Yonder (2022)

Profile
Drama: Yonder (욘더)
Network: TVING
Episodes: 6
Release Date: October 14, 2022

Plot: In futuristic Korea, euthanasia has been passed into law and a mysterious company is offering people the ability to design their own death.

Main cast:
Shin Ha Kyun -Kim Jae Hyun
Han Ji Min – Cha Yi Hoo
Jung Jin Young – Dr. K
Lee Jung Eun – Seiren

Review:
Spoilers alert. The drama opened an interesting and controversial topic to discuss and debate on, which is about life after death. Or specifically, designing your own death.

From episode 1 i already knew the potential danger that may happen with the premise. By N By was exploiting people’s grief and manipulating them through religion (souls going to heaven after death) and science (creating data from memories) to follow their dead relatives. I think they should be arrested for inciting mass murder/suicide. But the story was left open in the end and didnt have proper closure.

I thought the dying people who chose Yonder were very selfish. Like the lead’s wife. She couldn’t bear that the husband will forget her when she dies. Instead of wanting their family and friends to move on, they are also encouraging them to join them in “heaven”. And a lot of them did with false hopes of happiness, which is very sad. Like the girl killing herself to be with her dad, and the father to be with his family.

I also feel bad for those who wanted to grieve, and were led on by By N By. I mean the it was created by the married scientists who were grieving for their dead daughter and wanted to create their own alternate universe by bringing everyone else into their metaverse. It’s psychotic and chilling. I was disappointed with the sudden change of Jaehyun from a non believer upto ep 4 to suddenly joining his wife in ep 5. But am glad he was able to “wake up” and let go and also have friends who were able to bring him back to life.

The visuals were gorgeous, like the drama was supposed to be a movie but got extended to 6 episodes.

I personally favor euthanasia like if I were dying, i would like to choose when I would die rather than wait until I cant handle the pain anymore. But i would rather that memories remain in my heart and not create a new life after death. I’d rather be left at peace than have my brothers mourn me forever. Like Jaehyun said, “The reason beautiful moments are precious is because that moment can never return”. And the memories were built from data that maybe real but are remade for illusions.

I did wish the drama was 1 episode longer to explain where Yonder is and what happens after and to everyone else. I’m assuming it is some form of metaverse so I’m surprised people were not able to find out where it is located (eg. Server or IP address), and raid the company.

Rating: 8.5/10

Love Between Fairy and Devil (CDrama) (2022)

Profile:
Drama: Love Between Fairy and Devil / Cang Lan Jue (苍兰诀)
Country: China
Episodes: 36
Aired: Aug 7, 2022 – Aug 29, 2022
Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Original Network: iQiyi
Duration: 45 min.

Plot:
A fairy from a rival tribe unknowingly sets free the devil lord from the Moon tribe imprisoned for 30,000 years and swaps bodies with him. She ends up putting a curse on him where he can feel every thing she feels emotionally and physically. Devil Lord needs to keep her close and find a way to release the curse, but what happens when they end up falling in love?

Main Cast
Dylan Wang – Dong Fang Qin Cang
Esther Yu – Orchid/Xian Lan Hua/Goddess
Zhang Ling He – Lord Changheng/Xiao Run
Xu Hai Qiao – Lord Rong Hao
Cristy Guo – Chidi Woman
Charles Lin – Shang Que
Hong Xiao – Jie Li
Wang Yue Yi – Fairy Danyin
Zhang Chen Xiao – Xunfeng

Review:
I’ve never watched a xianxia- I always thought they looked fake and I’m not really into immortals and fairies. But I saw that this drama has Didi and Esther as the main leads so I thought I should check this out! And boy, I’m so glad I did! This drama totally surpassed my expectations!! I was just looking for a light cutesy romcom drama but I ended up having so much more.

Gorgeous visuals. How much did they spend for the CGI because every scene was so beautiful! The Arbiter Hall, The Moon Palace, the Memory Loss River, the Immortals Realm, etc. Even that scene where Changheng went inside the painting with Rong Hao was so good.

Beautiful costumes. Orchid was always wearing beautiful flowy dresses and her hair accessories are so pretty. DFCQ’s costumes are also splendid, so are Lord Changheng and Ronghao’s costumes. Their wedding costumes in Lucheng were also so gorgeous. The only cringy items are their acrylic looking or gold looking hairpieces that look cheap.

Grand display of power. I loved it every time DFQC used his blue Hellfire – it didn’t look fake and you really feel that he’s the most powerful being in the realm. Even the glazed fire was so shocking. Also everytime DFQC shows up in the earlier episodes to rescue Orchid was wonderfully done. The Goddess of Xilan, when she finally showed her powers to rescue DFQC in one scene, and to stop the battle between the Immortals and Moon Tribe was awesome.

Romantic Comedy. In the first half, Orchid was cute and adorable while DFQC was the unsmiling jerk. There were several light and funny scenes, like when DFQC had to count flowers, laugh and cry while Orchid was laughing and crying. The body swap scenes where Orchid in DFQC’s body was forcibly trying to kiss DFQC in Orchid’s body to swap bodies.

“Not only will I not kill you, I also won’t allow anyone to hurt you. If anyone dares to touch you, I’ll cut their skin off and make a human lantern out of it. From now on, you’re mine. Your life belongs to me. Your breathing belongs to me. Your heartbeat belongs to me. Every drop of blood in your body belongs to me. Without my permission, don’t leave my sight.”

Eternal Love. By episode 20, Orchid and DFQC are still not together, but not because they don’t like each other, but because of their current situation. DFQC’s mission is to kill everyone in Shuyuantian to avenge the wrong treatment of Orchid and to restore the Moon Tribe like he promised his father and his tribe. Orchid is from Shuyuantian and even though she loves DFQC, she doesn’t want him to start a war and kill her hometown. The angst. Omg! I was crying whenever they had to argue about this. And that scene where DFQC put the bone crushing thing inside his body which causes him pain every midnight until he is able to release the frozen Moon Tribe and Orchid’s helplessness in the situation.

The argument scene when Orchid wants to take the 3 day punishment in DFQC’s place to show the people that she deserves to be the Moon Queen, and DFQC pretending to drink the tea and secretly vomiting it so that he feels the same pain as Orchid. I was bawling like crazy!! I’ve never watched a drama where the main leads were really fighting for each other and willing to sacrifice their lives.

When Orchid learns of her true identity and tries to pretend she doesn’t remember DFQC but makes a mistake of doing the Smile gesture that gave away the truth, and DFQC kissing her like there’s no tomorrow.

Ugh!! I still can’t move on from the final episode where **BIG SPOILERS AHEAD** DFCQ sacrificed himself. Such a significant character growths for both the main leads. Of course, I wasn’t too bothered with the sacrifice. They are immortals, so I thought they can just come back / reincarnate or whatever. DFCQ carefully planting and taking care of Orchid’s seed and Orchid taking care of DFQC’s moon spirit until he comes back (after 500 years but that’s fast considering they’ve lived for more than 30,000 years).

Noble Second Male Lead. Lord Changheng was so nice, I wouldn’t have minded Orchid being with Changheng without DFQC. Changheng also had a sad fate. He is engaged to the goddess that he has never seen, falls in love with Orchid, and hiding his feelings for her because he is engaged to the goddess, not knowing that they are the same person!! When he finally founds out the truth, Orchid has already fallen in love with DFQC. Later when Orchid is the Goddess and wants to pushthrough with their wedding even if Changheng knows she doesn’t love him. Aw poor boy can’t catch a break. And his best friend Rong Hao betrays him and everyone in Shuyuantian.

Wonderful Bromance. DFCQ and the loyal Shang Que. DFQC and the mortal Xiao Run which later became a bond with Lord Changheng. Lord Changheng and Ronghao (tragic but still a good bromance). DFQC and Xunfeng.

Rich Side Stories. There were so many other stories aside from the main leads’ story, which extended the episodes into 36. We have the love story between Shang Que and Jie Li, which I honestly do not approve of. I think Shang Que deserves a better girl than Jie Li, although I also like Jie Li’s dilemma of following Haishi or protecting her friends.

The Lu Cheng episodes where the immortals all went down to the mortal realm were a huge treat. Chidi Woman and Orchid’s friendship. Chidi Woman’s crush on DFQC. I think the poem came true, that Chidi was supposed to meet DFQC that night, get married and was killed by DFQC. She wasn’t meant to be with Changheng like they all think. I think Chidi woman had the saddest story of all the characters (Changheng comes second).

Changheng and Danyin’s friendship. I was hoping they end up together but I guess they are really just friends. Plus Li Yuan’s big reveal about Danyin being a half Moon Tribe (which she never knows) and finding out Danyin and Jieli are sisters (they look so different from each other though – aren’t they supposed to be twins or something).

Evil Bad Guys. Show’s not complete without the villains. For the most part, the villain is Rong Hua/Lord of Haishi City who has been wreaking havoc across the realms to reincarnate his beloved mentor Chidi woman. I liked in the first half because although he is bad, you can sympathize with him and his mission of wanting to bring back his beloved at all costs. But I think what he did in the latter half was too much and the last episode spent a lot of time on him and Chidi woman was unnecessary. We want less Rong Hao, more Orchid/DFQC scenes and he just took most of the time away from the could have been a very happy ending.

I also think Lord Yunzhong is a big annoying immortal who keeps abusing his power and blaming every mistake to Changheng or Orchid.

There’s an even bigger baddie in Tai Sui which serves as the climax of the drama.

Of course, there’s no perfect drama and LBFD also suffered slightly from this. i already mentioned what I didn’t like – Shang Que and Danyin, too much screentime for Rong Hao in the last episode (we didn’t need to know his background story and we don’t really care). The last scene could have been extended for maybe 10 more minutes so we could have seen Orchid and DFQC happy and possibly with kids in the future. We didn’t get the best ending but I’ll just go back to that previous episode when they DFQC was in a dream that he and Orchid were happy and pretend like that’s the real ending.

This is showing in Netflix today so please do not miss this wonderful drama!

Rating: 9/10

20th Century Girl (2020)

Movie: 20th Century Girl (20세기 소녀)
Release Date: October 21, 2022
Runtime: 119 min.
Distributor: Netflix

Plot: A girl tries to get close to a boy that her best friend likes while the best friend is away, and the girl falls in love with the guy’s best friend.

Main Cast:

Kim Yoo Jung – Na Bora

Byun Woo Seok – Poong Woonho

Park Jung Min – Baek Hyun Jin

Roh Yoon Seo – Kim Yeon Doo

Review: This movie reminds me of classic Korean movies in the early 2000s like Ditto, The Classic, Lover’s Concerto etc about friends, youth, falling in love, and sad endings. I kinda guessed that Bora got mixed up with who Hyunjin was, since she didnt have a picture and it was hard when there were no cellphone cameras back then. Watching the movie I thought Hyunjin dodnt look THAT handsome for Yeondoo to fall in love that quick and turns out I was right!

I love the girls’ friendship, they were willing to sacrifice or let go of love for the other person. My only comment is I wished they showed a little more of what really happened to Woonho, not just one scene with the younger brother. I thought if we were still in the 2000s we will get a full heartbreaking scene where he was supposed to fly to Seoul but had a car accident and they couldn’t meet in the airport or a terminal illness he hid from Bora or any other tragic ending that will make people cry.

Rating: 8.5

May It Please The Court (2022)

Drama: May It Please The Court (변론을 시작하겠습니다)
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 12
Release Date: September 21, 2022
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: Noh Chakhee is a fantastic lawyer at Jangsan Corp, which is currently managed by Jang Gido. After a scandal, Chakhee was suspended for a year and was assigned to be public defender where she meets Jwa Shibaek. Just then, a series of murders take place and were all similarly connected to Chakhee, Shibaek and Jangsan.

Main Cast:
Jung Ryu Won – Noh Chakhee
Lee Kyu Hyung – Jwa Shibaek
Jung Jin Young – Jang Gido

Review:
Wow! Didn’t expect the story would get very dark in the end. I loved that it kept me guessing on who is the villain (there were a lot of them). I also decided on who they were near the end but not the motive!! The twist at the end were shocking, sad, brilliant, tragic.

I loved the pair of Chakhee and Shibaek. Shibaek definitely was able to bring the best of Chakhee. He is obviously a nice guy but his mysterious half smiles was getting annoying. Can we get a season 2 of them but make it a romcom?

Super love Jung Ryu Won, esp that scene when she found out who confessed and who she was defending 😱 And i love the growth of her character. Chakhee has always been nice but was stuck being a lapdog of Jangsan because of their gratitude at raising her when her grandmother died. Even though Chairman doted on her, she was still not considered “family”. When she found out the truth about her family, her illusions were shattered and she felt betrayed and vowed to bring down the family’s honor.

Chisik and Dongpil’s storyline was the perfect revenge. But i’m curious what was so special with the place where Chisik buried Eunsoo?

I also didn’t expect the granny and Shibaek/Mr Toilet’s relationship 😭 and the twist of who Shibaek really was!

Jang Gido was perfectly acted by Jung Jinyoung. I really thought he was a nice guy but like Chakhee, I finally saw through his fake tears and acting and it was disgusting. And the Chairman!! Great job casting the actor playing the chairman! 🤯

I wish there were better uses of Yiyeom, Haran and Chakhee’s dad but overall fantastic drama.

Rating: 9/10