The ending killed the episode.
It was going very well for a full 10 stars until the last few scenes where she made a call knowing full well it can be traced back to her. There are a hudred ways to lead the "bad guys" to her without making her the dumbest experienced detective in the world.
《허쉬》 or "HUSH" was a Korean TV serial which ran from December 11, 2020 to February 6, 2021 in jTBC. This show is about the life of a group of news reporters and how they faced the trials thrown at them.
"HUSH" started by introducing the audience to the process of getting hired in a newspaper company. Once the key characters were introduced, the story immediately tacked its first of many interconnected plots. These were no ordinary plots as it touched on the issues people face daily in work environments and in society. Stories where the audience can relate and question the ethics and morality of what they see, what they hear, and what they read.
In particular, it talked about suicide. Suicide is a very serious social problem in South Korea in recent years, it produced different movements, revision of existing laws, and even new laws, to help fight against the most common reason for suicides--bullying and unfair treatment. This show beautifully handled this subject and encouraged the audience to put themselves in the shoes of other people and to question and care about the things happening around them.
The stories in each episode and the main plot were deep and provoking. It was not simply an office drama in the world of news reporting, it was a life drama which touched the hearts and minds of its audience.
The casting was picked well especially with veteran actors like Son Byung Ho, Yoo Sun, Kim Won Hae, Lee Seung Jun, who were what is commonly called today as "second leads". They portrayed their characters well which was vital to the success of the main leads played by Hwang Jung Min and Im Yoon Ah.
Lim Yoon Ah, or "Yoona", brought all her acting skills in this drama. I can say that this was her best in all of her acting career a perfect match to her veteran male lead partner, Hwang Jung Min. From her innocent look as someone new in journalism to a matured character who earned her badges in life.
This is a good series to watch and I recommend it to anyone going through trials in their work and life in general. A show which reminds us and encourages us to speak out when we see bullying and unfair treatments and practices.
Originally posted on my blog: https://youronly.one/yuki/review-hush-2020-202140/ under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 International License.
Space Sweepers is lightyears better from recent Western space scifi shows
"Space Sweepers" is South Korea's first-ever space science fiction show. For their first venture into space, they did not disappoint and made sure audiences were awed by the show's deep story and unforgettable space adventure.
I. StoryThe story started out as a typical Western space scifi. Humanity encountered a life threatening situation and the only way out was up, out there in outer space. Slowly and perfectly the Korean signature in storytelling and plots surfaced up and it started to get very interesting.
There was a grand or overarching story guiding Space Sweepers but they instead zoomed-in and told the story from a human perspective. This approach allowed them to tackle the questions from the vantage point of ordinary humans, attaching the audiences to the characters in ways not possible from a "bigger picture" method. A story about a crew of "Space Sweepers" but at the same time it was not about them.
It is rare to see this type of story and storytelling in live-action movies considering the limited time available and yet they were able to flesh out the characters, presented a family relationship plots, questioned human moralities and ethics, and explored the notion about "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".
II. Acting/CastThe casting was excellent. Song Joong Ki, playing as "Tae Ho", and Kim Tae Ri, playing as "Captain Jang", are two popular and veteran Korean actors. They were joined in by Jin Seon Kyu as "Tiger Park", Yoo Hae Jin as the Robot, and the child actress Park Ye Rin as "Dorothy". Five actors who complimented each others' acting style enabled them to bring the story closer to the audience.
Kim Tae Ri is best known from her 2016 movie "The Handmaiden" and the Netflix TV series "Mr. Sunshine" in 2018. Despite the huge jump from historical romance genre to a space scifi action and adventure, Kim Tae Ri has proven once again her talent in acting. She showed her character's strength and fierceness and yet behind it all she was caring and loving.
Song Joong Ki is well known from his major role in the hugely popular 2016 TV series "Descendants of the Sun". He masterfully played his character, a man who lost his daughter in a tragedy and ended up as a sweeper of space debris to make his living. Throughout the movie, he showed perfectly the thoughts and goals of his character despite of what was in front of him. His emotions and expressions were in check, thus completing the aura of his character while at the same time letting the audience feel his sadness and difficult choices.
Special mention is the child actress Park Ye Rin. She is technically a newbie in the industry, having only appeared as a guest in a 2020 TV series. Having thrown in a blockbuster film this early would have a huge challenge for her and yet she amazingly showed that she was born an actress. She played as "Dorothy", one of the key characters in this film. This being a space scifi, which means they had a lot of filming in front of green screens, Park Ye Rin was not distracted and was able to deliver her dialogues and interacted with her co-stars naturally. Oh, did I not say that she's only 7 years old?
III. ProductionThey did not shy away from giving this a budget. The superb visual effects, cgi, and editing, definitely placed this movie equal in rank with Western shows like "Star Trek" and "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" to name two.
It was also a brilliant idea to bring in actors from different nationalities and to use their native languages. This is rarely done and is simply explained as some magic or technology like a "universal translator". But that's not where it ends … even though they have a "universal translator", they did not resorted to "English" or "Korean" as a "universal language". They showed all directors in the world how to properly portray different languages even if there is a "universal translator" available.
That deserves a huge mention especially for a show which concerns multiple nationalities, languages, and cultures--the planet Earth. The flow of the story was not broken even though the characters were speaking different languages. Everything was flowing smoothly, this is how it actually will be like if "universal translators" become a reality. Well done!
IV. ConclusionWhile this is a space science fiction film, the story was about you and me, being a human, and the relationships we build in each of our adventures. This is what "Space Sweepers" was about. It is about you and me. Our humanity. Our frailties. The challenges we face every single day and how to ultimately triumph (or not).
Can you guess how many languages were spoken and nationalities represented in "Space Sweepers"?
Originally posted on my blog: https://youronly.one/yuki/review-space-sweepers-2021-202137/ under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 International License.
RomCom done right
Simply, it's romantic comedy done right. There are many shows categorised as "RomCom" over the years and very few deserving of this label. "Please Don't Date Him" is one of the few exception as it brings out genuine laughter in every episode while building on the romantic relationship of the characters.
The literary device used for the plot was properly used and was not just a literary device later forgotten after setting up the story. When this was revealed, I was expecting this show to turn serious and deviate from being a romcom and turn into a serious drama, but the writer(s) stayed true and kept it in the sidelines yet still an important part of the show.
Song Ha Yoon, who played "Seo Ji Sung" did very well in portraying an A.I. programmer yet still "just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her" (to borrow from "Notting Hill"). I also love how they chose a woman as a programmer in this show debunking the stereotypes  programming is for men; and  girl programmers does not have a love life.
I recommend this show if you are looking for a series which will make you laugh, fall in love all over again, and appreciate the people around you, even strangers like our brave firefighters. Don't forget to check my review of episode 9: https://mydramalist.com/62539-please-don-t-meet-the-man/episode/9 -- a must-watch episode.
It's sad that they only planned a total of ten (10) episodes, they could have extended it to thirteen or a full series (sixteen episodes).
A great watch … worth it!
I. Storya. Episode stories: The stories per episode were mostly good. Out of 16 episodes, I like the story of 9 episodes.
b. Series story: From the title, "Start-Up" (or "Sandbox"), it gives the impression that it is primarily about starting up a business or about joining a, well, sandbox program. However, overarching story is more about  a love triangle and  sibling rivalry. The impression from the series title only takes tertiary importance. It would have been better if the importance was as follows:  sibling rivalry;  start-up/sandbox/business; and  love triangle.
Regardless… the way the overarching stories were delivered and the choice of story per episode were enough to pull up the score for this rating.
However, avoid introducing important facts and then never mentioning it again. For example, Ji Pyung and the sisters have met when they were kids. It was also weird that a bloodied person can pitch his company, that does not happen in real life.
II. ActingActing! This is where I had to give a low rating. There were too many crying scenes where the facial expression was neutral. It was obvious they were only "acting" instead of actually feeling and letting their emotions out.
I'm a fan of Suzy but I have to mention this: relax more during kissing scenes, make us feel it, and it doesn't need to be "wild". The kissing scenes can still be romantic even if there wasn't too much lip action. A room for improvement. I love her acting and the way she brings life to the characters she plays but the kissing scenes needs improvement. Relax, take it slow, don't make it wild -- rather make it romantic. Don't act, imagine he's your boyfriend or some secret desire. You want to enjoy the moment, to just let him feel your desire.
As for Joo Hyuk, great job in portraying what appears to be an eccentric, possibly even an autistic, character. It is never easy if an actor is not in the autism spectrum--in particular asperger syndrome. Very geeky, logical, all about facts, and clueless about everything else, especially fashion and social skills. Those scenes where Dal Mi was sending signals and Do San missed it all--those were all great. Sometimes annoying but all of it were relatable. Neutral face, going back to the discussion he was focused on, definitely a character with aspergers syndrome. Well done there.
For Han Na, excellent job in keeping the character mysterious. It was not easy when the character In Jae had a change of heart, especially when it comes to her sister. There were clues but the next moment it's the total opposite. This happens in real life and so it's great to see it on screen.
III. MusicThis one is hard. I can not remember any memorable music other than the theme songs.
IV. Rewatch ValueDefinitely in my list of series that I'll choose to re=watch.
V. SummaryOverall, the production, story, and acting were awesome. The inclusion of business terminologies and explaining each, that was a very good idea. Explaining the processes, the whys and the hows, definitely a plus. It would have been better if they toned down the "young adult" giggles because that very rarely happens in-real-life. They should've used sandbox and showed the idea behind it and what's happening in it more as well, instead of just providing a free office and free funding.
The "revolutionary" ideas were well thought out especially the app helping those with vision challenges. I do hope such an app exists but we haven't achieved that speed of AI recognition still something to look forward to. Great choices on scenes and I wish they added more, like a team building session where they could feature the beauty of Korea instead of the exact same office.
From a dramatic episode 1 and funny episodes later, to the building up of the trials and tribulations, to the eventually resolution in the latter episodes. it was enough to pull up the overall rating to 9 out of 10 stars.
Deserving of high praises and top rating
"The Uncanny Counter" (2020) Season 1 was a live-action adaptation of the webtoon ("digital Korean manhwa") entitled "Kyeongirowoon Somoon" (2018) by Jang Yi. It stars Jo Byung Kyoo, Yoo Joon Sang, Kim Se Jeong, and Yeom Hye Ran, as the Counters--people who hunts evil spirits.
The multiple story arcs were well thought out and I was amazed with how these different stories perfectly fit together in the end which brought out the best in the characters and the moral lessons of the series. The casting and acting for the four lead characters were so good it was as the audience witnessed a true story.
The music, overall production, editing, and directing, were all superb. The choreography in the fight scenes were not lacking and were not overdone, simply fitting for four ordinary individuals to do; otherwise it would have been unrealistic.
Finally, and it is rare to see this in most Asian dramas, they ended the series properly leaving an option for a sequel or a new season. Stories should not be sealed--leaving no room for the audience to create their own continuation, which in turn also leaves no room for an official sequel.
Since it was already announced that season 2 was given a green light, it further proved the importance of ending a series with room for the future. Well done. I will be waiting for season 2.
Definitely a must watch show
I. StoryWhen you thought you have guessed the twists and turns, a new layer is introduced to prove your guesses wrong. This is rare in this genre and the writer, Hyuk Rin Jang, wrote a masterpiece.
While "The K2" was mainly about the political game, it was also about family relationships and the politics that is common in large clans with huge money at stake. This type of story is usually told by showing a dragging drama but in this TV series they approached it from an "outsider" view or as a secondary story. THe family politics was there but they were careful in keeping it from becoming the main story.
II. ActingExcellent acting from the veteran and younger actors. The fight scenes, especially in episode one was beyond Western choreography, "James Bond" and "Mission: Impossible" can never match what they did.
I was also impressed by YoonA's acting of her character. At first it looked like her role was easy but as we get into the middle episodes, her character was challenging--she had to be a totally different person, someone with PTSD and deep hatred.
III. MusicThe background music were perfect. It adds to the impact of an already powerful scene. It was good because BGMs should act as an amplifier for scenes and not as "the scene".
IV. ProductionGreat production. Clearly every centavo was spent to create a realistic show which captivated the audience and made the boundary between reality and fiction non-existent.
A story about healing, moving on, forgiveness, and loving again
n.b.: Might contain what others consider as "spoiler" but is not in my opinion.
At first, one would assume this is a typical romantic comedy about some couple who found each other, denies being in loved, and eventually lived happily ever after. However, one will soon learn that this is a story about healing, moving on, forgiveness, and loving again.
IU, as Jang Man Weol the owner of Hotel del Luna, beautifully brought to life her character. She successfully hid her image as the world's "Queen of Pop" with her superb acting. From a very friendly, approachable, smiling IU, she totally became the bitter, easy to anger, and strict that is Jang Man Weol. As this story spans a thousand years, IU's talent in acting shone as she took on different roles and genres in one series.
One would probably also assume that Hotel del Luna was an IU show especially since she wore countless of dresses in every 1.5-hour episode, which could range from a thousand years ago to the present. I would say she probably beaten Lucy Liu in Elementary in this area, turning a series into a subtle fashion show. However, Yeo Jin Goo made this his own show as well, himself a veteran actor who have taken challenging roles, playing as Goo Chan Sung, the Hotel Manager, equalised the show between the two actors and their characters.
The music were also great. Yeo Jin Goo's and IU's acting were more than enough but with the right music at the right time, it deepened the emotional connection to the important scenes. From action to the most heart-wrenching scenes, the music made the series very memorable and touching, especially for those who are going through the same challenges in their lives.
The writers also did well. While Hotel del Luna was a hotel for ghosts/spirits, nothing was too scary, I wouldn't even categorised this show as "horror". In each episode, they touched on different subjects about death, murder, accidents, forgiveness, and separation with the people we love, that longing desire to be with them even after life has ended. They carefully guided the show to not turn into "horror"--which amateur writers would've fallen into and throw the story everywhere--by always bringing in the light-hearted comedy of Yeo Jin Goo and IU.
Finally, the overall story of healing, moving on, forgiveness, and loving again was told perfectly in 16 episodes averaging 1 hour and 20 minutes each. This was very eye-opening for those of us who were recently deeply broken, those of us who are denying we have lingering bitterness in our hearts, those of us who are finding it hard to forgive and move on. Goo Chan Sung and Jang Man Wol showed us how and why we should heal, move on, forgive, and love again. Goo Chan Sung demonstrated to us how we should let someone heal first before entering into a relationship with them, how we can be the support they need and not give in to their every demands just because they were deeply hurt. While Jang Man Wol told us how bitterness and an unforgiving heart can lead one to live a sad, unfulfilling, pointless life, and how we can once again love by healing ourselves first.
Thank you to the whole team for bringing us an amazing production and a great meaningful story.
If there will ever be a "Hotel Blue Moon", I hope that it will tell meaningful stories as with Hotel del Luna, and that the sequel wouldn't fall into "just another entertainment show"--a common pitfall with sequels.
Hotel del Luna: 100 out of 10 stars!
An impactful lesson-filled short story
"Dear My Name" (2019) was a 6-episode web series for 10 minutes each which was later re-released as a 2-episode show. However, do not get distracted by it, not every good story has to be long just as how short stories can be as awesome as novels, "Dear My Name" was as awesome as any other full-length TV drama.
The acting was simple and the production and direction captured the spirit of the plot. A story about soulmates, liking each other, rejection, moving on, courage to confess, and having the freedom to choose who we want to spend our lives with. Having presented these "stages of relationships" in a total of one hour tells us the talent of the actors, actresses, the writer, and the director.
Could it have been done longer? Sure. But it won't be as perfect as what it is with its current format.
Relive your first love ?
Architecture101 is a Korean movie about first loves and making decisions. This 2012 film stars Tae Woong Uhm and Ga In Han as the adult "Seung Min Lee" and "Seo Yun Yang", and Je Hoon Lee and Suzy Bae as the younger "Seung Min" and "Seo Yun" who first met in college in Architecture 101.
While this received high ratings in Korea, it was underrated abroad where Asian drama fans are always expecting deep romance and giggles. This drama is beyond that, it tackles our "first loves" when we were young, the hopes, the dreams, that feeling of having first fallen in love with someone we totally did not expect but in the end it did not work. Later in life, when we have moved on and our paths crossed again with our first love, it's all about how we handle those feelings and making adult decisions, very hard adult decisions which can make or break relationships and our future.
Architecture 101 is for adults who have faced and went through life and the challenges it threw toward us. I do not recommend this to young adults and teenagers as most of them will never appreciate the beauty of the story. Yet highly recommended for anyone who wants to capture the long lost hope, beautiful smiles, and sweet memories that only a first love can ever give.
High emotional impact. Amazing cast. Great music! A story we can always watch.
NOTE: There are no spoilers. However, some people might consider some information as such. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.
I. StoryThere are two stories in this series, the first is the political rivalry; and the second is the relationship between the Main leads.
The political rivalry story was well-written. There were always fresh "content" (if we can call it that) in every episode. They avoided repeating the same plot or reusing what was already "solved" in the previous episodes, while maintaining the overarching plot.
The story between Kang Chi Choi (played by Seung Gi Lee) and Yeo Wool Dam (played by Suzy Bae) was more than perfect. I loved how they did not dive into romantic scenes and dating game, otherwise it would've ruined the whole show. They carefully built-up the expectation and tension between the characters and perfectly used the intense emotions they captured from the audience at the right time, at the right moment.
The finale episode (ep. 24) was beyond perfection. While writing this review, I can still feel the impact and weight of this episode. Anyone can easily feel the emotions of both characters and the dialogues were realistic, what most people would say if they're in the shoes of either of the characters.
II. ActingEveryone successfully brought to life the characters they played. The seriousness, the anger, the laughter, and craziness were also reflected on their faces. Superb acting!
The Main leads--Seung Gi Lee and Suzy Bae--captured the hearts of the audience which made it easy to feel their characters, to think like their characters, to be their characters. The way they gave life to their characters was natural, we can feel their humanity.
Special mention to Suzy, if I am not mistaken this was only her third Main role in a TV series, the delivery of her lines and they way she showed us her character's personality was at a veteran actor level. It wasn't perfect, similar with Seung Gi, there were a few scenes which were awkward or maybe forced but both of them quickly recovered (even in the same scene).
III. MusicThe best music/OST. Perfect timing, at the right place, at the right scene, at the right time. The songs were also memorable and easy to listen to. They also did not forget to lower down the background music a second or two before a dialogue, something often forgotten in many other shows.
IV. ProductionIt was clear they gave a very good budget for this show. The texture and colours of their costumes and props were awesome on the screen. It helped in bringing-in the audience to live in the world of "Gu Family Book".
V. VerdictHighly recommended. 20 out of 10 stars. Very high in the re-watch list.
Did I just watch a true-to-life movie series?
I. StoryOverall, the story was great. The number of twists and turn, unexpected revelations, the high level political game, and the multiple layers, made this series one of the best crime drama of this decade ('10s). However, it failed closing the story properly.
In the last episode (16th), it was obvious it was rushed. There was no direction. Everything the series built up from episodes 1 to 15 disappeared. It started awesome, then became great, good, and ended poorly.
It is common among creative writers to have an open-ended story but in this case the ending was not an open-ending, no, it was a cliffhanger intended to be a premise for a guaranteed Season 2. If the intention was to have an open-ending, it should have ended with them driving to the airport. Everything else after that scene killed what made it great.
I still give it 8 out of 10 stars for the story regardless of the disaster after the "driving to the airport scene". I also applaud the writers and director for not inserting romantic scenes just because their lead female is well-known for it.
II. ActingSuzy did well in portraying an intelligence officer. This was a big change from her usual romantic roles and I wasn't expecting she can pull it off. Yet, in the first two episodes, she already shone in her role, that's a sure sign of a talented actress.
The acting of the other actors were superb. I usually see them in dramas about family and relationships, seeing them portray political and intelligence roles was refreshing and in they owned the characters they portrayed in series.
Together, the acting were too believable I kept thinking I was watching a fictionalised true story. The characters were too real, all thanks to their acting and synergy.
III. ProductionDid I just watch a 16-episode (16-hour) movie? It was clear they spent money on "Vagabond" to get it all right. But in the last episode the explosions were very bad. This was the other reason why I said earlier that anything after the "driving to the airport" scene should not have been included.
IV. Overall scoreAll things considered. I give it a rating of 8 out of 10 stars. The superb acting and quality production were what pulled it up, and for avoiding creating romantic scenes just because they have a great romantic-genre actress as a female lead.
A series I'll watch again in the future but not the scenes I mentioned earlier.
Lovely, touching, and memorable
What a lovely, touching, and memorable series!
I. Storya. Episode stories: Some of the episode stories were good but there were those which were great. Out of the total 16 episodes, there are 5 anyone would watch repeatedly. The "legal" aspect were good, the comedy were very funny, and the relationship between characters were what anyone can relate to.
b. Series story: The overall story of the show was neatly written and realistic. It isn't your typical boy-meets-girl-and-they-lived-happily-ever-after which are usually boring and only for the "giggles" factor. While You Were Sleeping have the dynamics and challenges usually experienced by two strangers, turned friends, and started falling for each other yet there were some things holding them back.
II. ActingOverall, the acting were amazing. They easily portrayed the personality of the characters they were playing. However in the latter part of the series where there were more kissing scenes, the two lead actors weren't into it. I am assuming those scenes were filmed near the beginning of the project and they weren't at ease with each other yet, if so, it was not a good decision. In those particular kissing scenes both actors were lacking emotions, it was "platonic", they were just "acting".
The supporting actors did well too and made their characters memorable especially when it comes to comedy, they delivered the scenes perfectly. Great job!
III. MusicFor the whole series, there were only 5 songs which made an impact out of 14 included in the OST. These songs were played in the correct scenes and hopefully were used also in more scenes, or at least an instrumental instead of the other music they used.
IV. Rewatch valueI've watched this twice already. The first time was the Filipino-dub version and recently the original Korean-dub. Anyone can watch While You Were Sleeping anytime and everytime they want, it is a light drama and very romantic.
V. Suzy BaeSuzy Bae did well in portraying a lovable and pretty character who anyone would fall into at first sight.
Hooray Suzy! Keep it up!
Not a Romantic Comedy but a Family Relationship Drama
First of all, this series does not qualify as a RomCom (Romantic Comedy) it is a Drama about family relationships. Yes, there are comedy scenes here and there but those scenes were not even 2% of the 1-hour 50 episodes. With that clear, let's begin with the review.
Review proper:1. The story. At first it appeared that this is a story about Lee Soon Shin (played by IU) and Shin Joon Ho (played by Jo Jung Suk), the poster, synopsis, and first few episodes were about them. However, as we enter deeper in the series, it became clear that the series was not about them but about the family relationships.
Shin Joon Ho, and in particular Lee Soon Shin, were only used as an anchor to be able to tell the amazing stories of each of the "supporting characters". While this was good overall, without watching the last few episodes, the stories were all over the place. There were too many stories told it was no longer possible to identify which stories qualified as "main" and which were "side" stories.
All 50 episodes should be watched completely to fully appreciate this series. A series about family relationships. The bond that we share with each other. The ups and downs we go through. The love that still triumphs over resentment and hate.
"You Are The Best" is about "YOU" (yes, YOU the reader) being the best because you fight despite all the trials and tribulations that comes in our lives.
I'm giving it an 8 out of 10 stars.
All of them combined, it's 9.5 out of 10 stars.
I'm giving this 7 out of 10 stars.
Conclusion:Overall, I'm giving the series 8 out of 10 stars. It was a great show and it was very moving. The multiple main stories are relatable and memorable, especially its focus on family relationships instead of a romcom or romance between two love birds. While having multiple main stories was good, it diminished the focus and impact of the main story between the two main characters. It was also slow at first and took ten to twenty episodes to reach the meat of the main plot. Regardless, the acting given by all the actors and actresses were so good and natural that overall it is worth watching again.
Summary: Alice is a major masterpiece.
Some details:I. Time-travel-- I am very critical when it comes to time-travel stories. The writers of Alice handled this very well with just 16 episodes. They backed it with current science and theories and less on artistic freedom. They also handled well the grandfather paradox.
Were there loopholes in the time-travel? At first, it appears so but after watching the whole series there is none. In the finale episode, many would probably think there were a lot of loopholes but I beg to differ, there were none as far as the theories and science used by the series they did this one well.
II. Acting-- The acting of everyone were superb. From the comedy to seriousness, from the love triangle to family love, and from the future to the past to the present. I have no idea the sequence of filming you did--all past scenes first for example, or was it mixed--but everything fit perfectly.
III. Music-- The background music were in the right place and at the right time. Not too soon, not too long, and definitely not in the wrong places. It was not used to elicit emotions, the music was there to add an additional layer to an already complex dynamics.
IV. Story-- This is the most important part. The story is very deep and thought-provoking. It is a love story about a mother and her son. It is a love story about the son and a person who looks exactly like his mother. A love story about the son who was adopted and grew up with another family. It is a story about camaraderie. And it is also a story about time-travel and the repercussions and morals of it.
Having weaved all these different stories to form one grand story is not an easy thing to do in a 16-episode series. This is usually possible in a novel or comics but the writers of "Alice" and the director were able to pull it off. It started with love and ended with love.
Time has no beginning and no end but people do.
Fun, Relatable, Full of Lessons
From the title and synopsis, the impression was this is a part comedy, part cheesy, part romantic, series. It was so easy to dismiss but I am glad I did not. Each episode are around 30 minutes long and they did well in telling the stories of the characters and their relationships while staying to a particular topic or subject in each episode.
I like the OST, at least what was used so far in the first 8 episodes. Good acting, the chemistry between the actors were great. Relatable story, romantic and yet light--not cheesy, not teenage drama, no serious political and family drama.
If you're looking for a TV show to break your existing serious line-ups, definitely pickup "Lovestruck in the City".
Watched episodes as of this review: 12 of 17 (on-going)
The Greatest Science Fiction Romance in the last 40 years
"더 킹: 영원의 군주" or "The King: Eternal Monarch" (2020) was the best science fiction and romance of the 2010 decade. I would say that this show has gained the number one (#1) spot in my list of "Top 10 Overall Best Sci-fi TV Show" pushing down "Fringe" (2008) which held that rank for 12 years.
I. StoryThe writer, Kim Eun Sook of the "Lovers in Paris" (2004); "Descendants of the Sun" (2016); "Goblin" (2016); and "Mr. Sunshine" (2018) fame, once again showed us her amazing talent in creating stories that truly captures the imagination and heart of the audience.
In "The King: Eternal Monarch" (2020), Kim Eun Sook has woven beautifully the "parallel world" trope into her memorable romance plots. She did not leave it simply as a literary device then forgotten, she placed it in the center of the series, and the drama and romance unfolded through it.
Each episode was more or less one hour and ten minutes, and no episode was boring, no episode was dragging, no episode was a repeat of previous ones. In every episode there is a fresh plot, a new story to tell which added to the development of the characters, the relationships between them, and the tension and clashes when worlds and ambitions collide.
II. Acting/CastWhat an amazing cast--Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan, Kim Kyung Nam, Jung Eun CHae, Lee Jung Jin, Kim Yong Ji, Kang Hong Suk--they picked the right people for the roles. Their unique acting styles made their characters fully alive and their interaction with each other natural.
The show was not only about "Yi Gon" (Lee Min Ho) and "Jeong Tae Eul" (Kim Go Eun), everyone were key persons in creating the world of the "Kingdom of Corea". They all brought their best and created a masterpiece.
III. ProductionWhile there were a few noticeable errors, the editing and sequence of the scenes covered it all. I especially like how they did not present the stories, in each episode, in a linear fashion; instead they kept scenes for the next episodes and did flashbacks at the right time.
The mixing of historical with the modern in the fictional "Kingdom of Corea" were seamless. There were no out-of-place moments. Where there are modern things, the room was designed to fit these modern gadgets. Where there should be a historical look and feel, the room either did not have any modern materials or the few blended with the environment. Not an easy task to achieve.
It was not only the interior designers but it was also the directors and cameramen who did great shots in creating a seamless mix of historical and the modern environments.
IV. ConclusionI highly recommend "더 킹: 영원의 군주" or "The King: Eternal Monarch" (2020) especially if one is a fan of "parallel world" type of science fiction. Think of this show as "Fringe" (2008) but with touchy romance and intense family rivalry.
Overall score of 9.5 out of 10 stars.
Pulls the audience right into the story
"Awaken" was a well-made mystery and suspense Korean drama. It follows the story of "Do Jung Woo" (played by Nam Goong Min) and "Gong Hye Won" (played by Kim Seol Hyun) as they try to solve a series of murders tipped by an unknown personality through codes.
The story was carefully laid-out as in each episode there were numerous twists and turns to keep the audience on edge and continually guessing. This also pulled in the audience into joining into solving the ever evolving mysteries.
I also praise the actors and actresses for their superb acting. They did not come to the show as "another character to act", it was evident that they assumed the identity of their characters and lived the way they would if they were real. From being police officers to being ordinary individuals with lives and worries, they successfully invited the audience to a suspension of disbelief the entire sixteen (16) episodes.
The soundtrack was good and were placed in key scenes which created an even greater impact. Finally, the production and directing were top-notch. They did not shy away from picking the right locations, the attires, and the tools needed to present the world of "Awaken".
An overall 9.5 out of 10 stars from me. I highly recommend this show.
A 花より男子 (Hana Yori Dango); Meteor Garden show with political sibling rivalry
I. StoryIn a story with many important characters, it is important to tell it clearly, they did well in doing that. The political war between the brothers were interesting, they also picked a good period for the Korean version of a Chinese novel.
Sadly, the romantic aspect of the story was delivered poorly. It did not elicit any emotional reaction. There was no built-up. This is primarily a story about sibling rivalry gone to the political level.
II. ActingIt was lacking in some areas, there were also scenes which looked like they were practicing. There were also memorable scenes, from pure laughter to serious where their acting were very natural.
III. MusicThe music, unfortunately, did not make an impact. There were scenes where a powerful music fits but instead it did not have any or a weaker music was used. They should've used more.
IV. ProductionThe production was very good. They spent for quality materials and designs for the wardrobe of the actors. This is specially true for IU where she was able to wear historical wardrobes yet with a modern touch which fits her aura. Great job in blending the two eras.
However, close-up shots were overused to the 5th power. It wasn't needed in many of the scenes, it became annoying. In the boat scenes, there was too much backlight glare from the sun the actors (again close-up shots) can be barely seen.