[throwback] The Strange Daughter in Law (2015)

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Drama: The Virtual Bride / The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law (별난 며느리)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 12
Release Date: August 17 – September 22, 2015
Runtime: Mon & Tue 21:55

Plot: In-Young is an idol from a popular 4 member girl group, Ruby, but now, she isn’t very popular anymore. To regain her popularity, In-Young appears on the TV show “Experience of Daughter-in-Law From The Eldest Son’s Family.” While filming for the TV show, she meets her scripted mother-in-law Yang Choon-Ja and falls in love with her pretend husband.

Cast:                                                                                                                                                  Dasom – Oh In Young                                                                                                                          Ko Du Shim – Yang Choon Ja                                                                                                          Ryu Soo Young – Cha Myung Seok

Review: For my March throwback drama, i wanted to watch something about a family so i decided to take a chance on this show. and I can’t believe i didn’t watch this sooner! I loved the show!! I love In Young – she is such a breath of fresh air with her bubbly personality and honest talk. I also like Myung Seok – he is such a cute nerd. I haven’t watch Ryu Soo Young in such a long time but he still hasn’t changed since his 18vs29 days!

I admit, there are a lot of plotholes and discrimination and unnecessary drama in the series, but the overall feel good tone of the show is good enough for me to keep watching and rooting for the characters.

Some main comments on the show are:

In Young is such a good daughter in law. despite how mean the mother in law was, instead of fighting back like the other daughter in law Se-mi, she just kept it in stride and worked hard to meet her expectations. in the end though i was thinking why that is not enough for the mother in law – she was young, bubbly, works hard, loves Myung Suk, good daughter in law – is it because she’s not educated for him? also, she also has a good taste bud and seems to be able to distinguish tastes and cook really well. i actually thought she will end up retiring from being an idol and helping the mother in law ran the family business (i mean who else would right?) but she ended up studying in university while being a topstar – all the while trying to be the daughter in law that the mom can accept.

The forced separation between Myung Suk and In Young starting from episode 10 was stupid. I dont understand why they have to break up just because one person is going abroad. they have only met each other for a few months. they can continue being in a LDR – that way, they can learn more about each other in the next 5 years – and i can’t believe that Myung Suk didn’t even get a vacation to go home and see her. the ending where Myung Suk is the visiting professor to where In Young was studying was a bit cheesy but it also provided the closure and happy ever after.

The mother in law’s character is a complex one. When she was being mean to the ladies, i disliked her, but then if you think about it, that’s her role as a mother – protecting her family. the other daughter in law really needed to be disciplined as she was such a b*tch (more on her below) but it was not right for the mother in law to keep scolding her when the real problem is her own son who is jobless. i also felt bad for her when her father in law got a new wife – who is actually her friend and the father in law just expected her to agree and serve her. that was such an assh*le move!! i could understand why the mother in law acted that way to the new wife – and it does not help that the new wife was so bad – and i dont buy her excuse in the end that she was that way because she wanted her to approve of her or something. she didn’t even properly apologize to Choon Ja. as for Choon Ja’s husband – he also seemed to be a no good husband, who did nothing but hang out with his friends and so weak that instead of defending his wife, he always accedes to his father’s rules and wishes.

In fact, except for Myung Suk, the men in the family were useless and awful. The father in law, who did nothing but take a new wife, expect everyone to just accept her and make demands for the daughter in law to serve the new wife without considering her feelings, to Choon Ja’s husband who was useless. the other son Dong seok was also jobless and hanged around the house doing nothing. during the cooking competition, i actually thought this is it, the son will have a job in the family business, helping his mom. but no, during the cooking competition, In Young came and left. in the end, he became In Young’s manager – another questionable job.

As for the Dong Seok and the wife Se-mi, ugh i disliked Se-mi. I have nothing against working moms, in fact i am impressed how they are able to juggle work and family obligations, but in this case, Se-mi was too ambitious and cocky. it was just right when the mother in law scolded her, if she can’t even handle her family and take care of her son, how will she be able to handle her students? i’m glad she got scammed – definitely made her realize what a fool she had been. in the end, i like how the mother in law finally gave in and helped her put up her dream school. what i hoped they showed was Se-mi still fulfilling her role as a mother and good wife to her husband.

we now move to the daughter, Young A, she is another favorite character – she is smart, sweet, helpful but she married into a bad family!! i didn’t like her husband Joon-so, who happens to own the company label In Young is in. As a company president, Joon-so doesn’t seem to know how to handle his actors/actresses. I dont think he treated In young that well – and thought of her as a commodity instead of a person. Many times i thought why can’t In young just leave his company to move to a new one – i was right as in the end, she decided to leave and put up her own together with Dong seok as her manager. Joon so as a husband was worse – totally disregards Young ah, is such a momma’s boy – wow I’m surprised Young A was able to take it in for years without complaining. Finally she had the nerve to get a divorce and break away – but also a good thing Joon so finally woke up and chose her instead of his mom.

Joon soo’s mom – argh!!!! probably the worst character in the show. She has done nothing good but lie and manipulate people while acting fake nice.

Overall, i loved the show – it was fast paced (12 episodes only) and each of the main characters grew up and got their happy ever afters.

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Live eps. 1-2

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Drama: Live (라이브)
Network: tvN
Release Date: March 10, 2018 – ongoing
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Plot
Live tells the story of police officers – from the lowest field cadets and patrol officers, to their superiors including corporals, captains, and more – as they form the ‘Live’ team at the Hongil patrol division. Each officer has their own story, and each works hard in their own places at one of the busiest, most stressful jobs in the world, in order to earn a living.

Cast                                                                                                                                                      Jung Yu-mi – Han Jung-oh
Lee Kwang-soo – Yeom Sang-soo
Bae Sung-woo – Oh Yang-chon
Bae Jong-ok – Ahn Jang-mi

First impressions

I really like how they started the show (episode 1) with a background of the main characters, esp. for Jung oh and Sangsoo, to show how they ended up applying for an police job. One got scammed, the other couldn’t get a decent job because she was a female. They both chance upon seeing the ad for police recruitment inside a train and worked hard to get in. I liked how they showed a little bit of how police recruitments works and how difficult it is to get in, it’s not just studying for 3 years to pass the exams, you also have to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the job. I was rooting for them and their friends when they finally graduated. I like the 2 characters – both are strong and empathetic – they really want to be great at their jobs and make a real difference.

We also get introduced to a badass detective, Yangchon, who was their first trainor. He is one of the youngest and best detectives in the agency, but he’s cocky, reckless and not that likeable in the agency. He is also insensitive – especially to his wife. He is a workaholic and would rather spend his time solving cases and chasing suspects than with his wife and family. I feel bad for the wife – she is also a cop and aside from that, the burden of keeping their family together and raising the 2 kids must be hard for her, when the husband is no help. She has been contemplating on divorcing Yangchon for a while now and she finally decides to do it when both her parents died and Yangchon didn’t seem to care.

However, Yangchon has his own problems. He was spending his time trying to solve an old case before his mentor retires and he finally did when him and his mentor (Ho cheol) caught the suspect. While i dont really like Yangchon because he is such an ass that needs to be shut down a notch to be more humble, I commend him for being a great police officer. Even if they’re offduty, he saw a drunk trying to kill himself by drowning in the ocean and he didnt even hesitate to run and save him. The bad part is Ho-cheol followed him and fearing he also drowned, ran after him. Alas, Ho-cheol didn’t make it and Yangchon was filled with regrets. In my opinion, Ho-cheol shouldn’t have ran after Yangchon. He already knows how bad the current was he should have just ran to the nearest police station or called for help faster. On the other hand, Yangchon, should have reassured Ho-cheol to not go in and that he will be back. But we need this scene to make Yang chon more human and gave the police chief reason to demote him.

We are further introduced to the rest of the police cast – and i am super happy to see familiar faces – feels like all my favorites sidekicks/dads/bosses are in the show! I’m not yet sure what their rankings are but we have Jang Hyun Sung, Sung Dong Il, Lee Si Eon. I’m also looking forward to meeting new cute faces – Shin Dong Wook as Myung Ho, a straight laced guy in the team – there was one case where instead of reporting one police or covering it up, he decided to tell the police to report himself. i thought that was a great idea. Kim Gun Woo – also helping the 2 newbies get accustomed to the patrol division.

At the end of episode 2, the team gets a violent crime case – while the newbies wanted to get one instead of cleaning up after drunks, the rest of the team are not happy – since that means a lot of hard work and late nights to solve the case.

overall, the show looks promising. It’s from the same writers as It’s Okay, That’s Love, and based on the first 2 episodes, i feel like this show is going to just get real good!

Hwayugi eps. 12-14

I was wondering how they can continue showing Richie’s character given that she is a zombie and every episode we see her getting worse that it is just a matter of time before she decomposes. But im happy and surprised to see her take on a new character.. as Asanyeo..a high priestess powerful enough to change the stars of a person. Now we know why theres a connection between Richie and Kang Dae Sung coz it looks like he is ambitious enough to want to be the president. I can already see how this one plays out.

The main goal of Asanyeo is to swap souls with Samjang so that she will be more powerful. She was awakened by Richie, who was awaken by Samjangs blood. As always,Samjang is clueless and always the last one to know. The second goal is to marry Ogong who is the great sage, so that will make her super powerful. Ogong and Devil king is trying to think of ways to bring Asanyeo back to the ground but Asanyeo has found Devil kings weakness.

The other half of the story is centered on Devil King and his love. All throughout the show he has been racking enough points to become a deity so he can rescue his love from her punishment. Now we finally get to see them interact in the present world but how exactly can he help her? So asanyeo tricked Devil king to persuade Samjang to help him by putting her blood on Asanyeo’s incese burner. Mixed with her own blood,they can swap souls,kind of how Asanyeo helped General winter years ago (a surprising twist!)

For a high priestess,i find Asanyeo to be a bit dumb as she keeps getting fooled and outsmarted by Ogong. Or maybe is it how the actress is playing her character? It is definitely different from how she portrays Richie but i dont feel threatened and scared of Asanyeo except when she sneers.

Since Ogong was able to stop Asanyeo, they encouraged samjang to help devil king,since if Samjang is more powerful than asanyeo then Samjang can do what Asanyeo can. Im in awe with devil kings unwavering love for the queen Mother, enough to want to endure 10,000 years worth of pain so that he can stop her punishment.

At this point im not sure how the story ends. It still looks like Asanyeo will continue to play a big part esp with kang Dae Sungs story. We still dont know what is Samjangs mission or how she and Ogong is supposed to fight (and only one will come out alive).

hwayugi eps. 9-11

Just when they finally admitted their feelings go beyond the Geumganggo, we get another roadblock, this time it’s deadlier.

O’gong, Ms Ma and Devil King realize that Seon Mi has the death bell and it has rung – which means one has to kill the other in the end. I’m quite curious how they will resolve this main conflict. While O’Gong loves Seon Mi, it seems like he is not yet so fully committed that he is willing to die for her, which makes sense since he has lived and so long being ruthless when it comes to survival. I’m not sure how he thinks he can get Samjang killed given the circumstances since based on the rules of the Geumganggo, he will feel as much pain as Samjang feels – just like how at the end of episode 11, when O’gong was so angry at the 2 goons for killing Zombie girl and Seon Mi rushes to stop him, his heart was suddenly squeezed so tight by the thorns that he actually bled blood. I feel pained seeing O’gong’s look of astonishment and Seon Mi’s look of horror as they try to decipher what has happened even though they dont know how. I really hope they can complete the storyline in a good way coz i will feel totally let down if they just skirt away from this issue a few episodes from now.

On the other hand, these 3 episodes gave us a glimpse of how much Seon Mi finally appreciates the special skill that was given to her, even though it may also cost her the love of her life. All she wanted since she was young was to feel ordinary and not see or interact with any ghosts – and when the bookseller took her child’s soul away, she was able to live and try how it is to be normal. The first few times she felt sad, coz suddenly from being a special and doted by the monsters, she is now a nobody and useless. I dont know exactly how long she spent living an ordinary life – but i’m disappointed that it felt too short though – probably just 1 day for her to realize she wants it back. I think it’s a combination of wanting O’gong back to her side, to helping Zombie girl and feeling special again by helping other people get rid of the evil spirits. it’s like saying you quit smoking for a day or you will start dieting then go back to your habit a day after. And honestly right now, she is getting rid of evil spirits – but these are mostly the little monsters – she hasn’t dealt with the big ones that can really wreak havoc to the world and make a difference – though i think we are gearing up for that.

Another interesting storyline is the sacred tree – i dont know what the Professor saw when he touched the coffin – all we saw is a glimpse of a woman wearing a veil. I dont know how powerful she is or how she is important to the monster’s group world and Samjang – but definitely another storyline that is interesting.

finally after several episodes, Zombie girl finds out her identity but she gets tricked by the 2 goons and pushed from the rooftop. I am so so so angry now. I like Zombie girl and i really wished she lives longer – but i also dont know how. It seems like her storyline has ended. and i love her she was so brave to say goodbye to everyone and make a decision to ask Ogong to burn her before she rots away and become an evil spirit. I really really wish she comes back! and I’m sure PK will feel totally devastated once he hears what has happened to Zombie girl. As for Jade Dragon, right now i feel like he/she doesn’t really do anything to the storyline except argue with PK. I hope we see his/her power later.

I also feel like Devil King has become more of a side character without any real storyline aside from helping Ogong and Samjang, which is kind of disappointing coz i was really looking forward for him to complete his own mission of rescuing his love (which i dont know if she is still alive or dead). At this point, he is a big ally to the team, and i’m not sure if he will ever betray them for his own interests. I love the bromance between Devil King and O’gong, i guess they have lived long enough to like each other and even talking about forming a hotel or restaurant together. hahaha. face it Devil King, despite you trying to get away from Ogong, you will always protect him, the way i’m sure Ogong will protect Devil King when needed.

I’m not sure how long the drama series will be since i’m already in episode 11 – but i still feel like we’re just in the middle of the whole story and there’s still a lot to tackle.