Iljimae – Kdrama 2008

31 07 2010

Just started Il Ji Mae and though I have read it has a slow start, I really liked the first episode.  Feels like a lot of set up, but I was intrigued by all the characters and can’t wait to see what happens!

Okay – a week later, I finished it and it was really good.  Lite on romance, heavy on action.  Lee Joon Ki was awesome!  Actually all of the cast was great!

This was the first historical series I have watched and though I was very hesitant (like you don’t know how much I really didn’t want to watch the historical stuff), I really liked it.  Maybe because I have watched so many relationship type series, but if was refreshing to have this be very light on romance and to just enjoy the story.  All the actors were great, especially Il Ja Mae’s fathers.  I also loved Ahn Kil Kang as Kong He (the monk­) he was so great, I just wanted to give him a big hug.  Il Ja Mae’s mother, Kim Sung Ryung  (adoptive mother) was played by the mom from You’re Beautiful and she is beautiful… seriously gorgeous even in this.

Han Hyo Joo as Eun Chae was bland.  I liked her in Shining Inheritance and she is also in Dong Yi, which I just started, but she was just so so in this series – she never pulled me in to root for her, I actually rooted for Bong soon more because she was more engaging in comparison.

Park Shi Hoo played Shi Hoo (Il Ja Mae’s half brother) and I wish they would have developed the story between them more.  I also would have liked it if they would have come together more in the end, but it was okay.  Park Shi Hoo is so cute, he was the great eye candy in What Planet are You From? and I was glad to see him here, he just finished Prosecutor Princess, so I am looking forward to seeing him in that. 

I would recommend this series as long as you fall into one of 3 categories:

1.  If you aren’t a big romance fan or as a break from the romance type series

2.  If you are looking to start a series to enjoy with a guy, he would enjoy the action.

3.  Or if you are a fan of Lee Joon Ki, he was awesome.

Overall rating: B

Good series, but not particularly memorable

I have conquered my hesitancy over historical dramas and I just started Dong Yi, which has been great so far, but 50 episodes, wow… I’ve never committed to such a long series but I’ll let you know if it’s worth it.

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My Girl – Episodes 5-16

23 06 2010

My Girl continued…

Episode 5 – things are finally heating up.  Definite chemistry between Yoo Rin and Gong Chan, although I still have 2nd man syndrome and am pulling for Jung Woo.  Plus the Hong Sisters really have us at a crossroads.  Either we will be disappointed that Yoo Rin isn’t really the cousin or we will be grossed out that they are cousins.  I’m guessing we’ll be disappointed rather than grossed out, but I can’t wait to find out…

Episode 6&7 – Love that Jung Woo realizes Yoo Rin likes Gong Chan and how he just passes her off to him at the party.  You can really see the acting chops of Lee Jun Ki here he brings a nice depth to the character.  Still more interested in 2nd man although Yoo Rin and Gong Chan do have cute chemistry and you can feel it growing between them.

Episodes 8-13 – ep13 had me on the edge of my seat.

Episode 14 – I’m sure this isn’t a popular thing to say, but I was pretty ticked with Yoo Rin and Gong Chan.  They were both so wrapped up in their feelings that they couldn’t see how it was going to effect everyone around them.  I can’t see that I will want them together in the end.

Episodes 15 & 16 – Really enjoyed the end of this series.  It didn’t end in typical fashion where you either feel incomplete (Soulmates) or that it was rushed (Boys over Flowers)  or worse that they checklist everyone in the story and wrap it up (Personal Taste).  This was a story on point right to the end.

The only other Hong Sisters show I’ve watched was You’re Beautiful and though I definitely preferred that to My Girl, they each had areas that were better than the other.  My Girl had a better ending, better side stories that weren’t as distracting, and a much better 2nd man.  Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo (2nd man in You’re Beautiful) was fine, I think it was his first acting gig and it showed.  Lee Jun Ki as Seo Jung Woo was awesome (I am biased, he’s just so cute) he stole every scene he was in.  He had me pulling for him to the end and he pulled off the 2nd man role without seeming pathetic.  I loved how they validated his feelings when he encouraged Gong Chan at the end to hold onto her because if not it would make his love pathetic (so right on…).  Can’t wait to see Lee Jun Ki in his others roles especially Time between dog and wolf , I’ve heard really good things about it.

Back to the story, I was really mad at Yoo Rin and Gong Chan, how could they do that to the Grandfather.  I couldn’t even fathom how they could ever get to a point that I would feel bad for them and want them to be together, but it happened.  I think the Hong Sisters were right on with how contrite Yoo Rin was and how far she went to try to avoid getting back together with Gong Chan.  It had to go that far in order to make the audience feel that it was okay for them to get back together.  By the end of the series I was happy they were accepted and I loved that Gong Chan never backed down from trying to hold onto her and I loved that he knew she lied in the end, (Actually I loved how everyone knew her lie was a lie).  Smart, fun series!

Overall I really liked the series, it did have some slow moments, but it really ramped up to the end and gave a good payoff.  Plus one of my complaints was not having a good kiss at the end of You’re Beautiful, but My Girl did have a nice kiss in the elevator and the end scene was so cute.  Han Chae Young as Choi Ha Na, the real granddaughter, who also was Min Seo Hyun in Boys over Flowers is so gorgeous, loved seeing her in this tiny role.  Jae Hee as Lee Mong Ryong, Ha Na’s husband was really cute.  I’ve never seen anything he’s been in, but definitely adding to my list.

I watched a few episodes of this series split between two different websites and each obviously had different subtitles…again, the subs were clearly better from one site than the other.  I know I always say this, but when you are not a Korean speaker this makes a huge difference.  The subtlety of words can change the tone and feel of a character so much.

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I am putting up a list of all the series under the Best of Lists tab, https://kormerica.wordpress.com/best-of-lists/ this will include all the series I have watched so far and ranking them, this would be in the top 10.

Overall I would give this series a B.

Favorite Scenes:

  1. Anytime Yoo Rin is in the Tangerine Orchard.  Love her.
  2. Ep 4 – the I’m leaning into you and you see me like a man scene
  3. Ep 4 – end of episode, Gong Chan and Yoo Rin in the car and Gong Chan and Seo Hyun in the drive exchanging niceties.
  4. Episode 15 – when Yoo Rin was going to throw the star and Gong Chan stops her
  5. Any Scene Lee Jun Ki was in
  6. The last 5 minutes of the series




My Girl – Episodes 1-4 + funny scene clip

18 06 2010

Just started My Girl by the Hong Sisters… Good first episode, I’m interested.  What is up with the Hong Sisters always alluding to the romantic leads possibly being related.  They sniffed at that with You’re Beautiful.

Okay – I just finished episode 3 and I’m hooked.  I love the lead Lee Da Hae (Yoo Rin), she is so cute and funny.  She lights up the whole screen.  I cried at the Grandfather scene and then laughed out loud because he wasn’t dead.  The series is so charming.

This is the first series that I have pulled more for the 2nd man (Jung Woo).  I am totally loving Lee Joon Ki (Great hair, so sexy).  This is the first thing I’ve seen him in, but Time Between Dog and Wolf is on my list of must see.

I love the scene in Ep 4 when Gong Chan is lying to Yoo Rin and leans toward her.  Basically, I love anytime a guy leans out his hand over a girl, corners her with his arm and then leans into her (i.e. loved it in You’re Beautiful).

The scene at the end of episode 4 when Seo Hyun and Gong Chan are talking/reuniting, reminded me so much of the scene in My Lovely Sam Soon when Jin Heon gets back with Hee Jin…  I didn’t want Hee Jin back, despite her condition, I still didn’t want them together.  What made that storyline work so well in My Lovely Sam Soon was that it played out the Hee Jin relationship so naturally and was done in such a lovely way.  In comparison, for My Girl, I felt bad for Seo Hyun and didn’t really feel that much chemistry between Yoo Rin and Gong Chan yet.  Gong Chan clearly wasn’t over Seo Hyun, so I am glad that got back together… besides Gong Chan and Yoo Rin still might be cousins – right?  But I do think Lee Da Hae (Yoo Rin) gave a great performance in her last scene looking sad over seeing them together and I can’t wait to see what happens next.