The Dark and Creepy Path of Deciphering Criminal Minds in ‘Tunnel’

For my objective review on crime drama ‘Tunnel’, please check it at hellokpop.  Since this is a genre that I have grown to love because of my attachment to Criminal Minds, at some point I joined the highs and lows, but the safe and neat narrative felt lacking in the end because it was always leaning on a safe side in explaining the links presented in the story.  The trite flow and complacent writing that circled to the villain overshadowed the heroes and gave an imbalance on the character dimensions of the story.

I wish they had explained the catalyst of the time jump but they just sort of let it happen in the story.  I know that it was laid as part of the plot framework, but in kdramaland everything has to be explained.  lol

Overall, ‘Tunnel’ is still an exciting drama watch.  The unexplained time element is the only thing that set it apart from the crime dramas focusing on serial killing and also my minimal complaint along with the predictable storyline.

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You and Me Against My Rich Life: HEIRS Kdrama Series Review

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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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Heirs Korean Drama Episode 5 Quick Musings

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kehkeh I’m feeling teenager-ish over this drama.. Eventhough I’ve seen the sweet scenes before in other dramas.. it would never go wrong to have Lee Min Ho standing gorgeously showing up at her school and waiting for the girl he likes… actually it could never go wrong when he just stands lazily in his greek-god-ish beautiful self… *chuckles
Episode 5 takes us to the big revelation that is I’m-super-rich-chaebol-son-I-like-you-can-you-handle-that? scenario.. The story is officially bound to go Boys Over Flowers from now on, I’m not interested but I’m excited to the sweet scenes I’m going to feast on. 

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Old friends, frenemy, ex-gf, display gf learned that Tan is back and he is out busy watching the girl she likes from a far.  When he mustered his confidence to reveal his true identity, it was a painfully sweet moment that I was able to feel.  There she was asking about his wealthy background while reality was sinking to her heart.  No matter how she was trying to shove him off in her system, she yearns for those dreamlike days she spent with him.  And there he was confirming what she has just realized not denying every single of it, and just giving her that “i miss you, how have you been stare?”.

Tan’s father learned about his sons’ crushes and graciously offered Eun-sang’s mother to have her transferred to the elite school they owned.

And we ended with all the main student cast greeting Tan’s school come back as Eun-sang acquaint her self with her new school.

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Heirs KDrama Episode 1 Musings

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So after the shower of teasers, Heirs finally happened and episode 1 kicked off  introducing the rich young heirs and the poor girl heroine.  The quick topless beach shower scene had me sweetly sigh, and I would have been drowned by it if they added a few more minutes of that euphoric-hello-leeminho-spectacle.  *chuckles

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Our rich boy Kim Tan has been living abroad being an heir to a huge conglomerate company.  He has some hyung-issues and live that I’m-rich-but-I’m-lonely life.  He came across Cha Eun-sang who visited her sister in the US who they thought was studying and getting married to a nice young man, but Eun-sang discovered the lies her sister made and even ranaway with the money their mother gave for her supposed wedding.

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Kim Tan witnessed the sisters’ confrontation scene and felt sorry towards the girl.  When his friend thought Eun-sang’s bean powder was some drugs, he took it and she chased after him.  They tangled up and scattered the powder that made Tan’s friend hospitalized because of an allergy attack.  The police took Eun-sang’s passport and because the officer knew Tan, Eun-sang asked him a favor to let her know when it will be claimed.  Tan drove Eun-sang home but no one was there.  Her pride insisted on just waiting for her sister so Tan left.  Just as she was sitting in front of the house, a group of teenage boys scared her.  She took on her luggage and just then Tan’s convertible stopped at her side and he asked her if she wants to stay in his house.

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I have this feeling that this will play on a serious tone.  I just hope that it will move to a lighter note since we have established 18-year old heirs as main characters.  I don’t know what spices the writer would be inserting to make this rich-boy-poor-girl story work, but I’m really hoping although in kdrama reality it’s not possible, that they won’t dig in on that she’s-poor-you-can’t-be-with-her plot.  I don’t also know how they are going to make the screen time for all the boys work but I’m liking that Woo-bin is on a bad boy rich rebel character.  To be honest since this is highly anticipated, I am not going to expect something in case I will get disappointed.  At any rate there’s always Lee min Ho to appease me.  If it will stuck up, they can just show the boys’ faces all the time.   But you know, it would be a bonus if this will not be your typical angsty rich people sad life story.  Please don’t be.  

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Episode 1 fairly touched some of the premises and connections of the characters, and since we are yet to meet the other players, I decided to wait for the completion of this dramas’ introduction.  It was a pretty start for the lead couple as they showcased what is expected of them, adding some spike on it and reverting to the preconceived notion of what they could be.    I am going to give this drama at least 6 episodes to hook me.  So Lee Min Ho, amuse me. ^_^

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The Boy the Girl love, but can’t love even more

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Having two equally gorgeous men fighting for the lead girl’s love has always been a kdrama rom-com cliché.  It challenges how unrequited the love of the main couple is and most of the time functions as a consolation for the female viewers.  I always have moments like that when I get hit with second-lead- adoration syndrome, where I like the other man more than the lead man.  But it will always take a very strong portrayal to sway me otherwise in focusing on the prince in a kdrama story and whenever that happens, and I’m sure most of kdrama addicts like me would agree, it will be a hair-tugging moment because of its sweet dilemma effect.  So because in some Heavenly reason, I am enjoying a princess moment here at work, and because I keep seeing Yoo Ah In/King Sukjong when I’m not thinking of something, I remembered how I fell in love with him for the first time and has been loving the moment of being in love with him everytime… *wink

So I delved more in the memory lane and thought of my favorite KDrama Second Lead Men.  Who’s yours?  ^_^

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♥Sungkyungkwan Scandal – Yoo Ah In as Moon Jae Shin

Who wouldn’t fall for this bad boy by day rebel at night Sungkyunkwan scholar?  After his F4 Joseon stint I became his stalker.  He gets even steamier as you stare at him and he has the sexiest smile from all the sageuk characters I’ve seen so far.

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♥ I Miss You – Yoo Seung Ho as Harry Borrison

I struggled big time in disliking Barry in this tearjerker.  I remained firm in understanding his noona-romance and vengeance driven self.  Why?  His face was just so drowning to watch I can’t bring myself to hate him.

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♥ Flower Boy Ramyun shop – Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk

The topless scene sent me in ohlala land.  Another I-have-to-give-way-to-my-brother kind of love that was almost in equal contention and considering how I loved Jung Il Woo, Lee Ki Woo was really a delightful treat in this first flower boy spectacle.

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♥ I Need Romance – Choi Jin Hyuk as Bae Sung Hyun

Before being the cute daddy-gumiho-turned-devil, he was the rebound-guy-whose-love-was-reciprocated but the first love of the lead girl still prevailed but at least he got to kiss the lead girl a lot.  *giggles

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♥ Gaksital – Park Ki Woong as Kimura Shunji

In Gaksital I enjoyed both the bromance and the real romance tug-of-war.  I liked how Shunji embraced his dark side overnight but was easily disarmed because of the love he harboured towards the lead girl.

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♥ You’re Beautiful Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo

The gentle band member who secretly loved the kind-hearted-novice-pretending-to-be-her-twin-brother and the guy best friend who always offer his shoulder to cry on.  He was too late to realized he should have been braver enough to get the love of the girl he liked.  When it hit him, she already fell in love with another guy and he settled in loving her from afar.

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♥ Boys Over Flowers – Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo

Playing this classic side of a love triangle, he has a lot to prove but his serious attitude and princey face has won so many hearts including mine.  In those times when Jun Pyo’s indecisive nature can’t stood up for his woman, I was thankful Ji Hoo was there to stay by the lead girl’s side.

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♥ My Girl – Lee Jun Ki as Seo Jung Woo

I am not a Lee Jun Ki fan but I best remember him in My Girl.  He started that Hyung-loved-the-same-girl-I-love-I-have-to-give-way mantra but I really felt sorry for him not getting the girl even if his love was super sincere in that drama.

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♥ The Greatest Love – Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo

The sweet dork doctor who saw through the best of the lead girl and was firm in believing her pure heart amidst the reputation she gained due to the cruelty of the people who judged her without even knowing the story.  One of the best showdown on who can love more the lead girl I have seen so far. 

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♥ I Do I Do – Park Gun Hyung as Jo Eun Sung

The stethoscope “will you marry me?” scene will always be one of my favourite romantic love declaration scene done by a second lead.  I actually was routing for the lead man in this drama the whole time.

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♥ May Queen – Jae Hee as Park Chang Hee

This was a case of borrowed love but then eventually the love destined to happen overpowered Chang Hee’s seasoned love and found another love again which he deserved.

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♥ My Flower Boy Neighbor – Kim Ji Hoon as Oh Jin Rak

Bubbly Enrique amused me but I was also into Jin Rak’s secret love-daily milk and encouragement giving way of showing he likes the girl so much.  When the series ended I equally loved them both.

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The Romance We all Need

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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. 

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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.

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In-young has been in a 10-year relationship with Sung-soo, it was your typical because-we-have-alot-of-memories-we-can’t-break-up kind of love, but their commitment was shattered when Sung-soo entertained a fleeting romance.  He liked both girls but in a different degrees.  His love for In-young was seasoned through time, and sealed by the familiarity, comfort and memories, whereas the new love was making him refreshed, it was thrilling him and was attacking his basic instinct.  He tried to fight it off, but a moment of laxing his guard has caused him an affair that broke his long-running relationship.  *pffftt *feltFamiliar

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Sung-soo finally got his break as a Film Director, it was for him a great opportunity for his sort of bum activities all those years to make the woman who has stick with him happy, but his heart got swayed by a young, vibrant lady… And before him realizing it, even if nothing intimate has happened to them yet, his girlfriend’s instinct knew it and ended the relationship.  It is true for people who has been together for a while to be lost after a “trust” issue, for a woman at best, she will pretend that it will be okay, but then eventually she will sort to giving him a chance to recycle the love.  After late nights and sinking down the blame though, when you see the person standing in front of you, sometimes it would just take him merely standing there to wipe all the pain away.  Sung-soo and In-young survived the preliminary unfaithfulness surge until… The real infidelity happened.

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They resumed their couple life, but when someone has cheated on you, paranoia are like internet pop-ups, it will annoy you.  And when the Juliet-stricken third party who went extra mile with her idea of love succumbed to the mistress position because of the clouded love she felt towards Sung-soo, her hardwork paid off and they engaged in a covert affair.

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That moment when In-young saw in her very eyes the man she loved with all her heart happily chatting with his mistress in a place and day she thought was reserved for them because the day was special for them, will touch and make any woman who has been cheated on cry big time, because of the weight of the scene…  The thing about cheating is that women will try not to believe the lie and will stick to the person but when they get the concrete confirmation, it will break them in the most unimaginable-no-icecream-can-cure-painful way. There were no words, just tears agonizingly falling down her face… It was a perfectly hurting scene I was crying all along.  And when she tried to battle it making her busy in the day, the night time was killing her.  She was also in a spree of bargaining and justifying that she didn’t deserve that fate but sometimes you just really wake up and it’s as if you don’t know the person and as if you never loved each other.  I sympathized with her badgering her ex-boyfriend, because it’s how typically women tried their very best to move on.  She wanted to make him feel the same hell she was feeling, but in reality, it will never be like that, when you can’t find yourself time to sleep, that other person actually can do it.  *sniff sniff

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A man knows a woman loves him by the usual saying of “I Love You” and when he sees her at her most “love-me-begging” state… Sung-soo knew these truths with In-young and to be fair with him, even after the damage, I would really forgive him because he realized his mistake and he knew he could never turn back time but he has all his lifetime to love her even more than he did before.

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But to make their love realized fully, In-young met someone who helped her renewed her faith in love… That someone who appeared to be like her when she was with Sung-soo.  She has learned to love him but at the end of the day, sometimes the love we felt for someone can’t make us choose to sacrifice what we really are and what we really feel. Not all love begins as if it was meant to be, but In-young relied on giving up a new love because she wanted a love that has been happening.

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After all the pain, you will eventually learn that you either love someone or not love anyone at all.  When In-young saw Sung-soo kneeling at her father and begging for forgiveness at what he did to his daughter, I knew right there and then that In-young will be back in Sung-soo’s arms.  There’s just a familiarity and unbreakable connection when you’ve been with someone for a long time.  When trust has become an issue, it will be a haunting wall between a couple, but as long as there is love… Love will always forgive and give second chances.  What would make love go away?  Time and Acceptance.

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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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No one is born a complete person.  You live your life half-finished and become complete as you get older.  A lot of things will happen when you are young, even if things don’t work out, don’t drag yourself on it.

 

PS.  Images are from HanCinema.net

 

 

The cute Panda and stubborn hedgehog

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It was basking in brightness and breeziness that all throughout I felt really good watching the predictable story unfolds.  It was underacted but heck I still did enjoy it that at some point I thought of becoming a patissier… a charming one for that matter.  *giggles 

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With a family looking for their long lost son who in the twist of fate was actually living with them all along and a story thriving on a birth-secret, long lost friendship circle, setting up good mood incantation and a parade of gorgeously laid cakes and pastries, I also don’t know what hit me, but I ended up finishing the drama and actually liking it.

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Go Seul Ji spent his childhood in juvenile detention, and from there he came across St. Honore, a leading big bakery specializing in cakes and pastries.  Naturally gifted in baking, he was very intent in entering the patisserie world.  When he got out of prison he, he set off to try his luck and talent to enter St. Honore, but he was treated very bad that he almost burned the building if not for a warm old man who stopped him and took him as if he is his blood (well, in fact he was).  When his adopted grandfather’s daughter got out of prison after 20 years, Seul-ji decided to left the old man’s wing to give way to the father and daughter who were cheated by time.  Luckily he landed to an almost dying café of Pan Da Yang, and with his genius in making cakes and pastries, they were able to preserve the café, which Pan Da kept so dear in her heart.  Then came Choi Won Il who was Pan Da’s long lost childhood friend who was the son of the owner of St. Honore.  After consuming himself to his studying broad he came back to take over the family’s business, and was also posed to finding his first love – Pan Da Yang.  The love triangle emerged but I’m glad it didn’t go all the way to hopeless plots to determine who the lead girl’s heart was beating for. 

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Seul-ji was adamant to respond to Pan Da because of his past, losing his memory when he was young, he did all sort of things, bad and good, to survive.  He got under juvenile prison and from there he saw a pastry TV presentation by St. Honore.  When he got out, he mustered his will in the hopes of entering the distinguished pastry company, but ended up being bullied by the pastry chefs and ignored by the head chef and husband to Won I’l mother, Choi Jae Kyum.  So because of lack of confidence Seul Ji was at first hesitant to engage in a relationship with Pan Da, but Pan Da’s taking over and abidance to what her hear felt, she was able to break the wall Seul-ji built upon himself.

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Before every pastry making he did, Seul-ji has this abracadabra speech to start up his flour and water craft, and when Pan Da caught him saying it, the knot tying the main characters of the story was revealed.  Seul-ji who lost his memory when he was young used to be friends with Pan Da and Won Il.  He was the son of a bakery owner, her mother was taken by the police because of the fire in their bakery and he ended p living with his evil father who caused his amnesia.  Pan Da whose first love was in fact Seul-ji never forgave her father after he let him left their house to be with his evil father.  They put up the bakery-café in the hopes that one day her long lost friend will return.  She even do part time works as a writer specializing in the patissierie world because she knew in her heart that the young boy will become a great patissier.

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Panda and Hedgehog was an epitome of a predictable drama and there are a lot of opportunities acting wise.  It was an easy watch, you will just go with the flow and will never trigger a negative feeling in your veins.  It won’t promise you ohlalas but it won’t disappoint you either.  It worked well that they limited the characters, they simplified the conflicts, but they added zest in the romance and relationship of their main players.  That I think was the reason why I finished Panda and Seul-ji’s love story, they didn’t dig on misunderstandings.  They know what they want all throughout, they withdrew when they can’t, but they took a stand when they have to.  It was a realist romance, and even the sugar-coating was true to life. 

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