Micro Drama Reviews: April 2017

2017-01-vert

I don’t like the beginning of 2017 because it’s so god damn dull, and it’s still god damn dull. *CRY*

— In progress —

Tunnel

by Choi Jin Hyuk, Yoon Hyun Min, Lee Yoo Young, Kang Ki Young, Kim Byung Chul

OCN — an expert channel in pumping out one crime thriller after another did not fail to impress with their new drama, Tunnel. First 3 episodes in, I’m pretty satisfied with the storyline and is happy to see Choi Jin Hyuk back, after going on hiatus due to knee injury. Since I didn’t pay too much attention to the casting news and previews, hence I was surprised to actors such as Yoon Hyun Min (Beautiful Mind), Kang Ki Young (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo) and Kim Byung Chul (Goblin) came on screen. Their involvement definitely heighten the interest in this show.

At the moment, the story appears quite similar to Signal and Tomorrow, With You in the sense of time-travelling and crime solving. Choi Jin Hyuk plays Park Kwang Ho who gets transported from 1985 to 2016 through the tunnel. By sheer luck (?) or fate, he resumes the identity of future Park Kwang Ho and continues to work with the present crime unit to solve crimes. Regardless of the similarity, I would still enjoy it if Show can whip magic out of these characters and write refreshing plot.

Source: Official website | Facebook

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

by Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik and Ji Soo

A romcom that is light and fluffy with cute and pretty people. This show biggest flaw is giving those stupid side characters waaay too much screen time. Other than that, I am very fond of our main characters. Park Hyung Sik and Park Bo Young are L O V E. To be honest, I was a little worried in the beginning that Hyung Sik may not be able to match Bo Young in the acting department, but boy, was I surprised to see him shine even brighter than her. When and how did he suddenly became so good in acting and emoting? I remember I could still see some rawness in High Society, and at times, even Hwarang. It all disappear when he transformed into Ahn Min Hyuk. Now all I could think of is how much I love my Bong Bong and Min Min couple, LOL.

On the contrary, Ji Soo had been the biggest disappointment. I knew Ji Soo would be that second lead who doesn’t get his girl again, but heck, I did not anticipate his character, In Gook Doo, would be so dap dap hae. He always behave like a red-eyed bull, and does everything without thinking it through. He is an immature, impulsive and angry character—not very attractive at all, and it now leaves me wondering why the hell Bong Soon even liked him.

The Liar and His Lover

by Lee Hyun Woo, Joy, Lee Seo Won and Choi Min Soo

*Big sigh* — this definitely is not a drama made for mature adults. By saying this, I must express my disappointment in Lee Hyun Woo‘s decision to do such a kiddy show again. I fully understand that he wants to do projects whilst he still is capable at a younger age, because when that time is over, he won’t be suitable for that kind of roles (e.g. Heirs). But…the tone of the drama is too immature; I worry he will be type-cast. Actors his age are already exploring mature and wider roles. He’s so late in the game, it’s worrisome!

The other disappointing aspect of this drama is the OTP pairing. I don’t feel anything for Joy and Hyun Woo. There’s no spark even when Show purposely create scenes with spark. Sighhh. C’mon tvN, you can produce better dramas than this.

I’m only watching this because there is nothing else that interest me at the moment, and I do have a tiny crush on Hyun Woo and was very impressed with Choi Min Soo, but the crush won’t last forever if the character played fail to make my heart skip a beat. Choi Min Soo only plays a small role, so he won’t hold too.

UPDATE: It surprisingly got interesting from episode 4.

—— Completed ——

Tomorrow, With You

by Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah

I’m not quite sure why this drama never achieve the rating dramas from the same time slot did on tvN. I suppose it may well be because the drama fail to keep its audiences on their toes due to slow plot development and lack of suspense. Nonetheless, I had fun watching it.

I consider the take on story-telling a little eccentric, but that is one of the reasons why it captivated me. It’s different and hence, refreshing. I don’t think it worked out well for the Korean viewers, but I personally did not mind it. The ending is less than satisfying because it didn’t explain why all 3 of them who survived the Namyeong incident would die on the same day and month in 2019 in the original timeline. Furthermore, since Appa sacrifices himself to save them, is that mean they will survive another 10 more years before Final Destination’s law kick in?

— 7.5/10

Queen of the Ring

by Kim Seul Gi and Ahn Hyo Seop

I was late to this show, but eventually caught up and enjoyed every bit of it. It’s a light rom-com and easy to get hooked on. Kim Seul Gi is awesome as always. I don’t get why drama producers still haven’t scouted her as the leading lady. Why? WHY? She clearly has got the charm and capability to carry through a drama. She’s even better than the current famous leading ladies. Ahn Hyo Seop is a cutie pie; I remember him from Entertainer. He must be an idol, I’m not sure, I’ve yet to research on him. Hee.

Oh, patience is required when watching the second leading lady—because boy she is one annoying actress. I don’t even think she possess the beauty the drama described her to be.

— 7/10

Voice

by Jang Hyuk, Lee Ha Na, Kim Jae Wook

Those with a weak heart won’t be able to handle the gruesome and disturbing scenes in Voice. The drama started out well; the plot was engaging too. It slowly deteriorated when the attention shift to showing psycho serial killer played by Kim Jae Wook, killing without justification and simply killing because he’s mental. Had Show try to convince me like I Remember You did about psychos killing with reasons, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

Jang Hyuk’s character went a little psychotic in my opinion. He’s like a fearless crazy dog which I often wonder why he was allowed to do all those things and get to get away with it from management. Under normal circumstances for a drama, the villains would have had him fired or killed by the time he get anywhere close to cracking the case. And then there’s the why he so easily believe the team leader no longer is a threat in latter episodes. I’m just a awe how he miraculously plough through every obstacles sometimes.

I have very little to say about Lee Ha Na. Her special ability was intriguing at first, but it became ridiculous and too convenient at the end. She delivered a fair few breath-taking scenes in early stages of the drama, and faded into the background as Show decided to focus on Kim Jae Wook versus Jang Hyuk.

— 6/10

Hwarang: The Beginning

by Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik, Go Ara.

This drama makes me angry. Angry at the writer for such a crappy script. Angry at the production team for producing such low quality drama when this drama is supposedly pre-produced. I am also angry at the show ruining both lead characters—Moo Myung (Park Seo Joon) and Sammaekjong / King Jinheung (Park Hyung Sik). There were a lot of filler or unneccesary scenes, and most of the time, I was disappointed with Moo Myung’s obsession in revenge and lack of using his brain. He too, like In Gook Doo in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, is another impulsive bull. It’s so unattractive when men don’t use their brains or wit to solve problems, whereas Sammaekjong spent too looooooong being scared and undecisive. I did, however, was impressed with the scene where Moo Myung step out to admit he is king whilst emphasizing Sammaekjong’s internal struggle. Hyung Sik and Seo Joon were stealing each others’ thunder there and I was enjoying every bit of it.

I’m even more angry with casting Go Ara as the female lead. Clearly, she is not a leading lady material and lacking a lot in acting. She has no romantic sparks with Park Seo Joon too; their loveline is nothing but awkward. I felt nothing for their kisses. What a waste since I know Seo Joon is a good kisser from all his past projects! ㅠㅠ

The drama was a waste for talented actors such as Sung Dong Il and Choi Won Young who we all know had outstanding performances in Answer Me 1988 and I Remember You respectively. All in all, this is a drama not worth anyone’s time unless you are in on supporting your idols/biases and/or looking to swoon at pretty flower boys.

— 4.5/10

Goblin

by Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun, Yoo In Na, Yook Sung Jae, Hwang Seok Jeong and Lee El.

I like Goblin a lot. I love the dynamics between Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun and Yook Sung Jae. Goblin is Kim Eun Sook’s best work to date in my humble opinion, and the least cheesy amongst her dramas I have seen. I think she owes it A LOT to Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun. This show has magic and humour, which I love and enjoy.

I would have love it more if there is an alternate ending. I enjoyed the angst when Eun Tak sacrifice herself, thinking that since she ‘sacrifices’ herself, God would reward her by letting her live, maybe as an immortal. But nooooooo, that never happened, and uri Shin had to live for another 60+ years before he meets his re-incarnated bride again. What the hell, Kim Eun Sook, just because Shin needs to live up to being the “Shining and Lonely Goblin” set-up? I could not help but argue in my head what has Shin ever done to God to deserve such punishment forever and ever. Yes, he took many lives during Goryeo era, but he was carrying out his duty as a soldier, to protect his country, under the order of his king. That’s like saying General Lee Soon Shin deserve to be punished, it doesn’t make sense to me. Other than this, I thought Wang Yeo and Sunny’s story was not fleshed out as clean and thorough as it can be.

— 8.5/10

Legends of the Blue Sea

by Lee Min Ho, Jeon Ji Hyun, Lee Hee Joon, Shin Hye Sun, Lee Ji Hoon, Shin Won Ho and Sung Dong Il.

It’s sad that this show never live up to the hype or popularity You Who Came From the Star experienced. It failed to impress, which vastly due to lack of innovation from the writer. I didn’t mind she tell the story the same way that she told YWCFTS i.e. using prologues and the epilogues or employ cameos, but— something was missing in this one—there was no magic.

I also think it is because the story of Mermaid being in love with human is a lot less intriguing than an untight few hundred years old grandpa alien falling in love with a bratty arrogant Superstar. This one is definitely a harder love story to sell—because Mermaid fairy tales have been told or remake over and over again for centuries.

Jeon Ji Hyun was awesome with comedy, but when her character became quiet and reserved, she was boring to watch. I’m also not convinced with her on-screen romance with Lee Min Ho, and I concluded that she’s just not that great with romance. Giving birth must have suck the vibrant energy out of her, too. I often find her looking exhausted and with deep eye-bags. She most definitely wasn’t like that back in the YWCFTS days.

On the contrary, I am grateful of the writer for giving Lee Min Ho a much better role than Kim Eun Sook ever did in Heirs. I was cheering internally when I saw Lee Min Ho finally shed off Kim Tan’s image. I was also glad to see his emotive eyes again, even though I never did fall back in love with him. Admittedly, Kim Dam Ryung and Heo Joon Jae are better characters, but unfortunately, they did not flutter my heart as his past roles did (City Hunter and Faith).

The biggest disappointment of this drama (and flaw) is actually Song Dong Il‘s underwhelming character. Narratively, he has the potential to unleash worse hell in the present, and the writer couldn’t deliver it… but then she never did, even for You Who Came From The Star.

— 6.5/10

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