Innocent Defendant: Prison Break

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Dark crime or law dramas are again right up my alley. I find it especially interesting to see the cat and mouse game between an intelligent villain and our hero. Innocent Defendant is about Jeong Woo, a prosecutor who ends up waking up in jail with no memories of the previous four months. Jeong Woo was a successful and dogged prosecutor who was not afraid to dig deep into cases and even put himself in harms way to crack a case. However, he buried his nose too deep in a murder case committed by Cha Min Ho, the twin brother of a conglomerate heir. Cha Min Ho is a playboy twin who ended up killing a golddigger in a drunken fit. Instead of owning up to his crimes like his brother told him to, he ends up killing his twin brother to take his place. He had always been jealous of his twin, Cha Seon Ho who was the apple of his father’s eye and heir to the conglomerate. Min Ho decides to push his brother off the building and become him when Seon Ho died. He used the cover story that the brother who had fallen was actually him and that he had committed suicide out of guilt. Of course, Jeong Woo suspects something foul is at play because he thinks that Min Ho is not the type to commit suicide. Jeong Woo ends up finding out that Min Ho is actually alive and pretending, but he has no evidence to prove it. One day after his daughter’s birthday, he wakes up the next morning in a jail cell. He doesn’t remember what has happened and thinks that something is playing a trick on him. He is told that he is on death row because he had somehow killed his loving wife and daughter. They are unable to find his daughter’s “body”, and he is unable to remember what exactly has happened. Apparently he has been having these repeat losses of memory in jail for the past four months with the gaps getting larger and larger. Jeong Woo is furious and heartbroken as he cannot remember and accept what is going on.

I love a good thriller and mystery. Ji Sung is one of my favorite actors as he has one of the most expressive faces I have ever had the pleasure to watch. He definitely throws his entire being into the role. His anguish is so hard to watch. Juxtaposing him is another fantastic actor, Uhm Ki Joon. I have seen him in more villainous roles and he plays them to a “T”. The more evil his character is, the better his acting becomes. Not only does he play one character, but he plays two, or even three (if you count him pretending to be his brother). As for the female leads in the story, I have no reads on them yet except for the quick appearance of Yuri. So far, the drama seems to be an on your seat thriller that will keep me guessing as what is really going on. I hope that Jeong Woo will be able to recover some of his memories and be able to go against Min ho soon!

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Entertainer – Tantara

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Entertainer, does it entertain me enough to continue watch? Yes, it does. After Ji Sung’s last drama, KMHM, I of course wanted to try his new work. In Entertainer, Ji Sung plays Suk Ho, a director who manages successful groups under a large entertainment group called KTOP. His pride is a group called Jackson, which he hand fed and raised to the popularity they enjoy now. However, his type of management is very “the ends justify’s the means”. He is willing to use whoever and whatever he can to promote his group. With his successes, he decides to make his own entertainment company and back out of KTOP while taking the most popular boy group, Jackson with him. He had set everything up and was ready to go, until two unfortunate things happened to him. He had used a songwriter without giving him credit which made the songwriter commit suicide. On the way to the funeral, he gets into a drunk driving accident to which the other party would not settle. This lands him into prison and his once loyal assistant backstabs him and pushes him out the KTOP door before he was ready. With his name blackened and Jackson resigning with KTOP, Suk Ho has a hard time reviving himself. He even goes to Busan to ask a colleague to borrow money, to which he was coldly rebuffed. However, there he by coincidence hears the voice of Ha Neul singing an academy jingle which he was in his most depressed state. Ha Neul, a young boy who had just been convicted of sexual assault (questionable circumstances…) in court, was enduring his own torment. With his named blackened and his poor sister, Geurim struggling to make ends meed with their parents gone, his outlook was bleak. It was even due to his love of singing that caused his parents accident. However, that one jingle pulled Suk Ho out of his stupor and he began to pursue Ha Neul. After some convincing of both siblings, he manages to convince Ha Neul to come sing under him. He finds a Juliard-grad guitarist who seems to be struggling for a career to play instrumental to his new vocalist. As things are starting to look up for this small new group under Mango, some more bad news is gunning for Suk Ho. What comes around goes around.

While I wasn’t impressed with the first episode, the second one gave the show much more potential. Like the newbie band and entertainment group, I am looking forward to seeing if the drama will gain momentum. Ji Sung has a way of saving shows and I really enjoy the real life talents of Min Hyuk and Hye Ri who play budding musicians. Especially, Min Hyuk, who has a heavenly voice which is downplayed by his real life band CN Blue with Jong Hwa. This drama was will a stage to show off his talents independently. I also couldn’t help, but see many of Ji Sung’s past personalities form KMHM in his new character Suk Ho. This just goes to show how much his performances stick with you! All in all, I am a big fan of musical dramas and really hope that this understated drama will gain more popularity!

 

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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Fan-made Parody Videos Better Than the Original!

Recently, I have seen these videos circulating amongst the Hyde, Jekyll, and Me as well as Kill Me Heal Me fanbases! They are fan-made parodies of Jeon Ji Hyun’s CF for lipstick redone by Ji Sung or AKA YoNa. And we also have 50 Shades of Grey, Seo Jin style with HaNa. They are really well made and hey, I would definitely buy those products and watch that movie !

Kill Me Heal Me

Kill Me Heal Me

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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