Review – Who Are You: School 2015
Oh, what to say, what to say? It was… tolerable. A story about a bullied girl who gets into an accident, loses her memory, gets mistaken for another girl, who also got into an accident, and gets to suddenly live a new life as a pampered rich girl at a fancier school. It’s just one dumb plot device after another. Secret twins! Near Death Experiences! Amnesia! Imposters! Generic Love Triangle! It still managed to be slightly enjoyable though. The cast was solid, the cruelty and kindness of teenagers adding drama to each episode. But overall, I wouldn’t recommend it. Watch School 2013. It’s better.
Nam Joo-Hyuk proves he’s got leading male capabilities. Kim So-Hyun beguiles us with her big eyes and expressive face. And Yook Sung-Jae gets pushed to the side in the generic role of second male lead. I really enjoy Yook Sung-Jae, but have yet to decide if he’s strong enough to pull off a lead in a drama of his own yet. He’s a bit too idol for me, a bit too hammy, a bit too adorable. Super adorable as a blonde.
Our second female lead, however, is amazing. The bully. The villain. She’ll never want for work. When she’s old enough, she can easily migrate into the “evil mom,” “evil boss,” and “evil ex” roles. She delivered some blood curdling coldness. Jo Soo-Hyang is amazing, but I’m not delusional enough to expect her in leading female roles… she’s lovely, but the beauty standards of South Korea are as strict as Hollywood’s. And that’s a whole other post.
Overall Rating – 5/10. Ridiculous Plot Devices & Attractive Teenagers.
Review – Save Me (from people!)
Is this show a dark commentary on humanity? YES. Was it awesome? Yes… but it’s very, very dark, so light a few candles and pray for the soul of the world before you start viewing.
This is the story about how a family got sucked into a cult. It’s also a story about growing up, and realizing your parents aren’t the gods of our childhood. It’s a story about society, and how the struggle for power changes people. Power over your own life, power over circumstances, power over others. It’s a commentary on politics, religion, government, and the basic needs of humans – to be useful, to be happy, and to be safe. And at its heart, it’s a story about friendship. There’s a lot packed into this drama.
It’s not a pleasant experience, though. The drama tackled quite a few uncomfortable topics – from police corruption to political corruption, violent school bullying to murder, unbelievable cruelty to cold manipulations of others – both emotionally and physically. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not sure I want to again for a while, either. You’ll want to give your brain a rest after this intensity… maybe watch a Disney movie or something. Cleanse the palette, cleanse the soul.
Overall Rating – 9/10. Getting To New Heaven Is Hell On Earth.
Thoughts on religion, my personal opinions on the matter, and various musings follow…
Movie Reviews – Pure Love & My Annoying Brother
I was on a Do Kyung-Soo kick… or maybe just a crying kick, I’m not sure… but I ended up watching two Do Kyung-Soo tearjerkers back to back yesterday. They were both lovely films – full of outstanding performances from all the actors involved. Pure Love was a story about a group of teenage friends who are home for the summer in 1991, enjoying their beautiful coastal village and the pains and joys of growing up. One of the girl’s has a genetic problem with her legs and struggles to walk – while secretly hoping for an operation that will cure her. The boys in the group all love her, in their own ways, but in particular one sensitive young man who follows her around like a lost puppy. It’s a gorgeous film… a thoughtful, nostalgic piece about youth and also about the betrayal of coming of age. I ain’t gonna lie… I cried. A lot. They really did not intend for anyone to leave this movie with dry eyes and I’m sure succeeded…. cause a lot of it tore my heart out.
My Annoying Brother was, in my opinion, even better. I’m a total sucker for redemption stories. The youngest brother is a Judo champion who looses his sight during an accident. The eldest brother is a petty criminal who uses his brother’s misfortune to get out of prison on parole early. The two have been estranged for years – ever since the older brother ran away from home as a teenager. And yet, slowly, wonderfully, these two are able to come back together… and restore hope and meaning to one another’s lives. Cho Jung-Seok was genuine and hysterical as the unruly brother (seriously, I laughed a lot over this guy and his ridiculous behavior… I have an older brother, and let’s face it… they’re kind of jerks most of the time but also your heroes)… and Do Kyung-Soo was outstanding as the young man struggling to find the will to live with his new disability. This is also a melodrama… and it’s pretty freakin’ sad, too. But I also felt good at the end, hopeful even… my faith in humanity restored a little bit.
Anyways, check ’em out if you’re in the mood. Quality stuff.