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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 7

2016/01/25 | | Permalink

Yeong-gon (played by Ji Yoon-ho) is Seol's stalker. Initially he just comes off here as a somewhat vicious villainous character and after some flashbacks...well, Yeong-gon still doesn't come as particularly sympathetic. What makes these scenes awkward is that as obviously appropriate as it is for us to hate Yeong-gon, acting antagonistic doesn't really help. Yeong-gon has somewhat perversely managed to convince himself that his behavior isn't actually aggressive. So both sides of this dispute see it as based on one-sided attacks...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 33

2016/01/25 | | Permalink

The overall tone of this episode is of waiting. No physical action, but lots of plotting and scheming. What's more, this plotting and scheming is not at the behest of the heroes. People are upset abut Do-jeon taking extra-legal action to deal with the land reform issue. It's ironic yet all too appropriate that they end up working rather narrowly within the confines of the law- and completely manage to blindside Do-jeon as a result...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Riders: Get Tomorrow" Episode 12 Final

2016/01/24 | | Permalink

I've been able to appreciate "Riders: Get Tomorrow" somewhat better by watching the drama more as an unfocused romance rather than a story about rickshaws. Unfortunately the final episode of "Riders: Get Tomorrow" complicates both interpretations of the plot. Let's start with the romance. All the lovelines are resolved fairly decisively. Unfortunately they are not resolved especially satisfactorily...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jang Yeong-sil - Drama" Episode 8

2016/01/24 | | Permalink

The extended opening of this episode is simply a direct continuation of the cliffhanger from last time. Yeong-sil is stuck in a noose, reliant entirely on the whims of the weather to confirm whether or not his heretical scientific theory is true and thus, can release Yeong-sil from the risk of death. For all of King Taejong's established authoritatiran attitude I'm still at a bit of a loss as to why he takes these issues to such a ridiculous extreme. It's almost like King Taejong takes issues of bad science personally...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 2

2016/01/23 | | Permalink

It would seem that Soo-hyeon has made it his mission to teach Hye-rim a lesson. Not in the literally helpful way of better explaining psychology, but in the metaphorical sense of humiliating her. Soo-hyeon isn't just evil- he's petty evil, and his weirdly obsessive attitude is creepy, simplistic, and most gallingly of all, anti-scientific. Experiments, even obviously unethical ones, work best with subjects who don't know what's happening to them. For a laywoman, Hye-rim is actually pretty knowledgable...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jang Yeong-sil - Drama" Episode 7

2016/01/23 | | Permalink

I'm increasingly getting the sense that "Jang Yeong-sil - Drama" is less about the actual titular scientist and more about the political struggles that were necessary for King Sejong to manage the important reforms that marked his reign. It's clear that several of the events we see in major focus were actual real historical watermarks in King Sejong's early career (he's still not actually King yet). Although this is mostly a hypothesis on my part since once again Jeong-sil has very little screentime in his own story compared to other characters who aren't very good at staying alive in difficult historical times...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Awl"

2016/01/23 | | Permalink

Korean drama has come a long way and at a very swift pace. Some things have not changed, of course. The adherence to certain production habits, thematic approaches as well as the reluctance to leave a desired comfort zone are still there, but works always appear from time to time that are willing to do something different. "Awl" is a series which, true to its name, goes beyond expectations in a most impressive, bold and inspiring way...More

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