Tag: Watched in 2021

Review: School 2021

Posted July 5, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

School 2021

Starring: Kim Yo Han, Jo Yi Hyun, Choo Young Woo, Hwang Bo Reum
Year Released: 2021
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: , Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki

“School 2021” is the story of students attending a specialized high school and seeking their ambitions, rather than going off to college. It will delve into how these students learn about love, friendship, true passions, and growing up in an intense environment.

Kong Ki Joon is a hardworking student who assumes work and school simultaneously. He is a person who loses his 11-year-old dream of taekwondo due to injury and is unsure of knowing what to do. Jung Young Joo is a transfer student with a hidden story and a past connection to Kong Ki Joon.

Jin Ji Won, a confident high school girl with a solid dream, confidently communicates her opinion though she is in conflict with her mother about going to college. Kang Seo Young is a gifted student who is preparing, by herself, for college entrance exams. She is aiming to enter one of the top five universities in Korea.

Lee Kang Hoon is a teacher who values a work-life balance. He gradually grows along with his students. Koo Mi Hee is the chairman of the board. Lee Jae Hee is the twin sister of Lee Jae Hyuk. She is a quiet person and strives to make many new changes. Lee Jae Hyuk is Lee Jae Hee’s twin. Unlike Jae Hee, Jae Hyuk is the person who receives support from the foundation.

I’m not sure what prompted my desire to watch this show. I didn’t watch any of the other school shows and I don’t remember watching any of the characters in anything else but for some reason, I wanted to watch this and I’m glad that I did. This drama had the right amount of cuteness, the right amount of romance, and the right characters to really bring the story together. I enjoyed each character and though I enjoyed the secondary romance more than the main romance, I still rather enjoyed the drama as a whole and am already on the lookout for more dramas to support and watch each actor/actress in this show.

The main romance was cute but there were times when it moved a smidge too slow for my liking. There wasn’t anything wrong with either character, I just enjoyed other characters more and that’s not supposed to happen with the main couple. Of the two in the main romance, Ki Joon was probably my least favorite character. I felt bad for what he was going through with his grandfather but I couldn’t connect with anything else where he was concerned. I didn’t hate him or anything, he just wasn’t my favorite character. I liked the female lead well enough but she wasn’t my favorite either. I did like her though. My heart hurt for the way that she was out there chasing her dream, even though she was going through her shit with her Mom.

My favorite part of this show was the secondary romance. Every week that I tuned in, I was waiting to see if there was any more development between these two. I knew that Young Woo had a thing for Ji Won but man, Seo Young, my favorite character in this entire show had it so bad for him, and seeing the two of them come into their feelings for each other had the right amount of push and pull for me to tune in every single week. I loved their background stories and I really enjoyed their characters as well. I’m not normally one who pulls for the secondary characters as much as the main couple but in this drama, it was all about Young Joo and Seo Youn for me.

Overall, this was an easy show to watch. It wasn’t bogged down with too much shit and I really appreciated that. The characters were interesting, and seeing them have to deal with a bunch of shitty adults and tackle each problem that came their way as a team made for lots of heartwarming interactions and while this isn’t my favorite drama of the year, I appreciated their efforts in delivering a satisfying drama that kept me interested and invested in what was to come. I recommend.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

3.5 out of 5

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My Year in Review: 2021 in K-Dramas

Posted January 4, 2022 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

If you know me then you know that I’m a huge nerd. I track the shit out of everything that I do so that I can keep track of what I’m spending my time on. When I was reading a hundred books a year, I tracked what I was reading, what genres I was reading the most and least of, and now that I’m really into watching k-dramas, as you can guess, I tracked my k-drama watching.

This is the second year of me watching pretty much all Korean dramas and I’m pretty sure that this blog is going to turn into my little k-drama blog so please look forward to that. When I first started watching k-dramas, I binge-watched dramas back to back to back. I never watched any of the dramas that were airing weekly but 2021 changed that. This last year, I mostly watched the newer dramas that were airing new episodes every week. I’m pretty sure I’ll be following that same format in 2022 as I like having episodes to look forward to.

Anyway, let’s break this year down, shall we?

Quick Stats of the Year

Dramas Completed: 42 | Drama’s Put On Hold: 2 | Dramas Dropped: 10 | Dramas Re-Watched: 0
Dramas Watched:: 54 | Episodes Watched: 637
Favorite Drama: Racket Boys | Least Favorite Drama: Nevertheless

The Breakdown

By Month

January: 3
February: 4
March: 4
April: 1
May: 4
June: 3
July: 4
August: 10
September: 4
October: 8
November: 4
December: 3

I spent less time binge-watching shows even though I was always watching shows. I watched the most shows in the month of August, did I finish all of those shows? Nope, but I did try to. In April, I only watched one show but that makes sense since I was knee-deep into watching the anime Haikyuu around that time. So I averaged around 3-4 shows a month. That’s not bad.

By Genre

Contemporary: 29
Drama – Suspense: 8
Dystopian: 1
Fantasy: 8
Historical: 5
Horror: 2

As you can tell, I really enjoy modern-day storytelling so a huge chunk of the dramas that I watched this past year was contemporary. I love romantic comedies, high school romances, college romances, and just all of the romances. I do take brief breaks to watch dramas, crime thrillers, and some horror stuff so it’s not all sunshine and rainbows or anything like that. I’m wondering if that theme will carry on into the new year since I’m a lot more into horrors, fantasies, and historicals lately. I guess I’ll see…

By Source

Disney +: 0
iQiy: 2
Netflix: 25
Viki: 29

Most of the shows that I’m watching are on Viki. I do watch a fair share amount of dramas on Netflix but it’s not surprising to me at all that I watched the most shows on Viki. I’m making my monthly subscriptions well worth the money I’m spending on them and I’m good with that.

Overall, I didn’t really have a goal for how many shows I wanted to watch last year. My vibe was more, do what I want and I watched a good mix of shows that were quality ways to spend my time so I’m not mad at all.

Here’s a look at my favorites and least favorites of the year…

My Favorites and Least Favorites of the Year

Favorite Dramas

Racket Boys
Taxi Driver
The Uncanny Counter

These are my top shows of the year. I adored and enjoyed each of these so much. Racket Boys was such a wholesome show that I looked forward to every week. Taxi Driver made me cry a lot but I really came to love the Rainbow Taxi crew, most especially Kim Do Ki and I’m looking forward to season 2. The Uncanny Counter was another show that I enjoyed every minute of. I can’t wait for the second season.

Least Favorite Dramas

Nevertheless
So I Married an Anti Fan
Penthouse

I tried to watch all three of these shows and failed. I couldn’t connect with the characters, I hated what was going on in the show and I felt pretty confident that they weren’t for me pretty early on so I quit them all. Yeah, just not my jam.

Favorite Characters

Kim Do Ki from Taxi Driver
Yoon Sae Bom from Happiness
Lee Dam from My Roommate is a Gumiho

There were quite a few characters that I loved this year but these three were my top 3 favorites. I adored each of them for different reasons. Kim Do Ki’s story was a hard one but man, the person he was in Taxi Driver and seeing him care for those that couldn’t care for themselves and throw himself into danger left and right to make the bad guys pay just..gah. I loved him. Yoon Sae Bom was the girl version of Kim Do Ki. She had a strong moral compass and she did what was right no matter how unpopular that made her. I loved her relationship with Yi Hyun and Seo Yoon and I loved how fiercely she loved and cared for them. Lee Dam wasn’t a fighter like Do Ki and Seo Bom but she loved and cared for her loved ones just as fiercely. I loved that she wasn’t perfect but she tried to do right by everyone. I just loved her to pieces.

Honorary Mentions: Yi Hyun from Happiness, Chief Hong from Hometown Cha Cha Cha, and Choi Taek from Reply 1988. I loved all three of these guys.

Least Favorite Characters

The Building Rep from Happiness
Joon Young’s Mom in Uncontrollaby Fond
Yoo Jin’s brother in Just Between Lovers

I spent a lot of time wanting to smack the shit out of these three characters. The Building Rep in Happiness for being a piece of shit human who didn’t care about anyone or anything but keeping secrets. Joon Young’s Mom in Uncontrollably Fond made me want to throw hands every single episode she was in and don’t even get me started on Yoo Jin’s brother in Just Between Lovers. Just…I hated all three of these bitches with a fiery rage of a thousand suns.

Favorite New to Me Actors of 2021

Lee Je Hoon
Jang Ki Yong
Lee Jun Ho

Favorite New to Me Actresses of 2021

Lee Hye Ri
Krystal
Kim Ji Eun

Do you track your k-drama watching each year? How did your year in dramas look? Share in the comments!

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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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