nishera

IMDb member since March 2019
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Reviews

Sa-rang-eui bul-sa-chak
(2019)

A Fated "Love-Across-Borders" Story
If you have been frustrated by all the recent K-dramas that have been marketed as "romance" films just because they include some romantic content, I am pleased to report that this one is the genuine article. Yes, the plot is peppered with lots of suspense, action & comedy as well, but those elements always remain peripheral to the unfolding love story.

Aside from being technically polished, this show also boasts a great (if understated) script and cast who were respectively endearing or despicable (depending on their roles). I also loved the layered backstories, deep friendships and various inter-dynamics among the characters. Plus, despite some bittersweet moments, the unconventional ending was happy and hopeful.

And although this IS a romance film, I just have to say: THE COMEDY!!! Unlike many K-dramas which might get a chuckle from me with slapstick moments or exaggerated expressions, the humor in this show comes from hilarious culture-related misunderstandings, misinterpretations, shocks and awkwardness that left me in stitches. I nearly woke my kids up a few times because I couldn't stop laughing! And that gaming scene with the "Memories of the Alhambra" Easter egg nearly killed me. :D

Of course there were some weak points. In particular, I thought many of the hand-to-hand combat scenes seemed a bit unrealistic and looked too rehearsed. There were also a number of scenes that were overly melodramatic, poorly executed or just outright impossible (the tandem paragliding scene, for example). But considering that this show is obviously meant to be a departure from reality, I can't really count these issues as faults. No film can do everything perfectly, right?

In summary, if you like K-drama, are looking for a romance story that will make you laugh out loud, cry a little, and you don't mind having to continually suspend your disbelief, you should give this one a try. Highly recommended!

ROMANCE RATING: 8.5/10 I thought Hyun Bin & Son YeJin had believable chemistry and they shared 5+ kiss scenes (very generous by K-drama standards!) The more serious kisses were also quite long, and fell somewhere between PG-13 & NC-17 for passion level. To be totally honest, I felt both Hyun Bin & Son YeJin's performances in this film were a bit too understated for my personal taste, but they still delivered when it came to the romantic parts, so it's all good! :)

My Holo Love
(2020)

Tech Thriller with Romance
I was expecting this to be a futuristic ROMANCE flick, focused primarily on the excitement and challenges of falling in love. And while it did start down that path initially, before we could get into the "meat" of the trio's relationship, the plot changed gears, evolving instead into a suspenseful tech THRILLER. After that, the romance took a backseat to the corporate intrigue.

As may be expected of Netflix, this production is technically slick with plenty of low-key special effects, a nice soundtrack and some decent action scenes/car chase stunts. If you have seen "Memories of the Alhambra," I would say this has a similar flavor (minus the gaming). Lee Ki Chan also did a great job of portraying two polar opposite personalities and acting to green screen. The manga-like plot, though not especially original, was still interesting enough and started strong.

Unfortunately, about halfway through, some obvious plot holes began to appear, and the last 2-3 episodes had to rush to accommodate all the necessary twists and turns for a happy ending. On the other hand, the faster pacing also neatly tied up most of the loose ends, so at least there's that.

All in all, if you go for light, family-friendly fantasy/sci-fi romance stories that don't require much basis in reality, this will probably be right up your alley. Recommended.

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10 I can't speak for others, but considering that this is being marketed as a romance film, it would have been nice if the love stories with both Holo and Nan Do were a little more fleshed out. All the necessary scenes were there, but somehow, I just kept expecting...more. Like looking at the rough sketch of a picture, or only reading every other line in a book (though you may disagree).

Aside from that nitpick, as far as actual chemistry goes, I thought the main leads had good compatibility. It was a little disappointing that we didn't get to see much of the kisses (2+ scenes) when they actually happened, but by K-drama standards, I would consider them acceptable.

Chocolate
(2019)

A Slow but Moving Tearjerker
Have you ever taken a long road trip with endless stretches of highway and there's nothing to look at but the scenery? To me, this show feels just like that. The journey is the main story/romance (with a number of forced detours) and the scenery is all the side stories you encounter along the way. Whether you like this film will depend heavily on whether you enjoy that sort of pace.

If you are looking for excitement and romantic thrills, be warned. Although romance is indeed central to this show, it mainly serves to tie together a patchwork of smaller "slice of life" type stories centered around food, and the joy/meaning that it can bring. The actual romance is very quiet and only occupies maybe 25% of the story.

The bulk of the story is set in a hospice for terminal patients, and is much heavier than the average K-drama. You should expect to cry A LOT (in a good way). While this film does have a relatively unique plot, artistic cinematography and a nice (if repetitive) soundtrack, by far its strongest point is the acting/storytelling. You truly invest in all the characters and feel what they feel (except maybe for Michael's mother).

A few caveats: This film is clearly aimed at an older audience (so younger viewers may have no interest in the older couples), and some may find the meandering pace tedious. The romantic plot also relies on the "lack of communication" trope for an unreasonably long time, so frustration may outweigh any entertainment value for some viewers. Also, I personally found the last 20-30 minutes really anticlimactic. The ending itself was ok (despite all the loose ends), but IMO the events leading to it seemed unnecessary/contrived.

All in all, this show is certain to touch anyone who has experienced hospice life. As for other viewers, if you enjoy quiet, introspective stories full of deep emotion, and can value heart-aching as much as heart-pounding love, then this will probably be right up your alley. (Circumstantially) Recommended

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10 I'm a little conflicted on this point. I thought the ABSTRACT romance was good, and Ha Ji-Won and Yoon Kye-Sang had believable chemistry in their growing feelings for each other. I could really feel the longing. However, when it came to the CONCRETE romance and they finally kissed (3+ scenes), it just left me...underwhelmed. I can appreciate subtle and understated romance, but to me this felt more like something was missing. That might just be my personal preference though!

Bing-ui
(2019)

From Terrific to Trainwreck in 16 Episodes
Regrettably, I can't recall another film that caused me as much entertainment whiplash as this one. Which makes me really sad because the beginning had so much potential... If only it had been consistent from start to finish, I wouldn't have gotten so invested, then been so disappointed at the disaster it devolved into (and I don't believe that's an exaggeration).

There are too many problems in the last 4 episodes to attempt listing. Even the script and acting, which IMO were initially excellent, turned contrived and melodramatic. And the last time I saw a film with so much pointless death and needless tragedy was when I saw Seven in high school (yep, I'm old). This was all the more frustrating because I could see where the director was trying to go, but that only made the failure to get there even more unbearable. And while the ending itself does offer a sliver of closure, it pales in comparison to the irritation you have to suffer to reach it.

ROMANCE RATING: 6/10 While I thought Ko Jun Hee and Song Sae Byeok did have a certain chemistry on screen, it didn't feel like romantic chemistry. It was more like the rapport of partners who have worked together for a long time. So needless to say, while I could buy into their attachment to each other, their kisses looked more like friend kisses (even though they were clearly supposed to be lovers).

In summary, if you are fine with creating your own viewing experience, I can recommend the first 12 episodes (which were interesting and suffered minimal melodrama), then skip to the last 10 minutes of the show if you want an official "ending." But if you need to see how everything gets to that ending, be warned you are in for a frustrating ride. Sorry, I can't recommend this show.

Sarangbi
(2012)

Classic, Slow Burn K-Drama
This show is the very definition of slow burn romance, with lots of deep, restrained emotion and sacrificial love. I actually dropped it a couple times during the first 4 episodes, because the backstory (though vital to the plot), was understated to the point of being frustrating. However, if you hang in there, things do pick up after that.

I can't say there was much about the story or its execution that seemed particularly original to me, but that's ok. Sometimes you'd rather have a cheeseburger than gourmet food, right? So while you can expect many of the usual tropes (i.e. love polygons & rivals, playboy male + average girl, overbearing matriarch, etc), the film at least had a good cast who made those tropes (mostly) believable.

IMO, the most notable thing about this film was actually its soundtrack and background music, which featured an incredibly diverse array of era-appropriate songs in English, Korean and French (heck, I even heard some John Denver in there!) Oh, and shout out to the writers for featuring a girl using power tools (definitely not a common archetype)!

Fair warning: the current subtitles on Netflix are rather poor, with segments of conversation where the wording is confusing, misleading, out of context or fails to tie together the larger meaning/subtext of what is being said.

ROMANCE RATING: 8/10 The romance is relatively typical and formulaic, and there were only 1-2 really invested kiss scenes (plus a few other PDA moments). However, the main leads had good chemistry and you really felt their desperation...which might be why I thought some of the later hug scenes felt less realistic than if they had featured kisses instead.

In short, if you like classic K-drama and manga-type premises, I'd say give this show a try. It might resonate with you. (Circumstantially) Recommended.

Myeongbulheojeon
(2017)

Medical Drama + Romance, History & Time Travel
While this show DOES feature a romance, I would say it is more correct to call it a medical drama (eastern meets western medicine), with elements of romance, history and comedy mixed in. So if you are looking for the type of romantic fluff and excitement you find in a typical K-drama, you might be in for a let down. That's not to say that this film fails in the romantic department; it is just auxiliary to the rest of the story.

On the positive side, the show was technically sound, and the cast was great, with excellent acting all around. Especially Kim Nam-Gil. Even with his mostly heavy/serious role, he had some funny moments that really shone. I can't recall another actor whose expressions can so seamlessly shift between silly, happy-go-lucky, mischievous, and perverted. His expressions alone made the show worth watching!

I also enjoyed the idea of building unprejudiced respect and cooperation between eastern and western medicine (I loved the moments where the two approaches augmented and supported each other). And hooray for happy (though frustratingly un-serious) endings! The director could have chosen a bittersweet ending and I would have accepted it, but I was glad we got something more uplifting.

On the downside, there were a few dark scenes that seemed excessively drawn out/heavy handed (Heo Im's begging scene for one). I also thought Yeon-Kyeong snapped out of her memory induced shock a bit too quickly (though that might just be due to how hard it was to gauge the flow of time in the show). In addition, some side characters appeared during both the Joseon & modern eras for no clear reason, and a couple of the antagonists just sort of faded away (a more solid wrap-up would have been nice).

In summary, while this show has a lot going on, it is mostly well executed and I would rate it a solid 8 in every respect. If you like K-drama and medical dramas, this will probably be right up your alley. Also, don't miss the cute Easter eggs at the very end of the last episode! Recommended.

ROMANCE RATING: 8/10 The romance scenes in this film were a bit formulaic, but the chemistry between the MC's was still believable. There is only one real kiss, plus a few other PDA moments. Thankfully, in this case that one kiss feels very invested and passionate, rather than being a chaste little peck.

Ibeon Saengeun Cheoeumira
(2017)

Fresh and Philosophical Romance Flick
I should start by saying that I would rate this show a solid 8.5 (but since I have to pick either 8 or 9, I chose 9). If I had to describe this show in one sentence, I would call it a quiet, understated examination of love and marriage in modern times...which probably sounds totally boring, but it's not.

While the plot hinges on a cliche (contract marriage), the resulting story is anything but, and is a far cry from any K-Drama I've yet seen. It walks a beautifully fine line between cynicism and optimism, with some of the most original and heartfelt lines I have ever heard in any film, anytime, anywhere (On the other hand, if you don't care for thinking with your entertainment, this might not be your cup of tea).

In addition, seeing as the story centers on real life issues, I loved the fact that the cast was likewise "real-life beautiful," (rather than the unreasonably gorgeous type that are commonly selected for leading roles), and I was thoroughly impressed with the caliber of acting all around (Though the MVP is still the cat! Somebody get that adorable feline an award!)

If you are looking for a fresh and heartfelt K-Drama that brings romance to the real world, this is for you. Recommended!

ROMANCE RATING: 8.5/10. By K-Drama standards, this show had more kiss scenes than average (4+), and the kisses mostly fall in the NC17 category (rather than the standard G rated ones). Additionally, all three couples had good chemistry between them. I could have wished for a little more romantic payoff after all the build up for the MC's, but what we got was acceptable without being too racy.

Habaekui Shinboo
(2017)

A Far Cry From the Manhua, But...
Let me start by saying that after excitedly recognizing the characters and art style from the Manhua (Bride of the Water God), I was horribly disappointed to discover that this story has nothing in common with it at all. So for readers of the Manhua, this is likely to be a let down.

HOWEVER, that being said, I still can't understand why this show has received such poor ratings. If you look past the title and treat the film as a stand alone product, it is actually pretty solid (as K-Dramas go). While the story lacks originality, the script itself is well written. The acting, though not Oscar worthy, is mostly believable (especially CEO Shin). The special effects are acceptable (some are even pretty cool). And the other technical aspects (such as cinematography and soundtrack) are all nicely polished.

That's not to say it was perfect. I struggled with So-ah's fainting (which was probably meant be slapstick but only translated as annoying), her clueless character early on in the show, and the disparity between her caring personality vs her standoffish behavior. I also never bought her role as a psychiatrist. On the other hand, I loved how she was humble enough to admit her faults, yet never let others put her down.

Some other nitpicks include Habaek's "smile twitch" (what was the purpose???), the rushed ending, and the fact that Habaek's backstory gave absolutely no explanation that the curse caused him to become a child during the day and revert to an adult at night (a major point in the Manhua). This made the 2-3 scenes with his "younger" self completely disorienting.

In addition, the plot also took some unnecessary turns toward the end (but what K-Drama doesn't suffer from those?), and the current subtitles on Netflix had several critical segments of conversation where the wording was out of context or failed to tie together the larger meaning/subtext of what was being said.

In summary, despite some minor problems, I thought this was a pretty decent film overall, with lots of romance. If you are a fan of manga and K-Drama with a splash (no pun intended) of fantasy, give it a try. Recommended!

ROMANCE RATING: 10/10. I thought the lead couple had good chemistry (though others may disagree), and they share the largest number of kiss scenes I have yet to see in a K-Drama (7+). Additionally, in comparison to the brief or static "pecks" used in many K-Dramas, these kisses didn't skimp on dynamics or duration. This flick also deserves a nod for its' plentiful amount of skin/fanservice, courtesy of Nam Joo Hyuk and Gong Myeong's gorgeous torsos.

Aseudal Yeondaegi
(2019)

Netflix Execs, If You're Reading This...
Please Netflix, pull together the funding to properly finish out this amazing and original show! There is so much left undone and unknown...and the story and characters all still have SO MUCH untapped potential! I desperately want to see how it all ends! The big American networks could only dream of getting their hands on such a gem. Please don't leave us, the fans, hanging!

Ddo Oh Hae Yeong
(2016)

Worth Watching
When I first started this K-Drama, I didn't have much expectation for it, nor was there anyone in the cast I was particularly smitten with (they were all "new" actors to me). However, I changed my mind within a few episodes.

As romantic K-Dramas go, the plot did contain some of those "impossible coincidence" cliches, but overall it was a fairly fresh story. However, IMO it was the the acting which really carried this film, with emotional and believable performances from the entire cast. Also, aside from the somewhat heavy/dark main story, there was plenty of humor on the side to lighten the mood.

This show also deserves acknowledgement for containing possibly the raciest make-out scene I've ever seen in a K-Drama (it is in one of the last few episodes). Don't get me wrong, clothes stayed on and no beds were involved, but considering how limited physical romance usually is in K-Dramas, I was still duly impressed that this one didn't pull any punches in it's portrayal of normal adult passion.

If you like K-Dramas and make it through the first few episodes, I think you'll be glad you did. Recommended!

Triad Princess
(2019)

Swing and a Miss for Netflix
Let me start by saying that this opinion is obviously in the minority, so keep that in mind. :)

I think for me, the biggest disappointment about this show was its' unrealized potential. I loved the premise and I hoped it would be so much more than what it was. If I hadn't held any expectations, it's possible I would have liked it more.

That being said, it still had entertainment value. The plot is decent (if a bit cliche) and there are some really funny parts as well (the dad video was just hilarious!). In addition, I liked all the cast well enough individually, and the film is very polished from a technical standpoint (typical of Netflix productions).

But the show's execution just didn't work for me. The pacing in particular felt too rushed, which made it hard to engage with the characters, and I couldn't buy the chemistry between the main couple at all. That being said, I can't fault the actors themselves, since there were no glaring issues with their actual performances. It just seemed like Netflix tried to squeeze 12-16 episodes worth of content into 6, so there wasn't time for the usual character development etc. that I have come to enjoy in other K-Dramas.

In short, I can only recommend this to viewers who are looking for something light to kill time. Then again, your mileage may vary!

Sikago Tajagi
(2017)

Outstanding Romance/Action/Mystery/Historical Drama
Another fantastic Netflix K-Drama. I don't know how it has so few reviews! I started this show on a whim but ended up completely blown away by how unique and gorgeous it was in practically every sense. If you are a K-Drama fan, you come to expect at least a few recycled tropes here and there, but this one had very few (except for perhaps the love triangle). The plot, the music, the cinematography, and the acting by the main trio was just wonderful (especially Yoo Ah-In, the main lead).

The film is split between two plots: one centering around a haunted typewriter in the modern era, and the other a story about a group of Joseon/Korean freedom fighters in the 30's. It has more than a few similarities to Mr. Sunshine (another show I highly recommend), and though significantly shorter, the emotions it stirs up are still strong. Also, despite the increasingly heavy story, the film still manages to offer flashes of comedy and lightheartedness.

If you like K-Drama, Historical Dramas and are wondering if you should give it a chance, I can't imagine how you could be disappointed. Highly recommended!

ROMANCE RATING: 9/10. There aren't many kiss scenes, but unlike the average K-Drama "pecks," these kisses make up in intensity whatever they lack in quantity. I also thought the chemistry between the leads was totally believable and compelling.

The King's Avatar
(2019)

Surprisingly Enjoyable Novel Adaptation
As a reader of the original novel (still in the process of watching the Anime & Donghua) I must start by saying there were parts of this film that I found pretty off-putting. For example, I was disgruntled that Liu Hao (such a key antagonist, IMO) was written out of the story. And don't even get me started on Chen Guo's character! I deducted a whole star just because of her. :( Don't get me wrong, the actress who played her was fine, but I hated the fact that her personality was made so weirdly clingy and airheaded. It was impossible to relate her to the original Chen Guo at all. I also thought the interior of Happy Internet Cafe was completely unrealistic (honestly, who could game properly with all that ambient light glaring off the screens?)

That being said, if I had watched this series before reading the novel, I probably would have loved it. Even with all my nit-picks, it was still great. The cast, script, CG and soundtrack were pretty darn near perfect. Even the added content was surprisingly solid. For example, the flashbacks with Muqiu, and those little philosophical object lessons Ye Xiu used to explain things to people. And I was grateful that the added/altered parts with Ye Xiu's family brought some much needed emotional depth and humanity to the story and Ye Xiu himself (the novel really didn't provide much character development for him as a person).

I will also say that I'm SO glad the writers didn't try to add any romance, and kept the interpersonal dynamics ambiguous, just like in the book. I really hope they'll make a season 2, because there's still tons of story left. I would absolutely watch it in an instant!

Geunyeoneun Geojitmaleul Neomoo Saranghae
(2017)

Unexpectedly Psychological and Touching Manga Adaptation
Manga adaptations are often disappointing, but I liked the original manga (Kanojo wa uso wo Aishisugiteiru) enough to give this drama a chance. And to my pleasant surprise, although it did take a lot of liberties with the original story, I still totally loved it!

As with most manga, the story's premise is a bit unrealistic and does require some suspension of disbelief (though less than the original, I thought). In addition, while most of the characters still have their original personalities, the flow of events and character histories in the story have been significantly altered or rearranged.

Normally, these kinds of changes would annoy me, but in this case, I thought they added a great deal of depth, realism and humanity which helped to flesh out the original characters. Unlike the manga which focused primarily on simply moving the characters through various situations/events, the show looks at how those situations/events impact the characters internally and highlights their resulting development. There is a great deal of psychology and commentary on personal motives, which I found totally riveting.

This approach also helped me make sense of some things that I couldn't fully understand in the original work (such as Shinya/ChanYoung's bitterness toward Aki/HanKyul or Director Takagi/Choi's true intentions as their boss). Then again, if psychology isn't your cup of tea, you may find the storytelling pretty dull.

On top of a well directed story, the script, acting and soundtrack were all very polished. If you like manga (especially Josei), k-pop, k-dramas, and don't mind treating this show as a stand alone product, you might be pleasantly surprised! Recommended.

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10 There are only a few kiss scenes, but I thought they were beautiful, emotional, and I completely bought the main characters' chemistry. Though I will say I was a teeny bit disappointed that, unlike the manga (which has some extremely heated kisses), the k-drama keeps the romance strictly light and fun. But it's ok for what it is.

Wei wei yi xiao hen qing cheng
(2016)

Tried to Do Too Much
Anytime you take a complex story full of iconic moments and try to condense it down to 2 hours, you're just asking for trouble. As someone who read (and enjoyed) the original light novel, I knew up front not to get my expectations too high, but I had still hoped for a bit more than I got. Caricature characters, throwing out glib and rushed lines, a barely coherent storyline (which scarcely resembled the novel) and chaotic action sequences, just for starters. That being said, I blame the director more than the cast, since I did feel the actors could have delivered better performances if they weren't in such a hurry.

If this film had any redeeming points at all, it would be the polished cinematography and CG (both were decent, considering the film's budget). Lines aside, the actors also did a reasonable job of acting to green screen, which is notoriously difficult. There were also a handful of scenes overlaying the game world with reality, which were creative and did a surprisingly good job of conveying the feeling of belonging to both the 2-d and 3-d world.

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10. As per the novel, there was only one kiss scene, but it was fairly long and the actors had reasonably good chemistry. Bear in mind that while the scene did feature "A" door, it is not "THE" iconic office door from the novel.

In summary, I'm sorry to say this movie was weak in almost every way. Fans of the novel will certainly be disappointed and newcomers are unlikely to develop any interest in the novel. Not recommended. HOWEVER, if you have to choose between this film and the drama, I probably would choose this, mainly because, as others have mentioned, Angela Baby and Boran Jing have acceptable chemistry whereas Yang Yang and Shuang Zheng did not.

Maen Too Maen
(2017)

Stopped After 5 Episodes
I wanted to like this show. I really did. I was looking for something light and fun, and from a technical standpoint, it looked promising; the cinematography, stunts and music are polished and the cast has some solid actors. But for some reason, I just couldn't get into it. I'm a k-drama veteran so I know that the first 2-3 episodes of a show can be a bit bumpy, and I also dislike giving negative reviews, so I hung in there, hoping it would grow on me. But after 5 episodes I finally gave up. The characters just felt so half-hearted and I didn't buy the romance at all (which is the core of the show).

To be fair, I was just coming off of watching Mr. Sunshine and A Korean Odyssey/Hwayugi (both fantastic productions with epic love stories), so I suppose anything would pale in comparison. Still, I can't help but feel something critical is missing. I hesitate to blame the acting, since Min-Jung Kim (female lead) delivered such a stunning performance as Hina in Mr. Sunshine.

Speaking of her, I have to say the stylist did her no favors in this show. She was so beautiful and elegant in Mr. Sunshine, it was a pity to let her looks be downgraded by a poorly chosen hair style.

ROMANCE RATING: 6/10. I only saw 1 kiss, but that was enough for me. The kiss itself wasn't badly acted, the leads just had zero chemistry, so to me it felt awkward.

Sorry, I can't really recommend this show. I will revisit it at a later date to see if I should revise my opinion.

Miseuteo Shunshain
(2018)

A Period Love Story Set Against Japan's Colonization of Korea
There's little I can add to the glowing endorsements others have already given this show, but let me just say, if I could give it 15 stars, I would. Even if you aren't a big fan of period pieces (which this is), it still sucks you in, compelling you to race through episode after episode, though reluctantly because you can't bear to see it all end. I became so emotionally invested in the characters, I was deeply disappointed to learn that virtually all of them were fictional.

I dare anyone to get through this show without laughing, crying, cheering and marveling. EVERYTHING about it is just that phenomenal; the script, the cast, the cinematography, the costumes, the soundtrack (a feature in and of itself), and especially the two main leads. Even when they're not talking, they are still communicating loud and clear. It is truly a masterpiece, and the ending, though more bitter than sweet, felt realistic.

For those who feel the story/emotions were lacking, I'm guessing cultural differences are to blame. Asian dramas in general are typically far more restrained and subtle than our western "instant gratification" programs. On top of that, a structural feature of Asian languages is sentence ambiguity (unlike English, for instance, which spells everything out). This ambiguity allows for richly layered word play, full of subtext and double meanings, which regrettably fail to translate. The scene where Eugene runs into Ae-Shin under the blossoming plum trees is a prime example. In short, if you try to skim through this show using the same viewing techniques that work for American shows, you will miss 75% of what is actually happening and being said.

Normally I would give a romance-type k-drama a separate kiss/chemistry rating, but aside from the fact that there were no actual kisses to rate, in the context of this story, it also doesn't seem right. So I'll skip it this time.

Lastly, huge props on the rifle vs sword duel end of episode 11. It was thrilling, s3xy and artistic, and ranks among my favorite girl vs girl fight scenes of all time (I half hoped they would fight again so I could see more).

To say I recommend this show would be a gross understatement. Enjoy!

I Need Romance 3
(2014)

Best of the 3 'I Need Romance' Films
Let me just start by saying, OMG, Jun Sung's voice is so hot! (I haven't seen many k-dramas featuring actors with baritone voices). It was sometimes hard to focus on Wan's interactions with Joo-Yeon because I was all flustered just listening to him! :)

This film, like both of the other 'I Need Romance' films, features a love-triangle, but if you are going to pick 1 of the 3 to watch, I think this is the best one. The acting and cinematography are solid, the music is well done, and the plot is slightly less contrived than the other 2.

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10 There are only a few kiss scenes, but I thought they were pretty well done and I bought the chemistry between Wan and Joo-Yeon.

If you are into classic K-drama, you'll probably like this one too

Romaenseuneun Byulchaekboorok
(2019)

A Quiet Romance Novel in Video Form
Some love stories are about passion: the need, longing and desperation. This one is not. It is more of a warm blanket than a raging fire. As most k-dramas do, this one recycles a familiar plot, but the storytelling is so deep and personal that it feels fresh. It is beautifully shot, emotional and heart warming. The acting is excellent and matched with a moving soundtrack. Also, mad props to the person(s) behind the 'trenchcoat' scenes. They were awesome and hilarious and I laughed at every single one!

Unlike many book-to-movie adaptations, this show retains the feel of book reading, and includes several touching "story quotes" at the end of each episode. It really feels like you're reading a romance novel. For me, the only disappointment was that the romance itself stayed firmly in the "G-rated" category, and lacked any sort of sexual tension. However, if that's your cup of tea, then this is right up your alley!

ROMANCE RATING: 7/10. Dan-i and Eun-ho are really adorable together and do have chemistry, though it is more on the level of a teenage crush. They share a number of kiss scenes, but the kisses all lack intensity (I wish there would have been at least one really "invested" kiss).

All in all, highly recommended for k-drama lovers!

Hwayugi
(2017)

Supernatural love story + comedy & humor = Epic Romance!!!
Truly one of the best and most entertaining k-drams I've ever seen (and I've seen dozens). I can't say enough good things about this show!

As is typical, there was little originality in the plot itself (supernatural creature & human fall in love), however the storytelling was excellent. The acting of the main cast was superb (especially Lee Se-young who convincingly plays multiple roles), with clever dialogue, humor and well developed characters. The pacing was kept relatively even and the music (songs and score) were all well chosen and edited in smoothly (as you may know, music can be a sore point in some k-dramas).

I took off 1 star because of the action scenes and CG at the climax of the film. This was the point that the whole story hinged on and should have felt like it, but instead it seemed more like an afterthought and left me feeling a bit let down. Also the ending left some things unresolved, but neither issue detracted too much from the story. ROMANCE RATING: 9/10. There are several kiss scenes (the office appearing/disappearing kiss scene was particularly creative), and kiss intensity increases as the relationship deepens. The couple chemistry also feels believable.

All in all, if you like k-dramas and fantasy, I found this one to be exceptional!

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