Show really is everything that many of us have come to love in kdrama.
It’s gorgeous to look at, our actors are pretty darn capable all-around, our characters are mostly endearing, there’s amped-up, epic romance to be had between an OTP that shares solid, sparky chemistry, and, well, Hyun Bin is appealing in this, to a rather staggering degree. Flail.
As a bonus, Show possesses a cheeky sense of humor around drama tropes, even as it revels in them. In addition, the glimpse into North Korean life feels fresh and novel as well, and is a major highlight.
On the downside, there’s a bit of drag in the mid-to-late episodes, which is compounded by rather heavy-handed narrative angst, and Show’s long episodes. That can feel a bit or a lot hard-going, depending on your appetite for angst.
Overall, though, Show does a great job bringing the feels, and is well worth the watch.
What a solid, surprising little gem of a drama, you guys.
There are so few kdramas that attempt the science fiction genre, that off the top of my head, I can only think of one other drama – 2010’s Joseon X-Files (also known as Secret Investigation Record) – as a show somewhat in the same category.
That in itself makes Circle a bit of a special snowflake, in my books. In addition, whether or not you’re into science fiction (I’m not super into it myself), Circle manages to be consistently interesting, compelling, & mysterious; sometimes rather exciting, and almost always emotionally engaging.
When I started this one, I wasn’t all that sure I would like this odd science fiction duck of a drama, to be honest, but now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I can sincerely say that I’m glad I made time for this one.
One thing that I’ve learned from watching dramas, is that love has everything to do with timing. Well, guess what, you guys. I’m learning that this principle about timing applies to drama love too, ie, whether or not I end up loving a drama has a lot to do with timing too.
Sometimes, the timing has to do with my mood. Like, maybe I’ve got a rom-com on my screen, but I might be in the mood for a melo instead, and so the rom-com doesn’t work for me.
Other times, the timing has to do with whether I’m late to the party.
Which, by the way, can go either way. With Memories Of The Alhambra, being late to the party meant that I could adjust my expectations based on the fragments of information I’d gathered from other viewers, and I ended up enjoying the show more than the average viewer.
With Chicago Typewriter, however, being late to the party meant that it ended up more hyped up in my mind, from the large amounts of love I’ve seen poured out for this show by other viewers before me, than Show was able to live up to.
I guess I’d gotten to the point where my expectations were just too high?
As much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t manage to love Chicago Typewriter as much as many of you did. On the upside, I did like it quite well overall. Let’s dive in to see how that all worked out, shall we?
You know how, when you drive past an accident on a highway, and your brain says not to waste time staring, since that’ll just slow down traffic even more, but as you crawl past in your car, the curious cat in you can’t help but stare in morbid fascination anyway?
Yep. That’s sorta what happened with me and Cheese In The Trap.
Because I wasn’t able to keep current with the episodes as they aired, I was only at episode 8 (ish?) when all the behind-the-scenes drama erupted and everyone got really upset with Park Hae Jin’s heavily reduced screen time in the last third of the drama.
A big part of my brain said then, that I ought to just drop the drama and look away while the going was good, but the curious cat in me was morbidly fascinated by it all. Was it as bad as everyone said, I wondered.
I guess there’s something to be said for spoilers, since I went into the finale stretch having had the ending quite thoroughly spoiled (I couldn’t help reading ending spoilers, even though I’m usually much more spoiler-phobic; not only was I morbidly fascinated, I was also – at times, anyway – trying to decide whether or not to keep watching).
That prepped me for the ending really well, and in the end, I didn’t actually hate it. Gasp!
To be honest, I had a false start or two, when it came to watching this show.
Try as I might, I just couldn’t get into it enough to get through the whole of episode 1, which meant that this show was slowly but surely sliding off the mile-long watch list, and into drama oblivion for me.
And then my friend Jo started talking about how she really did like this show, overall. She assured me that it gets better after the initial episodes – in particular, that Shim Eun Kyung’s delivery gets toned down – and that I would very likely enjoy the show.
Well, whaddya know. Jo knows me – and my taste in dramas – pretty well, after all. 😉
A divorced-to-reunited rom-com that has flaws aplenty but manages to get the most important thing right: its heart.
If you wanted to count ’em, you’d easily find a whole bunch of flaws and imperfections in Cunning Single Lady. But if you’re willing to look past all of that, you’ll find a good dose of cute, an endearing spot of sweet, and a heartfelt rekindling of a sincere love that never did go away.
Lee Min Jung and Joo Sang Wook turn in quality performances as our lead couple, and are the key reasons to tune in to this unassuming little show that turned out to be quite a bit more heartwarming than I expected.
Grand. Sweeping. Lush. And jaw-droppingly magnificent.
In every way, from every aspect, Chuno is a literal feast for the senses, and a sumptuous one at that.
From the glorious cinematography, to the pulsing, evocative OST, to the (mostly) well-drawn, (mostly) well-acted characters and their stories, Chuno is a complete experience; one that engulfs you and takes over your very faculties.
Yes, it’s not perfect by any means. But boy, does it have a lot to offer.
Best consumed in large, generous, HD servings. Sink in and let this sexy beast blow you away. I mean the show, of course. Mostly. *cough*