Preview: Moon Kang Tae works as a psychiatric caregiver and also takes care of his grown up brother who has special needs. He is great at his job but he doesn’t stay long in one hospital or employer. Due to a childhood trauma, he moves around with his brother a lot. Moon Kang Tae meets Ko Moon Young, a popular, succesful and eccentric kids book author. Ko Moon Young takes a liking to Moon Kang Tae and starts following him around. “It’s awesome to see Kim Soo Hyun back and I’m glad he’s paired with the beautiful Seo Ye Ji! Love the story and the artistic design of this drama.”
Preview: Choi Dae Hyun runs a convenience store and badly needs a part-timer to help him out. Jung Saet Byul applies for the job and she really works hard to improve the sales. Jung Saet Byul actually likes Choi Dae Hyun since they met 3 years ago. She was still a bad-ass highschool student back then and now that she is in college, she needs a part-time job and tries to work for the person that she has a crush on. “Cute love team!”
Preview: On her trip to Jeju and after being dumped by her boyfriend, Woo Do Hee meets Kim Hae Kyung, a psychiatrist who happens to be in the island to treat a patient. They share a dinner together. Without high expectation that they’ll meet again, the two find each other and share another meal at a fish market in Seoul. Once again they part without exchanging contact details and leave it to fate to find each other once more. “Seo Ji Hye deserves to be in a leading role and this seems to be it!”.
Summary: Yoon Ji Soo is in her 40s and has a son from a divorced marriage. She is having a hard time as a single mom trying to raise her son and make a living as a piano teacher. After several years, she meets her first love unexpectedly. His name is Han Jae Hyun, his senior in college who she deeply admired and loved.
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Stars: Yoo Ji Tae as Han Jae Hyun
Jin Young as Han Jae Hyun (20s)
Lee Bo Young as Yoon Ji Soo
Jeon So Nee as Yoon Ji Soo (20s)
Likes: Beautiful storytelling going back and forth the eventful past and the somewhat blurry present. I love the details of the 90’s set, it was very well researched. From the fashion, hairstyle, happenings, transportation down to those little gadgets like pagers, casette tapes / recorders and analog phones. I also like the emphasis on radio stations when you can request songs and leave messages for someone on air. I went to college in the 90’s so all those things bring back old memories. The heavy focus on the love story in the past, how Han Jae Hyun and Yoon Ji Soo met, how they fell in love, how they spent time together, how they shared the same convictions, how their love was being challenged and how they got separated, shed light on why these 2 souls deserve nothing else but being reunited. I like it, I thought it was beautifully told.
The powerful couples:
Jin Young as Han Jae Hyun and Jeon So Nee as Yoon Ji Soo – Two young souls in love, full of energy, life and dreams! I love the chemistry between these two, they really looked great together. I’m also impressed by the acting. This is probably Jin Young’s (Got7) first serious drama role and I would say he did great. Same with Jeon So Nee, new face in the drama world but her performance was top. She’s very pretty too!
Yoo Ji Tae as Han Jae Hyun and Lee Bo Young as Yoon Ji Soo – getting back to you first love in your 40’s after going through separate tough lives, honestly it’s hard to imagine :). But since it’s the very handsome Yoo Ji Tae and the always young-looking Lee Bo Young, it was imaginable! These two looked great together. Plus I have a big crush on Yoon Ji Tae, those smiles made me melt!
The most beautiful reunion – at the train station on that snowy night! I’m not a big fan of snow. Even just the sight of it on tv makes me freeze but that scene at the train station emitted so much warmth. The hair of Yoon Ji Su when she was turning around to look at Han Jae Hyun – such a beautiful reminiscent of the young past.
Those most beautiful kissing scenes on the beach during sunset both by the young past and the older present. Well, one way to reignite the romance is reliving the beautiful past eh.
The lovely poem sent by the young Han Jae Hyun to the radio station:
The End of that Summer
The crape myrtle survived that summer. The tree didn’t crumble even after a series of storms. Like a shower of hail, I hung red flowers. That summer, I was in a middle of a storm. That summer, my despair bore red flowers like they were mocking me, but after several storms, they didn’t fall. When they fell, they clung and climbed up. The stubborn flowers of the fire-breathing crape myrtle covered a small garden with blood. And my despair vanished like magic.
The OST is perfect with the melo atmosphere… When My Love Blooms OST.
I normally dislike drama ad placement but those Samsung flip phones look really good!
Dislikes: It got quite boring towards the end. It was going back and forth in slow pace. Nothing much new going on, I was falling asleep most of the time.
There was closure on most threads but I found them so cringy especially the closing of the main characters. They could have done it without that.
Summary: King Lee Gon of the Kingdom of Corea, a parallel world of the Republic of Korea, crosses dimension chasing after a person who he thinks was his savior when he was a little boy who was about to get killed. He finally meets Jung Tae Eul, a detective in the other world, who he thinks was his saviour but she doesn’t have a recollection of him. In his constant trip to the other side, King Lee Gon realizes the two worlds are messed up due to the doing of his traitor uncle Lee Rim. So he is finding a way to fix it.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Stars: Lee Min Ho as Lee Gon
Kim Go Eun as Jung Tae Eul / Luna
Woo Do Hwan as Jo Eun Sub / Jo Young
Kim Kyung Nam as Kang Shin Jae
Jung Eun Chae as Goo Seo Ryung
Lee Jung Jin as Lee Rim
Likes: I absolutely love this fantasy/romance with time-travel genre! Although I knew time-travel would always confuse me but I was willing and all ready to be confused before I started the first episode. And talking about it…
The first episode. That was a mysterious, intriguing and nerve-racking first episode. Everything was perfect! It started so well. I love the storytelling as if someone was reading a legend to me. “And so there once this legendary bamboo flute which allows the owner to travel between parallel worlds. Of course, because of its power, one soul wanted to get hold of it and use it for his plans and that to take control of different worlds and live almost immortal. Unfortunately or fortunately, the flute got snapped into two and he only got half of it. The other half went to our guy, the King!” That was a good introduction to a complicated storyline combined with a remarkable action scene when the crown prince was about to get killed but then shooting began and broke the glass roof. Following the shattered glass, came down the powdery snow onto the dead King and the hurt young crown prince. Yeah, what a scene! I thougt it was brilliant!
The promising cast.
Lee Min Ho as Lee Gon – It was good to see LMH back in the drama world, I’ve missed him! Although, I know in my heart he’s not the best actor out there, he’s still a favourite of mine and it was good to see him taking the role of King Lee Gon of the Kingdom of Corea. He looked dashing in his kingly outfits and very knightly on his white horse, Maximus!
Kim Go Eun as Jung Tae Eul and Luna – I like both roles but my favourite is her Luna character – lonely, dark, sad, scary and even dying. Jung Tae Eul on the other hand was the likeable type – brave, smart, happier and healthier. I would say Kim Go Eun did well especially with Luna.
Woo Do Hwan as Jo Eun Sub / Jo Young – Woo Do Hwan was awesome! Upstaging the lead actor is definitely a feat. As Jo Young, the very handsome bodyguard of the King also known as the unbreakable sword, he could pass as the next Bond! But his Jo Eun Sub character would give Woo Do Han the best acting award. He totally pulled it off! Jo Eun Sub was such a funny guy with a very heavy Busan accent. The show was light-hearted because of him.
Kim Kyung Nam as Kang Shin Jae – He’s not your typical Korean cutie but omo this guy can act. I was very impressed with his crying moments.
Jung Eun Chae as Goo Seo Ryung – two words, intimidatingly beautiful! Young but she looked very mature in acting. The Prime Minister role suited her so well.
Lee Jung Jin as Lee Rim – oh this guy is a veteran, I could tell. Such a brilliant actor. I think the show would have struggled more without him as the villain.
Awesome OST & score. I love the score most, very powerful! But here’s a link to both OST and score… The King: Eternal Monarch OST + Score.
Set Design. There was an obvious effort on the sets but my favourite was the King’s office. That library / office was just impressive. Lee Gon always looked kingly in that room. Well done!
Costume Design. Of course, the king’s wardrobe was the best. I love his outfit when he went to see Jung Tae Eul for the first time and he didn’t have money so he had to sell the precious buttons on his coat. That was lovely coat! Runner up is the Prime Minister’s wardrobe.
Epic Scenes. Aside from the first episode’s epic scene, there were some more like the almost battle with Japan, the rescue of Jung Tae Eul on the streets of the kingdom headed by the king himself, the king’s New Year walk on a snowy night meeting Lee Rim and everytime when the TIME stops.
The Ending. Not so bad actually. I was kind of getting ready for a sad or tragic ending. But it ended well, giving closures to most of the threads.
Dislikes: It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t a bad script, it was just simply poor execution of the script. After the first episode, it was a total mess. Confused the hell out of me! It took it until episode 11 to finally take off but even then I wasn’t completely satisfied. Such a waste, it could have been done better.
I’ve never seen so aggressive ad placements in my kdrama watching history. Really onto your face ads! Too much chicken, milk tea, ginseng, coffee… and more! Ruin the whole thing.
So disturbed by Lee Min Ho’s perfectly done lips especially on the earlier episodes. Too much makeup!
The chemistry wasn’t just there.
Summary: Ji Sun Woo is a successful doctor and she seems to have everything including a happy marriage and family but she realizes that all around her is full of lies and she painfully discovers one after the other including her husband’s infidelity.
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Stars: Kim Hee Ae as Ji Sun Woo
Park Hae Joon as Lee Tae Oh
Park Sun Young as Ko Ye Rim
Kim Young Min as Son Je Hyuk
Han So Hee as Yeo Da Kyung
Likes: This drama was an underdog. Taking down the likes of “The King: Eternal Monarch”. It wasn’t even on my list of to watch dramas but the rating was just impressive that I was tempted to take a peek. And yes, a one episode peek was all I needed to keep watching until the end.
The nerve-racking first episode. The storytelling / script was impressive and how it was all (the past happy times, the present and the revelation) compressed in one episode coming up with a bomb pilot episode. You just need to watch the first one and you’ll be hooked for sure.
Paying attention to details. I’ve got to commend the director for doing a great job. This kind of show where most of the time emotions are involved, you’ve got to be really good in capturing feelings and atmosphere. The focus on facial expressions was very well done, and in combination with great lines and dialogues, everyone looked brilliant in acting. Moreover the sets are well laid out and designed to produce the most desired atmosphere.
A long episode with a bomb. Have you noticed an episode is over an hour long. It’s like 1hr and 20mins if I’m not mistaken. It’s quite long that I always ended up staying late at night but nothing to complain about as it made the story more elaborate that they could plant a bomb in it. Every episode has this explosion scene, always my most-awaited.
The OST. The tracks sound sad but befitting such a sorrowful drama. Check out The World of the Married OST! I also like the intrumental music especially the one playing everytime something interesting is happening. Check out the end The World of the Married Intrumental OST!
The brilliant acting. This follows when the show has a brilliant director normally. Everyone did a fantastic job!
Kim Hee Ae as Ji Sun Woo – you’ve got to give it to her, she was the star of the show. The Ji Sun Woo character was a combination of an independent, successful, strong and brave woman who despite having to go through a family trauma, managed to have control of her own life, marriage and family, and even after the fallout of her marriage, managed to stay well-composed. It was when Ji Sun Woo finally brokedown and let out a good cry that I thought I was in for a good outpouring of emotions too. Kim Hee Ae, I would say, got my vote for the best actress award this year.
Park Hae Joon as Lee Tae Oh – another interesting character and Park Hae Joon nailed it. At times, sexy but most of the times, despicable. But no matter how much you hate him, after a while you’ll pity him. That was exactly the reason why the relationship with his ex wife Ji Sun Woo never ended. Lee Tae Oh, until the end was oblivious of the fact how much hurt he had caused people around him.
Han So Hee as Yeo Da Kyung – I always thought Han So Hee is pretty. I’ve seen her in a couple of dramas before but was never really impressed of her acting. Well, except this one! As a mistress Yeo Da Kyung, she exuded youthful beauty that could tempt any man in the planet and was determined to put a leash on that man she wanted to be with. Later as Mrs. Lee Tae Oh, she was controling and cunning but always maintained composure and patience. I commend Han So Hee for playing the role of Yeo Da Kyung so well. This was her best performance so far. She wasn’t just pretty but could actually act brilliantly.
The other married couple. I like how the story gave attention to another marriage which was in the brink of extinction. The Ye Rim and Je Hyuk story was a beautiful addition to yet another tragic married life. Like Lee Tae Oh and Ji Sun Woo’s story, theirs also highlighted the reasons why and why not these two souls could be together.
Jun Jin Seo as Lee Joon Young. This boy has a bright future ahead. He looks good and and acts good. I would watch out for him. In a couple of years, I’d like to see him in a leading role.
Most epic moment. Got to be Ji Sun Woo’s entrance to the shooting range to join the lady’s club. I thought she was too cool in maroon leather coat with a gun in her hands!
Well dressed cast. Like Ji Sun Woo’s slaying outfit above, she was the whole time clad in gorgeous outfit throughout the show. The rest of the cast wasn’t left behind. Everyone was well-dressed!
The End. Actually, I couldn’t think of a better ending than how it ended. I wanna leave it like that, it was perfect that way. There was realization on everyone, they’ve got to make the best choice out of all, and only that, they would find peace and happiness and in Ji Sun Woo’s part, forgiveness from the one she loves the most.
Dislikes: There were some over- the- top situations, maybe not even possible in real life but hey it’s a kdrama afterall.
Summary: After a failed teaching career in Seoul, Mok Hae Won goes back to the countryside where she grew up and studied. She meets again her former classmate Im Eun Sub who now owns a bookshop and is quite content with his life in the village. Little did she know that Im Eun Sub liked her a lot even when they were still young but opted to admire her from the far.
Stars: Park Min Young as Mok Hae Won
Seo Kang Joon as Im Eun Sub
Likes: I would normally go for the romantic comedy but I won’t say no to a wonderfully made romance drama complete with all the necessary spices.
A beautifully written script. Such a great storytelling with focus on details. It didn’t give me an impression of being lost while following every episode. There was always a sense of cohesiveness. It was of course focus on the present but with important flashbacks of the past. It was going back and forth like that but it was just so well done.
The small town set. Some kdramas seem to be parting away from the usual Seoul scenes these days which is a breath of fresh air. Something new, something we don’t normally connect with Korea. I love the small town feel in this one. A place with very few people who mostly know each other and gather on special occasions to connect with everyone further. That very close ties between people in this town was also very well emphasize in this drama.
The focus on values. I love how the characters had emphasis on their values. It didn’t matter if one had a similar value to another, the important thing is how a character stood by his or her own values. For example, when there was this discussion during the book club meeting and someone said, you go around trying to find your happiness somewhere only to end up going back to where you come from and realize that happiness lies there. Then someone else contradicted, what if the case is you’re trying to find happiness somewhere but could not find it so you just decided that the simple happiness you find at home is actually the happiness you’ve been looking for.
It gave us a lot of thoughts. What is really important to each one of us?
The unique characters. This was something that really impressed me about this drama. The characters are very well thought of. I could appreciate it already if the main characters are very well defined but in this case everyone’s character was equally important. The aunt and mum of Mok Hae Won surprised me in the later episodes, they had their own interesting story. I also like the way how Mok Hae Won’s family appeared cold towards each other. They didn’t like to talk about feelings which is okay because in reality some people are just like that.
The top leads. There’s no denying that our top leads are both good looking. Not just that, they’re brilliant actors as well. But what I enjoyed most is the strong chemistry between Park Min Young and Seo Kang Joon. When this is ticked, then the kissing scenes are awesome.
Perfectly conveyed feelings. Another amazing job done was conveying those sometimes unimaginable feelings. How could you show it on TV? This was thanks to a combination of good acting and I would say directing.
Consistent mood. The picturisque scenes (a combination of beautiful countryside and dramatic seasons), the warm atmosphere of the bookstore despite the thick snow of the outside word, the cold feel of the Hodu house where people as cold as ice live, the simple and somewhat happy lifestyle in a small town, the camaraderie between people, and so on. It was somehow very appealing to me.
The focus on books. I love how this drama promoted reading books and even just the existence of books in general. We live in a digital time when we can get information easily online. Books are somewhat no longer a thing. Well, think again, there’s something in books than just the information it gives. They bring people together. We sometimes forget that, don’t we?
I also love that every episode is a title of a book in the drama (if you’ve noticed). I particularly like The Maze of Sisterfield! That episode unfolded a lot of secrets.
The OST. It brings back memories of old dramas which had songs sounding like these… Like A Winter’s Dream and All day Long.
Favorite Quote. “You would rather not see the sunshine with the fear of losing it”.
The Ending. One word, beautiful!
Dislikes: Can’t think of one.
Summary: Park Sae Royi, after losing his father and who did not get justice from it, promises himself to take revenge against the people who did him wrong. After some years serving in prison and later working very hard to raise some money, he finally manages to own a pub in Itaewon, an area in Seoul popular for its nightlife and restaurants.
Genre: Romance, Revenge
Stars: Park Seo Joon as Park Sae Royi
Kim Da Mi as Jo Yi Seo
Yoo Jae Myung as Jang Dae Hee
Nara as Oh Soo Ah
Likes: The story was great! It had a revenge theme with a tinge of romance. I like how it all started, from the time when our main guy, Park Sae Royi, was still in highschool, how he met his first love, how he was challenged by the powerful, how he lost his dad and how his life crumbled after that. The foundation of revenge was clear and strong. I loved how the story developed from that main foundation. The determination of our main guy to be successful in order to get back to the people who hurt him – what a way to get his revenge.
Character development. Everyone in the beginning was just a nobody but I love how the writers focused on the character development and I’m not just talking about Park Sae Royi’s, the main character of the drama but all the others as well. Like how it became clearer how powerful Jang Dae Hee was, how Ma Hyumi became the most popular transgender chef, how Jo Yi Seo fell in love with Park Sae Ro Yi, how Soo Ah faded in Park Sae Royi’s eyes, how Geun So became greedy with power or how Jeung Gun turned into a messed up person. There were a lot of characters but I ended up knowing each of them by heart. Everyone was well-justified.
The name Itaewon Class. How did they come up with it, I wondered that myself because it wasn’t explained until the other half of the full drama. So don’t be impatient, wait and it will be explained later.
Itaewon. I’ve had dramas before focused on other popular areas in Seoul like Cheondamdong but never heard of Itaewon. Itaewon means freedom according to the drama and it’s good to know that there’s such a vibrant and multicultural place in Seoul with lots of restaurants and pubs. Thus, it was a great idea to add a foreigner in the main cast. Toni spoke Korean fluently, well done!
The awesome cast! Who are they…
Park Seo Joon as Park Sae Royi – this was his best performance yet. His character was serious, firm, determined and proud so there were times when he had to deal with things like flirting and he suddenly turned awkward. Park Seo Joon portrayed this so well. It’s good to see him doing some serious roles.
Kim Da Mi as Jo Yi Seo – cute and obnoxious, she was a natural! I also like her coolness. Her outfit, hair, the way she walked and talked, witty and smart, young and head over heels for Par Sae Royi. You’ll despise her at first but you’ll fall in love with her later on.
Yoo Jae Myung as Jang Dae Hee – this guy is a veteran. His acting was flawless. I liked him when he was very powerful but I love his acting more when he was going down. Gosh, that final crying was impressive!
Nara as Oh Soo Ah – she is pretty like a doll and like other former idols, she found her talent in acting. She was quite good! I think the chemistry between her and Park Seo Joon was really great.
The outfits. Got to credit the costume designer for the cast’s outfits, well done! I especially love Soo Ah’s executive outfits, Jo Yi Seo’s very cool leather jackets, Jang Dae Hee’s traditional clothes, Ma Hyumi’s pretty outfits and Park Sae Royi’s loose, relaxed but cool clothing.
Love the OST. The tracks were so well-integrated with the drama. I especially like Gaho – Start Over.
Finale. I love it!!! There were closures on pretty much everyone. It felt like I could sleep properly after that.
Cameo. And yes closure with a great cameo at the end, hello Park Bo Gum!
Dislikes: I think there was a soar in rating towards the end of the drama because there was an obvious crowding of ad placements. Hello Tifanny, Mercedes Benz, Samsung… too many to handle. But got to give them credit on how they integrated Montblanc so well at the start.
Summary: Kang Sun Hyuk does everything to acquire important business deals even if that would mean joining a special rescue team in order to get a good glimpse of Miryeong forest, which has a potential to be turned into a resort. He gets to share a house in Miryeong village with a surgical resident, Jung Young Jae, who got kicked out from a top hospital in Seoul because of an incident.
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Romantic Comedy
Stars: Park Hae Jin as Kang Sun Hyuk
Jo Bo Ah as Jung Young Jae
Jung Yun Joo as Oh Bo Mi
Noh Kwang Shik as Choi Chang
Likes: The main set which was Miryeong Forest was lush and green. It was beautiful and it set a very calming atmosphere which was perfect for the healing of two lost souls who were bound to work in the place. I love how the camera captured fantastic angles that made the forest looked enchanting, calming, relaxing, a breath of fresh air, a shelter, and since it’s a kdrama, a place to fall in love. Added to that, the drone shots were fantastic! A birds eyeview of the vast forest was just mesmerizing.
I love how they focused on bicycles as the main transport going in and out of the forest. I admit, there was something romantic about bikes but it wasn’t just a Korean drama thing, I thought it was perfectly matching with the main nature theme. Something that doesn’t contribute pollution whether it’s air or noise.
The two main characters were interesting. Both had trauma in the past that despite what they have achieved in the present, the past remains haunting them. The character development was definitely there but how it was achieved I would put it under dislikes.
Park Hae Jin was looking so good in this! He looked tall and handsome in suits. And how can I forget those naked scenes, what an eye candy! But wait, he wasn’t all looks, he did well in acting too. His tears were so convincing!
Jo Bo Ah was pretty and bubbly and there was definitely a good amount of chemistry between her and Park Hae Jin.
My favourite quotes from this drama:
- No matter how much time has passed, your mind dwells on the moments when you were hurt.
- That’s called wisdom, not cowardice. Because you acknowledge your limits.
Pretty deep but they make a lot of sense, agree?
The Kiss. I still can’t decide which one is my favourite, the stethoscope kiss or the kiss under the trees!
The Ending. I love endings that involves healing. I love it when nature heals after a storm or a fire. I love it more when mankind heals after trauma, loss and pain.
Dislikes: Although the character development was there, how it was achieved was messy. The storytelling in general was all over the place. There was a big effort to integrate their top sponsor which is Okada in the Philippines so they have to find a way how they could make scenes that include Okada – which wasn’t really that necessary for the main story.
Jo Bo Ah, although she’s quite pretty, I wasn’t really warming up to her acting. When she cries, tears running down her cheeks and all but she still looks like she’s smiling. I don’t know if it’s just me.
I mentioned above how I like the bicycles in the drama and how they promoted clean air. I find it unnecessary that our main guy was driving a sports car in the countryside. Not matching at all.
The ending. Yes, I love the healing part but it got so cheesy in some closures.
Summary: A lady constable from the countryside, Cha Soo Young, tries to join RIU using her special ability to memorize what she sees in detail, as her passport to get a job as a detective. She starts working with the lady head of RIU after her ability was being noticed. She is then introduced to a famous profiler, Oh Hyun Jae and gets her skills tested.
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Stars: Jang Hyuk as Oh Hyun Jae
Choi Soo Young as Cha Soo Young
Jin Seo Yeon as Hwang Hwa Young
Jang Hyun Sung as Choi Hyung Pil
Ryu Seung Soo as Yang Man Soo
Likes: It’s quite a dark drama but it was sooo good I was hooked till the end! Why? Let’s dissect this…
The crime, detective genre. I’m a huge fan of this type of drama especially if it’s done well. And this one is worth watching. It will leave you on a dark, scary mood but if you’re a fan, it’s satisfying.
The small crime cases surrounding the main one. I like those related and independent stories that had their own puzzles to solve. They’re like mini bonuses, it kept the excitement going.
The main story and the main villain. Although it took a while to get to that part and to get to him, the last episodes were quite thrillling and definitely worth the wait. It was good to see how everything unraveled, how questions got their answers.
The links. I like how most of the things were interconnected, not all, but most of them. Our main cast’s past stories were all pointing to the main villain which justified the desire to catch the GUY.
The heinous killings. Although most sensitive parts were censored but most scenes were detailed, almost realistic.
The atmosphere. Quite consistent with this throughout the drama. Dark and scary moods.
The brilliant cast. What could I say? Everyone did so well!
For once, I’m a huge fan of Jang Hyuk. I watched most of his dramas. He was just so cool and deep in this one. Loved the hair, the scar, the martial arts skills, the outfit and the way he talked. He was his very character, Oh Hyun Jae, the profiler.
Choi Soo Young, I’m quite impressed with her. I’ve watched one of her dramas before and I knew she was good but I think her portrayal of Cha Soo Young, the detective, was her best performance yet. It’s refreshing to see a former kpop idol (of girl band, Girls’ Generation) does a detective character! Impressed!
Jin Seo Yeon has a beautiful face but she turned it into a fierce one fitting her detective character Hwang Hwa Young. Lots of fighting and dark experiences for this fierce lady in this drama. I don’t know but I have this feeling that she felt more for Oh Hyun Jae here than just mere friendship.
Special mention to the main villain of this drama, he was quite good! All the time I was thinking of someone else. Well done!
The road to finale. Well, it was bloody. I was getting ready to lose more people from the good side but glad they left the best ones for me.
The finale. The suspense was on in full, it was nerve-racking. Lots of fighting and more blood. It was the final showdown! I like how it ended and I even still got an epilogue.
Dislikes: I found the connection of the main villain and his close friends to be a bit overboard. Could you actually really manipulate other people to kill others then kill themselves? Hm…
The kdrama lover in me was hopelessly waiting for a bit of romance but my dream got shuttered haha. Oh well, there was a little hint at the end or is it just what I wanted to believe?
Summary: A South Korean heiress lands in North Korea by accident when she was paragliding. She is captured by a North Korean soldier who treats her well and helps her get out of the country safely. But the more time she spends longer with her captor, the more she is falling for him.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stars: Hyun Bin as Ri Jung Hyuk
Son Ye Jin as Yoon Se Ri
Seo Ji Hye as Seo Dan (Jung Hyuk’s fiancée)
Kim Jung Hyun as Koo Seung Joon
Likes: A different impression. There are so many reasons to love this drama but for me the most important is how this drama gave a different impression of North Korea. Finally, we have something popular in the south which is humanizing the people of the north. It was good to see all sides even if they’re only possibilities.
The humour. I’ve got to say this is the funniest kdrama so far this year! Every episode always left me giggling. It’s good to see something that could have left so much tension to be sooo funny (especially that it involves the military). So many funny moments in this drama but my favourite would be when the North Korean soldiers under Capt. Ri Jung Hyuk went to the south to bring back their captain in one piece. Oh gosh, I couldn’t stop laughing from all those naive experiences in the south! Of course, it had a good share of crying moments but I would highly recommend it for something that will really make you laugh.
The contrasting sets. I’ve seen over a hundred kdramas so I’m used to how the sets taken in South Korea would look like. But to have two contrasting sets, first the North Korean sets then the South, I found that very interesting. How different these two countries are – pointing out the lacking and good in one and same with the other. The very basic lifestyle in a North Korean village stroke me as primitive but on the other hand, there was emphasis on camaraderie among each other. The advanced, stylish lifestyle of the South brought out estrangement but on the other hand, there was freedom.
Lessons about the North. What did I learn from this drama about the North? Ah, the accent! It must have been Hyun Bin’s doing but suddenly North Korean accent just became so sexy! Agree or disagree? How about those surprise house inspections. I thought, no way, but it actually made sense. The tapping was funny if you’re just watching it but if you’re actually there, that could be quite scary. How about power and connection? Serve and follow the powerful otherwise you’re dead meat. The traffic in Pyongyang is not at all bad, and that’s even the capital! And yes before it gets forgotten, bring some blankets and food in case trains get stranded for 12 hours!
The cast. Undoubtedly, we had an awesome cast, I love them all but will focus on the leads. Let’s start with…
Hyun Bin as Ri Jung Hyuk – so handsome in North Korean military uniform and he also did so well with the northern accent. No reason not to fall in love with Ri Jung Hyuk’s character, he might be stiff but a good and true person. I think Hyun Bin carried it so well.
Son Ye Jin as Yoon Se Ri – I love her in this drama – fierce, pretty, powerful and smart. She was awesome here. Her chemistry with Hyun Bin was top. Son Ye Jin, didn’t leave a good impression with me in Personal Taste (with Lee Min Ho). I had to drop that drama a long time ago, never finished it. It’s good to see her awesome in this one.
Seo Ji Hye as Seo Dan – oh my gosh, I love Seo Dan! I should have taken notes when Koo Seung Jun told her what he liked about her. That fierce, stylish North Korean lady. Love her stares! They were like lasers, lol! And isn’t she looking like Chanyeol of EXO? She could be his sister!
Kim Jung Hyun as Koo Seung Joon – First, I found him just good looking but when his character developed, I couldn’t help liking this guy. I bet this supporting role will bring Kim Jung Hyun to the top.
The kissing scenes. Ha! How I like a good one! But wait, I didn’t just get one but several and they were all great! Which one was my favourite, let me think… no, not the last one but the one outside the hospital! I thought that was so romantic!
Romanticising the demarcation lines. Well, after watching this drama, everyone will think romantic about those lines. Am I wrong? Oh, it’s already happening!
Important reference. I love the reference to Hyun Bin’s previous drama, Memories of the Alhambra! It was funny when the famous music of Memories of the Alhambra played when Hyun Bin’s character here, Ri Jung Hyuk was playing a computer game.
Cameo. Was that really Kim So Hyun? This just tells us that a new drama from him is dawning. Please, make it happen soon!
The ending. How would I say it. It pleased me and I guess most of you too. I’m glad they found a way to make it work despite the Romeo and Juliet kind of situation. And I love how they ended it where it all started, at the picturesque Switzerland.
Dislikes: It’s obvious how desperate they were to make that sudden paragliding scene. I know it looks cool and it justified that Yoon Se Ri was still alive, but it just didn’t make sense. How did she manage to get the parachute fixed suddenly, same with her paragliding outfit?
I was hoping and crossing fingers for the supporting love team but sadly someone had to be sacrificed.
I dislike very much when episodes don’t get shown on schedule. The excitement gets interrupted. It happened twice with this drama. But glad it didn’t take a month to continue.
Check out fanmade Crash Landing on You Kdrama Highlights…
Summary: Park Sung Joon is the team leader of the VIP department that caters to the needs and wants of the VIP clients of the department store he is working for. His wife Na Jung Sun works under him. Everything is going well until Na Jung Sun suspects him of having an affair with someone from the same team.
Genre: Thriller, Melodrama
Stars: Jang Na Ra as Na Jung Sun
Lee Sang Yoon as Park Sung Joon
Lee Chung Ah as Lee Hyun Ah
Kwak Sun Young as Song Mi Na
Pyo Ye Jin as Ohn Yoo Ri
Likes: I don’t normally watch melodrama but this was just so good to skip. First off, the script was just so well-written. Every character’s side of the story was justified. It was hard to judge who was at fault, who was guilty, who was innocent. In the end, they all had a story to tell and I think this was done so brilliantly and in so much details that you’ll be happy and content with the outcome.
Every side of the story… (at least the main characters)
Jang Na Ra as Na Jung Sun – she was this perfect wife, lucky wife. Successful, beautiful and had a loving husband by her side but things didn’t go so well. I was particularly in favour of her to take revenge but the character didn’t turn out to be all the way vengeful but realized that she may have contributed to the breakdown of her marriage. This was so far my favourite Jang Na Ra’s character in a kdrama!
Lee Sang Yoon as Park Sung Joon – when it became apparent that he was cheating, I just hated him. How could someone in a very secure relationship fall for someone else. It was too shallow! But of course without the justification. Good thing, his side was made clear as well. Lee Sang Yoon’s facial expression throughout the drama represented very well what the character was going through. He always had this gloomy look on his face.
Pyo Ye Jin as Ohn Yoo Ri – whoa I really couldn’t tell her true colours! She wasn’t downright evil and cunning and I wouldn’t also say she was innocent. I think she was just trying to survive in life and in love. I’m so impressed by the acting of Pyo Ye Jin, she has so much potential. Still very young but acting side by side with the big talents like Jang Na Ra.
Other characters like that of Lee Hyun Ah and Song Mi Na who played very important roles in relation to Na Jung Sun (our main lead) had their detailed shares of the story. It was just beautiful to know each one by heart – their strengths and weaknesses.
Cliffhangers. You’ve got to appreciate how they made you want to watch for more. So well done cliffhangers! Good thing, I watched this drama with all episodes aired already so I didn’t have to wait for a week.
The suspense. It was killing me! It was brilliant and I like it more that didn’t drag the whole cheating thing for too long but also focused on the justifications.
My favourite line: Join me in endless torment! – Na Jung Sun to husband Park Sung Joon. I thought, damn, you go girl! Bring him down, will ya?
The Ending. I love it! Rightfully so. For me, there was no better ending for the main characters than how they pulled it off here. It was good like that. It felt peaceful, no more anger, no more revenge, just acceptance and moving on. I also love the endings of the supporting characters. For a melodrama, I could consider this a happy ending for everyone.
Dislikes: It wasn’t that bad but they still managed to insert a Subway ad placement at the very end.
This drama made it my Top 15 Kdrama 2019!
Summary: Set during the Goryeo Kingdom, two good friends separate as enemies and both become warriors trying to protect their country. Seo Hwi, who was the son of a former general, who was then accused of treason, has to serve Prince Jeongan in order to take his revenge against his friend’s father but then realizes that the cause of his own father’s death is Prince Jeongan himself.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Yang Se Jong as Seo Hwi
Woo Do Hwan as Nam Sun Ho
Kim Sul Hyun as Han Hee Jae
Jang Hyuk as Lee Bang Won (Taejong of Joseon)
Kim Young Chul as Lee Sung Gye
Ahn Nae Sang as Nam Jun
Likes: This drama delivered a very good first impression. The sets, cinematography, costumes, soundtrack and of course the brilliant cast! It was sooo good to see two of my favourites, Yang Se Jong and Woo Do Hwan in a sageuk drama dressed in traditional Goryeo era costumes. Speaking the old language also added to their charismatic roles.
Love the fight scenes! So many of them but my favourites were always the duel between the bestfriends Seo Hwi and Nam Sun Ho. At least when Prince Jeongan (Jang Hyuk) didn’t draw his sword!
Cast worth talking about…
Yang Se Jong as Seo Hwi – it was refreshing to see Yang Se Jong in a sageuk role and it was understandable why he was picked to portray Seo Hwi. Yang Se Jong’s good boy face suits Seo Hwi well. He was perfect for that loyal servant and a very good friend role.
Woo Do Hwan as Nam Sun Ho – this guy has the perfect noble look. Loved his long, straight hair and his very handsome face. Also looked great in a warrior costume. Despite his status, Woo Do Hwan as Nam Sun ho was a sensitive soul and a very loyal friend.
Jang Hyuk as Lee Bang Won or Prince Jeongan – Although I loved both actors above but I think Jang Hyuk stole the show! He just dominated everything! He was every inch looking like a prince, a proud and ambitious one, who was also excellent in fighting and politics! I couldn’t help, I was fangirling! I loved how he would go around with his fan, waving it around. His long hair was so perfect for his so handsome face! And of course, the acting was as usual brilliant! It’s Jang Hyuk, y’all!
One of my favourite scenes of this drama is the confrontation between the King and Prince Jeongan. I thought the exchange of words was worse than any arrow or sword. And before it ended, the King shot an arrow through Prince Jeongan’s kept hair which all hang down, of course all in a princely fashion.
The chemistry here was between the male actors. We’ve got undeniable chemistry between the two bestfriends, Seo Hwi and Nam Sun Ho, then Seo Hwi and Prince Jeongan, then Nam Sun Ho and his loyal henchman, then Seo Hwi and his three good friends. They were inseparable!
I love the comical relief, the love story between Seo Hwi’s friends, Park Moon Bok and a beautiful gisaeng. These two were quite funny.
The ending as I expected ended between the undying love of two good friends. How sweet. And since it was a love triangle, the third party ended up in tears.
The storyline was all over the place. There was a point when I would say there was no point in fighting anymore. Everyone was just lost, the characters were lost, they don’t know what they were fighting for.
This is the first sageuk I ever watched when characters don’t die after getting stabbed TROUGH with a sword a couple of times. Ahm, was I watching fantasy or what?
Summary: Dong Baek starts a new life with her son in a small town, opening a bar called Camellia. She is being criticized and bullied by her neighbours for the kind of livelihood she is having but that doesn’t stop a few people to admire and respect her. One of them is Hwang Yong Shik, a constable. His persistent character makes Dong Baek consider falling in love again.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Thriller, Crime
Stars: Gong Hyo Jin as Dong Baek
Kang Ha Neul as Hwang Yong Sik
Kim Ji Suk as Kang Jong Ryul
Likes: The Set. Countryside or a small town setting always comes underrated. First impression is always, it comes quite boring, no Seoul fashion and accent. But that actually made this drama special. Set in a town where everyone knows each other and for an outsider, would be quite hard to get integrated. It was a challenging situation for our Dong Baek, a single mum, who opened a bar in the town. It was hard for her to get accepted without the constant criticism and bullying. Interesting to see such a realistic setting.
The Story. The main story about Dong Baek, her past, present and possible future was already very nicely laid. What I was more impressed of was the detailed side stories of the other characters. And what was even more impressive was these side stories had their wonderful closure as well. We’ve got for example Hyang Mi’s, the Joker’s, Dongbaek’s mum’s stories. All with justifications why they live their lives like that.
The Cast. Such an impressive group of talents. Everyone did so well. Gong Hyo Jin’s performance was a different level, she was actually the character. Dong Baek is probably the best role she ever did and I found her really beautiful in this drama. Kang Ha Neul was just wow! What a talent! Still very young yet very talented. I was impressed with his performance here. It just proved that he’s not just a pretty face. He did so well with the accent too! And I’ve got to give credit to Kim Kang Hoon, who portrayed Pilgu, the son of Dongbaek. He was just sooo good! Watch out for this boy, he might end up like the likes of Yeo Jin Goo.
Ongsan Neighbourhood. It never got boring because of the Ahjummas of the neighbourhood. Of course there was the usual gossiping and bullying but above all that, there was camaraderie. In the end, the drama was warm and heartfelt because of the mutual trust among each other. It was very nice to watch.
Solving the Crime. I’m a huge fan of crime stories so the Joker part was a big bonus for me. The twist at the end came as a great surprise. I thought it was already over but it wasn’t. Well done!
The Endings. Yes plural because there were more than one. All side stories ended well and our main Dong Baek story closed nicely as well. And it even had an epilogue!
Dislikes: Thinking hard but nothing really.
Summary: Nokdu runs after a female assassin who almost killed his father and brother at their home in the island they used to live. He arrives in Hanyang and bumps into Dong Joo who is dressed up as a man and tries to assassinate the king. Nokdu, to pursue the assassin who tried to kill his family, dresses up as a woman and enters a Gisaeng house where he has to share room with one of the trainee Gisaengs, who happens to be Dong Joo.
Genre: Period, Romantic Comedy
Stars: Jang Dong Yoon as Jun Nok Du
Kim So Hyun as Dong Dong Joo
Kang Tae Oh as Cha Yul Moo
Song Gun Hee as Jun Hwang Tae
Likes: Jang Dong Yoon has to be my very top reason to like this drama. He so nailed Nokdu’s character who has to dress up as a woman and blend with the beautiful gisaengs and widows! Very pretty face, even prettier than Kim So Hyun (no offence to her fans)! Much more, his voice could pass for a woman’s! He was so beautiful in Hanbok even with very less makeup! Impressively, he didn’t have to try hard to look like a lady, he was naturally graceful. And doesn’t he look like Kim Soo Hyun from You Who Came from the Stars? Another plus point!
Another impressive cast that caught my attention was Kang Tae Oh. I’d seen him before in another drama and I thought he had a great potential. He proved it again here. No over-acting, he was naturally good. His facial expressions were just right. In his character as the grand prince, Cha Yul Moo, he was shifting between cunning and ambitious, and sincere and charismatic. Brilliant acting!
Kim So Hyun wasn’t that bad. Although she was lacking the umph as the desirable leading lady, she’s still a great talent. I would have wished her to look more lady-like like in Goblin.
Ah that little girl who has a very impressive country accent, I loved her talk! I didn’t want her to stop talking! She was very funny. And it wasn’t just the talking, she was actually really good in acting, with impressive facial expressions.
Some great scenes in the drama and that includes the saving of Dong Joo when he almost got killed in the raid of the widow village. I also liked the drunken master scene (reminds me of Jackie Chan). The fight scene of Nokdu and Cha Yul Moo at the bamboo forest. The swing moments! The picking of persimmons moment! The field of flowers!
I love the stunning and colourful costumes! The Hanboks were all so beautiful and everyone looked good in them.
Lastly, I got my epilogue and all the cheese that came with it :-)!
Dislikes: Everything looked overly perfect as if in a set.
Chemistry wasn’t the best.
The fighting part in the last episode became ridiculous with lots of interruptions and talking. Just too much talking!
Summary: Ma Dong Chan, a successful and handsome variety show producer goes overboard with his next project and that he himself will get into a freezing chamber to be frozen for 24 hours then he will get thawed and come back alive. The experiment should be a scientific breakthrough that will also benefit his career. He has to convince Go Mi Ran, a part-timer, to be his female counterpart in this freezing experiment. However, something went wrong and the two of them get thawed after 20 years.
Genre: Fantasy, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction
Stars: Ji Chang Wook as Ma Dong Chan
Won Jin Ah as Go Mi Ran
Yoon Se Ah as Na Ha Young
Likes: Cryonics, an interesting topic! Makes you think what if this actually is possible? I like it that the writer explored not just the positive effects but also the negative consequences when someone gets frozen for a very long time. Is it even possible to catch up with the trends and lifestyles when one becomes kind of obsolete. In this drama, they were easy with the top characters catching up pretty quickly but well yeah, it’s a kdrama afterall. That’s what we love about it, right?
I like our top leads! Of course I know Ji Chang Wook. I’ve been waiting for his comeback drama since his military discharge so an open-arms welcome to mah man. As usual, very handsome and good in his craft. I like his character, Ma Dong Chan, a talented director-producer who does things his way but I fell in love with him when he broke down when he almost lost the girl he loved. I think Ji Chang Wook did so well portraying all those sides. Won Jin Ah, on the other hand, was a newbie in my eyes. First time to see her in a drama and I would say she’s a great actress. Petite and pretty and quite natural in acting. Her chemistry with Ji Chang Wook was awesome!
Kissing scenes! I love the first kiss as it came as a surprise. Our 2 leads, as expected were professionals to deliver such a natural outcome. How about the shower kiss? Well, it was fun to watch, lol! See for yourself! The fact that the top leads had a top chemistry, it would follow that their kissing scenes would turned out great.
Supporting character, Na Ha Young. They did a great job choosing the actors to play the young and the old Na Ha Young. The two actresses are very much alike and both are good in acting. But I was just impressed a lot by Yoon Se Ah. She’s a great actress I know but in this drama she looked awesome! The hair, the makeup, the outfits, they all looked great on her!
It was one not-so-serious drama and I like it like that. Although there was some heavy drama in the end, it was mostly light and funny. Also, putting closures on sub stories and characters was a great plus. I like a lot of supporting characters and their stories in this drama and they all deserved that closure.
I’m a big fan of Got7 and was surprised to see Jin Young in a cameo role!
Ending. It was quite draggy towards the end but glad they came up with that freezing-again twist in the finale. A bit of drama but all good! It was a great show!
Dislikes: Never liked the villain. I thought he was trying too hard to be bad.
Lots of ad placement. Was that Fitbit? Longines was also there. But oh well, we need sponsors.
Summary: The Flower Crew, a matchmaking agency during the Joseon era has a task to marry an ordinary girl Gae Dong to a blacksmith named Lee Soo but the latter becomes king overnight and left his bride unknowing where he is and what he is up to. King Lee Soo asks help again from the Flower Crew to make Gae Dong a noble woman so it would be possible for him to marry her.
Genre: Period, Romantic Comedy
Stars: Kim Min Jae as Ma Hoon
Gong Seung Yun as Gae Ddong
Seo Ji Hoon as Lee Soo
Park Ji Hoon as Go Young Soo
Byun Woo Suk as Do Joon
Go Won Hee as Kang Ji Hwa
Likes: The era. Set in the Joseon era but made brighter and less serious especially by the presence of a marriage agency that was run by flower boys! Were they really existing or were they not? It doesn’t matter, having this as the center topic of a drama was a sure hit. I’m just impressed on how the writers made single marriage cases fitted on that time frame. Some were serious and some were not but again it doesn’t matter.
The costumes. Lovely hanbeoks in bright colours! You could tell, they had a big budget for the costumes. Our flower boys were always dressed very nicely, no reason not to standout. The ladies were equally dazzling. Beautiful traditional dresses worn and even the accessories were gorgeous.
The makeup. A huge emphasis on makeup during those times. Well, I guess they had the basics like lip color and blush. Most probably, all natural and plant-based ingredients. Even better! I love how Go Young Soo professionally applied makeup on his client Gae Ddong on her wedding day and how he transformed her into a noble-looking lady fit for a king.
Beautiful scenes. The drama was big on dreamy, beautiful scenes like the bridge scene with the lanterns – a love confession to one and a rejection to the other. Bittersweet! I love the kissing scene under the blossoming myrtle trees. Just lovely! How about the pottery-making scene? Ah that reminds me of Demi Moore’s Ghost. And I shouldn’t forget, the breakup-in-the-rain scene. Beautiful but heartbreaking!
The Flowers. Noticed the different flowers every episode that actually represents the general happenings of that episode. I thought, they were such lovely and thoughtful additions.
Camera Focus. I love how close the camera focuses on the faces. It highlights the gorgeous faces of the cast!
The Cast. And yes, talking about them, what a stunning, gorgeous cast we have here. Let’s start with our matchmaking agents…
Kim Min Jae as Ma Hoon – Although he was too baby-face for the role, I think he did an awesome job. I love his voice, I think that made up a lot for his baby face. He always sounded mature and sexy. There are still some rooms for improvement for him but Kim Min Jae has undeniably talent in acting and he’s one of the young ones to watch for.
Byun Woo Suk as Do Joon – Omo, he was super sexy in this drama! Didn’t watch any of his other dramas so I was quite taken aback by his beauty. He looked so damn hot in long straight hair and flowing pink hanbeok. Byun Woo Suk definitely nailed this character!
Park Ji Hoon as Go Young Soo – yes he’s an idol but I’m impressed with how he did so well in his character. He was able to channel that uncertain old Chil Nom character and became one of the talented matchmakers.
Seo Ji Hoon as Lee Soo – I don’t know how many times he got dumped in this drama but how could he always look adorable like a sad puppy everytime that happens. Seo Ji Hoon, such a promising young talent like Min Jae and very handsome too especially with the long hair (you know the blacksmith look).
Go Won Hee as Kang Ji Hwa – I like the character very much. Tough, firm, knows what she want-kind of lady. I especially like her chemistry with Do Joon. Quite worthy of a spin off!
OST. My favourite song from the drama… With You. Brings back memories!
Ending. Needless to say happy. It’s a not so serious Sageuk afterall! Lots of happy endings here so if you’re a sucker for happy endings then this one’s for you. And if you’re a sucker for epilogues too like me, this one got one!
Dislikes: I’m a bit sad for King Lee Soo :-(.
Summary: Cha Yo Han, a talented anesthesiologist serves 3 years in prison for administering euthanasia on one of his patients. He then meets Kang Shi Young, a year 2 resident of a famous hospital, at the prison where Cha Yo Han was serving and where Kang Shi Young is working as the prison doctor. Later, outside prison, they cross paths again at the hospital they are both working at.
Genre: Medical, Romance
Stars: Ji Sung as Cha Yo Han
Lee Se Young as Kang Shi Young
Lee Kyu Hyung as Son Suk Ki
Hwang Hee as Lee Yoo Joon
Likes: I think my top reason for liking Doctor John was the leads. You can’t go wrong with Ji Sung. He’s such a brilliant actor! And being paired with Lee Se Young in this drama was even better! Their chemistry was sooo good! And I loved the fact that they kept on delaying that first kiss until the very end. The thrill would have ended sooner if it came early.
Ji Sung as Cha Yo Han – yes, this guy can do all roles and this time, a doctor and a very competent one at that. Ji Sung always took his roles seriously, always delivered a brilliant portrayal of his character. I even loved the mannerism he did so well for this character like the tapping of the finger every time he was trying to concentrate over something. So immersed in his roles, a brilliant actor indeed! One more thing I admire about Ji Sung is he always manage to look cool and sexy whatever role he’s into. Well here, a really cool and sexy doctor!
Lee Se Young as Kang Shi Young – she’s come very far with her career. A young, brilliant actress and very pretty too. I’ve watched her as a zombie, then a queen, then here, a 2nd year resident who admired her senior. Her portrayal of Kang Shi Young, a young doctor who underwent a trauma in the past and who wasn’t sure of her capabilities as a doctor, was so good and convincing. I like her a lot. Perfect match for Ji Sung!
Main and sub stories were well done. I love Doctor John’s story. His struggles and love life were well-balanced. I didn’t get that feeling that everything was all about medical stuff. His love story was well integrated and had as much weight as him being a doctor and a patient. Same goes to the background story of Kang Shi Young that justified her own struggles. Then later her story of falling in love. Well, I just thought it was beautiful! In addition, the sub stories were really good too especially the patient’s. It was like watching mini kdramas within a kdrama. So many interesting cases.
The chemistry was very good that I couldn’t help looking forward to the romantic parts. My favourites were the confession in the elevator and of course the kiss at the airport. I know they dragged that first kiss for too long but I think it was good that way. The romance didn’t die out until the very end.
Touching a very sensitive topic like euthanasia is something I don’t see a lot in kdrama so that made it more interesting.
The special bond the doctors developed in the pain department was something I missed a lot when the drama ended.
I love the OST! Some English songs there and they were all good. Listening to them always remind me how sexy Ji Sung was in his white robe :-)… Doctor John OST.
The Ending. It was teasing but it was good. I’ve got my epilogue moment, it was long so I was happy.
Dislikes: Ahm, too much Subway ad placement. Really, the first kind of date was in Subway? Hm, I’m not sure about that.
Summary: Our girl Hae Ryung tries to become a historian avoiding her fate to get married to a noble man. She comes across Prince Lee Rim who is writing romantic novels anonymously. After she passed the exam as a historian, she starts as an apprentice in the palace. She finds out that the romantic novel author is actually a prince.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Shin Se Kyung as Goo Hae Ryung
Cha Eun Woo as Lee Rim
Likes: Well, for once, very educational. Historians were not really given emphasis in other historical kdramas I watched in the past. I didn’t have any idea that they were that important. Moreover, the confidentiality of the records was a big deal. No one even the King could read what had been written. These records could even ruin any King’s reputation for future generations hence historians were fairly feared.
Another learning point for me was the smallpox prevention by vaccinating cow pus on a healthy person. Well, I thought they made that one up but no, it was really done before. Interesting!
Love the emphasis on reading and medical advancements on that era. Impressive!
I would also say that picking a historian, much more a female one, was an ambitious choice of kdrama character. I have to give credit to Shin Se Kyung for doing an awesome job portraying a newb historian who was very curious, smart, fearless and independent. Goo Hae Ryung was a very likeable character, she was fun to watch! And of all Shin Se Kyung’s kdramas I watched before, this was the first one she had a remarkable chemistry with her male lead. So to sum it up, Historians might come as a boring subject but with the right recipe like a strong main character, a good and not too serious historical storyline, top chemistry, colourful costumes… we’ve got a kdrama success there!
Our perfectly handsome male lead was no doubt an eye candy. Cha Eun Woo was just sooo gorgeous! Perfect face, tall, flawless skin, he was so pretty, even prettier than the female lead! He also looked great in all his prince wardrobes. Such a dashing prince, he was! However, he wasn’t all the looks. This pretty face can cry. So impressed on his crying scene, he really let it all out.
Supporting actors were all great! Special mentions goes to the crown prince, Min Gyu – one of the senior historians, the King, the Queen Dowager and the funny eunuch Heo Sam Bo!
All episodes had awesome cliffhangers. So hard to control myself watching the next one. This always come inconvenient when the time on the clock shows midnight already. Good thing, I could always look forward to the next one.
The first kiss! Ahhh, soo goood! Specially with the line, “I hope you live for a long time and be the owner of my heart.” Omo, omo, omo!
I even love the heartbreaking breakup! Cha Eun Woo, although young and new in kdrama, proved himself capable of being the top lead. He did so well on the breakup scene. Of course, Shin Se Kyung too, but she’s veteran you know.
The ending. Oh, I love how they all maintained and pursued what they wanted to do.
Dislikes: Some lovey dovey scenes in the palace ground seemed impossible without those watchful eyes especially during those times. Maybe too much sometimes.
Summary: Hotel del Luna is owned by Jang Man Wol who has been around for over a century, stuck in between the world of the living and the dead. Her hotel caters to the needs and wishes of those souls before they would proceed to the afterlife. Hotel del Luna gets a new manager who is a living human to manage all the paper works and other things which deals with the world of the living and he is no other than Goo Chang Sung, a well-sought manager in his field.
Stars: IU as Jang Man Wol
Yeo Jin Goo as Goo Chang Sung
Likes: Let me start with the story itself… Intriguing in the beginning, lots of loose ends, it was hard to say where it was going, background of the story was blurry then I was also questioning the chemistry between the two great leads but I think what kept me going was the various cases of the ghost guests of Hotel del Luna. Each story was interesting, funny and scary sometimes. When everything wasn’t so clear yet with the main story, these sub-stories pushed me to watch more and more episodes. Without those, I would have given up on the whole thing and missed all the sweet-bitter goodness that came later on, plus of course that cameo bonus that shaked the whole kdrama universe lol!
So among the sub stories, which one was my top favourite? Hm, so hard to choose. I like the story of the bride ghost and the twist that came with it but nothing came near the story of Sanchez and his girlfriend. Wahhh, I bawled my eyes out!
How about the main story, what to say about it, hm… so beautiful, so painful, so sad, so revenge-worthy that our main lady had to stay neither alive nor dead for a thousand of years just because of the grudges she’d been carrying in her heart. Such a wonderful, heartbreaking story of love, betrayal, resentment, anger and later on forgiveness and letting go. Everyone can learn from it!
Bitter-sweet torture, it’s quite addictive! And this drama is full of it! From beginning to end! If you can’t in any way stand such thing, I would advise you not to watch. Only for those who likes this kind of torture, lol!
The twists and cliffhangers were so good, it was so hard to wait another week for two more episodes.
Excellent outfits especially those worn by Man Wol! IU carried them all with such grace and beauty. I love the tiffany one! She looked adorable!
What a beautiful OST: nice mixture of happy and sad tunes… Hotel del Luna OST.
How about chemistry? Yes there was chemistry between our top leads but got to be honest, I think Man Weol had more chemistry with her first love!
And the brilliant cast…
IU as Jang Man Wol – Don’t be deceived by her baby face. She is a fierce one and deserved to be “the” Jang Man Wol! She looked so young but her voice was that of a grown up. Of course, a brilliant actress. She always get an A+ from me not just for her acting but also her choice of roles. Well, just like this one.
Yeo Jin Goo as Goo Chang Sung – love this guy, he’s consistently an awesome actor. And as Chan Sung, he was this firm personality who would always try to correct the stubborn boss. He looked like the type of guy who would sympathize with everyone including ghosts. And yes, have to mention that he was getting so handsome at the end! phew, I almost fell for the other guy!
Lee Do Hyun as Go Chung Myung – what a level up role for Lee Do Hyun and I’m glad he did so well. He was sooo handsome here! Really to fall in love with, just like Man Wol did. Looking forward to see him in a lead role.
The main staff of Hotel del Luna: Shin Jung Geun as Kim Seon Bi, Bae Hae Sun as Choi Seo Hee and Pyo Ji Hoon as Ji Hyun Joong, I love them all and their tear-jerking stories.
I shouldn’t forget the amazing supernatural beings, Mago and Grim Reaper! Seo Yi Sook who played Mago but like 6 different personalities of a diety, she was amazing!
The ending, as I’ve mentioned earlier, was bitter-sweet. But a great ending nevertheless. I wouldn’t ask for a different one. It was perfect that way.
Cameos! Lots of important guests here including Lee Jun Ki who was IU’s leading man in Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. But what shaked the kdrama world and made us begged for a season 2 was Kim Soo Hyun’s cameo at the very end! Ommo, ommo, please make it happen! Why’s KSH gone for too long, we’ve missed you dear! Please come back soon!
Dislikes: If I like the drama so much, my ability to remember dislikes is impaired :-).
Summary: Eun Sum and Tanya grow up in Wahan tribe which is conquered by the Daekan troops led by Tagon, Arthdal’s war hero. The Wahan people are brought to the city of Arthdal where they have to suffer and struggle until Tanya gets hold of power as the highest priestess of the land and that is by the help of Eun Sum’s long lost twin, Saya, who is the adopted son of Tagon. Eun Sum who is on the run is slowly getting a large follower of his own and is ready to go back to Arhdal to save the Wahan people and see Tanya again.
Trailer: Arthdal Chronicles
The Storyline. It’s definitely not your everyday kdrama. The storyline is super intricate, you’ve got to pay attention to every details. At the start, it was quite chaotic for me. Some stories started at the same time without the clear connections. You’ve got to wait for more episodes to get a better overview. But once you’ve got them all together, what a solid story you’d get. I like it that they divided it into 3 parts which helped a lot to better understand the complexity of the story.
The Worlds. There were a lot of worlds and all the main worlds were nicely presented in details. I got so immersed into the once peaceful and beautiful world of the Iark region with the tribes all living in harmony. Couldn’t help fantasizing on those vast, lush and green lands. Do they still even exist in our world? Well, probably not. The bustling, congested but advanced world of Arthdal is like our big cities, right? Crammed up but people would still want to live and be part of it. The worlds in this drama may look different but actually very similar to our own. We all could relate.
The People. Same with worlds, the people reflect our own different nationalities, races, religion, beliefs and skills. We’ve got the Arthdal people which were the most advance in politics, economics, metal works, construction and even medicine. They iradicated the Neanthal people, who were very strong but lacking the ambition. They controlled a lot of remote tribes and conquered some of them bringing those people back to Arthdal to be slaves. Does it sound so familiar to you? Within the world and the people of Arthdal, everyone seemed to struggle to be the most powerful because only then you’d get things done.
The Languages. Although most spoke Korean, there were other languages spoken in this drama. I don’t know if they were Korean dialects or just made-up ones but they all sounded wonderful! I love the Neanthal language, it was so exotic! The Momo tribe spoke an own language as well that made Xabara (their leader) looked even cuter :-).
Titles and Gestures. I minded this a lot. I love the way the Arthdal people greeted their leaders and would mention the Niruha title after the names like Sanung Niruha, Tagon Niruha, Tanya Niruha. I don’t know what it exactly means but it for sure commanded highest hierarchy.
Cultures, Traditions and Beliefs. So beautiful to see the unique cultures and traditions of each tribe but then somehow they were all bounded by a similar belief.
The Brilliant Cast…
Song Joong Ki as Eun Sum / Saya – He’s undeniably a great actor. I love his portrayal of Eun Sum, an honest, simple-minded being who has a big heart to always help others. He looked really good buffed but still with a pretty face. Eun Sum’s chemistry with Tanya was pretty top. Now, as Saya, damn, he was just so sexy! His beautiful face, although I would say, even prettier than the female lead, still commands masculinity. Loved Saya’s devious personality, it made him stood out.
Jang Dong Gun as Ta Gon – I thought this was JDG’s best role yet. It suited him so well… the looks, the personality, his war hero character, his Igutu blood weakness, everything really, even the costume! Undoubtedly, he was the star of the show, well, at least in this season (if there’s gonna be another one).
Kim Ji Won as Tan Ya – She did well as Tan Ya. I love her compassionate character and her rising into a powerful figure was something I enjoyed to watch.
Kim Ok Bin as Tae Ha – Now this lady was just so impressive. First time to see her in a drama and I was just impressed by her superb acting. Tae Ha was an intelligent and powerful lady which made her the perfect match for Tagon and I think Kim Ok Bin delivered that role very well.
Dislikes: Two things only and that made this drama dropped 2 levels from being a perfect 10. First, I dislike the time gap when they were showing the third part. I was so immersed when I was watching the first 2, then I had to wait for a month. I didn’t have that same interest and excitement when I was continuing. Now for the second reason. There was basically no ending since it was originally made with more season in thought. What a disappointment! I don’t think I would ever see a proper ending to this knowing the drama didn’t do well in the ratings.
Summary: An angel messes up his last mission. Instead of taking the soul of a ballerina, he saves her from the brink of death. He is given though another chance, a mission to make the ballerina fall in love. However she is one difficult soul and that gives our angel a hard time. In the end, she falls in love but no other than with the angel himself.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Stars: Shin Hye Sun as Lee Yun Seo
L as Dan
Lee Dong Gun as Ji Kang Woo
Kim Bo Mi as Geum Ni Na
Likes: What a wonderful and graceful intro with our prima ballerina on the spotlight and our gorgeous angel looking good on all-white flapping his wings going for his next mission. It looked such a very promising fantasy drama I had been waiting for. But how did it fair for me? Let’s find out…
Beautiful story on how the soul of a young boy who went to heaven early and became an angel got reunited with the girl he liked when he was still alive. Their fate got entangled when he couldn’t resist saving the girl from the brink of death. As a punishment, cute as it may sound, he became part human and make the girl fall in love with somebody. It’s just cute, really.
I love the cast! Shin Hye Sun was awesome! Her role in this drama… a bratty, rich heir slash prima ballerina fits her so well. I wonder if she really is a ballerina. There were some dancing scenes when she didn’t require a double. Her lean physique looked like a top ballerina to me and she was so looking great in all her outfits, so intimadatingly rich! Her facial expression was always good, always full of emotion.
L’s acting improved a lot although he’s not yet there but it’s good to see him as a main lead. He looked too young for Shin Hye Sun at start but his appearance towards the end kind of improved, making him looked more mature and handsome especially when he was sad.
Lee Dong Gun’s series of supporting leads gives him an edge again. Honestly, he had more chemistry with Shin Hye Sun here. Especially during the scenes when they were still together in the story. I thought he connected so well with her.
Kim Bo Mi wasn’t that bad. She could dance too but found her too thin. Well, that fits her role well as someone who has an eating disorder.
The kissing scenes. I’ve got to admit, some were awkward but I love the final kiss of life. I thought that was beautiful. L was not looking too nervous when he did that so it went really so well.
The saving scene. I held my breath when she fell and I held it even more when Kim Dan appeared as an angel catching her from that fall. It was a beautiful scene! Well, everytime his wings were out, it became exciting!
Giselle. I loved it that they were so detailed with the show. It wasn’t just all practice but they actually really did a good performance on stage.
Angel’s Last Mission: Love OST. Beautiful songs! You’ve got some sad tunes but remember the drama is not a romantic comedy.
Love the ending! I didn’t want to ask a lot questions but I liked how it ended. It was good. A great compensation for all the tears I shed for this drama.
Dislikes: I don’t totally agree with how the writer perceived how all this divine providence works. Misleading for Christians like me but tried to come up with an objective review anyway. Didn’t want to make it complicated, it’s a kdrama afterall.
Summary: Go Se Yun and Cha Min are good friends. They both died and were revived though the power of the Abyss. Although they’re up and alive, their looks are different from before. Together, they’ll try to live knowing each other’s secret and hand in hand solve the murder case behind Go Se Yun’s death.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Legal, Fantasy
Stars: Park Bo Young as Go Se Yun
– Kim Sa Rang as Go Se Yun (before death)
Ahn Hyo Sup as Cha Min
– Ahn Se Ha as Cha Min (before death)
Lee Sung Jae as Oh Young Chul
Likes: Unusual story that involved dying and resurrecting with the use of a big marble-looking object called the Abyss. I was willing to plunge into it obviously. Although there were some holes in the story since the start and left unanswered questions, I found it cute, charming, funny and I admire the effort on the gruesomeness part of the story. Yes, not the usual combination and that’s what made it interesting.
Park Bo Young as Go Se Yun – she was great! Park Bo Young seems to like strong woman roles and what can I say, it suited her very well. It’s also admirable of her to take a role which is actually making fun a bit of her looks.
Ahn Hyo Sup as Cha Min – he really looked so good here! I’ve been comparing his looks from Thirty but Seventeen, he had grown so handsome! I’ve been wondering if he had plastic surgery but I think not, just maybe a bit made up in this drama. His Cha Min role was a more mature one which he also delivered well.
The chemistry. This is one of the points that I extra like in this drama. Never mind the hollowness of the story when the leads had an amazing chemistry. Park Bo Young is for sure older than Ahn Hyo Sup but that didn’t affect the spark. It was having lots of sparks in fact!
The kissing scenes. And because of that chemistry, the kissing scenes were cute and awesome! It was never awkward.
The villain. I thought Oh Young Chul was brilliant! The first episodes were interesting because of him.
Supporting couple. Detective Park Dong Chul and Lawyer Lee Mi Do cheesy scenes were ice breakers. I love this couple! They were always there for our top leads.
The OST. I especially love Shalalalala. Funny scenes normally has this as background music. Fallin and Into the Abyss are also great to listen to.
The Ending. This had my tears flowing, it better be a happy ending. And I think they heard me.
Dislikes: The second to the last episode was quite cheesy but still bearable to watch.
Hae Jin’s screaming was really irritating.
Seo Ji Uk was sill lacking as villain.
Shameless ad placement. Hello Tous and Dyson.
Summary: Sung Duk Mi is living two lives. She is a hard-working curator at an art gallery and at the same time pursuing her life as a fangirl as she is a die-hard fan of an idol named Shi Ahn. Things change when she meets the new director of the art gallery, Ryan Gold, who is slowly acknowledging her talent, personality and even her fangirling life.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stars: Park Min Young as Sung Duk Mi
Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold
Ahn Bo Hyun as Nam Eun Ki
Likes: It was hard to resist another romcom with two big names in Korean drama. With the art gallery as the backdrop, it was promisingly artsy and gave us ideas and details how this kind of world works in the background. Definitely, another learning opportunity.
Park Min Young paired with Kim Jae Wook, I was absolutely looking forward to it! Both have previous successful projects under their sleeves especially Park Min Young, who had been a star in big kdramas in the past. Kim Jae Wook, on the other hand, it was my first time to see him in a lead role. My wish was granted, I was desperately waiting for him to grab a male leading role. I thought he was more than ready for it. However, how they did in their roles here was a different story. I would categorize Kim Jae Wook’s role as a “like”. Here’s to why…
Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold – He came out as the really cool and talented Ryan Gold at start and although that character didn’t last so long, Kim Jae Wook did so well in turning Ryan Gold as the melancholic, broken person who was once abandoned by his mum. He wasn’t perfect. There were time when he appeared unsure but boy he just looked sooo good the whole time. Got to give credit to the costume designer for dressing him up so well.
Chemistry wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t over the top but it wasn’t bad. The two leads carried this out well.
Generous with kissing scenes! Now come on, who wouldn’t like that?
Was it just me or Cha Shi Ahn was really cute? He was so cute and adorable that I got to dig up more about him. Voila! He’s a YG baby! Check out one of his MVs 해야해(heyahe). So cute!
I love the twists towards the end. It was so predictable in beginning that having some unexpected twists kind of caughtup with the dull mid-part of the drama.
I love the story and mystery behind Lee Sol’s paintings. It was a big plus in the storyline. I thought it was so touching to see them pieced together.
I so love Eun Gi! He might not have been as well-dressed as Ryan Gold but he was so genuine, he looked as hot as RG.
Dislikes: I unfortunately found Park Min Young’s character here very irritating. It didn’t suit her at all. You could tell she was trying hard but she always came out unnatural. I’m a fan of her since Sungkyunkwan Scandal and it’s the first time I dislike her in a drama. I also dislike some of her outfits! Those checkered and ruffled dresses were sooo tacky!
Cliffhangers were so misleading!
Too obvious Dyson and Baskin Robbins ad placement!
Ending got too corny.
Summary: Set during the Joseon era, Prince Lee Geum wants to gain power by claiming the throne in order to reform the Saheonbu, which is the office responsible for monitoring government administration and officials. Together with a few who have a high sense for justice, he uncovers crimes and corruption by royals and high officials and makes history to be the first king close to the people.
Genre: Period, Action
Episodes: 48 (35 minutes/episode)
Stars: Jung Il Woo as Lee Geum
Kwon Yul as Park Moon Soo
Go Ah Ra as Yeo Ji
Park Hoon as Dal Moon
Likes: This drama was definitely made to make Jung Il Woo looked good all the time! It’s not that I don’t like it, in the opposite, I immensely enjoyed how he looked majestic all the time. All those dazzling costumes fitting for a crown prince and later, the king; were mesmerizing! Paired with Jung Il Woo’s flawless face and conceited smirk, there was no way I would miss this drama every week :-).
Jung Il Woo as Lee Geum – although I would say, his perfect face wasn’t so perfect for the role, he did try his best to be that great king. Most of his scenes were dramatic, always trying to squeeze a tear or two but in the end it was always mansae for him. In everything he did, he was perfect… perfect poise, smile, side view, back view, sitting, standing, walking, riding a horse, shooting bows… it was soo Jung Il Woo and I love him for that!
Kwon Yul as Park Moon Soo – as the above’s opposite, Kwon Yul delivers Park Moon Soo’s character very well. I wasn’t surprised at all as I’ve watched Whisper and he was brilliant there. As Park Moon Soo, he was completely a different person. Always perfect for any role, this guy.
Park Hoon as Dal Moon – oh my, when I saw him I thought he really looked familiar then I realized he was the ghost ex-friend of Hyun Bin in Memories of the Alhambra! Good to see him well and alive in this drama :-). He has a handsome face and his role here suits him very well.
Lee Kyung Young as Min Jin Hun – I think my favourite character in this drama. He was the leader of the political party Noron who was at first against Prince Lee Geum’s enthronement. Highly intelligent and respected and followed by his subordinates and expected to be the force behind the new king’s downfall. Then the character twist I wasn’t expecting at all, he supported the King’s decision without abandoning his principles.
The Bromance. The strongest bond was between the king and Park Moon Soo but the bond between the king and Dal Moon wasn’t also falling behind. Bromance was everywhere in the Saheonbu, it was fun to watch! Even the bond between the two leaders of Noron and Soron political parties was so admirable.
The Costumes. I’m pretty sure these took a big share of the budget. Very impressive and detailed! The King alone, how many costumes did he had to show off?! Starting when he was installed as the crown prince, wow so much details on the outfit! Then he had his hunting costume, his war costume, archery, nobleman and not to mention the red king costume!
The Villains. We’ve got Wi Byung Joo (former Saheonbu’s top officer), Yi In-jwa (leader of the rebellion) and Lee Tan (aka Mil Poong Gun). These are the three worth mentioning. I love the justifications how they’ve become greedy for power and ultimately become the threats for the throne.
The Love Triangle. It’s got to be the tragic end to the wanna-be royal pair Youn Young and Mil Poong Gun, while Dal Moon, no matter what Youn Young did, would love her till the end!
The Ending. I must admit it became cheesy but I think it suited Jung Il Woo pretty well :-).
Dislikes: I didn’t like how the character of Yeo Ji changed. From Saheonbu officer to what, a court lady?! She was awesome in that officer role. That made her the lady that his Majesty was attracted to. Changing from the fierce Saheonbu uniform to that plain court lady outfit, come on! Her character was so lost. I wanted to see the brave warrior Yeo Ji! And yeah, she wanted to be in the palace to protect him? What does she think of the king’s elite guards, useless? I’m utterly disappointed.
Summary: Oh Yoon Seo has to save her dying acting career by taking a lawyer role in a drama by a famous scriptwriter so she agrees to the scriptwriter’s condition that she will become a secretary in a law firm to prepare for the role properly. There she meets top lawyer, cold-hearted and slow with women, Kwon Jung Rok who becomes her boss.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Office, Legal
Stars: Lee Dong Wook as Kwon Jung Rok
Yoo In Na as Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo
Lee Sang Woo as Kim Se Won
Son Sung Yoon as Yoo Yeo Reum
Likes: How can I not like this drama? It’s romantic comedy and my most anticipated reunion of a power couple from my 2017 best kdrama Goblin. Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na’s top chemistry and their cliffhanging romance in Goblin has finally found its own show and damn YES, they deserve this show.
Yes, the chemistry in this drama is over the top! How can you not giggle when things become lovey-dovey with these two?! I love all the kissing scenes. So scream-worthy!
Lee Dong Wook as Kwon Jung Rok – a bit stiff as a lawyer or let me put it this way… he’s way too handsome for a lawyer :-). Tall and handsome and so good looking in suits. I like the cold personality, slow-witted when it comes to women, a bit awkward with romance… I think those made Lee Dong Wook so cute. I like him here as much as liked him in My Girl.
Yoo In Na as Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo – oh my gosh, I just love this girl. Such a great actress! And her actress role here is too perfect for her. Funny, sweet, cute and sexy! And the bad acting was so well acted, I have to give her that :-). I loved the way she giggled and made everything pink. So adorable!
- Kwon Jung Rok and Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo – okay, this one is the top no doubt. The office romance was sooo cute with all those hearty hearty post-its! And the best part was, it had to be a secret! The secret continued when she went back into acting and it was even more exciting. Of course the ups came with the downs but this couple was still the best.
- Kim Se Won and Yoo Yeo Reum – the romance in the prosecutors’ office! These two were subtle but boy I love the proposal bit!
- Choi Yoon Hyuk and Dan Moon Hee – ahh our lawyer couple, too opposite but attract! Definitely the best comical relief in this drama.
- Lee Doo Sub and Yang Eun Ji – the investigator and the secretary. I still wish there’s hope between these two. That unrequitted love of our dear Doo Sub shouldn’t go to waste.
Did someone notice the famous Descendants of the Sun scene? I just thought that it was hilarious with helicopter landing, the wind blowing, the shawl flying away, that moment… that moment, lol! You’re a kdrama fun if you recognize that.
That rich stalker was hot and scary but yes he was hot, lol! But I guess our Kwon Pyeonhosanim was way hotter especially when he approached that hot stalker and told him to “Stay away from my girl!” Oh, who will not fall in love with this damn hot lawyer.
How about dropping the “I love you” followed by a long kiss at a cold side walk on a winter’s night as an amend for that horrible breakup. Yay!!! I was cheering!
But the best actor award goes to Kim Yeong Tae, that guy who was accused of stabbing and killing the husband of a lady neighbour. He was just soooo good! And yes, there were some serious moments in this show too but Kim Yeong Tae moment was the best!
The ending was fabulous! Everyone looked gorgeous, of course, especially the top leads.
Dislikes: My fear always when a drama is too popular, ads become too much! The Chanel and that red ginseng thing were just “in your face ads”. Make it more subtle please!
Conclusion: With so many funny moments, undeniably awesome chemistry and just the right number of episodes, it makes this drama so enjoyable to watch, so I am giving it a…
Summary: A young, handsome chief editor of a big publishing company has some unfinished business with his first love. Now that she’s divorced, broke, starting from the bottom and even living in his house for the time being, will our chief editor has a chance or will he forever be her little brother?
Genre: Office, Romance
Stars: Lee Jong Suk as Cha Eun Ho
Lee Na Young as Kang Dan Yi
Jung Yoo Jin as Song Hae Rin
Wi Ha Joon as Ji Seo Joon
Likes: The book topic is quite interesting. We get to learn a bit about editorial, printing, publishing, marketing and all that is going on at a book publishing company. It gives us an idea how much effort it takes to create and publish a book and what actually happens when they don’t sell. I’m not a big reader but this drama entices people like me to read more for the reason that there is always something to learn about.
I love how they made the Gyeoroo office. It looks really lovely like a mini library. I think all bookworms would love to work in that office. The office atmosphere looked as warm and competent like the design itself.
The characters that made up the publishing firm are very well thought. Something to learn for us who don’t have an idea about this kind of world. I just thought the founders of Gyeoroo looked so cool in trenchcoats! I loved the big boss, the marketing lady director, the young, handsome chief editor, the newly divorced couple, and even the annoying newbie, Ji Hyul grows on you towards the end.
I love that they also tackle the topic about women who are going back to work after a couple of years of raising a family and just don’t stand a chance in getting hired especially in marketing and advertising industries. It’s the sad the truth. But then the drama kinds of ask the business world to think twice of these women who are willing to get back to working and how they could still be as competitive as the younger ones.
There’s so much book passion in this drama. The passion to write a book (authors), the passion to publish a book (publishers) and the passion to read one (readers). Once can really learn regardless of what it is you are going to be passionate about.
The side story of the famous author, Kang Byung Jun was I think a lovely addition and gave the drama a bittersweet ending. The mystery of the title “April 23”, on how it came to be was heartbreaking and the same time a comfort to the son whom the author had left behind. This part is a definite tearjerker!
Eun Ho and Dan Yi – cute, noona romance but lacking chemistry.
Hae Rin and Seo Joon – I loved the looming romance. Song Hae Rin was just adorable!
Kim Jae Min and Ko Yoo Sun – the button romance was hilarious! Romance also exists between top bosses ya know.
Ending and Epilogue. Everyone seemed happy in the end especially after making their romances official.
Dislikes: I was really waiting for that chemistry between Eun Ho And Dan Yi but unfortunately, there was too little of it to be excited about. This must be the first Lee Jong Suk drama where I found him less desirable.
Loaded with obvious ad placement. Hello Didier Dubot, Summa Essence and Subway?
Summary: The throne has put some weight on the King of Joseon so he badly needs some rest and orders a clown, who just looks like him, to take over the throne. However, the clown turns out to be a better king! The king’s most trusted person turns away from him and chooses the clown to lead the nation. However, the secret didn’t come unnoticed. The powerful opposition wants the clown be removed from the throne.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun / King Lee Hun
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo
Likes: The Story. How likely that this would happen? And no one barely noticed? Just in a kdrama perhaps. But who doesn’t love the idea of a clown, who is a king look-a-like takes the throne until he was done with it! Pretty neat, right? Holes and logic aside, I love the fact that a mere clown successfully ruled as King, turned those people loyal to the real King to be even more loyal to him, made the queen fall in love with him, outwitted opposition’s brilliant moves to remove him from the throne (of course by the help of a few who believed in him), approved laws which benefited the common people and so on and so forth. It went smoothly like that in the first 15 episodes. I love it when the hero is winning all the time no matter what cunning plans to destroy him. I love that Ha Sun, our clown-turned-King always got away with everything. He and Haksan, the Chief Royal Secretary always had a solution to any trouble. They were always a step ahead of their opponents. I couldn’t help but always cheer whenever they were winning! But I knew payback time would come and it damn came I liked it or not. Still a really good story!
Cinematography was awesome! Like most period kdramas I watched, there’s a big emphasis on cinematography. Although it wasn’t as good Mr Sunshine’s, they still did a pretty good job. A lot of remarkable scenes but since I’m always drawn to romance, my top favourite was when the King professed his feeling to the Queen on that cold night and it snowed and yes, I’ve got my first kiss! If I have to go for a sadder one, how about that scene with the real King on the beach with Haksan who was pouring him with poisoned drink. Oh the scenery was perfect but that brought so much sadness :-(. I just loved picture-perfect scenes and this drama was very rich of them.
The Cast. Oh everyone’s brilliant but I’ve got to mention the top ones…
Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun and King Lee Hun – his most brilliant performance to date! Yeo Jin Goo has been always brilliant even when he was still a child actor (seen him first in The Moon that Embraces the Sun as the young king) but his double performance here was the best so far! I love him as Ha Sun, the clown and later the remarkable king but I love him more as the crazy King Lee Hun. The latter was I think the more challenging role. Crazy, full of pain, lost, powerful, a very sad character and my dear Yeo Jin Goo portrayed that so well.
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon – one of the most beautiful queens in a period drama. The character exuded calmness, uprightness and nobility and Lee See Young did so well here. At least now, I can stop thinking of her as the decaying zombie (A Korean Odyssey).
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo – the Chief Royal secretary was so admirable that I just fell in love! I love the character but got to love the actor for a brilliant performance! This guy doesn’t need to try hard to act, he’s a natural. He can let his tears roll down his cheeks without overworking his face. What a talent really!
Other Remarkable Characters. Aside from the top ones I mentioned above, how can I forget the caring and loyal Eunuch Jo, the greedy Shin Chi Soo, the avenging Queen Dowager, the ambitious Prince Jin Pyung Gun, the beautiful Woon Shim, the brave and loyal bodyguard Jang Moo Young and the smart Joo Ho Kul.
The Ending. How would I describe it? It was painful, sad, hopeful and happy. I think I pretty much said it all.
Dislikes: Hm, the justification why it took Ha Sun a long time to come back wasn’t satisfying.
Summary: Goo Hae Ra, a small-time shoe maker in Busan approaches Tae In Joon for a purpose. She makes him fall in love with her to avenge her sister who is in coma for years. However, the way to vengeance is never easy. She meets powerful people who she doesn’t have a clue, could be of help to her or the reason for her downfall.
Stars: Lee Min Jung as Goo Hae Ra
Joo Sang Wook as Tae In Joon
So Yi Hyun as Cha Soo Hyun
Lee Ki Woo as Jin Tae Oh
Likes: It’s a story of love, deceit, power, status, inconsolable anger and vengeance! It’s a minefield of emotions! You can easily get caught in this chaos and get hooked to it.
I love the style. Very quiet, very serious, not so big in background music (that I already even forgot the OST). Oh wait, let me rephrase, they do background music at the very important scene like the first kiss (with the chorus of Fates and Furies OST … I’m thinking of you…lalala…). Very good, very powerful!
Watched this to see the loveteam Lee Min Jung and Jo Sang Wook who were together in a popular romcom some years ago, Cunning Sexy Lady. Chemistry is still there, I don’t know if it’s from the story, but there’s not much of it. Still enough though to get through the whole drama. Both are still looking great. In fact everyone looked great! Credits to the costume designers especially the thought you poured into coming up with gorgeous business outfits.
If top leads are good-looking, the supporting are equally the same. So Yi Hyun and Lee Ki Woo are eye candies! So Yi Hyun especially is not just looking gorgeous but a top-notched actress. Too beautiful and talented! Her role here shows she can do pretty much everything.
Other antagonists roles were handled pretty well with other veteran actors in this show. The story would have been incomplete without the evil stepmother and brother! Don’t you agree?!
- love the chemistry between Tae Jung Min and Kang Eui Gun
- loving Busan accent!
- Kim Chang Soo, love this guy! He’s always there to give answers to everything 😉
- and of course the mystery of Kim Chang Soo (the twist)
I love the ending. I mean who doesn’t like a happy ending after all those heartaches and tears as if there’s no forgiveness left in this world but in the end, our top leads reunite! Back to where they’ve met first (of course with perfect background). No fireworks though but we’ve got the sea covered ;-).
The ending was good and happy but what I like from it most was the twist in the end. I din’t expect that, or was I just not paying much attention. Anyway, surprised and contented by the story twist. As if it served as a seasoning to an already good dish.
Dislikes: The beginning was a bomb but it diffused somewhere in the middle (must admit, it became boring and draggy). Fortunately, a saving bomb exploded at the end.
Summary: Yoo Jin Woo, a CEO of an investing company travels to Spain for a business and gets hold of a mysterious game worth investing millions but little did he know that he’ll get suck into the game. He finds help from Jung Hee Joo, a hostel owner who happens to be the sister of the game developer.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Action
Stars: Hyun Bin as Yoo Jin Woo
Park Shin Hye as Jung Hee Joo
Likes: It took me until the 4th episode to get really into it but yes it was worth the wait because since then I couldn’t stop watching. Waiting for the next 2 episodes the following week was so much torture! It was that addictive!
The storyline was quite a mess, got to admit that, but if you pay attention to the explanation at the start of every following episode, you’ll get a grasp of what’s going on or what went on the previous episode. I think there’s an artistic attempt on the storyline but just came out always a bit chaotic. Just pay attention and you’ll be fine :-).
Getting into the game genre was new to me. It was a strange kdrama topic but got hooked as soon as I understood how it worked. Of course, couldn’t help notice a lot of logic holes but holes aside, it was a heart-pounding, thrilling game!
The chemistry came later but it did come, thank you! I thought I would never see Hyun Bin as a likeable man. Finally, he’s back. It’s been a long while oppa! Glad he was paired with Park Shin Hye.
Story – The Ingredients. Definitely an ambitious attempt to combine…
AI – the game idea was awesome although it’s hard to imagine it in reality filling streets and corners with strange gamers trying to hit someone who’s not there.
TRAVEL – Spain’s definitely on my bucketlist now, just look at that beautiful Grand Alhambra Palace, mesmerizing! I love the atmosphere of the place, it was a great intro to the connection that was building between the leads.
MUSIC – we’re going classic with this one. I knew the tune but never knew the title Memories of Alhambra by Francisco de Asís Tárrega. My association to this music in the future will be Hyun Bin haha :-).
POPULAR LEADS – I never had doubts with Park Shin Hye but with Hyun Bin’s last kdrama flop, I was fervently hoping this would be a good come back for him. Well, it bloody should be. This was more focused on Hyun Bin’s character. With this, Hyun Bin oppa is back on my list of top kdrama actor. To be fair, he also really did well. All those silent crying at the very end was very convincing. I’m missing him already :(.
ROMANCE & HORROR – It was romantic at times and scary most of the time. Rare combination for me to watch but just worked out well.
Story – The Crumbs. There were some bits and pieces that make this drama remarkable…
EMMA – she was like an anti-virus. Stabbing bugs with a dagger. So exotic Emma!
OST – Check it out! It’s as powerful as the drama itself… Memories of the Alhambra OST.
Park Shin Hye fluent in Espanol!
Marco looks like G-Dragon, isn’t he?
Cool usernames: ZINU, City Hunter…
The Kiss! It’s a crumb because it was just once.
Dislikes: Swarmed by ads! They tried to integrate them in the story but there were just too many of them. Too obvious! Hello Breitling, Swarovski, Subway… to name a few.
LOGIC HOLES, the big ones! I could ignore the small ones but the big ones, NO. What are they thinking, we won’t notice?
The Ending. I’m still bitter about this. They could have made it more satisfying, really?
But because this made my heart raced and longed for more every week, I will still give it a…