One Percent of Something

Phenomenal. It’s all I can say about this drama. It’s one of those shows that’s not just an easy watch, it is addicting. I’ve had a few shows that are so addicting that I can’t help but think about it and can’t wait to get back to it. This is one of those shows. The characters, the story, the dialogue including the insatiable banter between the two main characters. I could just watch it all day long. It was just so well done and so balanced. It left me with a smile on my face.

Lee Jae In is a tough, hard-working chaebol (3rd Gen. rich kid). Despite his hard work the only way for Lee Jae In to inherit the family company is to fulfill his notoriously difficult Grandfather’s living will. Things go awry when his grandfather changes his will so that his inheritance goes to Kim Da Hyun, an unknown schoolteacher. The only way for Lee Jae In to inherit the company is to marry the teacher, the problem is his difficult personality does not appeal to the strong-willed Da Hyun at all. The question is whether the two of them can work something out that benefits both of them or will their clashing personalities cause Lee Jae In to lose the company he’s worked so hard at.

This show is subtle. It’s light-hearted, whimsical and just so enjoyable to watch. I remember years ago watching the first version of this, “One Percent of Anything”. The story was there but it lacked the quality that was achieved in this version. It was one of those shows that I wanted to like but found that I just couldn’t quite connect with it or the characters. One Percent of Something really sets the tone. It’s one of those shows that would be great to watch over the weekend or on a rainy day at home. It’s funny and to the point. The drama is kept to a minimal level and is left to the climax where it belongs. The characters progress and the story winds in a way that keeps it interesting and fresh; it doesn’t linger over events. This one is definitely a top favorite as it really makes me smile and lifts my spirits.

The Holiday

Composite

So, I used to love this movie when I was a teenager. It’s double the romance, double the story and its Christmas; what could be better? Watching it now, it’s dropped down a few pegs on my awesome scale. The story is a bit corny and the dialogue a little too scripted. It also doesn’t completely match the characters to the actors. With that being said, it’s a cute movie. It has great actors and actresses (Jack Black, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz) and the story, itself, is fun and interesting.

Iris is a journalist who has spent the last three years in an one-sided relationship; Amanda is a L.A. movie big wig who’s boyfriend just cheated on her. The two women discover one another on a sort of AirBnB site and decide to switch homes. Iris travels to the states and Amanda travels to England near Surrey. The two aim to get away from their pain and men, but instead discover new beginnings that may lead them to a spark of new love.

It sounds like a Hallmark movie, but it’s very well done. The movie has a lot of side plots and character development that really helps it stand out. It’s helpful when you have an all-star cast that can make any role seem amazing. The two stories of Iris and Amanda also really help keep the story interesting.

Jealousy Incarnate

4924_jealousyincarnate_nowplay_small

So, this very new Korean drama was very fun and enjoyable. It had an upbeat plot that displayed some unique qualities and some on-point commentary on how complicated love is and the stigma associated with certain diseases as well. It also portrayed the curious world of news stations. The characters were great (mainly because of the great actors) and it was simply an easy watch.

The show is about a weather caster, Pyo Na Ri, who has been working hard to became an anchor at her station. She pulls off odd jobs, goes above and beyond and makes sure that she is the best at what she does. Lee Hwa Shin is a reporter who does the hard and dangerous reports to make a name for himself. Despite an awkward past between each other, tensions arise between them when Lee Hwa Shin returns from an overseas position. Added into the mix is Lee Hwa Shin’s best friend and chaebol, Ko Jung Won, who takes an interest to the spunky Pyo Na Ri. The three of them form the classic love triangle that threatens the entire news station.

Now, I wrote the plot very simply, but there is a whole lot more depth to it than that. The lives of the characters are complex and some of the plot twists that the characters go through are intense and unique. It adds a depth to the characters and the story, as well, as the wonderful acting just really ties it all together. Definitely a good watch.

Spoiler Alert Warning (Do not read on if you want the story to remain a mystery)

I accidently read a complaint that a couple people wrote that they were upset at Pyo Na Ri and the fact that she fell in love with both of them. Now, for some context, Na Ri had a previous crush on Hwa Shin for like 2 or 3 years and nothing ever came of it. So, she gave up on him. When Jung Won asked her to go out with him she had no reason to say no. She thought she was over Hwa Shin, Jung Won was a handsome, kind guy. Any woman would struggle not to fall in love with him. It was, of course, inevitable that when Hwa Shin started to realize his feelings that Na Ri’s feelings would be rekindled. I mean, she was in love with him for three years! Anyway, I just needed to fume about that a little bit. Love is complicated. It’s not always black and white. And crazy things happen.

Cheese in the Trap

Cheese-in-the-Trap-Poster5.jpg

So, I just finished this drama that has been causing such raves on Dramafever. I do see why, I actually really enjoyed it until the last couple episodes. The show was about people who don’t exactly fit in the ‘normal’ box of characters that people are used to. The dialogue and story were all so fun to watch that I really spent quite a bit of time with it. Towards the end though it focused too heavily on a set of sub characters and the main pair got a little lost in it. Then the ending felt ‘blah’. I was really disappointed to say the least.

The story is about Hong Seol, a hard-working college student, who has lived her life doing everything herself. Raised by parents who can’t afford to send her to college, she’s had to balance schoolwork and part-time jobs. After taking another break from school to pay for tuition she meets Yoo Jung at the start of the semester; everyone likes him, but Hong can immediately sense something darker about him. Thus starts a relationship about two people who not only come from ‘different sides of the track’, but also about how first impressions can define a relationship for better or worse.

This story was really fun. From the first episode it really started strong. It was funny with a creative film technique that really drew me into it. Cheese in the Trap was really about the complexity in relationships. Not only ones involving romance, but friendships and other relationships as well. It was also about the definition of normal and strange. As well as how people are affected by those biases.

Finding Mr. Destiny

 

Sometimes, I am still absolutely surprised at how great Korean movies and dramas are. Perhaps, it’s just me, but I find something in them that just makes me happy and is just so different from the romance and comedies I see in the States.

Finding Mr. Destiny was another win for me. The plot was great, the characters were full, and the tempo on this one was really on key. The plot itself was about Gi-joon, a man who starts up a business to track down people’s first loves. His very first client is Ji-woo, a lady who still constantly thinks about her trip to India and her first love who she met there ten years ago. Together they search for her “Mr. Destiny”.

I really liked the movie. It’s just a happy, direct, romantic journey with beautiful imagery and good life points to boot. It’s also funny, but without slap-stick. I could sincerely watch the entire movie without averting my eyes when something drastic happened (I’m just not a slap-stick comedy person). The sub stories were also very well-done. They played out well and had their shining moments without taking away from the main plot.

On a smaller note, I was so happy to see Gong Yoo who played the leading man. He was also the main guy in Coffee Prince which is still hands down one of my favorite shows.