KDrama Classic Spotlight: Save the Last Dance For Me

MAIN CAST
Eugene as Ji Eun Soo
Ji Sung as Kang Hyun Woo
Lee Bo Young as Yoon Soo Jin
Ryu Soo Young as Jung Tae Min

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SYNOPSIS
Eun Soo (Eugene) is a pure but unsophisticated woman who runs a small resort inn with her father. Eun Soo is just an ordinary girl, but her life changes when she meets a man (Ji Sung) who lost his memory. She took care of him, and eventually love blossoms so they got married. But Hyung Woo disappeared and left Eun Soo wondering why. When they meet again, Hyung Woo who recovered his memory was not able to recognize Eun Soo.

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SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME QUICK REVIEW

Eugene is an actress who works best in utilizing her emotions.  I have watched almost all her movies and dramas. What’s good about her is that she easily adapts to the character and do justice with it.

Memory loss has been one of the favorite twists in romance stories, and in this narrative they were able to execute it without making me change another drama to watch considering the languid tone.

It was slow paced, but the transitions are very strong especially on the confrontation scenes. The screenplay was well written and was delivered in a way that pierced my heart without any apology.

A beautiful moving story of finding love and falling in love all over again to the same person. This is like a love story taken out of your favorite romance novel, but with a more pronounced lingering effect.  Deeply moving… fascinating characters… A spell binding story. –jediprincess

 

KDramaland Weekly Round Up (Feb 3rd Week)

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Annyeong yorabeun!  It’s funny how I miss the fast paced let’s-watch-all-the-kdrama spree last year because I’m having a lull right now and I have to wait for the weekend to binge on my watchlist.

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Hwarang ended this week and warts and all I love the bromance and the warrior school life of those boys.  I was intending to recap it to the end, but I’m still thinking if I will go back on it.  I caught a hyungsik love pill from that drama so I will be hands on “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” which will air tonight at JTBC.

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Chief Kim, Voice and Tomorrow with You are what I am fully commited on these days.  I will be adding Defendant since my work rest days fall on Thursday and Friday and I sometimes find myself idle.  lol

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Chief Kim just delivers a hilarious and refreshing workplace drama every week that I set aside Saimdang for the mean time.  Voice’ gritty and thrilling police procedural showcase is just leaving me attached to it every week.  Tomorrow with You is the only romance story I can get to these days and the sphere has been intriguing so I am on board with them.

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I will be recapping Strong Woman Do Bong Soon with all my noona romance for Park Hyung Sik.  Happy Weekend everyone!

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The doctor who loved the multiple Me (Kill Me, Heal Me 2015 KDrama Musings

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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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Let’s meet the Great Seer

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Set in the waning part of the Goryeo period, this snail-paced sageuk tested my patience to a hilt. The long background just span unnecessary side stories that didn’t solidify the intention and the richness of the tale from where it was derived. I almost dropped it but they threw Ji Sung oppa’s pretty face at the right moment so I will overlook the dry beginning and will just focus on the essentials.

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In the collapsing years of Goryeo Kingdom, the country was burdened by political instability and power struggles that were being maneuvered by the divination people who aided the monarchy and military in their decision making. King Gongmin was obssessed in finding Ja Mi Won, a legendary grave site that would bring power to his reign. He ordered Mok Dong Ryun, a forecaster, to search for the powerful place, but the prophet received a revelation that it was not the right time yet to reveal its location. Failing to do his task, he became a fugitive but was soon found by Moo Ryu, a princess and a healer from the palace who harbored mutual feelings with him. To save him from harm, she convinced General Lee In Im to conspire that the sacred place was really found and feigned ignorance to the King that the Ja Mi Won location he will be getting was fake.

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Lee In Im who slept with the high priestess was encouraged by the latter to harness his ambitions so they ployed on obliterating the barriers along the way. Prince Moo Ryu later on conceived a child but has to marry Lee In Im to save him and his father Dong Ryun. The priestess also conceived a child of Lee In Im but was raised by the princess after the former abandoned her baby through the pouring rain as her role of high priestess will be stripped off if her pregnancy will be discovered. The princess knew the danger awaiting for her child forcedly sent him to his father’s care away from the danger he might get from the palace villains. 

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At a young age, Mok Ji Sang was showing fortune telling abilities and grew up in a gisaeng’s house while his father made a living as a herbalist. Determined to position themselves to the hierarchy, the priestess and Lee In Im revealed to the king that the Ja Mi Won information he has was a fluke, so the princess was imprisoned and Ji Sang’s father opted to have his bestfriend kill him to avoid torture if the palace will catch him. 

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The second part of the story paraded grown up con-man Ji Sang who has used his gift of prophecy to make a living for him and his foster parents. He was also bent upon knowing the identity of his biological mother and he knew that the clue was in the palace where he saw the tortoise symbol that was on the ring given by her mother to him when he was a baby. He was able to enter the palace by posing as a revelator but his identity was revealed by Hae-in who was the daughter of his father’s bestfriend. But he was given a chance to stay in the school after he displayed his geomancer skills and found the long lost tomb of a Mongolian official’s mother. To fully realized his potentials he traveled and was mentored by a great monk who knew his destiny of finding Ja Mi Won that will establish a new era of the nation.

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Resolutely blinded to seize Goryeo’s authority, Lee In Im and Head Priestess used the king’s concubine’s son to place their grip on the power at the expense of killing the King and the Mother Queen. Lee In Im served as the Prime Minister and made the country’s situation worst by promulgating unreasonable taxation laws and allowing land grabbing practices.

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Factions in the great army arose after General Choi Young remained firm with old fashioned beliefs as General Lee Sung Gye felt so pained with the strenuous governance conflicts. Ji Sang became an efficient strategist for Gen. Lee Sung Gye in weeding the poisonous people responsible for the decline of a once powerful kingdom and bring to end the uncovering of Ja Mi Won where the mighty kingdom of Joseon was established by Lee Sung Gye.

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The Great Seer really started slow but moved decently. It was not a flashy and a gripping sageuk but it has a very easy to understand and to follow depiction. It was done fairly in story and directing, but I was expecting more considering the talent of the cast. Nevertheless it was consistent in its filial love, brotherhood, and patriotism life lessons. The resident sageuk elements of swaying loyalties, indecisive protagonist, misplaced love were all in full swing and though minimal humor was evident, it didn’t go dry as it switches in each arc of the story.

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Ji Jin Hee has always won me over in almost all his historical portrayals and Ji Sung oppa just has to smile and show his charming ways and I would willingly comply to his bidding. *chuckles This drama I thought would be focusing on Ji Sang’s oracle abilities that was passed on from his father but he equally shared the limelight with Lee Sung Gye and towards the end they leaned to the founding of Joseon after a long and exhausting road battle. It was a passing closure but I wished Ji Sang’s soothsayer abilities have been more pronounced when he was acting on it in the series. 

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The romance sadly though was also most of the time gasping and flat. I got that period dramas were more on wars, politics, throne grabbing and all, but if the love stories would just appear weak then either don’t include it or insert a workable and memorable love scenes.  The redemption for the villains was present so even if it was quick, I will buy it, at least they have made the balance of the upper hand in this drama equally challenging for both the protagonists and antagonists.

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The story moved in a flowing pace evading bewilderness and explaining instigations. There was a lull on the onset to establish the eventual strife on the “who wants to be the crown-holder” contest but all throughout I was not lost in the progress of the plot. That was the most positive thing about this drama… I didn’t have head-scratching moments and I didn’t question why the character had to do this and that.  So although not that much vibrancy and even if the screenplay was not refined at least the writers didn’t write nonsensically.  It even made me ponder on that realization of how the monarchy’s belief in superstition has caused serious repercussions to their judgment in running the country.Korean-drama-The-Great-Seer-episode-28fullsizephoto271416
The Great Seer slowly stimulated me until I finished it.  I learned a few things about geomancy as well. It won’t definitely have a second serving for me, but if you are trying to educate yourself with Korean history, this would be a great help as the founding of Joseon era was the culmination of the storyline of this period TV story. –jediprincess ^_^

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My PS Partner (2012) Movie Recap

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In one of those lonely nights of trying to move on from the memory of his long-time girlfriend, a man received an erotic phone call from a woman while he was dreaming one of those steamy nights with his ex-lover. Caught off guard on what was happening he played along in the intimate weird phonecall adventure and was able to almost reach a satisfying peak before the woman realized that she dialed not her boyfriend’s number.

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The “this is what realistic relationship is” tone has made this straightforward, lively and cheeky romcom hit all the love chakras in my body. Not since My Wife Got Married did I enjoy an R18 romance flick, but the started-weird-move-to-casual-and-turned-to-binding connection of the lead couple made me so inspired to embark on a dating binge. *giggles

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It raised a question of which kind of lovers’ parting is more painful… Is it the long-running relationship or the half-way-inlove kind of intimacy? Is it worth it to be comfortable in a routinary relationship with someone who is unsure if he has even plans to get married or is it worth the risk to ditch it and have an honest, carefree emotional involvement that doesn’t take marriage as a scapegoat because you are tired of loving, breaking up, hurting and finding love again.

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My PS partner is an example of another vibrant love movie I would strongly recommend to watch. It has a subtle indie appeal with a very smart screenplay. It went to the love trap cliche but the quirky development of the romance plus the organic feel of witnessing what relationship in late-20’s-early-30’s was about were depicted amusingly, realistically and candidly.

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I gave it a 5 star rating and a space on my kmovie favorites because of how it has minimal mature content but was able to balance and even heightened the romantic essence, the seamless humor and the responsive chemistry between the main leads in the movie. Sweetly impudent, My PS Partner made me feel so wanting to be in love after watching it, and not the knight-in-the-shining-armour-cinderella-rose-petals kind of way but the wearing-his-oversized-shirt-singing-while-he-plays-the-guitar kind of love.

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Still moping about his recent break up with his 5-year ex-girlfriend, Hyung-seung groped for the ringing handphone while he was in the middle of an erogenous reverie and was surprised to hear a woman’s voice. Still figuring what’s happening, his sleepy self became fully awake when the aphrodisiacal phone conversation became more intense, and just as he was nearing his climax, the woman, Yoon-jung realized her stupid mistake of calling the wrong person. Yoon-jung was a lingerie designer who has been dating her man for the last 5 years and was already feeling frustrated about his lack of wedding plans for them.

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Hyung-seung met up with his friends to drown and numb himself with alcohol, and in tipsy state he tried calling his ex-girlfriend but was answered by the new lover of his ex. Furious, he inadvertently dialed the wrong number and landed an “all girls are whore” litany to the woman he got a phonesex conversation last night who also had a bad day after instead of a wedding ring she got a hairclip from her man on their 5th year anniversary date.

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They engaged in a heated argument of who was the psycho between them but then he broke down and cry. Felt the pain of the man she was talking with and soon the two found themselves connecting to each other’s love frustrations. From then on they engaged in sassy and steamy conversation and when they agreed to meet up the sexy talks was fulfilled in action.

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Their weird no-name-invented-yet relationship status has helped each other with their exasperating love problems but knowing and afraid that it would never work out with them Yoon-jung decided to stop their entanglement.

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Yoon-jung has been patient of his boyfriend’s lack of consideration attitude and has been wanting to confront him about his infidelity issues. She almost reached her saturation point one night only to have him gave her a wedding proposal that she has been waiting for a while. Hyun-seung on the other hand still in limbo of the emotional throe he got ne after the other got anunexpected visit and another second serving with his ex-girlfriend. Then reality hit Hyun-seung, and not minding if it was right or wrong and whether there could be hope, he set forth to see Yoon-jung on her wedding day and in his weird, erotic love song declaration pushed her to admitting that she doesn’t want that marriage and even spilling the beans of her fiance’s illicit affair to an officemate who was also present in the wedding.

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Yoon-jung went “runaway bride”, and not stopping and responding when Hyun-seung screamed ILoveYou to her.

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Time flew and Yoon-jung found back her footing and was doing good in her business. She got a visit from her friends who arranged a slot for a phone-in segment to where Hyun-seung was having a disc jockey stint. She sang the same song Hyun-seung did on her cancelled nuptial day which was altered to a decent love song. He recognized her voice as she tried winning him back… and when he asked her “what cha wearin?”, she quipped a description of a sexy lingerie in response.

-jediprincess

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Images from hanCinema

 

 

“When a relationship ends because of infidelity, it’s not about the sense of betrayal that kept you from moving on, it’s the unfamiliarity that you first feel because it never dawned on you that such thing could happen.”