Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring and Summer Romcoms

Spring and summer is usually my favorite season drama-wise since lots of romantic comedies come out around this time of the year. It's the perfect season when the flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. It's the right time for romance, especially those of the comedic kind. So I thought it'll be nice to tell you some of the dramas I'm watching or are looking forward to watching in the upcoming months, I guess sort of as a check in of sorts.

I'm basically making this post as an excuse to talk about The Girl Who Sees Smells which is so awesome. It's not the smartest nor the most logical dramas that have graced the screens, but dang it if this isn't a fun and cute drama to watch. I was very careful when coming in the drama because of the casting. Prior to watching this, I have very little experience watching either of the leads. I've only seen Park Yoo-chun in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (and we all know who stole the spotlight in that drama). He has a pleasant presence but that was ages ago and he has since done more work. (I did end up watching Haemoo later on and man, every single person in that movie is just amazing.)

I was also hesitant with Shin Se-kyung, much like most of everyone. I've only seen her in melos and she seems to be someone who does well if all the stars are lined up. For instance, I thought she was good in Tree with Deep Roots mostly because her co-stars were Han Suk-gyu and Jang Hyuk who are awesomepants and the story was great. Fashion King should die forever and be erased from the surface of the earth. I do like her in the variety shows I've seen her in and thought she was charming. So I guess I don't hate her as much as some people because I've chosen wisely (?), but she was definitely a wild card.

But I'm happy to say that both are just so good (and so darn adorable). I'm actually more drawn towards Oh Cho-rim (Shin) because of her peppy personality. She's just so energetic and positive in the best possible way, you can't help but be drawn to her. It's a combination of great writing and Shin Se-kyung nailing every scene. My favorite is the little moments of her having a difficult time containing her blooming crush on Moo-gak (Park). As the girl who wasn't supposed to be funny, she brought in the most laughter in the initial episodes. That is until Moo-gak unleashed his inner comedic talents. His clumsy, gosh-darn policeman is wonderfully endearing, paired with flashes of intensity just makes me smile like a dork. But the magic is truly when those two are together. Shin Se-kyung and Park Yoo-chun bounce off each other so well during the comedic moments, and I'll be looking forward to the chemistry when the story goes into the dark.

I'm also loving how the mystery is getting uncovered with each episode. Again, there isn't some crazy mind games going on and the mystery aspect itself is pretty obvious. Add on to the fact that the police force is kind of dumb. But it's the unraveling that is great. Each episode peels just enough to keep the murder case interesting. Also props to Namgoong Min as the smiley killer chef (who I hope is full force psychopath) and Song Jong-ho (a.k.a. Oppa) as the misjudged doctor who might be looking forward to his last meal soon. They have both been fantastic as potential suspects of the Bar Code Murder. The Girl Who Sees Smells is without a doubt a romantic comedy, but the mystery file ain't too shabby either.

Aside from that fantastic show, I've also been watching Divorce Lawyer in Love which has just premiered its first week. I don't think it's a secret that I'm watching this drama for Yeon Woo-jin who has been really good in the roles that I've seen him. It looks like he's sticking with the romcom genre as of now but I don't think it's a bad idea. Sadly, I don't think Divorce Lawyer is really all that fun. I don't really find it particularly funny, nor do I find any chemistry with any of the characters which is worrying. I can see how someone might think it's funny, and I did laugh at the end of episode 2 when So Jung-woo (Yeon) went into a mental breakdown. But considering this is supposed to be a funny show, I expected the laughs to come more often. Or at least make me feel something. It's still the first two episodes and I'll probably end up watching the whole thing anyways if it doesn't flip itself on the head or anything just because I like Yeon Woo-jin that much.

Another drama that I've been watching on and off (mostly off) is Heard It Through the Grapevine. This is a satire drama about the lives of rich people. Sadly, I don't really know why I can't get hooked on this drama despite it being a theme I'm interested in. The actors are also really good, with names like Yoo Jun-sang and Go Ah-sung alongside Lee Joon and Yoo Ho-jeong. The story has been great thus far. But I'm still stuck on episode 3. Am I doomed for strictly romcom dramas from now on? Not that I'm complaining, since I do enjoy that genre and Korea can make some darn cute ones. I'm thinking it's like Misaeng all over again with watching a more serious drama during a time when I'm stressed out. Oh well. Romcoms are still cute.

I almost forgot about The Lover, the Mnet 19+ drama offering about couples living together. It's what I would call a shocking drama for sure, as it's impossible unless cable dramas existed. I thought the drama itself looked really fun, and had two actors I really like (Choi Yeo-jin and Oh Jung-se). But it's not my type of comedy (I'm rarely impressed with bathroom jokes). Maybe I was expecting too much because I've seen some people raving about how hilarious the drama is. Comedy is subjective I guess. I also found the acting to be stilted, especially from the non-actors which is understandable but hard to ignore. Rocker Jung Joon-young is a terrible actor in both instances I've seen him so I hope he doesn't act too often. Idol Takuya from the band Cross Gene is slightly better, but only because he doesn't break out of character. I've also only seen one episode of this and might catch the second week soon but I don't think I'll like it all that much though.

While I'm at it, I also want to talk about some of the dramas that I'm looking forward to the upcoming month(s). And surprise, surprise, they're all romcoms.

Ex-Girlfriend Club stars Byun Yo-han as a webtoon artist who uses his past dating experience as a heavy inspiration for his stories. His popular webtoon then gets picked up by a producer who happens to be one of those ex-girlfriends (Song Ji-hyo), and soon after his other exes come crawling in to seek revenge. Byun Yo-han definitely had a great 2014 with impressive roles in the hot cable series Misaeng and successful indie Socialphobia. This time he's coming back to tvN tackling on a romcom as the man who wrote his own death wish. It'll be really interesting see how Byun approaches romcoms as he hasn't done one before, as far as I know. As with Song Ji-hyo, I quite liked her after Emergency Couple. She's definitely one of those actors who does well in romcoms. And seeing her getting paired with such a fantastic actor might result in better performance on her part. It's directed by Kwon Seok-jang who also did Miss Korea and Pasta. Haven't finished Miss Korea, but loved Pasta despite it being an underwhelming story.

Producers is, what I feel like, the drama everyone is looking forward to. Maybe it's just me. It's a drama about the entertainment industry, specifically variety and reality shows and their producers. It stars my favorite Gong Hyo-jin alongside Cha Tae-hyun and Kim Soo-hyun as producers and singer IU as, well, a singer. It was supposed to be lead solely by Happy Together director Seo Soo-min, similar to the Reply series, but now Pyo Min-soo, director of Hogu's Love and Iris 2, is added on to the series. It will be written by My Love from Another Star writer Park Ji-eun.

I'm mostly looking forward to Gong Hyo-jin of course, but also to Cha Tae-hyun who hasn't done a drama since 2012's Jeon Woo-chi. Both Gong and Cha have always been great in the roles I've seen them so far, and if you have to nominate the king and queen of Korean romantic comedies, these two might come home with the prize. Kim Soo-hyun has enjoyed enormous popularity since his role in Dream High, but I'm looking forward to him playing a hapless lad in this one. The drama is going to have a different format, at least running time wise. It's going to be at 12 episodes with 80-minutes each. Since there hasn't been any teasers (there's only trailers out) we don't know for sure how the look of the drama would be like. But nonetheless, I'm looking forward to it.

The Hong sisters are coming back with the new drama Warm and Cozy starring Yoo Yeon-seok and Kang So-ra as two city slickers who flew out to Jeju Island to restart their lives which centers around a restaurant with the same name as the drama. The drama will be influenced by the classic Aesop's Fable The Ant and The Grasshopper, where Yoo will play a chef who will only pursue things he likes and Kang will play a hard worker who can't help but complain about her misfortunes.

The Hong sisters have a name in the industry as the go to writers for romcoms. Sadly, Big (which was 3 years ago!) sucked big time and my faith in them faltered. Thankfully, Master's Sun was much cuter and slightly more sensible, albeit the story wasn't as great their previous works. Since this drama won't be dealing with mystical forces, I'm hoping it would be a story that will at least make sense. Actors-wise, I'm not concerned. I love both Yoo Yeon-seok and Kang So-ra for how versatile they can be, so I just hope their characters are as awesome as they are. Plus, based on the released pictures thus far, they look terribly cute together.

There's also a lot of other currently airing dramas, although I don't think I'll catch any of them soon. I might watch Angry Mom since I've been hearing good things about it. Then again, I don't want to watch anything too dark at the moment, so I might either skip that or marathon it in the end. What do you think?

Note: Ack! Sorry if this post is super long. There are just so many things to talk about!


  1. Great review. We seem to have a lot of similar tastes when it comes to romantic comedy. Hoping the summer shows end up being a little funnier then the ones out now. It is a slight drought on the funny side of drama.

    1. Why thank you! And absolutely, I'm hoping so too. I'm only finding Smelly Girl funny (and adorable and exciting), while the rest is very meh.