Crash Landing on you – Episode 6

In this episode…

Se-ri gets her passport photos and Jung-hyuk begs the proprietor for an extra copy (though he refused earlier to get a couple photo with her). In the lobby, Seung-joon spotted her and dragged her into an elevator to ‘chat’ (hide from goons) which Jung-hyuk interrupts (eyes glaring). Se-ri introduces him as her bodyguard, but sees this as a chance to consider alternative arrangements for getting home. Dan and Seung-joon meet (again!) and share ideas on money and relationships, and later Dan and her mother get ready to save her future marriage and set up a parents meeting in the hotel as well. Foolishly, Se-ri does meet up with Seung-joon and they go for a walk, worrying Jung-hyuk like crazy until he’s called in to help out again. They head off for beer and chicken and see the first snowfall (we, and Se-ri, know what that means!) A picnic is staged with the Company 5 boys for farewell, this time with the men sorry to see her leave, even Chi-soo. She’s sent off to the airport not by Jung-hyuk, but by Kwangbum (the only one to know about the trucks of doom). Turns out Jung-hyuk’s made alternate arrangements — a hot motorcycle and a mobile armory, just in case — and they’re needed. A cycle/truck battle ensues and he’s shot!

Impressions…

Chingu: Robin – you are so right when you say that those village women remind you of El Cuartel de las Feas..indeed they do!! I thought that they would irritate me but because the scenes are quite short they turn out to be  funny rather than tiresome.

Robin: If their scenes went on too long it would take precious time from the main story, but they work so well because they are short and because they’re such talented veteran actresses who know how to deliver a punch/line! They’re important too because they become a surrogate community, almost/quasi family in the making for Se-ri, who clearly does not have much in the way of family support.

Chingu: Is there anything more bittersweet than saying goodbye? Once again we have the coming departure and the sweet farewells and even though it’s the second..third?..time round..it always feels sad to think that if she did leave she’d never see these awesome people again.

Robin: It’s all the better (er, I mean sadder/poignant) because those piercing eyes of Hyun Bin’s speak volumes. I give you Exhibit N… in the photo above. But it’s not just him; I think that for all the anxiety and tension of being ‘behind enemy lines’ Se-ri is relaxing and coming to enjoy this fantasy interlude. She doesn’t really understand the danger, though, does she? When she asks him if he will get into trouble when she disappears in Europe and takes him at his word when he tells her that he will not she really should understand that he’s lying to her. She could earlier see through Seung-joon back in Seoul, but not be able to figure out that this would of course mean trouble for him? Maybe her lie-dar is not working across the border, much like that walkie-talkie, because who in their right mind would trust Seung-joon? He just reeks of falsehood!

Chingu: Manbok still searching for that inner courage..one step further but not close enough.

Robin: I really, really, really hoped that somehow he would have this time given a hint of warning at least to someone, even if not outright lying to Lt. Com Cho. But I suppose it’s tough rising up after being walked on for so long. One side note: notice how the bribe money they’re so busy flashing around is generally US dollars? What’s up with that?

Chingu: A jealous Binnie is an awesome sight don’t you think??

Robin: Of course he is (see above)! Watching him zipping along on that motorcycle was pure rowr-power too 😉 Hyun Bin has put those action movie skills to work once again. But the quiet moments when is watching her, that look of …longing, and maybe more, are something else again. I kind of wish we wouldn’t get these “Perils of Pauline” cliffhangers at the end of every episode, and I’m glad that I’m not live-watching this show, but if it allows him to show all of these skills, I’m cool with it!

Chingu: As to his official fiancee..I can’t dislike her..after all she’s just as much a “victim” of circumstance as he is..tied to a stranger for years. Is her coldness a reaction to his or just her nature?

Robin: I think it’s her nature; she’s proud of her status, her looks, etc. Se-ri is the first woman who could give her a run for her money with her shiny long (western) hair and clear skin. And it’s pretty clear that her fiancé cannot keep his eyes off of her, so she’s got to deal with this unusual jealous feeling of her own. Her mom’s ‘warpaint’ was pretty damn funny, but I really liked Jung-hyuk’s mom at that dinner. It was as if she was trying to postpone the wedding because she knew it was ALL wrong for her precious son in her own quiet way. Do you suppose Dad was all “get married now!” because of the trouble his son was getting into trying to find ways to help Se-ri? Of course he was! I’m more convinced that the marriage arrangement is one of those family things: e.g., the 2 men saying, “let’s marry our kids” and the kids have no say-so, and the original fiancé would have been his brother.

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #jang-so-yeon, #kim-jung-hyun, #kim-jung-nan, #kim-sun-young, #kim-young-min, #lee-shin-young, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin, #tang-joon-sang, #yang-kyung-won, #yoo-soo-bin

Crash Landing on You – Episode 5

In this episode…

The real fiancée makes her presence known, angers the village women with her attitude, and we get a pretty clear picture that Jung-hyuk’s going along with the engagement out of duty, putting up with a ridiculous late-night dinner with the future MIL but not much else. During his absence, the women bring booze to commiserate with Se-ri and they bond over her tale of a love facing obstacles. Se-ri is offered another plan to get home, one that will cause Jung-hyuk problems though he denies it; it requires a passport so a makeunder, NK style, happens, and Se-ri pawns an key item. The State Security LC Cho continues being suspicious and looking for ways to trap Jung-hyuk, and Jung-hyuk looks for ways to repay the favor. Finger hearts are given and pouts are pouted, and a train trip to Pyongyang meets with a lengthy delay.

Impressions…

Yolette: Really, our boy’s efforts were bordering on pathological during the train ride. Our heroine didn’t even have to ask him for anything, just mention it in passing and he’s off to go get it! It’s getting more and more bizarre! And where does he finally draw the line and say no? Getting a picture together. He doesn’t want a memento, he says. It makes me think he already HAS one from that time on the bridge. What a weird thing to balk at.

Robin: He was definitely paying close attention to what she was saying on that bridge, the whole time Dan is trying to catch his attention and remind him that they are supposed to be getting to know one another. He’s all “yeah, yeah, I hear you,” while Dan’s doing her quiet “pay attention to me!” thing, but he was watching and listening to Se-ri as if Dan was made of glass. He might not have a photo of her from that particular moment, but I agree that he might very well have others from that Swiss interlude. And… just wondering… if Jung-hyuk took over soldiering after his brother’s death to please his father, could Dan be another responsibility that he inherited? Could she have originally been planned to be his brother’s wife?

The whole train ride sequence was like some sort of glam-travel in the 3rd world travelogue — how quaint the singing vendors are! How resourceful the country folk are! How cozy the campfires are! But I wondered if the breakdown was planned so those country folk would have an opportunity to make some money (if such a thing were to really happen).

Yolette: That said I laughed myself sick during this episode. The ladies gathering to commiserate after they met the real fiancee–they were so angry on her behalf!! Learning all the new ways to say bitch! And the drunken village watchwoman screeching at the General’s wife, “Do you really love him? He’s just an old raccoon!” while being bodily carried away! Our hero’s fulminating pout and bed kick after Se Ri sends finger hearts to all of his crew. OMG, I can’t! Hahahaha!! He thought he was special. And his FACE when she tells him she has MULTIPLE men waiting for her and crying over her disappearance in South Korea, hahaha. Down with that “Capitalist love!”

Robin: A moving picture worth a thousand words!

I thought this little bit was hilarious, and while he’s so Hyun Bin, he still managed to make me laugh at his pouty, pouty face!

The bonding session was fun, and it really cemented in my mind how Se-ri is really a survivor. Those ladies don’t know Romeo and Juliet? Well they do know the old folktales, and so does Se-ri. She is upset that her watch isn’t worth anything but it’s weight value in NK, until she sees a guy pawning his belt. How poor do you have to be to pawn a belt? I like the way the women have taken her to their bosom and man, each one of them is a little scene stealer in her own way.

Yolette: Does he really not realize that he likes her? It seems obvious that he does, but then why go out of his way to warn her that he already has a fiancée and not to catch feelings for him? But also, SCREAMING LAUGHING that he tells her confidently that his fiancee won’t show up and ruin his lies, turns the corner and there she is!! LOL! Ouch!

On this note, it seems that our heroine “negs” him a lot, asserting that he’s not that smart, that he’s not respected, that he has no power, etc. (I’m posting the definition from Google: Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise flirtatious but negative remark to another person intended to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator’s approval.) I find it is an interesting device being used by the writer in this drama, especially in light of our hero’s eagerness to please her. Is the writer deliberately staging this relationship as such, or is it just happening that way unintentionally?

Robin: I don’t know that it’s intentional on Se-ri’s part; she’s just formulated that opinion based on what the Company 5 boys told her because neither they, nor the villagers know that he’s politically connected and apparently from elite wealth (an OSTRICH as a security alarm at his parents’ home?!) and she’s saying these things to him as a way of saying, “I know you face challenges, you’re not doing all that well, but I’m okay with that and I’ll help you too if I can as a way to say thank you (and I don’t judge you for it either.)”

Having Dan show up (and girl, you are not going to get a man to fall for you if you stand there like an ice princess) just as Jung-hyuk so confidently says that he’s not going to get busted was a predictable moment, but enjoyable nonetheless. The bit I enjoyed the most though was Se-ri saying she was going to ‘head off home’ and he hustles after her to catch her and say that his home is hers (don’t go running off to some other place in the dark where you could get lost and run into trouble without me here to protect you). Oh yes, he’s interested!

Yolette: Finally Se Ri and the con man run into each other! I love that she saw right through him at first glance. Even he had to respect that about her. Now our hero has something he can really get jealous over! Rrowr.

Robin: I’m disliking Gu Seung-jun quite a lot, but then I guess that we’re supposed to — but he’s another survivor, it seems. Maybe because Se-ri has toughened herself up to survive her painful past she’s become an expert at sizing up the panderers and sycophants, but it was gratifying to see her tell him to take a hike after taking a ‘sip’ from her brother (that sip being a couple of billion, it seems). In the few scenes we’ve had with him, it seems like Gu Seung-jun is the less attractive flip-side of Se-ri; taking and expecting and charming to get his way, without any sort of compunction.

Yolette: Imma go out on a limb and say that after our heroine’s tale of dismay, our hero will at some point go back to reclaim her designer watch to make her happy and he’ll find his brother’s watch at the pawn shop. I wonder why the bad guys are so afraid of it being found. What evidence could it contain?

Robin: Ditto. D’ya think they telegraphed this little detail sufficiently? Sometimes the stories just write themselves, sigh…

But, evidence aside, how proud were y’all that the maknae of the Company 5 boys was smart enough and loyal to figure out that, judging by how long he had to wait to be interrogated by LC Cho, he was the last of them to be visited and therefore the others had said NOTHING. Yay!

Yolette: How sad that our wiretapper still hasn’t grown a spine. He spilled all the goods, still a faithful rat. I feel so bad for his son. Our heroine is surprisingly good with children for a hardened socialite.

Robin: I wonder when his heart will “grow 10 sizes” and he will discover that he has a pair of cojones after all? Knowing he has access to evidence (whatever that watch will tell anyone), knowing that he can be a true and honorable ‘rat’ and turn in LC Cho and possibly higher-ups for murder, knowing his wife likes Se-ri, knowing Se-ri defended his son… what else will it take?

Not only is Se-ri good with children (apparently speaking from her own experience), but there was a little “oof” moment when she tells Jung-hyuk that he will be a good husband and father some day. If he is feeling ‘those kinds of feelings’ for her, knowing he’s sending her away (again, even if whatever was in his recollection of their past in Switzerland may have been one-sided, she might also represent the life he sacrificed as well as someone who touched his heart) has to sting.

< Episode 4 — Episode 5 >

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #jang-so-yeon, #kim-jung-hyun, #kim-jung-nan, #kim-sun-young, #kim-young-min, #lee-shin-young, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin, #tang-joon-sang, #yang-kyung-won, #yoo-soo-bin

Crash Landing on You – Episode 3

In this episode…

To the shock of everyone (Jung-hyuk and Se-ri included), Jung-hyuk pivots and affirms that the woman in his house is his fiancée and nope, no papers or names are needed because she’s part of Division 11 (spies unlimited), which disappoints everyone else on a massive scale. No chitchat, no harassement, nada. Company 5 boys expect the worst because Captain can’t lie, but omo, he can and did! SS Lt. Jo is suspicious and wants to guard against any investigations further by Jung-hyuk and sets up a listening device. The listener is a villager who happened to be involved in the scheme to kill Jung-hyuk’s brother and he’s still dealing with that trauma, but does his job. Se-ri gets ready to leave by holding an awards show, giving out prizes to 3 of the men, but not grumpy Pil-su, nor jealous Jung-hyuk (beyond a tomato plant). We meet Dan, his ‘real’ fiancée and learn that the swindler from the south is definitely a jerk. The boat arrives to take Se-ri to the offshore boat and sensing her unease, Jung-hyuk goes with her; they exchange names as a parting gesture, but the trawler is pulled over. They’ve been rumbled! Honoring drama tropes, he kisses her as the hatch lid opens…

Impressions…

Yolette: Hahahahaha! He really wanted to get that award, didn’t he! So cute.

But he really does do everything she asks, it’s a little weird. Can it be that he’s in love with her already?? Or is he just that bored? Did he, maybe, already know her from Switzerland? Because he gets her everything she wants, listens to her instructions on how to behave towards her in public, lets her give away his stuff and even takes to heart her advice about saying 10 nice words to he tomato plant everyday. WHY is he so keen to do everything she wants??

Robin: You know, until you mentioned the little scene at the end where they are both in Switzerland, I didn’t realize that they had them! I’d been turning it off after the credits outro. I went back to watch them afterwards. In episode 1, it did indeed look like he was amused by her in the tree, not alarmed at all and maybe a little bit smitten in those few seconds watching her unawares. How much exactly did they experience together in Switzerland (and how sad was it that she wanted to legally euthanize herself?) She said he looked familiar, but you would think if they spent a lot of time together, or even one magical night (we can hope), he would certainly not have that common South Korean disease, amnesia.

I think some of the things she does annoy him (they would annoy anyone), but others are the kinds of things that would touch most people, especially giving away food and clothing to the boy who’d been caught stealing to feed his sister. She didn’t put those things together to go and play Lady Bountiful, she was just doing what her heart told her to do and I think it is the kind of thing he would do as well. She also was curious about who he was, why the books with dark subjects, what about the piano? Those prompts are scratching away at the trauma he’s still dealing with; the loss of his career (looks like he had to step in to replace his brother in the army), the loss of a dear brother, the loss of more freedom that a professional musician would have…

Yolette: I can’t believe they bugged the house and no one slipped up and said something incriminating? Can it be??

Robin: Heard out of context, thinking that she might be a spy from Division 11 and therefore talking in “code” (like Jung-hyuk’s 10 nice words to the tomato plant), I suppose we can suspend disbelief a wee bit. But where I was leery was the installation of the device; come on! In that nosy village nobody noticed?

Yolette: The neighbors were hilarious talking bad about our heroine just steps from her house where she can still hear them. Passive aggressive much?

Robin: Oh, Se-ri! Dasher of dreams! Slasher of fantasies! Those village ladies must have had endless daydreams about running away with this neighborhood prince charming and in walks this mysterious floozy with ill-kept hair and odd clothing who isn’t just that pretty and their various bubbles are burst. They even suspect her of being nine-tailed fox! The fact that she tells them she doesn’t want to make kimchi with them and subject herself to their prying, gossipy ways (and maybe come in for the drama tropey kimchi slap?) was smart, as was her staging of the morning farewell.

One interesting note: the other (real?) fiancée wears her hair down long and straight too (though Se-ri could use a hairbrushing), so what would villagers make of her?

Yolette: Runaway conman still seems to be a waste of space in this drama. I wonder at what point he will become relevant?

Robin: I was surprised at how entitled he felt to talk down to someone who clearly was not just an average military lackey type, just because he was paying to stay in North Korea and this officer was in on the scam. I thought it was interesting that neither he nor Se-ri really have much awareness of NK, just a short hour’s drive north of Seoul, and all the news that comes out of that country about the lives of its people and the regime, but then I have read that many people in SK just aren’t as concerned about things as people outside are, like they’ve become inured to it all. Interesting too that with the proximity of Seoul to the border that the possibility of her being carried that way doesn’t even make a blip on their mental radars. BTW, it looks like the only person who really still cares is the guy who sold her life insurance.

< Episode 2Episode 4 >

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #kim-jung-hyun, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin

Crash Landing On You – Episode 2

In This Episode…

Jung-hyuk has an unintended house guest who has special needs (like hot water bathing and meat twice a day) and a conspiracy in the making to unravel — just how did those 3 grave robbers happen to be run down by a truck, just like the truck that killed his brother? Turns out that he’s a super elite, son of a high muckety-muck in the Party, enough to have a general get him out of a mini kangaroo court and get access to a priority ride to whisk home in an emergency. Se-ri is overwhelmed by the situation and indulges in a brief spell of tears in front of Jung-hyuk after a fright, but is back to being inquisitive and unintimidated as she gets acquainted with her surroundings and his squad, spoiling the ending of Chuno for one. Just when her luck appears to run out, Jung-hyuk saves the day and makes a bold statement — “Would you not point a gun at my fiancée?”

Impressions…

Robin: As Dorothy, er, I mean Se-ri continues to experience this land out of time (as she knows it), she’s a little bit annoying (calling every 2 minutes to ask about items that a generally well-read person might understand to be unusual in a small, obviously poor village in North Korea, like body wash and scented candles) to being smart and quick-witted enough to identify the means to save herself. Sure, flirting with Jung-hyuk isn’t effective (and raise your hand if you chortled when he counter-thought about whether he should just kill her), but sizing up the who’s who of his squad and letting them know she’s willing to work with them if they’ll help her makes me like her all the more. I can’t wait for more “drama talk” time with the Choi Ji-woo fan (but I can only blame his poor taste in leading actresses on his being 10-plus years out-of-date on his drama watching).

When we see how sure she is that her disappearance will cause a major outcry offset by how hard her family is working to keep her status absolutely on the QT, even if we are treated to the very funny scene of her oldest brother’s wife in the church, it’s clear that that is one rotten family and something is behind all this secrecy. The fact that she thought taking hold of her father’s hand at her 1-year-birthday future divination celebration was a good thing (she even named her company “Se-ri’s Choice”) makes it even more an omen of ill things to come.

Chingu: Lots to love about this episode but I think my favourite scene was where she’s about to bash him over the head with a plant and then just bursts out crying when she sees that it’s him..I loved that finally we see that beneath all that bravado and cockiness the girl really IS scared and is reacting..as any one with any common sense would..at finding herself in this dangerous pickle! I so related to her in that moment!

Course..who could resist further evidence that beneath the beautiful deadpan face is a soft heart…so adorable in all ways..bras..candles..cream..what more could she ask for..lol?? Ok..scented would have been perfect I guess. His thoughtfulness and willingness to please comes almost a little too early (for me)..I think I would have preferred maybe another episode or two before those traits were in evidence..but I will take it.I think that the scene at the beginning where she’s trying to use her charm on him while he’s wondering if he should kill her didn’t work as the writers hoped..empty threats rarely do..and we ALL know that this guy doesn’t kill..at least not until he has no other choice!

Robin: This episode gives us a little more to drool learn about Jung-hyuk (along with the village ladies), but it was odd that Lt. Commander Jo did not know that he was an elite — even odder that he did not suspect that he was with an impeccable record and a blank family record. Jo and his boss at the State Security office should have been more circumspect and respectful because they should certainly know what those things add up to: ELITE. But enough about that, let’s talk about Jung-hyuk; he cooks (nangmyeon noodles from scratch!) and shops for her (was that product placement?), picking up illicit SK skincare, and tacitly approves getting her back home with the help of his men. Plus, he too has a tragic past… an older brother dying in a mysterious car accident, rammed by one of those monster trucks, it seems, and an application to go to a music conservatory for piano, it seems. Omo! Did he give up his piano career to join the service to track down the mystery of his brother’s death?

The smaller moments of the episode were amusing too, like the search and (non)seizure of illicit goods like the talking rice cooker (didn’t Hyun Bin do commercials for Cuckoo rice cookers a while back?) and outing of a cheating husband, but the best ones are those with the men (and boys) of the 5th squad. So far it’s just the baby (who doesn’t even have briquettes to light fires at home), the drama addict, and the drinker who’ve gotten much to say/do, but they’re a cute bunch.

Chingu: The neighbours are interesting (and all my favourite actresses too) but I think that I can only take them in small doses..however…I can take LARGE doses of those sweet soldiers..hehe..they are just so adorable and so individual (something that isn’t always the case in other dramas)..they have been nicely fleshed out and we instantly know what their weaknesses are which makes them really interesting from the very beginning.

Robin: I’m not keen on the introduction of the swindler to the mix yet, but I find it intriguing that people looking to hide out from the law would be a profit item for NK, and I like Kim Jung-hyun as an actor (glad to see he’s back from his earlier troubles), so let’s see where this takes us.

Chingu: Love the final twist..though have no idea where they go from there!! Will ANYONE ask the question: “what is your fiancée doing hiding in the kimchi cellar”??? Probably not..lol..at least not until they get over their shock..can’t help but admire his quickness though..he had to think of a story while he was getting out of his car cause he would have had no idea whether she was caught or not would he?

Episode 1 < > Episode 3

#crash-landing-on-you, #ha-suk-jin, #hyun-bin, #kim-jung-hyun, #oh-man-suk, #seo-ji-hye, #son-ye-jin

1% of Something

1% of Something (aka 1% of Anything) stars two leads that I’m certain I’ve seen in other dramas — I’m just not sure which ones yet. The formula is familiar to us all; a chaebol and working class girl come together because she does a kindness to his grandfather and the grandfather wants this girl to become the wife of his surly, arrogant, detached and dismissive grandson. So in order for grandson to get the whole of the company, and for her to become rich and receive shares in the company, they must marry.

Both are, initially, not interested. She’s a kindhearted, but feisty school teacher who thinks that he’s a jerk and trying to run a scam on her. He’s also of the mind that she’s probably a gold digger who seduced his grandfather somehow. Funny thing is that she doesn’t know who his grandfather is because the man she helped to the hospital looked poor and grandpa is purposely not letting her see him.

So the two agree to 6 mos of dating in order to appease grandpa, but both have no intention of marrying the other.. And of course the relationship grows nicely, although his arrogant and jerky ways are going to take some time to change. But change he does, slowly but surely. There are also rivalries that get in the way, old wounds that need healing, and for the backstabbing within the family to resolve. The chemistry between this couple is pretty good, and they are both really good kissers although they haven’t had that many so far. I’m 9 eps in out of 15, and each ep is about 40- 45 mins—- give or take a minute.

It’s a light, cute, and romantic drama. I’m enjoying it. I tried checking to see if anyone saw this drama previously and couldn’t find anything…hope Im not being redundant…..

#1-of-anything, #1-of-something, #ha-suk-jin, #jeon-seo-min

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