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  • Last Online: 9 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Italy
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  • Birthday: November 20
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  • Join Date: April 8, 2011

amrita828

Italy

amrita828

Italy
Completed
Switch Girl!! 2
28 people found this review helpful
May 18, 2013
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
If someone had told me I would watch Switch Girl one day, I'd have laughed. This show is the most random thing I've ever watched, so full of absurdities and manga-like situations you either approach it with no intellectual expectations or you'll sue the production.

And yet, here I am writing a review for the 2nd season, after having marathoned through the first in one night and this one in the next.
The plot is full of cliches - from a narrative point of view, the 1st season was much better - with a little too much lingering on evil sex slave dealers laughing crazily and raising their malignant eyes to the skies. There have been moments I wished they would just go on with the plot (whatever that was), since the drama only has 4 hours time to tell it.

The force of this show is therefore not in the plot, but the characters. Nika, our heroine, is possibly the most adorable being in the northern emisphere. I simply love her. Not because I can rely, or because she's realistic, or because she's flawed but for a combination of those and an amazing ability to surprise me. I couldn't stop laughing at her antics, her sitting in the middle of a square crying about her pubic hair showing from under her underwear. The second after, I would empathize with her. Yes, she's a crazy character whom you can either love or hate, but not ignore.

Arata is the silent hero every girl dreams of, and the chemistry between these two is quite striking if you think this drama is romantic despite having no such ambition.
All the side characters are insane and some deliciosuly hilarious. The villains, on the other hand, are so stereotyped they are forgotten the moment they are out of the screen.

Music is nothing special in this one, while I thought it was quite well chosen in the 1st season.

All in all, I am ready to recommend this drama to:
1. clever people who have put their brains in the fridge for some time to recharge it and don't want to use it for a while
2. fans of Renn Kiriyama (someone has called my name?) and/or Nishiuchi Mariya
3. girls who want to learn what to avoid before a romantic evening with their boyfriend, such as wild hair removal or litres of aphrodisiac perfume
4. lovers of manga-like, over the top comedy

If you're one of the above, enjoy your watch!

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Completed
Piece
17 people found this review helpful
May 6, 2013
13 of 13 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
My feelings towards this drama are definitely mixed. Until a couple of episodes before the final I was ready to throw rational judgment out of the window and give it a 10, so enthralled I was by it.
It had the best potential of all: the ability to create some unforgettable characters. And it truly managed to do so in the beginning, combining a good plot with some seriously beautiful moments, a good dose of weirdness which I'm partial to and great chemistry between the characters.

However, as it sometimes happens with drama crushes, at some point my love deflated. I can't even pinpoint the main reason for this change of heart. It may be the fact that the more I neared the end of it, the more I predicted almost every turn, or because some details became repetitive - and in a drama whose episodes are so short, there's not so much time to lose on the nth flashback. Most likely, I had been waiting for a characters' arc which never truly came, leaving me with that unpleasant feeling you get when, after waiting for hours for an icecream, you finally start eating it and it falls on the floor.

It is, however, a drama fully worth of the time spent on it. As I said, I watched the first 9 episodes with no interruption and a passion I had almost forgotten I possess. While the acting ability of all is not stellar, they certainly compensate with beautiful close-up shots and an amazing collective alchemy among the whole cast.

The music is terrific and perfectly chosen for each scene. I suspect it is partly responsible for my blind love for this drama.

I may rewatch this drama in the future. Not for the plot but for the pleasure of watching these young actors again.

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Completed
That Winter, The Wind Blows
19 people found this review helpful
Apr 18, 2013
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
It's been such a long time since I last watched a drama or wrote a review, I'll be either shot on the spot or given merciful hugs - you know, the return of the lost lamb and all that.
I hope for the last, but given what it’s to come, I can’t be too optimistic. This show has one quality in my book: it prompted me to finally watch an Asian drama to completion, after months of going over all my repertoire of already known by heart dramas. And what better way to come out of a slump, than jump happily into Melo at its highest... or lowest?

Relax, I'm not going to bore you with long explanations as to why I find this drama ranges from interesting to mediocre - suffice to say that it has all your average paraphernalia attached to a melodrama: cancer, stabbing, abandoned children, scheming side characters, the mob, the corporation with its shareholders and a complete absence of logic.
This said, if one enters Meloland with a clear head, one is also prepared for all the above and more.

However, I'd lie if I said I enjoyed the descending curve of both plot and acting, which started well and ended horrible. Beautiful Song Hye Kyo suffered a pitiful case of DAS (Degenerative Act Stiffening), to the point in the end I couldn't help but wonder if there was a real person under that perfect skin of hers. Her behavior was at times so random I had to check whether I was watching the same drama or had been catapulted into another while I blinked.
Jo In Sung is like a shot of hormones through the veins, hence making every other consideration a little hard, at least until my female mind has fully cleared from the fantasy of his km long legs and other amenities. But while I think he’s great in portraying his desperation, I do believe there was just a tad too much desperation as a whole. Why not simply make him play poker, fight and interact with yummy Kim Bum? The ending of the drama would have made just as little sense anyway.
Therefore, the acting as a whole was good, at times incredibly intense, but at others over the top or repetitive. Not the best I’ve ever seen. And as superficial as the issue may be, I found the kisses, all of them, highly disappointing, almost a relapse into K-drama wall-kisses after a series of dramas that made us all hope for a change.

I loved the piano pieces, not so the songs.

On the positive side, there’s a plot that keeps you curious as to what will happen, a wonderful cinematography – I do believe this feature should be given a mark of its own, That Winter would get a full 10 – a pair of lovely side characters, well portrayed by Kim Bum and Jung Eun Ji, and Moo Cheol, one of the most complex and appealing villain I remember . It’s definitely worth a try, granted you like makjang and don’t really care for plausibility in a work of fiction.

Oh, and please someone give me the name of Oh Soo’s coats’ designer, because they are all absolutely gorgeous and I want them (yes, before you ask, I know the coats will not come with Jo In Sung inside them…)

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Completed
The Innocent Man
30 people found this review helpful
Dec 3, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 5.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Pant. Puff. Re-pant. Re-puff. I have finished this DRAMA!
I so wish I had dropped it even before starting it, as it was my intention: my mum always tells me to trust my instinct, but I'm stupid enough not to listen to her. And after this review here I'm going to be stoned - by the fans of this drama, by Joong Ki's groupies, by the lovers of the genre, by those who don't like it but think I'm exaggerating as usual, and even by the random passerby who's simply entertained by public executions.
Never mind: I'll try to die with elegance.

Seldom have I seen such a huge mountain of misfortunes, illnesses, morbidity and gloom piled in the same spot. To this drama I own the sad realization that too much suffering works like an infallible anaesthetic to whatever emotion I was supposed to feel. If the writer's intention was to make me cry, I'm afraid she got the opposite effect: when the same person falls from a cliff, is struck by lightning, is submerged by a tsunami, attacked by giant ants, kidnapped by aliens, laughed at by a leprechaun and burnt alive in a furnace in case he hadn't yet died, I can't help but laugh. Which in itself is at the same time a failure of the plot and a further cause of annoyance for me, since it makes me feel as though I were heartless. The viewer is left with the 'pleasant' task of shouting to the screen in search of rhyme, reason, sense or sensibility which is nowhere to be found.

I'm sure a tiny example won't spoil anyone's trepidation: at some point a trip on the beach is planned. Great, it was such a cheerful prospect after all the gloom, I even made popcorn. But it was not meant to be, the nth twisted machination came in between and the writer sent me to bed with no dinner, burnt popcorn and a severe scolding: "clear off, offending creature! How dare you hoping for a cute interlude!"
I've racked my brain in search of a way to tell you about the ending without spoiling it. Because, you see, the ending is so lame I can't walk out of here without at least a mention. The only think I could come up with is this: imagine.
Imagine you are watching a war movie. The whole plot is built upon this momentous battle which has to take place, you are presented with lots of preparatory plotting, spying, codes to be deciphered, treasons, secrets, lies… in the end, you get Sid the Sloth and Manny the Mammoth playing hockey on a pack ice. WHAT? Fine, Sid and Manny are cute, but what in the gods' name happened to the paramount battle? They gave me 20 hours of people brooding around and conveniently skipped Every. Single. Important fact.

The acting didn't help. While in the beginning I was intrigued enough by the events as to overlook the actors' performance, in the long run it became obvious they were displaying the same couple of emotions over and over. All right, I atone: in the beginning I was intrigued by Joong Ki's looks. They are quite blinding, believe me. Until I realized I was so preoccupied with not missing even the tiniest twitch of his beautiful face, I actually didn't see any. And I know for a fact his features do move: in the past I went as far as watching a whole saeguk for the sake of his bewitching smile.

His female counterpart is carved in an even harder stone.
Wait, was that a genuine smile I just saw on Eun Gi's face? No, silly, that was a pixel out of place! And I so wish all the pixels had disappeared, because let me here declare how incredibly and insufferably odious I found the female heroine. I am furious at the production expecting me to love her, when in truth we are confronted with a spoiled and selfish brat who suddenly becomes psychotic and an almost killer for no reason, then a tamed mouse with no memory, then back to her previous bitchy self with lots of all the wrong memories, then… let's leave it at that, for the sake of brevity if nothing else.

The evil lady is so similar to plastic I suppose she's recyclable, and the evil lawyer probably hides glass eyes behind those spectacle of his.
I understand this is melodrama, but the genre does not justify endless starry looks and robotic movements. Mind you, this is in no way the actors fault, as it is the writer's (and possibly the director's). With only three emotions to express, even Sir Anthony Hopkins would be at a loss.
This fiesta of happiness is crowded with an assembly of disagreeable characters I have seldom had the misfortune to see gathered. We have a hero who's devoted to martyrdom, a heroine who's as out as a balcony and several villains whose motives are more often then not unclear. If you're going to remind me in life people are never perfect, let me reply that statistically speaking it is absolutely impossible for such a large bunch of jerks to be all born in the same city, let alone all meet for the same events.

The music was ok. For a while. It soon became haunting, in the nightmarish meaning of the word.

Please do not expect me to give this drama a re-watch value. Right now I'm trying to regain my lost neuronal sensitivity. Before I'm stoned, that is.

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Completed
Reply 1997
34 people found this review helpful
Nov 1, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Another review of the most popular drama on MDL is certainly redundant; in fact, I haven't got much to add to what has already been so well expressed by many.
However, you could have the same reservations I had before someone recommended it to me, and may end up skipping a delicious drama thinking - wrongly - that it's not for you.

At first I simply left it off my list without a second thought because of the meagre synopsis. What, fangirlism? No, thank you! I'm not even a fan of K-pop, let alone pop from the 90ies, who could care less?, I thought.
If you have the same doubts, please know that this drama proved me wrong: not only "groupies" and K-pop are a simple vehicle to a completely different story, but that same fangirl I thought I would detest became my favourite character and the one I related to the most.

The story is made of small moments, some hilarious, some incredibly sweet, some profound, some all of those. There are episodes, mostly in the beginning, which take place in the space of a few hours and tell of little, at times mundane occurrences. They are the true force of the drama, along with the characters, because whether you're young or old, from one side of the planet or the other, you surely have lived at least one of those situations yourself. All is seasoned with those very Korean peculiarities we love, including huge meals, bodily needs, people losing their temper and shouting around, gossiping ahjummas and overly stubborn ahjussis.

Reply 1997 finally confirmed something I have been thinking about a lot lately: my liking of a drama is directly related to the number of likable characters. The more, the better.
These people are adorable. All of them. And on top of them, let me put Shi Won, an anti heroine full of shortcomings but wonderfully consistent, brave, straightforward and charming. Even when she's wrong, she's reasonable. I dare say, this drama is a celebration of feminism, not the trite and anachronistic one of wild females rotating their bras over their heads and claiming the ownership of their bodies, but the one combining sweetness and strength of will, friendship and solidarity among girls.

The very natural acting of all adds to the general feeling of realism. It's easy to forget these people are staging a drama. Great. At times I laughed hard, smiled or sympathized because I could see that very scene happening live in front of my eyes.

The music isn't unforgettable, but it's used very well and it's so varied it never bored me, nor did I ever think it wasn't properly chosen for the scene.

As I said, another review may not be very useful, but if it convinces even one hesitant viewer to give the drama a try, it'll have fulfilled its purpose. A very sweet and enjoyable ride I am willing to go along for again. Any time.

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Completed
Rich Man, Poor Woman
28 people found this review helpful
Oct 2, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
It's clear I'm treading on dangerous ground here, with a review which won't be generally agreed upon. Not that it has to be, but the fact that so many among the people I value the opinion of, found this drama very good, makes me ponder over my taste and choices. I've read and re-read every review, I've thought the whole drama over and I have tried to find it charming but I failed.
No matter how hard I tried, I didn't like it and I don't know why it encountered such a success.

I have problems with the plot, the characters and the ultimate meaning of this drama.

I found the plot highly un-original. Change a couple of names and the setting, and you're left with a déjà-vu: arrogant successful man is changed by simple, goodhearted woman, there's a second female who enters the picture, the hero's got some unresolved issues with his personal life, a lot of running around the city - for lack of any transport, I suppose - and there's the ever-present shilly-shally which goes on till the very end (accompanied by my yawning).

Fine, a plot doesn't need to be original to be well told. More often than not, the lack of suspense is successfully replaced by a strong characterization. And here comes the true sore spot for me: the characters.

Toru Hyuga is quite the obnoxious "genius", a pity he doesn't compensate his bad temper with any particularly charming trait. He changes, inasmuch as he becomes a little humbler towards the end, but I fail to be attracted to him even by a little.

Which makes it even harder for me to empathize with Makoto, who seems to be bewitched by his creativity and his success-driven nature more than anything related to him as a man. The result, in my eyes, is a badly matched couple of disagreeable people with no love chemistry at all.
What bugged me the most is the way Makoto's character is depicted. By what absurd criteria can a young woman who is good at her studies, has a formidable memory, can compile the income tax return of a little business in one night be called "stupid"? Yes, she isn't a computer genius, so what? Are our IQ defined by how good we are at computer programming? Instead of creating a character who could truly complement Toru's glaring shortcomings with her own talent, they gave us a woman who either laughs hysterically when embarrassed and blurts out the first thing that comes to her mind, or apologizes for... being stupid, of all things! As for character development: none whatsoever.

Asahina? One episode he's black, the next he's blue. Disquieting.
The only consistent, pleasing character is Yoko, but we all know from minute one what her role in this story will be.

On the good side of the charts are acting and music. They all acted their part very well and did their best with what they were given. I'm also ready to grant the drama a couple of intense, heartfelt moments, which manage to raise the overall score by a little.

Needless to say, I'm not going to re-watch this. I'm sure there's more to say about it, but I'm honestly tired of thinking this thing over when in fact I should simply borrow a good MDL friend's definition, call this drama "harmless" and forget about it.

°°°°
Edit: someone rightly pointed out my wrong use of the word shizoid. I apologize and edited to correct the mistake. :)

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Completed
Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru
69 people found this review helpful
Aug 18, 2012
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers
I watched this movie more than 2 years ago.
The reason why I suddenly feel the need to write a review is because I believe it has been wronged in more than one respect. First, the badly written synopsis which focuses on irrelevant details and gives the impression this were a depraved movie of some sort - which is not.
Second, because I have a very hard time understanding why anyone should watch a movie well knowing it deals with incest and then complain about the fact that it portrays such a delicate and offending issue. It's like eating at a sushi bar and then refusing to pay because one doesn't like raw fish.

The main theme of this movie is two biological siblings loving each other. This is not a spoiler, as it is clearly stated in the synopsis. If you think you can't face the issue and are disgusted by the idea, I suggest you simply don't watch it.
On the other hand, if you can confront the matter of an adolescent being obsessed with his sister, this movie deals with it in a delicate, far from vulgar way. It is very well acted and stresses upon the internal - we may call it infernal too - struggle of the male lead to overcome his obsession.
It's a slow film which doesn't play on events as much as it tries to depict the battle between reason and passion. It is not a romantic movie by any means either, and yet there's a sweetness surrounding some of the scenes which goes beyond the mere issue of this being a wrong sort of love.

I can't remember the music, hence the non-committal mark.

Among all the movies I like to rewatch, this is certainly not on the top of my list. However, it is a brave movie which I believe deserves at least some fair mentioning.

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Completed
Q10
43 people found this review helpful
Aug 12, 2012
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I'll do something new in my experience: keep my review short. I'm not sure this drama can be described in words, and the reasons to like it are very subjective. For me, watching this drama was a little like reading a novel by Kurt Vonnegut.

Q10 is surreal, poetic, highly amusing, thought-provoking and surprising . It's brilliantly acted too, which adds to its delicious oddity. It doesn't have even one unpleasant character: they are all very weird and very human, at times histerically hilarious and at others wonderfully deep.

I'm not sure whom I would recommend this drama to; however, I'm certain it won't do for those looking for a rom-com, for an uncomplicated plot, for simple entertainment, for shine or for glamour. The one and only requisite to approach it, is to do so with an open mind. If you believe that people have each their own sound, that calling for help loud enough will make somebody come to the rescue, that death is just a way of thinking and that you achieve a goal because you want and not because you can, then "kiuto" is for you.

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Completed
Shut Up: Flower Boy Band
22 people found this review helpful
Aug 10, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
I've had this drama in my plan to watch list for quite some time, and I'm now wondering why I didn't pick it up before. It managed to draw me out of an annoying drama slump, which is in itself an achievement.
No doubt it's the best music related drama I've seen. It is so in terms of execution, direction, acting and, last but not least, music. I'm writing this review while listening to "Wake up" full volume.

What makes Shut up flower boy band stand out in the forest of decent to mediocre music dramas, is the incredibly heart-warming portrayal of friendship.
The story is not built upon a particularly eventful plot and I'd go as far as to say that the plot is irrelevant. It is so because what truly captured me as a viewer isn't the storyline, but the collection of unforgettable moments among friends, so perfectly caught by the cameras. There is an alchemy among these young people that is palpable and powerful, sweet and touching, unique and memorable. This is a love story through and through: love for music and romantic love too, but most of all love for friends.
It's also a glimpse on how the music business works, and the picture isn't pretty. Emblematic of its inconsistencies, is the fact that the moment the members of eye candy are given a new, more polished look, is the same moment the seeds of their division are planted. Make rock conform to the business rules and you destroy its intrinsic nature.

Much credit goes to direction and acting. The first is… daring. I appreciated the lack of gloss very much: this is a story about 6 eye candies - in name and fact - however the direction does little to make them look so, focusing on the picture of them as one "body", moving swiftly from one to the other and standing still on tiny details. The result is surprising, as it makes the viewer truly feel for them, instead of being simply captivated by their looks.

The acting is admirable: artless and believable. The last time I've watched such a display of genuine friendship and chemistry among a group of people was in Coffee Prince.
Let me add how adorable the female heroine is. Soo Ah is brave, sweet and honest, without becoming the saint victim I've learned to dislike in so many dramas. She adds a touch of feminine delicacy the drama would otherwise lack.

The music? Brilliant. After so much pop, of which I am no fan, hearing a rock ost was a breath of fresh air. Incredibly well chosen, perfectly executed and just as well used throughout the show.

Highly recommended.

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Completed
One Million Stars Falling from the Sky
48 people found this review helpful
Jul 28, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
I've read some people calling this drama "life-altering". Perhaps it is so. A million stars falling from the sky is a journey into the darkest depth of the human heart. What you see there is not at all pretty: it's disquieting, clouded and unsettling.

I consider Eriko Kitagawa one of the best drama scriptwriters. She has the ability to pick up an ordinary event and make it into an unpredictable twist, all with a subtle calm pace which makes you restless. This plot is made of little hints: a word, a glance, a brief scene. There's no abundance of words, each line carries its meaning into the silence that follows.
And the actors get inside their roles brilliantly, creating around them an aura of mystery which makes you grope in the dark as to who did what and why.

The cinematography is scanty and sober, totally devoid of gloss. With the exception of the very effective close-up shots of the characters and the use of the light, it doesn't rely on beauty. Oh, the actors are beautiful all right. Kimura Takuya and Fukatsu Eri in particular are wonderfully intense, together as well as individually and play their part so well I was left speechless more than once.
The same scantiness applies to the music. Used with economy and without much variety, it manages to create the right expectations at exactly the right moment.

When all this is said and done, I am left with only one question: did I personally like this drama? The answer is: no. Did I fall in love with any of the characters? No. They intrigued me, fascinated me even, but I didn't like any of them, and felt somehow totally detached, despite the high-voltage chemistry between the leads.
I marathoned through the drama in 2 days, which is proof of its being a very well built thriller. Once started, you want to know. However, because I felt neither identification, nor true compassion or love for these people, it's as if I had read a very interesting and brilliantly written essay on human nature but was happy to see it end. The ending came to me as the only possible solution: a destination this journey was destined to land to.

Therefore, I recommend this drama to only a few people. Forget brightness, sunny love, suspend judgment and value this for its intrinsic quality and you will appreciate it. If you're not ready for a trip down dark lane, I suggest you stay well away from it.
I am certainly not going to repeat the experience.

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Completed
Kagi no Kakatta Heya
25 people found this review helpful
Jul 23, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
A truly enjoyable serie, Kagi no Kakatta Heya is perfect for the Summer. It's episodic, which allows the viewer to watch one episode today and the next in a week without either forgetting the plot or severing any narrative thread. Should you decide to watch it, you can let your heart rest and only use your brain: this is a logic quiz, not a rollercoaster of emotions. The cases revolve around how the crime was committed: Who and Why are almost irrelevant.
It's perfect for a break from emotion-filled dramas, or for a weekly/daily 45 minutes of pure distraction.

As already pointed out by other reviewers, each episode is built upon a fix pattern, with a brief presentation of each locked-room case in which the improbable investigative trio gives us hints to solve the riddle. If you aren't a fan of serial doramas, you may find the repetition boring. Personally, now and then I like the familiarity created by schemes and patterns: it's... reassuring, and relaxing.

The actors do a great job. Sato Koichi's antics are hilarious, Ohno Satoshi's robotic ways surreal but very effective in creating a familiar character and yet leaving that trace of mystery which keeps the interest of the viewer alive. I'm partial to Toda Erika because every time I see her on screen she is different. This time it took me almost half an episode to truly recognize her; I once read that she's one of the few drama actresses, if not the only one, who is ready to act with no make-up at all. Her clothes are so discouraging it's evident she does not want to impress for her looks, but for her acting skills.

The editing of this show is original: it cuts scenes and music abruptly. In the beginning I thought it was a mistake by the segmenters, but I later realized it's a direction choice. While I wouldn't recommend this kind of style for every drama I watch, I think it works well here, where no room is left open for unnecessary detail and economy prevails over flowery narration.

The music is brilliant and works perfectly for the show. It combines some elements of the traditional detective/mystery serie a' la Ellery Queen with the contemporary pace and rhythm.

It can be rewatched, given some time has passed and you've forgotten
the intricacies of how the culprit did what (s)he did. I didn't mind the ending at all, I thought it was very much in line with the rest of the show. Suitable and therefore recommended to any type of viewer of every age.

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I Do, I Do
47 people found this review helpful
Jul 20, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I consider this drama a little gem in its genre. It doesn't have a tremendously eventful plot, no big, earthshaking truth to be revealed in the last episode, no memory loss, birth secrets or time jump - forgive me, I couldn't help it.
It tells an ordinary story in a refreshingly modern way, without giving up on those elements we inevitably associate to k-dramas and make them into the shows we are all addicted to: a love triangle or square of some sort, love obstacles of various nature, parents who meddle but without being completely unreasonable or out of this universe evil and a corporate sub-plot.

I wouldn't call this a romantic comedy. I think it's more of a life drama. There's romance, of course, and there's a mature, clever humour, but both these aspects are rationed throughout the narration in a sedate and yet very effective way. This is why I believe I do, I do isn't for you, if what you're looking for is a typical rom-com. The pace may deter some, and others could find the raised issues uninteresting or controversial.
I loved it because it offers the viewer a range of different points of view on subjects which are very common in real life, and not so common in the Korean drama world; there's no judgment involved, no stance is presented as better than the other. It's up to you to decide what you would do and how you would react in a similar situation.

A life drama is only successful when the characters are well outlined. And this is the true strength of I do, I do. I myself was amazed at how gradually and yet fiercely I got attached to some of the characters, mainly the two leads. They are both so well portrayed I ended up identifying without having a trait in common with either one.
Acting is spot on. I consider Kim Sun A a guarantee. I may not like all the dramas she acted in, but it's never been due to her. She enters the character in such a plausible way, she does not create fictional characters but real persona. Always believable, never predictable. And let me add how wonderfully satisfying it is when you finally land on a drama with an intelligent, self-assured, successful female lead who does not passively accepts events but make them happen!

The character of Tae Kang has been an amazing revelation for me. A cute thing who looks like a puppy and acts like one is all I believed he was in the beginning. I was very wrong. He's tremendously endearing and such a blend of childlike enthusiasm and caring maturity I couldn't help but being completely captured by him. My admiration goes to the actor for capturing the essence of his character and portraying it in such an adorable way.
The chemistry between those two is also a work-in-progress. Their feelings grow as the characters grow. We fall in love with Tae Kang the moment Ji An does, not before. I loved this aspect the most, as I am usually very frustrated by knowing a truth which the characters will be oblivious about for three quarters of a drama.

The secondary characters are normal people. They make mistakes, they gossip, they laugh, they get angry. With the exception of "madame CEO" - and her horrid taste in figurative art, allow me to add - I liked them all. Everyone has an arc and a role in this story. They are not thrown in just in order to fill empty spaces.

The music isn't unforgettable, but I must confess the main theme is addicting and the instrumental pieces very well chosen.

This isn't a drama I will run to re-watch as soon as it's finished airing. However, it has many delicious, thought-provoking and poignant moments I'll be more than happy to immerse in again in the future. I recommend this drama to everyone who likes a solid, modern script, unusually believable characters and a no-nonsense plot.

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Completed
Akai Ito
9 people found this review helpful
Jun 10, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
It took me a long time to put my feelings for this drama into words. From the very beginning, there was something which attracted me and yet I felt something else was missing.
It's not the acting, which is very good, the cinematography, played on pastel colours and some truly beautiful scenery, nor is it the music, which is very fitting and has a nice soothing quality to it.

I believe the weak point of this drama to be the story itself, the expectations created by the premises and never truly attended. Perhaps I should precise that I am not a fan of the idea of destiny, not in general and definitely not when applied to love. It seems to me, the idea of destiny is too easy an explanation for something very complex. Why do we make certain decisions? Why do we love someone and not someone else? Are we able to face the consequences of our choices? It's way too easy and slightly coward to answer: it's destiny, a higher power decided for me and I'm the impotent victim of a bigger plan.
However, I'm not immune to the fascination of "magic", so I can comprehend - if not approve of - the romantic charm the very old idea of fate holds.
Therefore, I would have accepted a plot entirely built upon the original concept of the red thread bonding two people. But this drama throws in so many elements, in the end it can't be even called a story about destiny, or love. Love is there, but in all its possible forms: friendship, motherly love, filial love, obsession, mistaken love, unrequited one, love for life... you name the rest, it's there anyway.
The Akai Ito legend is also mentioned, but there is no true parallel in the plot, and this red thread ends up being the bond connecting an innumerable number of people.
Furthermore, each and every character in this drama makes more or less pondered choiches and lives with the consequences of them, hence completely defeating the object of a destined love.

I recognize the merit of the writer to portray difficult issues and courageously fit them into the lives of a group of adolescents, but some of them are treated with too light a touch, as if an abusing young man could be convinced of his wrongdoings by a short speech... I wish it were so simple.

This said, I liked the final episode: it brings closure to every character in a way I wasn't expecting given the overall feeling. The friendship theme is strong and I truly liked it: I think the drama would have gained if it had been presented from the very beginning as a story of a few friends and their tribulations.

I don't think I'll re-watch this any time soon. But these young actors did a very good job, so I believe the highest mark for this show goes to them.

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Completed
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
39 people found this review helpful
May 28, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
I will get so much hatred for what follows, I'll better go on a vacation for a while.

The premise: I dropped this drama 5 times before finally completing it. The reason why I picked it up again is the most shallow and childish you can think of: the crush on an actor. It embarrasses me no end, but what can I do?
I am the cause of my own suffering.
The reason why I didn't drop it a sixth time as every cell in my body screamed I should, is that when I reached episode 11 I was so bored and annoyed by this drama, the desire to write a review became stronger than the torture itself.
Also, I have let some time pass after the watch before I started writing, because I wanted to use my brain and not my stomach (or heart, in this case it's the same thing).

Let's go in order.
The Plot. There is a fantastic word in French to describe such a plot: a bric-a-brac. It is a fairy tale, which is fine, it's full of elements of fantasy, which is fine, but instead of following a cohesive narrative as required by any story, fantastic or real, it keeps on throwing in new explanations and solutions until nothing makes sense anymore, not even in a fantasy world. We have a Gumiho and suddenly we find out she was made out of the ashes/fire of a Goblin. A GOBLIN? You mean legendary little monsters with either green or red skin, pointed ears and tons of malice? That's not how the half ghost remembers her. Wait, this Goblin turned Gumiho turned half human also gave half of her "ki" (another element popped out of the blue on episode... 13 I think) to a human who gave up half of his life but also has half a ki and drank twice the bead and died and came back to life and then the eclipse...
Ok, I stop here before I turn as crazy as the plot. This story is utterly ridiculous, even when, I repeat, I let time pass and somehow digested it all.
Did I mention the cheese, the sugary dialogues, the repetition of lines, flashbacks, situations? Better not.

The characters.
Oh please kill me.
If you think Gumiho is a fox, you're mistaken: she's a dog. She goes from talking about cow meat every MINUTE of every single episode to the middle, to taking about her Dae Woong every minute of every episode till the end. She depends so much on him that even when the stakes get higher and she decides for a sacrifice in the name of love, it's not suspenseful anymore. It's irritating, predictable and humiliating. As a woman, I find her character insulting. Like a dog, she stays glued to him with a persistence and complete lack of reasoning which is the exact opposite of romantic.
She threatens to disappear at least 4 times, and every time she changes idea and we are back to square one.
Dae Woong has at least a little character development, but stays a bi-dimentional person anyway. His losing his parents when he was a kid is mentioned and never elaborated: why mentioning it, then? The zoo trauma is treated in such a superficial way it's ridiculous.
And the fact that he loves a woman who has the brain of a 4 year old child and the attitude of a loyal dog doesn't play much in his favour.
The "half ghost" Dong Joo passes his time watching an hourglass with one eye and his magic knife with another, repeating to himself the same sentences over and over and playing in his mind the same memory at least 12 times. I still have to understand whether his contribution to the plot is to be there and show his sexy emo haircut or add to the comedic.
The others aren't even worth mentioning: the usual, trite, spiteful, envious girl, the always oblivious friends, the silly grandfather, a farting aunt and the bad double of Chow Yun Fat. Oh yes, the dog (the real one) is wonderful.

The acting of the main leads is decent. The others are, once again, not worth mentioning.

The music is repetitive. Very much so. There is one nice song, but by the end I couldn't hear it anymore, so many times it was played.

I know this sounds harsh and I know I won't be received with sympathy. But given the number of good reviews this thing got, I don't feel like I'm doing any harm to it by stating my honest opinion.
If you want an overdose of cheese, watch this.

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Completed
King2Hearts
135 people found this review helpful
May 25, 2012
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I apologize in advance for the length of what follows.
This drama hit me like a tsunami of emotions and has left me bruised in so many places I'm in dire need of a strong tonic
I had promised myself to never say this, but rules are made to be broken: King 2 Hearts is the best drama I have ever watched. It is so because it fully responds to what I ask a work of fiction: not just to entertain me, but to make me feel. Deeply.

I suppose it's not for everyone though. It raises issues which require a level of maturity, as well as a huge dose of emotional strength. It plays on prejudices and the rotten nature of politics, sparing no one: the arrogance of the western world, the obtuseness of military regimes, the cowardice of politicians, the corruptive power of money no matter where. But it highlights the best virtues too: loyalty, friendship, courage, honesty, responsibility towards the people we love. This story is the growth of a group of people, from biased to understanding, and most of all is the birth of a king worth of this name.
It's obviously a love story too, but I'm glad this is only partly the focus of the drama. Don't expect a rom-com, or you'll be disappointed. The comedy is there, mainly in the beginning, and it is a clever sort of fun, but it's devoid of the usual comedic tropes, and it always has a black undertone - which I personally adore.
So to me this is a truly romantic drama, in the classical sense of the word, full of awe, suspense and heartbreak. There isn't even an ounce of fluff: if this is what you're looking for, King 2 Hearts is not for you.

Two words about script and direction: the first is one of the most consistent I've come across, never deviating from reality even when the setting is fictional. I am aware some of the scenarios are controversial to say the least, but if you give a look at the way international politics works, you'll see that - alas - it's a lot more plausible than we would like to admit. This said, the writers managed to create an ensemble of wonderful characters who touch the heart, and always thought-provoking dialogues. Direction is splendid, very film-like, playing on grand-angle and close-up shots, on colours, light and dark. The action scenes are believable and thrilling.

Standing ovation for the performance of the entire cast. Everyone has done such a brilliant job, I'm in awe.
Ha Ji Won is wonderful, to say the least. I've read some arguing that a north Korean soldier can't be so girly and trusting in the matters of the heart, but her multiple layers are what make Hang A the incredibly believable character I fell in love with, and Ha Ji Won the awesome actress she is. Besides her doing most of her stunts, she studied the North dialect, voice intonation and poses. The result is a charming mixture of vulnerability and strength which is profoundly feminine.
I'm glad I've really got to know Lee Seung Gi with this drama, because this young man has done an amazing step forward in terms of acting. His performance as the shallow, prejudiced playboy he's in the beginning slowly growing to be a king to be proud of, is mind-blowing. I truly felt all his suffering, doubts, uncertainties, fear… stress. He has gained a loyal fan for his professionalism and for the courage to accept a controversial part which more mature actors had refused before him.
Jo Jung Suk and Lee Yoon Ji have been an incredible revelation for me, both acted so naturally it's almost unbelievable.
Hat off to all the other actors. I was just as involved in their fates as I was in that of the main couple. They all made me laugh, weep (buckets, really), be proud or exhilarated.
Yes, even the villain. It won't be easy for the actor to shrug off the image. He embodies evil in its most horrific, unadulterated form: gratuitous cruelty, the pleasure to see others suffer, vanity and megalomania, all highlighted by a child-like behaviour which is as disquieting as it reduces him to the sub-human this character actually is.

Oh, the music!
A good soundtrack explains the scenes with the notes. When he wrote the score for the 1993 film "The Piano", Michael Nyman said he needed some piano pieces which could speak for Ada, who is mute, and work as a substitute to her voice.
That's what the music in King 2 Hearts does: if you close your eyes and listen to it (I have it all on my i-pod) the music will speak for the scene, and will keep on speaking to you when the show is over. The instrumental pieces are simply perfect and aching. "Two Hearts" begins with the pound of two hearts, hence explaining in a second a title whose meaning I had been pining over for weeks.
Simply beautiful.

I have already re-watched half of the drama and am going through a second (third?) complete marathon. If I gave this a lower re-watch value I'd be a hypocrite. And, believe it or not, it improves on second watching.
There's so much more I'd like to say about it, but I fear I've been wordy enough. I feel a last word of… warning is needed though: be prepared to feel strongly. If what you ask a drama is to entertain you or divert you, don't watch King 2 Hearts; only approach it if you're ready to grow so much attached to these characters, seeing them go will give you an almost physical pain.

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