Series

Reply 1988 (2015-2016)

Eungdapara 1988

Director: Shin Won-ho
Writer: Lee Woo-jung
Stars: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Dong-hwi

Set in the year 1988, the drama revolves around five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong, Dobong District, Northern Seoul.

★★★✮☆

I started watching this earlier this year, but ended up stopping after 1 and a half episode because the truth is it bored me. I wanted to see it because the descriptions of the drama I read from the internet piqued my interest. It says there the drama shows the beginning of K-pop, thus I was sold. I was also curious why it gained a high rating during its airing, and I got that answer from the first episode alone. The drama probably brought a great deal of nostalgia among its viewers for its pop culture and its juxtaposition on real events. I swear I have learned so much about Korean culture and their ways after seeing this, much more than the over 10 romantic comedies I’ve seen in the past months.

Centralling on five friends living in the same neighborhood and growing knowing everything about each other, it will probably take you back to your own childhood as well, and the struggles of going to school, and growing up altogether.

Great plot, well-curated characters, superb acting, just the right mixture of drama and comedy, and a lot of life lessons.

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Films

Like for Likes (2016)

Original title: Joa-haejo

Director: Park Hyun-jin
Writer: Park Hyun-jin, Yoo Young-a
Stars: Lee Mi-yeon, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Joo-hyeok, Yoo Ah-in, Kang Ha-neul, Esom

A notoriously shrewish TV drama writer and a Korean wave star who fight like cats and dogs every time they meet; a spinster flight attendant landlady and a nosy chef tenant who build a sense of camaraderie; a genius relationship-virgin composer who harbors a secret admiration for a scatterbrained producer. As they cash-land into each others’ lives, will there be love?

★★✮☆☆

This movie tackles different issues ordinary people face in their daily lives, but because they live in a fictional movie setting, in the end everything falls into place and all characters get their happy ending.

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Films

Cyrano Agency (2010)

Si-ra-no; Yeon-ae-jo-jak-do (original title)

Director: Kim Hyun-seok
Stars: Eom Tae Woong, Park Shin Hye, Choi Daniel, Park Chul Min

The successful Cyrano Agency, composed of theater actors and staff, helps people to find a love life by staging ideal romantic set-ups, until they are hired to help Sang-yong.

★★★☆☆   Enjoyable

It was my first time hearing about this plot, yet I find it really creative. This Korean take on this 1800s play is cute.

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Series

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon (2017)

Him-ssen Yeo-ja Do Bong-soon (original title)

Do Bong-soon is a woman born with superhuman strength that comes from the long line of women possessing it. When Ahn Min Hyuk, the CEO of a gaming company, witnesses her strength, he hires her as his personal bodyguard.

★★★☆☆   Enjoyable

A series which is more of a comedy than romance. There are lots of funny scenes til the end.

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Films

Penny Pinchers (2011)

Ti-kkeul-mo-a ro-maen-seu (original title)

Director & Writer: Kim Jung Hwan
Stars: Han Ye-seul Han, Song Joong-ki Song

Ji-woong is a loser who can’t find a job so he lies to his mom for money, but his mom abruptly cuts him off one day, and he becomes homeless. But that same day, salvation arrives in the form of Hong-sil who’s extremely stingy. Her hobby is visiting the bank to make savings deposits, and her specialty is selling empty glass bottles and old newspapers for cash. One day, her savings plans are brought to a screeching halt when she learns she needs a separate bank account under someone else’s name to reach her goal of 20 million dollars. That’s when Ji-woong comes into the picture.

★★★✮☆

This is a gem. I immensely enjoyed this movie because of the fact that I can relate to what the characters are going through. The female lead plays a character closest to my own situation.

And Joong-ki is extra-adorable here.

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Series

EXO Next Door (2015)

Ji Yeon-hee is an extremely shy, introverted 23-year-old girl with zero dating experience and a tendency to blush when talking to someone she likes. One day, four young men move into the house right next door to Yeon-hee’s home, and to her surprise, they turn out to be Chanyeol, D.O., Baekhyun, and Sehun from her favorite boy band EXO, who are looking to lay low for a while. They hire her to clean their house part-time during the winter vacation and that’s when Yeon-hee found out that Chanyeol was her long lost childhood friend and crush “Chan” and is the grandson of the house owner. As the story goes on, Yeon-hee soon becomes involved in a love triangle with Chanyeol and D.O.

★★★✮☆

A feel-good and cute teen drama. I’m giving it a “super good” rating just because I enjoyed it because I like EXO haha. This web drama was created with a goal to feed the fans’ fantasies. Well, living next to their idols is probably every EXO-L’s dream. Had I been engrossed into Korean drama and Kpop earlier, this definitely would’ve been a great source of kilig for my younger self. Heck I’m now old, but this web drama still put a smile on my face.

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Built by penchant for brewed coffee, Sehun and Gwangsu’s friendship is #goal. One makes the coffee, and the other one drinks it.

It seemed to me that he characters of D.O. and Chanyeol in the drama and in real life seemed interchanged. Chanyeol is the masungit, while Kyungsoo is the charming one. Seriously, gurl, how can you resist this charm??

I just wished the other EXO members had more airtime as well.