Review – Lucifer
Recently re-watched Lucifer, one of my top 20 Korean dramas of all time, and it still holds firm in its position. This isn’t a typical story of a cop tracking down a serial killer. This is a morality play, in which the reasons behind the killings are the plot line. Much like one of my other favorite shows, I Remember You, the murderer isn’t necessarily the bad guy. Or rather, they are not the only bad guys. The people who made them, who drove them to such extremes, are equally culpable. In a fantastic twist, the cop hunting the killing has also committed a terrible crime in his youth – and now his dark past is coming to light as he races against time to save those who may not deserve saving. It’s a story of revenge, a story of guilt, and a story of the personal choices that define us. It’s a drama that asks you to ponder the hard questions, to twist around your normal definitions of right and wrong, to see multiple angles to dubious actions.
And I loved it. I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first time I watched it. It’s beautifully filmed and the story is expertly crafted. It is the second installment in a “Revenge” trilogy by director Park Chan-Hong and writer Kim Ji-Woo. The first was Resurrection, a haunting mystery, and the third was Shark, a gorgeous slow simmer show. All three films are remarkable, unique and highly recommended.
Overall Rating – 10/10. Where the Good Guy is Bad and the Bad Guy is Bad too.
More musings on the morality lessons, the plot, herpes, and spoilers follow:
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Review – Tomorrow With You
This is a show about a guy who can jump back and forth between his current time line and the future (until his own death, which isn’t too long in the future so he’s got a limited jump frame). Anyways, using his ability to pop forward and backward in time via the subway, he’s able to make some great investment decisions and manages a successful real estate company… doing little to no work, showing up in ripped jeans, treating the majority of his employees like douchebags, and being generally an ass to everyone. Normal CEO behavior, I guess, according to K-World. It isn’t until he decides to use his amazing time traveling ability to actually prevent a death that his own life changes – and his life gets further tangled with a beautiful photographer’s whom he decides to marry in an attempt to prevent his own future demise.
Since this drama was so insular – so focused on just two characters – it would have been a LOT BETTER if the two characters had been more interesting and/or more likable. They were just… eh. Both of them. They recently played very cool characters in other shows I loved (Shin Min-A in Oh My Venus… adorable! and Lee Je-Hoon was cool as cucumbers as the newbie cop in Signal), which only made it worse.
For a show about time travel, I felt like I was stuck in a time hole watching this. My God, it just dragged on and on for hours… and for what?
Overall Rating – Final Verdict… abandoned to the K-Drama Graveyard. Didn’t finish it… don’t care to.
More Musings with Spoilers…
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Review – Oh My Venus
When I read what this drama was about, I was worried. I can’t think of one movie or show that actually dealt with weight issues or weight loss in a way that wasn’t 100% fat shaming, other than Bridget Jones. Especially considering the Korean obsession with perfection seems to mirror our own in America. But… I absolutely love the two leads. Is anyone cuter than Shin Min-A and So Ji-Sub? So I took the risk and settled down for Episode 1 fully expecting to be disgusted, annoyed, outraged or offended. But none of those things happened. Sure, the overweight girl wasn’t terribly overweight… but that wasn’t the plot. This show wasn’t about morbid obesity, it wasn’t about societal stigmas or culture wars, and it wasn’t about the deeper philosophies of aesthetics. It was about a beauty who had let herself go, the pressure of school, of work, of a stagnant relationship taking its toll on her physical and mental well being. Yet she persisted on, pushed forward with as much optimism and confidence as she could muster – even as her world broke down around her. It was a standard rom com.
To say I was charmed immediately is an understatement.
This show is sweet, light on the serious drama, and aimed to please. It hits the bullseye. It’s a fluffy romantic comedy with just enough conflict to throw our main characters together and make it deeply satisfying when they both fall head over heels in love. It’s a big “Awwwww” moment in K-drama form.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10.
So, how did a show about weight loss manage to overcome all the usual hurdles and actually be a sincerely adorable romance? Let’s discuss…
MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW
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