Alchemy of Souls Part 1 (2022)

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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)

Yonder (2022)

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Drama: Yonder (욘더)
Network: TVING
Episodes: 6
Release Date: October 14, 2022

Plot: In futuristic Korea, euthanasia has been passed into law and a mysterious company is offering people the ability to design their own death.

Main cast:
Shin Ha Kyun -Kim Jae Hyun
Han Ji Min – Cha Yi Hoo
Jung Jin Young – Dr. K
Lee Jung Eun – Seiren

Review:
Spoilers alert. The drama opened an interesting and controversial topic to discuss and debate on, which is about life after death. Or specifically, designing your own death.

From episode 1 i already knew the potential danger that may happen with the premise. By N By was exploiting people’s grief and manipulating them through religion (souls going to heaven after death) and science (creating data from memories) to follow their dead relatives. I think they should be arrested for inciting mass murder/suicide. But the story was left open in the end and didnt have proper closure.

I thought the dying people who chose Yonder were very selfish. Like the lead’s wife. She couldn’t bear that the husband will forget her when she dies. Instead of wanting their family and friends to move on, they are also encouraging them to join them in “heaven”. And a lot of them did with false hopes of happiness, which is very sad. Like the girl killing herself to be with her dad, and the father to be with his family.

I also feel bad for those who wanted to grieve, and were led on by By N By. I mean the it was created by the married scientists who were grieving for their dead daughter and wanted to create their own alternate universe by bringing everyone else into their metaverse. It’s psychotic and chilling. I was disappointed with the sudden change of Jaehyun from a non believer upto ep 4 to suddenly joining his wife in ep 5. But am glad he was able to “wake up” and let go and also have friends who were able to bring him back to life.

The visuals were gorgeous, like the drama was supposed to be a movie but got extended to 6 episodes.

I personally favor euthanasia like if I were dying, i would like to choose when I would die rather than wait until I cant handle the pain anymore. But i would rather that memories remain in my heart and not create a new life after death. I’d rather be left at peace than have my brothers mourn me forever. Like Jaehyun said, “The reason beautiful moments are precious is because that moment can never return”. And the memories were built from data that maybe real but are remade for illusions.

I did wish the drama was 1 episode longer to explain where Yonder is and what happens after and to everyone else. I’m assuming it is some form of metaverse so I’m surprised people were not able to find out where it is located (eg. Server or IP address), and raid the company.

Rating: 8.5/10

May It Please The Court (2022)

Drama: May It Please The Court (변론을 시작하겠습니다)
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 12
Release Date: September 21, 2022
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: Noh Chakhee is a fantastic lawyer at Jangsan Corp, which is currently managed by Jang Gido. After a scandal, Chakhee was suspended for a year and was assigned to be public defender where she meets Jwa Shibaek. Just then, a series of murders take place and were all similarly connected to Chakhee, Shibaek and Jangsan.

Main Cast:
Jung Ryu Won – Noh Chakhee
Lee Kyu Hyung – Jwa Shibaek
Jung Jin Young – Jang Gido

Review:
Wow! Didn’t expect the story would get very dark in the end. I loved that it kept me guessing on who is the villain (there were a lot of them). I also decided on who they were near the end but not the motive!! The twist at the end were shocking, sad, brilliant, tragic.

I loved the pair of Chakhee and Shibaek. Shibaek definitely was able to bring the best of Chakhee. He is obviously a nice guy but his mysterious half smiles was getting annoying. Can we get a season 2 of them but make it a romcom?

Super love Jung Ryu Won, esp that scene when she found out who confessed and who she was defending 😱 And i love the growth of her character. Chakhee has always been nice but was stuck being a lapdog of Jangsan because of their gratitude at raising her when her grandmother died. Even though Chairman doted on her, she was still not considered “family”. When she found out the truth about her family, her illusions were shattered and she felt betrayed and vowed to bring down the family’s honor.

Chisik and Dongpil’s storyline was the perfect revenge. But i’m curious what was so special with the place where Chisik buried Eunsoo?

I also didn’t expect the granny and Shibaek/Mr Toilet’s relationship 😭 and the twist of who Shibaek really was!

Jang Gido was perfectly acted by Jung Jinyoung. I really thought he was a nice guy but like Chakhee, I finally saw through his fake tears and acting and it was disgusting. And the Chairman!! Great job casting the actor playing the chairman! 🤯

I wish there were better uses of Yiyeom, Haran and Chakhee’s dad but overall fantastic drama.

Rating: 9/10

Good Job (2022)

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Drama: Good Job (굿잡)
Network: ENA, Olleh TV, Seezn
Episodes: 12
Release Date: August 24 – September 29, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00
Country: South Korea

Plot: A young CEO of the Eun Kang Group sidelines as a detective to investigate who killed his mother years ago. He runs a small detective agency with his best friend lawyer Jinmo. He meets Don Sera during one of his cases and the two decide to work together to solve Sunwoo’s mother’s death.

Main Cast
Jung Il Woo – Eun Sunwoo
Kwon Yuri – Don Sera
Eum Mun Suk – Yang Jinmo
Song Sang Eun – Sa Nahee
Yoon Sun Woo – Kang Tae Joon
Lee Joon Hyuk – Director Hong
Hong Woo Jin – Kim Jae Ha

Review
This was so light and fun and easy to watch! The plot is simple but I like their silly disguises and solving cases. This drama reminds me a lot like Bruce Wayne (Sunwoo) and his secret batcave and alterego as Batman (Sunwoo as a detective), with his sidekick Robin (Jinmo), Batgirl (Sera — ok Batgirl is not Batman’s love interest but you get what I mean) and Alfred (Director Hong).

The show was mostly carried by the great chemistry between the main leads Sera and Sunwoo and the second leads Jinmo and Nahee. They were funny, sweet, romantic. Esp Sera and Sunwoo — whew!! I wish they get together in real life! (Time to watch Bossam!). I also loved the bromance between Sunwoo and his best friend Jin Mo — they know each other so well that they also have a Plan B.

I also liked all the OST songs. Too bad they didn’t release an album.

On the other hand, the villain is predictable (well, at least to me), I felt like he tried too hard to be like Joo Dan Tae (if you watch Penthouse lol) and I still really don’t really get his motive (it sounds shallow — boohoo daddy didn’t love him).

The other “bad guy” was just too angry from episode 1 without really saying why he is that way to Sunwoo. I don’t know if it’s the actor or the way the character was written. But I like that in the end, he got a little redemption — he was able to get out of his father’s shadow and accepted the consequences of his actions (and hopefully mature a bit).

Detective Han was largely useless as a character except for the last episode. Which was too bad coz he would have been a great part of the team, had he actually had better detective instincts. And as a detective, he should know better than stop Sera from knowing the truth behind what happened when she was younger. She deserved to know to be able to take care of herself.

Rating: 8.5/10 (8 for the story + 0.5 for the leads)