Our Blues (2022)

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Drama: Our Blues (우리들의 블루스)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 20
Release Date: April 9 – June 12, 2022
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:10
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot:
This drama tells stories about the different people living in the village.

Main Cast
Lee Byung Hun – Lee Dong Seok
Shin Min Ah – Min Seon Ah
Han Ji Min – Lee Yeong Ok
Kim Woo Bin – Park Jeong Jun
Ko Du Shim – Hyeon Chun Hui
Kim Hye Ja – Kang Ok Dong
Lee Jung Eun – Jung Eun Hui
Park Ji Hwan – Jung In Gwon
Choi Young Jun – Bang Hosik
Roh Yoon Seo – Bang Yeong Ju
Bae Hyun Sung – Jung Hyeon
Cha Seung Won – Choi Hansu
Uhm Jung Hwa – Ko Miran

Review:
It took me a while to finish this drama because every episode hurts. I would stop after a few episodes then pick it up again and binge watch then stop.

All the stories were different and touching. Everyone had their own issues and they were a big community who supported each other like family. Each story kept getting better and better as we know more about the residents. And the writer and director made them all flow naturally.

I can’t decide which one was my favorite story. Okdong and Dong Seok made me cry the most. Even when I wanted to side with Dong Seok, seeing Okdong at her most vulnerable and wanting to spend time with her son before she dies is so touching.

Chunhui made me pray hard and wish that her son survives the accident. The little girl who played Eun Gi is such an amazing young actress. That scene where they showed Eun Gi the many moons made me cry so much.

Seonah’s story and her struggle with depression made me sad. I really felt her love for his son and she really was trying her best to get better so she can live with her son again. i love that Dong Seok didn’t stop supporting her even when she was at her worst. She really needed a friend to get her through her depression. and I love that the husband wasn’t really bad, he was just concerned for their son, and in the end he let her see and play with her son and even verbally agreed that he will give Yeol to her once she is better.

Yeonok/Yeonhui made me want to hug them. I can understand how difficult it must have been for Yeongok to be responsible for her sister all through the years and having failed relationships because of Yeonghui. I love that Jeong Jun didn’t leave her when he found out the truth and even was very sweet to Yeonghui. The scene when Yeongok saw all of Yeonghui’s paintings of her made me want to console her.

Eunhui/Miran and Hosik/Ingwon made me feel grateful to have great friends. Particularly Eunhui and Miran’s friendship, when Miran slapped Eunhui for being two-faced, but I think Eunhui also deserves a bigger apology than just saying that Miran was being immature to hurt Eunhui. As for Hosik and Ingwon, i think Ingwon really tried to help him but Hosik was a gambler. They hurt each other for years but in the end, they were bound together by their friendship and their children.

Hyeon/Yeongju made me feel hope for their future, that they will be good parents. I still would have scolded them for getting pregnant while in high school, to think they were even being arrogant to their parents about it. I’m glad when they finally admitted they were wrong and they needed their parents’ support and guidance.

Eunhui/Hansu made me think of first loves. Hansu will always be the handsome crush you can never be with. i wish that Eunhui will also find the right guy for her. I think she is an amazing woman and any guy will be lucky to have her.

Special mention to the little girl who played Eungi. What an amazing young actress!

The ost are so nice to listen to.

Makes me want to plan for a trip to Jeju next year!!

Rating: 9/10

Hometown Cha Cha Cha (2021)

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Drama: Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (갯마을 차차차)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: August 28 – October 17, 2021
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A city dentist moves to the seaside village and falls in love with Chief Hong, who is nice and helpful but hides a painful secret.

Main Cast
Kim Seonho – Hong Dusik
Shin Minah – Yoon Hye Jin
Lee Sang Yi – Ji Seong Hyun
Gong Min Jung – Pyo Mi Sun
Kim Young Ok – Kim Gamri
Lee Bong Ryun – Yeo Hwa Jeong
Im Gyo Jin – Chang Young Guk
Jo Han Chul – Oh Chun Jae
Cha Chung Hwa – Jo Nam Sook
Kang Hyung Suk – Choi Eun Cheol

Review
This drama reminds me of that Air Supply song that goes “Two less lonely people in the world, and it’s gonna be fine. Out of all the people in the world, I just can’t believe you’re mine. In my life where everything was wrong, something finally went right. Now there’s two less lonely people in the world tonight.” Cheesy. Yes.

The drama moved at a slow pace, it really felt like watching Hyejin, Dusik and the villagers live a simple life in Gongjin with the beautiful scenery and yummy food. I always thought living in a village vs a city, life will be simple yet I realized that everyone no matter where they live, have their own set of problems.

I honestly didn’t like the first few episodes because I thought the villagers were all rude and always made Hyejin feel like she was a horrible person. I know Hyejin looked and sounded off from a villagers’ point of view, but they should also realize that their actions toward her were also very judgemental and bias. They were too in your face and act so pushy and invade her personal space. And I know they’re just being friendly but they also were too gossipy, esp. nosy Namsook. Even with the reveal of her tragic story, there’s still no excuse for spreading rumors about another person because they’re bored or still in mourning.

Because the drama is based on an old movie, one can feel there are some dated tropes and ideas, and I think this would not been as successful without the lovely combination of the dimple couple, Shin Minah and Kim Seonho. I enjoyed Hyejin and Dusik’s rollercoaster romance, from the first time they meet, to falling in love, how they supported and healed each other, until their ever after. I didn’t like Chief Hong in the first few episodes mostly because he was so rude to Hyejin. At the end of the episode 1, there was an epilogue that showed Dusik was intrigued by Hyejin at first sight, so I thought maybe he just has a bad way of showing it (like a boy pulling the pigtails of a girl he likes). Plus not wanting to get close to people because of a tragic past. I loved the actors who played the younger versions of Hyejin and Dusik, esp mini Dusik who looked so much like Kim Seonho. Their sweet moments were OTP cringey but I’ll give them a pass because they deserved all the happiness in the world.

The sea won’t always be gentle though. We will be met with wind and waves. And even typhoons will come our way. So what if we get soaked in the rain? Who cares if the wind blows a bit when we’re in the same boat?

Hyejin and Dusik final scene at the boat

Euncheol and Misun’s relationship was low key and adorable, I loved them (sometimes more than the main couple). And I got it right, Euncheol was the mystery lotto winner 😄. Of course I have to mention I love Hyejin and Misun’s friendship. Misun follows her friend to the seaside, when she was heartbroken, Misun helping Hyejin put up her dental clinic. Both friends cheering for each other’s love lives, though I still cant get over Hyejin leaving Misun in Seoul after planning an overnight girls night out to go back to Dusik!! But I can understand, I would also do the same for my girl friends.

Another fave character is Hwajeong. To me, she is one of the least annoying villager (after Dusik and Eun Cheol). Although she listened and followed the villagers, she never openly gossiped about other people, would scold them esp Nam Sook if they went too far, and wasn’t harsh on Hyejin. I cried for her when we found out why she divorced her husband. I’m happy they got back together, just wished they showed more sweetness and more groveling from the husband to make up for the 15 years he treated her bad. As for her relationship with Chohui, I already guessed that maybe Chohui liked her not Young Guk with the way Chohui was acting. Chohui was always smiling and trying to be close to Hwajeong, and I thought she was too insensitive – she knows they got divorced, yet she kept asking them to hang out with her, I’m glad Hwajeong confronted her about it. And when Chohui finally confessed to Hwajeong, I also appreciated how Hwajeong turned her down in a nice way and they continued to be friends. I love Im Gyo Jin so I know even if he played a jerk for the most part of the drama, I couldn’t stay angry at him, because right from the start, I knew Young Guk and Hwajeong will end up together again. And Gyo Jin’s so cute and funny!

Oh grandma Gamri 😢 Whenever I see this actress, I’m scared to think if she will die by the end of the show or not. But at least she died peacefully here, not like in Mouse where she was murdered.

Seonghyun is another fave character, though it felt like he was only introduced to pressure Dusik to finally make a move on Hyejin. I liked how his first love story with Hyejin ended, again, quoting another 80s song from Barry Manilow that goes, “We had the right love at the wrong time. I guess I always knew inside, I wouldn’t have you for a long time”. I also love how he became friends with all the villagers, and most especially with Dusik – so nice to see Dusik have actual friends again that are of same age, who he can talk to if he has problems. I just didn’t think he really had to end up with his writer – they could have continued being partners producing great shows without the romance (or maybe they could have gotten someone prettier to match him *sorry*) I knew what they mean, that he has been chasing for his first love with Hyejin, when all along the girl he likes is the one who was always besides him, but still, there’s still that 30% feeling that he “settled”.

The main things I didn’t like about this drama are the too many coincidences. Hyejin and Dusik meeting several times through out their lives — when they were kids, when Hyejin ran away, when Dusik almost jumped from the bridge and now in Gongjin. I know they’re supposed to show that they’re destined to be with each other, but it was just too much. Plus finding out Dusik’s tragic past was connected to Seonghyun and his assistant’s family. Like really? There’s this magnet that pulled them all together to meet in Gongjin. It was just too convenient story wise.

I took me some time to write the review because I couldn’t decide on my rating. I didn’t like the first few episodes, and the middle part felt too long and boring, that I was sometimes half watching half doing something else. But still I looked forward to watching this every weekend.

Lalalalalalalalala…romantic sunday 🎶🎶🎶 will forever be embedded in everyone’s minds.

Rating: 8.5/10 (because I liked the ending despite the flaws and this was the perfect weekend watch)