Completed
Coolforthesummer
135 people found this review helpful
Oct 30, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

From Island Solitude to Stage Spotlight : Castaway Diva's Resonant Tale of Music and Resilience


Castaway Diva, directed by Oh Choong Hwan and written by Park Hye Ryun, is a musical melodrama that intricately unfolds the journey of Seo Mokha, a girl striving to become a diva after her return to normal life from an uninhabited island.

Mokha, with her sole dream of singing alongside her idol Ranjoo faces a devastating setback when stranded on an uninhabited island for 15 years. The narrative unfolds as she returns and embarks on her quest to become a diva.
Upon her return Mokha's reality shatters upon discovering her idol Ranjoo has become a washed up diva, no longer in the limelight and forgotten by the audience. Ranjoo's decline is attributed to various factors including a damaged voice and betrayal by her loyal manager, Lee Seojin.
Mokha's journey is interwoven with the rediscovery of her childhood sweetheart Kiho, revealing shocking truths about his family's struggles during her absence. The show intricately crafts well written characters, each serving as the hero of their own story, reflecting a keen attention to detail.

Seo Mokha's character is finely nuanced, with the writer paying meticulous attention to small details. The portrayal effectively conveys her detachment from the real world during her years on the island. The writer skillfully employs parallels between her island life and her struggles in the real world, adding depth to the character. Park Eunbin's portrayal captures Mokha's 15 year disconnect convincingly.

Ranjoo, the washed-up idol, undergoes a compelling character arc, blending selfishness and selflessness. Her decision to choose Mokha over her own career, despite using her for lipsyncing, showcases a complex and well developed character. Kim Hyojin's performance impeccably captures the essence of Ranjoo's character.

Kiho/Bogeol stands out as one of the most captivating characters in the series, captivating viewers with his kindness and selflessness towards Mokha. His sacrifice and relentless search for her on various islands highlight his extraordinary dedication. In facing a situation reminiscent of Mokha's past abuse, he chooses her well being over his own, ensuring her dreams remain intact despite the harsh reality. Chae Jong Hyeop's portrayal brings an innocence and charm befitting this endearing character.

Woohak emerges as a personal favorite, a protective elder brother to Kiho/Bogeol. While Kiho shields Mokha's dreams, Woohak safeguards Kiho from their abusive father even losing his memory in the process. Despite harboring feelings for Mokha, he gracefully steps aside upon discovering Kiho and Mokha's destined connection prioritizing their well being. Woohak's character development, transitioning from a carefree individual to a protective brother, adds depth to the narrative. Cha Hak Yeon's portrayal skillfully navigates the complexities of Woohak's character.

Lee Seojin remains a complex figure throughout the series, oscillating between moments of goodness while caring for Ranjoo and instances of greed, hindering her career. Kim Jooheon's seasoned performance adds depth to this intricate role.

Other impactful characters include the Kang Family, particularly Papa Kang, whose angelic presence resonates. The portrayal of abusive father Jung Bong Wan is chilling with the actor excelling in depicting the character's disturbing obsession with his son Kiho. Eun Morae a rival of Mokha adds a gray shade to the narrative, not entirely negative. Manager Park Young Kwan, initially despised undergoes a transformative backstory that makes his story arc one of my favorites in this well written drama

This show stands out for its exceptional cinematography creating an immersive experience that makes you feel the proximity to the sea. The vibrant color grading enhances the visual appeal offering a truly pleasing watching experience.

In the music department, the show excels with outstanding OSTs. Park Eun Bin's vocals stand out as she not only delivers the best performances but can rival idols with her exceptional voice.

In summary, Castaway Diva emerges as one of the best dramas of the year, seamlessly blending genres like romance, life, melodrama and mystery. Its creative and well written storytelling deserves a solid 10/10.

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Ongoing 12/12
sooba
62 people found this review helpful
Oct 30, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Ongoing 3
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Hands down to child actors.

The drama is off to a good start because of their exceptional performance. Hats off to them.


"You were right. If you wish for something, one way or another, it
will come true day. And it will happen in unexpected way."


Yall...okay but bogeols eyes when he saw mokha while hugging woohak after they found her

i need his pov for this!! why do i feel like his inner dialogue is saying that "mokha is alive/ i finally found mokha" but he cant take a step coz hes feelin guilty



aaaahhh idkkkkk i am so excited to watch the coming episodessss!!

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Completed
lex
41 people found this review helpful
Dec 5, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers

A LATER IN LIFE COMING OF AGE STORY ABOUT SURVIVAL AND LEARNING TO TRULY LIVE!

***DISCLAIMER: This is just my opinion. We don’t have to agree and I’m not here to argue with anyone.***

General Overview:

This is the story about a girl named Seo Mok Ha who lives with an abusive father. She yearns to be a singer in order to get away from her mundane life in the country. Like her idol Yoo Ran Joo, she aspires to relocate to Seoul and pursue her dreams as a singer. She enters Ran Joo’s singing contest with the help of a fellow classmate, Ki Ho. At first he doesn’t want to help her but then finds enjoyment in seeing her light up as she performs Little do they both realize they have more in common than they though. Ki Ho is also being abused by his father. Ki Ho has to submit Mok Ha’s entry on her behalf since she is unable to do so after getting badly beaten up by her drunkard father. When she finally wins the competition, she gets to meet Ran Joo in Seoul, but she has to figure out a way to get there because she knows her father won't let her go. Upon learning of Mok Ha's ordeal at the hands of her father, he offers her a safe haven and instructs her to knock on his window should she require his help. They make a plan to leave together however things don’t work out. Her father finds out that she attempted to flee to Seoul by boat and goes ballistic trying to find her and bring her back home. Ki Ho spots him and goes to distract him / ward him off however he is too young so he falls powerless to him and loses the fight. When Mok Ha’s father finds her he end up chasing her aorund the boat until they get into an argument. Seo Mok Ha falls overboard and her father jumps in after her.

Eventually, she regains consciousness after washing up on the shore of a deserted island. She soon learns that she is alone after finding her father's remains. We see a glimpse of her survival during the fifteen years that she is abandoned on that island. Fifteen years later, she is discovered by a crew cleaning up the beach on a deserted island while using a drone. After chasing the drone, Mok Ha is found by the crew and is later rescued and brought to safety. From then on, we follow her as she embarks on a quest to fulfill her childhood ambitions and locate Ki Ho, the love of her life and a long-lost friend. When she returns to Seoul, we watch her attempting to make her way through a world that is so foreign to her while she learns how to be an adult and grow up, fight for her dreams, and stand up for the people she loves. Amidst all of this, tensions build, people get hurt, secrets are revealed, and Mok Ha has to decide for herself what is really important and where her loyalty lies. She must ascertain if she possesses the necessary qualities to become a DIVA!

____________________________________________________


In More Detail (Spoilers Ahead):

This drama surpassed my expectations… I went into this not expecting or hoping for much. To say the least, I was not captivated by the first two episodes as much as everyone else. I found it extremely boring and struggled to find the will to finish episode 1 and 2. I would occasionally watch it, I got up to episode 4 then I stopped. Resuming, I binged the remaining 6 episodes when they were at episode 10. Then I was able to watch this drama along with everyone else when the last 2 episodes aired. For me the story started picking up in between episodes 6-9. But unfortunately this experience was nearly ruined / cut short because I saw a spoiler and was so irritated. Nevertheless I continued and I am glad I did.

Likes:

First of all, I think Ki Ho and Mok Ha's story was really brought to life by the young actors Lee Re and Woo Jin. They embodied their characters' anguish, despair, and desperation on film because they were so emotionally invested in them. I doubt the story would have had the same impact if any other young performers had played the roles. Moreover, their resemblance to the leads were uncanny! That casting and directing here was quite excellent.

I felt that Mok Ha's voice over and monologue gave this production and plot a lot more depth. There were many touching and heartfelt moments, and I believe Mok Ha took (as well as us viewers) could take away a meaningful lesson or message from each episode.

Park Eun Bin’s performance was really good. I particularly felt like she nailed the emotional aspects. I also commend her on her light hearted comedic country bumpkin-esque presence. She really had me convinced she spent 15 years on an Island. Her naivety was at times shocking but you come to realize she just has a good heart and always tries to see the best in people. But do not be fooled she is way stronger than she looks because of how much she had to endure for all those years on the island. As the story progressed you see how those events shaped Mok Ha into the strong individual she is today. I am a fan of strong female leads and it was interesting to see such a complex character grace the screen.

I really liked Bo Geol / Ki Ho… I was so impressed by Chae Jong Hyeop that i’ll be sure to check out his other projects His character was such a green flag and total softie at heart. When Bo Geol eventually tore down those walls and was prepared to let Mok Ha in, it was incredibly charming. Previously, I had always assumed that his icy demeanor toward her was him trying to protect her. I realize that later on he was either unable to hide his feelings or chose not to, which is why at times I felt he was acting a little too strongly or unexpectedly. I think that also explains Mok Ha's expression, as it caught me off guard numerous times.

The chemistry between Eun Bin and Jong Hyeop has to be discussed more. Even though it was just one moment, the intensity, tension, and passion were palpable on television. That kiss was the result of all those years of longing for one another, wishing, and praying that the other was okay, wherever they were. I couldn't help but smile and kick my feet, especially when it appeared like they could not get enough of each other and had no intention of stopping LOL.

The relationship between Mok Ha and Ran Joo was fantastic. They seemed like sisters to me. Sometimes Ran Joo was the elder sister, offering Mok Ha insightful counsel; other times, the roles were reversed, and Ran Joo was gaining a lot of knowledge from Mok Ha. It seemed as though Ran Joo's singing career was over, but with Mok Ha, she had a future in songwriting and producing/directing. They seemed to be mirror images of one another, with Mok Ha reminding Ran Joo of her past self and what it was like to be young, fresh, and ready for the world and all its opportunities. In contrast, Mok Ha Ran Joo was teaching her the importance of strength and determination in order to succeed in the industry. She made Mok Ha realize how important it is to put herself first rather than giving of herself all the time and then allowing other people to take advantage of her. In any case, you could sense their love for one another and that they only had one other's best interests in mind at the end of the day.

I also thought the competition between Mok Ha and Mo Rae made for an interesting dynamic. I definitely I rooted for Mok Ha through and through but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I eventually warmed to Mo Rae and I’m glad in the end they ended on amicable terms.

The assistant Yong-Gwan was sour at first but I liked his backstory as it gave us insight into his character. In the past he aspired to be an idol or celebrity but fell short due to lack of courage and being a pushover.

I have to say I enjoyed most of the songs although I felt the song Dream Us was played way too much. It got annoying so quickly in my opinion. The poignant ballads "Here I Am," "Until The End," "Someday," "Open Your Eyes," and "Fly Away" by Mok Ha are my favorite songs. I was particularly moved to tears by the last song "Fly Away" It was breathtakingly beautiful and just magical. I was really moved by Park Eun Bin's vocal performance. Mok Ha really slayed with that last performance and I was sold on her actually stepping into her destiny and becoming an idol / international sensation. When the song is finally released, I'll be listening to it on repeat because I loved it so much!

Dislikes:

To be fair, there’s not much I disliked. At times I felt like Mok Ha was too naive, trusting and easygoing and it made her seem like a pushover but at the same time – I’m glad she remained true to herself / who she's always been and did not let people’s influence or the industry pull a wool over her eye and change her / her morals.

I think the whole plot of Ran Joo and Mok Ha being outed on that live television broadcast was insane. I’m not sure how I thought she would have gotten recognized for her singing or for the truth to come out but I was not expecting them to go that route at all. It seemed like too many events revolved around that one singing TV show / set area. I wished there was a little bit more to it than just that.

The love triangle involving Mok Ha and the brothers was perhaps the aspect of the story that I found most irritating. It was superfluous, in my opinion, especially considering that Woo Hak had no chance at all because Ki Ho had been on her mind all these years. I felt horrible for Woo Hak, especially once he realized that he wasn't Ki Ho at all, after being misled into thinking he was. It was difficult to see him avoid Mok Ha, especially after he discovered that Bo Geol still harbored affections for her. Instead of arguing with his brother like we see in other shows, Woo Hak just wanted him to be happy, which is why he is such an amazing person! It's admirable, in my opinion, that he honored their decision and only wanted Mok Ha to be content, even if it wasn't with him. I literally teared up when his father consoled him after he admitted to having developed feelings for her. Like Woo Hak, I think that Mok Ha is quite endearing and gives others a sense of being seen and valued. Seeing Woo Hak go through that was difficult since, as previously mentioned, he is such a kind soul. Both brothers are such good guys who deserve the very best.

Additionally I feel like the father got off too quickly with such an easy death by suicide. He deserved to rot in jail and worse for all his crimes toward his so called “family” I really hated how he literally just walked up to Sang Doo in the middle of the street and stabbed him. That just made my blood boil… the fact that their family went through so much because of that psychopathic stalker and there was no real sense of justice was so heartbreaking. Woo Hak, Bo Geol and Ha Jung deserved so much better.


____________________________________________________

Quotes I Liked:

“In my eyes, you seemed to lack a lot. You lacked maturity, manners, and thought. You also lacked worries, gloominess, concerns, or reasons to cry. So whenever I looked at you, I was annoyed.”

“Become so famous that no one could dare mistreat you.”

“15 years ago, I liked her because of how much she lacked. She lacked worries, gloominess, and concerns. But she seems to be full of them now.”

“No one is cowardly or deceitful because they want to be. We all become desperate and make choices for our own reasons.”

“In life, it feels like the world mistreats you. And you take your anger out on the wrong person.”

“How long can a secret remain a secret? If we cover the secret under layers of lies, can we keep the secret from surfacing?”

“If you keep worrying about the future, then you’ll end up with just as many regrets down the road. From now on, I’m going to do whatever I want in that moment.”

“Relationships often change depending on the circumstances. We couldn’t share the same path in the past. But now, things have changed.”

“I’ll probably regret it a little. But I’d regret it even more if I never even try. At least for ten years, I’d be doing what I love the most.”

“They say failure is the mother of success. I’ll just take it as learning a lesson from another mother and move on.”

“It was all or nothing. Do or die. I made up my mind and jumped into the water. And then, before you know it, you’ll learn how to swim and you might be able to catch a ton of fish.”

“Let’s become the best at all costs.”

“I guess it’s true that givers create takers.”

“Why are you a taker? You’re a gift.”

“One person is lying to protect his children, while the other is lying to punish them. Then, which one do you think is the real father?”

“In life, you’ll learn that some people become happy over other people’s misfortunes. You’ll learn that many become jealous of other people’s success. That’s because when their lives become pathetic, they refuse to blame themselves. That’s why they blame it on others and want to bring them down. Because that’s easier.”

“When we almost lost dad, I realized not expressing your feelings can be the biggest regret in life.”

“There’s a sword in my hand so I might as well wield it.”

“Having gone through it now, I learned wishes don’t always come true right away. They don’t come true when you want them to. They take a long time. You forget about them, then suddenly, they come true.”

“Don’t cut ties just because you don’t like them. And don’t give up even if it gets tough.”

“Stay strong, endure it, and hang in there. Then one day, your wishes will come true in unexpected ways.”

“Let the failure of others become a lesson to you. Learn what you can and ignore the rest.”

“By replacing those answerless questions with other things to fill up the time, I survived one day after another.”

____________________________________________________

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, I believe that the drama needed more romance and additional episodes. Although the kiss between our protagonists was beautiful, I thought there might have been more at the ending. The promise, tension, and chemistry were all there. Then again, maybe I'm just being greedy. Since Ki Ho and Mok Ha have reconnected as adults, I also wish their relationship had progressed further. It seems like we missed out on seeing them be an actual couple who hang out / go on dates and get to know each other all over again. Additionally, I also needed to see what happened with Ran Joo’s career, Mok Ha’s climb to success, the tabloids interfering with her private life and how she was coping with her instant fame etc.

Would I rewatch this drama? Yes, I think I’d rewatch it when the events are not so fresh in my head and if I had nothing else to watch. Again, it was hard for me to get into but I’m glad I stuck with it and waited for it to get better. If you told me a month ago I’d end up liking this drama as much as I do now I would not have believed you.

Overall, I think the difficulties were handled quite nicely. In the span of 12 episodes, Mok Ha underwent significant growth. Her monologues conveyed her emotion and heart, and I found her to be a rather trustworthy narrator. We had the pleasure of accompanying her on this coming of age journey and I just feel so blessed we got to see her transformation.

If you love mystery and intrigue with a dash of lightheartedness and sad/heartbreaking backstories, then I think you should definitely check out this drama. I adore how this drama strikes a perfect mix of comedy, drama, mystery, music, heartfelt moments, and excellent voiceover/storytelling to give us a glimpse into Mok Ha's mind. There are so many things to enjoy and you wouldn't want to overlook this drama at all.

With all that being said, I give this drama a solid 8/10.


Thanks for reading and happy watching! ❤️


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Completed
blahblahfriend
26 people found this review helpful
Nov 5, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0

If you wish for something with all your heart, it'll come true in an unexpected way

This Korean drama is a story of resilience, hopes, and dreams. It highlights the enduring spirit of a woman who continues to reach for the stars despite the odds. Mixed in are celebrity drama, family conflict, mystery, and doses of rom-com.

The series is the third collaboration of writer Park Hyeryun and director Oh Choonghwan, after Start-Up and While You Were Sleeping. They masterfully interweave humor with depth of emotion. The female lead, Park Eunbin, of Extraordinary Attorney Woo fame, brings quirkiness and charm, not to mention some impressive singing. The plotline is at times whimsical and imaginative. The visuals, sound, and design are polished, as to be expected from Studio Dragon.

Pacing is dynamic. Each episode generally contains some balance of serious problems and inspiring moments. The writer excels at portraying heartwarming friendships and is known to keep you guessing about who will end up in a relationship with whom. There are mystery elements here, and you're drawn in rooting for their dreams to come true. There is some rewatch value as you can notice the crumbs and intentional miscues throughout the story.

Parts of the first episode could be difficult to watch due to scenes of physical abuse. But I recommend you stick to it to watch a beautiful and inspiring story showcasing the struggle and merits of chasing your dreams and the value of loving family bonds.

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Ongoing 12/12
leci
18 people found this review helpful
Nov 12, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

main character perspective

I’m so surprised about this show! i wasn’t expecting loving it this much.

the thing i like the most is the main character perspective on our society! after spending 15 years isolated with nature, she can’t understand anxiety the way we do. everyone is projecting their own anxieties… she’s too old to sing, she should have been famous, be angry… she’s just terrible enjoying meeting her idol, having someone to have a meal with, people who cherish and worries about her. i really do love it!

i expect to see more of kiho, i like the thriller, i’m so curious about what’s coming next!

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Completed
Shiro
14 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Castaway Music and Romance but instead we got so much more...

This drama is all about priorities and is so much more than another music Cast Away Diva.... Don´t get me wrong I love my idol music dramas more than most people do and this does have some of that but what makes this drama excellent is how it mixes dreams, and family abuse with fond family and friendship, killer secrets, a psychopath or two... and a side of romance in such a beautiful way.

Foremost this is a slice of life drama featuring a story about family abuse, found family and trying to escape....
Then comes the story about fighting for ones dreams in a world full of betrayals but also beautiful friendships
First after that comes the romance part of the story. To be honest I would have wanted another 4 episodes devoted to music and romance, but the mix in this was otherwise pretty well balanced.

There are almost over the top annoying characters or low comedy elements as far as my eyes could see... The two that had that type of characteristics had a job to do to get the story ruling to their invigorating annoying traits actually field a purpose. Making me accept (hate) them just the way they where as they indeed showed how dangerous being a **** when facing kids trapped in families where they are abused can be.

The main villain in this drama is very well written perfectly evil, smart, knows the rules and knows exactly how to avoid punishment. Our diva is a true diva with a story, the agency director a jerk, our female lead is bad ass and fun and lovable all at once. The male lead has this great mix of hot- cold, reserved... The second male lead is precious and clueless and just so much fun to watch. The found families are just so adorable, I love em I truly do, the sisemace also top top top... And the hot and cold romance has some pretty good chemistry and lovely lines but is just overshadowed by the rest both in term of story and measured in screen time.

Defiantly a drama I recommend to most, just be prepared for both darkness and fluff...

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Completed
BTBT091509
12 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Castaway Diva??

So first off all this is hands down one of the top 5 best kdramas I’ve watched this year, the casting was amazing and my fav CHJ did amazing ?. I will say that the abusive dad storyline was dragged out abit and it was really getting on my nerves just for him to off himself gosh? but anyway overall I really enjoyed the first ep hooked me and the child actors did amazing. Each character was likeable apart from the biological dads but most of all my favs mokgeoli couple~so cute!! But we were deffo robbed of so many more romantic moments but at least we got a kiss they had such good chemistry??. I hope that the rating for this drama will increase I think it deserves at least an 8.8! However again really enjoyed it and hope more projects like this come and yh I enjoyed it?

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Completed
kdramajudge
44 people found this review helpful
Oct 30, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0

it has such an interesting concept for the plot, but... :(

Mokha and Kiho are schoolmates who ended up supporting each other due to their dysfunctional family situations. Mokha dreams of becoming a singer since childhood, but failed to be one due to her abusive father, and she ends up surviving alone in a deserted island. When she's finally rescued, she has to adapt to this modern society that she has left for over 15 years, while keep pursuing her dream.

This first episode got me connected to Mokha and Kiho, it was sad but I love it, including Mokha being alone on a deserted island. My appreciation goes for the young actors, they were so good. Lee Re really looks like young Park Eun Bin and did very well. Moon Woo Jin is such a scene stealer in anywhere I've seen him in. I love his gaze and serious and empathetic looks. I wish there's more to their story, with the time jump and there's almost no island story, we moved on so fast that my emotional investment drops a lot. I find it hard to believe that she is so childlike, like a country-bumpkin in Seoul, and the show is trying to make me feel that way but it didn't feel genuine enough. I get that she doesn't have anyone to develop her social mannerism on the island, but her past-self is even more mature than her adult-self. What I enjoyed in the present time is when Mokha gets to actually connect with her idol and her plot with her idol. I like the Kang brotherhood moments as well, but even with those pros... the cons outweighed the pros; Her career journey should had been more highlighted, but that got sidetracked by a uninteresting love triangle. Another thing, I can give a pass to Mokha's acting but not to her reactions to the plot point reveal, that's just annoying because it seems so out of her character. It might be that the show is written as it airs? I'm not sure. it has such an interesting concept, but this show is just meh.

-Oct 2023, Yovita
Find me on Instagram: @kdramajudge

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Completed
catherine
9 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

Best kdrama of 2023

This is probably my favorite 2023 kdrama. It really just had me by the first episode, where we saw the childhood backstory of our two leads. It was heart-breaking but also beautiful seeing how they went from simple classmates who judged each other to two people who stood with each other against the world.

I was a little nervous going into this, since the premise of “a girl gets stranded on and island and wants to become a pop star when she returns to civilization” seems sort of like a goofy premise…but the first episode completely dispelled all my worries. There are stakes in this, for sure. There’s the familial abuse plot, which was what I was most invested in, and I really loved how we got a “found family” aspect amidst all of it.

I also just loved the dynamic between our characters after the time jump. You had our leads, who had amazing chemistry despite one of their identities being hidden. It’s really a testament to great acting and directing that most people started shipping them so early on. And despite a bumpy road at the start, they grew into a communicative, trusting relationship where you could see how much they wanted to protect each other. It’s really refreshing that how real and human all the characters seemed: they tried to stay kind but sometimes wavered out of fear and made selfish decisions, or it could be something as simple as they tried to lie but weren’t very good at it.

The side characters were all well-rounded as well. The second male lead had his own backstory and emotional growth — although I do think his part in the love triangle was unnecessary, but it was good that it wasn't blown out of proportion — and the family members also played their part in the story, with their own heart-warming backstory. It was beautiful. Even Ranjoo had her journey of becoming a singer and her fall from fame, which tied together with Mokha.

I admit I cared a little less about this plot; don’t get me wrong, I LOVED all the songs — both actresses are so immensely talented and the songs are definitely new additions to my playlist — but the ickiness of the entertainment industry’s power struggles, rude fans, pushy reporters and press conferences…I think I would’ve been happier with less of it.

Overall, I still really loved this one. In addition to great characters and story, you can tell a lot of thought went into the cinematography and set design (I looked into an art print in one of the shots and it totally had symbolic meaning) and it really just added that much more to the atmosphere. Definitely recommend this one.

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Completed
crayrules
11 people found this review helpful
Nov 9, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

I Gave This a 10 Rating Even Though It Has Its Flaws

Just to reiterate, I absolutely love this series so far but it does have its drawbacks.

I won't go into details about what this show is about because there are already many reviews explaining that thoroughly.

I'm a huge fan of actress Park Eun Bin (main lead) and teen actor Moon Woo Jin, (who plays the young Ki-Ho). I'm also a fan of screenwriter Park Hye Ryun's works.

I could rave on and on about why I love this show but I'm only going to talk about some of the things that I wasn't too fond of.

Another review explained how young Ki-Ho was getting beaten in public and no one came to help. Then soon after, we had to watch Seo Mok-Ha (FL) get chased around the ferry and again, there was no help. While I agree that the lack of help seemed ridiculous, at the same time, when you think about how society is today, it actually may not be too far off the mark. While I personally would like to think the best of people, the "bystander effect" is real. Some people just do not want to get involved. Sad but true.

What bothered me the most so far, was the storyline regarding adults and domestic violence. I think this is where I feel the writers missed the mark when it comes to protecting children. Another person claimed that this wasn't an "advocacy show", that it is just a "drama". Of course it is, but IMO, writers can be powerful influencers. While they were able to write about the issue of domestic violence, there wasn't any real "ray of hope" so to speak. All was lost by the first episode. I found it especially disappointing when Seo Mok-ha goes back to the island and speaks to the two men who took over Mok-ha's father's shop. The men speak unkindly about Ki-Ho. Even though they knew that Ki-Ho reported his father for domestic abuse, they referred to him as being "insolent" and "the worst son ever" and of Ki-Ho breaking down mentally. The only saving grace from that scene was learning that Ki-Ho's father was fired from his job. But then the men go on to talk about how Ki-Ho's father still loves him and went to Seoul to look for him because "that's what parents do."

What a bunch of crockery. Lol! I say that only because there were a lot of ways that conversation could've gone differently without changing the storyline. Like maybe NOT taking the father's side and being understanding of Ki-Ho's situation and why he fled. Would've been nice if that one guy actually realized that he had caused problems for Ki-Ho and was regretful. That they tried to convince Ki-Ho's father not to leave and look for his son. That maybe perhaps they hoped Ki-ho wouldn't get discovered.

But of course, it's a "drama". But this is my version of how I wished that scene had unfolded because we shouldn't gloss over abusers' actions. As a viewer, I can only hope that for young child or teenager, who may be suffering from domestic abuse, if they're watching this show, finds some hope and solace. That there are adults out there who will believe them, take their side, and help them. This is why I say writers can be powerful influencers. They can change the narrative and influence public opinion and offer hope, even if it is just a "drama".

Moving on, another thing I greatly disliked was Yan Ran Joo reliving her glory days when it was really Mok-ha was doing all the singing. The way Ran Joo is acting all happy about the raving articles about her and yet, she was lip-synching. Seriously? I would understand if she was happy because she hopes to sell some albums but it wasn't portrayed like that. Of course, I'm sure things are going to get better later on, and with Ran Joo's help, Mok-ha will be able to become a diva.

Despite all this, I really, really love this show. The actors are amazing. I've always been a fan of Park Eun Bin and especially, Moon Woo Jin. Woo Jin's earlier works were always so amazing especially in "What's Wrong with Secretary Kim". He's growing up to be just as good as Eun Bin. Rooting for this kid all the way. I also want to give a shout-out to Lee Re who plays the younger version of Moh-ka. She was so amazing too! Her acting chops are like a mini-version of Eun Bin! Even her big, beautiful smile was the same. These two teen actors hit it out of the park! I was so moved to tears with these two. I adore Park Eun Bin as always. and as for screenwriter Park Hye Ryun, I still love her works especially, "While You Were Sleeping"! One of my fave dramas!!

On Ep4 as of writing. May update later if necessary!

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Completed
Memon
12 people found this review helpful
Nov 13, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

❤️

Every episode is really good and wort it , you won't regret waiting ..
I really like the female lead she's funny .. I have watched most of park eun bin's dramas and she is really good in all her roles .. Her face is innocent and naive to the world but determined in everything ..
You can't imagine what will happen in the next episode ..
It's really worth watching ..
I'm so excited for the next episode , the male lead will fulfill his promise to the female lead when they were children ..
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Completed
Idyllic Daisy
8 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

One of the Best Music Themed Drama — but it has more

The best elements of this drama is music. Park Eunbin kill it with her voice. She and Lee Re performs one of the best non singer playing a singer in any K-drama ever. They really sound like diva and show their emotion through singing really well. Every singing casts also sound so good, the songs are good, the soundtracks are perfect. For me, it is the best music themed K-drama after Dream High, but it's even crazier because no professional singer cast as singer in this drama!

The casting are perfect. Similarity between the teen casts and the adult casts are insane. They look similar, have similar gazes and smile, they even sound similar! Just by seeing the first episode I can know who they will become in their adult version. Lee Re and Moon Woo Jin are spectacular actors. They build a very strong base for this drama. Their adult story become significant and rich in emotion because of the story presented by them so genuinely and tastefully.

Lots of parallels and foreshadows used in this drama. So much detail but not everything are mentioned blatantly, it's subtle. It's make some people who miss the detail read the story in different ways. Especially during the arc of "finding Kiho". (Personally I enjoy the healthy discussion and debate it brings during the airing of the show. It's a conversation starter.)

From all cast, I think Jong Hyeop's acting shining through. How can a person talking using his eyes? He definitely do that. Every longing, love, pain, joy, he monologing using his eyes. His emotional scenes are impactful. His laugh is infectious.

The things I'm not really like is the lowkey triangle love. I feel that unnecessary. Even if Woohak love Mokha as best friend only, the story still goes well. Another element is the props and makeup they use in the island, they're highly unrealistic. I can accept they are sea trash, but the quality is not consistent. Sometimes Mokha is dirty, tanned, with still good clothes. Other times she wear her old teens clothes with fair and good skin condition. But I love the other part of this drama. So I easily pass these elements as, "Well, it's a K-drama."

Important to know, this drama has so many elements, from dream, romance, music, family, crime, friendship, mentor-pupil, lil bit mystery and suspense. In my opinion it has nice balance. Just don't hoping too much on only one or two elements, you will disapointed. It has many elements with only 12 episode, so the time for each element is limited. And every characters are important. They will get their share of screentime.

At the end, this is a good drama, made with care, with good production, good actors, interesting story. I left this drama with a big smile in my face.

And I know, that I will listen to the songs from this drama for a long-long time ❤

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