The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dr. Crush #review


Doctors / 닥터스

Genre -  Romance, comedy, drama, medical
Writer -  Ha Myung hee
Network -  SBS
Episodes -  20
Released -  June - August, 2016


CAST





PLOT


Yoo Hye jung (Park Shin hye) was a wayward girl in high school with a prickly, gangster personality. Childhood scars kept her heart closed towards others. She changes after moving in with her grandmother and meeting Hong Ji hong (Kim Rae won). They part ways but meet again after 13 years, when Yoo Hye jung becomes a doctor. ~Wiki w/edits

REVIEW


I'm being generous with the star rating for this one, and probably because of the actors involved as opposed to the story itself, which is what I'm most-often reviewing about -- but not this time.

And, it wasn't a horrible story, just not much in the way of a plot or purpose.

Well, okay, how about I admit to thinking that this is a worn out plot devise (revenge) taken to an extreme level.

Hye jung grew up hating her father, who wasn't there for her, and even less so after her mother died, so she becomes rebellious and vindictive to the point of being a bad-ass without the motorcycle and tattoos.

Then her father, who has remarried and is raising another daughter, kicks Hye jung out and sends her off to his mother.

Halmeoni owns a little boarding house/cafe, and she's a patient woman with a big heart who loves her granddaughter and wants what's best for her.

Hong Ji hong resides at this boarding house and also teaches science at the local high school for girls, where Hye jung stubbornly refuses to get along with anyone including him.

Eventually, she makes friends with two other girls, and one of them -- Jin Seo woo -- is your typical, stereotypical rich snob born into the lap of luxury because her father is a surgeon turned hospital CEO.

And, of course, her mother is a typical/stereotypical bitch housewife who doesn't receive an ounce of attention or affection from her husband, so she pours herself into her only child and lives her life vicariously through the stuck-up daughter.

Things go horribly wrong one night and Hye jung is about to take the fall after Seo woo blames her for the incident, but the other friend steps in and lands in jail.

Then halmeoni becomes ill and needs surgery.

The doctor turned CEO performs the operation and, again, things go terribly wrong and we lose the dear, sweet old lady through malpractice.

Thirteen years lapse and we see Hye jung, Seo woo, and Ji hong working at the same hospital in the same neurosurgery department.

Ji hong is there because his father is presently a co-founder.

Seo woo is there because of her father, of course.

And Hye jung is there to exact her revenge on Seo woo's appah.

She still hates everyone and is ruled entirely by vendetta, so it was difficult to see or understand, much less want her to become emotionally involved with anyone -- including Dr. Hong.

And that is where things get interesting, because as I mentioned, this isn't so much about the story as it is the two leads and their eventual romance.

The handsome Kim Rae won and the beautiful Park Shin hye had an on-screen chemistry that can't be beat.



Their sexual tension and physical contact can't be denied, either, and seemed as real on camera as it may or may not become off.

I loved seeing these two together and enjoyed every moment of their dual relationship in and out of the operating room.

Unfortunately, these two both failed to convince me that they were in character.

She dressed too fancy and acted too smug for her position while he seemed slightly off-kilter as a brain surgeon and the adopted son of a hospital head.

It was more like watching two Hallyu stars grace the set of a studio hospital and go through the motions w/out really getting into character.



I read the gossip about her nail art being criticized and laughed because it seemed more absurd to me that she walked around the hospital in a lab coat, Coco Chanel, and stilettos as well.

Over here, it isn't unheard of for a practicing physician to wear what she wore in the office, but I've yet to see the same thing occur in a hospital setting, so I get the huff even if I think it is wrong and ridiculous for those in the know to point out such things in a DRAMA.

Are we not all aware of the simple fact that this is television and therefore unrealistic?

Unfortunately for her and the show, it is what kind of ruined it for me with regard to her story.

And I know that sounds weird and even contradictory, but the incongruity of her appearance made it difficult to get into her vindictive head when staring at her conjured up all things Korean Hollywood and not angry former gangpae!

Is it possible to be too beautiful for certain parts in a K-do?

She is beautiful, no doubts there, and a really good actress -- just not in Dr. Crush -- and only because of her inability to transform.

Park Shin hye and Kim Rae won


Adorable HEA.

It was a tremendous relief to watch these two actually GO somewhere in the romance department.

For a very welcome change, the writer / director didn't lead us on through 19 of 20 episodes only to have them either part ways or for one of them to die.

Guess I can't stress enough how much I loved these two as a couple.

However, there were a few aside characters who worked their magic as well.

Baek Sung hyun
Baek Sung hyun's Pi Young kook almost stole this one.

A nerdish bespectacled intern with his mild-mannered ways and a serious crush on the stuck-up daddy's girl.

The glue that held his department together and paved the way for a lot of unresolved issues to iron themselves out on his behalf.

His relationship deserved a bit more air time and for us to see it work out at the end.

I'd like to know, anyway.

He's good and I'll be interested to see him in whatever else he's starred in.

No second lead syndrome here, either.

At one point in the show, one of the characters referred to Ji hong's rival (Yoon Gyun sang's Jung Yoon do) as 'the guy who resembles a Husky.'

At that point I began to study his face and noticed a slight resemblance, except that the actress got her breeds wrong.

Gyun sang looks more like a Malamute (to me).



And both are adorable!

He also did a better job of portraying his hard-nosed yet idealistic doctor who falls easily in love, and always with the wrong woman.

It was cute the way he behaved inside and outside the hospital, but especially at his swank pad when his uncle and his uncle's friend kept crashing there w/out notice.

And speaking of the 'other woman', she fell off after those house-crasher incidents, never to return to the set.

I always wonder why.

lol


Little boy Kim Min suk (Choi Kang soo) started out with pink hair that turned orange before yellow and then he had to shave it off for surgery.

A majority of his time was spent doing intern things, but his moment in the spotlight turned out to be one of a few tearjerker episodes.

Namgung Min
Namgung Min appeared in episodes 13-15 as the father of two sick sons and man, was that gut-wrenching and difficult to sit through.

He knocked that one out of the park, and I'm so glad because I was getting worried about him as an actor.

Cried buckets for his story.



Finally, there was Lee Sang yeob who appeared from episode 15 onward as the husband of a pregnant wife who ends up in a coma.

Lee Sang yeob
I really, really adore this guy and want to watch more of him on screen.

Something about his eyes says 'care for me, I'm lovable'  -- and I do!

His story dragged on til the very end, and it, too, brought tears to my eyes.

Great acting and a really handsome young man portraying a poor, young soul with a life-altering decision to make.

Last, we have the subs.



Now, I know I said I wouldn't say anymore about awful translation, but this and a few other shows have offered me a new reason to complain.

About the appearance of British slang.

Beyond annoying having to read Mum, ON the car, cheeky, and the unbelievable two that appeared here:




Stop it.

Just please . . . please stop it.

I'll leave you with three more yeppeun bg's for your laptop.






Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dear My Friends #review


디어 마이 프렌즈

Genre -  Melodrama, family, friendship, comedy, romance
Writer -  No Hee kyung
Network -  tvN
Episodes -  16
Released -  May - July, 2016



CAST




SYNOPSIS


Depicts the life story of those in their twilight years, who raise their voices as "It's not over. We're still alive."

REVIEW


Lot's of reasons why this is a winner, but there are also as many for its not.

If you really, honestly enjoy serious melodrama done up in Korean script writing style, this is the drama for you.

If you are already in the dumps, suffering overmuch in life, and have lost a loved one, then you might want to skip this until things look a bit brighter.

I'm in the latter category and don't know if this made me more depressed or I'm still just suffering and nothing much has or will ever change.

Stellar cast who worked magically together, and with a few surprises that surprisingly worked just as well with the leads.

I'm talking about a strange yet do-able blend of old vs. young, and these actors came together to portray a mix of interesting, if not fascinating, characters both young and old.

There was only one issue of confusion for me, and that was the woman who ran the dance hall.

Sorry, I don't have any information on her and can't recall her stage name to be of much help, but I had no idea who she was, why she was there, and how she was connected to the rest of the cast.

She was cute but annoying.

My favorite character was Jung A

Na Moon hee as Moon Jung A

I know I've watched her before, but she's done a great many film and television parts that I'm anxious to watch now.

Very realistic, relate-able, adorable, and she gives the impression of being the type of star you can approach w/out much fear or regret.

I just loved her and rooted for her and was doubly amazed at her decision to walk away.

The second thing I really enjoyed about Dear My Friends, something that both amazed and delighted me was Zo In sung.

Jo In sung

When he first arrived on the scene, I got the feeling I knew who he was but then didn't quite know who he was.

Finally, I looked him up while watching and was stunned to learn it was him.

I hadn't much cared for him and couldn't understand or see what all the fuss was about until now.

Something about his character this time around changed my mind and I felt myself being drawn to him until I was almost in love.

Now, like adorable Na Moon hee, I want to go back and watch more of his work to see if he doesn't  work  his magic again.

Bali and That Winter did nothing for me.

Next, it wasn't too much of a surprise to see Lee Kwang soo in a serious role as it was to just see him in this type of a K-do.

Lee Kwang soo

I remember laughing myself silly during his walk-on in Descendants, but I'm only really familiar with his Giraffe of Running Man so, again, I need to delve a bit deeper into his work.

Yes, I've watched City Hunter, Bachelor's Vegetable Store, Dating Agency: Cyrano, and Sensory Couple, but most were like Descendants in that he had walk-on's and not much more.

His ability to pull off the serious part in Dear My Friends worked to earn my respect for the guy since he's proven himself to be a multi-talented actor with a surprising range of emotion at his disposal.

Finally, I was seriously stunned when Daniel Henney appeared.


Daniel Henney

And only because it's been so long since I saw him in anything!

It was a minor role, but it still worked to show me how much he's improved, which is great news and I do hope to see more of him in the future.

So, to wrap this up, this is a terrific drama about older people, but certainly not in the way that you would expect or even think.

It's about old friends sticking together through the years and despite a lot of life's shit having been tossed in their way.

There's eye candy and fluff at your disposal if you're young, but this wasn't the sort of drama to dwell on looks and youth as it was about the elderly and their memories served up alongside the here and now.

If you NEED to shed some tears, this is a great way to get that done without anyone being the wiser.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Jang Young shil #review


장영실 (蔣英實)
Aka -  Jang Youngshil: The Greatest Scientist of Joseon
Genre -  Daeha drama, historical
Writer -  Lee Myung hee, Ma Chang joon
Episodes -  24
Network -  KBS1
Broadcast -  2016, Jan to Mar


CAST



PLOT


Drama series follows the life (of) Jang Yeong sil: a scientist, technician and inventor during the Joseon period. ~~DramaWiki

REVIEW


This took me by surprise in two ways: I thought it would be great because it stars Song Il kook and I thought it would be boring because it seemed as if too much time was spent on Yeong sil's childhood.

After 3 episodes, I didn't think I was interested anymore so gave up, but when I returned a few weeks later, I ended up watching this one clean through.

Enjoyable, and a lot different from your run-of-the-mill sageuk dramas.

There was humor, and a much more tame approach to the hardships endured at that time.

And this didn't involve the people so much as it involved the man the story centers around, which proved to be a welcome change.

As a lifetime fan of history, these types of dramas never really fail me, though some do still manage to be a bit less entertaining than others.

What I don't particularly care for are the inaccuracies that even I, someone who doesn't live there and never studied their history, notice without much effort.

The subs were horrible, and the person doing them also tossed in modern slang, which grates on ones nerves the same way it does to read Regency Romance and have the characters talking like it is 2016.

Song Il kook's portrayal of the slave-born astronomer turned clock maker was terrific even if he is accused of being excessive in his approach.

I've adored this man since my introduction to him in Emperor of the Sea and probably always will.

However, his decision to join the Superman series was likely a stroke of genius because until then, a lot of people probably had a different mindset about him.

He's passionate, hyper, and exceedingly determined to win, which makes him a poster child for Type A personality, which can and usually does grate on Type B nerves (like mine).

Watching him raise his triplets and hear him talk about his private life opened my eyes the way I'm sure it did for a lot of fans -- giving us an enlightened view of the man, and that is some great PR.

As for the story itself, I don't doubt that any of it is false or embellished regarding the man himself, but it still managed to raise some doubts and questions.

Questions in general include the Korean's ability to stare directly into the sun during an eclipse (which happens in a lot of sageuks) and makes me wonder how and why the directors insist on showing/promoting the behavior.

Is there no view of the Milky Way in the Korean night sky?

How is it possible for anyone to take a flogging and then either lie on their beaten back in recovery or, in this drama's case, SIT on their flogged bottom just days later?

Each time I'm shown an eclipse in a saguek, it is always a full occult, which don't occur nearly as often as these period pieces would like us to believe.

I do not doubt that the princess was interested in Young sil as a fascinating man and maybe even a love interest, but I highly doubt she was permitted to wander unescorted or work alongside men without a duenna present.

The persimmon thing seemed more like legend than fact and hit a bit too close to home where Newton is concerned.

Lastly, if Young sil had, in fact, been caught in a burning building, he would most certainly have died of asphyxiation -- which, again, brings into question the writer's and director's decision to make this historical figure seem more super-human than human.

Despite all of the above, this was still a wonderful drama about a wonderful man living in a fascinating era and I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning anything about the past.

Not sure why the rating weren't higher because it was a good watch.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Master: God of Noodles


마스터-국수의 신 / Maseuteo - Guksuui Sin

Formerly known as -  Time of the Beast
Aka -  The Master of Revenge
Based on cartoon series "Kooksooui Sin”, pub 2011 to 2013 in Joongang Newspaper
Genre -  Suspense
Writer -  Park In kwon (cartoon), Chae Seung dae
Episodes -  20
Network -  KBS2
Broadcast -  2016, Apr to Jun


CAST


Kim Jae young   Lee Sang yeob   Jung Yoo mi         Cho Jae hyun    Kong Seong yeon       Chun Jyung myun     


PLOT


Since childhood, Kim Gil do knows how to steal and imitate other people. To hide his secret life, he kills, lies, and blackmails his way into a prestigious family known for their Korean noodles restaurant.
Moo Myung makes three friends in an orphanage, and he and two others are affected by Kim Gil do's ruthless actions. The three have their own way to avenge Kim Gil do, but Moo Myung is determined to become the master of noodles. ~~yours truly

REVIEW


Anymore, when I see 20 episodes for a Korean drama, it is a dead giveaway that the extra 4 won't be necessary to the plot.

20 instead of 16 tells me that the Producer and writer(s) have caved by allowing the viewers to decide what comes next . . . or they assume that their interest must be piqued four more times.

So they drag out what could be a terrific thriller -- beating to death not just the story itself but the viewer as well.

It wasn't necessary, but I still found myself riveted to each episode and overly curious to find out what lay ahead for our intrepid avengers.

I thought this would be one in which I would/could skip every odd or even episode just to get it over and done with, but that didn't happen.

This could have wrapped up nicely at 16, leaving the writer(s) to devise a better ending and the viewer less time spent waiting for them to conclude with the obvious -- which occurred for me after episode 10.

So, instead of going into excessive detail about this one, let me tell you what was good (and bad) about God of Noodles.

THE CAST


Superb.

Everyone worked well together and gave the impression of wanting to be there, wanting to get into their parts, and liking one another off-camera.

My only gripe was Kong Seung yeon's Kim Da hae -- too bitchy, bull-headed, and annoying even if she had her reasons.

Kong Seung yeon as Kim Da hae

Hell, a majority of the characters in this story had their reasons, believe me!

She was the only one who behaved childish, rebellious, and immature throughout and, of course, the only one to receive a majority of the attention, love, and romance -- not fair.

THE PRODUCTION


A big miss.

The writer(s) and probably the Director, if not the Producer, tended to skim over what should have been dwelt upon and then over-killed the unnecessary.

Why was the wife of the wicked Master as caustic, vindictive, and shrewish as she behaved?

Sure, we know what he was like prior to his barging into their lives, and yes, it is a given that the marriage would suffer on some level, but it would have been nice to at least be given a glimpse of what that marital angst included.

Because, if Master was such a terrific quick-change artist, someone capable of worming his way into this prestigious family without batting a lash, then it stands to reason he is capable of pulling the wool over not just the old man's eyes but his wife's as well.

Were they ever happy together? How had she truly felt about this arranged marriage that culminated in 'the winner of a noodle making contest also becoming the husband of fair maiden'.

Jinjja?

THE SUB-PLOT


C'mon.

Buckwheat Noodles?

A 'god' of buckwheat noodles.

This is a product you can buy in any grocery store for less than $3, yet I'm supposed to believe that in Korea it is world-class cuisine.

SCENE STEALER'S


There were two.

Jo Hee bong as Dokku

Lee Sang yeob as Park Tae ha

Both men deserve much of the credit if this received rave reviews over there because both men anchored this story and made it worth watching for 20 episodes.

But again, there were issues even with these two -- but only because of their characters as written.

Dokku is a downtrodden hard ass who's motto is never to kill, only hurt or maim.

And, speaking of maiming, if we are to believe that Dokku intercepted Kim Gil do's hit on his former chauffeur/bodyguard, then what was the cause of his eventual limp?

Dokku came to the rescue of these grown kids a number of times, and it was always a pleasure to see him enter the picture.

Park Tae ha lived in the shadow of his drug-addicted father who ended up being executed for his involvement in a double homicide.

Tae ha knew who his father had murdered, befriended their daughter in the orphanage, and when she ends up on the wrong side of the law, Tae ha takes the fall as a way of exonerating the past -- even if it never worked out that way.

He was puppy-dog cute, mild-mannered to a fault, and just as determined to be there for his three orphanage buddies, which cost him dearly in the end.



If you are able to suspend belief when watching something besides romantic fluff, then this will be right up your alley.

If you are like me and expect a lot more credibility in a power-driven suspense story that surrounds things like murder, plotting to murder, psychotic personalities, politics, and food then you will be disappointed.

LOOK-ALIKES

























SPELL CHECK


It is defenSe, people.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

38 Task Force



Aka -  38 Revenue Collection Unit / Squad 38
Genre -  Crime, comedy
Writer -  Han Jung hoon
Network -  OCN
Episodes -  16
Released -  June  - August,  2016



CAST



PLOT


As a reference to Article 38 which pertains to tax payments, this special police unit utilizes the criminals' own tactics of scams and deceit to catch rich tax cheats. ~Wiki.d-addicts
The task force chief of Seoul City Hall and a con man work together to collect taxes from those who avoid paying large amounts. ~AsianWiki

REVIEW

Two words: Thrill ride.

What an exciting 16 this turned out to be!

This was another stumbled-upon for me, and again, so glad it worked out that way because Squad 38 was interesting, action-packed, and filled with enough riveting plot to keep me wanting more.

The writer took a mundane plot device (taxes) and used real-life situations taken from the news to mold this drama into what it became: amazing.

Why the 1/2 star deduction, then?

The ending, and a few WTF instances that made me groan.

The ending, while funny and as dramatic as the rest of the show, fell flat with me and mainly because I hadn't wanted to see one of our heroes land behind bars (again).

This is about taxation, misrepresentation, corruption at all levels, and just a few of the many wealthy people who go out of their way to avoid paying what they owe.

Not surprisingly, I kept thinking about Donald Trump as I watched -- which might deserve a LOL but I can't bring myself to do it.

He's not funny and I'd rather NOT think about him.

The extended cast did as great a job of reeling me in as the leads, and the two worked together like magic.



Ma Dong suk has an effortless way of tugging at ones heart strings even when he isn't trying.

The quintessential huggy-bear with a sad sack exterior and all-the-feels inside that blend so well for some guys ... guys with heart and soul, that is.

He made me cry about as often as I expected him to burst into frustrated tears.

Then there is Seo In guk, the guy with appeal and an ease of movement that if you're not careful and blink, you may miss something.

In guk possesses that rare and unique ability to transform himself on-screen so that what you are watching isn't Seo In guk the hot actor, but Yang Jung do, the con artist.

These two team up to go after the biggest tax evaders in the district, and while one of the Info sites said it was Seoul, the translator kept using Seowon or Seuon to name the fictitious city -- unless the translator is wrong and it was actually Seoul.

A majority of the dialect used told me this took place somewhere to the south of that big city, but I could be wrong, too.

The con artist has connections to help make a few of their schemes work to their advantage, but it was as refreshing as it was frustrating to see a few of those schemes blow up or not pan out as expected, making for a more realistic story.

With wealthy people comes corruption, greed, and a holier-than-thou mentality that would turn off most anyone, especially me, but the writer weaved as much believable magic into this drama as there was unrealistic nonsense.

And, again, not being familiar with the workings of public office over there, it is difficult to know what is real and what is made up in these types of stories.

Reality would mean the suggestion that a 'mayor' is capable of or possesses the authority to disband the Tax Collection department at City Hall is laughable.

That the media outlets hadn't sniffed out at least half these news-worthy stories a long time ago seems doubtful since most tax evaders end up going down due to a sly news reporters careful and thorough digging up of dirt on said evader.

I've never been tossed in the pokey before, but I'm pretty sure the first thing a cop does prior to bringing any suspect into lock-up is to dispossess that person of all their possessions -- to include jewelry, wallet, and cell phone.

Baek Sung il wore nerd glasses in the first few episodes, and then suddenly they were gone and he never put them back on.

He also drove around in his wife's Pig Trotter's mini van but then usually walked home.

Soo young's Chun Sung hee had a major part in the first half of the 16 episodes, and then she just fell off, appearing only briefly to answer her cell phone or watch her chief, Sung il, get chewed out by an upper inside the tax office.

Not sure if this was the uploaders fault or an OCN decision to annoy, but in every single episode there were at least three overlap instances, making for a drawn-out and repetitive watch that started to irritate after episode four.

Lastly, I think I would have enjoyed this one even more if each episode had shown this team going after a new disreputable character for tax evasion, and I do hope in the sequel that the writer does this instead.

Still, despite those issues, this was a fun watch and I have no doubt it will be something I fall back on whenever there is a lull in the drama viewing world I live in from time to time.

Best Actor


Jo Woo jin's Ahn Tae wook

Dude stole this one and scared the crap out of me more often than the real bad guys!

Pretty Woman


Lee Sun bin as Jo Mi joo

I know there were three leading ladies vying for this coveted spot back home, but for me it is a no-brainer.

Sometimes I had to wonder if the male's on the set had a hard time keeping their eyes in their head or on their own business whenever she was around.

Super beautiful woman and a great supporting actress.

Favorite Scene


Didn't remember to capture a screen shot, but it was when Baek Sung il brings home some apples for his omanee and sets them down while she's sleeping on the floor.

Memorable, heartwarming, believable, and a tear-jerker moment.

The soundtrack was nothing great and one of the two tunes that repeated throughout became a bit monotonous, but it wasn't distracting or horrible.

Thumbs up!


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Beautiful Gong Shim


미녀 공심이 , Minyeo Gongsimi

Aka -  Pretty Ugly, Beast's Beauty, Dear Fair Lady Kong Shim
Genre -  Romance, Comedy
Cinderella -  Oh, yeah
Writer - Lee Hee myung
Channel -  SBS
Episodes -  20
Released -  2016, May to July


CAST


Namgung Min                              Minah                                On Joo wan                           Seo Hyo rim

PLOT


Love story of a mouse and two overly eligible men. The older sister has everything including a beautiful appearance, and the younger mouse has a warm heart. One of the men rents her rooftop apartment. The other man is from Chaebol. ~AsianWiki.com (w/edits)

REVIEW


Because this is about as feel good as it gets, I offered a half-star.

To an Asian Drama newcomer, this would be the stuff of got-me-hooked legend, but for a sixteen-year vet like me, it has the opposite effect.

And, twenty episodes seriously pushed the is-it-necessary boundaries to an annoyance level that ruined it for me.

No one in the writing/editing/producing departments bothered to spare an ounce of discretion here.

Every Trope you can think of is used in this drama.

ALL of them.

Intrigue to include a kidnapping that we figured out a lot quicker than 20 episodes.

A Cinderella plot with that edgy, she's pathetic but still able to make it on her own formulaic twist most writers have figured out and latched onto within the past few years.

The lovely older sister with an ugly personality.

A former beauty queen eomeoni married to a troll because he used to be wealthy, but then bankruptcy threw him a curve ball, so now she hates his guts and treats him like dirt.

A suspect chaebol family, complete with the stuck-up wife of a clueless husband, their martyred Prince Charming son, and a bitchy halmeoni whose only care is her kidnapped grandson.

Another Prince Charming, the one who is more deserving because he's the oldest.

And last but not least, we have three ... count them ... THREE hit n runs.





Brain tumor.

Memory Loss.

Alcohol-induced confessions.

Secrets meant to spare but that only make matters worse.

Tons more.

And on top of all this madness, we are forced to endure the Product Placement inclusion and outright intrusive plugging of at least two consumer goods.

Subway plug

Gotta wonder if Subway sales went through the roof as a result.

I'm not stupid and understand that advertising is a huge part of a studio's revenue.

I get that the constant and sometimes even unlikely product placement throughout a show is what helps pay the bills (if not the actor's salary).

However, this is a first for me ...

Nivea plug

... and just about the most embarrassing thing I've ever seen.

But let's stick to the story.

A mouse lives in abject isolation with a Queen Mother, Princess Sister, and the Dolt Male, so she occupies the rooftop apartment above their house, which is above a 7/11 turned 25-Mart.

She's artistic and brooding, ugly but sweet, and itching to set off on her own by saving up money to go to Italy and study art (even though she's pretty good self-taught but hardly what you would call a Michelangelo or Botticelli).

She's dumb, too.

Her poor parents made it impossible for Gong shim to attend college even though her older sister did and went on to pass the Bar to become an attorney.

Along comes a slob named Ahn Dan tae who is interested in renting the Rooftop because it's so cheap.



He and Gong shim don't hit it off and the episodes start with them as unwanted lessor/lessee who forever bump into one another until their feelings begin to mellow and change.




In between this, we have Prince Charming, who just happens to be the grandson of a prestigious chaebol Industry, where Gong shim lands her latest job as secretary to his father.

No one likes her because she's ugly, and the model-like employees gang up on her at regular intervals to act like middle school idiots.

Ahn Dan tae also happens to get a job there as the secretary to the Chief CEO, halmeoni.

He's already an attorney with his own practice, but because he keeps helping the homeless, desolate, and underachievers of the world, he's pretty much broke and doesn't live the upscale lifestyle his career could afford him.

Now, I'll admit that Namgung min did an impressive job of convincing me that he can pull off a comedy and a romance.

Especially since this is his first male lead role.

And while I found myself laughing most of the time, there remained that underlying suspicion about him as a person, or as a believable actor portraying someone else.

Always at some point I expected this guy to pick up a chainsaw and . . .

Namgung min as Ahn Dan tae

Not sure about anyone else, but I kept seeing his Kwon Jae hee (The Girl who Sees Smells) crop up to creep me out and make me wary.

Love the man's manly voice, though, and he's got a terrific bod even if he is on the short
side.

Still, he makes me nervous so I'll have to dig into his profile and watch his earlier work to see if there is something I can use to counter his current negative, disturbing, and psychopath-ish vibe.

I thought these two did really well as a team and a convincing couple, but as for chemistry, no.




She was too sheepish, childish, frumpy, and unlikeable for me to gain anything by her becoming romantically involved with anyone let alone two potential stud muffins of the wealthy Prince variety.

What was more weird, though, was how different she looked in that stupid wig.

The wig reminded me of the porcelain dolls produced in a by-gone era.

Without the wig, Minah is rather stunning in a young, mod kind of way.




She's also kind of top-heavy, too, eh?

And while I can't say the chemistry was there or that Gong shim needed or deserved a romance, it did serve its purpose for this kind of tale.

Personally, if she had hooked up with the dude working at the 7-11 turned Mart-25, it would have been credible and more worth the watch.

So, that brings me to 2nd Lead Syndrome, which didn't occur for me, either.

Nice guy with the cute smile was okay.


On Joo Wan

Love his Ju on name, btw ;-)

His acting is on par with a lot of other 2nd Lead males, so there's that, and he's nice and tall, too.

Unfortunately for cool-name guy, I thought that Shin Soo ho beat him to the punch in every scene he appeared in.


Ahn Dan tae wins

The connection here is that the writer for Beautiful Gong shim is also the writer for Sensory Couple.

Same quirky attitude, and with a few of the same cast, but if you're going to compare the two, this one is a total miss.

The Soundtrack is unmemorable and not invasive, either.

The Hospital Scene Korean Drama Style


Gong shim ends up needing an appendectomy, and following the surgery, she's able to do a host of things anyone else in the same situation wouldn't want or be able to do unless they enjoy pain and suffering.


lies on stomach where sutures are supposedly at

lies on side where sutures are supposedly at

She also sits up as soon as Dan tae enters the room (hiss), is dressed in elastic-waist pants (ouch), and slips out of bed to don a pair of Crocs (ugh).

She sits up in bed with her legs crossed (I'm dying here), and leans forward a few times (Dang! Am I making my stomach hurt).

She's also able to walk at a normal pace and without the need of a wall or railing or a body to cling to while fighting against the agony that is freaking post-op pain!

Which occurs a lot in Korean Drama hospital scenes.

I guess because it is listed as 'minor' surgery, that means it is so minor that the invasion of ones body by incision and resulting flesh probing that is stitches aren't supposed to affect the human body in any way.

And of course, she's there for a few days after being rushed to the hospital via ambulance, but her parents and sister never phone to find out why she's not coming home nor visit once they learn what happened.

Finally, we have the nurse who mosey's on in at random holding her clip board to touch the IV and then ask Gong shim if she's farted yet.

See, until you fart in an Asian drama, you're not allowed to leave the hospital.

Over here, it's taking a dump, and then expressed/written permission from your attending.

Over there, the surgeon never shows up to check on their patient's progress.

Never.

I heard you Fart, Gong shim

wid -- it's gotta mean something, I just don't know what

Dearest Fair Lady