Alchemy of Souls Part 1 (2022)

Profile:
Drama: Alchemy of Souls (환혼)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20 (Part 1)
Release Date: June 18 – August 28, 2022
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:10

Plot: A skilled assassin shifts her soul into a blind servant and meets Jang Uk, who is looking for a teacher who can unleash his powers trapped by his own father.

Main Cast
Lee Jaewook – Jang Uk
Jung Somin – Mudeok/Naksu
Yoo Junsang – Park Jin
Oh Nara – Maidservant Kim
Hwang Minhyun – Seo Yul
Go Yoonjung – Naksu
Shin Seungho – Crown Prince Go Won
Arin – Jin Cho Yeon
Yoo Insoo – Park Danggu
Park Eunhye – Lady Jin Ho gyeong
Joo Sangwook – Jang Gang

Jo Jaeyoon – Jin Mu

Review:
The first half was so boring, I didn’t know why people were raving about this show when it came out. I struggled to finish the show. The drama got interesting only starting ep 12. I think this should have been 16 eps and not 20.

I like the whole fantasy part about soul shifters and spells. Reminds me of Harry Potter since this drama also had different teams, except they used swords instead of wands, and Uk is like Harry Potter who didn’t know he was the boy that will save them all (or the boy with the King’s Star)

I like Mudeok/Naksu though sometimes I got annoyed when she uses her accent. She is brave and ruthless but she also learned to mature and love instead of becoming an assassin. I’m still confused about Buyeon, how can 2 souls reside in 1 body. They say Buyeon is controlling the body and yet when Naksu heard the bells, Buyeon couldn’t do anything. So I feel like writer is using Buyeon if they need a plot device. Will we ever get to meet the real Buyeon? Will people finally found out that Mudeok is really Buyeon and is the proper heir to the Jin tribe? I really wish Lady Jin meets her because she has been tormented long enough.

And why no one has ever suspected Mudeok to be Naksu when there are so many red flags about her! For supposedly powerful mages, they were all stupid except for Uk and Yul. And they can’t even capture Jinmu who is always one step ahead of them!

I love the master -pupil pair of Mudeok/ Jang Uk more than as lovers. I didn’t feel the romantic chemistry between Mudeok and Jang Uk, even when they finally confessed and kissed on episode 19 I didn’t feel anything. The only scene that stirred me was the end when Naksu stabbed Jang Uk and he died and Mudeok woke up and realized what she has done.

I think Naksu/Yul’s story were much better in terms of tragic romance. I think they had better chemistry than Uk. There were also several unnecessary side stories and too many characters. Like the thief girl. Yul is too pure to have even some sort of love line with her and she gave him the blood parasite!! I think it was supposed to keep him alive but the pain that he felt and she never even bothered to tell him so they can find a way to get it out of his bloodstream!

Cho Yeon/Danggu brought the cuteness in this show, as well as Park Jin and Maidservant Kim’s cat-dog relationship.

It was also a little unbelievable that 3 guys were fighting over Mudeok esp with the Crown Prince butting in all the time. He didn’t know she was Naksu and thought of her as a mere servant but kept stop meeting up with her. I also didn’t like the Crown Prince although I think he was meant to be arrogant. I also don’t know if he is going to be bad in part 2 since it looks like he has some sort of jealousy / competition with Uk. What will happen if he finds out Uk is the son of the late king?

I’m excited for season 2. I really hope it finishes the story well or else I will really be disappointed.

Rating: 8.25 (8 for first half, 8.5 for second half)

Monthly Magazine House (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Monthly Magazine Home (월간 집)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 16 – August 5, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot: A guy with a house falls in love with a girl who dreams of a home.

Main Cast:
Kim Ji Suk – Yoo Ja Sung
Jung Somin – Na Young Won
Jung Gun Joo – Shin Gyeom
Kim Won Hae – Choi Go
Chae Jung Ahn – Yeo Ui Joo
Ahn Chang Hwan – Nam Sang Soon

Review:
Watch this if you like the classic romcoms kind of Kdramas. For newbies, you might get annoyed with how Jasung treats Young Won.

I think without a great cast, this could have been really bad. Yoo Jasung is an a$$hat at the start but somehow I couldn’t get angry at him because how could I when he is played by Kim Jisuk who has effortlessly hilarious and handsome. I like Jasung. He wasn’t being a jerk because he is a jerk. It’s just that he had a bad childhood and decided to focus all his energy into making money. So much that he has forgotten to live. I wouldn’t mind having a generous friend like Jasung hihi.

Somin’s character is a more upbeat version of BIMFL character. She is wonderful and charming. When Young won, who maybe poor but also still very warm, came into his life, he couldn’t help but thaw his ice cold heart. After all, what’s the use of having too much money when you can’t share your life with someone? I believe Jasung was drawn by Young won because like her, he understands how it is to be poor and not to have a home. And he was also impressed how much Young won was trying hard save up to have her own house. So much that he started helping her in his own little ways. Soon, he was spreading his goodwill to everyone in his team.

I knew that when he falls for Youngwon it will be hard. HAHA. I love Kim Ji Suk’s expressions like he was always so stunned by Young Won’s beauty and how everything she does is like so amazing. And everytime she gives him a compliment, his frown turns into a big humongous grin that makes him want to dance to Bboom Bboom. And I love that he never nagged her or looked down on her just because she didn’t have money or expected her to grovel at his feet because he is rich.

Jasung who was so obsessed with money never had a chance to date or have a relationship. Just like how he deals with money, he was determined to succeed in being the best boyfriend to Young Won. Of course being a newbie, he made a lot of mistakes, and I like that he was quick to say sorry or learn how to be better.

Of course, like everyday Kdrama, after getting together and being cute, there will be this defining moment where the couple argues and break up. In this case, Jasung broke up with Young Won for Shin Gyeom, the second lead. For me, Shin Gyeom was cute but boring. He was no match to Jasung’s charisma and energy. And he never had a chance with Young Won because she never liked him other than as a friend. So I feel like his character was a waster or was just there to have some sort of conflict. When Jasung found out that Gyeom likes Young Won too, he decided to break up with Young Won because of his loyalty for Gyeom. Some said it was a noble idiot move, but for me, it was more than that. Jasung have known Gyeom for years. It’s bros before hoes. And it’s his first time to be in love and didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe he should have talked to Young Won about it. Gave Young Won an opportunity to decide what to do since she is part of the relationship. Jasung could also have confronted Gyeom about it and talked about it like a man. Or maybe they didn’t have to break up, just lie low and not rub his relationship in Gyeom’s face. After all, love’s fair in love and war.

When Jasung finally realized what a fool he was and begged Young Won to take him back, i love that Young Won didn’t easily bend and made him worked hard for it. You go girl! He can’t just dump her ruthlessly and think he can come back as if nothing happened. She eventually learned that again, Jasung wasn’t being an ass and realized that all this time he has been there for her and cheered for her even if it’s hard for him to sometimes express how he feels.

As for the Wolganjib team, everyone was funny esp the second couple Sang Soon and Ui Joo. I also liked their story from being a bickering colleagues with different lifestyles to falling in love. Opposites do attract! Of course my fave Kim Won Hae was both annoying at times when he’s trying to be a “good” boss but I love him more as a better friend and confidante to Jasung, Ui Joo and Sang Soon.

I love all the houses that got featured in every episode and all the tidbits about home and money saving. My favorite was the beach house in episode 8 because I also dreamed of retired in a beach front property.

The OST is so nice, especially Imagine and Here I Am. Yup I just bought my own copy! Will do an unboxing video once it arrives.

Now to the worst thing that almost ruined the show. I hate when the writer thinks he/she needs to make an explosive or out of the box twist to end the show. I watched Drinking Solo and the ending was a disappointment, but this was worse than that. Up until episode 15 the drama was so nice and happy. I thought they were going to get their happy ever after. I even liked the twist with the connection between Young Won’s father and Jasung’s past. I thought, hey, that’s so perfect! The writer even found a way to close their childhood traumas and bring the story into a full circle!

But dang what the F happened?!? Young Won got so guilty and disappeared for 3(?) years. Okayyyy maybe we needed the time jump where Young Won works for someone else and not under her boyfriend’s company and where she can heal. Maybe when they meet again they will be “equal” and they will find love again. Their eventual meetup was so nice, at the same place where they had a day trip together, with the crowds blurring and centering on the couple. I remember the exact same scene in Drinking Solo when the couple was also eating at a restaurant and saw each other from the other table. Exact same thing. They could have ended MMH like this and I would have been satisfied. But no, we see Young Won showing Jasung her own big house that she built on her own in just 3 years. Like where did she get the money to buy a land and construct a big house? Where did she even go for 3 years? Turns out she was just working in another magazine. What??? Then how come Jasung never found her? She never even went overseas. And the biggest question of all.. are they getting back together? To me, it felt like they ended up being exes turned good friends. Or worse, like Jasung was just a mentor/big brother to Young Won. Awww.. I’m not happy with the ending but overall, I still loved this drama.

Rating: 8.75/10