Category Archives: Review

Review: Move To Heaven

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show takes the heavy, delicate topic of death, and gives it a warm, tender and hopeful sort of treatment which I personally find extremely soothing. It’s true that some of the cases are painful to watch, but Show always finds a way to bring a heartfelt, healing touch to each case, which makes the journey feel worthwhile. On top of this, we also get meaningful character and relationship development for our key characters over the course of the show, and this ties everything together in a way that feels meaningful.

Our cast is excellent, but the stand-out for me is Tang Joon Sang, who does a fantastic job of portraying Geu Ru, a character who’s on the Asperger’s spectrum. I also love that Show often makes Geu Ru our MVP, because this demonstrates so well, that Geu Ru isn’t disabled; he’s just differently abled.

It’s true that Show makes my heart ache, but even so, my heart aches so good.

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Review: Beyond Evil [Monster]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A tightly written, multi-layered crime thriller that manages to engage both the heart and mind, Beyond Evil lives up to its Best Drama reputation and then some.

Show is amazingly consistent and efficient in its writing; it not only manages to keep episodes compact yet compelling, it also manages to keep up the suspense for its full 16 episodes, which is No Small Deal. Our cast is very competent all-around, but the stand-outs are undoubtedly Shin Ha Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo, who both put in outstandingly nuanced performances, and who bring equal amounts of skill and presence to the screen. The OST is interesting and well-applied, and adds a good amount of value to lift the watch experience.

Well worth the watch, even if you’re not typically a crime thriller fan.

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Review: Youth Of May

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Set against the Gwangju Uprising of May 1980, our story is primed not to be an easy one, from the outset. However, Show does a fantastic job of bringing its story to life via our characters, their experiences, and their relationships.

I felt invested almost immediately, particularly in our OTP lead characters and their burgeoning connection, thanks to the thoughtful, tight writing, and also, the wonderful performances by Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si, who are likable, sympathetic and so naturally easy to root for, both separately and together. Although the OTP was my personal highlight, I also wanted to mention that our entire cast is strong, to the extent that the arcs of some more minor characters managed to be surprisingly affecting, even.

A rollercoaster of emotions that’s not easy by any means, but that’s completely worthwhile.

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Review: Vincenzo

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show is a lot of things, and attempts a lot of things (some with more success than others), but one thing I can say for certain, is that Show is bold, and dares to try new things. When the things that Show try don’t go so well, Show can come across as rather uneven, but when Show is at its best, it is a wild, absurd and completely absorbing ride of the best kind.

Our story world and our characters lean dark, yet this is all served up with strong lashings of screwball comedy. It sounds weird, but when Show makes it work, it’s glorious. Our cast is very solid, but hands down, the one who shines the brightest, is Song Joong Ki, as our titular antihero. So much matter-of-fact, cool badassery, served up with a side of comedy; I just couldn’t look away.

Sometimes Show got uncomfortably dark for my taste, but Show gets brownie points, for unabashedly daring to be its own thing, for better or for worse.

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Review: Navillera

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Navillera works out to be so many things; it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a story of personal journey; of unlikely friendship; of family; of healing; of growth; of daring to dream your dreams, and it’s altogether uplifting and wholesome.

Our entire cast is excellent but the dual stand-outs for me, are Park In Hwan and Song Kang, who, individually and together, steal this show – and my heart – in deep and profound ways. On top of this, Show is confidently written, and wonderfully executed, plus, a wonderfully immersive OST works to lift the watch experience to a whole other level.

Affecting, inspiring and completely moving. A must-see.

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Review: Scripting Your Destiny

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This little show feels different from most other web dramas, because it manages to feel interesting and original, and quite meaty, despite its short running time. On top of that, it manages to feel breezy and fun, making for a fun ride where I consistently wanted to go back for more. As a bonus, we even get lots of cheeky little nods to Goblin, which is clearly an inspiration for writer-nim (Kim Eun Sook – who penned Goblin – is this show’s Executive Producer, just for a bit of context).

Altogether, Show feels like it’s at least several notches above the average web drama. The bright, rich Spring palette, polished shiny finish, and pleasant OST complete this very pleasant little package.

The overall effect of all this, is that I felt like I was watching a full-fledged drama – just with all the filler sliced out.

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Review: Sisyphus: The Myth

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show starts out pretty strong, with an interesting premise, a big budget and a promising cast. Production values are suitably high, and I found the scenes of a dystopian Seoul particularly impressive. Jo Seung Woo and Park Shin Hye are both solid in this, and they are supported by an excellent secondary cast. When viewed through a comic book, space opera sort of lens, and without too hard of a grip on logic, Show manages to be reasonably enjoyable and entertaining for most of its run.

Unfortunately, the ending was not my favorite thing about Show. Admittedly, your mileage may vary on this point, because what bugs me about the ending might not be an issue for you in the least. If you like the ending more than I did, you’d like Show a lot more overall, as well.

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Review: She Would Never Know

THE SHORT VERDICT:

You might need a tiny bit of patience with this one in its early episodes, but Show turns into such a thoughtful, sweet, sensitive love story, that it’s completely worth it. Our story leans restrained and slice-of-life in execution, so some viewers might find it too small of a story, but I love it.

Our central love story is teased out with a detailed, sensitive and tender touch, and the resulting feels are organically swoony and so satisfying. Our leads are great together, and Ro Woon is especially wholesome and endearing as a young man smitten with his sunbae. As a bonus, our supporting characters and their relationships also get a similarly thoughtful treatment, making for a very enjoyable watch overall.

Show remains consistent all the way through, and even manages an ending that feels earned and satisfying. Highly recommend. ❤️

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Review: Mr. Queen

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show took a while to settle, for me, and Show’s chosen ending also isn’t my favorite choice that writer-nim’s made, but by and large, Show had me firmly by the heart during the course of my watch.

Shin Hye Sun is simply outstanding in this, putting in a tour de force performance that makes this show watch the watch, all on its own, and Kim Jung Hyun is fantastic as well, making his character Cheoljong someone that I really wanted to root for, both as a king and as a person. The chemistry that our leads share is of the deliciously cracky variety, and I found watching their burgeoning connection a true delight. Aside from this, there are also a nice handful of supporting characters that I found myself growing very fond of, as well.

Not perfect by any means, and Show does require some hefty lens adjustments, but still so worth it, in my opinion.

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Review: Run On

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Widely loved and well-regarded, Show boasts a cast of quirky characters, who learn from one another, how to grow as individuals and how to better live life, in the course of their relationships with one another.

To be brutally honest, despite my best efforts, Show’s brand of quirk never did sit easily with me, and I also never felt like I was naturally able to “get” these characters fully. However, on the upside, the pockets of healthy relationship dynamics, and the regular nuggets of wholesome wisdom that are sprinkled through our story, definitely sweeten the watch experience. On top of that, Show does offer some solid food for thought as well.

Not my personal favorite, but it could well be yours. Definitely a case of your mileage may vary.

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