Tag: Contemporary

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: Signal

Posted March 30, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Signal

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Suspense, Time Travel
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Mood Browse

Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school, and Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student at that time, witnessed the crime. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and the police were not able to find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police.

Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han, and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
I found this drama while I was browsing through Netflix. I’ve seen the woman actress in this show around so I stopped to check the summary out. I was sold after reading the summary but I didn’t immediately start it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that I waited for a while to get to it but I’m glad that I watched it because from beginning to end, I was invested in all of it.

There were parts that were pretty slow in terms of engaging me (the viewer) but overall, this was a really interesting drama that did a good job of telling Park Hae Yeong’s life story.

Let’s break this show down, shall we?
Main Lead: Park Hae Yeong
Actor: Lee Je Hoon
Social Media: Website | Instagram

Park Hae Yeong is the victim of a wrongful arrest though he wasn’t the actual person that was arrested. His older brother was accused of rape and was let down by the entire local police department because of course, his older brother was innocent but because their family wasn’t as rich as the real culprit, Park Hae Yeong’s older brother paid for a crime that wasn’t his. Park Sun Woo (Hae Yeong’s older brother) was one of the good guys. He was a great older brother to Hae Yeong and he cared about his family, his friends, and his future. He was helping Hae Yeong bring his grades up and in the process of helping a girl study as well.

What happens to Sun Woo makes a huge impression on Hae Yeong and as Hae Yeong pieces his own investigation into his brother’s case when he’s older and a cold case profiler, things really heat up. He discovers a walkie-talkie that communicates with an officer from the past. A detective that could possibly help him find out what really happened to his brother. Maybe if they worked together, they can right some wrongs and get some things right. Hae Yeong’s story is a huge part of the show and I thought Lee Je Hoon’s portrayal of Park Hae Yeong was probably my favorite part of this show. Lee Je Hoon has some serious acting chops and I felt everything he felt throughout this entire show. Hae Yeong’s story is an emotional one and though I didn’t get the ending that I wanted for him, I was still satisfied and would LOVE a second season.

I really enjoyed the character growth from child to man for Park Hae Yeong. He had every reason to turn to gangs and a life of crime with his experience with cops and yet he grew into a man of the law with a clear conscience of what was right and wrong. Did he always get things right? Not at all. But he learned from every experience and used the experiences to be a better person.
Main Lead: Cha Soo Hyun
Actor: Kim Hye Soo

Cha Soo Hyun was the first female police officer in her department and though she seems aloof and completely reserved, she is fair and a good senior to Park Hae Yeong. Professionally, she tried to do what was right even when it was hard. Personally, there were times when I wanted to smack this woman upside her head. Did I understand where she was coming from when she would pop off in the middle of a case because Park Hae Yeong seemed to know an awful lot about the only man she’s ever loved that disappeared years ago? Of course! Did I want her to put her feelings away and get the bad guys before grilling Hae Yeong? YES!

Even with all of that madness, I still really liked her character and I thought Kim Hye Soo really did Cha Soo Hyun’s character justice. She acted her tail off and it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing an aloof and cold character that isn’t really any of that. I liked how smart she was and how loyal she was. She was good at a lot of things and seeing her as both a fresh rookie cop who was unsure of herself, her worth as a police officer, and then a strong and fiercely determined detective was fantastic. She played both parts well and I was rooting for her to find her man throughout the entire show.
Main Lead: Lee Jae Han
Actor: Jo Jin Woong

Holy cow did I like this guy. Lee Jae Han was such a compelling character that fought the good fight even when he had every cause not to believe the weirdo on the other line of the walkie-talkie. Seeing him fight against his very own bosses to bring justice to those wronged by the police force, the exact police force that is supposed to protect the victims made me love him to pieces.

His story was another emotional one because his personal life took a back seat to his professional one and it was hard on everyone around him. From his father to the woman he was starting to like and his friends, he missed out on a lot trying to right the wrongs that just kept right on coming to his front door. I wanted so much to see this guy in the end and we were left with a big ol’ question mark with everything but even without a solid ending with a solid wrap-up of all the things, I still really enjoyed learning about Lee Jae Han. My heart for him when he tried to get to Sun Woo before it was too late, freaking body falling apart but getting to Sun Woo was more important than his stab wound and that was just one of the many reasons that I loved this guy. He didn’t know how to give up and when he didn’t get things right, he was so remorseful that it hurt my heart and made me cheer for him and Hae Yeong even more. Gah, so good.
The Cast
There are a lot of familiar faces that make up the rest of the cast of Signal and I enjoyed seeing them all again. These two guys are probably my favorite familiar faces and the most memorable of the bunch, outside of the villains. I also really liked the guy that played Park Sung Woo. As I said, there are a lot of familiar faces and that’s probably my favorite thing about k-dramas. There are side characters that pop up in every single k-drama and it’s always a treat to see a cast with great chemistry. This wasn’t the kind of show that showcases strong friendships but we got a strong team that really comes together as the show progresses and I was here for Hae Yeong and Soo Hyun’s team.
The Story
So Signal is about a detective from 1989 and a cold case profiler in 2015 working together through a magical walkie-talkie to solve and prevent crimes from happening. Solving them in 2015 helps prevent them in 1989 and through trial and error, Lee Jae Han, the detective from 1989, and Park Hae Yeong, the cold case profiler from 2015 figure out what went wrong and how to fix them in their own times. The concept behind the show is was initially drew me to watching it and I’m glad that I did because the actors really brought this story to life. It totally made sense to me that there was a magical walkie-talkie helping a man from the 80’s help a man from 2015 solve crime and beat the bad guys.

I also thought that the cases that they worked on together were interesting. From the kidnapping case to the rape case, to every other case, each story really stood out and had me thinking about them long after I turned the final episode off. These characters really go through it personally and professionally and they had to overcome so much to get to that end. There were times where I had to walk away from the TV because what was happening was too much for me and my blood pressure but I will say that the villains played their roles really well in this one because I hated their asses so much.

Overall, there were moments when certain characters and cases made my blood boil but I’m glad that I stuck with this show because it was a solid suspense drama and the time through walkie-talkie business was one of the highlights of the show for me. I love the friendship that blossomed between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Yeong. I thought the way that their friendship grew and grew with each case that they worked on was just so stinkin’ great.
The OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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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: The Start Up

Posted March 16, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Start UpStart Up
Starring: Nam Joo-Hyuk, Bae Suzy, Kim Sun-Ho
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Nam Joo-Hyuk
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

Needing to make $90k to open her own business, Seo Dal-Mi drops out of a university and takes up part-time work. She dreams of becoming someone like Steve Jobs.

Nam Do-San is the founder of Samsan Tech. He is excellent with mathematics. He started Samsan Tech two years ago, but the company is not doing well. Somehow, Nam Do-San becomes Seo Dal-Mi’s first love. They cheer each others start and growth.

Summary Credit

I used to binge watch all of the k-dramas that I watched so they had to have all of the episodes released before I’d dig into them but that’s completely changed these days. I watched this show as they released the episodes every week and I enjoyed the ride for the most part. There were parts in the show that I thought dragged a bit and though I liked the main male lead (I actually watched this show BECAUSE I liked him), I thought he was less interesting than the second lead. Did I want the second lead to get the girl? No, not at all…but just like the male lead, I thought the second lead was more interesting than the main girl too.

I’m going to break down my thoughts about this show by categories and then I’ll sum everything up in the end. Let’s get started, shall we?
Main Male Lead: Nam Do San
Actor: Nam Joo Hyuk

I really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk in Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo so I was excited to see him in something new. Unfortunately, his character, Nam Joo Hyuk, didn’t completely win me over the way that his last character did. I liked him fine, I liked his story, I liked how hard he worked for his company and for his friends but after all was said and done, his character just isn’t one that will stick with me.

I wish I could say that I was invested in his character journey throughout the entire show but while I was interested in him as a character, I was rooting for him to win the girl, and I liked the guy that played his Dad, his character journey didn’t grab me the way that others did. That’s not a knock on him, as I felt that way about the entire show.

I did like the relationship between him and his friends. The loyalty that they shared between the three of them was nice. I’m always a fan of great support groups and Nam Do San had a great support system. I did like how he stepped up for a complete stranger and then fell in love with her but all of that wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the rest of his journey.

Main Female Lead: So Dal Mi
Actress: Bae Suzy

I haven’t watched very many shows with Bae Suzy at the lead but I do enjoy her as an actress. She was one of the very few things that I liked about the k-drama, Big and her character in this show showed a lot of promise. I thought So Dal Mi was a pretty solid female lead. Her story made me cry from time to time. I loved the relationship she had with her father and it made me sad that she never got that fried chicken he went out to get. But I love the woman that she grew up to be and I hella loved her relationship with her halmeoni. The whole sibling rivalry thing was probably the weakest part of Dal Mi’s journey but I did like the character growth that we saw in her sister.

Suzy played her role in this one really well. I thought she did a great job of bringing So Dal Mi’s character to life and there were so many times that I connected with what she was feeling throughout the show. I became a fan of hers during this show and I look forward to seeing her in more things.
Second Lead: Han Ji Pyeong
Actor: Kim Seon Ho

This is the first thing that I’ve ever seen this actor in and I was hooked on his story the most. I never once thought that he should end up with the female lead though. He was a jerk to all of them and though I understood why, I still didn’t care for that. I loved the guy that Dal Mi’s halmeoni saw in him but more often than not, I wanted to smack him upside his head. However, his story was what I was most interested in from beginning to end. I think his story made me cry the most and I was rooting for him to get the peace he deserved and so desperately needed.

I never really rooted for him to get with Dal Mi though. My guy had three years to shoot his shot and he waited until Do San came back from the US to do it? Too little, too late buddy but I’m glad to see that he found a new cause that gave his life some purpose.

I did like this guy and am looking forward to following his career from here on out. Kim Seon Ho blew up my IG feed while The Start Up was releasing new episodes so I hope he gets a first lead role soon.
The Supporting Cast
I’ve only seen one of these guys in anything else and I was delighted to see Yoo Su Bin in this one. This team was a highlight for me. I loved the secondary romance between the two teammates and I loved the bond that Nam Do San had with his two besties. The way that Do San tried to fix everything and be there for everyone made the way that they all had his back and had faith in him made me love them all the more. They were the perfect mix of smart, strong, funny, and loyal that hits all of my happy spots so I really liked all of these guys.
The Story
This story started off strong. I was really invested in everything and everyone right off the bat. The pacing started out strong and then sizzled through the middle, only to drag in the end. There were a lot of things that I didn’t care for (the actual start up stuff was my least favorite thing in the whole show) but overall, I kept watching every single episode so I couldn’t have hated it that much. It was a great way to spend a few hours and I did enjoy it overall, it just wasn’t my favorite but I discovered some new to me actors and actresses so I’m happy with that.
Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: Record of Youth

Posted January 26, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Record of YouthRecord of Youth
Starring: Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, Byeon Woo Seok
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

This is a drama about the growth record of young people who strive to achieve their dreams and love without despair in a generation where dreams have become a luxury and the passionate record of young people who beeline for their dreams in their own way, presenting excitement and empathy.

Sa Hye Joon is smart and handsome. He is a nice guy and a popular model, but what he really wants is to become an actor. He has auditioned for many acting roles, but hasn’t found success yet. Unfortunately, Sa Hye Joon doesn’t have much presence as an actor. Meanwhile, Ahn Jung Ha works as a make up artist. Bright and cheerful on the outside but lonely on the inside, Jung Ha takes out her stress and frustrations by fan-girling over idols.

Summary Credit

This drama started out with a lot of promise. I was really enjoying everything that was happening in the first half of the show. I was enjoying it so much that heading into the second half of the season brought about some anxiety as I just knew that the other shoe was going to drop and everything was going to go up in flames. I was right that everything was going to change in the second part of the season but I was less invested in what was happening in the second half.

So this show follows two best friends who are both actors and a makeup artist who is fiercely independent and a huge fangirl over the main male lead, Sa Hye-Jun (Park Bo Gum). Sa Hye-Jun is a twenty-something-year-old actor and model who is looking for his huge break. He’s a struggling actor, working multiple part-time jobs to support himself and seems to only get the crumbs from his much more successful, and rich best friend, Won Hae-Hyo. The story follows the both of them as they struggle, Hye-Jun struggled with staying true to himself and to his beliefs in the harsh world of entertainment, and Won Hae-Hyo struggles with being in the shadow of Hye-Jun’s spotlight for the first time. He’s not used to coming in second behind Hye-Jun in anything and realizing the truth about every job he’s ever gotten, every follower he’s got on social media bites him in the ass so they both struggle with being jealous of what the other has.

When Ahn Jeong-Ha comes onto the scene, she’s proud to be a fangirl for Hye-Jun because he’s everything she hoped that he would be before she met him. When they became friends and they flirted their way into a relationship, I was so invested in their relationship and in their lives apart from each other. They were interesting characters who didn’t have it easy but were optimistic that eventually if they worked hard enough, their efforts would pay off. They understood each other better than anyone else in their lives and seeing them grow to care for each other on a more personal level was a lot of fun.

I really enjoyed a lot of what this show had going on. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his grandfather was a good one. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his two best friends even though they were all idiots at different points in the show. I liked the friendship that sparked between Ahn Jeong-Ha and Hye-Jun’s manager was another fun friendship that was enjoyable. I liked that they all had their own struggles that they were dealing with but were still there for one another when it was needed. I liked that their friendships weren’t perfect but they were trying to be good people and when things fell apart, that was where I was left feeling confused AF. I didn’t understand what drove Jeong-Ha to do a lot of the things that she did, where Hye-Jun was concerned. It felt out of place, and character with what she felt and acted throughout the entire first part of the show.

A lot of the issues that Hye-Jun suffered through with his family, his friends, and then with the work stuff didn’t make sense to me. Like Hye-Jun’s Dad. What in the bleeping hell was his problem? He acted like Hye-Jun was irresponsible. The boy was damn near killing himself working so many different part-time jobs so that his parents didn’t have to support him and his acting jobs, but that didn’t stop his Dad from bitching at him for breathing. The way that the Dad’s lopsided support system worked got on my hot damn nerves because Hye-Jun was paying for crimes that were not his to begin with. I was glad that the Mom supported him and loved him through everything. But the Dad and the brother got on my hot damn nerves. The Dad eventually wins me over but even until the end, the brother annoyed the shit out of me.

Overall, the acting was good and the story was a solid one but the second half didn’t capture enough to keep me in love with what was happening to the characters and I just thought the second part of the season was weaker than the first. So it had a strong start but the end left a lot to be desired and I’m not used to that with the k-dramas that I’ve watched so far. I really finished the last episode looking like this…


Because, honestly, WTF kind of ending was that? It left a lot to be desired and I’m not a fan of those, leave it up to the consumer to figure out on their own BS. Tell me what the heck happens to them and leave no detail spared, please. So he comes back, sees that she’s wearing his shoes and …that’s it? Nope, didn’t like that shit. At all but I didn’t hate it enough to give this drama less than 3 stars so the strong start really saved this one for me.

I became a big fan of Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, and Byeong Woo Seok so I’ll be on the lookout for more of their stuff for sure. Oh and another really big highlight for me was the Park Seo Jun cameo. OMG, every time he came on the screen, I was Hye-Jun’s manager. Haha, she was great and Park Seo Jun was fan-freaking-tastic too. I always love seeing him on my screen. So yeah, those were great and if the ending had matched the strong start, I would have given this one a higher grade but oh well…life’s not perfect.

Final Rating


3.75 out of 5
Listen to the OST

My favorite song from this drama was 나의 시간은 (Every Second). Every time that it played during the show, I was already teary-eyed or smiling super big. It was such a great song.
three-half-stars

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