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.

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.

Sassy Go Go (Korean Drama 2015)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

This drama depicts the life of high school students who struggles with the school system, their peers and even from their parents.

After finishing all 12 episodes, I now understand how they could wrap everything up in such a short span of time. I liked the fact that they didn’t put in fillers and add 4 more episodes to make the drama longer, hence it would have dragged on.

The story line was quite simple – a girl who loved dancing and is trying to live her lifesassy12-00295a in a school with high standards but meets a lot of trials along the way. The plot is not really my cup of tea, but knowing that Jung Eun Ji is the main actress, I decided to watch it despite the bland summary. When I watched the pilot episode, it still wasn’t enough to make me excited about the following episodes so I’ve put the drama on my least of priority to watch, however after the 3rd and 4th episodes, the drama started to pick up its pace and finally became interesting for me. Then when the love triangle was finally revealed through the sassy-go-go-jung-eun-ji-lee-won-geun-and-ji-soolater part of the drama, I was wrenched into a second lead syndrome again. Arrrgh! *slaps face to go back to reality* I knew that I was setting myself up to a complete heart break again… or so I thought. The drama’s ending was really constructed well and it left no room for any loop holes to think about. Even the love triangle was resolved in a simple yet satisfying way. It was heartfelt with a breath of fresh air compared to those high school themed melodramas I’ve been watching lately.

What makes this drama endearing for me is how the story did not focus on the dancing sassy_go_go_14-720x405and cheering side going to the ultimate goal of participating in the Cheering Squad for specs purposes but instead, they focused on the characters themselves. The story revolved on the conflicts with family, school, friends and even romantic aspect in life. A plus factor that made this drama appealing was how they dealt into the issue of 20151023_seoulbeats_SassyGoGo4teenage suicide. It may be rampant in Asian countries these days as most of the culture is about persevering and keeping problems to themselves until they actually break and decide to end their lives. This drama shows the importance of having support systems like family, friends or even teachers being around to help suicidal kids deal with their inner turmoil.

SGG1-00035My favorite character would be Kang Yeon Doo, despite being aggravated by Kwon Soo Ah, I can’t really fathom how much she could still be nice and forgiving. Although it’s not realistic anymore in this day and age, it made me trace myself back to my own goodness. It made me wonder how far I would go to tolerate such bitchiness from anyone. If it was me, I might have walked out that door or would have probably cared less whatever happens to my nemesis. But that’s part of the spark of this whole drama… Yeon Doo keeps everyone together including the boys she’s very much close with. Anothersassy08-00302a character I love is Seo Ha Joon, acted by Ji Soo. I love watching him interact with the main lead and how they had that great chemistry together. This is my first time seeing him in a drama and he totally gives me that whole Woo Bin aura while he was with Park Shin Hye in “Heirs”. Ji Soo had that same feels around him and I think this guy may have a great potential as an actor. I really wish he can chose his roles wisely in the near future. I would like to insert Kim Yeol portrayed by Lee Won Gun, he may be cute and kissable but man, his chemistry with Eun Ji is sub par to Ji Soo’s.

Oh let’s not forget the other side characters that I am much in favor of:

Teacher Yang Tae Beom played by Kim Ji Suk, it amazes me how much a teacher roles suits him well. It’s nice to watch him again in the same role after seeing him in School 2015. Then there’s the coach acted by Lee Mi Do, notably she looked like Sandrasassy-go-go-lee-mi-do-and-kim-ji-suk Oh. I loved Sandra Oh in Grey’s Anatomy, so seeing her look alike here in this drama brings nostalgia, but Mi Do is great in her acting. I loved her strong character and the way she prances around to cover for the students and fights her way so as not to be bullied by other teachers. Then lastly, there’s Yeon Doo’s mom played by Kim Yeo Jin, I personally think this woman is lovely. I’ve seen her in several dramas and enjoy looking at her. I think her beauty is one that will not easily fade as she ages.

Music wise, it wasn’t something that was able to stick with me but I enjoyed listening to it while the characters were in their own moments. Overall I would recommend this series to people who are in the mood to watch a high school drama about friendship, first love and a feel good after taste full of drama goodness.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.