My Liberation Notes (2022)

Profile:
Drama: My Liberation Notes (나의 해방일지)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 9 – May 29, 2022
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 22:30

Plot: This drama is about three siblings who are unhappy with their current lives. A mysterious loner starts working in their father’s company and their lives start to change.

Main Cast:
Lee El – Yeom Ki Jeong
Lee Minki – Yeom Chang Hee
Kim Ji Won – Yeom Mi Jeong
Son Suk Ku – Gu Ja Gyeong
Lee Ki Woo – Cho Tae Hoon
Jeon Hye Jin – Ji Hyun Ah

Review:
I saw rave reviews of this drama when it started but episode 1 was so depressing I almost didn’t continue. I’m glad I did because the story maybe sad, but it was addicting to watch and oh so relatable. How many of us have felt like we’re trapped in our current reality and don’t know what to do to get out or be happy? I definitely felt like Mijeong a few years ago so I could totally understand how she feels.

Changhee is definitely my favorite character. His insights about life are so spot on! He is also a good son, brother, friend, colleague. I also would feel better if he was beside me on my death bed. I don’t really think being a funeral director involves holding a person’s hand as the person dies but I know how it feels when the funeral manager helped my family so much when my mom passed away. He made all the funeral arrangements faster and easier.

Mijeong and Mr. Gu are also another reason for me loving this show. I love their simple interactions, sometimes they don’t speak but their eyes and actions say it all. In real life their relationship wouldn’t have worked and real life alcoholic Gu would have beaten Mijeong. But the actors had chemistry and made the viewers wish they get their happy endings (after Gu sobers up and get help). Super happy Mijeong is finally smiling in the end.

I liked Gijeong at the start but she got too immature and desperate for love. Gijeong and her bf didn’t look liberated compared to her siblings. Feels like they’re forcing themselves to be together and the bf isn’t standing up for her against his family.

I felt sad about their parents. Mom held the glue for everyone. The dad was the traditional dad who didn’t speak much. I love what the Dad said that all this time he thought he was taking care of the family, but he realized that his family has been taking care of him all along. Best boy Changhee stepped up and took care of his family. Well, he found a wife for his dad so the three siblings can go to Seoul and live their own lives. LOL.

I also looked forward to the Liberation Club meetings especially when it’s the older guy’s turn to speak. He also shared a lot of wisdom. I think I would have also joined their club if I were an employee there.

Rating: 9/10

Lovestruck in the City (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Lovestruck in the City (도시남녀의 사랑법)
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

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

Profile

  • Drama: Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예)
  • Network: KBS2
  • Episodes: 16
  • Release Date: February 24 – April 14, 2016
  • Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00

Plot

This drama tells the story of soldiers and doctors who volunteer in Uruk and faces various challenges along the way.

Main Cast
Song Hye Kyo – Kang Mo Yeon
Song Joong Ki – Yoo Si Jin
Jin Goo – Seo Dae Young
Kim Jiwon – Yoon Myeong Joo

Review
Yup, i admit, despite this drama being the most talked about drama in 2016, with the SongSong couple married and divorced, it is only this year that I finally decided to watch this show. If it weren’t for the community quarantine, I probably still have not watched this.

I did start the first 2 episodes a few months ago in 2019 but I stopped and didn’t feel the urge to continue. When i tried watching again last week, this time for real, I realized why I stopped watching before and why it took me a bit long to finish this drama. It was because at the start and mostly all throughout the show, I couldn’t feel the chemistry between the two main leads. I’m sorry, probably unpopular opinion, but no matter how much romantic and witty pickup lines Si Yin says to Mo Yeon that is supposed to thrill her and the audience, I just found the lines too cheesy and cringy. Likewise, Mo Yeon/Song Hye Kyo trying to be cute worked super well when she was younger in Full House, but this time, it felt off. I preferred her emotional scenes, I think she was so good at it (the first when she cried because she didn’t get the professorship, then all those time she cried in Uruk, and lastly on episode 15 when Si Jin died), and between the two leads, SHK did it better, although SJK gave it as good as he can. They did deserve the daesang that year. The only time I felt genuine chemistry between them was on the last episode, when the jokes and teasing looked natural and the beach scene felt sweet. On MY and SJ’s relationship, I love that there was no love triangle and miscommunication. Instead, the story focused on their relationship – i could feel Mo Yeon’s struggle – as much as she wanted to love Sijin, it was so difficult when you know that his job is super dangerous and he can be killed anytime, and yet you can’t stop loving and letting go of the person. I loved the growth of the two characters in their chose n profession, as well as the growth in their relationship. MY was finally able to accept it and be the anchor/safe haven for Sijin. Oh, and apart from the cheesy lines, the intrusive and overused background music whenever they got close was too annoying. Gummy’s You are my everything is a beautiful song but now everytime i hear it i feel blech.

As for the secondary couple, i loved Wolf but i didn’t like Myeong Ju. I dont even know what Wolf saw in her. All i saw was a stubborn, prickly brat who is used to getting what she wants and doesn’t care about other’s feelings. For the part of the show, she was selfish, always ordering DY around that I felt bad for him. That scene in one of the episodes when MJ kept saying that DYnever talks to her and DYsays, i have been talking to you by running away or not saying anything — that is already my message to you and you didn’t even picked that up. Likewise, when DY said he wants MJ’s father to respect him for him and not because MY ordered him to and MJ just got angry and sulky, i thought dang dude, get away from that toxic person! But i have to admit, no one will love DY as much as MJ and I’m sure he will always have a partner, but i just hope that MJ eventually tones down and grows up – and learn to listen and support her partner.

The couple that i really adored (sometimes even more than the two main couples) were Doctor Song and Nurse Jea. They are so cute together! Doctor song did everything for the nurse, and i can’t believe Nurse Jea only accepted him at the last episode!! he was sweet and funny and a great doctor! She is so lucky to have him.

I also love the friendship between SJ and DY, and also their entire team! More than being team members, they were brothers and they were willing to die for one another. When SJ and DY died, and the whole squad were together and they reported that they coudn’t fidn their bodies, I can feel their pain and grief – liek they lost their family member and they can’t properly honor and bury them. Likewise when they came back and the stoic Commander hugged them both, and the Lieutenant was equally happy to see them. plus the shouting and happiness of their squad to see their two leaders alive. I also cried when KKB saw DY alive and he cried in front of his team. Poor baby. (Can you really get promoted from Private to Sergeant in just one year?)

Plotwise, the majority of the scenes to place in Uruk (around 10 episodes i think) and I was half-bored, half-i dont care with the story. Sure, there were lots of things that happened in Uruk, but the plot was boring — i didn’t like the whole story about Argus, i thought it went on for too long. Also the timelines in the drama were too weird. So many things happened in Uruk – saving the Arab, earthquake, pandemic, catching Argus – i was wonderng how many months have they stayed in Uruk until MY said on episode 10 that they just volunteered for a month!! Seriously!! Plus, each of the storylines were finished in just 2 episodes and proceeded to start with another tragedy – plus all the times people tried to kill MY and SJ, man, these guys must be invincible because no matter what happens, they still won’t die! and they become healthy the next day like nothing happened!

Couple of plot holes and storyline flaws too. One of the major ones that i didn’t like was Chi Hoon and the noisy earthquake survivor, who had no right to get angry at Chi Hoon for leaving him. I’m surprised no one in the doctor’s team, like doctor song or Mo Yeon was observant and sensitive enough to realize what has happening to Chi Hoon. someone should have also told off the survivor (i was hoping Doctor Song will but he never did) that Chi Hoon did the smart thing by leaving before he become another victim that the soldiers will have to deal with. and i’m disappointed at how the story was resolved — Chi Hoon running to the manager to save him (without wearing any protection) and survivor and Mo Yeon telling Chi Hoon, “he is now a real doctor” and Chi Hoon is happy crying and can now go home to his wife? The heck!! he was a real doctor even before the earthquake. Yes, he lived a privileged life, but he has always been a caring and competent doctor and hedoesn’t need affirmation from an annoying stranger.

Another one is the pandemic plot. So the manager suddenly has a contagious M3 virus, and only infected MJ. How easy to resolve the story when there’s not much danger – all the people, even MY (who also got blood on her face) and Chi Hoon (who was bitten) didn’t get infected. The only almost threat was when the vaccines were stolen, but yet again, Si Jin the superhero was able to save the day.

Back to the Argus story, I couldn’t really feel the betrayal and the animosity between Argus and Sijin because we only saw the same flashbacks over and over again, that they were part of the team and they even had their pictures together, and they were on a mission together. That’s it. There’s no personal betrayal or grudge, so i dont undersand why Sijin is angry at him other than being a traitor to the country, which is a big deal of course, but not enough for me to feel invested with their fight.

I loved the story starting from episode 12 when they came back to Seoul. The main plot about the North korean soldier was soo much better than the whole Argus storyline, mostly because it felt personal and I can feel the struggle and respect for each other. I was moved by the actor that I was hoping he didn’t get killed when he goes back to NK. That’s is how you create a story. I wished there was more of this and less of uruk, then I probably would have enjoyed the whole show.

Episode 15 when Sijin and DY died felt unreal, i did cry a lot too just like MY and MJ even though I know they wont die but kudos to the two female leads on their scenes. When they came back to life at the start of episode 16, I was almost laughing, like i felt like this was such fantasy and i give up, I’ll just watch this without any logic. Again, timelines didn’t fit. MY went to Albania for Sijin’s one year death anniversary, yet it took him one year before he showed up. The story said they were immediately locked undergroudn and beaten etc for a couple of months until the NK soldier came out of nowhere to rescue them. so what? it wasn’t a couple of months but the entire year if they just recently escaped. and why do they look healthy when they have been locked up for so long? they should have smelled bad or had rotting teeth or scars to their handsome flawless faces. The other half of episode 16 was pure fun — i wish the jokes were this funny earlier on. i dont think i ever laughed hard in this drama until that scene where the medical team was videocalling MY and they thought they were seeing SJ’s ghost. Bwahahaha. Another funny scene was when the boys were going crazy for Red Velvet. DY’s dance and SJ’s too happy chanting was so much fun to look at, though the 2 girls’ reactions were stupid. Why get angry at your bf for going crazy over a girl group? it was just fun and they didn’t need to be jealous.

The last scene where they went to Canada for Daniel and Yehwa’s wedding was totally unexpected and unnecessary (we didn’t even get to see the couple actually get married) and Chi hoon suddenly talkign to the audience was too weird. What is this show that I’m watching?? Plus a volcano in Vancouver? haha. I think they are just making fun of themselves now that we’re at the end of the show, but it’s still a wonderful message – that life goes on and there are brave doctors and soldiers out there who risk their lives everyday so that others are healed and saved. Especially at this time of the COVID 19 crisis, I appreciat very much all the hard work and bravery of the frontliners.

Overall, I wasn’t really wow’d by this drama like others seem to be (my friend loved this so much) but I’m glad I took the time to finish this show. SJK and SHK are probably the most beautiful couple that I have ever seen and the scenes were so gorgeous. Too bad, they weren’t able to make it work off camera. I keep thinking maybe this was the story of Mo Yeon and Sijin, in the end, maybe they really couldn’t get past their issues and had to separate. or maybe it’s the other way around, I’ll just remember the SongSong couple as Mo Yeon and Sijin, together for better or worse.

Lastly – i wonder why the name of the drama is called Descended from the Sun? Does anyone know the meaning or symbolism of this?

Rating: 8/10

One Sunny Day (2014)

One_Sunny_Day_(좋은_날)

Profile
Drama: One Sunny Day (좋은 날)
Network: LINE TV (Web drama)
Date: December 19, 2014 – January 2015
No. of episodes: 10

Plot
The story is about a guy and a girl who met in Jeju Island while on a business trip. They both got robbed and guy ended up staying at a guest house together and depending on each other (he lost his wallet, she lost her phone). They slowly fall in love as they stayed in Jeju Island, but what happens when they go back to Seoul?

Cast
So Ji Sub – Kim Ji-ho
Kim Ji won – Girl

Review
Oh, what a cute and warm drama! I can’t believe Ji won was only 22 when she filmed this drama. They looked so good together, considering SJS is way older than her. (Either she looks old or he looks young!) The story was very simple and could happen to anyone, that’s why it felt so real and relatable. Each episode was only around 10 mins so this was so easy to watch, and yet it felt complete and unrushed (maybe because 10 mins x 10 episodes almost felt like just watching a movie). I love both of them, they argued at the start but they quickly became friends and were attracted to each other. I like how they did not rush the romance, but showed us how they slowly fell in love that you can’t help but root for them to be together. I also love the OST. If you’re looking for a sweet romance, try this web drama!