Tag: 2020 Dramas

Review: True Beauty

Posted March 23, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 4 Comments

Review: True BeautyTrue Beauty
Starring: Cha Eun Woo, Moon Ga Young, Hwang In Yeop
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Cha Eun Woo
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Viki
four-half-stars

Im Joo Kyung (Moon Ga Young) is a high schooler who is upbeat and positive about most things – except for her appearance!

She hates the idea of being seen in public without makeup, but fortunately has become a self-taught makeup expert, with a little help from a plethora of internet video tutorials.

What she has learned online has transformed her life. At school, she is known as one of the prettiest girls in class – although she secretly lives in fear of her schoolmates discovering what she looks like behind the makeup!

In fact, there is only one person from school who has ever seen her minus her “mask” – Lee Su Ho (Cha Eun Woo).

He is a top-grade student with impressive basketball skills. He is also dashingly handsome, and many of his female classmates have a crush on him.

However, Lee Su Ho harbors a few dark secrets from his past, and shuns attention in class.

Slowly, these two individuals become drawn together – and learn more about one another’s secrets!

This drama was based on a long-running web-based cartoon of the same name, penned by Yaongyi.

“True Beauty” is a 2020 South Korean drama series that was directed by Kim Sang Hyub.

I heard about this show before it came out so I was looking forward to watching it once it started airing and I didn’t waste any time once it started up. I will admit that I didn’t read the webtoon so I went into this drama without any knowledge of the storyline. Cha Eun Woo is an actor that I like and I was looking forward to seeing his fine ass in another drama.

True Beauty was an engaging and entertaining k-drama and I really enjoyed it. There were some parts of the show that I didn’t care for but overall, it was good. Let’s break down my thoughts about the bigger parts of the show, shall we?
Male Lead: Lee Su Ho
Actor: Cha Eun Woo

Like I mentioned before, I was interested in this drama because I wanted to see Cha Eun Woo in another show and this was up. His character in this show was a lot similar to the character that he played in the last drama of his that I watched (My I.D. is Gangnam Beauty). While he plays the reserved hottie very well, I was hoping that Lee Su Ho would be a lot different from Do Kyung Suk. Oh well.

As far as Su Ho goes, I liked his character. I liked that to him, Lim Joo Kyung was perfect just the way that she was. He liked her and because he liked her, she was beautiful to him. I liked that he never forgot who Joo Kyung was and that getting to know her now made him softer than the hard shell he carried around him at school. What I didn’t care for was the abrupt manner in which he cut Joo Kyung out when things got a little rough. I did feel for him when he wanted to come forward with their relationship and she wouldn’t let him and I even liked that he was understanding and let Joo Kyung call the shots where their relationship was concerned. It was more important that they were together than it was that people knew.

My heart hurt for him and everything that he went through in his short life. He carried around a lot of heavy burdens that made me hope for better days for him. I think that was why I was such a huge fan of his and for him getting the girl.

I didn’t understand why he took on so much responsibility for things that were out of his hands but I didn’t exactly hate him for all of that. It frustrated me that he took so long to explain his side of things with Seo Joon but on that end, I was more pissed off at Seo Joon and the way that he handled their whole estrangement than Su Ho. Overall, Su Ho was a great character that I was rooting for from beginning to end. Never did I not want him to get the girl, no matter how much I came to like Seo Joon, for me, I was always Team Su Ho.
Female Lead: Lim Joo Kyung
Actress: Moon Ga Young

I haven’t watched Moon Ga Young in anything that I can remember finishing though I did see her in Tempted and I didn’t care for her character in that show. I was a really big fan of her character in this show though. Lim Joo Kyung has never been a beauty, at least in the eyes of her schoolmates. For as long as she can remember, she’s been made fun of and when she gets a little older, the bullying starts and it gets so bad that she wishes to transfer schools. She gets her wish when her socially awkward but very good-looking father gets their family into a bit of money trouble and they have to move back to their old house where she grew up.

The move brings about a transfer in schools and Lim Joo Kyung takes this as chance for her to start fresh and not be the school gofer anymore. I really enjoyed Joo Kyung’s character. She had such a bright personality that was only dimmed by her bullies. I liked seeing her really grow into herself. I did think that there were times when she was super extra about keeping her bare face a secret. There were plenty of times that I rolled my eyes down the street because she was super extra about a lot of things but I also understood where she was coming from. Her bullying at her old school affected her and we saw it so when she finally grew a spine and started speaking up for herself, I was so damned happy that I cheered.

I really liked her character, really cheered for her to come into her own and I just really enjoyed her being part of the show. She was my absolute favorite thing about this show.
Second Lead: Han Seo Joon
Actor: Hwang In Yeop

This is the first show that I’ve ever seen Hwang In Yeop in and I am super happy about that. I thought he was a fantastic second lead and though I never really cheered for him to get the girl, I did come to really like his character.

I struggled with his character in the beginning. The way that he treated Su Ho, the way that he felt justified in treating Su Ho the way that he did, pissed me off. Sure, I didn’t understand their history but I’ve never been a fan of lashing out to hurt others because you’re hurting too. I did feel for him once I started to get to know him. He lost his best friend and then he helped his sick Mom so I felt bad once started liking Joo Kyung because it was more than a little evident where her feelings were.

There were points in the show where my loyalty to Su Ho were tested. There were plenty of times when Seo Joon showed that his feelings for Joo Kyung were true and that I lingered over maybe thinking it was okay if the second lead won the girl in the end but those times never lasted because in my heart of hearts, I was a true Team Su Ho member. I did feel for Seo Joon but I was much more interested in him making things right with Su Ho. I longed more for the two of them to come to terms with their past so that they could both move on to more peaceful futures with each other.

Hwang In Yeop is a great actor and I felt every emotion he poured into his character in this show and I’m looking forward to more dramas with him in it.
The Romance
The romance between Lee Su Ho and Lim Joo Kyung was a super cute one. I really enjoyed seeing both the past Su Ho and Joo Kyung and the current Su Ho and Joo Kyung. Su Ho was such a loner and needed someone like Joo Kyung in his life. Especially considering his home life and everything he went through on that front. Joo Kyung needed someone like Su Ho in her life as well. He was completely loyal to her and didn’t care what she looked like. He was so emotionally invested in her happiness that it made me happy.

The love triangle never really felt like a love triangle to me because Lim Joo Kyung loved who she loved and never once did she waver in that. Not even when Su Ho was being an ass for years. She was faithful to him and to their relationship, even when he didn’t deserve it…she was Team Su Ho. I completely understood it and rooted for the two of them to figure themselves out. She never had the chance to hide her true self from him and I loved that she never forgot it. He loved her no matter what her face looked like and even though Seo Joon did as well after a while, I always rooted for Su Ho and Joo Kyung.
The Supporting Cast
The supporting cast was a memorable one for sure. I think of all of the groups of friends covered in this show, my favorite was probably Su Ho’s friend group after he fell out with Seo Joon. I liked all of the boys but my favorite was Su Ho’s group because they were so freaking funny with how jealous they got of Seo Joon. Su Ho was theirs and they didn’t let anyone (even Su Ho) forget it.

Seo Joon’s squad was a loyal squad as well and though I did like them, I liked the nerds a smidge more. Joo Kyung’s new school squad wasn’t my favorite for obvious reasons and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into Joo Kyung herself but every single time I thought that, Joo Kyung came to her senses. I loved that her personality never really changed throughout the show. She was just as kindhearted in the end as she was in the beginning and though she lost her way a time or two, she always came through and her friends benefitted from her forgiving nature. Aside from the school friends, I also really enjoyed getting to know Joo Kyung’s family and the secondary romance between her sister and their teacher was a fun addition to this show. The teacher reminded me of how extra Joo Kyung was but they were both such charming characters that it worked in their favor because I was a fan of theirs throughout the entire show. I loved seeing Joo Kyung’s younger brother and Seo Joon’s younger sister bicker their way to becoming close and I really enjoyed seeing Su Ho and his father work on rebuilding their relationship as well. Lots of great characters for sure.
The Story
There was a lot to offer with this show and for me, personally, I never once got bored with what was happening. There are plenty of shows with slow beginnings or middles that drag but I didn’t find that to be the case with True Beauty. Each of the main characters shined in their own way and brought something different to the table that made tuning in every week a delight. I’m very happy that I gave this show a try and I’m looking forward to more acting goodness from this cast. I definitely recommend this show if you’re looking for a fun high school romance with charming characters and some deep plotlines that will keep you glued to your screen. This was a delightful k-drama and you won’t be sorry, I don’t think.
Final Grade


4.25 out of 5
four-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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Review: Itaewon Class

Posted July 16, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Itaewon Class

Male Lead: Park Seo Jun
Female Lead: Kim Da Mi
Second Lead: Kwon Nara
Also Starring: Park Bo Gum, Lee Joo Young, Kim Dong Hee, Ahn Bo Hyun, Chris Lyon, Yoo Jae Myung
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Chase
Watched it For: Chase

In a colorful Seoul neighborhood, an ex-con and his friends fight a mighty foe to make their ambitious dreams for their street bar a reality.
When Quarantine first started, my nephew Chase recommended that I watch this show. I’ve never been interested in reading subtitles so I’ve never really tried very many Korean dramas, though they’re very popular in the Polynesian community. I remember watching Boys over Flowers and Flower Boy Ramen Shop a long time ago but I can’t remember much about those shows. I binged watched the hell out of them with my nieces Meghan and Chaylene back in the day but I couldn’t tell you what they were about, who was in them, or even if I liked them. So needless to say, I was low key skeptical about trying out this show. Chase was adamant that I would enjoy it and he was absolutely right.

I freaking love this show.

Discovering this show has kick-started a love of all things Korean for me and I’m sad to report that I am not reading books much. The only thing that I’m reading much of these days are subtitles and it’s like I’m trying to make up for lost time because my entertainment of choice these days are Korean dramas and so I figured that I’ll start reviewing them and tracking what I’m watching, who I’m loving right here on the blog.

I’m counting Itaewon Class as my first Korean Drama because I actually remember it and don’t think that I’ll forget anything about it, like ever. From the very beginning, I was hooked. I went through the wringer with this show. There were lots of ups, lots of downs, lots of times when I wanted to beat every single person, and plenty of times where I thought I would burst from happiness. I also cried a lot too. Like, ugly cry. It only took me about 18 hours to watch this show from beginning to end so it was a short watch but I loved every single minute. The writers did such an amazing job with this show that I ate every single episode up.

So this show features the life of Park Saeroyi. A young man who just wanted to make his Dad proud. He was a no-nonsense kind of person, who dreamed of becoming a police officer. When he transfers schools, he meets the boy who will become the literal bane of his existence. Saeroyi witnesses, a rich kid bullying another kid and doesn’t stand for it. He punches the rich kid out and his life is forever flipped upside down. The rich kid ends up being the son of the CEO of Jangga Co., who is also Saeroyi’s father’s boss. Needless to say, Saeroyi gets expelled from his brand-spankin’ new school and his father is forced out of his job. Saeroyi is devastated that in one fell blow, the life he was working toward falls out of his reach. Over the course of the show, we see Saeroyi start from the bottom and work his ass off to have a prayer of making it to the top. He doesn’t do it by himself though. With every setback, different people fall into his life and kind of stick. I loved seeing him collect more people for his family because Saeroyi was loyal AF and his circle of friends was loyal AF right back to him.

Saeroyi’s dream of becoming a police officer goes right out the window when he goes to prison for almost killing that same rich kid that got him expelled from school. In another incident, of course. So while serving time, he studies and he researches and he plans. Once he’s released from prison, his plan goes into full effect. He works different jobs to save money to open a street bar and that street bar is the jump-off point for his real plan. To get revenge on the rich kid and his family by opening the company that is going to take the top spot as the biggest food company in Korea away from them.

A lot of different social issues are covered in this show and the way that they were all handled, worked really well for me. Transgender issues, racism, social injustices, discrimination, all of these issues are addressed throughout this show and I connected with every single character and every single storyline. These characters became family to me over the course of the show and I was such a huge fan of each of my Danbam fam.


They were all three-dimensional characters that went through their own obstacles and learned their own life lessons and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them. They all added something different and something fresh to an already fantastic show and I was here for all of them.

The romance in this show really rocked my socks. I cried so hard when things went so wrong for them and I cheered so much and so loud when things went right for them. When the light goes on for Saeroyi and he realizes who he belongs with? OMG, the smile on my face almost broke my face. I just…this was me when he finally gets his shit together and goes after his girl. The girl who has been his ride or die partner throughout the entire freaking show and he was so blind to her in every way that mattered.


I just….gah. I fucking loved them. So stinkin’ much.

This is a fantastic show. I can’t say that enough. I loved this show so much that I have made so many of my family members watch this show and it was a hit with every single one of them. I have become obsessed with finding the next Korean drama that I will love as much as I loved this one and some have come close but none have surpassed my love for this show. Park Seo Joon’s acting is superb and the rest of the cast are no slouches either. Everyone played their parts well and I am looking forward to seeing them all in different shows and movies because they all have wormed their way into my heart and I’ll support the shit out of all of them. I highly recommend this show to anyone wanting a feel good show about a man down on his luck who turns shit around and gets shit done with a solid support group along for the ride. There is some serious squad goals in this show and I loved it so much. I can’t recommend it enough. Chase did good with his pimping of this show. I’m SO glad that I watched it.

Listen to the OST

I didn’t understand a word of any of the songs that played throughout this show but the music is banging. I can now sing along with every single song because I listen to the shit out of this soundtrack. My favorite song is the main song, Start by Gaho. That shit goes hard. So good.
Final Rating

5 out of 5

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