Fight For My Way” Threads On Loving Someone Who Has Been A Friend For A Long Time

Fight for my way

Yay!  It will be a busy week that will extend until next most likely.  I only have good words about the Fantastic Four’s story.  

Having a simple narrative in a way made me enjoy it so much because I get to focus on the individual stories of the main cast. I mostly basked in bliss and laughter fit while Dong Man and Ae Ra’s friends-turned-lovers paraded before my eyes. The humble rom-com premise breaks the predictable reputation of K-Drama rom-coms.

I say you catch up on this drama soon if you have not watched it yet. There’s a scarcity of charming love dramas this year so make the most of those that will be worth your time.

Here is my FULL REVIEW through hellokpop.

Happy Wednesday everyone! -jediprincess


New KDramas Alert: ‘Lookout’, ‘Circle’, and ‘Fight For My Way’

We had new dramas that hit the small screen last week.  In case you have not checked on it yet.  These are the initial drama premises that you should look forward to.



“Lookout” exhibits an interesting mixture of characters that the audience can look forward to.  The editing is clever as the story pace attracts the viewer’s attention immediately.  It goes straight to an emotional moment, where the lead girl gives all the reasons why we should root for her to avenge the death of her daughter from a young psychopath, hiding behind his parents’ wealth and power.

A woman vigilante in the making, a cunning prosecutor with an ulterior motive to take down the corrupt office he belongs to, the adorable CCTV genius girl, and diligent field worker team are what made up the cast of these neighborhood heroes.  They don’t possess any super power but their joint skills and abilities in solving crime and raising righteousness flag will make you cheer for them.

‘Lookout’ is all business in its promise to provide an exhilarating ride in pursuing redemption with the ultimate verdict that no man is above the law.  Here’s the link for my complete article in hellokpop.



‘Circle’ effortlessly drops an auspicious chronicle that is unafraid of possible limitations along the way.  As an avid K-Drama follower, I am scared and happy at the same time on how TVN pushes to present this cutting edge plot, owing to how deft writing and intelligent scene-execution would make or break the story.

‘Circle’ energetically runs on establishing the seamless connection of the characters, the timelines, and the past, present and future events.

If you are in search of an interesting K-Drama to stimulate your brain and thrill your heart, ‘Circle’ is definitely up to your challenge.  Here’s the link of my first impression on ‘Circle’ at hellokpop.


Fight For My Way

‘Fight For My Way’ tosses a reality check that features characters who are failing at their current adult life after missing their chances to work on their young dreams.

The unidealistic vibe of the friendship circle in ‘Fight For My Way’ affirms an engaging invitation to sit in for a drama that is coated not with the most fancy things, but remains beautiful just the same.  Here’s my take on Fight For My Way’s initial episode at hellokpop.

KDrama Starter Pack: The Flowerboys Starter Pack


The only rule for this starter pack is that the dramas on this list  celebrates our one-sided fictional love to kdrama oppas.  Nothing more, nothing less.  *chuckles  My list includes dramas with two lead guys battling for the lead girl’s heart, a drama with two or more handsome guys included in the cast, and a drama with unforgettable flower boy as a main lead.


Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017) – The gamer CEO and police officer who fell in love with a strong woman

Park Hyung Sik as Ahn Min Hyuk and Ji Soo as In Gook Doo

Hwarang (2016-2017) – Silla period’s noble sons who became protector of the Kingdom

Hwarang Boys:  Park Seo Joon as Sun Woo, Park Hyung Sik as Ji Dwi, Choi Min Ho as Soo Ho, Do Ji Han as Ban Ryu, Kim Tae Hyung as Han Sung, Jo Yoon Woo as Kim Yeo Wool

Goblin (2016 – 2017) – Goblin, Grim Reaper and adopted chaebol nephew Bromance

Gong Yoo as Goblin, Lee Dong Wook as Grim Reaper and Yook Sung Jae as Duk Hwa


Legend of the Blue Sea (2016 – 2017) – Conman and Hacker Bromance

Lee Min Ho as Heo Joon Jae and Shin Won Ho as Tae Oh


Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds (2016) – The Prince, the bodyguard and the frenemy bromance

Park Bo Gum as Crown Prince Lee Young, Jin Young as Kim Yoon Sung and Kwak Dong Yun as Kim Byung Yun


Descendants of the Sun (2016) – Alpha Team + adopted newbie soldier bromance

Song Joong Ki as Big Boss, Jin Goo as Wolf, Park Hoon as Snoopy, Choi Woong as Harry Potter, Ahn Bo Yun as Piccolo and Kim Min Suk as Kim Ki Bum


W: Two Worlds (2016) – The manhwa character who is sexy in the imaginary realm and steamy in the real world

Lee Jong Suk as Kang Chul


Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016) – The college boyfriend of our dreams

Nam Joo Hyuk as Jung Joon Hyung


Moonlovers:  Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016) – The dysfunctional brotherhood of Goryeo princes

 Lee Jun Ki as Wang So, Kang Ha Neul as Wang Wook, Hong Jong Hyung as Wang Yo, Kim San Mu as Wang Mu, Yoon Sun Woo as Wang Won, Byun Baek Hyun as Wang Eun, Nam Joo Hyuk as Wang Wook, and Ji Soo as Wang Jung

Something About 1% (2016) – The temperamental CEO who sure knows how to kiss

Ha Suk Jin as Lee Jae In

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (2016) – Doldam Hospital Staff Bromance

Yoo Yun Seok as Kang Dong Joo, Kim Min Jae as Park Eun Tak and Yang Se Jong as Do In Bum

Jealousy Incarnate (2016) – The best friends since birth who fell in love with the same girl bromance

Jo Jung Seok as Lee Hwa Shin and Go Kyung Pyo as Go Jung Won

Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016) – The Kang Cousins Bromance

Jung Il Woo as Kang Ji Woon, Ahn Jae Hyun as Kang Hyun Min and Lee Jung Shin as Kang Seo Woo

Reply 1988 (2015 – 2017) – The Ssangmundong Neighborhood Bromance

Park Bo Gum as Choi Taek, Ryu Jun Yul as Kim Jung Hwan, Go Kyung Pyo as Sun Woo and Lee Dong Hwi as Ryu Dong Ryung

Oh My Venus (2015 – 2016) – Kang Joo Eun’s Weight Management Bromance Team

So Ji Sub as Kim Young Ho, Sung Hoon as Jang Joon Sung and Henry as Kim Ji Woong

Sassy Go Go aka Cheer Up (2015)  – High School Cheerleading Bromance

Lee Won Geun as Kim Yool, Ji Soo as Seo Ha Joon and Cha Ha Kyun as Ha Dong Jae

She Was Pretty (2015) – The reserved Editor and the wacky wayward feature editor/famous novelist bromance

Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon and Choi Si Won as Kim Shin Hyuk

Healer (2014 – 2015) – The Night Courier of our Dreams

Ji Chang Wook as Healer

You Who Came From the Stars (2013 – 2014) – The adorable Alien we all fell in love with

Kim Soo Hyun as Alien/ProfessorDo Min Joon

The Master’s Sun (2016) – The shining love of CEO and protective instinct of a bodyguard to a ghost-seeing woman

So Ji Sub as Joo Joong Won and Seo In Gook as Kang Woo

The Heirs (2013) – The Chaebol Sons Campus Bromance

Lee Min Ho as Kim Tan, Kim Woo Bin as Choi Young Do, Kang Ha Neul as Lee Hyo Shin, Kang Min Hyuk as Yoon Chan Young, Park Hyung Sik as Jo Myung Soo, Choi Jin Hyuk as Kim Won

Flowerboys Next Door – The pretty boys who loved the introverted girl

Yoon Shi Yoon as Enrique Geum, Kim Ji Hoon as Oh Jin Rak, Go Kyung pyo as Yoo Dong Hoon, Mizuta Kouki as Watanabe Ryu

Reply 1994 (2013) – The boarding house bromance

Jung Woo as Kim Jae Joon, Yoo Yoon Suk as Chil Bong, Son Heo Joon as Hae Tae, Bar as Kim Dong Joon, and Kim Sung Kyun as Kim Sung Kyun

Rooftop Prince (2012) – The time-traveling prince and his loyal retainers bromance

Park Yoo Chun as Lee Gak/Yong Tae Young,  Lee Min Ho as Song Man Bo, Choi Woo Shik as Do Chi San, and Jung Suk Won as Woo Yong Sul

Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012) – The Time Traveler Scholar from Joseon era

Ji Hyun Woo as Kim Boong Doo

The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012) – The Royal Cousins Bromance

Kim Soo Hyun as Lee Hwon and Jung Il Woo as Prince Yang Myung

Bridal Mask/Gaksital (2012) – The heartbreaking and gritty bromance of Gaksital

Joo Won as Lee Kang To and Park Ki Woong as Kimura Shunji

Faith (2012) – The War General Who Loved His Time Transcending Girl

Lee Min Ho as General Choi Young

Reply 1997 (2012) – The quirky and reliable high school bromance

Seo In Guk as Yoon Yoon Je, Hoya as Kang Joon Hee, Eun Ji Won as Do Hak Chan and Lee Shi Eun as Bang Sung Jae

A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012) – The Blow-up F4 Bromance

Jang Dong Gun as Kim Do Jin, Kim Soo Roo as Im Tae San, Kim Min Jong as Choi Yoon and Lee Jong Hyuk as Lee Jung Rok

City Hunter (2011) – The casanova on a mission to avenge his father

Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung

Flower-boy Ramyun Shop (2011) – The Flower boys who were happy to serve us with a ramyun

Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo, Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk, Park Min Woo as Kim Ba Wool and Jo Yoon Woo as Woo Hyun Woo

Myungwol the Spy (2011) – The charming top actor and North Korean spy bromance

Eric Moon as Kang Woo and Lee Jin Wook as Choi Ryu

The Greatest Love (2011) – The almost perfect battle over the lead girl between a top actor and a traditional doctor

Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin and Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo


Scent of a Woman (2016) The flower boy who stayed with his love in sickness and in health

Lee Dong Wook as Kang Ji Wook

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) – The Joseon Scholar Bromance

Park Yoo Chun as Lee Sun Joon, Yoo Ah In as Moon Jae Shin and Song Joong Ki as Goo Yong Ha

Personal Taste (2010) The flowerboy architect with a knee-weakening smile

Lee Min Ho as Jeon Jin Ho

Mischievous Kiss (2010) – The ideal high school crush any girl dreams about

Kim Hyun Joong as Baek Seung Jo

Secret Garden (2010) – The flowerboy CEO who can pull a sparkling jumpsuit like a dapper suit

Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won


Boys Over Flowers (2009) – The rich high school boys’ bromance

Lee Min Ho as Gu Jun Pyo, Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Ho, Kim Bum as So Yi Jung and Kim Joon as Song Woo Bin

You’re Beautiful (2009) – The flower idol band who loved the same girl

Jang Geun Seuk as Hwang Tae Gyung, Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo, Lee Hong Ki as Jeremy

One Mom Three Dads (2008) – The accidental flower – fathers

Jo Hyun Jae as Han Soo Hyun, Jae Hee as Choi Kwang Hee and Shin Sung Rok as Na Hwang Kyung Tae

The First Shop of Coffee Prince (2007) – The beautiful baristas, Coffee prince and his charming cousin

Gong Yoo as Choi Han Kyul, Lee Sun Gyun as Choi Han Sung, Kim Jae Wook as No Sun Ki, Kim Dong Wook as Jin Ha Rim, Lee Eun as Hwang Min Yup


Goong (2006) – The Prince Charmings of the Modern Korean Monarchy

Ju Ji Hoon as Crown Prince Lee Shin and Kim Jung Hoon as Prince Lee Yul


My Name is Kim Sam Soon (2005) – The dashing chaebol who loves his girl flabs and all

Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Heon

Love Story in Harvard (2005) – The Aspiring Sweet Lawyers of Harvard 

Kim Rae Won as Kim Hyun Woo and Lee Jung Jin as Jung Min Hong


Full House (2005) – The debonairs of Full House

Bi as Lee Young Jae and Kim Sung Soo as Yoo Min Hyuk


What Happened in Bali (2005) – The tragic endings of two Romeos

Jo In Sung as Jung Jae Min and So Ji Sub as Kang In Wook

Permission to swoon on Hwarang Flower Boys Granted



Because I remained faithful to the end, I decided to ruminate and write my thoughts about Hwarang before I fall asleep.

2017-01-17-07-15-51 picsart_01-17-04-28-44 picsart_01-17-04-30-11 picsart_01-18-06-47-59 picsart_01-18-06-53-22 hwarang-sp

KDramaland Weekly Round Up (Feb 3rd Week)


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.


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.


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


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.


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


Hwarang Episode 9 Recap

It’s a cold war between Ah Ro and Sun Woo.  Hwarang camp was busy preparing for their presentation as Princess Suk Myung joins them.
Hwarang Episode 9
Sun Woo confirms Ah Ro’s statement and reveals that he is her brother’s friend.  She demands to know where her real brother is, so he is left no choice but to break the reality that Mak Moon died.  Ah Ro weeps after learning the truth about her brother and urges Sun Woo to disclose the reason why he died.  He narrates how Mak Moon died in the process while saving him when they sneaked in the capital.  He adds that he will remain a brother to her to fulfill his friend’s wish.  
Ah Ro leaves with a heavy heart at the lie she just learned.  She did not notice Ji Dwi who is in motion to prank her.  He stops when he sees her crying face and follows her as she walks to nowhere.   She remembers the moments she had with her fake brother and sobs while Ji Dwi watches her from afar.  Sun Woo on the other hand is burning his frustration by wielding a wooden sword with all his might to its target until his palm bursts with blood.
Pa Oh covers Ji Dwi’s stead by laying on his bed and posting a do-not-disturb banner which in Soo Ho’s dictionary does not exist.  He sits beside the bed and voices out how everyone feels strange since their illegal night out and touches his head which still cannot remember what happened.  He turns to warn him not to be sick if he is sick as the presentation for the Queen is nearing.  He stands up after playfully hitting his head with his fingers and steps out of the room.  Pa Oh is flustered on Soo Ho’s actions thinking how the King cannot be treated like that by anybody.
Ji Dwi cannot wait for Ah Ro’s tears to subside so he goes to her with some silver to put a stop to her tears, but she ignores him.  He asks her if she needs a hug or if she wants him to kill the person who made her cry like that.  
He coaxes her to spill if someone is bothering her in the capital so he can get back at them and offers a series of torture from cutting out their joints, pulling out their tongues, death from water deprivation and solar exhaustion because he hated the sight of her crying like that.  Ji Dwi demands to say who hurt her so she responds by saying nobody is at fault and she is crying because of an emotional ride she had recently.  She moves while crying again intil she reaches their house with Ji Dwi still following her.  He vows to make her his as she enters their house and goes back to the camp.  Ah Ro stares at her father’s back and wonders why he decided to let Sun Woo live her dead brother’s life and if there are things he is still hiding from her.
Ji Dwi climbs the camp wall and is greeted by Sun Woo who inquires if Ah Ro is okay.  Ji Dwi figures what happened and smirks on how he is too old to make his sister cry.  He scolds him on hurting and confusing Ah Ro, but the worried Sun Woo does not want to listen to his preaching and insists on an answer to his question.
Sun Woo and Ah Ro brood on the emotional encounter they had at night but on different places.  Ji Dwi joins the pondering party while staring at Ah Ro’s drawing and whispers why she cannot look at him.
Queen Ji So recollects her last debate with Master Wi on the purpose of Hwarang as she claims the group belongs to the King and Royal Family, but the Master reiterated that the boys are meant to protect the people of Silla.  She asks her loyal retainer on his opinion about Master Wi, and he respond that Master Wi is the only person capable of leading Hwarang but cautions her not to trust him fully.  The Queen retorts that she will make Master Wi trustworthy.
The Silla Princess arrives from a trip to recuperate from a medical condition and is welcomed by Queen Ji So.  The Queen orders Master Wi to involve Princess Suk Myung in Hwarang as she is skillful in dance and music, but Master Wi politely declines.  He questions her if she is making a deal in bringing up Ji Dwi citing his unknown history that might endanger the country if by any chance he is a spy.  Master Wi relents on allowing Princess Suk Myung at Hwarang’s house when the Queen threatens to torture Ji Dwi to retrieve his mysterious story.
Ah Ro still lingers on Sun Woo’s last words to treat each other as siblings since it is her dead brother’s wish.  She serves a cup of tea to Master Wi who notices her disoriented self.  Ah Ro suddenly softly asks him if Sun Woo is a good Hwarang member and if he is trustworthy.  Master Wi remains silent wondering where her questions came as she picks up the teacup and leaves him alone.  Meanwhile Sun Woo mirrors Ah Ro’s mood and heads to the stream for a deep contemplation.  dear drama, if I get a few more frames of this Ah Ro-Sun Woo falling out.  I will pout.
Ji Dwi shows his face when Ah Ro pulls the cloth she is drying up under the sun.  He says how she looks like she was expecting Sun Woo when it turned out to be him.  She shoos him away and stops him from annoying her.  He retorts how annoying people is not in his cup of tea as people are typically uncomfortable in his presence.  When she ignores his mumbling, he pulls the cloth she is holding and she bravely meets his gaze to ask if he will kiss her again.  She tells him to stop when he replies that he might do it.  
He whispers how his heart is racing at their current closeness is and is screaming that he likes her a lot, and yet it does not affect her at all.  Ah Ro responds if her brother is okay and if he is eating well.  She continues what she was doing as Ji Dwi follows her and covers the rays of the sun touching her face.  He says how he will not feel jealous and will work hard so that they can become more closer.  Ah Ro lifts his face and finds Sun Woo staring at them.  He walks away leaving Ah Ro in the brink of tears again.
Princess Suk Myung arrives at the camp and is greeted by Master Wi.  She states she will tour the place alone and goes inside.  Han Sung is amazed seeing the cold princess as Yoo Wool explains that she is at Hwarang camp for marriage.  Ban Ryu comments that she is not her type as Ji Dwi wonders why his half-sister is in the training ground.
Sun Woo’s lone time is interrupted as Suk Myung arrives at the stream to rest.  She dozes off and wakes up to Sun Woo’s steps who shoves away the snake near Suk Myung.  She points her sword at him when he stops her from killing the poisonous snake.  He remarks that it is not the snake’s fault that he is born with a poison and walks away.  
Sun Woo helps Ah Ro with what she is carrying and settles to where it should be placed.  Ah Ro voices out her thoughts of not accepting him as her brother and he replies that it does not change anything as he will live as her brother.  She blurts about all the lies he tolds her as he mutters all the stories his best friend narrated to him over and over again when he was still alive.  She asks him to leave and not to show his face again when he refused to give his name.  
Suk Myung reviews her day and remembers her encounter with Sun Woo as she prepares to rest.  Ban Ryu is also in deep thought on the request his father made for him to ruin the event.
Master Woo Reuk gives them dancing lessons the next day and warms up their bodies with stretching exercises where dorks Yoo Wol and Han Sung made me laugh hard with how cute they were screaming and smiling in pain in pulling out their muscles.  Soo Ho who is still not aware of Ban Ryu’s secret pulls up his ligaments as much as he could just as Ji Dwi takes on his revenge on Sun Woo for making Ah Ro cries.
Yoo Wol questions Han Sung who eats on their table uncaringly again and he replies that Master Wi Hwa gave him permission.  Yoo Wol moves his eyes to Ban Ryu and praises his dancing but he got a shut up and eat response.  Soo Ho takes a rice cup serving and puts it on Ji Dwi’s place muttering how he should eat well so he won’t get sick.  Ji Dwi rides on Soo Ho’s act remembering how Pa Oh laid on his behalf when he sneaked out.  Soo Ho states how they must do well on their performance and how he will be at his best to show his loyalty but Yoo Wool knows it’s because he fancies the Queen.
Masters Wi Hwa and Woo Reuk give a pep talk to the boys to fire up the capital with dance and music as the presentation is nearing.  He tells them that whether they pass or fail depends on how the people will rave about their prepared spectacle.  Soo Ho noticed Ban Ryu is missing and wonders where he is.  The latter is still in a dilemma pit on wanting to do the dance and following his father’s order.
Ah Ro disrupts Ban Ryu’s solitude and inquires him if his feelings for Soo Yeon is real.  She holds Soo Yeon’s letter and threatens him that she will tear the letter if he is not sincere about her.  And we see Ban-Romeo smiling while reading Soo Yeon’s letter.
“I can’t wait for another day so I am writing this letter.  Tomorrow I will be at the front row to watch you dance.  Do not think to much and I cannot wait to see your performance.  I will always be here to cheer you up.”
At night, Master Wi Hwa looks pleased at the rehearsal, but his smile fades when Suk Myung invades them.  She shows off her sword dancing skills and reminds the boys not to commit any mistake on their introductory performance.
The Thanksgiving Festival finally arrives and the capital buzzes in excitement as the people prep up to join the event.  Master Ho helps out Master Young Shil dress up as they chat about the evil plan they set in motion.
Ji Dwi visits the still gloomy Ah Ro and he tells her that he misses her that is why he is there.  She utters how he must be sleeping well these days for him to annoy her that much.  He jokes that if he does not sleep well will she be willing to sleep with him again.  His smile lapses when Ah Ro pulls her needle and shuts him up by saying her needle moves faster than her will. Ha! She hints how she is not sure about attending the event, but he insists on her attendance as he will dance for her since Hwarang will dance for the people and she is the only “people” he knows.
Ah Ro bumps with Sun Woo and tells him that she decided to agree with his request only because peasants are not supposed to be in the capital.   Sun Woo stops her from leaving and touches her hair.  She deflects his hand and murmurs why he was touching him when he is not her brother and a nobody.
Master Ahn Ji checks on Queen Ji So’s condition and advises her to stay away from the people and stay at a comfortable place as much as possible.  Her tea was served, but she refuses to drink it for that day.  She inquires about his response to get back with her, but he replies to dress warmly since it is cold at night and leaves her room.
Hwarang members prepare for the night as Ban Ryu still ponders on his predicament.  Sun Woo notices his weird expression and watches him leave the camp.  Yoo Wol brings in Ah Ro when he finds her near the camp and brings her inside to help out the boys.  Ji Dwi steps out and Sun Woo follows to look for Ban Ryu who is ready to strike the instruments with his knife.
The festivities commence as Hwarang Masters are pleased seeing the boys so handsome in their dancing clothes.  Yoo Wol raises his hand and reveals that Ji Dwi and Ban Ryu are missing.  Han Sung tries to look for them at Ah Ro’s tent and tells her that they will fail if the two of them will not show up.
Ah Ro helps out in finding the two missing boys and sees Ji Dwi inside a tent talking to the Queen.  omo!  She realized what she accidentally bumped into as the Queen’s warrior knocks her out and drags her somewhere.
Master Ho confirms that the instruments are already destroyed as two Hwarang members walk in the tent feeling lost on what they will do.
Unconscious Ah Ro is presented to the Queen and her warrior confirms her knowledge of the identity of the King after hearing their conversation.  She realizes that she is Master Ahn Ji’s daughter.  Queen Ji So grabs a sword and points it to Ah Ro’s sleeping face.
Please tell me this Queen will not kill all the children of the man she claims she loves.  hahaha  Waaaa I can’t wait to end this recap and jump to the next episode to see what will happen.  Although we get a lot of Ah Ro – Sun Woo unnecessary moments this episode, I am piqued on what will happen to Hwarang’s production number and how Ji Dwi will step in to protect the woman he loves.  Hwarang is so far delivering well with its pacing, storyline and the melting of the cast to bring out a vibrant story of brotherhood and love without diminishing the historical ambiance.  That is where “Hwarang” draws its hook effect for me.  I could just stay and watch these boys train in long hours and I know I will not be disappointed.  

Hwarang Episode 8 Recap

Hwarang boys prepared for their music and dance presentation.  The aftermath of their night out yielded a blooming romance from Silla’s famous opposing families as Ah Ro’s suspicion on Sun Woo kept bothering her.
Sun Woo averts Ah Ro’s eyes when she discloses that their mother was mute.  Ah Ro cushions the situation by stating how he must have forgotten about it considering it happened for such a long time and even her knows it only because of their father’s stories.  She pushes him to go back to the camp and walks away in that awkward moment.
Pa Oh nags on how the other young masters are still not in the meeting place.  He expresses his distaste on the thought of the King sharing a room with the rowdy boys when he is of different level.  Ji Dwi replies he is nothing since he has not proven anything yet, ergo he does not have any level to boot.  But his warrior goes on his loyalty speech that even the stars and the moon know that he is the King of Silla.
Ji Dwi mutters how he must write down the names of his roommates since they have mistreated him a lot.  He mentions the punishments in store for the young masters from breaking limbs to boiling them in the water and made sure Pa Oh carries on his wishes.  The servant agrees as Ji Dwi beams jokingly. 
They sense someone approaching and Sun Woo heads to their direction so Pa Oh climbs the wall to escape.  Ji Dwi whines on why he came in late and how he is not the kind of person that waits but the latter remains stoic to his griping.  Sun Woo mumbles if it is possible to forget the childhood memories of one’s own mother which made Ji Dwi caught of guard having had a mostly sour memories with his Queen Mother.  He responds how he wishes to forget the memories of his mother as much as he can.  The rest of the boys arrive with Ban Ryu carrying Soo Ho on his back.  Yoo Wol encloses the two in his arms urging them to proceed first as they wonder what happened between the two enemies.  
Just as they thought that the coast is clear, the resident burly guard greets them in the gate and we see the boys in the morning exhausted in carrying Master Wi again while they hike the mountain.  He remarks how at their slow rate, they won’t finish 100 lapses and jokes on how they have gotten close to conspire breaking the Hwarang house rule.  Ban Ryu blames Yoo Wol on the promise of the strong whine he boasted, but Yoo Wol counter-attacts that the delay of going back was their fault.  
Soo Ho murmurs how he cannot remember what happened the night before and Ban Ryu misleads his thoughts for him not to retrieve his memory.  The good Hwarangs sit and talk about the dying fate of the mischievous roommates in completing their punishment as Han Sung comments on the grapevine gossip of Ban Ryu’s sexual harrassment to Soo Ho’s sister which the rest of the boys are not aware of.
Indeed the wine was so strong that the aftermath leads to Master Wi showering the Hwarang boys with his awful vomit.
 They shower together to no avail because the smell won’t go away.  Ji Dwi speaks about how they deserve to die in letting him experience that ridiculous thing for the first time.  Soo Ho still lingers on his lost memories as Yoo Wol coughs and gives a knowing look to Ban Ryu.
After bathing, Ji Dwi picks up his bracelet that Sun Woo kept in his possession and mutters how the bracelet looks unique and if it has a meaning.  Sun Woo replies that it does not belong to him and refuse to give it to Ji Dwi when he asks if he can have it.  Sun Woo asks him if he meant it when he said that he likes Ah Ro and he throws back the question on his opinion if he really does.
Soo Yeon feels the eyes of the people on her and hears their opinions on the upcoming fight between the young masters because of Ban Ryu.  She feels guilty and flees the scene.  She seeks store owner Joo Gi’s presence and hands him a letter to give to Ban Ryu.  She begs him to make sure it will be delivered as it will save Ban Ryu’s life.
Meanwhile, Ban Ryu hands Soo Ho a towel and when some of the boys walk in the locker room, they speed right away thinking the two might end up in a brawl.  Soo Ho is baffled on what just happened and curses on how he became sensitive due to his lost memory.  Ban Ryu suddenly tells him to remember that everything is a misunderstanding confusing Soo Ho even more.
Joo Gi gives Soo Yeon’s letter and reads it on the spot.  She wrote her formal apology and gave him a tip on how to survive her brother’s wrath which is to survive if he can until she can explain it in person upon his return.
Sun Woo finds Ah Ro in a pensive mood washing some clothes in the stream.  She replies how she has a lot to wash so he takes it away and proceeds on cleaning it.  She tells him how it is normal for a child who got lost to lose his memory so he must not dwell on not remembering that their mother did not speak when she was alive. Her understanding warms his heart so in return he playfully splashes the water in her direction and she returns the favor which made him smile.  He pats her head and reminds her to be safe while going home.
Soo Yeon blocks the path of the still ruminating Ah Ro and interrogates if a murder case happened at the camp already.  She replies that her brother has not killed Ban Ryu yet.  They head to drink some wine where they reminisce on how they became close because no one wanted to play with them when they were young.
Ah Ro gloomily utters how she likes her brother so much.  Soo Yeon who harbors a girl crush on her brother casually declares she likes Sun Woo as well.  But then Ah Ro becomes serious and tearfully holds her necklace whispering how she wants her to be her brother and not to be her brother at the same time.
Queen Ji So contemplates on her recent conversation with her son.  She almost fainted and orders Master Ahn Ji to check her condition.  Master Ahn Ji is forcedly summoned due to the Queen’s order.  He feels the weakening condition of the Queen probably due to poisoning, but advises her that she needs to find peace to restore her energy.  
She validates if there is really nothing wrong with her so he directs her to call for the royal physician, but she whispers how she cannot trust anyone in Wolseong palace aside from him and how she has been wanting to go back to those times she had with him in the past.
QUEEN JI SO:  I keep thinking about the past.  When I had no doubt of marrying you.  We ran in the fields like children in a clear blue sky.  I could see only my reflection in your eyes.  Do you still hate me that much?   If I still want you, would you come back to me?
The evil old masters meet Joo Gi to interview him about Sun Woo so he tells them how is a wild and strange, and far different from the other boys in the camp, confirming Master Young’s assessment that he is nothing like his father.
Ji Dwi surprises Ah Ro and puts a case with acupuncture needles on her palm.  He shows a James Dean smile and retorts how she has to find out the reason why he gave it to her.  She mumbles how he must want free treatment from her and was surprised when she checked on the pretty golden needles.
King Charming Ji Dwi did not stop from his i-like-you dowry with the pricey needles as he ordered Pa Oh to decorate the clinic luxuriously like a princess’ room.  Joo Gi made her understand how someone is trying to win her over.  She growls like a beast Joo Gi tells her the possible cost of the decorated room and grumbles on how that lunatic should have given the money to her than spending it like that.
Her angry scream alarms the eavesdropping Ji Dwi and Pa Oh.  Ji Dwi gripes on his failed idea to please a woman, but the latter responds how the woman must have a weird taste to not like it.  Ah Ro appears behind their backs scaring Pa Oh who left them quickly.
Ah Ro demands the reason why he did such a useless thing, and he responds how spending gold deems not fit for her harsh words.  She castigates him for not using the gold for donation to feed the starving children and asks him what crazy thing he is doing.  He replies how he wanted to do it for her, and even if those are useless, he wanted to give him those pretty and nice things.  Ah Ro still not understanding the boy standing infront of her likes her, asks him why he did it so he complain on how she is really not smart.  He tells her again that she likes her and it is her call whatever she wants to do with his gifts.  
It’s fighting lesson with Hwarang’s resident warrior-teacher and most of the boys barely manage to block his attacks.  Soo Ho rises up to live up to the expectation as the best fighter in the capital but fails to defeat him as well.  Ji Dwi comes in next and he surprises the techer warrior and the class with his impressive sword wielding skills.
The government officials are at their usual spat on their coccus for the preparation of Thanksgiving Festival.  Master Wi cuts them up and chastises them on how instead of supporting the lacking Royal Family they initiate additional trouble for the country.  He then proposes a special performance of Hwarang on the day of the festival.
Master Wi explains to Queen Ji So that Hwarang’s performance will announce to the whole country that the boys belong to her since the focus of the festivity is the Royal Family. 
Master Young and Master Ho brood over how to stop the intention of the Queen and Master Wi.  They barge at the Hwarang camp and Master Young calls in Sun Woo for a private conversation.  Master Ho tells Ban Ryu not to worry as everything they are doing is for his own good.
 Master Young throws a bait when Sun Woo decides to end their talk by mentioning Mak Moon’s death.  He hints him on how his death came to be because he saw the King which brings back flashes of memory from the night his friend died.  Master Young inquires if he can be of help since he and even his own father hold a grudge to the Queen, but Sun Woo replies that he knows nothing about the King’s face.
Sun Woo meanders on his thoughts as he peers on the King’s bracelet and vows to his friend that if he died because of that reason, he will not forgive the King, and he will make him pay back for it.  His reflection was interrupted by the very secret King he is thinking of, as Ji Dwi wonders why the Prime Minister sought him.  He ignores his presence and walks away from him.
The sound of drums reverberates in the camp the next day waking up the boys from their sleep.  Sun Woo recognizes the familiar drum beat and he confirms that it is his foster father who was making the noise when they enter the study hall.
Master Wi announces their upcoming presentation on the Thanksgiving Festival.  Ban Ryu disagrees immediately at the thought of performing dance to the Queen, but Master Wi corrects him that they will perform for the people and not for the royal family.  Master Wi stamps the plan by declaring it as the second assignment.  He formally introduces Master Woo Reuk who will teach them music and dancing and tells them that they should feel honored to learn from him.
Han Sung narrates that Master Woo Reuk is the Master of Instruments as there is no instument that he cannot play.  Sun Woo chats with his foster father to explain what just happened and he replies that he won’t live like a peasant anymore.  He tells him that he met Master Wi since they both like music.  He wishes him luck on the second assignment.
Off Master Woo Reuk in showing the boys his mesmerizing music as he teaches them what feelimg the rhythm is about.  The boys stand up to display their skills and only Sun Woo seem to need a lot of dance practicing as Ban Ryu messes up his drums exhibition.  
Master Wi hears the news of the cozy clinic and sits down for a tea with Ah Ro.   He reveals to her that the Music Master raised her brother.  The five roommates and Han Sung are selected for the special dance, but Sun Woo seems to be having problems following the steps.   
Pa Oh covers on Ji Dwi’s laundry as he practices the dance routine.  He tells him that he is afraid that he might end up the worst dancing King in the history.  Ji Dwi refuses to believe his opinion claiming he is handsome and dances well so he will become the best King in the history.  Ji Dwi teases his warrior that he seems to be that type that women like that is why he is still a bachelor, but he refutes that his loyalty to serve him inhibits him to wed.
Ah Ro chuckles at her brother’s stiff body practicing the dance routine and murmurs if he is a piece of wood.  She reminds him that he must complete the second assignment and takes away his stick to demostrate how it should be done but her stiff body does not help him at all.  He smiles at her persistence and Ah Ro beams seeing his happy face.
Ah Ro leaves the camp but Joo Gi’s recent comment about Sun Woo mentioning that his friend owns the necklace and Sun Woo not remembering that their mother is mute bothers her.
 Master Woo Reuk and the boys assigned for playing the instruments are still on practice leaving the rest of the boys unable tolerate the noise.  Soo Ho comments on how Ban Ryu dislikes the event but his effort is clearly showing.  He jokes that at least he is a lot better than Sun Woo.
Han Sung opens their door and squeezes in to Yoo Wol’s spot but changes his mind when he touches his face.  He moves to Sun Woo and begs him to sleep beside him as he is the most normal among the guys in the room.
The boys carry on perfecting the sword dance the next day and they have subconsciously keep to the rhythm while studying and even bathing.  Joo Gi grabs Ban Ryu and delivers two letters for him.  He reads first Soo Yeon’s letter and she wrote about her intention to clear what happened between them to Soo Ho on Thanksgiving festival.  
She also requested to meet him to apologize in person and encouraged him to hang on in keeping himself alive.  She ended her letter by telling him how she looks forward seeing him in Hwarang’s special dance production.  Ban Ryu who has not realized yet that he is having a girl crush ala romeo-and-juliet beams like an idiot only to find out that his adopted father’s letter has tasked him to not attend the festival.
Ah Ro interrupts Master Woo Reuk’s reverie which surprises the latter.  She introduces herself and thanks the Music Master for raising her brother.  Ah Ro brews some calming tea for Master Woo Reuk and they converse about Sun Woo.  She speaks about how she wants to ask a question to the person who raised her brother if ever she meets him.  She looks in his eyes and silently whispers if her brother missed her when he was away from her.
Sun Woo sees a chrysanthemum field and remembers the tea Ah Ro gave him before.  He picks some flowers and make a bouquet and heads to meet her.  They meet at a hallway and he gives him the bouquet.  She peers at the flowers as tears well in her eyes.  She tells him how she is happy that he is her brother, when he is really not.  The flowers fall on the ground as Ah Ro looks in Sun Woo’s eyes and asks him to reveal his true identity.
Hwarang Episode 8 Quick Thoughts
 Waaaa!  How can you not love these boys?  The development of the supporting cast’ stories are so far as entertaining as the main plot.  I like how even with the historical premise, Hwarang is oozing with modern vibe.  I can’t wait to see the sword dance.  I bet that would slay even the kpop idol dance these days.  The BanRyu-SooYeon blooming love looks cute and promising.  I would gladly give Ah Ro to Sun Woo so I can take the King.  *chuckles
Hwarang Episode 7
Hwarang Episode 6
Hwarang Episode 5
Hwarang Episode 4
Hwarang Episode 3
Hwarang Episode 2
Hwarang Episode 1

Hwarang Episode 7 Recap

The result of assignment was not a positive one for the class.  Ah Ro started working in the camp and Ji Dwi revealed his growing fondness towards her.  The boys sneaked out of the camp after intoxicating the masters.  Ban Ryu and Soo Ho’s sister had an eventful encounter.
Hwarang Episode 7
Ji Dwi halts his kiss momentarily and goes in for a second serving but Ah Ro senses her brother is coming so she orders him not to make any sound.  Sun Woo enters the room and when Ah Ro thought he already left she rushes to go the physician’s room.  Sun Woo who is still there meets Ji Dwi and asks what he did to Ah Ro.  He warns him  not to talk or go near his sister but Ji Dwi responds that he cannot do those things and confesses that he likes Ah Ro.
Sun Woo heads to where Ah Ro is who is sweating from the run she made and tries to explain herself, but Sun Woo cuts her thoughts and informs her that they will rest that night.  He tells her to give him time to acquaint himself as everything is still new to him and promises her that he will become a good brother to her soon.
Joo Ki walks Ah Ro home as per Sun Woo’s request.  He innocently asks if Sun Woo is her brother as he remembers how Sun Woo/Moo Jeong told him that the necklace belonged to his friend.  
Sun Woo goes for some pondering but walks near a pond where Master Wi is also enjoying a quiet fishing night.  He reminds him of how he should be with his roommates but he shuts him up with his reason of wanting to clear his mind.  Master Wi smirks and tells him how he likes him as a person because his burning rage binds him even when surrounded with a lot of enemies.  He adds how he is having a good time teaching him.
Master Wi gives Sun Woo’s punishment the next morning as he sits on a carriage anchored by the five roommates and hints on the wandering member last night who caused all of them that trouble.  Hwarang boys greets the morning on top of a mountain as they welcome the sun rising from the east with Master Wi’s lesson of how they must shove away prejudice and arrogance so they can be renewed and passionate each day.
The boys head to the nearby river for their laundry and as usual Ban Ryu’s temper over the group punishment received made him pass his laundry to Sun Woo.  Soo Ho heckles how Ban Ryu is a hopeless rude which I totally agree and asks him his reason on his late night wandering.  Sun Woo remembers Soo Ho having a sister and the latter gives a quick pep talk on how to treat a younger sister.  
He teaches him about how a sibling love can grow when you are tough at each other.  He adds how he should slave his sister when he gets home and asks her to do this and that.  Sun Woo questions if he really has a good relationship with his sister and Soo Ho replies how as brothers it is their responsibility to make their sisters stronger so that they can fend for themselves in this cruel world.  
Sun Woo did not waste any time and practices his lesson right away and locks Ah Ro with his arms and pats awkwardly her head when they bump to each other.
 Meanwhile Queen Ji So is bothered on seeing her son slept on a woman’s lap and heads to meet Master Ahn Ji for a treatment.  She faints on Master Ahn Ji’s arms and the latter struggles if he will kill her with that opportunity.  Master Ahn Ji stops his thoughts just as Queen Ji So gains consciousness.  He puts on a needle on her wrist to calm her down and the Queen remembers the moment when she begs him to elope with her but he denied her request since he married their family’s servant after she decided to leave him.  Master Ahn Ji motions to leave but stops when Queen Ji So mutters how his daughter works at Hwarang house and resembles her mother a lot.  He asks her how she feels controlling his life like that and she responds how she cannot control everything.  He walks away with the promise that he will take something from her someday. 
Ji Dwi pays Ah Ro a visit to check if she slept well because he was not able to.  She asks his business in the physician’s room and he replies straight that it is because of the kiss they shared last night.  *swoons aigoo this guy is really cute  
Ah Ro urges him to apologize for kissing her without her permission and will let go of his childish act but he refuses to apologize.
Annoyed after hearing her request to forget everything that happened, he inches closer to her and did not listen to her warning of using her accupuncture skills on him.  She sneaks in the needle rendering his movement and gives an ultimatum to stop bothering her or she will really put a needle to disable his manliness next time.
The boys talk about the assignment given to them as Yeo Wool jokes on how Sun Woo’s studying spree will not help him survive anyway.  He shuts him up to mind his business as Soo Ho calls Ban Ryu a pine tree for being always rude.
It’s exam day for the Hwarang boys discussing the King as a water in Tao Te Ching principles.  They sure are all creative in their cheat notes that are strategically placed to their reach.  Yeo Wol and Han Sung worries about Sun Woo’s lack of knowledge and hopes for the best that he will not loose one of his three chances in surviving at the camp.
Master Wi checks on the answers for his assignment and only Ban Ryu gets the passing mark so far.  He calls in two boys who submitted a blank paper and an almost blank paper to explain their actions.  Ji Dwi and Sun Woo stand to give their comments.
Ji Dwi states how Lao Zi’s philosophy deviates from doing things by force while Sun Woo wants to express his thoughts by words.  The two expounds their rumination as the class listen to them.  
JI DWI: The law of Silla is the Bone-rank system.  The path of water.  The law is the path of water.  Hence it is the natural law defined by nature.  However there is not a path of water everywhere.  Some lands are dry while some are abundant in water.  Following the path that was formed by the flowing water, there is harmony and the power of nothingness that does not cause annoyance.  A King’s law and a King’s path are there.
Sun Woo breaks the silent applause from Ji Dwi’s introspection and starts his discourse.
SUN WOO:  A path of water makes water flow from highlands to lowlands.  Then where must something coming from lowlands finds its path?  A path on which low can become high, not only a path of water flowing from low to high but a path that is dry and desolate which you must carry water uphill just to wet it.  I could not find the answer in that Tao Te Ching.  No path started as a path.  Someone must walk on it for it to become a path.  You must pound and vreak the hard land and pierce through it for the water to flow out.  If the law is to ignore the dry land and that is the path of a King, that King must not become a King.
Master Wi quizzically beams at Sun Woo’s answer and proceeds in his deliberation of their answers while Ah Ro nervously awaits the result and seeks the comfort of picking sprouts leaves in calming her nerves. 
Master Wi prepares to declare the result and everyone fails but Ban Ryu. Then he goes to the last two boys who presented their homeworks through words. Ji Dwi passes and Master Wi remarks how he passed because he incorporated Tao Te ching but he did not like his answer.  He moves next to Sun Woo who unfortunately failed but he tells him his answer impressed him.  Master Wi adds salt to Sun Woo’s injury by reminding him how he has two left chances left and challenges him that he was right about his end game anyway. 
Master Wi ponders and utters Sun Woo’s answer while he patiently fishes and chuckles on the feisty argument of his student.  Ji Dwi walks in and questions why he failed Sun Woo.  Master Wi acknowledges his presence and inquires the progress of his plan to oust the Queen. He dodges the question by stating how Sun Woo’s views mirrors his distaste of the noble men and how he cares for the welfare of the people first.  Master Wi rebuts about what kind of King can understand the sentiments of the poor subjects and Ji Dwi replies how a King in hiding could.  
The Master smirks at his confidence on the faceless king and voices how it would be hard for the young King to face the evil government officials and might put Silla on trouble.  He adds how he created Hwarang to protect the future of Silla.  He lectures Ji Dwi to go back to him if he can find a way to protect Silla without the Queen.
Ah Ro finds the test papers being burned by the kitchen helper and rushes to see Master Wi who is on his way to pee.  She blocks his path and seeks understanding on how a blank paper passed when her brother’s paper with a bit of newly learned characters did not.  She gives him a warning of succumbing to government politics not realizing that the Master is on his brink of peeing on his pants which he eventually did.  *chuckles
Ah Ro also meets Ji Dwi and hands the money she owes.  She inquires why he asked her to tutor him when he has a great back up in the camp anyway.  She blames the time she spent with him should have been given to her brother to help him pass.  Ji Dwi teases her of how her thinking of him made him forget her brother and how those pleasant words made him feel good.  
Ah Ro straightens his line of thinking right away and explains that it is not about their kissing incident but how she pities him as he looks like the loneliest person in the world and how she can relate to it because she once felt that way too.  She turns her back but he whispers what he needs to do for her to see him.  Ah Ro faces him again as he mumbles how when he looks at her face he feels nothing and it is driving him mad. He forgets who he is and what he is bound to do because he only thinks of her.
Ban Ryu’s fathers wait in front of Hwarang camp and when the door opens, the resident beefy guard hands them a decline letter to meet Master Wi.  Master Ho laughs and proceeds to visit Master Ahn Ji and makes his move to lure him in joining hands to bring down the Queen.
Bothered by Ji Dwi’s sudden love declaration, she weighs in and enumerates his good points not realizing that her brother is trailing him.  He asks what occasion she is talking about on her monologue but she chooses not to elaborate.  He reminds her to stay safe going home and she tells him not to worry about the result of the exam.  He pats her head and turns his back but Ah Ro freezes his steps when she tells him that it is their mother’s death anniversary.  She assures him that she will take care of it.
Yeo Wool wonders on what happened on the sprouts they are eating but Han Sung responds that it tastes good like his mother’s cooking.  Yeo Wool asks why he sits on their table and he replies that he likes to be with them and it makes the table count even.  Ban Ryu of course picks on Sun Woo again and reminds him that he is only left with two chances.  Yeo Wool stands up for Sun Woo by muttering how everyone including him think dog-bird did the best answer in the test.  Sun Woo softly inquires if death anniversary celebration is important.  He reveals to them that it is his mother’s death anniversary and Han Sung urges him to go home since the schoolwork is done.
At their barracks, the boys cannot seem to sleep and conspire to sneak out of the camp.  Yeo Wool assured them that he already paved the way for their evil plan by offering the teachers a wine that will knock their souls out for good.  Ban Ryu refuses to join the plan but worries that squealing them will make him get the same punishment as theirs so all the boys climb on the wall and head to the town.  
Sun Woo joins his new family in remembering Ah Ro’s mother’s death anniversary.  Ji Dwi calls Pa Oh and they go to the palace and notifies the Queen to meet him.  She  meets his son who is sitting on his throne and dares him if he can already protect that seat.  He admits to his weakness but refuses to grant Queen Ji So’s wish for him to leave Hwarang.  He promises her that he will become stronger.
Soo Yeon sees her brother roaming around and wonders why he escaped the Hwarang camp.  She spots him and motions to play a trick for all those neck choke he gave her and surprises him by touching his bum only to realize that it is Ban Ryu’s bottom.  She screams as she clutches her body catching the attention of the public who thought Ban Ryu sexually harrassed her.  
Unfortunately Soo Ho is also there with Yeo Wool so he rushes to protect his sister who already slaps his enemy’s face and who seems to be on trance on what was happening.  He looks for something heavy to hit Ban Ryu but before he can act on it his sister knocks him down.  Soo Yeon touches Ban Ryu’s face and asks if he is okay and the latter can only stare at Soo Yeon’s pretty face.
Ah Ro reminisces on her mother and tells Sun Woo that it is actually her birthday that day but because they don’t know when she died, they commemorate her death anniversary on her birthday.  She speaks about how the wind and the chirping birds become her lullaby as she touches her hair and Sun Woo asks if their mother is a bad singer.  Ah Ro halts her steps and seriously gaze at him as she utters that their mother cannot sing because she was mute.  Ah Ro gives him a knowing look as Sun Woo stares back and is caught of guard on the situation.
Awww I look forward to a possible Romeo and Juliet love story of Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon and how Soo Ho will work on his impossible girl crush to the Queen.  That was one intense class discussion and Master Wi’s class is sure a fascinating watch.  The slowly building friendship is inevitable and I can’t wait to see how it will present itself when the main conflict surges.  I will officially finish this drama since it passed the first six episodes in flying colors.  ^_^

Hwarang Episode 6 Recap

Sun Woo almost got expelled because he gave in to Ban Ryu’s taunting.  Classes start and the boys were given their first assignment.  Ah Ro entered Hwarang camp as pseudo-physician and to tutor Sun Woo.
Episode 6 Recap
Soo Ho opens his eyes and screams seeing his nemesis’ face.  They get up and opens the day with their usual bickering, and Yeo Wool teasing them how they sweetly caressed each other all night did not help the two enemies.  Ban Ryu picks up the swords and passes one to Soo Ho for their morning sword fight exercise, but Sun Woo’s dice halts the looming quarrel just as Ji Dwi whines on not getting proper sleep because of them.
 Ban Ryu rushes to attack Ji Dwi but Sun Woo stops him and the Hwarang eavesdroppers discuss on the possible future troubles in Hwarang camp  due to the five rascals belonging in the same room.  Ban Ryu spills his dislike about sharing a space with a half-breed and reiterates that his connection with the Queen does not mean he is one of them.  Sun Woo musters his strength not to throw a punch at him and rebuts how Ban Ryu has not done anything on his own so he is worse than a rotting water in a ditch.  Ban Ryu pushes Sun Woo and grabs a sword out of rage but Soo Hoo stops him and they end up in a brawl.  A beefy man makes his presence known to subdue the warring young masters and easily break the bones of the leaders’ friends when they attempt to free the two.
The flower boys first breakfast mostly reminds them of the responsibility as a Hwarang.  Assistant Hwarang Chief informs them that bone rank system will not be followed in the camp hence servants will also not be allowed so they will do the Hwarang house chores.  And we see the boys exerting their frustrations on the clothes they are washing while finding opportunity to annoy each other as Ji Dwi throws up in cleaning the stable and feeding the horses.  They were instructed to eat, bathe and sleep with the boys in their assigned room.  
Ji Dwi’s warrior questions the King for hanging the clothes but he explains that it is his turn to do the task and boasts that he seems good at it.  Pa Oh quips that he also has a talent to reduce his life.  Ji Dwi checks on his assignment to stalk his medicine (Ah Ro) and Pa Oh complains how he still has time to worry about a woman.
Soo Yeon visits Ah Ro who just gave a free accupuncture treatment to a patient and asks about news regarding her handsome brother.  Ah Ro responds sullenly that she does not have any news about him and regrets not giving him something she should have given.  The cook at Hwarang’s kitchen loses patience  and slams his big knife as Joo Ki tastes the food prepared and orders to repeat it.  When asked who he was, he introduces himself as the Chief Instructor’s friend.
At the dining hall, the boys resume their rumpus.  Ban Ryu huffs at Sun Woo being mindless eating on the same table with the true bone young masters, but Sun Woo chews his food nonchalantly and replies how Ban Ryu must have gone crazy after being beaten up by a peasant.  Ban Ryu notches up the fury by bringing up Ah Ro and implying her steamy and skillful storytelling skills.  He adds how on their Hwarang break they can go to Okta together to listen to her story and much better if they can play with her.  Sun Woo holds in his temper and walks away from the scene.  
Joo Ki warns Master Wi of an imminent big fight that he sensed from the boys, but the Master smirks that since they are all fighters that’s expected to happen.  True to Joo Ki’s prophecy, Ban Ryu pushes the flame from earlier and urges him to start a fight, but Sun Woo maintains his cool head not wanting to induce a trouble.  Ban Ryu answers him why he is picking on him and tells him of three reasons — that he is the Queen’s Hwarang, that he can’t fight with other masters because of their families and because Ah Ro is pretty enough to be his concubine.  
Sun Woo had enough and flares up on Ban Ryu’s crude attitude and throws a punch.  Soo Ho gives Ban Ryu another one as Ji Dwi and the rest of the boys ramble in the study hall.  Master Wi halts the ruckus and meets the boys for some scolding.  He asks for the one responsible for breaking the Hwarang rule and Sun Woo comes clean with it.
Ah Ro opens up her feelings of how being with Sun Woo makes her feel safe and happy and laments on how she feels empty when he can’t see him.  Soo Yeon chides on the weird things her friend just muttered and lectures how families are not supposed to cause heart pain but headaches since its what it did to her having a brother who dates almost all the women in the capital leaving her with no friends except for her.  Ah Ro dismisses Soo Yeon’s analysis that she is in love because Sun Woo is her brother.  Their conversation was interrupted by the hurrying Joo Ki who takes her at Hwarang camp to nurse the wounded boys.  Since the brawl needs to be hidden from their families, they cannot summon a regular doctor so Ah Ro can do the quick fixes.
The boys voice out their opinions on what will happen to Sun Woo and which sides they are on while Soo Ho confronts Ban Ryu to admit to his earlier tauntings, but the latter remains unaffected of his unfair attack.  Soo Ho quips how Sun Woo’s words about him being a sewer indeed is true but Ban Ryu shrugs and respond how the world wll never change as the strong dominates the weak.  Soo Ho counteracts and utters how it is baffling him why he joined Hwarang and ask if something significant happened to him.  Ban Ryu recalls the event with his two fathers and gets furious at the thought of it.  He walks away without asking Soo Ho another body bout if he wants to.
Han Sung comes next for his treatment and pretends he is older in front of Ah Ro.  She tells her to chew on some root as his wound needs to be stitched.  He confirms that she is Master Ahn Ji’s daughter and puzzles her by saying she is the most famous half-breed at the moment in Hwarang.
Sun Woo gets locked up at a room for his misdeed as Master Wi says he needs some thinking.  
SUNWOO:  I have a question.  If I held it in, avoided it and did nothing, would I have not ended up here?
MASTER WI:  Do you regret it now?
SUNWOO:  Not regret.  I just have a thought if being timid, hesitant and weak is the Hwarang that you desire.
Master Wi challenges him if he will do it if that’s really what he wants and Sun Woo responds that he will not do such thing.  He tells him how there will be no right or wrong for him and no walls he will not be willing to break down if it is what he has to do to protect the sick, the weak and the pretty.  Master Wi grins and sneers at Sun Woo’s litany and steps out to give him some thinking.
Ji Dwi rushes to see Ah Ro when he learns she was there and pouts when she immediately asks for her brother.  She complains on who initiated the trouble and he directs her to follow him as her presence is not welcomed at that moment in that place.
He brings her to a pavilion and asks if he can sleep with her for 30 minutes which flustered her.  He teases how he will not do anything in broad daylight with her and how she should not be coy anymore since they already literally slept together.  Ah Ro motions to leave but he bargains for 15 minutes.  
She agrees and let him sleep on her back and he softly speaks how she is his medicine and how she is the best sleeping tonic for him.  She demands him to reveal where her brother is but Ji Dwi snores his reply as he dozed off already.
Soo Ho sees the Queen’s entourage entered the camo and he leads them to where Master Wi’s office is.  He wakes himself up when he was put on trance at the sight of queen.  Master Wi pours some tea for the Queen and praises Assistant Chief for doing his job and squealing right away to Queen Ji So matters that involve Hwarang.  
He assures her that there is nothing to worry about and asks if she came suddenly because of her Hwarang or his Hwarang.  The Queen is caught off guard as Master Wi chuckles and narrates how he is a distant uncle of Ji Dwi who came from the West.  He asks her why she made Master Ahn Ji’s son as her Hwarang and she responds that she is her son since she was once betrothed to Master Ahn Ji, she treats him as her own.  
Queen Ji So visit Sun Woo once she learned of the ruckus he caused and castigates him of being in that position.  Sun Woo retorts how he was curious why she sent him to that place and now he is beginning to understand her intention to send him in a place where he can be brutally torn apart as a prey.  Queen Ji So reminds him why he must endure the place to pay for his crime because if he cannot endure, his father or sister will pay it instead.
Ah Ro alerts Ji Dwi that he seemed to be oversleeping already.  He finally wakes up and notices the Queen’s eyes gazing at them.  He tells Ah Ro where to find Sun Woo and discloses how all the wounds she treated was caused by her brother.  
Ah Ro seeks Sun Woo who was surprised to see her and orders her to leave that place immediately.  But Ah Ro refuses telling him that all she can see at the moment is his wounded face and it’s giving her pain.  She voices out how she does not know how he lived in the past but since he lives with them now, she cannot stop him from treating his wounds.  
Sun Woo lets her cure his wound and complains a little making Ah Ro explain that the medicine tends to hurt if the person is bad.  Sun Woo laughs a little and Ah Ro smiles bright and tells him how she likes seeing him beams like that because he rarely does it but he is cute when he does.
 Sun Woo picks up the small ointment jar Ah Ro left for him and remembers her words earlier on how he has been living without them for 10 years but she feels like missing and worrying about him more when he was just out for days.

In the morning Queen Ji So meets Master Wi and orders him to release her Hwarang, but the latter objects on how he though he has the full control of the Hwarang army.  The Queen assures him that he has the full authority but if his decisions may lead to problems leading the future army they are building, she will have to step in.

Master Wi chuckles at his morning conversation with the Queen and bumps with Master Ho and the rest of the government officials.  He invites him for a drink which Master Wi playfully answers yes if it will happen 30 years starting the next day.
Master Wi proceeds to meet Sun Woo and brings him news that he will not be expelled right away, but he is planning to do it slowly with the upcoming task set for them.  He tells him he has to pass an upcoming exam they will have which will be hard given his almost zero knowledge and offers that he can voluntarily leave or stay.  Sun Woo meets his eyes and bravely decides he will stay.
Off we go to our first Hwarang class where Master Wi asks them the meaning of water.  Soo Ho answers that water is strong since it can defeat fire but Ban Ryu counters hownit is weak since it avoids obstacles.  Ji Dwi recites how water is good since it embraces all creations and revives seeds to life.  It is humble and flows and does not try to become strong.  Satisfied with the answers, Master Wi calls Sun Woo for his opinion and he responds that water is tired because it gives endlessly to the fish and to gold until the ground dries up because there is nothing more to give.  Master Wi smirks at Sun Woo’s surprisingly intuitive answer and pulls another character in the class.  
The boys stare in front as Master Wi gives them an assignment to fathom the meaning of the King as a water in Tao Te Ching premise.  Everyone sighs at the impending homework but clueless Sun Woo wonders why everyone is worried.  *my gawd I like class lessons like this I hope we wi have lots of it
Ah Ro fusses about the assignment given by Master Wi and whines to Joo Ki how his brother thinks there are only 200 characters in the world.  Sun Woo’s foster father approaches Master Ahn Ji for a quick chat.  He questions why he allowed Sun Woo to become a Hwarang.  Master Ahn Ji replies how fate brought them together but foster father insisted on how he is using Sun Woo for his revenge.  He tells him that Sun Woo is not someone who should be let out in the world and how he unlocked his fate because of his selfish reasons.  Foster father leaves without revealing Sun Woo’s identity which suspends Master Ahn Ji in contemplation.
At night, Sun Woo tries to study the letters in front of him to no avail.  Ah Ro was again summoned at Hwarang to treat the cook’s hand and when Joo Ki asked her if she already informed her brother of her regular stay at Hwarang, she nervously replied no.
In the morning, Sun Woo is puzzled on the many eyes he felt staring at him.  He opens a door and Ah Ro closes it right away after recognizing her brother.  She walks to the other side of the room where Sun Woo is waiting to ask if he is hallucinating.  Ah Ro confirms that he is and that she is a ghost to which Sun Woo replies that she can’t be a ghost because ghosts are not supposed to be stupid like that.  She finally reveals her quasi-doctor job at Hwarang which fumes Sun Woo reminding her how the place is full of men.  She argues that at least he is there to protect her and there is not much difference anyway as she was even abducted outside.  She pulls her final argument of his knowledge of only 200 characters and not having a slight awareness what Tao Te Ching is so she is there to be her teacher. 
Sun Woo still says no but at night he sits beside her for schooling.  He takes her hand to guide him in writing and thus they work on their late night tutorial sessions.  Ah Ro praises his quick uptake and teases that he could be practicing in secret and adds how learning fast is inherent to him.  They play by inking their faces unaware that Ji Dwi is observing from afar.
Ji Dwi sits alone in the study hall peering at the white cloth bearing his title.  He looks back on the memory of his conversation with the Queen where he told her to choose being a Queen or a mother to him as that is what he intends to do.  Queen Ji So asks him if he is going to give up the throne.  She warns him not to push her to the limit or she will end up discarding him.
Ji Dwi surprises Ah Ro and checks on the promisory tattoo on her arm.   He asks when she will be paying him and she responds that she cannot pay it right away.  He proposes a way to write off her debt and next thing we know, Ji Dwi sits in between Ah Ro and Sun Woo on their tutorial session.  Sun Woo asks why he was there and when Ji Dwi motions to reveal her debt, Ah Ro quickly proceeds with her lesson.  Ah Ro watches as the two silently fight by leaving ink marks to each other.
Master Wi sees Sun Woo intently studying his characters.  Ah Ro mistakenly pulls a joke to Ji Dwi thinking he was her brother.  They do a private lesson and Ah Ro mutters if he really cannot read.  She shows a picture of a butterfly and explains to him why the picture means a butterfly.  Ji Dwi asks her to draw a picture that means “King” and she draws a mother bird up in the nest and a small bird down under the tree.  
Ah Ro narrates how she pities the faceless King having no one but him to do the task of being stronger so that he can fly up in the sky.  Ji Dwi states how there are people who should have not been born and Ah Ro flares up on her sentiments about the young King who was forced to fend himself and roam around the world at a young age.  Ji Dwi is equally enraged and stands up to corner Ah Ro who cannot understand his sudden fury.  She cautions him to mind his actions or her brother will do something about it.  Ji Dwi answers her warning with a kiss as Sun Woo nears the room they are in.
I’m officially addicted to this drama and even more to our boys in their glorious manliness. *blush
For a period drama, it is surprisingly easy to digest and the side stories are neatly placed when it is time for it to materialize.  I am having a second to sixth lead man syndrome.  How can that be possible?  *lol  Thank heavens that we are clearly going to have one group villain as it is hard to keep up when villains are placed on levels in the story.  I love to be transported back in Silla where I can have classroom lessons like that so I look forward to the remaining of lessons Master Wi has to offer.  -jediprincess

Hwarang Episode 5 Recap

The pretty young masters officially enlisted as Hwarangs.  A looming problem reached Sun Woo as someone who knows his true identity attempted and failed to abduct him spilled the truth he knows to the old villains.  Ah Ro and Sun Woo promised to rely to each other.
Ji Dwi bravely defied his mother’s command and joins Hwarang.
Episode 5 Recap
Sun Woo wakes up bound and suspended in the air.  Remnants of Ah Ro’s abduction memory came back to his memory and complains on the hard knock he hot from the captors.  He sees Ji Dwi beside him who gets back to consciousness and gripes on how the villains thought they might be together since they wear the same Hwarang robe.  Ji Dwi cautions him losing his rank due to his connection with unlucky Ah Ro which ticks Sun Woo’s temper causing a mid-air fight between them.
While the two are held captive, the noble families sons march to the Enlistment Ceremony for Hwarang.  Soo Ho teases Ban Ryu of how pleasant he looks as a Queen’s puppy and the latter holds in the annoyance out of fear from his two fathers sitting in front of them.  
The Queen makes her entrance and gives a taunting look at Master Young on how she controls his son’s life at her fingertips, but the latter met her gaze and telepathically responds how he will find the King and kill him.  Queen Ji So and Hwarang Wi notice their appointees missing in action on the event and we go back to the two still bickering men dangling in the air.  
Sun Woo reveals  his relationship to Ah Ro so Ji Dwi calms down the weird feeling he still can’t explain towards their connection. Do Woo, the leader of the fiends, decide on killing Ji Dwi and Ah Ro and keeping Sun Woo alive for their task.  Over at the Hwarang ceremony, the people are getting impatient on when it will start so Queen Ji So orders to begin the service.
Sun Woo and Ji Dwi work together to break away from the ropes.  Ji Dwi sees hopelessness on Sun Woo’s attempt to break the body-bind, but the latter counters how whistling does not do any good as well.  A scary looking butcher enters the room to kill Ji Dwi so the two takes the opportunity to kick the butcher’s knife for Sun Woo to catch and use to tear the thick rope.  Sun Woo falls on the ground and makes a futile attempt to fight the burly slaughterer.  He grabs a big bone and accidentally hit the butcher at his private part and follows it up with a smack on his neck knocking down the beefy bad guy.  
At another room, blindfolded Ah Ro is being verbally abused by Do Woo stating how Sun Woo treasures her so much.  The sound of a big thump from the butcher’s body halts their bullying and proceed to where Sun Woo is.  Ji Dwi calls Sun Woo’s attention to free him from the bind, but the latter ignores him.  He motions to leave so Ji Dwi draws his last card and silently begs for Sun Woo to save him.  
They wait for the evil crew to appear in the slaughter house and fight with them side by side.  They head to where Ah Ro is, but the villains catch up on them and stops their escape plan.  Ji Dwi urges Sun Woo to run first as he tries to summon his warrior.  Sun Woo guides Ah Ro to head straight to where the crowd is and wait for him.  He goes back to help out Ji Dwi and by the time they almost got cornered, Ji Dwi’s warrior – Pa O, showers the evil abductors with arrows making time for them to runaway.  
In the brink of time, Sun Woo and Ji Dwi arrive at the ceremony and accept the induction sword.  Ji Dwi meets his mother’s gaze who hides her fury at the sight of the King she has been hiding, valiantly walks in the ceremony.  He looks at his mother and tells in his thoughts how he will decide when he will show his face to Silla.
After the event, Sun Woo explains to Master Ahn Ji who Do Woo is and his sour relationship with him.  He affirms the many fights they had in the past but he is not sure about why he abducted him.  Master Ahn Ji warns him not to put Ah Ro in danger and how since taking Sun Woo’s identity and being a Hwarang would mean that anything he does will be his adopted father’s business.
Ah Ro enters Sun Woo’s room when he is about to change his clothes and shocks herself at the sight of his naked upper body.  She tries calling him “orabeoni” but fails her attempts and ends up getting his torn robe for her to sew.  Sun Woo lays on his bed to rest but is bothered by something.  He peeks and smiles at the busily sewing Ah Ro who is annoyed on how she can’t seem to call Sun Woo “brother”.  
Ah Ro goes inside Sun Woo’s room to cure the wound on his palm and mumbles a thank you for saving her earlier.  She finally calls him brother and silently speaks on how she is used to not relying on someone and not expecting anything.  She adds how for the first time in her life she wants to depend on someone and she likes the feeling of having a brother.  She pleads him not to get hurt anymore since she is her brother.  
The pretending to be asleep Sun Woo grabs Ah Ro’s wrist and tells her how he feels afraid because of her.  He mutters how he is scared to cause her harm and not being able to protect her and how it is also the first time he felt that way.  He coaxes her to have faith in him because she is not alone anymore.  
Queen Ji So throws a fit and orders her warrior to get Ji Dwi out of Hwarang but the warrior shakes some sense on how having the King at Hwarang is the safest thing to do since no one will suspect that the King is with the flower elite soldiers.
Do Woo pays a visit to Master Young and Master Ho and reveals the true identity of Sun Woo.  The old villains deduces how Sun Woo is probably the man who saw the King, hence she placed him in Hwarang.
Sun Woo is confused figuring out how to wear the belt of the Hwarang robe so Ah Ro comes out from her secret peeping and helps him out.  He quips how he is late and how her offer to help is not working at all probably because of her poor sewing skills.  Ah Ro responds how she might be not good at fixing clothes but se can stitch people well shutting him up.  Ah Ro runs her gaze and is satisfied to Sun Woo’s transformation.  She mumbles how he looks normal and he jokes on how he very well knows he is handsome making her remember how she says the same thing when she was drunk last time.  Sun Woo refuses to grant her request to wave at her when he sees her in the crowd for the parade annoying her.  
Hwarang members parade amidst the cheerful crowd who are happy to stalk on the pretty young masters.  Master Young and Master Ho sit at Okta devising their grand plan on provoking the Queen as they see the unhappy young masters who failed to join Hwarang.  Ah Ro cuts to the crowd and sees Sun Woo in the parade who has been looking for her.  She thinks he did not see her but the latter smiles fondly when he spots her.  The young master who fought with Sun Woo last time bumps at Ah Ro in the crowd and she unintentionally tears his robe.
Ji Dwi throws solver bags at the baddie young master who dragged Ah Ro after recognizing her as Okta storyteller.  Ji Dwi saves Ah Ro and marks a tattoo on her arm until.  He tells her to look for him when she pays off her debt since he has a way to remove the ink.  She promises to repay her debt no matter what.
Hwarang Wi leads the celebratory toast and orders the boys to drink the liquor shots in front of them.  When the boys become drunk, they were asked to pick their room assignment.  The strong alcohol did not help the boys who seem to brawn whenever they have a chance and picks on Sun Woo as the punching bag.  Luckily he sobers up fast and knocks down the bullies.  Ban Ryu and Soo Ho resumes their unending feud since they refuse to belong to the same room.
Ji Dwi passes by the beaten Sun Woo to ask how he became the Queen’s hwarang.  Sun Woo asks him if he has ever carried a person in his life and Ji Dwi replies how it will not ever happen to him but ends up carrying him and realizes how Sun Woo beat up all the boys when they all evade them as they walk along the corridor. 
Master Wi narrates…
“Let them hate and burn up all they want.  Let them melt together so that they can differentiate one from another.  That way we can make something new from here.”
Ji Dwi enters their room and steps back upon seeing the prettiest boy in Silla, Yeo Wool.  He jokes on how he has never seen a pretty boy yet.  He circles around Ji Dwi and confirms he will also be in Grey room.  Yeo Wool concludes the long night with his interesting roommates Ban Ryu, Soo Ho, Sun Woo and the man from nowhere Ji Dwi.  
Episode 5 Quick Thoughts
Those 5 roommates will surely have a blast brawling and bickering in the future episodes.  The story is neatly weavibg the connection and laying the framework of the future alliances these Hwarang boys will make along with possible dilemmas they will face.
Master Wi’s boot camp promises to be exciting, I can hardly wait what’s in store for these angsty young masters.
Hope the romance line will emerge the soonest because I want to see them helpless because of love.  -jediprincess

Hwarang Episode 4 Recap

I decided to do Hwarang’s full episode recaps since I was smitten by these Hwarang boys and their stories.  I so far like how everything is balanced and how we have different faces of heroes, villains and hero-villains.
From this moment on, Moo Myeong will assume Sun Woo’s identity so I will call him Sun Woo and King Jin Heung/Maek Jong will take the name Ji Dwi.  
Sun Woo walks to the direction of worried Ah Ro.  She asks what happened to their father but he fails to answer and faints on her body as Ji Dwi watches them from afar.
Master Ahn Ji wakes up in the Queen’s chamber and scowls at the sight of Queen Ji So.  She responds how he must be feeling well since he can now babble painful words at her.  He replies how his life has been in misery when she took away his wife and son for 12 years and that he is intending to teach his son what a rotten place the capital is because of her.  He warns that he will not allow her to take anything from him anymore, but she counters that whatever she wants to take or not is her decision.
Ah Ro piggybacks the unconscious Sun Woo and complains on how long and heavy he is.  Meanwhile Hwarang Wi boringly stares at a time instrument and sets to proceed with his innovative Hwarang recruitment plan.
Soo Ho and his group sneak in at Najeong (a sacred well in Silla period where Park HyeokGeose was born), and wonder why Ban Ryu’s troop cannot be seen yet.  
They move to the ground and find the missing troop waiting for them.  After an exchange of misplaced ego and quibbles, they brawl at the sacred ground until the Queen’s officers intervened and brought them for questioning and punishment.
The news of the noble boys’ ruckus reaches their family and Master Park castigates Ban Ryu’s father on how the Queen can kill the boys for violating Najeong and they won’t be able to pull their family strings for it.  The already physically drained noble boys were told by the officer that the Queen has not declared anything yet on what will be done to them.
In the morning, Ah Ro tries to wake up the sleeping Sun Woo and mutters her woes over her father.  Sun Woo wakes up and assures her that Master Ahn Ji will be fine.  She tells him how hard it is to trust him when he is to blame for his father’s trouble right now.  Sun Woo appeases her crying heart and tells her to stop crying as he will not let anyone die for him anymore.
Hwarang Wi meets the noble sons who commited High Treason and announces that the Queen decreed to have all of them be killed.  While Hwarang Wi threatens the boys, their families are on their knees begging for the Queen’s mercy on their sons’ lives. 
The opposing faction gathers and realizes how the Queen trapped their sons and won her bid to establish Hwarang.  They promise to get back at the Queen’s ploy and make Hwarang work to their favor in the future.
Hwarang Wi proposes to the boys that the only way out of the death they are facing is to join Hwarang.  Soo Ho whose family is on the Queen’s side gladly obliges to be freed and join Hwarang, as the rest of the boys followed.
Ban Ryu who tried to stay firm in his loyalty to his family eventually succumbs to the offer for him to be released, but still refuses to join Hwarang.  His adamant heart earned him a punch from his biological father, Master Ho, and when they meet his adopted father Master Young, he witnessed his father beaten hard because of his unwillingness.  Master Young chastises his unyielding self-pride and teaches him how if he cannot control power, power can overwhelm him.  He orders him to join Hwarang and gain strength from it.
Queen Ji So sits on a chess game with Hwarang Wi and appreciates his ingenious plan to subdue the noble sons and making their fathers begged for her mercy.  She also requests a young man whom she wants to be part of Hwarang.  Hwarang Wi reminds her that she gave him full control of the project so she bargains on her request by giving him the same privilege of bringing a Hwarang of his choice.  
The Queen’s Royal command for Sun Woo to join Hwarang was given.  He accepts the order and asks if Master Ahn Ji will finally be released.  Queen Ji So meets Master Ahn Ji to reveal that she made Sun Woo joined Hwarang to become her son’s dog.  She corrects his perception that Hwarang will become the future leaders of Silla by stating how she designed to form the noble sons group so she can monitor the sons of the families who keep trying on killing the King.  She adds that Hwarang will be hunting dogs of his son who will be willing to risk their lives for the King.  Master Ahn Ji stares at the Queen’s face disappointed on how evil she had become as she finishes her visit to remind him that Sun Woo’s son is in her hands.
Ah Ro welcomes her father back who comforts her anxious heart and hurries to where Sun Woo is.  He hurriedly prepares things for his leaving upon knowing that the Queen signed him up for Hwarang.  Sun Woo refuses to follow Master Ahn Ji and reasons that joining Hwarang is his way of protecting them as he stares at the sitting Ah Ro outside.  Master Ahn Ji furiously dissuades him on how hard it will be for him to survive the evil ways of the capital, but Sun Woo remains firm in his desire to endure everything.
Ji Dwi barges to Master Wi’s hideout and orders the shop owner Joo Ki to park his horse properly.  He looks for Master Wi who enters the room and grabs Joo Ki as he scouts for the robe design of the future Hwarang boys.  Ji Dwi appeals to Master Wi’s permission for him to join Hwarang citing he wants to be a part of his promising plan to change Silla.  
He mutters his desire to live in a country where the people are happy because it is the King who does the worrying.  He closes his deal with his aspiration to live in a country that he also wants to live.  Master Wi’s questions his real identity and he answers that he is the person who wants to change Silla confirming Master Wi’s already conceived deduction that he is the King.  Ji Dwi steps in to brighten the gloomy model job of the shop owner and poses confidently the pretty robe that fits perfectly his handsome face to his audience’ approval.
Master Ahn Ji speaks with Ah Ro about teaching Sun Woo some basic knowledge to equip him for his upcoming Hwarang enlistment.  She teaches him how to write first but was interrupted when Lady , Soo Ho’s charming sister, Soo Yeon, visits and raves about her long lost beautiful brother.  Ah Ro asks Soo Yeon to lend some horses and finds Sun Woo for the horseback riding lessons.  
The two gangs meet again at the football field and begins their usual spat.  Soo Ho teases Ban Ryu of going against his word not to join Hwarang so the latter responds that he still will not become a queen’s dog.  Soo Ho concludes how his two fathers signed him up then mocking his powerlessness.  When Ban Ryu taunts him to finish the interrupted fight last time, Soo Ho suggests a football challenge even when his friends complain on how they are at a disadvantage and how they have not won any game of it with them.  Ban Ryu relents and urges Soo Ho to seek additional members for his team.  
Sun Woo hugs his horse tightly as Ah Ro urges him to sit up straight and to not show fear because horses feel it when their riders are afraid.  A nearby kid who was playing with some wooden sticks accidentally hits Ah Ro’s horse so it went wild and runs fast as it could. Adrenalin pushes Sun Woo who barely knows how to ride a horse to rescue Ah Ro. Ji Dwi sees the wild horses and urgently takes a nearby horse to join the rescue operation.  Soo Ho and his friends who were grumpy not finding bummers to complete their team witness the speedy horse chase and set forth to recruit the strong riders.
Ji Dwi pulls the reign of his horse and blocks Ah Ro’s crazy ride.  Sun Woo who was trailing them rushes to cushion Ah Ro’s body when her horse kicks violently causing her to fall from it.  Ah Ro cries like a little girl in Sun Woo’s care voicing out how she thought she would die on how fast the horse was. Sun Woo brushes her hair and assures her that everything is okay.  Ji Dwi sighs at Ah Ro’s childlike drama and acknowledges Sun Woo’s gratitude.  He notices his bracelet worn by Sun Woo and upon recognizing him as the man he had a swordfight with last time, he wonders why he is with Ah Ro.
On their way home, Soo Ho and his team approach them and invite them to play the football game.  
 Sun Woo and Ji Dwi ignore the offer but Ah Ro quickly concurs seeing it as an opportunity for Sun Woo to build his connection with the future Hwarang boys.  Sun Woo recognizes the boys from the Okta encounter and eventually concedes to the offer along with Ji Dwi.   Even when they do not know where they will heading, they don the red uniform for the flowerboys football fight.
The blue and red players enter the court while jeering insults on Soo Ho’s recruits.  Soo Ho boasts on how physically adept the two boys are.  The whistle erupts to start the game and Ban Ryu’s team easily scores a point tackling the rival team with their dirty physical game strategy.  Not understanding the full context of the game, Sun Woo confirms with Soo Ho that there seems to be no set rules for the game and unleashes his true self on the next round.
Sun Woo bumps the opponents here and there like a raging bull and goes straight to the goal for his first score.  He struts a victorious pose only to find out that he shoots a point on the opponent’s side.  *chuckles  Trailing by two points, Sun Woo makes up for his mistake and goes on a rampage with two straight points.  On a quick break, Ji Dwi’s desire to show off was fueled when he sees Ah Ro on the audience’ stand smiling happily at the thrilling game.  His right man jokes on how he thought he was never into football and worries on him turning to a wallpaper in the game.
Like a man on a mission, he charges to make the winning basket, but failed miserably when Ban Ryu thwarts his attempt.  Sun Woo luckily blocks the opponent and passes the ball to Ji Dwi who kicks the ball straight to their goal for the win.  The crowd cheers lively as the winning team celebrates their victory.  kyaaa that Ji Dwi hey-guys-i’m-the-best walk was soo cute  
Sun Woo carries Ah Ro on his back noticing her limp due to her earlier accident.  She talks about Ji Dwi and almost slips on how she fell asleep with him when she was telling him story before.  She stresses on how Sun Woo should put an effort in building his connection once he becomes a Hwarang.
On the day of the Hwarang appointment ceremony, Ah Ro escorts Sun Woo and finds something missing on his wardrobe.  She searches for a complementing trinket and is interrupted by the villain who has been looking for Sun Woo.  The latter catches on Ah Ro’s sudden disappearance and chases on the departing fiends.  Ji Dwi sees Sun Woo in a rush and wearing a Hwarang uniform.  Remembering he wears his bracelet, he follows him and ends up with a deadly weapon pointing at his face.  He is brought to where Sun Woo and Ah Ro were held captive and worries on seeing Ah Ro binded and crying.  Sun Woo holds the villain’s knife wounding him in the process and warns him not to touch and hurt Ah Ro or he will kill him.
Episode 4 Quick Thoughts
How I love that flowerboys’ football game.  *sigh hahaha  For a period drama, the modern vibe is injected strategically swaying the plot to an exciting run even with its historical premise.  Hwarang is so far reminiscent of Sungkyunkwan Scandal for me without a cross-dressing heroine of course.  I hope that it will become prettier.  I look forward to the character developments and the love lines just as I crave for more conspiracies and power struggles.  
Since I am choosing to celebrate to dwell on the sweets of kdramas this year, I will evade from being nosy and will just point out sour things when I have to.  I am so far enjoying the ride with these flowerboys.  I hope you are too.  

Hwarang Episode 3 Recap


Episode 3

Maek Jong attacks Moo Myung who was shocked to see Ah Ro.  The latter protects her from the fight and takes the opportunity to escape the scene.  Moo Myung strikes his sword as Maek Jong counters and managed wounding him. 


Ah Ro catches her breath from the deadly encounter and falls on her knee which can’t seem to move from the fright.  Moo Myung chases after Maek Jong who fled skillfully.


Ah Ro presents her detailed report on her research for Hwarang candidates in front of Hwarang Wi.  She presents the possible candidates and their impressive social status but apologizes for some minor information she still has to get through.


Ah Ro dances and hums happily as she nears their house, but was interrupted when she sees Moo Myung standing at the entrance of their house.  She peeks at him discreetly and finds him gone only to realize that he is already behind her back.


Moo Myung questions her for following him and out of fright she declares that she lives in the house.  He realizes the woman as his friend’s younger sister just as she recognizes the clothes he wear was made by hers. 


Master Kim saves the day and introduces the two formally.  Master Kim convinces Moo Myung to assume his son’s identity so he can carry on with his plans to avenge Mak Moon.  He adds that he needs to get a treatment from his illness and his stubborness will not yield a positive result if he lacks power. 


Moo Myung goes back to his memory when Mak Moon cheerfully reminisces little girl Ah Ro.  Ah Ro cuts his reverie and finds wound in his body that will authenticate her lost brother, but he stops her silent protest telling her how the wounds she is looking for might not be there anymore because of bigger wounds he had acquired since he was separated from them. 



Hwarang Wi loses his cool as the factions opposing and supporting the establishment of Hwarang meet in the court.  Those against the Queen demands the King’s presence on his birthday parade so they can willingly lend their sons to the purpose of Hwarang. 
Hwarang Wi assures the Queen that he will take care of Hwarang as he had its full reign and later on commands messengers to Ban Ryu and Soo Ho’s gang for a night duel that will be held in a forbidden place.


Ah Ro ponders on her situation and it finally dawns on her that her brother is the same man she encountered in her drunken state.  The Queen Regent sets forth with her entourage and the King’s carriage without His Highness. 


Spectators blurts their opinion here and there as Ban Ryu and Soo Ho joins the audience.  Meanwhile Maek Jong seeks Hwarang Wi for his intention to join Hwarang but the latter refused his proposition.


Moo Myung sees Queen Ji So’s warrior and remembers him to be the same man who killed Mak Moon.  Unable to restrain himself he forces himself to the crowd and wields his sword towards the warrior, but fails his emotional rage.  Queen Ji So steps out of her carriage to question the intruder and orders his head when he refuses to answer. 


In the brink of losing Moo Myung’s life, Master Kim falls on his knees and calls the Queen’s attention which stops her from going back to her carriage.  He begs for Moo Myung’s life and offers his life instead.  A quick glimpse of a past from Queen Ji So and Master Ahn passes as the Queen raises her sword ready to strike it on Master Ahn. 


Queen Ji So pays Moo Myung a visit and offers a proposal to save his supposed father and sister.


Ah Ro worriedly waits for her father and Moo Myung and Maek Jong catches her outside the palace.  Moo Myung is set free and walks to Ah Ro’s direction who keeps asking him where their father is.  He stops in front of Ah Ro and faints on her shoulder.



Hwarang is so far nicely paced allowing us to munch on the character description and eventually development.  I have a lot of questions I want to ask the Queen, but I will give her a chance to prove her good intention.  For now I just want to go straight to Hwarang training.  I hope it will commence soon.


Hwarang Episode 2 Quick Recap


Hwarang Quick Recap  Episode 2

Moo Myung and Mak Moon escaped Okta and settled at a nearby forest where the latter mentioned seeing a woman who wears the same necklace as him. Unaware that a mark to kill him for seeing the face of the hidden King was ordered by the Queen, they were ambushed by the assassin killing Mak Moon and fatally wounding Moo Myung.  The latter faintly saw a man’s bracelet before losing consciousness and Mak Moon’s father who belatedly learned his son’s arrival in the capital was too late in saving his life.



Ah Ro earned some silver from privately narrating her steamy story to Maek Jong (King Jin Heung) who dozed off as usual to her story and woke up finding Ah Ro sleeping like a log as well. 


Ah Ro worriedly went home after not sleeping in their house to his father who was busy tending the wounds of Moo Myung.



Moo Myung survived his injury and bid farewell to his hometown to fulfil his promise avenging his best friend’s death.  He visited the storeowner who gave their details to Mak Moon’s father to ask for a sword.


The announcement of Hwarang recruitment was posted alarming the  noble families, but the group head took it as an opportunity to demand Queen Ji So in bringing out the King in hiding.


Ah Ro took in a part-time job of researching the eligible young noble men that would fit in the requirements for Hwarang which will be trained by Hwarang Wi  (Sung Dong Il), a friend of the former King whom Queen Ji So made a pact early in the story.  She diligently scouted handsome young men who excelled in sports, arts and science and softly played with a memory from her encounter with Moo Myung.



Maek Jong’s slave reported how he had a hard time chasing over Ah Ro’s location due to her excessive roaming around.  He spotted her entering a carpenter’s house, but sensed a looming danger so he dragged her to safety and alerted her of a man chasing him that might kill her too.


Moo Myung and Maek Jong played hide-and-seek using the wooden panels for their defense and the latter remembered the peasant who was killed because of seeing him.  Moo Myung who taught Maek Jong killed his friend surged for an attack but faced the frightened Ah Ro in hiding.



The opening week mostly covered the premise of the story neatly and simply. It went as far as establishing all the pertinent characters.

It was a decent and engrossing setting making use of Silla period’s elaborated and fancy way of living and tweaking it with a modernized appeal.  From the gambling den, to shopping boutique and to youth clubbing at Okta, it was visually pleasing in the eyes. 


Add up the pretty boys who I am excited to cheer on when they head to Hwarang training, I think I can expect a good showing from my first period drama for 2017. -abbyinhallyuland


Hwarang Episode 1 Quick Recap


Hwarang kicked off this week and as always  I like the wardrobe and production design whenever it is set in Silla period. 


To sum up the initial premise, two peasants, dog-bird/Moo Myung and Mak Moon, (Park Seo Joon and Lee Kwang Soo) were headed to the capital of the country illegally to look for Mak Moon’s family.  They used the latter’s necklace to ask around but they ended up going to a trouble at a gambling house.  




In the palace, Queen Ji So visited a prisoner and laid her plans of establishing a group of elite men that will protect Silla and the Royal family.  She threw in a promise of stepping down her regency if the ploy will work out.  


Meanwhile Ah Ro (Go Ara), Mak Moon’s long lost sister, was busy weaving stories amidst an excited group where the country’s King incognito was also a part of.  


The King who was forcedly hidden by his mother Queen Ji So has been living away from the palace and whoever saw his face and knew his status were killed mercilessly per the Queen’s order.  The Queen gave a cold treatment to her returning son and commanded him to follow her plans worrying on how his life is in danger if he stays in the capital, but the King whose heart has grown apart from his mother whom he thought cast him away perceived his mother’s intent unreasonable. 



After not getting paid properly on her job, Ah Ro resorted to drinking the pricey wine of the employer out of anger.  Intoxicated she struggled to get home and bumped with Moo Myung who was being chased by the evil gamblers.  They had a quick rescue-me-im-drunk-moment capping up with Ah Ro being knocked out by her shoe.



The King set forth and sought comfort to Ah Ro’s storytelling session at Okta, a famous club where sons and daughters of aristocratic family frequently go to.  Enter Soo Ho and Ban Ryu’s pretty boy noble sons groups who mocked each other upon meeting in the hall. 


They carried on to enjoy the night while eavesdropping to Ah Ro’s intimate chronicling, but Mak Moon unfortunately ran to a son of nobility who took out his rage after being humiliated from Ban Ryu’s noble circle due to being his lowest rank among them.  He started beating Mak Moo up and the ruckus interrupted Ah Ro’s show which annoyed Soo Ho.  The two noble gangs met up in the hall again and was in the brink of a fight, but Moo Myung halted them to rescue Mak Moon.




P.S   The bone rank system was the system of aristocratic rank used in the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla. It was used to segregate society, and particularly the layers of the aristocracy, on the basis of their hereditary proximity to the throne and the level of authority they were permitted to wield.



I lurve the club scene circa Silla period.
 *chuckles  There were a lot of characters to meet for Episode 1 but at least we get the picture on what we are going to look forward to and the cast were properly given their initial role tags. 


I look forward to Hwarang’s recruitment and how heavy the history plot will be construed.  Since we have a handful of handsome knights shown already, I am piqued on what kind of bromance they will present as well.  I am not expecting much since “Hwarang” was also built up immensely so hopefully this drama will surprise me.



2015 KDramas You Might Have Missed



Just in case you did not see them, I want to share you the delights for the past year as 2016 is already waning.  Now I was not able to monitor last year’s drama the way I did this year, so most of it I was able to finish up to the first half of 2016.


HEALER (Dec 2014 – Feb 2015)

GENRES:  Drama, Romance, Comedy, Action, Suspense

As a night courier serving privy and expensive tasks, Healer’s routine life changed after his encounter with a woman connected to the death of his father.  What made me like the drama a lot is how the storytelling was focused and neatly tied up without room to uncalled for sub plots.  It moved engrossingly while uncovering the link of the main characters in the past and their children in the present time.

The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love.  It aligned to Healer’s character strength to propel the excitement while he did his gripping missions… circled on Young Shin’s character as the focal tug-of-war battle between the Moon brothers’ villain and hero complicated relationship and surged high to the my-father-might-have-killed-your-father-but-i-promise-i-love-you-and-i-will-protect-you love plot of the main leads. Healer justified the superb writing with how the characters went passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling.

While a lot progressed in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together.  It made use of the parallel plot about upright journalists in presenting the same events of the characters in the past and the present.

There were small problems that were laid along the way to boost the main conflict of how the protagonists will bring justice to their fathers’ death by ruining the villains through innovative news broadcast.  In this crime-romantic-drama-thriller premise, the story got so intoxicating because it assimilated Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country.  When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit.  That is the case for Healer.  I would also like to commend how I enjoyed Healer’s theme music on its placement in the drama and how the villains even with their old personas masterfully made the lives of the heroes hard by utilizing their vile ways.  

Healer is one of the best dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet.  It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation.  The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection.  It is so addictive, stimulating and amusing — and that one drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover.



Punch (Nov 2014 – Dec 2015) 

GENRES:  Drama, Legal

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

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

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

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

The antagonists displayed impossible levels of wickedness that even when they got what they deserved at the closing chapter I was still fuming on the inside.  There’s no fleeting romantic interlude in this drama but it is filled with family love and lessons about choosing the right decisions in your lives.    If you want a dose of serious themed dramas, this one is for you.  The thrill and the pace will surely shoot up your mind and will make you crave for some more.



Kill Me, Heal Me (Jan 2015 – Mar 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Comedy

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.

Overall I like the ambitious writing of this drama.  It was meticulous in inserting the conflict of the story, although it came to a point when it became too detailed dragging the denouement which they could have used in a few romantic notes in the penultimate episodes of the story.

The sending off of Do Hyun’s characters warmed my heart especially that of Perry Park and Se Gi scenes.  I don’t know the extent of this psychiatric condition, but I liked that it was explained well how each characters emerged.  It was like Voldemort’s horcruxes in a positive way.  *chuckles  Typically kdramas with chaebol power struggle plot involved unreasonable conspiracies and surprises so I think since the multiple personality is the carrying story conflict, it was good that it didn’t dwell on the money-filled but problematic chaebol world.

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



A Girl Who Sees Smells/Sensory Couple (April 2015 – May 2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Romance, Suspense, Supernatural

Welcome to the psychopath chase where gripping episode endings build up to a long stretch of sweet annoyance and anticipation to a quaintly written story where the characters boarded on a race to outwit each other and the cost of each wrong judgment equates to starting points of a never-ending labyrinth.

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

It was that brilliantly executed plot of the protagonists’ taking advantage of the killer’s inability to remember faces and the latter’s resilience in orchestrating evil ploys that drew my appreciation all throughout.   There were no unnecessary hassles and side stories written to confuse or to lengthen the narration.  The plot was very clear on its premise and has always headed to the direction of uncovering clues without making the protagonists appear dumb.  It sailed to a direction of making the viewers go along with the process of pinning the vile psychopath to admit to his crime against the usual dragging guess-the-killer story. 

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


Producers (May 2015 – June 2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Comedy, Friendship, Romance

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

For people expecting Kim Soo Hyun being captured in romantic moments, you won’t expect it in this drama so be prepared.  Nevertheless I think for legit kdrama followers you will get what you bargain for in this drama.  It’s how we root for Alice in Wonderland and love seeking Disney princesses all at the same time.  “Producers” came up in a very interesting format incorporating the variety show world in a drama attack.  To achieve that you have to even out the laughter you get from the variety show and the valuable content you should give to the audience.

And I immensely enjoyed the lessons focused in every episode which were derived from the variety program production world.  It gave meaningful life lessons and pointed out the challenges and limitations of human nature.  When joined together the four main leads were a delightful watch, even in their personal struggles.

Seung Chan is a reminder of any person who was trying to find his niche in the corporate scene regardless if the motivation is absurd, like in his case to follow his first love.  He is a reminder of the extent on how much we can persevere and how trying a shot on everything is better than being coward to take a chance on it.  Ye Jin is a reminder of how even a person with the coldest exterior has a warm spot hidden in her.  Of a person who would be patiently waiting for the love she yearned for than waste her time to nonsense.  Joon Mo is a reflection of those times when we built our character through standing firm with our principles and defying the norms for change to happen.  Cindy represented each one of us in our highest peak, when we hit a slump, and when we bounce back from it.

As I religiously watch 2D1N, I easily grasped the intentions and love the executions all throughout.  True, I might have wished for more love screentime but it superbly fed me stories that I have been on at some point of my life.  The engrossing 12 episodes will leave you lessons that basic self-help books have already vaguely discussed.  A breather from rom-com and melodramas, Producers will strip any work related stress you are having if you give it a chance.


Beloved Eun Dong (May 2015 – July 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Melodrama

I haven’t completed my full review on this drama yet, but this is one of my favorite romance stories for 2015.  I love how the narrative approached me like I was sent back to when I was in High School reading those first love stories that made my heart giddy-ish and warm.  

“Beloved Eun Dong” chronicled the love tale between a top actor who found the only girl he loved in his life when she took a job as a ghost writer for the book he wanted to publish in search of his one great love.  He learned that Eun Dong lost her memory and was already married with a child to a former baseball player who met an accident and was saddled in a wheelchair.   While writing Hyun Soo’s story, flashes of familiarity and memories hit Eun Dong and eventually triggered her memory back.  But claiming the love that was deprived of them by her adopted father and husband was no easy task as they faced the controversy of Eun Dong being married legally.  To make the matter worse, Eun Dong revealed that her son is Hyun Soo’s, but his son is already attached to the father he was with while growing up.

Divided in 3 parts, Eun Dong and Hyun Soo’s story moved steady from that sweet young love to the complicated re-owning of the divested romance in a way where I was so affected by the enduring commitment of Hyun Soo to love only one woman in his life.  I have never seen someone like him in kdramaland.  I mean most of the boys surely did love their girls the best way they can, but his story with her left my heart on a painful twinge.  Having a villain that was wheelchair bound and acted selfish because of love has had me on a dilemma if I will hate or understand his pain.

This drama will remind you of your greatest love and will prove to you how love is meant to be when you work for it to happen.



Mask (May 2015 – July 2015)

GENRES:  Melodrama, Romance, Revenge

For once I got to see a melodrama with a rich family cast not going all war with excessive evil plots to claim the rein of a company, but doing it within the members as what I perceived the rich and famous should have done in reality.  “Mask” having dysfunctional characters will entice you by how much it deconstructed the main leads’ motivations, frailties and hair-pulling moments on what they are willing to give because of greed, vengeance and sacrificial love.
Swerving from the musty weep fest trademark of melodrama, “Mask” raised its fight club banner through lies, devious plots, and ruthless counter attacks for reasons of being blindly in love and the thirst to achieve a payback.

We have a solid cast who rose up to the occasion and gave meaningful portrayals to the very best of the wicked side and better versions of their characters.  What drew me most about “Mask” is the impeccable showing of the four main leads linked by painful love, betrayal and blood ties.  The supporting leads’ love story though not hitting a poignant and meaningful commitment in the end was messy and created a lingering impact of that definitive question on how much can someone go in the name of love.  I like how Ji Sook transitioned her image from a total push-over to a woman who knows her worth.  Her character as a focal point of the story pushed the problem in a coherent challenge where the surrounding people balanced out the struggle between the good and the evil.

I enjoyed the theatrics and the melodrama clichés because “Mask” in its entirety was not sporadically sketched and was focused to the penultimate closure.  I like it when dramas are overbearing because there’s an established premise to support it, and that was the case for “Mask”.  I got affected on the heavy scenes, but they did not overwhelm me with exhausting episode weep runs.

If you want a serious k-drama watch, then this will fill your craving.  The romance, the intrigue, the annoyance, the power plays were well-conceived and executed leaving a sense of fulfilment if you will sit on it for a binge.  I even prepared myself with some tissue rolls for the tear party because it was Su Ae and Joo Ji Hoon, but I was put at the edge of my seat because I was cheering earnestly for Ji Sook and how she found her niche and defied her old self to emancipate herself in the villain’s grip and be with the man she loved without secrets and lies.



Oh My Ghost (July 2015 – August 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Comedy, Supernatural

Bright, Cheerful and Feel Good have always been the after effect of an episode dose of Oh My Ghostess for me.  Supernatural plot is a make or break deal in kdramas.  It needs to be flaunting when the plot needs it, and it needs to see reasons when you over expose it.

I like the richness of the father-daughter filial love in the story as it literally transcended the after life.  I like how cheeky and sweet Sun Woo was at the same time, his reactions were adorable.  I like how Park Bo Young was able to differentiate Na Bong Sun and Shin Soon Ae’s characters to fit in with the way the actual Soon Ae was playing in the story.  I like how the rom-com elements fused well with the metaphysical plot of the story by  making the love leads face their issues straight on and seeing the reasons right away.  Every main character in this drama has his own story that the love line was not the main thing that got me hooked with it.  It was how each character’s story along with the conflicts that entwined them brought the love story closer and concluded the conflicts neatly.

It was the most consistent romantic-comedy for 2015, yes even with the slight tragic plot.  The chemistry of the love couple was impeccable that all the followers of this drama would agree how Bong Sun and  Sun Woo made our heart fluttered with their bipolar-disorder-misguided-romance.  It’s hard not to drum your feet on your bed and grin when Sun Woo went to his usual i’m-the-man antics and Bong Sun’s pesky man cravings guided by Soon Ae.

If you are needing a love elixir to boost your already blooming relationship of if you just want a perfect rom-com drama getaway, this one is for you.



Yong Pal (Aug 2015 – Oct 2015)

GENRES:  Drama, Romance, Suspense, Medical

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

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

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

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

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



She Was Pretty (Sept 2015 – Nov 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Comedy

I would consider two themes evident for 2015 in kdramaland… friendship-turned-romance and redeeming-a-woman’s-old-glow.   These two were present in the recently concluded love tale of childhood friends turned sweethearts who lost contact for a long while and met again at different expectations and fears more than 20 years after.

“She Was Pretty” was your typical rom-com drama tailored to make you feel giddy and warm. It will excite you while the story unfolds but it’s not something that you will keep dearly in your heart like the rom-com classics.  The characters were all amusing in their own right, but I gave Choi Si Won, the biggest applause among the cast for his perfect rendering of the quirky second male lead character. While Park Seo Joon is beautiful and Hwang Jung Eum is at her usual best although with slight hyperactivity, they were able to present a love couple you will root for.

The conflict’s lightness was an affirmative note in the story as it worked on the characters’ connection and sticking on their rational thinking come what may. I felt a bit of annoyance toward Ha Ri, but she beautifully redeemed herself by confronting Hye Jin to stop shielding her from the pain and accept the happiness that she deserved.  Neatly narrated, the always encouraging vibe of the heroine carried on sincere lessons about how much pain and understanding you can give to salvage a friendship that is more than a family and how much we have to give it to ourselves the limitless opportunities and love that fate won’t give us right away. Hye Jin just like our usual rom-com lead girls pursued love and dreams the best way she can by not sacrificing the happiness that she can create on her own. With her perfect hero who wanted to support her all the way with her personal bucket list, I witnessed a romance that is soon fading in our generation that is being supportive to our lover’s personal goals while maintaining a relationship dependent to a genuine love and unwavering commitment.

Next to chocolates, honeyed and heart-warming kdrama romcoms can help you survive melancholia and routine weekends. Uncomplicated with its romantic approach, Hye Jin and Sung Joon’s love story will surely hit your love veins.


Bubblegum (Oct 2015 – Dec 2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Romance, Comedy, Family

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

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

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



Because it’s the first time (OCt 2015 – Nov 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Comedy, Youth, Drama

Everything about this drama screams about the kind of friendship, worries and love confusions we had in our early 20’s.  The story was narrated unadorned but the characters were limned delightfully.

Tae Oh, Song Yi, Ji Ahn, Ga In and Hoon are five childhood friends who have relied to each another while battling the challenges of braving the world where they are expected  to face failures  and not warranted to give up on it.   The age when they have the freedom not to rationalize loving someone, but are restricted to chase their personal dreams because they either doubt themselves or they are forced to go against their will by their families. 

These hinged friends experienced life cruelties from their own families and unfortunate events, but they have managed  to shelter one another and gave strength to overcome their battles.  The story moved in presenting their usual bickerings and fun times and hit the conflict of Tae Oh finally waking up to the truth that he loved his girl best friend even when he finally got his dream girl.  No spices.  No heaviness.  Just culminating to the main lead’s decision to let go of his one sided first love. 

Yes I wish it would have been longer but given the simplicity of the  plot, it wouldn’t give a justified stretch.  It was a nice watch while you are on it, but won’t leave a lingering impact after. But if you want a short, feel-good 20’s drama that you can finish in one sitting on a weekend or when u want to feel distracted, “Because It’s The First Time” would serve the purpose of entertaining you.  Sweet and upbeat… I’m sure this friendship story will make you remember those blithe days of being wild, young and free.



Oh My Venus (Nov 2015 – Jan 2015)

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy

Forget the grueling gym workout, home yoga sessions and sadness inducing diet plans… Just allot 2 hours in 2 days watching Oh My Venus and you will miraculously lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks. It’s true. No hidden agendas, no diet pills, and no aggravating body pains. Sign up for a 14-day trial period at Coach John Kim’s Venus boot camp and see for yourself what the rest of the women who tried the program have been talking about. *chuckles  Seriously now, if they want a solution to the alarming woes of women struggling to keep up with their weight, they should hire So Ji Sub oppa to be their personal trainer and the world will be a better place. *giggles

Oh My Venus went to the typical Korean drama rom-com milieu of a rich heir who fell in love with a normal girl but with a fitness program twist. Kang Joo Eun was a feisty Korean lawyer with a steady long-time boyfriend. She was living a calm life and the only concern she has was her weight loss struggle.  She used to be the high school boys’ dream in her hometown Daegu, but life’s complications took over and she failed maintaining her goddess self. She eventually lost her boyfriend to an old chubby law school friend who managed to discard her old fat self.

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

I want to commend on the show’s drive to encourage women with weight worries to lighten up and push themselves to be even more disciplined in following their fitness programs as it would be a propelling force to reclaim their confidence and to live a robust life.  If you can get a supportive partner/boyfriend with that then you are definitely on the right track.  With ample cutesy love scenes and charming on screen adorable couple, this rom-com offering will wear out a week’s work stress. If you want an uncomplicated blithe and feel good love drama, this will definitely satisfy your craving. Add So Ji Sub on the side, and boy it’s definitely a winner all throughout.



Reply 1988 (Nov 2015 – Jan 2015)

GENRES:  Romance, Comedy, Family, Friendship

They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.  Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

One of the many things I loved in this show was the genuine on-screen bond of the cast giving life in the best possible imagination of the sketched characters in the story. There was no passerby among the cast. All have contributed to an almost perfect depiction of how uncomplicated life then. With neighbors living up to become a functioning support group with their fellow parents whose dreams were mainly directed to the well-being of their children and of children who were pressured to chase their dreams so as to make their parents proud. That is definitely not the case today with the internet controlling human interaction. People will choose to just browse on the superficial social media status of their family and friends than to take time to catch up with them in person.  Another wonderful feature evident to all Reply-dramas would be the building up of the romance which has been fixed in presenting a love triangle and would always break the viewers’ hearts as they want both guys to get the same girl they were chasing. I was Team Taek-i all throughout. Who wouldn’t fall for Taek-i’s puppy face? I just really go for cute nerds who are clueless in life but advances strong when the situation required them to go for their one great love and Taek-i rose to the occasion by waiting for the right time and seizing the moment without looking back. Jung–hwan had his fair share of sweet moments capping up with that heartbreaking love proposal practice which Duk-seon never realized to be what really was in Jung Hwan’s heart.

But the one great love lesson learned from JungHwan-Dukseon-Taek love triangle is to not blame timing or fate for your one great love to happen. Taek-i braved the odds and defied a 20 year friendship and sealed every love he had for Dukseon in a heart-stopping kiss because he wanted to know right at that moment if there is just not a chance but if love was really there for both of them. It’s not just knowing that love is there, it is being in absolute certainty that both of you feel the same way.  I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Reply 1988 was a great spectacle to seal K-drama parade of 2015 and I can only hope that the writer won’t get tired of delving on nostalgic premise like this.

Reply 1988 is on my top 3 dramas for 2015 because of its brilliant use of sweet melancholia and sending the followers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.  The ever present humor, the love stories and the amazing neighborhood are surely a quick relief for life stress. Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare.