Source: Netflix

Review: The Start Up

Posted March 16, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Start UpStart Up
Starring: Nam Joo-Hyuk, Bae Suzy, Kim Sun-Ho
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Nam Joo-Hyuk
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

Needing to make $90k to open her own business, Seo Dal-Mi drops out of a university and takes up part-time work. She dreams of becoming someone like Steve Jobs.

Nam Do-San is the founder of Samsan Tech. He is excellent with mathematics. He started Samsan Tech two years ago, but the company is not doing well. Somehow, Nam Do-San becomes Seo Dal-Mi’s first love. They cheer each others start and growth.

Summary Credit

I used to binge watch all of the k-dramas that I watched so they had to have all of the episodes released before I’d dig into them but that’s completely changed these days. I watched this show as they released the episodes every week and I enjoyed the ride for the most part. There were parts in the show that I thought dragged a bit and though I liked the main male lead (I actually watched this show BECAUSE I liked him), I thought he was less interesting than the second lead. Did I want the second lead to get the girl? No, not at all…but just like the male lead, I thought the second lead was more interesting than the main girl too.

I’m going to break down my thoughts about this show by categories and then I’ll sum everything up in the end. Let’s get started, shall we?
Main Male Lead: Nam Do San
Actor: Nam Joo Hyuk

I really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk in Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo so I was excited to see him in something new. Unfortunately, his character, Nam Joo Hyuk, didn’t completely win me over the way that his last character did. I liked him fine, I liked his story, I liked how hard he worked for his company and for his friends but after all was said and done, his character just isn’t one that will stick with me.

I wish I could say that I was invested in his character journey throughout the entire show but while I was interested in him as a character, I was rooting for him to win the girl, and I liked the guy that played his Dad, his character journey didn’t grab me the way that others did. That’s not a knock on him, as I felt that way about the entire show.

I did like the relationship between him and his friends. The loyalty that they shared between the three of them was nice. I’m always a fan of great support groups and Nam Do San had a great support system. I did like how he stepped up for a complete stranger and then fell in love with her but all of that wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the rest of his journey.

Main Female Lead: So Dal Mi
Actress: Bae Suzy

I haven’t watched very many shows with Bae Suzy at the lead but I do enjoy her as an actress. She was one of the very few things that I liked about the k-drama, Big and her character in this show showed a lot of promise. I thought So Dal Mi was a pretty solid female lead. Her story made me cry from time to time. I loved the relationship she had with her father and it made me sad that she never got that fried chicken he went out to get. But I love the woman that she grew up to be and I hella loved her relationship with her halmeoni. The whole sibling rivalry thing was probably the weakest part of Dal Mi’s journey but I did like the character growth that we saw in her sister.

Suzy played her role in this one really well. I thought she did a great job of bringing So Dal Mi’s character to life and there were so many times that I connected with what she was feeling throughout the show. I became a fan of hers during this show and I look forward to seeing her in more things.
Second Lead: Han Ji Pyeong
Actor: Kim Seon Ho

This is the first thing that I’ve ever seen this actor in and I was hooked on his story the most. I never once thought that he should end up with the female lead though. He was a jerk to all of them and though I understood why, I still didn’t care for that. I loved the guy that Dal Mi’s halmeoni saw in him but more often than not, I wanted to smack him upside his head. However, his story was what I was most interested in from beginning to end. I think his story made me cry the most and I was rooting for him to get the peace he deserved and so desperately needed.

I never really rooted for him to get with Dal Mi though. My guy had three years to shoot his shot and he waited until Do San came back from the US to do it? Too little, too late buddy but I’m glad to see that he found a new cause that gave his life some purpose.

I did like this guy and am looking forward to following his career from here on out. Kim Seon Ho blew up my IG feed while The Start Up was releasing new episodes so I hope he gets a first lead role soon.
The Supporting Cast
I’ve only seen one of these guys in anything else and I was delighted to see Yoo Su Bin in this one. This team was a highlight for me. I loved the secondary romance between the two teammates and I loved the bond that Nam Do San had with his two besties. The way that Do San tried to fix everything and be there for everyone made the way that they all had his back and had faith in him made me love them all the more. They were the perfect mix of smart, strong, funny, and loyal that hits all of my happy spots so I really liked all of these guys.
The Story
This story started off strong. I was really invested in everything and everyone right off the bat. The pacing started out strong and then sizzled through the middle, only to drag in the end. There were a lot of things that I didn’t care for (the actual start up stuff was my least favorite thing in the whole show) but overall, I kept watching every single episode so I couldn’t have hated it that much. It was a great way to spend a few hours and I did enjoy it overall, it just wasn’t my favorite but I discovered some new to me actors and actresses so I’m happy with that.
Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: Record of Youth

Posted January 26, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Record of YouthRecord of Youth
Starring: Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, Byeon Woo Seok
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

This is a drama about the growth record of young people who strive to achieve their dreams and love without despair in a generation where dreams have become a luxury and the passionate record of young people who beeline for their dreams in their own way, presenting excitement and empathy.

Sa Hye Joon is smart and handsome. He is a nice guy and a popular model, but what he really wants is to become an actor. He has auditioned for many acting roles, but hasn’t found success yet. Unfortunately, Sa Hye Joon doesn’t have much presence as an actor. Meanwhile, Ahn Jung Ha works as a make up artist. Bright and cheerful on the outside but lonely on the inside, Jung Ha takes out her stress and frustrations by fan-girling over idols.

Summary Credit

This drama started out with a lot of promise. I was really enjoying everything that was happening in the first half of the show. I was enjoying it so much that heading into the second half of the season brought about some anxiety as I just knew that the other shoe was going to drop and everything was going to go up in flames. I was right that everything was going to change in the second part of the season but I was less invested in what was happening in the second half.

So this show follows two best friends who are both actors and a makeup artist who is fiercely independent and a huge fangirl over the main male lead, Sa Hye-Jun (Park Bo Gum). Sa Hye-Jun is a twenty-something-year-old actor and model who is looking for his huge break. He’s a struggling actor, working multiple part-time jobs to support himself and seems to only get the crumbs from his much more successful, and rich best friend, Won Hae-Hyo. The story follows the both of them as they struggle, Hye-Jun struggled with staying true to himself and to his beliefs in the harsh world of entertainment, and Won Hae-Hyo struggles with being in the shadow of Hye-Jun’s spotlight for the first time. He’s not used to coming in second behind Hye-Jun in anything and realizing the truth about every job he’s ever gotten, every follower he’s got on social media bites him in the ass so they both struggle with being jealous of what the other has.

When Ahn Jeong-Ha comes onto the scene, she’s proud to be a fangirl for Hye-Jun because he’s everything she hoped that he would be before she met him. When they became friends and they flirted their way into a relationship, I was so invested in their relationship and in their lives apart from each other. They were interesting characters who didn’t have it easy but were optimistic that eventually if they worked hard enough, their efforts would pay off. They understood each other better than anyone else in their lives and seeing them grow to care for each other on a more personal level was a lot of fun.

I really enjoyed a lot of what this show had going on. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his grandfather was a good one. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his two best friends even though they were all idiots at different points in the show. I liked the friendship that sparked between Ahn Jeong-Ha and Hye-Jun’s manager was another fun friendship that was enjoyable. I liked that they all had their own struggles that they were dealing with but were still there for one another when it was needed. I liked that their friendships weren’t perfect but they were trying to be good people and when things fell apart, that was where I was left feeling confused AF. I didn’t understand what drove Jeong-Ha to do a lot of the things that she did, where Hye-Jun was concerned. It felt out of place, and character with what she felt and acted throughout the entire first part of the show.

A lot of the issues that Hye-Jun suffered through with his family, his friends, and then with the work stuff didn’t make sense to me. Like Hye-Jun’s Dad. What in the bleeping hell was his problem? He acted like Hye-Jun was irresponsible. The boy was damn near killing himself working so many different part-time jobs so that his parents didn’t have to support him and his acting jobs, but that didn’t stop his Dad from bitching at him for breathing. The way that the Dad’s lopsided support system worked got on my hot damn nerves because Hye-Jun was paying for crimes that were not his to begin with. I was glad that the Mom supported him and loved him through everything. But the Dad and the brother got on my hot damn nerves. The Dad eventually wins me over but even until the end, the brother annoyed the shit out of me.

Overall, the acting was good and the story was a solid one but the second half didn’t capture enough to keep me in love with what was happening to the characters and I just thought the second part of the season was weaker than the first. So it had a strong start but the end left a lot to be desired and I’m not used to that with the k-dramas that I’ve watched so far. I really finished the last episode looking like this…


Because, honestly, WTF kind of ending was that? It left a lot to be desired and I’m not a fan of those, leave it up to the consumer to figure out on their own BS. Tell me what the heck happens to them and leave no detail spared, please. So he comes back, sees that she’s wearing his shoes and …that’s it? Nope, didn’t like that shit. At all but I didn’t hate it enough to give this drama less than 3 stars so the strong start really saved this one for me.

I became a big fan of Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, and Byeong Woo Seok so I’ll be on the lookout for more of their stuff for sure. Oh and another really big highlight for me was the Park Seo Jun cameo. OMG, every time he came on the screen, I was Hye-Jun’s manager. Haha, she was great and Park Seo Jun was fan-freaking-tastic too. I always love seeing him on my screen. So yeah, those were great and if the ending had matched the strong start, I would have given this one a higher grade but oh well…life’s not perfect.

Final Rating


3.75 out of 5
Listen to the OST

My favorite song from this drama was 나의 시간은 (Every Second). Every time that it played during the show, I was already teary-eyed or smiling super big. It was such a great song.
three-half-stars

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Review: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Posted January 5, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Review: It’s Okay to Not Be OkayIt's Okay to Not Be Okay
Starring: Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye Ji
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Nobody
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
Buy It: Amazon
five-stars

A story about a man employed in a psychiatric ward and a woman with an antisocial personality disorder, who is a popular writer of children's books. The drama tells the story of Moon Kang Tae, a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who doesn't have time for love and Go Moon Young, a successful children's book author who suffers from an antisocial personality disorder and has never known love. After meeting one another, the two slowly begin to heal each other's emotional wounds.

This drama was the first one that I watched while it was releasing episodes each week. I was so used to binge-watching all of the k-dramas that I watched so having to wait a week between episodes took some getting used to (I was so spoiled) but oh my holy shit (in Jungkook’s voice), this show was so stinkin’ good. Like, one of my top shows of 2020 good.

This show was a lot darker than I’m used to but I was here for every single thing that went down. In the beginning, I was super confused about just what was going on and why we were supposed to root for a freaking crazy lady but once I was all caught up and not confused anymore, I was all the way in. I was Team Moon Young all the way. I ugly cried through every single episode from like the third episode on.

This story follows Ko Moon Young, Moon Gang Tae, and Moon Sang Tae as they finally deal with old wounds and work to overcome a dark past. Gang Tae has grown up taking care of his autistic older brother Sang Tae. After their mother died when Gang Tae was twelve years old, he and Sang Tae have lived on their own. They’ve moved from place to place, trying to stay out of the system and stay together. For so long, it’s been just the two of them but when they come across a girl from their past, Ko Moon Young, she worms her way into their lives and starts wrecking Gang Tae’s carefully crafted life. He works and then he goes home and takes care of his older brother. He doesn’t have any time for anything more but Moon Young is making him want things he hasn’t let himself think about or want ever. He’s all filled up with responsibility and he’s been holding all of those day-to-day burdens for him and his brother for so long, he is not willing to add another person to his life to care about. Staying away from Moon Young proves to be difficult because for the first time ever, he wants a life just for himself.

The romance between Gang Tae and Moon Young was such a hard one to get through because just when they were finding happiness, something would happen that would yank Gang Tae back to reality and every single time that it happened, it was so much harder for him to readjust. He went from feeling nothing and living his life for everyone else to feeling strongly for a girl that is part of the dark past that he is running from. Gang Tae was the very reason that I ugly cried my way through this show. Every time he was yanked back to reality, my heart broke for him. Every time he smiled, something bad happened and because of that, he stopped smiling. So with Moon Young coming into his life and showing him what he could never have, makes him mad. He’s mad at her for making him feel, he’s mad at his Mom for dying, he’s mad at Sang Tae for not being able to take care of himself and he’s mad at himself for feeling the way that he feels where Sang Tae is concerned.

There was a lot going on and I thought that every single part of this story was handled well. The character development between each character was well written and the romance between Gang Tae and Moon Young was handled so well and don’t even get me started on the relationship that blossomed between Sang Tae and Moon Young. They were at the top of my favorite parts of this show. With how dark this show was, there was still a surprising amount of humor throughout. At least for me. I cackled just as loud as I ugly cried. Each episode felt like a season finale where I was blown away time and time again. This show was extremely well written in my opinion and the cast did such a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life. I enjoyed every aspect of this show and can’t recommend it enough. This show was damn good and I highly recommend it. Just…chef’s kiss.
Final Grade

5 out of 5

five-stars

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