Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Mirror of the Witch

Disclaimer – All images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of them.

A Yoon Si Yoon and Kim Sae Ron starrer, Mirror of the Witch follows the story of a cursed princess Yeon Hee who was cast away by her mother in favor of protecting the son (Yeon Hee’s twin brother). She grew up in a house located in the midst of a forest, not knowing who she really is. For seventeen years she has yearned to glimpse the outside world. Her first encounter with a stranger happens to be Heo Joon, who is a slave’s son. He stumbles across her house and assumes she is the witch that everyone in the village has been talking about. A meddlesome relative causes great trouble when he disregards the warnings of The Taoist Priest who has been looking after Yeon Hee. And because of that one err, an avalanche of chaos ensues.

I enjoyed watching the drama from the very beginning because it is funny and well shot. The magical component is made believable because of the good quality graphics and brilliant acting on the part of everyone. While this was my first drama with Yoon Si Yoon, I had previously watched High School Love On starring Kim Sae Ron. I hadn’t really liked her part in that drama and so I was pleasantly surprised at how well she fit the role. Some of the other characters were a little flat. Like that of Yo Gwang, Choi Hyun Seo and King Seon Jo – they weren’t brave enough to do what was required of them and were mostly dilly-dallying their way through the drama. Especially the King, not only is he a coward but also a very gullible person – hardly possessing the persona of a King. Queen Shim too acted very entitled, high and mighty whereas she herself had done so much wrong. I wished that Yeon Hee would have been more firm with her and not so submissive.

Yum Jung Ah’s portrayal of Hong Joo is fantastic. She does a very convincing job of enacting the corrupt shaman. I liked the plot and I wish the characters had been written more suitably. The whole “lighting 108 candles” concept was interesting. Some of the common themes that this drama explores are good vs evil, slavery, love triangles, mob psychology etc. Heo Joon’s storyline is one of the best, more realistic and genuine ones in the drama. Another plus point for the drama is that it has a good soundtrack. My favourite songs are – Love by Lush and Distressed by Lim Jeong Hee. The time leaps in the drama were okay. And the ending was not too great. But over all, it was entertaining, although I won’t be watching it again. So if you like black magic, stories about royal families, then perhaps you could try this.

Ratings – 7.5 stars on 10

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Ddanddara (a.k.a Entertainer)

Disclaimer – All images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of them. 

Ddanddara is a Korean drama that was aired on SBS, starring Ji Sung and Lee Hye Ri as the leads. The drama follows the lives of those in the entertainment industry, allowing us deeper insight into the struggles that threaten to break these people as well as the bonds that hold them aloft. Shin Suk Ho has been a business minded, arrogant manager for far too long. He, insensitively, mows down anyone who proves to be an obstacle to achieving fame and wealth. But an accident becomes a humbling experience for him when he is jarred by reality. No longer working with KTop, he is forced to start from scratch.

Jo Ha Neul (played by Kang Min Hyuk) has always been passionate about singing, but a death in the family put an end to it. Moreover, he is wrongly convicted for sexual harassment by a friend who ditched him to improve her own future. When he is confronted by Shin Suk Ho, he decides to join a band to continue following his dreams. Their camaraderie carves a path that untangles all the complexities of their lives. Their story is one of retrospection and self-growth. It draws you in, tugs at your heart and leaves you wishing for a second season.

I loved this drama from the start. The obnoxious way that Suk Ho managed his responsibilities; the composed manner in which Ha Neul dealt with his probation and all of Jeong Geu Rin’s (Ha Neul’s namesake sister) supportive, mature sensibilities. The plot, although seemingly rather ordinary, is actually wonderful. It had a unique way of building each character’s story and carrying it forward so that towards the end, we’re satisfied with where each of the story lines ended. Ji Sung is fantastic playing both personalities of Suk Ho. In fact he is so skilled that Suk Ho’s brotherly relations with Jo Sung Hyun, Jo Ha Neul and Jinu were the highlights of the series, for me. Their attachment to each other is so heart warming.

One of the things I wished had been different was Ha Neul and Geu Rin’s equation. Although it was reasonable, it wasn’t necessary to the story. Another thing that irked me was the ending. Up until the 14th episode, the pace of the drama is brilliant. All plot lines are ticked off in due time. But then the last three episodes are so rushed, I felt that they tried to cram too much story in too little time. If they had included 2 more episodes, everything could have been beautifully explored and concluded. Lastly, Suk Ho and Geu Rin’s feelings lacked conviction, as in it remains stagnant, which bothered me a bit. But then again, all dramas don’t need to focus on love. So I guess, it’s alright.

Two of the songs on the OST are absolutely spellbinding – Go Ahead Cry by Jo Bok Rae and Lost Child by Han Seo Yoon. Lee Tae Sun who portrays the character Yun Soo does so very charmingly. I liked the fact that the drama incorporated the “single father” angle and played it out very well. Seldom, do you see such characterization. Jae Hoon and Kyle (other members of the band) were the “cool” ones with a difficult family background. They too gelled well in the story and helped create an enjoyable package. Quite a few times during the episodes, I was a blubbering mess. That is not to say it is entirely sad or sappy. It is equal parts funny and lamentable. This drama is definitely worth watching once, if not more. So do give it a try.


Ratings – 8.5 stars on 10.

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Madame Antoine

Disclaimer – All images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of the images.

Madame Antoine is the story of conflict between divination and science. Go Hye Rim is a fortune teller who cons people into believing that she can communicate with the deceased Marie Antoinette. Rather, she uses exceptional analytical and observational skills to give readings. Her business is threatened when world renowned psychologist Choi Soo Hyun moves into the office above, and ultimately pinpoints her for being the fraud that she is. Both of their offices are called Madame Antoine which causes even more trouble as their customers wind up getting lost and stumbling into the other. Soo Hyun who is a tad bit insensitive realizes that their bickering relation may soon grow into something more, something he does not quite believe in. Whereas Hye Rim is forced to juggle not only her financial troubles but also the fact that she has to partake in Soo Hyun’s experiment in order to save her cafe.

This drama, with its cross between fortunetelling and psychology, is a unique idea. Sung Joon is a very convincing actor and plays the part of Choi Soo Hyun particularly well. We are persuaded of the fact that he is disbelieving about love and doesn’t really care for much else apart from his research experiment. Birth of a Beauty actress Han Ye Seul is our female protagonist and believably or not, she plays a mother. Although the show doesn’t focus on her daughter all that much, we are just made aware through photographs and phone calls how close their bond is. As mentioned before, the plotline is somewhat different from the usual kdrama, in the sense that its not about the Aegyo but showcases adults and the difficulties they face. However, being a psychology student myself, I felt that some of the information pertaining to psychology was a little misleading. Or maybe just that it wasn’t put across properly. I found that to be one of the minus points for the show.

This drama also plays around with some trite concepts like love triangles, unrequited love etc. But then again I suppose they are very much in keeping with real life experiences that people have so I guess in a way its justified.  Choi Sung Chan and Won Ji Ho help Soo Hyun with his experiment and in doing so end up liking Hye Rim too. I found that a little hard to believe. I mean what are the chances that three men, who barely know this women; are meant to deceive her and yet fall for her? That being said, Ji Ho is a bit of a childish character and doesn’t really grasp what’s happening around him. He doesn’t even get the fact that Yoo Rim has liked him for so long. The dialogues on the other hand are well written, entertaining with a dash of humor. Somehow I didn’t really like the chemistry between Hye Rim and Soo Hyun for a majority of the show. It felt a little forced and not real. Even though, supposedly, she actually liked him the whole time, I didn’t find it genuine up until the last few episodes. She helps him face the troubles of his past, and after that everything sort of falls in place. The soundtrack of this drama is decent – nothing outstanding though. All in all, its definitely an enjoyable drama but we’ve seen better from the lead actors and the writer.

Ratings – 7.5 stars on 10.

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Nail Shop Paris

Disclaimer – All the images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of them.

When amateur novelist Hong Yeo Joo, unable to churn creative novel ideas, stumbles upon a nail artist – Alex- she decides to make him her protagonist. Soon, she realizes that the Nail Shop he works at only staffs men. In order to continue being inspired, she disguises herself as a male, budding nail artist named Bunny. While she puts forth as manly an outward appearance as she can, as a women, she becomes smitten by Alex. The drama wraps up in 10 episodes and chronicles the difficulties of gender bending (love triangles included) while playing on one’s imagination with the use of a mythological creature popularly known as Gumiho.

This drama is very typical in almost every aspect. It has the love at first sight, unrequited love, love triangles, broken dreams, otherworldly creature to rescue and all that jazz. Parts of it are enjoyable but parts of it are so draggy that I had put the drama on hold for over a year before I finally decided to finish it. I found some of the dialogues to be lackluster and more often than not, I was wondering what is unique about this drama. As a gender bender, some of the scenes were definitely funny but nothing very gripping. The drama definitely showcased some rather extravagant nail art. Do people really wear chunky rhinestones on their nails? One of the things that, while it seemed unexpected, I liked about the drama was that it sends out a good social message in terms of helping those in need. Some of the customers of Nail Shop Paris had personal problems which the staff of the shop managed to solve with great persistence and affection. These parts were admirable and conveys how openly friendly their culture is.

Yeo Joo’s bestfriend Kim Ji Soo falls for Jin, one of the nail artists. There relationship too goes through rocky terrain when Ji Soo is unable to make up her mind between Jin and another man. Whereas Kay (another nail artist) begins to question his sexuality when he realizes that he has feelings for Bunny. Little did he know that Bunny was indeed a woman. There is a time leap at the end and the ending was unpredictable, so I’d give the show brownie points for that. And that ending was one of the few things which was different about this drama. Over all, it wasn’t great. It explores several concepts in the span of few episodes. I just wish that some sections of the plot had been differently done, probably then it would have turned out to be an intriguing drama. Maybe you could give it a try, but I don’t guarantee 10 hours of pure enjoyment.

Ratings – 5.5 stars on 10

Meera

Korean · Reviews

Korean Drama Review — Oh My Venus

Disclaimer – The images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of the images. 

Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub starrer Oh My Venus is a Korean romcom drama that explores the importance of outward appearances and perseverance as a determinant of success and confidence. Kang Joo Eun has always been the center of attention during her high school years. Aspiring to be a lawyer, Joo Eun grows up only to realize that her life isn’t turning out to be the way she had hoped. Having gained tons of weight, Joo Eun not only faces the stress of being an overworked lawyer struggling to find justice in the tangles of rigid laws but also is dumped by her boyfriend of 15 years. Nevertheless, luck is on her side and she chances upon world famous trainer John Kim. Together they persevere to solve their respective problems and somehow end up on the same path to recovery and bliss. Kim Yeong Ho is the next in line to take over his family business, but word is that Yeong Ho’s passions are a tad bit different from what his family expects of him. With a dark past and an even drier future, how will he manage the best of both worlds?

Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub together in a drama? As main leads? Check and check. What more could I want out of a kdrama, especially when the plot is as heartwarming as this one. One could assume that the drama seems to advocate good looks as being essential to finding love (especially when Im Woo Sik breaks up with Joo Eun) or attaining success in one’s job but I think it places emphasis on the need for exercising and staying fit. It is a given that the two leads are meant to be but they got together rather quickly in the series and so you are left to wonder what more is in store for them. I was very apprehensive of the fact that their relationship may become draggy and extremely cheesy. But the conflicts that were introduced in the drama kept it going at a good pace and there were times when I was rooted to the spot, waiting to see what would happen. The drama has a good proportion of humor in the sense that some of the scenes are legit LOL-worthy.

The drama is an example of what motivation and support can do for a person. It proves to us that with the right dedication, one can overcome even the greatest of difficulties. Jang Joon Sung too deals with a troublesome childhood. But with the help of Yeong Ho, he goes onto become a boxing champion. Their brotherhood is shown to be unconditional. Woo Sik and Soo Jin’s relationship is very lovable. They complement each other well. Even though Soo Jin plays the anti-heroine, causing problems for Joo Eun, she is actually very sensitive. The end to Woo Sik & Soo Jin’s story was apt and I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up things. One of the other things that stood out in this drama was Kim Ji Woong’s chirpy nature. His constant “Ma’am, Ma’am” was an absolute delight. The soundtrack of the show is too good and it mixes well with the scene to enhance the sentiments being enacted. This drama is simply amazing and has become one of my all time favorites. I would definitely recommend it to all.

Ratings – 10 stars on 10

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Pinocchio

Disclaimer – All images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of the images.

Pinocchio, aired on SBS channel, is a drama about the underlying corruption and discrimination that rules the media firms in today’s time. Albeit being set in Korea, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that it mirrors the problems faced by reporters and producers around the world. In this case, the protagonist Choi In Ha (played by Park Shin Hye) has the Pinocchio Syndrome wherein she hiccups uncontrollably if she lies. Since childhood, In Ha has been craving to meet her mother who left her and her father to pursue her career as a reporter. Naive and innocent, In Ha believes that her mother would accept her when they meet in the future and so for thirteen years In Ha sends her mother text messages about her daily life. However, her mother leaves behind her phone at the house of a large department store owner. Seo Bum Jo (played by Kim Young Kwang) who is the son of the owner, intercepts these messages and as the years pass, grows to love In Ha. He is determined to meet her and so auditions to become a reporter at YGN.

Ki Ha Myung (played by Lee Jong Suk) is the son of a fireman who was accused of causing the death of his fellow firemen. As the reporters propel the case out of proportion, his father flees and is never heard of again. Humiliated and isolated in society, Ha Myung and his mother commit suicide. The only living member, the elder broth Ki Jae Myung is devastated and vows to right the wrongs of the reporters who pushed the family to take such drastic measures.

This drama was a treat from the start. The pain felt by Ki Ha Myung’s family is vividly portrayed and so exceptionally done that you feel for them. The plot isn’t as simple as it appears and there are so many layers to the story, each of which is peeled off one by one as the story progresses. The cutthroat environment that is created by rivaling broadcast companies is played out for the viewers to understand the functioning of news channels and the crooked tactics that they sometimes employ to obtain a story. While the character of Song Cha Ok is very detestable, Jin Kyung does a wonderful job of acting. She is so convincing in her role that even though I hated her for most of the drama, towards the end I was very glad for her. Her character development would be one of the best for the show. I also liked how In Ha and Ha Myung got to know each other and the entire process from them being friends to a couple was rather adorable.

Even though the Pinocchio Syndrome that was used in the drama is fictional, it proved to be integral to the storyline. Initially In Ha faces a lot of flak for not being able to lie, which is somehow “important” to become a reporter. As the drama draws to a close, we see how she becomes an  exemplary model of a reporter and teaches the others ideals and values to be upheld as a reporter. Being a media student myself, I loved this drama for its content and the morals that it showcased. While In Ha and Ha Myung were meant to be, I wished that Seo Bum Jo was given some importance. In fact he does serve a vital purpose in the drama and things do get resolved all due to him. But he is left behind with this unrequited love and for some reason I always wish that the main leads would pick the secondary characters. Moreover, I felt that In Ha’s behavior towards him was a little cold and she wasn’t as considerate of his as he was of her. Anyhow, the drama has been put together very well and some of the characters like Hwang Gyo Dong, Ahn Chan So were very endearing. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the drama and would recommend it to all.

Ratings – 8.5 stars on 10

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — The King 2 Hearts

Disclaimer – All images courtesy of Google. 

The King 2 Hearts is a political drama that brings together the lives of multiple North and South Korean officials who train together to compete as a single unit in the World Officers Championship. Lee Jae Ha is the prince of South Korea, the next in line after his brother to become king and yet is shown as a spoilt brat who cares the least bit about his responsibilities as being a member of the royal family. His arrogance builds a wrong impression in the minds of the North Korean soldiers who are already apprehensive of the treatment they would receive in the hands of the South Koreans. Kim Hang Ah, the leader of the North Korean team, forced to become his roommate during the training, falls for his pranks and ends up getting hurt.

But the tension between the two is unavoidable when they must pretend to get along for the sake of their countries. Soon this tension develops into feelings. And being the crown prince, such matters of heart, were never his to decide. When their family and the public take it upon them to make peace, chaos unfurls. This drama is not only about the two couple who are the faces of manner and respectability for their people, but it also encompasses the meaningful exchanges and stories of others who strive to make a union possible against all odds and terrors.

I was unsure whether I’d truly like this drama or not because I’ve never been too fond or even observant of politics and military matters. But Lee Seung Gi was starring in it and I just couldn’t give it up without a try. Lets just say that despite being a (sort of) typical romance, it was one of the most adorable dramas I’ve seen. Kim Han Ah is so endearing and fierce at the same time. She has never been in a concrete relationship for long and doesn’t understand Lee Jae Ha’s intentions in making a fool of her. Lee Jae Shin is Jae Ha’s sister who is a very grounded, mature character and helps develop his personality to that of a courageous brave man. In fact his entire family plays a very integral role in his character development. At times I felt that the way he is, is a product of the way he has been brought up. So we can’t completely blame him for being childish and evasive.

There’s no denying that Lee Seung Gi is one of the best actors out there. You know he has a very fun loving personality and still he pulls off a serious role really well. Sometimes dramas have a tendency to become too unreal and only-on-tv like. But this show often brought out realistic sentiments and created scenarios that you could believe. Kim Bong Gu, who plays the villain performs brilliantly! Mostly because he is so annoying through out the show that you want to get up and kick him; which only goes to show that he justifies the negative role completely. He is one of those villains who are different, like on a psychotic level. The plot was different which was a plus point. I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. Only drawbacks were that it got very predictable a little too soon. And the lead couple’s “meant to be together” status was very evident from the beginning. It didn’t fool around with your thoughts and build a suspenseful atmosphere (where the romance is concerned). Definitely recommend it to fans of political dramas and otherwise too. Watch it! 😀

Ratings – 8 stars on 10.

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Dating Agency Cyrano


Seo Byung Hoon is a producer, who in an attempt to save his bestfriend’s theatre from being taken over by mortgage, starts a dating agency called Cyrano to repay the debt. He works with two others – Moo Jin and Ah Rang to pair up people; creating fake scenarios with the intent to bring out their inherent goodness. The clients who approach them are individuals smitten by someone who doesn’t reciprocate their affection. And this significant other becomes their target. During one such mission, the group crosses paths with the spunky female protagonist Min Young who works for another such dating agency. And their mission ends up ruining what Min Young had planned for her client.

At first she is furious but soon learns that their technique fits her fancy better than her current job and so she gets employed with them. Now this team of four brushes through missions swiftly and successfully. In between all that Min Young begins to like Byung Hoon who has eyes only for his high school crush (also his dead bestfriends meant-to-be wife). While Seung Pyo who owns the restaurant adjoining the agency befriends Min Young and falls for her. He seems to be hiding something that has a lot to do with Byung Hoon’s past and adds the mystery to the drama. With their good intentions, Cyrano Agency never thought that people were out to get them. But their efforts are overlooked when an unknown person kidnaps one of them in order to bring the agency to the ground.

This is my new favourite drama as of now! I don’t usually watch a lot of cheesy romance kind of shows so I never thought I’d love it so much. I don’t know why its so unheard of. It deserves a lot more hype and is one of those underrated dramas that only few know about. The casting was amazing – all people I’ve unheard of but will be looking forward to each of them in new dramas. Lee Chun Hee who plays Master a.k.a Seung Pyo was my favourite. He would make a really good lead actor in a show. Initially I thought the concept of a dating agency was so corny and that it would be one of those shows I’d give a 6/10 but it picked up pace and I liked everything about it. Byung Hoon is a very guarded character who doesn’t open up about his feelings to anyone. He tries to push aside his worries about Min Young and focus on the task at hand. They fight and argue so much its actually funny! Not to mention that Min Young is a very chirpy yet ballsy female who doesn’t like to take no for an answer. She persists and persists to the very end. The drama is not only about their clients but also how each of them grow and mature through each mission, learning more about themselves than they would’ve otherwise. Some of the missions involve their own emotional attachment for various reasons. Moo Jin is the silent and intelligent one who helps out with all technological aspects of the mission whereas Ah Rang is very happy-go-lucky like Min Young. There’s quite a bit of mafia action in the drama too. You might think that the show is just about their various projects/missions but its a lot more than that. Totally worth the time! I spent two and half days continuously watching it, which says something cause I don’t normally do that. Two thumbs up and just like like like. Do give it a try.


Ratings – 9 stars on 10.

Meera

*All images courtesy of Google.

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

Korean Drama Review — Arang and the Magistrate

Disclaimer – All images are from Google and I take no credit for/own either of them. 

Arang and the Magistrate is a drama intertwining two people’s fate and the role they play in the bigger picture of life and death. Arang, a ghost who doesn’t remember how she died wanders the afterworld trying to survive with mere food offerings and stay away from the Grim Reapers. She comes face to face with Kim Eun Oh who is the Magistrate of the town Miryang during one of her escapades and he, who can see ghosts, on a whim decides to help her flee the reapers. Thus begins their acquaintance which as time passes grows into a friendly relation.
Kim Eun Oh is on a quest to find his mother who disappeared from Miryang 3 years back and he finds a shocking connection between his mother and Arang which leads him to believe that she is the key to understanding what may have happened to his mother. The drama also features the Gods of Heaven and Hell who are constantly watching over the human beings and guiding them. They ultimately play a bigger role in banishing evil from the face of the Earth and help the characters achieve their destiny.
Arang on the other hand doesn’t want to fade away without knowing the cause of her death and so through her cunning scheme is brought to meet the Gods who grant her 3 months of life to try and find the culprit. Back in Miryang, everyone fears Lord Choi who has more power and control than many authoritative persons. With his arrogance and contempt of the lower classes, he seems to be the likely suspect responsible for all crimes committed in Miryang.

With the help of the Shaman, Arang’s ghost accomplices and Kim Eun Oh’s friends, they strive to work out the problems in each other’s lives while trying not to fall for the other.

My two main motivations for watching this drama were Shin Min Ah, who plays Arang, and the excessive roles of ghosts in it. I had certain expectations and this drama surpassed them all. It was so warm and adorable to watch from the very beginning. There was not a point where I wanted to drop it. I’d binge watch episodes for hours at a time. Arang is a fierce character not subdued by even the most terrifying of the Grim Reapers. She struggles for what she believes is truly hers and is awestruck to know that the Magistrate Kim can see ghosts, therefore help her. The plot is very intricate and not really predictable. There is ofcourse a love triangle in the story and I really felt bad for the person with the unrequited love. I thought that Lee Joon Gi played the role of Kim Eun Oh exceptionally and deserves applause for it.One tiny thing that bothered me was how hard Eun Oh was towards his friend/slave Dol Sae. Dol Sae is a really protective and affectionate character who only means well for his master-friend Eun Oh and ends up interfering in his matters. And even though we come to know that Eun Oh too cares about him, they have conflicts so often and I felt that he was unnecessarily harsh with Dol Sae.

The climax was brilliant and in fact there were more than one focal points towards the end that determined how the ending would turn out. Action sequences – two thumbs up! Though not realistic (which action sequence is?) it was fun to watch. Kim Eun Oh and Moo Yeong (the main Grim Reaper) make a kickass double. I wish there was more shown about Moo Yeong’s history. The little glimpses that I saw made me want to know more about him and how he ended up as a Grim Reaper. There were quite a few sentimental scenes too, that if you are soft hearted, would end up in tears. I absolutely loved the drama and its one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. A must watch for kdrama fanatics!

Ratings – 9 stars on 10.

Meera

Korean · Reviews · Shows/ Movies

The Cheesy Korean Drama Experience

You know how sometimes you like a certain aspect of a movie or tv show or book and you go looking for it in other such movies and books? Sort of like how I fell in love with Twilight and went on binge reading the entire series of The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and The Vampire Diaries by L J Smith. Well there are some things that get a tad bit too boring after the second try. Today I’m going to write about some lame (don’t hit me!) Korean Dramas that hopefully I would be saving you the trouble of watching.

Firstly Playful Kiss. I mean as far as translations go its absurd but to have a word literally translated into the above mentioned phrase just makes me want to shudder. I was apprehensive – a level 100 on the “things I shouldn’t broach” – and yet because of Kim Hyun Joong I braved myself and began to watch. Now high school drama and puppy love is not lost on me. I get it, its a phase. But to have 20 something year olds acting childish and immature?  Nope, not working for me.  It just makes the whole drama all the more spoof-like. The concept of having a bad boy who is popular and doesn’t even blink an eye at his so called “fan following” in school has been used so much – it must be discarded ASAP!

I do wish I could have picked some better drama for the 16 hours that I spent on this one. I didn’t like the female protagonist’s acting one bit. The ending was a little rushed. For today’s youth, the character of Oh Ha Ni is extremely weak and soppy. She is portrayed as being so desperate for the guy’s attention and even after being insulted she persists. Which shows something about her strong resolve and sense of loyalty but I felt her strengths were misplaced and focused too much on the guy.

Then there is Heartstrings. Oh sweet Lord! Why? Unfortunately apart from the music, there wasn’t much I liked about Heartstrings. Maybe if I were a 14 year old I would have bought the plot but in real life, arrogant jerks don’t wake up the next day in love with the docile classmate. Lee Shin’s heartache upon losing his father was one of the other minor things that I could empathize with. Gyu Won was a better female character compared to many others, in the sense that she stood up for what she wanted but sadly, Park Shin Hye didn’t suit well for the role. I really liked her performance in The Heirs and so was looking forward to her in this drama. The sacrificial nature of Gyu Won and Lee Shin’s relationship could have been avoided.  In terms of adding conflict it lacked conviction. Plus in many of these dramas that involve a cold hearted lead, his sidekicks are rarely given much lines. They just tag along and contribute a word or two. I guess that’s something I’d like the script writers to work on.  Why add so many characters if they don’t serve a fruitful purpose? Its once again a very sappy kind of high school romance based drama that you could watch if you are into the genre. But I’d say download these OSTs and pick something else worthwhile.

Ratings – 2.5 stars on 5 [for both]

Mia