Perhaps Love (2021)

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Movie: Perhaps Love (장르만 로맨스)
Release Date: November 17, 2021
Runtime: 113 min.
Genre: Romantic-Comedy
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Ryu Seung Ryong – Hyun
Oh Nara – Mi Ae
Kim Hee Won – Soon Mo
Lee Yoo Young – Jung Won
Sung Yoo Bin – Sung Kyung
Mu Jin Sung – Yoo Jin

Review:
I’m not sure if I can describe this as a romcom or comedy because there’s not a lot of love here, but they are all in some kind of relationships.

The male lead is in a writing slump and meets a gay writer who is in love with him. The ML’s second wife is abroad and he deals with his first wife regularly because their son is a trouble maker. The first wife is secretly dating the male lead’s editor while the son strikes a friendship/falls in love with the neighbor lady who is married but husband is away.

It’s too complicated and chaotic when the stories all come together. I didn’t find the movie funny, except for the scene where the son finds his parents in bed together.

The other noteworthy thing is when the homophobic male lead ends up understanding and supporting the gay writer.

Rating: 8/10

Racket Boys (2021)

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Drama: Racket Boys (라켓소년단)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 31 – July 20, 2021
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
A story of young badminton players vying for the junior sports competition while learning about friendship, family, teamwork, love and success.

Main Cast
Tang Jung Sang – Yoon Hae Kang
Son Sang Yeon – Bang Yoon Dam
Choi Hyun Wook – Na Woo Chan
Kim Kang Hoon – Lee Young Tae
Kim Sang Kyung – Yoon Hyeon Jong
Oh Nara – Ra Yeong Ja
Lee Jae In – Han Se Yoon
Lee Ji Won – Lee Han Sol

Review
Absolute gem!!

I came for the sports themed drama and stayed for the kids! Haekang, Yoondam, Woochan, Yongtae, Insol, Seyoon and Hansol were perfectly casted! I’ll predict they are the new generation Kdrama prince and princesses in the making!!

I love the kids’ friendship and romance.
Haekang – He’s such a typical confident kid “I’m the one and only Yoon Hae Kang”. He sounds like a jerk but you’ll come to love him, especially when he shows how much he is a softie. I love Haekang’s growth from hating the village life and his team and becoming passionate about the sport. And how he had found his real friends.

Yoondam – he’s so handsome, like a young Hyun Bin. And i love his cute love story with Hansol. He is also a nice captain.

Woochan – except for his hair, he is also cute, like a young Jang Ki Yong! I love his friendship with Youngtae, his struggles as being an “average” player. I think in a team, everyone needs to have their own position. We can’t have two stars or two captains. So i think Woochan’s position in the team is the best defensive player, who will back the star, and that’s equally important. I love that he finally got to play badminton and I love his scene with his military father.

Lee Yong Tae is like a mini Hae Kang, always so confident even at a young age. He’s also a crybaby. I like the story where he finally got past his imitation of his idol, Lee Young Dae and came up with his own playing style.

Insol – a great addition to the team. I would say he’s not only the brains, but he also has equal badminton skills as the others. I mean, he almost won against Haekang (the final scene was controversial, given that he gave way to Haekang). A few more years and he will be part of the national team too. And i love the super strict father who ended up being his best fan.

I also loved the two girls – Seyoon and Hansol. Seyoon’s is such an amazing and dedicated badminton player. No wonder she’s the best junior player in the country. I love her love story with Hae Kang, it was slow burn from the very start and finally culminated when Hae Kang won the NJSP. I’m amazed by how mature the kids are in this drama. Maybe because they are athletes.

I love loved Jiwon as Seyoon’s best friend. That episode 14 where the drama highlighted the girls’ friendship had me in tears.

I also liked the interaction between the other kids. They maybe rivals on-court but off-court they are friends and have respect for one another.

The coaches — esp. Coach Yoon, Coach Ra, Coach Whitewolf .. sometimes as adults we think we know it all, but sometimes it’s good to learn from the kids too. Coach Yoon came off as a slacker coach but when he starting putting his heart in coaching, he really did well. Coach Ra is very strict since she is a perfectionist, but the episode where they revealed her back story was also sad, and made me admire how tough she has been all these years.

I also loved the badminton matches. I read they all trained for 6-9 months and it really shows.

It took me some time to warm up to the villagers but they were good people. And accepted the badminton team as their own. I cried when grandma passed away.

I’d like to have a season 2 because i love the kids, but i’m afraid it won’t be as good so i’ll just rewatch this.

Rating: 9/10

The Lady in Dignity (2017)

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Drama: Woman of Dignity (품위있는 그녀)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 20
Release Date: June 16 – August 19, 2017
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 23:00

Plot
The second daughter in law hires a caregiver to take care of her father in law. The ambitious caregiver seduces the father in law, marries him and takes over the household.

Main Cast
Kim Hee Sun – Woo A-Jin
Kim Sun Ah – Park Bok Ja
Jung Sang Hoon – Ahn Jae Suk
Lee Ki Woo – Kang Ki Ho
Kim Yong Geon – Ahn Tae Dong
Seo Jung Yeon – Park Jumi
Oh Nara – Ahn Jae Hee

Review
Woo Ajin was the only lady in dignity (and her short haired friend) in this drama. Park Bokja was right. They may have millions of cash, but were all trash. I am sure this really happens in real life. I was impressed how Ajin is able to still be so positive and happy (and successful) despite her problems. Must be why Bokja wanted to be like her and didn’t touch her. And she even got a handsome, single, nice lawyer for a new boyfriend and a flourishing business. I also liked that her daughter is smart and sensitive like her.

Very interesting to think that Bokja and Ajin encountered each other one night years ago, but Bokja remembered Ajin and wanted to be like her. What I was wondering is why she chose the chairman of all people. There are other chaebol families she can dupe. Did she intentionally choose Ajin’s family? The first few episodes were so terrible (because everyone was cheating and Bokja was infuriating that I almost didn’t want to continue. I just thought, oh Bokja will die anyways so I will let her wreak havoc and laugh when she finally gets killled. For me, the drama made Bokja so despicable that her “redemption” at the latter half was too late. Her death was really inevitable, someone even told her the same thing. Money really cannot buy happiness and class. I think she was too greedy, moved too fast and didn’t have a long term goal, that’s why she also got duped and killed. Had she bided her time, and slowly integrated herself with the family, she could have lived and maybe the family would have respected her. That’s why I really couldn’t like her the whole time.

I was surprised by who the killer was but it kinda made sense. Some people may not have been happy because the killer wasn’t very prominent in the show but i think it was done on purpose to show how much pain Bokja caused to the people around her because of her greed. And the one who killed her was the one she least expected to do it, and the one that was “collateral damage”.

I also think the Chairman also deserved it. I mean, how could Chairman give all his money to Bokja and leave nothing to his kids? Even if they were stupid, they were still his children and legally the inheritance is theirs. But i cant blame him. He must have felt very lonely that the first person who showed him compassion, he mistook for love and gave his everything. And in the end, he didnt fight to get the money back because no one will inherit the company anyway. The 3 children were incompetent and didn’t even care when he was in the hospital. Only Ajin came and the 2nd son. It makes me think why his children were like that. Maybe the Chairman didn’t do a good job with raising them. That’s why they were spoiled and greedy.

I also hated Ajin’s husband’s story and the mistress. There were too many scenes of them and it was gross. I thought maybe the mistress actually fell in love with the husband, but I think she used him to get some money. First time to see a mistress that was so thick faced including the mom. Wanted to slap her for Ajin’s sake (she is too classy for that). She really deserved her what happened to her. Instead of being grateful for Ajin in introducing her to the art world, she had the nerve to cheat! What a b*tch!!! And she’s not sexy, pretty or smart enough to match against Ajin. Again, it also makes me think about marriage. Maybe Ajin didn’t give enough attention to her husband. Or maybe the husband was just a tool. I normally like the actor but I couldn’t stomach him or his funny scenes in this drama.

Ajin’s 4 friends ‘ stories didn’t feel resolved but more like “life goes on” and they continue to sleep around and cheat on their partners. Their friendship also felt fake — like they had to because they were rich and their children were school mates, but given the chance they would have backstabbed each other if needed. I think the worse was the girl who had an affair with the doctor and the younger guy. I know she was being beaten by her husband, but it’s no excuse to sleep with your friend’s husband, and have a third guy on the side.

I felt bad for the doctor’s wife, but it always takes two to tango. The doctor felt ignored by the wife and thought shedidn’t love him; that he was just the there to make money for the family. The wife was actually nice and didn’t cheat on her husband, but her story didn’t get resolved. We just see her get angry that the cheating friend is happily in love with her boyfriend and is pregnant.

The other lady with a younger boyfriend also had a sad marriage – her husband was cheating on her yet when she is doing the same, the husband got angry at her. Talk about double standards. Also felt bad that she actually was in love with the guy, but turns out the guy was really just in it for the money and sex. I thought them breaking up was the best ending so I didn’t like how she ended up with that sneaky hotel manager.

Overall, I may sound like I was ranting and hating everyone, but actually the story gets addicting around episode 10 or 11. Maybe because I’d love to hate the characters, that’s why I wanted to find out what happens to them.

Rating: 8.5/10

Woman of 9.9 Billion (2020)

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Drama: Woman of 9.9 Billion (99억의 여자)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 32
Release Date: December 4, 2019 – January 23, 2020
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00

Plot
A man and a woman encounters a truck accident one night and discover that the truck contains boxes of money worth 99 million dollars. They decide to steal the money. An ex-cop tries to investigate his brother’s death and finds out about the stolen money and meets with the woman. He helps her run away from the owners of the money, who are trying their best to get it back before their boss returns to Korea.

Main Cast
Cho Yeo Jeong – Jeong Seo Yeon
Kim Kang Woo – Kang Tae Woo
Oh Nara – Yoon Hee Ju
Lee Ji Hoon – Lee Jae Hoon
Jung Woong In – Hong In Pyo
Im Tae Kyung – Leon / Daniel Kim

Review
The big question that this drama is trying to answer: how much are you willing to do and sacrifice to get 99 million dollars?

There were so many different people trying to get hold of the money for their personal reasons, and I liked the overall message that money (especially greed) shouldn’t control your life.

Money flows like water. From top to bottom. The one with money rules over the ones without it. It sweeps over everything cruelly, and takes everything relentlessly. After being swept away like that, nothing remains. Money blazes again like a fire. From the bottom of the wick, to the top of the flame, it burns with no hesitation. It never flickers or stops. The fame of desire. The flame burns everything it touches, in order not to get out. Money eats up human desire and it has no mercy. You have to be merciless just like money. So you can sweep over everything and burn everything.

Seo Yeon’s monologue in episode 23

Tae Woo is probably the only “good” person in this drama, everyone else, even Seo Yeon is so gray. I loved it because it felt so real (although the situation is not) – as much as i love to hate Heeju or Jae Hun, i could understand them. Even Minkyu and Seung Jae, i actually felt bad for them.

I love Tae Woo and Seo Yeon as could-have-been couple. They only met recently but then understood each other well. Maybe because they went through the same experience.

Tae woo’s confession and Seo Yeon telling him about his brother’s death was painful.

I was disappointed at the final scene because Tae Woo liked Seo Yeon so much he was willing to go with her to Tahiti, but then he ended up rejecting Seo Yeon 2x and it didn’t make sense to me!!! He was the one who went for her and she was the one who hesitated, but in the airport scene, she said, “I will wait for you to join me in Tahiti”. I was expecting him to say, “yes, wait for me, I’ll go to you when I’m ready”, but instead he said, “Dont come back. Stay there and be happy.” 😥 Just killed any chances of them being together!!! I’m so sad.

The epic showdown in the middle of drama where they all gathered in one abandoned warehouse was amazing!

Loved Seung Jae even though his character didn’t stay long. I already have a sense that he will die protecting her sister, but didn’t expected it to happen so soon!

I also appreciated Jang Geum Ja becoming like Seo Yeon’s mentor / mother figure in this drama. She got burned by her greed for money years ago and it is perfect for her to advise Seo Yeon not to do the same thing. And I love the gradual change in Seo Yeon’s attitude from “i need to have this money if if it kills me” to “i will earn my own money”.

Probably better if this ended in 12 eps. Loved everything until Seo Yeon saved Leon. It was a fantastic idea – Leon wants to kill Seo Yeon, but she ends up saving his life. What will he do next? The whole part about Daniel Kim was messy plotwise. I was expecting more fireworks and twists, now that Daniel Kim is hiding in public and interacting with Seo Yeon, Hee Ju and Tae Woo, but it didn’t really happen.

The main villain, Leon / Daniel Kim is not convincing to me. Maybe it’s because the face of the actor is too nice to be scary, or because he doesn’t have any background story that will make me at least understand his motivations. Drama mostly told us he was bad, his goons kill people but I don’t see him actually do anything more than to look expensive. And how can he evade authorities from all over world and be respected as Daniel Kim without anyone knowing who he really is? I thought that was too unbelievable. And if he is really a genius, how can he try to go back to Korea and play the same investment fraud scheme and think he can get away with it?

The final showdown was underwhelming because i expected something as explosive as the epic scene in the middle but still okay since it neatly wrapped all the character stories (mostly through death lol)

Funny that almost every time, In Pyo gets the money, mostly because he hides in the shadows, so when everything dies down, he comes in and takes the money. Quite ingenious actually, and he is able to plant all the bugs without everyone knowing (except for Min Kyu) and knows all the details even if he was really out of place. A little too convenient at times, that he is always there when Seo Yeon needs him. When he finally got the money and ready to escape Korea, he realizes life is not complete with Seo Yeon by his side and so at the eleventh hour, he suddenly developed a conscience and went back for Seo Yeon. And eventually dies saving her. I think he was a psychopath all through out the drama that I’m not sure if I wanted to remember him as a “hero” although him dying is like paying for his sins. But I also think that if he was able to escape with the money, technically he deserved it because he worked hard for it, but it also didn’t feel right because it wasn’t his money to take.

Not sure how the writer did it but I actually felt sad when Jae Hun died. His attitude also made a 360 degrees from cheating to loyal husband in the end, but I could also sympathize with him. He was under pressure by his father in law, and was being controlled by his older wife. Still doesn’t justify his previous actions, but at least he redeemed himself by telling Seo Yeon that Daniel Kim is Leon.

I still have mixed feelings about Hee Ju, and again, terrific writing and acting here. Hated her for being so bad to Seo Yeon but I know she had more reasons to get the money and seek revenge on Leon. I’m glad that in the end, the money went to the right person.

Overall, I loved this drama. There were some plotholes and the show was very dark, like a super extended crime movie, but still loved it.

Rating: 8.5/10