[Funcurve Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" 2016/11/26,
"Cinderella and the Four Knights" is a modern day Kdrama based on a book of the same name. While it draws certain plot devices and characterization like the step mother and pseudo maid lifestyle of our heroine from the original fairy tale premise, there is the feeling that it's an original story. This is mostly due to a mix of good actors and some great on-screen chemistry. I must commend the female cast of this drama in particular as they're all convincing in their various roles. The female lead Park So-dam stood out in particular considering the fact she's a relatively new face in the drama scene,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 14 2016/09/28,
Truths and lies whittle away at the happiness of our main characters, but not as much as the failing health of CEO Gramps. His lack of consciousness is a trigger for many to try to usurp power including his new wife, those in his company, and potentially our Kang cousins.
First, the CEO's wife digs her claws into the company and into Yoon-seong in order to attain her goals: money and power,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 13 2016/09/28,
The adorable manifestations of a mutually shared love never last long and that between Ji-woon and Ha-won lasts the length of this episode before its conclusion promises big changes on all fronts. Ha-won has quite conveniently forgotten her contract with CEO Gramps that contains the "no dating" clause, and now it comes back to get her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 12 2016/09/22,
There was a lot of progress in episode 12 and we have Ha-won and Ji-woon to thank, but especially Ha-won. The traits that the CEO hired her for came through for her again: her faith and tenacity. Her influence causes a waterfall effect in the behavior of the Kang cousins, making them problem solve and take charge of their own lives. As Ha-won deals with her own problems, although she wants someone to lean on, she proceeds to take care of things on her own,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 11 2016/09/21,
As anticipated, Hye-ji moving into Sky House causes problems, especially because her passive aggressive behavior towards Ha-won is rather viperous. The Kang cousins have trouble adjusting to her presence and the awkwardness makes Ha-won not only feel self-conscious, but lonely for the first time since she entered Sky House. That loneliness is such an interesting twist in her story,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 10 2016/09/19,
Feelings are starting to escalate to a point of high tension because there is still a lot of denial even more deception running amuck. Tricksters lurk around those with money, and those with money are dealing with problems of their own. Luckily for us, our heroine is forthcoming with most things besides the emotions she doesn't quite understand. Ha-won chases after Ji-woon in the best way she knows how: with a mixture of third grade antics and brutal honesty,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 9 2016/09/17,
Love is in the air and with that love comes jealousy and complicated love lines. In a story as cute as this one those love lines aren't heinously annoying - just a tad annoying. The pairings of the Kang cousins and Ha-won are charming, and I like how Yoon-seong is slowly being integrated into the texture. Ha-won hurts herself this episode, which inspires a lot of reverse harem servitude and stirs up a lot of feelings,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 8 2016/09/09,
Well, I just have to say it. This show is ridiculously cute. Jeong Il-woo brought out the aegyo and Ha-won manages to soften up the Kang family and friends even more with her honesty and sincerity. Again, the episode really focuses on Hyun-min and his introspection, but it also focuses on relationship development and tossing in a few more obstacles for our heroes to surmount. The utterly horrible step-mother and step-sister are still scheming to hurt Ha-won as much as possible and plan to foist Ha-won off on a man who may or may not be her biological father,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 6 2016/08/31,
Now that it has been established that Ha-won is an important person in the Kang family we get to see how the boys go out of their way to protect her when school-aged kids turn mean, and when jealousy incites terrible behavior. As of yet, the Kang cousins haven't yet gone head to head romantically, but a declaration from one of them makes such an occurrence a bit difficult. The perfect stuffs of K-drama. The step-family has stepped in to meddle with Ha-won's life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 5 2016/08/31,
Love is in the air and it is Ha-won's earnest desire for the Kang cousins to live well that really touches them and makes their hearts flutter. Not only is she working for their benefit, but she also draws very clear lines with them, speaking her mind and keeping it real. This is a quality not found in the cousins' parents, grandfather, or any other people in their lives - its a winning quality that keeps their attention and makes it difficult to follow the "no dating" rule,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 4 2016/08/21,
The mission continues as Ha-won tries to get the three cousins to sit down for a meal. It proves a challenge as each cousin's wounds prevents him from giving the Kang family a chance. Ha-won eventually figures out that she has to get to know them in order to try and bring them closer together. In the process, they get to know her as well. It's not the smoothest "getting-to-know-you" that ever was, but that's what gives this show it's conflict. The three cousins are showing interest in her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 3 2016/08/21,
This is the episode where Ha-won and the three princes of Sky House are thrown together and forced to get used to each other by sheer proximity, and because of a mission passed down by CEO Kang. The princes flesh out their stereotypes, but still are not much more than their textbook definition. Where progress is made is in how Ha-won slowly learns about each prince. "Cinderella and the Four Knights" still very much seems like a live action shoujo/girl-aged manga, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's light-hearted, cute, and is a great way to pass the time. A character I haven't given much attention to is Yoon-sung, CEO Kang's right-hand man who executes his will and attempts to help Ha-won manage the rogue cousins,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 2 2016/08/16,
"Cinderella and the Four Knights"'s second episode is more introduction because we need to get Cinderella into the palace. In order to do that, the story beats to the ground with birth secrets, money woes, and contentious interactions with the three Kang cousins of Sky House. The cousins have no easy go at things either as their CEO Chaebol Granddaddy uses his money to buy their obedience. This is most likely going to be a theme and I have a feeling Cinderella will not only change the hearts of the cousins, but of their grandfather as well,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 1 2016/08/16,
Pre-produced, manhwa-based "Cinderella and the Four Knights" is everything one would expect out of a fairytale inspired drama. It's a mix of the classic Cinderella, a bit of hardworking Candy, and a whole lot of typical drama tropes with chaebol grandfather's, monster inheritances, some fine acting, and some mediocre acting. I come at this drama not having read the source material, the manhwa by Baek Myo begun in 2011. HanCinema readers, if you have, please chime in and let me know what you think!,...More
China Cancels Events with Korean Stars Amid THAAD Spat 2016/08/05, Source,
China has canceled a major event featuring Korean celebrities scheduled later this year and is scrapping mass company outings to Korea. The move is the latest gambit in an escalating spat over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that China believes is intended to keep its military might in check,...More
More Fashion Models Branch Out 2015/08/20, Source,
Fashion models are increasingly branching out into acting, design and business ventures to expand their potential career arc. Jang Yoon-ju is one of Korea's top models but has constantly pushed beyond her modeling career. She has appeared on TV entertainment shows, released her own songs, and most recently appeared in the film "Veteran", which is on track to becoming a mega hit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" 2015/04/25,
Gaining the love of audiences is quite easy when those audiences feel their needs are a priority. "Blood" received a lot of criticism for its two leads' acting skills and that criticism is accurate. However, it would be unfair to say that this is the only problem of the series. It would also be unfair to say there is nothing good here to be found. It all comes down to balancing the bad with good. Unfortunately, that is where "Blood" fails,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 20 Final 2015/04/21,
This episode opens up with Ji-sang making one last random, pointless violent attack against Jae-wook's forces. Which inevitably comes down to nothing, and inevitably results in Ji-sang being let go. I guess this one was just for old time's sake- "Blood" has been pretty dedicated to its rather arbitrary format, and there's no reason for that to end in the last episode. It's just that this time the second half rampage actually manages to accomplish something, mostly because the drama has to end somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 19 2015/04/20,
I'm not sure there's really much left to say about "Blood" at this point. The drama has overstayed its welcome- I mean that literally more than subjectively. Take away all the filler and there's maybe about ten episodes worth of actual interesting plot here. But even the filler could have been potentially interesting if it actually led up to something. Again, I would have cared a lot more about Seok-joo's depth if we'd ever gotten any meaningful detail about his relationship with Ri-ta. Instead, it was just his continuing to get involved in Jae-wook's obviously bad research idea,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 18 2015/04/14,
You know, let's never mind the henchmen for the moment. Why do the regular hospital employees continue to work for Jae-wook under these conditions? Does it actually say in their contracts that they're obliged to continue their employment even if their lives appear to be in imminent physical danger? The patients are so out-of-control that I'm surprised they aren't straight up handcuffed to the gurneys. Even the security guards must be pretty weirded out by now,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 17 2015/04/13,
Try as I might I can't stop wondering where Jae-wook is getting all these henchmen. This just seems like a really lousy job that's more likely than not to result in a premature death to their presumably immortal lives. And the real kicker is that these henchmen aren't even any good at their job. I suspect Jae-wook could have saved a lot of time and effort by just hiring a hacker instead. Or he could have just stolen the information himself during a dinner party. That's always a pretty fun trope,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 16 2015/04/07,
This episode opens up with another apparently dangerous cliffhanger rather nonchalantly solved, and we proceed from there to yet another cliffhanger that initially seems to be dangerous but...somehow I have trouble feeling the dramatic tension. "Blood" is rather surprisingly repetitive considering that theoretically this is supposed to be a long-form narrative. It would actually be much less repetitive if it had just gone with the standard patient-of-the-week format typical for medical dramas. Now there's a weird thought,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 15 2015/04/06,
The format at this point is pretty much to be expected. After an apparently daring cliffhanger where it seems like Ji-sang is just about to really get into it with Jae-wook...the younger vampire just leaves. I can't quite recall the last time I saw a drama go through so much deliberate build-up only to not actually be working up to anything. Ji-sang's strategy, to the extent he can be said to have a strategy at all, just seems to be to slowly wear down Jae-wook's weaknesses by being kind of a pest,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 14 2015/03/31,
Ji-sang learns a valuable lesson this episode- talking to people is actually a very good way to move the plot forward. The video by his mom stops being an exercise in showing off how Ahn Jae-hyeon isn't that good at emoting and instead is used for its substantial information regarding the infection. For Ji-sang to just be willing to share such private information with other people at all marks a long-needed improvement in his character arc,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 13 2015/03/30,
Ji-sang has this rather odd determination to solve all his problems with violence, even though he's not actually all that good at fighting. In all fairness Jae-wook is equally determined to have his goons provoke violent confrontations, again not for any particularly good reason. I get the impression that writer Park Jae-beom-I doesn't really have any idea how vampires could react to each other short of just fighting,...More
'Blood' actor Ahn Jae-hyeon signs contract with fashion brand Schneider 2015/03/27, Source,
Austrian fashion brand Schneider signed a contract with actor Ahn Jae-hyeon as the brand's model recently. He has already finished filming TV commercial and photo shoots for newspaper ad.
His agency unveiled his spring collection pictorial on March 27th. In the revealed photos, Ahn Jae-hyeon looks all set to take off to wherever he may want to go. He matched the casual backpack with the mustard colored jacket and a pair of the brown pants to create the stylish casual look. The image belongs to a trustful travel buddy you can count on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 12 2015/03/24,
The main dramatic event this episode that inspires worry is the fate of the Dracula doll. Will Ri-ta step on the Dracula doll? All right I know other stuff happened but for whatever reason that's the only visual interesting enough to linger on in my memory. Maybe it's because I understand where the doll is coming from- it had to be manufactured somewhere. Whereas "Blood" the actual drama tries to up the stakes by introducing another vampire, from nowhere,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 11 2015/03/23,
After a shockingly violent cliffhanger where a furious Ji-sang physically accosts Jae-wook, this hard-hitting action is followed up by...their going into Jae-wook's office to discuss the finer points of ethics in regards to using terminally ill human test subjects for dangerous experimental treatment. This is why you have trouble making friends Ji-sang. That really should have been your first reaction. Although admittedly the cliffhanger probably would not have been quite so exciting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 10 2015/03/17,
Let's consider for a moment what the actual plot of "Blood" would be if vampires were not involved. Jae-wook would just be a somewhat ruthless researcher who resorts to somewhat underhanded techniques to procure test subjects. But, the test subjects already had questionable hopes for recovery to begin with. So the dilemma is really only an ethical one. Is it acceptable to use desperate people for scientific research?,...More
[Spoiler] 'Blood' Ahn Jae-hyeon asks Koo Hye-seon out for dinner 2015/03/17, Source,
On the March 17th episode of KBS 2TV's Monday & Tuesday drama "Blood", Park Ji-sang (Ahn Jae-hyeon) sneakily asked Yoo Ri-ta (Koo Hye-seon) out.
Park Ji-sang went to back to the hospital while he was going home after work as if he had forgotten something. He stepped in Yoo Ri-ta's office and asked her "You haven't had dinner yet?" Yoo Ri-ta bluntly said, "It's only been 10 minutes out of the operating room". Park Ji-sang said "It's office dinner meeting" and took her to a restaurant,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 9 2015/03/16,
...Well, add car accidents to the list of things that "Blood" has somehow managed to make uninteresting. You know what would have been nice? If Ri-ta could have figured out this vampire stuff through inductive reasoning, or snooping, or an unrelated medical investigation. The fact that it's taken her this long to figure out what's wrong with Ji-sang when there have been so many obvious clues just makes her look kind of dumb,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 8 2015/03/10,
It seems like most of the energy in "Blood" is just spent recapping stuff we should already know. The irony is that the pacing and lack of clear emphasis is such that all these reminder points are actually pretty necessary. Ri-ta herself manages to totally forget about one serious chat she had with Ji-sang, and has to be reminded by another character into provoking the flashback that better contextualizes the current situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 7 2015/03/09,
We finally find out why Jae-wook has spent the entire drama playing practical jokes on Ji-sang instead of doing something more purposeful- whatever Jae-wook needs from Ji-sang, it requires that the younger vampire at least be alive in one form or another. This plot point could have happened in the third episode and we would not have lost anything of signifiance. I know that to some extent I should really be grateful that "Blood" finally has an actual point but it is way, way too late for the drama to still be establishing basic facts regarding the premise,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 6 2015/03/03,
Ri-ta's principle motivation this episode is to prove decisively that Ji-sang has a better-than-average ability to recover from flesh wounds. Why..? Uh...I guess because she just really dislikes Ji-sang? This is exactly the kind of scale problem I'm talking about. When half of the action in "Blood" is drawn-out brawls between superpowered vampires, it's a bit of an awkward transition to go from that to petty office politics,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 5 2015/03/02,
There's an awful lot of recapping in "Blood" considering the drama doesn't seem to have any actual plot. I'm really not sure why we keep getting reminded of Ji-sang's basic motivation. I thought the entire point, of dedicating the first episode to his origin story was that we wouldn't need to keep referring to it again and again. By contrast, the main interesting hook of the first episode (how vampire powers can help to make a better surgeon) is barely even explored at all here. We just get more banal conversation about how Ji-sang is probably a psychopath,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Blood" 2015/02/28,
Korean drama has its hits and misses in all aspects, including acting. Yet this specific aspect is rarely as prominently criticized and discussed as it has been for "Blood". It is important to remember that even bad flaws do not always diminish the overall quality of a work, unless they exist in a place and form which make their influence crucial. Sadly for "Blood", its problems exist in two very important aspects of it. Its leading pair and unclear plans for the future. Is all hope lost? For a quality experience, probably. For entertainment? Not just yet,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 4 2015/02/24,
Writer Park Jae-beom-I appears to have a rather curious fixation with not allowing the vampire part of the drama and the medical part of the drama to actually interact in any way. It's a perplexing creative decision- what's the point of having a vampire surgeon who can use his vampire powers to affect surgical outcomes if he never actually does it? Would "Good Doctor" have been entertaining if its main character only acted autistic outside of the operating room? Granted, that drama had its problems. But at least it was structurally sound,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 3 2015/02/23,
The theme this time appears to be on the social skills of vampires- or lack thereof. OK, I can work with that. In the first place this does explain why Ji-sang is, well, so rude. Before I was worried that maybe this was the acting inexperience of Ahn Jae-hyeon, but no, Ji-sang really doesn't seem to have any idea how to convincingly talk to people. I imagine that even absent vampire practical jokes the other staff would have still started up rumors about him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 2 2015/02/17,
The origin story is still being explained here...to the point of boredom, unfortunately. About the only relevant information we get here in regard to Ji-sang's quest is the broader motive. Ji-sang is trying to explore the notion of vampirism as a medical condition which may or may not have possible long term benefits. Ji-sang's entry into the hospital scene appears to be directly related to this inquiry for information, which if nothing else certainly gives the plot some potentially interesting direction. Then the robot shows up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blood" Episode 1 2015/02/16,
The marketing for "Blood" has been so across-the-board I had no idea what to expect in the first episode. Even granting that, "superhero origin story" was pretty far off from anything I would have guessed. Ji-sang (played by Ahn Jae-hyeon) is a vampire who, in true familial tradition, has dedicated himself to saving human lives. It thus comes off as little surprise that there are other vampires out there who find Ji-sang's very existence to be ethically offensive,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Blood" 2015/02/14,
The thematic shift for dramas is already happening and the new topic is vampirism. An interesting topic, certainly and one which has done well for Korean television before, most recently and notably through OCN's "Vampire Prosecutor" series. "Blood" is being brought to viewers by KBS2 and there are certainly a few less than promising elements about it, but also some encouraging ones. For better or for worse, it is kicking off the vampire trend,...More
Ahn Jae-hyeon may be in relationship, "I'll disclose if I get caught" 2015/02/12, Source, Ahn Jae-hyeon made vague but significant comments about relationship, which made people get curious about his possible relationship with someone.
During the talk show, KBS 2TV, "Happy Together" on February 12th, when he was asked "If he has ever dated secretly", he answered incoherently, "Some people say, 'Your girlfriend is really pretty', but it's a matter between couple. I guess it's not something you need show off". His answer made the crowd laugh,...More
"Blood" Ahn Jae-hyeon, a vampire 2015/01/20, Source, Actor Ahn Jae-hyeon is wearing a white gown but he's actually a vampire doctor.
Ahn Jae-hyeon plays a mutated vampire who suppresses his desire for blood and treats patients in the KBS 2TV drama "Blood". Park Ji-sang looks selfish, with no feelings for others although he's actually very soft inside and misses many people. His innocent charisma takes over soon,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Fashion King - Movie" 2014/12/13,
Gi-myeong (played by Joo Won) becomes determined to excel in fashion either to humiliate the bullies who torment him / win the affections of the girl he likes / just out of sheer love for fashion. "Fashion King - Movie" is never particularly clear about which specific motivation is actually important to Gi-myeong, and all of them are pretty underdeveloped. But that's not what the movie is about anyway. The premise of "Fashion King - Movie" is mostly just an excuse to show off increasingly elaborate and bizarre fashion setpieces, which are more about provoking reaction shots and color commentary than they are anything actually resembling a coherent point,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/11/01, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "Fire in Hell": A Buddhist monk succumbs to sin and is cruelly cornered by fate on his way to redemption. (11/06)
★★★★ "Entangled": A family of four are put under pressure after the youngest daughter's child dies as a result of the mother's deteriorating mental condition. (11/06)
★★★★ "Daughter": A woman struggles to free herself from her strict ascetic upbringing and wonders what the future holds for her own family. (11/06)
★★★ "Fashion King - Movie": A high school student plans to become a fabulous fashionista in order to attract the attention of the prettiest girl in school. (11/06)
★★★★ "Glory For Everyone": A touching documentary that follows a young soccer team and accounts their struggles against poverty and class. (11/06),...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 20 (final) 2014/07/19,
"You're Surrounded" has come full circle, giving it a satisfying ending in this finale. There were many moments that mirrored the events of the first episode, and those moments carried so much more weight after the journey through the past twenty episodes. What is most satisfying is that this finale didn't feel rushed. Rather, it provided the climax for the battle between the good guys and Assemblyman Yoo, then rode the lovely denouement to the finish. The weaknesses of the finale are similar to the overall weaknesses of the show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 19 2014/07/18,
The penultimate episode of "You're Surrounded" tied a lot of pieces together. It was a mixture of very moving, and slightly disapointing. Back stories were finally depicted in an amount of detail that should've been present ages ago. It would've given the significant happening of the episode much more impact. Much of the lack of development comes from the show's slow pace. Pace does not always dictate less storytelling, but it does require more efficient writing impart information. What this episode suffered from was a lack of buildup,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 18 2014/07/13,
And the hits just keep coming, giving this show a darker edge than before. Dae-goo struggles to come to terms with all the information he and his team dig up, and the bad guys dive deeper into moral depravity. It's baffling how much power Assemblyman Yoo has to ruin lives, take lives, and manipulate the system,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 17 2014/07/11,
"You're Surrounded" was all about the truth in episode 17. The key players are fully informed and yet their hands are tied by the system, by corruption, and by the dastardly deeds of the powerful and greedy. While the pace of this episode was decidedly slow, the amount of wonderful introspection made up for it. The episode focused on revealing the pasts of Dae-goo and Tae-il, addressing painful issues and making a few statements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 16 2014/07/05,
This was a powerhouse episode. In fact, it was the best episode by far, both in execution and in content. It touched on the major issues of each character, moved the plot along, and packed some hard emotional punches. Yoo Ae-yun, Assemblyman Yoo's daughter and the instigator of many troubles, is at the center of everything. She is the reason behind Yoo's villainy. He has committed crimes to cover up her, but at the same time, he has allowed the action of covering up to corrupt him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 14 2014/06/27,
It's a sad episode for the good guys of "You're Surrounded" because they lose to money, power, and an imperfect system. On the other hand, Dae-goo finally gets to kiss the girl he's been hankering after and the detective team's newest case gave him his reason. Relationships develop further although the plot stagnates a bit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 13 2014/06/27,
"You're Surrounded" is a character driven story that makes wonderful use of the plot to bring out the best, and the worst, of the characters on screen. It addresses the situations that bring people closer and highlights the beauty in human connection. It also shows how the darker aspects of human nature can snowball into something terrible. While the plot of "You're Surrounded" is not the most inspired plot to grace the small screen, The Way It Is constructed gives clear motivations to all characters,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 12 2014/06/20,
"You're Surrounded" has a cohesiveness that is made up of its predictable elements and its wonderfully timed and portrayed character beats. Its plotline is nothing new, nor are the bad guys and their evil ways. But what makes this show unique is how it infuses its characters with humanity. There is nothing black-and-white about this show despite the fact that the world in which the characters exist is very insular and the plot relies on coincidences,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 11 2014/06/19,
This episode is about realization and understanding, or the lack thereof. Secrets are out, but they are no easier to deal with. Unlike in the past, however, the characters no longer have to deal with the hardships on their own. They have to get used to friendship, but its a heartwarming journey. When Dae-goo is severely injured by the man who killed his mother, he is hospitalized and in need of aid to perform daily functions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 10 2014/06/14,
There was only one episode this week due to Lee Seung-gi's eye injury, but it packed a punch. The darker characters were fleshed out and all separate pieces of the big mystery that tie the main characters together are starting to come together. Pan-seok has discovered Dae-goo's identity and Cha Seung-won is brilliant as he shows the process of dealing with that discovery and the emotions that go along with it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 9 2014/06/06,
The truth is out and although it's couched in lies, Pan-seok and Soo-seon now know Dae-goo's identity. The reveal of the truth gives the three characters some lovely turning points and allows the actors to shine. In general, "You're Surrounded" has found it's stride in delivering the messages it sets out to send. While situations that send these messages may not be tied up as realistically as they could be, they are still satisfying in their conclusions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 8 2014/05/31,
"You're Surrounded" is now focusing on the idea that the rookies and their leaders are growing into an extended family. Within any family there is love, jealousy, fighting, misunderstanding, and secrets. Brothers fight, parents feel pride. Now that the detectives are one family, they have to suffer through growing pains. Ji Gook gets his time to deal with his issues of inferiority, rendering his tight relationship with Tae-il tense and awkward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 7 2014/05/30,
"You're Surrounded" has made a big effort to express a message in each episode. It focuses on how people grow in different stages of life after experiencing hardships. It's not really a drama about detectives catching murderers. It's about four young people growing into their under under a leader who still has a few things to learn himself. Part of growing up is contending with the past and it's role in one's life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 6 2014/05/26,
"You're Surrounded" has found its balance between character growth and the case of the week. Almost every member of the detective unit has been fleshed out to some extent, the two major romantic involvements have begun, and a very hopeful message is passed on in each episode.
This show focuses on growth for the detective team as a unit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 5 2014/05/23,
The detectives in "You're Surrounded" have begun to function as a team, rookies and seasoned pros alike. They are on a case that requires complete participation and dedication to solve the death of a seven-year-old boy. This case opens old wounds, pits detective against prosecutor, and changes the dynamics of the cast.
"You're Surrounded" gave insight into the reason Pan-seok and Sa-kyung divorced. They lost a young son and couldn't recover from the guilt and blame and severe pain of such a loss. I love that the issue wasn't petty, but something hefty and chock full of great writing material. The episode's missing child case is so similar to their loss that it brings badly buried emotions and memories to the fore,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 4 2014/05/16,
Episode 4 of "You're Surrounded" was a pleasant surprise. The pacing was excellent and the balance between the comedy, the detective work, and the character development was much improved from the past three episodes. If the rest of the show settles this nicely, "You're Surrounded" can be a great show. One of the strongest points of the episode was using the situations the rookies found themselves to highlight their growth while simultaneously forcing them to either become real detectives, or literally die. The growing process begins with the heavy fallout of the stabbing from the last episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 3 2014/05/15,
"You're Surrounded" is much stronger when it focuses on action and weak when it tries to be funny. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, but most of the time the humor seems forced. There is a running gag about Tae-il's beauty that constantly stops women (and men) in their tracks and has them admiring him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 2 2014/05/11,
"You're Surrounded" is a fun show. While it has a few serious themes, most of the interest lies in the satirical social commentary and slapstick humor. The show falters when it attempts to venture into deeper explorations of characters and issues. It doesn't handle the overlap of serious and light-hearted well. Still, it's a good hour of fun Both Pan-seok and Dae-goo have a shared dark past that keep them from fully immersing themselves in the comedy that pervades the rest of the show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 1 2014/05/08,
"You're Surrounded" started off strong, boasting of a great child cast, a fast-paced opening, and a quick, breezy introduction of all the main characters. There were two general moods: humorous, and dark. While both were well set as isolated scenes, the combination was a bit incongruous. The four rookies in the present have had a brief introduction, but not much else,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Love from the Star" Episode 19 2014/02/20,
Just when I had forgotten why "My Love from the Star" has a murder subplot in the first place, this episode comes along to give a reminder. It exists to make Min-joon act in a ridiculous contrived way against whatever stupid transparent scheme Jae-kyoung has come up with this week. And this one really takes the cake- the only apparent purpose of the plan is to do damage to Min-joon. It doesn't actually help Jae-kyoung at all. If anything it makes Jae-kyoung's situation worse. Who the heck makes an announcement like that at a press conference?
Scratch that. What kind of benefits plan are Jae-kyoung's henchmen getting? They're literally fighting a superhero here. It's one thing to try and get ahead in life by committing murder,...More
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