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  • Location: Hic Sunt Dracones
  • Contribution Points: 11 LV1
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  • Join Date: December 13, 2019
  • Awards Received: Flower Award1

burhaa aadmi

Hic Sunt Dracones

burhaa aadmi

Hic Sunt Dracones
Completed
Soul Mate
16 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2020
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0

Perfection is rare

I started this because of liking both the leads, and they OWNED this. My eyes are still damp from the powerfully moving final few minutes.

It might be a simple story, but it was well told and PERFECTLY acted by the two leads. The movie was FULL of surprises for me, from hearing a voice that "like Faye Wong, but not" and finding out it was Leah Dou :), to the way the story and the story-within-a-story messed with perception and reality, to such emotional effect at the very end.

Award ceremonies get A LOT of criticism for their decisions, and most of it is 100% justified. But sometimes, they get it just right, and these two outstanding actors being made joint winners for this film was not merely the RIGHT decision, it was the only possible one. When trying to decide whether to score this a 9 or to go higher, I realised that was no substantive reason to dock any points, and in terms of its overall impact, if I could score it higher than 10, I would.

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Completed
The Wonder Woman
24 people found this review helpful
Aug 5, 2020
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 1.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Stalkery Makjang MESS

This Drama is billed as being about a strong capable woman. It STARTS that way, but, like so many TW Dramas, melts into a makjang mess. Here's a quick synopsis of why I gave it 3/10 (I could have gone lower)

1. STALKING IS NOT ROMANTIC - For the first 11 episodes, the ML is not only an utterly self-absorbed whiny spoiled manchild, he's also actively stalking the FL with a tracking app she is unaware of. This is creepy, disgusting and criminal, not romantic, but apart from her slamming the door on him in one scene he basically gets a free pass from her in part because

2. MAKJANG MELTDOWN - ML's father dies, and older half-brother peels off the Scooby Doo mask to reveal a full-blown psycho nutjob underneath. At the same time as he goes on a murderous rampage, the FLs protege goes on her own descent into diabolical double-dealing, for why? BECAUSE SHE CAN"T GET A MAN. For a Drama that supposedly celebrates a powerful, independent woman, to see her deputy turn "evil" for no reason other than jealousy that the man she's crushing on has a crush for the FL is major head-desking material.

I was impressed with the actor playing the female lead, and will be looking out for her again. But my advice to anyone who doesn't find masochistic delight in watching promising potential destroyed by makjang mysognist melodrama is simple: AVOID THIS DRAMA

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Completed
Motokare Mania
12 people found this review helpful
Dec 29, 2019
9 of 9 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This Drama started off as frothy, silly fun, and I loved the wacky elements, including frequent scenes that reminded me of Herman's Head. Then, along with "ex-mania", came a whole lot of really thoughtful conversations, ESPECIALLY between the women. The Drama ended up saying a lot of very intelligent and well-thought out things about the nature and role of love in life, and about pros and cons of defining one's own happiness by the state of one's "love" life. Another solid win for J romance Dramas.
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Completed
Homemade Love Story
10 people found this review helpful
Oct 27, 2021
100 of 100 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

Lower Your Expectations and Raise the Speed

“The most frustrating is the lack of proper consequences.”

This phrase from one of the only other reviews of the completed Drama brought back many memories.

I don’t know how many other Dramas that user has seen, but the angry rant (their words) about the way ALL the villains, and especially the worst of them, get off scot-free in this Drama reminded me of my own reactions the first 50 or so times I saw that happen in a K Drama. Then I learned to expect it, as an integral part of this sort of Drama. Rather than punishing the wicked, or even having them experience any sort of meaningful redemption arc, fully a quarter to a third of the episodes in Dramas like this are all about them getting away with it while their victims suffer more and more. I expected that in this Drama, and got it, in spades. As soon as the truly VILE people started showing their true character, I 100% expected them to face zero consequences for being human garbage, and so I was not upset or disappointed when my expectations were met. That’s the “Lower Your Expectations” bit.

The Raise Your Speed bit is simple – watch on FF. Knowing what to expect from a Drama of this sort, I watched most of it on 3XFF, only watching scenes at normal speed that were about developing relationships, whether romantic or familial. All the plotting and scheming and horrid people being horrid scenes I just zipped through. And there was enough of the sweet, the warm and the touching to make this Drama an acceptable watch, under those circumstances. I started this Drama for Bona, having enjoyed her other acting roles a lot (I’m not a K-Pop stan), and she and her arc did not disappoint. The Drama gave me what I wanted because I treated it like a buffet, skipping past all the dishes that didn’t interest me.

If you can’t or won’t watch a Drama with heavy use of FF, or if your blood boils at the thought of nasty people escaping effectively ALL consequences for their nastiness, then don’t watch this. But if you CAN watch on FF, can tolerate the bizarre insistence these Dramas have on letting evil go unpunished, and want some sweet stories along the way, then do check it out.

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Completed
When the Weather Is Fine
14 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2020
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 4.5
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 2.5
Rewatch Value 1.0

SPEAK UP!

Another reviewer commented on the sloth-like pace of this Drama, but I think they exaggerated - continental plates move faster than the first 10 episodes of this Drama :)

The incredible slowness was one example of the "arty" prentensions of the Drama, where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENING is apparently proof that it's REALLY DEEP AND THOUGHTFUL. It's REALLY not.

The whole core of the Drama is not actually about "healing" or "forgiveness" or "letting go", it's much simpler than that - USE YOUR DAM WORDS PEOPLE! Sixteen episodes that could have been 16 minutes if ANYBODY spoke to ANYBODY else, EVAH. Tedious and tired, the main storyline was indeed a powerful cure for insomnia. So why did I score it as high as 6.5?

Because Lim Hwi was a LOT of fun, bright, refreshing self-assured and down to earth. Her whiny, mopy, self-obsessed silent oppa could definitely have benefitted from being more like her. And the Jang Woo/ Eun Shil arc was also fun. For elements like that, I was generous.

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Completed
Alibi Kuzushi Uketamawarimasu
8 people found this review helpful
Jun 28, 2020
7 of 7 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 4.5
Rewatch Value 4.0

Time's Fun

This was a delightful confection. The very lovely Ms Hamabe is quite implausibly cute, and the whole Drama is threaded with a delightfully wry gentle humour. A super short watch, the perfect dessert after finishing a longer, heavier Drama. The pairing of a 19 yr old with a 45 year old seemed potentially troubling, but the total absence of any amorous overtones (excepting the occasional nosebleed) made it a non-issue. A highly recommended amuse-bouche, of the sort that Japan seems to do better than others.
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Completed
This Is Not What I Expected
15 people found this review helpful
Dec 26, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 4.5
Story 2.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
"Opposites attract" with "jerk male lead" is a standard and well-worn trope, but its execution here was awful and fundamentally misogynistic. In a Drama, the "jerk male lead" will end up somehow "redeeming" himself by doing something, usually several somethings, that prove he really cares for the female lead.

But in this Drama, ALL the giving was one way. The ONLY thing the male lead ever did for the female lead was not something she wanted him to do. It was an unhealthy, basically abusive relationship, she did everything he wanted, he took over her life, he did NOTHING for her, nothing at all that benefited her or put her interests ahead of his, ever. I would happily challenge any fan of the film to name one positive thing he did for her. Even the very final scene shows him giving her an order and shows her complying with it, exactly as always throughout the film. Very troubling.

I found this even more annoying because I really liked the two leads. They sparked well, and had the relationship been more even, more give and take, the chemistry could have made this a really solid example of the genre. An opportunity missed, but I''ll definitely be looking out for the very lovely, and very busy, Ms Zhou again

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Completed
Accidentally in Love
9 people found this review helpful
Feb 26, 2020
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers
After the disappointment of Please Love Me, the first 12-14 episodes of this Drama were a refreshing change. A VERY cute otp, and a sweet arc. I did wonder how they were going to fill 30 episodes, and sadly, they did it in the worst possible way.

Taking a leaf out of Taiwan's love of makjang filler episodes for romcoms, this one threw in everything to keep the otp apart and drag out the episode count. The whole "I'll marry her so that she doesn't make her quietus" story was head-desking material of the worst sort.

About the only thing the final third got right was reverting Chen Qing Qing to her freckled "disguise". I found her SERIOUSLY attractive in that look, distractingly so, and very much more so than the more generic look of her "real" self. because the OTP were good together, because they had the cute version end up as the real version and because the curly-haired freckled Ms Sun was rivetingly easy to look at, I was kind and gave this 5.

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May 21, 2021
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Real substance

I absolutely LOVED Nigeru Wa Haji, and rewatched it after hearing the news of the IRL marriage plans. Then I watched the SP expecting a frothy dessert. Instead, it turned out to be serious, reflective, sober and sobering, and with real emotional heft. A satifying watch for sure, but also a surprising one, delivering much more than I'd expected. Apart from long-standing issues in Japanese society, I was impressed with the way it handled the emergence of COVID-19. Often when shows incorporate literally current events, the handling can be a bit rushed or inept, and may look dated at a leter time. Not with this Drama SP, the pandemic added punch and pathos to the mix, very skillfully done

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Completed
My Bossy Girl
6 people found this review helpful
Jun 28, 2020
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0

Competent and comfortable

This is a pretty stock standard romcom, with two leads who happen to have disabilities of different sorts. The ML's psychological trauma is perhaps treated a bit superficially, but then again, this is a movie, with only 100 minutes to tell its story. The strength of the Drama for me was in its matter-of-fact handling of the FL's physical disability. It neither glamourised/romanticised it, nor ignored it. It was simply there, an inescapable part of who she was, but not the defining characteristic of her existence. The down-to-earth acceptance of her by the ML's friends was great to see too. Given that Korea, like many cultures, is VERY ableist, that tolerance and acceptance may have been part of the "message" of the film, but it was delivered without sermonising of any sort, either explicit or implicit. Overall, an enjoyable timepass, better than I expected from a film I decided to watch simply because it had the very lovely Lee Elijah as lead. :)

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Completed
Nagi no Oitoma
8 people found this review helpful
Jan 6, 2020
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers
The central premise of this show was fantastic, and when it stuck to developing that premise, the show worked exceptionally well. The stories of personal growth, especially that of the titular lead, were fascinating, and Haru's Nagi was so well done. Had that been ALL the show was about, I could have scored it 8.5 or higher.

BUT, the "romance" was a lead weight that dragged the whole show down. I am a brony through and through, and love a good romantic Drama, all the Dramas I rewatch most are romances, often sweet and sappy. But this Drama should have been romance-free.

I didn't get any sense of chemistry between Nagi and Gamon, which is a shame as I like both actors. Worse still, and almost a dealbreaker for me, was the way the show lingered for 2-3 episodes on blaming HER for not noticing that the man who used, abused, mocked and belittled her "truly loved her" Somehow, t was HER fault that she didn't see through his vicious behaviour to recognise the "love" he felt. And even in the final episode, she THANKED HIM FOR ALWAYS HELPING HER, AND APOLOGISED FOR NOT KNOWING HIS FEELINGS. That made my blood boil, after what we were shown in the opening 2 episodes. UGH!

The real shame is that the story didn't need ANY "loveline" at all. The depiction of Nagi's growth through her interaction with Sakamoto, Urara, Mama, Midori and the rest was plenty enough for a great Drama. Those scenes were the strength and salvation of the show. Because of that, despite the intense frustration and disappointment caused by the victim-blaming 'romance', I'm giving this one 7/10, while mourning what might have been, and so nearly was.

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Completed
Extraordinary Attorney Woo
5 people found this review helpful
Oct 14, 2023
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 6.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

NOT extraordinary, not awful

I hesitated about watching this drama for a long time, in the end it was neither as good as I hoped it would be nor as bad as it could have been.

One of the biggest problems I have with Extraordinary Attorney Woo is the way it infantilises and fantasises autism. I have no problem with the presentation of an autistic person who has an idiosyncratic speaking style, but the presentation of attorney Woo's speech is that it seems designed to be cutesy, and that was to be a problem with the entire presentation of her autism.

I cut the drama some slack for that because I know that Korea is an extremely ableist society. It demonises the different, and it may well be that the drama decided to present the attorney as a cute overgrown infant at least in part in order to overcome the deeply ingrained antipathy toward the different in Korea's extremely homogenous society. Nevertheless, it got very wearing. The intent may have been noble, but the effect it was, for me, counter-productive. Presenting her as “a genius fairy” was demeaning, and even her display of the characteristics of her autism was inconsistent.

Similarly I am fine with the idea that attorney Woo has cetaceans as her special interest. One of my best friends is on the spectrum and his special interest is Koine Greek grammar – his brother, further on the spectrum, has superhero comics as his special interest. Both display the same sort of devotion to their interest she does to cetaceans.

But again the presentation of her special interest was infantile and fantasised. Not in the fact that she always wanted to talk about them, that would be normal, but the whole fantasy element of her "Eureka!" Moments involving various cetaceans floating through a field of vision was disappointing for me. Disappointing because it suggested again that she somehow lived in a fantasy world , not like a normal human being .

That fantasy world was also evident in many of the cases. One of the worst examples was in episode nine, involving the "kidnapping" of the children from the Academy bus. Like the kidnapper, I find the whole concept of forcing children to effectively spend 16 to 18 hours a day in some form of schoolwork repugnant. Nevertheless, it is legal in Korea and the extent to which that episode relied on "jury nullification" and sheer feel good fantasy was disappointing.

The wide range of cases covered was a positive highlight, bringing attention to lots of serious issues that are seldom featured in K Dramas. Much of the dialogue when serious was also well thought out, and if it does anything at all to prompt some to consider neurodivergent people in a new light, that’s great. Park Eun Bin did a good job of portraying the character she was given, even if that character was in the end profoundly unsatisfying for me.

So in the end, I give this 6.5/10 – 0 points for its depiction of autism, 6.5 for its highlighting the issue OF autism, and for the often quite exceptionally relevant and well thought-out social issues covered in the cases of each episode

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Completed
Okaeri Mone
5 people found this review helpful
Nov 12, 2021
120 of 120 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

My first, and maybe my last

This was my first ever asadora, and it was so outstandingly excellent that it might be my last.

I know that Okaeri Mone was different from preceding asadoras both in being much shorter and also in its style. The depth and insight of this Drama were literally astonishing, and it's hard to to feel tempted by Dramas with less of the attributes that made this one a treasure.

Most outstandingly, this was an INTELLIGENT Drama, that dug deep and triggered a reaction from viewers by the honesty and nuance of the dialogue. That was matched by the truly remarkable and moving performances of the actors. The relationship between Mone and her younger sister was so layered and intricate, and Kiyohara Kaya & Makita Aju did so very well bringing the words to life with their delivery. Ms Kiyohara in particular blew me away with her remarkable control of micro-expressions that added real credibility to her delivery, especially in the many emotional scenes - often scenes where silence spoke loudest.

Of course, when raving about the dialogue in a language I don't speak, I am acknowledging the CRITICAL importance of good subs, and the subs here were a real blessing. In 120 episodes, I counted fewer than 10 typos, which is a Herculean achievement for a Drama that aired 5 days a week. As much as I would love to watch Dramas like this "legally", as long as that is not possible, I will always try to say "thank you" in tangible ways to the awesome souls who give of themselves to share Dramas with others by subbing them. It's thanks to one person's hard work that I have enjoyed one of the most profoundly satisfying and emotionally moving experiences in more than eight years of watching East Asian Dramas

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Completed
Hidden Love
8 people found this review helpful
Aug 3, 2023
25 of 25 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Perfectly Sweet, and perfectly performed

This was the second Zhao Lu Si drama I've watched. The first I had enjoyed, Dating in the Kitchen, but this one I simply LOVED. It definitely didn't hurt that, to quote Zoolander, she is a really, really, really ridiculously good-looking (especially her stunning smile), but what what stunned me in this Drama was her acting. She was so very, very good at her job, which was to make it look like she wasn't acting. She nailed it.

Another major reason why I gave this 10 was because there was none of the toxic misogyny of recent contemporary and youth C Dramas. No ice cold tsundere ML who knows everything and is freakishly good at everything and bullies or gaslights (or both), the FL into worshipping him. The dialogue given to both leads was refreshingly real, and Chen Zhe Yuan's Jia Xu was a likeable lead. His character got better and better as the Drama went on, leading up to oh so sweet ending, and Chen delivered a fine performance. Zhao's Sang Zhi got the best lines though, her sweet but firm self-conviction was great to see and the exchange with the very troubled Jiang Ying was outstandnig.

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Completed
Revolutionary Sisters
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 29, 2021
50 of 50 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 1.5

Thirty could have worked

As another reviewer notes, the first quarter of this Drama is AWFUL - the 3 sisters are just unspeakable, especially the eldest. Had I not been watching with the aid of FF, I'd have dropped.

All 3 sisters did grow in meaningful ways through the Drama which is why I'm glad I stuck it out, but the Drama was way too long and filled with too much OTT nonsense. I was going to score it at around 6/10, but the final 6 episodes just went REALLY stupid in terms of the "draaaamaa!" content, with 2 standout black marks being the revelation of what a superhuman saint the long-suffering Dad was AND the resolution of the d-i-l VS m-i-l conflict by the simple means of a drinking match. THAT one really annoyed me because for once in a Drama, the m-i-l had real CAUSE to hae the d-i-l, and the d-i-l's redemption and growth arc was a highlight of the show. For the witers to resort to K Drama standard "get drunk and everything will be fine" really made me mad.

Likewise with the supersaint Dad. It was already unusual enough to portray a father so positively - the resolution of the murder mystery REALLY surprised and impressed me - so there was no need to go so far OTT with the big reveal about his diary.

Overall, I do NOT recommend this Drama. It did have some very interesting things to say about family dynamics and personal growth, but they could, and SHOULD, have been said in 30 episodes, not fifty.

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