Your House Helper – Series Impressions

Usually, you see the multiple storyline-type plots in the weekend or daily dramas, where they’ve got 50 to 120 hours to round out the characters and stretch things out. But I’m noticing a trend toward ensemble short-form dramas, and Your House Helper is one of several I’ve seen this year, like the sequel to Hello My Twenties and Go Go Waikiki. When it’s done well, it’s not a bad thing at all; the tone is lighter, the villains are less villainous, and it’s generally a pleasant diversion. I think these three all can be assessed similarly.

drama+Your+House+Helper

I think Ha Suk-jin is a little on the bland side (for my taste) as an actor and in his role as the guy who turns from banking to becoming an organizational and cleaning specialist when his life goes out of control. (Bringing order to other peoples’ lives instead of his own, get it?) I think I’d like to see him in a role where he gets to play someone a little wilder, or intense, or cynical – something besides controlled and bossy. He’s done that a little too much lately, IMO. He also gets a leading lady who’s a little too young for him (he’s 36 playing 36, she’s 23 trying for 28ish) and for her role. For someone who’s supposed to be in her late 20s, she comes across a little too wet behind the years, like a little kid just out of high school. I don’t actively dislike their pairing, nor the plotting of their relationship, but when I contrast it to a similar age gap relationship in Radiant Office with Go Ah-sung, it feels like it needs a sprinkling of salt.

The strength of this pretty low-key drama lies in its ensemble stories and the sometimes too brief side trips into the lives of her friends and colleagues. Go Won-hee (who was so cute in Go Go Waikiki and Strongest Deliveryman) comes off the best as the ambitious and hardworking jewelry designer pal who is pursued by a likable lawyer (with horrible dating skills). The other stories involve a pal who is afraid of men and how she resolves that issue, another who has a thing for her best male friend (a love that cannot be), and workplace tales of sexual harassment and hard work.

kbs-your-house-helper

This is not a drama that is going to inspire strong emotions, for the most part, but it was sufficiently entertaining to not regret the time spent watching it. And hey, I did pick up a tip for cleaning the vent screens on my cooktop fan, courtesy of the House Helper tips that end too few of the episodes! That “tips” the show into the Win column!

#bona, #go-won-hee, #ha-suk-jin, #jo-hee-bong, #jun-soo-jin, #lee-ji-hoon, #seo-eun-ah, #your-house-helper

Sidetrack Dramas: D-Day and God’s Quiz

Whilst I was stalling on Suspicious Partner and Fight My Way (and I blame Secret Forest because my head was so filled with that one that I wanted only to watch shows I didn’t really care about while I was awaiting the next installment of the fabulous Shi-mok show), I dallied with 2 dramas available on Netflix: D-Day and God’s Quiz.

D-Day is a slightly hokey medical/disaster drama with Kim Young-kwang (that broad-shouldered strapping lad from Lookout) and Jung So-min (currently in Father is Strange). The premise is simple: He’s the rebellious genius ER doc who is also gifted at emergency surgery and is trying to keep his vegetative-state mother alive and piss off the hospital establishment and she’s the 3rd-year ortho resident up from a Busan hospital who’s not pushed herself to be a better doctor and together they hold together the patients at a specialized hospital with hardly any doctors working there that only grudgingly has ER services but focuses on high profile cancer & robotics surgery cases after a huge earthquake devastates major chunks of Seoul. Ha Suk-jin contributes as a former best bud of his and is the prickly surgeon who’s sold his soul to the company store (greedy hospital chief) and is the usual cold jackass (until he has his usual epiphany). Can you tell that it’s chock-a-block with stereotypes? It was moderately enjoyable, a time-waster, and when the predictableness of it all got to me I started hitting the FF button. Not horrible, he’s easy on the eyes (though I desperately wanted to Cut His Hair!), but TC you will roll your eyes right out of their sockets if you watch any of the medical stuff, so take a pass unless you need a laugh!

God’s Quiz, which I think is on Netflix as Quiz of God, is summarized on Dramawiki as follows: “Han Jin Woo, Korea’s top medical examiner, leads a team of experts in conducting a medical crime investigation after strange events and mysterious deaths occur in a hospital. He first clashes with but is later aided by Kang Kyung Hee, an attractive female detective who possesses excellent skill in martial arts and a strong sense of justice.” IOWs, the brash guy is brought into a top forensic unit because he’s got genius-level diagnostic skills, something that will keep him from using those skills when operating on live patients, and a juvenile personality and he’ll clash with and later grow fond of the female detective who seems to pull every case in Seoul and has a short-ish fuse and good legs for kicking bad guys. She’ll come to see he’s not as bratty as she thought he was and comes to respect his intelligence and care for him in return. Again, formulaic, some “interesting” forensic cases and autopsies (hah!), and not a bad timewaster as far as timewasters go. This is a 4-season drama that ran on cable. I wasn’t going to get invested in all 4 seasons so I finished season 1 and then skipped to the final episode of season 4! I’m thinking it was the right decision. BTW, Yoon Joo-hee, who plays the female detective, was a helpful nurse and 2nd female lead in D-Day. Ryu Duk-hwan, the doctor, is a charming shrimp of a guy who mostly does movies; not a looker, but personable.

 

 

#d-day, #gods-quiz, #ha-suk-jin, #jung-so-min, #kim-young-kwang, #quiz-of-god, #ryu-duk-hwan, #yoon-joo-hee

Finished Radiant Office – Final thoughts

This was a very nice experience all round! I actually looked forward to each episode and unfortunately I had missed that feeling with my previous dramas.

As mentioned before, my favourite characters were the trio of friends who started out together in the oddest of ways. I loved the fact that each person was so unique and that they complemented each other so well, but what I loved about them was the unshakeable support they gave each other. What I loved was the fact that they rooted for each other — despite the fact that they were officially true competition. How refreshing! The backstabbing and betrayal was left in other people’s hands.

I loved the way the main couple came together, starting with mutual respect (though it took awhile), but it grew gradually, turning into a more bonded and connected pairing — great friends first and foremost. This was not the most passionate couple, but still, it seemed just right.

The secondary characters and side plots were also interesting and really there was only one over-the-top character to really cringe at — not too bad at all.

The only “negative” I would say, was that the last episode felt a little rushed and it threw the pacing off. There were a couple of characters that were really unexplored and for whom we never got a satisfactory storyline. As well I really hated the last minute instance of noble idiocy that took place. I don’t know what happened to cause this when otherwise it had been just perfect. Truth be told I lost track of the episode number while I was watching and I was shocked to see the ending credits. I could have sworn we had another episode to go!!

#go-ah-sung, #ha-suk-jin, #radiant-office

I started up on Radiant Office

Up to episode 8 and I’m loving it so far. In fact yesterday I just couldn’t make myself stop watching – (that hasn’t happened in a while!!!).

Robin, I know that you have already seen it and I think you enjoyed it too? Anyway..this actress is one of my favourites and she’s doing a masterful job with this character. I love her pluck..her optimism..her patience and her strength..I adore all her imaginatory scenes–we’ve all been there..lol! I can’t really say the same for him, not that he isn’t good, only that it’s more of the same that I’ve seen in the last two dramas. I love (most of)  these characters–my favourite being the trio of contract workers who have become a little “family” that started out in such a strange way–there have been times when I’ve just broken out in laughter–love it!! One thing for sure.

I’m so  happy that I don’t have to work in Korea!! I’m sure that I’d never survive!!

#go-ah-sung, #ha-suk-jin, #radiant-office

Radiant Office – Final Impressions

Ha Suk-jin, Go Ah-sung, you did not disappoint me one minute of this drama! Nor did the plot (penned by a newbie too) or production, for that matter.

They mess with our emotions by setting the stage (and is it a spoiler if it’s in all the promotional materials for the drama?) by telling us that one of the characters is faced with a fatal illness and must make the most of life after realizing a goal, of finding a job – albeit as temporary contractors – at an important furniture (think Crate and Barrel meets Ikea) company. But that’s almost a plot sidebar when you get to spend time with the 3 hapless contractor employees, played by Go Ah-sung (Heard it thru the Grapevine), Lee Dong-hwi (Answer Me 1988), and Hoya (Answer Me 1997). Maybe it’s because I’m currently job hunting, but the travails of the interview process, the insults they face as lowly contract workers, and the support and encouragement they give each other is really some of the best stuff in the drama.

I loved how grumpy Ha Suk-jin reveals himself to just be a fair guy with high standards who’s willing to be a mentor to the people on his small work team – particularly Go Ah-sung’s funny/brave/meek/bold Eun Ho-won. I felt that the progression of his involvement in the lives of the people he’s responsible for as a manager to people he cares for had a natural, organic flow. Things don’t always happen in a hurry in this show, but it has a pace that feels realistic – as realistic as the office politics.

It was also fun to see Kim Dong-wook in this drama too, as the maybe antagonist/maybe benefactor as it’s been a while since I’ve seen him onscreen. Who can forget him in Coffee Prince as he’d call out for “his Eun-chan-ah”?

I look forward to the next project from this writer; she shows a lot of promise.

#go-ah-sung, #ha-suk-jin, #hoya, #kim-dong-wook, #lee-dong-hwi, #radiant-office

1% of Something – Thoughts

Now that I’ve wrapped up my Gong Yoo obsession (not really), I was able to focus on some of my in-progress dramas, like the remake (sort of) of 1% of Anything. I notice that it’s billed as 1% of Something on Dramafever instead of the original title, and I think that’s a good thing because there really are some clear distinctions in the two versions, but the one important thing that they have in common is a love story that works.

Anything potentially spoiler-y after the jump.

Continue reading

#1-of-anything, #1-of-something, #ha-suk-jin, #jun-so-min, #kang-dong-won

Is Ha Suk-jin only going…

Is Ha Suk-jin only going to play jerks? Looks like it! I guess that I don’t really mind as he’s very good at it, but also completely cute when he sees the error of his ways. Next up: Radiant Office, with the charming Go Ah-sung (who was outstanding in Heard It Through the Grapevine).

The only downside is her boss, played by Ha Suk-jin (1% of Anything), whose nickname “King of Jerks” doesn’t do justice to his uptight and heartless personality.

http://www.dramabeans.com/2017/02/battling-for-survival-at-the-workplace-in-radiant-office/

#go-ah-sung, #ha-suk-jin, #radiant-office