All That’s Zombie

All That’s Zombie

Koreans love zombies. No wonder they have so many series and movies with zombies in them.

Some of the best Korean zombie series are Alive, All of us are Dead, Kingdom, Happiness and The Wailing.

Giving you a heads up – I have watched none of these zombie series. I just couldn’t.

I started watching Train to Busan because, you guessed it right, Gong Yoo was the principal lead. A divorced father boards a train to take his small daughter to her mother’s town. The train gets infected with zombies. Will the father be able to keep his daughter safe from the bloodthirsty zombies?

The premise of the movie is splendid and the execution brilliant, so much so that I could not watch the blood and gore splattering, the hungry zombies. Halfway into the movie, I quit. In fact, I read an interesting anecdote about this movie. Gong Yoo is scared of ghosts and while shooting for this movie, he actually thought the zombies (actors) were going to come and kill him.

If you are a zombie fan, pick up any of these series or for that matter, Train to Busan. They all come with high ratings and recommendations.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Record of Youth

Record of Youth

Starring: Park Bo-Gum, Park So-Dam, Byeon Woo-Seok

Record of Youth is a journey of an aspiring model/actor and a make-up artist from obscurity to success. It also touches upon friendship, relationship between father-son and agent-actor.

Sa Hye-Jun (Park Bo-Gum), is a struggling actor who dreams of making it big in the acting industry. He is often berated by his father who thinks of him as a good-for-nothing son. On the other hand, Sa Hye-Jun’s good friend, Won Hae-Hyo (Byeon Woo-Seok) is an established model and a struggling actor born with a silver spoon. We also have Ahn Jung-A (Park So-Dam), a practical, no-nonsense person who works hard towards her aspiration to be a big make-up artist.

Sa Hye-Jun and Ahn Jung-A date for a while before their individual commitments overshadow their romance. Ahn Jung-A breaks up with Sa Hye-Jun because she feels shortchanged in the relationship and wants someone totally committed to her. This is actually one of the highlights of the show. Every individual should put themselves first even at the risk of sounding selfish. Also, this must be the only show or the only instance in the whole wide world where a boyfriend (Hye-Jun) asks the permission of the girl (Jung-A) to kiss her. That was a total swoon worthy moment.

Sa Hye-Jun climbs the ladder of success but feels empty on the inside. Also with success, he finally gets purged of all the angst he had towards his father. On the other hand, despite coming to know that his acting career is totally micro-managed by his mother, Hae-Hyo refuses to hate his mother. He simply decides to opt for military training.

It is heart-warming to see that the friendship between Hye-Jun and Hae-Hyo remains unaffected even when they are rivals and even when Hye-Jun sees success while Hae-Hyo’s career takes a nosedive. Also, Hye-Jun even after their breakup still helps Jung-A to get more clients. That’s a real sign of maturity. Though there is a love triangle, Hae-Hyo likes Jung-A, they remain just friends till the end.

There are many life lessons to be taken from Record of Youth. It is not a drama about romance, but depicts the confusion that youth often have in their 20s – their anger towards their parents and blaming them for their shortcomings.

This is what Hye-Jun says in the show that is one of the major highlights and takeaway of the show – “In your 20s, you learn to detach yourself from your parents’ influence. Now, we’re entering our 30s. The age at which you can no longer blame others.”

Watch Record of Youth or make your kids in late teens or college watch this. It’s fun to see how characters evolve. And though it is slow paced, the drama has its heart in the right place.

Note: I watched this show when I had just entered into the world of Kdramas, and I actually mistook Byeon Woo-Seok for Park Seo-Jun. All this while, I thought it was Park Seo-Jun in the drama. But TBH, I like Byeon Woo-Seok more and wish I can see him in more dramas.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

Starring: Park Eun-bin, Kang Tae-oh, Kang Ki-young

Extraordinary Attorney Woo was the first court room drama I watched and loved it so much that have watched several since then.

The protagonist Woo Young-Woo has a photogenic memory and also has autism spectrum disorder. She lacks in social skills and empathy, but it extraordinarily brilliant. She joins a law firm as a trainee lawyer, and soon she starts winning cases with her intelligence. However, she is also subjected to bullying, resentment and prejudice by her own colleagues and superiors. On the other hand, she has some very loyal friends who stand by her and help her navigate through various downs. She has her unique case solving abilities that help her grow in her career.

The drama has some cute office romance between our protagonist Young-Woo and her paralegal colleague Lee Jun-Ho. Young-Woo loves whales and everything about it, something that helps her many a times in solving complex cases, you will need to watch it to understand how.

She is mindful of the fact that her autism could be a hindrance in the social set up and career growth of her partner Lee Jun-Ho and takes a decision to break up with her, but thankfully Lee Jun-Ho pursues her doggedly.

What I liked about the show is the brilliant acting of the protagonist Park Eun-Bin as someone who is on the autism spectrum. Every case was different and interesting which keeps the viewers hooked.

Do watch it – it’s a cute show.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Would You like a Cup of Coffee?

Would You like a Cup of Coffee?

Starring: Park Ho-San, Ong Seung-Wu

Park Seok (Park Ho-San) runs a popular coffee establishment frequented by a group of loyal customers in a quiet neighbourhood. Kang Go-Bi, a senior year student, visits the café and falls in love with the coffee. He requests Park Seok to take him as his apprentice. Park Seok who has always worked alone is reluctant to take anyone on board, but Kang Go-Bi’s sincerity wears him down and he takes Kang Go-Bi on as a part-time worker at the coffee shop.

The relationship between Park Seok and Kang Go-Bi is not that of an employer-employee, but more like a mentor-mentee. Kang Go-Bi learns a lot of life lessons working with Park Seok in the café. When Park Seok realises that he has taught everything that he could to Kang Go-Bi, he asks Kang Go-Bi to join a big coffee establishment of his acquaintance. Though Kang Go-Bi learns about different types of coffees in the new café, he misses the cosy warmth of the neighbourhood café and Park Seok’s kind and easy going teaching, and requests Park Seok to take him again as an apprentice.

The drama though centrally moves around Park Seok and Kang Go-Bi, takes turns in focusing upon the lives of the different customers who visit the café.

I like the unhurried, quiet pace of the drama. Though it was a 12-part series, I watched one episode a day to savour the relationship between the lead characters and to understand the life lessons that Park Ho-San so kindly teaches. Park Ho-San particularly shines through his soft spoken, smiling and unfazed character portrayal of Park Seok whose passion is to make coffee. Ong Seung-Wu doesn’t get much opportunity to showcase his acting chops with the veteran Park Ho-San around, but he sure looks promising. Throughout the show, I felt like visiting this café to taste the coffee just once, especially when Park Seok prepares the affogato.

Watch Would You like a Cup of Coffee if you want to enjoy a healing slice of life drama that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Various Korean Dramas, But Not One Up to the Mark

Various Korean Dramas, But Not One Up to the Mark

V for me is jinxed.

VIP – Starring Jang Na-Ra and Lee Sang-Yoon, I had high hopes of this one. Na Jung-Sun (Jang Na-Ra) and Park Seong-Jun (Lee Sang-Yoon) work in the same company and are married, but in the first episode itself we come to know that Park Seong-Jun has cheated on his wife and his wife has come to know about it. Park Seong-Jun confesses to his wife and apologises to her, but Jun-Sun finds it difficult to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. In this show, I found the supporting actors more interesting than the lead actors. Jang Na-Ra’s acting is not up to the mark, while Lee Sang-Yoon throughout the show has just a single dumb expression on his face of that of a person who went off to sleep in 1999 and woke up in 2019.

I have watched 4 Korean dramas starting with the letter V, and was forced to leave at some point or the other without finishing them.

Vagabond – With Lee Seung-Gi and Bae Suzy, I started this drama with great hopes only to be disappointed.

Vincenzo – I had heard a lot about Song Joong-Ki and Vincenzo, but only after a couple of episodes realised that I need to take recommendations with a pinch of salt. Song Joong-Ki and Lee Min-Ho are two very popular male leads who I can’t stomach. I know I am going to get a lot of hate messages after this, but seriously they don’t make my heart flutter or get my pulse racing as Jung Hae-In or Gong Yoo does.

I Hear Your Voice – Lee Jong-Suk looking like an overgrown teenager is a total disappointment, not to mention the overacting done by all actors. This was a total time waste that I regret a lot.

If you have any good recommendation for me for the letter V, do let me know.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.