November and December 2020 Korean Drama Reviews

The first drama that I finished was Record of Youth. It stars Sa Hye-Jun (Park Bo-Gum) who is working as a model and wants to become an actor but is struggling at the moment. He meets An Jeong-Ha (Park So-Dam) who is working as make-up artist and they meet and she pretends that she is not his fan. Hye-Jun struggles because his best friend is an up and coming actor that is doing well and has the full support from his family. Hye-Jun is struggling with finding work and then his family isn’t supportive of him and they want to stop trying to make it in the industry.

I really liked how they focused on the family and the dynamics that happen in families because every family has issues and dysfunctional aspects that need to be explored. I like how they portrayed Hye-Jun’s relationship with his father and even what happens even after Hye-Jun is able to excel. It was heart breaking and heart warming at times. I thought this drama started off strong with the different characters and made it seem like it was going to be an interesting drama and it was for the first half of the drama. It felt like the relationship development went really quickly that made me feel concerned. The acting was great in the drama and I really felt their emotions they were portraying in the drama.

I was disappointed since there was so much hype around Park Bo-Gum so I thought it was going to be a great drama because he can afford to be choosy when he picks dramas. Honestly this drama was a disappointment and it really fell flat for me at the end. I feel like it was the writer’s fault with this one because they could have done so much better and ended it properly if they put more effort in writing the script. The ending was just weird and they did not tie up the loose ends in this drama at all!? They had so many side characters in this drama and they really did them dirty but not addressing any of them at the ending! Why did the writers spend so much time giving them a story in the drama and then completely abandon them at the end. I was so confused by what they were trying to tell us with this drama.

The other weird thing was I noticed it said it was funded by the Korean Government and thought it was suspicious when they were introducing getting the HPV vaccines and that disturbed me because there are bad things that have happened with that kind of vaccine. The love story was also strange it happened really fast and then completely stalled in the middle and by the time there was a separation as an audience I didn’t really care if they were together or not anymore. I didn’t really fall for them being a couple so I don’t really get what the drama was trying to tell us. So getting fame good or bad? The ending was also ambiguous. The timeline was also kinda strange like lots of time would go by and it felt weird and then the whole best friend liking Jeong-Ha but nothing really gets resolved. Honestly I don’t think the drama really had figured out what they wanted to show to the audience so therefore it didn’t translate well what they did show us!

If you want to see Bo-Gum in a show again I would watch it for him but be prepared for a lack luster romance and just kinda depressing story line overall!

The second drama that I completed was Start-Up and it starred Seo Dal-Mi (Bae Suzy) who is a part time worker and dreams of becoming a CEO of a start up company and making a name for herself and is spurned on by the competition that is created by her older sister Won In-Jae (Kang Han-Na). Dal-Mi has a childhood friend who she exchanged letters with that she wants to find who is Han Ji-Pyeong (Kim Sun-Ho). There is Nam Do-San (Nam Joo-Hyuk) who is genius and founder of Samsan Tech, the company is not doing well even though he has created new technology and somehow he becomes Dal-Mi’s childhood friend and they start developing and professional and romantic relationship at the same time.

I was scared to try another drama with Suzy because I haven’t always liked the dramas that she has done but it was better than I expected. I actually really liked this drama the story was stable and interesting and the ending wasn’t disappointing. There is hiccups in the story but nothing that really bothered me and thought it was more of a fresh perspective and I really liked all the characters. This felt like a safe and entertaining drama. It had humor and seriousness and it was just a nice drama to relax with and still could surprise me. I thought it was really interesting because most dramas seem to put sooo much emphasis and focus on if you make a childhood connection with a character that seals the deal for the characters to be soulmates. In this drama the childhood connection was important but then gets completely thrown aside. That childhood memories do not trump the relationships that you make as an adult. Honestly I never understood that because childhood memories seem so insignificant to me like the connections I made as a child don’t mean much to me as an adult. Dramas have clutched onto this childhood memories as soo important but in reality they feel so far away from the person I am today.

Honestly though when they get into all the technology the whole self-driving car kinda freaks me out! I just feel like it would be very hard to trust AI to drive for you, it feels unsettling to me and just how to avoid the glitches that could happen, but that is just a personal feeling toward the subject. I feel technology and AI right now feels like a touchy subject because it feels like no one has privacy and when they get hacked feels scary because it is happening currently and we do not have the luxury to have a Do-San in our lives that can solve our problems!

This drama was solid and it has the push and pull feeling and even though you know whats going to happen you really don’t know how it is going to happen and I really just loved the characters in this drama. I think this drama is worth the time!!

The third drama that I watched was BirthCare Center. It stars Oh Hyun-Jin (Uhm Ji-Won) who is successful business woman and the youngest executive at her company and she surprisingly gets pregnant and after giving birth she stays at a postnatal care center and is worried because she is one of the oldest mothers and doesn’t know anything about being a mother. There she meets lots of other women and that includes Jo Eun-Jung (Park Ha-Sun) who is the epitome of a perfect mother and they have some clashes on their ideas.

I didn’t think I would like this drama because it does sound strange to me but I saw a humorous clip and thought I would check it out and I am glad I did. This drama has many humorous moments which was more than I thought for a drama about giving birth. It does deal with some serious issues but I was really watching it for the comedy! I loved the parts with Hyun-Jin’s husband and the different experiences that he has! I am pretty sure there are no birth centers like that in my country or at least where I live there are not any but they seem like a fun and relaxing place to go after giving birth but I am sure not many could afford them!!

The drama brings up some issues that are interesting because they are not talked about much in dramas like being a working mom or stay at home mother and which is correct. They also discuss the idea of breastfeeding or bottle feeding and how moms are shamed for so many of these issues. Also the idea that you don’t know everything after giving birth and that it is okay to ask for help. I don’t know if all the things they teach in the drama are right because of the comedy in the drama but I think there are some lessons to be learned in the drama! It has some sad and shocking elements in this drama as well. Even if you have never been pregnant or given birth I think you can still find a reason to watch this drama! It speaks of fulfilling your dreams and not losing yourself with the responsibilities that you find yourself in. They had different characters going through different things but they could find some common ground after giving birth and I just really enjoyed how the story was told with humor that heart wrenching and heart warming moments.

The only thing that bothered me was in the birth center they did very little caring of their child and would just hand them over to the nurses to do all the caring. I don’t think I saw any of them changing diapers or giving baths to their babies which I thought was strange. I think they didn’t want to do too much acting with the babies which make sense but bothered me logically. Other than that I enjoyed the drama.

I found this drama to be unexpectedly fun and interesting and I would definitely check it out if you need something different!

The fourth drama that I finished was Kairos. It stars Kim Seo-Jin (Shin Sung-Rok) who is a successful executive at his company and is very driven to succeed in his company but has neglected his family in the process. His wife is a violinist and he has a young daughter Da-Bin that gets kidnapped and he falls into despair and has many regrets. He gets contacted by Han Ae-Ri (Lee Se-Young) who is one month in the past and she is a student that works part time to get enough money for her Mom’s operation for a new heart, but her mom goes missing. They need each other to help solve their problems.

I have been a fan of Shin Sung-Rok for a long time so I was excited he was in a new dram and I was not disappointed by the drama! There is some very good acting in this drama and it is like being on a roller coaster and there are many twists and turns that made it very exciting and fresh kind of drama. At times you feel devastated by the events and then eventually relief comes and it just continues all the way to the end in that fashion. It is like a time travel genre but still felt different because every one stays in their own time line they just have influence over the different timelines. There isn’t really romance in this drama but the side effect of watching so many dramas you still want there to be some connection between the characters but I don’t think it would really make sense anyway. It is exciting and fresh in every episode and everything starts over in the next episode. I thought this drama was really well done and did well with a thriller/fantasy/crime genre!

The one thing that seemed to bother some people was keeping up with the past and future timelines because it could get confusing at times. I didn’t really have much trouble being able to follow except maybe the last two episodes as the future and past were kind of converging. Also towards the end it seems to kinda go in circles around the issues a bit like they were just stalling for time for the finale. Also Seo-Jin’s secretary story line really bothered me and how his story went and it was especially frustrating because he knew the future and yet didn’t change how he dealt with his problem.

I felt like there was a sense of completion and finality at the end, it had a strong beginning, middle and ending and I felt satisfied by how it ended and I would recommend this drama to anyone that likes time travelish, exciting and thriller type dramas!

UPCOMING DRAMAS

I tried one episode of Cheat On Me, If You Can and I didn’t want to watch anymore. It is about a thriller writer that focuses on how to kill people and her husband when they got married signed a contract that if he cheats on her that he will die. So the husband is cheating and I guess she will find out and find a way to kill him. I watched one episode and I was just disturbed by him cheating on her with more than one woman and I just was turned off. It doesn’t sound like a very interesting concept and I couldn’t even convince myself to finish watching the first episode.

I also tried one episode of Mr. Queen which is about a playboy man goes back in time into the body of a queen from the Joseon Dynasty. I also couldn’t get past the first episode which is disappointing because I really like Shin Hye Sun. The Queen is a playboy and then the King is also a playboy and I just found it all off-putting. It was disturbing the Queen ogling women and the King also wanting to just focus on women. There is also the whole ambitious rich men trying to control the King and the usual court politics with any historical drama. I didn’t find it funny or terribly interesting so I only watched one episode. I think this drama was doing pretty good ratings but I guess I just simply did not care for it! This just may be my personal preference and it may get better in the next episode but I just simply did not have fun with this drama!?

  1. True Beauty : It is about a high school girl that is bullied because she is considered ugly but she uses the power of make up to change her appearance and now has become the popular pretty girl but struggles with keeping the secret from the people around her. I have watched a couple of episodes and it is very cartoony for the first couple of episodes and overdoing it with her clumsiness but it still seems fun and endearing! Also it is based on a webtoon which you can read on webtoons.com.

Please Don’t Date Him : It is about a programmer for smart home appliances and when she works on her smart refrigerator it gets connected to some personal databases and records and it helps her weed out the bad men in her life with the information it provides. She also meets a firefighter that resists the idea of technology. I have watched a few episodes and it seems fun and interesting.

Run On : It is about a sports agent who quit being a sprinter due to legal issues and about a woman who writes translated subtitles for movies and destiny brings them together? Not too sure if it is any good because haven’t watched it yet.

Royal Secret Agent: A young man who placed first in the state examination gets caught gambling and as punishment he is assigned as a secret royal inspector and there is a female inspector who solves cases with him. There goal is to stop illegal acts and corruption by public officers. I haven’t watched an episode yet and I hope that it will be interesting and not boring as bribing and such aren’t the most exciting topics!

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