Yoo Ah-In Always Brings It

Yoo Ah-In Always Brings It

Oh, he’s bringing it… and has so much he’s leaving with leftovers

So, it’s been a pretty lazy Spring for me – with a tendency to rewatch old dramas over committing to new dramas.  I justed rewatched Chicago Typewriter (absolutely love this unusual love story that bounces through time), and was in awe of the acting prowess of Yoo Ah-In.  What can’t he do?

Chicago Typewriter

He’s so good that I didn’t even realize he was Moon Jae-Sin in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.  And I’ve watched that romantic drama at least six times!  Maybe it’s the wig, but even so… I generally recognize my favorite Korean actors now.  I’ve got an eye for it.  Or so I thought….

Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

I thought he was a cute, horny mess of a piano prodigy in the “noona” romance Secret Affair.  Still not a favorite, but I admit it was good.

piano inspired orgasms everywhere

To me, probably forever, he’ll be Lee Bang-Won, the Scholar Dragon, from Six Flying Dragons.  Damn, he was amazing in that drama.  That entire drama was amazing!

Six Flying Dragons

So far, there’s nothing on his docket for 2018, as far as dramas go… but I would rather he hold out for something worthy of him than just kill time making a “meh” drama.  He could probably transform a “meh” drama into something fantastic just by being in it… I mean… geesh, he’s good.  But quality actors should seek out quality dramas.  It’s always so disappointing when one of the A-Lister’s make a so-so show.

There are very few actors I keep an eye out for… watching the news feeds to see what their next move will be.  Yoo Ah-In is one of those actors.  He’s just golden.

 

 

Review – Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Review – Sungkyunkwan Scandal

I recently rewatched Sungkyunkwan Scandal, for… what?  Maybe the sixth time?  It’s an adorable romantic comedy.  It is, in my opinion, the best historical romantic comedy.  Still standing strong since 2010.  It has it all.  The best of all the tropes.  All your favorite things.  All the things you hope to see in a romantic comedy.  All the tricks of the trade done just right.  And for some reason, it’s impossible for me to write a review about it.  Every time I try, I just end up wanting to watch it again.  Sometimes you just have a to watch it.  When everyone agrees that it’s awesome – how many reviews do you need to read, anyways?  Trust the crowd.  It’s true.  It’s really, really freaking good.

The cast is perfect.  The lead male is the most delightful stick in the mud nerd… and let’s face it, how often is the main character an uptight, mega nerd?  But it works!  It works because they paired him off with a equally smart lady disguised as a man, who has a sense of humor and a flair for drama.  It works because they balanced him off with polar opposite friends – a carefree, socialite who is interested in fashion and flirting (Yeorim!  Oh, how I love him!) and a misfit, rebel who is interested in fighting and social justice won through actions over words.  They’re all awesome.  I wanted to be bestie with all these besties.

Just watch it.  You won’t be sorry.  You’ll laugh and be entertained and smitten and charmed.  It’s unavoidable.  It’s so well written – the cast is large and memorable.

Overall Rating – 10/10.  Nerds in Love.

Review – Chicago Typewriter

Review – Chicago Typewriter

Stop the press!  This show gets the award for best use of books as decor.  Bookshelves galore – and all of them packed.  I’m talking… books, books, books!  Anyways, this was a fun and strange little drama about reincarnation and writers.  A group of independence fighters from the 1930’s end up reunited again in 2016… trying to solve the mystery of their past lives and their current situations.  Though I really liked this show, I thought it could have been better – so it’s not a perfect story.  But it’s such an unusual tale… with ghosts and shamans and snipers and book thieves and stalkers and quirky side characters… that it definitely stands out.

It’s no spoiler that all our characters had to die at some point to be reincarnated, and I’m not gonna lie… it was sentimental and gloriously patriotic and heartbreaking and awesome when it’s finally revealed at the end and I wept openly.  Before the tears, thankfully, there’s quite a bit of comedy and romance and screwball situations to amuse the viewing audience.  And did I mention mansions full of bookshelves?  It’s like the Beast’s castle, I swear.

For a drama about writers, I think they got a lot of things right.  Including the literary jokes (Stephen King references anyone?)!  Writing is tough.  My mother is a published author and it’s work, people… it’s not glamorous most of the time, it’s a lot of sitting in front of a computer typing until you’re fingers are numb.  And then doing the same thing the next day.  It’s deadlines and rewrites and editors and then, at some point, a finished product… followed by publicity tours which are also less glamorous than they seem.  Cause work is work.  And if writing is your profession, then it’s what you put 8 to 10 hours of you day into.  Just like other professions, 99% of the people in it aren’t amazingly successful and living in mansions filled with 40 foot bookshelves.

The three principal actors carried the show – drawing you into their past and present story lines with ease.  They all had a natural camaraderie that was believable.  Yoo Ah-In was perfectly cast as the neurotic, obsessive, serious author – he’s really quite a talent.  Ko Gyung-Pyo continues to shine by finding roles that are well suited for him – in other words, roles that don’t require too much besides a sensitive face and a calm demeanor.  Lim Soo-Jung, our wide eyed lady, was charming and a perfect balance between the two.  None of the side characters were interesting enough for me to bother writing about but all of them were fun enough that I was entertained by their presence.  Though it was great to see Yang Jin-sun playing the best friend/newly awakened shamen… I honestly think she’s leading lady material and hope she’ll get headline status again soon.

Overall Rating – 8/10.  Ghostwriters and Ghosts.

P.S.  It should be mentioned there is a few quality smooches in this drama… one with the same preamble used in Grease 2 “Let’s do it for our country!” and the other, my favorite, off a crowded street… meow!

 

Review – Six Flying Dragons

Review – Six Flying Dragons

This drama was outstanding.  It’s about the end of the Goryeo period and the beginning of the Joseon period – in particular, the revolution leading from one to another.  And it’s the best historical Korean Drama I have ever seen.  Ever.  After the second episode, I was pretty sure it was surpassing my favorites.  And after the epic 3-Prong Rescue Sequence from the Biguk Temple in Episode 6… I was hooked.  By the end of the loop to the opening scene in Ep 1 closing in Ep 10, I thought… wow… holy crap… that’s extremely good writing.  It’s by the same writing team that brought us Queen Seonduk and Tree with Deep Roots… this male/female team, Kim Young-Hyun and Park Sang-Yeon, know their stuff.  And they have been perfecting their craft.  Tightly woven plots in each episode, building on each other throughout yet changing enough to keep you enthralled, extremely complicated but fulfilling character development, action, historical significance, and even some romance.

Seriously.  BEST HISTORICAL DRAMA I HAVE EVER SEEN.  Just… mesmerizing.

Overall Rating – 10/10.  The View Is Only Better From the Moral High Ground If You Don’t Look Down.

More about characters – spoilers spoilers spoilers – thoughts and more…. please watch the show before treading into these waters, you don’t need to muddy up your experience by reading details first.

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Review – Secret Love Affair (a PG Rated Erotic Tale)

Review – Secret Love Affair (a PG Rated Erotic Tale)

I avoided this show for a long time due to the “noona romance” but finally gave in when I saw it pop up on Netflix.  I’ve read a ton of reviews on it, raving about how sexy it was, how divine, how romantic and beautiful and so on.   And it is all of those things.  But it’s also incredibly demure.  This show is such a tease!

I enjoyed Secret Love Affair.  But I didn’t love it.  I loved the music.  I loved the cinematography.  I loved the writer’s for leaving a great deal of the performances “unspoken” and giving the actors a chance to emote with their facial expressions.  The husband, in particular, became more interesting due to his actions and reactions of the affair.  What a complicated man.  And yet I found most of the characters very unlikable.  And tedious.  And boring.  And though our lead couple shared a connection through music, I couldn’t really understand what either of them saw in each other… except for the obvious cliches associated with a relationship with such a vast age difference.

Plot:  Unhappily married woman in crappy job finds solace and escape in the arms of a struggling young piano prodigy.  Both their lives become more complicated because of it.  Subplot and perhaps moral of the story:  Rich people are mostly jerks, but since a lot of people will do unethical and crappy things to get money, can we really throw stones in our glass houses?  And do you even like your glass houses or have you just bought the lie?

Overall Rating – 8/10.  A Major Musical Seduction and a Minor Romance in B Flat.

Full titillating review follows (including spoilers and X-Rated commentary)

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