Tag Archives: Jung Joon Ho

Dear kfangurl: Why do so many kdramas start strong but go downhill?

Linda writes:

After years of reading your reviews I decided to take the plunge and write for 2 reasons:

1. To tell you how much I enjoy your reviews and admire your work ethic. I’m a recently retired critical care nurse (an old white lady) and over the years have found so much joy in korean dramas and films. When I am contemplating what to watch next I turn to you. I’ve seen more dramas than I care to admit and I’ve read many varied reviews but you are the gold standard. On the rare occasion that I disagree with one of your reviews I am so shocked and sometimes delighted. I only wish I could become a Patron.

2. A question….Why so often in k dramas does the story/writing go downhill later in the drama. I’m noticing an increasing pattern with this. I’ve seen videos of table reads and it makes wonder…If they are indeed reading the entire script in that sitting do they not notice they are reading what I can only describe as foolishness? The most recent example of this was Bossam. I really loved this drama. I felt it was well written and reminded me of a good old-fashioned k drama but I feel like it eventually went off the rails. This may not be the best example but I’m sure you know what I’m trying to express. I wouldn’t send this as an Ask fangirl question at the risk of sounding whiny and stupid. Is there a logical explanation. Since I know little about the making of dramas I thought you may have insight.

Again, please know you bring fun and joy to this old lady and be proud of yourself.

If you ever need a place to stay in California, I have plenty of room and no weirdos!!

P.S. Loved your participation in the podcast!

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Review: True Beauty

THE SHORT VERDICT:

True Beauty doesn’t exactly re-invent the drama wheel in any sense of the word, but it’s fun and endearing, even while it’s being tropey and silly, and altogether, it works out to be a reasonably good time, especially if you’re in the mood for something that doesn’t tax the ol’ brain much. As a bonus, thematically, Show manages to shine a bit of a spotlight on the importance of inner beauty, even as it plays with the contrast between our female lead’s bare and made-up face.

The acting in this show may not be the most skilled or nuanced, but our characters are generally earnest, well-cast, and pretty to look at. Moon Ga Young and Cha Eun Woo are picture perfect as our story’s leads, and share decent chemistry as the sweet OTP at the center of our story. It’s second male lead Hwang In Yeop who ended up stealing my heart a little extra, though. I do have a bit of a weakness for broody bad boys with hidden marshmallow hearts, heh.

Far from amazing, but a solid pick for a bit of sweet, mindless froth.

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Review: The Tale Of Nokdu

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show starts off fresh and cute with an emphasis on hilarious cross-dressing hijinks, but changes gears abruptly in its second half with an amped up focus on birth secrets and political machinations. Viewers set on a fizzy rom-com might be turned off by this. On the upside, Show manages to retain its emotional core and heartfelt tone through to the end, and it’s not too hard to stay engaged with our main characters, even in the heavier stretches. And as a silver lining, the feel-good cute makes a comeback by Show’s end.

Jang Dong Yoon shines extra in the midst of a solid cast, and is break-out fantastic in his role as the titular Nokdu. His cross-dressing turn as a timid widow is so memorable, that it’s worth tuning in for his performance alone.

Show has its flaws, but is pretty solid, overall.

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Review: SKY Castle

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An excellent ensemble cast made up of skilled industry sunbaes; faceted, detailed deliveries that feel convincing and engaging; a tightly written narrative that delivers some surprising twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat; thoughtful directing and execution; an expertly applied OST that can be hauntingly ethereal one minute and then pulsing with tension the next; SKY Castle has it all, and it all comes together in one polished, dysfunctional package.

This drama is a very solid, compelling social satire that manages to make its characters come alive, even as it makes its social commentary. On the downside, Show suffers from an ending that feels like a tacked-on epilogue written by a different team altogether. Happily, that’s easily fixed by thinking of the last episode as just that, because Show manages to tell a story in its first 19 episodes that feels reasonably complete even before it presents its finale.

Worth the hype – and the monster ratings.

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