Chicago Typewriter Ep 2 Musings and Summary

So the other half of premiere week gave a much more elaborated background of the past timeline.  I have a slight issue on what the catalyst is for the time transition though.  You see I’m used to incense sticks, talisman or subway to transition to a past setting, but that we cannot seem to grasp yet in the story.  The narration as what I’ve mentioned last time is easy to follow, but the rules that are being introduced felt like coming from nowhere.  I mean are we going to have a ghost hunting party here?  Dear Drama, I signed up for you so please give me a good run for the next 4 episodes.  Please enlighten me and polish the time element execution because I’m close to saying that Chicago Typewriter is a story of a best selling novelist who seems like Disney’s Beast with enchanted objects in his house serving him.  *chuckles
Chicago Typewriter Episode Recaps
01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Chicago Typewriter Episode 2 Summary
Se Ju tries to process how the girl in his dream becomes his life saver now as Seol trembles as the flashback jinx when she is holding a gun emerges.  The assailant senses her faltering and attempts to attack her, but she subdues him no sweat with her martial arts skills.  She orders Se Ju to call the police and they came to get the crazy stalker.  
Se Ju’s critical mind is suspicious of her connection to the attacker so she tries to explain how she entered the door and how the dog led her to the place.  She mumbles how she is feeling dizzy but he refuses to talk inside so she eventually faints in his arms.  She wakes up happy realizing she is at Se Ju’s guest room and gets up to find her way to the main door.  Seol is amazed at his extensive book collection and enters his writing room when the door opened as if it was inviting her.  She spots the typewriter and as she reaches for it, flashbacks of a woman who looks like her living in another era plays in her mind.  
Se Ju appears and escorts her out just as she is about to get a glimpse of the man she was about to kill in her epiphany.  Seol stops herself from furthering her excuse that the door just opened as he blabs on why doors just open for her magically.  He lets her eat while he works on his writing and she furtively beams for that amazing fan girl moment.  He shatters her illusion by telling he is sitting there because she might wander around and not because he does not want her to eat alone.  He quips that he still suspects her and replies that he did not bring her to the hospital not because he cares, but he can’t be in the gossip section of newspaper too because he is already filling it out all the sections well.
 Seol pouts how cold he is as a person but responds yes to his question if she learned shooting since she had a great form from the early debacle.  She refuses to answer why she stopped shooting as people tend to stay away from her whenever she told that top secret.  He mutters he would never learn it then and urges her to go home when she is done eating.  Seol offers her help in typing his rough draft to call it even for letting her rest and breaking his Tiger Woods golf club.  She goes through varied emotions while typing the story as Se Ju is amused at her reactions.
Seol types in silence while Se Ju observes him, and we go to a deja vu of the two in the same scenario bickering about her typing speed as she whines that his poor handwriting is slowing her down.  1930 Se Ju (let’s call him that since he is not yet introduced properly) falters on his bike and hits a hay stack so he threw his writing at Yoo Su Yeon to rush it to the printing press.  He bribes her with money so she hurries to follow his command only to throw his writing back at him and escapes with his bike.  She mentions how she told him to write valuable writing only fuming the writer helpless and in hays on the ground calling her name to go back.
We go back to present time and Se Ju asks if she was in a strange feeling too like time and space collapsing to which she nods exclaiming that it felt like an earthquake, and on cue an earthquake erupts only in Se Ju’s house so they cower beneath the table snapping at each other scared at what is happening.  The shake stops so they motion to get up but the mystical cupids in the house shuts the power down so they stay at their position as Seol takes advantage of the darkness to move closer to Se Ju.  He asks her when they supposedly met before, but before she could answer his publisher arrives looking for him.  He coaches her to escape before that man finds out that they were together and rushes to divert his attention.
Se Ju argues with his publisher on giving money to the assailant but the latter is insistent that if the rumor mill catches on how his novels inspire criminals it will have a negative impact on them.  Seol gropes her way out but she screams in pain after falling on the ground disrupting the two’s conversation.  Se Ju pretends he did not hear anything and shouts at his publisher so he can forget the scream while Seol gets up dizzy from her fall.  
True to the publisher’s words, the assailant’s Se Ju novel inspired crime hits the news in the morning as Baek Tae Min’s mother smirks on how Se Ju creates criminals and makes innocent person looked bad just like what he did to her.  Tae Min counters how it was not Se Ju’s fault that the culprit based his crimes on the novels Se Ju wrote.  He leaves his mother and she goes to where her husband is who was busy checking on the news about his estranged son – Se Ju.  Tae Min’s father denies having a son like Se Ju and replies how they already test it with DNA, but she retorts that test like that can be manipulated.  She blabs about why Se Ju built his mansion in the neighborhood so he tells her to stop her obsession as it is not doing good to their children.  He walks away knowing their conversation will not go anywhere and meets Tae Min who informs him that he will be working in the same publishing house as Se Ju.
Se Ju cannot seem to focus on his writing as he recollects Seol and the woman from his dream.  He heads out to notify the keeper of his mansion’s ground to take out the deers he just capriciously requested recently blaming their sound as the reason why he cannot write efficiently.  Se Ju’s bad day continues as a known third-rate reporter writes a scoop on how his recent novels are based from the culprit’s letters that he has been sending to him in the past three years.
 
The publishing house office is in ruckus as the news goes viral and the publisher answers to calls denying the allegations citing all Se Ju’s mails are monitored.  Se Ju arrives at the office and discusses the issue who is getting out of their hands and why he was kept in the dark that those letters were really received by the company.  The publisher reasons how they just shred nonsensical letters and reaches a conclusion of a possible informant and remembers the woman who saved Se Ju last time.  Se Ju walks out muttering he will finish his deadline and eavesdrop on the office workers gossiping about the reality of the rumor and how ghost writers are really working under him.  He lets them know of his presence shutting them up on their lowlife prying.
Se Ju heaves a sigh as he drives to confront Seol who is at a vet clinic worrying about the dog that just disappeared.  Tae Min walks to the clinic calling Seol’s name which surprised Seol so he explained that his cat’s name is the same as hers.  She introduces herself as Jeon Seol and he heads out once his cat is safely tucked in his arms.  Seol’s vet friend confirms that he is indeed writer Baek Tae Min and she smiles how he also lives in the neighborhood.  She sees him unable to drive his car out because of another car blocking his way so she offers help with her do-anything-errand service and starts looking for the owner of the illegally parked car in a cute megaphone.  The owner apologizes upon hearing the announcement as Tae Min thanks her for the help.  She asks him for an autograph instead of paying for the service to which he gladly obliges.  
Seol gets a call from Se Ju asking her to meet him so she heads to the meeting place excitedly.  They met at a gym and she mumbles how his dating preference is a bit odd.  He corrects that it was not a date and go straight to business confronting her if she told the media what transpired with him and the psycho assailant on the night of the attack.  She is surprised that he still suspects her and denies it sternly.  She snaps at his baseless accusation and demands the reason why he even thought about it.  He answers her that three people only know what happened that night and she has the highest probability of blurting it.  He adds how he would have understood if she admits and apologizes for doing the deed, but then it was also his fault for not doing anything about it.  He warns her that he cannot forgive her twice so she hits her patience point and chides how ungrateful he is and how when he reaches a dead end in his life, no one will be there to help him.  He proudly replies how he will not reach a slump nor will there be a day that he will ask help from other people.  Seol marches to his direction and slams him on the ground angrily muttering how she should have not saved him and vowing that she will not save him again in the future. 
Seol sobs ending her 10 year fan girl pledge on Se Ju.  She officially declares it with her friends as witnesses for her fan girl break up.  Se Ju visits the psycho fan and learns how his sister might have reported it to the media.  He feels bad suspecting Seol but is enraged when the psycho fan insists on their unique connection of having been abandoned by people.  Se Ju threws incriminating words at him so he fumes madly at his unreasonable claim.  Psycho fan vows that he will make him die through his writing as the police subdues him.  Se Ju heads to Seol’s house and is answered by her friend’s psychic mom who informs him that Seol is wandering around and she is taking care of the customers in the mean time.  He motions to leave but she strings negative emotions lurking around him and heeds him to survive a looming danger that will happen to him.
Se Ju struggles to write because of the recent stress he is getting.  He wakes up to answer his publisher’s phonecall and orders him not to watch the news or go online in the mean time.  He learns that the culprit committed suicide and left a note blaming him for everything.  A sea of reporter waits at Se Ju’s gate when he opens it and remembers his last conversation with the psycho culprit.
After a month, nosy Reporter Song spots publisher Gal Ji Suk and sniffs some scoop on how Se Ju is reportedly having a slump.  Ji Suk denies it and bribes him with money while answering a call from Se Ju.  He heads to his prized writer and was told of the doctor’s diagnosis of PTSD on him.  Ji Suk drags him to his writing room and forces him to write.  Se Ju shouts at him to stop if he will not help him write.  Ji Suk takes that note and suggests hiring a ghost writer until he recovers from his slump.  Se Ju orders him to step out and shuts his blabbing by telling him that he will write and hand the manuscript to him before the deadline.
Ji Suk summons his connections looking for ghost writers while Se Ju attempts to write to no avail.  He clears his table out of frustration as Ji Suk meets with the ghost writer.  Se Ju falls asleep and goes on his recurring dream of his doppelganger.  This time a new character appears while he is at a bar writing for his upcoming deadline.  His friend wheedles him to disregard work and they end up dancing on the floor with Su Yeon.  
Ji Suk of course wakes him up again to check on the manuscript and bargains about the ghost writer again, but he declines and hangs up the phone.  Se Ju picks his broken laptop and sighs.  He peers at the typewriter and flashes of his dream appears as he is about to touch it.  Then we see the trio coming out from the bar drunk and silly and singing happily.  Se Ju is perturbed on the sudden vision but quickly ignores it to carry the typewriter on his table.  He sighs and preps up to write but no letters can come up from his creative juice.  He gets a cinnamon stick to calm him down but throws it and finds his cigarette case.  He fumbles for a lighter and sees an antique match on the ground.  He lights the match and as the flame flickers he gets another vision scaring him to the hilt.
He leaves the house and drives to a rainy road thinking if he is crazy or has gone crazy already.  He debates if he will just end his life since a writer who cannot write is non existent anyway, but his other mind reminds him of all the effort he made to get to the top.  He skews to avoid a deer on the road which leads to his car hitting the roadside gutter while refuting his initial wish since he has not yet decided if he wants to live or not, but the car crushes and rolls on to a cliff eventually.  Se Ju leers at a frame coming to the car’s direction and calls for help.  He gasps when Seol’s beaming face appears remembering how she promised to not help him when he will face a grave danger again.  He closes his eyes as she raises a shovel and motions to smash something.  At that same moment, a man enters Se Ju’s writing room and starts working using the old typewriter.

KDrama List and Ratings

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I constantly update this list on the mother page, so if you are reading it through this post, you can check this LINK for the most updated version.  I  have a separate page for my kdrama full series recaps and reviews which links I have included in this list as well.  This page is a good reference point for kdramas over the years since I have included quick reviews of those dramas that I did not write a full review on, but you might be curious if you are going to pick up or not.  There are still some that I have not seen, but I included the titles in case you might need it.  Also Reviews with Strikethroughs are not yet ready.  I will constantly update this page.  ^_^

I have rated it A(for Amazing), B+(for Breathtaking), B(for Beautiful), C+(for Cliche but Charming), C(for Crazy but Tolerable) D(for Disappointing), F(for Forget it).   I added additional tips for your reference.  My recent entries would be on a yearly basis from now on so the most recent dramas would be on the first entries.

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♥ Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017) – If you are on a k-drama slump, this will hook you up back to oppa-land.  The fast paced quirky rom-com promised an addictive run and delivered it in flying colors with a riveting thriller plot incorporated on the side.  It was a whimsical love ride with thugs, a psycho, a police, a gaming company CEO and a woman with extraordinary strength.  The labyrinth was a whirlwind of cuteness and mirth and everything a fan would ask k-drama gods for a gift. Consistently endearing with amusing surprises along the way, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” is a steady delightful rom-com drama that deserve all the raves and hype from k-drama followers.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Series Review

sweet ride, noona romance, second lead syndrome… this will so far be my best rom-com recommendation

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Thriller     GRADE:  A

♥ Radiant Office (2017) – currently airing

♥ Whisper (2017) – currently airing

♥ Perfect Wife (2017) – currently airing

♥ Chief Kim (2017) – currently airing

♥ You Are Too Much (2017) – currently airing

♥ The Liar and His Lover (2017) – currently airing

♥ Tomorrow With You (2017) – This drama felt like a roller-coaster as I hiked on the twists and turns and got lost in time and space continuum.  It might even give a frustrating ride so consider you are forewarned if you are not used to a story that you have to analyze from start to finish.  Nevertheless I got my closure even if they fit it in less than 60 minutes.  So Joon and Ma Rin’s road to ever after was definitely something I would not dare to have, but they gave me lessons on how compromise, patience and love are essentials that secure an unwavering relationship. -jediprincess

Tomorrow With You Series Review

Focus and Patience!  Bring buckets of it when you watch it and you will be rewarded by Lee Je Hoon oppa’s sweet gestures and kisses

GENRE:  Romance, Drama, Supernatural     GRADE:  B

♥ Saimdang, Light’s Diary (2017) – currently airing

♥ Rebel:  The Thief who stole the people (2017) – currently airing

♥ Voice (2017) – review coming up

♥ Defendant (2017) – review coming up

♥ Missing 9 (2017) – parking lot

♥ Hwarang:  the Beginning (2016 – 2017) – Hwarang is definitely at par in terms of effective performance compared to fusion sageuk favorites due to its struggling plot momentum.  I’m not supposed to say this, but the pretty boys were really the reason why I stayed calm on my seat.  hahaha  If not really for their impeccable chemistry and gang fights ala Malfoy’s Gang and Dumbledore’s army, I would have not stayed afloat.

Hwarang Series Review

It was so promising if not for a lot of things that happened and was set aside.  This is where I got my first noona romance with Park Hyung Sik.

GENRE:  Period, Brotherhood, Romance     GRADE:  C

♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (2016 – 2017) – “Goblin” affirmed my kdrama fan girl spirit with its addictive pace, perceptive characters, detailed back story and the exciting race to its closure.  I was at constant awe at how the yarning of the folklore and supernatural mise en scene fit so perfectly placed in the modern setting.  The cast portraying a whole new chimeric world that I want to be a part of moved through the story seamlessly alternating a wistful and lively performance that burrowed straight to my kdramaaddict heart. *chuckles

Goblin Series Review

The epic bromance and time transcending love will linger for a while in your heart

GENRE: Romance, Supernatural     GRADE:  A

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♥ The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016) – Legend of the Blue Sea was strong on the candied-heart-fluttering moments of Joon Jae and Cheong, but even stronger on relaying the couple’s sweet and yet agonizing journey to endure the love they have in the present in the pretext of a human-mermaid romance impossibility.  It neatly executed the narrative by using simple rules considering its metaphysical premise.  It modernized the reincarnation plot, by playing the resident drama fix of how love overcomes anything and beyond everything. 

Legend of the Blue Sea Series Review

The conman who can read his lady love’s mind sure gave me a lot of happy pills during those times

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Fantasy     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (2016) – I admit I was missing Gregory House a lot so I sought comfort in Teacher Kim’s arms.  I have not seen a lot of nicely done medical dramas in kdramaland so I did not set my hopes high in RDTK.  I am glad that the story progressed and closed deftly and neatly along with the surgeries.  A case where “Doctor Crush” suffered.

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim Series Review

The engrossing narrative and  chemistry of the cast blended so well, I could not ask for more.

GENRE:  Medical, Drama     GRADE:  B+

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♥ The Good Wife (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Legal, Drama   GRADE:

♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016) – I picked “Weightlifting Fairy” as one of the best kdramas of 2016 for being such a genuine coming of age story that beautifully captured the joy and pain and everything in between of being young… of building dreams and of falling in love for the first time. 

Weightlifting Fairy Series Review

Nam Joo Hyuk is kdrama gods’ gift to college girls and college girls at heart

GENRE:  Rom-com, Youth     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Entourage (2016) –  Dropped it somewhere along the way, as there was nothing going on in the story at all… I like Seo Kang Joon, but it was really a sad project.

You are still my crush Seo Kang Joon even when this drama felt like hell

GENRE:  Drama, Comedy, Bromance     GRADE:  F

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♥ Goodbye Mr. Black (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Action, Romance   GRADE:

♥ Jang Young Shil (2016) – parking lot

GENRE: Period, Drama   GRADE:

♥ The Man in Our House (2016) – I love Su Ae in Mask and some more of her works, but there was no hook for me even after watching Ep 8, so I gave up.

Love is not supposed to be inherited from your mom. period.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy, Drama     GRADE:  D

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♥ Madame Antoine (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy   GRADE:

♥ Neighborhood Lawyer Jo (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Legal, Drama   GRADE:

♥ Something About One Percent (2016) – Something About 1% is a surprise hit for me this year.  I was prepared to drop it after 4 episodes, but boy I fell in love with the kiss scenes, lol I mean the story.  *wink  As Lee Jae In sedated my grieving heart from Scarlet Heart Ryeo, it pushed me back to meaningful existence with his sweet smile and steamy gazes.  This amazingly done rom-com darted cheesy and predictable.  Even now I still wonder how I got so addicted with everything so unadorned about it.

Something About One Percent Series Review

Dear Lee Jae In, you had me at your kisses.

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy   GRADE:  B+

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♥ K2 (2016) – oppa miyane i will work on you soon

K2 Series Review

GENRE:  Action, Drama, Romance     GRADE:

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♥ Dear My Friends (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Drama  GRADE:

♥ Drinking Solo (2016) – What drew me to watching “Drinking Solo” was the simple storytelling, setting and character building.  It was a plain picture of the struggles of students taking lessons to pass the civil service exam and the battles of the instructors in surviving the present day adult life complications versus those idealistic dreams they had when they were young.  The love concerns inserted were additional bonus in amusing myself in watching the cast move on with their fictional life.  

Drinking Solo Series Review

Cheers to a drama that celebrates the singlehood life

GENRE:  Drama, Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Beautiful Mind (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Medical, Thriller  GRADE:

♥ Shopping King Louie (2016) – While everything in kdramaland was serious in polishing the story and rendering remarkable character portrayals, “Shopping King Louis” came along like a comfort food frocking in all positivity it can have.  Though having a simple premise, Bok Sil and Louis were entertaining me with their sweet and hilarious chemistry.  The light and upbeat pace matches the optimism of the main leads.  

Shopping King Louie Series Review

This is a good drama to watch after wrenching your heart in Scarlet Heart and Uncontrollably Fond

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy   GRADE:  B

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♥ Oh My Geum Bi (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Family, Comedy   GRADE:

♥ On the Way to the Airport (2016) – We normally get those kind of third-party love affair stories, and we never achieve a proper explanation on the reason why people involve themselves in an illicit affair. “On the way to the Airport” touches this sensitive marital issue in a classy way that will make you cheer and understand why a man and a woman got caught in an entanglement behind their husband and wife’s back. What the story brought about is how marriage can be broken even with the most rational mind when a person finds a willing heart who can share his pain.
I like how subtle the approach is in tackling adultery in the narrative maybe because the writer sketched valid presentation of those phases that make a person lose the love he felt with his lover along the way.

On the Way to the Airport Series Review

How to be unfaithful to your spouse gracefully…

GENRE:  Romance, Drama     GRADE:  B

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♥ Laurel Tree Tailors (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Family   GRADE:

♥ Monster (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama   GRADE:

♥ Love in the Moonlight aka Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds (2016) – Eventhough Lee Young and Hong Ra On will not be hitting the pinnacle of my best dramas this year, the full drama package was commendable due to its poignant sketching of the main characters and the writer’s impeccable timing to pin me on my spot and not sway away from following the story in those moments when I almost did.  Drawn on a historical premise, “Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds” is a sweet drama treat brimming with giddy-ish scenes that will make you reminisce that once special love when you were young.

Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds Series Review

Crown Prince Park Bo Gum effect at its best

GENRE:  Period, Drama, Romance     GRADE:  B

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♥ Woman with a Suitcase (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy   GRADE:

♥ Moonlovers:  Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016) –  Albeit the tormenting emotional strain I got with Scarlet Heart Ryeo, it will belong on my favorites for this year because I love that it became even more believable and fervent due to the plot’s instability and the main characters indecisiveness.  It was a situation that might have killed the drama, but because the essential character motivations were clearly drawn, as a viewer I enjoyed that feeble  and vulnerable facet of the production.  Even with the unfazed heartrending tone all throughout, I take Scarlet Heart Ryeo with all my heart because I believe that a happy ending does not measure how great a love can be.

Scarlet Heart Ryeo Series Review

The series aftermath pained and haunted me.  4th Prince So, I’m here for you now, tomorrow and everyday in between.

GENRE:  Period, Supernatural, Romance, Melodrama     GRADE:  B

♥ Marriage Contract (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Drama  GRADE:

♥ Fantastic (2016) – Even with the dying premise, I have grown to love “Fantastic” because of the dexterous cast and how they blend together supporting each other’s friendship and stories.  Fantastic is an optimistic story that not only encourages through its love theme, but also with how the main characters were able to leave really cool life lessons as they tackled the roles they played in the narrative.

Fantastic Series Review

The feisty writer and her journey to love and sickness is an uplifting story of how a woman who braves the odds through the encouragement of her loved ones

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy   GRADE:  C+

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♥ Wanted (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Thriller, Drama  GRADE:

♥ Jealousy Incarnate (2016) – Sure, there were a lot going on in “Jealousy Incarnate” that sometimes the sporadic mini plots did not equate well to its overall make, but the eager and vibrant cast made up to that missing push the story failed to achieve.  Honestly the safe ever-after ending failed to complement those strong moments of the lead cast along with the story conflict they had to face together hilariously and painfully.  Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sweet ride and the endearing couple who tackled the friendship defying love chase.

Jealousy Incarnate Series Review

It was good while it lasts.  There were highs and lows, but the ending went to autopilot mode

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥Vampire Detective (2016) – parking lot

GENRE: Supernatural, Action   GRADE:

♥ Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016) – Well at least you can get ample fan service to this story of cousins who were tamed harmoniously by a girl who was hired by their grandfather.  The characters were endearing but the story was too trite.

Cinderella and the Four Knights Series Review

See how much I love you Jung Il Woo oppa?  After your army duty please deviate from this kind of dramas.  

GENRE:  Youth, Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥Let’s Fight Ghost (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Fantasy   GRADE:

♥ W: Two Worlds (2016) – Less the staggering twists and turns that were ever present in the narrative, I still like how “W:TwoWorlds” was so ambitious on how it vividly displayed and chronicled a love story that defied alternate universe.  It maneuvered to constant deviation and possibilities having the premise of “everything is possible to happen as long as they can draw it”.  I love smart characters playing in the story so I have to give it to Yeon Joo on how she perceives efficiently in moments when Kang Chul is hindered by the limitations of his heroic role which was dependent on his fictional character.  All throughout its showing, I was immersed on the extent of chimeric world the story would thread to, even when it hit a frustrating circle, but then it bounced back to a neatly delineated denouement although I would have wanted for another hour of extension.  

W Two Worlds Series Review

Interesting Note:  It would have been so perfect if not for the midway confusion and safe landing

GENRE:  Supernatural, Romance, Thriller     GRADE:  B

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♥Mrs. Cop 2 (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Crime, Thriller  GRADE:

♥ Age of Youth (2016) – Tailored to show the common faces of women, this honest drama has a melancholic resonance as it progressed to strengthening the bond of the 5 women living together in a dormitory who all have baggages from their past that haunt them in their present lives.  “Age of Youth” is a retrospective youth drama about women in their 20’s. The five ladies promenaded their love inhibitions, self-esteem issues, school worries, what happens after school disappointments and all the rest of typical predicaments, 20’s women usually worry about.

Age of Youth Series Review

GENRE:  Youth, Drama, Romance     GRADE:  B

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♥Miss Temper and Nam Jun Gi (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy   GRADE:

♥ Uncontrollably Fond (2016) – The thing about Uncontrollably Fond is that it tapped into those memories of lost and depressing love that people don’t want to look back anymore in their lives.  It was not a happy-ever-after kind of romance that appeals typically to almost anyone, instead it delved to the most shameful, most regretful and most painful things anyone can do because of love.  Uncontrollably Fond won’t appeal to those who craved light and sweet type of romantic stories you can indulge to this narrative but be aware that you will be put on tormenting spot most of the time.  Though deemed to have been badly written, there was a thread that held the loyal viewers and that’s the dying scenario of the lead man.  I stayed until the end because I believe that not all love stories are wrapped in kisses and sweet memories.  There are those that are melancholic and yet lives on as someone’s one great love.

Uncontrollably Fond Series Review

Disclaimer:  Prepare a lot of tissue and patience

GENRE:  Melodrama, Romance     GRADE:  C+

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♥ This Week My Wife is Having an Affair (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy   GRADE:

♥ Doctors (2016) – I credit the starpower of the cast for raking in high ratings.  Even though the story did not deserve it at the very least.  When the surgeries took over the story, it was a feeling of journeying to Mt. Mordor to destroy the one ring of them all for me.  I was tired needing an elixir of life that would push me to understand if I was watching a drama or I’m learning to become a doctor through a confused medical documentary.  The writing was so bad it did not even complement the character sketches when they could have expanded it more given the complexity of the main roles drawn.  A little believable sprinkle of love complications would have broken the languid development of the story, but they throw in a lovable second male lead who settled to the proverbial fate of second lead syndrome.

Doctors Series Review

Disclaimer:  Kim Rae Won oppa wae?! wae?! wae?!

GENRE:  Medical, Melodrama     GRADE:  C

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♥ Oh Hae Young Again (2016) – 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.

OH HAE YOUNG AGAIN SERIES REVIEW

Romance Meter:  Messy, heartfelt and blissfully sweet

GENRE:  Romance, Melodrama, Comedy     GRADE:  A

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♥ Task Force 38 (2016) – 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.

Task Force 38 Series Review

Plus Factor:  The con team blended so well

GENRE:  Crime, Heist, Drama     GRADE: B  

♥ Mirror of the Witch (2016) – I have a thing for witchcraft stories that’s maybe why I found the story appealing.  The magical rules mixed with folklore and saving the long lost princess sprinted to a sporadic run, but managed to enchant me up until the very last round.  Mirror of the Witch target specific audience like me who believe Hogwarts really exist.  Though lacking in terms of polished storytelling, stubborn conflicts and saddening ending, if you want a breather or an alternative to kdrama cliches then plunge on it.

Mirror of the Witch Series Review

Interesting Note:  The supernatural ride was frustratingly fun

GENRE:  Supernatural, Romance     GRADE:  C

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♥ Beautiful Gong Shim (2016) – 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.

BEAUTIFUL GONG SHIM SERIES REVIEW

Interesting Note:  For some odd reason it will endear you with its simplicity

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy     GRADE:  C+

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♥  Lucky Romance (2016) – The yin-yang love battle between the science oriented lead man and the superstitious heroine started cute, stayed sweet and hilarious but pushed its luck too far in securing a safe ending.  That being said, I won’t whine but I won’t give high praises for it.  Lucky romance is like your summer fling, it was good while it lasted, but then eventually when it ended, there was no lingering feeling.

LUCKY ROMANCE SERIES REVIEW

Sad Note:  It has a lot of promise but…the heroine was indecisive and full of worries

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy  GRADE:  C

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♥ One More Happy Ending (2016) – Cooked and prepared like your average romcom, One More Happy Ending was a delightful watch.  I would like also to applaud the strong side stories of the supporting characters which were equally vibrant as the main love story.  The plot delved on the varying emotions of women struggling to keep up with love and relationship.  The marriage camp and relationship board sticker ideas were also some of the cutesies I will remember about this refreshing romcom.  This most likely will appeal to singles in 30’s who have failed their marriage once… who are finding the love lost along the way in their current marriage… who are unsure of finally settling down and who have been waiting for the right person to come along.

ONE MORE HAPPY ENDING SERIES REVIEW

love second chances affirming drama

GENRE:  Rom-com, Friendship     GRADE:  C+

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♥ Come Back Ajussi (2016) – parking lot or will watch it again if Rain oppa will give a good kdrama in the future.  I just can’t go back without dozing on it anymore.

Crazy note:  The cast was great, the writing was not

GENRE:  Romance, Supernatural     GRADE:  D

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♥ Entertainer (2016) – Sadly, in my melancholic attempt to look back on “Entertainer”, there’s nothing much that I remember about it, no matter how much heart Ji Sung oppa gave to the drama.  The story as a whole was not something that I would reminisce in the future.   Sure there were a little highlighted moments especially those musical performances but they were overshadowed by the lack of the vibrancy of the storytelling.   So I’ll be making this a very quick review.  Skip it when you have a pile of kdrama on queue to watch.  Even if you will watch it for Ji Sung oppa, there’s nothing much oppa-happiness-pill that you would get anyway, so settle with other dramas that would make the most out of your time.  I watched it because I was counting on Ji Sung oppa’s choice given that I liked most of the dramas he did, but there’s really nothing much going on. 

ENTERTAINER SERIES REVIEW

Disclaimer:  Remember how sad it was when Dobby died

You would wonder how Ji Sung oppa even took this drama

GENRE:  Drama, Musical, Romance     GRADE:  D

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♥ Flower in Prison (2016) – Bracing myself with a lengthy period drama run, what hooked my loyalty to weekender “Flower in Prison” was its balanced execution of political struggle, neat narrative, infuriating villains and optimistic underdogs. I journeyed with the heroine Ok Nyeo in exploring the situation of state prison, merchant organization as well as the early days of defending crime convicted victims who can’t fend for themselves circa Joseon era.

FLOWER IN PRISON SERIES REVIEW

Disclaimer:  It had a pretty much brilliant run, but a little frustrating in the end

GENRE:  Period, Drama     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Five Children (2016) – Second serving of love has never been this lively until these adorable families connected through marriages and made their family even bigger, wackier and happier.  “Five Children” was the first family weekend drama I finished and it was a feat I’m so proud of because it was 54 episodes.

FIVE CHILDREN SERIES REVIEW

Interesting Note:  The secondary romance were better than the main one

GENRE:  Family, Romance     GRADE:  B

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♥ Jackpot (2016) – 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 character’ discovery of the lessons they have to learn on their own journeys.

JACKPOT SERIES REVIEW

GENRE:  Historical, Drama  GRADE:  C+

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♥ The Neighborhood Hero (2016) – parking lot I still trust you Park Shi Hoo oppa

Neighborhood Hero Series Review

GENRE:  Thriller, Drama, Crime     GRADE:

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♥ Descendants of the Sun (2016) Creating a 3rd Hallyu wave, Descendants of the Sun defied the spring boring drama stigma and emerged with an amazing story that captured the hearts of the viewers.  Definitely one of the best for 2016.

Descendants of the Sun Series Review

Romance Meter:  Captain Yoo Si Jin was made for us girls but let’s have some boundaries.  I will take the lips.  *blush

Addiction Alert:  Will Hook you from Episode 1

GENRE:  Romance, Drama    GRADE:  A

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♥ Signal (2016) – 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.

Signal Korean Drama Series Review

Plus Factor:  Brilliant use of time element

GENRE:  Thriller, Drama     GRADE:  B+

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♥ Master God of Noodles (2016) – parking lot

GENRE:  Romance, Drama   GRADE:

♥ Cheese in the Trap (2016) – I don’t know how to start my thoughts about this drama but I will try.  It felt like that sweetest romance you had which turned a nightmare overnight.  I want to blame the writer and PD for sleepwalking somewhere, but out of the initial cutesies  and romance, I will try  to be forgiving.  It was still not as bad as “Big” drama but it was a case of a company not being able to put up with its employees’ rallies settled amicably to giving some chocolates, going to the moon and just disappearing to the unknown.  Haha

Cheese in the Trap Series Review

Disclaimer:  The love vibes was vibrant on the first half and just like a playful love… but it disappeared without any explanation

GENRE:  Romantic Comedy  GRADE:  D

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♥ Remember: Son’s War (2016) – Remember:  Son’s War came strong to my attention once it hit the TV waves.  It was heading in a thrilling direction where revenge is the premise and where the characters can’t trust one another.

Remember:  Son’s War Series Review

Cry-o-Meter:  Prepare half tissue roll for the heartfelt scenes

GRADE:  Court Drama, Revenge     GRADE:  B Continue reading “KDrama List and Ratings”

dear Goblin, saranghae.

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1.  Hello  breathtaking cinematography!
2.  Gong Yoo oppa in long mane and warrior clothing is hot.
3.  Thank kdramagod we don’t linger much on the backstory.
4.  That is a fiery red scarf.
5.  If the Grim Reaper with kissable lips will escort me to after life, I will gladly oblige.
6.  The gutsy heroine had me at that cheery love declaration.
7.  Autumn in Canada is pretty.
8.  Cohabitation with two hot guys with supernatural powers is such an intoxicating kdrama plot.
9.  Goblin and Grim Reaper struggling with smartphone is epic.
10.  Goblin ruminating on the pros and cons of loving his bride is hilariously cute.
11.  I’ve got to give it to Lee Dong Wook for bringing out the Grim Reaper’s adorable character.
12.  Goblin and Grim Reaper is the best bromance ever.
13.  Seriously, that villain is creepy.
14.  All the pieces are laid out, it breaks my heart on the ill-fated love of Wang Yeo and the Queen.
15.  *sob This Wang Yeo – Kim Shin reveal drained my tears.
16.  Hail to the second leads and to that emotional kiss-me-forget-me scene.
17.  Wow!  Just wow!  That Episode 13 is like a full movie in acting and plot scale magnitude.
18.  True love rules!  Yay for Eun Tak summoning Goblin back from limbo.
19.  Just as how I love the pain, forgiveness and reconciliation between Goblin and Grim Reaper, I was sad to see Reaper voyage to his next life.
20.  How many times are you going to make me cry?  Why did she have to die?
21.  Dear Goblin, it’s me Abby.  I’m here for you, I still have three lives in case your bride will take time to reincarnate.
22.  I wish Sunny and Grim Reaper’s future lives linger more, but it’s the drama’s last episode.
23.  I think any girl wishes now to have a summoning power to the man they love.
24.  Oh there you are Ji Eun Tak, yes Maam, you are the one and only Goblin’s bride.
25.  Goodbye Goblin!  *saranghae

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Arguably the best korean drama that aired for 2016, “Goblin” affirmed my kdrama fan girl spirit with its addictive pace, perceptive characters, detailed back story and the exciting race to its closure.  I was at constant awe at how the yarning of the folklore and supernatural mise en scene fit so perfectly placed in the modern setting.  The cast portraying a whole new chimeric world that I want to be a part of moved through the story seamlessly alternating a wistful and lively performance that burrowed straight to my kdramaaddict heart. *chuckles

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Cursed to immortality, a Goryeo warrior captain lived for 9 centuries waiting for his bride that will vanquish the jinx laid by a deity.  He finally meets his bride who has the ability to see ghost and has been aware of her status through the metaphysical grapevine gossips she heard through the years.  Goblin fell in love with her in the process and she is all willing to wield the sword stuck on his chest not knowing that by doing so, it will make him vanish.  Their romance bloomed fully, but they had to face the villain responsible for Goblin’s immortal fate.  Goblin used the stuck sword to finally kill the ghost fiend and was transported to a limbo clear of his initial curse, but trapped and had to journey for years to be with his bride again.  10 years later, Eun Tak who has always been bothered by missing pieces she felt in her heart but lost in her memories, summoned Goblin back to her world through her honest and painful longing.  Goblin worked on winning her back and her memories of him were retrieved and they finally tied the knot.  Just as they had a taste of the love they so bravely fought, Eun Tak who has lived a borrowed life faced death when she sacrificed herself to save a bus loaded with school children.  Years after, Eun Tak was reincarnated on her second life and sought the man she vowed she will only love for the rest of their lifetimes.

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The summary does not justify all that happened in the story as the cast were intricately connected through their past and present lives.  What made Goblin such a novelty for a love story with transcendental element is how it neatly blended the mystical notes and sensible realities to propel the narrative without losing focus and as simply told as it can be.  The drama made me yearn a romantic interlude with men like Goblin or Grim Reaper.  I was on a long moony phase struck with the impact of the characters who fervidly brought life to their sketched personas.

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 Goblin marked all the bullet points of a lingering story eventhough the metaphysical milieu was very tricky. Although set on a melancholic tone, the dynamics of the cast and the lively humor cushioned the viewers so well given its inevitable tragic scenario ending.  At times there are moments when it was languid, but it was necessary for the built up of the character connections to make the climactic conflict confrontation solid and stunning.

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Breathtaking – Goblin has always been beautifully done from its cinematography, storyline and character portrayals.  The writer did a lot of impossible tweaks and conceived an intricate realm and made sure that she will succeed on the labyrinth she has set for her story.  With actors embracing their roles so well, the exquisite tale of a man searching for the woman to end his immortality curse established a memory that kdramaland followers will still love in the future.

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There are a lot of things to rave about “Goblin”, but I feel like Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook’s stellar chemistry in their very own bromantic world was what kept me in love with this drama as a whole.  Sure the love lines for the main and second leads were notable, but the supernatural boys swept me off my feet with how they kept up with human induced emotional conflicts that their powers can’t resolve.  Kim Go Eun and Yoo In Na were both amazing in their roles and a great support to the main character’s chronicle.  The heartrending love rides these foursome sojourned yielded a memorable impact due to the efficient layering of the reincarnation plot.

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Goblin explored the boundless creativity of Korean culture through writer Kim Eun Sook’s sweet story manipulation.  See for yourself why this drama raised a cult following.

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