Review – Remember
One of the best shows I have ever watched, ever. Anywhere. And it seemed kinda “eh” starting out, but a few episodes in and I was hooked and then… I just ate it up. The characters! The plot! Honestly, the last episode was so emotionally draining (good and bad) that I think it may be a while until I can write up a decent review. So for now… I just wanted to put this placeholder in, saying: WATCH IT.
This is a finely crafted work of art.
Plot Basics: A young man’s father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is accused of murder and sentenced to death row. The young man, who has incredible photographic memory, dedicates his life to clearing his father’s name. Add to the mix one of the most memorable villains of all time, and you have this amazing show… that just keeps getting better as it goes.
Overall Rating – 10/10. The Truth Does Not Speak For Itself.
More about the characters and mild spoilers follow
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 – Bridal Mask
Bridal Mask is one of the most epic, emotional, action-packed, gut-wrenching shows I have ever watched. It takes place during the 1930’s, when Japan had colonized the country. The hatred between the local “Joseon” people and the Japanese is palatable. Though some have been striving to live and work in peace, overall it is a volatile time rife with government, military, and police corruption. The plot centers around a young Korean man who has betrayed his people by joining the Japanese military to help them end the rebellion, in particular catch the infamous masked crusader known only as “Bridal Mask.” He is despised by his own people and distrusted by the Japanese, with the exception of his best friend, a kind-hearted elementary school teacher. A series of tragic events lead both of these men into their terrible fates.
Overall Rating – 9/10. When Elementary School Teachers Embrace The Dark Side… (also known as: The Problem With Eye For An Eye Is There Are Always More Eyes)
It would be a 10/10 but I confess it could have probably cut about ten entire episodes and not suffered from plot loss. More discussion (and spoilers! sorry, I can’t help it) follow.
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 – Tunnel
There’s a lot to like about this show. The unusual plotline. The adorable cop shenanigans and bromances everywhere (all the main cops are dudes in this show and they’re all extremely lovable). The tangled web of time travel. The serial killer(s) and their damaged childhoods. I enjoyed the whole thing. A quality drama, highly recommended.
Overall Rating – 8/10. Grumpy Time Traveling Detective Solves An Old Case.
A little bit more about characters follows (very, very mild spoilers)
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!)….
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 ——————-