K-Drama: Itaewon Class (7.9/10)

This drama had promise. So much promise. If you have ever read my blog posts you know that I love Park Seo Joon’s acting. I will ride or die for him if anyone questions his artistic talent. That’s why it’s hard for me to say that despite his acting this drama made me mad and I wouldn’t watch it again if you paid me.

The acting by Park and the rest of the cast was good. The production value was also high. And the beginning was interesting and made it seem like the drama would be a good one. These are the reasons why I have rated it as high as I have.

Here is a summary of the show from Mydramalist:

Park Saeroyi’s life has been turned upside down after he gets expelled from school for punching a bully and his father is killed in an accident. Following his father’s steps, he opens a pub named “DanBam” in Itaewon and, along with his manager and staff, strive towards success and reaching greater heights.

What the summary fails to mention is that this show is about revenge.

The first quarter of the show centers on what happens that makes the lead character Park Saeroyi want revenge and who he wants it against. And his crush on a girl that he gets to know.

The next quarter is about how he works towards getting revenge which involves opening a pub that he staffs with a motley cast of characters, one of whom is in love with him.

The third quarter is about his growing revenge success and the forth is the culmination of all of this.

I was fairly into the show, although not addicted until quarter three when I wanted to throw it out a window. Basically the beauty of Park Saeroyi, that made him worth rooting for was that he was ethical and principled and would adhere to his principles no matter what it cost him. He loyally loved the same woman for over a decade, he stood up for anyone he felt was oppressed and he chose people over immediate revenge.

Then all the sudden he threw that side of him away, except that I can’t tell if that was meant to be a moral to the story. It doesn’t seem like it. More like the writers had him transition to be an unethical disloyal, revenge over everything type person while pretending he wasn’t. I haven’t read the manga it is based on, so I don’t know.

Worse than all of this, the lead/second lead female was AWFUL. I don’t know if I have ever disliked a character more, outside of some really evil sageuk ministers or evil moms of chaebols. She was described as a sociopath, which seemed right based on her behavior. She was a fairly bad friend, bigoted, although she would eventually see the error of her ways, but only because of Park Saeroyi who she was in love with.

It wasn’t really clear, minus his strong sense of ethics, why the ladies liked Park Saeroyi who wasn’t a great communicator and had one of the worst haircuts I’ve ever seen. And he didn’t disrobe like Park Seo Joon’s other characters have, so it wasn’t about his muscles. But they did like him – a lot. What is less clear is why anyone in their right mind would like this girl. She was a 20 year old running after a 30 year old, crossing serious boundaries to do it and being a godawful human the rest of the time. How any writer, director or producer thought that I would ship her with this guy or even root for her is beyond me. She is the kind of person that I cross the street to avoid IRL.

All I can say is that I ended this show after episode 14 of 16. Near the end of the episode I actually thought that I wouldn’t fault a guy for pushing Park Saeroyi into a street and in front of a speeding car. In fact, the show could have ended like that and I would have given it a better rating. That’s when I knew I was done.

I read the summary of the last two episodes, which helped validate that I made the right choice.

K-Drama: Kill Me, Heal Me (8.2/10)

I finally got around to watching Kill Me, Heal Me which is much beloved by many drama watchers. I liked it, but didn’t love it.

What I liked: The plot, the intrigue, the comedic elements, Park Seo Joons acting (as always) & SHIN SE GI.

Pure comedy

What I did not like: That the leading lady dressed like one of the homeless people with the shopping carts that I’d see when I lived in San Francisco. Her style couldn’t have been any worse. It included awful fake fur coats, crocs, and hair bows, even though she looked 30. Not to mention her hair 😦😕😫😖 which looked like a wig or a helmet. I genuinely had a hard time following the plot because I was so distracted by her ‘I dress like a blind Ajumma’ look. I mean, at one point she had a hair clip on that made it look like she had a dead mouse on her head.

And the lead guy (and by this I mean Cha Do Hyun) was bland and boring compared to his baddy altar ego Shin Se Gi, who made guy liner look hot, so I had a bad case of second character syndrome the whole way through. I pretty much cheered for Shin Se Gi and waited for his reappearance the whole show. And it hurt to see him rejected, although the leading lady couldn’t handle him anyway, and she didn’t deserve him. She really was more suited to Mr. Vanilla.

Shin Se Gi

Unfortunately my disinterest in the end result of the love story between the leads caused the drama to lose some of its luster and had me fast forwarding a lot towards the end, since I wanted to see the mystery solved, but didn’t feel like focusing on helmet hair and the boring guy she liked so much.

I still recommend this drama. I mean it cracked an 8 score, so it’s not all bad. You just have to have a high tolerance for doctors who dress like homeless people and don’t start crushing on Shin Se Gi the way that I did.

Also, I am trying not to feel lasting trauma from the fact that the brother and sister in this end up a couple later on (in She’s was Pretty). Hopefully I don’t end up blocking it out by creating multiple personalities. 😉

K-Drama: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? (Not much)

I was looking forward to this drama, despite it initially having mixed reviews. Why? Park Seo Joon, which you probably already guessed. Although he is not my type in real life (i.e. if I saw him on the subway I probably wouldnt give him a second glance — unless he was shirtless because those abs are everything 😉 I adore him as an actor. It’s a mix of the fact that he goes all in on his roles and that he has some of the best comedic timing.

My rating 8.8/10, close to the My Drama List rating, which was 8.6, last I checked. This drama is pretty fluffy so even the serious stuff ended up seeming less serious. What makes it great is how funny it is. I actually giggled. So my compliments to screenwriters Baek Sun Woo and Choi Bo Rim for writing something so funny. Plus the actors worked really well together.

The plot was slightly different from others I’ve seen although most of the formula stayed the same, especially the rich man/poor woman theme which seems to make up the majority of Korean dramas. And it wouldnt even be a drama if one of the leads didnt accidentally fall on top of the other one causing them to stare breathlessly into each others eyes.

There are cutesy graphics that I didnt think were necessary since they made it even less serious, but they didnt ruin the show, so I give them a pass. I did not like one of the supporting characters because she was beyond irritating and I hated the hair on the workaholic guy (note to guys: Do not middle part your hair. Ever!)

Lastly, I would like to thank Park Joon Hwa and Park Seo Joon’s other directors who add completely unnecessary shower scenes to their movies just so we viewers can swoon over his muscles. Thanks much lol.