While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love me some medical dramas (only if they are done well and realistically, so BYE DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN). Cross is a medical drama focused on organ transplants which I am very familiar with as I work on a transplant ICU! The main character Kang In Kyu is on a revenge warpath to dig out the organ harvesting rings and stop the illegal trading of organs. His journey starts when his father is brutally murdered and all his organs harvested because they were scrapped for money for his sister’s treatments. As a result of a scuffle between In Kyu and the leader of the ring, Hyung Bom, In Kyung injures his head which in turn gives him a sharper sight than most humans. In Kyu decides to make it his life goal to find Hyung Bom and punish him. Under the guidance of Jung Hoon, a organ transplant doctor, he becomes a doctor as well. His personality is exceedingly cold and robotic as he is so focused on capturing the perpetuator that made him suffer for 15 years. Thus he becomes a doctor with an aim to harm rather than heal. Soon he becomes a prison doctor in an effort to kill Hyung Bom slowly with medicine. However, this plan is derailed when Hyung Bom finds out and escaped. In Kyu is shortly transferred to the same hospital that his foster father, Jung Hoon, works at. He tries to repair the strained relationship between him and his foster father due to past misunderstandings. However, he soon finds out that the hospital executives themselves are involved in illegal organ trading. With the help of tentative friendships he made along the way, he sets out to trap Hyung Bom and put him away forever.
While Ko Gyung Po was decent in the drama, I felt like this role did not suit him very well. He has a very puppy dog lost kind of look and just doesn’t feel harsh enough. I think a grittier actor may have fit this role better. However, it was fun to see how his sharper eyesight worked to his favor when fighting! Now for the unfortunate sexual harassment scandals that Cho Jae Hyun was involved in, I cannot fault him on his acting skill which is superb, but I am glad he come forward to admit his transgressions. This resulted in his removal from the drama, albeit the drama was in it’s final stages anyways. All in all it was a decent watch with realistic organ transplant ethical dilemmas to think about.
It took me a long time to post this. To be honest, this is more of a review than a first impression of Mother, the Korean remake of the famous Japanese Mother drama. Even now, as I write this, my heart aches in a way that is hasn’t been before.
Mother is a drama that documents the journey of a woman who rescues an abused and neglected child and goes on the run with her. Soo Jin is a socially awkward bird researcher is currently between jobs as she prepares to go to Iceland to fulfill her dream career. She has a cold and distant personality which leads her to stay out of complicated situations. However, her attention is drawn to mature and pitiful child in her kindergarten class that she is the substitute for. She noticed the telltale signs of abuse on the poor child and grudgingly helps a fellow teacher pursue the case. Time after time again, she encounters Hye Na and can’t help but have emotional flashbacks to a past trauma she also endured. It finally comes to a point where Hye Na’s mother leaves her for dead in a trash bag by the curb. Soo Jin decides she will take this child and go on the run with her to save her. She fakes Hye Na’s death and thus begins their arduous quest out of the country. Their journey is incredibly difficult and then encounter many unfortunate situations. However, Soo Jin and Hye Na, who goes by Young Bok, develop a deep emotional relationship. Young Bok sees Soo Jin as the mother she never had and just soaks up all the love that Soo Jin gives her. She learns to let go of her past and embrace each day as it comes. This journey also matures Soo Jin who learns to accept other’s help and brings down her tall wall that she had built around her heart. Without this journey, she would never have encountered her birth mother along the way or made up with her adoptive mother.
Without giving away the ending, I must say it is one that is very realistic, but also so optimistic and perfect. There was not one episode where I was not crying. The story is incredible touching and it features all types of mother and daughter relationships, good and bad. It showcases the sacrifices a mother is willing to make to protect her child, whether they be biological or not. The story is very dark and has a lot of triggering content, so please watch at your own risk.
I must say that there was not one character that was wasted in the story. You even feel twinges of sympathy for the unlikable characters as most of them are molded by their circumstances. Lee Bo Young is very talented at playing the role of a “mother” as showcased by her previous drama, God’s Gift, where she was also searching for a child. She is so natural and raw in this drama, that you can feel her pain. And now, Heo Yool, god what an AMAZING child actress. This is her first drama and she carried it on her back! I can’t believe that this is her first one as she is so immersed in such a difficult role for a child to play. Can you imagine playing an abused kid in the drama? She has a air of maturity that you just don’t see in kids her age. I just am astounded at what a masterpiece this drama was and it will be forever in my favorite dramas list even though I used a whole box of tissues while watching it.
Do Gyun and Hyun Ju grab ice cream
I was not a fan of Do Gyun, but that has changed. The more I see him interact with other people in the house, especially Hyun Ju, the more I believe he’s thoughtful. He doesn’t say a lot but he seems to be a good listener. Exhibit A: Do Gyun remembered exactly what Hyun Ju was craving – ice cream – and the exact flavor. This was something Hyun Ju herself even forgot that she mentioned. There is not a lot that we get as viewers from this interaction. We don’t learn anything new. We already know Do Gyun is crushing pretty hard on Hyun Ju.
Young Joo takes a step toward Hyun Woo
If Young Joo keeps making a move on Hyun Woo, she might end up heartbroken. Ugh. It’s great that she took the initiative and went on a date with Hyun Woo, but I am not sure this is leading anywhere. I would rather her focus her efforts on Gyu Bin. She could get to know him better and give him a chance.
The Christmas Dates
Hyun Woo and Hyun Ju
The two meet at a coffee shop then go to a VR cafe. Lastly, dinner.
I felt like Hyun Woo was surprised and not necessarily overjoyed to see Hyun Ju. That changes during the date.
- Hyun Woo turns out to be super caring, putting food in Hyun Ju’s plate and cutting her food for her. He was also being that way with Young Joo in the previous episode so now I am confused.
- As usual Hyun Ju was her bubbly self, which got on my nerves. I’ve said this before but given her age the aegyo seems fake. Ughh, it also rubs me in the wrong way how the love forecasters keep praising Hyun Ju. It’s like they are trying to force her down viewers’ throats.
- Hyun Ju seems possessive and jealous. On the date at the coffee shop, she keeps asking questions that give hints: Oh, did you come here with a woman before? Was your ex-girlfriend from Busan? She also indirectly asks how he feels about Young Ju…
- When it comes to Hyun Woo, the charisma is slowly wearing off. During the date, I found him slightly shy. This is not what I’ve seen of his personality in the previous episodes.
- Overall the date was pretty cute. There definitely is potential for a relation here. I was shipping Hyun Woo and Young Joo, but I am not so sure anymore.
This drama is such a waste of time. If you haven’t started yet, please don’t even consider watching the show.
The only thing this drama has to offer is the attractive cast. That’s it. Nothing else to see there.
The story is based on the French epistolary novel “Dangerous Liaisons” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. I absolutely love this book. This book, although written in the 18th century, has been the subject of many adaptations. One of the best adaptation is the 1988 movie with Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
The story goes like this in the K-drama version: Three childhood friends, somewhat entangled in a love triangle, are known for creating a mess everywhere they go. Choi Soo Ji, Kwon Si Hyun and Lee Se Joo, are rich heirs who live carefree and purposeless lives. Things take an interesting turn when Soo Ji asks Si Hyun to help her take revenge on her ex-boyfriend.
The revenge plot is simple: Si Hyun will have to seduce the ex-boyfriend’s first love and forever crush, Eun Tae Hee. Of course, this wouldn’t be dramatic enough if Si Hyun didn’t end up falling in love with Tae Hee.
What I dislike about Tempted
Disclaimer: I dislike almost every thing about this drama.
If you haven’t already, check our first post on Heart Signal 2!
With everyone’s occupation and age revealed, the dynamics are slightly shifting. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. For Hyun Woo, the reveal is great. He was already perceived as charismatic but given his age, he also appears more mature. Also, what’s not to find attractive in a man who cooks?
However, the age reveal was bad news for Gyu Bin. He turns out to be the youngest. I can see him heading for the Friend Zone and staying there. I doubt that we’ll have a dongsaeng-noona romance here. Sad.
There are a few highlights in this episode. Let me walk you through the most important scenes. Spoilers ahead.
Heart Signal 2 is a dating reality TV show, which brings together a group of women and men together in the same house. Without further ado, let’s talk about the cast.
Oh Young Ju (27 years old)
If I had to use one word to describe her it would be poised. I’ll confess: Young Ju is my favorite so far. I love how natural she is. Like everyone else, she is here to play the game but she doesn’t try too hard (aka playing desperate). Sadly, I am worried this might not last long. She’s clearly shown interest in somebody who doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings. I hope she keeps it moving and finds somebody else to like.
Jung Jae Ho (28 years old)
Occupation: Founder of a IT startup
If I had to use one word to describe him it would be considerate. Jae Ho cares for every one in the house. This is something that I’ve noticed since the first episode. As one of the few people to arrive first in the house, he warmly welcomed all his other housemates. In addition, he often takes the lead but not in a overbearing way.
Another con, but of a different type. Now this crime/detective story has a heavier plot than the other ones airing. Doubtful Victory tells the journey of a young man who escaped from prison to pretend to be a detective in order to find a large sum of dirty money! Yoon Gyun Sang pays Jong Sam, a young delinquent who was a sacrificial lamb in a big scam. He was put in jail on death row since his teens and has only known the prison life until he escapes in order to help his friend’s sister. He has a knack of escaping sticky situations and places. A fellow inmate had been discharged from the prison, but had become obsessed with killing his friend’s younger sister. After observing a fellow inmate, he was able to escape the prison. However, he encounters and becomes involved in a larger corruption scheme on his way. Recently a detective had been murdered because he was a whistleblower on some corrupt officials. Coincidentally, he had used the car that had the dead body in it to escape which drew the ire of the men trying to clean up the situation. While he did manage to save the sister, in a twist of events, he had to pretend to become the dead cop in order to find the stashed cash the cop had stolen. With many powerful people chasing after him as well as the betrayal of people he thought were mentors or friends, he has to find that money in order to survive in the outside world. Not only that, he still has to play the role of a detective under the watchful eye of the police force.
I swear Yoon Gyun Sang has the best comedic timing and expressions. He’s got that half apologetic and half exasperated look often in this drama. Also, I love a good long con and IL Seung is so slippery, he hasn’t been caught yet! I am also heavy advocate for underdog characters since I just love seeing them trump the more powerful and rich. What I would love to have seen more of is the childhood versions of our OTP as they had such sparking chemistry. Hye Sung plays a fun role here as well as the more skilled detective in the force, but isn’t getting the recognition for it. I love strong women and I hope she becomes IL Seung’s helper in his terrible situation. He is so caught up in the web of corruption, it is going to be hard to get his own life and identity back! This is well thought out drama that I am definitely going to watch till the end!
I started watching this drama in late 2017 and it exceeded my expectations. It is such a feel-good and cute drama. There are no obnoxious characters and every character has qualities that we can all appreciate. The storyline is pretty similar to Itazura na Kiss’ but I dubbed this drama Itazura na Kiss on steroids. I was never a huge fan of Itazura na Kiss for so many reasons. The male lead was a total douchebag and I was never convinced of his feelings for the female lead. It’s like halfway through the show the male lead decided he liked the female lead. Just out of nowhere. Also the female lead never truly grew a backbone. Luckily, none of this with this drama.