[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 18 Final 2016/06/28,
I got the distinct impression for most of the last episode of "Oh Hae-Young Again" that writer Park Hae-young (yes, that is her real name) never really had a plan for finishing any of the drama's storylines. She just had these really great characters, and the interesting hook of the mysterious visions, and figured the rest would come naturally. Well, two extra episodes and an extended finale weren't enough. The ending of "Oh Hae-Young Again" is sloppy, coming up with new conflicts while only clumsily resolving the old ones,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 17 2016/06/27,
While "Oh Hae-Young Again" continues to mostly be filler, at this point it's surprisingly comforting filler. I like watching Do-kyeong and Hae-young be happy. Eric Moon and Seo Hyeon-jin have really good cute chemistry. I like how Hae-young is most of the things that Do-kyeong is not, that she is loud and proud while he is quiet and loyal. Do-kyeong engages in an act of explicit heroism this episode and doesn't even bother to stick around and take credit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 16 2016/06/21,
To my great surprise, "Oh Hae-Young Again" actually does a really good job putting on the brakes and going "whoa now, looks like we need more episodes". Rumination is the order of the day, as characters ponder over whether or not they can really get a happy ending just by thinking happy thoughts. As it turns out Hae-young and Do-kyeong still have a lot of wreckage from past experiences floating around, and it's going to take more than a gentle push to solve these problems,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 15 2016/06/20,
Right away "Oh Hae-Young Again" gets on my good side by reminding me just what makes all its characters so charming. There's Hae-young with her optimism, Hoon and Anna with their exuberance, Soo-kyeong with her garbled French, Jin-sang with his paralyzed indecision, and Do-kyeong with his power to surprise the surpriser. I really do love the cast in "Oh Hae-Young Again". They all bring genuine charm to their characters, and this works to elevate roles that in the hands of a lesser performer would have been forgettable,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 14 2016/06/14,
Now that Hae-young and Do-kyeong are back together again, "Oh Hae-Young Again" moves to cute filler material. On one end it's nice to get a reprieve considering how gloomy the drama has been lately. On the the other this is some of the weaker cute material we've gotten from the drama and much of it accidentally paints its characters in a bad light. Considering how Hae-young just had a hospital scare, it was really pretty insensitive to not phone her parents and tell them she'd be late. Then again why didn't they just try to call her?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 13 2016/06/13,
The last we saw of Do-kyeong, he was fervently racing to solve the great mistake of letting Hae-young go. Most of the tension this episode revolves around the horrifying possibility that their relationship has been overrated. Do-kyeong and Hae-young were just never meant to be. It's more of the usual from "Oh Hae-Young Again" in terms of frightening relatability, since in every break-up anywhere, it's only really over when both parties finally decide to give up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 12 2016/06/07,
At first it seems like life has merely moved on. Hae-young is grumpy at home, and Do-kyeong is obsessively perfectionist about the latest dangerous to reproduce sound effect. But the situation quickly takes a turn for the worse when Hae-young impulsively picks about the worst possible target on which to vent her frustrations. The result? Hae-young makes the big tragedy of her life seem like an epic joke,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 11 2016/06/06,
Poor Tae-jin. He's pathetic and sympathetic yet...that doesn't matter to Hae-young. It doesn't matter to anyone's ex-girlfriend, or ex-boyfriend for that matter. Nobody wants to get back together with an ex out of pity. As "Oh Hae-Young Again" moves into the open information stage, and everyone finds out every essential detail of the major plot, that basic element of human nature is simply not enough to give Tae-jin any kind of serious leeway. This is true even as the dual Hae Young element vastly complicates the situation beyond Tae-jin's original assumptions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 10 2016/05/31,
Do-kyeong has lots of good reasons to be trying to get mental help right now. So it's a rather appropriate irony that, rather than discuss deeper root mental problems, visions of Hae-young always dominate the conversation. But worry not- we get an increasingly clear portrait of the psychological issues that make Do-kyeong the person he is. His inferiority complex, the superior attitude toward siblings, parental issues and of course, Do-kyeong's powerful reluctance to admit he likes Hae-young at all are forced front and center,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 9 2016/05/30,
While the other Hae-young has received a great deal of sympathetic characterization as of late, it's easy to lose sight of one important fact. The main Hae-young isn't aware of any of this. She hasn't been present for the scenes which explain the other Hae-young's personal issues. In many ways Hae-young is still a character in a completely different drama, the one several episodes back where the other Hae-young seemed like an obvious villain in spite of how unfailingly nice she acts in every possible circumstance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 8 2016/05/24,
Strictly speaking the way "Oh Hae-Young Again" replays footage from past episodes as flashbacks is a tad excessive. Do-kyeong's precognition is, itself, another form of this. But I'm always impressed at how these flashbacks accompany new information that puts these past events in radically different perspective. Way back in the first episode I thought Deok-hee came off as a bad mother. While subsequent events have better contextualized the relationship between Deok-hee and Hae-young, it's only here that Deok-hee realizes an alternate context makes her look much, much worse,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 7 2016/05/23,
Jin-sang (played by Kim Ji-seok-I) is Do-kyeong's best friend, and symbolic of the greatest flaw in the love story between Do-kyeong and Hae-young. The foundation of their romance is a misunderstanding by Jin-sang that provoked an unnecessary and vindictive move on Do-kyeong's part, which neither Jin-sang nor Do-kyeong have been able to satisfactorily resolve. It's been easy to minimize that incident up until now. But with what we now know about Do-kyeong's mother Ji-ya (played by Nam Gi-ae), long-term psychological issues are becoming harder to ignore,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 6 2016/05/17,
Where did Seo Hyeon-jin get those ridiculous glasses? They're so dorky and cute. That's just another one of the little touches that make "Oh Hae-Young Again" a lot of fun to watch. Every seemingly irrelevant detail appears perfectly calculated to bring out the most attractive character traits. Even the other Hae-young gets the rock climbing scene, which makes her look incredibly cool even as I continue to struggle with how we're supposed to interpret her character,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 5 2016/05/16,
I really love how every single interaction between Hae-young and Do-kyeong, whether it be comedic, serious or awkward, works as a metaphor for their relationship as a whole. The opening scene manages to transition between all three in short order with each one being equally natural. Hae-young really is a positive influence on Do-kyeong, in that her ability to suffer through embarassing indignities prevents him from getting too hung up on his own personal issues,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 4 2016/05/10,
The sheer goofy awkwardness of Hae-young's new living arrangement is played for maximum laughs. I like how for all the obvious problems the secret doorway causes, Hae-young never considers just, you know, moving to another apartment. It's not even that she likes Do-kyeong all that much just yet. Hae-young is a woman who would rather try to avoid problems piecemeal instead of trying to deal with them in a single fell swoop. It's a character flaw that's well disguised by the general comedic design of "Oh Hae-Young Again",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 3 2016/05/09,
Hae-young is easy going to the point of excessive strain. She seems capable of taking any bizarre revelation in random stride, yet the minute any of her ideas are challenged, Hae-young lets loose a vicious hook. I like how Do-kyeong reels from her verbal hits for exactly the wrong reasons. While Hae-young is overreacting, she's overreacting to Do-kyeong's overreacting, and Do-kyeong's own hidden motives that he can't admit out of sheer guilt and shame,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 2 2016/05/03,
From Do-kyeong's perspective Hae-young frequently comes off as unexpectedly frightening. It's mostly in the weird stone-faced way that Seo Hyeon-jin delivers her lines. It's hard to tell whether Hae-young is being flirtatious or viciously sarcastic. Often it's not clear that Hae-young herself has any idea how other people interpret her actions. Hae-young is at her most attractive when she outwardly expresses the least concern about what other people think,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 1 2016/05/02,
Hae-young (played by Seo Hyeon-jin) is an administrative restauranteur with chronically rotten luck who shows neither determination nor despair at her many setbacks in life. Do-kyeong (played by Eric Moon), a sound effect designer for movies. Not a composer, a sound effect designer. His sister Soo-kyeong (played by Ye Ji-won) is Hae-young's boss, and both siblings share the same penchant for cruel behavior to subordinates in the name of getting the job done right,...More
Kwon Yul, "I would like to try a cooking show" 2015/06/04, Source, The character Lee Sang-woo from "Let's Eat - Season 2" is definitely the perfect guy. He's got the looks, skills, personality and a pure heart. He's the perfect prince. Lee Sang-woo is also similar to actor Kwon Yul in several ways and he nods his head at this statement.
"I share some common ground with Sang-woo. We are both sincere when it comes to meeting people and we take some time to get comfortable with someone. We're only keeping weight on our manners and not being watchful",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 17 2015/06/01,
To further emphasize the way "Let's Eat - Season 2" is moving into conclusion mode, there's actually more character relationship montages than food porn sequences this episode. What makes this particularly weird, though, is the two of the chaarcter relationship montages appear to be ironic. It's like writer Lim Soo-mi is explicitly telling us- no, as a matter of fact, these two particular storylines never actually went anywhere, and the only reason these characters are waxing on romantically on the subject is because they're just kind of lonely,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 16 2015/05/26,
Last episode was such a huge flash in the dramatic department that "Let's Eat - Season 2" was more-or-less fully destined to let itself down this episode, if only because of the disappointing reality of characters having to face consequences for their actions. In light of everything that's happened there's not really much to do except sulk in front of the police and hope that eventually everything manages to take a turn for the better. Everyone else is just trying to stretch the plot out. With food porn, when possible,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 15 2015/05/25,
The tonal shift this episode is to serious drama- we're not looking at anything super-weepy or anything, but the immediate reactions of the characters are fairly appropriate. While Jeom-i has never been a terribly important character, she's always been friendly and likable in her own way. And this was just in dealing the other residents of the building. There's something humbling about realizing that Jeom-i actually has an actual family- and that of course, every other character has an actual family too. That they don't talk to as much as they should,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 14 2015/05/19,
As if to reprimand me for doubting its seriousness, the mystery plot of "Let's Eat - Season 2" ends on a pretty shocking cliffhanger, particularly so coming right after a super cute date sequence. Not just shocking, either, but overall well-integrated, because the mystery plot and the main Soo-ji plot share one important commonality. Both are being interrupted by unnecessary snooping. Of course Jeom-i is snooping- that's what old ladies do. But why is Soo-ji so obsessed about Dae-yeong's imaginary girlfriend?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 13 2015/05/18,
No, nobody is actually moving around dead bodies in briefcases. Again, "Let's Eat - Season 2" might have fooled me on that point except that the first season of "Let's Eat" tried to pull the exact same stunt. Although admittedly the question of what's going on with all that money is a pretty potent one. It's not really all that interesting compared to the question of how Soo-ji is planning to manage all her financial affairs. But it's decent as far as subplots go,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 12 2015/05/12,
Contrary to what was implied by the preview, Dae-yeong and Sang-woo actually just start out by discussing their problems like adults and giving honest answers. It feels absurd for me to be surprised by this- of course that's what non-crazy friends do in that kind of situation. It's just...you know, the wacky plotting of television dramas is usually more prone to contrived misunderstandings. Writer Lim Soo-mi is above all that, though. She focuses on the important stuff in life. Like balancing checkbooks,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 11 2015/05/11,
This episode opens up with an extended mountain hike- that naturally ends with food porn. I'm surprised "Let's Eat - Season 2" doesn't do this more often really. Just have a completely random datelike activity end in food porn because that's what the viewers wants. But then again, Soo-ji never really pays attention to food because she's too head-over-heels with Sang-woo to actually notice her first love in life. With Dae-yeong, though, food and petty arguments is what they're all about,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 10 2015/05/05,
The humor this episode consists primarily of callbacks- namely to the entire incident with the bike. The extent to which the characters are willing to tell ridiculous lies for reasons that don't really make much sense is the larger thematic point. Sure it's fun to watch everybody squirm in the near term. But in the long term, why are they lying exactly? What exactly is the end game for a bunch of relationships that are founded upon the idea of silly deceit?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 9 2015/05/04,
In a mildly genre-bending twist, last episode revealed that Soo-ji's goal of a relationship with Sang-woo was actually much easier to accomplish then was expected. So...what exactly are the characters supposed to do for the remaining ten episodes? It soon becomes clear that from this point on, rather than being about Soo-ji being terrible at romance, we're now going to get a story about Soo-ji and Sang-woo being mutually terrible at romance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 8 2015/04/28,
Now that Dae-yeong has accidentally exposed the drama's premise to Sang-woo, there's not really any getting around the general sense of awkwardness. I like how Sang-woo seems generally perplexed at the idea that women would have any romantic interest in him. To be entirely honest I'm kind of confused on that point too, but then it's not like love is supposed to be easily understood or anything like that,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 7 2015/04/27,
The slow pace of the plot catches up to the characters here. I can't help but find it rather inherently amusing that Dae-yeong and Soo-ji are acting like they have all the time in the world to get her together with Sang-woo, when from the very beginning every single work meeting Soo-ji and Sang-woo have had has referenced the blind date that Sang-woo keeps trying to avoid. Well, that's the problem with romantic fantasies really. They're a lot more fun than actually trying to date,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 6 2015/04/21,
Soo-ji's incremental progress toward a relationship with Sang-woo here is foiled by...rental payments. Good, good, more absurdity. I mean it's not really that absurd. Pretty much everybody has to struggle with the rent, especially in the wake of a dumb impulse purchase. But this isn't the kind of real-life issue that normally shows up in dramas. Fiction tends to focus on concept rather than reality. Yet as "Let's Eat - Season 2" shows here, a lot of mileage can be accomplished just by watching Soo-ji squirm over the rent,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 5 2015/04/20,
The mystery of the person who lives on the roof of the building is resolved appropriately- with a revelation as to the very serious financial penalties involved in building an illegal add-on to an apartment building. All right, that's somewhat ridiculous- which is good, because self-ridicule is always where "Let's Eat - Season 2" has been at its strongest. Most of the characters are at their most amusing when their perception of reality is challenged by their own apparent cluelessness.
Except for Dae-yeong. He knows that he's clueless, and doesn't really care. Which makes it all the more easier for him to identify where other people are going wrong. I'm really kind of impressed at this point seeing how little Soo-ji understands of men. Every time the three leads of this drama are together it's just Dae-yeong hurriedly trying to run damage control before Soo-ji accidentally reveals how unattractive she really is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 4 2015/04/14,
The main interesting thing to happen this episode is that the love triangle is established. Weirdly, the center of this triangle is not Soo-ji, which would make logical sense, but rather...well, nobody in particular because again, it's not clear whether Dae-yeong and Soo-ji are supposed to be getting together or not. Bizarrely, it's the platonic relationship between Dae-yeong and Sang-woo that ends up being the focus. Sang-woo doesn't appear to be gay. But at the very least, he's definitely queer,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 3 2015/04/13,
This episode jumps right away to the finer more important points of the plot- Dae-young teaching Soo-ji how to act like an attractive woman. I'm not sure which part's funnier actually. There's the apparently sexless Dae-young being a complete master of romantic interaction. And then there's Soo-ji not having the slightest clue about what he's talking about. She completely whiffs Dae-young's softball attempt to try and get her alone in the same general area as Sang-woo,...More
Hit Muk-bang Themed Drama "Let's Eat" Returned For Second Season 2015/04/10,
CJ E&M's hit Muk-bang (eating scene) themed drama "Let's Eat" has returned to the small screen for a second season. Its premiere episode was aired Korea's general entertainment channel tvN on April 6. Hailed as one of the country's popular cable TV dramas in 2014, "Let's Eat" has propelled the "Muk-bang" (eating scene) TV trend. It is a romantic comedy about a single guy who loves to browse his favorite foods on the blog site called '"Let's Eat"' to relieve stress from work,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 2 2015/04/07,
The first season of "Let's Eat" only aired one episode a week. "Let's Eat - Season 2", by contrast, is airing by the more standard two episode per week schedule. And it's this episode I quickly saw one of the more obvious disadvanatages of the more standardized intensive drama schedules- it kind of messes up the pacing. Whereas the first season of "Let's Eat" had to accomplish basic facts rather quickly, "Let's Eat - Season 2" mostly just runs in place. There's a lot of filler here- and we've only just established the basics of the premise,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Let's Eat - Season 2" Episode 1 2015/04/06,
Dae-yeong (played by Yoon Doo-joon) has been forced to escape from Seoul due to his usual bizarre habit of managing to obtain unwanted extreme emotions from women he only wants to know casually. While we get several memorable flashbacks indicating part of what happened, the big question of why he broke up with Soo-kyeong remains unresolved. Whether it will ever be answered is unclear- although the implication is definitely that it was an interesting story,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goddess of Fire Jeongi" Episode 6 2013/07/18,
"Goddess Of Fire Jeongi" is moseying right along. It gives us tons of cute. It gives us some political intrigue. It gives us a few solid relationships. These things save it from being pedantic because this predictable plotline needs some saving. Not one scene held surprise because the outcome was obvious. However, the acting and the adorable character relationships keep the show together. Rather than fight over a jar, this time the royal consort Inbin and her minions wage war against Prince Gwanghae over a jade belt. It's always something. Jar, jade belt. Po-tay-toh, po-tah-toh. The bad guys win this round: Gwanghae is demoted from head of the Punwon Kiln to second in command,...More
Seo Hyeon-jin becomes a reporter 2013/05/12, Source,
Actress Seo Hyeon-jin was cast for the movie "N.L.L - War of Yeon Pyeong" according to Jump Entertainment.
"N.L.L - War of Yeon Pyeong" is based on the true story of the North attacking the South in the second Yeon Pyeong sea war during the World Cup Semi Finals on the 29th of June in 2002. Seo Hyeon-jin's role of Joo Min-jeong is a very hard worker with passion for reporting news and falling in love with Yoon Yeong-ha (Jeong Seok-won),...More
Ex-Teen Singer Reinvents Herself as Soap Actress 2012/05/05, Source,
When Seo Hyeon-jin made her debut as the lead vocalist of girl group M.I.L.K., she thought she would immediately be catapulted to stardom. However, the girl group soon fell by the wayside due to fierce competition among manufactured bands, which led to one of the members quitting before the outfit completely disbanded in 2003.
But almost a decade later, Seo is back in the spotlight, not as a singer but as an actress. By playing the role of an overly ambitious chef who will go to any length to keep her place in the kitchen in the MBC weekend drama, "Feast of the Gods", Seo has finally captured the attention she has craved for so long,...More
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