Youth MT (2022)

Profile:
TV Show: Young Actors’ Retreat
Aired: Sept 9 to Oct 21, 2022
Episodes: 8
Aired on: Friday

Main Cast
Love in the Moonlight – Kim Yoo Jung, Park Bo Gum, Jung Jin Young, Chae Soo Bin, Kwak Dong Yeon
Itaewon Class – Park Seo Jun, Ahn Bo Hyun, Kwon Na Ra, Lee Joo Young, Ryu Kyung Soo
Sound of Magic – Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun, Hwang In Yeop, Ji Hye Won, Kim Bo Yoon
Others: Yoon Kyung Ho, Kim Hye Eun

Review:
Wow! I can’t believe they were able to cast all these actors for 3D2N! And got enough materials to air 8 episodes!

Love the games esp the flying chairs, although it would have been fun if the girls get to try the haunted house, flying chair and getting drenched with water too.

They were awkward at the start but definitely grew closer after a few days. I also love the tent bar and the senior actors who visited them.

Looking forward to Season 2 (i hope!)

Ps. Just realized i’ve seen Bogummy and Seojun in person back in 2019 and i’ll be seeing Wookie this Sunday ๐Ÿฅฐ

Rating: 9/10

The Sound of Magic (2022)

Profile:
Drama: The Sound of Magic (์•ˆ๋‚˜๋ผ์ˆ˜๋งˆ๋‚˜๋ผ)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: May 6, 2022

Plot: Ahyi is struggling with her life, trying to take care of herself and her younger sister while her father is hiding from his creditors. One day, she meets a mysterious magician and her whole life starts to change.

Main Cast:
Ji Chang Wook – Ri Eul
Choi Sung Eun – Yoon Ahyi
Hwang In Yeop – Na Il Deung

Review:
Do you believe in magic? Annara Sumanara

The first 3 episodes were strange yet fascinating. Ahyi’s life was depressing to watch then they’ll start bursting into a song and I feel like I’m in a Disney movie with the fireworks and flying horses.

I probably wouldn’t have watched this if not for Ji Chang Wook. He was so mysterious, sometimes scary but often times like a child. I don’t know if he was trying to be Willy Wonka or PT Barnum in the Greatest Showman movie.

I loved Sung Eun, sometimes I feel romantic vibe between them especially when they’re singing a duet but then I remember Ahyi is in high school and Rieul is 30yo and that just sounds creepy. I guess they found a connection because they’re both outcasts and trying to get out of their situation but can’t.

I loved all the musical performances but sadly the songs were not memorable enough to give me LSS.

The second half was way better, when the childlike fantasy plot became serious murder storyline. I loved the last episode, I even teared up hearing Rieul’s past and when he gave Ahyi his hat. That final stage scene.. wow.. Is it really magic?

“You should do the things you want just as much as the things you don’t want to do.”

– Rieul to Ahyi

“I didn’t know before that flowers don’t bloom on smooth asphalt but on bumpy dirt.”

– Il Deung

I think the real magic is Rieul being able to comfort and guide Ahyi and Ildeung to be better people.

Six episodes felt just about right for this drama. However it felt like it was trying to be too much at the same time. Musical. Fantasy. Sexual assault. Murder. Daddy issues. The first half was for kids, the second half was for adults.

Rating: 8/10

Lovestruck in the City (2021)

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Drama: Lovestruck in the City (๋„์‹œ๋‚จ๋…€์˜ ์‚ฌ๋ž‘๋ฒ•)
Network: KakaoTV, Netflix
Episodes: 17
Release Date: December 22, 2020 – February 16, 2021
Runtime: Tuesday & Friday 17:00 (Kakao TV) / Tuesday & Friday 19:00 (Netflix)

Plot:
This drama explores the stories of 3 couples and the different views on various topics about love, sex, and relationships in the modern Seoul.

Main Cast
Ji Chang Wook – Park Jae Won
Kim Ji Won – Lee Eun Oh / Yoon Se A
Kim Min Suk – Choi Gyung Jun
So Ju Yeon – Suh Rini
Ryu Kyung Soo – Kang Geon
Han Ji Eun – Oh Sun Young

Review:
I had really high hopes about this drama but it was totally not what I expected. This should have been called Heartbreak in the City.

It was really hard to like a drama when I didn’t like more than half of the cast. I only liked Jaewon and Gyeongjun. I didnt like the 3 friends, and definitely disliked Sunyoung.

I’ll start with Jae won and Eun oh — which is the main couple /story line.

I think the best part of this drama were the Yang Yang scenes. It really made us feel Jaewon and Eunoh’s summer romance. Plus the cameos of Lee Sang Woo and Lee Sang Yoon. But when showing the Yangyang scenes against the current times where Eun Oh was being such a horrible woman to Jae Won, it just didn’t make sense or shall I say I felt cheated. It was super hard to like Eun Oh while I still see her break Jae won’s heart cruelly.

Ji Chang Wook as Jaewon is whiny and mopey in love and heartbreak but so cute. How can Eunoh break up with a great guy like Jaewon?? Eunoh was horrible. I can understand her. She was cheated on and lost her job, so she headed to Yang Yang wishing (and acting like a different person). But she made a lot of promises to Jae won. If she really wanted to breakup, she could have just told Jaewon the truth. Even on the phone — say “Jaewon, sorry it was just a summer romance, I had a great time but goodbye.” It would have hurt both of them, esp Jaewon but he would have the closure that he sought for 1 year!!! And she didn’t even have to steal his cameras, just remove the memory card and ship it back to him. I think Eun Oh’s actions were really stupid and hurtful. And very very selfish.

And I hate that this drama dragged the whole story about why Eunoh wont tell Jaewon what happened to her until like almost the penultimate episode. It was so frustrating. Jaewon looked like great guy. I could feel his pain when he finally met Eun Oh and realized she knew who he was all along and just kept breaking his heart. And yet Jae Won kept it a secret from her friends. He kept his distance. He respected her when she wanted to find herself. Until he finally said, let’s find yourself together (or something like that). Can you imagine if Eun Oh told him that same thing one year ago? I’m definitely sure Jae won would have said and done the same thing.

I knew this was definitely going to be a happy ending for them, but I was hoping (and I thought) the better ending was for Jaewon to accept the breakup, have closure, and find another girl who would love him as he is. Meanwhile, Eunoh will regret everything she did but she will be busy finding herself (because as they always say, you can’t love someone if you don’t even love yourself).

The second couple are Gyung Jun and Rini —
At first I thought they were so cute. They are high school sweethearts and have been together for a long time (i think the drama mentioned 7 years). But in the middle of the drama we start to see the cracks in their relationship. For some reason, Rini is too cheap, trying to live simply and seems to be happy with it. She has no stable job, prefer to just have part time jobs that gives her a lot of free time. And she has no plans of changing her lifestyle. That is good, I like that she is living hte way she wants to, but it’s a very different lifestyle from Gyung Jun. He is successful architect, he makes money, is not stingy and doesn’t mind supporting Rini if she needs to. But he hides his real feelings for Rini — he wants her to get a stable job, buy nice things for her, and proudly show her to his family. I honestly this couple wouldn’t last long, that one day Gyung Jun will blow up and break up with Rini. I cant believe Rini broke up with Gyeongjun and not the other way around, and she became the “victim”. I think Gyeongjun was patient and supported her while she was too selfish. Why be in a relationship if she was just planning to live for herself and not think of Gyung Jun? No one can stay stagnant and the same forever. The couple should be supporting each other while they grow as a person and as a couple.

I didn’t really care about Geon and Sun Young. Well, Geon can be there as the 3rd friend, but adding Sun Young to the story didn’t really add value. She was also horrible to all her exes. And her reason is because she wants to feel validated while humiliating her exes in public is a No for me.

They said there’s a possibility of season 2 with Minho’s story (and maybe a continuation of Rini/GyungJun) but I think unless they come up with a better story and a more high profile leads, I most likely wouldn’t watch it. Minho’s short story with the pretty actress was good enough closure to the drama.

Rating: 7/10

Backstreet Rookie (2020)

Profile
Drama: Convenience Store Saetbyul (ํŽธ์˜์  ์ƒ›๋ณ„์ด)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 19 – August 8, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00

Plot
Choi Dae Hyun runs his family’s convenience store. One day, Jung Saetbyul comes in to apply for a part timer in the convenience store. Their lives were never the same again. A beautiful story about family, relationships and overcoming life’s troubles and achieving your dreams.

Main Cast
Ji Chang Wook – Choi Dae Hyun
Kim Yoo Jung – Jung Saetbyul
Han Sun Hwa – Jung Yeon Joo
Ahn Sol Bin – Jung Eunbyul
Kim Min Kyu – Kang Ji Wook
Seo Ye Hwa – Hwang Geumbi
Eum Moon Suk – Han Dalsik
Kim Sun Young – Kong Bong Hee
Lee Byung Joon – Choi Yongpil

Review
There were so many negative feedback even before this drama started, but I wanted to watch this for myself before I judge this drama so that at least my opinion is actually based on facts and not just what i read in the headlines or articles.

Just from the trailer and the plot alone, you wouldn’t realize that this story is actually about family and personal worth. We have 3 main families here, Daehyun’s family, Yeonjoo’s family and the Jung sisters.

Daehyun’s family may be average/middle class but i think his parents raised him well. I’m not going to talk about the sister because i think her character was made to be more of a comic relief. Daehyun is sweet and sensitive. He works hard, supportive and willing to put his life and job on the line to protect his loved ones.

His mother is especially amazing. Even when she knew what happened to Daehyun and her husband, she sucked it in and accepted the money from Yeonjoo’s mother to be able to become the Queen of Insurance. Great performance by Kim Sun Young here, i could every pain that she must have felt. Likewise, the moving scene between the parents when they were eating chicken feet made me cry a lot. They may not be rich, but everyone has their own and no one has the right to trample on them. Likewise, i love that the family knows their value and didn’t let Yeonjoo’s family break them.

The only thing that i disliked is after all that Yeonjoo’s mom did to Daehyun – she told him to go back to Yeonjoo! WHAT!! i thought this was totally out of her character and was just created for a last minute conflict heading to the finale. And her reason is because she didn’t want Daehyun to become like her. Again, here are people who do not seem to realize and give Daehyun a chance to show them how great and successfull he can be. he doesnt need Yeonjoo’s money and connections. It didn’t matter to him at all. And again, it’s a lesson for use viewers – that it’s okay to be average and not yearn for money or success. What’s more important is doing things what would make you happy and not lose your self-worth.

On the other hand, Yeonjoo’s family is wealthy but looks down on people. The mom was really so terrible. Daehyun’s family has always been simple and never arrogant, and they did not deserve being insulted and humiliated the way Yeonjoo’s family did. and Yeonjoo’s behavior did not help. She may have loved Daehyun, but not enough to fully accept him. She lied partly because she didn’t want Daehyun’s attitude to change and partly because she is also embarrassed of him. That she can’t even trust Daehyun to not be a golddigger and that he is honorable enough that he will work hard to support her in the future.

Daehyun tried his best and gave it all for Yeonjoo but she just neglected his efforts. When she realized how bad Director Cho was, it was too late to see Daehyun for what he was – great guy that she was stupid enough to let go. And i’m glad she did, because Daehyun deserves a better girl, who will accept him and support him. And even after Yeonjoo is regretful and tried to begged Daehyun to come back to her, instead of repenting and being a better person, she resorted to the same tactics that Director Cho did to Daehyun, but attacking Saetbyul secretly.

Ugh! I didn’t like the end where she just decided to go to the US. It felt like she just ran away and didn’t even admit or apologized to Daehyun. Also the final scene when Daehyun’s mom schooled Yeonjoo’s mom was also not enough/felt too rushed. But i guess Yeonjoo’s mom will never change and what’s more important is showing Daehyun’s mom standing up for her family and know she is worth so much more than all the money that Yeonjoo’s family has.

The Jung sisters had a tough life. Even when they keep taking hits, Saetbyul continued to be a good person, and it’s all because of her dad. The dad may have passed away but he made an impact not only on the sisters’ lives, but also on Jiwook and Daehyun’s lives, which is amazing. Eunbyul may come off as a selfish brat, but i also realized how tough it must have been to grow up without parents, with no money and continued pressures from her school mates. I’m glad that her dream of being an idol came true, and all her hard work started to pay off. Maybe she can help Saetbyul this time around, with money and generally jsut to not be such a trouble maker.

More than following Daehyun around and wanting to be with him, what i appreciate most about Saetbyul is that she is one tough and mature lady. She may be young but she grew up early and is hard working, just like Daehyun. I think Saetbyul was even more mature than Yeonjoo, who is supposedly older and wiser.

A lot of people were uncomfortable because she was too young compared to Daehyun, who is supposed to be 30, but I’d say other than education, they are almost on the same level. They understand each other. They support each other. They can even tell what one is thinking even through their own funny gestures. As they say, age doesn’t matter. I see this no different from a 25 year old woman falling in love with a 40 year old guy and this happens in real life.

I think it just feels weird seeing Saetbyul (and Geumbi) wearing high school uniforms. But the story starts 3 years after when they first met, and Saetbyul is perfectly of legal age at this point. And all through out the show and even in the last episode, the drama was sensitive enough not to show any kissing scenes or anything sexual. They were usually more hugging and holding hands, yet still showed how pure and romantic their love is.

Also, i loved that every time Saetbyul feels down or doubts herself, Daehyun is always the first to tell her that she is amazing. That she is enough and she has done a lot at such a young age. I was sad that Saetbyul did the noble idiot thing, but I could understand why. She felt so grateful for Daehyun’s family for taking her in and she didn’t want to be the one that betrays and causes hurt to their family, esp the mom. I wish there a scene between mom and Saetbyul for mom to apologize for what she said though.

And I was honestly expecting a time jump, especially when Daehyun said he is willing to wait for her when she’s ready. But it was episode 16 and they had to rush the ending, which is okay although it felt rushed and everyone wrapped up so quickly.

The other problematic that non-viewers hated was Dalsik’s character. i personally loved The Fiery Priest so i have a very soft spot for the actor, Eum Moon Suk. Likewise, i can see that the humor from the Fiery Priest carried over into some of the scenes and dialogues, although less laugh out funny. I think the Eum Moon Suk’s pairing with Seo Yehwa was pure gold! Yehwa as Geumbi was so funny and charming, although OTT sometimes.

A lot of people are saying Dalsik’s character totally disrespected black culture, but Dalsik never tried to be black in the show. He never acted black except for wearing the dreads and the Jamaican clothes. He loves Marley and he is writing a webtoon about a reggae boy. To get into character, he dressed up like one so he could feel the emotions of the webtoon he is writing about. I heard instances where actors/actresses do the same thing, so that they can get into character. and after he finished writing the webtoon, he changed his whole appearance. Likewise, how many of you have fangirled/fanboyed so much that you copied your favorite person’s/character’s clothes, mannerisms, interests? Aren’t we all the same? Some people even go to the extreme and do plastic surgery to look like their idols.

As for Geumbi and Dalsik, at the start, they provided a lot of the gross and funny comedy, but there’s also a lesson to be learned here. They only looked at each other’s appearance and hated each other. But once they started talking to each other, they realized how much in common they have. And we do that a lot of times. If we can get past the biases that we have, it will open us to a lot more great opportunities that we would have missed because we focused on not learning more. Just like how people immediately crossed this drama off their list without even giving it a chance.

And turns out Dalsik’s family is actually rich! Even wealthier than Geumbi’s family! But despite that, Dalsik was never arrogant. He wanted to make it on his own and didn’t used his family’s wealth to get ahead. That’s another lesson right there folks!

Last comparison, Geumbi’s family and Dalsik’s family are both rich, but they grew up to be good people, vs Yeonjoo’s family who is also rich but treats people badly. Again, not all families and people are the same. So we need to treat each other with the same respect as we do for others.

Overall, i loved this drama because the characters are relatable and there are so many lessons to be learned/reminded of that we can use in our own lives.

Rating: 8.5/10