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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 15-18! the end. The show continued being a struggle to watch until episode 17 or so when Ra-on's father was put on trial. And when the Prince's bodyguard got killed, I was pretty darn angry for the 5 minutes they led me to believe he was actually dead. Anyway, the Queen's baby switcharoo and Prime Minister's plots were unraveled fairly quickly. And the Prince now King lives happily ever after. ~6/10 rating~ for a fun premise, but predictable and rather not-so-fun kdrama.

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 14-20! the end. The flashbacks were cute in episode 15. With the 3rd prince back from the dead and on the throne, he decided to get rid of potential problems including some of his brothers. The 10th prince and wife brought a little levity to all the backstabbing, and their deaths were unfortunate. The 3rd prince quickly went crazy, and died leaving the 4th to take the throne. The pace rushed through different plot points during the second half of the drama, and this sorta resulted into the 4th prince now king's personality deteriorating. I wish writers took the original Chinese story-turned-drama, and filled some of the plot holes. They spent a lot of time developing the 8th's prince's love for Hae-su rather than the 4th's. (maybe she's just falls for Lee Jun-ki's charming looks and pushy personality over the 8th's stoicism) Hae-su was the weakest part of the story. She began as 21st century girl with spunk and then rapidly turned into a weak female lead whose only purpose was to stare doe-eyed into the camera. Thankfully, the supporting female characters were awesome and also beautiful (even the evil princess)...unfortunately, they all get killed off. The song they used for all the deaths was pretty lovely. ~8/10 rating~ for a drama that had so many high quality aspects to that it was lovely to watch. The costuming was really beautiful for both the men and women. None of the supporting characters were potato-looking actors, so it was a feast for the eyes to see them in the costumes. You could tell by the actors/kpop stars that they hired that this was a big budget drama. The fight choreography and outdoor scenes were also quite above your average drama. I suppose we're supposed to be satisfied that the 4th Prince did not turn out to be the blood-thirsty King Hae-su remembers in the history books, but really, they should have shown his reincarnation when they returned to the present time.

The Moon that Embraces the Sun 1-20! the end. Wanted to watch a sageuk kdrama that had super-high ratings to compare it to the other two. This had some strong lead characters and the female love interest was refreshingly intelligent. This does suffer from overly complicated evil plots and the beginning with the kids was weird when the 16-17 year olds were wanting to marry the 12 year old. And then it got weird when they all grew up and some of the cute kids turned out to be unattractive adults. Anyway, this was about two princes (the two suns) and two candidates for princess (the two moons). Both the Crown Prince and illegitimate Prince fall for a pretty girl while the Queen, evil ministers, not-so-pretty girl, the Crown Prince's sister use a shaman's black magic to kill off the pretty girl. The shaman only half-kills her and they all grow up to meet each other again. ~7/10 rating~ for a pretty standard drama. The two main leads had some good banter and character chemistry (not real romantic chemistry, but good compatibility). The side characters all got was due to them..even the illegitimate prince...who redeemed himself for being a dull character at the end, but still deserved that lame death scene.


Oct. 5th, 2016 07:02 pm
Bracelets, unexpected arranged royal weddings, evil queens, secret identities, treatment of girls like property...each drama is following the same checklist.

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 5-14! kdrama. It took me a couple episodes to figure out that the Princess is an actress in a fat costume. It was fairly predictable that she'd lose the weight, too. And because her love-interest likes the chubby princess, I think she'll regain the weight sometime before the show ends. She's a fun character to watch. Yoon-sung, the nice guy, is naturally the first to realize Ra-on's real gender. I think the Prince confesses at least a dozen times to Ra-on. Oh, the sap really drags on in these episodes. It's disappointing that the humor from the first few episodes takes a backseat to the political drama and sappy romance. There's an excessive amount of staring. The fight in episode 12 was nice. Wish it lasted a little longer. The past few episodes have been dragging. :(

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 4-13! kdrama. The 4th Prince's obsession with his hateful mother is far the weakest part of the story, but I suppose angsty, masked face is attractive. It's nice that he gets along with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince and King seem like mildly reasonable characters. Su's interactions with the various princes is fun to watch. It helps that everyone looks pretty damn fine in their traditional Korean-ish outfits. There's a Beauty and the Beast vibe with this show since the characters keep saying that the 4th's scars make him ugly...right, they aren't really trying hard enough to make him ugly. You'd think that he would have thought about makeup before Su showed up. I do wish the time travel gave Su more significant plot devices instead of various damsel in distress situations. She doesn't even act like a modern girl anymore. I'm enjoying all the side characters in this show especially since they are so lovely to look at. Even the non-main female characters are even possibly prettier than Su. Have to admit that this is better than the above drama due to more sword-fighting and the fact that the side stories are fairly cute. Looking forward to what happens after the King's death.

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Sukinahito ga Iru Koto 1-10! the end. jdrama. This is about a female patissier who starts working at a restaurant owned by three brothers. One of the brothers is an old crush, one is the unlikable head chef and the youngest is the token genki character. The two older brothers go back and forth on 'liking' Misaki which might've been amusing if constant emotional constipation was comedic for ten episodes. Anyway, it was a short drama with a happy ending. ~5/10 rating~ for being a short time waster. Not enough yummy food was showcased to make the show worthwhile.
Summer's almost gone. Here are some live-action dramas and movies I've recently watched.

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Kiki's Delivery Service live-action jmovie! pretty much follows the same plot as the Ghibli movie. Can't say that seeing it the 2nd time around with real actors elevates the story in any particular way. The special effects were not too flashy, and adhered to what they needed to be. Unfortunately, Jiji the cat looked a little fake at times. I much prefer the magical nature of 2D animation. ~6/10 rating~ for a rather unnecessary remake.

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Ore Monogatari!! live-action jmovie! is based on the manga of the same name which was also an anime series last year. The live-action version is pretty enjoyable. The actor who plays Takeo doesn't have the extreme height advantage over the other characters, but he does play the part of the clueless, scary teddy bear quite well. The actor who plays Suna plays the aloof, pretty-boy, best friend well, but really, any pretty boy actor could play that part. The movie mainly focuses on the misunderstanding between Yamato and Takeo. And with a little push from Suna, there's a happy ending. ~7/10 rating~ This was sweet and silly. Thankfully, the actress playing Yamato did not have the irritatingly high anime voice.

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My Love from Another Star 1-21! kdrama. the end. This show made the front-ish page of reddit, so I ended up seeing what the hype was about. IMO, it was good background noise. This is about an alien who gets stuck on earth for 400 years. Right before he has a chance to go back to his home planet, he falls for an arrogant, but lonely actress who moves in next door. I really wanted this to get better that more I watched, but I never really got attached. I did get distracted by staring at Do Min-Joon's face (played by Kim Soo-hyun) and wondering if he had collagen injections (my conclusion is yes). Pretty sure Cheon Song-ji (played by Jun Ji-hyun) had some facial work done, too. HD is not kind to aging Korean actors. Anyway, the show is fairly predictable. There are evil parents, an evil sibling, evil coworkers, and the super-nice, third wheel guy who will never get the girl. I was able to make it through by skipping the dull moments and being entertained by the occasional humorous parts. ~6/10 rating~ The show never delved too deeply into the sci-fi aspects of the story. His powers were used when convenient, and didn't work when convenient for angsty dramatic situations. And how is the relationship supposed to work if he is mostly immortal and she is aging. And they can't kiss without him getting sick? While some of the romance was definitely cute, I don't think I was ever convinced of the couple's supposed chemistry.

And on-going shows...

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 1-3! kdrama. So Lee Jun Ki in another period piece lured me in despite my inability to completely watch most of his prior shows. The first few episodes have quite a lot of cheeseball acting, but this quite typical of a show that boasts more than 2 pretty-boy leads...supposedly 14 pretty 'princes' in this show..or is it just 7? Anyway, IU plays a damsel in distress who drowns in present day korea and travels back in time to the Goryeo dynasty. You have your token evil queen and evil son with evil plots. There are a bunch of other princes who have yet to distinguish themselves from one another. An angst-ridden, outcast prince, aka Jun-ki's character, and an overly nice prince, can't-remember-his-name-but-the-actor-always-plays-third-wheel-characters, are the two who vie for IU's attention. The action scenes are ok and the story doesn't lag, so I may be able to stick with this for the duration. The actors are fun eye-candy...

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 1-4! kdrama. This drama is up against Scarlet Heart. It's also a historical drama, but a comedy rather than drama. A young woman is living as a male fortune teller trying to pay off family debt. While it is not a totally original set-up, it gets stranger from there. She gets sold off to the palace eunuchs to pay off the debts. She actually gets the penis-cutter drunk enough to think he did the deed and she manages to pass inspection. She runs into the prince (whom she doesn't identify), and in typical kdrama fashion, they initially hate each other. It'll be fun to see how they fall in love while he thinks she is a eunuch. The absurdity and silliness of this show is refreshing. Hopefully, the story doesn't get caught up in the political blahs and sticks with the comedy. In all likelihood, because this is a historical drama that sort of follows old-fashioned conventions, the two leads won't really end up together, but somehow remain friends. There's no way a eunuch could end up together with the prince.


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