Category Archives: Reaction

Fated to Love You – Episode 3

Second Lead Syndrome

Ok, so we all know I luuuuuuuuuuubs me some #choijinhyuk something fierce, but I was really not prepared in episode 3 to be suffering from SLS… Second Lead Syndrome. But, I’ve got a bad case of SLS brewing folks and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Firstly, I already fell in love with Gun and Mi Young. By episode 2 I deemed them OTP status. How can I expect to cheat on my OTP when my love for them is just beginning. I just can’t “stand” it!

Secondly, Choi Jin Hyuk didn’t even really have that much to do in this episode. What does it say that I’m already feeling the effects of SLS this early? What am I going to do when I get around to episode four? What about this weeks episodes? Omo…I am not prepared.

Third, is my obsession with Choi Jin Hyuk just that strong that I can’t help but ship him with whichever lead he’s put up with? The answer to that is easily, yesssshhhh!.

SLS aside episode 3 was a heck of a lot of fun. There were so many awkward moments I was literally dying from laughter. The introduction of Gun’s half brother, Mi Young’s revelation to her mother, and Gun meeting #DonkeyFace Lawyer Min take the cake for fun factor and awkward moments. Gun sure knows how to make people uncomfortable…with his words. Let’s use words, ahjumma.

Speaking of Ahjummas. I adore Wang Ji Won and am so happy to see her playing Se Ra in this show, but unless she is Daniel’s sister I feel she needs to go. I’m down for a love triangle, but it can’t deal with a four way love affair between her, Gun, Daniel, and Mi Young. I’m also hoping that Mi Young will end up being Daniel’s love interest and later discover he’s her…nah, no spoilers tonight. BROTHER. I think this show has the guts to pull something like that off. (I’ve avoided all spoilers and haven’t seen any of the precious versions of the show, but come on, he’s got to be the brother of one of the two…right?)

Loving it.

Check out more screenshots from episode 3 over at my tumblr. Sifuhallyu.tumblr.com

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A Witch’s Romance – Episode Six

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A fourteen year gap…what’s wrong with that?

Nothing I say!

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten into a drama. Sure, I’ve watched an episode here and there, but I haven’t gotten sucked in. That point where I’m cheering for a lead and screaming on the inside hasn’t hit me with the last month’s dramas, but that changed with episode six of A Witch’s Romance.

Dong Ha impressed me with the way he stepped up to save the day for Ji Yeon at her club meeting while simultaneously confessing that he likes her in the cutest way possible.

“We like the same girl groups!” Omo, omo. Marriage material right there, amirite?

That dress Ji Yeon wore to the meeting, how cool was that thing? I’d like to know who designed it.

Episode six didn’t end on such a high note with the return of this #DonkeyFace Shi Hoon. He needs to go, I don’t like him. Since he returned I sadly will predict that the next episode or two will be all about a sad panda Ji Yeon and a melancholy love struck puppy-faced Dong Ha. Don’t waste too much time, y’all got babies to make. Ji Yeon ain’t getting any younger.

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Gap Dong – Episode 6 – Ok, Ok…

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I’ve been pretty hard on Gap Dong after it’s first week due to a lack of creativity in the storyline and nearly complete lack of realistic conflict between its two leads. Episode six went a long way in fixing a lot of the issues I had with the show’s apparent inconsistencies. First and foremost, the cranky police chief needed to receive a whole heck of a lot less screen time and thankfully he did. For a show based around a serial murderer the police chief was way too much of a jerk and the writers for some reason set him up as the central antagonist of the show. I suppose it makes sense to establish that he and My Yeom have a history, but honestly it’s not a history I care one bit about when there is a possible rapist and definite murderer on the loose preying on young woman. The thought get it together crossed my mind a time or two, how about for you?

Get it together they did because after five hours of television (the shows only 16 episodes) we finally get to see our Hero Mu Yeom Oska square off with the incredibly handsome and creepy Gap Dong. That’s what I’ve been waiting for!?! Lee Joon is one of my favorite idols much less idol-actors and he’s killing it week after week, pun intended, and his scenes have made the show watchable. Lee Joon is doing a great job at portraying an uber smart and cunning villain. From his devilish smirk to clown make up and literal stalking of women he’s bringing his A game to the show.

I haven’t watched last weeks episodes yet, but one thing I do want to see is these murders ramp up. I would love to have the show focus more on Tae Oh doing his thing and build his relationship with the original Gap Dong. How interesting would it be to see the “bad guy” get the screen time to tell his story. We so often get a monologue that explains their motives, but rarely to writers of this kind of television let you get inside their heads. It would be rather cool if they let us get inside Tae Oh’s mind and show us what he’s thinking. It would also set up nicely the inevitable showdown between him and the police force that brings him down in a different way. Maybe even spend two weeks showing Tae Oh going on a killing spree and have the cops not able to do a thing about it.

There are plenty of possibilities for this show. After episode six my interest in the show picked up a bit. What about all of you out there…what are you thinking about the show?

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Doctor Stranger – Episode 3 – That Was Fun!

Ahjussi…save my father.

Oh my gawd. If this episode wasn’t the definition of roller coaster I don’t know what is. Nice job writers. You had us laughing out loud one second and crying just a minute later. I don’t know about you, but this guy certainly was!

Can I just ask, how nice is it to have Lee Jong Suk back on our televisions and mobile devices not once, but twice a week? He’s really become an actor that you want to watch and holds your attention with every little mannerism. He’s always been the kind of guy who can turn the smallest eye twitch or smirk into something great, but tonight he brought his facial expressions to a whole other level. I’d dare even say he’s reach Choi Jin Hyuk levels of expression. I really had a good time just watching him be a goof ball tonight!

There is something special about this show. I’m not sure it quite knows yet what it’s going to be, but whether it settles on thriller, comedy, or a mixture of the two this is going to be the show of the season. I just don’t see anything coming even close to being able to throw your from one emotional extreme to another and make it enjoyable at the same time. Korean Dramas as a whole have a masterful talent at making your tear ducts work overtime often for the sake of the emotional pull, here however, the emotion is visceral and you feel it in your gut. Having little 500won break down in the hospital and seeing her fear makes her not only relatable, but her situation. Who doesn’t remember having a similar experience in their youth when you get lost or separated from your family at the zoo? The scene was remarkable for how relatable it was which made it very effective to me.

I’ve got to say that if Kim Ok Ryeon/Mok Dan (not sure what to call Jin Se Yeon anymore) doesn’t pick up a damn phone and call her man I’m going to flip. It’s not 1930 anymore and you’re not under North Korean occupation (for once) so get that handapone and call Hoon. He misses you!

My only gripe and it is a minor one is how rigid and stiff Park Hae Jin seemed throughout most of the show. Yes, he did have a super sexy “I’m da boss kiss me” kiss scene which got my heart all a flutter, but man if he doesn’t look like a 2×4 in that lab coat. Check out the way he turns when approaching patients, it’s totally awkward.

Can’t wait for tomorrow and I sure hope that Hoon runs into Jae Hee at that wacky hospital. I really can’t fathom how she ended up south of the DMZ, but I’m also really glad we aren’t going to have to wait another five years before they get reunited.

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Way Back Wednesdays – The Moon Embracing the Sun – Episode 5

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Spoilers very very possible.

See that guy up there in the picture? The one with the distraught, teary eyed face? That might look like our sweet prince, but no…that was me! Same damn face after watching episode five.

I was really not expecting this episode. It kind of came out of left field to me from a storyline perspective. First, we get introduced to the awesome child actors who are totally nailing it and setting up their roles for the somewhat more adult actors who will be leading the way in later episodes. We get two incredible female actresses, the Moons, who are two very different sides of a coin. They make for great foils for each other and they “love” the same boy-man. That’s a rather nice conflict in and of itself and was interested in seeing more of that, but what did I get? Swerved! Swerved hard.

Yeon Woo is a young noble lady whose got the goods to be an amazing Joseon Queen. She’s caring and sensitive…she’s freaking awesome and that’s why the entire royal family loves her except for that creepy nasty Queen Dowager. Folks, I need this former Queen to die and die painfully. Why? She has the leading shaman cast a spell that essentially turns poor Yeon Woo into a vegetable and causes her constant pain. This in turn forces her out of the castle and separates her from her betrothed, perhaps for good. I’ve seen some pretty crappy former Queen’s in my time, here’s looking at you Cersei, but this wench takes it to another level. I had a visceral dislike for her and on that note what’s up with the Shaman. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the Shaman who pledged to protect the “moon who will embrace the sun?” at the very beginning of the show? I was not happy to see Yeon Woo die and I’m wondering now just where the hell does the show go? Unless I’m about to be swerved again in episode six I think I just saw our female lead get killed off. 0_o

There isn’t really much that strikes my mind about episode five. There really was not a whole lot going on outside of the tragedy that befell Yeon Woo and the fall out of her illness. I do wonder what Prince Yang Myung is going to do once he finds out she’s dead and how will this effect Lee Hwon. I’m kind of excited to get episode six out of the way and get the adult actors on screen. I’ve totally enjoyed the younger versions of the characters, but I need a time warp here so I can see Lee Hwon and Yang Myung kick some ass and fix this situation.

Next week, will I get to see Song Jae Rim and Kim Soo Hyun again? Lord, I hope so!

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Gap Dong – Episode 5

So I’m not sure about this show. It’s got all the right parts to be a great show, but something is missing. I found myself actually bored watching the fifth episode and I’m not sure why. Maybe if I make a list of what I like and therefor what I expect of the show and what I don’t I might understand a bit better.

What interested me about Gap Dong…

1. The actors, namely Lee Joon and Oska
2. Fictionalized version of an real serial killer
3. It’s a thriller, love thrillers.
4. I was expecting a murder mystery thriller

What I think I’m getting…

1. Very little Lee Joon
2. A very weird Oska. Why can’t be he be out there investigating and trying to track down both the real Gap Dong and his copy cat. It makes very little sense to me to have him locked up or in perpetual conflict with his superior. Their interactions together are so convoluted and asinine it boggles the mind.
3. As far as the murders go they are lacking quite a bit in the thrills department. So far, all we’ve seen is Lee Joon chasing after a few women and essentially pulling the wool over their eyes. We aren’t privy to his inner dialogue or intentions. I’d be far more interested in knowing what is going on in his head instead of passively witnessing Tae Oh acting mildly creepy.
4. I mentioned in my last post how inept the police force is depicted in the show and it’s really getting on my nerves. These guys just don’t have a clue.

Sadly, after two very good episodes the last three have left me very underwhelmed and I’m wondering if the Sewol Ferry Incident changed the direction of the show. It is in no way turning out to be the show it was marketed as and I’m feeling a bit let down. If the producers of the show decided to tone down the dark aspects of the show due to the ferry incident I would completely understand, but am a bit saddened by my perception of the show because I did have such high hopes.

I’ll check back in tomorrow with episode six and see if things get on track.

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Doctor Stranger – This is Going to be Good – Episode 1

The drama many of us have been waiting for all year has finally premiered…do I even have to say it’s name? Yes, yes I do.

Doctor Stranger is finally here!

I have been waiting for this drama since January if not earlier when it was announced that Lee Jong Suk would finally be returning to Dramaland after 2013’s summer hit I Hear Your Voice ran its course. He’s been off filming a movie and in the meantime two other actors caught my attention that are going to be featured in Doctor Stranger. The first is the incredibly handsome Park Hae Jin who many, many…MANY of you will remember from this year’s biggest hit Man From the Stars where he played Lee Whee Kyung. If that isn’t enough man-candy for you then there is just no helping you! The final piece of the puzzle for me that had be waiting very impatiently was Jin Se Yeon who I will always and fondly refer to as Kim Ok Ryeon from her involvement in -another- of my favorite dramas this year, Inspiring Generation. Ok, now that I’ve gotten that refresher out of the way.

This is going to be good!

Doctor Stranger opened up in a big way tonight. The basic premise of the show…is complicated. Hoon (Lee Jong Suk) is a genius brain surgeon of seemingly unparalleled skill. His father is recruited/kidnapped to save a high ranking North Korean official and Hoon, as a child, is used as collateral to ensure that his father succeeds in saving the official. After unfortunate turn of events they are forced to stay in North Korea and many years pass by. It seems like this show is going to be a part time medical drama, half time spy thriller, and quarter time love story. I’m digging that.

There were a slew of cute moments that made my eyes light up and smile. Most noticeably was baby Hoon whose tears made my own tear ducts work over time and Hoon and Jae Hee’s bike ride through the meadow. The color’s used were bright and warm which really made me feel like they were having a good time. It was a cheerful scene and stood out to me as a highlight of the show visually. These two scenes contrasted nicely with two others that told me this show was going to be a great drama. The first, a kiss scene…in the rain. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. We get to see a kiss scene in episode 1! If that weren’t good enough we are lucky, oh so lucky, to get Lee Jong Sook in a shower scene…also in episode 1. Take a minute, catch your breath…go watch it and then come back.

Despite, the many dramaland tropes like kiss and shower scenes Doctor Stranger seems like it’s going to be a tough ride. Yes, there were some really sweet moments in this first episode, but there were also some very gruesome and heart wrenching scenes that are going to pull on your heart strings and possibly make you want to pull out your hair. I was incredibly impressed at how effective the writers and cast were able to bring a tear to my eye.

After so many weeks of staggered returns for various dramas I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and can’t wait for Monday and Tuesday nights for Doctor Stranger.

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Way Back Wednesdays – Bridal Mask – Episode 3

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So, Episode 3 of Bridal Mask was really difficult to get through. It’s excellently produced, but the content was just hard to watch.

Lee Kang To was such a jerk in this episode I wanted to scream. How can the first lead of a Korean drama be so mean? It’s a first for me. I can deal with flower boy chaebols acting like jerks, but I wasn’t expecting this. Joo Won is winning me over with his acting. He’s got the pissed off and shamed down to a science. He adequately displays a large range of emotions that sells his internal conflict with his situation. Sadly, his situation one far too many Koreans found themselves in during the Japanese Occupation. If he serves he may have a better life, but it’s one where he will always be looked down upon by one side as a dog and the other a traitor. Impossible situation.

I can’t see the lead of a show of this scope and popularity lasting with his pro Japanese mentality for long and expect Kang To to go through a major character development throughout the show. I can’t see a Korean, in a show that exaggerates Korean nationalistic pride, remaining as a Japanese military official for long. On the same note, how will it affect Kang To when he finally discovers Gaksital’s identity? I’ll be looking forward to that.

I really enjoyed seeing Park Ki Woong help Kim Ok Ryeon’s alter ego, Mok Dan, when she needed it most. It appears Park Ki Woong is portraying an ethnically Japanese character and for him to help out a wanted criminal is admirable.

The action sequences in this show…I don’t know if I should be impressed or laugh. They are so ridiculous and uber cool at the same time I laugh every time Gaskital flies through the air. I do however, like that his actions are larger than life and taken straight out of the best of Chinese action cinema. It’s effect leaves the show with a consistency you’d expect from a adaptation of a comic.

Overall, I’m still liking the show, but something did feel a bit off with the episode and I’m wondering if it’s intended as a set up for major events to take place in episode 4.

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Way Back Wednesdays – The Moon Embracing the Sun – Episode 3 & 4

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I had heard really good things about this show. It’s a drama that people still talk about years after it’s run, similar to Boys Over Flowers that is in many top drama lists. After finishing the third and fourth episodes I can see why. There is so much happening in each episode and so many characters to fall in love with and just a few worth despising.

The thing I’m liking most about the show are the sets and costumes. The sets are super traditional and look very authentic. I’m a big fan of historical East Asian architecture and design so being able to see so much from the Joseon dynasty is a special treat. Then the costumes…oh my Buddha, these costumes. Each scene is full of bright saturated color and the casts wardrobing is just spectacular. I especially like the costumes the princes wear when they aren’t doing something official.

I think I’m starting to figure out which younger version actor matches up with their older counterpart. At first I had thought Kim Soo Hyun would take over the Prince’s role, but after these last two episodes he seems like a likely candidate for the Crown Prince. The character I’m almost certain Song Jae Rim portrays is the tall silent kid. The one with few lines, but is sure to play a larger role as time goes on.

Can I just say…

The Queen Dowager has got to go! Don’t like her, she’s a traitor and a mean woman. I want to scream, “Off with her head!”

The only thing concerning me right now is the Two Suns/Moons thing. It’s obvious who these characters are, but I have a really and feeling that one of the princes isn’t going to end up doing to well by the end of the show. Which is sad, I really like both of these guys.

Also, how cute was Prince Lee Hwon when he inadvertently told Heo Yeon he loved him?!? The subtitles I saw, on Viki, could have used a little preface because the way Lee Hwon says, “I don’t want to lose you…and the second reason…I’m in love!” as he said would, in Korean, be interpreted that Lee Hwon says he loves Heo Yeon. It’s an understood language so not every idea expressed verbally is actually said. The subtitles made the misunderstanding a but overlooked. That’s an issue I’ve had with Viki subs in the past, but it’s a small quibble for such a great job.

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God’s Gift 14 Days – The Finale – Episode 16

SPOLIERS

So, if you haven’t watched the show…don’t read this. Go watch then come back.

It’s not Saet Byul and Hyung…but, me and Saet Byul.

Ok, so everyone is freaking out over the ending of this awesome show, and rightfully so. We all wanted a happy ending and sadly we just didn’t get it.

Did that knight survive?

That is the question posed at the end of the show. The answer is yes. Dong Chan did survive. The ending was ambiguous at best, but when Dong Chan is holding Saet Byul in the lake and Soo Hyun is racing to get it them that was at 12:00am. We then see the events of that day where the president is holding a press conference and we see Dong Ho released from prison. In that shot we see Grandma, Yong Gyu, and Dong Chan facing an ecstatic Dong Ho. Dong Chan was there when Dong Ho was released from prison.

He did not die.

Did that knight survive?

The answer is yes. The only other scene we see is Soo Hyun, her mother, and Saet Byul walking happily on the banks of the river. Unless, my memory is warped Soo Hyun’s mother survived the show. Can anyone verify?

So, it seems to me that everyone lives happily ever after, except the presidents family.

I’m not a fan of shows with this type of ambiguous endings. If you’ve been following this blog since i was using Google+ as my blog medium you’ll remember how annoyed I was at the ending of Mirae’s Choice. These types of endings to accomplish nothing, but tarnishing a great dramas run. Coincidently, Viki auto-play jumped straight to Mirae’s Choice when GG ended…no, just no.

All that being said, the last two episodes were quite underwhelming for me. I would have much rather have seen the fallout from the presidents realization that his family is corrupt. What is the resolution between Soo Hyun and her #DonkeyFace husband. Did Woo Jin ever wake up from his coma? Did Dong Chan and Soo Hyun get married? Why couldn’t we have just had a simple scene with this cast sitting around a table happily eating dinner?

For such an awesome show, the ending was very infuriating, frustrating, and rather disturbing. I’m surprised the scene was allowed to air as it did, so soon, with every other drama and variety show cancelled this week given the Jindo/Sewol Ferry Tragedy. To potentially have one of the greatest cop heroes and the cutest child actress of the year drown…not cool. Who thought this was a good idea?

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