Twenty-Five Twenty-One is a subtle reminder of all the difficulties we’ve all gone through in life – from undiscussed childhood issues to teenage angst up to the responsibilities forced upon becoming an adult. All 16 episodes directed by Jung Ji-hyun will make us ponder how short but beautifully-lived life should be, of how precious time is.
A remake of the 2004 movie, ‘Mr. Hong’, Hometown Cha-cha-cha features the story of the dentist Yoon Hye-Jin (Shin Min-A) who moved to the seaside village of Gongjin where she meets the literal jack of all trades, Hong Du-Sik (Kim Sun-Ho). The 16-episode series follows a very simple plot – one that we never thought we need in these daunting times of uncertainty.
‘Mr. Queen’ tells about the gender-bending story of a Blue House chef from the present (Bong-hwan) who got into a comical accident and got his soul entrapped in the body of the Joseon-era Queen (Kim So Yong).
When the Camellia Blooms follows the story of the single mother Dong Baek (Gong Hyo Jin) who settles with her son in the fictional town of Ongsan. There she puts up a bar business, named Camellia, which became the talk among her conservative neighbors. Years after she meets the local policeman, Hwang Yong Sik (Kang Ha Neul) and finds love in him, the people around her, and the circumstances that came along with her life.
Watching Haikyu!! brought back those years. The crazy energy. The drive. The willingness to practice. The team. So nostalgic. It was the answer to Kei Tsukishima’s question on the first season of the series: if it was just a club activity, why spend so much energy and put your heart into it?
It’s Okay not to be Okay is a 16 episode South Korean romantic fairytale drama that tackles about emotional and psychological wounds that spring from cases of parental abuse, murder, and trauma that they must confront as they become adults.
The King: Eternal Monarch is an epic comeback drama of Lee Min Ho after getting discharged from the military. It tells the story of two parallel universes: the Kingdom of Corea where King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) rules and the Republic of Korea where Detective Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun) lives. Thanks to the mythical bamboo flute called “manpashikjeok”, Lee Gon gets to cross the barrier to the other realm and meets Tae-eul whom he recognized as his childhood savior during the assassination of his father.
Reply 1988 tells the story of five friends who have been raised together in the small neighborhood alley of Ssangmun-dong in Seoul. It unfolds a timeline that begins in 1988 and the succeeding years after until 1995 including some snippets of selected characters in 2016. Compared to other dramas that centers on a single character, Reply 1988 gravitates around the five families whose lives are so intertwined with each other.
Ichigo Ichie is a self-help book compounded together by authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. It is a short and simple book that hopes to provide a practical guide on how to relish and live every moment of our everyday experiences. Because in this age of digital distraction, instant gratification, and superficial engagement, it becomes more and more difficult to make sense of the moments manifested by the universe to us.
Itaewon Class is problematically titled. It’s not your regular high school teenage love story but a rather serious drama that portrays power struggle amidst diversity, prejudice, and discrimination. But what really troubled me all through its sixteen episodes is the battle for the leading lady role. At first glance, it’s easy to spot Cho Yi-seo as the main lead of Itaewon Class. However, there is an overlapping build-up of emotion towards her and Saeroyi’s first love, Soo Ah. Which gets me asking: who really is the second lead of this drama?