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Korean Drama "unkind Women" First Review

Korean Drama "Unkind Women" First Review

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Gambling addiction is a frightening thing, and one that has captured Hyun Sook (Chae Si Ra), Soon Ok’s daughter. Her husband’s backpacking somewhere in Spain (Santiago’s way, perhaps). She’s done some colossal damage with her gambling this time around, tossing all her mother’s life savings down the drain. She’s not afraid to throw down some adolescent bullies, and is quite possibly the craziest of the bunch. One minute she’s suicidal, the next – she’s wheeling and dealing again.

Soon Ok’s granddaughter, and Hyun Sook’s daughter, Ma Ri (Lee Ha Na, a gem in “King of High School“) gets fired from her teaching job because of the missteps of a certain reporter. She, in her naïvete, offered to hand out A’s to students when she tried to rally up some school spirit. (Handing out A’s, though? Even in jest…that’s something else.)

Korean Drama "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 2 Review

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Thank goodness for Bom’s family. They’ve made no secret of how uncomfortable Bom’s early, out-of-wedlock pregnancy makes them, but their love for their daughter has never been in doubt, and that love comes through in the phone call that Bom makes after delivering her son. Just as wonderful as their love for their daughter is their almost immediate acceptance of In Sang, whom Bom’s mother demands to speak to so that she can tell him that he did a good job too. His own parents treat the baby as a problem to be solved efficiently and impersonally, and refuse to so much as look at their new grandson, while Bom’s parents want to see photos. No wonder Bom grew up to be a clever, even-keeled girl, while In Sang is a nervous wreck.

Young love! It’s great! I just love seeing how obviously In Sang adores Bom—and vice versa. They know that they have an uphill climb ahead of them (a very very steep uphill climb!), but they also know that they have each other. That’s so important, both to them as characters and us as viewers.

Korean Drama “Heart to Heart” Review
Korean Drama “Heart To Heart” Review

Korean Drama “Heart to Heart” Review

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Perhaps what’s most surprising of all though, is that sweet, kind, and lovable Detective Jang Do Soo now seems a tad bit menacing to me and I’m not sure what to do with that. Aside from his unexpectedly violent temper tantrums, I was more concerned with his attempts to control Cha Hong Do, which made her feel uncomfortable in the process. Threatening bodily injury towards Ko Yi Suk, practically taking her phone out of her hands by force, speaking for her without her consent, saying things like, “I hate this the most, so don’t do it,” and even telling Cha Hong Do that she’s misunderstanding her own emotions when, not too long ago, he only knew her as the woman who had sent him side dishes for seven years and had never held a conversation with her, is all sorts of wrong to me.

In fact, his deep, sudden love for Cha Hong Do appears pretty dicey to begin with, but I’m not sure if all this is a result of misled directing, poor editing, or if that is just Jang Do Soo, the character, himself. What I do know; however, is that rather than fawning over him as I did in the beginning, now I feel leery whenever I see him.

Other than the changes I saw in Jang Do Soo, I also find it disappointing that Ko Se Ro is still an insignificant character at this point, because I was pretty curious about her. Although I think she was meant to be comic relief, I’ve yet to laugh at her antics. I’m also still questioning the approach of Ko Yi Suk’s supposed genius abilities as a psychiatrist. All the examples we’ve been provided so far of his talent would not have been successful if Cha Hong Do hadn’t guided him in the right direction and I’m really craving an intense scene where he can truly wow me with his abilities.

Korean Drama
Korean Drama "kill Me, Heal Me" Episode 1 Review

Korean Drama "Kill Me, Heal Me" Episode 1 Review

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In terms of the other characters, I’m definitely looking forward to an explanation of Oh Ri Ohn’s collection of information on Cha Do Hyun. I mean, since when has that kind of thing been revealed in the first episode of anything? Not that I’m particularly complaining. And then there’s Oh Ri Jin. Her personality is right up my alley, and I can’t wait to see more. She had a little monologue in her head near the end of the episode after Shin Se Gi “confessed” to her where she talks through a cliché hoping he won’t say it and he does. When the bikers showed up, she asked herself why the genre changed from a romance comedy to action… to an erotic… then to a bromance. Yeah, she and I clicked.

Korean Drama 'The King"s Face' Episode 2 Review

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I suppose the issue I have with "The King"s Face" is the inability to connect with any of the relationships. They are forced down our throats and have no gravitas. I don"t feel how much Ga-hee cares for her father to pity her when she cries for him. Our newest character, Kim Do-chi, loses his mentor and sobs in angst, which again, I have no connection to. While this show is well-choreographed and slick, all that gloss doesn"t allow for me to have a concrete connection to the characters.

-What this show does have going is the fact that the momentum has not slowed. Political intrigue is always high and many very important people are constantly playing for power. It"s a good set-up for young, not-yet-wisened Prince Gwanghae to step into as the idealist who wants to do right by the woman he loves and by his people. Gwanghae has the strongest set up in terms of character. We"ve seen the most sides of him and have been shown his intentions as a man and as a future king.

I need more time with "The King"s Face". It has a lot of potential that hasn"t yet been fulfilled. Perhaps that will happen once the lightning fast opening episodes have passed.

Korean Drama 'The King's Face' Episode 1 Review

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That said, let"s talk about the actors. Seo In-guk is engaging as always. He has taken on all of his own stunt work, which allows for some great viewing, but also means he"s gotten hurt twice. I"m not sure if the excitement is worth his health, especially with the grueling live shoot process. Seo has a natural affability that he brings to Yi Hon, or Prince Gwanghae who is written as lively, curious, and earnest. His counterpart is his father, King Seonjo, played by the chameleon Lee Seong-jae. Lee makes for a particularly terrifying opponent to the young prince. His knows how to play the game and is willing to take lives without second thought - Lee plays this character as though flipping a coin, which makes it great. He"s hard to read because he shifts between good and horrifying so quickly, and so often.

None of the ministers have yet stuck out from the texture of self-important robed men, but Jo Joon-hee as Kim Ga-hee, the romantic interest, has an interesting role to play. She is a crossdresser, but is doing it because she is to live her life as a man. It"s a great take on the crossdressing theme so popular in K-drama and Jo adds an appropriate amount of levity to the role. It"s not easy to do as there are a few hijinks.

Face reading is the major plot building block, but, thankfully, "The King"s Face" builds the story on more than just that. Some dramas that base their premise on a single idea use it until it has been wrung dry. This drama has already begun to weave other elements into the import of face reading like political manipulation and religion. Hopefully it will continue to do so.

Korean Drama The Three Musketeers Episodes 2, 3, 4 Review
Korean Drama The Three Musketeers Episodes 2, 3, 4 Review

Korean Drama The Three Musketeers Episodes 2, 3, 4 Review

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Dal Hyang is our window into this world and such characters are usually boring. He’s alright but for now, my favorite is Seung Po. I think the Crown Princess deserves better but I suppose she and her husband will eventually fall in love. She lied about burning Dal Hyang’s letter but I can’t blame her for clinging to it while her husband denies her affection.

All I want next week is more of Yong Gol Dae. Am I wrong for hoping he’s made to strip out of his clothes into some prisoner wear once captured?

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Korean drama Joseon Gunman Episode 22 (final) review
Korean Drama Joseon Gunman Episode 22 (Final) Review

Korean drama Joseon Gunman Episode 22 (final) review

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The bullet lands in Soo-in’s shoulder, and she goes down. Yoon-kang manages to carry Soo-in out of the line of fire and they seek shelter inside a house, which is quickly surrounded by Choi’s men and soldiers. Our guys know that the situation is looking grim, and Yoon-kang decides he’ll play decoy to let them escape. Ho-kyung stops him, though, saying that he’ll do it. And knowing that they’ll protest, he uses the only logic that would work: that if the goal is to save Soo-in, then Yoon-kang is the only one who can do it. 

“I have nothing more to lose,” Ho-kyung says. “My father, the new world—there is nothing more for me to protect. I came this far for you two, so leave this to me.”

When Yoon-kang stubbornly argues that they should escape together, Ho-kyung says, “I’m asking you as a favor. Take Soo-in away. And the dream I could not fulfill—the two of you must do it. I know too well that in this kind of situation, remaining alive is even harder than dying. But the two of you must live on. That alone will be a great solace to me.”

Korean Drama Review Plus Nine Boys Episode 2
Korean Drama Review Plus Nine Boys Episode 2

Korean Drama Review Plus Nine Boys Episode 2

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Jae-bum gets misty over the old days (he may look stern-faced but it’s obvious he’s a big old softie), and Jin-gu says it was hard but they got through them together. Se-young comments on their beautiful bromance (hear hear) and she and Jae-bum leave Jin-gu to finish his work. He gets back to his desk and notices the thickly-falling snow, and runs out to take Se-young his umbrella. When he gets outside though, his face crumples as he sees Jae-bum and Se-young sharing an umbrella. He just sadly watches them go, remembering that he’s the third wheel now.

Jin-gu talks with his friend from the bar, who asks how he didn’t know Se-young and Jae-bum were dating since he’s always with them. He’s a good friend as he says that Jae-bum is too cold, and he doesn’t understand how any girl could like him over Jin-gu. Jin-gu gets a call from Jae-bum who asks him to meet him this weekend, because he has something to tell him.