[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 12 2017/10/27,
So "Single Wife" ends up concluding the logical direction it took with the previous episode that barely touched on the main conflict at all, and brings upon a final glorious comeuppance against In-hwa. I remain baffled just as much as I did last time as to what exactly happened to the premise. We had certainly received hints that In-hwa was a corporate vulture, but those barely even registered as a subplot. Now Hyo-rim and some bald guy I'm not even sure has a name have to work together to bring her dad back to stop her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 11 2017/10/26,
So you might have noticed that I abruptly stopped writing reviews for "Single Wife" a month ago. This is because I had gone to the United States, and recent episodes of "Single Wife" could not be streamed there. Back in South Korea, I'm a bit surprised to find that the final stretch of plot feels rather abrupt. In-hwa, having mostly had a background role as the mean potential mother-in-law, is apparently responsible for all the malaise in Ra-hee and Jae-min's relationship,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 10 2017/09/21,
So Ra-hee and Min-hong are finally at court, and it looks like they can get the divorce finalized. It doesn't happen, obviously, and this scene is supposed to represent how Min-hong still has feelings for Ra-hee and won't give up on her so easily. This is likely to eventually contrast with how Jae-min will eventually give up on Ra-hee entirely because of her inability to come clean with him on the full situation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 9 2017/09/20,
Min-hong, having finally figured out what Ra-hee is up to, lapses into alcoholic depression. I mean it doesn't go on forever, just a single night as far we can tell. Then it's on to revenge. But even that is pretty light. Right at the moment I thought Min-hong was going to do something explicitly petty and mean instead he turns right around and confronts Ra-hee on how she's accepted Jae-min's marriage proposal without fully cluing him in to what's going on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - You're Closer Than I Think" 2017/09/17,
The bookish Woo-jin (played by Lee Sang-yeob) is ditched on his wedding day by the more traditionally pretty Seo-yeon (played by Kim So-eun). The rest of the story is about Woo-jin trying to find out what happened to her. Bear in mind that since Woo-jin is not a private detective, and also has a day job, his efforts are mainly limited to making plaintive radio broadcasts for her return. Oh, and there's also that weird moment where he meets another woman (played by Im Hwa-young) who claims to be the real (?) Seo-yeon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 8 2017/09/14,
Once again Ra-hee tries my patience with more unnecessary antagonism. Min-hong straight up explicitly offers to finalize the divorce right away in exchange for a temporary, meaningless concession on Ra-hee's part and what does she do? Act all huffy and offended. Even bearing in mind that Min-hong has to finalize the divorce eventually, behavior like this is why he is in no hurry to do so. Who knows if Ra-hee will just be fickle and change her mind again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 7 2017/09/13,
So now Min-hong is working at Ra-hee's company. So, technically, all the main characters in "Single Wife" are now working at the same company. It's a good thing we get to see Min-hong's portfolio right away because in spite of this fact, no one at this company ever seems to do any actual work. Far from working, all we really see anyone doing is having concluding work dinners once work is finished,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 6 2017/09/07,
So dinner ends up going about as well as expected. We could already have guessed, after all, that In-hwa already hated Ra-hee without actually knowing anything about her. The whole previous marriage issue is just an excuse. It's kind of hard to blame her, considering that Jae-min was acting like he had something to be ashamed of simply by being with her in the first place and being very unnecessarily taciturn about it with his family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 5 2017/09/06,
So Min-hong has gone missing and everyone has freaked out, going to look for him. It should come as little surprise that Min-hong himself is completely oblivious to everything that has happened. The guy just went to the mountains because he wanted some time to himself. That Min-hong should find this to be an unremarkable desire is of little surprise. Min-hong accepted Ra-hee's demand that he not go to Seoul pretty easily, so why would anyone freak out about him?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 4 2017/08/31,
Ra-hee makes a serious effort to embrace the inherently campy nature of "Single Wife" by coming up with a more elaborate scheme to get rid of Min-hong than anything yet tried. What Ra-hee does is, she makes a list of all the personal habits Min-hong despises the most, and does them intentionally to try and provoke him into initiating a final break-up. It's a pretty good extended montage, hitting all the beats from obvious nasty habits everyone hates to ones peculiar to Min-hong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 3 2017/08/30,
It's odd Min-hong is continuously the most sympathetic character when he's so nosy, and annoying, and also literally the only reason "Single Wife" has any conflict at all. Mainly it's just that Min-hong is so darn cute and well-meaning. He's not even remotely jealous or suspicious. Shoot, Min-hong isn't even upset that Ra-hee freaks out about the prospect of him touching her. As far as Min-hong is concerned, everything should be done in such a way to maximize Ra-hee's comfort and happiness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 2 2017/08/24,
Now that we know who Ra-hee and Min-hong are in a vacuum, it's time to piece together how exactly their relationship fell apart in such a specific way that her attempting to remarry is such a big problem. Min-hong doesn't just want to hold on to Ra-hee. He genuinely doesn't seem to understand that they broke up at all. And in all fairness, the flashbacks we get don't really come off as total dealbreakers. They do tend to make Ra-hee look selfish, which is why she's so uncomfortable having them,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Single Wife" Episode 1 2017/08/23,
Ra-hee (played by Uhm Hyun-kyung) has it all. She has a successful job in the furniture design industry, makes appearances on talk shows to promote herself as a hard-working woman, and a rich boyfriend by the name of Jae-min (played by Kwak Hee-sung) who obviously likes her. Phrased that way, Ra-hee's life doesn't really sound all that impressive. But weirdly enough, that's the tone the production team has chosen for the first episode, as we wait for Ra-hee's vague happiness to be threatened by past failures,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 9-10 2017/06/12,
So I appear to have misread Joon-yeong's character. Apparently he's not Princess Hyemyeong's love interest at all, but rather the protagonist in the parallel storyline about trying to figure out who kidnapped Princess Hyemyeong and why. Joon-yeong has his work cut out for him. Not only is he dealing with an elaborate conspiracy far beyond his pay grade, but Princess Hyemyeong, the person who Joon-yeong is supposed to be protecting, isn't aware of the danger because as far as she knows the pawnbroker was acting alone,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 12 2015/09/22,
As expected, "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" has to hastily wrap up complicated plot points mostly because there wasn't proper discussion of these story issues back when they were actually going on. In-yeong's impulsive decision, and the crisis that makes up most of the episode, is annoying primarily because the resolution is too simple. Was Joon-soo just really incompetent or what? He really should have been able to come up with that strategy on his own, given that it was the best possible explanation, as well as the most obvious,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 11 2015/09/21,
I'm frankly not grasping the logic of In-yeong and Myeong-seok suddenly acting like they're from completely incompatible worlds like this is a bad thing. To be entirely honest In-yeong has never seemed like an especially competent idol in the first place, and the way the story is suddenly acting like she's an obvious natural at the job is a bit off-putting. A celebrity can give some juice to their career by appearing on a variety show but that in itself isn't much of a gamechanger. Especially since "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" never showed us that much of the variety show in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 9 2015/09/14,
Even though the story of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is bearing an increasingly strong resemblance to safe family dramas, the material still feels a great deal less outrageous. So I'm not totally sure how to feel, for example, when an opener that consists of a kiss, and quite literally just a kiss, ends up defining the entire conflict of the episode. In-yeong and Myeong-seok act like and are treated more as teenagers than adults,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 8 2015/09/08,
The characters continue to be mostly passive as the storyline of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" remains bogged down in a few key conflicts. Thankfully, the issue of trying to get Choon-ja to acknowledge In-yeong as not being completely terrible daughter-in-law material does at least get directly addressed. What's more, by the end of the episode the two even manage to find a sense of shared cause strong enough that might sort of make the iciness of their general relationship warm over. Late though it may be, I'm glad "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is finally providing some hint of a long-term solution,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 7 2015/09/07,
Divorced from the frustrating recent context of the storyline, the opening confrontation between In-yeong and Myeong-seok is actually pretty cute. As it happens, In-yeong does in fact have a flaw that mostly doesn't reflect too badly on her- general cluelessness. It genuinely does not occur to In-yeong that Myeong-seok could have been stoking jealousy by pretending to have a girlfriend even though In-yeong was quite literally running the exact same scam,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 6 2015/09/01,
Never mind what I've written about Choon-ja so far. Her character, too, moves beyond any reasonable point of redemption this episode with a bizarrely conservative spiel about how it's impossible to be a wife, mother, cookery assistant, and teacher all at the same time. I might have found this speech sympathetic except that as far as we've seen Se-mi has had zero logistical trouble juggling these various tasks- the end of the last episode was really more Dong-seok's fault. It's not like he does anything important during the day after all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 5 2015/08/31,
I'm struggling at this point trying to figure out what exactly the point is supposed to be to "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law". Is the drama really just supposed to be a standard romantic comedy between In-yeong and Myeong-seok, with no other frills? That much wouldn't be...terrible or anything, but their romance is among the most least interesting topics here, and the jokes we get don't really have that much variance. Even the kiss was more just, eh, that happened. There wasn't any urgency,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 3 2015/08/24,
In-yeong is surprised to see Myeong-seok stick up for her with the producer, considering that up until this point In-yeong and Myeong-seok haven't really gotten along that well. And so In-yeong, as well as the other characters, make a seemingly logical deduction. Obviously Myeong-seok has fallen in love with In-yeong. Why is this the obvious explanation? Well, because it's the most storylike, and thus the best possible ratings hook. Naturally it does not occur to anyone to simply ask Myeong-seok his reasons, because that would completely ruin the fantasy world In-yeong and friends have concocted,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 2 2015/08/18,
Myeong-seok (played by Ryu Soo-young) is a mathematics professor and In-yeong's husband, for the sake of the television program. He's kind of grumpy. Myeong-seok is interesting for being an aloof math genius in a way that's not commonly portrayed. He's perfectly capable of being social. It's just, all Myeong-seok really cares about is math. His temperament is the exact opposite of In-yeong's in pretty much every concievable way. Which would seem to doom any hope of this variety program actually working out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 1 2015/08/17,
In-yeong (played by Dasom) is a girl group singer who has fallen on hard times. Nobody likes her girl group anymore. Also In-yeong is kind of a jerk, who has a really bad habit of making smelly farts. But all is not lost- in the world of Korean broadcasting, there is constant demand for variety shows featuring low-level celebrities in comical pseudo-realistic situations. Like marriage. For basically random business-related reasons, In-yeong is offered a shot at a comeback provided she become "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" to a well-known traditional cookery,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - Night Watch" 2013/08/07,
In this low stakes mystery, members of an apartment complex conspire to find out who has been leaving random bags of trash outside of the neighbors' doors. And people get very, very angry. After all, trash is unhygienic, and it's everyone's responsibility to throw away and sort their own trash. To give other people your trash and expect them to throw it away is just plain rude.
This may not sound like compelling drama, and I'll be honest here- "Drama Special - Night Watch" isn't really high art however you look at it. But it's an interesting story if only for its normalcy and relatability,...More
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