Racket Boys (2021)

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Drama: Racket Boys (라켓소년단)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 31 – July 20, 2021
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
A story of young badminton players vying for the junior sports competition while learning about friendship, family, teamwork, love and success.

Main Cast
Tang Jung Sang – Yoon Hae Kang
Son Sang Yeon – Bang Yoon Dam
Choi Hyun Wook – Na Woo Chan
Kim Kang Hoon – Lee Young Tae
Kim Sang Kyung – Yoon Hyeon Jong
Oh Nara – Ra Yeong Ja
Lee Jae In – Han Se Yoon
Lee Ji Won – Lee Han Sol

Review
Absolute gem!!

I came for the sports themed drama and stayed for the kids! Haekang, Yoondam, Woochan, Yongtae, Insol, Seyoon and Hansol were perfectly casted! I’ll predict they are the new generation Kdrama prince and princesses in the making!!

I love the kids’ friendship and romance.
Haekang – He’s such a typical confident kid “I’m the one and only Yoon Hae Kang”. He sounds like a jerk but you’ll come to love him, especially when he shows how much he is a softie. I love Haekang’s growth from hating the village life and his team and becoming passionate about the sport. And how he had found his real friends.

Yoondam – he’s so handsome, like a young Hyun Bin. And i love his cute love story with Hansol. He is also a nice captain.

Woochan – except for his hair, he is also cute, like a young Jang Ki Yong! I love his friendship with Youngtae, his struggles as being an “average” player. I think in a team, everyone needs to have their own position. We can’t have two stars or two captains. So i think Woochan’s position in the team is the best defensive player, who will back the star, and that’s equally important. I love that he finally got to play badminton and I love his scene with his military father.

Lee Yong Tae is like a mini Hae Kang, always so confident even at a young age. He’s also a crybaby. I like the story where he finally got past his imitation of his idol, Lee Young Dae and came up with his own playing style.

Insol – a great addition to the team. I would say he’s not only the brains, but he also has equal badminton skills as the others. I mean, he almost won against Haekang (the final scene was controversial, given that he gave way to Haekang). A few more years and he will be part of the national team too. And i love the super strict father who ended up being his best fan.

I also loved the two girls – Seyoon and Hansol. Seyoon’s is such an amazing and dedicated badminton player. No wonder she’s the best junior player in the country. I love her love story with Hae Kang, it was slow burn from the very start and finally culminated when Hae Kang won the NJSP. I’m amazed by how mature the kids are in this drama. Maybe because they are athletes.

I love loved Jiwon as Seyoon’s best friend. That episode 14 where the drama highlighted the girls’ friendship had me in tears.

I also liked the interaction between the other kids. They maybe rivals on-court but off-court they are friends and have respect for one another.

The coaches — esp. Coach Yoon, Coach Ra, Coach Whitewolf .. sometimes as adults we think we know it all, but sometimes it’s good to learn from the kids too. Coach Yoon came off as a slacker coach but when he starting putting his heart in coaching, he really did well. Coach Ra is very strict since she is a perfectionist, but the episode where they revealed her back story was also sad, and made me admire how tough she has been all these years.

I also loved the badminton matches. I read they all trained for 6-9 months and it really shows.

It took me some time to warm up to the villagers but they were good people. And accepted the badminton team as their own. I cried when grandma passed away.

I’d like to have a season 2 because i love the kids, but i’m afraid it won’t be as good so i’ll just rewatch this.

Rating: 9/10

Navillera (2021)

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Drame: Navillera (나빌레라)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: March 22-April 27, 2021
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot:
A struggling ballerino is forced by his teacher to teach an old man who wants to learn ballet before it’s too late.

Main Cast:
Park In Hwan – Lee Deok Chul
Song Kang – Lee Chae Rok
Kim Tae Hoon – Ki Seung Joo
Yoon Ji Hye – Eun So Ri
Kim Kwon – Yang Ho Beom
Hong Seung Hee – Sim Eun Ho

Review:
For those who prefer to listen to the podcast version, please click this link:

This was a beautiful and heart warming drama! I’m so glad I watched this. I want to commend the efforts of both Song Kang and Park In Hwan for the beautiful ballet shots and moves! I’m sure they worked really hard in their scenes! Their duet performance was so beautiful, I kept re-watching the scenes even days after I watched the final episode.

My instagram post below captures my main thoughts about the show

This is a must watch!

Rating: 9/10

Once Again (2019-2020)

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Drama: Once Again (한 번 다녀왔습니다)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 100
Release Date: March 28 – September 13, 2020
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 19:55
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Four adult children of a married couple got divorced and went back to live with their parents.

Main Cast
Lee Min Jung – Song Nahee
Lee Sang Yeob – Yoon Gyu Jin
Lee Cho Hee – Song Dahee
Lee Sang Yi – Yoon Jae Seok
Oh Yoon Ah – Song Gahee
Ki Do Hoon – Park Hyosin
Oh Dae Hwan – Song Junseon
Lim Jung Eun – Sung Hyun Kyung
Cheon Hojin – Song Yeong Dal
Cha Hwa Yeon – Jang Ok Bun
Kim Bo Yeon – Choi Yoon Jong
Lee Jung Eun – Cho Yeon / Yeong Suk
Baek Ji Won – Jang Ok Ja
Ahn Kil Kang – Yang Chisu

Review:
What a wonderful story! I’ve watched a few weekend dramas before and this is one of those that didn’t have a lot of makjang storylines! It was just about a family where each member has their own struggles in life, they fight, they misunderstand, they hurt each other. But in the end, they are family and they continue to understand and love each other.

I love the siblings – Junseon, Gahee, Nahee and Dahee! Gyujin and Jaesook too! If i had to choose:

Dahee and Jaesook is my favorite couple. Not only do the actors look alike, they just have this sweet vibe and they match perfectly. I love Nahee and Gyujin but they keep fighting like kids, sometimes I wonder how they manage to stay together. Or maybe it’s really just opposite attract.

Jaesook is the best boyfriend. He supports Dahee 100%, he is very sweet, understanding and romantic. He sings for her!! Brings her food. Meets her after work. Hangs out with her friends. His only flaw is that he is a little bit clingy (well, I think some girls like clingy guys).

Gahee is my favorite sibling. She looks so good in everything she wears. She is a cool mom, she stands up for herself and she is smart. She is caring and sensitive too. No wonder Hyosin fell in love with her despite the age gap, her divorce status and having a child.

Choyeon/Yeongsuk is my favorite ahjumma/market owner. She is smart and tough because of her upbringing. She defends the people who are down, she helps older people. Her flaw is being too nice that she takes care of other people even when they have betrayed her. She is simple and average looking but because of her personality, two guys fell in love with here in the drama, and she eventually dates a much younger and handsome guy! Not bad Choyeon!

Dahee is the best daughter in law, the best daughter, the best sister. She is the sweetest of them all. She may look like a pushover but once she sets her mind to it, she is stubborn. Maybe because she’s the youngest so she gets babied a lot but she knows when it’s time to remind the people that she can make her own decisions. She is nice to everyone, that’s why she can even tame the strictest and scariest mother in law (yes, that’s Yoonjung!)

Jihoon is the sweetest grandchild. He was hurt when his dad kept ignoring him. I felt so bad whenever he gets stood up by his dad. I’m glad he was able to meet and be friends with Hyosin. He needed a stand up adult to mentor him or else I’m sure he would have grown up to be a bad child. Kudos to Gahee for raising a young and mature son. Even at a young age, he is sensitive to his mom’s feelings and when dad wanted to get back together with Gahee, he said no and chose to be happy with his mom. Plus, he also encouraged Hyosin and Gahee.

Rating: 8.5/10

Scripting Your Destiny (2021)

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Drama: Scripting Your Destiny (당신의 운명을 쓰고 있습니다)
Network: TVING
Episodes: 10
Release Date: March 26, 2021
Runtime: Friday 16:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A diety of destiny falls in love with a human.

Main Cast
Ki Do Hoon – Shin Ha Yoon
Jeon So Nee – Go Chae Kyung
Park Sang Nam – Myung
Kim Woo Seok – Jung Bareum
Kal So Won – Sam Shin
So Hee Jung – Mi Soon

Review:
Here’s my podcast link:

This is a short web drama (10 eps at 25mins each) so the story is fast paced. We don’t get the full setup of the characters or the god of diety rules but enough to understand the story. The plot is interesting, actually I feel like the material is good enough for a full fledged drama. However, because the story is so short, there is not much time for the viewers to really think of the main theme of the story or how it really translated in the execution of the story. I honestly wasn’t sure how I feel about the destiny written by god should be followed versus this is your life, you make your own choices (aka free will).

I mean, I love Hayoon and Chae Kyung. Somehow they’re destined to be with each other, that’s why they keep meeting so many times. But who wrote it so as Chae Kyung will be destined to be with Hayoon (was it Myung who was in-charge in writing Chae Kyung’s life)? But why would you do that knowing full well that Hayoon is a god and you can’t pair a god with a human because as soon as the god feels human emotions, he disappears? It’s just so cruel, not just to Hayoon but also to Chae Kyung who will have to suffer that same fate and most likely stay forever alone in her lifetime.

The ending wasn’t satisfying. *Spoilers ahead*

I thought it could have ended at ep 9 and I would be happy. Because that’s what we were made to understand. That as soon as Hayoon feels emotions, he will disappear, and dieties are only given 3 chances then they disappear forever. If that’s the case, what the heck happened in episode 10??? Hayoon is back with no memory of Chae Kyung, he is now Myung, leading the newbie dieties. He ends up meeting her again (Chae Kyung wished for it) it was weird, like we’re back to square 1. Are they going to repeat the cycle forever? See how awful that is? Hayoon even said I may not remember you but I hope she never forgets him! So selfish!!!

They also sometimes bend the rules of diety elimination to suit the story. There was one diety who disappeared as soon as he defended a human but it took some time for Hayoon to disappear. He even kissed Chaekyung, they hugged etc and he was able to say goodbye to her. Plus, why does Hayoon get to be back on earth as a diety while Myung disappears because he altered the will of life? And Sam shin went to school to meet with the cutie student, why is she still on earth?

Lastly, why do they have to make Chaekyung wear ugly curly hair?? It doesn’t even impact the story or her character other than make her look different from high school.

Rating: 8/10 (8.5 upto episode 9 minus 0.5 for the terrible ending)