Lucky Romance: Lucky Strike

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So after being frightened off by Hwang Jung Eum’s previous romcom, She Was Pretty, I was very hesitant to try another one. But don’t get me wrong, I love her in melos such as Secret Love and Kill Me Heal Me. However, after watching a couple of episodes, I must say I am a fan. Lucky Romance tells the story of Bo Nui, a very unlucky woman who tries her best using rituals and superstitions to ward off her unlucky fate. She works odd jobs, barely/does not make ends meet, and has a sister in the hospital who hasn’t woken up ever since her accident. As she often visits a fortune teller, she is told that if she doesn’t sleep with a man of the Chinese zodiac sign, tiger, her sister will end up never waking up and dying. Desperate to complete this ritual, she look far and wide for a man that fits. Meanwhile, her gambler boss signs up their tiny start up company in a computer designing contest. Bo Nui is actually a very amazing and talented coder and game designer. She also made it into a famous game company called ZeZe, but in the interviewing process, she got sidetracked by her sister’s accident. At ZeZe, the CEO is a young genius named Soo Ho. Soo Ho had a troubled upbringing where exposure to media at such a young age caused him extreme anxiety and phobia of cameras flashing. As an awkward nerd type, he has trouble getting along with others and uses his intelligence at times in a distasteful and arrogant manner. As luck would have it, Bo Nui’s game, IF, gets chosen as the next big virtual reality program for ZeZe to develop. Bo Nui also finds out that Soo Ho is a “tiger”. He wants her game, but has to sign her onto the job as part of the deal. She sets the terms that she will only work for ZeZe if he goes on dates with her in the intent that he will eventually sleep with her. Of course, as we are missing the childhood love story part, we also have Gary Choi, famous tennis player, back from abroad to look for his biological father. As we all anticipated, Bo Niu and Gary Choi used to be close friends, and rekindled this friendship upon meeting again, with hints of romance.

While this drama started out a lot like She Was Pretty, to the point where the office for the company was the same (The Most / ZeZe), it developed its own groove. I appreciate the less screamy version Hwang Jung Eum plays in this drama, but yet she always takes on the role of a long-suffering hard worker who others find to be an oddball. However, she is more endearing this current role. Now I have not watched Ryu before, but he reminds of Kim Woo Bin, down to the unique face structure and eyes. I find their acting styles to be similar, but Ryu carrying more of an awkward type than a charismatic bad boy type that Woo Bin plays. This is not to say his acting is bad, in fact, I enjoy his portrayal of Soo Ho. For Gary Choi, Lee Soo Hyuk is always a solid secondary male lead though I long to see him in a lead role one day. Soo Hyuk is very charismatic and that deep voice does make me swoon. All in all, I hope to continue watching this though I am sure I will be inundated with the huge amounts of doctor dramas that I want to watch coming in!

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She Was Pretty – Hidden Beauty

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I am conflicted about this new drama. While Hwang Jung Eum stars in two of my most favorite dramas, Kill Me Heal Me and Secret Love, I am not feeling it right now with She Was Pretty. Even the addition of the amazing Park Seo Joon, who made a splash in Kill Me Heal Me with her, is just not tiding me over yet. For me, I think it was how her character is written that is not attracting my full attention. In this drama, she stars as Hye-Jin who was a gorgeous little girl that puberty turned the opposite way as an adult. Unfortunately for her, she only has a waitressing job and is ridiculed daily for her looks. With a frumpy appearance of frizzy hair and ruddy cheeks, she is not looked upon favorably and people are surprised that she has a really gorgeous best friend. Now her and her best friends have one of the most loving relationships ever, which may be one reason I keep watching the show. You rarely get to see good girl friendships in dramas, but they really watch out for each other.

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A Peek Into DID: Kill Me Heal Me vs. Hyde, Jekyll, Me

Here is two for one deal! I have officially completed Kill Me Heal Me and dropped Hyde, Jekyll, Me like it’s hot (stopped at ep.14). Kill Me Heal Me touched my heart in so many ways and I have never replayed so many parts of a drama. Meanwhile, while I love Hyun Bin and tolerate Han Ji-Min, I can no longer force myself to watch it.

KMHM Plot: I can definitely say, the right plot really breaks or makes a drama, especially if you have a similar airing drama to compare it to. What KMHM has is a touching and very tightly spun storyline following a pair of children from their tragic pass to how this affects them in the future. Add in exciting and unexpected twists is just the cherry on top which kept my yearning for the next set of episodes each week. Much of the time you are kept guessing at what really happened which is the point since the main character didn’t even know himself the true story of his past and could only assume at first what had occurred. The drama is literally about different perspectives and how just one act can be interpreted in so many ways, many facets just like Do Hyun himself. Even the ending was perfect and cathartic, a truly healing completion to a emotional roller coaster for the viewers and Do Hyun himself.

HJM Plot: Everything since pretty, fluffy, and dream like in the beginning which seriously drew me in. However, the drama is like a broken carousel (forgive my circus metaphors!). It spins colorfully in the beginning, but has no substance and soon you hear the slowed down and warped music as it comes to a complete stop. The premise sounded interesting as I was already watching the other DID drama, and I wanted to see another take on it, with fewer personality. While the DID Seo Jin backstory was fine including the tragic past with his friendenemy, the rest was really flimsy. First of all, the cops are SO INADEQUATE, loosing the villain a billion times with their ineptitude. Seriously, it bordered on farcical how stupid they were and how this was suppose to keep Tae Joo in play to add a somewhat interesting item to the plot. All the romance moving plot was really not and much like a parody instead of a romcom. Basically, a carousel that goes round and round and round when you wish it would just let you off and finish at ep16.

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Kill Me Heal Me

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So recently, I realized I’ve picked up an enormous load of dramas to watch. Even so, I couldn’t resist starting Kill Me Heal Me which reprised the intense chemistry-ladened couple from Secret Love, Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum. So far, this drama has the works of a romcom with a dash of seriousness, your typical formula. Not that it’s a bad thing, I just know what I’m getting out of it. Kill Me Heal Me tells the story of a chaebol gentlemen who has dissociative personality disorder, which means he has 7 different personalities! This means that Ji Sung has one main “owner personality” named Do Hyun, a strong alternate named Se Gi, and 6 other weaker personalities. The personality splits are mainly caused by traumatic events in the past where the mind tries to protect itself, and thus a “person” is born to take away the emotions/memories that the main personality cannot handle. Of course, when Do Hyun slides into another personality, especially his more violent and savage alternate, Se Gi, it causes all sorts of trouble for him and unfortunately, he cannot even remember the events that happened while he was gone. While in his alternate state of Se Gi, he manages to fall in love with a psychiatrist named Oh Ri-jin who is the first women to treat him roughly. However, his main personality is in love with his child hood friend. To treat his disorder secretly, his main personality will end up hiring this psychiatrist his alternate is in love with. A love triangle with himself…and other guys in the future, how confusing! But interesting and funny due to the shenanigans that the alternate personalities cause in Do Hyun’s absence.

As for the acting, Ji Sung is again superb in his acting of not just one character, but 7! With a few minutes of cringeworthy Engrish in the beginning episodes, we are fortunately back in Korea for his chaebol power fight for the rest of the drama. For the fangirl inside me, I do find his violent alternate, Se Gi, pretty darn sexy. Guy-linered, leather-jacket wearing, single earring, tattooed fighter that he is. Poor Do Hyun, the meek “good” main is often pushed to the side. However, I am less enthused with the supernatural looking gleam in his eyes and magical tattoo that appears when he transforms. As for Oh Ri-Jin, unfortunately for now, she is much to shrill for my tastes. While I liked her in Secret Love, she is acting live a screechy wild woman in this drama who screams and kicks about much too wildly for now. I hope I will see more subtle acting from her soon!

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Secret (비밀)

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Original Title: 비밀

Episodes: 16

Year: 2013

Country: South Korea

Channel: KBS 2

Theme: Romance, drama

Secret is the story of Kang Yoo Jung , a woman who goes to jail for a crime she didn’t commit. The night her long time boyfriend, Ahn Do Hoon, proposes to her, is also the night they get into a car accident and kill Jo Min Hyuk’s girlfriend, Seo Ji Hee. Do Hoon decides to hide the fact that they hit someone  and leaves Ji Hee dying on the side of the road. When the case is reported to the police, Yoo Jeong decides to take the blame. Do Hoon was on the track to fulfill his dream of becoming a prosecutor and she didn’t want him to lose everything he had worked for. She will spend four years in jail, where she will give birth to a baby boy. While in jail, she will suffer all kind of abuses from other inmates and will even have her baby taken away from her. Some of the difficulties encountered are by no means by the will of God or luck, but rather deliberately provoked by Min Hyuk, who is seeking revenge for the dead Ji Hee. When she gets out of jail, Min Hyuk keeps making her life impossible  – neglecting his fiancee Shin Se Yeon.In the meanwhile, Do Hoon, who is now a prosecutor is not the same as four years ago. Blinded by greed, he will do anything to get richer and  recognized even if it means throwing the woman –  who saved his life – under a bus.

 Character analysis

 Yoo Jung (Hwang Jung Eum)

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