Wednesday, March 30, 2016
"Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" has had one pretty impressive first week with episode two continuing to build our characters and their strengths and weaknesses, giving us a better look into our villains and delivering on the comedy as well. Most importantly, it is potentially a major turning point for Deul-ho and Eun-jo, showing us a glimpse into their future together.
The episode delivers some well-paced progression. Deul-ho (Park Shin-yang) now has Ae-ra (Hwang Seok-jeong) and Dae-soo (Park Won-sang) working with him, and he is getting back his groove in court despite some hilarious mistakes. We also get a glimpse into what makes our villains tick. Ji-wook (Ryoo Soo-yeong) feels inferior and wants to prove himself to his father, Sin Yeong-il (Kim Kap-soo). Yeong-il is motivated by success. Both are slaves to the Big Bad, played by Jeong Won-joong, because neither of them can see it hurts them and their relationship.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 2
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
"Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" is here and he aims to seek justice with every fiber of his homeless attire. He will troll you into submission and make you pay for your wrongdoings - in servings of spare ribs. Park Shin-yang is in town, folks, and he is back with quite the entrance. There is no better indication of a promising show than laughing, crying, cheering and fangirling all in one episode.
Episode one is a roller coaster ride of emotions and exposition. We get to know our hero's roots, where life has taken him and we get to see just how wrong things can go and why. The why is simple and something we have seen many times before. A guy holding hands with less-than-honest people decides to be honest for once and pays for it dearly. The show might be upbeat and deliver plenty of laughs, but it is also very raw and ruthless with its portrayed reality.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 1
Monday, March 28, 2016
"Vampire Detective" starts out with a bang and a bite, as our heroes and villains are introduced, mysteries are opened and relationships established. The series offers a lot of action and crime solving, but there is more than meets the eye to the story and characters involved in it. I have questions, a lot of them and if a series can create enough investment for one to have them, I call that a solid start.
Judging from the preview to episode two, what we have is a drama using the episodic format OCN has favored a lot until now. The problem with shows diving right into that format is that we have little time left to really get to know and warm up to our main characters and their own conflicts. It is therefore quite fortunate that "Vampire Detective" first introduces the main plot before going back and following the path to its untangling.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Vampire Detective" Episode 1
Sunday, March 27, 2016
The Monday-Tuesday prime time dramas are approaching and we have casting confirmations, promotional material and more for a lot of works. Busy time for us busy drama fans. I am also happy to introduce some new drama related content I will be handling for the site starting soon. Join me in my ramblings and drop a comment to let me know how your drama week went!
Trolling Casting Directors
Seeing Hwang Jeong-eum and Ji Seong in competing time slots was a funny enough coincidence. Then came the news that Hyeri of "Answer Me 1988" will be Ji Seong's leading lady and Ryu Jun-yeol of "Answer Me 1988" will be Hwang Jeong-eum's leading gent. This made me laugh, because I pictured the casting directors furiously trying to one-up each other. I hope to follow "Entertainers", although the tight schedule's potential impact on the drama itself and Hyeri's health worry me.
Full Article: [Orion's Drama News] Battle of the OTPs.
There is so much meta goodness in a shunned star actor playing a shunned star prosecutor who is out to rediscover the fun in his work after taking a tumble. The goodness is even greater when the promotion for this new piece uses these events for some fun humor. "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" is Park Shin-yang's return to Dramaland. Hopefully he can bring the fun back with him.
Jo Deul-ho (Park Shin-yang) is a man who had everything. He was also someone who could not tolerate corruption happening right in front of him. After losing everything for revealing it, he becomes a lawyer out to protect those touched by injustice.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho"
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Another week, another selection of drama news. We had all sorts of things happening these past few days, from the regular to the outrageous. The time is approaching for upcoming dramas, some star-studded new ones have begun their run and Song Joong-ki is here to steal you from your lovers and possibly ruin your life and health. Ok, maybe not.
They Aim to Entertain
"Entertainers" is on a hunt for its main cast and we have some interesting confirmations and possibilities. I'm mostly happy with things, although I do wonder who the runners up might be for Hyeri's role if the lady cannot accept it. She was recently hospitalized with meningitis and I certainly don't want her to risk her health for our entertainment, if she is not yet well. Even so, the series sounds interesting, so let's see how things progress.
Full Article: [Orion's Drama News] "Oppas" Are Bad for You
Having a love for suspense, mystery or any other genres outside of romance, family, period and melodrama can be hard when a Korean drama fan. Crime shows are aplenty now, but few really achieve great quality in an enthralling presentation. "Signal" is nothing new. The timeline communication element is reminiscent of works such as Hollywood film "Frequency" and the rest is a suspense and crime series. Yet what makes "Signal" work is something Korean drama creators tend to forget. Quality matters.
Park Hae-yeong (Lee Je-hoon) is a criminal profiler. After being caught by Cha Soo-hyeon (Kim Hye-soo) for selling celebrity secrets to reporters, he discovers an old two-way radio in a van at the police station's parking lot. The mysterious voice on the other side is detective Lee Jae-han (Jo Jin-woong) and he knows Hae-yeong. Hae-yeong realizes the busted radio connects him to the past and works with Jae-han to solve cases in the present. Both men soon discover the consequences of altering what has already come to pass.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Signal"
Vampire themed works have had their ups and downs in Korean drama. We do not have all that many of them, but there is a world of difference between "Vampire Prosecutor" and "Blood". As a gimmick, vampirism is starting to get kind of old. Until Lee Joon and Oh Jeong-se came along to be complete bromantic goofballs for our pleasure.
Yoon San (Lee Joon) is a private detective who gets turned into a vampire. He solves cases for clients while trying to figure out the secrets of his own past and solve the mystery of his new nature.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Vampire Detective"
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Join yours truly, writer and community manager Orion with more drama news this week. And what a busy week it has been. The "Cheese in the Trap" controversies keep coming, we have a truck-load of new goodies from upcoming shows and our exclusive interview with "Moorim School" actor Sam Okyere is finally here!
Park Hae-jin's Disappearing Act
It seems the lack of subtlety in erasing Park from "Cheese in the Trap" has carried over to the OST booklet. More mess comes from Kim Go-eun-I's side, because of statements she may or may not have made. Things are ugly, but this is just a good reminder that these industries have their issues behind all the glamour and that we know too little about what goes on in each situation to place blame. We do it anyway, of course, because we just suck like that.
Full Article: [Orion's Drama News] Exclusives and Debacles
Like all adaptations of successful original works, "Cheese in the Trap" had been under quite a bit of scrutiny in the time leading to its airing date. Things eventually turned out well and everyone was happy. Unfortunately, everything went awry again when the controversy sprung up. The drama's troubles started way before that, however. "Cheese in the Trap" deserves to be looked at like any other work, isolated from outside production debacles and scandals. When looking at it that way, its problems begin way before the infamous ending. What do I think about said ending? Well, read on.
Hong Seol's (Kim Go-eun-I) life is full of misfortune after she clashes with Yoo Jeong (Park Hae-jin). Seol suspects he is the one causing it. Fast forward in time and Jeong is suddenly a changed man, or is at least behaving like one. A romance develops between Seol and him, but their relationship is constantly tested by Seol's mistrust and Jeong's hidden dark side.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap"
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Welcome back to weekly drama news with writer and community manager Orion. During this week I keep piling on the upcoming drama goodies and speak about my followed shows, both of which will be regular categories here. I also address the elephant in the room (no, not me, the other one) called "Cheese in the Trap", which you will be able to read more about in my review next week.
Park Hae-jin Eying JTBC Drama
After the messy behind the scenes drama surrounding "Cheese in the Trap", not to mention its netizen-enraging ending, Park Hae-jin has gotten quite a few sympathy points with viewers. The man wastes no time and the drama he is considering, called "Man to Man", sounds like a right bromance-fest, but hopefully a good one. I am waiting for the PD, writer and fellow lead before I get excited, but if those are solid and Park accepts, I will be checking it out.
Full Article: [Orion's Drama News] Death and Taxes
Babies could easily be characterized as the most wonderful and terrifying stage of a person. Little tiny humans with barely any control of their little tiny humanity and in need of close care and protection. Now imagine how scary they must be to someone whose concept of care and protection involves weapons and armlocks. Welcome to MBC's "My Little Baby".
Cha Jeong-han (Oh Ji-ho) is a detective working in a special unit dealing with violent crimes. One day he finds himself as the guardian of his little niece, Eun-ae and re-unites with his first love, Han Ye-Seul (Lee Soo-kyeong), who is now a single mom.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama Preview] "My Little Baby"
While ratings behemoth "Descendants of the Sun" is plowing through the drama season, this means little to fans outside of the Korean and Chinese markets. After all, a good drama fan should know that numbers do not measure individual enjoyment or cover all viewer tastes. "Please Come Back, Mister" might not be getting the spotlight, but this is not stopping it from being fun.
Do you remember that time when some dramas used to have light parts and dark parts, when they used to know and mostly stick to their chosen tone and genres and when the promotion leading up to those was not for an imaginary series they never turned out to be? "Please Come Back, Mister" brings those times back by being a human drama which remembers the beauty of balance and respecting audiences.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Please Come Back, Mister"
The long awaited, fully pre-produced "Descendants of the Sun" is here and boy, has it made an entrance. With domestic and foreign ratings, sales and buzz soaring high, the drama is undoubtedly a huge success. At the same time, it is really not a story with something for everyone and has its share of issues which range from tolerable to frustrating. For those who like the type, however, this is one fun ride.
"Descendants of the Sun" is pure romance. This is a show about pretty people falling in dramatic love in exotic locations. While the production's efforts with the action parts are commendable, this is not the work for those keen on this side of it. The war so far merely functions as a background, not a focus. On the other hand, the romances are in full swing and the eye candy plentiful.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Descendants of the Sun"