Review – Live
Live is a true gem and definitely worth your time. Like Misaeng, it’s a character study on individuals within a certain profession. Misaeng (which is slightly better, in my opinion) covered the insanity of the South Korean corporate business world, and this show deals with police officers. Following three rookie cops from the three-year cram schools for the Civic Exam, to training, and into their probationary first year, you will experience the full spectrum of what it takes to be a street cop. And it ain’t pretty. But trust me, this show is.
This drama will have you enthralled with the lives of its characters. All of them. They couldn’t have chosen a better title for this drama. It will tempt you to do some deep thinking about society, our structured laws, the media, the conundrum of law enforcement, humanity, and crime. To be fair, there is a slow build up as it takes a while for all the characters to be introduced and come together. But like Misaeng, if you stick around a while, you won’t want to leave. Because you’ll be transported into their world, into their struggles and lives and families and ambitions and fears. I watched the entire show in two days. I threw it on because it looked vaguely interesting – but by episode five I had a hard time forcing myself to go to sleep so I could watch the rest the next day.
Overall Rating – 9/10. Code Zero. Code Zero. All Units Respond. Quality K-Drama Alert. Last Call.
More details, spoilers, characters and more….
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Review – The Sound of Your Heart
I HAVE NEVER LAUGHED SO HARD OVER A K-DRAMA! Ever. This show is Archer funny. Arrested Development funny. Bojack Horseman and South Park funny. I literally laughed so loud the cat jumped off the couch and hid under the bed. I’ve never seen anything like this before – and I’m loving it! All star cast, all star comedy.
If you have Netflix – start watching this now. If you don’t… well… call up your friends and borrow their passwords, cause this show is golden!
Okay… so this is a situational comedy. And in general, I loathe situational comedies. They are the reason I love Korean dramas so much – they have plotlines that run a course, have narrative, wrap up at the end. This show may or may not EVER wrap up. Just like South Park or The Simpsons, this show may never end. It has it’s set up – which is a struggling webtoon artist trying to break into the industry (played by Lee Kwang-Soo) and his family… which consist of his father (Kim Byung-Ok) who runs a chicken restaurant that rarely sees customers, thus he seeks additional part time employment often and hilarity ensues – his mother (Kim Mi-Kyung) and her stern, but genuine affection – and his adorably awkward older brother (Kim Dae-Myung), who is low on the ladder in the Korean business world and a ridiculous playboy who targets the most unattractive women he can find, seduces them, and quickly throws them aside for the next conquest. He is your quintessential manchild… a selfish, heartless ass… who thankfully is funny, or we would all hate him. And of course we have the extremely attractive woman (Jung So-Min) who has a personality so quirky it has chased away all the extremely attractive men who would pursue her (apparently?), who is the love interest of our sweet, dorky webtoon artist.
Overall Rating – 9/10. Who Doesn’t Love Stupid, Low Brow, Fart Joke Humor?
Mild spoilers & Discussion Follow….
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Review- PUCK! – (2 ep miniseries)
Jaime the Drama Noona recommended PUCK! starring Lee Kwang-Soo and I’m glad she did. Some K-Dramas just make you feel better about yourself. For example, this K-Drama made me feel better about how crap my finances are… and my mismanagement of them. Apparently I am not alone in the world of hopeless debt and broken dreams. This was strangely comforting to me. It also made me feel better about how lonely I am and how difficult it is to connect to people, but that’s a tale to be saved for my shrink.
PUCK! is the story of a loan shark… or rather, an “enforcer” who works for a loan shark. You know, the guy sent to beat you up and scream “Where’s My Money?!” That guy. It’s actually great casting for him. He’s a big dude. This is the first time I’ve seen him play someone openly hostile. I’ve seen him fall in love and sob-snot-cry and be adorable and funny and lovable. I have not seen him throw someone down a flight of stairs before, however, so let’s just say this little show let Lee Kwang-Soo stretch his legs a bit.
The plot didn’t interest me at all. I didn’t care one bit whether or not the good-hearted hockey underdogs ever won a game. I didn’t care that Lee Kwang-Soo magically mastered some impressive ice skating abilities in… what? One day? The time line of this show was rather ambiguous but however long it was, it wasn’t long enough. Anyways, it doesn’t matter. None of it mattered. This was more of a character study than anything else: A brief glimpse into the psychological life of what is usually a cliche one dimensional character, the loan shark. It’s like when a random storm trooper took their helmet off in The Force Awakens and suddenly there was a character there instead of a blank slate.
So, it’s basically about this horribly depressed and hopeless loan shark lacky. And the things he has to do. And the toll it takes on him. Whether or not you considered this little show to have a happy ending or not depends on what you were focusing on. I thought it had one of the most devastatingly sad endings of all time. And I liked it. It was different. It was short. It was nice to have Lee Kwang-Soo as the main character and the handsome boys play the second leads for one. The bleak focus on poverty, the precarious financial stability of the average person, and the desperation it can create really worked for this little show. It reminded me, in a way, of What Happened in Bali… where Ha Ji-Won was basically ruined by her dire financial circumstances.
So check it out. To take a break from the longer dramas. To enjoy Lee Kwang-Soo. To explore the dynamics of loan sharks. To watch some unbelievable hockey. There’s more than one reason you might enjoy this show…
Overall Rating – 8/10
The Other Guy – 4 Favorite Second Lead and Bit Part Actors
There are faces that show up repeatedly in dramas: you know, the ones that don’t inspire teenagers to buy stickers of their faces, the ones that aren’t turned into banners for blogs and desktop wallpapers. The other guys.
Just like in American cinema, these side actors never go hungry. Their resumes are long. Pages and pages and pages of roles played. They must know everyone by now. The mailman hates them at Christmas time. I love them all the time.
My Top 4 Other Guys are an easy pick.
Park Chul-Min – Comic Relief. Just looking at him makes me feel better.
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