Tag: tvn

Unnie Recommends: Hotel Del Luna

A haven for the dead, Hotel Del Luna or Guest House of the Moon is an upscale purgatory of sorts for souls that have unfinished business in the realm of the living. With amenities such as a sky lounge overlooking the city, a beach where you can get a tan or swim to your heart’s content, our staff will ensure that your unfulfilled desires in your human form are achieved while you stay with us🌙

You’ll know where to find us once you’re dead. If you’re a lost soul wandering around on your own, we wish you the best in your own journey to the afterlife. We hope you have a pleasant stay with us.

-CEO Jang Man Weol

Current Impression

I’m liking what I see based on the first 2 episodes that premiered this week. Hotel Del Luna is sprinkled with various elements: From a period setting (Where it all began), to fantasy aspects with the hotel catering to the dead, with a dash of romcom (I’m assuming the 2 leads will form a romance), and a whole lot of horror mystery.

Our titular female is Jang Man Weol (Played by Kpop star IU), tasked to manage the supernatural home as a form of repentance for killing a number of people. Not many details have been provided about her past life as the episode fastforwards into modern day Korea. She is feisty, full of angst, stylish boss but does her job of managing the hotel well. Not dead but not fully alive, Man Weol is not your average female protagonist and I am loving it😈 Due to a deal she made with our leading man’s (Yeo Jin Goo stars as Koo Chan Sung) father where in exchange for saving his life, she gets to have Chan Sung as an adult.

Chan Sung is a smart and handsome man who works at luxury hotels as a manager. He comes back to Korea after the 20 year deadline hoping that the deal his father made has been void. Mang Weol is eager to collect what is hers and gifts him with the ability to see ghosts to give him a hard time to work properly at his other job. Yeo Jin Goo expresses more emotions here than his last kdrama (I’m talking to you My Absolute Boyfriend😠) and his kindhearted & rational character is a nice contrast to IU’s narcissistic ways.

For a human to be seeing ghosts constantly, Chan Sung is handling it pretty well. He is very reluctant in working at the hotel but due to his kind disposition and Man Weol’s coaxing, he gets entangled with Hotel Del Lunas affairs. I’m certain Chan Sung will play a big part in Mang Weol’s journey back to her humanity but I’m not sure what’s in it for him. I have a hunch he’ll eventually replace her as the owner as she finds peace herself but let’s see what the future holds for our unlikely, bickering duo.

Hotel Del Luna is like a rest stop for lost souls who need time to do something on Earth before leaving for the afterlife. We don’t know when we’ll perish and to be given a chance to fulfill such wishes and prepare ourselves for what’s to come is comforting. Let’s look forward to a visual treat and a pleasurable stay as we check in indefinitely at Hotel Del Luna.🏰

Unnie Life Lessons: 3 Ways to Live a Colorful Life by Her Private Life

I’ll forever be a fan girl of this korean drama🙋🏻‍♀️ Once again, true love has prevailed over pettiness and past mistakes proving that we can get a picture perfect happy ending if we work for it. As Her Private Life showcased its last episode with flying colors, we’ll forever have an etch of this kdrama’s best and heartwarming moments.

Our titular fan girl (Played by Park Min Young) was a delight to watch here. And for Kim Jae Wook to play his first leading role in a romcom, he was very charismatic and of course, unbelievably handsome😂 I liked the flow of the story and how natural the love between Deok Mi and Ryan developed, although they could be in a “honeymoon” phase, how they supported and gave ample space and time for one another to deal with their respective problems is a trait that any couple can aspire to. I especially adored Ryan when he smiled and slyly observed Deok Mi with her fangirling ways, this is a man who is truly intrigued and interested with his potential partner’s interests.

I honestly didn’t want a childhood connection between Ryan and Deok Mi because this story didn’t need that kind of plot device to work. Them falling in love as 2 adults who got to know each other is more epic for me because in today’s world, dating can be messy. Finding someone you can spend your time with and making it last is not the easiest thing. The predicament that Deok Mi’s mom was actually the one who left Ryan for adoption did add more story and drama which lead to forgiveness and growth for the characters involved.

For a brief recap of Her Private Life, please check out my previous post to catch up.

Unnie Life Lessons

1. No matter how hard your day can get, you are still a living, breathing, dynamic human being. Your work, although to some extent describes you, it does not define who you are.

  • Deok Mi had a hard day at work and although she loves being a curator at an art gallery, the presence of bad days and unfair judgement never escapes work life. It’s easy to say these words but actually doing something about it is a very different and difficult matter but try.
  • This life lesson is not meant to mock art or any other profession but it’s no secret that we value our jobs as a standard of our worth. We can be a loyal and loving person who enjoys listening to music and exercise. We enjoy the company of our friends over coffee or hanging out at a party and still be diligent enough to budget and make the monthly rent — such aspects and characteristics are what make you a worthy person, regardless of work or life problems.
  • Let go of the worries and blames (if there are) and know that there is a next time for you to further improve and do better! You can’t beat yourself up on making a mistake at work or plunge into a “victim mentality” state of mind as both are unhealthy. Just like Deok Mi, believe in your worth and live a good life💫

2. Let your loved ones know you care about them whenever you can. Declare it in words, show it thru your actions, or a simple conversation is enough to show someone that they matter to you.

  • Deok Mi and Ryan were upset about a painting that was damaged and ended up in a storage center. She urged him that they shouldn’t end up like that and encouraged them to adore and take interest in each other.
  • We can show our loved ones that we care for them in many ways. One doesn’t need to be overly affectionate or use social media to declare their care (not that there’s anything wrong with this), but small everyday acts such as informing your parents about your plans or a question about your friend’s life eventually leading to a conversation is enough to show that their presence matters to you.
  • We can get caught up in our own turmoil & misery that sometimes we forget to think of others. Although there’s nothing wrong in taking care of ourselves first, remember that your family and friends are people you can lean on to for help or just have a random chat with. Take a breather and show someone their importance in your life; time is fleeting, don’t let the days take away your opportunity to be there for others.

3. Everyone has a unique perspective on things. A setback for someone can be seen as an opportunity for someone else, as a problem can be approached by anger/fear or compassion/calmness, there’s always a choice to look and act on things differently.

  • Just because we interpret events or circumstances in a distinct manner doesn’t mean that another person’s thoughts are wrong. Ryan viewed the paintings of bubbles above as sad and ready to burst at any moment but Deok Mi saw these as a symbol of hope that can fly up at the sky instead. We ought to respect how other people view things even if it is a grim or sadder approach, we don’t know the root of such thoughts but there must be a valid reason for their way of thinking. But personally, I think it’s okay to encourage people like them (If you are one yourself) to try and look at events in their lives with a more positive outlook. 
  • Positive doesn’t mean ignoring the emotions of hardships to focus on happier thoughts but rather trying our best to not stay in a place of fear and worry. Being sad is okay, it means that we are aware of the unpredictability of life and that not everything goes the way we want it to happen. Give them (or yourself) time to process their own emotions and even if you still don’t see things eye to eye, you are still unique individuals who respect each other’s thoughts and enjoy one another’s company. 

  • The life lesson above also applies to Ryan respecting Deok Mi’s fangirl devotion. He may not fully understand her passion for Cha Shi An (A kpop star who happens to be his stepbrother), but he never once let her feel humiliated or belittled because of this. We may not comprehend another person’s interests but we can learn to appreciate & respect these because our loved one’s admiration for it. 

*Bonus:

Deviating from our main couple, Her Private Life also highlighted the importance of forgiveness. I think Ryan tops the ranks for apologizing in this kdrama as he was never prideful to not say sorry when it was needed. I was surprised given how his character was set up to be high and mighty especially when it came to critiquing different artworks.

Saying sorry is a hard thing to do because you’re admitting to your mistakes but Ryan didn’t hesitate to say it. If he can forgive his real mom for years of abandonment and Deok Mi’s mom for giving him up for adoption, we certainly can learn a thing or two from him.

**

Her Private Life has all the makings of a romantic comedy with great leads, an equally talented supporting cast, humorous scenes, heartfelt moments, and that hint of drama to spice up the story. Our lives are filled with different and contrasting colors: Some shine bright while others have little light, but when painted together, it emanates a beautiful and unique entity that makes you, YOU👩🏻‍🎨

Unnie Recommends: Abyss

Every now and then, a mystery/romance/supernatural themed show makes its way into kdramaland. Perhaps its the thrill of crafting a killer’s motives or piecing together how the protagonists will deal with each other & their dilemmas — its these different elements that make korean dramas so addicting to watch.

Having premiered with its first 2 episodes this week, Abyss tells the story of 2 friends who work together to solve a crime despite literally having an out of body experience.

Current Impression

The opening scene introduces us to a man drinking his sorrows away on a building rooftop. As he sits on the edge after climbing past the railing, we learn that the man’s (Cha Min) fiancé, can’t go through with their wedding because of his unattractive face. He is accidentally killed by supernatural forces (Special guest appearances from Jung So Min & Seo In Guk from Hundred Million Stars From the Sky🥰) but revived by them with an orb named Abyss. The rule is that a person will be revived with the reflection of their soul and since Cha Min is a kindhearted person, he was given a more handsome and fitter body.

Before Min’s untimely death, he calls his long time friend, Ko Se Yeon, a beautiful, smart, and driven prosecutor who is in the middle of a crime scene. Though it hasn’t been explicitly shown, Min apparently has been in love with her for the longest time but she isn’t reciprocating those feelings. She is murdered one night and by Min’s efforts, he was able to revive her with the Abyss. Only this time, she gets a downgrade as her face & body is just like any other normal Korean woman.

It’s a cat and mouse game they try to solve the mystery of Se Yeon’s murder and navigate everyday life with their new bodies. We weren’t shown any flashbacks yet of how Min and Se Yeon’s characters were like before they died but it’s safe to assume that how they are interacting with each other, revivial mode, is still their true personalities. I hope that Min stays humble and thoughtful even with his more attractive physique. Se Yeon doesn’t have a bad personality (Park Bo Young is adorable & not common at all!), she’s actually resourceful and practical but as the show stands, she has a normal-faced soul but I don’t really see anything wrong with that.

It’s obvious that Se Yeon will fall in love with Min now but I hope that she’ll be able to accept him for his physical features before. Falling in love with his handsome, reborn character is easier but accepting Min’s original face seems like an important point of this show. Despite having a fiancé, I think Min still cares about Se Yeon more than as a friend but with the roles reversed (She’s a plain Jane while he’s a hottie) now, I’m excited to see how their relationship progresses from this point on.

Unleash your detective sleuthing skills and don’t be surprised when you also get romantic feels as Abyss will surely deliver a mayhem of fun and suspense worth the weekly wait!

Unnie Recommends: Memories of the Alhambra

We all seek a little adventure to spark our routined everyday lives with something other than the ordinary. The thrill of experiencing something new and the subsequent memories that are forged are stories that we’ll remember as long as we live.

Memories of the Alhambra introduces itself as a fast-paced, gorgeous, yet mysterious adventure poised to make a mark as an innovative yet nostalgic kind of korean drama experience.

Current Impression

Set in the vibrant yet laid back setting of Granada, Spain, the male lead Yoo Jin Woo, CEO of a successful investment company, (Played by comeback actor Hyun Bin) gets a mysterious call urging him to fly to Granada about an important proposition. There he meets Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye of The Heirs), a 27 year old hostel owner who he initially clashes with but needs to befriend soon after. The whole enemies turning into friends then lovers is a kdrama signature but even after witnessing so many stories unfold, each new tale is worth a watch.

Let’s face it– anything set in Europe is already a grandeur production but having two of Korea’s hottest stars portray the leading roles is golden. The plot is intriguing and unique as we get a gimpse of Jin Woo playing an AR type of game, though playing in an augmented reality (AR) has been a device used by foreign movies already, Memories of the Alhambra uses has the user, Jin Woo, actually experience the game in real life. He is not transported to another virtual world nor plays a virtual character, he is literally attacking, dodging, and leveling up on his own accord in Granada. We get a brief tour of the city’s charm as he searches for a weapon and clashes with warriors from a different time.

Park Shin Hye’s character has yet to make an impact on me yet though but it’s refreshing to see her in a timid and uncertain role. She was strong-willed and determined in her last kdrama (Doctors) that it’s nice to see the female lead not all put together.

The plot details were minimal before and I wasn’t sure if this kdrama would have fantasy elements. Right now it seems hinged on real life (possible future) occurences but there has been the mention of magic and mystery by Jin Woo that makes me feel like this show can develop even further. Gaming enthusiasts can take an interest in the show with the AR angle and us unnies who live for romance, action, and some kdrama spunk!

Up to this point, I’m not sure what the main conflict of the show is aside from the rivalry between 2 former friends/business partners and a slow brewing romance. I honestly have high hopes for Memories of the Alhambra and am eager to explore a new kind of reality as seen in the eyes of our main hero.

Unnie Recommends: Familiar Wife

Currently airing at TVN, Familiar Wife or Knowing Wife, is the newest Korean drama to join the list of the romantic comedy genre. It’s just 3 episodes in and it’s safe to say I’ll continue on with watching this.

Source: viki.com

Current Impression

The plot revolves around a husband (Cha Joo Hyuk) who, through certain scientific events, goes back to a fateful day in his past to change his present situation. From the show’s title alone, you can safely assume what aspect in his life will be altered.

It’s the typical married for how many years with kids set-up: Husband is exhausted from work, wife is also tired from work and having to take care of the kids, they work with a tight budget, and interactions between the two are dismal and downright depressing. I’d hate to see myself in their shoes, no matter how complacent a long time couple can become due to familiarity and a daily routine– a viewer such as myself cannot excuse Joo Hyuk’s actions to change his wife. Though unintentional, he lives in the new timeline much happier (at first) but realizes the jarring differences of what his previous life and current life holds.

Not everyone is given a chance to change their past but if we we’re given a second chance to change our current set-up in life, I do think that 90% of people would make a different choice on a lot of matters. But with different decisions comes new consequences and for our main lead, Cha Joo Hyuk, he’ll learn that some things, no matter how much we try to escape them, will always find a way to come back 😀