Nov 052016
 

the k2 kdramaSummary: Kim Je Ha, a former soldier who is on the run after being framed, crosses path with the powerful Choi Yoo Jin, the wife of a presidential hopeful, Jang Se Joon. Je Ha witnesses one of Jang Se Joon’s affair thus ordered to be killed by Choi Yoo Jin but survives. Impressed by that, the latter then hires him to be one of her trusted bodyguards and gets an assignment to look after the secret daughter of Jang Se Joon.

Genre: Action, Political, Melodrama
Episodes: 16
Stars: Ji Chang Wook as Kim Je Ha
Song Yoon Ah as Choi Yoo Jin
Im Yoon Ah as Go Anna
Jo Sung Ha as Jang Se Joon
Kim Gab Soo as Park Kwan Soo

Likes: 2 main reasons why I like this drama so much…

Movie-like production but has the typical kdrama romance to it. It’s really like watching a blockbuster-action film with its first episodes showing our buffed main lead with non-stop heart-stopping and impressive John Woo-like action scenes. Every fight scenes in this drama are worth watching credit to the awesome director and Ji Chang Wook who looks so professional in every fight. I also love the slow-mo effect of the most important kick or punch or the famous shooting from the car (Looked like Gone in 60 seconds with Angie. Yeah, that exact shooting scene). Even with all those cool scenes in this drama, the romance was always tailing. It didn’t matter if our main guy was surrounded by other males, he always couldn’t help caring for his girl. And it didn’t matter to be the most evil as long as our madam could keep her man next to her side. Love was a bit complicated in this drama but it didn’t mean it ain’t romantic.

A-list actors! Oh where do I begin because everyone was just so good. Let’s start with…

Ji Chang Wook – he’s tall, very handsome and I could see he really trained hard for this as shown in his very buffed physique. He’s a very good actor not just a pretty face. And the fact that he’s well-trained in martial arts, all his action / fighting scenes actually really look natural. Moreover, this guy has overwhelming charisma. He could easily build chemistry with whoever he’s paired with.

Song Yoon Ah – the coveted best actress award, I will definitely give to this lady. She was just awesome! She comes to you as a simple and beautiful housewife to a presidential candidate, but behind the curtain she was the most powerful, merciless and manipulative lady in the country. How Song Yoon Ah portrayed her role here is beyond impressive! Salute to this great actress.

Im Yoon Ah – pretty and tall and I love her innocent role in this drama. Innocent beauty seemed to have captured the heart of our K2. I have to give her that.

Jo Sung Ha – I always like his performances but here he captured my heart with his sneaky politician and playboy character. Beyond all those hatred, fights and plans to crush his wife, his character had a change of heart and stayed with her till the end. The ultimate politician playboy turned romantic!

Kim Gab Soo – of all his roles, I think Park Kwan Soo is the most remarkable. He mastered the character of a sneaky, greedy, cunning, manipulative but stayed quite stress-free politician. Interestingly, as an antagonist, he wasn’t someone I hated to see rather I always looked forward to what he was gonna do next.

Moreover…

The chemistry between Ji Chang Wook and Yoon Ah was top and surprisingly Ji Chang Wook and Song Yoon Ah’s chemistry was also great. I wouldn’t have minded if the latter pair ended up with each other :).

Kissing scenes were cute. I love the rooftop romance (although realistically it would have been freakin cold to hang out up there, but well anyway…)

Ladies, Ji Chang Wook is showing lots of skin here! Yes and it involved lots of wet fighting with other naked guys! Hurry, check it out!

Well-done cliffhanger scenes every end of each episode.

Even artificial intelligence has a very K(orean) to it. Though Mirror and Cloud Nine are all pretty cool, they also represents beauty and vanity ;).

A very meaningful, tragic but acceptable ending. To my heart’s delights, a short epilogue to give an end to other hanging sub-stories.

Dislikes: Although I like Im Yoon Ah, I just felt that her character failed to develop anymore further. She remained the lady in distress till the end. I wonder if the likes of K2 would still be interested after a while. Oh well…

My Rating: 9 stars! (10 as highest)

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Feb 092016
 

neighborhood hero kdramaSummary: A former agent, Baek Shi Yoon who just came out of prison is trying to find out who was responsible for the death of his close friend and colleague while doing their last operation together in Macau. While plotting his revenge he’s become the protector of his current neighborhood and befriended with ex-agents so as with other people who later become a big help to realizing his goal.

Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Episodes: 16
Stars: Park Shi Hoo as Baek Shi Yoon
Jo Sung Ha as Im Tae Ho
Lee Soo Hyuk as Choi Chan Gyoo
Kwon Yoo Ri as Bae Jung Yeon
Yoon Tae Young as Yoon Sang Min
Jung Man Shik as Jung Soo Hyuk

Likes: It’s great to see Park Shi Hoo making this successful comeback after his much-talked scandal. Though a bit slim, he looks real good and has a well-toned body to show off. So not too surprised to see him half-naked a lot in this drama.

Packed with great actors! This drama wasn’t just about Park Shi Hoo and his role but also all the other members of the cast who delivered excellent performance to their roles. These following men and their roles basically made up this great drama…

Ahn Suk Hwan as Park Sun Hoo – he’s undoubtedly the best actor here. His role as a sneaky, big-talker boss doesn’t go unnoticed in the first few episodes. His facial expressions are so good, it always wanted me to hit his face ;).

Lee Soo Hyuk as Choi Chan Kyoo – I always thought of him as the handsome vampire in the Scholar Who Walk the Night but seeing Lee Soo Hyuk pulled off his character here is a change of impression. This guy can take any role. Loved seeing him here wearing a police uniform.

Jo Sung Ha as Im Tae Ho – his common policeman role in this drama who’s easily getting swayed by money due family concerns is I think his best performance so far.

Jung Man Shik as Jung Soo Hyuk – big guy, easy, calm and best accessory of the most powerful received the most unfortunate ending.

Yoon Tae Young as Yoon Sang Min – he’s got the face, the over-all look of a handsome villain who can fight! Driven by greed and ambition, his darkest moment was to get rid of his own bestfriend.

The New York Study Group – these powerful, rich, well-dressed and not so bad-looking men are to watchout for. I love the atmosphere when these men are around.

A James Bond and a neighborhood hero theme makes an action-filled drama – lots of action from our very well-dressed former agent. And since our hero is well-dressed, you can expect the villains to be the same. Fighting eye candies! Aja!

Levels of villains! Our hero thinks he’s fighting the right guy only to find out he’s just level 0 and there are more powerful people behind the whole thing. Of course in level 0, our hero can fight using his fists but on a higher level, there’s got to be some politics involved. It’s great to see how our guy gets through all this opponent levels.

The shadow / hero effect! How about wearing those H hats. In the end, everyone looked great wearing one. And if only we could solve problems like that in real life.

Hurrah for epilogue! I get to see Chan Kyoo wearing his police unirform for real. And a confirmation that our original hero didn’t leave us for good.

Dislikes: What was our Hero thinking? Sending the memoirs to mum’s preschool. It’s endangering his mum and all the kids in there. Not so thoughtful.

Writer Bae’s nagging character was getting so annoying. She was worse than the actual girlfriend.

Our hero getting out and back in the hospital. Was that to stretch the show so it could reach its 16th episode?

My Rating: 8 stars! (10 as highest)

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May 142015
 

hwajung kdramaSummary: It’s a story of how Princess JungMyung, daughter of King Seonjo survived and lived through the reigns of 3 kings; King Gwanghae, King Injo and King Hyojong during her lifetime. With her powerful influence she managed to defeat strong political enemies like Lee Yi Chum, Kim Ja Jeom and Kang Joo Sun.

Genre: Period, Political, Romance
Episodes: 50
Stars: Cha Seung Won as Prince Gwanghae
Lee Yeon Hee as Princess Jungmyung
Kim Jae Won as King Injo
Seo Kang Joon as Hong Joo Won
Han Joo Wan as Kang In Woo
Jo Sung Ha as Kang Joo Sun
Jung Woong In as Lee Yi Chum
Jo Min Ki as Kim Ja Jeom

Likes: During the whole tenure of the drama, I’ve been going back and forth wikipedia and some other sites and blogs related to the historical background of the drama and I say they come very close to some historical facts and the existence of important characters throughout the drama.

Princess Jungmyung – though she really existed during the time, her fierce character as what was portrayed in the drama didn’t probably hold the truth. But as the ominous princess in the drama, she shone through an entire generation that spanned through reigns 3 kings. Her power and  influence that shake the most powerful political enemies and even kings themselves put her in a position that no female royalty could probably attain during that era. Her love story with then husband Hong Joo Won is a lovely kdrama touch in this serious splendid political drama.

Gwanghae vs King Injo – I’m all for Gwanghae. Though not even given the King title but he was definitely more reasonable than his successor.  He was always willing to sacrifice (specially his pride) all for the sake of his country and people’s safely. During his reign he achieved a lot and manage to avoid possible wars. King Injo on the other hand was portrayed in this drama as lacking, insecure and even cowardly.
Actors Cha Seung Won and Kim Jae Won are both superb choices for the roles.

Most powerful political enemies…

Kang Joo Sun – he’s got to be on top of this list for he was already active even Gwanghae’s time. Powerful and wealthy, former mayor and palace official, he controlled the businesses in Joseon. He had connections to Ming and later Qing. Owned several houses with private armies. This guy was definitely deadly!

Kim Ja Jeom – a master of manipulation. He made King Injo his puppet. Basically ruling the country during King Injo’s reign. He worked hand in hand with Jo Yeo Jung (Consort Jo) , definitely a deadly tandem!

Consort Jo – Joseon’s deadliest lady. Rumored to have poisoned crown prince Sohyeon, son of King Injo and the heir to the throne. A favorite of the King and Kim Ja Jeom behind her back, she could do whatever she wanted.

Lee Yi Chum – his greed for wealth and  political power lead him to do the deadliest acts. He was behind the murder of crown prince Yeongchang.

Kim Kae Shi – her words are valued by Gwanghae. She does everything, poison here and there just to keep her precious Gwanghae on the throne. She was the ears and eyes of the palace. She just knew everything!

This drama has lots of heavy crying moments. Not that I like crying but they were so well-acted and convincing, you get to appreciate the whole sad scenario.

Dramatic exits, lots of them too but the most memorable was King Injo’s. I thought he already died (death bed scene already shown) but next scene he still managed to scold his officials and officially declare Hyojong the next King!

Favorite quote: “Once you sit here, you will also suffocate from its weight.” King Injo to his son King Hyojong.

Ending is a justification why King Hyojong had a hard time ruling.  Always staying close to historical facts.

Dislikes: The last 2 episodes were weak.  It  lost its momentum though the ending was okay.

Dirturbing lighting. So disappointed with this. There were indoor scenes that appeared like a 50’s movie with too much lighting directly on the faces. Just poor.

They casted someone who looks like she had too much botox on the face. That doesn’t match Joseon era.

After 10 years…. then, after 8 years… the men just grew beared but didn’t get wrinkled. Our princess still looked the same 18 years later!

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

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Apr 032014
 

gu family book kdramaSummary: The story follows the the life of KangChi, a half-human and half-mythical creature, who till the end tried to protect the people who were precious to him.

Genre: Fantasy, Period, Melodrama, Romance
Episodes: 24
Stars:
Lee Seung Ki as Choi Kang Chi
Bae Suzy as Dam Yeo Wool
Lee Sung Jae as Jo Gwan Woong
Jo Sung Ha as Dam Pyung Joon
Yoo Yun Suk as Park Tae Seo
Lee Yoo Bi as Park Chung Jo
Sung Joon as GonYi
Choi Jin Hyuk as Gu Wol Ryung
Yoon Se Ah as Ja Hong Myung
Lee Yeon Hee as Yoon Seo Hwa

Likes: Great story! Never one boring episode for me and I’m talking about all 24!

I always like period drama especially good ones and Gu Family Book belongs to that category. The story is rich!

Great cast! Plenty of really good actors here. I specially love the villain, Lee Sung Jae. I mean hands down, he was just great! Another one of my favorite is Choi Jin Hyuk aka Wol Ryung, father of KangChi. He was hot especially when he turned evil! Hm, I seem to like the bad ones :).

The dialogues were just sooo good especially between the Admiral and Lord Bi Jo! These 2 were always fun to watch.

I like the love story of Kang Chi and Yeo Wool but I think I was truly moved by the bittersweet love story of Kang Chi’s parents! Tragically good!

I’m happy to see Lee Seung Ki paired with someone younger. Finally!

Dislikes: Not sure of Bae Suzy. Somehow her acting wasn’t too period. Was it the accent?

The epilogue, hm. I like how it ended but somehow it was rushed. I was so spoiled with how they put details on the period scenes.

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

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