Bad and Crazy (2022)

Profile:
Drama: Bad and Crazy (배드 앤 크레이지)
Network: tvN, iQIYI
Episodes: 12
Release Date: December 17, 2021 – January 28, 2022
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:40
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: A detective meets a mysterious figure while getting caught up in corruption and a drug case.

Main Cast:
Lee Dong Wook – Ryu Soo Yeol
Wi Ha Jun – K
Han Ji Eun – Lee Hee Gyeom
Cha Hak Yeon – Oh Gyeong Tae

Review:
I loved the first episode, it felt very bad and crazy indeed. Not just Ryu Soo Yeol, but also the bad guys. This drama was not afraid to show grit, blood and lots of violence. The entrance of K as the mysterious figure was very interesting and makes you want to know more about him.

I’d say this drama felt like 2 different dramas merged into 1, and it’s mainly because there were 2 main cases — the first one, was about Do Yu Gon (episodes 1 to 4) and the related drug case / corruption, (episodes 5-8). The second one felt totally different vibe from the first case, and focused on the psycho therapist who has a deep and painful past with Ryu Soo Yeol. I honestly liked the second half more than the first half. Mainly because I didn’t care about the drug case, and the main guy. The captain was too menacing and invincible. He looked like a old short detective, but he was faster, stronger than the younger guys, which i thought was unbelievable.

I also though the case dragged for too long and the plot kept repeating where Ryu Soo Yeol will almost catch the bad guy, but something happens, he loses his chance, he has to kneel down and swallow his pride, then finds something new and starts again.

And that makes me go back to Ryu Su Yeol as the main character. I liked how flawed he was, like an anti-hero but you can help but cheer for him (or maybe because Lee Dong Wook looked impeccably appealing in his suits and sexy tousled hair despite the blood and dirt LOL). Soo Yeol was corrupt, doesn’t have the heart to continue fighting, gets beaten down every time. And it’s all because of his tragic past that he had to conjure K to protect him.

K is the opposite. Wi Ha Jun’s eyes and smile always looked like he was a wild man /superhero when he fights for justice, but also had this childlike wonder when he meets his crush, Hee Gyeom. I loved the bromance between K and Su Yeol and was also crying when they had to finally part. That scene where they said goodbye and when Su Yeol opened the door, he saw W crying inside was heart warming.

I also liked Hee Gyeom and Su Yeol’s team, Gyeong Tae and Jae Sun. Sometimes I wanted to scold Su Yeol for teaming up with K (which is basically himself) rather than go to this team for help. But he eventually learns to work with his team and catch the bad guys.

The psycho therapist was unbelievably great at everything, and was always one step ahead of Soo Yeol. I still didn’t quite get his motive for having a grudge against Soo Yeol so I can’t really sympathize with him. Or maybe I’m not supposed to, but he is so handsome (haha).

Overall, I still felt the 12 episodes were too long, this should have been 10 episodes, but still a fun watch despite getting frustrated sometimes with the plot.

Rating: 8/10

One Ordinary Day (2021)

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Drama: One Ordinary Day (어느날)
Network: Coupang Play
Episodes: 8
Release Date: November 27, 2021

Plot: A college student wakes up and finds the girl he spent the night with is dead.

Main Cast:
Cha Seung Won – Shin Joong Han
Kim Soo Hyun – Kim Hyun Soo
Kim Hong Fa – Park Sang Beom
Kim Shin Rok – Ahn Tae Hee

Review:
I almost missed watching this drama because it wasn’t hyped by people, but I’m glad I did because this was a great drama! I loved the transformation of Hyunsoo from being a naive college student to a man forced to grow up fast in order to survive. Hyunsoo didn’t say much throughout the drama but you can feel his desperation and loneliness though his eyes and his tears (although sometimes the crying was OA).

I love Shin Joong Han. He really tried his best to defend Hyunsoo, it’s just that police and prosecution already made up their minds and it’s hard to investigate all the possible suspects alone In just a short time. Still he was able to do it. Better late than never. I wish he finds a magic solution that will cure his atopic dermatitis!

I hated the prosecutor and chief of police! I know they really thought they had the right person and I’m glad they still had a conscience and let Hyunsoo go. What I didn’t like was they made it seem like they were the one who investigated and found the killer and didn’t even apologize to Hyunsoo. One got promoted, the other got an honorary retirement. How about Hyunsoo and his family? How can they move on after this? How about Joong Han who was the only one who believed in Hyunsoo and sought justice? He is still stuck in the same 3rd rate position (although I’m sure he will continue fighting for justice).

Do Ji Tae was such a memorable character! He was so hot lol and was almost like a mentor to Hyunsoo. The ongoing fight with Dooshik was repetitive but was shocked with what happened in the end!! I almost thought that Hyunsoo might takeover from Do Ji Tae and be the new lion of northern prison.

I didn’t watch the BBC drama so I don’t know how closely they followed it and if the ending is the same. I don’t think he jumped, I think he spent the day thinking about his life and what to do now. Can he resume being a normal college student? Did Do Ji Tae’s death left a big impression on him? Will he follow Joong Han and become a lawyer defending innocent people like him? The possibilities are endless. Again he didn’t speak much so we don’t really know what he’s thinking. I’d like to believe he will come out of this a better stronger person and less naive.

I saw that BBC had two seasons. Hope there will be S2 with Kim Yoo Jung (though not sure if she is really ready to do something different than her usual sageuks)!

Rating: 9/10


The Veil (2021)

Profile
Drama: The Veil (검은 태양)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 12
Release Date: September 17 – October 23, 2021
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00

Plot
A NIS agent goes back to find out what happened one year ago to him and his colleagues.

Main Cast
Namgoong Min – Han Ji Hyuk
Kim Ji Eun – Yoo Je Yi
Park Ha Sun – Seo Soo Yeon
Jang Young Nam – Do Jin Sook
Kim Jong Tae – Kang Pil Ho
Kim Do Hyun – Ha Dong Kyun
Lee Kyung Young – Lee In Hwan
Kim Min Sang – Jung Yong Tae
Kim Byeong Ki – Bang Young Chan
Yu Oh Seong – Baek Mo Sa

Review
The drama’s plot felt so familiar. Like a mishmash of western spy action movies like Bourne identity, Die hard, Jack Reacher etc but still so uniquely Kdrama.

I waited for this the whole year and was not disappointed! Very thrilling, with action and lots of guessing of whodunit, but you almost need to watch closely because it can get confusing with so many characters.

Hands down Namgoong Min carried the show coz he was just amazing in this role as Han Ji Hyuk. I think he didn’t need to bulk up that much since there were very few shirtless scenes but he looked so good in suits and his face is fuller. 😍

I love the partnership between Han Ji Hyuk and Yoo Je Yi. At first I thought Jeyi was too bland and green for Jihyuk but she proved to be very smart and complemented well with Jihyuk.

Very early on they introduced “Baek Mosa” so I thought he must be the main villain, but then the next 6 episodes went around in circles trying to implicate the other baddies in the NIS. I guess with the amount of villainous actors they casted, they wanted to complicate things and make people guess who is the worst of them. But I like that they finally teamed up to defeat the main baddie.

I loved the slow reveal of what really happened that night in Shenyang. There were so many twists and turns to get to that point when Jihyuk finally remembers everything. The reveal who killed his colleagues was something i expected since they kept hinting at it. The face off between Jihyuk and Mosa was typical Kdramatic with the daughter pleading to his father.

Son Su Yeon was odd. She always felt out of place and they killed her off so early!! Her ugly fake looking hair didn’t help either.

Rating: 8.5/10

KAIROS (2020)

Profile
Drama: Kairos (카이로스)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 26 – December 22, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:30

Plot
Kim Seojin lost his wife and child due to a kidnapping attempt. Han Aeri loses her mom in the hospital. A chance phone call between the two makes then realize that Han Aeri is living one month in the past. They strike a deal: Han Aeri will help Kim Seojin prevent the kidnapping in her timeline while he helps Han Aeri find her missing mother in the future. Will they be able to change the future by changing the past? Or are they doomed to meet the same fate?

Main Cast
Shin Seung Rok – Kim Seojin
Lee Se Young – Han Aeri
Ahn Bo Hyun – Seo Do Kyun
Nam Gyuri – Kang Hyun Chae
Shin Goo – Chairman Yu
Kang Seung Yoon – Im Geun Wook
Lee Joo Myoung – Park Soo Jung
Hwang Jung Min – Kwak Song Ja
Cho Dong In – Lee Tae Kyu
Ko Kyu Pil – Kim Jin Ho
Lim Chul Hyung – Park Ho Young

Review
This was one of the better and tightly written Kdrama about bending time! Every episode was tense and fast paced. I didn’t know what I was expecting at the end of each episode as they try to change the past which results to a new future. How many times did Han Aeri and Kim Seojin die or get arrested? LOL! I loved the idea that no matter how much they try to change or react to the current situation, it will still repeat until they address the main issue, which is who is trying to kill them and why?

One of the toughest thing to do in a time travel or time bending kind of drama is making sure the story and the rules remain consistent all through out the show and not changing the rules in the middle or at the last part to drive the resolution or actions of the characters. I’m happy to say that the time bending rules in Kairos were mostly consistent. If there were any plotholes, (i can’t think of any), these were trivial to the overall story. I appreciated that they put a date mark every time they switch the months so we don’t get confused, esp in the last 4 episodes when every day of both time lines were crucial and we kept switching from past to present. Sometimes i would forget what has happened because the past is being changed every other episode.

Terrific acting from everyone, esp Shin Seung Rok and Lee Se Young. Shin Seung Rok was amazing as the cold Kim Seojin (in August) slowly transitioning to the nicer Kim Seojin (in Sept). While Han Aeri’s raw emotions whenever she cries after losing her mom or finding out what happens to herself and Kim Seojin in the future was so gut wrenching to watch! I don’t know which is worse — Aeri who is in the past knowing people will die in the future if she doesn’t do anything in the present, or Seojin who is in the future knowing what happens to everyone and having the burden of telling everyone who dies or lives while desperately choosing which past action they need to change to make it right.

I thought we’ll see a better future if we changed the past. Do you regret getting a peek of the future after meeting me? – Han Aeri

In the past, present and future, I never expected to live my life without any pain. However, there won’t be any hope unless I face the truth. That’s one thing I do know. -Kim Seojin

Episode 29

There was a lot of trial and error because every time they change something in the present, it triggers another bad change in the future. That’s why I love the team work between the leads, plus Aeri’s friends, her mom and Kim Jinho because everyone is crucial to their success. They were only able to communicate once a day at 10:33pm for 1 minute, and it took a lot of effort for them to both investigate and share clues from both sides, all the while convincing their other selves to listen and cooperate.

I was frustrated with Aeri’s mom at the start. She was not talking and not telling Aeri what is really happening because she wants to “protect her daughter”. Keeping information from Aeri was the worst she could do given that it’s a life or death situation. Good thing she realized that later on.

The main bad guy is the Chairman, and I already made that guess early on because (1) old chairmans are always bad in kdramaland and (2) he was too nice to be true. He was so evil to intentionally kill people just for his company to flourish and to hide his crime. His answer to everything is: KILL THEM. Kill Kwak Song Ja, Kill Kim Jin Ho, Kill Kang Hyun Chae, Kill Han Aeri, Kill Kim Seojin. LOL. How did this guy become a CEO when he wasn’t that creative? It’s so creepy that he knows where everyone is at anytime of the day.

Explosive demolition is only for abandoned buildings like this that are vacant. How could you deliberately blow up a building that was full of people? – Kim Seojin

Everyone’s bound to die. I just helped them not die in vain. That building may have collapsed that day, but Yujung rose. Compared to the number of lives lost at Taejung Town that day, countless more have been able to make ends meet thanks to Yujung. And even more have found safety in the houses we’ve built. The moment I feed those people who accuse me of being immoral is when I become their savior. That’s the way of the world. – Chairman Yu Seo Il

Episode 30, confession scene October 15

I also hated Lee Tae Kyu from episode 1, his hunching walk, his smirk, his evil laugh was so annoying. And he was getting away with all his misdeeds with no one catching him and reporting him!!! Argh!!! His only redeeming scene is when Lee Tae Kyu told Seo Do Kyun that Kang Hyun Chae is playing him and he should drop her.

Speaking of Seo Do Kyun, I both hated and pitied him. He made the wrong choices because of his obsessive love for a selfish woman. I didn’t feel bad when he died, Lee Tae Kyu and Kim Seojin both told him he will die and he should stay away from Hyun Chae but he loved her too much. I didn’t like how his death became “hero” like because he definitely did not act like one the entire show. He was sabotaging Aeri and Seojin at every turn. Honestly, i thought he will be the bad guy who will become good in the end. But somehow he became an unnecessary nuisance in the latter part of the show. It felt like he and Hyun chae has a separate story on the side that didn’t necessarily jibe with the main story (more on this later). Which i thought was unfortunate and disappointing. I didn’t like him, but I kept on hoping his ending will be to let go of Hyun Chae and start anew. Because he deserved a better woman.

What would you do if you could foresee the future, and the ending wasn’t what you wanted? Would that make a difference? Don’t you regret your decision? – Seo Do Kyun

I don’t. – Kang Hyun Chae

Episode 30

As for Kang Hyun Chae – where do I start? She was equally evil b*tch. I have to say, the whole premise of the kidnapping was very misleading, since Hyun Chae and Do Kyun’s plan was actually not related to the main story after all! I also think that Hyun Chae’s story with her father was unnecessary. Hyun Chae was so bad, I’m not sure if anyone pitied her when she was being harrassed or killed by her dad. Yes, she was beaten up by her father, but she still tried to burn their house down at 7 years old, used a guy’s love for her for more than 10 years to manipulate him, married a guy for his money and privilege, tried to kidnap her own daughter, hired someone to kill her husband, and tried to blackmail Chairman Yu (something that was way over her head). Whew! Truly rotten. I’m surprised she survived instead of Do Kyun. On one hand, I thought she deserved to die after all that she did, but on the other hand, maybe living but losing everything she has is even worse than death.

It was all because of my greed. You see I was only there in the university to drop out. As I was getting sick and tired of living with a poor guy, that’s when you came into my life. You looked like a savior who’d help me retrieve everything that I had lost. I tried so hard not to lose anything. But I lost everything that was dear to me. – Kang Hyun Chae

You have no right to pity yourself. People who are in worse, no, not everyone who’s in the same situation as you would make the same choices. You ruined yourself. Now take responsibility. – Kim Seojin

Episode 32, prison visit scene

Overall, the ending was satisfying because they were able to neatly wrap all the characters’ stories. I loved that Han Aeri and Kim Seojin’s family became one happy family. Kim Seojin has always been alone since his father died. So it’s nice to see him and his daughter have a mother like figure of Song Ja, and good friends like Aeri, Soojung and Gun Wook. Both Aeri and Seojin also learned to cherish their present and the appreciate the people around them. Still laughing at Gun wok becoming rich because Kim Seojin gave him the lottery numbers (haha). At least they won’t have to worry about money anymore. and I’m sure Kim Seojin will be generous to them.

What would you wish for if you were to make contact with the future again? – Kim Seojin

I’m done with that kind of wishful thinking. I learned that turning back time isn’t the key that solves all. I now know that changing the past has its consequences. – Han Aeri

I’ve lived my life only going forward. Doing so, had me take for granted those precious in my life. – Kim Seojin

Then we both have no need to know what the future holds. – Han Aeri

I don’t know what awaits me in the future, but I’m no longer afraid of what’s to come. – Kim Seojin

For the last few months, I spent my days only waiting for the time to tell 10:33 pm. So I wished that I can cherish every minute of the day now. – Han Aeri

Episode 32, campsite scene

Rating: 9/10 (Story is 9.5, but minus 0.5 because I didn’t like how Dokyun and Hyunchae’s story ended)