Sunday, May 29, 2016

Oh Hae Young Again: First Impressions

This is a story that you'll either love or hate depending on whether you buy into its premise. For me, the overarching story of Eric's character somehow destroying Oh Hae Young's fiancee and causing him to break off the wedding the day before due to a name confusion, combined with all the supernatural coincidences between them (e.g., Eric's visions, their coincidental meet-ups at the bar, then as neighbors) are just too much for me to take seriously. It's that interesting combination of a drama that's trying to be heartfelt and realistic but paired with some of the most absurd storytelling I've ever seen. However, I will say that the dynamic between our leads is fairly cute, and now at episode 3, the characters are finally starting to grow on me. It's not enough to keep me watching, but it does make me understand the show's popular appeal.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Page Turner: Episodes 1-2 Review

Page Turner wasn't a drama I originally had any intention of checking out, as I've never been big on the high school genre and also have never been a massive fan of either Ji Soo or Kim So Hyun. But I kept hearing things about how inspiring the show is, and as I could certainly use more of that in my life, decided to give it a go. And I have to say, it's a pretty darn good watch so far, with a compelling cast of characters and a story that's interesting but not at all over-dramatized. True to this writer's creds, the opening episode is almost immediately addictive and really gets you invested in its cast of characters. I also think the show is buoyed by its short length of only three episodes, because it means the story has to continually clip forward without the typical lulls of longer dramas.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Answer Me 1988: Finale Thoughts

Finally, an Answer Me series with the mystery husband of my choice! Third times the charm and as exaggerated as this may sound, it feels so, so good to get the end couple you've been rooting for. I can say with certainty now that while people might claim who the husband is doesn't matter, it totally does. After all, when you sink over 30 hours of your life into a show, you're looking for a payoff that's satisfactory and squeal-worthy, which you can only have if the guy you're rooting for gets the girl. Plain and simple.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Spotlight: Movie Review

The best movie I saw in 2015 is without a doubt the journalism-centered drama Spotlight. To be honest, I only chose to see it because all the other films on my list (The Revenant, The Big Short, Star Wars) were sold out on Christmas day. But wow am I glad that things worked out and that I gave this movie a chance. I would even go so far as to call this a must-see.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Answer Me 1988: My thoughts on all the love angles and story so far

This drama's just such a breath of fresh air in a landscape filled with love-centric, cliche and melodramatic plots. It reminds me of In Time With You in that sense, as a drama that feels like it's populated with people that could truly exist facing real-world challenges. Similar to ITWY though the main weakness lies in the many varied lovelines, which are convenient at best and mind-numbingly drawn out at worst. But overall the series possesses this sense of authenticity and enrichment factor that I haven't yet found in anything else this year. It's a drama that makes you feel like you come out of each episode as a better person for having seen it. I don't recall having felt this way about either 1994 or 1997, perhaps because of their central focus on the younger generation and their mysterious, blood-pressure inducing romances. Here, I actually do feel invested in all of the characters, young and old. Note that here I'm only discussing what I've watched through episode 14.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Beauty Inside: Movie Review

The Beauty Inside has probably the most original premise I've ever seen a movie take on, which is why I decided to give it a shot. While there's no doubt that it's well-produced and acted, it ultimately fails to deliver the heft of emotion promised, and winds up feeling more like a montage of pretty scenes rather than a cohesive story. I suppose that's almost the inevitable result of combining a story about a body-changing main character with a director who's only worked on commercials - yes, it's prettily shot and perfect for screencaps, but there's little density of story and the moments remain no more than fleeting and superficial.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sassy Go Go: Series Review

Sassy Go Go (odd name aside) was a surprising win as a drama. It has all the feel-good elements needed for a relaxing, casual watch, with an absolutely adorable high-schooler romance that really overshadows all else. I'm generally not a fan of high school dramas, which can often feel too frivolous and plot-thin. While the storyline here is in fact relatively cliche and uninspiring, the lead characters are so charming and sweet that you're willing to endure the less exciting elements of the story to see them together. I'm referring specifically to Kim Yeol and Kang Yeon Doo, who had some of the cutest, most chemistry-laden scenes I've seen all year.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Marry Me or Not: Episode 1 Review

This is apparently the week for good cross-border premieres, what with From 5 to 9 giving a strong showing on the Jdrama scene and now Marry Me or Not doing the same for the long-empty Taiwanese drama field. I watched the 5-min MV for this show on a whim yesterday, and was happily struck by how good it looked. I never got Office Girl's appeal, as I personally found that show boring and the lead's chemistry tepid at best, but Roy and Alice just smoke up the place in Marry Me or Not. If they can sustain this for the dramas run, then this will be the show to watch this year.

From 5 to 9: Episode 1 Review

I've found a new Jdrama obsession, which comes as no surprise as you can't just put Yamapi and Ishihara Satomi together in a rom-com and not get great results. My last Jdrama was back over a year ago with Shitsuren Chocolatier, which also starred Satomi. But that drama was less fluff and more odd angst, which thankfully isn't the case here. For those Itazura na Kiss fans, you might also care that the guy who played Naoki is one of the (apparently several) second-leads here. I personally think this is a perfect fit for him, as he never really gave off what I felt was the charisma needed to lead a show, but he does make a pretty picture and is fairly likable. It also makes you realize what a small world the Jdrama acting space is, as fans of Rich Man, Poor Woman may recall he played one of the leading lady's friends in that show (before he hit it big with Itazura).

Episode 1 of 5 to 9 was generally quite well-done, with enough cuteness and sparks to get me excited for what's to come.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Yong Pal: Finale Thoughts

My mind is still finding it hard to keep up with all the craziness that happened in the last four episodes of Yong Pal. What a confusing and disappointing conclusion. I wonder if it had to do with trying to find a plot point to fill up the extension, because I can't think of any sane writer planning that poisoning nonsense from the start. Yeo Jin clearly has the world's strongest body ever, to have endured all of these surgeries plus a three year coma, yet come out alive and looking great. Spoilers ahead.