Posts tagged Korean drama
Story: Eun Soo (Eugene) runs a small inn with her father. One day, she finds a man (Ji Sung) who has completely lost his memory. She takes him in and calls him Baek Chang Ho. Together, they form a new family of sorts, running the inn together. They fall in love, and marry, but tragedy strikes immediately: Eun Soo’s father passes away on the night of her wedding, and soon after Chang Ho disappears.
Eun Soo, desperate for some clue about her husband, leaves for Seoul, and finds him, but Chang Ho doesn’t remember her at all. He’s now Kang Hyun Woo, heir to a large company … and now her boss.
They both do not realise that Hyun Woo is in danger. Someone wants him dead – that is why he was attacked and left for dead in the first place.
LOL Plot: Ah. Amnesia. How I love you. Especially if you come in twos. Despite the ridiculousness of the double amnesia, Save the Last Dance for Me is still insanely addictive. (See reasons below.)
What I love: The whole anticipation of “Will he remember her?” Ji Sung and Eugene have sizzling chemistry, and I heart the two of them. And when the moment happens it is heart-meltingly good. Plus, Hyun Woo has some major (and understandable) daddy issues. His too-strict father who insisted that he give up his dreams to be his company heir certainly learnt his lesson quickly when he lost his son. Seeing the two patch up is rather gratifying.
Also, the conspiracy against Hyun Woo kept things interesting, though the villain’s infatuation with Eun Soo was totally weird and unnecessary. (But it’s a kdrama! We have to have a love triangle! Someone shoot me now…)
What drove me nuts: I get that the journey between our two lovers isn’t going to be easy, but it frustrated me to no end that Eun Soo kept their relationship a secret till the very end. Her martyr-ish tendencies drove me bat-shit crazy, and the last few episodes was totally unnecessary to me – just episodes to demonstrate what a selfless, devoted, martyr-ish woman Eun Soo is. Bleah!
Still, I do adore this show because of Ji Sung … he just melts my heart, y’know?
Watch-o-meter: A must if you’re a romantic. Still a must if you’re not. (Self-confessed unromantic speaking here.)
Story: Yoon Gae Hwa (Chae Rim), a 35-year-old divorced woman and single mum, meets superstar Sung Min Woo (Choi Si Won) when she cleans his home. This chance encounter leads her to stumble on Sung’s biggest secret: he has a daughter he never knew he had!
Min Woo, concerned about his reputation, decides to hide the kid and enlists Gae Hwa to not only take care of the kid but act as his housekeeper. (The task is made more perilous as they have to evade a rather nosy and determined reporter who is determined to unearth some dirt on Min Woo.) Gae Hwa in return presses Min Woo to join a musical so that she can get a job with the production company that produces the musical.
Now, Min Woo may have the draw factor, but he is quite a terrible actor. He realises that the musical may be his chance to prove that he can be more than a pretty face. Gae Hwa, on the other hand, is more eager for him to connect with his daughter, Ye-eun….
What I like: The little bunny who played Ye-eun. She’s a cutie! Also, I’m a sucker for stories about spoiled, pampered men who realise that they have to grow up quickly because they now have someone to depend on them. And it didn’t hurt that Choi Si Won has one hot body (his abs are obscenely sculpted), which the director made sure we saw at every opportunity. Thanks, director!
What worked: The slow bonding between Min Woo and his daughter. The growth of Min Woo as a responsible adult.
What didn’t work: I get it, Oh! My Lady is supposed to be a romance, but we have a problem when the two leads have zilch chemistry. Maybe it’s because Min Woo keeps calling Gae Hwa an ahjumma or maybe (this is probably the reason) the writers didn’t really work to develop Min Woo’s growing attraction to Gae Hwa. Whatever the reason, Min Woo and Gae Hwa’s romance at the end felt rushed, forced, awkward and unreal. It felt like a tagged-on plot element, as if the writer suddenly remembered: Oh wait, these two were supposed to fall in love! Right! Let’s get on it quickly!
I cringed through the last episode. It’s like watching a nephew fall in love with his aunt …
Watch-o-meter: It’s worth a look, though I won’t be surprised if you won’t feel inclined to watch it again. Watch it for the interaction between Min Woo and his daughter.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Story: Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) is an arrogant chaebol who is the CEO of a department store. He works his people hard, and is brilliant at what he does though he’s barely at work. Ah, you’re probably thinking, yet another aloof but drop-dead-gorgeous chaebol kdrama hero. Almost, but not quite! Well, he is aloof and hugely rude as chaebol hot-guy stereotypes go, he is also incredibly eccentric: He is a fussy metrosexual who loves wearing a sparkly tracksuit so painful to look at it hurts my brain. However, underneath the weirdness and cold exterior is a man who has to hide his dependence on pills to control his claustrophobia. The mix of eccentricity, vulnerability and arrogance makes Joo Won a most fascinating and unique character, one I’ve not seen in Kdrama land for … well, ever.
After a chance encounter with stuntwoman Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won), he begins to get fascinated with her, which puzzles both to no end. Then something weird happens – after a cold and stormy night, they awaken the next day as each other – literally!
Now the two have to find a “cure” for their condition while trying to live as each other. Needless to say it leads to quite a few hilarious situations…
Why you should watch this. Like, now:
It’s damn funny
This is a drama I never thought I’d be interested in — I don’t really like body/genre swap flicks, but hearing the raves about this 20-episode show, I decided to find out what the hullabaloo is all about.
I was hooked — as in addicted, hopelessly in love and made a fangirl overnight. It’s one of the few dramas in my seen-it-all life as a movie and TV reviewer that could make me laugh out loud. The script is smart and witty, even if it has plot contrivances that made me roll my eyes sometimes.
It has a brillaint cast
Hyun Bin is a revelation. Is this really the same dude from Worlds Within? He not only has pitch-perfect comedic timing but has great chemistry with Ha Ji Won as well. And he conveyed Joo Won’s contradictory facets perfectly.
The supporting cast is just as wonderful. Yoon Sang Hyun is simply brilliant as Oska (pic, right), Joon Won’s mega-self-absorbed “Hallyu star” cousin. Really, Secret Garden is worth watching just for Oska, and his interaction with Joo Won is pure comedy gold.
Then there’s Secretary Kim (Kim Seong-oh), Joo Won’s overworked and always-frazzled PA who actually makes hysteria cute.
It also has a gorgeous soundtrack: Yoon Sang Hyun sings in this one, and what a voice! I’ve never crushed so hard for kpop before.
What I don’t quite like: I see this in manga all the time – the forceful, semi-abusive boyfriend who disrespects a girl’s boundaries because he’s so in love. Somehow, that’s considered romantic and it boggles my Malaysian mind how this is so. Joo Woon, unfortunately, has that trait in the first few episodes which culminated in a tres uncomfortable bed scene.
Dude, if a girl says No, she isn’t saying, ‘yes please’!
Another thing: Oska’s relationship with Joo Won goes deeper than the rivalry that you initially see in the first few episodes. There are hints of a deep, brotherly love between the two that I just wished they explored more.
Final say: So funny, yet tragic and heart-rending at some parts. A comedy that manages these two well gets a gold star in my books.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
You can read the edited version of my review here. But here’s the longer, more “quippy” version:
THE early 17th century was a time of great uncertainty and suffering for the people of Korea.
In 1636 to 37, the Manchus invaded the country (then ruled by the Joseon dynasty), and So-Hyun, its crown prince was captured and taken to China as a hostage. Although he returned to his homeland in 1645, he died a month later, poisoned to death. His family fared no better – his wife was sentenced to death, accused of his murder, and his three sons were sent to Jeju island. Two died of illnesses and only the youngest, Seok-kyun, survived.
The common folk fared worse. Their fates are often determined by the whims and desires of selfish aristocrats who are busy jockeying for power and half the populace has been turned into slaves.
One such unfortunate is Song Tae-Ha (Oh Ji Ho), a government slave who works in the stables, serving the people he once fought with as a general of the empire. He does his job, keeps a low profile and even allows the head slave to beat him up even though he could easily crush him with a toe if he wanted to.
This all changes when he receives a message about Prince So-hyun’s death. Furious and guilt-ridden for not being by his prince’s side, Tae-Ha decides to break free and rescue the prince’s youngest son.
However, when slaves escape, they are hunted down by slave hunters (chuno). Lee Daegil (Jang Hyuk) happens to the nation’s best slave hunter, and his reputation is so fearsome it makes slaves weep in fear to hear his name.
So, naturally, officials hire him to drag Tae-Ha back. Daegil and Tae-Ha paths is set to collide in a fantastic way and their fate is entwined in ways that both may not forsee but will be, hopefully, quite entertaining for us.
Kang Oh Soo (Uhm Tae Woong, guy on the right) is a detective burdened by a childhood sin – a sin that will return to haunt him in his most recent case: A tarot card was sent to a murder victim with a mysterious note…
As he investigates the case (whose main suspect seems to morph from one person to another), Oh Soo meets Seo Hae, a 25-year-old psychic, who helps out the department with the cases once in a while, who painted said Tarot card.
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Oh Seung Ha, takes a peculiar interest in the case … and thus begins a “triangle” (of love, and of something else altogether) which drags Oh Soo into the depths of despair.
(Like my sypnopsis? I just got bored with the same old sypnopsis I keep finding online. I thought I should just write another!)
When I first spotted the DVD boxset for Lucifer / The Devil, I walked past it, thinking that it’s just more of the same-ol-same-ol Korean romantic dramas that always gets on my nerves.
(I’m of the “if you want her, shag her” school instead of “i can’t decide if I love him/her, so I’ll play hard to get or wait till the next 20 episodes to confess my love” so I was never a fan of the genre.)
But one day, at my DVD rental shop I was bored and more than a little frustrated with my foray into another Korean drama, The Song of the Prince (Seo Dong Yo). So I read the back cover … and when it said that it was “more like CSI”, I was sold.
Boy am I glad I picked it up, because The Devil is one of the best Korean dramas I’ve seen.
It’s always sad when a young talent dies, and when they die so suddenly and without warning … well, fans just aren’t prepared.
According to The Korea Times, Lee died on the way home after a wrap up party of his latest show, Mighty Chil-woo, yesterday at dawn: “He was riding his motorcycle when he hit a railing of the elevated roadway in Hannam-dong, Yongsan at around 2 a.m. The 27-year old actor died on the spot and was taken to Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Hannam-dong, Seoul. The police have not yet determined if Lee was drunk when he got into the motorcycle accident.”
I’m just starting to get into Korean dramas, so I don’t really know who Lee Eon is, but I was about to pick up the DVD he starred in: Coffee Prince, which is supposed to be really funny. He was the “dim-witted but loveable Min-yeop”.