Doctor Prisoner (2019)

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Profile
Drama: Doctor Prisoner (닥터 프리즈너)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 32
Release Date: March 20 – May 15, 2019
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00

Plot
Dr. Na Yi Je gets wrongful imprisoned for faking medical diagnosis for Congressman Jung. Because of this, he got kicked out of Taekang Hospital and his mother died because she wasn’t able to have her surgery. Dr. Na vows to take revenge. To do that, he finds a way to become the medical director of the Wester Seoul Penitentiary. Will he be able to succeed or will he end up losing his own life?

Main Cast
Namgoong Min – Na Yi Je
Kim Byung Chul – Seon Min Sik
Choi Won Young – Lee Jae Joon
Kwon Nara – Han So Geum

Review

This show reminds me a lot of Innocent Defendant because the main guy was wrongly jailed for a crime he didn’t commit and the villain is a psycho. And just like Innocent Defendance, this show is one intense rollercoaster ride!

I love Dr. Na, when he was this young, caring doctor who was always smiling and laughing. I hate that he became a bitter vengeful guy who was willing to do wrong things to avenge for himself, his mother and all the other people who got hurt in the process. Namgoong Min is the perfect actor for this role, because he can portray the anti-hero quite well. His eyes are so expressive and his voice is creepy when he talks mean. I love that he is so smart and is very prepared to carry out his revenge. He seems to be able to think of the possible actions that the bad guys will take, and even when things don’t go his way, he is quick enough to get out of the sticky situation.

The first half focused on his cat-mouse game with Director Seon, who was also cunning and double faced. I thought they matched well and I was so hooked at everytime Director Seon gets away, Doctor Na fixes it, then Doctor Na kicks his ass and Director Seon works his out. Never thought that they will eventually team up to take down the bigger bad guy, Lee Jae Jun. While the ending was a nice one, where Director Seon got his dream job and Doctor Na is going to vie for the hospital director, I thought that Director Seon also did a lot of bad things that he should pay for but didn’t just because he became one of the good guys in the end.

Lee Jae Jun is one amazing villain. Scary too. It seems like he knows everything, has eyes everywhere, can manipulate anyone and any situation. To the point of being too unrealistic sometimes, though I can say the same thing for Dr. Na, who seems to always be at the right place at the right time. Sometimes I feel bad for him, his father got married, his mother killed himself, his stepfamily doesn’t care about him and is even trying to take away his inheritance. But no amount of childhood trauma can justify his psychotic mind – killing his own father, ordering people to kill other people, etc. I wish they just killed him off, but I loved that ending where he’s alive but still scheming, like you wish he can get out and have a season 2.

As for the stepfamily, the mother, Lee Jae Hwan and Lee Jae In, I didn’t really feel any empathy for them since I also think it was wrong for them to fight with Lee Jae Jun. Psycho aside, I thought he deserved to take over the hospital, not the stepfamily. The only reason I was rooting for them to win was because Doctor Na needs them to take down Lee Jae Jun. Also, I can’t understand why people are fighting over lee Jae Hwan and Lee Jae Jun when the most competent person around is actually Lee Jae Jin. Is it because she’s a woman that’s why she is not even getting the credit she deserves?

Another woman who deserved more recognition was Han So Geum. She was useful in gathering the information and she helped Doctor Na a lot. Too bad her character got less and less role in the latter half of the show once her brother was found.

This show was not afraid to kill characters and get all batshit crazy with the illnesses and kidnapping and killing etc. and that’s what makes this show fun!

Prosecutor Jung and Ms. Oh was the only reason this show wasn’t too dark. I loved how cute they are as a couple and they really brought the light heartedness.

Overall, this was a really great drama, although in terms of rewatch value, I don’t think my heart can take watching this again. (I will just watch Namgoong Min in his other dramas)

Rating: 8.5/10

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Hi Bye, Mama! – The Honest Review

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It’s been a while since my last entry. While I’m writing this entry, I would like to say to all that is affected with what’s happening across the world to stay safe and better days will be back soon.

I wasn’t able to watch “Crash Landing on You” however, I was looking forward on how TvN will continue the momentum after CLOY’s massive success. Luckily it was a show called “Hi Bye, Mama!”

(Spoilers Ahead… If you haven’t watched this wonderful drama, I suggest you watch it from start to finish, it is definitely worth watching).

The Main Plot

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Cha Yu-ri (Portrayed by Kim Tae Hee) is a ghost wandering for 5 years instead of being reincarnated. She passed away after an accident leaving her husband Jo Gang-Hwa (Portrayed by Lee Kyu Hyung) and her new born daughter Jo Seo-Woo (Portrayed by Seo Woo Jin — yes he’s a boy portraying a daughter due to his resemblance to Kim Tae Hee, Seo-Woo will later be portrayed by Park Jung Yeon).

It was shown that Cha Yu-ri never left her family for 5 years. Not only her family but we can see her visit her close friend Ko Hyun-Jung (Portrayed by Shin Dong Mi) and her parents particularly her mom Jeon Eun-Sook (Portrayed by Kim Mi Kyung).

Due to an unlikely event caused by her frustration by not being able to hold her daughter, she suddenly came back to life and only has 49 days to “take her place” if she wants to live. But later on she founds out that her daughter Jo Seo-Woo has started to see ghosts and her husband has remarried to Oh Min-Jung (Portrayed by Go Byo Gyeol).

My Thoughts About the Drama

My plan was just to watch a light drama without any complicated storylines, but to my surprise the drama has exceeded my expectations (which reminds me of watching ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’ over ‘The Legend of the Blue Sea’).

Unlike with other K-Dramas, the story was focused on different kinds of love and relationships.

“A Mother’s Love”

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This drama has shown that a mother would do everything for their children’s sake. The center focus of the entire drama. Cha Yu-ri’s love for her daughter proves that even in death, a mother go beyond and further to show their love. And that same love that made Cha Yu-ri decide “not” to take her place so that Seo-Woo will no longer have to see ghosts and to ensure her daughter’s happiness. This was also the main reason why Cha Yu-ri was resurrected as it was revealed that her mom prayed everyday and left a wish to the Gods. That wish was to see her dead daughter one more time. Probably any mother with the same situation would definitely want to have the same opportunity (which reminds me of the Korean Documentary where a Mom was able to see her dead daughter through VR)

“A Child’s Love”

Jeon Eun-Sook was one of the few people that was really affected by Cha Yu-ri’s death. We can see her crying in private every time she remembers her daughter. The scenes were we see Cha Yu-ri secretly provides medicine for her mom was really a heart-warming scene.

“Friendship Goals”

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Ko Hyun-Jung is Cha Yu-ri’s close friend (more of an elder sister), The person that is responsible for introducing Cha Yu-ri to Jo Gang-Hwa. She can be portrayed as Cha Yu-ri’s protector and her second Mom. Their bond (or sometimes misadventures) was shown on multiple occassions. She was really hurt when Cha Yu-ri passed away as she was ordered by her Mother-in-Law to not go on her funeral. That scene where she saw Cha Yu-ri for the first time after she was returned to life temporarily was really a tear jerker.

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The friendship among the ghosts has added a nice touch to the series. Their daily ramblings and reflections have shown us that even in the after life, they are still human beings that get hurt, and happy as well.

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The most notable friendship in the series is the short bond that Cha Yu-ri and Oh Min-Jung made. At first it was just a Mom/School Helper relationship which evolved to a a deeper bond. I was so worried about Oh Min-jung whether the show would portray her as the evil stepmom but that wasn’t the case. She was too nice and at the end, she stepped back to let everyone heal the way they needed to. And with Cha Yu-ri’s brief return, she finally understands that she is Seo-woo’s real mother. She earned the approval and gratitude of Cha Yu-ri.

After watching the entire series, it thought me an important lesson in life. Life is a gift that we need to enjoy every single day with the people that we love the most.

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(This scene really made me cry)

I’d be lying if writing this review is easy. This drama has made me cry on multiple occasions especially on the final episode. Hitting the right spots to say the least.

Witch’s Love (2018)

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Drama: Witch’s Love (마녀의 사랑)
Network: MBN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: July 25 – August 30, 2018
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 23:00

Plot
Three witches live in an old building and runs a popular soup-rice restaurant. They keep to themselves and try not to associate with humans. Cho Hong is young witch who is secretly in a relationship with a human. However, she lost her powers when she was betrayed by her boyfriend. She has 3 weeks to find her destined man and kiss him or else she will turn into an ugly monster. Ma Sung Tae is an arrogant director of S&P Food who had an unfortunate incident when he was a kid. One day, he finds this old building that has haunted him for 25 years and decides to buy the building and move in, much to the horror of the 3 witches.

Main Cast
Yoon So Hee – Kang Cho Hong
Hyun Woo – Ma Sung Tae
Hong Bin – Hwang Jae Wook
Kim Young Ok – Maeng Ye Soon
Go Su Hee – Jo Aeng Doo

Review
This was light and fun and i finished the drama in less than 3 days. There was a lot of kissing, some magic spells and mystery that will keep you interested.

I liked Cho Hong, I thought she was cute and sweet. Sung Tae was cute when he is being romantic but can be a total jerk too. Their love story progressed quite fast. Even though at first Cho Hong approached Sung Tae because she needs to kiss him to break the curse, she ends up falling in love for real. I thought the main issue they will face is if Sung Tae will still love her if he finds out she is a witch but surprisingly it wasn’t really an issue to him. I did find his behavior odd when he was supposed to have his memories erased and yet he acted like he didn’t and his attitude was the worst! I dont know if he was intentionally being rude to Cho Hong to keep her away while he sorts his feelings, but he couldn’t help but still love her.

There were some plot lines that wasn’t followed through, like the wash up actress who liked Sung Tae in the first two episodes, not sure what happened to her and why they even bothered to put her story in when she didn’t affect the couple. Even Jae Wook was a waste of story. He was a fun way to make Sung Tae jealous and have a love triangle as the destined man, but other than that, his character didn’t really do much. I would have liked to see some growth to his character, like resolving the ill feelings between him and his dad but that didn’t happen. We only saw that he became no. 1 in the last episode.

Also the whole point of Sung Tae moving into the building was to investigate what happened to him 25 years ago. There were a few hints here and there but we only get the full story in the last 2 episodes. While it’s wasnt a surprise to see his mother was involved, it still somehow felt like it came out of nowhere with no clues other than the mother getting angry at him. I wish we had more scenes with him and the mom so we can feel how their relationship worked. And also the dad! They never showed his dad when he was the main cause of the problem – with Sung Tae and Cho Hong’s mother. Cho Hong never even got to find out what happened.

As for the magic spells, while I wished that the witches and Cho Hong (in particular) showed more power, I guess it wasn’t the whole point of the story that’s why their power was limited in the kitchen while they’re cooking and when Cho Hong is flicking her fingers.

I liked the ending, everything all wrapped up nice and pretty. Maybe if this was 16 episodes instead of 12 there would have been more explantions on some of the scenes though I fear the scenes may become boring if kept for long.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Itaewon Class (2020)

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Drama: Itaewon Class (이태원 클라쓰)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: January 31 – March 21, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 23:00

Plot
This drama is about Park Sae Royi as a man, whose father was accidentally killed in a car accident by his biggest enemy, whose family owns Jangga, the biggest food company in Korea. He gets imprisoned and vows to avenge his father’s death by taking down Jangga. He starts a small bar called DanBam and meets his team. Will he be able to succeed in both his business and revenge or will he give up his dreams?

Main Cast
Park Seo Jun – Park Sae Royi
Kim Dami – Jo Yi Seo
Kwon Nara – Oh Soo Ah
Yoo Jae Myung – Jang Dae Hee
Ahn Bo Hyun – Jang Geun Won
Kim Dong Hee – Jang Geun Soo
Ryu Kyung Soo – Choi Seung Kwon
Lee Joo Young – Ma Hyun Yi

Review
I really waited for this drama to come out and while it did not disappoint, it didn’t wow me either. While the story is the usual revenge drama, the whole drama felt very different from others – I don’t know if it was because of the way they shot the scenes, or because the episodic stories were different. The show tackled a lot of social issues, including transgenders and foreigners in Korea. I think this is not something the regular dramas feature in their stories so kudos to this show for highlighting something new.

To be honest, there were some parts that were boring, and I was a little disappointed with PSJ’s acting. he really acts well when he has to be emotional, when dealing with Jangga, fighting with the son, crying over his dead father, but the rest of the time, he had a blank look on his face that sometimes I wonder if it’s intentional – like he is just living day to day but not really ‘living’ his life. but he didn’t feel like his usual self. Secondly, his character is too straight laced and stubborn, to the point that sometimes I want to give up on him. The ending when he got down on his knees and begged,though i’m proud of him to do that, because that means he finally learned how to be a good person just like what his father taught him; I get that he got down on his knees to show that you do that to protect your family and loved ones, and there’s nothing shameful in going down on your knees for them, but I feel like the show only did that for Saeroyi to show that he loves Yiseo, which is different thing. But i’m still okay with this ending.

Yiseo started out as the cocky bratty kid who thinks she knows everything but I’m proud of Yiseo for growing to be a beautiful woman inside and out. She used to not care about other people and hurting their feelings, was too business minded and didn’t care about relationships but she changed a lot. and I think it’s because of Saeroyi. She loved him and wholeheartedly supported him, told him her feelings and waited for him without asking anything else in return.

Sooah, on the other hand, was too confident that Saeroyi loves her after so many years, that he will just rescue her once Jangga is gone and they will leave happily ever after. She didn’t do anything to maintain /protect Saeroyi’s love. Instead, she even worked for Jangga, his mortal enemy and did some dirty work for him too that was detrimental to Saeroyi. Did she honestly think that Saeroyi is stupid and blind enough not to realize that and fall for another person who did more for him?

Between the two of them, who should Saeroyi choose? I think Saeroyi made the right decision to choose Yiseo. It’s really not how long you waited for that person, but it’s who made you a better person, who stood up for you and supported you for better or worse and who will be there in the future. For those saying it was Soo ah who took down Jangga and not Saeroyi and he should love Sooah, I want to say that Soo ah did not do that for Saeroyi, she did that to pay back his father.

As for Jangga, this is one of the main thing I’m confused about. I don’t know why Jangga is too angry at Saeroyi. I mean he’s a little kid and you’re a grown man and yet he feels so powerful at lording over a guy who is way younger than him? I would be embarrassed for him, that he is fighting with someone not even his equal. Plus, how can he say that he is so great when all he has been doing are dirty tactics to get ahead with his company. He can’t even play fair and he’s happy when he wins? I think Jangga got to arrogant that’s why he fell big time. Just like Saeroyi, I also didn’t feel triumphant when Jangga got down on his knees and begged. I thought finally, this whole thing is over.

Also wanted to say that the last 3-4 episodes of itaewon Class felt like a different drama altogether. Suddenly we have kidnapping and showdown between the two guys, ugh, was disappointed how everything turned out, except for the last episode when everything became bright and happy again.

Lastly, Jang Geun Soo is probably the lamest bad guy in kdrama history. He looks like a kid trying to act tough he can’t hold a candle to Saeroyi.

Overall, this drama had a lot of interesting life lessons that we can all reflect on, but there were also some parts that were boring and didn’t make sense. Looking forward to PSJ’s new movie and drama (and please grow out that ugly chestnut hair!!)

Rating: 8.5/10

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