Shinhwa 20th Anniversary Concert DVD

To celebrate Shinhwa’s 23rd anniversary, I’m sharing my unboxing video of Shinhwa’s 20th anniversary concert held in Seoul back in 2018!

The Spies Who Loved Me (2020)

Profile
Drama: The Spies Who Loved Me (나를 사랑한 스파이)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 21 – December 17, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:30 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
Kang Ahreum met Jeon Jihun in Jeju and quickly felt in love and got married within 6 months. They also got divorced a year later and vowed to never see each other again. Turns out, Jihun was an Interpol agent and although he loves his wife, he decided to leave Ahreum to protect her from getting even more hurt. Years later, Jihun and Ahreum meet again as Jihun was chasing Sophie, who turns out to be Ahreum’s friend. Sophie was murdered and Jihun and Ahreum work together to solve her murder. Unfortunately, it seems like Ahreum’s current husband, Derek is one of the suspects and unknown to Ahreum is actually a double agent. Can Ahreum and Derek’s marriage survive once she finds out the truth about her husband? Does Jihun still have a chance to win back Ahreum and solve the case?

Main Cast
Eric Mun – Jeon Ji Hun
Yoo In Na – Kang Ahreum
Im Joo Hwan – Derek Hyun

Review:
I loved this underrated KDrama! This felt like an actual spy drama and had similar vibes with My Secret Terrius. But this one is different because beyond the spy and action, there were a lot of discussions on love and marriage. Actually it is like a relationship drama under the guise of a spy drama.

I loved the 3 main leads. Jihun, Ahreum and Derek had so much chemistry together as a team and separately as couples. The stark contrast of the marriage between Jihun and Ahreum vs Derek and Ahreum were both so beautiful, i actually got confused who she will end up with. I was team Jihun but i wondered how they will get back together without Derek in the way. I liked how they resolved this.

The bromance between Jihun and Derek was also great. They both loved the same woman although they had different ways to show their love. Hated Derek’s character at first but came to also like and pity him in the end. I hope he is having a good life in Malta like he wanted.

Although Jihun loved Ahreum he never crossed the line and waited until the time was right. They were too young when they got married but now they grew up, got to know each other more and found out thy actually worked well together. They looked like the korean Mr and Mrs Smith in the last episode. Really loved the acting of Eric in this drama.

Ahreum is one of the best female leads in 2020. She was smart and tough, yet feminine and compassionate. She fought Tinker and slashed his leg with a pair of scissors, she made a sweet deal with Kim Dong Ran and helped take down Helmes boss. I actually thought she would get out of the wedding dress business to be a full time agent in Jimin’s team but being informant is way better!

I loved the whole team – Chief Ban Jimin (who was super hilarious and harsh), the cute couple Yonggu and Seora, even the sad story of Tae Ryong 😦

The only thing I didn’t like about this drama is how they handled the bad guys. Poor Peter never got justice for his death. No one probably knew he was dead and no one ever found out Doobong killed him. Although Derek did clean his body and put him in a nice box, Derek also used his body to fake his death and no one figured out it was actually Peter. So really felt bad for him.

Likewise I thought Shin Hera got off quite easily, with just some crying (the mother-son relationship was so odd) and I can’t believer Derek let Tinker go. He is probably still out there, spying and maybe killing people.

Overall, I loved this drama, the final episode was satisfying. Can’t believe they were able to squeeze in one spy case in the final episode! I wish we had 1 more episode of Jihun and Ahreum together (or maybe see them walking down the aisle the second time around!)

Rating: 9/10

[throwback] Another Oh Hae Young [2016]

For the month of May, I chose Another Oh Hae Young as my throwback drama.

Oh-Hae-Young-Again-Eric-

Profile
Drama: Another Miss Oh (또 오해영)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 18
Release Date: May 2 – June 28, 2016
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 23:00

Plot The story follows two women with the same name of Oh Hae Young and a man gets entangled between the two Oh Hae Young.

Cast Eric Mun – Park Do Kyung
Seo Hyun Jin – Average Oh Hae Young
Jeon Hye Bin – Pretty Oh Hae Young

Review I really liked this drama. I didn’t even realized that I was in episode 16 until I was in episode 16 and almost at the end. At first I didn’t like the premise – that Do Kyung ruined someone’s life to get back at his ex-gf, and making a mistake and ruining another person’s life instead. How dumb is it that he and his lawyer friend didn’t even investigate if it’s the same Oh Hae Young before making the move. (Is Oh Hae Young such a unique name in Korea?). Secondly, I didn’t like the visions he was seeing – I didn’t realize the drama had some fantasy element. I actually didn’t even believe the explanations for the visions for the entire 18 episodes, I thought it was just a metaphor or hallucinations and a great drama tool to make the lead guy start living his life again.

I loved the chemistry between the two leads – Eric and Seo Hyun Jin – it was just sizzling everytime they are on screen. Eric is a good choice to star as Do Kyung, a silent brooding guy who is not very good at expressing his emotions. I am a long time fan of shinhwa and he’s normally the silent one in the group – even in his variety show 3MAD – he seems like the silent and patient type. I think in most cases he was able to deliver his character well, though sometimes he is wooden in acting and not able to fully portray the emotions. I did love that scene in the emergency room when Do Kyung finally burst and got angry at Hae Young that he tries very hard to hold back his feelings. And when they finally got together and we see the beautiful smiles and laughter from Eric. oh and that simple and heartfelt way Do Kyung said I love you to Hae Young.

As for Seo Hyun Jin – I love her!!! she’s my new favorite actress that I will look forward too! there were times she overacted a bit, but I think it’s part of Oh Hae Young’s personality – I felt like she made Oh Hae Young very relatable. at one point in a girl or a boy’s life, we have all felt inferior to someone, be it a sibling, a friend, a colleague and wished our lives were better than the current one. What I didn’t like was how awful the people were to her, just because she was not the pretty Oh Hae Young. I’m hoping it’s just an exaggeration for the drama and not how Koreans in real life bully the not so pretty ones. I like her relationship with her parents (esp the mom). Sometimes the mom is so strict and hard on her, that I can understand how frustrated Hae Young feels and I know the mom is that way because she loves and cares for Hae Young, but I wished the mom smiled a bit more, supported her more (not by hitting her or saying hurtful words but by actually empathizing with her and cheering her up).

The relationship between Do kyung and Hae Young started rocky – due to the circumstances, but I loved how it slowly blossomed from hate (or annoying each other) to being friends to lovers. I think both came into each other’s lives at the right time – Hae Young when she decided she will give it her all and Eric, who finally needed to move on. They also understood each other, their past, because both got dumped. While they seemed like they didn’t have much in common, the connection and chemistry was there. I love that they stood by each other and their feelings even when word got out in public what actually happened. I guess in real life, it’s a scandal but I think it was just fate, that they were meant to meet and be together.

The Pretty Oh Hae Young, I couldn’t quite understand her character sometimes. so she uses kindness and her smiling face to hide here insecurities and feelings. but there are times she can be quite mean-hearted and self-centered, like wishing she was Do kyung love that hurt the most. I think it’s because she was used to all the attention and getting what she wants. she must feel so tired trying to almost put up a face. I don’t think I even saw her real self in the 18 episodes. but it’s a good lesson to see – just because a person is pretty and smart doesn’t mean her life is perfect. they also have their own problems. likewise, all along Average Oh Hae Young was angry and jealous of pretty Oh Hae Young, which wasn’t really pretty Oh Hae Young’s fault though she also didn’t defend average OHY. but then turns out Pretty OHY envied Average OHY because she had people who actually cared for her (like the colleagues who may tease her nonstop but adores her) and a family who supports her. I wished that the drama had some time to finish her character’s story – not just moving on from Do Kyung or being friends with Hae Young. I wished they also tackled and had closure on her family – the phone call from her mom at the last episode wasn’t enough. and her maybe fixing her life and showing her true self to people.

Han Tae Jin – I think at the start when we were supposed to take his side – because of Do Kyung he had to go to jail. but slowly we see Han Tae Jin’s bad side. I wondered how long did Tae Jin and OHY went out and what OHY saw in him? He seemed like such a nice guy when they were together but when he got out from jail he suddenly made to seem like the bad guy and that he’s not a match to Do Kyung. I agree though, his explanation for breaking up with OHY so that she doesn’t wait for him or be a burden is bulls***. if you really love someone and each other, you don’t even have to think of that because it’s already a foregone conclusion that you will find a way to be together through thick or thin. I don’t feel bad for Han Tae Jin at all. he made the wrong decision that caused the relationship to fall and the fact that OHY was able to bounce back quickly and fall head over heels in love with Do kyung just shows maybe their love was just at that point and couldn’t go further/deeper. and right now what Han Tae Jin needs is to fix his life and his business.

Do Kyung’s mom – wow. evil. self-centered bitch. great actress btw. you know how much of a good man Do Kyung is when he lets the mom as she is. I don’t feel a single remorse over the mom, even when she confronted Chairman Jang about trying to harm Do kyung – about time she defended her own son and acted like a mother. I was hoping someone either Tae Jin or Do kyung takes down Chairman Jang – such as mofo -too bad he is still rich and arrogant.

Soo kyung and Jin Sang – a few episodes in and I already guessed that they will end up together. but how they ended up together — I didn’t really like. I was hoping they naturally fell in love – a womanizer falling in love with his noona would have been fun. but getting pregnant after a one night stand where the guy couldn’t even remember doing it, and resisting for so many episodes then suddenly deciding to get married even though he only respects her or feels nothing is just awful. too bad coz I really loved their fun interactions at the start and when they speak French to each other. even in the last episode, I don’t really know how Jin Sang feels – is he really starting to see her as a woman or he is still being forced to marry her? (in 2018, you don’t need to marry just because the girl is pregnant – saves time and hassle if you’ll end up divorcing)

Hoon and Anna – bah.. just skipped most of their scenes together. Anna is annoying, demands too much from Hoon and Hoon is too old for her.

I loved the scenes where Do kyung is working and recording sounds. I never knew a sound director does that. it was interesting to see how him doing the sounds and going on locations.

I don’t have much to say on the visions – though the last part where his vision of dying still came true but on a different setting was brilliant way to close that storyline. the side story about the singer was also intriguing. all throughout the episodes I wondered why we kept seeing the old guy seeing that haunting song then we find out later the connection to the story.

The ending is one of the most satisfying weddings I have ever watched. I was laughing and crying at the same time while watching them. it was just a finally they made it! kind of feeling. the dancing was also cute!

Overall, this one was a tightly written drama. Some may hate it or get bored but for others like me, it was a beautiful love story about two broken people who found their home with each other.