Tag: Korean Dramas

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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Eye Candy Friday: Han Seo Joon from True Beauty

Posted March 26, 2021 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Eye Candy Friday is something that I’ve been doing since I first started my personal blog way back in 2003. That first personal blog is long gone but I’ve never really grown out of the eye candy phase. I’m always up for some eye candy. Whether it’s a character from a book (male or female, I don’t discriminate), a character from a movie or TV Show, if I loved them and want to gush about how much I loved them, you’ll find them here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

This week, I’m featuring Han Seo Joon from the k-drama, True Beauty. There were a lot of things that pissed me off about Seo Joon but I also really loved him too. He was the kind of character that you wanted right next to you when shit hit the fan. He was a great support system to those around him and he felt everything the way that young adults feel thing, and that’s very passionately. There were moments when I questioned how loyal I would continue to be to Su Ho because I came to love Han Seo Joon so much.

His character growth over the course of the show was probably my favorite and his personality and the way that Hwang In Yeop brought his character to life was just *chef’s kiss*. Such a great character and a great actor as well. I will definitely be watching out for more of this guy.







Until next week…enjoy!

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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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The Weekly Recap (161)

Posted February 16, 2021 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments


The Weekly Recap is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a feature where I recap my week in books, movies, and kdramas. Since we’re still in a pandemic, I’m not doing much outside of my house and I really doubt you guys want to hear about my trips to the grocery store so stick around and let’s see what I got into this week.
What I Watched


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 3: Always and Forever | 4 out of 5
The Uncanny Counter | 5 out of 5
Time to Hunt | 4 out of 5
Burning | 3.5 out of 5
What I Read


Wicked Fox by Kat Cho | 4 out of 5
Time Magazine Collector’s Edition: BTS | 5 out of 5
What I Listened To


Love Yourself: 轉 Tear
Skool Luv Affair
BE
What I Got


Love Yourself: 承 Her
Love Yourself: 轉 Tear
Love Yourself: 結 Answer

I’m collecting all of the BTS albums (the actual albums, not just on Apple Music or whatever) and so far, I’ve got the first three (2 Cool 4 Skool, O,RUL82?, and Skool Luv Affair) then I have the special edition of the Skool Luv Affair and the BE album. This weekend, I added these three albums to my collection so it’s been a super great week for me in terms of my BTS collection. As far as photo cards? I got a J Hope, a Jimin, and a Suga so woo hoo for more photo cards! I’m still waiting for a V since he’s my bias but I get just as excited for any photo card so I’ll patiently wait for my turn to nab a V photo.

Eye Candy Friday


Park Jimin
Jimin, from BTS
What I Reviewed
Nothing. I really need to start writing more reviews and posts. Yikes.
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (160)
Eye Candy Friday: Park Jimin, Jimin from BTS
What Made Me Laugh

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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