K-Drama: Kairos (9/10)

Wow. This drama is gooood. The production value is high. The screen writing is top notch. The acting is fantastic, and the OST is nice.

I somehow missed that this show was playing, and randomly came across the reviews for it, which were all about as flattering as mine. I wasn’t confident the story was my cup of tea, but I started watching anyway. I was not disappointed.

Here is the summary:

Living a precarious life as a part-timer at a convenience store, Ae Ri strives to support her mother who is on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Unfortunately, her mother’s worsened physical condition leads her to forgo the long-awaited opportunity for the transplant, and just like that her mother disappears. Things were already chaotic enough for Ae Ri when she receives a phone call from a strange man claiming to be from the same world but 31 days in the future. Ironically, he desperately asks Ae Ri for help. Seo Jin, a father and a husband of a close-knit family, has been living a successful life as the youngest person to become a director at a construction company. One day, it all crumbles down with the kidnapping of his daughter and his wife’s suicide. On the verge of breaking down, he is given an opportunity to restore everything that was lost under one condition, help from a strange woman. To bring his daughter and wife back to life, he makes a phone call as the clock strikes 10:33. Source: KOCOWA/Mydramalist.com

I cannot begin to express how incredible the script is. I never knew what was going to happen next, and the show did something I normally only dream of in action and thriller based shows. They crossed all their t’s and dotted all their i’s.

Almost every action in the entire drama has a purpose, and every decision has clear consequences. It is close to flawless. With the exception of the first couple episodes when I genuinely couldn’t figure out what the cops were doing, which seemed to be breaking every established police protocol. And very occasionally the lead female who made some decisions that seemed more dangerous than they needed to be.

There is no way I could have watched episodes as they aired because the story is too riveting and I wanted to know what would happen next so badly. There is never a dull moment and although some characters were steady all the way through, some were more flexible. There were many surprises along the way.

The acting is great too. The last time I saw the male lead actor Shin Sung Rok was in Perfume, where he made me laugh a lot. This role is very different. Rok plays someone who is at times arrogant, intelligent and distant, and at other times helpful, a great father and a great friend. The female lead, Lee Se Young is also fantastic. She plays a character who is struggling, kind, confused, scared and fearless perfectly. The second leads are incredible too. Nam Gyu Ri is completely believable. I emotionally reacted to her character so many times. Second lead male Ahn Bo Hyun was similarly good.

Every single actor was great. Many played roles that were nuanced, where they were both selfish and selfless, good and bad, and did an exemplary job.

The OST is also good. I am partial to the song Can You Feel Me by Yoon of Winner, which I love.

Note: Thank you to CHTAJU for inspiring me to write this review after a hiatus due to waaaaaay too much work.

K-Drama: Hi, Bye Mama (1st Impressions)

This is a drama on Netflix about a woman who dies and becomes a ghost. As a ghost she spends years watching her husband grieve and then re-marry, and her daughter, who was born the day she died, grow up. When her daughter is in kindergarten something happens to her and as a result the woman gets 49 days to come back as a human.

I LOVE this drama more than I can say. The main theme is grief and dying , but it is sweet and fun and funny – and sad.

Most of characters are torn about what they should be doing. The husband has a new wife so he doesn’t know how to properly communicate with either woman. His first wife, the main character doesn’t know who she should reveal herself too and how she can be a mom to her daughter when her daughter doesn’t know her and her stay is only temporary. She also has to save her daughter from some trouble. The new wife doesn’t know that the first wife is back from the dead, but meets her, a woman who looks like her husbands deceased wife who has an attachment to their child, and is not sure how to handle it. She is also having some trouble communicating with her husband and with the mean treatment that she gets from the other neighborhood moms.

There is also a cast of characters who are all ghosts that live in a crematorium together. They don’t want to go to the afterlife because they want to continue to be there – in spirit – for their living family members. They all interact with a shaman who can’t bear to make any of them move into the afterlife if they don’t want to go. Although they mostly drive her crazy.

This drama will make you laugh. There is a scene with a sliding glass door that makes me laugh every time I think of it, and so many other scenes that I laughed my way through. And there are great sismances and bromances that are enjoyable to watch. And NO villains, which is so refreshing.

This show will probably make you think about the value of life and how you will be remembered when you are gone. It might make you cry. I think I’ve gone through at least one box of tissues so far because death can be so unfair to the people who pass away and the people they leave behind. This is illustrated in the main story and most of the side stories that are told.

You may also end up addicted to this show. I am. It is so hard to wait week after week for new episodes because it ends on the best cliffhangers. I am halfway through it now and already know it will be going on to my list of favorite shows of all time.

C-Drama: Ghost Bride (7.8/10)

I recently watched the show Ghost Bride, which is airing on Netflix. The preview was interesting enough to make me want to watch it.

Summary:

A young woman in 1890’s China is in love with one man from a very rich family, but his cousin who is dead forces her to marry him by threatening the life of her father. Her dad was especially dear to her because she had already lost her mother. The woman comes in contact with a policeman from Heaven who is after the ghost and they work together to try and stop him. During that time the woman ends up in some sort of afterworld purgatory and will die if she doesn’t stop the wedding from happening.

The best parts:

  • The actors were good
  • The special effects were great
  • There were some funny moments
  • There is a mystery whodunnit that wasn’t easily solvable
  • It’s a short drama (thankfully)

Things that were’t great:

  • The young woman had no empathy for the guy she was in love with or his cousin. I get that being forced into a ghost marriage will make you hate your fiance, but they guy, as bad as he was, actually liked her and clearly had a messed up upbringing. I felt a little sorry for him and thought he could change his perspective given some effort, but she clearly didn’t and preferred to see him rot in hell (not a figure of speech).
  • She was also forgiven for doing something that I thought wasn’t easily forgivable and she also jerked someone around in a way I didn’t like.

My recommendation

If you like fantasy and ghost dramas and good special effects than it’s probably worth watching, just don’t expect perfection.

Thai-Drama: Great Men Academy (8.6/10)

Y’all I highly recommend this show. I had no idea what to expect when I started it, and to be honest, during the first episode I wasn’t sure if I should keep watching. This is because there was strange mix of the realistic, girl wants campus hero and gossips with her girlfriends -and fantastical – she finds a unicorn who grants her a wish, to be with her crush, but the unicorn puts its own spin on it and turns her into a boy.

Thank God I pushed through to episode two because I got to watch a show that I really enjoyed.

Summary:

The main character Love has always been a fan of the popular guy Vier of the famous Great Men Academy but has never had the chance to meet him. One day, she sees the mystical unicorn rumored to fulfill wishes and wished for her love for Vier to get a chance. Unfortunately the unicorn interpreted her wishes in a different way and Love wakes up to find herself… as a guy? (c/o of MyDramalist)

What I enjoyed:

The actors were great

The plot had a little of everything: thoughtful moments, comedy, fantasy, action and romance.

The way the love story played out was both unexpected and very sweet. I won’t tell you what made it unexpected, but I will say I have been hoping so hard that a drama would do what this one did. And it worked!

The story was engrossing and dealt with some interesting dilemmas and ideas around love. The main one was about the capability to love someone no matter what gender they are since the main character transformed back and forth from a girl to a guy. It’s a very Thai theme that I appreciate since I wholeheartedly believe that #loveisloveislove and that everyone deserves to be loved.

What I didn’t like:

There were some moments where I was confused about how something happened, mainly about the unicorn wishes and a contest that students participated in and would have liked some more clarification.

Freaking love triangles. I hate them. The heartbreak of some second and third leads – or sacrificial lambs as someone once ingeniously called them – made me sad.

Random Trivia:

The cast is part of a company created ensemble group 9×9 that also stars in Family We Trust.

Overall:

This drama is fun and interesting and it’s easy to root for the lead. I give it two thumbs up.

K-Drama: Extraordinary You (1st Impressions)

I breezed through the first four episodes of Extraordinary You and I love this drama so much! It’s really going to hurt to wait for new episodes, but luckily I’ve got a busy couple months ahead which will hopefully help.

There are so many things to adore about this drama. Here is a list:

It is unique. Even though it’s about a girl who finds out she is actually a comic book character, which is similar to W (k-drama) and Unexpected (c-drama), the plot line and camera angles are very different then any drama I have watched.

The plot is very interesting. See summary below. The way it’s executed is fantastic and there is something for everyone since it’s part fantasy, mystery, school plot and romance with some humor thrown in.

The main character Eun Dan Oh played by Kim Hye Yoon is hilariously adorable. She is a tad bit whiny but I forgive her because she makes the unbelievable believable.

I have zero idea what’s going to happen next from episode to episode, so it leaves me hanging, but excited to see what comes next.

SUMMARY

What would you do if you found out that you were, in fact, a character in a comic? And an extra character on top of that? Change the course of the story, obviously!
Eun Dan Oh is a 17-year-old high-school student from a wealthy family who suffers from a lifelong heart condition that inevitably means she will not live past her teenage years. However, when Dan Oh realizes she is experiencing long gaps in her memory as well, she comes into the unhappy inheritance of another fact in her life: she is a character in a Korean webtoon and all of her actions are predetermined by the artist who draws her. To make matters worse, she discovers she is only a supporting character in the cast. With her newfound understanding of the world she inhabits, she is determined to find true love in her own plot-line and circumvent the author’s plans for her character by utilizing the flashes of storyboard she alone is able to see.
(Source: onehallyu)