Friday, July 29, 2016

Family's Honor: Episodes 1-4 Early Impressions

Family's Honor (or Glory to the Family) has been on my to-watch list for literally years as the reviews are almost universally positive, but it's taken me this long to make the first foray into it. The main issues holding me back were the 54-episode length (the longest drama I've ever finished to date has been the 31-episode Queen of Reversals), and its status as a "family drama" - I can't name a single one of these that I've actually enjoyed or watched more than a few episodes of. I don't like secondary couples or side characters as a whole, since usually their only purpose is to steal time away from the leads and fill up the broadcast time slot. Unfortunately, secondary characters are basically the foundation upon which family dramas are built - each relationship needs to be given equal screentime, regardless of whether or not they're fundamentally interesting to watch, because the story length and format requires it.

At any rate, I felt it was finally time to give this a try, as to be honest I've missed seeing Park Shi Hoo on the screen (Neighborhood Hero was poorly written to the point of being unwatchable). While I wanted to love this show, unfortunately it didn't repeal my disappointment in family dramas and features a cast of characters that I just can't bring myself to care for. I'm calling it quits after four episodes, and wanted to share a summary of the story and my thoughts on what I did get through.

Friday, July 22, 2016

W - Two Worlds: Episodes 1-2 Review

I was worried that W wouldn't live up to its hype, but the first two episodes totally met and exceeded expectations. I love nearly everything about this series so far, from the suspenseful story to the snazzy directing and perfect soundtrack. The story is the standout so far, and I'd expect nothing less from the writer of Queen In Hyun's Man and Nine. It dishes out plenty of suspense balanced with an intriguing mix of characters and perfectly placed meta references. The seemingly absurd premise of a comic book world coming to life feels grounded and thrilling, and already has me so curious to see what happens next. All in all, a very solid outing for the series.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Drama trends that need to stop: Casting significantly younger actresses with older actors

There's one awful "trend" in the Korean dramaverse that seems to have exploded this year - the casting of much younger, sometimes even below legal age actresses across from much older actors in romantic roles. This is now rampant to the point where I've nearly lost count of how many there have been in this year alone. It's also something that I'm growing ever more irritated and disturbed by, and wish will stop soon.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Doctors: Episodes 1-4 Thoughts

I am obsessed with this show right now. Even though I'm not the biggest Park Shin Hye or Kim Rae Won fan, the combination of the redemption-and-satisfaction loaded storyline with strong characters that have killer chemistry is almost too good to be true. I was gripped within the first ten minutes, and four episodes later am fighting off the urge to rewatch the earlier episodes.

I just love everything about this drama, from the plot arc which features plenty of reversals of fortune and interesting characters, to the slightly forbidden but undeniably powerful romance, to the fact that here's finally a story that features an impressively competent yet sympathetic female lead. Everything else, from the perfect OST, the cute second lead, the frenemies dynamic between the leading ladies, the too awesome grandma and the kickass style Park Shin Hye is rocking, is just icing on the cake. I'm wary of whether this show can sustain the momentum for a full 20 episodes, but certainly hope to be proven wrong.