Category Archives: Review

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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Review: Lie After Lie

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A makjang-laced story that leans rather old-school in its storytelling sensibility and melodramatic flair, Lie After Lie works out to be a pretty good time.

When Show is at its best, it’s cracky and delicious, and I felt like I could slurp up all that heightened dramatic tension with a spoon. This is just the kind of underdog story to get my blood pumping, and I was very quickly sucked into rooting for our protagonist Eun Soo. When Show isn’t at its best, however, there are logic lapses, weak plot progression and a resulting loss in dramatic tension. Boo. I was sad when Show wasn’t great, because when it was good, it was really quite excellent.

Show is admittedly stronger in its first three-quarters and weaker in its final stretch, but overall, I’d still call this a solid watch.

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Review: The Uncanny Counter

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Gritty, bloody and full of action like many an OCN drama, yet character-driven and full of heart, like you might expect from jTBC, with a fantasy bent like you might expect of tvN, The Uncanny Counter is the superhero-flavored, heartfelt, X-Men-esque demon-hunting story that I didn’t know I needed in my life.

For the most part, Show does a great job of meshing all these different personality traits into an organic whole – except for a late-stage change in writers, which admittedly causes a bit of a wobble, but which Show does recover well from.

Our cast does an all-around great job of bringing this story to life, while making their characters and their relationships pop, and Show works out to be highly engaging, and sometimes, even rather cracky. Definitely recommend.

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Review: Start-Up

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Designed to be light, easy and feel-good, Show tends to lean more simplistic than I would like, particularly in the areas of business and technology and how that all works. The characters took a while to grow on me, but I did eventually grow fond of almost all of them. At the same time, there are definitely some stand-outs that endeared themselves to me early, like Kim Hae Sook as Gran.

Ultimately, Show manages to be uplifting and aspirational (if you can overcome the over-simplification of everything), and ends up being a reasonably pleasant coming-of-age – or rather, coming-into-your-own – kinda story.

PS: Most viewers have strong feelings about this story’s love triangle, but I didn’t.

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Review: More Than Friends

THE SHORT VERDICT:

With its slow-burn approach to storytelling and its muted, understated sort of vibe, this show is definitely not for everyone.

When Show is at its best, it’s thought-provoking and introspective as it explores people and relationships. When Show is not as its best, it can feel frustrating, and its characters, unlikable and unsympathetic. And because Show is mostly a slow burn, Show is at its best mostly in its later episodes, rather than its earlier ones. Our main characters did grow on me by the end of my watch, but I have to admit that it was our secondary characters that actually grabbed me more, and earlier too.

A little tedious at times, but not without its bright spots.

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Review: 18 Again

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Don’t let this show’s silly, farcical trappings fool you; this one has so much heart that it simply never runs out of feels. Fatherly love, familial love, romantic love and even platonic love; they all get their day in the sun in this drama world, and the result is a deeply heartwarming watch that I never wanted to end. This show made my heart so, so full, and I happily drowned in all of the feels.

Our cast is very strong, but I do sincerely think that this would’ve been a different show without Lee Do Hyun. He delivers such a heartfelt performance, with such a distinct sense of gravitas, that I am completely blown away. The heart-eyes that I’ve grown for Lee Do Hyun are completely involuntary, and likely permanent. 😍

Unreservedly recommend.

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Year In Review: 2020

What a surreal year 2020 has turned out to be, amiright?

It’s been the year of surprises and curveballs, and I think it’s safe to say that none of us has been unaffected by the events of 2020. As a small silver lining, with lockdowns taking place around the world, and Netflix promoting Asian dramas with unflagging enthusiasm, we’ve welcomed many new drama fans into our midst.

And, our dramas have not let us down. I mean, yes, there’ve been duds, but that’s true every year anyway, yes? 😉 I’m just happy that Dramaland has found a way to continue production while ensuring the safety of cast and crew, coz I know I’m not alone when I say that dramas have helped make 2020 better.

Now, let’s take stock of my drama year in 2020, before 2021 comes upon us!

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