[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" 2016/06/04,
Korean dramas place great importance on providing escapism. They portray words where love always conquers all and bad guys always pay. At the same time, many cross the line of being relatable to the real people watching and very few go beyond satisfying superficial needs before sending us on our merry way. "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" is an idealistic drama which bends the law and reality to its will, but unlike most series, it does so for a worthy payout,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 20 Final 2016/05/31,
The end has arrived for "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho", but the food for thought it leaves us with makes this goodbye a satisfying one. The time for our criminals to receive their just rewards has come and they all face the situation in a different way. We have some surprises when it comes to the future of our heroes and life goes on for everyone involved. Despite Deul-ho's constant success in the courtroom, the show's moral is realistic and therefore incredibly profound,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 19 2016/05/30,
One of the strong suits of "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" is its handling of emotions and episode nineteen gives Deul-ho and us a rough time, as his life is endangered by evidence. It also reveals crucial information about the past and the true extent of Yeong-il's involvement in important events. Some revelations raise more questions, others neatly tie threads opened in the drama's beginning. Deul-ho repeats certain mistakes and we have miraculous interventions, but they do not majorly harm what is a thrilling episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 18 2016/05/24,
Deul-ho and Ji-wook are pulled towards their respective loved ones and away from justice. Eun-jo voices her worries over this and reminds Deul-ho and us what this series has been about. With only two episodes left, it is time for the fight against Yeong-il to get dirty and the dirt sadly touches our heroes as well. This is the first time "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" has missed some marks on its hero, but I hope the end brings justice back,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 16 2016/05/17,
Get ready to feel happy, relieved, disappointed and worried. Get ready to feel a lot of things in today's episode, frankly, because a new villain has revealed themselves and they will not make the same mistakes Chairman Jeong has been making. It is time for some of our characters to decide on some really tough choices and a highly awaited conversation takes place between Hae-kyeong and Deul-ho. Also, adorable Soo-bin is back,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 15 2016/05/16,
The case against Chairman Jeong Geun-mo is reaching a climax as his accomplices are cornered and his secrets are revealed. Some of our characters choose their sides clearly, others continue to be a mystery. Deul-ho is not above gloating, but he knows better than to trust an easy win. The more you back someone into a corner, the more they and those who can go down with them will lash out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 14 2016/05/11,
After a case fully dedicated to Chairman Jeong Geun-mo's financial transactions it is the turn of one related to the cost of human life lost to his dirty business practices. As Jeong becomes more reckless and obsessed with destroying our Superman, his accomplices start to worry over their involvement with him. Hae-kyeong goes head to head with Deul-ho and Eun-jo in court and her motives are being questioned by those around her,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 13 2016/05/09,
Our plot and character development make great strides in episode thirteen of "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho". It is amazing how people show their true colors when push comes to shove and now we get to see who Deul-ho's and justice's true allies and enemies are. Are those revelations surprising? Not really, but some are so very satisfying, especially when Deul-ho's fate is at stake. We still need more information on the past, but the present is definitely delivering,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 11 2016/05/03,
Things get serious in "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" as our main villain becomes more aggressive than ever. Eun-jo's step-father sparks a new case, new challenges and social commentary. Eun-jo herself reaches a boiling point, but now her time has hopefully come to get down to business. New adversaries surface and older ones falter as the chessboard rattles. Deul-ho's determination to risk everything is about to be challenged, but we know him pretty well by now,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 10 2016/04/26,
Everyone give the flashback fairy a round of applause, because she is here and she brings a lot of backstory with her. Episode ten gives us a little look into Deul-ho's and Hae-kyeong's less than blissful life together, as well as his musical interrogation room meetings with Dae-soo. I find myself with more questions than answers, but the past is returning and maybe bringing those answers with it. Chairman Jeong's time has come yet again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 7 2016/04/18,
Deul-ho finally discovers his true calling beyond the case of Michael Jeong and Eun-jo incorporates herself in our team, which is always welcoming her presence. Episode 7 marks the opening of a case not related to our main villain, at least not so far. Most importantly, Deul-ho's triumphant return faces some problems, as he struggles between his role as a father and a newfound hero for the people,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 6 2016/04/13,
So many important and intense things happen in episode 6 that I actually needed a break and a glass of water before starting my work on this piece. Eun-jo has finally made her big decision about life as a lawyer and we are moving past the introduction. Ji-wook and Hae-kyeong just entered the delightful grey zone, there are wins, losses, regrets and redemption. The future of "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho"? Unknown, but I will be anticipating it with glee,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" Episode 3 2016/04/04,
The power of Byeon Ji-sik's words may have hit Deul-ho and Eun-jo hard, but it is surprisingly the latter, supposedly the more naive and oblivious of the two who understands what she feels and what this means to her first. Episode 3 continues with the trial, but we also get more backstory on some of our characters, including our guest father and son,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 22 2015/02/17,
In it's last episodes "The King's Face" has curled into a complex, layered show that finally holds genuine tensions that do not feel contrived. Sixteen years have passed since Gwanghae became the Crown Prince and the warring factions in the government have a lot of fodder for battle. A strong point of the episode was the fact that it brought Ga-hee's actions full circle,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 21 2015/02/14,
King Seonjo comes face-to-face with his own demons in the form of a man he once trusted: Do-chi. Like the king, Do-chi is filled with arrogance and the idea that he is invincible. Neither are prepared for their downfalls, which makes this episode and their crash to rock bottom the most engaging thus far. Do-chi has spent years manipulating and lying to people, building up his power base and hoping to bring about change in Joseon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 20 2015/02/14, "The King's Face" is picking up the pace as it nears the finish line. Intentions do not necessarily lead to desired results because they are thwarted by powerful emotions like jealousy and greed. As the characters settle into their newest roles, they grow bolder and that makes the show a lot more fun. Ga-hee, in particular, was much more lively than she has ever been,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 15 2015/02/01,
Episode 15 was, by far, the strongest episode of the drama. It brought together history, character development, and a large,exciting event that acted as an impetus for further development. That event is the reclamation of Hanyang, what is now Seoul, from the Japanese,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 14 2015/01/25,
War has made "The King's Face" much more interesting. The characters in this seem more like cardboard cutouts than people. They have goals and go through the motions, but rarely do we see the motivating through processes or emotions behind the action. Crown Prince Gwanghae's story is riveting in its natural form and that gives this story more weight than the fictionalized plot. The life is leaving "The King's Face" despite the intrigue of war and the heroics of Gwanghae,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 13 2015/01/20,
The Japanese have come and all the plot preparing comes together in a pointed effort to escape the wrath of the invasion. Constitutions are hardened against the horrors of war and Gwanghae is left as the de facto leader of Hanyang, Joseon's capital, as his father flees to save his own life. It is a test for everyone that shows their true colors. Gwanghae is left by King Seonjo to protect the palace and the people,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 12 2015/01/15,
War is upon King Seonjo, his family, and his country. Just the nature of war kicks up the excitement of "The King's Face" a notch. It's a well-known story, but the spin that the production team takes is what makes it either unique or just another story. King Seonjo notoriously leaves his people and flees north to protect himself,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 11 2015/01/08,
Pieces were forced into place in this episode of "The King's Face". It is almost the halfway mark and something large needs to happen or change - that event is a compounded national and character shift. The Japanese invasion has begun in earnest, and Ga-hee enters the palace, most likely for good. The changes are welcome. It's just that the changes felt as fluid as the Tinman's joints before Dorothy found him. The King's Face" tends to be overly dramatic,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 10 2015/01/04,
Gwanghae is learning and growing by leaps and bounds as "The King's Face" just about hits its halfway mark. He has developed a concrete goal and political aspirations that pits him against many people, including his family. But the lessons he has learned thus far are making him more wary than the impetuous child of yore. "The King's Face" has a central focus of face reading and the idea that one cannot escape one's destiny,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 9 2015/01/01,
Young Prince Gwanghae is learning that knowledge and a passion to help his people isn't enough to actually help them. He gets trapped in the sticky web of politics and his immobility and his immobility causes his people to suffer. He begins to truly feel the weight of his position and the heart of the cause that Ga-hee and Do-chi fight for. While "The King's Face" isn't the most effective show, this episode certainly made its points clearly and smartly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 8 2014/12/29, "The King's Face" is slowly shaping Joseon's next king, Prince Gwanghae, for the heavy crown he will bear. Seo In-guk is charming as the young prince who is just discovering what he wants to do with the intelligence and political power that he was born with. His skill with face-reading helps him as he navigates the murky waters of backdoor politicking. In his time exiled from the palace, Gwanghae has learned of the sordid affairs that happen beyond the palace walls that keep palace officials afloat in gold and riches and their power honed towards magnifying their riches and positions rather than helping those who need it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 7 2014/12/22,
This episode was all about the lovers coming back together and the circumstances that conspire to keep them apart. Although the circumstances are political, it is the love story that fuels the episode while politics takes a decided back seat. What has bothered me about Gwanghae made itself clear in this episode,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 6 2014/12/22,
The lovers are at odds, both emotionally and in duty, which is the heart of episode 6. Around them King Seonjo whose inner battle rages between loving his son and the fact that Gwanghae is the biggest threat to his crown; and Do-chi, whose position of power causes him grave heartache. Gwanghae has lived idly in the eyes of his father and others,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 5 2014/12/16, "The King's Face" is a rather disjointed drama. It takes the central idea that face reading is powerful enough to determine a man's destiny and tries to piece the different parts of the drama to that. The most important pieces that are tied together by face reading is that King Seonjo was not meant to be king and that Gwanghae is destined to be a great king. It puts father and son directly at odds, which is the main story played out by "The King's Face". The problems is that this main story doesn't quite have the support from the rest of the drama to make it feasible,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 3 2014/12/04, "The King's Face" is a very visually lovely show. However, the general tone is so dramatic that it veers on seeming like a soap opera. It is not the acting, which is quite fine with the strong cast, but the direction couple with the dialogue. This tone keeps the weight of the show distant from the viewer and difficult to relate to.
This drama is romance driven,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 2 2014/11/29,
A book can be judged by his cover, and apparently so can a king. The group searching for the new king who will bring equality to Joseon is basing its search on face reading. Because of her face, Ga-hee is searched out to be something she doesn't want to be. Because of his face, Gwanghae is an enemy of his father. In the world of "The King's Face", looks matter. In Ga-hee's case, the face reader is able to pin her for the type of woman for whom the king has been searching,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 1 2014/11/29, "The King's Face" opened with a fast-paced, visually pleasing and plot-thin first episode. All main characters were introduced with their major qualities and quirks and physiognomy, or face reading, is given its proper place at the top of the totem pole. Based upon this opener the drama could be beautiful and vapid, or beautiful and delve deeper than what was given in this first taste.
There is no doubt that "The King's Face" is a beautiful drama,...More
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