Preview: 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.
Preview: 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 who is also a model and comes from a rich family, Won Hae Hyo. Through their work, Sa Hye Jun and Won Hae Hyo get acquainted with a professional makeup artist, Han Jung Ha, who is also a big fan of Sa Hye Jun. “Surprisingly good! Such a heartwarming drama!”
Preview: Park Jin Kyum 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 Kyum meets a woman who totally looks like his dead mom. “Amazing action! Fast-paced. Thrilling. Intriguing. And it’s got Joo Won in it!”
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Thriller, Time-travel, Science Fiction, Romance
Stars: Kim Hee Sun as Yoon Tae Yi / Park Sun Young
Joo Won as Park Jin Kyum
Kwak Shi Yang as Yoo Min Hyuk
Lee Da In as Kim Do Yun
Kim Sang Ho as Go Hyung Suk
Choi Won Young as Suk Oh Won
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.
Cliffhangers! Love those cliffhangers, they were all awesome and they always end with this song Flower of Evil Cliffhanger Song.
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!
The OST. Love, love the beautiful OST: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay!
The Brilliant Cast…
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.
I miss the OST. Love the songs, they bring back drama memories! Backstreet Rookie OST
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!
Dislikes: Very stingy with kissing scenes.
It became draggy also towards the end.
Summary: Yoon Ji Soo is in her 40s and has a son from a divorced marriage. She is having a hard time as a single mom trying to raise her son and make a living as a piano teacher. After several years, she meets her first love unexpectedly. His name is Han Jae Hyun, his senior in college who she deeply admired and loved.
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Stars: Yoo Ji Tae as Han Jae Hyun
Jin Young as Han Jae Hyun (20s)
Lee Bo Young as Yoon Ji Soo
Jeon So Nee as Yoon Ji Soo (20s)
Likes: Beautiful storytelling going back and forth the eventful past and the somewhat blurry present. I love the details of the 90’s set, it was very well researched. From the fashion, hairstyle, happenings, transportation down to those little gadgets like pagers, casette tapes / recorders and analog phones. I also like the emphasis on radio stations when you can request songs and leave messages for someone on air. I went to college in the 90’s so all those things bring back old memories. The heavy focus on the love story in the past, how Han Jae Hyun and Yoon Ji Soo met, how they fell in love, how they spent time together, how they shared the same convictions, how their love was being challenged and how they got separated, shed light on why these 2 souls deserve nothing else but being reunited. I like it, I thought it was beautifully told.
The powerful couples:
Jin Young as Han Jae Hyun and Jeon So Nee as Yoon Ji Soo – Two young souls in love, full of energy, life and dreams! I love the chemistry between these two, they really looked great together. I’m also impressed by the acting. This is probably Jin Young’s (Got7) first serious drama role and I would say he did great. Same with Jeon So Nee, new face in the drama world but her performance was top. She’s very pretty too!
Yoo Ji Tae as Han Jae Hyun and Lee Bo Young as Yoon Ji Soo – getting back to you first love in your 40’s after going through separate tough lives, honestly it’s hard to imagine :). But since it’s the very handsome Yoo Ji Tae and the always young-looking Lee Bo Young, it was imaginable! These two looked great together. Plus I have a big crush on Yoon Ji Tae, those smiles made me melt!
The most beautiful reunion – at the train station on that snowy night! I’m not a big fan of snow. Even just the sight of it on tv makes me freeze but that scene at the train station emitted so much warmth. The hair of Yoon Ji Su when she was turning around to look at Han Jae Hyun – such a beautiful reminiscent of the young past.
Those most beautiful kissing scenes on the beach during sunset both by the young past and the older present. Well, one way to reignite the romance is reliving the beautiful past eh.
The lovely poem sent by the young Han Jae Hyun to the radio station:
The End of that Summer
The crape myrtle survived that summer. The tree didn’t crumble even after a series of storms. Like a shower of hail, I hung red flowers. That summer, I was in a middle of a storm. That summer, my despair bore red flowers like they were mocking me, but after several storms, they didn’t fall. When they fell, they clung and climbed up. The stubborn flowers of the fire-breathing crape myrtle covered a small garden with blood. And my despair vanished like magic.
The OST is perfect with the melo atmosphere… When My Love Blooms OST.
I normally dislike drama ad placement but those Samsung flip phones look really good!
Dislikes: It got quite boring towards the end. It was going back and forth in slow pace. Nothing much new going on, I was falling asleep most of the time.
There was closure on most threads but I found them so cringy especially the closing of the main characters. They could have done it without that.
Summary: King Lee Gon of the Kingdom of Corea, a parallel world of the Republic of Korea, crosses dimension chasing after a person who he thinks was his savior when he was a little boy who was about to get killed. He finally meets Jung Tae Eul, a detective in the other world, who he thinks was his saviour but she doesn’t have a recollection of him. In his constant trip to the other side, King Lee Gon realizes the two worlds are messed up due to the doing of his traitor uncle Lee Rim. So he is finding a way to fix it.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Time-travel
Stars: Lee Min Ho as Lee Gon
Kim Go Eun as Jung Tae Eul / Luna
Woo Do Hwan as Jo Eun Sub / Jo Young
Kim Kyung Nam as Kang Shin Jae
Jung Eun Chae as Goo Seo Ryung
Lee Jung Jin as Lee Rim
Likes: I absolutely love this fantasy/romance with time-travel genre! Although I knew time-travel would always confuse me but I was willing and all ready to be confused before I started the first episode. And talking about it…
The first episode. That was a mysterious, intriguing and nerve-racking first episode. Everything was perfect! It started so well. I love the storytelling as if someone was reading a legend to me. “And so there once this legendary bamboo flute which allows the owner to travel between parallel worlds. Of course, because of its power, one soul wanted to get hold of it and use it for his plans and that to take control of different worlds and live almost immortal. Unfortunately or fortunately, the flute got snapped into two and he only got half of it. The other half went to our guy, the King!” That was a good introduction to a complicated storyline combined with a remarkable action scene when the crown prince was about to get killed but then shooting began and broke the glass roof. Following the shattered glass, came down the powdery snow onto the dead King and the hurt young crown prince. Yeah, what a scene! I thougt it was brilliant!
The promising cast.
Lee Min Ho as Lee Gon – It was good to see LMH back in the drama world, I’ve missed him! Although, I know in my heart he’s not the best actor out there, he’s still a favourite of mine and it was good to see him taking the role of King Lee Gon of the Kingdom of Corea. He looked dashing in his kingly outfits and very knightly on his white horse, Maximus!
Kim Go Eun as Jung Tae Eul and Luna – I like both roles but my favourite is her Luna character – lonely, dark, sad, scary and even dying. Jung Tae Eul on the other hand was the likeable type – brave, smart, happier and healthier. I would say Kim Go Eun did well especially with Luna.
Woo Do Hwan as Jo Eun Sub / Jo Young – Woo Do Hwan was awesome! Upstaging the lead actor is definitely a feat. As Jo Young, the very handsome bodyguard of the King also known as the unbreakable sword, he could pass as the next Bond! But his Jo Eun Sub character would give Woo Do Han the best acting award. He totally pulled it off! Jo Eun Sub was such a funny guy with a very heavy Busan accent. The show was light-hearted because of him.
Kim Kyung Nam as Kang Shin Jae – He’s not your typical Korean cutie but omo this guy can act. I was very impressed with his crying moments.
Jung Eun Chae as Goo Seo Ryung – two words, intimidatingly beautiful! Young but she looked very mature in acting. The Prime Minister role suited her so well.
Lee Jung Jin as Lee Rim – oh this guy is a veteran, I could tell. Such a brilliant actor. I think the show would have struggled more without him as the villain.
Awesome OST & score. I love the score most, very powerful! But here’s a link to both OST and score… The King: Eternal Monarch OST + Score.
Set Design. There was an obvious effort on the sets but my favourite was the King’s office. That library / office was just impressive. Lee Gon always looked kingly in that room. Well done!
Costume Design. Of course, the king’s wardrobe was the best. I love his outfit when he went to see Jung Tae Eul for the first time and he didn’t have money so he had to sell the precious buttons on his coat. That was lovely coat! Runner up is the Prime Minister’s wardrobe.
Epic Scenes. Aside from the first episode’s epic scene, there were some more like the almost battle with Japan, the rescue of Jung Tae Eul on the streets of the kingdom headed by the king himself, the king’s New Year walk on a snowy night meeting Lee Rim and everytime when the TIME stops.
The Ending. Not so bad actually. I was kind of getting ready for a sad or tragic ending. But it ended well, giving closures to most of the threads.
Dislikes: It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t a bad script, it was just simply poor execution of the script. After the first episode, it was a total mess. Confused the hell out of me! It took it until episode 11 to finally take off but even then I wasn’t completely satisfied. Such a waste, it could have been done better.
I’ve never seen so aggressive ad placements in my kdrama watching history. Really onto your face ads! Too much chicken, milk tea, ginseng, coffee… and more! Ruin the whole thing.
So disturbed by Lee Min Ho’s perfectly done lips especially on the earlier episodes. Too much makeup!
The chemistry wasn’t just there.
Summary: Ji Sun Woo is a successful doctor and she seems to have everything including a happy marriage and family but she realizes that all around her is full of lies and she painfully discovers one after the other including her husband’s infidelity.
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Stars: Kim Hee Ae as Ji Sun Woo
Park Hae Joon as Lee Tae Oh
Park Sun Young as Ko Ye Rim
Kim Young Min as Son Je Hyuk
Han So Hee as Yeo Da Kyung
Likes: This drama was an underdog. Taking down the likes of “The King: Eternal Monarch”. It wasn’t even on my list of to watch dramas but the rating was just impressive that I was tempted to take a peek. And yes, a one episode peek was all I needed to keep watching until the end.
The nerve-racking first episode. The storytelling / script was impressive and how it was all (the past happy times, the present and the revelation) compressed in one episode coming up with a bomb pilot episode. You just need to watch the first one and you’ll be hooked for sure.
Paying attention to details. I’ve got to commend the director for doing a great job. This kind of show where most of the time emotions are involved, you’ve got to be really good in capturing feelings and atmosphere. The focus on facial expressions was very well done, and in combination with great lines and dialogues, everyone looked brilliant in acting. Moreover the sets are well laid out and designed to produce the most desired atmosphere.
A long episode with a bomb. Have you noticed an episode is over an hour long. It’s like 1hr and 20mins if I’m not mistaken. It’s quite long that I always ended up staying late at night but nothing to complain about as it made the story more elaborate that they could plant a bomb in it. Every episode has this explosion scene, always my most-awaited.
The OST. The tracks sound sad but befitting such a sorrowful drama. Check out The World of the Married OST! I also like the intrumental music especially the one playing everytime something interesting is happening. Check out the end The World of the Married Intrumental OST!
The brilliant acting. This follows when the show has a brilliant director normally. Everyone did a fantastic job!
Kim Hee Ae as Ji Sun Woo – you’ve got to give it to her, she was the star of the show. The Ji Sun Woo character was a combination of an independent, successful, strong and brave woman who despite having to go through a family trauma, managed to have control of her own life, marriage and family, and even after the fallout of her marriage, managed to stay well-composed. It was when Ji Sun Woo finally brokedown and let out a good cry that I thought I was in for a good outpouring of emotions too. Kim Hee Ae, I would say, got my vote for the best actress award this year.
Park Hae Joon as Lee Tae Oh – another interesting character and Park Hae Joon nailed it. At times, sexy but most of the times, despicable. But no matter how much you hate him, after a while you’ll pity him. That was exactly the reason why the relationship with his ex wife Ji Sun Woo never ended. Lee Tae Oh, until the end was oblivious of the fact how much hurt he had caused people around him.
Han So Hee as Yeo Da Kyung – I always thought Han So Hee is pretty. I’ve seen her in a couple of dramas before but was never really impressed of her acting. Well, except this one! As a mistress Yeo Da Kyung, she exuded youthful beauty that could tempt any man in the planet and was determined to put a leash on that man she wanted to be with. Later as Mrs. Lee Tae Oh, she was controling and cunning but always maintained composure and patience. I commend Han So Hee for playing the role of Yeo Da Kyung so well. This was her best performance so far. She wasn’t just pretty but could actually act brilliantly.
The other married couple. I like how the story gave attention to another marriage which was in the brink of extinction. The Ye Rim and Je Hyuk story was a beautiful addition to yet another tragic married life. Like Lee Tae Oh and Ji Sun Woo’s story, theirs also highlighted the reasons why and why not these two souls could be together.
Jun Jin Seo as Lee Joon Young. This boy has a bright future ahead. He looks good and and acts good. I would watch out for him. In a couple of years, I’d like to see him in a leading role.
Most epic moment. Got to be Ji Sun Woo’s entrance to the shooting range to join the lady’s club. I thought she was too cool in maroon leather coat with a gun in her hands!
Well dressed cast. Like Ji Sun Woo’s slaying outfit above, she was the whole time clad in gorgeous outfit throughout the show. The rest of the cast wasn’t left behind. Everyone was well-dressed!
The End. Actually, I couldn’t think of a better ending than how it ended. I wanna leave it like that, it was perfect that way. There was realization on everyone, they’ve got to make the best choice out of all, and only that, they would find peace and happiness and in Ji Sun Woo’s part, forgiveness from the one she loves the most.
Dislikes: There were some over- the- top situations, maybe not even possible in real life but hey it’s a kdrama afterall.
Summary: After a failed teaching career in Seoul, Mok Hae Won goes back to the countryside where she grew up and studied. She meets again her former classmate Im Eun Sub who now owns a bookshop and is quite content with his life in the village. Little did she know that Im Eun Sub liked her a lot even when they were still young but opted to admire her from the far.
Stars: Park Min Young as Mok Hae Won
Seo Kang Joon as Im Eun Sub
Likes: I would normally go for the romantic comedy but I won’t say no to a wonderfully made romance drama complete with all the necessary spices.
A beautifully written script. Such a great storytelling with focus on details. It didn’t give me an impression of being lost while following every episode. There was always a sense of cohesiveness. It was of course focus on the present but with important flashbacks of the past. It was going back and forth like that but it was just so well done.
The small town set. Some kdramas seem to be parting away from the usual Seoul scenes these days which is a breath of fresh air. Something new, something we don’t normally connect with Korea. I love the small town feel in this one. A place with very few people who mostly know each other and gather on special occasions to connect with everyone further. That very close ties between people in this town was also very well emphasize in this drama.
The focus on values. I love how the characters had emphasis on their values. It didn’t matter if one had a similar value to another, the important thing is how a character stood by his or her own values. For example, when there was this discussion during the book club meeting and someone said, you go around trying to find your happiness somewhere only to end up going back to where you come from and realize that happiness lies there. Then someone else contradicted, what if the case is you’re trying to find happiness somewhere but could not find it so you just decided that the simple happiness you find at home is actually the happiness you’ve been looking for.
It gave us a lot of thoughts. What is really important to each one of us?
The unique characters. This was something that really impressed me about this drama. The characters are very well thought of. I could appreciate it already if the main characters are very well defined but in this case everyone’s character was equally important. The aunt and mum of Mok Hae Won surprised me in the later episodes, they had their own interesting story. I also like the way how Mok Hae Won’s family appeared cold towards each other. They didn’t like to talk about feelings which is okay because in reality some people are just like that.
The top leads. There’s no denying that our top leads are both good looking. Not just that, they’re brilliant actors as well. But what I enjoyed most is the strong chemistry between Park Min Young and Seo Kang Joon. When this is ticked, then the kissing scenes are awesome.
Perfectly conveyed feelings. Another amazing job done was conveying those sometimes unimaginable feelings. How could you show it on TV? This was thanks to a combination of good acting and I would say directing.
Consistent mood. The picturisque scenes (a combination of beautiful countryside and dramatic seasons), the warm atmosphere of the bookstore despite the thick snow of the outside word, the cold feel of the Hodu house where people as cold as ice live, the simple and somewhat happy lifestyle in a small town, the camaraderie between people, and so on. It was somehow very appealing to me.
The focus on books. I love how this drama promoted reading books and even just the existence of books in general. We live in a digital time when we can get information easily online. Books are somewhat no longer a thing. Well, think again, there’s something in books than just the information it gives. They bring people together. We sometimes forget that, don’t we?
I also love that every episode is a title of a book in the drama (if you’ve noticed). I particularly like The Maze of Sisterfield! That episode unfolded a lot of secrets.
The OST. It brings back memories of old dramas which had songs sounding like these… Like A Winter’s Dream and All day Long.
Favorite Quote. “You would rather not see the sunshine with the fear of losing it”.
The Ending. One word, beautiful!
Dislikes: Can’t think of one.
Summary: Park Sae Royi, after losing his father and who did not get justice from it, promises himself to take revenge against the people who did him wrong. After some years serving in prison and later working very hard to raise some money, he finally manages to own a pub in Itaewon, an area in Seoul popular for its nightlife and restaurants.
Genre: Romance, Revenge
Stars: Park Seo Joon as Park Sae Royi
Kim Da Mi as Jo Yi Seo
Yoo Jae Myung as Jang Dae Hee
Nara as Oh Soo Ah
Likes: The story was great! It had a revenge theme with a tinge of romance. I like how it all started, from the time when our main guy, Park Sae Royi, was still in highschool, how he met his first love, how he was challenged by the powerful, how he lost his dad and how his life crumbled after that. The foundation of revenge was clear and strong. I loved how the story developed from that main foundation. The determination of our main guy to be successful in order to get back to the people who hurt him – what a way to get his revenge.
Character development. Everyone in the beginning was just a nobody but I love how the writers focused on the character development and I’m not just talking about Park Sae Royi’s, the main character of the drama but all the others as well. Like how it became clearer how powerful Jang Dae Hee was, how Ma Hyumi became the most popular transgender chef, how Jo Yi Seo fell in love with Park Sae Ro Yi, how Soo Ah faded in Park Sae Royi’s eyes, how Geun So became greedy with power or how Jeung Gun turned into a messed up person. There were a lot of characters but I ended up knowing each of them by heart. Everyone was well-justified.
The name Itaewon Class. How did they come up with it, I wondered that myself because it wasn’t explained until the other half of the full drama. So don’t be impatient, wait and it will be explained later.
Itaewon. I’ve had dramas before focused on other popular areas in Seoul like Cheondamdong but never heard of Itaewon. Itaewon means freedom according to the drama and it’s good to know that there’s such a vibrant and multicultural place in Seoul with lots of restaurants and pubs. Thus, it was a great idea to add a foreigner in the main cast. Toni spoke Korean fluently, well done!
The awesome cast! Who are they…
Park Seo Joon as Park Sae Royi – this was his best performance yet. His character was serious, firm, determined and proud so there were times when he had to deal with things like flirting and he suddenly turned awkward. Park Seo Joon portrayed this so well. It’s good to see him doing some serious roles.
Kim Da Mi as Jo Yi Seo – cute and obnoxious, she was a natural! I also like her coolness. Her outfit, hair, the way she walked and talked, witty and smart, young and head over heels for Par Sae Royi. You’ll despise her at first but you’ll fall in love with her later on.
Yoo Jae Myung as Jang Dae Hee – this guy is a veteran. His acting was flawless. I liked him when he was very powerful but I love his acting more when he was going down. Gosh, that final crying was impressive!
Nara as Oh Soo Ah – she is pretty like a doll and like other former idols, she found her talent in acting. She was quite good! I think the chemistry between her and Park Seo Joon was really great.
The outfits. Got to credit the costume designer for the cast’s outfits, well done! I especially love Soo Ah’s executive outfits, Jo Yi Seo’s very cool leather jackets, Jang Dae Hee’s traditional clothes, Ma Hyumi’s pretty outfits and Park Sae Royi’s loose, relaxed but cool clothing.
Love the OST. The tracks were so well-integrated with the drama. I especially like Gaho – Start Over.
Finale. I love it!!! There were closures on pretty much everyone. It felt like I could sleep properly after that.
Cameo. And yes closure with a great cameo at the end, hello Park Bo Gum!
Dislikes: I think there was a soar in rating towards the end of the drama because there was an obvious crowding of ad placements. Hello Tifanny, Mercedes Benz, Samsung… too many to handle. But got to give them credit on how they integrated Montblanc so well at the start.
Summary: Kang Sun Hyuk does everything to acquire important business deals even if that would mean joining a special rescue team in order to get a good glimpse of Miryeong forest, which has a potential to be turned into a resort. He gets to share a house in Miryeong village with a surgical resident, Jung Young Jae, who got kicked out from a top hospital in Seoul because of an incident.
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Romantic Comedy
Stars: Park Hae Jin as Kang Sun Hyuk
Jo Bo Ah as Jung Young Jae
Jung Yun Joo as Oh Bo Mi
Noh Kwang Shik as Choi Chang
Likes: The main set which was Miryeong Forest was lush and green. It was beautiful and it set a very calming atmosphere which was perfect for the healing of two lost souls who were bound to work in the place. I love how the camera captured fantastic angles that made the forest looked enchanting, calming, relaxing, a breath of fresh air, a shelter, and since it’s a kdrama, a place to fall in love. Added to that, the drone shots were fantastic! A birds eyeview of the vast forest was just mesmerizing.
I love how they focused on bicycles as the main transport going in and out of the forest. I admit, there was something romantic about bikes but it wasn’t just a Korean drama thing, I thought it was perfectly matching with the main nature theme. Something that doesn’t contribute pollution whether it’s air or noise.
The two main characters were interesting. Both had trauma in the past that despite what they have achieved in the present, the past remains haunting them. The character development was definitely there but how it was achieved I would put it under dislikes.
Park Hae Jin was looking so good in this! He looked tall and handsome in suits. And how can I forget those naked scenes, what an eye candy! But wait, he wasn’t all looks, he did well in acting too. His tears were so convincing!
Jo Bo Ah was pretty and bubbly and there was definitely a good amount of chemistry between her and Park Hae Jin.
My favourite quotes from this drama:
- No matter how much time has passed, your mind dwells on the moments when you were hurt.
- That’s called wisdom, not cowardice. Because you acknowledge your limits.
Pretty deep but they make a lot of sense, agree?
The Kiss. I still can’t decide which one is my favourite, the stethoscope kiss or the kiss under the trees!
The Ending. I love endings that involves healing. I love it when nature heals after a storm or a fire. I love it more when mankind heals after trauma, loss and pain.
Dislikes: Although the character development was there, how it was achieved was messy. The storytelling in general was all over the place. There was a big effort to integrate their top sponsor which is Okada in the Philippines so they have to find a way how they could make scenes that include Okada – which wasn’t really that necessary for the main story.
Jo Bo Ah, although she’s quite pretty, I wasn’t really warming up to her acting. When she cries, tears running down her cheeks and all but she still looks like she’s smiling. I don’t know if it’s just me.
I mentioned above how I like the bicycles in the drama and how they promoted clean air. I find it unnecessary that our main guy was driving a sports car in the countryside. Not matching at all.
The ending. Yes, I love the healing part but it got so cheesy in some closures.
Summary: A lady constable from the countryside, Cha Soo Young, tries to join RIU using her special ability to memorize what she sees in detail, as her passport to get a job as a detective. She starts working with the lady head of RIU after her ability was being noticed. She is then introduced to a famous profiler, Oh Hyun Jae and gets her skills tested.
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Stars: Jang Hyuk as Oh Hyun Jae
Choi Soo Young as Cha Soo Young
Jin Seo Yeon as Hwang Hwa Young
Jang Hyun Sung as Choi Hyung Pil
Ryu Seung Soo as Yang Man Soo
Likes: It’s quite a dark drama but it was sooo good I was hooked till the end! Why? Let’s dissect this…
The crime, detective genre. I’m a huge fan of this type of drama especially if it’s done well. And this one is worth watching. It will leave you on a dark, scary mood but if you’re a fan, it’s satisfying.
The small crime cases surrounding the main one. I like those related and independent stories that had their own puzzles to solve. They’re like mini bonuses, it kept the excitement going.
The main story and the main villain. Although it took a while to get to that part and to get to him, the last episodes were quite thrillling and definitely worth the wait. It was good to see how everything unraveled, how questions got their answers.
The links. I like how most of the things were interconnected, not all, but most of them. Our main cast’s past stories were all pointing to the main villain which justified the desire to catch the GUY.
The heinous killings. Although most sensitive parts were censored but most scenes were detailed, almost realistic.
The atmosphere. Quite consistent with this throughout the drama. Dark and scary moods.
The brilliant cast. What could I say? Everyone did so well!
For once, I’m a huge fan of Jang Hyuk. I watched most of his dramas. He was just so cool and deep in this one. Loved the hair, the scar, the martial arts skills, the outfit and the way he talked. He was his very character, Oh Hyun Jae, the profiler.
Choi Soo Young, I’m quite impressed with her. I’ve watched one of her dramas before and I knew she was good but I think her portrayal of Cha Soo Young, the detective, was her best performance yet. It’s refreshing to see a former kpop idol (of girl band, Girls’ Generation) does a detective character! Impressed!
Jin Seo Yeon has a beautiful face but she turned it into a fierce one fitting her detective character Hwang Hwa Young. Lots of fighting and dark experiences for this fierce lady in this drama. I don’t know but I have this feeling that she felt more for Oh Hyun Jae here than just mere friendship.
Special mention to the main villain of this drama, he was quite good! All the time I was thinking of someone else. Well done!
The road to finale. Well, it was bloody. I was getting ready to lose more people from the good side but glad they left the best ones for me.
The finale. The suspense was on in full, it was nerve-racking. Lots of fighting and more blood. It was the final showdown! I like how it ended and I even still got an epilogue.
Dislikes: I found the connection of the main villain and his close friends to be a bit overboard. Could you actually really manipulate other people to kill others then kill themselves? Hm…
The kdrama lover in me was hopelessly waiting for a bit of romance but my dream got shuttered haha. Oh well, there was a little hint at the end or is it just what I wanted to believe?
Summary: A South Korean heiress lands in North Korea by accident when she was paragliding. She is captured by a North Korean soldier who treats her well and helps her get out of the country safely. But the more time she spends longer with her captor, the more she is falling for him.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Stars: Hyun Bin as Ri Jung Hyuk
Son Ye Jin as Yoon Se Ri
Seo Ji Hye as Seo Dan (Jung Hyuk’s fiancée)
Kim Jung Hyun as Koo Seung Joon
Likes: A different impression. There are so many reasons to love this drama but for me the most important is how this drama gave a different impression of North Korea. Finally, we have something popular in the south which is humanizing the people of the north. It was good to see all sides even if they’re only possibilities.
The humour. I’ve got to say this is the funniest kdrama so far this year! Every episode always left me giggling. It’s good to see something that could have left so much tension to be sooo funny (especially that it involves the military). So many funny moments in this drama but my favourite would be when the North Korean soldiers under Capt. Ri Jung Hyuk went to the south to bring back their captain in one piece. Oh gosh, I couldn’t stop laughing from all those naive experiences in the south! Of course, it had a good share of crying moments but I would highly recommend it for something that will really make you laugh.
The contrasting sets. I’ve seen over a hundred kdramas so I’m used to how the sets taken in South Korea would look like. But to have two contrasting sets, first the North Korean sets then the South, I found that very interesting. How different these two countries are – pointing out the lacking and good in one and same with the other. The very basic lifestyle in a North Korean village stroke me as primitive but on the other hand, there was emphasis on camaraderie among each other. The advanced, stylish lifestyle of the South brought out estrangement but on the other hand, there was freedom.
Lessons about the North. What did I learn from this drama about the North? Ah, the accent! It must have been Hyun Bin’s doing but suddenly North Korean accent just became so sexy! Agree or disagree? How about those surprise house inspections. I thought, no way, but it actually made sense. The tapping was funny if you’re just watching it but if you’re actually there, that could be quite scary. How about power and connection? Serve and follow the powerful otherwise you’re dead meat. The traffic in Pyongyang is not at all bad, and that’s even the capital! And yes before it gets forgotten, bring some blankets and food in case trains get stranded for 12 hours!
The cast. Undoubtedly, we had an awesome cast, I love them all but will focus on the leads. Let’s start with…
Hyun Bin as Ri Jung Hyuk – so handsome in North Korean military uniform and he also did so well with the northern accent. No reason not to fall in love with Ri Jung Hyuk’s character, he might be stiff but a good and true person. I think Hyun Bin carried it so well.
Son Ye Jin as Yoon Se Ri – I love her in this drama – fierce, pretty, powerful and smart. She was awesome here. Her chemistry with Hyun Bin was top. Son Ye Jin, didn’t leave a good impression with me in Personal Taste (with Lee Min Ho). I had to drop that drama a long time ago, never finished it. It’s good to see her awesome in this one.
Seo Ji Hye as Seo Dan – oh my gosh, I love Seo Dan! I should have taken notes when Koo Seung Jun told her what he liked about her. That fierce, stylish North Korean lady. Love her stares! They were like lasers, lol! And isn’t she looking like Chanyeol of EXO? She could be his sister!
Kim Jung Hyun as Koo Seung Joon – First, I found him just good looking but when his character developed, I couldn’t help liking this guy. I bet this supporting role will bring Kim Jung Hyun to the top.
The kissing scenes. Ha! How I like a good one! But wait, I didn’t just get one but several and they were all great! Which one was my favourite, let me think… no, not the last one but the one outside the hospital! I thought that was so romantic!
Romanticising the demarcation lines. Well, after watching this drama, everyone will think romantic about those lines. Am I wrong? Oh, it’s already happening!
Important reference. I love the reference to Hyun Bin’s previous drama, Memories of the Alhambra! It was funny when the famous music of Memories of the Alhambra played when Hyun Bin’s character here, Ri Jung Hyuk was playing a computer game.
Cameo. Was that really Kim So Hyun? This just tells us that a new drama from him is dawning. Please, make it happen soon!
The ending. How would I say it. It pleased me and I guess most of you too. I’m glad they found a way to make it work despite the Romeo and Juliet kind of situation. And I love how they ended it where it all started, at the picturesque Switzerland.
Dislikes: It’s obvious how desperate they were to make that sudden paragliding scene. I know it looks cool and it justified that Yoon Se Ri was still alive, but it just didn’t make sense. How did she manage to get the parachute fixed suddenly, same with her paragliding outfit?
I was hoping and crossing fingers for the supporting love team but sadly someone had to be sacrificed.
I dislike very much when episodes don’t get shown on schedule. The excitement gets interrupted. It happened twice with this drama. But glad it didn’t take a month to continue.
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