Creating Destiny/Seeking Love - 3
I think this most have been a family drama or maybe it's just a family drama wannabe? It's longer, has lots more characters and extended family and well, it just has a family drama feel. Like most family dramas, it can be a tad ridiculous with its plot whiplash - "You have to marry her! 10 seconds later "I forbid you to marry her!" and I must say I fast forwarded a lot of the sister side plot once I could see it wasn't going where I wanted it to, but was taking a really long time to not go there as well as almost all of the random other girl's plot with her little sister crush. But I do love seeing the Korean adult child/parent relationships and the main couple is really cute. Especially when you find out they got married in real life. Watch it with your finger on the forward buttton, you will easily be able to figure out the plot but can still appreciate the sweetness.
Coffee House - 3.25
Cute. I really like Kang Ji-Won and it certainly nice to see him in something that isn't good but I'm watching for him anyway. He's really good at playing quirky and he really plays quirky here, my goodness. But that is what is nice about this drama, neither he nor the two female leads are terrible typical. Some parts of the plot were very interesting and different and others were way to standard (mostly the second lead male - although that might also be because Jung Woong-In will always and forever be a creepy serial killer in my mind so no matter how good his acting or the plot is, I just won't find him a reasonable love interest. That's not really the shows fault though). The beginning and end were the best, the middle dragged a bit and lost the funny which really is what this show did best. But a nice funny romantic comedy.
A Witch's Romance - 4
I wasn't originally interested in this one. The title just didn't strike me and I don't remember seeing many previews to catch my interest. And maybe the Noona romance turned me off which makes no sense because if you look at my reviews, I obviously have no issues with Noona romance storylines. And this one was pretty good. Because the main characters (and the actors) had some great chemistry and really worked well together. and for those of you with more, completely legitimate, issues, everyone is legal in this one so no worries.
It wasn't perfect, the middle dragged a bit when Mr. polar bear came back even though we all knew that wasn't going to work out and it was just a matter of time before she realized she who she was supposed to be with. There were also some weird editing issues. I'm not generally that particular about those sorts of things, but this was obvious. So if you watch it, yes, episode #5 is the episode after #4. you might not think that if you watched 4 and then started 5 but it is true. I know I wasn't the only one confused. I mean, the whole comment section was confused as well.
But the main characters were great together and separately. I loved our main female lead because she really wasn't a "witch" at all. She wasn't that stock successful but cold business woman that you might expect. Yes, she was successful but also this caring daughter to the world's cutest drama mom and a good friend in an still honest and real way. You didn't just see a scene or two to tell you that these were her important relationships and that was it, you really saw those relationships in the show which I appreciate in a rom-com. I like the romance to be developed but not at the expense of every other relationship in the show. And our male lead was just adorable. I really loved his bromance with his best friend "spinach." My guess is that character wasn't originally that prevelent in the show but the actor just brought him to life so they kept adding more scenes with him. Really, all the side characters were just spot on. They were well developed and the casting was perfect.
In terms of the main couple's development. I liked that they didn't focus on the age alone because that often involves the main conflict being how the parents are upset then close to the end the parents randomly change their mind with no logic so we can have a happily ever after and that always bothers me. With having all these awesome characters, they could have probably explored more without being tedious. Because even though it had flaws, tedious wasn't one of them. You could just tell the whole cast was having fun making this and that made it fun to watch. It was just adorable and fun and a great way to relax with a bowl of ice cream.
You're All Surrounded - 3.5
Finally I can see the appeal of Lee Seung-Gi. It only took three dramas! No, really. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho was okay but I didn't love it the way others did and I had major issues with The King 2 Hearts. I think I just don't like Lee Seung-Gi in that party boy that needs to grow up role. Maybe he's too good? But this, the hurt damaged hard shelled boy who's stuck in the past, that I can get behind. He was adorable! And I really this mix of fun action cop drama with our rookies figuring out how to be cops of the non-bumbling variety and our little quartet of newbie cops had great chemistry and of course, Cha-Seung Woo as Pan-Seok was a great reluctant mentor which I'm sure surprises no one. He's just amazing, from his expressions and deep emotions shown by one blink but also with the humor. He pretty much nails it every time. But I loved them all.
But going back to humor, why did that go away? It was so funny to start out then the cop story of the week took over and then our main mystery was the focus on the humor seemed to be dropped. I'm sure that had its benefits because the writers clearly had trouble at times keeping the balance - uhm, I'm glad Pan-Seok and his ex-wife were able to work on their relationship but considering the seriousness of what happened to them plus the whole divorce thing, his ex seemed a bit too flippant about things. Was that just me?
But while the whole group had great chemistry and the two side cops had a good bromance going on, I did feel like our main couple didn't really have great chemistry. That's not really anyone's fault but was a bit sad. They made it work because their relationship was a romance that wasn't all about romance but more about their friendship and respect and partnership. I do wish it was developed a bit more. I also loved Pan-Seok and Dae-Gu's relationship and how it begrudgingly evolved. And Chief Kang was probable the most interested female side characters in a k-drama ever. She was so perfect because she was so realistic and heartbreaking.
Basically, I wish this show had better writing. The acting was great but that was mostly in the acting. The villians were really flat and way over the top. The mood was kinda floppy. And there were a few plot points left dangling at the end. All that said, I really really enjoyed it because of the acting and the relationships and character development. It was heartwarming and sweet and fun and overall enjoyable. I just wish we had seen more of that, but this show is really much more enjoyable than I'm making it out to be, I guess I'm just disappointed because it could have been so much more.
Movies!I finally branch into Korean movies. They aren't as great as dramas because they are movie length, but these couple have been cute. It's been a while since I watched them so you are getting my several months later really short recap. Also, keep in mind that while that korean movies are not nearly as clean as dramas tend to be. These aren't horrible or I wouldn't be recommending them, but it is something you might want to be aware of.
Finding Mr. Destiny - Super cute. I was confused about one actor playing two characters without the main female ever commenting on how they look similar. I guess it's just a "superman is wearing glasses" thing.
My Girlfriend is an Agent - This was fun but kinda weird. Again - Kang Ji-Won being quirky. I didn't really care about the spy plot line but the rom-com part was enjoyable. I think the Korean title for this is the same as Level 7 Civil Servant but I'm not sure if that drama was based on this movie or not. I haven't seen it (and based on reviews, don't plan to :-)
The Righteous Thief - I needed a bit more Lee Beum Soo after the let down that was The Prime Minister and I. I think this movie does the best of the three listed here at retaining some of what I love about dramas, especially the family interactions and relationships. I loved both his family and hers (especially "dad" from the answer me series. I've got a soft spot for him after watching him and his real life kid on Appa Odiga/Dad, Where are we going?). And unlike the last one, I actually did kinda care about the Hong Gil-Dong (Robin Hood) plot. The bad guys were a tad ridiculous and I know in a drama I would have been annoyed with them taking up screen time but a movie short enough that it worked. It's silly but enjoyable.