The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Dropped: Angel’s Last Mission: Love

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I’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of those shows that either really works for you, or really doesn’t. Some of my drama friends seem to really like this one, which is kinda why I thought I might, too.

For the record, I kinda-sorta liked this one okay after the first episode, but afterwards, there just wasn’t any spark for me with this show (kinda like how a second lead in a drama somehow never seems to manage to spark with a lead character, ha), and since dramas have consistently taught us not to try to force love, after 16 episodes of trying – and failing – to get sucked into this one, I’m calling it quits, you guys.

On the upside, at least I’m taking my drama lessons to heart? ๐Ÿ˜‰

MY OVERALL TRAJECTORY WITH THIS SHOW

My initial experience with this show was a little patchy, in that I didn’t love it right away, but I didn’t hate it right away either. For me, Show fell somewhere in that middling no man’s land of, “MAYBE this might get better?” Which, if you’ve been watching dramas for a while, you’d know easily turns into (horrors!) Drama Purgatory, as you wait and hope for Show to get better.

From episode 1, logic stretches abound (more on that later), and Show also sometimes leans more comedic than is my usual preference, but by the episode 5 & 6 mark, Show had begun to grow on me, in spite of myself, and in spite of what I saw as Show’s downsides. Not bad.

After several episodes of moderate enjoyment of this show, though, the narrative seemed to take a turn (to my eyes, for the worse), and I began to feel disconnected and bored. Unfortunately, that feeling only endured, with each passing episode that I watched. After 6 more episodes of Show plateauing for me, I decided that it was time to admit that this watch was never going to be one that would steal my heart.

And so here we are.

STUFF I LIKED

Shin Hye Sun as Yeon Seo

Ever since enjoying Shin Hye Sun in Thirty But Seventeen, I’ve had her on my radar as a very talented and promising actress. So, it’s no surprise, really, that she is the biggest reason I lasted 16 episodes of this show.

I felt that Shin Hye Sun did a good job making Yeon Seo very quickly understandable and sympathetic, despite Yeon Seo’s very cold and prickly exterior. Show offers up flashes of vulnerability, and Shin Hye Sun makes the most of those, to present Yeon Seo as more sympathetic than repulsive, even in Show’s initial episodes.

Every moment of heart &/or deep expression involving Yeon Seo worked to draw me into our narrative, and Shin Hye Sun does wonderfully, each and every time.

Here are just a few of the memorable scenes where I felt suitably impressed by Shin Hye Sun’s delivery.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E3-4. That moment when Yeon Seo forces a bright smile in front of Mr. Jo’s (Jang Hyun Sung) memorial, because she remembered his words to her, that he’d like to see her shining brightly, one last time. That moment was very well delivered, I thought. So much palpable effort and pain, rippling under Yeon Seo’s smile.

E7-8. The more I see Yeon Seo struggle, the more my heart goes out to her, and the more I root for her. It was poignant to see her trying to manage without anyone by her side, and it felt like a breakthrough, when she went to Dan (Kim Myung Soo / L) and asked him to come back, admitting that she needs him. Of course, that’s driven by pride too, because she wants to be able to live up to the promise / threat that she made to her aunt. But it was still a moment of vulnerability with Dan, and I appreciate that.

E11-12. I have to commend Shin Hye Sun for her delivery of Yeon Seo’s hallucinogen-fueled outburst at Fantasia Night. She is arresting, even as she sways and stumbles, slurring her words while delivering her lines in 3 languages. She makes it look so effortless and natural, like of course this is how Yeon Seo would behave after eating a very spiked grape designed to completely knock her out of her senses.

E11-12. Yeon Seo’s drunken, tortured, heartbroken dance is also wonderfully delivered. I’m so impressed that Shin Hye Sun is able to portray such a complex mix of emotions, while toeing the line between being clumsy-drunk and painfully graceful.

[END SPOILER]

STUFF THAT WAS OK

Kim Myung Soo (L) as Kim Dan

L is.. alright. As in, I haven’t seen him on my screen in years, and I don’t have the strongest impression of his acting ability, but I have some affection for him from his outing in 2012’s Shut Up Flower Boy Band.

Overall, I found L’s performance in this show just ok. On the upside, I can see that he’s trying. But, uh, on the downside, I can see that he’s trying, if you know what I mean. ๐Ÿ˜›

I found L overly bright and flaily in the comic scenes, and not very natural in some of the more intense scenes. However, there were certain quiet emotional beats where I thought he did really nicely. [SPOILER] For example, I thought L delivered very solidly in the scene in episode 10, where Yeon Seo’s dancing makes Dan’s heart hurt. There’s so much confusion and pain in Dan’s eyes, like he is truly bewildered by how his body and emotions are betraying him, while still feeling those very strong emotions. Very nice, I thought. [END SPOILER]

Overall, I didn’t dislike L in this, though I’d hoped he could’ve done better, which is why he’s in this section.

The OTP Connection [VAGUE SPOILERS]

The upside

I actually enjoyed the section where Dan is working to help Yeon Seo, and she can’t help but be more open and vulnerable with him, in spite of herself.

Basically, the more Yeon Seo is able to be vulnerable with Dan, the more I found myself enjoying my watch. I just liked the idea that because Dan is the one who spends the most time around Yeon Seo, he’s able to see beyond her cold and prickly surface, to the scared, hurting heart on the inside. And even though I wish L’s delivery was less petulant and flaily, I do like the idea that Dan isn’t afraid to talk back to Yeon Seo, and that she somehow grows accustomed and even a little fond of their bickering dynamic.

I also really liked watching the bond of trust grow between them, as they worked together with Dan coaching Yeon Seo to walk on her own again, and Yeon Seo learning to lean on Dan and trust him, in spite of herself.

Their solidarity during key moments were highlights of my watch, as were the moments of honesty, and on the other end of the scale, the moments of everyday domesticity.

The downside

To be honest, I’m not super on board with the chemistry between L and Shin Hye Sun, although they do look cute together, visually. When they’re on my screen together, their energies don’t feel very matched, and it doesn’t help that Shin Hye Sun is basically out-acting L, almost all the time.

To add to the mix, I felt like there were times when L’s delivery actually hampered the landing of an OTP scene. [SPOILER] For example, the drunk scene in episode 6 was better in concept than in execution.ย There’s something stiff and unnatural about the way L plays Dan’s drunken wobbling and staggering, and for me, it did take away from the moment. [END SPOILER]

The other thing that I didn’t take to, was the childhood connection between Dan and Yeon Seo, that Show starts to hint at as early as episodes 3 & 4, and which, by the time I decided to drop this show, had become front-and-center of our story. I guess I’m quite jaded by the childhood connection trope, which is so overused in kdramas in general.

The way ballet is portrayed

To be honest, I don’t know much about ballet at all, but to my eyes, it did feel like ballet was an awkward presence in our narrative.

For one thing, it’s hard to manage the fact that Shin Hye Sun is not a ballet dancer, when Yeon Seo is supposed to be an extremely gifted ballet dancer. The cutaways to her body double during dancing scenes are quite obvious, but I do get that this can’t quite be helped.

The other thing that I found distracting, is how the dancers are shown coming up with their own interpretation of Giselle, in episodes 15 & 16. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t ballet an art form where dancers learn pre-determined choreography? Additionally, Yeon Seo is shown giving a very emotional, moving performance as her audition for the role of Giselle, and while it’s convincing on the emotional front, my brain couldn’t help fixating on the little detail, that what Yeon Seo was performing looked wayyy more like an abstract interpretative dance than ballet.

Overall, while this all isn’t ideal, I do understand that this was likely all done in the name of artistic license, in order to bring out the emotional journey of our protagonist, as well as to work around the limitations of Shin Hye Sun not being a ballet dancer. Which is why this is in this section.

STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH

Lee Dong Gun as Ji Kang Woo

I don’t think Show means for Kang Woo to be a likable character, so I guess the fact that I dislike him shouldn’t count against Show, heh.

I found Kang Woo overly brusque and aggressive in general, and really disliked his shouty style of directing the dancers. How typical of kdrama, but also, how completely unhelpful. How does shouting “Again!” at people help them improve?

Also, I found Kang Woo’s backstory and general narrative arc really bizarre. [SPOILER] He basically loved a human who looked exactly like Yeon Seo, and after that woman died, he found Yeon Seo, and now he’s getting involved in Yeon Seo’s life and pushing her to dance, and getting all threatening and possessive over her, just because she looks just like his dead love? That’s.. not ok.

Plus, how preposterous, that he would threaten to make Dan disappear if Dan didn’t resign from his job. What presumptuous bully behavior. Ugh. [END SPOILER]

The scheming relatives

Essentially, I felt like our supporting characters, specifically the scheming relatives trying to steal Fantasia from Yeon Seo, are more like caricatures than real people. In an early episode, Evil Aunt (Do Ji Won) walks around and berates her husband (Kim Seung Wook) for his innocence and foolishness; this scene looked to me like that of a wicked witch in a musical, doing her song and dance number.

I failed to care about all of the scheming, and Evil Aunt in particular came across in the same vein as a mustache-twirling type of villain, to me.

The weird / unclear mythology [VAGUE SPOILERS]

For a show where one of its protagonists is an angel, I felt like the mythology in this show was weirdly unclear. It feels like this drama world’s supernatural world is mainly based on Christianity, but yet.. not. It’s like writer-nim took some key things from Christianity, like the existence of God, angels and scripture, and then mixed in whatever felt convenient to the narrative.

It puzzled me greatly, that angels could just choose not to be angels, if they so desired, and that this was all signified by the color of the embroidered feather on their angel handkerchiefs. Additionally, the way this show portrays God as a cruel, selfish, exacting divine being who punishes his followers is.. jarring, to me. Plus, the punishing angels in episode 12, who both appear armed with some kind of heavenly guns felt more supervillain-in-a-superhero-movie than supernatural, to me. It just all felt really weird to me, personally.

[SPOILER] Not gonna lie; the whole incident in episode 13 & 14, where Sunbae Hoo (Kim In Kwon) dissipates Angel Noel was disturbing to me. Essentially, what this scene tells me, is that Sunbae Hoo knew all along that Angel Noel was there at the nursing home with his human love, and just let him be, until he decided that he needed to show Dan his potential future if he didn’t quash his longing to become human. That seems so cruel and so.. dismissive of Angel Noel’s life. [END SPOILER] This is actually one of the key scenes that made me question whether I wanted to keep watching this show.

Logic stretches and lapses

Like I mentioned earlier, there are many logic lapses and stretches in this show. While I get that this is fantasy, and therefore some logic leaps are inevitable, I did feel like Show took quite a few liberties in throwing logic out the window. I didn’t like that so much.

Here are a few key examples of when the lack of logic leaped out and kinda hit me in the face.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E3-4. This is logically impossible. Yeon Seo receives a cornea donation while in emergency surgery (from Mr. Jo, who died in the accident), and has the bandages taken off and is able to see, while the funeral is still on-going? How fast is her recovery, really? Or how long did it take for Mr. Jo’s funeral to be arranged? It doesn’t match up either way.

E5-6. I think I just have to accept that people don’t behave in a logical, normal manner in this drama world. Kang Woo goes to Yeon Seo’s house, and when he doesn’t get a response after pressing the doorbell, he finds a way to enter the house on his own, instead of turning around and leaving. That’s illegal.

E9-10. There is no way Yeon Seo’s strength and agility would improve this fast, even if she’s determined. It’s a bit jarring, to see her walk haltingly with help one episode, and then push herself hard to dance all of a sudden. Granted, her inability to walk well is psychosomatic, but even then, for her to make such great leaps forward is quite unbelievable.

[END SPOILER]

SAYING GOODBYE

Generally speaking, I found that I felt more and more disconnected to Show’s heavier and heavier vibe. There’s Dan running away from Yeon Seo, determined not to hurt her, and Yeon Seo, being sad and hurting anyway, and then there’s also the tragic childhood backstory which I didn’t care for too much, getting more and more screen time.

Also, to be honest, everyone taking the ballet thing So Seriously, when it didn’t even look like Show got the ballet right to begin with, made it hard for me to get immersed in this story. That, and all the muddled-up mythology that Show was serving up, all just got to be too much for me.

I realized that with each episode I watched, I kept wondering whether to keep watching. I didn’t have strong feelings towards Show, so its highs didn’t thrill me much, but at the same time, the lows made me want to find fault with it. That’s not a good combination at all, and at the episode 16 mark, I decided that it was time for me to quit while I was ahead, and walk away from this one.

Interestingly, this morning, I decided to check out Kmuse’s recap of episodes 29 & 30, just to see what I’d be missing, and ooh boy, did Show sound like an intense mess.

[SPOILER] Dan and Yeon Seo both trying to die in order to keep each other safe; Dan getting stabbed; Angel Hoo breaking code and killing the guy after Dan and thus getting dissipated; it’s all Very Dramatic Indeed. But to top it all off, Evil Cousin (Gil Eun Hye) attempts to stab Dan, but Yeon Seo gets stabbed in his stead when she throws herself in Evil Cousin’s path – AND, this happens during intermission on Opening Night, so instead of getting medical help, Yeon Seo chooses to keep dancing, while bleeding out from her stab wound. Say, what??? [END SPOILER]

Sounds to me like Show went full steam ahead, with its vision for Intense Melodrama That Doesn’t Always Make Sense, and now I feel more sure than ever, that dropping this one was the best decision for me.

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

64 thoughts on “Dropped: Angel’s Last Mission: Love

  1. I am still watching this show and I am like 6 episodes (1 hour each) down. TBH i am not finding it that demanding as I wished it to be. It is taking me a lot of time to interpret the mythological backstories and the uneven logical lapse. I started watching it for the love of Shin Hye Sun and unquestionably her acting chops are commendable but unfortunately I also doubt that I will be able to finish this one. Each day I am dragging myself to watch a new episode that isn’t the positive vibe that you get for a show isn’t it?

    For Dan I am really not able to digest him as the male lead. I just don’t know why. I am trying to love him but just can’t. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Will let you know in some time if I finished it or not. ๐Ÿ˜›

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    • Aw, I feel you, soumya.. I really enjoy Shin Hye Sun and she was great in what I saw of this, but.. that just wasn’t enough to get me to the finish line. ๐Ÿ˜› I guess my fangirl loyalty just isn’t what it used to be. I used to be able to watch an awful show purely for the love of a single actor in the cast, but now I find that I just can’t do that anymore. Life’s too short for dramas that are working out to meh for me, I say. ๐Ÿ˜…

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  2. OMG! EVERYTHING you said.
    You know…this is the 1st drama I dropped this close to ending, and it’s because I took the message you’re always trying to convey, to my heart. “When you finally understand you’ve been forcing yourself to read the recaps let alone watch the actual episode, just drop it. At least one hour would be salvaged.”
    So I did just that (actually to ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND and ARTHDAL too), only to find out you have done more or less the same๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜€.

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    • Aw, hi5, Peony! โค I feel honored that you've taken my words so much to heart! I do sincerely think that dropping a show even very late in the game is better than wasting time on the remaining episodes, just to say that you've finished the show. Of course, I still fall into this trap from time to time, but saving some time is better than saving none, I'd like to think! ๐Ÿ˜† Hi5 that we both dropped Absolute Boyfriend and Angel, lol! I haven't tried Arthdal Chronicles so far. I'm curious, what made you drop it? Do tell! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mmm, about Arthdal..the reason is very clean and clear which is a pity. They tried too hard (which I respect them for) and it SHOWED. And there were too much characters thrown around, which was really tiring from the beginning, and it didn’t grow better. Even MOON LOVERS did it way better (while the drama had so much problems worldbuilding and no. of characters were never a problem right?), which is saying something.
        I tried, and failed to connect with any of the characters and their trajectories.โ˜น๏ธโ˜น๏ธ So..there’s that. I dropped it.

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        • Not trying to steal the spotlight from angel to arthdal, but can’t help myself ๐Ÿ˜

          I completely agree with you that the start of arthdal is underwhelming. It overcomplicates itself in a way that does not help the narrative. It lack focus and the pacing is off for me while they are introducing their complex world and characters. The styling is just too much and a major distraction.

          Having said that, now that its on the 12 episode mark, I really start to enjoy story. It really takes a while for me to feel the show, maybe round ep 8 or 9? I know, it’s a long time to wait to feel a show. But things that the writers painstakingly stack up start to make sense. And by that time i have built enough immunity to ignore the styling. ๐Ÿ˜

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah I agree it started to get better and more coherent midway, but it’s still too dramatic for my tasteโ˜น๏ธ.

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        • Oh my. You preferred Moon Lovers to Arthdal? That’s not a good sign, for me – I didn’t like Moon Lovers half as much as most people did! ๐Ÿ˜† I must confess that I currently don’t have strong interest to check out Arthdal, so I might keep it on the back-burner until the 3rd and final season airs. Maybe I’ll check it out then, if I feel like that kind of show. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like you made the right decision for you, though. If you weren’t feeling any of the characters and their trajectories, it probably wasn’t for you after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I always say this, MLSHR was and will be the only drama I fell in love with for the potential, not what we were shown onscreen, from beginning to the end. I still think if you write down the basic plot as a YA novella, it really does make sense, so it’s unbelievable how they screwed that up on TV.
            I saw that Arthdal too has been made into 2 volumes, and I believe the story might look more coherent that way (Over 20 major characters within first few episodes really doesn’t work for me unless it’s a book. I may have joked with the number but you get what I meant), but still the story didn’t allure me in anyway in order for me to stay. Sad. I was looking forward to it.

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  3. I agree 100 % with you on this , the only reason I lasted till eps 22 was for my love of L ( i really loved him in Miss Hammurabi ) but even that couldnt get through to the next episode.
    All the while I kept saying to myself ” Look L , look what you are making me do !! watch such a illogical drama”

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    • HAHA! That’s funny, Ivy, the way you dragged yourself through the eps, grumbling at L all the way!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† I think 22 eps is still a good showing of fangirl loyalty considering how you weren’t feeling the show at all; I think L would be touched. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • That boy is almost too pretty, isn’t he? I found his perfect looks distracting in Miss Hammurabi (not to mention, “are judges in South Korea really that young?”

      And then there’s that hot mess of–was it called “My Lovely Girl?” Ugh. That one still creeps me out. He definitely should have got the girl.

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  4. I guess I am on the other side of the spectrum here because I LOVED this drama! This was one of the very BEST dramas I have seen ever! L’s portrayal of Angel Dan was incredible I thought. His acting was superb, and he easily displayed so many different emotions and so much charm. He stirred up feelings of sadness, happiness, romance, angst, and so much love inside of me! At my age and with my history that is very hard to do! I could not help but fall for him.

    While I have only seen Shin Hye Sun in a few dramas before, and not enough to really form a big opinion of her, or determine if I really liked her, I loved her in this drama! Again, she stirred up the same feelings and emotions L/Angel Dan did. Her dancing was amazing!

    The two as a couple worked very well. I thought they had incredible and natural chemistry between them. This made it all seem like a very real relationship and you tend to forget she fell in love with an angel! (well this may be more of a dream relationship as I have never really had or known anyone who has had a great love relationship like this in real life, but I think most dream about it and wish for it).

    I have to say I got very emotionally involved in this drama and spent many moments crying, out of sadness, despair, angst, but also tremendous happiness. I have to also say I have never actually FELT this much love, true sincere love, so well portrayed in a drama between the lead characters. I can feel it all still today, and I finished watching the drama yesterday. I did not want the drama to end…..it is one of those (in my opinion anyway) that you never want to end and wish you could continue on with their love story. I am sure I will rewatch it many times and love it just as much each and every time.

    There may have been a few quirky things here and there, but I did not feel it detracted from the story line at all. Many dramas take portions from different religions or other aspects of life to blend together and mold into their own story line. This was a romantic fantasy drama after all and not based on any fact, so I never expected it to hold true to any religious aspects I might believe in or have heard about in my lifetime, so those things did not bother me.

    I ending was fantastic too! The love story comes full circle to fruition and they have a chance at a real lifetime together.

    As you can probably tell, I cannot say enough GOOD things about this one. I will love it always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your watch, Melinda! ๐Ÿ˜€ That just solidifies my conclusion, that while this show doesn’t work for me, there are absolutely others who love it sincerely. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your positive experience, I’m sure it will speak to and resonate with other readers who, like you, enjoyed this one. โค

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    • Yes, Melinda, me too! I am really enjoying this so far and will stick with it. L is really sweet to watch and I donโ€™t mind his acting but I am finding Shin Hye Sun absolutely awesome! I thought she was fab in Thirty but Seventeen, but seeing her in this, she is my new favourite actress. I had to replay the scene where she kicked off in front of the Japanese investor at the fundraiser when she was drugged – I was so wowed by it. Not particularly worried about any of the other characters, and have adjusted my viewing specs re. the story as Fangirl always suggests, but the scenes where Shin Hye Sun and L are together make it definitely worth my watching time. Iโ€™ve come to realise that if I love the female lead, I can watch most things.

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    • Haaa Melinda!!! You stole my words!!! Everything you wrote here are exactly what I felt about this drama. Frankly, this is the first drama that made me cry THROUGHOUT one episode, the finale. No drama had been able to do this to me, so I am happy to find this one. And to top that, it’s not the tears of sadness, but of me being touched so deeply by their expression of love.

      And don’t worry kfangurl, eventhough our views are totally on the opposite on this one, I am still enjoying your view on this. I mean, you can wrote clearly why you hate it, in a way that doesn’t hurt the feeling of people who like it. That’s a solid writing there, and in case you forgot, it’s one of the reason why I love you hahahaha

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      • Aw, thanks Widya! โค I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post even though our reactions to the show are quite opposite, this time around! ๐Ÿ˜… Love ya right back, my dear! โค

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    • I’m on your side. I cried like a baby through bits of it, laughed, and loved it. However, let it be noted that I also really loved ‘Goblin’, which kfangurl said she didn’t enjoy. Since there are a lot of similarities between the two shows, I am not surprised that she panned it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I can’t watch a show if the male lead can’t act well. All the shows that I have loved are the ones where the male lead is superb! For instance Thirty but seventeen: I loved this show because of Yang Se Jong. He makes everything believable and so real. Can’t wait for more of his shows to come in the near future.

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    • Ah, if you can’t watch a show where the male lead isn’t a nuanced actor, then this one certainly wouldn’t work for you. L has his appeal, but his acting at this point is still on the greener side. Another time, another show, perhaps! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. I watched Angel right through to the end. For me, it was a case of the extraordinary that became the ordinary.

    I am usually up for a good angel drama, but in recent years they are so derivative. The angels we see, and itโ€™s the same here too, are of the lowest form in the angel hierarchy. This is rarely explained and I find it intriguing to say the least. These type of angels are the foot soldiers and do not have free will. Those that did use free will in the past and challenged God followed you know who into the โ€œfiery pitโ€ – a description in Kdramad that always amuses me. Anyway, the way the Old and New Testaments get mixed up in Kdramas is always interesting.

    I think in the second half writer Nim did lose the plot. This may have happened because there were comments out there that Angel was too dark at times. I thought in the early episodes it was spot on. There was a clear opportunity for the evil cousin to show she was possessed or perhaps even a demon. The whispering that occurred around her at times hinted at this. It would have brought a whole new dimension to the show. Then the other family members – more wasted opportunities. The Ni Na storyline with the washed up ballerina actually disappeared. It was a major storyline and it went ๐Ÿ’ฅ

    As for ballet itself (which, I have been watching since the age of seven), it is up to the ballet company how they perform or interpret a ballet. Itโ€™s just that certain ballet companies will only do the traditional form or stories and so on. So, here is another family story for you. Many, many years ago when my grandfather was an under graduate he sang in a university choir (and I, many decades later got to sing in the same choir) conducted by the visiting conductor the great Sir Thomas Beecham (whose rendition of Tchaikovskyโ€™s ballet The Nutcracker (Suite) is considered a masterpiece) had a standup argument because my grandfather turned up late for rehearsals. Anyway, interest in the classics is certainly a family trait.

    L did try hard. In fact, his later performances when he was being more serious were good. I didnโ€™t like his lighter moments much. Yes, Archangel Hoo was cruel and his whole redemptive arc leading to his eventual demise, I found blah.

    As for our ballet director – he faded away to nothing really and then went back to New York. Perhaps that was the intent. A different take on what happens to failed angels fading into the ether.

    As for Shin Hye Sun as Yeon Seo – lovely and brilliant all at the same time. Her remonstrations with Dan – believable. Her smile here and there priceless. Both elegant and frail, but a force of nature and iron will all at the same time.

    As for the ending of Angel, well hmmm. It was a happy slapdash outcome ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I watched a new Cdrama tonight, as I had a spare 40 minutes up my sleeve. I promptly dropped it after one episode ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Anyway, Changโ€™an beckons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bravo to you, Sean, for watching this all the way to the end, even though you felt that writer-nim lost the plot in the second half! Yes, the theology in this drama world did feel quite hodgepodge to my eyes, and because – from what I saw, at least – it wasn’t actually all explained clearly, I had my doubts about whether writer-nim actually had the drama’s theology all worked out.

      I must say, I LOVE your idea, of having Evil Cousin actually be possessed by a demon! What an interesting twist that would’ve given the story! And, it would’ve lifted the whole supernatural side of the story to a different level, I feel like. I’m stunned that the Ni Na storyline just fell by the wayside.. it did feel like it was supposed to be a major arc, at least in the beginning. I’m also quite shocked that the ballet director just faded away and went back to NY. The way Show was presenting him as a Big Force in the narrative, I thought he’d surely be in the thick of things in the second half! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฏ

      Thanks for explaining more about ballet to me – I appreciate it very much! In this case, the way the audition was handled makes more sense. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although, I still feel like the way Yeon Seo danced was very unlike ballet.. ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜… Also, how cool, that you got to sing in the same choir that your grandfather did! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Over and above all, I must agree that Shin Hye Sun is simply lovely in this. ๐Ÿ˜ She brought so much depth and dimension to all of Yeon Seo scenes. Truly a joy to watch. โค It's too bad the rest of the show wasn't as appealing – to me, anyway.

      PS: Chang'an is firmly near the top of my list! ๐Ÿ˜

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      • With Kang Woo, I perhaps gave the wrong impression – I should have said re the second half he was there all the way through until his departure at the end, itโ€™s just that he went from a tour de force to a negative nelly. It was like blah, blah, blah. His whole reason for being in the show as the example of this is the only way an angel can become human lost its oomph.

        Shin Hye Sun in Secret Forest was a real revelation for me or where she really came into her own despite seeing her in earlier shows. I havenโ€™t watched Hymn of Death, so I have broken the long list of watching her in successive dramas.

        The whole thing with Changโ€™an, and as phl has pointed out, it is a film makerโ€™s and artistโ€™s dream watch. Even if you didnโ€™t like the story, the way it was filmed will leave you in awe.

        Bring on the next review ๐Ÿ˜Š Hopefully, itโ€™s a keeper ๐Ÿคฉ

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        • Secret Forest was great! One of the best crime dramas. I did like Hymn of Death too.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, I see what you mean about Kang Woo. Sounds like he started with a potential roar but eased out with a whimper! ๐Ÿ˜ I haven’t seen Secret Forest (I know! Gasp!), so I didn’t actually register in my head that Shin Hye Sun is in it. I only remember that Bae Doo Na’s playing a key role. That’s great to know, coz I have really enjoyed Shin Hye Sun of late. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I’m saving Chang’an for after it’s finished its run. In the meantime, I’ve convinced both my parents that they need to watch it, lol! How about that, selling a show that I haven’t yet seen myself?! ๐Ÿ˜†

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          • Iโ€™m sure one day you will get around to it ๐Ÿ˜œ Bae Doo Na is fabulous in Secret Forest.

            That is very funny re Changโ€™an. Your selling skills know no bounds ๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™m sure your parents will be absolutely riveted to the screen throughout their watch ๐Ÿ˜Š

            So many shows started last week. My watch list has blown out to 26 dramas. Then there are other shows I watch too ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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        • @Seankfletcher – Death Hymn – prepare to be depressed. Although, I suppose since it’s based on real live people, they’re allowed to be morbid.

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          • I tend to avoid morbid these days, Beez ๐Ÿ˜Š I just canโ€™t do that to myself anymore, especially those stories based on true events. So, I have left Death Hymn well alone.

            Thatโ€™s not to say I wonโ€™t watch a show or read a book with a sad ending though. But, it has to be really good. Take for instance the original written story of Robin Hood. It has a very sad ending. However, it is one of the great stories of all time. Also, the really good thing about all the films and tv series ever made about Robin Hood is – they never, ever go there re the sad ending (bar one – Robin and Marian, which is a good film, although itโ€™s sad ending is not the same as in the original story). They are all heroic, have a good dose of the romantic and the bad guys get their just desserts.

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            • @Seankfletcher – testing my memory – Robin Hood and Marian had Sean Connery and, maybe, Audrey Hepburn? I can’t remember their story at all though.

              And I read the Adventures of Robin Hood when i was 8 years old. Does his death involve the ancient medical practice of bloodletting and Robin shooting an arrow from his deathbed to mark where they bury him?

              That was over 52 years ago so I’m not sure if I’ve got his tale mixed up with something else?

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              • Thatโ€™s right Beez. Both are in their twilight years. Marian is in the nunnery and Robin, much older, returns to take on the Sheriff of Nottingham one last time. The shooting of the arrow to mark his grave occurs at the end of the movie.

                The ending that stays with me is the one where after his marriage to Marian, he and all the merry men are poisoned and die. A comprehensive conclusion and no coming back from that one ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

                The original medieval ballards portray Robin as not very nice at all. By the time Shakespeare and others were writing about him, they made him quite gentrified and so he was no longer a villain. Then during the late 1800s we had a touch of an American writerโ€™s magic thrown in which eventually became the basis for the Errol Flynn Hollywood version, and the rest, as they say, is history ๐Ÿ˜Š

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                • Wow. I have zero recollection of that happening in that movie! I might need to try to find it. I can never watch too much Sean Connery.

                  But the arrow scene is not from the book?

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                  • Yes, it is in the book by Howard Pyle.

                    The bleeding and the arrow scene is not in the early ballards, but included in later versions and becomes part of written texts after that and eventually taken up by Howard Pyle.

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            • @seankfletcher – btw, I think you might’ve missed my message to you telling you that I watched the entire series of The IT Crowd. And thank you for the recommendation. I enjoyed it so much!

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    • Aha this is where I thought why those angels’ story and characterization does not really bothered me at all. I know nothing about the concept of angel in christianity. I am muslim, and our concept of angels are totally different from what depicted here. I guess that’s why this angels things here come just as a fantasy background for me, and it does not really matter where and how it goes coz I don’t have any pre-conception of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have saved me my precious time once again. I had planned to marathon this once completed. But having read through our review I KNOW i will not connect with this show either and life is too short. You are my hero for taking the hit time and time again for me. But I want you to know how greatly I appreciate it. Hope you are having a lovely summer. Amy

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    • Aw, thanks for thinking of me as your hero, Amy! โค You are too sweet. ๐Ÿ˜˜ I'm glad that my drama misadventures are proving useful to you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since our drama tastes tend to align quite often, I recently really liked One Spring Night, despite ultimately not liking Pretty Noona much at all. If you're in the mood for something sweet but yet feels real and raw, it's not a bad one to try out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Well, wadda ya know, I dropped this too. ๐Ÿ™‚ But then I was never particularly invested in Drama anyways. I initially thought that this could be something light and fluffy to watch in between the heavier stuff but after the first 6 or so episodes I started to loose interest and finally gave up. Best part was definitely Shin Hye Sun, she WAS lovely. I do have a soft spot for MyungSoo aka L but I think he was a lot better in Miss Hammurabi.

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    • Aw, I didn’t realize you have a soft spot for L, Timescout! ๐Ÿ˜€ I dunno, I guess I just thought you’d have bigger soft spots for more.. seasoned actors. ๐Ÿ˜… That’s so cute though, that you have one for L, who’s endearing, but not so skilled as yet. I never expected you to watch this one, so I’m not at all surprised that you ended up dropping it in the end! ๐Ÿ˜†

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      • ๐Ÿ˜ Well, there are always few youngsters I have a soft spot for. And L is sort of a special case as Infinite is one of my “original” fave kpop groups. One of the first I discovered, way back when.^^

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  9. Everything you said ring true. Sigh… I so want to like this show because it looks soooo pretty. It is obvious that it’s expensively produced. Too bad that the writing is such a let down.

    I tend to be more lenient on logic for fantasy show, but they were just too abundant in this show to ignore. At the end, the mythology part was really what turn me off completely. I am not a religious person, but their concept of a petty and jealous God just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been dropping lots of drama lately that i feel like i have commitment issue ๐Ÿ˜ Glad that its not just me for this case

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    • I so agree with you, Yoona! This is a pretty show indeed, BUT, the concept of a petty and jealous God who punishes his people willy-nilly just didn’t sit well with me either. :/ I have no regrets walking away from this one, even though there are others who love it. I am completely convinced that this one’s just not for me.

      I feel you on the dropping spree.. I dropped Absolute Boyfriend just before dropping this one. And I’ve wandered off from He’s Psychometric coz my interest had waned by the time I went back to try to continue it. On the upside, I really liked One Spring Night and finished that. If you’re in the mood for something that vibes more like real life, you could give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. I couldn’t be bothered to continue at around episode 6 and just monitored comments to see if the story stuck together. When all the positive comments are about stellar acting from SHS, it means everything else isn’t working so I’m not jumping back in. I also remember checking out the writer and so knew she wrote Lucky Romance. That was kind of a weird drama as well but I stuck with it until the last 4 or so episodes where the truck of doom appeared and the female lead was totally thrown under the bus literally and figuratively. Watched the last 15 minutes of the drama for closure. So basically I knew that the writer didn’t have the skill set to pull something amazeballs out of her hat.

    And Lee Dong Gun is totally being typecast; I think he’s played this type character in his last three dramas.

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    • Oh gosh, I didn’t realize that the writer also wrote Lucky Romance! That one was a hard watch. And the only highlight was Ryu Jun Yeol being dorky-sexy and very endearing. ๐Ÿ˜ Is there a pattern here, since Shin Hye Sun is the only consistently reported highlight of this show? ๐Ÿ˜… I know there are fans who genuinely love the story of this one, but I think if you don’t love it right away, you just never will. It’s that kind of show, I’ve concluded. So yeah, if you weren’t loving it early, there really isn’t any point in going back to it.

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  11. I’m struggling to finish this one too. *sigh* But Shin Hye sun is so watchable, so likeable. The fact that she can make you believe she’s a ballerina at 5’8″ tall is a testament to her commitment to her craft. As she did with the violin in 30 but 17 (although I don’t know that instrument so I could be totally wrong there but I have been involved with large orchestras as a vocalist so I didn’t think she handled it incorrectly).

    If you recall, she was the rival for Lee Min ho’s affections in Legend of the Deep Blue Sea and usually that’s the hated character but no one that I talked to could work up any hatred toward her. lol

    I’m going to try to push through with this one although the logic lapse is taxing my nerves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have more fangirl loyalty and fortitude than I do, Beez! Shin Hye Sun is wonderful, but I just couldn’t muster up the interest to continue this one. ๐Ÿ˜… And yes, now that you mention it, I remember her from Legend of the Blue Sea! I didn’t finish that show, but I didn’t find her character unlikable either. She’s very skilled and talented, and I’d love to have her on my screen again soon. Just, in a show that I actually like, lol.

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  12. Another dropped show after Absolute Boyfriend? Sorry to see that. I was going to watch this one because of Shin Hye Sun. I remember seeing her in Legend of the Blue Sea. She was victim of unrequited love that became rather tiresome due to her persistance. Hope your next drama is a good one. Another thorough review! Well done! Looks like I went with Witch’s Romance. Thanks for that recommendation.

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    • Ah, yes, I didn’t end up sticking with this one after all, despite Shin Hye Sun’s very solid performance. She’s an excellent actress. Have you seen Thirty But Seventeen? I thought she was lovely in it, and the show itself is really heartwarming and sweet too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’re enjoying Witch’s Romance! The show sags a bit in the middle, but it does recover quite well by the later stretch. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. The storyline started really well but after the episodes of confessing their love for one another, the storyline dissipated. Both leading cast trying to keep each other alive and away from harm and that’s it. Love triumphs and conquers all.
    Having said that watched this drama because of the talented, Shin Hyesun.
    Shin Hyesun is an amazing actress and really hope to see her shine in Korean movies soon!!
    The best is yet to come as said.

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    • Indeed, Shin Hye Sun really shone in this. Even in the limited episodes that I watched, it was clear that she was basically out-acting everyone else. I do think she’d do well in movies.. I’m sure that will be forthcoming soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. Imagine they made Twilight but somehow managed to get, like, Hilary Swank to play the lead role. And everyone would watch Twilight going, “yeah this is very silly but OMG Hilary Swank is AMAZING” and just tune in to see her in this ridiculous thing acting rings around everybody. So, yeah, I watched the whole thing. But since the show is basically Twilight but with Hilary Swank in the main role, I got just as much enjoyment by people publishing huge essays on the show’s portrayal of religions and spirituality as if that was even a thing the writer was doing. They basically just wanted to rewrite Twilight. (Admittedly, Twilight is Mormon propaganda but that just makes the whole thing more apropos).

    This was a silly show. Shin Hye-sun was AMAZING.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HAHA. Oh my goodness, Dame Holly, your analogy is just so hilarious and perfect! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† I just need to imagine Hilary Swank acting in Twilight, and I literally want to burst into giggles. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Shin Hye Sun was wonderful, I so agree. I just didn’t have it in me to watch the show just to see her in action. ๐Ÿ˜… You have more fortitude than I do, my friend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  15. I went 12 episodes in on this one before dropping it because the plot was just spiraling into nonsense. And having watched millions of confession scenes and attempts at saving one another in a span of 6 hours was enough to make me loose interest AND hope in our OTP. I mean, how long were they planning to keep the spark going? The romance was getting draggy, the mood melo – given that these DO go well together but, oh well!

    Even my love for Myungsoo (whose performance felt SO underwhelming) and my adoration for the super-talented Shin Hye-sun couldn’t keep me going. Anyways, great review as always. This is my first time commenting!

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    • Aw, thanks for coming out and taking the time to comment, archishachanda! ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks like we felt similarly about this show.. everything was just getting quite draggy and convoluted and at the same time, it all felt quite meaningless? I couldn’t hang in there, even though I’d like some portions in the earlier episodes. At least we dropped out when we realized it wasn’t working for us, and didn’t hang on till the very end? ๐Ÿ˜†

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  16. So I actually finished this one. I’m surprised honestly. I liked it initially but you know when you tell yourself, ‘hey, you’re almost done, just finish it’, that’s exactly what happened. Everything seemed to spiral out of control towards the end, you know the whole [I’ll die for you] thing. One thing you said that I can’t agree more is Shin Hye Sun out-acting L. She was SO good. I NEED to see her on my screen more. The contrast between the leads was honestly quite jarring but I kept watching because you, know, I really enjoyed having her on my screen. I think I have watched almost every drama she’s in and I wasn’t even trying to.

    Now, the male lead, L (I think that’s what he’s called, reminds me of death note).

    L was just…I dunno, I haven’t seen anything he’s in but I feel like he’s more used to acting cheery? He was pretty okay in the happy-go-lucky scenes but in the more emotional scenes, he tended to fall flat, for me at least. I won’t deny enjoying most of this drama despite the unnecessary melodrama at the end but I do think I should have dropped this much earlier.

    Also, I just started Hotel del Luna and gawd, I LOVE the costumes that the female lead, Lee Ji Eun, is wearing. I don’t think I’ve seen anything Lee Ji Eun has been in though, and I have been avoiding Yeo Jin Goo becuz he seems to be in everything these days but I heard good reviews about this so here I am. Hope it doesn’t disappoint. n

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    • I thought Hotel Del Luna got off to a steady start and I think it has really good potential. Yes, her costuming is fabulous (and her rifle superb). I thought the scene where she was counting her new found diamonds only to see them taken away to pay for expenses was quite humorous – thatโ€™s a lot of champagne.

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    • You definitely have more fangirl loyalty than I do, Miss Ruby! ๐Ÿ˜† I agree, Shin Hye Sun is lovely and really fantastic – but I couldn’t finish this one, even for her sake. ๐Ÿ˜… L is not a gifted actor, so I think that limits his ability to bring the character to life. I thought he was ok in this, but he definitely has lots of room to grow as an actor. Good thing for him that so many viewers find him so likable nevertheless! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Ah, if you haven’t seen IU in anything, I guess that means you haven’t seen My Mister? It’s fantastic, best drama I saw last year. I highly recommend it! And, Yeo Jin Goo is such a talented actor! It’s just that he doesn’t always end up with good dramas. I dropped Absolute Boyfriend, but, I LOVED him in The Crowned Clown. So if you’re in the mood for a sageuk, The Crowned Clown is really solid, in my books! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. I watched this drama until around episode 8, I think. I decided to drop it because the villainous acts of the antagonists got so overwhelming and unrealistic. It was just too much to watch. I peeked at the last episode though just to know how it ended.

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  18. Oh I’m disappointed you didn’t like that one! I usually have similar taste to you so I often come to your blog to pick my next drama in the list. I am glad I found out about this one before you wrote the review because otherwise I would have never watched it. I’ve watched my fair share of dramas (I’ve actually left some comments on your blog here and there hehe) but I am still not an expert, there are a lot of actors out there I don’t know. So I have to admit, I picked this one for L’s beautiful face. I didn’t even know who he was. And uuuh I stayed for his face lol. And for Hye Sun’s stunning acting. Thanks for the new crush she’s just the cutest and she’s so talented. I need to watch her other works.

    I agree this is not the drama of the year, far from that and that’s a shame because the concept was so good! It started off very well in my opinion and then it just turned into a mix of overly melodramatic moments, nonsensical scenarios (better to stop trying to understand what was going on with the angels and how it worked) and k-damas biggest source of frustration – you name it – noble idiocy. There are so many things they could have used that would’ve made it so good. The second-lead/villain was so obnoxious it came to a point where I skipped all his scenes because I couldn’t bear to see him anymore.

    BUT. As I said, I fell in love with Hye Sun and L’s definitely super cute I honestly could watch him do nothing for hours. I really liked the beginning. I think Yeon Seo should’ve stayed blind a bit longer, I loved how it shaped her character and disability representation was nice to see. I loved her dynamic with Dan as well and how he was taking no bullshit from her. And unlike you, I really felt their chemistry whenever they were on screen together. I didn’t have that “desperately in love” feeling that was needed for the end of the show to be believable that’s true. Mostly because I wasn’t into L’s more serious acting. He did a great job for lighter moments but when it came to deliver poignant emotions it felt a bit overacted. Although he became better at crying towards the end. (Hye Sun was perfect from start to finish but do I even need to say it). But yeah as I said, all the happy moments felt really genuine, they seemed so happy together I really cheered for them. I’ve watched some BTS and I honestly couldn’t tell if it was real or not, it feels sometimes like they took real moments to put into the scenes.
    Surprisingly, ballet stays remotely important throughout the whole show and the dance scenes were amazing.

    So yeah overall it was a very enjoyable watch for me. I loved the OTP, loved Hye Sun’s character and Hye Sun in general, well Dan because I’m weak. And I could somehow see past the mess that was the scenario and the portrayal of religion that is just… whatever. I suppose these are the ingredients to kind of like that drama.

    (I am watching Rookie Historian at the moment, I don’t know if you do but I’ve never had to wait for episodes to come out and I’m never doing this again this is torture and gosh the prince is one of the biggest cinnamon roll in all kdramas i’ve ever watched so far. Close with Bok Joo’s Joon Hyung)

    Like

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