Monday, January 30, 2017

The Legend of the Blue Sea

Rating: 4/5 
Episodes: 20
A mermaid from the Joseon era attempts to survive in a modern society as she tries to follow her true love, the magistrate of a town named Kim Moon from the Joseon era. In a love story that spans over thousands of years, the mermaid acquires different names (Se Hwa, Shim Cheong) and finds the modern lookalike of Kim Moon. This young man is named Heo Joon Jae and he is a scam artist. The two get involved as he tries to take her very expensive jade bracelet from Shim Cheong. However, he takes pity on her and allows her to stay with him since she had no where to go. She begins to help him and the two begin to like each other. As the two fall in love, they find history repeating itself in a new setting and with people who do not have the best intentions at heart.

          I was extremely excited to watch this drama because of the amazing cast and the supernatural elements in it. I figured it'd be somewhat similar to "My Love From Another Star" since the relationship is between a human and a mythical/supernatural being. I saw a couple of clips prior to watching this drama and I loved that Jun Ji Hyun was going to play another hilarious and spunky character. One thing that I really loved about this drama was the way it transitioned from the past to the future, showing the similarities and differences. It made it a lot clearer that history was repeating itself and made it easier to follow with the plot line. Often times, the scenes are very beautiful and I really enjoyed watching those scenes.
            This drama was absolutely perfect and so intense in a lot of scenes. It was the perfect mix of romance, comedy, and mystery as they try to end their ill-fate. I loved the characters, the people, and the way it made me constantly second guess what is going on in the drama. I also loved the character development in all the characters as they learned from each other and learned about themselves.  I've never considered Lee Min Ho as my bias or as my favorite, but time after time, I have to praise his acting in every drama he's acted in. He is truly an exceptional actor and Jun Ji Hyun was the perfect actress for this role. I can't imagine anyone else who could've been so serious, intense, badass, and funny at the same time. I couldn't even get that annoyed of the side characters because of the way Shim Cheong dealt with them and the way she was arrogant and confident in a very clueless way.
          Not only were the main characters amazing, I also loved the supporting cast. The people that helped Heo Joon Jae in his scams are probably some of the best people in this drama because of how cute they were and how they contributed to the humor of this drama. They were also people that added intensity and also helped take care of things from the sidelines. As for the antagonists of this drama, I loved the actors as well. They did an amazing job in portraying a role that is purely manipulative and evil. I found it interesting how their roles played out and how they came about achieving what they wanted. It is very interesting because they played a lot on the psychology of people and the way that trusting the wrong people can end very badly for many. I loved watching how the modern day side characters played a role in the previous lives as well. It was very fascinating to watch.
        I also love the OST of this drama so much. It was beautiful with just the perfect tinge of emotion in it that gives the drama a special place in my heart. The music track to any drama is just as important as the plot and the acting. It makes everything better. It fit well with the happy parts, the frustrating parts, the scary parts, and the touching parts. I would highly recommend this drama to many people --especially those who enjoyed My Love From Another Star.

Also Viki has 2 extra episodes from the director's cut if any of you guys are interested!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Episodes: 16 
Kim Bok Joo is a weightlifter and has focused on barbells her entire life. She attends Hanwool College of Physical education alongside with other competitive athletes who are all driven to succeed. Everyone hopes to excel in their sport and represent their country in national and international competitions. All the athletes must face different tasks and face different challenges given to them in life--for instance, some people have to deal with social groups making fun of them, some are competing against very competitive rivals, and some people have to deal with backstabbers and gossiping within their sport. After a few bad encounters with Jung Jeon Heong, Kim Bok Joo and Jung Jeon Heong realize that they knew each other from when they were children. They went to the same elementary school together and they were reunited in college. As Jung Jeon Heong begins to excitedly greet Kim Bok Joo and tag along to her constantly, Kim Bok Joo finds him increasingly annoying as he constantly teases her with childhood names ("Fatty").
            Jung Jeon Heong is a competitive swimmer who has trouble recovering from the trauma of being disqualified for a false start in his first international swim competition. His ex-girlfriend, Song Si Ho is competitive rhythmic gymnast who broke up with Jeon Heong to pursue her athletic dreams and to do even better. As they deal with different social groups in their school and train for their sport, Bok Joo finds herself falling in love with Jung Jae Yi, a former athlete who becomes an obesity doctor. Throughout the drama, the characters learn more about themselves and learn to love themselves more while experiencing the best few years of their youth training, loving, and hanging out with friends.

I really enjoyed this drama because it followed a female character that is different than most females that we see in dramas. Of course, the actress is still gorgeous and extremely slim. However, her character, Kim Bok Joo, is a weightlifter and she is often teased for her weight, for her "tough, manly" body type, and so forth. However, her optimism and the way she still manages to show that love isn't based on physical attributes all the time is extremely uplifting. The way her friends supported her and each other because they understood the struggles of being a female weightlifter was is also very sweet. This drama also put a lot of other weight-related and body-related themes in this drama. There's a character who is extremely underweight and lacking in nutrition due to her family's financial conditions. As a result, she suffers from symptoms similar to those of anorexia. It showed the ugly side of being "underweight" considering how her body starts rejecting food when she tries to eat and how she also doesn't get her period anymore. It shows the struggles athletes sometimes have to deal with such as being under the pressure to excel and to also maintain their weight regardless of personal desires or personal situations. 
         I also loved how the male character, Jeon Joon Hyeong, is constantly on Kim Bok Joo's side defending her and also constantly reminding her to love herself. He does come off a bit immature in the beginning because he thinks that by teasing Kim Bok Joo and by getting a reaction out of her (even if it is a negative one) is a good thing. However, he really helps her out in numerous ways and even calls her out when she is not living up to her potential. Similarly, it is also nice to see the way he and his ex interact and it shows how both of them have lives and worries of their own. It was nice to see them living their own lives. At the same time, it shows that sometimes love stories don't work out and that people have histories. It is also interesting to see how sometimes no matter how badly you try to make a relationship work, it can't work when someone has moved on. Song Si On bothered me after a certain point because of her obsessiveness and the way she made herself into the antagonist by constantly starting things with Bok Joo. 
           This drama also reminded me of my school life since I go to college out-of-state. It showed me how much more there is to experience with more freedom. You may have a roommate, like Kim Bok Joo, who asks for the windows to be closed at all times to prevent catching a cold when you actually want them open because you produce a lot of body heat. However, you have to learn to work with your roommate. This drama also made me want to be more into sports since it takes place in a sports school and all of the characters are competitive athletes. It did make me extremely jealous that they maintained such great bodies despite constantly eating unhealthy foods like fried chicken, burgers, and choco pies.
            It also has a great message about relationships and loving yourself. For instance, you cannot pretend to be someone you aren't just to get someone to love you. People will love you for who you are and if they don't, they weren't meant to be in your life to begin with. This couple was ultimately goals and extremely realistic. They unconditionally love and support one another and often have really cute and petty arguments. When this drama ended, I was extremely sad because this drama made me so happy. This has got to be one of the most comfortable dramas I've watched and definitely the one where I caught myself smiling stupidly at my computer screen the most. I would highly recommend this to all viewers.