Category Archives: What I’m Watching

What I’m Watching: The Last Empress

the last empressI’ve made a decision. No, it’s not anything drastic! In fact I think fans of romantic dramas will be quite pleased. This year, I plan to reserve this column just specifically for K-dramas that I’m currently watching it.

Now, you’re probably wondering how did I even get into K-Dramas. It all happened by mistake. When my best-friend urged me to watch my first drama Boys Over Flower, I bet she didn’t know that she was leading me into a rabbit hole she was leading or how deep I’d walk in on my own. I don’t think a day ever goes by without me watching an episode of something K-Drama-like.

I’m in deep, people. Real deep! Like a junkie with his coke! And I’d like to drag you in with me – cause I’m generous like that (kekekeke).

All right – now onto the drama of the month – The Last Empress! This is one of those dramas that Koreans call makjang. What is makjang? If translated literally it means a drama that is extremely sensational and that has an outrageous premise, exaggerated characters and exciting (and often ridiculous) events to heighten viewer emotions beyond their normal bounds.

Where a regular drama may focus on revenge, or rape, or birth secrets, or adultery, a makjangdrama will throw all these plot twists and more into the same story. Every episode is a train-wreck but you can’t stop watching it because it is so overwhelmingly exciting.

That’s exactly what The Last Empress is! A melodrama on crack!

 

*SPOILERS AHEAD

The drama is set in present day South Korea, but under the premise that the country is governed by a constitutional monarch, Emperor Lee Hyuk. I haven’t quite met an antagonist like Lee Hyuk. The man is trash! He has no problems murdering or torturing people if they don’t do what he wants (even the people he claims to love). After a hit and run accident where he kills an old woman, he is more pissed off about the fact that his gold car is dented rather than because of the body he’s hidden in his trunk. When he kills his grandma (who was the only one who truly supported him), he quickly lays the blame on his mother. On the first day of his marriage, he sleeps with his mistress in the same room where his new wife is getting a massage. Like I said – trash!

Interestingly enough, it’s easy to kind of like him because the writers have shown every life event that led him to being the monster that he is, and it’s quite obvious that he was a created monster not one by choice. Worse, they keep playing our emotions by showing us the other sides of Lee Hyuk. His playful side, his funny side, his childish side… Ugh! Most of the time you don’t know whether to hate Hyuk, pity him or ship him with his wife (who he’s already tried to kill too – Of course!).

Now onto the wife, Sunny. When she first married Lee Hyuk, Sunny was genuinely in love with him, not knowing that he’d married her for his own nefarious purposes. Then he tried to kill her! That’s when everything went sideways for Lee Hyuk. For one, Sunny believes in an eye for an eye and refuses to take his shenanigans lying down.

Plus, she refuses to die no matter how many times he and his mother try to take her out. Worse, the more Lee Hyuk gets to know her, the more he’s attracted to her pluckiness. Unfortunately, Sunny thinks of him as a serial killer (which he is).

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from here onwards. Does she fall for him too? Is she already half in love with Lee Hyuk’s bodyguard who was always sneakily protecting her from Lee Hyuk when he wasn’t in love with her? Will Lee Hyuk change? Can he change? And do we care?

The makjang goes on!

 

FIND IT HERE: https://www.viki.com/tv/36241c-the-last-empress?locale=en

 THE VERDICT: 8/10 for a despicable antagonist who makes me question my morals, a hero who’s dreamy, and a heroine who is as bad ass as they come. Bring on the Makjang!

 

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good K-Drama, C-drama or J-Drama that you think I should check out; let me know below.

WHAT I’M WATCHING: Republic of Doyle

RepublicOfDoyle_CompleteI know, I know. You’re probably wondering how in the world I got to a series that was born 10 years ago in Canada. What can I say? I’m adventurous. This is how it happened; I got roped into watching Listener and finished it thinking, “Hmm… that was good. What else do the Canadians have?” Somehow I ended up watching Republic of Doyle.

This one is for the lovers of Investigative Dramas with a bit of comedy, and some romance thrown in. The series has got a strange name, I admit, but once you get into it, you’ll forget the name.

Jake Doyle and his father, Malachi are private investigators. How did they get there? Malachi is a retired cop. Jake was in the force at one time but he quit because he’s just not a rules guy, plus he hates guns. Their investigations (some a tad bit illegal) never seem to go smoothly. Things tend to go wrong when Jake’s around.

If you’re expecting some CSI stuff here, you won’t find it here. This series is focused more on the comedy and the relationships of its extensive cast of characters. The main love interest in this show is Leslie. Not gonna lie – I was not feeling her. But Jake and Malachi’s antics kept me watching. Some people like the show was a bit cheesy, however, I think the characters were really deep and some (not all) of the episodes were complex.

THE VERDICT: 7/10 for a good-looking male lead who is not afraid to be clumsy

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good YouTube or Web-show that you think I should check out; let me know below.

What I’m Watching: Unfamous

Unfamous PosterUnfamous isn’t exactly new but I’ve been sitting on it awhile, mostly because I had other things I wanted to watch. But finally, I sat down to watch it. And I was… impressed? The question mark is only because I don’t normally do ‘new-adult’ style dramas. I usually like my characters a little older and wiser. But since we’re here… what the hell, let’s do this.

This Britain-based web series chronicles the life of Rio Greene, a first year university student. Back in high-school (or college as they call it), Rio wasn’t that popular or ‘fly’ and that contributed to her losing her boyfriend. Now that she’s in uni, she sets out to shed off her low social status and become Unfamous (code for popular). Along the way, she goes through a lot of relationship issues including wavering between her ex Nathaniel and her best-friend, Tyson.

Apart from Rio’s thirst for popularity, the show also tackles other social issues including domestic violence, sex and intimacy, teen pregnancy, materialism etc. There are lots of other characters who’ll catch your attention. Needless to say, this is one for those who are young at heart and/or age.

THE VERDICT: 7/10 for interesting characters

Watch The Unfamous Series HERE

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good YouTube or Web-show that you think I should check out; let me know below.

WHAT I’M WATCHING: W- Two Worlds

I have an obsession – a crazy obsession. It’s called Korean dramas , and I’d like to ruin you by introducing you to one of the most interesting ones out there. It’s called W.

W-posterI haven’t seen anything quite as unique as W. Most Korean ‘travel’ dramas have characters moving between the past and present, but W has them moving between the real world and the manhwa (comic) world.

W is a fantasy romance starring Lee Jong Suk as Kang Chul and some girl (I didn’t bother to learn her name since I’m here for the hawt gentlemen) as Yeon Joo. Yeon Joo is a surgeon living in our world, and her father is the author of a popular web-comic, W.

This is where stuff gets complicated. The main character in Yeon Joo’s father’s comic is Kang Chul. Yeon Joo’s father decides to kill off Kang Chul character because Kang Chul  has become a little too real, as in sometimes he writes his own storylines. The creatives out there will appreciate the irony because we often complain about characters taking over our work and driving it to unexpected destinations. In W, it’s real. Kang Chul is driving his own bus. Get ready for a wild, wild fantastic ride.

I loved Kang Chul. Suave, rich, handsome, kind… starts out as imaginary then transforms into a real man. The best parts for me were when he pulls Yeon Joo into the comic and she tries to get out by forcing a ‘to be continued’ (You’ll understand what I mean when you see it). The ‘slap’ and ‘get naked’ parts were especially hilarious. I’m on episode 8 right now and I can’t wait to finish it.

THE VERDICT: 9/10 for sheer creativity and spunk

Watch it HERE

Tell me what you think about it after you’re done. And if you’ve got a good YouTube or Web-show that you think I should check out; let me know below.