Dazzling or Radiant or whatever title you prefer – Series Review

All I can say is…wow!

You know by now that I always like to check out dramas with unusual twists..like time travel..like body swapping..like returning from death to get a second chance..you get the idea..so when I came across this drama I naturally had to check it out. It’s only 12 episodes which was a plus and not a huge commitment. It also starred Han Ji Min whom I really love and Kim Hye-Ja whom I’ve never seen but read good things about. Oh..and of course Nam Joo Hyuk – not a star as an actor but definitely eye candy material.

So the synopsis is: a young girl..through the use of a magic watch- in trying to save her father – suddenly finds herself robbed of her youth and wakes up in the body of an old woman.  Very inconvenient, especially when she was on the verge of a beautiful love story with our hero (who btw has his own sad past to deal with).

Watching this drama was a wonderful gift. I loved almost every aspect of it. I loved the shifting perspectives..especially the unique perspective of a young girl experiencing the difficulties of aging and not being afraid to share those frustrations. I loved how this drama explored deep friendships..how it explored complicated family dynamics. I loved that alot of the cast were older actors who were such fun to watch. I was especially impressed with Kim Hye-Ja who was able to make me feel the young girl supposedly within her. I loved that I got much much more than I was expecting. There were funny moments..there were light moments..there were sad moments..there were heartbreaking and unbearably dark moments.

I’m so sad that it’s over but I’m hunting for more from this writer and director..that speaks for itself doesn’t it??

#han-ji-min, #kim-hye-ja, #nam-joo-hyuk, #radiant, #son-ho-joon, #the-light-in-your-eyes

Started “Search:WWW”

…just because i was, like, wtf kind of Kdrama title is this, could you BE more boring and offputting?? And then the silly drama intro music started, “I wanna search search!” SO DUMB, I was preparing to sit back and sneer to my heart’s content for about 15 minutes and then move on, except that I accidentally fell in love with it. LOL!!

First of all, and primarily because, the entire cast is full of smart, clever, professional, strong, ass-kicking women, from the protagonist to the villain to the rival to the coworkers, from the CEO all the way down to the damn barista in the corporation lobby, they’re ALL so freaking self-assured and powerful! I’m loving it so much!! The most boring thing about this drama is the actual romance, haha…. and I never thought I would say that and STILL like a drama, but there it is.
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#im-soo-jung, #jang-ki-yong, #jeon-hye-jin, #lee-da-hee, #lee-jae-wook, #search-www

I was living in hope that I would have positive things to say about The Abyss

Unfortunately it’s just not turning out that way.

I’m up to Ep 9 and so far it’s pretty much a mess. LOL I’m disappointed because I was really looking forward to it, it looked really quirky and fun and I always enjoy those kinds of dramas, but most of all because it starred Park Bo Young who is one of my favorite actresses. Her co-star is a very young and very handsome  Ann Hyo-seop whom I’d never seen before.

I gave up trying to figure out the plotline a while ago because they keep changing the rules. There’s a creepy villain or two who just make me yawn at this point – not good. Anyway, what interests me is the relationship between the leads who, in their previous lives and bodies, had known each other all their lives – he suffering from unrequited love – or so it appeared… though we find that it might not be so unrequited after all.

I find it a bit uncomfortable when they make all those references to how ugly our heroine is. HUH?? I can’t buy into that cause I think she’s adorable, not tall and willowy as she was but cute as a button!! AS for him, his old body was played by another actor who, I will not lie, wouldn’t win the best looking award but I hate to hear him described as ugly. It seems like such a personal insult (makes me wonder how he auditioned for the “ugly” role in the first place??

Anyhow, I can’t honestly recommend this drama but I’m sticking with it, just for the eye candy.

#abyss, #ahn-hyo-seop, #park-bo-young

Fox Bride Star (aka Where Stars Land)

Had no idea what this was about and just clicked the play button out of curiosity but I must say that so far it’s quite enjoyable. No..it hasn’t slapped me in the face with it’s excellence..but neither has it put me to sleep so that’s a good thing..lol..

The setting is Incheon airport..the inner workings of the different sections behind the scenes, security, patron relations, immigration — all those folks that makes an airport run smoothly. We are introduced to our heroine (Chae Soo-bin) and find that she is a girl who can’t seem to keep her emotions in check and has been transferred from section to section because of it. This has made her fearful and overly eager to please but hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm. Unfortunately she acts before she thinks and soon finds herself in the usual hot water.

Our “hero” (Lee Je-hoon) is a man of mystery, deadpan, calm, isolated, keeping to himself and wanting only to do his job and be left alone. We soon find out that there is a real mystery about him..centered specifically on his feats of heroism that he’s displayed..the focus is that he seems to have a “bionic” arm which bends metal..can support the weight of a falling car..you get the idea! The more the guy wants to be invisible the more people talk about his strangeness!. You can imagine that these two are like chalk and cheese and have different viewpoints in life. What I’m enjoying is that, through their interactions, they are slowly changing each other. I’m really curious as to what the mystery is and what the outcome will be.

Now..unfortunately it has its share of OTT secondary characters which I could do without and sadly there are still instances where it’s expected that an employee gets on her knees in apology to a rich troublemaker..even if she is the one who has been assaulted..but there are also very human moments that make us smile and that makes up for the other.

Fingers crossed that it continues along this lovely path!!

#chae-soo-bin, #fox-bride, #lee-je-hoon, #where-stars-land

First impressions of Romance Is A Bonus Book

In case it’s slipped your radar, this is a drama starring Lee Na-young and Lee Jong Suk — another “noona” romance! The background is that they have been friends since they were children, when she saved his life way back when and got injured enough to need hospitalization for a year and he practically became her arms and legs — both in gratitude and in true friendship. Now they are all grown up, have started upon their lives and presumable remained as close as ever, and that’s why I had a real problem from the very beginning! She undergoes a real crisis in her life and can’t get much lower – in all ways..and yet we are expected to believe that he is oblivious to it all and has no clue what has been happening to her? Either she’s a very good liar or he’s become suddenly unobservant..lol..now..to be fair they might explain this in a perfectly plausible way..I hope they do or it will become one of those “holes” that we need to put up with.

I’m still not totally sold on the characters I must confess. She, who is the most challenged at this moment and her character seems to be the most developed and nuanced while he is still really an enigma..stunning to look at but more superficial at this point. Would like to know more about him..other than he wears beautiful coats in stunning fashion..lol!

Half of the drama takes place at a publishing company and so we are introduced to a whole set of secondary characters..each one seems to fit the usual mode..overworked..constantly yelled at..having ideas “stolen” from them..moments of brilliance..perseverance and more. We’ve seen it all before..but I don’t mind that..especially if the end result is a “family” of sorts..can’t beat that!

I can’t decide if the leads have chemistry or not since I’m not totally committed to their adult relationship but I might feel differently after a few episodes. Of course he can be one sexy dude..but one thing I’ve always had a “problem” with in his case is that in one instance he’s extremely attractive and in the next instance, when he turns his head, all I see is this boyish face and he literally seems like a young boy in a man’s clothing…he’s just got that type of face I guess..

I’m not going to say that it’s won me over..yet..though I will enjoy the scenery while I make up my mind..

#lee-jong-suk, #lee-na-young, #romance-is-a-bonus-book

He Is Psychometric – Series Review

This is one of those series that, while you’re watching it you suspend a good chunk of disbelief because you enjoy watching some young talent with bright futures — namely Kim Kwon (as Kang Sung-mo) and Park Jin-young (Lee Ahn, the titular ‘psychometric guy’) as the two “brothers by fate” male leads. I should also add Jo Byung-gyu to this short list too (he plays the teenage Kang Sung-mo) because he is pretty darn good too.

There is also some nice work by Kim Da-som as their friend, Eun Ji-soo, and I appreciate the fact that the female lead played by Shin Ye-eun (Yoon Jae-in) is not the hysterical type in spite of some of the circumstances in which she finds herself.

But once all is said and done I felt that the early promise of the story is let down by the “kiddie cops” nature of the latter half of the plot.

In short: Lee Ahn develops psychometry after the traumatic loss of his parents in an apartment fire set to cover a multiple murder, ostensibly involving Kang Sung-mo’s mother as a victim. He cannot touch a person or things people have touched (including dead bodies) without picking up those memories of recent events. (Because this is based on a real thing… hah!) If such a thing were possible you could certainly understand how overwhelming it could be to come in random contact with the millions of stories of those near you as well as passers-by. Kang Sung-mo becomes like a brother to him after the fire, but has to place him in an orphanage while he completes his studies. Eun Ji-soo meets them during Lee Ahn’s time in the orphanage and becomes their friends, developing a massive one-sided crush on Kang Sung-mo. She follows in her dad’s footsteps and becomes a police detective, Kang Sung-mo becomes a prosecutor, and Lee Ahn skates by on life until he meets Yoon Jae-in and feels a connection. Turns out her father was unfairly blamed for the murder and fire and sent to prison for it. During the story, she and Kang Sung-mo independently work to find the real murderer. Lee Ahn is used to tap into the memories of various victims encountered along the way.

Kim Kwon is not the official lead of this story, but in truth he really is because he’s so compelling in his portrayal — he’s got the aloof, guarded, and mysterious thing down pat in his gaze. And he’s so damaged, life has been so hard for him (I’m not revealing the specifics here because to do so would diminish there impact), that his is a character you can empathize with and yes, even applaud his actions even when they go to extremes. The personality traits and how they’re portrayed by both Kim Kwon and Jo Byung-gyu are so in sync that while they don’t look like adult and teen versions of each other they do feel like it.

Park Jin-young also manages to convey the immaturity of a teen and young adult (there is a child actor who plays him as the boy in the story) who does his best to slough off the responsibilities of his “gift” and for a while does so by getting into fights and avoiding school. But once he realizes that his talent can really truly help get to the bottom of the crimes that orphaned him and so harmed the girl he’s fallen for, he tries (not always succeeding) to become more responsible. He’s boyish and enthusiastic and wears his heart on his too long sleeve (to protect those hands) and he’s very appealing.

The weak part of this all is that Yoon Jae-in may be a gifted student and a top-scoring rookie at the police academy, but it’s silly to think that she’d have the capacity to be involved in the crime-solving incidents that happen in the latter part of the plot. It definitely felt like a “kiddie cops” / Scooby-Doo gang shift and there is no way this could happen. But, if you’re going to believe in psychometry you might as well believe in rookie cops heading up investigations too!

All in all, in spite of those weaknesses, there are plenty of moments of genuine emotion and sufficiently compelling acting to make this worth your time. And keep an eye out for our leading men; they’ve got places to go!

#he-is-psychometric, #jo-byung-gyu, #kim-da-som, #kim-kwon, #lee-jong-hyuk, #park-jin-young, #shin-ye-eun, #that-psychometric-guy

Arthdal Chronicles

The more I see news of this drama coming up the less interested I become. It’s just NOT grabbing me at all. I’m a big fan of Song Joong ki but frankly every time I see his picture in character I just want to burst out laughing, he looks like a kid who is playing dress up!!

I’m not writing it off completely of course but I just wish his next drama had been something different… sigh…

#arthdal-chronicals, #song-joong-ki