2015 to 2016

i wasn’t able to watch a lot of kdramas during this period because I was preoccupied and busy with work. plus my hard drive crashed so lost a huge files of dramas. but some of the dramas i watched during this period were:

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Miss Korea

  • Title: 미스코리아 / Miseu Koria
  • Genre: Drama, romance, comedy, family
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast network: MBC
  • Broadcast period: 2013-Dec-18 to 2014-Feb-26
  • Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 22:00

Synopsis A drama set in 1997, depicts a story of office men who try to make Oh Ji Young Miss Korea, in order to save their cosmetic company from bankruptcy. Oh Ji Young is elevator girl who was the most popular girl back in high school also the best looking girl in the neighborhood.

Main Cast: Lee Yun Hee, Lee Sun Kyun, Lee Ki Woo, Lee Mi Sook, Go Sung Hee, Song Sun Mi, Lee Sung Min

Short review: Most of the time the episodes are sad but i loved the whole culture about beauty pageants! first time to watch Lee Yeon Hee- wow she’s so tall and pretty! Lee Sun Kyun is still Mr Chep to me (lol) and why does Lee Ki Woo always play the second lead that’s semi-nice and semi-ass? the guy from Misaeng (who is the gangster) – i hate him for being so bad to Sunhyun but i could understand where he’s coming from. if he didn’t get his money he gets beaten up by his boss. i didn’t really like his relationship with the short haired girl, coz it’s too brutal and i was distracted by her face. Lee Mi Sook is so beautiful! overall i liked everyone even the villains (except for Lee Ki Woo) because they were able to show their backgrounds and why they act that way so you can’t really hate them and instead hope each got their own happy ending.

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Birth of A Beauty

  • Title: 미녀의 탄생 / Minyeoui Tansaeng
  • Genre: Romance, comedy
  • Episodes: 21
  • Broadcast network: SBS
  • Broadcast period: 2014-Nov-01 to 2015-Jan-11
  • Air time: Saturday & Sunday 21:55

Synopsis A romantic comedy about the revenge, love, and success of beautiful woman with the personality of an ajumma. It will tell the story of a woman who is transformed after plastic surgery and diets, and the man, who made her that way. Han Tae Hee is the heir of a large company. He is suffering from a broken heart syndrome due to a psychological shock. To get the woman he loves back, he completely changes an unattractive and overweight ajumma Sa Geum Ran to beautiful Sa Ra. In the process, Han Tae Hee falls in love with Sa Ra.

Main Cast: Joo Sang Wook, Han Ye Seul, Jung Gyu Woon, Wang Ji Hye

Short review: I loved Han Ye Seul in her old drama with Oh Ji Ho (Fantasy Couple). It’s nice to see her onscreen again. Most of the time she’s crazy coz she is half nice half vengeful – i really wanted her to get her revenge but sometimes get annoyed at her trying to be sweet attitude. the guy is handsome like a more manlier version of Song Seung Hun – i love his character – so sweet and supportive and resourceful. but at the end of the day, did he really love her as her or because she’s pretty? i guess we will never know. the point is he never left her and proved to her he loves her. i first watched Jung Gyu Won in Dr. Champ opposite Kim So Yeon – it also one of those nice feel good romances. Unfortunately i watched Birth of a Beauty right after Oh My Venus so now everytime i see Jung Gyu Woo i want to smash his smug face (lol i’m sorry). but seriously he must be good if he is able to portray really awful characters (though most of the time the writers dont give enough storyline to elicit empathy for his stupid actions). so he married a fat ugly but super nice lady to get her money then dumped her a “pretty” but evil girl. that’s what you call karma. they really deserved each other! Wang Ji Hye is pretty when she smiles but looks so bitchy in most of the dramas i’ve watched her.

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Cinderella and the Four Knights 

  • Title: 신데렐라와 네 명의 기사 / Sinderellawa Ne Myeongui Gisa
  • Genre: Romance, comedy
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast network: tvN
  • Broadcast period: 2016-Aug-12 to 2016-Oct-01
  • Air time: Friday & Saturday 23:00

Synopsis The story about Eun Ha Won, a bright but lonely girl abused by her stepmother and stepsister who, in order to pursue her dream, left home and ends up living in a big mansion together with three Kang cousins and their bodyguard.

Main Cast: Jung Il Woo, Ahn Jae Hyun, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Shin, Choi Min, Son Na EunShort review: What a waste of talent! it started really well until Eun Ha Won moved to the house and the story got stuck. Park So Dam was hella cute and Jung Il Woo is still as cute and hot kisser as he was in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – thought i wish he starts picking meatier roles because he is being left out by Kim Soohyun, Lee Jongsuk, even Song Joongki and Park Bo gum! Kang Hyun Min started as a fun character when he was all arrogant but then got depressed and angsty in the middle to the last part – and we dont really understand why he is so cold to Hyeji. On the other hand, Hyeji is such an awful person! i dont know if it’s because Naeun is a terrible actress or there really wasn’t much she could do with the awful script they gave her. she kept pushing herself to Hyunmin and kept using Jiwoon and hurting Hawon in the process. The show also felt pretty similar to Park Shinhye’s old drama with Jang Geun Suk (back when he was still hot and manly) called “You’re beautiful”, where all the guys in the band had a crush on the lead. Kinda like Lee Jung shin as the shy singer vs Lee Hongki’s character except You’re beautiful was a better drama.

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Doctors

  • Title: 닥터스 / Dakteoseu
  • Also known as: Doctor Crush
  • Genre: Romance, comedy, drama, medical
  • Episodes: 20
  • Broadcast network: SBS
  • Broadcast period: 2016-Jun-20 to 2016-Aug-23
  • Air time: Monday & Tuesday 22:00

Synopsis Yoo Hye Jung was a tough bully in school with a prickly personality and always goes wayward. She had many scars from her childhood and through self-preservation, Hye Jung keeps her heart shut away from other people. However, she changes after meeting her mentor Hong Ji Hong who plays a key role in transforming her life from a helpless gangster to a compassionate doctor.

Main Cast: Kim Rae Won, Park Shin Hye, Yoon Kyun Sang, Lee Sung KyungShort review: While Park Shin Hye has never been one of those amazing actress, i love watching her (except for her juvenile roles). I chose this one since it’s a big step for her to choose a more mature character (she’s not in high school and she’s a doctor!) and she is paired with Kim Raewon (woohoo.. one of the old time korean drama stars that i liked aside from Ji sung and Jang Hyuk). i was skeptical on their pairing because he is obviously older than her but somehow they made it work (well, barely since it still felt a little like brother-sister to me sometimes as the guy was more affectionate than the girl). i was ready to hate Yun Kyunsang’s character but ended up liking him for being nice and pure (and with a sweet smile). Gahh hated Lee Sungkyung’s character here because she kept blaming other people for her own problems, but i’m glad she became a better person in the end. There wasn’t much “doctor thing” happening in this show, just some old revenge plot which didn’t really go down well.

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Let’s Fight Ghost

  • Title: 싸우자 귀신아 / Ssauja Gwisina
  • Also known as: Bring It On, Ghost
  • Genre: Fantasy, comedy, romance
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast network: tvN
  • Broadcast period: 2016-Jul-11 to 2016-Aug-30
  • Air time: Monday & Tuesday 23:00

Synopsis: Hyun Ji is a wandering ghost who died when she was 19-year-old. One day she meets an exorcist named Bong Pal. They team up to listen and solve the problems of various ghosts so that they can rest peacefully.

Main Cast: Ok Taecyeon, Kim So Hyun, Kwon Yool

Short review: Somehow i feel like the plot was done before (i just can’t remember which show or film – spoiler – that she wasn’t dead, just in a coma), but this show was still (juvenile) fun to watch (well, sometimes a little scary and dark). i’m not a fan of Taecyeon (ever since he fought with Jay Park after the 2pm scandal) and he is a bad actor but i watched the show because i thought it looked scary and cute (with the loveable and pretty Kim So Hyun). There were some episodes that were scary and I loved the whole mystery about who So Hyun’s character was and why she’s a ghost. Taecyeon wasnt that bad here though he still needs more practice when the scene is a drama. the two ghostbusters were annoying (well mostly the leader is annoying, but the other guy was so cute, esp his crush on So Hyun). I feel bad for the Uncle because he seems to only have one pair of clothes (lol and always dirty) and he seems to have lost his touch, but I like that he doted on Taecyeon like his own son. Kwon Yool looked so angelic but gahhh when he stares, it’s really so evil.

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Ghost Seeing Detective Cheoyong Season 1

  • Title: 귀신보는 형사, 처용 / Gwishinboneun Hyungsa, Cheo Yong
  • Also known as: Ghost-Seeing Detective Cheo Yong / Detective Cheo Yong Who Sees Ghosts
  • Genre: Horror, mystery, crime, thriller, action
  • Broadcast network: OCN
  • Episodes: 10
  • Broadcast period: 2014-Feb-09 to 2014-Apr-06
  • Air time: Sunday 23:00

Synopsis Yoon Cheo Yong is a detective who can see and hear ghosts from the day he was born. He solves mysteries and cases along with tough female detective Ha Sun Woo and a high school student ghost Han Na Young.

Main Cast: Oh Ji Ho, Oh Ji Eun, Jun Hyo Sung

Short review: Oh Ji Ho is always fun to watch! the show didn’t really explain how he got his special ability and i thought while he is a loner, he could have told his partner what was happening early on (like why she keeps getting black outs and her friend ghost). The story about the villain/evil spirit was really scary – i didnt watch the second season yet – so not sure if there’s a continuation or this is a whole new story with new characters. Oh and I love Hyosung! she’s so cute (though sometimes annoying whenever she just go and take over the detective’s body.

Other series I started but did not finish:

Angry Mom – i started watching the first 2 episodes but stopped since i thought it was too dark. and while i’m not a mother and i know how fierce a mother’s love can be, i just thought the acting of Kim Hee Sun was too much and too over the top. she so does not look like a high schooler! not sure if i’ll continue watching this.

Twenty Again – i didn’t finish this drama because it was boring and i’m sorry but everytime i look at Choi Ji Woo’s face, she always looks so pitiful and her character was as pitiful as her face. i also didn’t like the lead guy, thought he was too arrogant when Choi Ji Woo’s character was so nice to him.

There! i think i’m almost up to date. i also started watching Discovery of Romance but stopped at 3 episodes, it’s a nice show but i started watching Laurel Tree Tailors and got hooked (at 54 episodes! lol!) i’m on episode 20 so i may try writing my thoughts starting episode 20 until the end.

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we are dating now eps 1-3

originally written in Jan 2015. unfortunately, while i was able to watch the entire drama (and loved it), i wasn’t able to finish writing my review. so here’s a snippet of the first 3 episodes. this one’s an oldie but a goodie.

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Title: 지금은 연애중 / Jigeumeun Yeonaejung / We Are Dating Now
Chinese Title : 正在恋爱中
Also known as: Dating Now
Genre: Drama, romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2002-Jan-16 to 2002-Mar-07
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 9:55 PM

Synopsis

Ho-Jung is a cute, naive girl who often falls head over heals with the wrong guys. Both Ho-Jung and Kyu-In, her neighbor, are idealistic about love. They start off on the wrong foot and treats each other as if they were siblings, constantly fighting. Ho-Jung’s friend Cha Hee has a thing for Kyu-In and Ho-Jung later realizes that she too has feelings for him. Ho-Jae, Ho-Jung’s brother, is a player, who has good physical features. Things start to get complicated for Ho-Jae when he falls for Ho-Jung’s friend Soo-Ji, who does not have a physical appeal but has a good personality and intelligence.

Cast

Chae Rim as Yoon Ho-jung
So Ji Sub as Choi Kyo-in
Choi Yoon Young as Kang Cha-hee
Kwon Sang Woo as Yoon Ho-jae

I absolutely adore chae rim and when you add kwon sang woo and so ji sub in the cast, the show is a must watch. Im talking the 2004 drama we are dating now. Nice to watch the good old dramas when the story is simple but relatable. Its also fun seeing their fashion back in the days plus the pager haha. And watching these huge hallyu stars when they were just rookie actors are entertaining. So here i go with my review.

Ep 1-2
Ho jung is cute and charming cant believe the guys dont like her. And why cant the guys just tell her straight that they like someone instead of telling her lies? Kyu in – now theres a nice guy. He may look mean but hes got a good heart. Seems like he fell in love with ho jung at first sight. And so funny that she hates him all because he ratted her out to her mom when she begged him not too. Since then theyve been like dog and cat..seems like all he does is catch her at the worse times..when she has boy problems. And yet there he goes still pining for her. I feel sad seeing him watching her wait for hyun min the law student all the while knowing hes got someone else. I also dont know why he wont just tell her about hyunmin jerk and put her out of her misery? Su ji may not be pretty but shes rich and really nice. I wish she had more confidence in herself  or maybe cha hee should teach her a thing or two about fashion. Im hoping she ends up with pretty boy hyo jae. I teally like cha hee shes so cool and in the drama you can also see that pretty girls have their own problems too. So hojung finally studied and passed the exam all thanks to mean teacher kyu in. But then she finally found out the truth about hyun min and broke up. Hojung feels sad and is now scared of loving someone. I would too if i had two lousy jerks cheat on me.

Ep3
We see hojung 2 years later with short hair and someone is creepily taking pictures of her at work and at work. Later he makes a grand gesture by making strangers give her roses. When they finally met im as at loss for words as hojung. He wanted to make it special but damn youre a complete stranger and stalking her is not good strategy. Eventually he wins her over by helping her at work and in school and by befriending her friends. He is a bit jealous of kyu in which is weird since he is dating cha hee. I know a guy that
Goes all out may just well be crazy and i was right! No sooner has hojung accepted him and he begins to show his true colors. Like forcing her to kiss him on her bday? And telling her what hair style or getting enraged at kyu in and fighting with her old boss? Wow this guy is seriously psycho. I canr believe hojung fell for another loser!! The last bit with him forcing her to go to paris and going crazy at her oarents hiuse was half scary half hilarious!! Hope he finally lets her go. In surprised that kyu in likes cha hee. Seems he likes ho jung but i thiught his male pride is making him be with cha hee. But that sweet moment at the seoul tower looks like he likes her back. Lets see how it goes. On the other hand hojae is still his playful self but is being really mean to suji for playing with her heart. I really hope he falls deep in love with her. She may not be pretty but she is nice and rich and understands him.isnt that what he wants?

Ao far having fun watching the show. How i wish kyu in and ho jung gets together soon

i hear your voice eps 8-15

originally written in August 2014 and November 2014

Episode 8

-i thought joongook can fool do yeon with his story.. Im glad that do yeon is smart a d told him that she was also a witness to the crime
– when hyesung finally realizes er kast conversation with her mom.. The scene was heartbreaking!!
-oh no gwanwoo.. Do not fall for joongook’s lies!!!
-i feel bad for gwanwoo. I know hes just doing his job but damn can you see you’re hurting hyosung?
-im impressed by hyosung’s heart and spirit and bravery. Fight on!! pls do yeon help her!! Oh maybe do yeon’s daddy can help too!
– lawyer cha is really good but i wished he didnt he display it now.. What happens now that he gets acquitted? Will he still come for hyosung? And even the kid? How come the verdict is still one month away? Guess they have time.
-haha only a kid will thank gwanwoo because now he has a chance with hyosung!
-they finally go to their aquarium date. Nice to see sooha being a mature guy, walking away and telling hyoaung to wait and accept gwanwoo. And i admit it is quite cool of him to grab her and kiss her.. That surely made hyosung thin of him more as a man now.
I still not sold on the noona romance. It would have been more believable if he was in college. I really feel that theyre better off as close senior-junior rship. But lets see how the writers can take their rship to the next level.

btw, here’s a shot of Hyesung’s pretty home

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Episode 9
-so its one month later and the verdict will be announced soon.. And it’s not guilty!! Where will the story go next?
-interestingly.. Whats the story about the cellmate, do yeon and dad? Maybe the dad atole the cellmate’s daughter who is now.. Do yeon??
-gwanwoo finally reads the case from 10years ago and realizes what he has juat done.. He made his work a priority and didnt protect hyosung.
– oh no. The terrorizing starts now!! No wait its the kid.. Whats his plan? To put out the scent on joongook or to force joongook to face him first?
– that fight scene.. Omggg he didnt up stabbing hyosung!! And joongook stabs the kid!! Feels like romeo and juliet. Kid almost suffocates him but eventually released him to save hyosung. This just keepa getting better!! And now  gwanwoo finally sees joongook’s true colors and they get a witness! But how will they explain that the knife is sooha’s.. Oh wait joongook also has fine prints on it when he stabbed the kid.
-and joongook is back as a suspect. And cha resigns. He shoukd have done that the minute he was assigned to the joongook case. I dont understand lawyer shin at all!!
– hmmm did joongook cut off his hand and is oretending to be dead??
-it’s now one yr later and hyosung is back to her old “who cares” self and do yeons hair is longer! Gwanwoo is working in a jimjilbang. So whats lawyer shin gonna do? And will do yeon help bring her fire back?
– and they finally find Sooha!! Wait what.?!? HE HAS AMNESIA??? really??

Episode 10
The episode started slow, mostly to re introduce the people back to the story. I love that do yeon and huesung ate fighting fairly in the courtroom, without any malice. I love that cha and the team are helping hyesung defend sooha. I love how the episode showed both sides – their strategy to dispute each other’s evidence. And i love how while the story is unfolding infront of the jury, we see sooha slowly regaining his memory.. But not eniught to really know what happened that fateful night. The twist at the end wasnt really a twist as from the start i thought that with joon guk being very calculating, he could pull this kind of scheme and get away with it.buy let’s see how the story goes..

Episode 11
Ohhh right… Hwang dal jeong and min joonguk were cellmates!!! Ouch.. Do yeon using joonguk’s acquittal as her closing statement really hits home but i dont think it’s good analogy when there are fewer evidence this time around. Love hyesung’s rebuttal. I believe it really could go either way depending on which side you interpret. And yes innocent until proven guilty makes more sense than guilty until proven innocent because this shows our belief that humans are naturally good. And i like how  jang finally understood why cha did what he did during her moms mirder trial. She should have been more convincing proving joonguk’s guilt and since they didnt, they lost. And lets admit it.. Isnt that also the point of a trial? It’s not whos guilty or innocent but whose lawyer is better at presenting the case.
Hmm. Suspicious ahjumma why did she report sooha? Who made her report him?
Still so curious about doyeons dad and hwang dal jeong… Maybe doyeons dad was the one his wife had an affair with???
Aww i feel bad for cha.. You really cant force yourself to like someone when you dont, no matter how great a guy he is
Haha funny hyesung is avoiding sooha! Wonder why.. Because she is falling for him? Or doesnt want the burden of being near him thus would rather cut ties and move on? I prolly would do the same but not as harsh. And yes use your brains.. pls choose cha instead!!!
Omg.. Of course joonguk is back terrorizing the reporter!!
Nooooo….so she really likes sooha!!!! Arghhhh!! As a kid or as a man???? Dang!! (yes thats how much i disagree despite loving this show!!)

Episode 12
Im glad that both doyeon and cha are competent enough to start piecing the puzzle even coming from different angles. Joonguk strikes again.. Killing the witness. Hope he doesnt find the oyher truck driver!!
Doyeon and hyesung drunk are funny.. And we see them confronting ad talking about their past.
Lastly we see sooha regaining his memory of both his part and that night with joon gook.. And another thing that ive been wondering since episode one.. “Why did joon gook kill sooha’s dad?” Also gets answered. And another emotional scene between sooha and joon gook at the end! And his ability to hear people’s thoughts is back!

episode 13
so soo ha’s hearing ability is back and hes hiding it from girl. hate how he thinks he can protect her by hiding things from her. noble but naive.
im really curious abt the former judge hwang dal joong. did he steal his daughter ?
the cute effort to keep girl and boy together (eg. fake cockroach) is getting corny. its like trying to force audience that he is a man and capable of protecting her. i think she is feeling attachment not love. ugh.
hmm is soo ha thinking of becoming a cop?
hwang dal joongs wife is alive? interesting. feel bad for him for being in jail for 26yrs.if i were the lawyer i will help him get his justice! maybe its the former judge who is habing the affair with his wife because he is so guilty.
girl vs girl in the court room. don’t they have any other lawyers and public defenders? why do they always have to be in court together?
so min joon gook is back prank calling the girls house. feels like rehashing the previous episodes and just qaiting for the last episodes for the climax.
so funny guu asking favor from jang. haha.
oh she hwang dal joongs wife gave their daughter to the judge (should be do yeon) as payment for putting the husband in jail? i think any jury will understand why he would try to stab his wife.
min joon gook reminds me of kim tae woo from god. haha. there he goes being creepy again.
oohh so what seo dae seok feels is guilt and he got blackmailed to take in the daughter.
omg! lawyer cha and joon gook! i love joon gook he is so cool and brave.
soo ha finally reveals he regained his memory and ability.

episode 14
so did joon gook tell the full story to lawyer cha? oh he did so now even lawyer cha kniws and hea hiding the story.
argh why wont sooha tell thw whole truth to hyesong!! and that puppy dog thing is so irritating
so she finally tells her she likes him too. and im glad shes mature enough about it. but still seeing them together romantically makes me cringe esp since they try to make it too innocent.
im excited to watch the jury trial of hwang dal joong.
nice how hyesong still thinks of her friend and how this will all  affect her. argh i dont like the dad even if he was blackmailed he shouldnt be like that.
how boys dont know abt girls. the more u hide the more she will get angry if she later finds out. why do they always eat at the same places? haha
i pity Do yeon. id rather learn it from a friend than in court in front of everyone
yay she finally wants to tell the truth to do yeon

episode 15
of course do yeon is gonna go crazy and bitchslap hyesong haha.
omg for the first time i feel for do yeon. she must be so shocked to find out the truth.
last episode she didnt want to say anything for fear that do yeon will get her lofe shaken up. but now shes on fire she cant see how mich do yeon is hurting from all this. a touching moment when soo ha heard do yeons thoughts about her father.. which was exactly how he felt when he found out the truth from joon gook.
and i love the parallellism of do yeona story to soohas dilemma. now he has to decide if hes going to be honest or not. very risky move but being honest is better than betraying someones trust.
so true lawyer cha is so mature i also dont understand what hyesong saw in sooha!!!!
we finally get to slowly see what happened between soohas dad and joongook that atarted all this.
so stubborn to the end, do yeon’s dad
loving the whole trial. we finally see do yeon break down and acknowledge her real dad.

i hear your voice eps 1-6

originally written in July 2014

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I Hear Your Voice

Title: 너의 목소리가 들려 / Neoui Moksoriga Deulryeo
Also known as: I Can Hear Your Voice
Genre: Romance, supernatural, thriller, law, mystery
Episodes: 18
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2013-Jun-05 to 2013-Aug-01
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 22:00
Original Soundtrack: I Hear Your Voice OST

Synopsis
A thriller courtroom drama with fantasy and romantic comedy elements. It will depict the story of Jang Hye Sung (Lee Bo Young), a bold, sassy, thick-faced, comical, and materialistic public defender who becomes a lawyer after overcoming poverty and painful memories from her childhood, comes to realizations about society and justice after meeting Park Soo Ha (Lee Jong Suk), a 19-year-old boy who reads other people’s thoughts and Cha Kwan Woo (Yoon Sang Hyun), an innocent lawyer who lives a disciplined life. Jang Hye Sung is actually Soo Ha’s first love after she gave a decisive testimony on his father’s murder case 10 years ago and Soo Ha promised to protect her from the killer’s threats. Meanwhile, Cha Kwan Woo is Jang Hye Sung’s fellow lawyer who is a cheerful and idealistic former cop even though his character a bit slow, he is nice and pleasant with a firm idea of his principles and justice. Together they will team up to to find the justice in the courtroom and solve the toughest cases with less than 1% chance of winning.

Main Cast
Lee Bo Young as Jang Hye Sung
Kim So Hyun as young Hye Sung
Lee Jong Suk as Park Soo Ha
Goo Seung Hyun as child Soo Ha
Yoon Sang Hyun as Cha Kwan Woo
Lee Da Hee as Seo Do Yeon / Hwang Ga Yeon
Jung Min Ah as young Do Yeon

I heard good reviews about this drama and this was the breakthrough drama for both lee bo young and lee jong suk. Finally was in the mood to watch this show this week.

Episode 1
Wow what a great first episode! We get to see soo ha and hyosung now and flashbacks about what happened in the past. It also showed their personality and how they became what they are now. I also like how sooha has an ability to read minds. I know there is going to be a noona dongseng romance.. This one im not quite sure it looks a bit creepy but let’s see how they would develop the story. Im also quite interested to see how the plot will move as the criminal will be released soon. And wonder what role will the other lawyer play. The acting is top notch, the pacing is fast the story is riveting!

Episode 2
I love the twist! Who would hve thought the two girls will meet again and both have become lawyers and on opposite sides? The case is interesting and serves as a good way for sooha and hyosung to meet.her office seems to be lighthearted, lawyer shin maybe tough now but I’m sure he will be a great mentor to hyosung. Gwanwoo is still a bumbling guy wonder how he can help her or if he will be a second lead? Now let’s see if hyosung is a great public defender or not!

Episode 3
I thought the case would be light but it was a good way to send a strong message against bullying. Sooha’s crush is kinda cute and him being able to read minds and help hyosung is a nice way to develop their relationship. Gwanwoo and hyosung pretending to be high school students were funny. Nice to finally see the office root for hyosung.oh no killer is out and has started his revenge against hyosung! The thing about the phone at the end is creepy!! Not sure how min joongook’s cellmate will fit into the story as sinduk is his Lawyer. Doyeon is still the same as she was when they were young will we get to see her more in the next couple of episodes? And i love how hyosung is back as tough as ever! Maybe now she can stop hiding and start living her life!

Great show, really loving it so far! Good mix of fun, drama, suspense and heart! For the remaining episodes, i decided to write my thoughts while watching it live.

Episode 4
– Haha sooha’s illusion and fantasy of hyosung totally shattered after seeing her at home.
– Love how seungbin and hyosung are now friends.
– The creepiest one is a guy who seems to be good but is really dangerous.
– Sorry but lee jongsuk looks really weird.. Like a duck!
– Hyosung zipping her jacket all the way up her face looks too funny!

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– The case about the twins is interesting. Im sure there is a way to tell them apart.
– Brave move for sooha to befriend the killer. Odd killer cant remember sooha but remebers hyosung clearly. Oh wait now killer knows sooha!
– Cute team dinner scene and hyosung is a funny drunk! Im a little disappointed that hyosung is being portrayed to be an average lawyer. Or maybe it’s because we havent seen her full potential. Awww is hyosung started to crush on lawyer cha? 🙂
– I also love the relationship between hyosung and her mom.
– And lastly, love the ost!
– Shet!! Hyosung finally knows that joongook is out and will most likely come after her!! I feel bad for her like i wanted to go to her and stay with her. But she still doesnt know who sooha is!
– Shet again! Joongook confronts sooha and taunts him to hit him. And hyosung finally knows the truth about sooha! I think they are going to make a great team!
– The actor playing the killer is quite effective!
– I love how fast paced the story is going, keeps up on our toed and at the edge of our seats. There are no dragging moments and suspense just keeps building!

Episode 5
– Having 2 cops as friends/allies i guess can be good for them though i dont know how comoetent they are. Haha. Nice plot.. Now theyre stuck pretending to live together.i love her house! It’s as messy as mine 🙂
– The two lawyers are so cute. At first i thought lawyer cha is such a pansy goody goody now he seems so sweet and earnest!
– Hahaha so hyosung’s mom is trying to set them up without their knowing?!? Lol!!
– Sooha finally realizes he still likes hyosung.
– Ahh killer is too smart!! Oh no he’s going for her mom!! Noooooo! Umma don’t hire that bastard!!!
– I wish hyosung would rely on her skills than sooha. I would respect her more.
– The other guy in the office is such a cutie!
– Do yeon is such a mean bitch ugh!!
– I like how the case went. Forces do yeon to find evidence to charge the real killer. I think it’s the nice twin who killed the guy. Or maybe they were faking it?!? Argh!!! That ending looks like the twins planned to kill the guy! But why? Who is that guy ?
Another great episode!!

Episode 6
– I like the mini flashbacks.. Shows us a bit of what happened after the case and what sooha went thru. But i hope we also get a glimpse of hyosung’s life during that period.
– Great plan by do yeon! Hope they catch those smug looking twins!!
– Wait i didnt understand what lawyer said to hyosung abt being a lawyer instead of a public defender.. Let me rewind that part again. Oh i thought the crying girl was the wife.. Didnt realize she was one of the twin’s gf!! Hmm maybe a public defender is abt defending your client at your best even if he is guilty yet she exposed the twins so she wasn’t acting out of their best interests. Good point! But it’s better to do something right than ignore the wrongdoing.
– Aww mom is so nice to joongook. Hope his cold heart melts and later changes his mind abt killing hyosung!
– Lol pretty embarrassing to have someone read your thoughts esp if it’s about them!
– Mmm the jjajangmyun looks tasty! And the seolleongtang!! And im loving hyosung’s hair and green outfit!

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– Oh so we finally hear the reason why they killed the guy.. Because he raped the gf!! Aww if she had known, she could have defended them better. Lesson learned for hyosung!
– Wow lawyer cha looks so handsome!! 🙂 nooooo.. Why did u just leave him like that? You could have just signalled him to wait so he wont misunderstand !!
– Urg those cops are dumb!! I hope they serve their purpose in the later episodes!
– Ohhh kid vs hot lawyer!!
– I like hyosung’s advice to sooha. Two wrongs dont make a right. Dont fix a mistake with another mistake. Wait… So did sooha really take the gun??
– On the other hand we see killer’s dilemma.. Accepting the mom’s bday food or continuing his revenge?
– The director made a great choice shooting the last scene together so we see how they both feel now.

Episode 7
– ok sometimes it’s fun when you don’t need to speak and the person can read your mind
– dont understand the point of showing the three judges all the time! Aside from comic relief
– pity cute assistant torn between the three lawyers haha
– wonder what the case abt the old man and how it will be resolved
– hyesung is visiting her mom! Will joongook show up?! Ha! He broke the cctv in front of the chicken store!
-aww lawyer cha is so nice!!! Why cant hyosung like him instead of the kid??
-didnt realize the role of public defenders.. Is it really like that in real life? But the show is portraying them as if theyre so selfless and nice. On the other hand, its a good wake up call to hyosung to do better in her job
– i think i love team dinner scenes the best! Always so funny yet the dialogue abt law and morals are worth listening to. Is it normal for public defenders, prosecutors and judges to always meet and discuss and havr lunches too?
-oh kid looks spiffy in a suit. But if hes an orphan where does he get his money?
-is there only one prosecutor? How sad ofr do yeon to always keep losing. Haha. And why is hyosung so shocked when gwanwoo hugged her? Lol now he is kissing her hands.. Haha so smooth. I like him now!!! Poor kid in reality theres no way and adult woman will like a high school kid. Seriously!
-oohh killer finally clicked the link now they can find out where he lives!! OMGGGGG!!! Scared for the mom.. Hope nothing happens to her!! If he kills the mom i will hunti him down muself!!! Mom seems like she is saying goodbye huhuhuhu 😦 the scene between mom and killer.. HYESUNG MOM IS THE COOLEST!!
-oh no.. Killer really killed mom!!!
Now i get why this show was so popular!! Just so good!!

Here’s a song from the drama

rich man poor woman eps 5-11 (end)

originally posted in April 2014.

episode 5

looks like makoto and hyuga went on a field trip. it’s nice to see a story progression on how a system or a project is built from the concept to the testing and the problems related to it like servers, funding, etc. i also liked seeing hyuga the young entrepreneur and aoyama the old entrepreneur meet – hyuga can learn a thing or two from him. i like how makoto is always there supporting him and giving him (or reminding him?) a fresh perspective – i dont think hyuga has a lot of confidantes in the office, except for asahina.

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speaking of asahina, he is slowly turning into the bad friend i was fearing him to be. the first few episodes we saw him being such a good friend and mentor but suddenly, because of that one thing sakuragi said in the second episode about him being a coward who never fails, he is now harboring plans to put down hyuga.. now i wonder how long he has been stirring in jealousy and harboring such thoughts about hyuga. when hyuga proposed selling his shares i immediately knew that was asahina’s plan to become a major shareholder and force him out.. but what’s the point? he would get the company but hyuga is the heart and soul of the company. i doubt if asahina is a genius enough to take over or maybe he just wants to prove to hyuga that he bested him? as for hyuga, that would be a huge blow to him, being betrayed by a good friend and losing the company but then so what? he can just put up another company — im sure all the employees would gladly leave asahina and follow him.. i guess his only problem would be funding. but if a person is good and he creates a good product then success and money will eventually follow him.

i still dont know about yoko – i still think she is nothing but an extra person that hyuga interacts with.. i also dont know how he feels about her.. does he like her or is he attracted to her? what about makoto? does he think of makoto only as his cute annoying secretary / toy to play with?

episode 6

asahina suddenly confessing to makoto..is it a ruse or is it for real? to me it feels forced.. and a little creepy. at first i like yoko and her forwardness to hyuga.. now it just feels desperate. i feel bad for hyuga.. and you can see that when he feels sad his thoughts are of makoto.. i guess he’s starting to feel something for her? i hope? 🙂 i would like to see how the writers will handle the whole personal info leak story – will this drag on until he discovers it was asahina?

episode 7

big things happened in this episode. finally, asahina stopped manipulating from behind the scenes and started fighting hyuga face to face like a man – even though the way he did it is still from behind, at least now that it’s all out in the open, the battle can start. the show doesn’t really give us a hint of what asahina is plotting so kinda hard to determine what he is doing – at first, seems like he got hyuga moved to VP role but then at the last part, hyuga announced that he was not only stepping down as president, but also quitting the company – is that what asahina originally wanted? or he’s also surprised/ecstatic by this surprising move?

also, im glad that sakuragi called hyuga to warn him about asahina. you can really see that if you treat a person well, they will repay that favor in kindness too. i dont know why yamagami decided to side with asahina, i was hoping he was the sane one who will side with hyuga.

again im saying that hyuga may have left the company and asahina got next innovation, but how is he confident that he can bring next innovation to the next level when the real brain is gone? he does have the personal file project – and i guess hyuga can’t take it with him since it is next innovation’s project now.

i love how makoto is so sweet and really wants to stay beside hyuga but sometimes i want to smack some sense into her. she always misses her interviw for hyuga. girl – if he wants you, he will come to you so just focus on your work. and in the first part of the episode during dinner and when makoto and hyuga were walking.. hyuga may not speak much but his eyes and actions betray his feelings. oguri is such a great actor! plus, i feel that hyuga likes her, he just doesn’t want to make a move now.. just like he told makoto.. to focus on herself first.

about yoko..i understand she is torn between her brother and hyuga.. if it were me i probably would have a hard time.. protect your brother or tell your crush about your brother’s evil plans? and i think the cute sous chef likes yoko 🙂

episode 8

what a sad episode! the ultimate betrayal by asahina and the humiliation hyuga faced in front of the staff made me cry. i want hyuga to rise up and crush asahina!!! and i was a little happy that yoko slapped her brother infront of everyone! and for makoto to reject asahina. i love how makoto is so cheerful and sunshiney and she made the cutest and sweetest love confession. now hyuga can you please kiss her?

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episode 9

guess this episode was needed to see how hyuga will start from scratch and how makoto will help / transform him to become a better person.

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episode 10

so cute to see hyuga agonize and miss makoto — guess this was needed for hyuga to be able to sort out his feelings for her.

i wish it was makoto who was with hyuga when he met his mom but it was funny to see him in makoto’s family’s restaurant and her family is talking about him. and i guess this was a continuation of when yoko and hyuga met on a train years ago (and their closure). i still believe yoko as a character was not necessary at all (except to provide a fake rival for makoto)

im not sure why and i dont agree with hyuga going back to next innovation but i guess the moral of the story is being able to forgive asahina and that their friendship is strong. i do feel bad about wonder wall team (those who trusted and followed hyuga ended up with sakuragi). if hyuga has to come back to next innovation, i want to see the board of directors and shareholders grovel and beg him to come back!

lastly, i agree that makoto needs to work away from him – so that she can find her own happiness and forge her own career path. but ggrrrr!!! i didn’t even realize that when hyuga told her that he is now looking for someone else, that makoto will think of asahina! i guess same with hyuga and when she told hyuga that she’s working for the lab, he decided not to correct her. arggh!!! i was shouting on the screen at hyuga and telling him to go back and run after makoto and tell her he loves her! they can still be together even if they’re working in different companies!!!

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episode 11

perfect way to wrap up the series!
toru is back as head of next innovation, joins hands with ji tech to save the company like what asahina wanted, asahina and toru are friends again, yoko and asahina reconciles and the only thing left is for toru to finally confess his feelings to makoto.
i understand makoto.. she wants to know where she stands with toru and toru does not know how to show his feelings. for the first few minutes when he blew up at makoto for going to brazil and insulting her job, argh i wanted to tell him no, but im glad he immediately called up makoto to apologize. and it’s so nice that everytime there is something he feels happy about, makoto is the first one he calls up.
the confession at the airport is so cute and heartfelt.. they are so adorable together!

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so toru’s team is back at next innovation.. so what happened to wonder wall? a year and 9 months later we see asahina is back too and it was a heartfelt moment.. i still dont know what to think of this but the writer wants a happy ending and i guess im fine with it. and the surprise when makoto comes back is so wonderful!!

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overall, this was a great show! im so glad i took the time to watch this! and this will definitely go into my favorites list!

can’t wait to watch the SP!

last cinderella

originally written in April 2014. time out from kdrama, here’s a nice japanese drama!

for this month, i opted to watch a japanese drama from last year (2013) starring ryoko shinohara, naohito fujiki and haruma miura. i love japanese dramas like this because it tells a story about ordinary people and their worries which are very timely and relatable.

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just some thoughts on the show:

episodes 1-4

the characters – i absolutely love Sakura! she is older, confident about herself, so funny to watch her act around her younger bf and adorable to see her bicker constantly with tachibana! but i feel bad how she is being manipulated by hiroto 😦 i guess she will eventually find out about hiroto’s deal with chiyoko and i wish she will kick hiroto’s ass (or maybe im assuming that by end of the series, hiroto will be totally in love with her for real and it serves him right when she dumps him for tachibana!!)

tachibana — hay.. naohito fujiki is so hot!! loved him since hotaru no hikaru! he is a little bit of a jerk sometimes to Sakura but he is the one who is there for her when needed.. when Sakura is sick or needs a shoulder to cry on. when chiyoko asked tachibana is he likes someone and he said “yes but she is out of my reach”.. im assuming he is talking about Sakura but i wonder why he thinks so!! if he really likes her he should just go for it! or maybe he is just waiting for the right time. i dont mind, i love seeing them get closer in every episode and i know he is the person that can make sakura happy!

hiroto – is such a man whore. he is really cute but i dont like how he seems to be so nice to sakura yet is sleeping with momo and now kissing chiyoko! so im confused what he is really feeling. is he really getting jealous of tachibana or he is just saying it for sakura’s sake? or maybe he is starting to really like sakura. i also dont know his relationship with chiyoko!

chiyoko – i hate girls who are pretty yet manipulative. cmon – if you want tachibana, fight for him fairly!! but it’s funny how she is young and pretty but secretly is jealous of older and less pretty sakura! there was one scene where she ran to tachibana and kissed him but i dont know what happened next! how did tachibana feel? and what really happened to her.. im so curious.. did she get raped? but why is she saying it’s all hiroto’s fault and she has this big scar on her back! i hope she also heals and have the courage to fight for tachibana (though i know she has no chance at all. mwahaha.)

miki, miki’s wife and shima — argh!!! totally feel bad for miki – she is putting up with her jerk husband and her evil mom in law – i dont know what she’s going to do when she finds out about her hubby and shima. i wish she would divorce him, maybe he will wake up and see how wonderful she is! as for shima, im glad she stopped flirting with him as soon as she found out about the guy, but i also wish she stops seeing him. even though she means nothing, if i ever found out my best friend is hanging out and giving my husband sex advice, i would seriously freak out!!

episodes 5-6

i can totally understand why hiroto will fall for sakura- she is so cool! but i do wonder what she really thinks of him.. he doesn’t seem to be impressive enough aside from being cute and nice. there must be something else about him that she likes (and the writers still haven’t revealed/explained). i am getting confused with tachibana – he says he doesn’t like sakura but the way he looks at her is quite telling. i mentioned that i want sakura and tachibana together but since the first half is about the blossoming romance between sakura and hiroto vs the comfortable friendship between sakura and tachibana.. i think i will be happy either way.. as long as they write it well (eg. if sakura will end up with tachibana, there should be that one thing that would wake them up and realize how much they mean to each other and if sakura will end up with hiroto, he must do something that will make up worth of sakura’s love). oh and hiroto started as a player but now i think he is not a bad person, just young and not yet sure of himself. and hiroto and chiyoko are siblings.. ok that explains much about their behavior though hiroto kissing her back is kinda creepy given the situation. sad that chiyoko got dumped but i hope she wont become that kind of scorned woman who will hurt sakura!

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episodes 7-8

miki finally sees takeuchi and shima together. i like the way they handled this situation. it takes some time to heal but we can see how much they love each other. and im so glad saki finally told her grandma off! hopefully she takes the hint and leaves the house and hope that miki comes back home.

another secret revealed.. hiroto tells tachibana about his pact with chiyoko. i still dont know why tachibana has to “take care” of chiyoko.. shows you just how much he is willing to go for sakura.. is this for love or friendship? i love how they bicker all the time but at the same time they can sit down have a beer and talk about their life and their worries.. mostly because they’re of the same age and faces the same problems. tachibana’s ex gf coming back to visit was a shocker – i wanted to slap her for leaving tachibana and just coming back assuming they can just resume their relationship! ugh!! but nice to see that she realized that she is no longer wanted in his life. everyone is seeing how tachibana is in love with sakura except himself.. but i think that accidental kiss they had is the “trigger” that i’ve been waiting for.. but i dont know if tachibana will act on it or will he be okay being a friend to sakura?

the more deeper sakura and hiroto’s relationship is getting, the more i’m liking the pair. sakura is too cute and so in love with him and he loves everything about sakura.. even when he makes fun of her “old man” ways, you can see how much smitten he is. and i love how she makes him want to be a better man. but i agree with sakura’s worries — he is too young to get married or even think of children, that’s why as much as i love for them to be together, i also can’t help but think that tachibana is a better match. but so far, aside from remembering their kiss once, i dont think sakura likes him as more than a friend. and with only 3 episodes, it would be awkward if she will suddenly develop feelings for him! but everyone seems to be pushing sakura and tachibana together (tachibana’s mom, the bar owner, the ex gf.. is that a foreboding or it’s just meant to tease us further?)

lastly, we also get to hear the history between chiyoko and hiroto (so they’re step siblings!). somehow i dont feel bad for chiyoko.. she is pretty and rich.. she can get any boy she wants.. not even sure if the scar will scare the boys.. or she should have had it lasered or something (will that work?). im glad tachibana is giving her a chance like she asked but she should back off it if really doesn’t work for them!!

i’m definitely interested to see who sakura ends up with… im tempted to read the reviews but i dont want to spoil the surprise!!! i wonder how and when sakura will find out hiroto’s secret and how she will react? on to episode 9!

episode 9

happy to see that miki and takeuchi have patched things up! so tachibana is finally realizing he likes sakura – now i feel too bad for him and i wonder if he will fight for her since looks like she still doesn’t see him as a man. nice that hiroto is growing up and thinking of sakura, i am surprised that he proposed marriage to sakura — kinda of fast in the relationship isn’t it? and even more surprised that sakura easily accepted, having been swayed by his words. i dont think they need to get married that fast, despite sakura being older. chiyoko is still as pathetic as ever and she just ruined everyone’s life with her selfishness. i understand how shocked and hurt sakura must feel, but she shouldn’t have run away and talked to him instead. i agree, it was a jerk thing to do but that was at the start when he didn’t know her. it’s possible he fell in love with her after getting close to her. thus, all the more reason why she shouldn’t have accepted his marriage proposal and they should have waited. now tachibana has a chance! may the best man win sakura’s heart! and i hope sakura chooses well!

episode 10

Team Tachibana or Team Hiroto? argh!!!

the first couple of episodes, i didn’t like hiroto for being a player and young wasteful guy. then the next couple of episodes, i started to like him because he is seriously making sakura happy while i didn’t like tachibana because he is being so passive. then ep 9 and 10, tachibana has finally stopped denying his feelings and i love his sudden confession to sakura! he’s older, more mature and when sakura was being attacked, tachibana ran over and protected her (now that’s a man!)

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on the other hand, it’s quite obvious sakura still likes hiroto and only thinks of tachibana as a good friend. i understand how sakura feels by not replying to hiroto and i love how hiroto continued to give her roses. i love the twist — when sakura is past her anger stage and is now willing to meet hiroto, chiyoko comes in with her usual manipulative self and stops hiroto from going to sakura. (on a side note.. it’s not the scar that repels boys chiyoko.. it’s your selfishness and insecurities!). and then… hiroto sees tachibana protecting sakura and out of his true love for sakura, lied to her and told her it was all lies so they will break up as hiroto assumes sakura will be happier and better off with tachibana. while what hiroto did was cute, i would have preferred him to chase after sakura – felt like he just gave up.

so to my earlier question – team tachibana or team hiroto? neither. i’m for team sakura!! i dont know how the writers will end this show — will she follow her heart and go to hiroto or will she follow her good friend (and maybe eventually love) tachibana? i’m good either way. i think what i’m getting from this show, aside from there are two types of love, is that we all have choices and we are responsible for our actions/decisions. so it’s important to think about what we really want.

oh, and i love shima and miki – i think they are cool bffs for sakura. and shima’s omiai was so funny! i hope she hits it off with the lucky guy!

episode 11 (spoilers ahead!)

first half of the episode – really loving the happy ever after feel.. from miki and takeuchi’s wedding, to chiyoko finally letting go of hiroto and being free herself and shima and kondo’s relationship.

now for sakura’s decision to go with new york, i wondered if she decided because she settled for tachibana or when reading the vocabulary words that tachibana wrote her, she felt touched and thought that “i can be with this person, with or without love?”. the little revelation of sakura whispering hiroto’s name in front of tachibana was predictable and cliche, but still served the same purpose – of tachibana realizing how sakura really feels. when he left her ticket at his place it meant he already decided to let her go, when he faked that hiroto was injured it meant to confirm his question and when he told sakura that he just asked her to go to NY with him and not to live together or date was he really telling the truth or lying to save face? either way, i loved the way they parted – you can really feel that they somehow loved each other and no matter what, they will still be friends even from that distance.

as for hiroto, while i’m glad sakura ended up with her “love”, i was a little disappointed on their final scene when hiroto declared his love for her.. i just felt his declaration was coming from a man-child (which he is) and not from a man who can protect sakura. i was hoping that when he proposed again to sakura that she would decline, not because she didn’t love him but because they should take time to know each other — marriage is not always the end goal, what’s more important is building a relationship with the person you love. marriage can come later when hiroto has a job and they are both more stable.

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OVERALL, i loved this series. i loved all the characters and their problems. i love how the love triangle was resolved. to be honest, i’ve never heard of miura hiruma before but i was familiar with naohito fujiki.. i did wrote in my earlier post that i was expecting sakura to end up with tachibana because i thought this was the twist (like most jdramas i’ve watched) and because naohito was more popular than hiruma. thus, i am also suprised that she ended up with the younger guy. (i did also wonder why googling this show that naohito’s name was further down the cast list – now i know why). it also makes me wonder if the writers simply changed their mind in the middle of the story and let sakura end up with hiroto instead? what do you think?

if i was in sakura’s place, i would choose Tachibana over Hiroto but then again, sometimes you can really be in a position where you are so insync with a guy and yet feel nothing for him and be totally in love with someone who is your exact opposite! so i can understand sakura’s dilemma/decision.

if i was in tachibana’s place, i would also choose to let sakura go knowing she doesn’t love me that way i want her to. i would prefer that i let her go and be happy wherever she is. and letting her go doesn’t mean we stop being friends.

finally, you know what would have been a fun ending? if tachibana and sakura go to NY as friends and hiroto follows to the us to realize his dream of becoming a bmx rider (remember in one of the episodes someone was offering hiroto to join him in the us?) that way, hiroto and sakura will be together and sakura and tachibana can still be the bickering neighbors! (but i would pity tachibana if that happens – or maybe another alternative ending is for tachibana to meet a girl on the plane that looks and acts like sakura!! haha!)

rating: 8/10

hong gil dong (2008)

originally written in April 2014.

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Title: 쾌도 홍길동 / Kwaedo Hong Gil Dong
Also known as: Sharp Blade Hong Gil Dong
Genre: Comedy, romance, action, drama
Episodes: 24
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2008-Jan-02 to 2008-Mar-26
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 21:55

Synopsis
Based on a fictional book about a Robin Hood in Korea, Hong Gildong, this drama is very loosely based off of that book and the time it was set in.

Hong Gil Dong was the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister. A local monk took him under his wing and taught him martial arts. Hong Gil Dong was inspired to fight for the injustice in this society that divided people into nobles and ordinary citizens whereby the former enjoyed all the privileges due solely to their birth.

The heroine, Heo Yi Nok, had just returned to Korea from China with her grandfather. They made their living by putting on shows and selling their special brand of medicine in the marketplace.

Lee Chang Hwi had been told since he was young that he was the rightful heir to the throne which had been usurped by his half brother. He had also returned from his exile in China and was plotting to overthrow the emperor.

The three got entangled in love, hate, loyalty and betrayal and only one side can win.

Main Cast
Kang Ji Hwan as Hong Gil Dong
Sung Yoo Ri as Heo Yi Nok / Ryu Yi Nok
Jang Geun Suk as Lee Chang Hwi
Choi Soo Han as young Chang Hwi
Kim Ri Na as Seo Eun Hye

Short Review 

I finally got the chance to see this old Hong sisters drama called Hong Gil Dong from 2008 starring Kang Ji Hwan, Sung Yuri and Jang Geun Seuk. I have watched almost all of the Hong sisters drama — Chunhyang (2005), My Girl (2006), Couple Fantasy (2006), You’re Beautiful (2009), My GF is a Gumiho (2010) and Greatest Love (2011). (i didn’t bother watching Big since I heard it’s a bad drama while I’m still saving Master’s Sun for later). I love their sense of humor though sometimes it’s over the top. Hong Gil Dong is different because it’s like a fusion of historical drama but using modern language.

First off the cast – Kang Ji Hwan is always a delight to watch, whether he is screaming like a girl or emoting or fighting like a boss (and he’s so handsome). I love his character Hong Gil Dong and his love for Yi Nok, I like that he started fighting for his right and his life instead of running away like he did before. I love how he is passionate and his love for the people. Honestly I thought he would have made a better king but overall, it wasn’t how the story is supposed to go. I haven’t really watched Sung Yuri’s dramas, i recognize her more for being the pretty one in FinKL. I like how she portrayed her character. She is so cute and sweet to Gil Dong – she and Gil Dong are a perfect match. I did feel that after she “became” Ryu Yi Nok, her character got stagnant, and was stuck to being on the sideline except for some crucial moments. and i like how she still became friends with the young prince despite the situation. as for Jang Geun Seuk, i only watched his show You’re Beautiful which i also loved, his succeeding dramas were blah and he just keeps getting stranger as he gets more popular. Hong Gil Dong is one of his earlier dramas and unfortunately i wasn’t impressed at the start.. he only had one expression — that stony glare/stare brooding whatever look on his face – which mostly confused me because i didn’t know what he was feeling (i dont know if it is just bad acting or it was just meant to mean he is also confused?) but eventually in the last couple of episodes he improved a little, showing more expressions on his face. unfortunately, like Yi Nok, his character didn’t get better — i dont really like how the writers portrayed the king in the last 2 episodes but it was necessary for the story.

side characters – Madam Noh is perfectly portrayed by the actress, i didn’t like her character but i could sympathize with her (and her big red plump lips were very distracting!), the young miss — i understand what Hong Gil Dong meant when he said “at first i talked to you because i pity you but now i feel sorry for you” or something like that. i did like her because she helped HGD when necessary but i also hated how desperate and pathetic she was when she threatens HGD (esp the last part where she tried to get him killed after he rejected her yet again). at the same time i felt bad for her when she realized what she had done. his father, the actor seems to always portray the same characters in historical dramas (that pesky “core of all power” with a hidden agenda and that annoying fake laugh!!!) HGD’s dad – i definitely dont like him – i understand his loyalty to his king but i hate how cruel he is to HGD and his last attempt to “protect” HGD by taking the blame for the crimes and getting killed was just bullshit. too bad HGD still liked him even as his dad was such an ass to him. finally the Hwal Bin Dang crew – loved all of them!!

overall, the story felt a bit long (24 episodes!) that i ended up fast forwarding some parts. the first part was half funny half serious but the second half became serious-serious and darker. there were some parts/themes/storylines that repeated itself (hence the bloated storyline) but i like that the story kept moving and there’s always something new happening.. even in the last couple of episodes so it kept me interested to find out how the story will end. the ending wasnt what i was expecting but it was still satisfying even though it’s a bit sad. i give this 6.5 stars!

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kdramas 2013 mini reviews

originally written in Jan 2014

i have a habit of watching korean dramas a year or two after they are shown so i always have a delayed reaction. here are (i think) the list of kdramas i watched in 2013 (mostly released in 2012).

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a gentleman’s dignity – 4 handsome guys plus kim haneul? yes. with great ost and beautiful costumes and scenery. check. the story was okay but nothing too wow so i didn’t get too emotionally invested with the characters.

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arang and the magistrate – shin mina and lee junki… shin mina’s character was like a reboot for my gf is a gumiho where she is nice and sad and pretty. i love lee junki.. the mother looks so scary (talk about plastic surgery gone wrong) but effective as she gives me the chills! the story is quite dark from the usual kdrama fluff. the god part is kinda corny, and his hair looks so fake. but otherwise, really loved the whole show!

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ghost – ahhh so ji sub. you know i used to not like this guy – i always preferred jo in sung and won bin over him. but i got the watch to watch him here and became an instant fan. i thought he acted well, though sometimes i hoped he channeled a little more happiness like daniel choi did. the story is very interesting.. i learned something about cyber crime and each episode had me really gripping my pillows tight and wanting to know what happens next (i blame this for me not sleeping well and going late to work for a few weeks.lol) argh eom ki joon is so smug and evil i wanted to smash his face everytime i see him! haha!

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haeundae lovers – im not familiar with both leads but i heard good reviews about this show i watched it and im glad i did. the story is very simple and nothing special but i loved the chemistry and the relationship between the two characters. i also loved the girl’s whole family.

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history of the salaryman – ahhh.. this cemented my love for jung ryu won.. i thought she smiled too much in my name is kim samsoon and she cried so hard in which start did you come from.. but this one. she was just so much fun!!! i love her beautiful smile.. i love how she would curse so much and i love how she cried when she felt hurt. im not a fan of lee bum soo but he was also terrific here.. but i like his character more during the first half than the last half. the shift to making the secretary the bad guy kind of ruined the last few parts of the show.. because instead of us watching how lee bum soon becomes successful, we just saw him trying to fight the evil secretary. still great great show!

someone made a compilation of Jung ryu won’s crazy foul mouth character (credits to the uploader)

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tree with deep roots – wow. amazing drama!!! han sukkyu was soo into his character it’s scary at times when he got too enraged. the entire show was suspenseful and i also learned something about the korean language. wish song joong ki had a longer role.. he was also great portraying the young emperor. jang hyuk is his usual awesome self and happy to say shin se kyung was also great here.

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the king of dramas – another jung ryu won show and she is equally fantastic! the lead guy is not that handsome that he’s a great actor and i got hooked. i loved how each episode gave us a hint on what happens when a korean drama is getting casted, filmed, ratings etc… choi si won is so funny here!!

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reply 1997 – i loved this mostly for the references to old school kpop.. i recognized most of the songs in the show.. while i couldn’t fully relate to the hot / sechskies rivalry, i could still understand her feelings since i was already listening to kpop at the time. plus all the pop culture references i can relate to! i generally liked the story, esp between the guy and the girl.. but i thought the brother liking the girl was a bit weird but i guess it was needed to create a tension if eunji gets together with inguk in the end or not.

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hundred year inheritance – my first time watching a 50 episode makjang drama. a lot of people hated this because of all the craziness during the last few episodes but i loved it! well i guess it’s because i was expecting a lot of crazies to happen and i was happy when the craziness just kept piling up one episode after another! haha! i’m only in episode 41 so i still have 9 more episodes to finish. to be honest, i dont watch the entire show,  i basically skipped the parts about chunhee and chaewon’s dad at the start, the whole family competition, the side stories about chaewon’s 2 uncles’ family and her aunt’s relationship with the old guy.. i only thing i watched are chaewon and seyoon’s scenes but the evil mother in law. EMIL is so nasty that i actually love watching her scenes. she is scheming but she is so funny- im sure the actress had so much fun playing her. i didn’t like seyoon’s mom mostly because she judged chaewon through hearsay and stealing chunhee’s child was such a bitch move. she knows chunhee didn’t want her kid, why couldn’t she just asked to adopt the baby (but if she did then there wouldnt be any story haha). i think the best thing about this show is lee jungjin playing seyoon. he shined so much that eugene as chaewon just got overshadowed (or maybe because her character was mostly wimpy – i liked during the first few episodes when she thought hard to outsmart the EMIL but a little issue and she gets discouraged. and she cried a lot). and i wished there was more skinship between seyoon and chaewon.. they only had a few holdings hand/embracing scenes and some cute stolen kisses from seyoon. hello the characters are in their late 20s/early 30s.. no need to act cute.

here’s one of my favorite ost songs from called Living is not Living by Jo HyunAh (of Urban Zakapa)

overall, great year to watch korean dramas (well, 2012 was a great year.. now excited for 2014 so i can start watching the 2013 shows hahaha)

queen in-hyun’s man

originally written in Nov 2012

this is one brilliant korean drama!!! everything was perfect – from great cast, the story, writing!

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Title: 인현왕후의 남자 / Inhyeon Wanghu-ui Namja / Queen Inhyun’s Man

  • Tagline: Meeting through a gap in time, their one and only love story
  • Genre: Fantasy , Romance
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast network: tvN
  • Broadcast period: 2012-Apr-18 to 2012-Jun-07
  • Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 23:00

Synopsis

Kim Boong Do is a scholar who had supported the reinstatement of Queen In Hyun when Jang heebin’s schemes resulted in her being deposed and replaced as King Sukjong’s queen consort.With the help of a spell when he is in going to be killed in a fight he travels 300 years into the future of modern Seoul and meets Choi Hee Jin, a no-name actress who is expecting a career renaissance through her role as Queen In Hyun in a TV drama.She helps him to know about the history of his time and change some events.After that they start to develop feelings for each other,but is it possible for them to have a successful relationship?

Cast

i’m not going to do a review of the entire series, instead i will just focus on Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na. even before i watched this show, i’ve already read the news that they confirmed that they were dating in real life so all the time i was watching the drama i could really feel that they had such great chemistry together — i dont know if that is the case and that is why they fell in love with each other.. or is it the other way around, that they fell in love with each other in the middle of the filming and that translated well into the scenes.

sharing some of my favorite scenes and quotes in the drama.

a great intro showed us their 2 different worlds and how they magically met in seoul – i thought this would be a real scene in the later episodes but it was not.

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the first time they met was when bongdo was almost killed, he got transported to the now gyeongbokgung palace where hui jin just arrived for the filming of her drama series. it was a cute scene – bongdo was surprisingly calm and taking everything in while hui jin was giggly and sweet.

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the second time they met, hui jin was walking along the park when bongdo appeared from nowhere, shocking hui jin (and fainting)

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first kilig scene – when hui jin told him to get inside the car and she had to put on the seatbelt for him. naughty hui jin and innocent looking bongdo.

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later, hui jin is helping bongdo look at the chronicles of annals to see what happened (or will happen) in his life. another cute scene where you can feel their friendship and interest forming.

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and now we have the first (of the many) kiss scenes between bongdo and huijin. i love that it’s hui jin who initiated the kiss. and smart bongdo may be confused but he’s a man and he seems to be also interested in hui jin.

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Hui-Jin: “What kind of aristocrat has such poor manners? You ought to say goodbye properly before leaving.”
Hui-jin kisses Bong-do
Hui-jin: “Got it? I’ve taught you manners.”
Bong-do “This… is how you say goodbye here?”

Later on, Hui-jin’s manager picked her up and it’s the first time she meets Bong-do. She starts asking questions about him while Hui-jin sits at the back, nervous. When Hui-jin’s manager dropped Bong-do off, she shook hands with Bong-do. Bong-do was confused and asked, so this is how you say goodbye? (and not kissing?). Oh naughty Hui-jin got caught!! and Bong-do had such a cute giggle!

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“Watch your lips. She can get carried away with her passions.”

second kiss scene – Hui-jin met Bong-do inside the library late at night. Bong-do was giving her a goodbye kiss (yep, this scholar maybe from 300 years ago, but he sure catches on fast.. and such a smooth player!)

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Boong-do: “Our meeting must not be a coincidence, but an inevitability. Do you not suppose there must be a reason for it?”
Bong-do kisses Hui-jin
Bong-do: “Did I do it right this time?” “But I’ll trust whatever you teach me.”

back in Joseon era, Bong-do meets a monk and tells him about his time travel experience.

Boong-do: “At first I thought of it as incredible good luck, but now I am filled with so many doubts. Why did the head monk give me this talisman? Is it to console me, to tell me not to die since the thing I wish for will happen? Or does it mean that a good future awaits, so I am to find a way to survive? When I went to that world and met that woman, was that coincidence, or inevitability?”

a few more scenes later and Hui-jin meets him in Jeju. She helps him fly back to Seoul (it would be his first time to fly). On-board was Han Dong Min, Hui-jin’s ex-bf / Hallyu star. there was a huge misunderstanding last time and Dong-Min thought Bong-do was a stalker. so he confronts Bong-do and was about to be arrested when Hui-jin stopped him and had to announce publicly that “He is my boyfriend.”

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Bong-do: “A master I know of once told me that nothing is incidental. The last time we met was probably because of fate. But this time, it was because I wanted to see you that I contacted you. And you also came here because you wanted to see me. So clearly it is not karma. Because of the talisman that I have with me, I met you. That’s why you came all the way here. This fate, what incidents it will cause, and what effect comes of it… aren’t you curious?”
Hee-jin: “Us becoming lovers… What will be the outcome of it?”

and here starts the romance of Bong-do and Hui-jin.. i would totally have a huge smile on my face if i were sitting beside Bong-do!

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there was a huge scandal / news about the love triangle and so the trio (bong-do, hui-jin and dong-min) met at a restaurant. there was a sweet scene where the couple hid behind the huge menu, much to dong-min’s disgust.

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Bong-do: “I do not quite know how, but I will give my best effort to acting your boyfriend.”

Bong-do went back to Joseon to fix some problems but there were some complications and when Hui-jin hasn’t heard from him for days, she got nervous and thought something has happened to him so she was very relieved when she got a call from Bong-do and they met up. Bong-do gave Hui-jin a car as thank you for helping him and as she was test-riding the car by going around in circles, Hui-jin starts to realize that she is falling in love with Bong-do. this was such a beautiful scene.

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back in the car, Hui-jin again initiated the third kiss of the show (i love how she is so straight forward with him unlike other kdrama heroines- she is not afraid to show how she feels).

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Hee-jin shows Bong-do another use of a car (aside from driving) hehe!

Hee-jin pulls back, they look at each other and this time Bong-do kisses her. Again i love how the kisses look natural, both sides are kissing each other and  not just the guy kissing and the girl staying put as if shocked (note: Gong Hyo Jin in Best Love – i mean you’re being kissed by Cha Seung Won girl!!)

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Hee-jin: “Do you have any reason to come here anymore?”
Boong-do: “My lover is here. Isn’t that a reason? Didn’t I say that I would try my best to be your lover?”

Bong-do had to go back to Joseon and he was ambushed by assassins. His talisman got torn by the sword and picked up by Jasu(the assassin). The torn talisman had an impact to both leads because Bong-do couldn’t remember about the talisman and Hee-jin while Hee-jin can remember everything but no one in the current world remembers Bong-do. Eventually, Bong-do was able to gain his memory and while under attack, he was able to grab hold of the talisman and time travel to current day Seoul. Hee-jin thought she was going crazy but she knows that Bong-do is real and when he showed up during the awards festival Hee-jin saw him! another great scene and great acting by Yoo In Na. you can clearly see every expression on her face -shock, happiness, love..

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later that night, they agreed to meet up at the park

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Hee-jin: “I’m always left waiting for someone when I don’t even know when they’ll come.”

Back in Hee-jin’s home, they finally had a heart to heart talk about where their relationship is going.

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Bong-do: “If I take responsibility for you, will that take care of it?”
Hee-jin: “How will you do that?”
Bong-do: “I will think it over, and return. Considering what I risked to come here and see Queen In-hyun’s face again [Hee-jin’s], what couldn’t I do?”
Hee-jin: “You practiced that, didn’t you?” “I’ll be the one taking responsibility.”

Hee-jin helped Bong-do rent a place to stay for the night. The deadpan scholar is a natural player – haha. He’s so cute and smooth and hot all at the same time! 5th kiss – probably the most romantic and best kiss of the series.. they call it “tip toe kiss” – i have a feeling that when they were shooting this scene, the couple were already in love in real life!! (or at least have feelings for each other / dating). It was also a pretty long kissing scene. I did find Yoo In Na’s yellow toes a bit weird, the ends were sticking up/out!

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Bong-do: “Are you telling me to sleep here alone?” “But I don’t think I will be able to sleep. How am I supposed to spend this long, long night?” “I am being left alone in a strange place, and my talisman has been taken away. Surely you aren’t really leaving?”
Bong-do kisses Hee-jin.
Hee-jin: “You said my passionate nature was a big problem,”
Bong-do: “Ah, but I didn’t tell you the other part—how appealing that is.”
Hee-jin: “Player.”
Bong-do: “I did not know it, but I think I am indeed a player. Agreed.”
And they kiss some more!

At night,while Hee-jin was sleeping, Bong-do went back to Joseon to speak to the monk. He is having a difficult time to decide on his actions.

Boong-do: “This place has become the past to me. Will I be able to continue living here?”

Boong-do: I’m afraid to put words to lips, the things that I know will come to pass. And now I must live every day as it is already written. Is that a humane way to live? Can someone who knows fate live a happy life?

Bong-do: “Strangely enough, the future has become the present to me. So I have come to question whether the time I should be walking in is in that place.”

The monk asks if he can really live in a place where no one will remember him. Will he be happy in solitude?

Bong-do: “Yes, but if by chance, there were one person who remembered me, then wouldn’t life be a little different?”

Bong-do went back to Seoul to spend the day with Hee-jin.  i think this is the first time they spent the whole day together. Normally, they meet for a couple of minutes or hours then Bong-do goes back to Joseon era. i love this part because it shows us how they are like as a real couple.

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again reality comes crashing in and they have to think about how it would work – he’s from Joseon era, she is from modern day Seoul. can he stay in Seoul and leave his old life? does he want to?

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Boong-do: I said that I’d take responsibility for you. But it occurred to me that to take responsibility for inserting myself into your life and throwing it into chaos… being your boyfriend for a short while, or buying you an expensive car, or spraying water on that man… isn’t enough. Truly taking responsibility… is being near you at all times. What do you think? That’s the only conclusion I could come to.
Hee-jin: “It is a very admirable conclusion.”
Boong-do: “Is that so?”
Hee-jin:“I do have a good eye for people.”

Hee-jin: It was an encounter that started by chance. A strange encounter that started by chance, in a rift in time. The end of that chance encounter’s inevitable cause and effect… was coming near.

Uh-oh. I have a feeling something wrong is going to happen soon!

And i was right! when Bong-do went back to Joseon, he was trapped by Min-am in public and almost died by the 3 arrows. Good thing his loyal servant was able to transport him to where the modern day hospital is located, give him the talisman and he was transported to modern day Seoul. at the same time this was happening, Hee-jin had a breakdown (it seems like if something bad or death-related is happening to Bong-do she feels it too even though she doesn’t know what it is). This is a very sad scene with Hee-jin crying, oblivious that Bong-do survived and was actually rushed to the hospital at the same time.

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they didn’t see each other for a month, that is how long Bong-do had to settle his own life and when he comes back to Seoul, they meet up again. This time Bong-do is not leaving.

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Boong-do: “There are many words that I do not understand, and words that I am hearing for the first time. But there is one thing that has not changed.”
Hee-jin: “What?”
Boong-do: “I love you.”

and here comes another round of sweet scenes between the couple.. Hee-jin teaches him the use of a tie (haha! everything she teaches him has something to do with kissing)

it is only episode 14 so i’m sure there were more tragedies to come.. and sure enough, while they were at the park, Bong-do suddenly vanished and came back to Joseon era! OMG!!! they were both shocked at what happened! Bong-do saw the talisman slowly turning black. Turns out, Yoon Wol, the servant lady who gave him the talisman was murdered by Jasu. and i guess if the giver died then the talisman will no longer work? or because the original purpose of the talisman is to keep him safe and happy and since he has both then the talisman has no effect so he went back to Joseon? (sorry these are just my thoughts). and so Bong-do avenged for the murder of Yoon Wol by killing Jasu and he looked for the monk who originally wrote the talisman but unfortunately, he died one month ago. Hopeless, he tried one last time if the talisman will work – we find out that he was slashing his neck everytime he time travels and good thing it worked (well, for a little bit). He was able to speak with Hee-jin one brief time before he vanished again! Grabe!!! i was crying the whole time!

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The talisman is now really useless and powerless so Bong-do has no way of meeting Hee-jin again. He has another hard decision to make. Is it better to burn the talisman so that Hee-jin will lose all her memories and he keep the talisman so that Hee-jin will at least remember him even if they never meet again? He decided to write a letter i ncase they both forget their memories and then he burned the talisman.

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“When I first came into possession of this talisman, I wanted to know what its cause and effect were. At first, I thought it was the realization of my frustrated dream. Then, I thought that its effect may have been meeting you. After that, I thought that effect could be to start anew in a different world. But now, belatedly I realize that its cause and effect is that for saving my life, I would lose everything. My future, my name, my values, my people. And you too. To gain life, one must pay a price and lose something else—that is obvious logic. That I believed I could keep one of those things was my own foolishness. How much more will I have to lose to satisfy that price? Not being able to meet you again—that such a thing is a luxury is something I have now realized.”
“Memories. Our memories… Losing them is the final price. I do not know what happens now. Will we forget each other? Or will we live unable to forget, forever tormented?”
“If I have a last wish, I want to remember you. In an aimless life, to not even have those memories would be hell. And you… and you… if you should happen to read this letter far into the future, I pray you will not realize for whom this letter is meant.”

One year later, we find out Hee-jin indeed lost her memories but Bong-do didn’t. Bong-do spent the whole year on the countryside wandering aimlessly. Hee-jin became successful and was invited to do a voice over for a documentary called Queen Inhyun’s Man – it is about a rumor of an affair between Queen Inhyun and Kim Bong Do. Hee-jin doesn’t remember Kim Bong-do but she was fascinated by his story. When Hee-jin was filming the documentary in Gyeongbukgong Palace, at the same time, 300 years ago, Kim Bong-do was caught by the police and charged with the murder of Jasu. the scene was wonderfully shot – they were standing with their backs to each other and for some reason, Hee-jin could feel his presence and started crying (she didn’tknow why, she just felt sad).

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At night, while Hee-jin was driving the car, we also see Bong-do locked up in a cell. He sees his bag contains the tie that Hee-jin bought him and his phone.  He decided to use the tie to hang himself. Back to Hee-jin, she suddenly started crying for no reason but strangely, she started having visions of her having 2 phones, “Player” calling “The Most Beautiful Girl i nthe World”. She suddenly remembers the phone number of “Player” but she doesn’t know who it was. So she dialed the number and remarkably, the phone started to ring!! Bong-do, who was already choking was shocked when he saw the phone ring and eventually managed to take off the noose and answer the phone. The minute he answered the phone, he suddenlyvanished and … reappeared in modern day Seoul!!!

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Okay – this is the part where i was a bit skeptic – how did the phone work? there were no cellsites and the first time he vanished and the talisman became black, they both tried to call up each other but there was nothing. so how did the phone suddenly work? and after 1 year the phone still had battery? i think if we base it on logic, the phone bringing Bong-do back to modern day Seoul sans talisman does not make sense. However, since this is a fantasy show and i can’t think of other ways for Bong-do to come back other than “fate” or “God” taking pity on him and bringing him back to Hee-jin but that would be a worse outcome. so thinking about it and which Hee-jin will later explain in her voice over, the phone became the “new” talisman since it came from Hee-jin’s love and sincerity. (did that make sense? haha!)

so back to the finale, Hee-jin went back to the studio and re-watch the letter part and all her memories fully came back, with her realizing that the letter was written for her! Bong-do found Hee-jin and they meet up, much to Hee-jin’s shock!!!

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Bong-do: “Why didn’t you answer the phone after calling me?”
Boong-do: “I had to search for you for so long. Didn’t you call me? One hour ago.”
Hee-jin was too shocked to answer him.
Bong-do: “Hello? Hello? Are you listening? Hello? Answer me please, ‘Most Beautiful Woman Ever’.”

Yihee!!! I’m so happy they are together at last !!!

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Hee-jin: “What did you do with the talisman?”
Boong-do: “I burned it.”
Hee-jin: “Then how did you come here?”
Boong-do: “I came back because you called me.”
Hee-jin: “Me?”
Boong-do: “You.”

Hee-jin: [in voiceover] “A chance encounter that started with a gap in time… that meeting already ended a year ago. Our reunion now is not because of a mysterious talisman written by a monk, but because of a string of memories that belongs only to us both. Now begins our second encounter. Now, I am his lifesaver. The price to pay? All he has to do is stay forever by my side.”

The End. Fantastic Story with an amazing soundtrack. The song from Deok Hwan called I’m Coming to See You” is giving me the goosebumps every time I listen to it.

the princess’ man

originally written in Oct 2012

this was my very first time to watch a sageuk – i’ve never tried watching before beside the rave reviews for other sageuks like damo, dae jang geum, jumong – mainly for the reason that i thought it would be really boring and long. the only reason i watched this drama is because of Park Shi Hoo. after a year of keeping this in my hard drive i finally watched this series and all i can say is. WOW. AMAZING!!!

just some background of the drama:

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The Princess’ Man

Title: 공주의 남자 / Gongjooeui Namja
Genre: Period, romance
Episodes: 24
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2011-Jul-20 to 2011-Oct-06
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 21:55

Synopsis: A tragic love story between the daughter of Prince Suyang and son of Kim Jong Seo. The son of Kim Jongseo, Seungyoo, is a handsome and wise man who carries a noble quality. Princess Seryeong, a daughter of King Sejo, aka prince Sooyang, is a cheerful, lively lady with a strong curiosity and bold personality. They fall in love instantly but later they find out that their parents are sworn enemies. It’s a Chosun dynasty version of “Romeo and Juliet”.

Main Cast

Moon Chae Won as Lee Se Ryung
Park Shi Hoo as Kim Seung Yoo
Song Jong Ho as Shin Myun
Hong Soo Hyun as Princess Kyung Hye
Lee Soon Jae as Kim Jong Seo
Kim Young Chul as Prince Suyang (later King Sejo)
Lee Min Woo as Jung Jong

 

 

why i love this drama?

Great cast! MCW and PSH had such an amazing chemistry together. they are both great actors. this is the first time i’m seeing MCW and i must admit, i was a little bit uneasy during the first 2 episodes.. i thought her bright wide eyed acting was a bit too much – like it was obvious she was acting rather than being natural. also, i may not be a korean nor do i understand the language, but i’ve watched a lot of dramas and i could easily spot that MCW’s accent is inaccurate – she sounded off compared to the rest of the cast who were speaking as if they were from that time. her accent just sounded like she was in a modern drama but speaking in the old ways. but she totally redeemed herself in the rest of the drama with her beautiful acting. my fave has got to be the part where she was shot in the back with the arrow after trying to save KSY. her character, Se Ryong, is a brave woman! she may not be adept with anything much but she was so courageous for facing against her father, for risking her life for SY over and over again and for standing up to what she thinks is right. i think this is the first time i’ve seen a strong female character in a korean drama. and i dont know if anyone has noticed but she seemed to be the one always saving SY!

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PSH – where do i start? this is only the 2nd drama i’ve watched of it but i’m really so impressed with his acting and that beautiful smile and gorgeous hair!!! who knew he can look hot with long hair?? his character, KSY, started as a young naive guy who is always smiling and when tragedy struck him and his family, he changed to a dark person seeking vengeance. you can see the significant change of character even from his clothes – he started as wearing bright colors but when he crossed to the dark side, he was left wearing black or dark blue with a permanent frown on his face. and funny enough, just like Christian Bale’s Batman, nice KSY had this clear and strong voice but when he became dark KSY, even his voice became raspy and harsh. KSY reminded me a lot like the guy in Count of Monte Cristo and Jose Rizal’s Crisostomo Ibarra/Elias.

Prince Suyang – i dont know him except for what i’ve read about him in Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sejo_of_Joseon ) but he seemed like a terrible yet great king. terrible for all the killings he made to get the crown and to stay there but great because he made Korea progressive during his reign. the drama is based on historical facts about king sejo but the added some fiction to show us what could have happened (a big what if of course) and i like how the writers incorporated the piece about him being a devoted father and how SR’s defiance broke his heart – but at the same time his greed was just too much that he couldn’t even spare his daughter (i think one of the most shocking part of the drama was when he decreed his daughter to be stripped of her princess status and become a slave to SM!!! seriously! i totally didn’t expect that!).

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Princess Gyeonghye and Jong – at first i though princess was spoiled but i was wrong, she is very strong and i loved her character – though i felt bad that she couldn’t do anything as princess – she was exiled then because a slave then moved to a temple – she faced so many hardships yet she still held her head high. Jong, on the other hand, i came to respect him as a righteous man totally deserving to be the crown prince. he started out as if like a loser but he ended up to be the best guy. he fought for the crown, he defended GH and even got killed in the end. his tragic death (dismemberment) and the last conversation with the between was so heart wrenching!

Shin Myeon – ugh! hate him so much!!! he is probably the weakest actor in the drama. he had the same expression on his face the whole 24 episodes (that scowl and fish lips!). i know he was helpless at the first because his father sided with suyang, but it was also his choice to go with his family and betrayed his best friends, killed so many people, tormented SR (he was so creepy!!!). i think in the end he was no longer thinking straight, his rage, his jealousy and his bitterness has stripped him of a sound mind. i’m not sad he died. i think it was the fate that he deserved. he did try to save KSY but it was just too too late. and his loyal Jabeun — hate him too but he looks so much like Jo Insung (so cute! haha!)

The two loyal servants – Princess’ servant and Yuri – love them so much!!!! so much loyalty to their ladies, they stuck by them through thick and thin – esp for Yuri for always helping / covering for SR even if it means also risking her life.

Another strong woman (seriously this series was all about strong women!), is the Queen (King Sejo’s wife). i wasn’t too sure about her at the start – i thought she was a power hungry was Suyang but later i realized she is not power hungry, she is merely supporting her husband as a dutiful wife. and i love how during the last parts, it was her who was starting to make Suyang see how bad he is acting, especially to their own daughter. the best thing she did? when she finally decided to help SR and KSY to get far away from there so they can start anew.

The drama had so many themes – from family, to friendship, love, strength, endurance, vengeance, political greed – i was engrossed with the whole story! i really think that living during the olden times is really scarier because the people seems more hungry, less disciplined, more barbaric. and that’s what makes watching historical epics so enthralling to me. they are always at war and there’s always something worth fighting for.

i was expecting a really bad ending and i was even ready to face the fact that KSY will probably die in the end (since King Sejo lived a long reign) so i was really really happy with the ending! well, mostly because KSY and SR get to be together in the end! and alive! with their young daughter. and they all seemed so happy with the choices they made. i dont think that by living far away, they have forsaken what they were fighting for, instead i think they finally realized what was more important for them. yes, saving your country is important, but like what KSY said, there will always be another man who will stand up and fight. and i think another reason that KSY was fighting was mostly due to avenge his father’s death but in the end, i guess he realized that he no longer has the vengeful spirit – it has been replaced by love. he has said several times that he is tired. and as Sejo said, he is also killing innocent people just like what Suyang did. and i think that making him blind in the end, was maybe for his anguish and torment to stop.

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im not sure though about Sejo and the Queen seeing him and the daughter was good or bad for the ending – but i think Suyang really loved his daughter and even cried hard when Queen said SR killed herself. all throughout his reign that was probably his only regret and seeing KSY alive and with his grandchild was probably so shocking and also thrilling when he realized that for so long SR was alive and well. it was kind of creepy of him (and he looked funny) to be hiding near the trees looking at SR and KSY and i dont know if he deserved to feel happy after what he did, well, Sejo doesn’t deserve to be happy but Suyang, the father, deserves to be happy to see his beloved daughter happy (did that make sense?).

so overall, love love love this drama. i think this is now my no. 1 favorite kdrama (#2 is city hall and samsoon has fallen to #3).