First Impressions

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. It’s just that whenever I plan to, I can never find the time till I’m more or less done with the dramas in question. πŸ˜€

The Fiery Priest
With Chief Kim writer on board, I was tentatively hoping this could turn out to be worth watching. Well, Kim Nam Gil is doing good with his own brand of witty, but unfortunately he hasn’t got the quirky charm of Namgoong Min annnnd I HATED everything else! Status: Dropped.

Spring Turns to Spring
Kinda entertaining and Le Yoo Ri is ❀ but it just wasn’t sticky enough to… well, stick. πŸ™‚ Status: Dropped.

Item
Item didn’t actually start out too bad, but as soon as Kim Kang Woo strolled in the picture in that fake fur pimp coat I started to loose interest. One of my biggest pet peeves in stories is a teflon coated “Super Villain” and that’s what Jo Se Hwang turned out to be. He’s such a caricature Big Bad as well. Without the ‘items’ he’d just be your garden variety chaebol with a god complex. I couldn’t even see any real purpose to the character, except being a frustratingly ‘unbeatable’ antagonist. Also, I really, really hate it when the odds are so heavily stacked against the good guys, that they have snowball’s chance in hell ever getting the upper hand. I want the playing field in my crime shows to be more even for both parties right from the start. Things are way more interesting that way. The supernatural element feels very much tacked on. Drama, your tacks are showing! Status: Dropped.

Dazzling / The Light in Your Eyes
This turned out to be more serious than I originally thought it woud be, but I liked it. Despite of the certain kind of whimsey the underpinnings are more sombre, so that’ll probably keep the story grounded. Kim Hye Ja (the actress) is always good so I’m looking forward to see how things will go for her character. Could be a growing up expereince for young Hye Ja (the character), as she came off to me as kinda childish and naive. Ahn Nae Sang as another lovely dad. Drama hasn’t so far made any big statements but it is exploring what it means to be old(er). How our bodies age but our minds tend to stay at certain age. I’m not gandma Hye Ja’s age yet but I’m certainly not any spring chicken either, so I can relate to how she feels about herself after the change. The face I see in the mirror doesn’t exactly resemble the one I keep remembering, ha. Nam Joo Hyuk is bringing on his a-game again. ‘Bride of the Water God’ was just overall a mess, so I don’t think we sould hold it against him. Status: Jury is still out.

LIFE
Now we are talking! “OMG, this is SO good! Was what I kept thinking during the first two episodes. I was hoping Life would turn out to be at least as good as Forest of Secrets, as it’s by the same writer. But it’s never a given that the quality of dramas by certain writers and directors will stay consistently good. Everyone has some duds in their resumΓ©. The power politics in the big hospital is surprisingly intriguing and it sometimes feels like I’m watching a thriller, ha. I’m finding all the characters interesting, even the minor ones. None of them are caricatures, just human beings, flawed in various ways. The two young chaebol a-holes are chillingly scary and we only see brief glimpses of them. Drama didn’t need any ‘items’ or extra emphasising to make them so. The whole cast is grand! Jo Seung Woo steals every darned scene he’s in and he is so good at expressing all the facets of the complex character. One minute I hate his guts and next I’m going aaawwww. I really don’t know how to feel about Go Seung Hyo, LOL! Lil’ bro Sun Woo is going to break my heart, I just know it. Ah, Lee Kyu Hyung – you just keep giving. Lee Dong Wook isn’t doing too badly, but he is probably the weakest link here. He keeps getting overshadowed by JSW, but I guess that’s not really surprising. I love Seung Ho’s secretary, she’s a hoot. πŸ™‚ As much as I’m liking Life, I’m not as “in love” with it as I was with Forest of Secrets. Maybe it’s the setting. Medical dramas are generally not my thing. Status: A keeper

Golden Eyes
The premise sounded interestingly different and I ended up watching several episodes raw but Drama got rather repetitive and boring after a while. Dubbing is very badly done, e.g Lay’s don’t match his lip movements at all. I probably won’t keep up with it. Status: Jury is still out

Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber
Yet another rendition of Louis Cha’s novel of the same name (9th to be exact). I took a quick look and was not impressed. I have to say I don’t much care for the dramatised renditions of wuxia novels. They all seem so similar and fake. Like you know it’s not a ‘real’ world in any sense. I’m funny but I like my fantasy to be set in somewhat realistic surroundings. Well, most of the time anyway. Ever Night is a good example of how to do it to my liking.^^ Status: Dropped

7 thoughts on “First Impressions

  1. Interesting to see which dramas have clicked with you πŸ™‚ Even though its medical, I thought Life sounded like a drama you would like especially being from the Secret Forest writer. So glad to hear you’re enjoying it. Surprised by The Light in Your Eyes. I’m not really sure what to expect from that one myself. Hope it works for you too πŸ™‚

    • Very little seems to click with me these days, ha. Still, it’s good to find even on or maybe two keepers. Yeah, I did think that Life might be worth me time but as I wrote, it’s not a given that each script by the same writer will be gold. I’ve had several disappointments over the years, so these days I’m not counting my chickens till they are hatched. πŸ˜‰ Dazzling is surprisingly melo in places and some of the characters are pretty unlikeable, but so far the positves outweights the negatives. Not sure for how long though.

  2. Nice to see you tackling so many dramas, Timescout – with at least one keeper in the mix! πŸ˜€ I haven’t seen Life, coz medical dramas aren’t my thing either, but I’ve got Forest of Secrets on my list. Maybe after I watch that I’ll be up to give Life a go, lol. I’ve got The Light in Your Eyes on my list, so it’s good to see that you’re feeling tentatively positive about it. πŸ™‚

    • I decided to make an effort and actually tackle some new dramas. πŸ˜€ Not a particularly big haul as I discarded most of them pretty fast. But, if I’m left with just one, I’m more than happy with ‘Life’. ‘Forest of Secrets’ a really great drama, everything in it meshes just right. I love how the writer-nim handles her characters.

    • Yeah, that’s how it’s starting to look. Not that I’ve tried all of ’em of course but I’ve given Das Boot to all those I did try watching.

      Ossan’s Love was hilarious (there were times I laughed till I cried), yet odly poingnant. All credit to the actors who made the characters came alive. Well, the last epi was bit of a mess but at least about 1/4 of it was ok.

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