Sunday, March 13, 2016

Update: Why is Life So Damn Crazy!!

Okay so wow! I have not updated my blog in the longest time, not because I didn't want to or didn't have things to post about. But because school, work, and shows all stacked on top of each other meant that I was crazy busy! Luckily my life has calmed down and I am ready to throw myself into the blog life again! I have missed getting to put all my thoughts about dramas down on paper and sharing it with people.

Even though my life has not stopped for the past few months, I have still taken time to keep up on dramas I am interested in as they aired. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to watch any dramas that have already aired, and since there are so many that I have on my list that I hope to watch, I hope to start watching those again as well!

So here is a little list of what dramas I am currently watching and how I am feeling about the drama!

Descendants of the Sun

Holy Cow I love this drama so very much. Everything in this drama just works together and it has created a very special drama that is just entertaining. I think apart of it is that this drama is pre-produced which means the director, writer, and actors were able to actually take time to film scenes. It also means that they were able to edit the drama and have time in post-production to make the drama look absolutely gorgeous! Song Joong Ki is probably my favorite part of the drama, I am actually convinced that he is the perfect human. I have watched through episode 6 and if the drama continues to be as well put together as these first few episodes then we should have a very special drama that will become one of this years best.


 Signal

I have started this drama this last week and I am about half way through. I am not usually a fan of cop procedurals but when a really well produced and well thought out procedural comes out it usually means it is something special and unique. This drama definitely falls into this category. The acting is amazing, the story is fascinating and well thought out and to top it all off it is directed very well. I can't wait to see where the story goes.



Memory

So this drama hasn't actually aired yet, it starts this coming Friday. But I am so excited to watch this drama! All the previews show a drama that is just going to tear my heart out, but..... in a good way? Lee Sung Min stars as the lead character and really any drama he is in I automatically think is going to be good, because he is an amazing actor. While I know this drama is going to be sad I hope it isn't too melodramatic and stays more realistic but we will have to wait and see. But I am very excited for this drama to premier.  



Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Impression: Six Flying Dragons

Six Flying Dragons
Profile:
Genre: Historical, Politics
Episodes: 50
Broadcast Network: SBS
Air Time: Monday/Tuesday
Broadcast Period: Oct. 5, 2015 - March 22, 2015

Main Cast:
Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won (King TaeJong)
- Nam Da Reum as Young Lee Bang Won
Kim Myung Min as Jung Do Jeon
Shin Se Kyung as Boon Yi
- Lee Re as Young Boon Yi
Chun Ho Jin as Lee Seong Gye (King TaeJo)
Byun You Han as Ddang Sae
- Yoon Chan Young as Young Ddang Sae
Yoon Kyun Sang as Moo Hyul
- Baek Seung Hwan as Young Moo Hyul

Synopsis:
In the formation f every great nation, many battles are fought by those who have clashing ideologies and political views. These six dragons, Prince Lee Bang Won, Jeong Do Jeon, Lee Seong Gye, Boon Yi, Ddang Sae, and Moo Hyul, fall on opposite sides of a power struggle between those who want a country ruled by ministers and those who want absolute power. Do Jeon helps his father, Seong Gye, who becomes the first King Tae Jo, establish the Joseon Dynasty, but Bang Won, who later becomes KIng Tae Jong, will become his biggest enemy. 

Thoughts:
Okay I am apparently feeling very ambitious right now to take on a historical drama that is 50 episodes long. I already struggle getting through regular 20 episode historical dramas let alone 50. It is a huge time commitment and if I am being completely honest historical dramas are not always the most exciting thing to watch, especially when they get bogged down with politics. I think part of why it is so hard to really get into this genre is because I am not Korean and I don't know the history behind the story. So when this drama was first announced and I saw what a star studded cast this was it really peaked my interest. I thought "could this be something I could really get into?" So in preparation I did some research, and when I say some I mean I spent hours upon hours learning about the formation of the Joseon Dynasty, instead of studying for midterms.... Oops. I didn't want to feel like I was missing something because I didn't know the background of what was going on. And I really do think that helped. I actually found myself enjoying the first two episodes rather than being confused about who all these people actually were and who they were going to become in the future.


I think it is very difficult to judge a 50 episode drama after the first week, because really these two episodes are used to set up backstory. But I still think it was done pretty well. I was engaged throughout the entire episode and there was enough action mixed with the politics to keep everything interesting. But with so many episodes to go it is really difficult to say whether I liked what I watched or not. 


I am definitely going to try to keep with this drama until the bitter end. I am really really going to try but I cannot guarantee that that is actually going to happen. I want to stick it out because I spent so much time learning about this period that I am now wondering how closely they are going to follow the actual history, because Lee Bang Won isn't necessarily a good person who is going to win "best son of the year" anytime soon. So I am really interested what direction they are going to take that character with Yoo Ah In playing him. I really want them to take Yoo Ah In who looks so noble and beautiful and just make him a dark and frightening person who is able to kill his brothers to get to the throne. So I am going to attempt this and if I make it to the end I am going to be extremely proud of myself. And for anyone who is wondering whether they should start this drama I really do recommend looking at the history because it really does help. Some people may think of it as "spoilers" but come on... these are actual people who actually lived and basically the whole Korean nation knows what's going to happen so you won't be the only one who knows the ending. 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Impression: Sassy, Go Go!

Sassy Go Go
Profile:
Genre: Romance, Youth, School
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: KBS2
Air Time: Monday/Tuesday
Broadcast Period: Oct. 5, 2015 - Nov. 24, 2015

Main Cast:
Jung Eun Ji as Kang Yeon Doo
Lee Won Geun as Kim Yeol
Cha Hak Yun as Ha Dong Jae
Chae Soo Bin as Kwon Soo Ah
Ji Soo as Seo Ha Joon

Synopsis:
Is there more to school than just grades? Kang Yeon Doo is a peppy cheerleader who is popular at school because of her sunny personality. But when she transfers to an elite high school where grades and school rankings are stressed, she feels like an outcast because of her less than stellar grades. She also clashes with Kim Yeol, a student who seems to have it all with great looks and great grades. Fellow cheerleader Seo Ha Joon also feels the pressures to do well academically but also harbors a family secret that detracts from his focus. Kwon Soo Ah is pushed into cheer leading by her mother to boost her resume, but she realizes that she has a talent for it. All the students have to try to measure up to the school brainiac, Ha Dong Jae. 

Thoughts:
Man I was really looking forward to having a drama that was just lighthearted and one that I didn't really have to feel anything for. Sure this is an extremely light hearted drama for the most part and it seems really fun but then you have Ji Soo who has to be tortured again and I don't think my heart can take it. After seeing his performance on Angry Mom I knew that is a very talented actor who can handle a pretty intense role, but I just want to see him be happy! Is that too much to ask? 


But overall I really enjoyed the first two episodes of this series. It is going to be a fun ride with a little bit of seriousness sprinkled in here and there to add a nice balance. There have been several school series that have come out this year that have focused on bullying and how much pressure these high school students are under. This show tackles the same topics but I feel like the tone is going to tread more lightly for the most part. Which is nice and I am very excited to see where the drama goes.
I first say Jung Eun Ji in Reply 1997 and have loved her since.... well not in Trot Lovers but I think that was more because of the actual drama than her. She is a very talented actress and I think she has the ability to play this role really well. Yeon Doo is a very strong character and I love seeing that she isn't taking anything laying down. She fights back and that is so good to see in a female lead character. That is what I love about all the characters that Eun Ji chooses to portray, they are all strong people who refuse to be pushed around.


This is the first drama I have seen Lee Won Geun in and so far I am pleased with his acting. I am especially happy that after the first two episodes I feel like there is real chemistry between our lead couple. Unfortunately right now Kim Yeol just seems like the typical rich jack ass but you get hints that there is so much more to him beneath the surface and I just want his soft side to come out. The absolute best part of the first two episodes for me was the bromance between Kim Yeol and Seo Ha Joon. Really these two characters are more like brothers than friends and you see how much they really care about each other in the second episode. I love seeing great friendships portrayed in dramas and I just want to see all the interactions between these two. Plus Ji Soo has my heart and I just want him to have all the screen time and to smile. 


Overall I am excited for the drama. I can't wait to see what type of cheer leading is actually going to be portrayed on the show. I think there will be some great romance and friendships that will develop through out the series. 



Sunday, September 20, 2015

First Impressions: She Was Pretty

She Was Pretty

Profile:
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: MBC
Air Time: Wednesday/Thursday
Broadcast Period: Sept. 16, 2015 - Nov. 5, 3015

Main Cast:
Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin
Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon
Go Joon Hee as Min Ha Ri
Choi Shi Won as Kim Shin Hyuk

Synopsis:
Kim Hye Jin was a very pretty girl from a rich family. After her family's publishing company went bankrupt, she experienced hardships and then lost her beauty too. Ji Sung Joon was an unattractive boy with low self-esteem, but grew up to be a handsome and successful editor. As fate would have it, both of them end up working at the same magazine publishing company. 

Thoughts:
Unfortunately I have recently started back up at University and that means that I have tried to cut back on my drama watching. So when I first read the synopsis to this drama there was no way I was going to watch this drama. I just didn't like that it was about a girl who used to be pretty but now she is ugly so no one cares about her. I knew that that wasn't going to be the whole drama but the way I read it was very off putting. But like so many other dramas I read some good reviews and comments that I ultimately decided to give it a chance. Which overall I am happy that I did, the first two episodes were a pleasant surprised and I am hooked enough to continue watching. 


I think I was really expecting the drama to be shallow and only focus on looks, which to a point that is what it is about. But there is a lot of heart in the first two episodes that took me completely off guard. I actually teared up in the first episode, which was shocking. I think this drama can connect to so many people who have every felt ugly, which I have many times throughout my life. Every person goes through a period of time where they feel like our looks are what define us and if we don't look like the girl on the magazine then somehow we aren't worth it. It's just an unfortunate phase that plagues society. We see this struggle in Hwang Jung Eum's character. When she first realizes that her first love turned into this extremely good looking guy who was obviously successful her insecurities came to the forefront and she panicked. I think that is what I look forward to most about this drama is seeing Kim Hye Jin overcome herself and truly learn to lover who she is inside and outside. 

Another aspect of this drama that was a great surprise was the relationship between our two lead female characters. They are BEST FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!! This drama isn't pitting two women against each other to get the man. They are two women who are there to support each other. At least that is what it seemed like after the first two episodes. It's basically the best thing in the world to see this in dramaland. I love this and it makes me extremely happy, their relationship was my favorite part of the first week and is one of the main reasons I really want to continue watching this drama. 


Overall it was a solid opening week for She Was Pretty. This drama is pretty funny and the acting is all pretty solid. It also has a lot of heart and can make you go from tear to laughter. I am really looking forward to seeing Kim Hye Jin's character growth and seeing our two female leads grow together. I really should wait until the dame is over to just binge watch over a holiday but I am so intrigued that I just have to follow it starting week 1. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

First Impression: Twenty Again

Twenty Again
Profile:
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: TvN
Air Time: Friday/Saturday
Broadcast Period: Aug. 28, 2015 - Oct. 17, 2015

Main Cast:
Choi Ji Woo as Ha No Ra
Lee Sang Yoon as Cha Hyun Suk
Choi Won Young as Kim Woo Chul
Kim Min Jae as Kim Min Soo

Synopsis:
The story revolves around a 38 year old housewife, H No Ra, who decided to go back to school and experience the college life for the first time. She spent the last two decades as a housewife after she got married and became a mother at the age of 19. Her 20 year old son, Kim Min Soo and his girlfriend, Oh Hye Mi are her classmates, while her husband, Kim Woo Chul and her first love, Cha Hyun Suk are professors in that college. 


Thoughts:
I have been looking forward to this drama for a while now, and while I didn't love the first two episodes as much as I was hoping I would they definitely didn't disappoint. After the first two episodes I feel like this drama has so much heart that it is going to channel to create a really funny and light hearted drama. I think dramaland has been pretty disappointing recently and after Oh My Ghostess ended I really questioned if this drama would be able to hold up to the hype it's been given, but if the drama continues to develop following the great introduction we should prepared for a good ride. 

I think the biggest thing I am looking forward to with this drama is seeing Ha No Ra's character development. Right now she is extremely timid but by going back to school I feel like she is going to break out of this housewife shell she has been hiding in for 20 years. We got some great glimps into her past and I can't wait to see that Ha No Ra who isn't afraid to stand up for herself and share her opinions. I think a big part of that character development is going to be initiated by Cha Hyun Suk who knows the woman she really is deep down. I am very excited to see that happen. 


I think the acting is pretty solid, it's really hard to say that the acting is really great or not after just watching 2 episodes. Because dramas can go down hill pretty fast, I have been burned by dramas one two many times recently that I am now very hesitant to praise a drama too much at first. But I really do feel confidant that the acting in the first two episodes will continue throughout the remaining episodes. Also Lee Sang Yoon is absolutely adorable and his character is the complete opposite of his last character in Lying Game, it was a little weird at first but I am completely in love with him. I do really like that I can connect to all the characters, well except Kim Hyun Suk, he's just an ass. But even though he is a complete ass he isn't an outright villain. It's the same thing with their son, he is a brat but I don't think he goes out of his way to be outright mean to his mother, he is a teenager who wants to be independent and his mom going to school with him hinders that plan. 


The theme of this drama really seems to be that it is never too late to discover yourself. This really actually hits close to home for me because my mother actually went back to school when I was a senior in high school. So we were in college together for three years. I definitely didn't have the same reaction that her son did but it was a little weird at first because college is supposed to be this time to break away from your parents and discover yourself but I think for the most part I was so proud that she wasn't scared to put herself out there. She was a housewife for 25 years and now she a special education teacher and is currently looking into masters programs. She is one of the greatest inspirations in my life and I hope that Kim Min So can eventually see that what his mother is doing isn't something to be embarrassed about, it is something to admire and learn from. So I am very excited to follow this drama and see all the characters grow and learn to really love each other. 



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Series Review: Oh My Ghostess


Oh man this drama! After a sling of disappointing dramas this was a really great breath of fresh air... because it was actually enjoyable to watch. This is the type of drama that you could totally marathon in one sitting, it is that entertaining. I am not saying that this show is without it's flaws because it definitely wasn't the perfect dramas, and if I had the power to go back and change a few things within the drama I totally would, but the show also had a lot of great qualities and those completely outweigh any problems I had. 


I think this drama grabbed onto a lot of the audience before it even started airing. The concept for the show is hilarious and it was very interesting. Having a virgin ghost posses a shy girl to seduce a narcissistic chef is pure gold and that really did draw a lot of people. But luckily the show didn't rely solely on the comedy. There was a lot of heart behind each of the characters and that made me care about each one of them. It's heartbreaking when a show makes you feel so connected to a character that is already dead, the happiest ending for her is to simply move on to the next life, it's really bittersweet. The show also set up a very dark plot beneath the comedy that didn't really get a chance to come out until the last few episodes, but Im Ju Hwan was very good at being as creepy as possible. There was just a nice balance between the comedy, romance, mystery, and drama that created a great show that never got boring. 



I think part of the charm of the show was the acting, I mean who can deny that Jo Jung Suk is the only actor who could take a character like Chef and make him this goofy love sick puppy. He was just adorable, and every time Chef looked at Na Bong Sun there was no doubt in my mind that they were in love. Then there is Kim Seul Gi, who has proved time and time again that she is a comedic genius, but is great about this drama is that we got to see a slightly more serious side to her acting as well and I was just as impressed with her dramatic acting as I was with her comedic chops. But the real MVP of the drama was Park Bo Young. I had never seen her in anything before, I think because she has recently stuck to movies and hasn't been apart of dramaland for quite a while. I am so glad that I was introduced to her in this because she is fabulous. She played two characters distinctly so the audience never had to question which person was currently in control. She is such a small person but she commands the screen and I was instantly drawn to her. I will definitely be seeking out her previous work! 
I think if I had anything that I would want to change it would be the time balanced more evenly between Bong Sun and Soon Ae. I was actually really frustrated for the first half of the drama because Soon Ae was spending so much time in Bong Sun's body and it really felt like Chef was falling in love with a ghost which is pretty problematic since, you know... she's dead and there isn't really a happy future for them. I think the relationship between Bong Sun and Chef could have been better established and I do think that was a missed opportunity. And while the lore of the whole ghost world wasn't established super well I think it came unraveled a little bit more for me toward the end. I think Choi Sung Jae was a really hard character at the end because he was possessed by an evil spirit but where does that spirit and his true personality meet? I feel like Sung Jae choosing to kill himself in the second to last episode was a fitting end to his character. Even if it was the ghost doing those evil deeds how could he try to go back to a normal life after the ghost left. So when he showed up again in the final episode I was kind of disappointed where that left him. 


Overall this was a great drama that had me excited each week to watch the new episodes. The chemistry between the actors was spot on and each one embraced their roles fully. The story line is fun and unique and there is a lot of skin-ship throughout the drama, which is not something you see all the time in dramaland. Park Bo Young is an amazing actress and I am so glad that her return to dramas was so successful and I look forward to seeing more from all the actors. I think what left me feeling so good about this drama is that I felt closure for every character. Soon Ae was able to solve her grudge and leave earth with zero regrets and she definitely left her mark on all the characters, especially Bong Sun. Their goodbye to each other was one of my favorite parts of the entire drama, it was so meaningful and they realized that they meant more to each other then either of them had initially planned, it was a beautiful ending for the two characters. I would definitely give this drama two thumbs up and would suggest giving it a watch. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Series Review: The Time We Were Not in Love


Sigh...... I really, really, really wanted to like this drama because I had heard that the Taiwanese drama that it was based off of was really great. I knew going in that the story wasn't anything new, two best friends of opposite genders realize that the friendship they have built over the years has changed into something different. It's stories like these that keep the idea that girls and boys really can't just be friends, in the end there always has to be some sort of romantic feelings shared between the two. So while the story itself didn't have me super excited I was still really looking forward to the drama, Ha Ji Won is a talented actress and I really enjoyed her in The King2Hearts and while I hadn't seen Lee Jin Wook in anything previous he is just so cute that I couldn't help but like him. I really enjoyed the first two weeks of the drama, I thought it was cute and the potential was definitely there. Unfortunately the drama started to nose dive quickly after it was announced that they would be switching drama, and after that it was never able to recover. 

The biggest problem with the drama was definitely the writing, it just wasn't good. By the end of the drama I didn't care what happened to any of the characters. The hardest character to get behind was Ha Ji Won's character Ha Na. I feel like the character could have been a very strong and interesting female character who put her career first in her life and while she does want to have relationships and eventually wants to get married it doesn't control her life. We didn't get that.... nothing really close to that. She was so frustrating to watch and the only time she ever made a hard decision was to get back together with her douche bag ex-boyfriend. And even that decision didn't last long. So she was just a frustrating character and I couldn't follow her thought pattern. By the end her relationship with Won just seemed like she was giving up and settling. 


While she was the hardest character for me to remotely relate to Won wasn't much better. He made some really odd decisions when he was younger and really stuck to the whole "never loving Ha Na" thing like for twenty years he stuck to this mantra, then one day he decided to flip that switch and go after her. And while he was a really good guy who was always there to support Ha Na even when she was making crazy decisions that he didn't agree with, he still just rubbed me the wrong way. I definitely think it was his 90's throwback hair cut and his all denim outfits.... 


While the characterization was a big problem there was also no plot to be found in all 16 episodes. It was honestly just boring to watch. Each week I would have a slight glimmer of hope that the drama would magically somehow get better and each week they took that hope and crushed it. It get's to the point where even the happy ending doesn't mean anything anymore, you know that the drama is required to have this type of ending but they did nothing to earn it. I don't know why I watched it all the way through... I have this issue where when I start a drama I hate to stop in the middle, it is really hard to just drop something but I have done it before to dramas that were a lot better than this one. But somehow I accepted the challenge to finish this drama and I succeeded. I would never suggest this drama to anyone to invest 16 hours of their lives on. 

I wish they would have just kept L the entire drama.... He would have been able to help me through.