[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 21-22 2017/08/23,
The kidnapping storyline resolved so abruptly there's not actually all that much for "Man Who Dies to Live" to do when it comes to producing a serious climax. Count Said Faid Ali spends a lot of time just hanging out at his daughter's house, being eccentric as always, his presence being tolerated mostly just so that Ji-yeong can get some work done. The comedy is just more of the usual. It's fortunate that "Man Who Dies to Live" is so short, since we're just about at the limit when it comes to twists on Count Said Faid Ali acting like a psycho,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 19-20 2017/08/17,
It's instructive how the other Ji-yeong sort of ruined things for the married Ji-yeong. Upon first meeting the other Ji-yeong, Count Said Faid Ali had assumed that his long lost daughter would be justifiedly resentful at having her father show up at such a late date. Instead, the other Ji-yeong was almost worshipful in his presence. So it is that the married Ji-yeong must now struggle with how Count Said Faid Ali is literally a jerk obsessed with money, but emotionally, can be a kind and caring older man,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 17-18 2017/08/16,
In a radical twist, Count Said Faid Ali's monologue this time indicates that, apparently, he was the villain all along? It's hard to come up with any other explanation for his stating such explicitly selfish motives. Likewise, it's a bit alarming that Ji-yeong, who has only just now realized the full scope of the elaborate conspiracy, almost immediately comes to a horribly cynical conclusion that, absent Count Said Faid Ali's internal monologue, we might have thought was unfair,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 15-16 2017/08/10,
Poor Ho-rim. He's only just gotten out of the ill-advised plan the other Ji-yeong had to get close to Count Said Faid Ali, and is promptly dragged into Count Said Faid Ali's own elaborate plot to confess to the truth to his actual daughter, in an even more convoluted and goofy fashion. I am relieved that Ho-rim has been shown to be so unsympathetic so far. It makes it easy to laugh at his well-deserved suffering by Count Said Faid Ali's hands,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 13-14 2017/08/09,
Once again, "Man Who Dies to Live" surprises me by...completing giving up on its current premise. Ho-rim is too terrified by his wife's entirely justified reaction to her husband being kissed by another woman to consider keeping the charade up any further. This sets off a chain reaction that destroys all existing subplots- although to be fair it was by mutual decision, since the other Ji-yeong had also gotten uncomfortable and Count Said Faid Ali himself was tired of pretending like he didn't know about the whole farce,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 11-12 2017/08/03,
Eun-bi (played by Ko Bi-joo) is the daughter of Ji-yeong and Ho-rim. This, by extension, makes her the granddaughter of Count Said Faid Ali, which makes her yet another useful reference point for Count Said Faid Ali's return to Korea. Count Said Faid Ali lacks family and with it, familiarity. So it's touching to see Eun-bi react with genuine kindness with the (as far as she knows) complete stranger Count Said Faid Ali, especially because it parallels Count Said Faid Ali's own eccentric brand of do-gooding,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 9-10 2017/08/02,
Right away a brief soliloquy makes it clear that yes, Count Said Faid Ali is suspicious about the other Ji-yeong although as is to be expected, his reasoning takes the form of an obscure fairy tale rather than real world standards. Which works, oddly enough. We already know that the other Ji-yeong isn't really motivated by money anyway, so it's not like trying to suss the situation out logically would be of much use,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 7-8 2017/07/27,
So you know that trope, that comes up in dramas where a character is searching for their lost parents/child, where they run into each other by accident and talk about family issues? Yet somehow, the conversation is always just vague enough that they don't make the obvious connections? "Man Who Dies to Live", to my great relief, does not fall into this bad writing trap. The other Ji-yeong quickly realizes she is not Count Said Faid Ali's daughter, and the conflict continues from there,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 5-6 2017/07/26,
We get some much needed "awww" here as the married Ji-yeong and Ho-rim get a cute moment together. Because I mean really, "Man Who Dies to Live" skirts dangerously close to having us straight up root for their divorce. It's comforting to know that Ho-rim does, indeed, have some positive qualities. It's just a shame that in his greedy quest for money and power Ho-rim must tell increasingly bizarre and elaborate lies in order to guarantee Count Said Faid Ali's continued interest in the bank,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 3-4 2017/07/20,
The other Ji-yeong (played by Lee So-yeon) is, at present, the most likely suspect for Count Said Faid Ali's daughter, although this is based on limited information. Count Said Faid Ali's information is filtered through Abdullah Mohammad Waliwala (played by Jasper Cho), and we've been getting hints that he is not to be trusted. It's just that Count Said Faid Ali is too eccentric to notice. Observe his bizarrely complicated plan for eventually meeting his daughter that in the short term just involves spending a lot of time with Ho-rim,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man Who Dies to Live" Episodes 1-2 2017/07/19,
Count Said Faid Ali (played by Choi Min-soo) is The Sheik- not literally, but that's the character type he aspires to. Such clichés about the Middle East are more than a little antiquated. It's hard to escape the sheer cartoonishness of Count Said Faid Ali's supervillain palace, complete with sexy women in blasphemous swimsuits that couple headscarves with cleavage. By the end of the sandstorm it's pretty thoroughly established that Count Said Faid Ali is from a pretty weird world,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Conclusion of the First Annual HanCinema Awards 2017/01/08,
The First Annual HanCinema Awards has concluded successfully thank to you, HanCinema Readers! With over half a million votes in fifteen categories, you let your voices be heard and we couldn't be more pleased! Thank you so much for joining us on this great adventure into film and drama!,...More
[HanCinema Awards] Best Foreign Actor - Cast Your Vote! 2016/12/12,
More and more foreign faces grace the film and drama world in Korea. Actors from all over the globe take roles in drama and film and are getting recognition for it in Korea. From December 12 to December 19 you can vote for your favorite foreign actors!,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Drama Fights and Trolling Rumors 2016/04/23,
We have had quite an eventful week in Dramaland. KBS, SM C&C and SBS are getting into a fight while actors and the fate of a drama are caught in the middle, rumors become news only to be refuted and we have a casting which is already dividing viewers. As usual, upcoming drama goodies and my personal drama updates are included, so join me in a recap of the craziness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Descendants of the Sun" Episode 16 (final) 2016/04/14,
"Descendants of the Sun" has come to an end and that fact feels a bit surreal as well as its rating of 38.8%. Not just as a viewer, but as a reviewer. Not just as a reviewer, but as an international drama fan watching the waves that this drama has made in the world of drama, and in the world itself. This drama is more than its story. It is enveloped in a hype that is currently unparalleled. In some ways, the show is well-worth its worldwide prestige. In others, it is not. Let's break down this final review into parts,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Descendants of the Sun" Episode 14 2016/04/07,
For the second time in its fourteen-episode run "Descendants of the Sun" has experienced a ratings drop. It came in at 33.0%, 0.5% decrease. Perhaps it is the fact that the glamour and excitement of the foreign country was no longer present. Perhaps it was the broaching of the sensitive North/South Korea conflict that is more tense than ever. Perhaps it was just the simple fact that the cliffhanger wasn't really a cliffhanger despite the fact that the show only has a week left (save for the bonus goodies to be offered after its run.) The strongest part of the episode was the relationships, namely the friendships,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Descendants of the Sun" Episode 13 2016/04/06,
Our crew of loveable characters has landed back in Korea and served us up another ratings hike. Episode 13 earned at 33.5% on the Nielsen Korea chart and the sheer number of adorable couple moments and character beats support it. Yoo Ah-in's sardonic cameo also probably helped. Then there was the witty, zippy, and fun dialogue along with the more relaxed feeling that comes with a much needed homecoming. I just have to get this out of the way, however,...More
[Orion's Drama News] Powerhouse Pairings and Another Exclusive 2016/04/02,
Spring is fun, but summer is winking at us and throwing popular pairings at our faces. We are paying attention, summer. Join me as I give you some pretty exciting casting news, more upcoming drama goodies and ramblings. Also, Jasper Cho! No, I cannot actually give him to you, but you could have your question answered by him in our upcoming exclusive interview,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Descendants of the Sun" Episode 8 2016/03/17,
If the last episode of "Descendants of the Sun" was about the small moments, this one was about the small windows of time that allows our characters and those around them to see the world more clearly. The world is also seeing this drama quite clearly as it shot up 0.5% to 28.8%, mere percentage points away from the big three-oh. Si-jin and Mo-yeon are developing nicely although Mo-yeon's fear of losing him to his job still tends to dominate her emotions and behavior,...More
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