Saturday, December 17, 2016

230. The Man Living in Our House 우리집에 사는 남자 (2016) Korean

Soo Ae, Kim Young Kwang, Lee Soo Hyuk, Jo Bo Ah, Kim Ji Hoon

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+

I was a little disappointed that this turned out to be more of a melodrama than a comedy.  They had made it look so funny, and sometimes it was, but then they couldn't get past the tragic loves part as they were in love but had a stepfather/daughter relationship legally.  This seems even more pathetic when everything is eventually solved with no headache and why didn't they just do that in the first place?  I did like most of the characters, although I have to like the side characters more than the main couple.  The three little dumpling ducklings, so cute.  The little sister of the 2nd male lead, hilarious.  The 2nd female lead, the most likable bitca ever.  She was thoroughly an evil man stealing jerk, but I loved her and totally shipped her with the reluctant neighborhood friend lawyer 2nd male lead.  I think I probably said "he's so flipping hot" every time Lee Soo Hyuk was on screen.  His attitude was also super fun, as he was so matter-of-fact and lazy.  I loved the developing relationship between him and his crazy stalker little sister.  I also love how the siblings names were Duk Bong and Duk Shim.  I did love Soo Ae and Kim Young Kwang too.  I liked how ridiculously their relationship grew, fighting and being "family" then finally getting to be a couple, they were just also all melodramatic at times.  really, the worst part is that everything was so dramatic, with his gangster past, and trying to protect the mother's land, and then it all gets solved so quickly.  I guess the gangster part didn't, but once the second male lead decided to not be selfish any more then everything was magically solved.  It was lamely amazing.  Why didn't they just all work together in the first place?  Huh?  Haha, so not the best, but it was still enjoyable enough, plus lots of hot men and strong women, so win?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

234. Discovery of Romance 연애의 발견 (2014) Korean

Jung Yu Mi, Eric Mun, Sung Joon, Yoon Jin Yi, Yoon Hyun Min, Kim Seul Gi

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: B

I guess you can't technically say it belongs to the same franchise as "I Need Romance" since it isn't the same network, but it is the same writer, so it definitely has the same flavor.  But it was also different enough to be not completely associated with it.  Lizabreff still likes to say that it is the best of the "I Need Romances" but I might rank it on the same level as I Need Romance 3.  I do like how it has the interview style, where all of the characters are interviewed to show their inner thoughts.  I thought this was cleverly done, as it allowed for the differences in opinions and memories, because half of this show was about the past and what happened during the five years that the main couple dated and how they fell apart and why.  It shows how people have different perceptions of what happened, remember things differently, and nothing is 100% someone's fault.  I liked how the story built from the memories, to make us see that neither one of them was innocent and they both did plenty of stupid things while they were younger and more immature.  It also showed how their relationship had affected each of them in positive and negative ways.  She had become more confident in herself, but had also become manipulative.  He had become more stubborn, but also more aware.  This also left room for plenty of development for their characters which was also nice.  However, in true "Romance" form, the show was dragged out so that the couple would not get together until the last episode, because these shows are about messy, messy relationships where all the ugly comes out before we finally see them get to where they are supposed to be, in the last episode.  This meant frustration as the main love triangle dragged out for forever, even though we knew that Dr. Derpface and her romance was kind of toxic, as she manipulated him and he let her.  We also just really wanted him to be with the other girl.  Thank goodness we had the other couple, Fish Bangs and Seul Gi to make everything better.  They were probably the cutest ever.  I love both of them, so that could only be good things, and it was.  They were hilarious and adorable.  So yeah, good show, if you want a messy, frustrating, but growing and developing love triangle.

233. When a Snail Falls in Love 如果蜗牛有爱情 (2016) Chinese

Wang Kai, Wang Olivia

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A+

In general, this drama was amazing.  It had a great cast of characters, and a lovely, dark crime plot.  I absolutely loved Xu Xu, our mail lead, who is a stoic, logical, and lovable psychologist, who is also the tiniest girl ever.  I loved the interactions between our heroine and all the characters, as she was both logical and kind.  I especially loved the slow but steady romance between the head detective of violent crimes and our intern criminal profiler psychologist.  The title gets its name from the animal imagery that our lead girl, Xu Xu, uses when profiling people.  Everyone in the violent crimes department gets profiled with animals, from a monkey to hippo.  Xu Xu even draws these profiles into comics of everyone, which leads to a series of comics about a snail and her lion boss, who then start to fall in love.  I also really liked the other couples and characters.  I was especially rooting for the pig and hippo.  The plot, with all the connected crimes that got more and more complex was amazing.  I loved how it became more serious and bigger at every turn.  I also loved the detail we got to see in how our heroes faced it and figured things out.  I loved the character development, as everyone grew, especially our snail and lion.  We got to see them form themselves into a great team and a great OTP.  My only complaint in this whole show is that the ending got a little sloppy.  Not so much in the actual plot.  I feel like the crime plot got wrapped up much more nicely than the romance did.  It felt super rushed and kind of nonsensical.  There was a ridiculous time jump where suddenly everything happened.  Whole romances were skipped over.  We left everyone at the start of the real relationship, and suddenly jumped to weddings and proposals.  It was weird and we felt a little cheated.  It didn't flow well, and we felt less satisfied.  They also tried to leave the ending super open ended, which would be find, but it was instead confusing.  I wouldn't mind a season 2, but I don't like how they wrapped up this series in an attempt to let that happen.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

231. One Percent of Something 1%의 어떤 것 (2016) Korean

Ha Seok Jin, Jeon So Min

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: B

They might be one of the cutest OTPs ever.  They weren't any good at being in a "fake" contract relationship however, which is good, we didn't want them to put off being cute together.  They from the moment they signed the contract were dating for realsies.  Well, at least he was.  She took slightly longer.  This actually makes sense, because faking dating is just silly.  It was a short drama, so the pace was snappy, I liked that.  It meant that there was less time for the crappy and they focused only on the things that we wanted, which was the main couple.  I also liked how consistent everyone was.  She was fiesty and strong the whole time, he was an adorable little butt the whole time.  but at the same time there was character development as they both got stronger from being in a relationship with each other.  I especially loved how she held her own against that horrible and stupid bitca.  She won every single time against that bitca and I loved it.   She was so strong and logical against those bitca's stupid moves.  I kind of liked how there was no real 2nd male lead, which confused me first because that cousin kid never did anything, and just stood there all the time.  But I liked how honest everyone was.  They never lied, they just neglected saying what was important until the last minute, thinking that's the way it had to be.  But for a "fake" couple they sure kissed a lot, which makes it seem silly that they didn't know that they had fallen for each other.  So it was nothing grand plot-wise, but its simplicity is one of its virtues.  Consistency was beautiful.  Random other characters, whatever, but it was all about the couple, which is great.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

224. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo 달의 연인 - 보보경심 려 (2016) Korean

Lee Joon Ki, Lee Ji Eun, Kang Ha Neul, Hong Jong Hyun, Byun Baek Hyun, Ji Soo, Nam Joo Hyuk

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

At least there were pretty oppas.  Can't say much else for it, the writing was all over the place, but the actors did a good job in spite of that.  It's just that the characters flipped flopped around so much.  This made me hate the main girl, the character, not IU, and be very confused as to anyone's motivations.  The show would go through waves of being cute and then just stupid.  It was frustrating and more often than not I was bored and disappointed.  It changed so much that looking back we were like, "wait, was that the same drama?"  I totally forgot she was from modern times by the end because so much weird shiz happened.  The pace was the number 1 problem, and then consistency was a big deal, because the characters changed back and forth so much that you don't know who they are or what they are doing most of the time.  Also, mostly everyone but Joon Ki was annoying at least part of the time, and then they made Joon Ki act like an evil crazy person, so there wasn't even that.  It was one big eye roll most of the time, and particularly at the end.  It was ridiculous.  The show had fun moments, but was ridiculous most of the time.  I think one excuse for the bad writing is that they were trying to adapt a Chinese drama to Korean history, so they had to fit everything that happened into the drama into as much historical events as possible, but since the two don't really work blow for blow, some of it was so forced it was frustrating.  Also, what the freak ending!  It was kind of lame and weird.  Why did they try to redeem everyone?  So dumb.  No one wants to waste time on the turd bucket prince, or see how pathetic Wookie became.  So many flashbacks!  Just in case we forgot it really was the same drama.  Seriously.  But there were plenty of hot men.  I love Lee Joon Ki and he was amazing in all the crazy different things they made him do.  Kang Ha Neul consistently stole Lizabreff's heart, until he was crazy bad, and then at least he was still hot and a good actor.  Guyliner (Hong Jong Hyun) was also a favorite of mine, he definitely did a great job, plus had impeccable eyeliner and skin, even after hiding out in the wilderness for a year or so.  I loved Queen Yoo (Park Ji Young) she is the best!  All the queens were really.  Classy and amazing, even though the script sucked.  Nam Joo Hyuk's character was the smartest person in the show.  Really there were a lot of stupid people or at least stupidity in the show.  So yeah, liked the actors if not the characters were good.  It bounced between being interesting, cute, boring, and just horrible.  It was inexplicable how much it changed.  But at least Lee Joon Ki was beautiful, even when he was being crazy.  That's about it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

226. Shopping King Louis 쇼핑왕 루이 (2016) Korean

Seo In Guk, Nam Ji Hyun, Yoon Sang Hyun, Im Se Mi

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Cute!  Cute, cute, cute, cute!!!!  I've never seen a cuter couple!  They were the best OTP!  Here is why: they were super honest about their feelings 95% of the time.  They weren't afraid to just say how they feel, treat each other kindly, be touched by their thoughtfulness, and actively admit they miss each other or are jealous.  None of this playing dumb for forever, they were like extra cute real people!  I loved innocent little "hot house" Louis being super naive about money and work, but being super teachable!  He learned how to be frugal and work hard and it was amazing.  Then there was Go Bok Sil, the mountain girl, who was super naive about the modern consumer world and how to use smartphones, etc. and she was also really teachable!  It was amazing to see them support each other and learn from each other.  But they weren't the only adorable ones.  Everyone in this show was likable and learned things.  Even the crazy other girl and the reluctant villain uncle.  I loved the bromance between Louis and Jo In Seong.  That was adorable.  Especially since they were both in Squad 38 together, and not necessarily as friends.  I loved the ahjumma club and how it kept growing and thriving.  Oska did an amazing job being the "straight man" who was also comedic.  His little grunt groan was a favorite, and the scene with "The Winner Takes It All" was just pure gold.  the pacing was kind of weird, because they didn't take forever dragging things out only to rush it later.  They actually resolved things really quickly and in a way that they normally would be.  The 5% time where they tried to be noble idiots for various reasons was so brief, and they didn't believe the lies, but they understood why it was happening and respected that (even though it's a stupid trope, it was the best uses of that stupid trope).  Then they managed to give proper closure for every character- I mean EVERY character.  We loved all the characters, so that was good, but it wasn't typical.  It made the ending a little slow because all the big resolutions were taken care of, and that just left all the little resolutions.  It was very sweet and teary and adorable.  I loved it.

222. Jealousy Incarnate 질투의 화신 (2016) Korean

Gong Hyo Jin, Jo Jung Suk, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Mi Sook, Park Ji Young, Lee Sung Jae, Seo Ji Hye

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A+

What beautifully flawed people.  What horrible imperfections.  What lovable love triangles.  What perfectly wonderful acting.  I loved this show so much.  Never have I loved so many characters!  Everyone was just real and harsh and lovable.  Of course Jo Jung Suk was just perfect.  He nailed it.  He made us feel so many conflicting emotions and to be on his side no matter what, even when he was being a complete idiot, which he was often, that was the beauty of the show.  So many complex feelings and emotions, so perfectly portrayed.  It was beautiful.  My other favorites were the ahjumma frenemies love triangle, because it wasn't even a love triangle as much as a womance.  Going to be honest, we probably liked them the most because we saw ourselves in them.  I love Reporter Kye, because I related to her, I want to be her when I grow up.  Lizabreff connected to Chief Bang.  We just like to relate to the womances, apparently.  Also, Na Pyo Ri's little brother = yes.  Gong Hyo Jin was great as always.  I loved how much her character grew.  She started off being that same awkward character she always is, and then ended up being a strong woman.  I super loved their relationship and how they ended up as equals after starting off as a pushover girl and full of himself guy.  Also, the bromance.  Go Kyung Pyo and Jo Jung Suk's bromance was perfect, even in their merciless fighting over her.  The mudflat scene.  Need I say more?  It's pretty hilarious because I had to talk my sister through this show because there was so many raw feels and people being selfish jerks, which she hated but I loved, while she had to talk me through Scarlet Heart Ryeo because I thought it was stupid.  I guess to each their own.  This show was one of the best I've seen in a while.  It was 24 episodes and I didn't care.  It could have been longer and I would have been fine, so long as they kept the writing just as tight and consistent.  It was just delightful.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

229. Go Ho's Starry Night 고호의 별이 빛나는 밤에 (2016) Korean

Kwon Yuri, Kim Young Kwang, Lee Ji Hoon, Shin Jae Ha

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

Nothing like a web drama full of fluff when you want the feels.  This was a particularly good web drama too.  The right amount of good characters with good development, oh and sexy men.  I loved Go Ho's personality, and she stayed consistent the whole time... well it's really short too, but even then inconsistencies happen.  I also really liked how every man she met and rated was deeper than she thought.  Her ratings for each man changed as she got to know them better and her perceptions of them changed.  She initially thought that they were all as she first saw them, so the character development was in her, but they were also willing to improve themselves too.  The humor was really nice too, it was quirky and also relatable, since Go Ho was a more real type girl who didn't hide her realistic struggles and be confused by all the different men who are attracting her attention.  She just admits it when she is attracted to them too.  But I especially love is how well then played up those hilarious attraction scenes with Kim Young Kwang.  The scene where he rolls up his sleeves and purposefully shows off his forearms... rawr.  Also, the jar opening scene when she is crazily attracted to him just because he opens the jam jar for her.  That's real life.  Kim Young Kwang's hands are sooooo fine.  I like stories where people learn things, and I feel like everyone learns something in this one, all of them coming out as better people, even if only slightly.  I like how they are each willing to improve themselves, and take the constructive criticism, etc.  anyway, it's a cute show and full of hot men, so yes.

Friday, November 4, 2016

218. Second to Last Love 끝에서 두번째 사랑 (2016) Korean

Kim Hee Ae, Ji Jin Hee, Kwak Si Yang, Kim Seul Gi

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: B

What started out as a great cast of characters was sadly lessened by not great writing.  The set up was decent.  I am a sucker for old people romances these days, and this OTP was my favorite.  They were so smart and cool about most things, and so complimentary to each other.  They really balanced each other out.  I didn't like it when Cordon was sweet on her, so that was lame.  There was no reason behind it really.  But then, that was probably because we were 100% behind the Cordon/Seul Gi romance, which might also be the reason I was so disappointed at the ending.  The ending was so lame.  The last two episodes were so preachy, boring, and slow.  All we wanted was all the couples (especially Seul Gi and Cordon) to make out!  Well, honestly the writing was pretty bad.  The villains' sole purpose in life was to screw over Kang Min Joo and especially Go Sang Sik.  Literally wanted them to crash and burn because they were too awesome to be left alone, apparently.  So lame.  That smarmy face was the WORST!  How did he not get investigated and fired a million years ago?  It made no sense, and then they dragged it out so that everything could dramatically be resolved at once and then make the last two episodes so boring that we couldn't pay attention.  How is it that the oldest couple got the most action?  The bar keeper and vice mayor?  They're the only ones who get to make out?  Why?  Let the bestie romance make out!  So while the characters (not the villains) were good, the drama wasn't written well and so was a bit lame.  But I still loved the characters enough to watch and finish it.  But that lame ending though.  Sigh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Just a Moment of Cuteness with Louie-ya

So maybe I just needed to make this post so I could post these gifs that I made to be more shareable for Lizabreff's birthday, but since Louie is going to be mopey soon, or at least more dramatic, I wanted to relive some of the cuteness for a bit, because Louie.

This show is so delightful, so I just wanted to show some love before it might make me change my mind.  Hopefully not.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

228. I Need Romance 3 로맨스가 필요해 3 (2014) Korean

Kim So Yeon, Sung Joon, Namgoong Min, Wang Ji Won, Park Hyo Joo, Yoon Seung Ah, Park Yu Hwan

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

This was by far the best of the I Need Romance franchise.  The characters were better developed, they were well acted, and the plot didn't suck.  It also had somewhat natural character arches.  The most far-fetched thing in the show was how perfect Derp Face's character was.  Sweet Potato Derp Face was so perfect and good that he basically couldn't exist.  Plus cute derp faces.  A man so patient and loving isn't realistic at all, but makes for good watching.  So many cuddles and warmness.  My favorite character was Se Ryung, the bitca.  Wang Ji Won did an amazing job with her.  I like how much depth her character had, she was a bitca, but she had her reasons too, and they weren't just because she was a bitca.  She had been hurt, she had her dreams and ambitions, and she was only interested in one man the entire time.  Even when she could have conceivably switched to another dude when the lead was interested in him, she stuck to the one man she wanted to get back.  I like how the plot was about Joo Yeon learning how to feel again.  She had become a robot and she had to be sweet potatoed into getting back in touch with herself.  The side couples were a bit annoying.  I liked the fling turned into pregnancy one ok, that couple was ok cute, but the young office romance was a little peachy.  The girl's voice just always sounded a bit whiny.  They also pulled every stereotype in the end, hitting all the issues, the modern woman stereotypes: take a year to travel to find myself (wait for me!), you don't have to make her quit because she's a pregnant single mom, we can be neighbor parents and raise the babies, etc.  It was a bit cheesy but you still got to appreciate and support it.  Also, it was remarkably (comparatively) low on the sexy time scenes the whole time, because the dynamic was different and the main couple didn't get together until the end, but that meant that the last couple of episodes were like constant bedroom scenes, to make up for the rest of the show.  I think everyone but the lead peeps had bedroom scenes until the last few episodes.  But it was a cute and satisfying show.

Monday, October 10, 2016

227. I Can Hear Your Voice 너의 목소리가 들려 (2013) Korean

Lee Bo Young, Lee Jong Suk, Yoon Sang Hyun, Lee Da Hee, Jung Woong In

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

I fell in love with every single character, except the few who had no redeemable qualities, such as Judge Seo, but even the horrible bad guy, Min Joon Gook had his sympathetic moments.  But every character was well rounded and likable.  I have never had second lead syndrome quite like this.  I have also never been this attracted to Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun).  I was a little shocked there, but he was so adorable and such a good person!  I also loved how much growth all the main characters had, from traumatic experiences, to developing better relationships, to becoming a better lawyer/prosecutor, to just growing up and being adult... or even realizing that being a murderer was totally the wrong thing to do, no matter how crappy your life was at that moment.  Our female lead, Kim Hye Sung (Lee Bo Young) was super flawed, a self-centered super snarky girl who you couldn't help but love and appreciate.  Park Soo Ah (Lee Jong Suk) was both super childish and mature beyond his years, and so very complex.  He was both a puppy and a namja.  Then you have the cop turned lawyer, Cha Gwan Yoo (Yoon Sang Hyun) who is too idealistic and nice, but super good at his job.  Prosecutor Seo Do Yeon (Lee Da Hee) is Hye Sung's childhood frenemy, who has to deal with perfectionism and a black and white upbringing.  The relationships between all the characters made them all grow and become better, as did the traumatic ordeals they had to go through, constantly almost dying and having their worlds turned over.  I also loved the minor characters, such as the Judge, who was just the best.  I really can't believe I didn't watch this when it came out, because it is amazing.  I've never enjoyed a law drama quite this much.  I felt like they were a little better at making those court scene a little more realistic and less over dramatic.  Obviously not perfect, this is still a drama with some fantasy, but you could tell they put a bit of work in, and it paid off.  It was just a really solid, enjoyable, intense drama.  One where the love triangle actually fills you with feels and you are actually torn instead of just annoyed, and you have feels for all the characters instead of just the OTP.  Standing ovation.

219. Cinderella and Four Knights 신데렐라와 네 명의 기사 (2016) Korean

Park So Dam, Jung Il Woo, Ahn Jae Hyun, Lee Jung ShinSon Na Eun, Choi Min

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A

Fluff.  Fluff that turned into crap.  Well, it was already pretty crappy fluff, but it was just nonsense by the end.  The biggest problem: the pacing, which is really a writing problem.  They had Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo) being Emo Boy for too long.  Then they gave us exactly five scenes of them being cute together, so they would have something to constantly repeat in all those mopey flashback sequences, before ripping them apart again.  Then they had random corporate drama thrown in at the end, trying to change the genre of the drama, but it was magically solved in two seconds, because it was the last episode and it had to.  To make this all worse, this show was pre-produced, so they had time to make it better.  They had time to write it well and edit it well, but they didn't, and so it remains crap.  The great thing about it was that there were good moments.  Jung Il Woo is like the king of cutsy, so when our OTP was being cute, boy were they being cute.  But like I said, it was only like five scenes.  Also, we had to endure him being emo for too long so his cutesy potential was limited.  Park So Dam is like the cutest thing ever.  I love her and think she is a great actor.  Of course they had to mess up her character with bad writing at the end, but she acted it consistently well.  Ahn Jae Hyun was born to play a butt head.  Lee Jung Shin is adorable.  Choi Min is a sexy man, especially in those double breasted suits.  Mmmmm.  Worst parts of the show.  That mopey girl, Son Na Eun.  She made Ahn Jae Hyun look like he could act good.  She's runner up for the stoneface award, but she has her one talent.  Lame crying while sewing, or just while blankly staring into a distance not worth staring into.  There was also way too many plot holes.  Why didn't anyone ever believe in DNA tests?  You'd think that this would be the first thing you'd do.  So much drama could have been avoided!  But then what would they have done for 16 episodes?  Haha, it was so bad, but still strangely enjoyable to watch, but only if you are making fun of it the whole time and/or a huge fan of Jung Il Woo.  I might fit into both of those categories...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

225. 49 Days 49일 (2011) Korean

Lee Yo Won, Nam Gyu Ri, Jo Hyun Jae, Jung Il Woo, Bae Soo Bin, Seo Ji Hye

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A-

I don't mind tragic endings and crying at an eternally separated OTP, I know Jung Il Woo was going to make me cry from the start, but I don't like being sucker punched in the face by random and unnecessary tragedy, or having a cheap and ridiculous band aid that makes no sense the way that it was randomly thrown in at the end without proper buildup.  Nope, the ending of this show completely ruined it.  Well.... not completely.  I still gave it a 6, which is pretty good for how lame the last episode was.  Why do they always ruin that last episode?  What is worse than the random family crap at the end is how they tried to redeem the bad guys.  Nope, those two were the worst.  I hated them both the whole time because they were vindictive and bat shiz crazy.  They were both just losers who pitied themselves so much that they decided to ruin everyone else's lives, and were both not cool ever.  I hated how much screen they got, and especially at the end.  Lame.  Now, let's talk about what I liked, because I did like most of the show.  Lee Yo Won was amazing.  She played two roles so well, it was beautiful.  You could always clearly tell who she was in an instant, from the way she talked, walked, moved, or even just stood.  She also caught all of the little ticks and mannerisms of Baby's (Nam Gyu Ri) character perfectly, so it was no wonder that Han Kang (Jo Hyun Tae) recognized her.  It wasn't just because it was in the script, it was that good.  I also loved the relationships between all our lead peeps.  Between Ji Hyun (Baby) and the Scheduler (Jung Il Woo), between her and Han Kang, between her and Song Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won) and also between Han Kang or Jung Il Woo and Song Yi Kyung.  Of course I loved Jung Il Woo as the scheduler.  His parts were always the best parts, because he was less dramatic at first, being a little punk of a scheduler who was constantly being harassed by Baby.  Of course he was also the one who made me cry at the end, but that's because he's good and those parts were beautifully sad (not like the rest of the ending).  I liked the plot, there were lots of good twist and turns through out the story, so right up until the last episode or so this show was great.  Sigh.  I do with that I could have a Jung Il Woo Scheduler ringtone, with his pissy little voice telling me I have a call, or telling people that I can't answer a call.  That would be the best.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Momance: Sometimes the Mom-Drama is actually the best part of the drama

When we think of Kdrama mothers, we usually think of those evil moms, like in Boys Over Flowers or Secret Garden who will stop at nothing to get rid of our heroine by whatever means.  We think of those moms that are just another plot device to tear the couple apart.  Or we might think of the mom drama moms.  The ones who throw a spanner in the works while trying to protect our protagonists, or themselves, or just make everything overly dramatic.  When the drama becomes a battle between the moms or the mom and children for what is best.  Like You're the Best, Lee Soon Shin, which I watched for Jo Jung Suk who was barely in it, which isn't really about Lee Soon Shin but her mothers.  Every single mother in the entire show was annoying and made me want to scream.

Moms are an important part of dramas, because moms are super important in real life.  But what I love and want to celebrate now is those mothers who actually made the dramas better.  Sometimes, they are the best part of the dramas, or at least so enjoyable to watch that they made it better.

216. W 더블유 (2016) Korean

Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo, Jung Yoo Jin, Kim Tae Hwan, Kim Eui Sung, Lee Si Eon

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Interesting premise and even more interesting execution.  Every preview made Lizabreff say: "what!?!" and we could never anticipate fully what would happen next.  It was very nice in how unpredictable it was.  I also liked the creation of the other world.  Like the fact that it was a manhwa world governed by the rules of manhwa, such as the cliffhanger ending to episodes and the rules of the character descriptions and roles, etc.  It was pretty clever in that respect.  But that also meant that the plot and worlds were also very complicated, and since it was a fantasy genre, anything could go.  So we never know what craziness would happen next.  This, however was the very nature of the plot.  Even though the world or story was predetermined, the will of the characters made it so that you couldn't just dictate an arbitrary ending.  The characters had to be satisfied.  The laws of the manhwa had to be satisfied.  It was all very complex and wonderful.  There were also so many good characters and actors to pull it off.  Such as Lee Si Eon as Soo Bong.  He was just amazing, poor little assistant artist.  I was impressed, as always, with Kim Eui Sung.  That man is just a good actor.  His characters were probably the most complex, and he handled them so well.  The crowd favorite would have to be the crazy fanboy hospital professor Mad Dog (Heo Jung Do) who represented all of us every episode as we watched.  He was so perfect.  I would have liked to have seen a Puppy/Yoo Jin love story.  I thought they had more chemistry together than she had with Lee Jong Suk.  Like literally Kang Cheol was never going to see her as more than a friend, but she had chemistry with that Puppy Namja everyone kept calling oppa and hyung, even when he was younger than everyone in real life, haha.  I know some people didn't love the ending.  It was about what I expected.  I'm not sure what else was supposed to happen for the ending to make any sense.  So I thought it was great.  I liked all the twists and complex themes, and of course the love story.  I will watch pretty much anything for Lee Jong Suk, but this show was well worth it.  He was great.  The show was great.  Plus, lots of blood AND lots of cute.  Cool!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ode To My Father 국제시장 (2014) Korean

Hwang Jung Min, Yunjin Kim, Oh Dal Su, Jung Jin Young, Jang Young Nam

Movie rating: 9/10     Neck score: B

Oh. mo.  This movie had me in tears.  It also had me laughing really hard.  It was just all the emotions and feels, so much joy and pain.  It was a very emotional story about a family that was torn apart in the Korean War.  During the Hungnam Evacuation, Deok Soo was in charge of helping his little sister.  While climbing into the boat, his sister gets lost and the father goes back for her.  The boat leaves, leaving the father and sister missing.  Deok Soo then has to be the head of the family, at like 7 years old.  Commence the first round of tears.  Then the movie follows the rest of his life as he takes care of his family and searches for his father and sister, making sacrifice after sacrifice.  It's also full of  beautiful and wonderful moments of life, as he meets his best friend, as they grow up, as he falls in love.  There are plenty of moments that had us laughing so hard.  My personal favorite was the fangirl moment when Yunho suddenly popped up on screen and Lizabreff and I were whispering to each other (since it was a movie theater type experience): "omo, that's Yunho!" and getting all giggly.  We also did little heart hand dances when Ra Mi Ran or Kim Seul Gi were on the screen, because we heart them.  Everyone did such a fantastic job.  Even the people who got the old people make up did a pretty convincing job of acting old and stuff.  It just hit you right in the feels the whole time, whether those feels were happy, sweet, sad, or you know heart wrenching.  Basically we loved it.

223. Just One Smile is Very Alluring (Love 020) 微微一笑很倾城 (2016) Chinese

Yang Yang, Zheng Shuang, Mao Xiaotong, Bai Yu, Ma Chunrui, Zhang He

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

I was pleasantly surprised with this show.  I didn't have any expectations, I was just bored when I started it, but it had me smiling the whole way through.  It was a ridiculous story about a pair of seemingly perfect people who are just the best having to overcome all of the crap that the lesser humans throw at them because they are petty and not as cool.  That being said, it was nice to see a couple so stalwart that they would not falter at any of the bitca or jerk's slimy tactics.  They were never tricked and there was no noble idiocy.  That was pretty refreshing.  I also liked that even the jerks and bitcas were not 100% losers, but that they all had learning curves.  I especially liked how awkward Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang) was all the time and expressed her inner thoughts, like checking out and feeling hot and bothered about how sexy he was.  I did get too invested in Er Xi's relationship with Cao Guang.  It was like a huge part of the plot, but then they resolved it by only hinting that they were going to get together and not letting them get together.  I liked the main couple, but I wanted more balance with the other peeps in the show too, so that was a little boring to me in spots.  I guess I'm too used to the main couple getting mopey that them being cute the whole time got a little boring.  It still made me smile, I just wanted more resolution for the other characters, so spending so much time at the end for them to plan their wedding when there was no other conflict got boring for me, but it was a really good solid show.  Plus the nerd F4.  All of them so good looking, and all of them so nerdy.  I also really loved how they acted out the game sequences and portrayed the moments when someone would step away from the computer.  As a gamer, I thought those aspects were really well done.  It also gave a good excuse for those sequences to be really cheesy, since they were a blend of real life and video game.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

215. Uncontrollably Fond 함부로 애틋하게 (2016) Korean

Kim Woo Bin, Bae Suzy, Lim Ju Hwan, Lim Ju Eun

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

This was a pre-produced drama that was written and edited as if it was a live shoot drama.  If they had all that extra time to produce and edit it, couldn't they tighten up the writing, make the second half decent, and not overuse flashbacks?  No?  Well, I guess not then.  While I'm not wholly unimpressed with this show, it definitely fell short of its potential.  Especially in the writing department.  By the end of this show it was so ridiculously over dramatic about dumb stuff that we just laughed.  I couldn't even cry.  The characters were so flip floppy and all over the place that it made them less sympathetic, and the ridiculous stunts they pulled at the end were hilariously bad.  Couldn't they have come up with something better?  Nope.  However, there were things about this show that consistently impressed me.  The OST was pretty amazing, as was the not OST but overused New Empire song A Little Braver.  It was fun to sing along to.  I was consistently impressed with Kim Woo Bin.  Even though his character was written stupidly, his acting was amazing.  He really acted those sick scenes really well.  I was also impressed with little things like the blood when he ripped his IV out.  Yes, there should be that sort of thing if you are ripping a needle out of your body in such a rash manner.  Little things like that were impressive.  Im Ju Hwan, aka Luscious Locks, had some nice moments, but he ended up being so pathetic.  Sad day.  He acted it well too.  Suzy... did the best she could, but her character was pretty lamely written, which proved to be too much for her acting chops, but she did try, which was good for her.  Crazy Eyes, well Lim Ju Eun did fabulous, but that character was just crazy.  The bad guys were all pretty over the top, and there were lots of annoying or hateful characters.  Then they tried to redeem people way too much at the end, which is  little dumb and made it draggy.  They just had horrible pace and timing, so especially in the second half, the show was just ridiculous.  Oh well.  Woobs was amazing still, even if he character wasn't that likable a times.  I blame the writers and not him.  He was great.

Monday, August 29, 2016

217. Age of Youth 청춘시대 (2016) Korean

Han Ye Ri, Han Seung Yeon, Park Eun Bin, Ryu Hwa Young, Park Hye Soo

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Can I just say: yes, please?  A drama about five strong women going through their own problems and dealing with crap and making mistakes?  Yes, please.  Sisterhood, womance, and not needing men to make everything better?  Yes, please.  Talking about real issues without glossing things over or wrapping everything up in a big bow?  Yes, please.  Five amazing female characters who are fully fleshed out, relatable, and lovable?  Heck yes, please!  A full range of different types of male characters from the scum of the earth to the most adorable thing on earth?  Yes!  I absolutely loved everything about this drama, including the fact that I hated that sseuregi seakki, that michinnom, because that was one of the many real life issues that needed to be addressed.  I especially loved all the relationships, between the roommates, between the cutie boys and the girls they liked.  I loved that it was not about romance, but about relationships, the good and bad, the love and friendship, and all the ups and downs.  That being said, I do wish there was a little more of the romance relationships, especially at the end.  I just wanted a little more, because it was cute and I wanted to see lots of cute at the end, not just a little cute.  More Ji Won and her club friend!  More Freckle Nose and Senior Yoon!  If there was just a tiny bit more of that at the end, I would have loved it, not a lot, just a little indulgence... but that also was what made it so good.  Even in the end, all the relationships were real.  The lack of confidence, wondering what the other person is thinking and feeling, the missed opportunities, lack of communication, and everything.  It was so good.  There were some many moments and little details that made it so real.  Like taking a bra off in the middle of a conversation (because who actually wears those death traps at home?) or Eun Jae and her senior talking and thinking about two different things at once... like all the time.  So much cute, so much pain, so much perfect.  I loved all those girls, even though they were all so frustrating.  So realistically frustrating that you had to love them all the more.  Why is it over?  Why was it only 12 episodes?  Give me more!  I already miss my girls!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

220. Bad Guys 나쁜 녀석들 (2014) Korean

Kim Sang Joong, Park Hae Jin, Ma Dong Seok, Jo Dong Hyuk, Kang Ye Won

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

I finally got to watch this, I'm a little upset it took me 2 years, because it was amazing.  It was my jam.  I mean, bad guys who are really kind of good guys (I have such a thing for bad guys), fighting crime, and bromance.  So much freaking bromance!  I absolutely loved all of them.  Teddy Bear (Ma Dong Seok) who was just my fave.  Psycho (I was already totally in love with Park Hae Jin) was just perfect.  Sexy (Jo Dong Hyuk) has the best neck, and he was so cool too.  Mad Dog (Kim Sang Joong) and his amazing way of saying "saekki."  I loved how well rounded and complex all the characters were.  They all had their reasons, and problems, and you could see their growth from being animals to becoming human again.  There were some plot holes.  Mostly because it was so short and the main plot had to get rushed a bit at the end.  I would have been fine with it being 16+ episodes.  I loved it.  I mostly hated how annoying they made the girl at times.  She was cool too, until they made her do stupid things without enough reason just to move the plot along.  That was too rushed.  But the fighting.  Whoooo.  Sexy.  It made so much sense.  It was nice and classy.  Brutal and street fighty.  Oh yeah.  Season 2, please.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

214. Squad 38 38사기동대 (2016) Korean

Ma Dong Seok, Seo In Guk, Sooyoung, Song Ok Suk, Heo Jae Ho, Ko Kyu Pil, Lee Sun Bin

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

As a heisty type drama, this was pretty good.  I think that might have been like 75% because of Seo In Guk and Ma Dong Seok, who are both amazing.  It had some slow parts and the habit of you being super angry at the villains because they were the scum of the earth, but I guess that made it super satisfying at the end when they were gotten.  I was really busy when I finished this, so it's actually been too long since I've watched it for me to actually remember my impressions of it.  But it was so good that Curdy had to watch it with us.  That is saying a lot.  But she was hooked from the start and made more excited noises while watching than I did.  I loved all of the main characters.  Literally I only hated the villains, and each villain was worst than the last.  Then there were the lukewarm villains, the lackeys who did all the dirty work.  I loved how you hated them, but it was also complicated.  You could be sympathetic to them occasionally.  That's good writing.  I liked most of the twists they had, and the "surprise, you've been hustled" moments for the most part made sense, which is important.  I do need to write a post about the nicknames for this show, because everyone had one.  That's how endearing the characters were.  Loved it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

208. Beautiful Gong Shim 미녀 공심이 (2016) Korean

Namgoong Min, Bang Minah, Oh Joo Wan, Seo Hyo Rim

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

You know, for a title character, Gong Shim wasn't in the show very much at the end.  It was such a delightful show, until they decided to make it a melodrama instead of a romcom.  Then it slowly decided to suck more and more.  It all happened when Ahn Dan Tae found out he was Joon Pyo.  A cursed name to ruin everything.  He suddenly had to become serious and hide things from from Gong Shim, and Ahn Dan Tae's ridiculousness and Gong Shim's awkward cuteness were the two things that made this show work. Really, this show was ruined because it was 20 episodes.  I think if it had been 16 it would have been a great show.  But the last two episodes were so ridiculous that I was clutching my head and moaning, especially since they threw in all the worst ending tropes.  Time jumps, magical american medicine, not keeping in contact because they would "miss them too much," all the worst shiz.  Really, the first 12 episodes were delightful.  Namgoong Min as Ahn Dan Tae was the cutest.  Those goofy faces of pure delight as he looked at food, and Gong Shim, were just beautiful.  Gong Shim thinking he was a beggar/pyeontae, even calling him the pervert lawyer.  I also loved the bromance between him and Joon Soo, which was adorable.  All of that was ruined when the drama decided to take itself serious.  It was never great writing, but when it was lighthearted and cute, that was acceptable, but once it became a drama, it was dumb.  I kept just whining "I miss the old, happy Dan Tae!"  I hated the grandma, I hated Gong Mi (she was a serious bitca for no reason.  I never could stand her).  I hated how ridiculous the villains of the show became.  I hated how draggy the drama got from 12-20, and I hated how at the end Gong Shim was barely ever in it.  But I did love Gong Shim, and how with the wig she looked just like G-Dragon.  I loved Dan Tae when he wasn't being mopey and serious.  I loved the bromance.  I loved the romance, and if those things hadn't been in the show even at the end, I would have dropped it.  So the end was horrible, but the beginning was very fun, so it's all the more sad that the ending just sucked.  It got so ridiculous with it's exaggerated plots to get confessions, time jumps, and forced reconciliations for everyone that it was on the level of cheesy lameness of an old or bad Taiwanese drama.  The type that gets cheesy and preachy. Just head shake.

Monday, July 18, 2016

207. Mirror of the Witch 마녀보감 (2016) Korean

Yoon Si Yoon, Kim Sae Ron, Lee Sung Jae, Yum Jung Ah, Kwak Si Yang

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

Most of the time this show made me say: "What the heck?!" because it was seriously crazy.  The plot was so complex and it seemed like there were no rules.  People kept dying, but not really dying.  Dying multiple times.  I guess with black magic anything goes.  So it was super unpredictable, which was good and bad I guess.  But it was also super annoying how even when she didn't have her black magic powers, the villain was always one step in ahead of everyone.  She was so "clever" and evil that people would fall into her traps every time.  Even when it meant that they would be making the exact same mistake multiple times in a row.  The weakened the other character believablity and really just the quality of the show.  It got to the point that I didn't care who else died as long as that evil bitca died.  So, really it was just the actors who held it for me, because the plot was too predictable and ridiculously unpredictable and crazy at the same time for me to actually care about it fully.  But I did care about Yoon Si Yoon, especially since he looks very good in Joseon.  Also, I could watch that man cry all day.  He is the most beautifullest crier in the world.  He goes for it.  It's like he's ugly crying, but it somehow ends up beautiful instead.  Unfair!  I'm glad that the age difference didn't turn out creepy.  I was excited about Cordon (Kwak Si Yang) being in it... at first.  Then his character turned into a poobutt with an annoying facial expression that made me want to punch him in the face.  However, the only part of the ending that made me ball like a baby (I guess I love Lee Sung Jae more than I thought) was when the dad and the bitca finally died.  That smirk when he turned and looked at Cordon.  Yep, that's what done it.  I guess I cried at the rest too, but I predicted it.  My favorite was Jjang Jjang Monk (Lee Yi Kyung) and Min Do Hee.  Second couple ftw!!!

209. Lucky Romance 운빨로맨스 (2016) Korean

Hwang Jung Eum, Ryu Jun Yeol, Lee Soo Hyuk, Lee Chung Ah

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A++

All the points in this drama go to Ryu Jun Yeol for being flipping adorable.  Without that adorableness, this show might have fallen flat on its face.  I love Hwang Jung Eum, but her character was of a person who had an overactive guilt complex which made her think everything was her fault, making her a self-sacrificing coward.  That makes for a frustrating plot.  However, she and Ryu Jun Yeol had excellent chemistry and we totally adorable when the plot wasn't being frustrating.  He just made his typical genius with issues character so lovable and real that you couldn't help but love him.  Also, all the other characters in the show were pretty likable.  I especially had to love Chicken Ahjussi.  How could Jung In Gi play such a cute ahjussi in this one and such an evil detective in Squad 38?  At the same time!?!  He's amazing, that's how.  Hyun Bin's name, haha.  Amy's (Lee Chung Ah) bad jokes.  Lee Soo Hyuk just looking way too hot even when we were screaming out: "Go away, Gary!"  Seriously, those 2nd lead peeps were as annoying as heck sometimes, because that girl was already ready to run like a scared rabbit, and then they tried their darndest to mess them up when they never had a chance.  That's what made it all the better, they literally never had a chance.  Even though she kept trying to run and hide thinking she'd ruin everyone's life, she consistently loved him and would be adorable around him too.  So really it was pretty consistently good until the end, because our couple was in love like the whole time and being adorable all the time.  Then the second to last episode was super draggy so it was boring, but not bad.  Then they solved everything really quickly, which made it unbelievable, but whatever, it was a happy and good ending, so I'll forgive it, because it was adorable.  I couldn't help but grin stupidly.  He said "yay!" which is the most adorable thing in the universe.  Like I said, Ryu Jun Yeol makes everything better.  Also, we got to see that stupid shaman dude get some comeuppance.  He's probably one of the only peeps we really hated.  Him, and how she wore pants under all her maxi skirts.  What the heck was that fashion choice?  That was a nothing choice.  Her poor legs must have been so hot.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monster Fail: When Characters "Grow Up" Badly

I guess this is going to be the closest I get to reviewing Monster, because I couldn't take it and dropped it, which is rare for me because I am a finisher.  But unlike all the other stupid shows that I finished when I should have just dropped them (like My Barfable Girl and Boorim School) I knew when to quit with this one.

Escape! There are 30 more episodes!!

Maybe because it is 50 episodes long and I couldn't even force myself to watch episode 20... That might seem like too long already, but I did want to give a chance, because Park Ki Woong, but it wasn't enough.  One of the biggest reasons I couldn't muscle through was that I couldn't like the main couple.  Well, I honestly didn't like the main dude.  He just wasn't right for that role, and the biggest reason was because he was too old and nothing like his younger self.  For the first time, the younger selves were better and everything was ruined when the show time jumped our OTP (and I use that term loosely) into a pair of less likable peeps.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

213. Dear My Friends 디어 마이 프렌즈 (2016) Korean

Go Hyun Jung, Kim Hye Ja, Na Moon Hee, Go Doo Shim, Park Won Sook, Youn Yuh Jung, Joo Hyun, Kim Young Ok, Shin Goo

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

I knew I would love this one, because you can't go wrong with this many veteran actors.  They are just too good at acting.  Also, the minor roles were played by peeps like Lee Kwang Soo and Jo In Sung.  Like.  I also don't think I've cried this much in a drama in a very long time.  There really wasn't a single person that I didn't like.  I thought I wasn't going to like several of the characters at first, such as Wan (who was miss bad attitude), Young Won (who seemed annoying at first), Suk Kyoon (who is an idiot) and Sung Jae (who came of as a creeper for 2 seconds), but all of their characters were so fully developed that there wasn't anyone who was not sympathetic and loved.  The relationships were all so very complicated and beautiful and crazy that I couldn't help but be sucked in.  My favorite was Choong Nam because she was smart and bad-a and I already have a halmoni crush on Youn Yuh Jung.  I loved how no nonsense and stick up for herself she was, while still having things she was sensitive and sentimental about.  It was so beautiful to see where everyone had come from, growing up through such hard times, to become the people that they were.  How their faults became so poignant and understandable when they are placed in the context of the life they had, etc.  All those deeply sad and emotional parts, that would normally be awkward or boring to me, were just heart-wrenching and beautiful and I cried and loved it all.  If this show had a fault, it would be that it was so complicated that I couldn't help but be frustrated, but that was because it was so real.  Wan complained that all the old folk's stories seemed so makjang, but they all protested that they were real and that's why we watch makjang.  Life is not beautiful, life sucks, but we still live it and make the best of it.  Despite how emotional it all was, the ending still managed to make me grin with delight because it was so beautiful.  I thoroughly enjoyed this show and wish that it had been given a little more love.  I definitely heard less about it than all those idol dramas.  I mean, it still had two sexy men in it (Kwang Soo being one of the sexiest in my opinion) but it was definitely not about that and didn't really even need it.  It was about those elders and they were all wonderful.  Heart.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

K-Drama Cameos FTW!

I recently started watching Squad 38, and to my delight, Kim Sung Oh made a cameo appearance in episode 2.  This got me thinking of how much I love cameos.  This stems all the way back to when I was a kid and watching the Muppet Movie and the Great Muppet Caper, etc, which are full of wonderful cameos.  This probably makes me appreciate all the lovely cameos in K-dramas as well.

So I made a list of all the cameos that I especially loved, and some that even made me watch the drama just so I could see the cameo, which is pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

197. Refresh Man 後菜鳥的燦爛時代 (2016) Taiwanese

Aaron Yan, Joanne Tseng, Lene Lai, Jack Li, JR (Jian Xiao Ru)

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A+

And so ends another Aaron drama... completely ridiculously... well, it's not Fall In Love With Me bad... but it was way less good than the start of the show, when I was actually excited for it.  I think everything went down hill after they were all racist and stuff.  It was all icky after that.  They couldn't come back from that.  Not really.  It was too horrible and inappropriate, etc.  Then the show got shortened, so the plot made less sense... but it probably would have been draggy and ridiculous if it had been 20 episodes, it would have just made more sense in the pacing department maybe.  I did really love the chemistry of the main couple.  Having seen one too many bad/no chemistry couples as it is, this was very important to me.  I loved how their relationship developed both in the past and present, with those flashbacks to high school that made the present more meaningful.  I hated some of the weird cheesy stereotypes it insisted on following.  Also, why was everyone in love with that girl.  Also, way too many FILWM cameos.  We had Jack Li and Aaron, but then we also had Lance.  Tsk tsk, that's too many.  At least the Oz in this one actually did stuff and worked their butts off, on the fear of getting fired and all.  I also liked how Jack Li actually did stuff instead of just staring off into the distance.  He was a little bitca who I hated, but at least he tried.  I especially loved how out OTP made out all the time once they got together.  Good job.  But, the only thing this show had going for it was the OTP and love story, and definitely not the rest of the plot.  All the office politics stuff was boring and then they got racist- yuck- so really the show could have been 10 episodes, with just the love stuff, and it would have gotten at least an 8, but since it had all that boring and racist stuff, it is only a 4.  A mediocre show with a good OTP (despite how dense and dumb she was when it came to love) and Aaron's pretty neck.  Also, what the heck was that breaking the 4th wall at the end.  Ew, no.

206. Another Oh Hae Young 또! 오해영 (2016) Korean

Eric Mun, Seo Hyun Ji, Jeon Hye Bin, Ye Ji Won, Kim Ji Suk

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: B-

I didn't expect to enjoy this so completely.  I've always called Eric "Trunk Neck" and refused to give him a chance.  And then when it was going to be Trunk Neck vs Trunk Neck...  I only started this because Seo Hyun Ji and Kim Ji Suk.  Then Eric was so adorable that I ended up falling for him anyway.  His neck is only thick anyway.  But really, Seo Hyun Ji is amazing.  She was so human and relatable.  I loved her so much and all of her craziness.  Her whole family really, they were all so perfect, from the way they fought, to the way they helped each other and cried with each other.  I naturally loved Kim Ji Suk as Jun Sang and his awkwardly perfect relationship with both Do Kyung (Eric) and Noona (Ye Ji Won) who is literally my hero.  "Rooftop party!"  The ducklings = perfect.  I liked how the plot was all about fate and the choices people make.  Do Kyung sees flashes of the future, which leads him to becoming involved with Oh Hae Young in the first place.  I really liked how everything played out.  The pace of the show was consistent, and it never got yucky and mopey, which is saying something right there.  Yes there were times when I got mad at characters, but only in the natural way, and not ever overly stupidly.  Even when they threw that twist in at the end I wasn't worried, because this show had such a good track record.  It was definitely a show that made me look forward to the start of the week.

Monday, June 6, 2016

212. Thumping Spike 두근두근 스파이크 (2016) Korean

Hwang Seung Eon, Song Jae Rim, Lee Tae Hwan

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A++

I shouldn't be allowed to watch sports dramas, haha.  I have to admit I watched this one purely to the eye candy.  It was way too long for that reason.  I mean, Rim and Puppy were super hot, as well as all the other volleyball players, but the plot was so drawn out.  I don't care about sports enough and to me all sports shows are exactly alike.  We have the underdog team who are last place.  We have the star athlete who is down on her luck because of an injury.  We have the romance between the athlete and the star player of the team which starts out as a love/hate relationship.  We have administration who wants to abolish the team.  Sound familiar?  It's the plot of every single sports show ever.  I did like how she had to be the coach because she beat up Puppy in the men's room.  I also liked how even though he was a high schooler, Rim was not a minor.  Although making him 20 was a stretch.  He was way too sexy and savvy to be 20.  Like knowing how to kiss, etc.  He also acted very oppa around her, like he couldn't turn off the fact that he's older than her in real life.  The representative of the company was super gross and smarmy and they couldn't make up their minds whether he and his secretary were completely bad or not.  But he was shudder nasty every time he was on the screen.  We watched it all in one sitting, which was a mistake because I increasingly would stop caring with each episode.  Also, it increasingly got cheesier every episode, up until that amazing fly through the air spike that brought them to victory, because that is how every sports drama ends too.  At least the actors did a good job.  Really the only thing that got us through this show was how cute all the boys were and the fact that we were live tweeting it and it was hilarious.

Monday, May 30, 2016

210. Bong Soon - a Cyborg in Love 사랑하면 죽는 여자 봉순이 (2016) Korean

Jo Kyu Hyun, Yoon So Hee, Ji Il Joo, Kim Yoo Mi

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A+

I saw this web drama in passing and I said, that looks like Kyuhyun, I have to check.  It was Kyuhyun, and so I had to watch it.  Partially because I wanted to see how bad/good at acting he could be, especially since he has trouble emoting in MVs.  Also, I like Yoon So Hee, so I thought I might as well.  It was cute, I guess.  It was a completely ridiculous plot and a lot about it was not accurately explained.  It was just weird.  But Kyuhyun wasn't as bad as I thought he was going to be.  He wasn't Yunho bad.  He was the worst actor in the cast, however.  The problem was that the topics the show was about, AI and Alzheimer, were way too big to deal with in a web drama.  This made the antagonist weird in his motivations, which was like money and fame, I guess, which made no sense because curing Alzheimer would bring way more money and fame than a cyborg that can fall in love.  Although that would bring it too, but not if it was malfunctioning like it was, because falling in love breaks it eventually. So, huge gaping holes, a male lead who I loved to make fun of, even though he wasn't that bad, and other random side characters that we didn't care about.  Yeah, that basically sums it up.  But Ji Il Joo is still super cute.  I've thought so since the Healer days.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

205. History of a Salaryman 샐러리맨 초한지 (2012) Korean

Lee Beom Soo, Jung Gyu Woon, Jung Ryeo Won, Hong Soo Hyun

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: B

I loved this show.  It was so well done.  Lizabreff hates corporate dramas, but she loved this one too.  It was gripping the whole time.  Probably because it was one part sageuk, one part corporate drama, and one part witty comedy (I mean, those hilarious bits at the end of each episode were pure gold).  Also it has three very strong women who kick butt in whatever way they have chosen.  I liked and admired every single one of them, even the evil lady who made me disgusted and full of hate.  She was still super strong and kicked butt (literally) as she rose to power and eventually went crazy with power.  If I have to say anything negative about this show it's that it was extended, which led to the last two episodes being ridiculous.  I mean, they went all sensational court room, which is literally my least favorite type of drama ever.  I pisses me off when people pull ridiculous shiz in a court of law and get away with it.  Maybe I should have been a lawyer.  I also feel like there could have been lots more Yoo Bang.  I can never get enough of Lee Beom Soo and while he was technically the lead in this, this show is pretty equally about all four of our leads, which is a good thing.  I just love Lee Beom Soo.  I think that was another reason the extended ending brought less to the table.  It was more of Wiener Thinker being and idiot (which is really wasn't that much of in the first half) and less of Yoo Bang dominating, since he had to wait two more episodes to do it.  But what character development.  When characters go from bums, country boys, spoiled rich girls, etc. to cool corporate generals, you know you have something good.  I loved Yeo Chi's (Jung Ryeo Won) development the most.  She was amazing.  She was unlikable at the beginning (to the lovable point) with her clueless, cussing, ridiculousness, and then she became a wonderful, strong, cussing wonder woman.  Woo Hee (Hong Soo Hyun) was literally one of the smartest people in the entire drama, and I loved how she used every tool she had, even if it was her sexuality to make that idiot know how big of an idiot he was.  I especially loved the two couples.  We had to extremes of cuteness.  The couple who hilariously fights and eats ice cream together, and the couple who are pushing and pulling too much, but are so adorably in love with each other that we can't wait for them to finally stop being idiots and just make out.  Then Kim Sung Oh had a cameo in the last 3 episodes and when I saw him in the preview I was so excited I screamed into a pillow.  His cameo was one of the most amazing cameos ever.  Because I absolutely love him?  No, it was also hilarious.  He did so good.  So I would like to have had the ending a little more tidy in the writing, but this show was good enough to make up for that.  It was amazing.  I needed something actually good right now, and it was perfect.  Best one I've chosen to watch in a while... well, one of them at least.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

161. Oh My Ghostess 오 나의 귀신님 (2015) Korean

Park Bo Young, Jo Jung Suk, Kim Seul Gi, Lim Ju Hwan

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

You really shouldn't watch a drama over the space of a whole year.  Because if you have a million days in between each set of episodes, then you are going to forget what happens and be less involved with the characters so the feels don't mean as much.  That's what we did, and it was a sad mistake.  So I was watching this with my friend who is really busy, and then I got a job where our schedules didn't align well, so we never had time to watch it.  But she was so determined to finish it with us that I couldn't refuse, so we took a million days to watch it.  Like a whole year.  This meant that by the end, I didn't remember most of what happened earlier.  This was good for Luscious Locks though (Lim Ju Hwan who did not have luscious locks in this one) because it made us way more focused on his brilliantly subtle acting in the last few episodes.  Because literally all the feels came from him in those ones.  He caught our attention from the very start because even when he was acting like a sweet nice guy he was somehow creepy at the same time.  And it was very subtle and it was wonderful.  I do remember really liking all the characters.  However it seems like it was two different dramas.  Jo Jung Suk and Park Bo Young had a cute rom-com going there with the ghost possessing and seducing, which was cute and fun.  I loved both Park Bo Young and Kim Seul Gi's portrayals of the ghost.  They were both brilliant.  Sadly I didn't like the normal girl Park Bo Young without the ghost, because she was lame and boring, but she got better, which was good.  So we have a cute rom-com with an adorable couple, and the group of idiot chef boys who were hilarious, especially when they sang "congratulations!"  Then all the sudden it's a super dark murder mystery and really, really creepy.  And there are still random hilarious dorky scenes of the idiot chef boys being weird bros.   Then there is more creepy where Lim Ju Hwan is amazing with his actions and facial expressions, and then we have an needlessly slow last episode that felt really draggy, especially since they had to have a time jump.  Lame.  But whatever.  All the actors were amazing, and I'm sure if you watch it all consecutively it will make way more sense and be lots better.  I still liked it, but I don't know if I can give a fairer review than this, because of my unique experience.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Drama of the Tropes: My Mii Reenactments of Kdrama Stereotypes

Recently, my friends got me addicted to Miitomo.  It's a hilarious social media type app where your Mii avatars can make friends with your real life friend's Mii avatars, ask each other questions, change clothes, play games to win more clothes, and then you can take pictures of your Mii.  Yeah, you can take pictures of your Mii doing all sorts of things.

Couples Outfits

It started with me making a Mii boyfriend, Kwang Soo, to be in my pictures with me, and then I started recreating famous drama stereotypes with my Mii.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

B.A.P Live on Earth 2016 in Chicago: Marlubs and Lizabreff's Concert Adventures

So recently, Lizabreff and I went to a BAP concert, which was awesome.  How magical is it that they came to Chicago the same weekend we were already planning to be there... well when she was?  I was just happy they came back at all, and then to be able to see them live... dreams do come true I guess.

So we flew in the same day of the concert, which meant that we were super tired, but it was super worth it anyway.  Those boys know how to work a crowd, just saying.  Sadly, we are low on pictures because my phone was running low on batteries... travelling, you know.

Please Teach Me English 영어완전정복 (2003) Korean

Lee Na Young, Jang Hyuk, Angela Kelly, Na Moon Hee

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

This movie was a lot more funny than I thought it would be.  I was expecting something super campy, and it kind of was, but as peeps with experience in teaching English, or as anyone who has taken any foreign language classes, it was much more hilarious.  Lee Na Young was amazing.  I loved her little cartoon character, inner thoughts, and especially their dreams.  Those language learner dreams were amazing.  Jang Hyuk was great as the "playboy" who was really just an awkward big talker.  Their relationship was funny, and like most movies developed quickly but a bit naturally.  Naturally there was plenty of misunderstandings.  I was worried about that English teacher at first.  She seemed like a bad teacher and a bit slutty at first.  But she became hilarious and a lovable character, especially when we learned more about her and her "type."  It is definitely 2003, but not in a bad way.  It's cute and hilarious.  I especially loved Lee Beom Soo's cameo.  We were watching for it and it was delightful.  The important thing to remember is that it is a bit campy and they are certainly not trying to take themselves serious.  It's supposed to be funny and ridiculous, and it is.  It is also sweet and relatable, especially for those language teachers and learners.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

201. Ms. Temper and Nam Jung Gi 욱씨남정기 (2016) Korean

Lee Yo Won, Yoon Sang Hyun, Chansung, Lim Ha Ryong, Son Jong Hak

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

I found my woman crush character.  I absolutely love Ok Da Jung (Lee Yo Won).  She was hard and snarky on the outside and gooey on the inside.  This show was basically the ultimate underdog show.  Even Da Jung represented an underdog, as a woman in business.  She was not content with that, and so became a powerful confident woman, but that didn't stop those rumors from being around her constantly.  But this show was about the underdogs not standing from the crap that is thrown at them because that is the way that it always is, but too fight for fairness and for themselves.  But in doing so, breaking from the cultural norm of the cosmetics industry, they would have to swim through a sea of crap.  I got seriously angry several times, and some episodes made me so angry and depressed I wanted to cry.  But there were also times that were outright awkward and others outright hilarious.  I hardly could remember that Jung Gi was Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun), because he was so completely different.  Loved Chansung. Bong Gi was the lazy, but bold and brilliant bum to Jung Gi's hard working and brilliant, but super timid office worker.  I loved Nam boys.  From Grandpa to Grandson they were all super cute and funny.  I absolutely loved the relationship between the kid and Da Jung.  It was adorable and hilarious.  It was like the real love story of the show, since our main couple's was so slow, which was perfect for this show.  I loved how naturally the love story progressed.  It would have been weird to see it any other way.  It was perfect.  Especially since all the "second male leads" of the main love triangle were her three ex-husbands.  We also had the awkward young love triangle which was awkward yet amazing.  It also took on some hard topics like sexual harassment like a champ.  The ensemble was good.  I just liked this show, even when it made me mad and so on.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Splash Splash Love 퐁당퐁당 LOVE (2015) Korean

Yoon Doo Joon, Kim Seul Gi, Jin Ki Joo, Ahn Hyo Seop, Kim Kap Soo

Movie rating: 7/10     Neck score: A

I can't believe I forgot to write the review for this earlier.  I loved this show/movie/drama special!  But since it's only 2 episodes, I naturally just forgot about it, haha.  One of the best and cutest time travel type deals ever.  Also gender bender things.  Because it is so short they didn't have time to mess around with the typical stereotypes, such as when he discovers that she's a girl, etc.  They all just assumed that she was a guy because she was wearing her hair in a topknot... or bun or whatever.  It's just cute and funny, and both Doo Joon and Seul Gi do a super good job with it.  It has the right type of humor for the time travelling and gender bending.  I was satisfied with the ending too.  So if you need something short and good, I definitely recommend this one.  It's super cute and fun.

Puck! 퍽! (2016) Korean

Lee Kwang Soo, Jung Hae Kyun, Son Soo Hyun, Kwak Dong Yeon, Jo Yoon Woo

Movie rating: 8/10     Neck score: A++

I can't even handle how much I loved Lee Kwang Soo in this.  I hate sports movies, but I love Kwang Soo, so I watched it.  He is so amazing.  We have all seen him do mostly comedy, which he is brilliant at, so it's always so great to see him pull of serious so amazingly well.  This was basically, in a nutshell: a loan shark lives for a season (like, the hockey season).  Loan shark thug Kwang Soo beats up peeps.  Almost kills someone.  Has to be less violent when getting money back for his boss.  Ends up joining a hockey team so they can win, so he can get the money.  Evil dude tries to get rid of team.  He finds team spirits, etc.  It was basically the plot of every sports movie, but it was also about how sucky life is.  He became a loan shark thug because his wife put him in debt.  He kind of turned off his emotions, etc., to survive.  The other team players also have their own problems.  The end, like most Korean movies, is really open ended and non-conclusive about that part of the stuff.  The life sucks stuff.  But it also still has the miraculous sports movie ending, so it really made me like it better than most.  Plus, Kwang Soo is amazing.  There was one scene in particular that his neck was so sexy (in that red letterman jacket) that I couldn't handle it (fans self).  Whew!  So, it was way better than most sports movies.  It made me cry, but that might just have been because Kwang Soo.  But, yes, it was good.