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K-drama Land!

What's Wrong with Secretary Kim - A must watch classic Rom-Com (review)

June 27, 2020

Korean Dramas have been leveling up in their plots and storytelling to cater to a younger and international audience. Public broadcasting stations like SBS, MBC and KBS are garnering ratings at less than 10%. PDs and stations alike are trying everything they can to get in more numbers. Longtime Kdrama fans have to agree that 2017 was not the best year for Korean dramas. In the midst of all this is a simple rom-com from a cable tv that is gathering ratings higher than public broadcasting stations.

What's Wrong With Secretary Kim (WWWSK) is a cute romantic comedy with all the elements of the tired and tested storyline. Rich, narcissistic boss, Lee Young Joon in the process of preventing Kim Mi So, his secretary, from quitting her post ends up falling for her. Obviously, they share a past that is pretty dark. But this is mixed with so much cheesiness that transforms into some of the funniest scenes I have seen in a long time. But what sets it apart is the direction, hot chemistry between the leads, and a supporting cast that are just as interesting and funny as the leads. It doesn't follow the tiring love triangle, easy misunderstandings, and noble idiocy which I am eternally grateful for. And we have a Chabeol Mother-in-law who has been shipping the pair since forever.

For a drama to be completely successful, the writer cannot just focus on the leads no matter how sizzling hot their chemistry is. IMHO, Supporting characters are what completes the drama and they are what prevent the viewer from skipping scenes and changing channels. Before I talk about the leads, I have to talk about the supporting cast.

The Loyal BFF:
Kang Ki-young, who plays Lee Young Joon BFF, Park Yoo Sik lights up the screen every time he comes on it. He brings a charm to his character that makes him one of the most loved characters on the show. His main purpose is to always be there for Yeong Joon, so much that his sadness gets pushed aside sometimes. The writers have given Yoo Sik's character so much maturity while still making him the comic relief. I root for his happiness whether his happiness is with his ex-wife or wi
th his absent-minded secretary. 

The Dramatic Office Couple (The Cola Couple):
Bong Se-ra and Yang Cheol! What do I even say about them? The exaggerated version of Yang Cheol saving her from had me in stitches every time. The only thing missing is a Black and White setting because everything else fits perfectly to a 1930s melodrama. Their proposal scene was so epic and original that our Yeong Joon could take a tip or two from Yang Cheol.

Coming back to our leads, When I first came across the news of Park Seo Joon taking on the role of a Chaebol boss, I wasn't too thrilled mainly since I saw She was Pretty and it is my least favorite drama of Park Seo Joon. But I've been proven wrong. Park Seo Joon has taken on the role of Lee Young Joon and has made it his own. His comic timing is perfect! He was able to make Young Joon funny, adorable, narcissistic without making him look silly. 

Park Min Young is truly a legend. The way she was able to show us the change in her personality in the nine years as secretary from an amateur who has just finished college to a legendary secretary of the VP is astonishing. 
The two combined have one of the best chemistry I have seen in my recent drama watching. The story together as a couple and as professionals were endearing, funny, and sizzling. Their story progressed with the right amount of cuteness without boring us too much. The mystery was really well-paced with the right amount of suspense without dragging it too much. 
If you are looking for a rom-com to watch you should definitely give this drama a try.

Now available on Netflix! 

Midnight Runners: A new benchmark for Bromance

January 01, 2018
When you have two actors who can give new meaning to the term Bromance, do you really binge watch a rom-com for the weekend?

Released in August 2017, Midnight Runners stars Park Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul (Moon Lovers) as police cadets who witness a kidnapping on their night out. While trying to use everything they have learned in school, they face reality (Korean movie reality) of Process and paperwork involved. Frustrated they decide to secretly lead the investigation while in school. 

To be honest, I was wary of watching Midnight Runners. Korean Movies, especially related to kidnappings can either go really dark and depressing. or just leave you with more questions than answers. Midnight Runners had the right mix of humor and suspense without overdoing either. I loved watching every moment of it.  

While the story could have been a hit and miss, director Kim Joo-hwan elevated a simple suspense comedy to being much more. The pace of storytelling never lost its humor not did we forget the seriousness of the crimes. Park Seo Joon and Kim Ha Nuel had amazing comic timing, not to mention their banter throughout the movie, including the serious interrogation of one of guys from the crime ring had me laughing out loud.  

Spoilers Ahead!

Plot: Park Ki-joon (Park Seo Joon) joins the police academy without any other motivation than it's free. He is more of the brawn in the duo, though I would not really characterize him as a dumb jock. Park Seo Joon has previously been able to bring more character into a simple 'dumb-jock' role
We now come to the brain in the team, Kang Hee-yeol (Kim Ha Neul) who joins the police academy with the sole purpose of being unique. He comes across a health and neat freak and the two can't be any more different. They start off on the wrong foot, but after a piggyback ride that helps them enter the academy the two become besties. 

On a night out, they follow a girl (Seriously! They are police cadets and they follow her through the dark streets. Still can't digest this bit) to get her number and witness her getting kidnap. Though they put their best effort to run after the car, the story wouldn't really even start. After a few attempts at following protocol, they take matters into their own hands and start an investigation that leads the middle of a organ trafficking ring. 

After a night of witnessing a kidnapping, going to a ear cleaning clinic (yes, apparently that is a thing) and being chased by an entire crime gang they are forced to go back to school the next day on their seniors' order. They face the hard reality of investigations and they decide to continue the investigation themselves. Which leads to probably the best training scenes I have seen in 2017. :D

While the climax fight between our duo and the gang is amateurish at best, the ending leaves us feeling lighthearted and satisfied for staying through 1 hour of the movie. 

Midnight Runners is a must watch and hope to get a sequel of this. 
I give it a 4/5. 

10 Best Scenes of Goblin: The Lonely and Great God 도깨비

January 16, 2017

If you are an avid Goblin addict then you must be flipping tables 'cause of the cancelled episode. But I am calming myself down by telling myself that there are 3 episodes next week. That's right episode 15 and 16 will be back to back! Just another 5 days to go!

Goblin made me realize that 1 knight in shining armour is never enough ;) But enough about my fantasies and let's go down to the best scenes from Goblin.

Note: I have seen many, many previews and trailers but I have to say that Goblin trailers and preview do not do justice to the drama. While watching the promos, I was hardly motivated to watch the drama if not for Gong Yoo. Same goes for the previews. Thank the Goblins, I decided to watch this explosive series. 

It was manically difficult for me to make this list. But I finally got it down to the most meaningful scenes

10. Photo Time: If you ignore the product placement of Canon, the feels in this scene can make you smile. Taking photos usually means tragedy is going to befall them. Such is the logic of K-dramas!

9.Glory, Glory Glory Alleluah: What's more adorable than Sunny trying to fend of ghosts? The Grim Reaper's lovely smile. He is usually lost,sad or haunted, but he smiles, angel's sing!! I absolutely ADORE that smile.

8. Saving Ji Eun Tak: Since Eun Tak has been in danger N number of times, but the most impactful one was saving her from the bus accident. Here are two reasons why - 1) Gim Shin pretty much does not involve himself  in human life and death but for this particular event he went out of his way to not just save her but save more than 20 people. 2) The mystery as to why Eun Tak was not in any of the Grim Reaper's card and why Gim Shin was not able to see her in his vision. Hopefully we would get the answer to this later on.

7) Morning Dramas and Birth Secrets: If the grim reaper was not adorable enough his craze for korean dramas makes me like him even more. The moment when he finds out the birth secret of his usual Monday morning drama followed by Gim Shin realising he blurted out his secret to Eun Tak was a complete package of cuteness overload. Also, the unexpected factor of having a Grim Reaper so addicted to dramas is so refreshing :)

6) 2 Knights in Black: What is better than 1 knight in shinning armor? The slow walk, the confidence in the air, the fog... all created the perfect ambiance for saving our damsel in distress.

5) Business Cards: Grim reaper has quite a few problems of his own and the major one is that he does not have a business card. He is torn between his desire to meet Sunny and not having a name to put on his card. All he can do now is look like a sad puppy that has lost his way home :( It's good that Sunny has no issues that he does not have a business card else I don't think I could take any more of his sad looks.

4) First Meetings; Its Fate! Fate was always meant to be romantic. Gim Shin meeting the love of his life is Fate. But the fate of Grim Reaper and Sunny/Kim Sun has an ominous feel. especially when Sham Shin says "You will both pay a heavy price for it anyway.". I just hope they have a happy end in this life time atleast.

3) Creepy Ghosts: Yes, Yes, i know this is scene has creeped our everybody but you need to appreciate the scene for the brilliant way of re-introducing Park Joong Ah. I do wish we were given more hints of his existence as a ghost instead of 5 mins. But his entry was probably the best entry a villain could hope for.

2) Model Walk and Green Onions: This scene just shows that a 900 year old Goblin and a 300 year old Grim Reaper are just Boys who want to show off their looks!
I don't have words to describe this scene, expect WOW!

1) This Kiss: Apart from being pretty hot, the sadness in every part of Gim Shin is visible in that kiss. Knowing this would be his last moment with her and not wanting to part with her... Gong Yoo, you break my heart!

10 is too short a number for a drama like Goblin where you have umpteen number of scenes that make you laugh, cry or sigh! Though the drama has this flaws, the writing and acting has made this a near perfect korean drama. I just hope the last 3 episodes does not disappoint cause we drama addicts know that can happen. Fingers Crossed and praying to the Goblins!!!

What are your favorite scenes throughout the series? Share them in the comments below!

W-Two Worlds: Series Review

January 12, 2017
Remember a time when we thought all K-Dramas are the same and we could predict almost every scene. Though I admit not all of them are similar, you cannot disagree that you do have your own share of predictable dramas plots and cliché . But then W-Two Worlds came into my life and I will never be the same again. Apart from fantasizing that my favorite webtoon lead would turn out to be a real gorgeous, rich and heavenly man, I think W has sort of spoilt me for other dramas. W is fantasy drama which has its own set of rules and logic. The rules have been so tightly woven within the story-line, that you don't really question it. All credits of drama goes to the exceptional way the story was written.

Beware of Spoilers Ahead!

The story leads Oh Yeon Joo, a doctor from the real world meets and falls in love with Kang Chul (Lee Jong Suk), a lead character from the Webtoon W have played their parts to perfection. While Oh Yeon Joo is a scatter brain who has a cheerful personality, Kang Chul is ambitious, driven and focused. While Oh Yeon Joo is flustered easily, nothing can fluster Kang Chul.

The story starts off simple enough - Heroine gets dragged into the manhwa (webtoon) world and we know that her dad, the creator of the webtoon was also dragged off in the same world at the same time. She meets and save Kang Chul's life and falls head over heals in love with him and marries him. Kang Chul not only realises he is a Webtoon character but also gets over his depression over having a set path to his life is happy knowing he is going to live the rest of his life as a comic book character. All is well! And this happens in the first 7 episodes.What happens next is a heart wrenching, complicated and ridiculously thrilling episodes that ensures you are at the edge of your seats.

Apart from the mind bending chemistry of our OTP, Oh Sung-moo played to perfection by Kim Eui-sung brought about the addicting factor to the drama. He started out as Mr. Oh, the comic book novelist who shot to fame with his webtoon W. He was a weak-willed man who resorts to drinking to find solace. He would rather make a deal with the devil (in this case a faceless villain) and then promptly forgets about it. I did find it funny in a sad way that our faceless villain was tele-porting   himself just to have an identity and know he was.

Major Spoilers: The twist in the plot of having a Kang Chul 2.0 who never really recovers his Kang Chul 1.0 memories was unexpected but in a nice way. It was after all a webtoon and not an enchanted fairy tale where one kiss could make him remember everything.

But, there is always a But and I hate it when that happens. The finale of the series did not really leave me satisfied at the slightest. When I was waiting for 19 episodes for answers, I did not get them. Why could she and her father move in and out of the webtoon? What was so different about the tablet? How did he become more powerful than the writer who created him? Did the Kang Chul 2.0 really love Oh Yeon Joo? And why in God's name was the Love declaration scene so insignificant.

All in All, this was one of the best dramas of 2016 and is definitely worth a watch. I give this one a 4.5 /5 for the first 19 episodes and a 3/5 for the 20th episode and a special 6 /5 for all the kiss scenes ;)

Korean Remake of Criminal Minds courts Lee Joon Ki and Kim Ah Joong

January 11, 2017
Lee Joon Ki has had a busy 2016. First with Moon Lovers and then his special appearance in "Resident Evil". It has been confirmed that he is considering his new project which is the Korean remake of "Criminal Minds". Also considering the project is Kim Ah Joong, who was in 200 Pounds Beauty. 

If they do confirm the roles, I can't wait for this. Lee Joon Ki and Kim Ah Joong is a dream come true paring for me since I love them both. It has been long since Lee Joon Ki has taken up a modern role. His last projects were all Sageuk and I am dying to see him anything other than a Hanbok. He has previously played the role of an investigator in "Time Between Dog and Wolf" which helped him break away from his pretty boy image. 

Source: Soompi

W-Two Worlds: 5 scenes that had hidden clues in them

August 31, 2016
Over the years, Korean dramas have followed a very predictable routine and hence it is a breath of fresh air when you find a drama that does not follow the predictable format.W-Two Worlds falls into that refreshing-breath-of-air category. But most of the time I am catching my breath because I have no clue what is going to happen.

It's already 13 episodes and yet I have no clue how this would end? But something that would help me pass my time till the finale comes in is to watch each episode so I can swoon at every one of Lee Jong Suk's expression. Also I love how naughty he is. I have always seen Lee Jong Suk in a "goodie goodie" role and I absolutely adore that he has a slight adult naughty side to his character in W.

 W is one of those dramas that has so many loop holes that each one of them have a logic of their own. That is the best part of a fantasy drama. You create your own rules. But though W has a new set of logic, writer Song Jae-jung has thought out every minor detail. Here is my list of favorite minor detail having a larger meaning:

1) The Book

In episode 11, we were crying along with Oh Yeon Joo when Kang Chul couldn't remember her. And that tiny scene where she covers her face with the book had such a major plot change in ep 11. We knew that she herself would not reveal the truth to Kang Chul, so what better way that for a book to reveal the truth. Simple and so effective.

2) The Killer

In episode 3, we got to see the killer make an appearance out of nowhere. While Kang Chul was taking care of Yeon Joo, the killer appeared in his apartment and tried killing Yeon Joo. I thought nothing really of it at that time. But that scene just gave us a clue about the character of the Killer. He can defy any comic book logic and appear anywhere anytime.

3) The Killer Again

When Mr. Oh or Dad talks to Kang Chul in episode 5, we get to see the motive behind creating the killer character. It was nothing expect to make Kang Chul stronger. He had no other purpose. And what he says next explains everything about what happened before about the random appearance of the killer and after. Whenever the writer needed a twist in the story, he brought in the killer. So again an explanation and a hint that the killer can defy any comic book logic.

4) Dad's disappearance

In episode 1, we saw that Soo Bongn called up Yeon Joo because he could not find Mr. Oh. This was never revealed till episode 5. We knew something had happened to him, but it never was left unanswered.

5) Bullet Proof Yeon Joo

When Kang Chul shot at Yeon Joo, he said he knew she would survive. How? Why? Again answers were delivered to us in episode 5 when Kang Chul narrated how he tried to fight back against Mr. Oh but nothing happened to him.

So these just show how well thought out and packed each episode is. We know that every tiny detail that was mentioned had a reason and an answer to it. With just 4 episodes left, I am just trying to catch my breath after an exhilarating episode 12.

Share your thoughts about W in the comments below. What were your most favorite moment in the series.


5 Unforgetable scenes from Descendants of the Sun

August 27, 2016
Unless you have been living under a rock, you could not have missed the craze around Descendants of the Sun. An avid Kdrama viewer sees this happening almost every year. Boys Over Flowers, You Who came from the Stars were 2 of the dramas that comes to mind. This year DOTS has taken over the K-Drama wave and have sky rocketed our two stars into crazy stardom. So much that DOTS has a sequel coming out and a movie?

Though no concrete news has been said about the sequel and movie, we do know that the DOTS season 2 will premiere in 2017. But while we wait for the sequel and movie news, lets look back at the most interesting scenes in Descendants of the sun and in the process stare at Song Joong Ki.

1) The Meet
What I like about this scene is the Captain Yoo Shi Jin's clear surprise when Kang Mo Yeong totally ignored him and followed by a fake cry for help.

2) The Movie Date that never happened
So Kang Mo Yeong got stood up but I totally adored the interaction between the two before he got the call. It has a realism where two people who are attracted to each other are flirting and finding the other cute.

3) LandMine/No Landmine
So Yoo Shi Jin may be a charmer in the whole series but he is totally a player. No one can do this scene better than Song Joong Ki. He just wanted her in his arms.

4) Let my Girlfriend Go
Yoo Shi Jin rarely shows his true affections other than light flirtations. His slight glances and smiles makes your heart flutter but this solidified how much he truly loves her. While he knows the consequence of disobeying orders, he still stands firm and wants to go ahead and protect her. And also the look of determination has never looked sexier.

5) Wine Tasting Kiss
Well, this list is not complete without a kiss scene. Though the scene may lack the passion of a Song Joong Ki kiss, it does not lack in sweetness and squeal power! Incase why you are wondering that this hold higher role than their Truck kiss, it was mainly cause I found it satisfying to note that he could not resist her one bit.

It is difficult to choose only 5 from a series of amazing scene but these moments were the ones that brought our amazing skills of their acting as well as made their characters a lot more likable. Not to mention that it show an what the character's inner most feelings were at the moment which made their relationships stronger with each other.  Let me know which were your favorite 5 scenes from DOTS in the comments below.

Things I learnt from a Korean Drama - Locations

July 17, 2016
We fans of Korean dramas obsess over every single minute details in a drama that we know the catch phrases, OST and clothes. I recently made a list of medical terms I came across in non-medical dramas. And now I make a list of landmarks I have come to know only through such dramas.

1) N Seoul Tower / Namsang Tower: I first came across this beautiful structure in Boys over Flowers. But over the years, i have seen this crop up in movies and dramas including You Who Came From the Stars. This is usually the place where our OTPs make a promise of undying love and promptly break up a few episodes later.

2) Han River Bridge: Again another spot seen in numerous dramas. Usually a pretty site needs to be used more often for a kiss scene. But then again K-dramas do things differently. Usually a scene here leads to a break up or one of our leads finding out some tragic truth. Whatever the reason, the river has witnessed many of our pretty boys and girls shed tears.

3) Gyeongbokgung: This is almost always shown in Saguek drama. The palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. a few dramas such as Moon Embraces the sun, Queen In Hyun's Man, Tree with deep roots would be your guide around the palace.

For more locations in Korea, do check out this link . This site gives you a detailed look at all the fun places in South Korea you can visit.

Let us know in the comments below, what locations you came to know thanks to Korean Dramas.  

To Kiss Or Not To Kiss - K-Drama Style

July 04, 2016

I was watching episode 12 of my current crack Secret (with Ji Sung, Hwang Jung Eum) and it made me wonder about the Korean drama Kiss Concepts. I realized that kissing in kdramas is not as simple as in real life.

Cause in real life a kiss is just a kiss, right? In kdramaland every kiss has a history, a tale to tell and, unfortunately, one the following standard MOPs.

1) The accidental kiss ( ‘coz nothing is more attractive than a klutz)

 2) The should’ve -would’ve-but-couldn’t kiss (‘coz I’m too lazy to try harder)

3) The sleeping beauty kiss (aka the I-can’t-risk-getting-slapped-kiss)

4) The cardboard kiss

5) The deer-in-head-lights kiss

6) But then there is the hot kiss. Very rare! This kind of kiss is an art form in itself.

Boss and Me: Eat, Love and Eat - Chinese Drama Review

July 04, 2016
Chinese Dramas (C-Dramas) is an area where I have never really ventured before. I have seen quite a few Taiwanese dramas, but never a C-Drama. So I was mildly surprised when I came across a new genre to obsess over. My first drama Boss and Me/Shan Shan Comes to Eat was pleasant and addictive. 

It stars Zhang Han as Feng Teng a.k.a The Boss whose only family is his sister who has a rare blood type. His family has a tradition of hiring an employee who shares the same blood type so incase of any emergency, they have someone who can help them out. And guess who shares the blood type? Shan Shan is from a small town and whose main talent is eating.... eating lots and lots of food. So she is surprised to be hired by the multinational corporation but is happy just the same. She makes her move to Shanghai where her adventure begins. I have to mention, I could not take my eyes of her face. She is adorably cute and has the biggest and most innocent eyes I have ever seen. 

The pair meet when Feng Teng's sister needs a blood donar. While he is happy to repay Shan Shan with a fat Cheque, his sister has other ideas. Give her a Lunch box packed with delicious food. Though Shan Shan is first happy about the arrangement, office gossip soon has her regretting the decision of accepting lunch from the CEO. She steals away during lunch time to an empty balcony to relish her tasty food. What she doesn't know is that Feng Teng can see her though his window, but instead of being annoyed, he enjoys watching her and soon begins to have lunch with her without her knowledge. It's amusing to watch him enjoy is lunch more just by watching her eat hers. Oh and make sure you have a plate of food right next to you, cause this drama like all other k-dramas will make you hungry. 

This drama progresses with the right amount of cliches - The girl who wants to break them up and does enough to cause a rift between our love birds. But this is drama land and everyone gets a chance to turn over a new leaf and so does she. 

The nice second lead - but in this case he loves the girl who wants to break the couple up. 

The BFFs

What really won me over were our lead characters. Along with solid chemistry, they also showed us a mature relationship. I loved how their relationship is shown. First the initial awkwardness, the misunderstandings and how they both mature and accept each other for who the other person is. Feng Teng is sometimes a bit clueless, which makes me wonder how he runs a company, but he is mature and acts with a lot of sense when he is finally her boyfriend, which won me over. There is not much angst shown in the drama except when they break up midway, but I think that angst was the perfect mix without being overdone. 

While in the beginning I was not really happy with the way Shan Shan was portrayed, I was pleased when she overcome her insecurities of dating Feng Teng and becomes a confident woman towards the end. 

Boss and Me certainly had a few flaws. It may seem slightly long and certain storylines seem absolutely redundant. The side character storyline is forgettable and I found some of them to be rather annoying. But I would still recommend Boss and Me. I give this a 7/10

You can watch Boss and Me Here: