Tag Archives: 2020

Review: Mystic Pop-up Bar

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A warm, heartfelt little show, Mystic is sometimes a little (or a lot) sillier than I usually like, but is, on the whole, so sincere and full of heart, that I can’t quibble with it too much.

Hwang Jung Eum is quite wonderful as our protagonist Wol Joo, and importantly, displays zero screechy tendencies in this role. Choi Won Young and Yoon Sung Jae round out the little Mystic team really nicely, and these three make a surprisingly endearing trio, as they strive to help their customers resolve their grudges – for heavenly credit, of course.

The overarching backstory is bittersweet and poignant, and Show does a nice job tying it in with our grudges of the day, with an impressive degree of consistency. Importantly, Show starts strong and manages to end strong as well, making for a solid and satisfying watch, overall.

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Review: A Couple’s World [World Of The Married]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Betrayal, revenge and dysfunction are the key words that this show seems to be live by; all the characters in this drama world are painted in suspicious shades of gray, as they seek to outwit and outdo one another, for their own purposes.

This is definitely not the show for you, if you’re looking for sweet romance. But, if you find yourself in the mood for hyperbolic animosity, or, if you’re willing to take a walk on the dark side to see the fantastic performances of the actors – especially Kim Hee Ae, who is magnificent in this – then this show is a wild rollercoaster of a ride that should keep you on the edge of your seat.

Definitely not suitable as a drama nightcap, hur.

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Review: Hospital Playlist

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Warm, wholesome goodness dressed in hospital garb, Hospital Playlist is the medical themed drama that even the medical drama-averse can easily love.

Hospital Playlist checks a lot of boxes, for me. The writing and directing is assured; the cast is outstanding individually and together; the overall feel is balanced, with enough attention given to the cases of the day without losing focus on our key characters; the music is heartfelt and breezy, made even more special when performed by the cast.

The slice-of-life approach might feel meandering and slow to some, but in exchange, you really feel like a fly on these characters’ walls, in their professional and personal capacities. The long episodes might feel intimidating at first, but once you grow to love the characters, the length of the episodes become more of a boon than a bane.

I legit didn’t want this one to end; highly recommend.

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Review: A Piece Of Your Mind

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More lens adjustments are needed for this show than the average kdrama, but with the right lens, Show is a warm and sweet watch experience that manages to feel satisfying, in spite of its flaws, and in spite of Show having had 4 episodes sliced off from its run, in the middle of its run.

If you’re able to dial down your need for logic, and to some extent, cohesiveness, Show presents a thoughtful thematic exploration of love and loss, solitude and solidarity, and the confusing, bemusing journey of dealing with all of those things.

Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin are lovely in this, particularly together. This was worth the extra lens management, in my opinion.

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Flash Review: Love Lasts Forever [An Incurable Case Of Love] [Japan]

So I checked out this show because a number of you had mentioned this to me as a drama that you enjoyed, and, I’d also seen a fair number of positive remarks and a good amount of assorted squee about it as well. Since I’ve said that I’d like to include more Japanese dramas on my drama plate, I felt that it would be quite remiss of me to not check this out.

Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I think it’s quite safe to say that overall, I didn’t manage to enjoy this one as much as everyone else did. But, for the record, this show did eventually grow on me towards the end, and I ended my watch enjoying the cozy-swoony feels that everyone else seemed to be talking about.

I think that this show would appeal to quite a niche sort of audience, which is why I’m here to help you figure out if you’ll like this one – before you invest the drama hours. I know; I’m so helpful that way, aren’t I? 😉

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Review: When The Weather Is Fine [I’ll Find You When The Weather Is Nice]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Measured, quiet and thoughtful, I really liked this show, for the most part. I enjoyed the deliberate, considered vibe of the writing and the overall handling, and the small town setting feels refreshing and different. For a good stretch, watching this show feels like a nice dose of therapy, away from the roar of current affairs and world events.

However, I struggled quite significantly from episode 13 onwards, with certain plot developments making me legit angry with Show. BUT, Show manages to turn things around just enough in its final steps, to end on a sufficiently positive and uplifting note.

I wanted Show to be better, especially given its strong start, but I suppose it could’ve been worse. For the record, I really enjoyed Seo Kang Joon in this.

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Review: Hyena

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show takes a while to settle, suspension of disbelief is required, and the legal stuff is there more as set-dressing than to actually drive our story forward, but if you like it when characters get more of the spotlight than story events themselves, and you don’t mind glossing over various plot point resolutions, then this might work for you.

Once our story gets into its groove, it feels quite similar to a caper film, with plot developments and resolutions painted in broad, rather campy, irreverent strokes. It took a while for our characters to grow on me, not least because of the morally ambiguous characterization our writers choose to give them, but I did grow fond of (most of) our characters by Show’s end, which is a plus.

Both Kim Hye Soo and Joo Ji Hoon give fantastic performances, and together, they basically carry the entire show, while sharing a very sparky chemistry.

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Flash Review: My Holo Love

If you’re on the market for a light, simple romance with some A.I. leanings, and you’re not fussed much at all, about suspension of disbelief or stretches in logic, and don’t mind having some more of Dramaland’s recent favorite affliction, face blindness, on your screen, then this show might be for you.

I decided to check out this show coz I’d seen quite a few of my drama friends remark that this one is a short, sweet little show that they enjoyed quite well, and were glad to have checked out.

I.. am quite sure I enjoyed this in a more.. shall we say, moderate fashion than most, but I will also say that after a slow burn to start, I did eventually enjoy my watch more, in Show’s last third or so, and now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I can honestly say that the ending was satisfying enough, that I don’t regret checking it out. That’s.. not bad, overall?

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Review: Itaewon Class

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An earnest, underdog story with lots of heart, Itaewon Class feels like a breath of fresh air, for a good part of its run. Even though the backstory hinges on the idea of revenge, this always feels more like a story of an underdog trying to make good, while collecting a found family along the way. In particular, I really appreciate the diversity that Itaewon Class embraces, in the course of peopling our drama world. I don’t think I’ve seen the same degree of diversity in another drama, to date.

Oddly, I feel like this drama is at once a Park Seo Joon vehicle, and yet, an ensemble drama, at the same time. Our protagonist Park Sae Ro Yi is the backbone of this story, and it’s his journey, his thoughts, his philosophy and his unflagging determination that drives this story forward. At the same time, it’s the ensemble of endearing characters around him that makes this drama world pop and come alive in such a heartwarming way. Altogether, an unusual dichotomy which I’m happy to embrace.

I felt the OTP loveline was rather too forced in Show’s final leg, and I also feel like Show’s focus shifts in the last stretch, such that Show loses some of its original charm, but I still enjoyed this one very well, overall.

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Flash Review: This Guy Is The Biggest Mistake In My Life [Japan]

Do you guys remember when I dropped Graceful Family because I felt like it wasn’t quite hammy or makjang enough to be truly glorious to watch? I’d wanted it to achieve heightened pinnacles of blithe makjang-ness, trucking out trope after trope of juicy makjang nonsense, kinda like The Last Empress, and because it didn’t, that show kinda fell flat, for me.

Well, this is almost sorta the same thing, except what I’m wishing for, from this show, is more weirdness.

I know that sounds, well.. weird, but hear me out.

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