First off, a goodbye to cutiepie Lee Je Hoon! I didn’t even realise until I read the news of him departing for MS T____T I didn’t even get enough of him this year (Fashion King was a disaster he should have chosen a better project >.<) but good thing my other luv Kang Dong Won’s coming out soon, he’ll keep me busy (that is if he doesn’t go all JIS on us) until you come back 2 years later. We’ll be waiting patiently! An-nyeong!
Faith 22 broke my heart. I know I’d harped on endlessly about how crappy drama is, but seriously, this episode ripped and shred my heart to pieces. No, nope, not because of Gong Min and No Guk (their scenes always make me choke in tears it’s a given), not because of their destined-to-be separation as per history, but because of CY and ES. Finally! After 22 episodes.
Whilst KHS and LMH’s performances still leave a great deal to be desired (what can they do with a RDH blowing minds in comparison? can’t blame ‘em), their characters, their motivations and all in this ep made me stream a flow of tears. Their relentless and striving ways to stay with each other and to love each other when time still permits. In particular ES’s selfless love and yearning for CY, I was never thoroughly enamoured by their relationship, but this ep showed how her love transcended everything, time, space and even her own body, it’s hard to ignore. It takes a lot of courage to accept reality (that she may not live long enough to live happy life with CY what with all dethronement politics going on), but it takes a whole lot more to accept it, live with it and try to make do with the situation. It’s that magnanimous love of hers which succeeded in moving me to tears.
Though I still don’t consider Faith to be a good drama, it’s nowhere near that mark, I do appreciate that some aspects of the drama have been addressed with somewhat more effort in recent eps. Perhaps I’d missed the greater point of the show earlier by spending most of my time dissing the warts and faults, being a killjoy to the majority fandom etc. Perhaps I didn’t trust myself good enough to give the drama a better judgment. If Faith had all this while intended to be about a show about “testing one’s faith”, I think it’s managed to make a visible mark.
Crossing my fingers for a good closure. I don’t need a great one, just one that makes sense in this insensible world of fantasy.
Nice Guy [14/20]
Nice Guy is fascinating.
It contains every possible makjang trope to be makjang, appears to be one on the front, but surprisingly doesn’t feel like one. Lee Kyung Hee’s pattern is still pretty much a dominance throughout, everything from JH and Maru’s twisted relationship, to EG’s deep involvement with Maru, and then to the arc of her losing her memory, you see the writer’s cliched emphasis on dark twisted and complicated emotions. She banks on those to get her points across.
This is when I come to praise the PD Kim Jin Won for being an exquisite and masterful director in his understanding of the writer’s script. Though I do gripe constantly about the over-use of repetitive music throughout the drama, it is with thankful admiration (from me at least) that he understands what he’s doing, so well. His direction fuses well with the story, meshes LKH’s clichés smoothly, allows the story to flow impeccably as if there aren’t any plot holes or gaps in between the arcs. It’s worrisome when a director fails to connect dots, but when one does so well, I can only but be thankful.
Maru’s and EG’s newfound love evolved beautifully in spite of a short time-break apart. It certainly didn’t occur to me that I’d be this invested, probably even more invested than before in early eps when things were still blooming. Their relationship is tainted (by a painful past) and bittersweet, but premised on true happiness at this point in time. I will probably never fully grasp Maru’s new feelings for memory-lost EG, as in how it managed to develop so deep and far, but I’m going to take it new start as a new beginning for Maru i.e. for him to discover something which is worth fighting for again in his life. My earlier hatred and grudge harbored towards Maru has dissipated into non-existence ever since he got over JH. It is only with a heavy heart now that I’d have to see him sink into the abyss of glum again because of his growing love and devotion to EG.
I like this drama a lot. It’s not as emotionally impactful and powerfully charged as Thank You or MISA (my fav LKH of all time) but they render me weak all the same. The characters affect me, the emotions sink me, and what more can I say, the performances by the actors, they blow me away. I couldn’t have asked for a better melodrama.
Please continue to be this good.
I Live in Cheongdam Dong [55/170]
This drama continues to be DAEBAK DAEBAK DAEBAK. Episode by episode, I continue to be struck with awesome AWE that a drama can be this creative and innovative in plot and story-telling. Every episode deals with an aspect in life, and yes, real things and issues that we encounter in RL, and how people deal with them. I can think of a few right off my head now which sent me OMG, THAT HAPPENED TO ME!!! HOW DID DRAMA KNOW?!! Once I thought only certain things happened to me, to the plain ol’ boring me, but it turns out that everyone of us, we are all human alright.
My love for the ensemble of chars in this drama is immeasurable. Every single character is relevant, every character annoys but endears, every character is a favourite. I never thought I’d watch a drama without wishing for more OTP scenes, or more scenes of a certain character, because every character is RL, they make me laugh, and then cry, and then laugh again. All of them (yeah, esp the 3 stooges and Jung Min unni who is all sorts of awesome and daebak in one!).
The last episode I watched, Kim Hye Ja made me tummy ache because of non-stop laughter. It boggles me how writer’s able to churn out episodes so heartfelt, funny and wickedly sarcastic at the same time. This episode is when all characters are put down by Kim Hye Ja’s unintentional concern and thought of Sang Hoon who is neglected by the publishing company, how awesome is that thru this episode, we realize how fragile we are when put down and how easily content we are when we realise someone is doing worse than we are and yet are trying to make do with everything possible. It’s such a brilliant point out, never seen or addressed before in drama, at least so realistically. Love it.
Sang Yeob, Ji Eun and Hyun Woo’s relationship has begun to unfold, and I love how it’s done. I’m swaying like a pendulum in between these 2 cutiepies just because of how awesomely cute and adorable they are when they’re with JE and each other. Sang Yeob is such an annoyance, but an adorable one, and Hyun Woo, his genuineness pawns. But when they’re in a scene, it’s all bromance perfectionperfection. How luck of JE I tell you.
I have 120 more episodes, a long long way to go, but I’m not in a hurry, because this is a drama which I can savour and sip slowly, an ep or 2 a day, I’m a happy and content fan. 🙂
Vampire Prosecutor S2 [7/11]
VP Season 1 wasn’t perfect, but I ended up loving it a lot more than deserved because of how it approached Prosecutor Min’s back-story. VP Season 2, I have to admit, it’s not good as I’d expected it to be, mildly disappointing and definitely not as engaging as its predecessor. The directing is fine, it doesn’t have the gimmicks of VP1, with minimal CGI and glossy visuals, but it’s nothing much of a gripe.
My problem with VP2, lack of focus on Prosecutor Min’s backstory and illusiveness of the big bad guy. I think it’s normal for a VP fan to expect something more substantial regarding Prosecutor Min’s backstory, his history with Park Hoon, his sister and the other vampire etc. And heck, I’m going to say it, my Min Tae Yeon and Jung In romance? I get all the focus on the normal cases, and I’m not going to harp upon how Prosecutor Min doesn’t seem to be doing anything this season other than allowing the culprits to confess to their crimes (this is a writer’s thing), I’m even OK even with less cool fighting scenes. But what’s missing? The presence of Prosecutor Min. In VP1, Yeon Jung Hoon kicked ass as Prosecutor Min, his presence imposed strongly in others even without utterance of a single word. In VP2, he’s kinda less… imposing and present? It’s like he’s coasting along scenes and just doing the vampy smirky thing for TV. I don’t feel his clairvoyance or overwhelming presence anymore, he’s just there to be there that’s it.
I think the root of my problem stems from my expectation brought over from VP1, that I’d expected more gritty and dark encounters between Prosecutor Min and the bad guys (esp the other vampire) and a possible dilemma/fight with his inner demons (after all that he’d encounter that last season). I’m OK that drama doesn’t even try to address his sister’s disappearance but heck, give us something to remind us that we’re watching a VAMPIRE PROSECUTOR (a troubled one) deal with cases and his own set of troubles here, not just 3 mins of flashbacks which may allude to something more.
I’m not saying that I don’t like this drama, I still like it a lot for the thought process put into figuring out who the culprits are in each of the cases. But I just wish drama could be a bit more progressive in terms of Prosecutor Min’s personal issues. I don’t even need a full blown romance with Jung In anymore (their chemistry is all I can bank on now, Lee Young Ah has dwindled to “cringeworthy” sad to say), and unless OCN’s planning another season, please resolve Prosecutor Min’s backstory nicely please? Please.
My Daugther Seo Young [12/50]
This is going to be a major major makjang fest, I can already smell it brewing from here. I say this with a heavy heart because I actually liked the first 6 episodes for the cuteness and lightheartedness in spite of Seo Young’s problems with her dad and thought it would continue for quite a bit until things turned for the worse. I loveloveloved Woo Jae-Seo Young pre-wedding because he’s such a perfectmanchildfit for the icy cool SY, melted her heart and gave her everything she needed (love warmth and everything!). But waeeee, why is drama making things so makjang-ish all of a sudden?
I knew it, WJ and SY’s marriage will never ever be complete without SY clearing the truth regarding her dad and SW for real. Their marriage is premised upon love but also upon lies woven and concealed by SY for 3 years. I have no idea how writer So will make this work. If WJ magically accepts everything, it would be a tad too unrealistic (a sane person would definitely question SY’s motives, love or not), but if they make him a heartless hubby, it would too, be out of the question ludicrous (because they made him out to be such an understanding husband). I don’t mind angsty WJ and SY, I know it will happen sooner or later, but I still prefer them being all cute and sweet around each other. As unrealistic and cheesy as they may be right now (with WJ being such a pamper-y hubby to SY, listening to her every word etc), they make me heart flutter butterflies. Such a husband, you will never find in K-drama or the real world, too good and ideal to be true.
Sang Woo and Mi Gyeong, sadly it looks like they’re doomed. I’m still not fully convinced that Ho Jeong’s the right one for SW, she’s still pretty much a relentless girl crushing on a boy although a bit more opinionated now in front of mom. I really want her to grow a solid spine and not place SW first and foremost before herself, it irritates me to no end when the girl only cries and cries when the guy rejects her (case note: Meahri of AGD). The Korean drama world is indeed small, can’t run away, I should be happy that SW’s got a girl by his side but oh, yeah, his sister happens to be married to her brother, uh-oh, drama tell me why so serious?!
Serious stuff aside, I’m glad there are characters like Seung Jae and his mom to cheer us up. I even find Seung Jae’s mom and dad hilarious sometimes, the way they fight (tho his infidelity bugs me). The relationship between Seung Jae and his mom, so lovely and heartwarming, they make me cry when they’re all cuddly comforting each other. It’s nice to see scenes like these because as clichéd as they may be, they reflect RL in some ways. SJ’s mom reminds me of someone I know, who feels oppressed in her own family, with no goal or ambition of her own, with life dedicated to her husband and children. It hurts even when I think about it, how some women are just deprived of the simplest of freedom.
12 eps, bit too early to pass an accurate judgment of the drama, and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to last long enough until the very end. I just hope that writer will minimize the histrionics and focus on the heartwarming aspects of the drama, the usual that she does best.
credits: photo pictures as tagged / tumblr