Wednesday, January 10, 2018

285. 20th Century Boy and Girl 20세기 소년소녀 (2017) Korean

Kim Ji Suk, Han Ye Seul, Lee Sang Woo, Ryoo Hyoun Kyoung, Lee Sang Hee, An Se Ha, Oh Sang Jin

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A+++

How is Kim Ji Suk so perfect?  I was like crying at the end of every episode because it wasn't fair that he was so cute and sweet and sexy and perfect, and I really just couldn't handle it and he needs to be a male lead from now on!  You probably know by now that Kim Ji Suk is one of my favorite actors of all time.  I've taken to calling him "My Husband."  But he was not the only reason that this show was so wonderful.  Basically it was because of everyone.  There were very few people we didn't like.  In fact, they were all bit parts like: the creepy taxi driver, the evil Deasi Patch reporter, that mean rival actress from the beginning, and Young Shim's dad.  Everyone else was awesome.  I would literally marry any other of the male characters, including Jin Jin's CEO.  He was a nice guy, and I loved it!

I loved all three of our couples!  I might have gotten the most excited about Ah Reum and Jung Woo Sung, because they were so cute and funny!  Also, they were so different and really good at working through those differences.  Like a perfect case of opposites attracting and working out just fine.  I loved the cute lawyer sunbae with cute/weird drinking habits!  So cute!  Cutest drunk ever!  And naturally I loved everything about Ji Won and Jin Jin, even if they took forever to get together when compared with the electrifying and enormous amounts of chemistry they had.  It's surprising no fires started with all those sparkly eyes they made at each other!  The whole time the love triangle was happening, I would be like: Anthony, you're great, but you're not the guy.  But I was hoping something good would happen to him still.  In fact, his story might have been one of my favorites, because of a good cameo!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

278. Temperature of Love 사랑의 온도 (2017) Korean

Seo Hyun Jin, Yang Se Jong, Jo Bo Ah, Kim Jae Wook

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+

This one took me a long time to finish.  We started out watching it together, but soon it was put on the back burner because there were many things we would rather watch.  It got so bad that finally I asked them if I could just finish it without them.  They were totally fine with it.  So I did.  Even then, I struggled though it, because it was too, I don't know how to say it, predictable?  We all knew how it was going to end, and it wasn't going to be happy for everyone.  They all knew how it was going to end, but they still had to fight over the girl.  Yeah, maybe they all got stronger for it, but I really didn't like seeing them fight all the time.  I was really invested in the bromance, so for Kim Jae Wook to try and shake the couple, when he was the only one who was going to be hurt was just not fun for me to watch, no matter how beautiful he is.  I was also in it for the other couples as well, although I have to say I shipped the sou chef with the sommelier.  Team sommelier forever!!!!  But my favorite couple was the assistant director and writer.  I wanted there to be way more of them.

However, all that aside, I did like how there was lots of character growth, and yeah, it was a painful process that made me take this show a lot slower, I liked how they learned from all the painful experiences.  They all had to come to terms with something that was holding them back from progressing and being happy, and they were all able to grow through that.  None of the characters ended up where they started, really.  Characters that I thought were going to be the worst ended up being fine, or great.  I don't think I hated anyone.  That's always a plus.  I thought I was going to hate some people when they were first introduced, but then, when we saw a more well rounded side on them, we didn't hate them, and that was cool.  Like the mom (who is my bae) or the director.

By the end of the show, when all the relationships (the bromance) were back where they should be and maybe stronger than ever, I was super happy and had that cheesy grin on my face as everyone was being cute together, and I had to admit that this show wasn't half bad and that while I didn't feel like watching it a lot of the time, it was still pretty solid.  You just have to be ready for a lot of angry/sad talking and a lot of misunderstandings and mopiness.  Not my favorite things, but whatever.  That's how these characters grew, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best and Worst of 2017: Korean Dramas and their Couples, Genres, and Endings

I thought I would join the bandwagon a bit, with this whole "best of" end of year posts, because I might not have anything better to do (maybe) or because I wanted to just take a look at what we had to watch this year.  I remember how there was a big dry spell for a while, so looking at my list, a good percentage of the dramas I watched this year were old, or Chinese/Taiwanese.  I'm not counting those in this list (obviously, since this is for the KDs), but it shows how up and down this year has been.  We've had some really good ones, and a long spell of meh.

So I went over all the dramas, and by my rating, and other things like genre and elements in the dramas, I did a sort of awards ceremony, purely subjected to my tastes and preferences in how I enjoyed the dramas I watched this year.  In reading everyone else's posts about this sort of thing.  I agreed with most people's opinions, so hopefully this isn't anger inducing at all, haha.  So here are the winners of my best, worst, and meh, etc. lists.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

284. Bride of the Water God 하백의 신부 2017 (2017) Korean

Nam Joo Hyuk, Shin Se Kyung, Lim Ju Hwan, Krystal, Gong Myung

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A+

I wasn't going to watch this one, because it was obviously going to be not amazing.  But I kept watching all the clips and spoilers about it, and hearing about it from others, that I thought I would give it a chance.  Plus, I was having Gong Myung withdraws after Revolutionary Love finished, so I need to see it.  Plus, as everyone said, it's got a lot of pretty in it.  That's pretty much all it had in it.  It's rare to see something so fabulously bad as this.  It wasn't just because the actors were not the best.  I've seen Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung do decently well before, just not in this drama.  Although neither of them were so terrible that I wanted to cry or die even (most of the time), they were both not on their form at all and left much to be desired.  Really it was a combination of bad acting, directing, and writing.  I blame the writing the most for my lack of enjoyment.  It was just so bad, I didn't feel connected to the people who should.  I didn't care about the people I should, it was all just a big mess.  A big, pretty mess.

So, my biggest problem is that I just didn't care about the plot of the drama.  It just wasn't compelling to me at all.  In fact, I was probably watching it for all the wrong reasons, because I was way more compelled by the secondary couples and antagonist than the main couple.  It probably wasn't the best idea to watch a drama for Gong Myung when he wasn't even really in the first four episodes.  But he remained one of my favorites in all the other episodes.  I also related and cared about Lim Ju Hwan's character and story way more than anyone else.  So here is a list of the things I liked and cared about:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

277. Queen for Seven Days 일의 왕비 (2017) Korean

Park Min Young, Yeon Woo Jin, Lee Dong Gun, Jang Hyun Sung, Kang Shin Il

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+

I don't remember why it took me forever to start this one.  But I do know why it took me forever to finish it, and neither reason was because it wasn't a great show.  I think I was swamped with dramas at the time and I had to put it in the queue, but as I had only heard good things about it, I knew I had to watch it.  I ended up just watching it alone, because we can't watch all the dramas together because then it would never happen, even though Curdy is totally in love Yeon Woo Jin.  But that didn't stop them from jumping in and watching the super dramatic parts.  They even got mad one time when I watched the next episode without them because it was the part where he was finally going to put everything on the line for her.  I think it had been too long since we'd watched a full blown romance.

So I struggled watching it in the middle probably because I was too into it and I couldn't handle it at the time.  I think I was too stressed and it was so hard at the time.  But that was why it was so good.  It was about a very controversial time in history, with another one of those brotherly struggles for the crown where no one really wins because they're family, but everyone has some reason for being sympathetic.  But those brothers were the worst as they caught our girl in the middle.  I couldn't handle that at the moment, so I had to take a really long break.  But then, as I had to take a picture for my Tiny Edition of Women Who Make Me Watch Dramas Against My Will, and it worked.  I love Park Min Young enough that I finished the drama.  I was also just ready again.  Ready for a good but hard to watch in parts drama.  I had watched enough fluff and was ready for some meat, because that is what this show is.  The real stuff.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Women Who Make Me Watch Dramas Against My Will: Tiny Edition

With several of my current favorite dramas ended or ending, I felt the need to show some love to some of my favorite actresses again with another list of women who make me watch dramas against my will, especially since some of them were starring in those ending shows.

This time the loose theme linking them all together is "tiny" because while these women are giants in their acting abilities and awesomeness, sometimes their size, age, or cuteness makes you want to just put them in your pocket and take them home.  I mean that in the best possible way.  I love these women and though they be little they are fierce and can hold their own on screen, and they deserve some love and respect.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

279. Revolutionary Love 변혁의 사랑 (2017) Korean

Choi Si Won, Kang So Ra, Gong Myung, Lee Jae Yoon

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A++

This one was a sad disappointment because it had potential in both theme and the cast of characters, but it was written so badly that it became a joke.  The one thing it did great on was character development.  It was the selling point of this drama for me, and why I kept watching.  It never got super bad.  It just got so unbearably cheesy that it was impossible.  It was super sloppy in the execution, and the love story was practically not there, which is why Curdy was constantly having second lead syndrome for Gong Myung.  Can you blame her?  I cannot.  I am in love with him too.  I might have finally started Bride of the Water God just to see more Gong Myung, because I miss him already.  It probably didn't help that Kang So Ra just didn't have romantic chemistry with Siwon and she totally did with Gong Myung.  It's like she was Siwon's noona the whole time (like she dated his hyung Leeteuk and never got over the siblings relationship, haha).  I believed that Byun Hyuk was in love with Baek Joon, but we never really knew how she felt, and I would have believed right up until the very end that she could possibly end up with Jae Hoon.  But, as I liked to point out, the opening only shows the three of them being friends, so that it what is important, right?

I really loved how Byun Hyuk started out as a worthless chaebol who always caused problems and Jae Hoon had to clean up after him, but by the end he was a revolutionary force for good.  The progression from worthless, clueless pup to a hero of reform is a fairly natural one too, so that it's a gradual thing, and he learns from each experience.  I loved that part.  But sadly, they put all the effort into the character development (which I love) that they had no idea how to wrap it up or even move the most basic plot along.  I thought they gave Jae Hoon (Gong Myung) a decent character arc as well, we got to see why he was the way he was and were given plausible reasons for him to change, and then saw him change too.  I feel like Baek Joon got the least development, because she started off pretty great and her changes were more minor, but that doesn't mean they weren't there.  She went from having no hope, but being driven by her experiences to wanting to make plans and decisions, even if they mean completely changing her focus in life.  Still decent development.