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.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

280. Because It's My First Life 이번 생은 처음이라 (2017) Korean

Lee Min Ki, Jung So Min, Esom, Park Byung Eun, Kim Ga Eun, Kim Min Suk

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

I knew going in that I was probably going to like this drama, just based on the plot and the cast of characters.  I just didn't think I was going to get this obsessed with it.  This is easily a contender for the top drama of the year for me, and I'm not sure that it has any competition, I'd have to go back and do some research on it.  Maybe Defendant... but they are completely different genres, so they can both be the best, it's fine.  It was soooooo good!  It was so relatable, and hilarious, and deep, and full of the tropes that we love, but handled in a good and fresh way that made us laugh and squeal instead of roll our eyes and groan.  It helps that it had some pretty tight writing, great actors, and plenty of good chemistry.

I'm a sucker for tropes like contract marriages and forced living situations.  This has them both.  That hit it off right away too.  I also really love how it is about three friends and their lives, so we had three couples rather than the typical love triangle.  THERE WERE NO ACTUAL LOVE TRIANGLES!  Can I just say how happy I was about that?  I hate triangles of love, and that was not what this was about.  It was about learning about themselves and healing wounds, and understanding feels and most of all communication.  I loved how most of the plot was about learning how to communicate with the significant others, and with their inner feelings.  So all of the drama with the couples really came down to learning to communicate, which is both great and frustrating at times, when there is a lack of communication or understanding.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Korean Movie Night: The Unjust 부당거래 (2010) Korean

Hwang Jung Min, Ryoo Seung Bum, Yu Hae Jin, Ma Dong Seok, Cheon Ho Jin

Movie rating: 7/10      Neck score: A

I'll admit, I 100% watched this because of Hwang Jung Min and Ryoo Seung Bum.  Also a little bit for the premise.  I like twisted, gritty crime movies.  I'm not sure that by little brother liked it as much as me, but he didn't hate it either.  It's hard to like it 100% though, because it's about a bunch of bad guys.  Literally.  We have a cop who is coerced into being corrupt, part blackmail and part promise of promotion, who joins forces with a gangster, and a prosecutor who is all about bribes and saving face.  Their paths get twisted as the prosecutor accepts bribes from the business man the cop was trying to catch.  The cop, who is always passed up for promotions because he is not a police academy graduate, is offered a promotion deal if he frames someone for an unsolved serial murder case to make the police look good.  He does so with the help of a gangster, who is a direct rival of the bribing business man.  The prosecutor is on the case of the framed man, but with the meddling gangster getting after the briber, it turns into a messy power play.  The cop gets into more dirty water than he can handle, and we end up not knowing who to root for, if anyone.  The cop was being blackmailed to do it, but he ended up doing some pretty bad stuff, while the prosecutor only accepted bribes and let people go (which is bad enough), but was wholly unrepentant and selfish about it.  It it literally about a bunch of really unjust law people.  It has some harsh language and some violence, but really it wasn't too bad.  I guess the language might push it to a harsher rating, but I'm glad I'm not in charge of deciding that.  It was a good movie, but not one that leaves you feeling happy or even satisfied.  Maybe a little pissed or disgusted though.

Friday, November 24, 2017

282. Go Back Couple 고백부부 (2017) Korean

Jang Na Ra, Son Ho Jun, Heo Jeong Min, Han Bo Reum, Chang Ki Yong, Ko Bo Gyeol

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+

I was expecting more humor with this, with everything the ahjussi/ajhumma back in a 20 year old's body plot could bring.  I was expecting all the pain and tears that this would bring.  Seriously, every time they would do the happy family/cute baby montage with their kid Seo Jin, I would lose it.  So would they.  I'd lose it with the mom stuff too.  This was a beautiful show about family and making your marriage work.  It was less about the romance because of that.  Our couple was already in love, we were just watching them realize what it was that was keeping them from that.

Before I started this, I heard a bunch of people who said they hated Son Ho Jun's character.  I may be biased, but I never saw that.  Yeah, he was acting less smart at times.  They were a couple who were pretty much divorced, you can't expect either of them to be not petty at first when given this opportunity.  But this is a show about people who made less good choices getting a second chance so they could make the right choice.  It was about words too long unsaid, or words that should have never been said.  It was about healing and growing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

281. While You Were Sleeping 당신이 잠든 사이에 (2017) Korean

Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy, Lee Sang Yeob, Ko Sung Hee, Jung Hae In

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

I went into this one with less expectations, because I haven't been super impressed with Suzy in the past, and I was not sold on the plot.  Still, I kept hearing good things, and I will pretty much watch anything for Lee Jong Suk, so I started it.  That probably helped me love it way more than if I had gone in with way high expectations.  I would still have liked it regardless though.  I loved that everyone has dreams, and not just Suzy.  It gave it a lot more of a dynamic.  I loved how it brought up the question of fate and can we change the future, and what consequences of that change are, good or bad.  I really loved how the romance developed and progressed as well.  It seemed a bit more organic than expected for a couple who had dreams about each other.  Especially when they would have a dream where they would progress faster, and they would not, because they would get scared or something.  It was great.  I loved the bromances, all the bromances.  The literal brothers, the cop and prosecutor, the senior and junior prosecutors.  I was actually super impressed in the lack of ridiculous love triangles.  Yeah, we did have a bitty one with Woo Tak, which was cute and sad, but I loved the friendship between all three of them more, since it stayed good.  But what I especially appreciated was how the "2nd female lead" wasn't really a thing.  She was never a thing in the whole triangle business.  I really didn't want a bitca in the mix, and she wasn't ever a problem.  It was actually kind of funny how petty and vain she was.  Then there was how the real second male lead was the bad guy, who I called Handsome Sseuregi/saekki, because Lee Sang Yeob is a very handsome man, but his character was the worst.  In fact, every time Lizabreff came in while I was watching she'd be like: "Who dat?" and I would say: "A gae saekki."  "But he's so handsome!"  "Yes, yes he is."  Plus he had the best clothes.  He did a really good job of being bad, but justifying himself thinking he was ok, but secretly loathing himself.  He was a good, complicated bad guy.  So all around I have nothing but good things to say.  I really enjoyed it, and I thought it stayed pretty consistently good too, although I'm not saying it didn't have issues and things it could have done better, it did, but it was still good and extremely watchable.