Tuesday, December 30, 2014

First Impressions: Healer

Healer

Profile:
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Action, Thriller
Episodes: 20
Broadcast Network: KBS2
Air Time: Monday/Tuesday

Main Cast:
Ji Chang Wook as Seo Jung Hoo/Healer
Yoo Ji Tae as Kim Moon Ho
Park Min Young as Chae Young Shin

Synopsis: 
A decade old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people - A mysterious errand boy with the code name "Healer," a reporter from a second rate tabloid news website, and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station. On the journey to discover the truth and resolve the mystery from their past, they will have to deal with the conflict of truth versus faith and also a love triangle between them. 

Trailer for Healer

Thoughts:
So I didn't actually start this drama until it was already six episodes in, and when I started it I really couldn't stop and binge watched the first six episodes in one day. This show is definitely apart of my watch schedule now, it is a great drama! Every episode is fast past with enough character development mixed with action and romance. It is honestly one of my favorite shows I'm watching right now. I was really skeptical at first, which is why I didn't start watching it from the start. I wasn't up to starting a new series and the plot description didn't interest me at all. Oh so wrong! I think the best part of the show is Ji Chang Wook. He is absolutely adorable and he had me eating out of the palm of his hand in the first episode. I mean look at this....


He is adorable and I basically fainted at this part..... ahhhhh if only he would call me this way.... But he is not the only reason to watch this drama. The chemistry between our two leads is so great, they are adorable together. The two leads are both a little different and eccentric but they work so great together. One of my favorite scenes is when Young Shin is dancing in the cafe with her dad with the Healer looking on in disguise. 

 

This drama really has everything and is one I now get to look forward to watching every Monday and Tuesday. Check it out, and if you are anything like me you won't be able to stop! 



Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Top 5 Korean Dramas of 2014

As the year comes to a close it means that a year of dramaland has come and gone. We have seen good shows and bad shows. But it is the good ones that will be remembered for years to come, expect the really really bad ones that have forever scarred us... cough cough... Doctor Stranger.


There were so many dramas that came out this year, it's impossible to watch them all, and keeping in mind that I only got into dramas this past year so I am new to this. But I did watch a good chunk of these shows and I feel justified in sharing my favorite shows from 2014. So here is my list of the Top 5 Dramas from this past year, this is strictly my opinion so if you disagree... too bad....

Honorable Mention:
My Love from Another Star
This was really close to being in my top five. It was between Pinocchio and this drama for that last spot. When it came down to the wire I had to choose the drama that I enjoyed more and looking at both shows it was Pinocchio that won out in the end. But this drama deserves special mention because it is literally a world wide phenomenon. It has caused fried chicken crazes, and lipstick shortages all over the world. A show like this, that appeals to such a wide audience doesn't come around very often. It had the perfect mix of good plot and a great cast. It is even getting an American make over soon since ABC bought the rights to make an adaption. It's a great drama that has some priceless moments.
So my favorite scene from the drama isn't on you tube and the clip didn't want to load on my slow internet. So here is a link to watch the video, it is both hilarious and heartbreaking and is basically the best. http://vimeo.com/87798895

5. Pinocchio
So this drama isn't done airing and won't be done until the middle of January but most of the show aired in 2014 so I'm counting it on this list. This is one show that is just addicting. I look forward to watching it each week, it has a great balance between melodramatic plot and lighthearted fun. It gets to be both serious and light which is great. The acting is really well done and the main couple has great chemistry. It's a great show to end the year on!

One of my favorite kiss scenes from this entire year, they are so cute together. 

4. Marriage Not Dating
This show is the best rom-coms from this year, and there were a lot of rom-coms to pick from. It had quick dialogue that was witty and smart and it had real characters facing real life situations. For example, our female lead gets indicted for stalking.... is this really a Korean drama that had someone arrested for stalking... because I know a few other leading ladies that need this type wake up call. While this drama isn't particularly overflowing with deep life changing material, it did make me laugh... a lot. It wish all rom-coms could be this witty and funny, but alas this is a special drama and a great watch in 2014. 

Basically they are adorable and I love their relationship!


3. Liar Game
Liar Game is a gripping psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole series. It succeeds at having a complex plot and complex characters that work together to make a great show. I think the most annoying part of this drama is that our female lead is too... good. Sometimes she is really frustrating but her characterization contrasts that of her two male costars who represent the more grey and black side of the spectrum. The show is complicated and simple at the same time and it really is a great drama. Only problem is that it's too short! #sixseasonsandamovie


2. It's Okay, That's Love
This is probably my favorite drama of all time, or at least tied for the top spot in my heart. I know it wasn't a drama without any imperfections, but I love this drama so much and it's pretty much perfect in my eyes. I loved how the drama represented Jae Jang Yeol's mental disorder. It was funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. The supporting characters are what round out the whole show making it a great ensemble. Also the music is a highlight of the show, they were able to use the music to highlight what was happening in the scene without taking away from it. I loved this drama and it was always remain one of my favorites. While they are one of the more dysfunctional couples from this year, they are still super cute and perfect, the end. 

See! Perfect music for a perfect scene!

1. Misaeng 
As if anyone didn't see this one coming, of course Misaeng is going to be number one and rightly so. This is a perfect drama from start to finish. The characters drive this seemingly simply story and give it life. Honestly it's perfect and you will only understand if you go watch it, so go, right now... drop everything and binge watch all 20 episodes, you won't regret it. 

One of the many great scenes between Mr. Oh and Geu Rae. All the Feels!!!

So these are my favorite dramas from this past year. There have been many great shows and really every single one of them have something that qualifies them for a list like this. These five resonated with me and they are the reason why I keep watching Korean dramas. It's been a great year, so let's raise a glass and toast to this past year and hope that 2015 brings us more laughter and tears from great dramas! 

Series Review: Misaeng


So this drama was brilliant.... The End.

Okay so I'll give you more than that. But really this show was absolutely and is without a doubt the best drama released in 2014, and if I'm being honest it is the best quality drama I have ever scene. I did a first impression of this series when it first started airing and all I can say is that this drama kept all those expectations and gave me more I could ever ask for.  

When this drama came to an end I was amazed looking back at the journey it had taken me on. It is a 20 episode drama so it is pretty long but it didn't feel that way. The 20 episodes went by in a flash and looking back there is so much that grew and changed. I am not an outwardly emotional person, I don't cry a lot but when a show can bring me to tears it is something that is real. I am not ashamed to say that this show successfully made me cry, it also made my sister cry even though she had only watched one episode with me. I am so connected to this story I really don't even know where to begin. It is one of the rare shows that appears in dramaland that is the perfect combination of script, acting, and directing that leaves the audience speechless. I have absolutely no complaints about this show, it's perfect. 

The main focus of the show is the relationship between Chief Oh and Geu Rae but it was also an ensemble show that had a cast of characters that created the world of Misaeng. I think what makes this show so incredible is that it represents us, all of us can connect to one of these characters. In fact I think I found little bits of myself in every character. This is a show about the normal people who go day in and day out at work trying to make a living in world that can be pretty cruel. There are good days and there are bad days but it's the journey that is important. Geu Rae ends the show with one final voice over saying "A path is not simply for walking: it's purpose lies in moving forward and improving oneself. A path that fails to do this is not a path." 


Honestly there is nothing I can say about this drama except to go watch it right now. I am sad that this journey had come to an end, that I have to say goodbye to characters that have wormed there way into my heart. It is a beautiful show that is a privilege to watch. 



Series Review: Liar Game

What are you willing to do for money? This is a drama that dives into that question by asking a group of people, who all are in need of financial help, to lie and cheat their way to 10 billion won. So what would you do?



This is the first drama that has hooked me from episode 1 all the way to the last scene of the series. Everything from the casting, pacing, and directing was spot on and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole show. Liar Game is most definitely one of the best dramas 2014 had to offer us, and it is definitely one of my favorite dramas of all time. Not only is it entertaining but it also makes you think and problem solve, which isn't necessary for a lot of dramas. 

The thing that makes this drama work is the complexity of not only the plot but the characters are all complex as well, and that helps carry the plot. What a lot of dramas end up doing is having a complex plot with lots of twist and turns but the characters are overly simple and soon the twist and turns become repetitive and tiresome. A good story needs a balance between the plot and the characters, this show is a perfect example of this. While there was an underlying plot throughout the whole show, each individual episode depended on the characters choices. This also led to me looking at the show through my own eyes and asking myself what I would do during that particular round. By the end of the show I found myself connecting with some of the more deceitful characters because I knew that I would honestly be making those similar types of decisions (I don't know what that says about me, but hey, I'm being honest). And honestly I would find myself rolling my eyes at the characters making "nice" decisions. 


My favorite part of this drama was the villain, Kang Do Young. He was brilliant honestly. He was the perfect amount of creepy but by the end of the drama there were so many layers to his character. He was dark and twisted but he is the one that kept the ball rolling throughout the entire game, he was always one step ahead and that never changed. He was brilliant and scary and I grew to love his character. One thing dramas, especially mystery type dramas, like to do is have outlandish villains that end up being more cartoonish by the end of things. This drama didn't do that, if anything, it made Kang Do Young more human by the end, even though some of the things he does seem a little out there, everything worked. 


This is a drama that is hopefully (fingers crossed) going to have a second season. Usually I am one that believes one and done is good enough for a drama, but this one has so much left unsaid. I am truly hoping that there is a second season coming! This is one of my favorite dramas that premiered in 2014 and as the year comes to a close it is definitely at the top of the list for dramas released this year. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

First Impression: Seonam Girls High School Investigators Ep. 1

Seonam Girls High School Investigators
Profile:
Genre: School, Mystery, Romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: jTBC
Run Time: Tuesday

Main Cast:
Jin Ji Hee as Ahn Chae Yool
Hyeri as Lee Ye Hee
Kang Min Ah as Yoon Mi Do
Lee Min Ji as Kim Ha Jae
Stephanie Lee as choi Sun Yoon

Synopsis: Five students are members of a private investigator club as Seonam Girls High School. They try to solve the problems of private education, abortion, bullying, suicide, and other problems in the Korean education system.  


Thoughts: This drama is so weird and quirky, it's brilliant! I honestly did not know what to expect going into this show, it looked weird but from everything I read about the premise, it had a darker tone. After watching the first episode that is exactly what it was, it was quirky and had funny moments but the show was pretty dark. It reminded me a lot of Surplus Princess but a lot darker. The first few sections is really intense and a little overwhelming but the episode definitely gets better as it goes. I definitely think this is a drama to watch and I think the story will get better as the series goes. 

First Impression: Dr. Frost Ep. 1-3

Dr. Frost
Profile: 
Genre:Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Episodes: 10
Broadcast Network: OCN
Run Time: Sunday

Main Cast:
Song Chang Ui as Baek Nam Bong
Jung Eun Chae as Yoon Sung Ah
Lee Yoon Ji as Song Sun
Sung Ji Roo as Nam Tae Bong
Choi Jung Woo as Chun Sang Won

Synopsis: Baek Nam Bong is known as Dr. Frost. He became a professor in psychology at an early age. He is extremely bright, but he has difficulties sympathizing with others due to an injury to his frontal lobe as a child. During the day, he now works as a counselor at the campus counseling center and at night he works as a bartender. He then begins to work with a teaching assistant, Yoon Sung Ah at the counseling center. Yoon Sung Ah is enthusiastic with the clients needing counseling. They work together to solve problems who go there for help. 


Thoughts: This is a really interesting drama and I'm really enjoying it so far. It has a protagonist who is kind of a douche and a leading lady who is kind of annoying... but somehow it works. I know this is based off a web series of the same name, but I can't help but see a very similar connection to BBC's Sherlock, which is one of my favorite television series. The lead actors mannerisms are just too similar to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. Even the soundtrack is similar to the British show. Obviously there are a lot of differences but the similarities are hard to ignore. Also one of my favorite actresses Lee Yoon Ji, who did an amazing job in King 2 Hearts, so I am looking forward to seeing more from her in future episodes. I am hopeful for this show, it really does look promising. I like the dark tone and the character study each episode has. With only 10 episodes it should be a quick but great ride!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Update!!!!!!!!!!!

So basically my life has been taken over by school, that is why I haven't been posting anything recently. But because finals are in two weeks that means I need to procrastinate everything possible which means working on my blog! So instead of studying I am going to do a few posts!!! I have already updated my watch list since I have finished a few dramas since I last updated my blog. I am also hoping to do a couple of first impressions and maybe a review... we will see how long this procrastinating thing works.....
Also as the year 2014 is coming to an end it is only natural that we start voting for our favorite dramas that have come out. While I know that there are still a few weeks left in December and there are dramas that are airing in these coming weeks the voting must start anyway. My favorite place to vote is a http://www.dramabeans.com/. They are a brilliant blog that has so much info about Korean dramas and recaps and reviews that are great. They a thing called the Beanie Awards and I encourge everyone to go vote!!!!!! Not only is it fun to vote for your favorite dramas but you also get to read some hilarious commentary on each show, another thing that is fun is they show results from past years so you can go see what was popular in 2007 or 2010. So go and Vote!!!