God’s Gift: 14 Days Ends on a Nonsensical Unsatisfying Ending Leaving Viewers Fuming

Today God’s Gift: 14 Days wrapped up in what amounts to a giant slap in the face to its small but loyal group of viewers. This drama never garnered ratings but generated a good amount of buzz due to the best thing about it – the performance and character of male lead Jo Seung Woo. The unnecessarily twisty and turny plot was actually its crutch but was made bearable by the sheer pleasure of watching Jo Seung Woo blaze a path through the drama filled with plenty of other good actors like Lee Bo Young and Kim Tae Woo. I loved the first gripping episode but it went downhill fast for me once the plot overly relied on red herrings, shock tricks, and plenty of Lee Bo Young doing stupid things. Her leading lady character was godawful, a workaholic mom who turns into a raving mother hen lunatic once she gets a second chance to save her daughter Saet Byul.

It didn’t help that I also found Saet Byul beyond annoying, not saying even dramatically I wanted her character to die because she’s done nothing wrong, but goodness half the problems in this drama would have been avoided had Saet Byul obeyed her parents and used her brain before running off all the time. I kept watching because it was easy to watch once I stopped taking the story seriously and just wanted to see how the time-travel back twist got resolved and also see the bad guys get their comeuppance. In the end it was thoroughly deflating with a side of “let’s cram all the final exposition and revelations into ten minutes and thnxbai suckers!” I spent the last ten minutes with an expression best described as a cross between “da fuq is this?” and “you gotta be kidding me!”. This post is devoted to venting about how bad this drama ended without delivering any narrative satisfaction. My takeaway is Jo Seung Woo and a stinging reminder that K-dramas are not to be trusted until the very last credits roll. Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 24: Love and Hate are Inextricably Tied Together

When the Gods live so long in Lost You Forever, months is really days and years really months and hundreds of years merely a year the way we experience it. Hence waiting has less duration and more a feeling of holding onto a hope. Jing’s fifteen year promise with Xiao Yao is long over since she’s slept thirty-seven years in a clam shell with Xiang Liu already, but that promise no longer matters as Xiao Yao will wait for Jing. She tried to walk away many chapters ago, when Jing first disappointed her and she was actually ready to excise him from her life and end the promise. But she loves him and is clearly putty in his hands, anytime Jing steps up he finds a way to keep holding onto Xiao Yao. Will his intelligence and ability to quietly plot finally break through his grandmother’s insistence that he marry Fang Feng Yi Yang?  One of my favorite parts of this story is seeing four very capable and confident and powerful characters all working their best to achieve their goals. It’s hardest to read Xiang Liu while the other three are like open books.

Xiao Yao’s goal is a happy simply life with a man who loves her, Jing’s goal is to be with Xiao Yao, and Zhuan Xu’s goal is to make the world a safe place for Xiao Yao and give her whatever she wants. Xiang Liu’s goal in life is probably like the way he lives as both Xiang Liu and Fang Feng Bei, he has two goals with one personal and one his day job as the General of the Sheng Nong resistance army. His life would be so much simpler if he didn’t run across Xiao Yao and her mouthful of lies in the mountain that day, but just like Xiao Yao ran across a half-dead Jing outside her medical clinic, sometimes fate is one tricky and elusive beast that brings people together only to plunge them into the sweetest kind of angst. Everything is starting to come a head and the Jing and Xiao Yao ship will make a clear turn in one direction soon. Xiao Yao will also be given a huge clue to what kind of voodoo bug is linking her with Xiang Liu, but before then she gets a gift from Xiang Liu that she won’t even know is a gift from Xiang Liu. And what a gift it is, tailor-made for her forged from the wonders he scoured from the ends of the world, how much more devastating would it be if she ever found out who made it for her? Continue reading

Triangle Releases First Teaser Featuring the Three Separated Brothers

With all the drama preemptions in the last few days, start getting used to the next batch of upcoming dramas getting pushed back premiere dates. Triangle won’t be one of them since Empress Ki airs on Mon-Tues so last week’s episodes aired prior to the ferry tragedy while MBC elected to not preempt this week’s episodes. That means we’ll be making the acquaintance of the Jang brothers come May 5th and yesterday gave us the first glimpse of what to expect. The first teaser for Triangle at least looks good, even if it also looks like the mashing together of East of Eden with Giant. I still can’t get over how Lee Bum Soo is styled exactly (hair and wardrobe) the way he looked in the early adult sections of Giant. His character in Giant was a henchman of sorts in the beginning hence the jeans and leather jacket look, making it all the more hilarious that his cop character here has the same dress code.

This time around Jaejoong gets to try out being a gangster for size and I have to say he needs to eat a whole lot more for me to believe that he doesn’t get his ass kicked in every street fight. I do find the older two brothers a whole lot more interesting that Im Shi Wan‘s maknae rich boy gambler. He is already coming across as young and smarmy making me itch to punch him in the nose, and it doesn’t help that he has that split part hairdo in some scenes which gives off the image of a suited schemer. Lest we forget this drama has ladies in it, the trailer gives us a glimpse of Oh Yeon Soo looking smart and sharp as Lee Bum Soo’s love interest while Bae Jin Hee makes a blink and you miss you appearance as the woman both younger brothers will fall for. Apparently the boys get separated after their parents die but will reunite in adulthood and then deal with the fallout of their conflicting paths in life. Continue reading

Medical Spy Drama Dr. Stranger Drops Character Stills and Bipolar Toned 3rd Teaser

I find myself increasingly interested in the upcoming SBS drama Dr. Stranger genuinely because of the plot. It sounds so wacky but might be wacky enough to work. Lee Jong Seok plays a South Korean born but North Korean educated genius surgeon who escapes the regime and ends up working in a top notch hospital in Seoul. He’s been recruited there by top heart surgeon played by Park Hae Jin, though his educational path is less gritty and more Harvard-grad. I initially thought it would be a straight up medical drama about a fish-out-of-water doctor stranger from North Korea trying to ply his craft in the fast-paced South Korean medical field. Sorta like Good Doctor but substitute the autistic Joo Won doctor for the North Korean Lee Jong Seok one. Then the first previews dropped and now it seems like a spy thriller complete with torn apart first loves. Dare I call it a spy medical drama? The character descriptions for the two female leads have come out and shed more light on what sounds like a potential messy love quadrangle.

Jin Se Yeon plays two characters – one is the firsy love of Lee Jong Seok’s character who is torn from his side and he does not know where she is and what has happened to her, the second is the first love’s doppleganger in working at the same Seoul hospital as an anesthesiologist. She is a Korean raised in China and described as cool and capable, but no one knows anything about her background which leads Lee Jong Seok’s character to keep trying to determine whether she is his first love. It’s a fifty/fifty K-drama probability she’s the first love and/or the twin sister of the first love. Kang Sora‘s character is also a heart surgeon and works in the same cardiothoracic surgery department as her fiancee who is Park Hae Jin’s character. She is the illegitimate daughter of the hospital managing director but she grew up confident and elegant, a woman at ease in scrubs during surgery or wearing name brands at black tie events. She’s engaged to Park Hae Jin but her heart starts to waver when she meets Lee Jong Seok. Check out the character stills and first poster for the drama featuring the pretty quartet. Continue reading

Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae Move Their Secret Love Affair to the Pages of Elle Korea

The preemption of K-drama and variety shows stemming from the Sewol ferry sinking tragedy last Wednesday continues into this week somewhat. The major networks have started airing some nightly K-dramas but cable channel jTBC elected to cancel the airing of Secret Love Affair this week. That means no new episodes and episodes 11 and 12 will instead air next Mon-Tues. Anyone anxious for a new fix of this addicting and thought provoking show will have to summon up more patience and add another week to the wait. I’ve been holding onto the Elle Korea photo shoot featuring the two SLA leads Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae for the last month, initially because I hadn’t started the drama yet when I saw these so wasn’t sure if I was in the mood to write about it, and the second being that not all the photos from the entire shoot had been released at that time. It’s all out now and qualities as a work of pictorial art.

I love everything about it – a few color but mostly throwback black and white, the smart cocktail and formal wear outfits, the sexy but not raunchy poses, and the feeling of posed passion that still manages to convey raw emotion. I’m so blown away by Yoo Ah In’s acting in SLA, leaps and bounds above anything he’s ever delivered in dramas. It’s much closer to how he is in movies and that’s a testament to having a great PD and costar to restrain his impetuousness and coax out his wounded depths. The Elle pictorial also works as a mirror reverse of the story line in SLA, showing Yoo Ah In as a confident playboy while Kim Hee Ae is a sexy femme type, both of which are so not what the characterization and unexpected romance is like in the drama. Hopefully this photoshoot will help plug the gap this week with no SLA around to challenge our opinions and feed our senses. Continue reading

Big Man Releases Lots of Promotional Materials With Another Week to Go

I hope viewers aren’t writing off Big Man before it premieres. It’d be a shame to arrive DOA to do a myriad of factors – the lackluster lead-in from Full Sun, the two week break between Full Sun ending and Big Man starting to avoid an Empress Ki head-to-head, and the really wonky birth secret to steal a heart set up. I confess my love for Kang Ji Hwan completely counterbalances all the warning signs that this drama might be awful. That and a very vivid memory of how awful every preview and promotional material was for The King 2 Hearts and that baby turned out to be so awesome I still miss it in my sleep. I do like the two new drama posters better than the first two, it’s still not groundbreaking but at least it doesn’t immediately call to mind comparisons to other posters. I never thought Kang Ji Hwan and Jung So Min would be doing a drama together so there is no way in hell I’m going to miss it. They are parts of two of my favorite drama OTPs of all time – Kang Ji Hwan with Yoon Eun Hye in Lie to Me and Jung So Min with Kim Hyun Joong in Playful Kiss - and Eun Hye and Hyun Joong have already worked together on those early day Basic House ad campaigns it’s only fair Ji Hwan and So MIn get a twirl around to block to see if they have onscreen chemistry to burn as well. I also like Lee Da Hee and Daniel Choi well enough, so if it’s a main cast of two loves and two likes I’ve already felt like I hit the casting jackpot. The third teaser is out for the drama and I like it better than the first two. It has a more consistent feel even if it’s still bizarre that the story revolves around a chaebol family claiming orphan Kang Ji Hwan is their long-lost son in order to get him lined up for organ donation for their real son Daniel Choi who is suffering from heart failure. It’s a massive con for sure, but also one that screams impossible. Oh wells, I’m in it for the rich spoiled heiress Jung So Min falling for her fake newly acquired oppa Kang Ji Hwan. Can they be the OTP, pretty please drama gods? Continue reading

Nam Sang Mi Confirmed to Romance Lee Jun Ki in Joseon Gunman

I feel like my itty bitty casting concerned heart has been settled down with the hot off the press confirmation by Nam Sang Mi‘s agency that she has officially accepted the leading lady role in Joseon Gunman. Whew, now I don’t need to be cursing the drama gods or spend the first few posts about the drama lamenting the could have been reunion between her and her Time Between Dog and Wolf co-star Lee Jun Ki. I love both actors and together they are my favorite onscreen couple for each in all their dramas I’ve ever watched. A close second other costars I’ve liked for each would be Nam Sang Mi with the hilarious Kim Myung Min in Bad Family and Lee Jun Ki with Han Hyo Joo in Iljimae. This thrilling news immediately rockets Joseon Gunman to my number 1 most anticipated drama of all the ones in production but not yet aired. I am also super stoked about You’re All Surrounded because of Lee Seung Gi and Cha Seung Won but it’s dampened slightly since Go Ara does nothing for me.

In Joseon Gunman, Lee Jun Ki plays Park Yoon Kang, one of Joseon’s top swordsman who trades his blade for a gun after the death of his father and sister. The drama is set in the late 19th century as Joseon undergoes a great and reluctant transformation due to the entrance of Western culture and Yoon Kang will find his way of life and values challenged in the process. Nam Sang Mi is Jung Soo In, a lady born and bred in traditional Joseon culture but becomes swept up in the changing times towards the end of the Joseon dynasty and transforms into a modern woman. Based on all synopsis snippets, Yoon Kang and Soo In are totally the OTP and there doesn’t appear to be a “My father killed your father” cloud hanging over their romance. Funnily enough, that plot device was used in TBDAW since Nam Sang Mi’s gangster dad in that drama was the one responsible for killing Lee Jun Ki’s parents. Another reason I don’t think Joseon Gunman will toss that in is due to this PD’s last drama The Princess’s Man using that as a central obstacle keeping the OTP apart. Can we just get lots of making out even if there is no father-killing angst? Continue reading