Soundtrack No. 1 (2022)

Profile
Drama: Soundtrack #1 (사운드트랙#1)
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 4
Release Date: March 23 – April 13, 2022
Runtime: Wednesday

Plot: Best friends for 19 years, Sunwoo and Eunsoo lives together for 2 weeks and feelings start to cross the line.

Main Cast
Han So Hee – Lee Eunsoo
Park Hyung Sik – Han Sunwoo
Kim Ju Hun – Kang Woo Il
Yoon Byung Hee – Yoon Dong Hyun
Park Hoon – Gyeol Han
Park Min Jung – Yuri
Lee Jung Eun – Eunsoo’s mom

Review:
At only four episodes at 45mins per episode, I easily binged watch this drama one Saturday evening. “Best friends turned lovers” is my second favorite trope after “enemies turned lovers”. I loved best friends Sunwoo and Eunsoo and their relationship. Han Sohee/Eunsoo is so pretty, I can’t imagine how Sunwoo didn’t do anything after being friends for 19 years. Park Hyung Sik is so good at playing the best friend who’s in love with his girl friend. Maybe because he looks so steady and wholesome. However, this showing after Happiness with almost same character made me feel like Hyungsik was playing it safe. I hope he tries a different role in his next drama.

Likewise, I cant believe Eunsoo didn’t see how great Sunwoo is to her or that he has been in love with her for years. Sometimes it makes me think if she was taking advantage of Sunwoo all this time? or maybe she really is just clueless, and that sometimes being friends for too long, one can forget or don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. In Eunsoo’s case, both times when Sunwoo went away, did she realize how much he means to her, and that she finally realizes that what she feels is love. I also thought that we spent 3 eps seeing Sunwoo in love with Eunsoo but only one episode with Eunsoo jealous/in love with Sunwoo. I think Sunwoo deserve to make her hurt for a bit and long for him and savor that feeling of being wanted before they got their happy ending. But Sunwoo is so giving, he probably won’t be able to wait that long. I still wished they added an extra 30 mins so we could more happy and good moments together.

My favorite scenes are when they slept side by side, when Sunwoo left for the army and Eunsoo broke down in tears, when Sunwoo asked Wooil if Eunsoo enjoyed the wine, when Eunsoo cried after Sunwoo leaves on a bus, and the flower shop scene when they met again.

One thing to note is that Eunsoo was supposed to be a lyricist and writing songs about their relationship, but there were too many songs being played in the background and not one made a huge impact to me. I also expected that we will get to hear Eunsoo’s songs for Jayjun and Taeyoon that were meant to be her confession to Sunwoo but we didnt hear them at all. How cool it could have been for Sunwoo knowing that he gets to hear her songs every day and that those were meant for him?

Rating: 8.5/10

Happiness (2021)

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Drama: Happiness (해피니스)
Network: tvN, TVING
Episodes: 12
Release Date: November 5 – December 11, 2021
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:40

Plot
The drama is about a new apartment that is locked down after a resident gets infected by a disease. Will the residents survive or will they succumb to the disease?

Main Cast
Han Hyo Joo – Yoon Sae Beom
Park Hyung Sik – Jung Yi Hyun
Jo Woo Jin – Han Tae Seok

Review
I love zombies! This time, they’re not called zombies but they have a mad person disease. They’re not exactly sure what makes the people infected, other than taking Next pills and biting other people.

The first episode made the show very interesting but the next couple of episodes were boring. I was watching them just walk around do nothing while on lockdown and then most good happenes in the last 10 minutes that will get you go hit “next episode”. The pace picks up after ep 8 and it’s just a wild ride from then on.

I like the main leads, Yihyun and Saebeom as a team, I think they complemented each other. Like Yihyun say, good cop, bad cop. I did like Yihyun more than Sae Beom, because Sae Beom was reckless and would have been infected earlier without Yihyun protecting her. I love that when one is down, the other is strong. Many times, they were able to fight off the infected people and the residents because they worked together. I also loved their friends to lovers story, although it took a long time for Sae Beom to realize her feelings for Yihyun, and I love that scene where she was able to calm him down and hugged him.

I cant decide who is the worse neighbor. Is it the doctor or the resident rep? I wish they got infected but i think jail is better punishment for them. They were so terrible, like an exaggerated version of all the possible evil in the world. One week lockdown and they went crazy, stealing food and water, even turning to murder. I mean, after 2 years of covid, I think humans are way better than how it was portrayed in the drama. There are more good people than bad people as we can see now with the pandemic still ongoing.

The drama is saying if you’re good you won’t suffer a terrible fate. Like the old couple who stayed at home, the siblings who supported each other, the son who realized the importance of family, and the wife who got cheated on. Too bad for 15th floor guy and cleaning lady, they didn’t deserve to die, but that’s also saying there are some collateral damage. They greedy ones got their own punishment — the lawyer lost his wife, the girl lost the money, and the serial killer who was killed.

Han Tae Seok had his own story, trying to find a cure and keeping Korea safe. I just wish he didn’t have to lie, he could have gotten cooperation if he had been more honest. I also wasn’t sure if he’s good guy or not, but I understand he had to do what he did to save the world.

The ending felt rushed. There was no explanation what happened one year later. Did they find the cure? Why did Sae Beom had the antibodies? Who else had them?

Rating: 8.5/10

Juror 8 (2019)

Profile:
Movie: Juror 8 (배심원들)
Release Date: May 15, 2019
Runtime: 114 min.
Distributor: CGV Arthouse
Country: South Korea

Cast
Moon Sori – Kim Jun Kyeom
Park Hyung Sik – Kwon Nam Woo
Baek Soo Jang – Yoon Geu Rim
Jo Soo Hyang – Oh Soo Jung
Jo Han Chul – Choi Young Jae
Cha Mi Kyung – Yang Choon Ok
Yoon Kyung Ho – Jo Jin Sik
Seo Jung Yeon – Byun Sang Mi
Kim Hong Fa – Jang Ki Baek
Seo Hyun Woo – Kang Doo Sik

Review
This movie is based on the first jury trial in South Korea.

The main character is juror no. 8 played by Park Hyung Sik. At first he looked dumb because every time someone asked him for his opinion, he always didnt know what to answer. And yet he turned out to be the smartest one in the room. He was the only one who actually listened to the testimonies and analyzed the evidences. There were a few jurors who made up their minds even without understanding the evidences. They just want to get out of their jury duty. But thanks to juror 8, they all decided to investigate the case. The main judge also ended up considering the jury’s inputs.

The movie had an odd pace though. Sometimes it was serious, sometimes it was light then as usual with most Korean movies, the third act becomes cheesy anf emotional.

Rating: 8/10

Suits (2018)

Suits_(Korean_Drama)-P1

Drama:
Suits (슈츠)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: April 25 – June 14, 2018
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Based from the US show, Suits, this drama talks about Choi Kang Seok,who is the best lawyer in Kang & Ham, hiring Go Yeon Woo, who is a young and smart guy but does not have the license to practice law.

Main Cast:
Jang Dong Geun – Choi Kang Seok
Park Hyung Sik – Go Yeon Woo
Jin Hee Kyung – Kang Ha Yeon
Chae Jung An – Hong Da Ham
Ko Sung Hee – Kim Ji Na
Choi Gwi Hwa – Chae Geun Sik

Review:
I watched the US version for most of its run (Season 1-5) so I’m quite familiar with the story and characters. I was interested to see how they will make this into a Korean drama version and I was mostly satisfied that they kept the same fast paced story and dialogue in here. However, since the kdrama is only 16 episodes, there were a lot of character developments that were skipped that I think may confuse first time watchers. I still remember most of the episodes so I can understand the entire show. For me, it’s like watching a summary of the most critical cases and plotlines in the last 5 seasons. in Korean. They did slightly change some of the stories and characters to suit the short series but I’m not complaining.

Favorite character – from the US version to the Korean drama, my favorite is still Harvey/Kang Seok. When i first found out he and Park Hyung Sik were playing the leads, i thought they were perfectly cast and i was right. Dong Geun just got the confident, arrogant but soft hearted Harvey down pat.

Favorite bromance – of course, Kang Seok and Yeon Woo. there were not a lot of heart to heart discussions between the two outside of work but you can see how well matched and complimentary they are to each other. Not just favorite bromance, they were also my favorite couple.

Favorite female character – I didn’t want to compare but the US version had 3 strong female characters but in this drama, it was mostly just Ha Yeon.

Most underutilized character – Geun Sik! Ugh! I love Louis Litt. He started as super jerk but the actor played him so well that as much as you’d like to hate him, you feel bad for him and later on, you just want to cheer him on. On the other hand, Geun Sik didn’t have a lot of character development. He was just this petty and annoying guy who dislike Kang Seok for no apparent reason other than jealousy. I wish he was more involved in the cases and that the drama showed that he was also a good guy who will fight for the law firm when the time comes.

Most disappointing character – Da Ham. What happened?! Her character was supposed to be sassy and bad-ass! This is a watered down version of Donna, or worse, Da Ham didn’t seem like Donna at all! First, she fashion was atrocious! they made Chae Jung an look like an old auntie with her vintage prints and eyeglasses that also sit low on her nose bridge. Her lines were also not as snappy and witty. So disappointed as in the US version, Darvey is my favorite couple.

Overall, the show is a good remake of the original. I heard there is a Japanese version of Suits. hmm.. now i’m curious to watch it too!