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  • Last Online: 6 days ago
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
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  • Awards Received: Finger Heart Award2 Flower Award4

the_sapio_nerd

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

the_sapio_nerd

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Completed
Soundtrack #1
71 people found this review helpful
Apr 13, 2022
4 of 4 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

Short, Sweet and Decent.

This drama reminded me of a excerpt from "Me Before You", a romance novel by Jojo Moyes with a successful movie adaptation, which goes like: "...I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other."

Created by NHN Bugs and Produced by Red Nine Pictures plus Xanadu Ent., "Soundtrack # 1 (사운드트랙 #1) [2022]" is one of the initial Disney+ Original Korean Drama ventures. Written by Ahm Sae Won and directed by Kim Hee Won, the drama got only 4 short episodes with approx. 45 mins runtime, and stars Park Hyung Sik & Han So Hee as leads.

Soundtrack #1 is a story of two best friends of two decades at their early 30s, who have stayed together through thick and thins, but the fine edges of friendship & love becomes hazy as they are attracted towards each other while staying with each other for two weeks. Will they end up together?

Even so it is this short, given the title, characters living through words, lyrics and music was expected (at least it was me who did), however, this wasn't true for most of the part; not disappointed, still.

I think the synopsis and the concept of "friends to lovers" trope tell it all and provided a total of around 170 minutes short runtime, it's pretty much guessable what's gonna happen; but what we should be looking forward to are: the execution and the ending, while peeking through the messages. In my opinion, the show was able to revive and relieve the hidden thoughts within us, while attempting to achieve a decent score. Although the show feels short and felt lil off at few instances, the development was squeaky clean and satisfactory.

Han So Hee plays Lee Eun Soo, a struggling lyricist who strives to do better with her own accord and is honest & outspoken in nature. Han Sun Woo played by Park Hyung Sik is a budding photographer with aweing skills who has a shy yet warm personality. We have Kim Joo Heon, Park Min Jung, Park Hoon and Yoon Byung Hee as supporting cast, while Lee Jung Eun and Seo In Guk play guest roles.

Wishing Ahn Sae Bom jakkanim a goodluck for his future endeavours for he was able to make an up to snuff delivery through this, and,also, congratulations on his debut. Kim Hee Won PDnim surely is one of the leading lady directors who has created qualitative up&down shows through years. And, for a short show like this, she has indeed carried out the overall execution well. The cinematography along with light hue and warm pallettes, made it an easy watch though I am a bit unsatisfied about the sound editing.

There are a total of 12 OSTs which is actually a lottttt for a show of apprpx. 3hours, but would you say you didn't want it? No, bcs the quality is so majestic to just not ask for. Not gonna write a lot but surely wanna mention all of them, for I have come to love all of them...

# "Want to be happy" by Park Boram
# "Love beyond words" by KYUHYUN
# "Your tender heart hurts me" by DAVICHI
# "My Love" by Kim Jong Kook
# "Talk to me" by KIM JAE HWAN
# "Prettiest One" by Standing Egg
# "A little more" by DOYOUNG
# "Wanna be your lover" by Monday Kiz
# "We'll shine brighter than any other" by Lee Hi
# "Love Love Love" by SEOBIN
# "miss you more, I'm sorry by" Lee Yejoon
# "Love beyond words" by DOKO

What I didn't like...

# Han So Hee seemed to struggle a little; which wasn't really visible but for someone who has watched almost everything she has acted in, she appeared to be having a difficult time to fit into a role which is radically opposite from others played by her.

#Even though I am fond of all the OSTs, I believe the show needed to be longer particularly to utilize them well in the story.

# Given the title, characters living through words, lyrics and music was expected (at least it was me who did), however, this wasn't true for most of the part; not disappointed, still.

Final Remarks... "Soundtrack #1" is indeed a satisfactory delivery about love & friendship and the essence they offer you in life, even for a short period. Screenwriting, direction, performance and execution are overally good and up to par. Won't say it's a must watch, but definitely a short and sweet journey, that will entice you to core. Please go ahead :)

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Completed
The Red Sleeve
252 people found this review helpful
Jan 1, 2022
17 of 17 episodes seen
Completed 21
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

Sageuk of the year 2021.

A quote from Oscar Wilde goes like, "Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them." Indeed the women of the world have been chained with rules created by bigoted individuals, for which they're made to sacrifice their wills, rights and aspirations. This drama, too, is based on the story of a woman who, till the very end, did her best not to fall into the patriarchal system's confinement.

In Joseon era, the court ladies chosen for the palace to serve the King, his family as well as to carry out different matters, were more like slaves. Bound to stay single until death, once chosen, they had to wear clothes with crimson red coloured sleeves. This red sleeve was more like a handcuff to hold back them from leaving the palace as well to remind them of their limitations. So the drama is based the love story of a King and his court lady turned royal concubine and it truly lives upto it's title throughout.

"The Sleeve's Red Cuff" (옷소매 붉은 끝동) is a live-action adaption of the famous Korean novel with the same title, by Kang Mi Kang (강미강). With a fictional script, the drama is the true love story of King Jeongjo, the 22nd monarch of Joseon dynasty and his royal concubine Sung Ui Bin. Some historical facts about major events found later is also included in the drama to maintain the most possible accuracy.

To simply put the plotline, the drama is set in the Joseon premise of history from mid to late 1700s (18th century), with only 1st episode taking place in 1764 and the rest after a couple of decades, with flash backs from both 1762 and 1764. The basic story is about Yisan (Lee Jun Ho), the Crown Prince of the kingdom trying to persue his handmaiden, court lady Sung Deok Im (Lee Se Young) to become his royal concubine. Although they're in love with each other, circumstances stand in their way to unison and this what the story is about.

Yisan is the Crown Prince of Joseon, very intelligent and aware of his duties and responsibilities, he strives to be a better ruler than his grandfather, the King. Deok Im is a quick-witted, strong-willed and free-spirited girl who has progressive mindset and believes in living an independent life; she's a medieval feminist. Both the characters are stupendous in their own places and their arcs are beautifully drawn by the writer; couldn't help but fall for them. Romance? Well, I won't call it romance. To me, it felt like an amazing chemistry buildup, growth of mutual understanding and blooming of untold emotions. Even though they were not together as couples for most part of the story, but whatever amount of togetherness we witnessed, it sufficed my heart bcs I had been savoring myself with the bonding throughout.

Lee Se Young is already a proved actress who has won us over through her skills for years in different roles, and she, as Deok Im in here has done very well in bringing out the truest essence of it. This is not her first Sageuk so I'm sure the experience has helped. Junho came back after his enlistment with this and I can say with confidence this'll be a turning point in his acting career. Even with less than 10 dramas, he was a decent actor but his acting graph went really really high in here and I am very happy about it. Lee Duk Hwa who played King Yeongjo (Yisan's grandfather) was a show stealer for me; being the one with most experience, his performance was so powerful that it has left a tremendous impression, what an actor! Kang Hoon as Hong Duk Ro (Yisan's closest aide) struggled in accommodating at first but improved in the later part. Honestly, I thought he was not enough skilled yet to play a major role like this but at least he learnt a lot. Park Ji Young as Head Court Lady Cho served as a prominent antagonist though I was expecting more of her character; she's an amazing actress nevertheless.

Jang Hye Jin as Court Lady Seo (Deok Im's mentor) was the simplest and easygoing character and very likable. Jang Hee Jin as Queen Consort Jung Soon (King's Concubine) and Kang Mal Geum as Consort Hong (Yisan's mother) were of moderate importances in the drama and they're already praised for their acting skills. There are many other familiar faces in supporting characters, who did well too.

Plot development is very fabulous, I must admit, it's been a while I witnessed such prominent and solid development in plot along with each of it's individual elements and possible side stories. The introductory episode is the background story involving the early childhood days of Yisan and Deokim. And then a leap of about 2 decades where the characters grow up. There starts the gradual progession that includes the individual lives of the leads and the supporting characters around them. 3/5th of the show is mainly about dealing with the conspiracies against the Crown Prince, within the royal family as well as in the palace. This is also accompanied with the simultaneous and unhurried buildup between the leads. The rest 2/5th is concentrated on the unison of Yisan and Deok-im with almost similar importance to crime revelations.

The connecting plots of past and present, the twists, the revelations and the storytelling method are awfully good. There are several peaks and very few slopes; it was somewhere around 8th and 9th, in which nothing major happens but it was still interesting. The last 4 episodes were ofty intensed and highly vehement. There are comedy elements incorporated here and there but 4/5th of the show is of serious tone. The single word narration of the drama's mood is melancholia; oweing to the already known sad story of history, it was bound to be sad and miserable.

Talking about episodic progression, in short it's fantastic. I've already mentioned about the perfect pacing for a major portion of the show; there is no part it feels boring. The last 4 episodes visibly get rushed but it's not that fast-paced to be bothered about. It could have obviously been avoided but anyways, it was fine for me.

Jung Ji In PDnim is one of the powerful female directors in Korea though she's produced less than 10 dramas over a decade with no significant piece but her graph of direction went really high with this one and I'm sure it's a big turning point in her career. The quality of the drama really speaks about her skills which we also saw in the BTS videos. The screenplay, the screenediting, pacing and execution is definitely praiseworthy though the pacing became a little fast in the last 4 episodes, but anyways, it was manageable. The cinematography was spectacular giving out the red&blue aura of a perfect sageuk premise. Most of the drama takes place inside the palace and whatever scene involved the nature, both in and out of the palace, were worth the enjoyment.

Honestly, I didn't know the screenwriter Jung Hae Ri jakkanim before this but I must say that she has done a commendable job. Even though the drama is an adaptation from a novel, turning a literature based book into a movie or show script is not really that easy. And given her least experience, she has done the work with a up to par quality. The immense research to create sets with historical accuracy and the efforts to retain the preserved facts, is clearly visible.

On that note, I must also applaud for the author of the Original novel, Kang Mi Kang jakkanim for this story of majestic essence, putting forth the importance of court ladies, their roles in royal as well as political affairs, the life of red sleev cuffed concubines, the heart of a King and several other lesser-told stories from the history, etc in a very beautiful manner. I haven't read the novel but from the drama, I am sure it's something very great, bcs books are better than their adaptations you know.

Execution of sageuk elements is another plus point and notable aspect of the drama, which is worth the mention. I don't really mind the dilution of cultural aspects in periodic dramas or inaccurate representations but you know what, accurate and realistic approaches serve as a huge advantage. The royal palace complex premise consisting of several residencesfor different members as well as different departments including the court maid residence, are well photographed. The costumes, the rituals, the architectural elements, the laws and regulations, the royal court proceeding methods, the literature, the natural scenrios, the city and rural setups, etc. etc. were perfectly delineated in accordance with real fettle of the period in which the story takes place. The execution, thus, is beyond perfect; I don't remember watching such in a while, probably not since Scarlet Hearts.

Noh Hyung Woo is an old yet lesser experienced in comparison to the other contemporary composers but I've quite liked his work in other dramas and so did I like here. He was able to compose pieces that perfectly suit the story, giving perfect sageuk OST vibes, and the substance it wanted to convey. The background scoes are up to par, as well. It has 8 OSTs. "Starlight Heart" by BEN is my most favourite among them, her vocals are so majestically heart touching. "I'll Leave You" by my all time fav Lee Sun Hee ahjumma is unfortunately a melancholic track released for the last 2 episodes. "I'll be with you everyday" by NU'EST Minhyun is a confessional romantic track and so beautiful. Jung Sang Keun's notes are that of an old classical Kdrama OST in "Every step you take" so are of XIA in "I'm still" whose passage stretches wrench your heart.

Things I loved the most
# The progression of the show was lovely, likable, enjoyable and entertaining with good dramatic values; I had a very good time. Especially the elements are what make it eventful and engaging.

# The chemistry between the leads and the coupled development in characters and relationship is alluring, even the romance is subtle for most part and real romance lasts for a small while.

# The portrayal of importance of Court Ladies in Palace is not new for sageuk Kdramas, but this drama does a better job in projecting extra focus since the FL is a Court Lady and not from any Noble Family. It reminded me of my first Kdrama Dwe Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace,2003).

# The true nature, character, duties and responsibilities of a real Korean King has been very well illustrated which is actually very intriguing and impressive.

# In history, King Yeongjo was a ruthless King and a remorseless father but I somehow felt in love with the character in the drama, may be because of Lee Duk Hwa and acting, but yeah! He truly felt like an emperor and his majestic acting, oof!

# There was no exaggeration, neither of plot, nor it's elments; everything is in a perfect dosage. Unlike most of the sageuks this year, it didn't drag an empty plot to make it a proper cable drama. The drama didn't run out of substances at any moment.

# There was no deviation from history, the basic story and the historical facts were not changed which is in fact a big plus point.

The ending, well, yes! It's a sad one and it was, in fact, announced earlier. The real story on which the novel is written ended like that, so does the novel and hence does the drama. This was to retain the historical accuracy of facts. Some of the audience might hesitate to go till the finale or some other might not want to even start it because of that, but trust me, it's WORTH IT. Each and every second of the show is that good to give you beautiful experience and in my opinion, no one should miss it. In the end, I wanna say that I have cried a lot, A LOT. And I will never forget how much i did. I think I will comd back to my own review to cry.

My only complaint about this drama is, it not being a 20 episode show. I mean I am also a lil disappointed about the pacing in last 4 episodes, but they could have easily extend it upto 20. The makers themselves were aware of this and hence they extended the originally planned 16 episodes to 17 episodes, which can also be cited as a production flaw. So they should have planned this ahead of the casting and finalized in order to avoid the occurrence of such a situation. But anyways, its over now.

Final remarks... "The Red Sleeve Cuff" is the sageuk of the year without any doubt. Direction, production, screenwriting, execution, casting, acting, cinematography, music, etc.... all these aspects havs been taken care of very well and I can't praise much about how much I loved this drama as a whole. The only problem of lil rushed pacing in the last 4 episodes is totally avoidable, given the quality of the show. I was more than willing to give it a 9.5 but that only issue made me deduct 0.5 and i believe that's only fair.

If you're wary about watching bcs of the sad ending, let me state that "sad endings are not bad endings"; even if it's a sad one, the journey and the content are worth everything. Let's assume it ended with 16th and we got a happy ending though the reality is something else. It's definitely a must watch and also worth coming back for. Please do watch this bcs this needs more attention than this. This is the best historical as well as one of the best set of dramas this year.

P. S. Let me know in case of any mistake.

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Completed
Inspector Koo
64 people found this review helpful
Dec 12, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0

Real definition of "Dark Comedy".

This is exactly what you call dark comedy or black humor; perfect combination of comedy elements & morbid satire. Inspector Koo, in my opinion, is also the investigative thriller of the year 2021 and I am amazed to see an immense investigative drama after a long while.

Inspector Koo (구경이) got a simple yet "not so basic" storyline. The title clearly indicates about the drama being centered by single person, i.e. Inspector Koo Kyung Yi. She's an ex-cop who now works as an insurance investigator at a company after retiring from police due to a tragic incident involving her personal life. Her desire to perceive truth behind different cases is so high that she can do literally anything to get her work done. She ferociously chases down a university girl, who seems to have been connected to a serial murder case, all of them staged as either suicide or accicent.

The drama has 3 stages in total:
i) know it all but no proof.
ii) have proof but can't catch.55
iii) oh! everything is a messs.

Koo Kyung Yi (Lee Young Ae) is a crazy woman; to say it in Korean, 'michin yeoja'. Food, alcohol and gaming are what she lives for, and can go insane when not provided with them. She got severe mental health issues due to past incidents, and can be sensitive when mentioned about them. Song Yi Kyung (Kim Hye Joon) is a university student with abnormal behaviours and considered a psychopath by many. She's a dramaclub member too and her past has made her like this. She avenges victims of several incidents who have been unfairly compensated by the law, by doing what? Killing the guilty. She's also know as Ms. K.

This drama infact is a all female story and is dominated by women all over; amazing actresses playing major characters. We have here, Chief Yong Sook (Kim Hae Sook) as the chairperson of a charity foundation. Na Je Hee (Kwak Sun Young) as the team leader of the investigative team B, Director Kim (Jung Suk Yong) as Chief Yong's right-hand man, Oh Kyung Soo (Jo Hyun Chul) as an investigator in the Team B, Santa (Baek Sung Chul) as Kyung Yi's assistant, Ahn Keon Wook (Lee Hong Nae) as K's helper, etc in the major roles. These are all profound actors, and hence the acting department has done very well in the drama.

The plot development is stupendously set up in the drama and the progression is very pleasing. The first impression from the 1st episode is sooo intriguing that you'll definitely move to the next without hesitation. This is something that'll keep you hooked throughout and never ran outta substances. There are places where you might feel like the consequences might be become uninteresting, but that's where the table turns and they start over again. That's the beauty of the drama. There are several peaks in this 12 episode script and I loved how they were able to keep the moods & vibes up till the very end of the show.

I don't want to believe that the writer is actually a rookie and it's their debut script as the main jakka. Sun Cho Yi jakkanim have done a great job such a mind blowing script with a compelling plus captivating progression. The character dynamics for each and every major character is very well drawn and everyone has got a fair share of importance, I feel. You're gonna love Koo Kyung Yi, Song Yi Kyung, Santa, etc. Special mention to the cute-acting namja Santa who'll melt your heart multiple times with his acts TT. There's also a portrayal of homosexuality (gay character) for one of the major roles (won't spoil) and I am happy they didn't use it in bad light.

Director Lim Jung Heum, known for the critically acclaimed thriller drama "Nobody Knows" did take the responsibility for Inspector Koo and was able to do a fabulous job there. This is clearly evidebt from the 1st episode of the show. Screenplay management, coordination, screen-editing pacing and execution is amazingly handled and the entire crew deserves credit for it too.

The sound production department as well as the composer for this drama Kim Tae Sung needs some serious praise. Loved how the drama has so many enraging OSTs that perfectly fit the mood of the drama and were appropriately used at instances. A major part of OST album is sung by TRPP, a Korean Indie trio, known for their rock, alternative and garage elements. The songs by TRPP are "Yeah (Round and Round)", "Coming After", "Sins", "Patience", "Liars (I feel Alive)" and "Limbo".The speciality of TRPP is that are the electronic instrumentals used in their songs plus their harmonic vocal line up, which is totally visible here.

Other than that we have "Up" by Hajin, "Watch Me" by SURL and "SURF" by INNI. Additionally TRPP has collaborated with Wayco and Mollo separately to remake Yeah (Round and Round). I swear to my life, there couldn't be any other song to accurately suit the drama and the mood it wanted to deliver. Music for Inspector Koo deserves 10/10.

The sense of choosing from right or wrong is the main concept of this drama. This drama reminded of this quote which I don't remember was said by the person, but it goes like, "Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.". Everyone who has their standards to differentiate between the two and in case they committ mistakez they come up with certain prenotions to defend themselves by which the whole concept of righteousness itself is wronged. Perceiving the drama from this way, Inspector Koo is secondarily a revenge game where someone tries to avenge the right by unlawful means and another who tries to stop the former because righteousness can never be achieved when you commit the same mistake.

The drama also focuses on mental health issues. Abnormal and morally dangerous personalities induced by lonliness and trauma can harm the society in many ways and the drama is yet another portrayal of that. I am happy they has also emphasized on that.

The 2 important elements of Inspector Koo are investigation and comedy. Again, thia drama is a great treat for the lovers of investigative thrillers. Although you known who the culprit is, it really takes a great effort and time to figure the situation, motive and consequences. Connecting the dots and drawing a figure is all yoh have to do and this drama did it brilliantly. There are several highs and lows in the status but what matters is the end, and I assure it was as compelling as the entire show. Many shows claiming to be of dark comedy genre actually fail to understand what dark comedy is but the writer of Koo has done a good job in doing her homework. The main source of comedy is Koo herself and anything involving her might look serious but they simultaneously make you burst into immense laughter too. Several scenes which scare you off about the consequences, also seem weirdly funny, and that's how it should have worked, I mean that's how it happened. I had a good time watching the entire show.

Overally, Inspector Koo is an amazing drama and it has also those entertaining factors. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and honestly wanted more episode tho I don't wanna complain. The basic storyline of chasing after villain is not something new but the screenwriting and plus the execution along with music surely make it a stupendous thing. It's a must watch in my opinion with high reawatch value, so definitely coming back to it.

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Completed
Racket Boys
76 people found this review helpful
Aug 9, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10

Took me back to REPLY days T T

LONG REVIEW ALERT
Racket Boys is a coming of age, slice of life, feel good, sports comedy drama which along with the sports of badminton also shows you different shades of life. It will make you witness, observe and analyse different forms of relationships, various shapes of love, many aspects of life and immense depths of life values. I am not lying, it reminded me of my REPLY SERIES days because of similar screenplay technique used in it.

Another peculiar fact about this drama that's clearly visible is that unlike it's name suggests, it's not entirely, or even majorly about Badminton, even though all the main characters are involved in this sports. It's just like Hospital Playlist which despite it's name, mainly deals with day-to-day happenings of the hospital and not just surgeries, diseases, management, etc. So, We call these "slice of life" kdramas for a reason and undoubtedly it's the best genre among others.

STORY & PLOT:
Racket Boys following a similar path of Hospital Playlist, involves badminton players, coaches, association, schools, teams, etc. and their daily lives, evens & odds, results or outcomes and aspirations.

The main plot is about a group of 5 teen boys namely "Racket Sonyeondan (Racket Boys) who are high school badminton players of Haenam-gun Middle High of South Jeolla Province and their journey towards winning a national level competition, together as a team. It starts with Yoon Hae Kang (Tang Joon Sang) moving to Haenam county village from Seoul after his father's financial breakdown. As someone with parents who are both badminton coaches, he was initially an amazing badminton champ but switched to baseball for reasons. However, as he moves down to the underdeveloped village and joins the badminton team just to help them once, he finds himself realizing how much he loved the sports from his childhood and then embraces it with grace.

The story also involves 2 teenage girls who stay with these 5 boys under one roof with Hae Kang's parents and little sister. Together they persue the sports they love so much, explore life & relationships, help each other to improve as players and seek happiness in staying together. The story at some points also throws light upon the past of some characters.

Again, the story involves few villagers who are the neighbours of these badminton fellows staying under the orange roof. All these people help each other during odds as well as celebrate their evens together, which actually portrays the life of a typical village or country side region, irrespective of counties. This was a very good side of the drama to witness and a perfect concept of slice of life stories, I feel.

The story additionally involves badminton players from different schools, regions and countries, plenty of coaches & association members, shop, store, restro, motel owners, saffs, etc etc.

Since it's a coming of age story, you'll literally go through an emotional rollercoaster which involves both happy & sad moments that will make you cry outta despair or sometimes the tears of joy. One moment you'll be smiling wide and the next moment you'll be laughing the hell out of you and other times you'll be crying out of nostalgia.

CAST & ACTING:
I feel Racket Boys could have got much more recognition than this in its real time airing if most of the Kdrama audience were not always focused on the starcast of a drama. I know a lot of people are watching it but still it deserves more. The story is of teenagers and the production did a very good job in casting them. Unlike many highscool Kdrama where actors in their middle or late 20s are casted for 18-20 yo characters, Racket Boys casted actual teenagers, hence bringing change in the norms. Also, the writer of this drama was also the writer of Prison Playbook, so you'll see many characters from that drama here and also many guest appearances.

There is definite character development for each and every single character in this drama, irrespective of their roles, from oldies to youngs. Let me describe the main characters, which is a bit lengthy because I don't really write a lot about this part but the growth of characters in this drama is actually something to be noted and learnt.

The main lead Yoon Hae Kang (Tang Joon Sang) is actually a very good Korean-Malyasian teen actor who rose to fame even though he has few dramas, after his role in CLOY. Loved him playing an asperger kid in "Move to Heaven" and "Racket Boys" hopefully brings him the recognition he deserves for his skills. His character always aspired to win and was pretty conceited, also a lil narcissist. His expressions and way of delivery were so on point and he needs to be praised for that.

Kim Kang Hoon, almost everyone's favourite child actor has always mesmerized us with his acting and in this drama he got a cute character who is always emotional, yet clueless. His countryside accent is so cute and I totally loved him as Lee Young Tae.

Bang Yoon Dam (Song Sang Yeon) is so handsome *blushes under the blanket*. I thought he'll have a somewhat cool character but he's someone who is selfie & sns addict who ends up taking selfies with everyone he meets. He is very easy-peasy.

Choi Hyun Wook is cute and his character Na Woo Chan with a father who is a military personnel had to struggle a lot about choosing a path that made him happy yet question on his capabilities. The way he kept going and got motivated every time from others, is really well shown.

Lee Jae In as Han Se Yeon is the most talented badminton player in the world who rarely loses a match, is always calm and relax while playing a match. She loves her team and her coach but isn't open to everyone. She knows how to work under pressure at any given condition.

Lee Ji Won (Lee Han Sol) and Kim Min Ki (Jung In Sol) did very good job. Han Sol is a straightforward girl and Se Yeon's best friend who gives her best and improves with time. In Sol, the so called Nerd who ranks 1st in the province and the son of a councilman joins the team for his love for badminton and his craving to make friends and hangout with them. The child actor who played Yoon Hae In (Hae Kang's little sister) was cute and her character is mature for her age, which she actually played well.

Kim Sang Kyung as coach Yoon Hyun Jung played a good character who is aware of his own weaknesses and incompetency and always tried his best to improve himself just so he can help his students better. He was super funny, supportive, loving coach, father, husband and colleague that everyone loved him. Oh Na Ra as coach Ra Young Ja was fierce who never compromised with her teaching methods and her students' well being. She always fought for a fairer environment for the players. Head Coach Bae/White Wolf was such an inspiring character who despite of his strict & disciplined nature strived to provide everything to everyone whom he's responsible for. I loved him.

If I go further I might end up talking about all of them because there were a LOT of familiar and old (as in by age) faces in this drama whom I have loved, respected and cherished for a long a time. I was so happy to see all of them in this single drama. Also so many guest appearances from the Prison Playbook cast plus others; such a delightful journey it was to witness.

DIRECTION & WRITING:
This drama given its genre, setup and vibes has been able to achieve a great direction from Jo Young Kwang pd-nim who has a good history of directing beautiful dramas before. The editing is just like as it should have been for a slice of life drama. Synchronisation, organization, connection, intertwining, linking and presentation, everything is good. Even sound editing in different situations, i.e. funny, emotional, inspirational, romantic, energetic, etc, has been perfectly done; just like it should have been for a light heart comedy and feel good drama. The cinematography is top notch. In sports shows, it's necessary to take care about the angles of videography and showcase the movements & techniques of the players perfectly and this drama has been able to do it very well.

Jung Bo Hoon jakkanim is a disciple of the legendary writer Lee Woo Jung jakkanim who has created masterpiece dramas all her life and have worked together in "Prison Playbook". Undoubtedly, Bo Hoon jakkanim just like "Prison Playbook" has again delivered a masterpiece drama "Racket Boys". The screenwriting, dialogues, line coordination, scene organization and everything has been very well done by him and hence he needs appreciation. Also, he needs to work and create more and I'm sure he'll do better.

When I said that this drama reminded me of the REPLY SERIES, especially "Reply 1988" , I honesty meant it.

OSTs:
I suppose there are 5 OSTs in total along with the number of featured old & modern songs that the characters in the drama listen. Just like the title, the drama has some references of Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) and there songs, hence following the trend. Tbh, the OSTs are not that extraordinary here but I feel they're appropriately fit for the kind of vibes this drama gives off. In fact, it's okay for a slice of life drama to have less OSTs because the number of scenes are really high and they won't want to use OSTs a lot in the story, otherwise it'd be lengthy. So, they put them as background scores during conversations.

I love "Will Be" by The Boyz the most which is clearly the main theme OST for the drama used as a mean of power source, inspiration, motivation and pushes you forward. "Focus on Me" by Coffeeboy is a light romantic track mostly used for the subtle romance between the teen lead couple. "I Love You Teacher" , "Cloud" and "To Find Myself" are good too.

DESCRIPTION:
I think I have described how I feel about this drama enough but I feel I have either run out of words or got lot more to say. This drama truly belongs to that category of Korean shows which you should watch whenever you feel down or in a mood of watching a beautiful and feel good thing.

The screenplay is in a mixed manner where one particular scene doesn't run constantly and rather another event that's going on simultaneously is showed in between; that's the technique for a slice of life drama. Majority of the things which seemed to be something turned out be another. Comedy scenes are accompanied by emotional turnovers in the end or vice versa. There were things that taught us stuffs about life, sports, teaching, parenting, social life, etc.

Since the drama focuses on badminton it honestly reminded me of the old days when I played the sports. In fact, it is the only outdoor sports I can play well though I don't get to play often these days. It revived the love I have had for this game. It also throws light on the reputation of badminton among the major sports, people's thoughts about it and the youths' interest in it. The life of badminton athletes, their struggle to keep going among lots of other competitors or peers, the perspective of the coaches, the happenings inside the association and the environment of badminton courts as well as school/province/national level competitions, etc have been very well portrayed in the drama. The way they have shown all the competitions, the games in it and the sets played by the athelets, is very good, though not entirely shown. I think that's fine since it's a drama and they had a lot to show, even things other than the sports. An athlete's way of handling pressure, tackling the opponent, coping to the changing environment, even sometimes giving in as well as giving up, all these also included which are essential parts of their life and the sports.

I love how the village/country-side things like the lifestyle, the environment, the socio-cultural behaviour, the developing relationships, the agri-farm businesses, etc have been picturized in this drama. They sometimes hesitated to make acquaintances and were holding each other tight the next moment. They fought with each other several times and ended up crying tears of joy/pain together some other time. The love and support of the villagers for the Racket Boys was enormous. The old lady's affection for kids was so overwhelming to see; she enjoyed having more kids under her roof, always fed them with their favorite delicacies and even protected them some times. The progressing life of Seoul couple who moved to the village because of situations, has also been beautifully written. The way they grew fond of the village and it's people was even more heart-touching.

The things between the association like the bonding between the coaches, the coaches' urge to do better for their students, the management as well as selection procedures in the sport plus the corrupt and unfair doings of handful number of bad people has been shown. The way everything was handled, corrected and planned was very good.

Lastly, the portrayal of different relationship between the cast, such as, parents-children, elderly & middle-aged couples/partner/spouses, brother-sister, coach-athelete, teacher-student, friends, opponents, etc. made this drama very beautiful, I truly love the way they've been shown. The subtle romance between Yoon Hae Kang and Se Yeon was very cute. They would have shown more of it if they were a lil older but I feel it's totally okay since the drama doesn't focuses or in fact requires romance. The 2nd couple in the drama were cute as well (not spoiling).

About the controversy, it's again incorrectly misinterpreted. How is it racist to tell that the audience discourage the opponent athlete and the country provides unsuitable environment to the guest athletes? I understand it sometimes feels offensive but that's how sports and army dramas/movies work. Every country does that while producing things about their own athlete. I too was angry at such gestures of my own country doing the same in every sports movie until I came to realize this is one of the dramatic elements in a movie/series meant for entertainment and it's not throwing mud to the other country. They don't complain or criticise because they also think the same and are sane enough to differentiate what's racism . Firstly, this isn't what you call racism and finally, this isn't demeaning at all to the mentioned country. I am sure no one would have cared if they had mentioned a country from the West or even another country from the East.

The ending was good. The last 2 episodes were all about the main national level competition that the boys and even the girls had been waiting for. The games have lengthier duration and before or between the each game, they have shown, how the athletes were motivated, guided or instructed by many people. I loved the ending. Won't say more or it'd serve as spoiler.

CONCLUSION:
The drama was an absolute treat to my eyes, to my heart and to my mental health that gave me the wholesome nostalgic feelings throughout and made me want more of it. I am sad that it has ended. I started it 3 weeks back, 2 days before it was supposed to end but I was honestly very sad and angry when they kept delaying for 2 consecutive weeks. It felt like ages waiting for the finale and it has actually delivered all my expectations and anticipations that I have had for the last 2 weeks; I am glad for that.

Honestly, at some points of the drama the screenplay felt a lil slow and some other points the plot felt moderately blunt but thankfully it caught it's original momentum back in the next instance, every time. There are definitely few flaws in other technical aspects as well but anyways RACKET BOYS, overally, is a very good drama which is binge worthy and will make your day better any time you wanna watch it. The rewatch value is very high, i.e. you can watch it again and again, that too it can be placed under random play dramas that you can start from any point and can easily get into. Go ahead and watch it ASAP.

DEFINITELY COMING BACK TO THIS.

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Completed
The Bond
63 people found this review helpful
Nov 28, 2021
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

"Together we shared a bond not even death would violate."

This is a review from someone who's new into Cdramas, so my writings will solely be on the drama and nothing about any previous experience or comparison. It might divert a lil to a Kdrama taste bcs I am an avid fan but I shall try my best to stay on line.

"THE BOND (乔家的儿女)" is my 2nd Cdrama after "You Are My Glory", not that I got into Cdramas bcs of it, it was due to peer pressure, haha. So I decided to watch Cdramas once in 2 months since my plate is already full with plenty of pending Kdramas and movies. But I can't express my heartening feelings to announce that this drama has become one of the best things I have ever encountered; I must mention, it's now my most favourite 'slice of life' drama, next to Reply 1988.

Basically, "The Bond" is a story about 5 siblings and their growing relationship, not just of a particular span of time but over years; from their early childhood to their middle-aged selfs. There is no specific plot, rather portrayal of day-to-day happenings, thereby justifying the slice-of-life genre. What you prevalently get to experience throughout are: complex characters, individual growths, stupendous character developments and bewildering outgrowths in the relationships. What you get to witness along side? That's the simultaneous change happening to the rapidly developing China, it's effect on the society values, lifestyles, economy and culture; all these through the characters of the show. The timeline of the drama is 1977 to 2005 with multiple leaps.

I bet you've not seen such sibling relationship anywhere else, bcs it's never been made or represented like this. The portrayal of siblings' love & care and the urge to remain together as a family, even when you are constantly ageing, is very surreal in the drama. The extent of transparent reality and every check made to counterattack or even embrace it, felt so very actual, you might desire to acquire such a scenario in your grasp and paint your own life with it. Things happen in the ways, you least expect to and the consequences are also a combinations of various possibilities.

From my last line, I also want to mention how most of the characters here are extremely flawed and their transformation that felt out of sudden is another aspect of realism. Some of us might better ourselves gradually but some others also change in a short span of time. This drama provides you the scope to just experience the reality, instead of judging what's good & bad, or right & wrong, because this is how things and people are, in real. It's the situation that makes us decide our paths or choose our destiny but nevertheless, we are responsible for our own actions. It's obvious for us, as viewers, to get annoyed, frustrated, irritared and angry on some characters or sequences of events during the course of watching, but it's a proof how the drama have been able to accurately deliver the mood and the underlying messages.

The overal development throughout the 36 episode is very nice and each episode is full of substances that evokes all kinda emotions. My first impression from its 1st episode was not so great, I simply thought that the portrayals here might be emotional yet underwhelming. But to my surprise, I was hit with so many raw emotions elicited by almost all of the characters, I had no way to run away and I just held onto the drama very closely. I thought and expected the entire 36 episodes will be all about what the synopsis over here says but when the scenario changed outta nowhere, I was again in doubt but then I came to realize that this is a coming of age story.

Obviously, I had to fall for the most major character, Qiao Yi Cheng, the eldest brother. His character was the best I swear and I want to give emphasis on him in my review. You'll see almost no development in him but that's how he had been all along since childhood. His mother's sudden demise made him the person he didn't expect to become. The way he took care of his 3 younger siblings and managed the entire family for a long time, is totally commendable. Even after marriage and moving out, he was there to back his family as if his life depends on it. He had to raise kids from such a lil age that he couldn't cry or care for his own but his dedication really made me cry at times. Not normalising purely selfless care bcs he had to go through many obstacles too while dealing with things both within and outside of his family plus doing the best in his profession despite. He was the thread to which the entire family was connected and relied to hang onto in case of difficulties. Whenever something was up the other siblings as well as their father looked for him first and he never failed to be there with them. All these things accumulates so much emotions in your heart, you won't be able to help but cry at times. The only time I was angry with him was his decision to marry the girl........ Well.

2nd brother Er Qiang is my 2nd most favourite. Loved how he was always honest with himself and was courageous enough to fight the world for the ones he truly love and care for. He was slow-witted to take a gasp of the situation, yet clever enough to figure out what to do. First daughter, San Li was also the best female character in the drama who was well-behaved and always true to her decisions. 2nd daughter Simei, well hahahaha, she made me take paracetamol twice in row. Yes, I was that frustrated bcs of her behaviours. Not that she was bad but she didn't have the sense of right & wrong and always made choices that went wary for her ruining her life to extents. She was so stubborn that she barely learnt from her own mistakes. The youngest son, Qiqi was a fool but got a character development. I am a bit disappointed that he got very less screentime though he's one of the main characters. Qiao Zu Wang, the father of the family will be one of your least fav character for sure. He and his behaviours made me angry throughout nevertheless, he was a great source of light comedy in the drama.

Among the minor characters, Yiding (Sanli's husband) is my most favourite. They're the best couple in the show and their love for each other is truly heart touching. Qi Wei Min (Eldest cousin of Qiao's) is someone who cared for everyone a lot and secretly wished for everyone's well-being, in fact he favoured Simei and Qiqi the most. The aunt Wei Shu Fang was a good-hearted lady. Ma Su Qin (Erqiang's master) is one of the strongest characters. The Qiao's neighbor, Aunt Wu was one heck of a funny lady.

The final set of couples.... Well... I won't but as I have already mentioned, Sanli & Yiding shared the best relationship among all. What I can tell you is that this drama is not romance oriented even though there are a lot of couple. Of course there is love and growths in relationships but the romance is very subtle which is very apt. Things used to be like this back then in Asian countries and somehow still happens; I mean the period of dating is very less, they just meet and if there is mutual liking, they decide to marry each other in a short span of time. The divorce rates in old china was also high. You'll see these things clearly in this drama.

The dynamic of the characters and their shaping throughout the story has been very well drawn by the writer. The director seems to have a lot of experience that's been incorporated into the execution of the drama. The actors are very very good though I barely know them I loved. The seemingly simple characters might create an impression that the roles don't need much acting skills but my dear friend, even such simple characters with complex dynamics are not easy to play. Not just the final set of adult actors, but also the 2 different sets of child actors did a phenomenal job in playing their respective characters; the emotions they evoked through their expressions will legit make you cry. Also, the actor playing Qiao Zu wang, the father, is another character who did well in acting. His ways of talking throughout the drama via different stages of life, felt like a journey tho he's not a likable character.

What else I also loved is their realistic setups that actually showcased the life and lifestyle from mid to late 20th century that included exploding population, housing problems, poverty, healthcare as well education systems, technology, etc. Various relationships and the way they developed and their way of survival couldn't be more real. I was actually mad with how quick they were deciding to get married but that's how it happened back then and those were also the issues in married life back then.

I always think that being realistic and being real are 2 different thing and The Bond has proved that for me. It was not a drama with a steady plot accompanied by realistic screenplay, rather a drama which was very real that it almost feels like your own life, no matter your circumstances. They kept things simple and natural so that the audience could read and interprete the scenarios, even for the subtle and subverted expressions.

The OSTs are all my favourite. Even while writing this review I am listening to them TT. Ever since starting the drama, I turn the album on as soon as I wake up and they're often on loop. There are total 4 songs among which one has 2 versions with 2 different singers. I loved the way these OSTs are utilised at apt times as required to showcase various emotions.

# Life Should Always Be Bright (生活總該迎著光亮)" by Zhou Shen is soft heart touching song that explains the price of bonds between people and how it essentially helps us grow as persons.

# "Flash (燈筒: Deng Tong)" by Jin Zhiwen is one's urge to escape from all the sufferings. It's very soulful and melancholic.

# "Wild Bird (野鸟) composed by Wang Zihe is an energizing and motivating song and has 2 versions sung by 2 different singers: one by Wang Zihe herself and another by Jin Runji; in different ways actually.

# Space (留白) by Juno Su is like understanding the essence of life, love and living through a softcore melodious track and the vocals are just wowww.

Apart from the havoc caused by Simei what disappointed me is how they rushed the ending a bit. There's no plot or whatsoever they were trying to wrap up but since it's a slice of life drama, one or two more episodes wouldn't have harmed, rather made us happy. It felt like extra scenes were cut off from the last 2 episodes in order to make it a 36 episode drama but anyways It's just me who desperately wished for more. Notably, the last 6 episodes (31-36) becomes heavy and emotional from all terms and there are several peak moments in there which made me cry.

'The Bond' that was created since birth, strived to be stronger on their mother's demise, and was further nourished over years of love, care and affection upon the foundation established by the big brother and to finally find happiness at the end of the life. The Bond is indeed a story about the Qiao family that managed to survive the odds of their life, stayed as one and even thrived till the end, everything together.

Overally, this drama is for everyone and definitely a must watch slice of life. And I'm sure you'll remember this for a long lomg time. Again at the end, I just wanna express my utter happiness for deciding to watch the drama, that too at a perfect time and I am grateful to everyone who have made this possible. Thank you so much!

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Completed
The Road: The Tragedy of One
38 people found this review helpful
Sep 9, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

An underrated thriller with a shoddy ending, yet lived upto the mystery genre.

This drama is definitely one of the most underrated gems of the year 2021. I am disappointed at the fact that very less people were watching in real time and not sure whether it'll get recognition now that it's over. I think the cast is the reason but wth; these are all brilliant actors.

A lot of people might consider it's a makjang or chaebol drama for the dark complex synopsis but trust me it's not. It's rather a mystery thriller with a touch of makjang, let's say 30%…? Well again, this drama lives upto the mystery genre.

THE ROAD: THE TRAGEDY OF ONE is about the family, social, political, business and hierarchical affairs involving people of a posh place namely, "Royal The Hill", where top 1% people of South Korea inhabit. This is an adaptation of the famous Japanese thriller novel "Ichi no Higeki" by Rintaro Norizuki published in 1992.

Baek Hyun Soo (Ji Jin Hee) is a famous news anchor with tragic past of youth who holds enormous influence on the netizens that he's built over decades by the means of his work. Married to his enemy's daughter, Seo Eun Soo (Yoon Se Ah), Hyun Soo has always thrived for justice. But as soon as he tries to unmask his own father-in-law, Seo Gi Tae (Chun Ho Jin), things become awry and making everything a mess. On a torrential rainy night a tragic incident takes place and the secrets connected with it result in silence, avoidance, and confusion, which eventually leads to another tragedy.

The Cast is full of veteran actors and in fact, the side characters or minor roles are played by actors with good amount of experience. This fact makes the drama even more interesting even before you start. If cast is the reason the drama isn't getting recognition, man that's an act of foolishness because the cast is very apt and all of them are very skillful actors. They're not just old by ages, also by the time they've spent in the industry. Their performance in this drama is stupendous.

Traumatized by his past Hyun Soo often gets flashbacks of that one horrible day of his teenage that changed his entire life making him run away from everything. Since then, he's always sought escape thinking he can someday finally fix his life but could never reach the end. Eun Soo, a miniature artist, loves her husband and son and can go to any length to protect her family. She's always careful about maintaining her dignity but also has her own insecurities. Chairman Seo Gi Tae of Jaekang Group is very influential and can wield any kinda card to get his work done. Aware of Hyun Soo's intentions, he draws a big picture to prevent his forthcoming downfall. Cha Se Young (Kim Hye Eun) is an announcer and highly ambitious woman who is never satisfied despite owning everything. Her greed and evil motives lands her in many odd situations.

Apart from the main cast,Choi Nam Gyu (Ahn Nae Sang) playing Se Young's husband, Shim Seok Hoon (Kim Sung Soo) playing Metropolitan Detective, Kwon Ye Jin (Baek Ji Won) playing News Desk Chief, Bae Kyung Sook (Kang Myung Hun) playing Chairman Gi Tae's 2nd wife and Hwang Tae Seob (Kim Roe Ha) playing the assemblyman are some other major characters who contributed to the drama's quality. Even the 2 child actors were good.

It's definitely a thriller with lots of makjang elements such as marriage problems, extra-marital affairs, cheating your partner, infidelity, rich family affairs, dirty secrets, power politics, hierarchical dispute, birth secret, drugs, alcohol, hypersexuality, high ambitions, political fights, corruption, pseudo journalism, scams, etc. Still a thriller, I repeat, with lots of twists & revelations plus a steady plot development that's worth anticipating about.

First 2 episodes are honestly kinda slow as well as confusing because it's anyways the introduction of the drama and there are lots of going back and forth in time to showcase the past connections. This particular thing is also included equally throughout the 12 episodes which might be unbearable but flashbacks are very common for individuals with PTSD. Yes, the lead character, Hyun Soo suffers from trauma and goes through frequent flashbacks even after 2 decades.

Story and screenwriting are very good with a steady and definite plot development and harmonic progression. The plot becomes somewhat blunt and boring in the episode 9 but even a major revelation at it's end again picked up my curiosity. Since it's only 12 episode I was a bit scared the finale week (11th & 12th) would be rushed but thankfully it wasn't the case. The destination goal of the drama started unfolding after the 2nd half of the 10th episode and almost everything was crystal clear by the end of 11th hence creating scope for the finale episode to come out smooth. However, I am a bit disappointed with the finale episode. It wasn't exactly bad but the way the writer wanted to end is unusual for a Korean thriller drama. I understand that in real, that also is a possibility and that's evident but still...... The main culprit was revealed in the 12th episode to the audience and everything was explained but...... Idk how to tell this without spoiling. Anyways, not gonna say that they messed up.

Direction ia amazing. All the techniques used to make the drama interesting plus intriguing, yielded good results. Synchronization and linking and of events, pacing and screenplay are very well done. And another important aspect of mystery/crime thriller dramas that's sound editing, is also excellently executed. Intense sound effects with deep background scores make the screenplay more thrilling. OSTs are also good and suit the mood of the drama. Cinematography is something that's been aptly worked upon and the dark aura helps keep the suitable scenario.

"Memories" by Yi Sung Yol is deep, sad and tragic track. "Find the Way" by Jung In is also good.

Again, it totally defines what exactly "mystery" genre should be like. There were lots of revelations in here and till the end there were lots of questions like why, who, how, what, etc that left me astonished. It's very unpredictable throughout because everyone seemed to be possessing some secrets and everyone tried to climb up the ladder and save themselves like crazy. Also, there are few things they had been showing us till the last episode without much explanation but they were eventually made clear in the finale. I started the drama a week before the finale so I thought people would be making theories and going crazy but sadly, coming here I see very less are watching it.

Also, this drama has a bisexual and a lesbian character who are involved with each other but that's not shown in a good light, rather it's another dirty little secret of the story.

This drama deserves a lot more than this and tvN's to be partially blamed too because it seems they're not promoting it well unlike it's other big budget ongoing dramas. I expected it to at least do well in Korea if not internationally but things didn't go well may be, hence making it one of the most underrated of this year. I could have given it 8.5/10 but outcome of last 15 mins was a bit unusual even though it's somewhat realistic.

I know that at this point filthy rich, posh village stories with luxurious group of people, gorgeously dressed women, family secrets, fight for assets things have become old and usual but this drama stands out to be different from the trope because of it's thriller elements and definitely worth the one time watch. So please give it a try keeping in mind that the first 2 episodes might not interest you but trust me, it gets better with each episode.

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Completed
The King of Pigs
86 people found this review helpful
Apr 25, 2022
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

TRIGGER WARNING!

An excerpt from Desmond Tutu's book goes like, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Courage could be as fierce as fire, but bullying is as weak as smoke. For some, it could be a foregone past which they might forget as a flowing wind, but the it hunts down the victim for the rest of their lives. The consequences of such cases can be as serious as a war and it's been evidenced. The drama depicts this through the tale of a revenge game.

Adapted from an animated movie of 2011 of the same title by the same author, "KING OF PIGS (돼지의 왕) [2022]" is a revenge cum chase thriller drama. Produced by 'Studio Dragon' & 'Hidden Sequence', the drama was distributed by TVING as an original OTT content.

The story follows a series of mysterious murder cases, that connects to one single person namely Hwang Kyung Min (Kim Dong Wook), who was a victim of heart-wrenching, continuous school bullying incident, 20 years ago. As the police attempts to track down the culprit and assemble pieces from the past, the circuitous involvement of one of their own people, detective Jung Jong Suk (Kim Sung Kyu), comes to surface, who was also the victim of the same. Kang Jin Ah (Chae Jung An) is a quick and intelligent detective who is a part of the investigative team. While the thrilling quest and chase for a criminal furthers, the unfolding of truth takes us, into the depths of school violence, the roles of different people in it and their outcomes.

There are many other familiar faces in the supporting roles as well but remarkable praises should be credited to all the child actors, playing the teenage counterparts of the current characters, all invoved in the school violence case. Special mentions for Lee Chan Yoo, Shim Hyin Seo and Choi Hyun Jin, playing Kyung Min, Jong suk and Kim Cheol, respectively.

Plot development was amazing. The Story straightaway starts with a death and gradually leads to subsequent investigation and then to another series of killings. This enables the furtherance of investigation and facts about these events start surfacing in fragments. The pilot episode served its job of captivating the attention of the viewers, and the further evolution is engaging. I don’t think there was any episode which didn’t have me awe, the performance, the characters, the stories and everything else was so masterfully drawn, that it makes you keep going. There were also many instances which I found triggering and had to pause or put on hold, so that I could recover, but thankfully I was able to bear them. There are several peak moments in the drama, from both the past and present, the former enraged and saddened me to extents whereas the latter made me relieved and angry. Coming to the ending sequences, it was magnificently plotted and excellently executed, leading to satisfactory outcomes. In simple words, the way it ended was very good and in fact, atypical and rare of the Kdrama trends; I am beyond convinced. In a way, I wish it were longer than 12 episodes but on the other hand I was relieved the trauma was over.

Tak Jae Young jakkanim debut as a young and budding writer through this drama, and though the drama is adapted, we must not assume that his job had been easy. Book to live action adaptions being the most difficult task, we could tell that an animation film to drama adoption would have been less unchallenging, however, they are still different. I wish jakkanim all the best for his future endeavours.

As one of the most talked directors, Kim Dae Jin PDnim has been active for over a decade and half, "Kill Me, Heal Me" being the most acclaimed. In my opinion, this drama is his second best though it was released on a web platform and poorly marketed, otherwise would have gained more attention. Oweing to his skills, the execution, screenplay management, scenario establishment, flow of story, connecting plots, revelations and flashbacks between past & present have been well handled. Tbe cinematography with dark hue was a great fit and exhibited visual pleasure through the acts. The sound and screen editing are of high values as well. The pacing is perfect.

What I liked…
# The plot development is compelling and intriguing, for it uses unique methods of revealing and unfolding truth, of the past, through detailed investigation in the present by relating to the foregone story that took place 20 years ago. The storytelling method with two perspectives, of Kyung Min and of Jong Suk, the differential narratives, and the monologues are what make it an interesting & engaging as well as a nail-biting watch.

# Kim Cheol, the character, is something that all of us unaskingly fell in love with, no? His existence itself adds to the value of this show as a whole; his rise in the class, from a mere slacker to the king of pigs and then his downfall finally leading to a forever memorable (for the characters of the drama) god, is a journey that I will never forget. The way his story was told, especially through the acts of Kyung Min, was gripping and enthralling. He is the real hero of this drama.

# Kim Dong Wook as Hwang Kyung Min, has, once again, left me baffled with his skills, no doubt he is one of the best in terms of acting. He, in both sane and insane state, performed so smoothly and comfortably that it helped me to survive the traumatic events in the drama. His emotions, his angst, his eyes, his expressions, his dialogue delivery and everything he did was so on point, it’s like his act felt the only hope left, for the world he lived in. Kim Sung Kyu and Kang Jin Ah also did very well, for they are already good actors.

# The young actors have great importance in the drama as they and their story of the past share about 45% of the screentime the approx. 600 minutes show. Again, special mention must be credited to Choi Hyun Jin who played Kim Cheol, for he delivered a justified and splendid performance, and I don’t think anyone else could have match him. Other than the ones playing Kyung Min & Jong Suk, the actors playing young bullies also did a good job portraying their parts and it felt real and engrossing.

# The song sung by Lee Ji Hyun (Kim Pu Reum), Park Sung Jin (Hwang Man Ik)’s niece in the 8th episode (the only song of the rdama) was melancholic, touchy and enraging at the same time. It was a call for help, to rescue the souls of the ones who has to go through the unfortunate and heartbreaking days, spending their time in school with fear and trauma, dismay and terror of which also follow them for the rest of their lives.

# Kdramas based on school bullying or having the elements in it has been very common, being placed in over hundreds of shows over the last 2 decades, but this stands out for many reasons. First and foremost, this is solely based on school violence, as it tells a foregone story of 3 victims of several bullying incidents that took place over years. Secondly, the present day events, that has caused headache to the cops, roots back to the past incident only, resulting in an extremely brutal revenge game. The show attempts to dissect the entire scenario by performig RCA (root cause analysis) and shows to a great deal, the consequences, the bullying cases can inflict for both the victims and the perpetrators.

# I loved the way the title of the show has been justified throughout, from the beginning to the end, through the storytelling and the acts by the characters. The immensely dark story with portrayal of real bullying cases could be hugely triggering but it is truly thought-provoking and, in a way, demands reforms in laws and awareness in society. Provided that it is based on a real story, makes it a sad thing but I feel, everyone needs to witness it in order to be made aware and learnt.

What I didn’t like…

# The character arch for adult Jong Suk is very roughly done and not llikable. I mean obviously, for the story, he has his parts of flaws, but as an audience watching a story, I could not get used to many a things that he attempted to do. It did not indicate his insanity to me, rather some technical drawbacks which could have been avoided.

# The investigative methods felt absurd sometimes, particularly after the 7th episode, there is little to no contribution by the other members of the team. It was only Jin Ah and Jong Suk who were doing everything, that too independently; plus the state of mind in which Jong Suk was, he should not have been a part of the investigation to begin with, also provided that he was somehow related to the incident.

# I wanted moreeeeeeee.

Final Remarks… “THE KING OF PIGS” is a solid and extremely heavy watch, and a treat for whoever is into such dark genres with a cogent story and plausible plot development. Screenwriting, direction, performance and the overall outcomes are praiseworthy and all the efforts have been reflected through the mighty values and well paid off. This actually deserves more attention since not many were watching when it was on air. If you are planning to start it, make sure you are mentally prepared to receive what it offers, and watching in small doses might make it easier. MUST RECCOMENDED!

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Completed
I Promised You the Moon
157 people found this review helpful
Jun 24, 2021
5 of 5 episodes seen
Completed 17
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

A promise in front of the moon yet beyond the light.

Are you confused because of my title? Let's examine and resonate what, how, why, when, where and find the answers.

Note: It's a obvious that ITSAY is way better than IPYTM but will you actually discredit the work? NO, Never do that. Let's talk. If you haven't watched you can skip the 2nd part for now.

1st PART: REVIEW
ITSAY (s1) is indeed a game-changer in the world of Thai BL, being the best ever Thai BL ever produced; it is inclined more towards the LGBT pov of a BL, yeah! But If we are gonna compare it with IPYTM (s2), it's better to realize that we are on the wrong boat. The type of storytelling, as everyone can feel and see, has obviously changed from "an artistic narration of love that complements a soul" to "simple narration of love that doesn't want to be bound within limits" kind of story.

THE TITLE:
So when the title of the 2nd season along with the first poster was released, everyone was so happy but at the same time difference in interpreting the title was seen. Many people perceived it as 'one pledging their lover to do anything for them at any given cost' and others explained it as 'promising something that's difficult to keep or even impossible to achieve'. Despite of all the speculations, each of us wished for a happy ending even though we were in doubts. But as the series is over what we can conclude is, Moon that's full of spots as imperfection, is also a sign of love and perfection; because even the most perfect relationship has some flaws. Notably, the 1st episode started on a full moon and the 5th episode or finale ended on a full moon depicting how our lives are drawn in full circles, making us come back to the same different spot; but it's upon us to find our way out of it to achieve what we wish for. I am amazed the way the writers put symbolic meanings to it along with the use of various props with deep meanings.

PRODUCTION: There are bigger production companies in Thailand but when it comes to quality, Nadao Bangkok is the BEST among all. I have trusted in Nadao and the team it formed since ITSAY and this time even though Nadao changed the team, my trust still remained the same. I am sure they never compromise when it comes to producing. The quality of their work can never ever be discredited. P'Boss who was the director of ITSAY remained in IPYTM as a producer to supervise everything. I was a little disappointed when Goy was removed from the screenwriters' team but she was casted in the show as a character and I believe there was a reason behind it. After everything, I really wanna commend the entire team who has always believed in the immense study on life, critical analysis and putting best of their efforts in writing, managing and directing the series. People who are fool to misinterprete and jumped into conclusion thrashing and bashing you all for the story don't deseve such a precious series at all. Do not listen to them as I trust you guys must have reasons behind all these when you clearly knew that you'll have to face backlash once it goes on air. Thank you for the courage. Also, Bravo, Nadao! As someone who has always complained about the lil production value of Thai BL industry, ITSAY and IPYTM came as a revolution in the Thai BL history writing a chapter that no other can ever claim.

STORY: I am really not sure how to explain but let me tell you, you will never see such realistic approach in any other BL series as they've shown us in both ITSAY and IPYTM. I feel the entire crew that includes the directors, producers and the screenwriters are masters of storytelling on individual level and their combined efforts has been successfully paid through the series. Both ITSAY and IPYTM are more like "feeling-based romance" stories with very heavy plots and despite the obvious changes from one season to another, IPYTM still kept us going for the quality work put by the production and the cast. ITSAY was an awakening and realization of blooming youth whereas IPYTM is a reflection of struggles of adulthood or precisely the process of adulting as an individual and evolving in a relationship. Given both the seasons have 5 episodes each, there was no way to be bored or feel like it's going slow because every episode is filled with a lot of solid contents. I really don't know how to express my feelings for the fact that IPYTM is so very realistic and relatable that threatened the inner-self of lots of people. May be that's the reason a large no of audience are disappointed for they were shown their own reflection through the story, hence making them dislike it. Not just the main leads, rather each and every character we encounter in this series more or less represent us and our life who either run away from reality or chase after it. Both the seasons are coming of age stories set in different premises and involves different stages of life. They in fact have proved that how one's persona can define the other at points where two persons are in a relationship and what are the ways to come out of it. Just like ITSAY, IPTYM has been successful in showing the artistic pov of how the turmoil of conflicted emotions can shake lives which is both tragic and eye-pleasing at the same time and hence making the audience hooked up the complexity of the feelings that the character had to go through. Also, it's not an one year or few months story, rather a relationship of years so they had to go through all these anyways. Us being upset is totally unreasonable because people gotta get out of happy-go-lucly fairytale stories. PLEASE.

DIRECTION:
OOF! How many times I gotta repeat it? P'Meen and P'Boss are brilliant directors and stupendous creators of art and probably the best directors Thailand has ever produced. Given their age and experience, they can turn soil into gold which is reflected through this series, ain't it? If you're set to discredit them, please stop wherever you're because you're absolutely moving towards a wrong direction. The way they've set the entire thing and the kind of screenplay by drawing parallels and portraying contradictions between ITSAY and IPYTM is so very fabulous and worth the appreciation.

UNIQUENESS: One of the many peculiar things about both the seasons is that, the series is different from other BL series in which too many illogical plots are drawn. Plus unlike others, in ITSAY and IPYTM the supporting characters have not been portrayed as the sidekicks of the leads who always tag along with the main characters and keep teasing them. Also, the usual BL-fetish fujoshi/fudnashi stuffs have also been prevented from the series where others keep pestering the lead couple (I am in no way demeaning the BL culture since I too am a part of it, rather saying how it's not necessary to put the same thing in every other series). Even a girl like Khim's character was so mature and enough to move our hearts. Another thing is that unlike ITSAY, IPYTM is a time jump story. In five episodes we saw (i forgot) at least 3 or 4 leaps (?) and that included their entire university time plus the last episode was after the graduation and their professional lives.

ACTING: Do I really need to explain a lot about this? I mean give a huge award to the casting director. Nadao could be a small company with few artists but all of them are skilled and quality actors. BK and PP were so into their characters as Teh nd Oh-aew that it felt very real, it's like they've absorbed the entire persona of someone else and turned into real beings and not just mere characters of a series. There are scenes which could seem usual to you but the way they performed is just way beyond the cringeworthy acting of other actors. I mean the way they felt natural is wow and also their accurate facial expressions for every other emotions; in fact what makes ITSAY and IPYTM standout on the top of the pyramid is the performance. Apart from BKPP the supporting characters are also good as actors. Especially Khim (Goy) and Jai (Oab) are fantastic performers who were able to make a strong impressions upon us and I believe the Nadao directors have a part to play in how they've taught the actors in the workshops.

DIALOGUE WRITING: Well, as I have already told, the writers a set of brilliant storytellers and the part of dialogue writing has been so beautifully done that it compensates for even the tragic moments. Some were so simple yet so deep and meaningful, I must say they must have pull the heartstrings of millions. Teh who has been a emotional fool all along this season had not much to say but look at the lines of Oh-aew, Jai and Khim. I felt triggered at points and those things hit just right at my heart.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ummmmm, master quality skills of cinematography. I heard even the camera person were changed in this season but I still loved because as I have already told, we are not in the same boat as ITSAY this time. The camera angles were so very apt, particularly during the stage performances and the rehearsals that Jai conducted. The aesthetic views during their first meet on the foot bridge, the aquarium, the temple scene, in Oh-aew's condo scene; everything was done very beautifully and left me speechless. The colour coordination work has been amazingly done by the screenplay editors too and it's sometimes that had ITSAY vibes too. So a plus point for the quality editing too.

OSTs: This is something which many are complaining about but why do we need to do everything as we did in ITSAY? Season 1was definitely made to feel us overwhelming and content hence the old-style deep and pleasing lyricism was introduced. But in season 2, as I have already said that the kind of storytelling has changed, they changed the OSTs to simple and relatable lyricism that somehow felt deep and touched hearts too. I am so in love with the OSTs. One thing to note that, in ITSAY BK has more original tracks than PP and PP was made to cover one, whereas in IPYTM PP has more original tracks plus one cover from BK. Only common thing is in both the seasons, BK and PP has a very beautiful duet. Also, like ITSAY, IPYTM too left us awe with the sound effects that even made the subtle scenes beautiful; no unnecessary editing and no use of OSTs multiple times just for promotion sake.

ENDING: Not gonna spoil but if you're wary about it, please don't be because it's worth it. The series that has left us awestrucken all along during the entire thing deserved this ending. All that matters is the growth, development and the evolution in individual level as well as in a relationship that's been immensely picturized in this. Happy or sad ending, what actually matters is the journey that we have been put through. Believe me, we all are blessed to have ITSAY+IPYTM and we should definitely be thankful for it.

Let me tell you that if you're actually moved by the script, as in cried with Oh-awe, crused your heart out for Teh and hated Jai to your core, congratulations because that's what the team wanted. They've succeeded in their job when you are left with demeaning thoughts towards the entire thing. As already mentioned, ITSAY and IPYTM are nothing but revolutionary examples in the Thai BL industry that deserves much mote attention, recognition and attention. This too deserves a 9.5 if not 10/10.

In my 7 years of watching Kdramas and BLs this is the first time I paid to watch something with the anticipation to have all kinda nostalgia and art like ITSAY. Although it didn't have the same thing as the prequel rather I was hit really hard with reality, it is worth the money I have spent and worth best of the best appreciations.

2nd PART: ANALYSIS

(SKIP FROM HERE UNTIL YOU WATCH. If you want to read my analysis, you can come back after finishing)

Let's analyse!
Cheating is when you do things deliberately, with your full consciousness, without caring about your conscience. So from this, whatever Teh did, can't be considered entirely as cheating, because if being swayed from/getting confused about your feelings is considered as cheating, then more than half of the relationships of the world will fall apart right away as you read my review. Let's understand Teh's situation.

1) Firstly, in the Ep2 he saw his most dear person, Oh-aew growing away from him. It's not like Oh-aew's love for him was becoming lesser but just like many people Teh, who always finds deeper meaning to whatever happens with/around him, felt like with Oh-aew changing his major things between them might change too. He was insecure and afraid to lose Oh-aew whom he loves so much. But he was wrong when he mocked Oh during the dinner with his seniors, because it's okay if you're flustered but he should have taken his time to understand Oh-aew's situation for changing himself.

2) Secondly, after Goy and Top passed out of the Acting School, Teh was left with Jai Only. Because of the club, he never made friends from his dept nor did he hung out with anyone except these 3 people. Morever Jai was someone who was like-minded with Teh. Their field of study, their interest, their choice of career and their way of seeking meaning in lil stuffs; everything matched as if they were meant to be. We as human beings usually tend to get attracted towards someone with similar interest and thought process, isn't it? Many of us end up falling for someone with whom we spend almost all the time of our day, it's psychology. So Teh falling for Jai isn't something very big of a matter though he should has have control on himself as he's already in a relationship with someone else. He should have hold himself back even if he was intimidated by Jai's behaviour. Jai somehow was kind of a jerk even though Teh is to be blamed more for whatever happened.

3) Thirdly, the kissing scene. Yeah, Teh was at fault too but whatever happened was just a spark of the moment. Basically it was a rehearsal plus the scene's purpose was to depict intimacy. So while practising Teh, who was already swayed, ended up doing a mistake without consciousness and he was clearly out of his mind. He definitely did wrong but that can't be counted as cheating, again because that was so sudden during the rehersal and Jai had a part to play in the matter. Oh-aew as expected had to be upset and flustered seeing this and I totally cried all night, not because Teh kissed a 3rd person, rather Oh witnessing it was so tragic. I felt so poor for him.

4) Fourthly, the 4th episode that was an absolute tragedy. Teh who was caught off guard even though he did wrong over intimidation, he should have come to sense when confronted by Oh-aew. He should have understood that being seen kissing with another person by your boyfriend is not a small matter. He should have tried even harder to resist his emotions but that emotional fool! Everything went okay till the final play and was going smooth during the after party but that fool had to go out after Jai and confront him about whatever happened between them even when Oh-aew was present there, why!? He was given a very fair chance by Oh who himself was hurt to the core but Teh just couldn't draw a line and realize that everything should have a certain limit and committed a grave mistake. But still, would you call that cheating? NO! It still isn't because it's not like he did it deliberately behind Oh-aew's back. Oh himself was there and whatever Teh did was without his consciousness and everyone could clearly see that he was totally intimidated. So even if he had acquired some feelings for Jai, it can't be interpreted as cheating.

5) Teh never stopped loving Oh, even when he was swayed by Jai. He obviously was afraid of the fading relationship but he tried well to understand the situation and cope with it plus to make things better in their relationship. He was a fool to be intimidated but at the same time he never wanted to let go of Oh-aew.

6) Ep1 to Ep4 are the story's side from Oh-aew's pov whereas Ep5 and particularly Teh's thesis play which lasted for a short while is from his pov. Please try to understand that too.

On my last note, I wanna remind y'all about the conversation that Oh-aew had with his school friend,Boss. If you were carefully listening them and tried to understand what exactly it meant, then I am sure all my analysis and explanation wouldn't be necessary to prove anything. Also, Teh and Oh-aew's last conversation on the beach made sense to a great deal, if you didn't understand it, I am sorry you didn't deserve it. Life, love and relationships are always unpredictable. So accept it as it comes to you and embrace all the hurdles with grace, and of course, together.

Finally I just want to say that, when it comes to love stories, we only have very few options or let's say 2 options: "moving on" and "reunion". What matters is how that's represented and whether it's reasonable or not. I am truly happy that Nadao didn't let us down. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.

I really hope my analysis, examination and interpretation would help you in better understanding the things and what the directors plus the entire team have tried to convey. If you still don't agree, I welcome any argument in the comment section. Thank you for bearing with this long review, I wish it helps.

Lastly, I TOLD SUNSET ABOUT YOU and I PROMISED YOU THE MOON will forever be in my heart as THE BEST THAI BL SERIES EVER PRODUCED. I am so happy, so content and so grateful I can't even express them through words. Can't really bring myself to say goodbye to TEH and OH-AEW as well the entire thing of 2 years but I will remember everything till the moment I die, I PROMISE.

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Completed
On the Verge of Insanity
41 people found this review helpful
Aug 26, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Perfect reflection of Corporate Affairs; Quite unique as a drama.

Let's say that ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY is the office Kdrama of the year 2021 or probably the best Office drama out there? I mean you ain't gonna find another Kdrama with pure office affairs (95%) in the story, so yeah!

This drama is realistic enough for the audience working (or have worked) in corporate sectors to relate and reminisce their life as employees or employers. The drama touches various sides & shades of a regular corporate life such as: responsibilities, work pressure, competition among peers, colleague relationship, management techniques, job hunting, dismissal, resignation, worker layoffs, corruption, etc, etc.

STORY & PLOT:
There is no solid plot here to back the story. It's more of a slice of 'office' life Kdrama portraying the day-to-day life of people working in Electronics Industry at various positions and designations. But of course for the story's sake, the drama is set up in a time period during which the company is going through critical phases of financial downturn and rounds of laying off plus shutting down of branches.

Hanmyeong Electronics, famous for it's high-tech home appliances, is one of the top 3 Electronic Product Manufacturer in South Korea. The Company enters into a moderate financial crisis to tackle which the Head Quarter decides to shut down few of it's business departments and lay off more than half of the people working in those branches. So the major plot is all about the attempt to throw out the people and sell off a particular branch which also includes the competition to develop products and the efforts of survival in the company.

The story itself starts with these procedure in one of the semi-urban branches. Dang Ja Young, assigned to lead this is then transfered to another rural branch to reorganize and execute the selling off of another branch. Choi Ban Seok, an expert developer at the company is transferred from the previously vanished branch to this branch is forced to work with Dang Ja Young in the HR team. Han Se Kwon, a greedy and highly ambitious person always putting effort to climb the ladder, can go to any length get his work done.

The drama also portrays dirty sides of business and corporate sectors. People trying to drag each other down to save themselves, some others plotting tricks to humiliate others for personal grudges, some trying to gain from crisis, some committing corruption in the greed of money, etc are very well shown that implies the need of countermeasures to stop such deeds. OTVOI also emphasizes on hierarchy complexes in corporates as well as mistreatment and sexual harassment, which are some of the concerning issues in all kinds of workplaces.

Obviously, Dang Ja Young and Choi Ban Seok are the leads but there's no definite couple. There's no romance storyline which is totally fine but in the last 4 episodes there's a subtle portrayal of a developing closeness between the 2 leads.

The drama has few side minor storylines about office dating, personal and private lives of the main characters, friendship between adults, etc.

CAST & ACTING:
It's obvious that the drama isn't getting it's well deserving recognition internationally because of the cast but what matters are the acting skills of the actors and in this regard all the main and major characters are actually very good. It's sad that such a good and realistic story isn't getting the attention but I must say it's not everyone's cup of tea.

The story revolves around mainly 3 people though there are plenty of side and supporting characters with a fair share of screen-timing.

1. Dang Ja Young played by Moon So Ri is a workaholic long-term employee at Hanmyeong who aspires to become an executive director by the meana of her work. He has given her 100% to the company and has strived for its progress. She does whatever given to her as a responsibility and is very rationale. She's brave, competent and knows how to get her job done well. Despite the difficult road traveled, she never gives up. She finds herself in a tight spot after being appointed as the HR team leader of a branch soon to be sold off.

2. Choi Ban Seok (Jung Jae Young), a senior hardware developer with 20+ years experience has been successfully saving his spot in the company. He's very excellent at his job but mismanagement of company disgusts him. He gives up an international offer and after bring transferred to another branch he joins the TF team but soon after framed and shifted to HR, a dept he's no idea about. He still hangs onto the job and tries to learn. Fortunately, his skill gets him back to the R&D dept but he still faces issues from people who are jealous of his skills. His character and personality in this drama is something to love and respect. What a man!

3. Han Se Kwon (Lee Sang Yeob), the TF team leader and a prominent face of the company, is also the ex-husband of Dang Ja Young. As a person who's high ambitions he can literally do anything to stay at the top. He's very insecure of his skills yet clever enough to create opportunities for himself out of crisis and sly enough to escape out of downgrading situations created by him. Seeing Choi Ban Seok's skills and confidence he constantly tries to bring him down by playing cheap tricks. He keeps stopping lower shamelessly as the story progreses.

Choi Ban Seok is a family man with a daughter and both lives with his mother since his wife's demise. Dang Ja Young after divorce, lives with her friend Shin Jung Ah and has a mentally disable father at a nursing facility. She's divorced from Han Se Kwon who's currently dating a co-worker. Shin Jung Ah (Cha Chung Hwa) and Shin Han Soo (Kim Nam Hee) are siblings.

The drama has also some other good actors like Cha Chung Hwa, Ahn Nae Sang, Kim Nam Hee, Jo Bok Rae, Kim Joong Ki, Park
Won Sang, Park Sung Geun, etc. Other than these popular faces, there are also many young faces which are new & old as well as some known faces who did their roles well with the screentime provided. The character arc of all the major and minor character are very well-done.

DIRECTION & EDITING:
Given that this is the debut of the director, I think it's very good as well as suitable script for him. He's been able to do his job well hence creating good opportunities in furure. The screenplay editing also gives the vibe of perfect office environment with light comedy dominating intense moods. Background sound scores are very less giving it a urban drama vibes which I think is a good decision. In fact the OSTs are not utilized that much but that's very fine with me. One notable editing device is that for the later half of the drama, the episodes end with a prologue and in the next episode the story goes back to a day or two back that eventually leads to the scene where the previous episode had ended. I recall seeing this device in no other drama.

Many people might say it's boring because of the lack of a intense solid plot and urban editing but I'm very pleased for the fact that it is very realistic and throws light on real life events and issues in the corporate sector.

OSTs:
My only problem with the OST collection of this drama is that the production has unreasonably put Han Se Gwon in the poster of 4 tracks when he's an utter trash. Whereas Choi Ban Seok is featured in only one poater wtf. Also, Seo Na Ri, Han Se Kwon's girlfriend is got a place in one of the track posters as well as shown as one of the 4 main casts in the main drama poster z WHYYYY? She doesn't even share more screentime than side characters.

Okay, so OSTs are actually nice. The urban comedy drama doesn't use OSTs in the screenplay that much given the office environment to give off the perfect vibes. My favourite ones are "find me" by PL and "please" by The Daisy. The former is a jolly track creating moods for doing your work and the later is a softcore feel-good song. Other likeable ones are

"trace" by KLANG
"vacuity" by The Lime
"I dream of you" by Seo Sung Hyuk
"man's Love" by Kim Jin Woong

ENDING:
Last 2 episodes of the finale week are very good as well. One of the major twists that happened in ep 15th made me both sad and angry which also led me to expect something dramatic enough to turn the tables. Well, tables weren't turned as a countermeasure, rather the scenario led to a new beginning. I was sooo happy tbh watching the last 15mins of the 15th eps, it has quite a few time leaps, small or big. The 16th eps was even more dramatic (not so realistic) but I guess that was a reward from the writer for all the sad elements we had been witnessing throughout the last few episodes. Anyways, sooo glad it was a sorted, reasonable and happy sending.

CONCLUSION:
The best thing in "On the Verge of Insanity", for me, is Choi Ban Seok, a personality that I will aspire to be. He's confident, morally upright and is always focused. His way of talking and behaviour acc to person were so on point, I fell in love with him. Dang Ja Young is surely an inspiring character with a lots of traits to learn from, loved how strong she is. Han Se Kwon is a character that should be hated and openly shamed. It's unfortunate cheaper people exist in the corporate world for real.

Again, I am sad this drama isn't doing well internationally in real time but hopefully people will recognize later. The drama is definitely a very good work, if not excellent. The way it throws light upon harsh truth of corporate affairs and the measures to tackle it are very real.

Overally, this drama is nice and deserves a place in the top 20 Kdramas of the year 2021. PLEASE watch this and I am sure that'll be worth spending time on. I binged it in 2 phases but I am sure the episode by episode progression of this drama would have been quite interesting and anticipating for those who watched it ongoing. This will go down as one of the best Office Dramas that Korean Drama Industry has ever produced. That's all.

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Completed
I Told Sunset about You
40 people found this review helpful
May 18, 2021
5 of 5 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

ITSAY = PERFECTION

ITSAY is that precious feeling that no one can ever steal from you. Never ever. I'm writing it to you.

This drama, which has stirred all our emotions, is what you call EXCELLENT. The vibes it gives off are so deep & beautiful that it makes you feel nostalgic. The kind of storytelling done in the series is something that leaves no heart unprevailed. It is indeed the rarest of the rare Thai BL drama you'll ever witness.

Fabulous direction & screenplay, heart-warming dialogues, stimulating plot devices, awesome acting by the cast and most importantly, 'astounding' cinematography, oof.
Another fact that makes it unique is how incredibly they've introduced props like hibiscus, coconut, etc and utilized them well.

SPECIAL mentions to Bilkin and PP for offering their natural, simple and outstanding acting skills to this already precious story. Their dialogue delivery, accurate expressions, smiles, cries and everything made us smile & cry as if we were a part of their beautiful love story. Thank you so much you two. You guys have won over our heart and you along with the series will always be in our thoughts and dreams.

I really really hope THAI writers continue writing such beautiful stories and then the makers adapt them into series. How amazing that will be than watching the same cliché highschool/uni stories with romance and intimacy!

I swear "I TOLD SUNSET ABOUT YOU" is such a delightful thing to witness, I feel blessed. My life somehow feels complete. Eagerly waiting for I PROMISE YOU THE MOON- IPYTM (ITSAY part2).

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!

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Completed
Dr. Brain
45 people found this review helpful
Dec 10, 2021
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

Apple+ hit the trend with best intentions.

The reasons I had anticipations for this mini drama were:
1. It's Apple+
2. The amazing cast
3. The storyline

The fears I had:
1. It's a debut for Apple+
2. The drama is only 6 episodes
3. The director's debut in drama

And overcoming all my expectations as well as doubts, Dr. Brain has been able to present itself as a series of quality and it's an absolute treat, I want to aasure y'all that.

Dr. Brain (브레인) is adapted from the webtoon with the same title writhen by Artist Hong Jac Ga (홍자가).

Dr. Brain is basically a sci-fi plus investigative mystery thriller keeping Koh Se Won (Lee Sun Kyun) at the center of the story. He's a brain scientist who has been working on syncing two brains for a long to establish communication through memories. Born with peculiar brain characteristics he has had a horrible past yet manages to make family and do excellently well in his career. One day his world breaks apart as his family falls victim to terrific accidents in a short span of time, but being an emotional man, he rather invests even more time in his research. And oweing to his inventions he now start accessing memories of his wife as well as the people around her to get to the root of everything. He puts the best of his efforts to combine the fragmented memories together in order to draw a complete figure. And while doing all these, he gets to unveil the conspiracies and the biggest culprits who have made him miserable.

I must say, the plot development is absolutely wow in here. For a 6 episode mini-drama, it is very important that each and every part should impress the audience, which was successfully achieved by the drama. I personally wasn't much intrigued by the 1st episode (except the neuroscience research stuffs, since I am a post-grad guy in zoology) but the 2nd one got me awestruck, ngl. The suspense buildup throughout the series is indeed marvelous and the progression is well executed. The way everything unfolds bit by bit using the pieces memories from various different persons is really very intriguing as the story progresses. The revelations have been made at appropriate timings and the pacing of the entire show couldn't be more perfect.

I can't help but praise so much about the acting area of the drama. Not just that the drama has several master actors, also we saw their acting graphs rising to some other level than before. Ahhhhhhhh! The feelings of witnessing their plays is something unexplainable. Apart from Lee Sun Kyun at the top, we also have here: Park Hee Soon (Lee Kang Mu) as a private investigator, Lee Yoo Young (Jung Jae Yi) as Sewon's wife, Lee Jae Won (Hong Nam Il) as Sewon's colleague and Seo Ji Hye as Lieutenant Cho.

We also have amazing actors like Uhm Tae Goo and Kim Joo Hun as guest actors. Among other seemingly minor yet important characters are: Moon Seung Keun as Dr. Myung and Jo Bok Rae as Sergeant Park. I am particularly held back by Seung Keun ahjussi's acting in last 2 episodes. His pronunciations and dialogue delivery made my eyes to bawl out.

Kim Jee Woon PDnim is a very familiar face when it comes to Korean movies and he's proved his worth long back. However, Dr. Brain is his directorial debut in Kdramas and this is the fact that made me doubt about the results. But to my surprise and utter satisfaction, he has done so so so well that I can't help but applaud for him. If you see the storyline is almost like a movie's but still 6 hours is too long for making a movie. And he's successfully proved his experience despite that.

Cinematography is an aspect that's been taken care of very well. The camera movements as well as capture angles perfectly showcase the scenarios involving the puzzles put forth by the entanglement of various sets of memories inside Koh Se Won's brain, his interaction with multiple consciousnesses and his visions. The CGI is also very nice for the hallucinations, imaginations and dreams that Sewon was having as side effects. The sound production too is perfectly done to suit the moods and vibes of the drama.

Scripts involving brain and neuroscience is nothing new for Kdramas and moreover this is fiction. The theories of brain sync, put forth here doesn't make sense at all, at least for the year 2021 but the execution is so very good that it almost feels real, even to biologists like me, haha. I guess that's the magic of science fictions. Who knows these theories might become possible after a century or two.

Despite the mixed feelings, I honestly wanted the drama to do well. And for a matter of fact, my biggest fear was how the entire world is now immensely interested in investing in Kdramas. It's some sort of insecurity that I have developed recently which make me afraid about the originality of Kdramas, which is slowly becoming diluted by mediocre Netflix series. But Dr. Brain has come to my rescue as a beam of hope and I wish it continues to prosper and burn even brighter in the future.

Overally, Dr. Brain is thrilling, enraging, captivating and intriguing at the same time and in my opinion, it is a must watch. Please please please don't pass it down thinking it's apple+ debut in Korea. It's an amazing show as it is.

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Completed
You Are My Spring
78 people found this review helpful
Aug 24, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 15
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Once in a year healing warm pure romance Korean drama that we all wait for.

YES! YES! YES! You read it right. "You Are My Spring" comes under the category of slow-paced, pure romance dramas, that the Korean Drama Industry makes sure to present us with, every year at least once. And, it's not just warm, it contains plenty of healing factors which are necessary in a relationship because opening up to each other and growing up while tending to each other's wounds, is the most important thing.

As a drama, I feel, it has done a very amazing job in justifying the genre, giving off the warm romance vibes and making me cry a loads and healing my heart. Only disappointing thing about this drama is how miserably the writer failed while attempting to blend a secondary murder mystery storyline to such pure romance genre. But since the 2 storylines went seprate ways for most of the later parts, I am gonna ignore it while reviewing the drama. Although 2 different storylines with the least relevance is a major drawback for any story, I think it's fine in this case because, the thriller part is only 10-15% of the entire story, hence avoidable. This is definitely going to my top 10 romance drama list.

STORY & PLOT:
The drama majorly involves 2 people, Kang Da Jung (Seo Hyun Jin), a manager at a 5 star hotel and Joo Young Do (Kim Dong Wook), a reputed psychiatrist doing multiple jobs. They meet each other as neighbours in the Gugu Building after renting different floors (3rd and 2nd respectively). Shortly after it, both of them find themselves connected to a criminal who supposedly has had encounters with both the lead characters in a shelter home when all 3 were children.

Both Kang Da Jung and Joo Young Do have their own stories of traumatic childhood. Kang Da Jung, a witness of her alcoholic abusive father beating her mother every other night, has the scars from the past days when she had to live under a scary roof protecting her younger brother. It's been long she feld with her mother and brother silently over the night but she still has that knief stuck in her neck. Joo Young Do, the second child and a potential donor to his terminally ill older brother, was always made to feel responsible about his brother's well-being even as a kid. Upon the older's demise he was left out from his mother's love and later developed a bad heart for which he got transplanted.

Kang Da Jung, who inherits her mother's trait of picking up wrong men to date, has failed in relationship several times where as Joo Young Do, who got married to an actress to help her get better, still avoids dating in the fear of ruining someone's life bcs of his heart conditions. They keep bumping into each other after moving to the Gugu Building and also encounter each other at unusual places because of the murder case. Young Do as a psychiatrist can see through Da Jung and secretly wishes to help her out. Da Jung on the other hand finds Young Do interesting but recent events make her avoid bonding with strangers. So the drama is all about them becoming closer, helping each other to sort out their pasts, healing each other's scar and most importantly, falling in love with each other in the mean time.

The plot development of the primary story, i. e. the romance is very niceeeeee. I am soooo very happy with the story. The slow-paced, quite and gradual progression of the romance in an adult relationship is like once in hundred moment in Korean Drama World and we must realize, You are My Spring is one of them. Not just the lead couple, there are several several short yet detailed storylines for the side characters, be it about their dating life or families or work places. And I am happy those side storylines also have great relevance with the major storyline because all of the side characters revolve around each other as in live close or work together or are deeply bonded.

The primary plot of romance between the leads is accompanied by a secondary murder mystery plot where one of the main characters with connection only with the 2 protagonists is drawn. This part and this character is very unnecessary, I feel. This secondary plot could have been easily wrapped up within 6 or 7 episodes so that the story would have continued only with the romance part because all we saw about the thriller parts were hardly 10 mins per episode. Anyways, I am not gonna talk much about this part since it's totally essence less in the story.

CAST & ACTING:
I can't help but give the production 10 out of 10 because of this amazing cast. There are few unfamiliar faces here as well along with some moderately popular actors but all of them did a very good job at their respective roles assigned to them. Given that the characters are fairly drawn, all of them have succeeded in justifying whatever they were provided with and what could be more satisfying than that?

Seo Hyun Jin as Kang Da Jung is one of the most suitable choice as she has done similar files in "Another Miss Oh" and "Temperature of Love". Her expressions are always on point, no matter what the situation is, and I have always loved her acting. Seeing Kim Dong Wook in his post 2015 dramas has been a lil kinda feeling for me because of the way he's changed from a cute lil kid in Coffee Prince (2009) to a well grown adult now T T. He never fails to mesmerize with his cuteness and acting.

I have loved Yoon Park all along but here his character and the secondary plot provided to it are really unnecessary, so I am not gonna say much. Anyways, he looked extra handsome in this, I must admit. Nam Gyu Ri as Ahn Ga Young, a depressed actress, did justify her role. I have loved her dialogue delivery style and her character is lovable. Kim Ye Won as Park Eun Ha, Da Jung's friend and the owner of the ground floor coffee shop is straightforward and cares a lot for Da Jung. Ga Young, Eun Ha and Da Jung's trio friendship chemistry is worth falling for. The other trio was of Young Do and his 2 best friends, Seo Ha Neul (1st floor Vet), Chunk Seung Won (variety show PD). These guys were so cute together and loved the way they have been maintaining this long-term friendship.

Another character is Moon Mi Ran, Da Jung's mother played by one of my fav ahjumma Oh Hyun Kyung, which I loved so much. Whatever she went through in the past and how she overcame that plus raised her 2 kids and also how she's living her life in the drama, everything is very well portrayed.

Among others, Park Chul Do (Eun Ha's twin brother), Kang Tae Jung (Da Jung's younger brother), Oh Mi Kyung (Young Do's assistant), Park Ho (the asst. Detective), Heo Yu Kyung (Da Jung's colleague), Min Ah Ri (cafe part-timer), Ko Jin Bok (chief Detective), Patrick (Kpop idol and Ga Young's boyfriend) and Han Jin Ho (Ga Young's trainer) are some notable characters. Even with small screentimes, these characters bloomed very well in their own ways.

DIRECTION & SCREENWRITING:
Direction is very good as well. Given the story is extensively relevant to the past events of the 3 main characters, the production had a lot to do on their plate and I feel that's been well executed. The sound editing of first 5 or 6 episodes kind of gave off the feelings of this drama being a thriller genre. It was dark and intense enough to make the audience anxious about what might happen next.

The writer with less experience has done a good job in drawing the plotline of the entire drama which is possible when you are aware of numerous shades of relationships and the most important thing in the process of love. The intensive romance by the means of healing the other's heart is the best kind of romance which has been very beautifully written in the story. Also, it's quite rare for Kdramas to draw subtle yet meaningful storylines for the side or supporting characters but if you see, this drama delivers them very well. Not just one or two, all the slide storylines were cute and made me feel good.

The only DRAWBACK of this drama is the secondary thriller plot. I think to make the story extra interesting as well as to fill the quota of 16 episode drama trend, the writer added the character of Yoon Park as well as it's storyline. There's no definite second lead syndrome here anyways so that way, they should have limited the thriller part to first few episodes and tried to wrap that up asap. But they dragged it till the end which could have been i interesting if it were related to the lead couples to a great extent. It rather was a whole different story with the 2 lead having nothing to do with. Yoon Park was seen with the 2 leads separately only in few scenes and also the mystery part is given hardly 10 mins in each episode following the 4th. So in my opinion, this secondary plot could have been easily avoided even so the drama had to end with 14 episodes. May be the writer wanted to make it lile "When The Camellia Blooms" but it became a waste.

OSTs:
There are plenty of OSTs along with more than one versions of few tracks. "In Ruin" by Raiden is an slow yet intense track. "Because its You" by SURL is a beautiful softcore healing track that's been well used in the drama. "Still Wonder" by Ha Hyun Sang is a jolly song that makes your heart flutter.
"A Butterfly Flew Away" is a feel good song with beautiful lyrics sung by Kim Min Seok and gives off the oldschool Kdrama OST vibes. Another OST of the same vibes is "Dear My Spring" which is both healing and sad at the same time. Our dear Onew has sung this.

"Falling Flowers" by Yang Da Il is a heart-wrenching sad track that was used while showing the childhood stories of the 3 leads which made me cry every time I listened to it. In fact, the drama starts with this song. "Cliché" by Kwon Soon Kwan and "Me So Bad" by YOARI are 2 happy-go-lucky tracks. Notably, "Falling Flower" has a Da Jung Version sung by uri yepoo noona Seo Hyun Jin.

The instrumentals of the above mentioned OSTs plus the background scores are all well utilized. First few episodes were a bit confusing because they used thriller sound devices which later shifted to warm romance vibes.

DESCRIPTION:
Well, you might think I am overreacting by saying the same thing again and again but this drama is actually very good. It's totally my type of healing romance Kdrama, something that I always wait for. The way Da Jung and Young Do went from becoming strangers to acquaintance neighbours to friends to finally lovers is such a beautiful course events to witness throughout the journey. Their way of accompanying each other, extending hands to each other, listening to each other, trying their best to understand each other, tending to each other's wounds as well as healing every lil corner of each other's heart, are very warm and a wholesome feeling. They gave their 100% in building trust between them by means of hit & trial method. They did crazy things together in a snow evening. They believed each other during the times of odd. All these things are parts of a warm and healing love story which seemingly disinterests a huge no of audience but that's their fault of having no taste, ngl.

The relationship of a mother and daughter between Mi Ran and Da Jung are notable. They didn't only look like friends by looks, they actually lived their lives as friends. Da Jung relied a lot on her mother as a kid even when they were poor and had to go through domestic abuse. Now that she's a grown lady, her mother has become a companion in her life, giving shoulder to all her pains and celebrating on her even days. In fact, Kang Tae Jung is also close with her mother and sister and them as family grew stronger given they had a shared past of darkness which they have overcome and been living together.

Friendship is another device that's nicely utilized in the drama. Starting from the all guys trio of Young Do, Ha Neul and Seung Won that showed the essence of long term friendship, then Da Jung, Eun Ha and Ga Young, the all girl trio that showed how people befriend strangers at different stages and various situations.

Brother-sister relationship, idol/actor dating life, after effects of long-term dating and breakup, professional life in Police Station, Hotels and Hospitals, bonding between employee and employer, etc are some other notable relationships portrayed in the drama. And, as I have already mentioned, the arcs of all the side characters are very well done. That's what also wins points for this drama.

The thriller plot ended right before the finale so it was kinda relieved and I love the ending as well, just like a warm pure romance drama should end. I was actually afraid things between Da Jung, Young Do and Da Jung's mother will turn somewhat typical family drama in the last 2 episode but thankfully it didn't happen. The level to which my heart has been healed by this drama, by crying, laughing and smiling wide is unexplainable. I am very happy about that.

Last thing I would like to add is how some people are complaining that there is no chemistry between the leads at all. Let me tell you that, the kind of romance and chemistry we see in pure romance are all almost the same whereas this drama seem to have tried a different approach. In real, every other relationship is different, in fact the definition of love, dating and romance are different for different couples. Nobody needs to kiss, hug and be clingy all the times or even to keep saying cheesy stuffs to express love and prove chemistry. Morever, friendship between a couple should be the most important factor in a relationship so even if they act more like friends than couples, it's totally fine. Let's go beyond norms. Let's not set boundary for a beautiful thing like by forcing our own definition on others. Let's be open-minded and let people live their lives however they wish to.

CONCLUSION:
Overally this drama is a very nice. I already said I am not gonna judge or even think about the thriller secondary storyline but it anyways a part of the story that'll forever remain a demerit for the drama. Iwould have given 9.0/10 if it weren't for that particular thing but since it's already there I am going with 8.5/10.

I feel a lot of people, like literally a huge no of people are missing out by not watching this. I wonder why this ain't popular but again, thw answer is clear that it's not everyone's cup of tea. However, I wish more and more people start recognizing and appreciating such genre of warm pure romance, even so it's a gradual process.

I am definitely coming back to this drama again, whenever I feel like and I am the setting the rewatch value at 8/10. This drama truly is healing and warm. GO WATCH THIS PLEASE.

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Completed
Hospital Playlist Season 2
82 people found this review helpful
Sep 16, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

And just like that, you stole my heart away.

This is the first ongoing Kdrama in 7 years that I watched in real time. I think words will fall short if I try writing a review for this drama, regardless of it's seasons. I didn't watch the season1 ongoing bcs I never do that for any drama as I'm very impatient aand anxious to wait and think about what's the next. But sure, I was intrigued by the response it was getting during the s1 and even so I took 3 months to start it.

Anyways, I decided to watch the season 2 ongoing without a 2nd thought before a month and the reasons are obvious. Morever, slice of life Kdramas without solid plots can be watched ongoing easily. I am very glad for my decison and grateful for each and every moment.

Again, this ain't a review because this dramaa is excellent in all the aspects and don't need evaluations to be judged. The writer Lee Woo Jung jakka-nim and director Shin Won Ho PDnim are my most favourites, both individually and as a PD-Jakka pair, I can blindly trust on whatever they do.

Script, story progression, twists, character development, revelations, realizations, and all other realistic elements of life are very well placed and utilized in the drama and directon work is like adding feather to a cap.

I will be pointing out the highlights of this season and I think I might spill spoilers for those who have not watched it but let me mention them anyways because you know it's a slice of life story plus apparently the concluding season. So here I go:

# The season 2 started exactly where it had ended in the season 1.

# The story continues to be aas simple as the 1st season with no solid plot development rather showing the day to day life of YULJE.

# The most important thing of Hospital Playlist is the ordinary days of the extraordinary group of 5 friends who continued to inspire, motivate and teach us various different things even in this season.

# The definite character development of Suk Hyung, becoming open and clear from being shy and introverted person.

# Ik Jun is still that lame person who loves throwing PJs despite the seriousness of the situation and I think I can relate haha.

# After few months, SongHwa returns to Yulje but also gets busier with the management of VIP ward meant for "Daddy Long Legs Funds", surgeries, lectures and helping her fellows with their thesis.

#Jun Wan is still that serious yet silly guy who gets annoyed at anything. He had to go through misery but he managed to pull off his life better.

# Jung Won, still a kid by heart, continues to learn every other day from experience and despite his indecisiveness, can stay calm.

# Jun Wan and Song Hwa are still those maad foodie pairs who eat more than half of the food and even fight w/ each other for it.

# Ik Jun and Jun Wan still get into fight out of nowhere at their 40s over silly things, pulling hairs and punching each other.

#Jung Won continues to intrigue the kids for his love for them and somehow makes them to fall for him.

# The surgery scenes are not detailed for a fact but the OT scenes with variety of shades given the situations and severity were wonderful.

# Uri best boy Uju has visibly grown up by looks and by brain. He is in fact more quick-witted now and interacts like an adult with others.

# The kumo-chukha bonding between Uju Iksun and Uju is another adorable thing to witness.

# Just like previous season, Hospital and Playlist also focuses on the life of interns, residents, staff nurses and other staffs of the institutions.

# Uri twin interns Hong Do and Yun Bok continue to win our hearts by their cuteness. Yun Bok is loved by everone.

# Hong Do is still troubled by Jun Wan who asks him critical questions every other day and bothers him even after he changes dept.

# The Winter Garden Couple tries their very best to keep their relationship a secret from the hospital except for their dearest ones.

# Just like last time, we get to see different shades of gynecology dept, few of birth givings, life of their nurses, interns and residents.

# The Band continues to come up with very good songs and acing those with their skills. Song Hwa had a contract to sing once in 2 years. I always looked forward to discover a new track evey week.

# The bonding between 2 mothers whose babies were both on VAD waiting for a heart donation was very well shown. They were the marathoners who at some point were able to reach the goal.

# Min Ah was finally able to change Suk Hyung's heart through her determination and that was the best thing about this season.

# The life of caregiver nurses of the pediatrics was beautifully portrayed and that indeed was heart-touching.

# Undoubtedly, this season also showed us the bittersweet relationship between doctors and their patients. The way the doctors and handle the patients plus their curiosity and anxiety is very realistic along with the patient's way of respecting the doctors.

# Winter Garden Couple: The foregoing romance between Jungwon and Gyeo-ul that matures with time and they learn how to open up to each other. It felt good seeeing how their bonding was becoming closer.

# Kom-Kom Couple: The development and progress in the relationship status between Min Ah and Suk Hyung that journeys from Professor-Resident to couples and this is the best thing about the this season and in fact it took the entire season to happen.

# Ik-Song: Our most favourite, IkSong who are best known for their slow-burn romance finally ended up together which was sudden bit definitely happened at the most appropriate pace. Both of them needed their time and that's completely understandable.

# Bidulgi (Dove): Jun Wan and Ik Sun had the most difficult time. The couple went through a very rough patch and had to put an end to the LDR but after years crossed paths and realized their undying feelings for for each other.

# Silver Dragon: Suk Min and Sun Bin, uri lovey-dovey residents were away for a while and had some problems in the relationship but thankfully sorted them out and continued to make us feel cute

# The friendship between Rosa and Jong Su continued to bloom even in this season and in fact they became closer buddies who hung out and had meals almost everyday.

#The bromance between Jun Wan and Do Jae Hak, Cardio- thoracic chief resident, is another best thing. The way Jae Hak adored and respected Jun Wan even when Jun Wan was his professor and also the reason behind it was so very mesmerizing.

( Idk what else but I know for a reason that I got many more things left to talk about so I shall edit this review whenever I recall something important to add)

THE OSTs.
A majority of 90% tracks, like the last season, are the covers of old songs from 1970-2000 or after that and in fact 80% were also sung by Mido and Falasol, our fav band in their band practice.

My most favourite track of this season was is "SUPERSTAR" sung by Mido & Falasol. This is very inspiring and such a mood booster I swear. I both cry and then jump outta joy listening to it.

"Rain & You" sung by Lee Mu Jin, "In front of the post office in Autumn" sung by uri Suk Hyung (Kim Dae Myung), "Is it Still Beautiful" by Seventeen, "To You" by uri Ahn Jung Won (Yoo Yeon Suk) were some slow heart touching tracks.

Similarly, "Reminisce" by uri Kim Jun Wan (Jung Kyung Ho) and "Let's Forget it" by the band sad and heartbreaking tracks. "I Like You" by Jo Yong Pil and "I Like You" by Jo Jung Suk are both jolly ones. "Already One Year" is also a favourite.

I am glad they released 5 drama version band songs for this season

I really didn't knew whether to be happy about the 2h40m finale or be sad about the end of this season but to my unfortunate, they announced the end of the entire series that made me upset. I have always trusted ShinLee pair, their work and their decisions but this came as a shocking news and I don't think I am gonna accept it any soon.

All I can do is cry my heart out. I am grateful to the entire team, the cast, the crew aand each and every single person involved with Hospital Playlist for this amazing seasons and the fabulous season that brought out all kinda emotions out of me; made me smile, laugh crazy , cry mad, be heartbroken, etc etc.

I think it's unfair that we don't get to have another season when it's them who said it themselves but I am thankful for the almost 2hours episodes that we were gifted with in this season. Hospital Playlist is definitely my most favourite after REPLY 1988 and Imma flex about it for the rest of my life.

THANK YOU UNIVERSE FOR HOSPITAL PLAYLIST

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Completed
Law School
49 people found this review helpful
Jun 10, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10

THE BEST LEGAL COURTROOM DRAMA EVER!

Are you a fan of the American legal thriller TV series HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER? Then, LAW SCHOOL is definitely for you. Not a remake, but the premise of the drama and the primary set-up is inspired by the said English series.

Law School had been one of the most anticipated drama of the year 2021, that too a rare legal courtroom thriller drama. And everyone can see how it has paid off to everyone's expectations. Kim Myung Min, Kim Bum and Ryu Hye Young are indeed the reason all of us were damn sure about the quality drama it'll be. What a powerful cast to begin with!

The very first scene of the very first episode of this drama; that one single scene where the writer and the director decided to show the faces of the cast for every major character and proved what the class and standard of their drama will be. That was so lovely of a scene to witness and made me feel woah. The production actually succeeded in dragging us into the drama.

Law School has a straicase plot development which means, it's neither steady storyline or a combination of connecting plots; rather a series of related events where everything is revealed in a step by step manner leading to the main climax in the end. I loved the way every character in it catched up to a new event that they were completely unaware of, resonated it on the individual level utilizing law that they study, gave it a trail for good and finally let it go.

Law School has the typical urban thriller editing but they keep the intense mood up all the time by running the screenplay at the apt speed, hence making it interesting and not boring.

To be honest, the first 2 episodes felt a bit dull and confusing. They keep going forward and backward in time, multiple times which didn't allow me to catch up to what exactly was happening. But it caught momentum from the 3rd episode and got better since then. And from the 6th episode, it actually became very interesting and I enjoyed watching.

Character development is a thing that's been shown for only limited characters among a huge number of cast but that's fruitful given how they changed from facile and one dimensional beings to stronger individuals with the drama's progression. Notably, the screentime distribution is even for all the characters, the lead trio being the ones to get slightly more duration; one of the handful dramas where both male and female characters are equally emphasised and well balanced. A major credit to the writer for that.

Kim Myung Min being the arrogant and most lawful man (in the entire world), might make your blood boil to the point that you might wanna smash him down but before you realize, he shall capture your heart with his badguy charisma (I've actually fallen for him :P). DO NOT expect to see much romance between Kim Bum and Hye Young because the drama ain't about that though Kim Bum sometimes love to flirt with Hye Young as he kind of admires her a lot. On the other side, Hye Young who is unaware of her fluttering heart for Kim Bum, is always annoyed by Kim Bum and herself is so annoying, haha. Her character development is notable for she grows to being a righteous law person from a girl, not good at studies.

Let's talk about the legal aspects. I have always felt that not many people watch pure legal dramas unless it has a major part of romance and melodrama but if we are talking about a courtroom drama or movie, it has to be like Law School. Some people might wanna give up because they keep blabbering about the criminal codes, constitutional laws, articles and sections at a rate that you have to pause many times to understand and channelise the things but trust me, that's what happenes in a real courtroom. They have included and discussed a lot of clauses but they also made sure to make us understand them with examples and elaborations even during the trials. They've also wisely introduced the shortcomings in the existing law & order, thus implying a need of change in them. This work is hence highly commendable.

It's done pretty well even if you judge it as a thriller. They kept increasing our urge & curiosity to know who the actual culprit is. Unlike many thrillers, you might hesitate to predict and make theories about this drama because everything is simultaneous and transparent and which is why I thought the revelation of the culprit will come as a huge shock, but not gonna lie, it was disappointing. It turned out to be an already very bad guy so I wasn't like woah. But I doesn't matter because it's primarily a courtroom drama and evem after the revelation, it didn't become boring or anything rather more cases were added on the same episide as compensation which never felt like getting dragged at all.

The background sound editing and screenplay is nice. The direction is amazing as well that kept people going, especially for viewers like me who are into binging. But I think this drama is a huge disadvantage for those who watch ongoing. It's not frustrating as there's nothing to predict or think about and honestly you won't have to wait for a week eagerly to watch the next episode.

Law School is indeed one of the best thrillers of 2021 and overally among all the thrillers too and let me call it the BEST LEGAL COURTROOM KDRAMA EVER PRODUCED.

P. S. I sometimes got the DEAD POETS SOCIETY vibes because of the way Prof. Yang gathered his students and they even had a hideout in the copy room. HAHAHA

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Completed
Lost
113 people found this review helpful
Oct 24, 2021
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 5
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

And every single breath we drew was Hallelujah

You know what's the most difficult thing to deal with in the world? It's your soul. Yes, the struggle with your ownself is the most arduous task one must go through at least once in their lifetime. LOST, the Kdrama is the portrayal of the very same aspect that uses immense storytelling method to narrate stories of lost lives, striving to find themselves and see themselves becoming something in some way.

Note: I am sure this drama just like it's title, LOST, has made the audience lost for words to describe or write about properly. Even after I'm done writing, I will look forward to reviews which will have more and better described perspective than me. I love analytical readings after all, haha.

Trust me, the drama is not what it's synopsis says. You might assume that it's a love story between 2 lost beings but more than its simply written plot, it's all about the viewers' mood and frame of mind. What "Lost" demands from its audience are patience and an open mind to embrace anything that is thrown at them. The amount of angst it contains, is good enough for to take a toll on your mind too, so be careful. The drama might look slow but that's the method of storytelling throughout, so if you don't like it, may be it's not your cup of tea. The unique element of this is the immense use of inner monologue narration of the 2 main characters, in the form of writing notes to their respective fathers.

LOST is the story of ordinary individuals who have dreamt to achieve extraordinary things in life and done their very best. But, at the crucial points of their lives, they find themselves lost in an unfamiliar direction and their longing hopes are nowhere to be seen. They're not sure what's happening with them, nor do they have any plans ahead; they're simply breathing their lives until death embraces them. So the basic plot is about a man & a woman seeking immediate meaning to their individual lives while they encounter each other often due to situations and become friends. They help each other comfort and grow as persons and in their subconscious they end up falling for each other at the end which somehow makes everything complicated.

Lee Bu Jung (Jeon Do Yeon) is an ex-team leader at a publishing forum as well as a ghost writer who had once dreamt of publishing a book with her own name on it, as the author. At the age of 40, she, an unemployed is simply making money even when her mental health is completely ruined because of her personal and professional lives. Lee Gang Jae (Ryu Jun Yul), is a prominent & famous face in the line of stand-in service world with his own individual business. At the age of 27 and a almost withering youth, he often finds himself living in a fake world full of fantasy where he's left behind when his clients go back to reality once the task is over.

The story also invoves people around both of these lead characters,their relationship issues, carrer problems and individual struggle to sustain in this harsh and cruel society. I would refeain from describing them to avoid mentioning any spoiler because there's no solid plot as mentioned earlier; It's greatly a slice of life story and everything that happens with the characters, count as minor or major details of the script that should be rather witnessed than simply read, in order to understand.

LOST is truly a depiction of mystery of life and it's operation. The world has undergone a devastating change over years and with our changing lives, we all have become lone men army, lost in our perceptions of life and continuously constructing barriers to assure self sustainability. On our journey to achieve big, we somehow lose the meaning of our existence and end up questioning the worth of living. This leads to the deterioration of our mental health subsequently resulting in depression, loneliness, anxiety as well as panic attacks and sometimes to jealousy, insecurities, possessiveness and ultimately to something as toxic as sadism. LOST is about all these elements of life that either make us miserable or help us learn and grow. LOST is about losing everything you own just to find it little by little, each day. Don't you think that this, in some way, is a pleasurable experience? But I wish the drama were that simple TT.

"아버지, 나는 아무것도 되지 않았습니다." Trans: "Dad, I didn't become anything." is the utmost distress signal or a cry for help by Bu Jung to his 70yo father who is at declining health and the onset of expiration. The feeling of emptiness has taken a toll on her, even when she's surrounded with people, making her a sadist woman who seeks joy when her enemy trembles with insecurities. She has become suicidal because of the unwavering life motos and lack of motives, however, she doesn't have the courage to end everything either. She just wants to run away from everything, knowing that her life has turned into nothingness after the severe downfall she had to go through a year ago.

"사랑하는 아버지, 내 삶의 본질을 잃어버린 것 같합니다" Trans: "Dear loving father, I think I have lost the essence of my life" is the grievance of Gang Jae to his late father whom he lost to a long-term illness when he was in highschool. He could never find any profession suitable for him nor had he any passion he loved, and to earn living he relied on being a companion to others and quickly rose up to be a familiar face in the Stand-in service business. Even with few close people around him, he always felt he's living in a world of illusions where he is left behind alone as soon as his assigned task is over.

One might think the drama is about the romantic development between the ML & FL leading to a relationship but there's strictly the least amount of romance portrayed in the drama. It's neither a chemistry development or a bond strengthening, rather the buildup of peaceful and comforting "soulmate" who help you heal your deepest wounds and nurtures you into a better being. Most part of the story progresses a lot on individual level of the leads showing their lives separately. On that note, the development between them is also a depiction of mutual liking of people stuck in complicated situations, which makes it difficult for their unison. Even for Jung soo and Gyeong Eun's development, it felt so pure. Even though the situation involving 4 of them got complicated by it, they were held back because they felt so disconnected and lost. So how could it not be moving when they were finally able to connect both physically and emotionally with someone? One thing that was common between them was both had that one person, they considered their confidante; for Bu Jung it was his old father and for Gang Jae it was Sun Joo (Just/Taegi).

However, when both of them come into a single frame, the wind changes into something else; something that could be felt well but very intricate to describe with words; something so pure that it can't be named as a particular relationship; that's how I felt all along the drama. On that note, the vibe of the drama is very heavy though heartfelt shades & emotions it depicts are all greatly realistic and awfully relatable, more or less for every single one of us. Bu Jung's relationship with her father was the most beautiful one after the lead's storyline.

The drama showcases various psychological (not psychiatric) mental health issues which are very common among human beings, making it even more congeneric, so it strikes deeper than anything else; make sure you watch it with a major TW and take it easy & slow, in case you're sensitive.

The story is filled with ironies. It is hugely character-driven having characters with flaws, their method of interplay, their real arcs as individuals and how they perceive each other. The writer has very beautifully drawn every character of her story, and those characters have served their roles unerringly, making them lively & relatable. The flaws of the characters are what make them real in any story and this drama implies that no one is good or evil, or even entirely innocent, and no deed is moral & immoral; as long as it's dependent on perceptions, it varies to a great extent. The dialogues are so well written here, both for conversations and for the monologue notes, one might get lost in emotions and tremble with melancholy. They are very thought-provoking, sometimes inspirational & uplifting and some other times emotionally challenging for your mind. Simply, the emotionally moving and very human experiences that the drama visualizes will make you witness, understand and empathize/sympathize the hidden shades of human life and make it easier for you to embrace every forthcoming possibility. What I also loved is the way of reminiscing own's past and relating it with your present; no matter that brings you joy or sadness. The story is accompanied with light comedy here and there in a scattered manner, nevertheless, it's mostly a heavy setup.

I am not a believer, a hardcore atheist but from the pov of quality music, I have known and loved the song "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley (originally by Leonard Choen) but the drama using the old track as a prop to narrate the story, has again changed my perspective of the song as well as life. It's been used a multiple times in the drama which suitably blended into the scenarios portraying different emotions like sorrow, grievance, downfall, isolation, etc.

I wonder the reason the writer Kim Ji Hye was in hiatus for 7 years. Is it because she was busy creating this piece of gem that will stand out for it's way of unique storytelling techniques and awe the world with very-human approaches it has made in order to portray the essence of life? Haha, I'm certain that's not the case but the drama is on some other dimensional level to make you assume so. She herself told it's an ordinary tale, which in actual is true, but what makes it extraordinary is the seemingly ordinary characters on their journey to achieve the longing significance, that they have been seeking for time immemorial. This ain't a predictable trope, rather every single thing that happens, welcomes every possible result which is difficult to guess or make certain of, truly.

The directors have done a job as good as the scriptwriting, I must say. The screenplay techniques used to connect the characters & their stories are very intriguing. The frames jumping from one character to the other at the time of inner monologue narrations of the 2 leads, shows how common the story we have, are yet how different it is for each of us. The way they have tried interpreting simple dialogues with the use of aesthetically pleasing cinematography work and by the use of dark and shady colour palettes, deserves applauses.

In regards of OST too, the composer has been able to do a fabulous job. I mean for a drama with such unique emotions and moods, it'd have been a difficult task to create and produce suitable tracks to fit into the scenarios but how beautiful the songs are! In fact the background tracks and their appropriate editing with subtle classic instrumental gives off the shady vibes and might make it seem slow but trust me, it enhances the quality of storytelling in a different perspective. The loan English song "Hallelujah" is the base of the drama. Other than that, the song that tells the essence of one's tale is "My Story sung by Ha Dong Qn which has the touch of melancholic beauty. "From Me" is the track meant for uplifting the fallen spirits decorated by the beautiful vocal of Sonidia. The high notes of Kim Yuna in "Under the blossom shadow" are highly pleasing and touching. "My Home" by Hajin is a very comforting track.

The other important aspects of life involving both the leads and other supporting characters, portrayed in the drama are: Worrying parents, understanding child, parent-children bonding, fighting long term illness, taking care of bedridden patients, dicorce & separation, untimely demise of life-partner, widowhood, dating relationships, breakups, late age single life, one sided liking, deep friendships, workplace problems, career failure, celebrity life, rich family issues, dirty secrets of entertainment industry, domestic abuse, extra-marital affairs, married life hardships, consequences of ill relationships, miscarriage, stress disorders, loyalty, admiration, respect, caring for family, live-in relationships, second marriages, dreams & hopes, indecisiveness, confusion, swaying of heart, change in feelings, exhaustion from relationships, etc.

I would like to write a little about 2 things that I particularly want to bring to the notice of readers who might not have thought much about:

a) The way the writer has painted the arcs of Gang Jae in regards of his stand-in service profession, is very real. It's just matter of choice and open-mind nature, to realize that this exists in real. In a world where we choose to rely on strangers during odds rather than our close ones, stand-in substitute is in fact what people with money go for in case they're deprived of love & affection, or simply are lonely. Only a few percent of them require the service in events or parties to fill the venue in and show-off. Some others also use substitutes in dates too. Despite the fact that all these are fake, we can't deny it's become a trend in the changing world as more and more of us are growing fond of solitude and lonely lives.

b) Just like the mother-in-laws for most of the shows, Bu-jung's MIL was surely insecure of her daughter-in-law and complaints a lot but the portrayal of her as a person is what intrigued me. She could be nagging and screaming and telling on her a lot but at the end of all, she understands everything. She secretly cherishes her DIL and worries about her at times as well as his son's married life. She's very caring and even concerns about Bu-jung's old father and his health. The sides of a MIL shown in here is truly that ecstatic which are a rare example in the real life.

Not sure how should express my feelings about the ending. Some might think it's absurd and some might be mad because how it ended but trust me you wouldn't see a more realistic approach than this. I mean things ended just as we wanted it to but the time provided to it is very short, which again is very justified if we consider the pace events of the drama. Some things were sorted, some were not, however that's how real it felt, because a story might end, but life continues. I am just lost for words to tell anything or may be I am not knowledgeable enough to state anything about it, pardon.

Some side storylines, the supporting characters and their lives were not clarified well, in fact the 2 lead characters had the same case, which can be interpreted as an open ending, leading to possibilities, but isn't that how slice of life dramas are supposed to be? I think it's safe to assume and imagine here rather expecting for another season, so that it doesn't hurt us later, haha.

To sum up everything, LOST is the story of lost lives, seeking help and prosperity and the ride is surely full of unbearable angst. The relationship between Bu Jung and Gang Jae are beyond the definitions of chemistry or bonding, more of long-lost mates striving to find each other. It's a super slow-burn development yet immensely intense and the seemingly slow paced story that actually is an appropriate one, given the utilized storytelling method. The unspoken intimacy that elicit emotions are truly ecstatic. Also, such seasoned & familiar actors that made the characters justified, I wanna praise all of them. The subtle development of bonding that accumulates a lot and bursts oepn into blooming love at the end is indeed a journey of warmth and pleasure. This is a drama that said a lot without exactly saying anything. The best reason to watch this should be the immense opportunity of character study so grab it as soon as you can.

I'm someone who is over-sensitive and becomes overwhelmed over every little thing, but this drama is actually that intense that my heart felt heavy till the end and I couldn't really bring myself to cry till the ending episodes, when tbe basic plot finally attaining it's peak. I was just watching along with the flow and my heart was trying hard to understand and feel whatever was happening. I cried very lil in the last 2 episodes over naturally moving scenes but after finishing, it suddenly hit me hard that ahh it's over. I immediately strated crying out of despair which went on for a while, in fact I completed writing this thing as my eyes were still teary. (Adding these 2 lines now only)

This drama, again, is not for everyone to watch, and the writer has intentionally tried to test the viewer's patience here; but for someone who is open to trying out everything and watching stuffs with suitable perspective, this drama is a must watch. The genre is a common but for me, the method of storytelling is very very new, certainly a first, and I entirely felt in love with it, I should admit. My sole interest for starting this drama was Ryu Jun Yeol choosing this, and ofc, I have loved Jeon Do Yun and Park Byung Eun, but now that I've finished it, I have no words to describe how it has gone way beyond all my feelings, leaving me with no satisfying word to praise it. LOST is indeed one of a kind unique drama which must get it's worth-deserving attention and recognition, please because it's very underrated. I'm definitely coming back to this again.

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