Tag: Romance

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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Review: Record of Youth

Posted January 26, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Record of YouthRecord of Youth
Starring: Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, Byeon Woo Seok
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

This is a drama about the growth record of young people who strive to achieve their dreams and love without despair in a generation where dreams have become a luxury and the passionate record of young people who beeline for their dreams in their own way, presenting excitement and empathy.

Sa Hye Joon is smart and handsome. He is a nice guy and a popular model, but what he really wants is to become an actor. He has auditioned for many acting roles, but hasn’t found success yet. Unfortunately, Sa Hye Joon doesn’t have much presence as an actor. Meanwhile, Ahn Jung Ha works as a make up artist. Bright and cheerful on the outside but lonely on the inside, Jung Ha takes out her stress and frustrations by fan-girling over idols.

Summary Credit

This drama started out with a lot of promise. I was really enjoying everything that was happening in the first half of the show. I was enjoying it so much that heading into the second half of the season brought about some anxiety as I just knew that the other shoe was going to drop and everything was going to go up in flames. I was right that everything was going to change in the second part of the season but I was less invested in what was happening in the second half.

So this show follows two best friends who are both actors and a makeup artist who is fiercely independent and a huge fangirl over the main male lead, Sa Hye-Jun (Park Bo Gum). Sa Hye-Jun is a twenty-something-year-old actor and model who is looking for his huge break. He’s a struggling actor, working multiple part-time jobs to support himself and seems to only get the crumbs from his much more successful, and rich best friend, Won Hae-Hyo. The story follows the both of them as they struggle, Hye-Jun struggled with staying true to himself and to his beliefs in the harsh world of entertainment, and Won Hae-Hyo struggles with being in the shadow of Hye-Jun’s spotlight for the first time. He’s not used to coming in second behind Hye-Jun in anything and realizing the truth about every job he’s ever gotten, every follower he’s got on social media bites him in the ass so they both struggle with being jealous of what the other has.

When Ahn Jeong-Ha comes onto the scene, she’s proud to be a fangirl for Hye-Jun because he’s everything she hoped that he would be before she met him. When they became friends and they flirted their way into a relationship, I was so invested in their relationship and in their lives apart from each other. They were interesting characters who didn’t have it easy but were optimistic that eventually if they worked hard enough, their efforts would pay off. They understood each other better than anyone else in their lives and seeing them grow to care for each other on a more personal level was a lot of fun.

I really enjoyed a lot of what this show had going on. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his grandfather was a good one. The relationship between Hye-Jun and his two best friends even though they were all idiots at different points in the show. I liked the friendship that sparked between Ahn Jeong-Ha and Hye-Jun’s manager was another fun friendship that was enjoyable. I liked that they all had their own struggles that they were dealing with but were still there for one another when it was needed. I liked that their friendships weren’t perfect but they were trying to be good people and when things fell apart, that was where I was left feeling confused AF. I didn’t understand what drove Jeong-Ha to do a lot of the things that she did, where Hye-Jun was concerned. It felt out of place, and character with what she felt and acted throughout the entire first part of the show.

A lot of the issues that Hye-Jun suffered through with his family, his friends, and then with the work stuff didn’t make sense to me. Like Hye-Jun’s Dad. What in the bleeping hell was his problem? He acted like Hye-Jun was irresponsible. The boy was damn near killing himself working so many different part-time jobs so that his parents didn’t have to support him and his acting jobs, but that didn’t stop his Dad from bitching at him for breathing. The way that the Dad’s lopsided support system worked got on my hot damn nerves because Hye-Jun was paying for crimes that were not his to begin with. I was glad that the Mom supported him and loved him through everything. But the Dad and the brother got on my hot damn nerves. The Dad eventually wins me over but even until the end, the brother annoyed the shit out of me.

Overall, the acting was good and the story was a solid one but the second half didn’t capture enough to keep me in love with what was happening to the characters and I just thought the second part of the season was weaker than the first. So it had a strong start but the end left a lot to be desired and I’m not used to that with the k-dramas that I’ve watched so far. I really finished the last episode looking like this…


Because, honestly, WTF kind of ending was that? It left a lot to be desired and I’m not a fan of those, leave it up to the consumer to figure out on their own BS. Tell me what the heck happens to them and leave no detail spared, please. So he comes back, sees that she’s wearing his shoes and …that’s it? Nope, didn’t like that shit. At all but I didn’t hate it enough to give this drama less than 3 stars so the strong start really saved this one for me.

I became a big fan of Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam, and Byeong Woo Seok so I’ll be on the lookout for more of their stuff for sure. Oh and another really big highlight for me was the Park Seo Jun cameo. OMG, every time he came on the screen, I was Hye-Jun’s manager. Haha, she was great and Park Seo Jun was fan-freaking-tastic too. I always love seeing him on my screen. So yeah, those were great and if the ending had matched the strong start, I would have given this one a higher grade but oh well…life’s not perfect.

Final Rating


3.75 out of 5
Listen to the OST

My favorite song from this drama was 나의 시간은 (Every Second). Every time that it played during the show, I was already teary-eyed or smiling super big. It was such a great song.
three-half-stars

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Review: Cheese in the Trap

Posted October 8, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Cheese in the Trap

Male Lead: Park Hae Jin
Female Lead: Kim Go Eun
Secondary Lead: Seo Kang Joon
Also Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Lee Sung Kyung, Park Min Ji
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: Kim Go Eun, Nam Joo Hyuk
Watched it For: Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Go Eun

Are even the most unlikely of people destined to be together? Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) is a dedicated student who has just returned to college after taking some time off to work part-time jobs and make money to pay for her tuition. Nothing has come easy for her in life, but she is determined to study hard and overcome her impoverished background. Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) is a handsome, athletic student who has returned to college as an upperclassman after serving his mandatory military service. Despite Seol’s best efforts, she keeps having unfortunate run-ins with Jung that irritates her while her friends, Jang Bo Ra (Park Min Ji) and Kwon Eun Taek (Nam Joo Hyuk), try to run interference. But when the broody Jung is somehow responsible for Seol being able to get one year’s free tuition, thereby eliminating her financial woes, Seol is confused by Jung’s actions. What will Seol do when she gets caught between the attentions of the mysterious Jung and his estranged friend, Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Joon)? “Cheese in the Trap” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Yoon Jung. It is based on a webtoon written by Soon Ggi. This series marks the television debut for film actress Kim Go Eun.
I watched this show because I’ve become a pretty big fan of both Kim Go Eun and Nam Joo Hyuk and they’re both in this show. I had really high hopes for this one since I’ve had a good running streak of really great Korean dramas set in college. I really enjoyed Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo and so I was riding that high when I started this one.

So this show follows our main female lead, Hong Seol. She’s a struggling college student that is trying her best to stay afloat. She’s working, she’s studying, and she’s trying to figure out how she’s going to pay for next year’s tuition because she doesn’t have a lot of parental support. Plus, her family isn’t well off and whatever money they have was used to send her younger brother abroad to study in the states. So yeah, Seol’s on her own. She doesn’t have a lot of free time but the free time that she does have, she spends with her two best friends. When she meets Yoo Jung, a rich guy that all the girls love, Seol isn’t that interested. They have nothing in common and she keeps catching him doing weird things. Things that she’s not a fan of and because of that, she tries to steer clear of him…but he keeps showing up wherever she is and…he’s interested in her. Getting to know him wasn’t in her plans but because they keep bumping into each other, she gives him a chance.

This show started off really strong. The main character, Hong Seol did a great job of hooking me into what she had going on. Between her and her two best friends, I was really rooting for this show to be a huge success and it almost was. The lengths that the hero went to get shit done was low key a turn-off. He had a God complex that didn’t sit right with me throughout the entire show and even in the end, I wanted to knee him in the balls because ugh. There’s only so many times that I can forgive someone for doing some creepy shit and letting it slide. Even after understanding the way that he thought and the way that he was, I still didn’t like it. Or him for that matter. I was much more invested in Hong Seol’s relationship with Baek In Ho (the second lead) and that almost never happens. I’m usually a stickler for the main couple no matter how much I like the second lead but this is the first show where that wasn’t the case.

I wanted to like this show because of Kim Eun Go and Nam Joo Hyuk but even with that strong start, the middle and the ending didn’t do anything for me and that bummed me out. I can’t rate this one higher than a 2.75 out of 5 stars. Oh well.
Listen to the OST
Final Rating

2.75 out of 5

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Review: Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Posted October 1, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 2 Comments

Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon

Male Lead: Park Hyung Sik
Female Lead: Park Bo Young
Secondary Lead: Ji Soo
Also Starring: Kim Won Hae, Yoo Jae Myung, Jeon Seok Ho,Shim Hye Jin, Im Won Hee, Ahn Woo Yeon
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched It For: Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, Ji Soo

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.
This show was brought to my attention by my k drama bestie, B Nice and it was such a big hit with me that even till this day, and many dramas later, I still find myself watching my favorite scenes from this show over and over again. The triple threat of Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, and Ji Soo was a major score for me. I enjoyed all of their characters and they brought this story to life like nobody else could and I loved the hell out of their work in this one.

So this story follows our main lead, Bong Soon. Bong Soon has grown up in a family where the women have super-human strength and she’s no different. She can pick up a bus full of people, punch through houses, and she benchpress everything. Trying to get a job at a gaming company is out of reach for her but her luck turns around when her strength gets her hired on as the CEO of her dream company’s bodyguard. An Min Hyuk is intrigued by the small little woman that he witnessed kick the shit out of a bunch of bad guys who bullied a bus driver and the kids that he was driving to school. He follows her to the police station where she’s giving her statement to her detective friend. The more that he sees of the woman, the more interested he is in her. He needs a bodyguard and thinks that this woman has just what he’s looking for in a bodyguard. It doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes, not that it matters anyway. Bong Soon ain’t trying to look his way. He annoys the hell out of her and thinks he’s gay so he’s out of the running for our girl.

Bong Soon has grown up with a huge crush on her childhood friend, Kook Doo but she’s never felt it was the right time for them and it’s thrown in her face when she finds out that Kook Doo’s got a girlfriend. She’s hurt and she’s frustrated but she can’t help who she loves any more than she can help the strength that she has that others don’t. But she has to try to get over him because she’s not a homewrecker so when she gets closer and closer to her annoying boss, she starts to realize that he’s not as bad as she initially thought. He’s actually a really great guy and he’s not gay either, haha.

Seeing both Bong Soon and Min Hyuk grow into their feelings for each other at the same time that they’re fighting bad guys left and right, was a lot of fun. This was a comedy, a romance, and even had some action thrown in and I was here for it all. I am such a huge fan of the three main leads because of their work in this show. I loved the romance in this, I loved the friendship that developed between Min Hyuk and Kook Doo and I really, really loved this scene:


I was a giant ball of emotions when I watched this scene. The way that he kept putting himself out there for her, hoping that she would stop looking at the guy that’s not looking at her and look at him instead. He was so good to her and he loved her so much and gahhhhh, I loved it! They’re one of my favorite couples to date. This show was a damn good show and I just adored it to pieces so I definitely recommend it to everyone.
Listen to the OST
Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: Revolutionary Love

Posted September 30, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Revolutionary Love

Male Lead: Choi Siwon
Female Lead: Kang So Ra
Secondary Lead: Gong Myung
Also Starring: Lee Jae Yoon, Kim Ye Won, Kyeon Mi Ri,Kang Yeongseok, Seo Yi Ahn, Choi Jae Sung
Year Released: 2017
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Choi Siwon
Who I Watched It For: Choi Siwon

Byun Hyuk (Choi Si-Won) is a son from a wealthy family who runs a large company. He lives a happy life without any specific goals. He is confident around women and he is also naive, with a warm heart. Byun Hyuk begins to live in a studio in a poor area. He hides his background.

Baek Joon (Kang So-Ra) lives in the same area. She works part-time jobs to make ends meet. Baek Joon graduated from a good university, but she was unable to land a job at a company and begin taking part-time jobs. She is positive and full of justice, but her life changes when Byun Hyuk appears.
I came across this show while browsing Netflix for a new show to watch. When I saw that Choi Siwon was the male lead in this one, and not the second lead, I started this one with a quickness. I really, really loved Choi Siwon in She was Pretty and was a little bummed that he didn’t get the girl (though he did go up against Park Seo Jun) but he gets the girl in this one and his character in this show was a freaking delight. He plays another rich boy who cracked me up in each and every episode.

He was kind of a crackhead, who got himself into troubling situations that his assistant had to get him out of. The situations were comical, really, but were always taken out of context and while he didn’t mean for things to be taken the way that they were, they always were and he always got in trouble for it. It’s a trip to me to see Korean grown adults still getting beat by their parents. It’s so different from Americans but reminds me of Samoans.

This show is a coming of age romantic comedy that follows three main characters. Byun Hyuk, Baek Joon, and Je Hoon. Baek Joon and Je Hoon go way back. They went to school together and now they live in the same apartment building. Baek Joon was a good student, she graduated from a good university but she hasn’t really applied herself to finding a steady paying job. Instead, she works at multiple part time jobs and she lives paycheck to paycheck. She’s content with the life that she’s living, even though her mother keeps bothering her for money that she doesn’t have. She’s become okay friends with Je Hoon, a guy that she once confessed her feelings too and was rejected by. They’re uneasy friends right now because while Baek Joon tries to be friends with Je Hoon, he’s hella mean to her and to the viewers, it’s completely obvious that he’s got it bad for her but she doesn’t see it…and the longer he goes without making his own confession to her, the higher the risk he runs of losing her completely. That becomes all too clear when his boss, rich boy Byun Hyuk, moves in with him after he gets kicked out of his parent’s house.

When Byun Hyuk meets Je Hoon, he’s immediately smitten with her but she’s much too busy for a relationship and she detests spoiled rich boys so of course, Byun Hyuk hides his background from her, hoping to win her over by getting to know her better and hopefully when she knows him better, she’ll understand him and want to be with him. The overall story moves pretty fast in this show and I appreciated that. We weren’t bogged down with a lot of information, and a lot of background stuff so I liked that. I liked that we were able to get to know the characters, get a feel for what their stories were, and where their lives were taking them. I loved the little family that they created for each other and the support system that they all became toward one another. Each character was going through different things and brought something different to the table that I was hooked from the jump.

There were some things that drove me a little batty, mostly had to do with Je Hoon’s character and how freaking slow and mean he was because he was so slow. My ship was set from the very beginning, even though there were brief moments sprinkled in to make me go soft for the second lead. Choi Siwon did a fantastic job with this character and I enjoyed both Kang So Ra and Gong Myung in this show too. I’m looking forward to watching more of their stuff. This drama was a fast watch with a fun bunch of characters and enough humor and romance to keep me interested and happy. I recommend.
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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