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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Areugon (Korean Drama) #review


Drama -  Argon
Romanization -  Areugon
Writers -  Jeon Young shin, Joo Won kyu, Shin Ha eun
Network -  tvN
Genre -  Drama, Broadcast News
Episodes -  8
Released -  2017, Sept


Kim Baek jin (Kim Ju hyeok) is a News Anchor, reporter and leader of investigative reporting team Argon. He does not tolerate mistakes and relies only on facts.
6 months before her contract is to end, Lee Yeon hwa (Chun Woo hee) is assigned to work at Argon. She struggles to get a permanent job there as a reporter. Working with Kim Baek jin, she receives strict training and grows as a reporter. ~~AsianWiki (w/edits)

**With all due respect to the late actor, Kim Ju hyeuk, I had no idea he was dead until after I watched this mini-drama and began my research for this review.

If this is supposed to depict the 'day-in-the-life' aspects of a Broadcast News reporter, I am not impressed.

If this is supposed to somehow make me think differently about how News Anchors, Broadcast stations, and the people involved at the top are somehow making things worse for the honest Beat Reporter, it didn't work.

Also, why only 8 episodes and not 10?

It is painfully obvious to the seasoned viewer that the show began with promise, included a ton of background info and build-up to a more intense plot, and then bad news struck the set, so everyone just gave up and ran with it as best they could.

Chun Woo hee stole the show.

Believable start to finish, a natural on-screen and in character, and someone you just want to root for regardless of the script she's been handed.

She's a beautiful woman with loads of talent and should be making a ton more appearances on screen than she seems interested in accepting.

I'd love to see her in more dramas, film, and perhaps a Romantic Comedy, if that is her thing.

Anyway, the gist of Areugon is that young Lee Yeon hwa has struggled to break into the reporting business for a while and has worked at HBC for a few years when she is suddenly reassigned to the Argon team.

As far as the leader of this team is concerned, it just means Miss Lee has been demoted for the last time and has no talent so he isn't interested in wasting his time on her.

Kim Ju hyeok has a delicious voice, so it was a pleasure to get to listen to him speak, even when he was shouting at someone or about something, which he did a lot in this short.

I'm not sure if Kim Baek jin's personal background story was the original plot's intent or if the director decided to go with that once the ratings starting coming in as too low to go, but it was millisecond touched upon at the start and then dropped like a hot potato for a majority of the mere 8 episodes before returning with a vengeance at the very end.

Meanwhile, pretty and intimidated Yeon hwa continues to plod her way along by listening closely to everything going on around her (while no one seems interested in anything she has to say) and just as slowly begins to use her wits and guts to piece together a puzzling issue of corporate greed, betrayal, and even false imprisonment.

These seem to be standard plot devises anymore in a Korean action/thriller piece.

It is always the same story told in a slightly different tone or atmosphere, but the outcome is always the same.

With Argon, it just went really fast and ended too soon to be a really enjoyable show for me.

It is also always disappointing to be tossed a Red Herring in the Romance department.

Dumb me had high hopes that Miss Lee and Kim timjang nim would get together at some point but no, it didn't happen and wasn't going to happen even if Timjang nim Kim said she was pretty and gave her lots of encouragement, opportunities, and special favoritism over the rest of his crew.

Dang it. 😒

I won't say this was awful or not worth watching because it isn't true.

I will, however, say that it was a big disappointment and, as always, I'm confused as to why this didn't do better in the ratings over there... so as to give it a bit more of a chance to take off and fly like it could have done.

As always, I'll let you be the judge.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Strongest Deliveryman #review Korean Drama

Literal Title -  Strongest Deliveryman 
Romanization -  Choigang Baedalkkun
Hangul -  최강 배달꾼
Genre -  Romance, Family, Food
Writer -  Lee Jung woo
Network -  KBS2
Episodes -  16
Released -  Aug to Sept, 2017


Story depicts love and success of a deliveryman who eventually becomes the CEO of a delivery app company.

For a reason that escapes me, this did not do well in the ratings on the home front, nor with fans of Korean drama.

I read a few reviews that said they didn't like it and gave up after the first few episodes, and then I read a few more that said they had given up but then came back and were glad that they had.

I watched it clean through and enjoyed every episode.

And while there was a throw-back vibe to this one: gangpae references, old-world streets hidden somewhere in Seoul, and an overriding theme of poverty vs. wealth, ALL of which screamed 1990s (to me), this was still entertaining and worth the watch.

Maybe because they stopped making these types of story line dramas it suddenly had appeal?

Kind of a 'good ol' days' watch that sparked a bit of nostalgia while also keeping up with the times for the most part.

It's the story of a young man who roams throughout the perimeter of Seoul as a delivery driver, making friends, helping people, and staying to himself while also getting involved in the business of others if they are in trouble.

His underlying goal, which a rare few are privy to know, is to find his runaway mother, so he never stays in one place for too long and continues to find work driving a moped delivering food.

Until one day he arrives on a street filled with restaurants and hires in at Lucky's, which is famous for its jjajangmyeon.

Black Bean Noodles

Inside, he meets the owner, a hardened former gangpae boss, a sexy but snooty receptionist, and a pretty young woman with balls who proceeds to kick his ass at every turn.

Gang soo is impressed with the way Dong soo makes his noodles (again, the old fashioned way... by hand and with a lot of pounding noise) so begs the man to let him deliver, and after a bitchy beat-down from Dan ae, he's hired and the two are now responsible for deliveries and cleaning.

Dan ae is a miserable young woman with a chip on her shoulder because of debts, her parents favoring their son, and the loss of her chance to attend college in America.

She hates Joseon Hell (as the interpreter/subber kept putting it) and for a majority of the 16 episodes, she's still just as anxious to go to America, where she seems to think life is oh, so much better and oh, so much easier and oh, so much more profitable... even for a foreigner with little in the way of references or collateral.


Meanwhile, Gang soo is making more friends, helping more people, and still searching for his eomeoni while also getting slightly closer to the hardened Dan ae.

False imprisonment, bribery, blackmail, and ham fisting commence (which is why it gave off a throw-back vibe and maybe why I liked this one) with Gang soo taking the brunt of most evil while the wealthy continue to walk over him and his friends on their way to the top.

IN the Romance Novel world, we call this formulaic writing, in which a contracted author is expected to churn out X number of novels per year using the Publisher's fill-in-the-blanks method of writing each novel.

So, the story tends to begin with the H/h at odds, followed by some rapid-fire dialogue, insta-love, sex within the first 48, and in-between, either a suspense (he's former SEAL and she's running from the mob), or land grabbing (he owns something she wants or she owns something he wants), which causes the needed rift to occur, and then between all of the yelling and sex, a compromise occurs, thus establishing the expected HEA.

With Korean dramas, it's about the same only the Producers insist on things like Rise/Fall at least every other episode.

Sweet/Sour in a relationship in which the H/h are sour for about 10 of 16 episodes before the light bulb moment occurs and then it is Sweet for the duration, although most Producers will insist on at least two more Rise/Fall instances to occur before anyone gets to kiss.

And, speaking of Kissing, Strongest Deliveryman surprised me in that once the relationship was established, these two made out on a regular basis, and even in front of others a few times!


As for the myriad aside characters and at least three sub-plots, there isn't much to report because if you are a hard-core fan like me, you know the drill.

Boy meets Girl, Girl hates Boy, Girl Two arrives on scene and falls for Boy, Boy snubs Girl Two but ends up in a few compromising positions to lead Girl One to think Boy is a playa.

Boy fights for Girl One's affections while also struggling to nicely let down Girl Two.

Boy Two arrives on the scene and starts out interest in Girl One, causing Boy One to get jealous, Girl One snubs Boy Two, thus nudging him in the direction of Girl Two.

Girl Two clings to her one-sided love while Boy Two slowly grows fond of Girl Two, and then near the end of the 16th episode, Boy is with Girl and Boy Two is with Girl Two.

Blah, blah, blah.

There were funny moments, tearful moments, rooting-for-them moments, far-fetched moments, WTF moments, and Aw, shucks moments.

A well-rounded amount of a little bit of everything to whet your KDo palate, I think.

To be fair and honest, this wasn't the greatest KDo I've ever seen, and it isn't likely it even deserves the 4 star rating I gave it, but for the old-timey factor alone, but also the root-for-em story line, I have to say a lot of you need to go back and give this one another chance.

I'll never understand Korean politics, business acumen, or the way things work over there as far as what is actually legal, realistic, and businesslike, but I did detect quite a few WTF moments even with my general lack of overall knowledge about such things.

Still, it just wasn't enough to dissuade me from watching clean through, enjoying what I saw, and rooting for the underdog start to finish.

I wanted to see them succeed, I wanted to witness the HEA, and I liked both leads enough to want to see them get through it all to arrive at their much-deserved (according to la-la land standards) reaped rewards.

Strongest Deliveryman

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sado (사도, The Throne) #review

English Title -  The Throne
Romanization -  Sado
Writers -   Jo Chul hyun, Oh Seung hyun, Lee Song won
Genre -  Period Piece (Historical based on real events)
Released -  September 16, 2015



King Yeongjo (Song Kang ho) aspires to become a perfect king due to his tarnished background. His mother is from a lower class and a rumor exists that he killed his older brother to become the king. King Yeongjo then has a son at a late age. He appoints the little prince as the Crown Prince (Yoo Ah in). King Yeongjo has high expectations for the Crown Prince, but the Crown Prince cares more for martial arts and paintings rather than focusing on his studies. Meanwhile, the Crown Prince longs for a benevolent father rather than a strict King. The relationship between the King and Crown Prince becomes shattered. ~AsianWiki


Let me start by saying this received quite a few awards, and with good reason.

Then, I'd like to share a bit of back-story prior to an honest review of the movie.

I found, on YouTube, a Korean variety show series titled Battle Trip and only watched the first episode, thinking it was okay but not inspiring.

Until about mid-way through the show, when the History Professor and (some handsome Korean actor?) walked along a thin riverbank in downtown Seoul, which is like a culvert of sorts with boulder walls, stone walkways, and even places to sit.

As the history professor started talking about that particular part of Seoul, I became amazed by its history and the sheer fact that so many modern Koreans walk up and down this culvert without even realizing the amount of fascinating history involved in that one, simple stone bridge.

There is a lovely, engraved sarcophagus (of sorts) hanging upside down and with most of its inscription missing, underneath that lovely bridge, but as the History Professor told the tale of a forgotten time in Korea's past, I was blown away.

THEN they mentioned a 2015 movie in which my boy, So Ji sub, made a non-paid-for appearance, I just had to watch and so did an immediate search for a movie titled Sado.


Sadly, the subs were below par and made it a bit difficult to follow, but luckily I was wise enough to research the history of the story prior to watching, so I felt slightly confident about what I was trying to read and follow.

Also, I was extra anxious to see So appear on screen, which probably made things a bit more angst-y for me, but not enough to distract me from what ended up being an enjoyable, rewarding, and I'll admit without embarrassment, tearful watch!

That ending...

But, before I get too far ahead of myself, let me just say that this wasn't the BEST historical depiction of Korea's past that I've seen, but it was, by far, the most action-packed as far as true 'drama' goes.

Also, I had to wonder if the story wasn't a 'rendition' of the true history, or if the writer's chose to stick as closely to the facts as was possible.

Either way, it still was worth the watch.

To some, it might be a bit confusing the way the director chose to jump about with the time-line of events, but again, having researched the story prior to watching helped in that regard.

It was also a bit difficult to side with the doomed prince one minute, only to be completely sucked into his cause the next, so kudos to the director for keeping me guessing.

I was also sorry to learn that, while this was a total success in Korea and elsewhere in Asia, it didn't get very far in any Western-type award shows, more's the pity.

Now, back to So Ji sub's unpaid appearance near the end.

So Ji sub

Jeez, was that a tough one to sit through and not just break down crying like a wronged 5-year old!

Stellar cast, no one was necessarily over-the-top or attempted to outshine someone else, which is always appreciated.

It was also great to see Moon Geun young in a serious, era role and, no surprise, she did a wonderful job of convincing me she belonged there and knew her place in history.

Moon Geun young in Sado

She played Prince Sado's wife and King Jeongjo's mother.

Also, it was just as refreshing to see baby-faced Yoo Ah in work to portray the doomed Prince and do it in a way that seemed to break all conventional barriers as far as his being type-cast go.

As mentioned, this was a stellar cast of performers all working seamlessly to create a memorable movie that I highly recommend you watch if you haven't already.

If the ending doesn't move you to tears, I will have to question your human side!

Do it first, and then listen to this exceptional orchestra piece that weaved its way through most of the story...

...see if you don't shed at least one tear before the movement ends.

Such a moving ending to a sad, sad story!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sweet Stranger and Me (The Man Living in Our House) #review

Woorijibe Saneun Namja / ìš°ë¦¬ì§‘에 사는 남자
Released -  Oct - Dec, 2016
Episodes -  16
Network - KBS2
Writer -  Kim Eun jung, Yoo Hyun sook (webtune),
Genre -  Family, Comedy, Romance
Original -  Based on 2015 webtoon (same name)



Hong Na ri, a flight attendant, returns to her hometown to visit her mother's grave. There, she sees a young man. Go Nan gil introduces himself as her father. He now lives in Na ri's house and runs her mother's small dumpling restaurant.


This did NOT start out great and I was tempted to drop it after the first two episodes.

Jo Bo ah's Do Yeo joo and Kim Ji hoon's Jo Dong jin made me angry and had me thinking this would be another melodrama about infidelity and how simple it is for vacuous bitches to steal someone's lacking-character man.

It was also really eerie to keep seeing little Lee Eun sul all grown up as Soo Ae!

Lee Eun sul                                                                                    Soo Ae                               

Also, the annoying recaps seemed to go on and on and on . . . at the start of almost every episode, and then in the middle when one of the characters 'remembers' something...

Annoying and pointless.

Imagine trying to read a novel written this way (and yes, I've read a few, actually) where the author rewrites a scene you've just read, or that you've read a few chapters back again and again until you want to throw the book at a wall or stop reading the story or delete it from your Kindle.

The director also chose to chop up the story, which makes no sense and throws off the viewer who is trying to understand what is going on.

Wouldn't it be better to give the viewer a REASON for jumping around instead of just skipping 2 or 4 incidentals and then going back to cover them 3/4 of the way through an episode?

A lot of why are we here when we were there just a minute ago? type directing that I'm not fond of and will never grow to like or understand.

THEN they threw the creepy stepfather/daughter thing into the mix and I was like no, just... no.

And, AGAIN, this is another KDo that stars super-sexy, sexy, syrupy-voiced Lee Soo hyuk NOT as the leading man but as another second.

Another second who didn't manage to give me a moment of 2nd Lead Syndrome.

Lee Soo hyuk as Kwon Duk bong


The reason I rated this as high as I did is for one reason only.

Despite all of these issues, as the story of a jilted lover who returns home to find peace and answers but instead discovers her ultimate fate, the plot became more interesting.

I stopped constantly comparing Soo Ae to little Eun sul, and the infrequent clashes between Soo Ae's Hong Na ri and her unfaithful Jo Dong jin weren't as in-your-face as I had anticipated.

The stepfather/daughter thing, though? That took some time to get over and try to ignore.

It became interesting to watch Na ri and Go Nan gil get to know one another better and slowly become drawn to one another.

I especially liked how the writer handled the infidelity issue.

Little Miss Special wasn't rewarded for her bad behavior, and Mr. Thinks-He's-Hot-Stuff ended up in a pile of remorse and regret instead of being able to strut his stuff in the hurtful aftermath.

But, that wasn't the gist of this story and it ended up being dropped entirely after only a few episodes in.

What really mattered was the little Dumpling Shop currently being run by Nan gil, a boy who grew up in an orphanage who befriended Na ri's mother and was always secretly in love with Na ri.

This is the second KDo I've watched where single men are permitted (somehow) to 'adopt' children, which is highly disturbing for an American to try and grapple.

This guy adopts tons of young boys and raises them to be gangpae for his debt collection company fronting as a lender while dipping into all kinds of illegal activities.

After Nan gil ends up behind bars, he's a changed man upon release and runs back to his 'mom', Na ri's mother, to help at the Dumpling Shack.

I can't really say anymore without giving away too much, but there is a ton of intrigue, plot development, and a very slow but strangely fulfilling romance between Nan gil and Na ri.

And like most every KDo I've ever watched, there are a ton of aside characters with their own stories and problems, and extended family members who aren't all worth bragging about and who manage to ruin things for their children.

Let's just call it 'typical' and leave it at that.

The romance was believable, but Na ri tended to behave manipulative and a little too bossy for someone her age, which was a minor let-down.

However, she did manage to possess just enough redeeming quality in her character to make me want to root for her and Nan gil.

Nan gil's badass performances were sexy, thrilling, and poetically sad, which helped to draw me to him and make me want to see him end up happy.

Lee Soo hyuk did a marvelous job portraying a high-fashion attorney against his family's fortune and bad habits who starts out wanting one thing from Na ri and then another before ending up in an altogether different place at the end.

The ending was about 30 minutes worth of recap and pregnant pauses but still managed to work itself out -- as did all of the minor characters and their issues.

I watched this in two days, which says something about the dynamic content of the story, so I think you'll find it just as interesting if you give it a chance to prove itself.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Goblin: The Lonely and Great God #review

쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비

Writer  -  Kim Eun sook
Network -   tvN
Episodes -   16
Released -   Dec, 2016 - Jan, 2017
Genre -  Fantasy, Romance, Drama



Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an immortal goblin and protector of souls. He lives with an amnesiac grim reaper (Lee Dong wook) who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Together, they see the dead off into the afterlife. One day Kim Shin meets a girl, Ji Eun tak (Kim Go eun), who has the ability to see ghosts. She is destined to be Kim Shin's bride and return him to ashes.


I liked it and didn't, it was good and it wasn't.

The story itself was marvelous.

The acting by all was superb, but I could have done without the unnecessary rehash at the beginning of just about every episode, and the usual drawn-out until it becomes stale romance that takes its agonizingly sweet time getting to the point.

The bromance was cool.

Lee Dong wook and Gong Yoo

I especially enjoyed every scene at the old mansion, when these two would argue telepathically, or when they were together with Yook Sung jae's Yoo Duk hwa.

Also enjoyed the sexiness of their dark-side tandem walks, but they were too few and too early on in the show to be thoroughly enjoyed.

As a matter of fact, the writer seemed to point it out by making fun of it a little more than 3/4 into the 16 episodes.

The romance was a bit awkward.

Kim Go eun and Gong Yoo

I really like her and think she's very pretty and a good actress.

In fact, she stole the show, especially as her younger self.

Very natural, cute/funny, and an interesting young woman start to finish.

Polished, mature, unafraid of the unknown, and determined.

Still, it was painfully obvious how much younger she is than Gong Yoo and that made it a little difficult to root for them, but not entirely.

It was entirely too clean, childish, and boring (asking a 900 year old Warrior to behave like a modern-day 19 yr old Korean (= immature girly-man) is asking a bit much).

The Second Romance was much more interesting.

Lee Dong wook and Yoo In na

Talk about a handsome couple!

These two were made for each other, on and off screen.

Get married, make babies, and thrill us on The Return of Superman, please!

The pacing needed work.

So much went into the first few episodes; enough to draw me in and keep me interested, but then it just lost steam and rehashed -- sometimes all of the previous episodes, taking up about 20 to 30 minutes of a single episode -- to make the thrill of the chase die out.

No surprises, either.

It was too predictable, and I knew who the Grim Reaper was after only a few episodes.

The writer kept harping on the fact that he had no name and no memories, which only leads the viewer to just one conclusion.

Crime and Punishment

It's always interesting to hear various viewpoints about death and the afterlife.

What I learned after watching Goblin is that Koreans seem to believe in a hell, but that only the severely abusive souls go there and with no chance for reincarnation.

One of the ghosts who followed Ji Eun tak around never had her back story told, leaving me to wonder why she was dead since all of her friends had their stories told before being sent to the other side.

I am still confused as to why it was Kim Shin's character was being 'punished' when he had suffered enough in his own lifetime to last the purported 3 to come -- even if he technically lived just one before dying -- and having never received his other 3 since he became immortal.

Becoming immortal after all that suffering makes sense, but not his having to wander aimlessly for 900 years in search of his Bride to remove the invisible sword so that he can finally rest in peace.

And, the real culprit behind the pain, suffering, loss, and eventual 'punishment' of those involved ended up becoming an immortal of sorts as well, which makes even less sense.

I understand it was meant as a tie-in to the other ghosts wandering earth because their deaths were murder or some unsolved crime, but his crimes weren't unsolved yet went unpunished for 900 years.

I don't get that.

It implies that God picks and chooses His hell victims (and everyone else goes to Heaven, apparently) which I don't buy at all.

The Hat

Lee Dong wook as the Grim Reaper

LOVED the hat!

A little on the cappello romano side, but still cool.

The Soundtrack

I didn't mind it and liked two in particular, but it wasn't spectacular yet did fit nicely with the theme of the story.

Bottom Line

Overall, I'd recommend this as a good-time watch but with a few reservations about things like consistency, a plot that lost its way, and too much build-up with zero reasoning or results.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Shopping King, Louie #review

Shopingwang Looi / ì‡¼í•‘왕 루이

Writer -  Oh Ji young
Network -  MBC
Episodes -  16
Released -  2016, Sept - Nov
Genre -  Romantic Comedy/Fairy Tale



A romance takes place between Kang Ji sung (aka Louie) and Ko Bok sil. Louie is from a rich family, but he has lost his memory. Ko Bok sil is a woman with a heart like an angel. Louie learns about true love after meeting Ko Bok sil.


Squeaky clean childishness done in a fairy tale style with zero reality involved and even less in the way of true romance.

Louie is from Department Store wealth and at present resides in a French Château with a butler and maids.

His parents died, giving his grandmother the impression she is to blame, so the old woman does everything she can to keep her grandson far from her to avoid more tragedy.

One day Louie decides to return to Korea, and at the airport, a family member gives him the slip, letting Louie drive by himself.

Meanwhile, Bok sil, who lives up in the mountains, has lost her grandmother and younger brother.

She later finds a rare ginseng root and travels down to Seoul in the hopes of selling it for a lot of money while also attempting to search for her little brother.

She's down on her luck before meeting Cha Joong won, whom she finagles into purchasing the rare ginseng root.

Then she sees a bum asleep on a stairway and assumes it is her dongsaeng but discovers it is a stranger with amnesia instead.

Seo In guk / Nam Ji hyun

Louie can't remember anything: who he is, where he is, or where he's from.

He clings to Bok sil and insists she can trust him if she will promise not to abandon him until he's recovered his memory.

What follows is a slow-paced getting to know you and constant run-ins with the other characters.

Cha Joong won is intrigued by Bok sil but takes his time having the ginseng root appraised so he can pay her what he owes.

He's a department head at Louie's family store and runs a tight ship while also coming off as a hard-headed taskmaster and being fastidious in work and appearance.

Bok sil finds a cheap apartment to rent and takes in Louie, who behaves more like a seven-year-old boy than a grown man.

Shopping King, Louie

While he is amnesic and demanding, helpless and pushy, he also favors his former lifestyle of luxury, instant gratification, and being catered to 24/7.

Bok sil being the exact opposite finds it somewhat difficult to put up with his childish habits while also growing more fond of him as a lost but devoted puppy type guy.

Seo In guk / Nam Ji hyun

Intrigue ensues as the story closes in on the culprit behind the plot to have Louie disappear.

The love triangle thing between Louie, Bok sil, and Joong won, AND Louie, Baek Ma ri, and Joong won.

Louie's memories slowly returning.

And Bok sil's missing Dongsaeng.

This came with a decent soundtrack that neither overpowered any one scene nor forced us to have to listen to a done-to-death single.

I thought that Yoon Sang hyun did a marvelous job portraying the uppity Department Head with outlandish style and a penchant for clearing his throat in as haughty a range as he can muster.

He was convincing enough to make me want 2nd Lead to win the girl, which says a lot about his acting in this drama.

Seo In guk also did a terrific job portraying the spoiled rich kid with mommy issues, but it was also why I didn't much care for his Louie character.

Too immature for my taste and zero sex appeal to make this a true romance -- since I'm not partial to pedophilia anything -- and this bordered along the lines of older sister with a little boy.

It wasn't the greatest Drama of 2016, but it wasn't a let-down, either.

I'd recommend this to anyone with time to spare and who isn't interested in gaining much more from the watch other than some feels.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Heart to Heart #review

하트 투 하트

Genre -  Romance, Comedy, Psychology
Writer -  Lee Jung-A
Network -  tvN
Episodes -  16
Released -  2015, Jan - Feb



Cha Hong do suffers from social phobia and has a problem with severe blushing. She does have has a strong sense of curiosity and learns from books and the internet. One day, her grandmother, her only contact in the outside world, dies. Cha Hong do then begins doing housework as a maid, but disguises herself as an elderly woman. Through an incident, she meets a psychiatrist, Ko Yi seok.  ~AsianWiki (w/edits)


Yes, it deserves the 5-star rating.

No, it didn't start out that way.

Yes, this is as Cinderella as it gets, but the last few episodes made up for it.

In spades.

The trouble was in taking so very, VERY long to reach the whole point of the story, which was to discover why Hong do had to suffer, had a social phobia, and blushed in excess under stress.

She's lost her only social contact and lives like a hermit in a run-down apartment filled with books that she reads to learn since she dropped out of school early due to her anti-social behavior.

She needs income to survive, though, so decides on becoming a maid by disguising herself as an elderly woman.

It isn't a maid the wealthy old man needs, though. He already has one who cooks and cleans his mansion.

He's a bike shop founder (though I still find it incredibly hard to believe someone in that line of work can become wealthy, much less successful) who is anxious to tell his life story and needs someone who not only understands his antiquated lingo but can 'feel' the era in which he has to go back to in order to tell the story of his humble beginnings.

There are two hot guys in pursuit of the ugly mouse.

I know what you're thinking: another lame Cinderella story and it got a 5-star review?

Like I said, it started out as a 3, moved up to a 3.5, and then the last few episodes made it shoot up to a 5, no room for doubt.

It was Cinderella to the core, but this time the writer chose to do some in depth character development sorely lacking in most Korean dramas.

We're allowed to watch these people evolve, grow, regress, experience their light bulb moment, and learn from the past.

Each has their own issues, their own short-comings, and their own mountain to climb, and the viewer is permitted to get to know them as they proceed up said mountains.

Hong do has had a long-time crush on her Cop neighbor, sexy Jang Doo soo, who had helped her after someone had broken into her apartment.

Lee Jae yoon

For years, she secretly leaves home-cooked meals at his doorstep and then hides in the bushes to watch him read the notes she leaves with the food.

Now that she's been forced to go out into the world via this job, she starts to bump into Doo soo but has also bumped into another man, Psychiatrist Ko Yi seok.

Chun Jung myung

He's the exact opposite of sweet, lovable Doo soo, with his crass nature, short temper, and seemingly ill-mannered tendencies.

He's also very impatient and suffers from another form of social anxiety in that he's become 'allergic' to his patients.

Hong do visits Yi seok's office to finally get help for her condition when she witnesses him hovering over a patient who has stabbed himself with the doctor's pen.

It looks bad from Hong do's perspective, but Yi seok quickly realizes that when he is near Hong do, his anxiety fades and he's able to sit through patient sessions without losing control.

He hires Hong do for that purpose and pays her back with psychiatric help.

Doo soo begins to notice Hong do at this point, creating the ubiquitous love triangle between the two hot guys and the undeserving wench.

And this is where the 5-star rating comes in.

For once, the ugly chick actually deserves her moment in the sun, and I had little doubt as to why both men found her so attractive.

It takes a long time to get to the point of the story, as I already mentioned, but the wait happens to be worth the effort.

Everyone is somehow connected, the two male leads slowly change before coming into their own, and Hong do eventually understands why it is she behaves the way she does.

But, we must give partial credit to the impatient psychiatrist whose methods are questionable at best because despite their being harsh, they work to help Hong do break out of her shell.

I highly recommend you stick this one out because the beginning is a little rough, and trust me when I say Lee Jae yoon's being in this one isn't enough to keep coming back for more.

It is the plot that does that for you if you give it a chance to unfold.

A memorable story with memorable characters and a plausible romance that will give you a chance to think.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store #review

Niche Sensei /  ãƒ‹ãƒ¼ãƒã‚§å…ˆç”Ÿ

Writer -  Koma Matsu (manga), Hashimoto (manga), Yuichi Fukuda
Network -  NTV / YTV
Episodes -  10
Released -  2016, Jan - Mar
Genre -  Comedy



Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store is a Japanese shōjo comedy manga series turned live action. Follows the lives of a few 777 employees on the graveyard shift and a few of the oddball people who enter the convenience store.


If you saw Clerks, you'll relate to this one.

Not entirely the same thing, but the story does center around a few of the employees who work the overnight shift at a 777 Convenience store in an area of Tokyo that doesn't receive a large amount of foot traffic.

This translates to their having lots of time on their hands to ponder life's mysteries, zone out, and plot get-rich-quick schemes.

Each episode is less than 30 minutes long, and I watched the whole thing via YouTube in one sitting.

Shotaro Mamiya and Kenji Urai
Tomoharu Nii is compared to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher, and his ultimate goal is to become a Buddhist monk in three years.

He's robotic in movement and thought as well as being stone-faced under all circumstances.

Except for the few times when his Tenchou appears

Sato Jiro makes the cast laugh

I've always thought Sato Jiro was a funny guy, with his random outbursts and tendency to accent the wrong syllable for effect.

This is wacky stuff acted out by wacky characters and well worth the minimal time it takes to watch all ten episodes.

Highly recommended, especially if you're feeling stressed or blue and need a quick pick-me-up.

Niche Sensei