Melancholia (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Melancholia (멜랑꼴리아)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 10 – December 30, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30

Plot: A misunderstanding of the close relationship between a student and teacher led to a scandal that ruined the career of the teacher and the student dropping out of school. Four years later, both of them goes back to school to seek revenge and expose the corruption in school.

Main Cast:
Lim Soo Jung – Ji Yoon Su
Lee Do Hyun – Baek Seung Yoo
Jin Kyung – Noh Jung Ah
Jang Hyun Sung – Sung Min Jun
Shin Soo Yeon – Choi Si An
Choi Dae Hoon – Ryu Sung Jae
Woo Da Bi – Sung Yerin
Kim Ji Young – Kim Ji Na

Review:
I never liked math in school but this drama made math sound so beautiful and interesting. However, since I don’t understand all the theories and concepts (the formulas they were studying were too complicated!!!), the point of the mathematical metaphors about proving and errors went lost on me. Still, I loved the first 6 episodes when they were still in high school and we saw relationship, which at time, was purely student-teacher, blossomed. You can really feel how much they loved math. Seung Yoo had a traumatic childhood with scary father, and for the first time, there was an adult, his teacher who listened and encouraged him and made him want to love math again. On the other hand, Yoon Su is loved by her students. She is compassionate and makes learning fun and challenging. Of course, being young, it wasn’t a surprise that Seung Yoo fell for his impressive teacher. I thought going on a trip with a male student is wrong and Yoon Su put herself in scandalous situation, without thinking of the consequences or his fiance. When Yoon Su discovered a potential cheating during the midterm exams, the jealous female student together with her assemblyman father and the corrupt principal decided to expose Seung Yoo and Yoon Su’s relationship to bury the their own scandal.

Starting episode 7, the story moves to the present time (which is four years later). We learn that the school continues to be corrupt, with students still as spoiled and terrible as ever. Seung Yoo dropped out of school, studied hard and won a Lucifer prize, becoming a very famous mathematician, while Yoon Su hides behind a math clinic with very strict confidentiality clauses for its students. Turns out, both of them have been planning to seek their own revenge against the principal and expose the decades long corruption. Episodes 10 to 13 dragged with so many useless scenes, i wish they cut them and made the drama shorter.

Similar to 4 years ago, there is another brilliant student, Si-An, whom I loved. She may be an orphan but she grew up well, is smart, happy and is tough to stand against Jina and the bullies. I also liked Jina later on (she was a b*tch for most of the episodes) but she was actually nicer when she met Seung Yoo and Yoon Su. It was very had to like Yerin. Since high school until present, she always had this sour face and was too stubborn and to admit her mistake. Her scenes were also boring, she just kept “stalking” and making sad eyes to Seung Yoo and blaming other people for her life. Again, it was Seung Yoo and Yoon Su, who made her realize that she was being manipulated by the adults and it was time to stand up on her own.

This is the second time I saw Jin Kyung play the baddie and I love it. She is so elegant but that maniacal laugh is scary (but not Cheon Seo Jin level). I also found the feud between the sisters very interesting. They were both bad people – Jung Ah is supposedly worse that Yeon Woo, and yet I was rooting for Jung Ah to win over Yeon Woo.

I also loved Sung Jae. He made a mistake not being brave enough to defend Yoon Su during the scandal, but I’m glad he finally found the courage to be like Yoon Su and expose the corruption. I actually wished Sung Jae and Yoon Su got back in the end. I thought he was a nice guy.

The drama ends with another time jump (not sure how long) but Seung Yoo and Yoon Su meet again the same way they did years ago (through a math group chat). But this time, Yoon Su finally accepted Seung Yoo’s love and they kiss. I felt that the romance wasn’t needed in the story. They could have ended as best friends or teacher-mentor and it still would have been a great ending. But the romance wasn’t the main story.

Rating: 8/10

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim S1 (2017)

Profile
Drama: Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim (낭만닥터 김사부)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 20 + 1 special episode
Release Date: November 7, 2016 – January 17, 2017
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00

Plot
This medical KDrama is about the everyday lives of the doctors and nurses in Doldam Hospital, which is led by the great Doctor Kim Sabu.

Main Cast
Han Suk Kyu – Kim Sabu / Bu Yong Ju
Yoo Yeon Suk – Kang Dong Ju
Seo Hyun Jin – Yoon Seo Jeong
Yang Se Jong – Do Il Beom
Jin Kyung – Oh Myung Sim
Im Won Hee – Jang Gi Tae
Kim Min Jae – Park Eun Tak
Byun Woo Min – Nam Do Il
Choi Jin Ho – Do Yun Wan
Jang Hyuk Jin – Song Hyun Chul
Seo Eun Su – Woo Yeon Hwa
Joo Hyun – Chairman Shin

Review
Heard so many wonderful reviews about this show and season 2. I finally had the chance to catch this drama this year (it was in my bucket list for the longest time). Maybe I’m really not a fan of medical Kdramas (i only watch 1 medical drama a year) or I just kept comparing this to Grey’s Anatomy (i know i shouldn’t but that’s the only medical drama I avidly watched for most of its run until they killed off McDreamy), but I didn’t loved it as much as everyone did. I mean, I liked it, it just took a week or two for me to finish the 21 episodes (while simultaneously watching 3 other dramas), but this drama wasn’t a big WOW-i loved it so much-why did i only watch it now.

I think the main reason is I didn’t like the majority of the characters. Yes, even Kim Sabu. I loved Nurse Oh, Yoon Seo Jeong and Dr. Nam from episode 1 but the others? Kim Sabu and Kang Dong Ju I only started really liking them around ep 13. Do Il Beom? Ugh! Probably episode 17 or 18. He was too whiny. Jang Gi Tae was too dramatic and corny. Absolutely detested Dr. Song and President Do. Everyone else is just okay.

There were not a lot of dramatic or unusual cases in every episode. The whole squabble about who gets to do Chairman Shin’s surgery went 2 episodes too long. There were a lot of repetitive plot points. The young doctors do something wrong or they’re too whiny, Kim Sabu gets all grumpy and angry while teaching them, they learn a bit, then they do another mistake in the next episode. President Do comes and goes as he pleases to stop Kim Sabu, Kim Sabu finds a way to one up President Do and show his brilliance. Rinse and Repeat for 21 episodes. I only started to really enjoy the episodes and the cases from episode 15. And after Chairman Shin’s surgery storyline was over, we finally get to see a lot of scenes showing each of the doctors perform surgery, which I was waiting for.

I couldn’t understand the reason for the intense hatred of President Do against Kim Sabu. President Do was already VP at that time and wasn’t doing any surgeries. Kim Sabu was the star surgeon. How can they be rivals when they have different positions? Was Do scared that he’ll get overshadowed by Sabu? That Sabu will try to take his place? But Sabu never wanted his position in the first place. He is so popular and gets so many VIP clients to the hospital, shouldn’t Do be happy that he is raking in the profits without taking credit for himself? I get that they have different views about running a hospital, but I don’t think it merits ruining someone’s career. I think this was my second main issue why I couldn’t enjoy the intense scenes between the two. Plus, the final showdown in episode 20 during the celebratory party was LAME!!! They just kept talking back to each other without anything significant happening — until they had a fist fight! YES! Finally! Sometimes they just need to get physical and get all the anger and hurt out. And I like that after the fight, President Do came over and they had a good talk/truce.

So what did I like about the drama? I liked the growth that each doctor had during the course of the show. It took a long time though.
– Kang Dong Ju only had closure around episode 18 (or 19). I loved that he was grown so much from being a bratty top student to a real doctor. Plus his amazing stitching skills after practicing so many times got me clapping and cheering for him. He is a good student, he just needed a chance to be himself after getting rid of all his past hurt and prejudices.
– Do Il Beom, for the most part i didn’t like. He kept lying about his experience, he was arrogant and selfish. But i liked that Kim Sabu finally got through to him, and that he finally had the guts to confront his father (again too late, around episode 19 or 20) and be Do Il Beom, not President Do’s son. I still don’t like how he mistreats Yeon Hwa repeatedly. I get that he is trying to teach her, but shouting at her in front of everyone is not the right way.
– Yoon Seo Jung had some sort of closure, but not fully, which I’m sad. She got her dream of doing a collaborative surgery with Kim Sabu. She fell in love and finally got together with Kang Dong Ju. But how she got over her PTSD was not fully explored. She didn’t even talked about it with Kang Dong Ju. Even the coffee with the other nurse wasn’t satisfying. Is it just “let’s leave the dead guy” alone? He was a cheater but Seo Jeong never found out and it’s okay because she is over him?
– Kim Sabu, yes, he was a coward back then. He didn’t want to be a teacher, he just happened to be so good that students followed him. He was kind hearted but he was passive. He had a lot of regrets about what happened to his former student. And I loved that he finally embraced himself as a teacher to the young doctors. That he finally found the confidence to fight back and not run away like he did before. And i loved that he remained true to himself and will keep on staying at Doldam Hospital.

Life is about turning into different roads. Whether you want it or not, you have to face the reality which is placed in front of you. You can’t find the right answer every single time. But Teacher Kim always said this, “We need to keep asking questions about why we live and what we live for. The moment you give up on that, the romance in life ends.”

Kang Dong Ju narration, episode 20

I’m thinking if I should go straight to season 2 and break my 1 medical drama a year rule (haha!). But the April and May dramas are too overwhelming, so many good dramas are ongoing that I need to catch up very quickly!

Rating: 8/10



Homemade Love Story ep 73-88

I intentionally skipped episodes 73 to 84 because although most of the stories reached their climax, I didn’t really liked what happened — I fast forwarded a lot of scenes.

Bit Chae Woon meets her father, keeps crying and getting angry at him because Park Pil Hong keeps getting himself in trouble unintentionally – a friend asked a favor to dupe this couple into buying a used food truck. Good thing Pil Hong realized the buyers were Rahoon and Bareun and refused to scam them. Unfortunately, Chae Woon got there in time to see him. Not only that, but Seo Ah pleaded with her grandma to try and take Jae Hee’s big project away from him, just petty revenge for choosing Chae Woon over her. Grandma asked Pil Hong to do the job for her and take the fall. Pil Hong did his job and right after found out he just stole Jae Hee’s project away from him!!

Poor Jae Hee, he lost the project, his suppliers and partners are demanding money from him and got beaten up (with a little nudging from Naro that sneak!). Chae Woon tried to comfort Jae Hee the way he helped her through her darkest days but Jae Hee feels ashamed. He ended up leaving Seoul to go to Incheon for work and this caused a bit of a rift between the couple.

On the other hand, I loved how this time, James /Jung Hoo is now here for his son, willing to help him not because he thinks Jae Hee is stupid but as a worried father. I’m glad they were able to patch up and Jae Hee realizing that his father is trying to be there this time, and he should put his pride aside for once and accept his father’s help. Of course, James made it like a loan that Jae Hee needs to pay so he still keeps his pride. I really love these two characters! More than Chae Woon and her relationship with the two moms.

Chae Woon and Jae Hee finally gets married on episode 85 and until episode 88, we see everyone happy for them.

On the other hand, Hae Deun and Jun Ah are a finally trying to keep their relationship a secret but failing. Hae Deun, who doesn’t like Jung won and Seo ah finds out that Jun Ah is related to them and she is not happy. I wouldn’t be happy either. LOL. But i think she is the perfect addition to their family. She is sweet yet fiesty and will not back down on Seo ah’s brattiness. I do find it funny that Hae Deun and Jun ah may be younger than Chae Woon and Jae Hee, but I’m guessing they’re in their mid 20s, yet the drama is trying to make them so cute and adorable like college kids falling in love. They’re so in-sync with their baby talk and I love them.

Rahoon and Bareun doesn’t get a lot of screen time compared to the others, but at least they’re giving him some story near the end of the drama. We finally learn that he will be enlisting soon and he feels sad to leave his family.

Manjeong and Hwakse are my second fave couple but they slowly slipped down to third because of the stupid angst between them. They separated for a bit but now they’re back together and Hwakse is trying to win in a radio singing contest! I hope he wins!! But hold on, what is this last minute addition of a girl/third party?? Why??

Park Pil Hong finally cleaned up and got his own clothing alteration shop. Problem is he got a place so near Samgwang Villa. Uh-oh. Expect that he will get caught soon! I still don’t like Chae Woon’s attitude towards Park Pil Hong. I feel like she never gave him a chance to explain, she just kept shutting him down. And yet she cries in the corner and tries to act tough. She should just confront her dad and try to be nice to him. Maybe she’ll be surprised that he can be a good father too.

I’m still confused what will happen to Jung Hoo and Min Jae. I want them to stay divorced and friends, but I have a feeling they will end up together in the end. Poor professor Jung Hoo, he is super cute too and may cherish Min Jae more than James. (Yes, I’m still hoping for James and Sun Jeong though I know it’s a lost cause).

I still don’t care about Seo Ah and Naro. I just fast forward their scenes. I find their romantic scenes cringey. I still think that Naro is using Seo Ah although he probably fell a little bit in love with her too. Likewise I also think Seo Ah just transferred her love to Naro. Anyways, they will probably get their own happy ever after too.

Last few episodes left!!! While I’m going to be sad to see this show end, I’m also looking forward to the next weekend drama, which seems to be very intriguing. I just hope it won’t be too makjang.

Homemade Love Story eps. 25-36

Link to episodes 13-24: https://kdramadreaming.com/2020/12/23/homemade-love-story-eps-13-24/

Jae Hee – Bit Chae Woon – Seo Ah
Finally Jae Hee telling assuming Seo ah but she is just his little sister. I honestly think Jae hee didn’t lead her on, even before he has always treated her like a sister and told her repeatedly he doesn’t like her. That Seo ah will get angry at Chae Woon for stealing her “boyfriend” is stupid. and I’m glad Jae Hee is making it clear to Chae Woon that he likes her.

The Woo Family – I didn’t expect Jung Ho to get amnesia and become a nice guy!! Totally feeling the My Unfamiliar Family vibes here. But this amnesia will be good for him. He will realize how nice he was, and reflect on what happened that made him into a jerk that he is now. Love the Jae hee and James bonding moments – I just hope when Jung Ho returns his memories, he will not go back to his self.


I’m still curious what happened between Sun Jeong and Jung Ho years ago, it seemed like they liked each other but how did Jung Ho end up getting married to Min Jae? And are the writers going to give them their second chance at love? I hope so! Because I seriously love the flashbacks!

I still dont like Ba Reun and I think Ra Hoon can do better, but I guess I have to accept that this is where Rahoon’s story will go. I hope Ba Reun helps Rahoon reach his dreams of owning a food truck!

As for Hae Deun, I thought we were done with the kpop idol trainee storyline but we’re still here. The good news is.. they just introduced a new character — actually not really new, but I have always wondered when “Junha” (Seo ah’s brother and Jae hee’s best friend) will show up! and I’m so happy that Junha is so much fun!!! Perfect for the spoiled bratty Hae Deun!! I love them together! Now i’m looking forward to their future adventures!