Tag: Drama

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: The King, Eternal Monarch

Posted September 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Lee Min Ho
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Also Starring: Woo Do Hwan, Jung Eun Chae, Kim Kyung Nam,Lee Jung Jin, Kim Yong Ji, Seo Jeong Yeon, Sojin, Kwon Yul, Jeong Hyun Joon, Kang Hong Seok, Park Won Sang, Park Hoon, Kim Wook, Choi Woo Sung
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Crime Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan
Who I Watched It For: Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan

Lee Gon mourns the tragic death of his father. Lee Lim goes on the run – and finds escape when he comes across a door to a parallel universe.
I’m not even going to front. I didn’t watch this show because of Lee Min Ho. I wanted to watch this show because of Woo Do Hwan. This guy is really good looking so watching him in another show (My first show with him was My Country: The New Age) was a must on my to-do list. I also saw that my girl Kim Go Eun aka The Goblin Bride was in this one so it was definitely going to be watched and I’m glad that I gave it a go because this reminded me of Goblin so it was a lot of fun.

So this show is a fantasy romance that takes place in a world with parallel worlds and a young King who can travel between those worlds. Lee Gon, the King of the Empire of Korea, is mourning the tragic death of his father, searching for the person who saved him on the night of his father’s murder, and plotting revenge against his father’s killer. When Lee Gon meets Jung Tae Eul, a police detective from the Republic of Korea, they come together to try to catch the bad guy and take him down once and for all. It appears that the bad guy is squatting in Tae Eul’s world so Lee Gon goes back and forth between their worlds to try to find him. It takes some time for him to get Tae Eul to trust him enough to help him. He knew immediately who she was when he first meets her but she didn’t know who he was so there was a struggle at the beginning with him trying to get close to her.

There’s a lot going on in this show and I was invested in pretty much everything. Trying to puzzle through chasing the killer down, the romance brewing between Lee Gon and Tae Eul, the going back and forth between worlds, getting to know both people from both worlds and just, you know, everything. As much as I was invested in all of those things, my favorite part of the show were these guys…


Woo Do Hwan’s portrayal of both Jo Eun Soeb and Jo Young rocked my mother freaking socks. Both of them charmed the hell out of me and it’s been weeks and weeks since I’ve seen this show and I still can’t choose a favorite. I thought Woo Do Hwan’s portrayal of the two characters was fan-freaking-tastic and I loved the hell out of both of them. I swear everything else took a back seat once these guys showed up on scene. They totally stole the show from right under both Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun. As great as they were, what I looked forward to the most while watching this was seeing what shenanigans Eun Soeb was going to get into and seeing his younger siblings interact with Jo Young.

The romance between Lee Gon and Tae Eul was subtle and in the background but I enjoyed seeing them come together. They complimented each other well and when we finally get to this scene, I was all about it.


Overall, the show did a great job of sucking me in with the charming cast, keeping me interested in the storyline and making me a little swoony with the romance. You can’t really ask for more in a drama so I’m a happy camper with this one. This one was definitely a good one so I recommend.
Listen to the OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: Goblin

Posted September 17, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Male Lead: Gong Yoo
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Secondary Leads: Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na
Also Starring: Yook Sungjae, Hwang Seok Jeong, Go Bo Gyeol, Jo Woo Jin, Lee El, Kim So Hyun, Kim Min Jae, Park Hee Bon, Jung Hae In, Kim Byung Chul, Park Hyung Hye, Yeom Hye Ran
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: TikTok
Watched it For: Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun

Is it better to live forever or to finally be able to die? Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a decorated military general during the Goryeo Dynasty who is betrayed by the jealous king he served. When Kim Shin is faced with death instead of honor after fighting a mighty battle, God turns Kim Shin into a goblin instead, tasked with protecting certain people from the life of misery. But immortality is wearing on Kim Shin, and he longs to find the prophesied human bride who can set his soul free.

Kim Shin becomes accidental roommates with Wang Yeo (Lee Dong Wook), the grim reaper who ushers people’s souls into the afterlife. Kim Shin’s nephew, Yoo Deok Hwa (Yook Sungjae), is a rebellious chaebol heir whose family has been caretakers of the goblin for many generations. Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) is a high school senior whose mother was saved from an accident by Kim Shin 19 years ago, and ever since then, she has been able to communicate with the dead. Sunny (Yoo In Na), the owner of a chicken restaurant and Eun Tak’s boss, crosses path with Wang Yeo and becomes smitten with him.

Can Eun Tak be the true “goblin bride” with the power to release Kim Shin from his eternal misery? “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God”, also known as “Goblin”, is a 2016-2017 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. It is written by Kim Eun Sook, who also wrote the very successful dramas: “Heirs” (2013) and “Descendants of the Sun” (2016).
Oh man, this show. I wanted to see this show because I saw so many videos of people recommending it on TikTok (my For You Page is all Korean dramas, all the time) but also because my love of all things Gong Yoo demanded that I watch it. And boy am I glad that I did because holy shit balls, this show was fucking good.

This show follows our fellow Goblin, Kim Shin, who was wronged in his human life that his soul cried out in agony and vengeance. When he’s given the chance to avenge his family, he takes it. In return, he becomes an immortal Goblin who has to protect people from a life of misery. As decade after decade living as an immortal Goblin, protecting strangers from life, starts wearing on him, he starts searching for his Goblin bride. His Goblin bride is the only person that can set his soul free. He has to find her, get her to agree to be his bride so that she can pull the sword that only she can see out of his chest and end his immortality.


Nine hundred years later, he finds her and she’s in freaking high school. LOL. She’s also immature, naive, and living a hard life. Her mother died when she was just a kid and she never knew her father so she’s sent to live with her mother’s sister, who resents the hell out of having to take care of someone else’s kid. When she meets Goblin, she is immediately drawn to him. He’s a lot older than she is but they still strike up a friendship anyway. Goblin becomes a guardian like presence in Eun Tak’s life and she comes to rely on him a great deal. Along with Goblin, Eun Tak gets a Grim Reaper in her corner and together with Goblin and Goblin’s nephew, she gets a family to love and support her but it comes with a lot of work and some chaos.

There’s a lot going on in this show and I was here for it all. From Goblin’s complicated human life, to seeing the way that he spends his immortal days saving people from bad decisions and hard times, to the love that blossomed over the years with Eun Tak, to his budding bromance with the Grim Reaper, to the secondary romance between the Grim Reaper and Eun Tak’s boss, to all of Eun Tak’s ghost friends and their struggles, to the complications when everything starts falling into place and you’re left looking like…


There’s no denying that Gong Yoo is a gorgeous man and there’s also no denying the fact that I wanted to watch this show for his fine ass but though I came into this one strictly for Gong Yoo, I developed a love for Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, and everyone else. The writing on this show was fantastic and the actors did such a great job of portraying their characters in a way that made me connect with every single one of them. I was on board with everything. I cried happy tears, ugly cried sad tears but through it all, there was nothing but love. The ending had me ugly crying like it was nobody’s business and though I’m put back together before the absolute end, when we’re back in Canada, I felt it was a little rushed. Still, this show was amazing and it’s easily in my top 5 Korean Dramas of all time. I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend.
Listen to the OST
Final Rating

4.75 out of 5

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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

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Review: The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

Posted August 25, 2020 by Rowena in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

Starring: Ma Dong Seok, Kim Moo Yeol, Kim Sung Kyu, Yoo Seung Mok
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Action, Crime Drama
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Ma Dong Seok

After barely surviving a violent attack by an elusive serial killer, crime boss Jang Dong-su (Don Lee) finds himself forming an unlikely partnership with local detective Jung Tae-seok (Kim Moo Yul) to catch the sadistic killer simply known as “K”.
I came across this movie on Viki and was curious about it because of one of the main characters in it. Ma Dong Seok was my favorite character in Train to Busan so when I saw that he was in this one, I thought, “Why not?” and I started watching it immediately.

So this movie is about a gangster who almost died at the hands of a serial killer and the cop that join forces to catch the devil serial killer who is running rampant around the city. I thought that I would enjoy this movie a lot more than I did but for a huge portion of the movie, I was bored. I freaking hated the cop and was okay with the gangster (that’s probably cause I’m biased. I loved the gangster’s acting) and didn’t care one way or the other about the devil. There’s a lot of action going on so that was a plus but again, for most of the movie, I was bored and it was easy for me to dose in and out of the movie so when it finally ended, I was glad. I didn’t hate the movie and there were parts of the movie that were good but not enough of the movie was good enough for me to give this movie a higher grade than a 2.
Final Rating

2 out of 5

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