Monday, February 27, 2017

Cinderella and the 4 Knights

Episodes: 16
         Eun Ha Won is preparing to go to college to become a teacher because it was what her late mother wanted for her to be. However, Ha Won's preparations to go to college have not been easy after her mother passed away in a car accident when she was ten years old. Living under her stepmother and stepsister's rule, Ha Won takes on many part time jobs, doesn't get much to eat, and also is forced to sleep on the balcony. Her father is constantly out working so he's rarely home to see the mistreatment and her stepmother knows how to put on quite a show to hide what is done behind her father's back. Her father also doesn't treat Ha Won the best after her mother's death forcing Ha Won to fend for herself, work for herself, and also attempt to stay as optimistic as possible.
        Ha Won grows up to be an extremely strong and bubbly girl. She lives off the morals and values that were taught to her when she was young and tries to live in a way that would make her mother proud. Working for her upcoming university tuition fees is not easy but then life gets harder when she discovers that her father had not been paying for the storage of her mother's ashes at the cemetery and that her mother's ashes were removed and kept in storage because of the unpaid bills. That was when her life becomes entangled with the extremely rich Kang cousins.
         The Kang cousins are all unique in their own ways but they are all similar in the way they do not believe in family and do not like each other. The three boys Ji Woon, Hyun Min, and Seo Woo live in the mansion Sky House under the careful eye of their butler. They are forced to live in the house together because their grandfather wants his grandsons to get closer together and also so that he can decide who is to take over their family business in the future. When Hyun Min decides to ruin his grandfather's fifth wedding by bringing Ha Won along and calling her his fiance, the grandfather sees Ha Won's attitude toward Hyun Min and the way she stuck to her values. Thus, he decides to hire to work at the Haneul House to help change his grandsons and allow them to understand the meaning of family. By taking on this job, Ha Won becomes closer to the three Kang cousins, learns more about herself, and also is able to slowly start paying for her college tuition.

       This drama is really cliche and it reminded me of a lot of the old dramas. This reminded me of Boys Over Flowers and Romantic Princess  in a lot of ways. I actually enjoyed watching this despite knowing how typical the plot is and cliche all the scenes were. I also really liked Ha Won's character because she was really cute in her own way and she was really strong. I liked that she held on to her morals and values throughout the drama and that she didn't really need the boys to rescue her. The scenes in which something happened to her usually were really comedic like when she fell in the bathroom and broke her leg. Her character made the boys seem more than just love interest but like best friends who need help dealing with personal issues. So as she got closer to the boys, the closer the Kang family got and they stopped ostracizing each other. I also love how she is constantly bickering with Hyun Min and Ji Woon because it shows that she isn't scared or intimidated by them and that she understands them better than anyone else does.
         I enjoyed all of the characters in this drama. However, I had a hard time watching  APink Na Eun's acting and I didn't like her role that much. Hye Ji wants to be that tough and really interesting girl but she just can't match with the main character's charm. She also seems to do the exact opposite of understanding the boys' feelings. Na Eun's acting was also really bad. It didn't feel natural and she seemed to have a hard time blending into her role without seeming awkward. There were a couple of scenes in which she looked awkward just walking. At the same time, it felt like she was being a little fake and that she was constantly trying to look pretty in all her scenes. It was also hard to understand her character and how she was so attached with Hyun Min's life because they were childhood lovers. It seemed that they didn't share anything special other than growing up together and being each other's childhood crushes. And that shouldn't mean that they end up together for life which is what Hye Ji expected throughout the entire drama. It made Hye Ji appear to be a really pathetic and dependent character with the way she kept trying to catch Hyun Min's attention and demand Ji Woon's care because she was going through heartbreak (caused by herself, to be honest).  The relationship between Hye Ji and Hyun Min was really weird and hard to understand in my opinion. Hye Ji's character in this story annoyed me more than it should have but I felt like it would've been more interesting if the storyline was actually focused on Ha Won and later on  splitting off to each other's happily ever afters.
          I enjoyed Ji Woon's relationship with Ha Won because the two are very similar to each other from their backgrounds to their attitudes about wealth and to the way they interacted with each other. The bickering and the way Ha Won was always so happy and energetic allowed the two to start falling for each other--especially when Ji Woon's change toward Ha Won throughout the drama was very drastic. He began to take care of her more and think of her more as well. But once again, Hye Ji's unnecessary appearance in this relationship bothered me. She obviously still liked Hyun Min but begins to confess to Ji Woon and starts acting possessive over him. It made her appear to be extremely selfish with the way she assumed everything she wanted to be her's. It made me enjoy Ha Won's character moreso because she was so giving and understood that nothing comes easy and that she has to work for it. I also enjoyed Seo Woo's interactions with Ha Won because he was such a bubbly and happy person. He was the first person to open up to her and help her out. As for Hyun Min, I enjoyed him in the beginning because he seemed like the stereotypical rich and arrogant jerk that eventually turns into a softie because of the main lead. However, because of his complicated relationships with Hye Ji, I didn't invest so much into him as it went on. Also, it slowly became clear he wouldn't really end up with Ha Won because he began to close himself off more which gave the spotlight to Ji Woon who was opening up more. The fourth knight, the butler, was also extremely endearing because he was righteous and did all the tasks he was given to do by the chairman. He is also very talented and he knows how to fight, cook, and also handle all the issues the boys cause under the Haneul House. Underneath his calm exterior is a huge softie who has a lot of good intentions and I enjoyed him in the drama because he was like a loving father figure to everyone in the house, including Ha Won.
           This is a light-hearted watch and very enjoyable to watch. I would recommend this to people who are looking for something cliche and romantic. If you're looking for a drama that gives off Boys Over Flowers vibes or Romantic Princess vibes, this is the one.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Let's Fight Ghost

Episodes: 16
Kim Hyun Ji is a young girl who died at the age of 19. She is now a ghost who wanders about without any memories of her life as a human and without any memories as to how she died. When she encounters Bong Pal, she gets a flashback of a memory from when she was living. Thus she believes that Bong Pal could help her greatly and decides to follow him around. Believing that she might be stuck as a ghost because she wasn't able to complete her SATs, she asks him to tutor her and allow her to stay with him while she helps him fight ghosts to earn money. The two solved many ghost-caused problems and helped send many ghosts away. As the story unfolds, the two begin to like one another and they slowly begin to piece together missing parts of Hyun Ji's story and Bong Pal's. 

       This drama was fairly interesting and reminded me of a lot of other dramas that involved dealing with ghosts. I was a bit scared throughout the drama when the ghosts popped up but it was nothing as scary as watching a horror movie because you expect it. It was interesting how the drama showed how the ghosts were all once people, how they all had certain motives, and how they also had certain wants. It definitely helped knowing that there were good ghosts out there and that Kim Hyun Ji, herself was a good ghost who was willing to help Bong Pal fight off ghosts while attempting to recover memories. It was also interesting to see how Bong Pal dealt with his ability to see ghosts and how he dealt with his ability to fight them as well. 
        I thought it was interesting how they were trying to discover what really happened to Kim Hyun Ji and why she was a ghost without any memories. It reminded me of Arang and the Magistrate as they tried to figure out who her murderer was and it also reminded me of "Oh My Ghostess" as they tried to release the soul to heaven and also figure out the cause of death. I enjoyed watching Kim Hyun Ji and Park Bong Pal work together to fight against ghosts and they made an incredible team. I also enjoyed the comedic aspect of the duo who constantly followed Park Bong Pal around to ask him to join their exorcism club. They were really funny and also fairly helpful throughout the drama in helping Bong Pal find work and also watching out for him in different ways. I also really liked the monk because not only was he serious and extremely helpful in defeating the evil spirit but he was also hilarious throughout the entire drama. His goals to defeat the evil spirit drives him throughout the drama to help Bong Pal and to find the evil spirit again. The monk's story, Hyun Ji's story, and Bong Pal's story were all linked together through this evil spirit and it was amazing to see the team come together at the end to succeed against the evil spirit. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Uncontrollably Fond

Episodes: 20 
Shin Joon Young and Noh Eul were high school sweethearts and shared a lot of meaningful and funny memories together. They were inseparable in many ways. However, life continuously got in the way as Noh Eul was trying to track down the person who killed her father in a hit and run while Shin Joon Young was trying to protect his biological father--a man who was never present in his life but who was in charge of burying Noh Eul's case to rise to a position of power and authority. The two were separated due to certain circumstances and went their separate ways. Shin Joon Young is a superstar actor and singer while Noh Eul becomes a producer-director of documentaries. Their paths cross again and the two learn to fall in love again as they unravel the secrets in regard to the hit-and-run. Not only were they rekindling their romance and solving a case, the two also are on a race against time as Shin Joon Young secretly suffers from a terminal illness.

        I watched this in a span of 2 days and I have never cried so hard at the end of a drama as much as I did for this drama. I am absolutely in love with this drama. It was the perfect mix of everything cliche in Korean dramas but also with just the right amount of emotion for it to be special and unique. I loved the relationship dynamics between Noh Eul and Shin Joon Young. It was cute watching them fight and argue while both having good intentions at heart. It was cute how he constantly teased her just to keep her with him and the fact that she was able to deal with him in her own way. The way their lives were winded together through a series of events and through numerous encounters made it all the more special. 
       Noh Eul's character was very likable in my opinion. She was funny, and worked hard and rarely did she project her worries on to other people as she found ways to confidently earn money to pay off her family's debt. She obviously is kind at heart but because of her circumstances she has hardened to be brash, impudent, and also to constantly seek ways to monetize at other's expense. I enjoyed how she never used a "sob story" to get away with anything but rather used actual ways to get the money. I enjoyed that about her character and I admired how strong she was. Meanwhile I found that the men in her life are all extremely supportive and loving of her -- Joon Young, her brother, and Ji Tae were all constantly watching out for her and understanding her regardless of what she does. They also all did it in their own ways. Her brother is constantly trying to protect his sister since she's doing all that she can so that he has a successful future. Joon Young was trying to watch out for her by keeping her by his side by teasing her and offering her jobs. Ji Tae constantly watches over knowing the truth of her father's death and even pretends to be poor to get close to her and take care of the siblings. He got so close to her brother and from taking care of him that her brother constantly comes up with ways for him to work out with Noh Eul. 
          The way this drama was filmed this was amazing because it allowed me to see both character's point of views, their past and their present, and so forth. It also doesn't just dump the information on you as it hops back and forth from present to past, showing both viewpoints. I enjoyed figuring out the links and the reason why these two people keep constantly running back to each other. I also loved seeing how Ji Tae fit into the story and his point of view throughout the story.