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Completed
The Atypical Family
41 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2024
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Will it be the best drama of the year?

This series has a sophisticated atmospheric magic blended with real life traumas and believable characters. Every person in the drama is flawed, but relatable and likeable (except the ML’s sister, about who I'll rant below). As opposed to recent “Queen of Tears” where every character was also flawed, but none of them were likeable (perhaps the exception being the aunt).

In “The Atypical Family” story as well as character development expands with an atmosphere – the colour tones, the music scores as well as sound design, and the easily flowing caesural pauses allowing the viewers to take in the vastness of the scene settings, the seriousness of the situations. One could almost compare this drama with the poetry. Actors and their characters are allowed pauses to think, not to say that they’re slow, on the contrary, it makes them and their choices more believable. The script and most chosen actors are spectacular in their roles….. except one minor detail.

The rant (at ep. 4):
To me it seems that in Korea there are no plus size actors. I’d bet anything it’s not the truth, but the industry is hellbent on trying to prove to the world that there’s either no obese people in Korea or no “fat” actors. Whenever the creators need to have a heavier character in the show, they just find the skinnies actress and put her in a costume. (To be fair it is impressive, what a film crew can do nowadays, and it does look somewhat realistic, however, it also gives “uncanny valley” vibes, because the actor trying to act is not actually fat.) Not to mention, the creators make that particular character as unpleasant visually and in personality as possible. Around the world there are plenty of big and heavy people, who are wonderful, who do not care for their weight, and even have a sense of fashion. But noooo, let’s vilify the fatness. I would not wish it but, I’d guess the plan for Bok Dong-Hee is to lose all the weight, so she could fly again. I would prefer, if she could accept herself as she is and still could regain flying, because that power should not depend on her actual weight, it is after all a Super.Power.
End of the rant.

All in all, I find the story refreshing and interesting, the clashing of one dysfunctional family with a fake united one, the deadpan comedy, the pain of trauma and not managing to let go of the past.

This drama for me might even be the best of the year.

Second rant (at ep. 10):
At ep. 10 Bok Dong-Hee becomes slim, just like that. Boom. We see each episode that she is becoming slimmer, but that amount... just took me out. I generally skip a lot of her scenes because her personality is too childish for me and grinds on my nerves about the whole "get back the cheating man" by losing weight. Ughhh. Bish, if he doesn't want you fat, he will not want you slim.
The only, ONLY redeeming point about the whole lost weight thing is that she still can not fly! Thank you! Because it's not the weight that was holding her down!!! It. Is. A. Super. Power!
End of the rant.

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Completed
Alchemy of Souls Season 2: Light and Shadow
3 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2024
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 2.0
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Butchered

Season 1 was not perfect. I skipped parts and rolled my eyes more than I care to admit. However, the actors, scenographers and CGI department did a good job, even the montage was adequate. But why, by god, did the writers and the director need to butcher the series as they did in the second season?

Having an amnesiac as a main character in the last third of the series (30 episodes in total) is never a good idea. It drastically halted the progression of the story and, in general, Bu-Yeon (who was supposed to be the fearsome Naksu) did nothing of her own volition to propel the plot forward. She was always a maiden in distress.

As a series written by two women, it sadly also had only two human-like and relatable female characters: Ju-Wol and Mu-Deok. All the other women were over the top jealous, over-subserviant, conniving or borderline crazy.

It would have been more satisfying if, at the end of the first season, everyone died and Jin-Mu took the body of a king. Sad, utterly tragic, but what a story it would have been.

If, in the first season, the writers would sometimes forget some of the character traits and made them act against their nature, then in the second season they decided to butcher almost all the characters, which was most evident in Mu-Deok / Bu-Yeon / Naksu. Pardon my French, but frikin Naksu / Mu-Deok could not have been contained for three years in that captivity.

Perhaps, it was too great to expect to see an interesting sword battle between Naksu and Jang Uk in the second season, but to once again be mainly subjected to the drawn-out "love triangle" and to witness the "back and forth" between main lovebirds (as well as the side lovebirds) was extremely, extremely dull.

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Dropped 8/16
Queen of Tears
41 people found this review helpful
Apr 1, 2024
8 of 16 episodes seen
Dropped 7
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

It is too superficial

As so many here stated - the production of the series is top notch. The visuals, the camera angles - everything adding up to be a mesmerising and enjoyable watch. Unfortunately, the production is the main (and only) good feature of this show, every other aspect, especially the story, is extremely lacking.

1. The episodes are very uneven in their plot progression as well as invoking emotional roller-coasters. Sometimes, when the story is lacking in a film or a show, creators will overcompensate with trying to make their viewers emotional over certain parts. I am noticing a lot of that tactic here.

2. There is not a single likeable or relatable character. There are parts of certain characters that are sometimes likeable / relatable, but other that that, I have not yet seen a single one of them admitting and owning up to their past mistakes or misconducts. Everyone are over the top, self-centred, greedy bastards, to whom such a beautiful and light-hearted atmosphere of the show is not suited. It just gives off "Uncanny valley" effect. The villains are comical and boring; the protagonists have barely any screen-time to develop deeper connection between each other and, also, the audience.

3. The initial selling point of the drama (shaky relationship between rich wife and a husband who married into her family) is soon forgotten in lieu to the villains' convoluted revenge plans. At this point in show, there are far too many talking heads in rooms and not enough deep dives into the trauma of such selfish families, into the struggles of the protagonists - how did they come to want to marry each other, how did they grow apart (we might know the "why", but not the "how").

I will not be dropping the title, but watching it - is quite, quite tedious. I am very grateful for the "forward" button.

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Ongoing 14/16
Doctor Slump
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 28, 2024
14 of 16 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Too little depression in a show about depression

As a drama about trauma and healing there are far too little conversations with psychotherapist and far too much accidental overhearing, eavesdropping, retelling and etc. (there must be some ethical boundaries, that were crossed multiple times?). Please tell the writers that there are other ways to move the plot forward!!!

As for the Depression - it is a very ugly illness, and yes it varies from person to person, but I (personally) just feel from the writing and FL "a bit depressed" vibes and "it will pass" thinking. Bish, no it won't! Not until you'll take it seriously.
I would've loved if the writers would have digged deeper and looked into darker corners of this illness.

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Completed
The Good Bad Mother
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2024
14 of 14 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

It's not "the thought that counts" but "our actions that show who we really are"

As series about an abusive parent, it lacks a bit of self-awareness. The mother is mostly bad and horrific with very little good and redeeming qualities. During the story she does reflect a bit and becomes remorseful about certain things but we as the audience see that it happens only in her head - even when she regrets her past actions, she does not learn from them, she literally does not learn anything from her past mistakes.

* In the past she is very strict and overbearing with her son's education (and overall life), in the present her methods for his rehabilitation are very strict and overbearing (to take away the food when he can not control his arms, to dump him in the lake when he can not stand up).

* In the past she burns almost everything that shows his love and accomplishments for drawing, in the present she burns almost everything that shows his work and accomplishments as a prosecutor (carrier path chosen by her).

* In the past and in the present she makes all the decisions for him, in other words she is not raising a son, but a submissive, accommodating robot, to do and be as she dictates. It is called out only once or few times but very briefly, and she never apologises for taking away a lot of agency from her son. (She does, however, apologise for other things on few occasions, which is commendable).

The main message of the show now reads as "mother is always right" no matter how psychotic or abusive. It would have been more believable, if the son hated his mother more, and would come to realise that along the hate there was also love, only AFTER he found out that she was dying. Better yet after her death. (Death and end of things are good drives for introspection).

In my eyes, mother was too glorified and judged too little for her terrible actions towards her son, because as much as we would like to believe that it's always "the thought that counts" it is actually "our actions that show who we really are".

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Completed
You Raise Me Up
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 15, 2024
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 1.0
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 1.0
Music 1.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

This is not a romantic drama - this is a psychological horror trying to play as a Rom-Com

This show has so many problems on so many levels... The unprofessionalism of both doctors and a bet about another person who is a patient?

No, just no, no, no, nah-a, nah, no way.

What kind of message does this show wants to present to its audience about Korean and general health care (especially psychology-wise)?

For crying out loud, the ML wanted to off himself, that is a serious matter. It was not played as a joke (which works in some cases), but the series failed to grasp the full seriousness and danger of such a behaviour in a person.

If I could, I'd give this show -20. Both doctors should lose their licences. This is not a romantic drama; this is a psychological horror trying to play as a Rom-Com.

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Ongoing 6/12
Wedding Impossible
4 people found this review helpful
Mar 13, 2024
6 of 12 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 8.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10

Even clichés can be well written and enjoyable to watch

As cliché a story as this is, it has its' golden pieces, mostly because there is some interesting character development among most of the characters. I especially love both FLs and the ML (Lee Ji Han).

-Na Ah Jung is so assertive, with a "no f*cks given" attitude most of the time, but whenever a situation calls for accountability, she takes it. That is quite a turn-on.

-Yoon Chae Won, in my opinion, is not yet fully fleshed out; however, at present, she is a well-liked character who has a strong backbone. I hope to see her flourish in the upcoming episodes.

-Lee Ji Han is so cute, caring, and sometimes smothering. I love the dynamic between him and Na Ah Jung; she always calls out his bullshit and childish behaviours, which allows him to grow mentally and emotionally.

-The character I currently care about the least is Lee Do Han. I understand that his secret is the whole premise of the show, but unfortunately, him not acknowledging himself in front of his brother makes him look... pathetic. I can only hope that his arc gets better in the future.

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Dropped 6/16
Flex X Cop
4 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2024
6 of 16 episodes seen
Dropped 2
Overall 3.0
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

The Editing is horrible

Whoever did the editing for the series - should go back to editing school, and if it was director's decision.... Why? 왜?

The sudden cuts to the black halts the flow of the story, if it would happen only few times an episode to show that it took prolonged time between the scenes or something, I could understand it, but now
every
scene
ends
and
stars
with
a
black
cut

Somebody needs to relearn Cinematic language (when you want to break the rules, first you need to understand them and why they are how they are). The cuts not only take away the visuals but audio as well, which is even more jarring. There is a saying among filmmakers - "the most important part of the cinema is sound". The cuts to the black (and to the silence) should Have some value to the overall story, but now they are just... there.

These unnecessary cuts:
* take the audience away from the story ("Wait, what happened? Oh, we're back. Ok... What? It happened again? ... Oh, again? I guess I will check my phone then.")
* halts the story itself, the story should build up during the episode like a chart going slightly up, however with the cuts, the story always needs to start from the ground up: /\/\/\/\

I can skip uninteresting parts of the series, I can suspend my disbelieve with certain unbelievable things, I can enjoy the humour and good acting. However, I Cannot make myself go through the sudden STOP signs, which suddenly kick me out through the front window onto the pavement.

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Completed
One Dollar Lawyer
0 people found this review helpful
Apr 14, 2024
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

It is perfect, because it's imperfect

This show has a number of flaws, which are nicely stated in other reviews. However, in my eyes the charm of the drama is The Mixture of its strengths and faults. As these series are vastly idealistic, it has little relation to the real world behaviours and outcomes, which makes its comedy parts even stronger.

The main actors are superb, the script is well written and the story flows nicely with only a few drops here and there, all the characters stay true to themselves (for me that is always a monumental plus) and the comedy is on point (even the cringey parts).

Could it have been made better? Dropped a bit of cringe, added some more subplot for the second leads? Of course. The problem of Perfection is that it does not have a completeness, a finish line, unlike the real life projects and people's energy levels. At some point someone has to say "it's good enough". While watching this drama you can feel that it is made with love and care, no feeling of laziness, and I truly appreciate it.

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