When Crime Pays – Romantic Dramas Involving Gangsters

My two favorite leading male stereotypes are the arrogant, self-centered types (for example the male leads in The Greatest Love, Master’s Sun, You Are Beautiful) and the hardened criminal with a soft spot for love.

When I say hardened criminal, I mean the type that you can count on to beat someone bloody on the street for you.  Cause… that’s a skill set you might need one day.  Especially if you inhabit K-World.  I do not mean the psuedo-criminal.  I do not mean the sensitive action heroes found in City Hunter or Healer.  I do not mean the men who thrill us with graceful acrobatics during a well choreographed fight sequence.  I do not mean white collar criminals or cyber criminals or dudes plotting their revenge.  I mean bloody knuckle criminals.  The ones that can be genuinely scary when they’re not romancing a lady.  My heart always goes wonky for the guard dogs, the yard dogs, the junkyard dogs of K-world.  The fighters.

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Review – Ruler of Your Own World

Review – Ruler of Your Own World

His expression sums up my feelings about this show.

This drama has an “indie” vibe to it.  The characters are street-smart, there’s a considerable amount of informal and bad language, and the whole plot feels very realistic, brain tumor and all.  Like many indie features, you either get it or you don’t.  I didn’t get this drama.  It was like watching Holy Smoke with Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet, or Your Friends and Neighbors.  There were so many elements that confused me or infuriated me or just didn’t make sense to me.  My biggest qualm being the romance and the most awkward love-triangle of all time.

To be fair – there were some aspects to this drama that I truly enjoyed.  Sweet moments, tender moments, beautifully complicated moments.  Did they balance out my frustration?  Not really.  People loved this drama – it has a cult following – but it just didn’t cut it for me.  I had to force myself to finish it.

Overall Rating – 6.5/10.

SPOILERS & RANTING & HEAD SCRATCHING FOLLOW

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Review – Dr. Kkang (also known as Dr. Gang & Doctor Gangster)

Review – Dr. Kkang (also known as Dr. Gang & Doctor Gangster)

If Coffee Prince and Padam Padam got married… they’d produce Dr. Kkang.  Coffee Prince had more attention to detail in set design and better costuming. Padam Padam had superior cinematography and a phenomenal musical score.  But if you combine the charm and playful romance of Coffee Prince with the rough-around-the-edges-but-ultimately-lovable male lead of Padam Padam – you might create this remarkably enduring show.  What an unlikely surprise to come across a 10/10 show on a whim via dramafever.

If you like romance (epic), comedy (side splitting hysterical without reducing its characters to gimmicky comedy stereotypes) and a solid gangster-action gritty substructure (yikes) – you will like this show.  Actually, if you like quality Korean drama – you will love this show.  You’re not human if this one doesn’t chisel a crude drawing of a heart on your heart.

SPOILERS FOLLOW….

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