Thursday, March 23, 2017

K-Drama Review: Goblin

title: Goblin: the great and lonely god
genre: Fantasy, Melodrama
original run: December 2, 2016- January 21,2017
network: tvN
number of episodes: 16
my rating: 4 stars

synopsis from dramafever:
A fabled "goblin" attempts to end his life by marrying a human priestess, but things get complicated when he starts to actually fall for her, and in turn, finds a new reason for wanting to stay alive.

Ok, first of all, that synopsis does not do this drama justice, though it does give a brief summary without giving anything away.

Goblin was definitely entertaining. The first half of the drama I loved, but it kind of fell apart for me towards the end. It was like I didn't care about the main characters and wanted to know more about the minor characters' story. This was also the first drama where I noticed there was a warning at the beginning saying the drama was for ages 15 and up. I was surprised that the drama had a rating, but after watching the first 2 episodes, I understood. The premise is not for the faint of heart and will definitely raise some eyebrows.

What I liked:

Kim Shin- the story of how he became a goblin and how he got to present day in the drama is fascinating. I found myself looking forward to these parts the most. It's starting to make me think about exploring historical dramas.

Grim Reaper- my favorite character in the drama. I loved the story of his past, I loved who he was in the present and how he found out the truth about who he was in his past life. Everything about him was wonderful.

Grim Reaper and Sunny- I loved everything about their story! Their past lives, their current relationship, how they fall in love. *sigh* I would watch a drama about them.

Goblin (Kim Shin) and Ji Eun Tak's relationship up until the sword was pulled out- I thought their relationship was unique and complicated and interesting. After Ji Eun Tak lost her memory after the sword was pulled out, it was cute how Kim Shin tried to win her over again. Then she regained her memories and I lost all interest in their relationship. It just got boring and I was more interested in the Grim Reaper's story with Goblin's sister, Sunny.

What I didn't like:

I was just overall bored at some parts. There was too much melodrama for me.
Toward the end of the drama, I definitely cared more about the minor characters, specifically Grim Reaper and Sunny.

If you like the melodrama genre, this will definitely be a new favorite for you. It just didn't sit right with me. It was a very good story, but yea. I think just a little too much for me.

K-Drama Review: Oh My Venus

title: Oh My Venus
genre: Romantic Comedy
original run: November 16, 2015- January 5, 2016
network: KBS2
number of episodes: 16
my rating: 5 stars

synopsis from
When you go from the top of the pecking order in the looks department in high school and then fall to the bottom in adulthood, is it possible to get back on top? Kang Joo Eun (Shin Min Ah) was envied by every girl and desired by every boy in high school as the Daejeon Venus because of her pretty face and killer figure. Despite coming from a poor family, Joo Eun was determined to go to law school and become an attorney. At age 33, she has achieved her professional goals and has been in a stable relationship with her high school boyfriend, Im Woo Sik (Jung Gyu Woon), for 15 years. But she has let herself go over the years and is now overweight and often disregarded and overlooked by society and her coworkers. On the plane ride back from a quick business trip to the United States, Joo Eun has an embarrassing run-in with Kim Yeong Ho (So Ji Sub) and his two sidekicks, Jang Joon Seong (Sung Hoon) and Kim Ji Woong (Henry). Yeong Ho is a celebrity personal trainer who is involved in a scandal in the United States and forced to flee to Korea until things cool down. But his wealthy family has other plans for him. As soon as they discover that he is back in Korea, his grandmother appoints Yeong Ho as the new president of the family medical services company and prevents him from returning to the States. A lost purse causes Young Ho to reconnect with Joo Eun and witness another personal embarrassment for Joo Eun in the aftermath of being dumped by Woo Sik and finding out that he has been dating her new boss, Oh Soo Jin (Yoo In Young). As it seems to become a habit for Yeong Ho to bail Joo Eun out of trouble, can he also help her to reclaim her former looks? “Oh My Venus” is a 2015 South Korean drama series directed by Kim Hyung Suk.

This was a drama I was hesitant to watch when it first came out despite the raving reviews I was reading from friends mostly because at the time I was losing the weight after having my son and a weight-loss drama was not what I needed to see. Recently, a friend told me to watch it when I ran out of other dramas to watch so I gave it a shot and I loved it.

What I liked:
The realistic weight of Kang Joo Eun- It was spot on. The makeup looked great and realistic. Recently, I have been reading a lot about the sizes of clothes in S. Korea and how plus size for them is the size of an average woman in the states. For example, I normally wear a small/medium in women but in S. Korea, I would be a large. So looking at Kang Joo Eun's realistic weight and seeing the struggle even though to us it may not look like she is overweight was interesting to watch. She was still very pretty even with the "fat suit".
Also the weight loss journey was believable. The struggle, the slow transition, how slowly the weight came off. It was about half way through the drama before she lost all of the weight and even at that she still had diet and exercise and criticism about her body.

Shin Min-ah- This is the first drama I've seen with her in it. I liked how she portrayed Kang Joo Eun. The comedic scenes were on point and the more dramatic scenes were well done. I am intrigued, so I will be looking for dramas she stars in to watch in the future.

When Kang Joo Eun did lose the weight, there was no "wow dress" to show off her figure.
When Kang Joo Eun had her moment with her pretty dress, Kim Yeong Ho had his panic attack so the focus wasn't on her transformation and I really liked that.

There were some serious laugh-out-loud funny scenes- I found myself giggling or laughing and my husband looking at me like I'm crazy. This is the first drama to make me lol in a while.

Henry Lau and Sung Hoon- the perfect comedic relief. Their relationship with Kang Joo Eun was adorable.

Typical k-drama cliches didn't bother me- Everything seemed to flow with the story and when it was a stand out cliche, the characters kind of made fun of it so it was a comedic moment that still fit with their personalities.

What I didn't like:

The American scandal was never fully explained in depth. I was confused about the whole situation. Did Kim Yeong Ho have a romantic relationship with her? Or did he help her with some secret weight loss? I'm so confused. This tidbit was only put here as a reason to get Yeong Ho back to Korea and it was a little annoying.

Oh Soo Jin- I like her performance better in Goodbye Mr. Black. Her scenes felt over done to me.

If I said anything else I didn't like I would be nitpicking (like how I do not find Im Woo-shik attractive at all, or there were too many flashbacks in the last episode). The plot is very simple which may bother some but it didn't bother me. I really enjoyed this drama and will be watching it over again whenever I need a feelgood drama for comfort and a good laugh. Highly recommend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

K-Drama Review: Uncontrollably Fond

title: Uncontrollably Fond
genre: Melodrama
original run: July 6- September 8, 2016
network: KBS2
number of episodes: 20
my rating: 3 stars

synopsis: Noh Eul and Joon Young were forced to separate when they were young. After some years both of them meet again, Noh Eul had become a documentary producer and Joon Young is now a top singer and actor.

Okay, so I looked into this drama because Dramafever wouldn't stop advertising it. I also like Suzy as an actress. So...

What I liked:
Suzy as No Eul- her acting has improved since Dream High.

Kim Woo Bin as Shin Joon Young- It was interesting to see him in a starring role. Though I did feel like a few parts were overdone and it was a bummer that there was such a big deal about him singing but it was such a small part. Overall, I thought he did well.

Rekindled love- I am such a sucker for second-chance-at-love dramas. They met in high school, stuff happened, they grew apart, and they reconnected as adults.

The reveal of the connection between Shin Joon Young and No Eul's accident with the USB. Basically when No Eul found out. It was like I was dying to see where Joon Young was going with all of his scheming to get a confession. All the pieces fell together nicely.

The Ending- The last few episodes where characters interacted with Joon Young in his last days was good. I particularly liked the goodbye between Joon Young and Ji Tae.

What I didn't like:

Choi Ji Tae- I understand his connection to No Eul, but still toward the end he got obnoxious. Though it was nice that he eventually cared about Joon Young.

The slow motion reactions- It was so Dragonball Z sometimes. Some really dramatic scenes were dragged out in slow motion in an annoying way. Like if something big was going to happen it would flash, in slow motion, to all the characters involved to show their reaction as the big event was happening so when it finally happened it wasn't an "omgsh" from me, it was like "finally".

Im Joo Eun- All of the scenes where she "confronts" someone are seriously overdone.

Example: why the heck did she call No Eul to talk to her and why did No Eul even go to meet her? that was so pointless. I felt like it didn't move the story forward or anything. We know that Joo Eun has insecurity issues and that No Eul has a soft side but come on.

A lot of the story dragged for me. There were a lot of parts where I felt more could have been added and there were others that I felt could have been taken out and the drama still would have moved in the same direction without it. I was bored for a lot but I kept watching for Kim Woo Bin and to see what was going to happen to his character though after a certain point you realize the drama can only end in one way.

This is not one I will be watching again for a while, but I would recommend it to someone who likes melodramas and all of the genre's cliches.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dramas, Dramas, Dramas...

Apologies for the lack of posts so far this year. Work has been hectic. BUT I have been watching k-dramas like crazy and have been jotting down some notes on each so I can write some reviews. Here are some to look forward to:

Uncontrollably Fond
We Broke Up
Oh My Venus
Answer Me 1997

I am currently watching Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and I plan on rewatching some others to write some reviews I never got a chance to do.

Until then, happy reading and binge watching!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT again. This week is spring TBR list. I have a lot to catch up on >_< and at the pace I'm going, this list may go into the summer.

1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

2. Roseblood by A.G. Howard

3. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

5. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

6. The Falconer by Elizabeth May

7. Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

8. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

9. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz