Doctor Frost · Kill Me Heal Me · Pinocchio

Pinocchio, Kill Me Heal Me (and why Doctor Frost makes my heart ache)

My poor blog is once again suffering from neglect. I blame the start of the second semester of my second year in university (booooo). I’ve been regularly keeping up with dramas nevertheless. Honestly, the first I do when I get home is open the torrent files on my client xD It bothers me that I can’t recap them, but I’m honestly plumb out of time, what with the evil monster that is physics and my other…commitments. Actually no,that’s just me trying to say that I’ve been stuffing every waking hour with as many books, movies and dramas as possibles, while being forced to endure hours of boring lectures, and even more dreadful homework and assignments. Oh, and I’ve that book to write as well. Ugh. It’s just as well that this is a post on procrastination since I haven’t even gotten to the main topic yet.

Pinocchio concluded it’s 10 week run two weeks ago (TWO WEEKS? Where did the time fly? And I adored the fitting ending (complete with WEDDING DRESS, Thank you for the fanservice, writer-nim). I’ll admit that this dramas had its share of downs for me. The noble idiocy, the unnecessary angst (see eps 5, 6, 7, 13 and 14) and being beaten over the head with thematic statements was a little too much, and results in this work being far less comparable to Park Hye Run’s previous wonder: I Hear Your Voice. Yet, there were those moments within the show: In Ha firing Dal Po’s agonized words to her mother, Dal Po choosing to take the higher road time after time, Cap, Yoo Rae, Bum Jo’s sacrifice, Grandpa and Dad being perfect, Mom being properly humbled. Moment like that really held this show together, and gave the viewer a sense of awe, and hope. But more than that, it gave them a world where even the most unjust of injustices could be corrected, no matter how many years later, a world where people could heal and be healed, and be loved no matter what (hyung, Bum Jo’s mother). And to do that with such earnestness and joy isn’t easy. But Pinocchio did it, and I’m grateful to have made its acquaintance. Farewell, In Ha and Dal Po, I hope to see Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk together on-screen sometime again. They’ve fantastic chemistry and have clearly done wonders for each other’s career (*coughcough*, I think PSH has cleared herself of that Frozen fish label?). Hopefully they’ll pull a Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum and work more of that magic over another good tale? One thing’s for sure, I’ll be down for the ride.

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Speaking of which, having a pair of established actors, who’ve already shown sizzling chemistry in a previous work, reunite so quickly must be a first for Kdramaland. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of a ship reuniting so quickly, besides the PSH Yonghwa couple, and even that was two years later. This is barely over a year. But hey, I’m not complaining. Ji Sung is love, and regardless of how I feel about what Hwang Jung Eum is doing to her face, she can act, as evidenced in Secret. But that’s not the only great thing about these two. Kill Me Heal Me sounded like an absolute trainwreck until the first teaser came out with Ji Sung the Beautiful. Holy Moly Ravioli. Lee Bo Young is one lucky woman (As is Ji Sung to have such a perfect wife). Ji Sung not only pulls off ALL SEVEN personalities with aplomb and finesse, but his perfection even extends to the main persona. See, there’s always the risk with a personality as magnetic as Shin Se Gi, that the main character turns out a bit lacking. But Cha Do Hyun is…just marry me already. A chaebol who’s not a snooty brat? Sign me up. I love how he not only establishes each persona as highly individual, but extends a few of their characteristics to the main personality. Shin Se Gi’s brains (and if you ask me, a bit of that charisma as well), Perry Park’s haplessnesss, Ahn Yo Sub’s sorrow, Cha Do Hyun embodies all these things and more. And he’s so damn gentle, I can’t stop the squeals whenever he appears on screen. Scratch that, I can’t stop squealing. Period. My mom and sister now believe me to be a mental patient. They may be right. I’m loving the direction KHMH is heading and I really hope that we’ll focus more on the characters and personas, as well as how their past ties them together as opposed to chaebol inheritance thingamabobberies (because those are just dumb, and no one likes Mean Grandma anyway). And if Hwang Jung Eum tones down the screaming (please?) just a bit for the remainder of the show, we’re set in for a hell of a good ride.
Gosh I love this show!

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(Marry me, Cha Do Hyun!)

And speaking of good rides. Doctor Frost    evolved into the most abysmal waste of a good concept that I’ve ever seen. I stuck by this show faithfully, ignoring the wise words over at HanCinema and I get rewarded with dogshit. Literally, I don’t know whether I’m so pissed at this show because I expected so much, or because it’s just dumb. Put a pair of good actors like Song Chang Eui, Lee Yoon Ji, Jung Chae Eun and the fellow who plays Cheon Sang Won (and played that role for half a billion other shows), and you end up with this mess? The show is lackluster to say the least, even the previews for the next episode fail to inspire interest. After ep 6, I was honestly weeping tears of blood in disappointment (okay so slight exaggeration there). But gosh, what a waste of such good talent. The recaps likely won’t be continuing. Firstly because of school, and secondly because I’ve a book to write and not enough time to use on recapping (Forgive me Song Chang Eui, you did your best). To the wonderful people who’ve even googled the name of this blog in hopes of Doctor Frost recaps (I don’t who you are, random person, but you made my day with that search term) and to those who’ve been following the recaps on this blog the whole time, I sincerely apologize. Firstly, for how late the recaps were in coming, secondly for the fact that I’m not continuing them and thirdly, if you still love the show and I’m raining over your parade. I’m really sorry about this, and really grateful that this blog has gained the number of view it has over the pat three months. I’m really truly grateful for each and every person who reads/skims these pages. Thank you all so much!

I’ll continue a bit more in the next post. I think I’m going to need more space for the Healer squeefest.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio Ep 14 Review (and when history starts to repeat itself)

Thankfully everyone’s back to normal for this episode, well except Yoo Rae who’s now head over heels for Ha Myung. Bonds reform, and others break while other fabulous (weary) four go up against their biggest enemy yet, who has a posse of her own. I like where this show is going, I really truly do, but the method it’s using to go that way leaves me a little baffled. This isn’t a show like Healer where this just move at an incredibly fast pace while remaining highly realistic and rather logical. From the hints being dropped around in the previous episode, it was pretty obvious that Bum Joo’s mother was going to be our big baddie, but I wasn’t expecting our reporters to figure out so soon, and so…coincidentally? I honestly don’t know how to put it. How on earth does finding her mother’s earring on in the Chairwoman’s office have any shady implication as to the nature of her and IH’s mother’s relationship? To be honest, I don’t really understand how that jump was made. Her mother was as reticent as always with the information, and being friends with Bum Joo’s mother surely doesn’t mean that the latter should automatically not be trusted. But let’s think this through and try to see why InHa’s spider sense started tingling. Why would someone who called Cha Ok over to her place (for some reason or the other) not call back to mention that she’d left her cellphone behind? For some reason, she didn’t want Cha Ok to return to her house, or to be seen near her. Well that’s fine, Bum Joo’s mother, Park Ro Sa, could have a lackey/manager return the phone to Cha Ok instead. So why didn’t she? Continue reading “Pinocchio Ep 14 Review (and when history starts to repeat itself)”

Pinocchio

Pinocchio Episode 13 (and what on earth is with everyone?)

Thankfully Pinocchio sets a less somber tone for this episode, than the weep fest (me that is) for the past two episodes. While I simultaneously love and hate about these characters is that they’re own their own, figuring things out. Sure sometimes MSC and YGN’s Cap will step in with some choice words of advice, but most of the time, they’re stuck in their own heads trying to make choices that no one should have to.

And Dal Po certainly has quite a quite a few to make. Either he gets his revenge in painting Cha Ok as the devil and makes hyung proud while breaking In Ha’s heart (and most likely his own) or he takes the high road and releases nothing but the truth which results in his only chance to pin down Cha Ok vanishing. Truth as usual, is central to the conflict. To tell or not to tell. Honestly my heart sank when DP yelled at In Ha to keep her mouth shut. Honestly, the girl’s been through enough with their man she loves suddenly turning into the very creature he’s trying to bring down. And the fact that she just stood there and too it, not even knowing what to say, understanding what he’s going through but not knowing how to comfort him, is heartbreaking. This is Choi In Ha we’re talking about, who’s normally feisty as hell. I wanted her to go up there and kick some sense into DP, yet she chose to follow him (making me tear my hair out).
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Why In Ha? Why? I suppose that sense of guilt she feels continues to overpower her common sense. Yet, for the life of me I find it so difficult to understand why she must feel guilty, her mother’s sins ARE NOT her own. I understand why DP would find it difficult to fight Cha Ok while being concerned about In Ha’s welfare, but seriously, separation’s not going to solve the problem. I mean just look at the issues it created in this episode alone. DP and IH should be showing a united front, instead they’re all over the place unsure of what to do and when to do it, and now Yoo Rae’s fallen for Dal Po, which is going to drive me even more insane, seeing that all these characters appear to have gone mad. Continue reading “Pinocchio Episode 13 (and what on earth is with everyone?)”

Healer · Pinocchio

First thoughts on Healer (and this week’s Pinocchio episodes)

Healer is off to a fantastic start, and I honestly cannot wait to marathon the remaining available episodes. Pinocchio on the other hand, surprised me with quite a few irrational actions by DP.
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Healer is the second of screenwriter Song Ji Na’s works that I’ve seen, the first being the beautiful and moving Faith that aired two years ago (Lee Min Ho and Kim Hee Sun FTW!).
vlcsnap-2014-12-20-16h29m48s217 You can’t always guarantee the quality of a drama due to its actors (see Lee Jong Seuk and Doctor Stranger) but you can be quite assured of how good it’s going to be if a good writer is helming it.

As such, I honestly came into this with high expectations, seeing the writer’s skill, how slick the stills were, how beautiful Park Min Young was, and how gorgeous Ji Chang Wook and Yoo Ji Tae were(*fans self*).
vlcsnap-2014-12-21-16h41m53s47 Gosh, the smexy in this drama is no joke. Thankfully, the acting is really good as well. I was a bit worried about that as Kim Hee Sun’s over-the-top character did take some time for me to get used to at the start of Faith (though Eun Soo evolved into utter perfection) but thankfully there was no need for concern in that quarter.  What I loved about Faith were primarily its characters, and how complex yet relatable they were despite the 700 year gap in customs and setting. They were constantly maturing and evolving into better, (well excluding Gi Cheol and Deok Heung) stronger versions of themselves and it appears that Healer is no different. Continue reading “First thoughts on Healer (and this week’s Pinocchio episodes)”

Uncategorized

Pinocchio Ep 10 Review (and why Choi In Ha is *insert megatastic awesome adjective*)

This episode was engrossing, absorbing, and characterized with Pinocchio’s usual poignancy. We focus on DP and In Ha, the latter in particular, which I’m actually rather happy about seeing how nuanced and complementary these two are. In the interest of the amount of memory WordPress says I have left, I’m going to tamp down firmly on my urge to fill this review with as many screencaps as physically possible and focus more on picking apart the episode…and fangirling because honestly? Choi In Ha is perfect.

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Can we start with how perfect that apology was? I expected tears, recriminations (why did you lie to meeeee? À la Doctor Stranger), a notice of breakup, and instead I get this perfect. In Ha doesn’t need to apologize, she’s done nothing wrong and DP certainly hasn’t thought so either. But the very fact that she does, that she’s so utterly heartbroken at the realization of just how much he’s endured, just how much she’s dismissed as nothing, as him being irrational, over the 13 years of their acquaintance is just so…Choi In Ha. It’s that overwhelming empathy, understanding and love she has for him (which just gives me NDJ feels really) that bowls DP over. Gotta love how the apology went on for two hours though! Oh In Ha, you perfect creature, you don’t have to be sorry (as DP keeps saying!).
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DP honestly seemed relieved at the reaction, that he’d finally be able to tell someone everything he’s been keeping hidden for the past 13 years. Well, excluding that bit about JM that is, though it’s enough that In Ha knows that something’s up, and he didn’t lie to her about it, rather he offered to tell her the complete truth (Thank you, show for not manufacturing a misunderstanding that way!).

Continue reading “Pinocchio Ep 10 Review (and why Choi In Ha is *insert megatastic awesome adjective*)”

Pinocchio

Pinocchio Episode 9 Review (and run, run, run from hyung!)

Wowee Pinocchio! You’ve outdone yourself again. Now that the relationship drama is finally behind us, we begin to focus more and more on hyung, who is honestly the central part of this episode. There’s less action than there is interaction, and honestly I’m perfectly fine with that, seeing how awesome these characters are.

It’s an enormous relief to see DP finally confide in someone regarding his suspicions about his brother. I was honestly worried that the poor guy was going to crumble emotionally at this rate. He’s honestly been through so much, that I’m surprised he can get up every morning what with the crushing weight of all that worry and fear. And who better to confide in than someone involved in the issue, who’s both level-headed and rational, aka YGN’s Cap! Is it just me or did Cap seem ever so slightly miffed at the start of their conversation (you really wanted that hug, eh?) until DP’s words hurriedly brought him down to earth.
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I love that DP was absolutely direct with him.
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(Talk about a sharp-shooter)
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and that Cap didn’t try to pry or find out more but gave some very good advice without judging and jumping down DP’s throat. It’s an interesting dynamic in that I feel like DP seems to gain people who care about him no matter where he goes. His relationship with Cap is almost on hyung-dongsaeng level and will definitely be cemented there once we get some of those hugs. Though, those appear to be a long way coming what with KJM on the loose. Continue reading “Pinocchio Episode 9 Review (and run, run, run from hyung!)”

Pinocchio

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

Pinocchio

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!

Pinocchio

First thoughts on Pinocchio

Managing to pull myself away from Liar Game’s engrossing beauty, I decided to explore Pinocchio’s urban fantasy world. It was almost a preparation of sorts for Liar Game’s inevitable finale next week and my way of adjustment to a post-Liar Game dramaverse. I rarely fall hard for dramas, most fall into realms I’ve categorized as: overrated, sudden death by plot (*coughcoughTrotLovers*), or contrived. And I’m glad to say that Pinocchio is (as of yet) none of those. This year in dramas has been a pleasant surprise, from the beautiful Miss Korea that brought me back into K-dramas to the magnificent Liar Game that cemented my stay.

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Pinocchio’s first episodes brings up the same sense of injustice that characterized the start of I Hear Your Voice (which was by the same screenwriter) and I’m looking forward to seeing how our lead’s fateful connection plays out, seeing that this isn’t IHYV where one saved the other, but where pieces of Choi Inha (CIH) are a painful reminder of the injustice Choi DalPo (formerly Ki HaMyung) endured. The characters pop straight into your screen, with LJS building off his younger counterpart seamlessly, and PSH turning a surprisingly less bland performance than I’d have thought. Her naivete is a bit grating at the moment (unlike NDJ which just makes me want to give her a hug) but as it’s explained away as part of her small-town upbringing and the Pinocchio syndrome that will characterize this drama, I’m looking forward to watching her mature.

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