Tag: Contemporary

Review: Cheese in the Trap

Posted October 8, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Cheese in the Trap

Male Lead: Park Hae Jin
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Secondary Lead: Seo Kang Joon
Also Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Lee Sung Kyung, Park Min Ji
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Kim Go Eun, Nam Joo Hyuk
Watched it For: Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Go Eun

Are even the most unlikely of people destined to be together? Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) is a dedicated student who has just returned to college after taking some time off to work part-time jobs and make money to pay for her tuition. Nothing has come easy for her in life, but she is determined to study hard and overcome her impoverished background. Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) is a handsome, athletic student who has returned to college as an upperclassman after serving his mandatory military service. Despite Seol’s best efforts, she keeps having unfortunate run-ins with Jung that irritates her while her friends, Jang Bo Ra (Park Min Ji) and Kwon Eun Taek (Nam Joo Hyuk), try to run interference. But when the broody Jung is somehow responsible for Seol being able to get one year’s free tuition, thereby eliminating her financial woes, Seol is confused by Jung’s actions. What will Seol do when she gets caught between the attentions of the mysterious Jung and his estranged friend, Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Joon)? “Cheese in the Trap” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Yoon Jung. It is based on a webtoon written by Soon Ggi. This series marks the television debut for film actress Kim Go Eun.

I watched this show because I’ve become a pretty big fan of both Kim Go Eun and Nam Joo Hyuk and they’re both in this show. I had really high hopes for this one since I’ve had a good running streak of really great Korean dramas set in college. I really enjoyed Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo and so I was riding that high when I started this one.

So this show follows our main female lead, Hong Seol. She’s a struggling college student that is trying her best to stay afloat. She’s working, she’s studying, and she’s trying to figure out how she’s going to pay for next year’s tuition because she doesn’t have a lot of parental support. Plus, her family isn’t well off and whatever money they have was used to send her younger brother abroad to study in the states. So yeah, Seol’s on her own. She doesn’t have a lot of free time but the free time that she does have, she spends with her two best friends. When she meets Yoo Jung, a rich guy that all the girls love, Seol isn’t that interested. They have nothing in common and she keeps catching him doing weird things. Things that she’s not a fan of and because of that, she tries to steer clear of him…but he keeps showing up wherever she is and…he’s interested in her. Getting to know him wasn’t in her plans but because they keep bumping into each other, she gives him a chance.

This show started off really strong. The main character, Hong Seol did a great job of hooking me into what she had going on. Between her and her two best friends, I was really rooting for this show to be a huge success and it almost was. The lengths that the hero went to get shit done was low key a turn-off. He had a God complex that didn’t sit right with me throughout the entire show and even in the end, I wanted to knee him in the balls because ugh. There’s only so many times that I can forgive someone for doing some creepy shit and letting it slide. Even after understanding the way that he thought and the way that he was, I still didn’t like it. Or him for that matter. I was much more invested in Hong Seol’s relationship with Baek In Ho (the second lead) and that almost never happens. I’m usually a stickler for the main couple no matter how much I like the second lead but this is the first show where that wasn’t the case.

I wanted to like this show because of Kim Eun Go and Nam Joo Hyuk but even with that strong start, the middle and the ending didn’t do anything for me and that bummed me out. I can’t rate this one higher than a 2.75 out of 5 stars. Oh well.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

2.75 out of 5

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Review: Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Posted October 1, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Female Lead: Park Bo Young
Secondary Lead: Ji Soo
Also Starring: Kim Won Hae, Yoo Jae Myung, Jeon Seok Ho,Shim Hye Jin, Im Won Hee, Ahn Woo Yeon
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, Ji Soo

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.

This show was brought to my attention by my k drama bestie, B Nice and it was such a big hit with me that even till this day, and many dramas later, I still find myself watching my favorite scenes from this show over and over again. The triple threat of Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, and Ji Soo was a major score for me. I enjoyed all of their characters and they brought this story to life like nobody else could and I loved the hell out of their work in this one.

So this story follows our main lead, Bong Soon. Bong Soon has grown up in a family where the women have super-human strength and she’s no different. She can pick up a bus full of people, punch through houses, and she benchpress everything. Trying to get a job at a gaming company is out of reach for her but her luck turns around when her strength gets her hired on as the CEO of her dream company’s bodyguard. An Min Hyuk is intrigued by the small little woman that he witnessed kick the shit out of a bunch of bad guys who bullied a bus driver and the kids that he was driving to school. He follows her to the police station where she’s giving her statement to her detective friend. The more that he sees of the woman, the more interested he is in her. He needs a bodyguard and thinks that this woman has just what he’s looking for in a bodyguard. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes, not that it matters anyway. Bong Soon ain’t trying to look his way. He annoys the hell out of her and thinks he’s gay so he’s out of the running for our girl.

Bong Soon has grown up with a huge crush on her childhood friend, Kook Doo but she’s never felt it was the right time for them and it’s thrown in her face when she finds out that Kook Doo’s got a girlfriend. She’s hurt and she’s frustrated but she can’t help who she loves any more than she can help the strength that she has that others don’t. But she has to try to get over him because she’s not a homewrecker so when she gets closer and closer to her annoying boss, she starts to realize that he’s not as bad as she initially thought. He’s actually a really great guy and he’s not gay either, haha.

Seeing both Bong Soon and Min Hyuk grow into their feelings for each other at the same time that they’re fighting bad guys left and right, was a lot of fun. This was a comedy, a romance, and even had some action thrown in and I was here for it all. I am such a huge fan of the three main leads because of their work in this show. I loved the romance in this, I loved the friendship that developed between Min Hyuk and Kook Doo and I really, really loved this scene:

I was a giant ball of emotions when I watched this scene. The way that he kept putting himself out there for her, hoping that she would stop looking at the guy that’s not looking at her and look at him instead. He was so good to her and he loved her so much and gahhhhh, I loved it! They’re one of my favorite couples to date. This show was a damn good show and I just adored it to pieces so I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: Revolutionary Love

Posted September 30, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Revolutionary Love

Male Lead: Choi Siwon
Female Lead: Kang So Ra
Secondary Lead: Gong Myung
Also Starring: Lee Jae Yoon, Kim Ye Won, Kyeon Mi Ri,Kang Yeongseok, Seo Yi Ahn, Choi Jae Sung
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Choi Siwon
Who I Watched It For: Choi Siwon

Byun Hyuk (Choi Si-Won) is a son from a wealthy family who runs a large company. He lives a happy life without any specific goals. He is confident around women and he is also naive, with a warm heart. Byun Hyuk begins to live in a studio in a poor area. He hides his background.

Baek Joon (Kang So-Ra) lives in the same area. She works part-time jobs to make ends meet. Baek Joon graduated from a good university, but she was unable to land a job at a company and begin taking part-time jobs. She is positive and full of justice, but her life changes when Byun Hyuk appears.

I came across this show while browsing Netflix for a new show to watch. When I saw that Choi Siwon was the male lead in this one, and not the second lead, I started this one with a quickness. I really, really loved Choi Siwon in She was Pretty and was a little bummed that he didn’t get the girl (though he did go up against Park Seo Jun) but he gets the girl in this one and his character in this show was a freaking delight. He plays another rich boy who cracked me up in each and every episode.

He was kind of a crackhead, who got himself into troubling situations that his assistant had to get him out of. The situations were comical, really, but were always taken out of context and while he didn’t mean for things to be taken the way that they were, they always were and he always got in trouble for it. It’s a trip to me to see Korean grown adults still getting beat by their parents. It’s so different from Americans but reminds me of Samoans.

This show is a coming of age romantic comedy that follows three main characters. Byun Hyuk, Baek Joon, and Je Hoon. Baek Joon and Je Hoon go way back. They went to school together and now they live in the same apartment building. Baek Joon was a good student, she graduated from a good university but she hasn’t really applied herself to finding a steady paying job. Instead, she works at multiple part time jobs and she lives paycheck to paycheck. She’s content with the life that she’s living, even though her mother keeps bothering her for money that she doesn’t have. She’s become okay friends with Je Hoon, a guy that she once confessed her feelings too and was rejected by. They’re uneasy friends right now because while Baek Joon tries to be friends with Je Hoon, he’s hella mean to her and to the viewers, it’s completely obvious that he’s got it bad for her but she doesn’t see it…and the longer he goes without making his own confession to her, the higher the risk he runs of losing her completely. That becomes all too clear when his boss, rich boy Byun Hyuk, moves in with him after he gets kicked out of his parent’s house.

When Byun Hyuk meets Je Hoon, he’s immediately smitten with her but she’s much too busy for a relationship and she detests spoiled rich boys so of course, Byun Hyuk hides his background from her, hoping to win her over by getting to know her better and hopefully when she knows him better, she’ll understand him and want to be with him. The overall story moves pretty fast in this show and I appreciated that. We weren’t bogged down with a lot of information, and a lot of background stuff so I liked that. I liked that we were able to get to know the characters, get a feel for what their stories were, and where their lives were taking them. I loved the little family that they created for each other and the support system that they all became toward one another. Each character was going through different things and brought something different to the table that I was hooked from the jump.

There were some things that drove me a little batty, mostly had to do with Je Hoon’s character and how freaking slow and mean he was because he was so slow. My ship was set from the very beginning, even though there were brief moments sprinkled in to make me go soft for the second lead. Choi Siwon did a fantastic job with this character and I enjoyed both Kang So Ra and Gong Myung in this show too. I’m looking forward to watching more of their stuff. This drama was a fast watch with a fun bunch of characters and enough humor and romance to keep me interested and happy. I recommend.

Final Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: Be with You

Posted September 29, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

Be With You

Male Lead: So Ji Sub
Female Lead: Son Ye Jin
Also Starring: Park Seo Jun, Go Chang Suk, Lee Yoo Jin
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

On her deathbed, Soo Ah (Son Ye Jin) makes a promise to her husband, Woo Jin (So Ji Sub), and her son, Ji Ho (Kim Ji Hwan), that she will return to them a year after her passing. Wishing, rather than believing she would keep her word, Woo Jin and Ji Ho say their final farewells. With broken hearts, they do their best to pick up the pieces of their old life and try to move on.

A year later, the unbelievable happens. True to her word, Soo Ah returns home, the problem is, she has no recollection of her past life. With no idea of who she was or what Woo Jin and Ji Ho meant to her, Soo Ah does her best to find a place in their lives once again. Eventually settling into this new life, Soo Ah and her family experience happiness in ways they never dreamed would be possible again. But their happiness is short-lived.

Only able to stay with Woo Jin and Ji Ho for a short while, Soo Ah soon realizes that her time at home is quickly coming to an end. With hearts breaking all over again, Soo Ah must say goodbye to her family, only this time it’s forever.

Adapted from Takuji Ichikawa’s novel of the same name, “Be With You” is a 2018 romantic fantasy drama film directed by Lee Jang Hoon.

I’ve been meaning to check out something with So Ji Sub in it because my friend B Nice is a huge fan of his so when I came across this movie with you guessed it…Park Seo Jun, you know your girl had to watch it. This is another one of those movies where Park Seo Jun is in a very small part of the movie but it was still an enjoyable movie. It was sad and it was hopeful and in the end, it was warmed my heart to see how far both father and son have come.

So this movie is about a young boy and his father who are both grieving over the loss of their mother and wife. The boy, Ji Ho, misses his Mom a great deal but is hopeful that she will keep her deathbed promise to him about returning to him after a year has passed. His father, Woo Jin, doesn’t believe it and though he’s having trouble moving on, he’s doing the best that he can. When the year mark comes up, the unthinkable happens. Soo Ah, the mom, and wife that Ji Ho and Woo Jin have been missing shows up just as she promised, the story really picks up. A huge bulk of the story takes place during the time that Soo Ah returns to her family. She’s only there for a short period of time and part of that time is spent trying to catch up. When Soo Ah returns, she doesn’t remember Woo Jin or Ji Ho or her life with them so she does her best to get to know them again and rebuild what they had before.

This was a very emotional story and I connected with every single family member. They’re all trying their best to keep the memories alive and I really enjoyed seeing them bond as a family while Soo Ah was back. I loved the connection between Soo Ah and Ji Ho. I loved seeing how happy he was for her return, how hard he worked to make her return more comfortable for her, and I really, really loved seeing how happy he was when she showed up for his performance. The same for Woo Jin. I really loved seeing him fall in love with his wife all over again. I loved seeing the two of them get to know each other all over again and seeing their relationship told from his pov since she didn’t remember much of it was just great. There was enough romance in this movie to warm my romance-loving heart.

There was a lot going on in this movie and the emotions, the warmth, it all got to me. I really connected with this story and seeing Woo Jin and Ji Ho being able to move on with a heavy heart but hopeful for the future made me so happy that I watched this movie. It’s another good one and even though we only got to see Park Seo Jun, who played an older Ji Ho, for like five minutes, I was happy to see him when he finally enters the picture. Goodness, that guy is bomb. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to cry and want an enjoyable but emotional movie, this is the one for you. I definitely recommend it.

Final Rating

4 out of 5

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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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