Preview: 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, Dong Joo. “Jang Dong Yoon is unbelievably pretty, even prettier than Kim So Hyun!”
Preview: 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. “Welcome back Ji Chang Wook! I’ve missed your handsome face!”
Preview: 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. “Boys over flower in Joseon! So many eye candies, I’m having a hard to time to choose!”
Summary: Cha Yo Han, a talented anesthesiologist serves 3 years in prison for administering euthanasia on one of his patients. He then meets Kang Shi Young, a year 2 resident of a famous hospital, at the prison where Cha Yo Han was serving and where Kang Shi Young is working as the prison doctor. Later, outside prison, they cross paths again at the hospital they are both working at.
Genre: Medical, Romance
Stars: Ji Sung as Cha Yo Han
Lee Se Young as Kang Shi Young
Lee Kyu Hyung as Son Suk Ki
Hwang Hee as Lee Yoo Joon
Likes: I think my top reason for liking Doctor John was the leads. You can’t go wrong with Ji Sung. He’s such a brilliant actor! And being paired with Lee Se Young in this drama was even better! Their chemistry was sooo good! And I loved the fact that they kept on delaying that first kiss until the very end. The thrill would have ended sooner if it came early.
Ji Sung as Cha Yo Han – yes, this guy can do all roles and this time, a doctor and a very competent one at that. Ji Sung always took his roles seriously, always delivered a brilliant portrayal of his character. I even loved the mannerism he did so well for this character like the tapping of the finger every time he was trying to concentrate over something. So immersed in his roles, a brilliant actor indeed! One more thing I admire about Ji Sung is he always manage to look cool and sexy whatever role he’s into. Well here, a really cool and sexy doctor!
Lee Se Young as Kang Shi Young – she’s come very far with her career. A young, brilliant actress and very pretty too. I’ve watched her as a zombie, then a queen, then here, a 2nd year resident who admired her senior. Her portrayal of Kang Shi Young, a young doctor who underwent a trauma in the past and who wasn’t sure of her capabilities as a doctor, was so good and convincing. I like her a lot. Perfect match for Ji Sung!
Main and sub stories were well done. I love Doctor John’s story. His struggles and love life were well-balanced. I didn’t get that feeling that everything was all about medical stuff. His love story was well integrated and had as much weight as him being a doctor and a patient. Same goes to the background story of Kang Shi Young that justified her own struggles. Then later her story of falling in love. Well, I just thought it was beautiful! In addition, the sub stories were really good too especially the patient’s. It was like watching mini kdramas within a kdrama. So many interesting cases.
The chemistry was very good that I couldn’t help looking forward to the romantic parts. My favourites were the confession in the elevator and of course the kiss at the airport. I know they dragged that first kiss for too long but I think it was good that way. The romance didn’t die out until the very end.
Touching a very sensitive topic like euthanasia is something I don’t see a lot in kdrama so that made it more interesting.
The special bond the doctors developed in the pain department was something I missed a lot when the drama ended.
I love the OST! Some English songs there and they were all good. Listening to them always remind me how sexy Ji Sung was in his white robe :-)… Doctor John OST.
The Ending. It was teasing but it was good. I’ve got my epilogue moment, it was long so I was happy.
Dislikes: Ahm, too much Subway ad placement. Really, the first kind of date was in Subway? Hm, I’m not sure about that.
Summary: Our girl Hae Ryung tries to become a historian avoiding her fate to get married to a noble man. She comes across Prince Lee Rim who is writing romantic novels anonymously. After she passed the exam as a historian, she starts as an apprentice in the palace. She finds out that the romantic novel author is actually a prince.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Shin Se Kyung as Goo Hae Ryung
Cha Eun Woo as Lee Rim
Likes: Well, for once, very educational. Historians were not really given emphasis in other historical kdramas I watched in the past. I didn’t have any idea that they were that important. Moreover, the confidentiality of the records was a big deal. No one even the King could read what had been written. These records could even ruin any King’s reputation for future generations hence historians were fairly feared.
Another learning point for me was the smallpox prevention by vaccinating cow pus on a healthy person. Well, I thought they made that one up but no, it was really done before. Interesting!
Love the emphasis on reading and medical advancements on that era. Impressive!
I would also say that picking a historian, much more a female one, was an ambitious choice of kdrama character. I have to give credit to Shin Se Kyung for doing an awesome job portraying a newb historian who was very curious, smart, fearless and independent. Goo Hae Ryung was a very likeable character, she was fun to watch! And of all Shin Se Kyung’s kdramas I watched before, this was the first one she had a remarkable chemistry with her male lead. So to sum it up, Historians might come as a boring subject but with the right recipe like a strong main character, a good and not too serious historical storyline, top chemistry, colourful costumes… we’ve got a kdrama success there!
Our perfectly handsome male lead was no doubt an eye candy. Cha Eun Woo was just sooo gorgeous! Perfect face, tall, flawless skin, he was so pretty, even prettier than the female lead! He also looked great in all his prince wardrobes. Such a dashing prince, he was! However, he wasn’t all the looks. This pretty face can cry. So impressed on his crying scene, he really let it all out.
Supporting actors were all great! Special mentions goes to the crown prince, Min Gyu – one of the senior historians, the King, the Queen Dowager and the funny eunuch Heo Sam Bo!
All episodes had awesome cliffhangers. So hard to control myself watching the next one. This always come inconvenient when the time on the clock shows midnight already. Good thing, I could always look forward to the next one.
The first kiss! Ahhh, soo goood! Specially with the line, “I hope you live for a long time and be the owner of my heart.” Omo, omo, omo!
I even love the heartbreaking breakup! Cha Eun Woo, although young and new in kdrama, proved himself capable of being the top lead. He did so well on the breakup scene. Of course, Shin Se Kyung too, but she’s veteran you know.
The ending. Oh, I love how they all maintained and pursued what they wanted to do.
Dislikes: Some lovey dovey scenes in the palace ground seemed impossible without those watchful eyes especially during those times. Maybe too much sometimes.
Summary: Hotel del Luna is owned by Jang Man Wol who has been around for over a century, stuck in between the world of the living and the dead. Her hotel caters to the needs and wishes of those souls before they would proceed to the afterlife. Hotel del Luna gets a new manager who is a living human to manage all the paper works and other things which deals with the world of the living and he is no other than Goo Chang Sung, a well-sought manager in his field.
Stars: IU as Jang Man Wol
Yeo Jin Goo as Goo Chang Sung
Likes: Let me start with the story itself… Intriguing in the beginning, lots of loose ends, it was hard to say where it was going, background of the story was blurry then I was also questioning the chemistry between the two great leads but I think what kept me going was the various cases of the ghost guests of Hotel del Luna. Each story was interesting, funny and scary sometimes. When everything wasn’t so clear yet with the main story, these sub-stories pushed me to watch more and more episodes. Without those, I would have given up on the whole thing and missed all the sweet-bitter goodness that came later on, plus of course that cameo bonus that shaked the whole kdrama universe lol!
So among the sub stories, which one was my top favourite? Hm, so hard to choose. I like the story of the bride ghost and the twist that came with it but nothing came near the story of Sanchez and his girlfriend. Wahhh, I bawled my eyes out!
How about the main story, what to say about it, hm… so beautiful, so painful, so sad, so revenge-worthy that our main lady had to stay neither alive nor dead for a thousand of years just because of the grudges she’d been carrying in her heart. Such a wonderful, heartbreaking story of love, betrayal, resentment, anger and later on forgiveness and letting go. Everyone can learn from it!
Bitter-sweet torture, it’s quite addictive! And this drama is full of it! From beginning to end! If you can’t in any way stand such thing, I would advise you not to watch. Only for those who likes this kind of torture, lol!
The twists and cliffhangers were so good, it was so hard to wait another week for two more episodes.
Excellent outfits especially those worn by Man Wol! IU carried them all with such grace and beauty. I love the tiffany one! She looked adorable!
What a beautiful OST: nice mixture of happy and sad tunes… Hotel del Luna OST.
How about chemistry? Yes there was chemistry between our top leads but got to be honest, I think Man Weol had more chemistry with her first love!
And the brilliant cast…
IU as Jang Man Wol – Don’t be deceived by her baby face. She is a fierce one and deserved to be “the” Jang Man Wol! She looked so young but her voice was that of a grown up. Of course, a brilliant actress. She always get an A+ from me not just for her acting but also her choice of roles. Well, just like this one.
Yeo Jin Goo as Goo Chang Sung – love this guy, he’s consistently an awesome actor. And as Chan Sung, he was this firm personality who would always try to correct the stubborn boss. He looked like the type of guy who would sympathize with everyone including ghosts. And yes, have to mention that he was getting so handsome at the end! phew, I almost fell for the other guy!
Lee Do Hyun as Go Chung Myung – what a level up role for Lee Do Hyun and I’m glad he did so well. He was sooo handsome here! Really to fall in love with, just like Man Wol did. Looking forward to see him in a lead role.
The main staff of Hotel del Luna: Shin Jung Geun as Kim Seon Bi, Bae Hae Sun as Choi Seo Hee and Pyo Ji Hoon as Ji Hyun Joong, I love them all and their tear-jerking stories.
I shouldn’t forget the amazing supernatural beings, Mago and Grim Reaper! Seo Yi Sook who played Mago but like 6 different personalities of a diety, she was amazing!
The ending, as I’ve mentioned earlier, was bitter-sweet. But a great ending nevertheless. I wouldn’t ask for a different one. It was perfect that way.
Cameos! Lots of important guests here including Lee Jun Ki who was IU’s leading man in Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. But what shaked the kdrama world and made us begged for a season 2 was Kim Soo Hyun’s cameo at the very end! Ommo, ommo, please make it happen! Why’s KSH gone for too long, we’ve missed you dear! Please come back soon!
Dislikes: If I like the drama so much, my ability to remember dislikes is impaired :-).
Summary: Eun Sum and Tanya grow up in Wahan tribe which is conquered by the Daekan troops led by Tagon, Arthdal’s war hero. The Wahan people are brought to the city of Arthdal where they have to suffer and struggle until Tanya gets hold of power as the highest priestess of the land and that is by the help of Eun Sum’s long lost twin, Saya, who is the adopted son of Tagon. Eun Sum who is on the run is slowly getting a large follower of his own and is ready to go back to Arhdal to save the Wahan people and see Tanya again.
Trailer: Arthdal Chronicles
The Storyline. It’s definitely not your everyday kdrama. The storyline is super intricate, you’ve got to pay attention to every details. At the start, it was quite chaotic for me. Some stories started at the same time without the clear connections. You’ve got to wait for more episodes to get a better overview. But once you’ve got them all together, what a solid story you’d get. I like it that they divided it into 3 parts which helped a lot to better understand the complexity of the story.
The Worlds. There were a lot of worlds and all the main worlds were nicely presented in details. I got so immersed into the once peaceful and beautiful world of the Iark region with the tribes all living in harmony. Couldn’t help fantasizing on those vast, lush and green lands. Do they still even exist in our world? Well, probably not. The bustling, congested but advanced world of Arthdal is like our big cities, right? Crammed up but people would still want to live and be part of it. The worlds in this drama may look different but actually very similar to our own. We all could relate.
The People. Same with worlds, the people reflect our own different nationalities, races, religion, beliefs and skills. We’ve got the Arthdal people which were the most advance in politics, economics, metal works, construction and even medicine. They iradicated the Neanthal people, who were very strong but lacking the ambition. They controlled a lot of remote tribes and conquered some of them bringing those people back to Arthdal to be slaves. Does it sound so familiar to you? Within the world and the people of Arthdal, everyone seemed to struggle to be the most powerful because only then you’d get things done.
The Languages. Although most spoke Korean, there were other languages spoken in this drama. I don’t know if they were Korean dialects or just made-up ones but they all sounded wonderful! I love the Neanthal language, it was so exotic! The Momo tribe spoke an own language as well that made Xabara (their leader) looked even cuter :-).
Titles and Gestures. I minded this a lot. I love the way the Arthdal people greeted their leaders and would mention the Niruha title after the names like Sanung Niruha, Tagon Niruha, Tanya Niruha. I don’t know what it exactly means but it for sure commanded highest hierarchy.
Cultures, Traditions and Beliefs. So beautiful to see the unique cultures and traditions of each tribe but then somehow they were all bounded by a similar belief.
The Brilliant Cast…
Song Joong Ki as Eun Sum / Saya – He’s undeniably a great actor. I love his portrayal of Eun Sum, an honest, simple-minded being who has a big heart to always help others. He looked really good buffed but still with a pretty face. Eun Sum’s chemistry with Tanya was pretty top. Now, as Saya, damn, he was just so sexy! His beautiful face, although I would say, even prettier than the female lead, still commands masculinity. Loved Saya’s devious personality, it made him stood out.
Jang Dong Gun as Ta Gon – I thought this was JDG’s best role yet. It suited him so well… the looks, the personality, his war hero character, his Igutu blood weakness, everything really, even the costume! Undoubtedly, he was the star of the show, well, at least in this season (if there’s gonna be another one).
Kim Ji Won as Tan Ya – She did well as Tan Ya. I love her compassionate character and her rising into a powerful figure was something I enjoyed to watch.
Kim Ok Bin as Tae Ha – Now this lady was just so impressive. First time to see her in a drama and I was just impressed by her superb acting. Tae Ha was an intelligent and powerful lady which made her the perfect match for Tagon and I think Kim Ok Bin delivered that role very well.
Dislikes: Two things only and that made this drama dropped 2 levels from being a perfect 10. First, I dislike the time gap when they were showing the third part. I was so immersed when I was watching the first 2, then I had to wait for a month. I didn’t have that same interest and excitement when I was continuing. Now for the second reason. There was basically no ending since it was originally made with more season in thought. What a disappointment! I don’t think I would ever see a proper ending to this knowing the drama didn’t do well in the ratings.
Summary: An angel messes up his last mission. Instead of taking the soul of a ballerina, he saves her from the brink of death. He is given though another chance, a mission to make the ballerina fall in love. However she is one difficult soul and that gives our angel a hard time. In the end, she falls in love but no other than with the angel himself.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Stars: Shin Hye Sun as Lee Yun Seo
L as Dan
Lee Dong Gun as Ji Kang Woo
Kim Bo Mi as Geum Ni Na
Likes: What a wonderful and graceful intro with our prima ballerina on the spotlight and our gorgeous angel looking good on all-white flapping his wings going for his next mission. It looked such a very promising fantasy drama I had been waiting for. But how did it fair for me? Let’s find out…
Beautiful story on how the soul of a young boy who went to heaven early and became an angel got reunited with the girl he liked when he was still alive. Their fate got entangled when he couldn’t resist saving the girl from the brink of death. As a punishment, cute as it may sound, he became part human and make the girl fall in love with somebody. It’s just cute, really.
I love the cast! Shin Hye Sun was awesome! Her role in this drama… a bratty, rich heir slash prima ballerina fits her so well. I wonder if she really is a ballerina. There were some dancing scenes when she didn’t require a double. Her lean physique looked like a top ballerina to me and she was so looking great in all her outfits, so intimadatingly rich! Her facial expression was always good, always full of emotion.
L’s acting improved a lot although he’s not yet there but it’s good to see him as a main lead. He looked too young for Shin Hye Sun at start but his appearance towards the end kind of improved, making him looked more mature and handsome especially when he was sad.
Lee Dong Gun’s series of supporting leads gives him an edge again. Honestly, he had more chemistry with Shin Hye Sun here. Especially during the scenes when they were still together in the story. I thought he connected so well with her.
Kim Bo Mi wasn’t that bad. She could dance too but found her too thin. Well, that fits her role well as someone who has an eating disorder.
The kissing scenes. I’ve got to admit, some were awkward but I love the final kiss of life. I thought that was beautiful. L was not looking too nervous when he did that so it went really so well.
The saving scene. I held my breath when she fell and I held it even more when Kim Dan appeared as an angel catching her from that fall. It was a beautiful scene! Well, everytime his wings were out, it became exciting!
Giselle. I loved it that they were so detailed with the show. It wasn’t just all practice but they actually really did a good performance on stage.
Angel’s Last Mission: Love OST. Beautiful songs! You’ve got some sad tunes but remember the drama is not a romantic comedy.
Love the ending! I didn’t want to ask a lot questions but I liked how it ended. It was good. A great compensation for all the tears I shed for this drama.
Dislikes: I don’t totally agree with how the writer perceived how all this divine providence works. Misleading for Christians like me but tried to come up with an objective review anyway. Didn’t want to make it complicated, it’s a kdrama afterall.
Summary: Go Se Yun and Cha Min are good friends. They both died and were revived though the power of the Abyss. Although they’re up and alive, their looks are different from before. Together, they’ll try to live knowing each other’s secret and hand in hand solve the murder case behind Go Se Yun’s death.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Legal, Fantasy
Stars: Park Bo Young as Go Se Yun
– Kim Sa Rang as Go Se Yun (before death)
Ahn Hyo Sup as Cha Min
– Ahn Se Ha as Cha Min (before death)
Lee Sung Jae as Oh Young Chul
Likes: Unusual story that involved dying and resurrecting with the use of a big marble-looking object called the Abyss. I was willing to plunge into it obviously. Although there were some holes in the story since the start and left unanswered questions, I found it cute, charming, funny and I admire the effort on the gruesomeness part of the story. Yes, not the usual combination and that’s what made it interesting.
Park Bo Young as Go Se Yun – she was great! Park Bo Young seems to like strong woman roles and what can I say, it suited her very well. It’s also admirable of her to take a role which is actually making fun a bit of her looks.
Ahn Hyo Sup as Cha Min – he really looked so good here! I’ve been comparing his looks from Thirty but Seventeen, he had grown so handsome! I’ve been wondering if he had plastic surgery but I think not, just maybe a bit made up in this drama. His Cha Min role was a more mature one which he also delivered well.
The chemistry. This is one of the points that I extra like in this drama. Never mind the hollowness of the story when the leads had an amazing chemistry. Park Bo Young is for sure older than Ahn Hyo Sup but that didn’t affect the spark. It was having lots of sparks in fact!
The kissing scenes. And because of that chemistry, the kissing scenes were cute and awesome! It was never awkward.
The villain. I thought Oh Young Chul was brilliant! The first episodes were interesting because of him.
Supporting couple. Detective Park Dong Chul and Lawyer Lee Mi Do cheesy scenes were ice breakers. I love this couple! They were always there for our top leads.
The OST. I especially love Shalalalala. Funny scenes normally has this as background music. Fallin and Into the Abyss are also great to listen to.
The Ending. This had my tears flowing, it better be a happy ending. And I think they heard me.
Dislikes: The second to the last episode was quite cheesy but still bearable to watch.
Hae Jin’s screaming was really irritating.
Seo Ji Uk was sill lacking as villain.
Shameless ad placement. Hello Tous and Dyson.
Summary: Sung Duk Mi is living two lives. She is a hard-working curator at an art gallery and at the same time pursuing her life as a fangirl as she is a die-hard fan of an idol named Shi Ahn. Things change when she meets the new director of the art gallery, Ryan Gold, who is slowly acknowledging her talent, personality and even her fangirling life.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stars: Park Min Young as Sung Duk Mi
Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold
Ahn Bo Hyun as Nam Eun Ki
Likes: It was hard to resist another romcom with two big names in Korean drama. With the art gallery as the backdrop, it was promisingly artsy and gave us ideas and details how this kind of world works in the background. Definitely, another learning opportunity.
Park Min Young paired with Kim Jae Wook, I was absolutely looking forward to it! Both have previous successful projects under their sleeves especially Park Min Young, who had been a star in big kdramas in the past. Kim Jae Wook, on the other hand, it was my first time to see him in a lead role. My wish was granted, I was desperately waiting for him to grab a male leading role. I thought he was more than ready for it. However, how they did in their roles here was a different story. I would categorize Kim Jae Wook’s role as a “like”. Here’s to why…
Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold – He came out as the really cool and talented Ryan Gold at start and although that character didn’t last so long, Kim Jae Wook did so well in turning Ryan Gold as the melancholic, broken person who was once abandoned by his mum. He wasn’t perfect. There were time when he appeared unsure but boy he just looked sooo good the whole time. Got to give credit to the costume designer for dressing him up so well.
Chemistry wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t over the top but it wasn’t bad. The two leads carried this out well.
Generous with kissing scenes! Now come on, who wouldn’t like that?
Was it just me or Cha Shi Ahn was really cute? He was so cute and adorable that I got to dig up more about him. Voila! He’s a YG baby! Check out one of his MVs 해야해(heyahe). So cute!
I love the twists towards the end. It was so predictable in beginning that having some unexpected twists kind of caughtup with the dull mid-part of the drama.
I love the story and mystery behind Lee Sol’s paintings. It was a big plus in the storyline. I thought it was so touching to see them pieced together.
I so love Eun Gi! He might not have been as well-dressed as Ryan Gold but he was so genuine, he looked as hot as RG.
Dislikes: I unfortunately found Park Min Young’s character here very irritating. It didn’t suit her at all. You could tell she was trying hard but she always came out unnatural. I’m a fan of her since Sungkyunkwan Scandal and it’s the first time I dislike her in a drama. I also dislike some of her outfits! Those checkered and ruffled dresses were sooo tacky!
Cliffhangers were so misleading!
Too obvious Dyson and Baskin Robbins ad placement!
Ending got too corny.
Summary: Set during the Joseon era, Prince Lee Geum wants to gain power by claiming the throne in order to reform the Saheonbu, which is the office responsible for monitoring government administration and officials. Together with a few who have a high sense for justice, he uncovers crimes and corruption by royals and high officials and makes history to be the first king close to the people.
Genre: Period, Action
Episodes: 48 (35 minutes/episode)
Stars: Jung Il Woo as Lee Geum
Kwon Yul as Park Moon Soo
Go Ah Ra as Yeo Ji
Park Hoon as Dal Moon
Likes: This drama was definitely made to make Jung Il Woo looked good all the time! It’s not that I don’t like it, in the opposite, I immensely enjoyed how he looked majestic all the time. All those dazzling costumes fitting for a crown prince and later, the king; were mesmerizing! Paired with Jung Il Woo’s flawless face and conceited smirk, there was no way I would miss this drama every week :-).
Jung Il Woo as Lee Geum – although I would say, his perfect face wasn’t so perfect for the role, he did try his best to be that great king. Most of his scenes were dramatic, always trying to squeeze a tear or two but in the end it was always mansae for him. In everything he did, he was perfect… perfect poise, smile, side view, back view, sitting, standing, walking, riding a horse, shooting bows… it was soo Jung Il Woo and I love him for that!
Kwon Yul as Park Moon Soo – as the above’s opposite, Kwon Yul delivers Park Moon Soo’s character very well. I wasn’t surprised at all as I’ve watched Whisper and he was brilliant there. As Park Moon Soo, he was completely a different person. Always perfect for any role, this guy.
Park Hoon as Dal Moon – oh my, when I saw him I thought he really looked familiar then I realized he was the ghost ex-friend of Hyun Bin in Memories of the Alhambra! Good to see him well and alive in this drama :-). He has a handsome face and his role here suits him very well.
Lee Kyung Young as Min Jin Hun – I think my favourite character in this drama. He was the leader of the political party Noron who was at first against Prince Lee Geum’s enthronement. Highly intelligent and respected and followed by his subordinates and expected to be the force behind the new king’s downfall. Then the character twist I wasn’t expecting at all, he supported the King’s decision without abandoning his principles.
The Bromance. The strongest bond was between the king and Park Moon Soo but the bond between the king and Dal Moon wasn’t also falling behind. Bromance was everywhere in the Saheonbu, it was fun to watch! Even the bond between the two leaders of Noron and Soron political parties was so admirable.
The Costumes. I’m pretty sure these took a big share of the budget. Very impressive and detailed! The King alone, how many costumes did he had to show off?! Starting when he was installed as the crown prince, wow so much details on the outfit! Then he had his hunting costume, his war costume, archery, nobleman and not to mention the red king costume!
The Villains. We’ve got Wi Byung Joo (former Saheonbu’s top officer), Yi In-jwa (leader of the rebellion) and Lee Tan (aka Mil Poong Gun). These are the three worth mentioning. I love the justifications how they’ve become greedy for power and ultimately become the threats for the throne.
The Love Triangle. It’s got to be the tragic end to the wanna-be royal pair Youn Young and Mil Poong Gun, while Dal Moon, no matter what Youn Young did, would love her till the end!
The Ending. I must admit it became cheesy but I think it suited Jung Il Woo pretty well :-).
Dislikes: I didn’t like how the character of Yeo Ji changed. From Saheonbu officer to what, a court lady?! She was awesome in that officer role. That made her the lady that his Majesty was attracted to. Changing from the fierce Saheonbu uniform to that plain court lady outfit, come on! Her character was so lost. I wanted to see the brave warrior Yeo Ji! And yeah, she wanted to be in the palace to protect him? What does she think of the king’s elite guards, useless? I’m utterly disappointed.
Summary: Oh Yoon Seo has to save her dying acting career by taking a lawyer role in a drama by a famous scriptwriter so she agrees to the scriptwriter’s condition that she will become a secretary in a law firm to prepare for the role properly. There she meets top lawyer, cold-hearted and slow with women, Kwon Jung Rok who becomes her boss.
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Office, Legal
Stars: Lee Dong Wook as Kwon Jung Rok
Yoo In Na as Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo
Lee Sang Woo as Kim Se Won
Son Sung Yoon as Yoo Yeo Reum
Likes: How can I not like this drama? It’s romantic comedy and my most anticipated reunion of a power couple from my 2017 best kdrama Goblin. Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na’s top chemistry and their cliffhanging romance in Goblin has finally found its own show and damn YES, they deserve this show.
Yes, the chemistry in this drama is over the top! How can you not giggle when things become lovey-dovey with these two?! I love all the kissing scenes. So scream-worthy!
Lee Dong Wook as Kwon Jung Rok – a bit stiff as a lawyer or let me put it this way… he’s way too handsome for a lawyer :-). Tall and handsome and so good looking in suits. I like the cold personality, slow-witted when it comes to women, a bit awkward with romance… I think those made Lee Dong Wook so cute. I like him here as much as liked him in My Girl.
Yoo In Na as Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo – oh my gosh, I just love this girl. Such a great actress! And her actress role here is too perfect for her. Funny, sweet, cute and sexy! And the bad acting was so well acted, I have to give her that :-). I loved the way she giggled and made everything pink. So adorable!
- Kwon Jung Rok and Oh Jin Shim / Oh Yoon Seo – okay, this one is the top no doubt. The office romance was sooo cute with all those hearty hearty post-its! And the best part was, it had to be a secret! The secret continued when she went back into acting and it was even more exciting. Of course the ups came with the downs but this couple was still the best.
- Kim Se Won and Yoo Yeo Reum – the romance in the prosecutors’ office! These two were subtle but boy I love the proposal bit!
- Choi Yoon Hyuk and Dan Moon Hee – ahh our lawyer couple, too opposite but attract! Definitely the best comical relief in this drama.
- Lee Doo Sub and Yang Eun Ji – the investigator and the secretary. I still wish there’s hope between these two. That unrequitted love of our dear Doo Sub shouldn’t go to waste.
Did someone notice the famous Descendants of the Sun scene? I just thought that it was hilarious with helicopter landing, the wind blowing, the shawl flying away, that moment… that moment, lol! You’re a kdrama fun if you recognize that.
That rich stalker was hot and scary but yes he was hot, lol! But I guess our Kwon Pyeonhosanim was way hotter especially when he approached that hot stalker and told him to “Stay away from my girl!” Oh, who will not fall in love with this damn hot lawyer.
How about dropping the “I love you” followed by a long kiss at a cold side walk on a winter’s night as an amend for that horrible breakup. Yay!!! I was cheering!
But the best actor award goes to Kim Yeong Tae, that guy who was accused of stabbing and killing the husband of a lady neighbour. He was just soooo good! And yes, there were some serious moments in this show too but Kim Yeong Tae moment was the best!
The ending was fabulous! Everyone looked gorgeous, of course, especially the top leads.
Dislikes: My fear always when a drama is too popular, ads become too much! The Chanel and that red ginseng thing were just “in your face ads”. Make it more subtle please!
Conclusion: With so many funny moments, undeniably awesome chemistry and just the right number of episodes, it makes this drama so enjoyable to watch, so I am giving it a…
Summary: A young, handsome chief editor of a big publishing company has some unfinished business with his first love. Now that she’s divorced, broke, starting from the bottom and even living in his house for the time being, will our chief editor has a chance or will he forever be her little brother?
Genre: Office, Romance
Stars: Lee Jong Suk as Cha Eun Ho
Lee Na Young as Kang Dan Yi
Jung Yoo Jin as Song Hae Rin
Wi Ha Joon as Ji Seo Joon
Likes: The book topic is quite interesting. We get to learn a bit about editorial, printing, publishing, marketing and all that is going on at a book publishing company. It gives us an idea how much effort it takes to create and publish a book and what actually happens when they don’t sell. I’m not a big reader but this drama entices people like me to read more for the reason that there is always something to learn about.
I love how they made the Gyeoroo office. It looks really lovely like a mini library. I think all bookworms would love to work in that office. The office atmosphere looked as warm and competent like the design itself.
The characters that made up the publishing firm are very well thought. Something to learn for us who don’t have an idea about this kind of world. I just thought the founders of Gyeoroo looked so cool in trenchcoats! I loved the big boss, the marketing lady director, the young, handsome chief editor, the newly divorced couple, and even the annoying newbie, Ji Hyul grows on you towards the end.
I love that they also tackle the topic about women who are going back to work after a couple of years of raising a family and just don’t stand a chance in getting hired especially in marketing and advertising industries. It’s the sad the truth. But then the drama kinds of ask the business world to think twice of these women who are willing to get back to working and how they could still be as competitive as the younger ones.
There’s so much book passion in this drama. The passion to write a book (authors), the passion to publish a book (publishers) and the passion to read one (readers). Once can really learn regardless of what it is you are going to be passionate about.
The side story of the famous author, Kang Byung Jun was I think a lovely addition and gave the drama a bittersweet ending. The mystery of the title “April 23”, on how it came to be was heartbreaking and the same time a comfort to the son whom the author had left behind. This part is a definite tearjerker!
Eun Ho and Dan Yi – cute, noona romance but lacking chemistry.
Hae Rin and Seo Joon – I loved the looming romance. Song Hae Rin was just adorable!
Kim Jae Min and Ko Yoo Sun – the button romance was hilarious! Romance also exists between top bosses ya know.
Ending and Epilogue. Everyone seemed happy in the end especially after making their romances official.
Dislikes: I was really waiting for that chemistry between Eun Ho And Dan Yi but unfortunately, there was too little of it to be excited about. This must be the first Lee Jong Suk drama where I found him less desirable.
Loaded with obvious ad placement. Hello Didier Dubot, Summa Essence and Subway?
Summary: The throne has put some weight on the King of Joseon so he badly needs some rest and orders a clown, who just looks like him, to take over the throne. However, the clown turns out to be a better king! The king’s most trusted person turns away from him and chooses the clown to lead the nation. However, the secret didn’t come unnoticed. The powerful opposition wants the clown be removed from the throne.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun / King Lee Hun
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo
Likes: The Story. How likely that this would happen? And no one barely noticed? Just in a kdrama perhaps. But who doesn’t love the idea of a clown, who is a king look-a-like takes the throne until he was done with it! Pretty neat, right? Holes and logic aside, I love the fact that a mere clown successfully ruled as King, turned those people loyal to the real King to be even more loyal to him, made the queen fall in love with him, outwitted opposition’s brilliant moves to remove him from the throne (of course by the help of a few who believed in him), approved laws which benefited the common people and so on and so forth. It went smoothly like that in the first 15 episodes. I love it when the hero is winning all the time no matter what cunning plans to destroy him. I love that Ha Sun, our clown-turned-King always got away with everything. He and Haksan, the Chief Royal Secretary always had a solution to any trouble. They were always a step ahead of their opponents. I couldn’t help but always cheer whenever they were winning! But I knew payback time would come and it damn came I liked it or not. Still a really good story!
Cinematography was awesome! Like most period kdramas I watched, there’s a big emphasis on cinematography. Although it wasn’t as good Mr Sunshine’s, they still did a pretty good job. A lot of remarkable scenes but since I’m always drawn to romance, my top favourite was when the King professed his feeling to the Queen on that cold night and it snowed and yes, I’ve got my first kiss! If I have to go for a sadder one, how about that scene with the real King on the beach with Haksan who was pouring him with poisoned drink. Oh the scenery was perfect but that brought so much sadness :-(. I just loved picture-perfect scenes and this drama was very rich of them.
The Cast. Oh everyone’s brilliant but I’ve got to mention the top ones…
Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun and King Lee Hun – his most brilliant performance to date! Yeo Jin Goo has been always brilliant even when he was still a child actor (seen him first in The Moon that Embraces the Sun as the young king) but his double performance here was the best so far! I love him as Ha Sun, the clown and later the remarkable king but I love him more as the crazy King Lee Hun. The latter was I think the more challenging role. Crazy, full of pain, lost, powerful, a very sad character and my dear Yeo Jin Goo portrayed that so well.
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon – one of the most beautiful queens in a period drama. The character exuded calmness, uprightness and nobility and Lee See Young did so well here. At least now, I can stop thinking of her as the decaying zombie (A Korean Odyssey).
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo – the Chief Royal secretary was so admirable that I just fell in love! I love the character but got to love the actor for a brilliant performance! This guy doesn’t need to try hard to act, he’s a natural. He can let his tears roll down his cheeks without overworking his face. What a talent really!
Other Remarkable Characters. Aside from the top ones I mentioned above, how can I forget the caring and loyal Eunuch Jo, the greedy Shin Chi Soo, the avenging Queen Dowager, the ambitious Prince Jin Pyung Gun, the beautiful Woon Shim, the brave and loyal bodyguard Jang Moo Young and the smart Joo Ho Kul.
The Ending. How would I describe it? It was painful, sad, hopeful and happy. I think I pretty much said it all.
Dislikes: Hm, the justification why it took Ha Sun a long time to come back wasn’t satisfying.
Summary: Goo Hae Ra, a small-time shoe maker in Busan approaches Tae In Joon for a purpose. She makes him fall in love with her to avenge her sister who is in coma for years. However, the way to vengeance is never easy. She meets powerful people who she doesn’t have a clue, could be of help to her or the reason for her downfall.
Stars: Lee Min Jung as Goo Hae Ra
Joo Sang Wook as Tae In Joon
So Yi Hyun as Cha Soo Hyun
Lee Ki Woo as Jin Tae Oh
Likes: It’s a story of love, deceit, power, status, inconsolable anger and vengeance! It’s a minefield of emotions! You can easily get caught in this chaos and get hooked to it.
I love the style. Very quiet, very serious, not so big in background music (that I already even forgot the OST). Oh wait, let me rephrase, they do background music at the very important scene like the first kiss (with the chorus of Fates and Furies OST … I’m thinking of you…lalala…). Very good, very powerful!
Watched this to see the loveteam Lee Min Jung and Jo Sang Wook who were together in a popular romcom some years ago, Cunning Sexy Lady. Chemistry is still there, I don’t know if it’s from the story, but there’s not much of it. Still enough though to get through the whole drama. Both are still looking great. In fact everyone looked great! Credits to the costume designers especially the thought you poured into coming up with gorgeous business outfits.
If top leads are good-looking, the supporting are equally the same. So Yi Hyun and Lee Ki Woo are eye candies! So Yi Hyun especially is not just looking gorgeous but a top-notched actress. Too beautiful and talented! Her role here shows she can do pretty much everything.
Other antagonists roles were handled pretty well with other veteran actors in this show. The story would have been incomplete without the evil stepmother and brother! Don’t you agree?!
- love the chemistry between Tae Jung Min and Kang Eui Gun
- loving Busan accent!
- Kim Chang Soo, love this guy! He’s always there to give answers to everything 😉
- and of course the mystery of Kim Chang Soo (the twist)
I love the ending. I mean who doesn’t like a happy ending after all those heartaches and tears as if there’s no forgiveness left in this world but in the end, our top leads reunite! Back to where they’ve met first (of course with perfect background). No fireworks though but we’ve got the sea covered ;-).
The ending was good and happy but what I like from it most was the twist in the end. I din’t expect that, or was I just not paying much attention. Anyway, surprised and contented by the story twist. As if it served as a seasoning to an already good dish.
Dislikes: The beginning was a bomb but it diffused somewhere in the middle (must admit, it became boring and draggy). Fortunately, a saving bomb exploded at the end.
Summary: Yoo Jin Woo, a CEO of an investing company travels to Spain for a business and gets hold of a mysterious game worth investing millions but little did he know that he’ll get suck into the game. He finds help from Jung Hee Joo, a hostel owner who happens to be the sister of the game developer.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Action
Stars: Hyun Bin as Yoo Jin Woo
Park Shin Hye as Jung Hee Joo
Likes: It took me until the 4th episode to get really into it but yes it was worth the wait because since then I couldn’t stop watching. Waiting for the next 2 episodes the following week was so much torture! It was that addictive!
The storyline was quite a mess, got to admit that, but if you pay attention to the explanation at the start of every following episode, you’ll get a grasp of what’s going on or what went on the previous episode. I think there’s an artistic attempt on the storyline but just came out always a bit chaotic. Just pay attention and you’ll be fine :-).
Getting into the game genre was new to me. It was a strange kdrama topic but got hooked as soon as I understood how it worked. Of course, couldn’t help notice a lot of logic holes but holes aside, it was a heart-pounding, thrilling game!
The chemistry came later but it did come, thank you! I thought I would never see Hyun Bin as a likeable man. Finally, he’s back. It’s been a long while oppa! Glad he was paired with Park Shin Hye.
Story – The Ingredients. Definitely an ambitious attempt to combine…
AI – the game idea was awesome although it’s hard to imagine it in reality filling streets and corners with strange gamers trying to hit someone who’s not there.
TRAVEL – Spain’s definitely on my bucketlist now, just look at that beautiful Grand Alhambra Palace, mesmerizing! I love the atmosphere of the place, it was a great intro to the connection that was building between the leads.
MUSIC – we’re going classic with this one. I knew the tune but never knew the title Memories of Alhambra by Francisco de Asís Tárrega. My association to this music in the future will be Hyun Bin haha :-).
POPULAR LEADS – I never had doubts with Park Shin Hye but with Hyun Bin’s last kdrama flop, I was fervently hoping this would be a good come back for him. Well, it bloody should be. This was more focused on Hyun Bin’s character. With this, Hyun Bin oppa is back on my list of top kdrama actor. To be fair, he also really did well. All those silent crying at the very end was very convincing. I’m missing him already :(.
ROMANCE & HORROR – It was romantic at times and scary most of the time. Rare combination for me to watch but just worked out well.
Story – The Crumbs. There were some bits and pieces that make this drama remarkable…
EMMA – she was like an anti-virus. Stabbing bugs with a dagger. So exotic Emma!
OST – Check it out! It’s as powerful as the drama itself… Memories of the Alhambra OST.
Park Shin Hye fluent in Espanol!
Marco looks like G-Dragon, isn’t he?
Cool usernames: ZINU, City Hunter…
The Kiss! It’s a crumb because it was just once.
Dislikes: Swarmed by ads! They tried to integrate them in the story but there were just too many of them. Too obvious! Hello Breitling, Swarovski, Subway… to name a few.
LOGIC HOLES, the big ones! I could ignore the small ones but the big ones, NO. What are they thinking, we won’t notice?
The Ending. I’m still bitter about this. They could have made it more satisfying, really?
But because this made my heart raced and longed for more every week, I will still give it a…
Summary: Present day Korea monarchy with the emperor marrying a commoner, Oh Sunny, to hide his flaws and crimes. Oh Sunny, a small-time musical actress and a huge fan of the emperor, becomes the empress and suddenly gets in the middle of the chaos inside the palace.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Stars: Jang Na Ra as Oh Sunny
Choi Jin Hyuk as Na Wang Shik (Imperial Family’s Bodyguard)
Shin Sung Rok as Lee Hyuk (Emperor)
Lee Elliya as Min Yoo Ra
Shin Eun Kyung as Lee Hyuk’s mother
Likes: Love the plot! We get the chance to see how the Korean monarch would have looked like in the present – well it looked as chaotic as that of an ancient monarch. Everyone wanted to get hold of that top position and would do everything to get it.
It’s not so serious monarch drama. A bit of comedy has been added as well so it was actually fun to watch. Sometimes though, it was hard to tell when the story is still a joke or it’s becoming serious. Thin line!
I love the costumes and how the costume designers preserved the traditional designs on hanboks but would totally looked modern. I specially love the emperor’s costumes like the intricate golden embroidery on his outfits that commanded rank, power and wealth! It’s also nice to see the modern outfits of the royal servants. Prim and proper just like the old ones.
Top cast! We’ve got Jang Na Ra and Choi Jin Hyuk for the main roles and the supporting are brilliant actors as well! Shin Sung Ruk is awesome, such a good actor. And I’ve got to add Shin Eun Kyung and Lee Elliya who were both so brilliant in their annoying roles.
Remarkable Roles! Who’s my favourite? Let’s see…
Oh Sunny – the small time theatre actress, daughter of a fried chicken restaurant owner, who was used by the emperor as the perfect alibi for his crime. She took the palace by storm and became a favourite not just by the people but by the grand empress dowager who later bequeathed her wealth to the young empress. After so many attempts to kick her out of the palace dead or alive, she survived slowly unraveling the truth behind the deaths in the palace. Later on, the emperor fell for her but it’s a bit too late.
Na Wang Shik – this got to be my favourite transformation! I mean yeah from a big, fat guy with a heavy accent to a super handsome, good-built guy who looks pretty much like Choi Jin Hyuk! Oh wait, it’s Choi Jin Hyuk everyone! I love it! It was like a fairy godmother waved her wand and ta raaan… I must just have missed that fairy. But yes, Na Wang Shik, survived after getting hit with a bullet in the head and determined to take revenge on the emperor for his mother’s death.
Emperor Lee Hyuk – I love this guy! He’s got to be my favourite! Why? Because he’s sexy when he’s evil and he’s cute when he’s not, lol! I even love his voice. I was rooting for him at the end especially taken Na Wang Shik out of the equation. I thought there was hope! Anyway, he made his mark. He was so kingly in those outfits, shared sweet moments with the empress, tried his best to be her knight in shining armour and he actually had a change of heart.
Min Yu Ra – this girl was a leech, a very pretty leech. She bullied everyone, she changed sides a lots, she was heartless, ruthless but turned out to have a very pitiful story. After getting dump, tortured, chased out, she survived! Such a tough lady!
Empress Dowager – greedy for power and wealth that she would even sacrifice her own children in return. So heartless, vain and down right crazy! To stay in power, she had to control everything and she was damn good at it. But got to admit she was also funny especially when things don’t go her way.
The Ending. I’ve got to settle with it just like that. I think it’s the best way to end it anyway. The closure was good except for one thing, and that’ll go to dislikes.
Dislikes: Na Wang Shik just didn’t show up anymore then after browsing the net for an answer, realized that Choi Jin Hyuk couldn’t do the last four episodes due to scheduling conflict! Wutt! He was supposed to be the main lead! That was disappointing.
The drama was still extended by four episodes and I found it already draggy when I was still half-way! The story kept going back and forth.
Conclusion: Even if it became draggy and the main lead was no show in the last episodes, the plot was great and the roles were brilliant, so I give it a…