I finally finished some things!
- https://getinformed.carrd.co/ This is an incredible carrd with information and resources about many of the issues the world is going through right now!
- I find Twitter an extremely useful tool in finding information about these injustices and ways to help.
In January, I realised that to complete all my “watching” goals, I would have to watch 6 things each month. And of course that would coincide with a slump which mostly was due to not having the attention span (and it’s still happening) ㅠㅠ
This also spilt over into just blogging in general. If I don’t watch things or listen to things or want to focus, I can’t make posts and I’ve been having a bit of a crisis that I’m not putting out good content. If there is anything you want to see, let me know in the comments ♥
The first three I watched at the end of January and then marathoned the last when it finished airing this month. And two of these aren’t on any of my to watch lists, but Twitter kept reminding me they existed.
Colour Rush (2020)
- 8 Episodes; 15mins each
- Rating: 7/10
Mono’s see the world in greyscale, but when they meet a Probe they are able to see colours. Yeon Woo (Yoo Jun) doesn’t want to ever meet his Prove, but after moving school’s due to a fight, he finds one in fellow classmate Yoo Han (Heo Hyun Jun). The relationship is unwanted, but Yoo Han is persistent, both in wanting to be closer to Yeon Woo and teaching him about colours. Yeon Woo is finds himself having to skirt a dangerous path, because most Mono-Probe relationship’s end in obsession and death. Meanwhile, Yeon Woo’s aunt (Lee Min Ji) is trying to find her sister, who disappeared years ago.
Colour Rush is an adaptation of the web novel of the same name by Se Sang. This world is so cool and interesting! The concept alone deserves a full length drama! However, this is one of the new Korean bl’s, which means the time spent with these characters is limited.
The driving force of the relationship is Yoo Han and his somewhat sadistic teaching methods. This boy took a lot of risks and used some underhanded methods, but at the same time they convey a love and a softness towards Yeon Woo. His methods also allowed Yeon Woo to think about the situation and ultimately led to the decision he makes. I will say that the timeline is a bit confusing and the romance aspect is somewhat rushed in the end.
What really makes this drama is Yoo Jun’s acting as Yeon Woo. His reactions and the emotions he displays are so captivating. Hyun Joo isn’t bad, but there was a bit of stiffness about his performance (but for a first role he was fine). The problem I had with Colour Rush is that it has lots of threads that it doesn’t explain, or sets up but drops. There is so much potential for more as the mystery of Yeon Woo’s mother, his classmates and their kind of taboo relationship are more than enough to work with.
The cinematography was good and explored the colours of our world and a Mono’s. I also love the soundtrack – Ru Su Jeong’s OST is really pretty ♥
Memories of a Dead End (2019)
- Running time: 1hr 29mins
- Rating: 6.75/10
Yumi (Sooyoung) wants to strengthen her relationship with her boyfriend who works overseas in Japan. He’s been unresponsive and offhand to her for months, so she decides to surprise him with a visit. Once in Nagoya, she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating. Depressed and unsure what her next actions should be, Yumi stumbles upon End Point, Nishiyama’s (Shunsuke Tanaka) guest house.
I don’t think I would have watched this film if it wasn’t for my K-Idol Actors challenge. This is a joint Korean and Japanese film which is adapted from the same name novel by Banana Yoshimoto. In Memories of a Dead End, it seemed that the Director (Choi Hyun Young) wanted to show the subtle beauties, especially in the every day life of Nagoya that I think went well with the narrative. The problem is the film feels clunky, the transitions from scene to scene tended to be a bit jarring – both in terms of time and colour. This isn’t an ugly film by any means, it’s just oddly strung together. For the language aspect, it was fun to see Nishiyama amused at the phrases Yumi would come out with.
The plot was interesting, but a little slow, especially as Yumi spent a lot of time just wondering around Nagoya in the beginning. There are a lot of shots of nothing happening – and honestly that probably goes with the themes, but it got kind of boring… I looked up how long the film was and I thought I was surprised. This film feels long. When she reached End Point, the film slightly picked up. The cosy atmosphere and found family aspect of End Point and the regulars was sweet and fun. This film is mostly built around the theme of making bonds with those you choose and who see the true treasure within you. This is mostly accomplished by Nishiyama’s attitude that brings out these sentiments when he and Yumi talk together. These scenes are both sweet and calming. They’re also a pretty funny duo!
Memories of a Dead End is melancholic, but turns hopeful. My main problem is that it got boring and I didn’t really like the editing style. The acting was great, with a mix of more serious and the exaggerated style common in Japan. It has a lot of potential and the ending was rather satisfying as we saw Yumi truly embrace her passion and learn from Nishiyama and her experience at End Point.
Side note: that boyfriend was a piece of trash! Like, his excuse for stringing her along was pathetic!
Perfect Sense (2016)
- Running time: 1hr 12mins
- Rating: 8.5/10
This is another watch for the Idol Actors challenge and once again it stars Sooyoung.
Eun Seo (Jung Chan Bi) moves to Seoul with her mother after her father dies in an accident. She discovers that she is developing the same condition as her father – retinitis pigmentosa – and her sight will inevitably deteriorate until she is blind. At her new high school, the English teacher Ah Yeon (Sooyoung) is blind and is asked by Eun Seo’s mother to help her.
With the help of Ah Yeon’s friends – Sang Joon (Kang Kyun Sung) is a guide dog trainer and Gong Shi Ho (Ji Yong Suk) is the Korean teacher and university friend – Eun Seo begins the journey of learning what she needs to make her life easier in the future.
Perfect Sense is a “drama special”, basically a short film, which aired on KBS2. I was a bit worried when I went into this as the subject matter is somewhat heavy and also there is a dog and I don’t trust dramaland with their well-being. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how joyful and uplifting of a blind person’s experience this was. I’m not a blind person, but from my limited understanding, Perfect Sense doesn’t make being blind or losing your sight as something that will ruin your life. We see, through cute training montages and scenes, that Ah Yeon doesn’t feel that her life isn’t fulfilling and it hasn’t stopped her from doing what she wants. She is a wonderful role model.
There is a great mix of joy and sadness. The scenes involving Eun Seo’s father (Jung In Gi) are both reassuring and so so sad. They help us see the struggles that Eun Seo is feeling and makes our connection to her much stronger. Chan Bi did an amazing job! And the two men in this were both idiots and I cherish their dumb interactions. Sooyoung was amazing as well and I think this is not only because she is a great actress, but the theme is very close to her heart. Every year she holds a charity auction called Blooming Effect to raise funds for finding the cure for retinitis pigmentosa, as her dad has it.
Overall, Perfect Sense was shot very well, the music was nice and there were a lot of sensory sounds that made the watching experience so much better. I highly recommend this! (the only place I could find it was on YouTube).
To My Star (2021)
- 9 Episodes; 15mins each
- Rating: 7.5/10
Seo Joon (Son Woo Hyun) is a popular actor who is forced to go into hiding after a scandal. He is accused of beating up a fellow actor, but is causing a headache for his company by not explaining what really happened. To stay out of trouble, Seo Joon moves into a building that his CEO owns, but has to share the space with Ji Woo (Kang Min), a chef who already lives there. The two are complete opposites which leads to mishaps and feelings.
This drama is probably my favourite from the new wave of Korean bl web drama’s. It has a wonderful mix of comedy, cuteness and angst.
Seo Joon has worked hard to get where he is, despite people only really seeing him as a carefree and enthusiastic person. Meanwhile, Ji Woo is closed off to people as he doesn’t want their inevitable pity when they learn he’s poor. These two are both precious! Seo Joon is an idiot, but he’s sincere and strives to live in a way that he wants. His presence at first makes Ji Woo uncomfortable, but Seo Joon seems to be someone you can’t help but like, even begrudgingly. They teach each other new things and their progression into a romantic couple is well played out on screen.
We have two main conflicts in this plot, the scandal and how Ji Woo’s boss seems sketchy. And they were well integrated considering the time frame. I do wish we got a bit more, but I’m satisfied with how they were resolved. And I loved the side characters! Seo Joon’s manager (Kim Jin Kwon) and his CEO (Yeon Jae Yeong) were dumb and we love an idiot trio ♥ Ji Woo’s reporter friend (Han Ji Won) added a really nice touch as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed To My Star. It was directed by Hwang Da Seul, who did Where Your Eyes Linger, so it’s no surprise that it’s well shot and put together. It’s also kind of discussion starter, considering that Seo Jun is an actor and his reputation would be near enough diminished if people found out about him being in a relationship with a man. It faces the prospects of these challenges in a soft way, mostly focusing on how the relationship is happy and normal in it’s domesticity.
Despite this influx of Korean bl’s, we as international fans need to understand that homosexuality is in general not accepted and LGBTQIA+ people face a lot of struggles in South Korea. These new dramas are basically a project to slowly infiltrate the market and change views (as well as cater to an international audience). The actors involved, especially the main leads are taking a risk in accepting these roles. Please don’t criticise too harshly about the length or skinship (and if that’s all you’re interested in, then that’s also a problem) or express those thoughts to the creators and actors.
What are your thoughts on these dramas? What have you watched recently? Let me know in the comments~
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a good day and staying safe ♥