Friday, September 30, 2016

"Moonlight Drawn by Clouds" episode 12 recap

Park Bo-geom and Jin Young put blood on their hands for Kim Yoo-jeong. Kim Yoo-jeong found out that she was the daughter of Hong Kyeong-rae.
On the episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds", Lee Yeong (Park Bo-geom) discharged Kim Eui-gyo (Park Cheol-min) as a lucky omen of reporting corruption. This brought blood to the palace.
Kim Eui-gyo was furious about Lee Yeong's actions and secretly planned to overtake the palace he was in. He used a mask to disguise himself as a White Cloud gang member and killed everyone in the palace. Then he put a sword to Hong Ra-on's (Kim Yoo-jeong) neck and appeared in front of Lee Yeong who was worried for her safety.
Kim Yoon-seong (Jin Young) came around quickly. He knew there was going to be an attack on the palace and for Ra-on, he disobeyed his father Kim Heon (Cheon Ho-jin). Yoon Seong knew who she was and he even killed one of his father's men for her.

Lee Yeong and Yoon-seong fought with their attackers and Lee Yeong got hurt. Lee Yeong fainted in Ra-on's arms. The king (Kim Seung-soo) was shocked to hear what had happened.
The two men were in love. Lee Yeong and Yoon-seong didn't mind that they got hurt for Ra-on whom they loved.
Ra-on cried in front of Lee Yeong's room while he got his wounds treated. However, Lee Yeong hugged her from behind as if to comfort her.
Ra-on went to see her mother with Jeong Yak-yong (Ahn Nae-sang) and found out that her father was Hong Kyeong-rae. Ra-on realized the fate she was destined to and in front of Lee Yeong who waited for her to return, she couldn't help but cry.
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 12 recap

There was a lot of progress in episode 12 and we have Ha-won and Ji-woon to thank, but especially Ha-won. The traits that the CEO hired her for came through for her again: her faith and tenacity. Her influence causes a waterfall effect in the behavior of the Kang cousins, making them problem solve and take charge of their own lives.

As Ha-won deals with her own problems, although she wants someone to lean on, she proceeds to take care of things on her own. This is what inspires Ji-woon to do the same. He confronts Hye-ji about merely using Ji-woon to fill the void that Hyun-min left behind. It was such a wonderful moment because we got to see him grow. He then takes this new honesty and tells Hyun-min to care for Hye-ji himself instead of using Ji-woon. Ji-woon's character is changing for the better, learning to pull strength from within himself as Ha-won does.
Hyun-min makes a small change in himself after Ji-woon's blunt encouragement. But a little goes a long way with Hyun-min because he's hardly changed at all in twelve episodes. He finally manages to go after Hye-ji and resorts to immature tactics to prolong their interaction. Although immature, the tactics were funny and it gave we the viewers some much needed light-hearted interaction between the estranged lovers.

The reason behind Hyun-min's purposeful distancing is good: he feels responsible for Hye-ji's brother's death. But after this buildup, the emotional impact of the revelation was extremely anticlimactic. I hope the show really gives us a good catharsis for the couple surrounded that tragic event so we can understand Hyun-min's insistence on pushing Hye-ji away.

Another Kang cousin influenced by Ha-won's honesty is Seo-woo, who confesses his love for her on a show and lets her go at the same time. This character's mature handling of a painful one sided love is as refreshing as it is sad. The last Kang cousin, Yoon-seong, is still coming to terms with his difficult mother, but hopefully this stage of his realization won't last much longer because it's beginning to drag.
There were two major highlights of the episode. One is that both Ha-won and Ji-woon realize that fake dad was just after money. Ji-woon does a secret DNA test, but Ha-won decides to believe in her mother's fidelity and tells the fake dad to leave her alone. She can't give him what she wants. She also lets him know that the fire took her mother's life, and still Ha-won is living well, not like a beggar so he needs to buck up and get living properly. Another wonderful growing moment. (And all of this fake dad stuff makes me wonder why her real dad hasn't really had a presence in this drama except in passing.

The second highlight was Ji-woon's blunt and honest confession. He tells Ha-won he likes her, not Hye-ji. He thanks her for getting close to him, and then literally and metaphorically promises that he will "go to her" now and gives her a kiss. It was such a satisfying confession because there was a proper buildup to it, both of them feel the same, and they'd both come such a long way.

What worries me now after this is that there will only be problems to solve until the end of the drama. I hope the romantic tension doesn't completely leave because it is a major part of my enjoyment of "Cinderella and the Four Knights". Despite that, I'm looking forward to next weekend's episodes.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Cinderella and the Four Knights" is directed by Kwon Hyeok-chan, written by Min Ji-eun and Won Yeong-sil, and starring Park So-dam, Jeong Il-woo, Ahn Jae-hyeon, Lee Jung-shin, and Choi Min-I.
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"Road to the Airport" Episode 2 recap

Hye-won (played by Jang Hee-jin) is Do-woo's wife and Annie's mother. In the aftermath of what happened to Annie, Hye-won's behavior is...odd. She doesn't really act like a grieving mother. Everyone grieves in a different way, and this is why Do-woo doesn't push hard on this point, but the scenes we see which Do-woo does not clearly imply that Hye-won's actions are suspicious. Soo-ah's husband Jin-seok (played by Sin Seong-rok) similarly does not see eye-to-eye with his loved one on what to do, although their situation is admittedly far less extreme.
It can't really be ovestated just how awful Do-woo's situation at home his. Do-woo's mother Eun-hee (played by Ye Soo-jeong) is public yet stingy with grief, and live-in apprentice Min-seok (played by Son Jong-hak) isn't even really family and can only be bothered to give the minimum effort when it comes to caring. That Do-woo did not interact with these people much in the first episode is of little surprise- Annie was the light of his life. And now she's gone.
This is the backdrop from which Do-woo comes to rely on Soo-ah to help express his belief. He just doesn't have any other options right now. This is heartbreakingly sad and Soo-ah knows it, but for precisely this reason she can't bear to let him down. Soo-ah is a very empathetic woman, and has realized correctly that Hyo-eun is hurting badly after the death of her best friend.
But Jin-seok isn't much help to her either. I find Jin-seok to be an interesting character, because while his manner is certainly brusque and borderline cruel, his actions in regards to Hyo-eun are clearly in the tradition of tough love. His ideas about emotional recovery in the face of trauma aren't objectively wrong. But they are probably subjectively wrong considering the kind of girl Hyo-eun is. Unfortunately Jin-seok is not used to negotiation when it comes to proper parenting tactics.
The emotional distance between the various characters in "Road to the Airport" is the drama's consistently most tragic element. Technology continues to be a powerful metaphor for how far away everyone is from each other- Soo-ah and Do-woo only ever seem to run into each other by accident, and barely know each other, yet to date they are by far the best communicators, and it's hard to dislike them for the stirring of an emotional affair. Do-woo is struggling to move on, and right now, more than anything, he just needs someone to listen and understand.
Review by William Schwartz
"Road to the Airport" is directed by Kim Cheol-gyoo, written by Lee Sook-yeon, and features Kim Ha-neul, Lee Sang-yoon, Sin Seong-rok, Choi Yeo-jin, Jang Hee-jin, and Lee Yeong-ran.
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"Shopping King Louis" Episode 2 Recap

Our "Shopping King Louis" falls from throne and grace as we fast forward through an apparent car accident to a now homeless and amnesiac Louis/Ji-seong. Episode two does not advance the plot much, but we get valuable interaction between our two main characters and we learn a little more about our second leads. What we learn sadly raises some concerns for me, but it is not enough to sully a lovely drama for now.
Having spent almost an entire episode following Ji-seong (Seo In-guk) and Bok-sil (Nam Ji-hyeon) through sauna and homeless bonding, the more practical matters of the plot do take a little break for a while. However, this break is much needed, because the focus shifts to the two leads, who are the main draw of the drama. It is time filled right, rather than with forced conflicts and intrigue. It gives development and foundation to a future couple, separately and together.
Louis/Ji-seong enjoying a bath houseBok-sil and her flying squirrel attack
And what a sweet pair they are. I am not talking about romance yet, mind you. What Ji-seong and Bok-sil are right now is partners in need. They spend time together as unfortunate friends and they bond during challenging situations, where their character is truly tested. Bok-sil is kind, but not a doormat and I appreciate her boldness. Ji-seong is clingy and needy, but he is also a nice man who is currently facing terrible fear of abandonment. Their bond is based on personal interest, sure, but the bonding is genuine.
I am happy to see more development for our second leads, but Baek Ma-ri (Lim Se-mi) worries me at the moment. The role of a heartless gold-digger is quite often a misogynistic stereotype and one dramas love to use for pitting the viewers against such characters. They are created as a means to annoy, keep the romantic pairings clear and force obstacles. That being said, when even a random grandma thief is layered, I am not writing Ma-ri off as a stereotype just yet.
Bok-sil and Ji-seong after an assaultJoong-won and Ma-ri
We get to know Joong-won (Yoon Sang-hyeon) better as well. He is strict with his workers, but he does show sympathy for and reach out to Ma-ri when he feels she is grieving over a loved one. He also keeps his word, so he is not dishonest. I am enjoying most characters here and I do love how money and greed continue to be explored through situations like the train thief and Joong-won's parents. Farewell, quality ginseng.
Also, do you remember how I lamented the drama's choice of colors, or lack thereof? The creators seem to be bringing color back in as we move through the series, which means this might have been more than a thoughtless stylistic choice. It is a good day in Dramaland when even the cinematography plays along.
"Shopping King Louis" is directed by Lee Sang-yeob-I, written by Oh Ji-yeong-I and features Seo In-guk, Nam Ji-yeon, Yoon Sang-hyeon and Lim Se-mi.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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tvN "The K2" Episode 1 recap

"The K2" has promised heavy action and episode one delivers on that promise. The series starts off with a bang, continues with a bang and ends with one, which unfortunately creates a very underwhelming premiere episode. At the same time, we have some basic character introductions and some interesting people involved in what looks like a messy, sad, dark fate between them. This is not exactly fun for the whole family, but it may turn out well.
First on the smaller than I would like list of good things we have the two Yoonas and their characters. Ko Ahn-na's (Yoona) backstory and desperate dash toward freedom is gripping to see and her motivation simple enough to generate instant sympathy for her plight. Choi  Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah), her main captor is clearly someone with great control and she makes me curious. Ahn-na wants freedom because we all do, but why does Yoo-jin want power? I hope there is more to it than the standard villain motivation of "Just because".
Ahn-na being abandoned by Je-haSe-joon being confronted by Yoo-jin
Kim Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) is still a mystery, because we know nothing about him aside from the facts that he is handsome, feels quite a bit of sympathy, hits people well and likes cats. I will reserve my judgement for him at this point in time. The series does have an interesting set up and tone, because it embraces its cynical, cruel and dark world. There is dramatic potential here, but we can do with fewer cheesy bad guys forming cheesy bad smiles as they do cheesy bad things. Also, the homophobic scene is nothing but deplorable and unwise.
When we consider aesthetics and production, "The K2" has quite the polished first episode. The cinematography is nice, the choreography spot on and focused on what it should be. Action can sometimes seem too preoccupied with highlighting the person engaging in it, especially when that person is a hero meant to be seen as attractive. It is clear that "The K2" crew understands the importance of a well made and presented fight, not just participants. Ji Chang-wook and his co-actors perform the action extremely well.
Je-ha feeding his pet catJe-ha tending to a victim of assault
Unfortunately, they perform it for the entirety of the episode. Action without pace is not exciting and Ji Chang-wook's glorious, overworked muscles can only do so much. From a practical standpoint, the cast and crew will also burn out and the quality will drop if they keep this up. It is a clear attempt to hook audiences, but I do wish they gave us a little more credit. We are not cats. We can pay attention without constant mayhem on screen.
Speaking of mayhem, I would like someone to help the music supervisor sit back up and give them some water, because I imagine them fainting over their work space after this. The score's pieces are beautiful, but an hour of constant musical climax just sullies them and it is desensitizing. Thankfully "The K2" is not a movie, so there is plenty of time to develop something good. Let us see how episode two delivers.
"The K2" is directed by Kwak Jeong-hwan, written by Jang Hyeok-rin and features Ji Chang-wook, Song Yoon-ah, Yoona and Jo Seong-ha.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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"Fantastic" Episode 7 recap

Mi-seon (played by Kim Jae-hwa) is the third best friend of So-hye and Seol- the one who everyone has to call when they're in trouble. Mi-seon never really has any plotlines of her own, she's just a useful shoulder to cry on. Consequently, her character offers some much needed perspective when it comes to difficult questions like, am I happy, and should I do such-and-such risky behavior considering the possible trade-offs?
The generally encouraging answers Mi-seon gives are of enormous help, since both So-hye and Seol are locked into a cycle of reflexively conservative behavior. Even knowing that she's probably dying So-hye has trouble getting up the gumption to leave her comfort zone. Hae-seong is also really important when it comes to encouraging So-hye to just try something different without worrying too much about the possible consequences.
"Fantastic" is, principally, a drama about confronting fear. While So-hye's fear of death is the most obvious such example, her smaller fears about life are constantly on display as well. So-hye is scared of public attachment. She's also scared about the prospect of serious trust and intimacy. This all ties in mostly to her personality- and also some of the unsavory people she's had to deal with in life. So-hye's old enough to be set in her ways, and this also allows for a more general fear of change.
Even though Seol superficially appears to have a more outgoing personality she has many of the same personal issues. The woman is quite clearly fully repulsed by her family yet just can't bring herself to do anything radical about those problems. And for the duration of this episode, Mi-seon is able to be the receiving ear to all of these fears as the story inches ever slowly toward answering the all-important questions about how much these fears are rooted in reality.
It's fortunate that Hae-seong continues to be a stand-up man who shows himself to be worthy of trust and not generally all that vulnerable to manipulation. It's somewhat less fortunate that Joon-gi is shown this episode as having his own insecurities and flaws, although I see better now that perfect men, aside from obviously being nonexistent in the real world, don't really make for the best fantasy material either. For the leading ladies in "Fantastic" a mere boy toy isn't really all that helpful. A real man who can stick around through thick and thin- that's a man worth holding on to.
Review by William Schwartz
"Fantastic" is directed by Jo Nam-gook, written by Lee Seong-eun and features Kim Hyeon-joo, Joo Sang-wook, Park Si-yeon and Ji Soo.
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"Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 9 recap

Last week's episode left us with a very emotionally confused Hwa-sin, but he finds himself trapped even deeper into an emotional mire he doesn't know how to extricate himself from. Around him Jeong-won and Na-ri deal with the problems that come their way while he watches with pain in his eyes. The decisions he makes are indicative of how much he's grown over the past five weeks; and also of how much his jealousy has grown.

We know that Hwa-sin has it hard. He has cancer. He has a huge ego that gets battered daily. He loves a woman he professed not to love and now has handed to his best friend. Na-ri doesn't make it easy for him to recover from the sudden bout of lovesickness from which he suffers. Her kindness extends beyond the norm. After being mocked at work for dating Hwa-sin in front of all of her co-workers and bosses she still goes to Hwa-sin to take him to the hospital. She has been pretending to be getting treating instead of him to save face and he pretends to be the doting husband. Except he's not pretending, he's in love and it's hurting him. Watching him battle his emotions and his current method of thinking is so excellent. We can see the conflict on his face and see the character growth happening.

Jeong-won has a dark streak and I really like it in him. His parents don't get along at all, which hurts him. He is boxed in by their expectations and the task of rising to them. Even the major conflict of the episode was founded in the fact that his mother wants him to marry Soo-jeong. It's an interesting dilemma, one often found in Korean drama. How does a child of a Korean family turn against their parents wishes to follow his heart without bringing down a world of hurt and trouble? He should definitely be honest with Na-ri. I hope the show explores his issues more.

As for Na-ri, she has a few cathartic moments in the episode when she gets to fight back against the SBC station bullies or when she confronts Jeong-won and ends up in a passionate kiss. Both were instances of her seeking and getting what she wanted. She has worked so hard and other kick her down. To see her receive something is wonderful, especially because she went after it herself.
On the production side, I love how the signs in the drama become animated in order to illustrate what the characters are really feeling. Hwa-sin verbally gives Jeong-won his blessing to be with Na-ri, but the sign at the boxing ring shows Hwa-sin punching the back of Jeong-won's head. These fantastical, visual exposition elements crop up from time to time and make me wish there were more.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Incarnation of Jealousy" is directed by Park Shin-woo, written by Seo Sook-hyang, and features Jo Jeong-seok, Kong Hyo-jin, Ko Kyeong-pyo, Lee Mi-sook, and Park Ji-yeong.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 10 recap

Feelings are starting to escalate to a point of high tension because there is still a lot of denial even more deception running amuck. Tricksters lurk around those with money, and those with money are dealing with problems of their own. Luckily for us, our heroine is forthcoming with most things besides the emotions she doesn't quite understand.

Ha-won chases after Ji-woon in the best way she knows how: with a mixture of third grade antics and brutal honesty. Their relationship is so refreshing in that they are as open as they can be with each other barring their confusion over their feelings. Ji-woon has grown a lot in order to be able to do that because he was so withdrawn and reticent at the beginning.
While Ji-woon and Ha-won grow closer, Seo-woo suffers from unrequited love and he knows it. It has inspired an album, but he knows nothing will come of it. I like that he isn't pushy about his feelings like many second leads tend to be. He just learns to enjoy his love and hurt because of it best he can. Good for him.

Now for the part of the episode that drove me crazy: Hye-ji's role in the lives of Hyun-min and Ji-woon. Her father's sudden bankruptcy came out of nowhere and is obviously a tool to force her into Sky House for a tense love quadrangle. It would be forgivable if the character wasn't such a stick in the mud or if she didn't use the Kang cousins to assuage her pain. But she does and they let her, especially Ji-woon. He caters to her fancies, which is and will be a serious detriment to his budding relationship with Ha-won. It seems as though his attachment to Hye-ji is rooted in her similarity to his mother and their similar sadness and tears; he's always comforting her. It doesn't feel as true as his emotions for Ha-won, which are earnest and based in an adorable friendship.

The title of the show is "Cinderella and the Four Knights" and now Yoon-seong is officially the fourth knight. His extremely poor relationship with the chairman's wife has been revealed, although we all suspected her was her son. It's a great conflict for him that he is so loyal to the chairman, but still feels wounded by his mother casting him out and lying about their relationship. She uses the excuse that all she does is for him. I can't wait to see him actually do something about the pain he is suffering and perhaps even talk to the chairman. In any case, welcome to the Kang family Yoon-seong.
Hyun-min is really forced to think about how he feels about Hye-ji. it seems like guilt over something in their past has made him push her away, but with her new proximity I doubt he can keep his true feelings under wraps for very much longer.

Lastly, Ha-won's "father" is starting to step in more and his motivation is clearly money. I'm saddened for her who has had to suffer to much, but it's a great conflict, especially in that she hasn't thought much about her family on screen. it brings those potent conflicts to light.

One question I have for the show is when it's going to bring up the "no dating" clause of Ha-won's contract. Will CEO grandpa's illness cause him to change it? Or will it cause him to become even more strict about it. Let us wait and see!

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Cinderella and the Four Knights" is directed by Kwon Hyeok-chan, written by Min Ji-eun and Won Yeong-sil, and starring Park So-dam, Jeong Il-woo, Ahn Jae-hyeon, Lee Jung-shin, and Choi Min-I.
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"Blow Breeze" episode 8 recap

Lim Ji-yeon has been getting better in her performance.
She went on a date with Jang-go (Son Ho-joon) on the episode of the MBC drama "Blow Breeze".
Mi-poong (Lim Ji-yeon) watched Jang-go meeting Hee-ra (Hwang Bo-ra) and got upset. She was also told by Geum-sil (Geum Bo-ra) not to have her eyes on Jang-go.
Later, Mi-poong got the chance to buy Jang-go the noodles she promised. Then Jang-go took her out to see Seoul. Lim Ji-yeon seemed very loveable at this point. She gave off a good synergy through it.
Other parts of her performance have been improving lately. Her character is one whose life is completely shaken after she lost her father while escaping North Korea. She meets Jang-go but things don't go too smoothly for them.
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"The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop" episode 8 recap

Actress Ra Mi-ran is the one that lights up everything in the drama "The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop".
Ra Mi-ran drew her life as a simple and happy one in the eighth episode of the KBS 2TV drama "The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop". She got along well with Cha In-pyo as well the others around them.
Bok Seon-nyeo (Ra Mi-ran) drank because she was upset that her neighbors had a quarrel because of her lies. Bae Sam-do (Cha In-pyo) carried her up to bed when she got drunk and she showed him her appreciation for taking her side.
Sam-do suggested she apologized to the neighbors first and she did so, with chicken and resolved things with them. Then they gave her a certificate for her hard work during her time at the market before she left for Seoul.
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"My Gap-soon" episode 8 recap

"My Gap-soon" Kim So-eun and Song Jae-rim broke up again.
On the episode of the SBS drama "My Gap-soon" Sin Gap-soon (Kim So-eun) was only pregnant by imagination. Still, Heo Gap-dol (Song Jae-rim) told his family that he would marry her when he passed his exam.
Nam Ki-ja (Lee Bo-hee) used her last card and she said, "You can't earn enough alone these days. You have to meet someone who makes a lot of money otherwise you're going to live worrying about baby food. I won't stand that. If you still want to marry her, go ahead".
In the end, Heo Gap-dol broke up with Sin Gap-soon. He said, "Let's break up. We both have it way to hard. Let's end it before things get worse".
However, Sin Gap-soon begged him not to break up with her. "I'll do better. I am sorry I nagged you. I won't do that anymore and I'll pass the test first. So you don't have to study for it if you don't want to".
Heo Gap-dol pushed her away. "I'll be honest with you. I haven't liked you in a long time. I get the goosebumps whenever you call my name. My mother was right, nothing goes right with you".
Sin Gap-soon slapped Gap-dol and said, "This is one slap for every year".
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"The Flower in Prison" episode 37 recap

Jin Se-yeon is at risk of being targeted by Kim Mi-Sook and Park Joo-mi.
Ok-nyeo (Jin Se-yeon) was seen explaining the system which the people of the country could be less guilty to King Myeongjong (Seo Ha-joon).
King Myeongjong was surprised that Ok-nyeo was active in politics and that she was at risk of becoming a slave once again. King Myeongjong then ordered his people to let her be.
However, Lord Jejo saw King Myeongjong and Ok-nyeo meeting and told Chung Nanjung (Park Joo-mi) about it. He told her, "I saw Ok-nyeo meeting the Highness with my own eyes".
Dae-bi and Chung Nanjung had speculated that there was someone the Highness was seeing. They planned on killing whoever that was. However, Chung Nanjung now thought that Ok-nyeo was the one responsible and she didn't know Tae-won (Ko Soo) had held hands with King Myeongjong.
In the meanwhile, Ok-nyeo followed Ki Choon-soo (Kwak Min-ho) who said Dae-bi was waiting for her and ran into Yoon Won-hyeong and Chung Nanjung.
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"Drinking Alone" Episode 6 recap

Jeong-seok continues to leave me less-as-impressed as a character. It's not that he's a bad guy, or especially unlikable. The problem is he almost never actually does anything. Jeong-seok is, by his own life's plan, excessively passive, and he's also so successful that Han-na can't even really approach him. This makes for a terribly unsatisfying romance, especially when more immediately pressing crises come up like Han-na's inevitable embarrassing collapse on camera.
Which on merits was actually pretty fun. Sure, the experience was mortifying for Han-na, but why should her co-workers care when it gets turned into a hilarious meme? There's a very odd kind of back-biting attitude to the employment environment profiled in "Drinking Alone". Sometimes they get along well enough, but the minute something bad happens and mutual support is genuinely really important, that's when Han-na is left to her own devices and has to cope with, you guessed it, alcohol.
The way the students are able to look out for each other while technically being in competition is a marked contrast. Gi-beom is a jerk even on his best days, but it's so very easy to feel sorry for him reminiscing about his grandmother. Likewise, Myeong is a serious step up from Jeong-seok in the potential boyfriend department solely by virtue of the fact that he actually notices when Han-na is in trouble and makes an active effort to try and help her.
Speaking of curious relationship dynamics, consider Jin-woong (played by Min Jin-woong), a character we don't see that much of on a personal level because all the guy ever seems to do is make silly parody jokes. All the same, it's remarkable how he seems to be the closest thing to an actual friend that Jin-i has, simply because his position is relatively equivalent to hers. It's similarly sad to realize that while Jin-woong seems to have a life, it becomes clear once he comes home that Jin-woong has the same solitary existence as most of the characters in this drama.
This sense of tone often works to make "Drinking Alone" feel very awkward, since the main defining attribute of most of the characters is that they do not undergo character growth. The only ones with any potential to transcend that are the ones young enough that their habits and attitudes are still being molded. Whether there's any real hope for anyone else is unclear, which adds a somewhat depressing taste to the drama's overall presentation.
Review by William Schwartz
"Drinking Alone" is directed by Choi Gyoo-sik and Jeong Hyeong-geon, written by Baek Seon-woo, Choi Bo-rim and Myeong Soo-hyeon, and features Ha Seok-jin, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, Park Ha-seon, Min Jin-woong, Kim Won-hae, Gong Myeong and Key.
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"Monster" episode 48 recap

Song Yoo-ri broke up with Park Ki-woong.
On the forty-eighth episode of the MBC drama "Monster", Oh Soo-yeon (Seong Yoo-ri) broke up with Do Gun-woo (Park Ki-woong).
Oh Soo-yeon told him that she knew he was in the same boat as her rival Byeon Il-jae (Jeong Bo-seok) and she expected him to be honest with her.
Do Geon-woo apologized right away and said, "I had to do that to protect my company".
However, Oh Soo-yeon was angry and she said, "I am going to bring Byeon Il-jae down so I think we should break up". She took out her ring from her finger and returned it to him.
He begged her to stay but she turned her back on him.
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"Scarlet Heart: Ryeo" Episode 9 recap

As usual Prince So doesn't have that much screentime. But continuing the trend from last episode, "Scarlet Heart: Ryeo" very effectively manages to drive up the tension by making nearly everything the other characters do be a reaction to Prince So. While poor Prince So himself is fairly oblivious to most of what's going on, it's very easy to see what brings on his bad moods. Even when Prince So does good, people are too terrified over his very existence to act all that grateful.
Soo's prophetic visions are the worst of this, since up until now she was the main person boosting Prince So's confidence and now, for reasons Soo won't explain, she's pushing him back. The time travel element finally gets some decent play here, too, although strictly speaking Soo isn't using future knowledge so much as she is relying on apparently magical precognition. Much of the normal time travel ethical problems are also rendered rather moot by how limited Soo's knowledge is. Goryeo is ancient history, and I'm surprised she can remember any names at all.
But this kind of big picture thinking is exactly what has made Prince So's life so miserable. He got shoved off as a hostage because a prince was needed as hostage and Empress Yoon already had a higher ranked son. Prince So is constantly just moved around like a piece on a chessboard, his own feelings being considered completely unimportant compared to his familial obligations.
It's no wonder the guy is so frustrated when we look at the brothers hanging out together having a good time. The wedding scene is great precisely because it shows the way family is supposed to work. The brothers are being friendly, jovial, and generous not because they're expecting some sort of reward, but because they're genuinely happy that even the dumbest most useless Prince can find happiness. Prince So clearly likes his half-brothers much more than his actual family.
So how do we square this with Soo's visions? I'm inclined to thinking and hoping that there's more going on here than the limited hints we've seen so far. Considering how this episode clearly indicates that Soo is not the only person to have undergone a time slip, it's entirely possible that the disjointed nature of the story really is just a matter of Soo being kind of dumb. In any case, "Scarlet Heart: Ryeo" is finally tackling its most interesting mysteries, so the overall viewing experience is now at a dramatic improvement.
Review by William Schwartz
"Scarlet Heart: Ryeo" is directed by Kim Kyoo-tae, written by Jo Yoon-yeong and features Lee Joon-ki, IU, Kang Ha-neul, Hong Jong-hyeon, Nam Joo-hyeok, Baekhyun and Ji Soo.
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"Moonlight Drawn by Clouds" episode 10 recap

Kim Yoo-jeong explained why she denied Park Bo-geom.
On the 10th episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds", Hong Ra-on (Kim Yoo-jeong) started avoiding Lee Yeong (Park Bo-geom).
She took on all the hard jobs to avoid him and in the end, Lee Yeong found her and asked why.
Hong Ra-on said, "I am a criminal so how can I look at you in the face?"
Lee Yeong replied, "Don't you understand? I want you for who you are".
However, Hong Ra-on argued back, "How can someone as humble as me be by your side?"
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Monday, September 19, 2016

[Drama Preview] "Shopping King Louis"

If you missed cute romances with a good dose of amnesia and slapstick comedy in the form of physical engagement, "Shopping King Louis" is here for all your nostalgia needs. The drama could not look more cookie-cutter romance, but few will hold this against a yummy cookie, which is what the drama is being presented as. This comes with its own set of dangers, of course, but one can always hope.
Louis (Seo In-guk) is a man who believes he can have anything with money. Go Bok-sil (Nam Ji-hyeon) is a kindhearted woman who meets Louis after he ends up in a situation leading to loss of his memory and homelessness. The two find themselves living together.
The Worrying
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Uninspired Premise
If we had a drinking game for every time a rich chaebol jerk meets a nice poor woman in a romantic drama, we would all be drinking as much as drama characters. Oldschool romances like this have been done a lot and not all of them well. Moreso, audiences might have already moved on and that usually leads to desperate writing, which is never fun.
New Writer
Writer Oh Ji-yeong-I is a first timer in drama and although her 1st place in a writing competition is promising, there is always the fear of the unknown. This can be especially problematic if my other big worry above is confirmed and audiences do not like what they see. Can a new writer enforce their creative vision if pressures rise?
The Reassuring
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Easy Genre
Romantic comedy is a genre which largely relies on certain set notions and specific presentation. The good ones involve great writing, but even the ones for less demanding viewers can be entertaining, fluffy and fun. As long as the very basic elements for appealing to the audience's romantic needs are there, it is easy to make an endearing show.
Cute Promotional Material
I warn against trusting promotional material time and time again, but I can at least appreciate the consistent campaigns in recent years, when promotion often tries to cover all major genres and tones, ending up a confusing mess. "Shopping King Louis" is OTP and cuteness all the way, which is what rom-com audiences usually want and what they choose this genre for.
Final Thoughts
Embarassing track suits and physical violence aside, the series is looking like a throwback drama. This is not necessarily bad, as it may be a return to a time where we had less complicated and less convoluted plots. The cast looks lovely, the story looks sweet and the series can hopefully deliver some good ol' happy romance.
"Shopping King Louis" begins its run on September 21st and will air every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00, on MBC. It is directed by Lee Sang-yeob-I, written by Oh Ji-yeong-I and features Seo In-guk, Nam Ji-yeon, Yoon Sang-hyeon and Lim Se-mi.
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Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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