Friday, August 26, 2016

'Age of Youth' episode 10 recap

On the Friday episode of "Age of Youth", Park Hye-soo got her hands injured while she was trying to rescue Han Seung-yeon.
The housemates went out to rescue Jeong Ye-eun (Han Seung-yeon), who was kidnapped.
The housemates went ahead searching to find Jeong Ye-eun's ex-boyfriend Ko Doo-yeong (Ji Il-joo) and they ended up at Ko Doo-yeong's officetel. They knocked on the door then charged into Ko Doo-yeong's place. Ko Doo-yeong threatened them with a knife.
Yoo Eun-jae (Park Hye-soo) thought, 'It's been really strange. This really doesn't make sense, doesn't feels realistic' and shouted at Ko Doo-yeong, "Stab me, you stab but it won't kill me". Ko Doo-yeong brandished the knife at Yoo Eun-jae.
Source : www.tenasia.co.kr/arc...
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tvN's "Candy In My Ears" recap

Jang Geun-seok thought Yoo In-na was actress Kan Mi-youn from Baby Vox.
Jang Geun-seok was on the phone with Candy Girl Yoo In-na on the tvN show "Candy In My Ears". Jang Geun-seok was in Sky Way taking a walk and he told his Candy Girl, "I want to come here with my girlfriend. I want to come here with you".
He didn't know that the Candy Girl was actually Yoo In-na, so he started guessing things about her.
Then he heard her phone ring to Baby Vox's song and then he thought she was Kan Mi-youn.
Jang Geun-seok then said, "If this comes out on TV, I'm coming for you".
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"W" Episode 11 recap

The "Real" world in "W" is starting to resemble a horror story. Granted, all there really is to worry about is Seong-moo's freaky make-up and the whole hands popping through computer screens issue, but even that is more than enough to get across that the situation is legitimately scary. Even if, as Yeon-joo quickly discovers, these are actually relatively easy problems to overcome as long as she keeps her wits about her.
Later on there's a sort of weird symmetry as Cheol makes his recovery and ends up...not really doing much of anything. It's funny how Yeon-joo (and by extension we) have this image of Cheol being utterly invincible in the face of any possible threat, yet ultimately it's So-hee and Do-yoon, the people who actually know Cheol, that have a better idea of how he really ticks. Cheol can only just barely handle having lost everything he had in life again.
His sense of escape is eerily similar to Yeon-joo's own obsession with the webtoon. Consider how even while the plot seemed finished, Yeon-joo just continued to fixate over her adventures with Cheol in the webtoon world rather than actually doing important doctor stuff. This was going on right up until the moment that she transported to the webtoon world last time. And similarly here, Yeon-joo is only able to transport to the webtoon world again once it has been sufficiently determined that there's nothing important for her to do in the "Real" world.
The quotation marks really are necessary, because I find it increasingly hard to believe that Seong-moo and Yeon-joo alone are the drivers for the webtoon plot becoming real. It seems like there must be some sort of intelligent design at work, because even if we can find a pattern to the timing of Yeon-joo's interdimensional transportation, there's never any consistency when it comes to the place. Who decides where Yeon-joo needs to be and why?
Literally, of course, writer Song Jae-jeong is the person making those decisions. But considering how good "W" is at providing shocking plot twists that retrospectively were out in the open this entire time, I'm really hoping there's going to be some sort of larger more incredible explanation for all of this. Cheol himself seems to think this angle is a better avenue of exploration than the actual plot, and considering the corner he's trapped in, it's hard to blame him.
Review by William Schwartz
"W" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Song Jae-jeong and features Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo, Eugene Jung, Lee Tae-hwan, Park Won-sang, and more.
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"Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 1 recap

After the massive disputes over where "Incarnation of Jealousy" would live, it has finally found its home in SBS and has begun its twenty-four episode run in quite a lively fashion. Jo Jeong-seok and Lee Hwa-sin and Kong Hyo-jin as Pyo Na-ri already have amazing chemistry together and I appreciate having two veterans in main roles. The drama wastes no time in laying down the groundwork for the drama's tone, characters, and competitive broadcasting environment.

Directed by Park Shin-woo ("Ghost", "Angel Eyes") and written by Seo Sook-hyang ("Miss Korea", "Romance Town", "Pasta"), "Incarnation of Jealousy" has all the trappings of a typical romcom, but what makes this first episode special is its quirky tone. Transitions are animated, interactions between the main characters are very, very strange (but fun!), and the soundtrack is bubbly and well-matched with the drama.
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The drama is set in a broadcasting station, SBC (a play on SBS), and focuses on the lives of those who work there. It's a competitive, high-stress environment where Pyo Na-ri is at the bottom of the totem pole. She is a weather woman who is told to flaunt her physical assets more than she is asked to do much else. Although she makes herself available to odd jobs in order to make money, she also has quite the spirit. She is an odd duck dressed in a demur woman's skin - and it makes for one great character. Her relationship with her brother is healthy and loving as is her relationships with her neighbors with whom she has made a makeshift family.

This idea of family is set up to be a major theme: blood family versus family through strong relationships. This rather serious exploration is fitted between bouts of hilarity and character introductions. One of the funnier aspects of the show is Jo Jeong Seok's character, Lee Hwa-sin, who behaves as though he is always on camera, posturing and conscious of his looks. He is the normal arrogant drama rich guy, but that added hypersensitivity places him a step above a generic lead.
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"Incarnation of Jealousy" has definitely hooked me with this first episode. I want to know the stories of our main and side characters. I want to see into their pasts and understand what makes them tick. There is so much promise of what is to come between family and work backstories, Hwa-sin returning to the station from a correspondent position, Na-ri's strange need to inspect Hwa-sin's peck, and more. Needless to say, I'm stoked for episode 2.


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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Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Wanted" Episode 16 Final recap

Hye-in, Seung-in and his team as well as the "Wanted" production crew prepare for one last show and one last effort to get Ham Tae-seob and SG Group for their wrongdoings. Joon-goo goes into a search for the nurse who might have Dr. Kim Bong-joon's research on the harmful nature of SG's germicide. This has been a long struggle and none have suffered more than SG's victims, who offer their support in this final show.
The series makes a return to its original exploration of the media's influence on society by having the last episode of reality show "Wanted" return to its manipulation techniques. The difference is that this time it is being done without someone's demands in mind. The team choose to do it for different reasons, but they all understand their power to present the truth to viewers, a power which media always has and which it so often ignores in the face of gain, fear and influential demands.
Joon-goo and his wifeDong-wook revealing his thoughts
I mention in the previous episode that Dong-wook (Eom Tae-woong) is a man who is cold and calculating. The finale reveals his reasons behind this approach and they are surprisingly emotional and perhaps based on a sense of responsibility. He wants to know how television affects people, because he knows how powerful such a tool is. He may prefer the "cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs" approach, but his admiration for Joon-goo's (Lee Moon-sik) career might extend to his activism.
With the show being a partial success, much needed closure comes to many of the characters and most importantly to Hye-in (Kim Ah-joong). Her character has been the driving force of this story and her willingness to adapt and persevere for her son has been nicely and consistently written. Yet it is her weaker, manipulative and ultimately flawed moments which give her gravity, because her "sin" is one many of us would make. And it would take any of us to right our own wrongs as she has and make the world a little better.
Hye-in and Hyeon-wooSeung-in's closure for a victim
While I am mostly satisfied with the series, I do believe the uninspired evil conglomerate part works against it, because it kills its originality and forces its plot into the corresponding "drama mold". For a series which claimed it would be the most realistic thriller, it abandons that goal quite quickly. Aside from this, the flashbacks get a bit heavy near the end and some things are never explained while others get a clumsy resolution.
That being said, I appreciate the ending of "Wanted" for going back to that touch of reality by not sugar-coating the story's conclusion. SG Group will get away with its crimes, as there is little success when the powerless go against the powerful. The reason we do it is because it is right, because it gives us hope and because it may inspire others to create a better world ahead.
"Wanted" is directed by Park Yong-soon, written by Han Ji-wan-I and features Kim Ah-joong, Ji Hyeon-woo, Eom Tae-woong and Park Hae-joon.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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'Cinderella and the Four Knights' episode 3 recap

On the episode 3 of tvN's new Friday & Saturday drama, 'Cinderella and the Four Knights', Kang Hyeon-min (Ahn Jae-hyeon) and Kang Ji-woon (Jeong Il-woo) encountered each other in the garden of the Sky House.
Ji-woon said, "Just keep going your way" and Hyeon-min said, "Why did you come back, didn't you say you'd never come back".
Hyeon-min said, "Hope we don't come across each other at all cost". Ji-woon agreed sarcastically, "Exactly what I wanted. You don't know me from now on".
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 14 recap

This episode really touches on the plays of power. Money buys power. Health allows one to wield power. Friendship helps to guide power. Connections manipulate power. These concepts are neither new to the show or to the workings of society, but they are highlighted in ways that force the characters to act. Most of the same ol' shenanigans continue throughout this episode and leave me with little to talk about.

Joon-young waffles between living by his standards of guilt, or by the pull of his love for Eul. He's always been hot tempered and a man with such a devastating disease can vacillate in mood and personality, but the back-and-forth is becoming wearisome. Each episode ends in some sort of confrontation between he and Eul. The last episode had him pressuring her for sex, which is not okay in any book. He doesn't repent of his actions afterwards. Not. Okay. In the same manner, Ji-tae purposefully hurts Jeong-eun to shake her off. It's a vicious cycle of hurt perpetuated by his parents, by hers, and by societal expectations at large. Men are allowed to continue with behavior. The rich are allowed to continue to manipulate the poor. Eul accepts that she is powerless, moneyless, and that she can't make those who deserved to be punished utter an apology. She accepts their handouts against her conscience and pride. And I can't say she is wrong. In the situation she is in, she has been battered down for years. It is not she who has to pick herself up yet again; those who commit wrongs should change. But that rarely happens. She'll probably end up being saved by Joon-young. Even the power plays between Ji-tae and his mother reek of greed and manipulation.
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Joon-young's mother starts to warm towards him and I'm glad it's happening before she discovers he's dying. It colors their relationship with a warmth he very much needs. It gives them a closeness that starts to mirror Jik and Eul. Jik is a wonderful character who has been relegated to a secondary romance. He is a voice of reason when Eul is stressed. I'd love to see more of them together and less of the obsessive Ha-ru. If I could, I've have less of Jeong-eun, who is so vapid and one-dimensional a character that talking about her existence would serve viewers as much as seeing her on screen. Perhaps a little too harsh, but Im Joo-eun deserves better. The feelings that Jeong-eun is developing are because Joon-young doesn't neglect her as Ji-tae does despite his lack of affection for her. Again, this speaks to the horrible male behavior in this show. Not that many females are much better, but the feminist in me cannot let such things stand.
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Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Uncontrollably Fond" is directed by Park Hyeon-seok, written by Lee Kyeong-hee, and features Kim Woo-bin, Suzy, Im Joo-hwan, and Lim Joo-eun.
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Friday, August 19, 2016

"Candy In My Ears" recap

tvN show "Candy In My Ears" featured actor Jang Geun-seok, former basketball player Seo Jang-hoon and actor Ji Soo speaking to their "Candy's".
Jang Geun-seok said, "I've been lonely. I always wanted someone to talk to as opposed to coming home to an empty house and watching TV alone". He started talking to the feminine Candy and said, "I think I'm in love with you".
Jang Geun-seok and Candy talked about a lot of things. They talked about relationships and their values. Jang Geun-seok said, "I didn't want my ex-girlfriend waiting for me".
Seo Jang-hoon didn't want to reveal his house. He even said he won't be on the show. However, when he started talking to his Candy, he got up and went to the market she suggested. Ji Soo was moving house on the day the show started. He continued to talk to his Candy as he worked.
Finally, Jang Geun-seok's Candy turned out to be Yoo In-na and in the next episode, Kyeong Soo-jin is coming on board.
Source : www.xportsnews.com/?a...
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"Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 13 recap

"Uncontrollably Fond" has one goal: keep the tension high. Two major secrets are fueling that tension, the truth about Joon-young's health and the truth surrounding his birth. All other tensions stem from that and other similar secrets. Scenes and action wades through problems caused by these secrets while Eul remains a plucky heroine despite Joon-young's treatment of her.
Eul is convinced that Joon-young still loves her, and she would be right. He's pushing her away cruelly and although I can't Eul for persisting in her love for him, I do think she's senseless in that he has treated her poorly before and she continues to allow it to happen. Illness or no, she's human and really shouldn't be ignored or mistreated thusly. The ending of this episode particularly infuriated me with how entitled he acts. It's most probably a ruse, but there are lines that should not be crossed, and treating a woman like a hunk of meat is one of those.
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Poor behavior is found in all the characters, however. Ji-tae is horrible to Ji-eun, and in turn, she is secretly bitchy towards Eul. Only Jik seems to have a sense of propriety and his star-crossed romance isn't even the focus of the drama. Joon-young reasons that he is trying to fix what his family has made wrong. He's chasing Jeong-eun who has lived well after hitting and killing Eul's father while Eul has suffered through his injuries, death, and lack of justice.

A strange focus is on Assemblyman Choi's obsession/love for Joon-young's mother. She lies and said she is married, but Choi is obviously hung up on her. He openly ignores his wrongdoings and allows himself to indulge in his feelings for her. This is a special sense of entitlement that should be delved into further as we only have three episodes left of this melodrama. Rather than merely resolve plot tension, it would be more interesting to unravel the twisted balls that are called people.
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Until then, the truth shall remain hidden under piles and piles of melodrama.


Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Uncontrollably Fond" is directed by Park Hyeon-seok, written by Lee Kyeong-hee, and features Kim Woo-bin, Suzy, Im Joo-hwan, and Lim Joo-eun.
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"W" Episode 9 recap

My main takeaway from "W" at this point is that good writing is hard. Much like the last time Cheol tried to "solve" the problems created by Seong-woo's inability to finish the story in a convincing, compelling fashion, this time too we're left with a resolution that's just kind of...blech. In a lot of ways this is a problem with the serial detective format in general. If the main character devotes all of his energy to solving episodic crimes with no progression in the main plot, it's pretty inevitable that the final personal backstory case is going to be a letdown.
...But once again, Seong-woo's creations get the best of him. The result is a final case that quickly spins completely out of control. It's both dynamic storytelling and actually surprisingly frightening. Recall that from Cheol's vantage point, everyone involved with the "W" broadcast is a real person who he probably knows on a first name basis. The announcer in particular has provided most of the exposition.
Given what happens to all of them, "W" is left with a pretty powerful sadistic streak here. Combined with the strong storytelling, this created a rather unexpected effect to me- I actually felt really guilty. I'd spent most of this episode thinking about how, barring some incredible twist, writer Song Jae-jeong was practically admitting to us that she had no idea where to take the story from here. Well as it turns out, she did, and now people are dead.
Granted these are not real people. "W" is a work of fiction. Yet the way Yeon-joo is obsessed with Cheol is a constant dark reminder of the fact that we, as fans, tend to think of fictional characters as being like real people. These emotions, while admittedly silly, are most definitely real, and there's something deeply discomforting about the way we want horrible things to happen to these "people" that we love simply because it will be more entertaining.
Come to think of it I'm still not at all sure where "W" is supposed to after this. At this point it looks like the emphasis is going to be less on the meta-subtext and more on actually seeing what Cheol's world looks like from Cheol's point of view- a hard-nailed detective thriller where the chief antagonist still possesses all the bad writing superpowers, just with a face now. Incidentally, kudos to the makeup department for its fairly disturbing moment of body horror.
Review by William Schwartz
"W" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Song Jae-jeong and features Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo, Eugene Jung, Lee Tae-hwan, Park Won-sang, and more.
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"Wanted" Episode 15 recap

The penultimate episode of "Wanted" takes a look at the past and Ham Tae-yeong's involvement in the SG Group conspiracy. A lot of questions are answered and Hye-in discovers the reason why she carries some responsibility. This revelation feels rather unconvincing and certain important things remain unknown, but will hopefully be resolved in the finale. Joon-goo's tape might be the last piece of the puzzle and Dong-wook is the man who can assemble it.
With Hyeon-woo (Park Min-soo) found and Joon-goo (Lee Moon-sik) arrested, our characters and by extension we can feel some much awaited relief. At the same time, SG Group are not giving up and so this part of the story must be addressed. I do have a few complaints about how things play out in episode fifteen. Some are minor, such as the fact that Song Yeong-gyoo's character has still not been explained and the absence of Jeong-ho (Park Hae-joon) from Hyeon-woo's return, even if for show.
Hye-in and Hyeon-wooHye-in ignoring Soo-hyeon's screams
My big problem here is Hye-in's (Kim Ah-joong) convenient amnesia over her own past. Tae-yeong (Lee Jae-woo) and Hye-in's life together has been completely unknown until now, but I find it hard to believe that she completely forgot about his involvement in something big, dangerous and responsible for many victims. Something which they argued over before his very suspicious death. We have not seen recollection of her knowledge about Tae-yeong's actions throughout the series and this makes the revelation feel badly thought-out.
It makes me wonder whether this has been Hye-in's planned involvement from the start or whether it is a change from something more damning. Despite this clumsy part, I do appreciate that Joon-goo denies it as the reason for choosing her. His character is flawed, but not irrational and choosing someone due to their ignorance would not fit his method. Hye-in's decision to continue the show is also understandable, because it is a debt to someone she loved, rather than a choice of strangers over her son.
Seung-in witnessing Sang-sik's final car rideDong-wook telling Joon-goo that he saw the tape
The episode's emotional moments are very well done and this include's Seung-in's (Ji Hyeon-woo) closure on Sang-sik's (Seo Hyeon-cheol) actions and intentions before his death. Even so, it is Dong-wook's (Eom Tae-woong) hospital visit which I consider the highlight here. For one, seeing someone who has been cold and calculating show attachment and sadness is powerful, but it also heightens curiosity over what is on that tape. What moves a man like him to tears?
I do not know which things will be addressed, but we still have plenty of topics to see dealt with in the series finale. The USB and tape contents look like the solution to everything and SG is still very dangerous. It looks like the end will be dedicated to villain punishment and after what the production, police allies, victims and Hye-in have been through, punishment is expected and welcome.
"Wanted" is directed by Park Yong-soon, written by Han Ji-wan-I and features Kim Ah-joong, Ji Hyeon-woo, Eom Tae-woong and Park Hae-joon.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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"W" Episode 8 recap

The shrouded static villain is weirdly sympathetic in a way, because its entire existence is the arbitrary creation of a Godlike figure who never bothered to impart any meaningful personality traits onto his creation. I can't help but see this character as being the personification of fan rage. Sure, we've only been watching "W" for seven episodes, but the in-universe fanbase has been waiting years only to be suddenly told that plot arc isn't going to end because now the story's a romance.
Which in itself brings up all sorts of other uncomfortable questions. Unlike the shrouded static villain, So-hee is a character with clearly defined personality and motivation. Even if So-hee never actually had a romance with Cheol, her existence too has largely been to provide him with logistical support for the sake of solving crimes. If solving crimes is not something that Cheol does anymore, why does So-hee exist? Realistically speaking, is it even possible for her to exist if everything in "W" takes place from Cheol's vantage point?
These metaphysical questions are all kinds of messed up. Even if Seong-moo literally created the "W" universe, the fact that everything in this world revolves around Cheol makes Cheol the more metaphorical God, and the responsibility is clearly too much for him. Imagine if you found out that the universe literally revolved around you, and that real live people disappear if you go too long without observing them. Could you handle it?
When all these factors are taken into account it increasingly seems like Yeon-joo is the real villain of "W". By refusing to let the world end Yeon-joo has forced Cheol into a series of impossible situations and put multiple lives at risk, including her own. It's from this vantage point that we sail into the cliffhanger, where Cheol is forced to put into action the only plan that could possibly make the situation less miserable.
I don't know where "W" is supposed to go from here. Yeon-joo's romantic fixation on Cheol was already starting to get a little creepy, what with his literally being the personification of what Yeon-joo considers the ideal man to be. Yeon-joo is like a far-gone fangirl who practically needs an intervention in order to separate from her unhealthy obsession with a fictional character. That this fictional character happens to be real in the internal context of "W" is, I think, more a dramatic flourish than anything else.
Review by William Schwartz
"W" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Song Jae-jeong and features Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo, Eugene Jung, Lee Tae-hwan, Park Won-sang, and more.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 12 recap

A major pivot takes "Bring It On, Ghost" away from ghost fighting as the dramatic emphasis shifts to when and how Hyeon-ji will recover her memories. For Bong-pal the course of action is a simple one- of course he loves her, and is infinitely relieved to discover that Hyeon-ji was in a coma all along. It does take an irritatingly long time for Bong-pal to actually find out what's going on with Hyeon-ji, but the scenes we get when that finally happens are fairly sweet.
This is recurring problem in "Bring It On, Ghost", that even though we in the audience know what's happening the characters themselves have access to relatively little of this information. I've realized, upon further consideration, that even Myeong-cheol doesn't actually know all that much about Hye-seong's extra-curricular activities. Which to me is just further evidence that turning Hye-seong into a serial killer was a major misstep on the part of the production team.
Let's consider his character for a moment. Hye-seong is, on the surface level, a model citizen, yet some sort of supernatural influence makes him go into sudden violent rages. That's not so implausible on its own, minus the ghosts. Plenty of abusive husbands have the same dual personality. But by dedicating so much time to Hye-seong's dark side, "Bring It On, Ghost" makes anyone who falls for his act for even a minute look like an idiot, including the main characters.
The funny part is that Bong-pal being kind of an idiot is a big part of the drama's charm. He never has the sense to quit with Hyeon-ji, and I find it funny that the main difference between technically older than Bong-pal Hyeon-ji and teenage Hyeon-ji is that the former had more of a smug sadistic streak. The latter is more content to mind her own business, even if that inevitably proves to not be a realistic option.
There's always an unpredictable dynamic to the relationship between Bong-pal and Hyeon-ji that I really do wish was better replicated in the rest of the story, which tends to obscure important information for no reason. We still don't have any clue what Hye-seong's actual goal is- a better written drama would be using this ambiguity to float the possibility that Hye-seong may have a non-evil motive. But no, I guess it was really important that we watch him kill that cat way back when. Bah. At least the outtakes are good.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bring It On, Ghost" is directed by Park Joon-hwa, written by Lee Dae-il-I and features Taecyeon, Kim So-hyeon-I, Kwon Yul, Kim Sang-ho, Kang Ki-yeong and Lee David.
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"Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 2 recap

"Cinderella and the Four Knights"'s second episode is more introduction because we need to get Cinderella into the palace. In order to do that, the story beats to the ground with birth secrets, money woes, and contentious interactions with the three Kang cousins of Sky House. The cousins have no easy go at things either as their CEO Chaebol Granddaddy uses his money to buy their obedience. This is most likely going to be a theme and I have a feeling Cinderella will not only change the hearts of the cousins, but of their grandfather as well.
Although full of introductory material like the first episode, episode two takes a deeper look into many of the characters. Ji-woon is new to riches and is having a terrible time adjusting, especially because his grandfather will do anything to manipulate Ji-woon's life to his liking. Interestingly, he is often framed half in shadow, much like a brooding anti-hero. So now we have a budding Batman along with our Cinderella. Anywho, grandpa's manipulation is found with Cassanova Hyun-min. There is a story behind his inability to stay with one woman and Hye-jin is involved, but we don't get much more than a taste of his human side. Not much is learned about Seo-woo except that he is kind. Ha-won is revealed to have a terrible, terrible family, father included. It is their cruelty that pushes Ha-won into Sky House, the home of the cousins and where she will become the instigator of change.
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CEO Grandpa is both likable (when he interacts with Ha-won) and completely despicable (when he controls his grandson's lives.) More than the Kang cousins I want to see this man change due to Ha-won's brand of tough love. Hopefully the loyalty and love she'll earn from the entire Kang family will help heal the wounds that her family inflicted through its cruelty. Another potential goal of the show may be to turn her family into human beings rather than evil beasts. In any case, we have some co-habitation hijinks - especially since the single rule passed down by grandpa is no dating. That won't last.
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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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"Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 1 recap

Pre-produced, manhwa-based "Cinderella and the Four Knights" is everything one would expect out of a fairytale inspired drama. It's a mix of the classic Cinderella, a bit of hardworking Candy, and a whole lot of typical drama tropes with chaebol grandfather's, monster inheritances, some fine acting, and some mediocre acting.

I come at this drama not having read the source material, the manhwa by Baek Myo begun in 2011. HanCinema readers, if you have, please chime in and let me know what you think! Director Kwon Hyeok-chan ("A Gentleman's Dignity", "Secret Garden") is no stranger to working with the fantastical and that can be seen in the soft filters used to make the every day heroine Eun Ha-won (played by the magnificent Park So-dam) seem like more than a downtrodden young woman who works too hard for too little. The opening plot material is nothing more than plot and character set up. Ha-won is the hardworking Cinderella and is assigned several well-known Cinderella story markers like new shoes, new clothes, step-mother and step-sister, and a lot of hardship. The three chaebol cousins, Kang Ji-woon (Jeong Il-woo), Kang Hyun-min (Ahn Jae-hyeon), and Kang Seo-woo (Lee Jung-shin) who flesh out three male stereotypes: ladies' man, ruffian, and idol respectively. It is Jeong Il-woo who stands out amongst the three, bringing Ji-woon to life as more than a rough-around-the edges young man. Park So-dam is equally as wonderful as the "Cinderella" figure. Mixed in with these main characters is a conniving new wife of CEO Grandfather, Ha-won's terrible family, Lee Yoon-seong (Choi Min-I) who is the CEO's right hand man, and second lead Park Hye-ji (Son Na-eun).
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Thus far, this isn't anything we haven't seen before. Fancy weddings, pretty shoes, lovely dresses, broken hearts, mean step-parents, and people thirsting for riches all dot the landscape of "Cinderella and the Four Knights". I do appreciate that the heroine isn't just a pure Candy-like character. She has a temper and gets frustrated with her lot in life. She is a challenge for the three spoiled chaebol grandsons, which is the main intrigue of the drama. In a way this drama reminds me a little of 2009 Japanese dorama "Atashinchi no Danshi" where a woman with nowhere to go is brought into a mansion to whip the seven sons into shape. A bit of the dorama flavor evades "Cinderella and the Four Knights" as well with the very opulent stylings in Sky House, the chaebol cousins home, the busy background music, and the overly characterized cousins.

The lack of consistency is Ji-woon's character mirrors his confusion. He, much like Ha-won, moved from rags-to-riches, and he doesn't know how to deal with it. His temperament is hot and he is quick to judge. Ha-won is a good counter for him because she doesn't let his fiery temper best her. It's a nice counter to the typical Korean male and his expectation for quick female submission. Hyun-min is completely full of himself. Ahn Jae-hyeon had a bit of trouble portraying the deeper moments of doubt and uncertainty, which I'm hoping will ameliorate itself as the drama continues. We haven't seen very much of Seo-woo who is a musician and seems to observe the battles in his family with mild amusement.
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Pre-production isn't yet obvious - filming began January 31, 2016 and concluded May 31, 2016. First episodes are usually higher on the dollar-value (or, in this case, won-value) and this episode was no exception with the fancy locations, expensive clothing, and slew of expensive cars. We'll see how it progresses throughout the drama's run. In any case, the episode was entertaining, but nothing mind blowing.

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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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Doctors" Episode 17 recap

Right away we get a reasonably full and clear explanation of just what happened to Hye-jeong's grandmother in surgery so long ago. The outcome of this scene left me a little confused. The surgical team screwed up. That much has never been in doubt. But they reacted poorly in the face of an unanticipated situation. While such failures are bad, they're also fairly inevitable. Doctors are only human after all. This is something Hye-jeong herself knows all too well, what with being put under disciplinary review for having committed a different kind of error.
One of the bigger problem I've had with "Doctors" is that it's hard to figure out the moral thrust the drama's going for. Take Hye-jeong's dad. He doesn't appear this episode. Actually, as far as I can recall we haven't seen him at all since Hye-jeong's big epiphany that fathers matter near the end of the Namgoong Min plot. Are they reconciling or does she still hate him, and why does this topic receive so little discussion?
It's the same way with Hye-jeong's quest for vengeance. I can't tell whether we're supposed to want her to succeed or not. Writer Ha Myeong-hee seems to be going for nuance, yet director Oh Choong-hwan keeps making a point of how the more antagonistic characters are total jerks. That really should not be a consideration when it comes to medical ethics. It's a completely arbitrary standard.
But then the understanding of medical ethics has always been a weak point in "Doctors". What's the deal with Kang-soo being operated on by his co-workers? Yes, yes, I know not everything needs to be literal- the point of the scene is about how the various doctors come together as a family. Even so, it's a very silly supporting plot to have when the consequences of surgery gone wrong is being given such emphasis in the main storyline.
While it's normally a good thing when a drama's plot is difficult to predict, with "Doctors" this element is less the result of creativity and more a function of the drama's generally baffling production design. Any time the story moves in a generally linear direction (like with Kang-soo's surgery), the plot arc is fully predictable and the main point of contention is over how the other characters react. While this kind of storytelling isn't terribly exciting, it is at least relatively easy to parse, which is more than I can write for "Doctors" writ large.
Review by William Schwartz
"Doctors" is directed by Oh Choong-hwan, written by Ha Myeong-hee and features Kim Rae-won, Park Shin-hye, Yoon Gyoon-sang, Lee Seong-kyeong, Kim Yeong-ae and Jeong Hae-gyoon.
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"Bring It On, Ghost" Episode 11 recap

As expected, Hyeon-ji is not able to escape from Bong-pal for all that long. Actually Hyeon-ji isn't very good at avoiding Hye-seong either, which is especially silly since at least Bong-pal can guess where Hyeon-ji might be hiding. Hye-seong has quickly turned into the big sour point of "Bring It On, Ghost" for me. He's a villain that succeeds, not through being powerful or competent, but by being the beneficiary of dumb luck and some very disturbingly disinterested bystanders.
Note the detectives. One of them is making simple deductions and realizing that beyond the surface level most of what they learn regarding Hye-seong doesn't add up. The other one just wants to close the case as quickly as possible because he's lazy. I mean, sheesh, is it so much to ask for a detective to demonstrate more than a passing interest in detective work? That's not even getting into the hospital, where apparently random veterinarians are given admitting privileges.
It's fortunate that so much of the main emphasis in "Bring It On, Ghost" is instead on the fractured relationship between Hyeon-ji and Bong-pal. The whole snag of Hyeon-ji being a ghost ends up getting a magical solution. This much is not so bad, given that it was fairly decently foreshadowed and played up for decent conflict. It bears repeating- Taecyeon and Kim So-hyeon-I are very well cast in their roles, even if the age difference is probably going to become a lot more noticeable soon.
That still leaves the problem, though, of Hye-seong being a villain who to date none of the main characters are even aware is a villain. Myeong-cheol is starting to get on my nerves. Yes, there are good reasons why Bong-pal should not be dating a ghost. But at the moment it really does seem like Myeong-cheol should be more worried about the fact that Bong-pal's biology teacher is a serial killer who will kill Bong-pal if his identity is ever discovered.
Lucky for them, Hye-seong is not terribly smart and considering the man's interrogation technique, it's easy to see why he has failed in his generally poorly defined objective for so long. Unfortunately it looks like the inevitable fight with Hye-seong is going to be disappointing, because the production team is barely even trying with the ghost battles anymore. No backstory to speak of, just a spooky horror movie trope, a few punches and we're done. Ugh.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bring It On, Ghost" is directed by Park Joon-hwa, written by Lee Dae-il-I and features Taecyeon, Kim So-hyeon-I, Kwon Yul, Kim Sang-ho, Kang Ki-yeong and Lee David.
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Monday, August 15, 2016

"The Second Last Love" rated 11.8%

"The Second Last Love" broke through 10%.
According to Nielsen Korea, the SBS weekend drama "The Second Last Love" rated 11.8%. This is 1.9% more than the previous episode.
The reason it made it that high was because it was the only one that played on schedule. The Rio Olympics took the place of the MBC "The Flower in Prison" and KBS 2TV "Gag Concert". Meanwhile, even the SBS drama "Doctors" achieved good results for airing on its own.
On the episode of "The Second Last Love", Park Joon-woo (Kwak Si-yang) confessed his love to Kang Min-joo (Kim Hee-ae) but Ko Sang-sik (Ji Jin-hee) was jealous of them.
Meanwhile, KBS "Five Children" still holds first place and rated 28.6%, MBC "Happy Home" rated 17.6%, MBC "The Flower in Prison" rated 9.9% and SBS "Yeah, That's How It Is" rated 9.7%.
Source : www.asiatoday.co.kr/v...
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"The Good Wife" Episode 12 recap

Hye-kyeong's problems never seem to end and now she has the additional one of her monster-in-law meddling and trying to turn her children against their mother. Hye-kyeong seeks legal advice about the situation and decides to address it personally as well. Dan finally reveals her feelings and thoughts before taking drastic steps to address her current situation. Tae-joon starts investigating Joong-won and Hye-kyeong makes a decision about her relationship with both men.
Tae-joon (Yoo Ji-tae) is bad enough, but his mother is a real piece of work herself. Her current behavior is yet another stark contrast to Hye-kyeong's (Jeon Do-yeon) considerate approach towards her children. Oh Jeong-min (Park Jeong-soo) manipulates them just like her son, but it is a relief to see Seo-yeon (Park Si-eun-I) face the issue like her mother does and let her know. It is smart of Hye-kyeong to seek advice on divorce matters and David Lee (Cha Soon-bae) is thankfully more considerate this time around.
Hye-kyeong and DavidJeong-min being told off by Hye-kyeong
Which brings us to Hye-kyeong's personal handling of the situation and a face off just as glorious as the one with Tae-joon. The satisfaction of seeing Jeong-min face the consequences of her actions is immense and I do hope that her horrible and potentially traumatizing behavior as a grandmother will also be commented on soon. Such a confrontation is more than welcome in Korean drama, where abusive behavior from elders is often shielded and where women in particular are expected to tolerate it.
Hye-kyeong is in the process of reassessing her relationships and behavior toward others, but Dan (Nana) is still one individual she cannot face. This is to be expected, because there was clearly a bond of trust there. More importantly, this feeling was mutual and we finally get to know about it as Dan truly opens up for the first time. Dan seemingly mature and cool approach to life gives way to a woman who is actually quite unskilled with bonds and emotions. The fact that she can admit this and proceeds to at least try and correct her wrongs are redeeming qualities.
Dan hearing Hye-kyeong's complaintsHye-kyeong and Joong-won in a hotel
At the same time, Dan and Joong-won's (Yoon Kye-sang) illegal move could cause them, but also Hye-kyeong problems. In his never-ending quest to become more horrible by the day, Tae-joon begins a hunt for Joong-won. This has been a long time coming and therefore not a surprise, but it is still a source of tension and one especially dangerous following Hye-kyeong's choice to be with Joong-won.
Her need for freedom and a relationship is understandable, but her decision to act on her feelings before ending things with Tae-joon is irresponsible. Her affair can harm her as a lawyer and during a custody battle. If discovered by her children, it will feel like another betrayal to them. Things are so messy that I am even starting to suspect Myeong-hee's (Kim Seo-hyeong) new gentleman caller. Can one person here have a healthy love life, please?
"The Good Wife" is directed by Lee Jeong-hyo, written by Han Sang-woon and features Jeon Do-yeon, Yoo Ji-tae, Yoon Kye-sang and Kim Seo-hyeong.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'