Tag: Kim Hye Ja

The Wednesday Five: K-Dramas I’m Thankful For

Posted November 23, 2022 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

I’m a list person. I have a list for every single thing in my life from a to-do list, a list of books that I want to read, a running shopping list, and in the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing different k-entertainment lists that I’ve been keeping track of. You’ll be seeing my top 5 lists of stuff like my current celebrity crushes, my favorite k-drama female protagonists, my favorite k-drama male protagonists, my to-be-watched k-dramas, and you know, stuff like that.

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and this week’s Wednesday Five will feature the K-Dramas I’m Thankful For. These dramas are special to me in one shape or form.

1. Itaewon Class

Starring: Park Seo Joon, Kim Da Mi, Ahn Bo Hyun

I feel like I talk about this drama a lot but it really can’t be helped. I’m grateful that I watched Itaewon Class because it introduced me to the world of Korean Dramas. It was my first one and you never forget your first one. This drama was such a great introduction and I’m a massive fan of all things K-Dramas now because of this show.

2. Goblin

Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook

I’m super thankful for this show because it made me take notice of Gong Yoo and introduced me to Kim Go Eun. I saw Gong Yoo in Train to Busan first but I spent so much of that movie wanting to smack some damn sense into him that I didn’t fully appreciate how beautiful he was. LOL. No, but for real. When I watched him in this show, I was drooling all over the place. I was also ugly crying too. This man is fine as hell and made this show for me.

3. Dear My Friends

Starring: Go Hyung Jung, Kim Hye Ja, Na Moon Hee

Some of my favorite stories are stories that really make me sit up and take stock of my own life. Stories that make me reflect on how I’m living my life right now and if I’m doing all that I can to live a happy and healthy life. This was one of those dramas. Watching this drama made me miss my Mom and worry about my Dad. It made me want to be a better daughter and be more present in my Dad’s life. It made me want to treasure each day that I still have my Dad in my life and I’m thankful for that.

4. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Starring: Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye Ji, Oh Jung Se

I hadn’t intended to watch this drama. The dark theme and the female lead didn’t interest me at all but holy cow am I glad that I watched it. This was another drama that had me deep in my feelings and made me see things from several different perspectives and the life lessons that I learned from watching this one were such good lessons to learn. I’m grateful for each lesson, too.

5. My Mister

Starring: IU, Lee Sun Kyun, Park Ho San

This drama was my introduction to IU. I adore her to pieces so that alone would make me grateful but it was such a great drama as well. This is probably one of the dramas that cemented my love for all things Korean dramas. The overall story being told is woven so well and the emotional pull this one had on me was pretty great. I absolutely adore this drama and am so glad that I watched it.

What are some Korean Dramas that you’re thankful for?

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Review: Our Blues

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

Our Blues

Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Shin Min Ah, Cha Seung Won, Lee Jung Eun, Uhm Jung Hwa, Han Ji Min, Kim Woo Bin, Kim Hye Ja, Go Doo Shim
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 20
Genre: Life, Drama, Melodrama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Park Jimin
Who I Watched It For: Park Jimin

“Our Blues” takes on an omnibus-style drama, which tells the story of diverse characters that are somewhat interconnected, in one way or the other.

Lee Dong Suk, a guy born on the beautiful island of Jeju, sells goods from the mainland in his truck for a living. He meets Min Sun Ah, a girl with a mysterious past, who has come to Jeju to escape that life.

Park Jung Joon, a ship captain, falls in love with Lee Young Ok, a diver with a bright and bubbly personality.

Jung Eun Hee, a fish shop owner, reunites with her past lover Choi Han Soo. They cross paths in Jeju Island when he returns back, after realizing that city life is not for him.

I went into this drama because of Park Jimin. Jimin was singing one of the songs on the OST so to support my fellow Bulletproof Boyscout, I put this drama on my to watch list. I won’t lie. This show started off really slow. The first couple of stories dragged for me and I wasn’t sure that I’d continue because I had to hype myself up to watch the new episodes in the beginning but boy am I glad that I kept with it. With each passing week, I cried a little more and then when Jimin’s song with Ha Sung Woon finally makes its debut? I cried EVEN MORE. The song matched the couple’s story so well that I came to love the song even more as well.

There’s a lot of characters to follow in this show but I loved each and every story, every character, and just the entire town. Lee Young Ok’s character was hard to root for. She was so mysterious, so frustratingly hard to get to know that it turned me off but as her story starts to come to light more and more, I hated her less and less. While I didn’t completely understand the reasons she did the things that she did to and for her sister, in the end, I was glad that she found a home and I was glad that she could stop running from her life.

Each character in this show had a story to tell and we saw them all. Big stories, little stories, stories told through other stories, the way that the writers meshed them all together was pretty great. I can’t tell you which story was my favorite because it’s a tie between the pregnancy story and the granddaughter coming to stay with the grandmother. I cried the most in those two stories but each story was pretty great in their own right. All of the actors did a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life and I loved that each character shined in their own way and added to the village that I came to know and love in the end.

There’s a lot to love with this drama. Lots of great acting, a fantastic OST, and a lot of pretty eye candy to look at as well. The pacing is on the slower side but I thought it worked well with the kind of drama that this was. Everything comes at you but the overall feel of the drama is slow, steady, and oh so good. I really enjoyed this one and I think y’all will too.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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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.


Final Rating


4 out of 5

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