Review – Doctor Stranger
What an odd little show. I have so many conflicting emotions about this drama – because there were so many things I really, really liked and quite a few things I wished I could have vetoed in the writer’s room. But overall – it’s one of the few medical dramas I enjoyed.
Plot: A brilliant surgeon and his young son are sent on a secret diplomatic mission to North Korea – only to be betrayed by their own country and kept by the North Koreans! The young man grows up there, following the footsteps of his father to become a doctor, but due to the lack of equipment and technology, learns “old school.” His childhood sweetheart and fiance is taken by the secret police shortly after agreeing to marry him. When he’s near graduation, he is taken by the government to a secret facility to perfect his craft of heart surgery, by devious and nefarious means. He spends several years imprisoned in this nightmarish place – secretly searching for his fiance. He finally finds her right when his opportunity to escape the country presents itself – and attempts to flee with his lady love only to lose her in the process. Several years later, in South Korea, a series of events leads him to be hired as a new surgeon at a prestigious hospital. There he meets a woman who looks identical to his fiance, but claims not to know him. Who is this mysterious woman? And will he ever find his lost love? While all these burning questions linger, there is an awesome new woman in his life who vies for his heart… but can he ever escapes the secrets of his terrible past and get over his first love?
Overall Rating – 8/10. Pyongyang Medical School is Not For The Faint of Heart.
More Discussion and Spoilers Follow….
Review – Man to Man / ManXMan
A good summer drama with a lot of exciting action sequences, exotic locations, and hammy comedy. It wasn’t perfect – and kinda tried to pack too many layers on its club sandwich, if you ask me, but I still had fun trying to eat it. It’s not quite one genre or another, which I think was the only failing of this show – as I kept wanting it to lean left, into more exciting action/suspense, or just stay firmly right in the romantic comedy zone. The constant shuffling between the two made me feel a little jet lagged.
Plotline: A secret agent (played to perfection by Park Hae-Jin) goes undercover as a bodyguard to a goofy, middle aged actor (another ideal casting decision to choose Park Sung-Woong) – who, by the way, was hysterical – and gets romantically entangled with his over the top possessive female manager (Kim Min-Jung). Missions to recover stolen artifacts, corrupt politicians, the extremely sexy Yeon Jeong-Hun, showbusiness shenanigans and more will entertain you for hours.
Sure, there are better shows. But this one was fun trip with a huge cast of stars, tons of cameos, and… well… a little something of everything, really. Unfortunately, that also meant it wasn’t a lot of one thing, which was ultimately its downfall.
Overall Rating – 7/10 – Undercover Romantic Tactics Will Be Used.
Review – Bad Guys
This show asks the question… are we humans or are we beasts? Clearly we’re a little bit of both and it’s a delicate, fragile balance for a lot of people. Especially the people in this show. The plot is basically this: Three hardcore criminals are let out of prison to help track down hardcore criminals. They are lead by an ambitious young detective and a hardened old detective nicknamed “Mad Dog.” Much violence ensues.
It’s a short drama, at only 11 episodes, and keeps up a consistent pace of action throughout. The actual narrative of the story revolves around the death of Mad Dog’s daughter – and how these three criminals may be related to her demise. I admit, I kinda loved the whole bloody festival of butchery and tears.
Overall Rating – 8.5/10 – The Beasts of Seoul and How to Catch Them.
More about the beasts of Seoul… with no real spoilers this time…
Review – Cheese in the Trap
What an awesome character study! Hong Seol and Yoo Jung may be the most interesting couple I have watched fall in love in a K-Drama. I thought this was going to be a cheesy college romantic drama, but it turned out to be complex study on individuals coming to terms with their own personalities by observing the actions of the people closest to them.
Overall Rating – 9/10. Sociopaths Make The Best Boyfriends.
Let’s talk about the main characters! (spoilers follow)
Review – My Love From Another Star
I absolutely loved this show! The premise was cool: a hip, uptight alien gets distracted by human business and looses his ride back to his home planet. And for the record… what’s up with that? They’re advanced enough for space travel but don’t bother with communication devices? Did anyone ask him if he wanted to stay? Nope. Did any of his fellow aliens even bother to see what was going on with M.I.A. Alien? Nope. He was like the kid in Home Alone… maybe they realized he wasn’t there after the ship had already taken off. Anyways, I digress. Alien boy is stranded on earth in the Joseon Era and hangs around for 400 years, until present day. He meets a wacky actress and romance and silliness follow. Adorable rom-com.
And yet… somewhere around episode 17 or 18, I lost all interest in what was happening.
————— SPOILERS FOLLOW ——————-