Tag: Contemporary

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Juror 8

Posted September 22, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 0 Comments

Juror 8

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Also Starring:
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Family, Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik

In 2008, South Korea held its first criminal trial by jury. The case presented to the court was supposed to be an easy one, as the defendant himself freely admitted to brutally murdering his mother. However, what was supposed to be a simple, open-and-shut case turns into something more, when one of the jurors, a young entrepreneur named Kwon Nam Woo (Park Hyung Sik), begins to question everything.

Without the unanimous vote of the jury, the judge, Kim Joon Gyum (Moon So Ri), is forced to re-examine the evidence and call for a new debate, to determine whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

Refusing to bow to the pressure of the majority, Kwon Nam Woo begins a thorough investigation of the case on his own. Sifting through countless investigation records, he repeatedly questions the defendant’s admission of guilt. As his investigation continues, he begins to find the evidence he needs to substantiate his doubt. Slowly joined in his search for the truth by the other jurors, Kwon Nam Woo begins to break through the majority opinion to uncover the truth and set the standard for true justice.

Based on a true story, “Juror 8” is a 2019 film directed by Hong Seung Wan.

This was an interesting movie. It features Park Hyung Sik as a down on his luck young man, trying to get his invention patented and off the ground but is having a bit of trouble with it. When he gets the jury summons, he shows up to do his civic duty and is chosen to be part of the jury on Korea’s first criminal trial by jury.

Again, the summary included above does a great job of explaining what the movie is about. Park Hyun Sik plays Kwon Nam Woo, Juror 8. In what was supposed to be an easy case with the prosecuting side already having a confession from the defendant ends up being more complicated when Juror 8 begins questioning everything. So because there wasn’t a unanimous vote, the judge was forced to re-examine the evidence and re-debate the case. That leads to Juror 8, or as I like to call him, “Fine ass Hyung Sik” to conduct his own investigation of the evidence and the case in general.

Seeing him work through the evidence and try to figure out what really happened, without much experience in doing so was interesting. He really had the guts to question the evidence because it didn’t make sense to him and he wasn’t going to vote to convict someone until he was absolutely sure that he was making the right decision. This movie was based on a true story so I think that made the overall movie that much more interesting to me because it couldn’t have been easy for Juror 8 to go against the grain the way that he did but he did and I really liked his character. The way that he was bullheaded about his vote and the way that the other jurors came around once he started proving his gut instinct right had me cheering for him so loudly by the end of the movie. Park Hyung Sik did this role justice and I completely adored him in this. This was a great movie with heart. I really enjoyed it and have every faith that anyone who reads this blog will enjoy it too. We’re a great bunch with similar tastes so yeah, I definitely recommend this one.

Final Rating

4.25 out of 5

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Fight for My Way

Posted September 18, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Park Seo Jun
Female Lead: Kim Ji Won
Secondary Lead: Ahn Jae Hong, Song Ha Yoon
Also Starring: Kim Sung Oh, Chae Dong Hyun, Pyo Ye Jin, Jin Ji Hee, Kim Ye Ryung, Son Byung Ho, Kwak Dong Yeon, Choi Woo Shik, Hwang Bo Ra, Lee Elijah, Jin Hee Kyung
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Park Seo Jun
Who I Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

This drama is about the youth who is not qualified for what the heartless society demands. Without backgrounds such as high education and certificates, the world tells them to focus on playing supporting roles in life. However, they all have their advantages and deserve to be the main character in their own lives. This is a story about four individuals, Dong Man, Ae Ra, Joo Man, and Sul Hee, and the dreams they are pursuing. Dong Man used to be a top athlete in taekwondo. However, his dreams of becoming a national athlete is shredded into pieces when he helplessly loses against authority and money. Choi Ae Ra has always dreamed of becoming an announcer. Although for now, she works at a department store, she continuously goes to job interviews and fights for her way. When the world turns its back on one of them, the other rushes to comfort them.

On my journey through all of Park Seo Jun’s work, I came across this show. I was pretty excited to finally get around to watching it because I haven’t seen Park Seo Jun as a not so serious dork yet. In the shows that I’ve watched, he’s played the serious, no-nonsense kind of guy so Ko Dong Man was way different from what I was used to and boy did I absolutely love Park Seo Jun as Ko Dong Man. After seeing him in Itaewon Class and What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, seeing him in Fight for My Way was like a breath of fresh air. He plays the goofy man super well.

Fight for My Way is a best friends to lovers trope and it was such a fun show that I was so sad when I finished it. Ae Ra and Dong Man were such a delightful pair that I laughed at their bickering, I swooned with delight over how they protected each other and I fell head over heels with the two of them together. When we first meet them, they’re in school and Dong Man is at the top of his game as a taekwondo fighter. He wins his fight and is so goofy about it that he gets a slap on the back of his head from his coach. You also see a young Ae Ra and Seol Hee and that was a super fun introduction to our heroine of the show. Fast forward ten years and the gang is almost 30 years old and things are a lot different than they all thought it’d be.

Ae Ra is working at a department store and not at all happy with where her life is. Dong Man is working in a dead-end job and like Ae Ra, not happy with where his life is. After an incident from his past, he walked away from fighting and is still trying to find himself. With their 30th birthday looming, Dong Man decides to shed his fear of the past and live a life of passion. Ae Ra is inspired and decides that she too is going to go after what she really wants as well.

The secondary romance in this show follows Ae Ra and Dong Man’s friends, Seol Hee and Joo Man who are in a relationship but it’s not an ideal one. They work together so they hide their relationship from their coworkers and Joo Man’s family aren’t the biggest fans of Seol Hee so there are some simmering issues there but there’s also a female coworker that is very interested in Joo Man and that’s yet another issue that is simmering between them.

I liked that the main couple’s issues were them trying to figure out their lives while falling in love with each other. Their feelings for each other aren’t the main issue between them though it sure did take Dong Man quite a while to realize what was right in front of him for so long. I really adored the two of them coming together. They were such huge supporters of the other and seeing them hype each other up and step up for each other really got me in the feels. They were great on their own but together, they were just that much better. I adored the two of them and I was cheering for them from the jump. I loved jealous Ae Ra and I hella loved jealous Dong Man. Their fights were epic and so funny that I laughed and laughed and laughed. You can’t be cute with your boyfriend when you grew up with him and he knows everything about you. So when he knows you get gas after eating certain things, you better believe that he’s going to call you on it and seeing them learn how to be with each other, after knowing almost too much about the other was just a lot of fun.

The secondary storyline focused on the relationship between Seol Hee and Joo Man. They’re in a long term relationship and going through some growing pains together. Seol Hee is trying to do what she can to hold them together but Joo Man is distracted and not much help so Seol Hee is pretty much on her own but once she gets tired of trying to hold things down on her own, seeing Joo Man mess up and then try to make things right with her was an interesting addition to this show. I thought their problems balanced my enjoyment of the show overall because I was anxious and mad and then forgiving and hopeful for the two of them. They were great characters and fantastic friends to both Dong Man and Ae Ra.

Overall, this was a fabulously fun show with great characters and a cast of actors that really know how to deliver entertainment. I was glad to have watched this and I enjoyed everyone’s acting so much that I looked up everyone’s backlist and added all of their shows to my To Be Watched list. I can’t wait to dig into their stuff too. I definitely recommend this show if you’re looking for something fun and super cute. Trust me, you’ll want to know Dong Man for yourself. 🙂

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DNF Round Up: Big, Tempted, & Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

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

The DNF Round Up is a round-up of the books, movies, and k dramas that I did not finish in the last little while. Sometimes it’ll be a list of all books, all movies, or all k dramas and sometimes it’ll be a mix of the three but if I didn’t finish it, it’ll be featured here. I need the reminder because I be forgetting a whole lot of shit and I’ll start dramas or books that I quit without even knowing. This is my effort in fixing that.

Male Lead: Gong Yoo
Female Lead: Lee Min Jung
Secondary Lead: Shin Won Ho
Also Starring: Bae Suzy, Baek Sung Hyun, Jang Hee Jin, Shin Ji Soo
Year Released: 2012
Number of Episodes: 16
Number of Episodes Watched: 11
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Gong Yoo
Who I Watched It For: Gong Yoo

18-year-old Kang Gyung-Joon’s spirit suddenly finds itself in the body of 30-year-old Seo Yoon Jae. Seo-Yon-Jae is a successful doctor and engaged to high school teacher Gil Da-Ran. Gil Da-Ran just so happens to be the teacher of 18-year old Kang Gyung-Joon. More problems ensue when 30-year-old Seo Yoon Jae falls in love with another woman.

I should have read a blurb about what this drama was about. I only started watching it because it stars Gong Yoo (because, *swoon*) but ugh, I hate student/teacher romances and this one plays with that trope. I didn’t enjoy it, at all. So our main character is Gil Da Ran and she’s a teacher. She’s engaged to a doctor that has gone cold on her. She’s trying not to think about what that means but he keeps blowing her off so one day, while she’s out for a ride with one of her students (yeah, seriously), she gets a call from her fiance, who wants to meet with her so bad that he’ll come to wherever she is. She tells him where she is and he makes his way to her. While she waits for her fiance, the student leaves and the student and the fiance get into a car accident together and their souls swap. Haha, it sounds ridiculous but I was hooked by this part. So, one of them dies but their souls are still trapped in the other body. So the fiance’ is in a coma in the student’s body and the student is alive and well in the fiance’s body and Gil Da Ran helps the student navigate his life as a 30-year-old doctor even though he’s a 17-year-old high school student. I forget what exact age he is but he’s around that age.

Once they started developing feelings for each other (the student and the teacher), and Gong Yoo’s adult character started turning into a complete douche, I tapped out of this one. I’m not on board this teacher and student love crap and I wasn’t on board with Gong Yoo’s fine ass being a dickface. Haha, yeah that’s why I’m not going to finish this one. Nope, not me.

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Nope

Male Lead: Woo Do Hwan
Female Lead: Moon Ga Young
Secondary Lead: Joy
Also Starring: Kim Min Jae, Jeon Mi Seon, Han Sunhwa, Joeng Ha Dam, Yeon Woo
Year Released: 2018
Number of Episodes: 32
Number of Episodes Watched: 1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Woo Do Hwan
Who I Watched It For: Woo Do Hwan

Kwon Shi-Hyun bets his life on a dangerous game to seduce Eun Tae-Hee. His target is 20-years-old and believes people that are swayed by love are pathetic. After Eun Tae-Hee meets Kwon Shi-Hyun, her view on love changes.

I started this show because of Woo Do Hwan. I had just finished Save Me and adored him in that show so I wanted to keep the Woo Do Hwan party going. Unfortunately, the immature shenanigans that he gets into with his high school friends pissed me off pretty early on so I stopped watching it. I just wasn’t in the mood for teenagers being little shits and ruining people’s lives though I know that Woo Do Hwan’s character grows into a decent chap in the end. That’s why I stopped this one but I’m really interested in seeing Do Hwan in a main lead role so I’ll definitely be back for this one…I’m sure of it.

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Maybe

Male Lead: Park Seo Jun
Female Lead: Go Ra
Secondary Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Also Starring: Kim Taehyung, Choi Min Ho, Do Ji Han,Choi Yoon Woo, Seo Ye Ji,
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 20
Number of Episodes Watched: 2
Genre: Historical, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Park Seo Jun
Who I Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

An elite group of young men called Hwarang discover their passions, love and friendship in the turmoil of the Silla Kingdom.

Can you believe that I DNF’d a Park Seo Jun drama? Yeah, I can’t believe it either. But, I did. I wasn’t in the mood for a historical drama and the first couple of episodes of this one were low key boring. All Seo Jun’s character did in the episodes that I watched were yell and fight. When I watched this though, I didn’t know Park Hyung Sik so I didn’t even appreciate him in this. AND V from BTS is in this show too and I didn’t even meet him yet so I know that I’ll be going back to finish this one, I just don’t know when. There’s a great cast for this show so how could I not go back and finish?

Will I Go Back and Finish It?

Probably

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Descendants of the Sun

Posted September 10, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Song Joong Ki
Female Lead: Song Hye Kyo
Also Starring: Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won, Onew, Kim Min Seok, Lee Seung Joon, Hyun Kyu Ni, Lee Yi Kyung, David McInnis, Kang Shin Il, Jo Jae Yoon, Jun Soo Jin, Kim Byung Chul, Seo Jeong Yeon, Jasper Cho, Ji Seung Hyun, Park Hwan Hee, Ahn Bo Hyun, Park Hoon
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Hulu
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched it For: Song Joong Ki

Some relationships are fated, despite the challenges of time and place.

Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki), the leader of a Special Forces unit, meets trauma surgeon Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) in a hospital emergency room after Shi Jin and his second-in-command, Seo Dae Young (Jin Goo), chase down a thief on their day off.

Shi Jin is immediately smitten with Mo Yeon, and he asks her out on a date. But Shi Jin keeps getting called to duty when he is with Mo Yeon, and the two also realize that they have conflicting views about human life (he will kill to protect his country and she has to save lives at all costs). They decide to break off their budding relationship as a result.

Dae Young also tries to break off his relationship with Army doctor Yoon Myeong Ju (Kim Ji Won) because her father, Lt. General Yoon (Kang Shin Il), thinks Shi Jin is a better match for his daughter.

Shi Jin and Dae Young are then deployed to the fictional war-torn country of Urk on a long-term assignment of helping the United Nations keep peace in the area. After repeatedly being passed over for a promotion because of her lack of connections, Mo Yeon gives up performing surgeries, loosening her principles somewhat to become a celebrity TV doctor and caring for VIP patients at the hospital. But when she refuses the sexual advances of the hospital chairman, Mo Yeon is picked to lead a medical team to staff a clinic in Urk! There, Mo Yeon unexpectedly reconnects with Shi Jin.

“Descendants of the Sun” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. The entire series was pre-produced prior to airing, which is a departure from how Korean dramas are typically produced. The stars and production team spent one month in Greece to film much of the series’ storyline. The drama also is the first project for Song Joong Ki after finishing his mandatory two-year military service.

I watched this show at the recommendation of my friend, B Nice and then I found out that she didn’t even watch it but heard it was good, haha. I still watched it though and though the overall romance was a good one, I struggled with connecting with what was going on and the female lead. I also thought that the male lead was a bit over the top at times but he didn’t annoy me the way that the doctor heroine did.

This show is about two people, who meet and before their romance can take off, the hero does. She’s a doctor and he’s in the military so it’s hard for them to get together because either she’s getting called into surgery or he’s getting called onto missions in faraway places that he can’t even tell her about. So there are some struggles, obviously. They also find out that they have different views on things and then there are more struggles so they call off their budding romance before it grows into anything deeper. They go their separate ways but are brought back together when Mo Yeon is assigned to lead a medical team to run a clinic in Urk, where Shin Jin is stationed. When the two reconnect, sparks fly and the story really picks up.

There’s also a secondary romance between Shin Jin’s buddy Dae Young and an army doctor, Yoon Myeong Ju that is filled with a whole lot of drama. Dae Young’s not the partner that Meyong Ju’s father would have chosen for her and he is very vocal about it. So vocal, in fact, that he consistently abuses his powers at work (he’s one of the higher-ups in the military) to move Dae Young around to make sure that he can’t be with his daughter. Dae Young, of course, doesn’t say any of this to Yoon Myeong Ju, he just goes wherever he’s sent and puts up with the abuse from her father. He kept getting pulled in different directions and his life was thrown upside down at every turn because of his girlfriend so that was some special kind of drama in itself and it drove me just as crazy as the main romance.

I will say that both sets of couples have chemistry in spades. I completely bought everything they were trying to sell and this was my introduction to all of these actors so I was impressed that they can make me feel every single emotion under the sun. I went from happy, to pissed off, to sad, back to happy, back to pissed off, back to sad for all 16 episodes but there was a whole lot of humor from the other characters sprinkled in that my overall experience with this show wasn’t all pissed off.

I’m glad that I watched this show even though it wasn’t my favorite. It introduced me to a bunch of actors I’d like to see in other shows and movies so I’m glad about that. However, this show is made up of a whole lot of stuff that pissed me off that I can’t rate it higher than 3.25 out of 5 stars. I had high hopes that things would turn around but in episode 15, the heroine and the hero were still pissing me off that by then, it was too late for me to absolutely love them. Still, this was a solid drama.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

3.25 out of 5

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,