Tag: new kdrama

Unnie Recommends: Gender Switch Shenanigans for The Tale of Nokdu

Pretending to be a member of the opposite sex usually falls as a woman’s responsibility in Joseon dynasty shows, but this kdrama has a male take center stage for a gender role reversal👨🏻👉🏻👩🏻 Based on the webcomic Nokdujeon, Jang Dong Yoon pretends to be a woman to infiltrate a widowers only village to find the people that are hunting him and his family.

Before I go any further, can I just say that Jang Dong Yoon is beautiful as a girl?😍 You’ll enjoy this korean drama, The Tale of Nokdu, as the first few episodes dives right into the story and features Jang Dong Yoon’s character, Jeon Nok Du, struggle to fit in as a woman, deal with his first romance, and at the same time find his enemies.

Current Impression

Living on a remote island, Nok Du and his family are attacked by masked assassins. He manages to fight them off and slashes the legs of one of them who he finds out is a woman. Against his father’s wishes, he chases after her all the way to Hanyang. He meets Dong Ju (Kim So Hyun’s character) at a bad timing but helps her get out of a sticky situation that involved almost killing the King. In his quest to find the person responsible, he ends up disguising himself as Ms. Kim when he discovers that a secret group is inside the village: Ordinary women by day, mercenaries at night.

Having watched his previous kdramas (School 2017 and A Poem, A Day), I’m so happy that Dong Yoon is finally the leading man this time. He is smart and determined to achieve his goals as he thinks of ways to become chummy with the girls who he suspects is involved with the secret group. Nok Du is the funniest when he gets awkward and stammers to avoid eye contact when the girls of the village are so casual in taking off their clothes. It’s a stark contrast for women who disguise themselves as men because while they need to come off smug and strong, Nok Du tries his best to be reserved and keep his physical distance from the women😅

Dong Ju is a reluctant gisaeng in training at the widowers village. It’s not yet explained whose side she is aligned with because although she tried to assassinate the King, it seems like she isn’t part of the secret women’s group. Her character is a bit of a troublemaker and does things her own way, even cutting off her long hair to save another girl from being taken away. She and Nok Du end up as roommates and fight like cats and dogs, but asks later on if she could treat him as an older sister — which makes me think that she’s lonely and doesn’t have a real friend in the village. I’m curious about her backstory and hope that she can shine as an individual in this kdrama!

We’ll have to see when or how the women will find out that Nok Du is a man, but even if he’s been kind or isn’t a pervert, I’m sure the consequences will be hilarious and bad for him🤣 I have a feeling that the mystery surrounding Nok Du’s true identity could be similar with another kdrama (I’m looking at you Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency) where Nok Du is of royalty but let’s wait and see if my hunch is correct.

The Tale of Nokdu narrated its first few chapters with fun, laughter, and a little danger. Let’s enjoy our hero’s journey and watch his eventual happy ending unfold weekly😁

Unnie Recommends: Melting Me Softly

It’s 1999 in South Korea — a world on the cusp of a booming digital age, flip cellphones were still a thing, and the possibilities for scientific progress are endless. Melting Me Softly tells the tale of 2 people who wake up 20 years after being frozen in a cryo chamber🥶 The plot reminds me of the Hollywood movie, Passengers, where the leads also went into hibernation only to be awakened with no one to tell them what really happened to them. The similarity ends there though as Melting Me Softly applies a different setting, time, and angle.

Going into the 1st episode, I wasn’t sure what to expect but thankfully, any hesitations went away as Ji Chang Wook’s charm as Ma Dong Chan is simply irresistible, hee. I first watched the actress Won Jin A in her previous kdrama, Rain or Shine, and I’m happy that she’s portraying a spunkier and more outspoken person here as Ko Mi Ran.

Current Impression

I liked how they depicted the 1st episode through flashbacks and not a linear story telling style. In the first few minutes alone, we see both Ma Dong Chan and Ko Mi Ran participate in a cryogenics project of a Doctor Hwang, freezing themselves in a chamber for only a period of 24 hours. How they got to this point unfolds piece by piece when we see glimpses of Dong Chan and Mi Ran’s life before getting frozen.

Dong Chan is as a talented and out-of-the-box thinking PD (Production director) directing a very popular variety show. He is passionate, hardworking, talented, and has an equally supportive girlfriend. He veers away from the ordinary and prides himself in doing things that no one in TV land has done before. He is very interested in cryogenics as it is a very new technology in 1999 and wants to be the first one to show the world its revolutionary effects. He volunteers to be a test subject himself to make it more believable for viewers and enlists the help of another person to go in with him.

Enter Mi Ran, a 24 year old woman who takes the dangerous jobs that no one dares to do in Dong Chan’s variety show because it pays a lot of money. She is enjoying her youth while struggling to find a permanent job in between participating in the show’s experiments, happily hangs out with friends, and takes care of her little brother who gets bullied from time to time. She is initially reluctant to volunteer but when Dong Chan mentions that an effect of cryogenics is curing diseases, she thinks of her brother and is all in with the project.

Something goes wrong as the Professor is chased by a car and supposedly killed on the same day that both go into the chamber. He is the only one who can unfreeze both Dong Chan and Mi Ran to administer a special shot to prevent their bodies from reacting negatively to being frozen for a day. With the Professor still alive 20 years later, he finally sets them free…with a consequence that their body temperatures must be maintained at 31.5 degrees Celsius🤒

Both Ji Chang Wook and Won Jin A portrayed their frenzied and pale 2019 selves very well when the former calls his assistant PD to continue shooting and the latter trying to find her family. They are in for the surprise of their lives when they both finally realize that so much time has passed since their awakening! They can’t exactly resume their lives as if nothing has happened and have to adjust to a more progressive Korea and an older generation of their loved ones.

Melting Me Softly is an intriguing korean drama that combines sci-fi elements with romance and comedy. There hasn’t been much interaction between our 2 leads yet so let’s anticipate the temperature of their love to heat up and see how they navigate their 2019 together!😊

Unnie Recommends: Heart Thumping Action in Vagabond

Every action star is a superhero, someone who can withstand an immeasurable amount of hits and thuds, and survives the most impossible situations imaginable. Especially those who have a clear drive within them, may it be revenge or finding clarity, a man/woman will do what they can to finish what they started.

I was blown away with the first 2 episodes of the show! Not only does it highlight how gorgeous Morocco is with its cool beaches and cascade of color roofed houses, but the action sequences and chases are of Hollywood movie quality👌🏻

Current Impression

Lee Seung Gi (Odyssey) stars as Cha Dal Geon, an ex stuntman who is now a cab driver raising his nephew (Hoon). He quit that line of work so he can ensure his own safety to be able to raise Hoon alive. He absolutely loves his craft with a montage showing several of his jobs (Getting beaten up, experiencing a car crash, being engulfed in flames) but also ending up hospitalized or needing care as well.

When news breaks out that the plane his nephew along with 200+ people rode in crashed leaving no survivors, he and the parents of Hoon’s judo team go to Morocco to pay their respects. Hoon uploads videos of his life and Dal Geon watches him laughing and goofing around with his judo teammates on the plane. Things get dicey in Morocco when he spots a man who he saw in Hoon’s video as someone on the plane and wildly chases after him. This is the catalyst that echoes throughout the show as it jumpstarts a game of cat and mouse to see who catches each other first. The man is backed up by a powerful corporation hellbent on landing a trillion dollar deal to have their fighter jets purchased and probably entangled with future conspiracies.

He meets Suzy Bae’s (While You Were Sleeping) character, Go Hae Ri, in Morocco as an intern for the Korean embassy who helps the parents with the memorial. Initially setting her up as part of the evil side, she clears her name as an NIS agent stationed at Morocco. She plays her character of being undercover well and is the breadwinner of her family. I like her role here so I hope this catapults Suzy into further stardom as an actress.

Lee Seung Gi portrays Dal Geon as an intense man who would hunt down the truth even if it costs him his life. His desperation to get to the bottom of things is evident and proves that he has great instincts when he concluded that the plane crash was not a systems/machine error. His chemistry with Suzy is electric, being at odds with each other due to Dal Geon’s brash personality and Hae Ri’s reluctance to believe him but ends up helping him in various situations. She does discover the truth thanks to the video clip Dal Geon provided her proving that the plane crash was an act of terrorism. It’ll be interesting to see how their romance (IF there is) will blossom given their not so great first impressions but I know it will amplify their connection further⚡️

Vagabond follows the normal formula for an action genre TV show — Money hungry powerful person/company bulldozes anyone who gets in their way, a protagonist victim seeking retribution, plot twists, a looming romance on the works with another lead fighting for the same cause. But formulas can be rearranged to get the same end result. Given the characters, action scenes, and story, expect the variables of this kdrama to be bold, feisty, and explosively good!💥