First Impressions of “Her Private Life”

I decided to take the plunge on watching this..should anything happen (DF anyone??), besides I couldn’t hold off too long from watching our guy, Kim Jae-Wook in his first starring role where I’m POSITIVE he will finally get the girl!!

Frankly I’m on the fence about her; I don’t dislike her, don’t love her, so she really was a non-factor for me. OK, maybe I’m a bit jealous that she gets to star with all these hunks and gets paid for it..lol..never mind!! So..my sole reason for watching was for him, aka Ryan Gold.

It’s been a pleasure so far to enjoy his presence on my screen and as long as he’s on it..all is good. However..the rest of it has been disappointing so are. I just cannot connect with this silly storyline at all. The fact that a thirtysomething woman is gaga over this very ordinary and blah bland idol is simply silly and I just can’t accept this premis at all..I happily fastforward all these scenes as a sheer waste of time. Sadly that leaves very little left to interest me. I can see that it will improve now that they have more scenes together and I will continue watching just for this reason because I do see chemistry for sure but if it had been anyone else..I would be outta here pronto!! Sometimes you just want to be superficial and enjoy the eye candy you know???

#her-private-life, #kim-jae-wook, #park-min-young

This Watcher Finished “Watcher”! – Series Review

I began Watcher soon after it started airing, but I could tell that it was one I’d want to pick and choose my time to watch and savor its plot-twisty story, so I put it on hold until I could finish it in as big a gulp as I wanted (the final 9 hours worth in 2 days), and it didn’t disappoint.

Seo Kang-joon plays one of the 3 central protagonists; Kim Young-goon is a young police officer* with the unhappy past. He was the sole witness to his mother’s death at the hands of a murderer and for years he’s thought that person was his father, a top detective in the police force, suspected of corruption. His driving ambition is to discover the truth behind his mother’s death, his father’s presumed guilt, and the reasons why he cannot fully recall the traumatic events of that day.

*He’s not just a police officer but a former elite Army ranger, which means that he’s had lots of training for the tough fight sequences to come.

Han Suk-kyu (who I’ve always admired in his films and drama work) is the veteran detective, Do Chi-kwang, formerly of Internal Affairs and before that a member of the same squad that was headed up by Young-goon’s father. As a result of causing some heartburn with HQ brass because he tried to take them down for corruption, he’s been tasked with a seemingly dead-end position as the director of an Anti-Corruption unit, with one assistant (who’s likely a spy), and soon the angry young man Young-goon.

The third protagonist is the troubled former prosecutor, Han Tae-joo, played by Kim Hyun-joo. She was the prosecutor for the murder case and worked with Young-goon to testify. Unsatisfied with the evidence, she’s prompted later to try new technologies to root out the truth and this leads to the string of violence that forms the basic plot that drives the story forward — there is indeed corruption and collusion in the police and prosecutorial offices and these three form an uneasy alliance in doggedly pursuing the truth, no matter the risks or costs.

This was a very satisfying drama to watch, even if the subject is murder and mayhem because I rarely knew exactly who was involved and who was trustworthy. Well, you knew that Kim Young-goon was trustworthy because this is his journey towards truth and justice (and he was a child when his mother was murdered), but you’d also know because Seo Kang-joon played his role so transparently. Anger looks very good on Seo Kang-joon, as does mistrust, and mistrust he does because Han Suk-kyu’s Do Chi-kwang is one complicated man, one who seems eminently pure and driven and noble and trustworthy… but may not be!

Equally motivated, equally canny, and equally given to pursuing her own agenda (which may or may not support the team’s), Han Tae-joo is a bundle of controlled PTSD nerves (with good cause). I can’t blame her for her seemingly double-dealing ways because they helped keep me and everyone else on our collective toes. Plus, I always applaud female characters who are well-written and complicated heroines of their own lives. She defends those who are loyal and takes down the rest. I could happily watch a sequel with her as the lead.

In fact, OCN could do a sequel with this cast, and may have hopes of doing so, thanks to the (relatively) open-ended finish to the story. I would also like to see if Do Chi-Kwang holds to his mission, and how Han Suk-kyu would portray his hero’s (anti-hero?) journey.

Note: this drama includes scenes of violence that result in regular digit amputations (thankfully blurred), so if you’re squeamish at the thought of that, this might not be for you, but if you do like complex, character-driven mysteries about police corruption most definitely give this one a try.

#han-suk-kyu, #hey-sung-tae, #joo-jin-mo, #kim-hyun-joo, #park-joo-hee, #seo-kang-joon, #series-review, #watcher

On the Way to the Airport

Don’t ask me why but I decided to check out this “older” drama one day and was interested enough to keep on watching!! I’d ignored it (obviously), watching a drama about adultery didn’t really appeal, but I do like the main actors. In case you’re not aware — it’s about two married people who connect through a tragedy and find their bond becoming stronger and stronger. It’s about betrayal..guilt..truth and friendship.

I absolutely enjoyed it..haha! Some might find this drama a bit plodding.. slow.. but for me it was just right. Given the sensitivity of the issue I wasn’t sure how they could possibly win the audience over..and I expected that the writers would have made it easy to pick sides..in fact it was but not in the way I expected.

Of course our main couple is absolutely too good to be true..but I enjoyed watching someone involved in this marital betrayal and didn’t expect them to actually feel so “pure”. Of course I have issues with some things..don’t we always? But I loved the fact that nothing was a given..that the characters stayed true to themselves on the whole..it was beautifully filmed as a real bonus and I loved the sound track as well..

Thumbs up!!

#choi-yeo-jin, #jang-hee-jin, #kim-haneul, #kim-kwon, #kwon-kim, #lee-sang-yoon, #on-the-way-to-the-airport, #shin-sung-rok

Why I’ve been MIA lately…

The past few months have seen little of me on the site, and for that I’ll say “mianhae.” But the truth is, it’s not because I’ve been in a viewing slump (just the opposite), or because I’m not interested in our drama world (again, couldn’t be further from the truth), but because I’ve been more interested in reading than writing. In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, especially since my decision to officially retire from the workaday world of Instructional Design this spring!

That means that, in addition to my nighttime forays into delights such as WWW: Search and Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung (and the reality show The Barber of Seville) to name just a few of the titles I’m currently juggling, I’m enjoying a pretty darn nice summer on my back porch reading something fun. A lot of these are from Asian authors, so they fit in nicely with #kdrama, #cdrama, and #jdrama vibes, and in fact many of them would make really good foundations for serialization. One of them is actually in production and will air in 2020 on Netflix, so keep your eyes peeled for The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo.

In case you’re wondering what some of the other titles are, here’s a selection of the most recent ones — mostly in the YA and Fantasy genres (the mysteries and biographies are not listed) — and I highly recommend Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik in the audiobook format.

  • Uprooted + Spinning Silver, by @naominovik
  • The Bird and the Blade, by @meganbannen
  • Descendant of the Crane, Joan He
  • An Ember In the Ashes, by @sabaatahir
  • Shadow of the Fox + Soul of the Sword, by @jkagawa
  • The Invisible Library, by @genevievecogman
  • Spin the Dawn, by @lizlim
  • The Magic of Unkindness, by @dalekevan
  • The Witches of New York, by @sideshowami
  • Nevernight + Godsgrave, by @misterkristoff
  • Sorcery of Thorns, by @marrogerson
  • The Poppy War, by @kuangrf
  • The Night Tiger + The Ghost Bride, by @yangszechoo

One Spring Night – Series Review

Back on the kdrama bandwagon — I just finished watching One Spring Night, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I know that it’s compared a lot with Something In the Rain, since it shares the same director and actor, but I actually enjoyed this much more!!

Of course..it was hard for me to accept the gravity of the obstacles that the main couple faced..our hero being a single dad being the most grave of them but it was about so much more. Han Ji Min did a fantastic job of portraying a strong woman who has vulnerabilities but also many strengths and is willing to fight for them..she’s not perfect..she admits it herself..but you would want someone like her in your corner. it’s also heartwarming to see how strong all the women are in this drama..no doormats to speak of..yeah!!! Refreshing and still interesting despite the fact that the traditional overbearing father did still make an appearance and it was fun to hate quite a few characters as well.

I liked the fact that though it was clear that their love was deep..it was also unsettling as a viewer because you weren’t quite sure all the way through if that was enough..it isn’t always in life is it? The supporting cast (actors and characters) was excellent as well..I really enjoyed discovering a new actor (Kim Joon Han) who I hope to see more of in future.

They did deserve an “F” for one thing..I don’t know about librarians in Korea but here they are no longer the stereotypical little old lady with white bun and glasses..lol..but that’s exactly what they were thinking when they made the poor girl up each morning..all she lacked was the white bun..I’ve never ever seen such a horrible wardrobe in my life..shame on them! What were they thinking?????

#han-ji-min, #jung-hae-in, #kim-joon-han, #one-spring-night, #series-review

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

Why am I watching this?! Before We Get Married

Yeah, Jasper Liu is attractive, but dang! My skin crawled more than a little at times in episode 1 watching him obsess over the engaged and proper Puff Kuo! I confess to having watched 3 episodes so far of this Taiwanese drama because I just am more than a little curious how far (and dark) they may take this one.

Let’s be sure about one thing though, if he were not rich and attractive (his character, that is), there would be a restraining order slapped on him pretty damn fast, let alone an arrest for sexual harassment! Will I keep watching? I dunno…

#before-we-get-married, #jasper-liu, #puff-kuo