Alchemy of Souls Part 2 (2023)

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Drama: Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow (환혼: 빛과 그림자)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 10
Release Date: December 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:10

Plot:
Three years after Mudeok dies, Jang Uk has been on a mission to kill all soul shifters as ordered by the King. Lady Jin has been hiding the fact that she retrieved Mudeok’s body, and revived her daughter, Jin Bu Yeon’s soul, but taking on the face of Naksu. Jin Bu Yeon, who doesn’t remember anything about her past, is arranged to be married to Seo Yul’s uncle, but she got away and met Jang Uk. Will they be able to find their way back to each other and can they fight the evil forces of Jinmu once and for all?

Main Cast

Review
I liked the chemistry between Jaewook and Youn Jung more than with Jung Somin. Maybe that’s why I liked part 2 more than part 1 (although I admit without the love story in part 1, part 2 wouldn’t work that well). Mudeok and Jang Uk to me felt like Master-Student while Buyeon-Jang Uk felt like the real thing.

I missed the original Naksu shadow assassin (GYJ looked soooo different as Jin Bu Yeon – the hair, light eyebrows etc) so sometimes I had to stop and think if this was really the same actress or not. Cho Yeong’s evolution from the young girl, the teenager that Seo Yul met, to Mudeok, Jin Buyeon and back to Yeong was amazing. I’m still a little bit confused how this all happened, though it somehow made sense, but I love that she will spend the rest of her life as Cho Yeong. She may never take up the sword again, but with her powers, she and Jang Uk can fight together for good.

I also love how much Jang Uk has grown since part 1 episode 1, esp now that he is the most powerful mage in Daeho. You dont need to be the king to be the most powerful, as long as you do your job and your passion well. I hated that Go Won was always threatened by Jang Uk when he never made any intention known that he wanted to be king.

I didn’t however, like that there were a lot of flashbacks that could have been skipped. I also didnt like that Go Won had many scenes that were unnecessary and the turtle squad, trying make their scenes funny like in part 1. Good thing the turtle actually had a purpose in the story.

Park Jin and Kim Dojoo are too funny!! I miss Danggu’s blonde hair and he didnt get a lot of cute scenes with Choyeon. Of course Master Lee is always all knowing.

I also never liked Seo Yul and Soi’s “relationship” from the very start. Soi has caused so much pain to Seo Yul and almost died because of her. and Soi dying trying to save him doesn’t justify her actions or make her a better person. Even she didn’t give him the blood parasite, none of this would have happened in the first place. Plus Seo Yul is so nice and virtuous, how can the writers pair him up with Soi, plus his one sided love with Naksu! how cruel! I was hoping he gets his own love interest at the end, but i guess, his heart is with the mages. I also was so annoyed with Yun Ok. Why is she even in this drama? She was catty for no reason, and put her nose in every place she didn’t have to be.

It’s always hard to write a great ending for fantasy dramas so was very happy that this show ended with quite well!!

Overall part 1 and part 2 could have actually fit in 20 episodes if they removed some of the draggy parts at the start, but also ok that they separated part 2 to give time for people to get used to the new actress/character and the 3 yrs later part of the story.

Rating: 8.5/10

Behind Every Star (2022)

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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

Review:
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

Sixth Sense S3 (2022)

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TV Show: Sixth Sense Season 3
Aired: March 18, to June 17, 2022
Episodes: 14
Aired on Friday
Network: tvN

Main Cast:
Regular – Yoo Jae Suk, Oh Nara, Lee Sang Yeob, Jessi, Lee Mijoo
Guests – Yoon Chan Young, Song Eun Yi, Nam Yoon Su, Kim Hye Yoon, Ji Suk Jin, Lee El, Song Jae Rim, Choi Tae Joon, Jo Se Ho, Kwon Yuri, Lee Yi Kyung, Kwon Il Yong, On Joo Wan, Kim Jong Min, Lee Eun Ji, Lee Joo Myung, Jeon Somin, Aiki, Noze, Nucksal, Code Kunst, Noh Sa Yeon, Kang Daniel, Kim Ji Suk, Kim Jimin, Kim Min Kyu, Park Jinjoo, Arin

Review:
I got 9 out of 14 correct, there were some episodes where my first hunch was right but got confused with the last location.

I didn’t understand the spy concept so i only got 5 out of 14 correct. Best spy was Yoo Jae Suk!!

With Somin out, Oh Nara stepped up this season. Jessi was a little tired and quiet throughout but her instincts never fail her.

The guests were mixed of good and boring. My fave guests were Choi Tae Joon (ep 4), Lee Yi Kyung/Kwon Yuri (ep 5), Code Kunst/Nucksal (ep 10), Kim Ji Suk (ep 12).

Rating: 8.5

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