Thursday, December 14, 2017

"I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 7-8 recap

Ri-el (played by Hwang Seung-eon) is Min-gyoo's childhood friend and presumed alternate love interest. She has very little screentime. Her only new scene is suspiciously cut short right before she's about to say something important. So Ri-el's main contribution to the story so far is that she provokes one of Min-gyoo's attacks, which leads him into flashback mode detailing his generally horrible backstory that explains, among other things, where Min-gyoo's psychomatic skin condition comes from.
The literal events of the flashback are implausible, to say the least. But then legal issues of inheritance and guardianship as relates to child survivors are very much besides the point here. After all, Min-gyoo is the protagonist of a modern fairy tale, playing the role of the ill-fated prince. It's just that instead of witches, magic spells, and curses, the culprits are men in suits, legal mumbo jumbo, and psychological conditions. These parallel each other quite nicely.
Unfortunately the flashback is so compelling that the remainder of these episodes is a bit of a let down by comparison. Now that we know people are out to get Min-gyoo, and that Min-gyoo has spent most of his life trying to force enough distance between himself and his persecutors to prevent from being overtaken, I really want to see how he does it. So far we've only ever seen Min-gyoo be a jerk to people who don't actually deserve it. High-ranked company man Do-won (played by Son Byung-ho) would be another story entirely.
Another character of considerably more interest now is Yoo-cheol (played by Kang Ki-young), a man who used to be Min-gyoo's friend. Yoo-cheol appears to be genuinely concerned for Min-gyoo's welfare. But as Do-won's son, Yoo-cheol was unwittingly caught up in the fairy tale nightmare and now...we still don't know that much about him because "I'm Not a Robot" is still not fleshing out central characters.
Again, most of what we see here is just Min-gyoo talking to Ji-ah under the very silly assumption that he can tell his robot anything. Is Min-gyoo aware of the fact that Baek-gyoon's team is privy to all their conversations? All the same, it's funny. Even the crab jokes were funny, even if inevitably very silly. But I'm still impatient for the story to really get moving. Even if it obviously fits Min-gyoo's ethos to talk about problems rather than directly addressing them, there's no excuse for everyone else to be so passive.
Review by William Schwartz
"I'm Not a Robot" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Kim Seon-mi-I and Lee Suk-joon-I, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Uhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Nothing to Lose" episodes 13 - 14 recap

On the 13th, SBS drama "Nothing to Lose" aired a romantic moment.
Lee Jeong-joo (Park Eun-bin) ran to Sa Eui-hyeon (Yeon Woo-jin) thinking she was late. He noticed her shoes were on backwards and prevented her from falling over while she switched them.
Later, Do Han-joon (Dong Ha) asked Eui-hyeon to keep an eye on Jeong-joo, but she refused a ride from him. Instead, Eui-hyeon followed her as it began to snow, turning the moment into a romantic one.
Jeong-joo and Eui-hyeon now work in the same office. She tried to copy how he wore his robe, but it messed up her hair.
Jeong-joo said, "I guess not anyone can do this" and ran out while Eui-hyeon smiled warmly at her behind her back.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Black Knight" episode 3 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama, Moon Soo-ho (Kim Rae-won) told Jeong Hae-ra (Shin Se-kyung) that he liked her. Hae-ra told him not to be nice to her.
Soo-ho was persistent and upset that she didn't remember him. Hae-ra wavered slightly at his straightforward confession.
However, Hae-ra had been hurt by her ex-boyfriend Choi Ji-hoon (Kim Hyun-jun) who was a con. Hae-ra told Soo-ho, "I am not innocent enough to like a man because he's rich". Then she got drunk once and said, "I don't want to be hurt or embarrassed again". Soo-ho realized that she was pushing him away because of someone else and got mad saying, "Who is this guy?"
Soo-ho didn't give up, but she wasn't quite ready yet.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Prison Playbook" episode 7 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Prison Playbook", there was a potential break in Yoo Dae-wi's (Jung Hae-in) case.
Mr. Paeng (Jung Woong-in), who had been keeping an eye on Dae-wi, began to look into his case. He found a few things that seemed fishy and that no one had previously thought to question.
The other prison guards saw Dae-wi as evil, but Mr. Paeng was different.
Meanwhile, Mr. Paeng provides comedic relief as playfully bickers with the prisoners.
"Prison Playbook" can be seen every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00 KST.
Source : www.tenasia.co.kr/arc...
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"I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 5-6 recap

We still have so few characters that most of the jokes are just a variation on how Min-gyoo is too dumb to realize that Ji-ah is not a robot. Honestly, I'm surprised that I haven't gotten completely sick of that yet. Maybe it's just the way Yoo Seung-ho plays Min-gyoo so sincerely, his stupidity is actually mostly pretty believable. The things Min-gyoo believes a robot can do are just so ridiculously inconsistent, yet we can see in his warped mind that there is a consistent logic to his assumptions.
The best part is how Yoo Seung-ho transitions from lonely person deserving pity to callous jerk, without even so much as a change in his tone of voice. Disproportionate handsomeness notwithstanding, Min-gyoo is a pretty convincing shut-in nerd. Look at how Min-gyoo consistently shows more empathy toward robots than he does to actual people. Is it because he has more personal contact with robots, or because the robots are better at following his orders than people are?
So the jokes are funny, if low-brow, and Min-gyoo is pretty intriguing. Everywhere else progress is limited. We do get one pretty good flashback that's immediately noteworthy because it shows Ji-ah being disproportionately happy and it also explains the origin of AZ3's ridiculous uniform. But in long perspective even this scene is relevant mainly because of how it relates to Min-gyoo. He literally throws away happiness, and the crew of scientists must desperately recover it in secret under the fairly reasonable assumption that Min-gyoo wouldn't just give it to them.
While "I'm Not a Robot" has the trappings of a magical romance, the more realistic aspects of the drama's production are troubling. At one point we see straight-up labor protests happening in the background that are even briefly commented on. These are dark moments I'm not quite sure what to make of. Is the implication that Min-gyoo allows this to happen because he doesn't care enough about people in order to find a halfway resolution?
Because really, in this economic environment, it's very hard to feel sympathy for a guy who can literally buy anything, even a fully functional android, yet stiffs less economically disadvantaged people on technicalities. Can a mere robot teach Min-gyoo how to love? Phrased that way, the premise actually sounds fairly insulting, so I suppose it's for the better that it's Ji-ah, rather than AZ3, who is teaching Min-gyoo how to tolerate the failures of others.
Review by William Schwartz
"I'm Not a Robot" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Kim Seon-mi-I and Lee Suk-joon-I, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Uhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Two Cops" episodes 11 - 12 recap

Cha Dong-tak (Jo Jeong-seok) saved Song Ji-an (Hyeri) from Park (Min Sung-wook) on the latest episode of the MBC drama "Two Cops".
Jo Jeong-seok deftly performed as both Dong-tak and Soo-chang. As Soo-chang, he slyly tried to make a deal with Park and asked detectives for help. When he failed, Soo-chang attempted Dong-tak's body by banging his head on the wall and asking for outside help.
Finally, Soo-chang managed to exit Dong-tak's body through a car accident. The moment he was alone, Jo Jeong-seok infused Dong-tak with charisma that showed his artistry.
In the end, Dong-tak and Soo-chang managed to save Song Ji-an who was confused Dong-tak's behavior.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16" episode 4 recap

On the latest episode of "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16", Ra Mi-ran found a hidden gold necklace that belonged to Jo Deok-je (Park Chul-min).
When he was arrested for bribery, created a new establishement and and Jo's beloved dog, Michael, was brought home by Ra Mi-ran who worked there.
Jo sent a letter to Yoon Seo-hyeon and Jeong Ji-soon asking them to take care of the dog, but they didn't read the letter properly. There was a hidden message in it that showed the location of the necklace, and they missed it.
Later, Mi-ran was looking for Michael's ball when she found a golden necklace in the dog house. When she found out it was worth a lot of money, she sold it. She'd been treated poorly by Jo and spent the money on her sons.
Ra Mi-ran who had been mistreated by Jo, used the money with her sons. Meanwhile, there was a hidden message in the letter Jo sent to Yoon Seo-hyeon and Jeong Ji-soon.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Doubtful Victory" episodes 11 - 12 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Doubtful Victory", Kim Jong-sam (Yoon Kyun-sang) struggled to save Ddak-ji (Jeon Seong-woo).
Jong-sam was chased by Kim Yoon-soo's (Choi Dae-hoon's) men, but managed to grab the money and run. Detective Jin Jin-yeong (Jung Hye-sung) stopped him, but released when he said he needed to save someone. Baek Kyeong (Kim Dong-won) beat Ddak-ji for every moment Jong-sam was late.
Jong-sam revealed where the real money was, but felt betrayed to see Kang Cheol-gi (Jang Hyun-sung) on Baek Kyeong's side.
Gwak Yeong-jae (Park Sung-geun) snagged the money, but re-captured Ddak-ji and Jong-sam. The money was fake and the real stash was elsewhere. This took Ddak-ji out of harm's way and infuriated Lee Gwang-ho (Jun Gook-hwan) was furious to know the money was gone.
Source : sports.mk.co.kr/view....
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"Jugglers" Episode 4 recap

Chi-won has this habit of quickly getting annoyed with people and promptly ending conversations before they've even really started. Narrative-wise this habit is frustrating, since it prevents Chi-won from getting involved with any kind of actual plot. But at the same time it's actually fairly refreshingly comical to watch a hero be completely immune to the villain's various schemes because the villain is such an obvious dork that listening to them at all is obviously a total waste of time.
Mr. Bong's credibility as a villain is further undermined by how he obviously believes that Yoon-i is acting as his spy. At least, Mr. Bong's clandestine behavior when contacting her would seem to imply as much. Unfortunately Yoon-i doesn't appear to understand this aspect of the story at all. Mr. Bong's instructions confuse Yoon-i, but because they serve no obvious malicious purpose, she just assumes that they must serve the greater company somehow.
This joke, while moderately amusing, is at odds with the character development between Chi-won and Yoon-i, which centers around Yoon-i wanting to get to know him better so that she can be a more effective secretary. On the face of it this is a fairly interesting concept. I don't actually have any idea what a good secretary does, but it it is obviously a skilled position, so clearly Yoon-i must have some sort of larger rubric in mind that determines her actions.
Alas, "Jugglers" cannot maintain continuity long enough for this point to be particularly well-explained. A late cameo by Choi Yeo-jin as a secretary field seargent greatly confused me, because we had already seen Yoon-i teaching secretary classes. One would think all the other secretaries at this particular company would already know who she is, especially given the circumstances by which she left Mr. Bong's service.
...Wait, Mr. Bong and Chi-won do work for the same company right? Or am I getting confused because that's the most obvious way Mr. Bong could organize it so that Yoon-i works for someone who is technically his superior? We know surprisingly little about the corporate structure of the YB Broadcasting Corporation, or what exactly it is that they make (TV Shows? Newspapers? Advertising?). Normally for a drama to feature characters working for a generic large corporation isn't a big deal, but when literally their only motivation is to do their jobs I'd kind of like to know what their jobs are.
Review by William Schwartz
"Jugglers" is directed by Kim Jeong-hyeon-I, written by Jo Yong and features Baek Jin-hee, Choi Daniel, Kang Hye-jeong, and Lee Won-geun.
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"Just Lovers" Episode 2 recap

Director Kim Jin-won-I has this fantastic talent for creating dramatic tension in flashbacks where, logically, there should not be any dramatic tension. We know what happened in the accident and that appearances to the contrary, it did not kill either Kang-doo or Moon-soo. Of course, they know that too. They can probably tell when they're dreaming, too. That doesn't make the trauma of those memories any less real - especially not the feeling that they caused the tragedy, somehow.
Moon-soo is profiled in fuller perspective here as far as that goes. We saw what happened immediately post-rescue, and the whole scene is brutal. Moon-soo's mom Yoon-ok (played by Yoon Yoo-sun) completely melts down. Her dad Dong-cheol (played by Ahn Nae-sang) tries his best to keep everything together, but there's only so much he can do. We can see the past versions of these character well-reflected in the present day, with Yoon-ok becoming ever so gradually more unhinged while Dong-cheol sinks into further detachment.
An interesting omission in the flashback department is what life was like for Moon-soo's family before the accident. Her parents have such wildly different temperaments they may well have been on the outs even before the accident happened. Unfortunately, Moon-soo is ideologically trapped into wanting to reshape the broken pieces of her life into something resembling the old. But as she is explicitly told, erasure is just plain impossible.
Meanwhile Kang-doo continues to see the whole world as fundamentally rotten - the accident was just the pivotal moment that woke him up to this unfortunate reality. Kang-doo's sense of pragmatism especially is disturbing. Most dramas make a point of having their hero stand tall and prideful. "Just Lovers" instead chooses to brutally acknowledge that to people without money, financial security is everything. What's a moment of quickly forgotten indignity compared to the prospect of not having to worry about rent for the next several months?
There's also a great sense of intersectionality where we see that Kang-doo's exploitative economic adventures directly tie into social issues. Like women. There's an entire subculture centered around lower class women entertaining richer men in nightclub fashion. Are we really to believe that just because Moon-soo happens to be an architect, that her co-workers still do not think of her as a woman much like them? The way Moon-soo's best friend Wan-jin (played by Park Hee-bon) just casually discusses an awful life experience which proves that men are pigs is eerily reminiscent of Kang-doo's cynicism.
Review by William Schwartz
"Just Lovers" is directed by Kim Jin-won-I, written by Yoo Bo-ra, and features Junho, Won Jin-ah, Lee Ki-woo, and Kang Han-na
Note : due to licensing, videos may not be available in your country
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"Revenge Note" Episodes 8-10 recap

So it turns out that Goo-joon does serve at least one important role in "Revenge Note"- he's the best friend of Cha Eun-woo. Who's Cha Eun-woo? Why, he's a singer in the boy band Astro, which happens to be the same boy band that Deok-hee and her mom (played by Park Kyung-rim) are totally obsessed with. So Deok-hee is naturally a little miffed to learn that apparently Goo-hee has pretty much always been on a first name basis with Cha Eun-woo, inspiring a fairly dramatic split.
In contrast to the previous cases of revenge, where Goo-hee had an obvious firsthand connection, this storyline is fairly abstract. The villain is just a typical anti-fan who posts mean things about celebrities online. That he ended up being someone who even lives in the same general neighborhood as Goo-hee is an astonishing coincidence, the only apparent purpose of which is to briefly allow for a certain character to require physical rescue for the duration of episode ten.
The charitable screenwriting explanation for this is that we are seeing how the "Revenge Note" is a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, it does allow for revenge eventually, but in the meantime further innocent people are put in danger. I'm still thinking back to the third victim, who may well have not actually done anything at all. Although really, considering how all the "Revenge Note" victims (or villains, if you'd rather call them that) simply disappear from the story once the application has done its magic, maybe I'm just overthinking this.
Which leads me to the less charitable screenwriting explanation. The reason for the convoluted storyline is solely to set up the ending with the cameo by Astro, which is a real-life South Korean boy band. I can stomach a fair amount of product placement in a drama although that really did go a tad too far. Although I suppose as far as Deok-hee's character is concerned, it might as well be a real boy  band instead of an imaginary one.
That's the core element I'd really like to see more of- just better character interplay. There's way more dramatic tension over Goo-hee and Deok-hee's falling out than there is over one of the girls falling into physical danger, because I'm reasonably invested in their teen girl friendship, which could plausibly turn antagonistic. Whereas a generic anti-fan bogeyman? That barely warrants anything more than a shrug of the shoulders.
Review by William Schwartz
"Revenge Note" is directed by Seo Won-tae, written by  Han Sang-im, Kim Jong-seon-I and features Kim Hyang-gi, Park Solomon, Park Kyung-rim and Kim Hwan-hee.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

"Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16" episode 3 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16", Young-ae (Kim Hyun-sook) and Seung-joon (Lee Seung-joon) went to see the doctor. They decided on the nickname "Bumble Bee" for their child.
Seung-joon explained the nickname. "I was stung by a bee when I went to take care my father's grave. We ended up staying a night somewhere and that's how..."
Young-ae was ten weeks along.. Seung-joon was happy and started buying baby items for the baby, but Young-ae was annoyed by his immaturity.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Two Cops" episodes 9 - 10 recap

On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Two Cops", Song Ji-an (Hyeri) was kidnapped.
Ji-an wanted to join the missing case of teenager Lee Soo-yeong with Cha Dong-tak (Jo Jeong-seok) to prove herself an adult to the girl.
Ji-an had met Soo-yeong before she was kidnapped. Soo-yeong was dating a guy old enough to be her father in order to make money. Ji-an tried to give her advice, but she didn't listen. When Ji-an discovered who the victim was, she felt guilty for her anger towards the young woman.
Gong Soo-chang (Kim Seon-ho-I), who had taken over Dong-tak's body, also wanted to catch Park, the man who tricked teenagers into jobs.
Dong-tak and Park did not trust each other and attempting to fool each other. Unaware of this relationship, Ji-an climbed into Park's car and was kidnapped. Soo-chang discovered this after the fact.
Source : www.xportsnews.com/?a...
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"Doubtful Victory" episodes 9 - 10 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Doubtful Victory", Kim Jong-sam (Yoon Kyun-sang) is consistently in danger over 100 billion won.
Jong-samacquired evidence of Lee Gwang-ho (Jun Gook-hwan) receiving money and a message from the deceased Oh Il-seung. the message said: "I am being bugged and there's 100 billion won at the place I met you for the first time".
Jong-sam assumed the meeting place was the truck terminal and headed there with Kang Cheol-gi (Jang Hyun-sung). Gwak Yeong-jae (Park Sung-geun) and Ki Myeon-joong (Oh Seung-hoon) tracked them down. The two were almost hit by a car as well.
They barely managed to escape and Jong-sam found the money after a brawl with Kim Yoon-soo (Choi Dae-hoon). However, he was almost killed by Cheol-gi. There had been trickery and subterfuge within the ranks.
At the same time, Lee Gwang-ho broke the SD card with the evidence and introduced Kang Cheol-gi to his family. Gook Soo-ran (Yoon Yoo-sun) was surprised when Lee Gwang-ho introduced Kang Cheol-gi as "the man in charge of my fortune in Macao".
Source : tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/r...
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"Jugglers" Episode 3 recap

Jeong-ae (played by Kang Hye-jeong) is a married woman and Yoon-i's friend. Her husband recently disappeared without explanation, and it appears that he owed money to gangsters. So Jeong-ae ends up struggling to find a job. She fails at nearly every single task she attempts, mostly due to inappropriate soft-heartedness. Eventually Jeong-ae becomes a secretary. I know this because it is in her character description, which oddly enough does not mention anything about her family or gangster debts.
Yes, that's right, "Jugglers" is unfortunately still setting up its own premise. Neither of the lead characters have any clearly defined goals more interesting than just doing their job. Although the weirdest part is how that big scene with all the crying that ended the last episode? It doesn't appear to have actually affected Yoon-i and Chi-won's relationship that much. They treat each other mostly the exact same way they did before that.
Yet in spite of the minimal character development, there is already discussion of a possible romance between Yoon-i and Chi-won. I would have thought Yoon-i would be leery of these kinds of conversations in even the most abstract hypothetical sense, considering that she lost her last job on account of such an accusation. Chi-won acts so asexually that such a topic is equally out of character for him. Although really, more than either of those reasons, a lack of chemistry between Baek Jin-hee and Choi Daniel is the real damper on such a premature storyline.
"Jugglers" is structured more like a situation comedy than it is a dramatic mini-series. We watch the characters go through various setpieces, none of which have any apparent long-term consequences. We're just waiting for the punchline. And since that punchline is almost always such-and-such characters responds to a mundane situation with excessive wackiness...well, the joke has worn thin. "Jugglers" really needs a straight man or two.
I get the sinking feeling that the production team has literally no idea what they're doing. As in, "Jugglers" doesn't even have a long-term storyboard. Screenwriter Jo Yong appears to be just making up the plot as she goes along, with the only central driving principles being that most of the characters are or will become secretaries, and also that Chi-won has a tragic backstory. Everything else is just embellishment via tropes that appear to be chosen at random. I mean really, living in the same house? Why?
Review by William Schwartz
"Jugglers" is directed by Kim Jeong-hyeon-I, written by Jo Yong and features Baek Jin-hee, Choi Daniel, Kang Hye-jeong, and Lee Won-geun.
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"Just Lovers" Episode 1 recap

At first glance, "Just Lovers" is a typical romance. You've got the woman, Moon-soo (played by Won Jin-ah), who suffered through a horrible tragedy in her teen years, and now struggles to keep her family together economically and emotionally. Then you've got the man, Kang-doo (played by Junho), with a similar tragic backstory who is...wait, he's not rich? Kang-doo is just a working class construction worker who lives in constant rage about how the world is fundamentally unjust? And he hangs out in the foreigner districts?
"Just Lovers" has something I have not seen in a drama in quite some time - class consciousness. I mean sure, "Awl" was literally a drama about union organizing, but then that was the focus. On the job. Kang-doo doesn't think in terms like that. To Kang-doo, the job is functional. He makes money, and maybe can prevent future tragedies from happening. But the people who run the operation should never be trusted. Especially if he doesn't like their attitude.
There's an obvious metaphor in the backstory about how the building was structurally unsound. Actually, the entire system, specifically the system that constructed the building in the first place, was structurally unsound. Kang-doo has no faith in his capitalist overseers to treat workers or consumers as anything except disposable commodities and his actions, however self-destructive, reflect an essential belief that it's better to destroy himself than let others destroy him.
Now, Moon-soo, she's nowhere near as far gone. As an architect, Moon-soo believes that the system is sound- even as she struggles through poverty because architecture is not a high demand profession. Moon-soo understands fear as being inherently irrational- not that this ever stops her from always taking the stairs. Fear, once learned, is nearly impossible to unlearn. It always comes back in nightmares after all. That much, Moon-soo and Kang-doo have in common.
I really liked how "Just Lovers" starts out by making Moon-soo seem miserable, and then Kang-doo shows up and we see almost immediately that he has it even worse. Yet for all its tragic undercurrents, "Just Lovers" is never anywhere near maudlin. It's characters are just too well-drawn and easy to relate to for that. We want them to succeed but neither we nor they have any idea what success means. We may know from the title alone that Moon-soo and Kang-doo will get together romantically, but it's unclear whether even that happy ending can solve any of their problems.
Review by William Schwartz
"Just Lovers" is directed by Kim Jin-won-I, written by Yoo Bo-ra, and features Junho, Won Jin-ah, Lee Ki-woo, and Kang Han-na
Note : due to licensing, videos may not be available in your country
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"Black" Episode 18 Final recap

The much dreaded ending of another Choi Ran-I work has come and if I can give "Black" credit for something, that would be persistence in tackling whatever it does choose to tackle until the end. We get more answers than expected in the final episode and some are highly satisfying. Others are confusing and remain as plot holes. Sadly, the ending itself undoes a lot of the good in "Black".
There is one surefire way of making a romantic person dislike romance and Korean drama has certainly found it. There is a reason why stories need focus and development of said focus, and "Black" makes it clear with its handling of it. I have spoken my mind before about the weak romantic subplot of the series, but the messy ending governed by it is just the icing on this disappointing cake.
Soo-dong begging for his lifeThe not-so-main villain meets his end
Before getting to that, I do want to commend some of the dedication to answering questions that the episode reveals. I never saw Soo-dong (Park Doo-sik) as Leo (Kim Jae-young) coming and although the details of it are rushed through, it is an interesting explanation for some of the character's exhibited foresight. We also get our much teased second villain, although it is a very lackluster reveal so late into the series. The crime aspect could have concluded better.
For a series which received an extension, however, it does not wrap up any of its parts very nicely. Joon's death has been expected so early on that the lack of any juicier character connections through it feels like a let down. The crime aspect plucks its villain out of seemingly thin air, leaving us guessing through his own confession. At the end, however, it is the romance which wipes everything else off the drama's slate.
An old Ha-ram viewing Joon's braceletHa-ram and Joon's souls together
I find this wiping to be quite a cheesy and badly conceived move on behalf of the writer. Aside from the practical cheesiness of Go Ara and Kim Jae-young channeling "Edward Scissorhands" in much worse make up and wigs, the drama essentially goes back on its established supernatural rules, all for the sake of a forced happy romantic ending, which could have been achieved through other means.
The ending essentially creates a new world, effectively erasing everything we have witnessed. Everyone and everything we knew disappears into a new timeline. From a viewer standpoint, this only serves those who have had no further attachment to the series, its story and characters other than seeing a happily dead ever after. So you did it again, Choi Ran-I. "Black" is a great, enjoyable show, but you need a partner to write your final episodes.
"Black" is directed by Kim Hong-seon-I, written by Choi Ran-I and features Song Seung-heon, Go Ara, Lee El and Kim Dong-jun.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

Sunday, December 10, 2017

"The Most Beautiful Goodbye" episode 2 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "The Most Beautiful Goodbye", Jeong Cheol (Yoo Dong-geun) told In-hee (Won Mi-kyung) and Yeon-soo (Choi Ji-woo) about In-hee's sickness.
Jeong Cheol and Dr. Yoon (Kil Hae-yeon) asked Yang-soon (Yum Hye-ran) to take care of In-hee. Jeong Cheol told In-hee to stop cleaning and asked Yeon-soo to help out, but she didn't budge. Instead, Yang-soon volunteered. Jeong Cheol and Yeon-soo got in a screaming match that ended up with Yeon-soo storming off to her room. Because of her poor reaction, Jeong Cheol finally told her that her mother was sick with cancer.
In-hee casually talked about her ovarian cancer and said she didn't mind removing it. Jeong Cheol didn't know what to say.
Later, Jeong Cheol operated on In-hee when he saw how bad her condition was and suggested that they stop the surgery. He looked out the window and tears welled in his eyes.
Source : star.moneytoday.co.kr...
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"Bravo My Life" episodes 27 - 28 recap

On the latest episode of the drama "Bravo My Life", Sin Dong-woo (Yeon Jung-hoon) persistently confessed his love to Rara (Do Ji-won) despite the fact that she continually refused him.
He explained that his heart was already with her, but Rara who wanted to be a better mother, continued to reject him.
Dong-woo even told her ex-husband Jeong Yeong-woong (Park Sang-min) that he liked her.
Dong-woo perservered. He waited four hours for her in the cold in the park. He even hugged her, begging her to love him as a man.
Source : sports.mk.co.kr/view....
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"Man Who Lays the Table" episode 28 recap

On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Man Who Lays the Table", Yang Choon-ok (Kim Soo-mi) didn't come home, worrying her daughter, Ha Yeon-joo (Seo Hyo-rim).
She was drunk and slept away from home. When she woke up, she cried thinking she'd been with a strange man. She refused Yeon-joo's calls and Yeon-joo worried that something bad had happened to her.
She imagined her mother having fun and said to herself, "She was as solid as a rock when all those men approached her back in the day. I wonder why she's out of reach?"
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Black" Episode 17 recap

Finding out the truth we have already known does not make it easier for our Reaper dearest, and 444 has a lot of deeply personal things to tackle in the penultimate episode of "Black". A lot happened on that fateful night when the children became involved with Wang Young-choon's search for the tape and coming to terms with it all, but also with some dire new information is not an easy feat.
My feelings for episode seventeen are more mixed than they have ever been for "Black". A lot happens, but with most of it being already known, the appeal in them lies in the satisfaction and sadness of our titular protagonist finding out. Unfortunately, this is where a few things take away from the otherwise solid dramatic enjoyment. Song Seung-heon's acting limitations are one, but the way the episode concludes is the bigger culprit.
Ha-ram comforting BlackMoo-gang's mother erasing her crimes
"Black" has been a very busy and often outrageous show, but it has never gone overboard into ridiculously contrived territory. Ha-ram's (Go Ara) sudden guilt as the shooter of her childhood sweetheart is unnecessary for the poorly developed romance, it is unnecessary for her own development and Black's. If the writer wanted to make this too tragic for the inevitable separation coming up, they did not need to bother. This relationship is doomed enough already.
There are things I am still curious about, but the plot holes that now surface and the truths behind some older threads now tied are deflating. Our mystery doctor not being Soo-dong (Park Doo-sik) would be one of them. Nicely played on behalf of the series, but unless this ultimate runaway has a unique reason for doing what she has been doing, her inclusion in this is essentially just for revealing the past to Joon (Song Seung-heon).
Joon witnessing the disposal of his bodyJoon reuniting with his mom
Leo's (Kim Jae-young) information on it also feels a bit forced now. We barely got to know his true self, but he is suddenly a master detective. The subplot of Man-soo's (Kim Dong-jun) mother is also not the stuff of some hidden villain, which just makes Wang Young-choon's hook one without a bait at the end. For a mystery so carefully woven, a lot does not quite fit without another culprit behind it.
That being said, perhaps there are stills some answers waiting for us. My hope would be that the finale will focus a bit more on Ha-ram, because she has kind of been missing from what essentially started as equally her story. It would be nice if we could get some answers for some of the loose ends, but after Choi Ran-I's previous work, I will take a sensible ending after an emotional episode.
"Black" is directed by Kim Hong-seon-I, written by Choi Ran-I and features Song Seung-heon, Go Ara, Lee El and Kim Dong-jun.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"My Golden Life" episode 30 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV weekend drama "My Golden Life", Seo ji-soo (Seo Eun-soo) ran away from Haesung Group's 40th Anniversary event.
No Yang-ho (Kim Byung-gi), who was running the event, was just about to introduce Seo Ji-soo when she ran away. Choi Do-kyeong (Park Si-hoo) and Min (Seo Kyung-hwa) chased after her to no avail.
"My Golden Life" airs every weekend at 20:00 KST.
Source : www.sportsseoul.com/n...
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Nothing to Lose" episodes 11 - 12 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Nothing to Lose", Do Han-joon (Dong Ha) agonized over the truth about his father and the death of Choi Kyeong-ho (Ji Seung-hyeon).
Lee Jeong-joo (Park Eun-bin) resented Han-joon when Kyeong-ho died. While Han-joon suffered, Sa Eui-hyeon (Yeon Woo-jin) held an umbrella over him.
Han-joon was drinking alone when he called Eui-hyeon to join him. Eui-hyeon was frosty, but Han-joon admitted he could think of no one else to whom he could vent. Han-joon admitted to manipulating a case because he had been threatened. He confessed that it was all Do Jin-myeong's (Lee Duk-hwa) work.
During his confession, Han-joon even admitted his love for Jeong-joo. He worried for her safety.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Black Knight" episode 2 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Black Knight", Jeong Hae-ra (Shin Se-kyung) woke up in Moon Soo-ho's (Kim Rae-won) house. Startled, she searched for the exit only to be greeted by the sight of Soo-ho coming out of the shower.
She screamed and tried to leave, but remembered her forgotten coat and bag for which she headed back to the bedroom. Soo-ho casually told her to have some breakfast to which Hae-ra wondered who he was and why he'd brought her here.
Soo-ho replied, "I'm a businessman. Because I work all year, I take a month out of each year to vacation here. To make money, I do whatever I need except murderer, arson, and kidnapping".
Hae-ra wondered why he hadn't told her that in the first place to which he replied, "Then we wouldn't have been able to be together all day".
Source : news.hankyung.com/art...
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"Prison Playbook" episode 6 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Prison Playbook", a key character joined Room 6: Captain Yoo (Jung Hae-in), a man who had beaten his subordinate to death. Even the guards were careful around him.
Yoo claimed he was innocent and tried to harm himself. He was caught and sent to isolation where he refused to eat and focused on working out.
Later, although the CCTV said otherwise, Yoo was thrown into isolation again for beating up a guard. In reality, Yoo had helped the guard who had a heart problem. When the other guards told him he should have told them the truth, he said, "Would you have believed me if I told you?"
Source : www.tvreport.co.kr/?c...
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"I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 3-4 recap

So it turns out that Ji-ah is really into worthless novelties. Now don't get me wrong her older brother Jin-bae (played by Seo Dong-won) is a complete jerk and his actions are nowhere near as well justified as he seems to think they are. But there's an obvious irony to this. Ji-ah's entire life revolves around obscure useless junk and now, Ji-ah herself has become an obscure useless piece of junk, both metaphorically and literally, as the original model for and now imitated version of AZ3.
Because the more I think about it the more AZ3 is an overpriced piece of metal. She's so fragile that Baek-gyoon's team is terrified to allow her into Min-gyoo's presence lest she break down by random accident. And Min-gyoo himself can't actually think of anything for AZ3 to do that a normal human (namely Ji-ah) can't do much more easily. AZ3 is only really useful to Min-gyoo and only because he suffers from a psychosomatic skin condition.
Yes, that has indeed been confirmed and no, I don't consider that to be much of a spoiler since otherwise "I'm Not a Robot" would have to go thirty two episodes without the lead actors ever touching each other. As convoluted as the story already is in this drama, that last bit would put it over the top. Even the science team comments on how incredibly stupid Min-gyoo is that he's actually believing their ridiculous excuses.
That entire story element has been so explicit I can only conclude that Min-gyoo must have suffered from some pretty serious trauma in order to get to this point, although for now his backstory only exists in fragments. Logically though this does allow for Min-gyoo's character to be consistent. A man who has so little contact with human beings can be forgiven some for failing to tell the difference between a robot and a human that is pretending to be a robot.
Of course Chae Soo-bin is always pretending to be a robot regardless of which character she's playing. It's just that in both roles she puts in a pretty convincing performance. Still, I'm getting impatient for Ji-ah to face a more difficult challenge. It doesn't necessarily have to be convincing other less mentally ill people that she's a robot. The flashbacks where young Ji-ah beams at the prospect of building happiness from trash are pretty adorable, and I'd like to see more of that in the present day story.
Review by William Schwartz
"I'm Not a Robot" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Kim Seon-mi-I and Lee Suk-joon-I, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Uhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"Prison Playbook" episode 5 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Prison Playbook" on the 6th, Jang Bal-jang (Kang Seung-yoon) got out of prison and Yoo Dae-wi (Jung Hae-in) appeared as the newest inmate. His menacing face terrified the others in his prison cell, even when merely asking a simple question.
Han Yang (Lee Kyu-hyung) remembered seeing Dae-wi mentioned on the news as "Devil Yoo Dae-wi", a cruel criminal who beat up his junior and murdered him.
Source : news1.kr/articles/?31...
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"I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 1-2 recap

So apparently Yoo Seung-ho has gotten really, really buff since we last saw him in "Ruler: Master of the Mask". Oddly enough that's actually fairly appropriate, since in "I'm Not a Robot" he plays reclusive corporate heir Min-gyoo, who has nothing better to do in his spare time except work out and obsess over mostly fictional robots, thanks to a medical condition that makes it dangerous for him to touch people. Little does Min-gyoo realize that eccentric scientist Baek-gyoon (played by Uhm Ki-joon) and his team have built AZ3 (played by Chae Soo-bin), a fully functional android.
I spent a lot of time wondering whether AZ3 was actually a fully functional android or whether Baek-gyoon was just an exceptionally talented con artist. Hilariously, the answer is neither. Baek-gyoon and his team have indeed invented some truly amazing technology, but the android just reacts to the technology. She is not, in and of herself, very impressive aside from her physical appearance.
Then in a further weird twist, we find out that Baek-gyoon is completely incapable of properly managing research funding. Partly this is because he doesn't know how to make pitches, although there's also a suitably humorous sequence that explains how Baek-gyoon's real nemeses are not rival scientists, like we would expect, but patent trolls. "I'm Not a Robot" inhabits a very uniquely weird world, with improbably severe diseases, impossibly advanced science, and comically mundane obstacles.
Take Ji-ah (also played by Chae Soo-bin). While Min-gyoo lives in disgusting opulence, Ji-ah struggles with having to complete weird odd jobs to eke out a minor living. Incidentally, it's lucky that Min-gyoo is so preposterously handsome and pathetically lonely, because the guy's a huge jerk who genuinely seems to lack any sense of empathy except when it comes to robots. Granted, his inability to so much as touch another human being might have something to do with that.
There's also the matter of how Min-gyoo has to be really dumb in order for the plot going forward to make any sense given that cliffhanger. Of course, said cliffhanger was so deliberately set-up I can't imagine the production team would be dumb enough to put it together that way unless they had further improbable solutions to every possible obstacle. Or maybe the story will just get even weirder somehow. I wouldn't mind that. "I'm Not a Robot" is at its strongest when the events on screen are at their most ludicrous.
Review by William Schwartz
"I'm Not a Robot" is directed by Jeong Dae-yoon, written by Kim Seon-mi-I and Lee Suk-joon-I, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Uhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.
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"Black Knight" episode 1 recap

The first episode of the new KBS 2TV drama "Black Knight" depicted Jeong Hae-ra's (Shin Se-kyung's) difficult life. Hae-ra is a woman with a lot of hardship in her life: her boyfriend scammed her of her moneyl she is bullied by her superiors, and there is debt in her name that she does not know about.
Her luck plummeted once her parents died, leaving her impoverished. She found work at a travel agency where she is slapped by those higher in rank. The man who was supposed to be her rock turned out to be a conman who uses women for money. He had lied that he was a prosecutor because he felt badly for her.
What made Hae-ra break was that her aunt had taken the deposit for the house, a home that she'd gotten a loan to buy. The dilapidated home was on preserved land that people were forbidden to inhabit.
All of these hardships combined made her wish for death. A thought from her childhood about a cashmere coat her parents had given her gave her a little hope. Perhaps if she wore it she could go back to how things had once been. She visited a tailor shop and met Sharon (Seo Ji-hye) who had been living there for two hundred years.
At the end of the episode, Hae-ra's life finally changed.
Source : www.tvreport.co.kr/?c...
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16" episode 2 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16", Young-ae (Kim Hyun-sook) returned to Korea. Seung-joon (Lee Seung-joon) couldn't reach her so he waited for her at the airport. However, they missed each other.
Young-ae hurries to fix her phone and borrows the technicians phone to call Seung-joon. When a woman answered, Young-ae demanded his location and rushed over. Thinking he was cheating on her when he found him with Soo-hyeon (Son Soo-hyeon), she started beating him. After she calmed down, Seung-joon explained to her that Soo-hyeon was his cousin Kyu-han's (Lee Gyoo-han's) assistant.
Seung-joon told her that he returned to Korea alone because he couldn't get used to the Vietnamese weather and his boss. However, Young-ae wasn't happy with his behavior.
The next day, Kyu-han begged Seung-joon to go the ocean with him and Young-ae had to take care of a few urgent work matters. On the way home, she didn't feel well so she went to the drug store and the pharmacist said her symptoms sounded like she was pregnant and gave her a test kit. Young-ae did her test and it turned out that she was indeed pregnant.
Seung-joon found the test kit in Young-ae's bag and returned to Seoul. On the way, he got into a car accident and Young-ae got a call from Kyu-han. At the police station, Seung-joon asked her why she didn't tell him and proposed to her on the spot.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Two Cops" episodes 7 - 8 recap

On the latest episodes of the MBC drama "Two Cops", Cha Dong-tak (Jo Jeong-seok) and Gong Soo-chang (Kim Seon-ho-I) discovered their connected past.
Dong-tak asked Soo-chang why he became a conman. Soo-chang explained that he'd once had a dream, but it was ruined when someone betrayed him. He promises to right past wrongs. He'd given a boy a necklace to clear his father's name.
The explanation triggered a memory for Dong-tak. Young Cha Dong-tak was getting a necklace from another young boy and promised to catch the man who hurt his father.
Up until that point, Dong-tak could only hear Soo-chang. But after he realized who Soo-chang was, he materialized before his eyes, surprising both of them.
Dong-tak asked him if he really was that boy and Soo-chang was shocked to realize the truth of their joint past.
To Dong-tak, Soo-chang was the one who led him to become a cop. But to Soo-chang, Dong-tak was the opposite.
Source : www.xportsnews.com/?a...
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