Mr. Sunshine (Korean Drama 2018)

Synopsis:

During the 1871 Shinmiyangyo- U.S. expedition to Korea, a young slave boy from Jeoson fled to America to escape his bitter fate from the hands of a noble family. When this boy grew up, he was sent back to Jeoson by the American government which he served as a soldier to be assigned as a commission officer and as a secret agent. From there he falls in love with a noble woman while harboring feelings of revenge for the family who was responsible for the loss of his parents.

Words from Me:

The setting of this drama was during the transition of Korea from Jeoson to the modern era and probably closing on to becoming a democratic nation. Story wise it was full of fictional characters and settings but was also somehow mixed with bits of truth here and there. I haven’t researched much about Korea’s history in regards with the drama’s time table because I didn’t want to compare fiction to reality. I have this thing about getting disappointed when I’ve set my expectations already. The drama was also filled with wit, thanks to the writer who seemed to enjoy on sneaking in a couple of funny moments using words to make a comical scene out of this serious drama, but a huge thanks should be given to the actors who were able to deliver these humorous lines. They were able to lighten the drama atmosphere by inserting some comic relief.

Setting that aside, I love the fact that this drama was dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives for their own nation. Though the drama summary seemed to revolve around two people who fell in love against all odds, there is a deeper meaning beyond the romance and that’s patriotism. Most of the lead characters in this drama weren’t keen in protecting their own country, except for one. They didn’t even want to get involved with anything that pertains to Jeoson, however, as time passed by and the situation got worse, these characters cross paths with each other and are eventually thrown into the chaos. The only lead character that was so sure of protecting Jeoson was Go Ae-Shin, a nobleMr. Sunshine ep10.mp4_004261294 woman with a high status and was bound to marry a man with the same standing in life. This steadfast character was portrayed by Kim Tae-Ri which she gave so much justice for. Ae-Shin is a stubborn woman with an amusing personality at times. Due to her all-knowing attitude, she seems to put herself in a pinch and ends up embarrassing herself in the end. Despite this little quirk in her character, she’s a woman who can wield a gun and shoot anyone spot on, that’s why she was chosen by the rebels whom they call themselves “The Righteous Army” to become their sniper. Her counterpart in this drama was Yoo Jin Choi/Eugene Choi performed by the hallyu veteran Mr. Sunshine ep10.mp4_004254954actor Lee Byung Hun. He was the servant boy who ran away from his country to avoid being killed. He had his own sheer of bad luck and dire circumstances that he ended up being an American citizen only to return to his birth county as an American soldier with big responsibilities. Unfortunately he fell in love. Yoo Jin could have lived a peaceful life as an American commander stationed in Jeoson, but no… he didn’t choose that kind of life because he decided to fall in love and choose the sappy path of romance and bits of revenge. I won’t say more about his character because it would be a big spoiler if I do, but I’d like to add that Byung Hun nailed his character. He may not be my favorite in this drama nonetheless he did a perfect job as Eugene Choi, he was able to speak English fluently with very little Korean accent, also adding up the fact that he can converse in Japanese was another feat that made me like him more than Ae Shin.

I have listed three other characters in this drama that is worth mentioning. First is myMr. Sunshine ep10.mp4_002111378 most favorite character – Gu Dong Mae also known as Ishida Sho. He was acted by Yoo Yeon Seok, he’s also one of my favorite Korean actors. The reason why I love his character is that he’s a total ladies man! He has this nonchalant way of helping out ladies in distress in a very cool way. Dong Mae was a son of a butcher and back in Jeoson days, being a butcher means being in the lowest ranks of commoners and more like equal to a slave. He lived like a dog when he was a young boy and resented everyone even Ae Shin who tried to help him escape during a certain incident, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t grateful because he was. He also have this weird way of showing his love, he does hateful things to aggravate the person he likes so as she wouldn’t forget him and that his memory will embed in her mind forever. He’s the typical bad boy who can kill anyone with his shiny-sharp cherry blossom sword and yet go through an unrequited love. The second character in my list is the hotel Mr. Sunshine ep15.mp4_001524758owner Kudo Hina who was once called Lee Yang Hwa. When she was a young girl, she was sold off by her own father to marry a rich but old Japanese man. Her character is quite peculiar because she does things on her own pace and she also has all kinds of agenda in her plate, but one thing is for sure, she’s a strong willed woman who cares for other people despite how feisty she is. With the kind of personality she has, I’d bet she’d bite off anyone who would mess with her. Just the kind of woman I’d like to be friends with. The last character in my list is Kim Hui Seong and he was personified by Byun Yo Han in an epic way. Hui Seong hasMr. Sunshine ep16.mp4_000128962 deep ties with Yoo Jin and Ae Shin, since his family was the one that made Yoo Jin’s life a living hell in Jeoson and he was pre-engaged by his grandfather to Ae Shin. I love how his character evolved up to the end. At first, he may seem like an easy go lucky like kind of person but underneath it all, he wanted to be of use in more ways than one. Another thing that I liked is how Yo Han was able to sparkle between the charismatic guys, Yoo Jin and Dong Mae. I find myself looking forward for the trio’s scenes together because they always end up with such witty and funny lines.

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All in all, everything in this drama looked beautiful, the actors and the back ground setting was a highlight of its own. I also have this thing for cinematography and those Mr. Sunshine ep20.mp4_003823890back shots which looks so good in screen captures. The drama also didn’t shy on killing those seemingly important characters in the middle of the show which totally tore my heart into pieces and made me anticipate who’s going to die next. It may have a bittersweet ending but it’s not about that, because the drama is about the journey and the sacrifices one has to make for the bigger picture and for those they love. By the way, OST was so good I had it running inside my head days after I’ve finished the drama. I felt happy and sad every time I hear the songs. TvN once again made a popular drama that would stay in the hearts of people who’ve seen it. I’m definitely recommending this for those who love watching historical dramas with heroic tendencies.

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Queen Seon Duk (Korean Drama 2009)

Synopsis:

The series begins at the end of King Jinheung’s reign and continues until the end of Queen Seondeok’s reign. Deokman was born as one of the twin daughters of King Jinpyeong and Queen Maya, but due to a prophecy, King Jinpyeong had to send his daughter away from the palace with the help of his clumsy but loyal servant Seohwa, in order to save Queen Maya from being ousted by Mishil, whose ambition was to become Queen. Seohwa raised Deokman as if she were her own, but a turn of events eventually led Deokman into finding out her real identity – only to be abandoned once again by her family in order to save the throne from Mishil’s hand, with the exception of her twin sister Cheonmyeon, who ended up losing her life while trying to help Deokman escape. Out of hatred, Deokman set out to take back what was taken from her and avenge her sister by bringing Mishil down and becoming the first female king of Silla with the help of her trusted friend, Yushin and troubled rogue Bidam, who eventually led a rebellion near the end of her reign.

Excerpted from: Wikipedia

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Words from Me:

I wasn’t actually planning on watching this drama but my parents started it when it was aired in our local channel back in 2010 since they loved saguek. This is the second long running sageuk drama I’ve ever seen, next to Dae Jang Geum. Since this was depicted from Korea’s own history, I tried to research a bit while I was watching the whole thing. That’s when I discovered that the drama was very far from reality or even from its original history. Just like Dae Jang Geum, it was altered a lot.

The drama’s setting was when Silla (post Goryeo period and pre Jeoson period) was a broken country, it was during 57 BCE–935 CE within the Korean timeline. I’m a bit confused with regards to Korean history since there are a lot of Kingdoms that has risen before it was known as Jeoson which was the most popular setting for saguek dramas and has the most historical documentation in Korean history. There were so few historical records pre-Jeoson period so the drama producers had to do with what they have. During that time, Silla was always at war with its neighboring countries and at the same time had internal conflicts within its own regions. People were still ignorant about science and had firm belief in myths. The main character Seon Duk or first known as Deokman was born during those times of conquering kingdoms and ignorance. She had to be separated with the royal family right after birth due to the nation’s cruel beliefs . It was then, a prophecy was given that a chosen one will unite the kingdom of Silla. Though, never in their wildest dreams did they think it would be a Queen and a twin nonetheless. Twins were actually seen as an abomination back in those days that’s why one of the twins was supposed to be killed but instead, that specific twin was stowed away by the kings’s faithful servant, who grew up as Deokman. That’s why Deokman’s journey from being a poor traveler, to a soldier then finally to being a queen called Seon Duk was an epic one. During her growth, she had a handful of help from different people she get to meet along the way. Her perseverance, wit and loyalty has touched people’s heart around her and because of this, they become loyal to her in return.

What I liked about the drama was the political conflicts in every aspect. The more problem there is on the top of the ladder, the larger the problem becomes at the bottom. Politics has always been a mar in society due to the scoundrels who take advantage of their power. It’s sad that if one person tries to be righteous in his ways, a flock would try to bring him down. Solving political problems was never easy to begin with, but this drama, even the antagonist named Mishil had the same thoughts as on how to control the government properly. She was one of the reasons why I liked this drama, I had this love-hate relationship with her character because the even though she is the bad guy, she had good intentions for the betterment of the country but unfortunately she executed her awesome plans horribly which turned the table around in favor for the Seon Duk. Though Mishil is very much witty like Seon Duk she chose the fastest way to conquer and make people follow and that’s fear. By killing anyone who gets in her way, she got to do what she had to do. The show got more interesting because two great female minds collided head on with their own tactics.

Inserted along the way is a love triangle within the story line. I can’t believe that the producers just wouldn’t let romance get away in sageuk dramas! In the story,  there is the ever loyal Kim Yu Shin from Seon Duk’s childhood days to her puberty up until she was the queen and then later on comes in the feisty Bidam. This part of the story isn’t your average love story, there were so many twist and turns that in the end it just made me pull out my hair and cry out loud for all the things these three people had to go through. I had laid out my cards for Bidam when his character came up, but my heart was just torn into pieces because of him.

I am recommending this drama, because it is a good watch. An eye opener when it comes to political aspects. It made me think how the rulers of my country are running things behind the scene. The actors were also top notch, they portrayed their roles with superb acting skills that it’s hard not get carried away. OST was also unforgettable as they have used different music scores to accentuate important scenes. I may rewatch this drama in the future if only to see Bidam’s character once again.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Coffee Prince (Korean Drama 2007)

Synopsis:

A tomboy is mistaken for a young man, but maintains the deception for the sake of employment. The situation is complicated when the male boss begins to develop feelings for this “boy”.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from Me:

What’s so good about a gender-bender romcom? Well, first of all this is an acquired taste kind of drama, since not everyone likes the genre. Personally, I like it because I like girls pretending to be boys as they get into all kinds of mishaps and misunderstandings. But honestly, I don’t even understand myself as to why I find a plot like this enjoyable.

As for the story, Coffee Prince is about a girl named Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye), a poor hard working girl who is always mistaken as a guy. Then fate made her meet Choi Hang Kyul (Gong Yoo) during one of her part time jobs. After which they came to an agreement to help each other out and eventually, she ended up lying about her gender so she could work for him full time. The drama was hilarious in all angles but there is no realism in this one. It is so obvious that Eun Chan is a girl if you look closely at her chest. So I’m warning those who think that the drama is not realistic enough to be watched. Despite that little factor, I loved the drama for the cast and then the story follows. This was the second drama I’ve seen Yooncp Eun Hye in, the first one was Princess Hours also known as Goong. There was such a big character difference between the two dramas that I can’t believe she was very effective in both. Here in Coffee Prince, it felt like the main female lead was actually made for her. She wasn’t afraid to step up her game and get her hair all chopped up for the role. That’s one thing about Eun Hye that I like, she takes all kinds of roles which gives her a wide range of acting experience. Gong Yoo on the other hand, felt like a piece in a puzzlecp11-035 which completed the whole picture. He complimented Eun Hye’s character and their chemistry on screen was sizzling hot. This was the first drama I’ve seen him in and I had a really good impression on his acting style. That’s why when Goblin and Train to Busan became a hit, I wasn’t really surprised because he was a really amazing actor.

If these two main actors were great to watch, there’s also the eye candy supporting actors, the Coffee Prince baristas. This is where Kim Jae Wook comes in, my very firstSun_Ki supporting actor crush. His role as No Sun Ki, the waffle cart guy who hailed from Japan to follow his Korean wife in Seoul was a bit underrated. I wish there was more about his background story but it became very limited. I’m just glad that he had a lot of good roles after this drama. Another staff member is, Kim Dong Wook, whom I think was born as a comedian, but he can definitely act any role he wanted. In this series, he was Jin Ha Rim, one of Han Kyul’s close friends who helped out put Coffee Prince into life from scratch. He’s a pretty well off guy in the story but he wanted to follow his dreams and so he became a homeless guy who lived in a dump kind of house with the old fart cafe assistant manager, Hong Gae Shik portrayed by Kim Chang wan. Princes_PhotosHa Rim is also the bubbliest person in the Coffee Prince staff who loves annoying Eun Chan and thinks she’s pretty cute for a guy.  Aside from this, he’s also known as the actor from the movie Along with the Gods. Last but not the least is Lee Eon who acting the big bulky guy named Hwang Min Yeop, who was a pretty dumb guy but actually had a soft heart and was in love with Gong Chan’s sister. He’s pretty strong too that’s why he got hired in the cafe on the spot. I personally loved his character because he seems all big and bulky on the outside but very fluffy in the inside. His personality gave balance to the aloof Sun Ki, bubbly Ha Rim, grouchy Mr. Hong and the confused Gong Chan. Aside this, another personal detail about the actor Lee Eon, he already passed away on the year 2008 due to a motorcycle accident. He was too young and his career was on the height of its fame. The news was shocking and left me sad, but I’m just glad he was able to leave something very special behind. cp12-032As for the second lead actors, I don’t have much to say about them since I think that the drama would actually still move forward without them. Choi Han Seong acted by Lee Sun Kyun is the music director whom Eun Chan had a crush with, while Chae Jung Ahn portrayed by Han Yoo Joo was his girl friend and Han Kyul’s first love.

Another thing that makes this drama a good and memorable watch is the OST. Every time I hear the OST for this drama, I could still remember my favorite scene. For those who are reading this entry, check out the title “Go Go Chan!” from the OST’s list of titles. It’s very cute and catchy. I have rewatched this drama dozens of times and will still watch it in the near future and I’m recommending this show for those who love Gong Yoo and would want to check out his old works.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE, CREDITS GOES TO THE OWNER.

 

My Girl (Korean Drama 2005)

Synopsis:

When Gong Chan meets the lively and beautiful Yoo Rin, he finds out that she has connections to his missing cousin, whom his grandfather has been searching for. He asks Yoo Rin to lie about being his long missing cousin until he can find his real cousin. She says yes, but soon their feelings for each other get in the way of their plans. Gong Chan’s friend, Jung Woo falls for YooRin while Gong Chan’s ex-girlfriend, Seo Hyun, a pro tennis player, tries to win him back. Will the two ever tell each other how they feel? Will Gong Chan ever find his real cousin?

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from Me:

Another rom-com kdrama that hooked me up. This was my second time seeing Lee Da Hae in a drama, but as a lead. I’ve first seen her in Sweet 18 as an antagonist and told myself, “She’s really pretty and I think comedy would suit her.” Then a few years later, My Girl aired in Korea and there she was, the main character.

The story is not really original but how the characters played it was awesome. Seeing Lee Da Hae run around in her boots as Lee Dong Wook chase around for her was very amusing, then not to forget the cutie/hottie Lee Jun Ki who’s also bent up on following her as well. Why so many hot guys on your tail Da Hae???

The story revolves around Joo Yoo Rin (Da Hae) who’s on the run because of her father’s debt to loan sharks, then there is Seol Gong Chan (Dong Wook) who is a rich man with no parents but has a doting grand father who is looking for his long lost grand daughter. Their paths cross each other and that’s how chaos began to both on their lives.

Music wise, it was tuned up to every scene and does coincide with the acting on screen but nothing really memorable. Overall, this is a really nice series, even the ending was funny specially if you are a Kdrama buff who’s into a rom-com-feel-good-watch-genre.

My Lovely Kim Sam Soon (Korean Drama 2005)

Synopsis:

Kim Sam Soon is a baker who has a talent in making pastries and cakes. On Christmas Eve, she caught her boyfriend, Min Hyun Woo, cheating on her and breaks up. On that same night, she accidentally went into the men’s restroom and met Hyun Jin Heon. By sheer coincidence, Jin Heon needs a baker for his restaurant Bon Appetit and Sam Soon is unemployed. Sam Soon is hired as the restaurant’s chief baker and the two fight like cat and dog.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from Me:

The realism of this drama, in which a lot of women verbalized on relating to is so palpable it can’t be explained in words. Why? Not all women look like Son Ye-jin or Song Hye Kyo. Not all women are pretty for a fact. There are more average looking women than to those who look like a walking model. So yes… they could relate big time with Kim Sam Soon because she looks average, even on the chubby side and most of all she’s a dork. A woman in her thirties with no fulfillment in life. This drama would hook up the old maids out there who are mopping for not marrying that guy from their past because he cheated on her or for the teenagers who are in their late blooming stage, crying out and being hopeful because though they won’t grow up looking like a cover model of a magazine, at least they can catch that Hyun Jin-Heon of their life. Even in their average self.

Hyun Bin, why are you so damn good looking?!? *fans self*

This is a romantic comedy that would strike all women in every age level because… it is Kim Sam Soon.

No need for further explanation.

Just kidding! The story has a lot to offer despite having a cliche-ish plot but having My_Lovely_Kim_Sam_SoonKim Sam Soon as the center of that story line makes things very interesting. Since I have mentioned earlier about her characteristics, I’m going to add something as to why she is a charming character despite being an average person. It actually has something to do with her personality. The fact that she faces her problems head and on and doesn’t back out on the things that makes her miserable is something to be proud of. Though sometimes her mouth runs off before she thinks, at least she’s honest about how she feels. Also, as any normal girl could be, she can act like a teenager who’s in her prepubescent years. I think that side of her is cute. Then there’s the young-hot-blooded-rich-good-looking Hyun 347Jin Heon. Pairing him up with a woman who seems like an old maid is kind of peculiar, but these days age doesn’t really matter anymore. Both characters were portrayed by Kim Sun Ah and Hyun Bin. I couldn’t imagine Sam Soon and Jin Heon as any other actor other than the ones I have mentioned. They were so good at their roles that the character seemed to be themselves in real life. Aside from the two main actors, I particularly liked the second leads who are Dr. Henry Kim and Yoo Hee Jin which was played by Daniel Henney and Jung Ryeo Won. They played an uncanny love triangle with Jin Heon setting aside Sam Soon who doesn’t even have a second lead to lean on, except her bastard ex if that would even count as a love interest.

The catchy thing about this drama is the feeling of a fairy tale like kind of story but at the same time it could also happen in real life. I would also like to add up that the soundtrack of this drama is quite catchy, and this is also the first drama I caught Daniel Henney in. Yep, Hyun Bin isn’t the only eye candy in this drama. I’m throwing in a towel for Daniel too! So even though this drama is pretty old school, I’m putting it in my classic drama list and definitely recommending it to all the women out there.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

 

Triple (Korean Drama 2009)

Synopsis:

This drama is about a female figure skater, Lee Haru, who is hoping to make it big. Her life gets complicated when she reunites with her non-blood related step-brother, Shin Hwal, after many years of being separated. Hwal’s father and Haru’s mother died tragically in a car accident. Hwal and his friends; Hae Yoon, Hyun Tae, and Sang Hee all work at the same ad agency. While Haru is trying to make her dreams come true, she unintentionally brings together her skating coach, Choi Soo In, and Hwal together. Haru starts developing feelings for Hwal but things are complicated further as Soo In is her brother’s estranged wife.

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Excerpted from: MyDramalist

Words from Me:

The drama seemed to have a promising start… but it gradually made me want to tear my hair out in frustration. Why? There were those moments where Haru and Shin Hwal had this brother-sister affection but has to be marred by Haru’s other intentions which eventually puts a rift to their sibling affections.

I leave my hatred to the writers. There could have been MORE to this drama. They have all the means in the world to evolve the story line into an epic something!

The main characters were all solid ones, portrayed by great actors and yet it flopped and killed my heart in the end. I couldn’t say that I feel the same emptiness for the supporting cast because, I find liking the story of the supporting cast more than the main ones.

triple16-00016There were two consistent things that I liked in this drama. One, it was having Song Joong Ki as Ji Poong Ho. I love his persistence and his pure heart of a character. There are so many lines that he said to Haru but this one, I like best: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t love me. I’ll keep on loving you anyway.” How could not the girl fall for someone like that? Geez… the guy’s devotion all through out the drama was no joke even if you brought that to real life. I guess that’s the hard reality of being the second lead guy. Two, was the lovely music all through out. If it wasn’t for the music, this drama would have turned out more draggy that it seemed. It was a joy to listen to and the artists that mostly sang my favorite songs in the OST were Zitten and Tearliner.

Over all, I have a love-hate relationship with this drama because there were some elements in Triple that were in the mediocre level. The word I could use for this drama is disappointing. Since that’s what I was left feeling after finishing all 16 episodes and not having luck at my side when it comes to my coupled shipping. So don’t expect me to recommend this… although, I would recommend the sound track for easy listening.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

 

Coffee House (Korean Drama 2010)

Synopsis:

Lee Jin Soo made it big after writing several thriller novels and establishing himself as a talented novelist. He works for Seo Eun Young, the owner of the biggest publishing company in Korea, and has a long-time friendship with her. Jin Soo has lots of fans, especially female ones, and he seems to be the perfect match for any woman… but what no one knows is that he is actually a bit weird and sarcastic, has lots of strange habits, and holds a dark secret. The one who has to cope with him and his habits is his secretary, Kang Seung Yeon, who begged him for this job to become a pro instead of the below-average girl that she really is. On top of that, there is also the return of Han Ji Won, Eun Young’s ex-fiance, whom she despises. Ji Won tries to win Eun Young back, but she has her eyes set on Jin Soo.

Excerpted from: MyDramalist

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Words from Me:

I didn’t really want to take note of this drama but it seemed unfair of me to not put my thoughts into it since I did waste 16 hours on it, which I truly regret.

The story line was pretty annoying. I don’t know what the writers were thinking when they started brewing up the plot. It had a weak start and a weak ending. It’s basically about a famous writer who can’t decide how to get on with his life and the person he truly loves. Insert a couple of supporting actors: the secretary who begged to be employed, the publisher whom he has a special history with, the guy who likes the publisher, the guy who likes the secretary, the family of the secretary… then jumble them up all together and you get a twisted romcom drama with a mix of good humor every now and then. The drama was definitely misleading, I hand that to the writers because it definitely did pent up my emotions at a certain length. However as I pushed forward to watch, I eventually had to let go of my frustration because I knew nothing was going to come out of it and the story just sucked and wasn’t my cup of tea.

Notable characters that I did like were: the main character who was portrayed by Kang Ji Wan was a superb actor, based on his drama history but the story for this series didn’t give justice to his acting skills at all. This is also one of Ham Eun Jung’s earlier dramas as she looked pretty young in here.  Then there’s the oh so pretty Park Shi Yeon and the cynical looking guy Jung Woong In who is also a veteran actor to boot. They all have these great cast so I was pretty disappointed with the delivery of this drama.

Though I would have to admit that there were times where I laughed my ass out to some scenes, that still wasn’t enough for me to go on rambling and recommending the drama. It will only be a waste of time. So I’m posting it to say that this is one of those drama’s which people should avoid watching if they are looking for a better story line that actually makes sense. I think the music was alright, but I somehow couldn’t remember it for the life of me.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.