Battle of Changsha

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I am tardy to the Battle of Changsha party but I still wanted to give my two cents.

This drama is beautiful: It’s been tugging at my heartstrings for the past few days.

I love the fact that it gives insight into life in Changsha during World War II while giving us something we can all relate to even in 2016 – stories about love, friendship, death, family, honor, and love for one’s nation.

The story starts with the main character Hu Xiangxiang being dragged to a blind date by her brother in law Xue Junshan. As the war gets closer and closer to Changsha, many families try to marry off their daughters in hope that they leave for safer places (in China or even abroad). In that regards Xiangxiang’s family is no different except that our heroine is not one to blindly follow what her family thinks is best for her. Let’s just say that Xiangxiang’s encounter with Gu Qingming, a Kuomintang intelligence officer, is a disaster – fighting words and disdain are equally expressed from both sides.

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Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim: Gifted Hands

 

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While other people may find medical dramas boring, I absolutely love them…if they are done well. RDTK, for short, is very appealing and gave me all sorts of feels just in the first episode. This drama tells a story of growth and development of three doctors, Teacher Kim, Dr. Dong Joo, and Dr. Seo Jung.

We start the story by seeing how Dr. Dong Joo stepped onto the path of medicine. When he was younger, he saw how corrupt the hospital system was when his father ended up passing away in the ER because a VIP received care before his father did. As a result, he tried to exact revenge by trying to demolish the ER through brandishing a bat and destroying equipment. Luckily, that day, a doctor was able to subdue him and talk him into exacting his revenge in another manner. He told young Dong Joo to become better and more skilled than his opponents instead. He needed to change his environment instead of beating powerlessly against the corrupt authority. Thus, Dong Joo puts his mind into becoming the very best and top of his class. During one of his residencies, he meets Dr. Seo Jung.

Dr. Seo Jung is the illegitimate daughter of the corrupt hospital director. She also has very talented hands and smarts to the point where she became the legend of the ER. It is no surprise that Dong Joo was so impressed by her that he fell head over heels for Seo Jung. However, in a freak car accident between Seo Jung and her then fiancé, Seo Jung ended up injuring her wrist to the point where she had PTSD from the event and could not even practice medicine. In a retreat hike during her period of grief, she ended falling down a mountain the boonies and recovering at a small local hospital. The famous Teacher Kim works at this hospital and used his expertise to help her recover.

We later learn that Teacher Kim was famous at her old hospital for his genius, but due to corrupt hospital directors, had to take the fall for a surgery gone bad. He was banished from practicing medicine, but managed to change his name and restart his career at the local small hospital. In a twist of fate, Dong Joo also had to take the fall for a surgery gone bad due to his greed of trying to reach the top. He was banished to this same local hospital where he meets the grumpy, but brilliant Teacher Kim. At first, they butt heads stubbornly, but gradually Dong Joo’s admiration for his skills won over. He decides to stay and this hospital and learn all he can. Of course, its not a coincidence that Teacher Kim was also the doctor who set him on the path of medicine. Furthermore, he gets to reconnect with his past flame, Seo Jung, who he has not heard from for the last 5 years due to her self-isolation.

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Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo: Raising the Bar

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A cute college drama inspired by the real life story of Jang Mi Ran, an Olympic gold medal winner for weight-lifting. Kim Bok Joo is a promising collegiate level weight lifter who has a positive outlook on life even though her family is poor. She and her good friends in the weight lifting club are not very popular with the boys and are in a rivalry with the rhythmic gymnastics team. Meanwhile Joon-Hyung is a talented swimmer, but seems to have false-start anxiety and complications when it comes to the real competition. He decides to go into therapy in order to resolve this problem.

One day, these two athletes end up bumping into each other and find a familiarity in each other’s faces. It turns out that in their childhood, Bok Joo had saved Joon-Hyung from a fall. Thus, the two strike up an unlikely friendship with much teasing from Joon-Hyung’s side. For Bok Joo, she ends up having a crush on a weight loss doctor that she met on the streets and that had treated her like a lady. She has always been self-conscious that her sport made her seem manly and Dr. Jae Yi treated her differently. Thus, she decides to sign up for his weight loss program so that she is able to see him more.

However, that is in conflict with her competitions as she is suppose to increase her weight to enter a new weight class. On the other hand, she wants to be praised by Dr. Jae Yi for losing weight. Thus, she starts to lie to both parties, the weight-lifting team and the doctor, about what she is really doing. Furthermore, by coincidence, Joon-Hyung is actually the cousin of Dr. Jae Yi and her double life comes to a head when he finds out that she has been going to his clinic.

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When a Man Loves a Woman

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Wat is a prominent professional with almost everything: A great career as a doctor, the looks, and even the money if it wasn’t for his mother’s debts. Well at least, his mother countless money issues serve a clear purpose plot-wise.It is the debts that lead to Wat’s relationship with the female lead Nuth. Can’t really complain about that can we?

The families of Wat and Nuth arrange for the two to get married in order to solve two issues.

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First, Wat will have two years to slowly repay the debt. Second, Nuth will be able to protect her reputation. Well, you see the thing is that Nuth’s uncle, Chayakorn, is in love with her. Are you weirded out? Don’t worry, I was too. Because Chayakorn is not sure he is related by blood to Nuth and that he was adopted, he relentlessly pursues Nuth. Continue reading

Goblin: Sorrowful Love

goblin_korean_drama-p1Dreamy and absolutely beautiful. I am in love, all the feels kind of love. To be honest, I was really hesitant to try the drama at first due to the vapid Descendants of the Sun….and the hit or miss track record from Kim Eun-Sook. For me, her dramas usually start out fantastic….and then peter out. However, this drama has got me wrapped around its finger.

With an amazing cast, beautiful filming and a gorgeous OST to boot, it hit the trifecta for me. Goblin tells the story of Kim Shin, an immortal being, who is waiting to find his bride so that he can finally die in peace. Hundreds of years ago, Kim Shin was a proud warrior who defeated many of his enemies, but was ultimately betrayed by royalty. He was unjustly branded a traitor by his country and his family ended in tragedy, including his sister, the young queen. He ended up being run through by his own sword.

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As a result, the gods above decided to give him both a punishment and reward. He would live forever while remembering all the deaths around him until he can find a bride to pull out the sword that is stuck in him.

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U-Prince Series (Handsome Cowboy): Disappointing from Start to Finish

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Annoying is the best way to qualify this drama.

I love the cast as I have seen some of the shows they played in before but this show totally sucked. I am still not sure what was the purpose of the show was: Letting us know that cheating is alright if the person claims to love you?  Telling us that it’s alright for men (only) to cheat?

Although lakorns do perpetuate some misogynistic ideas, I was shocked to see this in U-Prince: Handsome Cowboy. I expected a light-hearted romantic comedy. That’s not what I got…

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If you ask me how I managed to get through all the episodes, I wouldn’t be able to tell you for sure. Maybe I was hoping to see the show end differently (second male lead syndrome) or I wanted to see how far the director would take the nonsense…

The show is about Sibtis, a university senior and handsome player of the faculty of agriculture, who crosses path with Prikkang, a DJ and junior at the same university. The lead couple’s first encounter is fresh in Sibtis mind. The only thing is that their college encounter is actually not their first. Sibtis just doesn’t remember Prikkang.  They used to be childhood friends until Sibtis went to study abroad for a few years.

At first, Prikkang is sad and hurt that Sibtis doesn’t remember her. Sometimes, I wish he would have not remembered her at all. It would have probably been better for Prikkang. That’s why they say be careful what you wish for!!! 

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Sweet Stranger and Me: In My House

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It’s one of those pieces that feels familiar because it’s one of those run of the mill dramas. However, I tried Sweet Stranger and me out not for the plot-line, but rather for the actors. With Su Ae and Kim Young Kwang headlining the drama, I at least know that I will be watching some decent acting. Sweet Stranger is about the story of Hong Na-Ri, who works as a flight attendant. At first, it seems like she has her life in order, but two tragedies soon hit. The first is the death of her mother from a car accident. Through her grieving process where she becomes a workaholic, she becomes isolated from her boyfriend. Unfortunately,  her boyfriend takes this chance to have an affair with a younger coworker of hers. This younger coworker, Yeo Joo, is well known as a gold digger by her peers and a home wrecker. Yeo Joo seems to take pleasure in one-upping Na Ri and stealing her boyfriend/fiancé to be. As for Na Ri, she wasn’t about to take this slight sitting down and ended up dumping her boyfriend Dong Jin. She decides to go back to her mother’s home where she had abandoned earlier due to her grief. However, there is someone else living in her home. She meets Nan-Gil who introduces himself as her stepfather. However, he is way younger than she is and she has a hard time coming to terms with the situation. Not only are they in a weird father-daughter situation now, but he revamped her family dumping diner into a popular eatery. The two are forced to live together as they each have no where else to go. She keeps on trying to find out who he really is and uncovers the fact that he was actually a past gangster. However, she does realize that the marriage that her mother had created with this young man was to protect the family estate and inheritance from being gambled away by her estranged father. Slowly, these two become accustomed to each other and grow closer emotionally.

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Age of Youth: College Days

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So honestly, I am ambivalent about this drama. I like it for what it is, but I guess I came into it with higher expectations. I started it due to the hype about how it was so unique and different than your usual drama. To that, it definitely hit the mark. However, it did not hold my attention the way I thought it would. Age of Youth tells the story of five young adults who live together at Belle Epoche during their university years. Each young lady has a story of her own and goes through growing pains. Jin Myung, one of the older girls at the house is busy trying to survive by working multiple part time jobs to attend university as well as pay rent and her vegetable brother’s medical bills. She never gets any sleep and is always exhausted. Next is senior Yi Na uses her beautiful appearance to give herself an easy life of luxury. She entertains multiple boyfriends who pay all her living expenses and more. Then we have Ye-Eun who is very devoted to her boyfriend and has strong opinions. Sometimes she may be a little tactless in her words. rooming with Ye-Eun is quirky Ji Won who is desperate to find a boyfriend and goes on multiple blind dates. She has a bright personality and likes to drink. Finally we have newcomer Eun Jae from a rural town and who is very innocent. She is also quite timid and at first is at odds with the rest of the house’s occupants. Age of Youth takes us through each girl’s hardships whether that be with life or love. We see how at times they fight each other like crazy, but also how they are pillars of strength for each other. Slowly, they warm up to each other and have each other’s backs.

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