Mr Sunshine Eps. 1-6

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Drama: Mr. Sunshine (미스터 션샤인)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 24
Release Date: July 7 – September 30, 2018
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Plot:
During the United States expedition to Joseon (South Korea) in 1871, a boy from Joseon boards an American warship and goes to America. As an adult, he returns to his home country as an American soldier stationed in the country.

Cast:
Lee Byung Hun – Eugene Choi
Kim Tae Ri – Go Ae Shin
Yoo Yeon Seok – Goo Dong Mae
Kim Min Jung – Hina
Byun Yo Han – Kim Hee Sung

First impressions:
I kept seeing this in my Netflix so one night i was bored and watched the first episode. I loved it!

1. The scenary and cinematography is so lush and beautiful. Even the sets look so authentic. The clothes are beautiful and all the cast looked good.

2. The story feels very similar to what happened to our country in 1898 when the spanish were overstaying their welcome, the Americans have arrived, looking to conquer and the local government and rebels are fighting against each other, trying to vie for the land. thus, the story somehow feels close to my heart althrough i know this is fiction but based on certain events in Korean history.

3. The actors are wonderful. I dont particularly like Lee Byung Hun – mostly because of his face and how stoic he always look (feels like only his mouth is moving most of the time) but I’m interested to see his character’s journey from being a slave hating Joseon to being an American soldier but starting to feel for his homeland again.

It’s the first time i’ve seen Kim Tae Ri act – she seems young but is a very promising actress. I loved how complex her character is – she is still stuck in her nobility and privilege yet wants to do something for her country. A little bit idealistic for now but i like how strong she is.

Dong Mae is the Korean butcher’s son who became a Japanese gangster – some people say sell out but i understand he did it to survive. he mostly broods and looks dirty most of the time (and his fake moustache is icky), i still haven’t decided if he’s a good or bad guy. I have a feeling he will eventually be good.

Hee Song (hello, guy from Misaeng) looks charming and devilish. He is educated, carefree and i think it’s mostly because of feeling a little guilty of coming from a rich but evil family. His father and grandfather is so bad, i’m surprised he turned out nice. Not sure how he will end up supporting the revolution but i’m interested to see him change from a party boy to a great freedom fighter.

Kim Min Jung in Man to Man was so ugly because of her haircut. Here in this drama, she is breathtakingly beautiful. I love her perfectly round face, thick lush lips and flawless skin. I have a feeling she is going to be one heck of a woman later on, also joining the fight for Korean’s freedom.

So far, after episode 6, i feel like the story is still shaping up, the characters are not yet finished being introduced, but the plot lines are starting to firm up, with the bad guy arriving (hello traitor Wan Ik, who is the same bad guy from W), the 3 guys seemingly going after Ae shin. I’m afraid to find out who will die in the end – for Korea and for Ae shin – i have a feeling it’s either going to be Hee sung or Dong Me or both. Eugene can’t die right since he has to end up with Ae shin. Speaking of which, one thing that is hard to believe is not just the age gap between the LBH and KTR, it’s how young KTR looks here and when you side her with LBH, it just looks weird – she looks like his daughter already. But Eugune’s gaze is so magnetic and he looks dashing in his uniform, no wonder Lady Aeshin is so charmed and utterly smitten with him.

I started watching this show around mid-September but because the pacing is a bit slow and the story is heavy, it is taking me a while to watch. I cant marathon the show because 1 episode makes me feel so bad that i have to stop and for another day or two before i continue watching. But i’m so interested to see how the story will unfold. I hope there will be more action and intrigue so that it wont get boring!

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[throwback] drinking solo

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Drama: Drinking Solo (혼술남녀)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 5 – October 25, 2016
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 23:00

Plot:
The drama tells the story of teachers and students in a private school for service examinations in Noryangjin, Seoul. The story shows people drinking alcohol alone whether at home or outside for various reasons and the romance between two teachers, superstar Jung-Suk (Ha Seok-Jin) and rookie teacher Hana (Park Ha-Sun).

Cast:
Ha Seok Jin: Jin Jung Suk
Park Ha Sun: Park Ha Na
Gong Myung: Gong Myung
Hwang Woo Seul Hye: Hwang Jin Yi
Min Jin Woong: Min Jin Woong
Kim Won Hae: Kim Won Hae
Key: Ki Bum
Kim Dong Young: Dong Young
Jung Chae Yeon: Chae Yeon

Review:
Fresh from finishing 1% of Anything and Let’s Eat 2, I scrambled to find another Ha Seok Jin drama and found Drinking Solo. I was expecting it to be the same as Let’s Eat, where each episode will talk about different kinds of drinks and snacks that go well with the food, so i was mildly surprised that it wasn’t like that. Start of every episode shows the lead, Jung Suk in a restaurant describing his routine while he pours his drink for the day and his meal and music. The latter half of the drama started with each of the characters having their own drinking session. It was fun to see them drink and eat to their hearts’ content. The story is also a little different – we have 4 teachers and the owner/principal and the 4 students. To be honest, i got bored with the 4 students’ story but i loved the teachers. Let’s see –

1. Romance between Jung Suk and Ha Na felt too rushed – we spent almost had of the time with Jung Suk looking down on Ha na yet he fell in love hard and deep in the next few episodes. I loved them and their chemistry together. Ha Na is just what Jung Suk needed, a sweet woman who can melt his icy heart. The “love” triangle with the little brother did not really fly with me. Gong Myung’s cute like a puppy but not what a grown mature woman will like – he is not ambitious, has no job and is irresponsible. He is definitely nice and sweet and sometimes it’s not enough to live. Plus if you compare him side by side to his brother – handsome, fashionable, successful, smart, strong, Gong Myung was simply no match at all. Jung Suk looks cold and can be jerk with his words, but once you get past his reserve, you will get to know a really nice guy. He just closed himself off to avoid attachments and getting hurt.

2. The teachers started out like a bunch of misfits but they ended up being a great combination. I just wished that the story also focused more on the 4 of them growing in their careers too. Would have loved to see Ha na gain more students, Jin Woong getting appreciated not just for his impressions but how well he teaches. or more scenes where they actually add value to their students lives and show how selfless teachers can be.

3. The interaction of the 4 students were just so-so for me. I didn’t care much for each of their stories but i love the bromance between the 3. Ki Bum was super annoying for the most part – looking like a know it all, arrogant but lazy and dumb kid, plus his tirori tune, but i’m impressed with how devoted his one-sided love for Chae Yeon that I was so happy in the end where Chae yeon looked like she is finally seeing Kibum as a man. Chae Yeon, likewise, just kept frowning and being a sad moody bitch in the show that i wonder what Kibum saw in her aside from her looks. But i was ecstatic when i saw her smiling, passing the exams and going to work. I just wish she becomes more friendly – in real life her snobby attitude aint going to win her friends and a promotion at work. She needs to be a team player!

4. The brothers – throughout the show it felt so awkward seeing them together and even at the end, they still weren’t close. I dont understand why Jung Suk had to break up with Hana because of his younger brother, when Hana didn’t even like him. The same way that Gong Myung was so stubborn and is forcing himself on Hana and getting angry at Jung Suk for stealing her when he knows she only likes him as a friend. and… both of them didn’t even asked Hana who she likes or even gave her a say in the relationship. Thus, the whole what — you’re brothers revelation is a surprise for Hana, but i thought it wasn’t a big deal, not enough for them to break up. But the break up had to happen – for Gong Myung to realize how selfish he has been for ruining a relationship that he is not even a part of.

5. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, though i loved that scene where they were thinking of each other as they drinking alone then looks up and see each other from across the table. i think both of them and the audience deserved a reconciliation and a kissing scene from them! but like what Jung Suk’s monologue said, he hurt her by breaking up with her so quickly that they needed to start over and to take it slow. I hope they do a second season!! Please!!!

Overall, this is a super simple and quick romcom – i think i finished this is less than 2 weeks.

My Golden Life eps. 46-52 (end)

Okay. Totally did not expect episodes 46 to 48 to be nerve wracking and all about Haesung succession. First up, Do kyung tells Grandpa that he will never go back to Haesung and that caused Grandpa to collapse. Do Kyung rushed to the hospital, felt guilty and decided to go back to Haesung. WTH! After all the bravado and sacrifices he did in the past few months, he just went back to Haesung like that? Argh!! I wanted to strangle him! That scene between Ji and Do kyung was heartbreaking. Ji an is right. She has made so many sacrifices for him and he has not done anything for her. it was a selfish love. it’s hard not to compare with Hyuk – he is more selfless and sensitive than Do Kyung.

Next up, I didn’t expect the entire news about Eun Seok’s disappearance to the fake daughter/switch to come out in the news. I mean what for? To damage the family? Oh yes. turns out it’s Jin Hee’s doing! Damn! I feel sad for Myung and Jin Hee – what kind of dysfunctional family fights over the family fortune and tries to take down your own father and humiliate your own sister and the reputation of the family just so your husband can take over the company? Granted, Jin Hee has been treated unfairly her whole life but is this how she wants to fight? That’s why no one takes her seriously! I think Myung Soo is a good guy – and pity that he lost the CEO role because his wife just took it too far and got too greedy? During the shareholders meeting, I thought it was just right that grandpa gets dismissed as Chairman of the Board. If I were Do Kyung, I would do the same thing – Grandpa has done enough damage and he needs to be stripped off his power. And I love how Do Kyung played fair and eventually won the chairmanship (grudgingly). Then argh! Grandpa starts clapping and dictating what Do Kyung has to do! My first thought was, hell with Grandpa! shut him out and ship him back to Hawaii. so imagine my surprise a few scenes later and Do Kyung does that! He accepts his dad’s resignation, stopped her mom from going back to the company and reinstating his uncle as president of the Hotel. Yes! I can see that Haesung will be heading to a new grounds with the young chairman. Also nice to see the meeting between Myung Soo and Do Kyung. Do kyung is right to give credit to Myung Soo – he is part of the family and has worked hard for it.

On to the SEO family – argh! just when the father is back in his family’s arms and they are all happy again, we find out he really has cancer! WTF!! how could you do this to him (and to me?!) just when I started liking the father, I can’t believe they will kill him. But I have to admit, it is the right way for his character to end. I love that he was able to help Do Kyung’s family — and I love that the Haesung dad and mom came to their house to say their thanks. The debts have been paid. Ji An and Do Kyung can be together right? I love the final scenes with the father – his time with Ji an, Do kyung visiting the dad, and him holding a guitar recital for his family. I cried with them when he finally passed away. and I know wherever he is, he is still looking after his family.

But before I talk about Ji An and Do kyung – another couple that is on the make it or break it is the Vice chairman and the mother. shocked that the dad served her divorce papers – is he for real or is he forcing her to accept her defeat and finally acknowledge her faults? I really thought he was leaving but then mom said the words he has been wanting to hear for the last 25 years. I am sorry. It’s all my fault. That’s it and they’re not divorcing. Aww. I wish there was more romantic / lovey dovey scenes between them, just to show that they still really love each other. On a side note, I hated Ms Min from the start, she had this weird expression on her face every single time. I actually don’t care that she left the household. i’d say good riddance.

Fast forward one year later – we get to see what happens to everyone – Ji Tae got promoted, he and Soo A moved to a smaller town, had a super cute baby and the mother helps taking care of her. Ji Soo is on the verge of opening her own bakery and there are plans for her and Hyuk to get married. Ji Ho gets a girlfriend, opens his own Block Bakery franchise and is still friend with Seo Hyun.

Ex-vice chairman is now a professor in business school, the mom is a housewife and just waits for her husband and they have a better relationship now. Ji Soo moved back to the Haesung house and is getting closer naturally to her own parents. Seo Hyun is back from studying abroad, has more freedom now to do whatever she wants. She decides she wants to take back Haesung and work in Hotel MJ. Hm.. (why didn’t I think of that?). Do Kyung left Haesung after normalizing operations and gave the chairmanship to Myung soo, which I think is just right. He went back to his own company which is now expanding. Jin Hee is also happy that her husband is finally chairman and opened a gallery, to the annoyance of her sister. I think they are still not in good terms but at least they don’t hate each other anymore.

Ji an left for Finland right after the funeral, studied there for a year while working part time and came back to Korea for a few days’ vacation. Of course Do Kyung will not just “coincidentally” meet her. Of course he will find a way to be back in her life again. I love that he wants to start over. Clean slate. as if the past never happened. and I’m glad Ji an finally gave him and herself a chance for a happy ever after!

Overall, I loved how the show was able to wrap up all the loose ends quite nicely. Everyone got their own happy ending. I was hoping the series will show Ji an become successful in her own business – and not just coming back to study. But Do Kyung flying to Finland to be with her and find a way to use Finland for his own business ideas is quite creative! Maybe it is better that their love story starts in a different country, where no one knows them and they can just be themselves.

Trying to complete 52 episodes in one month is quite difficult, but also satisfying. I feel like I was part of their journey from being two broken families to seeing them grow and mature into two loving families. It really is a golden life!

My Golden Life eps. 36-45

So many things happened in these 10 episodes.. and mostly lots of reconciliations.

I love that Ji an and Do Kyung are no longer fighting their feelings. They tried dating for a week and it was glorious. How strong both of them are for being able to stay for one week and just say goodbye like that. But I know that it’s for the best because it really is not the right time for them. for their love.

The Seo family is finally completely reconciled. First, Tae Soo, having an imaginary cancer. wow, did not expect that storyline. but it was good because it was pivotal for the happy to get together and do something for their father, who has been nothing but loyal and sacrificial for his family. I admit, i’m starting to warm up to the father. I want him to live knowing he did a good job raising his family. I want him to succeed in his business. I want him and his family to be happy. Ji an and Ji Soo have also reconciled, back to being the cutest and closest twin sisters can be. so nice to see them back caring and support each other. Also nice to see Ji soo reuniting with her adoptive parents and being able to come to terms about what happened and finally realizing that she was not ignored or neglected or unloved. She may not be their own blood but it does not matter because she is part of the family. Finally happy to see Soo A and Ji Tae overcome their issue and be happy again. For a minute I wanted to knock some sense into Soo A. Can’t she see how much Ji Tae loves her that he is willing to let her go just to make her happy? A baby is always a blessing to the family.

As for Ji Ho, most of the time his story focused on his friendship with Seo Hyun, with Seo Hyun starting to feel something for Ji Ho. I wonder how Ji Ho feels. I think it will get too complicated if they end up together, so I hope it won’t go that route. I want Seo Hyun to do something for herself and be more useful. She seems smart and charming and I can’t believe her family is not really making use of her more. I feel bad for her, seems like she is invisible to her family. It’s always just Do kyung this, Do kyung that. Surprised she grew up normally with no family issues.

Ji Soo and Hyuk finally got together (and it’s about time!). The Ji Soo leaving for the airport and the Do Kyung, Hyuk and Ji an trying to stop her was too much for me, but effective to show Ji Soo how Hyuk feels. I hope they get married in the end. They just seem perfect for each other. and I hope Ji Soo becomes a great baker!

I hate hate hate the Grandfather! someone has to stop him. Can’t he die already? Argh! How evil he is for trying to manipulate everyone, using his power and being so cruel? He has broken Do Kyung’s spirit so many times. Is that even love? I really hope Do kyung will not go back to Haesung and grandpa or everything that he has done so far is going to waste. and I hope his DK Eco Tech business becomes successful. He worked really hard from scratch with no money, just some good friends and good ideas.

I can see the Vice Chairman is starting to think about his life – esp since Do Kyung living his own life and Ji soo also angry and does not want to be part of the family. At the start of the show, I actually thought he is the bad father, but seems like he is the soft hearted one. What did he even see in the mother? She is also cold hearted and manipulated. Was super happy when he finally resigned! Yes! How about divorce next? though I think that wont happen since the show should end happily for everyone.

Last 8 episodes.. curious to see what’s in store and how the whole series will end.