If I had to pick just one word to describe the watch experience of this show, it would be “fresh.”
Show is just really good at what it sets out to do. It’s great at mixing the live-action with the animation stuff, and it’s also great at shining the spotlight on all our human thoughts, reactions and foibles. And Show manages to be funny and entertaining, while remaining heartfelt and relatable. Really impressive, all-around.
I’d suggest putting this on your list, even if you were originally going to give it a pass.
A breezy, laidback sort of show, Hometown Cha Cha Cha is kinda like a seaside vacation in drama form.
It’s meandering and sometimes it feels like not a lot happens in our drama world, but the charm of the small town of Gongjin, along with its equally charming residents, is such that it eventually gets under your skin, and then it doesn’t let go.
Show’s Main Event is the double-dimpled duo of Shin Min Ah and Kim Sun Ho, and their combined cuteness is arguably Show’s most lethal weapon. Show isn’t perfect, but the OTP Cute is so strong, that it got me to forgive Show for most of its missteps.
Perfect for when you’re looking for something light, sweet and feel-good.
Set against the Gwangju Uprising of May 1980, our story is primed not to be an easy one, from the outset. However, Show does a fantastic job of bringing its story to life via our characters, their experiences, and their relationships.
I felt invested almost immediately, particularly in our OTP lead characters and their burgeoning connection, thanks to the thoughtful, tight writing, and also, the wonderful performances by Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si, who are likable, sympathetic and so naturally easy to root for, both separately and together.
Although the OTP was my personal highlight, I also wanted to mention that our entire cast is strong, to the extent that the arcs of some more minor characters managed to be surprisingly affecting, even.
A rollercoaster of emotions that’s not easy by any means, but that’s completely worthwhile.
Instead, this one is a thoughtful and sensitive portrayal of personal journey; the ups and downs of life, the struggle to follow your heart, the mistakes you make and their consequences, as well as the growth that you gain, from those mistakes.
Some minor plotlines didn’t work as well for me, but by and large, I really appreciated the way Show fleshed out its characters. Seo Kang Joon and Esom are excellent as our leads, and made their characters feel like real, living, breathing people.
As a bonus, the music is really quite lovely in this, and makes the watch that much more immersive.
A show that takes the dark topic of prison and crime, and infuses it all with warmth and hope, Prison Playbook is the unlikely contender for your heart that will likely make you laugh, cry, wring your heart dry, and then fill it right up again.
Writer-nim weaves a story that makes primary and secondary character pop, while every actor in our ensemble cast breathes actual life into the characters, and PD-nim’s signature touch comes alive in both the palpable sense of community and the corny jokes.
As a shining bonus, the bromance at the center of our story feels emotionally deep despite its often gruff surface.