Monthly Archives: December 2014

Quick Picture Recap YAAS


Ji Yong and Soo Sun who are from the same school are half-friend, half-enemy.


Pan Seok hopes that Ji Yong’s mother can be a witness in the case. He guarantees her safety.


Ji Yong’s mother risks her life to save Ji Yong.


Ji Yong holds a grudge against Pan Seok as he thinks that Pan Seok is in cahoots with Killer Boots and did not keep his promise to protect his mother. He changes his name to Dae Gu.


They report to work as rookie detectives with different but unbefitting motives.


The rookies eavesdrop on whether they can continue working and heard that Pan Seok decides to give them a chance.


Although Dae Gu is skeptical about finding the gum wrapper in the pile of rubbish, they end up finding it and bringing it back after a nasty fight.


They finally get a chance to work on a case in pairs. A woman that they promise to help catch his stalker is stabbed. Soo Sun and Dae Gu are overcome with guilt.



Dae Gu feels that Pan Seok has no right to criticise them and starts a fight before leaving.


Dae Gu returns after imaginary mother helps him sort out his thoughts but is bind to Soo Sun (because of Tae II).



Dae Gu, Ji Gook, Tae II,  Soo Sun are held hostage at a restaurant with some high school girls. Dae Gu and Soo Sun pretend they are a couple as they cannot hold their hands up to surrender (bind with handcuff) or their identity as police will be known.


The rookies finally solve a case successfully.


Pan Seok’s past reveals.


Dae Gu uses his photographic memory to help in the investigation.



Soo Sun and Dae Gu catching the bad guy by all means at the airport.


Dae Gu kisses Soo Sun to prevent his identity from getting discovered.



On another occasion, Dae Gu manages to catch a bad guy after choosing the bad guy over finding out about Boots.


Soo Sun comforts Dae Gu after finding out his real identity.



Dae Gu’s sponsor (out of remorse) was actually the one who helped Boots get away by intercepting Soo Sun’s witness report. Pan Seok was too into working on that case that he lost his only child.


Pan Seok discovers a bug planted by Dae Gu.



Dae Gu started off as the attacker but ends up being unconscious.


After he recovers (clearing most of his misunderstanding with Pan Seok), Dae Gu wants to kill Boots but saved Boots from his pursuer.


While posing as a real couple for an investigation, real feelings were at play instead.


Tae II got stabbed while trying to protect the pendant, the most important evidence of Ji Young’s mother’s case.


Further development in their relationship.


Dae Gu’s so-called stepmother killed his mother, believing that Dae Gu is her husband’s son.



While trying to catch the bad guy who has too much power, Dae Gu risks his life.

Click here for YAAS review.

Korean Drama Review HSLO

High School Love On (2014) 爱在高中

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance, High School

Enjoyment: 10/10  Pace: 9/10  No. of times I watched it: 2

High-School-Love-On-2     hslo

starring Nam Woo Hyun as Shin Woo Hyun, Kim Sae Ron as Lee Seul Bi, Lee Sung Yeol as Hwang Sung Yeol.

Plot: Lee Seul Bi (Kim Sae Ron) is an angel who becomes half-human after saving Shin Woo Hyun (Nam Woo Hyun) with her power. Woo Hyun lives with his grandmother and carries emotional scars from being abandoned by his parents. Despite his cold demeanor, Woo Hyun is popular in school because of his good looks and singing ability. When his best friend, Hwang Sung Yeol (Lee Sung Yeol), finds out a secret that ties them together and also develops feelings for Seul Bi, who is posing as a fellow student at their school, the best friends turn into rivals. Can Seul Bi survive first love and other perils of life as a teenager? Will she be able to protect not only Woo Hyun but also herself and become completely human?

Zoom into characters: Seul Bi who is pure at heart is an angel that loves to watch dramas. Unlike others, when she walks into Woo Hyun, she feels something strong. She does not regret saving Woo Hyun and decides not to leave him when his grandmother (his only kin then) passes away. Woo Hyun is a “narcissistic prince” who is every high school girl’s ideal boyfriend with his good looks and singing ability. Woo Hyun finds Seul Bi strange as she is unable to use a chopsticks etc. He finally accepts her as a family but ends up falling deeply in love with Seul Bi. Sung Yeol has many parents, including 2 stepparents. However, he is very lonely and neglected by his parents. He leaves a good impression on Seul Bi as he lent her an umbrella when she was abandoned by Woo Hyun. Sung Yeol becomes Woo Hyun’s good friend until he likes Seul Bi and discovers that Woo Hyun is his stepmother’s son.

 

Click here to watch.

MV+ Favourite osts: What My Heart Wants to Say – Lel ft. Linzy and Too good by Junggigo (Feat. Minwoo)

Click here for my thoughts on the drama and more Korean Drama reviews.

Korean Drama Review God of study

God of study (2010)学习之神

Genre: High School, Comedy, Romance

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10  No. of times I watched it: 1

god-of-study

Plot: When scrappy and abrasive lawyer Kang Suk-ho (Kim So Roo) is put in charge of the liquidating Byung Moon High School, he sees his own troubled past in the problematic students who live their lives with no dreams. He then offers to teach them and proclaims that he will get five students accepted into Cheonha University, the most prestigious college in the country. Quirky and earnest English teacher Han Soo-jung (Bae Doo Na) , who believes that the purpose of education is not about getting into a good college, likewise initially objects to Suk-ho’s teaching methods and motivations. Everyone calls Suk-ho crazy while the director cannot wait to sell off the school (if I am not wrong). What will become of the fate of the school and the five students?

The five students acted very well, portraying each of their stories. Hwang Baek-hyun’s (Yoo Seung-ho) parents died and he lives with his grandmother in a shabby house. He was a bad student who fights a lot but after he studied in the special class he slowly reached his goal. Na Hyun-jung (Park Ji Yeon) is left alone in a big house after her parents divorced and only come to think that she is precious too nearing the end of the drama. Gil Pul-ip (Go Ah-sung) doesn’t have a father and had problems with her mother who opens a bar and loves a married man. Hong Chan-doo (Lee Hyun-woo) moves whenever there is music and loves dancing but his rich father wants him to study abroad. Oh Bong-goo (Lee Chan-ho) grew up in a meat restaurant. His parents don’t really care about his education. The actual reason that he joined the special class was to get rid of the bullying because of his appearance but realised that he actually forgotten his promise of being a vet when his pet died. This drama really emphasises the importance of doing well in examinations. 100 marks all the time! Haha.

Click here to watch.

Click here for my thoughts on the drama and more Korean Drama reviews.

Random recommendations for historical dramas with sad endings

Another 3 historical dramas to consider. If you are just looking for a good plot, you can try Hong Gil Dong, Iljimae and Queen Seonduk. Although these 3 leave a deep impression on me, I am not very satisfied with the ending.

Hong-Gil-Dong-Poster1

starring  Kang Ji Hwan as Hong Gil Dong and Sung Yu Ri as Heo Lee Nok.
Hong Gil Dong is a robinhood story with many action scenes involved. Hong Gil-dong is the illegitimate son of a minister. He is very bright and smart but was told that he could not accomplish anything in this world, due to his illegitimate status. Heo Yi-nok is an upbeat, naive and carefree girl. She meets and befriends Gil-dong. Yi-nok has a past she is unaware of: she does not know that her real parents were murdered. She eventually develops feelings for Gil-dong. Lee Chang-hwi is planning a revolution, in which he tries to overthrow the king and takes his place as he believes he is the rightful king of Joseon. He coincidentally bumps into both Gil-dong and Yi-nok. He forges an alliance with Gil-dong which helps him. At the end, there is a struggle between Hong Gil Dong Group and the king as Hong Gil Dong aims to have equality among the people while the king does not.

Iljimae  No. of times I watched: 3

starring Lee Joon Ki as Iljimae / Yong / Lee Geom and Han Hyo Joo as Eun Chae.

His family is framed for treason and the whole family was executed as a result. He managed to escape death and loses his memory. Hence, he is being adopted by his stepbrother’s (once) family. Character by Lee Jun Ki who left behind a painting depicting a plum tree branch to make his mark after robbing corrupted government officials to give to the poor has clever ways of going in and out of the king’s palace and disguising himself.  While he robs to give to the poor, he gets nearer to the truth he has been searching for. The picture on the sword which kills his father will eventually lead him to the person who killed his father. He falls in love with the girl whose father framed his family. Park Shi Ho’s character is involved in the deed to frame the family. To prevent his son from being silenced, his mother lies that he is that family’s son. Thus, Park Shi Ho’s character becomes Eun Chae’s stepbrother. Character by Park Shi Ho, his stepbrother, will be hot on his heels as an official in that era, without knowing the person he is catching is actually related to him.

Lee Joon Ki’s role in this drama as Iljimae is very cool! The starting is really sad but it becomes a thriller after that. As Iljimae, he commits crime cleverly and only leaves a painting behind. Liked how his adoptive father teaches him how to pick-lock and be like a professional thief. The interesting thing is he has an intelligent stepbrother who is an official after his every move. Although his stepbrother misses him each time, he is still able to figure out what Iljimae did and gets one step closer to solving who did it. I feel that the stepbrothers are both very pitiful. Park Shi Ho’s character taken in as an illegitimate son (his mother saved him by saying he is that noble’s son after he was almost silenced for a deed)  is very lonely and not treated like other family members. Iljimae lost his whole family after they are framed and has to try to survive on his own without getting caught. Too bad there is no good ending in this drama for Iljimae… Despite the ending, it is highly recommended!

queen-seon-deok

starring Lee Yo Won as Princess Duk Man, later Queen Seon Duk, Ko Hyun Jung as Lady Mi Shil, Uhm Tae Woong as Kim Yoo Shin, Park Ye Jin as Princess Chun Myung and Kim Nam Gil as Bi Dam (King Jinji and Mi Shil’s son).
Queen Seonduk will be about the life of Princess Duk Man who was later known as Queen Seon Duk, the first Queen of Silla. As the queen has girl twins, a prophecy leads to her abandonment as a baby. After an unconventional childhood in the Taklamakan Desert, Deokman eventually returns to Silla disguised as a boy and trains as a Nangdo. There, she joins forces with her twin sister and the naive commander Kim Yushin to oppose the villainous Lady Mishil, a royal concubine and high-ranking official who will stop at nothing to rule Silla herself.

Liked how the plot is as Duk Man goes through hardship which makes her stronger and a better person to oppose Lady Mishil with her bravery and quick-witted planning. She even went for a battle as a Nangdo. Duk Mun is an amazing character whose sincerity even makes rain fall on a place with drought and quick-wittedness helps her escape death many times. Kim Yushin’s skills in fighting is more on strength than tactic as he just practises hitting something hard many times without real skills. However, it does pay off afterall… I especially liked the character Bi Dam who is Mishil’s son. He is mischievous but very good at fighting and is able to fool Mishil as he is really difficult to read. Mishil is really the calmest bad guy I have ever seen. Haha. Even though the storyline is very interesting and captivating, I did not like the ending as Bi Dam betrays Queen Seonduk in the end.

Click here to watch Hong Gil Dong (24 episodes).

Click here to watch Iljimae (20 episodes).

Click here to watch Queen Seonduk (62 episodes).

Click here for my thoughts on the drama and more Korean Drama reviews.

Random recommendations for Action dramas

If you are looking for action dramas to watch, I would highly recommend Time between Dog and Wolf, City Hunter and Fugitive Plan B for now. You will not regret watching them!

time between DandW                      tbdw                                                                  tbdw2

starring Lee Joon Ki as Lee Soo Hyun / Kay and Nam Sang Mi as Soo Ji Woo.
In order to avenge his mother that was killed brutally by Thai criminal syndicate Cheongbang, Soo Hyun decided to take matters into his own hands in one of his operations and cause the failure of the police operation. After that, he becomes an undercover NIS agent after staging his death. Hiding his past, Soo Hyun infiltrates the Cheongbang with revenge in mind, leaving Ji Woo behind. Under the pseudo-name of Kay, he passes through the backstreets of Bangkok. What Soo Hyun didn’t know was Ji Woo, the one he loved, is the daughter of the same villain, who killed his mother and father. While he was protecting Ji Woo secretly as ordered, he saves her and ends up losing his memory. He started thinking he was a part of Cheongbang and helped them with their bad deeds. At the same time, his job was to protect Ji Woo and they met again.

Time between Dog and Wolf mixes action with losing memory well. No matter Soo Hyun is a police or he is a part of the gang, there is a lot of action involved. Lee Joon Ki acted very well in it, displaying the many emotions his character feels  from scared at first when things are related to the gang to happy when in love to hatred towards the gang to confident when he thinks he is part of the gang. He is also a good fighter. There are many twists in this drama which I enjoyed very much. It is funny when he rescues Ji Woo the first time and Ji Woo was so shocked as she thought that he was dead. He even gets a chance to date the same girl twice (as a good guy) before and after he loses his memory (as a bad guy).

fugitive plan b           fugitive plan b rain

During the Korean War, a vast amount of money disappeared. Now, some 60 years later, the money has reappeared, leading to a frantic chase across the globe. Jin Yi (Lee Na Young) is a seemingly innocent woman who has hidden motives for approaching Ji Woo (Bi), a detective. Her plans are complicated by an unexpected romance developing between them, as well as the numerous pursuers hot on their trail. Kieko (Uehara Takako) is a famous Japanese singer who also gets tangled up in a relationship with this man. Little do they know that her father Hiroki (Takenaka Naoto), apart from being a business man, is a powerful Yakuza. In this love triangle, who will finally win the love of Ji Woo?

Liked Rain’s acting in Fugitive Plan B. His character is very weird and funny even though he is good at making plans and fighting. As a detective, he seldom gets personally involved while he makes money but this time it is different. It is something like a escaping drama where the couple escapes many times from the police and the bad guys while thinking of their next step.  Ji Woo is always very confident while Jin Yi is brave and calculative. It is fun to watch how their plans work and how they escape danger each time while their relationship develop.

                                               city hunter 2

 city hunter 3           cityhunter19-00011

starring Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung / John Lee and Park Min Young as Kim Na Na.
For City Hunter, the story takes place in Seoul, 2011. Lee Yoon Sung is a talented MIT-graduate who works on the international communications team in the Blue House. He plans revenge on five politicians who caused his father’s death with his surrogate father Lee Jin Pyo and eventually becomes a “City Hunter.” In order to take revenge, he went through tough training. He is also able to use technology to help him show the world the evil deeds done by the politicians.

 It is amazing that he can use a bag as a parachute. One will be amazed by how he deals with situations and  his skills at fighting+escaping. It is a thriller and Lee Min Ho’s character is fascinating: the hero in disguise. He has to pretend he cannot fight in the Blue House during training even though he is very good at it. I am glad that he did not kill the politicians but expose their bad deeds unlike what his surrogate father would have done. The technology from the Blue House is really advanced. He can even use a spectacle to do recording.

Click here to watch Time between Dog and Wolf.

Click here to watch Fugitive Plan B.

Click here to watch City Hunter.

Click here for more Korean Drama reviews.

Korean Drama Review FF

Fermentation family (2011) 发酵家族

Genre: Family, Romance, Food

Enjoyment: 9/10  Pace: 9/10  No. of times I watched it: 1

Fermentation-Family

starring Song Il Gook as Ki Ho Tae, Park Jin Hee as Lee Kang San, Lee Min Young as Lee Woo Joo, Choi Jae Sung as Kang Do Sik, Kang Shin Il as Lee Ki Chan and Kim Young Hoon as Oh Jae Hoon.

Plot: Set within the famous Korean restaurant Chunjiin, known especially for their kimchi dish. Ki Ho Tae who grew up as an orphan, begins to work at the restaurant in search for his past and meets many people that changes his life completely.

Zoom into characters: Fate brings Ho Tae, a gangster and a picky eater, to a famous Korean restaurant Chunjiin run by Kang San and Woo Joo’s father. He finds many forgotten memories in the restaurant and decides to stay to find out his past. After Kang San and Woo Joo’s father leaves in search for his friend’s son (oblivious that Ho Tae is him), Kang San decides to help out at the restaurant instead of pursuing her dream of being the chef at another restaurant. Her sister, Woo Joo, is pure at heart and is unable to understand the cruel world. Oh Jae Hoon is a lonely person who goes to Chunjiin to work to understand why his mother, the chairman of a big Korean food company, cannot let go of this restaurant.

 

Click here to watch.

MV+ Favourite osts: Afraid of Love by FIX and Heaven, Earth & Man by Park Sun-Joo

Click here for my thoughts on the drama and more Korean Drama reviews.

Korean Drama Review Surplus Princess

Surplus princess (2014) 剩余公主

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance

Enjoyment: 8/10  Pace: 8/10  No. of times I watched it: 1

surplus_princess

starring Jo Bo Ah as Kim Ha Ni / Ei Rin, Ohn Joo Wan as Lee Hyun Myung, Song Jae Rim as Kwon Shi Kyung, Park Ji Soo as Yoon Jin Ah.

Plot: Surplus Princess is a story about a mermaid who attempts to become a human being so that she can stay forever with the man she loves. Ei Rin (Jo Bo Ah), the eighteenth princess of the mermaid world, dreams to become a human because of a love one. She drinks a bottle of the human potion before she even realizes the 100 day consequences to this potion. Before she reaches the 100th day of being a human, she has to find her perfect love one. Will she be able to find him in time?

Zoom into characters: Ei Rin who has a keen sense of taste and smell is a mermaid who falls in love with Shi Kyung at first sight. After she becomes partially human using Kim Ha Ni as her name, she tries all ways to interact with Shi Kyung. She temporarily lives in a house full of “surplus people” (jobless people) while she explores the human world. Unfortunately, when her legs touches water, they turn back into a tail. Hyun Myung is a very talented artist but it does not help him satisfy his daily needs. For his girlfriend, Jin Ah, he decides to quit being an artist and finds a job but gets rejected at every company. In the end, he even loses his girlfriend who gives him up for Shi Kyung. As Hyun Myung starts to fall for Ha Ni, he is even able to accept her true identity and helps her hide it. Shi Kyung is a good-looking chef and perfectionist. Unknown to others, he actually has face-blindness/ memory loss related to recognising people and only forgets his worries when with Ha Ni.

Click here for my thoughts on the drama and more Korean Drama reviews.

Random recommendations for high school/ school related dramas

If you are looking for a high school drama/ school related drama to watch, here is a good list: To the beautiful you, Dream High, Heartstrings, God of Study, High School Love On, Angry Mum. The plots are very meaningful and they are content rich. Sorry that I cannot add Monstar/School 2013/ Reply 1997/ Who are you school 2015 into the list as I have not watched it yet…

to the beautiful you      tothebeautifulyou

To the beautiful you is a comedy romance involving a girl “infiltrating” into an all boys school to help her idol, Tae Joon, start jumping again. Tae Joon (Choi Min Ho) is a high jump athlete but is unable to jump after his last championship at an international competition. There is more than just a sprained ankle that is keeping him from jumping. His mother passed away as he clinched the gold medal in the high jump competition. Jae Hee (Sulli) who is adopted lives in the United States. She has lived her life with the help of Tae Joon who inspires her and gives her motivation so she wants to help him in return. The pace in this drama is the best to me and has many funny scenes.

Dream High Image        dreamhigh

Dream High tells the story of six students at Kirin Art High School who work to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars in the Korean music industry. Sam Dong is good at singing but pretends he cannot sing due to his mother. Jin Guk is good at dancing but cannot realise his dreams as his father wants him to go overseas and study. Pil Sook is good at singing but does not have a good appearance. Hye Mi has a wide range of pitch but is too arrogant. As the few of them with weaknesses gather together, will they form a good team? Will they always be looked down by others as if they are rotten apples and never get a chance to shine?  

A high school drama consisting of Bae Suzy, Kim Soo Hyun, Jang Woo Young, Taecyeon, Ham Eun Jung and IU which one should not miss! It is interesting and content-rich as they try to prove their talents.

heartstring                       heartstring2

In heartstrings, Lee Shin (Jung Yonghwa) is a vocalist and guitarist of the band “The Stupid.” Shin is known for his good looks and strong passion for music, but in reality he is cold, lacks interest in anything unrelated to music and has neither dreams nor plans for the future. Lee Kyu Won (Park Shin Hye) is a bright and outgoing student who was born into a prestigious family and is majoring in traditional Korean instruments, especially the gayageum. Due to the contrast in music chosen as major, constant arguments occur and they decided to fight it out. Lee Kyu Won lost the competition as her string broke so he had to be Shin’s slave from then on which built on their relationship. Awesome original soundtrack+acting! It is more about a musical the students plan with teamwork.

god-of-study

God of study

When scrappy and abrasive lawyer Kang Suk-ho is put in charge of the liquidating Byung Moon High School, he sees his own troubled past in the problematic students who live their lives with no dreams. He then offers to teach them and proclaims that he will get five students accepted into Cheonha University, the most prestigious college in the country. Quirky and earnest English teacher Han Soo-jung, who believes that the purpose of education is not about getting into a good college, likewise initially objects to Suk-ho’s teaching methods and motivations. Everyone calls Suk-ho crazy while the director cannot wait to sell off the school. What will become of the fate of the school and the five students?

The five students acted very well, portraying each of their stories. They always have to attend study “training” camps and the teachers have very weird and sometimes funny method of teaching them to let them improve a lot from scratch. Even mathematics can become a sports. Really touched by their determination in trying to do their best and liked how the relationship among the 5 students develop.

Heirs_large_704

Heirs follows a group of privileged, elite high school students as they are groomed to take over their families’ business empires. These wealthy students seem to have everything under control–except their love lives. Who said being a rich high school student with high status was easy? Kim Tan who is a heir of Empire Group is held in exile (by his stepbrother) at US where he meets and falls in love with his family housekeeper’s daughter. When they return, they attend the same high school meant for the rich due to Tan’s father’s generosity and their relationship further develops.

It is a popular high school drama starring Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Woo Bin, Choi Jin Hyuk, Kang Min Hyuk, Kang Ha Neul, Krystal Jung and many more. The pace for the lead couple is a bit slow to me towards the end, involving the usual battle against the rich guy’s father but it is still fun watching them at the start of their relationship. As it goes, it is interesting to watch the Hyo Shin+Rachel couple and Bo Na+Chan Young couple.

High-School-Love-On-2              hslo

High school love on is a drama that mixes fantasy with high school well. Lee Seul Bi (Kim Sae Ron) is an angel who becomes half-human after saving Shin Woo Hyun (Nam Woo Hyun) with her power. Woo Hyun lives with his grandmother and carries emotional scars from being abandoned by his parents. Despite his cold demeanor, Woo Hyun is popular in school because of his good looks and singing ability. When his best friend, Hwang Sung Yeol (Lee Sung Yeol), finds out a secret that ties them together and also develops feelings for Seul Bi, who is posing as a fellow student at their school, the best friends turn into rivals. Can Seul Bi survive first love and other perils of life as a teenager? Will she be able to protect not only Woo Hyun but also herself and become completely human?

The first episode made me captivated. The fantasy in the first episode really makes one want for more. As it goes, I especially liked the sweet couple/ high school lovers, Woo Hyun and Seul Bi. It does not drag long before they are together but is often separated thereafter.

angrymum     Angry Mom

Angry Mum is about Jo Kang Ja (Kim Hee Sun) a former Busan delinquent who got pregnant in her teens and raised her daughter as a single mom. She is willing to do anything for her daughter even though their relationship is getting more and more distant. Ah Ran is raised as Kang Ja’s sister’s daughter in a complete family. She feels hurt that her mother does not acknowledge her as her own daughter to her stepfather. To protect her best friend, she gets involved and becomes a victim of school violence too. When Kang Ja finds out and is helpless in arresting the bullies, she decides to become a student to collect evidence that the police asked for. No Ah is a teacher who believes in the goodness of the students and the world and will start to grow to a teacher who really can protect the students from harm.

Liked the development of relationships among the students, Kang Ja, and Ah Ran. Liked the growth of the students, especially Bok Dong and Sang Tae, and No Ah from the start to the end of the drama. Liked the relationship between Ah Ran and Sang Tae towards the end. Enjoyed how Kim Hee Sun portrays her character, fighting her way through the drama as an admirable and uncompromising mother. Although I dislike the politics part, it is a high school drama one should not miss if looking for something fun to watch!

In addition, you can consider Playful Kiss or Boys over Flowers which are also outstanding high school dramas.

playfulkiss         boys over flower2

 

Click here for more Korean Drama reviews and for the full reviews of the dramas above.