[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 16 Final 2016/04/24,
The balance between inevitable tragedy and familial contentment is rather off as the ending to "Marriage Contract" is frustratingly open-ended. It's not even ambiguous or anything- most of the conflicts are straight up left unresolved, and there's no epilogue. Just a recap of what's happened. For a sense of perspective, the last we see of Seong-gook, he's randomly throwing things. We don't get to see what happened to Jeong-hoon at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 15 2016/04/23,
There's this real magnetic quality we get from Lee Seo-jin and UEE. No matter how bad the situation gets, no matter how obvious it is that this story will have a tragic ending, as long as Ji-hoon and Hye-soo are together, they will not give up. "Marriage Contract" is their story of sheer determination. It hits all the harder because we've seen Ji-hoon and Hye-soo alone and know that absent positive reenforcement they struggle to achieve the simplest tasks,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 14 2016/04/17,
Ji-hoon has been beset by small annoyances for most of "Marriage Contract"'s run. In the early stages Hye-soo and Eun-seong were a major part of these annoyances, but they at least meant well. Now, with a better understanding of the warmth of Hye-soo's spirit, Ji-hoon has finally asked himself whether it's worth dealing with a family that puts such disproportionate effort into trying to cut each other down. From there, the story is a question of how, no matter the diagnosis, for the moment Ji-hoon would rather spend every possible moment with Hye-soo and Eun-seong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 13 2016/04/16,
Now that he knows the details of Hye-soo's medical condition, Ji-hoon has also discovered a compromise to constantly pining over an apparently uninterested Hye-soo. He will let her go just as soon as there's some assurance Hye-soo will survive her nearly terminal illness. It's exactly the psychological focus that Ji-hoon needs. Deep down Ji-hoon feels emotional gratitude to Hye-soo, and as a man with lots of money, does not consider a basic financial reward to be proper recompense,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 12 2016/04/10,
While I've liked the melodramatic love story in "Marriage Contract", the drama has about reached the point where it's gotten a tad repetitive. This episode marks the second straight one where Hye-soo spends nearly the entirity of the runtime simply turning Ji-hoon down without explanation. Even granting that Hye-soo has her reasons, it takes such an extended slog for the dynamic to change with new information that by the end I mostly felt exhausted,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 11 2016/04/09,
Much as he's smarting from Hye-soo's rejection, Ji-hoon is still dealing with too many problems with regard to his mother to take in the insult all at once. He's suspicious of Hye-soo's motives, but absent concrete evidence, Ji-hoon is hesitant to respond too strongly. Well, evidence or affection anyway. It's pretty hard to escape how brightly Ji-hoon lights upon being reminded of Eun-seong and her kitties in nearby proximity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 10 2016/04/03,
Whether Hye-soo had a financial motive in latching on to Ji-hoon as she did last episode is a debatable point. What is clear, though, is that Hye-soo's no fool. Whatever her personal feelings are, the idea that she's after Ji-hoon for his money is a legitimate one. And honestly, Hye-soo does need money. The debt collectors may be gone, but right now, Hye-soo still needs to provide for Eun-seong's future. That means getting the expensive medical treatment Hye-soo needs by whatever means necessary,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 9 2016/04/02,
Mi-ran's escape is short-lived- as it turns out, Ji-hoon has a very good idea of where she's planning to go. Really, there's only one place Mi-ran can go, feeling so humiliated and ashamed about the sacrifices her son is willing to make. Mi-ran goes to see her parents- to whom her own filial loyalty was less than inspiring. In practice and form, Ji-hoon ends up taking a much needed break from the dysfunction of his family to try and enjoy some time with his mother. Hye-soo and Eun-seong tag along to help,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 8 2016/03/27,
Now that Seong-gook has a good idea of what Ii-hoon is doing, the older man feels that it's necessary to create order and force Ji-hoon to make proper personal sacrifices for the greater good. This, of course, is complete nonsense, but Ji-hoon lacks the force of will necessary to really fight about this point. After all, provided it's possible that Ji-hoon can have everything he wants, isn't that close enough to happiness?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 7 2016/03/26, Right away another secret is exposed- Hye-soo is sick. While Hye-soo is not sick in such a way as to be an impediment to Mi-ran's surgery, the hospital scene and the trip home gives Ji-hoon an excellent chance to be sensitive and caring in a way we haven't really seen yet- to Hye-soo. Bit by bit he's seeing her less as a financial instrument and more as a person who deserves to be treated with decency and respect, if only because Hye-soo is all alone. She needs somebody,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 6 2016/03/20,
Hye-soo isn't really anywhere near actually doing the transplant surgery yet and she's already constantly getting exposed. This is an aspect of the pacing in "Marriage Contract" I rather appreciate. I was expecting the surgery would be rushed and the drama would be about everything after that. Instead it looks like we're in the opposite situation- the tension is based on whether or not the liver transplant surgery will happen at all. Which makes sense, because doctors try not to rush this kind of thing if it can be avoided,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 5 2016/03/19,
The thaw between Ji-hoon and Eun-seong continues. Whether Ji-hoon is actually a good person at heart remains a metter of debate, but in short order Hye-soo lays out several compelling arguments for why the guy at least deserves a chance. However incidental his motivation may have been, Ji-hoon did a huge favor for Hye-soo and her daughter. What's more, he clearly appreciates the sacrifice Hye-soo is willing to make for the sake of Mi-ran. So, too, does Mi-ran appreciate the degree to which Ji-hoon and Hye-soo want the older woman to remain alive,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 4 2016/03/13,
While Ji-hoon has done a diligent job of preparing every possible angle of his fake marriage story, ultimately, it's unsurprising to see that the most basic questions are the ones that easily trip him up. Ji-hoon struggles with the question of how to make a proper effort. What ultimately moves Ji-hoon to the right direction is unexpectedly realizing he has something in common with Eun-Seong. Both are fiercely protective of their mothers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 3 2016/03/12,
The relationship between Ji-hoon and Hye-soo remains icy. They don't like each other very much, and it's easy to see why. Ji-hoon legitimately has trouble so much as processing Hye-soo's motivation, which is suitably ironic given that he himself is motivated entirely by motherly love. It's just that in Ji-hoon's eyes, saving Mi-ran is more a goal he should be striving for than one of emotional merit. Ji-hoon's pointed verbal attack against Mi-ran at the end really stings in part because he's right. The situation is in fact her fault. Mi-ran is a hard character to pity,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 2 2016/03/06,
My mistake- Ji-hoon isn't really a chef, he just runs the restaurant. Kind of. Ji-hoon's best friend Ho-joon (played by Kim Kwang-gyoo) manages the restaurant on a day by day basis, so Ji-hoon is more the money guy. The lack of official responsibility on Ji-hoon's part probably has a lot to do with his brooding attitude. The man evidently loves music- consider the excellent ambience. Yet with nothing else in life to focus on, Ji-hoon can only stare helplessly at the face of his mother's imminent death. And how Ji-hoon, like his mother, has given up on having people to care about,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 1 2016/03/05,
Ji-hoon (played by Lee Seo-jin) is a handsome high-tier chef in his late thirties, and heir to a decent family fortune. While Ji-hoon is an eminently eligible bachelor he's not that interested in relationships because, well, Ji-hoon doesn't really want much in life except what he already has. What's more, Ji-hoon can be paranoid when it comes to that stuff. That is what ends igniting his to date antagonistic interactions with Hye-soo (played by UEE), a widowed young mother with financial troubles,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 21 - Final 2015/01/13,
The final episode changes genres somewhat, as almost the entirity of the runtime takes place in a courtroom. This shouldn't be that surprising, really, given that the characters are all prosecutors, but the shift is a somewhat odd one. Technically the trial is just a rehash of information that we already know. Even the final twist that helps the team take down the bad guys once and for all has been pretty obviously and clearly foreshadowed, though it's never actually stated outright until the final showdown,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 20 2015/01/12,
Almost all of the outstanding questions regarding the past case are clearly answered here, and the explanations we get aren't terribly reassuring. In short, most of the terrible mistakes that resulted in tragedy were in fact well-meaning ones. In fact, on multiple levels the question is raised whether from a legal perspective the crimes were actually even that serious. Not that many people actually made a premeditated effort to commit capital offenses,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 19 2015/01/06,
You have probably noticed throughout this drama that every so often Dong-chi and Kang Soo get into a big fight with a huge mob of men who appear to be gangsters, although they have somewhat more legitimacy than that. The loose end resolved this episode regards the existence of this large mob. They're not really brought to justice exactly- that much will likely be beyond the scope of "Pride and Prejudice". The main point of this segment is to emphasize that these back room deals are being dealt with in the immediate sense,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 18 2015/01/05,
Technically the story is in an epilogue phase right now. The main culprit has been apprehended. The lingering question is about the unaddressed coincidences. I appreciate that the characters in "Pride and Prejudice" aren't just taking a victory lap, even if that's obviously what Yeol-moo wants to do. The conspiracy to date has already been so outrageously complicated that it's hard to imagine the entire sequence of events could be unraveled so easily and so quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 17 2014/12/23,
And just like that, it's over. There was, in fact, a very good reason why Hee-man spent most of the last episode off camera. While it's gratifying to know that the bad guys aren't the only ones who uses heavy misdirection to manipulate the situation into their favor, at the same time it's a little aggravating realizing that a lot of the confusion in the story lately was in fact the result of screenwriting tricks designed to prevent too much information from becoming too obvious too quickly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 16 2014/12/22,
It's back to mostly internal soul-searching here, as the team analyzes evidence they already have rather than finding anything new. Oddly enough, even though Hee-man has been a huge factor lately, as well as the entire emotional impetus behind the cliffhanger, he's barely even present in this episode at all. The threat at this point is less the single person who may or may not be the mastermind as it is the gaggle of gangsters molling about,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 15 2014/12/16,
The questions brought up last episode are mostly answered here. Events have clearly been orchestrated in such a way to set up an obvious scapegoat. Technically this revelation is the cliffhanger, but such is the nature of "Pride and Prejudice" that it's much easier to work out what the drama's doing by going backward rather than forward. We've finally confirmed one suspiciously friendly character as being a villain, although this person's overall angle remains entirely unclear,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 14 2014/12/15,
It's another confusing episode- confusing in a good way, I guess, since the modus operandi of "Pride and Prejudice" at this point is to keep us guessing. So, for that matter, do the villains. There are strong indications right from the beginning that they actually do want Dong-chi to succeed, to some limited unknown extent. Help ends up coming from a rather unexpected place right before the situation appears to turn suddenly and harshly lethal,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 13 2014/12/09,
The characters are entering a period of convergence. One villain is explicitly and surprisingly given a face when he has an unexpected encounter with Dong-chi while he's out investigating with Yeol-moo. It's odd to see how in many ways the bad guys are in fact enabling the investigation through their hurried attempts at trying to pull a last-minute cover-up. It makes the lead characters notice activitiy in areas they might not otherwise see,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 12 2014/12/08,
Note the way the characters talk to each other in this drama. It only got serious recently, and it was barely present at the beginning at all, but the only way I can really describe their tone is just hostile politeness. This reaches its most ridiculous point when, right after a huge massive streetfight, a character no one even recognizes shows up and starts speaking in the same measured tone. It's not even really sarcasm, just...a middle ground between open hostility and formality?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 11 2014/12/02,
While I can understand why investigations into the case of Yeol-moo's brother are inconsistent, keeping track of theoretically ongoing investigations is a somewhat more complicated hassle. I like what "Pride and Prejudice" is doing on a thematic level. It's taking a simple case of sexual harassment and relating it to larger, systemic abuses of power rather than some ill-defined notion of patriarchy. All the same it's a little difficult to give that plot thread the full attention it deserves when the drama keeps zig-zagging around romance and parental issues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 10 2014/12/01,
Enough clues have been put together in regards to the overall mystery that Yeol-moo and Dong-chi are able to make serious progress here. Oddly, they're only really putting together one clue that us viewers have already been aware of for some time. But it's clear from how emotional Yeol-moo gets that this is the difference between theory and practice for them. They might actually be able to find out what happened to her brother. They've been groping about in the dark for so long that it's a shock for them to actually hit something solid,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 9 2014/11/25,
Very little seems to actually be happening at this point in "Pride and Prejudice". I hope you liked the cliffhanger from last time because this episode just restates it. The situation has been thoroughly analyzed in pretty much every way imaginable. The main lingering unanswered questions are how and why, and without even a side investigation for anyone to focus their talents on, the lack of answers here is a bit annoying,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 8 2014/11/24,
This episode is a look at what the investigators do in their off-hours when work is obviously on their mind. For Yeol-moo and Dong-chi this is, unsurprisingly, to go over in minute detail all the information they have regarding what happened to Yeol-moo's brother. Other characters actually let loose a little, and surprisingly enough, it's the ones that are having fun who end up causing the mess that no one's sure what to deal with,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 7 2014/11/17,
I'm appreciating the odd home life of the investigators more and more lately. These characters have a very stressful job, not so much because they're dealing with criminals, but because they're constantly forced to stop and admit that there aren't really any more obvious clues at the moment. Coming from that circumstance, it's really nice to be able to come home and just do normal human interaction stuff for awhile. Talking to a kid, for example, is fun, even if I'm increasingly unsure that the kid should even be there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 6 2014/11/11,
Last episode's accident takes on immediate focus here, and for a time "Pride and Prejudice" once again does a great job reminding us what the difference is between TV investigators and real one. I'm genuinely not sure I've ever consumed a piece of fiction where one of the good guys accidentally kills a criminal, and this is actually treated like a bad thing. Usually their buddies bend over backwards to say it wasn't their fault, and anybody so impertinent as to suggest the loss of human life is always tragic regardless of circumstance is branded as a naïve do-gooder,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 5 2014/11/10,
We open up with an exploration of Dong-chi's involvement with Yeol-moo's little brother's case. No information is hidden here for the sake of dramatic impact later on, even if the entire set-up to begin with was a fairly fantastic coincidence. Even though we know how the story's going to end, there's quite a bit of tension going on with young Dog-chi. On a basic level, this is the story of his greatest failure, even if at the time he was just a kid with no way to know how to handle this kind of crisis situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 4 2014/11/04,
For all the hoopla regarding the technical problems involved in pursuing the current case, the actual mystery resolves with relatively little real difficulties. The clue that ends up bringing everything together ends up being an observation regarding additional evidence that was implied to have existed by some of the CCTV footage, but which the characters haven't investigated because it's a bit of a lateral thinking puzzle. In all fairness given the sheer quantity of CCTV footage on display here it's understandable that no one thought of this sooner,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 3 2014/11/03,
The emphasis this episode is on office politics rather than an actual mystery. I suppose it was inevitable, really. Yeol-moo is still a greenhorn investigator, and what with all the general heroism of the first two episodes, she hasn't really had a chance yet to appreciate the fact that they can't save everyone. What's more, even mostly sympathetic characters can come off quite heartlessly when placed in a situation where they can either go home or follow-up on mostly useless clues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 2 2014/10/28,
I really admire just how professional all the characters in "Pride and Prejudice" are. Yeol-moo and Dong-chi, rather than trying to keep their past relationship a secret for no good reason, are completely open about the situation. Yes, it's mildly embarrassing, but someone was going to figure it all out sooner or later. This also allows for other characters to have their personalities fleshed out by reacting to this unexpected situation. Typically, this too is done professionally. All around the investigative team is a class act,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 1 2014/10/27,
This drama quite literally wastes no time with introductions. It barely even offers any explanation as to the premise. Dong-chi (played by Choi Jin-hyeok) is an experienced criminal investigator. Yeol-moo (played by Baek Jin-hee) is a rookie criminal investigator who used to date him. OK, all the character relationships are cleared up? Then let's shut up about everyone's personal lives and get right to the mystery!,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Jeong Kyeong-ho - Part 2 2010/06/30, Source, Jeong Kyeong-ho [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
10: So what do you think actor Jeong Kyeong-ho is capable of showing? Jeong Kyeong-ho (Jeong): I hate being depressed, it is just my nature. I try to be cheerful and I think there are some people who see it as a good thing. 10: Do you want to keep doing something you're good at or do you want to start showing some changes little by little? Jeong: Right now, I just want to work on a good story with a good director and cast. That's what I enjoy. 10: Since you use the word ‘good’ a lot, what do you think that is? For example, what exactly is a good director in an actor’s point of view? ,...More
Kim Ha-neul says "Road No. 1" once-in-a-decade drama 2010/06/21, Source, Kim Ha-neul poses during a photo session of a press conference for MBC TV series "Road No. 1" held at Sangmyung University in Seoul, South Korea on June 18, 2010. [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
The prospect of having to wear shabby clothes and a grubby face in upcoming war drama "Road No. 1" did little to daunt actress Kim Ha-neul who thinks its script is one that comes along "once-in-a-decade".
The 32-year-old actress made the remark during a press conference held at Sangmyung University in Seoul on Friday as she responded to reporters' questions about how she decided to take on a role in the 20-part TV series set in times of the Korean War,...More
So Ji-sub transforms in "Road No. 1" , says producer (1) 2010/05/13, Source,
From left, producer Kim Jin-min-I, actors Yoon Kye-sang, Kim Ha-neul and So Ji-sub, and producer Lee Jang-soo pose during a photo session of a press conference for upcoming MBC TV series "Road No. 1" held at the drama's set in the Chungcheong Province of South Korea on May 12, 2010. [MBC]
MBC TV series "Road No. 1" which is set to premiere June 23, has set out on a road which no other show has taken before. It is a full-fledged 20-episode war drama being produced in time with the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and went into shoot with the goal of completing production of the entire show before going on air, a decision made while in its planning stages from three years ago. The two actually do not go separately. It is a blockbuster aiming for good quality, and hence, decided to complete production in advance to avoid facing time constraints. But every new road taken is unfamiliar and difficult to take. That is why more than ever, we become more curious about the intentions and direction the producers want to take with the show. Below are excerpts from a press conference held at the drama's set in the Chungcheong Province where the show's producers Lee Jang-soo and Kim Jin-min-I sat down to talk about the process of making the show and walking a path never taken before,...More
So Ji-sub transforms in "Road No. 1" , says producer (2) 2010/05/13, Source,
Producer Kim Jin-min-I attends a press conference for upcoming MBC TV series "Road No. 1" held at the drama's set in the Chungcheong Province of South Korea on May 12, 2010. [MBC]
Q: You've been aiming to finish shooting the entire drama before it goes on air. How much have you shot so far? Lee: We've completed about 80 percent of it. Q: The first episode goes on air June 23. Do you think you'll be able to get done by then? Lee: From the script to the filming, we've been trying to do everything according to plan so we went into shoot after having prepared this for three years. We promised the actors and staff that we would wrap up the shoot by June 13 and intend on keeping it. We're doing everything in our power to become an exemplary case,...More
"Road No. 1" sold to Japan before release in Korea 2010/04/16, Source,
MBC's war drama "Road No. 1" has been purchased by a Japanese media group ahead of its premiere in Korea, according to Logos Films on Friday.
"Road No. 1", set during the Korean War, was attained by Hakuhodo Media Partners, one of the largest media and content business companies in Japan, although only 60 percent of the drama has been shot.
An associate from Hakuhodo is said to have explained that it purchased "Road No. 1" because the series was based on a gripping storyline, a strong script and enthusiastic performances by its actors including Hallyu star So Ji-sub,...More
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