Review – Defendant

Review – Defendant

I’d like to press charges, your honor.  For bad acting.  Ji Sung was so god awful in this show, I could barely stand it.  I suffered through most of it, assuming it might taper out and get better.  It didn’t.  It got worse.  What happened to this guy?  He was so adorable in Protect The Boss!  He was less adorable in Kill Me, Heal Me, but still okay.  But in this show… it was painful.  PAINFUL.  My eyes hurt from witnessing the horrors of such a lackluster, over-the-top yet simultaneously disingenuous performance.  Ugh.  To make matters worse, Uhm Ki-Joon brought his A-Game and was outstanding, playing twins… so the comparison in abilities was blinding.

Now, I know I am on the unpopular side with this opinion – as the ratings and reviews for this drama are high with tons of comments praising Ji Sung for his performance.  I have to assume they are either new to K-World or just… delusional.  Is everyone watching the same show I was?  I don’t get it…

The plot itself was decent – though overly convoluted and a little too gimmicky for my taste.  I adore a great murder mystery, amnesia, psycho-killer, hidden identity story… but this one tried too hard.  Thumbs down.  Gave up after 8 episodes.

Overall Rating – 4/10.  Guilty of Over Acting.

Review – Twenty Again

Review – Twenty Again

What a gem of a show!  Such a simple premise… a young, energetic dancer has a one night stand with a stranger that ends in an unexpected pregnancy – she ends up hastily getting married and follows her new husband to Germany, where he has his first professor appointment.  There, isolated and alone, she sort of looses her spark and falls into obscurity, her house and home becoming her entire world as all her dreams are lost.  Motherhood becomes her only solace.  Her husband pushes her further and further away, until finally he asks for a divorce when their son is a teenager.  They postpone the divorce until their kid goes off to college… and in a mad dash attempt to save her marriage by becoming the intellectual equal of her husband, our leading lady secretly enrolls in college.  There she runs into one of her best friends from high school, who secretly had a crush on her, and the show takes off!

So much happens.  There are all sorts of twists and turns in the relationships.  Affairs.  Terminal illnesses.  Miscommunication on an epic scale.  And adorable banter and humor between the adult leads, as well as all the students, faculty and staff.  So much cuteness.  And a really great story, too, of growing up even when you’re already a grown up.  I loved it.

Overall Rating:  8/10.  There’s No Planned Parenthood in K-World.

More discussion and spoilers and musing…

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ON AIR – and on point!

There are two shows currently airing that are, in my opinion, good enough to keep up with on a weekly basis.

My favorite is While You Were Sleeping – an adorable mysterious supernatural rom-com that finally matched up Lee Jong-Suk with someone he looks cute with… Suzy!  These two are, in my opinion, a match made in heaven.  The plot is still unfolding – but basically she’s always had dreams about the future that are unchangeable… until she meets our leading man.  And suddenly he starts having dreams about the future… and together, they are able to rewrite what’s coming.  It’s spellbinding and exceedingly romantic.

The other show is called Temperature of Love, about a TV writer (Seo Hyun-Jin) and a Chef (Yang Se-Jong) who fall in love… but due to age differences (the dreaded noona romance, sigh, but whatever… I’m going with it) and circumstances, their relationship fell apart before it really got started.  Now they are meeting again five years later – more secure in their careers but more insecure in their feelings.

The story line is solid and interesting, but I’ll be honest and confess one of the biggest reasons I am sticking around (for a show that will apparently run for 40 freakin’ episodes) is because Kim Jae-Wook is playing this mysterious, cool badass CEO who is interested in our lead female.  Of course, that will go no where, cause… duh.  But I’m just fascinated by his odd, reserved and loner character.  Plus… whoa.  He is looking mighty fine… just… better looking each year, in my opinion.

The Temperature of Love is hot.  Fan me!

Full reviews once they both finish… in a month or two or three or four… whenever.

Review – My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week / Listen to Love

Review – My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week / Listen to Love

This is one of those shows that reminds me why I am single.  But cheers to all the working moms in the world – cause let’s face it, you are doing twice the work and haven’t been thanked for it since mother’s day of last year, right?  Though Lee Sun Gyun is adorable and has a gorgeous voice, I pretty much found him impossible to love in this show.  I kept thinking, “Let’s see how well you do with your kid for a week without your wife around, ya jerk.”  And then, when we finally get that scene, he can’t even handle it for one day.  He pawns his kid off onto his coworkers and friends, who seem to instinctively understand joint parenting more than the married, child rearing couples on this show.  Not that it is all the husband’s fault.  I hated Song Ji Hyo’s character just as much.  The bland, lowered eyed, push over wife – desperately trying to be perfect, always smiling, always agreeable.  Use your words, people.  If you act like a doormat, you can’t be surprised when people walk all over you.

Though there was a lot to dislike about this show, I did find most of it enjoyable.  The shenanigans of the unfaithful lawyer.  The online community marriage counseling.  The side romance of the two television producers was delightfully awkward and unusual.  And I liked the ending, though I wanted more.  The exploration into the nature of affairs, the motivations, the suspicions, and the consequences were interesting but also only waded into, not fully explored.  I watched the whole show – after jumping ship on several shows recently, it was nice to find something that actually drew me enough to finish it.  So… I give it a “Meh.”  A nice middle grade.  Not bad, not good, but definitely not just right.

Overall Rating – 6.5/10.  Tuna Mayo Gets Her Happy Ending Via a Shotgun & a Hot French Dude.

Review – Emergency Couple

Review – Emergency Couple

Why did I wait so long to watch you???

This show as awesome!  True, I think it would have been better as a 16 episode drama instead of a 21 episode drama… as it definitely suffered from a drag down towards the end… but who cares?  It was fun.  It was funny.  It was romantic.  It was pissy and playful and interesting and enjoyable.

A young couple gets married, despite parental objections, only to have their marriage fall apart within the year.   He can’t see her side of things, she can’t see his side of things, they are both 19 and fully immersed in their own perspectives.  A few years pass, and both end up getting their medical degrees after the divorce.  Fate brings them back together when they both get assigned the same intern positions, in the ER, and are forced to meet again.  They’ve both grown up… but how long will it take them to realize it?

Overall Rating – 8/10.  Resuscitating a Relationship Requires Two Medical Degrees.

More humor, musings, spoilers, and giggles follow….

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Review – On The Way To The Airport

Review – On The Way To The Airport

Though this drama had a strong cast, it failed to impress me.  The lead male was lovable, kind, and generous.  The lead female sweet, nice, and sincere.  It was clear from the first episode that they were perfect for each other.  Only problem was, they were both married to jerks.  He was married to a manipulative, cruel beauty (whom he insists repeatedly that he fell in love with despite no evidence of such feelings between them).  She was married to a self-centered pilot who neglected and disrespected her (they hooked up drunk one night and one unexpected pregnancy later, were married).

I am single, dear reader.  So I have trouble with a drama like this one.  What kind of fools are these people to stay in such horrible, soul crushing relationships for so long?  It’s like they went on autopilot, like a horse stuck on a routine circuit with blinders on.  Both of these unhappy people just put all their love and energy into their children, so much so that they both disappeared, more or less.  They didn’t notice the unhappiness or indifference of their families, their inlaws, their friends and their spouses.  It was all about their children – which is great, except their children weren’t wearing blinders.  Their children were unhappy and noticed the one person who cared about them most were vulnerable fools wearing blinders – so the children in this show were forced to grow up quickly, to deceive their parents, and play a pawn between them more often than not.  Especially the man’s daughter, but also our lead female’s daughter.

Both families had already sent their kids to boarding schools in foreign countries.  They obsessively worked.  They came home to empty, cold houses.  They basically lived alone, though under the pretense of marriage.

There is more to life than this.  And that’s the plot of the show.  The two nice people find each other and fall in love.  It’s slow and it’s beautiful and I really felt like I was watching two strangers fall in love.  (The cinematography was also lovely in this show)

But I didn’t love it.  I found myself annoyed 50% of the program.  I can mull things over with the best of the introverts, but when it’s time to make a decision – I am like a butcher who will sever one half of a body from the other if need be.  So I found myself annoyed and rather bored quite often.  This drama was purely a drama (with the tiniest pinch of mystery just for taste) and I prefer melodramas, because… honestly… I would have loved to watch these people scream and freak out and tear each other to pieces.  It would have been deeply satisfying.  I would have liked the “evil” spouses to be more evil.  I would have liked to take the drama volume and turned it waaaaaay up.  Because their domestic, domestic problems were tedious and almost entirely self inflicted.  Just rip that band aid, you pussies.

Overall Rating – 7/10.  Check Your Baggage, People.

Best Line:  “The maternal instinct isn’t a natural instinct.”

Review – Tomorrow’s Cantabile / Naeil’s Cantabile

Review – Tomorrow’s Cantabile / Naeil’s Cantabile

Surprisingly odd, funny and enduring drama about a bunch of talented young musicians.  It’s a drama filled with a big cast of memorable characters – each with their own instruments and problems – but each with a common goal:  To Get Better, To Succeed.  The friendships and struggles make this show shine.  I thought this might be a mindless throw-away show, which is why I popped it in this week… as I’ve been extremely tired after work and wasn’t in the mood to think much.  I was just looking for a feather light diversion, but instead got a quality gem of entertainment.  I laughed, I worried, I got emotionally involved, and I wondered what would happen to ALL OF THE CHARACTERS as the show moved from episode to episode.  It starts off quite silly but quickly settles into more structure and higher stakes as the plotlines establish themselves.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10.  Brainwashed Into Loving Classical Music Through Adorable Characters.

Much More About Everything and Everyone – Spoilers too….

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Review – Cheer Up / Sassy Go Go

Review – Cheer Up / Sassy Go Go

Plotline:  The top 5% of an elite high school belong to the Cheerleading Club, but in name only… these kids just use the club space to further their studies.  Next door, the bottom 5% dance their pants off in a Hip Hop Club, annoying the nerds who share a wall with them.  When one of the top students worries her extracurriculars aren’t meeting Ivy League standards, it is suggested they turn their fake cheer club into a real one and try to win Regionals.  Unfortunately, none of the nerds can dance… so the school officials help them blackmail the Hip Hop Club into joining their team, increasing their chances of success.  Love, anger, friendship, betrayal, and lots of lost sleep over exams follow.

This show was a joy ride.  Just… a bunch of fun, from start to finish.  The problems of these students at their high pressure school were interesting to watch.  All the parents, officials, teachers, and outside pressure illustrated how complicated and stressful the system was.  But overall, it was just fluffy feel good fun.  Nothing too deep, nothing too serious, nothing too overdramatic.  The characters were cute and likable, even the unlikable ones (shout out to Chae Soo-Bin who killed it as the near nervous breakdown #2 in the school desperate to climb to the top at any cost), and the plotlines moved quickly through the 12 episode series.

I had just finished the book Revival by Stephen King… the ending of which left me slightly traumatized… so I needed something light weight and heart warming to ward off the nightmares.  This show as perfect for that.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10 – Bring It On, Elite Boarding School Style.

Review – Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Review – Sungkyunkwan Scandal

I recently rewatched Sungkyunkwan Scandal, for… what?  Maybe the sixth time?  It’s an adorable romantic comedy.  It is, in my opinion, the best historical romantic comedy.  Still standing strong since 2010.  It has it all.  The best of all the tropes.  All your favorite things.  All the things you hope to see in a romantic comedy.  All the tricks of the trade done just right.  And for some reason, it’s impossible for me to write a review about it.  Every time I try, I just end up wanting to watch it again.  Sometimes you just have a to watch it.  When everyone agrees that it’s awesome – how many reviews do you need to read, anyways?  Trust the crowd.  It’s true.  It’s really, really freaking good.

The cast is perfect.  The lead male is the most delightful stick in the mud nerd… and let’s face it, how often is the main character an uptight, mega nerd?  But it works!  It works because they paired him off with a equally smart lady disguised as a man, who has a sense of humor and a flair for drama.  It works because they balanced him off with polar opposite friends – a carefree, socialite who is interested in fashion and flirting (Yeorim!  Oh, how I love him!) and a misfit, rebel who is interested in fighting and social justice won through actions over words.  They’re all awesome.  I wanted to be bestie with all these besties.

Just watch it.  You won’t be sorry.  You’ll laugh and be entertained and smitten and charmed.  It’s unavoidable.  It’s so well written – the cast is large and memorable.

Overall Rating – 10/10.  Nerds in Love.

Review – (Suffering Through) The Bride of the Water God

Review – (Suffering Through) The Bride of the Water God

I am a sucker for supernatural stories, so of course I signed up for this show the minute it started.  Even though the first episode was lame.  Even though the second episode was lame.  Even though it never got better… it just… middled around towards the bottom.  But I kept watching it.  Every Tuesday.  Two new eps at a time.  Like an idiot.  Because I kept expecting something to happen… which is ridiculous, because after a certain point, you just know nothing is going to happen because if the writers knew how to make a good story, they would have been giving you one the entire time.

So, idiot me, watched this entire dumb show.  About the most boring, lifeless, and dreadfully uninspired divinities EVER.  Have there ever been more boring gods?  NO.  They have zero personality.  They don’t really do anything, apparently – they were as boring in the Realm of the Gods as they were in the Human World.  Just… dreadful.

As was our lead female.  What a low key bitch, right?  And her annoying habit of rambling out her self autobiography showed a sad lack of insight for a therapist.  I mean… didn’t she have a degree in psychology?  No wonder she didn’t have any clients.

Did the actors not read the script first?  I honestly can’t believe this show got the green light.  It’s so bad!  Plot holes, pointless characters, storylines that go no where, seemingly important things that turn out to be utterly meaningless, and bad fashion.  The romance was stupid, too.  Childish, annoying, insipid, awkward.  Eck.  I hated it.

Overall Rating – 2/10.  Drowning In A Plate of Water.