Tag Archives: 2022

Dropped: Love All Play

I want to start off this post by saying that I really, really, really wanted to love this one.

As you might recall from my episode 1 notes, I liked this one right away, and had hopes that I would enjoy the rest of the show, as much as I enjoyed Show’s first episode, which I had found warm and charming in all the right ways.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. Sigh. 11 episodes into my watch, I’m calling it quits on this one. Sadness.

Still, I hope that you guys will find this post helpful, in figuring out whether this show could be for you, even though I’ve decided that it’s not for me after all.

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Review: My Liberation Notes

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This show really isn’t for everyone, I think.

It’s slow, meandering, slice of life, and our characters take time to become more understandable and endearing, all of which are things which I think can work against this show.

However, at the same time, Show is thoughtful, thought-provoking and quite meaty, if you are so inclined to engage.

It’s not quite an escape from real life, like many of us tend to look for in our dramas, but instead, it’s a pretty great gateway through which to reflect on life.

Different, and worthwhile.

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Review: The Sound Of Magic

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show’s pretty ambitious, in that, not only is this story about plausibly real magic, this is also quite possibly Dramaland’s first attempt at an actual musical drama (versus dramas that have musical numbers in them).

As with all first attempts, there are things that Show does well, and things which Show could have improved on, in the interest of being better and more cohesive, overall.

Choi Sung Eun is excellent as the heart of this story, and the rest of the cast puts in brave and  reasonably strong performances as well, but I do think that both the story and the music could have been better managed.

Not amazing, but not bad, overall.

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Review: A Business Proposal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

When Show is at its best, it’s light, fun, slurpable and really quite cracktastic, in the best way.

The good news is, Show is at its best, for most of its run.

Both romantic pairings are cute, entertaining and swoony in their own ways, and the chemistry between both couples is excellent as well. On top of that, Show manages to feel fresh and fun, even as it serves up and plays with rom-com tropes.

The not-so-good news is, Show isn’t quite at its best, in its final stretch. Everything feels less cracky and absorbing, and coming off a cracktastic high, this can feel disappointing and underwhelming.

Show still works out to be fun and watchable on the whole, however, so I’d still recommend this one.

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Review: Pachinko

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A tale that spans generations and borders, Pachinko curiously manages to feel epic, yet everyday, at the same time.

The execution and handling is deft, the storytelling is tender, and our capable cast brings the characters to life in manner that feels organic and believable, across the various timelines in our story world.

Importantly, this story feels representative of all those who’ve ever left their homeland, in search of a better future for themselves &/or for their families.

Overall, not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one.

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Review: Twenty-Five, Twenty-One

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Nostalgic, fresh, and so full of feels, Twenty-Five, Twenty-One is the show that I didn’t know I needed, in my life.

The writing is thoughtful and tender, and combined with great casting and excellent delivery, our characters pop with so much life and heart, their relationships feel so raw and real, and their journeys feel so familiar and relatable, that I couldn’t get enough of it all.

To top it all off, the music is pitch perfect and excellently applied, making the already great feels land with extra oomph and amplification.

Some lens adjustments are necessary (and so important!) – which I’ll talk more about shortly.

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Review: Rainless Love in a Godless Land [Taiwan]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

I do think that Rainless is a pretty special snowflake of a show, in that I don’t think I’ve come across a similar drama, among the hundreds of dramas I’ve checked out, in the last 15 years.

Show manages to weave its story, while providing a good amount of educational insight into Taiwanese indigenous culture, and it also manages to make statements about environmental issues without being preachy. That’s pretty impressive.

I think it’s helpful to mention that you either really love this one, or you don’t. And you’ll figure out which camp you fall into, reasonably quickly.

Even though I appreciated Show’s strengths, I have to confess that this one never stole my heart. Still, I would say that this turned out to be a worthwhile watch.

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Review: Soundtrack #1 [Mini Series]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Short, breezy, and polished, Soundtrack #1 is a friends-to-lovers nugget of a drama that should scratch that drama itch nicely, particularly if you:

(a) like Park Hyung Sik &/or Han So Hee;

(b) enjoy friends-to-lovers stories; &/or

(c) just want something quick and easy as a drama snack.

Really quite satisfying, for a short little thing of just 4 episodes of 45 minutes each.

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Review: Reset [China]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Reset is a time loop fantasy mystery-thriller that manages to be so much more than the sum of its parts.

It’s smartly written, such that the fantasy mystery remains interesting and intriguing all the way through, yet at the same time, Show demonstrates a surprising amount of heart and emotional heft.

That heart and emotional heft is what lifts this watch experience from simply being interesting and fascinating, to become something more engaging, thought-provoking, and even a little personal, as we start to feel for our various characters.

A cracky gem of a show that manages to engage both the heart and mind in equal measure. Very well done.

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Review: Uncle

THE SHORT VERDICT:

At its heart, Show wants to be a heartwarming, feel-good sort of story, in a Disney-Hallmark sort of way, but ultimately, it feels that Show was never confident enough, in its own skin, to just do what it most wanted to do.

Instead, Show attempts to spice up its story with feints towards darkness, and even makes an attempt at makjang, in its later stretch. These were not my favorite things, by far.

However, Show’s characters and relationships are just warm enough, that I was persuaded to stick with them until the very end, even when I was most underwhelmed by Show’s uneven tone.

It’s a pity, though, because Show could have been so much better, if it’d just stuck to the heartwarming stuff, because that’s what it does best.

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