Tag: 2019 Dramas

Review: Where the Camellia Blooms

Posted September 25, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Where the Camellia Blooms

Male Lead: Kang Ha Neul
Female Lead: Gong Hyo Jin
Secondary Lead: Kim Ji Seok
Also Starring: Ji Yi Soo, Oh Jung Se, Yeom Hye Ran,Son Dam Bi, Kim Kang Hoon, Go Doo Shim, Lee Jung Eun
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 20
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Kang Ha Neul
Who I Watched It For: Kang Ha Neul

“When the Camellia Blooms” is the story of Oh Dong-baek, a single mother who moves to the fictional town of Ongsan and opens a bar named Camellia. Six years later, Dong-baek meets playful Yong-sik, who declares his love for her. Dong-baek does not reciprocate his love, but Yong-sik persists in wooing her. When Yong-sik’s mother finds out about this, she strongly opposes it, as Dong-baek is a single mother with a son, as well as the fact that Dong-baek’s past lover and father of her child is trying to win her back. Yong-sik eventually gets Dong-Baek to fall for him. Meanwhile, a notorious killer sets out to claim Dong-baek as his next victim, and Yong-sik protects her fiercely, doing his job as a policeman and figuring out who the killer is.

After watching Kang Ha Neul in Midnight Runners with Park Seo Jun, I wanted to watch him in something else so when I came across this show on Netflix, I loaded that bad boy up.

The story centers on the romance between Dong-baek, a single mother who just moved to the small town of Ongsan and opened a bar named Camellia, and Yong-sik, a loud mouth police officer who transfers back to his hometown after being a cop in Seoul for a while. Right off the bat, Yong-sik likes Dong-baek but she ain’t got time for him. She’s a single mother with a business to run and that keeps her more than busy. Yong-sik isn’t deterred by her rejection, he plans to run the long game and stick around, hoping that he’ll win her over eventually. On top of the romance, there’s a mystery thread running throughout the show. Dong-baek gets caught up in a serial killer’s plan when he finds out that she was in the tanning bed when he shows up at the spa to kill his last victim. She’s a loose end that needs to tie so she becomes the most important target for him.

Kang Ha-neul was a great male lead and I really enjoyed his character. It wouldn’t have taken me that long to warm up to him. He was charming and so endearing that it was hard to not root for him. Dong-baek was a lot harder for me to connect with. She was pretty cold to Yong-sik at first and I understood it and even appreciated how honest she was with him but she frustrated me a lot because I thought it took her far too long to stand up for herself. She came off really weak in the beginning and throughout most of the show that even her son was fed up with the BS. I’m glad that I stuck with it and gave her a chance to grow because she really does grow over the course of the story. She grows in character, she grows into her feelings for Yong-sik and I was really glad for that.

This was an enjoyable show for the most part but I’ve got to be honest that as much as I enjoyed the show overall, there were times in the beginning where I really struggled with the pacing of the story being told. There were episodes where long parts of the episode dragged because there was too much telling and not enough showing. I hope that makes sense because that’s the only way that I can explain it, haha. I’m still glad that I watched this show and while it wasn’t a favorite, it was still a pretty solid show. I will also mention that I thought the whole serial killer mystery was pretty weak but still, if you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy with charming characters and a male lead that will crack you up, this is a good one to check out.

Final Rating

3.25 out of 5

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DNF Round Up: Romance is a Bonus Book, Kill Me Heal Me, and Playful Kiss

Posted September 9, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

The DNF Round Up is a round-up of the books, movies, and k dramas that I did not finish in the last little while. Sometimes it’ll be a list of all books, all movies, or all k dramas and sometimes it’ll be a mix of the three but if I didn’t finish it, it’ll be featured here. I need the reminder because I be forgetting a whole lot of shit and I’ll start dramas or books that I quit without even knowing. This is my effort in fixing that.

Male Lead: Lee Jong Suk
Female Lead: Lee Na Young
Also Starring: Jeong Yoo Jin, Wi Ha Joon, Kim Yoo Mi,Park Kyu Young, Kim Sun Young, Kang Ki Doong, Kim Tae Woo, No Jong Hyun, Choi Seung Yun, Hwang Se On
Year Released: 2019
Number of Episodes: 16
Number of Episodes Watched: 2
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Who I Watched It For: Lee Jong Suk

A gifted writer who’s the youngest editor-in-chief ever at his publishing company becomes enmeshed in the life of a former copywriter desperate for a job.

I came across this show while browsing Netflix. I was interested in it because so many people love them some Lee Jong Suk. I haven’t watched anything with him starring so I wasn’t sure what it was about him that made everyone fall so head over heels in love with him so I started this one, hoping that I’d figure it out.

After two episodes, nothing caught me and Lee Jong Suk’s character was annoying me, I wasn’t a fan of how the heroine kept getting kicked around (reminded me of a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book) so I quit it. I think it was more of a mood thing than anything else and I accidentally started watching Love Alarm at the same time so I actually finished that one and this one got left behind. I’m almost 90% sure that I’ll eventually work my way back to this one to finish it but…not right now. I will say that I was mighty intrigued by Lee Jung Suk and I understood his appeal after the episodes of this show that I watched, and that’s saying something since I was annoyed with his character the whole time I watched this show. LOL.

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Probably

Male Lead: Ji Sung
Female Lead: Hwang Jung Eum
Also Starring: Park Seo Jun, Oh Min Seok, Kim Yoo Ri,Kim Young Ae, Ahn Nae Sang, Shim Hye Jin, Won Young Choi, Ko Chang Seok, Kim Seul Ki, Lee Si Eon
Year Released: 2015
Number of Episodes: 16
Number of Episodes Watched: 6
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

Cha Do-hyun, a businessman with dissociative identity disorder, tries to regain control over his life with the help of Oh Ri-jin, a first-year psychiatric resident who treats him in secret.

I went into this show hoping for some more Park Seo Jun. I love me some him and was all prepared to love him as a secondary character. But, the actual story being told here just didn’t interest me and there wasn’t enough Park Seo Jun in the show for me to continue. After about 6 episodes with not a whole lot of Park Seo Jun and still not being captured by the story, I called it quits. There are too many other shows that I’m interested in and this one didn’t do anything for me. So like Mya, I’ll be moving on…

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Probably Not

Male Lead: Kim Hyun Joong
Female Lead: Jung So Min
Secondary Lead: Bong Joon Gu
Also Starring: Lee Si Young, Choi Won Hong, Yoon Seung Ah,Hong Yoon Hwa, Jung Hye Young, Kang Nam Gil, Oh Kyung Soo, Choi Sung Kook, Abigail Alderete, Hee Won Lee
Year Released: 2010
Number of Episodes: 16
Number of Episodes Watched: 7
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Meghan
Who I Watched It For: Meghan

A clumsy high-school girl – Oh Ha-ni – is at the bottom of her class, and she has had a crush on a popular genius, Baek Seung-Jo, ever since she first laid eyes on him.

This was one of my niece Meghan’s favorite shows when she was in high school so she urged me to watch it. I tried telling her that I’m not much of a fan of the older stuff, I’d much prefer to watch shows that have come out in the last couple of years, not in the last decade but she still wanted me to give it a go so I did…and I hated it. The male lead was a dick head, the female lead was a complete klutz for no reason and their whole dynamic left much to be desired. I’m too old to be watching immature kids being mean to each other when they really like each other. Miss me with those kinds of shenanigans. Poor Meghan, she was really hoping that I would share her love for this show and…that didn’t happen. I noped out of this show real quick. Sorry, Meg.

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Nope

Have you DNF’d anything lately? Share your recent DNF’s in the comments so I know what to stay away from!

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Review: Love Alarm

Posted August 27, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Male Lead: Song Kang
Female Lead: Kim So Hyun
Secondary Lead: Jung Ga Ram
Also Starring: Go Min Si, Z Hera, Shin Seung Ho, Lee Jae Eung, Song Seon Mi, Song Geon Hee, Kim Young Ok, Cho Deok Hoe
Year Released: 2019
Number of Episodes: 8
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Nobody
Watched It For: –

In a world where an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim Jojo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities.

Love Alarm is about an app that alerts the user when someone that likes them is within like 10 meters of them and it follows our main lead, Kim Jo Jo, a young woman who lives with her Aunt and cousin and works multiple part-time jobs to support herself. She came to live with her Aunt when her Mom died and left Kim Jo Jo, an orphan. Kim Jo Jo hasn’t had an easy life, she’s only known grief and unhappiness as her family life isn’t ideal. Her Aunt and cousin remind her constantly that she is mooching off of them, even though she works hard both at school and at work to support herself and works as a free laborer for the Aunt’s convenience store, but they don’t recognize much outside of themselves and their lives and that pissed me off a lot.

When the show first starts, we meet Kim Jo Jo but we also meet Hwang Sun Oh and Lee Hye Yeong, two childhood friends who are reunited when Sun Oh returns to Korea after being abroad. The two boys are best friends and Hwang Sun Oh comes home, ready to pick up his friendship with Hye Yeong again but while he was away, Hye Yeong has gotten himself a part-time job and is pretty busy. The two boys are close but the time apart has put some distance between them and Sun Oh doesn’t like it. While trying to run Hye Yeong down, Sun Oh sees the girl who has captured Hye Yeong’s attention. Kim Jo Jo. They work together at a Korean BBQ restaurant and Sun Oh follows Hye Yeong, who follows Kim Jo Jo to make sure that she gets to her bus stop safely. It is quite obvious that Hye Yeong has a crush on Kim Jo Jo and Sun Oh sees that while tailing his friend but as the show progresses, you see Sun Oh still go after Kim Jo Jo, much to Hye Yeong’s chagrin.

So I guess Netflix released only 8 episodes of this show, with the ending 8 episodes to follow sometime soon. With the pandemic, I’m not sure what happened to the release date for the second part but I hope we get to see where everyone ends up because I need some closure here.

This part was all about Kim Jo Jo and Sun Oh and while I did enjoy getting to know the both of them better, at the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but remember every time that Sun Oh and Kim Jo Jo kissed or hugged or fell a little more in love with each other, that Sun Oh did his best friend dirty. I’m not a big fan of friends sliding into the DM’s of girls or boys that their best friend likes so I wasn’t a big fan of the way that both Kim Jo Jo and Hwang Sun Oh got together.

It also took me a little bit to connect with Sun Oh’s character because he plays a very reserved but off putting character but the more you get to know him, the more you understand why he is the way that he is and what drives him to be the person that he is. There were sweet moments between Kim Jo Jo and Hwang Sun Oh but I couldn’t help but look forward to seeing what kind of relationship can blossom between Hye Yeong and Kim Jo Jo.

One of the main reasons that I adore Korean Dramas is that each show is 16 episodes and that’s it. There’s no dragging out romances and storylines for years and years and years. You get 16 episodes of a story that builds over those episodes and then you get a solid ending. We don’t get that here. This show ends on a cliff hanger and I wasn’t a big fan of that. I would have preferred to have waited to see all of the episodes together but by the time I realized that there were only 8 episodes of this show, I was on episode 6 so it was too late to stop.

I will say that the first 8 episodes are interesting and enjoyable but I wanted more Hye Yeong and I didn’t think we got nearly enough of him so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s a different story in the second season. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a cute romance but beware of the cliff hanger and if you could, I’d wait until both seasons release to watch it all in one go. Still, I’m glad that I watched it and even though I spent a good chunk of the story frustrated, it’s still good stuff.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

3.75 out of 5

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Review: My Country: The New Age

Posted August 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Yang Se Jong
Female Lead: Kim Seolhyun
Secondary Lead: Woo Do Hwan
Also Starring: Jang Hyuk, Hong Ji Yoon, In Gyo Jin, Ji Seung Hyun, Young Nam Jang, Ahn Nae Sang, Kim Yeong Cheol, Yu Oh Seong, Park Ye Jin, Kim Seo Kyung, Lee Hyo Je, Lee Yoo Joon, Shim Wan Joon, Kim Dong Won, Kim Dae Gon
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Historical, Political TV Shows
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Chance

At the end of the Goryeo period there are those who lead the charge to proclaim a new age, among them two friends who become enemies when they disagree on the direction of their country.

I watched this show at the recommendation of my nephew, Chance. He’s different from Chase. He’s more into political thrillers, historical movies, and what not so because I had such a great reaction to Chase’s recommendation, I thought I’d give Chance’s a go too. While I enjoyed this one, Chase wins in the recommendation department.

This show is a period piece that follows our main lead, Seo Hwi, and his best friend, Nam Sun Ho, as they struggle with the cards that life has dealt them. The show centers on them, their friendship and the different directions their lives take them. The power of friendship is seriously tested in this show and I was here for it.

My boy Hwi really went through it. After his father dies in disgrace, Hwi is left to care for his younger sister and it’s just the two of them. They struggle through life because they’re poor and they’re banking on Hwi getting into the military so that he can really start making money to care for his sister. She’s sick too so that’s another obstacle that he has to figure out every time she runs out of medicine. Through everything that Hwi goes through, you can see him struggle with his dignity and at times, his integrity. It would be so easy to let his guard down and really do whatever it takes to, shady or not, to get what him and his sister need but that’s not what he’s about. It’s not the son that his father raised so with his head held high, he deals with whatever hardship comes his way as best as he can.

My other boy, Sun Ho wasn’t poor, he actually grew up rich but his life wasn’t a walk in the park. For one, he’s the bastard son of a high ranking member of the military and Sun Ho spends a whole lot of time trying to win his father’s approval but he always comes up short. His friendship with Hwi and Hwi’s younger sister are the highlights in his life and he thought that they would always be by each other’s back but fate wouldn’t have that and the older they get, the further the distance between them becomes but you can see that though Sun Ho means well, his actions don’t always come across that way so the connection between him and Hwi is tested hard. It wasn’t enough for their lives to divide, they had to fall in love with the same girl to further complicate their already complicated friendship.

This was my introduction to Woo Do Hwan and Yang Se Jong and I was super happy about that. They acted their tails off in this show and I really connected with both of their characters. I really loved Hwi in this show so he was the one that I rooting for to get the girl but Woo Do Hwan won me over completely that I made a list of shows/movies he was in and I’m making my way through them.

This show is filled to the brim with political thrills and a whole lot of suspense that had me at the edge of my seat but it also left me frustrated through a good portion of the episodes because damn, they really kicked Hwi down and held him there with their foot on his neck. I got so mad at the bad guys and super frustrated with Sun Ho’s actions throughout the entire show. I did enjoy the romance and thought the female lead was a boss who was a perfect fit for Hwi. These Koreans are loyal as hell to their loved ones and I really dug that in this show. No matter what was going on between Hwi and Sun Ho, their shared love for Hwi’s sister was never questioned and Sun Ho did his best to care for her while Hwi was away and I really dug that. This show really engaged my emotions because I happy sighed just as much as I ugly cried and while it wasn’t my favorite show, it was still an enjoyable one and one that I would recommend to those looking for a historical political thriller. Lots of eye candy, too. 🙂

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Review: Crash Landing on You

Posted July 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Crash Landing on You

Male Lead: Hyun Bin
Female Lead: Son Ye Jin
Secondary Lead: Seo Ji Hye, Jung Kyung Ho
Also Starring: Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Shin Young, Choi Ji Woo, Yang Kyung Won, Yoo Soo Bin, Tang Joon Sang, Kim Yeong Min
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Nobody

Yoon Se-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) is an heiress to a conglomerate in South Korea. One day, while paragliding, an accident caused by strong winds leads Yoon Se-Ri to make an emergency landing in North Korea. There, she meets Ri Jeong-Hyeok (Hyun-Bin), who is a North Korean army officer. He tries to protect her and hide her. Soon, Ri Jeong-Hyeok falls in love with Yoon Se-Ri.

Crash Landing on You is the second Korean drama that I watched during quarantine. I was riding high on my love of all things Itaewon Class that I wanted something else to watch immediately and Chase came again with another clutch recommendation in this one. I started it and though it took me a couple of episodes to get into this show, once I got into it, I was all the way into it. I have to say that though I loved the hell out of the romance between Ri Jung Hyuk and Yoon Se Ri (a super swoony slow-burn romance), it was these guys that totally made me fall head over heels in love with this show. These guys are serious squad goals.

Squad Goals

So this show centers on Yoon Se Ri and the North Korean army guy who risks his life so many times to try to get Se Ri safely back to her home in South Korea. You see, Yoon Se Ri is a South Korean heiress who is also the CEO of her own bestselling beauty products company. She’s got quite the colorful family and when a paragliding accident lands her in North Korea (yeah, she really did leave South Korea on a paraglider and landed all the way in North Korea, haha), she is spotted by Ri Jung Hyuk. Ri is part of the North Korean Army and he is FOINE. Check him out…

So Se Ri and Ri try so many different ways to sneak Se Ri back into South Korea without the North Korean government finding out. It takes them quite a while to finally get it right and throughout it all, they’re growing closer and closer. Not only are the two of them growing closer but Ri engages his friends to help him get Se Ri back home safe and sound and Se Ri gets close to them as well. There are so many different things going on in this show and it took me a while to untangle all of the threads to make sense of everything but things do unravel and they do make sense and I thought the writing was pretty darn great. I laughed a lot, I cried quite a bit and I adored so many of the characters. So many squad goals here from Ri’s boys to Se Ri’s old lady crew in North Korea. They were all super great characters that added life to a pretty colorful story.

I did feel bad for the secondary love story here because damn, they deserved better than they got but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment too much. This is a fabulous show that will stay near and dear to your heart long after you finish it. I highly recommend this one.

Listen to the OST

This OST is bomb as hell. There are so many songs that I adored while watching the show and all these months later, I’m still enjoying this soundtrack. It’s a good one so have yourself a listen.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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