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Flower Boy Ramen Shop
35 people found this review helpful
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Jul 3, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
A very youthful, lighthearted romantic comedy, with minimum melodrama and lots of laughs!

Even though Jung Il Woo is pretty much the star of the show, he is well and truly part of a tightknit ensemble cast that have great chemistry together. Each character of the ensemble have their own quirky personality traits, and their own obstacles (personal or otherwise) to overcome as the show progresses.

The Ramyun Shop is used very read more effectively as the one thing that holds all of them together. Truly a family away from real family.
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Delightful Girl, Choon Hyang
14 people found this review helpful
See all 17 user reviews
Jun 13, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
This story is based on a Korean folk legend, so most of the character descriptions are based on that, particularly Chun Hyang and Pres Byun Hak-do.

The cast is nearly perfect, with the exception of the second female lead. Jae Hee and Han Chae Young have great chemistry as the lead couple. Jae Hee gives a heartfelt and comical performance at the right moments, showing his character's growth from a mollycoddled high read more school student to a college student who takes ownership of his relationship and makes a stand for Chun Hyang and himself. Han Chae Young feels too mature for the role of a spunky high school student at the start of the show, but she grew on me especially when her character graduates from high school and matures.s

Uhm Tae Woong performs the role quite suavely - an evil second male lead who goes all way out to thwart the relationship. I also grant him a concession because he is the Uhmforce. The second female lead is just mehh for me - in fact out of the four, she's the only one who has no name recognition at this point in time. She just performs the role of antagonist, as written. In fact, she has the kind of face that makes me want to slap her when she comes onscreen. Both second leads are just PURE EVIL.

Like another reviewer said, few characters will emerge from this drama blameless. Most of them have done something to hold the relationship back from progressing - but I wouldn't call them Nice Guy-type dysfunctional. The only two who seem to have common sense and foresight is Ji Hyuk and Mong Ryong's father. Even Dan Hee, who at the start seems to be a harmless and well-meaning friend, but at some point in the show, she started to grate on my nerves.

Pacing of the story starts well. After episode 8, it starts to be frustratingly slow but thankfully picks up towards the end of episode 10. But, the way everything is tied up by the end of the show leaves much to be desired.

The music is just alright. In fact, it gets very repetitive and it becomes obvious that the same tunes are used when certain themes and characters come up in the story. Pretty boring.

The wardrobe for this show, especially Chun Hyang and Mong Ryong, is pretty atrocious on hindsight. I don't understand how these clothes could have been considered trendy during that time. I would not allow anyone I care about to wear them in public.

All in all, even though there are many flaws, the show is spirited and full of heart. It also receives lots of praise since many Korean drama fans started out on this drama, of whom I am one.
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What's Up
11 people found this review helpful
See all 19 user reviews
May 15, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
This show is criminally underrated! To describe it briefly, I would say it is a darker and more mature version of Dream High, with better acting.

Each character is written with a lot of care. We delve deep into their back stories, and I find myself cheering on each one of them, and crying with each one of them. The lessons each character learn are hard but realistic. The show takes you read more on that journey of growing up.

If there is one thing I dislike about the story, it is the Park Tae Hee character. Yes she's the typical female lead - ditzy but really sweet, cute and talented, but can I just say how annoying I find her. Otherwise, the rest of the cast was just perfect, especially Jo Jung Suk and Im Joo Eun.

The soundtrack is quite unique compared to other dramas - fewer romantic ballads, more fist-pumping songs that make you excited to be young, aspirational and full of dreams.
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Pinocchio
17 people found this review helpful
See all 76 user reviews
Apr 10, 2015
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
In summary: a very entertaining show that kept me thrilled and excited, and also moved me at times.

This show has pretty much everything - a compelling romance, exciting mysteries and action scenes. In a way the story felt very similar to I Hear Your Voice, probably because they share the same writer-director team.

I love that the central relationship is strong - Choi In Ha and Choi Dal Po, and there read more isn't too much unnecessary angst as is too often the case in Korean dramas, and it gave us so many scenes of cuteness.

Well it certainly seems like everything Lee Jong Suk touches on TV turns to gold. While his character in this show really reminds me of his character in I Hear Your Voice, I didn't feel there was any baggage in his portrayal of the character. I was compelled and won over to his side, and rooting for him and his relationships and journalistic career. Can I also say Lee Jong Suk is a damn good crier?

Park Shin Hye finally was given the opportunities to show her abilities in dramatic and comedic acting which seem to have been buried somewhere after You're Beautiful.

I am a fan of Roy Kim and was pleasantly surprised at Tiger JK's inclusion in a drama soundtrack, so I quite enjoyed this soundtrack.
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Let's Eat 2
9 people found this review helpful
See all 6 user reviews
May 30, 2016
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
I watched and tremendously enjoyed the first instalment of the Let's Eat franchise. When I heard about a second instalment, I was pretty pragmatic about the probability of the original cast returning. It's simply a bonus that Doojoon even returned for a second season to play the same character. On reflection, it really wouldn't have been a Let's Eat without him and his character returning to the show.

In terms of story, read more I appreciate the effort to stay true to certain important themes of the first Let's Eat, like being single, living alone, and feeling lonely in a big city, yet introduce new dimensions like friends-turned-lovers, and talking about married people feeling lonely, not just single people. Frankly, I didn't like the recycling of the mystery theme which wasn't an important storyline for me in the first instalment.

The food porn was good, as always, and I like that they ventured outside Korean food and got the characters to try other cuisines like Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.

Doojoon has made Goo Dae Young the character his own and I can’t see anyone else in that role. Seo Hyun Jin is a revelation in this show. I have never seen any of her previous shows and now that she’s in Oh Hae Young Again, I definitely plan to watch that too after watching this show. Initially, I was supremely annoyed by her character. But as the show peeled the layers of her character, I really grew to love her character and she was so good at bringing out the vulnerabilities of her character. Kwon Yul is a pretty interesting actor too and I look forward to seeing him in other shows. Park Hee Soon is hilarious as Doojoon's lonely, always-drunk sidekick. A great character actor.

Overall, an enjoyable watch that is peppered with romance, food porn, and just enough angst to break your heart but not too much that you can’t piece it back together.
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I Hear Your Voice
9 people found this review helpful
See all 126 user reviews
Sep 19, 2014
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.5
I now see why this show was one of the oustanding stars of the 2013 drama scene.

Firstly, if you have any knowledge of a real legal system, please suspend all belief. As a law graduate myself, I initially found it hard to sit through court proceedings in the show and discussions about legal issues, because I couldn't stop ranting at the screen about how unrealistic it was.

The 2 lead characters read more are fabulously crafted. I especially appreciate Hye Sung (Lee Bo Young). She doesn't fit the conventional female lead in a drama - she is feisty, honest, and doesn't stand for any BS. We have waited so long for a lady who can do things for herself, knows what she wants, and says what she wants (well most of the time).

This show not only has a compelling lead couple - its supporting characters have stories of their own to tell and they really shine. Those worth mentioning are Kwan Woo (Yoon Sang Hyun), Doyeon (Lee Da Hee) and Hye Sung's mum (Kim Hae Sook). Not only do they each stand for certain principles and characteristics that are essential to the two lead characters' growth; by the end of the show, Kwan Woo and Doyeon, in particular, evolve as human beings and legal officers to become better people.

There are several funny moments throughout the show, and tear-jerking ones too. The ending is satisfying and full of hope for the future for all the characters. Very importantly, NO MOMENTS OF NOBLE IDIOCY.

The only flaw is the show sometimes spent too much time in court, with our characters going through their legal arguments, which we are already familiar with, and that sometimes made me turn off for a bit.
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Masquerade
9 people found this review helpful
See all 9 user reviews
Jun 7, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
To me, this movie is simply about how power can be used, whether for good or bad, and how one obtains it. It is not all serious though. There are many funny moments, especially at the beginning, when the fake king is learning about court and palace decorum, and generally behaving in a way that would have been considered very unbecoming at the time. However, as the fake king grows into his read more role, he starts to learn about what it really means to be a king, and all the injustices inflicted on commoners and the palace servants. It is here that we have the sad and moving moments of the movie.

Unfortunately the villainous ministers who plot to undermine the king are not given much time onscreen, but they really are secondary to the plot.

Lee Byung Hun portrays both the real and fake kings well, especially the fake king and how he settles into his role as king. Ryu Seung Ryong is the astute and trustworthy royal secretary who works with conviction. Han Hyo Joo does not have a lot of screentime in this movie, but she gives a good, controlled performance as the queen who loves the king but has been distanced from him by court intrigue and politics.

Really enjoyed it and I can see why it has received so many awards in the 2012 awards season.
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Trot Lovers
11 people found this review helpful
See all 25 user reviews
Apr 19, 2015
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
This show makes me angry. Great, speedy start, but lousy writing means the story ran out of steam very quickly, despite the show being only 16 episodes long.

Thankfully there’s enough cute to get me through the whole show, not just the OTP, all the other side characters too.

I’m pretty impressed by Ji Hyun Woo, it being only his second time as a leading man in a show. I was won read more over by the growth of his character throughout the series. He definitely have charisma and potential. Eunji, as always, is feisty yet moving at certain points. They have great chemistry too. Love the OTP.

The side characters were a mixed bag. Shin Sung Rok is magnetic as a quirky but caring boss. Lee Se Young, on the other hand, was so bland. Bleh. She just sucked all the energy on the screen whenever she appeared. It’s the fatal mix of one-dimensional lazy writing and wooden acting. I love Answer Me 1994 so I definitely liked Sohn Ho Joon. Shin Bora also played quite a funny side character.

Any re-watching of this show would just make me rage. So NO re-watching for me.
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Imaginary Cat
8 people found this review helpful
See all 5 user reviews
Feb 2, 2016
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.5
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.5
Imaginary Cat - I can’t fathom who thought of this show, because it is a BRILLIANT idea. A talking sassy cat who loves and cares for her human? Yes please.

If you go into this show having great expectations just because Yoo Seung Ho picked it, don’t. The show isn’t meant to be absolutely fantastic or great. It’s a down-to-earth and humble drama with a simple story. I always looked forward to read more watching a new episode of this show because it wasn’t too heavy or required a lot of commitment into the characters. The characters are written very simply, without excessive or comprehensive backstories.

I really enjoyed the personification of the cat. For starters, the cat is adorable. The voiceover for the cat is really cute. The central relationship is between Yoo Seung Ho’s character and the cat, and I love that the show never lost sight of that.

Yoo Seung Ho is evidently the star of the show, not just because he plays the lead character, It’s also pretty clear in terms of acting ability. But that’s really fine. It didn’t ruin the show for me in any way. There isn't much to comment on in respect of the acting of the rest of the cast in the show.

Overall, a great choice for a light and brief watch. After you finish the show it won’t linger on your memory much, except for the fact that you may love cats afterwards.
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The Client
8 people found this review helpful
See all 4 user reviews
Jun 29, 2013
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
The story and plot of this movie is simple: did the suspect murder his wife?

What I like about this movie is the simplicity of the story, and how it does not all take place in the courtroom, which tends to drag down the pace of the movie. Ha Jung Woo, Park Hee Soon and Jang Hyuk all give great performances as the defence counsel, prosecutor and the suspect. Ha Jung Woo read more is fantastically charismatic and interesting to watch onscreen as the seemingly nonchalant lawyer who grows in the process of defending his client, Park Hee Soon plays a really enigmatic and mysterious prosecutor who seems to have a hidden agenda in his pursuit of this case, and Jang Hyuk does not give away much in his portrayal of the suspect.

I love how the movie is written to constantly shake your assumptions and cause you to doubt your theory - so did he do it or not? Be patient as all will be revealed in the end. A great thriller!
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Love 911
10 people found this review helpful
See all 15 user reviews
Sep 11, 2013
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
Man Korea is just so good at churning out movie after movie about love, life, death and death scares. This can be said to be one of those types of movies, just in a slightly different context - that of rescue crews and doctors.

I only watched this movie for Go Soo and Han Hyo Joo, who are both gorgeous people. And naturally, gorgeous people will fall for each other.

The premise read more of how Han Hyo Joo's character comes to work with Go Soo's character is slightly far-fetched in my opinion, but well, that's how we get to the important part of the story. There are some funny moments in the beginning part of the movie, but it later turns quite serious and reflective.

Overall, a fair watch that will not haunt you or stick in your brain for a long time afterwards.
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The Master's Sun
7 people found this review helpful
See all 131 user reviews
Apr 27, 2014
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Ah the Hong Sisters have somewhat recovered their mojo after that disastrous Big.

This show, at many points, made me laugh so hard, then made me cry sadly. I appreciate that the romance was revved up very quickly - very typical of Hong Sister shows. What I really love about this show is the personal growth of the characters - Joong Won, Gong Shil and Yi Ryung. Their growth and development is read more very satisfying to watch onscreen.

One pairing I really grew to love is Kang Won and Yi Ryung. Female second leads still suffer from being painted with a broad brush as being bitchy and jealous, while male second leads are always written as being very well-meaning nice guys who just never get the girl. Yi Ryung definitely won me over by the end of the drama.

Gong Hyo Jin, as expected, acted the heck out of Gong Shil, and has great chemistry with So Ji Sub - as she has had with just about every male actor she has acted with. I was also looking forward to seeing how So Ji Sub, the quintessential brooding man, would be transformed into a comedy star, the way Cha Seung Won was transformed through Best Love. I think his transformation is quite successful!

Some side storylines were somewhat wasted or were badly written and acted, i.e. I didn't have much interest in those characters and just wanted to know, so what happened to them?, but the overall show won me over.
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Jeon Woo Chi: The Taoist Wizard
7 people found this review helpful
See all 3 user reviews
Nov 8, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
I've read a bit about the legend of Jeon Woo Chi, and before I watched this movie I watched the drama Jeon Woo Chi, about the same guy but with a twist on the story. I can understand why this adaptation of the legend is more appealing than the drama.

The story in itself is alright and even features some twists and turns towards the end, but it's the characters that make read more this show a really enjoyable watch. The side characters are given their time to shine and all have their small comic moments. As for the main characters, Woochi is played by Kang Dong Won with an appropriate amount of overconfidence and flair, once again proving how great of an actor KDW is (I picked this movie up because of him). Woochi is portrayed, rightly and very effectively, as a daredevil and lady's man.

The rest of the cast is great in this movie too. There're Im Soo Jung, Kim Yoon Suk, and some other familiar faces you'll probably recognize if you watch enough Korean movies and dramas. Kang Dong Won plays Woochi with such flair and personality. Kim Yoon Suk takes the spotlight when he appears onscreen, which is good since he is the villain in this show. He has a great screen presence and aura about him. I recommend watching some of his other shows, like Punch. Im Soo Jung has a smaller role as the female protagonist so I have little to comment on.

The side characters hold their own and have their own time to shine, in completely hilarious ways. The time travel element of the story also gives us many moments of comedy.

Seeing that there is a lot of action and supernatural stuff going on this show, the CGI, the film spots and the sets are pretty impressive. The story features two eras - ancient Korea and modern Korea. What is really nice is seeing the bright lights of modern Seoul being featured in the movie, including the now-famous Cheonggyecheon stream.

JWC the drama portrays the character quite differently, since it is afforded more time and space to tell the story of how Woochi came to be the Woochi we know today. This being a movie, however, feels snappier and as a viewer, I feel more secure that it knows where the story is going.

Even though I did not get to watch this movie at one go, it is definitely an entertaining watch.
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Hot Young Bloods
9 people found this review helpful
See all 10 user reviews
Oct 9, 2014
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.5
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.5
I can see what this movie was attempting. It was trying to pay tribute to the 80s, and the days of our youth, when we were passionate, energetic, and constantly searching for our identity and the meaning of our existence.

But the movie felt slightly directionless - probably due to a combination of the writing and the directing. The character and relationship development were half-hearted, especially between Lee Jong Seok and Park read more Bo Young's characters.

I was expecting Kim Young Kwang to have a more significant role in this movie, but unfortunately he was greatly overshadowed by the two leads, Lee Jong Seok and Park Bo Young. Lee Jong Seok's bumbling lover boy character did deliver some laughs, especially when faced with Kim Young Kwang's gangster character. But the standout was Park Bo Young - don't be fooled by her baby face, she can strike fear in the heart of any man with her punches and vulgarities. Quite a transformation from her previous roles.

I enjoyed the Korean and American music from the 80s which helps set the time period.

Still enjoyable in parts.
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School 2013
10 people found this review helpful
See all 47 user reviews
Jun 7, 2013
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
I'm no expert on the Korean high school experience, but I found myself relating to several issues brought up in this show about the school system, like suicide, overbearing parents (on both their children and teachers), grades and the pressure that comes with it, loneliness etc. I suppose this is what makes the show 'realistic' as these are live issues. These tugged at my heart throughout the show. This is as much read more a show for students as it is for teachers. It looks not only at the pressures on students but also on teachers.

Interestingly, modern themes like social networking etc don't really figure much in the show, but it doesn't bother me. Every generation will obsess over something trendy, but the friendships and relationships formed around these trendy things will be universal from generation to generation. Where there's a classroom with students, there will be gossip, some troublemakers and lots of friendship. As for modern technology like tablets and smartphones, and why they don't appear much in this show, my guess is this class is mainly made up of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, so they don't possess such expensive gadgets.

As others mention, there is no romance in this show. Personally romance didn't figure in my high school experience, so it wasn't a big factor for me. In fact I preferred that way as I could then focus on other themes I felt were more important. The tone of the show is certainly gloomy. Its pace faltered, especially at episodes 10-13. I could feel like some plots being rehashed at some points. But happily, it picks up at episode 14.

Many episodes brought me on a roller coaster ride of emotions - from moments that made me sob like a baby, to moments where all I wanted to do was bitch-slap some of the villainous and know-it-all characters in the class. Well, all in the day of a Korean drama watcher.

On the bromance point, it is resolved quite soon in the show, leaving us with a good balance of passive-aggressive expressions of concern for each other, and cute moments of friendship and brotherly love among the characters, for better or for worse. I do hope to see Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin more on the Korean drama and movie scene soon (doesn't hurt that they're pretty cute haha).

I was particularly moved by Jang Nara's performance as the caring homeroom teacher of the class. I could feel a teacher's sincerity through each gentle word of encouragement or comfort she spoke to her students.

On previous criticisms that the ending is 'abrupt' or too open-ended, I feel the tone of the drama would have been disrupted if the ending was too neat or fairy-tale. Students' lives won't necessarily be transformed and their problems won't be instantly solved because of one good year with one good teacher (not doubting the transforming power of one good teacher though). In addition, the fact that the characters are young students means the future is always open-ended and open to change. So I actually really like the ending.

All in all, a good line from the show to sum it up is: "It's not yet time to let go of the kids' hands."
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