Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Black Knight" episode 7 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Black Knight", Sharon (Seo Ji-hye) took on the form Jeong Hae-ra (Shin Se-kyung).
Sharon glanced down at Hae-ra and wondered what she should do first in her new body. So she called Moon Soo-ho (Kim Rae-won) and said, "I think I'm drunk. I'm dizzy".
Soo-ho hurried to pick her up, not suspecting Sharon's deceit.
Pretending not to be able to walk properly, she curled into his arms and said, "It's so warm. I'm sad".
Source : www.asiatoday.co.kr/v...
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"Nothing to Lose" episodes 21 - 22 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Nothing to Lose", Jin-myeong (Lee Duk-hwa) weaseled his way out of trouble. Jin-myeong denied involvement saying there was no evidence proving that Kim Ga-yeong called him. Kim Ik-cheol (Woo Jeong-gook) was not to be believed.
Eui-hyeon (Yeon Woo-jin) advised Jeong-joo (Park Eun-bin) that it would be better if she proved Choi Kyeong-ho (Ji Seung-hyeon) wasn't the criminal instead of making Jin-myeong the culprit.
Jin-mueong knew Myeong-hee (Kim Hae-sook) received Ik-cheol's statement and Myeong-hee said, "The misjudgment in the Choi Kyeong-ho case was the biggest humiliation of my life". Later, Jin-myeong threatened Ik-cheol to make him recant his statement
Han-joon (Dong Ha) told Eui-hyeon, "I am the crucial witness of the case. There are things Choi Kyeong-ho said thinking the criminal was me". However, Jeong-joo couldn't use him as witness.
In the end, Yong-soo (Jo Wan-gi) took the stand, but was so stressed out that he made little sense. Han-joon appeared during the trial to tell Jeong-joo to use him as her witness, but Jeong-joo chose Eui-hyeon instead.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"I'm Not a Robot" Episodes 13-14 recap

I had forgotten, until Min-gyoo decided to research the subject, that AZ3 "learns" how to mimic human behavior by watching movies, as well as the nerdy scientist team. This is an obviously ridiculous design feature to the point that it breaks the willing suspension of disbelief. And I'm not referring to myself. Min-gyoo is the one who starts to feel increasing doubt about the entire AZ3 project. That Baek-gyoon's team has decided to let their guard down now all of all times does not help matters.
It's at times like this I can't help but be reminded that AZ3 is not a terribly practical piece of technology. Baek-gyoon balks at the idea of her being used for companionship purposes, and he also expresses objections here to her being used as a robot maid. So what, then, is the purpose of AZ3 even supposed to be? AZ3 is a project that could only possibly be useful to someone in Min-gyoo's extremely specific situation, but Baek-gyoon needs investors, not a single high profile sale.
Beyond the practical concerns, there's not very many ethical reasons to root for Baek-gyoon's team to succeed either, since they've been representing AZ3's abilities to Min-gyoo fraudulently. "I'm Not a Robot"accidentally calls attention to this by giving Baek-gyoo and his bespectacled co-worker Pie (played by Park Se-wan) a romantic subplot. That storyline could potentially end with Baek-gyoo and Pie becoming happy, whereas the fraud storyline increasingly just seems likely to make Min-gyoo miserable.
As for Min-gyoo's explicit stated goal of kissing and marrying Ri-el, "I'm Not a Robot" has finally hit the point where Ri-el shows up in imaginary scenes more than she does in person, rendering her character increasingly abstract. The imaginary scenes aren't even that funny. The second one features AZ3 a robot should explicitly not be physically capable of doing. A few real scenes later a depressed Min-gyoo even calls attention to that fact.
"I'm Not a Robot" is running afoul of its own inherently absurd nature. If the drama were embracing the more surreal aspects of its fairy tale premise, this would not be a problem. But the production team is making the unfortunate decision to instead focus on standard romantic drama, which only calls attention to how fundamentally unsolvable the drama's main conflicts really are. I just hope we start seeing more of the actual villains soon, if only to give the protagonists better goals to strive for.
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-hoChae Soo-binUhm Ki-joon, and Park Se-wan.

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"Two Cops" episodes 19 - 20 recap

On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Two Cops" Song Ji-an (Hyeri) started suspecting in earnest that Cha Dong-tak (Jo Jung-suk) had a secret.
Dong-tak was released from prison prison and met with Ji-an. He kissed her and they confirmed their feelings for each other. He also said, "I am sorry I didn't tell you beforehand, but I hope my destiny doesn't make you suffer".
Later, Dong-tak was speaking with spirit Gong Soo-chang (Kim Seon-ho-I) about Lee Doo-sik's (Lee Jae-won-I's) death and Song Ji-an caught him. To her, it seemed like Dong-tak was talking to himself. But then she remembered his strange behavior; the way he fought well sometimes and not at others. His strange way of referring to himself and sometimes naming himself as Gong Soo-chang.
Ji-an asked Dong-tak who he was speaking to, which Dong-tak couldn't answer. Soo-chang froze as Ji-an cornered Dong-tak and asked who he was.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Doubtful Victory" episodes 19 - 20 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Doubtful Victory", Jin Jin-yeong (Jung Hye-sung) and Kim Jong-sam (Yoon Kyun-sang) started investigating the Jinsung Group chairman Jin Jung-gil's murder again.
Park Soo-chil ordered Kang Cheol-gi (Jang Hyun-sung) be captured, but he walked into the police station on his own. He told them that he was on the roof of the Jinsung Group ten years ago and had seen the chairman die. The chairman was supposed to give him something, but Cheol-gi had arrived too late and failed to save him.
Then, Jin-yeong discovered that the videos on Jin Jeong-gil's Black Box were missing and it turned out that Yoo Gwang-mi (Yoon Bok-in) had them. In them stood a woman beside the chairman. Jong-sam said, "That's Madam Hong, the woman I said I killed that day".
Kim Yoon-soo (Choi Dae-hoon) offered Gook Soo-ran (Yoon Yoo-seon) a deal to betray Lee Gwang-ho by showing her Baek Kyeong's driver (Kim Dong-won), the key to the incident.
Yoon-soo told Jin Jin-yeong if to put a tail on the driver who would most certianly lead them to Gwang-ho. However, the driver was killed as soon as he was released and Jin-yeong was stabbed.
Right before the driver came out, he met Jang Pil-seong (Choi Won-young). He was the detective on site for the chairman's death. Jang Pil-seong smiled and said, "You recognize me".
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16" episode 8 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16", parents-to-be Yeong-ae (Kim Hyun-sook) and Seung-joon (Lee Seung-joon) prepared for their future with a child.
They stopped at a baby store and looked at all the things they needed for their baby. Yeong-ae couldn't take her eyes off the baby crib. However, she shuddered at the price that was over 400,000 won ($1 USD = 1075.27 KRW).
Gyu-han (Lee Kyu-han) offered the couple 600,000 won/month as rent for the next three months in an attempt to not be kicked out.
Seung-joon refused, but Yeong-ae thought to herself, "600,000 won is not a bad deal. With that I can buy the baby crib right away".
She agreed to this deal and Gyu-han paid her. She turned around and bought her baby crib.
Source : news.hankyung.com/art...
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"A Korean Odyssey" Episode 2 recap

The plot thickens and by that I mean the new ways in which every character here tries to backstab one another. This is the only story to speak of at the moment and while the romance is apparently getting started, we still do not know what role Seon-mi's existence as Sam Jang will play. "A Korean Odyssey"(also known as "Hwayugi) is fun in a cheesy way, but we need more story and it has to come soon.
To get the romance out of the way, the only reason why I know it is happening is the genre, the writers and the fact that the series plays romantic music when something the creators consider romantic happens. Like when a deity contemplates how he is going to eat the heroine. No, not the fun kind of eating, but the actual, violently-murder-and-consume-your-flesh kind. The nonchalant way in which the heroine and story handle that information is quite off-putting.
Seon-mi being tortured by Oh-gongSeon-mi having trapped Oh-gong
On the other hand, the reasons behind at least Seon-mi's (Oh Yeon-seo) nonchalance are laid out nicely. After losing her only family, waiting for the ever so magical Dramaland fate to bring her a protector has been her only hope for reprieve. I do enjoy it immensely that we have a heroine who does not want protection only because she is afraid and tired, but because she knows her own worth and understands the unfair burden she has been handed.
Oh-gong (Lee Seung-gi) is less refreshing in that he is the typical arrogant male lead whose lips say one thing, heart does another and divine libido a third. He is going down the known path of what-is-this-thing-called-feelings, where his originally twisted purpose will turn into romantic implications. I do feel his character has potential in redeeming himself to the Heavens by being the loving deity they seem to wish he would be, so I hope the romance will support, rather than dull that arc.
Hwi-cheol looking for something to bind Oh-gong withSeon-mi having summoned Oh-gong
The rest of the world is still quite a mystery. We know Hwi-cheol (Cha Seung-won) is a demon trying to be nice in order to end his punishment, but he has not actively served much of a purpose yet, aside from trying to one-up Oh-gong. The next two episodes will surely introduce the main story, but I wish the world building in the first two had been stronger. Instead, we have the romance we already know is coming trying to convince us of its existence.
As for the broadcasting problems and terrible accident that has happened, all I can say is that dramas need pre-production and better working conditions. Scream it from the top of mountains, even. I do not really take production issues into account when reviewing a work, but the inevitable reduction of the special effects and a soon exhausted cast and crew are worrying thoughts, so I hope that everyone can stay healthy and deliver the best they can under these circumstances.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"Jugglers" Episode 8 recap

After his humiliation at the Best Boss Awards, Chi-won is understandably upset and not in the mood to talk to Yoon-i about information she should never have known about in the first place. Unfortunately Chi-won is so understandably upset I had a very hard time empathizing with Yoon-i's position. Chi-won is Yoon-i's boss. If he doesn't want to talk to her, that's it. As a professional I would expect Yoon-i to know better.
But then again there's the more obvious reason Yoon-i should know better. Yoon-i lost her last position because of fake news about a romantic relationship between her and Mr. Bong. Even granting that Mr. Bong is married, and Chi-won is not, I would expect Yoon-i to be cautious about this stuff in general. I'm sure I've discussed this before but that's such an obvious logical flaw in the whole premise I can't help but be reminded of it during more traditionally romantic moments.
Turning the drama into a straight romance also further undermines any commentary about sexual harassment when it comes to Mr. Bong and Chang-soo. Especially in the latter case- no one can actually say that Chang-soo should back off of Yoon-i because dating co-workers is verboten because everyone is probably going to be happy when Chi-won and Yoon-i get together publically. Whether that's in the next episode or the ending is hard to say because the timing in "Jugglers" is completely off kilter.
I still like Bo-yool and Jeong-ae at least. Really, Jo-yool is a lot of fun in general. Jo-yool is not as dumb as he looks, and I really like those moments of awareness Lee Won-geun gives where we can tell he's scheming about some minor new fact, we just don't know what the pay-off is yet. Whereas Bo-yool has this great vibe of eager friendliness that is always getting her in trouble. The worst of it is, Bo-yool is way too nice to actually tell anyone about it.
Bo-yool and Jeong-ae are much more well-drawn and intresting characters than the actual leads in this drama. At first blush better chemistry between the relevant actors is the main obvious explanation, although really, Yoon-i and Chi-won are just too generic for their own good is the real problem. With the Best Boss Awards out of the way neither of them has any motivation anymore, so all there's left to do is wait for the big kiss.
Review by William Schwartz
"Jugglers" is directed by Kim Jeong-hyeon-I, written by Jo Yong and features Baek Jin-heeChoi DanielKang Hye-jeong, and Lee Won-geun.
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"Just Lovers" Episode 6 recap

There's a common trope in a lot of romances where the male lead, in the name of defending the female lead's honor, will react violently or at least with implied violence to some form of verbal slight. "Just Lovers" is not satisfied with merely following genre conventions though. We get that scene here, and far from feeling at all chivalrous, the outburst is just emblematic of Kang-doo's rage issues. The moment is explicitly frightening, and it's surprising Moon-soo doesn't just ditch him right there.
The willingness of the production team to highlight flaws without romanticizing or demonizing them is one of the big strong points here. Kang-doo's overall mental health and how well it can be managed in the future is an obvious pratfall for the future of the relationship, but Moon-soo has consciously decided, for now anyway, that Kang-doo's more positive qualities outweigh that. While the sentiment is sweet it doesn't feel realistic- in the long-term sense. In the realist sense the relationship is extremely realistic.
Also note how Kang-doo's violence is exclusively directed against men. He seems capable of tolerating nearly any level of abuse from a woman. Indeed, one important moment features Kang-doo calming down entirely for that reason. I see that as further being emblematic of Kang-doo's self-hatred and guilt. In Kang-doo's mind, his being a man was an integral part of past personal failures because a woman, somehow, would have reacted to that situation differently.
Moon-soo comes to mind, obviously, since she suffered in the same accident yet maintains a much sunnier disposition toward life. But this idea obviously can't be applied universally, because all of the other women in "Just Lovers" have much more diverse personalities, ranging from cynical to sleazy to catty to just plain broken down. Kang-doo observes all of this, yet never is able to accept the obvious conclusion. People are flawed in general, and there is no such thing as pure evil.
It's an excellent juxtaposition with Kang-doo's more objectively correct frustrations, like the violence inherent in capitalism and masculinity. The larger point being served is that with any trauma in life, a person has to learn to let go and live in the present rather than simply fight battles indefinitely with whoever happens to be physically nearby. That's really the best influence Moon-soo has on Kang-doo. Her very presence encourages him to be nice, and it's never as out of character as he thinks.
Review by William Schwartz
"Just Lovers" is directed by Kim Jin-won-I, written by Yoo Bo-ra, and features JunhoWon Jin-ahLee Ki-woo, and Kang Han-na
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

"Argon" Episode 1 recap

"Argon" is here to destroy any faith in mainstream journalism that you may have been holding onto while exploring workplace and hierarchy dynamics as well as the personal consequences and triumphs of a very demanding job. The series is fast-paced and so far focuses more on its leading man, but there are characters around with solid potential. Step into the daily grind of reporting.
Being an 8-episode series means that "Argon" has to cover a lot in a small amount of time, so the first thing one notices is the fast pacing of the story. Much like the heroine, Lee Yeon-hwa (Chun Woo-hee), we are thrown right into the deep end of the journalistic pool. The pacing might feel jarring, but it actually fits the newsroom theme of the series. Journalism is a 24/7 job for some and our team has a lot to prove.
Yeon-hwa being an outsiderBaek-jin and Myeong-ho being told off for losing a scoop
Which brings us to the dark side of the portrayed reporting. The channel places emphasis on showmanship and the topic of discussions regarding performance focuses solely on ratings. It quickly becomes apparent that no one within the ranks of the higher-ups or even among most reporters care about anything but viewership, the truth being a simple afterthought; a tool to achieve them, rather than a goal for the work produced within the station.
Enter our hero, Kim Baek-jin (Kim Joo-hyuk) and his almost romantic focus on ethical reporting and the pursuit of the truth. Baek-jin is an interesting character, because he is presented as an idealist who has fallen due to his principles, but also as someone who somehow made it to the top despite lacking "flexibility". This is where the nature of "Argon" as fiction starts to show. Despite going for a realistic presentation, the series has to work for its convenience as well.
Yeon-hwa and Baek-jin doing an improvised broadcastConstruction Manager Joo's innocence proven
The same thing can be said about Yeon-hwa. I am actually disappointed in her character so far, although I assume her poor characterization is just the result of her being an avatar for the viewer for witnessing this new world we are tossed into along with her. I can handle the rookie who looks like a deer in the headlights and it is realistic, but her breakthrough being due to a lucky connection to a contact feels forced.
I want to see Yeon-hwa show potential and boldness, not be handed solutions due to convenient connections. That being said, connections are a reporter's bread and butter, so perhaps this is just a little help to get her out the door. I am also looking forward to the more personal aspects of the drama, such as its focus on family life for those in demanding jobs. I hope the leading duo develops nicely.
"Argon" is directed by Lee Yoon-jeong, written Jeon Yeong-sinJoo Won-gyoo and Sin Ha-eun and features Kim Joo-hyukChun Woo-heePark Won-sang and Shin Hyun-bin.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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"Two Cops" episodes 17 - 18 recap

Jo Jung-suk went to jail.
On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Two Cops", Cha Dong-tak (Jo Jung-suk) went to jail.
The reason he was locked up was because there was word that Lee Doo-sik (Lee Jae-won-I) was threatened for his life in jail. Cha Dong-tak volunteered to go in.
Song Ji-an (Hyeri) visited him in jail. She worried about him and resented him for making her worry in thinking he was doing something dangerous without her knowing. Cha Dong-tak told her he wasn't.
Song Ji-an said, "You're very consistent in saying 'no' to everything. Do you like me?" Cha Dong-tak asked for her hand and they both put their hands on the glass.
Cha Dong-tak said, "You're very straightforward" and Song Ji-an replied, "You're a bundle to worry about".
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16" episode 7 recap

Kim Hyun-sook and Lee Seung-joon fought on Christmas Day.
On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 16", Seung-joon reserved a restaurant and a necklace for Yeong-ae for their first Christmas together.
However, Seung-joon heard from his employees that raising a child cost tons of money and he regretted buying the necklace. Mi-ran came in just then and criticized that dramas ruin a person's life. Seung-joon cancelled reservations and got a refund on the necklace.
Before that, Yeong-ae had seen the necklace in a drawer and bought a dress to match it. Mi-ran found out what she did and told Seung-joon about it. He didn't want to disappoint Yeong-ae and quickly made reservations again and got another necklace.
However, they were late and their table had been taken. There were no other restaurants to go to and Yeong-ae complained that she was hungry. Seung-joon decided to give her the necklace on the street but it was too short and snapped.
Both of them wandered around the streets looking for the pearls on the necklace and ended up fighting. Seung-joon confessed that he'd cancelled the plans to save money and Yeong-ae was mad at him.
Sour at each other, they were in their car going home when the radio played some carols and they eventually felt better. Then, the baby moved and they felt it. They laughed and ended up spending Christmas with Yeong-ae's family in their home.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Doubtful Victory" episodes 17 - 18 recap

Jang Hyun-sung is a suspect for the murder of Jung Hye-sung's father.
On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Doubtful Victory", Jin Jin-yeong (Jung Hye-sung) reinvestigated Jin Jeong-gil's (Jeon No-min) case.
Park Soo-cheol (Kim Hee-won) tossed the Jin Jeong-gil chairman's case to Kim Jong-sam (Yoon Gyoon-sang). Jin Jin-yeong sad, "I'll help you catch Lee Gwang-ho. Cha Eun-bi called and she wants to know why her brother died. It looks like Lee Gwang-ho did it". However, Kim Jong-sam said, "Don't try to do anything. Just don't even try to get involved in anything".
Baek Kyeong (Kim Dong-won-II) followed Han Gang (Moon Woo-jin). Kang Cheol-gi was watching Han Gang but when he saw Baek Kyeong, ran away with Han Gang. Kang Cheol-gi called Park Soo-chil and the Gwangsu special units team came to the site.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-sam handed evidence he found on the stairs of Jinsung Group to Jin Jin-yeong. Jin Jin-yeong knew Jin Jeong-gil's death wasn't suicide. Jin Jin-yeong said, "It's handmade so you might find the owner. We can find the criminal; the man who was on the roof with my father. Jin Jin-yeong sent the evidence to the National Institute of Scientific Investigation saying, "The person who dropped this will be the culprit".
Source : star.mbn.co.kr/view.p...
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"Jugglers" Episode 7 recap

Other characters are curiously oblivious to Chi-won's motives, even when he's explaining them pretty explicitly. Chi-won doesn't like it when people harass his secretary. Chi-won probably doesn't like it when any of his subordinates are harassed, really, yet Mr. Bong and Chang-soo both get extended sequences where they are confused as to why Chi-won is singling them out for rough treatment when all they did was make Yoon-i severely uncomfortable.
I think "Jugglers" might be going for a sexual harassment angle with these characters. Unfortunately it doesn't really work because Yoon-i's relationship with Mr. Bong and Chang-soo is fairly specifically defined by their backstories. There's little indication that Mr. Bong and Chang-soo act like this with women in general, and what hints we do get to that effect suffer from the whole show, don't tell effect that has undermined "Jugglers" a lot in general.
The Bo-yool / Jeong-ae storyline is still running strong, although that's a fairly relative statement. There's a funny moment where it seems like Bo-yool is goofing off and not doing his job at all, then we discover that actually he was doing his job all along. Like most of the exposition in "Jugglers", this would have worked much better several episodes ago. Really, that entire sequence would have been a much better explanation for how Jeong-ae became Bo-yool's secretary than just coasting in on Yoon-i's recommendation. Recall that Jeong-ae knows nothing about being a secretary, or sports.
We even see this highlighted at the Best Boss Awards. It turns out the event is structured like a talent show. Again, why "Jugglers" couldn't just explain this ahead of time was not clear to me. Anyway, Jeong-ae's attempt to help Bo-yool succeed at the Best Boss Awards, while sincere and sweet, is undermined by how comically low tech it is. This is especially true considering that the tech guys couldn't be bothered to aim the camera at her cards, but then they're not the most competent bunch, as we see.
Ugh, what a missed opportunity. We could have had actual build-up to sabotage. We could have had one-off jokes about how the tech guys find the content of the Best Boss Awards inscrutably boring, since it consists entirely of discussion about corporate leadership. Instead, a bunch of events just stumble into place to provide more clumsy exposition of Chi-won's backstory. Is it really this hard to just write a more naturalistic script?
Review by William Schwartz
"Jugglers" is directed by Kim Jeong-hyeon-I, written by Jo Yong and features Baek Jin-heeChoi DanielKang Hye-jeong, and Lee Won-geun.

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"Just Lovers" Episode 5 recap

Kang-doo's meltdown at the construction site, provoked by a random boot, of all things, is the first time we've ever seen Kang-doo get worked up over an emotion that's not righteous indignation. Kang-doo is legitimately scary in this scene. Additionally, as seen from the vantage point of Moon-soo, a fellow survivor with much better emotional control, Kang-doo's actions are much more difficult to justify. It turns out, guilt is the big factor.
"Just Lovers" has been toning down the whole class conflict issue lately. On the surface level this would seem to be just to bolster the romance, but really, the main reason is that it forces us to recontextualize Kang-doo's attitude in times of relative peace. While Kang-doo's motivation is generally noble, he is not an easy person to deal with. That Moon-soo is patient enough to try and deal with Kang-doo while he constantly tries to give her the cold shoulder, is a major virtue on her part.
It's very relieving that Kang-doo is around, after all, when we consider the trouble that Kang-doo can get into when she isn't. When Moon-soo and Kang-doo come up with a constructive goal to do in their off-hours, it's pretty obvious that this is the first time in a long time that Kang-doo has been able to sincerely relax. When he does lurch back into old habits, this turns out to be for the better. Rules of politeness, after all, aren't really that important when a person could be in physical danger.
One generally mild issue with all this is that Kang-doo, as a character, is far more dynamic than Moon-soo. His trauma is a lot more worrying because there's the genuine concern that he will go into meltdown mode again. Moon-soo, by contrast, doesn't really have a worst case scenario. Even in the wake of her recurring nightmare Moon-soo is always calm and collected. I do like, by the way, that the dream sequences continue to be frightening even though they always end the exact same way.
It's the little emphases that matter, the tiny details that come to mind only sometimes, and only with the right emotional prompting. Compare that to Joo-won's investigations, that are only ever concerned with the hard facts, and so inevitably missing these important subtleties. The monument, for example, was almost certainly intended in good faith. It's just, faith alone isn't really enough for a survivor who feels to have been betrayed on a much more fundamental level.
Review by William Schwartz
"Just Lovers" is directed by Kim Jin-won-I, written by Yoo Bo-ra, and features JunhoWon Jin-ahLee Ki-woo, and Kang Han-na
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"Argon" Episode 2 recap

After a powerful start, "Argon" takes a little step back and an even more sombre look into how morality and principles are challenged in systems that rely on strict hierarchal rules, cronyism and a work culture of underhanded pleasantries. Yeon-hwa's own contract continues to be scrutinized, but it is our hero who has to make tough choices this time. The truth is important, but choosing strangers over loved ones is not easy.
We get to discover Yeon-hwa's (Chun Woo-hee) character a little more this time around and I am pleased by part of it. Despite not being well-off economically or well-connected, she has the guts to dive in and try, but also the skills to go with her efforts. As glad as I am that her report is professionally made, I do still take issue with her go-to contact providing her with solutions. I wish to see her network beyond her one all-knowing plot device contact.
Yeon-hwa's report being rejectedBaek-jin compromising
On the other hand, I am glad that the solution presented to Baek-jin (Kim Joo-hyuk) by his crew comes after he has to challenge himself and compromise on his principles. I still feel the series is being too idealistic in many ways, his crew unanimously accepting unemployment for the sake of the truth being one, but this is still fiction and a series about a man slowly turning into a villain is not as easily digestible as a heroic crew rescuing him from immoral decisions.
As I said, convenient solutions aside, Baek-jin does make the call to compromise and accept corruption by his deceptively friendly senior, so the fact that Yeon-hwa and his crew provide a way out does not diminish the narrative value or social commentary of an otherwise morally upstanding man having to choose his employees' livelihood over doing his job according to the appropriate ethics. Baek-jin is still fair and it shows in how he gives Yeon-hwa a chance, but he is human and this is what abusive systems do to people.
The teamYeon-hwa and Baek-jin making an agreement
I have not talked a lot about the "Argon" crew so far and that is because they are not very well developed at this point in time. They are the typical overworked and underappreciated caricatures lead by the standard archetype of an easygoing "mother hen" good guy, but I hope to see more of their individual personalities, ethics and skills as we move forward. This includes said mother hen, Sin Cheol (Park Won-sang).
Overall, I am pleased with what I see so far. Baek-jin is an interesting character and Yeon-hwa will hopefully continue to grow and become as bold within her workplace and with her initiatives as she is with her pursuit of information. As for the Evil Old Rich Dudes™, I hope they will not take over the story as they usually do in Korean drama. See? I can be idealistic in my hopes too, "Argon".
"Argon" is directed by Lee Yoon-jeong, written Jeon Yeong-sinJoo Won-gyoo and Sin Ha-eun and features Kim Joo-hyukChun Woo-heePark Won-sang and Shin Hyun-bin.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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"A Korean Odyssey" Episode 1 recap

It has been a while since the Hong sisters were in any way exciting and while "A Korean Odyssey" (also known as "Hwayugi") is not exactly wowing with its first episode, the drama presents the workings of what could be a really fun story. We have a case of every man and beastie for themselves, as we meet a lot of characters, none of them anything but self-serving and with some pretty hefty behavioral and personality issues. I pity our heroine already.
One thing I am glad to see here is that trademark wackiness of the Hong sister dramas. Everyone is overacting in some form, but they are often enjoyable. We have all manner of demons and monsters in different forms, so the drama does not feel like a complete copy of "Master's Sun" when it comes to its supernatural manifestations, although the scarier ones do have a hint of nostalgia about them.
A young Seon-mi and Oh-gongSeon-mi comforting an idol trainee ghost
What I particularly love about the series so far is how things we may be used to in a different context are amusingly made very "extra" here as a form of meta commentary, something the writers are good at. The celebrities working for the Bull Demon King (Cha Seung-won) literally suck their fans dry, our deities all wear the extravagant clothing we like making fun of in dramas, but they do so because they are not human. They are petty, overly self-indulgent or simply trying to get by.
There is a lot of character and backstory information dropped on us here and perhaps my big complaint with the series opening is that this happens through overly visible exposition. It just feels silly having characters openly state their predicaments and identities to themselves or one another, as if the other party did not already know. It is done for the sake of viewers, but the trick is to make it look like it is not and "A Korean Odyssey" does not even try.
Master Soo Bo-ri and Hwi-cheolOh-gong revealing his intentions to Seon-mi
All in all, however, this is an okay episode. I usually cringe with damsels waiting for princes to save them, but the premise of Oh-gong (Lee Seung-gi) and Seon-mi's (Oh Yeon-seo) relationship does not belittle her own character, because it makes perfect sense for a child to be traumatized and left wanting when her only hope it taken away from her. Oh-gong just has a lot of work to do for redemption.
I am also interested in the true nature of our deities. We know the Bull Demon King, or Hwi-cheol gets very affected by Seon-mi's blood due to her being Sam Jang reborn and his character has admitted to being a demon punished in exile. I am also curious why the fire on that mountain affected him so. Why is Oh-gong fine with the smell of the blood? Others too. I have questions and that is a good thing, especially given how uneventful the episode is.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"Nothing to Lose" episodes 19 - 20 recap

On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Nothing to Lose", Jeong-joo (Park Eun-bin) heard that Myeong-hee (Kim Hae-sook) had the cell phone, which was the evidence she needed, but Myeong-hee didn't share it.
Myeong-hee let her hear the recording of Ga-yeong on the phone, which contained a recording of the moment of Ga-yeong was murdered. Ik-cheol was upset that he couldn't protect his daughter and testified the truth.
Myeong-hee gave Jeong-joo the file with Ik-cheol's recording and Jeong-joo used it as a base to re-investigate Kyeong-ho's case.
Jeong-joo was tired and asked Eui-hyeon (Yeon Woo-jin) out for a drink. Han-joon (Dong Ha) called her just then, but she didn't answer. Eui-hyeon asked about their relationship and Jeong-joo said he was just a good friend. Eui-hyeon gave her the recording that Kyeong-ho left behind.
In the end, Dae-soo (Kim Min-sang), who is in charge of the case, had retrial because the new evidence was so strong. Jeong-joo requested Jin-myeong (Lee Duk-hwa) as witness and he came. Eui-hyeon advised her Jin-myeong would feign ignorance, which he did.
Jeong-joo solidly made her case.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Prison Playbook" episode 10 recap

On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Prison Playbook", Kim Je-hyeok (Park Hae-soo) was funny. He worked on getting better and practiced hard during prison life. He wanted to tell Ji-ho (Krystal), but they had broken up.
The drama showed flashbacks of his happy time with Ji-ho. He was watching TV with her on the sofa and put his finger on her cheek. Je-hyeok's mother and his sister Je-hee (Im Hwa-young) recognized this as behavior only people in love do. To cover up his mistake, he tried putting a finger on his sister's cheek, but stopped when he saw her expression and even tried it on his mother.
Source : news1.kr/articles/?31...
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"Black Knight" episode 6 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Black Knight", Sharon (Seo Ji-hye) hugged Moon Soo-ho (Kim Rae-won) in front of Jeong Hae-ra (Sin Se-kyung).
Sharon met Soo-ho and Hae-ra on her way to meet Jang Baek-hee (Jang Mi-hee) and the four of them ate together. Sharon approached Soo-ho with the excuse of wanting to make him a shirt and asked him to spread his arms wide. She took the opportunity to hug him.
Soo-ho and Hae-ra were surprised and Sharon said, "This is how we do it when we don't have any tape. You should come and see that it's quite accurate". Moon Soo-ho replied, "I'll have a measuring tape ready next time".
Sharon thought she had the upper hand, but Soo-ho visited her the next day and said, "Please don't do that again. You were too playful in front of the woman I like. Just make her clothes, I have plenty of shirts. My friend has a shop in Milano and I only wear his shirts".
Sharon was hurt again. At the end of the episode, she was given a magic bracelet in return for the clothes and she used it to become Hae-ra to seduce Moon Soo-ho.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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