Review

Review: The Secret Life Of My Secretary

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show doesn’t reinvent the drama wheel by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d even say that Show’s got some flaws that I find hard to look past, BUT, this drama shows a nice chunk of heart for a good stretch in the middle (it started slow for me and I’m not completely satisfied with how the ending’s handled), which is very pleasant indeed.

Kim Young Kwang’s the meltiest I’ve seen him yet, Jin Ki Joo manages to be endearing despite some questionable characterization, and Kim Jae Kyung is a complete hoot as the feisty, unabashed, world-of-her-own Veronica Park.

A solid easy-breezy marathon, for when you just want to give the ol’ brain a break.

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Flash Review

Flash Review: Go Ho’s Starry Night

Sometimes, when you just need to get away from Real Life for a while but don’t have the mental bandwidth to commit to a full drama, a well-done little web series or mini drama can totally hit the spot.

I’m happy to report that Go Ho’s Starry Night is a great little bite-sized option that not only comes in short little 20-minute servings, but, given a little bit of time to settle, also possesses a pretty solid cracky flavor that had me clicking on the next episode, and the next – and then the next.

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Flash Review

Flash Review: Plus Nine Boys

Plus Nine Boys is a lovely little drama that’s cute without being cutesy; emotionally engaging without being overwrought or sappy; funny without being OTT campy.

Its plot points are everyday and unremarkable, but therein lies its slice-of-life, I-can-really-relate-to-that appeal. In just 14 episodes, I grew to really enjoy these characters. And after 14 episodes, I didn’t want to say goodbye.

These characters had started to believably feel like the folks next door; folks whom I watched through their living room window as they lived their lives and I lived mine; folks who felt like real people, and with whom I wouldn’t have minded spending another 10, 20, or even 40 episodes with.

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Review

Review: Hot Young Bloods [Hot Blooded Youth]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A heartwarming coming-of-age movie disguised – and therefore heavily misidentified – as a campy comedy.

If you were to approach this movie expecting a dose of pure funny all the way through, I’m guessing you would walk away rather disappointed. It’s true that the (often coarse) comedy reigns supreme for a good stretch of the movie, taking up maybe 50% of total screentime (this is not an exacting number, it’s just my feel-o-meter talking). Eventually, though, the funny gives way to deeper, bigger, meatier things. There’s a good bit of melodramatic angst involved, but it’s played well, and it all serves a larger, more thoughtful message than what one might expect, given the initial camp: What does it mean to grow up? And what does it mean to stand up for what you believe in?

Excellent performances from both the youth and adult actors make this an engaging, ultimately satisfying watch, with a bit of thought-provoking on the side.

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Review

Review: White Christmas

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Starkly beautiful yet disturbingly dark, White Christmas explores the issue of nature vs. nurture in relation to the human condition. How much of one’s fruit is a result of qualities inherent in one’s seed, and how much of it is due to how and with what you water that seed? Throughout its 8 episodes, this psychological thriller relentlessly asks the question, “Are monsters born or made?”

Depending on your preferred answer to that question, your mileage may vary with this one.

Thought-provoking, in either case.

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