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: 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.

Drama Burn Out? Please Help

K-Drama, C-Drama, J-Drama, T-Drama, Th-Drama, A-Drama, UK-Drama burnout?

I am genuinely wondering if I am having drama burnout. I usually watch in the moments when I am home after a hectic day or week (which is every day and week) to relax and be entertained. I watch a lot of Asian dramas but really I watch shows and movies from all over the world. As long as they are interesting, fun and/or funny I’m in. I have a long My Drama List list of plan to watch shows, but somehow I haven’t been able to settle on a show. Maybe I am burned out or my attention span has become so small it’s invisible or maybe the shows I have left to watch just aren’t as good. I’m not sure.

This week has been a little crazy because I was sick and now I am working to make up for the work I didn’t do while I was sick and there is nothing I would like more than a great drama I can kick back too. Maybe one I can watch on the weekend since we have a house rule that Saturdays are lazy days where we don’t get out of our pajamas if we can help it. But I HAVE NOTHING TO WATCH 😲😲😲

I am currently watching one great Taiwanese drama which is a billion episodes as usual. I love it but am not always in the mood for it. I also have another half dozen shows I have been shuffling between that are varying degrees of good.

One show I want to watch is Itaewon Class, but I know if I start watching before the final episode I may get addicted and I am a complete fail at waiting patiently for new episodes to air, same with the Thai BL drama that is ending in March. So what else is there? New? Old? Asian? American? European? Australian? African? South American? Anarctican, I’ll even take that.

For reference my fav (type) shows are comedies al a Arrested Development, Coming to America and The Big Boss, competition shows and movies and dance dramas like Dance Academy and Dirty Dancing, slice of life dramas like Fight for My Way, romance such as This is My First Life and Some Kind of Wonderful, Romance slice of Life’s like Coup de Foudre, K-Historicals like Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Mr. Sunshine and Rebel and any good action movies with obvious villains and badass good guys/ladies.

If you have a show you recommend PLEASE tell me because I’m dying here.



C-Drama: Le Coup de Foudre (9.5/10)

I’ve had Le Coup de Foudre on my list for awhile now, but with 35 episodes I put it off until recently. OMG is it good! It’s about two high school desk mates and their feelings for each other in school and as adults, and the friends who surround them. It is very mellow so even the dramatic scenes didn’t stress me out. Some viewers may not like this type of pacing, but since I watch to get away from the stresses and chaos of real life, I really enjoyed it.


The characters are well developed. I didn’t hate any of them and my favorite at the end was not someone I would have thought would be my favorite when I started the show. They grew on me over the course of it (#FeiDaChuanforlife). The leads Janice Wu/Wu Qian, who I last saw in My Amazing Boyfriend and Zhang Yu Jian were both great. My only critique of the female lead,character is that she played with her hair a lot, and her choices didn’t make sense. And I have nothing bad to say about Wu in this role. And Zhang played the cold stoic type better than any other actor I’ve seen so far. Both of them also had to perform a range of ages, since the plots follows their high school and adulthood years and they were impeccable.

The other actors were also fantastic. My appreciation for Actor An Ge who plays Fei Da Chuan is mostly because his expressions are on par with Aaron Yan and the best Korean drama actors. You can tell what he is trying to convey without him saying a word, which I think is the height of talent. Plus the character is kind of adorable in his kind, but cluelessness.

Plot development

The story was really sweet, and took real life considerations into account, which I really appreciated. It even focused on some situations that people face in the real world like abuse, injury, unexpected pregnancy, terminal illness and bankruptcy, but in a way that was interesting, not depressing to watch. I think the male lead, albeit cold, was the most loving character I’ve watched in a long time. I like that there was a good sismance. And I LOVE that the love triangle didn’t leave me feeling heartbroken for the second lead the way a lot of them do.

There were also a lot of funny moments. The times when the leads were feeling jealous of someone else were usually scripted as comedy. And the second to last episode had me laughing out loud through the whole thing which helped end the show on a really high note. The ending was also nice and happy and didn’t leave me hanging the way a lot of c-dramas do.

My one critique is I have zero idea what the female lead was thinking for part of the show. Some of her choices did not make sense to me, and I wonder if scenes got cut that would have explained it or if the directors and everyone else involved just failed to see that this part of the plot was really unclear.


Kudos to the stylists who worked on this show. While not all the clothes characters wore were fashionable, I can only assume it was out of extreme thoughtfulness by the stylists. The lead female wore plain Jane clothes until the last few scenes. Her best friend was a bit hipster boho. Her brother was clean cut and even her parents dressed like parents. The lead male was really clean cut and simply dressed while his closest relative wore clashing clothes with a lot of gaudy patterned shirts, which is what, if his character were real, he’d probably wear. And a second lead female who was meant to be a heiress was extremely fashionable. I want almost all of her outfits to be in my closet, even though she is the size of a blade of grass so I strongly doubt they would fit me. And their is a running joke about a mink coat and how ugly it was that I really appreciated. My only criticism is that some of the pants people wore were ill fitting and ugly, which is a trend I see in a lot of c-dramas and would likely see on the streets of China, although I hope not. If so, China, please put the mom jeans and bell bottoms away. Please! For your own good.

I am really sad that this show is over because I enjoyed it so much. Lucky for me, it’s based on a book titled I Don’t Like the World, I only Like You, and some angel has translated it into English. Yay for that : ) Here is the link for it: https://www.novelupdates.com/nauthor/qiao-yi/

K-Drama: Cunning Single Lady (8.5/10)

This is one of my favorite k-dramas.

When I first read the synopsis I was so-so on it. And the name didn’t help. Luckily MDL rarely does me wrong. Most viewers seem to have similar opinions as me on shows so I can trust most of the ratings and reviews. And the reviews for this show were good. I am actually rating it higher than they did because it checks all the boxes on the things that I think make up a good drama. I rate it 8.5/10.

Basically if you ignore the plot summary and read mine instead it may sound better:

Young couple gets married with the expectation that the husband will work in civil service and the wife will be a homemaker. Except the husband decided to start his own business, which forces the wife to support them both until she can’t take it anymore. After a series of events, she divorces him and tries to work her way out of debt (accrued while supporting him) and poverty. He is heartbroken and thinks his wife broke her promise to stand by his side, but his business succeeds and he becomes a sad single* successful, wealthy businessman.

The ex-wife who is still struggling learns of his success and decides to get revenge, but its hard when she still deep down loves him…

The plot is good, but what really makes this drama is the cast. Lee Min Jung who plays the ex-wife is fantastic (Note: She is currently one of my favorite actresses). Joo Sang Wook who plays the ex-husband is adorable, so adorable, even when you want to kick his character, you also want to smile at him i.e. his ex-wife’s dilemma becomes every viewers dilemma, thanks to his performance. And the supporting lead is none other than Seo Kang Joon (one of my favorite actors and cause of my 2nd worst case of second lead syndrome in Cheese in the Trap).

I like the characters in a Cunning Single Lady, which were well developed, was absorbed all the way through and really happy with the end, which is all I can really ask for out of a drama. These are also the reasons why I recommend it.

*Bridgette Jones reference 🙂

K-Drama: My ID is Gangnam Beauty (7.3/10)

I know I am the last one to watch this drama. I don’t know why I was resistant to doing it, but now I know I wasn’t wrong.

I tried soooooo hard to like it. And there are parts of it I really like. The acting is good all around. I like the supporting characters. The production itself is high quality, the leading male is as attractive as the show keeps saying he is (he is very symmetrical), and the theme is unique and worthwhile to consider and discuss.

The first episode pulled me in and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. But at some point I feel like I was forcing myself to watch something I wasn’t that invested in.

It’s because I can’t stop thinking that the lead male is a giant jerk. I mean great that he likes this one girl and treats her well, but how special is that really when he is rude to almost everyone else. And the lead girl goes on about being treated badly as an ugly duckling, but pays no mind to the fact that he treats others girls feelings with insensitivity. Plus he is such a debbie downer.

I couldn’t stop thinking while watching it that if he wasn’t attractive he would be almost as unlikable as the glasses guy (aka the bad guy). If he were an unattractive guy it seems highly unlikely that the lead female would have put up with his coldness and unhealthy possessiveness. He showed up where he wasn’t invited t see her, always demanded to know what she was doing at places and why she hadn’t called him back. I mean, let’s get real, if he was ugly, she would have tired of his behavior with a quickness.

And the lead girl. Ahhh! Talk about a victim complex. I understand that she just wants to be normal, but full facial plastic surgery – that is obvious – is not exactly normal. How did she not realize that she may be subject to some looks, questions and ridicule?

I spent all 12 episodes that I watched wishing they would just dance more, which might’ve been the funnest part of this drama, the lead guy would take some happy pills, and the girl would just own her new face, walk with confidence and date whoever she wanted (even if he’s a jerk). Although she’d have to give up moralizing to keep from being a hypocrite, something that I luckily don’t have to do 😉

Maybe the last 4 episodes are the best and I am missing out big time. And maybe I’ll watch them one day, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I would spend most of it wanting to call the whaambulance on them, and end up less than excited about their predictable and eventual coupling. If that happens it’s hard to imagine that I could end the drama with the same level of joy I normally get from a happily ever after.

Sorry to be so negative about this. but I think that’s the mood the drama put me in 😦 Hopefully you all had a more positive viewing experience.

K-Drama: The Package (9.4/10)

This drama is lovely, lovely, lovely!

It’s also unique in that much of it is different from a typical K-drama, and more in line with a well-written, well-directed and well-acted American one. The merger of the two types really makes it great.

Things that make The Package different are that most of the scenes are filmed in France, rather than Korea, which I loved since France is amazing. Some scenes included French history in bite size, and made me want to visit a lot of the locations where they went. It is also more risque than most k-drama’s (i.e. they hint at love scenes and go as far as showing some bare skin). The female lead also sounds fairly philosophical at times, which reminds me of a lot of c-dramas, since they use a lot with proverbs and poetic language (something I really like about them). And the overall vibe is mature in the best way, giving me the same feeling I get from sitting with friends, watching the sunset and talking about life over a glass of wine.

Note: Telling you it’s mature and that there are philosophical parts may make you think this drama is dreary or overly-intellectual. It is not. It is interesting, thoughtful, charming and funny (and the funny moments are hilarious. I already thought chastity belts were funny things, but after seeing this, I will never be able to see or think of one without laughing).

The drama is about a Korean woman who is a tour guide for package vacations in France and a group which she is guiding. I know that doesn’t sound like an exciting plot, but each character is written very realistically, like someone you know or could know, and so are their relationships with each other. So much so, that I dare you not to think about your own family, friends, partners and ex-partners while you watch.

The stories of the group members are woven in really beautifully, making each of them interesting to watch. And of course there is the love story between the leads which is also unique and sweet. The lead male is none other than Jung Yong Hwa of You’re Beautiful fame, who I have a mad k-crush on because he just seems sweet as pie no matter what character he plays. He is older in this, but still absolutely adorable. So much so that if his character asked me move to Korea for him, I probably would.

The lead female Lee Yun Hee also did a great job. Her character has some depth, in that it was slightly flawed emotionally but still very cool and likable.

Other actors included Yoon Park, who is very talented and was my absolute favorite in Introverted Boss (here’s my review), and Choi Woo Shik who was in Fight for My Way, which is one of my favorite dramas (which I will review at some point).

The Package is really good, which is why I rated it so high. One of its best qualities is that you never know what is going to happen next or how a character will react. It also made me wish I could I could be a part of their group by the end – and I hate package vacations! The OST is pretty good too.

My only real major critiques are that they had to use the fate cliche, which I am not a fan of, and the tempo could have been faster. It was more of a slow, meandering walk than a jog, which is all my attention span has patience for these days. Honestly though, it wasn’t that much of an issue.

Bonus: This drama redeemed director Kim Jim Wong, who also directed the Innocent Man, which I loathed.

No More Love Triangles, Please!

When I started watching C-dramas and K-dramas I had a high patience quotient for love triangles, but those days have come and gone.

It’s very realistic that some people have unrequited love or go after someone who isn’t emotionally available to them. That’s what my teen years were about lol, so I can appreciate it being portrayed in dramas, BUT I am so tired of watching people get rejected. It doesn’t give me warm fuzzy feelings to watch a lead crush the heart of the second lead or humiliate them. Some are so villainous that I can bear it out, but a lot of times the punishment the second lead gets is worse than their crimes.

For instance I love Queen in Hyun’s Mans, how could I not, but I loved it less for the way it handled the second lead. Sure Choi Hee Jin’s ex was an egotistical ass and broke up with her for jerky reasons, and for that I was willing to see him fail at getting her back. But then, when Choi Hee Jin forgot the lead because time started over (I won’t explain because I can’t lol, just watch it if you haven’t yet 🙂 he got on his knees and begged her for forgiveness and they began a healthy happy relationship, then the main lead comes back and she not only drops the second lead, but humiliates him completely. Not only does he find a guy in her bedroom, the guy squirts him with water, tells him he is taking his woman, and locks him in a shower while his girlfriend laughs at him, leaves him there and goes to spend the night with the other man.  I mean, OUCH!

There are also second leads that go off their rockers, like in Something About the 1% where the seemingly rational woman shows up, goes after the guy and 10 seconds later she becomes a kidnapper. And it seems like these issues could be prevented, prior to abductions and violence, if the leads were just a tad bit firmer about their disinterest. Except writers seem to think this is what makes dramas interesting. Maybe they’re right. I am only one person, what do I know, but I disagree with them.

I want less of this. Especially since I really don’t think it furthers most plots in any good way. In C-dramas they make up the 10 episodes too many that turn a drama from a great one into something mediocre or fast forward worthy. And in K-dramas they’re distracting from what I really want to see which is a mushy love story, and some interesting plot lines about school, politics, law, family etc. I’ll even settle for mean moms, riches to rags, or amnesia over most love triangles.

If you know of any dramas WITHOUT immature love triangles, I would love to know about them because I am going on boycott until further notice.

Or trying to at least.

K-Drama: Introverted Boss (7.9/10)

I stopped watching this drama after the first episode and only just picked it up again. I slogged through episodes one and two on my second go at it and almost turned it off again, but forced myself to continue. Lucky for me, it did get good after that.

This is a story of a girl who’s sister died and years later she gets a job at the company where her sister worked, which is also where she lost her life. The company happened to be co-led by a painfully shy guy, and I mean painfully shy so he had no interaction with most staff and rumors about him abound. The companies other co-leader is a very charismatic guy with abandonment issues who has a close relationship with shy guy and his family.

Through a series of events the girl and guy end up in each others orbits and she tries to get him out of his shell. The plot includes a mystery, familial drama, and of course romance.

My favorite thing about this drama was the internal monologue of the introverted boss versus his actions and the miscommunications that ensued from them. It showed realistically the many considerations someone is faced with when they plan to speak or act on something, especially people with any sense of anxiety, and especially as it relates to other people’s view of them. And it was done with a lot of humor.

The love story was pretty good. It got a little draggy about 3/4 of the way through, but picked itself back up at the end. I actually liked the secondary love story best, and the relationships between all characters were interesting. Also the chemistry between the leads was on fire.

The cons were that the girl, although adorable (Park Hye Soo did a great job) didn’t seem to have boundaries. Also the couple faced one too many challenges and one of them made me think they shouldn’t be together so it dampened my joy about their reunion a little.

Generally though, this is a good drama. I probably won’t watch it again but think it’s worth watching once.