Behind Every Star (2022)

Drama: Behind Every Star (연예인 매니저로 살아남기)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 12
Release Date: November 7 – December 13, 2022
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:30
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: The story is about the daily lives of agents in Korea and how they manage the biggest Korean stars.

Main Cast
Lee Seo Jin – Ma Tae Oh
Kwak Sun Young – Chun Jane
Seo Hyun Woo – Kim Jung Don
Joo Hyun Young – Son Hyun Joo

I didn’t watch the original French drama so I’m not going to compare it with this Korean remake.

I like the episodic celebrity cameos esp Jo Yeo Jeong, Oh Nara/Park Hosan, Kim So Hyun, Lee Soon Jae, Daniel Henney (although his episode was the only one with a bad ending). I just thought that some of the stories were not as strong as the first 4 episodes.

At first I thought Ma Tae Oh is the bad guy in the office but actually he’s the one I like the most, despite his personal mistakes. And I love how much he actually dotes on Hyunjoo esp when everyone found out. I thought he was ashamed of her, but I realized he has been responsible father to me, he actually knows her and they do meet regularly. He just didn’t want anyone to know because he already has a (powerful) wife and a kid. The weird sibling romantic vibes between Hyunjoo and Eungyul need to go too. I’m a little disappointed with Hyun Joo. The actress was really funny in Atty Woo but here, I don’t know if it’s her acting or the director’s instructions but Hyun Joo (as a character) was not well-written. She was boring and flat. And how many times does she have to make a mistake to learn? She wants to be a great agent but she didn’t seem like she was good at it. She lacked the spark of a young passionate agent.

Heo Sung Tae is so fun to watch even if his character is annoying. I wouldn’t want a boss like him! Lol. I think he still likes Jane but is too shy (?) or proud to tell her, esp. since he knows Jane doesn’t like him other than his investment money.

All the other leads’ stories are also not that good. I don’t like the tax guy at all and I don’t know what Jane sees in him – he’s stalker-ish and controlling. I actually prefer Jane with Jung Don – I think they match more, I don’t like Jung Don with the receptionist/ wannabe actress although I want her to be successfull too.

The french drama has 4 seasons, while this remake’s 1st season covered 2 seasons. Not sure if they’ll be renewed for season 2 and if I’ll continue watching (maybe if they can get even better cameos).

Rating: 8/10


1987: When The Day Comes (2017)

Movie: 1987: When The Day Comes
Release Date: December 27, 2017
Runtime: 129 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Main Cast
Kim Yun Seok – Park Cheo Won
Ha Jung Woo – Prosecutor Choi
Park Hee Seon – Jo Han Kyung
Lee Hee Joon – Yoon Sang Sam
Kim Tae Ri – Yeon Hee
Kang Dong Won – Lee Han Yeol
Yoo Hae Jin – Han Byeong Yong

This movie is based on actual events called June Democratic Uprising in Korea which happened in 1987.

It all started when a college student was tortured and killed by anti-communist group and they tried to conceal his death.

I love how the director was able to tell the story through different people, starting from the prosecutor who demanded autopsy, to jail guard who passed on info to the opposition, the reporter who tried to reveal the truth to the public, and to the students who bravely rallied against the government.

Not for the faint hearted. It’s moving, horrifying and inspiring. The extra romance between the two college students slightly felt out of place but the end made up for it.

Rating: 8.5

Mouse (2021)

Drama: Mouse (마우스)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: March 3 – May 19, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Are psychopaths born or bred? This drama follows two guys with the psychopath gene. One is the son of a well-known serial killer called Head Hunter, the other is the son of a scientist researching about psychopath genes. When a series of murders start happening again, a detective (who is a victim of Headhunter) tries to uncover the killer before it’s too late.

Main Cast
Lee Seung Gi – Jung Bareum
Lee Hee Joon – Ko Moo Chi
Kyung Soo Jin – Choi Hong Ju
Park Ju Hyun – Oh Bong Yi
Kwon Hwa Woon – Sung Yohan

This drama was one hell of a ride! It took the basic question of ‘nature vs nurture’ and put a lot of interesting things along the way. Just when you think you know who the killer is and why, the writer comes up with a sudden twist that makes you rethink what you know. I appreciated that the writer was able to explain a lot of the small clues and questions we have (although most of the ideas were unbelievable).

I loved Bareum and Moochi. I wish they were more scenes of them working together like the first few episodes and in the middle when Bareum suddenly became a genius who can predict the serial killer’s mind. I really like Moochi but sometimes it feels like he is always too late. He is always drunk or away whenever something major happens or cant be reached. And he ends up with people dying on him. He became a detective to kill the Headhunter so when everything ended, he left the force and became an average guy. At least he is at peace.

I liked Bongyi at the start even though she was a brat. But in the latter episodes her character was just there when it was convenient for the plot. And the romance between her and Bareum was weird. She is too young for Bareum and she was mostly annoying. I feel bad for her and what she went through but at least, she ends up having a great guy like Moochi taking care of her.

Never liked Hongju. She was a mystery. How can she not call her parents after all this time? Because of guilt? And i find it hard to believe that the father never recognized who she was when she is a famous tv personality. And she grew up with this huge guilt on her shoulders but was silent the entire time until Yohan was killed. She also had a sour face the whole 20 episodes. What did Yohan like about her? But at least better late than never. She went to jail for what she did years ago, and when she got out of prison, she was finally surrounded by loving parents, here son and Yohan’s mom. I think she deserved happiness too.

The whole government conspiracy was interesting but the big reveal wasn’t too impactful. Or maybe it was rushed. The drama was hinting about this huge OZ operation for so many episodes but all we got in the end was the lady also getting out early (but secretly assassinated).

I feel bad for Sung Yohan. He was misunderstood but he was the softest genius who cared for everyone around him. I thought he deserved more public recognition than just exonerating his name as a killer.

And of course, Jung Bareum as the main lead was sympathetic. He really tried hard, he wished very hard not to become a monster. He was doing well until the stupid OZ triggered his psycho mind and he starting killing people. The brain transplant and Yohan’s emotions blending with his is puro science fiction. I read an article that most of the psychopaths do not always act on their tendencies so it made me wonder, the fact that Bareum has been consciously suppressing his psycho-ness – did it mean that he could have not become a psychopath? or was it going to happen eventually and OZ just triggered it early? And I know Bareum did kill a lot of people but to people who knew him like Chi Kook, his friend, Hongju, Moochi, Bongyi, i knew although they were angry at him, also felt bad for him. I wished there was a better farewell between Moochi and Bareum and not just that one visit. The part where Bareum fulfilled his promise to kill Headhunter was a nice touch, but was too little too late too. The ending was sad but it was the most appropriate ending given the circumstances.

Rating: 8.5/10