Oct 082015
 

the merchant gaekju 2015 kdramaSummary: Cheon Bong Sam, a son of a former merchant started from scratch after his father died. He honed his business skills when he started to work at a stable. From there with personal and business trials that never left his side, he worked his way to the top as one of the most influential businessmen during his time.

Genre: Romance, Period
Episodes: 41
Stars: Jang Hyuk as Cheon Bong Sam
Yoo Oh Sung as Gil So Gae
Kim Min Jung as Mae Wol
Han Chae Ah as Jo So Sa




Likes: World of merchants Joseon style! That for sure was a new sub genre for me.  It’s interesting to see how they do business and trade during that time. Tough world to survive but already there was ambition, passion, determination, ethics even tradition from these hard-working pioneers.

I love the costumes and the realistic setting. From the hats, sandals, clothing of the peddlers to the traditional hanboks of the wealthier merchants. The markets looked convincingly real and the stable looked appropriately right with the tough guys living at the place.

Though it’s heavily focused on business, it’s got its fair share of love and tragedy. The love of our merchant for the most beautiful woman in their world and how that happiness was taken from him. This side story was essential in keeping the interest in the whole business thing :).

Formidable characters and the actors who took the roles. Definitely an impressive performance by everyone. Let’s start with…

Jang Hyuk as Cheon Bong Sam– if the great merchant was really handsome then JH was a great choice. A wise character with an excellent business skills. Tough stable guy but became softhearted for the lady he loved. A great leader like his father who always protected his flock. It sounds too good to be true, right? Let’s just say he didn’t get or acquired everything but he always ended up victorious.

Lee Duk Hwa as Shin Suk Joo – LDH is a great actor and portraying the smart and powerful Shin Suk Joo is an addition to his very attractive resume. I love how his character who started at the top dropped vertically after he met his lady love curse.

Yoo Oh Sung as Gil So Gae – he was annoying from the very beginning and he stayed like that until his very end.

Kim Min Jung as Mae Wol – her love for Cheon Bong Sam was deadly. She’s gonna be remembered as the ex-peddler, ex-pristess who almost got what she wanted but didn’t.

Lee Dal Hyung as Choi Dol – I’m giving him the best actor award for his topnotch performance as Bong Sam’s close friend who was quite slow for his age but the most loyal and was willing to sacrifice himself for his friend. It was heartbreaking to let him go.

I love all the dramatic character-ending in this drama. The ending of Shin Suk Joo with the setting sun. The terrifying death of Jo So, Bong sam’s wife. The sad but heroic ending of Choi Dol. The fate of Gil So Gae which was like his father’s. All tragic but makes me remember them more!

All Bong Sam’s speeches in this drama were very touching. He could easily start a rebellion at that time through his powerful speeches but in the end, his being a great speaker was used to teach his young followers how to be a great merchant themselves.




Dislikes: Too long for this kind of theme.

Sometimes women were so perfectly made up, it doesn’t look like Joseon era.

My Rating: 8 stars! (10 as highest)

Aug 072014
 

joseon gunman kdramaSummary: Park Yoon Kang, a fugitive who came back from Japan to Joseon to avenge his father’s death to a gunman. He then became a gunman himself to hunt the people connected to his father’s killing.

Genre: Period, Melodrama, Action, Romance
Episodes: 22
Stars: Lee Joon Ki as Park Yoon Kang
Nam Sang Mi as Jung Soo In
Jun Hye Bin as Choi Hye Won
Han Joo Wan as Kim Ho Kyung
Yoo Oh Sung as Choi Won Shin




Likes: The fact that it’s sageuk and the fact that it has Lee Joon Ki in it!

An interesting sageuk plot. It’s interesting to see the transition of how Joseon fought war, from swords to guns. The idea of introducing it to a conservative society was indeed sparkling a huge debate but the hypocrisy of the conservatives, using gunmen to protect them from being up in power, just showed that the use of guns was unstoppable!

Let’s get back to my favorite Lee Joon Ki. Though I love seeing him in Hanbok (korean traditional costume), he just looks extra sexy and cool in suit especially in that era when everyone was wearing Hanbok. Pretty face as usual and he always doesn’t disappoint :). And a great plus, he can speak Japanese! That definitely adds to the sexiness and coolness points!

I love seeing Yoo Oh Sung again, the great villain in Faith (with Lee Min Ho)! Though his character here seems to be quiet, there’s no denial, he’s still a great actor. He had the looks of a determined hunter, the original gunman!

The gun exhibition! I know it was a bit overdone but isn’t it too cool to see Lee Joon Ki turns the gun around his finger before firing! Makes me always smile :).

Poor Ho Kyung! My Yoon Ji Hoo in this drama. He’s just too likeable.

The ending wasn’t that bad. It was obvious there was no way to beat the king but would have been sad to kill the lead. I was glad to see the leading character changed into a people’s hero and though I love the Hanbok and suit looks of Lee Joon Ki, it was interesting to see him long-haired and bearded in the end.
Dislikes: The leading lady is pretty but Lee Joon Ki is prettier. It’s always hard to find a pair for him.

So In’s character was too weak for Park Yoon Kang. I found Hye Won more suitable for him.

Drama-overkill sometimes. Too much crying and talking before shooting.

My Rating: 8 stars! (10 as highest)

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Mar 272014
 

faith kdramaSummary: A female plastic surgeon in the present was kidnapped by a Woodalchi general from the Goryeo era as per command by the King in order to save the wounded and dying Queen. The doctor was stuck in that world of conflict and politicking between the King and his enemies but found herself liking and falling in love with the General.

Genre: Romance, Time-travel, Period, Medical, Fantasy
Episodes: 24
Stars: Lee Min Ho as Choi Young
Kim Hee Sun as Yoo Eun Soo
Yoo Oh Sung as Ki Cheol, the freezing prince
Lee Philip as Jang Bin
Ryu Duk Hwan as King Gong Min
Park Se Young as Princess Nogook
Park Yoon Jae as Duk Heung, the poison prince




Likes: Lee Min Ho in period drama, I was really curious and excited!
I love how they introduced characters in the beginning using animation!
The time-travel mystery was solved properly. It made sense in the end!
Got to love the 2 villains: the Freezing and Poison Princes!
Commendable acting of the young prince!
The romance between the King and Queen. These 2 were just too cute!
OST is great! “Carry On” by Ali is my favorite!
I love the ending! Hands down! It compensates everything what it was lacking of.

Dislikes:  Costumes, makeup and styling didn’t just fit the period drama. They all look so flawless! The warriors look always spotless and our doctor lady was always sporting a perfect hairstyle that all Gangnam ladies would be jealous of, lol!

The drama was too stretched that some parts became redundant towards the end. Could have ended at episode 20 or even 16.

Honestly, I didn’t feel any chemistry between the main actors. The lack of was saved by the King and Queen.

The Great Doctor’s character, that very frantic Eun Soo especially in the beginning, I didn’t like her at all.

And omo, not to forget when they killed the character of Dr Jang Bin played by Lee Philip, they didn’t even show a corpse or something. Frustrating! They could just have dressed someone else to look like him lying there dead. I knew they killed his character because of an accident but just a disappointment how they killed him. So he wasn’t important at all. Sad.

My Rating: 7.5 stars! (10 as highest)

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