Author: Rowena

Review: Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow

Posted February 16, 2023 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow

Starring: Lee Jae Wook, Go Yoon Jung, Hwang Min Hyun, Shin Seung Ho, Yoo Joon Sang, Oh Na Ra
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Country: South Korea
Director: Park Joon Hwa, Bae Hyun Jin
Screenwriter: Hong Jung Eun, Hong Mi Ran
Where to Watch: Netflix

Jang Uk returns from death, and three years later, the story of the mages unfolds anew. Jang Uk becomes a hunter of the soul-shifters when a young woman, a prisoner in her own home, seeks his help to reclaim her freedom.

After a short break, Alchemy of Souls returned to finish things up and my best friend and I were here for it all. We were here for finishing out the story, and seeing where all the characters ended up and we weren’t mad about the female lead change either. That made sense to me. It worked for the story that was being told, and if I had a gripe about anything in this season, it was that we never got a Naksu vs. JinMu showdown. Everything else? It worked and I enjoyed it a lot.

One thing that I enjoyed about this season was that I didn’t need to watch the first season again to remember where we were in the story, what to expect, or anything like that. Therese and I were able to just jump right into the new season and go from there, so that was good.

The Story

Season 2 of Alchemy of Souls picks up three years after the first season ends. Things look really different in Daeho. Yul is still sick from that damn blood bug that homegirl put inside him last season. Dang Gu and Cho Yeon are separated. Prince Go Won is on the outs with Jang Uk, who has the ice stone and is killing soul shifters left and right. Jin Bu Yeon is back and she’s locked up in the dungeon at Jinyowon. When chasing a soul shifter brings him to Jinyowon, he uses his new powers to sneak in and comes across Bu Yeon. These days, Jang Uk has little time and desire to interact with anyone and it shows when Bu Yeon pleads for his help in escaping her prison. Not being able to completely ignore her, he helps her in the funniest of ways and does not expect to keep running into her wherever he goes. Before he knows what’s what, Jang Uk pretends to marry Bu Yeon and even though he had his reasons for wanting to marry her, loving her was never in the cards for him. Not when he was still drowning in guilt for failing to protect Mudeok, his long lost love.

The more time he spends with his fiance, the more things start to click into place until Jang Uk has no choice but to stand up against the very evil that took his love away from him.

Male Lead

Jang Uk is a lot darker than he was in season one. It makes sense since my guy is heartbroken and dealing with the burden that came along with his new powers from the ice stone. He had no intention or plans to save everyone in Daeho, along with everyone else in the world. He didn’t care about anything or anyone and once he found out that there was a person with divine powers that could put him out of his misery, he planned to make her his wife so that she can destroy the ice stone in him and in turn, probably destroy everything else too. Gone are the days when Jang Uk would have thought to do the right thing and use his powers for good. He doesn’t want any of the responsibility so he wants out.

I’m not going to lie. I spent a good deal of this season pissed at his fine ass. He kept hurting my girl, Bu Yeon, over and over again. But alls well that ends well because once he finally gets over himself, his grief, and gets to know Bu Yeon, he falls in love again and seeing him struggle made my heart hurt for him. Even while I was mad at him for always being so mean to Bu Yeon, I never blamed him for the way that he acted. Even though he didn’t want the responsibility that came with his powers, he dealt with everything that was thrown at him. He grudgingly stepped in when he was needed and even though it would have been so easy to turn to the dark side, he didn’t and he was still a really good friend to his loved ones. No matter how mad I got at him, I still loved him most and if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.

Female Lead

A lot of people were not a fan of the female casting change but I wasn’t one of them. I started the first season because Go Yoon Jung was in it. Sure, she was only in it for a handful of minutes and I ended up loving everyone else, it was her that brought me around to wanting to watch it. So I was waiting for her return this season, quite anxiously too.

Bu Yeon was the light to Jang Uk’s dark. She was bright, bubbly, and completely adorable to me. I loved that she was determined to get out of that dungeon. I loved that even when the chips were down, she never stayed down. She got right back up and learned to fight another day. I loved that she was so self aware. She knew she was pretty and she also knew that she was a bit of an airhead but didn’t let that stop her from trying to figure out her future outside of her mother’s clutches. I loved how completely sure she was of her love for Jang Uk and even when she realizes that Jang Uk already gave his heart away, I loved that she was prepared to love her all by herself for the rest of her life. She didn’t begrudge him his feelings even if his feelings hurt her. When her memories started coming back and she was so confused about who’s memories they were. If they were hers or if the memories were part of her power somehow, I enjoyed the angst that came with having to wait week after week for more clues to put everything together. As Bu Yeon, I enjoyed her even though I waited all season long for Naksu. It was Naksu that I was invested in and it sucked that after all this time, we never really got to see her.

The Cast

Man, it was so good to see everyone back in action. From the Crown Prince to the Parks, Maidservant Kim, the Seo’s, and hell, even the damn Jin’s. I didn’t miss JinMu’s ass and he annoyed the ever loving shit out of me in this season but it was still good to see everyone again. This season Master Lee and his constant air of mystery annoyed me. I was like, dude we don’t have a lot of time to fuck around, what the hell do you know and who are you telling the truth too because you were telling a lot of stories that conflicted with what you told others. I did like seeing everyone come together to save Yul. I also liked seeing Maidservant Kim and Park Jin being so cute and in love with each other. I loved seeing them worry over their kids and I cried when they all banded together to battle the bad guys and they got caught in the middle of it all. All of the powerful mages were a lot of fun to see in action. I’m gonna miss all of them for a long time.

Final Thoughts

As a whole, this show served the goods. Was it perfect? No. Did that matter to me? Not entirely. Sure, there were a lot of loopholes left when everything was said and done and I was bummed about that because I really wanted a Naksu and JinMu showdown. I wanted Naksu to somehow be able to clear her name and live as her true self, either Naksu or Cho Yeon. I didn’t want her to stay a Jin. Overall, I loved these characters too much to stay mad about not getting the exact show that I wanted. I loved the chemistry between all of the different characters both on screen and off. These characters became very dear for me and I had a hard time saying bye to all of them. All of these actors have made themselves a permanent spot on my favorite actors list and I will be heartily supporting their upcoming and future projects for as long as I amble. So while it’s not perfect, I still loved it and would recommend.

Final Rating


4 out of 5

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The Wednesday Five: Dramas I Dropped Recently

Posted February 15, 2023 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

I’m a list person. I have a list for every single thing in my life from a to-do list, a list of books that I want to read, a running shopping list, and in the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing different k-entertainment lists that I’ve been keeping track of. You’ll be seeing my top 5 lists of stuff like my current celebrity crushes, my favorite k-drama female protagonists, my favorite k-drama male protagonists, my to-be-watched k-dramas, and you know, stuff like that.

This week’s Wednesday Five will feature the last five dramas that I dropped. I’m trying to drop shows early on so that I’m not wasting a lot of time on shows that just don’t interest me, whether they’re popular online or not. I used to have to watch every single episode of every show that I watched but that shit is for the birds. If I’m not invested by episode 3, I’m out…and here are the last five shows that I’ve dropped.

1. Curtain Call

Where to Watch: Viki
Starring: Kang Ha Neul, Ha Ji Won, Go Doo Shim

I really wanted to like this one since I’m a fan of Kang Ha Neul but I just wasn’t that interested in any of the characters (Kang Ha Neul’s included) or the story so I’m noped right out of this one after three episodes. Sorry Kang Ha Neul, I’ll try again on your next project.

2. Grid

Where to Watch: Hulu
Starring: Seo Kang Joon, Kim Ah Joong, Kim Mu Yeol

I didn’t mean to start this show. It just started playing after one episode of Revenge of Others and before I knew what was what, it was the start of episode 4 and I couldn’t tell you who was who, what was what and so I turned it off. Maybe I’ll go back to it and finish it someday but that someday isn’t going to be any time soon. But for Seo Kang Joon, I’m not counting this one out. He’s fine as hell, haha.

3. Love is for Suckers

Where to Watch: Viki
Starring: Choi Si Won, Lee Da Hee, Jo Soo Hyang

I was so excited about this show. I’m not even sure why but there’s something about Choi Si Won in a rom-com that really just does it for me but I got about halfway through this drama before I dropped it for good. I couldn’t stand Yu Reum because she kept saving her job at the expense of Jae Hoon. And because he was in love with her, he did whatever she needed him to do. She just kept right on using him for everything under the sun, under the guise of friendship and it annoyed the hell out of me. Even when she realizes she’s in love with him too, she was STILL doing mean shit to him and I got so fed up with her that I kicked this drama to the curb and never looked back.

I’m not at all mad that I stopped watching it.

4. Trolley

Where to Watch: Netflix
Starring: Kim Hyun Joo, Park Hee Soon, Kim Mu Yeol

After the first episode of this one, I stopped it. It was like the fifth show that was intense and had a deep story and I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I still haven’t decided if I’ll go back and finish it eventually but for the moment, I had to drop it because it was too much for me mentally.

5. Strangers Again

Where to Watch: Viki
Starring: Kang So Ra, Jang Seung Jo, Jo Eun Ji

This wasn’t a show that I thought I’d drop. I went into this one for both main leads but the story wasn’t what I was expecting and I wasn’t really a big fan of anything after four episodes. I quit this one mid-episode of the fifth episode and yeah, it ain’t for me.

Are there any dramas that you’ve dropped recently? Share which dramas they were in the comments!

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Review: Summer Srike

Posted February 14, 2023 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Strike

Starring: Yim Si Wan, Kim Seol Hyun, Shin Eun Soo, a.mond, Park Ye Young, Kwak Min Gyoo
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Drama, Life, Melodrama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Director: Lee Yoon Jung
Screenwriter: Lee Yoon Jung
Where to Watch: Viki

Lee Yeo Reum is a young woman whose career and life are going very well: She has just been awarded permanent contract status at work, and she has a boyfriend she likes very much. But work is starting to get stressful, and then she is hit with a double whammy of misfortune. Her mother dies in a tragic accident just moments after she is dumped by her boyfriend. Feeling utterly dejected and burned out, she decides to quit her job, head to the seaside, and do absolutely nothing for a while – at least until she can recharge her batteries and recover mentally.

She moves to a small seaside village named Angok. And it is here that she meets An Dae Beom, a stuttering librarian who also has his share of skeletons in the closet. Many years ago, he was a math prodigy with a bright academic future ahead of him. But circumstances have forced him away from the big city and the scholastic life. What will happen when these two lost souls meet – and will a spell of “doing nothing” in this small town really cure their ills?

I enjoyed Yim Si Wan and Kim Seol Hyun in other stuff that I’ve watched this in and with how much I enjoyed Our Blues, I thought this had a similar vibe so I was interested in watching it. The first couple of episodes set up the rest of the drama and I’m not going lie, it was slow and I almost didn’t think that I would continue on after the third episode but I’m glad that I stuck with it, even if it didn’t end up being a favorite of mine.

The Story

This story follows our main female lead, Lee Yeo Reum. When we first meet Yeo Reum, she’s working an office job that she hates and dating a guy that doesn’t seem all that interested in her and no matter what she does, she can’t seem to get out of the funk that she’s in. Her boss at work is an asshole, her boyfriend dumps her, and when unexpected grief strikes, Yeo Reum is out. She moves herself to a small town and decides that she’s not going to force herself to rush into finding another job. She’s taking time off do whatever she wants to do. She’s going on a summer strike. When she starts to build a life for herself, make new friends, and everything, she starts to wonder if she should stick around…

Male Lead

I don’t remember watching an introverted male lead in a drama that is as introverted as Dae Beom. I’m usually interested in the more confident male leads but I thought that Yim Si Wan did a really great job of bringing Dae Bom to life. The show was a little on the slow side but even with that, I was invested in what was going on. I was invested in Dae Bom, in his life, in his past, in what really happened with his sister and family, in just about everything and a large part of that was because Yim Si Wan.

He was a great part of the community and a huge draw for me as far as making me come back for more. I adored him.

Female Lead

Our leading lady is the center of the show as the story, and everything else revolves around her. So it was a bit of a let down that I was much more invested in everyone around her then I was in her. I thought she did well as a friend to Kim Bom. I thought she was great with Sung Min, Jae Hoon, and Sung Min’s kid and I didn’t think she deserved the shit she got from Ji Young but overall, her character wasn’t my favorite at all. I would have actually preferred for Kim Bom to be the main lead. I thought her story was much more interesting.

The Cast

I was really invested in the side stories going on here. From trying to figure out what really happened at the pool room, to grieving with Kim Bom and her brother, to everything that went down with Dae Beom and the professor, I was here for all of that. It just took me a long to get invested in those things. The beginning was a lot slower than I would have liked but once Yeo Reum gets to Angok and people start showing up in her life, things picked up but while I enjoyed getting to know everyone else, I can’t say the same for Yeo Reum. I don’t recall seeing any of the other characters in any other drama aside from the kid from Hospital Playlist and the two main leads but I did take notice of the two teens from the show, Bom and Jae Hoon. I did really like the both of them.

Dae Beom’s noona got on my hot damn nerves. She was snobby for no reason and her attitude toward Yeo Reum bothered me but so did her attitude toward Sung Min. The way that she kept trying to warn Yeo Reum away from Dae Beom made me want to pull her hair but when she kept getting turned down, I was like, well, that’s what your ass gets. But aside from her, Sung Min’s Dad, and the professor, I liked everyone else.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this drama was a little on the slow side and while it took me some time to warm up to everything, I did eventually warm up. I thought the romance between Dae Beom and Yeo Reum was cute but I liked the romance between Kim Bom and Jae Hoon more. I cried, I laughed, I happy sighed, and I got hella angry but even with all that, this isn’t a drama that will stay with me and that was a bummer. Still, it was a solid drama.

Final Rating


3.5 out of 5

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The Weekly Recap (191)

Posted February 13, 2023 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Not much to report this week. My introverted ass stayed in the house, didn’t watch a lot of dramas as I was listening to a lot of music. Mostly k-pop (cause let’s be real), but I did also listen to a lot of old school slow jams. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl because I’m not a football fan and I’m not going to pretend to be one either. I did, however, watch Rihanna’s halftime show and I thought she did amazing and I also thought her prego belly looked super adorable. I liked the dancers, her singing, and just everything about it. I’m not even a fan like that but shit, I might be now. 🙂

Now, let’s get into all of the things that I did last week…

What I Watched

The Interest of Love | 3.5 out of 5

The Interest of Love ended this past week and I’m not that beat up about it. It was a hard show to watch but because it was super compelling and my nosy ass wanted to find out where all of the drama ended, I didn’t drop it. In the end, I almost didn’t watch the last two episodes because someone on Twitter mentioned that they didn’t get together and they felt cheated a bit so I was going to skip it but I’m not sure what made me want to finish it out but I did and I’m not that mad about the ending. It’s not a show that I would watch again and it’s not my favorite show of the any of the actors but I feel a little accomplished for finishing it out? Haha, yeah.

Suchwita: I watched this episode with Hoshi from Seventeen three times. I have enjoyed all of the episodes so far and am really looking forward to the future of this show but this one hit different and made my ArmyCarat heart super happy. We’ve seen Suga blush and fanboy over his idol and it was good to see someone fanboying over him, making him blush. Hoshi is one of my very favorites parts of Seventeen and I thought he represented them, himself, and BooSeokSoon so well.

Our Blooming Youth: It’s so good to see Park Hyung Shik in action again. My guy’s been busy since he got out of the military and I’m here for all of it. The first two episodes have successfully captured my interest so I’m all in. I’m already happy to see Hyung Shik, pissed off at the bad guys and mighty curious about the female lead (who is new to me) so yeah, I’m definitely be tuning in. My girl, Go Eun, from Taxi Driver is in this one too. Yay!!

Crash Course in Romance: I’m on episode 6 so I still have a few more episodes to watch before I’m all caught up with where the show is right now and I’m not going to lie, it took me longer to get into this show than I thought it would. Everyone that I follow on K-Drama Twitter loves this show so I thought I would too and while I’m finally enjoying it, I almost thought this would be a miss for me. I’m glad that I stuck with it though, cause it really picked up and I’m invested.

Seventeen in the Soop 2: In this week’s episode Jeonghan and DK ate a raw onion together and as an onion hating person, that grossed me out but everything else was great. From DK and Hoshi jumping into the lake together because DK lost another bet to Hoshi shooting his own music video with the drone, to the egg thing with S Coups in the sauna, everything made me laugh or smile and made my week just that much better. Seeing these guys relax and enjoy eachother’s company after the grueling schedules that they have to keep up with is very healing for me as well and I just love this show so much.

What I’m Listening To

Second Wind by BooSeokSoon from Seventeen

This is my first BSS comeback (I hear it’s theirs too) and it’s been such a fun time. The way that these guys are so unserious and super extra made for such a fun comeback. I have been enjoying seeing these guys make their promo circuit, having fun with the MV release, the music show performances, and just everything. I’m loving seeing everyone doing the Fighting dance challenge with the different members of BSS. The dance challenge with DK and his family was SUPER adorable but I also loved seeing Suga jump in on this as well. I’ll be reviewing the album (something that I think I’m going to be adding to the blog as I start getting more and more into k-pop outside of BTS) so you’ll be seeing that very soon. Anyway, BSS has been added to my streaming playlist so that I can support these guys along with BTS. Love, love, love all three of these guys!

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (190)
The Monthly Recap: January 2023
The Wednesday Five:
The TBW Pile: February 2023
Eye Candy Friday: Kim Tae Hee from May I Help You?

Eye Candy Friday

Kim Tae Hee

May I Help You?

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Eye Candy Friday: Kim Tae Hee from May I Help You

Posted February 10, 2023 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Eye Candy Friday is something that I’ve been doing since I first started my personal blog way back in 2003. That first personal blog is long gone but I’ve never really grown out of the eye candy phase. I’m always up for some eye candy. Whether it’s a character from a book (male or female, I don’t discriminate), a character from a movie or TV Show, if I loved them and want to gush about how much I loved them, you’ll find them here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

This week, I’m featuring Kim Tae Hee from May I Help You. If you’ve watched the show then you know how freaking adorable he was and that should let you know why he’s this week’s eye candy. If you haven’t, just look at him…he’s fine as hell and that’s reason enough, haha.

Until next week…enjoy!

Watch May I Help You

May I Help You

Where to Watch: Prime Video
Starring: Lee Hyeri, Lee Jun Young, Tae In Ho
Year Released: 2022
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Supernatural

Baek Dong Joo is a former professional ping pong athlete, who has just started to work as a funeral director. On her first day on the job she finds out she has the gift, or curse, to momentarily resurrect and talk to the recently deceased people when she touches them. Those people between life and death have last wishes she has to grant, or her days will be filled with a series of bad luck and accidents. Scared out of her wits by the dead coming back to life, she runs away from her work place from day one, and instead returns to studying for the civil exam she’d failed before. However, since that day, the streak of bad luck and the memory of the first client she abandoned wouldn’t leave her alone. Hence, over a year later, Baek Dong Joo decides to return to work as funeral director, in order to fulfill her duty to and the wishes of the dead people to end her karmic misfortune. She has to grant 21 wishes in total to be freed of this fate.

Kim Tae Hee, also known as Kim Jip Sa to his clients, works as a man for hire. Employed by his uncle Vincent running the newly opened errand service company “A Dime A Job” he can be hired for any odd but legal task for as little as one hundred Won. One day, Kim Tae Hee encounters Baek Dong Joo, when he was hired by her boyfriend to break up with her in his stead. After that, their paths continue to cross, and by the virtue of their jobs their fates get intertwined deeper and deeper in a series of life and death situations, surrounding the wishes of the people who had died, and the painful past it is going to unravel for both of them.

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