Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Reunited Worlds" episodes 1-2 recap

Yeo Jin-goo died on his birthday trying to save a friend.
On the first episode of the SBS drama "Reunited Worlds", Seong Hae-seong (Yeo Jin-goo) was in 11th grade when he took graduation pictures with Jeong Jeong-won (Chaeyeon).
This picture became his funeral picture. Seong Hae-seong narrated, "I died at the age of 19".
12 years later, Jeong Jeong-won (Lee Yeon-hee) was a thirty-one year old grown up. She visited Seong Hae-seong's memorial and saw a strange white smoke in the sky. At the same time, Seong Hae-seong woke up on the school roof and also saw the strange smoke.
Seong Hae-seong came down from the roof and was surprised to see himself wearing an old pair of uniforms that was different from the uniform today. He came out into the field and headed home thinking about his grandmother and sister. He arrived home but his family wasn't there. The tenant who lived there now mistook Seong Hae-seong for a thief and they got into a struggle. Seong Hae-seong slightly pushed the man but he showed amazing strength.

Seong Hae-seong was taken to the police for trespassing. According to police information, Seong Hae-seong appeared to be dead 12 years ago. The police reported this to his superior Sin Ho-bang (Lee Si-eon) who was also Seong Hae-seong's friend. Sin Ho-bang and Seong Hae-seong met in the meeting room. Sin Ho-bang was so shocked he passed out.
Grown-up Jeong Jeong-won was working in a restaurant as an assistant chef. Cha Min-joon (Ahn Jae-hyun) the head chef and owner of the restaurant was going to leave to Paris and he waited in front of Jeong Jeong-won's house. He said, "I couldn't go because I felt scared and worried about you. So I'm not going". He had confessed his feelings for her but she didn't notice.
Jeong Jeong-won still thought about Seong Hae-seong and missed him.
Seong Hae-seong had wanted to become a famous chef when he was in school. He and Jeong Jeong-won liked each other, but they never got around to telling each other that.
On Seong Hae-seong's birthday, Jeong Jeong-won prepared a surprise birthday party. Seong Hae-seong called to say he was taking a day off work and going home. Jeong Jeong-won told him to bring her wallet she left at art school to stall him.
Seong Hae-seong went back to school alone. A fellow student was passed out in the art room, with blood on his head. Seong Hae-seong took his bike to call the ambulance but got in a car accident.
Grown-up Jeong Jeong-won and Seong Hae-seong reunite after 12 years as grown up and a high school boy in uniform.
Source : www.osen.co.kr/articl...
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"Queen for 7 Days" episode 15 recap

Lee Yeok (Yeon Woo-jin) and Sin Chae-kyeong (Park Min-young) exchanged feelings for each other.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Queen for 7 Days", Lee Yeok confessed his love for Sin Chae-kyeong and they had some quality time.
Lee Yeok claimed he would give up the throne for Sin Chae-kyeong. He also agreed to leave the castle and leave for the countryside with her.
Lee Yeok laid Sin Chae-kyeong down and she said, "If you don't do anything like this, it's very cowardly. Do something".
Lee Yeok whispered, "I adore you. I like you. I love you a lot". He kissed her and she said, "Do one thing at a time".
Source : www.segye.com/content...
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"Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 1-2 recap

Count Said Faid Ali (played by Choi Min-soo) is The Sheik- not literally, but that's the character type he aspires to. Such clichés about the Middle East are more than a little antiquated. It's hard to escape the sheer cartoonishness of Count Said Faid Ali's supervillain palace, complete with sexy women in blasphemous swimsuits that couple headscarves with cleavage. By the end of the sandstorm it's pretty thoroughly established that Count Said Faid Ali is from a pretty weird world.
...But actually, Count Said Faid Ali is from Korea. Once that's explained, we move into the world of Ho-rim (played by Sin Seong-rok), a nebbish bank employee. He struggles with trying to resign from the job that he hates, and can't even stand up to his wife Ji-yeong (played by Kang Ye-won) when she tries to take the family on an unwanted vacation. Take note, though, that Ho-rim never comes off as a particularly sympathetic.
This is because Ji-yeong has her own set of problems. She longs to show more of the world to her daughter Eun-bi (played by Ko Bi-joo), because Ji-yeong's family had no money growing up on account of her having an absentee dad. An absentee dad who might, indeed, be Count Said Faid Ali. And that's where "Man Who Dies to Live" is taking us. It's throwing all these disparate characters at us and each other as we wait for that powder keg to inevitably go off.
The sheer ethnic nature of "Man Who Dies to Live" is the main standout quality. The drama borrows tropes from a wide variety of sources, making it a simultaneous look into a large number of Korean stereotypes have about foreign cultures. The unnamed Middle Eastern kingdom Count Said Faid Ali is from is the obvious example. But there's also how Count Said Faid Ali interacts with Westerners. Then there's Ji-yeong's beliefs about the value of travel, the visuals of the scenes at the oriental medicine clinic where she works. There's even a character who sneakily watches anime during working hours.
All of these factors combine to make "Man Who Dies to Live", at minimum, quite distinctive. However, I must confess that as of yet, the drama is really more weird than it is genuinely funny. Although I suppose the more important factor is just that it's interesting. The premise is well exposited and explained, and the characters are already a pretty diverse mix of positive and negative traits. That's something, at least.
Review by William Schwartz
"Man Who Dies to Live" is directed by Ko Dong-seon, written by Kim Seon-hee and features Choi Min-soo, Kang Ye-won, Sin Seong-rok, Lee So-yeon, Jasper Cho, Kim Byeong-ok, Hwang Seung-eon and Bae Hae-sun.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 31-32 Final recap

The final clean-up takes place pretty quickly. Really, once it's established that the right people were digging in just a little deeper, and that most of last time's cliffhanger was just a matter of dramatic license, there really isn't any direction for Gi-joon to go except for straight down. There is, naturally, also the gratification of seeing all the other villains brought in one by one and punished for their transgressions.
Of course none of that takes very long so the real focus for the final episodes of "My Sassy Girl - Drama" is on the reconciliation between Woo and Princess Hyemyeong. Which initially disappointed me. Not that there's anything wrong with that story arc, just that the whole issue of Princess Hyeomyeong's mother coming back to the palace is surprisingly glossed over. I thought we'd get more focus on that, considering Princess Hyemyeong and her brother now share the unfortunate fate of thinking their mother is dead- but Prince Wonja is just left in the lurch.
In more ways than one, really, considering the comical albeit rather predictable fake out that ends up delaying Woo and Princess Hyemyeong getting together. On one end all the scenes relating to the proposals are fully adorable, and do a very good job tying in the many disparate elements that have made up "My Sassy Girl - Drama" to date. We have the erotic novel writing, the charity subplot, and of course, the usual excellent romantic chemistry.
But I also couldn't help but notice that the whole temporary enforced separation thing is a recurring plot device of romantic dramas in general lately, where the main couple getting together is delayed for the sole purpose of reminding us that love isn't everything in life, and that dreams are important too. In the historical context of "My Sassy Girl - Drama" that's an obvious anachronism. Although hey, anachronisms! I like those, too!
It's odd how the overall design of "My Sassy Girl - Drama" simultaneously makes the story feel fresh and clichéd. Every element that has appeared in "My Sassy Girl - Drama" has shown up somewhere else, it's just that these elements come from such radically different sources that the final product feels new. The fusion, while not always perfect, definitely left me smiling more often than not. I mean come on, they even manage to work a Park Jin-joo cameo in there- my favorite actress that no one else has ever heard of, and it's sooo cute!
Review by William Schwartz
"My Sassy Girl - Drama" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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"Bride of the Water God 2017" Episode 6 recap

Bi-ryeom (played by Gong Myung) is, like Moo-ra, a god living in the human world who is supposed to be doing divine stuff but instead seems to engage mainly in petty bickering. Thus "Bride of the Water God 2017" continues its fine tradition of making Ha-baek a sympathetic character, not by having him engage in character growth, but by making all the other characters he talks to even more obnoxious. I guess it's working. Ha-baek is swiftly becoming the only character in "Bride of the Water God 2017" I particularly care about.
In all fairness this is definitely a balancing act when it comes to the genre. The easiest way to create an obstacle for a superpowered god to fight is by making them face off against another superpowered god. The problem with this is that supervillains are fairly dumb and childish, and we get enough of those in American media anyway. Because really, what can you do with a supervillain in the end aside from just punching it into submission?
But the issue with "Bride of the Water God 2017" right now is that Moo-ra and Bi-ryeom are playing the role of villain when they are not actually villains. They're incompetent, and occasionally accidentally sociopathic. Beyond that, though, their goals aren't that different from Ha-baek's. Indeed, if we want to look at "Bride of the Water God 2017" as more of a travelogue, the logical thing for them to do would be to ask Ha-baek to do something for them rather than get hung up on technical procedures.
Although really, all this narrative analysis is just a disguise for a more brutal critical assessment- that "Bride of the Water God 2017" is surprisingly boring. As inherently stupid as the car scene from last episode was, it did at least manage to stick out in memory as being stupid in an interesting way. This episode is just an extended series of conversations about nothing, none of which seem to move any of its characters closer to an actual goal.
I guess the love story makes progress, if you want to call it that. The problem there, though, is that Ha-baek and So-ah's relationship appears to be defined entirely by how Ha-baek is dragging So-ah into near mortal danger, and So-ah puts up with because she's trying to get something out of him. She's not really sure what. This isn't exactly the basis for a healthy romantic relationship.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bride of the Water God 2017" is directed by Kim Byeong-soo, written by Jeong Yoon-jeong and features Nam Joo-hyuk, Shin Se-kyung, Lim Ju-hwan, Krystal, Gong Myung and Lee Kyeong-yeong.
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"The King Loves" Episodes 3-4 recap

The editing in "The King Loves" is very quickly starting to confuse me. Here I was thinking that we were just going to watch the three main leads deal with the whole bridge situation chronologically then for some bizarre reason the production team keeps jerking us around between events from before the bridge incident and after the bridge incident and other far away stuff that has nothing to do with the bridge incident and it's just getting really hard to keep the story straight.
This is where I can see that "The King Loves" is clearly adapting itself from a novel, where introducing a large number of characters in an exceedingly complex plot can be done fairly economically. But the sheer level of exposition going on is the kind where I really kind of need a chart in front of me just to keep track of each character's known motivation. Which is harder than it sounds, since a lot of this motivation is for now being kept fairly intentionally vague.
The only part of the "The King Loves" that I consistently understand is the relationship between the main three leads. I actually really like Won a lot more than I was expecting. Strictly speaking the guy's a little creep. He abuses his royal authority to try and stalk Eun-san, and isn't really the best at keeping up appearances with his dad either. Incidentally, King Chunyeol (played by Jung Bo-suk) is mean and strict, although that may be more the Goryeo setting than his actual personality talking.
He is also at the center of the royal conspiracy which, again, I don't particularly understand or care about because it only has the most tangential relevance to anything the teenage leads in "The King Loves" are up to. Mind, it also helps that the motivations of the teenagers are so simple it's easy to identify with whatever their current objectives are. Eun-san is thirsty, so she looks for water. Eun-san is hungry, so she buys food.
It's a bit jarring how we have simple stuff like that on one side of the transition, then on the other side there's Song-in (played by Oh Min-suk) and Moo-bi (played by Choo Soo-hyun) flirting, making out, then fading to implied sex as I'm still left wondering, wait, who are these people again? Why are they important? Hopefully, eventually, I'll figure that out once they start directly interacting with the leads.
Review by William Schwartz
"The King Loves" is directed by Kim Sang-hyeob, written by Airborne, Song Ji-na and features Im Si-wan, Yoona, Hong Jong-hyun, Kim Jung-wook, Bang Jae-ho and Ki Do-hun.
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"School 2017" episode 2 recap

School policewoman Sunhwa fought school bullies.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "School 2017", Han Soo-ji (Sunhwa) showed school bullies a piece of her mind.
Hwang Yeong-geun (Ha Seung-ri), Yeo Seung-eun (Kim Min-ha) and Choi Hyeon-jeong (Song Yoo-jung) ordered Seo Bo-ra (Han Bo-bae) to steal Yoo Bit-na's (Z.Hera) study note and sell it online. Seo Bo-ra stole it but couldn't sell it and said she'd start a job if she really needed money.
Hwang Yeong-gun slapped her in anger but the school police Han Soo-ji saw that and kicked Hwang Yeong-gun away. Hwang Yeong-gun, Yeo Seung-eun and Choi Hyeon-jeong tried to fight back but Han Soo-ji managed to defeat them all and their teacher Sim Kang-myeong (Han Juwan) came running.
Sim Kang-myeong asked his students if they were alright and Han Soo-ji told them, "It's not fair to pick on one person when there's three of you". Sim Kang-kyeong asked who she was and tried to call the police.
Han Soo-ji took away his phone and said, "Don't do that or I'll be very angry. And you girls, don't ever do that again or I'll have you".
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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Monday, July 17, 2017

"School 2017" episode 1 recap

Kang Min-hyuk made a special appearance as the university boy who Kim Sejeong has a crush on.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "School 2017", Ra Eun-ho (Kim Sejeong) explained why she had to go to Hanguk University.
Ra Eun-ho was 280th in her entire school but she had a crush on Jong-geun (Kang Min-hyuk) who was in the Hanguk University. Ra Eun-ho skipped school to meet Jong-geun and on the way, she met Hyeon Tae-woon (Kim Jung-hyun) who gave her a ride.
Hyeon Tae-woon overheard Ra Eun-ho talking about her part time job over the phone and thought she was selling herself for money. Ra Eun-ho met Jong-geun and told him she'd liked him for a long time.
Jong-geun told Ra Eun-ho she should be studying and that he'd like to see her get into his university. He said he dreamed of being a campus couple and told her to study hard enough to get in to Hanguk University. Ra Eun-ho was in cloud 9 thinking about being together with Jong-geun.
However, Hyeon Tae-woon who witnessed all this, thought Ra Eun-ho was selling herself to Jong-geun and punched him. Ra Eun-ho made everything clear and Hyeon Tae-woon didn't misunderstand anymore but there was a strange vibe between him and Jong-geun.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 29-30 recap

Now that enough of the conspiracy has been brought to light, the only real outstanding question is whether Ji-hoon will be brought to justice. Ji-hoon has always enjoyed the most protection because of all the people who have benefited from the allegations against the former Queen, Ji-hoon's boons have been the most subtle and obscured. All the same, Queen Jungjeon needed some sort of high level ally. And attempts at making Pil-yeong and Woo the fall guys run into some obvious logical problems.
The most obvious being, of course, why they would make an effort to bring attention to the conspiracy at all if they were the main perpetrators of it. And then there's Gi-joon's usual methods to try and get rid of all the evidence, which are inherently suspicious and shady and can not possibly be blamed on Pil-yeong and Woo when they're both under arrest. Besides that, Gi-joon doesn't really take action until episode thirty anyway, so it seems likely that King Huizong already knows more than he's letting on.
But that's all we really have to go on, is faith that there are hidden cards lying around somewhere. Our knowledge of the situation is mostly the same as what Princess Hyemhyeong knows. While there are some obvious guesses, overall she's just left in the dark, and has nothing much to do except ponder over the emotional ramifications of all that she's learned. This leads to the sad jailhouse scene with Woo that unfortunately does not much get into serious strategy.
It's a shame really, because in terms of tension the conspiracy plot in "My Sassy Girl - Drama" is quite excellent. Save for the occasional plot hole all the abilities of the various characters are well-defined. Even if as a matter of genre convention the victory of the good guys is inevitable, screenwriter Yoon Hyo-je does a very good job of very slowly cutting off possible avenues for a complete victory- and anything besides a complete victory will let Gi-joon fight another day.
Still, the general useless of the title character puts "My Sassy Girl - Drama" at an awkward standstill. This drama is sometimes a romance and sometimes it is a conspiracy but it rarely manages to convincingly be both at the same time. Well, I suppose the scenes with Da-yeon and Chang-hwi do get into that a little. They show how romantic feelings allow Gi-joon to gain more co-conspirators. Of course, as was the case with Queen Jungjeon, such dirty dealing proves to be inherently unsatisfying to matters of the heart.
Review by William Schwartz
"My Sassy Girl - Drama" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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"The King Loves" Episodes 1-2 recap

Won (played by Im Si-wan) and Lin (played by Hong Jong-hyun) are royal brothers. Won is small, impulsive, and reckless. Lin is patient, thoughtful, and tall. For most of the first episode we get into a fairly complicated and beautifully choreographed backstory about how Won and Lin were witness to the tribulations of Eun-san (played by Yoona), a girl who was on the wrong end of a bunch of assassins.
To be honest I wasn't totally that enamored with the first episode of "The King Loves" because while it looked cool, almost all of the action was being initiated by characters who lacked screen presence. The main important establishing storytelling it does is by showing off all those kickin' rad Goryeo era costumes. As is usually the case for Goryeo dramas, all of the characters, even the women, are unusually aggressive, so no poking around with obscure court procedures here.
Which incidentally is why I liked the second episode of "The King Loves" quite a bit more than the first. Instead of being a generally passive victim, Eun-san instead takes the lead as the best Goryeo lacrosse player around. Straightaway we get great combative chemistry between her and Won, and even the game itself is a good metaphor for the physical conflict we've already seen. Technically it can be played in a way that is not violent, but Won and Eun-san make it violent just as a force of habit.
I also like how all three of the main characters, even Lin, are basically stupid teenagers who can barely be trusted to be alone by themselves for a few minutes without inspiring some sort of preposterous calamity. The entire incident at the bridge was hilarious as it was character-building and scary, because even knowing the dangers ahead of time, Woo and Eun-san just can't bring themselves to stop engaging in petty fights long enough to achieve the simplest goals.
If nothing else I'm optimistic about "The King Loves" just for the novelty value. I can't quite recall the last time I saw a historical drama, or any drama really, where the lead heroine was this proactive and willing to get her hands dirty. There's also effective balance in showing how, even if the main characters aren't all that smart just yet, the adults are, which implies that there is room for improvement when it comes to story arcs. That, or tragic misunderstanding brought on by political crisis. Either one works for me.
Review by William Schwartz
"The King Loves" is directed by Kim Sang-hyeob, written by Airborne, Song Ji-na and features Im Si-wan, Yoona, Hong Jong-hyun, Kim Jung-wook, Bang Jae-ho and Ki Do-hun.
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"Bride of the Water God 2017" Episode 5 recap

The more I watch of "Bride of the Water God 2017" the more baffling the worldbuilding becomes. Observe how Ha-baek, for all his general ignorance about how most of the human world works, apparently easily understands concepts like skateboarding, motor vehicles, cooking Western style food, and closed circuit television. Elsewhere, Ha-baek does not understand concepts like how it is a dumb idea to knowingly put yourself and others in a dangerous situation.
I mean seriously, at one point a crisis is only able to resolve relatively painlessly because apparently Soo-ri is fireproof. Are the characters from the godly realm in "Bride of the Water God 2017" also invulnerable in addition to being immortal? Although even if they are, So-ah most definitely is not, so it makes no sense whatsoever for Ha-baek to throw her into a dangerous situation.
Although on that subject, I'm struggling to figure out what exactly So-ah is bringing to Ha-baek's mission at all. So-ah lacks any useful skills. Beyond that any task she gives Ha-baek and Soo-ri just seems like a thinly veiled excuse to get them to do some kind of complicated favor for her with no benefit to either of them. That is, come to think of it, all So-ah ever really does with any other character, which is why it's hard to feel sorry for her even when she's on the bad end of a life-threatening situation.
Elsewhere in the "characters who lack obvious purpose department" we have Hoo-ye, who is given personality traits this episode. First, he wants to be a comedian. Second, he used to play American style gridiron football. Third, he likes planting trees. Hoo-ye's character feels more like a dating profile than he does an actual person. I guess that's an improvement over his being genuinely unlikable, although it's a pretty mild one. Moo-ra, for example, continues to act about as unpleasantly as possible in every scene that she's in.
But the thing is, even unlikable characters would be palatable if there was some sort of obvious point to their actions, or if they were at least unlikable in interesting ways. We get a look at what So-ri and Yeom-mi were like in college and rather than know or care about the plot device they were discussing I was more struck by how they were both wearing glasses, as if this was somehow supposed to make them look younger. That kind of scene setting, like so much of "Bride of the Water God 2017", is just plain lazy.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bride of the Water God 2017" is directed by Kim Byeong-soo, written by Jeong Yoon-jeong and features Nam Joo-hyuk, Shin Se-kyung, Lim Ju-hwan, Krystal, Gong Myung and Lee Kyeong-yeong.
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

"You're Too Much" episode 38 recap

Jung Hye-sun fainted after seeing her daughter-in-law in an affair on the latest episode of the MBC drama "You're Too Much".
Park Seong-hwan (Jun Kwang-ryul) married Yoo Jina (Uhm Jung-hwa) and planned on making her son Lee Kyeong-soo (Kang Tae-oh) take over his business so Seong Kyeong-ja (Jung Hye-sun) and Park Hyeon-joon (Jeong Kyeo-woon) tried to stop him for Park Hyeon-seong's ("Eru") sake. Seong Kyeong-ja found out that Park Hyeon-seong's wife Ko Na-kyeong (Yoon Ah-jeong) introduced a man called Im Cheol-woo (Choi Jung-won) to Yoo Jina and decided to catch her red-handed.
Im Cheol-woo received 10 times more the money Ko Na-kyeong offered him from Seong Kyeong-ja and Seong Kyeong-ja caught Yoo Jina on his bed in his apartment. Yoo Jina knelt down and begged Seong Kyeong-ja to forgive her but Seong Kyeong-ja said, "I want to see the face of the woman who gave birth to such trash!"
When she heard this, Yoo Jina changed faces and yelled at Seong Kyeong-ja. "My life has been tangled up because of your son. You have a murderer for a son, so don't point your finger at me". Seong Kyeong-ja couldn't believe what had happened and felt dizzy. She fell hitting her head on a table.
Yoo Jina tried to called 119 but stopped and only after she bribed the driver did she take Seong Kyeong-ja to the hospital and wished she just died there. However, Seong Kyeong-ja came around at the end of the episode.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Father Is Strange" episode 40 recap

Byeon Hye-yeong (Lee Yu-ri) found out about her father Byeon Han-soo (Kim Young-cheol) and Lee Joon (Ahn Joong-hee). She found the DNA test result.
Byeon Hye-yeong came home and noticed there was something off about her step-brother Ahn Joong-hee and her father Byeon Han-soo. Byeon Han-soo and Na Yeong-sil (Kim Hae-sook) wondered how Byeon Hye-yeong was coping with her in-laws but Ahn Joong-hee had yelled at them, "If parents have a right to know how their children are with the in-laws then why did you treat my mother like that?"
Ahn Jeong-hee was mad at Byeon Han-soo and Na Yeong-sil for lying to him but the rest of the family member didn't know what was going on. Byeon Hye-yeong asked why he was like that. She didn't like his attitude and Ahn Joong-hee left the house.
Byeon Hye-yeong found the DNA test results in her father's drawer. She was shocked to learn that Byeon Han-soo and Ahn Joong-hee weren't related and found out why Ahn Joong-hee changed.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Bad Thief, Good Thief" episode 20 recap

Seohyun started being aware of Ji Hyeon-woo.
On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Bad Thief, Good Thief", Jang Deul-mok (Ji Hyeon-woo) was seen avoiding Yoon Hwa-yeong (Lim Ju-eun).
Yoon Hwa-yeong told her friend Kang So-joo (Seohyun) that she liked Jang Deul-mok and asked her to help her approach him. Kang So-joo called Jang Deul-mok out for dinner and arranged it so that the two of them could have dinner together.
Kang So-joo came home but kept roaming around Jang Deul-mok's room and wondered if he was home yet. Jang Deul-mok actually had feelings for Kang So-joo but had dinner with Yoon Hwa-yeong without a choice. When he found her in front of his room, he acted coldly to her.
However, Kang So-joo told him it was for his own good that she left them together and he said, "You're right. We're just friends. You should keep in the line too. You have someone you like. That's your choice and it's up to you. Who are you to tell me who I should meet and not meet?"
Jang Deul-mok closed the door and felt frustrated while Kang So-joo did too. She started crying and said, "We're just friends, but why does it hurt so much?"
Source : tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/r...
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"Duel" Episode 14 recap

Tears and emotions are abundant in episode fourteen of "Duel" as our characters find themselves in relations that are confusing and hard to approach. Seong-joon's identity finally gets to him, but things are more dire for Seong-hoon, who is becoming increasingly unstable. Mi-rae's unique abilities surface, but time is not on anyone's side and some tough decisions may have to be taken.
It is no surprise that everyone would be emotional right now. A lot has happened to these people and as overly dramatic as I find Yoo-ra's (Uhm Soo-jung) momma-drama over someone she essentially just met, this is Dramaland and blood goes a long way. Even so, I find Seong-joon's (Yang Se-jong) minor breakdown far more convincing, since his very existence is being challenged. His nature is to care for others, but he is human and we have breaking points.
The group over a gravely injured Mi-raeSeong-joon feeling comforted by Deuk-cheon
I mean, think about it. He and his brother are clones and their mother is their original's wife. Now his only lady friend turns out to be his biological daughter as well as his mother's daughter and his cure. I am surprised anyone is keeping it together at this point. While Seong-joon's existential crisis is short, it provides some nice bonding with Deuk-cheon (Jeong Jae-yeong), something I wish "Duel' had done more of. Their connection is the most believable here, because we have seen it develop.
Yoo-ra is a late addition and so her death carries little weight in emotions and plot for me. Seong-joon has his original's memories and he could therefore make the cure. I do wonder if he will remember in time, however. If not, would Deuk-cheon turn against the clones to save Soo-yeon? I believe he definitely would and with little resistance, since Seong-joon is the self-sacrificing type. I do expect more overblown drama, however, since the series is clearly relying on that to drag itself to the end.
Deuk-cheon trying not to worry Soo-yeonYoo-ra's death
Yoo-ra's death does make me wonder whether Jo-hye (Kim Jung-eun) can now become useful, however. Even if Seong-joon gets Yong-seob's memories back in order to reconstruct the cure, would he not need Sanyeong's resources? The whole team may need to play along with Park San-yeong (Park Ji-il) and Jo-hye will be the only one in there who can protect them. I just wonder if two episodes can fit all of this.
Whatever the case, "Duel" has been threatening everyone's well-being for far too long and so the only real risk of death I see here is for Seong-hoon. That one might as well be wearing an "End My Suffering" sign on his forehead by now. Perhaps Deuk-cheon will join him, but I see no reason for it at this point. Then again, what reason has Dramaland ever needed for being overly dramatic?
"Duel" is directed by Lee Jong-jae, written by Kim Yoon-joo and features Jeong Jae-yeong, Kim Jung-eun, Yang Se-jong and Seo Eun-su.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"Duel" Episode 13 recap

I have been feeling uncomfortable with the amount of twists thrown around in "Duel" lately, but even I could not have expected this dive into a sea of crazy that episode thirteen takes. Mi-rae's origins are revealed as far more complicated than expected and things are leading us to a showdown with Sanyeong. At the center lies Jo-hye, who makes a bold decision to end things.
Oh "Duel", why? Mi-rae (Seo Eun-su) is predictably right in birth secret central and the only good thing I can see coming out of this is the cure inside of her saving the day. Sadly, things have otherwise become too soapy for comfort. Seong-joon (Yang Se-jong) being a clone of his mother's husband is weird enough, as both characters experience, but I cannot imagine how awkward family get-togethers will be after this latest revelation.
Yoo-ra and Mi-raeYong-seob and Mi-rae
I cannot tell if "Duel" has been a sci-fi soap originally masked as a chase thriller or if a chase thriller's creators have become desperate enough to create all manner of outrageous twists to keep things going, but "Duel" has turned into the ultimate makjang drama. Some of the recent changes, such as the more personal approach to the characters, are good. On the other hand, these latest developments of everyone and their dog being biologically related make things too ridiculous to take seriously anymore.
This makes Jo-hye's (Kim Jung-eun) recent character development bittersweet, since it has now become the one exciting thing in this mess. Her frustration and horror over Ahn Jeong-dong's (Joo Suk-tae) lack of humanity and love for his child are palpable. This is the first time Jo-hye's facade completely breaks and the person under it is clearly a sensitive one, so I wonder if there is a secret about her that we do not know. Just what is her past and why does she act ruthless for power?
Jo-hye horrified by Jeong-dong's confessionDeuk-cheon asking Jo-hye questions about his reinstatement
These are questions I do not expect to be answered, however. I thought that Deuk-cheon (Jeong Jae-yeong) and Jo-hye's past would play a bigger part in this story, but I also know the tendency of dramas to gravitate towards the more dramatic. I am not surprised to see the two characters kept as secondary, but I still mourn the potential of their involvement, especially now that things have turned a bit too silly.
Since everything has been neatly tied together by the motorcycle of doom complete with violent victim shaking, I can see where the drama is going for the remainder of its duration and so there is little suspense to be felt. I do not know how and when these ideas came to fruition, but "Duel" has sadly become a tiring, messy web I cannot wait to get out of.
"Duel" is directed by Lee Jong-jae, written by Kim Yoon-joo and features Jeong Jae-yeong, Kim Jung-eun, Yang Se-jong and Seo Eun-su.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Suspicious Partner" episodes 39-40 final recap

"Suspicious Partner" Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyeon had a happy ending and the viewers are satisfied.
On the final episode of the SBS drama "Suspicious Partner", Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook) asked for Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyeon) back and she said she was afraid something was going to happen whenever something good happened. Noh Ji-wook persuaded her and she accepted him back.
A year later, Noh Ji-wook and Eun Bong-hee were happily in love and Ji Eun-hyeok (Choi Tae-joon) and Cha Yoo-jeong (Nara) were also in love. Na Ji-hae (Kim Ye-won-I) watched them bitterly.
Noh Ji-wook told Eun Bong-hee, "I will love you forever" and proposed. Eun Bong-hee kissed him on the cheek and said, "I'll love you forever, too".
Viewers are very responsive about the drama and they are happy with how it ended, saying no one else could have acted out 'Ji-Bong' like Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyeon.
Source : daily.hankooki.com/lp...
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"Queen for 7 Days" episode 14 recap

Yeon Woo-jin cried at the sight of the tattoo that was erased on Park Min-young's back.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Queen for 7 Days", Sin Chae-kyeong (Park Min-young) showed Lee Yeok (Yeon Woo-jin) her back.
When Queen Ja Soon (Do Ji-won) told Sin Chae-kyeong the date to sleep in the same room as Lee Yeok, she realized that the Queen wanted to check for the tattoo on her back and overheard Lee Yeok and Yoon Myeong-hye (Go Bo-gyeol) talking about Lee Yeok knowing that she was the secret letter.
Sin Chae-kyeong asked Lee Yeok, "Aren't you in a hurry to find the secret letter?" She took off her outerwear and showed him the place where the tattoo used to be. The tattoo was of the place the secret letter was hidden but she had burnt it off.
Lee Yeok thought of the pain and suffering she must have gone through without him knowing and started crying. Sin Chae-kyeong said, "I can't stand it anymore. I was naïve for thinking that my faith and love for a man could change his life. Who are you and why have you come to me?"
Lee Yeok cried out loud and said, "I'm sorry, Chae-kyeong. Let us leave and live in Geochang like you said". At the end of the episode, Lee Yeok gave him the secret letter and told his step brother Lee Yoon (Lee Dong-gun) that they were going to the rural area to live. However, Lee Yoong was furious at Sin Chae-kyeong for giving Lee Yeok the letter and stopped them from leaving.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Ruler: Master of the Mask" Episodes 39-40 Final recap

Because Prince Seon and his allies were completely incompetent at trying to solve the poison issue on their own, Hwa-goon's dad pops out of nowhere and just gives them the formula for the antidote on one condition. It should come as little surprise that even in his final dramatic victorious moment, Prince Seon manages to find a way to screw things up in this regard. No matter how simple the task, Prince Seon is just not up to the job.
Hilariously, even other characters have zero faith in Prince Seon, as the legions of Dae-mok's poison victims straight up refuse to try Prince Seon's antidote. Why? Because it will probably kill them since Prince Seon can't do anything right. What's especially ridiculous is that there's good precedent for this. Recall how the whole reason the other Seon turned against Prince Seon was because the last time Prince Seon procured an antidote it just turned out to be an even worse poison.
Neither Prince Seon nor the other Seon ever expressed any interest in finding out who switched the last antidote with a poison. Even Ga-eun, who surely should have heard both sides of that story, never bothered to investigate that contradiction. So of course that particular hole in the plot comes back to bite everyone in the butt by the end, as a character whose motivation was never explained decides to act suicidal out of sheer stupid spite.
I'm probably making the last episodes of "Ruler: Master of the Mask" sound more entertaining than they really were. In between these scenes of grotesque character stupidity we just gets lots of endless conversations about nothing, where characters express guilt but never stop to ask themselves what they could have or should have done differently. Prince Seon and Ga-eun separate again, just so that they can get together again, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
Remember way back in the first episode, when it seemed like "Ruler: Master of the Mask" was going to be a political thriller centered around Dae-mok's criminal gang price gouging for water? We actually get a call back to that here, when the opening of a new well is treated as this great moment of heroic victory, even though water rights had not been discussed this entire time. It's a wonder Dae-mok never poisoned the water supply come to think of it. Why else would he need so much poison anyway? Oh. Right.
Review by William Schwartz
"Ruler: Master of the Mask" is directed by Noh Do-cheol & Park Won-gook, written by Jeong Hae-ri & Park Hye-jin-II, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Kim So-hyun, L, Yoon So-hee, Heo Joon-ho and Park Chul-min.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Suspicious Partner" episodes 37-38 recap


Eun Bong-hee told Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook) everything. Park So-yeong was the victim of special rape. Eun Bong-hee said, "A few of the rapists had wealthy parents and they tried to cover up their crimes". Not long after, victim Park So-yeong killed herself and the prosecutor in charge was Jang Moo-yeong.
Noh Ji-wook said he was going to book Jang Moo-yeong for rape and shocked everyone. Min Yeong-hoon, the person responsible for Jeong Hyeon-soo's hit-and-run accident witnessed that everyone was in on the plot. Noh Ji-wook misread Park So-yeong's diary intentionally and Jeong Hyeon-soo claimed it was wrong. He retold the rape scene like he remembered it clearly. Noh Ji-wook questioned him about remembering so well and stimulated Jeong Hyeon-soo as one of the rapists.
Jeong Hyeon-soo fell for it and told him where the evidence was. The truth went like this; Jeong Hyeon-soo was in the lowest position of the gang and had a crush on Park So-yeong. However, he participated in the crime against his crush so he distorted his memory in disbelief and became the judge himself, murdering the rest of the attackers.
Meanwhile, Eun Bong-hee and Noh Ji-wook overcame everything and reunited with a kiss.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Queen for 7 Days" episode 13 recap

Yeon San-gun's (Lee Dong-gun) madness exploded and he ripped off Go Bo-gyeol's clothes.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Queen for 7 Days", Lee Yoong (Lee Dong-gun) humiliated Yoon Myeong-hye (Go Bo-gyeol).
Lee Yoong got Sin Chae-kyeong (Park Min-young) to spy for him on his step-brother Lee Yeok (Yeon Woo-jin) and got them married but Sin Chae-kyeong found out about Lee Yeok's traitorous mind and said she would live far away from him. She wanted to protect Lee Yeok and this made Lee Yoong furious.
Lee Yoong held up his sword to Sin Chae-kyeong and showed her proof of Lee Yeok's plans. Lee Yeok tried to protect her by holding the blade with his bare hands and this made Lee Yoong even more furious. He swung his sword madly and hurt Sin Chae-kyeong in the arm. Lee Yoong went ballistic.
Using the excuse of finding a hidden message, Lee Yoong said, "I want to call someone. It's Lee Yeok's woman. She was the woman of the late king too". He was talking about Yoon Myeong-hye. When she got there, he pointed a sword at her and asked if she knew what happened tonight. "Sin Chae-kyeong got hurt because of Lee Yeok, so you're going to pay for not having killed him".
Lee cut her arm just like Sin Chae-kyeong's and said he would cut her more if she didn't answer his questions. He threatened to cut her clothes off, then her skin then her life. When she didn't answer his question, he cut off her outer layer and her skirt.
Lee Yoong said, "I don't need to see you naked but if you continue like this it leaves me no choice. You and I are going to get close tonight". Yoon Myeong-hye arrived home in her underwear and frightened to death.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Ruler: Master of the Mask" episodes 37-38 recap

I knew from the last cliffhanger that the final stretch "Ruler: Master of the Mask" was going to be irredeemably stupid. So when Prince Seon and the other Seon have to go into this really complicated stretch of rules lawyering to suss out who the real king is supposed to be I wasn't surprised. Nor was I particularly angry. Mostly I just felt sort of downtrodden, that a political culture complicated enough to require several dozen ministers has no legal culture to determine royal legitimacy.
With all the discussion we've had about how Prince Seon isn't really legitimate either, since Dae-mok put his father on the throne, it's a wonder "Ruler: Master of the Mask" doesn't just state the obvious. That the entire construct of royalty is completely arbitrary and imaginary. The king is whoever the ministers collectively choose to believe the king is. Well no, technically the king is whoever the army collectively chooses to believe the king is, but no one seems interested in their opinion for some reason.
So Prince Seon becomes King again. Dae-mok's political powers that we've seen have included tacit threats, control of local infrastructure, and his massive criminal enterprise. Yet apparently, upon taking power, the only real problem Prince Seon has with Dae-mok involves the poison. I'm not sure whether the poison everyone has is a chronic condition that requires regular treatment, or just something Dae-mok gave them recently to insure their cooperation in the royal succession.
It's not that I particularly care about what kind of poison it is, it's more that the unnecessary vagueness on this question leads to the most chronic problem "Ruler: Master of the Mask"- how the obstacles the characters run into are never clearly defined. They practically have to solve them before we can figure out what they were. It's one of the reasons why the resolutions in this drama are so unsatisfying. There's no tension.
Well, there is the recurring point of how Hwa-goon is the only character competent enough to solve these problems, but Prince Seon doesn't even know she's on his side, so Hwa-goon has to give improbable secret aid every time. But wait, you're thinking, how can Hwa-goon possibly solve the poison problem when she's dead? At least, that's what I was thinking, watching Prince Seon and his allies stumble about trying to make the antidote themselves. Of course, "Ruler: Master of the Mask" has always been quite adept at finding new, stupid ways to surprise me.
Review by William Schwartz
"Ruler: Master of the Mask" is directed by Noh Do-cheol & Park Won-gook, written by Jeong Hae-ri & Park Hye-jin-II, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Kim So-hyun, L, Yoon So-hee, Heo Joon-ho and Park Chul-min.
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"Bride of the Water God 2017" Episode 4 recap

It's really uncanny how the more I see of So-ah the less I like her. For a sense of perspective, the last cliffhanger featured her being thrown off the top of a building by a crazy person, and getting her life magically saved by Ha-baek. Yet rather than respond with gratitude for this heroic, if self-interested act, So-ah gets right back to the usual negotiations. How in the world can we root for a story of unconditional love when So-ah insists on attaching conditions to everything?
I can't tell whether this is supposed to be a character flaw or if its supposed to be endearing. "Bride of the Water God 2017" seems like it's playing it both ways, because So-ah's personality is the main obvious cause for nearly all of her problems in life. Yet for other moments, like with the phone scene, I get the impression that we're supposed to think Soo-ah is smart for being deceitful, even as she immediately blows away her good as yet unearned fortune on a small party.
It especially doesn't help that even in flashback, where So-ah is explicitly a child in a bad situation with good excuse to be generically mad at people, So-ah still goes out of her way to be a jerk. Worse, child So-ah acts like a jerk to other children who are trying to be nice to her and do not in any way deserve to be treated like this. Adult So-ah is only a mild improvement over this which leads me to wonder- whose side are we supposed to be on?
If the purpose of all this is to make us like Ha-baek more, well, I guess that much has been solved. While still nowhere near showing humility Ha-baek is at least acknowledging that he is facing some massive shortfalls when it comes to the most basic tasks in the human world, and is trying to learn how to do better. So why is So-ah being so dismissive of him, when Ha-baek has already improved substantially in a short period of time?
The second leads are also a sore spot for me. Moo-ra, like So-ah, is a genuinely unpleasant character, although her more useful skills and willingness to do favors at least manage to justify the woman's presence. As for Hoo-ye, he's straight up a blank slate with little to no obvious personality features at all. Which consequentially manages to make the women characters look even worse when they interact with him.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bride of the Water God 2017" is directed by Kim Byeong-soo, written by Jeong Yoon-jeong and features Nam Joo-hyuk, Shin Se-kyung, Lim Ju-hwan, Krystal, Gong Myung and Lee Kyeong-yeong.
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"My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 31-32 recap

The backstory revelations end up going down a lot better than I was expecting, because the emphasis is less on the danger child Woo's actions have on adult Woo's relationships, and more on the central character flaw both Woos possess- arrogance. I was somewhat surprised to see that even as a child Woo was considered an all-star at the royal court, but this is consistent with what we've seen from the very first episode. Woo may well have been thought of as a good potential match for Princess Hyemyeong even at that time.
However, because Woo lacked central guidance and was simply encouraged to do whatever brilliant thing he wanted, it was probably inevitable that Woo would choose poorly. But I really feel bad for Pil-yeong- he's been in the bad situation for quite a long time now of knowing about Woo's failures and doing everything he could to avoid letting any such information seep out. He's as badly compromised as Gi-joon, even if Gi-joon was the more obviously malicious actor.
A malicious actor whose fate seems fairly inevitable at this point notwithstanding Queen Jungjeon's last ditch efforts to try and destroy any remaining evidence trails. I suspect we're going to find out that while Wol-myeong was indeed as loyal as he claimed, the man was also not stupid enough to assume that this loyalty was a two way street. As the man in charge of destroying all the conspiracy's evidence, Wol-myeong more than anyone knew just how important this evidence was.
Mind, there are plenty of other pay-offs in the here and now. Da-yeon's big move ends up being motivated from a direction I was not expecting at all- given her ignorance of the wider conspiracy, it's actually possible that she might end up repenting. This will of course not be a sincere repentance, since Da-yeon's sole selfish motivation is to get together with Woo. But I really was expecting her to do something more explicitly malicious.
Although naturally, the biggest pay-off of all is the big confrontation between Princess Hyemhyeong at the end, one which like most of the confrontations in these episodes takes on a radically different tenor than what would normally be expected. The fundamental trust in the relationship between the two leads in "My Sassy Girl - Drama" is quite good. It allows for some pretty strong emotional scenes, even when they're just reminiscing about past encounters.
Review by William Schwartz
"My Sassy Girl - Drama" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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"Lookout" episodes 31-32 recap

Kim Young-kwang died but the others continued to find justice for the world.
On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Lookout", Jang Do-han (Kim Young-kwang) saved Jo Soo-ji (Lee Si-young) and died.
Yoon Si-wan (Park Solomon) had Lee Soon-ae's (Kim Sun-young-III) daughter Jin Se-won (Lee Ji-won-III) as hostage and told Lee Soon-ae to kill Jo Soo-ji. However, she couldn't kill her and Yoon Si-wan was furious.
Gong Kyeong-soo (Shinee Key) found where Jin Se-won was captured and saved her before the bomb went off. Yoon Si-wan found out he didn't kill Jin Se-won and threw himself to Jo Soo-ji.
However, Jang Do-han got ibetween them and fell down the building with Jang Do-han. They didn't come back around and Jo Soo-ji erased the recording she had of Yoon Si-wan to prove his guilt and told Lee Soon-ae, "You will be in trouble if this gets out. We are going to pretend this never happened. Don't think about anything and just be there for Se-won".
A year later, Jo Soo-ji, Gong Kyeong-soo and Seo Bomi (Kim Seul-gi-I) stood on the side of the weak and fought for their justice but Jang Do-han wasn't there.
Source : www.tenasia.co.kr/arc...
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