Preview: In the modern times, the soul of a male chef finds its way into the body of a Joseon royalty, Queen Cheorin. Luckily, King Cheoljong is a gentle and easy going person who has a different side too. “Finally a sageuk! And it’s super hilarious too!”
Preview: Im Joo Kyung is a high school student who has been bullied for her looks until she found a way of how to make herself pretty by wearing makeup. Suddenly, everyone adores her but one guy from her school knows her secret. “Such an eye-candy! They all good and loving the story too!”
Summary: In order to impress her estranged, rich mum and sister, Seo Dal Mi quits her job to start her own business. She meets Nam Do San, the founder of NamSan Tech, who she thinks was her long time pen pal. They team up to join the hackathon for start ups which is run by a company called Sandbox.
Likes: Such a success! Why? It captures its audience through its young, dynamic, ambitious and innovative nature of start-ups. Although it’s not at all easy as it seemed, the drama came out very entertaining and inspiring. I like the love story that came with it, the family dramas behind the most important characters and especially that found friendship from someone unknown.
Family bond. As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water. It holds true for our main girl, Seo Dal Mi’s story. How her family got separated but in the end, they all put their past behind and started supporting each other.
The dream. This one’s for Nam Do San who didn’t even know how to dream until he meets the girl he fell in love with. He got himself into a very difficult situation that ironing it out seemed like a dream for him.
The pen pal. I personally love the pen pal story. There’s something special with writing letters. It connects people on a different and special level. Han Ji Pyeong became Seo Dal Mi’s first love and he also became everyone’s love. I hopelessly root for him :(.
The grandma of all. I would say, she was the source of all good things that happened later. She was also the connection between everyone important in the drama. I used a lot of tissue whenever this grandma appeared.
The girl on the swing. I love the background story of this girl. It brought up the importance of choosing Seo Dal Mi’s Dad. Also it’s such a meaningful representation of the Sandbox company.
Cherry blossoms. The beautiful beginning and end of a friendship was well represented by the blooming and falling of cherry flowers.
Tarzan. Knowing how Nam Do San explained to Seo Dal Mi how AI worked using Tarzan and Jane as examples, it made more sense to call the self-driving car, Tarzan. If you don’t know, then Tarzan would sound very cheesy.
Yeong Sil. It wasn’t just Han Ji Pyeong but we were all getting into this charming virtual assistant. Yeong Sil, what’s my love prediction today? Would I be money lucky? Help me decide! Love the voice, I knew he sounded so familiar!
Surprising cameos. Lee Bo Young looking gorgeous as she appeared in episode 10. But the best is when the voice of Yeong Sil came to life and Yeo Jin Goo appeared on the last episode! Yes Yeong Sil’s voice was Yoo Jin Goo’s!
Favourite quote: “You’re a cosmos. It’s not yet you’re time to bloom. Be patient for fall.”
Appealing intro. It helps make a good drama to have a great intro design and music. Well done!
Now the question, are you team…
Seo Dal Mi and Nam Do San – I love their chemistry and they look good together too. In the end I think our too smart but kind-hearted Nam Do San needed someone like Seo Dal Mi who could complement his personality. I see them as a better match.
Seo Dal Mi and Han Ji Pyeong – first love is first love no matter what. I love how Han Ji Pyeong had been a pillar to Seo Dal Mi even when they were still pen pals. He still remained until the end.
Our talented cast.
Bae Suzy as Seo Dal Mi – This is actually the first time that I totally like her. She was extra vibrant and pretty and I was loving the chemistry between her and Nam Joo Hyuk.
Nam Joo Hyuk as Nam Do San – he was awesome here! I was very impressed in his acting, much better than in the drama Bride of the Water God . His facial expressions were better. He could cry too. Loved his shy, not so confident and nerdy character and as I’ve mentioned above, his chemistry with Bae Suzy was great.
Kim Sun Ho as Han Ji Pyung – omo, I fell in love with the character and who wouldn’t be? The story was really working to Kim Sun Ho’s favor – so deserving for the second male syndrome award!
Kang Han Na as Won In Jae – tough character for this pretty lady and she did so well in it!
Ending with an epilogue. A more elaborate ending is still my favorite especially when it comes with an epilogue.
Dislikes: Sometimes I couldn’t overlook how easy it was for these start ups to climb up the ladder. I know it’s for entertainment purposes only but really, it’s never that easy to run a business, much more to be a successful company to the point of going public (being in the stock market). You won’t look young anymore, believe me.
Summary: Kang Ah Reum is a wedding dress designer who used to be married to Jun Ji Hoon, who disguised himself as a travel writer but actually a spy. Kang Ah Reum never knew the true identity of her first husband. She then later marries Derek Hyun, who works as a diplomatic official but actually also a spy.
Likes: I couldn’t remember watching a spy drama so far so having one was kind of exciting. I love Yoo In Na and I was also looking forward to see Im Joo Hwan. At least these two I know won’t disappoint me.
Jeju Island. I’m seeing more of Jeju Island these days and I like it! It reminds me of my early kdrama days when most popular dramas I watched was set in Jeju. The first two episodes of this drama were having Jeju island as its picturesque backdrop, reminiscing the time when our top characters were falling in love. And as soon as the couple settled down in Seoul, they fell out of love. So you see, Jeju is love!
Jun Ji Hoon vs. Derek Hyun, which husband are you?
Derek Hyun all the way! At least Derek had a valid reason to lie about his identity as he was connected with an industrial spy group which was wanted by the authority whereas Jun Ji Hyun, it wasn’t that necessary. Looks-wise, I’m biased here, as I have a big crush on Im Joo Hwan, just wasn’t into the the hair though. Derek was also looking better in suit as he was taller therefore looking more slender than Jun Ji Hoon. And of course, Derek’s character was to fall for. He was a bad spy but trying to change to the woman he loves.
Eric as Jun Ji Hoon – first time to see Eric in a drama and he wasn’t that bad. Love his dancing gig on the first episode. He’s definitely got the moves, after all he’s a member of SHINHWA. He’s English was also great!
Yoo In Na as Kang Ah Reum – I love this girl, she’s a natural. She was always cute everytime she was torn between her two husbands. Jun Ji Hyun or Derek, she could easily establish a good chemistry with either of them.
Im Joo Hwan as Derek Hyun – Yes, I have a big crush on this dude but let’s be honest, he’s really also a great actor. He clearly stood out in this drama. Side by side with Eric, it was easy to tell who was better in acting.
The Good vs. the Bad team…
Team Gulliver – I love this team especially their boss, Chief Ban Jin Min, he was so funny. Jun Ji Hoon and Seo Ra were hot! Young Goo was just adorable. And sad to see Kang Tae Ryong go in the end.
Team Helmes – the big boss was just too cool! She looked and acted cool all the time. That’s Derek’s mom for you, she was very impressive! Of course, the son comes after the mom… smart, handsome and cool! Right hand Tinker wasn’t lagging behind, with his looks he could be a model!
The Ending. Derek’s bitter-sweet ending wasn’t that bad. He maintained his coolness till the end. I even love his grey hair! As for Jun Ji Hoon and Kang Ah Reum, that 2 years-later epilogue was good enough to revive their connection.
Favourite Quote: “Bring yourself back to the happiest moment of you life.”
Dislikes: Eric looked way too tired! I know he’s a handsome man but he needs some sleep. He looked like a new parent.
Spy cliche: Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred. Hm, too trying hard to be Mr. Bond.
I really don’t understand why Kang Ah Reum, who’s a wedding dress designer suddenly became a tech expert, breaking into the lab and trying to retrieve some secret information. How was that possible? Was I missing something?
Summary: Lee Yun is a thousand year old gumiho who used to be a mountain spirit who could control the air and the rain. In return for the reincarnation of his human first love, he gave up being the ruler of nature. Lee Yun now lives in the present world dedicating his life getting rid of evil spirits roaming around the human world. He meets Nam Ji Ah, a TV show producer, who totally looks like his past love.
Likes: I’m always in for a good fantasy drama and I really liked how this one started. It had a “Goblin” feel to it. That tragic love story between a mountain spirit and a human girl and set thousands of years ago when the world was different. I love how good-looking our mountain spirit was, a nine-tailed fox who had power over his forest. Beautiful, untouched world which was set to be abandoned because of his love to a human girl.
Background stories. Kind of contented and satisfied with the throwbacks to that forgotten world. Not just the tragic love story of our hero Lee Yeon, who’s a nine-tailed fox but also his severed relationship with his half brother Lee Rang. I also liked the detailed background story of the existence of our villain, the Imoogi, who, later in the present kept on pestering our hero.
Foxly bromance. Lee Yeon and Lee Rang’s relationship was turbulent but no matter how bad it was, they would always end up rescuing each other. Love the brotherly chemistry between these two! On the other hand, Lee Yeon’s bromance with his right hand Shin Joo was also something admirable.
Daebak first episode. I have to give that episode a ten! The introduction to the characters especially Lee Yeon, and how it was filled with daebak actions which made our hero looked super cool, definitely left me super excited!
Episode titles. Love the titles of each episode. They were creative and nicely summarizes the episode and gives a heads up on what’s going to happen.
The sister of King Hades. I just love her character, her world, her job – she was this stuck-up manager of the Afterlife Immigration Office, who has the power to decide when a human dies and lead him or her to the afterlife by crossing the Samdo river. Although she was that stuck-up, she also possessed a humanly character who is capable to love and grieve.
Love teams. Lee Yeon and the reincarnation of his first love, Nam Ji Ah – their story goes back to the ancient time which ended tragically but both got another chance in the present. Or Shin Joo, the right-hand fox of Lee Yeon who falls in love with the rescued Russian lady fox of Lee Rang, Yoo Ri. The second team is adorable too!
Bok Gil twist. This was a twist at the end and I didn’t see it coming. It surprised me, that’s why I really like it.
Lee Dong Wook as Lee Yun – I just couldn’t stop swooning over his fox looks. This is definitely the sexiest looks Lee Dong Wook ever sported. I loved his reddish fox hair, his eyes when they gleamed, his sexy smile and his slank figure! He could give Gong Yoo a run for his money when it comes to sword swinging!
Jo Bo Ah as Nam Ji Ah was her normal pretty self but did two challenging roles. I’m not such a big fan of her but her performance here is definitely a level higher than her past roles.
Kim Bum as Lee Rang – I liked Lee Rang’s character. Angry little brother who actually just wanted to be clingy and he had the most dramatic ending. It was good to see Kim Bum again! It’s been ages since I watched Boys Over Flowers!
Lee Tae Ri as Imoogi – I love this guy. I think he’s underrated. Glad he was given such an important role.
Dislikes: Honestly, I’m not a fan of Jo Bo Ah’s acting. I don’t know what it is but I never warmed up to her.
What was with the ending? It was confusing! I thought Lee Yeon turned human but what was with the wielding of sword???
Summary: Kim Moo Young had been living in a village as a zombie for the past two years and learned how to move and act like a real live person. He moves to the city and takes over the identity of a dead detective. While starting his detective work, he meets Gong Sun Ji, who takes an interest working as a detective assistant.
Likes: Short but downright hilarious and entertaining. Story was very compact, no dilly dally, just straight to the point.
I love the zombie intro! That realization when Kim Moo Young became a zombie and how ridiculously slow he was. And on top of that, he couldn’t even speak! What a frustrating situation interpreted in a funny way. Of course love the determination that came with it. It was like Rocky training to be a boxing champion or Kung Fu Panda training to be the dragon warrior! A slow zombie training to move like a real and quick human by running on a treadmill and learning how to speak before finally moving to the city.
The two mysteries that gave answers as to why our zombie existed. The first part gave clarity as to why Kim Moo Young died. He had been curious about his past life and how he ended up dead. The second part was focused on how he became undead. Who was responsible for it, that Kim Moo Young himself wanted to know badly. Therefore, becoming a zombie detective was the best way to solve the mysteries.
The ending with an epilogue. One year later what happened to the story. I love the hint of Kim Moo Young going back to detective work, the hopeful news that there might be a way to zombies becoming human again and of course, a possible romance between our zombie lead and his former assistant. Love the Halloween Party dress up at the end. Thought Choi Jin Hyuk looked really hot in his costume!
I always dislike ad placement but the BB Cream well placed ad was something I could live with.
Good job for putting such effort coming up with creative titles for every episode.
LOL for these funny scenes…
That part when they were making a parody of Boys Over Flowers and that famous “Almost Paradise” OST played in the background!
When our zombie was trying to learn the ways of the living by watching kdramas!
The fight between our zombie and the wild boar!
Joseon Zombie vs Chinese Zombie!
Non-stop funny moments from the rival neighboring detectives, Lee Sung Rok and Wang Wei!
The blossoming love between Wang Wei and the tripe lady!
Our main leads…
Choi Jin Hyuk as Kim Moo Young – this role suits Choi Jin Hyuk much better. Love seeing him in a light, funny character. Being a zombie, he actually looked convincing. And everytime he put on his BB cream, he turned into this very handsome detective!
Park Joo Hyun as Gong Sun Ji – it took a while to warm up to her but eventually when her character was less annoying and frantic, she turned out to be so much likeable. Love her bridal costume at the Halloween Party.
Dislikes: Was enjoying it too much, I don’t remember anything to dislike about it.
Summary: Sa Hye Jun has been working as a model for 7 years but what he really wants is to become an actor. He is always compared to his close friend, Won Hae Hyo, who is also a model and comes from a rich family. Through their work, Sa Hye Jun and Won Hae Hyo get acquainted with a professional makeup artist, Han Jung Ha, who is a huge fan of Sa Hye Jun.
Likes: Such a heart-warming story about life and experiences. This one’s especially focused on family, love and ambition and how everyone achieved their success going through failures. I like how realistic the family settings are. The bickering, favoritism, how open family members are when it comes to criticizing each other, the tension, the awkwardness of Sa Hye Jun’s family was too realistic, I could even relate to them. Same with the rich family of Won Hye Hyo, how the mom managed and controlled her kids, the cold atmosphere when everyone is at the table, how empty that big house was and how actually lonely these rich people are. And not to forget the life of Han Jung Ha who came from a broken family.
Love the characters and their convictions. I’ll focus on the main three although I would say this is one of the most character-rich dramas I’ve ever watched.
Sa Hye Jun’s perseverance to become a successful actor was truly inspiring. He worked so hard to achieve his dreams despite the criticisms he had received. He had the ambition so big that would crash obstacles which come his way. And although he reached the top, he remained a humble guy. That all made this character so beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of Park Bo Gum but I know he can act and I’ve got to give it to him, he did so well as Sa Hye Jun. And added bonus, he can speak English so well! I’m impressed!
Han Jung Ha’s calm and focused personality was her charm. She was so likeable, drawing our two main male leads to her which was very understandable. She had the courage to shift career paths despite the risk but since it was following what she loved most, she tried to pursue it. Such an admirable and beautiful character too. Park So Dam (the actress) is cute but not overly pretty which is good for the character.
Won Hae Hyo exuded coolness and elegance all the time. Definitely a rich kid just by the look of him. He trotted the runway like a pro and his face could launch a thousand me, lol! I know I’m biased. I have a big crush on Byun Woo Suk since Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency. But his character here, though rich and handsome, was quite pitiful. I feel for him when he was losing his self-esteem, poor Hae Hyo :(.
Love the bromance between the three friends Sa Hye Jun, Won Hae Hyo and Jinu. Made me missed my childhood friends!
Chemistry between Park Bo Gum and Park So Dam wasn’t bad at all. I definitely love that kiss, it was full of affection. The two definitely nailed that moment.
Tear-jerker beautiful moment: Grandpa’s speech!
The featured library: Starfield Library would be on my top spots to visit in Seoul! Looked awesome!
It is a hip drama (design-wise and the focus on social media and acting industry). It’s about the lives of young people these days, their experiences and struggles. But what I like most about it was consistency to its theme, it was such a heart-warming show all though out.
The list of awesome cameos in this drama is long! But my favorite was Park Seo Joon. He really looked like a close friend of Park Bo Gum here. They were so natural on screen. Seo Hyun Jin and Lee Sung Kyung as leading ladies of Sa Hye Jun in two separate dramas inside this drama also caught my attention.
I love how everyone followed the path that was best for them. Even if that means being drafted to the army :), at least for our two male leads. It goes to show that time fixes things. And since I’m a sucker for epilogues, two years later was a big bonus!
Dislikes: The Krispy Creme Donut ad was just too much. I could deal with the BMW and the Subway but the donut was too aggressive.
Summary: Park Jin Gyum is a police detective finding out about people traveling from the future through a place called Alice. The main purpose of Alice is to provide healing for clients in the future who had some bad experiences in the past. So they get to travel back to fix it. While investigating, Park Jin Gyum meets a woman who totally looks like his dead mom.
Likes: It started so well! I love the action-packed first and second episodes. They gave a fantastic impression of this 16 episode- show that waiting for the next episodes was like a torture. It was fast-paced and very well done! I was filled with curiosity.
I love time-travel genre even though it confuses my already confused brain. Alice was clear from the beginning about parallel universes. So I thought, it would be like The King: Eternal Monarch. It was consistent for a couple of episodes and I was holding on to that.
The book of prophecy added to the mystery. I kind of like it although there was no need of it at the end. Everyone would figure out eventually what would happen. But yeah, the Alice in Wonderland thing was very mysterious to me :).
Mind-boggling twists! Lots of them in this drama. Some of them were shedding lights (love those kind) but some of them just led to confusion.
Love the cast!
Joo Won as Park Jin Gyum – he did a great job! And if I were to choose which was his best look: is it the 2010 highschooler Park Jin Gyum, the 2020 detective Park Jin Gyum or the old teacher/mastermind Park Jin Gyum? I would go for the old one! Joo Won looked great as an old man, no doubt about that! Talking about his acting skills, he was brilliant doing all three selves. He was even exceptional when he turned to a psycho, creepy highschooler.
Kim Hee Sun as Yoon Tae Yi / Park Sun Young – what I like most about her was her voice and it fit nicely with her character as Park Sun Young, Park Jin Gyum’s mom. She did so well as the mom especially on her dying moments. I don’t know how many times she died, I lost count but yes every time she was dying, she was so convincing.
Kwak Shi Yang as Yoo Min Hyuk – he’s such a good-looking guy and I wonder why I didn’t see him in other kdramas before. What’s even better is he can cry! Oh Min Hyuk ssi, my heart was torn seeing those tears.
Lee Da In as Kim Do Yun – I love her character as Kim Do Hyun… very chatty, caring, loyal and I wished so badly that she would end up with Park Jin Gyum. I thought the two looked cute together.
I commend the stylists in this drama for making everyone looked great. I kind of like the combination of heels and rolled-up pants, made the ladies look taller. Also loved Joo Won’s everyday detective look, simple but looked good on him. And he looked exceptionally handsome in that police uniform!
Talking about chemistry, there so much of it in this drama. I love the chemistry between Park Jin Gyum and Kim Do Yun, Tae Yi and Min Hyuk and even the police chief Go Hyung Suk and his wife. But Tae Yi and Park Jin Gyum, hm that’s one thing that would go to my dislike.
I love the OST! Here are five songs from this drama I love listening to right now… Alice OST. Love The Star best. Somehow, that song reminds me of the Faith OST where Kim Hee Sun also starred with Lee Min Ho.
Dislikes: The ending was so confusing! First, the story didn’t stick to its parallel-universes-rule which was clearly explained in the beginning. It ended up explaining the ending with a single timeline rule which was even not consistent. Like how come Park Jin Gyum, the architect did not even recognize professor Tae Yi considering she still looked like her mom. I don’t know but the ending sucks. What a disappointment. And the fact that the scriptwriters insisted till the very end on the romance between Park Jin Gyum and Tae Yi gives me creeps people. Excuse me, but she is still his mom, right?! Why insist on this Oedipus complex kind of scenario – creepy! I would have loved to see Do Yun ended up with Jin Gyum! They have more chemistry than the Tae Yi and Jin Gyum team.
And uh that shameless ad placement of a weight loss product Prof. Tae Yi was promoting, I couldn’t take that scene, it was just too much.
Summary: Cha Ji Won is a competent detective who is married to Baek Hee Sung, a metal craftsman who hides a dark secret. They have been living together peacefully with an adorable daughter. Cha Ji Won is clueless what kind of person her husband truly is but after a couple of incidents that involved him, she is slowly able to put the puzzle pieces together.
Likes: So many reasons for me to like this drama. Let me point them out one by one…
Love the story and how it was told. It was full of mystery since the first episode. It kind of started in the middle and from there went backwards to shed lights to characters and events. Like it all started with our main character tied down and drowning in the pool and a lady detective came rushing to rescue him. She seemed related to him. I was immediately hooked, questions running in my head… Why is he drowning? Why is she saving him? How are they related? And so on and so forth. All the answers to my questions were slowly answered in the next 15 episodes. I was patiently waiting for those 2 episodes a week and it was always worth the wait. Indeed, a great show!
Detective-crime-romance genre. I’m already in with a detective genre. It goes hand in hand with crime but romance is a bonus! This is after all a korean drama. Somehow, it’s hard to separate romance from everything but I like it always when there’s a tinge of romance in everything. This drama ticks all three favourites for me and it was a satisfying show.
The Beautiful and Brilliant Cast. Everyone was impressive from the police force, the gangsters, the child actor, the foster parents, even the serial-killing victim but three were my most beautiful and favourites…
Lee Joon Ki as Do Hyun Soo / Baek Hee Sung – I’m always distracted by his beautiful face but he wasn’t all beauty here, he did so well as the ideal husband and father, Baek Hee Sung then later changing back to the calculating fugitive Do Hyun Soo. I admire the awkwardness, the tension, the fear, the drama, the chemistry between him and and Moon Chae Won.
Moon Chae Won as Cha Ji Won – Another beautiful being in this drama. Sometimes too beautiful as a detective, always sporting a perfect hairstyle. But Moon Chae Won as I’ve always known is not just a pretty face. This lass can act! She nailed her character Cha Ji Won here. And that chemistry between her and Lee Joon Ki was just top.
Kim Ji Hoon as Baek Hee Sung – He looked better in long hair! Even with his dark character here, there was no denying, he was so handsome! Kim Ji Hoon pretty nailed his character Baek Hee Sung. The way he talked and bit his nails and tied his hair, every inch a creepy person but remained so handsome. He was just brilliant!
The supporting love team (almost) and comic relief. It’s part melodrama with some serial-killing case that needed solving but I thought adding a character which would be a comic relief made the show not so intensely depressing. In this case it was Kim Moo Jin. He was funny and his love interest on Dae Hae Soo was just too cute.
The plot twists. Impressive! From finding out who the real accomplice was and the lost of memory at the end, it was all very entertaining.
Flower of Evil OST. Super love the OST, it’s awesome! They bring back memories of the drama.
That heart-breaking “I see dead people” moment. I cried watching this scene, it was just so heart-breaking when Do Hyun Soo couldn’t tell the difference if he’s seeing his wife really alive or he’s seeing her because she’s already dead. Wahhhh!!!
The kissing scenes. They were daebak! Thanks to the awesome chemistry between our leads.
That tear-jerking final episode! Very emotional but I sooo love it! And it gave and explanation as to why Do Hyun Soo named his workshop, The Place where the Morning Star Rests. Love the story behind it.
Summary: 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, successful and eccentric kids book author. Ko Moon Young takes a liking to Moon Kang Tae and starts following him around.
Likes: A beautifully-written story with much focus on details. I love the combination of exceptional characters combined with intense psychological drama, with added series of literary masterpieces and illustrations in a much rural, coastal backdrop. It was unique in a way and such an enjoyable show to follow until the end.
The grotesque animation. I’m a huge fan of this part. It gave the whole drama a dark tone and at the same time retained some cuteness. Which was my exact whole impression of the non-animated part. A great introduction indeed.
The cursed castle. This impressive set was just perfect for the story. A princess is not a princess without a castle afterall. Eerie but perfect!
The featured books and stories. I love all the books and the amazing stories and the morals that came with it but I think The Zombie Kid left a special place in my heart. Moreoever, I also like the touching story of the two brothers who made sure the other has a sack of rice for his family.
The storytelling with its animated illustration. Illustrated stories are simply the best. There are people like me who are visual so I really enjoy illustrated books, much more animated illustrations!
The titles of each episode. Yes it was the book’s title and each episode’s story is a reflection of that in the book.
The sarcasm in Ko Moon Young’s Fairy tale Class. I enjoyed this bit. There’s so much truth in all of these…
What is a fairy tale? It is a cruel fantasy that illustrates the brutality and violence of this world in a paradoxical manner.
Moral on Ugly Duckling – raising someone else’s child is unrewarding, so just look after your own.
Moral on The Little Mermaid – karma will bite you hard if you covet on an engaged man.
Conclusion: A fairy tale isn’t a hallucinogen that gives us hopes and dreams. It is a stimulant that makes us face reality.
The beautiful coastal, countryside. A break from the usual busy and crowded Seoul. I thought the psychiatric hospital’s location was a perfect place to those seeking emotional and psychological healing. Love the view of the ocean!
Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Kang Tae – I know Kim Soo Hyun would always choose a good role and as Moon Kang Tae, his comeback role after his military, it was a sure winner for him. His downcast personality as Moon Kang Tae showed how well he could do with serious roles like this one. At first I thought he was too thin but I realized it was all part of it.
Seo Ye Ji as Ko Moon Young – no one could do this role better than Seo Yi Ji. She was hands down the best! I loved her voice, perfectly fitting her role as Ko Moon Young. I loved Ko Moon Young’s different looks: beautiful, sultry, eccentric, arrogant, intimidating – difficult with a beautiful and talented soul. She was every inch a character from a fairy tale, the one with the very tiny waist :)! Moreover, all the outfits she wore were gorgeous and suited her really well!
Oh Jung Se as Moon Sang Tae – I’ve got to give the best actor award to Oh Jung Se for doing Moon Sang Tae soooo well! The acting was just brilliant, hands down. I loved how he mastered the mannerisms, the stutter when he talked, the way he walked and how he could portray that innocence of someone who living in his own world. Such a brilliant actor!
The Ending with a twist.I love how the brother whom everyone thought was someone everyone would take care of became the one protecting others. I didn’t see that twist with the mum coming but what a surprise! In the end, everyone found their peace, could move on and grow more.
Dislikes: I’m less a fan of psychological drama. Sometimes it’s too sad. It’s just that this one was too good to let it slip.
Summary: 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!”
Likes: I like how they preserve the webcomic style of this drama. I didn’t read the webcomic but I can imagine how exciting that would be for the fans to have seen the characters come to life.
The Set. The story revolves around a convenience store and honestly my first impression was, it was only a huge promotion for the convenience store chain, GS25 but since it was based on a webcomic, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Well, it gave us a closer look really on how convenience store operates and how these franchise owners work quite hard to keep them running.
The Stories. I like the main story that focuses on our main characters, Saet Byul and Dae Hyun. Even if Saet Byul has a long-time crush on her boss Dae Hyun, she still had to make him fall for her. And that was challenging as Dae Hyun still has his long-time girlfriend, who was rich, smart and pretty. However, Saet Byul and Dae Hyun’s similar personalities brought them closer together.
The story of the relationship between Dae Hyun and his girlfriend Yun Joo focuses on the differences in their personalities and family background that lead the two to separate. A Romeo and Juliet kind of fate.
Kang Ji Wook’s unrequitted love story. Our puppy just didn’t get the attention he wanted from Saet Byul. Even with his celebrity status, it just didn’t work on Saet Byul as she was busy admiring someone else.
The sisters story. Saet Byul trying to raise her almost same age sister, Eun Byul. No matter how hard it was and no matter how much they fought, they still ended up supporting each other when everything got tough.
Dae Hyun’s parents’ story. They fought a lot and Dae Hyun’s mum always thought it was a misfortune to have her kind of life but that changed everything when she realized her son doesn’t find her parents life that bad.
Raggae Boy and Geum Bi story! I loved these two, very funny. Theirs was a good comical relief. I was glad that every episode they always popped up. Always made my night.
To sum it up, aside from our main characters storyline, there were other more interesting ones. It never got boring.
Fast-paced. The show was pretty straight-forward. I didn’t find it draggy at all. It maybe because of the sub stories I mentioned above.
Beautiful Cast. I can’t get enough of their faces…
Kim Yoo Jung – she has grown into a really beautiful lady! Wow, she was still a child in my favourite The Moon that Embraces the Sun, I can’t believe it. And she is such a great actress too, not just a pretty face. Her giggly character here suits her a lot.
Han Sun Hwa – this girl is so pretty too! I’m impressed of her acting and presence. Definitely, a competition for Kim Yoo Jung.
Ji Chang Wook – he’s a good-looking guy I know so please don’t put too much lipstick on him. But great to see him back again.
Dislikes: The kiss? Did I miss it? I didn’t see any kissing at all, as in nothing! Why so stingy with kiss? I was so looking forward to it especially with leads like Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung. Disappointing.
Summary: 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.
Likes: Another romance drama but this time with some focus on food, psychiatry and content creation. It had its share of melodramatic moments but well-balanced with some light-hearted scenes.
Food. Yes, one can build a solid relationship based on sharing a meal. It’s something very basic that is often ignored. I just like how this drama put so much importance on food and how it brings people together. It’s something that I can attest to.
Psychiatry. Yes, we must not ignore our own personal struggles whatever they are. I like how the characters in the drama dealt with each of their own problems and how other people around them was a help to them. And sometimes, getting some professional help might just be the only option for others.
Content Creation. Oh well, it’s a legit source of income these days but I was just fascinated with the idea that there might be actually businesses only centered in producing hit videos for platforms like youtube!
Song Seung Hun as Kim Hae Kyung – he looked great in all his outfits, so neat and handsome, too handsome for a doctor actually. His crying moment here was quite convincing.
Seo Ji Hye as Woo Do Hee – Seo Ji Hye is really beautiful that she can be quite intimidating. The character was strong-willed, independent, hard-working and who didn’t give up easily on finding love again. It was her kind of role.
Lee Ji Hoon as Jung Jae Hyuk – Lee Ji Hoon is just a great actor and as Jung Jae Hyuk, he was just brilliant! His breakdown moment was impressive! I would hand the best actor award to this guy.
Son Na Eun as Jin No Eul – very pretty and she knows it! Son Na Eun did well as Jin No Eul who was this confident, cool and proud woman who thought she could have everything/everyone whenever she wanted it/them.
The Love Team…
Kim Hae Kyung and Woo Do Hee – they were great together but sometimes I have that impression that they were more friends than lovers. Lacking a bit of chemistry, nevertheless great pair.
Nam Ah Young and Keanu – I love these two, they had better chemistry than the top leads. Nam Ah Young’s persistent character is what we all need if we really wanna have something. And because of that her Prince of Parasol became hers forever.
Jung Jae Hyuk and Jin No Eul – it was being hinted at the end and I like the idea! Why not? They also look great together. And maybe, just maybe, eating ramyeon together will be an awesome start.
OST. Love the upbeat music especially Yummy Yummy! Check out Dinner Mate OST!
The Ending. I love how it ended not just for the lead characters but others as well. I especially like Nam Ah Young and Keanu’s ending and also how Jung Jae Hyuk found healing with the help of his doctor. No loose ends. Well done!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jung Yun Joo & Noh Kwang Shik were such a cute couple that sometimes I like watching these two than the top leads, hm, sometimes. Excellent acting as well even for just supporting roles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Raas 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 Yoonas 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
Gong Seung Yun as Gae Ddong – I love Gong Seung Yun since Are You Human Too? Although her characters like Gae Ddong always start as somewhat annoying, she always managed to pull it off.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.