Sunday, January 25, 2015

Drama Review - Mister Baek

Prime time dramas have a hard task to perform. They need a genre like any story, but they also need to be profitable. With a system where failure to reach a certain quota of success has immediate effects on the fate of a show, taking risks with it is not something many are willing to do. 'Mister Baek' had a lot of potential and heart, but trying to cling on to progress without a solid focus sullied it.

Choi Go-bong (Sin Ha-gyoon) is a 71-year-old man with very little tolerance for pretty much anything. Having built his company through hard work and leaving no room for personal time, he has become a bitter and cold old man. Choi Dae-han (Lee Joon), his son, has no interest in the company and his family is only close to him for power. After meeting Eun Ha-soo (Jang Nara), an employee at his hotel, Go-bong gets into an accident that turns him young again. He sets off to make the best of this second chance.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mister Baek".

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Drama First Look - Kill Me, Heal Me

Having a character with seven personalities means there is plenty of room to keep things interesting. 'Kill Me, Heal Me' could be focusing on this unfortunate male lead's plight, playing up its strength. Ji Seong is doing good so far after all. At the moment, however, the show seems determined to shove as much as possible, however silly, into its plot and the question is, when will it be enough?

The series is definitely entertaining for the time being. There is so much going on, both related to the main story and not, there are many characters, there is mystery and the two leads are easy to sympathize with. Do-hyeon's (Ji Seong) pain as he gradually loses himself is definitely the biggest source for emotional investment. Ri-jin (Hwang Jeong-eum) is no damsel and she is easy to like, when she can stop screaming.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Kill Me, Heal Me".

Drama First Look - Heart to Heart

Into the race of mental disorders we go and 'Heart to Heart' sure started with a lot of enthusiasm. With 'Kill Me, Heal Me' off to an insane and loud start and 'Hyde, Jekyll and I' still incoming, this one takes a more understated, but quite human approach. The first two episodes gave us quite a lot for an introduction and we are now venturing into the thick of it.

The drama does not offer any easy solutions and this makes it interesting. A lot happens in these episodes, some of it quite serious, but mostly just very intriguing. In that sense, the show feels more like a gift you are asked to meticulously unwrap than a Jack in the box, which pops out and leaves nothing further to be discovered. It relies on the viewer wanting to dive into the world and characters.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Heart to Heart".

Drama First Look - Spy

KBS2 might be a station the efforts in creativity of which often feel sabotaged from within, but it cannot be said that it does not at least give creators opportunities to air shows that do not exactly sound like the most marketable type. Espionage-family hybrid drama 'Spy - Drama' has made its entrance and it is not what most probably expected. At the moment, this is a very good thing.

The first notable thing about the drama is how it resists the temptation of big action sequences and relying on its spy elements alone to capture its viewers. Most works use action to make what is on the screen entertaining, but characterization and plot progression are often sacrificed in the process. This drama instead keeps a good balance between spy work and family, making it feel subtle, story-focused and for the most part realistic.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Spy - Drama".

Drama Preview - Hyde, Jekyll and I

Last, but not least in this season's psychiatric race comes 'Hyde, Jekyll and I'. The series marks Hyeon Bin's return to drama since 2010 hit 'Secret Garden' and viewer expectations are sky high. With a typical Korean drama outrageous premise and a popular talented star, very little can go wrong, at least entertainment-wise. Whether it will actually be good is not easy to assess at this point.


Goo Seo-jin (Hyeon Bin) has two personalities. One is a cold and Hyde-like director of a theme park and the other a Jekyll-like kind and sweet person. Jang Ha-na (Han Ji-min) is the master of a circus featured in the theme park. When Seo-jin's cruel personality decides to discontinue their contract, the two, or rather three meet.

Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Hyde, Jekyll and I".

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