Moon Embracing the Sun (Korean Drama 2012)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

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Heo Yeon Woo belongs to a noble family and is a daughter of a high-ranking official. For the first time at the age of thirteen, she was able to enter the palace when she attended her older brother’s civil service examination congratulatory ceremony. Coincidentally, she meets Crown Prince Lee Hwon during the event and they get in all kinds of mishaps. Eventually the two of them falls in love and by chance, Yeon Woo was also chosen as the Crown Princess as she was seen to be fit for the Crown Prince.

KYJ_1Prior to getting married, wicked intents were being plotted against the Yeon Woo since the Queen Dowager wanted the Crown Prince to marry someone from her own family clan to be able to secure her power within the palace. Thus she orders a shaman to cast a spell that can kill Yeon Woo from an unknown illness. Fortunately, the shaman tried to save Yeon Woo from an eminent and was able to bring her back to life, but with dire consequences. Yeon Woo was able to come back to life but she had lost all her memories thus she was given a new identity, she became a shaman named Wol.

After eight years, Wol shows up in the palace shocking Prince Lee Hwon as she brings back all the precious memories of his lost love. To his curiosity, he started investigating what exactly happened to Yeon Woo and who Wol is and where she came from. Not knowing that he was racing against time because there were conspiracies within the palace walls which was set to bring down the royal family. 

This series is a fantasy-sageuk fusion with lots of drama, intrigue, secrecy, sorcery and a mix of law defying love story. In short it has all the elements a proper kdrama should have and would definitely suit both the young and the old. What made this drama appealing is the fact that the premise is a love story between two young children who grew up still in love with each other regardless of the hardships they have gone through. Even though politics brought them apart, their love was still able to surpass all odds. It defied the malicious intents of the people around, prophecy made by shamans and yes… even death.

Man… I don’t know what the writer had taken while writing the story plot, but everything the two main lead went through was quite unimaginable specially during the Joseon era. Though there were still quite a few loopholes, they are still forgivable since there is nothing such as a perfect story in drama land.

The characters in this drama were never wasted. Not even the supporting roles. Each of them had vital reasons to be on screen because you never know that this person may be the reason why both main leads were able to survive.

Music wise, it was a memorable one for me. It had this old and modern type of background tune which makes the scenes more cute, emotional, dangerous, eerie and memorable. I am definitely recommending this drama no matter what their genre preference is and I will also re-watch this in the when all the new sageuk dramas have failed my expectations.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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Uncontrollably Fond (Korean Drama 2016)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

No Eul comes from a poor family, her mother passed away at a young age while her father is merely a street vendor who tries his best to provide for her and her younger brother. Despite their financial ordeal they lived as a happy life. But one dayUF_Noh_Eul_01, their lives were shattered when No Eul saw her father get into a hit and run car accident. Though she had hard evidence to prove the guilty party, the person she was against had money and power which she doesn’t have. In the process of fighting for her father’s injustice, a series of unfortunate events happened to No Eul that sent her off in the hospital in a critical condition and incurring debts from her hospitalization. After her recovery, instead of throwing herself into despair, she pushed on with her life to provide for herself and her brother.

image.pngShin Joon Yeong is a popular actor who was once involved with No Eul when they were younger, however as his circumstances were dictated through his bloodline and the choices he made had dire consequences, he lived his life miserably even up to the height of his career. To top it all, he finds out that he had brain cancer and had only a few months to live. In the midst of his illness, he decided to do something drastic in his remaining life. That is to love unconditionally the one person he left behind and to right all the wrongs he has done.

I’m glad that I finally had the courage to watch this show. It was definitely a melodrama full of makjang moments, but at the same time it felt good to know that the drama producers were against all odds when it came to drama cliché. I mean there were those moments when I wanted to tear my hair out in frustration but at the same time I knew it was an essential part of the story. The conflict was enough to make things going until the very last episode. I even thought I have prepared myself for the worst but I still end up bawling my eyes out in different episodes here and there.

Suzy Bae did her best to portray No Eul, but I could somehow image a different actress in her shoes and still think they could pull it off. While Kim Woo Bin, definitely nailed his character. Joon Yeong wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t him. He did take on the role sincerely and looked like a dying actor at some point. To think that after the drama, he was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Cancer was quite ironic. Nonetheless he was a splendid actor in this drama.

One of my favorite character was Joon Yeong’s mother. She was so keen on having herUncontrollablyFond7-00014 son become a lawyer-prosecutor that she failed to notice what exactly was happening to her son. It was sad that years were wasted on resentment instead of being together and loving each other as a real family. Their situation was one of the drama’s aspect that set the water works in me. I would have loved to see some more mother and son interaction but UncontrollablyFond7-00025I was left with a bittersweet conclusion for them. Other supporting actors that caught my eye were Im Ju Eun, she definitely pulled off the bitchy second lead who’s the spoiled daughter of a politician. I liked how I love to hate her and the fact that she makes everyone around her miserable despite being rich and pretty. Lastly, I like these two cute teenagers 0f4980d08638500da0cb78989b5dc086who find themselves drawn to each other and yet has a doomed love life after all the things they learn with both of their families. Lee Seo Won as Noh Jik and Ryu Won as Choi Ha Roo are such a cute pair. I wish there were more of their fluff in this drama because they seem to lighten the atmosphere whenever they both appear on screen.

Over all the drama is very melodramatic with all the heavy conflicts between characters. The writers did try to make things a bit light through the dialogue, but it wasn’t much of a help because in the end, I knew how everything was coming down. Despite it being a sad drama with a bittersweet ending, I’d still say that it was worth the watch. The cinematography was beautiful and the OST was pure love. I’m sharing a track below for those who are interested in listening to it. I’m also recommending this drama to those who likes watching makjang stuff, are into cryfest situations and with a little bit of fluff here and there.


A Little Braver by New Empire

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

30 But 17 (Korean Drama 2018)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

This drama is about two teenagers who had to encounter unfortunate events in their lives that would forever scar them and give them a void in their hearts that only both of them can fill in.

At the age of 17, Woo Seo Ri is a talented violinist while Gong Woo Jin is a buddingStill17E01-00183-copy painter. In their own little worlds they live parallel lives watching each other from afar until one day, they are able to meet by pure coincidence. Unfortunately on that same day an accident occurs that robs years of Seo Ri’s life because she wakes up from a coma 13 years after. Woo Jin, on the other hand, seemed to be stuck in a loophole of guilt up to the age Still17E03-00056-copyof 30 due to a huge misunderstanding. Thinking that he had caused the death of his first love, he lived a life opposite of who he truly is – never getting involved in other people’s lives ever again. Fate brought them together once more not knowing who each other truly is. They started to live under one roof and slowly rediscover themselves through the help of each other and the people around them.

Intermission and crescendo.

These are the two words that got stuck in my mind while I watched this drama. I love the fact that they used these words to interpret an event and describe the character’s life, that’s how both words became very meaningful. I like how Seo Ri was able to think positively despite all the hurdles she faced with the mindset that her life was simply put on hold like an intermission during a concert and that her crescendo finally came to let her resume her life performance. Simply thinking about it sends tiny tingly feels all over Dramas-With-a-Side-of-Kimchi-2.w16-5me. Aside her character being a roller coaster ride with all the ups and downs, there’s one set back that I didn’t like about and that was her decision making. She changes her mind during critical times but given that she’s still in the state of being a 17 year old instead that of a 30 year old woman, she’s bound to make a lot of mistakes and learn from them. Shin Hye Sun as Seo Ri, was able to portray her character thoroughly and stay true to her supposedly age and experiences, as if everything simply happened yesterday after she got into an accident. Her emotional turmoil upon finding out devastating things and coming out from depression to move forward was another plus props for her. Seo Ri’s life may be far fetched from reality but she’s a character that I’ll keep dear in my heart. Her counter part Gong Woo Jin, the guy who has been cold, aloof and indignant to people is the total30but17_E1516_00019 opposite of Seo Ri. He’s a man who has been scarred for life and unable to let go that’s why his mental state was in total shambles forgetting that he had a lot of people caring for him. I’m just glad that the way Seo Ri and Woo Jin met again didn’t seem forced but it was as natural as they have met during the first time. The fact that Seo Ri became his healing person all throughout their time together was a plus. What I like about him is the way he changed from being a bubbly person to being anti-social then back again. When he was being a loner, he has these pair of head set which is his way to close off himself from people who are trying to approach him. He had different antics on how not to care about people because he thought that the more he care, the more others may get hurt and at the same time it would cause him yet another unbearable pain. So basically being with Seo Ri was a contradiction to his own belief because she was simply able to turn his life upside down. Woo Jin was able to open up because of her and slowly revert to the same person he was before. Kang Sejong nailed this character all throughout. I’m glad that his acting is consistent and that he’s getting better as time goes on as well. Other charactersStill17E30-00266-copy worth mentioning are the following: Jennifer – I like her not just because of her character but because of the actress who portrayed her. Ye Ji Won is a veteran actress who usually has a supporting role but she always always brings light to her character and co-stars. I realized that her role as Jennifer the house keeper, was very essential in the drama. She made everything into a full circle. It felt like she was the glue that held everyone together. The fact that she also cooks mountain of food for everyone, is a quirk that she has. It’s as if Still17E02-00627-copy.jpgshe lives to feed other people. Jennifer also loves to quote books since she had spent most of her time reading which will be showed in the drama as to why she does it and how she became who she was. Yoo Chan – the household teenager and the nephew of Woo Jin. When he was younger he adored Woo Jin with all his heart and vice versa. They looked so cute together during their younger years but now that both are older, he got taller than Woo Jin and is actually proud of it. Heh. The thing that makes Chan lovable is that he’s so energetic, understanding and supportive to the people around him. He may be clueless still-17-filming-location-episode-2-the-forest-garden-koreandramaland-b-1461x800or a klutz at times but once he understood the situation, he’s able to get to a meaningful conclusion for himself and the people he loves. Deok Gu and Hae Bum – These two are Chan’s best friends and teammates in the rowing team. They may be a bit of a throw in for the whole drama but they make things more bubbly. They also help out Chan a lot and makes his character more significant than it is. I like both of them because they seem to uplift the scene whenever I see them eating and joking inside the house or around Chan.

All in all I love this drama to bits and would probably re-watch it again soon. The main cast and supporting actors were great, I wouldn’t want anyone else to take on their roles. Cinematography wise it was alright, nothing much stunning to look at since most scenes are taken in doors or around the city and it wasn’t much artistic to look at. The OST gave me more of a classical vibe since that’s what Seo Ri was good at, but there’re some songs that did caught up to me specially during the funny moments.

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It’s kind of sad that I wasn’t able to follow through with this drama during it’s airtime because I read bad reviews about it and the summary I read somewhere didn’t sound appealing at all. Hopefully my version would make a lot of people more interested in it. Nonetheless, even though I missed the actual air date, I was able to binge watch it in 4 days. I was trying to finish it in 3 but since I’m a pregnant mom with a toddler to take care of, I only have a couple of hours to spare when the baby is asleep. It was actually hard to put it on hold and resume watching because each episode is chock-full of heartwarming details that I had a hard time restraining myself from watching. I’m recommending this to those who are into dramas with a lot of uplifting moments and to those who hasn’t exactly moved on from their teenage years.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.