Uncontrollably Fond

Uncontrollably Fond

Starring: Kim Woo-Bin, Bae Suzy, Lim Ju-Hwan

In this Korean melodrama, Shin Joon-Young (Kim Woo-Bin), a popular actor is diagnosed with terminal cancer. As he takes a break from acting in order to recuperate, enters in his life, his long-lost crush, classmate and neighbour Noh Eul (Bae Suzy). Joon-Young agrees to feature in a docu-series on his life that is being shot by Noh Eul. The sparks of romance get kindled between them. However, all is not well in their romantic world. In a parallel story, we meet evil politician Choi Hyeon-Joon, who is the biological father of Joon-Young, who in order to win the elections will go to any length to protect the murderer of Noh Eul’s father.

*Spoiler alert*

Shin Joon-Young dies peacefully in the arms of Noh Eul, which though doesn’t come as a surprise still leaves you in tears. However, you are also left with a satisfied feeling because there are no over the top scenes of them crying. Joon-Young has made peace with the fact that he is going to die, and in his last days, both Joon-Young and Noh Eul are seen spending a lot of time with each other.

Kim Woo-Bin is a brilliant actor. His character has many nuances, some good, some grey and some quirky, but he has played all of them quite well. He plays his role as a cancer patient quite authentically, so much so that you pray for him to get better knowing well that is not possible. In fact, it is ironic that just after this show, Woo-Bin was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and after taking a 6-year hiatus from the TV industry, he made a comeback in 2022 with Our Blues. But my heart was captured by the second lead Lim Ju-Hwan. Though his character is a bit sketchy, he silently and stoically pulls the weight of the drama. Even after all he undergoes at the hands of his power-hungry parents and deranged fiancée, he still confesses his love to his fiancée.

Watch Uncontrollably Fond for the ardent characters, especially Kim Woo-Bin, Bae Suzy and Lim Ju-Hwan.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Twenty Five Twenty One

Twenty Five Twenty One

Starring: Kim Tae-Ri, Nam Joo-Hyuk, Bona

Twenty Five Twenty One is a tribute to young people, their aspirations, struggles and friendship.

Na Hee-Do is a young teen fencer whose ambition is to play for Korean national team. She works hard and beats all odds to be on the Korean national team. However charming, the story is not only about Na Hee-Do, but also about Baek Ye-Jin who grows into a fine reporter and her beautiful and unassuming friendship with Na Hee-Do. Other characters like Ko Yu-Rim, Moon Ji-Ung and Ji Seung-Wan play important roles, without whom the show wouldn’t have been what it is.

The characters are bursting with life, their struggles feel so raw and real, and their relationships so heartfelt and relatable. The chemistry between the lead couple is brilliant, and you are actually sad when things don’t turn out the way they should be between them. But you know that is life, and one needs to move on. The relationship between enemies-turned-friends Na Hee-Do and Ko Yu-Rim is sweet and natural, and you end up rooting for both of them when they are competing against each other.

And now, talking about the lead actors, Kim Tae-Ri is heavenly. She is a natural, and I can’t think of anyone else playing Na Hee-Do. She was perfect for the role. As far as Nam Joo-Hyuk goes, I was absolutely besotted with him. He is so handsome, and so sincere. Bona as Yu-Rim particularly shined, and made me fall in love with a secondary lead.

Twenty Five Twenty One is a coming of age drama that no teen or youth should miss. I made my daughter watch it, so that she can learn about –

Ambition and how one needs to struggle to pursue their dreams. You might even have to give up on your love if it comes in the way of your life goals.

Friendship – Friendship is important, but in competition, one must leave their personal feelings aside

Self-esteem – Love and respect yourself and expect the same from others. Don’t hold onto a relationship that you have outgrown just for the sake of it.

Moral values – Life is nothing if not for your values. Stand by your principles even if the repercussions seem tedious.

Watch Twenty Five Twenty One because such brilliant dramas come only once in a while, and so when they do, you shouldn’t miss them.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Something in the Rain

Something in the Rain

Starring: Jung Hae-In, Son Ye-Jin

I am sure you expected me to write on Squid Game, after all that’s one Korean show that most of us has watched. However, Squid Game is not quintessentially Korean. It’s formula-esque; copy-paste in any language and Squid Game is ready.

For the alphabet S, I have Something in the Rain.

The Korean drama Something in the Rain is not just a show, but an emotion. It is an emotion that all of us felt in our 20s – the first flush of love, the romance, misunderstandings, heartbreak. This is the show that made me fall in love with Korean dramas.

Seo Jun-Hui (Jung Hae-In), a 28 year old animation designer at a computer video game company. He has come back to Korea after 3 years, and on the first day of work, he meets his elder sister’s friend, Yoon Jin-A (Son Ye-Jin). He is completely besotted with her beauty. They go out a few times as they work in the same office complex, both of them feel the strong pull of attraction, but are unable to confess their feelings. After a few failed attempts, Jin-A takes the matter in her hands, and their feelings finally come out in the open.

However, things are not all hunky-dory in their world. Jun-Hui belongs to a humble family which Jin-A’s ambitious mother doesn’t approve of. On the other hand, Jin-a faces sexual harassment at her workplace and raises her voice against it. Jun-Hui is a sensible person, while Jin-A behaves irrationally and recklessly at times and hides things from Jun-Hui. These circumstances lead to their break up.

It usually taken 2-3 episodes to warm up to a Korean drama, but Something in the Rain is engaging from the very first episode. The chemistry between the lead pair is incredible; I have never come across a chemistry so strong that it is palpable. The way Jung Hae-In looks at Son Ye-Jin is pure love and Son Ye-Jin looks awe-inspiringly beautiful. The scene where Jung Hae-In holds Son Ye-Jin’s hand under the table makes me gasp and my heart flutter every time I watch it. You need to watch this show to understand it.

The songs “Stand by your Man” sung by Bruce Willis runs throughout the show and is hummable, while the title track “Something in the Rain” by Rachael Yamagata haunts you, it’s sad and beautiful at the same time. I particularly love the whistle music that is played in the show.

I have laughed, cried bucketful of tears and prayed that the lead pair come together in the end, something that only a teenager does. I felt like a 19-year old, I felt like falling in love once more and to have someone look at me with the same passion as Jun-Hui looks at Jin-a.

It does feel stretched a bit, after the 11th episode, and some bits especially where the father visits from Canada, I found unnecessary, but the rest of the story more than makes up for this lapse.

Do watch Something in the Rain, you wouldn’t want it to end, trust me.

For other good Korean dramas starting with S, you can watch Startup, Shooting Stars, Summer Strike and Suspicious Partner.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Reply 1988

Reply 1988

Starring: Park Bo-Gum, Lee Hye-Ri, Go Kyung-Pyo, Kim Sung-Kyun, Sung Dong-Il, Ra Mi-Ran

If there is only one Korean Drama that you will ever watch, then it has to be Reply 1988. This is the drama that is the essence of Korean culture and tradition. This is one drama that I can watch again and again without getting bored. In fact, I even asked my 11 year old to watch this drama to understand the concept of family, friends, neighbours and sacrifice. It’s cult like Andaz Apna Apna or Hera Pheri or Nukkad of the yesteryears.

Reply 1988 follows the lives of 5 families who live in a neighbourhood called Ssangmungdong in Seoul in the year 1988. It shows how women despite different social standing meet every day and discuss their husband, children and even menopause. On the other hand, their kids who attend the same school and are the best of friends go through various ups and downs, but stay together.

Reply 1988 is not a drama, but it is an emotion that you need to feel. Do watch it because I don’t think my review can do full justice to it.

There are Reply 1994 and Reply 1997 too, but I haven’t watched them. They don’t have the same star cast, and to be honest, there is only one reply for me.

Another great drama starting with R is “Romance is a Bonus Book” starring Lee Jong-Suk and Lee Na-Young. It follows the romance between Cha Eun-Ho, a gifted writer who’s also the youngest editor-in-chief of a noteworthy publishing firm and Kang Dan-I, a divorcee mom finding her place back in the society.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Under The Queen’s Umbrella

Under The Queen’s Umbrella

Starring: Kim Hye-Soo, Choi Won-Young, Moon Sang-Min, Kim Hae-Sook

I am not a fan of Korean period dramas, those elaborative head gears, uncomfortable looking clothes and continuous bowing, are something I can’t relate to. However, when I realised that I had not watched a single K-drama starting with the alphabet Q, I had to find one. There were a lot of dramas featuring Queen, however, this one for some reason caught my eye. I think I got drawn to it because it was a story of a Mother Queen, and nowadays, I am looking for dramas with which I can relate to, and that should not be just a mindless romance.

Queen Im Hwang (Kim Hye-Soo) is the mother of 5 royal princes, the eldest of whom is the Crown Prince. However, the Crown Prince soon falls sick and before her eyes, the helpless Queen seeds her eldest son withering away. Later on, she comes to know that the Prince was poisoned. In the palace, apart from the Queen, there is the Mother Queen who is not only an evil person but also hates Im Hwang from the bottom of her heart. She wants to dispose the Queen and her sons, and wants one of the princes of the many consorts and concubines of the King to be the Royal Prince.

In order to retain her position as the Queen, it is imperative that one of the remaining four sons of Im Hwang be the next Crown Prince. It’s not an easy feat, her four sons are lazy and irresponsible, and now suddenly when they are asked to fight to be the Crown Prince, they don’t take the suggestion kindly. But to fulfil their mother’s wish, they get into the conquest, albeit half-heartedly. A few sons give up in the middle, while few compete till the end.

What is important is not who becomes the Crown Prince, but how the entire story pans out. Kim Hye-Soon as the Queen is exceptional, she has carried the entire show on her shoulders. If not for her, I would not have watched the show at all.

The story is riveting, and all the characters, whether playing evil or good, have well contributed to the show. The dirty politics of the palace, the interesting war of words between the Queen and the Mother Queen, kept me hooked till the end.

In the end, I admit I was fascinated with the beautiful brocade gowns and the huge headpins the ladies of the palace wore. 

Watch “Under the Queen’s Umbrella” for a peep into the palace life and politics of the Joseon era.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Diary of a Prosecutor

Diary of a Prosecutor

Starring: Lee Sun-Kyun, Jung Ryeo-Won

I was not a big fan of courtroom dramas, until I watched Diary of a Prosecutor.

The story is about a team of people working as prosecutors in Jinyoung district office. It’s a drama that shows the daily mundane routine of overworked prosecutors often staying up late nights to handle the different cases handed over to them by the Police. However, how each one of them brings their personal flavour in those cases is the crux of the drama.

Lee Sun-Woong (Lee Sun-Kyun) is a carefree prosecutor, who lives all alone in the sleepy, boring town of Jinyoung while his wife and kid are in Seoul. However, he is hardworking and more importantly, he is fearless and doesn’t mind standing up to his superiors if he feels he is right. He also shares easy camaraderie with everyone in the team. Enters Cha Myung-Joo (Jung Ryeo-Won), she is another hardworking prosecutor who has been sent to Jinyoung office for going against her superior’s wishes. Myung-Joo’s style of working is quite different from the rest of the team, and she easily offends people with her arrogance.

All the characters appear real and relatable, they come with their own set of flaws. I like the wit and humour in the show, and also appreciate the way they have shown the technical aspects that go into solving cases. This is one show where there is no romance between the leads, and that is quite a refreshing change.

Lee Sun-Kyun as the fearless prosecutor is the heart of the show, while the headstrong Jung Ryeo-Won supports him equally in making this show into a great one. I was actually sad when the show came to an end, the prosecution team at Jinyoung had become such an integral part of my life for the 5 days it took me to finish the entire drama.

Watch Diary of a Prosecutor for Lee Sun-Kyun, he is amazing and it is an excellent drama!

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

One Spring Night

One Spring Night

Starring: Jung Hae-In, Han Ji-Min

The first Korean show I ever started watching was One Spring Night, however, used to being fast paced dramas, I found it exceedingly slow and frustrating. So, I left it after the first episode and switched on to another drama, “Something in the Rain” (interestingly, it has Jung Hae-In as the male lead as well) and fell in love with K dramas hook, line and sinker. After completing the show, I came back to One Spring Night only because of the super handsome Jung Hae-In, and found the show to be more interesting and suitable for a matured audience.

Lee Geong-In (Han Ji-Min) is in a long standing relationship, however, she is unhappy and feels dissatisfied. To add to her confusion, she meets a single father Yu Ji-Ho (Jung Hae-In) who professes that he likes her. Geong-In is attracted to Ji-Ho, but is unable to break with her boyfriend, Gi-Seok (Kim Jun-Han). A patient Ji-Ho gives her time, but in the process Geong-In’s Gi-Seok comes to know about Ji-Ho’s presence in her girlfriend’s life. His ego is hurt, especially as he considers Ji-Ho’s social standing to be lower than his as he is a single father, and takes it upon himself to free Geong-In from Ji-Ho’s clutches. However, Geong-In is a strong-willed woman and takes Gi-Seok head on.

I like the drama not only because of the strong feminist character of Geong-In who goes against her strict father’s wishes and defies societal rules, but I also like her as a confused woman who is unable to decide whether she should go ahead with Ji-Ho. Geong-In is both strong and weak, and that is something most women can relate to. The side stories, especially of Geong-In’s elder sister gives a glimpse into the regressive thinking of the Korean society, which to some point is quite similar to Indian.

I like the show because of the two adorable leads, Jung Hae-In is my favourite, you must know that by now. I had read somewhere that Han Ji-Min is prone to overacting, but in this show, she has restrained herself and acted like never before. Not only the chemistry between Jung Hae-In and Han Ji-Min looks authentic, but also they have acted so naturally with each other. There are scenes where it actually feels that they didn’t know the camera was rolling, they look so unrehearsed and hence all the more real.

I also liked Ji-Ho’s two friends – they are goofy but also stand by Ji-Ho in difficult times. Geong-In’s younger sister Jae-In is another gusty woman who stands up to her father and dates Ji-Ho’s friend on her own terms.

The music of the show is brilliant, especially the song by Carla Bruni – Spring Waltz is so hauntingly beautiful that you feel like bawling your eyes out whenever you listen to it. Other beautiful songs are “We Could Still Be Happy” and “No Direction” by Rachael Yamagata. I cannot image One Spring Night without these songs.

Watch this show for a mature, unhurried drama and soul lifting songs.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.



Starring: Song Kang, Han So-Hee

One of the boldest Korean dramas I have watched. Two art school students Park Jae-Eon (Song Kang) and Yu Na-Bi (Han So-Hee) embark on a friends-with-benefits relationship. Of course, both of them end up falling in love with each other at different points in time, but there is denial, commitment phobia and in the end they both accept that their emotions are more profound than just passion.

I found both leads a little jaded and expressionless. It was bearable for the first few episodes, but they never get their expressions right. The good thing about the show was that it was just a 10-part show, I am grateful that the producers realised the show wasn’t meaty enough to drag it till the usual 16 episodes.

I loved the titles of each episodes – they were quite meaningful.

“I Know Nothing Will Change. Nevertheless,”

“There’s No Such Thing As Love. Nevertheless,”

“Love. I know that it will cause me pain again. Nevertheless, I still…”

Watch the show because it’s not your average show cut from the same old cookie cutter mould. Also, the sex scenes though risqué have been artfully done.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

My Liberation Notes

My Liberation Notes

Starring: Son Seok-Goo, Kim Ji-Won, Lee Min-Ki, Lee El

It’s a story of three siblings, who though only in their thirties are already exhausted by the monotony of their everyday life.

While the eldest of the siblings, Yeom Gi-Geong (Lee El) is looking for a perfect life partner, the younger one, Yeom Chang-Hee (Lee Min-Ki) is a commitment phobic, and harbours a very simple dream that is to move to Seoul where all the action lies. On the other hand, the youngest one, Yeom Mi-Geong (Kim Ji-Won), is an introvert and the most obedient of the three siblings. However, she is strong willed and is looking for ways to liberate herself from the tyranny of extroverted people. Maybe that’s the reason why it comes as a total shocker when she asks Mr. Gu (Son Seok-Goo), the farm hand on her father’s farm “to worship her.” Not love, mind you, but worship, that’s quite a choice of words!

Mr. Gu agrees to this form of worship, but their relationship is not the normal kind. They hardly speak, but are comfortable in each other’s company. Yeom Chang-Hee is the goofy one and his rants are hilarious. Like the instance where he tries to copy Mr. Gu and jumps over the canal only to end up falling in it face down, or when he has to urgently use the loo at Mr. Gu’s place in the night and end ups obsessing over Mr. Gu’s luxury car keys.

My Liberation Notes is a slice of drama that is quite unusual and hence appealing too. I have seen Lee Min-Ki playing an introvert in the drama “Because this is my First Life”, and I liked him in it, but I also found him equally good playing a loudmouth in this show. He is that versatile an actor.

Watch this show for the super cute underrated romance between Mi-Geong and Mr. Gu. Son Seon-Gu is absolutely adorable and after watching this show went on to feature on my Most Handsome Korean Male Actors list.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

Let’s Eat

Let’s Eat

Starring: Lee Soo-Kyung, Yoon Doo-Joon

It’s a show about food and people romancing food. What a beautiful concept!

The show opens up to a woman on a blind date queuing up outside a popular food joint. When she and her date get a seat, her date announces he wouldn’t be able to do justice to the portions of the food. The woman is disappointed and returns the next day alone and orders a dish and does full justice to it.

The way she eats her food – with her eyes first and then making those heavenly noises will give you multiple orgasms right there and then, believe me. The male lead supports her in this enthusiasm for food, however, nowhere does this gluttony feel gross.

I am a vegetarian, but while watching this show, on multiple occasions I felt like giving it up and start eating meat.

Watch this show because not only the food is beautifully presented but also all the actors are endearing. Also, there is quite a nice mystery too that keeps you engrossed till the end.

PS: I have watched Let’s Eat 2 which has the same male lead, however, the storyline changes and so do other actors, but the love for food in both leads remains unwavering.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.