Witch at Court (2017)

 

250px-Witch's_Court-poster 2017

Profile
Drama: Witch at Court (마녀의 법정)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 9 – November 28, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
A materialistic female prosecutor who does not hesitate to use personal attacks, fabricate evidence, and incite perjury in order to win her case is assigned to special task force for sex crimes. A newbie prosecutor also joins the task force, and together they solve crimes with a grudging chemistry.

Main Cast
Jung Ryu Won – Ma Yi Deum
Yoon Hyun Min – Yeo Jin Wook
Jeon Kwang Leol – Cho Gap Soo
Kim Yeo Jin – Min Ji Sook

Review
I would describe this drama as frustratingly convenient, yet enjoyable to watch. The legal cases during the first few episodes are real, but i feel that they focused on the criminal too much that they didn’t equally focus on the victims. Also the legal cases were not written well, it felt like the writers just needed to conveniently write a few sexual assault cases then quickly resolve them and move on to the next plot. It also felt frustrating that the villain seems to have magical powers to know each and every thing that is happening with the leads. He can pop up anywhere, kidnap anyone, steal anything, kill anyone. I dont think anyone is that invincible in real life. But if you dont take the whole case and story seriously and just focus on the 2 main characters and enjoy the ride, then like me, you will probably finish this show in 2 days. Lol.

Favorite character – to be honest, i didn’t like Ma Yi Deum that much, but i love that she is a flawed heroine. I dont like how she is unethical most of the time. It’s different when you’re smart enough to circumvent the law legally vs breaking the law. And i agree with Min Ji Sook when she said that you must be incompetent if you need to resort to underhanded tactics to win. While i also felt frustrated that a criminal may get away because of lack of evidence, but a competent prosecutor can find another way, another time (or maybe the writers just needed to polish the story better). More than Ma Yi Deum, my favorite is the actress herself, Jung Ryu Won. I watched her previously in History of Salaryman and King of Dramas and she is just as amazing in this drama. She seems to act well as a smart and tough lady. I also liked Jin Wook, he maybe a little soft which is reasonable considering he is new to his role. But i like his integrity and empathy to the clients and as a prosecutor.

Favorite pair – Yi Deum and Jin Wook works well together because they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Aside from that, they seem to jibe well and knows how each other is thinking and feeling without having to say it directly. I honestly wished there were more kisses and less teasing but it’s okay, the romance level was just apt for the drama that is focused on taking down Gap soo.

Hatest character – Of course, Cho Gapsoo. Character was not really developed well for the audience to have sympathy for him. All we see is a guy who is hell bent on becoming mayor through lobbying and blackmailing other people. We dont even know his background or why he wants to be mayor. And he is willing to risk everyone around him just to reach the top. So that scene where he was crying and seeing Sang Ho at the mountain was pure BS to me. I dont even feel bad for him. and Yes, excecution was the best for him. i wonder how long it takes from the time you get convicted for execution to the actual execution itself? The final court scene where Ma Yi Deum was shouting that Gapsoo has shown no remorse and should be given death penalty, i felt was also too dramatic. Plus the mom suddenly gaining her memory back in the court room was too contrived. Did I feel satisfied with ending? Yes but the feeling is more “it’s about time. i’m exhausted. finally it’s over because I can’t stand Gapsoo suddenly winning his hand again”

Most underdeveloped character – Lawyer Heo. I look at her and all i see is opportunistic lady. for someone who is supposed to be the best lawyer in H&J law firm, and ending up losing every single case in the drama is just laughable. No wonder she has to use her tricks or switch alliances to move up because she is not that good.

Bravest character – i would have to say, it’s Jin Yeon Hee. She could have been killed had she been discovered in Kingdom, but she was willing to risk her life to catch Gapsoo.

Most undeserving death – Baek Sang Ho. Sure, he has been Gapsoo’s right hand man and may have done lots of bad things, but i dont think he deserved to die. I mean, his brother, Minho is not even worth saving – he is also a bad guy and he deserves to go to jail (not probation) and even after he got out, he even dared to set a condition for Yi Deum before he hands over the journal when he should be helping and repenting for what his actions did to his brother.

Favorite scenes – two scenes when Ma Yi Deum was crying. First while she was sleeping and she was holding Jin Wook’s hand to her cheek was seriously touching. And another scene where she went to a place and couldn’t find her mmom or seomthing and she started crying again. oh and the cute drunk banter between Jinwook and Yi Deum is gold.

Most confusing part of the story – is how Yi Deum and JiSook can just become special investigation team handling Gapsoo’s case. First of all, they are no longer prosecutors so how the heck were they given the special case? Second right after they finished the case, they just went back to being lawyer (though Ryu Won became a prosecutor again). This is one of those storylines that makes the story feel so contrived and convenient. Another thing is how Ryu Won is not able to handle the case of her mom’s abduction, but Jin Wook is handling the case where his mom is involved?? Again, doesn’t make sense and i feel like it was just written into the scene to be dramatic and evoke some story for Jinwook.

Other questionable storylines – How the HJ group was able to pass off and change all possible evidence from Taegyu to Minho. Too much fakeness. Oh, and when Gapsoo’s eyeglasses fell and got crushed, and you see him struggle to see, yet the next scene we see him driving his own car and kidnapping the mom. See what i mean? too convenient.

But seriously, despite the semi-rant and listing all the things wrong about the drama, i still enjoyed watching it. Maybe because i just came from watching the superbly written Defendant that i am unintentionally comparing the two. But you can try watching this show just to see Jung Ryu Won in action.

Because This is My First Life (2017)

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Profile
Drama: Because This Is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: October 9 – November 28, 2017
Runtime: Mondays & Tuesdays 21:30

Plot
Sehee is a single guy in his late 30s, who has a good job and a house and he has no intention of marrying. Jiho is a single girl is her early 30s, who just lost her job and house. She meets Sehee through her friend and moves in with him.

Cast
Lee Minki – Nam Sehee
Jung Somin – Yoon Jiho
Esom – Woo Sooji
Park Byung Eun – Ma Sanggoo
Kim Ga Eun – Yang Horang
Kim Minsuk – Sim Wonseok

Review
This is one of those rare kdramas that is almost perfect, in terms of casting, acting, storyline and even the soundtrack. Pacing was slow and yet it fit perfectly with the whole theme and setting. There was no character that i hated, and each of the couples’ struggles were different and relatable.

Favorite character – Nam Se Hee. From the outside people probably thinks he is weird and geeky, with his mostly expressionless face and toneless voice. But i think he is such a sensitive and great guy. i would say, he best epitomize the phrase “Action speak louder than words”. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Lee Minki in a drama — actually the only drama i remember watching is Dalja’s Spring, which was way back in 2007. I think it’s because he has this pout on his face every single time so i feel that he is so boring. He fit his character very well. As Sehee, i could feel every emotion just by looking at his eyes, without him even saying much.

Favorite couple – it’s hard to choose which couple i love the most, because i liked the 3 couples a lot, so i’ll just brief say something about each couple.

Sehee/Jiho – from the beginning when they met, there was this instant chemistry between them. then when Jiho moved in with Sehee, they just perfectly matched each other’s moods, lifestyle and thinking. I think it’s because they’re both quirky. I remember reading an instagram post saying “Find someone who matches your crazy” and i think this quote describes Sehee and Jiho’s relationship really well. They may have started their marriage without love but that’s where they ended up, which i feel they both deserved. Esp Sehee. Episode 15 when Jiho initiated the divorce, of course i was sad af, but i thought it was necessary for them to stop the contract. and never thought for a second that Jiho was being a martyr by leaving the house. I was actually expecting her to knock on Sehee’s door the next day, asking him to start the relationship as equals, as lovers. But i also liked how the show put them together.

Sanggoo/Sooji – wah! their story is the exact opposite of Sehee/Jiho. while the former was loveless and calm, Sanggu and Sooji started their relationship as a bickering couple, well, mostly a resistant Sooji. and it wasn’t because she wasn’t attracted to Sanggoo, it was more on her own self-guilt/punishment. I love Sanggu, where can i meet someone like him? He may be older than Sooji but he treated her equally and with respect. he didn’t patronize her but he supported her and wasn’t afraid of facing Sooji’s wrath or scolding her when she has gone too far. Sooji is so cute when she smiles, you can just see how much Sanggu has affected her life and she has grown up more mature because of him.

Horang/Wonseok – i love Horang as the cheerful friend, but not as the clingy and marriage obsessed girlfriend. this is the couple where i could say one is at fault or the other. I think both were equally to blame for the slow decline of their relationship. Horang was focusing too much on herself and on getting married that she forgot to think of Wonseok. On the other hand, it’s unfair for Wonseok to lead her on after seven years and asking her to wait for 5 more when he knows how much she wants to get married. I was expecting them to get back together at the end, though i also wouldn’t have minded if they ended up getting married to other people. The accountant was okay and he seemed as cheerful as Horang, though i think he pushed it too fast and too early. I think had he took his time and slowly got to know Horang, he may have had a shot at Horang’s heart. Likewise, i dont think Bomi really liked Wonseok, but it would have been fun to see them end up together.

Favorite group – i heart the girls and boys’ group equally. Both group showed support and friendship when each one is having problems. when one girl is having a tough day, they also have time to meet up, talk it out and have a drink. Likewise, when the guys are having love problems, each had a wise advice to tell the other guy. and the best part is when the boys tell the their girlfriends what is happening to their friend and vice versa. What a solid friendship these couples have with each other.

There were too many scenes that i loved and these are some of my favorite moments:
Top 2 most heartfelt scenes – first is on episodes 11 when Jiho and Sehee were along the beach. I loved what Jiho said to Sehee – it is probably one of the main reasons he was maybe to move forward with his life. She said something like, you may have looked at something before (eg. watch the sea with friend A), but it doesn’t mean it’s the same thing that you are looking now (eg. watch the sea with friend B), because the same thing is different because it’s with someone else so it’s the first time for you. and she also told Sehee not to worry because just because you knew or lived it yesterday does not mean you already know it today (or to that effect). Jiho’s words almost stuck with me and i thought that was a brilliant thought. and Later when Sehee told Jiho their first kiss wasn’t a real kiss and he then he kissed her good.

Second is on episode 5 when Sehee saw Jiho crying on their wedding day and he read Jiho’s mom’s note to let Jiho write again if she wants to and not to give her trouble.

Top 2 saddest scenes – first is episode 15 when we see Sehee crying so hard after Jiho left. Second is episode 16 when again, we see Sehee crying in his sleep, thinking Jiho is in his dreams

Top 2 most bad-ass scenes – first is episode 14 when Sooji finally punches Mr Park in the elevator. he really had it coming. plus that scene when Sooji arrived in a motorcycle to pick up Sanggu in front of Sooji. Sanggu must feel really really proud and lucky to have his cool girlfriend.

Second is also on episode 14 when that sleazy assistant director met up with Sehee to try to drop the charges. while we didn’t see Sejoo actually beating up the guy, his fierce face when he stopped him and said, Sit down and tell me everything is all i needed to see.
Runner up is on episode 8 when Sehee got so mad, he kicked Bok nam’s motorcycle just a few hours/days before he got hurt trying to dodge the motorcycle.

Top 2 most heartbreaking scenes – First is episode 14 when Sehee was building up the courage to propose to Jiho, but Jiho said she wanted a divorce. I felt Sehee’s heart break into millions of pieces.

Second is on episode 13 when Wonseok broke up with Horang. i could feel the anguish from both sides. Wonseok knows he couldn’t make her happy so he let her go. Horang angry at Wonseok for not having the confidence to standby her even after telling her to wait for him.

Cutest scenes – anytime the Kitty is in the scene! the kitty was so calm and adorable!

Lesson learned – Although the three couples ended up marrying, for me, the lesson I got from this show is that every relationship and marriage is different. What works for one couple may not work for the other. marriage is also not easy, as Jiho’s mom said, there will be a lot of ups and downs and be sure to have plenty of stars in your pocket so that every time you are having a difficult time, you can just look back at all the stars (good moments) and then you can survive. It’s also about being able to find the relationship that works well for you and your partner. It doesn’t matter if you get married or just dating or living in, marriage is not the ultimate goal. It is not the validation that you have “arrived” or you have settled down. What is important is the quality of the relationship that you have with your partner. And even for the singles, it’s more important to find yourself, to be happy with your choices and to live your life by your own terms.

Defendant (2017)

250px-Defendant_(피고인)

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Drama: Defendant (피고인)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 18
Release Date: January 23 – March 21, 2017
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 22:00

Plot
Charged with killing his wife and daughter, prosecutor Park Jung Woo seeks to recoup his memory and build a case unlike any other to prove he is innocent.

Main Cast
Ji Sung – Park Jung Woo
Uhm Ki Joon – Cha Min Ho/Cha Sun Ho
Kwon Yuri – Seo Eun Hye
Oh Chang Suk – Kang Joon Hyuk
Uhm Hyun Kyung – Na Yeon Hee
Kim Min Suk – Lee Sung Kyu
Jo Jae Yun – Shin Cheol Sik

Review
This show was intense! I finished this in a week. Amazing acting by Ji Sung and Uhm Ki Joon! The story was so good i was gripping the remote the entire time.

Favorite character – Jung Woo! He was so smart that he was able to outwit the psychopath Min Ho. I love that he is a good father, husband, prosecutor and friend. Even when he was in jail, he never lost his integrity and faith. But i have to say, had he worked with his team more and shared his findings, he wouldn’t have been in this predicament in the first place. But i’m glad that he learned to be more open and let his friends help him. The last episode where he was having dinner with his former cell mates seems weird considering he is a prosecutor but it was heart warming to see him be surrounded by friends.

Scariest character – Cha Min Ho is terrifying! His own ego led to his downfall. I think being convicted and put on death row / solitary confinement is the best punishment for him – quick death is not enough to pay for his crimes – he needs to think about what he did and go mentally crazy.

Bravest character – Yeon Hee. She was a great character – at first i thought she was just meek and a side character, but she is one of the toughest – have to deal with Min Ho/Sun Ho, trying to avenge his father’s death, trying to take down Cha Myung Group and protecting her son – she was so cool. Second bravest character is Ha Yeon – for a young girl, she was able to survive the whole ordeal without any trauma and she still remained happy and sweet.

Favorite bromance – i love the whole cellmate crew, but my favorite side kick is Cheol Sik. That first episode where Jung Woo tried to arrest him and Cheol Sik ending up in the same prison, i thought he will be one of those annoying characters, but he surprised me by being one of the best friend Jung Woo had in the show. I also liked Miryang and his story. Mungchi and the doctor ending up together was weird too (i loved the doctor too!). Sung Kyu comes second, for keeping Ha Yeon safe, though i wish he didn’t have to die.

Character i hated so much – Seok. i wished he would have been killed by the Orange truck of doom. Dose of his own medicine. but alas, he has to be alive to testify against Min Ho.

Underwhelming episode – final episode i was hoping for a really intense showdown in the court room but with all the evidences neatly wrapped up in the 16th and 17th episode, the final episode was a bit disappointing. All it took was for Yeon Hee to cry and testify in court and Min Ho went down so fast.

While there were some tough scenes to watch, mostly because the whole plotting inside the prison, and Jung Woo cryign and losing his mind may get a little bit boring after a while, each episode picks up on the last 15 minutes and makes you want to watch the next episode. I ddidn’t fast forward any scenes even though some were painstakingly slow because i thought it helped build the overall tension of the show.

Fight for My Way (2017)

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Drama: Fight for My Way (쌈, 마이웨이)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 22 – July 11, 2017
Runtime: Mon & Tue 22:00

Plot
The drama revolves around the lives of 4 childhood friends and how they struggle with love, family and work.

Main Cast
Park Seo Joon – Ko Dong Man
Kim Ji Won – Choi Ae Ra
Ahn Jae Hong – Kim Joo Man
Song Ha Yeon – Baek Seol Hee

Review
Loved loved this drama! PSJ is becoming one of my favorite actors. He can be funny and sad at the same time. and how can he make a simple shirt and jeans/joggings look so hot?

Favorite character – i can’t decide between Dong Man and Ae Ra so i will cheat and choose both of them! They are both strong characters – Dong Man is very caring and supportive and he fights for his dream. Likewise, Ae Ra is tough and she maybe ridiculed by other people, but she never lost faith in herself and her skills.

Favorite couple – Of course, Dong Man and Ae-Ra. i dont really want to compare DongMan/AeRa vs YoungJun/Secretary Kim pairing but DongAera couple is just way better. they have better chemistry, they’ve known each other since they were kids and the relationship feels more equal. they support each other and fights for the other when the other person can’t. Well, except for the last part where Ae Ra was stubborn and broke up with Dong Man for wanting to continue to fight. I think Ae ra is wrong for demanding Dong Man to stop fighting when she knows so well how traumatic it was for Dong Man and how much it means to him to fight Taksu and regain his image, but on the other hand, like Ae Ra said, he is fighting as if he is not in a relationship and is not thinking of how his gf will feel seeing him hurt. I liked the ending – where Ae ra has accepted Dong Man’s profession while Dong Man will still continue fighting but only during fighting season.
As for Joo Man and Seol Hee’s relationship, the first part was boring, and i think it suits them because that’s what their relationship was — they have been together for so long that it’s starting to be routine. Seol Hee seems average and not exciting while Joo Man has been delaying to get married. Their story got better when they broke up. i think it was needed for both of them to think of what they had and decide what is important for them. I’m glad Joo Man didn’t really like Ye Jin, i think he would have been awful if he cheated on Seol Hee. I’m also glad Seol Hee grew a backbone, quit her job and started selling her plum wines. Now if she just cuts her old curly hair, she will be perfect.

Character i hated – Two girls that i hated – Hye-ran and Ye Jin, but i think Ye Jin wins. Hye-ran is awful but she had a relationship with Dong Man so in a way there’s is a little bit of reason why she acted that way – still not right but i could understand her. She’s still a b*tch for trying to put down and steal every job that Ae Ra tries to get and I didn’t really feel bad when we later find out that she got blacklisted and is penniless. She was an awful person and she got what she deserved. Though i dont doubt that she is a fighter and she will eventually land on her feet again. On the other hand, i think Ye Jin is worse than Hyeran because 1) when she found out that Joo Man and Seol Hee are together, she should have tone it down and backed off, and yet she acted like a whiny brat who did not get her favorite toy. I don’t feel a single ounce of pity and i’m glad Joo Man directly rejected her. Seol Hee has been nothing but nice to her and for her to act nice and try to steal Joo Man is low. I’m glad Seol Hee toughened up and gave her a putdown and splashed her face with water.

There were times when the show was dragging, especially the relationship between Joo Man and Seol Hee and the whole mystery about the landlady, but Dong Man and Ae Ra were just too cute that they were able to carry the show. I also liked the fighting scenes and seeing shirtless Dong Man (lol). I think the drama was aptly titled as “Fight (for), My Way” because we see four people trying to push through life to achieve their dreams in their own way and it’s a nice message for the young people. They may not become rich but they are happy with their current lives and that’s what matters.