I watch more than I review these days. I must do my blog justice and give you all a peek into my drama mind.
I’m listing all the dramas and movies I’ve watched since January that I haven’t reviewed and will give you a very brief rundown on my thoughts. Perhaps at some point I’ll elaborate more on a few of these dramas. You’ll be able to tell that I’ve gone through a Jang Keun Suk phase. I pretty much watched him in everything I could fined with a couple exceptions.
Without further ado, here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve been watching.
Title: Love Rain (2012)
Genre: Romantic Melodrama
Jang Keun Suk (Seo In Ha – 1970’s)/ Seo Jun (Seo In Ha’s son)
Yoon Ah (Kim Yoon Hee – 1970’s/ Jung Ha Na (Yoon Hee’s daughter)
Lee Mi Sook (Present day Kim Yoon Hee)
Jeong Jin Yeong Jeong Jin Yeong (Present day Seo In Ha)
Quick Synopsis: The drama starts in the 1970’s. Suh In Ha falls in love with Kim Yoon Hee. They cannot stay together for certain reasons. Then the story fast-forwards to the present day where they both ended up with other people and have a child. There two kids fall in love with each other not knowing their parents have been in love for the past 30 years. What will happen to both ill-fated lovers?
My thoughts: This has to be one of the very best dramas I’ve seen so far this year. I loved the OST and both of the couples that we follow in this drama. This drama had the perfect balance of romance and melodrama for me. I was wrapped into the story and felt invested in the couples.
Quick Rating: 4.5/5
Title: I Need Romance 3
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Noona Romance
Sung Joon (Joo Wan/Allen Joo)
Kim So Yeon (Shin Joo Yeon)
Nam Goong Min (Kang Tae Yoon)
Quick Synopsis: Shin Joo Yeon is in her 30’s and hasn’t had much luck at love. She’s lost her faith in love. She grew up with Joo Wan (who is 26) and used to take care of him. He’s been in love with her since they were kids. He moved away, but finally has returned to Korea after many years. He is kindhearted and understanding. He is determined to win her heart, but can she ever see him as a man?
My Thoughts: I loved it. I actually watched it over because I found the lead couple so charming. I’ve heard it compared to Sex and City. It definitely still has some kdrama flare while being a bit more liberal at the same time.
Quick Rating: 4.2/5
Title: Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Jang Keun Suk (Kang Moo Kyul)
Moon Geun Young (Wi Mae Ri)
Kim Jae Wook (Jung In)
Quick Synopsis: Mae Ri’s father has a lot of debt and has the loan sharks after him. To get out of debt, he accepts the help of an old friend. The condition, however, is that Mae Ri must marry his son. Mary has no desire to marry a stranger she doesn’t love, so she fakes a marriage with Moon Geun Young, a free-spirited indie singer.
My Thoughts: This started out really well, but I felt like the series could have ended after episode 10 or 11. It dragged after that. The couple was cute, and I liked the Indie band, but there were so many annoying characters. Mae Ri’s father was unbearable; I couldn’t stand him. The drama became so repetitive. I kept thinking, enough already.
Quick Rating: 2.9/5
Title: You’re Beautiful (2009)
Genre: Romantic Comedy,Music, Gender Bender
Jang Keun Suk (Hwang Tae Kyung)
Park Shin Hye (Go Mi Nam/Go Mi Nyeo)
Jung Yong Hwa (Kang Shin Woo)
Lee Hong Ki (Jeremy)
Quick Synopsis: Go Mi Nyeo temporarily pretends to be her brother to help him out. Her brother Go Mi Nam is wanted for the idol group A.N.JELL. She takes his place in the group, and they cannot find out her true identify.
My Thoughts: I think this is a good starter drama. It’s cute, fun and young. Jang Keun Suk has fantastic facial expressions in this drama and his acting was top notch. I was quite impressed with Park Shin Hye as well. I’m not normally a big fan of hers, but she did well. The two leads acted well together, although the kissing scenes are nothing to write home about. But, dramas aren’t all about kissing. The overall chemistry was strong and let’s not forget the fact that there’s a pig/bunny!
Quick Rating: 4/5
Title: Beethoven’s Virus (2008)
Genre: Romance/Music *with more emphasis on the music and individual characters*
Kim Myung Min (Kang Gun Woo – Conductor)
Jang Keun Suk (Kang Gun Woo – Police Officer)
Lee Ji Ah (Du Ru Mi)
Quick Synopsis: Kang Gun Woo is a famous Conductor, with a very difficult personality. He has a reputation for not being able to last with an orchestra for more than 6 months. He ends up with a bunch of orchestra misfits and has to bring them up to par.
My Thoughts: Classical Music comes to Life in this drama. It really helped solidify my appreciation for classical music. The romantic story line didn’t resonate much with me. I was more interested in the individual story lines. I love watching the growth of the various characters and see them grow as musicians.
Quick Rating: 4.1/5
Title: Pretty Boy (2013)
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Melodrama, Live Action (Manga)
Jang Keun Suk (Dok Go Ma Te)
IU (Kim Bo Tong)
Lee Jang Woo (Choi Da Bi Deu)
Quick Synopsis: Ma Te is the most beautiful man who can win the heart of anyone. He gets what he wants through his looks and is very conceited. Kim Bo Tong has been in love with him since their youth and will do anything for him. Ma Te discovers many things about his upbringing that he wasn’t aware of and everything starts to unravel.
My Thoughts: I read some reviews before watching this drama. It seems a lot of people have some heavy criticisms which I can respect, but overall I found it enjoyable. It has a heavy manga feel to it, so the characters can seem very unrealistic. There’s no passionate kisses, but I loved watching the change in Do Go Ma Te and his eventual realization of the one who holds his heart. The story line is quite melodramatic.
Quick Rating: 3.5/5
Title: Baby & I (2008)
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life
Jang Keun Suk (Han Joon Soo)
Song Ha Yoon (Kim Byul)
Moon Mason (Han Woo Ram – baby)
Quick Synopsis: Joon soo is a rough, carefree 18 year old high school trouble maker. One day, he finds a baby with a note saying he is the father. His life is forced to take a 180 as he’s thrust into unexpected adulthood.
My Thoughts: It’s funny, cute and the baby’s voice makes me laugh. I didn’t expect the baby’s thoughts to be personified through a grown man’s voice. It was reminiscent of “Look who’s talking”, but in a high school setting.
Quick Rating: 3.5/5
Title: Budapest Diary (2011)
Genre: Psychological, Romance, Short, Independent
Main Cast: Jang Keun Suk
Quick Synopsis: This is a short film shot in Hungary which follows the main character around as he copes with a recent breakup. He’s dealing with this loss, and goes through many different emotions as he searches for answers.
My Thoughts: Since this is only about 40 minutes long, it’s not a big time commitment. It’s shot so beautifully and is very artistic. I love the feel and strongly could feel the emotions of Jang Keun Suk.
Quick Rating: 4/5
Title: Miss Granny (2014)
Genre: Comedy, Music, Fantasy
Na Moon Hee (Oh Mal Soon)
Shim Eun Keong (Oh Doo Ri)
Quick Synopsis: Oh Mal Soon is a rough edged 74-year-old lady who had dreams of becoming a singer in her youth. She’s basically forced to move out, and stumbles upon a suspicious “Youth Photo Studio”. She gets her photo taken, and transforms back into her twenty year old self, but while still in the present day.
My Thoughts: Na Moon Hee is a fantastic actress. I absolutely adore her. I think she’s hilarious and very skilled. It’s so much fun to see her character’s younger self. There’s lots of laughs in this movie. There’s a bit of a romantic story line, but it doesn’t fully develop or really become the focus. It’s more about her, which I thought was really neat. My grandmother always told me that in her heart she felt like she was still in her youth, and I see a common theme in this movie. The body might age, but deep inside us there’s our vibrant youthful self still filled with dreams.
Quick Rating: 4.1/5
Title: The Case of Itaewon Homicide (2009)
Genre: Based from a true story, Crime, Psychological, Suspense, Violent
Jang Keun Suk (Robert J. Pearson)
Jeong Jin Yeong (Prosecutor Park)
Shin Seung Hwan (Alex Jung)
Quick Synopsis: Based on a true crime, a college student is found brutally murdered in a restroom of a fast food restaurant in Itaewon, South Korea. Two Korean-Americans, are known to have gone into the bathroom and are the prime suspects. The prosecution must now figure out who committed the crime, but there is a language barrier.
My Thoughts: Alright, sigh, where to start? This was hard to watch because it’s based on a true and horrific crime. There was definitely room for improvement but the movie succeeds to invoke strong emotions from the viewer. Jang Keun Suk’s role as Rober J. Pearson is haunting. It reminds me of “Primal Fear” and the Korean movie “The Client”. Jand Keun Suk took on an extremely challenging role, and an English speaking role on top of it. He did very well, but I think it’s a little bit of a stretch that English is his first language (but I’m not knocking his performance). It was very brave of him to take on such a difficult role and I’m proud of him for it. He really pulls off that psycho killer-is-he-isn’t-he-innocent character believably.
Quick Rating: 3/5
Title: The Happy Life (2007)
Genre: Comedy, Music, Friendship
Jang Keun Suk (Hyeon Jun)
Jeong Jin Yeong (Ki Young)
Kim Sang Ho (Hyeok Su)
Kim Yoon Suk (Seong Wook)
Quick Synopsis: Three old friends decides to reform a group after the passing of their friend who was the lead singer back when they were younger. They recruit his son to take his place as their frontman.
My Thoughts: This movie doesn’t go super deep into character development, but it’s enjoyable. The music is fun and I love the focus on friendship and following your dreams despite your age.
Quick Rating: 3.2/5
Title: The Heaven is Only Open to the Single! (2012)
Genre: Romance, Independent *feels like an independent movie*
Choi Yoon-So (Yoon-So)
Lee Neung-Ryong (Neung0Ryong)
Jun Ji-Hoo (In-Sung)
Quick Synopsis: Yoon So is a famous actress who has a dating scandal. Her agency bans her from dating, so she joins a dating site and is unexpectedly attracted to a struggling songwriter/musician.
My Thoughts: Alright, it’s slow… very slow, but I still really enjoyed the story. It doesn’t progress much, but the movie ends sort of open ended which allows your mind to continue the story on your own. I really like movies which encourage me to daydream about it days after I’ve seen it. For that reason, I feel this movie was successful… but stay away if you want something that is fast paced, with a clear beginning, climax and end.
Quick Rating: 3/5
Title: The Longest 24 Months (2008)
Jang Keun Suk (Won Jae)
Son Tae Yeong (Hyo-jeong)
Jang Hee Jin (Nam Bo Rang)
Ahn Danny (Min-cheol)
Kim San Ho (Eun-seok)
Han Yeo Reum (Bi Ang)
Quick Synopsis: The movie follows four couples as each guy from the relationship has to do his mandatory military service.
My Thoughts: Boring…. sorry. I couldn’t get into it. I find when movies have too many stories to follow it’s sometimes difficult to watch. I never really felt a connection to any of the couples and skipped through some parts.
Quick Rating: 2.5/5
Title: Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do (2008)
Genre: Romance, Melodrama, Music
Jang Keun Suk (Eun Kyoo)
Cha Ye Ryeon (Yun Jung Won)
Jung Eui Chul (Hee Won)
Quick Synopsis: Eun Kyoo and Jung Won, after a rough first meeting, end up developing feelings for each other. Things become complicated when Jung Won’s past connections with Eun Kyoo’s best friend Hee Won comes into play.
My Thoughts: It’s not a perfect story, but it’s quite watchable. It was a lot heavier than I expected but I liked the couple. It had an overall good flow to it. Towards then end, it really caught my attention.
Quick Rating: 3.5/5
Title: You’re my Pet (2011)
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Manga
Jang Keun Suk (Kang In Ho – Momo)
Kim Ha Neul (Ji Eun Yi)
Ryu Tae Joon (Cha Woo Seong)
Quick Synopsis: Based from a manga, Ji Eun Yi, who hasn’t been successful in relationships, decides to take in Kang In Ho, but only if he will be her pet.
My Thoughts: Ah, this movie is cute! Alright, it won’t appeal to everyone’s taste but I love manga so I have no problem with a ridiculous, unrealistic plot. I laughed quite a bit and Jang Keun Suk makes a fantastic puppy, now where do a get a Jang Keun Suk for a pet?
Quick Rating: 3.8/5
Title: The King and the Clown
Genre: Historical (Sageuk), Drama, Boys Love (BL)/Gay, Dark
Lee Jun Ki (Gong Gil)
Kang Woo-Sung (Jang Sang)
Jung Jin Young (King Yeonsan)
Quick Synopsis: Set in 16th century Joseon Dynasty, a pair of male street performers satirize the king in one of their skits causing an uproar. Kang Woo-Sung is masculine, and energetic while Gong Gil is feminine with an even tempered, delicate, lovely personality. They risk execution unless they can make the King laugh. The King develops a surprising desire for Gong Gil which has everyone whispering and wondering what the nature of their relationship is.
My Thoughts: This movie was way darker than I expected. The acting was wonderful by all three of the main actors. Each character was very different and believable. I’ve really gained so much appreciation these past few months for Jung Jin Young’s acting. His acting is stellar as the King in this movie. You can really see that he’s psychologically disturbed. He seems to really gain comfort thanks to Gong Gil. Lee Jun Ki is breathtaking. He’s so beautiful and delicate, but he also give a very strong performance.
Quick Rating: 3.7/5
Title: Boys Love 2 (2007)
Genre: Romance, Japanese, Mature, Boys Love (BL)/Gay, School Life, dark
Yoshikazu Kotani (Aoi Kairu)
Kanno Atsumi (Sora Amakami)
Quick Synopsis: Kairu Aoi is a teacher at prestigious, all boys boarding school. He breaks up with his girlfriend and seeks comfort from a young and handsome male prostitute named Sora. Later he finds out that Sora is actually a student and starts attending the same boarding school. Kairu tries to distance himself from Sora and doesn’t want anyone to find out about their connection. Sora, however, doesn’t find it so easy to let go of Kairu.
My Thoughts: If you aren’t into BL movies, you should really stay far away from this. It’s very dark and psychological with some quite disturbing scenes. There’s no fluffy romance. But, it’s really a fantastic movie. There’s not really much realistic in it, but the bond between the two men really shows the true essence of love. I loved watching Yoshikazu Kotani fight with his desire. He tries to keep his distance from Sora, but eventually his original lust turns into profound love. This movie demonstrates that love can come in many forms.. that love is love.. and love is powerful. The other really cool thing about this movie is the fact that there are many quotes throughout the course of the movie.
Quick Rating: 4/5
**Started but haven’t finished**
Title: Hyde, Jekyll, Me (2015)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Hyun Bin (Seo Jin/Robin)
Han Ji Min (Jang Ha Na)
Sung Joon (Yoon Tae Joo)
Quick Synopsis: Seo Jin is chaebol with multiple personality disorder due to a traumatic experience from his youth. His one personality, Robin is kind and gentle. His other personality is rude, stiff and unapproachable.
My Thoughts: I almost made it to the end of this drama, but I lost interest. For me, I didn’t feel a deep connection with the OTP so I eventually gave up. I did enjoy watching Sung Joon play a villain, but the story was really far fetched. Dramas don’t need to be realistic, but they need to be believable within the context of the drama.
Quick Rating: 2.7/5
Title: Shine or Go Crazy (2015)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical (Sageuk), Melodrama
Jang Hyuk (Wang So-Prince of Goryeo)
Oh Yeon Seo (Shin Yool-Princess of Balhae)
Lee Ha Nui (Princess Hwang Bo Yeo Won)
Im Joo Hwan (Prince Wang Wook)
Ryu Seung Soo (King Jung Jong)
Lee Duk Hwa (Wang Shik Ryum)
Quick Synopsis: Wang So is the Prince of Goryeo. Because of a prophesy, he was exiled at a young age. When his father becomes ill, he returns but is still treated as an outcast. One day, he meets Shin Yool who is the Last Princess of Balhae (but her identity is hidden).
My Thoughts: The first few episodes were a little rough, but then it picked up quite nicely. I really loved the OTP, but I stopped watching because I read spoilers which discouraged me from pushing forward. I do want to finish this drama for Jang Hyuk (because he’s such a remarkable actor), but I’m disappointed with the turn in the writing.
Quick Rating: 3.5/5
Title: In Your Eyes
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, psychological, Independent Movie
Main Cast: Zoe Kazan (Rebecca Porter), Michael Stahl-David (Dylan Kershaw)
Quick Synopsis: Two strangers that live in different parts of the country, have a deep connection where they can see through the other person’s eyes.
My Thoughts: Love, love, love this movie. The premise is so cool! Can you imagine, being able to see though the eyes of a stranger? I was really impressed at how well the two leads perform considering that most of their scenes are done separately.
Quick Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-Season 1)
Genre: Quirky, Witty, Comedy
Main Cast: Ellie Kemper (Kimmy), Jane Krakowski (Jacqueline), Tituss Burgess (Titus)
Quick Synopsis: A woman is rescued along with 3 other women after being trapped in a bunker for 15 years due to a doomsday cult leader. She is finally freed, and starts a new life in New York City.
My Thoughts: It’s fun. I really like Ellie Kemper. She’s cute, funny and strong in this series. If you liked 30 Rock, then you would most likely like this since the humor is similar. This series is available on Netflix.
Quick Rating: 3.9/5
On My watch list
Kill Me, Heal Me is the next drama on my list. I’ve heard so many good things about it so I’m finally going to sit down and watch it for myself. *Ahhhh… I never got to this drama unfortunately.. perhaps one day*
Well, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings.
Thanks for reading!