Move to Heaven (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Move To Heaven (무브 투 헤븐: 나는 유품정리사입니다)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 10
Release Date: May 14, 2021

Plot: A story about a family who runs a trauma cleaning service called Move to Heaven, where they clear up the belongings of deceased people on behalf of their family.

Main Cast:
Lee Je Hoon – Cho Sang Gu
Tang Jun Sang – Han Geu Ru
Hong Seung Hee – Yoon Namu
Ji Jin Hee – Han Jeong Woo

Review:
My last but not the least completed drama for 2020. I binge watched this for 2 days. Terrific acting from Junsang and Jehoon. Loved their relationship from strangers to family. I also loved the dad and Geuru’s relationship, especially the last episode where we find out how they first met and I was crying.

Jehoon also did a great job portraying the bad but actually nice Sanggu. I was just distracted by his ugly hair and perfect nose. Lol. But I though the reason why Jeongwoo did not come back for Sanggu when he was younger was too cliche to move me (or maybe because there has been so many dramas about the department store collapse).

I read a lot of reviews on how much they loved this drama so I was slightly disappointed that the stories weren’t as moving as I expected. Maybe it’s because there’s very little story about the life of the deceased to mourn for them. Still every death is sad. Another Kdrama, Chocolate (2019), also dealt with death, and that one had me crying every single episode, unlike this one.

My favorite episodes are with the doctor and the cellist; and Matthew Green. Also the tragic friendship between Sanggu and Sucheol. I also like the potential romance between the social worker played by Choi Soo Young and Sang Gu.

I also liked Namu. She is a sweet and loyal friend to Geuru. She had more chemistry with Sanggu than Geuru though. I loved that she will do anything to protect her friend and keep him from harm.

I wouldn’t mind if there is a season 2.

Rating: 8.5/10

Hellbound (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Hellbound (지옥)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: November 19, 2021

Plot: A person receives a decree and dies. Is this the work of God or something else?

Main Cast:
Kim Hyun Joo – Min Hye Jin
Yoo Ah In – Jung Jin Soo
Park Jung Min – Bae Young Jae
Won Jin Ah – Song So Hyun
Yang Ik Jun – Jin Kyung Hun
Ryu Kyung Soo – Deacon Yuji
Lee Dong Hee – Kim Jong Chil
Kim Shin Rok – Park Jung Ja
Lee Re – Jin Hee Jung

Review
Great acting from the cast. It makes me think what will I do if I receive a decree? Do I spend my last remaining hours hiding in fear or do I spend it saying goodbye to people I love? I know everyone eventually dies, it’s just that here, the way you die is too scary and merciless. The decree also doesn’t say the reason why you’re going to hell. And how come Jinsu got the decree 20 years ago but others only had a few days to live? The ex-Arrowhead also received a decree 3 (or 5?) years before too.

The story is very relevant to us because the kind of religious fanaticism is happening right now and everywhere in the world. Not just religion, even in politics and social media we have this scary cancel culture. Some people are so righteous thinking their way is the right way and bullies everyone else who does not conform to their truth. And if their truth is wrong, instead of correcting them, they hide the truth and call the others as fake news or historical revisionism or whatever names that will invalidate a person’s opinion. As they always say, no one owns the truth. There are different sides of truth, depending on whose side you want to believe in. I wish everyone would be more compassionate towards each other and less self serving. The world is full of hypocrites and double standards, I wish we are more understanding and loving towards each other.

Since there are only 6 episodes, there are too many unanswered questions thus it’s hard to feel satisfied with the ending. Hoping for a season 2 to explain not only the last scene but also the overall phenomenon.

Rating: 8/10


The Raincoat Killer (2021)

Profile:
Documentary: The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea
Country: South Korea
Episodes: 3
Aired: Oct 22, 2021
Aired On: Friday
Original Network: Netflix
Duration: 50 min.

Review:
Very chilling documentary about the first serial killer in South Korea. I heard this inspired several Kdrama and movies like Taxi Driver and The Chaser.

He doesn’t wear a raincoat when he kills his victims, he uses a sledgehammer to hit his victims’ head, chops the bodies into 16-18 pieces, and buries them in a bamboo grove behind a temple. He was convicted for 21 murders. Horrifying.

This 3 episode show are narrated by the different retired police chief, detectives, profiler, and CSI during the between 2003-2004. They talked about how the first murders started, how they tried to look for evidences, linked the different cases and finding the evidences. They also talked about what went wrong, what they could have done better, and how it changed their whole system. What was missing I think was a little background on the killer and why he was killing people. But maybe he was too delusional and they couldn’t get anything.

Watch this if you like true crime and if you’re curious about Korean history.

Hometown Cha Cha Cha (2021)

Profile
Drama: Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (갯마을 차차차)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: August 28 – October 17, 2021
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A city dentist moves to the seaside village and falls in love with Chief Hong, who is nice and helpful but hides a painful secret.

Main Cast
Kim Seonho – Hong Dusik
Shin Minah – Yoon Hye Jin
Lee Sang Yi – Ji Seong Hyun
Gong Min Jung – Pyo Mi Sun
Kim Young Ok – Kim Gamri
Lee Bong Ryun – Yeo Hwa Jeong
Im Gyo Jin – Chang Young Guk
Jo Han Chul – Oh Chun Jae
Cha Chung Hwa – Jo Nam Sook
Kang Hyung Suk – Choi Eun Cheol

Review
This drama reminds me of that Air Supply song that goes “Two less lonely people in the world, and it’s gonna be fine. Out of all the people in the world, I just can’t believe you’re mine. In my life where everything was wrong, something finally went right. Now there’s two less lonely people in the world tonight.” Cheesy. Yes.

The drama moved at a slow pace, it really felt like watching Hyejin, Dusik and the villagers live a simple life in Gongjin with the beautiful scenery and yummy food. I always thought living in a village vs a city, life will be simple yet I realized that everyone no matter where they live, have their own set of problems.

I honestly didn’t like the first few episodes because I thought the villagers were all rude and always made Hyejin feel like she was a horrible person. I know Hyejin looked and sounded off from a villagers’ point of view, but they should also realize that their actions toward her were also very judgemental and bias. They were too in your face and act so pushy and invade her personal space. And I know they’re just being friendly but they also were too gossipy, esp. nosy Namsook. Even with the reveal of her tragic story, there’s still no excuse for spreading rumors about another person because they’re bored or still in mourning.

Because the drama is based on an old movie, one can feel there are some dated tropes and ideas, and I think this would not been as successful without the lovely combination of the dimple couple, Shin Minah and Kim Seonho. I enjoyed Hyejin and Dusik’s rollercoaster romance, from the first time they meet, to falling in love, how they supported and healed each other, until their ever after. I didn’t like Chief Hong in the first few episodes mostly because he was so rude to Hyejin. At the end of the episode 1, there was an epilogue that showed Dusik was intrigued by Hyejin at first sight, so I thought maybe he just has a bad way of showing it (like a boy pulling the pigtails of a girl he likes). Plus not wanting to get close to people because of a tragic past. I loved the actors who played the younger versions of Hyejin and Dusik, esp mini Dusik who looked so much like Kim Seonho. Their sweet moments were OTP cringey but I’ll give them a pass because they deserved all the happiness in the world.

The sea won’t always be gentle though. We will be met with wind and waves. And even typhoons will come our way. So what if we get soaked in the rain? Who cares if the wind blows a bit when we’re in the same boat?

Hyejin and Dusik final scene at the boat

Euncheol and Misun’s relationship was low key and adorable, I loved them (sometimes more than the main couple). And I got it right, Euncheol was the mystery lotto winner 😄. Of course I have to mention I love Hyejin and Misun’s friendship. Misun follows her friend to the seaside, when she was heartbroken, Misun helping Hyejin put up her dental clinic. Both friends cheering for each other’s love lives, though I still cant get over Hyejin leaving Misun in Seoul after planning an overnight girls night out to go back to Dusik!! But I can understand, I would also do the same for my girl friends.

Another fave character is Hwajeong. To me, she is one of the least annoying villager (after Dusik and Eun Cheol). Although she listened and followed the villagers, she never openly gossiped about other people, would scold them esp Nam Sook if they went too far, and wasn’t harsh on Hyejin. I cried for her when we found out why she divorced her husband. I’m happy they got back together, just wished they showed more sweetness and more groveling from the husband to make up for the 15 years he treated her bad. As for her relationship with Chohui, I already guessed that maybe Chohui liked her not Young Guk with the way Chohui was acting. Chohui was always smiling and trying to be close to Hwajeong, and I thought she was too insensitive – she knows they got divorced, yet she kept asking them to hang out with her, I’m glad Hwajeong confronted her about it. And when Chohui finally confessed to Hwajeong, I also appreciated how Hwajeong turned her down in a nice way and they continued to be friends. I love Im Gyo Jin so I know even if he played a jerk for the most part of the drama, I couldn’t stay angry at him, because right from the start, I knew Young Guk and Hwajeong will end up together again. And Gyo Jin’s so cute and funny!

Oh grandma Gamri 😢 Whenever I see this actress, I’m scared to think if she will die by the end of the show or not. But at least she died peacefully here, not like in Mouse where she was murdered.

Seonghyun is another fave character, though it felt like he was only introduced to pressure Dusik to finally make a move on Hyejin. I liked how his first love story with Hyejin ended, again, quoting another 80s song from Barry Manilow that goes, “We had the right love at the wrong time. I guess I always knew inside, I wouldn’t have you for a long time”. I also love how he became friends with all the villagers, and most especially with Dusik – so nice to see Dusik have actual friends again that are of same age, who he can talk to if he has problems. I just didn’t think he really had to end up with his writer – they could have continued being partners producing great shows without the romance (or maybe they could have gotten someone prettier to match him *sorry*) I knew what they mean, that he has been chasing for his first love with Hyejin, when all along the girl he likes is the one who was always besides him, but still, there’s still that 30% feeling that he “settled”.

The main things I didn’t like about this drama are the too many coincidences. Hyejin and Dusik meeting several times through out their lives — when they were kids, when Hyejin ran away, when Dusik almost jumped from the bridge and now in Gongjin. I know they’re supposed to show that they’re destined to be with each other, but it was just too much. Plus finding out Dusik’s tragic past was connected to Seonghyun and his assistant’s family. Like really? There’s this magnet that pulled them all together to meet in Gongjin. It was just too convenient story wise.

I took me some time to write the review because I couldn’t decide on my rating. I didn’t like the first few episodes, and the middle part felt too long and boring, that I was sometimes half watching half doing something else. But still I looked forward to watching this every weekend.

Lalalalalalalalala…romantic sunday 🎶🎶🎶 will forever be embedded in everyone’s minds.

Rating: 8.5/10 (because I liked the ending despite the flaws and this was the perfect weekend watch)