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First Thoughts on Doctor Frost

Well this is a show I could get into very, very easily. Doctor Frost’s first episode is a teensy bit underwhelming as we’re teased with far more than we get, but it remains firmly on my watchlist. I’ll definitely be recapping this one though the recaps might be a bit late what with all I have on my plate. The first episode largely focuses on our characters, through the lens of their first case that is.

The premise is intriguing in and of itself, a newly appointed psychology professor (with a side job as a bartender) consults with the police on solving a variety of cases, along with his spunky assistant.
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His deductions are prized as Doctor Frost (named so due to his prematurely snow white hair) is a master at reading people. Umm…so was this whom they hired when HWJ left the university? This similarity between characters is made all the more amusing by the fact that Lee Sang Yoon and Sang Chang Eui are best friends. But that’s where the resemblance ends, Doctor Frost, unlike the wonderful HWJ, is apparently incapable of feeling emotion in any way. That works well for him in some ways as he views every situation objectively, and rationally. On the other hand, it does make him quite oblivious to how proper interpersonal reactions go. That is, he cares rather little for when the proper time is to reveal or say something, and coldly proceeds with his own agenda. Or the police’s rather, Frost doesn’t seem to have an agenda of his own. Yet.

It’s hella difficult to play a character like for the simple reason that it’s hard for him to come off as human, or be relatable in every manner. This isn’t your average I’m-pretending-to-not-care-about-the-world-when-all-I-need-is-a-pretty-woman-to-need-my-help sort of scenario. The fellow literally feels nothing. Happiness, sorrow, absolutely nothing. As such, Song Chang Eui really has his work cut out for him in this role as he can’t even show the slightest hint of a smile. (It’s a shame though, seeing what a lovely smile he has!) He simply clinically observes, and comments, without a care in the world. But there’s more behind that constantly ticking mind as we see early on in the show.

Dr. SONG SUN, whom we still don’t know much of, is blatantly against Dr. Frost’s (also called Dr. Baek) appointment, saying that he enjoys playing with others’ emotions and is a murderer. Wait what? (Ha Woo Jin, is that you?) Continue reading

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Pinocchio Episode 8 Review (and the moment we’ve all been waiting for)

After having marathoned episodes 6 to 8, I find myself almost wishing that I’d waited until next week. Episode 8 is killer, stuffed to the brim with emotional payoff and mental overload for poor CDP. I like that CDP’s no fool, his observations of the case of Moon Duk Soo’s death still stand regardless of whether it’s his brother or not.  It’s interesting to see that he begins straight off by suspecting his brother and trying to protect him from arrest rather than believing in his innocence and searching for someone else who could be responsible.
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DP has built a great deal of anger over his father’s death as well and we’ve seen it released in brief spurts throughout the show, at the end of the quiz show in his teens, at the final round of the YGN hiring process, as well as the gloomy funk he’s presently fallen into. But what made DP different and led him towards a different path was his adopted family, who genuinely loved and cared for him and made up for that loss in his life. There were two families that CIH’s mother broke: her own and DP’s. As such, it’s pretty interesting to see how one makes up for the other this way in DP’s life. The pain and yearning in DP’s eyes as they sat in that café was tangible. Lee Jong Suk really as a way of making you feel for him. It was the same in Doctor Stranger. Despite the utter mess than drama was, I just couldn’t stop watching poor Park Hoon being thrown from the fat into the fire. You really feel DP’s pain here as he yearns to reveal his identity, but holds back due to the awareness that their paths have already diverged. It’s far too late now.
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Hence why, DP’s quiet agreement that the two of them are very much alike, is tinged with both sorrow, and camaraderie.
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Pinocchio Episode 5 Review (and a sudden, painful twist)

Pinocchio continues to surprise, delight and shock. I was certainly not expecting a reversal fo this magnitude to appear so quickly in the game.
CDP finds out rather quickly that his brother, Ki Jae Myung (KJM), is still alive. I thought they’d drag that out for a few more episodes, so that came as quite sudden. Poor CDP is hit with that stunning revelation on top of his father’s death and is honestly a mess.  His hiring doesn’t exactly leave him elated either. He’s more numb than anything at this point and boy is that understandable.
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The juxtaposition of KJM feeling more alone than ever, with the confirmation of his father’s death and CDP’s renewed hope is rather painful to see especially considering how alone both have felt for years. KJM has hit rock bottom, but CDP’s just begun his way up.
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It feels like he’s using that as an excuse to feel less guilty about essentially breaking the vow he made with In Ha, so I’m not really buying it for now. I get that his lashing out at In Ha, who essentially symbolizes the whole reason his father was turned into a pariah, was instinctive, in the same way he did when he was a child but I do wish there was more remorse shown in his part for destroying her chance. Not that he secret wouldn’t have been outed at some point, I mean you can only hide that you’re a Pinocchio for so long, but seeing CDP shifting the responsibility of his vow aside like that is a little disappointing. More juxtaposition in terms of CDP’s spiffy suit-up for his job as a YGN reporter, while CIH puts on her comfy duds hiccupping all the way, which honestly feels a little saddening seeing how hard she’s worked for this and how easily CDP lands the job. Doesn’t help that when her dad rubs things in either, though it’s clear that he doesn’t mean to be petty.vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h51m10s216 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h51m12s234 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h51m14s1 Grandpa continues to be the most consistent character in the story providing comic relief at just the right moments and telling off his stupid son. Age hasn’t dulled his senses as he picks up on a tiff of some sorts between CDP and CIH quite easily. vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h51m42s29 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h52m02s227 The awkwardness between the two is palpable and honestly, CDP is to blame. The fact that he encourages the awkwardness by even telling CIH that her mother was right is extremely unfair to the poor girl.
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I get it, I really do. What her mother did was unfair and awful, but to take it out on her is just as bad. Why should she give up on her dream simply because you need to get over your hatred? Hatred of her mother should not extend to her daughter, just as hatred of a profession should not extend to the people in said profession who likely have their own goals and dreams and reasons for choosing that job. CDP knows why CIH wants to become a reporter, and certainly knows her inside out, having loved her for so long. Plus he’s certainly not stupid enough to paint everyone by the same brush, so I couldn’t help but wonder just what was going on in his mind. It doesn’t help that we don’t get to see as enough of it as we should. But CDP definitely seems to fear the damage that CIH could cause with her words, however well-meaning. He also fears that in the cut-throat world of news reporting may change CIH’s sweet nature. But the fault lies more with his attachment to the past, and the baggage he’s been able to ignore but never forget or overcome for all these years. Add to that, the fact that his brother is alive, and he’s torn between his duty towards his new family and his old one. Seeing that CIH’s mother is even indirectly part of his new one,  for the time being his old family appears to take precedence. It’s a manner of thinking I’m hoping CDP grows out of.

Gosh do I love CIH. She even manages to make moping fun. The bitterness and hope reflected in her eyes during her meeting with her asshole mother really got to me, as did the way she clearly deflated upon hearing that her mother had no regrets.vlcsnap-2014-12-04-19h26m15s23 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-19h26m11s232 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-19h26m13s6 She doesn’t blame CDP either, continuing to like in despite all the harsh things he says and the honestly mixed signals that he gives off at times (though that’s more a reflection of CDP’s mental conflict).The way she doesn’t bother hiding anything and just straight up confesses to CDP with unabashed frankness is not only super refreshing but, in this context, pretty saddening, as CDP has a while to go before he can begin to accept those feelings. The conflict here isn’t familial pressure of any of the usual Kdrama obstacles, but entirely in CDP’s mind. And I can’t wait for him to get over that hurdle seeing just how much he truly cares for CIH as well. vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h54m55s159 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h28m16s42 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h28m47s93 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h27m39s178 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h27m44s230 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h28m12s251
This show is rife with coincidences though, like the return of that cake, which I don’t mind if only for the reason that PSH really showed off the various ways one can eat it.
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Now that was pretty fun.
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And major aww! at the three packets of medicine! Seeing how loved CDP is by his adopted family, really makes me wonder why he feels so conflicted about them versus his biological family. Yes CIH’s mother is awful, but one rotten apple doesn’t spoil a tree? Jeez, even Dad is warming up to you CDP, now is not the time to act so distant.
Thankfully, the medicine works more mentally than physically, and the display of familial affection, allows CDP to revert back to normal for the most part, which serves to give us this scene, with so much win, I honestly can’t even.   vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h42m19s23vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h42m52s94 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h42m57s145 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h44m37s109 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h44m42s159 vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h44m45s197vlcsnap-2014-11-26-21h44m51s7

That. was. beautiful.

Onto YYR, who may not be a Pinocchio but is certainly as transparent as one. She seems utterly incapable of controlling her expressions, which is definitely just as much a no-no for a reporter as is being a Pinocchio.
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Not that love-triangles are any better. I’m still not sure what of make of SBJ, who alternatingly comes of as sweet and creepy.vlcsnap-2014-12-04-18h57m45s75
His mom is definitely a character though! I loved Kim Hae Sook in IHVY (Best mom ever!) and love her just as much in this quirkier role. I’ll just have to keep an open mind with regards to SJB and seen where things go. Hopefully no male posturing. Please show? Please?

But wowee at KJH’s dark trajectory! I was not expecting a twist like that. I truly expected the show’s main antagonist to be CIH’s mother, and the evil manager and his two cronies, not poor CDP’s brother.
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I can’t fault KJH for taking revenge, and honestly were this a different kind of show (say Strongest Chil Woo) I’d full support his decision. However, faced with a character who has chosen to shoulder his pain with aplomb rather than become the very people he hates, KJH comes off looking the worse. Looks like the choice between his biological family and his present one is coming up fast for CDP. And I honestly pity the moment when he finds out just who his brother has become. This show is definitely by the writer of IHYV and that pure goodness and faith that characterizes her characters really shines through here, despite the obstacles they face, you can be sure that they’ll make the right choices, even if it takes a few wrong ones to get there. Should be interesting seen just how much they’ll grow.
And now, I’ll be off to marathon the next three episodes!

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Birth of A Beauty Ep 10 Recap (and why HTH is utterly swoon-worthy)

Boy, did this episode pack a punch in terms of deep questions! Much of the villainy is set aside as we focus on our leads, though trouble has begun to brew in certain quarters. We start off with HTH’s shock announcement that he is the long-lost Dong Geul aka Han Dong Eun. HMH and his mother look as though they’ve been forced to eat Dungbombs as the board of directors buzzes amongst themselves. GCY begins to questions things as well, pondering the circumstances of her first meeting with HTH.
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HTH confides to a weary Ji Hoon (GCY’s brother and his adopted brother) that Sara’s birthday is the next day and he wants to make it a day to remember. Ji Hoon, who may know a lot about superficial women but doesn’t understand gems like Sara, suggests an ‘aristocratic date’. HTH gleefully plans one , which promises to be a disaster. Meanwhile a super happy Sara relives that hug when HTH arrives home from some shopping. vlcsnap-2014-12-03-12h37m30s21 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-12h37m33s44 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-12h37m43s143Her reactions upon hearing his dulcet tones is hilarious as is his reaction upon speaking in said dulcet tones
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The King’s Face Ep 1 Review (and where is Shin Sung Rok?)

With breathtaking visuals and a dramatic, resonant score, the King’s Face appears to be a winner alright. That is, if you exclude the first five minutes. No seriously, anyone considering watching this drama should seriously keep the first five minutes. Why on earth the producers though that beginning with a spoiler was a good idea is beyond me. Suffice it to say that you’ll actually find the drama more enjoyable if you skip ahead, so I’ll start from what should have been the beginning had some scriptwriter not gotten overly ambitious. (And speaking of overly ambitious there’s a Pirates of the Caribbean rip-off soundtrack at 33:30 into the drama, it’s honestly such a blatant rip, it’s pretty hard to un-hear. Come on! Surely you guys can do better than that!)vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h54m40s42 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h54m20s101 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h54m46s106 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h54m02s177 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h55m00s249 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h55m06s47 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h55m12s106 vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h55m25s240

We begin with young Prince Sejong being told that his is a face that bodes unrest for the kingdom, should he ascend the throne. vlcsnap-2014-12-03-15h59m54s108vlcsnap-2014-12-03-16h01m04s51 The prince is not too happy to hear it and we see a cruel smirk cross his face as he stares at the face reader…who pulls a sword on him? Okay that was fast. The scene abruptly changes as present-day Sejong wakes up from his dream/flashback/whatever it was with a start. He is brought to one of the many (we are told) areas of suffering within Joseon. People aren’t too happy with the king and have no issue with showing it as they consider themselves as good as dead anyway. Sejong puts on a warmhearted face and make promises of opening the granaries and the royal cellars, but arranges for those who insulted him to be killed once out of earshot.
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Birth of a Beauty and are we really makjang-free?

Adjusting to a dramaverse without the beauty that is Liar Game is pretty difficult, as most other dramas, somehow, fail to live up to expectations. I began watching Birth of a Beauty after sparing the appropriate mourning time for Liar Game Season 1, and boy was it underwhelming at first. Yet, slowly but surely, the show’s begun to grow on me. Yet quite a few fundamental flaws exist within its makeup that prevent it from being as good as it could have been.
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The premise is simply enough. An oversized woman, Sa Geum Ran (SGR) believes herself to be happily married to Lee Kang Joon (LKJ) and suffers under the hands of her in-laws to maintain her marriage. She is, thus, horrified to discover that her husband has  been carrying on with beautiful, cold announcer Gyo Chae Yeon (GCY) for quite a while and that her in-laws prefer the Other Woman to her. Confronting her husband with the affair, she is handed back her wedding ring and promptly dismissed after he informs her that he’ll be filing for divorce. Heartbroken at the callous treatment, and the gloating smiles on her in-laws’ faces, she drives off into the night and is met with an accident. Bruised and battered she arrives at restaurant chain owner-pretending-to-be-cosmetic-surgeon Han Tae Hee’s (HTH) place and begs him for a drastic transformation. Seeing that HTH has had feelings for GCY for quite a while, he agrees to help in hope that both of them will get back the respective people they love. And thus, SGR is transformed, through numerous invasive plastic surgery procedures, into Sara. LKJ, GCY and the evil in-laws believe SGR to have died in the car accident and don’t even bother mourning her,  instead transferring every assert she owned into their name, and gloating at her death in joy. HTH and Sara vow to do everything they can to break up GCY and LKJ who have just announced their wedding plans.vlcsnap-2014-11-22-15h09m29s100vlcsnap-2014-11-22-14h59m26s197
At first the plan is to separate the two, for Sara to make off with the husband she still loves despite his callous treatment of her, and for HTH to make off with GCY whom he still loves despite her callous treatment of him. With LKJ an easy target for the now-beautiful and unrecognizable Sara’s charms, everything appears to be according to plan.vlcsnap-2014-11-22-15h42m17s58
That is, until Sara remembers a crucial part from the night of her accident and realizes that LKJ was behind it.
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Love turns into hatred, as Sara vows revenge on all who were complicit in her ‘death’.
vlcsnap-2014-11-27-15h22m17s100vlcsnap-2014-11-27-15h23m21s231Infiltrating her in-laws home as the lovely, talented girl-next-door, she begins a campaign of torment and terror (for them that is, it’s highly amusing for any viewer watching to see them get their just desserts). HTH, feeling sympathy for her, happily aids her along, as he’ll still get GCY regardless of what happens to LKJ> Yet things change when he begins to feel curiously breathless around Sara. Suddenly GCY just doesn’t seem to matter as much. Even the startling discovery that she was an accomplice to Sara’s murder (a fact that Sara does her best ot hide from HTH as she’s afraid that it’ll hurt him) barely makes his heart ache, and even then, it’s pity for Sara. Could he be falling in love with his own creation? But is it Sara he loves? Or Sa Geum Ran?
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Things are complicated by the reveal that HTH is the legitimate son, and heir to the corporation that LKJ and the sinister Han Min Hyuk (HMH) work in, Winner Group. Add to that the fact that his Grandmother is now in danger from both HMH (the illegitimate son) and his scheming mother, and we’ve quite the tale on our hands.
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So much for SBS’s makjang-free policy.  Continue reading