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Kill Me, Heal Me
5 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Feb 28, 2016
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
It's a Korean drama and the beauty of it is its portrayal of relationships no matter what kind. The connection between all the characters is precious and touching. The storyline for a lot of the drama is quite lacking but makes up for it with its powerful ending. Midway it flounders and goes in circles and doesn't make a lot of sense but the characters are EVERYTHING.
With this kind of complicated premise, it would have been helpful if they hashed out the “rules” of the personalities a little more.
I didn't expect this show to be so funny. But seven personalities in one body can get you into a lot of interesting situations.

Can we just give Ji Sung 10 million awards? This guy deserves all the stars.
This drama really put this actor through the loops. The characters and challenges that Ji Sung goes through in this drama to create different personalities in really wacky situations is so phenomenal. What an actor. What. An. Actor.

Do Hyun
Do Hyun is compassionate and gentle. He is at a disadvantage because he doesn't remember what happens when his other personalities are in control. The other personalities do remember and so they make deliberate attempts to confuse Do Hyun in order to be in control of the body. It was very strange to have the one personality leaving video messages for Do Hyun to find when he re-awoke. Also, his other personalities are enemies with himself. Do Hyun takes full responsibility for his actions when he wakes up – the poor fellow! You'd think that after all this time he'd just try and not show his face to the numerous people he's offended but he awkwardly strives to make things right.
It was interesting to see Do Hyun take some really active and practical measures to monitor his mental health to stop the personalities from kicking in. He was determined.

Shin Se Gi
Hello guyliner. This personality is smart and conniving. He knows how to pretend to be Do Hyun. He's the bad boy personality and the bad guy all wrapped up into one. I liked how the drama made a point of Se Gi having to bear the brunt of Do Hyun's unpleasant experiences and how he is the protector.
The ongoing fight that Do Hyun has with this character is sinister and intense but also very heart-breaking.

Yo Sub
Yo Sub was a bit cliché at first but he really brings out a beautiful side of Ri Jin and his character improves. Again, Ji Sung's quiet portrayal of him is intense and effective.

Ri Jin
She does a lot of yelling. When she's happy she screams, when she's angry, she screams. When she's drunk, she screams. She gets irritated a lot. I preferred her sweet side which is unusual for me. I usually like the ferocity of a heroine but Ri Jin's shining moments were when she was sharing her heart and quietly expressing feelings. That's when she seemed the most genuine.
A lot of the times she has so little common sense that it frustrates me. But other times, her psychiatric brain is working just fine and she just has the perfect comebacks.
But her dramatic moments seemed like overacting. It was hard to tell if it was just Ri Jin's superficial personality or the actress' weird portrayals of her.

Ri On and Ri Jin are awesome sibs. They're great. It's the cutest. Ri On as a brother is way better than a boring best friend sidekick. He is so brilliant and funny. I really really liked this guy. His comic and tragic side is beautiful. I like that his dark side isn't even part of the main tragedy but it's just as heartbreaking but in a different way. He's just so wrapped up because he loves his sister. And when he turns on the serious badass side? Daaamn.

Ki Joon
I liked this guy a lot even though he had to play a stereotypical bad guy. But his expression was far from boring. His portrayal of the uptight guy who seems put together but will explode if things don't go his way, is flawless.

You know it's a good drama when I've got way too much to say about every character. How amazing is Ri Jin's mother? That compassionate and maternal look on her face is so beautiful.

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Marriage, Not Dating
5 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Oct 20, 2015
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
This drama is a bit more mature than the fluff that is most kdramas. I really loved that they can have conversations that young adults would be having even though it's still super PG and the characters respond quite juvenile-ishly. At least we've got some mature content like drinking games, talking about sex, even dick sizes, and getting up to more naughty shenanigans which I loved. It's unusual for a drama to portray how horny the male lead is.
There are some weird sound effects but one of the most original ones was when Jang Mi threatens Ki Tae and in the background there's a lion's growl and when they cut the camera to Ki Tae's face he's swallowing and there's a puppy whimper in the background. So weird but funny!
This drama is super modern. There's a kiss between the heroine and the secondary male lead. Unheard of! But also really hot. The skinship was out of this world for a Korean drama. So much touching! They have some awesome hugs too. Haha.
I rarely can watch a drama without skipping large sections towards the end. But this one, the characters are always engaging and fun to watch. I like how the drama plays around with relationships and how they really make fun of that whole, “I'm so cool” thing where everyone is nonchalant about exes and triangles. They even congratulate each other on it, “You were so confident around Se Ah. You were so cool around Yeo Reum.” I like how the drama fleshed out that they were just hiding their feelings from each other. “We talked less than when we were in the fake relationship.” I wasn't expecting that kind of levity, and it really added some depth to the rom-com.
I don't think I have ever enjoyed awkward as much as I enjoyed it this one. I think it's because they don't just pour it in bucket loads on the poor heroine but every character has to endure the most terribly awkward situations. I was cackling and soaking it all up.

Se Ah
She had to be the cool girl to hold onto Ki Tae as a friend and she has no sense whatsoever. She can't see that Ki Tae is both disgusted and terrified of her.

Hyun Hee
Hyun Hee is the BFF and she's pretty cool. She's supportive, a little sassy, and also has a lot of common sense and dignity. She really gets the short end of the stick the poor girl. I was really rooting for her HEA. And she has some tricks up her sleeves. Sometimes she seems so pitiful and helpless and then she pulls herself up by her bootstraps. Hyun Hee is pretty badass.

Yeo Reum
I have never felt more conflicted about a character and I never got tired of watching his handsome self strut around on the screen. Honestly, for the 16 hours of watching this drama, I was always ridiculously happy whenever he made an appearance. And that smile...! Gah. Even Ki Tae says, “his killer smile”. Hahaha. Such a hottie. He has the most beautiful facial expressions too. He's not your usual secondary male lead. He is also not perfect at all, which is refreshing because then I don't feel like the heroine is missing out too much by passing him by.
Jang Mi - “I'm trying to find myself.”
Yeo Reum - “You're weird.”
Yeo Reum points at her. “You're right there. What more are you looking for?”

He was adorable for five minutes. He became an asshole really quickly when he was mean to Jang Mi just because she was a being a flirt. Who gives him the right to punish her? Dickhead. It's weird how he ended up being more important that I thought. I was disappointed that Jang Mi hadn't learned her lessons when it came to him.
In situations where there are two males in a stand-off I like how the Koreans use the term, “Don't be so scary” when they mean don't be so dramatic. Yeo Reum knows a lot about stand-offs and relationships.
Yeo Reum thinks most of the games the crowd he finds himself in as funny. He's younger than all of them and of quite a different mindset so he does enjoy adding fuel to the fire.
Yeo Reum is the epitome of the bad boy. He drives me nuts but he's so cute when he wants to be. I felt like a pickle forgiving him. But he and Jang Mi are also so couply together. I wish we had more chance to see him being genuine before his interest in Jang Mi became more of a power play. Most of the time I thought he was real sleazy but then he'd smile. Gah! I'm such a pushover. Bottom line though is I do not like him. He's bad news, petty and conceited. It's because he's handsome and he knows it. I hate that. He only likes her when it's easy or amuses him. That's disgusting...right?
But he's the kind of guy that will never show it when he's hurting. And he does hurt.
But similar to Se Ah, he only thinks of himself and is really really stupid when it comes to real relationships. They're so good at being cool they don't realise that there's more to love than being right or making all the cards fall into place.

Jang Mi
I like her enthusiasm for life. Her facial expressions are so cute and she dances to herself.
Also, I'm always really impressed by a heroine who can piggyback her love interest. It's so hilarious.
I love how modern she is. She so casually throws out to the traditional mother in law that “Who cares who works in the kitchen? They should help each other out.”
Mother in law - “You made a doctor peel chestnuts?” Damn straight.
Jang Mi throws herself wholeheartedly into anything she undertakes. I like that she gets excited over little things and that she's appreciative of the smallest positives. I like how happy she is. She finds the good things to smile about.
Of course, Jang Mi has to undergo some character development.
Jang Mi - “Stop being clingy. I want a cool relationship!”
Ki Tae - “You, of all people, are saying that?”

Hoon Dong
Hoon Dong is supposed to be a ridiculous character. And he is. Really childish, a mama's boy, spoiled, self-centred, playboy, etc. He does grow. Of course he does.

Ki Tae
Ki Tae is a neat freak. I love that moment when Jang Mi first visits his house and starts touching everything. He's so particular.
Throughout the show he has to do a lot of running. He has great form.
He also uses his eyes very effectively to convey his contempt. It's so fun to annoy him! His eyebrows are perfect too.
I actually like how much he whispers. He is a master at it. I get so convinced when he lowers his voice.
He's such a stern character, it's fun to see him start smiling as he looks over his photographic evidence of his and Jang Mi's relationship.
I like that he's always been the detached guy and finally he has to admit he has feelings for the klutz girl even before she feels that way about him. Ha!
Particularly what he does in Episode 11 is really epic for him. I love how he practices in the mirror.
And he only gets cuter from there on out. I love the way he says her name with such elation and hope.
He's absolutely adorable when he's in love. “You wanted a cool relationship. This is just too cool.”
I loved seeing him evolve and how caring and considerate his transformation left him.

Even if you were the last guy on earth...
“You and I have to act like a couple. My mum is meticulous.”
“What about my revenge?”
“Especially for your revenge. You're worth every penny.”

The Plot
Jang Mi - “Your family stalks you?”
Ki Tae - “It's a family full of love.”
The way he tries to convince her to be his fake girlfriend is hilarious and she rebuffs him beautifully and confidently. It doesn't take much though and soon the two are in league with each other. And Ki Tae finds she's even more perfect than ever. I think it's fun to have the Asian spin on the epitome of the worst possible partner for your child. Jang Mi plays it perfectly. I think it's hilarious that the less conservative members of the family although shocked are quite nice. Grandma approves! This kind of story, especially with Asian families, it's so cruel to play this kind of game because the parents are soooo invested in their kids. Their kid getting married is what they live for, how can you play around with that? It's too sad.
I eventually got really pissed by how silly and emotionally tied up they got into the situation. I really came to hate the manipulations and cruelty of Bong Hyang (mother in law from hell). The drama makes excuses for her. The other characters refrain from scheming out of mercy and not wanting to be evil. But she! She believes in what she does 100% doesn't hold back and really hurts the people around her in the name of duty and honour.

Mother in law
Such an annoying and manipulative witch. But this is Kdrama and of course she has to do something that makes me want to hi-five her.
She also gets her act together a little more, which is great towards the end of the drama.
Usually I require a little more comeuppance for all the trouble she caused, but I couldn't begrudge her pure happiness.

Stubbies with a formal coat? Weird.
Ki Tae's fashion...I love it. Although in Episode 8...yuck!
Ki Tae also wears shorts which I have not seen Kdrama men wear. I was wondering where the calves were. Haha.

Elder treatment
Jang Mi is probably the first to speak back to an elder. Such a modern woman.
They also try and scare the parents off by tricking them into thinking Jang Mi is a rapscallion.
Ki Tae is a modern man as well and doesn't mind bodily moving his mother which, you have to admit, is not very deferentially Asian of him. I love it. It reminds me of my own brother's relationship with our mother who, yes, can be meddling but it portrays the family closeness.
On a random note, I thought I've seen it all with these subservient deference to the elder but for the future mother in law to turn up at the girl's workplace just to ask her to push the grocery trolley? WTF?
So yes, there are super weird moments like that but there's this one moment when the grandma says this line about her late husband deserving a particular treatment and oh my gosh! The sacrilege! I was cackling with glee.
I think what's important is that the elders have to learn things too and they need to have character development and I love that Bong Hyang gets told off.
I do like that even after having an argument, the Korean respect demands that there is some level of acknowledgment in the power relationship. That they can see past the feelings and still offer honour because it's so ingrained in them.

I loved the music. It was really cute and I liked that that dramatic music wasn't overdone like some of the dramas I've seen.

The Ending
The staying power of the drama is really good I think. It kept me laughing right up till the end and I was engaged and always rooting for the characters.

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Angry Mom
4 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Nov 14, 2015
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
Angry Mom is seriously a very fierce show but the kind that's so compelling because you don't know where it's going to go or what the characters are going to do next or what line the drama is going to cross. Yes, it's stressful, particularly the first few episodes when I wasn't sure if I was going to like it and stick with it. But by episode 3, with the dynamics and the premise set up, I knew I was going to enjoy it.
I was a little nervous starting this one having heard of violence and intense bullying. I guess you could say I have a weak stomach. But as always, when Kdramas pick a topic, they dig into it and explore it and twist it upside down and analyse it under a microscope.
I found Ah Ran pretty annoying throughout the drama although she has the cutest smile. Even after finishing it, I'm not exactly clear why Ah Ran was acting so mean towards her mother.
Plot-wise, it's actually quite slow. But the slightest development in the drama made me sit up and pay attention. This happened again and again. By the halfway mark, I was wondering what would be the next thing that would capture my interest and all the drama had to do was rearrange the seating plan in the class and bang, I was back on board. Haha.
If this was a book, I think I would be really depressed. There are a lot of bad things that happen but it's like I didn't realise it until I sat back to count them up. The main characters throughout the drama are continuously banging their heads against a brick wall. It's fail after fail so it's unusual for me to be able to be able to stick with the drama and actually appreciate it.

Kang Ja
I knew I was in good hands with this heroine. Her school days were equally as violent but she was the one dishing it. She was quite the legend. The contrast of the sweet and naive mother with Kang Ja's actual personality is really interesting. Ah Ran is the one person who can walk all over Kang Ja. But it's also great how being a mother is part of Kang Ja's personality too. She's bossy and empathetic and wants to look after everyone.
I think the fun part about this is that there's a lot of maturity to this heroine that is lacking in the other characters because she's twice their age. And she understands where they are coming from even though they might present with a false front to appear cool or to remain in the school hierarchy.
When Kang Ja's secrets starts spilling out I like that she doesn't make any apologies. She believes in what she's doing.

Go Bok Dong
I liked him from the start. He's a forced baby gang member and he owns it with his whole tone, language and body demeanour. He's like, really vicious. But most of the time it's his attempt to steer people clear of danger. His actions speak much louder than his words.
I was so tickled pink when he was worried that Jo Kang was ruining her life. It was the sweetest thing ever.
When it comes to romance, Bok Dong has zero swag.
Go Bok Dong really broke my heart actually.
I've never felt so sorry for a character.
He really gets the short end of the stick.
Some of his most emotional moments, are really quite comical and yet it's so important to him I felt doubly bad all at once even while I was laughing.
The actor Ji Soo is really amazing. I was so convinced of his adolescence. His portrayal of a teenage boy unable to deal with letting his heart feel and the way it comes bursting out at random moments is brilliant.
My favourite moments were when he was being scary. He uses his face so effectively to convey his vehemence. He is also really good at crying.

No Ah
He's such a harmless and gentle teacher. I get a big kick out of seeing him scandalised by the other side of the tracks. As his dad says, “You were beaten as a kid and now you're a teacher you're still getting beat up by the other students.”
Of course he has a big heart but generally I was scoffing at his ineptness. He fails miserably at cracking the kid code. But he perseveres. And when his kindness shines through at some moments of the drama, it's very touching.

Hong Sang Tae
This kid seems like a predictable character but he was full of surprises as the spoiled poor little rich boy.

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10 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Dec 24, 2015
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Oh my word. Where do I even start?
When I sat down to write this review I was full of gobbledygook. I feel like I could write a thesis on the beauty and wonder that is Healer. Once again, my expectations of the standard of Kdrama has just completely been blown up to another level. Can I just get married to this drama and be done with it?
This drama is both intensely sad and intensely funny. You've got to love that rollercoaster of emotions.
Watching this made my heart so so so melty. There are some badass characters in this drama and the way they kindly and gently treat their loved ones made such a big impact on me. There are some really lovely people in this drama who have such big hearts, gosh, the feels!
But let's not forget about the action. I loved loved loved all the smarts that went into the plot and the twists and the deceptions. I always enjoy a drama where the characters are constantly one upping each other. The fight scenes were also really great. I liked that they were practical, and not so showy like some fight scenes I've seen in dramaland *cough City Hunter *cough.
I do feel that it is my public duty to note that there are some plot issues that really don't make any sense. What drama doesn't have them?
On to the characters:

Young Shin - heroine
I feel like I understood Young Shin really well. Her thought processes, actions and decisions all made sense to me.
At first she seems ordinary but then we find out she grew up in a house of ex-cons and has a lot of tricks up her sleeves.
Young Shin is brassy and unapologetic. I like that no one is stepping on her. She's too busy bullying everyone around her. She's very confrontational. She's definitely a wild card and quirky odd but in a good way. I loved how she's always dancing.
As the hero points out, she is brave and she has coping strategies to help her get on with life.
I like that she doesn't have a best friend.
Acting: I first saw Park Min Young in City Hunter. I really loved that her personality is so different in this drama that straight away, I didn't associate her with Kim Na Na.

Jung Hoo
Let me tell you this. Jung Hoo is a guy who knows how to do arrogance right. He pulls it off so perfectly. He doesn't have to be rude, but his condescension just hits it right on the money every time. And he absolutely doesn't use it on the heroine. For. The. Win. This guy is damn good. I was bouncing around with excitement over all his moves. He is very calm and he completely lit up the screen every time. He is amazing and captivating and I'm so in love.

Jung Hoo - “living life was just whatever. Since I was born, I might as well live.”

He reckons he wants to live alone for the rest of his life.
I like his longsuffering exasperation when he has to make contact with people.
And similar to Ju Ji Hoon I like the lazy way he speaks. And he whispers! Be still my beating heart. =P
Jung Hoo would make a great Clark Kent because he totally owns the switch between badass Healer and bashful Bong Soo. I love the way his whole body language and facial expressions change when he's being Bong Soo. He completely owns his dorkish character and it's hard to tell if he's just being Bong Soo or if he really is that awkward because he doesn't hang around people much.
Jung Hoo is the first guy that I've seen who is not a neat freak. He's as sloppy as a girl.
He also has the cutest laugh. The funny thing is that his serious face is so darn sombre and then he smiles and he looks like a little kid.

Serious adorbs. Serious. Adorbs. It is honestly to die for. Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young just sizzled with their interactions. It is seriously that good. The chemistry...the CHEMISTRY.
I'm finding that I really enjoy the star-crossed lovers premise in Korean dramas. starts off with Jung Hoo stalking Young Shin for a job that he's working on. As he spies on her, he is very contemptuous.
But it doesn't last long.
I like that for both of them, they are individuals. They have a lot going on, and sometimes their relationship takes the backseat.
Jung Hoo is another hero who has the most kindest and softest eyes when he's looking at his lady love.
I also like that while he acts appropriately intimidated by her father, he still is man enough to kiss her regardless.

Moon Ho
This guy is full of surprises. I liked all his acting except when he was angry. His angry face seemed over the top. His relationship with Jung Hoo is pretty epic. Bros bros bros.

“How come you never lose to me even once?”

Also, I loved how dedicated Moon Ho was to the “kids”. He, himself, has moments of that childlike quality that is so endearing.

Moon Shik
I really liked the way the drama showed how Moon Shik was haunted by what he did in the past.

Chi Soo
Chi Soo is Young Shin's adoptive father. He's hilariously protective of Young Shin and suspicious of Jung Hoo.
The story of how he Chi Soo adopted Young Shin and how hard he worked to earn her trust is so touching.
Chi Soo has some great scenes with Jung Hoo as well. Their father-boyfriend meet and greet is the best ever.
Also, Chi Soo doesn't get the complete package deal of submissiveness from Jung Hoo and I like that. I think both know their boundaries and both put on a show to fulfill their expected roles. It makes for an interesting dynamic.

Min Joo
“Wait. You, a guy who wouldn't fall if someone threw you, fell on your own?”

Dae Yong
“He wouldn't answer even if I asked and even if he answered I wouldn't know.”
She's a spunky kid and I was really impressed with how brave she was in her care for Jung Hoo.

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The K2
3 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Mar 20, 2017
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
My relationship with this drama spiraled completely out of control towards the ending. For most of the drama, I wasn't that interested, I watched it over a couple of months. But now, I've just finished this and I’m a little shattered.

This show is called K2 for a reason. It’s all about Ji Chang Wook’s role and everyone else is sort of useless. It really shows in Episode 13 when Ji Chang Wook is working hard and using his brains and the politicians are shaking hands and his girlfriend is lying in bed watching TV, and the secret agents are peeling beans in the kitchen.
The drama takes a while to get interesting. It’s a gentle and subtle sort of story but it stays with you and the big moments are big moments. I like the sort of strange premise of bad guys getting beaten by other bad guys and then taken care of by the good guys.
It’s really interesting to see how Je Ha can sympathise with Madame even while knowing how perfectly evil she is and how he can be nice to her while even knowing the full extent of her selfishness. And he hides his contempt well and he sees so clearly right through her.

Je Ha – male lead
I've only seen Ji Chang Wook in Healer. Je Ha has more confidence than Jung Hoo from Healer. I think Je Ha’s attitude was really great. He was always useful, always willing, yet always in control.

“He’s not a hunting dog. He’s a wolf.”

JCW’s character is both action and brains. You gotta love that. One of the skills of Koreans is getting into the heart of the matter. They really know how to hit a bad guy where it hurts.
I love how ruthless JCW is.
If Yoo Jin insults him with her petty ways he takes it up a level.
There’s nothing more satisfying than getting under the bad guy’s skin.

I'm not one for political thrillers. But this one reeled me right in. The characters are chilling.
I really loved Je Ha's snarky language, “your unsolicited concern” and “So all you people need to do is pray that I get through each and every day alive, no matter what” hahahah

He doesn’t let anyone step on him. And it’s interesting how verbal he is with getting what he wants. He’s not a “hit first talk later” kind of guy.

With his relationship with Yoo Jin, I think he also sees a bit of himself in her. The way she fights so hard and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to survive.

Ji Chang Wook is so good at being badass and vulnerable in a heart beat. I like how Je Ha is confident of his own value.
He’s actually pretty tough in the romance and I liked that. He doesn’t give a lot when he doesn’t want to. He’s confident with the way he handles Anna.

Anna – female lead

Yoona kind of gets the short end of the stick. Her role is not very exciting at all. All she does is cry and scream and tremble. I think her appeal for Je Ha is that he has found a creature who is more forlorn and bizarre than him. I liked that he had compassion for her, that he was interested in her. It was cute.
She was kind of like his pet. Like a tamagochi. When she went all prickly it was satisfying to see her being won over by Je Ha’s chivalry. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the relationship between her and Je Ha but Ji Chang Wook has got so much chemistry, I shouldn’t have worried. Just a word from Je Ha, and Anna starts thinking of other people instead of just herself and it’s really nice how she applies her revelation straight away.
I really liked that he talked some sense into her. He called her a cry baby hahaha.
I really like that even though the mother was the victim, the drama didn’t sugar coat her personality and her flaws. Anna knew to remember her fully and not just as the perfect dead mother.
When Anna starts interacting with people, it’s actually really fun.
Anna’s character is pretty weak but she was pretty damn useful and quick in a fight.

There’s a surprising amount of equality in the relationship.

Yoo Jin
“I’ve never betrayed anyone who’s never betrayed me before.”

I like that Madame Yoo Jin is so seldom sincere that the people around her can’t even detect her vulnerable moments because they think she’s just up to something.

“She’s the type to not shed blood in public even when she’s been shot!”

I was worried about her being annoying, but I kind of rooted for her as well. I liked the way she was calculating and how if someone made her uncomfortable she would make them uncomfortable right back.
In a way, I thought it would be more fun if she was more cold, and we later got to see her break. But, I guess it’s alright that she has a lot of observable pain right from the start.

I really like the filming when Madam calls Je Ha “K2” before the mission. I loved how the drama showed that Madame cared about Je Ha.

“If you find yourself in a situation that’s too dangerous, it’s ok to come back.”

I like how the plot came down to the two siblings.

I also liked how Choi Yoo Jin’s scary relationship with her husband progressed.

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Protect the Boss
3 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Jan 3, 2016
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This drama is a gem. I really love that it confronts kdrama tropes. I took a long time to finish it because I wanted to keep it for when I have nothing to watch.
Most first episodes you can miss. But you don't want to miss this one. Also, the drama gets better and better as it goes along.
Eun Sol is the one who carries the drama the first half, but the second half, Ji Heon really is awesome.
You never know where the show is going to take you.
I liked that there were nonromantic non slow mo hugs involved.

Ji Heon's Dad
I grew to like this character really quickly. The fact that he's so down to earth with Eun Sol is great. It's nice that she has allies. He's a dad that really wants his son to succeed.
The things he does for community service is so funny.
I really liked him.
“Even though I meet a lot of women, I stick to my own age bracket.” Gahahaaha.
I also really like his relationship Eun Sol and how he wants to so desperately accept her but knows all the troubles that will come with it.
The actor really conveys the blustery, tempestuous personality with the soft-hearted side.
He's probably also one of the first Kdrama parents to apologise to the children for yelling at them. I love that he wants to start again with Ji Heon and be a better father to him.

Mu Won
I love his facial expressions. He's very cute and polite and he has a husky voice that does tingly things to my insides.

Mu Won - “Have you eaten?”
Eun Sol - “What?”
“If you haven't eaten, let's eat together. Even if you have eaten, eat again with me.”

His little fights with his cousin amused me because Mu Won is so mature but sometimes Ji Heon just gets on his nerves. I like the clashes they have and all the power plays and the way Mu Won is so cool about it.

Mu Won - “Do you want to eat together?”
Ji Heon - “No...why would I eat with...”
“Great. I don't want to, either. So, goodbye.”

Mu Won's a well-behaved gentleman so I like that Eun Sol advises him to, “stage a strategic revolt”.
He's kind of like a preppy high school girl who wants to experiment but just can't.
He is a beautiful creature and has the loveliest love confession but he's too scared to hear the answer. I loved that montage as he tries to avoid hearing her response.
In Episode 7....gah! I loved seeing his playful side. He definitely enjoys annoying Ji Heon more than he actually likes No Eun Sol.

“Are Ji Heon and I that annoying?..then you can just play around with us.” tehehe.

It was fun to see him relive his childhood or basically be immature for once in his life.
Finally, his shocked face whenever Eun Sol does something rowdy is just the best. The best.

Eun Sol's Dad
I really appreciate the continuing theme Myeong Ran and Eun Sol are confident women because their parents treasured them. As Eun Sol's father says, “Is your child the only precious one? My daughter is also very precious.” I like that they were brought up knowing that it's not the money that's valuable.
It's also great that with Ji Heon being such a sissy boy, that he has to gain the approval of Eun Sol's dad's more manly perspectives.

I really could not envision the chemistry working out. In most noona romances, the woman is still really childish and needs taking caring of by the younger hero. But Eun Sol really is like a mother to him to the point that it's sweet how she babies him.
I like that Ji Heon falls in love first. I think it's only appropriate considering the nature of the relationship.
When she confronts him about him liking her, he goes into the usual spiel of all the reasons he wouldn't like her. It doesn't phase her, she's still like, “So? What does that have to do with anything? Do you like me or not?”
“Why, why can't you accept my feelings?”
“First of all...”
*gasps “What, there's a number two?”
As the drama progresses, I began to understand Ji Heon's feelings for Eun Sol and how she became everything to him and it wasn't icky and weird but based on friendship and selflessness.
I really like how they outlined the relationship in Episode 8. How Eun Sol's rant at him really woke him up to how he was relating to her. And it wasn't all sunshine and roses.
When they do get together it's not very clear.

Eun Sol
I like that Eun Sol's personality remains consistent and her quirks continue throughout the drama. She doesn't change just because she falls in love.
Of course, Ji Heon tests her limits as a secretary. I like that she prevails.
Ji Heon - “Ah, what kind of woman is she? She's so ruthless!”
The heroine's voice is very low. It's a nice different from the tendency of Korean heroines to have a whiny voice. I like that she's not the type to apologise a hundred times. I like that she's a realist and not a fairytale optimist from the get-go.
I found myself looking forward to getting to know and love her.
I like that she owns her outbursts. She doesn't back down from her decisions. She sees them through.
She might say the wrong things, but she's not clueless. In fact, a lot of the times she's right on the ball. Her common sense is so uncommon in Kdrama heroines.
I like that she doesn't get tongue tied and she can say what needs to be said without dragging out long misunderstandings. She doesn't take crap lying down from anyone. She is an unusually quick thinker and when someone threatens her she threatens them right back.
In Episode 4 when she head butts him, she completely stole my heart.
Although I don't condone manhandling or intimidating, I do like that she does it to him as much as he does it to her.
Eun Sol really gives it to Ji Heon when he tries to put the moves on her. She is so brilliant.
She also isn't afraid to tease him about her relationship with his cousin.
I also like that she really gives it to him straight about the kind of relationship they have. I think she's the first heroine to really lay it down that working tirelessly is not as easy or as stress-free as other Kdramas portray.
She seems more like a noona to the cousins and she makes fun of Mu Won's lack of fighting skills.
Her practical side sometimes makes her seem cold and I like that she hardly ever cries.

Ji Heon
“I know you can solve the problem on your own. But you also have to tell me about it.” ~ Ji Heon

I can't believe the actor was the 34 when he filmed this. He acts so convincingly as a child. He does have a disorder but that's not a good enough excuse for me.
I liked when he started to try and look out for Eun Sol in his own weird way.
When he starts to let her help him, it gets even better.
He's an extremely prickly character who doesn't like this or that and doesn't like to be touched either. In the beginning he acts like he doesn't care what anyone thinks but of course he's a big baby and when he starts putting in the effort and trying he really enjoys the approval.
Responsibility is really hot. Haha. Ji Heon definitely became more attractive to me as he started growing up.
His immaturity also works in his favour too because he's not as prone to hide behind arrogance and image because he knows he doesn't really have one.
His stance on romance is simple, but effective. He's also encouraging.
It's weird how his character developed such depth and presented a side to Ji Heon that I would never have suspected, yet the writers lay the foundation so you realise it was always there.
He also apologises for wrist grabs.
Even as he grows up, he doesn't lose his cluelessness, “What? You're also dating an assistant manager?” ahahahaha.
By the end of it, I really believed in his character and his love for No Eun Sol.

Myeong Ran
I loved her as the best friend. She is a little on the large side which is great and she's just as kickass. And she's my first solid best friend in a Kdrama. She has a low voice too and that made the friendship seem more mature for some reason.
I liked that she has fun together with Eun Sol. It's not just that she's someone to complain to or a shoulder to cry on. They get along so well and can just let loose with each other and have inside jokes and dance and sing together.
Myeong Ran's ferocity really cracked me up. I like how the rich didn't dare cross her. Her strange relationship with Na Yun was hilarious.

The Ex – Na Yun
I kind of liked that she was a bit less controlled than other second female leads. She doesn't have it all together. She also really cares about Ji Heon even when she contemplates revenge, she won't go through with it.
She also wears her heart on her sleeves and she's not cool at all. She actively tries to prove herself to Eun Sol and this made her seem much more real.
I like that she chokes on her food and that she makes friends with Myeong Ran.

I liked the theme of the main characters outsmarting/rebelling against the parents.
There are scheming elders but I'm glad that the elders scheme amongst themselves and get in the way of each other and so it's not all up to the poor younger folk to dodge their machinations.
Also, Eun Sol has no trouble standing up to the elders. She's not intimidated or deferential at all. She's so direct with them, “Please don't come to this crappy neighbourhood with your crappy attitudes anymore.”
Surprisingly, the children of the annoying elders also learn to get a backbone and confront their mothers. For the win.

Bow ties are always fun. Ji Heon wears a backpack which emphasises his kid look.

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3 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Nov 7, 2015
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
90% of this drama's problems could be solved if Koreans understood the term, “Innocent till proven guilty.”

"Back then, there were no good reporters. This time there is.” ~ Dal Po

The first episodes starts with a rollercoaster of feels. I like that this drama isn't the standard love square with scheming elders. While I was watching it, it kind of overtook my life. Although it was pretty stressful for me I couldn't stop watching it. I was also watching an action Kdrama at the same time as this one and Pinocchio made my heart beat so much faster and the plot and relationships really had me on the edge of my seat. I don't like foreshadowing though! Don't tell me something bad is going to happen, Dal Po! There are no dull parts in this drama, which, makes it really special in my opinion. And there are no useless side characters. Everyone is interesting and unique and screen-worthy. I actually loved every single secondary character even the ones that were just comic or even bordering on slapstick. They were all really good.
I liked that there are sub-plots and crises that arise and get dealt with as different news incidents happen. So there are a lot of small victories along the way and it's not just about one long-drawn overarching plot. It keeps the storyline fresh and exciting. I also appreciate how they portray the older generation of reporters influencing and mentoring the next generation but sometimes their words of wisdom come back to bite them in the butt. It's funny how a moment of fierce lecturing gets imprinted on a trainee's brain and informs their professional development.
It's also great that it's not just about fighting against the news industry. Sometimes the news drama took a backseat to the characters' personal development. I also like that it's not all an uphill battle. There are some higher up people rooting for In Ha and Dal Po too. There are humorous parts as the two competing news stations try and one up each other.
I thought the set up of the drama, was really thoughtful. Having the main characters be in a legally awkward position is great. And the whole uncle thing? Never gets old. It's so funny the way they got used to it. Although how they can stand to be in a relationship and still go back to “uncle” terms without batting an eye is beyond me.
I love how Korean dramas know how to uniquely demonstrate the relationships in the family in such a meaningful, but cutesy way. Actually, a surprising theme that emerged is the betrayal of family for the sake of justice.
Random note: In Ha wears heels to her first interview and then later on in the show she claims she doesn't have any heels.

Gyo Dong
I loved him. He seems really serious and upright and a good mentor to Dal Po but he gets caught up in the news rivalry shenanigans too. I love the way he'd be so mature and then encourage his subordinates to insult the other team. And he's easy on the eyes too. His little flirtation was so awkward but cute.

In Ha's mother was not as evil as I thought she'd be. She was sensible and thought about her actions. Sure she was selfish but at least she was clever and cunning and made sense. I also liked seeing her loosen up and joke around. I like that even though she tries her best to make people feel like shit, Dal Po and In Ha are strong enough in themselves to continue to be professional towards her. Although, there is one point that In Ha confronts her and she does it in a way I thought I'd never see. It was good to see the icy Manager Sung pissed off. I was annoyed by the repetitive cycling of her arguments though. When she told lies she demanded other people prove them false. When others did the same, she disregarded them as assumptions.
Towards the end of the drama, I really liked her acting.
For Bum Jo's mother, I liked that she was more concerned about Bum Jo's happiness than status.

I really do not understand why Koreans think applying bandages to the opposite gender is so romantic.
Anyway, this is my first childhood friends/frenemies romance. I like seeing their casual relationship that sometimes sizzles. The chemistry between In Ha and Dal's good.
Also the toast kiss was more memorable for me because of what happened after...hahaha.
The way Kdramas dream up these convoluted's so sneaky and tricky. I kind of like the twist that Dal Po feels he's not good enough for her but In Ha's father actually thinks it's the other way around.
Dal Po, on the romance front, is strong and not afraid of rivals. He's so freakin' calm about it. I just like the way he doesn't dramatise things. He makes a lot of mistakes in his relationship with In Ha but I like his imperfections. Also, can we just have a shout out for Lee Jong Suk and his epic back hugs? The way he affectionately caresses In Ha's face is always so satisfying and sweet.
I like that Dal Po trusts In Ha and doesn't think he needs to be the big man and protect her from things. I like the way she trusts him back so there's little pointless arguing or her needing to prove herself. I do like that they have real arguments about their values.
In Ha is really thoughtful of everything that Dal Po has gone through. And when it comes to standing up for him, she's a tiger.
The crisis of the romance was stupid and yet tricky at the same time. There are no right answers. Is it a case of illogical noble martyrdom? I don't know. I really don't.

Jae Myung
I really loved this actor/character. His smile is perpetually sad and he just conveys this broken, and lonely persona so well.
Every time he was on the screen, my heart was in my mouth just being so achey. And he's so kind and so bitter and aghhhh.
He honestly, stole the show for me. He, out of everyone, is so strong. His powerful character is so intensely portrayed. I wanted to hug him and hi-five him and everything.

In Ha
I like seeing her expressions come alive. She has some great attitude and sass that I enjoyed.
My first drama with her was Flower Boy Next Door. I thought the hicupping thing would be overdone, but she owns it well. Her hiccups' concept stretches to scenarios as well. So it's not so much about lying but keeping quiet about the truth. And so she can't act either because her “body knows she's lying”. I wish they kept true to that, but they started to expand it so that her hiccups was basically her moral compass, which kind of made it preachy. Although I did like it when she'd say something like, “I do believe you *hiccup, oh, I guess not.”
I like her confidence. When she and Dal Po get into the reporting industry, In Ha is professional and not clingy. Yay! Dal Po has the smarts but In Ha has good instincts. She's level-headed and she does it in a way that's calm and not showy.
She also stands up for what she believes is right even if it means standing against Dal Po. It's always good to see a woman able to separate herself and her opinion from her boyfriend. She really whips Dal Po into shape. I was really surprised to see that kind of backbone coming from a Kdrama/Park Shin Hye. As the drama goes on, it becomes clear that you do not want to mess with In Ha.
In Ha is also really good around the second male lead. He's nothing to write home about, but she showed decisiveness when it came to him and didn't string him along.
Also, I love that she initiates kissing. And how many times have you seen a heroine cut off a hero's rambling with a kiss? In Ha is awesome.

Dal Po
I'm starting to see a trend with Lee Jong Suk characters being underestimated and looked down upon but possessing inner strength and confidence. I love the way he portrays his characters as arrogant and intelligent, yet vulnerable and with such a selfless and big heart.
Lee Jong Suk and his feelings. It's so easy to get caught up in them. Gah! Even with his ridiculous hairstyle my heart was beating for him. And seeing him as a sad little orphan again...oh, Lee Jong Suk...The way he lived his life...just to spare a poor old man's heart...*sigh. Such a sad little kid.
Dal Po gets caught up in the chase of the news too. The drama portrays a very cutthroat, unprofessional and dirty world of journalism. It was interesting how Dal Po, despite his hatred for the culture fell trap to it when he started in on the race to get that exclusive. The self-reflection was really spot on. He's a really mature character and even the elders respect him for it. He's also really clever with catching people out when he interviews/interrogates them.
As the drama builds, I hated to see him go through his crisis alone.
“I hate myself to a point where I can't even breathe.”
Lee Jong Suk knows how to act. I also really like his blank face when Yu Rae tries to flirt with him. Also, his disgruntled face makes me laugh every time. Seeing his range of emotions is impressive. I thought I'd seen all of his facial expressions. But then there was his tipsy scene. His drunk face...Oh gosh. Lee Jong Suk is epic. EPIC.

Bum Jo (that's such an unfortunate name!) Second Male Lead
I'm not sure if I've ever disliked a secondary male lead off the bat like I did this guy. He's all “In Ha is my destinyyy”.
He's also a spoiled mama's boy. This guy is so creepy. He's the kind of “nice” stalker that is fooling nobody. He's freakishly tall as well. How can someone be taller than Lee Jong Suk?
I did kind of appreciate that after In Ha draws the line, he takes the hint and stops chasing her. But of course, I did feel that he was being somewhat petty.
Actually, he probably has the least character development out of anyone I've seen in a Kdrama.
He's all kinds of ridiculous. But my favourite line of his was, “Did I just swear out loud?”

Jae Hwan
I love these competent and capable women in the media industry.
Dal Po - “We have to barge in there, so it might get ugly.”
Jae Hwan - “That's my speciality.”
I loved her relationship with the silly Hyun Gyu.

Yu Rae is pretty silly. “It's not easy to make copying paper look sexy.”

On an end note, I really loved the music and how emotional it was. It matched the story well and I just thought it was used really effectively.

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Queen In Hyun's Man
6 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Dec 13, 2015
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
Time travel! The first episodes aren't that great and very typical of the standard rom-com but persevere because this is one of the most romantic and intelligent dramas I've ever seen. This may be the first drama I've seen that doesn't have major plot holes in it. I like the intelligence and logic of the storyline and the characters. I especially like that the drama does not and I mean really does not ever drag. It's extremely solid.
The fun really starts when Bong Do gets the hang of how the talisman works.
I'd also like to mention that in most Korean dramas the character development is really a big thing. And I really appreciate that. However, Queen in Hyun's Man doesn't have that. The immature ex-boyfriend continues to be the immature ex-boyfriend. I don't mind. It makes this drama different from others.

Bung Do
I first saw Ji Hyun Woo (actor) in Angry Mom so it was hard to get over that personality. I was happy to see different facial expressions as he portrayed Bung Do. He's actually more hotter when he doesn't smile.
I like how he looks at Hui Jin. You can see how much he likes her.
Bung Do has got a lot of talents. He's a scholar, a fighter, and a quick learner. Mastering the modern world isn't that difficult for him.
I love how aware he is of his presence in Hui Jin's world and he wants to assimilate well so that he doesn't disrupt her life or embarrass her.
“I can't keep doing silly things that will be a nuisance to you.”

Hui Jin
I like that she's good at her job. And she doesn't take long to put her ex-boyfriend in his place.
The main thing that I like about this heroine is that she is consistent with her personality. She doesn't change because of her man and she doesn't have to learn a whole lot in life. I suppose some would call that lack of character development. But sometimes it's nice not to “learn a lesson” when watching a drama and just go along for the ride with a heroine who doesn't have major flaws that need to be corrected. She's okay from start to finish. Confident, flirty, and mischievous.
She has a lot of attitude that's satisfying. She has a bit of conceit to her that remains throughout the drama and I liked that.

“Selling that relic wasn't so dumb after all.” ~ Bung Do

There is lots of kisssssssing!!!!
This drama was really effective in convincing me of Hui Jin and Bung Do's epic romance in a short space of time. The music also was definitely a draw card with that ancient Korean style. Gah! Too good. I like that they are always so happy and relieved to see each other.
They get along pretty quick too. I like their boy-meets-girl, star-crossed lovers romance.
Because Bung Do appears and disappears, it makes for a bit of anticipation for the plot and for both of them when they finally get to see each other.
It's really cute as Hui Jin shows Bung Do how the modern world works and Bong Do's look of awe and fascination is adorable. Their relationship is one of equality. I love it! For example, Bung Do doesn't mind using the cute card and Hui Jin knows how to put aside her emotions to deal with things practically. She also steals kisses all the time which is so adorable and I was pleased to see the girl power.
They can tease each other and they have lots of fun together.
The way Bung Do cares for Hui Jin and her feelings is really touching and beautiful. He is chivalrous and noble without being a martyr about it.

Su Gyeong – best friend
She was really boring. But if she is the substitute for annoying elders, then fine. Actually, the first time she said she was like Hui Jin's parents, that was the first time I started liking her.
Also how hilarious was that continuing joke with her interrogations of Bung Do?

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Liar Game
4 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Sep 29, 2015
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This show is pretty damn phenomenal. Yes, there are logic issues. But the whole production is really awesome. I am not one to reread a book or re-watch a drama but this. I finished this show in a couple of days I was so hooked and then I went back to rewatch my favourite parts the very next day. Ha!


“In order to trust, you must suspect first.” This guy is too cool.

“Being too kind is a disorder. But it's not completely useless.”

It's annoying how in the intro theme Woo Jin is wearing glasses and he only wears glasses in the entire 12 hour series for 2 minutes at the beginning of the first episode.
Woo Jin completely won me over. The actor, Lee Sang Yoon, I have the biggest crush! His education tone is so sexy. Haha.
He never smiles with his teeth during the entire show. Isn't that sad?
I like how they show that he is taking in everything. Plus, his eyes are pretty.

The guys are obsessed with turtle necks.
Woo Jin wears Chuckies. I like that.
Da Jung wears some great heels.

Don't Kang Do Young and Ha Woo Jin get tired of staring at each other so meaningfully?
Do Young is annoying.
I wanted something more from Da Jung and Woo Jin. Not necessarily romantic, just a sign that they're friends or that he respects her, or she makes him happy.
That ending is confusing as hell. I'm disappointed that after all the mind games the ending just ends up being a mindless shoot out.
This drama has strong women, even though they aren't the heroines, I heartily approve. The reporter Ja Young and the PD. Normal career, competent women who can hold conversations with a hot guy.

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Sassy Go Go
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Jun 14, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.5
“Don’t forget that you will be happy tomorrow only if you are happy today.”

This line is for the perfectionist, workaholic kids out there, like me.
I was actually really impressed by the way this drama addressed not kicking people when they were down. And that that was the whole point about cheerleading. It’s not for those who are in their happy place or people who are necessarily good. It’s people who need cheering up. There is a lot of generosity in this show. It really hit home for me the importance of showing support for people even though it might not seem like much, even when it seems like words won't help the situation.

The plot is fast-moving. As soon as someone says they’re going to do something, they do it, and it gets resolved pretty quick. So I like that we don’t have to wait or dread future happenings. I was warned that this was some serious content, but at least none of the kids are dealing with poverty, teenage pregnancy, jail, sexual assault, or homelessness. I’ve only ever watched two school dramas and that’s what was entailed so, in comparison this was pretty smooth sailing. For the record, this is my favourite school drama ever.

Kim Yeol
“Kim Yeol isn’t someone who you can mess with.”

Our rival leader has such a happy and empathetic face, it’s hard to dislike him. He also does this weird head dip that you might see on older actors. It’s a bit strange. He of course pulls off his menacing side very well too.
Kim Yeol is rather resigned to the system. He’ll protect himself but he’s rather bored with life.

“Geez...even when I lie, I’m practically bursting with sincerity.”

I couldn’t help but like him. There’s something about his expression and delivery of his lines that entertained me. Even in negative circumstances, there’s a non-sardonic smile that finds its way to his face. It’s a bit contrary to the usual image of a high school king.
He’s quite direct, I like that about him too. That he doesn’t beat around the bush.

“You wouldn’t talk to me, so I had no other way. So I prepared a time and place for us to talk.”

It’s also a really interesting concept to have characters acting so mean to people but then so freakin’ loyal to others. It’s such a clear theme in this story.

“Pride? That seems to be the most important thing to you. But for me, that friend is a lot more important.”

Right from the first episode, there is no room for judgment as we see the “bad guys” established. Everyone has their reasons or knows how to make up for their mistakes. I’m glad, because I didn’t want to watch a drama that made me really angry at a particular person. It was nice that I could root for everyone.

Another theme is trust. Kim Yeol always goes on about not trusting adults and people in general. But he started to change when people started putting their trust in him.

Yeon Doo
Eun Ji has the biggest brightest smile that wants to make me laugh every time I see it. She plays her character in such a fun and realistic way. I feel like her creativity for doing her own thing is really off the charts. I mean showing up to the preppy classroom in a sleeping bag? Gosh, I love this girl.
I can also understand why everyone looks to her for leadership. She has so much charisma and charm and ferocity.
If someone tries to physically intimidate her she just gives it right back to them.
It’s also so great how loyal her posse is and how they all care about her so much.
Her loyalty is what makes everyone love her.

Dong Jae
I usually see N so full of himself so it’s nice to see him as the innocent and quiet Dong Jae.
I love the friendship between Dong Jae and Yeon Doo. I love that even when she’s mad she remembers not to have physical contact and instead bashes him with a tissue box.
Dong Jae keeps such a calm expression on his face all the time. Even in tense situations his face never carries any malice. I really liked that about him. He’s very accepting of whatever happens.

Kim Yeol - “Dong Jae always gives you strawberry milk. I’ll make myself different by giving you vanilla milk.”

Ha Joon
“He learned how to love even if it hurts.”

Everything that comes out of Ji Soo’s mouth is gold.
Ji Soo is once again a hot-headed, angry and suicidal kid.

“I cut myself. Do you know why I did that? Every time you beat me up I also hated myself to death. I felt like I was useless. But I don’t feel that way anymore. I still get depressed at times, but...I will try to hold on to myself from now on.”

I liked how he totally didn’t mind that his best bud was falling for their arch enemy. I really liked how he became friends with Yeon Doo. That gummy bear scene is so cute.

At first Ha Joon is only loyal to Kim Yeol. But then he started expanding his friendship circle. And he really is so brave with the way he backs up the crazy Yeon Doo. Ha Joon is the one character that really has everything on the line.

Yeon Do to Ha Joon - “That’s why you get mad because you don’t know your own feelings.”

Kim Yeol - “Seo Ha Joon! You traitor! Choose between me and Kang Yeon Do.”
Ha Joon - “Of course I’d choose you.”
Yeon Do - “Yeah!”
Ha Joon - “But she’s so strong...”

Ha Joon jokingly says, “If he cheats come to me. I’m very faithful, you know.”

Ha Joon’s relationship with Yeon Doo is really interesting. He wouldn’t have liked her so much if it wasn’t for him opening up to her because of his best bud’s interest in her. And he also loves her because she is so concerned about Kim Yeol, just like he is. His like for her almost seems like an extension of his friendship with Kim Yeol. He even (only) gets jealous when Kim Yeol gets jealous of someone else. Ha Joon likes to see Yeon Doo happy with Kim Yeol. Kim Yeol, is a bit more territorial haha.

“Wait...why am I jealous of them getting punished?”

I kind of like how the perspective on punishment changed throughout the drama.
For the posh kids, it was like it was the end of the world. But they came to see that it’s just part of life and sometimes it’s worth it, or sometimes being punished with your mates isn’t so bad as long as you’re together.

“Now you kids are flirting by using pickled radish?”

In the end Kim Yeol and Yeon Doo were like a married couple looking after the kids, and supporting each other like a well-oiled machine. They’re such mature teens.

“If I’m alone with you under an umbrella...I may get myself in trouble.”
I like the premise of the two opposing gang leaders. A bit of a Romeo and Juliet. Even right from the start, almost every time Kim Yeol looked at Yeon Doo when she wasn’t watching he smiled or looked completely fixed on what she would do next.
It’s also interesting to see that it’s a relationship that could only develop if one of them was defeated. One of the things that Korean dramas like to do is let a hero see the heroine’s raw pain, and that is what moves him. I guess it’s a passion thing, that he saw her heart, and realised what he’d done to wound her.
I kind of liked how easy going Yeon Doo is. She’s not too prideful or spiteful against Kim Yeol.
They let a lot of words fly, but I feel like there’s a grudging respect on both sides.

“Hey, you idiot!”
“I’m No. 1 in this school!”
“I know, you No. 1 idiot!”

I love how Kim Yeol knows he’s being unreasonably jealous towards the naive Dong Jae and how he tries to drop hints to make Dong Jae go.

“You should eat at home! Your mum will be disappointed!”

Dong Jae – “Yeon Doo. Let’s eat dinner at your place.”
Kim Yeol - “Hey! E-e-eat….at your own place.”

I also liked how the couple showed the parents that it wasn’t puppy love.

Yeon Doo - “I was a person who didn’t think much, but just did things. I’ve calmed down a bit now. I’ve also learned to protect myself thanks to Yeol. ”

Kim Yeol - “I am grateful and happy that she believes in me no matter what. Now that I’m with Yeon Doo who believes in me...I’m beginning to have the courage to believe in other people.”

I also noticed that when Koreans want to change the conversation to something more intimate, they thank the person.

Hell. Yes.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen this.”
“Huh? What.”
“That kind of expression on your face and you laughing like that.”

I love how observant the friends are. And the way Ha Joon notices how happy Kim Yeol is.

Kim Yeol - “We should do nothing. We don’t smile or cry. Let’s stay quiet as if we were dead. The adults want us to do that.”
Ha Joon - “That’s why I’m trying my hardest to survive. It’s all for you.”

Ha Joon -“I’m on my knees now for what Ha Joon did yesterday. Please forgive him.”

Kim Yeol - “I don’t care.”
Ha Joon - “It doesn’t sound like that’s coming from someone who turned the classroom upside down for her.”

I thought it was interesting the way the boys each showed their true colours in protecting Yeon Doo. For example, Kim Yeol always approached in a very predictable, political way while Ha Joon stood up for her in rather dramatic and risky ways.

Yeon Doo’s mother is the best. “It’s ok if you’re not good at studying. It’s not like your grades could get any lower, anyway. And dancing...I’ll allow it since you love it so much. But I won’t be able to stand it if you’re ostracised or in pain alone, ok?”

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The Whirlwind Girl
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Apr 5, 2017
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
“The opponent is not important. What’s important is that you know what you’re good at.”

As with most Chinese dramas that I watch, I skim through most of it stopping on the parts I like but in the end I get really attached to the characters.
I like how the relationships evolved in this drama.

The romance can be quite ambiguous. I guess it had the feel of young people not knowing the fickleness of attraction.

Ruo Bai
Yang Yang is such a romantic actor. I first saw him in Love O2O and that show didn’t really give him the chance to act the great range of emotions that he displays here so beautifully.
Ruo Bai respect Bai Cao’s loyalty and her kindness and her calmness in the face of mean people.
Also, because he’s a kind person, he wants to look out for her.
His face is amazing. He’s the kind of actor that is hot when he’s frowning and adorable when he’s smiling. Also his voice. Anything he says is sexy. “Even if you lose, it doesn’t matter.”

I love how Yang Yang can make such a stiff and emotionless character so compelling. I like that as a teacher he views Bao Cai quite analytically but because of that he falls in love with her because he likes what he sees. He knows about her because its his job to, but he ends up liking her.

And the hair cutting incident. OMG. Ruo Bai’s reaction is priceless.

I really like that Ruo Bai isn’t good at everything. But he is good at giving inspirational speeches. A few of them are just psychological jabs, but when he gets going he is so motivational haha.

I found his relationship with Bai Cao fascinating. There are a lot of angsty heroes out there but Ruo Bai’s behaviour makes sense to me. His character is already the quiet type and the fact that all the things he would like to say to Bai Cao are always being witnessed by not one but two love rivals, there really is no room for him to speak.
But he is very zen and calm and selfless and happy to quietly love Bai Cao without her knowing. “Here in this’s as if I have the whole world already.” *be still my beating heart

I like how his facial expressions started to have more warmth and he started smiling at her so sweetly.

Ruo Bai’s BFF really brings it home for the viewers.

BFF: Are you just generous or mentally unstable?
Ruo Bai: It’s fine if she’s happy.

At the end of the drama, Ruo Bai really goes for broke, it was just incredible. Yang Yang does an outstanding job.

Bai Cao
Bai Cao does a lot of crying and whinging. She’s a typical stand-up, righteous character. I like that she didn’t just take the sport at face value but really thought about what was going on in the game. I really like that she used her brains and strategy to defeat her opponents.

Everyone consistently accuses Bao Cai of everything under the sun, her motives, her thought processes, her life. The girl can’t catch a break.

I like how easily Bai Cao dismisses Ruo Bai’s hotness and kindness. She just sees him as a coach and totally takes him for granted. But later on she reveals that she knows she is like his family, so it was an interesting turn. I especially think that she is one brave chick to confess first to Ruo Bai because he wears his walls so stalwartly and comfortably I would never have dared.

My favourite bits was when she was practicing with her serious face on and her movements were so fluid and she acted so naturally and kicked so nonchalantly.

Ting Hao
This character starts out really predictably, but the actor really owns the personality so I enjoyed this dude's screen time quite a lot towards the end.

Random Notes

I like that there was a twist to the fat-shaming. And obviously fat-shaming is never good but they rounded out the chubby characters a bit better than usual.

It was also funny to see the girls fashion styles when they weren’t all geared up to fight.

Chu Yuan is so passive and dense and slow I have no words.

Guang Ya was my favourite secondary character. She’s so goth.

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Oct 18, 2016
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is a 2010 drama and I kind of have this rule that I don't really like dramas older than five years. But I enjoyed the pacing of this one, and there weren't many filler moments. I liked how the drama took a different turn towards the end. The beginning half was all about surviving at school and making friends and relationships and not getting caught for being a girl. The second half is more conspiracy and the bones and heart of the relationships. I liked it. It was great. The emotion was beautiful and real and I enjoyed the more melodramatic tone.
I never thought I would think the traditional Korean dress was cool. It took me a long time to work up the courage to watch a historical. But I'm converted! Haha. This show is really easy to watch and easy to skip over the politics and still enjoy the growth and the progression of the premise.
In this drama more than ever, I can see how the characters humble themselves even when they are so freakin' angry because they know they have to self-regulate to achieve their long term goals.
I liked how they explored their corrupt society and how they were worried about distinguishing between right and wrong because they had so many bad role models and unfair structures in place.

Things start to get serious as the drama begins to wade into family relationships and betrayal and being a role model.

“Hey, big brothers, live life correctly, cause I'll be following your lead.”
Cheeky, but respect man.

They had to question what was culture, what was their values and why they were brought up in their traditions.
“Watch me with your own two eyes. Whether I'm going the right road until the end.”
Kdramas explore characters in a way that I can understand.
I also like how they take into account past and future. “So will you remember? One day, when you have to make a difficult decision like you did today, just once...that there was someone who trusted Lee Seon Joon more than himself.”

Yoon Hee
“I'll still have to dress in a man's hat and robe....And even if I can't do that, I'll have to marry anyone...To me, there is no tomorrow that I should want to protect with all my might.”
Girl's got skills. And she's incredibly smart with a photographic memory (but the drama forgets about that later).
The opening of this drama, with the ladies chasing after our heroine, thinking she's a man, I knew we were in for some ridiculous, but hopefully amusing moments.
I like the sort of manly friendship that Yoon Hee makes with Lee Soon Jun, even from her perspective as a girl, she treats him like a dude.
“I believe in you more than I believe in myself.”
I was quite pleased at the little ways in which Yoon Hee showed how tough she was. Getting into a fist fight, and stopping a punch was all pretty normal for her.

Seon Joon
Yoo Chun is a pretty stiff guy but it kind of makes his human character really really very funny.
I first saw Park Yoo Chun in Rooftop Prince. I didn't like his arrogance there. He continues to be a dick in this one. But maybe more within reason because he's just a scholar and not a prince. Still, his concerned, sad face is the best.
He's a lot more reasonable and forgiving. But he's still self-righteous as ever.
He really admires Yoon Hee's rebel nature of standing up against the unfair laws of society.

“Sungkyunkwan is a place of study because of the citizens, if you do not agree with this, then we new students, will not recognise you as seniors.”

It's nice to see the hero for a change rotting away when he is lovesick, barely being able to function.

Seon Jin does say a few nice things too. “Not just my classmate...but my good friend. Someone who is willing to be my good friend, Kim Yoon Shik, you are the first.”

“If I made a friend, I thought it would be nice if it was you. It's just...I didn't know how. Since it was my first time. I'm sorry.”

Lee Sun Joon isn't so bad after all. A lot different picture of the arrogance he often portrays.
I really like how he didn't know what to do with Geol Oh.

I loved how he learned to joke.

Lee Sun Joon on the romance front is actually not that bad. His feelings, his expression of them, his role in the romance, I was actually pretty impressed. I love how he wore his heart on his sleeve.
He's not petty or childish in his love for Yoon Hee. He thinks about her feelings and what she wants rather than always pushing his feelings.
It's quite unusual for the hero to be outed for his affection for his heroine so pitifully. And for it to happen to a proud hero like Lee Soon Jun was pretty darn hilarious and satisfying.
I like that even after Lee Soon Jun realises Yoon Hee is a woman, they're still on even ground because Yoon Hee doesn't allow it to be any different.
Lee Soon Jun is amazing in his love for Yoon Hee and really doesn't let pride get in the way.
And his uppity rationale for why she should kiss him some more was so hilarious. “One shouldn't start something one can't finish. Stopping in the middle is worse than not having started at all. This is a teaching from the Analects. To stop something you've already started isn't something a Confucius scholar should do.”
I really loved how the drama showed Lee Seon Joon exploring his desire for Yoon Hee in such a cute and funny way.
And how she was the one that had to be direct. She's also really confident in the relationshia pnd likes to tease him.
I really appreciated their clear communication with one another. How they talked things out and put their hearts on the table and didn't hold things back or didn't hesitate to make things clear.
“What you're pushing away is not greed It's me.”
“Then what am I supposed to do? I'm so scared.”

I feel like it's been a while since I've seen a nice and caring romance like this. And also to see the hero go all out for his woman, is bliss.

Geol Oh
“Why should I be afraid? Living isn't fun anymore.”
I like that Geol Oh could pull rank when it suited him.
I love Yoo Ah's new look. Really surprised to see the ruffian is a gentleman.
His personality is so much fun in this drama. He's really good at treating Yoon Hee like a man even when she messes up. He so subtly reminds her that she's supposed to be a boy.
“Don't bow your head to anyone. Don't kneel for anyone. It will become a habit.”

Yoo Ah is the best in this drama. I like how his character managed to keep treating Yoon Hee as a man.
Oh those sleeping arrangements made me laugh so much.

“Sunbae, this isn't your usual sleeping place.”
“My usual sleeping place is this whole room.”

He has this beautiful moment in Episode 15. He's such a wonderful character.

Gu Yong Ha
“Tell me whatever it may be. I can keep a secret better than I look.”

Song Joong Ki's gleeful smile is so cute. He plays so many mind games and plays both sides of the school factions. But I loved that despite that, Yoon Hee still got to mess around with his head.
He's a rich and insouciant kind of guy who is bored with people so he likes to play games.
One thing I liked about him is that when anyone is down, whether they are right or wrong, he's there for them so they don't have to be alone.
I like how there are different relationships in the school that even though one might technically be on one side, he will still help the other and look out for people on the other side even though “politically” he is opposed.
I liked his friend with Moon Jae Shin.
“The one I trust is not the king, but you, Geol Oh.”

Bad Guy
The amazing thing about the bad guy is that he is so nice to his daughter. Haha. I really liked how evil he was and then how much he loved his baby girl. Even though he is full of pride and ambition, “I am not the kind of father to get in the way of my children.”

The music can be quite pretty.

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Ugly Alert
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Sep 24, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 10
This is the longest drama I have ever watched. I have a short attention span so that can tell you a lot about the quality and delivery of this 133 episode drama. The longest, I've ever seen was a 21 episodes. This drama, from start to finish, was gold. Sure it had its boring moments or ridiculous moments. Or, what-the-heck-now moments. But really, the relationships, the romance, it was fantastic.
The drama knows how to space its angst.
I really like that we don't have to wait forever for some resolution. The drama didn't draw out the crisis for longer than necessary. They introduce many interesting side plots and secrets and I liked being able to jump on board those and get curious about the answers to those problems.

Jun Su's character. How can a person be so beautiful? I think on any other actor he would have been too goody-shoes for me. But the personality is so sincere and good-hearted. I was convinced that he was actually like that.
Jun Su is such a sweetheart. He and his father are such a pair. They are both gentle, obliging and doing anything to please. Jun Su constantly works to prove his value and his new family becomes his sole goal in life.

“You did not come into this family as a housewife.”

Even the slightest acceptance makes him happy.
He is very considerate of others.
I like that he's a bit of an old man in a young boy's body the way he tells off his elders. He is very responsible.
His purpose in life is to provide for his family so no matter what he's doing, if he's in pursuit of that, he's happy. There's the confidence the viewers have in Jun Su that he's going to be just fine because he's resourceful and works hard.
I haven't wanted to cry for a drama for a long time. By episode 4...waaah.
When they made the switch to adulthood, I thought my heart would burst with the feels. Jun Su is just like his childhood self. Generous and innocent and unassuming until you mess with his family. If you think Jun Su as a kid is adorable, he's even more cuter when he's old. How is that even possible? Oh the adorbs!
It is really amazing how the drama comes up with a million different ways that Jun Su demonstrates how obsessed he is with his family. He is so old-fashioned the way his whole life is his family.
Jun Su is the epitome of the Korean concept of sincerity.

“Feels like he is from the country yet it also feels like he knows the city.” That is Jun Su. He is naive but he has a strong sense of justice and he's really smart so he doesn't get tricked into any kind of deception. The wonderful thing about Jun Su is he really knows what he wants to do with his life. He doesn't make mistakes and has no regrets for any of his decisions.
I think one of my favourite sides to Jun Su was his salesman side. He's an impressive guy.
He has the most perfect face when he's hurt but trying to hide it.
I was quite amazed at how the siblings aggression towards Jun Su switched from anger to him to anger at themselves from the guilt of what they've done to him. It was strange how they accepted that their mother was his mother even as they maintained the lack of blood between them.

Ahjussi was pretty boring but he had one great line. “Did this guy's personality just change so suddenly? He fails an exam and he suddenly turns into Marlon Brando.”

“I only have to look into your eyes and I am filled with confidence.” What a lovely way to describe it. Romance at its best.
No matter how you see it, Im Jo Hwan is a beautiful man.

I liked that the pair weren't childhood sweethearts.
He has no wiles.
It's charming to see Jun Su who is just the most simple and straightforward man you could ask for fall in love with a woman so twisted up in knots. Do Hui isn't simple and kind like Jun Su. She's much more real. But to Jun Su, she is a fairytale.
It was sweet to see how gentle she could be with Jun Su.
I was surprised to see that when they do start dating, Jun Su is more comfortable with her and so he starts speaking his mind about some things. So it's funny that he is kinder to her when they're not dating.
But I loved seeing the delight on Do Hui's face when she laid eyes on Jun Su.

Cheol Su
I thought it was an interesting decision to have this sort of personality next to Jun Su. Cheol Su is a puppy. Adorable in a very shallow and immature way. Weird to think he is older than Hyeon Seok.
When Jin Ju kicks this little puppy, he suddenly becomes a man.

Do Hui
“What game?”
“Feels like you are seeing all the ways I can reject you.”
She's a tough character but in the face of Jun Su's chivalrous naivete it's so great to see her get a bit melty. And because of his tight-lipped nature about his past she gets super curious.
I like that even though she wasn't originally a bitch she became just that much softer from knowing Jun Su.

Jin Ju
“I am someone who doesn't deserve a dream.”
Jun Su's new sister is very prickly and Jun Su does anything to keep her as non-aggressive as possible. While it made me sad to see him treated that way, his eagerness and diplomacy in maintaining the relationship makes me feel appeased.
Jin Ju is the bad guy for a while. She really is the only problem in the beginning of the drama. As the drama continues, we get to know more of her thoughts and I liked understanding her better.
I felt sorry for her. That she has lived such a sucky life but she is to blame. She just regrets her actions all the time. She is the opposite of Jun Su in every way, huh?
Jin Ju is really hard on herself.
The drama did such a good job of making her into a person.
It's really interesting to see how bitterly she carries her burden of the family and how she herself struggles to keep them together.
She is angry so often that it can be surprising when she shares her heart. And she really proves how much she loves Na Ri in an incredible way.
I thought it was hilarious that they gave her such a quirky love interest.

Ju Yeong
This girl has the most beautiful expressive face. I like her diverse sides. She's loyal to her mother, really cute and often nice, even though she is immature. There were some moments that I was only watching the drama just for her. She is amazing actress with a lot of range and I found her compelling to watch.

Hyeon Seok
“My oppa, even on a deserted island with three people, criminals and a woman. He would only know to chase the criminals.”

Despite his sister's words, Hyeon Seok knows how to kiss. Oh yes!
I liked that Hyeon Seuk had to find his own identity apart from his sister and he had to know what he stood for.
He becomes a very serious young man who doesn't like games. But he loves Na Ri still which is awesome.
And how great was it when Jun Su came back around that he started coming out of his shell.
I really like how Hyeon Seok can relax around Jun Su and really joke with him and share that special connection with his hyung. It's so amazing how the serious and immovable Hyeon Seok will listen to Jun Su. Because Jun Su is so non-judgmental. Always supporting. I love how he lets Hyeon Seok find himself and how he pays attention to what Hyeon Seok is really saying.
Hyeon Seok says about Jun Su - “My brother is the one person in the world that I envy the most.”

Na Ri
Gong. Na. Ri. The biggest feels. “Big oppa, although by saying these words, small oppa will be jealous. Big oppa, to me, you are my mother, my father and you are my soul.”
Boom. Redeemed. Jun Su gave his life for that girl.
Her chemistry with her oppa was amazing.
I did not have a lot of feeling for her but when they recapped her history with Jun Su, my heart broke all over again.
I loved that she didn't want to let him down.

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Lie to Me
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
May 23, 2016
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 3.5
Do you know how a drama just feels old? It has a more romanticised feel to it.
I was looking forward to this drama for the chemistry. Everyone always says Yoon Eun Hye can kiss. And let me tell you, she doesn't disappoint. Ah, she's great. She just takes the kid's gloves off the Kdrama. And she's so adorable.
I have so missed Yoon Eun Hye. Her personality is really entertaining. The girl is fierce and saucy. And how cute is she in hanbok!
The plot of course is just terrible and cringe worthy but the drama really caught my attention when Yoon Eun Hye's crying face came out. She's incredible at those moments.
Actually, the second half of the drama just had the right vibe of melodrama for me. I do hate the overused love triangle but I haven't seen it in a while so it felt nice to see again.

Gi Joon
I didn't find him particularly captivating to begin with. I did like his devotion to his brother.
People lose all their dignity when it comes to karaoke.
Who knew this guy would have such a playful and joking side to him?
Towards the second half, he really puts in a lot of effort in pursuing Ah Jeong.
Also, I don't think I get tired of father-boyfriend meet and greets. They crack me up.

Sang Hee
It was great to see Sung Joon relaxed and smiling so much.

Towards the end of watching Lie to Me, I was also watching a family drama. So the cheesy romantic moments really were great.

“If I go home, I would miss you more. I would be more tired if I miss you.”

Hooray for no slow-mo kiss!

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Splash Splash LOVE
2 people found this review helpful
by Zoe
Jan 20, 2016
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Gender bender!
This drama was exactly what I needed. I really enjoyed giggling through this.
Kim Seul Gie is great, of course. I like the idea of her not being a good student in modern times but in Joseon times it doesn't matter because she is still going to know much more than the most advanced scholar.
Her personality is both cute and confrontational. She takes over the historical world with her modern attitude. Her audaciousness is so fabulous. I mean, she doesn't lose the Kim Seul Gie charm even when she's telling off the king, so you know this is going to be darn good.
The relationship with the king is a cracker. He appreciates her forwardness and bluntness but he also gets the brunt end of it too.
I really loved the historical moments of this drama as well. I normally don't appreciate history but it was pretty darn epic!

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