The story feels kinda meandering, and Show’s tone vibes Scripted Hollywood Rom-com rather than earthy slice-of-life drama, which is a decidedly rather odd combination. Overall, everything in this show comes together in a way that feels a touch uneven, but if you love Park Bo Gum, Show is a solid way to get a nice dose of Bogummy, because this is basically all a showcase for him and him alone. Everything and everyone else just happens to be there as varying levels of set dressing.
With the right lens, Show is a pleasant enough watch, even though it never grabs me in the way that I want it to.
An earnest, underdog story with lots of heart, Itaewon Class feels like a breath of fresh air, for a good part of its run. Even though the backstory hinges on the idea of revenge, this always feels more like a story of an underdog trying to make good, while collecting a found family along the way. In particular, I really appreciate the diversity that Itaewon Class embraces, in the course of peopling our drama world. I don’t think I’ve seen the same degree of diversity in another drama, to date.
Oddly, I feel like this drama is at once a Park Seo Joon vehicle, and yet, an ensemble drama, at the same time. Our protagonist Park Sae Ro Yi is the backbone of this story, and it’s his journey, his thoughts, his philosophy and his unflagging determination that drives this story forward. At the same time, it’s the ensemble of endearing characters around him that makes this drama world pop and come alive in such a heartwarming way. Altogether, an unusual dichotomy which I’m happy to embrace.
I felt the OTP loveline was rather too forced in Show’s final leg, and I also feel like Show’s focus shifts in the last stretch, such that Show loses some of its original charm, but I still enjoyed this one very well, overall.
It’s been a long minute (literal years!) since my last Dear kfangurl post, but when the comment below popped up on my recently posted Her Private Life review, blog reader Yoona found the topic and my initial response interesting enough, that she suggested a proper post on it. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to explore the topic a little further, and so here we are.
“So I started watching [Her Private Life] on your recommendation, Fangurl, but there is something I wish you could verify for me. Are Korean celebrities really not allowed to date? How is it a scandal if two unmarried people have a consensual relationship? I’ve encountered this before in other kdramas, of course, but I can’t quite get a handle on how much of this is exaggerated. I mean, it can’t be real, right?
And the crazy fans…the crazy ADULT fans? Is this really a thing to this extent? Okay, we’ve all experienced crushes on celebrities, but what is acceptable at 13 is just not normal at 30… it’s the reason I had a hard time relating to the heroine in “Answer me 1997. ” I have a friend who has seen Bruce Springsteen perform over a hundred times, but she doesn’t stalk him or obsess about this personal life; she just really loves his music. So I can sort of understand this kind of excessive adoration, but the way fans are portrayed in Kdramas is so over-the-top it just doesn’t seem like that can be real.”
One thing that Dramaland has taught me, is that true love simply cannot be forced.
Whether you’re one of the leads trying to make it work with a chaebol-parent-approved love interest, or a second lead working hard to earn the affection of the lead that you’re one-sidedly crushing on, no amount of effort will produce true love.
I don’t know which I am in this drama analogy (maybe I’m a lead character and Boyfriend is a chaebol-parent-approved, er, boyfriend? Hur); what I do know is, after 10 episodes of trying – like, really working – to love Boyfriend, I’m finally realizing that I’m just never going to love this show, no matter how hard I try.
Well-written, well-cast, and well-handled, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is a fun fusion youthy sageuk with a boatload of heart. Show not only knows how to bring out the best in its story and its characters, it knows how to engage the heart and bring on the feels too.
The main cast is excellent and our lead couple is exceedingly cute together, but this show’s standout is definitely Park Bo Gum, who is simply wonderful as Crown Prince Yeong. There’s a spot of drag in the latter episodes, but it doesn’t last for too long. Importantly, Show never loses it’s emotional core, and is quite cracky-delicious the rest of the time, to boot.
It’s official, you guys. I am officially very much taken with Park Bo Gum.
Which, if I’m being honest, is a sentence I never thought I’d write.
I mean, I’d always found him pleasant enough, and on the extreme end of pretty, with his perfect skin and beautiful features, but to be officially, undeniably, strongly, hearts-in-my-eyes smitten with him?
Answer Me 1988 feels like a larger, bigger-hearted story than its predecessors, thanks to expanding its focus to its community of characters, rather than simply fixating on the leading lady’s husband and the lovelines that feed into it. The adult characters get as much narrative care and attention as their kids, and that helps to make this drama world feel altogether pretty balanced and whole. The entire cast is endearing and committed, and – despite a touch of green in spots with the delivery – exponentially add to Show’s generous earthy winsomeness.
It’s true that the handling of the ending is flawed, but overall, I still found this show to be charming, slice-of-life retro at its best.
It’s funny how I ended up watching Wonderful Days. After all, I wasn’t in a family drama sort of mood, nor had I heard lots of positive buzz about this show.
Basically, I was still sorta in a fond sort of haze over Lee Seo Jin after enjoying his recent, fabulously grumpy, and inadvertently cute variety appearances. On top of that, I’d happened to catch him being charismatic and smoldery in a romantic context in Love Forecast, in which he’d played a supporting role.
Lee Seo Jin actually acting romantic instead of being his fabulously grumpy self? Yes, please. I lapped up his (limited) screentime in Love Forecast and found myself hungry for more.
It hit me that I really, really wanted to see more of Lee Seo Jin being a romantic leading man, and I figured that Wonderful Days would be just the ticket.
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. 😉