What Happened to Mr. Cha? (2021)

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Movie: What Happened to Mr. Cha? (차인표)
Release Date: January 1, 2021

Review
I was looking forward to this movie ever since I saw this in the coming soon list in Netflix. The movie started well, with Mr Cha as a fictionalized version of himself, has been actor still trying to be relevant but doesn’t know he is no longer popular like he used to. He has an inflated ego and it was both funny and sad.

I had no idea where the story would go, until Mr Cha was buried under the school. The scene where he was in the shower when the school collapse was hilarious!! The next day, he realized he was stuck underneath the rubble and the construction guys and owner arrived to inspect the damage. At first it was fun to see him stuck and trying hard not to be discovered. But I didn’t realize that the majority of the movie will be spent in this same scene. I thought it went on for too long that it wasn’t funny anymore. The construction guy was not funny. The agent was not funny. The owner driving madly was mildy amusing. Every line, every scene was falling flat to me.

Mr. Cha was so clueless and his arguments with his manager were starting to become annoying that near the end of the movie, I just want Mr. Cha to stay buried there because he was really dumb. I don’t know why and how I was able to keep watching the movie. I was curious how they will resolve this whole mess. I thought he will have this big revelation about himself — when his wife called to say “just be himself”, all the scenes of him putting his fingers to his temple and trying to think, and that weird sequence of him like he’s in space (I don’t know how to describe it). But, sadly there was no big revelation. Even when he got rescued, it wasn’t dramatic or funny. He just took off the dirty panty that he was wearing and no one blinked.

The aftermath of his rescue was also anti-climactic. He never changed his attitude, he was still dumb and clueless, the cameo of Ryu Seung Ryong and Ji Seung Hyun wasn’t mildly funny. What happened to Mr. Cha? I would say, “Nothing happened to Mr. Cha”. Pity since I really like Cha In Pyo!

Rating: 6/10

She Was Pretty (2015)

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Drama: She Was Pretty (그녀는 예뻤다)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 16 – November 11, 2015
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursdays 21:55
Plot
Two childhood sweethearts meet again after 15 years. Sung Jun who used to be fat and unpopular, is now hot, handsome editor of a fashion magazine while Hye Jin who used to be pretty and popular is now ugly and jobless. She persuades her pretty best friend Hari to pretend to be her in front of Sung Jun so as not to disappoint him, but Hye Jin ends up taking an intern job at Most, where Sung Jun is working. Can Sung Jun figure out who is the real Hye Jin and will they end up falling in love?
Main Cast
Hwang Jung Eum – Kim Hye Jin
Park Seo Jun – Ji Sung Jun
Choi Siwon – Kim Shin Hyuk
Koh Joon Hee – Min Hari
Review
Because i just finished watching Revolutionary Love and attended Park Seo Jun’s fun meet that I decided to watch this drama. For the very first time in my 18 years of watching kdramas, I was torn between the main male lead and the male second lead. In fact, if my mind wasn’t hard wired to choose the main lead Sung Jun, i would have chosen Shin Hyun hands down. Sung Jun’s not bad — he is actually sweet and caring, but what really put me off was his really bad attitude at the start of the show. Seems like every time he feels pressure, he turns into a little monster and no matter how much nicer he treated Hye Jin when he fell in love with her, i will never forget how he made her feel so small and so humiliated in front of everyone when he thought she was just a loser. Seriously. How he treats his staff shows how much he treats people. I know, i should cut him a slack because everyone makes a mistake etc and he eventually apologized to her but Hye Jin should have told him off that he can’t treat people like that.Secondly, aside from that time when they were kids, i still dont know what they liked about each other as adults. I feel like it’s the nostalgia, more that anything that is keeping them connected and feeling in love. but it is a powerful feeling and i dont mind them ending up together.

Now Shin Hyuk, no matter how much a good catch he is and how much he also liked Hye Jin, i understand why he didn’t get the girl. he friendzoned himself, almost made fun of her and manipulated her, was always cracking jokes that when he finally is serious about her, Hye Jin didn’t believe him. and Hye Jin is really so stuck on Sung Jun, Shin Hyuk never had a chance except as a friend and older brother. I felt so bad for him — that time when he came running / rather driver in a motorcycle and got into an accident, and Sung Jin beat him to Hye Jin and he was limping all week without Hye Jin knowing what happened. and all those times he had to send her to Sung Jun while his heart his breaking.. and those 2 scenes that made me cry. One, when they had their date and he finally send goodbye to her and he was silently crying while driving back home, and when he met her one last time and hugged her. Aww.. i wish I can fly to wherever he went to in Europe and hug him back.

I love the friendship between Hye Jin and Hari. I didn’t feel angry at Hari – i could understand her, just like how Hye Jin understood her very well. She is starving for love and affection so you can’t blame her for liking Sung Jun because he was the only one who made her feel special even though it was really for Hye Jin. I actually thought that hari and Shin Hyuk were a fun pair — too bad they didn’t become a couple. I guess Shin Hyuk’s love for Hye Jin wouldn’t have been effective if he ended up with hari. and Shin Hyuk as Ten really seems like a loner and a private person.

Finally Hye Jin — i was delaying watching this because Hye Jin looked too “ugly” to watch. but as I watch her with her frizzy hair and red face and slowly changing to the sophisticated “Most” look, I realized how much i missed her old self. She was much more charming and real with her frizzy hair. Sometimes the actress was overacting a bit with her expressions but I eventually liked her and maybe that’s why guys like Sung Jun and Shin Hyuk are falling all over for her.

i recommended this drama to two of my friends and they loved it too!

Fight for My Way (2017)

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Drama: Fight for My Way (쌈, 마이웨이)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 22 – July 11, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
The drama revolves around the lives of 4 childhood friends and how they struggle with love, family and work.

Main Cast
Park Seo Joon – Ko Dong Man
Kim Ji Won – Choi Ae Ra
Ahn Jae Hong – Kim Joo Man
Song Ha Yeon – Baek Seol Hee

Review
Loved loved this drama! PSJ is becoming one of my favorite actors. He can be funny and sad at the same time. and how can he make a simple shirt and jeans/joggings look so hot?

Favorite character – i can’t decide between Dong Man and Ae Ra so i will cheat and choose both of them! They are both strong characters – Dong Man is very caring and supportive and he fights for his dream. Likewise, Ae Ra is tough and she maybe ridiculed by other people, but she never lost faith in herself and her skills.

Favorite couple – Of course, Dong Man and Ae-Ra. i dont really want to compare DongMan/AeRa vs YoungJun/Secretary Kim pairing but DongAera couple is just way better. they have better chemistry, they’ve known each other since they were kids and the relationship feels more equal. they support each other and fights for the other when the other person can’t. Well, except for the last part where Ae Ra was stubborn and broke up with Dong Man for wanting to continue to fight. I think Ae ra is wrong for demanding Dong Man to stop fighting when she knows so well how traumatic it was for Dong Man and how much it means to him to fight Taksu and regain his image, but on the other hand, like Ae Ra said, he is fighting as if he is not in a relationship and is not thinking of how his gf will feel seeing him hurt. I liked the ending – where Ae ra has accepted Dong Man’s profession while Dong Man will still continue fighting but only during fighting season.
As for Joo Man and Seol Hee’s relationship, the first part was boring, and i think it suits them because that’s what their relationship was — they have been together for so long that it’s starting to be routine. Seol Hee seems average and not exciting while Joo Man has been delaying to get married. Their story got better when they broke up. i think it was needed for both of them to think of what they had and decide what is important for them. I’m glad Joo Man didn’t really like Ye Jin, i think he would have been awful if he cheated on Seol Hee. I’m also glad Seol Hee grew a backbone, quit her job and started selling her plum wines. Now if she just cuts her old curly hair, she will be perfect.

Character i hated – Two girls that i hated – Hye-ran and Ye Jin, but i think Ye Jin wins. Hye-ran is awful but she had a relationship with Dong Man so in a way there’s is a little bit of reason why she acted that way – still not right but i could understand her. She’s still a b*tch for trying to put down and steal every job that Ae Ra tries to get and I didn’t really feel bad when we later find out that she got blacklisted and is penniless. She was an awful person and she got what she deserved. Though i dont doubt that she is a fighter and she will eventually land on her feet again. On the other hand, i think Ye Jin is worse than Hyeran because 1) when she found out that Joo Man and Seol Hee are together, she should have tone it down and backed off, and yet she acted like a whiny brat who did not get her favorite toy. I don’t feel a single ounce of pity and i’m glad Joo Man directly rejected her. Seol Hee has been nothing but nice to her and for her to act nice and try to steal Joo Man is low. I’m glad Seol Hee toughened up and gave her a putdown and splashed her face with water.

There were times when the show was dragging, especially the relationship between Joo Man and Seol Hee and the whole mystery about the landlady, but Dong Man and Ae Ra were just too cute that they were able to carry the show. I also liked the fighting scenes and seeing shirtless Dong Man (lol). I think the drama was aptly titled as “Fight (for), My Way” because we see four people trying to push through life to achieve their dreams in their own way and it’s a nice message for the young people. They may not become rich but they are happy with their current lives and that’s what matters.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018)

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Drama: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (김비서가 왜 그럴까)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 6 – July 26, 2018
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:30

Plot: Lee Young Jun is a handsome, smart, rich but arrogant guy. One day, his secretary, Kim Mi So, suddenly decided to quit
after working for him for 9 years. he tries his best to make her stay and they slowly fall in love.

Cast:
Park Seo Jun – Lee Young Jun
Park Min Young – Kim Mi So
Lee Tae Hwan – Lee Sung Yeon
Kang Ki Young – Park Yoo Shik

Review:
this is a very simple story of a guy and a girl falling in love after knowing each other for several years. The differences are that Mi-so works for Young Jun and they have a history together.

The things I loved about the show:
Young jun and Mi-so individually and as a couple were great. The two leads have such sizzling chemistry. I love all of their interactions together. In the office, they make a great team – Miso is like the most efficient secretary I have ever seen. She knows Young Jun so well and can probably finish his sentences. I am a bit surprised that her role is not just limited to scheduling this meetings. I’m not sure if this is the Korean version of a “secretary” as Miso seemed to be more of her “right hand woman”. Compare her to Yooshik’s secretary whose role is just to be his secretary – run some errands, schedule his meetings. As for Young Jun, most of the description about his role is that he is smart, rich, handsome and arrogant – but i beg to disagree on the 4th one. I dont think he is arrogant, i think he is confident and he knows who he is and what he can do. When he tells people how great he is, he is not boasting but merely stating facts. I like that he is a very considerate boss – he may drive his team to work really hard, but he treats them fairly and never puts them down. he is honest and provides positive feedback when Miso /the team makes a mistake. He is sometimes a bit clueless and I dont think he’s insensitive – but rather he is just not used to normal things that average people do. Like eating ramen or street food. I like how he is willing to try them. I love that the flashbacks showed how they both started working together – Young Jun was a young professional and Miso was the poor, not a college graduate secretary. We saw how they both grew up and mature over time, how Young Jun taught her to speak different languages, tried to developed her until she became the badass secretary that she is now. As a couple, it was interesting for me to see them try to move from being professional to romantic lovers. there were a lot of awkward scenes – such as secretary Kim still trying to do her secretary duties while on a date, Young Jun trying to be the “guy” in the relationship. Likewise, since they are each other’s firsts, it was funny to see them act shy and unsure in terms of skinship. Sometimes feel that Kim Mi-so makes a lot of this “too smiley face” that it looks fake but looking back, i think she fake smiles when she is uncomfortable, dont know what to do or when she is embarrassed. I also love how they are honest with each other, how Miso did not misunderstand when Young Jun had a kiss phobia – after 2 failed attempts at kissing, I was hoping for Miso to just take the lead and kiss him and I’m glad she did! The original plot was Secretary Kim wanted to quit to “find” herself, and i thought that it was simply a plot device and that they forgot about it until episode 14/15 where they went back to the original plot. I think that Miso was perfect in her role as secretary, but i also thought that it seems weird for her to continue working for him once they get married. Maybe it would have been better if she moved to a different role in the company or.. go back to college and get her degree as she originally wanted. By this time, it doesn’t matter if she leaves work or not since they are already together. and I love that Young Jun decided to let her do what she wants.

The main mystery was about the kidnapping that happened when they were young. at first i though, oh what a coincidence, Miso ended up working for Young Jun, who was that boy she was with when she was kidnapped. how convenient but turns out Miso working for Young Jun’s company may be coincidental, but everything else was not. Young Jun specifically chose her to be his secretary because he wanted her beside him and helped her become a better version of herself. When the entire story was revealed, all the more i felt how powerful Young Jun’s love for Miso and everything he did just suddenly made much more sense. Why he fought for her, why he groomed her, why he did not want her to quit. I was crying buckets of tears around episode 12-13. And his relationship between his parents and brother was just so sad. I wanted to hate the brother but finding out he was also psychologically scarred from the experience and the young boy version felt so guilty about what he did to his own brother that he changed his memory. ohmygad. More buckets of tears. And when Young Jun finally broke down and cried in his office when his parents finally confronted him and apologized for what happened. Oceans of tears. I’m glad the family was able to slowly recover – especially the brother.

The office team was the reliever of the show. Bora was so funny and her relationsip with the Driver Jang was so cute. The story between the intern secretary and employee was at first annoying (well, the guy was super annoying), but i ended up liking the pair too.

Of course, we can’t forget Yoo shik the best friend. To be honest, i didn’t like the actor when I watched him in Bring it on ghost (the one with Taecyeon) and when he was in Oh My Ghostess (as the sous chef). But he was hilarious here and in Terius Behind Me. Yooshik always gave the best advices to Young Jun and sometimes i wished Young Jun also listened to him. I know it was for comic relief but imagine having a best friend who ridicules you when he talk about wanting to get back together with your ex-wife or cancels your plans to go with the girlfriend.

Overall, i think this drama was hilarious but with a lot of heart and romance…until episode 13. The last 3 episodes felt more like fillers. I was still okay seeing them have their first fight, their first night, Young Jun’s proposing to her and the wedding but i wished they added more side plots to keep it interesting.