Tag Archives: Kim Tae Hoon

Review: Vincenzo

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show is a lot of things, and attempts a lot of things (some with more success than others), but one thing I can say for certain, is that Show is bold, and dares to try new things. When the things that Show try don’t go so well, Show can come across as rather uneven, but when Show is at its best, it is a wild, absurd and completely absorbing ride of the best kind.

Our story world and our characters lean dark, yet this is all served up with strong lashings of screwball comedy. It sounds weird, but when Show makes it work, it’s glorious. Our cast is very solid, but hands down, the one who shines the brightest, is Song Joong Ki, as our titular antihero. So much matter-of-fact, cool badassery, served up with a side of comedy; I just couldn’t look away.

Sometimes Show got uncomfortably dark for my taste, but Show gets brownie points, for unabashedly daring to be its own thing, for better or for worse.

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Review: Navillera

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Navillera works out to be so many things; it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a story of personal journey; of unlikely friendship; of family; of healing; of growth; of daring to dream your dreams, and it’s altogether uplifting and wholesome.

Our entire cast is excellent but the dual stand-outs for me, are Park In Hwan and Song Kang, who, individually and together, steal this show – and my heart – in deep and profound ways. On top of this, Show is confidently written, and wonderfully executed, plus, a wonderfully immersive OST works to lift the watch experience to a whole other level.

Affecting, inspiring and completely moving. A must-see.

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Review: My Unfamiliar Family

THE SHORT VERDICT:

My Unfamiliar Family is a drama that feels familiar and yet fresh at the same time, to my eyes.

It feels like a lot of the things I like in family dramas, condensed into a more efficient 16 episodes rather than a sprawling 54 episodes, presented with more polish, and sprinkled with a harder dash of reality, than the average family drama. Show has more surprises up its sleeve than the average kdrama, which makes this almost (but not quite) feel like a soapy watch experience. Yet, at the same time, there is a solid amount to unpack with this show, which makes it feel meaty and serious.

Altogether, Show feels kind of spicy and interesting, while managing to remain raw, heart-hitting and thought-provoking, at the same time.

An unusual combination of drama flavors that makes for a refreshing watch.

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Flash Review: One More Happy Ending

You know how someone might sweep you breathlessly off your feet in the early stages of your courtship – it’s all gloriously giddy and everything seems quite perfect – until you actually start dating seriously, and then, slowly but surely, the illusion of perfection cracks to reveal his or her flaws?

Heh. SO MUCH like my experience with this show y’all. I loved this show in the beginning, but as the episodes progressed, the initial giddy shine wore off, and Show’s flaws came to the fore and made it a pretty uneven watch, overall.

BUT. Like that dating/relationship analogy, just because something’s not as perfect as it first seems, doesn’t discount the possibility of finding nuggets of substance, in the midst of the flaws, right?

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Dropped: Hidden Identity

Despite Hidden Identity pretty much flying under the drama radar, I was curious to check it out for a couple of reasons.

One, this was tvN’s first foray into the crime thriller genre, after establishing itself as a steady producer of quirky rom-coms. I wondered how they would do, especially compared to OCN, where crime thrillers are a mainstay.

Two, Show promised gritty, badass Kim Bum. Given my soft spot for Kim Bum and my weakness for badass leading men, I couldn’t say no to that.

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Review: My Love Eun Dong

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An updated, refreshed, and much more polished take on the classic Retro Hallyu favorite themes of Fate and First Love.

Show is filled to the brim with classic tropes, but manages to be engaging for the most part, thanks largely to solid performances by its cast, as well as careful touches by PD-nim’s clearly loving hand. There are draggy, frustrating stretches, but if you love classic retro dramas, there’s a good chance you’ll like this too.

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Review: Angry Mom

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Well-written and executed with an assured hand, Angry Mom is a dark horse in dramaland that manages to be engaging, thought-provoking and consistent, in spite of its varying tones and sometimes difficult subject matter.

Kim Hee Sun does an outstanding job as our titular Angry Mom, and the rest of the ensemble cast is pretty excellent as well. Almost everyone manages to deliver heartfelt, layered characters who feel like real people, and together, they amplify their drama world by making it feel all the more real, by extension.

Hard to watch at times, but so worth the journey.

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Flash Review: Nice Guy [The Innocent Man]

Although I really do enjoy the occasional well-done melodrama, somehow, revenge melodramas remain steadfastly in the category of “not quite my kinda thing.” To date, I haven’t yet seen a revenge melo that I unequivocally loved. I guess I mostly find them just a little too intense, and extreme and, well, kinda crazy, as a general rule.

Without all the positive buzz around Nice Guy as a drama, and without the added push of LUFFING Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (so, so adorable!) and then being a sad puppy that he’d gone away to the military, I probably wouldn’t have touched this drama with a ten-foot pole.

Despite being the revenge melo outsider that I am, though, I managed to enjoy this one.. quite well.

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Review: Bad Guys

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Slick, dark, and appropriately fierce, Bad Guys is a short little series that packs a pretty big punch.

Everything is carefully and beautifully filmed, and for the most part, Bad Guys manages to hit that sweet spot where the writing is complex enough to be interesting, yet simple enough to be accessible to the average viewer. Add a pretty excellent cast to flesh out the interesting premise, and Show is a winner in almost every checkbox.

My beef with the show is that it gets too melodramatic at parts, which detracts from its unique brand of cool, and instead places it closer to standard kdrama fare than it needs to be. The cinematography also feels less deliberate as we get into the later episodes. Despite its shortcomings, though, Show remains an interesting and engaging watch.

Gritty and disturbing at times, yet heartening and uplifting at others, Bad Guys manages to be badass with heart.

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