This review may contain spoilersTake Care of the Young Lady/My Fair Lady is one of those dramas that begin on a funny/light hearted note and end with a melo/romantic note.
The plot revolves around Dongchan, a former gigolo who owes a ridiculous amount of money to three loan sharks (whom I dub as the Three Stooges because they are honestly more comical than threatening). He plans his way to pay the debt by becoming the personal butler of the extremely wealthy and egotistical Kang Hyena.
It surprises me how some people were not able to see the chemistry between the two main leads. Yoon Sang Hyun and Yoon Eun Hye won the Best Couple Award for this drama. So, its safe to say that the duo won't disappoint you. In the beginning episodes you'll probably not like Hyena. For one, she's verbally insensitive to those around her and has no qualms with being quick with the hands. Then along comes Dongchan who quickly puts Hyena in her place... though he suffers for it both verbally and physically.
Now you all are probably saying to yourselves "How can I get behind this romance when one is abusive?!" Well I'm here to tell you that that abuse doesn't last very long. I wish I could do a more in depth review but since this site has a "No spoilers" policy then I'll try my best to keep shut with certain points. As the story progresses, you realize and see for yourself that Hyena is not a bad person by any means. All she is is just spoiled. Lets take a look at Hyena. Hyena was born with a sliver spoon in her mouth. She's filthy rich and with a snap of her fingers she gets what she wants.
When you watch the drama, you realize that she doesn't have any real, TRUE friends. Why? You could say it is because of her personality and that she has an air of superiority around her but try and look at it from her perspective. Hyena doesn't trust anyone. Why? She's rich and because of that fact she FEELS like she can't trust anyone. Hyena has that little voice in the back of her mind telling her that the only reason a person will ever get close to her is because of her money. I'm not rich but as I watched this drama I could see why Hyena would close herself off and be distrusting of others.
When it comes to Dongchan, he's a down to earth kind of guy who has made some tough decisions in his past. Your heart will ache a bit for him when you learn the real reason why he became a gigolo and ended up in so much debt. His relationship with Hyena has many funny and touching moments. Dongchan too realizes that Hyena is just a spoiled brat and instead of becoming her enemy, as he had planned, he becomes her friend. Their friendship gets to the point where Hyena feels she can't even go a day without him by her side. And from there you know the usual K-Drama formula of the two eventually falling in love with each other.
What I loved the most about this drama was the relationship between the two leads and how they truly fell in love. Dongchan is very hesitant since many would view him as a poor man with a shady past. He is willing to give up his love if it means that Hyena will be happy. Hyena on the other hand refuses to let go and pretty much says screw what other people think.
What I disliked about the drama... though not exactly relevant to the main plot, there are a few parts where characters mention Hyena's ex-boyfriend and its kinda left up in the air for the viewer to figure out what happened. Overall I'd say its just a nitpick.
Also, the supporting characters Eui Joo and Taeyun are great as well. I always chuckled a bit whenever Eui Joo would say or do something funny and in turn would make Taeyun smile or laugh.
The music is great and meshes well with many of the scenes. Fun fact: Yoon Sang Hyun sang two of the songs in the soundtrack. One of them is a duet with Yoon Eun Hye. Both of them have beautiful singing voices.
I would recommend to those that are interested in this awesome drama is to give it a chance. When I start something, I finish it. Maybe I won't finish a drama right away but eventually I will. Hope you all enjoyed reading this review and take the time to check out this drama.
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Sweet 18 is about an arranged marriage between an 18 year old sassy high school girl named Yoon Jung-Sook and a 28 year old Prosecutor named Kwan Hyuk-Joon. Fun fact: The two main leads actually dated in real life. Also this drama was Han Ji Hye's first leading role.
The drama begins with two traditional elder men in the early to mid 1980s and the two make a contract stating that their grandchildren will marry each other. When the contract is signed, the two old men start to laugh like they just planned something sinister which made me laugh along with them. Fast forward eighteen years later and then the story begins...
Lets start off with Jung-Sook. She's the type of girl that doesn't care about school, has no interest in college, and generally just likes to go clubbing and drinking with her friends (much to the dismay of her mother played by veteran actress Kim Hae Sook). One day her and her friends decide to skip school and end up being chased by one of the school guards. They end up separating and Jung-Sook runs into a man (Hyuk-Joon) who is wearing a hanbok. She falls to the ground and is about to make a rude comment but is instantly frozen in her spot. Hyuk-Joon stands there holding up a fan that is blocking the lower half of his face and Jung-Sook just stays on the ground... mesmerized by him and watches as he walks away. If you can't tell what just happened then I'll say that she just fell in love.
It sounds cheesy, and it is, but its a good kind of cheesy that makes you chuckle. Jung-Sook is relatively the same for the first couple of episodes and even though she can be sarcastic and naive at times there's just this charm about her that I can't really explain. She just grows on you and you end up liking her nonetheless. Even though she's only 18 years old and has no real experience with relationships, let alone marriage, you admire her for the fact that she is willing to try and make matters work. Her relationship with Hyuk-Joon's grandfather, who refuses to wear anything else but a hanbok, is cute as both scheme different ways to make Hyuk-Joon a proper husband.
Now we go to Hyuk-Joon. The man is all about work and no nonsense. He remembers the first time he encountered Jung-Sook. But, he remembers the event in a very different way. Instead of her being frozen and gazing upon him, he remembers her berating him and shooing him away. As they say, there are two sides to every story. Both of them have to have the truth in there... right? Right. Hyuk-Joon rebels against the marriage in the beginning stating that arranged marriages are outdated. But he loses out to Jung-Sook's persistence and does it to appease his grandfather's wishes. When the two get married, he's not the greatest husband in the world and makes up excuses to avoid going to bed with Jung-Sook.
Now you're probably saying "What kind of marriage is this?!". Well, here comes along grandpa to set matters straight. You really do have to love the grandfather in this drama. He's the one that knocks sense into those that are too stubborn to work matters through.
There is one thing that I have to say about Hyuk-Joon. Despite the fact that he wasn't fond of the idea of marriage, let alone with a rebel girl like Jung-Sook, he respects it. How? There's a part in the drama where his ex-girlfriend Moon Ga Young (played by Lee Da Hae) makes an appearance and becomes a supporting character for the rest of the drama. She's upset with the fact that he doesn't want to talk with her or hang out. And he tells her this (more or less) "I don't want to be seen with you without my wife. I don't want her to be hurt." From there on I respected him and enjoyed the events that lead up to him finally realizing that he truly does love Jung-Sook and that he was just being Mr.Stubborn.
There are parts of the drama that are over the top (specifically some fight scenes) and I'm sure some of you will roll your eyes at them but I found it all in good fun. I can't really say if there is anything that I disliked about the drama. I was entertained from beginning to end. Essentially the whole story is about two opposites who try and work out their differences within their marriage and see what it truly means to love and respect one another.
The supporting characters are fun to see and watch like Hyuk-Joon's older sister and his best friend Jongchan(who likes to poke fun at Hyuk-Joon's marriage but nevertheless respects it). You'll probably find his sister and ex-girlfriend annoying for a time though as they keep butting into the marriage.
The music is kinda crazy but catchy. I can hear the main theme playing in my head at the moment.
Overall, give the drama a chance and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Hope you all enjoyed this long review!
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Main Cast (The Brothers)
Kim Geongang (played by Ahn Nae Sang: He's the eldest brother and quite frankly hates the fact that he was born as the eldest. From what I've learned and read about South Korea, there is a lot of pressure put upon sons who are the eldest to take care of the parents and live with them for all their life. At an early age he rebelled against his parents and eloped to escape the responsibilities of an elder son. His marriage ends up in a divorce however and he's forced to go back home to live with his parents and brothers. The first lot of episodes have him suffering with hemorrhoids which brings a lot of laugh out loud moments.
His relationship with Cheongnan starts off as harmless fun and flings until their eventual marriage (something he protested against furiously). Tension rises when he finds out about her son (he doesn't want kids) and it hurts him greatly. You will admire Geongang when he makes it his mission to be a good husband/father. Plus, you'll love the scenes between him and Cheongnan's criminal ex-boyfriend.
Kim Hyeonchal (played by Oh Dae Gyu): He's the middle brother and you could say that he suffers the "Middle Child Syndrome". Hyeonchal was pretty much forced to take on the role of the eldest. He suffers with a lot of stress as a businessman. Who wouldn't be when you have to run 3 businesses and loan sharks making your life miserable and constantly reminding you of the debts you have to pay back? Not only that, but then you come home to hear your mother complain about your wife (whom she treats like a slave) and treats you as the black sheep of the family.
Hyeonchal is someone that you probably won't like from the beginning but I can honestly say that you will end up respecting him as a husband, father, and man when he sticks up for his wife as he finally reaches his breaking point.
Kim Isang (played by Lee Jun Hyuk): He's the youngest brother. Isang passes the Korean Bar exam and instead of becoming a lawyer, as his mother hoped, he decides to follow in the footsteps of his father and becomes a police officer. He's the mediator of the family and does what he deems necessary to ease tension among his loved ones. Due to the fact that he passed the Bar exam, Isang is instantly made a Captain and is in charge of his own team which all bring a decent level of comedic bromance moments.
Isang falls head over heals in love with Eoyoung (who is 3 years his senior) and acts like a goof just to see her smile. During their relationship, the two suffer the usual issues of young couples... career choices, family disputes, differences of opinion and how the relationship should be structured. The two butt heads many times when it comes to the subject of children. Isang believes having a child is the true way of showing a couples love where as Eoyoung believes that you need to plan ahead of time and that having children is expensive. This issue becomes the main problem in their relationship during the last half of the drama and maybe you'll take ones side over the other. Maybe you'll see both sides.
Eom Cheongnan (played by Do Ji Won): Cheognan is a single mother with a little boy (his father is a criminal that appears later on in the drama). She spent most of her childhood and teenage years in an orphanage. Cheognan is has no choice but to leave her sick son with her best friend and live in the city of Seoul to make enough money for them to live. Though Cheongnan tries to be positive and is a bit cooky, its more of disguise to hide how she truly feels about life.
She loves her son and would do anything for him. Cheongnan sees the opportunity to seize Geongang believing that she will live a better life with him and that her son will have a real father.
Cheognan does bring a lot of humor to the drama but you will also feel touched by her own struggles.
Do Umi (played by Kim Hee Jung): Umi is the wife of Hyeonchal and your heart will break for her many times over during the course of the drama. The amount of verbal and laborious abuse she suffers under the tyranny of her mother-in-law will upset you plenty. She is basically treated as a slave by her mother-in-law who makes it her mission to put down Umi any chance she gets. Life just gets more stressful for her when she has to cook, clean, and do everybody's laundry as well as take care of her two young sons. Her husband doesn't help her situation when he comes home and refuses to listen to any of her plights. Not only that, but then she ends up torturing herself with the idea that her best friend has love feelings for her husband.
I can honestly say that you will cheer for Umi when she finally rebels against her mother-in-law's tyranny and does her life how she sees fit. Sometimes I would even forget that the drama is about the three brothers and believe that its Umi's story to be told.
Ju Eoyoung (played by Oh Ji Eun): She's the eldest daughter of a single father and works as a jewelry designer. Eoyoung had to assume the role of both an elder sister and mother to her little sister due to her father being in prison for a time.
Her boyfriend, Wang Jaesu, of 5 years decides to dump her after becoming a public prosecutor (even though Eoyoung was the one supporting his ungrateful self). This is where Isang steps into her life. Her relationship with Isang begins rocky as she tries to get over Jaesu who plays with her mind and heart through sleezeball antics. Luckily this song and dance lasts only for the first 14 episodes to which we're able to see the next issue in the relationship between Isang and Eoyoung... their fathers. One a cop and the other a former gangster with a history of chasing each other back and forth until one has been framed and other ending up in prison. Overall, I'd say you will enjoy their relationship as it does have many cute, funny, and romantic moments. You'll also enjoy the subplot of the fathers and their history.
All of the supporting characters are fun to watch and will either touch you with their own stories, make you laugh, or downright annoy/anger you.
I love the music. The main theme is especially awesome.
What I loved about the drama... everything to be honest. All of the relationships, the story, and subplots.
What I disliked about the drama... the mother and you'll see why if you decide to watch this great drama.
See the drama and judge it for yourself. I loved it and was entertained from the beginning to the end. Hopefully you all will feel the same! Hope you all enjoyed this review and I apologize for the length.
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As I like to do with my reviews, I'll start off with the main characters.
We have Jin Pal Gang. She starts off as a frivolous woman who works only to buy designer bags and clothing. To be frank, she just doesn't care about anything else and has been fixated on a man named Won Kang Ha (our male lead) for the past 5 years. Her home life is rowdy as she lives with her parents and FIVE adoptive siblings. Each of them, starting with Pal Gang, is named after a color. Pal Gang (Red), Ju Hwang (Orange), Norang (Yellow), Cho Rok (Green), Parang (Blue), and the baby Nami (Indigo).
Pal Gang is an insurance agent and is the lowest performer in the nation... I wonder why? As was stated above she doesn't really care much about improving herself and only goes to work to pick up a paycheck and spend it all in one day. But here is where her character changes for the better. After her parents tragically die in a car accident, Pal Gang is forced to grow up and mature REAL fast. After being forced out of her home with her five siblings, their only choice is to roam the streets and search for places to stay with the little money they have left.
Pal Gang, to me, is probably one of the most admirable characters in the drama. She could have dumped all of her siblings in an orphanage and live her life however she wanted. But she doesn't. Probably one of the most touching scenes in the drama is when she starts to cut off her hair in a public bathroom and says to herself "You're no longer a woman. You're a mother now." And she sticks to that and becomes a real elder sister/mother to the five kids.
Here we go to Won Kang Ha. You're not gonna like him at all in the beginning. He's a jerk. Kang Ha works in the same company as Pal Gang as an insurance lawyer. One thing you'll notice right away is that he's very cold hearted towards women and you'll see the reason why later on in the drama. The only person he loves and cares for is his younger brother Joon Ha even though he doesn't show it and seems distant towards him. Kang Ha is a man with many past emotional scars he keeps hidden. He puts up a barrier in front of everyone he comes across which pretty much says "Leave me alone".
Kang Ha is forced to be social and accepting when Pal Gang comes along to work as a maid in his house along with her five siblings. At first, they are hidden from him but of course he finds out. At first, he's ready to throw them out of his house believing that he is actually doing them a service by not giving Pal Gang and the others false hope. Kang Ha does grow a lot as a character and the tension in the atmosphere he gives off eventually goes away.
The real highlight of the drama, at least for myself, was the unexpected friendship between Kang Ha and the little boy Parang. I found Parang to be quite a nuisance in the beginning with his bathroom issues and sleepwalking problems but the kid grew on me and maybe he'll grow on you too. Out of the five siblings, Parang is the only one that calls out Kang Ha on his BS. He tears down the man's anti-social, emotionally scarred barriers. Most people like to dismiss young kids as being naive and dumb. But just like elder people, kids can tell when someone is hiding their true feelings and being stubborn about it.
The supporting characters were somewhat interesting. Joon Ha will have you confused about his true feelings. Tae Gyu (the nephew of Kang Ha and Joon Ha) will offer a lot of laughs with his antics but nevertheless he's a guy with a pure heart. And then Jae Young will have you frustrated and annoyed with her obsession/infatuation with Kang Ha.
The romance between Kang Ha and Pal Gang, I hate to say, was disappointing. Even though the two did share some hostile, funny, and touching moments, I was left disappointed. Why? Because of the many subplots that were honestly unnecessary. A murder mystery, hitman, gangsters... why? The drama would've been a thousand times better if it stuck to developing the romance more and the whole family dynamic that was going on. Also, because of those unnecessary subplots there were some characters that were not given proper closure and left you wondering what happened to them.
Then comes the cliche ending. You know that cliche ending, right? The one where the writers believe that jumping ahead 500 years later will solve all of the problems within the story instead of changing certain situations within the plot or just not adding those situations to begin with.
Overall, I'd say the drama suffered with the writers trying to cram in too many situations in 20 episodes. There were at least 3-5 different ways this drama could've been written but its water under the bridge. To be fair, I did enjoy the friendship between Kang Ha and Parang as well as Pal Gang's change from a frivolous woman to assuming the role of an elder sister/mother.
Give the drama a shot if you wish. Maybe you'll find something you liked about it that I didn't. Hope you enjoyed this review!
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Have you watched a preview or trailer for something you were excited about only to end up being disappointed with the end product? I'm sure many of you have just like me. The K2 is one of those dramas that have a good premise but poor execution which ends up leaving you dissatisfied and disappointed.
The plot of the drama sounds simple enough: A soldier with a tragic past becomes the bodyguard of a presidential candidate's wife as well as the candidate's daughter. Not the most original story, but still it sounds like it'll be interesting enough to keep you entertained. The problem arises with the execution. As soon as romance is thrown into the mix it just starts to mess everything up. Now I love romance dramas. They're my most preferred genre when it comes to K-Dramas. But the majority of the times, romance doesn't work very well in a drama that's clearly marketed toward the Action/Thriller genre. And the romance part of the drama definitely suffered and we're left with a half-assed, rushed love story.
Between Je Ha and Anna (the main pairing), you can see from Anna's perspective why she falls in love with Je Ha. He's handsome, a gentlemen, he can fight, saves her life and protects her countless times, and overall he's her Knight in a Secret Service suit. So of course you can see why she falls in love. But from Je Ha's perspective, you're left wondering "What does he see in her?". Yeah she's pretty, but she's also your typical damsel in distress. Now I have nothing against damsel in distress characters but when they're utterly useless is when I do have a problem with them. Sadly, Anna is one of those useless types of damsels in distress. Knowing and seeing that for myself with the drama, I just came to the conclusion that Je Ha loves Anna more out of pity than anything else, and like many have said on this site, the chemistry just isn't there.
But moving on to the real star (stealer) of this show is actress Song Yoon Ah who plays Madam Choi Yoo Jin, the wife of the adulterous presidential candidate Jang Se Joon. I remember reading an article on a writing site with a title along the lines of "Protagonist and Main Character... Same Person?". To summarize, we always use the titles Protagonist and Main Character to mean the same thing. But there are many times where the Main Character isn't the Protagonist. In the case of The K2, yes the drama is named after Je Ha's codename, and yes he is the main character, but the story isn't about him. With Je Ha, sometimes you end up forgetting why he's even there to begin with. He also doesn't develop much at all as a character. He remains the same from beginning to end.
The story is really about Choi Yoo Jin. Choi Yoo Jin is the one who drives the plot. She's the main catalyst that pushes the story forward whereas Je Ha is just the guy that gets caught in the middle of a political war between two corrupt politicians. With Choi Yoo Jin we learn about her past, what drives her for wanting to become the First Lady of Korea, why she puts up with her sleazebag of a husband, her little schemes/plots to deal with the competition etc. She dances between the lines of good and evil making you wonder if she's really bad enough to be the villain. If she really was the villain of the story that the creators intended for her to be then they did a piss poor job of making me hate her. That's one of the biggest sins a writer can commit which is making you root more for the "villain" than for the hero. I love the character of Choi Yoo Jin. If it wasn't for her charisma and beauty I probably would've dropped this drama. Song Yoon Ah definitely deserves all of the praise she gets for her portrayal of the Madam.
One of my other biggest gripes about this drama is the action scenes. Many of them just dragged on and overstayed their welcome. It also didn't help that there was constant shaky cam and fast jump cuts that can easily disorient you, or for others it'll give them motion sickness. I despise that with modern day action/fight scenes. Man do I miss the days of Jackie Chan's 80s and 90s action films where you can actually appreciate the fight scenes without getting a headache.
Plenty of plot twists to look forward too as well. Some shocking and others just plain stupid that completely ruined the flow of the story. The music was pretty great. Especially the instrumentals.
Overall this drama could've been way better than it turned out to be if it was given more time and episodes.
I didn't intend to make this review so long but I had a lot to say. If you enjoyed this review then great. If you didn't then that's fine too.
Like I always say, watch the drama for yourself and make your own judgement.
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