Tag: Shin Seung Ho

Review: Weak Hero Class 1

Posted December 29, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Weak Hero, Class 1

Starring: Park Ji Hoo, Choi Hyun Wook, Hong Kyung, Kim Su Gyeom, Lee Yeon, Shin Seung Ho
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 8
Genre: Drama, Action, Youth
Country: South Korea
Director: You Su Min
Screenwriter: You Su Min
Where to Watch: Viki

Yeon Shi Eun is a model student, who ranks at the top at his high school. Physically, Yeon Shi Eun appears like a weak boy, but by using his smarts, tools, and psychology, he fights against violence that takes place inside and outside of his school.

One of my favorite actors of this year and last is Choi Hyun Wook and the minute news dropped of his inclusion in this drama, I was in there like swimwear. Even though I’m kind of over bully stories, I was going to watch this no matter what and I’m SO glad that I did because this show??? Yeah, it’s that shit.

This is probably the best high school drama centered around bullies and violence that I’ve seen, period. I didn’t read the webtoon so I came into this drama completely ignorant of the story, the characters, and anything else to do with it so my thoughts are completely on the drama. My enjoyment of this drama was so high that I finished all eight episodes in one sitting. Of all the dramas that I watched this year, this is the drama that captivated me and had me at the edge of my seat through every single episode. The writers didn’t waste any scenes, didn’t waste any words, and didn’t waste any time with getting this show on the road.

This drama follows three high school students who become friends. Yeon Shi Eun is a loner who is just trying to graduate, get in college, and mind his business. He’s used to being on his own so when he becomes the target of harassment at school, he does everything he can to make sure it doesn’t escalate. That doesn’t go over well with his bullies who have too much time on their hands and of course, rich parents. Ahn Soo Ho is a coaster. He doesn’t care that much about school, is really only going so that he can graduate because it’s what his grandmother wants and he really loves his grandmother. He’s a really good fighter and that skill comes in handy when he befriends Shi Eun and the new transfer student, Oh Beom Seok. Oh Beom Seok is the son of a politician who had to switch schools because he was picked on pretty rough at his last school so he’s hoping to start new but when he gets roped into helping the bullies pick on Shi Eun, he hires Soo Ho to save Shi Eun.

The three become fast friends, even though Shi Eun did all that he could to discourage that connection as well. There’s no discouraging Soo Ho though. Soo Ho kept showing up until Shi Eun gave up. The thing about the three of these guys is that the school violence goes far beyond the school grounds. It felt like no matter where Shi Eun went, the bullies followed him and made it hard for him to live his life peacefully. The conflict grows when the trio befriends a young girl named Young Yi. When she joins the group, she brings about some internal conflict that seriously pissed me off at every turn.

There was so much conflict for such a short drama and despite there only being 8 episodes, I didn’t feel like the story suffered any because of that. I thought that the execution for this drama was done really well. It’s not an easy watch by any stretch but it was compelling as shit. It was dark, it was violent, but it was also gripping. This show had me in a chokehold and even though I wanted to fight everyone and their mom, I couldn’t stop watching. Park Ji Hoon did the damn thing in this one. I’m not sure if he’s in anything else but this will not be the last drama that I watch him in. I think he’s got a bright future in acting and I look forward to supporting his journey.

As much as I loved him and his portrayal of Shi Eun, Choi Hyun Wook was the highlight for me (who’s surprised?). I really, really, really, really loved his character and I cried buckets at the fight scene (if you know, you know) and I was so furious with Beom Seok that I had a hard time sympathizing with the kind of family life he had. He made it so hard to sympathize with him by acting out the way that he did…especially with Soo Ho. And his answer to Shi Eun when Shi Eun asked him why he did everything that he did? PISSED ME OFF EVEN MORE. I hated that instead of having a conversation with Soo Ho, he becomes the very worst version of himself and he did not deserve Soo Ho. He didn’t even deserve all of the chances that Shi Eun gave him.

I really enjoyed Shi Eun’s character. At first, second, and even third glance, you see a regular kid who doesn’t talk to others much and really minds his own business. He doesn’t look like a fighter and goes out of his way to avoid violence but seeing him driven to defend himself and his friends time and time again had me so soft for him. Like, I wanted to shield him from all of the hurts that this world kept dropping on him. I wanted to be on his side and be the support system that he so desperately needed. The acknowledgment from his parents came too little, too late for me but I did like that despite having shitty and neglectful parents, he still became such a strong and upstanding person.

I know that we’re getting a second season and I cannot wait. I need to know how this all turns out and what happens to Shi Eun, Soo Ho, and even Beom Seok after some time has passed. I’m curious to see if we see them all show up at Shi Eun’s new school. Overall, this was a pretty terrific drama and I’m so glad that I watched it. I’ll be waiting as patiently as I can for any kind of announcement for the next season so if you haven’t already watched this, I highly recommend that you do. This drama was nothing that I imagined it was going to be but I’m okay with that because it was so stinking good.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4.5 out of 5

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Review: Alchemy of Souls

Posted December 13, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Alchemy of Souls

Starring: Lee Jae Wook, Jung So Min, Hwang Min Hyun, Shin Seung Ho, Yoo Joon Sang, Oh Na Ra
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: Drama, Action, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Country: South Korea
Director: Park Joon Hwa
Screenwriter: Hong Jung Eun, Hong Mi Ran
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Therese
Who I Watched It For: Go Yoon Jung

Set in a fictional country called Daeho that does not exist in history or on maps, it is about the love and growth of young mages as they overcome their twisted fates due to a forbidden magic spell known as the “alchemy of souls”, which allows souls to switch bodies.

It follows the story of an elite assassin named Naksu, whose soul is accidentally trapped inside the weak body of Mu Deok, Jang Uk’s servant, from a powerful and noble mage family in the country. The young master of the Jang Family, Jang Uk, holds a dark secret about his scandalous birth. He wants the formidable assassin to help change his destiny.

I almost didn’t watch this show because I wasn’t that interested in the premise but then my best friend told me that she was watching it and enjoying it so I took one more look and saw that my girl, Go Yoon Jung from Law School was in this one and I was immediately in. I’m so glad that I started it too because this is hands down my favorite drama of 2022. Therese and I have been obsessed wth this show since we started it. I was on pins and needles every single week and every single week, I was left wanting more. I adored the chemistry between Jang Uk and Mudeok, but I also enjoyed the story being told, and the other characters, and I just had a blast watching this.

The Story

The story follows Naksu, a trained assassin, as she tries to carry out her lifelong vengeance against every family that had a hand in the killing of her father. When she gets in over her head, she uses her magic to shift her soul into a random woman, in the village she was in so that she can save herself and figure out a way to come back from this setback. When Jang Uk asks her for her help in exchange for his silence about who she is and what she’s done, they enter into a mutual working relationship. She, as Mudeok, is maidservant to Jang Uk, a mage with no magic from one of the powerful families in Daeho.

He needs her help in unlocking his magic and she needs his help in keeping her soul-shifting secret while she figures a way out of the mess she’s in. Seeing these two battle their own individual struggles and then fall in love with each other and then battle everything together made for a very interesting drama. One that I’m very glad that I watched from beginning to end.

Male Lead

Jang Uk was my absolute favorite part of this show. There’s a lot to unpack with his character. When we first meet him, he’s down on his luck, trying to unlock his magic with the help of different teachers but so far, nobody has been able to help him. He’s the laughingstock of Daeho and yet, he’s got a stubborn streak a mile wide and he doesn’t know the meaning of give up. When he comes across the assassin Naksu, he asks her to help him unlock his magic and he’ll keep her secret. Seeing him work his ass off to unlock his magic, fall on his ass from trying all day and all night, and getting back up to try again made me soft for him. Like, all over soft for him. He was an amazing hero that I loved cheering for. He made cheering for him with each passing episode worth it and him being fine as hell didn’t hurt.

The love that blossomed between him and Mudeok (Naksu) had me hooked to my seat every single week. I am a sucker for a good romance and Jang Uk’s love for Mudeok was everything that I hoped it would and more. I loved Jang Uk in love. His character arc was interesting, it was fun, and I absolutely loved it and him.

Female Lead

I’ve only watched Jung So Min in one drama and I hated that drama so much that I never watched her in much of anything else. I’m glad that I was re-introduced to her again because I really liked her character in this drama. She played Mudeok really well and I rooted for her like crazy. She was a hard nut to crack but Jang Uk cracked it.

She was smart and she was savvy, but she was also a bit soft on the inside. Sure, her softness was hidden so deep that it was hard to see right off the bat but you could totally see Jang Uk’s influence over her and it was just so stinkin’ great. I loved that she grew close to him and that knowing him, changed her for the better. She really holds her own against pretty everything and everyone and you can’t help but respect the hell out of her. Often times, everyone loves the female lead but you don’t really know why (hello, Bella Swan) but it’s not hard to see why everyone loved and wanted Mudeok. She was that bitch and even though I started this show for the real Naksu, I still really liked Mudeok.

The Cast

From Yul to the Crown Prince, to Dang Gu to the brothel woman and the granddaughter, Maidserveant Kim, there are a lot of wonderful characters. Each and every single character brought their own charms to the story and made me a fan of them all. There wasn’t a weak link amongst this cast and for every character that I loved, there was a character that I hated just as much but even the characters that I hated had me interested in what they were up to and how my favorite characters were going to take them down.

There were a lot of familiar faces in this cast and I had a fantastic time watching them every week. The story, the cast, the romance, all of it made for a great tv viewing experience and I’m just the happiest camper that right now, the second season is under way and I’m enjoying these characters all over again.

Final Thoughts

I think what really set this drama apart from all of the other dramas that I watched this year was the chemistry between Jang Uk and Mudeok. They worked really well together and they really sold the roles that they played. They were a lot of fun to get to know and their individual stories, along with their shared story was one for the books. You start off rooting for Jang Uk to unlock his gate of energy and then you start rooting for Mudeok to find her jade stone, for them to finally be able to happy and in love, but in the end, you’re left shocked to your core that their story isn’t done and you have to wait months to find out how their story officially wraps up.

Along with some other pretty fantastic and colorful characters that carried the show well when Jang Uk and Mudeok weren’t at the center, the story is so well written and brought to life that I can’t find fault with anything, not even the way that the show ended. I’m good and well hooked on this show, the characters, and the main romance. While I didn’t like every single character in this show (hello, Jin Mu and well, all of the Jin’s along with the fake blind girl can all take a hike), there was too much substance and so much great storytelling that I loved this show to death. So, so much.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

5 out of 5

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Review: Love Alarm

Posted August 27, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Love Alarm

Male Lead: Song Kang
Female Lead: Kim So Hyun
Secondary Lead: Jung Ga Ram
Also Starring: Go Min Si, Z Hera, Shin Seung Ho, Lee Jae Eung, Song Seon Mi, Song Geon Hee, Kim Young Ok, Cho Deok Hoe
Year Released: 2019
Number of Episodes: 8
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Nobody
Watched It For: –

In a world where an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim Jojo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities.

Love Alarm is about an app that alerts the user when someone that likes them is within like 10 meters of them and it follows our main lead, Kim Jo Jo, a young woman who lives with her Aunt and cousin and works multiple part-time jobs to support herself. She came to live with her Aunt when her Mom died and left Kim Jo Jo, an orphan. Kim Jo Jo hasn’t had an easy life, she’s only known grief and unhappiness as her family life isn’t ideal. Her Aunt and cousin remind her constantly that she is mooching off of them, even though she works hard both at school and at work to support herself and works as a free laborer for the Aunt’s convenience store, but they don’t recognize much outside of themselves and their lives and that pissed me off a lot.

When the show first starts, we meet Kim Jo Jo but we also meet Hwang Sun Oh and Lee Hye Yeong, two childhood friends who are reunited when Sun Oh returns to Korea after being abroad. The two boys are best friends and Hwang Sun Oh comes home, ready to pick up his friendship with Hye Yeong again but while he was away, Hye Yeong has gotten himself a part-time job and is pretty busy. The two boys are close but the time apart has put some distance between them and Sun Oh doesn’t like it. While trying to run Hye Yeong down, Sun Oh sees the girl who has captured Hye Yeong’s attention. Kim Jo Jo. They work together at a Korean BBQ restaurant and Sun Oh follows Hye Yeong, who follows Kim Jo Jo to make sure that she gets to her bus stop safely. It is quite obvious that Hye Yeong has a crush on Kim Jo Jo and Sun Oh sees that while tailing his friend but as the show progresses, you see Sun Oh still go after Kim Jo Jo, much to Hye Yeong’s chagrin.

So I guess Netflix released only 8 episodes of this show, with the ending 8 episodes to follow sometime soon. With the pandemic, I’m not sure what happened to the release date for the second part but I hope we get to see where everyone ends up because I need some closure here.

This part was all about Kim Jo Jo and Sun Oh and while I did enjoy getting to know the both of them better, at the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but remember every time that Sun Oh and Kim Jo Jo kissed or hugged or fell a little more in love with each other, that Sun Oh did his best friend dirty. I’m not a big fan of friends sliding into the DM’s of girls or boys that their best friend likes so I wasn’t a big fan of the way that both Kim Jo Jo and Hwang Sun Oh got together.

It also took me a little bit to connect with Sun Oh’s character because he plays a very reserved but off putting character but the more you get to know him, the more you understand why he is the way that he is and what drives him to be the person that he is. There were sweet moments between Kim Jo Jo and Hwang Sun Oh but I couldn’t help but look forward to seeing what kind of relationship can blossom between Hye Yeong and Kim Jo Jo.

One of the main reasons that I adore Korean Dramas is that each show is 16 episodes and that’s it. There’s no dragging out romances and storylines for years and years and years. You get 16 episodes of a story that builds over those episodes and then you get a solid ending. We don’t get that here. This show ends on a cliff hanger and I wasn’t a big fan of that. I would have preferred to have waited to see all of the episodes together but by the time I realized that there were only 8 episodes of this show, I was on episode 6 so it was too late to stop.

I will say that the first 8 episodes are interesting and enjoyable but I wanted more Hye Yeong and I didn’t think we got nearly enough of him so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s a different story in the second season. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a cute romance but beware of the cliff hanger and if you could, I’d wait until both seasons release to watch it all in one go. Still, I’m glad that I watched it and even though I spent a good chunk of the story frustrated, it’s still good stuff.

Listen to the OST

Final Rating

3.75 out of 5

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