Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Save Me" Episode 5 recap

"Save Me" continues to surpass my expectations and subvert tropes at every turn, as Sang-mi's world becomes more hopeless and more absurd with each passing day. The monsters of Guseonwon are starting to show their true faces as our heroine continues to push their limits, but our group of saviors is getting closer to her.
I am constantly taken aback by how dark "Save Me" is willing to go and Jeong-goo's (Jung Joon-won) death is certainly a heavy blow. It is a choice I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, his death makes him a plot device and I find that a shame. On the other, nothing is more toxic to a cult than those who are curious and who cannot be indoctrinated. Jeong-goo's death may serve as a way to show hopelessness to viewers, but it is sadly all too realistic.
Sang-mi determined to escapeJoo-ho praying for his own
So is the immense strain on Sang-mi's (Seo Ye-ji) sanity. The drama's unapologetic brutality might be too much for some viewers to handle, but it is the honest approach to take for the heroine's plight. It perfectly captures the persistent abuse it takes to drive people off the edge, even if it speeds things up for the sake of story progression. However, followers are useless if not functional and Spiritual Father Jeong-gi's (Jo Sung-ha) choice to allow her false freedom shows how well he understands this.
The man's criminal nature is starting to show and it is of course Apostle Jo (Jo Jae-yoon) who triggers it. The series is smart in keeping the true intentions of Guseonwon's leader hidden. We do not know how much of his partners' actions he controls directly and that makes him just mysterious enough to be very unnerving. Apostle Jo pushes his buttons, because he represents the past and the bitter truth the "Spiritual Father" has probably been denying; monsters do not change by simply assuming a new form.
Apostle Jo being abused by his bossSang-hwan, Jeong-hoon and Man-hee face the bullies
While Guseonwon's leader wishes to maintain the illusion of change, Sang-hwan (Taecyeon) wants true one, but he has still not let go of his apprehension and fear of actually working for it. He has hoped that all of his problems would have magically fixed themselves in Muji and it is time he realizes that being idle fixes nothing. This includes his relationship with Dong-cheol (Woo Do-hwan).
His friend's release from prison is an odd moment for me, however. I understand Sang-hwan's absence, but what about Jeong-hoon (Lee David) and Man-hee (Ha Hoi-jung)? I hope the drama clears this up, because it sticks out like a sore thumb and as I have said before, these characters matter in the story, too. Good storytelling and Sang-mi burning the church with the unholy trinity in it is all I want from "Save Me". "Save Me" is directed by Kim Seong-soo, written by Jeong Sin-gyoo and Jeong I-do-I and features Taecyeon, Seo Ye-ji, Jo Sung-ha and Woo Do-hwan.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Man-Hole" episode 4 recap

Kim Jae-joong returned to his 22 year old summer.
Bong-pil met Kang Soo-jin (UEE) at the beach when they were 22 years old on the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Man-Hole".
Bong-pil was working on the beach. Kang Soo-jin and friends came to see him but Bong-pil told them to go back to Seoul.
He told Yoon Jin-sook (Jung Hye-sung) there's going to be a fire tonight. Someone is going to save Soo-jin and they're going to be together. However, Yoon Jin-sook scoffed at him.
Kang Soo-jin also liked Bong-pil. She told the 'church' guy that she couldn't speak if she really liked someone and that she couldn't confess her feelings in case the love wore down.

Wang Ji-won approached Bong-pil. Kang Soo-jin was jealous but Bong-pil didn't know that and went with Wang Ji-won.
Wang Ji-won was friendly with all of Bong-pil's friends. She said, "I drank with Bong-pil last night. He's a lightweight".
Wang Ji-won seduced Bong-pil into the pension. Kang Soo-jin and Yoon Jin-sook misunderstood them.
Kang Soo-jin met someone else too. That was the boyfriend in Bong-pil's mind. Bong-pil brought Kang Soo-jin out and went on a date.
However, they couldn't tell each other how they felt. A fire happened while Kang Soo-jin fell asleep.
Bong-pil saved Kang Soo-jin. He told her, "I will always save you no matter what happens to you". Kang Soo-jin heard this and was going to kiss him.
Just then, the time-slip ended and Bong-pil returned to 2017 in a suit.
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"Reunited Worlds" episodes 19-20 recap

Park Yeong-gyoo knows who the murderer from 12 years ago is.
On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Reunited Worlds", Cha Min-joon (Ahn Jae-hyun) told Seong Hae-seong (Yeo Jin-goo) that he confessed to Jeong Jeong-won (Lee Yeon-hee).
Cha Min-joon asked Seong Hae-seong to dinner and said, "I wanted to say something. I told Jeong-won how I felt about her but she rejected me. I am going to wait. Hae-seong asked why he was telling him this and Min-joon said, "I want to tell you everything in my heart for some reason".
Sin Ho-bang (Lee Si-eon) and Seong Hae-seong were at Jeong Jeong-won's house. She said, "I saw Yeong-joon (Yoon Seon-woo) with Tae-hoon's (Kim Jin-woo) dad (Park Yeong-gyoo). Since when have they known each other? They looked pretty close". The two guys were shocked. They considered Cha Kwon-pyo the culprit of the murder 12 years ago.
At the same time, Cha Kwon-pyo was furious to find out that the restaurant Seong Hae-seong worked at belonged to Cha Min-joon. Not knowing this, Cha Min-joon visited his uncle's charnel house. On the way there he saw a banner that was looking for a witness to an accident 12 years ago, and Cha Min-joon recalled his uncle's favor from the past.
The uncle had given a hair band that Seong Hae-seong was going to give to Jeong Jeong-won and said, "Min-joon, deliver this to the dead student's family. I feel so bad for the student that died so I wanted your aunt to do it but she can't get out of bed". Cha Min-joon wanted to deliver the present now and called Sin Ho-bang's with the number on the banner.
Sin Ho-bang met Cha Min-joon and heard that there might be another culprit to the case. Cha Min-joon asked who caused the accident and Sin Ho-bang said, "We suspect the foundation chairman".
At the end, Cha Kwon-pyo told Seong Hae-seong, "I admit it wasn't my driver who caused the accident, it was me". He also said he knew the person who did this. This meant that Seong Hae-seong wasn't the culprit after all.
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"Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 19-20 recap

It's instructive how the other Ji-yeong sort of ruined things for the married Ji-yeong. Upon first meeting the other Ji-yeong, Count Said Faid Ali had assumed that his long lost daughter would be justifiedly resentful at having her father show up at such a late date. Instead, the other Ji-yeong was almost worshipful in his presence. So it is that the married Ji-yeong must now struggle with how Count Said Faid Ali is literally a jerk obsessed with money, but emotionally, can be a kind and caring older man.
So yes, Count Said Faid Ali does regain some of his former likability. Unfortunately, Ji-yeong is the one who has to compromise rather than him, and is at one points even seduced by how Count Said Faid Ali's status has resulted in a similar improvement in Ji-yeong's own life station. I liked her move from discomfort at the change in her in-laws' behavior to silently appreciating the chance to do some work for her new job without also being responsible for the entire rest of the household.
I wasn't the only one to notice this contradiction. Ho-rim, too, starts to believe that Ji-yeing is better off. Ah, all that past behavior of Ho-rim being an idiot makes his assumptions here all to believable. Consider how he does that whole I have to leave you for your own safety bit that's all too common in dumb superhero stories. Except here that whole plot point is played out in reverse. Count Said Faid Ali is the superhero, and Ho-rim assumes that, as a mild-mannered husband, he can't measure up.
There's a lot of trie clichés in "Man Who Dies to Live" that come as fresher than they deserve to be simply due to presentation. It's hard not to laugh at the sheer anticlimactic nature of Yang-yang's big move made with the help of the conspiracy. There are several ways that could have panned out, and I had expected the hostage situation to last for the final four episodes. Instead, that entire plot point is just a big commentary on Ji-yeong and Ho-rim's marriage.
The statement made on the nature of love itself is surprisingly profound. I find myself wishing that more dramas would invest themselves in the serious long-term commitment that marriage is, and sincerely show is the lows and highs the same way that "Man Who Dies to Live" does again and again. It really does emphasize how, absurdly lucky though Count Said Faid Ali may have been, in the long run, he missed out.
Review by: William Schwartz
"Man Who Dies to Live" is directed by Ko Dong-seon, written by Kim Seon-hee and features Choi Min-soo, Kang Ye-won, Sin Seong-rok, Lee So-yeon, Jasper Cho, Kim Byeong-ok, Hwang Seung-eon and Bae Hae-sun.
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"Criminal Minds" Episode 8 recap

As adapted storylines go, I must admit that insane office worker is among the more socially relevant that "Criminal Minds" could have adapted for a South Korean audience. Really, that particular psychosis is probably far more well-known in that culture than it was in the United States. This, naturally, proves to be the main overall thrust of the episode. It's less about the permanent cast and more about how Ki-tae (played by Jo Han-chul) slowly yet surely lost his marbles.
At times this social commentary is relevant, like when we see Ki-tae going into sales pitch that are obviously completely contrary to his personality. The montages are quite good at explaining how minor indignities turned Ki-tae's minor mental problems into outright mental illnesses. We very much get the impression that it would only have taken one of Ki-tae's work colleagues being genuinely nice to him once in awhile to prevent that whole tragedy.
This is the logical implication of the episode, and it is, in context, well-argued. Yet when I try to parse this logic in terms of the real world, I can feels my eyes roll over all too easily. Serial killers need some planning skill and foresight. Not necessarily a lot but really, anyone who was ready to go into a murderous rampage over having to deal with rudeness at work would probably have gotten unbent over some other minor reason sooner or later anyway.
"Criminal Minds" does attempt to address this with the ultimate flashback, which features the indisputably traumatic event that led to Ki-tae's current psychosis. But that entire scene, completely with the annoying stupid child, is just too silly to take seriously. I feel like while "Criminal Minds" is trying to make a broader ethical point, the inability to map this ethical point on a relatable personal experience almsot completely kneecaps said ethical point.
Mind, this is all criticism I could just as easily lob at the original "Criminal Minds", so the drama is at least achieving the original's fairly minimal bar of technical competence. Like, I could question why the investigation team has so much authority over normal public officials here than we've seen so far, but I'm sure this contradiction also existed in the original episode. Also, the whole random shotgun murders on the road factor is such that, imperfect criminal profiling or not, everyone's probanly pretty desperate to put an end to that one way or another.
Review by: William Schwartz
"Criminal Minds" is directed by Lee Jeong-hyo and Yang Yoon-ho, written by Hong Seung-hyeon and features Son Hyun-joo, Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won, Lee Sun-bin, Yoo Sun and Go Yoon.
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"Reunited Worlds" episodes 17-18 recap

Yeo Jin-goo told Lee Yeon-hee how he felt about her.
On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Reunited Worlds", there was a welcoming dinner at the restaurant for Seong Hae-seong but Jeong Jeong-won didn't attend. She told Hong Jin-joo (Park Jin-joo) that it was uncomfortable watching Seong Hae-seong and that she was happy about him coming back. She said she thought Hae-seong's fate had changed because of her.
Cha Min-joon (Ahn Jae-hyun) told Seong Hae-seong, "I like Jeong Jeong-won a lot. I like you sister. You can tell her because it's not a secret". Seong Hae-seong asked why he liked her and Cha Min-joon replied, "She's just pretty. She's the prettiest girl I've ever seen".
Jeong Jeong-won ended up getting sick. Hong Jin-joo told Seong Hae-seong that she was sick and he took care of her all night.
When she felt better, Jeong Jeong-won told Seong Hae-seong, "I am so sorry to you for many reasons, but I forgot all of that because you're back and you're here in front of me". Seong Hae-seong said, "I am happy you're here. You mean a lot to me so forget it all". Then they kissed.
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"Man-Hole" episode 3 recap

Kim Jae-joong witnessed UEE's fiancé Jang Mi-gwan's secret.
Bong-pil (Kim Jae-joong) returned to the present.
When he went to the past through the man-hole, Bong-pil suppressed Kang Soo-jin's (UEE) 'church boyfriend'. His future changed because of that. He had become a gangster.
However, Soo-jin's plans to get married didn't change. Bong-pil witnessed Park Jae-hyeon (Jang Mi-kwan) with another woman. He told Kang Soo-jin what he saw but she didn't believe him.
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