Category: Reviews

Review: Cheese in the Trap

Posted October 8, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Cheese in the Trap

Male Lead: Park Hae Jin
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Secondary Lead: Seo Kang Joon
Also Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Lee Sung Kyung, Park Min Ji
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Kim Go Eun, Nam Joo Hyuk
Watched it For: Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Go Eun

Are even the most unlikely of people destined to be together? Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) is a dedicated student who has just returned to college after taking some time off to work part-time jobs and make money to pay for her tuition. Nothing has come easy for her in life, but she is determined to study hard and overcome her impoverished background. Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) is a handsome, athletic student who has returned to college as an upperclassman after serving his mandatory military service. Despite Seol’s best efforts, she keeps having unfortunate run-ins with Jung that irritates her while her friends, Jang Bo Ra (Park Min Ji) and Kwon Eun Taek (Nam Joo Hyuk), try to run interference. But when the broody Jung is somehow responsible for Seol being able to get one year’s free tuition, thereby eliminating her financial woes, Seol is confused by Jung’s actions. What will Seol do when she gets caught between the attentions of the mysterious Jung and his estranged friend, Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Joon)? “Cheese in the Trap” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Yoon Jung. It is based on a webtoon written by Soon Ggi. This series marks the television debut for film actress Kim Go Eun.

I watched this show because I’ve become a pretty big fan of both Kim Go Eun and Nam Joo Hyuk and they’re both in this show. I had really high hopes for this one since I’ve had a good running streak of really great Korean dramas set in college. I really enjoyed Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo and so I was riding that high when I started this one.

So this show follows our main female lead, Hong Seol. She’s a struggling college student that is trying her best to stay afloat. She’s working, she’s studying, and she’s trying to figure out how she’s going to pay for next year’s tuition because she doesn’t have a lot of parental support. Plus, her family isn’t well off and whatever money they have was used to send her younger brother abroad to study in the states. So yeah, Seol’s on her own. She doesn’t have a lot of free time but the free time that she does have, she spends with her two best friends. When she meets Yoo Jung, a rich guy that all the girls love, Seol isn’t that interested. They have nothing in common and she keeps catching him doing weird things. Things that she’s not a fan of and because of that, she tries to steer clear of him…but he keeps showing up wherever she is and…he’s interested in her. Getting to know him wasn’t in her plans but because they keep bumping into each other, she gives him a chance.

This show started off really strong. The main character, Hong Seol did a great job of hooking me into what she had going on. Between her and her two best friends, I was really rooting for this show to be a huge success and it almost was. The lengths that the hero went to get shit done was low key a turn-off. He had a God complex that didn’t sit right with me throughout the entire show and even in the end, I wanted to knee him in the balls because ugh. There’s only so many times that I can forgive someone for doing some creepy shit and letting it slide. Even after understanding the way that he thought and the way that he was, I still didn’t like it. Or him for that matter. I was much more invested in Hong Seol’s relationship with Baek In Ho (the second lead) and that almost never happens. I’m usually a stickler for the main couple no matter how much I like the second lead but this is the first show where that wasn’t the case.

I wanted to like this show because of Kim Eun Go and Nam Joo Hyuk but even with that strong start, the middle and the ending didn’t do anything for me and that bummed me out. I can’t rate this one higher than a 2.75 out of 5 stars. Oh well.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

2.75 out of 5

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Review: The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion

Posted October 6, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion

Starring: Kim Da Mi, Choi Woo Shik, Go Min Si, Jo Min Soo, Park Hee Soon, Kim Byeong Ok, Choi Jeong Wook, Jung Da Eun, Jeong Ye Jin, Tae Won Kwon,
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Action, Mystery
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Watched It For: Kim Da Mi

When she was young, Ja-yoon escaped from a government facility, but lost all her memory. 10 years later, when she appears on a nationally televised competition to win money for her family, her life is turned upside down by faces from her past.

I watched this movie when I saw that my girl Kim Da Mi from Itaewon Class starred in it. I’m super glad that I did watch this movie because Yi Seo was badass in this. She played this part so well that I was super impressed throughout the entire movie. From beginning to end, she just flat out rocked. When she shows up at that farm, all bloodied and scared til the end, when she’s sitting in that house and with no kind of expression, threatening the girl that steps up to kill her, I was impressed.

So this movie is about a young girl named Ja Yoon who was taken in by an older couple when she shows up on their farm, bloodied and bruised and scared out of her pants. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they take her in and they raise as their own. Ten years later, she in high school, and in order to help her parents with their failing farm, she enters a singing contest that the winner will win 500 million won. Once she starts singing on the show, weird things start happening. Weird things like strange guys showing up on the train and scaring the pants off her friend and asking her the weirdest questions, and a group of people including the guy from the train, showing up in her town and telling her to run home to her parents and making her do just that. Then there were the thug-like men who showed up and tried to take her from the singing competition and when she wakes up in the middle of the night to a house full of people that are trying to harm her family, her internal instincts kick in and she turns into freaking Black Widow on crack…and better.

The movie just kept getting better and better with all of these twists and turns and I thought that Kim Da Mi was the bomb in this. I loved her as Yi Seo in Itaewon Class because I thought that she was a total bad-ass but she’s just as bad-ass in this movie so I really think that she plays these bad-ass characters really well. I’m a great big fan of her so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her stuff.

I also liked seeing Choi Woo Shik as the villain in this one. I became a fan of his while watching Parasite and really enjoyed seeing him be a bad guy in this movie. He really played that part well because I wanted to kick his nuts every time that he came onto the screen and that fight scene between him and my girl Da Mi was bloody fantastic. The ending to this movie was pretty abrupt and I’m wondering if there’s more to this story that we have yet to see and I hope that’s the case because I’m interested in seeing that. All in all, this was a pretty fab action movie that I enjoyed a great deal. I recommend it for sure.

Final Rating

4.25 out of 5

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Review: Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Posted October 1, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Female Lead: Park Bo Young
Secondary Lead: Ji Soo
Also Starring: Kim Won Hae, Yoo Jae Myung, Jeon Seok Ho,Shim Hye Jin, Im Won Hee, Ahn Woo Yeon
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, Ji Soo

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.

This show was brought to my attention by my k drama bestie, B Nice and it was such a big hit with me that even till this day, and many dramas later, I still find myself watching my favorite scenes from this show over and over again. The triple threat of Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, and Ji Soo was a major score for me. I enjoyed all of their characters and they brought this story to life like nobody else could and I loved the hell out of their work in this one.

So this story follows our main lead, Bong Soon. Bong Soon has grown up in a family where the women have super-human strength and she’s no different. She can pick up a bus full of people, punch through houses, and she benchpress everything. Trying to get a job at a gaming company is out of reach for her but her luck turns around when her strength gets her hired on as the CEO of her dream company’s bodyguard. An Min Hyuk is intrigued by the small little woman that he witnessed kick the shit out of a bunch of bad guys who bullied a bus driver and the kids that he was driving to school. He follows her to the police station where she’s giving her statement to her detective friend. The more that he sees of the woman, the more interested he is in her. He needs a bodyguard and thinks that this woman has just what he’s looking for in a bodyguard. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes, not that it matters anyway. Bong Soon ain’t trying to look his way. He annoys the hell out of her and thinks he’s gay so he’s out of the running for our girl.

Bong Soon has grown up with a huge crush on her childhood friend, Kook Doo but she’s never felt it was the right time for them and it’s thrown in her face when she finds out that Kook Doo’s got a girlfriend. She’s hurt and she’s frustrated but she can’t help who she loves any more than she can help the strength that she has that others don’t. But she has to try to get over him because she’s not a homewrecker so when she gets closer and closer to her annoying boss, she starts to realize that he’s not as bad as she initially thought. He’s actually a really great guy and he’s not gay either, haha.

Seeing both Bong Soon and Min Hyuk grow into their feelings for each other at the same time that they’re fighting bad guys left and right, was a lot of fun. This was a comedy, a romance, and even had some action thrown in and I was here for it all. I am such a huge fan of the three main leads because of their work in this show. I loved the romance in this, I loved the friendship that developed between Min Hyuk and Kook Doo and I really, really loved this scene:

I was a giant ball of emotions when I watched this scene. The way that he kept putting himself out there for her, hoping that she would stop looking at the guy that’s not looking at her and look at him instead. He was so good to her and he loved her so much and gahhhhh, I loved it! They’re one of my favorite couples to date. This show was a damn good show and I just adored it to pieces so I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: Stranger

Posted October 1, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Stranger

Male Lead: Cho Seung Woo
Female Lead: Bae Doona
Also Starring: Lee Joon Hyuk, Shin Hye Sun, Yoon Se Ah,Yoo Jae Myung, Lee Kyu Hyung, Moo Seong Choi
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 10
Genre: Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Bae Doona
Who I Watched It For: Bae Doona

Prosecutor Hwang Si-mok who, as a child, lost the ability to feel empathy joins a police lieutenant to try to uncover the true identity of a serial killer. While looking into the case, he must fight rampant corruption within the police department that continuously undermines the investigation. Si-mok vows to find the perpetrator within two months, but rumors about his violent nature pop up and lead to questions about his ability to lead the case. He eventually sets out to meet the person who he believes is the real murderer.

I chose to watch this drama because I saw that Bae Doona was in it. I became a fan of hers when I watched Sense 8 and wanted to see some of her other works so this worked out. This isn’t a romantic Korean drama. It’s a drama about an emotionless prosecutor who teams up with a police detective to find a serial killer. The writers of this show did a great job of bringing this everything together. The details, the characters, and the setting all played a part in making this show an interesting one. I had a couple of issues with the pacing in the beginning but I’m glad that I stuck with it because once everything came together, made sense and I got to know our main character, Hwang Si Mok better, the show really shined.

It took me a while to come to warm up to Si Mok’s character. He wasn’t a very likable person. Everything is black and white to him, there’s no room for the gray area that most everyone lives in and he’s not swayed by emotion so when things would happen around him, he didn’t react the way normal people would and I struggled with that and with him. The way that Bae Doona’s character, Han Yeo Jin was around Si Mok was exactly the way that I felt. She didn’t give up on him even though it would have been easier for her and I’m glad that she didn’t because they became a really great team that I came to like over the course of the show.

There were so many corrupt ass characters in this show that I spent a good amount of time pissed off at everyone and everything. But the more the story unfolds, the more interesting it was and the more interested I became in finding out how it all ended. So even though the pacing, in the beginning, was slow, the story picks up, the details fall in place and I was rewarded for sticking with this. Bae Doona was once again a freaking badass character that I adored and I want to keep watching her in another show and another show and another show. She’s so freaking great.

Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Review: Revolutionary Love

Posted September 30, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Revolutionary Love

Male Lead: Choi Siwon
Female Lead: Kang So Ra
Secondary Lead: Gong Myung
Also Starring: Lee Jae Yoon, Kim Ye Won, Kyeon Mi Ri,Kang Yeongseok, Seo Yi Ahn, Choi Jae Sung
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Choi Siwon
Who I Watched It For: Choi Siwon

Byun Hyuk (Choi Si-Won) is a son from a wealthy family who runs a large company. He lives a happy life without any specific goals. He is confident around women and he is also naive, with a warm heart. Byun Hyuk begins to live in a studio in a poor area. He hides his background.

Baek Joon (Kang So-Ra) lives in the same area. She works part-time jobs to make ends meet. Baek Joon graduated from a good university, but she was unable to land a job at a company and begin taking part-time jobs. She is positive and full of justice, but her life changes when Byun Hyuk appears.

I came across this show while browsing Netflix for a new show to watch. When I saw that Choi Siwon was the male lead in this one, and not the second lead, I started this one with a quickness. I really, really loved Choi Siwon in She was Pretty and was a little bummed that he didn’t get the girl (though he did go up against Park Seo Jun) but he gets the girl in this one and his character in this show was a freaking delight. He plays another rich boy who cracked me up in each and every episode.

He was kind of a crackhead, who got himself into troubling situations that his assistant had to get him out of. The situations were comical, really, but were always taken out of context and while he didn’t mean for things to be taken the way that they were, they always were and he always got in trouble for it. It’s a trip to me to see Korean grown adults still getting beat by their parents. It’s so different from Americans but reminds me of Samoans.

This show is a coming of age romantic comedy that follows three main characters. Byun Hyuk, Baek Joon, and Je Hoon. Baek Joon and Je Hoon go way back. They went to school together and now they live in the same apartment building. Baek Joon was a good student, she graduated from a good university but she hasn’t really applied herself to finding a steady paying job. Instead, she works at multiple part time jobs and she lives paycheck to paycheck. She’s content with the life that she’s living, even though her mother keeps bothering her for money that she doesn’t have. She’s become okay friends with Je Hoon, a guy that she once confessed her feelings too and was rejected by. They’re uneasy friends right now because while Baek Joon tries to be friends with Je Hoon, he’s hella mean to her and to the viewers, it’s completely obvious that he’s got it bad for her but she doesn’t see it…and the longer he goes without making his own confession to her, the higher the risk he runs of losing her completely. That becomes all too clear when his boss, rich boy Byun Hyuk, moves in with him after he gets kicked out of his parent’s house.

When Byun Hyuk meets Je Hoon, he’s immediately smitten with her but she’s much too busy for a relationship and she detests spoiled rich boys so of course, Byun Hyuk hides his background from her, hoping to win her over by getting to know her better and hopefully when she knows him better, she’ll understand him and want to be with him. The overall story moves pretty fast in this show and I appreciated that. We weren’t bogged down with a lot of information, and a lot of background stuff so I liked that. I liked that we were able to get to know the characters, get a feel for what their stories were, and where their lives were taking them. I loved the little family that they created for each other and the support system that they all became toward one another. Each character was going through different things and brought something different to the table that I was hooked from the jump.

There were some things that drove me a little batty, mostly had to do with Je Hoon’s character and how freaking slow and mean he was because he was so slow. My ship was set from the very beginning, even though there were brief moments sprinkled in to make me go soft for the second lead. Choi Siwon did a fantastic job with this character and I enjoyed both Kang So Ra and Gong Myung in this show too. I’m looking forward to watching more of their stuff. This drama was a fast watch with a fun bunch of characters and enough humor and romance to keep me interested and happy. I recommend.

Final Rating

4 out of 5

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