Fight for my Way (2017)

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Profile
Drama: Fight for My Way (쌈, 마이웨이)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 22 – July 11, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
The drama revolves around the lives of 4 childhood friends and how they struggle with love, family and work.

Main Cast
Park Seo Joon – Ko Dong Man
Kim Ji Won – Choi Ae Ra
Ahn Jae Hong – Kim Joo Man
Song Ha Yeon – Baek Seol Hee

Review
Loved loved this drama! PSJ is becoming one of my favorite actors. He can be funny and sad at the same time. and how can he make a simple shirt and jeans/joggings look so hot?

Favorite character – i can’t decide between Dong Man and Ae Ra so i will cheat and choose both of them! They are both strong characters – Dong Man is very caring and supportive and he fights for his dream. Likewise, Ae Ra is tough and she maybe ridiculed by other people, but she never lost faith in herself and her skills.

Favorite couple – Of course, Dong Man and Ae-Ra. i dont really want to compare DongMan/AeRa vs YoungJun/Secretary Kim pairing but DongAera couple is just way better. they have better chemistry, they’ve known each other since they were kids and the relationship feels more equal. they support each other and fights for the other when the other person can’t. Well, except for the last part where Ae Ra was stubborn and broke up with Dong Man for wanting to continue to fight. I think Ae ra is wrong for demanding Dong Man to stop fighting when she knows so well how traumatic it was for Dong Man and how much it means to him to fight Taksu and regain his image, but on the other hand, like Ae Ra said, he is fighting as if he is not in a relationship and is not thinking of how his gf will feel seeing him hurt. I liked the ending – where Ae ra has accepted Dong Man’s profession while Dong Man will still continue fighting but only during fighting season.
As for Joo Man and Seol Hee’s relationship, the first part was boring, and i think it suits them because that’s what their relationship was — they have been together for so long that it’s starting to be routine. Seol Hee seems average and not exciting while Joo Man has been delaying to get married. Their story got better when they broke up. i think it was needed for both of them to think of what they had and decide what is important for them. I’m glad Joo Man didn’t really like Ye Jin, i think he would have been awful if he cheated on Seol Hee. I’m also glad Seol Hee grew a backbone, quit her job and started selling her plum wines. Now if she just cuts her old curly hair, she will be perfect.

Character i hated – Two girls that i hated – Hye-ran and Ye Jin, but i think Ye Jin wins. Hye-ran is awful but she had a relationship with Dong Man so in a way there’s is a little bit of reason why she acted that way – still not right but i could understand her. She’s still a b*tch for trying to put down and steal every job that Ae Ra tries to get and I didn’t really feel bad when we later find out that she got blacklisted and is penniless. She was an awful person and she got what she deserved. Though i dont doubt that she is a fighter and she will eventually land on her feet again. On the other hand, i think Ye Jin is worse than Hyeran because 1) when she found out that Joo Man and Seol Hee are together, she should have tone it down and backed off, and yet she acted like a whiny brat who did not get her favorite toy. I don’t feel a single ounce of pity and i’m glad Joo Man directly rejected her. Seol Hee has been nothing but nice to her and for her to act nice and try to steal Joo Man is low. I’m glad Seol Hee toughened up and gave her a putdown and splashed her face with water.

There were times when the show was dragging, especially the relationship between Joo Man and Seol Hee and the whole mystery about the landlady, but Dong Man and Ae Ra were just too cute that they were able to carry the show. I also liked the fighting scenes and seeing shirtless Dong Man (lol). I think the drama was aptly titled as “Fight (for), My Way” because we see four people trying to push through life to achieve their dreams in their own way and it’s a nice message for the young people. They may not become rich but they are happy with their current lives and that’s what matters.

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Memories of the Alhambra

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Profile
Drama: Memories of the Alhambra (알함브라 궁전의 추억)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 1, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Plot
While looking for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented-reality game, an investment firm executive meets a woman who runs a hostel in Spain.

Main Cast
Hyun Bin – Yoo Jin Woo
Park Shin Hye – Jung Hee Joo
Park Hoon – Cha Hyung Seok
Kim Eui Sung – Cha Byung Joon
Lee Seung Joon – Park Sun Ho
Seo Jung Hoon – Min Jin Woong

Review
It has been so long since i watched Hyun Bin in a drama. He should make more and I should keep watching his shows. He was absolutely brilliant in this drama. I can feel every emotion from him and i was just rooting for him all throughout the show. I love Park Shin Hye as well though she never seems to choose meaty characters. When i heard that this is from the same writer as W, I was a bit hesitant to watch because W started really well then just fell apart and got crazy in the end. But the premise was so interesting that i was in awe of the first episode all the way til the end. Every episode was tense and exciting as I didn’t know what to expect. As i learned from watching W, I threw all logic out of the window and just followed the story as it was narrated by Jin Woo. If you do the same, you will probably love this show. Oh, and i might spill a lot of spoilers as i run down my favorites so proceed with caution.

Favorite character – Yoo Jin Woo hands down. He is the star of the drama. This is his story. I love how developed his character was, from a rich and arrogant guy, to a broken man to a guy willing to do deep and to the distance to “save” the world. He was just so cool and determined to finish what he started, sometimes, too much stubborn and too much ethical that i sometimes want to wring his neck and tell him to just stop everything, delete his userid, go away or just create his own game without all these bugs. Maybe there wouldn’t be too many deaths. Maybe he will still be the star of the tech world. Too brilliant for his star to fade into anonymity.

Favorite bromance – Yoo Jin Woo and Secretary Seo. I never thought that they will kill him – the only one that fully trusted him and protected him. I cried so hard when even after his death, his NPC character is still there protecting Jin Woo when he is in trouble.

Most heartbreaking scene – Yoo Jin Woo realizing that Secretary Seo is dead. As mentioned above, it was a big shock to me and i probably had the same look on Jin Woo’s face when we realize that he didn’t make it. Seeing him looking stone faced with arrows on his back was just terrible. The second most heartbreaking episode is when Jin Woo had to stab Secretary Seo to delete his bug. He hugged him and was crying until Seo was reduced to ashes. I am sure Jin Woo’s cries are a mix of regret and love for his friend.

Best acting scene – When Jin Woo was trying to take out the knife from his chest. Wow! You would think he was stabbed for real the way his veins were popping out.

Favorite couple – Unfortunately it’s not Jin Woo and Hee Joo. i didn’t really feel a lot of chemistry between them, but i could understand why they were drawn to each other. Hee Joo is like his safe place when he wants to recharge. But is it love? maybe some how but i dont think it’s passionate or romantic love. their relationship felt more like close friends being there for each other. Even their kiss i didn’t feel anything. But i am thankful to Hee Joo for being there for Jin Woo and for believing in him. I wish the writer gave Hee Joo more things to do than just cry. Instead, my favorite couple is Jin Woo and Hee Joo’s sister – they had better chemistry! i loved Min Joo’s scenes with Jin Woo – if Min Joo was older, i would think she could have been a way better match for Jin Woo. oh btw, Park Shin Hye as Emma was just gorgeous.

Character I hated – surprisingly it’s not Professor Cha, but Go Yura. She is a b*tch and a gold digger. One of Jin woo’s worst decisions is to marry her. I hate her more than Professor Cha because she is more manipulative and is not even sorry for what she has done. As for Professor cha, the minute i saw the actor on screen, i just knew he will be one (if not the) bad guy – i mean, he just has this evil look – he probably has perfected it since Train to Busan, Mr Sunshine and W. I think Professor Cha is not necessarily bad, had Jin Woo not go crazy, he probably wouldn’t have attempted to steal his company and put him down.

Stupidest character – Chanyeol’s character Se Joo is the main reason every thing fell apart in the first place. Why did he give the game to Jin Woo if he knew there was something wrong with it?? It only started because of him and i can’t believe Jin Woo gone through all the hardships just to release / save him and they never end up meeting!! and Se Joo as the main creator/developer of the game was useless! he didn’t know how to fix his own game, and he ended up being applauded by Jin Woo’s company employees, got his own subsidiary and money as researcher! the F!! and he has no remorse as to what happend to Jin Woo. Because of him, Jin Woo killed his best friend, hurt his leg, lost his secretary, pushed out of his own company and got stuck inside the game.

Most pitiful character – Aside from Jin Woo, it’s Sun Ho. that scene where he was inside the church and finding the remains of his 4 friends – Hyung Seok, Professor Cha, Secretary Seo and Jin Woo is a scene i wouldn’t want to happen to me. he was the only one who didn’t get sucked into the game, was level headed and tried to keep the company afloat. losing his friends, esp Jin Woo must be hard for him. No wonder he ended up retiring and stepping down after a year. But in a way, it was partly his fault. Jin Woo told him there’s something wrong with the game and yet he didn’t believe him and he still continued to push for the game. Likewise, Choi Yang Joo – i’m grateful he helped Jin Woo create weapons and help him in the game, but i didn’t even see a scene where he was sad about Jin Woo. He just continued to develop the game.

So, the burning question – did i like the ending? If you just follow the storyline, i would say, it was the right ending. It made sense that he gets stuck there (assuming you accept that Jin Woo is supposedly a bug that had to be deleted but that’s another story). Because where else can he go? I honestly was hoping that when Se Joo gets out of the game, the final episode would be Se Joo finding a way to release Jin Woo from the game. I mean, that’s the whole point of the drama right? Jin Woo leveled up in hopes of finding a way to fix the bug in the game. And yet, it didn’t end that way. Jin Woo got trapped inside the game instead. when you think about it, Jin Woo has been living and breathing the game for more than a year and for me, it felt like by the last episode, he is no longer Yoo Jin woo, the tech entrepreneur, but Jin Woo, the master AR gamer. thus, it made sense that he ended up inside the game. So, did i like the ending? I liked it but didn’t love it.

Do i wish for season 2? Yes. Yes. Yes. Jin Woo deserves a second chance at life. It would be interesting to see him get out of the game and try to start his human life again. Do i still want Hee Joo with Jin Woo when he gets out? Uh, not really. I think a good season 2 will be some other gamer girl who can release him from the game. Maybe someone as tough and determined as Jin Woo. The only girl i can think of right now is Ha Ji Won (who can do action and be feminine at the same time, plus it will be a good reunion) but Jeon Ji Hyun x Hyun Bin pairing would also be interesting.

Kingdom

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Profile
Drama: Kingdom (킹덤)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot – While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.

Cast
Ju Ji Hoon – Lee Chang
Bae Doo Na – Seobi
Ryu Seung Ryong – Cho Hak Joo
Kim Hye Jun – Queen
Kim Sang Ho – Moo Young
Kim Sung Kyu – Young Shin
Heo Jun Ho – An Hyeon

Review
Whoa! Didn’t expect this show to be as intense and riveting! My family and i started watching episode 1 around 7.30pm and finished the entire season around 12mn! I felt like this was a combination of World War Z, Walking Dead, Train to Busan and even Titanic (lol!).

Favorite character – Lee Chang. If he survives or finds a cure for the zombies, he will make a great King. each episode we see him growing up, becoming more mature, learning to sympathize with common people and becoming a good strategist.

Favorite Villain – i think i will go with the Queen. *spoilers ahead* That she can pretend and lie to her father just means she is also desperate for power and her own life. First time to see this actress. She looks so cute and young but she did a great job as the Queen.

Favorite sidekick – Moo Young. Please don’t die. Lee Chang needs you. *spoilers ahead* What if his son becomes the king?!? That damn scheming queen!

Best actor/actresses – All the extras playing the zombies!! Wahh! that back breaking moves and extra cardio from all the running they’ve been doing must be so exhausting.

Funniest scene – in the prison where a guy was locked in a wooden board with another guy who became a zombie. Poor guy couldn’t even sleep trying to protect himself from his “neighbor”.

I need season two. NOW.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

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Profile
Drama: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (역도요정 김복주)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 16, 2016 – January 11, 2017
Runtime: Wednesdays & Thursdays 22:00

Plot
This is a story of Kim Bok Joo’s journey as a weightlifting medallist/student in Haneul Sport University. Her family runs a chicken restaurant and she has 2 good friends. One day she meets with her old schoolmate, Junhyung, who is in the swimming team. Her roommate is Si-ho, who is a rhythmic gymnast and ex-girlfriend of Jun Hyung. What follows is a nice youth romance drama.

Main Cast
Lee Sung Kyung – Kim Bok Joo
Nam Joo Hyuk – Jung Jun Hyung
Lee Jae Yoon – Jung Jae Yi
Kyung Soo Jin – Song Si Ho
Cho Hye Jung – Jung Nan Hee
Lee Joo Young – Lee Seon Ok

Review
Finally took time to watch this show. they all said this was such a great drama. To be honest, i wasn’t impressed in the first couple of episodes. I liked the characters but not enough to invest in them. but i had a lot of free time and i ended up watching one episode after another until i didn’t realize how much i was so into the show, the characters and finished watching within a week.

Favorite character – Kim Bok Joo. She is positive and cheerful, she’s a great athlete, friend, daughter, girlfriend. I love how she is so cute and charming, no wonder Jun Hyung loved her despite being so simple.

Favorite couple – Kim Bok Joo and Jun Hyung. i love friends-turned-lovers story. At first i thought Jun Hyung was a cute but annoying energizer bunny but he shines whenever he stops being annoying and is always there for Bok Joo, supporting her, knowing how to handle her and what to do even without her saying. Likewise, Bok Joo looked “stronger”than him and she always tries to “beat”him or shout at him, i don’t think it’s abuse, i find it so endearing and it’s her way of showing her love for him.
Note: my 2nd favorite couple is Jae Yi and A-yeong. Sure, Jae Yi is a little bit boring and slow but they are also a friends-turned-lovers and they just matched well.

Favorite bromance – Bok Joo’s dad and uncle. Why is Kang Ki Young in every single show I’ve watched in? He’s like everywhere. He is starting to grow on me and i get excited everytime i see him in the drama. I know he will just be funny. Note: the cameo is Kim Seul Gi is hilarious! She seems to always play a sassy girl.

Favorite episode(s) – Episode 7 and 13. Broke my heart seeing Bok Joo’s heart broken from her first love. Likewise, when JunHyung met his mom. I can feel that both actors were not acting. They became Bok Joo and JunHyung.
Character I most loved to hate – Si Ho. I hated her character. Just because nothing’s going well with her life doesn’t give her an excuse to be mean to people. or force people to like her back. But she had a lot of issues to go through. the only time i liked her was during her final competition when she just let everything go and accepted herself.

I haven’t watched youth romance/drama in a long time, mostly because I think i have outgrown them. I can no longer relate to high school/college problems and issues. But this show was so good i didn’t mind watching and reliving all my college worries. I wish i can go to their university as a nuna and tell them about life after college. It was also interesting to see a show about athletes. I’ve never been one and I’ve also been fascinated by athlete’s dedication and passion to their sport. I realized they do have a lot of struggles, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Like, how would i feel if i never win a medal at a sport that i really love and one that i have practiced for so long? What happens after you retire? Where do you go?
A season 2 will be fun to watch – not exactly the same characters – it can be a totally new character from the gymnastics team, a totally new team, or maybe one of Bok Joo’s friends.

Suits (kdrama)

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Drama:
Suits (슈츠)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 25 – June 14, 2018
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Based from the US show, Suits, this drama talks about Choi Kang Seok,who is the best lawyer in Kang & Ham, hiring Go Yeon Woo, who is a young and smart guy but does not have the license to practice law.

Main Cast:
Jang Dong Geun – Choi Kang Seok
Park Hyung Sik – Go Yeon Woo
Jin Hee Kyung – Kang Ha Yeon
Chae Jung An – Hong Da Ham
Ko Sung Hee – Kim Ji Na
Choi Gwi Hwa – Chae Geun Sik

Review:
I watched the US version for most of its run (Season 1-5) so I’m quite familiar with the story and characters. I was interested to see how they will make this into a Korean drama version and I was mostly satisfied that they kept the same fast paced story and dialogue in here. However, since the kdrama is only 16 episodes, there were a lot of character developments that were skipped that I think may confuse first time watchers. I still remember most of the episodes so I can understand the entire show. For me, it’s like watching a summary of the most critical cases and plotlines in the last 5 seasons. in Korean. They did slightly change some of the stories and characters to suit the short series but I’m not complaining.

Favorite character – from the US version to the Korean drama, my favorite is still Harvey/Kang Seok. When i first found out he and Park Hyung Sik were playing the leads, i thought they were perfectly cast and i was right. Dong Geun just got the confident, arrogant but soft hearted Harvey down pat.

Favorite bromance – of course, Kang Seok and Yeon Woo. there were not a lot of heart to heart discussions between the two outside of work but you can see how well matched and complimentary they are to each other. Not just favorite bromance, they were also my favorite couple.

Favorite female character – I didn’t want to compare but the US version had 3 strong female characters but in this drama, it was mostly just Ha Yeon.

Most underutilized character – Geun Sik! Ugh! I love Louis Litt. He started as super jerk but the actor played him so well that as much as you’d like to hate him, you feel bad for him and later on, you just want to cheer him on. On the other hand, Geun Sik didn’t have a lot of character development. He was just this petty and annoying guy who dislike Kang Seok for no apparent reason other than jealousy. I wish he was more involved in the cases and that the drama showed that he was also a good guy who will fight for the law firm when the time comes.

Most disappointing character – Da Ham. What happened?! Her character was supposed to be sassy and bad-ass! This is a watered down version of Donna, or worse, Da Ham didn’t seem like Donna at all! First, she fashion was atrocious! they made Chae Jung an look like an old auntie with her vintage prints and eyeglasses that also sit low on her nose bridge. Her lines were also not as snappy and witty. So disappointed as in the US version, Darvey is my favorite couple.

Overall, the show is a good remake of the original. I heard there is a Japanese version of Suits. hmm.. now i’m curious to watch it too!