[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's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 15 2014/04/28,
"Sly and Single Again" has come full circle. Jung-woo and Ae-ra are back where they began: single, broke, unemployed and hoping for a brighter future. The big difference between now and the first time they were in this situation is that they've done a lot of growing up. The divorced couple is finally able to see their past and true intentions clearly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 14 2014/04/14,
The number one form of communication in "Sly and Single Again" is eavesdropping. Most of the important plot points shared between characters this episode were accidentally overheard and observed. It has happened quite a bit before as well, but this episode had an abundance of eavesdroppers. Jung-woo is the primary eavesdropper, which makes sense because he tends to stalk Ae-ra in a fashion that could become creepy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 13 2014/04/12,
The episode is reminiscent of the earlier stages in most Korean romcoms even though the drama is in its later stages. The main couple is flirting and growing closer while everyone else and their situations conspire against them. The second leads are become more angst-ridden by the moment. While the angst works for Seung-hyun, it does not work as well for his sister. Seung-hyun was aimless until he met Ae-ra. Now his love for her and his competitive spirit towards Jung-woo have sparked his forward motion,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 12 2014/04/06,
This was an episode of repercussions. People begin to see exactly where their choices have landed them, mostly as they suffer the consequences of their actions. While these situations provide a lot of humor, "Sly and Single Again" still has difficulty balancing the serious with the comical. The serious situations seem haphazardly included although the way the characters deal with the situations on an emotional level is quite engaging,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 10 2014/04/01,
This episode was about the truth and about how knowing the truth changes things. A few of those truths should've been known, and their secrecy was merely a contrivance of the show, but it made the unearthing of the past much more powerful. The male leads have come to understand their feelings for Ae-ra and both are courting her in their own ways,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 8 2014/03/23,
After that conversation at the end of episode 6, Ae-ra and Jung-woo have slowly begun to see each other more clearly. They continue to bicker and misunderstand, but the resolutions are quicker and the empathy that was lacking before is now clearly felt by both sides. "Sly and Single Again" works very hard to force these two together, and the situations they find themselves in sometimes must be taken with a grain of salt, but those same situations create a lot of comedy and fodder for character growth,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 7 2014/03/20,
When this show focuses on the main couple and their sidekicks, it is much stronger than when it focuses on Ae-ra's family, Yeo-jin or on too much workplace drama. This episode minimized the focus on Ae-ra's family and made the workplace antics effective and not nearly as annoying as they have been. Although some of the reasons the show finds to create tensions in Ae-ra's office are contrived, the results are realistic,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 5 2014/03/15,
It's that time, folks. Petty revenge rears it's head and Jung-woo is its target. Ae-ra has creative ways to attack Jung-woo that keep this show funny while allowing it to explore their past and the issues behind their antagonism. After the cruel trick Jung-woo pulled last episode, he suffers through most of this one, which makes for one funny episode. It also establishes the longevity and the quality of his relationship with his sassy Secretary Gil. There was also a meta moment where Secretary Gil (who is played by L from Infinite) turns on Infinite's "Destiny" to soothe Jung-woo's troubles away. There is also a message of " fate " going on with the lyrics of the song, but I won't dig in that far,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 4 2014/03/11,
One of the cruelest punishments a person can inflict upon another is the perversion of a beautiful memory. The pain that Ae-ra and Jung-woo feel from their divorce spurs them into a pretty vicious cycle of revenge that includes using their loving past as weapons against each other. Both Ae-ra and Jung-woo feel betrayed and like their love and efforts in their relationship went unappreciated,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 3 2014/03/10,
"Sly and Single Again" uses humor as its biggest tool and it does it well. It parodies Korean entertainment to hilarious effect and uses the character's imaginations to create some wonderful gags that would not be otherwise possible. What prevents the humor from excess are the serious issues fueling the comedy: divorce, misunderstanding and the effects of poverty and wealth. That's the best thing about this show: the comedy doesn't belie the issues. Both Ae-ra and Jung-woo have been hurt and the show addresses those hurts through the comedy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 2 2014/03/08,
"Sly and Single Again" is still in the setup stages, but it has a wonderful levity to it that enhances humor without detracting from the heavier issues. Characters are introduced and fleshed out while Ae-ra and Jung-woo are in the sometimes amusing and sometimes heart breaking process of being forced back together. Both Ae-ra and Jung-woo have valid reasons to be angry and bitter over their marriage (which were revealed this episode,) but neither half of the broken couple truly understands the pain of the other,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sly and Single Again" Episode 1 2014/03/06,
"Sly and Single Again" bursts from the gate with a fast-paced, funny, and clever first episode. MBC paired writer Lee Ha-na-I with director Ko Dong-seon and the two laid down a very solid start for this romcom about a divorced couple who meet again. This show hasn't brought anything new to the table, but it knows how to play with old material and how to infuse humor to nearly every subject presented in the show. The basic premise centers around a divorced couple who get back together for reasons other than love: she for his newfound wealth; he for revenge,...More
Drama success relies on expression of emotions 2006/10/30, Source, JINJU, South Gyeongsang Province - There is no question that Korean TV drama led "Hallyu", or the Korean Wave, that swept the whole of Asia. When talking about how this was possible, a Korean TV drama producer says it is the delicate expressions of emotions that made success in the Asian entertainme,...More
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