From Now On, Showtime (2022)

Profile:
Drama: From Now On Showtime! (지금부터 쇼타임!)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 23 – June 12, 2022
Runtime: Saturday & Sunday 20:40
Country: South Korea

Plot: A magician and policewoman reluctantly work together to solve crimes.

Main Cast
Park Hae Jin – Cha Cha Woong
Jin Ki Joo – Go Seul Hae
Jung Junho – Choi Geom
Lee Dong Ha – Hae Chun Moo
Jung Suk Yong – Nam Sang Goon
Ko Kyu Pil – Ma Dong Chul
Park Seo Yeon – Kang Areum

Review:
This drama had everything I love in a Kdrama – romcom, comedy, ghosts, murder, creepy killer, new found family, magic, and they managed to squeeze in a little sageuk in the story too. Whew! Too many things happening but I loved the seamless transition of each scene. The sageuk went for 2.5 episodes if i remember correctly, it was like watching a drama within a drama. 2.5 episodes were too long though, they could have kept the past life story at 2 episodes max and more time for the last episode.

Great ensemble cast, from the grumpy ML, charming FL, funny ghost gang and fanboy spirit. I loved their interactions and team work. Esp when they were showing how they did their magic tricks. The drama also showed the background story of the 3 ghosts and I was crying when they finally had to leave and enter Nirvana. I was also surprised at Choi Geom’s story – didn’t expect it all and Cha Woong was just right to get angry at his betrayal and secrecy!

I also loved the romance between Cha Woong and Seulhae, I guess sharing the past, they just knew they were meant to be together. I actually sometimes like their past selves more than their current selves because their love was just so tragic. and Princess Chunhwa was so pretty, no wonder Hae Chunmoo felt in love and couldn’t let go even after 2,000 years!

The episodic cases were light while the initial villain (Ahn Chang Hwan) was so creepy and scary. I mostly ignored Hee Soo, i think he wasn’t a good SML as he could have been. He was just there but didn’t really do much.

Yeji was mostly irritating for being too money hungry but she made up for it by helping Cha Woong in the end. Wished her character was given more chance to shine as a great shaman in the making rather than showing her being petty. I thought the boyfriend deserved a nicer girl than Yeji but Yeji also turned out to be super nice when she dropped her money hungry act.

The final episode wasn’t as much fun as I was hoping it to be since it felt rushed. The evil spirit was so annoying at this point with his obsession for Chunhwa when she was never his. And him jumping from one body to another was too much. But I got it — it made sense he jumped to Heesoo (SML turned bad), to Heesoo’s dad (he finally got the what he deserved for lying all these years), then to Seulhae (to test Cha Woong).

Rating: 8.75/10 (9 minus 0.25 for the bad guy)



You Are My Spring (2021)

Profile:
Drama: You Are My Spring (너는 나의 봄)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: July 5 – August 24, 2021
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00
Country: South Korea

Plot

Main Cast
Kim Dong Wook – Ju Young Do
Seo Hyun Jin – Kang Da Jeong
Nam Gyuri – Ahn Ga Young
Park Yoon – Choi Jung Min/Chae Jun

Review
I thought the title is deceiving. I was expecting a romcom but this was a healing drama about the leads with lots of traumatic experiences and a side of murder. But in the end I understood why.

After I finishing watching episode 1 I almost didn’t want to continue. The tone of the first episode was weird. It was partly mysterious with the recent murder and the flashback when Da Jeong as a young kid and her mother running away, then later Da Jeong is back in her hometown and the tone will shift to something light and romantic when the main leads had their first meet cute. I thought it was very odd and it sort of reminded me of Kim Dong Wook’s drama last year called Find Me In Your Memory. But a few weeks later, I decided to continue and actually liked the drama.

I loved the leads, both actors were perfectly casted. I laughed at the funny antics, swooned at the romantic scenes and cried at the heartbreaking moments. That rooftop scene when they broke up, that night they cosplayed, when Youngdo finally realized his first love, getting Dr Hallow and Blackfields from the machine, Youngdo in his embarrassingly slick hairstyle and outfit. I loved all of them! I wished the twins’ story was just a side plot and the story focused more on the romance and relationship between the leads, I would have rated this drama higher!

The whole murder storyline was boring and was out of place. Up the end I was still confused what really happened to Jeongmin and Ian Chase — who was who in the flashbacks in the orphanage, when they were 18 years old, and how they were able t continue to communicate all these years. I also didn’t really care for the homeless guy and his motivation for killing the twins. At some point I wanted to pause or go back to previous episodes to actually understand what happened but I couldn’t be bothered. Too bad. I like Yoon Park as Jeongmin because he was always smiling and happy vs Ian Chase who always looked troubled. But I hope he becomes happier.

I really like Kim Dong Wook. He may not be as handsome as the usual main leads like Lee Min Ho or Park Seo Jun but I find him really charming and fascinating to watch on-screen. His skin is flawless, his smile is infectious, and he just looks like a guy who is so steady and supportive that you know he would be there to protect you. And maybe that’s why he got this role. His voice is also soothing.

I also loved their group of friends and how we also got to know their story too. Except Cheoldo and the vet, i wished they explored their story more than Ian Chase one. Ji Seung Hyun was wasted here!! He was more like a side character with a one sided like for the best friend and the boxer. I wished there was more depth and growth to his character. Likewise, they always made Cheoldo looked like an annoying friend, I think he is a nice guy and deserve better treatment from his so-called friends. The boxer lady also had a potential to have a better story other than pining for the vet who doesn’t like her back.

I also loved Nam Gyuri’s portrayal of Ahn Gayoung. Her “HELLO” is so fun and catchy and her cute romance with Patrick. I thought they wouldn’t last but I’m glad they did because she really looked so happy with Patrick and Patrick looked absolutely in love with her despite the age gap and what others think. The Princess of Forever drama seem to almost look like a fun drama to watch, although the main lead didn’t look attractive enough to understand why the princess will like him (esp when the husband looked amazing).

This drama also has one of the better mother-daughter storylines where the mother was actually supportive and listened to her daughter vs the usual Kdrama mothers that screamed or whined that their daughter is unmarried, etc. The actress who plays the mom always play a mom and I find it weird because I know she is older (around 51 yo) but she is too young to have a older children (in the mid 30s) (though I think Seo Hyun Jin is playing a character much younger than her real age).

Rating: 8.25/10 (8.5 less 0.25 for the murder storyline)

Chip In (2020)

Profile
Drama: United Effort to Accomplish One Thing (십시일반)
Network: MBC
Episodes: 8
Release Date: July 22 – August 13, 2020
Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:30 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Plot
Inho’s family came over for the weekend for celebrate his birthday, but he ended up dead the next day. Now each one tries to figure out who killed Inho before they get framed for murder and lose their inheritance.

Main Cast
Kim Hye Jun – Wang Bit Na
Oh Na Ra – Kim Ji Hye
Kim Jung Young – Ji Sul Young
Nam Moon Chul – Yoo In Ho
Han Soo Hyun – Dokko Chul
Choi Kyu Jin – Yoo Hae Jun
Kim Si Eun – Dokko Sun
Lee Yoon Hee – Moon Jeong Wook
Nam Mi Jung – Park Jin Sook

Review
Only 8 episodes but every episode was so good! I love murder mysteries so it was so much fun trying to solve the mystery! I’m happy that my initial guesses were almost correct, I got the people right, but not the motive and how they did it.

The family members started off as distant and sometimes antagonistic (that’s why money is the root of all evil!!!) but they slowly bonded (or at least learned to understand and tolerate each other) after everything that has happened. It took the death of the most powerful and toxic member of the family for them to “unite”.

I appreciated the relationship between Bitna and her mom, Bitna and her cousin. I was hoping that Bitna, Sun will end up closer with Haejun, who also suffered a lot.

I love that in the end, it didn’t matter who killed Inho, what mattered was he was exposed for the kind of monster that he really is. It felt like they were finally free of him when they decided to let go of their inheritance. I mean, getting the money doesn’t feel all that great anymore and to me, it’s always better to earn your own money. You dont have to beg for it or suffer humiliation just to get some money. The final episode was so much fun and felt like a caper movie!! The brother will always be a con artist and glad to see his family finally putting him in his place.

I did feel bad for Mr. Moon and what happened to him. I wish he got (and felt) the recognition he rightly deserved, but then it was his own choice to follow and stay silent all these years and allowing Inho to take advantage and abuse him. But he didn’t deserve the painful suffering at the end.

Overall, super breezy drama and i’m glad my family is not rich to fight over money. LOL!

Rating: 8.5/10