Tag Archives: korean dramas

What I’m Watching: Mystic Pop-Up Bar

Back in the day, as in the Joseon period kind of day, Wol-joo (played by Hwang Jung-eum) was a shaman who could read the dreams of her clients and soothe whatever demons were hustling them. In the course of doing her shaman-things, she met a Prince, they fell in love and….

No, there was no happy ending for them.

Things went wrong… very, very wrong. The prince betrayed her. Her mother was killed. Their home was burnt. Worse, no one would help Wol-joo get justice. After all the drama, Wol-joo ended up committing suicide.

Usually ghosts go to heaven, but our dear Wol-joo did a few bad very bad, vengeful things before dying that made her get kicked back to earth so she could atone for them. It’s 2020 now and Wol-joo is still doing time on earth. To get out of here, she needs to resolve the grudges of 100,000 souls. To do that, she opens up a pop-up bar where people can come drink and talk about their problems, and she helps them solve those problems. Helping her out is her weary sidekick, Chief Gwi (played by Choi Won-young) who keeps her from messing up her tasks because of her nasty temper.

The real story begins when a cheerful kid called Kang-bae (played by Yook Sung-jae) accidentally walks into Wol-joo’s bar. Kang-bae isn’t like her usual clients. He’s a strange one who seems to be able to get people to confess their truths and worries to him just by one touch. That’s a skill Wol-joo could definitely use. And thus starts the partnership of the century.

I went into this because of Yook Sung-jae. I’m not really a fan of Hwang Jung-eum because in my opinion, she tends to overact. In every project she’s done (except Secret) she’s made me cringe and I only stayed for the male leads. But this time, it was different. She was standing-ovation amazing. Just the right balance of empathetic and tough. The relationship of the three leads was also amazing. They matched each other perfectly and their shenanigans made me laugh, gasp and cry. It was a great series. Unfortunately, it was only twelve episodes. They wrapped it up well but I wouldn’t have minded a few more episodes of this crazy trio.

FIND IT HERE: https://www.netflix.com/title/81264882

THE VERDICT: 8/10 because this trio made me both laugh and great. They were awesome. The minus two points is because they gave us only twelve episodes. We want MORE!

WHAT I’M WATCHING: Search WWW

Search WWW PosterAre you tired of damsels in distress and noble idiots? Are you looking for a drama where the woman is really the lead and not just an accessory for the hero? Do you want a drama where the romance is delicious but there’s other story threads that are just as interesting? Then I think you should check out Search WWW.

Search WWW is a breath of fresh air in a world filled with passive heroines who are cringely nice even when wronged. Though most sites credit Bae Ta-Mi as the lead character, the story isn’t just about her. Scarlet and Ga-Kyeong’s stories are just as important to the overall quality of the drama.

The three ladies who are leading this drama are all bosses and aggressively competitive. They take no bullshit. An eye for an eye is their motto. But even as the three make their mark in the technology world, they are all haunted by the same question. Are they sacrificing too much of their personal life for professional success?

If you haven’t watched the series yet, what are you doing with your life? This drama is epic. Each episode will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and leave you with a lingering adrenalin line. The realistic love stories of each woman will leave you satisfied and wishing you had what they had.

This one was really entertaining. Watch it!

 

FIND IT HERE: https://www.viki.com/tv/36618c-search-www?locale=en

 

THE VERDICT: 9/10 because the women were just everything. Minus one point because Ga-Kyeong didn’t get her happy ending.

 

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 in the comment section.

What I’m Watching: Strangers From Hell

Strangers From Hell PosterAre you scared of the dark? Do you always think someone is watching you even when you’re alone? Have you ever thought that your neighbor could be a serial killer and thus avoid him? Well… this might not be the drama for you.

Strangers from Hell is scary. No, I’m serious. This sh*t is crazy. Don’t touch it with a stick if you’re an easily scared bunny. It will ruin your dreams and make you side eye all your neighbors.

That being said; I’m a scared bunny too and I’m still watching it. I regret nothing (lol). Just to be safe I watch it only during the daytime. Still, it’s just as scary.

The series is an adaptation from a webtoon of the same name. It tells the story of Jong woo, a twenty-something guys who moves to Seoul for a job and ends up staying at an ominous dormitory to save money. The building itself is creepy as hell, but it’s the residents we need to watch out for. Everyone is psychotic, and not in the ‘oh, that’s so cute’ way. People here are CRAZY. Shoot, they even have a murderer or two or three or… let me not ruin it for you. Through the series we get to see Jongwoo’s descent from your average guy to a tormented man who may or may not be crazy too.

Listen; this is NOT for the faint of heart. It is deliciously creepy, gruesome and rattling. If you’re into shows like Hannibal or Killing Eve, you’ll love it. If you’re into flowers and long walks on sunny days, just…… save yourself. I warned you.

FIND IT HERE: https://kissasian.la/strangers-from-hell/

THE VERDICT: 10/10 because it scared the Jesus out of me like it said it would.

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 in the comment section.

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.