Detalhes

  • Última vez online: 12 dias atrás
  • Gênero: Feminino
  • Localização: Mexico
  • Contribution Points: 3,347 LV11
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  • Data de Admissão: Junho 3, 2018
  • Awards Received: Finger Heart Award1 Flower Award2
Completados
Minha Identidade é Beleza de Gangnam
112 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG Finger Heart Award1
Set 16, 2018
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 6
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 8.0
PLOT: Slow paced, ambitious & thought-provoking.
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This drama (as well as its source material) depicts a love story wrapped around a social critique of the often cruel role "beauty standards" play in women's daily life. Meeting those beauty standards has become a source of stress for women worldwide, but in South Korea --as this drama suggests-- not being part of the "ideal beauty" results in a harsher treatment from society. This drama also emphasizes that the expectation to look a certain way affect everyone in different ways -- with no one --regardless of whether they are considered naturally beautiful or not-- being spared.

In that respect, Mi-Rae (our female lead) isn't the shallow person the summary might imply. It takes just the first episode to understand how she became a victim of society's expectations. She didn't undergo surgery to become beautiful, she just wanted people to accept her as a "person," which is incredibly heartbreaking.

The issue that arises afterward, one which she hadn't anticipated, was that people would still judge, reject and critique her. And that's where the story takes off. We not only follow Mi Rae as she gains confidence, but also other interesting characters who'd been suffering because (or for) their looks.

It's worth noting, however, that the pacing of this show is slow compared to other rom-com dramas. I'd say it's a stretch to tag it with comedy, since the comedic moments, despite how successfully they are implemented, are few and far between. That's not to say the show is weighted down by an overload of melodrama, because it's not. Instead, this show can be described as a sliced of life focused on self-reflection which, if you're open to it, will get you emotionally invested in the characters. Be forewarned, many of the male characters in this show (and some of the female ones) will definitely rile you up on more than one occasion.

If I have one critique apart from the wardrobe, it would be the disbalance in the portrayal of the male characters. Except for a few gems, all the male characters were written like jerks and that can be off-putting. Some balanced between jerks and good guys could've helped the show feel less toxic.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Interesting & lovable
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Kang Mi Rae (female lead played by Im Soo Hyang): She's a character who's suffered all her childhood because her looks didn't meet her peer's standards. She grew up as an introvert, keeping away from people, looking at other people's lives from afar and wishing she was allowed to have fun. Her frustration drove her to seek solace under the knife and, though she now had an acceptable face in society's eyes, her insides were still bruised and broken. Mi Rae is a complex and balanced character. If push comes to shove she'll fight, but mostly she tries to fly under the radar. She's smart and almost a natural when it comes to creating perfumes, but she struggles with an inferiority complex and doesn't like standing in the limelight. Though the actress looks quite old for the role, it is worth noting that the character was conceived by the webtoon artist as having an "older girl" look, so it stays true to the original intent.

Do Kyung Suk (male lead played by Cha Eun Woo): He exists on the opposite side of the spectrum from Kang Mi Rae but also grows up feeling lonely. He's a handsome, smart, strong, kind and very straightforward guy whose isolation came as a result of presenting a front of "perfection" and "hating" anything to do with beauty (for reasons later explained). As a result, he's socially awkward, brutally honest and a harsh judge. Though, to his credit, he's a character whose pride doesn't get in the way of realizing when he's made a mistake and make amends. Though some viewers didn't like his acting, personally I found his stoic way of delivering lines grew on me more and more as the show progressed.

Yeon Woo Young (second male lead played by Kwank Dong Yeon): He's such a good character that he ends up giving Kyung Suk a run for his money. He's kind, honest, selfless and very mature. Though his character is a bit imbalanced (as in he has more strengths than flaws), he's still a lovable man who, despite his good points, doesn't come off as being "too perfect". He's a character who helps those around him without expecting anything in return, even when he's financially struggling. Overall, his charming personality earned him fans within and outside the show.

ANTAGONIST: Complex and pitiful
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Hyeon Soo Ah (second female lead played by Jo Woo Ri): She's someone stuck between Mi Rae and Kyung Suk in the spectrum of society's judgment. Though she's considered a natural beauty, she's not a stranger to suffering. Her struggles come from forcing herself to live in service of what other people expect of her. She's a character who's not only dishonest with other people, but with herself as well. Though she earned quite a bit of hate, I personally found her character very pitiful. The drama ended up brushing over her backstory, so if you're curious you can always check out the webtoon to get a better understanding of her motivations.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Slow paced, healthy & nurturing
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I mentioned before that the show is slow-paced and this is true for the romance as well. However, that pacing allows the progression of classmates to friends to lovers to feel very natural and endearing. There's a lot of cute scenes between the leads without making it cheesy, which is a plus for me.

Some highlights of the romance:
-Their relationship is always healthy.
-Both characters are new at romance, so they take their time to find their ground and, though they stumble, they do it together.
-Both learn from each other, creating a very balanced relationship.
-They learn to communicate what they want and need so the other person can understand, making their relationship not only refreshingly endearing but also nurturing.

OVERALL: Highly Recommended (and the webtoon as well)
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This is an interesting slice of life that follows a group of characters trying to find their place in the world and build the courage to live by their standards, rather than society's judgment. Though it's slow-paced, the plot is interesting and the mood is often lightened up by warm moments of affection between the leads, their families and their friends.

Keep in mind, I saw this as it was coming out. So binge watching it might give you a different experience because the plot moves slowly and the acting can sometimes come off looking/sounding very wooden. However, this is doubtlessly a memorable show that'll give you food for thought.

If you're able and willing, I'd also encourage you to read the webtoon. There's a lot of insight to be gained that will help you get a better viewing experience. There are scenes, especially at the beginning of the drama, that'll make more sense if you know the context the webtoon provides.

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Wok do Amor
74 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Jul 17, 2018
38 of 38 episódios vistos
Completados 3
No geral 8.0
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 6.0
Voltar a ver 9.0
PLOT: Successful, but it floundered
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To say the writers had the story planned out from the beginning might be a lie. I wouldn't be surprised if we learned that they were plotting the story out as they went along because it's far from perfect. Though at the beginning it leaned into melodrama, it found its ground and settled for humor (which was a good call).

That's not to say the transition wasn't entertaining to watch. To simplify it, the show is so much fun you'll ended up willing to overlook some of its glaring flaws. Most of which include entire plot points abandoned halfway without an explanation, only to introduced more plot-points that were later forgotten. If this show could be edited, I would've taken most of those out... especially the one that introduced a pretty dark subject only to brush over it and shelve it...

At any rate, despite its flaws, this is a lighthearted story that's very digestible and, more importantly, enjoyable.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Lovable
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The three charismatic main leads were given a good balance of strengths and weaknesses. And though they weren't always held accountable for their actions, they still showed some measure of growth and change as the story progressed.

Seo Poong (male lead): His character was probably the most relatable. His growth comes from falling to his lowest point and having to claw his way back up. He's equal amounts fearful and arrogant, which makes him a refreshing male lead. The fact that he shows moments of vulnerability and self-doubt goes to show that a strong character can be built through struggles. If one takes a look at his character from the first episode and compares him to who he becomes during the last episode, you'll see he was properly developed.

Dan Sae Woo (female lead): Jung Ryeo Won did a wonderful job of portraying Sae Woo's sassy attitude. Every smile and chuckle felt natural and contagious. She was also a well-rounded character, with moments of strengths balanced by moments of vulnerability. As fun as she was, out of the three main leads, I'd argue she had the least growth. As the episodes rolled by, it became increasingly obvious that she lacked self-reflection. This meant that she wasn't always held accountable for her actions. This in turn resulted in little change to her character when comparing the first episode to the last. The opportunities to develop her were there for the taking, but the writers missed every single one.

Doo Chil Seong (second male lead and the character who stole the show): Chil Seong was so charming, kind and lovable, that he out-shined and out-staged the other leads. And I don't mean as in he gave me second lead syndrome (though he did), but more like his character became the heart of the show. And how could he not? Chil Seong existed outside of the love triangle and was developed far more than the rest. He had the most interesting backstory and he was at the center of the most powerful moments of the series. Chil Seong was a magnet who -- through his charisma and selflessness-- ended up pulling the rest of the cast into his orbit. If you were hesitant to watch this because he's not the main lead, perish the thought! I have a feeling that if you watch this series, you won't regret it.

ANTAGONISTS: Unremarkable
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There's a number of antagonists, each showing a different degree of hostility towards our leads, but honestly, none of them stood out. Their purpose was to progress the story and support the narrative by adding obstacles to force our protagonists (mostly Poong) to grow. So even if they were rather superficial in their development (or lack thereof), they were a useful addition.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: shallow
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Just like with the antagonists, the support characters served a specific function within the main story and, therefore, didn't get any proper development. However, given their role, I think it was a good call to keep the story focused on the leads. Especially since not all of the support characters were likable.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Sweet, nurturing & healthy
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The romance between our leads was great. Lee Jun Ho & Jung Ryeo Won had great chemistry on screen, which made the development of the relationship feel organic. The characters' personalities also meshed pretty well, allowing them both to be equally active in the development of their relationship rather than have one character pursuing the other. In a way, it felt like they were both walking towards one another and met right in the middle.

PORTRAYAL OF BROMANCE: Heartfelt & nurturing
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The relationship between Poong and Chil Seong was a highlight of the show. Although they started on the wrong foot, Poong and Chil Seong built a strong foundation of understanding, loyalty, devotion, and support that culminated in a familial bond. The fact that Lee Jun Ho and Jang Hyuk also had great chemistry, helped sell how quickly they transitioned from friends to "bros".

OVERALL:
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This is a feel-good series. It's not a perfect by far, but it's undoubtedly entertaining and light enough to binge-watch. It's also a series that doesn't ask too much of its audience, which makes it a perfect show to watch after coming home from a hard/stressful day.

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Venha e Me Abrace
161 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Jul 19, 2018
32 of 32 episódios vistos
Completados 12
No geral 10
História 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 10
PLOT: Masterful
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This series is among the best of the best. It is one of those rare shows where every episode matters. The plot was never left hanging in order to extend the series. Instead, every single scene was developed in service of the narrative.

The transitions from tension-filled scenes to sweeter ones was flawless. It made watching the series easy and enjoyable. The narrative was also organic, with nothing feeling forced or out of place.

Overall, prepare yourself. This drama will demand your complete attention, push you to the edge of your seat, steal your breath away and have you rooting for more than just the main leads.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Memorable
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The main leads were remarkably three dimensional. They were given as many strengths as weaknesses and every single one made sense. The development of the characters was consistent and coherent. Every action had a lasting consequence, and every instinctive reaction demanded a hefty price.

Yoon Na Moo (male lead, aka Chae Do Jin): His complex character was handled masterfully. He was presented as a sympathetic and strong figure, but realistically so. The best way I could describe him is with the saying, "courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of it." Throughout the short series, this character struggled with his inner fears but accepted his vulnerabilities rather than hide them. He was strong precisely because he was afraid... but he didn't let that fear rule him.

Gil Nak Won (female lead, aka Han Jae Yi): Despite her tragic backstory, she was well written and very well portrayed. She's strong, not because she got over her past, but because she's able to face her present while accepting what happened. Her strength is quiet and subtle; allowing her actions to show her defiance rather than voice them loudly. She's also very nurturing towards Na Moo and I love that she never once runs from her problems, but faces them head-on. Because of the nature of the story, Na Moo's side of the story was more intense, but she is without a doubt one of the strongest female leads I've seen in Kdramas so far.

ANTAGONIST: Imposingly petrifying
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Yoon Hui Jae (ML's father): Heon Joon Ho deserves an award for his performance. Every time he stepped into a scene, he dominated and filled it with almost palpable tension. He cast a terrifying shadow over every character, continually reminding you that he was a prowling beast ready to strike. Forget Hollywood "horror" movies and "frightful" tv shows. From now on, Yoon Hui Jae is my new standard for blood-curdling terror.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Relatable & complex
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Though this series has an amazing cast of characters that bring something of importance to the table, I'll focus on the top three characters that merit a special recognition...

Chae Ok Hee (ML's adoptive mother): Talk about a character caught between a sword and a hard place. Her performance was absolutely brilliant and her character was probably the most relatable. Ok Hee is going to go down as the definition of a strong mother. She's a testament that water can be thicker than blood and, when push comes to shove, any mother will pull her claws out to protect her children.

Yoon Hyun Moo (ML's brother): Kim Kyung Nam deserves an award for his superb performance. Alongside Hui Jae, he stole the show for me. He had some of the most powerful scenes and the strength he displayed was of a different kind than usual. He was a sacrificial character (a spot almost always reserved for the female lead) but with a strong purpose. He loves, selflessly and fully, without expecting anything from anyone in return. I found myself hurting alongside him and rooting for him throughout most of the show.

Gil Moo Won (FL's brother): Another character that stood out with his complexity and excellent portrayal. We were given his backstory in small doses until the picture was completed. This was a character that lingered in his pain but who was strong enough to accept and ask for help when things got tough. He understood and empathized with Hyun Moo because they were both shades of grey, which gave them an undeniable bond. The fact that he plays off of Hyun Moo so well, made me wish they could've shared more screentime together.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Sweet & nurturing
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The relationship between Na Moo and Nak Won was exceptionally balanced. It was an exchange of giving and taking; of want and need. They were loving, sweet and nurturing towards one another. They were also both hurting and, rather than taking the easy way out by keeping away from each other, they actively decided to pave a path out together. The quote: "You lean on me, I'll lean on you and we'll be okay" is enough to describe this beautiful relationship.

Here are some of the highlights:
1) They each have moments where one of them is vulnerable and the other strong; so it never feels one-sided.
2) There are no misunderstandings because they communicate with each other in a very honest and straightforward way.
3) The chemistry between them makes their relationship feel natural together. You can tell how much they care for each other with every stolen glance, soft smile and lingering touch.

HORROR FACTOR: Off the chart.
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You better be prepared to hold your breath and curl your toes whenever Yoon Hui Jae steps into the scene, is all I'm saying.

OVERALL: This is a masterpiece.
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The art direction is Hollywood quality (I'd say it even surpasses it). The framing, colors and lighting enhance the message communicated. So if you know what you're looking for, you'll be amazed at the attention to detail.

The music has also been carefully selected, used to amplify a feeling rather than distract. The ambient sounds help enhance the atmosphere, drawing you into the scene and forcing you to live it alongside the character.

Add to that the interesting story, superb characters and amazing acting you'll get a series that you'll not soon forget. Re-watch value for this is also quite high.

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Completados
Rugal
53 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Mai 24, 2020
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 5
No geral 4.0
História 1.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Musical 6.0
Voltar a ver 1.0

Tell, why show?

Unfortunately, Rugal is a drama that demands you turn off your brain and just go with the flow. I only finished this one because of the world pandemic (unable to go out) coupled with the convenience of airing on Netflix. Unless you're looking for a mindless action-fest, you'd be better off moving to better things.

PLOT: A Plot Hole Fest Served with Bad Writing
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The drama started with some promise, if not originality, but went downhill fast when it began to rely too much on action, eye candy, and special effects to make up for the writer's lack of experience and painfully simplistic narrative. The story really makes no sense and left no impression. Things happened because "reasons", twists were added because "why not?" and characters acted and reacting according to the "rule of cool" rather than logic.

If you are looking for a well-thought-out, or at the very least decent story, this is certainly not it.

CHARACTERS: Simplistic, Inconsistent and Unrelatable
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Rather than go through each character individually, I'll talk about them in general since none of them really stood out. One of the show's biggest flaw is the writer's inability to create complex characters. Consequently, they all feel borderline cartoony. Think shonen anime where the only focus of the writer is to pile love and adoration onto Gang Gi Bum (ML), who I'm almost certain became Do Hyun's (the writer's) self-insert (aka Gary Sue).

Gang Gi Bum quickly becomes the sole focus of the story, the strongest among all the Rugal members, adored by both allies and enemies... he is a walking plot-line -- or rather, a stumbling one. You can connect every story to him in an egotistical way which not only grew old fast, but allowed no room to develop any other characters.

Perhaps the biggest aggrievance of all was the disservice rendered towards the four female characters who appear on more than one episode of this drama --none of which were unfortunately fleshed out or given agency.

The two female "antagonists", for example, were useless. Argo's chairman's treatment was especially jarring. We were often told by other characters that she was cool, that she shouldn't be underestimated, that "you don't know what she's capable of" only to be shown... absolutely nothing. Again, the writer wanted to claim she's strong/cool/influential without actually giving her agency to show those things. And it's the same thing with Susan, the female scientist of the show. Where we're told by other characters all these things about her personality because she doesn't even have enough air time to develop her...

Of course, the most inconsistent was poor Song Mi Na, the lone female member of Rugal. She went from being the second-best of the team to become the weakest link; complete with a few badass in distress scenes --which were promptly excused by the writer though characters exchanging comments regarding "how strong she is" and how "impressed they were with her". In so doing, the Do Hyun created a laughable cop-out for only showing her distress and having all her badassery apparently happen off-screen...

At the end of the day, the lack of depth the entire cast of characters was riddled with meant I couldn't connect, relate, or even care for any of them. I was never rooting for them to succeed. I was also unconcern whenever they were "in danger". They were wrapped in such a thick layer of plot armor, that it stood to reason they would come out victorious in the end. Heck, even the characters seem keenly aware of their plot armor (especially the ML) because they never displayed an ounce of fear, which marks an author as lacking experience and the confidence of putting his beloved characters through the grinder.

Which leads us to the next point.

WRITING: Amature. Tell, why show?
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I could tell right away the writer didn't have experience because he relied a lot on exposition. Meaning he spoon-fed the audience the story through character dialogues rather than having us reach the conclusion he wanted through scene development.

A good writer will show, rather than tell. If he wants us to feel bad for a character, he'll dedicate time to showing how the character suffers rather than having him say "I'm so sad" in a short conversation. Although the process of showing will be longer, the result will be more powerful.

Simply put, if the audience is not moved to tears when a character cries on the screen... then the emotional buildup wasn't done correctly. In this case, telling us what the characters were feeling through dialogues resulted in a sense of disbelief and disconnect, which made me unable to empathize with any of them.

OVERALL [TL;DR]
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Learn from my painful experience and skip this one if you're looking for a good show. The writing is atrocious, the fights grew old fast, the plot is messy and inconsistent, the characters lack complexity... In fact, the only thing Rugal has going for it was the eye candy, which suffered when they went full emo style with the ML. But even these leather-clad men aren't worth muscling through the diary of a fourteen-year-old who self-inserted into a fantasy where he's the center of the universe; men want to be his sidekicks, women want to bed him, enemies fall in love with him and everything happens based only on the "rule of cool".

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Um Amor De Bruxa
18 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Ago 31, 2018
12 of 12 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 6.0
História 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 6.0
PLOT: Superficial and light-hearted
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The story is simple, straightforward and pretty light-hearted. Which means the narrative barely touches the surface of the problems the protagonists are presented with. A few plot points even got abandoned with no explanation; a staple of lazy writing coupled with unmet ambition and an unclear story structure.

However, every now and then we need a drama that doesn't ask anything from us. A drama we can binge watch when we're tired and just want to have a good time. So if you're in the mood for a short and simple drama, this is a decent enough choice.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Fun but shallow
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The three leads are and remain two-dimensional. Though some characters (essentially Ma Sung Tae, the male lead) earn some growth, it's really not enough to add real complexity. However, the lack of character depth fits the lighthearted tone of the show. Keep in mind that, precisely because the characters are shallow, the acting (or lack thereof) won't really leave much of an impression.

Kang Cho Hong (female lead played by Yoon So Hee): She's cute, has power-infused charm, physical strength (provided by magic) and a generous heart. She's also naïve and immature, with the rules of her powers forcing her to be dependant on "finding love". Thankfully, her charms supersede her immaturity, leaning her towards a likable --albeit very flawed lead.

Ma Sung Tae (male lead played by Hyun Woo): Though he's an interesting character, it does take a while to get used to the actor. Take that with a grain of salt since whether you enjoy his acting depends on your personal taste. While some of us found his acting wooden and awkward, others loved him and swooned at his scenes. That said, Sung Tae is a chaebol whose secretly craving love. He's logical, gentle and, most importantly, willing to learn, adapt and change his views. He's also stubborn, arrogant and short-tempered.

Hwang Jae Wook (second male lead played by Hong Bin): He's a kind, selfless and handsome artist who's stuck in the underdog position when it comes to courting Cho Hong. Of course, he's also shown to be childish, irresponsible and immature. Out of the three leads, he's the most undeveloped and, perhaps because of that, he comes across as generic. He's a character that you can't really hate nor love and who's ultimately unmemorable.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Comic relief
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They were incredibly shallow but they did add some needed flavor to the overall story.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Realistically immature
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Despite the urban fantasy setting, the romance was portrayed realistically. Which means the leads had to deal with misunderstandings, many of which were caused by poor communication. Thankfully, the misunderstandings got resolved fast in large part due to Ma Sung Tae's earnestness to make things work. He was habitually the one pushing Cho Hong to explain "what he did wrong" so he could "set things right".

If you're looking for a romance where both characters are active (and invested) in developing their relationship, then you'll enjoy this one. Even if it's not memorable, their relationship is fun and nurturing, with both characters putting their hearts on the line to make things work.

And if you're hesitating due to the love triangle, then be at ease. Kang Cho Hong is very assertive, so she doesn't flip-flop between the men.

OVERALL: Recommended as an absurdly light drama
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This isn't a unique or memorable drama. It's not even well structured. It has flaws in logic and, sadly, the main conflict gets resolved in a very absurd way (possibly due to the writers running out of time or ideas).

Nonetheless, for the most part, the drama is entertaining. A key to enjoying the show is to lower your expectations to avoid disappointments. So if you're tired and are looking for something very light to kill time, you might want to check this one out.

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O Espião Que Me Amava
35 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Dez 17, 2020
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 1
No geral 6.0
História 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Musical 6.0
Voltar a ver 4.0

A well-structured but boring watch

PLOT: Starts entertaining, but sizzles out pretty darn fast
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Jun Ji Hoon (the ML) is an Interpol undercover agent working on a case that involves his Ah Reum's (his ex-wife's) close friend. When the job goes south, Ji Hoon is forced to keep a close eye on Ah Reum (the FL), reigniting his feelings for her in the process.

In the wake of a tragedy, Ah Reum decides to unofficially investigate the suspicious circumstances of her friend's death. The trail leads her to reconnect with Ji Hoon, her ex-husband, and then later to suspect Derek Hyun, her current husband, of being involved in her friend's death.

If you go by the summary, one would imagine this show to be Male-centric, since we know right off the bat that the Male Lead and Second Male Lead are both secret agents on opposing sides. And to a certain extent, the story begins with them. Yet Kang Ah Reum's character becomes the best thing about this show and the heart of the story until we cross into the second half.

Unfortunately, there's nothing memorable about this drama aside from the depiction of a consistently strong Female Lead, who just so happens to also be kind of boring and a bit self-centered.

While we could blame the incorporation of comedy as one of the weakest points, it's the bland characters that hurt this drama the most.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Simple, dull, and unengaging
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Kang Ah Reum:
An ambitious wedding dress designer who works hard to keep her business afloat, Ah Reum is not only smart, charming, and hardworking; but she's also stubborn, uncompromising, and committed to a cause. For a Female Lead, Ah Reum is always actively involved in the plot and, one could even say; she one-ups both Male Leads on multiple occasions. Credit where credit is due, the writer managed to keep Ah Reum from becoming the "victim" of the male leads' deceitfulness. That doesn't mean she doesn't feel hurt when she figures out both men lied to her, but rather that she isn't defined by that pain. Unfortunately, after a while, her character just falls flat and becomes boring. Her wishy-washy attitude towards the male leads certainly doesn't help. And she starts to showcase some flaws as we cross into the second half, during which she's shown to be self-centered, petty, and judgemental.

Jun Ji Hoon:
An undercover Interpol agent who's introduced as the ace of his team and Ah Reum's ex-husband. Unlike your typical Male Lead, Ji Hoon has been written with enough flaws to balance his strengths. He's a master of combat, smart, and loyal; but he's also emotionally-driven, ridden with guilt, and lonely due to his sacrificial nature. Outside of his love for Ah Reum, however, there's nothing of substance to his character. And let's just say there are even a few occasions where I wondered if he was referred to as the "ace" in a sarcastic way. Don't get me wrong, he's always a sweet character, but he's ultimately the most boring.

Derek Hyun:
He's Ah Reum's current husband and a corporate spy working for an underground group who's wanted by Interpol. He's a master of disguise; charming and sweet, who has been groomed from a very young age in the art of deceit. And it's precisely how easy that smile lights his face that makes him a dangerous spy. For one never knows if he'll offer a hug one second and stab you in the back with the next. Out of all the characters, he was the most interesting but also the less explored.

Although the three of them may read quite impressive on paper, they failed to be fleshed out properly. Like I've mentioned, Derek comes closest to an intriguing protagonist, especially on those few occasions when he narrates his thoughts and exposes his contradicting feelings. But being locked in the wretched love triangle hurts his story; as his identity crisis (being a loving husband vs being a cold-blooded spy) is never dealt with properly. Especially because the drama reminds us constantly that he's the second male lead and we all know what that means, right?

With leads me to talk about the weakest part of the drama...

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Uncommitted & boggled down by the Love Triangle
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If you're not tolerant of a love triangle that drags throughout most of the story, then this one will test your patience. Add to that the fact that it's never made clear who Ah Reum loves from the two men (up until the very end), and this draggy mess of a romance becomes boring fast.

Ah Reum is certainly loyal to Derek, but at some point, it felt more of a commitment of the mind than of the heart. Long before certain events took place, it was clear she felt like she was "stuck" with Derek rather than she wanted to be with him. Which was a disservice to both characters and their relationship.

On the other hand, Ah Reum's feelings of guilt towards Ji Hoon, whom she felt she discarded when their relationship got too hard, makes her constantly gravitate to him more organically. And because Ji Hoon is still in love with her, their relationship felt like infidelity in progress --which is a hard sell for someone intolerant to cheating portrayed as romantic.

It's clear that reconnecting with Ji Hoon and finding out the real reason they broke up shook Ah Reum's heart enough to tempt her. Which caused her relationship with Derek to feel like a settlement of responsibility rather than actual love.

It doesn't help that the love triangle feels forced and unfair towards both male leads; who lose their identity by becoming little more than love interests.

The desire of the writer to keep both prospects equals in terms of pain also meant that most of the emotional aspect of Derek's story was left unexplored. Even worst, Ji Hoon got an uncompelling, watered-down version of Derek's story to keep him in the "running" for the audience's sympathy.

Needless to say, I didn't enjoy the romance at all, which is a problem since that's a big part of the dull plot.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Unmemorable
--------------------------------------------------------------
There's not much to say about them except that they provided a few comedic moments. Ultimately, though, they were unremarkable.

ANTAGONISTS: Predictable & riddled with clichés
--------------------------------------------------------------
The drama had too many antagonists and, as a result, they all felt shallow, cliched, and uninspired in their execution. None of them stood out or left an impression. How could they? There were so many, there was simply no time to make them unique or even slightly interesting, for that matter.

The only one who was mildly interesting because of his eccentricity was Jang Doo Bong, who showed Hyun Joon has some great acting chops.

OVERALL: Draggy and forgettable
--------------------------------------------------------------
I think the drama struggled to create a good enough story for me to recommend it. This feels more character-driven than plot-driven, yet the characters themselves lack complexity or at least something interesting to make them stand out. The bland story, coupled with the uninteresting characters, made this drama a difficult one to muscle through. The pacing slowed and dragged even more once it crossed into the second half. So if this drama doesn't pique your interest during the first four episodes, chances are you won't enjoy the rest.

Perhaps The Spies Who Loved Me needed to have fewer characters to properly flesh out the important ones? Or maybe they could've gotten rid of the whole love triangle business sooner, so we could focus on the plot and the "twist" (I'm being generous by calling it that)?

Though Derek's story was the only interesting aspect, it wasn't original. Episode 15 may have touched lightly upon identity crisis, but it was never fully delved into. It's a shame because that aspect showed potential for an enjoyable watch. But the fact that he wasn't the Male Lead also meant his airtime was limited in service of giving Ji Hoon (a much less interesting character) more screentime.

While Ah Reum was certainly a strong female character, ultimately she was just as uninteresting as her male counterpart. I never felt emotionally invested in any of their stories. Even when the characters were in pain, the portrayal of hurt seemed superficial and irrelevant. There were also a TON of cringy moments when it came to the bromance; a relationship that seemed built for kicks & comedy at best, and queer-baiting at worst. Although the last few episodes did show a sweeter relationship between the guys.

All in all, I can't recommend this drama if you're looking for an interesting plot. But if you enjoy love-triangles and don't mind a bland story, this one might strike your fancy.

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Bom Disfarce
49 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Jun 17, 2020
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 2
No geral 5.0
História 6.0
Acting/Cast 3.0
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 1.0
PLOT: Old-school and well-presented, but ultimately unengaging
--------------------------------------------------------------
Let me start by saying that I struggled to watch this drama as it aired, though I paced myself as best I could. This drama was weird to experience for me. Although I finished it the day the last episode came out, I did so without any joy (much to my disappointment).

On paper, the show should've been right up my alley. You get three strong female leads, supported by male leads who never steal their limelight, up against a threatening enemy who really hurt two of our protagonists... Yet, the story fell flat for me. I found myself easily distracted. As a result, one-hour episodes took me almost three hours to finish.

Technically speaking, the main plot was well structured even if predictable and most questions were properly answered. Of course, there were also some subplots introduced at odd places and dealt with a bit offhandedly (like the bullying, for example) which we can mark as flaws.

However, it was evident from the start, that this show required effort and patience for me to sit through. I found the humor a bit too silly and the plot a bit too boring. I thought I'd get into it as the story progressed, but I was wrong. I felt the show couldn't commit to a tone and therefore I didn't find my footing as an audience.

Perhaps I watched this show when I was simply not in the mood for this type of drama? Or maybe this type of drama is simply not for me? At any rate, one thing is for sure, if you aren't enjoying this show by episode 3 or 4, chances are that --like me-- you won't enjoy the rest.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Not very deep
--------------------------------------------------------------
Although I appreciated this show focused on three female leads, they were still not fleshed-out enough for me to perceive them as more than a caricature. Don't get me wrong, there were moments where I thought I'd empathized with them (and I should've!) but there was a disconnect for me between what I was being shown and the acting. That meant that when characters cried, I wasn't moved.

Baek Chan Mi: She's a badass lady who is obsessed with her job and, within that, revenge. While I appreciated all the badass fighting scenes she starred in, I often found myself distracted by her acting. Partly because my brain kept telling me there was something strange with her face (surgery, I supposed) but mostly because I simply couldn't connect with her in any scene.

Im Ye Eun: She's the team's rookie, a single mom without a family who struggles to step up to the plate and help out her teammates. I liked her character but felt she lacked dimension. She was nice and smart, but she wasn't memorable. I expected her to grow even more confident, but I don't think she did at all.

Hwang Mi Soon: she's the oldest of the team, the breadwinner of her family who has to pretend she has a regular job. Although she was often used as comic relief, her acting stood out to me. I found myself feeling a bit bad during her moments of vulnerability. Unfortunately, her issues were a very small part of the plot.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: forgettable
--------------------------------------------------------------
The support characters were forgettable, really. The only one I found charming was Byun Woo Suk, the ML's secretary. He got a bit of development towards the end of the show and those flashbacks made me wished we'd gotten more scenes between him and Yoon Suk Ho (the ML).

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: childish, but a bit toxic
--------------------------------------------------------------
There are three romantic relationships depicted in the drama, each pertaining to one of our leading ladies.

Baek Chan Mi X Yoon Suk Ho: their relationship relied on their childhood connection. Chan Mi used to be Suk Ho's tutor and childhood friend. This relationship has the most screentime and development, mostly through flashbacks provided through the epilogues. Although the romance is mostly sweet, I found it a bit boring. Towards the end, however, there are some questionable scenes where Suk Ho takes control of the relationship which didn't settle all that well with me. Let's just say possessiveness shouldn't be confused with confidence, less so with love.

Im Ye Eun x Gang Woo Won: take the following with a grain of salt, as this relationship was popular based on the comment section of the show at the time this aired. That said, I didn't like it. Woo Won can be described as a man child, one who often gaslighted and manipulated Ye Eun to get her to do his bidding. I'm not a fan of characters who are incapable of accepting their emotions (emotionally incompetent, if you will), and even less of those who push their emotions on someone else. Though I'd hope Woo Won would grow as a character, the truth is... he didn't. But then again, none of the characters really grew, so no surprise there.

Hwang Mi Soon x Nam Bong Man (I had to look up his name, and I'm assuming I'm right and this guy was Mi Soon's husband. Please correct me if I'm wrong). Anyhow, this relationship was depicted as realistic but... problematic. Mi Soon never seemed happy to be with her husband and when he started to suspect she may be having an affair, the entire thing was treated as a joke. So, naturally, I disliked that the issue was never really brought up or talked about.

OVERALL: On the fence...
--------------------------------------------------------------
This is the first time that I struggle with putting my thoughts on paper. I opted to write a review rather than leave a comment so I could try, as much as I could, to give a snapshot of how I feel about this show.

Though I didn't like it, I can't easily encourage you to skip it. Based on the comment section, I may be in the minority (and trapped in the twilight zone) when it comes to this drama. I can safely say I didn't hate it... but I also didn't enjoy watching it (from the first episode to the last, my indifference remained).

Why did I continue to watch, you may ask? Because I WANTED to like it, given so few dramas have more than one female character in their roasters, let alone acting as their leads! I gave this show a chance and I don't regret it, though a month from now, I'll probably not even remember this story, the characters or the acting.

So my best and only advice would be to watch the first 3-4 episodes and see if you liked them. If you're engaged by then, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the show. If, however, you found them boring or found the humor lacking, then you may be better off skipping this one.

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Advogado Sem Lei
14 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Jul 12, 2018
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 10
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 10
PLOT: Action-driven & engaging
--------------------------------------------------------------
For a revenge story involving political corruption, Lawless Lawyer is surprisingly optimistic. Although perhaps calling it revenge is misleading. After all, Bong Sang Pil --our charismatic main lead-- makes clear from the start that he's not seeking revenge, but justice. This point is emphasized throughout the series, separating an instinctive reaction (revenge and anger) from an emotional action (ensuring the end of corruption for the greater good).

In that respect, the story is quite simple. The main protagonists are aware of who the antagonists are from the get-go. Therefore, they have a clear goal and the only thing left to discover is how to solve the problem at hand. Fortunately, the plot wasn't drawn out unnecessarily or bogged down with an overload of melodrama. There was just the right amount of action, comedy, intrigue, drama, and romance to keep the series pretty light. This means that this is a series you can easily binge-watch.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Refreshing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bong Sang Pil (male lead): his character was one of the biggest surprises, refreshingly so. He proved to be a well rounded and balanced character. On the one hand, he can take care of himself in a fight without breaking a sweat, he's confident and charming. On the other, he's straightforward, honest, emotional and fearful of risking people to achieve his goal. Bong Sang Pil is not perfect. He makes plenty of mistakes and, most importantly, he is held accountable for all of them.

Ha Jae Yi (female lead): her character was also refreshingly consistent. She was introduced with a bang, which set the foundation of her character. But unlike the fates of the female leads in other dramas, she never loses that badass quality. Like Bong Sang Pil, she's a balanced character. Equal amounts capable and emotional; Ha Jae was not only very mature and rational throughout most of the series, but she was also very gentle and nurturing towards Bong Sang Pil (who loved every second of it!). She's also someone who's confident in her knowledge and ability, but who's also humble enough to accept she doesn't have all the answers. When Bong Sang Pil puts her knowledge to the test, she's open-minded enough to tackle every uncomfortable issue head-on, unwilling to compromise the truth for the sake of convenience.

ANTAGONISTS & SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Interesting
--------------------------------------------------------------
Antagonists and enemies were very fleshed out. I don't want to go into detail so you can meet and discover them yourself (else I end up spoiling something). I'll just add that they were all shades of grey (to a different degree), corrupted by a system that allowed it so. I know some people found some of the acting awkward, but I didn't mind it at all. Sure, some characters were a bit cartoony in their portrayal but that just made it fun! There were also quite a number of support characters, but their involvement didn't detract or took away the focus from the main characters.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Healthy, nurturing and balanced
--------------------------------------------------------------
This is an important point for me when watching dramas with romance in them. In this case, the relationship progressed fast but naturally. The chemistry between the leads was off the chart, which helped weave their romance into the story without it feeling forced or disruptive. Here are some of the highlights:

1) Bong Sang Pil was very sweet towards Ha Jae from the start and there's a good reason for it.
2) The chemistry between the leads was depicted through subtle, yet natural gestures. You could tell how much he valued her with every look and smile he gave her. You could tell how much she valued him whenever she caressed his arm and squeezed his shoulder.
3) The relationship between the leads was nurturing. They were partners in an equal give and take relationship. When Bong Sang Pil was vulnerable, Ha Jae supported him, when she was weak, he was there to keep her whole. It was incredibly balanced and satisfying because they both had something to gain from being together.

OVERALL: Solid 10
--------------------------------------------------------------
The art direction was great: from the framing to the colors to the music... everything worked. The action scenes were also very good, coordinated and well choreographed. All the characters brought something to the table and I found myself unable to hate anyone. Even the antagonists were interesting to watch because they each followed a clear set of morals and rules. Though the ending was a bit anticlimactic, it still provided all that it set out to accomplish. Though there were some loose ends, I suspect it was done intentionally in the hopes of getting a second season (which I personally wouldn't mind).

Overall I still give it a solid 10 and would definitely watch it again.

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Vinte Novamente
10 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Ago 11, 2018
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 2
No geral 6.0
História 6.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 4.0
PLOT: Drawn-out & disappointing
--------------------------------------------------------------
I was a victim of my expectations with this drama. When I read the synopsis I was very excited because I thought I'd be watching a refreshing story told from the perspective of older characters. Sadly, I got the same old story --with typical problems, misunderstandings, and plot cliches-- awkwardly delivered by older leads.

On the surface, the story focuses on Ha No Ra. A woman whose world threatened to crumble at 38 after her husband asks for a divorce. In an effort to save her marriage, Ha No Ra decides to go to college so she could "match her intellect" to her husband's. At its core, it promised an interesting and powerful story: the loss of a woman's individual identity after becoming a mother and the struggle to find her place in the world now that her child has grown up.

The first half of the drama was interesting because it dealt with the issue of her identity crisis. However, halfway through the drama, it became evident the subject wasn't to be touched beyond the shallow surface. Like many k-dramas, the story suffered from unnecessary plots-points, poorly handled subject and misunderstandings that got drawn out way longer than they should've. There were so many problems that could've been avoided if the characters had simply talked to one another, that it soured my experienced and ultimately annoyed me.

Though the story took a turn I wasn't expecting, rather than surprised, I was simply disappointed.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Frustratingly dishonest
--------------------------------------------------------------
The three main characters are an acquired taste. I didn't like any of them at first, then they sort of grew on me. "Sort of"… as in my endearment fluctuated as constantly as their change of hearts did.

Ha No Ra (female lead, played by Choi Ji Woo): It took me a couple of episodes to get used her character. Maybe it's a cultural clash, but her childish tantrums were jarring and a total turnoff. Since she was an older woman, I expected her to act more maturely. That is not to say she shouldn't be fun, just that I expected her to at least think before acting. Instead, she responded in the typical k-drama female lead's fashion: she screamed, stomped and pouted whenever something didn't work her way...

Cha Hyeon Seok (male lead played by Lee Sang Yoon): Out of the three leads, he was possibly the most engaging and the reason why I kept watching. That's not to say his character was perfect. Far from it. His constant fluctuation between running melting hot one second and cold as ice the next got old fast. His immaturity also wore down my patience. However, the moments when he was sweet and caring were doubtlessly the highlights of the show.

Kim Woo Cheol (played by Choi Won Young): He was an interesting character because he was consistently flawed. He was also always held accountable for his actions. Though he played the part of an antagonist for the most part, he was never consciously cruel and he did come to regret his thoughtless actions. Though he was a good character, he wasn't very memorable.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Shallow but likable
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There's really not much to say about them. They contributed to the story, some more than others, but remained shallow. Frankly, I would've preferred to have seen fewer characters but with more screen time.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Served hot & cold with a side of childish
--------------------------------------------------------------
The romance was childish and immature. There were some very sweet --albeit cliché moments. But they were often followed or preceded by cold words, jerk actions and tons of misunderstandings.

In a nutshell, the courting between the leads felt like watching two emotionally stunted adults try their hand at accepting and confessing their love for one another. So you pretty much get the hypothetical (although in this case, somewhat literal) scene of the guy pulling on the girl's pigtails because he wants attention, and the girl screaming at the guy to leave then thinking he's a cold jerk for leaving...

OVERALL: On the fence...
--------------------------------------------------------------
Honestly, I hesitate to recommend this show. On the one hand, I've seen worst dramas and I did finish this one without skipping any scenes (though I was tempted). On the other hand, the story didn't deliver on its promise and quickly turned into a generic plot delivered by childish (sometimes cringy) characters. Though it did have powerful moments, they weren't enough to elevate this drama to more than an "okay" show.

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Alice na Fronteira
149 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Dez 15, 2020
8 of 8 episódios vistos
Completados 36
No geral 6.5
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Musical 6.0
Voltar a ver 5.0

Interesting but Unmemorable

Let me start with some disclaimers because, as you'll find out, my rating for this mini-series is much lower than the majority of other reviewers/raters. Suffice it to say I have always struggled with Japanese Dramas.

I think their stories are interesting -- especially those that delve into the dark psychological aspects of human nature. However, almost all, without exception, have failed to elicit any emotion from me. For whatever reason, I often find that characters in J-Dramas fall flat. Alice in Borderland, unfortunately, is no exception.

Another important thing of note is that this review pertains only to this drama. I'm aware the story is based on a manga that I have not read, and the truth is told, I don't plan to check out. So keep in mind that I jumped into this series without knowing anything about it.

PLOT: Interesting, albeit left mostly unexplored
--------------------------------------------------------------
The world (aka country/reality) in which this drama takes place is hands down the most interesting aspect of this series. So much so, that wanting to know more about the world and explore it through the "escape rooms" game-dynamic kept me engaged enough to finish this one in three days.

Sadly, the series had to juggle too many characters, so the world itself was left vastly unexplored. Of course, this is only the beginning and I've heard rumors of a second season, so they may simply want to keep some mysteries to resolve in the sequel. If so, I'll probably watch it in hopes of getting some answers to my numerous questions, though I won't really be holding my breath for it.

CHARACTERS: Flat and forgettable
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than talk about each of the main characters, I'll talk about them as a whole, since they all share the same problem and that is... none of them are really fleshed out.

You could blame the length of the drama, certainly. But that would be a cheap excuse. These characters lack complexity and it was that alone that made me feel nothing for them. They could've all died by the end and I wouldn't have shed a single tear.

Now, there was an attempt at building emotion. But it felt superficial, rushed, and "formulaic". I knew when a character was going to be axed because we got to hear their sob story through a quick dialogue with another character.

To be frank, if you like being engaged by the characters this Drama may fall short for you. But if you don't mind simple characters we don't really "get to know", so long as the world they inhabit is interesting, then this will make a decent watch.

MALE VS FEMALE CHARACTERS: Problematic
--------------------------------------------------------------
I want to take a moment to express a problem I have with Japanese Dramas. Mind you, I haven't tried that many... but my avoidance of them has to do precisely with the reasons I'm about to briefly delve into.

This Drama is male-centric. Meaning, male characters tend to be given more depth than female characters. As such, the drama gave almost every male character some kind of motivation which explained why they made each of their decisions.

Unfortunately, female characters were left unexplored and at times, downright untouched. Even Usagi (the FL) was stripped from giving her depth by focusing her flashbacks on her father, rather than on her own life/aspirations. There's only one female character (a transgender gal) who was given a brief but beautiful story. Her aside, though, female characters were depicted as disposable, selfish, useless, and/or simple eye-candy.

Unlike female characters, male characters were usually portrayed in a nobler way. Even minor male characters were shown willing to sacrifice themselves for other men/friends. While female characters were killed off for reasons verging on the absurd (like showing the audience the dangers of a room, for example). I don't want to add spoilers here, but if you're interested to know more, add a comment and I'll explain using the spoiler tags.

FRAMING: toxic male gaze
--------------------------------------------------------------
The above points lead me to talk about how the Drama was directed because it's one of the most problematic areas and maybe the aspect that spoiled my enjoyment the most.

Many of the decisions here were taken with the idea that "sex sales" and, of course, most times that means female bodies will be exploited. So as the series crossed into the last quarter (when they reach the beach), a rule was set that everyone should walk around in a bathing suit to ensure "no one can hide any weapons".

The result was having most female characters walk around in small bikinis while male characters got to wear baggy trunks and shirts. The fact that they didn't march around shirtless nullified the supposed "purpose/logic" of the rule. To the point where we even see a few of these male characters taking out weapons from the back of their swimming trunks...

But perhaps more intolerable than this was a scene that involved what would've been a gang-rape had the scene not been interrupted. Luckily, the director decided not to undress the character who gets kidnapped and almost assaulted (which I believe is supposed to be an underage girl).

Yet, the entire scene still felt crass because the camera hovered over the assailant's shoulder, making the audience complicit by showing the scene from his POV instead of the victim's. The result is that sexual assault ends up portrayed as something quasi-erotic, rather than as something horrific that is happening to the victim. This didn't settle well with me, as this has been a technique I thought we'd move past with the rise of the #metoo movement...

OVERALL: On the fence
--------------------------------------------------------------
To be honest, this one is a tough one to recommend without putting on the table all the additional notes/flaws I've pointed out in this review. I think the world is interesting enough to make this drama watchable --binge-watchable even!-- and the "escape room" games were hands-down the best part.

However, the characters are not memorable or even original. They felt cartoonish to me and ultimately unengaging. I also hated the directing and the constant "butt framing". The disparity in how the genders were handled was especially jarring, so I wouldn't recommend this one if you care about that at all.

I also think this show calls for some trigger warnings because we see: attempted gang rape, executions, and a number of shootouts that may hit close to home to someone living in the USA; as it is reminiscent of many real schools shootouts in the way they were portrayed. So keep all that in mind if you decide to watch. If any of these things trigger you, I'll recommend staying away from this one.

If, on the other hand, you don't care about these things and like watching psychological mysteries (which are constructed like anime), then you'll probably really enjoy this one.

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Tramas do Passado
18 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Dez 2, 2019
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 5.0
PLOT: Well-tied, albeit predictable and somewhat drawn out
--------------------------------------------------------------
Let me start by saying that I liked the show. I never felt the need to fast-forward or even had to force myself to continue it (which has been happing with quite a number of shows, especially towards the second half).

Having said that, The Lies Within was simply "okay". The plot and execution were nothing extraordinary, but it's also way above average. The plot and characters were consistent, the leads were likable and the problems they faced were resolved in a believable and logical way.

This is one of the few shows which didn't weaken as we crossed into the second half and, even better, the writers provided a satisfying, well-thought-out ending.

Perhaps the biggest issue was the show's length. The plot had enough meat for a movie or an 8 episode drama (at most). Which, of course, means that characters took too long to make connections or find things, which slowed down the pace.

On that note, I'd like to give fair warning that this is a slow show, leaning more on the investigation and less into the action. So you'll need to be in the right mood to enjoy it. If you're tired and trying to watch late at night, you might just fall asleep to some episodes.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Good
--------------------------------------------------------------
I think the ML and FL did a great job with what they were given. They felt like real people caught in a sticky situation but rising to the challenge regardless. They were both likable and had a strong moral compass, which made their team effort feel organic. However, it's precisely that sense of normality that results in the development of characters which we might not remember a few months from now.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Okay
--------------------------------------------------------------
The support characters were okay. It took me quite a number of episodes to warm up to the female detective (the ML's sidekick) because, as one reviewer pointed out, she was incredibly immature and treated as the butt of a joke.

It would've been less jarring had there been another female detective in the team (or even in the department!), but there wasn't. So that part took some getting used to. By the end, though, I had grown to like her. Mostly because she showed that she could get serious and had an actual purpose outside of providing comic relief.

Still, I would've liked to have seen more female characters being integrated, since there were really only two involved in the plot.

OVERALL: Recommended as a one-time watch
--------------------------------------------------------------
This isn't a unique or particularly strong drama, but it's a good watch nonetheless. There are aspects of the plots that are certainly memorable. Not to mention that the plot is well-thought-out, explained properly and the ending fits perfectly. The shifts in tone, few as they were, were also well-executed and the art direction was spot-on.

The only real flaw is the length of the show. Had it been shorter, the quicker pace would've made for a more dynamic show. And not drawing out certain parts of the investigation might've kept it from being predictable.

All in all, this is a good watch for crime lovers.

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Apenas Entre Apaixonados
9 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Jul 22, 2018
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 4.5
PLOT: Ambiguous
--------------------------------------------------------------
That's the best way I can describe it. After I'd finished watching this drama, I remember feeling satisfied but somewhat confused. No matter how much I wanted to write a review, I refrained because I was uncertain what the point of the story was besides getting the main leads together.

If you've read the synopsis, you know the protagonists survived the collapse of a shopping mall. So at first, I thought the story was about the leads working to make sure a tragedy like that didn't repeat. Except the story moved into a different territory, exploring why the mall collapsed in the first place. So then I assumed the plot was about finding out who was really responsible for the tragedy... only to realize that was barely touched upon. So next I wondered if it was about building the memorial for the victims' families and, in so doing, allowing our leads time to accept what happened and heal... But by the end of the story, none of those things mattered. In fact, some of those plot points were left completely unattended or brushed over.

So what was this story about?

It took me a bit of reflection to find the common thread that wove everything together. This is a story of hurt and comfort, simple as that. All the characters, each in their own way, were hurting. And, as the story progressed, they each found some measure of comfort and peace. But despite the heartwarming story, some plot-points did drag the narrative and bogged it down, extending the plot unnecessarily. That is not to say the story isn't good, but that is exactly the problem. If it had had a clearer plot, it would've elevated this story to greatness.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Sensitive & emotional
--------------------------------------------------------------
The strongest point of this drama is probably the main characters, their acting and their chemistry. It's also worth noting that the characters stay very consistent, growing with each episode in a believable way.

Lee Kang Doo (male lead played by Lee Jun Ho): His character kept me engaged. He's not an unusual character, but I've more often than not seen his type in a supporting role rather than a lead. Kang Doo is a character who's hurting but he doesn't know how to ask for help. In fact, at his core, he doesn't think he deserves to be helped. He clings to life by sheer force of will, hiding his insecurities behind a wall of impatience and anger. But his bark is louder than his bite and, though he's rough, his true gentle heart shines through his every action.

Ha Moon Soo (female lead, played by Won Jin Ah): Her character is a perfect balance for Kang Doo. If he's like fire, she's like a gentle river. She flows calmly, abundantly and consistently. She's almost always in control of her life and emotions, which allows her to help those around her. She's a good person through and through, and a nurturing one at that. I really enjoyed her character, especially when her control broke to let out her real feelings and, with it, give us a glimpse of the pain she's been hiding. She was the most balanced and emotionally intelligent character out of the entire cast.

ANTAGONIST: None
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Although there are characters that act antagonistic, their role wasn't really that impactful. So I'd call them blunders more than antagonists.

SUPPORT CHARACTERS: Sympathetic
--------------------------------------------------------------
Seo Joo Won (second male lead played by Lee Ki Woo): He was a complex character, presented as someone who wanted to move forward, but who couldn't let go of the past because he was still very much hurting. He was also a likable character from beginning to end.

Jung Yoo Jin (second female lead played by Kang Han Na): She's Seo Joo Won's former fiance who's still in love with him. Despite Joo Won not reciprocating her feelings, she was a strong, dignified, intelligent and sympathetic character. Unlike the standard second lead female, she never once tried to force her love upon Joo Won, nor did she blame Ha Moon for being the recipient of Joo Won's affections. Another thing of note is that she becomes friends with Lee Kang Doo.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Sweet & tender
--------------------------------------------------------------
The relationship between Kang Doo and Ha Moon is tender and nurturing. As I stated, this is a story about hurt and comfort, so we got plenty of that. There was a lot of chemistry between the characters, which allowed the progression of their relationship from strangers to co-workers to friends to lovers to feel organic and natural.

The pace was well maintained. It was a slow burn, but when it burned, it did so brightly. Sadly, it did sizzle in the middle (lost some momentum) under an overdose of unneeded drama. It's worth noting that I'm not a fan of getting a couple together, then tearing them apart unless there's a believable reason for it. In this case, I do question at least one of the reasons towards the end because it felt very out of character. That aside, the overall romance is heartwarmingly sweet.

Here are some of the highlights:
1) I enjoyed the transition from friends to lovers and appreciated that Ha Moon Soo was an active participant in that. In fact, I'd say she was perhaps bolder than Kang Doo, which is always refreshing.
2) I love the balance of the relationship. They were almost always on the same page and it never felt like one of them had the upper hand.
3) Their relationship was very healthy and based on mutual trust. Which means that both characters were there for each other at their lowest point and, in so doing, demonstrated that they were comfortable being vulnerable in each others' arms.

OVERALL: Low rewatch value, but definitely recommended
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This is a tender story about bringing two characters together to help heal their emotional wounds. Even if the plot had its flaws, the characters and their excellent portrayal made up for it. If you're looking for a sweet romance, then you should give this a shot. If on top of that, you're into stories of hurt & comfort, then this story will definitely satisfy you.

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Horrivelmente Adorável
11 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Out 3, 2018
32 of 32 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 4.5
História 5.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 1.0

PLOT: Interesting start, but loses steam down the middle and ends with a crash.
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The premise of the show is refreshingly original: two babies --a boy and a girl-- are born on the same date and time to different families. Both suffer from unexplained periods of sickness, causing their parents to seek an explanation from a creepy Shaman. Coincidentally, the same Shaman sees both cases separately and reveals that their child has been born with half a fate. Which means, our protagonists are bound to "steal fortune" from each other in order to survive. So whenever one of them gets lucky, the other is met with misfortune.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? Well, it could've been had they focused on that aspect of the story. Unfortunately, the concept got lost and buried by ambitious writers who had neither the plan nor the talent to pull off their convoluted story.

The show suffers from a cast of characters that act and react in ridiculous ways to dire situations, rendering them borderline stupid. We also get a mob of undeveloped antagonists with questionable and vague motives, a painful dose of lack of chemistry between the main leads, dubious acting from most of the cast and a plot so convoluted, you don't know what's going on half the time. Not only do plot-points get abandoned without a reason, but tough decisions taken by characters lack logic and bear no consequences.

Despite all that, perhaps the BIGGEST flaw is the inability of the writers to commit to a tone. That's not to say the story can't be funny and heartwarming, or that horror and romance can't work together. There have been shows that have managed to pull off the change in tone flawlessly. But alas, it is not so with this one.

Though the story kicked out strong, using a dark undertone to build a sense of excitement, the atmosphere was soon broken and the narrative got twisted into a "parody", which turned the drama into one big joke.

So when the writers attempted to re-inject "horror" into the show, it failed to make an impact. Death was treated with so little consequence, it became meaningless. Antagonists where likewise hard to take seriously when the protagonists' reaction towards them was reminiscent of how Shaggy and Scooby-Doo acted when confronted with their own childish enemies... The conflicts were built up, but the resolution was weak and, therefore, wasn't a worthy payoff. Even the melodramatic scenes and romance were over-dramatic and hard to swallow.

Overall, the constant changes in tone were as subtle as a bull strolling through a china store...

MAIN CHARACTERS: A mixed bag
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Yoo Phillip (male lead played by Park Shi Hoo): He's introduced as an unlikable character and thus, it takes a long while to get used to him, let alone warm up to him. In a nutshell, he's extremely lucky, famous, cowardly, self-centered and selfish. Although we later learn that he's not a stranger to suffering and that, underneath his narcissistic nature, lays a man afraid to get hurt by those close to him, I can't promise that you'll like his character. I did find him tolerable after a while, but I think the biggest reason I disliked him had to do with his comical acting. I've seen Park Shi Hoo before, so I suspect the director is to blame. I also might've suffered from a bit of cultural shock because whoever did his makeup, had an incredibly heavy hand. Either that or he was sponsoring a lipstick company... which would explain A LOT.

Ji Eunl Soon (female lead played by Song Ji Hyo): She's something of a mixed bag. Although she's more likable than the male lead, that bar is pretty low. For most of the show, she's stuck in the role of the underdog. Given how much she's suffered, you can't help but root for her and wish her happiness. However, as the series progresses, she stopped making sense. Her actions and reactions took an "idealized" tone that I couldn't buy. Someone who's been through the things she had would naturally feel resentment, but not Eunl Soon... In the end, she's riddled with the same traits other k-drama female leads suffer from. She's insanely goodhearted, sacrificial in nature, suffers from a hefty dose of low self-worth (perfect for the male lead to swoop in and pull her out of her shell), turns passive when it matters and remains incapable of hating (or at least resenting) anyone, even when they most certainly deserve it... All in all, she started out as someone I wanted to root for but I ended up getting frustrated with her by the end.

Sung Joong (second male lead by Lee Gi Kwang): This series will give you second lead syndrome and with good reason. Sung Joong is the most relatable character and the one who makes the most sense. His motivations are clear, his emotions are properly conveyed and he acts and reacts as a normal person would. He's also active in the pursuit of what he wants and he's kind, mature and understanding... However, if push comes to shove he'll fight to protect those he cares about, even if he has to break his word or emotionally hurt them in the process. All in all, his character may not be the most original, but he is consistent. Ironically, that in and of itself makes him feel out of place. He's a sane character trapped in a universe populated by wacky characters. It's like he was conceived for another story but got stolen and forced into this narrative with a hammer. Sung Joong... you deserved much better!

ANTAGONISTS: Shallow, underdeveloped and too many
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As to avoid spoilers, I'll talk about them in general. The main issue I have is that there are way too many opponents for such a short story. However, there's no hierarchy to them, so it's hard to gauge their threat level or even focus on their motivations (or lack thereof). The result is a story that gets more confusing with each passing episode, with antagonists that bring little to the table. Some of them are mildly interesting, but most are quite generic and forgettable. How they end up being taken care of also leaves a lot to be desired in the imagination department.

Take note that confusion and intrigue are two different things, and this one suffered from the former.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: prepare for a cringe-fest
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I'm still uncertain of whether the romance was intentionally portrayed as a parody... or if the writers wanted to integrate a sweet story but failed spectacularly. The scenes that were supposed to be romantic were funny at best... but at worst, they rolled into the cringy zone and got stuck there. In fact, every painfully long kissing scene had me praying for it to end.

I don't think the story made proper room for romance. It might've been a lot more fun if the two leads had kept their relationship platonic and focused on building a friendship (or even a rivalry) instead.

Since I couldn't think of any highlights, here are some drawbacks of the romance:
-There's a lot of lying going on in their relationship, which translates in unmotivated lack of trust.
-It's never very clear why they got together. I felt neither chemistry nor real romance whenever they interacted. They just sort of... got together without rhyme or reason. Fate, maybe? (Interestingly enough, even the characters seem to question why they got together... so that says something).
-They had very little in common and no shared interest.
-Their interactions were often quite cringy.
-Second lead was much better but, to be frank, the main female lead didn't deserve him either. He was just too good for this show.

OVERALL: Good concept, terribly painful execution
--------------------------------------------------------------
The main concept (sharing half a fate) had so much potential it hurts to see it wasted. Despite the original concept it promised, I can't in good conscience recommend this drama since it didn't deliver at least a decently structured story.

Though it started very strong, it lacked consistency which spelled its downfall. The romance felt cringy and out of place; the horror felt childish and cartoony, and the melodrama felt like a bad soap opera at best and like a ten-year old's first fanfiction at worst...

Honestly, I struggled not to drop this one and ended up muscling through the latter part of the story. If the show had focused on only two antagonists, then maybe the story might've been clearer (and cleaner)...

Then again, I would've focused only on the heart of the story --the protagonists sharing half a fate. That would've made for an interesting story without over-complicating it with ghosts, nightmares, possessions, psychopaths, frenemies, stalkers, dysfunctional families, abandonment issues, struggles with self-worth, competitive rivalries and all the other crap they threw our way.

This was a story that lost its way and shattered into mediocrity.

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Você é Humano Também?
14 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Ago 8, 2018
36 of 36 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 8.0
PLOT: Interesting & fluid, but with a rushed ending
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I picked this show up worried by some of the comments and articles I've read about it. Fortunately, the drama was fun and was almost always consistent (more about this in the "overall" portion).

The story invites us to watch Android Nam Shin III's interaction with humans, asking us to consider what makes us human. Is it our biology or is our humanity measured by a set of values and /or a righteous moral compass? To add to the complexity, we're then reminded that our nature is not set in stone as each character is presented with their own demon to either slay or be conquered by. From those driven by ambition to those trying to find a place in the world, their mix of strengths and weaknesses results in three-dimensional characters learning to navigate an interesting plot.

ANDROID NAM SHIN III: Consistent & well-developed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Android Nam Shin III (ANM3 for short and played by Seo Kang Joon) is the heart of the show and the star of the story. His role is integral to the narrative and it's his interactions with the rest of the cast that push the narrative forward.

Given that this is a sci-fi show, I'd braced myself for a truckload of inconsistencies. Thankfully my fears were unwarranted since the writers set proper rules for ANM3 and, even better, consistently followed them.

A key to understanding ANS3 is to remember that, as his name implies, he's not just a robot but an "Artificially Intelligent Android". So while Robots are programmable and usually capable of autonomous or semi-autonomous action, an AI Android is a robot with a human appearance controlled by a program that mimics human intelligence. In AI, an algorithm is "trained" to respond to a particular input in a certain way by using known inputs and outputs.

So it's important to regard ANM3's rules as "moral guidelines" and not "rigid commands". Meaning that it's still ANM3's decision whether to follow them or not. This allows room for judgments, alterations, and self-improvement (the last of which is an integral part of his character design).

OTHER MAIN CHARACTERS: Interesting & complex
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kang So Bong (female lead played by Gong Seung Yeon): She's a strong, well-rounded and consistent character. She wasn't introduced as a goody-two-shoes or a naïve protagonist, which is always a bonus. Disenchanted with life after being betrayed at the peak of her career, Kang So Bong's cynical views on life take a turn for the better after meeting and befriending ANS3, who ironically ends up restoring her hope in humanity.

Ji Yeong Hoon: (Nam Shin's personal assistant, played by Lee Joon Hyuk): Ji Yeong Hoon was a great addition to the show and created a perfect balance of traits and weaknesses. Like Kang So Bong, he struggles with his internal demons on a daily basis. It's clear that Ji Yeong Hoon suffers from an identity crisis, not knowing where Nam Shin starts and he ends, which makes him a complex and sympathetic figure. By meeting and talking with ANS3, he's able to grow into his own skin and accept that, rather than being someone's shadow, there's still time for him to become his own man.

[Human] Nam Shin (also played by Seo Kang Joon): He's another complex character with an identity crisis who struggles to keep his emotions from running rampant. Though he's somewhat of an antagonist, he doesn't act without reason and, once his side of the story is presented, it's hard not to look at the story from his perspective. He's a man who's living a nightmare, constantly cornered by both enemies and allies. It stands to reason he's not ANM3's biggest fan.

ANTAGONIST: Power-hungry
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There are two main antagonists in the show. One is Seo Jong Gil (Ye Na's father played by Yoo Oh Sung) and the other is Nam Gun Ho (Nam Shin's grandfather played by Park Young Kyoo). Both characters are motivated by greed and, though their actions can be monstrous, they have moments where the human in them comes out and you can't help but pity them. After all, bad people aren't born like that, they are made.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Interesting and sweet
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The romance was interesting if you look at it with an open mind. Going by the comment section a lot of people were turned off by the idea of a human falling in love with an AI Android, but if you think about it, it isn't so farfetched.

The show asks if a human is able to fall in love with an Android and, more importantly, if said Android --who isn't capable of feeling emotions-- could learn to love her back? The answer to this question results in a slow-burn romance that's quite sweet and fun to watch. The interaction between A. Nam Shin and Kang So Bong progresses so naturally, that it never feels out of place or forced.

I've got to give the writer(s) credit for how well they weaved the romance into the narrative, because not only was it not distracting, but it added value to the overall story and pushes both characters to grow.

OVERALL: Memorable and highly recommended
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Whether you love, hate or love to hate the characters, the writers did an excellent job in portraying the road each of them took to get to where they are and, more importantly, the reasons why.

Although the story is well crafted, it isn't without some inconsistencies and plot-hiccups, which is why I didn't rate it higher.

Regarding the inconsistencies, most are minimal (personal peeves) and therefore easily ignored. The more glaring ones have to do with scenes involving physics; specifically the wrongful portrayal of the collision between objects. However, those are few and far between and they're used as a way to heighten the action, so they don't really impact the narrative.

The harder to ignore plot-problems become apparent near the end. It felt like the writers ran out of time and ended up solving plot-lines that they'd been slowly building-up in an unsatisfying way. I also deducted points from the rating for not utilizing Kang So Bongs' fighting abilities more, since it was such a big part of her character.

Nonetheless, the show is still an enjoyable ride. Just think about those flaws like badly designed icing on an otherwise excellent cake.

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Apostando Alto
72 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de 3GGG
Dez 6, 2020
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 9
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 6.0

A Drama who Embraced Both the Good and the Bad.

I'd be lying if I said this drama was satisfying. However, I'd also be lying if I claimed it was downright unsalvagable or disappointing. I think the ending was okay. Could it have been better? Certainly. But honestly, it could've also been way worst.

THE PLOT
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If you're hoping to see a drama about business, this is not it. If you're intolerant of love triangles, this may not be your cup of tea, as once we cross into the second half, it's all about the love triangle.

Having said that, the plot focuses on Dal Mi trying to follow her father's footsteps and show her sister that she made the right call in choosing to stay with her dad over leaving with her mom. While the show makes it look like that would be the heart of it, as we move towards the second half, the plot shifts to being romance-centric.

Basically, this is a story about a girl deciding if her heart belongs to her first or second love.

THE PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: Questionable and Borderline Toxic
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Perhaps the most problematic aspect here is the love triangle and the message it conveys. The love between the main couple starts with a lie that is never dealt with properly. The FL feels wishy-washy while the ML is left to struggle with an identity crisis that is never resolved. The fact that the couple stuck together despite the unresolved issues, felt like the romance embraced a problematic message of "pretend to achieve your goal" rather than "show/embrace your true self".

WRITING: A mixed bag
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While the construction of the romance was problematic, the absence of consequences and the minimization of mistakes are marks of bad writing. Why have characters face problems if the writer will keep them safe from the consequences via cop-outs, plot armor, and/or having those consequences happen off-screen? Characters are supposed to face problems and make mistakes so they can learn, adapt, and grow.

Out of all the characters, Do San faced the most problems but had the least growth. The very fact that his identity crisis was never fully addressed and dealt with is perhaps the biggest disservice his character got.

I think the best thing this drama did was to showcase some beautiful family moments. It also gave us some beautifully written characters we got to enjoy whenever they stepped on-screen (HJP, Grandma, and, to a lesser extent because she had little screentime, In Jae). I also absolutely enjoyed comparing and contrasting Do San with Ji Pyeong --not to see who was better, but to see how similar they were despite their differences. I hoped they would've established some sort of friendship after the halfway mark, but Do San never matured enough to make it happen.

CHARACTERS
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This is perhaps the best thing about the show and where the good, and bad aspects of writing comes into play.

Seo Dal Mi: A character who's introduced as someone who's decisive, ambitious and hardworking. Although she's shown to be happy, charismatic and a go-getter, her character is quickly overtaken by the love triangle until we hardly see her outside of scenes involving one of the guys. Her independence got replaced by her choice of a partner; shoving out of the focus her journey to success. Before the halfway mark, Dal Mi was the star of the show. But after she found out about the letters, her character lost her identity, becoming little more than a "love interest".

Nam Do San: A guy who's introduced as sort of a loser; a boy who has yet to grown into a man. He's constantly shown as uncertain about who he is, what he wants, and where he wants to go. So in an effort to find his own way, he relies on following other people's instructions. While Do San has family and close friends, he tends to disregard his own feelings and makes decisions based on others. Mainly, on trying not to disappoint his peers. However, in so doing, he ends up frustrated with himself because he's not being honest. So everything he's doing also feels fake to him and he ends up hurting himself most of all.

Han Ji Pyeong: A man who's introduced as a hotshot with a successful career. He's nonetheless shown to be a sacrificial character with no family and no friends. He doesn't want to think of others, let alone struggle with trying not to disappoint them. However, he's just as lonely and as dishonest with his feelings as Nam Do San. The difference is that he prefers not to bother with others so as not to give them an opportunity to hurt him. So in trying not to get hurt, he pushes people away, and, in turn, he ends up hurting himself most of all.

Grandma (SDM's Family and HJP's benefactor): She is one of the very best things about this show. Her bond with Han Ji Pyeong is marvelous to watch. The scenes between them are worth muscling through some of the flaws. She also gets a few but powerful scenes with Won/Seo In Jae (Dal Mi's estrangled sister).

Won/Seo in Jae: A character who the writer forgot existed halfway through the drama's run. She had one of the most interesting arcs, but ended up being pushed aside. She was someone who seemed to have made it in life, only for her adoptive father to double-crossed her, taking with one hand everything he'd given with the other. In Jae had the most painful thing happened to her. She fell from high above and yet, she landed on her feet --with her pride bruised but not broken. And somehow, she managed to build something great in the wake of that loss. However, it's rare for a K-Drama to showcase a female character pursuing success --less so as decisively as In Jae did, so this aspect of her character was minimized and ignored. Instead, all her success and growth happened off-screen and we're left to lament the potential for the portrayal of an strong, flawed, independent and kick-ass successful female character.

THE LOVE TRIANGLE: Drawn out, Questionable & Ultimately unpopular
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A thing we can definitely make as one of the biggest flaws is the drawn-out love triangle. This is why I don't think someone who barely tolerates an undecisive Female Lead will enjoy this show. I think this show would've benefitted from putting the triangle to rest sooner. Allowing all the characters involved to step out of the romantic plot and into a role more "self-involved".

But since that didn't happen, allow me to briefly cover the big aspect that got people riled up with Dal Mi's ultimate choice of man.

Nan Do San: is portrayed as outwardly a selfless guy but inwardly a selfish guy. While he's always trying to accommodate other people and fill in the role others need him to be, when it comes to Dal-Mi he turned out to be quite selfish. In a nutshell, NDS wants Dal Mi. But let's just clarify that loving and wanting are two different things. Wanting is about what you get. It's about possessing more than wishing someone well. So Nan Do San always considered his feelings first.

Han Ji Pyeong: may be portrayed as outwardly selfish, but he's inwardly a selfless guy. While he may push and disregard people left and right when it comes to Dal-Mi he really just wants her to be happy, even if that happiness doesn't include him. In that regard, he's selfless and loving. Because Love is about giving, even if you get nothing in return. So HJP always considered Dal Mi's feelings first.

Seo Dal Mi: I think the writer failed to transmit this character's love for her chosen partner the most. She never gave proper reasons as to why she had fallen in love with Nan Do San. So ultimately, her choice felt forced, wishy-washy, and more out of convenience than actual passion.

I still believe that putting the triangle to rest and having the guys make amends with each other and moving into a friendship (in typical K-drama fashion where we have to suspend our disbelief) could've elevated the show.


MESSAGE: Mixed & Problematic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I think it's important to emphasize again the problematic message this drama embraces. One of which has to do with the character that has the community most divided: Nam Do San.

I think his character was the one that had the most potential for not only becoming an interesting and different type of ML but also for showcasing the important message that, before you can find love, you need to love yourself first. Unfortunately, the writing failed his character by making him embrace his flaws, pretend his problems away, and have him solely focus on his love for Dal Mi (which was portrayed more like an unhealthy obsession).

Honestly, I didn't like how the romance was constructed at all and I wished more thought had been given to the message they ended up putting out there. "Fake it till you make it" only makes sense when we talked about work, not when it comes to one's own sense of self. You can only wear a mask for so long before you start to hate yourself.

In that regard, I think Do San got a band-aid treatment for the gaping wound that was his inner, self-esteem problems.

The drama also lost out in tapping into the potential for an epic sismance. It's bad enough that we get so many dramas where there's either not even a second female lead (instead we get an FL surrounded by guys) or an antagonistic till the end type of second female Lead (my least favorite). So this show could've stood out by emphasizing the sister's love and reforging their bond, rather than focusing on so many lovey-dovey moments between the main couple; most of which felt unearned.

OVERALL
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Suffice to say, when it comes to directing, this will be a drama I will refer to as the "exception to the rule" when it comes to visual mastery. A drama that shows even the director can lie to an audience for the sake of building false hope or cheap uncertainty so that, regardless of the ending, we "won't see it coming".

However, despite the problematic romance, I think Han Ji Pyeong's character encompasses and embraces the healthiest message I've seen in a K-Drama... love is selfless and kind. Love doesn't need other's acknowledgment, it just gives and expects nothing in return. And for that alone, this drama is worth a watch.

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