[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 18 Final 2017/12/11,
The much dreaded ending of another Choi Ran-I work has come and if I can give "Black" credit for something, that would be persistence in tackling whatever it does choose to tackle until the end. We get more answers than expected in the final episode and some are highly satisfying. Others are confusing and remain as plot holes. Sadly, the ending itself undoes a lot of the good in "Black",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 17 2017/12/10,
Finding out the truth we have already known does not make it easier for our Reaper dearest, and 444 has a lot of deeply personal things to tackle in the penultimate episode of "Black". A lot happened on that fateful night when the children became involved with Wang Young-choon's search for the tape and coming to terms with it all, but also with some dire new information is not an easy feat,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 13 2017/11/25,
The puzzle of the past is slowly coming together in "Black" and with Man-ho nearly cornered, the true villain behind it all should be making their grand entrance soon. Ha-ram's fate is unknown, but new clues hint at more powers than seeing the shadows of death. Many different characters and clues come together in what may not be as coincidental a twist of fate as we imagined after all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 12 2017/11/20,
For all the teasing about consequences that "Black" has taken its sweet time to deliver, it sure is fast with getting to it after the latest warning. The reality of her meddling dawns on Ha-ram as she realizes the identity of the man she has saved while Black deals with his newfound sympathy. The past mysteries boil closer to the surface than ever, as Gwang-gyeon and Man-soo get on the case,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 11 2017/11/19,
New chapters are opening in "Black", but none are leading to good places. Man-soo is no longer a CEO and he finds a use I welcome, but also fear. Ha-ram has to face Soo-wan's desperate advances at who she thinks is Moo-gang, but our heroine has much bigger things to worry about right around the corner. I have a lot of questions, but my anticipation is intact and the will to wait for possible answers strong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 10 2017/11/13, "Black" feels like a fine day at the beach, right before the wind picks up and you feel your pretty hat flying away and the sand smacking you in the eyes. It is a wild ride and it sometimes feels exhausting, but it is fun. Everything fits when you dig deep enough. Gwang-gyeon comes closer to Moo-gang's secrets while Black is about to get a revelation of his own about the true identities of Reapers. Hopefully this will not break him,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 9 2017/11/12,
Major story breakthroughs and a ruthlessly packed plot make episode nine of "Black" quite the exhausting, but also exhilarating ride. The big revelation we have been waiting for regarding the children's identities has dropped and as expected from this series, it complicates things further. Several identities are exposed, but sadly so is Ha-ram's impending doom to someone who can harm her. Our heroes have enemies everywhere, but romance waits for no one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 6 2017/10/29, "Black" puts on its Halloween costume and nothing is scarier than the people involved with Moo-gang and Ha-ram. We have several returning faces who finally step up to take their place in this story, as Black's actions bring his new enemies as well as his target closer to him. Ha-ram struggles between two pushy bosses and her own life problems, which are about to multiply for our unfortunate heroine,...More
[Video] Heart-pounding, creepy new teaser for OCN's "Black" 2017/09/29, Source,
Holy smokes, folks! This is one intense teaser and really has me hyped to watch the drama. In it we witness the horror that Go Ara's character lives with as she sees the shadows of death. I really can't blame the woman for keeping sunglasses on at all times. But, there is hope when she meets the cop-turned-reaper who encourages her to do something about what she sees. She shortens her bangs and takes off her glasses. And...,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 13 Final 2017/05/30,
As expected, the sweet flashbacks continue as "My Secret Romance" slowly but surely moves toward its happy ending. There is a bump in there as Yoo-mi decides to briefly abandon Jin-wook for reasons that aren't all that clear, but not to worry. Nothing beats the power of flashbacks. I expect excessive use of flashbacks also makes it easier on the production company, which doesn't have to spend as much money filming actual new scenes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 12 2017/05/29,
Yoo-mi heads back to the beachhead where this all began, and Ji-wook follows her, as the penultimate episode mostly focuses on nostalgia. And it really is nostalgia- I remember the first episode, and I also remember that it had a radically different tone than what the flashbacks here are pretending. Yoo-mi and Ji-wook were perpetually grumpy, and only bond at all because they were both extremely drunk,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 11 2017/05/23,
As expected, Jin-wook and Yoo-mi continue to be generally sad as they try very hard to pretend like they don't miss each other. Jin-wook, being the man, is of course the first to snap and realize that of course he loves Yoo-mi and needs her very much. But various contrivances pop up to insure that Jin-wook misunderstands what Yoo-mi is doing, until finally, a disaster comes up that's big enough to force Jin-wook to do something,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 10 2017/05/22,
I was expecting the big dramatic event that would force the rift between Jin-wook and Yoo-mi to be related to Dae-bok's meddling. But surprisingly, that all gets resolved in a single scene. An exceptionally long scene where Dae-bok and Mi-hee somehow manage to have a big fight without either of them clearly explaining what exactly it is they're fighting about. So yeah, that was pretty funny, although once the miscommunications are over with, Jin-wook and Yoo-mi proceed to spend the rest of the episode in dramatic angst,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 9 2017/05/16,
I was so caught up with how Dae-bok would interpret the existence of Dong-goo (played by Joo Sang-hyeok) it never even occurred to me that Jin-wook would also be inclined to the same interpretation. And honestly, Yoo-mi is so comically mum on the whole mum issue there were moments this episode where even I was wondering- have Mi-hee and Yoo-mi ever actually explicitly stated who Dong-goo is relative to them, or have we just been assuming? These characters are so bad at communicating it's hard to tell,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 8 2017/05/15,
Everything Jin-wook does in the pool with Yoo-mi was taking things a bit too far. It's hard to hate him too much, though, since everyone knows full well that Jin-wook is taking things too far, yet they just can't bring themselves to hate him. It would be nice if we had more people's word to take for it than just Yoo-mi's. Recall that Woo-jin's softened demeanor toward Jin-wook is entirely a result of Jin-wook's actions during the timeskip,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 7 2017/05/08,
One of Yoo-mi's more comforting qualities is her sincere desire to be helpful. At least, that's the sense I got from the odd scene where Jin-wook contrives a work-related reason for him to cook dinner for Yoo-mi, and Yoo-mi simply looks at the entire situation like it was an actual job and not merely a thinly veiled excuse for Jin-wook to spend time with her. Although I suppose it helps that Jin-wook himself probably believes his own ridiculous excuses,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 6 2017/05/02,
It turns out Yoo-mi has one impressive quality that Jin-wook is unlikely to find anywhere else. She's good at apologizing. The irony, of course, is that Yoo-mi hasn't done anything wrong in regards to Jin-wook or his relationships. All the same, at the slightest indication that she has made either Jin-wook or Hye-ri uncomfortable, Yoo-mi demurs. And of course, Jin-wook is left in an even worse mood than usual as a result,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 5 2017/05/01,
Increasingly "My Secret Romance" is getting into a holding pattern, where Jin-wook just acts generally inexplicably grumpy and is unsatisfied that his bad mood results in bad experiences. It's definite regression from the cool version of his character that we saw immediately post timeskip. Jin-wook does seem kind of cool, though, when he's rebuffing Hye-ri in about the most explicit possible terms and Hye-ri proves herself completely incapable of understanding his iciness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 4 2017/04/25,
In a mildly intriguing plot twist, we discover that Jin-wook's constant pestering of Yoo-mi is less schoolboy crush and more his acting out feelings of harsh resentment for the terrible lie Yoo-mi told him three years ago. You may be wondering what possible offensive lie Yoo-mi could have told Jin-wook in the context of a one night stand and, well, it's actually a pretty convincing one in terms of offending Jin-wook. Although Jin-wook does come off as rather petty for caring about it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 3 2017/04/24,
So even though we saw Yoo-mi fantasizing about meeting Jin-wook by chance again last episode, this time, Yoo-mi is doing everything she can to avoid the reality of the situation. Which makes sense. Let's recall that, three years ago, Jin-wook was kind of a jerk, and that they were both just a tad drunk. So it's easy to empathize with Yoo-mi viewing Jin-wook's dictatorial demands here as being part and parcel of a mean personality rather than an overbearing effort on his part to be cute,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 2 2017/04/18,
In a somewhat perplexing plot twist, right after the recap of the one night stand, there's a three year time skip and all of a sudden Jin-wook and Yoo-mi seem like completely different characters. Far from being the playboy we last saw, Jin-wook is now taking his corporate responsibilities very seriously. Yoo-mi has picked herself up emotionally and shows remarkable dexterity as a cafeteria chef. About the only commonality they have is their shared wistfulness about meeting that one special person three years ago,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 1 2017/04/17,
Jin-wook (played by Sung Hoon) is a playboy and a bit of a jerk. The first we see of the guy, he takes over a party and then walks back his sexiness with a rather ridiculous sounding excuse. As mean and selfish as Jin-wook seems at first glance, we do find out by the end that the excuse is actually evidence of Jin-wook's secret good side. Which is fortunate, since up until that point, we frequently see Jin-wook get in trouble for stuff that's not actually his fault, yet never does he seem all that sympathetic,...More
[Guest Film Review] "Derailed" 2016/10/29, "Derailed" was a big surprise for me, since I have read that every investor the director pitched it to, turned down the script, and that probably the sole reason it was eventually made was due to the participation of SHINee member Minho and Ma Dong-seok, who agreed to star. In that fashion, I was expecting a naive movie that would exemplify the former looks, simply aiming at increasing his popularity, with Ma Dong-seok providing the actual acting. The fact that former model, Kim Jae-young would also star, strengthened my expectations. "Derailed" though, was anything but,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 18 2016/06/24, "Master - God of Noodles" has often proved my doubts misplaced and it is the mark of a solid work when the viewer loves being wrong. Gil-do witnesses his lifelines being severed one by one and those who abandon him are about to discover how lacking they are in taming this beast. The time has come for Myeong to confront it, but this confrontation is anticlimactic. Thankfully the series has enough strong characters and a large web of revenge making an impact when Myeong's personal story fails to,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 16 2016/06/16,
Everyone is being pushed to their limits or fully over the edge in episode sixteen of "Master - God of Noodles". The battle between Congressman So and Gil-do runs much deeper than we knew, our heroes' morality is breaking and the dark side is calling. Gil-do's world has collapsed and the monster he has been keeping in check is out. People are about to suffer or even die and no one is in a condition to protect the innocent ones,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 15 2016/06/15,
Subterfuge can only go so far and it only serves as a delay of the inevitable when everyone knows what is hidden behind it. Episode fifteen of "Master - God of Noodles" is one of revelations and direct confrontations. Congressman So and Gil-do are officially in battle, Kang-sook takes desperate measures and so does Yeo-gyeong. Da-hae feels betrayed by everyone and Myeong's life is in danger, but the episode finally addresses the fact that his morality might be lost first,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 9 2016/05/25,
If your head is not already spinning from all the character connections and intricate plot, prepare to hold it in place, because episode nine of "Master - God of Noodles" is mercilessly packed. Gil-do's true nature and weaknesses are slowly being discovered by his enemies and Congressman So's connection to the story gets a big boost. Our makeshift family is threatened by misunderstandings as Tae-ha gets closer to the man we least want him to,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 7 2016/05/19,
Fate is a very prominent concept in Korean drama and we all know how good it is in making things happen without the need for a logical path leading to them. "Master - God of Noodles" has used fate in plausible ways, but episode seven crosses some limits I wish it hadn't. Fate-coated writing hiccups aside, the episode gives us some juicy revelations, new players for our backstabbing chessboard, plenty of suspense and material for the future,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master - God of Noodles" Episode 4 2016/05/05,
A depressing fate befalls our makeshift family and the group is separated. Gil-do has big plans for his business and becomes more dangerous to our leads the closer he gets to the truth. Da-hae's spying endeavors reveal she has more than noodles in mind and Myeong is officially on the run. Episode four of "Master - God of Noodles" offers rich characterization and emotion. Grab a hot noodle soup and prepare for feelings,...More
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