Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021)

Profile:
Drama Special: Kingdom: Ashin of the North (킹덤: 아신전)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 1
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Jun Ji Hyun / Kim Shi Ah – Ashin
Park Byung Eun – Min Chi Rok

Review:
Perfect prequel/side story that gives a background about Ashin and how the resurrection plant and the zombies started in Joseon.

After watching Kingdom S2, I was hoping that Ashin will be the person who can help Chang and Seobi solve the plague. But turns out it all started with her story. (Dont want to spoil for those who havent watched it yet.)

The special episode took time to build the narrative as the adult Ashin only comes out almost halfway through the story (and the scene was fantastically shot). As always, my Queen Jun Ji Hyun slayed the role. Even when Ashin barely spoke any lines, you can feel the pain and anguish (and lifelessness) in her eyes and her actions.

When the zombie scene starts, I felt both horrified that “omg, that’s where it all started” and triumphant “yes, go Ashin burn those lying scumbags”. Ashin is the definition of “You dont freaking mess with my tribe.” 😡

I was slightly disappointed with Min Chi Rok. He was one of my fave sidekicks of Lee Chang and want him to stay alive. But he was terrible here. I know he did it for the sake of peace but I think Ashin will not let him live once they meet again 😭 my only complaint is Min Chi Rok didnt age in this movie. He looks the same when Ashin grew up.

That final twist at the end was shocking🤯 but it also made my eyebrows raised thinking how Ashin managed to do it alone. 🤔

I’m excited for yet dreading when Chang meets Ashin in Season 3. Chang needs to find a way to sate Ashin’s hunger for vengeance while keeping his people alive. Maybe they can find a compromise, but I think Ashin will die once she gets her revenge (and I want her to have it just dont kill all the other innocent people).

Rating: 9/10

Moonlight (2021)

Profile
Drama: Moonlight (月光变奏曲)
Country: China
Episodes: 36
Aired: May 20, 2021 – Jun 6, 2021
Aired On: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Original Network: iQiyi, iQiyi
Duration: 45 min.

Plot
A cute love story between an editor and her author.

Main Cast
Ryan Ding Yuxi – Zhou Chuan
Esther Yu Shu – Chu Li
Yang Shi Ze – Jiang Yu Cheng
Ma Yin Yin – Gu Bai Zhi

Review:
For my favorite scenes, please check out these posts:
Moonlight (2021) Eps 1-18
Moonlight eps. 19-35

My first completed CDrama for the year!! Light romcom with a few heart tugging scenes. Hands down my favorite part of this drama is the winning chemistry between Zhou Chuan and Chu Li. They were perfectly matched. Zhou Chuan may have been a fool during the first part, but I’m glad that when it counts, he gives it all. He is always sincere towards Chu Li and think of her well being. Likewise, Chu Li is always there to support Zhou Chuan at work and at home. I’m glad there were not a lot of “big” fights except for that one time, but Zhou Chuan quickly redeemed himself.

I also loved bromance between Zhou Chuan and Jiang Yu Cheng. I really admire their friendship.. they tease each other and always try to be better than the other like how guys are like. But they also have each other’s backs when needed. Zhou Chuan supported Yu Cheng during his break ups and his new novel. While Yu Cheng advises Zhou Chuan on relationships (even though he fails big time lol) and during the ghostwriting scandal, he was one of the first who thought of finding a solution to his problem.

One of the storylines that I didnt expect would touch me is the the relationship between Zhou Chuan and his father. That part when Zhou Chuan was being battered by the internet trolls, his father didn’t hesitate to support his son, even though he may not always approve of him. Ryan Ding’s acting when he realized what his father has done, and how he has kept all of his school works, and finally when he won the Huazhi award which was handed to him by his father were my favorites. I wanted to cry and hug him too.

I love books and writing so the publishing house setting and having a glimpse of how book publishing works was so interesting to me. What I didn’t like was Editor Miao who was so unprofessional!!

Also, it was very unbelievable how Chu Li is so good at her job. She was intern and was able to sign the best authors without any experience. She always had the best solutions to each problem that even the chief editors couldn’t solve. She would go against the deputy editor, the head of Circulation Dept like it was a piece of cake. In reality I know it’s so impossible to happen. She also rose from intern to deputy editor to chief editor in just 4 ( or 5?) years which is also very unlikely. And whoever styled her should have been fired. She was always in baggy clothes or casual attire in the office.

Of course, the drama is not complete without stunning cinematography and the nice soundtrack. Both Esther and Ryan sing in the soundtrack and I love their voices.

On the down side, I didn’t like eps 31-35 that much — the ghost writing scandal and especially that storyline about the obsessed school mate/celebrity. I think there could have been better plots that could have challenged Zhou Chuan’s career and his relationship with Chu Li.

I like Jang Yu Cheng as Zhou Chuan’s best friend and author, but I didn’t like his love story with Gu Bai Zhi. The first half was so boring, I didn’t really care if they get together or not. I also didn’t like the old lady’s scenes. I just fast forwarded all of her scenes because it felt like it was “forcing” Gu Bai Zhi and Jiang Yu Cheng to remember their past. Gu Bai Zhe also looked cold, I wanted to side with Yu Cheng. I started rooting for them when they were flirting and were getting back together. But as quickly as they got back, they broke up again because it turns out, it was also Yu Cheng being a jerk to Bai Zhi and not trusting her. They eventually got back together although it didn’t feel “grand”. But what I appreciated most is the two of them, acknowledging their issues and promising to work on them and their relationship.

Rating: 9/10

Crazy Romance (2019)

Movie: Crazy Romance (가장 보통의 연애)
Release Date: October 2, 2019
Runtime: 109 min.
Genre: Romantic-Comedy / Drama / Office
Production Company: Zip Cinema
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Country: South Korea

Review:
Gong Hyo Jin is the queen of romcom! 😊 I love how natural she always looks and even though she is not the conventional beauties like Song Hye Kyo or Jun Ji Hyun, she has a magnetic presence on screen. I also like Kim Rae Won when he’s doing romance or romcoms. Supposedly the literal translation of this movie is “The Most Ordinary Romance” and I think it is more appropriate than “Crazy”.

There’s nothing crazy about the movie, just 2 adults who came out of failed relationships, had misunderstandings and gradually (or grudgingly) fell in love. I like it because it felt real.

The only thing I didnt like was there were too many drunk scenes that I was also confused like them if what they were saying were sincere or it was the liquor talking. But i think from the very start they already noticed each other, and felt the same pull, that’s why even heartbroken they couldnt stay away.

Rating: 8.5/10

Moonlight eps. 19-35