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PCBM's story is completely unique and one of a kind. It centers two men who die wrongfully but are sent back to life in different bodies to conclude any unfinished business they might have. Help their loved ones with their problems, give them closure and help them move on, but most importantly they are sent back to get to know theirselves better, understand their mistakes, and try to right them. This is exactly the show's main premise. We need to look at our lives in a not one-dimensional way. Life isn't about just working, no matter how pure our intentions are, people might get hurt because of our ignorance. Life isn't about being in the background because we believe our loved ones don't deserve us. We are perfect the way we are. PCBM gives several messages about life decisions, family, friendship, work place attidute and problems, marriage and more.
This drama was literally a gem, not because of its uncommon story, not because it blends several genres together in the best way possible, but because superficially is the funniest show ever, but if someone decides to scratch the surface and dig deeper the show assesses life itself and sends tons of messages and meanings that were all truly wonderful and heartwarming. Beware that this is not your average romcom -thank god-, this is deep, it is serious, it is emotional, it is heartbreaking but still it is safe to say that the comedy is executed perfectly.
Furthrermore, another thing that deserves mentioning is the fact that this drama broke the 16-episode drama usual plan. You know how everything is amazing in the beginning, and slowly everything falls into place around episode 10 and the last 4-5 episodes are just filler ones, pulling and dragging the story around. PCBM, not only broke this stupid rule, not only it was the only 'comedy' that had actual plot twists but it managed to never be boring, always have a purpose and be interesting until the very last minute.
It was widely argued that the acting here was bad, either i missed something, or .... 'people' missed something, or were just dead set on hating. The acting here was impeccable, coming from an amazing ensemble cast. I have learned from my stay in kdramaland that it is unrealistic to ask the actors to have great chemistry when the dramas are so small in lenght. They don't have the time to develop a chemistry and when it is there (rarely) i am thankful and grateful. The actors here not only managed to have great chemistry in their possible romantic connections, but literally EVERYONE had excellent chemistry with everyone in their respective relationships. This is possibly the most unique thing about this drama. The cast clicked so perfectly together, it was completely unrealistic!
I'll start with my favourite, Oh Yeon Seo. Her character was difficult to pull off, and very fundemental for the show to make sense. She needed to act manly, tough, and still stay femine, not look stupid, look badass and emotional. The woman was IMPECCABLE, a standing ovation from me, she was shivering in everything she did. No words are enough. In many ways she was the show.
And when i thought she was going to overshadow everyone, Rain came to the picture. His quixotic talent to slip through different emotions in a matter of seconds shocked me. He could go from crying to laughing in a split second without ever looking fake or his emotions forced. First actor in kdramaland that pulled that off, and he was completely up there with OYS for what -if i may- could call THE BEST DUO EVER in kdramaland.
Lee Min Jung, Lee Ha Nui, Lee Tae Hwan, literally everyone was exquisite in their role, no words are enough to describe this awesomeness, that nobody should overlook.
Overall, this show might not be for everyone, since it is completely different from your usual kdrama. The humor is different, the romance is present but not the way people want it, the plot is completely innovative and might not be accepted by everyone. In my book innovation=win, but from what i've gathered from my stay in kdramaland, kdrama fans like their chiche stories. So, if you are ready for something completely different than what you are used to, ready to laugh and cry at the same time (i'm not exaggerating), you should definately give this a chance. This is a marvelous show not to be missed. Definately rewatch-worthy, first show ever that triggered so many emotions simultaneously.
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The K2 is ambitious, it wants to be intriguing and captivating but too much pressure has underwhelming results. The drama is a weird combo of action, political drama and romance that doesn't really work. There are 4 main characters, all of them perfectly demonstrated and completely 3-D, each of them has a story of revenge or ambition about the future and all their stories get entangled to set the plot. The characterization is the best part of the drama.
The base story is there and it's quite well-thought-out once you get to grasp it (takes a few episodes - or more than a few), however the K2 was one of those dramas that even though you enjoy it, only drawbacks come to mind when you think of it, sadly.
The drama felt 50% superman, 30% boring political talk and no act and 20% forced romance.
Most surprising thing about this drama is that the biggest and most critical asset of it, the action scenes, ended up working against the whole thing. Ji Chang Wook was immaculate in them, it's not his fault that after 2-3 episodes my initial enthusiasm turned into yawning. It was certainly not his fault. The directing and editing is to blame here. They overplayed the scenes so much, they quickly lose their spark and interest; unnecessary slow-motion, gratuitous weird angles and more made them look overly cheesy. What's more, it quickly felt that the drama pays too much attention in CJW doing his thing than to the plot itself which made the drama feel increasingly superficial and shallow.
Furthermore, what is the korean obsession with making their male leads look like superman? As the episodes continue CJW's character felt more and more unreal. Humans have their limits, that's their charm. Striping them of that feature makes them look fake. I didn't sign up for a hero film, sorry.
Another really awkward thing is that each episode is packed with action, or scheming, plotting, romance, so many things going on, but when i stopped to think what had actually happened after the end of every episode, how the episode contributed to the overall story, i came up always with nothing. In retrospect, nothing actually had happened. Amazing isn't it? The story is there but there is no real development until the end. Dissapointing, what a letdown.
Continuing, the drama is defined by its political aspect. I'm not into political dramas, so once this part kicked in i was inevitably bored. However, I'm usually very much into scheming evil characters and backstabbing and this drama has plenty of it, but the build up to all this was lenghty and quite tiresome to watch.
Additionally, i'd like to talk about the dissapointing romance. CJW is paired with Yoona here, and while they do look good together, their romance felt thorougly forced and wasn't given adequate time to grow and develop. On the contrary CJW and Choi Yoo Na's chemistry was effortless and off the charts. I think i can safely speak on behalf of almost every viewer when i express my dissapointment in the writer's persistence to shove the former couple down our throats when the latter was there and was spotless since the very first moment.
Drawing my rant to a conclusion i'd want to talk about the misuse of Yoona (Anna) as a character. She was either running, crying screaming or taken hostage throughout the whole thing, while she barely appeared in the first half. She basically made CJW's character look like super mario trying to save his girlfriend, unrealistic and cringy.
At this point i feel inclined to mention and stress the significance of Song Yoon Ah's character who probably makes the drama worth watching on her own. Finding characters that are 3D and not carricature versions of real life people is difficult in kdramas. Here, all the character were well-created but Choi Yoo Jin was the perfect villain or more like the anti-hero. There are several layers of her character that go deep and are visible little by little. She was the perfect villain who everyone grew fond of quickly and she deserved better from start to finish. You'll love her believe me.
The acting was dazzling.
Yoona who is seemigly the weakest link of the main cast was way better than expected. She suited the character perfectly and was completely satisfying in her every scene even though severely misused.
Ji Chang Wook executed his action scenes spotlessly, and to be honest that was his character's main goal. I have nothing else to add, he was manly and a worthy main lead, but he deserves better as an actor.
Jo Sung Ha was also spectacular in his twisted role, but the real queen of the drama was Song Yoon Ah, hands down. Her character was disturbed, easy to misunderstand, but she made us all care for her and see beyond her evil mask. Loved her completely. Star quality actor.
Overall, the drama wasn't bad, it is one of those dramas that blow up in the beginning but never come up with the goods. It was enjoyable for the most part (let's exclude the boring political talk), and entertaining. If you are into hot guys playing superman in fight scenes, like evil characters scheming and double-crossing as well as some kind of romance in the sidetracks, do give this a chance. Having low expectations will surely result in higher pleasure. My 8 is kind of a stretch, consider this a 7.5 + 0.5 for the perfect poetic ending! I will never rewatch this.
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Same old, same old, 2 police officers whose relatives get murdered by the same person, are teaming up to create a new division based on the emergency call police department and their end-game is to catch that bastard.
Been there, done that, so what did Voice do to break the mould of crime dramas?
First of all, the concept of Voice profiling. Not sure if this is a thing, but even if it’s not, we accepted a crime drama about a walkie talkie that could make a 2 guys living in different timelines to communicate, why can’t we accept a woman who can hear extremely well? The voice profiling was original for me, gave a different vibe and an innovative twist to the all-too-usual police procedural recipe.
Furthermore, the impressive cinematography and music. The drama is gritty and dark in all the right ways. Creative directing, haunting dark colors and soulful music just came together perfectly and clicked, making a drama that not only gives off ominous vibes but it is also sinister only by looking at it.
Continuing, the incredible side stories. Every two episodes or so there is a new crime story introduced for the “golden time team” –the aforementioned new division created- to resolve. This is where the writing along with the directing and montage click together doing miracles. All of the side stories were intense, engaging, thought-provoking (although the first two ones were my favourite), well-written and did not drag at all.
Finally, the most important one, the marvelous core story. Cliché done right. The concept of putting a psychopath as the main villain isn’t foreign to dramaland; however the drama’s atmosphere, world-building along with the casting literally did miracles. More specifically, I appreciated that there was not a lot of red herring involved –crime dramas seem to think that we enjoy being led astray every 2 episodes for some reason; while, it felt like there is a whole story going on in the background making this drama look like a part of a whole. Effectively, we were focused on the police side of a bigger narrative - plot twists, havoc and despair ensued.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting how every character, plot device and potential twist are beautifully connected and intrinsically linked to the bigger picture. Good writing - the drama is actually so good even when you see the twist coming, you're still gonna like it anyway cause the whole aura of the drama won't let you a moment's rest.
Lastly, It would be a serious negligence, at this point, to not mention the exquisite Serial Killer. Undeniably, the drama owes how well it worked to its main villain. As far as I’m concerned we’re talking about the best villain I’ve ever witnessed creepy, scary, disgusting and disturbing, the type that crawls up your skin only by seeing his smirking smile. He enhanced the drama while simultaneously we do get the environment in which a serial killer is born that was spectacular to watch.
Honestly, not many drawbacks can be cited by me. If I could address one it would be the somewhat conveniently written side stories. But, come to think of it, isn’t every kdrama ever like this? Rich hot arrogant chaebols falling for poor innocent girls, silly coincidences and other cliches and we accept that but can’t accept a crime drama with stories being a little far-fetched or exaggerated here and there? This is dramaland, if everything was absolutely rational there would be no drama to watch!
Additionally, it was claimed that the drama had gruesome scenes and a lot of blood. Having grown up watching American TV shows this felt like child’s play to me but I do understand if some scenes were too much for some people. Everything is censored (actually, too much censoring going on to be honest), but be aware if you are sensitive to such scenes. Moreover, I read comments saying the side stories were boring and dragged, which contradicts completely what I said. I obviously disagree. Frankly, the side stories might be the best part of it all.
What's more, people argued that the drama takes a hit after a strong beginning. Strong starts bring high expectations too. I think the drama did well in keeping up pace, not dragging and staying strong plot-wise. Yes, middle episodes weren’t as strong as the first 2-3 but still a solid drama overall.
In general, Voice isn’t perfect, but it is time well-spent for sure. It is extremely thrilling; the side stories addressed interesting issues like child abuse, rape ect and were generally on the humanistic side of society, definitely struck a chord with me. The drama deserves a 9 for its flawless story line (side+main) +0.5 for the fact that it was utterly stimulating and increasingly intense with fleeting moments of strong sentiments and despair that just make the whole thing feel that much more real and emotional; I was at the edge of my seat during pretty much every episode either being thrilled or feeling hopeless.
I admit I was purposely avoiding Lee Ha Na. I only saw her once before Voice, didn’t like her. That being said, thank god I picked this because she redeemed herself completely. I couldn’t even recognize her here and I drew the conclusion that she just doesn’t match cute rom-comy characters, but rather darker ones. Her performance was impeccable here and she had great chemistry (as co-police officers) with Jang Hyuk. I’d love to see her in a similar role, or even in a melodrama in the future.
It is established how good Jang Hyuk is, and here is no exception to his unending talent. Fearless and brave character with a broken and emotional side, he pulled off his role immaculately and he was a perfect fit for it. Such a well-rounded actor, he can do everything. Respect.
Where have Kim Jae Wook been all this time? Flawless and creepy, an absolutely perfect match for his role, I need to keep an eye out for him in the future. I can safely say he made the drama!
Concluding, I’d say don’t turn a blind eye to this drama, it’s really good. Crime and thriller drama fans I call out to you, viewers who enjoy intense and provocative dramas/stories that aren’t extremely complicated this is for you. I can’t see how someone wouldn’t be entertained by Voice if you disregard the convenient part and you don’t have a problem with some violence ect.
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The concept of this marvelous piece of drama, that was too small but will stay indelibly marked in our memories, is life dreams and aspirations. How important it is for us to follow our dreams no matter how stupid or unrealistic they may seem. How important it is to do what we want for us, and for nobody else, how significant it is for us to believe in ourselves even when everyone else is against us, how essential is for us to fight for them even when they seem completely unnatainable. A story about life decisions and choices, about growing up, about fighting our inner demons, overcoming obstacles, chasing dreams or giving them up, finding reasons to live and dream and ultimately how to understand and love ourselves. A perfect coming of age story that everyone should watch. The secondary concept of the show is to showcase different types of parent-children relationships, how they intefere with our dreams (and our life in general), and how we need to confront them.
The story is pretty straightforward, it centers on three teenagers. The story is set in a high school and the background is piano-playing. Embedded in the story we get to see each protagonist struggling with their demons and through their heartwarming story they learn how to face their fears, grow up, forgive, become better people. The drama, as expected, never gets dragged, it has a point and goes for it from the very beginning. It is funny, whithout being superficial, it manages to be emotional, without being melodramatic, and most importantly it is serious without getting boring. I seriously have no drawback to point out as this was simple and yet beautifully written and thought out.
Kim So Hyun, never fails to impress and she was impeccable once again. She pulls of her character greatly, she is kinda bitchy with a quirky personality, yet she is loveable and a great leading character and actress.
Ji Soo was luscious to watch, so fun, yet so sentimental. A great performance.
Shin Jae Ha completes the wonderful leading trio with another exquisite performance. All 3 actors presented their unique and realistic characters perfectly.
The supporting cast was brilliant, namely Ye Ji Won and Hwang Yeon Hee played their respective roles amazingly, being moms, they felt very realistic. Congrats
This is one of those dramas which can be watched and appreciated by everyone. Definately worth watching, it is just 3 memorable and well spent hours here. Teenagers will get great life lessons, and as for the older kdrama fans, as did i, you will feel a warming deja-vu feeling of your school years, longing feelings about those times, the good, the bad and the ugly everything is presented here in the best way possible. Definately worth a watch, and certainly rewatch-worthy.
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Marriage contract is your average, predictable and cliché kdrama. We get our over-used closed and shut-down, borderline rude and arrogant rich, chaebol male lead; the younger, naïve, kind-hearted and poor girl and we see their love story develop through a very foreseeable melo plot-story. However, even if you feel you can predict everything from the first episode, MC manages to pull you in with its incredible and unique feel of raw-ness.
The characters are ordinary, and yet they are so original. The male lead is overly rough and mean on the outside, but with such a marshmallow core that makes him completely loveable from the first moment; the female lead is your average girl in need, but she is a fighter and you will root for her and her wonderful personality to be happy. Characterization and character development are commendable and one of the main reasons i would recommend this.
The drama is packed with small, simple moments of everyday life that superficially are skippable, but they ultimately make the drama what it really is. Small moments, like hugging a friend, trimming your hair, talking to your kid, playing with pets; moments that are insignificant in dramas, but mean so much for a person in real life, because they express happiness and sadness; life’s core traits. THIS is what this show is, and this is where it is unique, this is where it is extraordinary and this is where it exceeds expectations and becomes an amazing show.
Basically, what exactly is Marriage Contract? MC Is a story about how family can completely destroy you as a person, destroy your life, destroy your dreams, destroy your hopes, destroy everything you love. It depicts perfectly the bittersweet/love-hate feelings someone can have towards their family, and how these problems can be confronted. Opening up to a special someone is the key to being happy. Letting go, forgiving yourself and others, and ultimately loving and sharing your life with someone else; and when you've found that someone, live in the moment, don't spend your time restlessly thinking about the future. Be happy, in the moment!
The background of the drama is the very dysfunctional family of the male lead who desperately tries to find an organ donor for his sick and troubled mother. This is where the female lead comes into the picture, hence the marriage contract. See? Super simple, super predictable almost enough for someone to skip/drop this. And yet…. the drama is exquisite, in many ways it reminded me of It’s Ok, That’s Love.
Lastly, I would like to talk to you about the chemistry here, because it is probably the best thing this drama has to offer. I think i can safely say that real chemistry between the leads is rare in kdramas. Some people can ship any pretty faced actors together, I can’t. I need sparks; I need them to prove to me that they are worth my tears, my time and my frustration! Lee Seo Jin and Uee not only had sizzling and magnificent chemistry, not only they looked phenomenal together, not only each of their moments was heart-wrenching and mind-blowing, but they re-invented the term 'on screen chemistry' for me since they managed to actually seem like a family.
What’s more, the most astonishing thing of them all, the kid actress Shin Rin Ah managed to develop such an amazing chemistry not only with Uee (mother-daughter relationship), but with Lee Seo Jin as well (father-daughter relationship). The three of them looked so unrealistically wonderful together they will destroy and revive your feelings over and over again. One of the best overall on-set chemistries I’ve ever seen.
This drama is arguably a masterpiece, not because of an innovative plot or anything like it, but because of its raw simplicity and flawless chemistry.
I’ll be frank. I’m tired of people hating Uee’s acting. I am not completely familiar with her previous projects, I’ve watched bits and pieces of them, but she certainly gave the performance of her life here, and I pity people who couldn’t see that! She is an actress who is improving, and she should be praised for this. She puts effort in her acting, she cares! She was impeccable, exquisite and luscious in every way here, there wasn’t a single moment where I didn’t feel what she was feeling, amazing facial expressions, great body expressions, very emotional crying, really mature deliverance by Uee overall. People, who disagree, apparently need someone to hate, please hate yourselves and leave Uee alone!
As far as Lee Seo Jin is concerned, for one, he was so hot, manly and handsome I was taken by surprise. Secondly he managed pull off brilliantly, a pretty complicated character, who could have been easily hated. He delivered a great and sensuous performance; he made his character understandable from the very beginning - he apparently took the time to actually understand his character before taking the role. What I’d like to especially mention is his terrific deliverance on the emotion of happiness. His character was largely depressed, the worst kind of depression; the kind, that is not visible and seem ok on the surface. Happiness is a funny thing, everyone can imitate and say they are happy but which of us actually are? Lee Seo Jin send shivers down my spine, specific moments made, not only his character feel more raw and real, but also it enhanced the whole point of the show and helped the drama have more impact.
Lastly, I feel the need to congratulate the kid actress Shin Rih Na, she is deadly talented, best kid actor I’ve seen thus far. Her role here, wasn’t just to be cute, her role was essential for the drama to make sense and she was exquisite in it. She has a bright future in this industry. These 3 should act together in the future again!
This is a melo-romance. People who like melodramas, you’ll like it, it is not overly sentimental (although it does get increasingly depressing), people who like rom-coms, this might be too much for you, but since I know you love a good romance, this is recommended. This kind of chemistry should not be missed or ignored! I will definitely rewatch this at some point!
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The drama’s tags: comedy, family, romance. One would expect a rom-com. First thoughts I had coming in, this is all a misunderstanding. Well it’s not. The drama starts on a comical note but quickly escalates to a proper melodrama. This is a drama about an extramarital affair; and while the base concept is that, the drama offers so much more than a story about infidelity. With us hardly realizing it, it widens its spectrum to relationships, marriage, friendship, career, family; ultimately aiming to show how in midst of our crazy hectic lives we forget and overlook the important things taking people and situations for granted, sacrificing our well-being over work and faceless responsibilities.
The drama is all about different perspectives. We get a wife who cheated on her husband. Is this just about a woman who cheated on her spouse, though? The show focuses on the husband/male lead but does a splendid job introducing every perspective; all we have to do is see them. Relationships are a two way street maybe it’s time we stopped looking solely at ourselves and our obligations, and take a look at those around us. We all hurt, and the best way we can heal is protect each other. The key point here is caring, showing it and ultimately communicating and showing affection. Nothing should be taken for granted!
What’s more, it introduces a 2nd adulterous story, which is mainly used as comedic relief but also wants us to compare the two stories, understand the different dynamics, the reasons and further grasp what is this thing called affair and what lies behind it. The 3rd wheel of the main cast is two loveable people expressing how difficult it is nowadays to love, become vulnerable and be self-confident giving an insight on the diversities between single and married life.
Simultaneously, the drama introduces the social spectrum on such a personal matter. Affairs are all about the couple; but in reality they are not, nothing is. We live in the public eye, technological wizardry aimed to make our lives easier but instead it confined us to our little phone and pc screens making us afraid to strike a normal conversation or even care. Talking to strangers suddenly feels safe, but it’s not. We get a glimpse of other random stories, demonstrating that there is no magical or general solution to this problem. The repercussions might be similar, the issue is one but the basis it grows on changes thus the solution shifts as well. When is it worth fighting, when it’s not? Is there always a solution, is there not? Valid questions with invalid answers.
What mostly shocked me were the comments people made all these weeks while watching. It actually made me think on several occasions that we’re probably watching different dramas, but this is why this drama is so special and why such dramas must be protected and celebrated. It is not about a cute story that we will all cheer upon and move on after it’s done. It triggers something in us, it puts our cognitive ability in motion, hons our critical thinking and eventually puts our entire beliefs in question. It’s a topic that opts for conversation. Of course this is not for everyone and this is why some people will resolve to unreasonable hate. People who refuse to see things from a different corner will hate this.
Bottom line, what the show wants to do is to negotiate what adultery really is; its reasons, its triggers and types; after that, on a second basis it gives an unconventional message that we need to open our eyes and our hearts to the people around us, the people we love, and protect them. Even if they seem fine, they’re not. Nobody is. Ultimately, see things from different perspectives and walk on other people’s shoes. Nothing in life is black and white. We all have it hard, but no one has it harder than the other person. Be considerate be open be respectful!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed deeply by the acting, but I might be biased because of how much the concept of the drama touched me.
Song Ji Hyo lived her role, and I appreciated the fact that she barely spoke and yet I felt the complete amount of feelings her character did. First time I saw her here, and I’ll be sure to check her older projects and look forward to the next. A round of applause to her for picking such a particular role and for pulling it off so immaculately
This was my first time seeing Lee Sun Gyun as well, and I didn’t regret it. I loved how people’s interpretation of his character varied, means he did a hell of a job, same goes for Song Ji Hyo. Another actor for me to look out for, especially during the later episodes his acting spiked becoming increasingly emotional and determined.
Special mention to my favourite –and I believe everyone’s favourite – duo BoA and Lee Sung Yeob. Loveable, quirky, funny and playful, they aced every part of their roles delivering an overall meaningful, enjoyable and luscious performance.
Lastly the fan favourite Ye Ji Won who was as charming as ever in this and deserved more screen time and the ludicrous but amusing Kim Hee Won gave a spectacular performance presenting the… ugly side of the affairs in the most entertaining way possible.
I feel inclined at this point to congratulate the writers. They delivered a great well-thought-out plot with several layers to entertain but also give us something meaningful and worthwhile. Thank you!
Easy. If you’re of the mentality “You cheated, die you little slut” then steer clear of this drama for your own mental well-being mostly. If you’re willing to go out of your comfort zone, watch something that isn’t cute and playful, trouble yourself with what is right and wrong and you are open-minded as a person then do watch this. I’ll go ahead and say this is one the best dramas I’ve watched, but it demands a certain type of viewer. I will rewatch this at some point, certainly.
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Entourage isn't your average kdrama, it has none of the usual tropes, love triangles, crazy 2nd leads, misunderstandings, absurd coinsidences, scheming, melodrama ect. It actually feels a lot like a western tv show -which shouldn't come as a surprise since it is a remake of an american tv show, and i am happy they didn't try to korean-ize it too much. For all these reasons entourage is a breath of fresh air in the dramaland for me, but it is not a drama for everyone for the exact same reasons.
Welcome to the entertainment industry. The main lead of the drama is an up and coming fictional actor who just had his first movie breakthrough, got mixed reviews but also got immensely popular and we watch him as he tries to find his next project, balancing his personal life and work life in the best (or worst) way he can. At the same time we see his 3 best friends as well as his agency's CEO. All of his friends have something to do with the entertainment industry; the drama's exploring different sides of it through them.
The show focuses on the hardships of the industry, putting it in the spotlight in a rather realistic and even negative -if i may say- way. It targets issues about the entertainment industry like: how difficult it is to find a potential hit movie/drama project, how actors are placed in the public eye and have little to no privacy, the way the agencies try to control them work-wise and personal life-wise, how difficult it is to actually get casted and breakthrough in this industry, the severe importance of appearance ect. Simultaneously, the relationships between actors, actor-manager, actor-agency, actor-significant other ect. Moreover, it puts the actors and agencies on the spot as well, showing both negative and positive aspects of their life and the way they act, as well as very realistic repercussions of their actions (this was probably the most interesting thing this drama had to offer for me).
All that being said, i think it is very obvious that this drama is not the average rom-com one would expect. There is no romance here. There is a love-line plot, but there is no actual romance, this plot line serves a purpose to explain how difficult it is to maintain a relationship being a celebrity and nothing else. The comedy is present, but i would safely dub it as elitist. It's not your usual slapstip kdrama comedy, it is heavily based on sexual comments, and a lot of the jokes involve other idols or actors and i am not sure if they can get across to an average kdrama watcher. What's more, there is no melodrama at all, or overdramatic situations evolving emotional conversations, stares ect.
Lastly, i would like to stress how i totally understand why someone would find this boring. If you're looking for a sweet romance story with comedy, you won't like this. If you're into heavy melodramatic situations this isn't your cup of it either. The drama is a light comedy about the entertainment industry, everything revolves around that. Concluding, the drama is told completely from a male perspective, so there will be a lot of pants dropping, creepy sex jokes, men desperate to have sex, clubs, silly, immature situations ect. If the drama lacked something was a proper female touch, but then again, this is why this drama was fresh and different.
The acting left a lot to be desired, but it wasn't a problem.
Seo Kang Joon was great, but not really memorable; Lee Dong Hwi, the same. Lee Kwang Soo was adorable and hilarious and performed impeccably as expected, however none of those 3 characters were well-enough written to leave a strong impression.
On the contrary, the most memorable actors were Jo Jin Woong, who portrayed a caring ceo -almost a father figure- with anger management and attitude issues immaculately and also my personal favourite Park Jung Min who might not have been the best acting wise, but the role was a perfect fit and was completely relateable and absolutely delightful!
I would like to emphasise how i wouldn't -not in any way- stick with this drama because of the good cast or because of the countless guests.
As for the supporting cast, amber had the most promiment role of the females, and i loved her. The role was a perfect fit. Ahn So hee needs to work on her acting more and i would like to see Kim Hye In more in the future. However, none of the supporting actresses had the time to build up as characters or show something of substance.
The guests were there for a split second, said a line, waved and that was it. Don't expect much.
This drama is an elitist drama, but it's not bad; it's just different. If you are into classic kdramas, ignore this one, you aren't missing out. If you want to watch something different, and have an interest in the korean acting industry, then do try it. I also believe this drama is adressed to male viewers because of the nature of the comments and issues it depicts. I wouldn't rewatch this though.
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The drama is equivalent to all the dramas that center women, namely Sex and the City, Mistresses, Gossip Girl, Girls, I Need Romance ect. The show revolves around a pack of 4 girlfriends, depicting their lives, the problems, the difficulties and implications of dating and other relationships for people in their 30s. The main premise of the show is that everyone, no matter what has happened in their lives or what mistakes they have done, deserve a happy ending, and if they fight hard enough, they will get it! Secondly, the show presents a very realistic -if you ask me- image of the dating scene nowadays -not only in Korea per se-, how unrealistically high people's standards are, and how picky they are, being materialistic, searching for, money, visuals, other than character in their potential partner.
We get to see the life of each woman, and each story makes a point about relationships. Even if all the characters are in their early/mid 30s, i think it is safe to say that everyone can somehow relate to the problems they depict as they are universal.
Story 1: A divorcee who is afraid that she will end up forever alone, kind of scared to let herself be free and enter a relationship, and deep inside feels she doesn't deserve to be happy because of her divorce. This story is the main story of the drama, like 70% of it. It features a love triagle, that you will hate, believe me, but in the very end, it was the most essential love triangle i have ever watched in a kdrama. It wasn't introduced just for the ships, but it depicted serious realistic facts like love vs friendship, which love is valid and which isn't ect. At the same time this story presents several realistic questions a person in a new relationship may have, they can be stupid like 'why doesn't he/she want to kiss me - Is he/she the right person for me?', or more important like 'does he/she have money issues? Does he/she want to scam me?'.
Story 2: Forever single. A girl in her mid 30s having been single in like... forever. I believe many people could relate to her, she was introduced as the 'funny' one of the quartet. We get to see all her struggles to find true love, along with several questions (and reminders) that i could sum up in this proverb 'Whatever shines, isn't gold!'- and vice versa.
Story 3: The more serious, borderline melo, sub-story. A married woman who goes through a divorce and faces serious health issues. Her story is touching, and moving and could have been a great stand-along/spin off show. Her story poses ideas like 'Don't give up on yourself, on your marriage and generally on happiness. Problems are there, pain will always be there, but we have people around to rely on, don't give up on them or yourself, pain will pass!'
Story 4: The (Wanna-be) femme fatale of the quartet. She was also supposed to be funny along with story 2. A woman with attachement issues, but what happens when she meets her match? This story was left on the sidelines, but yet it managed to make some worthy points like 'no relationship will work without trust and letting your guard down. You should know which person is worthy for you to do that, and you should take on the responsibility of getting hurt and of hurting that person'. This story had the potential to hit issues like career problems for people in their 30s, but it didn't which was a waste.
I, generally, don't have any drawbacks to point out, other than the fact that the drama spent too much of its time overanalyzing the first story, hence the rest of the stories being somewhat underdeveloped/underapprecciated. It is arguable to say that stories 2-3-4 were more interesting than the main one.
Exquisite acting, as expected by such a talented ensemble cast!
Jang Nara was a worthy leading actress, her character was superficial and fluffy, maybe too much at some points. I loved her more emotional scenes and i wished she had more, she has more to offer than this.
Yoo In Na, was lovely and adorable, expressing the mindset complexity of such a person perfectly. Yet she was cute and only a teeny tiny bit stupid and just too good of a person for her own good. Great acting, for a character and a side story that needed more screen time.
Yoo Da In. My personal favourite, as a melo lover, her story moved and touched me. She expressed difficult and unique feelings perfectly, she was luscious and easy to understand and relate even when she didn't have as much screen time as she deserved.
Seo In Young. Her story was pushed to the sidelines, it comes, therefore, as no surpise how her character was kind of forgettable as well. She was good and i have nothing bad to say, other than she was kind of overshadowed by Yoo In Na, as they were both the 'funny' characters.
Kwon Yool, was very good, his acting could be described as emotionless or/and cold, but i do believe it was his character being like that. I cannot say i loved him, but i had no problems with his acting.
Jung Kyung Ho. And we finally get to the king of the show. You know what is amazing? How he managed, in a show that focuses on women, and had 4(!) female leads, to rise above everyone and have the most important, interesting, touching, funny and adorable character of everyone. His acting could have been as forgettable as KY's but he managed to own the show! True king!
Many people argued how this was boring, i disagree, this actually had so much more to offer than other soulless rom coms, it actually had something to say other than just cheesy romance or insignificant comedy. However, this is not a show for everyone. People who know and like the shows that i mentioned above, or/and like rom coms in general, will, probably, like this one. Other people don't spend your time meaninglessly, move on. As for me, someone who generally dislikes rom coms, i loved this one, i don't know if this says something about me or the show...
I loved it, but would i rewatch it? Not really, it was great for the 16 hours i spent on this, and i will savour it for what it was.
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Welcome to the ugly side of the business and enterprise world. The drama talks strictly about the ways CEOs and company presidents try to multiply their revenue, manipulating each other, using and abusing their power and money in order to achieve their goals.
In its core the drama wants to express how in such power games there are no friends, presidents are ready to form alliances to destroy their opponents and then turn their back on their “friends” to become the winners. It is a constant, never-ending battle for power filled with dirty scheming and despicable plotting. Therefore the drama ends up being quite unfulfilling and frustrating as it makes us feel like it goes nowhere.
Night Light focuses on a female ceo who wants to become the richest woman in Korea destroying her opponents, having no friends, using and throwing away people in order to accomplish her ambitious goal.
The drama does not offer any comic relief, no side stories, no romance at all, no sad backstory, nothing. It is firm and brutal staying in the same strict line of corporations.
Best thing I could mention about the drama was the constant turning of tables, the winner never stays the winner for more than 1-2 episodes while the alliances between the power people changed all the time depending on their interests.
My favourite thing however was easily the amazing underlying chemistry of Lee Yo Won and Uee in their roles. Usually in kdramas the female leads are enemies or frenemies at best. Here on the other hand, the chemistry was off the charts and the relationship was a lot more fluid which made the drama very interesting and kept me going. Moreover, i feel inclined to mention the incredible clothes fashion by the main cast that was a pleasure to watch as well as the spotless background music instrumentals that made most of the drama pretty atmospheric.
At this point i feel inclined to talk about the girl power in the drama. The drama is all about female empowerment. We get a female lead who is vicious and strong beyond imagination. Saying something sophisticated and memorable whenever she opened her mouth, slaying men, scheming and plotting, destroying them in their own game. If this isn't stimulating and exhilarating in a sea of weak female characters in kdramaland, i don't know what is!
The first half of the drama was more interesting for me as there was some background story and the relationship between the main characters was quite intriguing as well as the drama talked about relatable stuff like the importance of money. That being said, the second half of the drama focused almost completely in the subtle battles between the companies and that in combination with the characters being completely difficult to empathize with and the situations being thoroughly unrelatable made the drama very difficult to keep up with and rather boring.
I read quite some viewers had issues with the acting, but I beg to differ.
I could easily say that acting is the best part of the drama mainly because of Lee Yo Won. Her naturally cold aura fitted perfectly with her strong, cold-blooded and ruthless character. I was utterly impressed by her performance from start to finish. Best and most vicious character I’ve seen in a kdrama and best portrayal of such character!
Uee has a lot of haters but I think her acting was equally as good in a very sweet but determined character. She stood well next to Lee Yo Won and in a very weird but beautiful way they complemented each other. It was a blast seeing them on screen together hope they can work together again.
Jin Goo’s character was rather weak and a pushover. I think he didn’t suit the character well at all, it was almost annoying seeing him act but I can’t say his acting was bad per-se, he just wasn’t a good choice I think.
The drama is difficult and not for everyone. If you want romance, melodrama, comedy or anything usually found in kdramaland, this is not for you. This is strictly a business drama only for lovers of the backstabbing and the fluidity of such situations which is the beauty of them. I will never rewatch this.
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The base story is delightfully silly. It centers on a clumsy young man who has been constantly failing to achieve his big dream of becoming a police officer. After some endless disappointment in every department of his life he decides to take part in an experiment that enhances his senses and abilities. I could say the drama is inspired by the movie Limitless but it is wonderfully embedded in the Korean rom-com recipe resulting in a cute mini-drama.
The main genre of the drama is romance, it revolves completely around the main couple and the idea of destined love. I could argue that the drama had a lot of untapped potential considering its fantasy sub-plot but it’s ok it wanted to focus on other things. Simultaneously I thoroughly enjoyed the dorky comedy and how straightforward and fast the whole drama was. I can definitely say that the drama used the limited time it had in the best way possible to demonstrate a simple but adorable, light-hearted and interesting story.
That being said, my favourite part of the drama was the strong life messages the drama offered. Notions like, “believe in yourself and work hard, your dreams will come true”, “never forget and always appreciate the people who are next to you through thick and thin and never disregard them, they love you for who you real are” as well as “never try to squeeze yourself in somebody else’s life, people who love you will find time for you” come easily to mind after watching this drama. At the same time i appreciated how there was some minor effort to breathe some life into the main characters making them relatable. It was meaningful yet very enjoyable and light.
The acting wasn’t anything spectacular but just right.
I’ve watched Yoo Shi Yoon before but, apparently, he barely left an impression since I didn’t remember him. Obviously, he suits such cute, borderline awkward characters a lot. He really shined in this role, he owned it and made the drama work. Loved watching him.
My first time watching Jo Soo Hyang, she wasn’t memorable really, but she was good enough. Kang Ki Young is just loveable and he deserves some main roles, his comedy skills are the best among young Korean actors, always a delight to watch him act.
Overall the drama, considering its short length, I’d say is recommendable for binge-watching. Simple, funny, cute, short with a story, it is bound to make you smile! Recommended to everyone especially rom-com fans. Nothing extraordinary here, but one doesn’t need anything extraordinary to have fun.
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I Have A Lover felt more than just one drama, it felt like several dramas put together in the best way possible. The main concept of the show, even if it isn't very apparent at first, is Forgiveness! People will go around hurting you, is life worth spending trying to pay them back, or is it better to just let go? As someone who doesn't believe in forgiveness you can imagine how i felt when i realised what this show is about, but they managed to pull it off beautifully.
At the same time I Have A Lover, gave me the best, most intense and fucked up/twisted true love story i have ever watched in my life. The chemistry here is simply effortless and emotional beyond words, you can see the sparks around them while they look at each other, simply magical. The drama is worth watching because on screen chemistries like this one are hard to come by, almost impossible!
As i said IHAL brought several things to the table, the main premise is forgiveness but, separating the drama into parts, each part its own thing to present:
Part 1: Infidelity. The beginning of the show, the first 10 episodes, how can a marriage come apart at the seams, and at the same time the notion of how people react and get through tragedies, and how they expect the people around them to react. Get ready for some frustrating events the writting is realistic and brutal.
Part 2: Romance. Episodes 11-20. You will begin to grasp what the show is about here, whatever happened in the first 10 episodes, character-wise, will completely change, depicting how unpredictable human feelings are in the best and most natural way.
Part 3: Episodes 20-31. The story here stops being character driven ans becomes story driven. The focus shifts to the classic family-company drama that we all know. However it is dead-interesting even though it was the slowest part of the drama imo. The show tends to tell you things while the characters are unaware of them. Here the characters get to know them, and you just watch as they are shocked and try to cope with everything.
Part 4: Revenge and Forgiveness. Episodes 32-50. The pace gets accelerated from this point, especially the last 10 episodes were absolutely fabulous, and possibly the best of the show along with the first 10.
50 episodes and this drama never got dragged. It had a complex story, there are several backstories here, that help the story proceed. We have our everyone-wants-the-big-company classic sub story, evil characters, multiple love stories and love triangles and amazing well-rounded characters. It has illness, twin siblings, backstabbing friendships, constant turning tables between the leads, frenemies who scheme, revenge. I seriously have nothing bad to say, it was a wonderful ride, and i would have watched another 50 episodes seriously.
One thing that might set people off is the way the main love story gets told. We have a lot of set backs and back and forths. Yes, it is true, but the chemistry was so mesmerizing, so effortless, so real, that i didn't have any problem with it. I felt every moment of pain, every moment of backstepping, every moment of love and hatred. Best and most fucked up love story (possibly) ever!
Standing Ovation for Ji Jin Hee and ESPECIALLY KIM HYUN JOO!
Kim Hyun Joo. The female Ji Sung of Kdramaland. She didn't pull off 2 characters, no. Her role felt like 4 characters if not more. I won't even mention that she has the BEST resting bitch face in kdramaland, i won't even mention that she ACED all her comedy scenes (her 2nd character is the main comedic character). But i will stand by the point that after episode 30 she is seriously giving the performance of her career, the way she manages to be BOTH a total raging bitch and a kind hearted girl at the same time was beyond me, she was leaving one personality and entering the other like it was nothing, in the same scene! She was amazing and flawless in every way and the show couldn't have worked without her. She WAS the show! I haven't seen any of her previous works, but i admired her a lot, and i doubt that she was ever better than here. I am looking forward to her next work!
Ji Jin Hee. His character was the easiest to hate BUT, his was so effortlessly expressing all his feelings through his eyes and facial expressions, that it was impossible for me to hate him. I kept rooting for him to be happy like my life was depending on it. Second best facial expressions in kdramaland after Kwon Sang Woo! He was luscious and sensuous, i loved his emotional scenes, he was indeed in love with her, i am not sure i have seen such *in love* eyes even in real life. Standing ovation for both of them. THEY MADE THE SHOW!
Lee Jyu Han. Obviously overshadowed by JJH, but it's ok, he standed on his feet completely, he was great i had no problems with his perforance, it was totally on point.
Park Han Byul. And we get to her. Her character was fundemental for the drama to continue. She wasn't bad, but we can only imagine what would have happened had a stronger actress given the role. During the midst of the show, she needed to express some hatred and her role needed her to be a bitch, but she couldn't, her acting felt mediocre like the least she needed to give to be acceptable. I think she would perfectly fit fluffy rom coms, this was too serious for her. If i wanted to be strict, the acting should have been a 9.5 as she just couldn't live up to her character's and role's expectations, but a 9.5 is a disgrace to JJH and KHJ's flawless performance as well as literally everyone's in the supporting cast. Thankfully in the last 15/20 episodes her role gets smaller almost insignificant and the rest of the actors do their thing.
At this point, the only thing i can do to praise the incredible and superb supporting cast is just write their names. Awards deserved!
Firstly, Baek Ji Won, why doesn't she get more roles? She was an amazing evil character and at the same time one of the funniest actors, she would fit comedy PERFECTLY, i am keeping an eye on her.
Gong Hyung Jin. He was the main evil character, and he pulled of his twisted role perfectly without becoming a stupid evil character with no soul. He was scary but funny when he was supposed to be. Overall, great!
Child actress, Kim Ha Yu. OMG how can a child actress be this good? Cuteness overload, amazing acting, effortless! My favourite kid actress!
Also, Na Young Hee, Dok Go Young Jae, everyone did a splendid job! Congratulations!
If the 50 episodes make you think and rethink before starting this, just start it already! I was afraid of the 50 episodes too, i ended up watching 40 in 1 week and then waiting anxiously for the rest of the show to be aired! You won't even realise as the episodes fly by, you will be sucked in instantly!
IHAL has something pretty much for everyone. If you like romance, this is totally for you. It has infidelity, it has revenge, it has constant backstabbing, scheming, blackmailing, plot twists, backstories, twin siblings, illnesses, identity swap. It has everything, literally it has everything, it is more than a drama, and it deserves to be watched!
50 episodes, and yes, i'd rewatch it, especially the first 10 episodes which were so shocking to me, completely filled with reality, shivering, chilling. And then the effortless heart-warming and simultaneously heart-breaking romance, and then the backstory, omg yes. This is an overall 10 show!
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Let me break it down for you, the drama is about 2 beautiful loving soulmates who, by the time they meet, they already have settled down for the wrong people. The drama is about true and fated love, but in its core it talks about putting yourself, your needs first and choosing your own happiness over everything and everyone else. We deserve to be happy and nobody is entitled to strip us of this right!
Yes the drama, on the surface, presents 2 married individuals who, because of different personal circumstances, fall for each other. Don't let this drive you away from this drama. The affair is introduced in the most romantic way possible without being glorified. It's not filthy in any way, quite on the contrary i'd say.
What made the drama stand out was easily the chemistry between the leads. Not the best i've seen but enough to charm you and make you get lost in the sparks. However, the best of the drama for me was the characterization. Seldom do we see such 3D, deep and well-rounded characters that feel like real people. This is one of the dramas that you have to read between the lines to properly comprehend that is going on and why. Many's the time i felt frustrated by the characters' choices and decisions, but this is human nature, scarcely logical sometimes. Moreover, i loved how even the "evil" characters had many layers but if you tried walking in their shoes you could understand where they were coming from, even if you still disagreed with their course of action. Good writing.
Sadly the drama was cut 4 episodes shorts and significant part of the storylines along with some characters were left unexplored. Still the writers did their best to complete the drama is a fulfilling way.
The drama is so natural, based completely on emotions and feelings, the plot devices for the story to unfold are strong and it is never really dragged or anything considering you're into romance and melodrama. However, there are certain drawbacks that refrain me from giving it a higher score.
First and foremost, i feel that the writers were really scared to actually go for it. The build up is there, the reasons, the excuses, the plot that is getting thicker and thicker, the chemistry which is sizzling but there is no climax. Generally the drama lacked the intensity that was needed sometimes, but the drama was special because of its mellow and calm nature. That being said, this aspect of the drama may make some viewers feel a little bored.
Story wise, the drama was solid, i only wished it wasn't so subtle when it came to the affair and also that they wouldn't deem some characters so evil just so they make other character look favorable. Too fake in my opinion.
Continuing to the acting, the overall experience was quite spectacular.
I've seen Lee Sang Yoon in other roles, wasn't impressed. Apparently i hadn't seen his flawless puppy eyes that he so effortlessly demonstrates here. Emotional and passionate, he pulled of his character impeccably.
Gotta hand it to Shin Sung Rok, for being a complete asshole (jn yet another drama i've seen him in). Takes talent to become the perfect antagonist and act like a complete jerk so realistically. His character was rather unemotional and shut down. It takes talent to act as an unemotional jerk and still pour part of your soul in the role! Luscious performance. An actor for me to look out for.
My personal favourite is, hands down, Choi Yeo Jin; the actress deserves more credit, she's been amazing in every project i've seen her in, but she shines here. Loved her character and the friendship subplot that she introduced, she was strong and intelligent and yet so loyal and dependable. Relateable and loveable.
My only issue was with Kim Ha Neul. Not that she was bad or anything, but i did feel that she overacted a lot especially while crying to the point it was fake and, moreover, i couldn't really relate to her in certain scenes while the plot was crafted so conveniently that anyone should have been able to excuse her and identify.
Overall, this is a good watch. Considering this is a melodrama it's not overly heavy, just the right amount. I'd recommend this to melodrama and especially romance fans. Be warned that the romance is not cute and fluffy here, but it is fullfilling (the chemistry is one you don't want to miss out on) in case you want to see something more "serious" let's say. I doubt i'll rewatch this, but it deserves a try.
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Without being particularly original or unique, defendant feels completely one of a kind. Part a legal-crime thriller part melodrama, Defendant is solely a two-man show. On the one hand, it centers on a prosecutor –the hero- who finds himself in prison, is accused of murdering his wife and child and dealing with memory lose on top of everything else. On the other hand, it focuses on a wicked man –the villain- who tries desperately to get away with his crimes. The drama develops partly as a mystery and later as an endless manhunt between the two as the one tries to destroy the other.
First half of the drama takes places in prison. I sincerely appreciated the fact that the drama did not spend time with court and other boring legal procedures but rather looked everything from a different personal-dramatic view of the hero delving deep into his troubled thoughts regarding his indictment. The memory loss plot is just a device to drive the story nothing more, so don’t worry about things dragging out a lot. The amnesia plot was handled in a very refreshing way in my opinion.
Second half of the drama is way more engaging, more dramatic, more lively filled with tension, angst and twists. The acting is luscious and you will never get bored of seeing the turning tables and schemes between the 2 lead characters. The drama is melodramatic without being mawkish, but there are also comic scenes and characters to relieve the tension and they succeeded without ridiculing it. There are quite a few characters implicated in all this making the drama that much more thrilling and mysterious.
While the drama really left a very strong impression that could translate into a perfect 10, specific reasons restrict me from it. Firstly the conveniently written base story. Frankly, there is no drama that is not at least partly convenient, that is how they work, and then the drama is just so good you’ll barely mind the convenience here and there.
Moreover, the main drawback I could address is the slow development of the plot especially in the first half of the drama. I remember me thinking that the drama offered its first real plot development, since the first 2 episodes, in episodes 7 and 8. After that the story really picks up pace. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every episode. Even in episodes in which nothing much happened, the drama managed to be fascinating, bewitching and easy to watch.
Finally, although more of a nagging stretch from my part, i felt that the drama somehow mistreated its flawless ensemble cast by focusing too much on the 2 leads. It's not that the characters felt unreal, it is exactly that they were so well written that they deserved some kind of story of their own, namely Kwon Yuri's character. All that being said this focus on the main leads just gave Ji Sung more time to be flawless on my screen i shouldn't nag! I hereby reassure you none of these minor shortcomings were enough to reduce, even by little, the awesomeness of this drama!
Despite the great and thrilling plot, best part of the drama for me was the acting. The cast is actually quite large, with almost every character having a significant role to play. I cannot argue that the acting was an overall 10, but as I mentioned already this is a two-man show and these 2 men simply outdid themselves!
I can safely say we all agree that Kill Me Heal Me was Ji Sung’s best work; he demonstrated perfectly his unrealistically good acting skills. Ladies and Gents, I present you, the drama in which Ji Sung managed to outdo himself(!). His acting as a tainted inmate fighting with himself over his charges trying to solve the puzzle was magnificent and astounding. I doubt there is another male actor who can break down crying, act like a lunatic like that and come off as firm but also desperate and emotional as Ji Sung did. He sent chills down my spine, goosebumps. Either acting as a disoriented inmate or a strong and driven prosecutor or an aching father and husband he was immaculate. He knows exactly how much soul and emotion to pour into his performance in every scene. Excquisite! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again best actor in dramaland.
The duo is formed with Uhm Ki Joon. I’ve seen him before but never like this. He portrays the antagonist but somehow he had such great syngery with Ji Sung, something I’ve never seen before. His portrayal of twin siblings was firstly impeccable; secondly his performance of a despicable criminal was spotless and shivering. A corrupted unstable person who still felt human and somehow mistreated and misunderstood. Undoubtedly, i never saw me having these feelings about such a villain. Heavenly acting by Uhm Ki Joon! A character you’ll love to hate. The two men managed to really make the drama shine 10x brighter than it would have on its own and they complemented each other completely.
The ensemble cast had a few really good actors. Yuri generally gets a lot of shit for her acting, she is considered the female lead, but considering the significance of her character she barely appeared. She served a purpose, and imo she held her own next to acting beasts despite being rather forgettable. I especially liked Uhm Hyeon Kyeong, not a big role, but also a significant and poetic one.
Oh Chang Seok and Kang Sung Min played similar characters that developed in the exactly opposite way, amazing writing here, they were great. All the cellmates were immaculate and adorable too, the drama generally featured some of the best and more likeable side characters I’ve ever seen.
Lastly, my personal favourites, Kim Min Suk who was sentimental and touching, loved him and my endless love and appreciation for Shin Rin Ah, the ridiculously talented young girl who never cease to amaze.
Even if the acting wasn’t perfect overall, it deserves a 10 for the perfect casting and synergy.
Despite your preferred drama genre, defendant is a drama that cannot be easily put to words, it should be watched. Therefore, I recommend it to everyone. It is emotional, exciting, thrilling, mysterious and intriguing. It does not have romance but believe me you won’t even care! I can see myself rewatching it in the future.
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Having had studied Art History in Uni and with it being my favourite module, you can understand my initial excitement when I realized this is a drama about art history but in Korea! Only 2 of my biggest interests intertwine like that. I wouldn’t miss the chance to savour this rare opportunity!
Saimdang is a wonderful drama but not without flaws. It takes place simultaneously in the past and the present, depicting the past and present lives of the characters. Starting in the present it centers on a woman who tries to prove that a painting is or is not authentic facing serious enemies in this endeavor of hers.
Simultaneously and very flexibly the story travels to the past as we get to see the whole story behind the painting in question and how this is connected to our main flawless female character Saimdang and her life.
I can totally understand why viewers found this boring and disappointing. Most of the drama depicts Saimdang’s life but focuses a lot on events rather than romance, politics or other juicy things saeguks are known for. First half of the drama focuses on how Saimdang grew to become a memorable and powerful figure of her time creating and sustaining her own business. There are classic villains who try to destroy her but everything is more connected the job development rather than her personal life. The second half was a bit rushed because of the trimming of 2 episodes and the re-editing was very obvious to the point it reduced the drama’s quality. Still, it stays in the same lane of events.
I read comments from Korean netizens expressing their disappointment in the drama’s direction. More specifically, they disliked the fact that there wasn’t much of Saimdang’s drawing and painting showed. I cannot argue with that. Simultaneously, I can safely say the story line that took place in the present was rather disappointing and ill-developed. I can totally understand their idea behind it but they spent too much time perfecting the past story –which ended up being, understandably, a tad boring for some people- that the present one just rounded up being a constant back and forth.
All that being said, I cannot quite put my finger on it but this drama just charmed me to the point I was completely unfazed by all the -otherwise- stern drawbacks.
I thoroughly enjoyed the backstory. Some of it a bit clichéd – classic evil 2nd female lead who is just too self-centered for her own good- but all of it really interesting and really well-written as far as I’m concerned. Against all odds, I loved the business part of the story, it was inspirational seeing a woman overcome so many pitfalls and achieve greatness!
One of the main parts that I especially appreciated was the female empowerment of the drama. Saimdang on her own is such an incredible character, empowering and just inspirational. Even if we barely got to see her drawing, the passion for it was well-depicted and the characterization was just brilliantly presented!
Moreover, I enjoyed several parts of the past story illustrated like the education for non-wealthy citizens, or how women were looked down upon but were undeterred by it. Plotlines that involve weak and easily manipulated kings are nothing new and play significant roles here as well.
Continuing to my favourite part, the romance. I'm not the biggest romance fan, I tend to rather cringe but here… here it was special! I can understand why some people would find the romance here disappointing. There is no skinship at all; barely any intimacy while everything is kept on a platonic level. Rather frustrating. However, there is no need for obvious affection when you have Song Seung Heon’s eyes just depicting everything better than a gesture ever could. My heart ached in every scene he looked at Saimdang and I was completely blown away by their tragic and heartbreaking love story. Strongest part of the drama for me, but you have to be into doomed couples to like this.
The drama did have some boring parts, but I enjoyed it throughout. I can’t say I felt fulfilled by it, rather depressed especially during the last 5 episodes, but it just felt special in ways I can’t put into words.
Lee Young Ae. Acting giant and I feel a bit intimidated to actually judge her acting. She was amazing, overflowing with charm and experience; she was a blast to watch on screen. I thoroughly hope it won’t take her another decade to comeback.
Song Seung Heon was luscious in ways I can’t describe. I usually complain about kdramas lacking actual manly characters since all those flower boys have taken the industry by storm. He brought exactly what I wanted to see. Manliness, masculinity all spiced up with actual emotions and sentiments. His character just elicited unlimited emotions out of me, his acting was out-of-thing-world good and he had amazing chemistry with Lee Young Ae.
Other than them, the full casting was amazing and most of it quite memorable, namely Oh Yoon Ah as the evil 2nd female lead, Choi Jong Hwan, Yang Se Jong and the rest really made the drama shine.
Considering most of the reaction I saw was rather negative or indifferent I wouldn’t openly recommend this to everyone. Saeguk fans would probably like it and people interested in tragic and unfulfilled love.
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Your very basic romantic comedy. The story is pretty straightforward. The story is set in the late 90s, we have a band of friends and we see their everyday life. The story has two goals. Goal 1: 90s nostalgia: teenage problems/school/ dreams for the future ect, kpop's first years of success and blooming. Goal 2: First Love.
In terms of story that was it. Pretty plain isn't it? I mean i've watched complicated-enough-to-keep-things-interesting rom-coms, and this definately wasn't it. Yes, i like complicated and deep things. Here, the characters felt superficial and childish, there was no effort to scratch the surface and get deeper with feelings (and the fact that they are teenagers doesn't feel like an enough excuse to give it a pass), and that bothered me. Yes, the comedy was on point, but that couldn't save anything.
The plot was heavily based on the multiple love triangles. In this band of friends, everyone is in love with the other one, so you understand what is happening here. Yes, this is a kdrama love triangles are to be expected, but they were overused here. They are nice, but the whole plot was based on them, and driven by them, enough is enough... It got old very fast. They tried to make things interesting when they fastforward to 2012 and they keep us guessing who the female protagonist ends up with, but it was extremely obvious who she would end up with in the end.
They tried to complicate it with some questionable couple options. Like love triangle between brothers, intergenerational loves, same-sex relationships. Even though all these are interesting, and they could have made the story 10x more interesting, the show chooses to go the easiest way make the safest choices and becomes predictable... Sadly....
Generally, the story wasn't that bad, it was just predictable, and done before many many times. The plot was too straightforward, no ups and downs, kinda boring a lot of times.
Great, especially if you consider that 90% of the cast consisted of idols or ex-idols.
Would i recommend it? If you are a kpop fan, you like romantic comedies about first love and you don't want to watch anything deep, then sure, go ahead. Don't expect to get blown away by it, i don't understand how people got so invested in it, it was good for what it was, but there have been better rom coms out there, definately!
Would i rewatch it? No, it was possibly the most boring kdrama i've watched to this day.
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