Tag: Kdrama Review & Summary

Marriage Contract (KDrama Review & Summary)

Weekend Classic

Marriage Contract (KDrama Review & Summary)

Marriage Contract poster

  • Genre: Fake Marriage, Romance, Melodrama, Family
  • Release Date: March 2016
  • Origin: South Korea
  • KDrama: 16 Episodes

Cast:

  • Lee Seo-jin as Han Ji-hoo
  • Uee as Kang Hye-soo
  • Kim Yong-geon as Han Seong-gook
  • Park Jung-soo as Yoon Seon-yeong
  • Lee Hwi-hyang as Oh Mi-ran
  • Kim Young-pil as Han Jeong-hoon
  • Shin Rin-ah as Cha Eun-seong
  • Kim Kwang-kyu as Park Ho-joon
  • Kim Yoo-ri as Seo Na-yoon
  • Jung Kyung-soon as Shim Yeong-hee
  • Lee Hyun-geol as Kong Soo-chang
  • Pyo Ye-jin as Hyun A-ra
  • Ahn Ji-hoon as Jo Seung-joo
  • Kim So-jin as Hwang Joo-yeon

Synopsis & Review

Marriage Contract is GlobalGranary’s weekend classic.  I have heard many good things about this 2016 drama.

Anyway, I can’t believe how much I cried in this film.  I love both the leads. They both acted their hearts out.

Uee was elegantly heartbroken with the unfairness of life while Lee Seo-Jin was so emotional with things beyond his control.

The story is rather contentious, it is not that run of the mill, rich boy meets poor girl and after so many misunderstanding lead a happy life together.

It would probably lead into that scenario for a while, but there is more to it than that because it involves organ trafficking.

Probably, selling of organs is too controversial to really tackle in a drama that in the end the script cower away from it.

Hye Soo was a widow, who lost her husband before their child was even born.

Seven years later, she was still struggling to pay off the debts incurred by her dead husband from a nasty loan shark.

She and her daughter are constantly on the move from pillar to post, trying to evade the loan shark.

She was at the end of tether after once again the loan shark had found her new home and was threatened to pay up 1M or else she will be sold off to prostitution.

She overheard the conversation between the manager and owner of the restaurant, where she works as a sous chef.

They were talking about finding a woman to have a fake marriage with and she would then be paid 1-2M to donate part of her liver to the owner’s mother, who suffers from cirrhosis and needed transplant.

Though grossly inappropriate, Hye Soo volunteered herself to be the fake wife and donate her liver for cash.

Hye Soo was immediately able to pay off the loan shark in full upon attaching her seal on the marriage contract with Ji Hoo.

Ji Hoo belongs to a dysfunctional family.  He is a chaebol, though he was a son of his father’s mistress, who was an actress and now needed a transplant.

His father controls everything with an iron rod or walking stick.  He was an Alpha male, though to be fair he does favour Ji Hoo more than his elder brother, Jeong Hoon, who was a womanising, violent and spoilt man.

As Hye Soo prepares for the surgery, Ji Hoo starts to be charmed by Hye Soo’s daughter.  He likes having a young family and started to care for Hye Soo as well.

Unfortunately, Hye Soo fate is not one for happy ever after ending as she found out that she has a brain tumour which is inoperable.  A terminal illness that would only allow her to live for five years at the most.

It is not a bad story, it is not maudlin all the time, there are some lighter moments.

I totally recommend this drama as essential viewing.

 

4****(out of 5)

 

 

100 Days My Prince (KDrama Review & Summary)

Drama

100 Days My Prince (KDrama Review & Summary)

My 100 Days My Prince poster

 

  • Genre: Historical fiction, Drama, Comedy, Romance
  • Release Date: September 2018
  • KDrama: 15 Episodes
  • Origin: South Korea

Cast:

  • Do Kyung-soo as Lee Yool / Wondeuk
    • Jung Ji-hoon as young Lee Yool
  • Nam Ji-hyun as Hong-sim / Yoon I-seo
  • Heo Jung-eun as young Hong-sim
  • Jo Sung-ha as Kim Cha-eon
  • Cho Seong Ha as Kim Cha Eon
  • Oh Yeon A as Queen Park
  • Ji Min Hyuk as Prince Seowon
  • Kim Sun Ho as Jung Je Yoon
  • Han So-hee as Kim So-hye
  • Choi Myung-bin as young Kim So-hye

 

Synopsis:
A crown prince had amnesia and for 100 days lived as someone else.

Episode 1

At the age of six, Lee Yool was a happy, energetic boy, who wants nothing to do but play outside and take revenge on a girl, who was self-possessed, intelligent and calm.  He is part of the royal family, his father is a brother to the king.

Lee Yool is playful, one day they misled the little girl into going in a little shack to rescue a child who had been kidnapped.

The girl was caught by the owner of the shack, which shocked the young Lee Yool so much, he runs off leaving the girl behind.

That night he can’t sleep worrying about the girl, so he sneaked out to go find the girl, who at that time was having a happy time with the ‘ogre’.  Lee Yool was so surprised and developed respect for the fearless girl.  He told her that he likes her and will marry her one day.

His mother is calm and collected who loved him dearly and who he loved the most.  He used to tell her everything including a crush on the girl, who he thought was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

In the background, his father was approached by an ambitious minister who told him that he will make him the king but he had to leave his wife.  At first, the father was having none of it.

While Lee Yool was with the girl, he saw soldiers came to slaughter the girl’s family including her father.  She got away with her brother.

Lee Yool prevented the soldier from going after the girl and her brother by telling them that he is part of the royal family.

He was taken to his father, who was assured that everyone had been massacred as per his instruction and that he is now the king.

The boy was heartbroken.  He can’t believe his father was that evil.

During the coronation, he found out that his mother had died on her way back from the temple.

Lee Yool was absolutely heartbroken.

I have to admit the young boy who played him was excellent, I was crying with him when he was howling in grief about his mother.

Fifteen years later, he is the crown prince and married but the nuptial had not been consummated.

Prince Lee Yool, had lost all of his sense of humour and he is anti-social.  He hated people who are happy and giggly.  if it fits his mood, he would have them executed.

His father and the various ministers have been pressuring him to consummate the marriage to end the droughts as apparently his current state of affair is upsetting the natural balance of yin and yang.

Though the crown princess is pretty, she just doesn’t rock his boat.

The pressure to shag the princess got to him, he was so stressed out that he was laden in bed for ten days but beforehand, he issued an edict that everyone who is still single, male and female in their 20s should get married, no exception, towards the end of the month.  This should end the drought!  🙂

Now, Yoon I-seo is in her 20s.  She was absolutely incensed to find out about this marriage ruling.  She told them that she was engaged to someone who was doing his military training in the mountains.

Yoon I-seo was the girl Prince Lee Yool liked as a young boy.  I-seo decided to leave her village to go look for her brother.

Her path then crossed with the prince who was entranced with her beauty.  He was looking at her with such longing but she runs off.

Episode 2

Again it became a mission for the whole palace to pressure the crown prince to sleep with his wife.  This got him thinking.  What is the real reason for the haste?

He is clever in his own way, so he visited his wife with a female medical doctor but the princess won’t let her touch her.

Lee Yool then asked her how can it be possible that she is pregnant when they haven’t even so much as held hands?

He went to tell this to the king, who was not interested.  Instead, he was sent to attend some hunting festivities, where he was almost assassinated.  He was badly wounded and fell into a deep ravine and rescued by I-seol adoptive father.

This was rather timely as I-seol needed someone to pretend as her betrothed, Wondeuk, before she was beaten to death for being still single.

I have to say DO is superb in this drama.  I did not know that he is actually very fanciable.  His acting was so good in this drama.

Episode 3

The amnesiac Crown Prince in the guise of Wondeuk appeared while ISeol was being pummelled in her bottom.

Though Wondeuk cannot remember anything, he retained his normal characteristics and traits.  He looks down on them.  He was behaving like a prince.  He doesn’t like the food, the house is too filthy, his clothes are second hand and rough to the skin.  He even said that  ISeol was too common; he would have not allowed himself to be betrothed to her.

There was a funny scene where they were trying to convince him that it was too late to back out from marrying Iseol as he already had his way with her at the WaterMill before he went to for his military training.

In the end, he did not have much choice but to marry her but told Iseol that it would be a marriage of convenience, he was not touching her.

At the end of the episode, he was not averse to touching her.

Episode 4

Iseol was beginning to get tired of  Wondeuk. She told him whether he has amnesia or just plain stupid.  He was not only unwilling to do work but had also single-handedly put them into debt but falling for the tricks of an infamous loan shark.

He used the money to buy himself the best silk silla.  He also redecorated the house, front garden and bedroom but kicked Iseol out of the bedroom.

Meanwhile, the palace has doubled up their search for the body of the crown prince.

Towards the end of the episode Wondeuk begs Iseol to help him remember.  He know as much being a noble because he is convinced he had never bowed down to anybody before.

Episode 5- 6

Iseol also known as Hong Sim has met her brother Seok Ha by accident at the market.  He is now a palace guard.

Hong Sim told him that she misses him and he hugged her and said he misses her as well but they can’t be together for long as they are not supposed to exist anymore.

Episode 7-8

It is now halfway to the whole drama.

Wondeuk is still amnesiac but started to question things.

The king was forced to add his seal to a blank canvas by the Vice prime Minister for future favour/edict in return the Queen and her son will not have to abdicate.

The king also just swallowed the fact that the crown princess is pregnant by the ‘dead’ crown prince, although he knew that the prince never slept with the princess.

Seok Ha almost killed wondeuk because he recognised him as the crown prince, but wondeuk was so quick and agile he was able to evade the arrow.

Seok Ha was not so lucky though as he was shot by an arrow in front of the pregnant crown princess.

He might be the father of the baby of the crown princess.

Episode 9-10

Wondeuk and Hong Shim are getting along well.  Wondeuk is beginning to get used to the life of a peasant and being with Hong Shim was making him fulfilled.  So much so that despite the little flashes of memory of his real life, he was determined to just live as Wondeuk.

Hong Shim broached the subject of escaping to a new life with her brother and father somewhere where no one knew them.  Wondeuk was all for it as long as he was with her.

Because the palace thought that the crown prince was dead and buried, there was a vacancy for the position.  The preparation for inaugurating the new crown prince was quickly being put together at the instigation of the queen to make her position more tenable by putting her own son to the position.

Episode 11 -12

Alas the romance of Wondeuk and Hong Shim is over before it properly began.

The Vice Minister, Kim Cha Eon with his man had surrounder Wandeuk rather threateningly at first but they all suddenly bowed down to him.  The vice told him that he was the Crown Prince and there was no moment to lose to return to the palace as a new crown prince is going to be hailed.

The Vice also mention that the Crown Princess is waiting for him and had not even once believed that he was dead.  A new crown prince would mean the child in the Crown Princess womb would not naturally inherit the title one day.

So off they went back to the palace and Wondeuk to being the Crown Prince.

Hong Shim finally found out that Wondeuk was royalty.  The people in the village also realised that Wondeuk, the man they treated like a moron was the crown prince.

Poor Hong Shim, she was really missing him but realised they can’t be together and decided to move on with her brother and ‘father’ to a faraway country.

The Crown Prince himself was like a zombie.  He sees Hong Shim in every corner, he had also lost his appetite.

The Crown Prince allowed an audience with Jung JeYoon, the village governor.  The prince asked him about Hong Shim but Jung Je Yoon advised him to forget all about her for her sake and her father because if it gets known that he lived with them, the prince will be putting them in danger.

Despite the warning, the prince just could not forget Hong Shim, so he rode his horse at the middle of the night to find Hong Shim.

Episode 13 -14

Episode 15-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Couple (KDrama Review & Summary)

Drama

Emergency Couple (KDrama Review & Summary)

Emergency Couple Official poster

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy, Medical Drama
  • Release Date: January 2014
  • KDrama: 21 Episodes
  • Origin, South Korea

Cast:

  • Song Ji-hyo as Oh Jin-hee
  • Choi Jin-hyuk as Oh Chang-min
  • Lee Pil-mo as Gook Cheon-soo
  • Choi Yeo-jin as Shim Ji-hye
  • Clara – Han Ah-reum,
  • Yoon Jong-hoon as Im Yong-gyu

Synopsis:

About a young couple who ended up divorced but rekindled their love and affection inside the emergency ward of the hospital.

I watched this hospital drama for the second time this weekend.

A true classic.

The story is really a love triangle between Oh Chang Min, Oh Jin Hee, and Good Cheon Soo.

The drama started with two young people in their bridal garb running into a church which was already in a middle of service.

It seems the priest was au fait with their intention to get married because he married them there and then.

Chang Min was a medical student, coming from a rich medical (doctors) family who owns a few hospital, etc.

Oh Jin Hee was a vivacious nutritionist.

They got married but it was far from happily ever after.  Oh Chang Min wealthy family refuses to recognise his marriage and had basically cut him off from the family finances.  Thus he had to give up his carefree chaebol life as well as becoming a doctor.  Instead, he found himself a job as drugs and medical sales representative, which often ends up rather demeaning as he has to beg doctors for their patronage and customs.

His stress overflowed to his wife, who has lost all her joie de’vivre having to listen to Oh Chang Min’ once sweet nothings to constant insult and scorn.  She developed low self-esteem and has a heart problem.

A year later during a particularly fraught day, they had a mother of all disagreements, they turned their little apartment into a chaotic environment littered with their hopes and dreams and wedding photo frame all broken up.

There was really anywhere else to go but to get out of the marriage.

Seven years later, they ended up both medical interns in the same hospital under the Gook Cheon Soo.

They pretended they don’t know each other.  Oh Chang Min treated Oh Jin Hee appallingly and kept on her to drop out.

Over time Oh Chang Min noticed that Oh Jin Hee had become a strong woman and no longer dependent on him.

He noticed too that Gook Cheon Soo was rather partial to Oh Jin Hee.  This made him think, and started seeing Oh Jin Hee on a different light.  He become rather possessive of her.

She, on the other hand, played hard to get and started flirting with Gook Cheon Soo, who was really into her.

But Oh Chang Min had matured and was determined to start over with her.

Well no brainer really.  He was tall and gorgeous and has found his inner romantic side, plus the fact that he is no longer too dependent on his family.

There are so many sweet moments. The script was very well written and interpreted competently by the actors.

This drama is a true classic that you will go back too again and again and will find it fresh!

Witch’s Love (KDrama Review & Summary)

Drama

Witch’s Love (KDrama Review & Summary)

Witch’s Love poster

  • Genre: Romance, Supernatural, mystery
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • KDrama: 12 Episodes

Cast:

  • Yoon So-Hee as Kang Cho-Hong
  • Hyun Woo as Ma Sung-Tae
  • Lee Hong-Bin as Hwang Jae-Wook
  • Kim Young-Ok as Maeng Ye-Soon
  • Go Soo-Hee as Jo Aeng-Doo

This is quite a cute classic drama of a love triangle between a rich man, a poor girl and equally poor man, who’s got potential.

Anyway, the girl is a witch who lived in an old building with her two grandmothers.

Cho Hong delivers the take-out order from their rice-soup restaurant, which is highly patronised by the rich and the not quite so well off.  There is always a queue when the restaurant is opened for business.

If you are not aware of their situation, you would think that they are raking in the money.  An ambitious bank clerk thought so too and seduced Cho Hong into going out with him.  But he found out that it was, in fact, the opposite,  The witches needed the money to pay rent for their restaurant as a trusted employee stole the deeds to their house/restaurant and sold it own before his death.  The ultimate buyer was Sun Tae, a CEO in a large company.

He has a history with the house, 25 years ago, he was kidnapped and taken to the house, but over the years his memory of the even was no longer clear, although he continuously having nightmares in relation to it.

Cho Hong wanted to know what happened to the money and her grandmothers asked her if she hadn’t noticed that they dine like kings and queens with only the best gourmet food washed down by Dom Perignon.

They never had a need for money before as they thought they ‘owned’ the house/restaurant.

Cho Hong had a traumatic experience when she found out that her boyfriend was sleeping with another woman.  Her distress resulted in her losing her witch power.  Without out her time is limited and she will lose her looks.

She went to another witch who practices black magic.  She was told that she can reverse what happened to her and get her power if she meets a man who loves her truly, her fated man.

Almost at the same instance, she met the CEO who moved in into the house/restaurant as they can’t pay the rent.

She also has gotten to know more of the customer who always orders a larger than normal portion but not too big.  He was a webtoon writer and he told her that he knew her way back from school.  She used to help him out with the bullies and told she was an angel.

Now to get her power back she has to have a kiss with her fated,  She is now officially dating the CEO, who she kissed a number of times.  She later found out that the effect of the kiss from your fated should be instantaneous.

When she finally got her power again she was elated but then became worried because she found out that the Webtoon man gave her a mouth to mouth resuscitation when she collapsed and her heart stopped beating.

Who is her fated?

This is an interesting drama, it is very well acted by a very engaging cast.  The love triangle is cute but I was always rooting for the one she ended with in the end.

It has a very satisfying and traditional ending where love conquers all despite the course of true love never did run smooth.

 

 

 

 

Life (Kdrama Review & Summary)

Life (Kdrama Review & Summary)

Life poster

  • Genre: Medical, Mystery, Crima, Hospital Drama
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • KDrama: 16 Episodes

Cast:

  • Lee Dong Wook as Ye Jin Woo
  • Cho Seung Woo as Koo Seung Hyo (President)
  • Won Jin-A as Lee No Eul
  • Lee Kyu Hyung as Ye Sun Woo
  • Yoo Jae Myung as Joo Kyung Moon
  • Moon So Ri as Oh Se Hwa
  • Moon Sung Geun  a
  • Kim Tae Sang (Deputy Director)
  • Cheon Ho Jin as Lee Bo-Hoon (Director)
  • Tae In-Ho as Sun Woo Chang
  • Yum Hye Ran as Kang Kyung-A
  • Choi Yu Hwa as Choi Seo Hyun
  • Eom Hyo Seop as Lee Sang Yeob
  • Kim Won-Hae as Lee Dong Soo
  • Park Min Gwan as Ko Young-Jae
  • Woo Mi-Hwa as Kim Jung Hee
  • Jung Moon Sung as Jo Nam Hyeong
  • Park Ji Yeon as Lee So-Jung
  • Lee Sang Hee as Kim Eun Ha
  • Jung Hee-Tae as Seo Ji-Yong

Based from the first episode, Life would be a cracking hospital drama.  It sets to follow the tautness and sophistication of the 2017 legal drama, Secret Forest, which also came from the pen of the same writer, Lee Soo-Yeon.

There are also a lot of the actors from Secret Forest who are now playing different roles in Life.


Episode 1

The medical staff at the A&E department were on tenterhook waiting for a patient to be brought in by the medical emergency team.

The lead doctor was Ye Jin Woo, who was absolutely shattered to find out that the patient was DOA (dead on arrival).

The patient happened to be the much loved and respected Director, the head of Sangkook University Hospital.

There were some whispers that there is more to the death than meet the eye.

It was said that the Director had been drinking when he visited the Deputy Director in his house.  After more Soju drinking, the Director apparently decided to smoke despite his dicky heart.  The Deputy Director told him to smoke in the rooftop as he can’t abide smoking.

The director then ended up all broken up on the pavement, having fallen from the rooftop.

Secrets started to come out about the Director.  Apparently, he had been embezzling funds, which Ye Jin Woo found out and confronted the Director about on the same day of his death.

For some reason, Ye Jin-woo got the information from his brother, who may be dead.  Strangely enough, the brother appears disabled at one time and then be hail and hearty during his visit to the hospital.  Ye Jin Woo seemed to suffer from schizophrenia?!!!

With all the sadness of the passing of the Director, the hospital is plunged into chaos as a new president has been appointed, who is a businessman from a large corporation.

The president is trying to make Sangkook University Hospital more viable in a business point of view.

His first task was to transfer three major departments, including the A&E, which is hemorrhaging funds,  into rural hospitals.

The doctors and nurses were in revolt.

 

 

 

Mr Sunshine (KDrama Review & Summary)

Mr Sunshine poster

Drama

  • Genre: Historical, Adventure, Drama
  • Date Released: July 2018
  • KDrama: 24 Episodes

Cast

  • Lee Byung-Hun as Eugene Choi
  • Kim Tae Ri as Go Ae Shin
  • Yoo Yeon-Seok as Goo Dong Mae
  • Kim Min-Jung as Hee-Na
  • Byun Yo-Han as Kim Hee-Sung

This drama has a good pedigree.  The scriptwriter, as well as the director, have worked together before in a couple of masterpieces: Goblin and Descendants of the Sun.

This drama has a very sumptuous feel about it even from episode one.  In fact, this drama is comparable to BBC’s dramas.  The cinematography is fantastic. It is like watching a film; a film like the Titanic 🙂  I supposed, the lead is an A-lister, Lee Byung Hun, popular in Korean films and dramas who had made a mark in a few Hollywood blockbuster movies.

Anyway, the story started in June 1871, during the 8th year of Gojong’s Reign.

An ambitious minister visited another minister’s house.  The ambitious minister (AM) has an eye for the ladies and he fancied the girl serving them their drinks.

The host minister tried to discourage the AM by tempting him with a promise of a virginal girl, he mentioned that the girl who just served them was already married.  But the AM said that he wanted the married servant.

It so happened that the husband of the girl heard what was going on.  So they tried to run away but failed.  Their master did not have an ounce of pity for them.  He ordered that the husband is rolled in a mat and then beaten to his death, while the wife will be taken and be given to the ambitious minister.  At that same time, the six years old son of the couple arrived at the scene.  In front of the child his parents are being beaten, the minister ordered that the boy is beaten to death as well.   The wife jumped next to the pregnant daughter of the minister and quickly took the woman’s lethal-looking hair ornament and pointed it to the woman’s neck.

She told her young son to run, to go.  In desperation, the pregnant woman who was being threatened that her big belly will be stabbed as well if they don’t let the boy go, threw her jade token to the boy and told the boy to go and ordered that no one should run after him.

When the boy was out of sight, his mother let go of the pregnant woman and she jumped into her death in a well.

At that time, Joseon (Korea) had few American ships on its shore.  The American visit quickly resulted in a bloody skirmish killing around 300 Koreans.

Even at a young age, the six years old boy knew that he had no future in Joseon, the way things were.

He managed to stow away in a ship sailing back to America.

His life in America did not improve immediately.  He became a victim of feral young white thugs loitering the street.

When he was about 10, miraculously surviving on his own, he saw soldiers of all colours, marching and looking dignified.  The seed was sown, he wanted to be one.

These are the initiating forces that would affect his return to his old homeland as a high-ranking military of the American arm forces.

Episode 2

It looks like Ae Shin has inherited her mother’s strong woman’s genes.  Ae Shin was not satisfied with just being a well to do submissive wife.  She wanted adventure.  When she told her grandad that she would rather die than be an inconspicuous little mouse, her grandad told her to die.

And she did try by holding a hunger strike which lasted a few days until her grandad had someone take her into the mountains.  She thought she was going to be killed but it turned out her grandad had instructed someone to teach her how to fight, how to fire a gun.

She met Eugene Choi while she was on a mission to assassinate an American, who was working for the Japanese army.

The American was duly assassinated but she was not a lone gunman.  There was another.  It was Eugene Choi.

These episodes now introduce the main characters.

Kim Min Jung looks so lovely in a Japanese kimono ( far from that horrid severe fringe girl from Man to Man drama)


Awards:

6th APAN Star Awards 2018

  • Grand Prize – Lee Byung Hun
  • Drama of The Year – Mr Sunshine
  • Best Supporting Actress – Kim Min Jung
  • Best Actress – Kim Tae Ri