Saturday, April 30, 2016

178. Six Flying Dragons 육룡이 나르샤 (2015) Korean

Yoo Ah In, Kim Myung Min, Shin Se Kyung, Byun Yo Han, Yoo Kyun Sang, Chun Ho Jin

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

Slow clap.  I loved it.  Seriously long, but never boring.  I actually had some trepidation about starting it because it was so long.  I saw who was in it and what it was about, and I got super excited.  Then I saw how long it was and I was like... ew.  Then I kept hearing such good things about it, that I decided to just watch it anyway.  It was amazing.  I started it with Curdy at first, which slowed me down considerably.  We were already way behind, but we ended up not being able to watch more than one episode at a time because it was too heavy for her.  Soon it was harder and harder to get her to make time for it.  When I saw how into Madame Antoine she was (much more of her type of show), and how she'd drop everything for that one, I knew I needed to press on alone.  Honestly there were times when I could only watch one episode as well, because it is pretty heavy, but it's totally worth it.  I was super sad when Gil Tae Mi (Park Hyuk Kwon) died.  He was my favorite, Gil Seon Mi (also Park Hyuk Kwon) just wasn't as cool.  But at least Gil Tae Mil had one heck of a death scene.  Another sign that this was amazing was that it made me do more research about this period than other sageuks have.  I had to look up everything that happened to see what was the fake and what was the real.  Everyone did amazingly.  Seriously.  I've seen most of these actors before, and have been impressed with them generally, but never so impressed with them as I have been in this one.  Round of applause for every one of these cast members.  I was especially proud of Shin Se Kyung because she was probably the one that's been hit or miss the most for me, but she did awesome.  I love her strong character.  Booyah.  Another thing I love about this is all the character developments.  No one was the same person at the end as they were at the beginning.  Some people changed more than others, but there was absolutely no stagnant characters.  Moo Hyeol (Yoo Kyun Sang) was one of the most startling of the changes, since it was so abrupt, but obviously Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) was the biggest.  But because everyone was constantly changing, I never could love or hate any person 100%.  They were all super dynamic, well-rounded characters.  I couldn't be on any side completely.  That went for the villains too.  I couldn't decide who was worse, because they all took turns being the worst and sympathetic.  Our heroes all took turns doing dumb things and being less sympathetic too.  When it came down to it, only the completely fiction people had less bad decisions, but that makes sense too.  They let everyone be real and conflicted, and messed up, and it was marvelous.  So worth the 50 episodes.  I couldn't give it any less, even if the very last episode was a bit draggy.  I mean, they had to resolve what they could so we didn't think too ill of anyone... only they could have, but it was still ok.  They tried to end on a hopeful note, I guess.  But still, slow clap for awesome.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

198. Marriage Contract 결혼계약 (2016) Korean

Lee Seo Jin, Uee, Kim Yong Geon, Park Jung Soo, Lee Whee Hyang, Kim Young Pil, Kim Yoo Ri, Shin Rin Ah, Kim Kwang Kyu, Lee Hyun Geol

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

An oddly perfect mixture of adorable and crying.  This is full of all those stereotypes of melodramas.  Cancer, more cancer, evil chaebols, contract marriages, selfish male leads with mommy and daddy issues, that bitca who is the same character in all her shows, the works.  But then it somehow uses those stereotypes in a completely different way.  Maybe it's just because Lee Seo Jin is amazing (he is my spirit animal), but he really turned that typical rich chaebol with family issues into a complete different type of character.  He was also believable and completely too perfect to be believable at the same time.  He started out as a jerk ladies man who was willing to buy a liver to save his mom and turned into an adorable dad and husband who knew how to play with kids, cats, and comfort the girl so she didn't feel like a patient or pitiful.  It was too adorable.  Those dimples!  I liked most all the characters except the bad peeps of course.  That dad was the worst ever.  But I liked his real mom.  I even related a bit with the idiotic older brother and wife, even though I also disliked them.  At least you could see where everyone was coming from.  Uee had a lot of great ugly crying.  Unfortunately for me it was too long.  So many long crying scenes.  She did a good job being a mom and a cancer patient.  So maybe it was all just melodrama held together by the amazing charisma of Lee Seo Jin, but I liked it despite all the craziness.  The ending was a little abrupt, since there was no real resolution, and I cried plenty of times, but I consistently liked.  Especially after the first couple of episodes.  It was pretty good.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Things Dudes Don't Do to Other Dudes (#tdddod) or How to Fail the Gender Benders

So, Lizabreff just finished watching To The Beautiful You.  I'm not sure why we started it.  I think we just needed to watch something stupid, so this was perfect, because it was completely stupid.  The thing that it was the worst at was the whole girl dressed up as a guy.

I mean, there is no way that Sulli would pass for a boy ever anyway.  But she didn't even try to act like one.  And from the start Hyun Woo didn't treat her like one... neither did Minho for that matter... instinct?  Cough cough, unlikely.  Anyway, we started this hashtag #tdddod for all those moments when they obviously treated her like a girl, or she obviously was 100% not acting like a dude and no one seemed to care, because it was that bad.

Monday, April 18, 2016

199. To The Beautiful You 아름다운 그대에게 (2012) Korean

Choi Min Ho, Sulli, Lee Hyun Woo, Kin Ji Won, Seo Jun Young, Kang Ha Neul, Hwang Kwang Hee

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A

Also known as Poobutt.  Mostly because my new nickname for Minho is now Poobutt.  Tae Joon was just a grumpy poo butt, and then he was an awkward poo butt after he started to like her.  Also Goo Jae Hee had no character.  She was just awkward and there.  I wondered why the couple was so awkward for me, and it was because Sulli can't act.  You know who can act and stole the show?  Lee Hyun Woo.  I absolutely loved him, and his adorable smile and his squeaky little voice.  He totally stole the show.  Like, completely.  In fact he and Kang Ha Neul (affectionately called Moobs) were the only kids who could act really, oh and Samcheon (Seo Jun Young).  It was just a completely ridiculous show that was fun to watch at first because it was so flipping ridiculous, but then when it got mopey in the last 6 episodes, it was so boring and lame it was almost completely unbearable.  Maybe because once everyone knew she was a girl we couldn't do any more tweets with the hashtag #tdddod (things dudes don't do to other dudes).  There were almost too many to tweet all of them.  It was ridiculous.  Basically she was never convincing as a dude.  When they finally got around to it there were some good bromances.  I missed that little bitca Kwanghee being gay for Hyun Woo.  He totally disappeared by the end.  Weird.  Also I liked all the teachers.  I mean, that hot doctor (Ki Tae Young).  And my OTP was the teacher and coach.  They were adorable.  Basically I loved all the side characters and thought the main couple was a pair of boring poo butts... who can't really act.  And.... yeah.  That's basically it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

196. Come Back, Mister 돌아와요 아저씨 (2016) Korean

Jung Ji Hoon (Rain), Kim In Kwon, Oh Yeon Seo, Kim Soo Ro, Lee Min Jung, Lee Ha Nui, Choi Won Young, Yoon Park, Lee Tae Hwan, Kwak Deon Yeon

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: B

I didn't exactly expect this one to be quite this serious.  I mean, they die they come back as Rain and a woman.  That part has to be hilarious.  But then again, they are dead, so what happy ending would there be?  Can I just day that Oh Yeon Seo is amazing?  I already loved her, but she played Han Gi Tak, or Kim Soo Ro, so well, especially at first.  A gangster dude in a tiny girl's body?  Amazing.  The walk, the talk, she had it all down.  It wasn't just a dude, it was Soo Ro.  Rain also did a great job of capturing the mannerisms of Kim In Kwon.  The second male leads, Choi Won Young and Yoon Park, were probably the most confusing part for me.  They were either completely crazy (with jealousy) or a complete slimeball one moment, and then strangely sympathetic at the next.  I hated Slimeball (Yoon Park) more because he should have been a nicer person as the friend of Kim Young Soo (Kim In Kwon), while Cha Jae Gook was just always a crazy nom.  But maybe I am prejudice because I frankly just love Choi Won Young... like a lot.  He plays creepy and crazy so well... well, just everything so well.  Also, huge shout out to Lee Ha Nui.  She's my woman crush for forever.  She did so well!

So, the ending made me cry.  I didn't cry during the end of Descendants at all, but this one had me almost balling.  I didn't love everything about the ending, but it was well written at least.  It was not cheesy, it was bittersweet and good.  There were a lot of tropes or plot twists in the show that I thought I was going to hate that were written well enough that I was pleasantly surprised.  I ended up liking most every episode.  The only thing I didn't like was their attempt to redeem Slimeball.  I say no to that.  Although I saw it coming for him and Crazy Ex.  Scarface is probably the worst person, so I'll leave it at that.  Also Puppy Namja (Lee Tae Hwan) and Kang Ki Young were together again.  I love those two and their bromance.  Best thing that came out of King of High School, so yay.

195. Descendants of the Sun 태양의 후예 (2016) Korean

Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Ji Won, Jin Goo

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

Was it over-hyped?  Yes.  Was it still worth it?  Yes.  It wasn't brilliantly written by any means, but it did bring out the feels.  It was also probably one of the best romances and definitely the best bromances by this writer.  The Song couple had plenty chemistry.  I liked their feisty bantering and teasing.  I did think that her worries dragged on a little too much, even if they were understandable, but at least the show never did get to the point where I hated it ever.  That one episode was really boring... you know, episode 15, but it still had enough good parts to make it not worthless.  Maybe because all the actors were good enough to make the cheesy lines they pulled less sucky.  I liked all the relationships too.  I think the bromance held it together the most, but then all the other romantic relationships were great too.  The army couple, Seo and Yoon were maybe more compelling for me because they were more angsty while the Song couple was more sexy.  But my personal OTP was the doctor-nurse couple.  I heart them the most.  Now to talk about the ending... o-mo.  It was so cheesy that I thought I was going to die laughing.  It almost ruined it for me, because... yeah.  And it was completely pre-produced and it still had a lame ending?  What the heck!?!  I liked everything else about pre-production, though.  Good times.  But the show was if not well written, completely enjoyable to watch.  It was certainly super over dramatic at times.  I mean, right when something gets fixed then something else dramatic happens.  Natural disasters, secret black ops missions, etc.  It was very dramatic.  But at least it was rarely boring and, while ridiculous, you felt the feels.  So I liked it.  Plenty of beautiful "pigeons" to look at.  Mmmmm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Refresh Man: Falling In Love With Aaron Again

I have to say that I had my reservations about starting Refresh Man, because FILWM Syndrome.  But then I really like Joanne Tseng.  But I guess that even with the whole FILWM thing and the Instagram thing, deep down I still love Aaron, so I thought I would give it a try and see if it would make me fall in love with Aaron again.

And it has.  It is just different and fun enough to make it awesome.  It defies some of the typical stereotypes and is about more than just the romance, although that is obviously a large part of it.  It is about self-improvement and getting out of stagnation, etc.  It's also about revenge or rather making her fall in love with him.  You know, good stuff.

So, here are some things that make this show pretty great so far:

202. Page Turner 페이지 터너 (2016) Korean

Kim So Hyun, Ji Soo, Shin Jae Ha, Ye Ji Won, Hwang Young Hee

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A+

I just wanted this to be longer!  Seriously so good!  I was crying one minute and grinning from ear to ear the next.  I could easily have watched 16 episodes of this, because there was plenty to deal with.  Also, Ji Soo.  He was just about the most adorable thing I've ever seen!  He was the nicest, most optimistic, and funniest male lead ever.  This show was so good that it got both Lizabreff and Curdy to sit down and watch the last episode with me when they hadn't seen any of the other two episodes.  That's right, it's only three episodes long.  Way too short for all of Ji Soo's cuteness.  All the characters are good.  Kim So Hyun was awesome.  Her and Ji Soo had great chemistry, even when she couldn't "see" his face.  Also, lots of beautiful piano music.  Really good.

Friday, April 8, 2016

203. Eating Existence 먹는 존재 (2015) Korean

Ahn Young Mi, No Min Woo, Yoo So Young

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+

I was super weirded out that this show was labeled as NC-17 on Viki.  What made it NC-17?  No Min Woo's shirtlessness?  I mean, that did happen a lot.  Maybe just his face is NC-17, haha.  But this show is not about him.  It is just a short little story about a girl named Yoo Yang and all the weird thing she does as she essentially grows up, I guess.  It's based on a webtoon, and since I liked this, I might have to try and find it in English... if that exists.  Anyway, she gets drunk, mouths off, gets fired, decides to become a writer, gets a boyfriend, they eat a lot of food, and then she has a bunch of growing pains trying to get enough money to buy the food she loves and juggling all her different relationships and what they bring.  That kind of stuff.  It's a bit random, but very enjoyable too.  I liked it.  It could have been longer.  I would have watched it.