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


Lovestruck in the City (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Lovestruck in the City (도시남녀의 사랑법)
Network: KakaoTV, Netflix
Episodes: 17
Release Date: December 22, 2020 – February 16, 2021
Runtime: Tuesday & Friday 17:00 (Kakao TV) / Tuesday & Friday 19:00 (Netflix)

Plot:
This drama explores the stories of 3 couples and the different views on various topics about love, sex, and relationships in the modern Seoul.

Main Cast
Ji Chang Wook – Park Jae Won
Kim Ji Won – Lee Eun Oh / Yoon Se A
Kim Min Suk – Choi Gyung Jun
So Ju Yeon – Suh Rini
Ryu Kyung Soo – Kang Geon
Han Ji Eun – Oh Sun Young

Review:
I had really high hopes about this drama but it was totally not what I expected. This should have been called Heartbreak in the City.

It was really hard to like a drama when I didn’t like more than half of the cast. I only liked Jaewon and Gyeongjun. I didnt like the 3 friends, and definitely disliked Sunyoung.

I’ll start with Jae won and Eun oh — which is the main couple /story line.

I think the best part of this drama were the Yang Yang scenes. It really made us feel Jaewon and Eunoh’s summer romance. Plus the cameos of Lee Sang Woo and Lee Sang Yoon. But when showing the Yangyang scenes against the current times where Eun Oh was being such a horrible woman to Jae Won, it just didn’t make sense or shall I say I felt cheated. It was super hard to like Eun Oh while I still see her break Jae won’s heart cruelly.

Ji Chang Wook as Jaewon is whiny and mopey in love and heartbreak but so cute. How can Eunoh break up with a great guy like Jaewon?? Eunoh was horrible. I can understand her. She was cheated on and lost her job, so she headed to Yang Yang wishing (and acting like a different person). But she made a lot of promises to Jae won. If she really wanted to breakup, she could have just told Jaewon the truth. Even on the phone — say “Jaewon, sorry it was just a summer romance, I had a great time but goodbye.” It would have hurt both of them, esp Jaewon but he would have the closure that he sought for 1 year!!! And she didn’t even have to steal his cameras, just remove the memory card and ship it back to him. I think Eun Oh’s actions were really stupid and hurtful. And very very selfish.

And I hate that this drama dragged the whole story about why Eunoh wont tell Jaewon what happened to her until like almost the penultimate episode. It was so frustrating. Jaewon looked like great guy. I could feel his pain when he finally met Eun Oh and realized she knew who he was all along and just kept breaking his heart. And yet Jae Won kept it a secret from her friends. He kept his distance. He respected her when she wanted to find herself. Until he finally said, let’s find yourself together (or something like that). Can you imagine if Eun Oh told him that same thing one year ago? I’m definitely sure Jae won would have said and done the same thing.

I knew this was definitely going to be a happy ending for them, but I was hoping (and I thought) the better ending was for Jaewon to accept the breakup, have closure, and find another girl who would love him as he is. Meanwhile, Eunoh will regret everything she did but she will be busy finding herself (because as they always say, you can’t love someone if you don’t even love yourself).

The second couple are Gyung Jun and Rini —
At first I thought they were so cute. They are high school sweethearts and have been together for a long time (i think the drama mentioned 7 years). But in the middle of the drama we start to see the cracks in their relationship. For some reason, Rini is too cheap, trying to live simply and seems to be happy with it. She has no stable job, prefer to just have part time jobs that gives her a lot of free time. And she has no plans of changing her lifestyle. That is good, I like that she is living hte way she wants to, but it’s a very different lifestyle from Gyung Jun. He is successful architect, he makes money, is not stingy and doesn’t mind supporting Rini if she needs to. But he hides his real feelings for Rini — he wants her to get a stable job, buy nice things for her, and proudly show her to his family. I honestly this couple wouldn’t last long, that one day Gyung Jun will blow up and break up with Rini. I cant believe Rini broke up with Gyeongjun and not the other way around, and she became the “victim”. I think Gyeongjun was patient and supported her while she was too selfish. Why be in a relationship if she was just planning to live for herself and not think of Gyung Jun? No one can stay stagnant and the same forever. The couple should be supporting each other while they grow as a person and as a couple.

I didn’t really care about Geon and Sun Young. Well, Geon can be there as the 3rd friend, but adding Sun Young to the story didn’t really add value. She was also horrible to all her exes. And her reason is because she wants to feel validated while humiliating her exes in public is a No for me.

They said there’s a possibility of season 2 with Minho’s story (and maybe a continuation of Rini/GyungJun) but I think unless they come up with a better story and a more high profile leads, I most likely wouldn’t watch it. Minho’s short story with the pretty actress was good enough closure to the drama.

Rating: 7/10