Review – Whisper

Review – Whisper

Oh, my my.  Hello dark examination of the soul, eh?  They say everyone has a limit.  Everyone.  A breaking point that will make them turn away from everything they thought they were – their principles, their convictions, their conscience.   Do most of us ever find that line?  Probably not, thankfully.  We don’t live in Korean dramas.

This drama is all about people being pushed to their limits.  About good people finding themselves turning into bad people.  Just helplessly watching the layers and layers of their goodness fall down around them as they scramble to keep from drowning in a sinking pit that started with bad luck or a bad choice and just spiraled out of control.  I LOVED IT (for about eight or nine hours, then it lost serious steam).  I love shows that explore the complexities of human nature.  I also love a show that gives the lead female room to kick ass!  Holy Moses, did she ever, too.  Three cheers for having a strong female lead for once…. can we please share this memo with the rest of the action/thriller drama writers?

Unfortunately, I felt this drama sort of lost a lot of steam after 10 episodes or so… with its endless evidence gathering and court proceedings… but it by no means stopped.  It’s more like it started at 120 mph and relaxed comfortably into a breezy 65 mph the rest of the way.  Still good enough for interstate driving.  But honestly, if it kept up the blazing pace and wrapped up the show in 12 episodes, it would have been perfect.  10/10.   A magnificent joy ride of suspense and danger! As it was… eh.  Great then good then okay.

Overall Rating 8/10 – Being Bad Can Be So Freakin’ Easy.

MORE, more, more… including, of course, some spoilers…

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Review – Twenty Again

Review – Twenty Again

What a gem of a show!  Such a simple premise… a young, energetic dancer has a one night stand with a stranger that ends in an unexpected pregnancy – she ends up hastily getting married and follows her new husband to Germany, where he has his first professor appointment.  There, isolated and alone, she sort of looses her spark and falls into obscurity, her house and home becoming her entire world as all her dreams are lost.  Motherhood becomes her only solace.  Her husband pushes her further and further away, until finally he asks for a divorce when their son is a teenager.  They postpone the divorce until their kid goes off to college… and in a mad dash attempt to save her marriage by becoming the intellectual equal of her husband, our leading lady secretly enrolls in college.  There she runs into one of her best friends from high school, who secretly had a crush on her, and the show takes off!

So much happens.  There are all sorts of twists and turns in the relationships.  Affairs.  Terminal illnesses.  Miscommunication on an epic scale.  And adorable banter and humor between the adult leads, as well as all the students, faculty and staff.  So much cuteness.  And a really great story, too, of growing up even when you’re already a grown up.  I loved it.

Overall Rating:  8/10.  There’s No Planned Parenthood in K-World.

More discussion and spoilers and musing…

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Review – On The Way To The Airport

Review – On The Way To The Airport

Though this drama had a strong cast, it failed to impress me.  The lead male was lovable, kind, and generous.  The lead female sweet, nice, and sincere.  It was clear from the first episode that they were perfect for each other.  Only problem was, they were both married to jerks.  He was married to a manipulative, cruel beauty (whom he insists repeatedly that he fell in love with despite no evidence of such feelings between them).  She was married to a self-centered pilot who neglected and disrespected her (they hooked up drunk one night and one unexpected pregnancy later, were married).

I am single, dear reader.  So I have trouble with a drama like this one.  What kind of fools are these people to stay in such horrible, soul crushing relationships for so long?  It’s like they went on autopilot, like a horse stuck on a routine circuit with blinders on.  Both of these unhappy people just put all their love and energy into their children, so much so that they both disappeared, more or less.  They didn’t notice the unhappiness or indifference of their families, their inlaws, their friends and their spouses.  It was all about their children – which is great, except their children weren’t wearing blinders.  Their children were unhappy and noticed the one person who cared about them most were vulnerable fools wearing blinders – so the children in this show were forced to grow up quickly, to deceive their parents, and play a pawn between them more often than not.  Especially the man’s daughter, but also our lead female’s daughter.

Both families had already sent their kids to boarding schools in foreign countries.  They obsessively worked.  They came home to empty, cold houses.  They basically lived alone, though under the pretense of marriage.

There is more to life than this.  And that’s the plot of the show.  The two nice people find each other and fall in love.  It’s slow and it’s beautiful and I really felt like I was watching two strangers fall in love.  (The cinematography was also lovely in this show)

But I didn’t love it.  I found myself annoyed 50% of the program.  I can mull things over with the best of the introverts, but when it’s time to make a decision – I am like a butcher who will sever one half of a body from the other if need be.  So I found myself annoyed and rather bored quite often.  This drama was purely a drama (with the tiniest pinch of mystery just for taste) and I prefer melodramas, because… honestly… I would have loved to watch these people scream and freak out and tear each other to pieces.  It would have been deeply satisfying.  I would have liked the “evil” spouses to be more evil.  I would have liked to take the drama volume and turned it waaaaaay up.  Because their domestic, domestic problems were tedious and almost entirely self inflicted.  Just rip that band aid, you pussies.

Overall Rating – 7/10.  Check Your Baggage, People.

Best Line:  “The maternal instinct isn’t a natural instinct.”

Review – Angel Eyes

Review – Angel Eyes

A perfect, classic romantic melodrama!  I say classic in that it got everything right – the pacing, the tropes, the love triangles, the side characters, the mysteries, the music (was stellar, great soundtrack), and the sigh inducing love story.  Just…  Achingly romantic story of first love… overcoming an obscene amount of obstacles – just thrown at them one by one.  Oh, the drama!  Oh, the tears!  Oh, the ridiculous joyously fun circles of coincidence and fate and connections.  God, I love melodramas.  It’s my favorite genre, so when I find a great melodrama it’s like a gift addressed to me.  Romantic melodramas are my favorite of course, because then you have the painful separations, the smoldering, the aching between two people as they are yanked apart over and over.  Sigh.  I ate that mess up.  Plus this drama balanced out all the sadness with lots of light hearted moments, comedy, exciting work stories, side stories, and more.  It was so well rounded!  I adored it!

This drama had two attractive leads:  Lee Sang Yoon was mesmerizing as the die hard for love… it was impossible not to fall head over heels in love with this guy… and Gu Hye Sun was adorable, plucky, and proved she could also bring it to the melodrama table with some outstanding emotional performances.  I also loved the teen versions of these two, whose story took place in the first two episodes.  Kang Ha-Neul and Nam Ji-Hyun were sooo cute together.

Overall Rating – 10/10.  Organ Donors Are Confidential For A Reason.

More About Angel Eyes and Why It Is Amazing (with spoilers spoilers)

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Review – Liar Game

Review – Liar Game

How incredibly awesome was this show?  And it was the perfect length – at 12 episodes – not too long, not too short – just right.  I had read a bad review of it and skipped watching it for a long time, but decided to check it out recently… and twelve hours later, this binge-inducing show had completely swept me off the planet and into an exciting world of intrigue and suspicion!

Plot in a nutshell – a new reality show tests people moral aptitudes and problem solving skills as they attempt to win money in increasingly difficult ways.  This is a character driven show – and after a few games you are down to a small number of key players and you get a firm sense of their personalities, faults and strengths without the use of backstories or flashbacks (exception to the rule being the main three characters).   What lines are they willing to cross for money?  And is there a darker secret behind the show?

Overall Rating – 10/10.  Manipulation Is A Group Sport!

More discussion and very mild spoilers follow (cause I don’t want to spoil the excitement!)….

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