for the lead girl who has been patient to his eventual wormhole traveling man to fulfill his promise to his woman.  A classic love-you-when-you’re-here-with-me and love-you-even-more-even-if-you-leave irony and yet so indulging of wistful memories.  It was a heartfelt love affirming ending befitting of the bravery, honesty, unrequited love and a surreal romance wrapped in a pink bow.

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The extent of  how affecting Lee Min Ho’s melting gazes and suave moves is something that us girls can’t explain and would rather not  complain about.  Though he suffered bringing out the story to compete or at least level to kdrama favorite rom-coms, Kim Tan was a fascinating character in Kdramaland in his The Inheritors’ performance.

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Bearing the weight of the most highly anticipated drama for 2013, the large cast ensembles barely managed to get their stories and their interaction with the rest of the characters in full swing whilst trying to support the romance plot brewed the moment the show kicked in.

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It started slow, got addictive in the middling part and closed safely in the ending.  It was even a tough tale to begin with, considering the rich boy-poor girl love story milleu, there’s really not much room for the story to develop and for the characters to be loved fully, so ending with a closure without forcing “years after ending” and just focusing on the main characters’ yearnings and pain being answered and achieved has made this youth tale a sweet watch.

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Heir to a huge business conglomerate, Kim Tan has lived a luxurious and lonely life.  He has a biological mom he can’t be open to the public because it would sacrifice his position as an heir/major stockholder in his father’s company, a bride-to-be that was arranged for him to help their company become even bigger, and a brother who exiled him in fear of his own position as the first heir.  Meekly living abroad and following his brother’s desire, he found a turning point in his life, when he met poor girl Cha Eun-sang who was visiting her sister abroad.  Their quick summer interlude slowly build to a blossoming fondness that made Kim Tan chose to confront his brother and finished his forced exile and go back to Korea.  Just as he was settling in, fate gifted him of reuniting with Eun-sang who was living in their house as their servant’s daughter.  To complicate the already you-and-me-against-your-family’s-riches, Kim Tan’s former bestfriend turned frenemy also fell in love with Eun-sang and together they constantly engaged in brawls because of her.  Eun-sang finally acknowledged Kim Tan’s love throwing away the insecurities and apprehensions, but the final test of their love emerged when Tan’s father imposed a halt to the relationship they can’t afford to be in.  But in the end they survive the pressure and sustain their love after defying the rich father, the rich third parties and the hesitations and fears.

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Kim Tan’s angsty this-is-a-cruel-rich-life sessions wallowing in tears and pain because his money can’t make him be with his indecisive first love was a reminder of how love is meant for both parties to work on to be together, and that one party can’t bear the love for both of them to work as love requires compromise and mutual decision to be with one another.

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I saw Kim Tan battled the odds and Eun-sang responding most of the time in her half-hearted i-love-you-too, but showing what they were made up of in defying what needed to be overcome for their love to carry on was what made their romance special.

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It was surprising how Heirs connected its audience to the story even if the conflict was so worn out or should I say now tried and tested. Slow starting I guess paved a way for the audience to feel each and every character’s pain and bliss. The right moments and the right things to say at those moments cemented the connection well, making me understand why Young-do and Won have to be gritty and unreasonable and why Eun-sang can be so indecisive most of the time. It just all boils down to all of them caring for Tan.

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Inasmuch as I wanted to help Tan carry the weight of the crown, I’m glad he endured it and made the remaining episodes prove to us that trendy drama with recycled plots are best served with a heartfelt first love fight with your parents. *wink  I initially didn’t expect much from Lee Min Ho when the news of him taking another rich boy role happened. I mean he can just be his princey self and I will shrilling gurly scream on my pillow. But he was soo good at this drama and I can’t help but notice. Out of all the kiss scenes he had, his college boy kisses in this drama really made me feel sweet sixteen-ish, and that claiming my girl kiss on Ep 16 was the best kiss in kdramaland 2013 for me, soo sweet it radiated to me from the computer screen. *chuckles

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HEIRS was a late bloomer. I love that the characters moved to a positive redemption and the rich-boy-poor-girl love story did not thred to a fairytale with stubborn Cinderella and not thinking Prince Charming even if it moved to a predictable ending. Being stronger with its imperfections, it has managed to tug my emotions with the heartwarming and love affirming romantic scenes that has made me feel lovestruck and giddy-ish. Flaws and all, I love that this drama reminded me that at one point in our lives, when we were younger, we love blindedly, truthfully, happily and beyond reasons. We went from bliss to pain to staying together to letting go, and it has improved our love perspective as a person. -jediprincess ^_^

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While my entire stay in kdramaland for 2013 was not as faithful as I have been for 2012, I enjoyed it just the same, and I even added one drama to my all time personal favorites.
I hope I can find time next year to wrap up all my half-ways and quarterly done series reviews before 2014 first quarter wanes. 

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The deft writing and skillful directing of Nine Time Travels was a runaway hit for me sending me to pulsating “damn-this-drama-is-so-good moments.  There was no wasted episode and the characters and the time-voyaging plot harmoniously achieved an almost perfect production where conflicts and loose ends are tied and untied all throughout the story and then managed to climax in a euphoric scale where I was left marveling and renewing my kdrama addiction contract yet again.

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The ghost-seeing heroine and her adorable shield chaebol heir managed to etch their drama poster to my wall of kdrama favorites.  Joong-won and Tae-yang has had me really enjoyed the feeling of being in love just by watching how their romance blossomed.  True, that there were moments when the plot was trying to catch up with the romance but Master’s Sun notched a fun and yet epic love story of Harry&Sally proportion.  Refreshing and caffeinated, you will find yourself loving the main couple here.

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Reply 1994 worked its way to me and never looked back after once it felt that I’m hooked and addicted.  This drama rounded up the remaining spot of my top 3 dramas this year alongside Nine and Master’s Sun.  There’s just so much warming and reassuring feeling I felt while staying hooked at the cast ensembles and each of their stories.  And while I’m still waiting for Na-jung’s guess my eventual husband contest, I vouched that men and women of my age would really enjoy it as it is a reminder of us 10 years ago.  Sweetly nostalgic, I highly recommend this in your watchlist.

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I also enjoyed the love tearjerkers early this year… I Miss You That Winter The Wind Blows and When A Man Loves had made me forcedfully used up tissue rolls with the amount of weeping I spent stalking them through ups and downs, craziness and annoyance and heart flutters and bliss. 

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I am sorry I didn’t really enjoy I Hear Your Voice and Gu Family book.  The former didn’t hit the yellow chakra in me, the latter being not able to sustain the hype of the promising storyline. Heirs was surely overrated but I loved the two lead boys there, and the pantry kiss though the lead girl acted stoic was one of the best kiss Lee Min Ho has ever given in his career.  Marry Him If You Dare less the wtf ending would have been nice.  I mean I was all waiting for Mirae’s choice, but at the last minute the writer gave me the power to choose for Mirae, what’s that about?

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Joo Won didn’t wait for next year and worked on redeeming the disappointing and madly done Level 7 Civil Servant through his savant Good Doctor character which made me feast on heartwarming feelings and some new found medical knowledge.  I consider this a family drama that your mom would surely love.  Another drama mom would like is School 2013, although centered in the High Schooler’s life, the friendship and simply narrated but neatly acted story was a winning performance.

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Safely finishing their dramas, Cha Tae Hyun oppa lifted Jeon Woo Chi to a decent ending as my crush Yoo Ah In melted me over and over again to his King Sukjong role with the infamous Joseon concubine Jang Ok Jung.  Show me some magic and Tae Hyun oppa’s impeccable comic and winning performance and I’m on the ride babe.  And that swaying from the history book depiction of Jang Ok Jung story admittedly diminished my once felt angst towards Joseon’s femme fatale.  After all I’m a sucker of a two-way romance. 

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Mandate of Heaven following a Joseon fugitive plot who proved his innocence while saving his sick daughter against the court and Royal family conspiracies and the niftily done King of dramas which reminded me painfully of my once dream to become a TV drama writer were bubble wrap dramas which comforted me and made me feel good after watching them.

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Cheongdamdong Alice, Dating Agency: Cyrano, and Monstar gave me the after sweet taste of an afternoon in a park munching ice cream and cotton candy while The Great Seer and Flower-boy next door fairly amused me but certainly will be those forgettable dramas on my list this year.

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Two Weeks and Heartless City were the underrated but rockstars and dark horses in kdramaland for me this year.  The action packed thrilling plot had me most of the time on the edge of my seat anticipating the next badass move and powerplays that will unfold.

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Unfortunately I’m still trying hard to finish War of Flowers, Empire of Gold, Secret Love and Empress Ki so I can’t say much about them yet.  You From Another Star, Pretty Boy, Golden Rainbow, Miss Korea, Prime Minister and I will be on my 2014 list as it crosses over the Horse year.

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True this year was not as fabulous as last year.  It was mostly mediocre and passing dramas but there are a few good finds and 3 stellar dramas for me.  As my love time can only permit me for this quick recap, I am closing this with my pink lightsaber favorites this year.

Nine Times Travel
Master’s Sun
Reply 1994
That Winter The Wind Blows
Heartless City
King of Dramas
Jang Ok Jung
Mandate of Heaven
Two Weeks
Cheongdamdong Alice

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Hello 2014!  I’m looking forward to my kdrama treats from you!  ^_^

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Once in a while a surprisingly good love story would remind me why I became addicted to Korean Romantic Comedies.  In the sea of dramas where stories are usually woven from the rich-boy-poor-girl love affair or the male-pretending-lead-girl, a you-and-me-against-the-ghosts love story hit all the romantic nerves in my body even with its comic spooky vibes.

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Although there was a lengthening kick in the final stretch, “The Master’s Sun” has given me a lot of elating moments and back-to-when-I-had-my-first-love heart fluttering scenes.   In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace has made me join the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they were in denial and scared to admit it. 

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What can I say? Hong sisters are back for a cotton candy vengeance. They have created the perfect lead man and heroine to score a romance frequently seen in kdramaland and yet watching them together would make you ask for MORE… It was really an endearing and sweet “I’m-sorry-Abby-for-making-you-watch-BIG-now-drool-at-sojisub oppa” gift by my favorite Korean scriptwriters… The romance was built slowly, surely and strongly… It brought the rich-boy-plain-girl romance in a whole new level as Tae Yang and Joong Won fully understand the extent of how much emotions they can invest to each other. So refreshingly done and yet so polished. I’m running out of adjectives.  *wink

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A once promising student, Tae Gong-shil, was called “Tae-yang” when she was studying because of her brilliant mind, but she unfortunately met an accident and woke up to a creepy ability.  She could see ghost.  For years, it caused her to live a hard life as ghost after ghost came to ask favor for their souls to be at peace.  Alcohol intoxication is also a no-no because a spirit can take over her body if she’s drunk.  She lived as if waking up in a hospital, a jail or even a tomb is normal, until she met the person who will change her life.

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A rich chaebol CEO, Joo Joong-won has only been living to make his very rich self even richer.  Having an estranged relationship with his father because of a trauma from his past, he has built a cold exterior that no one can get through… until he met her.

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In one of Tae-yang’s spirit-favor-operation, she hitched at Joong-won’s car after his driver was blinded when a lightning struck.  Not really wanting to give a ride to the weird girl in that stormy night, Joong-won was forced to oblige, when she fearfully screamed when a ghost appeared before her.  They stopped at a place to calm down the frightened Tae-yang and when a ghost tried to chase Tae-yang, she realized that when she touches Joong-won, the ghost vanished.

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Having found a way to shelter herself from the spirit attacks she so not wanted, she went to Joong-won’s mall to get a cleaning lady job.   Tae-yang’s ghost-seeing ability has put her on situations that made her interact with snob Joong-won and without him realizing it, Joong-won fell in love with her because of their casper-ish adventures.  Although Tae-yang felt the same way her woes of putting him in danger because of her ability hindered her in staying in his arms.

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A romantic comedy needs a “hook factor” to keep a loyal following.  At times the story may be incomprehensible and recycled but the lead actor is eye-candy or the acting is mediocre but the story and writing is brilliant and refreshing.  Master’s Sun doesn’t fall in any of those categories.  It has a solid chemistry from the main lead which made the quirky writing and story appeared like a classic fairy tale.

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When you have a stubborn romantic lead man who with-and-without amnesia know how to claim the heart of the woman he loves and a heroine who struggles in confusion to the path on how she is supposed to love her man, it will give you a love tale full of acceptance and understanding.  It will inspire you to trust why your heart fell in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons.  

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When I learned that So Ji Sub oppa will be in this drama, it was already a done deal for me even if it would turn out bad, so seeing him make those boyish smile, mischievous smile, flirty smile, melting smile and all the rest of the smiles and grins he made in this drama, I felt my heart-broken self curse was healed.  *chuckles  The onscreen chemistry with Gong Hyo Jin really worked out well.  Her chameleon self can really create a vibrant, lasting character that complements the love tale prince.  I gasped, blushed, giggled and cried to the love admittance push-and-pull and jedi-mindtricking by this lead couple. 

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Master’s Sun has always been consistent with its cliff-hangers and that’s why maybe kdramaland addicts have been raving and buzzing about it. It is so caffeinated like that feeling when you are in the beginning of a relationship when you don’t want a night to end and yet you want another day to begin. This has been making me act like a prisoner marking my calendar, waiting for that day that I know I will be happy. *chuckles

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All throughout the series, they have established the main conflict involving Hee-joo while inserting those other ghost cases in building up the circumstances that helped in making Joong-won and Tae-yang get closer and that sweet finale episode sealed this beautiful romance with a passionate kiss.  True there were some insertions that didn’t give the answer why it was included, but Joong-won has made me just disregard those lapses.  The supporting cast and the side love stories were also neatly included.  I am delighted that they didn’t pull a make-believe transition towards its finale.  While it went to the amnesia cliché, it didn’t make it like they were stuck somewhere. It went strong to portraying how even without his memories of her, his connection with her is somehow still intact and his reflexes were helping him to fathom what and who he was supposed to be missing.

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I am still feeling the after-warmth of Joon-won and Tae-yang’s love story.  I did get annoyed at how how she was playing hard to get in the dying episodes, but then I just realized how hard it really is to feel that you don’t deserve someone’s love. Master’s Sun is all I will remember in kdramaland this year. It was a nicely blended romance which showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both need each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they will ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

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It’s amazing how one drama can make me forget all the rest of the bad kdramas this year.  I’m still waiting for Heirs and Jun Ji Hyun’s drama, but I have placed Master’s Sun to my top pick this year (waiting for possible company) and included it to my All-time favourites. -jediprincess

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Tae-yang escaped Joong-won’s interrogation about her relationship to him by providing him answers to his questions but withdrawing the essentials behind their connection.  Without his memory he  cannot comprehend how she got closer to him and she explained that she has a special sixth sense that was of value to him but when he got hurt, feeling bad about it, she distanced herself from him.  He told her how things happened to him which in his sane mind was unlikely of him to do and yet he did it.  He also thought that he is forgetting very important but he can’t piece out the details.  He asked her if it was because of her and to evade his instinctive query, she replied that he did forget something and grabbed the cans of beer he left inside her fridge.

Joong-won questioned his uncle about his knowledge about Tae-yang and him and he responded that he can only give him answers based on the rumours about it but of course it was far from what really truly happened between them.  Late at night Tae-yang and Kang-woo shared some drinks.  Kang-woo worried about her situation since her shelter can’t remember her and she might be scared again because of the ghosts.  Tae-yang replied that she won’t be scared anymore because when she saw Joong-won’s wandering soul in the hospital that day she was so scared that nothing can top up that fright anymore.  She was already resigned to not dragging Joong-won in her life anymore.  She told him about her plans to go back to school asa her ghostly friends can help her out anyway to test questions.  Kang-woo quipped that since he’s good at protecting, he will be protecting her and they raised their cans to cheer each other up.

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Joong-won meanwhile was still in deep contemplation about his situation.  He muttered that something felt missing in his body which of course all of us know mean that he’s feeling empty.

The next morning Madam Shaman visited tae-yang and reminded her of their contract in saving Joong-won and as it turned out Tae-yang became her ghost bounty hunter.  She was tasked to gather dead unmarried single women for her after-life match making business so off she played tomb-raiding while holding on Joong-won’s necklace everytime she gets scared. 

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While Yi-ryun was being convinced by her manager about a Hollywood project, she saw Tae-yang with Madam Shaman speaking with clients.  She talked with Kang-woo about her possible shoot outside the country and mentioned how she saw Tae-yang with a witch-looking ajumma.

Kang-woo deduced who the weird looking ajumma was and asked Tae-yang about it.  She confirmed what he learned and told him not to worry as Madam Go knew her pretty well.

At work, Joong-won while browsing his voice recorder heard Tae-yang’s recording when she took in Secretary Kim’s post for a day.  Bothered by things always popping up linking him to Tae-yang, he went to her room and stared at an empty space which was seen by his aunt.

Tae-yang and Madam Shaman went to meet a client who was bothered by his dead ex-gf showing in his dreams.  He is getting married soon so he doesn’t want to be bothered by it.  At the same restaurant, Hana and Joong-won’s aunt waited for Joong-won for their lunch.  Joong-won arrived and saw Tae-yang happily chatting with the client confirming her knowledge of his dead ex-gf so he pressed himself to their meeting.  He touched her and the ghost disappeared so she scolded him for touching her when she’s working but Joong-won scared the ajussi to run and get lost if he wanted to be safe.  He proceeded to their lunch table and again looked at Hanna’s sun necklace wondering why he was so drawn to it.

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Aunt asked Madam Shaman a favour about Joong-won’s ghost thus Tae-yang was summoned to their lunch.  Aunt asked if she sees a ghost in the room and Tae-yang confirmed it and  both Hanna and Joong-won’s  faces were startled.

“Cha Hee-joo ssi.  I don’t want to see you anymore.  So please tell us now, who was the person who made you die.  I will tell him.”

Joong-won stood up, touched her and made Hee-joo disappear.  Tae-yang again reminded him not to touch her when she’s working.  He grabbed her to talk outside and again denounced the reason why she has to let him go.  She warned him not to touch her again.

Secretary Kim figured out what happened to his niece Hanna and realized his new identity as well.  Kang-woo provided Joong-won with the evidence about Hee-joo’s twin so Joong-won learned about him trying to look for Hee-joo’s accomplice.

The ajussi who stabbed Joong-won went to Kingdom Mall looking for Tae-yang but was halted by Kang-woo’s martial arts moves.  He pleaded to Joong-won how he didn’t mean what he did but necause he covered himself to Tae-yang, he got hit instead.  Joong-won can’t understand why he was willing to die for her but Kang-woo confirmed and told him that he was willing to die just to save her.

Joong-won went crazy trying to solve his memory-loss-jigsaw-ouzzle and even resorted to the ghosts at Tae-yang’s used-to-be room for answers.

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Tae-yang asked Madam Go if she knew how she obtained her powers and she responded that it could be because of her soul that wandered for 3 years after an accident.  Then we see Tae-yang’s ghost-coffee-loving-friend talking with a man who appeared to be also seeing ghosts.  What???  We only have 3 episodes and we have another male contender for the heroine’s heart?

Aunt asked Joong-won to become Hanna’s partner at an event.  His uncle told him that he was refrained from sharing anything about Tae-yang but he’ll do it now.  He told Joong-won how Tae-yang went to the hospital everyday, crying about his situation.  He also confirmed how his heart stopped and he literally died and came back to life.  He gave him an indirect advice that the sparkling-rich woman his aunt kept pushing to him could make a good life but he was willing to throw his life for ghost-seeing-poor Tae-yang.  That was the best line uncle said so far in this series.

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Tae-yang went to Joong-won’s office thinking it was Secretary Kim who summoned her but it was in fact Joong-won.  They were on for confrontation #3.  Joong-won began his predicament by stating how he has been trying to grasp what happened to him and it has always been pointing to her.  He presented evidence and questioned Tae-yang like he was a lawyer but Tae-yang while admitting that she saw his soul, didn’t tell him what he told her when he vanished.

Kang-woo also concluded Hanna’s identity and was about to report it to Secretary Kim but the latter conveyed first his relationship to Hee-joo and Hanna.

Tae-yang and Madam Go went to their client’s wedding and Tae-yang finally convinced the dead ex-gf to let go of him since he is now married.  They saw Joong-won and Hanna on their way to attend an event.  Uncle mentioned how he saw Tae-yang in the lobby but Joong-won ignored it.  He told him how Tae-yang was bound to serve Madam Go for some weird contract.  Joong-won didn’t waste time and confronted Madam Shaman about it.  She asked if he’s interested to restore his memory but he dismissed it by saying he just wanted to know what the contract was but she hinted anyway that he just have to remember something he forgot before he woke up.  He still insisted about the worth of compensation and not wanting to go further with her taunting to restore his memory.  He muttered that all has been lost and he doesn’t want to dwell on it.  Madam Go responded how Tae-yang has been taking all the pain for him and he replied how he knew it that’s why he wanted to do his share.  He asked her how much the contract cost one last time and Madam Go replied how Tae-yang gave all her self so he can start calculating on that note.

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Mind-exhausted to the puzzle he has been trying to solve, he leaned on the door and remembered how he stared at Tae-yang one time while she was resting at her office room.  His aunt and Hanna noticed him and they asked if he’s okay.  He excused himself and told them how he was not really feeling well.  He was again drawn by Hanna’s sun necklace.  He moved his hand trying to scoop something to hold and then voila!  His memory of the necklace came back.  He told them that he will look for something he lost.  Hanna tried to halt him and asked if her necklace was not the one he lost and he replied that it was the same but hers was not genuine.

Tae-yang pleaded to Hee-joo not to appeal her request anymore as she doesn’t care about Joong-won anymore.  She was about to throw Joong-won’s sun necklace but he got in time and stopped her from doing it. 

“Did you really think you could do without your safety shelter?”

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My Thoughts:

This episode was a stubborn episode, until the dying minutes when Joong-won recovered his forgotten memories, the characters kept circling about “his stubborn urge to unravel the mystery of Tae-yang’s connection to him” and “her stubborn self denying his probing and still sacrificing their happiness because of her scary thought that she’ll put him on danger”.

If the man-seeing-ghost will be adding some jealousy push for Tae-yang and Joong-won I would love it.  I would like to see how Joong-won will take it knowing that the other man is at an advantage since he can relate to Tae-yang’s 6th sense very well.  For all we know he could be Tae-yang’s boyfriend while her soul was wandering for 3 years and when he was resurrected, he waited for the perfect timing to get their love story another chance in the real world. I’ll stop now, my imagination is running wild for endless possibilities.

3 episodes left and any moment they will reveal the truth about Hee-joo and Hanna’s crime.

Joong-won who has always been pushing what he felt towards Tae-yang again did it one more time this episode that I felt like it’s also a refreshing thing in kdramas when you have a stubborn romantic lead man who not even an amnesia was able to stop him from claiming the woman in his heart.

I see a very exciting episode 15 coming up as with his memory back I know Joong-won will not back down to convince Tae-yang just as how she should not be stubborn to think that she will bring misfortune to him.

 Episode 15, I am ready for you!  ^_^

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So they settled with the amnesia excuse.   I said I won’t whine.  So okay.  I’m not feeling better, I have exhausted all the So Ji Sub videos I can get from the video sites to help me with my meds, so I will just let this one cliché pass… plus I felt that they used it wisely anyway.

master13-00012master13-00019a ****Summary**** Tae-yang remembered the shaman woman who told her about the risk of her abilities and when to seek her guidance.  The shaman woman went Ursula and agreed to help her by waging her ghostly power.  They summoned back Joong-won to the living by using the sun necklace he gave her but calling him back will also erase the memory of him.  So now they use the necklace not for getting back the memory but erasing it, although I might think that it will still be useful in this drama’s conclusion. Joong-won woke up and when his aunt realized he has lost all his memories of Tae-yang.  He can only remember that stormy night when he taunted the thunder to strike him.  Aunt took that opportunity and asked her husband and Secretary Kim not to mention Tae-yang to Joong-won.  When he went home, he saw the wolf/sheep books that he was trying to read and was surprised when along with his amnesia his dyslexia was miraculously healed. Bored at home he visited his mall and crossed path with Tae-yang… The bench ajussi ghost tried to help by moving the trash can so Joong-won noticed Tae-yang’s back but his aunt saw what’s going to happen and so she revert his attention. 1379597304_574662 When Secretary Kim mentioned him receiving a special public duty award, he cannot fathom the heroic acts he was told he has done lately.  He stepped out of his room and even his reflexes are pointing to him in seeking the most important person his memory cannot remember. He entered Tae-yang’s room and again was surprised to learn he created that office.  Tae-yang was packing her things up with Kang-woo and chose not to face him. Knowing how Tae-yang’s heart was breaking, Kang-woo suited our favourite second lead costume and assured her that he will be there to protect her, but she politely declined his offer as she still thinks that being close to her might also put him in danger.   Yi-ryung showed up at Tae-yang’s rooftop place but Kang Woo was able to stop her from her potential bullying.  Bravely and openly showing her one-sided adoration towards Kang-woo, he thanked her for giving him an idea to become diligent with what he feels for Tae-yang. While on her car, Yi-ryung was having disturbing thoughts about Kang Woo and Tae-yang and over at Joong-won’s place his family was having dinner with Hana.  He asked his aunt about the books and her husband slipped nthat it could probably related to his someone special.  But quick to the charade they were playing Hana remarked that she owned it and left it by accident last time she was introduced to the housekeeper.  Aunt and Ha Na are pushing for a possible match with Joong-won and our poor heroine found the same books at a store and remembered how Joong-won told her he read that book and it caused his head to burst. 201309192244561710_1 Yi-ryung took action to mark her man and so she set up a date for Joong-won and Tae-yang at the place he declared his love for her.  While Tae-yang waits for Yi-ryung a ghost popped up but Joong-won also approached and calmed her down, and his immediate touch made the ghost vanished.  And at this point I was really feeling the pain, she must have been feeling.  She knew it was Joong-won’s touch that made her feel safe but she’s choosing not to make him remember her because she was stuck on that notion that she’s putting him on danger.  Joong-won quipped that he noticed her because they were reading the same book and mentioned how he felt something intense as well when he touched her, he asked if she felt it too, but she still didn’t face him and sobbed silently. Joong-won contemplated about his shelter-incident with Tae-yang but he can’t piece out when he felt that. 주군의-태양.E12.130912.HDTV_.X264.720p-BarosG07-47-08 Secretary Kim asked permission from Joong-won for a vacation.  It was also revealed his relationship with twins Hee-joo and Hana.  He was in contact with Hana but failed to locate Hee-joo when she was still alive.  And as we all know, it was revealed that the twins orchestrated the abduction and when Hee-joo died, Hana survived with the jewelry ransom. The brother-kids at Tae-yang’s study motel building went to seek their toy prizes and again surprised amnesiac Joong-won why he gave out his business cards and shop-all-you-want promise to those kids. And finally at the dying minutes of this episode the kids reminded him of they helped him read and how he was a special person to someone.  He asked the name of that person again and they said her name Tae Gong Shil/Tae yang. Then we see Tae-yang coming back home with a guest ghost – Cha Hee-joo.  She asked her to lend her body if she loved Joong-won.  But then Joong-won came, and touched her so Hee-joo wanished. 

“On that stormy night, who are you?  Are you Tae-yang?”

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QUICK MUSINGS

On that stormy night, who are you?  Are you Tae-yang? And they left us hanging on that question?  Depending on Tae-yang’s answer and Joong-won’s response after her reply.  We don’t know yet if he is feigning ignorance that his memory came back after the kids helped him tried to remember her.  I drew out these possible scenarios because I have to put it in writing so I won’t be thinking about it until next week.  The final 4 episodes I think would be very meaty, and I’m happy that the amount of sigh I made while waiting for this episode to be subbed paid off… calmed me and relieved my week-old broken heart.

Tae-yang confirms + Joong-won recovered his memory = Yey!  Joong-won ♥ Tae-yang 4ever!!!

Tae-yang confirms + Joong-won still has amnesia = Joong-won will ask questions until he gets the answer to all his questions

Tae-yang denies + Joong-won recovered his memory = Joong-won will push for their love once more 

Tae-yang denies + Joong-won still has amnesia = Joong-won might just go with his aunt’s plans and not push to uncovering that “something” missing in his life.

Tsss I am now even using Math because of this drama.  *chuckles

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If all these scenarios won’t happen, and Joong-won remained amnesiac, then the surprise Hee-joo’s visit to Tae-yang will play an important role, if she will show up again and Tae-yang agrees.  I think her ghostly self realized that it was stupid to protect her evil twin so she will use Tae-yang’s body to warn Joong-won about it. I want to watch a lot of heart fluttering “Joong-Won-Tae-Yang moments”.  Who doesn’t?  There will be I think one final conflict that will close Hee-joo’s case once and for all and we don’t know yet if the evil shaman woman will show up again to make Tae-yang fulfil her promise.

Master’s Sun has always been consistent with its cliff-hangers and that’s why maybe kdramaland addicts have been raving and buzzing about it.  It is so caffeinated like that feeling when you are in the beginning of a relationship when you don’t want a night to end and yet you want another day to begin.  This has been making me act like a prisoner marking my calendar, waiting for that day that I know I will be happy.  *chuckles

This episode surprised me because whilst it went to the amnesia cliché, it didn’t make it like they were stuck somewhere.  It went strong to portraying how even without his memories of her, his connection with her is somehow still intact and his reflexes were helping him to fathom what he was supposed to be missing.  Given his curious self, I’m sure he will get to the bottom of it soon.  When I say “soon”, I’m hopeful, it’s the next episode.  I just wished that Tae-yang will stop blaming herself and also push herself to him instead of nursing a broken heart that isn’t supposed to be broken anyway. 

I am liking that all throughout the series, they have established the main conflict involving Hee-joo while inserting those other ghost cases in building up the circumstances that helped in making Joong-won and Tae-yang get closer and I am confident that the trajectory of the finale will be awesome and full of love.  ^_^

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Secretly, Greatly stormed Korean Box Office big time, and I can only agree why.

I am halfway downloading the torrent when gooddrama.net uploaded the movie, and impatient me can’t wait so I grabbed my lemon water and went happily watching.

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A covert elite team of North Korean spies were sent to South Korea for future orders from the Republic.  Comrade Captain Won Ryu Hwan took in the role of a village idiot Dong-gu while observing and waiting for the orders from the North.  After two years, he was reunited with fellow 5446 corps Captain Rhee Hae-rang who was ordered to become a Korean rock star as well as Rhee Hae-jin who hero-worshipped Ryu-hwan who disguised as a high school student.

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They were all fitting in their South Korean disguises but when a power shift in the Republic surged, the elite tem was ordered to commit suicide.  All but the three responded loyalty to their motherland except the three who faced their instructor in the last stand of whether to live or survive.

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My action movie pegs are sword and fist fights and a lot of martial arts movement, and that’s why I really liked the sleek fight scenes in this movie.  The punches, kicks, broken bones, bodies being thrown and blood spatters has transformed me into a 40-something ajussi cheering for the cute North Korean spy-rebels.  The bromance left me smiling and sighing, and the humour balanced the violence theme of the story.

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It was narrated with no complications and ended splendidly and in a heart-wrenching fashion.  I would have wished for a happy ending but given the serious tone set, I accepted and got my closure even if it was painful.

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Not much of strong acting scenes required but the trio fairly delivered how hard life must have been to NoKor soldiers with a binding loyalty to the Republic.  As I have never understood North Korean leaders’ stand even before, I will leave it to the general truth that “there’s a reason for everything”.  But whenever I come across stories about the sacrifices of their soldiers, it’s really a disheartening thought.  I’m just saying that there might have been more So Ji Sub, Hyun Bin or Lee Min Ho in the Republic but instead of making movies for kdrama-addict like me they were raised to only serve the country. 

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A great weekend watch with your boyfriend or your father.  Secretly, Greatly is like how I picture Prince Charming.  A lone samurai wandering in the town and when you look in his eyes and scars, it will speak for the life he had.  It’s rare for an action movie to remember the heart of the characters more than the brawl scenes, but in Secretly, Greatly, I was totally immersed on the story and yearnings of these soldier-brothers.

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There’s no denying that so far this year, this is by far the best laid drama for me to watch.  I’ve been in a variety of happy emotions lately because of Tae-yang and Joong-won’s love story.   Can you be extended forever? Let’s make Joong-won acquire a superpower to hear Tae-yang’s thoughts and then Tae-yang will be possessed by Jang Ok Jung’s ghost and agumiho family book will be required to save her. To get the book, 9 incense sticks will be needed to travel at the real and imaginary world to seek the help of Jeonwoochi, and the fugitive genius doctor of Joseon. Joong-won will be advised that a cotton candy kiss will make Ok Jung’s ghost vanished. aigoo! It’s amazing how one drama can make me forget all the rest of the bad kdramas this year. *giggles

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I know it’s just an epiphany… It will be Tae-yang’s realization to disregard all her inhibitions and just go on a come-what-may love. Plus why would they kill Joong-won oppa who was a revelation, a prophecy and currently every girl’s dream in kdramaland these days? It’s time for Tae-yang to take off her “Jesus Save Me” house dress to revive her man. *chuckles 

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If truth be told, I’m scared, I will be really disappointed if Hong sisters would be too daring to conclude such a beautiful rom-com following straight the ending of this episode. It’s rom-com, if my favorite lead man this year will die, it’s not funny even if it is sort of coinciding to the death theme of the story. I still want an episode 16 ending in a kiss between two mortals and not between a ghost-seeing-heroine who got lucky because she can have an after-life love. So I am crossing my fingers, if they will resolve in “heroine’s-dream-we’re-just-kidding-Joong-won-is-alive” kick off for episode 13, I won’t whine. But I hope it would be deft enough to appease my heart who stopped for a bit worrying if a possible mental breakdown for the writers are in the horizon.

If this drama will pull off a not-make-believe transition towards its finale, it will TOP my ALL TIME rom-com Kdrama of choice. So please don’t break my heart. 

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 7 RECAP

Si-on rushed to Eun-ok’s aid and inadvertently hurt one of the security officer in the process.  Eun-ok then fainted and she was rushed to the OR for surgery.

Do-han scolded Si-on on his presumed mistake as the affected patients during Eun-ok’s ruckus complained about the hospital’s situation.  The director saddened about what happened was left no choice but to make a decision.

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Eun-ok’s operation was successful.  The director believed Si-on was innocent but he can’t make the other people believed him too.  Another urgent meeting was summoned to officially decide on Si-on’s release, and when the doctor villains brought out the Director’s previous guarantee to leave his position, the management team disregarded it for the mean time.

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Assistant Director knew where to dig and was able to deduce that it was the Pediatric Head’s minion who last entered the isolated room.  The Director talked with Si-on and explained to him that he has to leave the hospital.  Disheartened and still not accepting why he has to leave, Si-on tried to check on Eun-ok one last time but Do-han won’t allow him to. 

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Yoon-seo rushed to see Si-on before he left the hospital but she failed catching up on him.  Eun-ok’s guardian paid a crude visit at the hospital and scared the recovering girl she has been abusing.  Yoon-seo, Head Nurse and Senior Nurse attended to her complaint of proceeding with the operation without her consent.  She insisted on taking Eun-ok out but the hospital people held their ground in refusing her request.

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The children patients who has been closed with Si-on learned about his leaving.  Patient In-hae called Si-on who was sitting at a bench.  She feigned she was hurt somewhere so he would answer her phone call.  She left the hospital and luckily found him at a robot museum as what she predicted.

When she asked him why he liked robots, he told him how robots stay still and believe in whatever he has to say that’s why he liked them.

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The Director explained to Yoon-seo how Si-on won’t understand illogical and irrational situations brought to him as he has been surviving in the world through memorizing what he was supposed to do.  He further explained how he was left by his parents when he was young and that after his brother died he has erased his memories except that of his brother’s.

Si-on was sitting lonely at his room when Yoon-seo barged in.  She told him that they will go to the library when she led him to a bar.  Drinking lesson 101 was taught to Si-on happily by Yoon-seo.   She cleared the misunderstanding of her possibly not believing him as he replied how he was okay if people don’t like him as long as he will not lie.  Yoon-seo suggested other fields in the medicine world where he can work for but Si-on remained firm in his dream of becoming a surgeon.  After drowning in soju, drunk Yoon-seo rode Si-on’s back and urged him to curse, but the latter refused doing so as he didn’t want doing it and listening to it.  Yoon-seo hit it again with the ajussi she always fought with whenever she’s drunk.  After exchanging unpleasantries, Si-on laid her down on her bed and just as he was about to leave, she sleepily called his name and mumbled how it was okay for him to cause trouble everyday so long as he won’t leave.  Si-on reached for her hair and touched it softly as he stared at her sleeping self.

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The next day Assistant Director met Pediatric chief minion and confronted him about his leaving the door open intentionally for Eun-ok to escape her room.  He denied the allegation but Assistant Director knew where to break his stance.

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Si-on prepared his luggage and was set to return to his hometown.  Meanwhile Assistant Director met with the Director and explained to him about the door incident being a technical malfunction issue and that it was not Si-on’s fault.  He proposed Si-on’s reinstatement and offered him a secret deal.

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Si-on’s mother learned about Si-on’s quitting the hospital and spoke with Yoon-seo about it.  She finally confirmed her connection with him and told her how she has been tailing him to at least become his mother from afar.  Yoon-seo explained why he can’t recognize her as Si-on’s mother made her promise to keep it a secret for the mean time.

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Si-on checked on Eun-ok through a video phone call.  He apologized for not saying goodbye properly and promised her that he will bring her in his hometown so she can play.  Eun-ok cried staring at his face on the phone showing how she missed the good doctor who has been taking care of her.

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Darcy Do-han met with his girlfriend about the robodoc that was cancelled because of financial constraints.  He argued about its value but she can only refer him to Assistant Director who does the budgeting of the hospital.  Do-han appealed to Assistant Director but the latter explained to him all those business decision run around.  He also took the opportunity to make a secret proposal to him.

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Just then, Eun-ok’s rude guardian showed up again with a police officer demanding the patient’s release.  Yoon-seo refused her request demanding her to present a legal document but the evil aunt went super sayan to her demand.  Their argument heated up, and just then Si-on cut the unpleasant patient tug of war scene by telling evil aunt that she cannot take Eun-ok.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 8 RECAP

Si-on stopped evil aunt from getting Eun-ok by pleading his case to let the patient decide who she wanted to be with.  Si-on explained to Yoon-seo that it was found out that he really didn’t left the door open so he was called back to the hospital.  Eun-ok miraculously uttered that she wanted to stay at the hospital as she happily clung on Si-on’s hand so she was able to stay at the hospital under Si-on’s care.

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Assistant Director revealed in the meeting that it was a technical problem that caused the isolated door’s room that’s why it didn’t get lock properly.  The meeting concluded reinstating Si-on to the villains’ annoyance.  Pediatric Chief followed Assistant Director bursting in anger on how SI-on escaped the predicament, but AD just shrugged his shoulder muttering how technical issues are beyond his control.

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Do-han confirmed SI-on’s coming back and it has made Yoon-seo happy like finding her long lost brother and Do-han noticed how it was the first time he saw her so happy.  Yoon-seo went to Eun-Ok’s room and asked Si-on to go meet the rest of the team.  Yoon-seo hugged him as he hiccups continuously.  Unbeknownst to Yoon-seo the hiccups are because of Si-on’s growing fondness over her.

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The team welcomed him except for Pediatric Chief’s minion.  They decided to eat out to formally welcome him in the department and when asked about what he wanted to eat.  The student drinker answered he wanted alcohol to his teacher’s Yoon-seo’s amusement.

The director contemplated on his conversation with Assistant Director about the plan to boost the Pediatric department of the hospital as well as securing Si-on’s residency training.

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Si-on narrated how he has helped Eun-ok talk by always talking to her things that a mother would normally say to her child.  Yoon-seo asked him if he remembered his mother, but he replied that he can’t remember his parents but he is sure that they must have loved him.  Yoon-seo advised Si-on’s mother that her son came back as In-hae jumped at Si-on and gave him a bear hug to welcome him back.

Worried about the recent emotions he can’t understand, he confided to In-hae his recent unexplained feelings.  In-hae asked who was the woman he was feeling it with, but Si-on wanted to keep it a secret.  Annoyed by not sharing his secret love, In-hae explained to him that what he was experiencing were symptoms of liking a girl and of course his brilliant mind is having a hard time digesting it.  Still thinking about his newly revealed capability to love, he got distracted when he heard a heavenly voice airing in the hallways.  He entered the room and saw a talented young boy belting his magical voice to his television onlookers. 

8.4

Yoon-seo asked Do-han if he will be coming to Si-on’s welcome party but the department head has a previous commitment.  He met up with Assistant Director who as a resident proposal guy, brought out his offer to Do-han who was skeptic about his visions of strengthening the Pediatric Surgery Department.

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Yoon-seo’s group were drinking soju and headed to noraebang to continue Si-on’s come back party.  Do-han was on a pensive mood as he thought about Assistant Director’s proposal.  Do-han stared at the happy faces of Pediatric department singing drunk and joyful.  Yoon-seo caught Do-han’s presence and they engaged on a small talk outside.  Do-han hinted about a decision he will be making but of course Yoon-seo was confused on the thoughts she was hearing from him.  They bickered about Yoon-seo’s military voice as Do-han insisted on having her changed it.

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Then we see our next patient coming up… the boy with the heavenly voice who has been singing all his life.  He was practicing with his vocal teacher and stage mother when his voice caught up in pain so he was rushed to the hospital.

Fully intoxicated with liquor, Yoon-seo and Si-on got back to the latter’s apartment but Yoon-seo insisted on a third round so she asked Si-on to buy some beer.  When Si-on got back, she was already sleeping like a baby. And our little boy who has just have his first crush stared at her as he entered a dear hyung diary confession about him liking the girl sleeping on his bed.

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The next day we see Do-han scanning a list and we flashback to Assistant Director telling him last night to recommend the best of his doctors because they will be scouted for recruitment.  At the doctors’ room Yoon-seo told Si-on not to drink alcohol anymore and then sprayed some perfume on her clothes.  She asked him if it smell good but he replied that because her perfume mixed with soju, it smelled like lemon soju and it’s making him want to drink again.

Eun-ok’s treatment was halted because her bills were not settled yet.   Unfortunately her aunt’s evilness extended to her even taking the money Eun-ok was getting for her disability.

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The boy with the heavenly voice, Kyu-hyun, sought Do-han’s expertise and the mother who only worried about her son’s performance kept rushing Do-han with the treatment.  Do-han ordered the needed tests and asked his team for a meeting.  The team drew the usual diagnosis and being always a lot of steps ahead, again Si-on was able to diagnose the illness.  Pyriform Sinus Fistula.  It is a congenital malformation of branchial cleft and the surgery would make the patient lose his voice.  So the dilemma was presented to the patient’s parents and stagemom expressed rage about the treatment presented.  The parents deliberated on what’s best for their son as Do-han ordered Yoon-seo to try to convince Si-on to give up on his dream of being a surgeon.  Irritated at the line of thought she was throwing at him, Si-on blurted a litany.

“Dreams and doing something well are different.  I draw the best.  I have confidence that my drawing skills are better than performing the surgery.  You can’t grow dreams because you just want to do it.  I think about it when I am eating or when I am sleeping.  That is a dream.  The thing that makes me feel good is a dream.” 

Grumpy Si-on stood and left Yoon-seo so to appease him with the rage she saw for the first time, she offered him to take care of Kyu-hyun’s case.

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The Director ordered Assistant Director to leave the hospital within a week.  Si-on was getting on the nerves of Kyu-hyun’s mother because of his always pointing out how he sort of miss his life because of too much singing.

Kyu-hyun was sleeping soundly sitting on the hallway’s bench when Si-on passed by and when he tried to listen to his MP3, he was surprised that there was no music on the playlist. 

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While the Director was eating at the cafeteria, his secretary came up for an emergency.  Pediatric Chief was put in question about his previous use of the prohibited drug by the Food and Drugs Administration.  Just as the commotion for the investigation was happening, Kyu-hyun’s condition was worsening but his mother won’t still allow surgery.  Si-on poutily quipped how a mother like her doesn’t worry about her son who was actually standing on the hospital’s rooftop on his sad quest to end his pain.

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P.S  Thank you HanCinema for the stills.

Good Doctor Episode 1&2

Good Doctor Episode 3&4

Good Doctor Episode 5&6