Beanie level: Jang Geu-rae

“Come and Hug Me” (2018) [6/6]
Starring: Jang Ki-yong, Jin Ki-joo & Heo Joon-ho
I am glad I returned to this Drama because I wanted to know the ending. I was satisfied with the ending, but I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoyed this drama. This story sets up the characters to be pretty miserable throughout (with good and valid reasons) and it’s pretty depressing. Between family shames, unbelievable betrayal, loss, and heartbreak, the characters spend the majority of the story trying to find these tiny reasons why they should be allowed to smile… a glimpse of happiness. The main couple was nice, but I have to say that the younger teen versions had more chemistry and charm than the older (more weighed down and closed off) pair.
The brother’s story arc was the most impactful and the message of family was really nice. The villain’s performance was excellent and chilling. It was another unique star-crossed lovers tale with a cast I was relatively unfamiliar with. Still, I don’t think I’ll be recommending this one to anyone anytime soon.
Started: October 2018 (didn’t finish)
Watched: July-August 2021
3 Stars

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    The father was a truly dark character.

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    I agree with you! The young actors were really great and I found the love story a little bit repetitivewith the adults. But overall, Kim Kyung‑nam as Yoon Hyun‑moo stole the show from JKY.

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    I loved COME AND HUG ME. I thought the performances were terrific both young and adult. Yes, Kim Kyung-nam was a show stealer. Another thing I like to reference about CAHM is that you get a chance to see the beautiful cherry trees that blossomed in South Korea in 2018. Other dramas that year took advantage of the cherry trees including A POEM A DAY.

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    Come and Hug me was a great drama. I’m glad that you enjoyed it on your second viewing.

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The last time I posted my top 10 KDrama ranking on DramaBeans was in August of 2017. It’s been four years! I stopped watching KDrams for about three of those years, but I am very happy to be back. Here’s my most recently updated Top 10. Much of the same, but with a few new additions.
Which dramas make your ranking?

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    Comment was deleted

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    Someone else with a Lee Jong-suk bias! Hahaha snap. 😀

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      I confess that I don’t know how it happened… but it did 😉

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    From your list I’d pick Weightlifting and Start-up. I haven’t watched most dramas in this list, but I truly think that Weightlifting is wonderful in its own right, and I like Start-Up primarily because of BB Kim Seon-ho’ character. ♥️

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    Welcome back to Kdramaland! Since your return have you found any dramas you liked even though not in top ten territory?

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      LOL. Apologies. The question maybe irrelevant. I didn’t see the post below until I posted my question.

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    Welcome back!

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    mine would be … Liar game, Squad 38, Gaksital, Chicago Typewriter, I Remember You, I Can Hear Your Voice, 6 Flying Dragons, (does Kingdom count?), Prison Playbook, Shopping King Louie. Bonus points Avengers Social Club & Reply 1988 (if only the latter wouldnt have those looooooong episodes)

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      I totally agree with Chicago Typewriter (Wig of Glory) and Prison Playbook. Avengers Social Club is almost in my top 10.

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        yeah, if only they also had Han Ye-Ri…. But 6 Flying Dragons was just too strong.

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      I count pretty much every drama on your list amongst my personal favourites. It’s fascinating to see someone have such similar taste in dramas.

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        I guess we are Team (Historical) Action / Suspense + Seo In Guk Bias? Ohhhhhh I forgot Two Weeks!!!! Sawrry, Teacher… It is tie for 2nd place.

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          Two Weeks! Now that’s a drama I haven’t thought of in a while. I loved that as well. Our drama tastes are truly similar

          As for the historical action/suspense + Seo In-guk bias, yupppp. You nailed it.

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    Comment was deleted

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Do gifs work on Dramabeans? I haven’t posted on here since 2018. Left the KDrama world for a little while… back with a fiery passion!

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“Gu Family Book” (2013) [9/8]
Starring: Lee Seung Gi & Bae Su Ji (Suzy)
Rewatched: July 2021
Rewatch: Almost 5 years since my last watch. I had forgotten the amount of the dark, violent, and atrocious crimes committed by the villain in this show that go completely unpunished. It can feel overwhelmingly depressing the amount of tragedies characters big and small experience at his hands. Yeo-wool and Kang Chi’s friendship to lovers storyline is absolutely beautiful and the heart of what I love about this show. Yeo-wool is my favorite kind of heroine, fierce, fearless, compassionate, empathetic, loyal and devoted. Sung-gi and Suzy are actually perfect together (I decided to rewatch this show after loving their reunion in “Vagabond”) and I appreciate so much about the lessons and messages sprinkled within this action-packed, but emotional seaguk. I probably would caution first time viewers due to its adult content (nothing graphic just heavy themes to bare) and tragic beginning (and ending), but think the journey is worth going on.

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“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” (2016-2017) [10/10]
Starring: Lee Sung-kyung & Nam Joo-hyuk
I really can’t rave about this show enough. It’s heartwarming and so full of life. The heroine is one of my all time favorite characters. This show made me laugh hysterically so many times, yet delved into some deep, relatable struggles. It is the most pure, feel-good, coming-of-age story I’ve ever watched. The acting was superb, whilst the subject was so unique and exciting. I actually feel honored having been able to watch and be a fan of this show. I love at the end of it the message was really to embrace your youth… despite the clumsiness, mistakes, and fear of the unknown… because that really is what makes life beautiful. The friends to lovers storyline was executed flawlessly in my opinion. I cannot rave about this show enough. This definitely makes my top 5 favorite KDramas ever.
DramaFever: 5 stars
Finished: January 2017 (as released)
Rewatch 1: June-July 2021 “Still excellent and joyful.”

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    Rewatching it now! The sound effects are a scream, the therapist is a legend, and I love the hilarious teasing and friends to lovers storyline… love love love!

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    One of my favourites! A small story packed with so much emotion, growth, and a super omg-cute-healthy-pretty OTP. I also listened to the show’s bgm for months 🥰🥰

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    I love this show so much. The way it covered metal health before it gained the importance that it had today, the way it looked at eating disorders amongst female athletes and how a female athletes balance feminity and competitiveness, it became my favourite.

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    Love this drama!!!

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“Vagabond” (2019) [9/9]
Starring: Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy
Vagabond is a whole new level of KDrama. 100% an action drama, every episode is packed with excitement, stakes, and thrills. Every single episode feels epic and packed. Explosions, chases, gun battles, hand-to-hand combat, and more! Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, leaving you desperate to watch the next episode. Amazing international locations and sets. Stunts and performances were top notch. Seung Gi and Suzy (still) have great chemistry. Hae-ri was an extremely likable, relatable, and believable female lead (though underutilized at some points in my opinion). Dal-Geon is both tough, cool, and fearsome, while being awkward, tender-hearted, and compassionate. Love everything about this pair. The political intrigue keeps audiences on their toes, as does Korean secret service focus (NIS). Heroes had plot armor at times, but the entire show is extremely well crafted. One emergency medical operation scene they had was unnecessarily gruesome and graphic in my opinion (and probably upped the maturity rating without really impacting the story as a whole). Violence and death escalates through the series.
I have mixed feelings about the ending. I can’t give this a 10 for enjoyment because of the ending. It’s just not satisfying, it’s not the payoff we’re looking for. The transformation of the two main characters… is unsettling when left unresolved. That being said, if they’re leaving it there to gear up for another season (unheard of with KDramas), I’m 100% on board. It’s a great twist and set up for more story. If that’s the end of the show… It’s frustrating.
Watched: July 2021
5/5 Stars

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    Suzy will have to pull off a really great role for me to get over my first impressions. I’d like to see her in the drama where she is a pansori singer, The Sound of a Flower.

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    That’s basically my thoughts on Vagabond too, hard to rate because it’s really good fun but then it feels like there’s meant to be more.

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    This one is in my bottom 10.

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“While You Were Sleeping” (2017) [7/6]
Starring: Bae Suzy and Lee Jong-suk
This show was a blend of story elements from I Hear Your Voice (law) and Pinnochio (reporter), murderers, innocent people charged, dirty lawyers, etc, but didn’t live up to the heart and impact of either. Suzy and Jong-suk pair well, but I didn’t find either of their characters overly relatable in this show. I followed them, but found it hard to really care/invest in them as protagonists. The supporting cast of characters enriched the story. Much of the major conflict felt too disjointed and would have benefited from more clear development. Even the most important and moving scenes/relationships felt a little unearned by me as a viewer. All in all, it was an enjoyable viewing experience and I’m glad I came back to finish this show, but it is not one I may return to anytime soon. I like the back story/flashbacks. The dreams were cool (though again underdeveloped). Han Woo-tak/U-tak (Jung Hae-in) was the most likable and genuine character in the show. He never competed with (Lee Jong-suk’s) Jung Jae-chan, but was kind, loyal, and supportive throughout.

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    Jung Hae-in has the face of an angel. I love him in all of his roles.

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      This was the first time I’d seen him, but he’s definitely on my “to follow” actor list now! Do you have a favorite?

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        One Spring Night – it makes some powerful points about single parenthood. I also loved him in Something in the Rain, in spite of the irritation expressed by Beanies, and Find Me in Your Memory. Beanies found it v slow, but it actually makes a profound point about grieving. OSN. He plays a great role in Prison Playbook too.

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“Start Up!” (2020) [9/8]
Starring: Nam Joo-hyuk, Bae Suzy, and Kim Seon-ho
Another great show written by Park Hye-ryun (I Can Hear Your Voice, Pinocchio, While You Were Sleeping) in combination with director Oh Choong-Hwan (While You Were Sleeping, My Love From the Star). I really loved this show. It gave me some of the most genuine reactions I’ve had when watching a show in years. Real belly laughs, smiles, misty eyes, and hand-wringing. The family and friendship dynamics were honest and endearing. Suzy has really come into her own as an actress. She was genuine and strong in every scene. The premise/subject of this show (young entrepreneurs and inventors) was totally engaging, unique, creative, and interesting. I truly learned and got excited with their ideas as they reached for them. I really love the values of friendship, family, and faith in your dreams. Something I would edit: I think it would have been cute/fitting for Dal-Mi to write Do-san his own letter(s). The company of cast members were great and well developed. I’m so glad I watched this show. No case of SLS here, as Do-San shows up time and time again, proving himself to be imperfect, but faithful, compassionate, and intelligent (Nam Joo-hyuk’s name is in my book as a real stellar performer). This isn’t the first drama I’ve seen Kim Hae-sook in, but she was funny, precious, and such a scene stealer in this show as Dal-Mi’s grandmother. My one complaint would be that between episodes 10-13 with the three year time jump, the angst set in and the story dragged on a little. Dal-Mi lost a bit of her urgency during this time. Also, they created handwriting detection technology, but that wasn’t what gave the letters away? Haha. The ending of the show was satisfying and heartening.
Watched: July 2021
5/5 Stars

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Just watched Episode 5 of \”Romance is a Bonus Book\”. Does anyone know the title/artist of the song that plays when they drive home from the beach? It\’s so pretty!
The song lyrics: The taste of your eyes ??? with a smile and tears. Little scars, brittle heart, no ??? to one. Here i stand with a golden heart, how I will say. You\’re beautiful and I can’t ask for more to me.

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    Yes (BUMP this)
    Need to know the name of the song. Been using software and lyrics search. But it’s seems to be an OST which is a bit surprising since it’s full English but the Kdrama’esk piano intro to the song does make it sound like an original if not faded into another song. So if someone can find the song raw pls share!

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KDrama Review of “The Bride of the Water God (Habaek)” (#31)
2 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 6/10
How I rate it: 4/10
Honestly, I’ve never watched a show with such an interesting premise, but that every week I got to the end of an episode I’d think out loud, “Absolutely nothing actually happened in that episode.” I like the lead actor, but the story is a flop. Even great acting skills couldn’t save the plot/writing. Most of the characters are not likable or interesting and the story just dragged on and on with very little at stake, abandoning the audience in a lack of investment. Surprisingly, the finale and conclusion of this show was satisfying.

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    I will forever compare Nam Joo-hyuk’s Habaek to Lee Seung-gi’s Son Oh-gong. The former nailed it, the latter not so much.

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    I really liked some of the OST and some of the scenes were gorgeous. If only they’d developed a decent plot…

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KDrama Review of “School 2017” (#30)
3 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 7/10
How I rate it: 7/10
The thing that annoyed me about this show is how awful, corrupt, and frustrating the entire school system was throughout. I understand that the screen writers purposefully made the school the enemy, but I didn’t like it. There was only one teacher who seemed to actually care and he didn’t do much (an accurate portrayal of teachers was something I loved about “School 2013”). The X vigilante plotline was fun and Kim Jung Hyun stole almost every scene he was in. It was a sweet show, but lacked the full heart I was hoping for.

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KDrama Review of I’m Not a Robot” (#29)
4 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How I rate it: 7/10
This show made me laugh and smile. I thought the premise fun and entertaining and found the lead couples’ chemistry enjoyable. I found the characters in the show likeable and endearing (even at their worst moments) . The end wrapped up nicely. I appreciated the reconciliation and restoration found within the story.

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KDrama Review of “Last Minute Romance” (#28)
3 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 7/10
How I rate it: 5/10
Short Series (2 episodes)
This was short and so I felt like we were missing out on some important developments. Yet, I enjoyed it and was sad when it ended. There were some charming moments and for its conclusion the show left me with a positive feeling inside. The lead couple was great and the storyline unique.

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KDrama Review of “Somehow 18” (#27)
4 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How I rate it: 7/10
Short Series (2 episodes)
This drama, though only two episodes, plays all the right cords of your heart. It is a story of love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and second chances. The leads were wonderful and the message one of hope amidst much hardship.

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    I wish it had another episode to show them living happily together and what happened to everyone else during those 10 years, main couple had great chemistry and their acting was really good.

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Re-watched “Pinocchio” for the fourth time. It is still hands down the best television show I have ever watched. Amazing writing. Phenomenal acting. Inspiring message. Family. Love. Sacrifice. TRUTH.

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Congratulations to me on my first level up! LOL.
JANG GEU-RAE

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HEY BEANIES!
These are my TOP 10 Favorite KDramas! I’d love it if you could give me some recommendations! Let me know if you recommend them based on my favorites or on your personal favorites! Thanks!

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    You seem to like dramas with an element of fantasy…so maybe Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Secret Garden, or Kill Me, Heal Me.

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      I’ve seen “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”, but neither of the others. I’ll look into them. Thanks for the recommendations!

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        Lee Jong Suk appears in Secret Garden. Just in case you happen to like him. 😉

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          You noticed that, huh? lol.
          Definitely like him and seem to love dramas he’s cast in!

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    Queen In-hyun’s Man? I haven’t finished it but it was wildly popular. Plus I think it’s similar to your other dramas. I might watch it one day.

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      You must watch it!

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      I tried “Queen In-Hyun’s Man” a few months back. I personally love really pure and almost innocent love stories, so I gave up on that drama about half way through. Thank you for the suggestion though! It definitely fit my drama “type” for sure!

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    If you liked Weightlifting Fairy, try Hogu’s Love? There are darker issues but the tone is mostly light, and the romance is really cute.

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      LOVED WFKBJ! I’ll definitely look for this one! Thanks

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    I like a lot of the dramas on your list. So I’ll recommend my fave drama, Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Don’t let the name fool you, it is all about the bromance.

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    I’m watching Pinocchio right now! I’m glad to see it at the top of your list. I was worried that it wouldn’t be awesome all the way to the end.

    If you enjoyed Park Bo Gum in MDBC, I recommend:
    I Remember You-bromance, romance, exploration of what makes a person a monster, and Seo In Guk and PBG. Daebak!
    Tomorrow’s Cantabile: Slice of life drama at a music school with PBG as the troubled (and adorable) second lead cello player.

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      I honestly cannot rave enough about “Pinocchio”! I really hope you love it as much as I do! I think the message and the theme of that story is incredibly powerful!

      Your recommendation sounds very good! I’ll definitely be checking that one out!

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    Wow. You must be a huge LJS fan. Hmm you seem to like romcom and light-hearted drama, have you tried the reply series? You can begun with 1997.

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      Start with Answer Me 1997, skip 94 then just jump to 88. ✌🏻

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      Yes, R1997!

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      LOL. The LJS thing wasn’t intentional, I swear! It just kinda happened, but yeah… it’s a thing now haha.

      I’ve seen people talk about the Reply series here and there. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll look into them!

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    A Lee Jung-suk fan 3/10 😍

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      You noticed, lol. It was never planned, but I really seem to enjoy the dramas he’s in! I think he’s incredibly talented!

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    Radiant Office is there ❤️

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    If you love romcom with some fantasy element – Queen In Hyun’s man who is also comes from the writer of W. This is my fav

    Seems you like Let’s Fight Ghost – Have you tried Master Sun? My fav too.

    Love to see Radiant Office 😊 You should try Drinking Solo & Ms Temper & Nam Jung Ki too.

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      I’ve seen posters for “Master Sun”, but had no idea what it was about. I’ll definitely look into it!
      Thank you for all your recommendations!

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I’ll be sure to post reviews of the ones I watch!

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KDrama Review of “Flower Boy Next Door” (#26)
3 out of 5 stars on DramaFeer
How much I enjoyed it: 7/10
How I rate it: 6/10
When I think of a word to describe this drama the first one that comes to mind is “fluffy”. This drama is full of laugh-out-loud antics and memorable characters. Yet, despite its rather simple tale of love and self-discovery, it also has powerful themes of self-esteem, overcoming past hurts, standing up for oneself, and choosing to live a life of opportunity no matter the risk. Park Shin Hye plays the reclusive, quiet writer, whilst Yoon Si Yoon is an energetic and playful video game designer. The two are such a contrast you wonder how they could ever make a pair, but in the end it’s the lessons that they teach one another that brings them together. The supporting cast is fun and warm. Sure, the cinematography isn’t anything to rave about and the story is rather ordinary, but the plot ends like a cute and happy present wrapped in the most joyful wrapping paper with the perfect little bow.
Watched: July/August 2017

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KDrama Review of “City Hunter” (#25)
3 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 6/10
How I rate it: 6/10
The action sequences were thrilling and the comedic moments shined. The first half was compelling and cohesive, whilst the ending and second half left me dissatisfied as a whole. Lee Min Ho is so handsome and convincing in this role. Park Min Young was also great, though underused in my opinion. I would have enjoyed it more if the themes of justice and the consequences of revenge were stronger. Overall, it was an enjoyable watch, but it was missing some of the heart it began with when we finally reached the end.
Watched (June – July 2017)

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    even though i rated it much higher (it was like my third drama or so that i watched), with every rewatch i saw the ‘faults’, but i still do recommend it just cause it is still one of those drama’s you should watch once, plus it remains my fav from lee min-ho

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      Agreed! Lee Min Ho is great in this role. There are many things they did well, but I definitely saw room for improvement. I understand what you are saying about early dramas though. I’ve found the first few dramas we watch are always held close out of sentimentality for our introduction to the KDrama addiction, haha! 🙂
      Thanks for the comment @siamehta!

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        thanks for replying! 🙂 also i quite lived the City Hunter OST, there r some really good songs there 🙂

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          *loved not lived, (am just waking up so typos….)

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KDrama Review of “Radiant Office”
4 out of 5 stars on DramaFever
How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How I rate it: 8/10
This drama was an unexpected gem for me. Every episode left me feeling happy. It feels like a little “slice of life” office story and I loved it. It’s a tale of perseverance, hope, honesty, learning, growing, and the importance of working hard for the things you care about. For a story that starts out with three young people bonding over their despair and attempted suicide, it actually is full of heart and lightness. The romance was a slow burn, but its simplicity made it all the more precious and heartwarming. It was fragile, cute, and comforting. I love this shows’ message and the bond of the diverse characters was refreshing. This show left me feeling joyful.
Watched (April – May 2017)

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