Work Later Drink Now S2 (2023)

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Plot

Main cast

Review
“I don’t know if we’re better than before. We don’t know if our future is better or not but we are the best to enjoy this moment.’

The above statement summarizes the 2 seasons of this drama. There was no big resolution at the end, it’s just about going through life and enjoying it with your friends, family and partner.

At first, I thought this drama lost its magic in the first 2 episodes. It was so odd and didn’t like their time at the mountains and how Jiyeon’s cancer was miraculously cured. Was the time spent there supposed to mean something because they didn’t really grow up when they went back to the city. Maybe it was just to wrap up Jiyeon’s cancer story. Should she be drinking so much?? I’m so glad they went back to the city and the story went back to how it was in season 1. I watch this because of the 3 girls and their relationships with each other, their memories about their parents, and the guys. They didn’t drink as much as in S1 though.

I always look forward to Sohee’s story and her weird romantic vibes with Director Kang. They always show him as gross and dirty but she oddly feels attracted to him, esp when he does those little things to support her. We also get to hear Kang’s story and why he is that way. He also has a lot of trauma (Siwon in fatsuit is too cute!!) And Sohee loves helping pitiful men. I think they are a match or complements each other well. But wow to Jiyeon for taking care of Kang and his dad instead of running away.

Jiyeon is the friend that I also love. She is too noisy most of the time but she shines when you need her the most. I thought the story with the siblings were boring but end up liking them too. They should bring Seonjung to their trio. She is also crazy. I also thought pairing loud Jiyeon with a guy with hyperacusis is interesting. But wait Jiyeon and So Hojun (funny cameo!) also works!! Alas she is still single by S2 end (but with 3 men) lol. Just a note that she told the siblings that communication is best, but when she fought with Jigoo, there was also a lack of communication.

Jigoo is the most silent and boring (for me) but she is the most thoughtful. I love that she found someone who really likes her. Yoon Si Yoon fits right in with his lovely artsy vibe. And Jiyeon is right, when the time comes, Jigoo will be the first one to leave and never look back. I wish Jiyeon told this to Jigoo, so that Jigoo can reassure her that they will be friends no matter what.

I dont know if there’s a possibility of S3 because I’m going to miss the girls!! They can actually stop at S2 but the ending just begged for a new season!! Would love to see the girls evolve since they’re now in relationships. They’ll prolly continue to be crazy.

Rating: 8.5/10

Alchemy of Souls Part 2 (2023)

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Drama: Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow (환혼: 빛과 그림자)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 10
Release Date: December 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:10

Plot:
Three years after Mudeok dies, Jang Uk has been on a mission to kill all soul shifters as ordered by the King. Lady Jin has been hiding the fact that she retrieved Mudeok’s body, and revived her daughter, Jin Bu Yeon’s soul, but taking on the face of Naksu. Jin Bu Yeon, who doesn’t remember anything about her past, is arranged to be married to Seo Yul’s uncle, but she got away and met Jang Uk. Will they be able to find their way back to each other and can they fight the evil forces of Jinmu once and for all?

Main Cast

Review
I liked the chemistry between Jaewook and Youn Jung more than with Jung Somin. Maybe that’s why I liked part 2 more than part 1 (although I admit without the love story in part 1, part 2 wouldn’t work that well). Mudeok and Jang Uk to me felt like Master-Student while Buyeon-Jang Uk felt like the real thing.

I missed the original Naksu shadow assassin (GYJ looked soooo different as Jin Bu Yeon – the hair, light eyebrows etc) so sometimes I had to stop and think if this was really the same actress or not. Cho Yeong’s evolution from the young girl, the teenager that Seo Yul met, to Mudeok, Jin Buyeon and back to Yeong was amazing. I’m still a little bit confused how this all happened, though it somehow made sense, but I love that she will spend the rest of her life as Cho Yeong. She may never take up the sword again, but with her powers, she and Jang Uk can fight together for good.

I also love how much Jang Uk has grown since part 1 episode 1, esp now that he is the most powerful mage in Daeho. You dont need to be the king to be the most powerful, as long as you do your job and your passion well. I hated that Go Won was always threatened by Jang Uk when he never made any intention known that he wanted to be king.

I didn’t however, like that there were a lot of flashbacks that could have been skipped. I also didnt like that Go Won had many scenes that were unnecessary and the turtle squad, trying make their scenes funny like in part 1. Good thing the turtle actually had a purpose in the story.

Park Jin and Kim Dojoo are too funny!! I miss Danggu’s blonde hair and he didnt get a lot of cute scenes with Choyeon. Of course Master Lee is always all knowing.

I also never liked Seo Yul and Soi’s “relationship” from the very start. Soi has caused so much pain to Seo Yul and almost died because of her. and Soi dying trying to save him doesn’t justify her actions or make her a better person. Even she didn’t give him the blood parasite, none of this would have happened in the first place. Plus Seo Yul is so nice and virtuous, how can the writers pair him up with Soi, plus his one sided love with Naksu! how cruel! I was hoping he gets his own love interest at the end, but i guess, his heart is with the mages. I also was so annoyed with Yun Ok. Why is she even in this drama? She was catty for no reason, and put her nose in every place she didn’t have to be.

It’s always hard to write a great ending for fantasy dramas so was very happy that this show ended with quite well!!

Overall part 1 and part 2 could have actually fit in 20 episodes if they removed some of the draggy parts at the start, but also ok that they separated part 2 to give time for people to get used to the new actress/character and the 3 yrs later part of the story.

Rating: 8.5/10

Love Between Fairy and Devil (CDrama) (2022)

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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

Narco-Saints (2022)

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Drama: Narco-Saints / Suriname (수리남)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: September 9, 2022
Country: South Korea

Plot:
A businessman who goes to Suriname to import skate to Korea ends up helping the NIS on a mission to capture an evasive druglord.

Main Cast
Ha Jung Woo – Kang Ingu
Hwang Jung Min – Pastor Jeon Yohan
Park Hae Soo – Choi Changho
Yoo Yeon Suk – David Julio Park
Jo Woo Jin – Byun Kitae

Review
This drama feels like an extended movie. Turns out it was supposed to be a movie, but they decided to make it into a short drama. To be honest, the story is nothing new, but it was an intense 6 episodes of anticipation and thrill. There were lots of double crossing, guns, gore, and drugs. Surprisingly, no nudity except for 1 short scene. The stellar cast of Ha Jung Woo, Hwang Jung Min, Park Hae Soo, Yoo Yeon Suk and Jo Woo Jin made the story more larger than life than the usual drug movies/drama.

I love that Ingu as the ML is very smart and capable, quick thinker, calm even when lying, and plays well with the big guys, even outsmarting both drug lords and NIS. HJW made Ingu work very well, and any other actor may not have made Ingu sympathetic. I love that there’s always this doubt if he is really working with NIS or getting tempted by Yohan or if he has his own agenda. That final fight scene with the pastor was a long time coming and felt satisfied seeing him punch and strangle the pastor after ruining his life. (And HJW looked so hot holding the gun lol) Ingu has been very calm and biding his time ever since he got out of prison, so seeing Ingu finally snapped and fight — I was also thinking, that is HJW that I love!! Ingu may not be as buff as the others but he made up for it with his judo moves, smart strategies and fancy suits.

Pastor was so magnetic and powerful. And weaselly enough to not get caught over the years, but he didnt seem as smart as I expected him to be. He was easily played or maybe he trusted Ingu too much and thought they could really be partners. I loved how sick it was for Pastor to create a church, get the blind believers to follow him, feed them drugs and make them dependent on him.

Byun was bad ass and it was obvious he was going to be the secret agent. That fight with the bodyguard was fantastic. Poor David and Chen Zhen.

There’s a lot of conversations so some found the episodes boring but I loved them (or maybe I was so mesmerized with HJW every time he’s onscreen) — yes, I’m completely obsessed with HJW.

Some thoughts on the ending (spoiler alert):
I wonder what happened to the girl and the rest of the cult. I wish there was a short resolution to them. Were they also arrested? Was the girl able to go back to her family?

At first, I thought the ending would be Ingu taking over the coca farm – that would have been fun for a season 2. He is so smart, he can probably do better than Yohan, but I don’t want Ingu to fight with Changho or get arrested and die. But still, I was okay with the ending since they neatly closed the drama with Ingu finally back and reunited with his family. I laughed when Ingu told his wife, “wow you got prettier!” and the wife responded with, “why did you get uglier?” HAHAHA. Ingu learned to treasure what he has and not get too greedy. And also, don’t trust the government. Like seriously, Ingu risked his life to help NIS, but NIS didn’t pay him cash like they promised. Also, interesting thing about the baseball. Yohan really did trust him and wanted him to be his partner.

Here’s fun promotion /game from the cast in case you want to get to them more:

Rating: 8.75/10 (9 less 0.25 for the unresolved cult)