Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marriage, Not Dating: Disappointed First Impressions



I know this show's been in vogue among all the rom-com fans, but at three episodes in, I've decided to call it quits. Something about this drama literally makes me feel exhausted when I watch. It might be the mile a minute nonsensical dialog, or the general lack of rhythm and logic in the plot and scenes. Regardless, I'm just not feeling it, and watching the heroine flail about tires me out. This is overacting at its finest (and most excessive), and while I'll give her some latitude given the overall silly story, I'm just unable to watch it any longer.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's Okay, It's Love: First Impressions


I'm still mixed as to whether I really like this drama, but it's clearly well thought out and intriguingly different from most shows on air. I hardly care about the central romance, which for reasons I'll explain annoys more than interests me. What keeps me invested are the leads as individual characters, and especially Jo In Sung's slightly on-edge, veneered leading man. He embodies so many emotions and complexities, and feels like a raw but real person who does things that are unexpected yet satisfying and authentic. The story for me is about his journey, both in the past and present. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trot Lovers: A perfect midpoint closure - Post-episode 8 thoughts


I was skeptical, but this series has well-exceeded my expectations, and took a turn for the sweet and adorable over the past few episodes. I'm even completely bought into the OTP and their comfortable chemistry. It's not often that I like both sides of a couple (as evidenced by my previous reviews), so it's a rare treat when it just works. Combined with the fun music (yes, even trot has grown on me) and the zany, humor-rich plot, consider me a complete Trot Lovers fan.  

The Joseon Gunman: Visually impressive but romantically flat as of episode 8


The title pretty much says it all - this is one gorgeous drama, but unfortunately I've resigned myself to not caring a whit about Soo In and Yoon Kang together. As a whole the drama's so darned slick that I can't help but watch and wish I liked it more, even when half of the story doesn't resonate much. I'm not sure I can see how they're going to drag out the rest of the story for the full 20 episodes (like really, he knows the merchant is behind everything, so why the delay to action?) but for now I'll just appreciate the music and scenes of Lee Jun Ki in various guises.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fated to Love You (Korea): Frustrating, predictable, but addicting as of episode 6


They're definitely keeping the show thisclose to the original in terms of script and character interactions. I suppose that makes it easier in that you have a tried and true story, but it's also frustrating when as the viewer you have to rewatch all the portions of the original that you didn't like, and have the dread of knowing exactly what's to come. This also makes the drama feel like a complete throwback, with the traditional sorts of early-2000s dramaland misunderstandings keeping the plot afloat. It frustrates me, but it is admittedly an effective hook once you've established investment in the characters. As of episode 6, this drama's all about Lee Gun for me, with Kim Mi Young as the vase that's there because she has to be, but about as substanceless as they come.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Joseon Gunman: Episodes 1-4 Thoughts


This really is The Princess' Man v2, and had me glued to the screen for pretty much that reason alone. Joseon Gunman features almost exactly the same story arc as its predecessor, from the innocent romantic build-up to the inevitable family tragedy, revenge, and torn love. It also shares many of the same side actors, a beautiful operatic soundtrack, and similarly gorgeous cinematography. If I'd known it would be such a close sibling to TPM, I might have been more excited for its premiere rather than overlooking it until now. After marathoning the past four episodes, I'm not yet fully in love with the show, but I'm generally hooked and have faith that it will build-up into something incredible.

Trot Lovers: Episodes 3-4 Thoughts


I was a bit surprised at how dark they took this set of episodes. I suppose we needed that in order to force some changes in our very immature hero, but the bleakness came so unexpectedly and with such harshness that I wasn't sure what to make of it. Luckily things lightened up in episode 4, and generally I'm still charmed by the series and willing to wait and see how things play out.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fated to Love You (Korea): First Impressions


Two episodes in and I'm completely sold on this drama. It's nutty to the point of surreal, but even that somehow works to provide a fluffy, dreamy watch that makes me smile. The original Taiwan FTLY was one of my drama addictions back when it first aired, though I admit to growing weary of the excessive dramatics by about midway through. I'm really hoping the Kdrama version steers clear of all that, but even so I think the premise is fairly unique (not often that you get one night stands in dramas), and I can already tell that I'm going to like Jang Nara much better than Chen Qiao En as the female lead. So far FTLY is sweet, romantic, and hints at much potential ahead.