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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "It's Okay, That's Love" Episode 15

2014/09/10 | | Permalink

This episode is all about false reassurance. Jae-yeol takes minor recovery in his condition as justification for early release with...well, not bad consequences exactly. There's no significant disaster this episode that forces another serious reevaluation. It's more a matter of Jae-yeol just taking a hard look at himself and discovering the situation is exactly as dire as the doctors say. Everything is meticulously scripted and shot to lead to this shining moment of self-discovery.

It's a huge building moment of humility for him. Remember that this is the same Jae-yeol who has an unimpeachable reputation as a dreamboat. His aggressive borderline illegal behavior has, to date, only ever gotten him good things in regards to his relationship with Hae-soo...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 8

2014/09/10 | | Permalink

Well, Chuseok is over but "Golden Tower" is still using that weird 2/3s of an episode format so I guess we'll just have to get used to it. While the pool table action is still being shot from somewhat frustrating angles, it quickly becomes clear that this excuse for cue stick tomfoolery was really just leading to a heartwarming message about the importance of brotherly love.

No, not that kind of brotherly love. Well, actually, kind of yes. Of the several similarly silly storylines running in this episode of "Golden Tower", two are an obvious humorous juxtaposition, as they deal with the same basic emotional issue from completely opposite poles of sincerity...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 12

2014/09/09 | | Permalink

The alleged main characters in this drama barely ever actually do anything. At first I thought it was just the usual poor writing, but this episode manages to almost become interesting when Sang-hyeon just decides, you know, maybe we should actually be proactive about the whole ghosts skulking in the night murdering innocent people thing. His efforts aren't terribly successful but at least the guy's trying. Story of his life really...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fated to Love You"

2014/09/09 | | Permalink

Romantic comedy has seen better days in Korean drama. The last couple of years have really been disappointing, with shows going overly dark for the genre and even going as low as to falsely advertise themselves as something with a lighter tone. That is not to say romantic comedy shows in the past have not had their issues, but they were also more realistic, as realistic as this type of work can be, and mostly light in tone, as the genre should be. 'Fated to Love You' brings some of those issues back, but it also brings back the sorely missed lightness...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 11

2014/09/08 | | Permalink

At this point I'm genuinely not sure whether "The Night Watchman's Journal" is actually improving in terms of storytelling or whether I'm just relieved that the action isn't as bad and inexplicable as it used to be. They're still the nagging problem of a lack of build-up. On an episode to episode basis it seems like most of what we see could easily be skipped. One plot twist in particular should have come up some time ago...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fated to Love You" Episode 20 (final)

2014/09/08 | | Permalink

"Fated to Love You" has come to a heartwarming end. It was very neatly concluded. This finale's ending was the victim of a lack of material as it crawled along to the finish. Despite that, it was still satisfying to see Geon and Mi-young get their happy ending and live as a family with everyone who is important to them. The finale does not reflect the rest of the drama, which, in general, moved along at a decent clip.

The episode was packed with sappy romantics and a reliving of the Macau incident that began the fated relationship...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Pirates"

2014/09/08 | | Permalink

The main characters in "Pirates" don't follow the rules. This is the very first thing we learn about them. We're introduced to Sa-jeong (played by Kim Nam-gil) as a mess ensues from his refusing to obey orders without question. Yeo-wol (played by Son Ye-jin) is a little better about falling into line, but even she has limits. From the very beginning our leads are well-established and sympathetic as characters, even as they're obviously cutthroats who make a living through violent thievery...More

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