Tag: Drama

Review: The Sound of Magic

Posted October 11, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Sound of Magic

Starring: Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun, Hwang In Yeop
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Musical, Drama
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Who I Watched It For: Ji Chang Wook

High school student Yoon Ah Yi finances herself and her younger sister by working part-time jobs. She doesn’t know where her parents are. Debt collectors drove her father away from home—and then her mother fled too. But even with her poor financial circumstances, Yoon Ah Yi manages to rank near the top of her school academically. Yoon Ah Yi wants to become an adult as soon as possible, to have a stable job.

Her classmate Na Il Deung competes with Yoon Ah Yi for the top grade, but they begin to have feelings for each other.

One day, Yoon Ah Yi meets magician Lee Eul at an abandoned amusement park. He performs magic shows for people who believe in magic. He is a mysterious person; he comforts Yoon Ah Yi who tells him that she believes in magic.

I grew up watching and listening to a lot of musicals but I’ve never seen a k-drama musical before so I was mighty intrigued about this show. The drama also starred Ji Chang Wook and I love him so that was an added bonus in making me want to watch it. I was also pretty stoked to see Hwang In Yeop was in it too. I adored him in True Beauty so I was excited to see him in something else.

This drama follows a young woman, Yoon Ah Yi, as she struggles with raising her younger sister after both of her parents split, leaving both sisters penniless, and all alone. Ah Yi is still a student in high school so she’s super busy. She’s at school all day and then she rushes off to work various part-time jobs to put food on the table and through all of these hardships, she just endures. She goes through every single day with a focused determination to become an adult and a lot of that is because she wants better for herself and for her sister. At school, she battles for the top student spot with Na Il Deung and things get a little spicy when they start to develop feelings for each other.

Things get even more interesting when she meets magician, Lee Eul, at an abandoned amusement park. She starts to believe that there’s magic all around and seeing her come into her own over the course of this show made for a sweet and entertaining drama. I really enjoyed the musical aspect of this show and was delighted every time they broke into song and dance. I thought the dance numbers were done really well and the music was a lot of fun too. There were a lot of themes explored during this drama and I thought Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun, and Hwang In Yeop did a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life.

There was some confusion for me in the beginning episodes and I’m not going to lie, there were times when the stories dragged but the more that I watched, the more that I came to be invested in not just Yoon Ah Yi, but also in Ri Eul, and Na Il Deung’s character development. Each of their backstories was interesting and my heart hurt for all of them, my heart also rejoiced with them. I was happy with how everything wrapped up and though it’s not my favorite drama of the year, I was glad that I gave it a shot and saw it through to the end. I’ve become a big fan of each of the actors in this show and this show was a huge reason why. I’ll definitely be supporting their other works from here on out. If you need a bit of magic in your life, this might definitely be a go for you.

Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: A Business Proposal

Posted September 27, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

A Business Proposal

Starring: Ahn Hyo Seop, Kim Se Jeong, Kim Min Gue, Seol In Ah
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: N/A
Who I Watched It For: Ahn Hyo Seop

Shin Ha Ri is a single woman and works for a company. She has a male friend, who she has had a crush on for a long time, but she learns he has a girlfriend. Shin Ha Ri feels sad and decides to meet her friend Jin Young Seo, who is a daughter of a chaebol family. Jin Young Seo then asks Shin Ha Ri to take her place in a blind date and even offers some money for her time. Shin Ha Ri accepts her friend’s offer. She goes out on the blind date as Jin Young Seo, while having the intention to get rejected by her date. When she sees her blind date, Shin Ha Ri is dumbfounded. Her blind date is Kang Tae Mu. He is the CEO of the company where she works.

Kang Tae Mu is the CEO of a company that his grandfather founded. One day, his grandfather informed him of an upcoming blind date that he set up for him. Kang Tae Mu is a workaholic and he is annoyed that his grandfather sets up blind dates for him. He decides to marry the next woman whom he meets at a blind date, so he won’t be disturbed from his work anymore. That woman is Shin Ha Ri, but pretending to be Jin Young Seo.

On the following day, Shin Ha Ri receives a phone call from Kang Tae Mu. He asks her to marry him.

I’m a big fan of Ahn Hyo Seop so the minute I heard that this show was coming out, I added it to my watch list. I will always watch whatever he’s in and I’m glad that I gave this one a shot because it was a fun one.

The show is a modern-day love story between the CEO of a big food company and one of the employees at the company. They don’t know each other and they meet when the employee shows up at her best friend’s blind date with the CEO, pretending to be the best friend. That blind date sets the story rushing down the road of lies, and funny moments, and introduces a quirky cast of characters that you’ll be rooting on from beginning to end. It’s not one of those heavy dramas that are bogged down with a whole lot of heavy things. It’s a fast-paced romance that will take all of your worries away for a few hours and who doesn’t need that from time to time?

Ahn Hyo Seop plays our fine-ass CEO, Kang Tae Moo, and I thought he played the character well. I enjoyed watching him fall in love with the woman that exasperated him at every turn and I loved the way that once he made his mind up, there wasn’t any turning back. He was determined and driven and just marked all of my favorite things about a male lead. I adored him to pieces and that’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of times when I thought he was a bonehead that needed a swift kick in the ass. In the end, all is well that ends well and I didn’t have any complaints about where we left things with Kang Tae Moo.

Kim Se Jeong played our quirky and lovable female lead, Shin Ha Ri. She was a sweet, caring, and completely adorable female lead, and there were still quite a few times when I wanted to cuss her ass out too. I thought she kept the lie going far too long and the amount of times that she kept walking into stupid shit had me rolling my eyes but through all of that, I still quite adored her. Kim Se Jeong has fast become one of my go-to k-drama actresses to support and I thought she did a great job of bringing Shin Ha Ri to life. She captured that sweetness of her character extremely well and even though I kept rolling my eyes at the situations she found herself in, I powered through because Se Jeong was just too hot damn adorable not to keep supporting. Her heart was always in the right place and seeing her come to realize that her lifelong crush on someone that has never made a move on her and turning her focus to someone that is more than willing to be her man made the romance just that much sweeter to me.

As much as I enjoyed the main romance, the magic of this show, at least for me, was in the secondary romance between Kim Min Gue and Seol In Na’s characters. Every single scene between these two had me grinning from ear to ear. Their romance was too cute and I was so invested in their stories, in their romance, and just everything they were about. They had their fair shares of being boneheads but I didn’t care about any of that because those two characters made sense together and I loved seeing them fumble their way to their happy ending. I have so much love for them.

Overall, this drama was light and it was fun and it was just filled to the brim with things that made me happy. Don’t get me wrong, there are loads of corniness and heaps of wtf moments but through it all, the characters, their stories, and the romances will make the ride enjoyable anyway. I’m so glad that I watched this and though the ending was a little weak, the rest of the drama makes up for that. There are loads of eye candy and laugh-out moments and I’m sure that if you gave this one a shot, you’ll be glad you watched it too.

Final Rating


via GIPHY

4 out of 5

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Dear My Friends

Posted July 7, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Dear My Friends

Starring: Go Hyun Jung, Go Doo Shim, Kim Hye Ja, Park Won Sook, Na Moon Hee, Youn Yuk Jung, Jo In Sung
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Kim Namjoon

Park Wan is a translator who is constantly pulled by her mother, Jang Nan Hee, to hang out with her elder friends, Jo Hee Ja, Moon Jung Ah, Oh Choong Nam, and Lee Yeong Won. The plot revolves around the friends’ twilight years as they are rediscovering themselves through relationships and family, the struggles they face due to their old age, and their life journey that they share with Park Wan in the hope she would write a novel about them.

RM recommended this drama and though I normally wouldn’t have chosen to watch it for myself, I’m so glad that I gave it a try. This was one of those dramas that kicked you in the gut and made you sit up and take notice of yourself and your own life. There are life lessons in this one that spoke to me, as a person who has had to take care of aging parents. It’s never easy and your parents will have you wishing for peace at every turn. Watching this show made me remember the many times that I drove my Mom and her friends around while they laughed and had the best time. I never wanted to drive them but I always had the best time while I was with them.

This group of old ladies was no different from my crazy Samoan Mom and her friends. They were always getting themselves into some trouble or other and always calling me to come and pick them up. So I empathized with Park Wan. Wan was battling emotional baggage all fronts. From leaving her boyfriend back in Europe, to her running all over South Korea picking up and cleaning up her Mom’s group of friends messes, Wan lived a very busy and emotionally exhausting life. Add to that everything else that pops off during the course of this drama, my frustration with Wan’s character slowly turned into admiration as each episode passed.

The Story

The story follows an older group of friends as they live their lives. Each character is going through something different but equally relatable. They’re all growing older and some are dealing with neglectful children, declining health, being fed up with their spouses, and loneliness. Each character brings something different to the table and through it all, you grow close to each and every single one of them. From each of the different women in the friends group, to their kids, and mostly, to Wan. Wan was the kid that was there for all of the old ladies and she had a special relationship with each of them. They were family to her and she was there for them the same way that they were there for her. The story is woven pretty tight and before you know what’s what, you’ll be hooked.

The Cast

A huge chunk of this cast was familiar to me but the ones that weren’t, are familiar now. I adored each and every single one of these characters from main to supporting and I thought that each of them really shined and did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life. I cried and I laughed, and I felt all of the feelings because these actors and actresses are really good at their jobs. Not too long after I finished this show, BTS came to Las Vegas and I swear I saw my favorite halmoni at the airport after the concert. I was struck mute after seeing her rush from the car on the street to the airport. She was there with two young kids that I assumed were her grandkids but I had the biggest smile on my face because I loved her character in this show so much.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this drama was a great one. It has everything that I love and adore in a show. A charming cast, stories that come to life with every episode, and some life lessons that I apply to my own life. This show made me want to be a better daughter to my Dad. It made me glad for the time that I spent with my Mom and her friends when she was alive. It also made me want to listen more and talk less. My Dad is full of stories from his life in Samoa, to the beginning of his life here in the States, and I’m determined more than ever, thanks to this show, to make sure that I record those stories so that I can keep the memories alive for our future generations.

Through Wan and all of her old lady friends, we are treated to a heartwarming drama that will leave you appreciating the people in your life and want to hug your older relatives closer and tighter before they’re gone. You will feel all of the feels in this drama and you’ll be glad that you watched it when all is said and done. I definitely recommend.

The OST

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4 out of 5

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: School 2021

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

School 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Rating

via GIPHY

3.5 out of 5

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Red Sleeve

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

The Red Sleeve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4 out of 5

6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,