Category: ‘Drama Recap’

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[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Mystery Queen”
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Mystery Queen”

If you feel burned out by the influx of brooding detectives and copious amounts of violence that Korean drama has been experiencing recently, "Mystery Queen" might just be the break you need. The series will not take you too far from that crime solving sweet-spot and a bickering, yet perfectly compatible duo of crime fighters handling neighborhood villains will give you the fun and variety the genre sometimes lacks.

"Mystery Queen" is a unique type of mystery comedy series and one of the show's biggest strengths is managing to maintain its genres throughout. The series has a light tone despite the often dire subject matter and this gives its world and characters consistency. The chemistry of its two leads is another great plus and arguably the core of what makes their adventures so enjoyable. The supporting cast is equally crucial in making the world of "Mystery Queen" engaging.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 12
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 12

Things are a bit of a jumbled mess in the land of "Man-Hole". Pil is stuck in the future, in 2018, with a married Soo-jin, a violent offender in the neighborhood, broken up couples, and a Seok-tae who is on the brink of discovering Pil's truth about the manhole. And yet, despite all this excitement, the drama isn't all that exciting.

Mostly I think the lack of development of Jae-hyun's character as a villain is what is dragging down these latest episodes. We have seen Pil and Soo-jin do their love song and dance. Now it seems as though time travel through the manhole may be guiding our characters to unearthing the nasty piece of work that is behind Jae-hyun's handsome face. Although Jae-hyun is a charming sociopath and radiates danger, he is still a one-dimensional character who is difficult to hate. Dislike, yes. Hate, no. And that's important when evil characters are presented to viewers. Good television is supposed to draw out emotions and make us feel what the characters are feeling. In the case of Jae-hyun, his character is lukewarm at best. He seems to just be going through the motions prescribed in the "How to be evil Guidebook". Give me something more than that, Writer Lee Jae-gon.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 11
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 11

"Man-Hole" endeavors to break from its slump, but has a hard time doing so. The mechanism of action isn't quite as solid as it once was with traveling all throughout the time line, not just from past to present. Reasons behind changes in behavior are muddied and Pil still hasn't quite grown up as much as he should.

Pil has always been immature and selfish in his love. At this point, his selfishness has somewhat waned in his worry for Soo-jin's safety at the hands of the quite dubious Jae-hyun. Because he and Soo-jin circle around each other having the same arguments from episode to episode, it's getting quite difficult to continue watching their stagnant relationship. In fact, despite Jae-hyun's creepiness, I do admire Soo-jin's dedication to herself and her emotional needs. Pil is hovering and she does what is best for her. He hasn't really ever given her a great reason to be with him.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Criminal Minds” Episode 18
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Criminal Minds” Episode 18

Well, this was a fairly distressing storyline, albeit mostly for the intended reason of the profiled crime of serial rape being so monstrous that doing research on it makes me feel a little physically ill. "Criminal Minds" even achieves this effect without having to resort to overly gory imagery. The cold open in the couple's house cuts off before getting too graphic, and the most painful scene in the episode is when we find out how and why one of the victims committed suicide.

There are still some logical problems. At this point teleporting serial killers is such a widespread trend I should just assume this is something all serial killers know how to do. The ability of a single, technologically literate person to be able to monitor so many actions and make so many correct assumptions is just a tad implausible. The serial killer's abilities aren't much more functionally different than Na-hwang's, after all, and we see her limits all the time.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Single Wife” Episode 10
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Single Wife” Episode 10

So Ra-hee and Min-hong are finally at court, and it looks like they can get the divorce finalized. It doesn't happen, obviously, and this scene is supposed to represent how Min-hong still has feelings for Ra-hee and won't give up on her so easily. This is likely to eventually contrast with how Jae-min will eventually give up on Ra-hee entirely because of her inability to come clean with him on the full situation.

Once again, though, I was just reminded about what a dork Ra-hee was for ever thinking she had been divorced in the first place. It's weird how even though Ra-hee is the main character, has the most scenes, and defines the entire motivation for both the male leads...I still can't really grasp much of her personality. "Single Wife" can't even explain why Jae-min is willing to go to bat for her save for that flashback to when they first met. What has she done for him lately?

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Criminal Minds” Episode 17
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Criminal Minds” Episode 17

The storyline starts out promisingly enough. The main points everyone initially emphasizes are just logistical ones, like how the serial killer has been sneaking into unoccupied rental properties in the first place. Where everything turns dumb is when we run into a survivor of his crimes. Cruel though it may be to write this, my first main impression of the woman was that...she was just really, really dumb. Who agrees to online sexual encounters in creepy places in the middle of nowhere?

The weird part is, I had thought the ending of the previous episode had already explained how the killer was corralling his victims pretty well. The guy was pretending to be a big shot, possibly even a real estate agent, which would explain why he had access to and would want to use unoccupied rental properties for trysts instead of just going to a hotel. If the goal is to impress a woman into a false sense of security, that's a pretty good plan.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Single Wife” Episode 9
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[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Single Wife” Episode 9

Min-hong, having finally figured out what Ra-hee is up to, lapses into alcoholic depression. I mean it doesn't go on forever, just a single night as long we can tell. Then it's on to revenge. But even that is pretty light. Right at the moment I thought Min-hong was going to do something explicitly petty and mean instead he turns right around and confronts Ra-hee on how she's accepted Jae-min's marriage proposal without fully cluing him in to what's going on.

This is something I've been waiting on for quite some time- that "Single Wife" would finally acknowledge that even by wacky situation comedy standards, Ra-hee is really not a very good person. Her main character traits are, and always have been, that she was too scatterbrained to finalize the divorce herself, too petty to work with Min-hong to get it done now, and too insecure to simply tell Jae-min the full context of what's going on. None of these traits bodes well for a long-term domestic partner.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 10
Drama Recap

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Man-hole” Episode 10

Although Pil is still spazzy, it is in this episode that we see that he is learning to care for more than just his own love. He cares about Jin-sook even if that caring doesn't equate to the same kind of love that she feels for him. But these two aren't the only ones who suffer from love woes and we see that love lines are still as complicated as ever.

Seok-tae is less of a shifty friend than he once was. His love for Jin-sook has given him goals and centered him. I wish he was this interesting in the earlier episodes and that the production had given Baro more to do at that point as well. The same holds true for Jung-ae, Goo-gil, and Dal-soo's characters and actors. They are involved in relationships that are typical to the genre, but they aren't further developed. Surprises don't come as much of a surprise, like Dal-soo's chaebol background, because its hard to care about someone poorly developed. What is the writer trying to do with the love triangle between Dal-soo, June-ae and Goo-gil, anyway? It seems like a needless push-and-pull. Perhaps it had once aimed to explore friendship and romance, but no longer.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “The King Loves” Episode 39-40 Final
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[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “The King Loves” Episode 39-40 Final

Right up until the last minute, "The King Loves" is as contrived as ever. Because of course Prince Won and Prince Lin are the only two guys who can show up to stop Song-in from finishing her off. Of course one of themgets wounded on the way, forcing the other to confront Song-in on his own. The way they're acting one would think that Song-in was a trained assassin, not a random dignitary whose entire empire collapsed overnight because the queen made an unexpected visit to the king's personal chambers.

[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “The King Loves” Episodes 37-38
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[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “The King Loves” Episodes 37-38

Prince Lin's noble, if obviously stupid gesture at the last cliffhanger ultimately succeeds in getting Prince Won to calm down, so their plot arc ends in a fairly boring reconciliation. Once again I am annoyed at just how sheerly unnecessarily this entire dispute was. Prince Lin himself apparently had enough sense to explain to Prince Won what he was doing and why - in letter form. And so once again "The King Loves" has an excuse to tell us the story through flashbacks instead of as it happens.