Personal Taste (Korean Drama 2010)

Drama Rating: 8/10

Jeon Jin Ho is an architect who dreams of making it big in the industry but somehow luck wasn’t on his side or rather, he didn’t have good connections. In some kind of twisted fate, he meets the naïve Park Gae In by accident in the bus and gets accused of being a Personal Taste Ep 08.avi_002269636pervert. They didn’t know that their lives will become intertwined when Gae In, the daughter of a famous architect gets dumped by her boyfriend for her best friend Kim In Hee who was also her housemate. In these series of unfortunate events in her life, the worst of all was when her debt from the bank was nearing its due date and her co-worker robbed her of her hard earned money. Thus she started looking for a housemate to at least pay her initial debt. Coincidentally Jin Ho wanted to see the interior of the Personal Taste Ep 08.avi_002276443house that Gae In lives in which her father has designed and sneak a peek at the blueprint of the house. Therefor he asked if he could rent the room which Gae In was subletting. With a couple of misunderstanding and some urging from Lee Yeong Seon who’s Gae In’s other best friend, she allowed Jin Ho to stay in her place all the while thinking he was gay. At a certain point, things get tricky when Jin Ho starts to fall for Gae In despite her naivety, brash attitude and unwomanly ways while on the other hand Gae In is also falling for Jin Ho despite the fact that she thinks he’s gay.

This is a really hilarious drama with conflicting emotions to watch. Why? It’s so hard to believe that Lee Min Ho’s character was supposed to a homosexual and that an older man in this drama legitimately liked him with the thought of him as one. The mishaps on how he has to keep his ruse on for the entirety of the drama brought me tears of laughter. There’s the plus point for the supporting actors too, since without them, the comedy wouldn’t be as effective.

Anyways, putting that aside, there’s another reason that made me watch this: Son Ye Jin.

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Yes… the epic melodrama actress. I really wanted to see how she would fare being in a drama romcom. I’ve only seen her once in a rom-com-horror movie with Lee Min Ki, but in a drama, this was a first. I’ve always seen her in melodramatic roles but still, she totally nailed the character of Park Gae In. Though she’s gotten older and her beauty pretty much disappeared in this drama, just because her character’s personality was supposed to be tomboyish and scruffy due to her type of work which was woodcraft, I still love her to bits. Another reason I watched this drama was no other than Lee Min Ho. I know a lot of female Kdrama lovers have been into him one or another in their drama lives and truth be told I’m actually one of them for approximately 7 years ago. It’s probably because of that eye candy, the smile, the tallness, the oozing hotness and fashion sense… that’s all Lee Min Ho in this drama in which he pretends to be gay. I can’t believe he was able to pull off this character despite his manliness.

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The series was quite funny due to its main concept: guy pretends to be gay, girl accepts guy whole heartedly because of his sexual orientation but ends up falling for him and having mixed feelings because she believes he is gay, then the guy falls for the girl but can’t really love her because he’s supposed to be gay. With this as your core plot, there were a lot of things that could happen and eventually it did happen. The only downerPersonal Taste Ep 02.avi_000149516 side of this is when we get to the last 3 episodes and this becomes too serious for my taste. I was sort of disappointed on how they inserted additional conflict to the story along with a twist, when the main conflict – guy pretending to be a gay – was already interesting enough. The twist wasn’t even that strong to make an impact in the whole story line. Just to say. Also there’s the back stabber bestfriend-boyfriend drama all throughout the series which was very much annoying.

All in all, setting those disappointing factors aside, I still end up loving the drama and would recommend it whole heartedly along with the cute memorable OST to listen from.

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My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Korean Drama 2010)

Drama Rating: 10/10

Cha Dae Woong is a young mischievous man who ran away from this grandfather due to certain circumstances, in the process of his escape, he accidentally frees a Gumiho (nine-tailed fox) trapped in a painting for 500 years. It was too late when he realized what happened and in his fear, he also tried to run away from the creature which took theMy Girlfriend is a gumiho (6) form of a beautiful woman. However, he became severely injured and because the Gumiho was grateful for being set free by him, she saved his life by sharing her life force to him. After the incident, the Gumiho has stayed close by Dae Woong for the reason that she had to guard her bead – which was her life force and source of power that she had transferred to him. She also wanted to get by in the modern world and wanted to learn the ways of the people. As time passed by, no matter how annoyed Dae Woong is with the Gumiho’s constant presence, they both slowly start to fall for each other.

My Girlfriend is a gumiho (12)What I love about this drama is the prettiness of Shin Min Ah. It’s as if she doesn’t age at all or more like she keeps getting younger and younger as she grows older. If that even makes sense? Her role here is fresh and cute that I couldn’t take off my eyes on the screen because it’s too unbelievable even if she’s supposed to be a fox. Aside this, the story line is very very amusing. Episode per episode would just send you off smiling and laughing with all those hilarious moments the main characters gets into. This isn’t your My Girlfriend is a gumiho (3)typical romantic comedy where girl loves boy and boy falls for girl… it’s different because the girl is a fox and the boy is human. Then mix in different immortal beings of the world in the picture, like for example a goddess, a goblin and a human half goblin… yeah. Underworld creatures and immortals are invading the story line but it’s what makes it more interesting. Not to forget the OST, it adds to the whole concept of the drama: cuteness, hilarity and love in whatever kind of form.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

Iris (Korean Drama 2009)

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Drama Rating: 7/10

Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo are close friends who are both best in their military skills, they are then recruited into the NSS (National Security System) a top secret organization comprised of elite agents which does covert missions for the Koreaniris2-00111 government. During their time in NSS, both men falls in love with the beautiful and yet feisty profiler agent named Choi Seung Hee, however she only reciprocated Hyun Joon’s affection which pushed Sa Woo on the sidelines. When Hyun Joon was assigned on a mission to Hungary, he became severely wounded but was able to escape. Upon his return, he learned that he was set up and was betrayed by his friend Hyun Joon. He was then taken into custody as a criminal and is due for interrogation and jail time. Seung Hee tried to help him escape but one thing led to iris20-00023another and both were torn apart by a bombing incident which led Seung Hee to believe that Hyun Joon died. On the other hand, Hyun Joon was saved by complete strangers who introduced themselves to be a part of another secret organization named IRIS. Hyun Joon fled to another country under a different identity, when he came back to Korea he was set out for revenge against the people who wanted him dead in the guise of  aiding the people who wants to stop the reunification of South and North Korea.

Basically Iris is like a taste of ALIAS, the American series which starred Jennifer Garner, the difference is that this drama is in male form with a downer story line and bitter ending. I’ll start off with what I loved about this drama and that will be Lee Byung Hun and 582391624_origKim Tae-hee. They made this series worth watching because of their sizzling hot chemistry, kick ass action scenes and those witty dialogues which made this drama a household name. As for the supporting cast, I have fallen in love with the antagonist! Why is T.O.P. one heck of a slick villain?!? This was the first drama which I’ve seen him in and he was awesome in it. He can hold a gun to my head and I probably wouldn’t care just like the lady he’s together with during his undercover mission.

Then there’s the back drop setting in which they actually went to different countries to shoot realistic and proper locations which was a huge plus point for the series. What really made it a recommendable drama was the action scenes. As I have mentioned earlier it was like ALIAS,  it was kick ass and butt full of action. The fight scenes were eye popping that it was hard for me to think that it wasn’t a movie but instead a drama. They outdid themselves in the choreography with the fight sequence, battle gear and stunts. That’s why I am recommending it whole heartedly, plus not to forget the judo moves and gun shots. There were also a lot of run-for-your-life-while-bleeding-on-the-left-side-of-your-gut-crazed-looks while guns are aimed dead-on skulls. Even dying with blood stricken tears streaming down the face looked darn good and didn’t seem upsetting to watch.

As for the story line, it did start off great along with heavy action scenes but it just lost me along episode 5 up until it was about to end. It got all messy for the wrong reasons and the twists weren’t enough to put fire on my ass and say, “Gaaaaad… that was awesome”. The romance wasn’t enough to salvage that even though they had a really good concept for the romantic part in the whole series. So I’m leaving the story line behind with all my rants at the backroom because other factors made the drama a good one for its genre. Pushing all negative factors about the plot, I simply don’t care anymore as long as I get one full hour of action.

 

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

First Impressions: Encounter (Korean Drama 2018)

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I thought of writing my first impressions on dramas which piqued my interest on the get go. Meaning from the moment it was announced and to the moment I have started the first episode. This may not be a regular segment from this blog but I hope the readers would enjoy my thoughts.

For those who have no idea what the drama is about, here’s a link to read about the synopsis and the characters: Read Encounter at Mydramalist.com

To be honest, I was not a big fan of the pairing but I totally love Song Hye Kyo and Park Bo Gum. It’s just that the noona thing doesn’t work well for me for these two since Hye Kyo is basically a newly wedded woman while Bo Gum is currently the Oppa of KDrama woman fans these days and he’s pretty much close with Kyo’s hubby, Song Joong Ki. Seeing them together during the press conference and drama posters felt weird. Anyway,DsggpUFWsAAwGnS I had to throw out that repulsive feeling out of me and swallowed all precautions that told me I might not like this drama. I’m glad I did, because the actors were professionals and they did their best to portray the characters that they have to. I guess I can say that I have finally matured as a viewer. After years of watching different drama series, I have learned to like a show as it is, regardless of biases or an actor’s personal history. Initially, I did start watching Kdrama without knowing about the actor’s background. However, these days, information is so accessible that a star’s image can be marred by their personal history that their hard work is simply put aside. Therefore, I’m going back to my roots and enjoy shows as they come along.

Now about the drama – although it was very slow on the uptake, the entire cinematography was beautiful. The first episode screamed at me with its beauty. Cuba may look dirty and dingy if you search it in the internet, but with great video panning and cinematography skills, it became a picturesque place. Third world countries does have the best and worst places there could ever be. Another thing that I loved about the first episode was the back shots. Everything started with a back shot of Cha Soo Hyun wherein the video showed how she started from being a politician’s young daughter up to the time she got divorced but became successful. Then add up the back shots of Kim Jin Hyuk and the ones he had together with Soo Hyun, they looked very much artistic. I like the way the scenes were done and to be introduced in such a way was a smart idea to lessen all the fuss about the characters with unnecessary screen time. Kudos to whoever conceptualized that.

A story line between star crossed lovers is not an original one and more on the cliché-makjang type of Kdrama but the way that the actors were able to deliver those simple conversations with a subtle nonchalant smile plus the unintentional skinship, everything went quite well. The main characters drew me into their charm and their palpable onscreen chemistry. Park Bo GUm seriously can release big amounts of pheromones with just a simple smile. Gaaaaad… I’d like to know what his parents fed him while growing up to become such a great guy like that. As for Song Hye Kyo, next to the shining guy, she does seem look older and yet still beautiful. I love the way she age beautifully. It suits her unlike other artists I know. Both artists were able to portray their character well enough that I don’t feel icky or weird while watching them but instead look forward to the next episode.

I also have high hopes to the sub characters who I think would be an essential part of the story, ie. Cha Soo Hyun’s secretary. She’s pretty uptight and yet when she’s off work, she could be quite snarky and definitely not a pushover. I’m definitely looking for her character growth along with the rest of the cast. I wasn’t expecting to like the drama but I’m pretty surprised that I’m drawn into it and hopefully things get more interesting when these two get back in Korea and not become too draggy like most melodrama usually end up to.

 

To.Jenny (Korean Drama 2018)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

Park Jung Min is a great singer and song-writer however he can’t sing properly in front To Jenny Ep.01.mp4_000107031of a crowd due to a traumatic experience back in middle school. Years later after that incident, he could only sing in front of his 10 year old sister Ok Hee and his best friends Yum Dae Sung and Kim Min Bong. His ultimate dream was to sing and write songs just like his deceased father, but he ended up working behind the counter of a convenience store. Kwon Na Ra on the other hand is known as the school’s beauty back in high school. There were a lot of talent agencies who recruited her To Jenny Ep.02.mp4_003381792back then, that’s when she joined Mocha girls and made a debut with a screen name called Jenny. Years later, the group failed to make it popular in the entertainment industry and was only able to perform once in public. Despite the failure, she was able to stay in the agency and kept training until a better break comes along. However, the chairman advised her to change her music strategy by singing solo instead, To Jenny Ep.01.mp4_002143568if she still can’t make it by then they’ll be cutting her out of the company. By some twist of fate, Na Ra meets Jung Min in the convenience store where he works and he was ecstatic to meet his high school crush again. When the door of opportunity came knocking towards Jung Min in the guise of Na Ra needing his help to teach her to play the guitar, he immediately grabbed it to get closer to her.

The story may seem shallow at some angle but it had a nice message to deliver. The main characters who were acted by Kim Sang Chul and Jung Chae Yeon were both cute. They had their own personal problems to deal with and were able to overcome them throughTo Jenny Ep.01.mp4_000275500 the help of each other. Jung Min’s character was a failure of a guy but despite that, he still harbored romantic feelings for Na Ra for quite a long time and he just couldn’t give up on his dream even though he has a stage fright. The fact that they were able to meet again after all those years and become close to each other was a miracle if it was based on Jung Min’s standards, but for anyone else who’s around, they’d know that Jung Min made a real effort. Aside from the two main characters, I think the real character that shined through this drama was Park Ok Hee To Jenny Ep.01.mp4_000099056portrayed by Choi Yoo Ri. The kid was so adorable I’d love to take her home and make her my sister instead! She’s a smart ass in her young age and it seems like she’s the older sibling between her and Jung Min, even though their age gap is very much obvious. But the way she conversed with her older brother and the advice she gave him about dating was hilarious. It became a must that I give her that 1 point in my rating. Initially it was supposed to be 7/10, but then I remembered Ok Hee, it became an 8/10 and she totally deserved that single point in my rating. I hope she grows up to be like Kim Yoo Jung and Kim Soo Hyun who started as child actresses too and made it big time as adults in the entertainment industry.

As for the entirety of the drama, there were only two episodes that’s why it was a fun watch until it lasted. I wanted more from it but there’s just so much that 2 hours can offer. What I enjoyed in the drama was the music. I guess it was made by the writer and producers with lots and lots of singing in their heads. Not that I minded, the songs which were also made into the drama’s OST, made the drama a good watch. Overall I’d recommend this show for those who are into a short time drama fill, comedy and a lot of singing.

 

Cinderella’s Sister (Korean Drama 2011)

Drama Rating: 10/10

Song Kang Sook is a single mother who has a daughter named Eun Joo. She married a rich widower named Goo Dae Sung who also has a daughter called Yoo Sun. The two girls became step sisters during their teenage years. What Dae Sung wasn’t aware of was that Kang Sook had a difficult past with a bad reputation and she is also a gold digger who simply wants to improve her way of living and social status. However, she seem to genuinely love Dae Sung and Yoo Sun, probably even more than Eun Joo, her very own daughter. This is the main reason why Eun Joo resented her mother, adding the fact that she hated their way of surviving in the harsh world by leeching off from someone else’s money. Aside from her mother, Eun Joo also detested her step sister’s sunny personality who didn’t know what being poor and unloved meant since Yoo Sun grew up from a rich family with a lot of love from the people around her.

Eun Joo became cold to everyone due to moving from one place to another, never settling in. That’s why she tried hard to live unattached to the people who gets involved with her because she knew that she and her mother would have to leave sooner or later. The only thing she didn’t expect was that the Goo household was different. Her step father Dae Sung has shown her fatherly love and compassion which she never even dreamt of experiencing. For the first time in her life, she felt comforted from knowing that she finally had a legitimate father figure to look out for her despite her stubborn personality. Then one day, a tragedy happened triggered by lies and deceit which caused chaos in the family and threatened to tear each member apart.

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The title says “Cinderella” because it was depicted from the fairy tale’s premise of step sisters but the drama was very much different in every aspect. This drama was somewhat similar to Cinderella’s story but with a big twist, there was no glass slipper and Cinderella was not the highlight but instead, it was the step sister who shined

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through the whole series even though she was too sardonic to be understood by anyone. Plus there was all the makjang that the drama could offer – it was a big roller coaster ride of emotions. So what exactly made it similar to the original fairytale? There’s the not-so-evil step sister Song Eun Joo who was acted by Moon Geun Young and Cinderella who’s known as Goo Yoo Sun which was portrayed by Seo Woo, but aside that, nothing else is. These two characters are so vital in this drama since the story mainly revolved around them. Then insert the male lead and second one namely Chun Jung Myung and Ok Taec Yeon, things gets more interesting and complicated at the same time with these two men involved in the pretty ladies lives. There’s also Lee Mi Sook as Song Kang Sook and Goo Dae Sung as Kim Gab Soo.

These two characters who posed as the parents held so much meaning for this drama too. Without them, there wouldn’t be Eun Joo and Yoo Sun to begin with. Their lives would never have crossed in the twisted fashion that the writer had thought of if not for them. The parents had their own story to tell so as to pave way for the step sisters and that’s one part of this drama to look forward to.

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To be honest, what made me watch this in the first place was Moon Geun Young. I am biased like that when it comes to actresses I like. Then adding up how the writer depicted Eun Joo’s character, though dark and gloomy, the character held so much promise. Setting my bias aside – Geun Young did great justice acting as Eun Joo. Due to Eun Joo’s
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family history and social back ground, her bad personality simply justified her outward bitchiness. I really love the tough exterior that she exuded all throughout even though deep inside, she’s all marshmallows. Oh, and I’m not forgetting Hong Ki Hoon, the man who moved her heart and made her do things she don’t usually do. My favorite scene is when Ki Hoon asked Eun Joo to call his name because he loved hearing
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her say it. The way I write it here may seem nonsensical, but in the drama, it was a very moving scene worth replaying again and again. Another highlight scene about these two is when they firsts met and Ki Hoon pulled at Eun Joo’s hear pin making her beautiful lush hair fall dawn behind her as she ran away from him. There’s also Han Jung Woo, the second lead who is always lurking about Eun Joo, in a good way, since he had good intentions for her. It’s just too bad that the other guy had already marked his
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way into Eun Joo’s heart because Jung Woo would have been a great guy for her if not for Ki Hoon. Lastly, Goo Yoo Sun, she’s the type of character who gets too annoying because she’s the ultimate goody two shoes. It’s not that she’s pretending to be one but she’s innately like that and that’s pretty tiring to watch especially when I have invested myself in feeling all sad and melodramatic because of the main protagonist.

The music was also lovely especially in those very melodramatic moments in which I couldn’t help crying and say to myself, “Please please please stop hurting so badly already so I could stop crying for you”. This was my internal dialogue which ran through my mind all through out every episode for Eun Joo. Do take note that it has been 7 years since I last saw this drama but still… by far, this is one of the best melodramatic Korean series I have ever seen. I rated it 9/10 because though I loved it, there were some turn out in the story line which I disagree with and would have changed if it was up to me. That aside, I’m definitely recommending this to those who are into a cry-fest makjang drama. It’s probably best to prepare a bucket for those incoming tears if not, a box of tissue would do.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.

My ID is Gangnam Beauty (Korean Drama 2018)

Drama Rating: 7/10

The drama is about a college student named Kang Mirae who thought that she could move on with her life while facing everyone with her chin up if she had plastic surgery. Ever since she was a child up until middle school, she had always been bullied for her looks and because of that, she had zero self-esteem and confidence. Then the plastic surgery happened and this actually made her feel more confident… at first. However, as soon as people learned about her real face, the bullying started once again and was labeled Gangnam Beauty. Adding up to her embarrassment, she meets Do Kyung Suk, the cold and aloof guy who knew her right away even after she had completely changed her face. That’s when her life takes a different turn as she slowly gets involved with him.

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This drama had so much promise but as I have reached episode 5, it kind of went stale and that’s how I also felt when I finally finished it. I didn’t even feel the need to watch the drama in one go. For a college drama with psychological aspects, I unconsciously feat-13-690x400compared it to the drama Cheese in the Trap and that’s why My ID is Gangnam Beauty became a disappointment. It was probably the lackluster of the main characters or the lack of attention on the supporting ones or maybe both. I wanted something much more from Kang Mirae and Do Kyung Suk as well as Oh Hyun Jung, Mirae’s best friend and Yeon Woo Young, the college assistant teacher. There was so much material to work on their characters but they have solely focused more about beauty and the romance of the main characters that the drama had missed a great drama in the making.

What I did like about this drama was the portrayal of the actors. Im Soo Hyang wasfullsizephoto990930 effective as Mirae since she was able to act as someone who had undergone a complete facial make over through plastic surgery. The way she always lowered her head as if she didn’t deserve anything in the world or didn’t have the right to love anyone clenched my heart and made me root for her. I like her sudden outbursts and the way she fought her way through bullies. I personally think that people with low confidence should be more like her. To be able to stand up to anyone who tries to belittle them whether it be in a small way. I also particularly like her parents. They made Mirae’s life more colorful since her mom supported her with the plastic surgery while her father was vehemently against it. I definitely enjoyed their screen time. Then there’s Cha Eun Woo as Do Kyung Sook, who EUNWOO5looks like a sculpted creature because he’s so darned good looking. The role was definitely perfect for him because beauty defines this guy, even his mother Na Hye Seong who was portrayed by Park Joo Mi. They definitely suited each other as the perfect mother and son with great genes. Both of them had strong personalities and seemed aloof but are pretty much caring for the people they love. The story that revolved around the Do family was quite interesting and made the drama more bearable to watch, because the college scenes were a bit… meh. Then, I get to Oh Hyun Jung and Yeon Woo Young’s character which were portrayed by Do Hee and Kwak Dong Yeon. I specifically like them because of the actors. They had so much promise for this drama but it felt like both of them were wasted. Hyung Jung could do so much in this drama but bts045she was simply left to be the sidekick who had special affections for someone but couldn’t even resolve her feelings properly. Woo Young on the other hand was left to be the guy who seems to be like a knight in a shining armor and ready to save a damsel in distress, but that’s it. Nothing more. His character was left wasted like that. Though he was able to fess up his feelings to the person he likes and help out when someone was in trouble, I felt thwarted. I wanted more. That’s far as they could go, what else can a simple viewer like me do? Oh… before I DnRqtnDUcAAZ7L9forget there’s also the most annoying and yet pitiful character in the whole drama and that’s Hyeon Soo Ah, the main antagonist in this drama. Jo Woo Ri was able to portray her character perfectly, it’s too hard not to hate her and yet feel bad for her at the same time. Soo Ah knows she’s beautiful and that’s her main armor in trying to make all the guys fall for her but that’s just the vain side of her. The other side will be later revealed but I couldn’t say she didn’t deserve that because she did but still… things couldn’t have escalated if she just behaved herself properly.

The OST though is another thing, I loved it. All of it. It’s worth saving in the phone just like what I did. Over all the drama was enjoyable but lacked a lot of aspects as I have mentioned. I wouldn’t recommend it to those who wanted something more serious because this drama isn’t like that. It’s a romantic comedy that mainly touches the topic of beauty, plastic surgery, college life and bits of family conflicts.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.