Review – When A Man Loves
Deep satisfied sigh. What a cool melodrama! Talk about an unusual plotline that hooked. I was completely swept up into this romantic entanglement. Not quite a love triangle, not quite NOT a love triangle. There was more nuance and character development in this drama than most shows. You’ll be hating someone in one episode and completely understanding them and sympathizing with them in the next. Shades of gray, my friends. It’s a show about how your life experiences define you, even when you’ve changed your life.
Plotline Short Version: A gangster falls for the daughter of the man he’s terrorizing and a series of events leads him to change his ways and give up his life of crime to reemerge several years later as a successful businessman. When he runs into the daughter again – he sweeps her into his new life, with promises of financial security and his heart. However, our young lady is wary of her new suitor. He’s over a decade older than her, excessively smitten, and… ya know… a bit scary. While she’s attempting to let this man into her life, she meets another man – her age – whom she shares natural chemistry with. Unfortunately, his life is equally tied to the reformed gangsters. It’s a struggle of will, of families, of obligations and of fear as these three circle around each other. And it’s really great tv.
Overall Rating – 9/10. One Person’s Love Is Not Enough To Carry Two Hearts.
LOTS OF SPOILERS, life musings, dating advice, and rambling follow…
Review – Queen for Seven Days
Did you order some tears with your romantic salad? This was a good show… that I’ve been watching unfold over the summer. Not quite great, but definitely on par with most quality sageuks. As you can tell from the name, it will not have a happy ending. But until then, it does manage to be shockingly romantic – more so than any other sageuk I can think of. Or least, more overtly romantic, in a modern contemporary way, as opposed to the subtle, slow burn romances we generally get in these historical shows. Our lead couple was charming – in particular, her overt nature compared to his reserve. Especially when they were older, her understanding of his introverted tendencies showed a level of maturity rarely seen in dramas – with her always knowing when she needed to go back to him first after an argument, or infer all the things he left unsaid. And like Romeo & Juliet, their romance was all the more delicious as everyone was actively trying to tear it apart or come between them. Nothing like opposition to make things exciting, eh?
I’ve seen a real shift lately in understanding the power of a strong psychotic character to make any drama more interesting. The crazed king motif never gets old, frankly, and Lee Dong Gun’s performance as the seriously unstable, yet strangely sympathetic/pathetic ruler was outstanding. Plus he had the best wardrobe of any royalty I have seen in a saguek to date – the man encouraged color and variety in his kingly robes, thank you. Scheming adults, lovable sidekicks, secret identities, and a variety of palace drama and violence kept the pace in each episode. This is a good drama to watch when you’re in the mood for a flagrantly emotional rollercoaster, as the emotional aspect of show is definitely its strength. The plot is not overly complicated, nor are the characters, really. At it’s heart, it’s an uber-romantic-romance (it’s not all tears, either, there are some very fluffy care-free episodes and cheeky romance moments before the melodrama sinks in).
There’s also a surprisingly modern soundtrack, yet it worked well with the show, which was sort of a hybrid anyway (there was definitely a lot of modern elements covertly woven in).
Overall Rating – 8.5/10 – If There Is A Prophesy Dooming Your Relationship… You Might Wanna Reconsider Your Choices.
Review – Marriage Not Dating
Just a blissful spring day of skipping through a field, that’s what this drama is. It’s not too heavy, not too light. It’s juuuuuuuust right. All your favorite cliches – pretend couples, love triangles, disapproving wealthy mothers. Adorable romantic shenanigans. Three interesting male and female characters that are fun to watch throughout the series, even when they are disappointing you. Lots of laughs, lots of good times with friends, lots of love. This is one feel good drama you don’t want to pass by… like a valentine you give yourself.
Overall Rating – 8/10. Korean Febreeze.
More Discussion including spoilers….