Korean Dramas: First Impression

I’m getting more and more hyped up with all these Kdramas airing right now. So, I just want to add my two cents on the dramas that I’m currently watching and these might help you find your drama to-watch as well.

 

Circle: Two Worlds Connected – Thrilling. Unpredictable. Gripping. Always keeping me at the edge of my seat. This show is one of my favorites among the ongoing dramas that I’m watching. I am not a fan of sci-fi or dystopian genre but the plot and the way this show presents its story to the viewers is what’s keeping me hook. I am as both enthralled with the two different worlds and I just badly want to know how things happened that led to the present/Brave New World Era. This Kdrama is a sci-fi but I love that there is still a touch of humanity in the storyline. Is losing memory, both the bad and good ones, the only way for the people to have a safe and peaceful lives?

Fight my Way – I’m still thinking if I am liking this show, but the premise of “bestfriends turning into lovers” is the reason why I’m watching it. The two leads’ chemistry is undeniable and I always love their banters and how they truly care with each other. I’m not yet interested with Dong Man’s taekwando arc yet I’m loving Ae Ra’s arc re: Announcer dream. For me, the magic of this show is the characters’ having normal lives, experiencing dilemmas that are realistic and relatable. So yeah, I’ll keep on watching it.

Lookout – I am quite frustrated with all the injustice but I am loving chemistry of the squad. The lead woman is a badass, but sometimes I don’t like how she acts rashly because of emotions. I love Bo Mi’s arc, which is the focus of the show right now. I am quite intrigue with the leader, and if you’re a viewer you probably know by now. I love how the actor (forgots his name, silly me) shifts from being playful, to edgy, to being mysterious. Will he really be loyal to the squad, or just plainly using them for revenge?

Suspicious Partner – My drama crack. Such a Ji Chang Wook fest. Ji Chang Wook. Ji Chang Wook. Ji Chang Wook. I am not buying most of the comedic antics but the romance is just captivating. The mystery/thriller side is not fully on the loop but I’m interested as well. I am quite afraid that something will go wrong with the characters. The murderer is just so creepy. I’m on the ride for the romance.. and the bromance. And oh, please, can someone shut off Yoo Jung and her hoobae? They’re pissing me off.

I’m planning to watch Duel and The Best Hit next. Oh geez. I just hope I can manage to watch all of them. All four ongoing dramas are just oh so good and now I can’t let them go.

Now, who says I need sleep? Bring it on!

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Japanese Drama: Rich Man, Poor Woman

Love. Friendship. Trust. Betrayal. Next Innovation.

I don’t even know if I can coherently express the love that I felt for this drama. I’ve been too occupied and bombarded myself with so many K-dramas that I feel like I just need to take a short break. I’ve thought of re-watching Hana Yori Dango but my mind is craving for something new and fresh (I still love HYD, no doubt about it). And so “Rich Man, Poor Woman” came into the picture.

I actually have a thing for personal growth in every drama that I watched. It feels more sincere whenever a character is facing a tough problem first before he/she blossomed into a much a better person. This Jdorama gave me that and it was better than I expected. What a good “welcome-back” Jdorama it is for me.

The first few episodes was hard for me to watch. Then the plot went full circle and I just found myself in it for a roller-coaster ride. I love the romance. I love the friendship. I love how everything went downhill with the characters. I love the redemption of the characters. I.LOVE.THIS.SHOW.

(By this time I’m having a hard time formulating words so just bear with me)

Romance

Okay… The first thing I thought of is that, why does Asahina (girl) have a freaking two kiss scenes with Hyuga while with Natsui, I have to wait for 10 episodes for it to happen!! Hahaha! But then kidding aside, I love the built-up of relationship between our two leads. I love their rapports. They weren’t physically attracted with each other. They saw each other flaws first before seeing the beauty inside them. I think that was a good foundation of a relationship. I love how they supported each other, even in the lowest points of their lives. There was this saying that “behind a successful man is a woman who believes and supports him in each phase of his life.” That’s what Natsui did with Hyuga. She believes in him. And in return, Hyuga slowly learn to see life in a different perspective. She managed to let Hyuga out of the zone that he knows and show him that there is a different world aside from what he knows. I love how each episode gradually shows the growth of one another through the cheer and love they receive from each other.  Hyuga learns a lot and the change really showed especially in the last two episodes. I just love these two. There are minimal kiss scenes and skinship but what makes this couple lovable is the deeper understanding they had with each other’s personality. She became his strength and constant reminder that everyone may abandon you but there will always be one person who will believe and trust you. There will be one person to accept your weakness and help you arise in the downfall.

I also love the growth in Natsui. She has become a woman who is willing to stand on her own. She doesn’t want to stay like that and has a desire to grow as a person. Hyuga taught her to dream big, to make a difference and to be a world-changer.

These two is just a perfect match!! I love their dynamics and their sizzling chemistry. They don’t even have that much skinship! What more if they have, then that is just WOW!

Asahina Kosuke

I don’t want this post to be lengthy but I just want to talk about this character. Among the four, I sympathize him the most. I love these type of characters. The kind who has a potential to be something great but then choose to be the bad one because they’ve been eaten up by their desire to be the best. They’ve been eaten up by insecurity, jealousy, self-pity to the point wherein they’ll do worst just so they can prove themselves. Only they chose to prove it in a wrong way. (I always think of Anakin Skywalker as an example to this kind of character).

Going back, Asahina is a good friend. His dynamic with Hyuga led them to make Next Innovation a top company. It’s because of the TWO of them why they managed to be successful. But then he thought he was being overshadowed by Hyuga (because of the people who keep on praising Hyuga and comparing them with each other), and so he was manipulated by his emotions. He wants Hyuga to fall just so he can rise on top. He doesn’t realize that it’s not just Hyuga who made the company successful. It was their joint effort. He was a part of it. So I just feel so sad especially in the latter episodes because it’s not just Hyuga who fail; he, himself, crumbles. When he let that evil desire entered his mind and put it into action, he was doom to crumble.

I seriously don’t want to have his redemption. Hyuga has a soft heart for forgiving him that fast! I thought that he can forgive him but never trust him again. However, that’s the beauty of forgiveness. The moment you forgive, you restore what was lost. It automatically heals what was wounded. It was a good thing to see him back on track at the end. And hope that he learns from this big mistake. At the end, I’m happy he got himself back and continue life. We make mistake and fail, but with that, we grow up as a better person. No matter how many times we fail, we get back on our feet and continue what must be done.

It’s the same with Hyuga. Let’s admit it he doesn’t have the best attitude, right? Maybe part of the reason is he got his success so fast that he thinks everything is simple. He doesn’t treat his employees and even the board of directors with respect. He thought highly about himself. His downfall made him a better person as well.

They were pressed and crushed but the extract was beautiful. It was fragrant. It brought out the best in them. And that’s what I dearly love about this drama. It’s not just a story about a man and a woman falling in love with each other. It’s a story of friendship, of dreams, of life. In life, we have to be crushed first in order for us to understand different facets of what we want to achieve. We have to get out of our comfort zone and experience pain. Only in pain we will realize that there are beautiful and wonderful things happen. Only in pain we will find out who will stay and remain. Only in pain we will realize that we are not perfect but we can change.

I love this drama for the message it gave me. This is just my interpretation but the way I interpret is very personal. It was a story about each person’s lives. It’s a story of our everyday lives. Romance is a plus point. There were forgivable and irrational scenes but my overall watching experience is sufficient to love this show.

Now, the post-withdrawal syndrome will heavily starts now.

(Not proofread and edited, sorry for the grammar lapses)

Wounded Heart

I can never forgive myself.

I thought I was so over it. I thought I’m ready to embrace this world that I entered in the moment I left the old life I created.

I realized that the wound is not yet healed.

I’m not ready to meet the people who’ve been a part of that lost and unfinished journey. I’m not ready to go back to the old me wherein there’s a different and profound purpose

I’m not ready to forgive myself.

Each time I’m thinking of going back, flashes of memories come crashing through. Making me remember the betrayal and cowardness I’ve shown that hinder me to be a butterfly.

I can never forgive myself for hurting the people who believed in me and most of all, to the One who gave me strength and courage only for me to throw everything away.

I’ve thought of it so many times. I don’t want to come back just because life is getting tough. I don’t want to ask for His help because I’m too embarrassed to give myself back in His arms.

I can’t. I can’t forgive myself.

But why is it I’m still pre-occupied with the promise He told me a few years ago?

Why is it I’m still clinging on to that dream when that dream was given to me by Him?

I seriously can’t think of any path to take with this life. I feel like my purpose is to become “that”. But then, I don’t have a relationship anymore. Why do I still want it badly?

How will I have faith if I abandoned my relationship a few years ago?

How will I ask and hope if I ran away a long time ago?

I don’t want to come back just so He can fulfill the promises He made during that time.

And I can’t come back because my heart is too wounded. I don’t want Him to see me anymore.

I’m a coward. And I cant handle the suffering.

I can’t. I don’t even know how to forgive myself.

Korean Drama: Healer

Let me start off by saying that Healer is my no.1 favorite Korean drama of all time. It has all the spices that I wanted: action, romance, a little bit of a thriller and politics. It built their own world that really works for me. Maybe the reason I love it, aside from the romance, is that the main characters are too idealistic. In the real world it will be very hard to sustain that idealism and you really have to face hard battles just to get the justice that we wanted, but Healer shows us that being idealistic can probably be the key to teach those bad people a lesson that this world doesn’t just revolve around them. I love how the writer incorporated two different era, the past and the present, to make a plot that is really interesting.

Of course, the romance is a plus factor on why I like it. The kisses, and the hug. OMG! I am smiling and squealing like an idiot whenever I watched those scenes! They were very generous in giving us lovey-dovey scenes and it’s not just the statue type of kissing. (You know what I mean by that. hihi) Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young have a really great chemistry! This drama introduced me to Ji Chang Wook and that’s another reason to love it!

The ending gave me an impression that this whole show just gave me a glimpse of their world. Of how everything started. Of their first ever battle. And that ending is just the end of that part of their lives. Now in the present, in an alternate universe, there’s still Young Shin and Jeong Hoo, probably still reporters. They might be married now but still fighting off a different bad guy now (still a part of the “farmers”) with Moon Ho and the rest of the Some Day team. I think they are still madly in love with each other!

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The first time I watched this drama was March of 2015 and after two years, I decided to re-watch it again. Oh boy, it feels like watching it again for the first time. The scenes just never get too old for me. The plot and the conflict still works and even though I know what will happen already, I am still left in awe and amazed after they solved each problem and the plan they thought of in each situation (The Park Cheong Dol case/tape still amazes me).

I’ve never felt this in love and addicted in a Korean drama. Dramas come and go. Some will make a lasting impression but Healer made me felt more than a lasting impression. It leave a mark in my life. It gave me a sense of hope. It made me believe in the impossible. It told me that there is a true and lasting love. I am inspired with the characters. They are just like real human, flaws and all that. But even though they made mistakes, they can still do something remarkable. They can still love people. They can still forgive.

I am always saying this. The last time I felt this intensity of love for Asian dramas is Hana Yori Dango. Healer, for me, is not just a Kdrama. It’s my sensational Korean drama. Yes, it’s underrated in Korea. It doesn’t have that skyrocketing ratings. But I’m happy that while its run, international viewers really gave the love with this drama. I’m happy that in a small corner of the internet, there were people who rave and gave their thumbs up. I’m glad that people appreciates this drama.

Healer, you’ll always be my all time favorite Korean drama. Nothing beats you.

And for the third time, I have to face this post-withdrawal symptom again. I have to leave your world, and face mine. I hope you’re real (might sound delusional). But I really hope, that in some part of the world, there are people who have the same guts and bravery as you, ready to fight for democracy and justice, not swaying with what the world can offer. Just there, ready to fight and do anything for all those he loves.

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PS. not edited and proofread so sorry for the typos and wrong grammar. 😀

Korean Drama: Jealousy Incarnate

Disclaimer: Listening to Jealousy Incarnate’s OST while writing this.

I hereby claim that this drama is now officially included in my TOP 5 favorite K-dramas of all time. It hits all the humor and poignant aspects that I rarely found in a drama. I actually started watching this show as soon as it airs in Korea (last November 2016). I planned to watched it every week together with my other ongoing K-dramas. But then I was fully consumed with a different drama that I felt the need to drop it and focused on the other one. I was also getting bored in the first few episodes which led me not to watch it at that time. However, drama gods really has it way to let me watch this brilliant and wacky drama and so last week, I decided to binge-watch it. I started at 1st episode even though I’ve watched it already just to refresh me of the premise of the show. It has the same feeling. I felt like this show is not the right drama for me but there’s something in it that keeps pushing me to watch it. And as I progressed in each episode, I GOT HOOKED. Deeply-rooted hooked.

I’ve always loved how Gong Hyo Jin act this kind of characters. ‘Coz I feel like on paper these characters are dumb and stupid. It’s her magic to transform this silly character into something likable. She has the same character in The Best Love and Master’s Sun which I both love as well. I think that’s one of the reason why I gave this drama a chance. I like Gong Hyo Jin and find her acting superb. But then Jo Jung Seok and his brilliant comedic timing and acting chops comes in… and now I’m completely sold.

This is the best rom-com korean drama I’ve watched in such a long time. It raised my expectations and now I want other rom-com to be as good and brilliant as this show. I am not a fan of too much love triangle and jealousy but I am soooo looking forward with Lee Hwa Shin’s reaction everytime he gets jealous. Some sad and heartbreaking scenes became so funny and hilarious but when they really made some as sorrowful, it really is sad that I get my eyes bawled out because of too much crying (cue in: Lee Hwa Shin’s impotency scene).

Another reason why I love this drama is because of the chemistry between Pyo Na Ri and Lee Hwa Shin which is perfectly acted by Jo Jung Seok and Gong Hyo Jin. They are the heart of the show. I knew Jo Jung Seok because of the other dramas (that I don’t get to watch) and this is my first time really seeing him act and, oh boy, I now have a high respect with this oppa. He owns Lee Hwa Shin’s character and made me root for him to be happy until the end. Even though he is a jerk, arrogant and self-centered, I still want him to be with the girl until the end. It’s all because of Jo Jung Seok’s performance. When he is doing the comedic antics, he is sooo good and when he does the dramatic part, he is so good as well. He is such a surprise here and I never thought that he acts so brilliantly well.

I am honestly not that much interested with the side characters but they also gave some good LOL moments so I think it’s fine as well. The romance here is what makes me ride all along until the end. Thinking about all the actions that led to the love triangle and jealousy is cringey but it was so well-executed and became humorous that it became a very important aspect of the show.

I guess there is really a different feel between binge-watching a completed K-drama and having to wait each week for a new episode of an ongoing K-drama to watch. They are giving a different level of post-withdrawal symptom that I can’t really explain specifically. And that’s what I’m feeling now with Jealousy Incarnate. I am having a seriously post-withdrawal symptom. Same feeling that I got after I finished Healer (w/c is my TOP 1 fave K-drama of all time).

Thank you drama gods for not letting me slip this awesome show. Thank you drama gods for introducing Jo Jung Suk and his brilliant acting. Thank you.

Off to watch clips of Jealousy Incarnate!

HOW

I’m sick and tired of this life.

I am sick of this job. of this household. of the people that surrounds me.

I’m sick of everything about my life.

I’m sick of just dreaming, of planning. Coz when I tried fulfilling those dreams, all it gave me was hopeless, of a reminder that I’m not fit for it.

Why?

How?

How can I live this life?

I’m so fucked up.

Blank

I’m standing in between of positivity and negativity.

I want to live. I want to learn. I want to see things differently.

I want to know more about people, about life.

I’m standing at the edge of positivity.

Every situation can be use for greater purpose.

Every experience can be added to my wisdom.

Stories about different people makes me realize how complicated but wonderful this life can be.

I’m standing at the edge of negativity.

I am nowhere. I am floating on the unknown.

I have plans. I don’t know how to start.

I’ve started, but it wasn’t given to me.

I laid out my plans, set a goal for myself.

How hard it is to reach the goal.

Why?

Why can’t I have it?

I’m optimistic but at the same time, a pessimistic.

How messed up this world if you think about it.

But when you experience a bliss, it lingers a lot.

Setting aside the cruelness and reality. Staying in the little bubble,

praying someone won’t burst it.

I’m standing.

I’m fighting.

No matter how tired I am.

No matter how cruel is everything else.

I will stand.

Look for the purpose, that has long been vanished.

Finding a new one.

And so I stand.

At the edge,

At Life.

 

Korean Drama: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

This drama started as an underdog drama. Having been on a same timeslot with the most anticipating comeback drama of Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyun, Legend of the Blue Sea. However, in its long run it became a Hallyu sensation that tugs everyone’s heart and make it duguem duguem.

The simplicity of the plot is its beauty. College student Bok Joo who is an aspiring weightlifter falls in love for the first time. It shows how a young lady fluorished that simple crush and did unimaginable ways just to see his crush. Asking him if he likes Messi (This had been a trend in our country), up to being a patient on his clinic, telling things that she likes it even if it’s not just to look good to his crush. Who doesn’t relate to that!?

Another beauty this show has is its friendship. Bok Joo is lucky to have two faithful friends who will support her in all endeavors, who will be there for her in times of laughter and crisis. Friends who will cry with you, be fat with you and be happy with you. I adore these trios! Their friendship is full of SWEEEEEG!!

And of course, everyone loved this show because of the lead guy! Boyfriend goals to be honest! Not only he’s been there for Bok Joo in times of trouble, he’s been a great supporter as well! He prioritizes Bok Joo’s happiness above all, not being a hindrance to the goal Bok Joo wants for her life. He respects her in all her decisions and loved her for who she is and for what she looks like.

There are lots of cute banters and sweetness with our OTP. And I’m glad each of the character have given spotlight and let us have a glimpse of what their life is as well. I love each and everyone’s character growth and I love that they all have a happy ending!  I feel like they’ve shown us their lives as a youth. How they were able to survive those youth problems that we’re all familiar with. How it feels like to be in love for the first time and how it feels to be with them afar and having to built a new relationships in an unfamiliar and new place.

What started as an underdog drama is now so popular internationally. And I believe that this drama deserved the popularity that it’s gaining right now. This drama shows us nothing but love and growth. It shows us that being a youth is beautiful. They let us understand that being a youth is something that everyone must cherished as a part of our lives. No matter how awkward it gave us sometimes. There are still memories that can be looked back on as we age and reach the adulthood.

Kudos to the team for giving life to this incredible show!

Novel: It Ends with Us

Warning: Major Spoilers ahead

 

Okaaaaay.. I have such whirlwind emotions after reading this book. Everything just overwhelms me. The life of Lily amazes me and saddens me at the same time. I want to write a proper note with regards to this novel but I don’t even know how or where to start. This book just raised the bar higher amongst other novels of Colleen Hoover. I’m a fan of her novels. Though I’ve never read every novel she wrote, I’ve read most of it. And I love it. However, this novel is really something else. Probably because it’s based from an own experience or because this book teaches us a different side of love – the one that wasn’t tackle that much in romance novel.

I love Ryle. And for some reason I want Lily to forgive him. But then, I realized that it is also the right decision to let go of him even though there’s a chance of redemption for him. I suddenly imagined myself in Lily’s shoes and realized that if I were Lily I would badly want to escape from the relationship. Ryle’s remorse or regret would not necessarily change the fact that she physically abused Lily. No matter what mistake the other party did, it is never right to use physical stamina to hurt a woman.

On a different side of spectrum, I feel sad for Ryle as well. I believed she deeply loves Lily and that other side of him is something he can’t control as well. It’s so frustrating on his part that he can’t save himself in that situation. However, getting help from Lily is hard as well because it’s Lily’s life at stake. I just hope that even though it’s the end of the book already, on some alternate universe, he finds it in himself to heal whatever illness he’s encountering. I hope that he will find happiness on his own despite everything that happened. Every human has a right of redemption. No matter how big or small the mistake is, there is always room for a new beginnings.

Going back to Lily, you go girl! You’re strong enough to break free from a love that won’t do you any good in the long run. Yes, there are best memories; but you won’t be exchanging that best to the worst thing that can happen to you or to your daughter. It’s hard to let go of the man who have given you tinglies and butterflies, who’ve made you feel so many emotions, who’ve given you the best memories. But choosing to let go, not only for her sake but for her daughter’s sake as well, is a mark of a strong woman. Putting her daughter and herself in safety first, above anything else.

I’m sad that they did not end up together. But it teaches me to value myself as well before anything gets worse. I want to find a love where I can feel I am protected but then it is only me who can protect myself. And so, I want to embody a strong woman. A woman who values my worth and won’t let any man wrecked me. I know it’s too early to say that but I’m still hoping that I’ll be as strong as Lily. Ready to face all unsurmountable problems in all aspects of life.

PS. I’m still sad they did not end up together. 😦