Tag: 2021 Dramas

Review: D.P.

Posted September 21, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

D.P.

Starring: Jung Hae In, Koo Kyo Hwan, Kim Sung Kyun
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 6
Genre: Action, Contemporary, Comedy, Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Nobody
Who I Watched It For: Jung Hae In

Private soldier Jun Ho is a confused youth who served in the military normally like other Koreans. One day, he suddenly becomes a member of the military defector arrest team. As such, he is tasked with capturing deserters and must grapple with the more troubling cases of why some soldiers feel they have no other choice but go absent without official leave.
I’m a pretty big Jung Hae In fan, ever since watching him in Goblin (yeah, he had a very small part but still, he made an impression) so every time that I see he’s coming out in something new, I put it on my to be watched list because why not? Now, some of his shows pissed me off but mostly it was the hot and cold act of his female lead but I’m happy to report that even though this show pissed me off plenty, I still rather enjoyed the show as a whole.

This show follows Ahn Joon Ho, a young man who reports for his mandatory military enlistment and finds a whole lot of dickhead bullies. The more senior military members hella bully their juniors and the bullying leads to a lot of guys deserting their posts. Ahn Joon Ho keeps to himself a lot but when he’s recruited to work for the military defector arrest team, being alone isn’t an option anymore because my guy gets himself a partner. His partner was a delight in the midst of so much darkness and I hella loved their pairing.

This wasn’t an easy show to watch by any means. It’s a heavy watch that doesn’t stop being heavy throughout the entirety of the show. On the upside, the show is only 6 episodes so you’ll breeze right through each episode and there’s enough packed into each episode to make the viewing worth the heaviness. There was also a lot of humor sprinkled into each episode to ease the heaviness some. I laughed a lot, and I also teared up at some of the stories of the defected soldiers. There were times when I got so angry at what was happening and at the folks causing so much trouble in these poor guys’ lives but never did I want to stop watching.

The acting is pretty fantastic throughout. Each actor gave what they were supposed to give and I appreciated their efforts because I was glued to my seat through each episode. I believed everything that was showcased so the bad guys did a great job of making me want to kick each and every one of them in the balls and the good guys did a fantastic job of making me cheer for them. The ending was a little too open-ended for me but that didn’t detract from my viewing experience too much. I definitely recommend this show if you’re looking for a kdrama with a meatier story. I think this drama sheds light on the broken military system in Korea and is a good watch. It doesn’t hurt that you’ve got some eye candy in Jung Hae In and some other swoony actors so yeah, give this one a go.
Final Rating


4.25 out of 5

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Review: Racket Boys

Posted September 16, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Racket Boys

Starring: Tang Jun Sang, Son Sang Yeon, Choi Hyun Wook, Kim Kang Hoon, Kim Min Ki, Lee Jae In, Lee Ji Won
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Tang Jun Sang
Who I Watched It For: Tang Jun Sang

A story of a boys’ badminton team at a middle school in Haenam as they grow, both as people and as players.

Yoon Hyun Jong was once a very good badminton player, but now he struggles to make ends meet for his family. Therefore, he jumps at a chance to coach a middle school team, only to find a team on the verge of disbandment with only three players: Bang Yoon Dam, Na Woo Chan, and Lee Yong Tae. The three boys struggle along, improving as Yoon Hae Kang, Yoon Hyun Jong’s son joins the team along with Jung In Sol. Now having enough players to enter competitions, they try to soar to new heights.

Meanwhile, Ra Young Ja, former top badminton player and Yoon Hyun Jong’s wife, is the coach of the girls’ badminton team at a girl’s middle school in Haenam. On her team are Han Se Yoon, the #1 ranked junior female player in Korea and Lee Han Sol, Se Yoon’s best friend, allowing them to be one of the best teams among their peers.
This show was so damn wholesome, I couldn’t stand it. Between the badminton teams (both boys and girls), the folks from the village, and just every damn thing – I was in constant love. I watched this weekly, as the episodes were releasing so I had a bit of a wait between episodes but that didn’t diminish my love for the storyline, the characters, and every dang thing about this show. I finished each episode, every week with a giant smile on my face because I loved it all.

There was a slight pause in the airing of a week’s worth of episodes due to the Summer Olympics and I was really bummed about that. I was watching both the Olympics and this show so I had a little attitude during the break but alls well that ends well and this show definitely ends well. It felt like every episode was a freaking season finale but we only had a week to wait between seasons.

I really adored the boy’s badminton team. Seeing them struggle to be taken seriously with the constant threat of shut down (of their program and season) and just overcoming obstacle after obstacle had me rooting like crazy for the whole lot of them. I loved how close they got to each other. I loved their ups and their downs and I absolutely loved the way that they teased each other and supported each other. I loved their truth bench and how different each of them were from the other. They became a family in the real sense and I loved it to pieces.

What I loved a lot about this show was how every character was a three-dimensional character with flaws and not cookie-cutter characters that fit a mold. I loved that each character had charms that were specific to them and they all had their own unique situations and struggles. On top of that, the village as a whole had struggles, and seeing each village member come together to bring the bad guys down just made this whole show that much better.

This show introduced me to new actors that I wasn’t aware of before and it also showed me that actors who played characters that I absolutely hated in other shows had what it takes to make me fall in love with them in this one. I couldn’t stand Choi Hyun Wook’s character in Taxi Driver but I adored the hell out of him as Na Woo Chan in this show. There’s a lot to love about this show. It has charm in spades and a cast of characters that you will come to adore with every fiber of your being. This show has grit and it has a heartwarming story that will hook you right from the jump. I absolutely recommend this if you’re in the mood for something light, funny, but full of hope. This drama doesn’t disappoint.
Final Rating

5 out of 5

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Review: My Roommate is a Gumiho

Posted September 14, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 4 Comments

My Roommate is a Gumiho

Starring: Jang Ki Yong, Lee Hye Ri, Bae In Hyuk
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki, QIY
Recommended By: Lee Hye Ri
Who I Watched It For: Lee Hye Ri

Shin Woo Yeo is a handsome and smart writer, who is actually a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox. To become a human, he collects human energy in a bead. One day, the drunk friend of Lee Dam, a university student, falls asleep on top of an expensive car whose owner is Woo Yeo. While Lee Dam struggles to take her friend away and Woo Yeo trying to help her, Woo Yeo’s bead accidentally falls out of his mouth, and Lee Dam unintentionally swallows it. The bead can exist inside of a human for no more than 1 year and, afterward, the bead will break inside of that person causing the person to die. Not wanting to lose his chance in becoming a human, Woo Yeo explains to Lee Dam their predicament and suggests living together until they figure out a solution. Lee Dam, who has never had a boyfriend in her life, now lives with Shin Woo Yeo.
I started this show because I’ve become a big fan of the female lead, Lee Hye Ri. I loved her acting and her character in Reply 1988 so I was looking forward to seeing what she brought to this new character, Lee Dam, and I wasn’t disappointed. My girl can act and she’s funny as hell. She plays the goofy heroine extremely well and I was here for all of it in this show.

This was the first show that I saw Jang Ki Yong front and center and holy shit, this man is beautiful! He plays the loner immortal role really well too. Seeing him bring Shin Woo Yeo to life was a delight and a half. I loved seeing him fall in love with Lee Dam, even when he didn’t know and understand that was what was happening to him. Lee Dam was the perfect match for him and I completely adored their romance.

This story was complex and it was full of baloney but holy cow was it a lot of fun. I laughed, I smiled, and I cried throughout much of this show and through it all, I was entertained as hell. I loved the friendship between Shin Woo Yeo and Yang Hye Sun. The way that they both tried to live as humans and how often they got everything so wrong made me laugh so much. Their chemistry was fun and seeing them interact with all of the young college students, when they were hundreds of years old just made this show all the more fun. I also really loved the friendship between Lee Dam and her crew. They were so ride or die for each other and every single time that they got drunk together or fought together had me cracking the hell up.

Lee Dam was my kind of character. Someone I wanted to be and someone that I wanted to be besties with. She was a lot of fun but her moral compass was screwed on tight in the right direction. She was weird and she made no apologies for that. She liked what she liked and to hell with what anyone else had to say about it. She was also extremely loyal to those that she loved and to those that loved her. She was honest and just an all-around great person and I adored the hell out of her.

The second lead was someone that I had never heard about until this show and though I liked his character well enough, I wasn’t rooting for him to win Lee Dam. I did feel bad for him though because he had it bad for her and no matter what he did to win her over, she would not be swayed from Eoreushin. Even when outside forces did whatever they could to help his cause, she would not be moved. When we first met the second lead, I didn’t care for him and he really grew on me the more episodes that I watched. In the end, my heart really hurt for him and I wished him well. I hope he’s happy, wherever he is now. Haha.

The story started off strong and though there were times when things moved at a weird pace, I enjoyed every single episode. I enjoyed the main romance, the secondary romance, and I supported the hell out of all of Lee Dam’s loved ones. I was rooting for everyone and everything to work out in the end and I wasn’t disappointed. The beginning started off strong and I respected that since a lot of books and dramas have that weird beginning hump that you have to slog through to get to all of the good bits. The cast was delightful and the acting was great. Overall, this was a fun drama that didn’t take itself too seriously and I have every confidence that you’ll like this drama if you give it a chance.

Final Rating


4.25 out of 5

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Review: Law School

Posted July 13, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Law School

Starring: Kim Bum, Ryu Hye Young, Kim Myung Min
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Ryu Hye Young, Kim Bum
Who I Watched It For: Ryu Hye Young, Kim Bum

When a grim incident occurs at their prestigious school, justice through law is put to the test by a tough law professor and his ambitious students.

Yang Jong Hoon is a criminal law professor and a former elite prosecutor, whose harsh words make him the professor to steer clear of. At the same time, there’s something compelling about his strict teaching methods and his refusal to accept less than the best from his future juniors in the legal profession.

Han Joon Hwi, a first-year law student, is at the top of his class. He’s a natural leader whose good looks and easy charm make him the perfect man – on paper. However, there’s an unexpected side to him that remains well-hidden.

Kang Sol (A) is another first-year law student who overcame childhood poverty and hardships by gaining special admission to the school. She walks a path of thorns due to her constant sense of deprivation and shame amidst the wealth and talent that surrounds her. Eventually, her passion will enlighten her on what it truly takes to be a good lawyer.

Kim Eun Sook is a civil law professor who was once the head of the law school’s free legal clinic. Her natural air of authority and freewheeling personality earned her the reputation for being a master in court. Known for being a highly relatable professor, she is the sole colleague Yang Jong Hoon dares to confide in.
After watching and loving, Reply 1988, I knew that I was going to keep up with everything that the cast members are in. I haven’t gotten around to watching any of their older stuff but the first show that I watched afterward is Ryu Hye Young’s Law School. It’s funny how she plays similar characters in both Reply 1988 and Law School, but she carries both of these characters very differently. In Reply 1988, she was mean. She was smart and she was strong but she was mean to those around her and it annoyed me until she won me over with how loyal and fiercely protective she was of her loved ones. In Law School, she’s smart and she’s driven but she takes care of her friends and she cares about them all. She’s the kind of friend you want in your corner.

I’m so glad that I watched this show all the way through because the beginning took some getting used to but I kept watching because I enjoyed the overall story being told and I needed to know who the hell killed the professor.
Main Male Lead: Han Joon Hwi
Kim Bum
InstaGram | Twitter | Facebook

Han Joon Hwi was a great character. He’s a smarty pants, know-it-all, who doesn’t live his life for others. He does what he wants, when he wants, and makes no apologies for his choices. He is driven with a snarky personality that will make you question if he’s capable of doing everything that he’s accused of. He’s certainly got the brains to pull it off, but does he really lack the morals of going through with the crimes?

I was Team Joon Hwi from the jump and I never once wanted to jump ship. I loved seeing him crush heavy on Kang Sol A, I loved seeing his friendship with her grow with every single episodes. I loved that he remembered exactly who she was and she didn’t. I loved that he tried to protect the girls in his friends group in a way that made them comfortable. He let the girls decide how to help themselves with his help. There was much to love about him and I really did.

I’ve seen Kim Bum in only a couple of shows and I think of all the shows that I’ve watched him in, his character in Law School is my favorite. I thought he brought Joon Hwi’s character to life beautifully. There were different sides to Joon Hwi and Kim Bum did a great job of showing us all of them. I’ve become a fan of his in this show and I plan on watching and supporting his career more in the future.
Main Female Lead: Kang Sol A
Ryu Hye Young
InstaGram | Twitter | Facebook

Kang Sol A was my kind of character. She was fun, smart, spunky, and such a crackhead. She was so driven to succeed, that she went above and beyond to try to get good grades. She was busy with school but she made time for her family, and for her friends. She didn’t have the perfect life but she didn’t pretend that she was fine when she wasn’t and she didn’t pretend to be someone she wasn’t. She was who she was and you either liked her for that or you didn’t. She didn’t mess around with how other people thought of her. She did what she felt was right at all times and though she wasn’t perfect, she was still a good person who knew her worth.

I hella shipped Kang Sol A with Han Joon Hwi. I thought they were so cute together. Him crushing on her so obviously and her being annoyed that he was bothering her while she was trying to study. I thought they made such a cute couple and though the ending gave hints but no confirm details about their dating life, I’m going to believe that they’re together and living their happily ever after…together.

Ryu Hye Young did such a great job of bringing Kang Sol A to life. I liked her in this show a lot more than I did Reply 1988 but loved her acting in both.
Second Lead: Yang Jong Hoon
Kim Myung Min

I never thought Yang Jong Hoon was guilty of anything but being an extremely hard professor to please but even knowing that, I still liked him. He seemed to be a man of integrity and he was always there for his students when they needed him, even if he was grumpy while doing so. You could tell that he cared about each student and that he wanted them to be prepared for their future as lawyers. He also wanted to raise and turn his students into lawyers that always did what was best for their clients. He taught them to be lawyers who were on the up and up and I just really liked his characters. There were plenty of shady lawyers both on and off-campus but I never thought he was one of them.

I’ve never seen Kim Myung Min in anything so this was my first and I thought he was a great actor. He played this part exceptionally well and I’m glad to add him to the list of actors that I’d like to support and watch all of his shows/movies.
The Cast
There were some familiar faces in this show and I was glad to see them. I thought the cast of characters, all of the law students especially, were a fun bunch. They were all going through their individual struggles but seeing them study together, grow up together, and cheer each other on made me enjoy this show that much more. I loved that their relationships with each other felt real. There were some that were closer than others, some didn’t even like each other, but at the end of the day, they were a team and they came together to get shit done when it was needed. I loved the way that they all rallied behind Ye-Seul to help her out, even when she didn’t want it. I loved how Joon Hwi made sure that Ji Ho didn’t fight his battle against the prosecutor on his own. I loved getting to know each of them and they definitely made watching this show, week in and week out, an enjoyable experience for me.
The Story
So this show follows a bunch of ambitious law students and their professor, Yang Joon Hoon, who is on trial for the murder of another of their professors, Seo Byeong Ju. While Yang Joon hoon is on trial, loads of stuff pop off and the students band together to figure each case out. Each episode packed in some interesting cases and introduced compelling characters. I tuned in each week, excited to learn more.

The show deals with a lot of real life topics and each case brought a little something different to each character and to the show as a whole. I loved working through each case, developing my own thoughts on each case, on each character, and had a lot of fun getting to know everyone. From plagiarism to murder, to domestic abuse, there’s a lot to unpack but these characters did a great job of carrying each story from beginning to end. The ending left some to be desired but I did like that everyone grew up to be the kind of lawyers that I was proud of. I came to love each law student and professor and even the bad guys were great bad guys because I hated them with a passion.

Overall, this was a good way to spend a couple of hours every week catching up with my law school friends and I’m super happy that I watched it through. The beginning took some getting to used to and was a little slow but if you stick it out, I have no doubt that you’ll come to love everyone the same way that I did. I definitely recommend it.
Final Rating


4.25 out of 5

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Review: Taxi Driver

Posted July 8, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Taxi Driver (2021)

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Pyo Ye Jin, Esom
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: , Action, Crime, Suspense, Thriller
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Lee Je Hoon
Who I Watched It For: Lee Je Hoon

Do Ki has lived more honestly than anyone else as an officer in the Special Forces. Yet, when a serial killer murders his mother, he spends his days in agony. While feeling wronged and broken, Do Ki meets Jang Sung Chul, who recruits Do Ki to work for his company, Rainbow Taxi.

Far from an ordinary taxi service, Rainbow Taxi is a secret organization that avenges victims whom the law didn’t protect. Here, Do Ki becomes a star driver who delivers satisfying revenge. Meanwhile, Ha Na is a prosecutor who investigates Rainbow Taxi. She is furious with their lawless behavior, but at the same time, she feels confused to see them solve cases that the law cannot.

Between those who believe that revenge embodies true justice and those who pursue the outlaws, Do Ki seeks what justice truly means.
I came across this drama when I was searching for something new to watch. This show hadn’t come out yet so I had a little bit of a wait but I enjoyed the heck out of this one. Every single week, I was glued to my seat the minute that subtitles were released in English. I watched a couple of things that Lee Je Hoon was in but I never paid super close attention to him…I’m paying hella attention now.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty stuff, shall we?
Main Male Lead: Kim Dogi


Lee Je Hoon
InstaGram | Facebook

Kim Dogi was played by Lee Je Hoon and I was a big fan of this casting. He’s my latest k-drama actor crush so Park Seo Joon better come out with something soon or he’ll be de-throned as my top k-drama crush.

Anyway, Lee Je Hoon has been killing it in everything that he’s starred in and this role was no different. I really enjoyed seeing him bring Kim Dogi’s character to life. I enjoyed his portrayal so much that I went searching for the webtoon so that I can read it at the same time that I was watching the show but I could only find it in Korean so I ended up just watching the show.

Kim Dogi was my favorite part of this show. He transitioned from one person to another person every episode and sold each performance, doing whatever was necessary to avenge his clients. You could tell that he cared about each client and their stories and I seriously loved that. He came off as a very reserved and cold person but he put his life on the line for every case and he was just so stinkin’ good at what he did that he made tuning in every week worth the wait. I don’t care what anyone says, he loved him some Ahn Goeun. The lengths he went to protect and avenge her??? Yeah, you can’t tell anything else. If this show had a romance, it was between Dogi and Goeun. Sorry, prosecutor.
Main Female Lead: Ahn Goeun


Pyo Ye Jin
InstaGram

My girl Ahn Goeun was my second favorite person in this entire show. She was a fully fleshed-out character that hit me with so many different emotions. She had a strong sense of purpose and of doing right by those that can’t fight the system themselves. Her story hit me hard and I cried hella while watching her struggle with feelings of letting her sister down. I also adored her obvious crush on Kim Dogi and totally think he reciprocated her feelings back. He went above and beyond for her, and the way that she clung to his present to her when she needed someone but was too prideful to reach out a hand had me ugly crying in my room.

Pyo Ye Jin really owned this role and she won me over right from the beginning, in episode 1. I loved how everyone on the team was scared of her and I loved when she would jump into action when the case called for her involvement and I love how smart, charming and just overall great her character was. She was the perfect partner for Kim Dogi and his ass knew it. They were definitely meant to be together.
Second Lead: Kang Hana


Esom
InstaGram | Twitter

Esom played the character of Kang Hana, the prosecutor who was all about the work and getting the bad guys by the letter of the law and anyone who did otherwise were no better than the criminals she put behind bars. She had a know-it-all attitude that rubbed me the wrong way for most of the show and even in the end, I wasn’t completely invested in her character. She spent the first part of the show, thinking the worst of Dogi and she had this superior attitude that her way was the best way and she looked down on everything that the Rainbow Taxi crew were trying to do and she does all of this until she’s affected by the system falling down on her case and then….all of a sudden, what the Rainbow Taxi crew was doing was okay. Because she needed them, they were okay. She really could have missed me with all of that BS. I wasn’t a big fan of the way that Dogi came around with her character.

I really wish that there was someone else on the police force or prosecutor’s office that could have worked with our favorite deluxe taxi service instead of her. Esom’s acting is great because I want to see her in other dramas where her character doesn’t piss me off so much. I liked her, just not in this show, and for damn sure not with Dogi. LOL.
The Cast

I really enjoyed getting to know everyone else on the Rainbow Taxi team. I loved how everyone had a role and everyone played their roles exceptionally well. The engineers, the CEO, the muscle, and the hacker all played critical roles in bringing the bad guys down and though I didn’t like every single thing they did, the driving force behind the idea of what they do really stuck with me and I loved the reasons that they did all that they did and I really loved the people they were.

I’ve taken note of all of them and will start looking for more of their work to watch because I liked seeing them every week on my little screen. Lots of great actors and actresses in this bunch.
The Story

This show is about a deluxe taxi service that seeks revenge for those that can’t avenge themselves. People who have been failed by the system that is supposed to protect and serve. I’m a bloodthirsty bitch so when I read the summary of this show, I was all the way in. The show starts off strong and I was heavily invested in what was going down. I enjoyed the darker tone of the show and seeing the Rainbow Taxi team seek their own justice for the wrongs done to their clients. Every case made me cry and the lengths that the Rainbow Taxi team went to, to make sure that their clients got the justice that they deserved made me happy.

The acting is pretty top-notch and every actor really brought a different aspect to the show that made the show that much better in my eyes. There was a writer switch-up about halfway through the show and I noticed it. I enjoyed the first half a lot more than the second half but the second half didn’t turn me off the show completely or anything like this. The ending was a little disappointing but that was because it ended with an addition that I didn’t care about for the entire season and didn’t want in the end but it is what it is.

Overall, this one is probably my favorite drama of the year so far. I highly recommend this show if you’re looking for a good vs. evil drama with lots of action, a team of do gooders with a dark side. This was a definite treat and I’ve already watched it all the way through twice.

Final Rating


4.5 out of 5

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