[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-Hole" 2017/11/25, "Man-Hole" is not the kind of work one would expect a lot from. Having promoted itself as the wacky, comedic tale of a man who believes in the imaginary friendzone a bit too hard and seeks to undo it made it seem like a light story about a romantic man-baby. Surprisingly, the series is much more complex and it is as mixed as my feelings for it, touching upon greatness and failure alike,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 16 (final) 2017/10/04,
Despite the dip below 2.0% in ratings according the Nielsen Korea, the last two episodes were actually the strongest of "Man-Hole"'s run. Pacing was brisk, characters had direction, and a few answers were delivered. Sadly, a few interesting elements were only pulled in during the last episodes, but it is what it is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 15 2017/10/03,
Insight is finally given into the inner workings of our villain, Jae-hyun, but also into Pil, who has too long just been a crazy many chasing a woman who is not quite sure she wants to be with him. It definitely feels as though the show is trying to wind up as people start mobilizing once they believe Pil is correct about Jae-hyun,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 14 2017/09/30,
Jae-hyun may not yet be outed to the world, but Pil, Soo-jin and Goo-gil see him for the monster that he is. The problem is no longer about who believes Pil's claims that Jae-hyun is a nut job; it's how to stop the nut job who everyone in the neighborhood believes,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 13 2017/09/30,
Jae-hyun's true nature cannot be contained by his kind facade and his world starts to crumble. While bad for him, it's good for Pil and the gang and the good citizens of the neighborhood because Jae-hyun is a violent sociopath. Now if only the rest of the drama was as exciting as catching Jae-hyun currently is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 12 2017/09/23,
Things are a bit of a jumbled mess in the land of "Man-Hole". Pil is stuck in the future, in 2018, with a married Soo-jin, a violent offender in the neighborhood, broken up couples, and a Seok-tae who is on the brink of discovering Pil's truth about the manhole. And yet, despite all this excitement, the drama isn't all that exciting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 11 2017/09/23, "Man-Hole" endeavors to break from its slump, but has a hard time doing so. The mechanism of action isn't quite as solid as it once was with traveling all throughout the time line, not just from past to present. Reasons behind changes in behavior are muddied and Pil still hasn't quite grown up as much as he should,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 10 2017/09/20,
Although Pil is still spazzy, it is in this episode that we see that he is learning to care for more than just his own love. He cares about Jin-sook even if that caring doesn't equate to the same kind of love that she feels for him. But these two aren't the only ones who suffer from love woes and we see that love lines are still as complicated as ever,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 9 2017/09/13,
What "Man-Hole" lacks is depth. We are told that the characters are sincere in their feelings, but those feelings are conveyed well to the audience. Jae-hyun is the most effective character and that is only because he is a menacing figure,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 8 2017/09/04,
There is good and bad to every relationship and what is wrong between the couples and friends surfaces in episode 8 of "Man-Hole". Part of the reason for the reveal is that Pil has grown up throughout his time travels. He's a little less thoughtless in his actions and more considerate not only towards Soo-jin, but his friends. He still has a long way to go, but it's a start,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 7 2017/08/31,
The affection that I'd started to build for "Man-Hole" last week has waned this week. Watching Pil and Soo-jin hem and haw over confessing their feelings to each other is getting old. Adding Jin-sook's unrequited love compounded that sentiment. What the manhole had built in terms of anticipation last week it dissipated this week,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 6 2017/08/30,
Episode 6 of "Man-Hole"wasn't as impactful as episode 5 was, perhaps because the change in tone had already been made. Or perhaps it was because it was more of Pil running around. What did happen was that another set of manhole rules came into play and Pil's friends witnessed the magic of the manhole,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 5 2017/08/30,
Feelings are often realized when it's too late and when words and hearts can no longer be shared. This is what Pil, Soo-jin, and their friends realize in the latest reality that the manhole has wrought,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] Man-hole Episode 4 2017/08/22,
Bong Pil has gone down the rabbit hole - er, manhole - once again. With a new set of time travel rules piled atop the old, we have even more factors at play, including Pil's growing determination to take care of and win his woman,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] Man-hole Episode 3 2017/08/22,
Bong Pil may be a lazy son-of-a-gun in his original life, but he's clever enough to quickly figure out how the manhole affects his life. It's not always for the better as episode 3 proves. Rather than a lazy neighborhood bum, time travel through the manhole has changed him into a dangerous thug, feared by his friends, disowned by his family, and estranged from the woman he loves,...More
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Man-Hole" 2017/08/19,
Do you ever come across a drama which is "bad", but in a good way? A drama which is a big mess, but one that is self-aware and wears its identity proudly? "Man-Hole" is this odd type of drama and whatever it lacks in production, story and character quality it makes up for in zaniness and pure, glorious fun. Perhaps we have something nice here after all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Man-hole" Episode 2 2017/08/11,
The nervous energy that pervaded the first episode of "Man-Hole" was dialed back in the second. Although Pil ran around like a chicken with his head cut off in this episode's past, it is Soo-jin that we take a look at and her teenaged feelings for our spastic hero,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Man-Hole" 2017/08/05,
Time is cruel and human insecurities crueler, as the hero of "Man-Hole" and his unique relationship with his best friend are about to show us. Time travel is everywhere in Korean drama, but what if it were not as convenient and built for fixing things as we are used to? "Man-Hole" is about to show those pitfalls.
Bong Pil (Kim Jae-joong) is an unemployed man who has been harboring a one-sided crush on his best friend, Soo-jin (UEE) for 28 years. When he discovers he can travel through time using a manhole, he tries to use its unpredictable powers to stop his crush's upcoming wedding,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 12 2015/09/22,
As expected, "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" has to hastily wrap up complicated plot points mostly because there wasn't proper discussion of these story issues back when they were actually going on. In-yeong's impulsive decision, and the crisis that makes up most of the episode, is annoying primarily because the resolution is too simple. Was Joon-soo just really incompetent or what? He really should have been able to come up with that strategy on his own, given that it was the best possible explanation, as well as the most obvious,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 11 2015/09/21,
I'm frankly not grasping the logic of In-yeong and Myeong-seok suddenly acting like they're from completely incompatible worlds like this is a bad thing. To be entirely honest In-yeong has never seemed like an especially competent idol in the first place, and the way the story is suddenly acting like she's an obvious natural at the job is a bit off-putting. A celebrity can give some juice to their career by appearing on a variety show but that in itself isn't much of a gamechanger. Especially since "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" never showed us that much of the variety show in the first place,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 9 2015/09/14,
Even though the story of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is bearing an increasingly strong resemblance to safe family dramas, the material still feels a great deal less outrageous. So I'm not totally sure how to feel, for example, when an opener that consists of a kiss, and quite literally just a kiss, ends up defining the entire conflict of the episode. In-yeong and Myeong-seok act like and are treated more as teenagers than adults,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 8 2015/09/08,
The characters continue to be mostly passive as the storyline of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" remains bogged down in a few key conflicts. Thankfully, the issue of trying to get Choon-ja to acknowledge In-yeong as not being completely terrible daughter-in-law material does at least get directly addressed. What's more, by the end of the episode the two even manage to find a sense of shared cause strong enough that might sort of make the iciness of their general relationship warm over. Late though it may be, I'm glad "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is finally providing some hint of a long-term solution,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 7 2015/09/07,
Divorced from the frustrating recent context of the storyline, the opening confrontation between In-yeong and Myeong-seok is actually pretty cute. As it happens, In-yeong does in fact have a flaw that mostly doesn't reflect too badly on her- general cluelessness. It genuinely does not occur to In-yeong that Myeong-seok could have been stoking jealousy by pretending to have a girlfriend even though In-yeong was quite literally running the exact same scam,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 6 2015/09/01,
Never mind what I've written about Choon-ja so far. Her character, too, moves beyond any reasonable point of redemption this episode with a bizarrely conservative spiel about how it's impossible to be a wife, mother, cookery assistant, and teacher all at the same time. I might have found this speech sympathetic except that as far as we've seen Se-mi has had zero logistical trouble juggling these various tasks- the end of the last episode was really more Dong-seok's fault. It's not like he does anything important during the day after all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 5 2015/08/31,
I'm struggling at this point trying to figure out what exactly the point is supposed to be to "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law". Is the drama really just supposed to be a standard romantic comedy between In-yeong and Myeong-seok, with no other frills? That much wouldn't be...terrible or anything, but their romance is among the most least interesting topics here, and the jokes we get don't really have that much variance. Even the kiss was more just, eh, that happened. There wasn't any urgency,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 3 2015/08/24,
In-yeong is surprised to see Myeong-seok stick up for her with the producer, considering that up until this point In-yeong and Myeong-seok haven't really gotten along that well. And so In-yeong, as well as the other characters, make a seemingly logical deduction. Obviously Myeong-seok has fallen in love with In-yeong. Why is this the obvious explanation? Well, because it's the most storylike, and thus the best possible ratings hook. Naturally it does not occur to anyone to simply ask Myeong-seok his reasons, because that would completely ruin the fantasy world In-yeong and friends have concocted,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 2 2015/08/18,
Myeong-seok (played by Ryu Soo-young) is a mathematics professor and In-yeong's husband, for the sake of the television program. He's kind of grumpy. Myeong-seok is interesting for being an aloof math genius in a way that's not commonly portrayed. He's perfectly capable of being social. It's just, all Myeong-seok really cares about is math. His temperament is the exact opposite of In-yeong's in pretty much every concievable way. Which would seem to doom any hope of this variety program actually working out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 1 2015/08/17,
In-yeong (played by Dasom) is a girl group singer who has fallen on hard times. Nobody likes her girl group anymore. Also In-yeong is kind of a jerk, who has a really bad habit of making smelly farts. But all is not lost- in the world of Korean broadcasting, there is constant demand for variety shows featuring low-level celebrities in comical pseudo-realistic situations. Like marriage. For basically random business-related reasons, In-yeong is offered a shot at a comeback provided she become "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" to a well-known traditional cookery,...More
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