Suspicious Partner (2017)


Drama: Suspicious Partner (수상한 파트너)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 40
Release Date: May 10 – July 13, 2017
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:00 (35 minutes each / 2 episodes per day)

Bong-Hee had a bad encounter with Ji-Wook (Ji Chang-Wook) when she accuses him of being a molester. They again meet at a hotel when Bong Hee caught her boyfriend with another girl and tried to get back by going home with Ji Wook. She ended up drunk and woke up at Ji Wook’s house.

A few months later, Bong-Hee, who is a law student/researcher, is assigned to work in Ji-Wook’s office, who turns out to be a great prosecutor. One night, when Bong Hee got home, she found her ex-boyfriend dead and she was arrested for his murder. Ji-Wook becomes the prosecutor in her murder case and was able to prove her innocence. However, Ji Wook had to quit his job and become a lawyer. Meanwhile, Bong Hee also became a lawyer and is trying to search for the real murderer. They meet up again after a few years and decided work together to find the murderer before the murderer gets to them.

Main Cast
Ji Chang Wook – No Ji Wook
Nam Ji Hyun – Eun Bong Hee
Choi Tae Joon – Ji Eun Hyuk
Kwon Na Ra – Cha Yoo Jung

My very first Ji Chang Wook drama. Yes, sadly, i’m late to the Ji Chang Wook ship. i don’t like his older dramas because it is always action (eg. Healer, K2). I also didn’t like his “face”. haha. I was bored and looking for something light and fun so i picked up this show on a whim. And I’m glad I did. The more i stared at Ji Chang Wook on the screen, the more i was mesmerized by his good looks – his beautiful eyes and kissable lips. He was especially cute when he wears his big glasses. though i preferred his prosecutor hair (his hair is up and slicked back) than his lawyer hair (his hair hiding his lovely forehead).

Okay, back to the drama (sorry got sidetracked). i thought this would be a zippy romcom/light murder mystery drama, so i didn’t expect that this show had a lot of murders, gripping scenes and a psychopath killer!!! Super hooked on the murder part because i hated the psycho killer so bad I wanted to see how they catch him (he is too good and is always one step ahead of the pair). I read the reviews of some people and I honestly don’t understand why they feel bad or sad about the psycho!! yes, the twist at the end was marvelous (i didn’t even consider that angle) but it does not justify what he did – killing each one of them and asking for sympathy.

the law firm group was hilarious – especially the law firm dad. he used to play the mean guy in his previous dramas but this is the second time i’ve watched him play the fun and cool dad/granddad so i love his love/hate fights with Bong Hee. and Bong Hee’s reaction when she realized that he is Ji Wook’s “dad” and she has to be nice to him. and Ji Wook’s mother! She is a great actress – most of the time she is so effective at being the screaming, scheming bad mother – this time, while she is annoying, she is so funny with her fight with Bong Hee’s mother – cracks me up!

The best friend (Eun Hyuk) and the bitch ex girlfriend (Yoo Jung). Hm, at first i didn’t like Eun Hyuk, i thought he was really mean for coming in between Ji Wook and Yoo Jung but then I found out he was the first one who liked her and i felt bad for her. And while he did hurt Ji Wook, he was still there, trying to make amends and asking forgiveness. i get why Ji Wook was mad at him – he betrayed him after all but it felt like he was more hurt at Eun Hyuk than when he broke up with Yoo Jung. As for Yoo Jung, ugh! I thought she was a bad ass prosecutor, but then she got whiny and clingy, expecting to just get back with Ji Wook as if she didn’t cheat on him! (the nerve!!!) and her glares to Bong Hee is totally unwarranted – she has no right since she’s the ex. I still can’t believe Eun Hyuk still likes her after all that she did. I think he deserves someone better than her. but oh well, she was not bad by the end of the show.

the other friend – the girl Bong Hee caught cheating with her dead ex-boyfriend. Ugh! i wanted to slap her face for giving Bong Hee such a hard time. and it was too funny when Bong Hee found out and they grabbed each other’s hair! The nerve of her assuming Eun Hyuk likes her (haha!) I was prepared to hate her but she was nice for giving Bong Hee a space to live in when she needed it and she became a nice person.

This was a super fun show – with the right mix of comedy, murder and romance.  Looking forward to Ji Chang Wook’s new drama (and if he ever comes to Manila for a fanmeeting, count me in!)

Encounter (2019)


Drama: Encounter/Boyfriend (남자친구)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 28, 2018 – January 24, 2019
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:30

Cha Soo-Hyun is the daughter of a politician aiming for the presidential elections and she had an arranged marriage to a chaebol son who is supporting her father’s campaign. They divorced when her husband had an affair and part of the settlement is the Hotel, which Soo Hyun is now the CEO. When she was on a business trip to Cuba, she meets Kim Jin Hyuk, an average guy from a simple family and is also younger than her. They had an unforgettable encounter when Soo Hyun lost her bag and Jin Hyuk helped her. When Jin Hyuk returned to Korea, he got hired in the hotel that Soo Hyun owns.

Main Cast
Song Hye Kyo – Cha Soo Hyun
Park Bo Gum – Kim Jin Hyuk

Note: I watched this drama during the time that the SongSong couple announced their divorce and various rumors were posted online. So i can easily imagine Song Hye Kyo as the divorce with an unhappy married life. (I still don’t know the real story of their marriage so I dont want to speculate who is at fault).

I loved the overall feel of this drama. It was very calming, the cinematography and the soundtrack were beautiful! I wasn’t bored with the show though it was a bit slow in some episodes. The romance itself was okay, I think the two actors looked so good together, but the age gap is so obvious – SHK looks pretty and young for her age, but putting her beside the youthful PBG made her look as old as her age! (or maybe it was her haircut??) While the obvious age gap made the story more realistic, I also felt like the chemistry wasn’t there. I mean, they were actors portraying two people in love — but i felt that’s what they were – actors acting. I didn’t feel the genuine romantic chemistry between the two leads, instead more of a brother-sister pairing. I would have been satisfied if they didn’t end up as lovers, only best friends.

Casting that aside, the overall story of the characters’ romance still went well with me (like if you follow the story as it is without thinking of the acting). They were of two totally different worlds and probably in real life, they would have broken up within a year (or two). Jin Hyuk here felt too perfect – like the writers had a session and wrote down the most perfect and idealistic boyfriend/partner of all time! Not that i’m complaining, PBG just fit that persona so well, I feel like i was sometimes watching PBG and not Kim Jin Hyuk. On the other hand, I felt so bad for Soo Hyun – her life must be a nightmare, having all those pressures from all sides, and still trying to live her own life. My mom, who also watched the show, also commented, why does Soo Hyun never smile? That’s why I could understand why they were drawn to each other. They met outside of their current lives (in Cuba, as equals) and i think maybe that’s why Jin Hyuk wasn’t that intimidated by her. Maybe had they known each other as boss-employee, Jin Hyuk wouldn’t be as daring as he was. Soo Hyun found someone who was super nice and supported her, and was willing to fight for her.

The ex-husband seems like a nice guy, but he was too little too late. He should have taken care of Soo Hyun and protected her from his evil mom when they were still married. No matter what he does after their divorce no longer matters since Soo Hyun will always remember he never stood up to his mom for her. Likewise, Jin Hyuk was smart but seemed like a carefree guy. I felt like meeting Soo Hyun, who was more mature and experienced, made him grow up and man up. I loved how Soo Hyun starting opening up after she met Jin Hyuk. She is still young and she has the right to be happy. To choose her own life. Who cares if Jin Hyuk is not rich or is young? Soo Hyun doesnt need the power or money since she has already has it. The love that Jin Hyuk is giving her is more than enough – maybe even more expensive than all the wealth that Soo Hyun has. I loved the slow progression of their relationship – seeing all their firsts – the salsa dancing, the camera, the “art museum” under the bridge, their fight, their kiss.

Aside from the two main characters, I also love both of their dads – for being supportive and understanding of Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk. What i can’t believe in this drama were the 3 mothers! Seriously! The evil mother in law was cray cray. I know she is just protecting her own family and reputation, but why does she have to ruin Soo Hyun? Doesn’t she know the more she ruins her, the more it will damage her family?

And Jin Hyuk’s mother — i know she is only worried for Jin Hyuk but she is supposed to support his son! She knows he has a very well mannered son, i can’t believe she is so selfish. Jin Hyuk’s dad totally deserves to scold her. and the nice Jin Hyuk, heard what his mom did and instead of getting angry at her, he even understood her (seriously he is nice guy!).

But the worse mom of the year has to be Soo Hyun’s mother!!!! She is so angry at both the husband and Soo Hyun for ruining her ambitions to go to the Blue House — ugh, what has she done? She is useless and keeps harping on her family. I’m surprised Soo Hyun’s father didn’t divorce her. And instead of getting what she deserved in the end, I can’t believe she even got a happy ever after! I mean, Soo Hyun was also nice to her and they even made up! I dont even remember if she ever apologized to Soo Hyun.

The only reasonable woman in the show was the tea lady. She was more like a mother to Jin Hyuk than the real mother, seeing that he went to her for advice, and first introduced Soo Hyun to her. She was not judgmental, and listened to both sides.

Regarding, Soo Hyun’s friend/secretary and Jin Hyuk’s moon snails friend, i actually thought at the start that it will be fun for them to be together, but I didn’t like the secretary’s judge-y attitude. I think JinHyuk’s friend deserves someone better than her – someone who will be proud of him – and not always looking embarrassed to be with him.

The girl friend who likes Jin Hyuk was cute, again, too bad, she didn’t act on her feelings earlier on. I was dreading that she might turn mean and bitchy – but of course Jin Hyuk doesn’t have bitchy friends (haha). She is so sweet and I thought she makes a better pair with Jin Hyuk’s cutie brother.

The episode where Soo Hyun broke up with Jin Hyuk had me cry so hard. She wasn’t being noble idiot – it really made sense for them to break up. PBG is a good crier!! I really felt bad for him. I wanted to reach out and hug him and make him stop crying. Then he stopped crying and fought for his girl. Wow. Soo Hyun is one lucky girl. I imagine even after the show has ended, Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk will still be together, all happy and married and with a little baby!

On the Way to the Airport (2016)


Drama: On the Way to the Airport (공항 가는 길)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 21 – November 10, 2016
Runtime: Weds. & Thurs. 22:00

Choi Soo-A (Kim Ha-Neul) works as a purser at an airline while her husband Jinsuk (Shin Sung Rok) is a pilot and they have a daughter Hyo eun. Hyo eun moves to Malaysia to study and meets Annie, who is Do Woo’s (Lee Sang Yoon’s) daughter. Choi Soo-A meets Do Woo and they become close and fall in love. Unfortunately, Do Woo is also married to Hye Won (Ji Jin Hee).

Main Cast
Kim Haneul – Choi Soo A
Lee Sang Yoon – Seo Do woo
Shin Sung Rok – Park Jin Suk
Choi Yeo Jin – Song Mi Jin
Jang Hee Jin – Kim Hye Won

Ohmygod. Why didn’t i watch this drama earlier? I was so moved by the story, right from episode 1. I got sucked by the story, the beautiful cinematography and soundtrack. I can literally feel the romance and chemistry between Soo A and Do Woo with just their gazes. This definitely did not start as a sexual affair. They started out as parents/friends who can relate to one another though there was already a hint of attraction from the start. And being able to tell each other their problems and find comfort with one another eventually they fell in love.

I’m not condoning extra marital affairs and I’m not saying they are right but looking at their relationships with their husband/wife, you just know that there is no more love, not even a “relationship” to “ruin”. Soo-A and Jinsuk’s relationship felt abusive to me. Emotionally not physically. That Jinsuk has to decide and control everything and still gets away with having a few teases with his fellow FAs is so wrong. I’m surprised Soo A was able to hang on that long. I guess she has been enduring it for her daughter and not wanting to rock the boat. It took meeting Do woo that she finally became courageous. To think for herself and her happiness too and to live the life that she wants. I sometimes feel bad for Jinsuk yet when he says something cruel to Soo a, I just want him out of her life.

On the other hand, Do woo and Hyewon’s marriage is also so weird and wrong. From the very start I disliked Hyewon. Her face tries to look so innocent and like she is the victim when she has manipulated and lied to Do Woo for years. And nice Do woo has been taking it until the death of Annie, which triggered him to man up too. i think Soo A and Do woo meeting each other was all it took for them to stand up for themselves and get out of their own abusive marriages.

I like what Do Woo said to Hye won. This is about their marriage and has nothing to do with Soo A. Whether or not they met the marriage would still have not worked after all the lies. I was interested to see how they will try to bring them together and I was satisfied how the story continued. After they both dissolved their marriages, they didn’t immediately go to one another. They tried to live away from each other and to think things through and when they both found the courage and free themselves of the guilt, then they met up again. And seeing them together at the airport was the perfect ending for me. i just wished that there was more interaction between Do woo and Hyo eun.

This easily just went up to one of my favorite dramas of all time. Oh and Soo-A (Kim Ha Neul) looks so beautiful and classy in everything she wore! I don’t know how she manages to walk in those high heels. And i love how they writers were able to wrap up everyone’s storylines, including Jinsuk and Hyewon neatly.

Touch Your Heart (2019)


250px-Touch_Your_Heart 2019

Drama: Touch Your Heart (진심이 닿다)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 6 – March 28, 2019
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:30

Oh Yoon-Seo is a popular actress since she is pretty but her acting is terrible. One day, she gets involved in a drug scandal with the son from a chaebol family which causes a significant decline in her popularity. Yeon Seo finds out that a famous screenwrite wants her to play the lead female role for a drama. However because of her scandal and her bad acting, the screenwriter stated that Yeon Seo has to prepare for the role by working as a lawyer’s secretary for a few months. Yeon So’s manager asks his cousin-lawyer to hire her for a few months in his firm. The cousin, who is a big fan of Yeon Seo, agrees and asks his ace lawyer, Kwon Jung-Rok to let actress Oh Yoon-Seo work as his secretary for 3 months. Jung Rok is cold and direct, and is not happy about the situation, but he has to accept.

Main Cast
Lee Dong Wook – Kwon Jung Rok
Yoo In Na – Oh Yoon Seo
Lee Sang Woo – Kim Se won
Son Sung Yoon – Yoo Yeo Reum
Shim Hyung Tak – Choi Yoon Hyuk
Park Kyung Hye – Dan Moon Hee
Oh Jung Se – Yeon Joon Kyu
Lee Joon Hyuk – Yeon Joon Seok

I have a confession to make. I never finished Goblin. I wanted to but I was just so bored and I couldn’t get past the point that Goblin is having a relationship with a high school student. it’s not romantic at all. Anyways I heard so many good things about Dong Wook – Yoo In Na coupling and i love them both so I was pretty much excited to watch this. And it didn’t disappoint. Wait, it’s not a great drama but it gave me warm feelings.

Yoo In Na as Oh Yoon Seo was so charming. No wonder she (Yoon Seo, not Yoo Inna) is popular despite being a bad actress. She seems like a really nice person though sometimes it’s hard to believe how she remained naive and innocent after working in the industry for so long. And she doesn’t have any friends! It was so cute seeing Yoon Seo acts sweet and adorable in front of Jung Rok, who is her first romance, and likewise, it was funny to see Jung Rok acting so awkward, trying to navigate their first relationship together. But again it was also unbelievable that Jung Rok has zero experience with love. Sometimes watching the drama I have to stop and remember that these 2 are 30 something adults, and not college students with the way they are acting.

There wasn’t much conflict in the drama. I think 75% of the drama was just about their blossoming relationship, which is not bad because we get to see more fleshed out relationship. On the other hand, I actually loved the first few episodes where there were actual legal cases that they worked on. It kept the show interesting and going beyond the too much sweetness.

and i actually forgot that she had to go back to her acting. I was okay if Yoon Seo just retires from showbiz and remain as Jung Rok’s secretary – i thought that was the ending. haha. I forgot this is korean drama and she has to go back to showbiz and redeem her name and reputation. How fickle fans are, after shunning her because of a drug scandal that is not true, they just quickly accepted her like nothing happened and they didn’t just ignore her for years. I’m also glad that Yoon Seo is taking her acting seriously this time and is improved after gaining experience.

I also loved the interactions between the manager and the cousin-lawyer. too funny. Oh, the Yoon Hyuk and Moon Hee pairing was also hilarious! I was really hoping they get together in the end and I was right!! Eun Ji turning down Doo Seob was sad but then I kind of get why she did that. plus you can’t have everyone in the company coupled together. That would be weird. Lastly, I couldn’t really understand why Se-Won and Yeo Reum’s characters are in the story. Jung rok and Se won’s bromance was sometimes awkward since Jung Rok keeps ignoring nice Sewon, his interactions with Yeo Reum were so boring!

Overall, this was a quick watch. I love the romance – my friend couldn’t finish this coz she said they were too sweet but that’s what I liked most about this show. I must really getting old haha since I appreciate these kinds of slow and warm romance dramas over the trendy dramas.