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Veronica Park

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Everything posted by Veronica Park

  1. First Impression: It's Okay Not To Be Okay It's Okay Not Be Okay premiered this week! It's Kim Soo-hyun's comeback drama after his military discharge. And after teasing us with some memorable cameos in recent dramas, it's time for him to reclaim the limelight as one of the top Hallyu stars of his generation. The hype is real with this one, especially after the news broke that he will share this spotlight with the ever gorgeous Seo Ye-ji! Who wouldn't get stoked, right? What a very interesting first two episodes! I knew from the teasers that it promises a dark romance between the main leads, but I wasn't expecting it to be THIS dark. It was borderline disturbing! The first episode was meant to introduce very vividly how famous children's book author Ko Moon-yeong (Seo Ye-ji) has anti-social personality. Her books feature dark fairy tales with nightmare-eating witches as heroines, and betrayal as the main theme. She was presented as the monster who draws people away. The opening was laid out as fantasy, so the audience might expect it to be one, but the watching experience was essentially the same with Moon-yeong's children's books. The drama was parallel to her own book which was supposed to be light but a bit grotesque for the taste apparently. With hints of Tim Burton-style graphics and a slight touch of romantic comedy in the first two episodes, this new series is made to make us feel intrigued and disturbed. It presents a thin line between the rational mind and hysteria. It's meant to challenge the viewers about morals and mental stability. I don't know if it's a good thing or something to be worried about, but I think if you're bothered by just watching the little Moon-yeong tear that live butterfly apart, you're still normal. Albeit too dark for some people, this drama is still refreshing to watch because it's different. My favorite part of the drama would have to be our heroine (or anti-hero as it seems), Ko Moon-yeong. She is a no non-sense femme fatale who doesn't hesitate to do whatever she wants to do without worrying about other people's judgment. I know this could be a double-edged sword as this attitude could also be her downfall, her anti-social behavior opens the eyes of the audience to the mindset of people who screams of darkness and chaos. Her aura is very appealing and her presence is so extra. Moon-yeong's childhood background was super depressing, it totally makes sense she ended up that way. The hero, Moon Kang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) is a mysterious one. One of the most striking lines he made in the first two episodes was his description of Moon-young's anti-social personality. He doesn't recognize it as a disorder, and tells her that's she was just born with it. We also got to know his backstory early on in the series. He and his brother Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) were orphaned after their mother was apparently killed by a still unidentified person. Sang-tae, the only witness to the killing, has autism. He was certain that their mom was killed by the "butterflies" which also prompted the brothers not to stay in the same place for a long time. They keep relocating every now and then. What's more interesting is that Sang-tae's favorite author is Ko Moon-yeong. What's with her books that draw him? Does he sense that the writer is an outcast, too? Moon-yeong and Sang-tae are yet to meet each other properly, so their inevitable interaction is something worth anticipating. Full article here: https://ahjummamshies.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/first-impression-its-okay-not-to-be-okay/
  2. The World of the Married | Series Review So much had been said about this widely popular K-drama. It broke records after records. Some even expected Kim Hee-ae to win the Daesang. But what really made The World of the Married super popular in South Korea and among international Korean drama fans? The craze even transformed non-believers into K-drama fanatics. When the K-drama universe was restlessly anticipating the comeback of the much-loved Hallyu stars Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun through The King: Eternal Monarch, this jtbc remake just smashed those high expectations and slowly climbed its way up the ranks as the most-watched Korean drama in cable history. Kim Hee-ae appeared as the respected Dr. Ji Sun-woo, a loving wife, mother, and career woman. Her world took a severe downturn after she discovered her husband’s cheating fiasco. To make matters worse, all the people surrounding her knew about it – neighbors, workmates, friends, and heck, even her mother-in-law. But what made this drama, which revolved around adultery, different from other series with the same premise? I could only think of one reason: the aftermath of the separation to the couple’s child. From my point of view, The World of the Married was divided into two seasons: episodes 1-6 were the most thrilling parts. It was what lured the Internet world to tune into the series diligently. Honestly, the first six episodes focused on Lee Tae-oh’s (Park Hae-joon) cheating bonanza with his much younger (very predictable) girlfriend Yeo Da-kyung (Han So-hee). It was satisfying to see them hit rock bottom and leave town, with our heroine being able to keep herself intact despite everything. But for those of us who were not able to watch the original material, the British series Dr. Foster, we were stunned when Episode 7 (or for me, Season Two) introduced us to a more established Tae-oh and a much wiser Da-kyung. The hooligans were able to bounce back from dirt and returned to their hometown of Gosan to wreak havoc into Sun-woo’s life! Full review: https://ahjummamshies.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/the-world-of-the-married-series-review/
  3. First Impression: Fix You | Episodes 1-4 It’s always a sensitive territory when a drama tackles mental health. It’s hard to strike a balance between portraying a mental health patient and romanticizing anxiety, depression, or trauma. By this time we all know the thin line between depicting the reality of mental health and making the plot more intriguing for the audience to follow. I have watched the first two hours of Fix You and here’s my initial impression: I like it. Han Woo-joo (Jung So-min) is a theater actress with some serious anger management issues. She had been climbing her way up in the industry and finally got her much deserved award only to be ruined by a very unfortunate incident. Jung So-min’s acting in the drama is really good I’m afraid she’ll have to carry the entire show on her back. I know I said I liked the first four episodes but my main concern lies with the male lead character, psychiatrist Lee Shi-joon (Shin Ha-kyun). I was not really sure with the way Dr. Lee was treating his patients. I particularly didn’t like how he handled his patient Cha Dong-il (Kim Dong-young) and how the hospital security was so lax that patients who were admitted could just come and go whenever they like – even to the point of cosplaying as a police officer. Because of him, Woo-joo’s life turned upside down! I couldn’t blame the patient obviously. It just pained me to watch Woo-joo’s dreams turned to ashes because of Dr. Lee’s irresponsibility and the hospital’s poor security measures. I can’t wait to watch the next episodes and see whether my impression with Dr. Lee would change. I know there are layers to his character that has yet to be explored in the drama. I was intrigued by the hints from the other doctors. Is Dr. Lee a patient as well? What I’m looking forward the most is my girl Woo-joo’s path to healing. For someone who’s also struggling with anxiety and anger management problems, I hope that her character development will be handled well in this drama. I felt her pain whenever she counted from one to six and her angst whenever she fumed with anger. I’m also excited about all the other mental health issues that will be raised in the next episodes. Full article: https://ahjummamshies.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/first-impression-fix-you-episodes-1-4/
  4. Five Life Lessons From Hi Bye, Mama Here are the five life lessons I've learned from Yu-ri's second chance at life. My life is not entirely mine. Though there are numerous heart-tugging moments in this drama, the scene where the suffering of the ghosts' families was shown struck me the hardest. I was going through some serious health issues at the start of the year and thought to myself that it won't be a big deal if I die. But after watching the series, I realized that my life is not just mine. It belongs to my family, to my friends, to everyone who cares about me. And it would be so selfish to end the battle without picking up the sword. It would be unfair to them if I give up without trying. My suffering may have end after I die, but the pain for my loved ones live on. Find meaning in the little moments that make up life. Whether it was keeping her promise to pick up Gang- hwa when it rains or failing to do Yu-ri's request to put the vacuum cleaner up, the couple went on their lives thinking that there will always be tomorrow for them. But when the next day never arrived, the two realized that those trivial things that we often overlook give meaning to life. Perhaps, the moments that are not grand nor special and we often take as insignificant are the ones we should treasure. Family is not defined by blood. Yu-ri's best triend, Go Hyun-jung (Shin Dong-mi) proved countless times in this drama that a family cannot be defined solely by blood relations. Hyun-jung is my favorite character not just because of her humorous antics but because of her undying loyalty to Yu-ri. Hyun-jung defied her mother-in-law's order to skip Yu-ri's funeral since she just gave birth and continued to post heartfelt messages on Yu-ri's SNS page even after the latter passed away. Read full list here: https://ahjummamshies.wordpress.com/2020/04/22/five-life-lessons-from-hi-bye-mama/
  5. First Impressions: The King: Eternal Monarch | Episodes 1-2 I already had high hopes with this drama based on the story elements they said they will be using. You can’t blame me since they have a modern monarch, parallel universe (my excitement went from 5 to 500 after knowing this premise), and of course, romance. These are my personal beloved tropes and Kim Eun-sook decided to use it all at once. Saying this series definitely delivered would be an understatement. From the cinematography to its intense storytelling, the pilot episode unabashedly pulled me into its world. The credit really goes to the set-up written by Kim Eun-sook. She truly knows how to create a believable fictional world with a detailed background and interesting characters. Of course, the production team led by PD Baek Sang-hoon has also successfully brought into life Eun-sook’s vision for this drama. The character introductions felt a bit short as the premiere episode was focused on showing the difference between the two worlds: The Kingdom of Corea and the Republic of Korea. But I think it was enough to build the air of mystery around them. (Side note: I love that Lee Min-ho’s character is a mathematician and he easily concluded that he was in a parallel universe since he’s familiar with the theory.) Full article: https://ahjummamshies.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/first-impression-the-king-eternal-monarch-episodes-1-2/
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