Drama Review: ACROSS THE OCEAN TO SEE YOU

img_2599Across The Ocean To See You is a 2017 Chinese Tv Show that tells the story of Su Mang, an executive for MG, a global tourism company. After failed attempts to have a child and dealing with an unfaithful husband, her marriage ends in divorce. In order to get a fresh start, Su Mang transfers to the company’s headquarters in Shanghai as a director. Unfornutely rumours start to fly among the employees about Su Mang’s life overseas and Zheng Chu is the unlikely employee who steps forward to protect her, despite the rocky start to their working relationship. This leaves a good impression on Su Mang and the two become friends but how will the rest of their story play out?

Main Characters: 

#1. Zhu Ya Wen as Zheng Chuimg_2596#2. Claudia Wang as Su Mangimg_2589#3. Julia Ye as Tang Guo Guoimg_2586#4. Wang Yan Lin as Su Changimg_2588#5. Denny Huang as Tang Ming img_2575#6. Gao Yang as Yan Xiao Qiuimg_2583#7. Ma Qiu Zi as Chen Shan Shanimg_2592#8. Xie Gavin as Tony img_2587Okay now that I have the basic info. listed out, it is time for the main course. Going into this drama I expected romance, drama, comedy and some form of character development because I had a strong gut feeling that I was going to be dealing with a few immature characters.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: Well I got some of what I asked for, romance, very little character development and LOTS OF DRAMA. Honestly, this drama frustrated me to the point that I had to drop it for a long time, cool off and then somehow find the courage to complete it. Now, this does not mean that it was bad all through. It started out great but it got draggy and repetitive towards the end. What I have to give to this drama is that the comedic scenes were always on point. I was really excited to start this show because the synopsis seemed promising but the execution was not the best. In order to explain my loves and hates for this drama, I have decided to break down my review according to character groups. Firstly let us discuss our main leads.

– Su Mang and Zheng Chu: The drama opens with Su Mang visiting the hospital for her IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatments and she only realizes after her divorce that she is pregnant. Now right from the start, I had a feeling that her sperm donor was our male lead and I WAS RIGHT. He is the baby’s father but this is not known until the very last episodes of the show. I found this to be the usual fate troupe, so I had no issue at all. I only wished that her pregnancy was depicted more realistically. All pregnant women at some point develop baby bumps but here we are at about 3 – 4 months with an extremely flat stomach. Is that even possible? That aside, both leads had amazing chemistry, their bickering was fun to watch at the beginning. The woman being the boss was a nice switch up from the usual male boss vs. female employer and plus Su Mang had a very strong personality. But what I did not enjoy was the way their relationship progressed. The push and pull game with both of them was excessively done. Zheng Chu is a very caring character but he seemed to be a pushover and super clingy with Su Mang. Like if you keep on asking a lady out and doing everything to please her but she still does not want you, GIVE HER SOME SPACE. Also in this situation, he could clearly tell that she felt the same way but she just was not ready to commit. Him begging her all the time and receiving all the nasty treatments from her was honestly frustrating to watch. Due to this little issue I had with their relationship, I was not exited even when they finally got married. To me, it was more like good riddance to bad drama. All the same, I still have a few moments I enjoyed from the leads, so here is a good one.

– Tang Ming and Yan Xiao Qiu VS. Chen Shan Shan: Now these three characters were the biggest problem I had with the entire show. This has to be the most annoying love triangle mess that I have ever watched in my life. Xiao Qiu and Shan Shan are sisters but they have been separated for years due to their parent’s divorce and their relationship is not great either. Shan Shan also happens to be Zheng Chu’s ex-girlfriend and Tang Ming is Zheng Chu’s best friend.  MY LEVEL 1 FRUSTRATION – Tang Ming clearly knew that Shan Shan broke up with Zheng Chu because she did not want to date someone who was not rich enough to cater to all her needs. Any normal person would have the common sense to keep away from such an individual and plus she is your best friend’s ex, what happened to BRO CODE? The heartbreak for your friend was still fresh, not even a week old, like for real? Tang Ming is a doctor but honestly, throughout the show, I kept on wondering if he was ever using his brain. He misunderstood the intentions of the good person and kept on falling for the schemes of the wrong person. Even when his family was against it, he still stubbornly went along with Chen Shan Shan. MY LEVEL 2 FRUSTRATION – I absolutely adored Yan Xiao Qiu as a character. She is a sweet and loving friend but I must admit that she lacked a backbone. I get it that not everyone can be outspoken about their feelings but there has to be a breaking point. When you are constantly pushed to the wall, it gets to a point that you have to speak up. No matter how many times her sister lied, threatened and insulted her, she just took it all in silence. It became too tiring to watch. MY LEVEL 3 FRUSTRATION – What was the writer, director, and producer thinking when they made the decision to kill off Xiao Qiu character. She died so unexpectedly and to me after her death, the happy ending for the other characters became meaningless. Like I already said, I did not like that she could not speak up for herself but I respected her decision to give up on Tang Ming, go back to her hometown and stay away from all the drama her sister was creating. I feel that her character could have been given a chance to maybe travel abroad and focus more on her career because her death proved nothing to me. AND FINALLY MY BREAKING POINT – What gave Chen Shan Shan the right to blame Tang Ming for her sister’s death. EXCUSE ME but what drama have I been watching, am I still in the right show? Suddenly she is now a changed person and has reconciled with her dad. I am sorry but this is not adding up for me because I do not feel that she deserves that happy ending. I know that in life, the unexpected always happens but did Xiao Qiu really have to die. I rest my case on these three. 

– Tang Guo Guo and Su Chang:  This was one couple that I did not really care about. Both characters were super annoying at the start but they were actually the only ones to show some form of character development. Although at first, I was not the biggest fan of Tang Guo Guo, she actually grew to be the saving grace for me in this drama. She was funny and straight forward with everyone but I just did not care much for her romantic relationship with Su Chang. The only scene from them that really stood out to me was when Su Chang finally spoke some well deserved harsh truths to immature Guo Guo. So here is that scene.

– Tang Guo Guo and Tony: Like I mentioned already I really loved Guo Guo’s character as the story progressed and I was even more invested in her relationship with her manager, Tony. They had more chemistry together compared to her and her boyfriend Su Chang, JUST MY OPINION. I admired the trust, loyalty, and friendship that both characters showcased and their amazing comedic timing. They had this little funny song and dance that they do and it was so adorable to watch. I can state for sure that they were my favourite part of this drama. Here is a clip that shows exactly why I love them.

Although I did not really enjoy this drama, I must give credit, where credit is due. The cinematography for this drama was stunning and each scene showcased vibrant colours.  Also, the actors did great in portraying their characters as directed and their emotional and comedic scenes were top notch so I will be looking out for other projects from them. That concludes all I had to say about Across The Ocean To See You. I will rate this drama a 6/10. Will I be giving it a second watch anytime soon? The answer is NO. I would not mind watching the funny clips or the first half episodes of perfection but I will definitely not be watching the entire show again. If you will still like to check out this drama for yourself and form your own opinion, here is the link: Full Episodes Of Across The Ocean To See You

So until my next post, have a lovely week

Drama Review: MAY I BLACKMAIL YOU?

May I Blackmail You? is a 2017 Japanese drama series that tells the story of a man named Kanji Senkawa and his private blackmailing business.

img_2308Kanji Senkawa takes up cases which cannot be handled by the police or private investigators and he solves them by blackmailing people. While handling a case, he meets the wealthy university student Mio Kanesaka. Kanji and Mio get involved in various cases including voice phishing and kidnappings.

Going into this drama I expected a short and sweet romance story. I also had a strong feeling I was going to enjoy it because I love the lead actor Dean Fujioka. My first time watching him was in the Taiwanese drama series Just You and he was really fun to watch, he brings his characters to life. I did not know much about the lead actress before watching this drama but I had faith in the Japanese drama formula. Japanese dramas tend to have very few episodes, so everything is fast-paced and character development and growth is a sure thing by the end of the show. So I was entirely sure that I would not be too disappointed.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

This was a very short and straightforward drama. It had only nine episodes and each episode lasted for a maximum of one hour or less. Also, the main characters had great chemistry and there were hints for something to bloom between them in the future but it did not happen. Maybe if they do decide to make a second season then there might be some romance. So do not expect any romantic scenes from our leads. Since the drama only had nine episodes, it was obviously fast-paced and straight to the point and I enjoyed that a lot. But I also feel that some essential background information for a better understanding of the characters were omitted due to the short number of episodes. A good example of this is Mio Kanesaka and her grandfather. Right from the beginning of the show, it was made clear that Mio was not on good terms with her grandfather but the reason for it being so was not clearly stated. They did show how their opinions differed on various occasions but I would have preferred if they gave us a flashback on the actual event that caused the hack to their relationship.

Another thing I really enjoyed from this drama was the timeline setup. The drama started from the present and then flashbacked to the past to provide more depth to the characters. Now back in the present time, we are at this critical point where the characters have to make important decisions based on past experiences and their current learnings. I really enjoy when this style of timeline setup is used in dramas because it leaves me guessing, so that means the series is not completely predictable from the start. That little mystery left by the timeline setup really made this drama more interesting to me. Plot-wise, this was a well-written drama. When I read the synopsis it came off as the usual cute romantic-comedy but I was wrong. It definitely started out light-hearted and filled with dry humour but towards the end, the characters became darker and had more depth to them. Just to clarify on the dry humour statement, I do not mean that the comedic relief moments were not funny enough but rather such moments were quite mellow and sarcastic in nature, so not many people might pick up on the jokes.

Also, this drama gave me the number thing I always desire which is character development. Every character showed some essence of growth by the end of the show. So let’s discuss the few characters that really stood out to me.

#1. Dean Fujioka as Kanji Senkawaimg_2305The one and only blackmailer, Kanji Senkawa. Kanji at first seemed like a very nonchalant person without much to worry about except getting his assigned contracts completed. He is cunning and very money driven but there is more to Kanji. He actually harbours great regret regarding the death of his girlfriend. We later come to know that Mio Kanesaka is very much alike in behaviour to his ex-girlfriend and that is why Kanji always disagrees with her. He feels that she is too naive and that her belief in the good nature of people is very unrealistic. At some point in the drama, I could tell that Kanji was hiding his anger and regrets behind the nonchalant attitude. There was definitely something hunting him because he would sometimes go very dark with his words and actions. But what I really liked is that at the very end he understood that revenge is not always the best option but people who do wrong deeds still deserve to be punished.

#2. Emi Takei as Mio Kanesakaimg_2292I definitely share the same opinion as Kanji, she starts off being way too naive and unrealistic with her belief in the good nature of people and their want to redeem themselves. At first, I was really thrown off by her behaviour but I came to admire her because she did something that many people including myself fail to do when we hit a breaking point and that is, the ability to stand by our initial decision. After a few fails, Mio Kanesaka realized that people are not always true to the image they portray in public but she still stood by the idea that everyone should be given a chance to redeem themselves. So in a way she remained the same but by the end of the drama, she definitely was not the same naive Mio Kanesaka from episode one. She admitted to her flaws but stood by her belief. To me, that makes her a really confident character and I LOVE HER FOR THAT.

#3. Kashara Hideyuki as Takanomi Nami img_2310Takanomi Nami, a politician and uncle figure to Mio Kanesaka due to her grandfather being his mentor. Takanomi played a big role in making Mio realize that people are not always true to the image they portray. In the public eye, he was the righteous politician and a hero. To Mio, he was also like a family member but she was greatly disappointed when she discovered the monster behind the perfect face. He had her kidnapped and almost killed her grandfather just to make sure he won the upcoming election.

#4. Ozawa Hitoshi as Fuwa Tetsuoimg_2314Fuwa Tetsuo is the major gang leader in the neighbourhood. He is corrupt and capable of many wrongs but his character stood out to me for two major reasons. Number one is that his character was a great contrast to that of Takanomi, the politician. Here is a gang leader who the public clearly fears but he was willing to help Kanji and his team on many occasions. He is bad but has some unpublicized good to him. Secondly, his character was also a good show of odd friendships. The friendship between him and Kanji was very interesting to watch because they were initially against each other due to a case Kanji had taken but the truth is that friends can come from very unexpected places. Also, an extra bonus to his character is that he was a great comic add to the drama.

#5. Maya Kyoto as Tominaga Ayako img_2296Tominaga Ayako is the founder and leader of a very influential charity organization in the town. She is a very twisted character because she uses the members of her organization to commit various crimes including murder. For her defence, she claimed that she was helping the less fortunate to get rid of the people that once tormented them and anyone who stands in her way will also be killed. She was the one who adopted Kanji’s girlfriend and nurtured her till she was old enough to be on her own. Unfortunately, Kanji’s girlfriend found out about her ongoing crimes and so she had to be killed. This was a very sad character to watch because she honestly started her organization for a good purpose but over time she had lost her way and failed to admit her wrongdoings. It just means that no matter who you are, it is possible for you to lose the essence of yourself at a certain point but once you realize the problem, try to deal with it immediately. THE EARLIER, THE BETTER.

There were many other characters in the show but these were the few that really stood out to me. Now as always, I have a few of my favourites scenes to share with you all.

Kanji and Tominaga Final Confrontation 

This was the final confrontation between Kanji and Tominaga. Tominaga killed Kanji’s girlfriend and he plans to kill her as well. I really love this scene because of how well I could feel their anger, regret, and self-realization. The emotions were vivid and that made it a very powerful scene.

Mio’s Initial Reaction To Being Blackmailed

Now, this scene is the perfect example of the dry humour I mentioned at the very beginning. It was a moment of shock and disbelief that somehow amused me. Mio’s initial reaction to being blackmailed was way too calm and unusual. Although this clip does not show it, she actually calls the blackmailer to negotiate the ransom for someone who has no connection to her. She also sends him a selfie just because he asked for a picture. I mean who sends their picture to a blackmailer?

Kanji and Fuwa’s Game For Information

Here we have the iconic duo. A gang leader and a blackmailer betting important information on a game of building bricks. Not exactly what you will expect from such people but it was a very funny scene to watch.

Mio Faces Her Parent’s Killer

Mio is given the opportunity to kill the person who caused the death of her parents but she does not believe in revenge. She admits that she hates him and likes the idea of getting rid of him for sure but that will never bring her parents back to life. I already mentioned that I love how she stands by what she believes in and this scene really sums up Mio Kanesaka’s character.

Alright, that is all I have to say about this drama. Overall May I Blackmail You? is a really great drama and my rating for this is a 9/10, VERY SOLID. I recommend that you all take some time to check it out. It has only nine episodes, so that makes it a fast watch and I guarantee a very enjoyable series from start to finish. It is available on Viki, here is the link: Full Episodes Of May I Blackmail You?

So until my next post, have a lovely week

Premiere Review: THE LIGHT IN YOUR EYES

Expectations: I expect to see very relatable life experiences from this drama because the story plays around two characters who are at that critical career point and I know that life hits like a storm for many people during that time. So I expect some tear-jerking moments. Rather than romance, I am looking forward to the personal growth of all characters and once I see the potential for that, I will be sold. I am also hoping for great acting from the leads. I know that Han Ji-Min has been in the acting game for a while now but not all her projects impressed me. The few that I loved absolutely showcased great acting prowess from her, so I am hoping for the best. On the other hand, Nam Joo-Hyuk is fairly new in the game but he has the potential to perfect his skills with time. So since this drama seems to have a good storyline and the lineup for the cast are majorly veteran actors/actresses, I believe he will showcase a great performance. With that said, here is my review for the opening episodes of The Light In Your Eyes.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: First thing that I noticed is that the characters in this show are “raw”. That is the only word that came to my mind to describe how the characters came off to me. By raw I mean that there is so much growth needed for each character to get to their best self. I sincerely hope that the room created by this said “rawness” has been fully utilized by the writer to create some well deserved and grounded development for each character as the story progresses. Now the characters being raw does not take away from their complexity. For example, there is a scene where Hye-Ja tells Joon-Ha that she is fully aware of the fact that she is not fit to be an announcer but she is also too scared to let go of her dream. She also states that she feels inferior to the other applicants once she enters the interview room, so that is why she no longer sees the need to apply for any announcing positions. In real life, there are a lot of expectations that are put on us by our family, society and even our own dreams. Now if by chance we get to that point where we cannot achieve what we hoped for, we find it so hard to let go. Letting go at this point does not even have to do with disappointing others but rather it has to do with stepping down from the pedestal that you once placed yourself on. It feels like you have been stripped of your pride and you are constantly at a fight with yourself. Change is hard. So that scene really renounced with me because it showed how fragile and complex we are as human beings.

Along with that, I also loved the simplicity of the drama. I think it had to do with the way it was filmed because every scene flowed so naturally. It felt real, no super flashy cars, dresses or houses just a simple neighbourhood with relatable individuals. Now, this is not to take away from the effort that is put into the more flashy productions but just to note that this drama felt like a walk on a cool night away from the norm of Korean dramas. I also loved that we got a really close insight into the family dynamics of both leads. I enjoy whenever families are actively showcased in dramas because it gives me a good background of why each character is the way they are. This is one of the reasons why I absolutely adore the TVN Reply series, most especially the most recent one. Also, the chemistry between the leads was easy going. I like the approach of letting them become friends first before crossing into the relationship phase. And from what I have seen so far, they both represent strong support and realization grounds for each other. This is great as it is the basic foundation for every relationship but I am not really sure of how it is going to play out from episode three since Hye-Ja is now much older in appearance compared to Joon-Ha. I am excited about how the writer plans to deal with this change. Will she let him know who she is or will they just come to be friends along the line and then he finds out some way or another, who knows? No matter how it plays out, I just wish for it to be done in a well-explained manner. I am not going to be accepting any drastic form of drama logic this time around. I know it falls into the fantasy genre but it still needs to make sense.

Now about things making sense, I still cannot seem to understand how the watch works.  Because in episode one when the watch is introduced, we are just shown how she has been able to change a few minor things over the years and how that led to her ageing faster than she was supposed to. At least I know a factual consequence of using the watch at this point but I am still not clear on how far back in time the watch allows her to travel. In episode two this is seen as a problem for a few viewers because they expect her to just go back to the night before her father’s accident in order to save him but can she really go back that far in time? I am not sure, so I am waiting to get more explanations regarding the watch in the upcoming episodes. I need to know the origin, how exactly it works, why was she the one who got it and why does it age the user faster than usual? There will be serious loopholes if these questions are not answered.

Another major thing I have noticed with a lot of Korean dramas is the constant drinking. I understand that the drinking culture is very different based on each society but I fear for their livers and I wonder if this is what they want to constantly promote. Drinking is not bad but I personally believe that it should be kept at a minimum and not every day. Honestly being drunk is not the best feeling and I am saying so from experience, so when I see them drink almost every day, I sincerely question how they feel waking up in the morning. JUST SAYING.

Okay, back to the drama. So far I am enjoying the presence of a good number of the characters shown at this point and here is my take on them:

Notable Characters Introduced So Far:

#1. Han Ji-Min as Kim Hye-Jaimg_2017She is someone who really cares about her family. I love the self-awareness of this character, she knows her weakness and strengths but I feel she has yet to gain the self-confidence to excel with her strengths. I can also tell that she is a determined person from the scene where she tries to save her father. The only flaw is that she falls in love too fast but I can validate her emotional actions for her. I mean we have quite a handsome male lead, he is also cute, caring and he listens. Now, who would not fall for such an adorable person? So I will cut her some slack in that aspect.

#2. Nam Joo-Hyuk as Lee Joon- Haimg_2029At first, he came off to be quite insensitive. Most especially during the scene where he questions Kim Hye-Ja for wanting to become an announcer. I know that it was a needed reality check for her but it could have been said in a less arrogant manner. Anyways, later on, that misunderstanding is cleared up and we get to see his more caring and considerate side. I love that he is very easy to talk to and also opens up to the female lead, so it a two-way conversation and not just one person pouring out their heart.

#3. Son Ho-Jun as Kim Young-Soo (Hye-Ja’s older brother)img_2018So far, I see him as the comedic relief for the drama and I am loving that but I have a feeling that his character has been set up for so much more than that. At some point, he might need to get his act together and find a job or start up something of his own. I would not mind if he even starts helping around the house instead of simply sitting at home all day and asking for meat. But for now, he is a fine comedic character.

#4. Ahn Nae-Sang as Hye-Ja’s fatherimg_2028He’s a taxi driver and a loving father. Right now I see him as the good cop towards his children, unlike his wife. He is their protector, constant supporter and the one who always catches them in case they backslide a little but I can tell that he has a softer spot for Hye-Ja. I guess that is why he had to be the catalyst for Hye-Ja to use the watch again, although this caused her to age so suddenly, I am still happy that she was able to save him.

#5. Lee Jung-Eun as Hye-Ja’s motherimg_2025She is a certified hair stylist and the bad cop parent in the family. I still love her though because there has to be someone in your life who gives you that well-needed reality check once in a while and she executes it on a well-timed basis. She is at the same time the harsh encourager, she pushes you to see the best in yourself and not settle for less. I know that her expectations for Hye-Ja are very burdensome but I like that she does not want her to end up as a hair stylist. Also at the same time, I see nothing wrong with being a hairstylist because in this generation everything can be capitalized on if done properly.

#6. Kim Ga-Eun as Lee Hyun-Joo (Hye-Ja’s friend)img_2036First things firsts, I have a very strong intuition that she might still end up dating Hye-Ja’s brother again. That aside there is not much to say about this character, so I am waiting to see more of her before I decide on how relevant she is to the story.

#7. Song Sang-Eun as Yoon Sang-Eun (Hye-Ja’s friend)img_2037Now she is another comic relief to me but a very laid back type. The scene where the girls were discussing her contract with the management company is just funny and I hope that as the story progresses, she also gets smarter with her decisions. And just like the other friend, I have nothing much to say about her for now.

#8. Kim Young-Ok as Lee Joon-Ha’s grandmotherimg_2032Grandma is one of my favourite older actresses, she really shines in every other drama I have seen her in. She is the captain to our leads’ ship but unfortunately, she dies by the end of episode two. I was saddened by her death because it meant that Lee Joon-Ha was now completely alone because his father is not reliable. I was also really disappointed in her decision to side with her alcoholic and abusive son over her grandson with an actual future but I guess that is the unconditional love of a mother.

Most Memorable Scenes: 

#1. Brother Rides The Ambulance.img_2020img_2022img_2024 Now, this was pure comedy. The brother is simply a character and I am here for it. At first, when he began taping the door, the first thought that came to my mind was if he was going to be able to breathe with no air coming in and out of that room. But I guess he was too hungry to think it through. And the fact that even when he was being carried away in the ambulance, he still reminded the paramedic to help him flip the meat was pure gold. Like excuse me sir but you nearly died, is your meat really that important at this point? He also did not seem to learn from that experience because the next day during breakfast he still had the guts to speak about grilled beef and he got a good beating from his mom. He is definitely the major comic relief but I also need to see him adulting up at some point.

#2. Friends in Unisonimg_2040img_2054img_2055This was a funny and cute scene for me and it has been stuck in my head for a while now. The fact that they simply just analyzed the flirty announcer’s character in a few seconds was completely hilarious and doing so in unison made it even better. I love Kim Hye-Ja’s friends and I hope to see more of them. I know that she had her mom tell them that she left for Germany after her sudden change in appearance but I really want her to let her friends know and see how they deal with it. I honestly feel that they will help her relax a little bit more throughout this ordeal.

#3. Lee Joon-Ha’s Drastic Move Against His Dadimg_2049img_2051img_2050Okay,  I was really shocked when Joon-Ha came back into the room all bruised and bloody and the first thought that ran through my mind was how long has he held in that resentment towards his dad for him to make the decision of injuring himself to that point. That was a really drastic move but I could understand the drive behind his decision to do that. Honestly, no one wants an alcoholic and an abuser for a father and the fact that his grandmother encourages such behaviour really disappointed me. Joon-Ha made that move in order to get his dad away from the peaceful space that he had living with his grandmother but all his effort was ruined by the very person he was trying to protect. I get that a mother’s love for her child is undying but at what expense are you willing to support such a son like Joon-Ha’s father. By helping her son, she might have just jeopardized the career of her grandson. I just hope Joon-Ha finds someone to talk to soon because by the end of episode two he was alone and lonely.

#4. Kim Hye-Ja’s Race To Save Her Dadimg_2046img_2047img_2044img_2045This part of the drama really proved the determination of Kim Hye-Ja’s character. Although she might say she has given up and feels inferior to others, after watching this scene I felt that there was still this little fighter in there waiting to exhale. I love that she did not give up, no matter how many times she fell, she was quick to stand up and try again. This scene was really powerful because it shows that sometimes life throws things at you that you cannot seem to unravel in one go, it takes time but you just have to keep on moving forward and not looking back. Even if you lose something along the way like Kim Hye-Ja lost her youth. Suicide, like she might be thinking of in the next episode, should not be your only option. I remember a quote from my favourite animation ever, Avatar: the last Airbender and it goes like this “when we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change” but it all boils down to if you have the faith and the patience to fight for your greatest change and I know that Kim Hye-Ja’s character has just taken the first step towards her greatest change.

Overall, The Light in Your Eyes exceeded my expectation to a certain level. It was at the very bottom of my list for the dramas I was looking forward to watching in 2019. If need to see that list, here is a link to it: My 2019 Drama List. It showcased the real-life situations I desired and I love how it was done. I also got to see very emotional and fragile moments from our leads and their respective families, so Kudos to the actors and actresses for doing an amazing job with their characters. Like I mentioned already the characters are quite raw to me, so there is a potential for growth, which gives it another check from me. But since there is still a lot of information that I need in order to grasp the time travel and ageing aspect of the drama, I will have to give this some time before I can be fully sold on this storyline. As usual, I got my fingers crossed and I hope for the best.

My rating for this premiere will be 9/10. I will continue watching and by the end of the show, the final verdict review will be posted for you all to know my thoughts on this drama. If you have not seen the first two episodes of this drama already, go check it out and tell me if we have any similar views. Till my next post, take care.

 

My Kdrama Discovery

(The story of how I started watching Korean dramas.)

If I can remember correctly I started watching Korean dramas in 2012. At that time I was actually in a boarding school and was set to complete high school the following year. It was during a school break but I had to be in school to take extra preparatory classes for an upcoming exam.

A little background information: I attended high school in Ghana and it was a boarding school, so students were not allowed to have any form of electrical devices on the campus. Also in West Africa during the third year of high school, every student has to write what we call WASSCE. Now WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination) is a type of standardized test in West Africa that grants students admission into universities and It is administered by the West African Examinations Council.

With that said, I definitely should have been studying instead of watching dramas but a girl needed to relax a little. Now a friend of mine happened to sneak in a mini CD player and invited a few of us to watch movies with her. On getting there, I noticed that we were not going to be watching an English movie. So I asked her what country the movie was from and she said Korea. Oh well, it did not really matter to me because I just wanted to hang out. So that was how I began watching Boys Over Flowers. I remember watching an episode each day because we all did not have that much free time due to the upcoming exams. As each day passed, I became more intrigued by the story and the actors. I was eager to know what next was going to happen between Gu Jun-Pyo and Geum Jan-di. After completing Boys Over Flowers, I went on to watch Playful kiss, You’re Beautiful, City Hunter, Personal Taste and many others. At this point, I had lost all control because the kdrama obsession had long begun.

In 2013 after completing high school, I came straight over to Canada to study. With access to drama streaming sites like Dramafever(it was great while it lasted, sad to see them end so abruptly) and Viki, I began to watch not just Korean dramas but also Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas. I had a whole new world in front of me and I was mesmerized by the amount of work and dedication that went into each of these productions. At first, I simply watched kdramas because of the actors I knew but with time I became sure of what I liked and what I did not enjoy. It no longer mattered to me if you were my favourite actor or actress because I am not going to sit through anything that stresses me. Honestly, when I watch something that does not sit well with me, I easily get irritated by how the story or characters have been portrayed. All the same, my favourite actor starting out was Lee Min-ho and my favourite actress was Park Shin-Hye. Currently, I have many actresses that I really admire but my all time favourite actor is Lee Joon-gi. I mean the man excels in all that he does (there is no room for argument here).

I also stumbled into the kpop world through kdramas, I remember that the first kpop group I ever listened to was Infinite. I discovered them through the drama High School Love On, which starred two of their members, Nam Woo-Hyun and Lee Sung-yeol. Over the years I have listened to numerous Korean pop groups and solo artists from various genres (indie, hip hop, folk, neo-soul, RnB, etc). I also listen to some good old Korean classics. Basically, when it comes to music I listen to whatever I like, I do not restrict myself based on groups or favoured artists.

So there it is, my first Korean drama was Boys Over Flowers and the first kpop group I listened to was Infinite. I just wanted to share what factors led me to this beautiful space and I will like to hear your stories as well, so do share.

Until my next post, take care and if you’re in Canada please try not to get swallowed in the snow.

First Episode Review: THE CROWNED CLOWN

As promised, here is my review for the first episode of The Crowned Clown. 

My Expectation: Going into this drama, I definitely expect intense scenes and well-planned execution of the proposed plot. I believe I can trust the chosen actors to deliver an intriguing drama from start to finish. Plus I love historical dramas, so I sincerely hope that this does not turn out to be a letdown.

Review: As expected from the stunning young actor, Yeo Jin-Goo. He really impressed me with his portrayal of two completely different characters. I have followed him for a long time as a child actor and I know that he is going to become an even bigger star as he grows. The very first scene of episode one showcases the death of the previous king and to me, this was a super intense way to start the drama and that immediately solidified my approval of the show. screenshot (29)screenshot (25)From the dialogue during this scene, I could predict the troubles that were about to come and I knew that the little prince’s life was in danger. At this point, I honestly had no strong feelings concerning Lee Hun’s character but as I watched to the end of episode one, I discovered that our king was quite bloody. He seemed too confident in his ability to manipulate others for his benefit without having any setbacks and he also refuses to listen to people that are actually looking out for him. In conclusion, he is a weak and muddled King. I mean, do not kill someone, if you cannot deal with the guilt and consequences, period. Anyways, throughout episode one, we get introduced to many characters and I love the balance between the new actors and veteran actors for this drama. This gives me great hope for future episodes to come. Here are few of the notable characters:

Yeo Jin-Goo – Ha Sun(the clown) / Lee Hun (the King): Like I mentioned, the actor does a good job in portraying the bloodiness of the King and the naiveness of the clown. It will definitely be hard for the clown to be a perfect imposter of the King right from the start but I have a feeling that at the very end, it will be hard for anyone to point out who the real King is.

Lee Se-Young – Yoo So-Woon (the Queen): So far the queen seems like a calm and reasonable person. She is fully aware of what she desires and does not settle for less. I like that she is able to see through the petty tactics of the royal concubine and also stand up to the King.

Kim Sang-Kyung – Lee Kyu (King’s trusted aide): He’s trustworthy and always has the King’s best interest at heart but I predict that at a certain point, he might switch sides and support the clown fully because the King seems like a letdown so far.

Kwon Hae-Hyo – Shin Chi-Soo (War Minister): A very dangerous individual. At first, I thought he was controlling the King but then I realized that the King actually used him as a weapon to get rid of his competition. But the fact remains that a well-sharpened knife can hurt its owner, if not used carefully. Because of the king’s recklessness in pushing power towards the wrong person, we the viewers now have to be frustrated by such an annoying character and the king himself now has to escape the palace in order to stay alive.

Min Ji-A – Court Lady Kim: Honestly, I have concluded that she is a spy. I do not know who she works for yet but I have a strong gut feeling that she has a purpose for being placed so close to the King. There is a scene where she hands him a pipe to smoke and right after that scene, we cut right to the King’s bedroom and we can see that he deals with hallucinations. So I just assumed at this point that the guilt from all his bloody deeds are catching up to him and he might also be getting drugged.

Shin Soo-Yun – Dal-Rae (Ha Sun’s sister): She is part of the performance crew and also a little sister to Ha Sun (the clown). I know she will be a major factor to him taking his position as the King’s replacement more seriously and this has been proved in episode 2. Since I am just doing a first episode review, I will not spoil the future episodes for anyone.

– Seo Yoo-A – Sunhwadang (King’s concubine): She is definitely a sly one but does not seem too smart about her plots. She is the niece of the War Minister and of course, aspires to be queen by conceiving an heir to the throne. The scene where she gets to spend the night with the King and tries to blame the queen for the charms that were given to her by uncle was really intense but also funny. I honestly did not know if to laugh at her failure or be angry about the way the king treated her.

– Jang Young-Nam – the King’s mother: Honestly she is the most justified villain I have seen in a long time. She lost her son and wants revenge, quite simple. But I do not think that she was completely a saint even before losing her child. There is definitely a back story to this mess and I am looking forward to it.

Most Memorable Scenes from this Episode :

#1 –Little Prince’s Death

screenshot-34.pngI honestly did not expect his death. I know that he was accused of treason but I did not expect our King to go through with the killing. When he decided to send him away, I had some hope that he was actually protecting his little brother but I was left disappointed. It was a shocking scene for me and it broke my heart to see the little prince dead.

#2 –Killing Of Assassins

screenshot (55)The King is attacked by assassins but he manages to escape and the assassins are captured by his guards. Now in the midst of the ongoing questioning, the king gets agitated and decides to kill one of the assassins. His facial expressions at this point completely gave me chills. I was lost for words and the only conclusion that I could come to was that he was psychotic. Clearly, it looks to me like he was enjoying the slaughter of another human being and that is very scary. I honestly do not know how the writer plans to redeem this character and that is if there is even a plan for such a development.

#3 –First Shown Interaction between King and Queen

screenshot (82)I found this scene very interesting because it represented to me a glimmer of hope for a change in the King’s personality. I can tell that he sincerely cares about the feelings of the queen but because of all his other bloody and violent actions, the queen has refused to have any form of intimacy with him. This also shows that she’s a woman with her own values and opinions even though she always seems calm and collected. I predict that the upcoming relationship between the queen and the clown will be the wake-up call for our wonderful King to act more appropriately.

#4 –The King and The Clownscreenshot (102)

screenshot (101)A well-executed scene for the first meeting of Lee Hun and Ha Sun. I just simply loved the way it played out, starting with the king getting closer to see for himself, to the transferring of ropes and the perfect imitation of command by the clown. The writer and director showcased great skills in setting the mood with the use of dim lighting. Once again a big thumbs up to Yeo Jin-Goo for a phenomenal performance. I honestly look forward to seeing more great works from him.

Overall, the first episode definitely met my expectations. I got the intensity I desired and I was immediately pulled into the world of these characters. The cinematography was perfect for me, I really enjoyed the simplicity because it fitted well to the story. Also, the background instrumentals for each scene was well placed. So far the chemistry between all the characters seems natural and kudos to all the actors for that. I also watched episode two and I like that it started out with some comedy as compared to the intense first scene from the previous episode. It was a nice strategy to relax the watchers and make the show more inviting because life cannot always be heavy, there should be some light moments. I have not been able to keep up with all the released episodes because of school but I will do so by this coming weekend. So if you were looking forward to the show as well and have some opinions on the story so far, please share those opinions with me. I need some discussion partners to keep me going.

My rating for the first episode is 10/10. I will continue watching and see how things turn out, so stay tuned.

My 2019 Drama List

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Since it is the first day of 2019, I decided to share a list of my most anticipated dramas for this year. When these dramas are released, I will be posting a first episode review. So that way, you all can know if the drama met my expectation and if I plan to continue watching it.

(For the dramas that do not yet have posters, I have attached an image of the currently confirmed cast or referenced work)

#1 – The Crowned Clown / The Man Who Became Kingfullsizephoto1021297[1]Joseon is currently in a state of disorder due to uprisings and a power struggle surrounding King Lee Hun. A clown named Ha Sun is brought to the palace to pose as King Lee Hun, in order for him to escape assassination. Ha Sun is identical to the King.

#2 – The WolfMajesty+Wolf+11[1]Towards the end of the Tang Dynasty, Zhu Wen usurped the throne and established the Liang kingdom. He then encounters a young wild boy who accidentally fell from a cliff while being pursued saving wolf pups. The boy is rescued and adopted by Zhu Wen and is renamed Zhu Youwen. Ten years later Zhu Youwen has been conferred with the title, Prince of Bo. He meets and falls in love with Zhaixing, the daughter of a governor and the two become involved in a struggle for power.

#3 – Kingdomkingdom-netflix[1]Set in Korea’s Joseon period, the drama tells the story of a crown prince who is sent on a suicide mission. He is to investigate a mysterious plague spreading across the country. But he later discovers that the plague is actually an atrocious epidemic in the form of zombies.

#4 – Welcome To Waikiki 2 / Eulachacha Waikiki 261fdb65e-409e-4a0d-8cb7-cadc31bece76[1]This is the season 2 of the popular series, Welcome to Waikiki. It is set to air during the first half of 2019 but no cast member has been confirmed. I wrote about Welcome to Waikiki season 1 in a previous post, if you have not read that, here is the link (MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018).

#5 – Tears In Heavena6ed6855e4854a7eaa2182710ce9996d[1]Reporter Du Xiao Su falls in love with Shao Zhen Rong who is a respectable doctor. He, unfortunately, meets an accident and dies, leaving Xiao Su in grief. All her suffering is being witnessed by Lei Yu Zheng, who decides to help her silently and this sparks hatred from the second female lead (Lin Xiang Yuan). In the midst of ongoing schemes, Yu Zheng loses his company but Xiao Su helps him make a comeback.

#6 – Touch Your Heart / Reach Of SincerityTouch-Your-Heart[1]This drama is about a top actress, who has lost her popularity due to a scandal and attempts to get back to the top through acting as the secretary to a prickly lawyer because of his connection to a famous scriptwriter. This marks the reunion of the secondary couple from popular Korean drama series, Goblin.

#7 – Dear Citizens12-K-Dramas-to-Look-Forward-to-in-2019-04-Dear-Citizen-01[1]A comedic criminal drama that tells the story of a con man who gets married to a police officer. From then on, he gets involved in a series of unplanned incidents and even ends up becoming a member of the National Assembly.

#8 – Romance Supplement / Romance Is A Bonus Booklee-jong-suk-lee-na-young[2]The series follows the lives of employees in their 30s who work at a publishing company. Cha Eun-Ho is a genius writer and the youngest chief editor at his publishing company. Kang Dan-Yi used to be a popular copywriter but is not anymore. Due to her impressive career and educational background, she struggles with finding a new job. Finally, she gets a job at the same publishing company where Cha Eun-Ho works by lying about her background. The two begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.

#9 – My CountryMy-Country[1]This drama is to be set during the Korean Goryeo period to the early Joseon period. It will tell the story of two friends who come to aim their swords at each other due to their different opinions about “my country”.

#10 – Asadal Chronicle / The Chronicles Of AseudalThe_Chronicles_of_Aseudal-CSML1[1]The drama revolves around the power struggles, love, and growth between the people of the fictional ancient city of Aseudal. Eun-Sun was born with the fate to bring disaster to Aseudal. Ta-Gon is a war hero and dreams of becoming the first king of Aseudal. Tan-Ya was born with the same fate as Eun-Sun and she is the successor of the Wahan tribe.

#11 – Itemfullsizephoto1000592[1]A criminal profiler and a prosecutor determined to save his niece, work together to decipher the secrets behind various objects with supernatural powers.

#12 – When The Devil Calls Your Namejungkyunghogeekjune2016_0[1]This drama tells the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil ten years ago for youth and success. As the soul collection day draws near, he begs the devil for an extension of their contract. The devil agrees on the condition that he will find three other people who have promised their souls and take their contracts.

#13 – Queen DuguEmpress+Dugu+0[1]A Chinese historical drama about the first emperor of the Sui Dynasty (Emperor Wen of Sui). He is known for having the fewest concubines due to his love and respect for his empress, Empress Dugu. They met during their teen years and he promised that she would be the only woman to carry his children.

#14 – Empress Of The Ming: Legend Of Sun Ruoweiimage-w1280[1]Sun Ruowei’s entire family is killed on the orders of the Yongle Emperor in 1402. She manages to escape death after being secretly adopted by Sun Zhong but later on becomes the concubine of crown prince Zhu Zhanji by chance. She decides to use the opportunity to investigate the truth behind her family’s death. Touched by Zhu Zhanji’s kindness, she later decides to drop her personal goals and resolves to become a virtuous empress who can support him through his rule. Unfortunately, Zhu Zhanji dies a decade after ascending the throne and Sun Ruowei is honoured as Empress Dowager once her 7-year-old son became emperor.

#15 – Spring Must Be Comingbf008d111e20999237bce6983c5f1036[2]Kim Bo-Mi is a TV news anchorwoman who only cares about herself. On the other hand, we have Lee Bom who was once a popular actress but she is now married to a lawmaker and focuses on being a housewife. Somehow both women switch bodies, giving them a chance to live their once forgotten dreams and gaining new experience.

#16 – Dazzling / The Light In Your Eyesd698b865cd1b4697ba6c3b4ed3f4a472[1]Kim Hye-Ja dreams of becoming an announcer but suddenly she transforms into a 70-year-old woman with the ability to manipulate time. Lee Joon-Ha hopes to become a reporter and has worked hard to achieve his dream but he now lives life hopelessly. These two somehow get involved with each other.

So this is the end of my list and of course, there are many other upcoming dramas this year but these are the few that I am really looking forward to watching. I will still be keeping an eye out for all the other dramas, so stay tuned for the reviews.

 

Drama Review: MEMORY LOVE

Hey guys, as promised here is the review for the Taiwanese drama series, MEMORY LOVE.

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Memory Love tells the story of Qiao Jia En (our female lead) and her boyfriend, Wang Xiu Kai’s return to Taiwan to reunite with her estranged wealthy father after her mom’s death. Unfortunately, they both get involved in a car accident which causes Jia En to lose her memory and her boyfriend is declared brain dead. On the other side, we have pastry chef Xing Shao Tian (our male lead); who collapses during a bakery banquet and is in need of an immediate heart transplant. Of course, he ends up receiving Xiu Kai’s heart. Now Jia En’s best friend, Zhoa Ai li takes advantage of the current memory loss situation and poses as Jia En.

The elements of this drama include amnesia, switched and stolen identity and fictional organ cellular memory transfer. Honestly, this is a drama that you will either love or hate. I say this because the story is nothing new but it will all depend on how the execution of the plot comes off to you as the viewer. From the start of the drama, I enjoyed the way the characters were introduced at fast speed. Which means that whatever back story to be told was placed throughout the upcoming episodes and we got straight to the actual plot. Overall the drama was simple and light, so it made an easy watch, apart from some unrealistic developments. For example, I cannot seem to understand how Jia En’s friend, Zhao Ai li was able to get away with the switching of identities. It is the 21st century and DNA tests do exist. If I was the father and someone comes up claiming to be my daughter, I will definitely ask for concrete proof and not just some keepsake. But no worries, I decided to accept the drama world logic and let that slide. Also, I am no medical student but the way the transfer of organ cellular memory was portrayed in this drama, was a bit over the top but once again ‘drama logic’. The drama also showcased some super cringy scenes. Now I have admitted my love for cheesy romance but when it gets to that cringe level, I cannot help but feel embarrassed for the characters. I was able to cope with the cringe because the chemistry between the leads was electrifying.

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The interactions between them felt fresh and real. I could feel the love and support on an equal level from both characters. Kudos to the Mandy Wei and Andy Chen for creating such sizzling chemistry. Because most onscreen couples can sometimes feel heavily scripted and that makes the pair really unbelievable for the viewers. There were a few moments when I wished the male lead was not written to be mean at the beginning. I really would love to see more dramas where the male lead is actually a nice person from the start because I find it hard to believe that any lady would easily fall in love with someone who has been continuously harsh to her. All the same, their chemistry was legit, so it helped. I also loved the bromance that came later on between the first and second male leads, who are also stepbrothers and love rivals (honestly, my head hurts from such a complicated relationship). It was fun to watch their bickering and the little moments of them getting along was cute.21728122_1871212299559724_8591826461083716318_n[1]21558794_1875872269093727_3565027475593907083_n[1] I did not really care for the side characters or their stories because I felt that they were not as well developed as the main characters. I feel the writer decided to add them in for comedic effect. Also, I noticed that a few random characters were thrown in at odd points of the story to push the relationship between the leads to the next level. I would not say I hate the idea but to me, it was not properly planned, so these characters always felt out of place. Now one person that really annoyed me down to the last episode was our female lead’s best friend or in this case ex-friend. The writer thought the audience could be persuaded later on to feel some pity for this character by making Jia En forgive her so easily. After all the pretending, stealing and lying for so long, it came off quite unrealistic. I mean yes, she has to forgive at some point but that fast, I must say I WAS SHOCKED because I felt it did not allow for the friend to learn her lesson as well deserved. Let me be real, the friend and her super annoying fiance had been crossed on my list and there was no going back. Apart from these two characters, I absolutely adored every other character in the drama, whether random or not.

Now we have a pastry chef as our lead, so there were some baking skills showcased throughout the show and I enjoyed how the drama incorporated the stories behind the creation of these pastries and connected them to the emotions felt by the characters. This made the show more interesting. Another reason why I loved this drama was due to the original soundtracks used. I already did a review for the opening track. If you have not seen that already, use this link (Opening song review) and check it out. Most of the other songs from the drama came from the album Bii Your Light by Taiwanese singer Bii. My favourite song titled ‘You’re Gone’ from the album was actually the closing track for the drama. If you would like to have a listen, here is a link to the official video on YouTube, (Bii-You’re Gone)

Lastly, let’s discuss the execution of the plot. Like I said earlier, the plot is nothing new in the drama world but I still gave the drama a chance. The characters had the potential to make the drama gain a 10/10 rating but it fell to the ongoing problem of many Taiwanese dramas. I honestly cannot tell if the writer got too relaxed towards the end or if the number of episodes should have been cut short. Most recent Taiwanese dramas tend to be draggy towards the end. By draggy I mean, there have been many times when I felt that the last episode had already been aired because the episodes from then on felt like fillers. This could have been avoided if the drama had ended sooner and this was my issue with Memory Love as well. This drama had so much potential but I have to admit that most episodes, especially towards the end felt like compulsory fillers to reach the required number of episodes. Overall it was still a relaxing drama to watch and the main couple were sweet and amazing together so I will give it a 7.5/10. Will I be watching it again? Yes but not every single episode, maybe I might go back to watch my favourite moments. Also, I will be following future projects from both leads because they were the rock that held my interest throughout the show. If you would like to watch this drama for the sweet moments between the leads, it is available on VIKI (Asian drama/movie streaming site), just use the link below, Enjoy.

Full Episodes of Memory Love

 

 

MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018

Hello everyone. First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance. I am hoping that the holiday season brings you great joy and may all your heart’s wishes be fulfilled.

So for today, I will be sharing a list of my top 10 Asian dramas that aired in 2018. I definitely watched more than 10 dramas but these are just the few that really stood out for me. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me. I will be listing from last to first because I want my #1 to be anticipated.

#10 – A Korean Odyssey/Hwayugi5a25a22d025542119cd2d41bcdd289f7[1]Son Oh- Gong, the monkey king finds himself bound as a protector for Jin Seon-mi, the little girl he had made a contract with 25 years ago. In exchange for setting Son Oh-gong free, Jin Seon-mi will be able to call on him whenever she needs help. Now, this was a highly anticipated drama for me and it had a great start to it. The characters were funny and I loved the way the story progressed but the ending episodes were slowly paced with a few unnecessary scenes. The fact that I still enjoyed it on my second watch is the reason for it being on my list.

#9 – The Ghost Detectivey9eJNpSACBG9TgNbbO2Fgack3o1[1]Lee Da-il is a detective who has promised to help his assistant, Jung Yeo-wool investigate the bizarre death of her younger sibling. While doing this he runs into a mysterious woman in red called Sunwoo Hye who somehow appears at every crime scene. This was a very intriguing drama but the reason for it being #9 on my list is because of the horror aspects which I am not the biggest fan of. I had to keep my lights on whenever I watched it because somehow I always watched it late at night

#8 – Encounter6a5e2576286f437c81ba9e6c7ae95fa1[1]Fate threw a long dice for these two. A woman who seems to have everything and a young man who seems to have nothing. As things unfold they have to choose between wealth and authority or an ordinary life together. I always enjoy a very well produced cheesy romance and the cinematography is a plus for this drama, really amazing. The only reason for it being this low on my list is because it is still airing and my feelings might change if the story flops. So I got my fingers crossed for this one but so far I love it.

#7 – Moonshine and Valentinejkl1u5JDRE2Y90IvhrwAzp1xGOO[1]Guan Pipi lived an ordinary and peaceful life until she met Helan Jingting; then her life took an extraordinary turn. Different from humans, Helan is actually a fox. He cannot see during the day but has great vision at night. Their unique relationship begins when Pipi faces betrayal from love and friendship. A check for romance, another check for fantasy, which I go crazy for and the last check for amazing chemistry. I really enjoyed this drama and I am actually hoping for a second season. But at the same time, I am not sure if the second season can be executed as perfectly as the first.

#6 – What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?891a50a3318046e683efdc9ac302d238[1]The drama revolves around a narcissistic vice chairman of a major corporation, Lee Young-Joon and his very able secretary, Kim Mi-So. The catalyst for this drama is Kim Mi-So’s intention to resign from her position, after working for Lee Young-Joon for nine years. Like I said earlier; I love a good romance and this also had comedy to offer, so I loved every minute of it. It was also nice to see the vice chairman begin to pay attention to someone other than himself. The pace was also on point from start to finish.

#5 – My ID is Gangnam Beauty17ba9005fa753843508e57ee568716d646c859f9r1-750-530v2_hq[1]Kang Mi-rae decides to get plastic surgery after being bullied in high school for her looks. Yet she ends up being nicknamed as the “Gangnam plastic surgery monster” of her university. The drama follows her story of recovering self-esteem as she gets to know Do Kyung-Seok. Really awesome drama from start to finish, there was never a dull moment for me. I absolutely loved the fact that the male lead could see through the second female lead’s tricky acts and plus the main leads were so cute together. LOVED IT

#4 – Welcome to Waikiki61fdb65e-409e-4a0d-8cb7-cadc31bece76[1]The story circles around three friends who run a failing guesthouse called Waikiki and the mysterious appearance of a single mother and her baby. If you are in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend this drama. It was pure comedy from the beginning to the end and I enjoyed every minute of it. The characters bonded so well together and there was a lot of personal growth going on for every character. I will definitely be watching this again.

#3 – Story Of Yanxi Palacee6111860825f49ba8f358b52fa555948[1]Smart and witty Wei Yingluo enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor as a seamstress to investigate the truth behind her older sister’s death. Upon discovering that the imperial guard Fuca Fuheng might have a hand in her sister’s death, she purposely attracts the attention of his sister the Empress Fuca. Over time she learns about the honesty and kindness of both siblings and also develops romantic affections for Fuheng. Can we please have a moment of appreciation for a strong and resourceful female lead, which is rare in Asian dramas. Wei Yingluo outsmarted all her rivals without any major support and that made me enjoy this drama.

#2 – The Rise of Phoenixes 43c552c4621fdc6ba3f92156[1]Ning Yi is a calculating and ambitious sixth prince of the ruling Tiansheng kingdom but he disguises his talents behind a carefree personality after corrupt officials charged his older brother with high treason. He establishes a secret information network with Qingming Academy’s headmaster Xin Ziyan and waits for the perfect time to strike down his enemies. Once again a moment of appreciation for an amazing and well-written male lead character. The actor Chen Kun who played as Ning Yi deserves every award possible. He did a fantastic job of convincing the audience to accept every emotion displayed by his character. Also, the chemistry between the leads was 10/10. Honestly Chinese dramas shined this year.

#1 – Mr Sunshinedfa7bb42-84b6-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1280x720_152105[1]The drama focuses on a young boy who is born into slavery but after a traumatic event, he escapes to the United States during the 1871 U.S. expedition to Korea. He later returns to Joseon as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. During his stay, he meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and also discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea. There is only one word to describe this drama, “PERFECTION”. From the directing to the cinematography, chemistry between characters and beautiful soundtracks. It had it all. I laughed, smiled, cried and felt so attached to all characters throughout the series.

 

If you also enjoyed any of these dramas please let me know what exactly you really loved about it. Also if you have a favourite that did not make the list, leave the title in the comment section and I will check it out. Now if you have not seen any of these listed dramas, please grab some popcorn and have yourself a merry Christmas movie night.

Once again Merry Christmas.