Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu (2017)

Profile
Drama: Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu / Everyone’s Getting Married (突然ですが、明日結婚します)
Network: Fuji TV
Episodes: 9
Release Date: January 23 – March 20, 2017
Runtime: Monday 21:00-21:54
Country: Japan

Plot:
A girl who wants to get married falls in love with a guy who doesn’t want to get married. And another guy comes in and proposes a loveless marriage but fulfills all the requirements of the girl. Who do you choose?

Main Cast
Mariya Nishiuchi – Asuka Takanashi
Ryuta Namamura – Ryu Nanami
Ikusaburo Yamazaki – Akihito Kamiya
Anne Nakamura – Rio Kiriyama
Yukino Kishii – Momoko Makise
Kanro Morita – Hiroki Ono

Review:
Once in a while i break away from watching kdramas to watch a Japanese drama. I love how realistic most Jdramas are especially on stories dealing with single lives, relationships and marriage. And the episodes are short, it’s easy to binge watch the entire day 🙂

I like how the story tackled different views on marriage. There’s no right or wrong answer. You decide what makes you happy. Be it married or single. You never know, you or your partner might change your mind.

Another critical question that the drama raised, do you continue to be in a relationship knowing you may not end up in marriage? Is it better to stop now before you waste more time? Is it right to hope that the other one changes his mind or will you regret or blame him if he never did?

Asuka wants to get married and be a professional housewife. Until then she works hard in her career so that when she gets married, she has achieved her career goals and can be happy staying at home. When she falls in love with Ryu Nanami and found out his anti-marriage stance, instead of backing away, she held on, convinced that one day he will change his mind. I think in real life, this can really go either way: the guy or girl falls in love so much and will have a change of heart and wants to get married OR the guy or girl will never change his/her mind and the one who has been waiting will get tired, disappointed and angry. There’s no easy answer here, except to trust your heart and love each other well so that there are no regrets in case you break up. And be ready in case you really break up.

On the other hand, Kamiya thinks one doesn’t have to be in love to get married but a win-win situation. We both like each other, Asuka fulfills his requirements of a smart and sensible housewife, and in turn, he will give her dream of becoming housewife. they work well as a team in the office, so why not at home? I think marriage of convenience, arranged marriage or marriage done not out of love is also not bad. I think as long as you have good communication or at least like each other as friends or colleagues is a logical beginning. At least you don’t get easily burdened my emotional issues. And I think once you start living with someone and being with that person 24/7, you will end up loving that person. Or at least get used to him/her and you will be close. So this can also work. Then again, it can also go the opposite way where you end up hating each other and break up. And as you can see, Kamiya ended up with Asaka’s friend, who wanted a cute husband and was okay with the loveless marriage arrangement. and their marriage is working well.

The third couple is the reverse of Nanami and Asaka. The guy pursues the girl through his good efforts and eventually wins over the girl even though at the start she only saw him as a friend. He was even able to convince her to move in with him even if the girl opposed marriage. And they were also happy. So it really depends on what works for the couple.

People shouldn’t judge other people just because you have different views. I loved their friends and family for being supportive and listening to their problems and offering different words of wisdom. Feels like there are so many people who love and care for them.

Something I didn’t like about the show is too much noble idiocy from Nanami Ryu although i understand his hesitation to get married and his reasons for breaking up with Asuka. I appreciated that he really thought about his decision but i hated that he decided on his own thinking he knows what’s good for Asuka.

“There are two types of stubbornness. The cool ones and the lousy ones. Lousy stubbornness is the action of those who are self righteous. Which one are you?” – Mama Kama

“You dont break up with the girl you love by hurting them!” – Yuko

Rating: 8/10

Record of Youth (2020)

Profile:
Drama: Record of Youth (청춘기록)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 7 – October 27, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot
The story of men and women in their late 20s, and their struggle to find a balance between their dreams, relationships, family, friendship and career.

Main Cast
Park Bo Gum – Sa Hye Jun
Park So Dam – An Jeong Ha
Byun Woo Seok – Won Hae Hyo
Kwon Soo Hyun – Kim Jin Woo

Review:
I was really looking forward to this drama because this is Park Bo Gum’s final drama before he heads to the military. The premiere lived up to its expectations and I loved the first couple of episodes. The scenes were riveting and heartbreaking and you really just want Hye Jun to succeed. I really loved Park Bo Gum in this show. Extra special because it is almost like him and not Sa Hye jun reminiscing about his 20s and saying goodbye to all the fans.

The theory is all about money. The emotional stability I inherited from my parents. Honesty and sincerity. It completely overlooks such values as well as my motivation for success, which I cultivated while watching my parents struggle.

From the title and from the narration, I already felt like they were talking about the past and the romance was always about making good memories so I already braced myself that they were going to break up. I also expected the time jump. I honestly think they are better off as friends. There was something off about their relationship. It was too fast and surreal. And i felt that Hye Jun loved Jungha more. But it’s not bad, I think it was a prefect way to sum up their 20s.

Fangiring over you was therapeutic. I believe fans and stars shouldn’t have real-life relationships. On top of that, we forged a new friendship out of all relationships. I will stop fangirling over you! I won’t do it. – An Jeong Ha

Gosh, I just lost a fan when I dont have a lot of being with. – Sa Hye Jun

The romance fell flat in the middle. Most of the time it felt like Jungha was never 100% in the relationship. She distanced herself as soon as Hye Jun became successful. Most of the time i didn’t really get her issue. Actually, her character didnt get a lot of screentime and there wasn’t growth as a person. I know it must be difficult to be the girlfriend of an idol and be subjected to a lot of hate comments, maybe she just wasn’t ready for the relationship like she thought she was. Maybe she needed to be successful and be validated before she can be happy with someone else.

I really loved all the scenes with Hyejun’s family. Esp loved how much Gyeong Jun, Grandpa and Yeong Nam matured by the end of the drama. And how they grew closer as a family. It did took a long time for me to warm up to Hye Jun’s drama. He was just so vicious and typical Asian father. I could understand him though. He just wants his son to succeed and be tough. But it couldn’t hurt if he just showed it a little more without having to hurt Hye Jun repeatedly.

Who will believe in our children if we don’t believe in them? Look outside. There is a long line of people waiting to criticize them. – Hye Jun’s mom

Why is it only a man’s job to provide for his family? Are you saying that you provide for me? I work for a living too. Have you lived your life doing what pleases you? No one can live by only doing what they want. – Hye Jun’s mother

You should be the one encouraging him, not the other way around. – Hye Jun’s grandpa

You as my dad, have never encouraged me once. You’ve never supported the things I do. None of it matters unless the support is visible! – Sa Hye Jun

It was only to guide you down the right path. Am I a joke to you now that you’re a hotshot? – Yeong Nam

I super loved Minjae! I was hoping we see her get more clients after 2 years and be more successful but it seems like she only had Hye Jun as a client. haha. Realistically speaking, i think Minjae will not survive the cutthroat showbiz life. She is too soft and not too competent. I feel like Hye Jun wouldn’t have to endure such rumors and scandals had she been better at her job. But I do note that it’s Hye Jun who is calling all the shots and as the artist, he gets to be the one to tell Minjae what to do.

One of the things I really loved the start were the friendship of the 3 guys. They used to hang out every time near the playground. Felt sad that their scenes together, dwindled in the middle and we barely saw them together. I guess that’s also realistic. There are times we don’t get to speak or hand out with our old buddies like we used to because we become busy with our lives. And with the tension between Hae Hyo and Hye Jun, it was bound to happen. At least in the last two episodes they were back to almost normal and are close again.

Why does everyone compare me with Hye Jun? – Hae Hyo

That’s nothing new. – Jin Woo

Really? But it didn’t bother me back then. Why does it annoy me so much now? – Hae Hyo

Because you were ahead of him then and it’s the other way around now. – Jin Woo

Was he also bothered by how people compared him with me? – Hae Hyo

No, he didn’t have the time because he was busy making ends meet. – Jin Woo

One of the center themes of this drama is the parent-child relationship. I appreciated the ways the drama tried to portray different relationships between parents and children. Hye Jun’s father is the type that doesn’t communicate their emotions well and is tough on the children while the mother is the nice and supportive one, though she is also passive. On the extreme side, Hae Hyo’s mom is the “helicopter” parent while his dad is the largely not very hands on but expects the best. Jeong ha’s dad was the loser who ended up becoming richer while her mom was the clingy and selfish parent. We saw how each parenting style affected the outlook and personalities of their children. In the end, parents just wants the best for their children. I realized it is crucial for parents to understand their children and find that balance where you can support them but also “parent” them. On the other hand, children should learn to appreciate their parents more and not take them for granted. They are older, not necessarily wiser, but they can give good advice based on their experience. It is still up to us to make the final decisions.

I want you to be more aggressive. Maybe it’s because we’re well off. You have no backbone. Doesn’t seeing Hye Jun make you want to work harder? It looks like he’s on the rise. – Hae Hyo’s mother

What about me? Am i going downhill? – Hae Hyo

No, you’re stagnant. Your graph is drawing a straight line. – Hae Hyo’s mom

The show really started strong. I loved everyone and all the possible storylines, but after Hye Jun hit big time, the story slowly went downhill. Just like how Hye Jun’s life became complicated, the writing also got confused. We were seeing less Hae Hyo and more useless scenes with his mom and the slimy agent, long scenes of the mothers trying to one up each other. I ended up fast forwarding some of the scenes because I wasn’t interested in them. The story focused so much on Charlie Jung (poor guy) and the endless scandals that are false. I hated Suman and Taesu, they never paid for their misdeeds and are still working in the industry without being exposed for being terrible people. I guess that’s how scary media can be and how they can ruin a person’s life.

This is my room. I wanted my own room for years, and I finally have it. I needed a room where I can cry alone. Because in this room, I can cry all I want without being interrupted. – Sa Hye Jun

Are you happy right now? You have everything you wanted. – An Jeong Ha

Hae Hyo was supposed to be the second lead but he didn’t really get a lot of story lines other than always having to look broody and sad that his mother was doing everything on the background. i thought it was so naive of him to think that everything was because of his own efforts. I felt like as someone with that kind of advantage, he should have appreciated it more and worked harder to prove that he is more than his money. And i didn’t like how he almost (but thank god he didn’t) tried to steal Jungha away from Hye Jun. I mean for most part of the show, they were trying to hint that he will do it, but then took a 360 and he never confessed and he was really trying to be a friend to Jungha. C’mon i thought it was “bros before hoes” (sorry for the expression). And i wish the show explored and showed more the rivalry between the two guys and not just tell us it is happening.

Took me some time to think of my final rating because I really loved the first few episodes. But after writing down all the likes and dislikes, I think it’s not as good as i thought it was.

Life is like a race. You never know who’s going to win until it’s over. – Hye Jun’s mom

You and I shine in our own way. – Sa Hye Jun

Rating: 7.5/10

KDrama Update

Hi sorry for now updating my blog. I’ve been watching ongoing kdramas so i post my weekly episodic reviews in my IG (@kdramadreaming) instead.

Kdrama i’m currently watching:
1. Record of Youth – loving Park Bogum as Sa Hyejun. I just wish they stop focusing on his family. The scenes are getting repetitive with Hyejun always being scolded by his dad without any development in the story or character. Also it’s weird that Haehyo’s mom gets more screen time than Haehyo. I want to know more about Haehyo, him breaking away from his suffocating mom and making his own mark. I also want more storyline for Jungha. I dont want to see the jealous colleague anymore and want to see her succeed in the salon and in her vlogging.

2. 18 Again- beautiful story about family. There’s equal screen time and development for The 4 main characters, although i love Dae Young the most. Super impressed with Lee Do Hyun -he is an amazing actor!! Having 2 other guys vying for Dajung’s attention is too much though. They should have just focused on one main guy -either Ikjun or Jihoon that will rival Dae Young. And i know in the original 17 Again movie, Deokjin will have a loveline with the pretty principal, but right now their story is too comical so i dont like it yet.

3. Flower of Evil – i was planning to binge watch this in time for the finale last week but i couldnt because i found the episodes to be really gloomy and slow. The story is intriguing but i just cant watch more than one episode a day. I will continue to watch this until the end but will probably take some time for me to finish.

4. Alice – woot! The first few episodes were terrific but then the weird mother-son romantic vibes in the middle, esp in eps 8-9 has me fast forwarding some scenes. Also getting frustrated with how the main lead is too dense to put the clues together. At episode 10, he still doesnt know what’s happening that i just want to help him!! Likewise, professor Taeyi is also too slow when Doyeon already told her she looks like  his mother and she knows there’s time travelling happened. Two reasons why i havemt dropped this is because i still want to know what is really happening and i want to see more of Minhyuk.

5. Lie After Lie – i loved the first episode!! It was hella crazy but the next 7 episodes have significantly mellowed down the level of crazy. Im bot complaining though i wish there were more twists and revelations in every episode. I do like that the drama is taking its time to setup the romance between Jimin and Eunsu and building the relationship between Eunsu and Wooju. I definitely think these 3 need a solid foundation because once Chairman finds out about Wooju i have a feeling all hell will break loose and Eunsu needs a lot of help to protect her family. I’m still not sure how adding the golfer into the story will help Eunsu aside from having a love triangle which isnt necessary.

6. Homemade Love Story – i wasnt able to watch Once Again so i started this instead. So far there’s nothing special about the kdrama, just the usual soap opera plots of birth secrets but i’m staying because i love Jin Ki Joo and i want to see her romance with Woo Jaehee. The side stories of her siblings are so-so, as long as they dont make Hae Deun and Rahoon fall in love with each other then i’m fine with them. I dont like Jaehee’s famil except for Minjae who i want to see more. And i also dont like Seo ah and her mom (who is Bitchaewoon’s real mom) but im willing to see how the story goes and how Chaewoon will succeed over Seo ah. I also dont like the aunt but i love uncle Hwak Se so still waiting and see. This is a 100 episode drama and im only in ep 12 so i know lots more things will happen.

My Unfamiliar Family (2020)

Profile
Drama: My Unfamiliar Family (아는 건 별로 없지만) 가족입니다
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 1 – July 21, 2020
Runtime: Monday & Tuesday 21:00

Plot
This beautiful drama is about a family who has grown distant over the years because of past misunderstandings and sufferings. Once the secrets are revealed and they start to confront the past and their fears, will this family be able to withstand the pain and grow closer? Or will the secrets further tear them apart?

Main Cast
Jung Jin Young – Kim Sang Shik
Won Mi Kyung – Lee Jin Sook
Choo Ja Hyun – Kim Eun Joo
Han Ye Ri – Kim Eun Hee
Shin Jae Ha – Kim Jiwoo
Kim Ji Suk – Park Chan Hyuk
Kim Tae Hoon – Yoon Tae Hyung
Shin Dong Wook – Im Gun Joo

Review

What a beautiful drama! To quote the mom, “What is family to you? Do you not know either? Have you never thought about it? Because I dont know either.” I think this was the main problem with their family. They didn’t know what it means to be family, not because they didn’t want to know, it’s just they grew up that way. I have always thought that the parents, both mom and dad, should be responsible for the family they created, and the children should also be responsible as part of that family. However, in this particularly family, they are so far apart from each other and I honestly would blame mom and dad.

I have no problems with Jinsook and Sangshik marrying because Jinsook was pregnant, because I can see that they were very much in love with each other for the first years together. What happened next is a big facepalm. Sangshik was always insecure that Jinsook still loves the babydaddy and is secretly meeting him and thus, he doesn’t trust any guy that Jinsook seems close to. Then an unfortunate accident changed his life forever when he decided to take responsibly for another family forever without telling his wife. Jinsook, feeling that Sangshik suddenly changed and became distant, start suspecting him of adultery, and bottled up her feelings inside. So the parents stopped communicating with each other, started getting bitter with each other’s behavior until bitterness turned to resentment and misery. All the while they never bothered to talk to each other!!! ARGH!!!

After 30+ years of this bad relationship, Jinsook’s finally had enough. She gather the 3 children and told them she is “graduating” from the marriage. Sangshik is angry, went hiking at night, got into an accident and almost died. When he woke up, his mind went back to when he was 22 years old – back when he was happy and he and Jinsook were very much in love. What a fantastic opener!

As Sangshik tries to reconcile the past Jinsook and the current Jinsook, they start to open up to each other. All the hate and anger came up and they start communicating. To be honest, I’m mostly on the side of Sangshik. I dont know if it’s because of the brilliant portrayal of the actor, that I couldn’t hate Sangshik even if i want to, but Jinsook’s character, although equally portrayed well, to me, came off as being very selfish. I know she also suffered a lot from Sangshik, but Sangshik honestly hurt Jinsook but was kind to the 3 children.

Jinsook, on the other hand, not only hurt Sangshik, but also unintentionally hurt the three children. She ran away with Eunjoo one day but eventually came back. She never apologized or explained to the family what happened; and just came back as if nothing happened. But that event changed everyone’s lives forever. Sangshik decided then that he will stop being her husband and start being the father of the kids and became a workaholic and depressed man who thought so many times of killing himself.

Eunjoo thought her mom took her because she want to kill her and left Eunhee, so the mom must have loved Eunhee more than her. She became resentful all the way when she was in college and she had to work her butt off to provide for the family, and the mom never even bothered to be grateful or appreciate what she has done, further driving Eunjoo to get married and leave her family behind. She also became very resentful towards the two siblings.

Eunhee thought the opposite. Her mom left her because the mom doesn’t love her, and only took Eunjoo (although she didn’t know what happened). She only felt resentment towards her mom and wondered what was lacking of her that her mom loved Eunjoo more than her. She is such a sweet and sensitive lady, but she became less confident and afraid to go for what she wants because she things she is not worth it.

Jiwoo, the youngest, grew up with such a tense environment – fighting siblings, silent parents that he wanted to run away because he doesn’t want to turn out like his father. He wanted to be free of his own family. He grabbed the first opportunity that he can and got completely scammed.
So yes, between the two, I think Jinsook was the worst parent than Sangshik.

What’s worse is the parents let the children grow up that way. It was only in episode 15 when the mom finally had enough and scolded her children’s behavior, something she should have done years ago. She is the mom. She has the right to tell her children when they are acting up or wrong. But she didn’t now and now she is getting angry and wants to be free of her children and do whatever she wants. The minor thing that i didn’t like about this drama is how in the end, the mom didn’t seem to fully apologize for what happened. Sure, she talked and opened up to her children individually, but she always made it look like she was the victim. that she suffered all this time for them. But not being accountable for why her children were like this.

But I could also understand her. She just wanted to get away and be free for once in her life and not taking in all the problems and bottling it up. So yes, I didn’t mind that she left the family for a solo trip for a year. I thought it was a great idea and you can clearly see when she came back, she looked so peaceful and happy.

And to Sangshik, it was definitely wrong to hide the accident from his wife and making her misunderstand. Maybe if he told the truth years ago, this wouldn’t have happened. They might still be happy and their children are not traumatized by their childhood.

I loved that Sangshik and Jinsook were able to rediscover their love again once they were able to talk about their issues. They looked so happy, especially in the end when they decided to let their adult children live their own lives and they live on their own too 🙂

Eunjoo was one of the saddest characters in this drama. She finds out her husband is gay and she is not her father’s daughter. All her past resentment as mentioned above, no wonder Eunjoo grew up cold. I love that her voice is like honey but her words are sharp like arrows shooting (to quote Eunhee). I disliked her character at first, I knew she was a direct person but you can be direct without being tactless or hurting other people. But as we find out what happened to her, I grew to understand her and what she went through. She mellowed during the last few episodes, when she learned to accept her family and other people’s “faults” and differences. I hated her husband for hurting Eunjoo, but i loved how they wrapped up their story. In the end, they will always care for each other because they were family once. I also loved the relationship between Eunjoo and Eunhee. Two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Yet, they are sisters and they are now able to lean on each other.

I was surprised to see Kwon Yul in the last couple of episodes. I thought he was just a cameo but surprised he ended up being the friend that Eunjoo needed. He looked so handsome and adorable with his sunshine-y personality and cute smile. and he is like the male version of Eunhee!

My favorite characters in this show are Eunhee and Chanhyuk 🙂 I loved them so much. From the time we see them fighting while the cheating boyfriend looked on, until they finally told their feelings for each other. It took almost 14 episodes of push-and-pull that I almost gave up on them. Eunhee kept friendzoning Chanhyuk and Chanhyuk not doing anything when he thought he missed his chance. I’m so glad that Eunjoo finally spoke to Chanhyuk and told him that Eunhee thinks she isn’t worth it that’s why she pushes people she likes because she thinks she wont get them anyway. Because of that, he finally found the courage to speak up and tell her what he felt so long ago, especially when he confirmed that Eunhee has always liked him too! (Hello, almost everyone in their college circle thought they will end up together except them!) I just love the friends to lovers trope!

I especially loved that he proposed in that wall where it almost started. All the 3 scenes – when they were younger, when Eunhee imagined kissing Chanhyuk and Chanhyuk finally kissing her were all beautifully shot, i want to go to that place!! 🙂
I’m happy when they got together and it was all worth it! (The amount of kisses they shared in the last episode made up for the long wait!) 😍

Overall, i really loved this drama. Despite the heavy storyline, i was able to bingewatch this show in less than a week! if you have time, please go and watch this amazing drama because I think each one can relate to the characters or situations at some point in our lives.

To quote the ending, “As complicated as I am, we have family”.

Rating: 9.5/10