Brain Works (2023)

Drama: Brain Cooperation (두뇌공조)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: January 2 – February 28, 2023
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:50
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: A neuroscientist works as a consultant to the Neuroscience Investigation Team to solve crimes.

Main Cast
Cha Tae Hyun – Shin Haru
Jung Yonghwa – Geum Myung Se
Kwak Sun Young – Seul Sojung
Ye Ji Won – Kim Moran
Jeong Dong Hwan – Hwang Dong Woo

Comedy + crime solving is always up my alley. The cases were related to the brain so very interesting esp when Shin Haru describes how the brain normally works and there are little cute characters showing to demonstrate his explanation.

I thought CTH again as a detective? But he was slightly different here than Police U. Here he is still upstanding but more softhearted. His nice guy was a big contrast to YH’s serious Haru. I wished the last episode showed Haru to smile more and join the team dinner and be more friendly, but it would break his character’s psychopathic personality. But at least he was able to make a friend despite his condition.

I also like Captain Seul, esp when she became the wild girl vs her usual timid self. I wish she stayed like that but she went back to her normal self when she recovered. Im not used to CTH having a romantic story but he and Captain was so cute together. Esp when he tried to say her name instead of Captain Seul.

I think the ex wife’s story was necessary. I didnt get why she had to be there other than to serve as a plot point against the love story between Detective Geum and Captain Seul.

The main villain at first i thought was going to be creepy but i was a little underwhelmed by how sinister he was. I just saw him in the last episode as a pathetic old man bored in prison. Haru shouldnt have wasted his time on him. Although his games were interesting enough.

The ending was neatly wrapped with almost everyone getting their happy ever after. But that zombie hunting case would have been fun even for 1 extra episode!!

Rating: 8.5/10


Weak Hero Class 1 (2022)

Drama: Weak Hero Class 1 (약한영웅 Class 1)
Network: Wavve
Episodes: 8
Release Date: November 18, 2022
Runtime: 45 mins
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: 3 guys fight for their lives against class bullies.

Main Cast:
Park Ji Hoon – Yeon Si Eun
Choi Hyun Wook – An Soo Ho
Hong Kyung – Oh Bum Seok

I was interested to watch this because of Choi Hyun Wook but I didn’t like the topic, which is about school bullying. However, since i read so many good reviews about this drama, I decided it to watch it also!

Wow! This drama is so brutal! Why does Korea have so many bullies in school? Is it just exaggerated in kdramas or is this norm in every school? I think in my country, there are some bullies of course, but generally not a lot. I asked my nephews and nieces as well as my friends’ children, they do not have bullies in their school (thank God!)

I think what’s striking in all the bullying cases (kdrama or in real life) is that these children had a sad childhood. Whether they were directly unloved, neglected, abused, or indirectly affected by family events like death, divorce, etc, it really impacts the children’s lives and their outlook. So I think parents should really be careful in raising their children. Not just raising, but actually decided if they want to have a children or not. Like in Si Eun’s case, both parents are working and had no time to care for their one and only child. Or Bum Seok who didn’t want to be adopted, but ended abused by his adoptive father. Or how about Young Bin, whose mother always let him get away with his misdeeds through money. And interestingly, it is Soo Ho, who didn’t have parents, but was lovingly brought up by his grandma, who had more integrity than the rest. So I guess, LOVE makes a whole lot of difference.

Si Eun was a loner but ended up having a really good friend in Soo Ho. He was willing to fight and die for his friends. Soo Ho, who always knows his boundaries, but always get into fights trying to save his friends from jealous people. Ugh! I didn’t know if I should hate Bum Seok or feel bad for him. Logic would think that he would be nicer since he knows what it’s like to be bullied, but usually anger and hatred makes you do things you don’t want to do.

This drama also showed how adults fail these children all the time. The parents who starts the neglect and abuse. The teachers who do not do anything, even turn a blind eye to the bullying. The bad men who put these children to labor or to crime. The police / government officials who also not able to arrest these bad guys.

I didn’t read the book. And I know there are no plans of having a season 2. (They didn’t expect that this drama will be a hit!). So i wished that they just ended this differently. Like Soo Ho, getting better rather than be in a coma. Si Eun in a new school with a new bully to contend with. I guess the new bully didn’t know Si Eun almost killed people in his old school. He should be worried.

Overall, amazing drama. Not for the weak.

Rating: 9/10

Money Heist Korea Part 2 (2022)

Drama: Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area Part II (종이의 집: 공동경제구역)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: December 9, 2022
Language: Korean

Plot: Continuation of Part 1 where Professor and his gang tries to escape the Mint.

Main Cast:
Yoo Ji Tae – Professor
Kim Yun Jin – Seon Woojin
Park Hae Soo – Berlin
Jun Jong Seo – Tokyo
Lee Hyun Woo – Rio
Lee Won Jong – Moscow
Kim Ji Hoon – Denver
Jang Yoon Ju – Nairobi
Lee Kyu Ho – Oslo
Kim Ji Hoon – Helsinki
Lim Ji Yeon – Seoul
Lee Joo Bin – Yoon Misun
Park Myoung Hoon – Director Young Min
Jang Hyun Sung – Kim Sang Man

Part 2 picks up right when Part 1 ended (Money Heist Korea Part 1 (2022)) and every episode was thrilling and non-stop as they race against time to print the money and escape without injuring the hostages, the members, and getting captured by the police. I wanted them to get away without getting caught!! So sad some of them had to die, esp Moscow who I liked.

I love the Professor, even at the last minute he can think of a plan! Not so much keen on Inspector although I admit she and Cha Mmo Hyuk are smart enough tofigure out the plan, but those politicians are really terrible! But that ending looks like she decided to join team heist after getting disappointed with the police and government.

I also love Berlin, i thought he was going to die (whew!!) and Seoul for not leaving Berlin behind!! I also love Denver and Misun. Tokyo and Rio.

Loved the scene in the picture, where they were fighting for their lives. You can see their crazy eyes esp Tokyo, Berlin and Nairobi.

Looking forward to the next season (will there be any??)

Reborn Rich (2022)

Drama: The Chaebol’s Youngest Son (재벌집 막내아들)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 18 – December 25, 2022
Runtime: Friday-Sunday 22:30
Language: Korean

Plot: Yoon Hyun Woo, the right-hand man of the current Chairman of Soonyang was murdered while trying to retrieve the proceeds from a slush fund, and gets reborn as the Jin Dojun, the youngest grandson of the Soonyang family. He vows to find out who tried to murder him in his previous life and take revenge by taking down Soonyang.

Main Cast:
Song Joong Ki – Yoon Hyun Woo / Jin Dojun
Lee Sung Min – Jin Yang Cheol
Shin Hyun Bin – Seo Min Young
Yoon Je Moon – Jin Yong Ki
Kim Nam Hee – Jin Seung Jun
Park Ji Hyun – Mo Hyun Min
Jo Han Chul – Jin Dong Ki
Kim Shin Rok – Jin Hwa Young
Kim Do Hyun – Choi Chang Je
Kim Young Dae – Jin Yoon Ki
Park Hyuk Kwon – Oh Se Hyeon

I started watching this only when the current airing episodes were already in episode 14 and everyone is raving about this drama. The first few episodes were ok with me, nothing outstanding, I even kept criticising the “reborn” part which I thought didn’t make sense, but as I watched, I decided to suspend my disbelief and just follow the story, which became so exciting and thrilling that I ended up finishing the series jut at the same time that episode 16 came out.

I loved Lee Sungmin as the harabuji chairman and his complicated relationship with his grandson. They were so much alike that Harabuji can’t help but be so impressed with his grandson, even though Dojun was doing everything to block Soonyang in almost every episode. I guess when the rest of the potential heirs are too incompetent, harabuji is worried that the company he worked so hard to build will just collapse after he dies. Lee Sung Min is the best actor to play Jin Yang Cheol, but it was still weird to see that he looks so young to be the chairman esp. when the actors who played his sons were near his age to be believable. They could have added more gray hairs and wrinkles to his face (Sungmin’s face was so smooth like a baby, they just added some freckles to make him look old).

I also loved Song Joongki in this dual role, although special props to Kim Kang Hoon for playing the younger Dojun – he set the tone for the older Dojun. However, SJK has done this role many times like the perfect guy who has a plan for everything, like Vincenzo, or his thirst for revenge like in Innocent Man, that it felt like he didn’t do anything special in terms of acting. This drama also made me think if I was reborn, what would I do to change my fate? I will probably buy land in the most expensive areas while they were still nothing but grass.

I heard the original webtoon did nt have a romance angle between Dojun and Minyoung and I wished they kept the original webtoon between the romance just didn’t work for me. Minyoung was too bland and boring for a strong personality like Dojun/HW. If HW didn’t know Minyoung from his previous life, he probably wouldn’t notice her at all. Plus, Minyoung’s character only showed up when the story needed a prosecutor to arrest Dojun or help Dojun arrest the uncles/aunt. I was relieved that the present HW didn’t end up with Minyoung. I even preferred Dojun with Hyunmin or even Rachel – It would have been fun seeing Dojun and Seungjun fight over Soonyang and a girl, while Rachel was bubbly and cheerful and have more possible chances for them to fall in love since they’re always in the office together.

Not sure if I’m one of the few who actually liked the ending and was satisfied with it. For most people they prolly got attached to “Jin Dojun” rather than “Yoon Hyun Woo”. Everyone was wondering if he was reborn or time travelled, I’m glad they finally addressed it in the last episode, although don’t have to dig too much deeper or you’ll end up with more questions than answers. Plus, how no one thought HW looked like Dojun is beyond me! The difference is HW wearing glasses! I guess if Clark Kent can get away with it, HW can too!

The last episode was 1.5 hours long but I think they should have just added an extra episode so that the ending didn’t feel too rushed. I would have loved to see HW talking to his Dojun family one more time. Overall solid writing and acting from the ensemble cast.

Rating: 9/10