Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Hear Your Voice: Episodes 7-8 Review

Alright, who else snapped to attention after episode 8? I'd heard vague spoilers that it was sad, but it was far from merely sad - I would better describe it as sweeping, heartfelt, and just a perfect way to close-out the halfway point. I'm so excited and nervous for Soo Ha. We all know a time skip is coming though, because the trial date is set for July 3, 2012 and this Wed's airdate is July 3, 2013. So I'm betting we start the story up in the present, and gradually flashback to what happened one year earlier (especially since this show loves playing back-and-forth with time). This is nerve-wracking, because the skip basically confirms that everything Soo Ha was planning for at the end of episode 8 folds out. But the good news is he's officially legal and the real romance can start up!

Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Older Taiwan Dramas I Love

I caught the first 15 mins of the new drama Just You, which disappointingly felt like every Taiwan drama of the past couple years. The story was so full of cliches, overacting, and nonsense that I had to switch it off for my sanity. It features yet another chirpy, self-narrating, indignant Candy-type, played without any originality by Puff Guo (to give you an idea, the character answers a phone call from her bubble bath with "Are you happy? I'm happy!" - *headdesk*). And our hero - you guessed it - stoic, direct, and has a sob-story past. They tried to make that as apparent as possible by giving him a hatred of roses, and literally had him crush a rose between his fingers. Seriously?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dating Agency Cyrano: Episodes 1-2 Impressions

Watching Cyrano felt a bit like walking downhill. The first impression was so full of promise and charm, but as you make your way down it slowly loses steam until you're flat on the ground again. I'd heard from others that it had no hook, but didn't grasp what that meant until midway through episode 2 when I caught myself dozing off. Good news is there's nothing potentially offensive about its premise or cast, but bad news is I don't find myself caring much for any of it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Heartless City: Episodes 7-8 Review

Episodes 7-8 are what clicked the switch for me on this show. I already liked it, but it was more refreshing than addicting. However, now that the story is fully underway for both leads (and the romance accordingly amped up), it's finally crossed to the point of must-see. I wish it hadn't taken this long, but at least the payoff so far looks to be fully worth it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Thieves: Movie Review

I've had this review on my to-do list for months now, but never felt inspired enough to actually write it. That about sums up my sentiments on the movie - it left me with nothing except faint regret for wasting my time. I have no idea what the Korean audience saw in this, because I for sure would not have paid to watch it. As far as heist plots go, this is purely middle-of-the road and is executed in the most draggy and dull fashion. Scenes feel snail-paced rather than slick, and there's far too much set-up and chatter before we get into the action.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Heartless City: Episodes 1-6 Initial Impressions

Wow, what is this sudden stream of good dramas on air? And not a moment too soon; I'd almost given up all dramas after the wave of mediocrity that came in the last few months. As you can tell, my thoughts on Heartless City are largely positive, which is saying a lot considering I'm not normally a fan of the crime/action genre. This drama's appeal lies entirely with Jang Kyung Ho, who is turning over a career-defining performance as the aloof, layered, and painfully suave drug lord.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Itazura na Kiss Love in Tokyo: Episode 10 Update

The more I watch of Itazura na Kiss the more I like this. I guess that's true of most dramas, but even I'm surprised at how much I enjoy my weekly doses of this show. As mentioned before, I was far from impressed by the first 5 episodes. It felt like a complete rehash of ISWAK, with an overacting heroine and an underacting hero. All of this is still true, but I've persisted through and am learning to enjoy it regardless. I think it's because we've finally hit the sweet spot of the story, which is the post-tennis competition phase. This has always been my favorite part of the drama/manga, because the romance feels more true and the characters have finally hit that cusp of maturity and self-discovery. It doesn't hurt we get everything from a stolen kiss to a Christmas party celebration and an overnight stay.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Hear Your Voice: Episodes 1-4 Review

This drama is amazing. Definitely my new weekly crack. I love the characters, the story, the actors, pretty much everything. It made me stay up to the wee hours marathoning all four episodes, because I couldn't stop after just one. I must add that I completely get the Lee Jong Seok appeal now. While it's unfortunate that he's now played the same character three dramas straight, third time's the charm here! The boy's gorgeous and talented, and I might just go back to School 2013 and High Kick to soak up some more.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monstar: Episode 1 Impressions

I'm going to have to pass on this show. It should have been obvious this wouldn't be my thing, considering neither Dream High nor School 2013 elicited more than a passing interest from me. I do like the lead actor, who's putting in a solid, likable performance. But the character generalizations and the show's overdramatic tendencies aren't to my taste, and without a true hook it's hard to find a reason to continue watching.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stars Whose Appeal I Don't Understand - Actors Edition

There are plenty of stars that while I don't like, I can at least see why others do (e.g., Shin Mina, Jang Dong Gun). And then there are those stars whose mass appeal I don't comprehend at all. This isn't meant to bash them (well, except in good humor), but more of a fun post to discuss differences in people's perceptions.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

When a Man Loves: Finale Review

Alright everyone, I'm thrilled to proclaim that WAML ended on an amazingly satisfying conclusion. In fact, I don't think I've felt this much of a contentness buzz from the end of a drama since Queen of Reversals. That's not to say it cinched everything up tightly, but it did close up the storylines that mattered, and left things bright with an airy burst of hope. Seriously, I'd almost go so far as to recommend this to other viewers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When a Man Loves: Pre-Finale Thoughts

This has to have been one of the most frustrating shows I've watched since Material Queen, but AT LAST it seems on the brink of a turnaround. Episode 18 was almost enjoyable, in that things finally start looking up for Tae Sang and Jae Hee appears set to receive his just desserts. At this rate, I'm even expecting a happy ending, which will at least partly make up for the hours of frustration and anger I experienced in the process.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 Finale Review

I took a long break from most of the TV series I was previously following, and have only recently been going back through and watching the season finales. I'm not entirely a fan of the seasons model in the US, because I find writers will overcram these final episodes with last-minute cliffhangers, which are usually resolved in the most anticlimactic ways once the show starts back up. Despite that, they are fun to watch and speculate on, and The Vampire Diaries definitely takes the cake for the most convoluted / interesting of them all this year (spoilers ahead).