Tag: tvn

Unnie Recap: Checking out of Hotel Del Luna (Final Episode) – Ending Explained

How do you say goodbye to someone you love? This is the lingering question that stays with you while watching Hotel Del Luna‘s last episode. There’s no shortage of tears as each of our main ghosts have to separate from each other, but knowing that they can finally go to the afterlife is an end that they all individually want and deserve😢 This reminded me of Goblin since it also touched upon reincarnation and star-crossed lovers but the approach of both shows is different.

I didn’t expect to love this kdrama, especially IU, she was so great here as the feisty and determined Jang Man Weol. Her RBF was on point anytime she would strut down the hotel halls or when she had a bone to pick with her enemies. Even though she was commanding and icy, her hard shell cracked open when she fell in love again and helped her friends find peace. Yeo Jin Goo was no doubt amazing here as well as he portrayed the loyal, hardworking, and forever good guy Ku Chan Seong.

Their chemistry as the show’s OTP was not sizzling and apparent at first; instead, it was a slow flame that grew and burned brightly into the night. Their playful banters, Chan Seong’s insistence to control Man Weol’s expenses, and how he didn’t try to change her but rather, was patient with her anger is a wholehearted kind of love that the kdrama illustrated perfectly.

Check out my first impressions post for Hotel del Luna if you’re interested in starting this kdrama (And you should!) 😊

A Bittersweet Farewell

Each and every one of our lovable staff left Earth with their unfinished business ticked off before the next full moon.

Mister Kim was able to prove his innocence for being known as a disgraceful scholar and was the 1st to leave the hotel. He may not have been able to clear his name as a historical figure, at least even in a novel, he was depicted as a noble man who studied hard and was able to write great literature.

Hyun Joong waited for his sister (Hyun Mi) to pass away so they can reunite and cross the bridge together. This was hard to watch as he had to finally say goodbye to Yu Na. Even if she was heartbroken about this, seeing him reunite with Hyun Mi was all she needed to let him go. It’s the plight of being the one left behind but I know that Yu Na will be able to live a good and happy life regardless.

Ms. Choi was the last one to leave as she talked with the girlfriend of the last heir of the Myeongju Yoon family. I envisioned an ending for her that the unborn child is a daughter so her resentment of the baby being able to carry the family line as a boy would finally be put to rest. But this conclusion to her story was much better. Ms. Choi realized that it doesn’t mater what the child’s gender is because he/she is the child of a loving mother that will do anything to protect him/her. She is able to let go of her burden and move on the afterlife.

Somewhere in Another Lifetime…

I believe that the the Ku Chan Seong and Jang Man Weol in this last scene is a version of them in another lifetime already. I did at first think that Chan Seong would meet a reincarnated Man Weol in the same lifetime, perhaps in New York, but she wouldn’t be the exact same person that he fell in love with so I don’t think that’s it. Their love story was always on borrowed time, but nothing short of magical. The voiceover of them talking about meeting again in the future is exactly what unfolds before us🌛

Letting go and honoring one’s happiness is such a major theme for this kdrama as it focused on the beauty of such an act. There was a chance for Man Weol to remain on the realm of the living when Yu Na gave her the wine that could make her into the owner of the new hotel. Chan Seong calmly answered that he wanted to be the last human steward for Man Weol and that extending her life once more wouldn’t make her truly happy. He was devastated to lose her, of course, but he wasn’t selfish to keep Man Weol from attaining peace after a long time of searching for it.

It’s not always about staying together to prove that you care for one another — choosing yourself (For Man Weol) and choosing to respect such a decision (Chan Seong) is the most profound kind of love that anyone can give.

Who is the next owner of Hotel Del Luna?

A cameo by Kim Soo Hyun was made to signify the new owner and a brand new Guest House of the Moon, or in this case, Hotel Blue Moon. He looks so hot here (hee😙) and the plot possibilities for a 2nd season are endless given the show’s success.

I hope they explore the idea next time since I read that there are no plans for the kdrama to extend a 2nd season just yet. But if that happens, can the leading male & female end up together in the present timeline?🙏🏻

***

I cried too with everyone’s parting, but to know that they are leaving with a fulfilled heart was the perfect send-off for them. There’s nothing wrong in being sad when we are separated from the person we care about — whether by mortality, distance, or some other reason, the hope that we’ll be able to meet again is a promise worth taking. If not for the other person, it’s a chance for us to build self-love and prioritize our own desires✨

Though we may not achieve all our unfulfilled desires (like the ghosts) or get everything we want, Hotel del Luna conveys to us that we’ll always find a way to live well after a parting — finding love, forgiveness, and a chance to start anew🌷

Unnie Recap: Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (Episodes 23 & 24)

Hae Ryung and the historians may have won the fight against the King, but the war isn’t over yet as he deploys his own tactics to punish her. After everything she’s been through, no matter who she’s up against, don’t expect our rookie historian to go down without a proper fight😈

Episode 23

The loud banging on the Goo residence was not of a dangerous kind, but a summon back to the palace. Apparently, the King has requested the royal family along with Hae Ryung to greet the Queen Dowager in the wee hours of the morning. He apologizes for not visiting her as often and from now on promises to go at the same time everyday to see her. It’s an odd proposition given their estranged relationship, but things get weirder when the King joins in on the daily lecture of the Crown Prince; even telling Prince Lee Rim to participate in as well.

It is the Second State Councilor who reads the lesson for the day and an awkward silence ensues when the King asks if he has ever portrayed any of the 6 traits that a King must abstain from. I don’t know what kind of answer he was expecting when he asked Prince Lee Rim, but despite the Crown Prince signalling him to not say anything, he speaks up his mind declaring that he has engaged in at least 3 of the taboo behaviors. Instead of taking offense, the King laughs at his answer and does not scold him in any way.

There is a truth to the Prince’s words as Hae Ryung has been tasked to follow the King and be his historian moving forward. I was pleasantly surprised that the King had this comedic side to him and that they downplayed the punishment he intended for her. It wasn’t child’s play, but his scheme was something that Hae Ryung could battle against. In a hilarious scene of events, she wrote down what he specifically ate, spoonful for spoonful. This in turn gave the King a stomachache where he had to walk around in circles and take a dump later. Poor girl as she was instructed to take his 💩💩 to the medical bureau as an obvious attempt to make things hard for her.

Taking a break from the King, it’s the Crown Prince who gets to have some fun today. He is dressed to go outside as he permits Sa Hui to tag along with him. He plays with kids, strolls along the market, and has a delicious meal in a tavern. Crown Prince Lee Jin is beaming with happiness and tells Sa Hui that he grew up outside of the palace. Doing an undercover inspection reminds him of his simpler times so that he doesn’t forget the feeling. Before returning to the palace, Sa Hui asks him that the reason he probably had her join him was that so he could ask her what Hae Ryung wrote in her sachaek to get the King so angry. This time though, it’s the Crown Prince who looks hurt with what she said but he simply gave her a gift he bought in the market and left.

Poor Hae Ryung as she only gets back to the office at night and has to start work very early the next day. Officer Min treats her bruised hand and offers her advice to avoid incurring one again next time. I want to say it’s a love triangle tease, but that’s a misdirect. Both of them are truly friends as he feels bad for her and says that there’s no shame if she gives in to the power struggle between the historians and the King. Come on, do you even know who you’re talking to?😼 Hae Ryung is determined to power through the King’s mind games, a trait befitting her strong and sometimes rambunctious persona.

Episode 24

Karma’s a b*tch and it’s time for Hae Ryung to take her sweet, silent revenge on the King. In another royal lecture, the King is asleep even when the Chancellor is reading the book aloud, haha!😴 His early visits to his mother prove to be his downfall and Hae Ryung gets to record such mishaps on her end. His Majesty is shocked when his eunuch wakes him up at 4AM and that Hae Ryung is already there inside his room.

Later that day, the King employs a new tactic trying to get her drunk to spill what she wrote in her book. Hae Ryung informs him that her alcohol tolerance is very high and the latter gets frustrated with her hardheadedness. He offers her 2 propositions: Either she can get rid of what she wrote secretly or he’ll grant her anything she desires. Her interest is piqued on the latter idea but we don’t get to see what she decides on just yet.

A letter is sent to Officer Yang written by his Majesty himself. It’s an apology for not acknowledging a historian’s true worth and that they will now be able to roam around in the palace to record daily life/history without any restrictions. She gets a vigorous name chant from her peers as she smiles and cheers in triumph.

It’s the King who reminisces about their conversation and we find out that Hae Ryung told him the truth that she actually wasn’t able to hear anything that day. She shares that she thought he was a good King because he still withdrew his order to check the administration record and instead of threatening her to spill what she wrote, he tried (in his own way) to ask her about it instead. Granted it wasn’t a sincere talk but like I mentioned above, I was amazed that he didn’t do anything harmful to have his way with her. Hae Ryung did a good job of telling the King to not hate historians anymore because they don’t just record the mistakes of the royal family, but that they also write down their good traits. It was enough to make him contemplate and give a little smile at how interesting she is.

To celebrate their victory, the historians went out that night for a drink. Two of them find Prince Lee Rim (Who they still know as Clerk Yi) skulking around near their table and insists that he join them for drinks. Hae Ryung ends up saving him by drinking all of his cups because he might not be able to hold his liquor. It’s the 1st time that they aren’t divided by their gender; they’re all just genuinely having fun, singing, and dancing the night away.

Hae Ryung escorts the Prince back to Nokseodang, but he makes her warm honey water outside to help her sober up. Hae Ryung is inside his room as he prepares the drink and happens to see a piece of paper sticking out in his main drawer. As she opens the paper, it’s actually the poem that she requested him to write for her. Prince Lee Rim heads to his room but wonders seeing Hae Ryung sitting outside. Without warning, she begins reciting the poem to him. Aww, this is her official admission of her feelings for him!🎉 Before the Prince can say anything further, she plants a tender kiss on his lips💏

Thoughts

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung does a good job in balancing out the serious moments and funny breathers and these 2 episodes were no exception. Not all fights need to be violent and Hae Ryung’s solution to appease the King was just brilliant. Of course this could have gone another way if he was really ruthless and unforgiving, but it just proves her belief that his Majesty can listen to other people’s opinions. Her honesty most of the time gets her in trouble, but it is what redeems her and the other historians this time to be accepted and understood😊

I’m happy to see Sa Hui smile and loosen herself up in the palace but the moment between her and the Crown Prince is puzzling to me. How about the story with the Crown Princess? Does that simply go away now?🤔 I’m a fan of the Crown Prince’s character, but I hope we don’t get strung along a possible romance that gets sidelined in the end because it doesn’t serve the kdrama’s overall direction. I also like Sa Hui’s character and she doesn’t need a man to let her character shine⭐️

Unnie Recap: Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (Episodes 1 and 2)

Read about my recommendation post for this kdrama if you’re interested in watching this😊

Episode 1

It’s nighttime at Hanyang and women all over, whether those shopping in the market or those staying at home, eagerly listen to a romance novel being read entitled Moonlight Love Affair. As each sentence is narrated, the women’s faces are filled with excitement as they squeal with delight and eagerly wait in anticipation for the next lines.

Our titular leading lady, Hae Ryung, is revealed to be reading another book (“The Sorrows of Young Werther”) inside a house to several noble women. They become appalled when they learn that the story ends with the main character’s death and they kick her out without payment for reading such a ludicrous tale. We get a glimpse of her bold character as she sneaks inside the same house to leave a couple of erotic novels for the noblewoman’s husband to discover instead as revenge.

Somewhere else in Hanyang, the scene shifts to the King’s palace. An eunuch and a court lady are caught together in a shed by a senior eunuch (Sam Bo).  While being berated, a man (Prince Lee Rim) suddenly appears before them and starts asking prying questions about their relationship. The 2 don’t recognize him but answer him anyway. It is revealed that the Prince will use their answers as research for a novel that he is writing. He seems truly intrigued with such details since he himself has no experience yet when it comes to falling in love.

When morning comes, it is revealed that Hae Ryung is actually of noble status and even when she haves a hard time conducting her book readings, she truly enjoys doing it as she learns new things. She attends a marriage preparation class, distracted and uninterested, where she is scolded for “showing off” her intelligence. Women should not speak out what they know and remain a modest being. Later that night, Hae Ryung has a drink with her brother (Jae Kyung) and expresses her frustrations about not wanting to take bridal classes anymore. Her brother explains that being an old maid could get him into trouble and that he is trying his best to find her a suitable husband. 

They are interrupted over their meal as her brother, who turns out to be a ranked official, attends an urgent meeting lead by one of the King’s advisers. He called them together to seize a particular book, The Story of Ho Dam, before it spreads all over Joseon. Jae Kyung looks worried and looks as if he does know what the book is about despite confessing that he had no knowledge about it. Ooohh, the 1st sign of conflict😏

Hae Ryung gets a clock fixed but has it stolen by a little boy in the market. She catches him redhanded and follows him back to where he lives not knowing that he is actually a slave of a rich noble. Her attempt to save him from the men who has him captive is futile but I have a feeling they’ll meet again soon.

Episode 2 

Prince Lee Rim wants to leave the palace to see for his own eyes the raw and actual reactions people have towards his book. It turns out that he is Maehwa, the famous romance novelist whose book (Moonlight Love Affair) is beloved by women. He and Sam Bo are able to leave the palace (with the permission of his older brother, Crown Prince Lee Jin) and go to a bookstore in Hanyang to fulfill his wish. He is pleased and bursting with glee as he observes different women smile and relish his book with much gusto.

As he walks inside the bookstore, he catches a look at Hae Ryung reading and is immediately smitten by her. He slowly walks up to her but is shocked when she suddenly stifles a yawn. She brutally shares her opinion that the book is boring and a waste of paper, much to the prince’s chagrin. He chases her down the street and they engage in an argument about true beauty with Hae Ryung having the last word as she tells him that the more he defends Maehwa, the more she’ll assume that he is the writer.

We are then introduced to Officer Min, who without a word goes to see the King when 2 other historians purposely made their voices louder that they were kicked out by someone who wanted to have a solo audience with the King. This is not allowed because by law, a historian ought to be present when the King converses with someone to record/transcribe their conversations.

It’s actually the adviser who called the secret meeting in the earlier episode who is talking with the King. He urges him to approve a decree to establish an Office of Banned Books and shows him the same book that he wanted to seize. The adviser is finally declared to be Officer Min’s father, second state councilor Min Ik Pyeong, as he dismisses his son.

The same thugs and noble who Hae Ryung had an encounter with are threatening the bookstore owner about being able to meet Maehwa to get more money. To avoid getting killed by them, he comes up with a plan to do a book reading by a fake Maehwa since the writer doesn’t reveal his/her face anyway. He enlists the help of Hae Ryung to pretend to be Maehwa just for 1 night; she initially refuses but when he offers to tear up the contract of the boy who is tied down as a slave, she relents.

The Office of Banned Books has been approved but the Crown Prince is furious that this passed without his consent when is already acting regent. Along with The Story of Ho Dam, unfortunately, romance novels and fiction stories are banned as well.

Hae Ryung reads Moonlight Love Affair to several female attendees in the planned book reading event. As she is signing autographs, she is surprised when a fan asks her how she came up with a specific scene in the book. She stammers for an answer and gives back the book to the fan but she was surprised when the person grabbed her hand and took a look at her. She recoils in shock probably from having someone see her actual face and recognizing that it was the man who she met at the bookstore. Prince Lee Rim is also bewildered as he remembers her to be the same woman he met at the bookstore.

Thoughts

Even in today’s society, women who are not married past a certain age are viewed as pitiful or are constantly set up with blind dates. There’s nothing wrong in wanting your loved one to find love but a woman’s worth shouldn’t be determined by their civil status. I know it was a different time back then so it’ll be exciting to see how Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung will address a woman’s independence and intelligence as an asset rather than a flaw. I’m already loving Hae Ryung’s spunkiness and how she applies the knowledge she learns in books in real life situations.

I’m not sure what the big deal is about the book that needs to be banned, but I’m guessing it’s to cover up something scandalous that happened in the past. There’s a parallel to the King and Crown Prince Lee Jin being at odds with each other as there’s also tension between the Second State Councilor and Officer Min. There’s an obvious strain in the father-son relationship and it does make me curious if Crown Prince Lee Jin really doesn’t know anything about his father’s past schemes. As for Officer Min, I feel like he is a good guy who is just doing his job but if he discovers an ugly truth, I’m on the fence on whether he will side with his father or if he’ll report the truth.

Prince Lee Rim is such an innocent, happy-go-lucky character that I want to give the actor (Cha Eun Woo) playing him the benefit of the doubt in certain scenes. His expression just switches between a surprised, doe eyed stare to a wistful smiling person. Writing is an important aspect of his character and for Hae Ryung to burst his bubble that he can have at least one critic should be a reality check for him that you can’t please everyone… and it’s okay! I can’t wait for more interactions between them as I’m certain that Hae Ryung will be influential for him to grow up.

Unnie Recommends: Hotel Del Luna

Dear guest,

A haven for the dead, Hotel Del Luna or Guest House of the Moon is an upscale purgatory 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 the guest house was first discovered), 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 (Some I presume were innocent) in her past life. Not many details have been provided about her past life as the episode fastforwards into modern day Korea. She is a stylish, feisty, and full of angst kind of 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 Ku Chan Seong) father where in exchange for saving his life, she gets to have Chan Seong as an adult.

Chan Seong 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 Seong 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 that he’ll play a big part in Man 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 random adults who got to know each other is more epic for me because in today’s world, dating can be messy. The predicament that Deok Mi’s mom was actually the one who left Ryan for adoption did add more drama and depth to the show which lead to further character growth for the characters involved. But even if this wasn’t the case, the show would still be a masterpiece.

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.