Hi, hello, my name is Maoni (mon-ee) and this is my review of K-dramas I've watched recently. Everything I watch is available on either Netflix, Hulu, or Viki so I will include what platform the show is on in its review. In this post I will be talking about Alchemy of Souls, Connect, Summer Strike, Something in the Rain. I don't know if it's necessary to add a disclaimer but these reviews are just my opinion as someone who likes TV and movies. I am not a veteran K-drama watcher (my first k-drama was Squid Games) so some things I mention may not be note worthy to those who are more versed in K-dramas. With that being said, I would like to start the reviews with my favorite off the list, Summer Strike!
Summer Strike - available on Netflix & Viki - Rating: 9.8/10
The show follows Lee Yeo-Reum as she moves to a small village in an effort to live a completely different life after experiencing one of the worst moments of her life. There she meets and builds a relationship with the residents including the silent librarian, An Dae-Beom.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Yeo-Reum and Dae-Beom! A lot of K-dramas are fast paced when it comes to the relationship between the leads, but this drama is truly paced realistically. Both lead characters are kind of shy and introverted and it reflects in their relationship. I feel like anyone who is a fan of the "slow burn" trope would love this show. The interactions between Yeo-Reum and Dae-Beom were so cute!!! I loved that you could tell the moments where they started to realize they have feelings for each other. I don't want to spoil the show for anyone who hasn't seen it so I'll try not to say too much and just finish this with explaining why it's not a 10 out of 10.
The show includes a little murder mystery in the plot that is connected to Dae-Beom's backstory. While it is executed well, I would've loved the show just as much had the murder mystery been left out. There were moments in the show that characters were experiencing pain that I feel like they shouldn't have had to go through. Those two points are why I have to hold the .2 from the rating.
Overall, I highly recommend this drama if anyone wants to see a cute realistic introvert romance within a *mostly* calm and comforting show.
Something In The Rain - available on Netflix & Viki - Rating: 3/10
This show is about 30 something Yoon Jin-A who reconnects with her best friend's younger brother, Seo Joon-Hee. The two end up developing a secret romance that begins to shake up Jin-A's life.
I found this show from a TikTok promoting K-dramas with realistic, slow-paced relationships. To the person who made that TikTok... run me my 16 episodes worth of time back.
This show worked my nerves sooooo bad. The main character, Jin-A, is number 1 offender for making me wish I had abandoned this show. The only reason I finished the show is because I wanted to know the results of the workplace sexual harassment case Jin-A and her other female coworkers were involved in. In terms of the romance, this show was NOT slow paced. The episodes may have gone slow but the characters fell hard and fast. Joon-Hee was literally ready to quit his job and throw everything away for Jin-A only days into their relationship. I feel like he was doing too much throughout the show as Jin-A was not reciprocating the same amount of effort. For Jin-A to be the older party in the relationship, she definitely was not the most mature. (Honestly neither lead seemed THAT mature to me but for her to call him immature like...ma'am c'mon now) I understand expressing emotions and talking about things is hard but I feel like Jin-A wasn't giving herself a chance to open up or release whenever something happened. The way this caused her to react to the people around her sometimes did bother me. I think many situations could've been avoided had she just communicated. The only character that worked my nerves worse than Jin-A was her mother. Jin-A's mother was absolutely insufferable throughout the entire show. Think of the most judgmental person ever. I promise you whoever you think of can't hold a candle to Jin-A's mother. Jin-A's dad was the only one in the household with common sense and straight-thinking throughout the show. Seo Kyung-Sun, Jin-A's best friend, was the one character I actually felt bad for during the show. She was constantly getting the sh** end of the stick and did not deserve the pain she went through.
The only reason the show isn't a 0 out of 10 is because one of my favorite actors, Wi Ha-Joon, is in the show. I didn't like his character that much but him being in the show gave them 1 point. Another point comes from the show not having overdramatic edits. I feel like the editing of this show was proper for the show's tone. Last point for the show goes to the episodes going slow enough so that you can catch all parts of the story.
I personally would not recommend this drama. Don't let the edits fool you. There is more bad than good. (Watch Summer Strike instead or check my other reviews for a better recommendation)
Connect - available on Hulu - Rating: 8/10
Connect is about a man, Ha Dong-Soo, that is kidnapped by human organ traffickers who steal his eye and transplant it into serial killer Oh Jin-Seob. After having his eye stolen, Dong-Soo beings to see what Jin-Seob sees and enacts a plan to not only get his eye back but also stop Jin-Seob from killing anymore people.
This drama is a bit gory. If you are sensitive to that kind of stuff, you may want to proceed with caution if you choose to watch this show. Other than that, the show itself is pretty good and interesting. There are only 6 episodes so this is a quick short watch. Although there's only 6 episodes the pacing of the show isn't bad. I'm not sure what all I can say that won't spoil the show since it is so short but if you typically like suspenseful shows, you'll likely like Connect. The only thing I didn't care for was the romance they threw in between Dong-Soo and Choi I-Rang, the female lead. The romance between them is the only part of the show I feel that is extremely rushed and not needed. The romance did not add to the story and they, the writers, could have honestly left Dong-Soo and I-Rang as friends.
Overall, if you need a decent drama to watch over the weekend, Connect is a good watch. (I just realized the first male lead is the same actor in Something in the Rain, Jung Hae-In. If you're a fan of him and looking to watch more of his dramas, check out Connect.)
Alchemy of Souls - available on Netflix - Rating: 9.5/10
This drama follows the story of Jang-Uk and Naksu. Naksu is a powerful sorceress who gets stuck in a blind woman's body. While trapped, she encounters Jang-Uk who seeks her help to change his destiny.
This show is so good! There are two seasons out right now so this is just an overall review of the whole show. If you've heard or seen anything about Alchemy of Souls and were wondering whether or not you should watch it, watch it. You will not be disappointed. The action in this show is great. I love shows that have fantasy/magical elements and this show revolves around that. The romance between Jang-Uk and Naksu, known as Mu-Deok throughout season 1, is well done and not rushed at all. I found it amusing that both characters had a moment of denial when realizing they had feelings for each other. The way Mu-Deok had not one, not two, but THREE guys head over heels for her without even trying was both funny and entertaining.
So many characters in this show were amusing and just as entertaining as the leads. For season 1, Park Dang-Gu, one of Jang-Uk's best friends, was definitely my favorite character. He is probably the funniest character out of three best friends: Jang-Uk, Seo Yul, and Dang-Gu. The look of this drama gives off old-timey as if it were a period piece but I don't think it is. I bring this up because although I loved Dang-Gu's character, he did look a little out of place since he wears very modern earrings and dyed hair unlike anyone else in the show. I considered this in my rating as it did confuse me a bit during season 1.
Speaking of things that confused me, the subtitles in season 2 had me a little lost during some parts. I am not fluent in Korean so I did have to use English subtitles to watch the show. At some point in season 2, the names Mu-Deok and Naksu switched places in explanations of who was in whose body. This had me a little confused because in season 1 we see Naksu trapped inside of Mu-deok's body, then in season 2 we see Naksu's body and debates about whose soul is inside.
I loved that this show had multiple love stories going on while keeping the plot of Jang-Uk's destiny at the center. I definitely teared up over the additional romances (not saying the couple names because you should watch and see who ends up together, just know there's an older couple that are sooo cute). I will say that I felt so bad for Seo Yul in both seasons. The writers will be receiving my medical bill for broken heart strings after everything with Seo Yul. I will also be sending the casting director and writers flowers for introducing me to Jang-Uk's actor, Lee Jae-Wook. I am definitely a fan now.
This is one of my favorite shows that I've watched. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a new show to watch.
Trying not to spoil anything while talking about these shows was difficult but maybe I will do a spoilers included version and discuss specifics from the shows I reviewed. My next review will be over the shows: Love to Hate You, The Glory, Bad & Crazy, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, and my current thoughts on The Good Bad Mother.