Moment at Eighteen (Korean Drama)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

Choi Jun Woo is a young man who transferred to another school due to a misunderstanding. During his first day of school, two students gave him different moment-at-eighteen-01.pngimpressions – first is Yu Soo Bin, a popular girl in school whom everyone likes due to her cute appearance and amicable personality. She called out to him to ask if he was alright because of an accident her mom might have caused. Second is Ma Hwi Young – Jun Woo’s class president who gave out a friendly vibe when they met but he saw right through his ruse because in reality, Hwi Young is a manipulative person who wants everyone to think that he’s kind and perfect. These two people got involved in Jun Woo’s life whether he liked it or not, plus there’s the meddling substitute teacher Mr. Oh Han Gyul who made it his life purpose to put Jun Woo under his wing to take care of.

As time pass by, Jun Woo starts to experience all kinds of things in his new school. If it was the old him, he would rather not be involved in anything and simply let the days pass by as he was busy enough to live day by day with his struggling single mother. However, transferring schools and meeting new people made his life more colorful. The people he met gave him the courage to face different life situations – despite it being hard and troublesome, he was able to go through with it and surpass obstacles with a smile on his face.

This drama was such a heart warming show. It also felt like I was watching the drama “Sassy Go Go” in a less funny and more melodramatic kind of way. I can’t help but compare because the dramas were both similar with the school setting and the fact that the kids had issues regarding grades, dating, puberty, sexuality, family, frenemies and the likes. Though this series has the same theme, the way the characters were able to portray their lives was something different than the usual trope. I was impressed not just with the story line but with the actors as well.

As for the characters who are worth mentioning – Joon Woo acted by Ong Seong Woo, is a kind soul. As a main character, I like that he wasn’t placed into the category of a too much of a nice guy that he’s already being a pushover. Well, he’s actually the opposite of that because he has great conviction and knows the good, the bad and what’s best for him despite knowing that it’s the hard way. Though he may be poor, he perseveres andMoment at Eighteen 03 never lets that fact get in the way for him to learn. I like how he pushed through with his choices. He was also firm with his relationship with Choi Soo Bin even though her mother was against their relationship. He tried to be the best boyfriend he could be while dealing with Soo Bin’s mother with respect. The way he cares for Soo Bin is so different from the regular teenage boys who usually follow their raging hormones. Choi Soo Bin, the female lead is a favorite character of mine as she’s acted by Kim Hyang Gi. She’s popularized by the movie “Along with the God’s”, as she acted out the cute grim reaper girl who has a great backstory to tell. Anyway, back to the main topic – it felt like she represents those small-cute-popular girls in high school who doesn’t even try to be popular but still is because of how she looks and how she acts. She’s the kind of girl everyone wants to be friends with or hate at the same time because she seems too perfect. Despite this kind of image though she’s incomplete inside because of a void made by her parents especially her mother. Meeting Jun Woo made her feel a lot better about herself even if not completely whole. Eventually along the way, she was able to breakout from her shell and face the things she’s been avoiding for a long time. Like her control freak mom, her parents broken relationship and what exactly she wants to do with her life. Soo Bin has a childhood best friend who has a huge one sided crush on her, Ma Hwi Young. This guy was depicted by Shin Seung Ho and he was great at his role. He’s the kind of guy I loved to hate and pity at the same time. His character was definitely troubled despite being rich. Due to the pressure of his parents and constant comparison to his genius brother he has developed a huge inferiority complex which pushed him to harm himself and the people around him. He has those urges to manipulate people and situations to make himself look favorable or to cause others to be cast out. Unfortunately for him, he targeted someone who had nothing to lose – Jun Woo, as he had already lost everything.

There are two adults in this drama that I loved and hold them dear in my heart. Actor moment-at-eighteen-06.jpgKang Ki Young is one of those artists who makes a drama seem brighter as he’s a complete scene stealer. In this series, he’s a temp teacher named Mr. Oh Han Gyul who wanted to imprint himself into his students and tries his best  to choose the righteous path despite being pressured by the parents.  I like his chemistry with Seong Woo since they have a great on screen chemistry as a teacher and a student. The other adult that I like is Yoon Song Hee, acted by Kim Sun Young. This actress is awesome in portraying any kind of character. She’s also steals the limelight from the main ones whenever she’s on screen. Her character as Soo Bin’s mother is someone whom I love to hate and want to hug at theMoment at Eighteen 11.jpg same time. As a mother myself, I could empathize with her own struggles to maintain her pride as a career woman and as a wife of a cheating husband. I understand why she’s pressuring her daughter to be the best because she’s wants her not depend on anyone but herself in the long run. But sometimes, this kind of mindset because too suffocating to the children that it backfires one way or another. In this series though, she just got lucky that Soo Bin is a very sweet and understanding child that she’s able to surpass the kind of behavior that her mother has.

Over all this was a great drama. The OST was unforgettable which I posted a sample song below for anyone who’d like to listen to it. Visual and cinematography was great that watching it was totally an eye candy. I felt like I didn’t waste my time on watching all sixteen episodes in one go. There were no dull moments because every scene was a significant watch that gave different kinds of life lessons. Even the lovey-dovey parts between the main leads were not irky or tiring to watch – since we’re dealing with puppy love here.  They simply looked like two teenagers who were treading into the unknown territory of first love. It was actually pure and unadulterated. I really liked it for the cute. *tiny little hearts emitting in the back ground*

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Moments by Christopher

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

That Winter, The Wind Blows (Korean Drama 2013)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

Oh Seo, who was abandoned by his mother as a child and was raised by Park Jin Sung’s family, is a notorious gambler in Cheongdam neighborhood. He is heartbroken and doesn’t care about anybody following the death of his first love. The WInter The Wind Blows 05One day, his friend, who has the same name, dies unexpectedly and Seo is thrown in prison. A year later, Seo meets lawyer Jang Sung, who came looking for the deceased Oh Seo, the heir of PL Group. Seo uses this opportunity to con the last remaining heir of the PL Group, Oh Young, to pay his debt when gangster Jo Moo Cheol gives him three months to pay or he dies. However, Seo starts falling in love with the blind Oh Young, while pretending to be her deceased brother who was separated from her after their parent’s divorce.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

This drama series was adapted from the Japanese drama entitled Ai Nante Irane Yo, Natsu which was aired on 2002. It was one of the hit series in Japan back then and only ran for 10 episodes. But when they produced this in Korea, as per their entertainment tradition, they had to lengthen the story line and add more conflicts to make the whole drama seem more complicated. There was also a movie adaptation for this drama called – Love Me Not and was one of my favorite movies back in 2006. It was relatively short but it hit the right spot in my heart.

The WInter The Wind Blows 22I watched this drama adaptation for Song Hye Kyo, who will always be one of my top heroine in Korean dramas. It doesn’t matter what kind of role she would be acting on, for me, she always delivers the best character portrayal and this drama was no exception. Plus points for having my favorite actress coupled off with Jo In Sung, what else could I ask for? Jo In Sung’s character also took me to a different level because I kept asking myself while watching him on screen – how could a conman be so damn good looking?!? Setting his good looks aside though, his acting was seriously effective that every time he cries, starts to cry or even tries not cry… it tugs on my heart and I start crying along. (ThisThe WInter The Wind Blows 01 is how much this drama affected me.) The main couple’s chemistry and vibe all throughout the episodes was something I don’t see much in melodramas. Aside them, I don’t want to forget to mention that the supporting characters did make an impact in the over all feel of this drama. Without them the series would have been dull and focused on two people who are both lost in their own pitiful world without any support from other people. So yes, the supporting casts were vital in the story line making things more colorful for the main characters.

The WInter The Wind Blows 20Initially, prior to watching this, I already had an idea where this show was heading towards since I’ve already seen the movie. However I just wasn’t expecting that ending. That final episode sort of gave me ambivalent thoughts about this series. I was thinking if I should be giving it a 7 for the story line because it sort of deviated from the original or should I give it an 8 because at least it made me wrong on my predictions and didn’t let me have that bitter sweet after taste I usually have in melodramas. I finally decided on 8 because it left me in a lighter mood than I have expected. I couldn’t give it a 10, because the story was far from perfect or even a 9, since the length of the drama was too bothersome when it could have been finished in twelve episodes at least.

The main OST was very familiar, it feels like I have heard it’s music score similarly to the drama “Secret Garden” I’m just not up to researching if the artist and music coordinator are the same. Nonetheless, it was good music and gave me last song syndromes right The WInter The Wind Blows 18after every episode. Over all this drama was a good watch. The main characters were great, the story was twisted-sad-super-melodramatic, music was at its best and cinematography was breathtaking. The visuals were seriously beautiful and this is by far one of the best melodramas in 2013 that delivered such picturesque background scenes. Therefore, I’m highly recommending this drama for those who are looking for something melodramatic and yet an eye candy to watch through those heartbreaking moments.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

The Heirs (Korean Drama 2013)

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Drama Rating: 7/10

Kim Tan is the heir to Empire Group who has been sent to study abroad in the U.S. In reality it’s a form of exile, as his elder half-brother back home schemes to take over the family business. While in the States, Kim Tan meets Cha Eun Sang, who arrived from Korea in search of her older sister. He feels himself falling for her, never realizing that she’s the daughter of his family’s housekeeper. When his fiancée Rachel Yoo arrives to bring him back to Korea, his heart is torn between love and duty.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

Sorry, I’m too lazy to make a summary myself as this is an old drama that I’m really not that fond of. However, on the other hand – I do like the fact that most of the actors in this drama are now big shots and are popular in their own name. Most of them are now lead actors in movies or dramas. Thanks to The Heirs, they’ve all shot up to stardom.

The Heirs 12.jpgOne thing that actually made me watch this drama was the glamour. It reminded me so much of Boys Before Flowers just without the theatrics of over acting good looking boys. Not that this show is short of good looking guys, its actually the contrary. There’s just the absence of humor because this drama has too much angst and is money driven that eventually it became too tiring to watch. Viewing this drama felt like my brain cells would deteriorate anytime because I don’t even have to think over about the situations… I could count my hair and I would still be able to follow on with the plot line and predict what’s going to happen.

The Heirs 01.jpgThe story was very typical. Rich boy falls in love with poor girl and vice versa. So what made this interesting to watch? Well honestly it’s not the story because that had me lost in the middle of the series. What actually made me continue on watching were the characters. I was very much invested in each of their character development that I couldn’t help but finish the drama because of them. Yes the male lead Kim Tan was a mopey teenager with so much daddy issues while our female lead did nothing but cry her eyes out on all the bad things that has ever happened to her. Yet, there I was… patiently waiting for their progress, thinking that maybe something drastic would happen in their lives and their characters would evolve on that awaited change but unfortunately – The Heirs failed me big time.

One thing that this drama did right for me though was casting Kim Woo-bin. It was my first time to see him in a drama and I fell in love with the bad boy image of his character that I had a hard time moving on from his role. I had a bad dose of second lead syndrome because of him.

Music wise, there was nothing note worthy but it did add to the onscreen chemistry, so I have nothing against it. I would recommend this drama for the Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo-bin fans out there. But over all… this isn’t going to be in my list of must watch drama of 2013.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE CREDITS TO THE OWNER.