pennyelenabooks

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Reviews

Peng
(2021)

Not Good Enough
Korean Drama "Peng" had an interesting prompt in theory, but the drama fall short.

The main problems of the drama were the characters and the length. The characters, first of all, were superficial or just there to support the leads. The main character was depthless, boring and spoiled, with some specs of a personality in the end, but still, were not enough to save her. The boys were just a cell of a stereotype that they were supposed to serve, though some of them had more screentime and, hence, a bigger chance to be presented better. The rest of the characters poped up here and there to add a comment about the main character or support her.

Now, for the length, it was short, yes, but it wasn't handled well either. The story was thinly spread and rushly ended, though the ending was rather surprising, and, unexpectedly, enjoyable.

As for the performances, they were decent.

So, overall, 2 out of 10.

Soolkkundoshiyeojadeul
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama "Work Later, Drink Now" is a heartwarming drama about a beautiful friendship.

With some romance, enough comedy, and the right amount of drama and tragedy to keep it real, the drama was short and enjoyable. It has a lot of drinking, yes, but it is more than just three girls having a good time. It has some crazy moments, along with a realistic plotline and a smooth outcome. The choice to add some of the previous moments of the three friends was a smart choice, however, it messed up the timeline and, sometimes, it even confused the story. Still, the dynamics between the girls were strong and that might carry the drama to a possible second season.

As for the performances, everyone did a great job with their performances.

So, overall, 7.5 out of 10.

High Class
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama 'High Class' is a suspenseful drama that keeps things interesting in every episode. However, the main mystery was a let down.

First of all, the drama has good performances. Even the kids in the cast did a good job with their characters. The drama also did a good job keeping things thrilling and having the viewer anticipate what is coming next. However, the main story was, in the end, predictable and pretty much had a lukewarm ending. The family drama was messy and badly handled. The bad rich people of the drama were, in addition, generic and stereotypes of all the bad rich people in the dramas. They didn't even have solid background stories to support their mean attitude. Also, the indication of a romance was unnecessary.

So, overall, six out of ten.

Undercover
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama 'My Name' is a mini-series with a noir story and an action-packed mood.

The story starts pretty strongly, with a character-driven plot, and it centers around the main lead and her connections with those around her while being triggered by the revenge she vows to execute if she finds her father's killer. However, the story gets predictable quite quickly. The timeline, also, was not handled that great, something that applies to the dream scenes as well.

The drama actually needed more time to be properly developed, as the short length meant a rushed progress of the story as well. Still, the atmosphere was there and the action scenes were masterfully executed. The romance could have been omitted though, as the strongest relationship of the drama was that between the main lead and her father's friend, which was also the dramatic factor of the plot.

Finally, the performances were excellent by everyone in the cast.

So, overall, 6.5 out of 10.

Algoissjiman
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama 'Nevertheless,' gives a new perspective to college dramas.

The drama has a pretty original story, bold and original, about a toxic relationship that is acknowledged by the lead and yet she can't stop it. It has a realistic aspect to it and a more mature mood. However, the ending was pretty cliche and ruined what the drama had built. The personalities of the main characters, especially the male lead, were also a bit vague and they should have been portrayed better. However, the love triangle was interesting and the side characters were pretty entertaining and they added a lot to the story, with a unique flavor and strong stories.

Finally, the performances were enjoyable and the atmosphere that the drama created, along with the OST, quite beautiful.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

The Duke
(2020)

Good Enough
The Duke is a pretty witty movie with interesting characters and a smooth progress, especially when one considers that it is based on a true story, which usually end up boring and too close to a documentary. The performances were also pretty great and the twist in the end brilliant.

Amhaengeosa
(2020)

Good enough
Korean Drama 'Secret Royal Inspector' had an interesting plot prompt, but ended up following the old well traveled path.

The drama starts pretty strong, with the introduction of the characters, the main story, and the main mystery. The first case the Royal Inspector and his team take sets the foundation of their friendship and their dynamics as a team while presenting to the viewer what is yet to come. And yet, the story is pretty generic after that, with a bad guy who was neither intriguing nor original.

The romance was also a bit of a let down, as it had a messy pace, but, at least, it didn't overtake the story and played the role of filling the gaps. Unfortunately, the side romance and the trop of past love interest coming back to create drama was well used, probably a bit too much at times. At least the bromance was quite strong and refreshing.

The performances, finally, were pretty great for everyone, especially the leads, though the leading lady needs more screen time to improve her skills.

So, overall, 5.5 out of 10.

Boksuhaera
(2020)

Not Good Enough
Korean Drama 'Goddess of Revenge' was a let down of a revenge drama.

The story, though it starts out strongly and introduces some pretty compelling characters, it doesn't keep up the momentum. Rather, it decreases in entertainment value gradually to reach the well expected and predictably lukewarm ending. And the main culprit of that outcome is the main story. Even though the small cases that were presented were suspenseful and thrilling, the main story was a been there seen that. It was cliche, with boring villains and a confusing and thus, messy mystery. The romance that was added was unnecessary and the main characters were uninteresting and too basic with no extra qualities to set them apart from the rest. At least the side characters were pretty dynamic and strong to support the plot.

Finally, the performances were pretty decent and the OST generic.

So, overall, 3 out of 10.

Usumudang Gadooshim
(2021)

Not Good Enough
Korean Mini Series 'The Great Shaman Ga Doo Shim' started nicely but ended up being a rushed, predictable drama.

Probably what doesn't help the drama at all was the ending. It was rushed, with bad CGI and a predictable conclusion. The progress of the story was messy as well and one doesn't get to see the characters' background stories, their personalities, dreams, and ambitions. You only get to see them as a superficial role that they just have to take. Even the love story felt forced and didn't proceed naturally, even though the leads did have chemistry.

On that note, the performances were all great, even from the side characters, who were, unfortunately, pushed aside due to the short length of the drama, as did the progression and presentation of the universe of the story.

So, overall, four out of ten.

Yumieui Sepodeul
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama 'Yumi's Cells' combines masterfully animation with a fluffy and yet realistic love story.

The animation, first of all, was a hit or miss, and they did a great job creating this fun atmosphere that was both funny and necessary for giving an insight to the characters' thoughts and what motivated them to act as they did.

In addition, the love story was pretty sweet, with plenty of cute moments and a realistic outcome, that, however, will probably be better resolved in the second season. The whole drama of the love story was nicely embedded to the progress of the relationship and it was pretty realistic.

Finally, the performances were all great and the animation well made.

So, overall, 8.5 out of 10.

You Raise Me Up
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama "You Raise Me Up" had a comical prompt, but an emotional and heartwarming story.

The drama does a great job showcasing the main character's downfall and struggles to find himself again and raise his own self-esteem. And that is why the romance takes the passenger's seat and, even though it has chemistry and some cute moments, it's not the star of the drama. The pace was, in addition, just perfect, with few flashbacks and a smooth ending.

The performances were all great, finally, by everyone in the cast.

So, overall, 8 out of 10.

Taineun Jiokida
(2019)

Good Enough
Korean Drama "Strangers From Hell" is a dark story that builds up to the great final twist in the end. The only thing that was missing was a bit of a more craziness of the main villain. All the others were mad enough to be triggering the insanity of the main character.

The latter was the star of the drama and the sole focus of it, as his downfall was well-orchestrated, even though there were evidence from the start that something was off that he himself was trying to suppress.

The performances, finally, were all great from everyone in the cast and the atmosphere pretty dark and suspenseful.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

Ojing-eo geim
(2021)

Good enough
Korean Drama "Squid Game" is bloody, but, somehow, hopeful.

It has a nice cinematography, with, sometimes, overused gore, but well executed action scenes. The background stories, moreover, set the drama apart from the rest of the survival game series, and it gives a more 'Korean Drama' feel to it. It makes the story more believable, as it helps the viewer relate to the characters and understand them. It also gave a more humane twist to the story and made it more dramatic, when the settings and the costumes were more on the childish side.

Finally, the performances were great by everyone in the cast.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

So Not Worth It
(2021)

Not Good Enough
Korean Drama "So Not Worth It" is a decent try to create an American sitcom with a Korean setting and an international cast.

However, where it fails it's at the comedy element. The story was not funny and the jokes were lukewarm. However, there was a happy, energetic feeling to it, and the friendship part was pretty interesting. The romance, on the other hand, was predictable and, even though the main one was cute, the other ones were not that great. The ending, in addition, was open.

Finally, some of the performances were pretty good, others got better as the series progressed.

So, overall, 4.5 out of 10.

D.P.
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama "D. P." is an intense drama that takes its strength from the reality that it presents.

The drama follows the main character as he discovers along with the viewer the small cases that build up to the final one. That main character is presented more like a blank canvas, with few clues of who he is and what sets him apart from the rest. He is probably there to be the eyes and ears of the viewer and even his decisions are closer to the ones everyone would have opted to.

The other characters were more colorful and dominated the scenes in a more powerful way. Nevertheless, the actual story was pretty intense and emotional, being tragic because it felt and probably is close to reality.

Finally, the performances were all great and walked side long with a great script and well paced story.

So, overall, 8 out of 10.

Meolriseo Bomyun Pooreun Bom
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Drama "At A Distance, Spring is Green" is a college drama that separates itself from the rest by focusing on the friendship aspect, rather than the romance. That is not to say that there wasn't a love story. There was one indeed, but it wasn't the main prompt of the story and it was of less intensity and enjoyment, though it had its cute moments.

The friendship though was the star of the drama. It allowed the characters to grow, open up about their struggles and overcome them eventually. The characters had great chemistry to boot.

As for the family drama, it was well paced and had enough intensity to keep things interesting. The college life part was enjoyable too, and it didn't overshadow the main story or get tiring.

Finally, the performances were great from everyone in the cast and the cinematography had the right youthful vibes.

So, overall, 8 out of 10.

Only Murders in the Building
(2021)

Good Enough
Only Murders in the Building has an interesting setting, a nice prompt, cozy atmosphere, and great cast. However, the three main characters, with their undenayable chemistry and interesting background stories, were far more interesting than the murder case itself, which was presented rushly.

Nine Perfect Strangers
(2021)

Not Good Enough
Nine Perfect Strangers had a great cast and a nice prompt for a story. However, and even though right from the start you know that something is wrong with the whole establishment, as the story progressed, the series got weaker and weaker, with a lukewarm built up and a disappointing ending.

Jombitamjeong
(2020)

Good Enough
Korean Mini Series 'Zombie Detective' is a smooth blend of comedy and mystery. The drama uses the zombie situation of the main lead in the most hilarious way, from his tries to imitate being human to him advertizing the make-up product, to his relationship with the leading lady. Everything was well done, not overstepping the borders of ridiculous, and keeping a nice balance between comedy and action.

The mystery, in addition, was a nice touch that kept things going for a while. The small cases weren't plenty, but they were enough to get things more entertaining and give time to the main plot to slowly mature.

The performances, finally, were all great from everyone in the cast.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

Word of Honor
(2021)

Good Enough
Chinese Drama 'Word of Honor' was interesting at first, quickly, however, changed sides.

The drama starts strong, with the introduction to the world, the mystery in hand, the political powers as well as the characters. The mystery element was pretty intriguing and even the villains seemed twisty and shady. However, after the first part, the drama took a more domestic turn, opting for a slice of life focus, forgetting about the matter in hand, adding a few specs of the characters' past here and there and pretty much letting them play little house on the prairie for a big chank of time. The villains were toned down too, and the main one was simply too tamed to be that horrific bad guy who will keep things interesting. The ending, finally, was rushed, but emotional, especially since the second couple was the main source of entertainment in the second half.

So, overall, 5.5 out of 10.

Manyeosikdangeuro Oseyo
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Mini Drama 'The Witch's Diner' is a drama with many layers. The main story is pretty interesting, with a witchy atmosphere, beautiful settings and intriguing characters. The short make a wish stories were all interesting, in addition, and they helped the drama move forward and keep being entertaining throughout its length.

The performances were a key element for this drama as well. Especially the leading lady, she was amazing as the mystical, freaky and dynamic witch and she didn't resemble any of her previous roles.

So, overall, 8 out of 10.

Sweet Home
(2020)

Good Enough
Korean Drama 'Sweet Home' has awful CGI, but it makes up with the on-point atmosphere. The settings, the costumes, the music, the performances, everything is and feels perfect, as the group of residence is trying to survive. However, this season felt more like the introduction, as we start to get to know each character and bond with them, without, nevertheless, getting too deep into the mystery of what is happening and why and how to move forward. Still, this season sets strong foundations for those to come.

In addition, everything is well constructed, with enough screen time for each character and each storyline. The pace is also perfect for the action element of the story. Finally, the performances were all quite emotional.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

Daebakbudongsan
(2021)

Good Enough
Korean Series SF8 is an ambitious anthology of sci fi stories. Others are better constructed, fitting well into the short length of an hour, others had compelling stories or characters or both, and others didn't do so well. Nevertheless, all of them had interesting themes, great performances and, best of all, beautiful CGI that created the perfect futuristic atmosphere.

White Crow didn't start strong enough, as it throws the viewer straight into the midst of drama when the main character's world is crumbling down. However, after she gets into the video game, things get gradually so intense and in the ending was pretty shocking.

SF8
(2020)

Good Enough
Korean Series SF8 is an ambitious anthology of sci fi stories. Others are better constructed, fitting well into the short length of an hour, others had compelling stories or characters or both, and others didn't do so well. Nevertheless, all of them had interesting themes, great performances and, best of all, beautiful CGI that created the perfect futuristic atmosphere.

Baby it's over outside was one of those that had interesting characters and a kind of nostalgic feeling to it. Bittersweet and kind of romantic, the story didn't have the best pacing, but it was interesting and had the perfect mood for it. The two main characters had chemistry as well.

Blink had the perfect pace and, thus, the story was well developed and explored not only the relationship between the two main characters but the criminal case as well. The two main actors did also a great job with their action scenes, which were plenty. This one actually blended smoothly many plotlines and elements, without overburdening the main story.

Empty Body was not one of the well presented stories. The whole sci fi element was not explained properly right from the start, and when it got more comprehensive, the drama had already shifted to another plotline. So, it was hard to keep up. However, the mother-son relationship was emotional and the strongest part of the story.

Joan's Galaxy was an emotional story, with a sweet, well paced romance and somehow, even though it takes place in a dystopian future, a nostalgic feeling. It had all the right vibes, from the aesthetics to the music to the costumes, everything was perfect, with a refreshing note and a nice conclusion.

Love Virtually, unfortunately, failed to impress. The chemistry was not there, the story was not that interesting and the twist of the two meeting in real life was not enough to keep things interesting and thrilling. At least the performances were enjoyable.

Manxin had interesting cinematography, and refreshing camerawork and quirky editing. However, the story was not enough to fill up the length of the episode. It was also not well explained and sometimes it got confusing to follow.

The Prayer had a strong first half, but it almost lost it in the second one, as it was a bit too much with the shocking element, although the drama wanted to show how technology can't replace the human factor (?).

Korean Series SF8 is an ambitious anthology of sci fi stories. Others are better constructed, fitting well into the short length of an hour, others had compelling stories or characters or both, and others didn't do so well. Nevertheless, all of them had interesting themes, great performances and, best of all, beautiful CGI that created the perfect futuristic atmosphere.

White Crow didn't start strong enough, as it throws the viewer straight into the midst of drama when the main character's world is crumbling down. However, after she gets into the video game, things get gradually so intense and in the ending was pretty shocking.

Sseochi
(2020)

Good Enough
The main problem with the Korean Drama 'Search' is that it took up a lot of themes and storylines and had so little time to develop them.

The whole illness-zombie-animal-fy was not well explained, served only as a prompt for the search to start and sometimes it was left out of the story, in order for the latter to focus on the mystery. That said, the mystery case was pretty interesting and the drama had the thriller factor on full mode, which aided a lot. Another plus was the lack of romance, which would have shifted the mood of the drama to another, more cliche, level. Unfortunately, the family drama needed, too, more time to be developed, as did the characters, who were only introduced rushly to be thrown right into the action, thus, preventing the viewer from creating bonds with them, caring for them and actually feel the right emotions in the end.

Nevertheless, the performances, the setting, even the fantasy part, were all great, well performed and executed.

So, overall, 7 out of 10.

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