Tag: 2021 Dramas

Review: School 2021

Posted July 5, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

School 2021

Starring: Kim Yo Han, Jo Yi Hyun, Choo Young Woo, Hwang Bo Reum
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: , Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki

“School 2021” is the story of students attending a specialized high school and seeking their ambitions, rather than going off to college. It will delve into how these students learn about love, friendship, true passions, and growing up in an intense environment.

Kong Ki Joon is a hardworking student who assumes work and school simultaneously. He is a person who loses his 11-year-old dream of taekwondo due to injury and is unsure of knowing what to do. Jung Young Joo is a transfer student with a hidden story and a past connection to Kong Ki Joon.

Jin Ji Won, a confident high school girl with a solid dream, confidently communicates her opinion though she is in conflict with her mother about going to college. Kang Seo Young is a gifted student who is preparing, by herself, for college entrance exams. She is aiming to enter one of the top five universities in Korea.

Lee Kang Hoon is a teacher who values a work-life balance. He gradually grows along with his students. Koo Mi Hee is the chairman of the board. Lee Jae Hee is the twin sister of Lee Jae Hyuk. She is a quiet person and strives to make many new changes. Lee Jae Hyuk is Lee Jae Hee’s twin. Unlike Jae Hee, Jae Hyuk is the person who receives support from the foundation.

I’m not sure what prompted my desire to watch this show. I didn’t watch any of the other school shows and I don’t remember watching any of the characters in anything else but for some reason, I wanted to watch this and I’m glad that I did. This drama had the right amount of cuteness, the right amount of romance, and the right characters to really bring the story together. I enjoyed each character and though I enjoyed the secondary romance more than the main romance, I still rather enjoyed the drama as a whole and am already on the lookout for more dramas to support and watch each actor/actress in this show.

The main romance was cute but there were times when it moved a smidge too slow for my liking. There wasn’t anything wrong with either character, I just enjoyed other characters more and that’s not supposed to happen with the main couple. Of the two in the main romance, Ki Joon was probably my least favorite character. I felt bad for what he was going through with his grandfather but I couldn’t connect with anything else where he was concerned. I didn’t hate him or anything, he just wasn’t my favorite character. I liked the female lead well enough but she wasn’t my favorite either. I did like her though. My heart hurt for the way that she was out there chasing her dream, even though she was going through her shit with her Mom.

My favorite part of this show was the secondary romance. Every week that I tuned in, I was waiting to see if there was any more development between these two. I knew that Young Woo had a thing for Ji Won but man, Seo Young, my favorite character in this entire show had it so bad for him, and seeing the two of them come into their feelings for each other had the right amount of push and pull for me to tune in every single week. I loved their background stories and I really enjoyed their characters as well. I’m not normally one who pulls for the secondary characters as much as the main couple but in this drama, it was all about Young Joo and Seo Youn for me.

Overall, this was an easy show to watch. It wasn’t bogged down with too much shit and I really appreciated that. The characters were interesting, and seeing them have to deal with a bunch of shitty adults and tackle each problem that came their way as a team made for lots of heartwarming interactions and while this isn’t my favorite drama of the year, I appreciated their efforts in delivering a satisfying drama that kept me interested and invested in what was to come. I recommend.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

3.5 out of 5

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Review: The Red Sleeve

Posted February 1, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

The Red Sleeve

Starring: Lee Jun Ho, Lee Se Young, Kang Hoon
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Who I Watched It For: Lee Jun Ho

In Korea during the second half of the 1700s, Yi San is an aloof and perfection-loving young prince. His father’s killing haunts him, although it leaves him in the position to take the throne once his grandfather – the cruel and ruthless current king responsible for Yi San’s father’s death – dies. He has resolved to become a benevolent monarch who will reform the law when he eventually takes the throne, but the way his father was killed has scarred him emotionally.

At court, he meets a young woman named Sung Deok Im. Yi San falls in love with her and tries to convince her to become his official concubine. But Sung Deok Im is strong-willed and free-spirited. She is also intelligent enough to understand that becoming a royal consort to the future king is a prestigious role, but one that would restrict her freedom and likely bring her little in the way of joy. But Yi San’s love for Sung Deok Im is true, and she starts to understand that forming a union with him could ultimately benefit his troubled realm.

I planned to watch this show because I enjoyed Lee Jun Ho in all of the stuff that I had seen him in before and was looking for a new show to support. I’m not normally big on watching historical dramas but I’m so glad that I watched this one.

I’m not going to get into an in-depth description of what this show is about, you can read the blurb above, so I’m just going to jump into my thoughts on the show as a whole. From the casting, to the scenery, the dialogue, and the acting, I enjoyed every aspect of this show. I will say that there were a bit of a slow down in the middle but it didn’t last super long and I was heavily invested in what was going on so that didn’t bother me too much.

The main lead, Lee Jun Ho, did a tremendous job in bringing his character, Yi San to life. I felt his every emotion and though I spent a lot of time frustrated with how he treated the female lead in the beginning, I didn’t hate him because he’s the crown prince and of course, he’d act the way that he did. I cried a lot at different parts of this show and it was mostly with Lee Jun Ho’s delivery of different scenes. My heart hurt for him as he survived assassination attempt after attempt, on top of all of the shit that he had to survive with his abusive ass grandfather, the current King and all of the emotional baggage that came with the death of his father. There was a lot to unpack with his story alone, now add in the female lead, Sung Deok Im, played by Lee Se Young, and the story takes off even more.

I really enjoyed this show. The romance between Yi San and Deok Im was compelling as hell because he’s the Crown Prince and she’s a court maid assigned to work in his house. She’s strong, she’s smart, and though she finds herself falling in love with Yi San, she understands that becoming one of his concubines doesn’t lead to anywhere good for her. So there was struggle in all parts of her life, but also in Yi San’s life. Seeing the way that these two came together in love was a whole lotta, whole lotta. There was a lot of drama, there was a lot of hurt feelings, and worrying over each other so they really had to work for their happy ending and the way that this show came to an end was satisfying as hell.

Overall, this show had it all. A charming cast, a romance that you rooted for, and the backdrop of beautiful Korea that left you breathless. It was a beautiful drama from beginning to end and though there were parts of the show that dragged a bit for me, I still heavily messed with this show. Lee Se Young is a new to me actress but I enjoyed her portrayal of Deok Im, even when she frustrated me with her constant refusal to follow her heart but in the end, alls well that ends well and I was a happy camper. I hella recommend this drama if you’re in the mood for a good historical royal romance with a beautiful cast, setting, and romance. This hits all of those notes and more.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4 out of 5

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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 | 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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