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Hello, Me! Episode 1-4 Kdrama Review: What would the younger you say about the life you are currently living?

I’m back with a new review on this latest drama on Netflix! This drama really gets you thinking, what if the you from say, 10, 15, or 20 years ago were to show up in your life right now, would they feel proud or disappointed about the way your life has turned out? What if your life is the complete opposite of all the dreams and aspirations you had as a young teenager?

Ban Han Ni is a 37-year-old woman, she is single, and a part time worker at a grocery store. She’s not a cashier, or a stocker, she’s the woman who dresses up as a squid and tries to get people to try the product. She lives in Gangnam, but not because she’s wealthy, she lives in a room with her better off sister, and is practically her maid. Was this how Ban Han Ni imagined her life 20 years back? Far from it. Ban Han Ni from 20 years ago, was a happy 17-year-old girl, super popular, pretty, and charming. Her dream was to be a in a Kpop girl group, and she was extremely good at dancing. How did her life end up like this then?

We’re not sure what exactly happened in the past 20 years, all we know is that time changed her, and unfortunately not for the better. Time made her, timid, insecure, and depressed.

After losing her job, she finds herself in front of an oncoming bus, and out of desperation for her unhappy life, she doesn’t move away, she wishes to die, but she doesn’t. Instead, she wakes up in a hospital, and the patient next to her, is her! But the 17-year-old version. They both can’t believe it, and together try to figure out the reason why the past self is there, and how they can get her back to the past.

It’s definitely a drama with a similar theme as 13 Going on 30 (one of my favorites) but it’s also very different. It’s very endearing seeing the two versions of her together. The youthfulness that the 17-year-old brings to the 37-year-old is beautiful to watch. It really makes you meditate on how much we change through the years, as adults, we sometimes let the realities of life depress us, we allow our jobs and bad circumstances to rob the joy out of us, but is that how the younger versions of ourselves would have faced the challenges? Did time make us more wise, but also too anxious and unhappy?

In addition to meeting her younger self, she also meets a care free rich younger guy, who finds himself in a similar situation as her: Not knowing exactly what to do with their lives.

Han Yu Hyeon is the son of a rich family, a family who owns a large company. He’s also in his 30s and finds himself without a job, but not because he is a good for nothing bum! He actually has licenses for almost everything, and is a man of many acquired skills and interests, but nothing ever sticks. He’s constantly on the search for something new, afraid of commitment to some degree. His father keeps trying to find a way to make his son finally be responsible and settle down, so he takes away all his money, and makes him find a job.

It seems like the two, with the help of the 17-year-old Ban Ha Ni, will work together to change their situations and start living the life they always wanted but never had the courage to begin!

So far, it’s a very interesting drama, a little slow on some parts, and a little silly in others. However, it’s a good family drama, and I am sure it will have many valuable lessons, I hope it motivates me to finally start living before it’s too late and I find myself 37 years old working as a part time squid haha!

Where you can watch: Netflix!

Kdrama Reviews

Start-Up EP 11-12 Kdrama Review: Dosan vs Ji Pyeong

DRAMA ALERT!!!! These episodes were tough on our feelings weren’t they?

Emotional, heart-breaking, frustrating, angering. I think those were the feelings we all had watching this past weekends episodes. I don’t usually write blogs for later episodes of a drama, but I saw so much DRAMA going on in the AsianWiki comments for Start-Up! I don’t know if because this show was released on Netflix if it got a lot of new Kdrama fans but it seems people don’t understand how Kdramas are written. People don’t quite understand the first lead, second lead concept and are barely experiencing it for the very first time. Having been around watching dramas since 2012, and having seen second leads not get the girl for so long, has honestly made me numb to it. Newbies though, seem to be having a hard time accepting reality. I’m not here to criticize them though because I’ve been there. I’m here to talk about WHY Dosan is the lead and why Ji Pyeong is the second lead, and why it makes complete sense.

Our poor baby Ji Pyeong. He’s great, honestly I love the actor who plays him. If you failed to recognize his charms and potential in 100 Days My Prince, that was your loss! Sorry it took you guys this long! But he’s great, definitely been on my radar and I hope he gets a good lead role soon, he’s cute, handsome, charming, funny…I can go on, I love him. HOWEVER, we are talking about Ji Pyeong, honestly the character is probably closer to my type, he’s smart, intellectual, stylish, straightforward, rich (haha!) but let’s be real, just because he’s my type doesn’t mean he is Dal Mi’s type. He’s a human being though, he has flaws. He’s arrogant, he’s a know it all, he’s cold, he lacks tact, he has no friends, he’s a workaholic. Our man isn’t perfect, he’s cute but he isn’t perfect.

Let’s talk about Dosan now.

In my case, I have not been a fan of Nam Joo Hyuk until now, he’s personally too playful and boyish looking to be my type but his character has really grown on me. Nam Do San, is not a prince, FAR FROM IT. He’s not a rich chaebol, he’s clumsy, he doesn’t have a way with words, he’s awkward, emotional. The complete opposite of who we are used to seeing as a male lead in dramas. He has both good qualities and bad ones. He’s a coding genius, he has a close tight knit group of friends (which means he’s a good friend if he’s been able to keep them) he’s kind, he’s learned to be honest, he’s not selfish, he cares about the feelings of others. He’s not perfect though, just like Ji Pyeong he has human like flaws. He’s a bit slow, he lacks ambition, he lacks confidence, he doesn’t control his anger well, he’s an overly emotional guy, he has too many insecurities.

However, the question is, which guy is the right one for DAL MI. Not for me, not for you, but for the character of this drama and honestly, she’s definitely formed a bond and connection with the real Nam Do San.

Ji Pyeong didn’t even like Dal Mi! Not 15 years ago, and not at the start of the drama. He wrote those letters in exchange of Won Deok’s approval. Ji Pyeong’s character doesn’t need romantic love, he needs familial love. He grew up without feeling that type of love, and for him the most important person in his life has always been Won Deok, Dal Mi’s grandma. She showed him love, and care, and warmth. If he’s even a little bit human it’s because of her act of kindness. However, had he not crossed paths with Won Deok again, he would have remained ice cold, blunt, and friendless.

Dosan in a way is the opposite. He grew up with a family, a loving family, but with a toxic father. His father always shoving his own dreams into Dosan’s head from an early age, as an only child, all the attention went to him. What Dosan’s character needs, is not familial love, he has plenty, it’s not love from his friends, because he has plenty of that too, but rather love and support from someone who truly likes him for who he is, who will be there cheering him on, not because they are family and they must be there for him, not friends, but a romantic love, that shares the same dreams as him. He fell for Dal Mi because of her support for his dreams, her ambition, her confidence, everything he’s not.

Dal Mi on the other hand had been in love with a fictional character basically for 15 years. Nam Do San from 15 years ago that she was penpals with did not exist. It was a made up character written by Won Deok and Ji Pyeong. Though some of his feelings were expressed in the letters, he wrote those letters as his duty to Won Deok, had he really had feelings for Dal Mi back then, he would have introduce himself. He could have looked for her too all this time, and he didn’t. Had he also met Dal Mi as the girl working part time at a coffee shop, he honestly wouldn’t have fallen for her. He fell in love with the girl she was becoming once she gained confidence from Do San. Dal Mi got the courage to follow her dreams again after meeting Do San and becoming inspired by him starting up his own business. Had she not shown her awesome creativity and intelligence by becoming a CEO for SamSan Tech, he wouldn’t have ever been attracted to her because she wasn’t at his level.

AGAIN, I love Ji Pyeong, he’s just so mature, while Do San is young and inexperienced, so naturally, we find ourselves rooting for the handsome, mature man, but Dal Mi is young and inexperienced too. She finds herself most comfortable being casual, vulnerable, learning and making mistakes, with Do San.

There’s no doubt that Ji Pyeong’s letters, helped her, gave her a friend when she needed one the most, but right now, who she’s come to love is Dosan. He’s her best friend, her partner, her inspiration. That’s why they make sense.

ALL I WANT NOW IS FOR ALL OF THEM TO BE HAPPY. Yes, all of them, In Jae too. I can’t wait to see how the last 4 episodes unfold. Regardless of who ends ups with who, I care more about them all reaching their dreams, to see their hard work finally pay off. To see them all happy as friends, successful, and still dreaming on.

If this drama ends well, I think it will be in my TOP 10 list of favorite dramas of all time. Let’s hope it all does work out in the end!! Until then…

Kdrama Related News

KDRAMA 101 – Is There A Difference Between Daily Dramas, Weekend Dramas and Weekday Dramas?

OKAY. I HAD to talk about this.

I’ve recently been watching an ongoing daily drama called: “A Man In A Veil” on Viki. I usually stay away from these because they run up to about 100 episodes and that’s way too much for my attention span. However, I’ve been enjoying it.

Is it crazy? Yes. Is it cliche? Yes. But is it enjoyable, yes, to a certain degree. I went over to the review section of the drama and noticed SO many people giving it a bad review. Their reasons? I found out people really don’t know the difference between the different types of dramas that air on TV in Korea. So, I said, why not write a blog about it and explain the difference? Here’s a little KDRAMA 101…let’s get started!

Daily Dramas

These dramas air Monday through Friday for many weeks. They are typically low budget, not very high quality. Filmed in bad lighting studios, where you can absolutely tell it’s NOT a real home, office, etc. They are 30 minutes long per episode and only one episode is released per day.

Daily Dramas are usually about family, revenge, betrayal and they tend to be a bit outrageous! For example, people WILL get into car accidents, MIRACLES WILL happen, characters WILL die, a lot of memory loss will happen, the evil character will get away with a lot of things. Basically, these dramas are the equivalent of Mexican telenovelas (if you know, you know hahaha) where the shows run for way too long, and the writers have to scramble to keep adding more problems to the plot to keep things interesting so you keep tuning in, day after day. So if you think they are crazy and outrageous, dramatic, then the drama is achieving its goal. That’s the point of daily dramas.

Now the cast of these dramas might surprise you, there are actually some really good actors and actresses in these dramas. There are usually some familiar faces too, actors who usually star in your favorite weekday TVN high quality dramas, they are sometimes filming various dramas at the same time, so you might see them in your cheap daily drama on one day, and on the weekend watch them play a completely different role in a high quality highly rated drama.

These dramas are meant to be entertaining for your everyday “What’s on TV?” needs. They don’t really have any substance to them, they are simply made to entertain you briefly. They can’t be compared to your favorite high quality A-list Kdrama, so let’s not compare them but rather embrace them for what they are.

Weekend Dramas

These dramas air during the weekends, and are usually more family oriented. Why? Because weekends are when the family is home together, and what’s better than sitting down in the living room with the family to watch a Kdrama together? It all depends on the drama and their broadcast station but weekend dramas can range from 50 Episode dramas, to your typical 16 Episodes. These dramas achieve some of the largest ratings, but not necessarily because they are phenomenal but rather because more people have time to watch them. They are sweet, fun, and mostly happy dramas.

Examples of highly rated weekend dramas: My Husband Got a Family, You Are The Best, Lee Soon Shin , Crash Landing On You

They can get a little cliche too, but not as bad as daily dramas. They usually feature A-list actors too.

The drama I am currently very much into Start-Up (Check out my review here!) is also a weekend drama. It’s only 16 episodes though, and at the later time slot for TVN. It’s also very family oriented, but given the 16 Episodes, it’s of much higher quality, and features a major A-List cast.

I like a good weekend drama, they are usually more easy and relaxing to watch, and also they air on the weekends, so you always have something good to look forward to! (Especially during this pandemic where there is literally nothing to do on the weekends – 11/04/20)

Weekday Dramas

Last but not least! Weekday Dramas! I can guarantee, most of your favorite Kdramas have been weekday dramas. Usually released as follows: Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday, Friday/Saturday. So you only get TWO episodes per week, and they are only 16-24 Episodes long. These dramas are usually at much later time slots, usually air at around 10pm and are perfect for the younger crowd. People in Korea usually get out of work pretty late, then go out for dinner and drinks, so these dramas are perfect for unwinding after a long day before going to sleep. Since they air later, they are also rated 15+, which honestly is just your typical PG-13 here in the States. They allow for more riskier topics and themes. Themes for these weekday dramas include: thriller, melodramas, rom/com, action, crime. KBS, MBC, SBS and TVN always release very high quality weekday dramas with tons of A-list actor/actress favorites.

I love weekday dramas, because they offer escape from the day to day work life. They are usually very intriguing and interesting so they keep your mind busy even after you finish the episodes. Who doesn’t love a good high quality drama?

At the end of the day, I think a true Kdrama addict, loves all types of dramas. I know I do. What about you? Which drama type is your favorite? Have you ever watched a daily drama? Did you love it, did you hate it? Let me know! Thanks for showing up to class, see you next time for another lesson on KDRAMA 101!

Kdrama Reviews

Start-Up EP 1-4 Review: Allow Yourself to Dream Big and Follow Those Dreams

There’s something SO nice about those end of the year dramas. They always lift my spirits. This new drama definitely has allowed me to dream again, the dreams I had tossed to the trash when this pandemic began.

Photo Source: https://www.soompi.com/article/1424307wpp/watch-suzy-nam-joo-hyuk-kim-seon-ho-and-kang-han-na-are-determined-to-change-their-lives-in-start-up-teaser

I had been looking forward to this drama from the moment it was placed on the radar. Suzy and Nam Joo Hyuk return to the Kdrama world with this intriguing drama about two young adults with BIG dreams. The only problem? They aren’t anywhere close to accomplishing those dreams, yet.

Photo Source: https://meaww.com/start-up-episode-1-review-bae-suzy-dal-mi-aspiring-entreprenuer-dysfunctional-family-kdrama

Seo Dal Mi (Suzy) is a part-timer college drop out, she still lives with her grandmother but hasn’t let go of her dreams of one day being the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. We learn that she gets that inspiration and innovation from her deceased father, who also had big dreams, dreams way ahead of his time, but he lacked the support. His wife didn’t support his dreams, so she left him and took Seo Dal Mi’s older sister with her. Seo Dal Mi chose to stay by her father’s side and support him in starting up his own company. Her father was so close to accomplishing his dream when an unexpected accident happened and he ended up losing his life. Meanwhile, Seo Dal Mi’s mother remarried a wealthy rich man, and her older sister Seo In-Jae ended up benefiting from her step father’s wealth and even changed her last name. They both grow up to live very distinct lives. Won In Jae (Kang Han Na) lives a luxurious life and is the CEO of her own company that she started with the help of her step father’s money. Seo Dal Mi feels that she made the right decision, to stay by her father’s side, and her goal in life is to prove it to her mother and sister.

Meanwhile the two male leads of this drama are entangled by a lie that was told 15 years in the past, when Seo Dal Mi’s grandma took in an incredibly intelligent orphan teenager named Han Ji Pyeong. To cheer up her granddaughter from her parent’s divorce and her sister leaving, she asks the teen to write letters to her granddaughter pretending to be her admirer. The grandma and Ji Pyeong spend a year writing these letters together but under the name of a different person, the name of a random boy named Nam Do San that was on the newspaper for winning a Mathematical Olympiad game. So for the past 15 years, Seo Dal Mi has believed that a boy named Nam Do San wrote those letters to her for a year. She fantasizes of this mysterious boy for the next 15 years, thinking he was real and that he was her first love. She’s left wondering who he was, and what he looked like.

Flash forward, 15 years later, Seo Dal Mi, in order to save face, lies to her successful older sister, and tells her that she is actually starting up a business with this man named Nam Do San, and promises they will attend her sisters party. The real Nam Do San then enters the picture, but he is nothing like what she imagined. He’s smart for sure, but he’s not successful, his company can’t even get an investor. His office is a little shack he shares with his friends, and he was only able to afford the shack because he borrowed money from his parents.

Meanwhile, Han Ji Pyeong, went from orphan, to one of the wealthiest men in Korea, a super well known professional investor. Although he didn’t write the letters on his own, he feels a responsibility to Seo Dal Mi and vows to her grandmother that he will help Seo Dal Mi save face at this party and make the REAL Nam Do San show up. So after 15 years, Dal Mi finally meets this Nam Do San, and they both find themselves instantly smitten. In her case, believing she finally met her first love, and in his case, finally meeting someone that believes in him and thinks he’s cool.

AH! I REALLY WANT THESE TWO CHARACTERS TO SUCCEED. SO BAD.

I guess I see myself in them, we all have these dreams, these goals but they sometimes seem almost impossible. I love how both of them are determined to succeed, even when people have told them NO, even when they have been criticized for being hopeless dreamers.

I look forward to seeing their romance develop, and see how far they get with this lie. She’s bound to find out he’s not the one that replied to her letters. Her sister is also going to find out that Dal Mi was lying all this time. Han Ji Pyeong will inevitably regret not telling Dal Mi the truth from the start and revealing that it was actually him who wrote those letters with her grandmother.

I highly recommend you guys start watching this drama, trust me, it’s not a boring storyline, rather its kind of inspiring. The OST is already AMAZING too. I also really like the humor and the cinematography. It feels so fresh, so motivating! Will you join me in watching Start-Up on Netflix? I hope you do! I am sure it’s going to be a SUPER fun ride.

Where To Watch: Netflix

Kdrama Related News, Uncategorized

When Your Kdrama Watching Friends Don’t Like The Dramas You Like

I feel blessed to have at least 3 friends now who also watch Korean dramas and yes, I met them all while traveling in Korea last year. I tried getting my local friends into Kdramas but they simply won’t even bother with them. I’ve recommended many dramas to them too and even told them they could now easily watch them on Netflix but nope, they simply don’t have interest in them!

Now my 3 friends who do watch dramas, they are all very different, and with differences in personality come differences in the types of dramas we like to watch! Nothing is funnier and sadder than asking a friend if they have seen a particular drama that YOU LOVED, just to find out they never watched it and don’t plan on!

Some of my friends really like those funny light hearted dramas, and don’t get me wrong I enjoy those too, but I also want my dramas to make me emotional, to have a deeper meaning, and for the characters to be a little more complex. Light hearted romance and comedy is fun but I need scenes like these too:

Dramas like: Strong Girl Bong-soon, Coffee Prince, and Love in The Moonlight, I’ve never bothered watching, just not my style, but I have friends who loved these dramas.

Dramas I’ve loved like: Doctor John, Pinocchio, Faith, Thirty but Seventeen, Rooftop Prince and About Time, haven’t even been watched by many of my friends! It really is just a matter of each individual’s taste, but I think you can all agree with me that when you fall in love with a drama, you wish everyone else loved it as much as you do.

I started this blog to be able to express my love for dramas out-loud. To be able to get more people to love something I love very much. I know that even if my friends did not like the dramas I watched, there has to be at least one person on the internet that did enjoy them as much as I did!

What dramas do you personally love that you feel didn’t get as much hype as they deserved? Do you have any hidden gems? What’s your favorite Kdrama genre? I’d love to know what all of you Kdrama lovers like to watch!

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It’s Okay To Not Be Okay EP 3-4 Review: Yearning For Warmth and Just To Be Loved

Who doesn’t want to be loved? To be held, to be told one matters?

These two episodes touched on the fact that sometimes people just desperately want warmth and love from others. Honestly it was sad watching all our characters from that lens. This weeks episodes started out with Ko Moon Young returning to her hometown, returning to her old home, “the cursed castle”. She also very openly expressed her new found obsession, Kang Tae. I mean she was willing to return to her hometown and even to the nursing home her father lives in, just to be able to spend some time with Kang Tae.

We learned that she is much more unstable mentally than we initially thought. Her personality really is all over the place, and it’s hard to figure her out, one moment she is doing reckless things, like almost running Kang Tae over when he tried to stop her from running away with a patient, and then other moments she’s actually doing things to help others out.

On the other hand, the second lead female character, she confuses me and scares me even more than Ko Moon Young. Nam Joo Ri honestly feels more evil and reckless than Moon Young, it’s the little things she does. Her small forced smile, the anger she’s holding back, the way she appears a good person, but you never really actually see her doing anything good. The fact that she’s never really happy and envies Ko Moon Young. It just scares me to wonder about what she is capable of. She’s for sure waiting to unleash her true self, I don’t believe her act for a second.

I mean look at her fake smile haha

We learned a little bit more about Ko Moon Young’s mother. I think she is the reason why Ko Moon Young might be the way she is. It appears that her mother might have hid her away for some time, and she definitely put negative thoughts into her head. The memories of her mother and the person she was still haunt her. We were shown a scene where she seems to remember her mother’s death, she’s standing outside of a basement room with a big door lock, and she holds the key, on the other side is her mother, dead. We aren’t really given many details more. My theory is that her mother used to lock her up there and perhaps one day, she locked her mother up instead and her mother committed suicide. She may feel guilty, thinking that she was the reason her mother died, perhaps that is also why her father calls her a monster and wanted to kill her, perhaps he blames her too.

One of the most touching scenes, was not even a real scene at all, it was Ko Moon Young’s dream. After dreaming about her wicked mother, telling her the story of Sleeping Beauty, and telling Ko Moon Young that she was cursed, and the only one that could break the curse was the prince, but that was IF her mother didn’t kill him first. She then see’s herself when she is younger, and she’s looking down at the water of some lake, a woman is in the water, and is asking her to save her. She just stands there, until she pops out of the water screaming: Save me! She “wakes up” in another dream, and she’s crying, finally revealing to us that she isn’t as tough as she leads on, she gets scared and frightened just like everyone. She then imagines Kang Tae, he’s sitting there by her side, he puts his hand on her shoulder. Surprised to see him there, she then sits up and he caresses her cheek. “Don’t cry” he tells her, and she leans into his touch and even smiles a little and then sheds a tear. It was so touching to me because her dreams reveal a lot about what she wishes would happen. How she’s probably been battling these nightmares alone, all the pain from her past, but now she even dreams that Kang Tae will be there by her side, to comfort her, to soothe her and love her. You wouldn’t even think Ko Moon Young in real life would ever even want anything of that sort, since she pretends to hate everyone and everything and only care about herself, she also leads on that she is completely okay, and healed, but she still has a lot of scars left to heal.

The patient from these episodes also demonstrates his yearning to be loved by his family. He is the son of an assembly man, who has been pushed aside by his family all his life, for not being smart, for not being like his siblings, for being slow, and having a mental illness. His mental illness makes him have manic episodes where he does reckless things, like get naked in front of people, spend tons of money, and run away. He admits later that all he wanted was attention. Thanks to Ko Moon Young “kidnapping” him, he is able to reveal to the world, and his family, how much hurt they have caused him and why he has been acting the way he has been. His mother finally for the first time, pays attention to him, though furious, she snaps at him and even slaps him, but he is happy. He is happy to be finally acknowledged by his mother, he has a realization and tells Kang Tae “My mom doesn’t hate me, she loves me like crazy”.

We also find out that Kang Tae didn’t get much love from his mother. He was always put into second place, his brother with autism always being the more important one to his mother. We are shown heart breaking scenes of him getting wet by the rain, as his mother only shares the umbrella with Sang Tae, and also only hugs him as they sleep. Leaving Kang Tae to wish for the love and warmth that his mother only demonstrates towards his older brother.

All of the themes of this week’s episodes are summarized in Moon Young’s book: Zombie Kid. A book that got banned from being released because of its grotesque nature and illustrations, however, the message is a special and unique one. The story of a boy who was born without any feelings, only the desire to eat, his mother, thinking she is protecting him, locks him away, and makes sure he is well fed by doing everything she can to provide him with all the livestock to eat. However an epidemic strikes and kills off all the animals and many of the people, so the surviving move away, the mom remains with her child and to satiate his hunger and not having any more animals to feed to him, gives her son her own legs and arms so that he won’t be hungry, all that is left of her is her torso. In her dying moments, her son embraces her and speaks for the first time and says: “Mom, you’re so warm”.

It’s heartbreaking how some parents waste themselves away, doing everything they can so that their children have everything, material wise, but they forget about the true needs of their kids, love and warmth and quality time. The poor boy in the book, yes his mother made sure he ate, but by locking him away, she deprived him of the one thing he needed which was her, his mother.

THIS DRAMA IS HEAVY. It’s dark and emotional, and not light at all. We still have so much left to learn about all the characters. I am interested in learning more about what exactly happened between Moon Young and Kang Tae in their childhood. What about you guys? Are you guys digging this drama, or are you put off by the dark topics and rather watch a more lighthearted drama for the summer? Let me know, I’m interested in hearing what everyone else is thinking about this new drama! As for me, I am ready for EP 5-6!