Thanks to my recent kdrama rut, I’ve been poking around more actively to explore new and different drama pastures, and I’m happy to report that my adventures have turned out some very positive viewing experiences.
I promise that I’ll be back soon with more kdrama reviews (I’m still watching ’em, just in fewer numbers), but in the meantime, here’s a quick little review on a quiet little charmer of a Jdrama that I probably would’ve never stumbled upon, if not for my kdrama rut.
When Real Life eats up my available drama hours, one of my go-to alternatives is the web drama. Most often, that translates into a fluffy, simplified version of some kind of rom-com. And that can work quite nicely, too. Noble, My Love and Go Ho’s Starry Night are two little web dramas that I found very enjoyable indeed.
Sometimes, though, I want something that isn’t a fluffy, simplified rom-com. Sometimes – especially if I’m feeling physically or mentally worn out – I want the warmth of a family drama, but without the commitment. This little show turned out to be quite the perfect fit for that.
Healer is that special snowflake of a drama that manages to combine action, romance, and some nice spots of comedy, all in one tight little show. And it’s a mighty successful combination too, I might add.
Sure, the backstory runs a little bit melo and may not appeal to everyone, but the blend of adrenaline-pumping thrills, a truly sparky, heartfelt OTP, a deeply melty – yet flawed and believable – hero, and a courageous, strong heroine, makes for an exhilaratingly heady combination of feels that just sends my heart in multiple directions all at once.
Add on Show’s highly polished camera work and its very effective, very immersive OST, and it’s a combination that’s pretty darn hard to beat.
You know a movie’s making a real splash when someone like me, who doesn’t have a clue (yet? I know I’m starting to pay more attention now) about TW entertainment has heard raves about this show.
From happy spazzy mentions on Twitter, to real-life enthusiastic recommendations from friends, I’d heard only good things about this movie. Considering how I don’t even generally pay all that much attention to movies except for Korean ones (and I’m not that thorough, even then), that’s no small deal.
I finally managed to watch this recently on a flight, and I must say, all those happy tweets and enthusiastic endorsements were so right. This one does get you right in the feels. <3
I feel like one of the most important things to know about this movie, is that you don’t need to view this through a high-brow movie critic sort of lens. And, you don’t need to be well-versed nor even that interested in Korean history to watch this, either.
I mean, yes, you totally can examine it from a literary perspective and analyze it for all its artistic &/or historical worth, and this movie would be able to withstand the intent scrutiny. It even feels like an art film.
My point is, though, there’s a lot in this movie that’s surprisingly universal and thought-provoking; enough to intrigue and satisfy viewers who are not so inclined to – or just not in the mood for – high-brow art movies. Like me. 😉
I learned that there’s a reason why all my Twitter pals have been referring to this show as My Beautiful Banker rather than My Beautiful Bride. That reason’s name is Kim Moo Yul, and what a beauty he turned out to be.
To be honest, this show wasn’t even on my radar when it aired, since crime/suspense isn’t my usual cup of tea. It’s just, I came across so much spazz over Kim Moo Yul in this, and so many raves about the show in general, that I just couldn’t look away.
Happily for me, Kim Moo Yul – and a very handy, specific lens through which to view this show – made it solidly worth my while.
This is one of those movies where it would’ve been really, really helpful if someone who’d seen it before me, had told me how best to enjoy this movie, before I watched it.
…Which is why I’m here to do precisely that, for you. Y’know, coz I’m just helpful that way. 😉
The bottom line is basically this: if you try too hard to make sense of this story, you’re likely to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you just send the ol’ brain packing on a 2-hour vacation, lean back and roll with The Pretty (and boy, is Yoo Seung Ho pretty in this), you might actually enjoy this one.
Words that spring to my mind as the credits roll for this movie: uplifting, bittersweet, poignant, and even a little funny.
This is, again, one of those movies that I wouldn’t have watched, but for the in-flight entertainment system. Not that there weren’t other solid movies available in-flight. I actually started on Sado, but bailed hastily when Show got very dark, heavy and bloody very quickly. [MINOR SPOILER]I just couldn’t watch the violent head-banging. So Much Blood. Owww.[END SPOILER] Maybe another time, when I feel like I’m made of steelier stuff, I’ll give it another go.
For now, though, I’m actually rather pleased with myself for wimping out of Sado (thank you, Wimpy Me), coz I would’ve been rather sorry to have missed this little heart-warmer.
Remember when so many of you asked me what other short-format web drama might offer a fun, cracky watch similar to Noble, My Love?
Well, if you:
(a) are an EXO fan; or
(b) are into kpop in general; or
(c) are a tween/teen; or
(d) are some or all of the above,
…then EXO Next Door could be just what you’re looking for (although, if you are some or all of the above, you’d already know this by now, wouldn’t you? XD ). If you’re none of the above (like me), then, well, this could still be sorta cute. With some effort.