Tag: Romance

Review: The Red Sleeve

Posted February 1, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 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

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Review: Uncontrollably Fond

Posted September 23, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Uncontrollably Fond

Starring: Kim Woo Bin, Bae Suzy, Im Joo Hwan
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 20
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Kim Woo Bin
Who I Watched It For: Kim Woo Bin

People change but can the heart adapt? Sin Joon Young and No Eul were in love in their younger days. But uncontrollable circumstances separated them and they went their separate ways. Joon Young is now a superstar actor and singer, while No Eul became a producer-director of documentaries. When their paths cross again years later, Joon Young discovers that No Eul is now a very different person than he remembered — materialistic and willing to do anything to get ahead. Is there any hope for Joon Young and No Eul to rekindle their past relationship?
I won’t get into what this show was about, you can read all about it above in the drama blurb. I’m just going to jump right into my thoughts. This was the first drama that I’ve watched Kim Woo Bin as the main male lead. It won’t be the last, at least I hope it won’t. His character in this show pissed me off at least twice in every episode but I couldn’t help but love him anyway. I hated the way that he treated No Eul in the beginning and his asshole attitude made me want to punch him in the nuts many times over but for some reason, I’m sure his good looks helped his case plenty (gah, I’m so shallow!), I still felt for him. I wanted to smack some sense into him and then hug him better. His character was complicated and his story was a hard one to get through but I thought Kim Woo Bin’s acting was fantastic and I ate up every scene he was in.

Bae Suzy was the female lead in this one and she was another fantastic addition to this cast. I loved her character, I loved the complexity that she brought to No Eul’s character and I just thought she was a great noona to her younger brother, No Jik (even though there were times when he didn’t appreciate her efforts). I also wanted to punch her in the gut more than once each episode. I kept giving her a break though because she was dealt a really shitty life hand and I don’t think I could have survived what she did. As each episode passed, I grew to love her character more and more. My heart hurt for her and though she did stupid things that pissed me off in the beginning, I’m glad that I stuck around because she was one of the strongest characters in the entire show and I really admired her.

The second lead made me want to punch a hole in a wall. I don’t think that I’ve watched a drama where I was so adamantly against the second lead. Everything he did pissed me off and it was like every chance he got, he did something else that made me want to punch him in the dick. Even in the end, I don’t know that I completely came to like him but I didn’t hate him either.

Kim Woo Bin’s Mom in this show pissed me off. It’s one thing for her to be disappointed and hurt with his life choices but for her to take it as far as she did? Manipulating and spreading those hateful comments? That’s stupid, immature, and just flat-out mean. You don’t do shit like that to your kids, no matter how disappointed you are in them. When Joo Yeong finally let his Mom have it, after enduring five years of his mother’s manipulation, I was a giant ball of tears…and even after their big blowout, she still pissed me off. She was such a terrible person. She cared more about the man that left her than her own son. She made him feel like an outsider in his own family and considering everything that he was battling in this show, with every episode where she didn’t back him, it made me hate her more and more.

I’m telling you, this show was so damn messy and I’m not typically the audience for that kind of shit cause I can’t get through shows like Penthouse and Sky Castle (though I’ve tried) but as mad as this show made me, I was compelled to continue. I needed to see how everything came together and I needed to see it all through to the end. I ugly cried through so much of this show that I had to keep pausing to catch my breath and wipe my face cause I couldn’t see the screen. There was much to unpack throughout the entire course of this show and piecing each piece together kept me going but it wasn’t without its drawbacks.

This show touches on a lot of subjects that had me sitting up to take notice. There was much corruption in the people that are supposed to uphold the law and seeing the rich feed on the poor made me just as mad as the characters did. Despite all of that, I watched every episode and I’m not sure what that says about me. Haha. Was the show good? Yes. Was it hard to get through? Also, yes. Would I watch this show ever again? Probably not because that ending? I’m still sorting through how I feel about it. So if you’re in the mood to cry your eyes out, and rage watch something then this is probably the show for you.
Final Rating

2.75 out of 5

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Review: Racket Boys

Posted September 16, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Racket Boys

Starring: Tang Jun Sang, Son Sang Yeon, Choi Hyun Wook, Kim Kang Hoon, Kim Min Ki, Lee Jae In, Lee Ji Won
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Tang Jun Sang
Who I Watched It For: Tang Jun Sang

A story of a boys’ badminton team at a middle school in Haenam as they grow, both as people and as players.

Yoon Hyun Jong was once a very good badminton player, but now he struggles to make ends meet for his family. Therefore, he jumps at a chance to coach a middle school team, only to find a team on the verge of disbandment with only three players: Bang Yoon Dam, Na Woo Chan, and Lee Yong Tae. The three boys struggle along, improving as Yoon Hae Kang, Yoon Hyun Jong’s son joins the team along with Jung In Sol. Now having enough players to enter competitions, they try to soar to new heights.

Meanwhile, Ra Young Ja, former top badminton player and Yoon Hyun Jong’s wife, is the coach of the girls’ badminton team at a girl’s middle school in Haenam. On her team are Han Se Yoon, the #1 ranked junior female player in Korea and Lee Han Sol, Se Yoon’s best friend, allowing them to be one of the best teams among their peers.
This show was so damn wholesome, I couldn’t stand it. Between the badminton teams (both boys and girls), the folks from the village, and just every damn thing – I was in constant love. I watched this weekly, as the episodes were releasing so I had a bit of a wait between episodes but that didn’t diminish my love for the storyline, the characters, and every dang thing about this show. I finished each episode, every week with a giant smile on my face because I loved it all.

There was a slight pause in the airing of a week’s worth of episodes due to the Summer Olympics and I was really bummed about that. I was watching both the Olympics and this show so I had a little attitude during the break but alls well that ends well and this show definitely ends well. It felt like every episode was a freaking season finale but we only had a week to wait between seasons.

I really adored the boy’s badminton team. Seeing them struggle to be taken seriously with the constant threat of shut down (of their program and season) and just overcoming obstacle after obstacle had me rooting like crazy for the whole lot of them. I loved how close they got to each other. I loved their ups and their downs and I absolutely loved the way that they teased each other and supported each other. I loved their truth bench and how different each of them were from the other. They became a family in the real sense and I loved it to pieces.

What I loved a lot about this show was how every character was a three-dimensional character with flaws and not cookie-cutter characters that fit a mold. I loved that each character had charms that were specific to them and they all had their own unique situations and struggles. On top of that, the village as a whole had struggles, and seeing each village member come together to bring the bad guys down just made this whole show that much better.

This show introduced me to new actors that I wasn’t aware of before and it also showed me that actors who played characters that I absolutely hated in other shows had what it takes to make me fall in love with them in this one. I couldn’t stand Choi Hyun Wook’s character in Taxi Driver but I adored the hell out of him as Na Woo Chan in this show. There’s a lot to love about this show. It has charm in spades and a cast of characters that you will come to adore with every fiber of your being. This show has grit and it has a heartwarming story that will hook you right from the jump. I absolutely recommend this if you’re in the mood for something light, funny, but full of hope. This drama doesn’t disappoint.
Final Rating

5 out of 5

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Review: My Roommate is a Gumiho

Posted September 14, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 4 Comments

My Roommate is a Gumiho

Starring: Jang Ki Yong, Lee Hye Ri, Bae In Hyuk
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki, QIY
Recommended By: Lee Hye Ri
Who I Watched It For: Lee Hye Ri

Shin Woo Yeo is a handsome and smart writer, who is actually a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox. To become a human, he collects human energy in a bead. One day, the drunk friend of Lee Dam, a university student, falls asleep on top of an expensive car whose owner is Woo Yeo. While Lee Dam struggles to take her friend away and Woo Yeo trying to help her, Woo Yeo’s bead accidentally falls out of his mouth, and Lee Dam unintentionally swallows it. The bead can exist inside of a human for no more than 1 year and, afterward, the bead will break inside of that person causing the person to die. Not wanting to lose his chance in becoming a human, Woo Yeo explains to Lee Dam their predicament and suggests living together until they figure out a solution. Lee Dam, who has never had a boyfriend in her life, now lives with Shin Woo Yeo.
I started this show because I’ve become a big fan of the female lead, Lee Hye Ri. I loved her acting and her character in Reply 1988 so I was looking forward to seeing what she brought to this new character, Lee Dam, and I wasn’t disappointed. My girl can act and she’s funny as hell. She plays the goofy heroine extremely well and I was here for all of it in this show.

This was the first show that I saw Jang Ki Yong front and center and holy shit, this man is beautiful! He plays the loner immortal role really well too. Seeing him bring Shin Woo Yeo to life was a delight and a half. I loved seeing him fall in love with Lee Dam, even when he didn’t know and understand that was what was happening to him. Lee Dam was the perfect match for him and I completely adored their romance.

This story was complex and it was full of baloney but holy cow was it a lot of fun. I laughed, I smiled, and I cried throughout much of this show and through it all, I was entertained as hell. I loved the friendship between Shin Woo Yeo and Yang Hye Sun. The way that they both tried to live as humans and how often they got everything so wrong made me laugh so much. Their chemistry was fun and seeing them interact with all of the young college students, when they were hundreds of years old just made this show all the more fun. I also really loved the friendship between Lee Dam and her crew. They were so ride or die for each other and every single time that they got drunk together or fought together had me cracking the hell up.

Lee Dam was my kind of character. Someone I wanted to be and someone that I wanted to be besties with. She was a lot of fun but her moral compass was screwed on tight in the right direction. She was weird and she made no apologies for that. She liked what she liked and to hell with what anyone else had to say about it. She was also extremely loyal to those that she loved and to those that loved her. She was honest and just an all-around great person and I adored the hell out of her.

The second lead was someone that I had never heard about until this show and though I liked his character well enough, I wasn’t rooting for him to win Lee Dam. I did feel bad for him though because he had it bad for her and no matter what he did to win her over, she would not be swayed from Eoreushin. Even when outside forces did whatever they could to help his cause, she would not be moved. When we first met the second lead, I didn’t care for him and he really grew on me the more episodes that I watched. In the end, my heart really hurt for him and I wished him well. I hope he’s happy, wherever he is now. Haha.

The story started off strong and though there were times when things moved at a weird pace, I enjoyed every single episode. I enjoyed the main romance, the secondary romance, and I supported the hell out of all of Lee Dam’s loved ones. I was rooting for everyone and everything to work out in the end and I wasn’t disappointed. The beginning started off strong and I respected that since a lot of books and dramas have that weird beginning hump that you have to slog through to get to all of the good bits. The cast was delightful and the acting was great. Overall, this was a fun drama that didn’t take itself too seriously and I have every confidence that you’ll like this drama if you give it a chance.

Final Rating


4.25 out of 5

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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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